Hot off the press: Dessler’s record turnaround time GRL rebuttal paper to Spencer and Braswell

UPDATE: Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. has a comment on the paper here: Comments On The Dessler 2011 GRL Paper “Cloud Variations And The Earth’s Energy Budget also, physicist Lubos Motl has an analysis here. The press release from TAMU/Dessler has been pushed to media outlets on Eurekalert, see update below.

UPDATE2: Dessler has made a video on the paper see it here And Steve McIntyre has his take on it with The stone in Trenberth’s shoe

I’ve been given an advance copy, for which I’ve posted excerpts below. This paper appears to have been made ready in record time, with a turnaround from submission to acceptance and publication of about six weeks based on the July 26th publication date of the original Spencer and Braswell paper. We should all be so lucky to have expedited peer review service. PeerEx maybe, something like FedEx? Compare that to the two years it took to get Lindzen and Choi out the door. Or how about the WUWT story: Science has been sitting on his [Spencer's] critique of Dessler’s paper for months”.

If anyone needs a clear, concise, and irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is biased for the consensus and against skeptics, this is it.

I’m sure some thorough examination will determine if the maxim “haste makes waste” applies here for Dessler’s turbo treatise.

Cloud variations and the Earth’s energy budget
A.E. Dessler
Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010. An energy budget calculation shows that the energy trapped by clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations. And observations of the lagged response of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energy fluxes to surface temperature variations are not evidence that clouds are causing climate change.

Introduction
The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback — as the climate warms, clouds change in response and either amplify (positive cloud feedback) or ameliorate (negative cloud feedback) the initial change [e.g., Stephens, 2005]. In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011, hereafter LC11] and Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.

Conclusions
These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming). Rather, the evolution of the surface and atmosphere during ENSO variations are dominated by oceanic heat transport. This means in turn that regressions of TOA fluxes vs. ΔTs can be used to accurately estimate climate sensitivity or the magnitude of climate feedbacks. In addition, observations presented by LC11 and SB11 are not in fundamental disagreement with mainstream climate models, nor do they provide evidence that clouds are causing climate change. Suggestions that significant revisions to mainstream climate science are required are therefore not supported.

Acknowledgments: This work was supported by NSF grant AGS-1012665 to Texas A&M University. I thank A. Evan, J. Fasullo, D. Murphy, K. Trenberth, M. Zelinka, and A.J. Dessler for useful comments.

Dessler, A. E. (2011),

Cloud variations and the Earth’s energy budget, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL049236, in press. [Abstract] [PDF paywalled] (accepted 29 August 2011)

Dessler has a pre-print version of the paper on his server here

h/t to Marc Hendrickx

=============================================================

UPDATE: Here is the press release from Texas A&M via Eurekalert:
Texas A&M University

Texas A&M prof says study shows that clouds don’t cause climate change

COLLEGE STATION, Sept. 6, 2011 — Clouds only amplify climate change, says a Texas A&M University professor in a study that rebuts recent claims that clouds are actually the root cause of climate change.

Andrew Dessler, a Texas A&M atmospheric sciences professor considered one of the nation’s experts on climate variations, says decades of data support the mainstream and long-held view that clouds are primarily acting as a so-called “feedback” that amplifies warming from human activity. His work is published today in the American Geophysical Union’s peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Dessler studied El Niño and La Niña cycles over the past 10 years and calculated the Earth’s “energy budget” over this time. El Nino and La Nina are cyclical events, roughly every five years, when waters in the central Pacific Ocean tend to get warmer or colder. These changes have a huge impact on much of the world’s weather systems for months or even years.

Dessler found that clouds played a very small role in initiating these climate variations — in agreement, he says, with mainstream climate science and in direct opposition to some previous claims.

“The bottom line is that clouds have not replaced humans as the cause of the recent warming the Earth is experiencing,” Dessler says.

Texas is currently in one of the worst droughts in the state’s history, and most scientists believe it is a direct result of La Niña conditions that have lingered in the Pacific Ocean for many months.

Dessler adds, “Over a century, however, clouds can indeed play an important role amplifying climate change.”

“I hope my analysis puts an end to this claim that clouds are causing climate change,” he adds.

###

For more information about Dessler’s research, go to http://goo.gl/zFJmt

About Research at Texas A&M University:

As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $630 million, which ranks third nationally for universities without a medical school, and underwrites approximately 3,500 sponsored projects. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.

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513 thoughts on “Hot off the press: Dessler’s record turnaround time GRL rebuttal paper to Spencer and Braswell

  1. Warm biased climate scientists are the only people in the world who know all the unknown unknowns! So they tell us.

  2. “Suggestions that significant revisions to mainstream climate science are required are therefore not supported.”

    I suspect that this was actully the starting point of the paper and everything else was build around it.

  3. ” Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”

    30 sec passing scan. I believe S&B suggest the cloud feedback is bidirectional.

  4. How about we examine the paper rather than the process? It may not say much, but I don’t think SB11 did either. I think this is still an area for further investigation though.

  5. Dave Wendt: “I believe S&B suggest the cloud feedback is bidirectional.”

    Exactly. So this paper by Dessler doesn’t properly address the points that S&B made.

  6. Crikey, I’m an idiot an even I understood their paper suggest cloud feedback is bidirectional. Wonder if the MSM such as Richard Black will notice it when they write their balanced pieces…..

  7. “If anyone needs a clear, concise, and irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is biased for the consensus and against skeptics, this is it.”

    The system is biased against bad science. So-called “skeptics” produce a lot of bad science, and it’s a good thing that they have difficulty publishing it.

  8. Hmmm … thats funny … I don’t see any refererence to the EXISTING work on clouds as a forcing shown in the recently released CERN CLOUD study …

    http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2011/PR15.11E.html

    Wasn’t that the major complaint with Spencer and Braswell – that they did not address the existing science on the issue?

    Even Gavin Schmidt speaks positively (at least to the extent that’s possible for his group) about the CERN CLOUD study’s findings … this study would seem to be directly relevant to the S&B paper yet Dessler seemingly ignores it

  9. JGR is normally fast. They gives the stats in this editorial:

    “Publication is indeed rapid. For the past 3 years we have maintained an effi cient review process, with a median time to first decision of 36 days and, for 50% of accepted papers, an average time from submission to publication of 13.5 weeks.”

  10. Mr D is right you know, as it clearly states…
    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade”
    Is it not rather difficult to show how anything can change a system if the system as measured (climate change) has not changed over the last decade.
    or to put it into easyspeak .. all that heat energy I put into my house last year can now be clearly seen not to affect my house, as it has not warmed up over the year. proof !!!

  11. ‘Clouds cause climate change.’

    ‘They do not!’

    ‘Oh yes they do!”

    “Oh no they dont…..”

  12. Even if the turnaround time for the paper is a record it is still obviously far too long. If it could have been published before Spencer and Braswell’s paper then there would have been absolutely no need for anyone to take any notice of their sceptical arguments, would there?

    The peer review process needs to be redefined so that in cases where it is not possible for the referees to reject sceptical papers the rebuttal comes out first!

  13. Good grief.

    Indecent haste indeed, and does appear to be flawed. I think the team will live to regret this.

  14. The part I liked was:

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long term climate change, on the other hand clouds can cause significant warming)”.

    I suppose this sort of logic sums up alarmist ‘science’ – something like: “The factual evidence for man made global warming cannot be found, but as the models show that climate change is caused by man, it means the science is settled.”

    Climate change is the norm, it is simply not possible to fix climate – which is why goofy politicians have created Ministers for Climate Change in an attempt to regulate something, which simply cannot be regulated.

  15. THe paper says;

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming)”

    A decade is a very short period and difficult to measure, especially when the temperature was mostly flatlining. But surely the author is saying that over a longer period clouds can have an effect? I will see what else is in the pdf before commenting further so jst an initial response to the abstract.

    tonyb .

  16. Entirely from physical experience of the world around me. It’s very simplistic and empirical, but I believe it’s relevant to these papers being discussed, so here goes…

    It’s the morning, the skies are clear of cloud. Temperatures are cool to begin with, but it’s humid. Later on, some cumulus cloud begins to form. A pleasant sight….

    It’s now late afternoon. It’s hot and it’s muggy. The initially small cumulus clouds have been growing bigger and taller. Central pillars inside the cumulus cloud are now shooting up – actually visibly, if you keep your eye on one of the pillars – it’s a majestic sight as you realise this upwards movement of the growing towers represents immense energies being expended in order for this to happen.

    Where I am standing, the sun is blazing down on me and I feel very hot, but, one of the cumulus clouds has moved in front of the sun and I am now in shadow. I instantly feel that the heat from the sun has decreased by a large order of magnitude.

    A little while later, the cumulus clouds have reached some kind of pinnacle, some certain boundary high up in the atmosphere. At this height, they begin to spread out, like the top of some gigantic fountain, only this water isn’t falling (yet) – it’s forming an anvil-shaped head at the top of the cloud. The cumulo-nimbus is born.

    Shortly after that, I hear the first rumblings of thunder. Those little cumulus clouds have grown into monstrous thunderclouds and the storms begin.

    There is gusty wind, heavy rain, even hail. There is numerous lightning and clamorous thunder with that. There is high drama all around me as I observe the weather.

    A while later and the storms begin to wane, and eventually die out. It is much, much cooler! I’m going to get a decent sleep tonight after all.

    And so now to the point;

    The above is a very short and basic description of the birth and death of a thundery day. It describes the phenomenon below, namely;

    1) The sun obviously heats up the ground and anything the sunlight hits – roofs of houses, etc.

    2) If a cloud gets in between the sun and the ground, the ground – or a person standing on the ground – stops heating up because they’re in the cloud’s shadow – this to me means a negative forcing – i.e. sunlight is being prevented from hitting me or the ground by the cloud – the cloud is reflecting the energy of the sun that would have heated me/ground up. The cloud is not being heated up by the energy from the sun, seeing as cloud is not a solid object. At the very most, only the top “layer” (e.g. perhaps the water molecules forming the cloud down to a certain depth from the top of the cloud are absorbing any energy from the sun.)

    3) Finally, the thunderstorm is transporting energy from the ground, upwards, to high altitudes, and cooler air is being transported down towards the ground. This, to me, also represents a negative feedback.

    Now, how is it that this paper (and others) can claim that clouds can only produce a positive feedback, when from imperial, physical evidence and observation, I can deduce that clouds appear to produce more negative feedback than they do positive?

  17. Silly me. I had thought the pdf link would lead to more information but it seems to be a paywall. Its very difficult to comment any further on such a brief abstract.

    tonyb

  18. Stevo says

    “So-called “skeptics” produce a lot of bad science, and it’s a good thing that they have difficulty publishing it.”

    Stevo, why are they “So called”? What does that statement mean?

    Kind Regards

    Michael

  19. Accepted aug 29.

    GRL says that the median time to a first response after submission is 36 days
    GRL says they can turn a review in as quick as 14 days
    GRL says the average paper takes 13.5 week from submission to publication.

    July 26th to august 29.

    heck this paper got written, submitted, reviewed and accepted faster than 50% of papers
    wait to get their first response.

  20. So, is this a defense soley against Spencer or does represent an opening against CERNs work as well? It is beginning to sound like the gambit has changed from: “the Sun doesn’t matter”, to add ” and neither do clouds”.

  21. With an as yet undetermined appendage Dessler writes:

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade”

    I wasn’t aware there was any significant climate change due to any cause during that period of time. Global average temperature hasn’t significantly changed in the past 10 years.

    Seems like a rather glaring flaw. Am I missing something?

  22. There has not been “significant climate change over the last decade”.

    I fail to see the point, or the point of reading further????

  23. “peer review in climate science is biased for the consensus”

    Is it really biased towards a consensus?

    Consensus: An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole

    Is that really what has happened here? From what I can see we have a dozen, or maybe half a dozen scientists with a shared agenda that are spreading what amounts to unchallenged propaganda in certain scientific publications. As a result, hundreds of other scientists have not “reached a position” but rather had a position thrust upon them as a fait accompli.

  24. stevo says:
    The system is biased against bad science.

    That’s how the system is supposed to work. But in Climate Science, bad science has made it into the mainstream.

  25. Let’s have a picnic.
    That’s a good idea, it’s a nice cloudy day…that won’t affect the temperature.
    Clowns!

  26. “In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011, hereafter LC11] and Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.”

    Are there statements in the 2 papers that directly refute this conclusion?

  27. Is Dressler suggesting that a significant component of climate, clouds, have effects that cannot be measured on a decade scale? If so, then how are those water vapor tipping point feedbacks going to work – are the AGW models artifically compressed?

  28. “Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored… ”

    Bzzzzzzt Logical fallacy of the excluded middle. these are not the only two possibilities. Spencer is saying its a mixture of the two which confounds the quantification of cloud feedback.

  29. It doesn’t matter what calculations are done if the wrong formula is used then the wrong answer follows.

    We all know from experience that when cloud covers the sun it gets cooler so a negative feedback is almost certain.

  30. Dave Springer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:15 am
    Seems like a rather glaring flaw. Am I missing something?

    No, you are not missing something. Haste makes waste. In this case, taxpayer money, I believe.

  31. Re Dave Springer

    Seems like a rather glaring flaw. Am I missing something?

    Possibly Santer et al’s backstop paper just published in JGR:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011JD016263.shtml

    Trends >17 yrs are required for identifying human effects on tropospheric temp.

    So the last decade’s lack of warming simply isn’t sufficient to demonstrate any influence, and the modellers need 7 more years of funding before the lean years start.

  32. What I note from the conclusion is that “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change (…) clouds can indeed cause significant warming”, and that -as for the past decade- “the evolution of the surface and atmosphere during ENSO variations [are] (sic) dominated by oceanic heat transport”.
    Meaning: yes, clouds cause warming, but not during the last decade because El Nino/La Nina was so dominant.

    So what about carbon and other geenhouse gases?

  33. ” Rather, the evolution of the surface and atmosphere during ENSO variations are dominated by oceanic heat transport.”

    And presumably, the heat that the oceans are transporting is primarily derived from the solar shortwave that got past the clouds….

    Ah.

  34. Trenberth et al are asserting that clouds don’t drive temperature changes but rather temperature changes drive clouds and non-condensing greenhouse gases drive temperature changes. Lindzen, Spencer, and many others assert that the Trenberth et al (a.k.a. the hockey stick team) cannot empirically establish that uni-directional relationship from gas to temperature to cloud. Trenberth et al assert that clouds are sources of feedback only and have no effect as primary drivers of temperature change. Lindzen, Spencer, et al assert that cloud respond to more than simple temperature changes and are also governed by things like global ocean circulation, wind patterns, GCR, aerosols from volcanic emissions, and lots of other things aside from non-condensing greenhouse gases. Lindzen, Spencer, et al are certainly correct in that clouds are governed by a lot more than just surface temperature change and they can certainly cause huge surface temperature change as everyone knows who’s ever been outside on a hot sunny day when a big cloud passes overhead. Clouds generally cover about 60-70% of the earth’s surface at any one point in time and radically change the planet’s albedo. A 1% decrease in global cloud cover reduces insolation at the surface by more than all anthropogenic forcings can raise it. Global average cloud cover isn’t known to better than 5% range and interannual variability or trends in interannual variability is largely unknown as albedo measurements are difficult and different methods of measuring it are not in satisfactory agreement. Ergo there’s no certain fixed figure for albedo that can be plugged into climate models so it’s basically used as fudge factor. If a particular model isn’t performing well albedo figure is something that can be tweaked to make it better match the temperature data.

    Albedo modeling is so poor in climate models it would be funny if the naive and gullible didn’t put so much faith in computer models regardless of the uncertainties and ad hoc tweaking of poorly known parameters critical to model performance.

  35. correction to my previous:

    “A 1% decrease increase in global cloud cover reduces insolation at the surface by more than all anthropogenic forcings can raise it.”

  36. “Conclusions
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming). Rather, the evolution of the surface and atmosphere during ENSO variations are dominated by oceanic heat transport. This means in turn that regressions of TOA fluxes vs. ΔTs can be used to accurately estimate climate sensitivity or the magnitude of climate feedbacks.

    How exactly do clouds generate “significant warming” in the long term if they have no effect in the short term? And if they cause significant warming in the long term how can ignoring them in the decade scale yield accurate estimates of climate sensitivity?

    Just a day or so ago they were pimping “Sluggo” Santer’s latest effort of which the following is still all that seems to be publicly available.

    “Key Points
    Models run with human forcing can produce 10-year periods with little warming
    S/N ratios for tropospheric temp. are ~1 for 10-yr trends, ~4 for 32-yr trends
    Trends >17 yrs are required for identifying human effects on tropospheric temp.”

    It’s hard to know what he actually has to say, but it seems antagonistic to using short scale data in this regard.

  37. I will be interested to see the full paper, but based on the abstract and conclusions alone, we can see this paper is not addressing the complexity of bi-directional feedback between albedo and ocean.

    It simply fails to address Spencer and Braswell’s core argument.

    ” observations presented by LC11 and SB11 are not in fundamental disagreement with mainstream climate models, nor do they provide evidence that clouds are causing climate change.”

    They are in enough disagreement to show that there is bi-directional feedback. The logical upshot of this is that clouds are forcing climate part of the time. Providing (empirical) evidence they are causing climate change is exactly as difficult as providing evidence that they are not.

    Which was one of Spencer’s main points – uncertainty.

  38. This work of Spencer & Braswell:

    On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Spencer-Braswell-JGR-2010.pdf

    … seems to be largely on the same topic and very detailed. It was not Spencer and Braswell’s first paper on the subject either:

    Spencer, R. W., and W. D. Braswell (2008), Potential biases in cloud feedback diagnosis: A simple model demonstration, J. Clim., 21, 5624–5628.

    Spencer, R. W., W. D. Braswell, J. R. Christy, and J. Hnilo (2007), Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007GL029698.

    I would be interested in Trenberth etals response to these papers – and how they tie with S&B 2011??

  39. I know I’m really stupid – but if clouds can amplify or ameliorate climate – then if something else causes clouds to change then that something else is a cause of climate change? Or is it only man made CO2 that alters clouds? They can’t not matter and matter at the same time.

  40. Nick Stokes says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:00 am
    JGR is normally fast. They gives the stats in this editorial:

    “Publication is indeed rapid. For the past 3 years we have maintained an effi cient review process, with a median time to first decision of 36 days….”

    How about adding in the time he took to read and digest Spencer’s paper, prepare and write his own, getting it proofed etc. Admit it – it was obscenely fast.

  41. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:34 am
    “Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored… ”

    Bzzzzzzt Logical fallacy, these are not the only two possibilities. Spencer is saying its a mixture of the two which confounds diagnosis of feedback amplitude.

    Add to that the CERN CLOUD work which shows cosmic rays cause an increase in cloud producing droplets … which would make the clouds created as a result yet another CLOUD FORCING – not a feedback.

  42. So . . .

    It’s not the sun that I can see and feel when it shines on me.

    It’s not the clouds that I can see and feel when they block the sun or rain on me.

    It’s CO2 that I can’t see or feel . . .

    OK, I get it.

  43. It’s hard to judge a paper based just on the sections Abstact, Introduction and Conclusions. However, there seem to be serious errors in those sections:

    1) “…and Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.” This is not correct, SB11 argues that it goes both ways.

    2) “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade ” As far as I understand SB11 it does not argue that clouds has caused a significant climate change over the last decade. It does just say that clouds does affect temperature and that this effect will contaminate your analysis of the cloud feedback if not accounted for.

  44. It is difficult to comment upon the paper until this is reviewed in full. Since it is behind a pay wall, I have not seen it. There is no need to comment further on (i) the thoroughness of the examination of the issue in hand (clouds are they cause or feedback) nor (2) the process of peer review, since the time that it has taken to get this paper in print says all.

    Clouds are clearly one of the key battle grounds that will determine the correct outcome of the debate on man made GW. Clouds are incredibly complex since many factors determine what effect they will have on temperature during the course of the day, viz to name but a few of the many variables: the latitude of where a cloud(s) may develop, the albedo surface below the cloud, the nature of the surface below the cloud and its heat capacity, the time of day when cloud(s) develop and time of duration of cloud cover, the area of cloud cover, the volume of cloud cover, the composition of the cloud. Cloud formation is chaotic and random, although there may be a number of identifiably underlying causal components (including possibly cosmic rays or changes in Earth’s magnetic field or changes in particuate aerosols), which lead to cloud formation. It is probable that not all underlying factors are known, still less how they operate and interlink with other factors that are in play in cloud formation.

    Like so much in this debate, the data is lacking. We do not possess sufficientl high scale resolution of all the variabilities associated with clouds on a daily basis going back 40 years, still less 150 years. It is therefore not possible to even attempt a correlation between cloud cover and temperatures since say the 1880s. In fact, I doubt we have a data set with the necessary high scale resolution of ALL the variables involved to even evaluate the last decade!

    Given this variability and complexity, it is no surprise that models do not model clouds well. I understand that both sides accept that the models do not model clouds as well as they could. Many would say the modelling is poor. Given this, it is no surprise that model projecdtions/predictions on temperature from year to year does not correlate well with empirical observation.

    Clouds and the role they play in driving temperatures is certainly one of the most important areas of study and of empirical data gathering. A better knowledge and understanding of clouds is essential.

    I have these past 20 years considered that natural variability in clouds could and probably does explain any real temperature increase that has taken place the past century. It will be interesting to see how examination of this issue pans out and the insights that it will reveal.

  45. Not having seen the calculations on which Dessler et al base their conclusions, I was nevertheless amazed when I read this statement:

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”

    Part one of the above states that ‘clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade’ – so are climate scientists now using decades to determine climate change, rather than spans of 30 years, or 17, as Santer et al propose here http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011JD016263.shtml

    Part two of the above quote tells us that clouds do have an effect, however, over decades and centuries ‘relevant’ for long-term climate change, where they can cause ‘significant’ warming.

    Are there any data about clouds going back decades or even centuries? If so – how were they obtained?
    Where are the data to show that clouds, over ‘relevant’ centuries, cause ‘significant’ warming?
    What about clouds causing significant cooling, over ‘relevant’ centuries?

    Finally, can someone explain to me how something (e.g. clouds) can have no influence on climate change when looked at over a decade – but can have significant influence on warming when looked at over a span of decades, even centuries, regardless of having data on clouds fore.g. centuries?

    Basically, aren’t Dessler et al saying that clouds have an influence on warming, over a ‘relevant’ century, because it has been warming during that century?

  46. sarc on/Since we do not know what causes climate to change, then it must be CO2 because that is the only thing that has changed during modern times. Anyone trying to find climate forcings other than CO2 must be liquidated. /sarc off

  47. A paper this important to AR5 has no right being behind a paywall. I hope it comes out from behind the paywall. Otherwise it will likely be Wahl and Amman and the hidden corruption of the IPCC process to exclude legitimate challenge (Jones’ famous email requesting Mann to advise Wahl to delete) all over again.

  48. Facts, data, logic, and clear thinking are on the side of SB11. I don’t think that matters much since climate science is much more religion than anything else.

    We look to models (oracles?) to tell us the shape of climate a century from now and we can not even predict a small storm four days out. Religion. We spend billions each year on the keepers of the computer models and burn at the stake (metaphorically I hope) anyone who looks at raw data. Religion.

    The Catholic Church was much better to science on the whole that government grants and gatekeepers have been.

  49. “The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback ”
    Stop right there, hold it, bub.
    In whose world, the GCMs or the sky I stand under? I don’t get warmer on a cloudy day that is preceeded by a sunny day, because the Sunlight is bounced back into space on the cloudy day. Where’s the feedback data beef?
    And in the real world, globally, there isn’t 100% cloudiness. There are always holes and canopies of cloudiness. So, don’t confuse Venus with Earth.
    “If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”
    By George, I think he’s on to something there. May I suggest substantial to go along with significant?

  50. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:34 am

    “Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored… ”

    Bzzzzzzt Logical fallacy of the excluded middle. these are not the only two possibilities. Spencer is saying its a mixture of the two which confounds the quantification of cloud feedback.

    Nice catch, tallbloke.

    Other names are the false dichotomy and the false dillema.

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

    I got a perfect grade in Formal Logic in college with almost no effort. Most of the rest of the class were getting failing grades. Not surprisingly logic is my profession – computer hardware and software design both of which are heavily dependent on complex logic chains which boil down in the fine detail to true or false with no excluded middle. An excluded middle is what analog electronics are all about and I hate analog electronics. Too much fuzziness. I like black and white answers with no gray areas.

    Perhaps the devotion to computer climate models is what makes the climate boffins view the real climate as a digital system. The real world climate is analog not digital.

  51. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:47 am

    I am quite certain, and I am sure that you are too, that there does not exist 100% global cloudiness on Earth, unlike Venus. The uncertainlty of how much open sky vs cloudiness is a good question.
    How many years of data (reliable) do we have?

  52. If 10 years is too short a period to detect whether climate change is actually happening or not … surely it is likewise too short a period to detect the cause of any such change?

  53. “Or how about the WUWT story: “Science has been sitting on his [Spencer's] critique of Dessler’s paper for months”.”

    Me thinks that it should be Lindzen’s critique in the brackets?

  54. 220mph says
    ———
    Hmmm … thats funny … I don’t see any refererence to the EXISTING work on clouds as a forcing shown in the recently released CERN CLOUD study …
    ———
    As far as I am aware the CLOUD study was about the formation of potential cloud droplet nucleation centers and has nothing to say about cloud feedback processes. There is a big gap between the 2 issues so the relevancy is not there.

  55. I thought the address of Texas A&M had recently been changed from
    College Station, TX to Malfunction Junction, TX.

    Sorry, could not resist! Some the international readers might not know
    about Aggie jokes.

  56. I think than banning hotels and guest houses from offering bed and breakfast in their tariff would stop climate change completely. What a load of pointless drivel especially when 92% of the planets population couldnt give a tupenny damn about being green or climate change or global warming and even if they did the most they could achieve by being green is four thousandths of 1 deg c reduction. Clearly there are too many people getting too much cash for participating in this hyperbolic debate and too many deranged individuals who have little else of importance in their lives, whatever is wrong with sex?

  57. ps thanks folks for the “welcome backs” on the other thread. I never left, actually. But I’ve always seen the issue of the corruption of Climate Science as a spiritual battle, so I have to go where Great Spirit directs – whether it directs me to engage with the precise language of science, or whether it seems to take me elsewhere. I suspect there are many others with similar attitudes also perusing the pages here – people like Richard Courtney, Chris Monckton, and of course Spencer and Christy.

    I’m making strong statements about Thorium to my green and “anti-nuclear” friends. Thanks to the recent articles and comments here.

  58. Have they read the paper? I thought the whole point was it could do both: and in one direction the feedback was quasi instantaneous, and in the other there was a time lag which accounted for a problem in the models. Don’t they want their models to be better?

    I write this from under near 100 % cloud cover in Paris (those Impressionist paintings with leaden grey skies? Not artistic licence …); and it’s definitely COOL.

  59. I suspect “the team” is in panic mode right now. Lindzen and Spencer are not lighweights and the team knows they are right. Modeling of clouds has always been the Achilles Heel of climate models and clouds (actually water vapor in general) are what turn a rather welcome 1C temperature rise per CO2 doubling into an alarming 3-5C rise per doubling. Without being able to prove that high level of climate sensitivity and with empirical observation not in satisfactory agreement with it the science behind CAGW is simply too deficient to use as a basis for draconian legislation aimed at reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

    At this point in time the scientific “consensus” is falling apart, the public smelled the rat when the Climategate emails became public, and the CAGW cause is lost on both fronts. Al Gore has been reduced to a potty-mouth ranting fool. All that remains of it is rapidly declining financial/political inertia.

    Climate boffins are ignoring the first rule of holes: when you find you’ve dug yourself into a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

    This whole Wagner resignation episode is just more digging. What’s really amusing is that the CAGW faithful have not only failed to stop digging, they’re digging even faster! Amazing. Amazingly STUPID, that is.

  60. >>
    Conclusions
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade
    >>
    Well in that case why do *all* IPCC referenced climate models use positive cloud feedback to predict catastrophic climate change?

    Dessler has a bee in his bonnet trying to refute something that Spencer et al never claimed. Spencer Bradwell 2011 simply examines the proportion of radiation that is a forcing to that which is a result of a forcing, without any specific attribution .

    What SB2011 does show irrefutably is that the proportion of these two is totally wrong in the climate models.

    Dessler , not Spencer and Bradwell , attributes this soley to cloud and then disproves his own claim. This paper has no bearing on the claims of SB2011.

    The findings of SB2011 does not require a significant change to climate science , it just means they need to re-evaluate their fiddle factors. That would take about 2 minutes.

  61. From the conclusion:
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade

    What happened that we now talk of climate over 10 years? Was not the kosher value 30 years?

    My teeth go on edge whenever “forcing” are discussed, whether with articles in climate “science” with whom I will finally agree with or disagree. The term is a misleading invention of the climatologist and helps propagate errors ad infinitum.

    Climate is a deterministic chaos system. In such systems, one cannot grab the butterfly in Japan and accuse it of causing a storm in Paris. Direct causal connections are destroyed in such systems. A realistic modelling of climate as a deterministic chaos system would be to enter all the dynamics pertaining to weather and let it develop over a century to get climate.
    Once the past is fitted in such a dynamic model ( a la Tsonis et al) then one could take one by one some dynamic equations to determine the extent of the contribution to the total output. In such a study one could speak of the strength of the various inputs.

    This is not currently done in the GCM’s . Some favourite “forcings” are grabbed and thrown in and developed and wiggled by hand to fit past data, and then let loose to predict future ones. There are so many parameters that the proverbial elephant would not only move its ears but it could fly and dance.

    Sometimes I think that only the onset of the next Little Ice Age will shut up these deluded “scientists”.

  62. The truth is that ANYTHING that alters the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere alters cloud quantities and cloud distribution and so affects the flow of energy into, through and out of the system That ‘anything’ can be solar variations, oceanic variations, GHG quantities and a multitude of other minor internal system processes.

    Crucially anything that fails to alter that vertical temperature profile significantly is not going to have a significant effect on clouds either. Hence my doubts about the Svensmark hypothesis.

    What I think happens from the top down solar point of view is that for whatever reason the atmosphere expands when the sun is active and contracts when it is inactive.

    In the process the temperature of the stratosphere and mesosphere changes oppositely to the sign of the temperature change in thermosphere and troposphere. I know that s not what the ‘science’ currently says but it is what we have seen and the CFC aspect was introduced to specifically deal with those aberrant observations. I suspect that was a mistake.

    The effect is to draw the tropopause upward when the sun is active and push it down when the sun is less active. Globally averaged of course.

    The size and intensity of the polar vortices is a relevant factor and the outcome is latitudinal shifting of all the components of the surface air pressure distribution which changes the sizes and positions of the climate zones.

    That changes the energy budget via the speed of the water cycle.

    So an active sun tries to COOL the system by changing the structure of the atmosphere to let energy OUT of the system FASTER via the higher tropopause but in the process clouds are drawn poleward to let more energy into the oceans which offsets the faster loss to space.

    The opposite when the sun is less active.

    So the cloud changes provide a negative response to the solar effect on the structure of the atmosphere.

    However the system response to bottom up changes from the oceans or GHGs is different. There the initial system response is positive. Faster energy release from the oceans or more energy in the air from more GHGs pushes the clouds poleward to allow even more energy into the oceans in a positive feedback but in the process the height of the tropopause rises just as it did with a cooler stratosphere and again the rate of energy loss to space accelerates via a faster water cycle which is sufficient to apply a negative response in due course cancelling out the combined effect of more energy from the oceans (or GHGs) AND of more solar energy into the oceans.

    Thus whatever changes the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere will cause cloudiness changes that then exert a negative influence (to effects from above) or positive influence (to effects from below) and what we then experience is shifting climate zones as the height of the tropopause rises and the speed of energy flow through the system varies to cancel the forcing agent.

    It is a neat solution to the problem but relies on a cooling stratosphere at a time of active sun as a natural phenomenon.

    It is the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere that is key because that then causes the cloudiness changes AND the rate of energy input to the oceans AND the changes in the rate of energy transfer from surface to space.

    I think it will eventually be found that the fulcrum on which the whole thing rests is the height of the stratopause which mediates the effects on the atmospheric temperature profile between competing influences from the sun above and oceans below. Interestingly that is the point above which Joanna Haigh found her unexpected ozone response to the quieter sun.

  63. Kevin Cave says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:09 am
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Kevin

    Your experience is no doubt shared by many. certainly those living in mid lattitudes will during the day in summer notice substantial differences in temperature between open skies and cloud in summer. A couple of days ago in the UK it was bright and sunny with little cloud cover and was 27degC and if you put a thermometer in the sun no doubt it would have read over 40 degC. The next day it was cloudy and only about 18 degC. The difference between sun in open sky htting your skin and sun shielded by clouds will often be 15 degC if not more. At night (other than in deserts) the difference between clear skies in summer and cloudy skies may be only a few degrees.

    There are two distinct issues: are clouds (1) cause or are they feedback, AND (2) are they a net positive or a net negative? Once that has been determined, one needs to consider has there been any measurably significant trend change in cloud cover over the period in question.

    I do not consider that there is such a thing as average cloudiness (to my list of variables one must add the time of year of cloud formation and the height at which a cloud is formed) and whether a cloud is a negative factor or positive factor will depend upon the combination of many variables. That said, I would be extremely surprised if overall clouds were not a net negatives, ie., overall they cool temperatures more than they raise temperatures..

  64. Proof, if more proof was needed, that climate science is hopelessly corrupt.

    Skeptical papers take years to be published. Consensus papers only weeks.

    We are not dealing with climate science, we are dealing with climate politics, climate ideology and the climate religion.

    This paper by Dessler and the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Wagner can only be described as phyrric victories for the Team.

    To paraphrase Plutarch, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the skeptics, we shall be utterly ruined.”

  65. And why is there no-one doing proper experiments on this? We have wind tunnels, why not “atmosphere chambers”, where they could test out some of these ideas? Why oh why will none of these guys get off their butt and engage with the real world?

    Someone needs to tell these guys that computer games, however much fun, are not reality.

    Sorry rant off :)

  66. Keith Battye says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:09 am
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    You have it in one in a world where radiation dominates. But hold a second, in the real world does radiation dominate?

  67. With regard to the caustic opening comments about publication time, it is worth noting that GRL is a rapid publication journal. I pulled 5 papers off their “popular” tab on the web site and got the following:
    Received 8 June 2011; accepted 4 July 2011; published 16 August 2011.
    Received 6 July 2011; accepted 19 July 2011; published 30 August 2011.
    Received 14 July 2011; accepted 31 July 2011; published 2 September 2011.
    Received 5 July 2011; accepted 29 July 2011; published 2 September 2011.
    Received 7 July 2011; accepted 27 July 2011; published 30 August 2011.

    So Dessler’s publication time is not unusual, and there is no need for all those comments inferring scientific bias.

    Might I suggest you inform yourself about GRL, and change your inflammatory introduction to the posting?

  68. Words, fail me … how anyone could think that this conclusive proof that the whole corrupt system of peer review is biased to the alarmists is going to reassure anyone except a complete moron is beyond me.

    It’s like some sadistic Nazi showing the world a bruised and beaten prisoner reading out a statement: “I’ve been treated very well”.

    What on earth do they thing this could possibly achieve?

  69. The conclusion reads:

    “In addition, observations presented by LC11 and SB11 are not in fundamental disagreement with mainstream climate models, nor do they provide evidence that clouds are causing climate change.”
    //////////////////
    Such a statement (specifically the comment “…nor do they provide evidence that clouds are causing climate change.”) is meaningless without defining what is meant by climate and without defining what amounts to climate change.

    The question is whether clouds can cause a warming or a cooling, and if so whether this can lead to a trend on a long time scale basis. It is entirely a different issue whether such change in temperature may lead to a change in climate.

  70. I can just see the cartoon:–

    There is a big raging bull labelled “Press”, and there is a climate “scientist” in a very tight fitting matador costume. He is furiously waving a very small handkerchief labelled “Dessler” trying to distract the bull.

    The bull is heading straight for the latter.

  71. Anthony,

    There’s some faulty logic right there in the “Introduction”.

    “The usual way to think about clouds…” appears to be an absolute
    proven “truth” and a scientfic “given” in the Dessler paper since it is the “reality” the
    Spenser and Braswell paper has allegedly “reversed”.

    All else in the Dessler paper flows from this logical premise.

  72. That should be: I can just see the cartoon:–

    There is a big raging bull labelled “Press”, and there is a climate “scientist” in a very tight fitting matador costume. He is furiously waving a very small handkerchief labelled “Dessler” trying to distract the bull.

    The bull is heading straight for [snip] — its too painful to say!.

  73. Lucy Skywalker said: “A paper this important to AR5 has no right being behind a paywall. ”

    Due to the policy implications this ought to be a requirement for all papers cited in AR5.

  74. 9/11 did allow a study on vapour trails and their effect on climate.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/contrail-effect.html

    Ongoing debate

    In a study published in 2004, for example, Minnis and colleagues reported that contrails are capable of increasing average surface temperatures sufficiently to account for a warming trend in the U.S. between 1975 and 1994. But some climatologists believe Minnis and his colleagues may have overestimated the contrail warming effect.

  75. @- tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:34 am
    “Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored… ”
    Bzzzzzzt Logical fallacy of the excluded middle. these are not the only two possibilities. Spencer is saying its a mixture of the two which confounds the quantification of cloud feedback.

    I am afraid you are the one guilty of a logical fallacy.
    The issue here is causation.
    Either A causes B that may then amplify or reduce the effects of A on events ENSO…
    Or B causes A which modifies the effect of B on ENSO.

    It IS a logical impossibility that there is a ‘middle’ excluded in which A causes B AND Bcauses A. That IS nonsensical, it would be like saying that a cough causes a lung infection as well as a lung infection causing a cough…
    CAUSES the ENSO events and the subsequent cloud/wind variations, it is silly to claim that a fast, reactive system like clouds could cause the much larger energy movements over much longer timescale of ENSO events.

    The CLOUD/CERN result indicates negligible influence from GCR on low altitude cloud – the component Svenmark, Lindzen and Spencer invoke as a cloud forcing.

    Those complaining of the paywall – blame capitalism, scientists think all data should be free – publishing companies and meterological organisations look to make money…

  76. Keith says:- . . .

    “It’s not the sun that I can see and feel when it shines on me.”

    You’re right it’s not Kieth, direct solar radiation only provides 161 W.m2 according to Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) “Earth’s Energy Budget” Figure 1.

    “It’s not the clouds that I can see and feel when they block the sun or rain on me.”

    Correct again, there’s no diffuse solar in TF&K’s Fig 1.

    “It’s CO2 that I can’t see or feel”

    Wrong here Kieth, you should be able to feel the 333 W.m2 GHG DLR (with a little help from WV) in TF&K’s Fig 1, there’s much more of it than direct solar. It’s crazy, in Real World diffuse is added to direct for solar collector calculations and GHG DLR completely omitted – all that free energy going to waste.

    I guess in Real World spectral range and energy-per-photon matter – strange, not like that in Warm World.

  77. So Dessler’s publication time is not unusual, and there is no need for all those comments inferring scientific bias.

    So it appears the publication time wouldn’t be unusual if he submitted his paper the day S&B11 was published. Yeah I could see that!

  78. fredb – are all those examples related to climate in any way? The introduction is suggesting that it is climate science that is being politicised not necessarily all branches of science.

  79. ““In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011, hereafter LC11] and Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.””

    Is it conventional for a scientific paper to refer to other papers specifically to refute those other papers when it is clear from the refutation that these other papers have not even been read by the team refuting those other papers?

    I thought those other papers claimed that cloud feedback is bidirectional.

  80. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 3:27 am
    Either A causes B that may then amplify or reduce the effects of A on events ENSO…
    Or B causes A which modifies the effect of B on ENSO.

    It IS a logical impossibility that there is a ‘middle’ excluded in which A causes B AND B causes A. That IS nonsensical,

    It is not a logical impossibility that clouds are causing temperature change and temperature change is causing cloud change simultaneously. The world is a big place, there are many different processes going on in it. A change in cloud cover caused by (say) GCR’s near the poles might be causing temperature changes there, at the same time as the release of ocean energy is causing cloud cover change near the east Pacific. The single global average will reflect an addition of these two separate processes but it says nothing about the singularity or otherwise of their causation. You can have many A’s and many B’s on a planet the size of Earth.

    it would be like saying that a cough causes a lung infection as well as a lung infection causing a cough…

    No it wouldn’t. It would be more like saying the cough causes irritation and inflammation as well as the irritation and inflammation causing the cough.

    If you paid for the course in logic you took, ask for your money back.

    it is silly to claim that a fast, reactive system like clouds could cause the much larger energy movements over much longer timescale of ENSO events.

    Depends if there’s a reason why they might quickly and quasi-consistently act in a particular way for an extended period of time doesn’t it?

    The CLOUD/CERN result indicates negligible influence from GCR on low altitude cloud – the component Svenmark, Lindzen and Spencer invoke as a cloud forcing.

    Interesting assertion, which you haven’t backed up with any argumentation here. Anyway, GCR’s are not the only way cloud might be affected by another factor other than temperature.

  81. I posted the following comment also at Bishop Hill:

    They are all wrong. Clouds are part and parcel of weather, a merely transient and naturally recurring overlay upon the stable atmosphere, and are neither a cause of long-term climate change nor a “feedback” (which, like all of the consensus concepts, is pure gobbledygook masquerading as substantial scientific thinking). My humble, but competent, analysis of a proper comparison of the temperatures in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth shows this very simply and clearly:

    Venus: No Greenhouse Effect

    The temperature-vs-pressure curves of Venus and Earth, when just their different distances from the Sun are taken into account, are essentially the same, over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures (from 1,000 mb down to 200 mb), EXCEPT WITHIN THE CLOUDS OF VENUS (between about 600 and 300 mb), where the temperature is about 5°C lower than it would be without the clouds. The only effect of the thick, planet-wide clouds of Venus is within them, they do not affect the overall temperature-vs-pressure curve, or the temperature in the atmosphere well outside of the clouds. The transient and scattered clouds on Earth likewise cannot affect our atmosphere’s temperature-vs-pressure curve. This is a planet-sized experimental fact, definitive for climate science, that trumps all current climate theories and demolishes them. Dessler, like all of the silly consensus purveyors, is an incompetent idiot, but then the whole of climate science is shackled by incompetent theories and miseducation about the truth, which my Venus/Earth comparison, which should have been done by them 20 years ago, simply dissolves and resolves.

  82. @- anna v says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:49 am
    “Sometimes I think that only the onset of the next Little Ice Age will shut up these deluded “scientists”.”

    Sometimes I think that even the succession of the next decade always being warmer than the previous one will NOT shut up these deluded “skeptics”.
    (not to mention the shrinking ice, glaciers, moving wildlife/plants, increasing DLR, increasing extreme events, sea level rise….)

  83. Another Gareth says: September 6, 2011 at 3:26 am
    “Lucy Skywalker said: “A paper this important to AR5 has no right being behind a paywall. ””
    Due to the policy implications this ought to be a requirement for all papers cited in AR5.

    Despite what people here sometimes think, the IPCC is not all powerful. They can’t by citing a paper wave away the publisher’s rights.

    However, I have always been able to find copies of commonly cited climate papers through Google Scholar.

    There are several viable links to the Dessler paper on this thread. I already have a copy.

  84. rbateman says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:24 am
    tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:47 am

    I am quite certain, and I am sure that you are too, that there does not exist 100% global cloudiness on Earth, unlike Venus. The uncertainlty of how much open sky vs cloudiness is a good question.
    How many years of data (reliable) do we have?

    We have ISCCP data agglomerated from weather sats from ~1980. How reliable it is depends on your definition of reliable, and your bias in relation to data which shows a drop in low tropical cloud cover 1980-1998. :-)

  85. “Question …where did Lindzen, Choi, Spencer and Braswell write that “significant revisions to mainstream climate science are required”?”

    Dressler just built up his own strawman argument.

  86. Linzen & Choi took two years to get published. Their conclusions challenge the alarmist and catastrophic conclusions of some climate change scientists.

    This paper took a few short weeks from the first key typed on a keyboard to publication. Then there was the recent paper that concluded that we were at threat from alien invasion because of the change in CO2. Both are alarmist papers.

    And they claim that there is not a bias in climate science publications. The key to getting published is simple. Start with the conclusion and work backwards and ensure that the conclusion states that climate change is caused primarily by man’s emissions of CO2. Then the work will be published easily, regardless of the rubbish that is peddled within the actual paper.

  87. Layman’s Guide to Climate Science:

    AGW theory says we’ve recently gone missing some serious heat, so it must be hiding from us.
    The satellites report it isn’t hiding in the atmosphere.
    The ARGO buoys say it isn’t hiding in the oceans.
    Spencer and Braswell say it isn’t hiding. It has left the building via cloud-trampoline-launch.
    Dressler says Spencer and Braswell are full of feathers.
    So where’s the missing heat?

  88. ENSO is a physical Earth system involving winds, currents and clouds.

    ‘El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon to cause global climate variability on interannual time scales. Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C). These observations have been collected and published in ICOADS for many years.’ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

    ENSO doesn’t cause clouds – ENSO is clouds. Less low level cloud in El Nino and more in La Nina. Unforced natural cloud variability with significant interannual and decadal changes in the radiative flux. Bizarro world.

  89. fredb says:

    September 6, 2011 at 3:14 am

    “it is worth noting that GRL is a rapid publication journal.”

    Is that not a problem in itself. How can a rapid publication journal operate in a properly constructed and operated peer review environment?
    The answer is that it can’t.
    How many more papers have been published post haste in GRL that short-circuited the proper peer review process of maintaining high standards, improving performance and retaining scientific credibility?

    Any self respecting editor-in-chief would have resigned over such shoddy practices.

  90. @Truthseeker: yes, 4 of the 5 papers whose publication timing results I cited were explicitly climate papers.

  91. From http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011GL049236.shtml , Dessler’s paper was “Received 11 August 2011; accepted 29 August 2011.” So a turn-around time (received -> accepted) of 18 days.

    For comparison, I looked at the most recent twenty of GRL’s papers-in-press (one of which was Dessler’s). One of these was a Correction, accepted the same day it was received. Discounting that, there were two papers with faster turn-around times (1 and 2 days!), and one with an equal value. Fifteen were slower: 2 had turn-around times in the 20′s, 3 in the 30′s, 5 in the 40′s, and 5 with 50 or more days in turn-around. So this places Dessler’s paper at around the 80th-90th percentile in GRL speed.

  92. According to GRL’s website, the paper by Dessler was “Received 11 August 2011; accepted 29 August 2011″. That’s 18 days. There’s no mention of the date of receipt of any revised version, which may mean that no revisions or changes were requested by reviewers. The paper seems to have had an easy run, at least as far as publication.

  93. Richy Roo (@RichyRoo2011) says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:40 am (Edit)

    @tallBloke regarding excluded middle (false dichotomy in my formal logic years) … Dessler has simply created a straw man at best?

    The first strawman is implying it must be all one or the other with regard to cloud forcing/feedback.

    The second strawman is saying that if Spencer & Braswell and Lindzen & Choi were right “then significant revisions to climate science may be required”. Note the weasel word ‘may’.

    I haven’t had time to absorb the paper yet so I’ll read it now and post some further thoughts on my blog.

  94. “….have argued that reality is reversed….”
    Doesn’t anyone else think that this is a strange phrase to use in a scientific paper? I cannot imagine any scientist using such a term to mean that the previously held opinion on cause and effect is reversed – it is poor grammar and ambiguous – ‘reality’ is not reversed, except into unreality. I take it to be a colloquial phrase, as in: ‘they are arguing that black is white, up is down’. It seems that their contempt for L&C and S&B is not something they are able to keep out of their scientific publications.

  95. izen :
    September 6, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Where have you been the last ten years? Pricked your finger on a spinning wheel?
    The indexes you quote are in stasis, not increasing, and if you have ever seen a sinusoidal curve, when one reaches the top, it looks like stasis short term.

  96. richard verney writes “The question is whether clouds can cause a warming or a cooling, and if so whether this can lead to a trend on a long time scale basis.”
    With respect, it’s more complicated than this. Cloud affect moisture, moisture affects lapse rate, lapse rate is tied in with temperature change …..

    SB note diverse other effects then discuss where temperature should fit in, as a result of a forcing or a feedback or both and do not arrive at a quantitative solution.

    Someone above asked how long we had recorded data on global cloud cover. About 1973, with some possible early errors. A paper with some overlap to SB re discussion of clouds is referenced elsewhere on WUWT at http://climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm#Tropical%20cloud%20cover%20and%20global%20air%20temperature

    Whether it is right or wrong in part or in full, this cloud papers explains complexities that would cause prudent scientists to be less than dogmatic, as SB are.

    BTW, the paper on clouds of course mentions rainfall. I have never seen a figure of the flux of CO2 from atmosphere to ocean carried by raindrops with dissolved CO2. Is it significant?

  97. It is possible to have a paper peer-reviewed in only eighteen days (and, indeed, in only twenty-four hours) if the peer-reviewers have already seen the paper in draft and agreed their comments with the author or even collaborated with him before it was submitted. What is the betting that the peer-reviewers in this case were chosen from a panel consisting of A. Evan, J. Fasullo, D. Murphy, K. Trenberth, M. Zelinka, and A.J. Dessler?

  98. A super speedy publication process is actually very good news. It means fundamental errors are more likely to be made. The author then has years to repent at leisure.

  99. Sometimes GRL can be really fast:
    2011GL049472
    Manuscript Accepted 2011-08-29 10:00:18
    Manuscript Ready for Production 2011-08-29 09:55:34
    Decision Made 2011-08-29 09:54:55
    With Editor for Decision 2011-08-29 09:53:15
    Waiting for Reviewer Assignment 2011-08-29 09:43:37
    Initial Quality Control Complete 2011-08-29 09:43:36
    Initial Quality Control Started 2011-08-29 09:36:13
    Author Approved Converted Files 2011-08-29 09:36:12
    Preliminary Manuscript Data Submitted 2011-08-29 09:17:37
    :-)

  100. omnologos says:
    September 6, 2011 at 12:40 am
    “Question …where did Lindzen, Choi, Spencer and Braswell write that “significant revisions to mainstream climate science are required”?”

    Spencer said it on his blog. This pal reviewed paper is essentially a response to blog posts and media attention. Don’t you remember what Wolfgang said, about how blog posts drove him to resign?

    I wonder how you find reviewers for a scientific paper addressing blog posts? Genuine scientists do not have time for that sort of thing.

  101. Izen said

    “Sometimes I think that even the succession of the next decade always being warmer than the previous one will NOT shut up these deluded “skeptics”.
    (not to mention the shrinking ice, glaciers, moving wildlife/plants, increasing DLR, increasing extreme events, sea level rise….) ”

    I would date the general warming-with numerous reverses and advances-to date back to around 1610. When do you believe the world started to warm?

    tonyb

  102. The paper’s introduction contains a biased gem :

    The usual way to think is now equivalent to reality.

    One can deduce that whatever is against the usual way of thinking is against reality. Why bother doing Science then?

  103. I wonder if this is the first peer-reviewed paper ever written to answer the newsmedia’s interpretation of another peer-reviewed paper? FoxNews has suddenly become scientifically relevant.

  104. Henry Galt says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:18 am

    There has not been “significant climate change over the last decade”.

    I fail to see the point, or the point of reading further????

    But you do have a point–they admit climate hasn’t changed significantly over the last decade–is that because atmospheric CO2 levels have stabilized or perhaps even declined?

    Sounds like these “scientists” have just fallen on their own climate swords for we all know that CO2 has neither stabilized nor declined in the past decade. (This has always been about CO2, right? Certainly a decade (or longer, actually) of significant non-correlation is more than just an inconvenent hiccup in their CO2-driven climate hypothesis, which they inadvertently debunk while arguing over clouds.)

  105. Dessler’s abstract reads: “The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010.”

    Has Dessler ever been outside? To anyone who has been outside when the sun has gone behind a cloud knows the surface temperature gets cooler. The short abstract reminds one of a Greek tragedy. The desperation is so great, the nonsense spills out over the keyboard and others in the tribe applaud.

    “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad” is a line from a play by Euripedes. I wonder if Dessler has read the play?

  106. How long does it take a reasonably sharp person to recognize that Dressler’s paper is just a set of straw man arguments and does not address the S&B papers main point?

    I particularly like
    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade”

    A true statement! There hasn’t been any “significant climate change” over the last decade. They can’t seriously think there is anyone reading their paper stupid enough not to know this.

    This non work should not be being “supported by NSF grant”.

    Also the weasal words “not in fundamental disagreement with mainstream climate models,” make me strongly suspect that a fair evaluation would show that they are indeed in fundamental disagreement. This is being cynical I know, but, the obvious deception in the earlier parts of the conclusion make me question all the conclusions.

  107. Jim Turner says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “….have argued that reality is reversed….”
    Doesn’t anyone else think that this is a strange phrase to use in a scientific paper?

    Yes, I noticed that too. I was shocked that it was written at all and doubly shocked that no reviewer demanded a sentence structure more in line with scientific practice.

  108. The posting by Leif just above suggests, in fact almost proves that no actual review of any kind occured.

  109. Anna v says:

    My teeth go on edge whenever “forcing” are discussed, whether with articles in climate “science” with whom I will finally agree with or disagree. The term is a misleading invention of the climatologist and helps propagate errors ad infinitum.

    Me too. The term used to be “drivers,” didn’t it? Why’d they change, except for propagandistic purposes?

  110. stevo says: September 6, 2011 at 12:55 am

    The system is biased against bad science. So-called “skeptics” produce a lot of bad science, and it’s a good thing that they have difficulty publishing it.

    And for you “bad” means anything that contradicts the inflated CO2 warming predictions?
    Are you telling me that Svensmark produced bad science. Or that CERN produced bad science. Are you trying to tell me anything produced by any sceptic was as atrocious as the hockey stick?

    In my experience having read climate papers, the only reason no one sees that they are such atrocious science is because they don’t say anything … and I say that having the unfortunate experience of actually wanting to use the “science” in these papers.

    And where did I eventually find something that could be used? In a paper on heat lost from swimming pools By that time I had a stack of papers 2inches high, and the only paper that actually set out a methodology that could be followed was one on swimming pools.

  111. Steven Mosher says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:12 am

    “Accepted aug 29.”

    “heck this paper got written, submitted, reviewed and accepted faster than 50% of papers
    wait to get their first response.”

    Indeed – statistically, this is an outlier (or is that out-liar…).

    PREDICTION: THE EDITOR OF GRL WILL RESIGN FOLLOWING A FULL APOLOGY TO SPENCER AND BRASWELL. HE WILL WRITE AN EDITORIAL LAMENTING THE PUBLICATION OF DESSLER (2011), GIVEN THE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IT CONTAINS, AND ITS NEAR UNIVERSAL CRITICISM FROM CLIMATE WEBSITES…/sarc

  112. Acknowledgments: This work was supported by NSF grant AGS-1012665 to Texas A&M University. I thank A. Evan, J. Fasullo, D. Murphy, K. Trenberth, M. Zelinka, and A.J. Dessler for useful comments.

    I wonder what Kevin said. Perhaps “Don’t worry about Wagner, we’re taking him and his journal down. Just don’t mention albedo in your paper. If anyone asks, tell them your albedo data matches the models.”

    In separate communications, Rajendra Pachauri possibly concurred, affirming “Just don’t mention libido, I’m covering that in my next novel.”

  113. Dessler’s paper seems to be arguing that clouds form only when temperature goes up. If any other process contributed to the formation of clouds, then LC11 and SB11 would be correct. But, according to Dessler, reality is clear and settled and clouds can only form by higher temps.

    Does anyone seriously buy that? I don’t think the CERN people do. What about dimethyl sulfide? According to Wikipedia, it forms cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and aids in forming clouds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_sulfide Surely there are other CCN forming compounds.

    Dessler and his tribe are really losing it.

  114. Clouds could not have changed the climate by much over the 2000-2010 period? And the climate happened to not have changed much in this period. And what is it supposed to mean exactly?

  115. Richy Roo (@RichyRoo2011) says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:58 am

    > @Harry Dale Huffman: Your example using the 1000 millibar layer on Venus is compelling, does anyone else have any thoughts on it?

    This has been beaten to death many times here. Dr. Huffman’s blog post is merely the best summary and most clearly stated exposition available.

    Anthony – okay if I turn Dr Huffman’s account into a WUWT post? It’s been a while since we had a ‘Venus’ article here, and those we have are rather testy. E.g. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/

    Dr Huffman – okay if I turn this into a WUWT post? It will probably guarantee you’ll never hear from “Physics Today” but a lot more people will read it.

  116. Oh, so now a decade is too short a time scale to say something about trends in climate. Funny–in Hansen’s 1988 testimony to Congress, he said a decade was enough. It’s a funny old world.

  117. It would be nice to have a graph (maybe a historgram) of the typical time it takes to get a paper peer reviewed, both for initial papers and for rebuttals and then see where this paper is on the histograms. My guess is that it would be an outlier.

  118. Clouds obviously have a big impact on the climate.

    - Net reflection of Sunlight by clouds (Albedo) is something like -58 watts/m2.

    - The retention of longwave radiation by clouds (greenhouse effect) is approximately +38 watts/m2.

    - So, clouds are a net negative on the order of -20 watts/m2.

    - [if the water vapour in the air did not turn into clouds, it would still have a positive longwave forcing (a little less though), so the act of water vapour turning into a cloud is a huge negative to the climate system - more than -50 watts/m2].

    - During the day, clouds are much bigger negative forcing (temperature during a cloudy day is a good example) while at night, they will have a slightly positive impact (cloudy nights for example).
    ————

    In global warming theory, clouds are assumed to be a positive feedback of about 25% (+1 watt/m2) compared to the impact of CO2/GHGs (+4.0 watt/m2). Water vapour provides another 50% (+2 watts/m2).

    - So water vapour goes up, cloud formation must go down (even though they simultaneously say that clouds will increase by 2% to 7% per 1C increase in temperatures). This theory just cannot make up their minds except that doubled CO2 must be +3.0C. Nothing else has any impact.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-8-14.html

    ————

    Dessler’s paper appears to be very similar to Spencer’s. Typical of climate science papers, it is difficult to see what was done and the data results are opposite to the claims made and are much like Spencer’s. More to do.

  119. Steven Mosher says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:12 am
    Accepted aug 29.


    heck this paper got written, submitted, reviewed and accepted faster than 50% of papers
    wait to get their first response.

    Now thats what I call feedback.

  120. OK , I got a first look a Dessler’s paper the open line is this:
    >>
    LC11 (their Eq. 8) and SB11 (their Eq. 1) both write the Earth’s energy budget as:
    Energy budget calculation
    C.dTs/dt = ∆Rcloud + ∆Focean − λ∆Ts
    >>

    This is a totally false claim. This is NOT what Lindzen or Spencer et al wrote. I have both of those papers.

    So that is the bottom line, he is falsely attributing something to those authors and then disproving it. This is an academic straw man. It is very surprising that none of the peer reviewers picked this up. “Probably” the reviewers shared certain political beliefs with Dessler.

    I presume we will shortly be seeing the editor-in-chief of GRL fall on his sword.

  121. It is really astonishing to read the preprint. It uses only two figures to “beat down” two heavy weight papers of Lindzen and Choi (2010) and Spencer and Braswell (2011)! The subtitles of the sections reveal what is the underlying methodology: “Comparison with models: LC11″, “Comparison with models: SB11″. To check observation-based study using models! In other words, we live in models instead of real world!

    GRL used to be hesitant to publish such blatantly ugly papers, e.g. Ammann and Wahl’s attack on the classic McIntyre and McKitrick (2005). But after 6 years and especially after Climategate, it seems things are becoming worse. The Team are already mad. Insane. I wish Lindzen and Spencer teams could fight back, just as McIntyre has been doing through the years.

  122. I refuse to comment on the details of papers sent to journals that childishly hide them behind paywalls. It’s like commenting on the color and fit of someone’s underwear. Let those that walk around showing their underwear at the journal’s headquarters talk amongst themselves.

    That said, if these same people are called to testify at governmental committee meetings meant to impose a tax on me, my elected representatives had better be placing their work in the public record.

  123. from Tallblokes post:
    I see Lubos Motl has also made a critique of Dessler’s paper, far more amusing than my own:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/andrew-dessler-clouds-dont-reflect.html

    According to Moti Dressler completely ignores the fairly basic phenomenon of relfection from clouds, and proceeds as though clouds only act to trap heat.

    According to
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Sometimes GRL can be really fast:
    2011GL049472
    Manuscript Accepted 2011-08-29 10:00:18
    Manuscript Ready for Production 2011-08-29 09:55:34
    Decision Made 2011-08-29 09:54:55
    With Editor for Decision 2011-08-29 09:53:15
    Waiting for Reviewer Assignment 2011-08-29 09:43:37
    Initial Quality Control Complete 2011-08-29 09:43:36
    Initial Quality Control Started 2011-08-29 09:36:13
    Author Approved Converted Files 2011-08-29 09:36:12
    Preliminary Manuscript Data Submitted 2011-08-29 09:17:37
    :-)

    Ok Leif, if that was a joke I’m dense, but have GRL seriously plublished a paper with a 45 minute turnaround which fails to recognise the existance of relfection?

    This is proper grounds for an editor to resign in shame and I suggest, if these things are true, that everyone write a polite email to the editor in chief:

    Eric Calais, Editor in Chief
    Purdue University, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
    CIVIL 1397, 300 Forest Hill
    West Lafayette, IN 47906
    Phone: +1 765-496-2915
    E-mail: grl@purdue.edu
    Research Interests: Geodynamics of Tectonic processes
    at plate boundaries and in plate interiors

  124. Not surprising Dressler did it in record time. He had $150,218 of NSF money to hustle it through.

    http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1012665

    Another unnerving issue is this use of the grant money: “In addition, the work will support and train a graduate student, thereby promoting the next generation of scientists.”

    You might liken it to training the next generation of shoplifters, on the taxpayer’s dime.

  125. tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:08 am

    OK, here’s my take:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/desslers-spencer-rebuttal-scuttled/

    Excellent points, tallbloke–everybody should take note. I particularly like your link to Lubos Motl, wherein you say:

    I see Lubos Motl has also made a critique of Dessler’s paper, far more amusing than my own:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/andrew-dessler-clouds-dont-reflect.html

    It boils down to the fact that they always rely on MAGIC:

    “My Argument’s Gotta Incluce CO2″

    Talk about epic fail!

  126. Dressler: “(SB and LC) …have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.”

    I always look for the ‘exaggeration tell’ in such a debate. This statement gives the incorrect impression that SB and LC don’t accept any CO2 warming. The authors are actually arguing that climate sensitivity is reduced by the cloud effects. A number of post-climategate papers have argued from the effects of clouds and other observations that climate sensitivity is much lower (0.5 to 1C) than the IPCC figures (1.5 to 4.5 [I believe]) and the IPCC itself has in earlier iterations also estimated lower sensitivity than their present ones. They also have, in the past pointed out that the effect of clouds is not understood and generally they have been put forward as positive feedback objects. Also, until Svensmark et al and CERN, clouds were thought to be one-to-one responses to the temperature/moisture/terrestrial aerosol regime. Now if it can also come from outer space, then whatever the feedback, it has to diminish the role of CO2 to some degree.

  127. This seems to be a manufactured outrage. I think that perhaps you’re making a big deal of this “news story” in order to focus attention away from other things — perhaps the disappearance of arctic ice, which puzzlingly seems to have surprised you.

    Of course science is biased between supporting and contradicting evidence. This is the way it must be, because supporting evidence rarely proves or confirms a theory, while contradictory evidence can destroy a theory. Thus, contradictory evidence tends to be treated more seriously, is more important and scrutinized, and will have a greater impact if accepted. If any one paper was as decisive in support of AGW, it would receive as much attention. But papers don’t tend to be decisive when they agree with previously accepted science.

    You can see the same bias on this site. This site is interested in opinions against global warming, and it need not give equal time to each piece of the overwhelming evidence confirming global warming. And it doesn’t need to. If you could disprove that global warming is happening or man-made, all of that evidence which says it is, wouldn’t matter.

  128. Trenberth attacked Spencer-Braswell here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/

    That quote, “Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results. ” was a real red flag.

    I figure that temperature affects clouds, but clouds also affect temperature. I immediately thought of Lotka’s predator prey model, where in an oscillating system, the number of prey affects the growth of the predator population- more prey supports more predators. As predators increase in numbers, the prey population starts to fall, which in turn reduces the predator population, etc. Depending on the figures used, you can get oscillations rather than convergence to a constant number of predators and prey.
    See

    http://home.comcast.net/~sharov/PopEcol/lec10/fullmod.html

    I see the predator prey model has also occurred to climatologists

    http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_18648011

    “NOAA: Predator-prey model explains how rain can feast on clouds
    Model is a simpler way to view cloud-rain interactions, say Boulder and Israel researchers
    By Laura Snider Camera Staff Writer
    Posted: 08/09/2011 05:18:15 PM MDT

    Hungry rains devour clouds in a pattern that’s similar to the way foxes prey on rabbits, according to a new study by a Boulder researcher.

    When rabbit populations flourish, the number of foxes also begins to increase. The boom in foxes eventually causes a decline in the number of rabbits, which in turn, results in a decrease in the fox population. This oscillation in predator-prey numbers — with the predator’s peak lagging slightly behind the prey’s peak — is described by a mathematical equation known as the Lotka-Volterra model.

    In study published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Graham Feingold, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, and Ilan Koren, of the Wiezmann Institute of Science in Israel, showed that the relationship between cloud formation and rain can also be described using the simple predator-prey population model. ”

    I suppose with the comparison between Spencer-Braswell and Feingold-Koren, Feingold and Koren will also now be written off as climate “deniers”.

    What Spencer and Braswell actually SAID seems trivially obvious:

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf

    Abstract:” The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains
    the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change.
    Here we present further evidence that this uncertainty from an observational perspective is
    largely due to the masking of the radiative feedback signal by internal radiative forcing,
    probably due to natural cloud variations”

    They didn’t say temperature is determined by random variations in clouds, sot Dessler seems to be attacking a straw man..

    “A.E. Dessler
    Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
    Texas A&M University
    College Station, TX

    Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010.”

    They stated that cloud feedbacks are being ignored by climate modelers. The models get unrealistically high sensitivity for feedback by assuming NO delays in negative feedback from clouds.

    . If predators and prey oscillate just slightly out of phase with each other, you’ll get a positive correlation between predators and prey, or temperature and clouds. You might jump to the erroneous conclusion that there’s a positive correlation between prey and predators- the more wolves you get, the more sheep you’ll get or the warmer you get the more clouds you get. In fact, results are the opposite. The more wolves you have the fewer sheep you’ll get, the more clouds you have the less warming you’ll get.

  129. The use of the terms “forcing” and “feedback” with respect to the effect of clouds on energy transfer rates are missleading. A better model would be to consider them as a resistance that slows the rate of transfer. Global climate models that are based on long term averages will never be able to explain the physical realities we observe every day. While Spencer and Braswell’s paper may have errors, it demonstrates this basic fact. I’m looking forward to published responses on both sides. It will be interesting to tract the timing and journal that publishes them.

  130. Fog, a cloud at ground level, typically forms diurnally as atmospheric temperature near the surface falls through the dew point, precipitating water vapour and small droplets. If you are in San Francisco, the fog efficiently insulates the surface from heating and blocking convection, and it stays damp and foggy all day. Under Dressler’s principle, a marine layer temperature inversion should be cloudless, as there is no radiant forcing to create the clouds.

  131. Dessler: An energy budget calculation shows that the energy trapped by clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations.

    A glaring straw man in the middle of the (very short) abstract. Why the hell bring in the word “trapped”?? Who on earth is talking about energy accumulating INSIDE CLOUDS!? Have these people never heard of albedo?

    Dessler: In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011, hereafter LC11] and Spencer and Braswell [2011, hereafter SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.

    As Anthony has already posted, the scientific method is now being mangled beyond recognition. Here Dessler starts his “investigation” by announcing what the “reality” is – and all that follows merely serves to force the reader to accept the reality that was already established before the investigation began. This is inquisitorial imposition of articles of blind faith, not remotely a scientific or scholarly process. “An opinion has been established on this point…” – this was a common statement by Government scientists in the Soviet Union.

    The AGW team seem not to really comprehend what feedback is. In feedback there is no first and second. It is bidirectional. The characteristics of the feedback or feedbacks operating in the system combine to cause an overall emergent system behaviour that is not necessarily tied to any one component.

    The only way out of this mess is for climate research to fully take on board the fact that climate is characterised by nonequilibrium-nonlinear chaotic dynamics, and to understand the role of feedbacks in this context.The system is more than its component parts. At present the AGW team are toying with the term “feedback” without even trying to understand it, merely using it as a rhetorical device to justify an amplified and dominant role for CO2.

  132. I found the following statement in Dessler very surprising:

    Thus, the lead- lag relation between TOA flux and ∆Ts tells us nothing about the physics driving ∆Ts.

    Radiative imbalance doesn’t affect temperature? Really? That’s his position?

  133. Time to revise what “peer review” really is.

    Currently, its a review by a very small number of persons who self-select based upon their willingness to participate and upon the apparently biased choices of non-specialist editors.

    Real peer review os opening the idea up to full examination of all peers. This is necessarily a wider audience that simply those willing to pay for a subscription of some publications.

    Anything hidden behind a paywall needs to be excluded from the definition of “peer reviewed”.

    Especially any research paid for in any part by public funds.

  134. Again, I have to remember being given a 4 pages “Heat Transfer” paper a novel variational technique, to analyse the method…learn to use it, and apply it to a real world problem for my graduate Conduction heat transfer course. It was given out about 6 weeks before my “presentation” report was dues. I walked into the presentation with 40 pages of overhead slides. (I made copies for everyone in the class.) I took OVER the time limit, but the professor was gracious enough to allow that. I had NAILED the mathematics down. Everyone could understand and use that method after I finished presenting. HOWEVER, I did NOT have time to apply it to a problem. That requirement was waived by the professor. Dr. Lee.

    He gave a memorable speech about “the constraints of journal publications”, and that the effort I went to to understand a “simple” 4 page paper being TYPICAL.

    I therefore wonder just how S&B’s “critics” can so “walk on water”, that they can have their analysis, counter work, and publication time table squeezed in to the time frame alloted.

    I would venture to guess that the validity and quality of the work bear some sort of “inverse” relationship to the time of preparation and time to obtain “presentation”.

    This key relationship should be kept in mind when reading the S&B critical paper.

  135. This gets worse the closer you look.

    ∆Focean is actually a function of ∆Ts, with the coupling occurring via the ENSO dynamics: ∆Ts controls the atmospheric circulation, which drives ocean circulation, which determines ∆Focean,
    which controls ∆Ts.

    So Dessler has discovered what no one has manage to explain so far, what controls ocean currents and their major oscillations. And the big news is…. it’s the AIR that drives the oceans. (Well we all know Coriolis force was a “fictitious force” , right?)


    Figure 1. The slope of the regression (W/m2/K) of energy trapped by clouds ∆Rcloud
    vs. surface temperature ∆Ts, as a function of the lag between the time series in months.

    The guy does not even understand the difference between energy and power . Jees. No wonder he is having trouble with resolving the difference between cause and effect.

    He claims to plot “energy trapped by clouds ∆Rcloud” from CERES data but Ceres does not measure “energy trapped by clouds” it is spectral measurements so how is he deriving what he believes to be the effect of clouds. This is totally undocumented.

    No seriously. They will live to regret having banged this through peer review without reviewing it. This is laughable. Dessler has just blown any cred anyone may have been prepared to credit his with.

  136. “The system is biased against bad science. So-called “skeptics” produce a lot of bad science, and it’s a good thing that they have difficulty publishing it.”

    99.9% if all scientific studies have ultimately been shown to be incorrect or incomplete. This is because every generation of scientists makes the same mistake. We under estimate the size of the unknown.

    Scientific studies do not reduce the number of questions in science. Rather, they increase the number of areas needing to be studies. This tells us one simple fact about the physical universe. The number of unknowns is near infinite. The discovery of the atom did not reduce the number of questions in physics. It lead to the discovery of quarks and the question of what lies beneath.

    The same will be found to be true for climate science. What will ultimately be shown is the mainstream climate science knows a lot less about the causes of climate change than is currently believed. That the ability to produce accurate climate prediction lies many years in the future, it at all.

  137. On page 8 of Dessler’s paper under the heading “ENSO coupling in the model,” he makes the following statement which appears to be unsupported:

    ΔFocean is actually a function of ΔTs, with the coupling occurring via the ENSO dynamics: ΔTs controls the atmospheric circulation, which drives ocean circulation, which determines ΔFocean, which controls ΔTs.

    While I understand that is how one could code a model, does anyone know of any experimental or other non-model support for this statement?

  138. Significant revisions to mainstream climate science are not required and should not be supported.
    Discarding of mainstream climate science is required and should be supported.

  139. Just a question from a simple peon, but if Dessler claims that clouds don’t affect the climate, and clouds are made up of water vapor (a MUCH more effective GHG than anything else), then is he trying to debunk the entire warmie argument that changes in GHG’s affect climate?

    I hope someone more knowledgeable in the area can answer.

  140. He only chose to look at 10 years of data?

    The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010

    fail

  141. So now we see the real reason that Wolfgang resigned and apologized to Trenberth. Because he didn’t hold up the S&B paper until after the Dressler paper was published.

    Lets make a guess here. Trenberth controls the funding that Wolfgang needs for his own study, so when Trenberth says jump, Wolfgang asks how high. He who controls the funding controls the science.

  142. omnologos says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:16 am
    I wonder if this is the first peer-reviewed paper ever written to answer the newsmedia’s interpretation of another peer-reviewed paper? FoxNews has suddenly become scientifically relevant.

    Yes, it seems that Fox News is now part of the peer review system. Come to think of it, I guess WUWT is now part of the peer review system.

  143. ΔFocean is actually a function of ΔTs, with the coupling occurring via the ENSO dynamics: ΔTs controls the atmospheric circulation, which drives ocean circulation, which determines ΔFocean, which controls ΔTs.

    The idea that atmospheric circulation drives ocean circulation is naive at best. Surface circulation to some extent is drive by the wind, taking into account the effects of land masses. However the deep ocean circulation has nothing to do with the wind. It is regulated almost entirely be the shape of the ocean basins, and the differences in temperature and salinity between the equator and poles.

  144. Do you suppose Dressler got like-minded reviewers to speed this through? I wonder if GRL editor in chief is going to resign because of this.

  145. m says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:43 am


    This site is interested in opinions against global warming, and it need not give equal time to each piece of the overwhelming evidence confirming global warming. And it doesn’t need to. If you could disprove that global warming is happening or man-made, all of that evidence which says it is, wouldn’t matter.

    So which is it: “happening or man-made”? Nobody here denies the earth has been warming–but for only the last 50 years or so? I don’t think so. BTW, could you please show us some empirical evidence that this warming is “man-made” (Actually, it is, as opposed to “human-caused”; I hope you can discern the difference.)

  146. Just read the excerpt.
    “… not evidence that clouds are CAUSING climate change” strikes me already.
    Has such claim been made by anybody?

  147. ^ weeks until published? Is there any clearer piece of evidence for bias in ‘manmade global warming’?

    Speaking of taking a long time to get published, how long did it take for Henrick Svenmark’s paper to get published? Wasn’t it years?

  148. Of course it is behind a paywall, after S&B11 was downloaded 56K times it was destined for a for a paywall – call it an illustration of economic feedback for physicists.

  149. I keep coming back to Dessler’s conclusion:

    Thus, the lead- lag relation between TOA flux and ∆Ts tells us nothing about the physics driving ∆Ts.

    If this is his refutation of SB11, then he has also effectively refuted AR4. If radiative imbalance does not affect temperature, then why are we even in this debate?

  150. Six weeks! So they had time to also go through the results from CERN and use the data on cloud formation to come up with a result? Breaking science at its best! No wonder the boss at CERN wanted the scientists to keep closed mouthed!

  151. Bugger, reading everyones comments here I don’t have enough popcorn for this, can you guys wiat a minute while I pop out and get more.

    Cheers.

  152. It’s an odd thing , but when it’s cold here in the south, as it has been at times this just past winter, we only seem to get the negative feedback type of clouds, never the positive type that would be most welcome.

  153. Stephen WIlde says
    Crucially anything that fails to alter that vertical temperature profile significantly is not going to have a significant effect on clouds either. Hence my doubts about the Svensmark hypothesis.

    People should look at this another way.

    * Imagine a windless atmosphere with a standard ICAN lapse rate. With a flat calm ocean surface next to a land surface both at the same ‘standard’ temperature to match the lapse rate.
    * Water will evaporate into the air from the ocean surface the addition of water vapor to the air reduces the density of the air (Avogadro and molecular weights of H2O vs O2 and N2) so the more humid air will increase in volume and rise.
    * Air is drawn in over the land surface to replace the rising humid air which is drier. That dry air then becomes more humid as water vapor from the ocean surface evaporates into it – and that will rise in turn
    * This process will generate a land breeze blowing out to sea increasing the rate of evaporation.
    As the humid air rises eventually it will reach a point at which the air is saturated due to the temperature lapse rate. If there are cloud condensation nuclei – clouds will form.
    * The updraft and the latent heat of evaporation will alter the atmospheric lapse rate as the updraft will have the wet lapse rate.

    No heating – no forcings – clouds can form just from normal evaporation causing light breezes.

    You can see this cloud formation in early mornings over lakes or in damp forests. It is one of the causes of ‘lake effect snow’.

    And Dressler’s claim is that clouds only form in response to heating?

  154. Perhaps it is time for “so called” skeptical scientists to create their own journal and publish their scientific conclusions beyond the interference and bias by warmistas. Such a journal would be read vociferously because the warmistas would need to spend a great deal of time attempting to debunk the articles. That would be good press for the journal.

    here is a catchy title: ” The Climate of Reason Journal”

  155. Dessler is so caught up in the chicken-and-egg puzzle that he has convinced himself that chickens are impossible.

  156. Maybe people here can help me with something….

    Do clouds move from their place of origin — cooling the earth and ocean below (or perhaps slowing the heating process) I ask this because I watched the Hurricane Irene system move along on my TV and computer screen. Temperatures appear to have dropped beneath the cloud layer… .. or do clouds remain stationary — thus lending credence to some of Dessler’s work.

    Was this all faked? Like the Moon Landing? Do Clouds really remain stationary?

    What did I miss?

    These are serious questions (other than the second last set. :-) )

  157. Conclusions
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade

    Wait a second! The last decade temperatures have been flat, so what cloud influence do they expect to see? Am I reading this wrong? Doesn’t this support the cloud hypothesis?? GK

  158. Joe says:
    September 6, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Dessler is so caught up in the chicken-and-egg puzzle that he has convinced himself that chickens are impossible.

    Or that chickens lay no eggs. Obviously, Dessler has.

  159. As I type, a post about a Cat 4 Hurricane has 11 comments on this site, while this posting, though posted later, already has 177 comments.

    Does anyone have any doubts which storm interests people more?

    God help us, if Mother Nature hits us with a physical Cat 5 storm while we are so distracted by this Cat 6 Hurricane.

    And do not tell me there is no such thing as a Cat 6 Hurricane. There is, and it is caused by humans, and it is called, “War.”

    This debate may not involve tanks and bombs, but it is a war all right. On one side is Truth, and the Beauty science based upon truth can offer us, and on the other side is falsehood, and all the misery which perverted science bears as its fruit.

  160. phlogiston says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

    “Dessler: An energy budget calculation shows that the energy trapped by clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations.”

    “A glaring straw man in the middle of the (very short) abstract. Why the hell bring in the word “trapped”?? Who on earth is talking about energy accumulating INSIDE CLOUDS!?”

    He’s talking about clouds trapping energy beneath them like a blanket traps your body heat. This is true but only at night and only over land or ice. It’s radiative trapping. Land cooling at night is dominated by radiative transfer. Ocean cooling is dominated by evaporation not radiation so clouds trap very little heat there. Given the ocean covers some 70% of the earth’s surface and Dessler mentions this he seems to have a good understanding of it. He’s right that heat trapping by clouds is not a large player in earth’s energy budget.

    Where Dessler leaves the reservation of understanding is he ignores the other effect of clouds – reflecting sunlight during the day. This has a huge effect on surface temperature. The sun is the only significant source of surface heating and the ocean has an effective albedo near 0% meaning it soaks up every bit of sunlight that reaches it. So even a wispy cloud that reduces solar energy reaching the surface by a mere 5% has a huge effect even though, unlike a thick cloud, it’s barely noticeable to unaided human senses.

    I don’t know whether the blunder of not considering daytime albedo of clouds is due to ignorance or puposeful obfuscation but those appear to be the only two choices. The omission is particularly interesting because CERES measures energy leaving the earth by frequency and so discriminates between longwave radiative cooling of energy absorbed by the earth’s surface and shortwave reflected energy that wasn’t absorbed.

    “Have these people never heard of albedo?”

    That appears to be the $64,000 question. They know about it. They ignore it. They assign it a constant unchanging value in as far as clouds are concerned. Some of the models take albedo change of seasonal snow cover into account but none consider albedo change in clouds into account because they believe that global average cloud cover is constant. Global average cloud cover being constant is an assumption with very very little empirical support because we haven’t been able to measure it much before ten years ago and different attempts to obtain a measure do not satisfactorily agree.

    People like Dessler know this is a huge gaping hole in the models. Cloud modeling has always been poor and global data scarce. So they argue, like Dessler is doing, that clouds don’t really matter all that much.

  161. @- tallbloke says:
    September 6, 2011 at 3:52 am
    “It is not a logical impossibility that clouds are causing temperature change and temperature change is causing cloud change simultaneously. The world is a big place, there are many different processes going on in it.”

    There are indeed and clouds causing temp changes and temp changes causing clouds are all part of that.
    But however big the world you DON’T get two things that are the primary cause of each other.
    Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.
    The dispute here is over whether the pattern of events seen in the ENSO cycle is caused by the movement of thermal energy in the pacific over several years which then causes changes in the wind and cloud patterns.
    OR whether the cloud patterns cause the slow movement of thermal energy through the ocean.

    There is no dispute that the cloud patterns CAUSED by the ocean thermal changes modify the total ENSO cycle – just as a cough may add irritation to an infection. But there is no dispute amonst MOST rational observers that the oceans cause the clouds, NOT the other way round.
    And it is just logical nonsense to claim that causation can run BOTH ways.
    Oceans are the cause, clouds are the feedback.

    @- tallbloke (-Re: the claim that GCR has negligible effect on low altitude clouds.)
    “Interesting assertion, which you haven’t backed up with any argumentation here. Anyway, GCR’s are not the only way cloud might be affected by another factor other than temperature.”

    I quoted the sentence from the abstract in the thread discussing this –

    -”We find that ion-induced binary nucleation of H2SO4–H2O can occur in the mid-troposphere but is negligible in the boundary layer.”-

    perhaps you missed that ?

  162. @ 220mph

    maybe because the word “forcing” isn’t even mentioned in your link?

    CERN did not say whether there is a forcing or not. They said the results indicate that cloud nucleation is not correctly represented/understood.

  163. Ron Cram says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:45 am
    “Dessler’s paper seems to be arguing that clouds form only when temperature goes up. If any other process contributed to the formation of clouds, then LC11 and SB11 would be correct. But, according to Dessler, reality is clear and settled and clouds can only form by higher temps.”

    Fred H. Haynie says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:44 am
    “The use of the terms “forcing” and “feedback” with respect to the effect of clouds on energy transfer rates are missleading. A better model would be to consider them as a resistance that slows the rate of transfer. Global climate models that are based on long term averages will never be able to explain the physical realities we observe every day. While Spencer and Braswell’s paper may have errors, it demonstrates this basic fact. I’m looking forward to published responses on both sides. It will be interesting to tract the timing and journal that publishes them.”

    When reading an essay by Warmista, a translation is needed. Warmista do not mean what we mean by familiar terms such as ‘cloud’, ‘sunlight’, or assertions such as ‘clouds reflect sunlight’.

    A formal analysis of a Warmista computer model (computer code) would reveal that it contains no primitive predicates for ‘___is a cloud’, ‘___is sunlight’, ‘___is reflected from___’ or similar fundamental terms. In the words of the late W. V. Quine, Warmista do not quantify over clouds, sunlight, or reflection; that is, Warmista do not posit the existence of such things. For Warmista, clouds and such are epiphenomena, fluff that is determined the reality but does not determine reality. So, the Warmista postion is truly a metaphysical position and any argument to the contrary that is based on observable is treated as simply irrelevant. In practical terms, Warmista terminology simply rules out any assertion to the effect that clouds cause something.

    What is found in a Warmista computer model? Predicates for radiation and the effects of radiation. So, if you want to say something about clouds in the Warmista ontology, you have to talk about radiation. If we talk about radiation only, clearly we cannot take seriously the sunlight reflected by clouds, except to the degree that the matter can be described in terms of radiation or heat transfer caused by radiation.

    Like Fred Haynie, I am excited about the papers by Spencer and Braswell because they bring this issue to the fore, though they might not do it directly. I am more excited because revealing the Warmista ontology reveals that they will never have physical hypotheses about cloud behavior. Their very terminology forbids it. If you cannot have physical hypotheses about cloud behavior then your science simply cannot comprehend the work of Svensmark or Kirkby, good physical science. Warmista science must treat La Nina as statistical noise, something that Tisdale criticized forcefully on WUWT in recent days.

    In conclusion, Warmista must come to understand that there is more between Heaven and Earth than their computer models are capable of addressing.

  164. Picking ten years with no temperature change to study if clouds during that time cause temperature change…brilliant! Trying to make clouds black or white WRT climate change…why do so many demand an either/or when they live in an ‘and’ universe. If it gets cloudy before dawn, it stays warmer than had it stayed clear. Should the clouds remain during the day, it will be cooler than had it stayed clear. Studying climate change over ten years…doesn’t happen.

  165. m says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:43 am
    This seems to be a manufactured outrage. I think that perhaps you’re making a big deal of this “news story” in order to focus attention away from other things — perhaps the disappearance of arctic ice, which puzzlingly seems to have surprised you.

    Of course science is biased between supporting and contradicting evidence. This is the way it must be, because supporting evidence rarely proves or confirms a theory, while contradictory evidence can destroy a theory. Thus, contradictory evidence tends to be treated more seriously, is more important and scrutinized, and will have a greater impact if accepted. If any one paper was as decisive in support of AGW, it would receive as much attention. But papers don’t tend to be decisive when they agree with previously accepted science.

    You can see the same bias on this site. This site is interested in opinions against global warming, and it need not give equal time to each piece of the overwhelming evidence confirming global warming. And it doesn’t need to. If you could disprove that global warming is happening or man-made, all of that evidence which says it is, wouldn’t matter.

    Exactly backwards, of course. The “proof” doesn’t need to be that climate change is natural, but that the climate is changing unnaturally. Please refer to the null hypothesis if further clarification is needed.

    BTW: What evidence are you referring to? Climate models? Expert statement of belief? Neither of these are evidence. Nor is melting of the arctic ice evidence of anything unnatural.

  166. Error Correction:

    “For Warmista, clouds and such are epiphenomena, fluff that is determined the reality but does not determine reality. So, the Warmista postion is truly a metaphysical position and any argument to the contrary that is based on observable is treated as simply irrelevant. In practical terms, Warmista terminology simply rules out any assertion to the effect that clouds cause something.”

    Should read:

    For Warmista, clouds and such are epiphenomena, fluff that is determined By the reality but does not determine reality. So, the Warmista postion is truly a metaphysical position and any argument to the contrary that is based on observable Fact is treated as simply irrelevant. In practical terms, Warmista terminology simply rules out any assertion to the effect that clouds cause something.

  167. Alan D McIntire – Discussion of “predator/prey” relationships.

    Alan: Some of the first predator/prey studies were performed on the wolf /moose populations on Isle Royle in Lake Superior.

    They showed “brilliant” connections between the moose, and the wolf populations. Finally, some brave “skeptic” pointed out that there was a difficulty with the “phase relationship” between the wolf poplulation and the moose. In point of fact, the moose population would decline because of a change in fertility of the moose, not the number “culled” by the wolves!

    Eventually it was found a certain fauna, the key source of certain nutrients, related to reproduction, varied with a 7 year cycle (7 years to high, 7 years decline)…and also varied the Moose, and as a follow on, the Wolves.

    Now, has anyone ever “apologized” for that error? Not really. Interestingly enough, I read an article about that systematic error that indicated it was STILL IN TEXTBOOKS 20 years after it was discovered.

    That should help put the whole correllation/cause/effect thing into perspective. And when I hear of someone modeling the cloud/rain/albedo system as “predator/prey” I just laugh.

    Max (From MN)

  168. Evaporation of water does NOT depend mainly on air temperature, but mainly on direct solar insolation. If a cloud covers the water or ground, evaporation (by removing energy with heat of vaporization), radiation, and convection quickly cools water and ground and the relative humidity is limited despite average air temperature, since the surface air temperature will drop. At night, the clouds can slow cooling by reducing direct radiation to space, so this is a net warming due to clouds, but the overall effect is dominated by daytime fluxes, and thus clouds (at least thick lower ones cool. The comment made by D that air temperature dominates evaporation in the presence of clouds (thus maintaining more clouds), or positive feedback, is patently false.

  169. @-anna v says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “Where have you been the last ten years? Pricked your finger on a spinning wheel?
    The indexes you quote are in stasis, not increasing, and if you have ever seen a sinusoidal curve, when one reaches the top, it looks like stasis short term.”

    One of the key objections to the SB11 paper is that 10 years of ENSO variations swamps any trend in global temperatures.
    BUT, the average temperature for each decade has been warmer than the decade before since ~1900s.
    With La Nina conditions and a very quiet sun it is STILL warmer now than during a El Nino event and an active Sun in the 1980s.

    I have stated before that IF the next decade is cooler than 2000-2010 then I would at least doubt AGW theory, or be looking for negative factors impacting the extra thermal energy retained by the additional CO2.

    What pattern of global temperature change would cause ypou to doubt your position ???

  170. I would like one of those heat trapping clouds for my perpetual motion experiments. It seems to me that the heat trapped would result in humongous evaporation at the top of the cloud surface, which would rise rapidly and eventually cool and then return to whence it came to repeat the process. Just need to figure how to get a harness on it.

  171. In addition, observations presented by LC11 and SB11 are not in fundamental disagreement with mainstream climate models, nor do they provide evidence that clouds are causing climate change. Suggestions that significant revisions to mainstream climate science are required are therefore not supported.

    I don’t remember SB11 claiming that they were in fundamental disagreement. I thought SB11 said that the illusion of positive feedback was a problem ignored by climate scientists. And this paper doesn’t seem to address that. I’m not paying for it, however, so I guess I’ll have to take someone else’s word for it. Boy, it sucks to be a plebe these days. Everything universities do is behind a paywall, even college football. :-)

  172. I assume Spencer has read the paper by now. After laughing uncontrollably for 5 minutes he’s likely already started a reply. Or, maybe he just can’t stop laughing and it will take longer.

  173. Loop, loop my Kingdom for a loop … evidently Dressler’s horse is called Feedback but doesn’t answer to his name. Maybe he’s been force fed and has no bridle. Andy, go contemplate the operation of a steam engine for a while in the shade. Pay particular attention to the spheres whirling around that progressively shut off the energy supply if the speed increases. The atmosphere is a self regulating heat pump. The regulator is the physical and thermodynamic properties of water in its multiple states. If water presented a net positive feedback we would have had run away warming and the oceans would have evaporated millions of years ago. Frankly I am fed up with listening to stupid unphysical arguments like that. When is someone finally going to pull the funding from these clowns?

  174. Max Hugoson says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:50 am

    “I therefore wonder just how S&B’s “critics” can so “walk on water”, that they can have their analysis, counter work, and publication time table squeezed in to the time frame alloted.”

    When your position is metaphysical and your opponent’s is not, you do not have to read your opponent’s work.

  175. Interesting how prevalent in mainstream science that cause and effects are reversed. Here’s a simple way to look at clouds and I know I’m mixing some thermodynamic terms, but the point remains: Clouds are reflective. Daytime – radiative heat from sun much higher during the day than radiative heat from earth at night, so feedback is obviously negative. This simple explanation assumes similar cloud cover day vs. night. The convective heat transfer associated with cumulo nimbus clouds accentuates this negative feedback. Fewer clouds at night than day is another negative feedback. The positive feedbacks are much smaller than the negative feedbacks, so the net effect is to have a negative feedback.

  176. Dale says:
    September 6, 2011 at 7:18 am

    “Just a question from a simple peon, but if Dessler claims that clouds don’t affect the climate, and clouds are made up of water vapor (a MUCH more effective GHG than anything else), then is he trying to debunk the entire warmie argument that changes in GHG’s affect climate? I hope someone more knowledgeable in the area can answer.”

    Clouds aren’t made up of water vapor. Water vapor is an invisible gas. Clouds are composed of droplets of liquid water. This is usually taught by demonstration of observing a whistling tea kettle. You cannot see the steam until some distance away from the small opening. That’s because it’s all water vapor where it exits the kettle and doesn’t turn into visible steam until it mixes with enough cool air to condense and form water droplets. So where you can actually see the steam what you’re seeing is a mist of liquid water droplets.

  177. It’s funny, it’s struck me today more than ever – as Europe is collapsing, as the US markets are collapsing, as the economy is collapsing, as the entire concept of efficient government contol of anything worldwide is collapsing…

    this entire argument is such an ingrown, overhyped screamfest of nonsense! Not that Anthony’s doing anything wrong in opposing the lies, far from it! The lies must be opposed. But all in all, this issue is just kabuki theatre, full of sound and fury, Signifying Nothing.

    It’s like watching WOW players argue about which magical attribute is more powerful. To the wide world at large, the answer is; Who could possibly care anymore? These scientific journals? I expect almost all of them to be gone in 10 years, or less. None of this will even be remembered.

    And for those who would argue that well, it’s because of where government funding will go, that could be a point; except that we have now reached a state where there is going to be NO new government funding for anything, for any of us, for a very long time.

    Endgame is Here, friends.

  178. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 3:27 am

    I am afraid you are the one guilty of a logical fallacy.
    The issue here is causation.
    Either A causes B that may then amplify or reduce the effects of A on events ENSO…
    Or B causes A which modifies the effect of B on ENSO.

    It IS a logical impossibility that there is a ‘middle’ excluded in which A causes B AND Bcauses A. That IS nonsensical…

    How long has it been since you’ve studied Quantum Mechanics?

  179. Izen,

    “Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.”

    Well that’s interesting isn’t it? You decided to insert the qualifier ‘#1′ which wasn’t even mentioned before. Nice try at bait and switch though.

  180. The real question now is will Spencer get to rebuttal this paper on GRL or anywhere else or are the gatekeepers very much back on duty ?

  181. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

    “What pattern of global temperature change would cause ypou to doubt your position ???”

    The pattern would be incremental increase of temperature that reflects incremental increase of CO2. Of course, Warmista have ruled out such a pattern. They argue that a year-to-year analysis of warming for the last thirty years is problematic and the fact that is shows no serious warming should be ignored. Then they assert that a decade-to-decade analysis does show the serious warming and should be taken seriously.

    So, why did the Warmista give up incrementalism? And please do not trot out that tired old menagerie of excuses about climate being chaotic, holistic, or enlightened.

  182. AJB says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:23 am

    If water presented a net positive feedback we would have had run away warming and the oceans would have evaporated millions of years ago.

    Unless, of course, there was some upper boundary on temperature that we could only approach asymptotically. Sounds like a job for clouds.

  183. Motl’s response is well worth looking at. In one passage he writes:

    “If you read the whole paper, you will indeed fail to find any comment on the reflection of sunlight (try to search for “reflect” in the PDF file!) which is how the clouds guarantee that a part of the heat actually doesn’t get trapped in the ocean or elsewhere. Instead, much of the paper is filled with obnoxiously arrogantly formulated crackpot opinions that such an influence of clouds on the heat content would “contradict the energy conservation”! I kid you not.”

    If Spencer’s paper was so bad that it’s mere publication caused the editor-in-chief to resign in shirt tearing chagrin, then after the publication of Dessler’s paper what should be see? Mass suicide?

  184. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am
    @-anna v says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:50 am
    “Where have you been the last ten years? Pricked your finger on a spinning wheel?
    The indexes you quote are in stasis, not increasing, and if you have ever seen a sinusoidal curve, when one reaches the top, it looks like stasis short term.”

    One of the key objections to the SB11 paper is that 10 years of ENSO variations swamps any trend in global temperatures.
    BUT, the average temperature for each decade has been warmer than the decade before since ~1900s.
    With La Nina conditions and a very quiet sun it is STILL warmer now than during a El Nino event and an active Sun in the 1980s.

    I have stated before that IF the next decade is cooler than 2000-2010 then I would at least doubt AGW theory, or be looking for negative factors impacting the extra thermal energy retained by the additional CO2.

    What pattern of global temperature change would cause ypou to doubt your position ???

    Like many before you, you are making a false claim that climate change means AGW. Tell me, how are these the same? The climate has been warming since the low of the Little Ice Age. If you prefer a longer time scale, the climate has been warming since the low of the last ice age. How does any of that support the AGW position?

    It appears your position is based upon a misunderstanding of fundamental facts. Will you now become a skeptic?

  185. So… painting the roofs of all our buildings will reflect heat back (through the atmosphere) into space and avert AGW, and soot clouds cause AGW (at least this week), but water clouds with white, puffy tops don’t avert AGW. Right…..

  186. izen says:September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am Quote BUT, the average temperature for each decade has been warmer than the decade before since ~1900s.

    Have you ever heard of the LIA and previous Ice Ages?
    If the temperature had not been rising steadily since then we would stil be in one.

    Where does the A in AGW fit it to the “Post” Ice age temperature increases?

    There are very very few anti AGW posters who do not believe that GW occurs at some point in time and we are damned lucky to be living during one.

  187. I have to read the entire Dessler paper before I have an opinion about it. Hopefully, a free to download version will be come available soon. If this is so important, why must it be paywalled.

    And, prior to an opinion, it wouldn’t hurt to re-read “Spencer and Braswell” with Dessler’s ideas in mind.

  188. “Mainstream climate science” is an interesting concept. As with all previous “mainstream” science the concept is to not rock the boat. The earth is the center of the universe, flies spotaneously generate from rotting meat, bleeding is an excellent remedy for what ails you, etc.

  189. It’s already been said .. but I’ll say it again.

    The CLOUD study by CERN completely destroys this fellows perspective.

    Maybe he needs to try reading some “science” as opposed to editorials in the NYT.

  190. ” This site is interested in opinions against global warming, and it need not give equal time to each piece of the overwhelming evidence confirming global warming. And it doesn’t need to. If you could disprove that global warming is happening or man-made, all of that evidence which says it is, wouldn’t matter.”

    “Overwhelming evidence” of AGW is kinda like Sasquatch. I keep seeing vague reports that all sorts of people have reported seeing it, but when I go looking for it, all I find are grainy photos of what appears to be a man in a monkey suit disappearing into the woods.

  191. I think Dessler made a rather incredible statement that totally ignored the ability of clouds to reflect insolation back into space. What I also find interesting is the simple fact that increased cloud cover over the equator (especially the Pacific) would have a rather immediate and drastic effect on our global climate. If you decrease the amount of incoming solar radiation to the tropical regions of the Pacific, you change everything.

  192. It would appear the Climate Rapid Response Team has jumped the WUWT fence and are driving the conversation in circles here as they did yesterday at Dr. Curry’s site.

    Don’t take the bait.

  193. Dave Springer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:12 am

    “He’s talking about clouds trapping energy beneath them like a blanket traps your body heat. This is true but only at night and only over land or ice. It’s radiative trapping.”

    “Where Dessler leaves the reservation of understanding is he ignores the other effect of clouds – reflecting sunlight during the day. This has a huge effect on surface temperature.”

    Where clouds can be treated as agents of radiative “trapping,” during the night, they are real. Where they cannot be treated as agents of radiative “trapping,” reflecting sunlight, they are not treated at all or, if you prefer, treated as unreal.

  194. Overheard inside Dessler’s head:
    “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    It’s cloud illusions I recall
    I really don’t know clouds at all”
    (h/t Jo i Mitchell)

  195. Anthony,

    I am troubled by the tedious perseverance over making a case for either “cause” or “feedback”.
    The source of gain for heat is the sun and radioactive decay in the earth. That means everything else is feedback.

    It just doesn’t matter whether it is called feedback or not. The issue is circumspect because the IPCC view is that clouds stimulated by cosmic radiation has no effect on climate. So their view of the cloud model, the one that diminishes the influence of cloud cover, MUST be the credible model.

    In a subset of the model, clouds reflect radiation from the sun, they absorb radiation from the sun, they reflect and absorb radiation from terrestrial sources and they hold energy.

    I don’t get the need to classify clouds as source or feedback. Cloud formation, is loosely connected with the gain source. When the radiation from the sun reduces ever so slightly, the cosmic radiation increases cloud formation , a positive feedback response to lower incident radiation, lowering the radiation that reaches the earth.

    I think that this relationship is the one that is driving climate. The gain is solar radiative output.
    In the sense that clouds effect that gain is silly. The sun doesn’t know what is happening on earth. Cloud formation and temperature are following the sun.

  196. Paul Nevins says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:24 am

    How long does it take a reasonably sharp person to recognize that Dressler’s paper is just a set of straw man arguments and does not address the S&B papers main point?
    =================================================================

    How long does it take to read this fragment? “The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, …….”

    While I’m very amused by the publishing of this tripe, I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed. I was rather looking forward to a raucous engagement with the warmista. Instead, this looks like an embarrassing first step towards a capitulation. Reading through the comments here and postings by Lubos Motl and Tallbloke, there just isn’t much more to add.

    Dressler created a strawman and then didn’t do a very good job at refuting his own strawman! It’s over. GRL has embarrassed themselves to the point of irrelevance. Dressler has embarrassed himself, his university and his alma mater. Indeed, were I Dressler’s real parent, I’d be embarrassed. The NSF has much explaining to do. They just spent a lot of our money on this work of non-science. The peer-review process is exposed as being fatally flawed. It simply can’t be relied upon to help generate quality science in the manner it is being employed. I’d like, very much, to know who exactly were the reviewers and have someone explain how come none of them actually read S&B11? Or perhaps their reading comprehension level is so low they didn’t understand what S&B11 was stating?

  197. Allen63 says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:46 am
    I have to read the entire Dessler paper before I have an opinion about it. Hopefully, a free to download version will be come available soon. If this is so important, why must it be paywalled.

    This which I posted above still works.

    [snip, use the one at Dessler’s site: http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2011.pdf ~ ctm]

  198. wws says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

    It’s funny, it’s struck me today more than ever – as Europe is collapsing, as the US markets are collapsing, as the economy is collapsing, as the entire concept of efficient government contol of anything worldwide is collapsing…

    As is the psuedoscience of CAGW, and for the same reason–illogical approaches to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and science. Each system you mention manifests the same illness; they all suffer from distortions of the truth.

  199. wws says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

    It’s funny, it’s struck me today more than ever – as Europe is collapsing, as the US markets are collapsing, as the economy is collapsing, as the entire concept of efficient government contol of anything worldwide is collapsing… It’s like watching WOW players argue about which magical attribute is more powerful……….
    =======================================================

    Sort of. WWS, but one of the reasons for the markets dropping, is because of our throttling of energy production. If energy production is throttled, then wealth creation is throttled. Why is the western society throttling energy production? Because of tripe such as Dressler’s bizarre blathering.

  200. S & B’s conclusions have now been well and truly disproved…

    The reaction to their work has unquestionably demonstrated that climate “sensitivity” is at an all-time high.

  201. Ken Harvey says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I would like one of those heat trapping clouds for my perpetual motion experiments. It seems to me that the heat trapped would result in humongous evaporation at the top of the cloud surface, which would rise rapidly and eventually cool and then return to whence it came to repeat the process. Just need to figure how to get a harness on it.

    I am not sure what your point is, but here is an easier demonstration:

    Take a balloon and fill it with He (helium) just enough to make it buoyancy neutral (ie lift=weight of balloon). Now tie the balloon to a lever. You now have a machine, that will perform work, whenever the sun shines, on the balloon. This is NOT a perpetual machine, but a solar device like the solar cell, it is simply fueled by photogenic energy. GK

  202. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

    …I have stated before that IF the next decade is cooler than 2000-2010 then I would at least doubt AGW theory, or be looking for negative factors impacting the extra thermal energy retained by the additional CO2.

    What pattern of global temperature change would cause ypou to doubt your position ???

    Its very commendable that you have at least created a position at which you will doubt your currently held understanding of things. Please understand that we skeptics have been doubting all presumed causes of climate change for a while now, so there is no presumed cause to which we are attached, making it much easier to doubt what we’re not attached to.

  203. That’s the point of GRL — rapid turnaround of “cutting-edge” research. Most of the papers go from submission to acceptance — to “in-press” in under a month. Many journals are trying this approach — remember the Nature journal that was free and had really no peer-review…?

  204. Keynsian economics and Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming have a lot in common–Both cost a huge amount and both have produced nothing noteworthy. Both have caused their own downfall.

  205. Jean Parisot says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

    izen – so AGW is unfalsifiable with the tools (todays data, models, etc.) used to create it?

    I can prove anything with a model–especially if I ignore the data.

  206. The funniest thing about this whole ordeal is that while Dessler is arguing the POSITIVE feedback of clouds, he is ignoring the CAGW longstanding position that clouds are a net-negative feedback. You can see that in this IPCC-AR4 graph that makes its rounds on the internet:

    I’ve always marveled at that graph as people still use it with a straight face. All it says is “we don’t know what the hell Clouds do, but we guessed at it anyway. Consequently, the entirety of our CO2 forcing is really a slave to how wrong we are about clouds.”

  207. Jean Parisot says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Rocky – but can you disprove it?

    Disprove the null hypothesis? That’s not my job. You have to prove your hypothesis. Then we have something to work with.

    (You could pose the same question you have to a first grader, and if you come away from that with the answer that the poor tyke can’t prove it, you can’t simply say “Well, then, mine is proven.”)

  208. RockyRoad says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Keynsian economics and Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming have a lot in common–Both cost a huge amount and both have produced nothing noteworthy. Both have caused their own downfall.
    ==================================================

    The similarities are striking. Both defy physics. And both seem to advocate standing in a bucket when trying to lift it.

  209. Nick Stokes said: “Despite what people here sometimes think, the IPCC is not all powerful. They can’t by citing a paper wave away the publisher’s rights.”

    There is no need for that, merely that the IPCC only include science that is freely available to the public.

  210. David Falkner says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:47 am

    RockyRoad says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

    What economic model do you suggest?

    Holy Smokes! Anything else! Get the government out of my life and out of my wallet–Question for you: Do you spend your dollars more wisely than the government? If you say no, then you SHOULD give it to your government (but don’t complain when it’s wasted and the economy falters like it is). If you say yes, then the nation’s economy has a chance–slim, but a chance because apparently there aren’t many saying “Yes”.

    (Do you really think government is the source of wealth? –I’d start there. What do they make? What widgets do they produce? What fuels and food do they provide–no, not getting somebody else’s money so you can buy widgests, fuel and food that somebody else has produced.)

  211. Robert E. Phelan says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:39 am
    Dr. Leif, you ARE joking, right?
    No joke. Although the paper [one of mine] was just a correction to an earlier one [which was submitted June 21 and accepted July 18 – which was also fast http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL048616.pdf ]. Still, a 45 minute turn-around time is impressive.
    The correction was just to correct a single character in an equation. The software used by AGU to produce the published version from my electronic manuscript has a subtle bug in it, that bit me. I protested after they issued the correction that it would be easier just to fix the single character error [as everything is electronic anyway - except the printed version that is some time delayed]. It took me several days of wrangling to get them to just make the fix, but they finally relented, and the correction is now moot and will eventually be removed from the record.

  212. To be fair, at least Spencer & Braswell were given an advance copy of Dressler’s paper the moment it entered into the peer-review process so that they could begin writing their rebuttal. sarc/

  213. On a sunny day the arrival of clouds overhead will cause the surface to cool as the clouds will reflect and/or absorb the incoming heat of the sun. On a cloudy night the temperature will be warmer on the surface as the clouds act as a blanket and seal in the heat of the day and prevent it escaping upwards. This is from common sense obeservation of the micro situation where clouds can either cool or warm the surface depending in the situation (time of day). On the macro scale, I would imagine that increased global cloud cover would increase the Earth’s albedo, thus reflecting more solar radiation back out to the upper atmosphere and into space. I am an amateur. Is there a flaw in this observation?

  214. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:14 am
    But however big the world you DON’T get two things that are the primary cause of each other.
    Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.
    The dispute here is over whether the pattern of events seen in the ENSO cycle is caused by the movement of thermal energy in the pacific over several years which then causes changes in the wind and cloud patterns.
    OR whether the cloud patterns cause the slow movement of thermal energy through the ocean.

    Actually it isn’t, but until you show signs of having understood Spencer’s paper I can’t be bothered debating it with you. While you re-read it, consider the lag between max energy input and max temp response.

    just as a cough may add irritation to an infection.

    You don’t understand my correction to your bad analogy either.

    But there is no dispute amonst MOST rational observers that the oceans cause the clouds, NOT the other way round.
    And it is just logical nonsense to claim that causation can run BOTH ways.

    You don’t understand cybernetic feedback either.

    ”We find that ion-induced binary nucleation of H2SO4–H2O can occur in the mid-troposphere but is negligible in the boundary layer.”

    Low cloud is formed above the boundary layer.
    This won’t have been deduced from the CERN experiment, which took place in a metal box.
    It is in any case irrelevant to this discussion. Spencer’s argument doesn’t rely on GCR’s forcing clouds.

  215. Dave Springer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade”

    I wasn’t aware there was any significant climate change due to any cause during that period of time. Global average temperature hasn’t significantly changed in the past 10 years.

    Seems like a rather glaring flaw. Am I missing something?”

    one thing: The swiftness of the control freaks. It seems that control freaks are all in bogus science and science fiction, like those gremlins or those evil Martians that want to take the earth over, trapped in their myopia, and regardless of the disorder and chaos that is left to go unchecked in important things such as social and economic decline

  216. Joe says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:49 am

    The funniest thing about this whole ordeal is that while Dessler is arguing the POSITIVE feedback of clouds, he is ignoring the CAGW longstanding position that clouds are a net-negative feedback. You can see that in this IPCC-AR4 graph that makes its rounds on the internet:

    http://www.realclimate.org/images/ipcc2007_radforc.jpg

    Actually, the cloud portion of that graph shows the negative impact of anthro-sourced aerosols seeding clouds. So that means they are attributing an increase in cloudiness to aerosols, and that there is a negative effect from that increase in cloudiness. Still, Dessler has some ‘splaining to do. If aerosols cause cloud albedo effects that IPCC and scientific literature consider important, how does the claim that clouds can not have an albedo effect in his paper wash out with the peer-reviewed literature? How does the incoming radiation know which clouds are caused by aerosols and which are not?

  217. realclimate asserts that clouds need not be considered ‘as they are part of the system’.
    accordingly, the global temperature average is a single number that subsumes allllllll the details, none of which, therefore, need be considered.?

  218. “SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.”
    Now I finnaly got it:
    It is not a cloud in the sky cooling Chuck Norris below. The cloud is there because Chuck Norris feels cooler.

  219. What is it temperature?…As for temperature, Tesla wrote (Tesla, Feb. 1919) that “in light of present knowledge we may liken electric potential to temperature.” Creating a low temperature region in the high energy ambient medium meant creating a sustained low electrical potential. Relative to the medium, the device creating this low pressure region could be seen as a self-cooling apparatus.

    http://home.comcast.net/~onichelson/Thermodynamics2.pdf

  220. Dessler is the fastest scientist in the world. We could fire all other warmists and still get all the warmism the world needs.

  221. Sept 6. 1AM Roy,

    this has happened to John Christy with a reply by Ben Santer appearing before him because they delayed the publication.

  222. What a mountain out of a mole hill!! Sun makes heat. Clouds in the daytime reflect sun light and make it cooler. Clouds at night stop heat from radiating away and keep it warmer. Net, net……it depends upon if it’s cloudy in the day or at night. Anyone who goes outside once in a while knows this stuff. Seems like an inordinate amount of palaver over such simple concepts. Also does not seem too predictable as to which will happen, when. But then I am obviously not in the “mainstream” of climate science.

  223. Nick Stokes, I’m confused. Why do you give stats for JGR when this is published in GRL? Are they the same? Also, I know it’s not your fault, but why give stats for 50% of approved papers? What about the other 50%?

  224. Lubos summarizes by saying Dessler treats clouds as black, absorbing but never reflecting. And therefore that Dessler is a ijit.

    No argument here.


  225. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:14 am
    “But however big the world you DON’T get two things that are the primary cause of each other.
    Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.”

    Have you ever heard of a phenomena called oscillation? It is well known case of cause and effect reversing each other.
    Another phenomena that is well known, is the favorite of alarmists – positive feedback. Surely you have heard of it? You know, increase in temperature causing increase in some kind of global warming gasses, which causes larger increase in temperature, ad infinitum,until we are all dead?

    Just to make clear, positive feedback is what causes system to oscillate, and oscillation or runaway are 2 manifestation of same effect – depending on dynamics of the system, but it is immaterial to this conversation.

  226. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:14 am
    “Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.”

    This is wrong; when A causes B and B causes A you have a positive feedback loop. You try to take back your first sentence a little bit by saying “the #1 cause of”; but that is ill-defined. Imagine A to be 30 % responsible for B; with 70% coming from other sources, but none of them reaching 30% alone – is A now “the #1 cause of” B? Sorting the sources by their influence, A would surely make the #1.

    Well, but even if we ignore this ill-definition, and insist that A must be the dominating source of B, and B the dominating source of A, a positive feedback loop is of course still possible; A and B amplifying each other to the maximum extent possible. Say, A being the nuclear decay of one block of Uranium, and B being the nuclear decay of an adjacent block of Uranium.

    Do we have a less obvious example? Think of a big city with many companies. This draws a lot of talented people from surrounding areas, and the presence of lots of talented people in one place draws more companies. A = companies; B = talented people. Causality works in both ways here.

    Well, if it were impossible we would never have invented the term “positive feedback”.

    But wait. You didn’t say anything about the sign of the influence. A negative feedback loop is an even more ubiquitious example of causal loops. Wherever some system stays in a range of possible states there’s such a feedback loop.

    Classical example is an island with a population of rabbits and a population of foxes; where the size of one population is cause for a change in the size of the other population; which leads to oscillations, (Runge-Kutta differential equations usually being used to describe that, but it’s just an old negative feedback loop).

    You said “A to be the #1 cause of B” BUT this figure of speech is misleading; a dependency might also be an inhibiting influence and it would still be called causality…

  227. “I hope my analysis puts an end to this claim that clouds are causing climate change,” he adds.

    Therefore if the entire planet where cloudless this year, then next year the entire planet is covered 100% in cloud, then there would be no significant change in global temperature between the two years, given all else were to be constant; BUT, Dessler adds, “Over a century, however, clouds can indeed play an important role amplifying climate change.”

    …but remember “The bottom line is that clouds have not replaced humans as the cause of the recent warming the Earth is experiencing,” Dessler says. He ust have the AC turn off…suffering from heat stroke. :)

  228. The cut off date for papers to be included for the next IPCC report WG1 is as follows:
    By this date papers should be submitted for publication to be eligible for assessment: 31 Jul 2012
    By this date papers cited by WG must be published or accepted (with proof – such as a letter of confirmation from the journal editor): 15 Mar 2013

    http://www.nzclimatechangecentre.org/ipcc/ar5

    Does this means in order for Spencer/Lindzen and Co to get something more into AR5 (other than an off hand reference to being “scuttled” by Dessler 2011) they have to submit a new paper by 31/7/2012 and have the paper accepted by 15/3/2013? Not impossible, but what are the odds of a fast turn around for either?

  229. From Dessler11

    “n AMIP models. This means the interaction in these models is one-way: clouds
    respond to SST changes, but SST does not respond to cloud changes. In other words,
    realistic ∆Rcloud variations are generated in these models by specifying ∆Ts
    variations. The suggests that the observed lead-lag relation is a result of variations
    in atmospheric circulation driven by ∆Ts variations and is not evidence that clouds
    are initiating climate variations. This conclusion also agrees with the energy budget
    presented earlier that concluded that clouds are not trapping enough energy to
    explain the ∆Ts variation”

    I recall a recent posting (It may have been here, or elsewhere, or perhaps both. I’m really tired at the moment) which discussed a study that questioned how GCMs with widely varied climate sensitivity could be tuned to track the observational temperature record so similarly. They discovered that the modelers varied the “aerosol factor”, i e clouds, to match their sensitivity estimates to bring the models in line. This would seem to be wildly at odds with the above. As I said I’m too tired to chase down the link right now, but perhaps someone else who saw it will help a bro out.

  230. @- Jeremy says: RE- It IS a logical impossibility that A causes B AND B causes A. That IS nonsensical…
    September 6, 2011 at 8:33 am
    “How long has it been since you’ve studied Quantum Mechanics?”

    Not long enough?
    I know causation can become a slightly problematical concept in QM, but unless you are going to invoke temporal loops around singularities there is no logical possibility that if A causes B then B also causes A. It would require a causal influence to travel BACK in time.

    Unless you have a example of such a causal loop I will remain convinced it is an incoherent concept. Either ENSO causes clouds which can have a (limited) feedback on the evolution of the ENSO cycle; -OR- Clouds cause ENSO so that the ENSO cycle can only occur AFTER cloud variations cause it.
    Only Lindzen and Spencer seem to favor the second option – or worse, they illogically claim BOTH causal chains occur!!!

    @- Jeremy says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:25 am
    “Its very commendable that you have at least created a position at which you will doubt your currently held understanding of things. Please understand that we skeptics have been doubting all presumed causes of climate change for a while now, so there is no presumed cause to which we are attached, making it much easier to doubt what we’re not attached to.”

    In doubting ALL presumed causes of climate change is there ANY evidence that would make you doubt your doubt !?
    Or is your ubiquitous doubt impervious to all empirical evidence ?!

    @- Theo Goodwin says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:39 am
    “So, why did the Warmista give up incrementalism? And please do not trot out that tired old menagerie of excuses about climate being chaotic, holistic, or enlightened.”

    For the same reason we don’t expect incrementalism in the seasonal changes. The solar energy arriving at the surface may be changing incrementally as axial tilt and orbital position cause seasonal change, but the actual temperature does NOT change incrementally. It can be warmer in April than in May, or colder in October than November. Only by taking the average over 10 days or so can you find the incremental seasonal change buried in the daily variation.

  231. P. Solar: Good comments.

    izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

    “I have stated before that IF the next decade is cooler than 2000-2010 then I would at least doubt AGW theory, or be looking for negative factors impacting the extra thermal energy retained by the additional CO2.”

    So, if there are data not yet available which could change your position… Is it not premature to advocate societal upheaval and massive reallocation of resources to address what may not be a problem?

    David Falkner says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:41 am

    “Unless, of course, there was some upper boundary on temperature that we could only approach asymptotically. Sounds like a job for clouds.”

    Or, for radiation of heat which increases as T^4 – rather difficult to overcome that. The nomenclature often throws off the newly acculturated. The idea is not that there is overall positive feedback, but that there is internal positive feedback embedded within an overarching negative feedback loop. Such a positive feedback would have the effect of amplifying the input forcing response without creating overall instability.

    The IPCC claims the feedback is positive on the basis of known physical properties of water vapor. S&B have been arguing that the feedback is likely overall negative due to the effects of clouds, but appear to have concluded that the data are too corrupted by other processes to nail it down precisely. Dessler is arguing that it is impossible for the data to be so corrupted. But, based on the quality of his previous work, and the fact that, that claim is rather bold, I expect that he is wrong, but I need to read the paper to see how he justifies it.

  232. Having read the paper I can see how the turn on it was so rapid.

    There’s not much there.

    One thing of note: SB11 did apparently play some games with selecting which model results to show. That was a mistake on my view.

  233. OK, downloaded the paper and it is ripe with unfounded assumptions and poorly staged straw men. I will post a blow by blow rebuttal later, but clearly this was rushed out and is more politics than ‘science’.

    For example, the front matter states “the question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than a acting as feedback” is a unsubstantiated bit of tunnel vision. Clouds are produced in response to more than simple surface temperatures (or ocean temperatures). I would think a PhD in climate would no better than to begin the debate with such a silly straw man.

    Clouds are usually created in boundary conditions along fronts. Clouds can be created during cooling AND warming transitions. Clouds also act as thermal energy conveyor belts moving energy and H2O up and down the atmospheric columns. Clouds also provide feedback to ocean heat (transporting energy and H2O across immense distances.

    Clouds ABSOLUTELY impact surface temperature readings. At night they hold in heat. On the coasts fog banks reflect heat and keep surface temperatures many degrees cooler than their inland neighbors (go to San Fran sometime to experience this impact).

    This is such a simpleton model it begs the question of why it would be in any ‘scientific’ paper at all?

    Again, this ‘paper’ misses the entire systemic dynamic of temporal and distance changes that clouds produce. Clouds move energy. Right now in DC, clouds are dumping energy picked up in the Atlantic (in the form of inches of rain). The surface temperature here in DC had NOTHING to do with the impact the clouds are having on our temps (cooling them down dramatically).

    Good lord, PhD have really lost their value over the last few decades.

  234. The fundamental flaw with this “rebuttal” is that the El Nino-La Nina cycle is a weather pattern, not climate change. The trade winds are cyclically disrupted by waves of temperature change under the ocean surface. Short of the ocean cooking-off, there would be similar cycles even if there is overall climate change. They are quite safe and correct in saying that clouds have little (quantifiable) impact on this cycle, but it doesn’t apply to the question at hand.

  235. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am
    “I know causation can become a slightly problematical concept in QM, but unless you are going to invoke temporal loops around singularities there is no logical possibility that if A causes B then B also causes A. It would require a causal influence to travel BACK in time.”

    When Spencer says “clouds influence temperature AND temperature influences cloudiness” he does NOT imply that a particular cloud traveled back in time, izen. Rather, it’s different clouds at different times. Get the concept?

  236. Wow:

    1 Journal
    30 days
    131 scientific papers
    703 sciency pages
    13 editors

    Conclusion: Turning out papers like a real paper mill.

    Note to self: bleeding hell, that’s why they charge for every paper. o_O

  237. Dessler’s results are essentially the same as Spencer’s.

    I think Dessler is going to have some explaining to do.

    It really comes down to the argument that error bars are needed, additional data needs to be included and clouds are only treated as a one-way feedback in the models (so Spencer should not be considering them as a bi-directional feedback/forcing)]. Big Deal.

  238. Dessler’s argument that only temperature affects clouds is pegging my logic alert meter. Assume for the sake of a very simplistic equation CD = CN * T where the threshold of cloud nucleation is CN, cloud density is CD and T is temperature. They are all interdependent mathematical relationships. Dessler is essentially stating that any change in T will also change CN and CD. That makes perfect sense. However, given the relationship, any change to CN or CD should result in a change to temperature.

    Forgiving my way over simplified math, Spencer and Braswell’s argument asserts:

    CD = CN*T works
    CN = CD/T works
    T = CD/CN works

    Spencer and Braswell’s bidirectional argument makes perfect logical sense. Dessler, on the other hand says only T can change and there exists no mechanism for CN or CD to change, thereby affecting T. That can make sense if there exists no mechanism that can affect CN (or CD for that matter) independent of T.

    Yet we know that CN can be affected by the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the atmosphere – a relationship that is known to have more than one mechanism and mode. Dessler’s argument seems to unceremoniously dismisses the notion that any mechanism independent of temperature exists. Given that Spencer and Braswell’s argument makes perfect mathematical sense and Dessler’s argument ignores known mechanisms that can affect CN, I’ll have to side with Spencer and Braswell on this one. Dessler is wearing blinders.

    One of the better discussions I’ve found on cloud condensation nucleation and its general affect on clouds and energy balance can be found here:

    http://www.newmediastudio.org/DataDiscovery/Aero_Ed_Center/Charact/A.what_are_aerosols.html

  239. Thanks for the updates, Anthony. The analysis by Steve McIntyre is quite interesting, and Lubos Motl’s response is most eloquent.

  240. I meant to say “Assume for the sake of a very simplistic argument the equation CD = CN * T where the threshold of cloud nucleation is CN, cloud density is CD and T is temperature.”

  241. Now that Wagner has seen Dessler’s paper, I bet he asks for reinstatement to his (honorary) editor’s job. I hope he does it with real panache, the way he resigned.

  242. wws says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:30 am
    It’s funny, it’s struck me today more than ever – as Europe is collapsing, as the US markets are collapsing, as the economy is collapsing, as the entire concept of efficient government contol of anything worldwide is collapsing…

    this entire argument is such an ingrown, overhyped screamfest of nonsense! Not that Anthony’s doing anything wrong in opposing the lies, far from it! The lies must be opposed. But all in all, this issue is just kabuki theatre, full of sound and fury, Signifying Nothing.

    It’s like watching WOW players argue about which magical attribute is more powerful. To the wide world at large, the answer is; Who could possibly care anymore? These scientific journals? I expect almost all of them to be gone in 10 years, or less. None of this will even be remembered.

    And for those who would argue that well, it’s because of where government funding will go, that could be a point; except that we have now reached a state where there is going to be NO new government funding for anything, for any of us, for a very long time.

    Endgame is Here, friends.

    Oh, how I wish that to be true! Having no money to spending hasn’t stopped them before.

  243. dp says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:54 am

    “It would appear the Climate Rapid Response Team has jumped the WUWT fence shark”

    Fixed that for ya!

  244. Just read the full Dessler paper.

    Which is, quite evidently, more than Dessler did with either the Lindzen/Choi or Spencer/Braswell papers.

  245. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I have stated before that IF the next decade is cooler than 2000-2010 then I would at least doubt AGW theory, or be looking for negative factors impacting the extra thermal energy retained by the additional CO2.

    What pattern of global temperature change would cause ypou to doubt your position ???

    My position is that the world has been coming out of a Little Ice Age and is following a cooling pattern as the ice core records of the holocene show . Actually the whole series of plots are sobering, showing that the world has been hotter and cooler many times than our small time interval in our small lifetimes would let us think.

    My position on anthropogenic warming is that it is hyped beyond recognition of the real physics behind it . Btw I am a physicist, and have really delved into the physics of the IPCC AR4 claims, and know that physics has been abused in a cavalier fashion by the GCModels used to predict catastrophic heating. In addition since the past ten years the temperature is in stasis while CO2 is merrily growing apace, the naive correlation=causation of the IPCC climatologists has been refuted by the data, as have another six or seven projections of their model. Even one wrong prediction sends an analysis back to the drawing board. Instead climatologists torture the data to try and fit their models willy nilly, which is another ridiculous use of “science”.
    I cannot see my position changing on this, as I have spent enough time thinking about it and checking the claims.

  246. Whilst it does appear that Dessler has made a total pratt of himself it is entirely irrelevant. He could have written the story of the three bears in the paper. The fact is that the Journal Editors will now close ranks to prevent any riposte from Dr Spencer, the MSM will shout “SB11 destroyed, move along now, nothing to see here.” The gatekeepers will breath a sigh of relief. The BBC pension fund will be saved. The IPCC will carry on as normal. All will be well with the world until the next sneaky underhand attempt to promulgate truth as opposed to doctrine slips past the teams goalkeeper.

  247. Lars P says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:43 am
    It is not a cloud in the sky cooling Chuck Norris below. The cloud is there because Chuck Norris feels cooler.

    I vote this one for the Quote of the Week.

  248. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

    @- Theo Goodwin says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:39 am
    “So, why did the Warmista give up incrementalism? And please do not trot out that tired old menagerie of excuses about climate being chaotic, holistic, or enlightened.”

    “For the same reason we don’t expect incrementalism in the seasonal changes. The solar energy arriving at the surface may be changing incrementally as axial tilt and orbital position cause seasonal change, but the actual temperature does NOT change incrementally. It can be warmer in April than in May, or colder in October than November. Only by taking the average over 10 days or so can you find the incremental seasonal change buried in the daily variation.”

    Aha, you have been totally and successfully trapped. You responded by creating an analogy that tells the story of the seasons, some physical facts on Earth. Notice that you cannot do the same thing by reference to CO2 concentration and temperature alone. You cannot because there is no consistent interpretation of Warmista claims about CO2 concentrations and temperature in terms of actual observable events on Earth. In sum, Warmista claims about CO2 concentration and temperature have no connection to observable reality whatsoever.

  249. DirkH says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am
    “I know causation can become a slightly problematical concept in QM, but unless you are going to invoke temporal loops around singularities there is no logical possibility that if A causes B then B also causes A. It would require a causal influence to travel BACK in time.”

    When Spencer says “clouds influence temperature AND temperature influences cloudiness” he does NOT imply that a particular cloud traveled back in time, izen. Rather, it’s different clouds at different times. Get the concept?
    ==================================================

    Dirk, I think he’s being intentionally obtuse. Anyone suggesting clouds operate unidirectional and only work to increase the temps denies evidence that anyone can observe, and is perilously close to being delusional.

  250. Studying an isolated natural event of a still uknown cause, than claiming clouds only partly cause it, does not mean that global increases in temperature will cause a positive cloud feedback – its like studying a single rock in a river and concluding what the river will do over its length based on the shape of the rock. Observation actually proves the opposite from what I have seen.

  251. Anthony,

    Les Johnson did us all a great service by summarizing the sequence of events (to that point in time) which you then posted as the “Journal Deliverance” thread. I’d like to see that approach continue. This thread for example has plenty of good information in it, but unless one has followed ALL the details from beginning to end, much of it is out of context. Some readers have the big picture, but I suspect many are drowining in details and losing site of it. I haven’t them time to give credit where credit is due, nor research the exact dates of each event (perhaps Les would continue his yeoman’s work in that regard?) but here is my summary:

    Some of the following is conjecture based on circumstancial evidence, but in my mind, no other logical explanation has arisen:

    o Spencer and Braswell published a paper (SB11) which looked at satellite measurements of the earth’s radiative balance and concluded that the climate models were under estimating, to a significant degree, the amount of heat energy being lost to space.
    o The paper was properly peer reviewed, flaws discovered in the peer review process which were corrected, and the paper was published in Remote Sensing.

    o A few weeks later, the Editor-In-Chief of Remote Sensing, one Wolfgang Wagner, resigned, citing his objections to SB11 as the reason. Upon review, the reasons detailed in his resignation article on the Remote Sensing web site made little or no sense. Not one single fact presented in the SB11 paper was refuted, Wagner confirmed that the reviewers were qualified and from prestigious universities, speculating only that they “may” have held skeptical positions. The wording of the resignation, and the surrounding circumstances, suggest that Wagner attempted to have the SB11 paper retracted, failed to do so, and being unable to impose his will on Remote Sensing, resigned his position as Editor-In-Chief.

    o The only portion of Wagner’s resignation that appears to be genuine is his claim that SB11 was not credible because the modeling community was not consulted about the results. While this appears to be a genuine statement on his part, the logic suggested is a fallacy. SB11 was the result of actual measurements. Models are beholden to actual measurements, not the other way around. Models are simulations of the real world, and when measurements of the real world are made, they stand on their own, because they are, in fact, measurments of the real world, not computer simulations of how some scientists think the world really works.

    o Upon further investigation, it became apparent that Wagner’s position at Remote Sensing was largely that of figure head. His full time employment and day to day job is with the Vienna University of Technology, where he holds a position that stands at the cross roads of two important disciplines. These are listed on the VUoT web site as “remote sensing” and “environmental modeling and 3D modeling”. Wagner is listed as “physical modeling” and is depicted as the centre piece by which the three disciplines are integrated with each other.

    o This makes the following logic chain plausible, and in the absence of any other logical explanation, likely. The SB11 paper presents actual measured data showing that the models are over estimating global warming, discrediting much of the CAGW propoganda in the process. Beholden to the modeling “camp” upon which cooperation with for his day to day job depends, Wagner was pressured into attempting to have the SB11 paper blocked or retracted. Having failed to do so, Wagner resigned, and his resignation article reads far more as an apology to the climate modeling community than as a professional resignation, and is clearly meant as an attempt to appease the climate modeling community which SB11 so clearly destroys the credibility of.

    o Not long after Wagner’s resignation, Kevin Trenberth, a leading light in the climate modeling community, initiated a smear campaign against Dr Roy Spencer. The smear campaign included any number of criticisms of Spencer, Braswell, and (for some unknwon reason as he was not involved in SB11) Dr Christie. But astoundingly, not a single word about the science itself in SB11. More astoundingly still, Trenberth was not content to simply smear Spencer, Braswell, and Christie. He went on to brag about having recieved a personal apology from the Editor-In-Chief and the Publisher of Remote Sensing.

    o Kevin Trenberth is, amongst other things, the chair (by acclamation, which shows his clout in the modeling community) of the prestigious GEWEX intitiative which seeks to model moisture levels on a global basis. Wagner in turn heads the soil moisture global modeling initiative at VUoT, which is directly beholden to GEWEX for day to day cooperation and integration of data with modeling, and without GEWEX support, Wagner’s soil moisture database would be in jeapourdy from a credibility stand point, if not from a fudning stand point.

    o Logic dictates that this chain of events supports still more conclusions for which there is no alternative explanation that reasonably fits the facts and sequence of events. For starters, the wording of Trenberth’s smear campaign suggests that the Editor-In-Chief and the Publisher are two different people, when in fact, they are one and the same. Only a single apology was recieved, and it was from Wagner and only Wagner. The editorial board of Remote Sensing has clearly decided to stand behind their publication in general, and SB11 in particular. TRenberth in the meanwhile gloats that he has recieved and apology from Wagner, implies that it is from more than just Wagner when it clearly isn’t, and through his various comments, seems to be taking pride in destroying both SB11 and Wagner without raising a single solitary scientific fact in the process. Wagner’s resignation and apology are both panic stricken attempts to appease someone with more power than himself and regain that person’s favour.

    o Trenberth’s one and only sop to actual science is to claim that the forthcoming paper from Dresller would eviscerate SB11. So now, here in this thread, we have excerpts from the paper, and the weight of many extremely qualified researchers to rely upon for analysis. The short version? Dressler’s paper makes a mockery of science, the scientific process, and flies in the face of the facts themselves.

    o The Dressler paper is founded upon criticism of statements and claims never made by SB11. In some places it actually refutes itself. The analysis is restricted to a time period in which almost no measurable change in temperature has occurred, and concludes that SB11 is wrong as a result, and the models right. the simplest of persons should be able to see straight through this concoction of misrepresented facts and logic. The models have all predicted massive temperature increases over that exact time period, and have ALL BEEN WRONG. To suggest that measurements showing WHY they are wrong can be negated by the fact that the time period in question exhibted no significant change IN DIRECT OPPOSITION TO WHAT THE MODELS PREDICTED is repugnant beyond words. They may as well have told a man dying of thirst in the middle of the Sahara that it is pouring rain, and when he gasps that he sees no rain, just blue sky and sand, respond back that his perception of the real world must be wrong, and had he bothered to consult with the models, he would be able to understand, silly fool that he is, that it is in fact pouring rain.

    o WaterGate was a cover up which lent its name to many cover ups since then, possibly the most notable being the ClimateGate emails. But this entire affair goes well beyond a cover up. Wagner’s resignation and his apology to Trenberth are clearly the results of a cowardly attempt to appease the climate modeling community in general, and Trenberth in particular. In doing so, Wagner has destroyed his own credibility as a scientist, and exposed the power that Trenberth and his allies are prepared to wield in order that their climate models be accepted as reality, while reality itself is discredited. In neither WaterGate nor ClimateGate however, did the authors of the dirty deeds gloat, in fact brag, publicly, about what they did. Trenberth’s smear campaign, and Dressler’s idiotic attack on things that SB11 never said, while strictly avoiding what SB11 DID say, are not a cover up. They are a demand that the man dying of thirst in the Sahara believe that it is raining because their computer models say it is, and that he should apologise to them for both dying and being thirsty.

    o Trenberth has publicly admitted that his models cannot account for “the missing heat”, a matter which he dubbed a “travesty”. Faced with clear measurements of exactly where the missing heat is going, the one option that Trenberth refuses to consider, that the heat is escaping to space instead of being retained as his models claim, Trenberth has stooped low enough to scratch the belly of a snake. He, along with Dressler, have proclaimed the very lack of warming that disproves their dearly beloved models is at the same time proof that their models are right in the face of actual measurements showing not only that they are wrong, but where the “missing heat” they themselves admit has gone. Nixon had the guts to proclaim on national television that he wasn’t a crook. Not even Nixon would have had the guts to proclaim himself a crook, and innocent as a consequence of being a crook.

    o This is no “gate” nor “travesty”. Stronger words than that are needed.

  252. Dave Springer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Perhaps the devotion to computer climate models is what makes the climate boffins view the real climate as a digital system. The real world climate is analog not digital.

    Maybe the most relevant and important observation of all “.. the real world climate is analog not digital” … these modelers try to force an analog system with all the “chaos” involved into a black and white “digital” form … all but impossible when there is no clear understanding of even all the underlying processes and relationships

    Which is clearly shown by the fact that every model requires a significantly different number for anthropogenic effect to “match” the real world

  253. “MikeN says: September 6, 2011 at 10:52 am “
    Sorry, Mike, a brain lapse. But as the link says, those stats are indeed for GRL, as I intended.

    REPLY: Don’t feel bad, Dessler can’t even get the name of the journal right in his video title, so you are in good company – Anthony

  254. This makes absolutely no sense!

    summarizing what each said:

    Spencer and Braswell: Clouds are both, a feedback but also a driver of long term and short term climate change.

    Dessler: Cloud-cover affects short term climate change less than, ocean currents. Because the effect is smaller, it is not a driver and only a feedback. Therefore humans cause climate change.

    S. and B. never denied that ocean currents affect the short term climate.

    Dessler made these 3 errors:
    1. The magnitude of the short term influence of cloud-cover is no indicator of weather or not it is a driver or only a feedback.
    2. Effects with large short term amplitudes do not necessarily have large long term amplitudes. (oszillations such as seasons, El Ninio, etc.)
    3. His conclusion, that humans cause climate change has no base in his argument. He did not show, how humans changed the ocean currents.

  255. We live on a street corner in San Diego. In order to save water, the border between the sidewalk and curb on one of the streets is not irrigated. We had a very rainy winter, and grass/weeds grew long, lush and green in the border. One short stretch along the border is shaded by a huge ficus all the way to the curb. At this point, all the border vegetation is dead (and mowed) except for that in the shaded area, which is still somewhat green, and growing.

    I’m curious as to the role atmospheric CO2 plays in the varying states of vegetation vitality in my border.

    Dessler?
    Dessler??!

  256. assman says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:57 am
    “The system is biased against bad science”
    Through what mechanism?

    UTILITY.

    The most useful explanation wins….

  257. Like Fred Haynie, I am excited about the papers by Spencer and Braswell because they bring this issue to the fore, though they might not do it directly. I am more excited because revealing the Warmista ontology reveals that they will never have physical hypotheses about cloud behavior.

    Yes, finally the skeptics are forcing their opponents to engage in a back-and-forth, full-fleshed debate about their arguments, instead of being able to get away with a dismissive once-over. I hope that S&B will call for an evaluation of the arguments by a panel of distinguished retired scientists in related disciplines. That would stop current gatekeepers from being able to keep a lid on debate and implicitly declare victors. The battle should be taken to another level.

  258. Jean Parisot says:
    Sept 6, 2011 at 7:34 am
    Of course it is behind a paywall, after S&B11 was downloaded 56K times it was destined for a for a paywall – call it an illustration of economic feedback for physicists.

    My thoughts exactly. I’m surprised only by the fact that it took them 6 weeks to get their paper approved. Cashing in on current events has a short lifetime.

  259. Re the below, I suspect izen has never gotten past calculus to elementary differential equations:
    “–izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I know causation can become a slightly problematical concept in QM, but unless you are going to invoke temporal loops around singularities there is no logical possibility that if A causes B then B also causes A. It would require a causal influence to travel BACK in time.”

    nope! consider your classic introductory diffi-Q predator-prey model.

    The predator population affects the rate of predation which affects the prey population which in turn affects growth rate of the predator population.

    So over time (going forward only, no sigularities needed!) the predator population affects the prey population and vice versa. Though not a climate scientist (obviously, or I would be denial of this effect… hehe), I believe that this predator/prey model is likely not a bad analogue (grossly simplified) to the interaction between clouds and climate.

  260. What exactly is the Warmist advantage of publishing the Dessler paper in GRL, as opposed to a direct reply/comment etc to SB11 in Remote Sensing?

  261. I was walking home from the bus stop with my daughter when a cloud passed over. I looked up and said “Did you feel that? It just got warmer when that shadow passed over us.” to which my daughter laughed and said “Silly daddy, the cloud made it colder!”

    Obviously I marched her straight home and demanded that she write an apology to Kevin Trenberth.

  262. This one reminds me of the Schneider drivel wherein he claimed it was too difficult to use thermometers, so he wrote a program on his laptop deriving temperature…. from windspeed… MORE ACCURATELY than ALL OTHER MEANS on EARTH.

    Of course he was too stupid and corrupt to recognize the MANY, MANY, INSTA-FAILs built into his ludicrous folly,

    as is this clown.

    Seriously, if you don’t think such LOONBARK has been published before by Climate Scam Professionals, go look up the “The Answer Is Blowing In the Wind” paper by Steven Schneider.

    The man who wrote this paper took ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS to WRITE it.

    And he expects to not wind up indicted.
    Pfft.

  263. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Not long enough?
    I know causation can become a slightly problematical concept in QM, but unless you are going to invoke temporal loops around singularities there is no logical possibility that if A causes B then B also causes A. It would require a causal influence to travel BACK in time.

    No such time travel is required. The earth is a globe, a sphere. Hence evaporation and condensation are happening on the earth at the same time. Cloud formation and cloud destruction are happening at the same time. Clouds insulating a cold area at night and cloud heat transport in a sunny day are occurring in different places on the earth at the same time pretty much nonstop. The question is to which degree and what is the net energy flow. It’s always beer-o-clock somewhere, so no time-travel is required.

    In doubting ALL presumed causes of climate change is there ANY evidence that would make you doubt your doubt !?
    Or is your ubiquitous doubt impervious to all empirical evidence ?!

    From wikipedia:
    The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation or experiments.[1] Empirical data is data produced by an experiment or observation.

    From dictionary.com:
    –adjective
    1. derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
    2. depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.
    3. provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.

    Please show me one experiment or observation that proves that human-released carbon dioxide will change the earth’s temperature in some catastrophic way. Any experiment will do. Any observation will do. No models are allowed, those are not experiments, they are not observations of reality. Absent of such an experiment or observation, am I not completely free to doubt this hypothesis?

  264. “What exactly is the Warmist advantage of publishing the Dessler paper in GRL, as opposed to a direct reply/comment etc to SB11 in Remote Sensing?”

    They’re guaranteed to get friendly reviewers and quick publication.

  265. Theo Goodwin says:
    September 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    “In sum, Warmista claims about CO2 concentration and temperature have no connection to observable reality whatsoever.”

    Or the connection goes back as far as we can detect….

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008AGUFMPP41D1486B

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003101821000115X

    And continues more recently –

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006AGUFMPP24A..01Z

    Then there are the match between observable reality and theory with the atmospheres of Venus and Mars. Both require the role of CO2 to explain the observed temperatures and variations.

    http://oro.open.ac.uk/16962/

    Given this stuff is so easy to look up I can only presume that when you say-
    “….CO2 concentration and temperature have no connection to observable reality whatsoever.”
    That we either fail to share the same observable reality or differ on the meaning of ‘connection’ ?

  266. Hang on! They can’t say that surface albedo works one way but cloud albedo doesn’t!

    From Hansen et al (2011) Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications,

    ‘Surface albedo is an amplifying feedback, because the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth increases when ice and snow area decreases.’

    If the argument is that the Earth warms due to less snow cover, then the opposite must be true. Now if you can’t apply the same reasoning to cloud cover (which is made from the same stuff) then what’s going on?

    Or do only positive feedback loops exist in the AGW Cloud Cuckooland?
    Though they do admit to negative forcings, but then it’s only to blame pesky aerosols for reducing clouds positive feedback and that’s why it’s not been so warm lately, except in Texas!

  267. highflight56433 says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

    wrote…

    “I hope my analysis puts an end to this claim that clouds are causing climate change,” he adds.

    Therefore if the entire planet where cloudless this year, then next year the entire planet is covered 100% in cloud, then there would be no significant change in global temperature between the two years, given all else were to be constant; BUT, Dessler adds, “Over a century, however, clouds can indeed play an important role amplifying climate change.”

    …but remember “The bottom line is that clouds have not replaced humans as the cause of the recent warming the Earth is experiencing,” Dessler says. He ust have the AC turn off…suffering from heat stroke. :)

    —————————-

    With all due respect, sir, I believe you have nailed the bottom-line beneath the bottom-line.

    Dessler demonstrates he has gone beyond science into the realm of hope and possibility (can indeed) and unfounded complete proof (clouds have not replaced humans as the cause…).

    My opinion is that in the effort to preserve funding, those who have allowed themselves to be hood-winked into a band-wagon mentality cannot help but commit these sorts of egregious inconsistencies. There will be more. The herd-media will over-look the respect your statement deserves.

    Trouble is, memory is short. The prognosticators (and their media-enforcers) of “nuclear-winters” ozone-holes, and acid-rains are all but forgotten.

    Now that North America slips quickly into a neo-Socialism, the “thought police” are more and more part of the “scientific method”. But there is nothing new under the Sun said a prophet of old.

    More recently, Milton, in “Paradise Lost VIII” wrote …

    “Or if they list to try
    Conjecture, he his fabric of the heavens
    Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
    His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
    Hereafter, when they come to model heaven,
    And calculate the stars; how they will wield
    The mighty frame; how build, unbuild, contrive,
    To save appearances; how gird the sphere
    With centric and eccentric scribbled o’er,
    Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb.”

  268. Leif Svalgaard says: September 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Oh. Well, just for the record, if I were a journal editor I’d have dispensed with peer review for your paper: you are peerless, after all ;>)

  269. Tell me this is not planned, look at what has happened within the space of four days.

    Wagner resigns with a statement rubbishing the Spencer and Braswell paper

    Within 24 hours the Guardian and BBC both publish researched articles throwing more dirt at Spencer. (Both were very too fast with their stories which included dirt that would have taken time to assemble, and to my eyes those artricles were part of the a master plan to rubbish Spencer’s paper)

    Today a peer reviewed rebuttal paper to Spencer and Braswell that was written and rushed through the peer review process in record time (6 weeks, it took Spencer and Braswell 2 years to get through the peer review process).

    :Put this in the context of the climategate email from Phil Jones ““Kevin (Trenberth I presume?) and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    This is confrimation that the climategate emails are an understatement of the lengths these guys will go to corrupt the science in order to get their perverted message across.

  270. Ok, hot day, no clouds, night comes, heat escapes it cools down nicely, everyone sleeps well.
    Next day it’s hot, later in the evening clouds come over, you get a warmer, no so pleasant night (as in warm not just humid).
    Much later on in the year it gets cooler (probably due to that big yellow thing in the sky not being around as long), clear skies, it cools even more, icy nights.
    Next day there’s weak sun, but clouds gather and it stays slightly warmer, no ice that night (oddly we get frosts here on cloudless nights more than cloudy ones, that must be a clue especially if the wind is not coming from across the Atlantic but from the continent).

    We also know a fair bit about this in the UK because most of us have been on a beach when those big white Cumulus clouds start blocking the sun out and it chills down considerably, not because of any change in the wind temperature, it’s those damned clouds acting like insulators, not absolute insulators but enough to notice. Now if I can feel both negative and positive feedback actions by clouds why can’t these, so called, geniuses work it out with their damned models?

  271. Now let me get this straight. Clouds don’t cause temperature change; temperature change causes clouds.

    At the same time, sulfate aerosols cause enough temperature change (cooling) to offset demon CO2 global warming in the 1960s and (now Chinese) 2000s. But sulfate aerosols don’t do much to the planetary albedo; in fact, they reflect very little, really; we aren’t even sure of the sign of their effect.

    But, don’t you see, sulfate aerosols form the nuclei for cloud condensation, and clouds … No, wait …

  272. @- EricH says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm
    Re the below, I suspect izen has never gotten past calculus to elementary differential equations:“–izen says:.
    … there is no logical possibility that if A causes B then B also causes A. It would require a causal influence to travel BACK in time.”

    Oh dear, you have spotted my weakness, I cannot differentiate an intergral from an interger…! -grin-

    @-”nope! consider your classic introductory diffi-Q predator-prey model.
    The predator population affects the rate of predation which affects the prey population which in turn affects growth rate of the predator population.”

    Lovely, a substantive counter-argument!
    And you are right of course, if conditions favor the predator-prey interactions to reach a stable limit cycle in which both populations co-vary within an envelope of values then it DOES become extremely difficult to extricate any meaningful distinction between cause and effect. It is still unidirectional, but is now a rather braided chain…

    @-”So over time (going forward only, no sigularities needed!) the predator population affects the prey population and vice versa. Though not a climate scientist (obviously, or I would be denial of this effect… hehe), I believe that this predator/prey model is likely not a bad analogue (grossly simplified) to the interaction between clouds and climate.”

    Yes, I like that.
    But consider, there is an asymmetry in the predator-prey model. Prey have a primary causal role. Prey can exist without predators, the existence of which is then a feedback on prey numbers. Predators cannot exist without prey, their populations is always a dependent variable of prey numbers however much feedback there is.
    Prey=OHC movements
    Predators=clouds?

  273. I used to get very upset at the obvious double standard in climate science peer review. Now, I’m just numb to it….

  274. Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010.

    So the first sentence of the abstract is a false dichotomy. Lovely.

  275. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I challenged you to replace your analogy with an appropriate counterexample that refers only to CO2 concentrations and temperatures. Are you going to do it?

    Do not assign me homework.

  276. Benoît Rittaud says:
    September 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Lars P says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:43 am
    It is not a cloud in the sky cooling Chuck Norris below. The cloud is there because Chuck Norris feels cooler.

    Benoit: I vote this one for the Quote of the Week.

    I second it.

  277. “DirkH says:
    izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:14 am
    “Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.”

    This is wrong; when A causes B and B causes A you have a positive feedback loop”

    I have an open fire and some fire bricks. The fire is at 1700 C and the brisks at 15 C. I place firebricks around fire. Fire temperature increases to 2100 and bricks have an average temperature of 200 C.
    I have altered the steady state temperature of the fire, but I have not made any change to the chemistry.

  278. Richard C(NZ) says
    It’s crazy, in Real World diffuse is added to direct for solar collector calculations and GHG DLR completely omitted – all that free energy going to waste.
    ———-
    That’s interesting. I was unaware that there was a distinction between diffuse solar and downward long wave radiation for thermal flat plate solar collectors. I had assumed that they were one and the same.

    The distinction sounds plausible if DLW cannot penetrate the glass front surface. I will have to look into this some more.

  279. Beesaman says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm
    Now if I can feel both negative and positive feedback actions by clouds why can’t these, so called, geniuses work it out with their damned models?

    My guess:

    If they started using observational data, they’d have to re-do all of those models.
    Also, they’d then need to apply proper science as well.
    They’d have to change many of their conclusions, too.

    This would severely limit their funding however, so I’m not expecting these courses of action from them.

  280. “This means in turn that regressions of TOA fluxes vs. ΔTs can be used to accurately estimate climate sensitivity or the magnitude of climate feedbacks.”

    Can someone please translate “accurately estimate” for me?
    Sounds like a “decisive perhaps” from a model to me.

  281. Actually, I believe the record time from submission to acceptance is six days, which is the length of time it took Computational Statistics and Data Analysis to “review” Said, Wegman, et.al.(2008) — a paper that (a) purported to refute Mann Bradley & Hughes 1998; (b) has been discovered to be full of plagiarism; and (c) has now been withdrawn by CSDA.

    GRL looks positively stately by comparison.

  282. If the cooling that has occurred during the last decade was not affected by cloud cover, what were its determinants? If the warming that occurred during the previous 2 decades was affected by cloud cover, how did this occur and why are the conditions for cloud cover’s affect upon warming temperatures not applicable to recent cooling?

  283. I’m no longer sure which thread to even put this in. The original “breaking news” thread contained a byline saying the score was IPCC 1; Scientific Progress 0. Let’s see where we are after a weekend of activity:

    Wolfgang Wagner: resigned as EIC of Remote Sensing out of clear obeisance to Kevin Trenberth. OWN GOAL!

    Kevin Trenberth: braggs about getting an apology from Wagner for daring to allow SB11 to be published. OWN GOAL!

    A. Dressler: publishes a paper attacking SB11 for claims SB11 never made, based on data that refutes the models he supposedly is defending, and which contradicts ITSELF in the process. OWN GOAL!

    A. Dressler: the same paper clearly states that there has been NO WARMING in the LAST TEN YEARS. I can’t award an own goal for that one though because Dressler is strictly “C” team. He only gets the first “own goal” because Trenberth announced that the paper would defend the models.

    Michael Mann: Takes legal action to prevent his emails while at UVA from becoming public due to an agreement that UVA voluntarily made to turn them over to the courts. OWN GOAL!

    Roy Spencer and ?? Braswell: sparked the whole charade by publishing data showing exactly where the “missing heat” that Trenberth openly admits the models cannot account for has been going, and why. SCORE!

    Frankly, I think it more like “the team” 0, Scientific Progress 4.

    Watching the Team pulling the ball/puck/steamingpileof dung out of the net only to fire it right back in again has been entertaining.

  284. As a contribution to science, SB11 is transparently weak. That’s why Spencer sent it to an off-topic journal that invited author nomination of reviewers. He understood and exploited a weakness of the peer-review system.

    But once it was published for all scientists to see, it fell apart very quickly under scrutiny. Wagner was ashamed that he and his fledgling journal were gamed so successfully by an author with a political agenda that might have been hidden just enough in the paper, but came out so loudly as Spencer spun the story, making claims far beyond what the article had in his blog and press release. Hence Wagner’s resignation.

    Other scientists are writing about what they see in the paper. Dessler will not have the last word any more than Spencer did, but watch and see … his analysis will prove much more robust in the harsh light of day.

  285. jack1947 says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:11 am
    On a sunny day the arrival of clouds overhead will cause the surface to cool as the clouds will reflect and/or absorb the incoming heat of the sun. On a cloudy night the temperature will be warmer on the surface as the clouds act as a blanket and seal in the heat of the day and prevent it escaping upwards. This is from common sense obeservation of the micro situation where clouds can either cool or warm the surface depending in the situation (time of day). On the macro scale, I would imagine that increased global cloud cover would increase the Earth’s albedo, thus reflecting more solar radiation back out to the upper atmosphere and into space. I am an amateur. Is there a flaw in this observation?

    Not at all – but now let us assume that the clouds remain overhead for a week. Although they are ‘acting as a blanket’ at night their albedo is keeping more heat out, The result is at the end of the week it will be significantly colder than had the clouds stayed away. It is the persistence of the cloudiness that is important. Also as I had pointed out earlier – clouds do not need a forcing heat to form they will form at the boundary of land and sea just because humid air is lighter than dry air.

  286. BA;
    Care to actually identify yourself in order to back that statement? Or are you just a coward bleeting from the shadows? Dressler’s paper robust? you mean the one that says there has been no warming for the last ten years? The one that contradicts things that SB11 never even said? But contradicts nothing it did say? That one? Or another one?

    If you don’t have the balls to identify yourself, then just STFU.

  287. With apologies to Joni Mitchell,
    Thus sayeth the team:
    I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
    From up and down and still somehow
    It’s clouds’ illusions I recall.
    I really don’t know clouds at all.

  288. This is very funny…. the CAGW scientists are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to plug all the holes in their leaky dam of CO2 scaremongering.

  289. BA – Wagner wasn’t ashamed of anything. He was afraid of a beatdown from his warmist peers. He failed to keep the skeptics out, that’s his sin.

  290. Julian in Wales says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Tell me this is not planned, look at what has happened within the space of four days. …..

    Actually Julian, the Warmists must have been stockpiling and coordinating this firepower while SB11 was still in review, in anticipation.

  291. “Care to actually identify yourself in order to back that statement?”

    No, this website (like your response) is more than a little bit hysterical, I like the anonymity. I can back up my statements, though. For example, I said that “As a contribution to science, SB11 is transparently weak.” But don’t take my word for it, plenty of other scientists noticed. For example, when Pielke Sr. cited SB11 approvingly on the blog of Texas State Climatologist and co-author (lead analyst) for Anthony’s recent surface temperatures paper, John Nielsen-Gammon, J N-G replied,
    “Also, Spencer has recently dropped below my credibility threshold so don’t bother citing him here unless the work is corroborated.”
    And later in that same exchange, J N-G elaborated on his low opinion of Spencer and SB11, contrasted specifically with Dessler’s more competent deconstruction:
    ““Spencer’s paper”: It didn’t take my colleague Andrew Dessler long to work out a demonstration that Spencer’s new paper is wrong. Many of his colleagues have counselled against publishing this demonstration, arguing that the time wasted refuting yet another in a series of incorrect papers by the same author would be better spent advancing our knowledge about the climate system and that at some point it’s better just to ignore incorrect papers. I personally agree with you that an incorrect paper should be publicly refuted in the scientific literature, but I can see how it would get annoying to be working on one public refutation after another.”

    http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/08/roger-pielke-jr-s-inkblot/

    “Or are you just a coward bleeting from the shadows?”
    Calm down, it’s affecting your spelling.

  292. izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm
    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Theo: “In sum, Warmista claims about CO2 concentration and temperature have no connection to observable reality whatsoever.”

    Izen: Or the connection goes back as far as we can detect….

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008AGUFMPP41D1486B

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm
    izen says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Izen: I challenged you to replace your analogy with an appropriate counterexample that refers only to CO2 concentrations and temperatures. Are you going to do it?

    Theo: Do not assign me homework.

    …………………………….

    Interesting connection, I’ve only looked at the first link, is this really saying that Carbon Dioxide at 700 ppm is very low and this low level accounts for the cooling?

    “Although provisional at this stage, reconstructed CO2 changes are consistent with the Kump et al. (2008) (Paleo. Paleo. Paleo. 152, 173) ‘weathering hypothesis’ whereby pre-Hirnantian cooling is caused by relatively low CO2 (ca. 700ppm) related to enhanced weathering of young basaltic rocks during the early phase of the Taconic uplift, with background values subsequently rising to around double this value by the earliest Silurian. Further analyses will better constrain atmospheric CO2 change during the late Ordovician climatic perturbation and address controversial hypotheses concerning the causes and timing of the Earth system transition into an icehouse state.
    ——————————————————————————–

    So, does this hypothesis suggest that doubling CO2 from the levels we have now, will cause global cooling?

    Am I misreading this? Is this falsifying AGW claims?

  293. “Wagner wasn’t ashamed of anything. He was afraid of a beatdown from his warmist peers.”

    JEM, what you’re doing here is just making up facts to support your political convictions. Scientists, the good ones, won’t do that which is why they lose arguments on blogs like this one..

  294. Luboš Motl says on September 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Here is the two-year NSF grant Dessler has also exploited for this research:

    http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1012665

    Check the number, AGS-1012665, that it agrees with the acknowledgements in the paper.

    Probably nothing, but, that number is not actually found in the PDF file … nor is the name of the sponsoring organization: “NSF” or the branch: “Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences” abbreviated usually: AGS.

    Excel Spreadsheet of related grants with a little more information …

    .

  295. davidmhoffer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    _______________

    That is quite a summary! Very well put, especially for those not intimately involved in the discussions. My interest level is such that it may ultimately lead me to financial bankruptcy.

    Anthony, I would agree with davidmhoffer that a leading post ‘similar to’ / ‘such as’ / ‘this summary’ would be a good idea. There is a lot to digest here. This may be one of the deciding battles for the truth, which will ultimately win.

    Anthony, I fully well know why you can’t take that needed break. There is just too much breaking news!

  296. BA says on September 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Wagner was ashamed that he and his fledgling journal were gamed so successfully by an author with a political agenda that might have been hidden just enough in the paper, but came out so loudly as Spencer spun the story, making claims far beyond what the article had in his blog and press release. Hence Wagner’s resignation.

    Weak B(alls) A(nonymous), weak; esp. in light of several other superior theses (plural) on the subject …

    .

  297. I downloaded the Cloud Forcing TOA numbers from the NCEP Reanalysis2 project starting in 1979.

    The average reflectance of shortwave solar radiation (albedo) by Clouds was -52.3 w/m2.

    The average longwave (greenhouse) forcing by Clouds was +25.9 w/m2.

    Thus, Clouds were a net negative of -26.4 w/m2.

    There is very little change in the net number over the period (other than a seasonality, it is less than 1 w/m2 anomaly at any time) with no overall trend over the period. Can’t really tie it (or the individual components) to the ENSO either although most other Reanalysis products are closely tied.

  298. There is a pretty easy means of testing this.

    When we were working with the NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center in the 1990′s we designed a student satellite experiment to look at “extinction coefficients”. We were going to do this with a simple visible light camera that would look at the Earth at the same time a spectrometer would look up at the sky in the direction of the satellite. The spectrometer would measure the decrease in energy at various wavelengths in the visible spectrum while at the same time we were looking down, measuring the same thing.

    This experiment would not work on a cloudy day as the spectrometer would show little energy looking up while looking down our imaging system would not have the expected dip.

    Now a pedestrian version of this would be go buy a solar panel. Hook it up to a load and track the maximum power point of the panel. When the sun is out and a clear day, the panel has output of 1. On a very cloudy rainy day, the panel will have an output of about 0.1 (numbers are normalized to account for location variation). On a day with high clouds the output will be about 0.3. On a day with high cirrus clouds the output will be about 0.7.
    These are numbers that I have measured and you can too.

    Clouds can cut the energy reaching the Earth’s surface by 90%. Go measure it, I dare you.

  299. “Atomic Hairdryer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 1:39 am
    Santer et al’s backstop paper just published in JGR:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011JD016263.shtml

    Trends >17 yrs are required for identifying human effects on tropospheric temp.”

    I just won a bet with myself. I predicted that Santer will retire before this time period is up. Santer was born in 1955 and the age at which retirement statistics for Lawrence Livermore Labs reaches 50% is 65 years old. We have had a decade of no temperature change so we need eight more years to be more than >17 years. That puts us at the end of 2019 and by the time anyone remembers this prediction it will be 2020 and Santer will be at the most probable retirement age.
    It’s a lot easier to model climate scientists than it is to model climate.

  300. “What exactly is the Warmist advantage of publishing the Dessler paper in GRL, as opposed to a direct reply/comment etc to SB11 in Remote Sensing?”

    if there is a comment and reply to comment, the author has the last word.
    if put in Remote Sensing, it would have been as a comment

  301. “Weak B(alls) A(nonymous), weak; esp. in light of several other superior theses (plural) on the subject …”

    There’s a post to be proud of.

  302. That’s why Spencer sent it to an off-topic journal that invited author nomination of reviewers.

    Am I missing something here in that the results from measuring the radiation at the top of the atmosphere from satellites is somehow inappropriate to the journal “Remote Sensing“.

    It is interesting that no one is attempting to refute the actual data showing that the transportation of IR wavelength outgoing radiation is higher than the models can support.
    All of the models at the end of the day stand or fall on this data. If the transportation of energy at these wavelengths is higher than the models can support, then it is the models that must be doubted (after validation of the data of course)

  303. BA says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    “Care to actually identify yourself in order to back that statement?”

    No, this website (like your response) is more than a little bit hysterical, I like the anonymity. I can back up my statements, though. For example, I said that “As a contribution to science, SB11 is transparently weak.”

    BA: Maybe this discussion is more to your liking…

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/06/the-stone-in-trenberths-shoe/

    I placed the Dessler data online and re-did the regression reported in the Science article (The peer reviewers at Science did not require Dessler to show the usual diagnostics for any regression.) Readers interested in handling the data for themselves can do so as follows. (Spencer data also shown.) …

    I replicated the slope reported in the article. However, the diagnostic statistics were not imposing. The adjusted r^2 was a Mannian 0.01045. With this poor a fit, the “confidence intervals” reported in the article and illustrated in Dessler 2010 Figure 2010 are not ones that would comfort an independent statistical reviewer – not that Science requires independent statistical review for statistical calculations by climate scientists, despite Wegman’s sensible recommendations on this matter a number of years ago.

    Dessler got an r^2 of what????

    You have what level of confidence in Dessler?????

  304. Leonard Weinstein says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:20 am
    Evaporation of water does NOT depend mainly on air temperature, but mainly on direct solar insolation. If a cloud covers the water or ground, evaporation (by removing energy with heat of vaporization), radiation, and convection quickly cools water and ground and the relative humidity is limited despite average air temperature, since the surface air temperature will drop. At night, the clouds can slow cooling by reducing direct radiation to space, so this is a net warming due to clouds, but the overall effect is dominated by daytime fluxes, and thus clouds (at least thick lower ones cool. The comment made by D that air temperature dominates evaporation in the presence of clouds (thus maintaining more clouds), or positive feedback, is patently false.

    You have obviously not experienced freezing radiation fog, which is definitely not due to ‘direct solar insolation’, as it occurs at night. In many areas of the world the fog is driven by a low wind and becomes stratus keeping the surface below cold. The cloud may then after several hours be ‘burnt off’ by the sun which provides the latent heat of evaporation. Precisely the opposite of your hypothesis.

  305. Matt says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:15 am
    @ 220mph

    maybe because the word “forcing” isn’t even mentioned in your link?

    CERN did not say whether there is a forcing or not. They said the results indicate that cloud nucleation is not correctly represented/understood.

    I believe I was quite clear – and the title of the CERN CLOUD paper agrees:

    “CERN’s CLOUD experiment provides unprecedented insight into cloud formation”

    The premise,and finding of the paper is that cosmic rays are potentially responsible for cloud formation, by increasing atmospheric aerosols. If as they seem to find, cosmic rays are helping create clouds then those clouds would be a FORCING not a FEEDBACK of “climate” … the CERN CLOUD paper notes this new information is “important for understanding the climate”

    The results of the CERN CLOUD work is the proof that cosmic rays DO affect cloud formation: “…cosmic rays enhance the formation rate by up to ten-fold or more”

    Additional aerosals on their own have a climate impact, as they “reflect sunlight and produce cloud droplets” … and that the “mechanism and rate by which they form clusters together with water molecules have remained poorly understood until now” …

    This study shows – pretty conclusively that the models cannot be accurate – as they are just learning about this new forcing so it cannot be in the models

  306. Lars P says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    “SB11] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature.”
    Now I finnaly got it:
    It is not a cloud in the sky cooling Chuck Norris below. The cloud is there because Chuck Norris feels cooler.

    Best laugh yet on this thread! Thanks.

  307. Dessler did not submit their paper to the journal that published Spencer’s paper “Remote Sensing” as that would have provide an opportunity for Spencer to appropriately refute and address any legitimate criticisms.

    Ironically, the sun is moving towards the deepest cyclic minimum in at least 150 years. There is quite an event from the standpoint of solar physicists.

    http://www.space.com/11960-fading-sunspots-slower-solar-activity-solar-cycle.html

    …the new studies were announced today (June 14) at the annual meeting of the solar physics division of the American Astronomical Society, which is being held this week at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

    “This is highly unusual and unexpected,” said Frank Hill, associate director of the National Solar Observatory’s Solar Synoptic Network. “But the fact that three completely different views of the sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.” ….

    …astronomers examined an east-west zonal wind flow inside the sun, called torsional oscillation. The latitude of this jet stream matches the new sunspot formation in each cycle, and models successfully predicted the late onset of the current Cycle 24.

    “We expected to see the start of the zonal flow for Cycle 25 by now, but we see no sign of it,” Hill said. “This indicates that the start of Cycle 25 may be delayed to 2021 or 2022, or may not happen at all.”

    With more than 13 years of sunspot data collected at the McMath-Pierce Telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona, Matt Penn and William Livingston observed that the average magnetic field strength declined significantly during Cycle 23 and now into Cycle 24. Consequently, sunspot temperatures have risen, they observed.

    If the trend continues, the sun’s magnetic field strength will drop below a certain threshold and sunspots will largely disappear; the field no longer will be strong enough to overcome such convective forces on the solar surface.

    In a separate study, Richard Altrock, manager of the Air Force’s coronal research program at NSO’s facility in New Mexico, examined the sun’s corona and observed a slowdown of the magnetic activity’s usual “rush to the poles.”

    “Cycle 24 started out late and slow and may not be strong enough to create a rush to the poles, indicating we’ll see a very weak solar maximum in 2013, if at all,” Altrock said. “If the rush to the poles fails to complete, this creates a tremendous dilemma for the theorists, as it would mean that Cycle 23′s magnetic field will not completely disappear from the polar regions. … No one knows what the sun will do in that case.”
    We will if Svensmark and Tinsley are correct and if paleo record is a guide to the future we will have a chance to see if an increase in planetary cloud does or does not result in planetary cooling.

    http://scholar.google.com/url?sa=U&q=http://www.gg.rhbnc.ac.uk/elias/teaching/VanGeel.pdf

    “A number of those Holocene climate cooling phases… most likely of a global nature (eg Magney, 1993; van Geel et al, 1996; Alley et al 1997; Stager & Mayewski, 1997) … the cooling phases seem to be part of a millennial-scale climatic cycle operating independent of the glacial-interglacial cycles (which are) forced (perhaps paced) by orbit variations.”

    “… we show here evidence that the variation in solar activity is a cause for the millennial scale climate change.”

    Last 40 kyrs
    Figure 2 in paper. (From data last 40 kyrs)… “conclude that solar forcing of climate, as indicated by high BE10 values, coincided with cold phases of Dansgaar-Oeschger events as shown in O16 records”

    Recent Solar Event
    “Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) “…coincides with one of the coldest phases of the Little Ice Age… (van Geel et al 1998b)

    Periodicity
    “Mayewski et al (1997) showed a 1450 yr periodicity in C14 … from tree rings and …from glaciochemicial series (NaCl & Dust) from the GISP2 ice core … believed to reflect changes in polar atmospheric circulation..”

  308. Dennis Wingo says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I did the solar panel experiment. You are right on the money. I did it in Central Florida because I was wondering why my fancy solar heated shower ran cold December and January. Part of the answer is the angle of sunlight but part of the answer is clouds.

  309. Dessler writes in his paper “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade”

    Ironically as there has been little change in global temperatures this decade, AGWers would expect natural variation to be nullifying the effect of the ever increasing CO2 forcing. If its not clouds thats done that, then I’m interested to hear what they’re proposing has done it…

  310. Headline. “Warmist paper turnaround: 6 weeks. Skeptics: 2 years”
    Eight words, far easier to grasp for the casual reader.

  311. Nick Stokes writes “JGR is normally fast. ”

    The only way the Dessler paper could possibly have produced his paper in that time is if it was largely pre-written. Two options spring to mind here. Either its highly likely that it doesn’t actually address the S&B points in any great depth and instead is of the form “no it isn’t, here’s what I think” or Dessler had access to pre-published copies of the S&B paper.

    I’m looking forward to reading the paper in detail.

  312. BA Says:

    JEM, what you’re doing here is just making up facts to support your political convictions. Scientists, the good ones, won’t do that which is why they lose arguments on blogs like this one..

    Whew, that’s a relief. That means Michael Mann isn’t a good scientist, since he makes up stuff all the time about those who criticize his work.

    Oh, and if someone makes something up, it doesn’t become a fact.

  313. More ridiculous drivel:

    BA says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    As a contribution to science, SB11 is transparently weak. That’s why Spencer sent it to an off-topic journal that invited author nomination of reviewers. He understood and exploited a weakness of the peer-review system.

    You might look slightly less ignorant of you bothered to verify for yourself rather than follow the usual lazy “TEAM” approach of mindless regurgitating TEAM vitriol and rhetoric

    The paper was published in REMOTE SENSING – the subject quite clearly involves remote sensing, and in fact Spencer is a noted expert in the field.

    Regardless of that – had you been bothered to exert ANY effort to educate yourself you would have found this paper was part of one of many special editions at RS:

    Remote Sensing in Climate Monitoring and Analysis

    The description for this special edition:

    Special Issue Information

    Dear Colleagues,

    Climate monitoring and analysis is an important task in order to improve the understanding of climate dynamics and climate change. This in turn is a pre-requisite for reliable information bulletins on climate change and for the consultation of decision makers and end-users Remote Sensing is becoming more and more important for this issue for different reasons.

    Many regions in the world are characterized by the lack of a dense network of ground based measurements for ECVs.
    Some parameters can only be observed from space, or can be observed with a better accuracy from space (e.t top of atmosphere radiation budget)
    Remote Sensing provides climate variables with a large regional coverage up to global coverage.
    Assimilation of satellite data has largely increased the quality of reanalysis data.
    Satellite derived products have the potential to increase the accuracy of gridded climate data sets gained from dense ground based networks.
    This special issue is dedicated to compile articles on:

    climate monitoring and analysis based on satellite derived essential climate variables.
    methods for the retrieval of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) in climate quality.
    methods for the calibration and inter-calibration of satellite radiances.
    improvements of methods for the assimilation of satellite data within reanalysis.
    methods for data fusion of satellite based variables with reanalysis data and/or in-situ measurements.
    climate applications dealing with satellite based climate variables
    Dr. Richard Müller
    Guest Editor

    This paper included a number of other climate related papers:

    Posselt, R.; Mueller, R.; Stöckli, R.; Trentmann, J. Spatial and Temporal Homogeneity of Solar Surface Irradiance across Satellite Generations. Remote Sens. 2011, 3(5), 1029-1046; doi:10.3390/rs3051029.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/5/1029/

    Seiz, G.; Foppa, N.; Meier, M.; Paul, F. The Role of Satellite Data Within GCOS Switzerland. Remote Sens. 2011, 3(4), 767-780; doi:10.3390/rs3040767.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/4/767/

    Blanc, P.; Gschwind, B.; Lefèvre, M.; Wald, L. The HelioClim Project: Surface Solar Irradiance Data for Climate Applications. Remote Sens. 2011, 3(2), 343-361; doi:10.3390/rs3020343.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/2/343/

    Kariyeva, J.; van Leeuwen, W. Environmental Drivers of NDVI-Based Vegetation Phenology in Central Asia. Remote Sens. 2011, 3(2), 203-246; doi:10.3390/rs3020203.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/2/203/

    Herman, B.; Brunke, M.; Pielke, R.; Christy, J.; McNider, R. Satellite Global and Hemispheric Lower Tropospheric Temperature Annual Temperature Cycle. Remote Sens. 2010, 2(11), 2561-2570; doi:10.3390/rs2112561.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/11/2561/

    Christy, J.; Herman, B.; Pielke, R.; Klotzbach, P.; McNider, R.; Hnilo, J.; Spencer, R.; Chase, T.; Douglass, D. What Do Observational Datasets Say about Modeled Tropospheric Temperature Trends since 1979?. Remote Sens. 2010, 2(9), 2148-2169; doi:10.3390/rs2092148.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/9/2148/

    This is exactly the type publication this paper should be published in. It is also an OPEN ACCESS source unlike GRL behind its paywall.

    Please share with the class why you support Desslers response being published as a separate paper instead of as a response to this paper in RS – as is the normal scientific process?

  314. WillR says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    “Dessler got an r^2 of what????”

    from memory:

    ~0.15 without regression and a sensitivity of +0.5W/m2

    OTOH Spencer got an r^2 of 0.2 with a 120 day regression and a sensitivity of -.9W/m2

    Spencer acknowledged that correlation was very poor in Dessler 2010 and Spencer 2011. Spencers point however remains. There IS a stronger correlation with a 4 month regression and the sensitivity swaps polarity. Spencer didn’t claim that clouds are net negative feedback. He said you can’t reliably determine the sensitivity in this manner because his regression analysis yielded a higher (but still poor) correlation with a substantial negative feedback.

    The thing is that CAGW climate boffins run the GCMs using less well correlated positive feedback which is a classic case of cherry picking every bit as egregious as Michael Mann cherrying picking a few trees that yielded the results he wanted to show.

  315. Dave Wendt,

    Thanks for the link. Got a copy elsewhere as it turned out. Read it twice. Dessler makes a mistake or two. Spencer and Braswell make a point that seems worthy of consideration. But, to me (a generalist, not Climate Scientist), neither paper alone represents a crystal clear exposition based on incontrovertible facts and logic. That might be due to my ignorance.

    I need to give both more thought before deciding win, lose, or draw.

  316. It appears Dessler is not interested in reading scientific papers.

    The late 20th century warming correlates with very low overall GCR and with increased solar wind bursts that remove cloud forming ions via the mechanism electroscavenging. There is an observed reduction in planetary cloud cover during the warming period.

    http://sait.oat.ts.astro.it/MSAIt760405/PDF/2005MmSAI..76..969G.pdf

    http://solar.njit.edu/preprints/palle1264.pdf

    (See figure 2. Note low level clouds are reduced by minus 0.065% per year, starting in about 1993.)

    Fig. 2 shows the global annual averages of GCR induced ionization in the atmosphere and low cloud amounts for the period July 1983–June 2000 (ionization data is only updated to December 2000). A quick look at the data reveals the good agreement between those two quantities from 1983 to 1994, however, from 1995 to 2000 the correspondence breaks.

    On average, for a given cloud cell, about 3–4% of all other cloud cells trend over approximately the past two decades is seen in both the total cloud amount reported by ISCCP (not shown), and the low cloud data (Figs. 2 and 3). A simple linear fit to the yearly low cloud data (Fig. 2) has a slope – 0:065%/yr. If this trend is subtracted from the low cloud data the correlation coefficient rises from 0.49 to 0.75, significant at the 99.5% level.

    The dependence of the correlation on latitude suggests that whichever mechanism might be acting to couple the low cloudiness with the solar signal (or GCR) it operates only in certain latitude bands. This could be taken to indicate that the latitudinal variation is controlled by a combination of at least three factors including: (1) the requirement that the clouds were in a liquid state, (2) the known latitudinal variation in cosmic ray flux, and (3) an electroscavenging process operating on liquid clouds (Tinsley and Yu, 2003), dependent on current density changes in the global electric circuit, which have a different latitudinal variation.

  317. Bill Illis says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I downloaded the Cloud Forcing TOA numbers from the NCEP Reanalysis2 project starting in 1979.

    The average reflectance of shortwave solar radiation (albedo) by Clouds was -52.3 w/m2.

    The average longwave (greenhouse) forcing by Clouds was +25.9 w/m2.

    Thus, Clouds were a net negative of -26.4 w/m2.

    There is very little change in the net number over the period (other than a seasonality, it is less than 1 w/m2 anomaly at any time) with no overall trend over the period. Can’t really tie it (or the individual components) to the ENSO either although most other Reanalysis products are closely tied.

    Perfect. That’s exactly the ratiometric difference between Dessler 2010 and Spencer 2011.

    Dessler measured an instant feedback of +0.5W/m2 and Spencer measured a 120 day delayed feedback of -1.0W/m2.

    Dessler is measuring instant greenhouse forcing through longwave radiation and Spencer is measuring less ocean heating through cloud reflectance of shortwave radiation. The net is a negative feedback of -0.5W/m2. The problem is climate models are using +0.5W/m2. As Dessler said, if Spencer is correct (and it’s been verified by McIntyre now) then GCMs need to altered to reflect the reality that clouds are negative feedbacks not positive.

  318. “Causal chains are unidirectional. It is a logical impossibility for A to be the #1 cause of B, AND B to be the #1 cause of A.”

    Not if the system is dynamic, such as happens in cyclical systems. A and B simply change places as the #1 cause of the other, at different times. Neither can be the #1 cause of the other at the same time.

  319. TimTheToolMan says:
    September 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    “or Dessler had access to pre-published copies of the S&B paper.”

    It would fit the pattern of Wolfgang’s resignation. He didn’t hold up S&B quite long enough to get Dressler’s paper published at the same time. Why otherwise apologize to Trenberth? What was Trenberh’s connection to Wolfgang and S&B that needed any apology?

    This is so far away from the way science should be practiced. It reeks of corruption.

  320. There are three notable points to be made. First, SB11 analyzed 14 models, but they plotted only six models and the particular observational data set that provided maximum support for their hypothesis. Plotting all of the models and all of the data provide a much different conclusion.

    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2011.pdf

    It is like me saying to you: I know were you live; It is somewhere on earth.

  321. I’m a little confused by the discussion of “causality” in this thread. According to DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING, by Oppenheim Shafer, 1975, page 11, in discrete-time processing a “system is defined mathematically as a unique transformation or operator that maps an input [discrete-time] sequence x(n) into an output [discrete-time] sequence y(n),” and a “causal system is one for which the changes in the output do not precede changes in the input.” This definition does not imply that the output at index n cannot affect the output at index m for all n and m. It does, however, imply that the output at index n can only affect the outputs at indices m where m>n. By this definition, it is eminently possible that “A” can affect “B” and “B” can affect “B”. The only restriction is that “B events” can only affect subsequent “B events”–i.e., values of “B” at later times.

    In discrete-time signal process the inputs and outputs are the same “thing”–i.e., numbers. In the posts by commenters in this thread, the discussion involves CO2, man, aerosals, clouds, and climate change and possibly others. It’s not clear to me exactly what the “system” is that commenters say violates or does not violate causality. In addition, it’s not clear to me which of the preceding are (a) “inputs”, (b) “outputs”, or (c) components of the “system”. It does, however, seem reasonable to me that the “climate” (however you want to define it) can affect “clouds” (e.g., a desert climate has fewer clouds than a jungle climate), which treats “climate” as a “system” input and “clouds” as a “system” output. It also seems reasonable that “clouds” can affect “climate” (as people have mentioned, when a cloud passes between the sun and a thermometor, the thermometer reading drops), which treats “clouds” as a “system” input and “climate” as a “system” output. I fear that without clear definitions of (a) the system, (b) the system inputs, (c) the system outputs and (d) the presence or lack of system feedback, any discussion of causality is fruitless.

  322. BA;
    I asked if you would declare your identity in support of our position, or if you were just a coward bleating from the shadows. Per your confirmation, we now know that you are the latter.

    On the matter of your support for Dessler, since you mentioned that he is a colleague, that is a clue as to who you might be, but it is also a clue as to why you support a paper that debunks itself. You’re kissing up to Dessler for certain. Do you bow and scrape when Trenberth walks into the room? Or quiver in fear?

    I surmise that you fear to reveal your identity because if Trenberth saw what a good job you are doing trying to debunk SB11, you’d wind up with the same fate as Wagner. Resigning and apologising.

    I can’t spell, never could, never will. If that’s the only hole you can poke in my comment, my SPELLING then you ought to resign right away because Trenberth likely already knows who you are and will throw you to the wolves in a heartbeat, just like he did Wagner. I think you’re pretty safe from the bloggers at WUWT. Its those whom you count as colleagues and friends that are going to hurt you, and hurt you bad. Spelling I suck at. BS detection I excel at.

    You stink sir. Come forward, tell the truth, and you might redeem yourself.

  323. the discussion of causality has been on the level of basic abstract epistemology.
    it is true that causality is unidirectional – that’s how come we know time itself and is also the basis of extracting truths from a stream of discrete data.
    WHEN A implies B and also B implies A, we call that an IDENTITY.

    It is another fundamental epistemological principle that truth exists in context. It is misguided application of epistemology to assert that the ingredients of vaporization are a single variable with no context. If you drop context, you can ‘prove’ anything.

    Abstractions necessarily disregard all else but what’s considered. In reality, the context may well determine the truth of falsity of any statement of implication.
    Therefore, specify a context and you can have a hope to resolve causality.

  324. “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade.”

    Are we to conclude that you DO have calculations that show that man-made CO2 DID cause significant climate change over the last decade?

    And if so, how was this accomplished without any warming?

  325. Ferd Berple wrote;

    “What will ultimately be shown is the mainstream climate science knows a lot less about the causes of climate change than is currently believed. That the ability to produce accurate climate prediction lies many years in the future, it at all.”

    IMHO, “if at all” sums up the whole futility of trying to “model” the climate of a system as complex as the whole Universe/Sun/Earth/Atmosphere system. In engineering we have made very productive use of computer models (after of course inventing the computer in the first place).

    One part of the wisdom derived by creating and using computer models for decades is the knowledge of when to apply them and when to ignore them. In the case of non-linear chaotic systems like the weather systems of the Earth, we take a pass.

    After many decades successfully reconciling the PREDICTIONS of computer models with the OBSERVED behavior of real engineering creations, I ALWAYS believe MY OWN EYES before I consult the computer.

    There are many reasons why we MAY never be able to model the weather (I know weather is not the same thing as climate; “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”). Included in this is the imprecise knowledge of the initial conditions of the modeled system. Also included in this (although totally ignored by the “climate scientists”) is the ever expanding width of the “error bars” as the model progresses forward in time.

    The least of the reasons why we may never be able to model weather one hundred years from now is the speed of the computer calculations. Faster computers just produce the wrong answer more quickly, not much of an improvement at all. Perhaps we should apply the supercomputers from the weather bureaus to let us all get our online Christmas shopping done in a few milliseconds instead of a few hours.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  326. I was only able to read the first 150 or so posts, so if you already mentioned this; forget about mine.

    Various sources assert that the average global cloud cover is about 61%. well the exact number doesn’t matter so let’s assume that is true.

    Then the question to be adressed, and researched, experimentally, and theoretically, is simply this.

    If the average global cloud cover should increase to 62% for the next 30, 60, 90 years or so, will the earth get warmer, or cooler, as a result of that change ?? What if the average cloud cover should drop to 60% for the next 30, 60, 90 years or so; will the earth get warmer or cooler as a result ??

    So can we stop talking about last night’s weather, and focus on the crux of the issue; which is a climatically significant period of cloud change, and its consequence.

    I haven’t done either experiment; but I am quite sure beyond any reasonable doubt, that in the first case, it will get cooler, and in the second it will get warmer.

    But I am open to any Physical theory proof (or experiment) , that my conclusions are wrong.

  327. I agree with Lobos Motl, that Desslers paper in total confirms Spencer’s figure 3, even if he chooses the best fitting model curve and replaces the most widely used Hadcrut3 temperature data with some other tweaked set. So there is not much to be learned from his reply.

    I do wonder however, what is going on at Texas A&M University, home not only of Dessler but also Gary North, enabler of Michael Mann, and contributor to at least 2 failed inquiries.

    Dessler writes in his book:

    “There are few qualified atmospheric scientists who would argue with the assessment in the book. And there are none in Texas. Attempts over the last few years to stage a debate in Texas about the science of climate change have required flying a skeptic in from out of state.
    In one case, they had to import one from Canada.”

    That sounds like a very rare statistic. How would a student asking a sceptical question be treated at A&M ?

    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2011/07/andrew-dessler-texas-is-vulnerable-to.html

    http://heartland.org/policy-documents/texas-am-professor-misrepresents-us-emissions-during-global-warming-debate

  328. 10 years ago this coming Sunday (9/11) a tragedy befell The United States of America. I remember the lack of contrails in the sky for a few days. I remember reading that Phoenix, AZ was suddenly warmer by a few degrees during those days that the airplanes were missing from the sky. Made sense to me then, still makes sense today. The tower of Mann is falling and the tower of Trenberth is collapsing as well. The past 10 years have been a tragedy of the greatest magnitude for our country and also for science.

  329. MikeN says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    Where does Dessler’s paper say no warming over the past 10 years?
    ———–
    Good point. The only thing I have seen in the paper is this statement in the conclusion which makes no reference to the past decades overall temperature trend, only that clouds have not caused “significant” climate change.
    ———–
    “Conclusion:
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”
    ————
    This sentence confuses me though. It states, rather offhandedly, that clouds can cause significant long term warming.

    Can anyone tell me how? Either that means there is a measurable increase in total cloud cover (at what point does the LWR fail to beat out the reflected SWR?) or the clouds must contribute to some as yet identified accumulation of heat. Also if clouds contribute a multi-decadal warming trend, is this a forcing or just a positive feedback loop?

    Or is one mans forcing just another mans feedback?

  330. The modelling community has budgets. They are trying to upheld their momentum. Thats my conclusion here. It is nice that money is put into computers, at least if it results in wheather predictions more than 3-4 days ahead.

    But that is where it stands today. Maybe it is time to spend more of the money-bag on experimental physics and sensors.

    I like the ending of this article here;
    “On that point, Mr. Kirkby—whose organization is controlled by not one but 20 governments—really does not want to discuss politics at all: “I’m an experimental particle physicist, okay? That somehow nature may have decided to connect the high-energy physics of the cosmos with the earth’s atmosphere—that’s what nature may have done, not what I’ve done.””

    Here;

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904900904576554063768827104.html

  331. Actually cloud cover is a positive feedback during the night time. So is the claim that night time temperatures are higher on average due to GCR? Correct me if I’m wrong here but isn’t the actual GCR effect (cloud formation) more prevalent at night when that part of the Earth is faced away from the Sun, i.e. Sun not blocking cosmic rays due to line of sight in addition to the solar wind?

    Wouldn’t GCR induced cloud cover act to lower daytime temps (negative feedback) just as it would increase night time temps (positive feedback)? Thus we would expect to see the diurinal temp difference to get smaller during high GCR periods. Is this happening?

  332. George E Smith;

    I think your example is too simple. Anyone from a high latitude climate can tell you from direct experience that cloud cover in the dead of winter has a pronounced warming effect, and that cloud cover at the height of summer has a pronounced cooling effect. It isn’t a matter of total cloud cover alone, it is also a matter of distribution over the seasons.

  333. KevinK says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm
    There are many reasons why we MAY never be able to model the weather (I know weather is not the same thing as climate; “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”). Included in this is the imprecise knowledge of the initial conditions of the modeled system. Also included in this (although totally ignored by the “climate scientists”) is the ever expanding width of the “error bars” as the model progresses forward in time.

    I am not as pessimistic on the possibility of modelling climate. Have you looked at the Tsonis et al modelling using a neural net to simulate a chaotic system ?

    Instead of taking the first order of the expansion in solutions of differential equations and using them in a digital model, which means fitting many parameters and large errors, as you point out, as time steps grow, one can use such a technique as above.

    Ideally I would use an analogue computer: In analogue computing one introduces the differential equations themselves and lets the circuits fight out which solutions predominate, beats and all.

  334. SethP, MikeN

    Desller’s paper doesn’t say that there has been no warming over the last ten years. What it does say is that it draws its conclusions from data between 1998 and 2008. During this time period, there has been no significant warming, a point which comes not from Dessler’s paper, but from many, many others, including Phil Jones, former Captain of the Team, and he said exactly that in public testimony while being questioned in regard to ClimateGate.

    Dessler’s paper concludes that there is no change by examining a time period during which it was known in advance that no change occurred. I’d call it cherry picking, but the point that Dessler chose a time period during which no temperature change occurred, to defend computer models which repeatedly predicted major temp increases for that time period…nay! INCREASINGLY ACCELERATED temp increases, is just too sweet to pass up.

  335. SethP says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    MikeN says:
    September 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    Where does Dessler’s paper say no warming over the past 10 years?
    ———–
    Good point. The only thing I have seen in the paper is this statement in the conclusion which makes no reference to the past decades overall temperature trend, only that clouds have not caused “significant” climate change.
    ===========================================================
    Fellows, the time period used was 2000-2010 I believe HadCrut3 was used. That time period had less than 0.03° C in temp change.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/to:2010/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/to:2010/trend

    So, yes, the time period given temps didn’t change……. the question is, did temps not change for no reason, or did clouds mitigate the effects of CO2 and other GHGs? Or, was that only part of the equation and there were other factors as well?

  336. I think i’ve figured this out now-
    AR5 is coming.
    the centerpiece is the CGI provided by the team. (they can’t use polar bears or himalayan glaciers or tuvalu)

    they are desperate to keep people on board because climategate started some critical examination that can only expose more and worse.
    I think they feel this is their last chance. They’ve pulled out the stops – they are in a position where they either win or crash in flames.

    they must keep up the appearance of worshipful unanimity – even as ‘rats’ (like JC) leave the ship.
    anything that rattles credulity in the narrative is an existential threat, to them.

    it’l last call for kool-aid at the guyana compound, I think.

  337. SethP, MikeN

    I just realised that in my summary above (12:52pm), I did in fact claim that Dessler’s paper stated that there had been no warming during the time period when it didn’t. My mistake.

    See how easy it is to admit a mistake when you aren’t trying to defend a foregone conclusion?

    Dessler’s paper finds no significant change from cloud cover during a time period during which there was…. no significant change of any sort. What else would they have expected to find?

  338. Not entirely on-topic, but still to do with clouds.
    Recently during a long intercontinental flight I was gazing in contemplation down on a pretty vast cloudbank, all the way to horizons, quite high I suppose, but I had no way of estimating the height. It was brilliant white, all those reflected photons. Then it seemed to me that the reflecting surface was strikingly FRACTAL.
    Is it my imagination, or has anyone else noticed this? There are many meteorologists who read this site. Has this been noticed before and, if so, is there an explanation?

  339. Steven Mosher says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:36 am

    One thing of note: SB11 did apparently play some games with selecting which model results to show. That was a mistake on my view.

    Steve M comments that he isn’t sufficiently acquainted with the models to decide if the ones Dessler prefers are being preferred ‘for the right reasons’. Either way, the Fig 2 of Dessler’s paper shows considerable difference between his preferred models and the empirical data. Especially the HADcruT data as used by S&B.

    So it comes down to ‘how much difference does there have to be for it to be important’?

    I suspect Lindzen, Choi, Spencer and Braswell will be working on that.

  340. Anthony – what your readers really want to know is:

    Did you get any of those holiday weekend chores done?

    All the best.

  341. Ah, I see the “team” can rest and relax as “Skeptical Science” has put up their rock salt validation of Desslers new D11 paper in a comment on Spencers blog site. I say “Rock Salt” as nothing else is so robust at confirming to the thinking world that the science they endorse is neither robust or rock solid. Such is their perverted view of climate science.!!

  342. Water planet, viewed from space
    Like a snapshot from the gods,
    A shimmering orb
    Netted in a cloud haze.

  343. IPCC models all assume positive overall feedbacks from water on Earth (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate etc.). However, this is incompatible with the Faint Sun Paradox. If it were true that the Ocean’s response to increased radiative forcing (as the sun brightens) is to enhance further greenhouse warming (positive feedback) then we would not be here today to even ask such questions. For more details see : http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2678

  344. On the one hand these people claim that “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade” And on the other (in general terms) they claim that Climate change is accelerating.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm Which is it? And they then wonder why people do not believe them?

  345. Argument from the warmists in a nut shell;

    Cloud variation makes clmate warmer.
    Only CO2 changes clouds.

  346. From Desslers conclusion, “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade…”

    Now let me get this straight. Assuming he means “climate change” to mean “global warming”, Dessler is claiming that clouds are definitely NOT responsible for something that didn’t happen?

    This is in addition to his assertion that clouds can only trap heat, never reflect it. And here was me thinking they were white.

  347. Why cant an interested third party do what Dessler should have done, that is submit a reply to RS that incorporates and references his GRL paper?

  348. Dave Springer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm
    Bill Illis says:
    September 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Bill: I downloaded the Cloud Forcing TOA numbers from the NCEP Reanalysis2 project starting in 1979.

    The average reflectance of shortwave solar radiation (albedo) by Clouds was -52.3 w/m2.

    The average longwave (greenhouse) forcing by Clouds was +25.9 w/m2.

    Thus, Clouds were a net negative of -26.4 w/m2.

    There is very little change in the net number over the period (other than a seasonality, it is less than 1 w/m2 anomaly at any time) with no overall trend over the period. Can’t really tie it (or the individual components) to the ENSO either although most other Reanalysis products are closely tied.

    Dave: Perfect. That’s exactly the ratiometric difference between Dessler 2010 and Spencer 2011.

    Dessler measured an instant feedback of +0.5W/m2 and Spencer measured a 120 day delayed feedback of -1.0W/m2.

    Dessler is measuring instant greenhouse forcing through longwave radiation and Spencer is measuring less ocean heating through cloud reflectance of shortwave radiation. The net is a negative feedback of -0.5W/m2. The problem is climate models are using +0.5W/m2. As Dessler said, if Spencer is correct (and it’s been verified by McIntyre now) then GCMs need to altered to reflect the reality that clouds are negative feedbacks not positive.

    &

    Reed Coray says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm
    I’m a little confused by the discussion of “causality” in this thread.
    ..
    It’s not clear to me exactly what the “system” is that commenters say violates or does not violate causality. In addition, it’s not clear to me which of the preceding are (a) “inputs”, (b) “outputs”, or (c) components of the “system”. It does, however, seem reasonable to me that the “climate” (however you want to define it) can affect “clouds” (e.g., a desert climate has fewer clouds than a jungle climate), which treats “climate” as a “system” input and “clouds” as a “system” output. It also seems reasonable that “clouds” can affect “climate” (as people have mentioned, when a cloud passes between the sun and a thermometor, the thermometer reading drops), which treats “clouds” as a “system” input and “climate” as a “system” output. I fear that without clear definitions of (a) the system, (b) the system inputs, (c) the system outputs and (d) the presence or lack of system feedback, any discussion of causality is fruitless.

    Shrug. What neither side, in Spencer v Bressler arguments, is addressing is the missing heat coming from the Sun in longwave thermal infrared direct to the surface of the Earth, downwelling direct from the Sun, (it’s the invisible heat we feel from the Sun, so it does bloody well reach the surface*), and how much of that is caught up in the atmosphere by water vapour and clouds on the way down direct from the Sun. Ergo, the “system” defined as premise to this argument is already physical nonsense.

    So, this argument (Spencer v Dressler), is first of all based on nonsense physical reality re the claim that ‘there is no heat from the Sun warming the Earth’, and add to that, what the heck has shortwave from the Sun, which is Light, a non-thermal energy of the Sun, got to do with the amount of thermal infrared radiated up, upwelling, from the Earth?? What???! Light does not heat the Earth’s oceans and land, Heat does. Heat from the Sun is longwave thermal infrared.

    This is all just ‘playing with numbers’ without any physical basis to the claims for each, shortwave and thermal longwave, in the scenario being argued about, by ‘correlating’ illogical properties and effects to temperatures. GIGO.

    Until the real heat energy from the Sun is included in the direct downwelling the “system” is make-believe.

    To make this perfectly clear: there is no logical connection in these arguments between the Light from the Sun’s energy and the Heat upwelling from the Earth from heated land and oceans, since the first cannot produce the second.

    If you’re going to start with a premise (the AGWScience Fiction energy budget KT97), which overturns traditional science, then bloody well prove that Light from the Sun converts land and oceans to heat and Heat direct from the Sun has nothing to do with it.

    * Traditional Science hasn’t been falsified by AGWScience Fiction claims that Light is Heat and that thermal longwave radiation doesn’t reach us from the Sun, which is the premise of these Spencer/Bressler arguments:

    http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html

    The invisible longwave radiation is the thermal infrared Heat energy from the Sun we feel directly on the surface of the Earth. We cannot feel shortwave energies, UV/Visible/Shortwave IR, they are not thermal, they are not hot. It’s the hot energy of the Sun which creates them, not the other way around. They, Light, Visible, are not the invisible Heat energy from the Sun to us on Earth.

    http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sun.html#sunenergymass 30 How Long for the Sun’s Heat to Reach Earth?

    Q. How long does it take heat created on the Sun’s surface to reach Earth? Is it the same as the speed of light?

    A. Heat is transmitted through conduction, convection, and radiation. The heat that reaches us from the Sun is infrared radiation, which travels at the speed of light. So, it takes about 8 minutes for it to reach Earth from the Sun.
    Dr. Louis Barbier

    & from the beginnings of knowledge about this:

    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/056/mwr-056-08-0322.pdf

    MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW AUGUST, 1928
    FURTHER STUDIES IN TERRESTRIAL RADIATION ‘
    By G. C. SIMPSON, C. B. F. H. S.,F. R. Met. Soc.

    The new results affect previous work materially. Emden
    found that the stratosphere sends no radiation downwards,
    and of course the same result came out of my
    previous work. The new investigation shows that the
    stratosphere sends on the average a downward flux of
    longwave radiation of more than .120 cal./cm.2/min., which
    is more than 43 per cent of the effective solar radiation.
    This agrees with the observations made by Angstrom on
    mountain peaks and in balloons, which revealed a downward
    radiation of between .13 and .16 cal./cm.2/min.
    at helghts between 4,000 and 5,000 metres, where, according
    to Emden, there should have been less than .05
    cal./cm.2/min.

    Until traditional physics re Heat and Light energies from the Sun is falsified, all these arguments are based solely on bullfiction.

    You can’t have thermal infrared only in upwelling from Earth warming the atmosphere while excluding it in the downwelling direct from the Sun.

    You can’t have any relationship to Light energies from the Sun heating the Earth’s oceans and land to produce the amount of thermal infrared upwelling claimed, until you can prove that Light energies actually do this. The Sun is not a laser.

    A. Heat is transmitted through conduction, convection, and radiation. The heat that reaches us from the Sun is infrared radiation, which travels at the speed of light. So, it takes about 8 minutes for it to reach Earth from the Sun.
    Dr. Louis Barbier

  349. These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade

    You can go further than that.

    Nothing caused significant climate change over the last decade. There hasn’t been any significant climate change over the last decade. The trend is as flat as a pancake.

  350. LevelGaze says:
    September 7, 2011 at 12:32 am
    Not entirely on-topic, but still to do with clouds.
    Recently during a long intercontinental flight I was gazing in contemplation down on a pretty vast cloudbank, all the way to horizons, quite high I suppose, but I had no way of estimating the height. It was brilliant white, all those reflected photons. Then it seemed to me that the reflecting surface was strikingly FRACTAL.
    Is it my imagination, or has anyone else noticed this? There are many meteorologists who read this site. Has this been noticed before and, if so, is there an explanation?

    Yes it has been noticed and commented on.
    Google: Fractal Clouds meteorology

  351. The problem with cloud reflection is it doesn’t show up in radiative imbalance immediately over the ocean. The tropical oceans store heat in the summer from the sun and release it in the winter when air is dryer and evaporation rate is higher. Evaporation is the primary way the ocean releases absorbed solar energy. So the radiative imbalance at TOA shows up months later which is exactly what Spencer found in regression analysis. The immediate imbalance from a cloud is “greenhouse” trapping which Dessler 2010 quantified as a 0.5W/m2 additional surface forcing. Regression analysis in Spencer 2011 found a negative feedback of twice the magnitude 4 months later which is, not unexpectedly for anyone who understands the tropical ocean heat budget, the difference between the end of summer and the beginning of winter.

    This is a big black eye for the climate boffins. They’ve been using just the immediate positive radiative feedback from greenhouse forcing in GCMs from a cloud and missed the much larger negative feedback that occurs months later. Dessler was quite right this means that global circulation models need a serious overhaul. It might even make them accurate enough to be useful but the usefulness is going to be in predicting that global warming from anthropogenic GHGs is no great concern. In a world where science is honest and not biased by political and ideological agendas this is a good thing. Science moves forward as it should. But in a world where huge vested political, ideological, and financial interests depend on a certain result which then proves to be wrong it’s not a good thing. What the climate boffins have done by advertising their science as “settled” when they knew it wasn’t is undermine public confidence in all science. The climate boffins are actually the anti-science brigade, not us skeptics who knew all along the science was tentative and nowhere near ready to be used for massive policy decisions. We are actually the heroes and protectors of science but still weren’t able to protect public confidence in science against the destructive anti-science activities from the bandwagon consensus bullshit pseudo-science foisted on the public by Trenberth, Hansen, Jones, Mann, and the rest of the usual suspects.

  352. TimTheToolMan says: September 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    “The only way the Dessler paper could possibly have produced his paper in that time is if it was largely pre-written.”

    I think it was. I think he had written a response to Lindzen & Choi, which required fairly minor extra work to cover S&B.

  353. I run a childcare at my farm, and occasionally the children get involved in debates. One thing I have learned is that I cannot learn what the debate is about by observing the sticks flying to and fro.

    The three postings involving the reaction to Spencer’s paper have resulted in an amazing 1136 comments, as of around 6:30 EST on Wednesday. I have somehow managed to read most of them, though my wife is starting to roll her eyes and mention chores I am neglecting.

    What I am hungry for, at this point, is an overview. An overview regarding the politics of peer review might be interesting, however most interesting of all would be to get back to what this is all about: Clouds.

    (I always knew clouds were important, which is why I studied them so much during
    Algebra classes.)

    Winston Churchill used to demand various departments send him overviews of certain important topics. He didn’t want a lot of equations he couldn’t understand, and furthermore insisted the reports be no longer than a single page.

    I am no Winston Churchill, and lack the power to demand anything, but it sure would be nice to get a succinct summery of both Dressler’s ideas and Spencer’s ideas, and how they conflict.

    Can anyone recommend a paper, article, (or even one of 1136 comments I may have overlooked,) that does a good job of showing both sides of this issue?

  354. evanmjones quotes: (September 7, 2011 at 3:16 am) “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade…”
         Then adds: “You can go further than that. … Nothing caused significant climate change over the last decade. There hasn’t been any significant climate change over the last decade. The trend is as flat as a pancake.”

    Very, very nice, Evan.

  355. davidmhoffer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    “I think your example is too simple. Anyone from a high latitude climate can tell you from direct experience that cloud cover in the dead of winter has a pronounced warming effect, and that cloud cover at the height of summer has a pronounced cooling effect. It isn’t a matter of total cloud cover alone, it is also a matter of distribution over the seasons.”

    Doesn’t have to be a high latitude. I observe this in south central Texas in the winter with the formation of hoarfrost. A really well insulated flat roof that I look over on from higher deck (can actually step out onto the flat roof) gets covered with frost when the temperature never dropped below about 35F. I can actually see the differences in the underlying roof structure when that happens including lines in the frost where roof beams are located, where side vents are located, and where heat sources in the daylight basement below are located. It’s strange and fascinating to look at in the morning having coffee on the deck.

    Anyhow it takes a very clear, dry night for the hoarfrost to show up. Normal frost from subfreezing temperature happens a lot but hoarfrost is a bit rare because it takes a special set of circumstances of low temperature several degrees above freezing and exceptionally clear dry atmosphere. The exceptionally clear dry atmosphere lets radiative cooling of the roof reach a maximum that drops it below the air temperature immediately above it. It’s a white mineral covered flat roof with an unobstructed view of the sky above. Hoarfrost forms on that roof when there is no frost anywhere else in sight which is what makes it so interesting to observe and ponder what makes frost form there and nowhere else at times.

  356. @Ian W
    Thanks for that. Much of that information is behind paywalls (Elservier!!). The rest seems to be using fractals in computer modeling to whizz up some approximation of actual (or imagined) cloud structures. Doesn’t entirely address my contemplations. It seems to me, that no matter the mass structure of these clouds, the reflective upper surface look fractal on a macro scale (ok fractal implies micro also).
    Can’t get it out of my mind.

  357. “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change [..] clouds can indeed cause significant warming” – Professor Andrew Dessler

    To which I believe the appropriate response is – “What are you blithering about, you snivelling idiot ?! What would surface temperatures be like after a year of 100% cloud cover? I bet you could ice skate from Sydney to LA!” (moderators – snip if you must, but Dessler’s dross is beyond belief!)

    The very existence of clouds is evidence of the greatest surface cooling force on earth in operation. The water cycle is a vast vapour / condensate heat pump moving heat from the surface of the planet to the upper troposphere where it radiates to space. Radiative cooling is not the major cooling process in the troposphere, therefore if you see more clouds, you see more cooling.
    Then you can add increased albedo radiative cooling (reflection of incoming short wave radiation) to this phase change cooling. Any “warming” or reduced rate of cooling due to cloud cover can be safely dismissed as irrelevant. Backscattering of long wave infra-red radiation cannot slow the cooling of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool (wavelength too long). That would be about 71% of Earth’s surface (the oceans) immune to backscattered LWIR.
    Give it a rest Dessler, CLOUDS COOL!

  358. gnomish says:
    September 7, 2011 at 12:19 am

    … – even as ‘rats’ (like JC) leave the ship.

    As far as I can tell, JC is not a ‘rat’.

  359. Manfred says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    “Attempts over the last few years to stage a debate in Texas about the science of climate change have required flying a skeptic in from out of state.
    In one case, they had to import one from Canada.”

    “That sounds like a very rare statistic. How would a student asking a sceptical question be treated at A&M ?”

    Outside the atmospheric physics dept. I’d imagine it would be met with cheers. TAMU has one of the most conservative student bodies and faculty in Texas. It’s where all the rednecks go to get a degree. Governor Perry is a TAMU graduate, for instance, and he’s on record saying castrophic anthropogenic climate change is nothing but political bullshit.

    I highly encourage everyone to watch tonight’s GOP primary debate. The question of climate change is going to come up and Perry is going to tell it like it is when he answers it. I’m curious about how Romney will respond.

  360. George E. Smith says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    “If the average global cloud cover should increase to 62% for the next 30, 60, 90 years or so, will the earth get warmer, or cooler, as a result of that change ?? What if the average cloud cover should drop to 60% for the next 30, 60, 90 years or so; will the earth get warmer or cooler as a result ??”

    I asked Leif Svalsgaard that exact same question in McIntyre’s thread on this topic at climateaudit.com

    He seems to believe that GCR modulation of cloud formation can’t have any significant climate effects so I asked him what would happen if there was a very slight increase or decrease in earth’s average albedo that persisted for 50 years. The modern solar maximum lasted for approximately 50 years and remained, during all that time, at its highest recorded level ever. Sunspots have only been counted for the past 400 years but still, the most recent 50 years have seen the most active sun during all that time.

  361. Agree w/Roger Carr: Evan Jones is exactly right. We have fortunately been in a “Goldilocks” climate – not too cold, not too hot, but ju-u-ust right.

    All the wild-eyed, red faced, spittle-flecked emanations from the alarmist crowd have absolutely zero basis in reality. We are extremely fortunate to be living in such a benign climate, which will not last forever. Interglacials are temporary, and we are at the tail end of the current one.

    The best thing we can do is to prepare for a much colder planet. And if the planet warms by a benficial degree or two, it’s all good. The current alarmism is being promoted for two reasons: to extract much more taxes from the already overtaxed citizens, and to gain political control based on a complete lie. Science has nothing to do with it.

  362. right- perspective!
    it was never about science.
    it was about looting – taxes and 40 trillion $ in derivatives.

  363. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    William says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    The late 20th century warming correlates with very low overall GCR

    Leif: Not at all.

    Absolutely does correlate. You’re entitled to you own opinion, Leif, but not to your own facts.

    The fact is the sun in the past 50 years has been more active than anytime in past 400 years. It’s called the modern maximum. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact.

    The fact is the climate has been in a warming trend during that time. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact either.

    You are entitled to somehow demonstrate the two things are not interlinked. Have at it.

  364. Galileo Galileo knew all about this sort of treatment.

    He won in the end – “it moves”.

    I think the end for Trendberth & Co will be much much quicker. I cannot see AR5 lasting for more than the period between when they announce it release the conclusions and when they release the complete document. In fact I am having great difficulty imagining what they will have to say which will further their overt political aims and in any way match the science. A “crowd-sourced” response will surely laugh them out of court.

  365. BA says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    “Other scientists are writing about what they see in the paper. Dessler will not have the last word any more than Spencer did, but watch and see … his analysis will prove much more robust in the harsh light of day.”

    Hardly. Dessler f*cked up by failing to employ proper regression analysis. That’s a problem with climate boffins in general. They need to employ some real statisticians before coming to conclusions about data sets. Steve McIntrye, the statistician who famously debunked the hockey stick after years of persistent chasing after of the datasets behind it, has already done the same to Dessler. See climateaudit.com and McIntyre’s renewed his call that statisticians be involved in climate data analysis *before* publishing not after the fact.

    Spencer pointed out a flaw in cloud feedback assumptions used by climate boffins. Get used to it.

  366. Dave Springer :
    September 7, 2011 at 4:25 am

    and George E. Smith :
    September 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Info on albedo.

    The effect of albedo on the energy budget has been estimated in a 2006 Palle et al publication, fig 2.

    Fig. 2. Globally averaged reconstruction (black)
    of albedo anomalies from ISCCP cloud amount,
    optical thickness, and surface reflectance
    (following Pallé et al., 2004).The observed
    Earthshine albedo anomalies are in blue.All
    observations agree with the reconstruction to
    within the 1 σ uncertainties, except for the year
    with sparse ES data, 2003.The shaded region
    1999 through mid-2001 was used (as in Pallé
    et al., 2004) to calibrate the reconstruction and
    is the reference against which anomalies are
    defined.The vertical red bar indicates the estimated
    size of the forcing by greenhouse gasses
    since 1850.

    bold mine. The red bar corresponds to 2% change in albedo.

    So it is estimated that a 2% change in albedo can compensate for all the warming seen since the industrial revolution, except we do not have data from those times since satellites are a recent invention.

    There exists a later preprint, 2008, but does not have the nice red bar.

    For some reason I have not found anything more recent.

  367. I refer to the comment “If anyone needs a clear, concise, and irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is biased for the consensus and against skeptics…”.

    Shouldn’t that be “… irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is corrupt”?

  368. Steve McIntyre has posted up some of the data from Spencer and Braswell 2011 and Dessler 2010 (not Dessler 2011).

    I’ve plotted the Cloud Forcing numbers from CERES versus Temperature (not in lag fashion but just the Forcing versus Temperature which I think is easier to understand).

    This shows a Negative Cloud Feedback this time (around -1.0 W/m2/K).

    (I’m not sure I’m using Dessler’s data properly here since the data sources are not clear so perhaps just the Spencer chart is the best one).

  369. Nick Stokes writes “I think it was. I think he had written a response to Lindzen & Choi, which required fairly minor extra work to cover S&B.”

    Indeed. Too minor by far.

  370. kap55 says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Actually, I believe the record time from submission to acceptance is six days, which is the length of time it took Computational Statistics and Data Analysis to “review” Said, Wegman, et.al.(2008) — a paper that (a) purported to refute Mann Bradley & Hughes 1998; (b) has been discovered to be full of plagiarism; and (c) has now been withdrawn by CSDA.

    GRL looks positively stately by comparison.

    Plagiarism is a proprietary issue… It is not an error issue! (whether Wegman actually is guilty or not). It is a science community academic credit issue.

    How does plagiarism equate with error in facts? Critical thinking is a useful tool. Get some! GK

  371. Anthony Watts, “If anyone needs a clear, concise, and irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is biased for the consensus and against skeptics, this is it.”

    But Mr. Dessler was a skeptic, a skeptic of several recent climate papers. Perhaps it would behoove you to be a skeptic as well instead of accepting these papers without thought.

  372. (Updated)

    Steve McIntyre has posted up some of the data from Spencer and Braswell 2011 and Dessler 2010.

    Spencer’s data shows a small negative cloud feedback from the CERES satellite (from Feb 2000 to June 2010). As expected, assuming that cloudiness increases as temperature increases (which is what should happen according to the Classius Clayperion relation, there is a negative SW trend and a positive LW trend as temperatures go up but a net negative overall.

    About -0.21 W/m2/K versus global warming theory for clouds of about +1.0 W/m2/K.

    The Dessler 2010 data is only comparable at a Reanalysis model level (ERA) versus just the cloud values from CERES.

  373. With every team publication, especially something as gratuitously political as this, my respect for science, scientists and the scientific method shrinks a tiny bit. I’m now not only a sceptic, but also a cynic. What a result!

  374. Dave Springer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    William says:
    September 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    The late 20th century warming correlates with very low overall GCR

    Leif: Not at all.

    Absolutely does correlate. You’re entitled to you own opinion, Leif, but not to your own facts.

    The fact is the sun in the past 50 years has been more active than anytime in past 400 years. It’s called the modern maximum. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact.

    The fact is the climate has been in a warming trend during that time. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact either.

    You are entitled to somehow demonstrate the two things are not interlinked. Have at it.

    Lol. Keeping up with Leif’s spin is a full time job.
    Keeps us on our toes I suppose. :)

  375. Why do I get the premonition that the models that come closest to matching the observational data in S&B11 when configured with reasonable functions for reflectivity and lag are going to show a climate that is not sensitive to CO2 forcing; and additionally the inclusion of models that dont fit the S&B11 observations will have biased the IPCC like YAD061?

  376. Dave Springer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Absolutely does correlate. You’re entitled to you own opinion, Leif, but not to your own facts.

    The fact is the sun in the past 50 years has been more active than anytime in past 400 years. It’s called the modern maximum. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact.

    The fact is the climate has been in a warming trend during that time. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact either.

    You are entitled to somehow demonstrate the two things are not interlinked. Have at it.

    Not to defend Leif, but what you are doing here is the same thing the warmists do.
    1) Fact: Earth is warming
    2) Fact: CO2 Concentration is increasing
    3) Prove to me they’re not inter–related.

    You are shifting the burden of proof away from where it should reside. You are taking the first step there into creating an alternate dogma which says that only the sun can alter the climate. Admittedly that’s not as strange a concept at least, but it’s still a dogma. The burden of proof resides with those who make an assertion, regardless of what circumstantial evidence exists. It must always reside there.

  377. Mervyn Sullivan says:
    September 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

    I refer to the comment “If anyone needs a clear, concise, and irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is biased for the consensus and against skeptics…”.

    Shouldn’t that be “… irrefutable example of how peer review in climate science is corrupt”?

    So, tell again me why M. Mann needs an attorney to protect his “6?” Could it be the corruption is deeply and significantly entrenched? The entire process has become criminal. I imagine the greatest fraud in modern time money train could be in jeopardy

  378. Does anyone think there would be an interest now in a tool to estimate historic cloud cover globally? Last time I asked (about 4 years ago) there were no dollars left in the pot.

  379. Phil Jones famously said:

    Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” – Phil Jones 8/7/2004

  380. tallbloke says:
    September 7, 2011 at 7:21 am
    The fact is the sun in the past 50 years has been more active than anytime in past 400 years. It’s called the modern maximum. You aren’t entitled to deny that fact.
    As Mark Twain said “it is not what you know that get you into trouble, it is what you know that just ain’t so”.
    Solar activity in parts of the 18th century was higher than in the past 50 years. The ‘Modern Grand Maximum” is mostly caused by the introduction of the weighted sunspot count in the middle of the 20th century [which by itself artificially increases the sunspot number by 20%].

  381. Dressler11 may have shown, instead, that there is no relationship between surface temperature and cloud forcing (at least for the period in question and for the data sets analyzed). That result should flow from the r2 reported by Steve McIntyre for the correlation between these two variables that is virtually zero: 0.01045 (i.e. only about 1% of the cloud forcing can be explained by surface temperature). AR4 states in Section 8.6.2.3:

    in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback (Figure 8.14) but strongly disagree on its magnitude.

    So, Dressler11 contradicts the positive cloud feedback predicted by the models, on the grounds that it is necessary to establish that there is an actual relationship (i.e. an r2 larger than 0.5), before one should be able to claim scientifically what the sign and magnitude of the relationship is. It would follow then that the proposed cloud forcing would be an independent variable (i.e. independent from CO2*). That would change CAGW theory significantly.

    *CAGW theory says that surface temperature is a variable dependent on CO2, so, if cloud forcing is independent from surface temperature, it would then also be independent from CO2.

  382. Myrrh says:
    September 7, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Thanks for your comment. Please stay with us here at WUWT. I have been a compulsive ‘lurker’ here as well as several other sources of info re: climate issues. I have learned a lot. I have also gotten lost in some of the various arguments presented. I believe that this was possibly a result of my keeping an open mind and ultimately polluting it to some degree (confusion) with too much sorting of info (mental overload?).

    The issues that you put forth in the above post correlates with my basic understanding (light and infrared) learned years ago. Please help keep me on track with the basic physics so as I can maintain my confidence in an objective evaluation of the current issues. I will admit that I am very skeptical with regards to sources that I accept with great confidence, but you have caught my attention. With regards to any discussion that you may offer, I will “trust but verify”. I appologize somewhat with that statement, but I ‘gotta be sure’.

    Over the past couple of years I have become quite skeptical of the arguments that have been put forth by the CAGW crowd and the lack of transparency and obvious gatekeeping tactics they have employed. Toss in the political spectrum and I am very alarmed.

    Many arguments seem to focus on fine details, and necessarily so. But I, while able to follow those, am trying to view issues from a basis of common sense and physics. At this point, should you have ‘missed the boat’ with regards to the above post, I have certainly have done so too.

    Regards,

  383. Over at icecap.us we can read that “Giant solar eruptions can cause the cosmic ray intensity on earth to dive suddenly over a few days. In the days following an eruption, cloud cover can fall by about 4 per cent. And the amount of liquid water in cloud droplets is reduced by almost 7 per cent”. ( http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog ) Add the negative net effect of cloud coverage on local temperature, and it seems that any discussion of CO2 is trivial by comparison.

    The Dressler paper is more non-science babble.

    Dressler: “I know that climate change does not cause any specific weather event. But I also know that humans have warmed the climate over the past century, and that this warming has almost certainly made the heat wave and drought more extreme than it would otherwise have been.” He was referring to the recent heat in Texas.

    Climate experts have not yet demonstrated their form of science can ably predict the weather let alone any climate change. Yet, we sea engineers, mathematicians, and physicist parking satellites on asteroids. It is a simple matter of trust.

  384. Being a student is great: I just remembered that I can download paywalled papers from a university computer. So I now have a copy of the paper, and I’ll be sure to give it a read later.

  385. I’ve been trying to follow this with my lay-person’s understanding of the climate. I read the full paper and even though I don’t really understand it, something just doesn’t seem right.

    Dessler says that clouds don’t change the climate. Yet clouds reflect the sun. So to my understanding if the cloud amount changes, so to will solar radiation that heats the surface. If cloud amounts increase, then less solar gets in resulting in less surface heating, and if cloud amounts decrease, then more solar gets in resulting in more surface heating. This sounds right to me.

    Yet Dessler says that in the long term, increased cloud amounts will result in warming? This just doesn’t add up????

    Also, if clouds reflect more solar than heat they trap, doesn’t that mean they cause a net negative feedback? And vice-versa if they reflect less solar than heat they trap, they become a positive feedback? Trying to put this together logically, Dessler just doesn’t seem to add up to me. Though I could be completely wrong, so hopefully someone can explain.

  386. Would it be completely invalid to do the scatter plots with a logarithmic scale on the Y axis? Might make them easier to read in regard to outlier data points. As Willis has been trying to suggest recently, the climate system might actually be self-regulating, so a log scale might be more appropriate anyway.

  387. Seems to me we’ve gone from a single run-away AGW train, to a bona-fide Warmist vs. Cloudist soap-box derby — with significant Cloudist handicaps, of course.

    Pass the popcorn.

  388. Bill Illis says @ September 7, 2011 at 7:01 am

    “The Dessler 2010 data is only comparable at a Reanalysis model level (ERA) versus just the cloud values from CERES.”

    Perhaps the reanalysis procedure contains a hidden bias towards agreeing with the models? Are GCMs used in the reanalysis?

  389. davidmhoffer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    “cloud cover in the dead of winter has a pronounced warming effect, and .. cloud cover at the height of summer has a pronounced cooling effect. It isn’t a matter of total cloud cover alone, it is also a matter of distribution over the seasons” …
    … to say nothing about the distribution between day and night.

    Which reminds me, the GCMs do distinguish between day and night effects; don’t they?

  390. What is the significance of Dessler’s use of “pre-industrial control runs of 13 fully coupled climate models” versus SB11′s use of “de-trended 20th century runs”?

    Wouldn’t the runs have to cover the same time period as the observed TOA fluxes? What does he mean by “pre-industrial”?

  391. highflight56433 says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:41 am
    Over at icecap.us we can read that “Giant solar eruptions can cause the cosmic ray intensity on earth to dive suddenly over a few days. In the days following an eruption, cloud cover can fall by about 4 per cent. [...] The Dressler paper is more non-science babble.
    Yes, there in ‘non-science babble’ on both sides of the argument.

  392. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:33 am
    The Dressler paper is more non-science babble.
    Yes, there in ‘non-science babble’ on both sides of the argument.

    I see it as turf protecting…competing for attention. :)

    …and who we trust.

  393. “About Research at Texas A&M University:”

    “As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $630 million, which ranks third nationally for universities without a medical school, and underwrites approximately 3,500 sponsored projects. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.”

    hmmm….. follow the money. couldn’t help commenting, it just stood out to me.

  394. “Giant solar eruptions can cause the cosmic ray intensity on earth to dive suddenly over a few days. In the days following an eruption, cloud cover can fall by about 4 per cent. And the amount of liquid water in cloud droplets is reduced by almost 7 per cent”.

    Or maybe …

    “The late 20th century warming correlates with very low overall GCR and with increased solar wind bursts that remove cloud forming ions via the mechanism electroscavenging. There is an observed reduction in planetary cloud cover during the warming period.”

    Sounds like two separate mechanisms. Leif may not like the first, but what about the second?

    I bring this up because we did have a couple of big flares earlier this summer (or late spring) and this summer has been warmer than most skeptics expected following a Lan Niña. Are these related?

  395. @#
    #
    George E. Smith says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    “What if the average cloud cover should drop to 60% for the next 30, 60, 90 years or so; will the earth get warmer or cooler as a result ??”

    From this:

    it looks like low level cloud is less when it is warmer, and you can see the increased low level cloud during the mid 1980`s and the early 1990`s temperature drops. Note how the mid level clouds change in the opposite direction to low level clouds seasonally, and tend to as a trend too.

  396. Richard M says:
    September 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    Sounds like two separate mechanisms. Leif may not like the first, but what about the second?
    Same answer as to tallbloke:
    tallbloke says:
    September 7, 2011 at 7:21 am
    The fact is the sun in the past 50 years has been more active than anytime in past 400 years.

    Fact: “Recent 10Be values are low; however, they do not indicate unusually high recent solar activity compared to the last 600 years.”

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL038004-Berggren.pdf

  397. Thanks. That makes sense. I had not allowed for the effect of the passage of time with hightened cloud cover. What a great site this is. Socratic dialogue on an epic scale. I learn new stuff all the time here.

  398. eyesonu says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:36 am
    Myrrh says:
    September 7, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Thanks for your comment. Please stay with us here at WUWT. I have been a compulsive ‘lurker’ here as well as several other sources of info re: climate issues. I have learned a lot. I have also gotten lost in some of the various arguments presented. I believe that this was possibly a result of my keeping an open mind and ultimately polluting it to some degree (confusion) with too much sorting of info (mental overload?).

    Certainly know that feeling.., but you have to begin with an open mind on exploring arguments about which you don’t know anything or anything much, all the yo-yoing from one to the other because they both sound plausible. What came as a shock was the realisation that both pro and antis had taken stuff for granted which turned out to be complete fiction, and that this fiction had somehow been injected into the physics, and into the educational system as a whole, so that the arguments between the pro and antis ended up being premised on the same fiction, as here. I feel as if I’ve stepped into some alternative reality and get both sides taking umbrage with me..

    The issues that you put forth in the above post correlates with my basic understanding (light and infrared) learned years ago. Please help keep me on track with the basic physics so as I can maintain my confidence in an objective evaluation of the current issues. I will admit that I am very skeptical with regards to sources that I accept with great confidence, but you have caught my attention. With regards to any discussion that you may offer, I will “trust but verify”. I appologize somewhat with that statement, but I ‘gotta be sure’.

    It was because such basic traditional physics had been distorted that gave me an anchor in all this. I can’t exactly recall, but I think it was a thread from Willis on missing heat that made me look at it first. As I’d learned when I began questioning the claims about Carbon Dioxide where the disinformation about its properties was widespread, people take the disinformation for granted much as we both do re infrared and visible.. I checked and checked and checked and.., to make sure my memory wasn’t playing me false, and learned an awful lot about CO2 I didn’t know before. That’s when the extent of manipulation became manifest, so it was a bit easier in some ways and a bit more more difficult in others to work out what was happening re the infrared and visible, because I now had the ‘re-education’ meme in play. Some scientists traditionally educated were reading Trenberth as if he was including thermal infrared at the surface and those not traditionally educated were totally affronted to be told that what they thought was real physics, that Light was Heat, was instead a recently introduced fiction. And I do now think these fictions were deliberately introduced, they all have the same ‘touch’ to them; slight deviations from norm, exchanging properties, tweaking of processes, laws taken out of context and a ready stream of ‘proofs’ which are cleverly illogical, experiments half done and so on. It has to be from ‘someone’ who knows traditional physics really well. And that’s just the few areas I’ve explored. The core basics so changed that a totally impossible world is described by them.

    Over the past couple of years I have become quite skeptical of the arguments that have been put forth by the CAGW crowd and the lack of transparency and obvious gatekeeping tactics they have employed. Toss in the political spectrum and I am very alarmed.

    Yes, this is what is so striking about it all. I was disillusioned early on in investigated it when the scientist I was in discussion about it, who was informing me about AGW because I wanted to know the arguments, refused to look at contradictions I’d found saying he didn’t need to, and, just dismissed the many examples coming to light about the bad practices, the hockey stick and pal influence and the history, when I found that the IPCC report in the early nineties had been changed by having the paragraph taken out which said AGW wasn’t realistic. The belief that AGW is based on real physics is so ingrained in those whose work involves it, he’s a teacher of physics, that I imagine it would be quite shattering even to admit the possibility that what he is teaching could be fiction – it’s easier I think for those like us on the sidelines, we can be a bit more objective. The political aspect could be make or break if he, and others like him, ever got to seriously think about the possibility that it could be fiction. I hope it would be make, because that it’s a fiction is something real, and reality in the end is grounding.

    Many arguments seem to focus on fine details, and necessarily so. But I, while able to follow those, am trying to view issues from a basis of common sense and physics. At this point, should you have ‘missed the boat’ with regards to the above post, I have certainly have done so too.

    Regards,

    Well, I’m sure we’re on the boat, no need to fear rising sea levels.. :) Thank you, I was beginning to think that no-one understood what I was saying here, and yes, I have been thinking of leaving this, the enormity of the illusion can be so disheartening.

  399. Dave Springer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 4:16 am
    Manfred says:
    September 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    “Attempts over the last few years to stage a debate in Texas about the science of climate change have required flying a skeptic in from out of state.In one case, they had to import one from Canada.”

    Tihs is Texas ! But sounds like a statistic from North Korea.

    There are hundreds of peer reviewed papers opposing IPCC “wisdom”.

    Anyone can follow the Hockey Stick discussion in Monfort’s book or at McIntyre’s climateaudit.org and everybody with a basic science education should be able to conclude that McIntyre is right and the Hockey Team is wrong. The errors are often enough just basic and embarrasing.

    Everybody should be able to conclude that the investigations failed and that Gary North from Texas A&M shares significant responsibility. But discussion at Texas A&M is dead. What is going on ?

  400. @Myrrh says:
    September 7, 2011 at 3:08 am

    “Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared

  401. Arstechnica has a seemly bizarre headline to highlight the Dessler paper that supposedly debunks the “climate contrarian” paper (or something like that).
    Simplified model in recent climate paper doesn’t even conserve energy

    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/09/simplified-model-in-recent-climate-paper-doesnt-even-conserve-energy.ars

    “We’ve discussed how a recent paper by a prominent climate contrarian had set off an xaggerated response in some corners of the popular press that ultimately contributed to the resignation of the editor of the journal that published it. But the paper remained part of the scientific literature, which, as we commented at the time, “Should induce his critics to get more thorough criticisms formally published.” Apparently one was already in the works, and it was released over the weekend by Geophysical Research Letters. The paper focuses on the simplified model used in an attempt to indicate that clouds could force the climate, and shows that the model may not even be able to reproduce the conservation of energy.”

    And just a reminder that WUWT covered an Arstechnica article in July:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/24/greenpeace-and-the-ipcc-the-edenhofer-excuse/

  402. Ulric Lyons says:
    September 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    @Myrrh says:
    September 7, 2011 at 3:08 am

    “Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared

    Thank you, I know that page. I’ve read it and thought about it.

    The AGWScience Fiction claim is that shortwave UV/Visible/Nr Ir convert to heat the land and oceans of the Earth (which they can’t), and that longwave, thermal IR doesn’t even reach the Earth’s surface and plays no part in heating the Earth, and only appears in the ‘energy budget’ as an effect from the Earth being heated by these shortwaves; the ‘shortwave in, longwave out’ meme. The arguments here take this as if it is real physics. It isn’t, it’s junk.

    This has been introduced into the education system and now traditional teaching, and therefore real physical world understanding of the difference between Light and Heat energies from the Sun, has all but disappeared. It has certainly disappeared among those arguing here, they can’t tell the differnce, and they can’t tell that they are basing their arguments on a fiction.

    Light does not convert land and oceans of Earth to heat (KT97 etc), these are not thermal energies. Those arguing here are excluding the real source of heating the land and oceans, thermal infrared which is the actual, real, heat from the Sun which we feel as heat from the Sun; the real downwelling thermal infrared from the Sun, (not this ‘backradiation’ ‘downwelling’). It is physically absurd to say that shortwave, non-thermal energies are heating the Earth and the only thermal energy in the ‘budget’ is that ‘upwelling’ from the Earth produced by this fictional process where Light creates Heat.

    But really, besides excluding the direct thermal infrared from the Sun to the Earth from these calculations and swapping the properties of heat and light energies, the main point I’m making here is that they’re arguing about an imaginary world, not this one. Trying to put real world figures into their imaginary world scenarios is just, ludicrous.

  403. P.S. – in case missed re clouds – water is a great absorber of thermal infrared energy from the Sun, the clouds will absorbing it from the top down, even while Light is being reflected back from them. And, since Light won’t heat them anyway, what difference does it make if this is reflected back or not?

  404. Manfred, You write that there are hundreds of peer reviewed papers opposing IPCC “wisdom”. Where would be a good place to find these articles?

    It would be helpful if someone published an anthology of peer-reviewed articles from Nature, Science, EOS, or other journals with high standards (of scholarship, scientific rigor, intellectual integrity) that oppose IPCC wisdom. This should be easy enough to do.

    Provided, of course, that these articles exist.

  405. Myrrh says:
    September 8, 2011 at 1:26 am
    The AGWScience Fiction claim is that shortwave UV/Visible/Nr Ir convert to heat the land and oceans of the Earth
    If a body absorbs photons of any wavelength whatsoever, that body is heated as the energy of the photons is transferred to the body. If you believe otherwise, It is you living in an alternate universe [same universe where there is no empty space between molecules of a real gas].

  406. How many box tops do you have to send in to get a PhD? Do you have to send in more box tops to get a PhD in climatology or can you get away with a lot less? Do you have to ask the university sponsors to what not to write or is junk science good enough to squeak by? Climatology is a career killer, like a PhD in Astrology and UFOlogy? Space Aliens!! That’s the ticket! Who’s done a study on space aliens causing climate change? Dessler, pehaps?

  407. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 8, 2011 at 10:38 am
    Myrrh says:
    September 8, 2011 at 1:26 am
    The AGWScience Fiction claim is that shortwave UV/Visible/Nr Ir convert to heat the land and oceans of the Earth
    If a body absorbs photons of any wavelength whatsoever, that body is heated as the energy of the photons is transferred to the body. If you believe otherwise, It is you living in an alternate universe [same universe where there is no empty space between molecules of a real gas].

    Sigh. Why do all buy into this AGWScience Fiction meme? Photosynthesis is a chemical change, creating sugars, it does not create heat. These are electronic transitions for the shortwave, they might knock an electron, they do not have the oomph to move a molecule into resonant vibration, which does create heat. That’s what thermal infrared does. That’s how the heat, longwave, thermal infrared, heats things.

    Unbelievable. You take out the all the real heat from the Sun that actually warm up, really heats, organic matter, and then spend decades trying to work out where the missing heat is..

    Read the wiki extract on this I posted earlier, would you like me to find it for you again?

    Yeah, stay in your wide empty space ideal atmosphere where molecules of gases are zipping through at a vast rate of knots and are hard dots with no volume.., bouncing off each other and mixing thoroughly in the atmosphere because there’s no attraction..

    So how does sound travel in your empty space? Forget it, I’ve asked you before and you have no idea how ludicrous your ideal world is.

    But I will give the story again. Same PhD who introduced me to AGWScience Fiction – later I asked him how carbon dioxide could be ‘thoroughly mixed and stay up in the atmosphere accumulating for hundreds and even thousands of years’, he gave me whole AGWScience Fiction spiel about ‘ideal gases’. Like you, he couldn’t see the disjunct between what he was saying and the real world traditional physics. Remember, there’s no effort to make AGWScience Fiction internally consistant, they’ll take bits from anywhere to build up their fantasy world, so it’s a mix of ideal gas laws and Brownian motion, quite interchangeable for them. First of all he denied that carbon dioxide could separate out from the atmosphere when I said that being heavier than air it would always tend to sink displacing air unless work was being done on it, when I gave some of the numerous examples from real life, volcanic venting, brewing, he took out his denial (he had moderator status). He still insisted that carbon dioxide would diffuse in air as per ideal gas scenario without any work being done. I wanted to be really sure I understood what he was saying, so I asked, if carbon dioxide is introduced into a room where it sinks displacing air to pool on the floor and nothing is changed in the room, no work done such as window opened or fan put on, was he saying that the carbon dioxide would diffuse to mix thoroughly, because I say it would remain pooled on the floor. He confirmed that was his, and he taught this, view. He said as per ideal gas the molecules of carbon dioxide would diffuse into the air in the room without any work being done to mix thoroughly from which it could then not be unmixed without work being done, because as ideal gas it would be moving at vast speeds through empty space and would bounce of all the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen and so mix up. I’m really, really, sorry you can’t see how ludicrous that is.

    Gases have volume. They are subject to gravity, they have weight. They have weight relative to each other. That’s why methane rises and carbon dioxide sinks in air. They may well be moving at vast speeds, but they’re going no-where fast, the volume and weight of the fluid gases around constricts that movement, there’s a ton weight of it pressing down on every square foot.

    The AGWScience fiction memes are so thoroughly ingrained that other scientists not familiar with how the fluid volumes of gases really work, take them as if they’re real physics. One such AGW climate boffin got himself funded to prove that methane even if it initially rose to the ceiling in a mine, would then as per AGW Ideal Gas Fiction, would then rush around until thoroughly mixed with the air, would diffuse into the air. His experiment failed to prove his fiction, the methane he introduced stayed layered at the ceiling. The only thing he could think of to account for this was that there was some extraneous source of methane getting into his mine which was layering up in the ceiling quicker than it could diffuse out, they couldn’t find any such source. He said they searched the place carefully. You probably can’t see how ludicrous his analysis was.

    This is a very well known hazard in mining, and up until very recently a new mine was tested for this by someone covered with wet towels and carrying a candle on a long stick entering and setting fire to any methane so layered, it could be very dramatic if found. Why didn’t this guy revert back to the real world physics explanation of this, that his experiment showed that methane was lighter than air and would pool in a layer at the ceiling? Because the fiction meme is so ingrained the real reason can’t be comprehended. You’ve, generic, lost ‘the picture’ of the real world. There’s an ocean of fluid gas above us, our atmosphere, pressing down on us. It’s not empty space. Wind is volumes of this on the move.

    Same here with the heat from the Sun. You’ve taken out the real heat which comes direct to us on Earth from the Sun! Light is not the Sun’s Heat energy, Light ain’t going to keep you warm on a cold winters night. The same invisible thermal infrared heat we get from a fire is what will warm you up. What a travesty.

    You all really need to step back into reality. It’s here you’ll find the missing heat.

    And then you can bring in convection..

    And, I’ve shown how this is a well organised con, by the comparison of the NASA pages.

    I can only hope that one of you arguing ‘climate science’ will take this on board, how hard can it be to bring thermal infrared heat back in your next papers? Surely Trenberth will be delighted you’ve found it for him?

  408. Jesse Fell says:
    September 8, 2011 at 7:35 am
    Manfred, You write that there are hundreds of peer reviewed papers opposing IPCC “wisdom”. Where would be a good place to find these articles?
    Provided, of course, that these articles exist.
    ———–

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/15/reference-450-skeptical-peer-reviewed-papers/

    http://www.thegwpf.org/science-news/2816-900-peer-reviewed-papers-supporting-skepticism-of-qman-madeq-global-warming-agw-alarm.html

    and numerous papers rejected by climategate affiliated reviewers uncounted.

  409. Myrrh says:
    September 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm
    Sigh. Why do all buy into this meme?

    Hey Myrrh, you bought any of that window film which blocks 95% of IR and 30% of visible but still transmits 44% of the solar energy yet?

  410. Uh, pointing out the obvious I guess, Leif, but Herschel used bulbs in his experiment, which have a fixed volume. It only matters if you are looking at temperature instead of energy, but temperature is sort of the general concern…

    Mark

  411. Shrug, well, at least Herschel found it, which is more than you’ve managed to do.

    Now show me a modern up to date reading of the temperatures of the visible range and the invisible.

    And what on earth are you babbling about tallbloke? In the real world there are industries involved in actually making and selling and profitting by, because they work, screenings on windows to keep out heat, thermal infrared. In your fantasy world, thermal infrared doesn’t make it through your ‘greenhouse glass’ atmosphere..

    ..regardless that it’s the actual HEAT energy on the move we feel from the Sun.., so we know it does.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    I can only suggest that you spend some time at looking around the market place at lights, especially those for plant growing, which also knowing that water is a great absorber of thermal energy makes lights that will give the blues and reds necessary for growth and chemical uses of their energies and take out the thermal infrared by cooling it off with water SO THEY DON’T BOIL. Look at the bulbs produced to give maximum light and minimal heat, LED’s. As long as you believe the AGWScience Fiction meme that Light is Heat, that you continue to reject they have deliberately swapped the properties, you won’t make any sense of the industries around you anymore than you’re making sense of the climate ‘energy’ budget.

    Forget it, I’ve given you enough examples. If you can’t grasp scale of energies and so the difference between electronic transitions on electron scale and resonant vibration on molecular then all ‘absorption’ will continue to be the same for you, and in general that different properties have different characteristics, it’s a bit pointless to argue about it. I’m about to switch off the light in my study, the non-thermal visible which does not feel hot because it does not heat me, will stop, the invisible thermal infrared radiated heat will keep going for a while until the bulb cools down, I’ll still be able to feel it.

    In the real world. Come on, I’ve given you industry uses viable because they know the difference, they even build saunas heating the person with thermal infrared because the body absorbs it, high water content, give me proof that blue visible electromagnetic energy as from the Sun can heat water. You can’t, you won’t find it anywhere because it can’t. So you don’t get the difference between reflective and absorptive.

    Short wave electromagnetic from the Sun creating heat, Light heating the Earth, turning physics upside down – who came up with that meme? But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Fight back.

    Get real, the invisible heat we feel direct from the Sun is thermal infrared, if we can feel it then it is reaching Earth’s surface. Until you put it back into the ‘energy’ budget…

  412. Myrrh says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    Get real, the invisible heat we feel direct from the Sun is thermal infrared, if we can feel it then it is reaching Earth’s surface.
    Most of the energy that is absorbed by the Earth is in the visible, because that is where the energy is. You are misunderstanding the issue by thinking about what you feel. The feeling has to do with how deep into your body the radiation penetrates and infrared penetrates deeper so you feel it more. In general, the longer the wave length, the more transparent your body is. Radio waves go straight through you, for example. All of this has been know for many decades, even centuries. There is no conspiracy trying to keep ‘the truth’ from you.

  413. Myrrh says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    Short wave electromagnetic from the Sun creating heat, Light heating the Earth, turning physics upside down – who came up with that meme? But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
    Heating occurs when energy of any wavelength is absorbed by a medium, so light heats the ground because the ground is not transparent. You do not need to fool all the people, just yourself. No wonder skepticism has a hard time getting the upper hand: with friends like you, who needs enemies.
    With your kind of arguments one might also believe that candles do not emit light, but rather suck up the dark, to wit: the wick becomes black.

  414. Myrrh says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    And what on earth are you babbling about tallbloke? In the real world there are industries involved in actually making and selling and profitting by, because they work, screenings on windows to keep out heat, thermal infrared. In your fantasy world, thermal infrared doesn’t make it through your ‘greenhouse glass’ atmosphere..

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    I already explained to you on the radiating the ocean thread that around half the heat content of the ocean is due to absorbed visible and half due to near IR. Longer wavelengths do not penetrate water so ‘back radiation’ from the atmosphere doesn’t heat the bulk of the ocean. A substantial amount of the near IR wavelengths from the Sun are absorbed in the atmosphere however, where there is lots of water in very finely divided quantities.

    I’m not shooting the messenger, I’m patiently trying to tell him the directions to where he’s taking his message, because he keeps ending up in a blind alley.

  415. Because you keep using the AGWScience Fiction premise that has given the properties of thermal energy to visible you keep getting confused by words like ‘absorption’ and ‘penetration’. Water is a great absorber of thermal infrared radiation. It moves the molecules into vibration because of resonant matching. What is the problem here? You can’t even see the disjunct in your own premises.

    The water in clouds is trapping heat from the upwelling thermal ir from the Earth, that’s because of the water content, right? Or have you got some other explanation? Actually, I don’t recall this bit as explained, but that’s par for the course in AGWScience Fiction Inc’s memes, they miss bits out so connections are harder to spot.

    But if you do admit in AGWSF that the water in clouds is that which absorbs thermal infrared from the upwelling, how do you account for it not doing this to the thermal infrared downwelling direct from the Sun, and ditto heating the oceans? For that you have to go to yet another false meme with no reality in real world physics, that the thermal infrared from the Sun doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface.

    And here’s where I’ve already pointed out this disjunct in the NASA example, traditional teaching is being obliterated and that meme is being given as a real world physical fact. This is a con. All I’m doing here is pointing out how they’ve done it, the sleight of hand.

    And, I really don’t know what more I can say here, you keep arguing back with AGWScience memes which twist the properties of the world around you and reject all the examples of this manipulation, that I’ve found. You continue to argue using words like ‘absorb’ and ‘penetration’ in the deliberately created confusion from these memes. And, you won’t do the one thing I’ve been asking you, generic, to do to back up your claims. Give me some actual proof, physical actual that blue visible light from the Sun can heat water. Use LED or something. Until you can grasp that this isn’t a thermal energy like longwave infrared which does have the power to move water molecules into vibration to convert to heat, we’ll keep going round in circles.

    I expect better engagement in this from people on a science blog. I’ve given you mechanisms from real physics which show how the different electromagnetic waves operate, I’ve given you explanations from the well known and understood physics of light and reflection in optics, I’ve given you industries which understand the difference in properties and how to use them for which your fictional science can’t explain. Your fictional science can’t explain how solar panels work.. I’ve given you examples of the deliberately introduced changes of the fictional science introduced into the education system. I’ve given you examples of real world properties, tried and tested, and internally coherent in properties and processes, effects. You’ve come back with nothing that makes even a smidgin of sense against all this.

    At least the AGWscientist who was told that gases do separate out in our atmosphere and being given the example of methane in a mine separating out to layer at the ceiling because lighter than air, went out and tested it. Kudos.

    That he still tried to find another reason for his failure to prove traditional teaching wrong, scrabbling around to find something to fit in with his fictional science meme, is understandable, it’s what you’re doing here, it’s that firmly ingrained in some through the mis-education from AGW manipulation. That what he found fully fitted in with the traditional physics understanding, internally coherent, of the properties of gases, could have been the first step back through the mirror from the impossible fictional worlds Alice found, where AGWScience Fiction Inc’s memes are generated.

    Anyway, I’m not going through any more explanations, you’ll just have to think about what I’ve said so far and make up your own minds, and I’m still waiting for you to prove that blue visible from the sun heats water, but for this discussion:

    The invisible heat on the move energy we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared, the AGWScience fiction claim is that this doesn’t reach Earth directly from the Sun, which is contrary to internally coherent traditional physics teaching and contrary to our observations, this must be put back into the energy budget. The missing heat you’ve all been looking for, the travesty is that AGWScience Fiction Inc has corrupted the physics by taking it out*.

    Then, that directed, directional from the Sun taking 8 minutes to reach us, powerful heat energy is of a different order from the ambient thermal infrared upwelling from the heated Earth, which is around the same in micron terms as we radiate out, so, the arguments re clouds has to take this into consideration. The direct thermal infrared downwelling from the Sun can be trapped by clouds, preventing it from reaching the surface.

    The reflected visible from the top of the clouds will only be cooling as a secondary effect, for example when plants having used it for the chemical process of photosynthesis in the primary use of its energies which do not create heat, but which would later create heat as the sugars made were burned by the plant for growth (at which time the heat is transpired away, water released from the plant carrying the heat away, just as we sweat to maintain working temps). The thermal infrared direct downwelling from the Sun will be to some extent or other prevented from reaching the surface in full force which, as its primary effect is direct heating of organic matter, will contribute to the cooling.

    Much like our summer here, we’ve had a lot of cloud cover which has prevented much heat and light getting through and it has been the coldest for a couple of decades. When the clouds clear the Sun gives us our expected summer weather, the Sun’s there, but we’ve not been getting it. The plants around which flower later, summer flowering, have been doing badly, the earlier spring flowering were fine, lots of light and heat. Maybe this has something to do with all the volcanic activity from Iceland, (still ongoing?). The harvest in england and ireland poor and delayed. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0901/1224303293783.html

    *It has to corrupt the physics to sell its concept of AGW, so it limits what it allows you to think about. So by the false claim that thermal infrared direct from the Sun doesn’t reach earth you’re arguing on a premise that is fantasy, that shortwave heats the land and oceans and the only thermal ir is in the upwelling from this, which gives you only upwelling thermal ir to argue about..

  416. @ LazyTeenager says:
    September 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    “That’s interesting. I was unaware that there was a distinction between diffuse solar and downward long wave radiation for thermal flat plate solar collectors. I had assumed that they were one and the same.

    The distinction sounds plausible if DLW cannot penetrate the glass front surface. I will have to look into this some more.”

    Lazy T, if you are still following this thread I have some links to solar standards and GHG DLR papers that will be of assistance to show the distinction but if I get no response from you I won’t bother going through with the exercise here (and it’s late now in NZ so I’m not doing it tonight anyway).

    FWIW (others that may be reading this), I’ve been investigating heating effect in the context of geologic materials and “Earth’s global energy budget” Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl 2009 here:-

    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/08/just-one-fact/#comment-64413

    Anyone wanting to pursue that topic is welcome to check in. It’s a work in progress and I’m not an expert so there will be errors (corrected in following comments as much as I can) but think I go beyond what climate science does by looking for answers in other disciplines (e.g. medical physics and radiology which is probably about one or two light-years ahead of climate science in respect to radiation and have a parallel set of terminology: the solar spectrum is “low” linear energy transfer (LET) radiation and penetration is “track length”. Obviously they are more interested in ionizing radiation than non-ionizing.

  417. # Myrrh says:
    September 9, 2011 at 2:56 am

    “Give me some actual proof, physical actual that blue visible light from the Sun can heat water.”

    I been trying to read all comments top down in this thread and have not caught up with all the discussion leading up to this so I apologize if what follows has already been raked over.

    Blue light by itself will not have power of sufficient intensity to do much water heating and neither will any other narrow band of radiated solar energy, but concentrate a range of the spectrum say with a magnifying glass and different story.

    I think you are fixated on what is more a convention than a fact i.e. Nr IR is useful as a heating agent but regarding it as “heat” is a misnomer. Heat is only manifest in the material that is intercepted by the radiation so any industrial or commercial application (sauna’s, food) is tuned to the materials with power intensity sufficient to be effective.

    Here’s proof that a part of the solar spectrum other than infrared is a heating agent. I live in New Zealand where UV levels are among the highest in the world mid-summer (often described as “harsh” by surprised foreigners and some locals too). Being of light skin I can attest to the heating effects of UV and can discern when the UVB kicks in (between 11am and 4pm) So it is the characteristics of the material being irradiated that are important and in the case of UV, the heating effects on skin of UVA and UVB are quite different, see here:-

    Understanding UVA and UVB

    http://www.skincancer.org/understanding-uva-and-uvb.html

    So here we have radiation from the solar spectrum other than infrared having real heating effect to the extent that it burns my skin. I would not incur the same injury if exposed to solar infrared for the same period as I would if exposed to ultraviolet.

    Neither do I get burnt by exposure to GHG DLR at night but Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl make no distinction in their Earth’s Energy Budget diagram where they ascribe 161 W.m2 to solar SW and 333 W.m2 to GHG DLR. as if they had the same heating effectiveness on materials respectively (e.g. water – duh!) and interchangeable by virtue of W.m2 units. In reality GHG DLR is a spent force in terms of heating effect and not comparable to direct or diffuse solar (an electrical analogy would be “apparent” power.- not “real” power i.e. it doesn’t “heat the earth” as AGW proponents so often inform us)

    As with Lazy Teenager just up-thread, I invite you Myrrh to check in to the following thread to pursue this topic further.

    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/08/just-one-fact/#comment-64413

  418. Manfred,

    Thanks for the links to the “peer-reviewed” research articles. I haven’t had time to give the list and articles more than a cursory glance, but I do have a few observations:

    1) It’s not at all clear that all of these articles debunk the AGW thesis as you maintain. For example, one article, published in Nature, begins: “The most important anthropogenic influences on climate are the emission of greenhouse gases1 and changes in land use, such as urbanization and agriculture2.” That is to say, forces other than green house gases can be working to change to climate — something that no one denies. Still, this article states that the emission of green house gases is one of the two most important anthropogenic influences on climate. I wonder how many other of these articles simply qualify, rather than debunk, the AGW thesis.

    2) A number of articles are written by Patrick J. Michaels, whose misrepresentation of James Hansen’s testimony before Congress has fairly been described as “fraudulent” and “dishonest”. Michaels is not a top ranked scientist, either; Richard Lindzen once said the Michaels “doesn’t know physics, and he needs to.”

    3) Other articles are by S. Fred Singer, whose theories lack a sound underpinning of physics altogether. Singer presents the sad case of a competent scientist turned crank.

    4) Only a few of the articles were published in journals such as Nature, Science, and EOS — whose standards of peer-reviewing are well known and rigorous.

    5)) Many of the articles were published in journals not devoted specifically to climate change and related issues. Are the editors of these journals competent to judge the quality of articles on subjects outside of their area of expertise?

    6) Some of the articles are written by people who are not even climate scientists — such as the redoubtable Steven McIntyre.

    So, all in all, this list strikes me as a good deal less impressive than you mean it to be. But I will continue to check it out.

  419. Richard C (NZ) says:
    September 9, 2011 at 6:43 am
    # Myrrh says:
    September 9, 2011 at 2:56 am

    “Give me some actual proof, physical actual that blue visible light from the Sun can heat water.”

    I been trying to read all comments top down in this thread and have not caught up with all the discussion leading up to this so I apologize if what follows has already been raked over.

    I think you are fixated on what is more a convention than a fact ..

    Apologies for splitting your paragraphs, but the change of emphasis is necessary for my reply.

    What I am fixated about is the fact that AGWScience Fiction Inc, as my mnemonic for this phenomenon, is deliberately, and I think with malice aforethought, teaching that Light is Heat, as per KT97. This has two immediate effects, it is dumbing the education of the masses and it is keeping anti AGW’s caught in false arguments, because, it appears, no one else has noticed this change, this manipulation, of basic standard traditional, well-known, tried and tested, real world physics…

    My discovery of this has been spread over several discussions, and now complicated to summerise. I think, the confusions are deliberately manufactured, by taking laws out of context, changing properties and processes and so on. The basic problem here, and what I am fixated about, is that thermal infrared, Heat, from the Sun has been taken out of the ‘energy budget’ as the ‘mechanism’ for heating the Earth’s land and oceans, and replaced by Light, a.k.a Solar/Sunlight/Visible. “Solar” is defined in the AGWSF energy budget as Visible and the two shortwaves either side of UV and NR IR, (one needs to be aware of the term ‘sunlight’ adding to the confusion), it is often shortened to ‘shortwave in, longwave out’. See, how complicated already.. all the asides and brackets needed to give a summary.

    The ‘energy budget’ now taken as ‘real physics fact’ both by antis and pro AGW and is practically ingrained by this change of physics, from real to fiction, by the introduction of this AGW fiction physics meme that only shortwave, visible light from the sun, converts the land and oceans to heat, so raising the temperature of the Earth to give off longwave, thermal infrared. It is widely taught in schools and as can be seen here and all the discussions dealing with the ‘energy budget’, this is taken to be real physics fact. People, even scientists with PhD’s.., now think that Light from the Sun directly converts to heat the Earth’s land and oceans, and, that the real Heat from the Sun doesn’t even reach the Earth’s surface and plays no part directly heating the Earth’s land and oceans.

    Descriptions and bringing into discussions how near IR and blue visible work are examples, I’m not fixated about these individually, I’m extremely concerned that the totality of the misunderstanding about these coming out of the basic change of physics has so dumbed down those believing it that they no longer have any real concept of the world around them – they live in a totally fictional world, and their arguments are about this totally fictional world, regardless they think they’re bringing in ‘real world’ facts and data to prove or disprove their arguments.

    I’m concerned, therefore, that because the real understanding of physical properties has been turned upside down and jumbled up so completely that anyone, everyone, buying into the AGWScience Fiction Inc’s manufactured fictional physics, now no longer has any concept of how the world around us really works on a fundamental, basic, physical level. (The other area I’ve explored where this fictional physics has also been ingrained is in carbon dioxide, by saying it acts in our atmosphere as an ideal gas all kinds of ridiculous claims are made about it, won’t go further into this here, but they think the atmosphere around them is empty space with molecules rushing at great speeds through this actual empty space, therefore molecules of carbon dioxide diffuse immediately into the atmosphere where they get mixed up thoroughly and can’t be unmixed.., there is no appreciation of volume and weight of the fluid gaseous ocean of air above us, they can’t hear me.)

    Blue light by itself will not have power of sufficient intensity to do much water heating and neither will any other narrow band of radiated solar energy, but concentrate a range of the spectrum say with a magnifying glass and different story.

    Yeah.., I’ve had the ‘but lasars..’. There is a lack of comprehension about this firstly because the AGWSF meme is that visible light is ‘powerful’ because it is ‘high energy’ mistaking the heat creating it for its own, the ‘peak’ of power from the Sun – intensity isn’t understood, really, this is not understood, AGWSF has deliberately taken out all sense of scale and relationship between properties. I’ve tried to explain the difference in various ways, but the idea created by this meme of ‘peak energy’ is difficult to overturn because of the continuous bombardment of the false meme about it. So I get planckian diagrams thrown back at me as if that proves that ‘peak’ equals power to change to heat, because obviously to them, it is the peak of great power.. Even going down to electronic transitions on the electron scale and rotational vibrations on molecular differences between the properties is difficult to convey, because ‘absorbed’ to them means ‘heat is created’, and even if they accept that chemical changes, such as in photosynthesis, do not create heat, the other electronic translations resulting in light emissions only confuse them more, because they think light creates heat, that sunlight has the power to heat the oceans, that blue visible light because it ‘penetrates’ deeper before being ‘absorbed’ therefore heats the oceans deeper..

    ..then, if I say, but water is transparent to visible light and if you say that the atmosphere is transparent to visible light and therefore doesn’t heat it, how can you claim that visible light can be heating the oceans? Either it is not heating the oceans or visible light is heating the air, because electonic transitions is the way that visible light is scattered, which is when the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen absorb the light and send it back out again, reflection. Having no sense of scale, I get the water absorption diagram shown me, which I show to point out how visible is insignificant in absorption compared with the practically 100% absorption and ‘therefore heating’ of infrared.. In real physics the atmosphere is not transparent to visible light because reflection is shows absorption, on an electronic transition scale, and water is transparent to visible light because the molecules do not allow the visible to join in, it is delayed a bit as it tries and then passed on – this is called transmission, i.e. the opposite of absorption..

    Do you see the problem?

    …i.e. Nr IR is useful as a heating agent but regarding it as “heat” is a misnomer. Heat is only manifest in the material that is intercepted by the radiation so any industrial or commercial application (sauna’s, food) is tuned to the materials with power intensity sufficient to be effective.

    Nr IR is not a thermal energy, it is not hot. We cannot feel it as hot anymore than we can feel Visible or UV as hot, it doesn’t have the power to move our molecules into vibration. The change from reflective to thermal infrared is difficult to pinpoint and different disciplines use their own for their convenience, and UV is, I’ve found, best avoided to bring my point across because that is immediately associated with ‘power to heat’, because we can get sunburned.. It doesn’t penetrate further than the first layer of our three layers of skin, before it is reflected back, near infrared can penetrate deeper before it is reflected back, visible inbetween these, near infrared cameras understand this… they take a picture of the reflected infrared bouncing off the subject just as visible cameras take pictures of the visible light bouncing off subjects. Thermal infrared cameras are different, they are measuring the heat radiating out from the subject, not lightlight here puts near infrared into the same physics category as the other shortwave visible and uv, reflective not absorptive, the core difference between electronic transitions on the electron scale and vibrational resonance of molecules. Discussing these in any depth is often a distraction too far, it’s the actual simple concept of the difference between Visible and Heat energies from the Sun which has been overturned here, the properties of Heat from the Sun have been given to Visible. That is the key problem here, all else follows.

    But as you say, “Blue light by itself will not have power of sufficient intensity to do much water heating and neither will any other narrow band of radiated solar energy”, therefore, it should be taken out of the ‘energy budget’ as it cannot be the primary heating mechanism of the Earth’s land and oceans.

    The primary heating mechanism is the Heat radiated out from the Sun, this the invisible thermal infrared which is heat energy on the move. It is there flowing out from hot to cold around it whether anyone is able to receive or perceive it, or not. It takes eight minutes to get to us at the surface of the Earth, it has been taken out of the AGWSF ‘energy budget’, which the majority here, and now inculcated in the education system, take to be real world physics properties, not realising this is absolute made up fiction, creating a completely different world to the one we actually physically inhabit.

    Visible light, in the real world’s energy budget, can certainly be included in the ‘thermal out’ through the intermediary of Life itself, for example via photosynthesis by the absorption of visible and the chemical not-heat-creating conversion into sugars using that visible energy and the next step of burning the sugar for life and in doing so releasing heat which is transpired by the plants, i.e., the plant releases the heat through releasing water – water being the great absorber of heat the plant ‘sweats’ it away.

    So anyway, the first thing that has to be put right here is to give the Sun’s heat energy back to thermal infrared as the primary mechanism of converting land and oceans and us carbon life all to heat, the outgoing thermal infrared is a secondary heating of the atmosphere, it doesn’t carry the same uni-directional power as it does from the Sun direct to us, around 10 microns against the full spectrum of thermal from the Sun direct.

    Next, this discussion is about role of clouds, the thermal infrared heat direct from the Sun will be trapped/blocked by clouds on the way down from the Sun, because clouds are water and water is the great absorber of thermal energy. It has the greatest heat capacity of the common atmosphere and earth stuff, that is, to ‘store’ heat – it takes longer to heat up and longer to cool down than nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide which have lower heat capacities, these heat up quicker and cool down quicker, and carbon dioxide even quicker than nitrogen and oxygen, practically instant. So, this has to be added to the cooling effect of clouds on the Earth because when not being heated by the Sun this heat will also be to colder (and the colder the quicker so up rather than down). Also bearing in mind here the weird and wonderful properties of water, it can store more energy than appears as heat, somewhere I posted a link about that, can’t remember off hand, and of course anyway, clouds as the primary agent of cooling the Earth in the Water Cycle, the Earth would be 67°C without the water vapour taking away the heat, so that’s on the first to do list.

    That’s really important, the AGWSF meme has taken the primary cooling of the Earth via the greenhouse gas water vapour out of the ‘energy budget’ entirely, just as it has by taking out the primary heat in mechansim of the thermal infrared. The two primary regulatory mechanisms of heat in and cold out both deliberately excluded. None of the rest is going to make any kind of sense until we can get these arguments out of the AGWScience Fiction trap creating an alternative word, and back to our real physical reality.

    Thanks for your site link, I’ll take a look over the weekend.

  420. Richard – I’ve posted a link to your page of my previous post and some extracts from it. I’ve also added this:

    I’ve given this page before in discussions, it has a presentation of the differences in the way UV/Visible (and therefore Near IR which is also in the reflective light category) and thermal energies work, some extracts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_and_translucency

    “Mechanisms of selective light wave absorption include:

    Electronic: Transitions in electron energy levels within the atom (e.g., pigments). These transitions are typically in the ultraviolet (UV) and/or visible portions of the spectrum.

    Vibrational: Resonance in atomic/molecular vibrational modes. These transitions are typically in the infrared portion of the spectrum.

    UV-Vis: Electronic transitions

    When photons (individual packets of light energy) come in contact with the valence electrons of atom, one of several things can and will occur:

    *An electron absorbs all of the energy of the photon and re-emits it with different color. This gives rise to luminescence, fluorescence and phosphorescence.

    *An electron absorbs the energy of the photon and sends it back out the way it came in. This
    results in reflection or scattering.

    *An electron cannot absorb the energy of the photon and the photon continues on its path. This results in transmission (provided no other absorption mechanisms are active).

    *An electron selectively absorbs a portion of the photon, and the remaining frequencies are transmitted in the form of spectral color.

    [The second is what happens to visible in our atmosphere where we see the sky blue because reflected by the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen, it is briefly absorbed by the electron and then sent out again. The atmosphere therefore not transparent to visible. The third is what happens to visible in water, which is a transparent medium for visible, it is not absorbed but passed through, transmitted. We can see this effect in clear water and glass, the light is transmitted through and reflects back from whatever the water is covering.]

    Infrared: Bond stretching
    The primary physical mechanism for storing mechanical energy of motion in condensed matter is through heat, or thermal energy. Thermal energy manifests itself as energy of motion. Thus, heat is motion at the atomic and molecular levels. The primary mode of motion in crystalline substances is vibration. Any given atom will vibrate around some mean or average position within a crystalline structure, surrounded by its nearest neighbors.

    When a light wave of a given frequency strikes a material with particles having the same or (resonant) vibrational frequencies, then those particles will absorb the energy of the light wave and transform it into thermal energy of vibrational motion.”

    [This is how water absorbs thermal infrared. How our bodies are warmed up internally. This is different from UV, which does not warm us up because it doesn't have the mechanism to do this, it is a light energy working on the electron level, not on the resonance vibrational. The body uses it for the chemical conversion of Vitamin D for example.]

    #############

    These are the primary differences between what is simply called in traditional physics, Heat and Light. “Sunlight” actually should refer to Light, the visible light from the Sun, and heat, to Heat, the invisible thermal infrared. This should be borne in mind when reading older discussion on the subject pre AGWScience Fiction manipulation. Since AGWSF there has also been an editing of older pages on the subject, by small tweaks such as using the word ‘sunlight’ ambiguously for example, when Sun would actually make physics sense and sunlight doesn’t. Wiki pages have such, and even the NASA page I’ve also referenced previously. It is too general a word to use in a physics explanation, saying that ‘all radiation from the Sun is light waves’ doesn’t cut it.. I’ve noticed it is used a lot in AGW story telling of physics and the effect is always confusion for those who do not know the difference and who believe the fiction meme that sunlight, which we all generally think of as visible, is heat from the Sun. Sad and deplorable.

    I did a comparison of pre and post manipulation teaching about this on NASA pages. Can’t recall where I now posted it.. If I can find it again reasonably quickly I’ll post it here, otherwise I’ll post to your linked page.

    Tracked it down.. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-711886

    From which the conclusion: “To put into science terms, if a new idea contradicting well known and understood and tried and tested real physics as taught traditionally is being promoted, then the promoters must provide proof that the traditional teaching is wrong and the new idea right. Eliminating the traditional teaching from the education system does not constitute proof…”

    I’ve narrowed this down to requesting proof that blue visible light from the Sun can heat water, because if this cannot be shown by properties and process and observation then it cannot be converting to heat the oceans of the Earth. I know they can’t.., but hopefully it will trigger at least some to explore and think it through themselves.

  421. @ Myrrh, Lazy Teenager

    There’s 2 parts to this response to Myrrh, Part 1 addresses heat/light and Part 2 addresses diffuse solar radiation and heating effect on geologic material and atmospheric gasses in the context of Dessler 2011 and Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Part 1
    Myrrh, you say:-

    This is how [...] our bodies are warmed up internally. This is different from UV, which does not warm us up because it doesn’t have the mechanism to do this, it is a light energy working on the electron level, not on the resonance vibrational

    I agree that IR-A and IR-B in the band 0.74 μm – 3 μm (IR is conventionally 0.74 μm – 300 μm) warms our bodies internally but how do you account for my anecdote previously that UVB seriously burns (heats) the upper layers of my skin and UVA will burn a little deeper but IR is relatively benign? Are you saying I’m not getting burnt? That the Skin Cancer Foundation is wrong?

    You say:-

    Heat and Light. “Sunlight” actually should refer to Light, the visible light from the Sun, and heat, to Heat, the invisible thermal infrared

    That a part of the EM spectrum is visible is simply due to human optics: birds can see UV, bees can see IR. I draw your attention to the Wikipedia Infrared article Heat section:-

    Heat
    Infrared radiation is popularly known as “heat” or sometimes known as “heat radiation”, since many people attribute all radiant heating to infrared light and/or all infrared radiation to heating. This is a widespread misconception, since light and electromagnetic waves of any frequency will heat surfaces that absorb them. Infrared light from the Sun only accounts for 49%[12] of the heating of the Earth, with the rest being caused by visible light that is absorbed then re-radiated at longer wavelengths. Visible light or ultraviolet-emitting lasers can char paper and incandescently hot objects emit visible radiation

    And the Thermography section that should amend your incorrect understanding e.g. “infrared cameras understand this… they take a picture of the reflected infrared bouncing off the subject”:-

    Thermography
    Infrared radiation can be used to remotely determine the temperature of objects (if the emissivity is known). This is termed thermography, or in the case of very hot objects in the NIR or visible it is termed pyrometry.

    Any matter that has temperature above absolute zero (K) emits radiation, this is nothing to do with reflection, see Specular reflection

    Radiation is not heat, heat only manifests after the electronic and vibrational mechanisms of radiation (that you reference) take effect on matter – no matter, no heat.

    [Duplicated at Climate Conversations Group (CCG) here]

  422. Jesse Fell:

    Your deplorable post at September 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm consists of ad homs. and factually incorrect smears.

    Science consists of evidence and consideration of the evidence.
    Evidence is not affected by the person and or the nature of the person who provides it.

    Read your own post then hang your head in shame.

    Richard

  423. Richard C (NZ) says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm
    —————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Part 1
    Myrrh, you say:-

    “This is how [...] our bodies are warmed up internally. This is different from UV, which does not warm us up because it doesn’t have the mechanism to do this, it is a light energy working on the electron level, not on the resonance vibrational”

    I agree that IR-A and IR-B in the band 0.74 μm – 3 μm (IR is conventionally 0.74 μm – 300 μm) warms our bodies internally but how do you account for my anecdote previously that UVB seriously burns (heats) the upper layers of my skin and UVA will burn a little deeper but IR is relatively benign? Are you saying I’m not getting burnt? That the Skin Cancer Foundation is wrong?

    The mechanism for ‘burning’ by UV isn’t the same as ‘heating’ by thermal infrared. First of all, UV is a reflective energy akin to visible as is near Infrared – they’re ‘highly energetic’ because of the speed they form the waves, there is less distance between the peaks and troughs than with the longer waves, they are smaller, [the difference in size of infrared ranges from microscopic in near infrared to the size of a pin head in thermal]. All this, the differences in properties, has to be taken into account to understand the differences in processes and effects of the range of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun; a radio wave is not able to do what a gamma ray can do, and that, in large amounts can ‘heat’ you to nothing in a blink of an eye… [instantly vapourise you to 'nothing' see Hiroshima and Nagasaki.] Less intense, and it has an ionising effect on the body, changing the DNA etc., the scale and effects different from other waves. There are different categories and some waves will be in one category but not share the other properties of waves in that particular category. A set diagram could be useful here.. For example, gamma and UV both work on DNA level, but UV is not ionising.

    So, in some ways UV, Visible and Nr IR are similar, in the same category, they are classed as reflective which explanation covered on the wiki extract. UV in this category is less able to penetrate the human body than the longer visible and both these less able to penetrate than near infrared, before they’re reflected back out. UV can’t penetrate further than the first layer of skin, the epidermis, before it is reflected out. That’s how an near infrared camera works, on the same principle as a visible camera, both are capturing what is being reflected back to the camera, just as our eyes capture the visible world around us by the colours reflected back from objects.

    From your link:

    In this aspect of the differences the differences could be thought of, with poetic licence, as the difference in drill speeds, smaller drills have less area to cover and can go faster, think dentists.., longer here then equals weaker. The more highly energetic the smaller the wave the more rapidly it gets bounced out on coming into contact with a bigger mass than itself, radio waves can pentrate walls and visible can’t, blue light more highly energetic than red will get bounced around more quickly, think blue sky, and so on. Visible then is weaker than UV in terms of size and speed and effects because it has different properties. It is entirely benign, it does not burn us because it isn’t in the same category as UV for this aspect. The body’s melanin neutralises UV and other mechanisms in place to use UV’s energy for a chemical conversion for Vitamin D production, all this within the first couple of mm of the body; we get burned when the melanin factory gets overloaded.. Near infrared even longer and so able to penetrate deeper than visible but also benign, it cannot burn us. We cannot feel any of these at all, they are not hot, you cannot feel UV burning you – what you are feeling as heat is any thermal infrared around – so for example if you’re high on snowy mountains skiing and exposed to higher doses of UV you can get burned while still feeling cool, ditto swimming, the water cooling you off isn’t stopping the UV from burning you if you’re not used to it.

    UV as this faster drill has other benefits which the slower visible doesn’t, it can zap nasties in water and is for this aspect is much used in water purifying scenarios. And yes, it can penetrate glass.., a simple but effective way for water to be purified in hot countries, after filtering to speed up the process, is to fill a glass bottle and leave that out in the hot Sun.

    Thermal infrared is heat energy on the move, it is still moving from hot to cold even if no matter is there to receive it. This is getting to be really a picky to far. There are gross basic physical differences in properties and effects between HEAT energy from the Sun and LIGHT energy from the Sun. The first has the POWER to move molecules into vibration converting to heat and actually warming up the matter. Visible Light from the Sun, Cannot, and Does Not, do this, it is not a thermal energy, it works on smaller electronic transition levels, so weak it’s bounced around the sky by molecules of nitrogen and oxygen..

    As for how much we actually receive of thermal infrared on the surface, since it is the Primary source of heating organic matter, it’s the one we have to include in the ‘energy budget’, my point is that AGWScience Fiction Inc have effectively expunged this from the ‘modern fantasy fictional physics’ which they have put into place. These arguments are nonsense, they are arguing about an imaginary world, totally created fictional.

    Have to leave this for a while, will come back to it later to see if there’s anything I can add.

  424. Myrrh says:
    September 9, 2011 at 2:56 am

    But if you do admit in AGWSF that the water in clouds is that which absorbs thermal infrared from the upwelling, how do you account for it not doing this to the thermal infrared downwelling direct from the Sun, and ditto heating the oceans?

    Around half of ocean heat content derives from solar ‘near’ IR, and around half from visible. No matter what you believe, and I don’t care that you won’t accept it. You don’t understand that the figures in the link you provided (window film) actually prove you wrong, so I’m giving up on that lost cause.

    Surface emitted long wave (‘far’ IR) is absorbed in the first few um of water, so it can heat finely divided groups of water molecules in clouds, but not the bulk of the ocean, because the mechanism needed to propogate the energy downwards isn’t adequate.

  425. @ Myrrh, Lazy Teenager
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Part 2

    Myrrh, good idea linking to Transparency and translucency, more on that in relation to Dessler 2011 below.

    I draw your attention to this article Artificial Lighting and the Blue Light Hazard:-

    What is Light?
    Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. The human eye responds to only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

    The Blue Light Hazard
    According to the CVRL Color & Vision database,
    light waves measuring approximately 470nm to 400nm in length are seen as the color blue

    Note though that blue dominates 0.4 – 0.47 μm, peaks at approx 0.445 μm (445nm or 445 microns) but the range is approx 0.38 – 0.63 μm (use the database Plot function with Energy (linear)).

    In terms of solar heating, where does blue light fit in? See ASTM G197 – 08 Standard Table for Reference Solar Spectral Distributions: Direct and Diffuse on 20° Tilted and Vertical Surfaces:-

    1. Scope
    1.1 This table provides terrestrial solar spectral irradiance distributions that may be employed as weighting functions to (1) calculate the broadband solar or light transmittance of fenestration from its spectral properties; or (2) evaluate the performance of building-integrated technologies such as photovoltaic electricity generators. Most of these systems are installed on vertical walls, but some are also installed on pitched roofs or on other tilted structures, such as sunspaces. Glazing transmittance calculations or measurements require information on both the direct and diffuse components of irradiance. The table provides separate information for direct and diffuse irradiance, and for two different tilt angles, 20° and 90° relative to the horizontal. All distributions are provided at 2002 wavelengths within the spectral range 280–4000 nm. The data contained in this table reflect reference spectra with uniform wavelength interval (0.5 nanometer (nm) below 400 nm, 1 nm between 400 and 1700 nm, an intermediate wavelength at 1702 nm, and 5 nm intervals from 1705 to 4000 nm). The data table represents reasonable cloudless atmospheric conditions favorable for the computerized simulation, comparative rating, or experimental testing of fenestration systems.

    Note that GHG DLR (4000 nm/4 μm – 16000 nm/16 μm) is NOT included but Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1 ascribes 333 W.m2 to it and a status equivalent (except for the colour coding) to solar SW (161 W.m2) and diffuse solar SW is not accounted for although it is probably included in the 161 W.m2 “Absorbed by Surface”, more on this below.

    ASTM G197 is behind a paywall but plots from it can be viewed at Solar Consulting Services REFERENCE SPECTRA, see Figure 3 Comparison of direct, diffuse and global irradiance on various tilted sun-facing surfaces per ASTM G173 and G197 standards.

    Solar power peaks at approx 500nm (blue at approx 445nm) but the total solar power available is the area under the curve 300nm – 2500nm. Green and red peak further along the spectrum at approx 545nm and 575nm respectively. Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.

    But what is happening with energy-per-photon? See Electromagnetic spectrum:-

    Ultraviolet: 124 eV – 3 eV
    Visible:- 3 eV – approx 1 eV
    Infrared:- approx 1 eV – < approx 124 meV

    Energy decreases as wavelength increases.

    Blue thermal emission is not often seen, see:-

    Light sources
    There are many sources of light. The most common light sources are thermal: a body at a given temperature emits a characteristic spectrum of black-body radiation. Examples include sunlight (the radiation emitted by the chromosphere of the Sun at around 6,000 Kelvin peaks in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum when plotted in wavelength units [6] and roughly 40% of sunlight is visible), incandescent light bulbs (which emit only around 10% of their energy as visible light and the remainder as infrared), and glowing solid particles in flames. The peak of the blackbody spectrum is in the infrared for relatively cool objects like human beings. As the temperature increases, the peak shifts to shorter wavelengths, producing first a red glow, then a white one, and finally a blue colour as the peak moves out of the visible part of the spectrum and into the ultraviolet. These colours can be seen when metal is heated to “red hot” or “white hot”. Blue thermal emission is not often seen. The commonly seen blue colour in a gas flame or a welder’s torch is in fact due to molecular emission, notably by CH radicals (emitting a wavelength band around 425 nm).

    You say:-

    Next, this discussion is about role of clouds, the thermal infrared heat direct from the Sun will be trapped/blocked by clouds on the way down from the Sun, because clouds are water and water is the great absorber of thermal energy

    Role of clouds yes, analysis no. Again, radiation is NOT heat, both are forms of ENERGY. Energy from the sun comes to earth via radiation, heat will only manifest when the radiation encounters matter that will absorb (not reflect or diffuse) that radiation due to the properties of the matter. Clouds and atmosphere reflect 79 W.m2 and absorb 78 W.m2 of the incoming solar according to TF&K Fig 1 but clouds are also translucent so that on a very cloudy day 100% of incoming solar energy at the surface (residual of reflection and absorption) is diffuse and the energy arriving at the surface is LESS than if it were 100% direct (none reflected). TF&K omit a downward emitted component of “Absorbed by Atmosphere” (which is not diffuse note, see Transparency and translucency link above), they just show an upward emission.

    Obviously then, local cloud variation results in a spectral distribution and direct/diffuse ratio different to the ASTM G173 and G197 plots, see “Spectral distribution of global and diffuse solar radiation in Ny-hesund, Spitsbergen” Hisdal, V. 1986.

    I have not read Dessler 2011 in detail myself but going by others analysis that I’ve seen, he seems to assume that clouds can only effect temperature via absorption so that reflection and diffusion are not factors. This is bizarre if I’ve got the story right.

    Finally, where does GHG DLR come in (given that it is infrared)? See Doctoral Thesis. “Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface and during cloudless and overcast conditions. Measurements and modelling”, Viudez-Mora 2011. Figure 1.1. shows the distinction between solar and terrestrial (GHG DLR) irradiance and why the threshold between both wavelengths is conventionally set at 4000nm (4μm, 4 microns) the other limit being 16μm. GHG DLR does NOT include IR-A and IR-B, see Infrared. It is only IR-C: 3000 nm–1 mm (3 µm – 1000 µm). The photon energy in the 4 – 16µm range is only around 124 meV.

    Consequently, GHG DLR lacks the power for effective heating of geologic materials so that on the side of a mountain that does not receive direct solar, heating by Diffuse solar and GHG DLR is significantly less than direct solar. This can be seen in Publication 2 of “Mountain Permafrost: Transient Spatial Modelling, Model Verification and the Use of Remote Sensing”. Dissertation by Stephan Gruber, Zürich, 2005

    TF&K’s 333 W.m2 of GHG DLR therefore, can only have an effect on surface material that does NOT receive direct solar and even then what little heating there is will be dominated by diffuse solar that carries greater photon energy.

    [Duplicated at Climate Conversations Group (CCG) here (awaiting moderation at comment time above)]

  426. @ Myrrh, Lazy Teenager
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Part 2

    Myrrh, good idea linking to Transparency and translucency, more on that in relation to Dessler 2011 below.

    I draw your attention to this article Artificial Lighting and the Blue Light Hazard:-

    What is Light?
    Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. The human eye responds to only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

    The Blue Light Hazard
    According to the CVRL Color & Vision database,
    light waves measuring approximately 470nm to 400nm in length are seen as the color blue

    Note though that blue dominates 0.4 – 0.47 μm, peaks at approx 0.445 μm (445nm or 445 microns) but the range is approx 0.38 – 0.63 μm (use the database Plot function with Energy (linear)).

    In terms of solar heating, where does blue light fit in? See ASTM G197 – 08 Standard Table for Reference Solar Spectral Distributions: Direct and Diffuse on 20° Tilted and Vertical Surfaces:-

    1. Scope
    1.1 This table provides terrestrial solar spectral irradiance distributions that may be employed as weighting functions to (1) calculate the broadband solar or light transmittance of fenestration from its spectral properties; or (2) evaluate the performance of building-integrated technologies such as photovoltaic electricity generators. Most of these systems are installed on vertical walls, but some are also installed on pitched roofs or on other tilted structures, such as sunspaces. Glazing transmittance calculations or measurements require information on both the direct and diffuse components of irradiance. The table provides separate information for direct and diffuse irradiance, and for two different tilt angles, 20° and 90° relative to the horizontal. All distributions are provided at 2002 wavelengths within the spectral range 280–4000 nm. The data contained in this table reflect reference spectra with uniform wavelength interval (0.5 nanometer (nm) below 400 nm, 1 nm between 400 and 1700 nm, an intermediate wavelength at 1702 nm, and 5 nm intervals from 1705 to 4000 nm). The data table represents reasonable cloudless atmospheric conditions favorable for the computerized simulation, comparative rating, or experimental testing of fenestration systems.

    Note that GHG DLR (4000 nm/4 μm – 16000 nm/16 μm) is NOT included but Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1 ascribes 333 W.m2 to it and a status equivalent (except for the colour coding) to solar SW (161 W.m2) and diffuse solar SW is not accounted for although it is probably included in the 161 W.m2 “Absorbed by Surface”, more on this below.

    ASTM G197 is behind a paywall but plots from it can be viewed at Solar Consulting Services REFERENCE SPECTRA, see Figure 3 Comparison of direct, diffuse and global irradiance on various tilted sun-facing surfaces per ASTM G173 and G197 standards.

    Solar power peaks at approx 500nm (blue at approx 445nm) but the total solar power available is the area under the curve 300nm – 2500nm. Green and red peak further along the spectrum at approx 545nm and 575nm respectively. Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.

    But what is happening with energy-per-photon? See Electromagnetic spectrum:-

    Ultraviolet: 124 eV – 3 eV
    Visible:- 3 eV – approx 1 eV
    Infrared:- approx 1 eV – < approx 124 meV

    Energy decreases as wavelength increases.

    Blue thermal emission is not often seen, see:-

    Light sources
    There are many sources of light. The most common light sources are thermal: a body at a given temperature emits a characteristic spectrum of black-body radiation. Examples include sunlight (the radiation emitted by the chromosphere of the Sun at around 6,000 Kelvin peaks in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum when plotted in wavelength units [6] and roughly 40% of sunlight is visible), incandescent light bulbs (which emit only around 10% of their energy as visible light and the remainder as infrared), and glowing solid particles in flames. The peak of the blackbody spectrum is in the infrared for relatively cool objects like human beings. As the temperature increases, the peak shifts to shorter wavelengths, producing first a red glow, then a white one, and finally a blue colour as the peak moves out of the visible part of the spectrum and into the ultraviolet. These colours can be seen when metal is heated to “red hot” or “white hot”. Blue thermal emission is not often seen. The commonly seen blue colour in a gas flame or a welder’s torch is in fact due to molecular emission, notably by CH radicals (emitting a wavelength band around 425 nm).

    You say:-

    Next, this discussion is about role of clouds, the thermal infrared heat direct from the Sun will be trapped/blocked by clouds on the way down from the Sun, because clouds are water and water is the great absorber of thermal energy

    Role of clouds yes, analysis no. Again, radiation is NOT heat, both are forms of ENERGY. Energy from the sun comes to earth via radiation, heat will only manifest when the radiation encounters matter that will absorb (not reflect or diffuse) that radiation due to the properties of the matter. Clouds and atmosphere reflect 79 W.m2 and absorb 78 W.m2 of the incoming solar according to TF&K Fig 1 but clouds are also translucent so that on a very cloudy day 100% of incoming solar energy at the surface (residual of reflection and absorption) is diffuse and the energy arriving at the surface is LESS than if it were 100% direct (none reflected). TF&K omit a downward emitted component of “Absorbed by Atmosphere” (which is not diffuse note, see Transparency and translucency link above), they just show an upward emission.

    Obviously then, local cloud variation results in a spectral distribution and direct/diffuse ratio different to the ASTM G173 and G197 plots, see “Spectral distribution of global and diffuse solar radiation in Ny-hesund, Spitsbergen” Hisdal, V. 1986.

    I have not read Dessler 2011 in detail myself but going by others analysis that I’ve seen, he seems to assume that clouds can only effect temperature via absorption so that reflection and diffusion are not factors. This is bizarre if I’ve got the story right.

    Finally, where does GHG DLR come in (given that it is infrared)? See Doctoral Thesis. “Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface and during cloudless and overcast conditions. Measurements and modelling”, Viudez-Mora 2011. Figure 1.1. shows the distinction between solar and terrestrial (GHG DLR) irradiance and why the threshold between both wavelengths is conventionally set at 4000nm (4μm, 4 microns) the other limit being 16μm. GHG DLR does NOT include IR-A and IR-B, see Infrared. It is only IR-C: 3000 nm–1 mm (3 µm – 1000 µm). The photon energy in the 4 – 16µm range is only around 124 meV.

    Consequently, GHG DLR lacks the power for effective heating of geologic materials so that on the side of a mountain that does not receive direct solar, heating by Diffuse solar and GHG DLR is significantly less than direct solar. This can be seen in Publication 2 of “Mountain Permafrost: Transient Spatial Modelling, Model Verification and the Use of Remote Sensing”. Dissertation by Stephan Gruber, Zürich, 2005

    TF&K’s 333 W.m2 of GHG DLR therefore, can only have an effect on surface material that does NOT receive direct solar and even then what little heating there is will be dominated by diffuse solar that carries greater photon energy.

    [Duplicated at Climate Conversations Group (CCG) here (awaiting moderation at comment time above)]

  427. @ Myrrh, Lazy Teenager
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Part 2a

    Myrrh, good idea linking to Transparency and translucency, more on that in relation to Dessler 2011 below.

    I draw your attention to this article Artificial Lighting and the Blue Light Hazard:-

    What is Light?
    Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. The human eye responds to only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

    The Blue Light Hazard
    According to the CVRL Color & Vision database,
    light waves measuring approximately 470nm to 400nm in length are seen as the color blue

    Note though that blue dominates 0.4 – 0.47 μm, peaks at approx 0.445 μm (445nm or 445 microns) but the range is approx 0.38 – 0.63 μm (use the database Plot function with Energy (linear)).

    In terms of solar heating, where does blue light fit in? See ASTM G197 – 08 Standard Table for Reference Solar Spectral Distributions: Direct and Diffuse on 20° Tilted and Vertical Surfaces:-

    1. Scope
    1.1 This table provides terrestrial solar spectral irradiance distributions that may be employed as weighting functions to (1) calculate the broadband solar or light transmittance of fenestration from its spectral properties; or (2) evaluate the performance of building-integrated technologies such as photovoltaic electricity generators. Most of these systems are installed on vertical walls, but some are also installed on pitched roofs or on other tilted structures, such as sunspaces. Glazing transmittance calculations or measurements require information on both the direct and diffuse components of irradiance. The table provides separate information for direct and diffuse irradiance, and for two different tilt angles, 20° and 90° relative to the horizontal. All distributions are provided at 2002 wavelengths within the spectral range 280–4000 nm. The data contained in this table reflect reference spectra with uniform wavelength interval (0.5 nanometer (nm) below 400 nm, 1 nm between 400 and 1700 nm, an intermediate wavelength at 1702 nm, and 5 nm intervals from 1705 to 4000 nm). The data table represents reasonable cloudless atmospheric conditions favorable for the computerized simulation, comparative rating, or experimental testing of fenestration systems.

    Note that GHG DLR (4000 nm/4 μm – 16000 nm/16 μm) is NOT included but Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1 ascribes 333 W.m2 to it and a status equivalent (except for the colour coding) to solar SW (161 W.m2) and diffuse solar SW is not accounted for although it is probably included in the 161 W.m2 “Absorbed by Surface”, more on this below.

    ASTM G197 is behind a paywall but plots from it can be viewed at Solar Consulting Services REFERENCE SPECTRA, see Figure 3 Comparison of direct, diffuse and global irradiance on various tilted sun-facing surfaces per ASTM G173 and G197 standards.

    Solar power peaks at approx 500nm (blue at approx 445nm) but the total solar power available is the area under the curve 300nm – 2500nm. Green and red peak further along the spectrum at approx 545nm and 575nm respectively. Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.

    But what is happening with energy-per-photon? See Electromagnetic spectrum:-

    Ultraviolet: 124 eV – 3 eV
    Visible:- 3 eV – approx 1 eV
    Infrared:- approx 1 eV – < approx 124 meV

    Energy decreases as wavelength increases.

    Blue thermal emission is not often seen, see:-

    Light sources
    There are many sources of light. The most common light sources are thermal: a body at a given temperature emits a characteristic spectrum of black-body radiation. Examples include sunlight (the radiation emitted by the chromosphere of the Sun at around 6,000 Kelvin peaks in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum when plotted in wavelength units [6] and roughly 40% of sunlight is visible), incandescent light bulbs (which emit only around 10% of their energy as visible light and the remainder as infrared), and glowing solid particles in flames. The peak of the blackbody spectrum is in the infrared for relatively cool objects like human beings. As the temperature increases, the peak shifts to shorter wavelengths, producing first a red glow, then a white one, and finally a blue colour as the peak moves out of the visible part of the spectrum and into the ultraviolet. These colours can be seen when metal is heated to “red hot” or “white hot”. Blue thermal emission is not often seen. The commonly seen blue colour in a gas flame or a welder’s torch is in fact due to molecular emission, notably by CH radicals (emitting a wavelength band around 425 nm).

  428. @ Myrrh, Lazy Teenager
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Part 2b

    Myrrh, you say:-

    Next, this discussion is about role of clouds, the thermal infrared heat direct from the Sun will be trapped/blocked by clouds on the way down from the Sun, because clouds are water and water is the great absorber of thermal energy

    Role of clouds yes, analysis no. Again, radiation is NOT heat, both are forms of ENERGY. Energy from the sun comes to earth via radiation, heat will only manifest when the radiation encounters matter that will absorb (not reflect or diffuse) that radiation due to the properties of the matter. Clouds and atmosphere reflect 79 W.m2 and absorb 78 W.m2 of the incoming solar according to TF&K Fig 1 but clouds are also translucent so that on a very cloudy day 100% of incoming solar energy at the surface (residual of reflection and absorption) is diffuse and the energy arriving at the surface is LESS than if it were 100% direct (none reflected). TF&K omit a downward emitted component of “Absorbed by Atmosphere” (which is not diffuse note, see Transparency and translucency link above), they just show an upward emission.

    Obviously then, local cloud variation results in a spectral distribution and direct/diffuse ratio different to the ASTM G173 and G197 plots, see “Spectral distribution of global and diffuse solar radiation in Ny-hesund, Spitsbergen” Hisdal, V. 1986.

    I have not read Dessler 2011 in detail myself but going by others analysis that I’ve seen, he seems to assume that clouds can only effect temperature via absorption so that reflection and diffusion are not factors. This is bizarre if I’ve got the story right.

    Finally, where does GHG DLR come in (given that it is infrared)? See Doctoral Thesis. “Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface and during cloudless and overcast conditions. Measurements and modelling”, Viudez-Mora 2011. Figure 1.1. shows the distinction between solar and terrestrial (GHG DLR) irradiance and why the threshold between both wavelengths is conventionally set at 4000nm (4μm, 4 microns) the other limit being 16μm. GHG DLR does NOT include IR-A and IR-B, see Infrared. It is only IR-C: 3000 nm–1 mm (3 µm – 1000 µm). The photon energy in the 4 – 16µm range is only around 124 meV.

    Consequently, GHG DLR lacks the power for effective heating of geologic materials so that on the side of a mountain that does not receive direct solar, heating by Diffuse solar and GHG DLR is significantly less than direct solar. This can be seen in Publication 2 of “Mountain Permafrost: Transient Spatial Modelling, Model Verification and the Use of Remote Sensing”. Dissertation by Stephan Gruber, Zürich, 2005

    TF&K’s 333 W.m2 of GHG DLR therefore, can only have an effect on surface material that does NOT receive direct solar and even then what little heating there is will be dominated by diffuse solar that carries greater photon energy.

    [Part 2a & b duplicated as one comment at Climate Conversations Group (CCG) here (awaiting moderation at comment time above)]

  429. Oops, Part 2a should read:-

    “Note though that blue dominates 0.4 – 0.47 μm, peaks at approx 0.445 μm (445nm or [0.445] microns)

  430. Myrrh:

    You seem to acknowledge that blue light is indeed adsorbed and re-emitted or transmitted again, from the now excited particle. However, you do not seem to recognize that entropy is at work as in all things. If a particle adsorbs light (blue), entropy dictates that 100% of the light energy is not retransmitted. What are you proposing is the end result of the missing energy if it does not show up as increased kinetic energy of the molecule/atom (vibration)? Molecules/atom kinetic energy (movement) is the very definition of sensible heat.

    Are you maintaining that energy re-transmission is perfect and entropy does not apply, for this special circumstance?

    Btw, I do not think you are in error, simply because many disagree. I think everyone here knows how frustrating it is to argue a minority position. GK

  431. Friends:

    Please ignore Myrrh. On another thread I made the mistake of thinking he/she is serious and attempted to explain matters to him/her.

    No evidence, links, references, explanations and logic had any effect. Myrrh continued to demand evidence that visible light can be converted to heat and to repeat his/her irrational nonsense.

    I am convinced that Myrrh is a warmist troll attempting to disrupt threads by repetition of his/her nonsense.

    Richard

  432. I have asked Myrrh before to shorten replies and refer to previous argumentation by links. If this reasonable request continues to be ignored, posting rights may be reviewed by Anthony.

    We try to avoid imputing motive here at WUWT but disruption is disruption, no matter what the motive is.

  433. @Richard C (NZ) says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:46 am
    “Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.
    But what is happening with energy-per-photon?”

    527 watts is 527 watts. It would be interesting to know how much the downward IR-A and IR-B vary.

  434. @ Myrrh says: September 11, 2011 at 4:21 am

    [Myrrh's reply to my September 11, 2011 at 6:40 am comment came in at WUWT before my comment was cleared because my comment was duplicated at CCG (Myrrh read it there) and it cleared moderation faster there. The comment and reply sequence is reversed at WUWT in this case]

    Part A (Part B follows)

    Myrrh, we agree on a great deal and I appreciate your 4:21 am response so please don’t take offense when I attack specific portions of it in Part B. We are getting to the bottom of what I believe is the fundamental flaw in AGW and also a concept that is understood in medical physics and radiology also heat engineering, Emag/microwave/RF sector etc but not well understood in climate science (AGW proponents and sceptics alike). That concept being the heating effect on matter by radiated energy which is explored here in Part A.

    Two examples from climate science:-

    1) This Columbia University lecture “Solar Radiation and the Earth’s Energy Balance”:-

    The physics of radiative heat transfer.
    * The radiative heat transfer process is independent of the presence of matter. It can move heat even through empty space.

    To read more about these points go to radiative heat transfer.

    Clicking on the “radiative heat transfer” link reveals this subtle contradiction:-

    The Physics of Radiative Heat Transfer.
    1. Forms of thermal energy transfer in the climate system:
    Radiation: The transfer of energy through electromagnetic waves. This form of energy transfer does not require the presence of matter to occur

    Suddenly they switch from heat to (the more correct in this case) energy. There’s heat at both ends of the transfer but it’s energy that’s transferred by radiation – not heat. Heat transfer DOES require the presence of matter and the properties of the matter are important parameters of the transfer.

    2) This “Clouds and Radiation” article from NASA Earth Observatory:-

    The study of clouds, where they occur, and their characteristics, play a key role in the understanding of climate change. Low, thick clouds primarily reflect solar radiation and cool the surface of the Earth. High, thin clouds primarily transmit incoming solar radiation; at the same time, they trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and radiate it back downward, thereby warming the surface of the Earth.

    This part of the statement “thereby warming the surface of the Earth” is AGW climate science baloney due to the inferior radiative heating effect on the earth (ocean, lands, rocks etc) of that DLR energy compared to direct and diffuse solar. They (with advice from Trenberth) are implicitly referring to the “Back Radiation” of Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) Earth’s Energy budget Fig 1. showing 333 W.m2 of energy from cloud and GHG DLR which although measurable is an impotent heating agent (it’s not being harnessed is it?).

    Now to some people that DO understand radiative heating effect. From Microwaves101.com “Biological effects of electromagnetic radiation”:-

    Electromagnetic energy is carried by photons. The higher the frequency, the higher the energy in each photon. When a certain energy level is reached, the photon has enough energy to knock off electrons from molecules that it encounters. At this point it is called ionizing radiation. The critical energy level is 10 electron volts (eV). One Joule is 6.2x10E18 electron volts, so a single electron volt is immeasurably small. Here’s how to calculate the energy of a photon, depending on its frequency:

    E=hV

    h=Planck’s constant = 6.626E-34 Joule-seconds

    For the ISM band (2.45 GHz) where your microwave oven operates, energy of each photon is therefore 0.00001 electron volts. The power needed to ionize a molecule is one million times higher than this, so it simply won’t happen.

    Sunlight is far higher in frequency than microwaves, it doesn’t penetrate the body, so it is more dangerous at the same power level. Sunlight provides a power level of 100 mW/cm2 during the summer months, mostly infrared, but with some visible and ultraviolet energy

    What they mean by “it doesn’t penetrate the body” is that it doesn’t migrate evenly throughout the innards thereby facilitating useful cooking – it just cooks the outer layers (sunburn) and warms a little deeper. Further down see “The following table shows the effects of exposure to certain power levels”:-

    100 mW/cm2 (1 kW,m2) Summer sunlight is at this level.
    5000 mW/cm2 ([50] kW.m2) Cooking commences [in microwave ovens]

    So microwave cooking throughout a carcass occurs at a higher intensity and longer wavelength than solar that only cooks the outer layers but the solar cooking (surface sunburn) is due to the higher photon energy in the solar spectrum compared to microwave (exposure time is obviously a factor). The cooking efficiency of microwave explains why microwave cooking is easier than infrared, see “Problems with Infrared”:-

    Infrared cooking can be brutally powerful. While solid and dense meats can hold up to the heat of an infrared grill, fish, and vegetables can be harder to cook on this type of burner because of the intensity of the heat. [...] For most food you cook on infrared you need the maximum temperature for a very short time, around a minute per side, before reducing the temperature or moving to a non-infrared part of the grill to finish cooking

    Note that it’s a grill, not ant an oven and they use high intensity but there’s still problems with penetration (as there would be with solar if it were to be used for cooking at higher intensities).

    But with geologic materials (water, land, rock etc) radiative heating effect is different and opposite. For example, solar (high photon energy and in the right conditions) will penetrate water several hundred metres but GHG DLR (low photon energy and next to microwave in the EM spactrum) less than 100 microns at similar intensity levels for both. Consequently, “warming the surface of the Earth” is overwhelmingly solar – GHG DLR hasn’t got the grunt to even overtake the night-time temperatures that rock (say) cools to after being warmed by solar during the day.

    Myrrh, my presentation of what I understand to be radiative heating effect has the basis of the EM spectrum and it explains a number of phenomena but I make no recourse to a separate but parallel “thermal” or “heat” spectrum that you seem to require. You will need to produce that spectrum if in fact it exists to support your case.

    [Duplicated at CCG here]

  435. @ Ulric Lyons

    You say:-

    527 watts is 527 watts

    Not in electrical AC power it’s not. I posit that the electrical analogy of real vs apparent power is valid when comparing solar to GHG and cloud DLR. See AC power:-

    Real, reactive, and apparent powers

    The unit for all forms of power is the watt (symbol: W), but this unit is generally reserved for real power. Apparent power is conventionally expressed in volt-amperes (VA) since it is the product of rms voltage and rms current. The unit for reactive power is expressed as var, which stands for volt-amperes reactive. Since reactive power transfers no net energy to the load, it is sometimes called “wattless” power.

    Power factor

    Example: The real power is 700 W and the phase angle between voltage and current is 45.6°. The power factor is cos(45.6°) = 0.700. The apparent power is then: 700 W / cos(45.6°) = 1000 VA.[3]

    If as you say “527 watts is 527 watts”, why isn’t the 333 W.m2 of GHG and cloud DLR in TF&K’s Fig 1 harnessed?

    An example plot of DLR, at Darwin, shows an annual mean 409 W.m2 with a small diurnal fluctuation. But this data over one day at Lake Ontario shows an almost constant 350 W.m2 that may even be present at night.

    Whether fluctuating daily or constant, there’s a lot of power going to waste (that may also be available at night) if in the case of Darwin: 409 Watts is 409 Watts.

    It would be interesting to know how much the downward IR-A and IR-B vary.

    Don’t know if this is what you are getting at but this study shows infrared ‘back-radiation’ from greenhouse gases has declined over the past 14 years in the US Southern Great Plains in winter, summer, and autumn:-

    “Long-Term Trends in Downwelling Spectral Infrared Radiance over the U.S. Southern Great Plains”

    Gero and Turner, 2011.

    Access here: “Another blow to warmist theory: Decreasing radiation from greenhouse gases”

  436. Ulric, FYI from Part 2 up-thread

    GHG DLR does NOT include IR-A and IR-B, see Infrared. [linked] It is only IR-C: 3000 nm–1 mm (3 µm – 1000 µm). The photon energy in the 4 – 16µm range is only around 124 meV.

  437. @ Myrrh says: September 11, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Part B

    Agree with paragraph 1

    Agree with paragraph 2 except this:-

    before they’re reflected back out.

    Yes there’s some reflection but there’s also absorption, diffusion, transmission, scattering etc in my understanding i.e. it’s complex and depends on the material characteristics and there is heating.

    And this:-

    UV can’t penetrate further than the first layer of skin, the epidermis, before it is reflected out.

    No, UVB penetrates the epidermis and the outer dermis, UVA penetrates the epidermis and dermis down to the outer subcutaneous layer and not all is reflected out.

    Disagree with paragraph 3

    Visible then is weaker than UV in terms of size and speed and effects because it has different properties. It is entirely benign, it does not burn us because it isn’t in the same category as UV for this aspect

    No, visible does not burn us because there’s not sufficient intensity from solar but turn up the intensity and it will burn as will infrared. I do agree though that visible is not in the same category in terms of solar heating effects because photon energy is increasing from visible to UV and UV is closer to the critical ionizing level of gamma.

    we get burned when the melanin factory gets overloaded

    No, we in New Zealand (and me especially) are acutely aware that burning ensues when the clock tells us that the angle of solar incidence is such that UVB becomes a very effective heating agent in the epidermis and the outer dermis.

    Near infrared even longer and so able to penetrate deeper than visible but also benign, it cannot burn us

    Yes solar sourced near infrared will not burn because there is not sufficient intensity but it will at greater intensity levels.

    We cannot feel any of these at all, they are not hot, you cannot feel UV burning you – what you are feeling as heat is any thermal infrared around – so for example if you’re high on snowy mountains skiing and exposed to higher doses of UV you can get burned while still feeling cool, ditto swimming, the water cooling you off isn’t stopping the UV from burning you if you’re not used to it.

    This is just a load of rubbish and I think you are confusing convective and conductive heat with thermal infrared. I definitely feel UV burning me and I can see it happening.

    Agree with paragraph 4

    Disagree with paragraph 5:-

    Thermal infrared is heat energy on the move,

    Nope, “thermal infrared” is radiative energy on the move (at the speed of light) that has the capacity to heat on encountering matter.

    it is still moving from hot to cold even if no matter is there to receive it.

    Correct in terms of radiative EM energy but heat only manifest on an encounter with matter.

    There are gross basic physical differences in properties and effects between HEAT energy from the Sun and LIGHT energy from the Sun.

    Rubbish, there is only Electro Magnetic radiative energy from the sun (that we’re concerned with). Whether it’s visible depends on optics, birds can see UV, bees can see infrared. Heat energy derived from EM is described here:-

    Thermal radiation and electromagnetic radiation as a form of heat

    The basic structure of matter involves charged particles bound together in many different ways. When electromagnetic radiation is incident on matter, it causes the charged particles to oscillate and gain energy. The ultimate fate of this energy depends on the situation. It could be immediately re-radiated and appear as scattered, reflected, or transmitted radiation. It may also get dissipated into other microscopic motions within the matter, coming to thermal equilibrium and manifesting itself as thermal energy in the material. With a few exceptions such as fluorescence, harmonic generation, photochemical reactions and the photovoltaic effect, absorbed electromagnetic radiation simply deposits its energy by heating the material. This happens both for infrared and non-infrared radiation. Intense radio waves can thermally burn living tissue and can cook food. In addition to infrared lasers, sufficiently intense visible and ultraviolet lasers can also easily set paper afire. Ionizing electromagnetic radiation can create high-speed electrons in a material and break chemical bonds, but after these electrons collide many times with other atoms in the material eventually most of the energy gets downgraded to thermal energy, this whole process happening in a tiny fraction of a second. That infrared radiation is a form of heat and other electromagnetic radiation is not, is a widespread misconception in physics. Any electromagnetic radiation can heat a material when it is absorbed.

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

    The first has the POWER to move molecules into vibration converting to heat and actually warming up the matter. Visible Light from the Sun, Cannot, and Does Not, do this, it is not a thermal energy, it works on smaller electronic transition levels, so weak it’s bounced around the sky by molecules of nitrogen and oxygen..

    Thermal radiation is the emission of electromagnetic waves from all matter that has a temperature greater than absolute zero.[3] It represents a conversion of thermal energy into electromagnetic energy.

    Visible light is electro magnetic energy and therefore thermal energy, it is only insufficient solar intensity that gives the illusion that it is not warming but it is certainly warming above absolute zero Kelvin.

    Disagree with paragraph 6:-

    As for how much we actually receive of thermal infrared on the surface, since it is the Primary source of heating organic matter, it’s the one we have to include in the ‘energy budget’,

    “Thermal infrared” is included in “Incoming Solar Radiation” (341.3 W.m2) TF&K Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1. Again from Part 2a up-thread: Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.

  438. @Richard C (NZ) says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    “GHG DLR does NOT include IR-A and IR-B”

    No I am talking about IR from sunlight not back radiation.

  439. Sorry for the delay in replying to those who are expecting a reply, have not had the time to more than read through the posts. Circumstances, will be back in a couple of days.

  440. Good Gawd, all you dummies reacting to another of Myrrh’s Thermodynamics-illiterate thread highjacks? Give it up. He cannot get the fundamental concept of inevitable decay of all energy forms to thermal vibration. It just won’t register.

    BTW, the term “burning” with regards to skin and UV is metaphorical, not literal. There is no accelerated oxidation happening. The pain and redness are biological responses to DNA damage and cell mortality. The melanin-bearing cells sop up the UV and make warmth from it directly, before it gets a chance to “dig in” to the dermis nuclei and cause damage.

  441. @ Brian H

    You say:- “The melanin-bearing cells sop up the UV and make warmth from it directly”

    I get the point re biological response but since there is warmth generated in the epidermis, this must be the early stage of cooking – yes or no?

    Also, do you have any links to papers and articles regarding solar heating of geologic material vs DLR heating of same (I have Gruber et al)?

    Or, does DLR “heat the earth” (as the AGW folks put it) at all?

  442. “cooking”? Technically, cooking is congealing of proteins from excess heat. Since cells are embedded in the body’s circulatory system, you’d have to overwhelm its heat-transport capacity to begin the “cooking” process. And any source of energy causes some warming.

    Melanin’s “tuned” to absorb UV to protect DNA. Note the reflected color: brown, which is really darkened red. So it absorbs all the high frequencies and bounces away some of the low stuff. Probably including much of the IR, by the way.

    I draw little or no distinction between solar and ‘DLR’. The latter is just slightly lagged solar still in the pipeline a bit longer than it would be without GHGs, which interfere with its escape into the cold dark of the Great Beyond.

  443. @ Brian, thanks for your response.

    You say:-

    …..you’d have to overwhelm its heat-transport capacity to begin the “cooking” process.

    Right, so it’s just a case of increasing the intensity of the source of UV (if it were possible) as in IR and MW cooking except that UV is an inefficient cooking agent because it doesn’t penetrate beyond the outer layer and wouldn’t go much further at higher intensities when it would just overcook the track length it did penetrate anyway. There’s a similar problem with laser penetration of gasses in experiments where the gasses contain metallic vapour (I think). A similar problem also exists with IR cooking but to a much lessor degree but at high intensity (5000 mW/cm2, 50 kW.m2) MW is an efficient cooking agent.

    Melanin’s “tuned” to absorb UV to protect DNA. Note the reflected color: brown, which is really darkened red. So it absorbs all the high frequencies and bounces away some of the low stuff. Probably including much of the IR, by the way.

    Yes, this is very important I think to the question of TF&K’s 333 W.m2 of GHG and cloud backradiation “heating the earth” (as NASA put it – see Part A, 2) up-thread here). The earth’s geologic materials have differing characteristics so that a material and the irradiance it receives must be “tuned” for heating to be effective. AGW-based climate science ignores this little detail completely but goes to great lengths to measure what in reality is an inefficient heating agent (see below).

    BTW, my skin contains very little melanin and I don’t go brown so cooking would commence in my epidermis before it would in melanin rich skin I think but I don’t want to argue this point, better to relate to the topics: cloud, radiation, heating effect on earth etc. I do however think it is very important to understand the concepts we are discussing because they are central to the notion of anthropogenic global warming, the earth’s energy budget and the consequences of the Dessler and Spencer-Braswell cloud oriented papers.

    I draw little or no distinction between solar and ‘DLR’. The latter is just slightly lagged solar still in the pipeline a bit longer than it would be without GHGs, which interfere with its escape into the cold dark of the Great Beyond.

    Yes and No. Yes to the general concept but no to the detail. There is a very significant distinction between photon energy in the respective spectral ranges. Those being: the solar spectrum (200nm – 4000nm) and the DLR spectrum (4000nm -16,000nm), the latter measured in this Doctoral Thesis, “Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface and during cloudless and overcast conditions, Measurements and modelling”, Viudez-Mora 2011.

    I’ve already shown up-thread in Part 2a,also Part A and at the CCG blog here how the photon energy in the electro magnetic spectrum decreases as wavelength increases and how to calculate the energy. Just look at the table (2nd down right-hand side EM link).

    So not only is there insufficient intensity of GHG and cloud DLR for DLR to be an effective heating agent on geologic material but the energy-per-photon that IS delivered in the 4000nm to 16,000nm DLR spectral range is significantly less than in the 200nm to 4000nm solar spectral range.

    Ergo, DLR does NOT “heat the earth” as NASA, the Team and every AGW/Warmist blog commentator and national institution that parrots the meme would have the world believe.

    I challenge anyone reading this to present a scientific paper that shows DLR actually heating a geologic material above the temperature that the material cools to at night after being heated by solar during the day. So far I have come up with a dissertation by Stephan Gruber “Mountain Permafrost: Transient Spatial Modelling, Model Verification and the Use of Remote Sensing” that contains 6 papers by Gruber and others that (among other things) measures rock temperature on a mountain that receives direct solar on one side and the face on the other side that only receives DLR (and diffuse solar, although they seem to ignore that little detail). Only on 4 days of a month do non-direct-solar-side temperatures come close to direct-solar-side temperatures (Paper 2). Gruber et al says non-direct-solar-side temperatures are governed by air temperature but I say they are governed by diffuse solar.

    I have begun an analysis of Gruber et al at CCG here that is incomplete due to work commitments and recent developments in climate science e.g. I’ve compiled “Scientific developments and background re: Dessler 2011, Spencer – Braswell 2011, Lindzen and Choi 2011 now at “IPCC Science”” at CCG.

    My entire investigation of heating effect in respect to “Earth’s global energy budget”, Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl 2009 starts at this CCG thread header. It addresses all of what I’ve discussed in this thread and more and is cross-linked to this thread with some duplicated comments.

    And we should all know by now that DLR has no bulk ocean heating effect.

    [Duplicated at CCG here]

  444. From what I can gather, Dessler 2011 (D11) basically restates Dessler 2010 and Trenberth et al 2010 in lines 79 – 95. All D11 has done is put the focus back on the former papers and as the results and comments of McIntyre, Illis, Spencer and many others now show early on – the Team has a problem.

    The two previous papers:-

    “A Determination of the Cloud Feedback from Climate Variations over the Past Decade”
    A. E. Dessler, 2010 (D10)

    “Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top‐of‐atmosphere radiation”
    Trenberth et al, 2010 (T10)

    Obviously there’s some oddities in D11 (“THE BAD” etc) but there’s 3 interlinked papers in question that are the big picture: D11, D10 and T10 that must be read and dissected in conjunction because they all hang together (consistent as D11 says Line 92). If the D10 – T10 “consistency” is shown to be non-existent by errors in either paper, then the Team will be at loggerheads with each other – and they can’t let that happen.

    SB11 addresses D10 but is there a paper that similarly addresses T10?

    There’s a lot a stake, have I got this right?

  445. I said this in my September 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm comment

    AGW-based climate science ignores this little detail completely but goes to great lengths to measure what in reality is an inefficient [ineffective] heating agent

    They are not the only ones. Dr Roy Spencer did just that in his backyard experiment, see: Help! Back Radiation has Invaded my Backyard!:-

    One of the claims of greenhouse and global warming theory that many people find hard to grasp is that there is a large flow of infrared radiation downward from the sky which keeps the surface warmer than it would otherwise be.

    Particularly difficult to grasp is the concept of adding a greenhouse gas to a COLD atmosphere, and that causing a temperature increase at the surface of the Earth, which is already WARM. This, of course, is what is expected to happen from adding more carbon dioixde to the atmosphere: “global warming”.

    What Dr Spencer has failed to do is to investigate (as I have and documented up-thread) the actual heating effect of the DLR once it encounters surface material and to compare that to solar heating and the temperature to which a solar heated material cools at night.

    So from the same comment linked above I repeat this challenge:-

    I challenge anyone reading this to present a scientific paper that shows DLR actually heating a geologic material above the temperature that the material cools to at night after being heated by solar during the day.

    .

    Note that in that same comment I present a paper that shows DLR heating does not overtake solar heating and even when it comes close it is day-time diffuse solar heating that really does the work – not DLR. The paper compares temperatures on two sides of the same mountain – direct solar heated side vs diffuse solar + DLR heated side. The mountain is in the Swiss Alps.

    I’m sure that if Dr Spencer went through this exercise he would have a vastly revised perspective of AGW, the greenhouse effect and the downstream effect at the earth’s surface of his own papers (SB10 SB11) and that of Dessler”s (D10, D11).

  446. Brian H says:
    September 13, 2011 at 1:42 am

    BTW, the term “burning” with regards to skin and UV is metaphorical, not literal. There is no accelerated oxidation happening. The pain and redness are biological responses to DNA damage and cell mortality. The melanin-bearing cells sop up the UV and make warmth from it directly, before it gets a chance to “dig in” to the dermis nuclei and cause damage

    Thanks for the much needed clarification. Another confusion seems to be the usage of the term adsorption and absorption. They are not interchangeable. Adsorption in a quantum sense would be closer to the term attenuation, than absorption. The chemical definition of adsorption doesn’t apply well with sub-atomic particles. GK

  447. @ Ulric Lyons

    Re your wondering:-

    “It would be interesting to know how much the downward IR-A and IR-B vary”

    This from the 2011 SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment) Science Meeting:-

    “Robert Cahalan of the NASA Goddard Climate and Radiation Laboratory says that the Earth’s surface has been warming in recent decades, while the stratosphere has been cooling, especially the upper stratosphere. This is usually interpreted as evidence that the climate forcing is primarily due to the greenhouse effect, and not the Sun.

    However, in his presentation Dr Cahalan says, evaluating the Sun’s impact on climate requires knowledge of variations not only in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI, formerly “solar constant”) but also variations in the Spectral Solar Irradiance (SSI). Initial findings indicate that multiyear changes in visible and near-infrared parts of the spectrum may be out of phase with those of TSI, while near ultraviolet changes are in phase, but larger than expected. To consider the climate impact of such changes, we compute climate responses to two classes of SSI variations, both having the same variations in TSI. We find that out-of-phase forcing leads to much larger temperature variations in the upper stratosphere, but smaller variations in the troposphere and upper ocean.”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/3868-the-sun-weather-relationship-is-becoming-increasingly-important.html

  448. tallbloke says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:12 am
    Myrrh says:
    September 9, 2011 at 2:56 am

    But if you do admit in AGWSF that the water in clouds is that which absorbs thermal infrared from the upwelling, how do you account for it not doing this to the thermal infrared downwelling direct from the Sun, and ditto heating the oceans?

    Around half of ocean heat content derives from solar ‘near’ IR, and around half from visible.

    So, prove it. I’m now really very irritated with your supercilious attitude here, you have more in common with someone whose behaviour you keep complaining about on sun threads.., than you think.

    I’ve show you generic it can’t be.

    I’ve shown you ” misunderstand ‘absorption’.

    I’ve shown you ” have no idea of the difference in electronic transitions and molecular vibrational resonance.

    I’ve shown you ” do not know the difference between a light and a thermal energy.

    I’ve shown you ” don’t understand scale.

    I’ve shown you ” that the story is being changed.

    I’ve shown you ” etc. etc.

    What more can I tell you?

    All I’ve asked for, is to be shown rational logical explanation observed and tested that blue visible light heats water. NONE of you arguing that shortwave converts to heat the Earth’s oceans and lands have responded with anything even approaching scientific rigour.

    SHOW ME HOW!

    Because by all the properties and processes of blue visible light from the Sun, that is impossible. Which word in ‘that is impossible’ don’t you understand?

    And I’ll now tell you what I think of all of you who keep slagging me off here. I think you’re kidding yourselves that you’re ‘scientists’, because, with the amount of information I’ve given and with the explanations I’ve given, that you have continued to bombard me with ill-disciplined ‘facts’ from a source I’ve shown is corrupt in this detail and when I have shown you are not taking into consideration any of the physics mechanisms I’ve gone through, shows you are no-where near being scientists, not even close. Even one example of why blue light can’t heat water should have been enough..

    Show me anything, anywhere, from anyone, that this miracle in your ‘science’ actually exists.

    No matter what you believe, and I don’t care that you won’t accept it. You don’t understand that the figures in the link you provided (window film) actually prove you wrong, so I’m giving up on that lost cause.

    You don’t understand the mechanism. Where’s the actual facts of it? Heat a cup of water with blue light as from the Sun, you’ll be waiting a long time for your coffee.

    Surface emitted long wave (‘far’ IR) is absorbed in the first few um of water, so it can heat finely divided groups of water molecules in clouds, but not the bulk of the ocean, because the mechanism needed to propogate the energy downwards isn’t adequate.

    Not my argument..

  449. Richard C (NZ) says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:40 am and previous

    Myrrh, my presentation of what I understand to be radiative heating effect has the basis of the EM spectrum and it explains a number of phenomena but I make no recourse to a separate but parallel “thermal” or “heat” spectrum that you seem to require. You will need to produce that spectrum if in fact it exists to support your case.

    Mid and far infrared which begins at 2.5, is thermal. That’s how infrared is divided, by what it does, thermal means heat. Thermal means heat. These energies heat up organic matter, like water. Light energies don’t. It is the actual heating energy from the Sun which has been taken out of the ‘energy budget’ created by AGWScience Fiction Inc and now in general circulation as if physical fact.

    Note that GHG DLR (4000 nm/4 μm – 16000 nm/16 μm) is NOT included but Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1 ascribes 333 W.m2 to it and a status equivalent (except for the colour coding) to solar SW (161 W.m2) and diffuse solar SW is not accounted for although it is probably included in the 161 W.m2 “Absorbed by Surface”, more on this below.

    I’ve kept my argument here to the basic premises of the Kiehl/Trenberth ’97 – because this is what the whole AGW scam was built on and it is clearer here, without the ‘tweaking’ of later versions which do not change the actual junk science premise it is built on – that shortwave, Visible and the UV and Near IR adjacent, a.k.a. Solar, Sunlight – is what heats the world direct from the Sun, and that Thermal Infrared direct from the Sun has nothing to do with it.

    Here’s why I got serious about investigating all of this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/28/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-atmospheric-windows/#comment-610576

    This is now accepted, taught in schools, and means that those so taught have absolutely no idea of the difference between visible light energy and invisible thermal energy. What should be their understanding of the world around them has been destroyed. Knowledge which we have, in the history of mankind, achieved ourselves only very recently, is being deliberately withdrawn from the mass population. Even here as clearly seen, those in other ‘disciplines’ take this for granted in their own work because the deliberately introduced meme is now rampant – which means that their own work when using this information, is also junk science, how can it be otherwise? This is what bothers me. And the ongoing tweaks merely cover this in another layer of confusion, like the name change emphasis to climate change, ‘downwelling’ instead of ‘back-radiation’ has first of all made reference to the copious amount of arguments about ‘back-radiation’ difficult to find, and creates confusion, as here, speed reading, I’m being kind, easily confuses the two, which is why I’ve taken to writing, ‘direct from the Sun’.. I do point out that this is a deliberate trick, sleight of hand, on the part of those promoting AGWScienceFiction – it’s too clever by half, and consistently so, to be anything else. The NASA page comparison is a very good example of change of story of the principle premise.

    So, the KT97 says Near IR but also includes short. In traditional physics the near and short are classed as ‘light’ energies, thermal begins in mid infrared. Whatever the actual cut off points, the thermal is that which moves molecules and atoms into vibration – this is what creates heat. Ergo it is called thermal energy, Heat, and not a reflective energy, Light. Thermal infrared heat energy is readily absorbed by molecules of water, through the resonance principle, near infrared isn’t, it is a light energy getting itself transmitted down through water – there are plants quite deep which use its energy instead of visible red for their red fix in photosynthesis, because visible red doesn’t get to them but near infrared does, they can get blue because it does travel deeper than visible red. Firefighters will sometimes set up a water curtain to protect themselves from the heat of great fires, the light comes through but the heat doesn’t, because the water curtain absorbs it. Here, we’d have the majority scaring themselves silly thinking they’re going to be burned by light..

    Solar power peaks at approx 500nm (blue at approx 445nm) but the total solar power available is the area under the curve 300nm – 2500nm. Green and red peak further along the spectrum at approx 545nm and 575nm respectively. Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.

    And what does ‘peak’ actually mean? How this is sold is that this peak means it is a powerful energy capable of heating land and oceans! And of the infrared how much is actually thermal? I haven’t found it at all easy to get real world information on this. http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/056/mwr-056-08-0322.pdf is the beginning of such studies, says 43% longwave, heat. But, still stands, it can’t be visible heating the oceans, because that’s not what visible does.

    But what is happening with energy-per-photon? See Electromagnetic spectrum:-

    Ultraviolet: 124 eV – 3 eV
    Visible:- 3 eV – approx 1 eV
    Infrared:- approx 1 eV – < approx 124 meV

    Energy decreases as wavelength increases.

    And density increases?

    Just the difference in size between near infrared and thermal is microscopic and pin head size. Size matters. There is always this constant reference to visible as being ‘very energetic’, as if that equates to ‘power to do work’. It takes a heck of a lot more power to move a molecule into rotational states which thermal infrared does than it to set an electron vibrating – which is what blue light does in the electronic transition effect and is what scatters blue light all over the sky, being bounced around in reflection when the electron chucks it back out again.

    There’s no sense of scale in these arguments – and still they haven’t come back with any sensible response to my challenge about ‘absorption’. Since blue light is clearly reflected/scattered all over the sky by these actual electron absorptions, where’s the heat generated accounted for in the energy budget?

    You say:-

    “Next, this discussion is about role of clouds, the thermal infrared heat direct from the Sun will be trapped/blocked by clouds on the way down from the Sun, because clouds are water and water is the great absorber of thermal energy”

    Role of clouds yes, analysis no. Again, radiation is NOT heat, both are forms of ENERGY. Energy from the sun comes to earth via radiation, heat will only manifest when the radiation encounters matter that will absorb (not reflect or diffuse) that radiation due to the properties of the matter.

    I have to warn you, I getting to a point re ‘heat’ … This is a picky too far. Traditional physics doesn’t have a problem here, different disciplines will use the term in specific ways, but, they all know that heat is what is given off by the Sun or a fire, and that this is different from the visible light which is given off (which is not hot). You can say the same for light from the Sun, it doesn’t manifest as light until it hits matter. So what? My point is that these energies are different from each other. Traditional physics understands this well, it is heat that is given off whether you can feel it or not. Heat energy, thermal energy, Heat, from the Sun, is what AGWScience Fiction says doesn’t reach the earth. And instead, AGWSF says that it’s the Light energies which heat organic matter. That’s the point I’m trying to make here. They’ve stepped through the looking glass with Alice, they’ve simply reversed properties, and now ‘everyone’ is looking for the missing heat..

    So, for example:

    http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/radiation/
    The physics of radiative heat transfer.
    Before proceeding to investigate the effect of solar radiation on Earth we should take a moment to review the physical laws governing the transfer of energy through radiation. In particular we should understand the following points:

    •The radiative heat transfer process is independent of the presence of matter. It can move heat even through empty space.
    •All bodies emit radiation and the wavelength (or frequency) and energy characteristics (or spectrum) of that radiation are determined solely by the body’s temperature.
    •The energy flux drops as the square of distance from the radiating body.
    •Radiation goes through a transformation when it encounters other objects (solid, gas or liquid). That transformation depends on the physical properties of that object and it is through this transformation that radiation can transfer heat from the emitting body to the other objects.
    To read more about these points go to radiative heat transfer.

    Italics mine. When you light a fire heat is given off, whether it meets something or not. The Sun is very hot, it’s giving off a lot of heat…

    And in your later post: Suddenly they switch from heat to (the more correct in this case) energy. There’s heat at both ends of the transfer but it’s energy that’s transferred by radiation – not heat. Heat transfer DOES require the presence of matter and the properties of the matter are important parameters of the transfer

    So, no. It’s heat that on the move. Heat moves from hotter to colder, the Sun is very hot, it’s giving off a lot of heat, that heat is moving to colder space around it.

    Clouds and atmosphere reflect 79 W.m2 and absorb 78 W.m2 of the incoming solar according to TF&K Fig 1 but clouds are also translucent so that on a very cloudy day 100% of incoming solar energy at the surface (residual of reflection and absorption) is diffuse and the energy arriving at the surface is LESS than if it were 100% direct (none reflected). TF&K omit a downward emitted component of “Absorbed by Atmosphere” (which is not diffuse note, see Transparency and translucency link above), they just show an upward emission.

    That’s what I’m saying here, in response adding a ‘reflecting’ to the clouds cooling angle – bearing in mind I’m talking about direct thermal energy and KT97 doesn’t include this downwelling direct from the Sun – cloud cover does stop that to some extent or other, and as this is opposite side of clouds to us, and heat rises.. Actually when I was thinking about it earlier, I wondered how that could be shown, there must be some data perhaps from satellites on the heat coming from the tops of clouds when it’s cold beneath them?

    Finally, where does GHG DLR come in (given that it is infrared)? See Doctoral Thesis. “Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface and during cloudless and overcast conditions. Measurements and modelling”, Viudez-Mora 2011. Figure 1.1. shows the distinction between solar and terrestrial (GHG DLR) irradiance and why the threshold between both wavelengths is conventionally set at 4000nm (4μm, 4 microns) the other limit being 16μm. GHG DLR does NOT include IR-A and IR-B, see Infrared. It is only IR-C: 3000 nm–1 mm (3 µm – 1000 µm). The photon energy in the 4 – 16µm range is only around 124 meV.

    OK, I’m going to have to take this back a step. “shows the distinction between solar and terrestrial” is my gripe here. It doesn’t show it since it claims that all “atmospheric infrared” is terrestrial. At least according to the blurb as I read it. In other words, I don’t know what it’s talking about at all-:

    “The radiative processes in the atmosphere can be divided, depending on the wavelength, in the solar (or shortwave) band and the terrestrial (also called atmospheric, infrared, thermal, and longwave) band.”

    And, quite honestly, I couldn’t give any tacit credibility to any figures generated from work done by people who say this. If they are measuring thermal infrared direct from the Sun, let them say so unambiguously, I really have no time for this AGWScience Fiction meme… How does this compare, for example, with http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105/1425chap4.htm ? http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105/images/gaia_chapter_4/energybudget.jpg

    Now to some people that DO understand radiative heating effect. From Microwaves101.com “Biological effects of electromagnetic radiation”:-

    Electromagnetic energy is carried by photons. The higher the frequency, the higher the energy in each photon. When a certain energy level is reached, the photon has enough energy to knock off electrons from molecules that it encounters. At this point it is called ionizing radiation. The critical energy level is 10 electron volts (eV). One Joule is 6.2x10E18 electron volts, so a single electron volt is immeasurably small. Here’s how to calculate the energy of a photon, depending on its frequency:

    E=hV

    h=Planck’s constant = 6.626E-34 Joule-seconds

    For the ISM band (2.45 GHz) where your microwave oven operates, energy of each photon is therefore 0.00001 electron volts. The power needed to ionize a molecule is one million times higher than this, so it simply won’t happen.

    Sunlight is far higher in frequency than microwaves, it doesn’t penetrate the body, so it is more dangerous at the same power level. Sunlight provides a power level of 100 mW/cm2 during the summer months, mostly infrared, but with some visible and ultraviolet energy

    What they mean by “it doesn’t penetrate the body” is that it doesn’t migrate evenly throughout the innards thereby facilitating useful cooking – it just cooks the outer layers (sunburn) and warms a little deeper. Further down see “The following table shows the effects of exposure to certain power levels”:-

    Nope, what they mean by it doesn’t penetrate the body is that it doesn’t penetrate the body. UV doesn’t make it past the first layer of skin, the epidermis, and works on the DNA level, and visible light goes a teeny bit further before being reflected out. They may well be ‘higher energy’, but that just means they travel faster.. You can see this phenomenon in the use of near infrared cameras because near infrared is also reflective, not absorptive. If visible was absorbed you’d see the insides of everyone and none would cast a shadow. Neither UV nor Visible are hot, they don’t carry heat.

    Note what it says about ionising – higher energy can knock off an electron, visible in the sky can’t even do that it’s not powerful enough, it can set an electron vibrating, but then gets bounced back by this. Higher Energy, does not, equate to Higher Power. Calling thermal infrared ‘lower energy’ is a misnomer here if imagining that means lower power. It has far greater power (to do work), it doesn’t just tap an electron, it doesn’t even just send an electron flying away, it moves the whole molecule (rotational/vibrational/resonance). That’s power.

    Neither UV nor Visible can cook.

    Ergo, DLR does NOT “heat the earth” as NASA, the Team and every AGW/Warmist blog commentator and national institution that parrots the meme would have the world believe.

    This is a typical AGWSF meme – DLR actually means Downwelling Longwave Radiation – and that is technically what is downwelling direct from the Sun in energy budgets and should only therefore apply to thermal infrared direct from the Sun to Earth. This term is now used, it appears, to have totally usurped the earlier meme of ‘back-radiation’, which they said was that bounced back from the Earth’s upwelling infrared. AGWSF has a penchant for flipping meanings, it is something to watch out for..

    So, yes, I would argue coming from traditional science, of course DLR heats the Earth! See the problem?

    The problem is also, that several years of arguments in discussions such as these on ‘back-radiation’, are now out of the loop. They do so like people to talk at cross purposes.

    What we first have to do, is get back the real downwelling direct from the Sun thermal infrared. Which is where I came in on all this.

    But, until both pro and antis AGW get a grip and really make an effort to understand that ‘Solar’ aka shortwave, visible, etc. cannot heat water and land because these are very different energies from thermal, it ain’t going to happen. Especially as none of those who keep insisting it can heat water makes any damn effort to prove it to me.

    They believe in impossible physics. Size matters..

    Apologies, I’m trying to concentrate on this, but have been distracted and I can’t print it out so I think I’ve got muddled, if I haven’t understood something you’ve said, and so have given an irrelevant answer.., or left something out, let me know.

  450. G. Karst says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:56 am
    Myrrh:

    You seem to acknowledge that blue light is indeed adsorbed and re-emitted or transmitted again, from the now excited particle. However, you do not seem to recognize that entropy is at work as in all things. If a particle adsorbs light (blue), entropy dictates that 100% of the light energy is not retransmitted. What are you proposing is the end result of the missing energy if it does not show up as increased kinetic energy of the molecule/atom (vibration)? Molecules/atom kinetic energy (movement) is the very definition of sensible heat.

    Great! So, you can answer my question re the claim that the atmosphere is transparent to visible light [therefore it does not heat the atmosphere etc as per AGW] – how much is visible light heating the atmosphere on the way down from the Sun?

    Blue light is being scattered around at a great rate of knots, must be generating a lot of heat.

    Are you maintaining that energy re-transmission is perfect and entropy does not apply, for this special circumstance?

    Nope.

    My point, in pointing this out, was that this too exists. Conversely, water is classed, in traditional physics, as really transparent to visible light. Therefore, blue light does not jog the electrons of the molecules of water, they don’t admit blue light to their molecular dance..

    Now, this all happens at tremendous speed, slower in water than in air, but still extremely rapid, this is what slows visible light in water in first principle, there is a slight delay before it is tranmitted to the next molecule and so on.

    Btw, I do not think you are in error, simply because many disagree. I think everyone here knows how frustrating it is to argue a minority position. GK

    Thank you for that. It does seem strange to be arguing from a ‘minority’ position when all I’m doing is giving information on tried and tested and well understood traditional physics..

    Any thoughts on this:

    http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/infrared.htm

    Although nitrogen and oxygen gases make up a large portion of the atmosphere, they do not absorb infrared. However, water vapor carbon dioxide methane and ozone molecules in the atmosphere absorb much of the infrared radiation coming from the Sun.

    There is a band of wavelengths between 8 and 12 microns where little infrared radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere. Radiation in this band of wavelengths is what reaches the ground to heat things up.

  451. And I’d just like to remind if anyone is interested in how the con of reversing properties is being achieved, I posted this earlier here but maybe lost in the traffic – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-711886

    This comes from an organisation which has the reputation of being cutting edge in science, clearly, to those who can follow what I’m saying here, NASA on its ‘climate relevant pages’ is being run by people fully committed to the AGW scam. This isn’t just a manipulation of Mannlike figures, this is a manipulation of core, basic physical properties of the world around us. In effect, all these arguments between pro and con AGW are based on the same science fictional world created by the scam manufacturing department, and serve, therefore, only to create more confusion which is, istm, the prime objective of twisting science into fictional memes.

    And now I have to take a break from active participation here for a while. Will check back just to read the blog, Anthony and contributors do come up with great discussions, but I don’t have the time at the moment to concentrate on this. I do try not to be ad hom type offensive, if I have slipped up with anyone, I’m sorry.

  452. @ Myrrh

    You make 2 fundamental errors that give us the clue as to why you have gone off at a tangent but first note that we understand that radiation and matter must be “tuned” for heating to occur i.e. we understand that blue light (or visible light) is not the agent that heats the ocean and that the energy for that comes from UV, IR-A, IR-B and a small part of MWIR, IR-C (see Infrared and Electromagnetic spectrum) in the SOLAR spectral range 200-4000nm. This article “New Paper: Solar UV activity increased almost 50% over past 400 years” shows why UV is much more important than IR in respect to ocean heating:-

    This is highly significant because the UV portion of the solar spectrum is the most important for heating of the oceans due to the greatest penetration beyond the surface and highest energy levels. Solar UV is capable of penetrating the ocean to depths of several meters to cause ocean heating. whereas long wave infrared emission from “greenhouse gases” or the sun is only capable of penetrating the ocean surface a few microns with all energy lost to the phase change of evaporation with no net heating of the ocean.

    Note that IR-A, IR-B and 1000nm of MWIR IR-C are within the SOLAR EM spectral range (< 4000nm) and contribute to water heating but are minor agents, UV being the major agent and visible sunlight (also within the SOLAR spectrum) is ineffective. MWIR IR-C in the range 3000 – 8000nm (there’s a 1000nm overlap with the solar spectrum) is mostly NOT in the SOLAR spectrum (except for the 3000-4000nm overlap) and GHG DLR is IR-C in the range MWIR 3000-8000nm and LWIR 8000-15,000nm giving a total DLR range of 3000-15,000nm but conventionally the DLR range for clouds and GHGs is the range 4000-16,000nm i.e. if it’s greater than 4000nm, it ain’t solar. More on this below but error 1 first.

    Error 1, you say:-

    So, no. It’s heat that on the move. Heat moves from hotter to colder, the Sun is very hot, it’s giving off a lot of heat, that heat is moving to colder space around it.

    Really? What then is the temperature of that space? About 3°K (-270°C). That 3° is only due to the very few particles of matter present in it but put a spacecraft in space and the bare metal (matter) can reach 260°C (533° K) i.e. the sun is hot yes, but it is giving off energy in the form of radiation (the SOLAR range of the EM spectrum that INCLUDES the visible light range). The radiation moves through space at the speed of light (being the only way, no conduction or convection in a vacuum), the heat only manifests on an encounter by the radiation with matter (say a spacecraft).

    In summary, it’s energy that’s on the move in the form of radiation and some of that radiation will convert to heat depending on the properties of the matter it encounters being “tuned” to a thermal heating effect of any part of the solar spectral range (the visible range not “tuned” and therefore ineffective).

    Error 2, you say:-

    DLR actually means Downwelling Longwave Radiation

    Almost correct but not quite. DLR actually means Downwelling Longwave [Infrared] Radiation, the “Infrared” being IR-C MWIR and LWIR only – not IR-A or IR-B and NOT within the SOLAR EM spectral range except for the 1000nm MWIR overlap.

    Then following on you say:-

    – and that is technically what is downwelling direct from the Sun in energy budgets and should only therefore apply to thermal infrared direct from the Sun to Earth.

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The solar spectral EM range that is “downwelling direct from the Sun” is 200-4000nm. DLR is 4000-16,000nm. If radiation is in the EM spectral range 4000-16,000nm and greater, it’s NOT solar radiation.

    You say (quoting a blog):-

    Any thoughts on this:

    There is a band of wavelengths between 8 and 12 microns where little infrared radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere. Radiation in this band of wavelengths is what reaches the ground to heat things up.

    My thoughts? BOGUS

    First, radiation in the EM spectral range 8000-12,000nm is outside the solar EM spectral range so it is neither direct solar nor diffuse solar (161 W.m2 TF&K global average) and therefore (in this case) it is DLR from GHGs and clouds (333 W.m2 TF&K global average).

    Second, solar radiation “heats things up” – not DLR. Calculations for solar energy collectors add direct and diffuse solar to arrive at the useful flux – you do NOT add the DLR flux to the direct+diffuse solar flux to arrive at the total useful flux.

    The second point is what I believe to be the gigantic error that climate science (including Spencer, Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl) and AGW make. They do not understand real, apparent and Watt-less power the way electrical engineers, technicians and electricians do. They assume that 1 W.m2 of DLR power has equivalent heating effect to 1 W.m2 of solar power on geologic material (including ocean) but clearly it doesn’t. All they have to do is consult the Electromagnetic spectrum to find out what the difference is. The energy decreases as wavelength increases (no Myrrh, no “density” increase either, that’s concentration as in a laser – I think you mean an increase in INTENSITY of flux say to 50 W.m2 that is required for MW cooking). So moving from EUV to FIR, the energy-per-photon is:-

    100nm: 12.4 eV

    1000nm: 1.24 eV (in solar EM spectral range)

    10,000nm: 12.4 meV (in DLR EM spectral range)

    I.e. there’s negligible useful heating power in the DLR power flux at earth’s surface – it’s apparent power, not real power.

    I tried to make this point to Lubus Motl at The Reference Frame under his “Why is there energy and what it isn’t” post but his blog does not accept HTML so I stuffed up the comment. That comment is reproduced in my next comment in this thread.

    [This comment duplicated at CCG here]

  453. Refer to the bottom of my previous comment to make sense of why this is posted here
    ——————————————————————–
    Lubos, most of this is way above my level but I do have a question in regard to energy and climate science that may be worthwhile answering in a separate post.

    From your post:-

    “….energy 2 times 3.5 TeV pumped by electromagnetic fields into fast protons”

    Climate science, in Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) 2009 “Earth’s Global Energy Budget” Figure 1 ascribe 333 W.m2 to DLR vs 161 W.m2 to incoming solar and goes to great lengths to measure DLR (Dr Roy Spencer included, see – Help! Back Radiation has Invaded my Backyard) because in AGW parlance it “warms the earth”. NASA says this on their Clouds and Radiation page:-

    “High, thin clouds primarily transmit incoming solar radiation; at the same time, they trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and radiate it back downward, thereby warming the surface of the Earth”.

    I cannot see how DLR can do work (heat) geologic material (we know it doesn’t heat the ocean in bulk) anywhere near what solar already does due to the energy-per-photon in the DLR range of the EM spectrum. As far as I can make out very approximately, the eV values are these:-

    Ultraviolet: 124 eV – 3 eV
    Visible:- 3 eV – approx 1 eV
    Infrared:- approx 1 eV – < approx 124 meV

    And the spectral ranges are these:-

    Solar: 200 – 4000nm
    DLR: 4000 – 16000nm

    IR-A and B occurring in the solar spectrum but IR-C is DLR

    If DLR was an effective heating agent at the earth's surface, it would have been harnessed as is solar energy but it obviously isn't. For example the annual mean DLR measurement at Darwin, Australia is 409 W.m2.

    So the question is this: is climate science making a gigantic error by not considering the actual heating effect on geologic material of DLR?

    Additionally, is the Earth's Global Energy Budget in the wrong units? They use W.m2 radiative fluxes but it should be Joules. It seems to me that the budget should be in terms of work so that the work expended by solar SW at the earth's surface is accounted for (e.g. energy stored in the ocean) and the illusion that solar, OLR and DLR are able to do work equally is removed. Alternatively, the TF&K budget should be renamed Earth's Global Radiation Budget and a separate budget prepared in units of Joules titled Earth's Global Energy Budget.

    I've tried to get traction with this at WUWT up and down from this comment but got nowhere (I was off-topic to be fair but was responding to a comment by someone else). I introduced the electrical concepts of real, apparent and Watt-less power and issued a challenge re peer-reviewed papers on geologic heating by DLR (the closest I’ve got is Gruber 2005) but so far no takers and the herd has moved on.

    I’ve also documented an extensive investigation of this topic at Climate Conversations Group (CCG) starting at this thread header but I’ve taken it about as far as I can go and would appreciate your input (advancement or correction of argument – whatever) at this stage.

    Cheers,

    Richard Cumming (NZ)

  454. Richard C (NZ) says:
    September 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm
    @ Myrrh

    You make 2 fundamental errors that give us the clue as to why you have gone off at a tangent but first note that we understand that radiation and matter must be “tuned” for heating to occur i.e. we understand that blue light (or visible light) is not the agent that heats the ocean and that the energy for that comes from UV, IR-A, IR-B and a small part of MWIR, IR-C (see Infrared and Electromagnetic spectrum) in the SOLAR spectral range 200-4000nm. This article “New Paper: Solar UV activity increased almost 50% over past 400 years” shows why UV is much more important than IR in respect to ocean heating:-

    Richard, I am arguing against AGW as I read about it and as I have been presented with it for the last few years. I am not arguing about your version of it…

    These arguments are always confusing because, as I have pointed out before, there is a deliberate imput from AGWSF designed to confuse.

    You must have missed the example I gave you a few posts up: “Here’s why I got serious about investigating all of this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/28/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-atmospheric-windows/#comment-610576

    Which says,

    Ira Glickstein, PhD says:
    March 1, 2011 at 6:11 am
    Myrrh says:
    February 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm
    I’m really at a loss to understand any of this. How on earth does Visible light and near short wave heat the Earth

    Myrrh, you really need to get outside more and sit in the Sunshine and feel the warmth! That is how visible and near-visible (“shortwave”) light warms he Earth.

    If you don’t or cannot get outside, turn on an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb and hold yourhand near it (not too close, you will get burned). Feel the heat? That is shortwave light because the filament is heated to temperatures similar to the Sun’ surface. You can tell it is shortwave because you can see the light.

    Now, I should be grateful if you would read that really carefully, because this is what is being taught now and against which I am arguing. The shorthand version meme is :shortwave in, longwave out.

    From the wiki page on the Greenhouse Effect:

    “Solar radiation at the high frequencies of visible light passes through the atmosphere to warm the planetary surface, which then emits this energy at the lower frequencies of infrared thermal radiation. Infrared radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn re-radiate much of the energy to the surface and lower atmosphere.”

    Note well, “visible light passes through the atmosphere to warm the planetary surface.”

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/greenhouse_effect.aspx#1-1G2:3438100336-full

    “Scientists sometimes refer to a “window” in Earth’s atmosphere (somewhat similar to a greenhouse window) through which radiation can pass. That atmospheric window is not an object, like a piece of glass, but a range in radiation across which atmospheric gases are transparent. That range is from about 350 to 750 nanometers (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter). For comparison, the wavelengths of visible light range from about 400 nanometers (for blue light) to 750 nanometers (for red light).”

    ..
    All of which is to tell you something you already know. If you put your hand on a patch of dark soil at the end of a sunny day, the soil feels warm. In fact, if you place your hand just above the soil, you can feel heat being given off by the soil. The reason is that objects that are heated by sunlight behave in the same way as the ground in a greenhouse. Those objects give back energy picked up from sunlight, but in a different form. Instead of reradiating the energy in the form of visible light, the objects give the energy back off in the form of heat.

    Do you see? Heated by sunlight. It’s visible light which is promoted as being the heat source of the land and oceans.

    “we understand that blue light (or visible light) is not the agent that heats the ocean” ?

    That’s not the arguments I get from this AGWSF meme gone rampant…

    tallbloke: “Around half of ocean heat content derives from solar ‘near’ IR, and around half from visible.”

    Look, Richard, with the best will in the world I really don’t have time for this. I think you have missed my point here, which is, that the energy budget claim created by AGWScience Fiction and taken to be normal physical by the majority of non-thinking scientists and non-scientists around now and especially those arguing pro and con AGW, is that visible light converts to heat land and oceans of Earth and that thermal infrared direct from the Sun plays no part in this.

    As interesting as it is what AGWSF says about UV or Near IR is A DISTRACTION to my point, which is, that AGWScience Fiction has created a meme which has turned upside down the known physics of light and heat from the Sun.

    So who is the “we” in “we understand that blue light (or visible light) is not the agent that heats the ocean”? Because it sure as hell isn’t in any of decades of teaching on this scam, not in any of the encyclopaedias, not in any of the books and teaching currently in ‘science’ that I’ve seen, and not in any of the arguments I’ve had..

    I’ll say it again. This is now the bog standard science teaching in classrooms and university lecture halls, REAL science has been corrupted. So efficiently corrupted that the Sun’s LIGHT is now thought to be the source of heating the Earth’s surfaces, land and oceans.

    It’s everywhere. The whole education system world-wide has been turned upside down and is teaching this junk science, that light, shortwave, is heating the Earth, and, that longwave is a result of that, not a cause in its own right of heating the Earth direct from the Sun.

    This is highly significant because the UV portion of the solar spectrum is the most important for heating of the oceans due to the greatest penetration beyond the surface and highest energy levels. Solar UV is capable of penetrating the ocean to depths of several meters to cause ocean heating. whereas long wave infrared emission from “greenhouse gases” or the sun is only capable of penetrating the ocean surface a few microns with all energy lost to the phase change of evaporation with no net heating of the ocean.

    Shrug. I refer you back to the wiki page on translucency – please read the section on UV/Visible and electronic transitions. UV is no more capable of heating water than visible. They don’t have the oomph. That’s, by the way, the same argument I get re blue light, that it penetrates deeper and therefore it heats deeper down…

    All I can suggest is that you (and generic) step through the looking glass from your side where you’re imagining all kinds of impossible things before breakfast and come back, if you were ever here, into the real world where you’ll still find traditional physics and countless real world applications based on it. For example, if you understood the difference in properties of energy from the Sun, you’d know that UV is very useful as a disinfectant, because the tiny highly energetic waves act on a DNA level it is used in many water purifying plants – this is not creating heat, but using the UV energy to dismantle the structures of microbuggy thingies that can give us a nasty bout of the runs, or worse. Here:

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

    Please, take some time to mull over the difference between electronic transitions and rotational resonance, the first uses short energy wavelengths of UV and Visible to effect changes which do not create heat. UV is not hot – you cannot feel UV.

    You can feel Thermal Infrared, because that is HEAT carried in an electromagnetic wave. UV, Visible, Near Infrared, do not carry heat. UV does not cook the microbes. UV does not heat the water. It takes a lot of heat in the Sun to create them..

    Discovery
    The discovery of UV radiation was associated with the observation that silver salts darken when exposed to sunlight. In 1801, the German physicist Johann Wilhelm Ritter made the hallmark observation that invisible rays just beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum were especially effective at lightening silver chloride-soaked paper. He called them “oxidizing rays” to emphasize chemical reactivity and to distinguish them from “heat rays” at the other end of the visible spectrum. The simpler term “chemical rays” was adopted shortly thereafter, and it remained popular throughout the 19th century. The terms chemical and heat rays were eventually dropped in favour of ultraviolet and infrared radiation, respectively.[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet

    Observation, chemical uses of energy which do not create heat, as for example, the use of visible energy to effect a chemical change to sugars in photosynthesis, this does not create heat. Do let me know how successful you are at heating a cup of water with UV.

    As I’ve said before – the problem here is that people believe the ‘memes’ circulated, to the point where their reasoning is a jumbled mess, but they can’t see this. Two of the memes propagandised to promote this corruption of science is ‘highly energetic equals more power’ and ‘all energy is the same’..

    Here’s an example, and quite honestly, unless you make the effort to get to grips with the differences between electromagnetic waves, the actual properties of scale and effects and processes, you’ll just go round in your own circle and will fail to spot the disjuncts.

    What does it do?

    Light enables us to see, and heat keeps us from being cold. However, ultraviolet rays often carry the unfortunate circumstance of containing too much energy. For example, infrared rays create heat in much the same way as rubbing your hands together does. The energy contained in the infrared rays causes the molecules of the substance it hits to vibrate back and forth. However, the energy contained in ultraviolet rays is higher, so instead of just causing the molecules to shake, it actually can knock electrons away from the atoms, or causes molecules to split. This results in a change in the chemical structure of the molecule. This change is especially detrimental to living organisms, as it can cause cell damage and deformities by actually mutating its genetic code. http://uv.biospherical.com/student/page3.html

    Two things to note in the above extract. Firstly that it does give a description based on the difference between electronic transitions and rotational resonance, the power of heat energy to move the actual molecule and the electronic transition of an ionising highly energic shortwave capable of hitting an electron with enough energy to expel it from the molecule. But, with the AGWSF meme in place, it presents this as the electronic transition equalling more power. You might not see anything wrong in that because you are so used to hearing this meme without actually ever thinking about it. What is the real difference here? The heat energy is capable of moving a whole large molecule into rotation which is what converts energy to heat, that makes it more POWERFUL than the UV which is smaller in size and CANNOT move the whole molecule into rotation, so cannot heat up the molecule. UV works on a much smaller scale. It is more energetic than visible which can only knock an electron around a bit, which is how blue light is scattered every which way in the atmosphere by the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen. More energetic only means that it is moving more rapidly in the same space, since all these electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed this means it has got to be smaller. The more highly energetic, the smaller the waves. The smaller they are the more larger things can stop them (until they become so small they can slip inbetween). UV doesn’t penetrate deeper than the first layer of skin. You can stop UV by putting on a shirt.

    You can stop UV by putting on a shirt.

    Error 1, you say:-

    “So, no. It’s heat that on the move. Heat moves from hotter to colder, the Sun is very hot, it’s giving off a lot of heat, that heat is moving to colder space around it.”

    Really? What then is the temperature of that space? About 3°K (-270°C). That 3° is only due to the very few particles of matter present in it but put a spacecraft in space and the bare metal (matter) can reach 260°C (533° K) i.e. the sun is hot yes, but it is giving off energy in the form of radiation (the SOLAR range of the EM spectrum that INCLUDES the visible light range). The radiation moves through space at the speed of light (being the only way, no conduction or convection in a vacuum), the heat only manifests on an encounter by the radiation with matter (say a spacecraft).

    This AGWSF meme is as irritating as the ‘everything gives off infrared heat above absolute zero’…

    So nope. You refuse to take in that this is not what is happening, as you’ve argued further above. The Sun is giving off HEAT. This is HEAT energy. If there is something in its way which can be heated it will heat it. Put a spaceship in its way and the spaceship will heat up, put a piece of asbestos in its way and what happens?

    In summary, it’s energy that’s on the move in the form of radiation and some of that radiation will convert to heat depending on the properties of the matter it encounters being “tuned” to a thermal heating effect of any part of the solar spectral range (the visible range not “tuned” and therefore ineffective).

    The problem here is that you’re repeating a version of the AGWSF meme that ‘all energy is the same’, so you try to find ways to make it fit, but all energy is not the same. The Sun is producing gamma rays which are different in size and abilities to the thermal infrared heat rays it is producing and these are different from the visible rays it is producing, they do different things. An x-ray doesn’t become an x-ray when it hits a particular piece of matter ‘tuned’ to it, it is an x-ray and because it is an x-ray it will do certain things when it hits variety of matter. The matter isn’t creating the x-ray. Matter isn’t creating heat out of ‘radiation’, it is reacting to the heat it is receiving if it’s capable of receiving it.

    http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/radiation/
    The physics of radiative heat transfer.
    Before proceeding to investigate the effect of solar radiation on Earth we should take a moment to review the physical laws governing the transfer of energy through radiation. In particular we should understand the following points:

    The radiative heat transfer process is independent of the presence of matter. It can move heat even through empty space.

    •Radiation goes through a transformation when it encounters other objects (solid, gas or liquid). That transformation depends on the physical properties of that object and it is through this transformation that radiation can transfer heat from the emitting body to the other objects.

    Sorry, this is yer bog standard traditional physics. You are giving an argument created by the AGWSF factory – it is a particular slant to distract from the actual facts that energy is different in the different wavelengths, this makes it all the easier for them to pretend that ‘all radiation creates heat’ in encounters because they’ve taken the real heat from the Sun out of the energy budget. It’s a non argument really, but what it has done is confuse those genuinely seeking to understand the world around us.

    Error 2, you say:-

    “DLR actually means Downwelling Longwave Radiation”

    Almost correct but not quite. DLR actually means Downwelling Longwave [Infrared] Radiation, the “Infrared” being IR-C MWIR and LWIR only – not IR-A or IR-B and NOT within the SOLAR EM spectral range except for the 1000nm MWIR overlap.

    L stands for Longwave which in context of the real energy budget means thermal, longwave infrared, heat. Again, I don’t much care to argue against your version. My argument is that this term, DLR, which technically in trad science stands for downwelling from the Sun, has been usurped now and replaces the the previous term used in the AGWSF arguments, back-radiating. All the arguments I’ve seen in the last few years were about the ‘back-radiating’ longwave, thermal. Until this discussion I hadn’t seen DLR substituted for ‘back-radiating’, which I noted when I first came into the discussion. All the arguments now changed – second law anyone..?

    Then following on you say:-

    “– and that is technically what is downwelling direct from the Sun in energy budgets and should only therefore apply to thermal infrared direct from the Sun to Earth.”

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The solar spectral EM range that is “downwelling direct from the Sun” is 200-4000nm. DLR is 4000-16,000nm. If radiation is in the EM spectral range 4000-16,000nm and greater, it’s NOT solar radiation.

    Sigh, I do wish you’d at least read my arguments, and my references, for comprehension to my point..

    That is precisely the problem.

    They have taken thermal infrared out of the REAL DOWNWELLING from the Sun. I’m not going to fetch it again. Find the comparison I posted on NASA’s teaching. Traditional REAL EFFIN PHYSICS, STILL teaches that the HEAT we feel from the Sun is THERMAL INFRARED. IF WE CAN FEEL IT THEN IT IS IN THE EFFIN DOWNWELLING FROM THE SUN

    GOT IT?

    MY POINT IS THAT SCIENCE HAS BEEN CORRUPTED.

    You say (quoting a blog):-

    “Any thoughts on this:

    ‘There is a band of wavelengths between 8 and 12 microns where little infrared radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere. Radiation in this band of wavelengths is what reaches the ground to heat things up.’”

    My thoughts? BOGUS

    You could try re-reading what I’ve said. At the very least you should be questioning why traditional science still teaches that the heat we get on the surface of the Earth, the heat we feel downwelling from the Sun which reaches us at the same time as visible light from the Sun, is the invisible thermal, longwave, infrared. That Herschel found…

    Sadly, it’s your confused science that is bogus. If you ever come to appreciating that, I bet you’re going to be very annoyed.

    So your following, I shan’t bother to deconstruct. First you must make some effort to comprehend the actual points I’m trying to make.

    First, radiation in the EM spectral range 8000-12,000nm is outside the solar EM spectral range so it is neither direct solar nor diffuse solar (161 W.m2 TF&K global average) and therefore (in this case) it is DLR from GHGs and clouds (333 W.m2 TF&K global average).

    Actually, I can’t let this one pass. Re-read that. Do you really believe that we do not receive heat direct from the Sun??!

    Then we can’t be receiving light from the Sun either.

    That massive huge fireball in the sky chucking out all that heat! And what? There’s a shield or something around the Earth which stops that heat from reaching us?? What? How?

    Is this from your thinking that matter creates heat out of ‘radiation’?

    Second, solar radiation “heats things up” – not DLR. Calculations for solar energy collectors add direct and diffuse solar to arrive at the useful flux – you do NOT add the DLR flux to the direct+diffuse solar flux to arrive at the total useful flux.

    Downwelling Longwave Radiation is that coming DIRECT from the Sun. You are misusing the term. The energy budget is what comes in DIRECT from the Sun against what goes out from the Earth.

    We can feel the heat direct from the Sun. It is downwelling heat direct from the Sun. AND my point is that this has been EXCLUDED by the AGW Science Fiction corruption of real physics. Your ‘energy budget’ is pure fiction because your base premises are corrupted. They were deliberately corrupted.

    You are repeating a corruption of real physics. Please, do make an effort to check it out for yourself.

    The second point is what I believe to be the gigantic error that climate science (including Spencer, Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl) and AGW make. They do not understand real, apparent and Watt-less power the way electrical engineers, technicians and electricians do. They assume that 1 W.m2 of DLR power has equivalent heating effect to 1 W.m2 of solar power on geologic material (including ocean) but clearly it doesn’t. All they have to do is consult the Electromagnetic spectrum to find out what the difference is. The energy decreases as wavelength increases (no Myrrh, no “density” increase either, that’s concentration as in a laser – I think you mean an increase in INTENSITY of flux say to 50 W.m2 that is required for MW cooking). So moving from EUV to FIR, the energy-per-photon is:- …

    No, I don’t mean intensity, I’m not talking about lasars…. :)

    For example as amount of stuff in a given area, a dense material has more stuff closer together and visible light is but a very tiny part of the spectrum and so much less of it than heat from the Sun in the energy that reaches us.., :) but as here:

    http://askthephysicist.com/ask_phys_q&a_older.html#gravitybends ANSWER:
    Any frequency of light may carry any amount of energy —that is what the intensity of the light is. However, we know that light is made up of many photons, each carrying the minimum energy that such a frequency can carry. The energy E of a photon is determined by the frequency f by the relation E=hf where h is Planck’s constant (an extremely tiny number). Therefore, one photon of UV carries more energy than one photon of visible light because its frequency is higher. So, UV light of the same intensity as light in the visible range has fewer photons.

    So of the same intensity, the density of photons is greater the longer the wavelength.

    Anyway, again you’re equating ‘energy decreases as wavelength increases’ with ‘less power to do work’. Just how much power to move a molecule of water into rotation, which is the way energy converts matter to heat, see kinetic, do you think the non-thermal near infrared has, which is microscopic compared with the bigger pin head size of thermal infrared? And you’re not being internally consistent here either, by saying that UV is capable of converting oceans to heat and visible isn’t, and then your breakdown of ir which you say can also heat is on the other side of visible…? How do you account for visible not heating the oceans in your version?

    What these diagrams don’t show.. What frequency looks like.

    Somewhere I read that ‘holes’ in a material less than one tenth the size of the wave are effectively a solid to the electromagnetic wave – so for gamma rays the requirement is denser material as a shield, lead is an effective shield for x-rays which go easily through the soft tissue of a body but are stopped by bone. Sound travels through walls, light doesn’t.

    It’s a sense of scale that’s missing here, and that, as I’ve said, has been deliberately promoted to confuse the issue. You have to bear in mind that AGW is junk science as a hypothesis. CO2 has been shown to be of no relevance to ‘global warming’, the 800 years time lag and the vast, rapid and dramatic changes in and out of interglacials with really high sea level rises all happening while claiming that ‘CO2 levels have been the same for 800,000 years and now we’re pumping in more we’re going to go into runaway heating’. To support that fiction, rather a lot of ‘proofs’ have been produced by the AGWSF department – and there’s deliberately no internal consistency to them, they’re not real science just ‘sound-bites’ of misinformation, and they’ll use two contradictory explanations. Like using ‘Brownian’ motion to describe ‘carbon dioxide diffusing in the atmosphere’ when they’re quoting ideal gas laws, when this is not applicable to gases and liquids but a description of particles in such fluid mediums. What they do is create an impossible physical world, taken together a complete jumble.

    Just as here with excluding from the Earth’s energy budget the real downwelling of heat from the Sun and giving visible light (or in your version a variation of this), the properties of thermal infrared which is the real heat from the Sun, so they do with carbon dioxide – it’s now taught that this and oxygen and nitrogen are ideal gases – so everyone thinks, and please, don’t give a variation here I really don’t have any more time for this at the moment.. :), that we are surrounded in empty space with molecules zipping across the atmosphere at tremendous speeds because they’ve excluded the real properties of real gas molecules and substituted an imaginary ‘ideal’ which no real gas obeys (You have to go through a lot of tweaking to put reality back in calcualations). AGWSF has taken out the properties of these gases such things as volume and weight and interactions by describing them only in ‘ideal’ gas terms, an impossible imaginary world. So ask them how sound travels in their world and they’re stumped.

    People who promote lies don’t care about the confusion they create, the more confusion the easier it is for the lie to believed, and this lie has megabucks backing because the perceived rewards are even more mega, and, they’ve had time to put this into the ‘general background’ by shouting loudest and longest and creating panic and fear and shutting out everyone who objected along the way. I do hope you take the time to test their basic science premises in this -

    - and I wish you luck.

  455. In the real world the difference between heat and light from the Sun is understood very well indeed. Halogen lights:

    “1. How much heat (or infrared radiation) is emitted by regular, halogen, and compact fluorescent light bulbs?

    Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy they emit is in the form of heat (also called infrared radiation). To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen light bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

    Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. (This makes them far more energy efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.) The fluorescent bulbs used in your home emit only around 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler.

    10. What types of halogen products are the best for reducing heat (infrared radiation)?

    GE’s ConstantColor™ lamps with dichroic coatings and halogen-IR lamps are the two best halogen options for reducing IR. The halogen-IR lamps have a coating on the filament tube to redirect the IR back to the filament to make the lamp emit light that is not only cooler, but also brighter for the same amount of energy as a comparable halogen lamp. In the case of our MR16 ConstantColor™ lamp, a special dichroic reflector allows two-thirds of the infrared radiation emitted by the filament to be directed back toward the base of the lamp. Thus, the forward beam of light contains up to 66% less heat.” http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/faqs/halogen.htm

    Shortwave visible, uv and nr ir are not hot. They are not thermal energies. Heat is invisible.

  456. @ Myrrh

    We’re obviously poles apart on most points but our understanding seems to converge at photon flux so I’ll just make a short response now and address your entire comment later (working 11/7 for the next week)

    You say:-

    So of the same intensity, the density of photons is greater the longer the wavelength.

    Not in the solar spectrum, see Solar spectral photon flux densities. The photon flux density coincides with the power flux density, see the solar reference spectrum up-thread and SOLAR RADIATION.

    You say:-

    And you’re not being internally consistent here either, by saying that UV is capable of converting oceans to heat and visible isn’t, and then your breakdown of ir which you say can also heat is on the other side of visible…? How do you account for visible not heating the oceans in your version?

    Please see the very first sentence in the first paragraph of my comment here that I duplicate below because you obviously missed it:-

    “…….first note that we understand that radiation and matter must be “tuned” for heating to occur i.e. we understand that blue light (or visible light) is not the agent that heats the ocean and that the energy for that comes from UV, IR-A, IR-B and a small part of MWIR, IR-C”

    I.e., for a heating effect to occur, matter matters.

    In the meantime, here’s 2 questions for you:-

    1) How do YOU account for the temperature of space being 3°K but the temperature of bare metal on a spacecraft can reach 533°K when (as you say) “That massive huge fireball in the sky chucking out all that heat!”?

    ["all that heat" seems to be making space very cold]

    2) Have you patented a device to collect the downwelling energy that you insist exists at the surface of the earth in the 4000nm – 16,000nm range of the EM spectrum which you say is real power and direct from the sun and I say is apparent power and emitted by GHGs and clouds?

    [You can make a fortune if you're correct and make the AGW folks deliriously happy as well]

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