Global Warming Potentials

Global Warming Potentials fail because gas concentrations are not “well-mixed”

Guest post by Dr. Vincent Gray

I came across this revealing statement on page 247 of the IPCC Third Assessment Report (2001). paragraph 4.1.4. Chapter 4

“The atmospheric lifetime is truly a scale factor relating (i) constant emissions (Tg/yr) to a steady-state burden (Tg), or (ii) an emission pulse (Tg) to the time-integrated burden of that pulse (Tg-yr). The lifetime is often implicitly assumed to be constant, independent of the sources, and is likewise assumed to represent the decay time (e-fold) of a perturbation. These assumptions apply rigorously only for a gas whose local chemical lifetime is constant in space and time such as for the radioactive noble gas radon, whose lifetime is a fixed nuclear property. In such a case the mean atmospheric lifetime equals the local lifetime: the lifetime that relates global emissions to the global burden is exactly the decay time of a perturbation.

This general applicability of the atmospheric lifetime breaks down for greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants whose chemical losses vary in space and time. NOx, for instance, has a local lifetime of 5 d in the upper troposphere; and both times are less than the time required for vertical mixing of the troposphere. In this case emission of NOx into the upper troposphere will produce a larger atmospheric burden than the same emission into the lower troposphere. As a consequence the definition of the atmospheric lifetime of NOx is not unique and depends on the location (and season) of its emissions.

The same is true for any gas whose local lifetime is variable and on average shorter than about 0.5 yr, the decay time of a north-south difference between hemispheres and one of the longer time scales for tropospheric mixing. The majority of greenhouse gases considered here have atmospheric lifetimes greater than 2 yr, much longer than tropospheric mixing times; and hence their lifetimes are not significantly altered by the location of sources within the troposphere.

When lifetimes are reported for gases in Table 4.0, it is assumed that the gases are uniformly mixed throughout the troposphere. This assumption is unlikely for gases with lifetimes <1 yr,  and reported values must be viewed only as approximations. (My emphasis)

This shows why they are so concerned to fiddle the measured results of gas concentrations to try and argue they are “well-mixed” and have no variability. So all results they don’t like are suppressed as “noise”, the many previous results, publicised by Beck, are suppressed, and measurements over land surfaces are forbidden. There is overwhelming evidence that none of the gases are “well-mixed”, so all of the Global Warming figures are Phoney.

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91 Responses to Global Warming Potentials

  1. Theo Goodwin says:

    Wonderful post! I have been suggesting that the “well mixed” assumption of AGW theorists is an “a priori” assumption that lacks empirical support. Thanks for your sleuthing. Maybe we will see some valuable empirical research done in this area, though not by the AGW crowd.

  2. Mike McMillan says:

    Interesting. The Chileans are burning a lot of fossil fuels.

    I checked a prevailing wind chart, and the concentrations seem more connected with high pressure areas than winds or human generated CO2.
    http://geography.uoregon.edu/envchange/clim_animations/gifs/two_sfcwinds_web.gif

  3. Dale says:

    I did a quick look-up of region temp changes, and there’s very little correlation between the CO2 distribution and the long-term temperature changes. Some of the highest temp changes occurred in areas with the lowest CO2 ppm.

    http://www.john-daly.com/guests/tempo196.gif

  4. Gary Pearse says:

    Were not talking a large difference from highest to lowest around the globe – it is pretty well mixed by most measures (delta 10ppm). Since the contributions in a warming phase are mainly from the oceans, I would say they should be fairly well mixed anyway.

  5. Spartacus says:

    Every time I see this CO2 graphic, the same question arises in my mind: If the temperature rise anomaly (whatever that is) is so well corelated with the CO2, as the AGW crowd says it is, how can the North Pole be the region where the temperature as been climbing more dramatticaly? For me is another case of a few faulty surface stations badly interpolated for the representation of an area where the measurement points are very scarce. CO2 concentration is persinstantly bellow earth’s average in that region, as you can easily see in the Map or, better, in any CO2 distribution animation sequence derived from these maps.

  6. Thanks, Dr. Gray.
    If well-mixed does not stand as a hypothesis, then the IPCC must make it an axiom, of course!

  7. PaulR says:

    Wait a minute. Where is the rest of the article that makes the case that the graphic of atmospheric CO2 variation establishes CO2 is not well mixed? Sure the blue to red coloration makes it look like a lot, but inspecting the scale shows that there is only about 3% variation from blue to red. Does 3% variation really justify throwing out conclusions requiring CO2 be “well mixed”?

  8. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dr. Gray, first you need to give us a mathematical description of what you call “well-mixed”.

    For example, is a gas whose concentration varies by say ± 1% by location around the planet “well-mixed”?

    How about a variation of ± 3% around the planet? Well-mixed or not? Or ± 5%, or ± 10%? Where is the line?

    I ask because, per your colored map at the top, the CO2 concentration varies from about 378 ppmv to 385 ppmv. That gives us an average of 381.5 ppmv.

    More to the point, however, the range of the variation in CO2 concentration is

    381.5 ± 0.9%

    Me, I’d call a variation of plus/minus one percent “well mixed”. The variation in CO2 concentration globally is less than one percent.

    Which is why I’m asking about your definition of “well-mixed”. Less than one percent?

    Thank you for a thought-provoking article.

    w.

  9. tokyoboy says:

    Dr. Gray, could you please lead me to the source of the top Figure (map)? Thanks.

  10. Septic Matthew says:

    If the range is 376 ppm – 386 ppm, I’d call that “well-mixed”. 10/386 < 0.3% approximation error. That's less than the inaccuracies in the equilibrium assumption and Clausius-Clapayron equation. Less as well than the approximation error in the Stefan-Boltzman equation.

    This whole issue of the accuracy/inaccuracy of a whole slew of approximations needs to be addressed more systematically than has been done to date.

  11. Great to see Dr Vincent Gray here. I remember finding your material on IPCC years ago, and finding the hatred with which you were regarded – enough to put off lesser mortals but for me it had the reverse effect, eventually.

    Makes me look forward to seeing Soon and Baliunas rehabiliated here some time. And it would be nice to rerun John Daly here too. You know, the one whose death Phil Jones welcomed. These are all still relevant as ever.

  12. Mike Davis says:

    Willis:
    You seem to be confusing average with mean!

  13. RobWansbeck says:

    Although the variation is small, the areas of high concentration show a better correlation with volcanic activity than with burning of fossil fuels.

  14. Myrrh says:

    IIRC, this is only for mid-troposphere, and their conclusion was that CO2 was not well-mixed contrary to expectations, they called it lumpy, and said that they would need to understand more about why this was so by studying winds. So if this mid-trop graphic shows little variation, perhaps they meant through the three levels they measured, upper, mid and lower. They didn’t release the data for upper and lower. Why is this graphic of only one month the poster child? All those years of data gathering and this is all we get?

    I did try to get the raw data but couldn’t work out the contortions to get it.

    The mid-troposphere in August — planes anyone?

  15. George E. Smith; says:

    Good to see the Southern Cross flag here again Vincent. With you in Wellington, and Dr de Freitas in Auckland, you are spread a bit thin, when it comes to reining in those politicians in the (really) windy city.

    As for the wonderful mixing of atmospheric gases; there’s the little matter of that now expurgated NOAA pole to pole annual CO2 cycling plot; from about 6 ppm p-p at Mauna Loa to about 18 ppm p-p at the north pole, and only around -1 ppm p-p at the south pole.

    So this old longtooth Kiwi is not sold on the idea of good atmospheric gas mixing.

    I tried telling John Key, that NZ ought to start to lead the world out of the dark ages of MMGWCC; but he sicced his Science Adviser; Sir Whatsisname on me, and the chap said he thought the science was well established. The bump on my head has finally gone away.

    George

  16. rbateman says:

    You have to wonder about the source in Antarctica, surrounded by a ring of the lowest concentrations. Looks also to be spinning off of the S. Pole like paint on a potters wheel.

  17. Gail Combs says:

    Glad to see someone is addressing the “well-mixed” assumption.

    That is an assumption that has always struck me as being absurd. We have a huge CO2 “active” planet, with numerous sinks and generators. Sinks and generators that shift through the day and through the year.

    We have the data gathering done on an active volcano next to a tropical ocean. The data is then “groomed” to make sure it fits.

    “4. In keeping with the requirement that CO2 in background air should be steady, we apply a general “outlier rejection” step, in which we fit a curve to the preliminary daily means for each day calculated from the hours surviving step 1 and 2, and not including times with upslope winds. All hourly averages that are further than two standard deviations, calculated for every day, away from the fitted curve (“outliers”) are rejected. This step is iterated until no more rejections occur. “
    How we measure background CO2 levels on Mauna Loa.

    I would FIRE a lab tech who pulled this type of data “manipulation”.

    I have not worked with gases but I have worked with mixing liquids and solids. The “assumption” that the batch was “well mixed” has come back to sting the mix room crew too often for me to EVER trust that assumption without good scientific data to support the assumption.

  18. tom T says:

    Whomever came up with the globe chart must think there is some significance to the range of 376 -386 PPMV if not why make such a large color difference?

  19. Gail Combs says:

    Oh and do not miss this great chart “Figure 5a. Measurements of CO2 by a continuous in-situ analyzer at a tall tower during the summer in northern Wisconsin. The top plot show the CO2 values at six different heights on the tower. “ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_fig5a.png

    “Well mixed” yeah right, 340ppm to off the chart (beyond 405ppm) is really well mixed I would say /sarc

    From the same article I quoted in my first comment: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

  20. stevo says:

    This article is completely devoid of reason. You argue nothing; you present no calculations; you present no logic; you simply make the bizarre claim that no greenhouse gas is well mixed, even while your article shows CO2 concentrations throughout the atmosphere uniform to within less than 2%. And then you deduce from that bizarre claim that “all of the Global Warming figures are Phoney”? Looks to me like you’ve simply lost the plot.

  21. Gail Combs says:

    rbateman says: @ October 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    “You have to wonder about the source in Antarctica, surrounded by a ring of the lowest concentrations. Looks also to be spinning off of the S. Pole like paint on a potters wheel.”
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Do not forget Antarctica has volcanoes. MAP: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Antarctica/Maps/map_antarctica_volcanoes.html

  22. Paul Clark says:

    Gary Pearse says: October 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm,

    …delta 10ppm…I would say they should be fairly well mixed..

    Yes, you are correct that the colour map at the top of this post doesn’t show a significant variation. But even this map is a smoothing of what really happens over land.

    This would be why the IPCC forbids land measurements in its considerations — because it varies so much. This is also why Charles (“Dave”) Keeling chose the Mauna Loa, Hawaii location for his CO2 measurements. The ocean and altitude have the effect of smoothing natural daily (and seasonal) variations in CO2.

    Please take a look at this graph of CO2 taken at the Wisconsin Tower in summer (graph from here). The CO2 varies close to land by 50+ ppm.
    This graph shows changes with wind speed (graph from here). It can vary by 100ppm in one day. See the true picture now!?

    Has the IPCC measured the local temperatures to see if there’s any correlation to the local CO2? No, because local CO2 land measurements are forbidden by the IPCC.

  23. George Steiner says:

    Let me ask this. What is the mechanism that does the mixing? Most man made CO2 is produced in the Northern Hemisphere I assume. So what does the mixing?

  24. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Paul Clark says:
    October 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    … Has the IPCC measured the local temperatures to see if there’s any correlation to the local CO2? No, because local CO2 land measurements are forbidden by the IPCC.

    Paul, per your link the Wisconsin land measurement varies by about 30 ppmv over the course of a week or so, from about 340 to 370 ppmv.

    If we agree with the IPCC use of “climate sensitivity” and use their values, the increase in CO2 should be equal to log(370/340, 2) *3 degrees per doubling = about a third of a degree.

    A signal of that maximum amplitude is going to be very hard to find in a daily or even an hourly temperature set.

    w.

  25. Gail Combs says:

    Paul Clark, It is also why there was a smear campaign against Beck and his historic CO2 measurements.

    Once you show the atmosphere is not “well mixed” then the CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa can not be “purged” of data that does not meet the standards:

    1. The standard deviation of minute averages should be less than 0.30 ppm within a given hour….
    2. The hourly average should differ from the preceding hour by less than 0.25 ppm…..
    See: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

    And THAT means the standard deviation of the entire data set becomes much larger and the changes in CO2 shown to be “significant” over the past years all of a sudden become “noise”

    This is why the assumption that CO2 is well mixed is absolutely critical to CAGW. Without that assumption the whole argument for throwing out data is falsified and the entire data base of recent CO2 measurements fall apart because it is “Cherry picked”

    AJ Strata shows a similar type of reasoning applies to the temperature data: http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11420

  26. Paul Linsay says:

    The right question to ask is whether the variations in the global map or in the Wiscinsin tower plots matter for the IR properties of the CO2 that vary only logaritmically with concentration. Probably not.

  27. Gail Combs says:

    George Steiner says: @ October 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Let me ask this. What is the mechanism that does the mixing? Most man made CO2 is produced in the Northern Hemisphere I assume. So what does the mixing?
    ___________________________________________________________
    The wind and diffusion and thermals (warmed air rising)

  28. Ted says:

    Wow, people here are discussing CO2 variation as though they’re the first. Hint: there are a couple of satellite missions with this as the goal (one of which unfortunately didn’t work out).

  29. KingOchaos says:

    The GOSAT Japanese green house observatory satellite) results also show a 30ppm spread http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/eng/result/result.htm although even less uniform than the figures shown from AIRS… i would be interested to know where exactly this 10ppm figure came from?

    It has been known for a long time though that co2 is seasonally variable, with changing gas solubility in water vrs temp, as well as variable terrestrial uptake according to the season.

  30. Myrrh says:

    George Steiner says:
    October 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm
    Let me ask this. What is the mechanism that does the mixing? Most man made CO2 is produced in the Northern Hemisphere I assume. So what does the mixing?

    Well, you asked..

    A combination of ideal gas properties of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen – random elastic collisions at superspeeds in empty space (think jar), with Brownian motion thrown in for good measure – here I think this is oxygen and nitrogen bouncing it around until it is well mixed. As I had a PhD (physics) explain it to me, as he taught it and examined on it, carbon dioxide will diffuse into the atmosphere as per ideal gas where it will become thoroughly well-mixed it can’t be unmixed except by applying great work. No work required to mix it thoroughly, it diffuses because that’s how ideal gas molecules move in empty space.

  31. Ask why is it so? says:

    Just did a quick temp check for Australia in 2008, with all that CO2 over us we should be cooking, nah, it was hotter in the late 1800′s and early 1920′s.

  32. Caleb says:

    I am curious about the Mauna Loa “outliers” that get “thrown out.”

    Is there raw data available, from before the “outliers” are removed?

    I’ve heard many reasons for “high” readings being disregarded. (Most are brought up in order to discredit Beck’s assertion that there were higher readings in the past.)

    I have not heard any reasons the “low” readings should be called “outliers” and be disregarded. Has anyone else?

    I noted one chart, in a link given from 2006, had readings down around 360 ppm for serveral stretches on several days. Where does that “depleted” air come from?

    Mauna Loa CO2 data is a sort of Gospel people have faith in. If it turns out to be “adjusted” like Hansen’s temperatures, I am going to be %%&&^%$!!!

  33. Paul Clark says:

    Willis Eschenbach, October 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm,

    A signal of that maximum amplitude is going to be very hard to find…

    Still though, you’d think that there would be more of an interest to find some sort of correlation in hourly, daily, monthly, year-to-year and regional variations of CO2 to temperature. If there was a discernible correlation it would be the smoking gun the AGW lobby was looking for. Why aren’t they looking for it?

    There are plenty of thermometers that give hourly readings but they do not have accompanying CO2 measurements. If the coverage for CO2 was as good as that for temperature I suspect a CO2 signal, were there to be one, could be found in the temperatures.

  34. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Paul Clark says:
    October 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Willis Eschenbach, October 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm,

    A signal of that maximum amplitude is going to be very hard to find…

    Still though, you’d think that there would be more of an interest to find some sort of correlation in hourly, daily, monthly, year-to-year and regional variations of CO2 to temperature. If there was a discernible correlation it would be the smoking gun the AGW lobby was looking for. Why aren’t they looking for it?

    There are plenty of thermometers that give hourly readings but they do not have accompanying CO2 measurements. If the coverage for CO2 was as good as that for temperature I suspect a CO2 signal, were there to be one, could be found in the temperatures.

    I wouldn’t waste my time trying to find such a signal, because (in addition to signal size) there’s a further problem. Variations in low-level CO2 (in general) are caused by variations in plant respiration and wind direction. This means that even if on the off chance I could find a correlation between temperature and CO2, it may be just the signal of the plants responding to temperature, or of the temperature and CO2 being connected by the wind.

    As to why the AGW supporters aren’t looking at that, my guess is that many, perhaps most of them don’t really want to know if the AGW hypothesis is correct … and an experiment that might support it could also falsify it.

    One possibility might be a study done around a strong CO2 source like a cement plant. The change there might be measurable enough, although the stack emissions generally contain more than just CO2.

    However, I’m not sure what it would establish. Most folks, myself included, think that greenhouse gases affect the forcing. The question is whether that affects the long-term average temperature, and if so, how. And the problem is the tiny size of the signal (less than a 1% change in the total downwelling radiation at the surface over a century).

    w.

  35. Dave Wendt says:

    I don’t really think the not well mixed argument is a productive one to make. As others have pointed out the range of ppms is rather small relative to the total. I would also point out that the sawtooth pattern that supposedly results from the uptake and decomposition cycle of vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere is reiterated, although much less distinctly, at the South Pole where there isn’t a green plant within a thousand miles. This would seem to suggest a continual pole to pole circulation. Although I suppose one could argue that it suggests the vegetation cycle is not the real cause and there is an as yet undiscovered factor driving the pattern.
    To my mind the CAGW premise fails at so many more significant levels that if it hasn’t fallen by now, the degree to which CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere is unlikely to add much to the effort to reach the “tipping point” where it finally comes crashing down from the sheer weight of propaganda and thuggery that is becoming increasingly necessary to keep it from tottering off its pedestal.

  36. anna v says:

    For a long time I had running arguments on the fact that the CO2 global measurements are cherry picked from tops of mountains :, would you accept temperature measurements from the same locations to be the only true measurements of the earth’s temperature?

    I suspect that the interesting plots were buried , the video does not go further than 2008, and JAXA still chews over their data just because of “the science is settled” pressure. Or maybe lack of finance.

  37. Septic Matthew says:

    oops: 10/386 < 0.3%

    10/386 < 3%

  38. steven mosher says:

    Willis

    “One possibility might be a study done around a strong CO2 source like a cement plant. The change there might be measurable enough, although the stack emissions generally contain more than just CO2.”

    The problem is this misunderstands how the C02 effect works and misunderstands the time scale.

    Adding C02 over time raises the opacity of the atmosphere ( on average). That increase in opacity raises the height at which radiation finally escapes back to space. As that height slowly increases and radiation escapes from a higher colder location, the temperature at the surface, again on average, rises.

    This mechanism is something that you cannot measure locally or in a small time window. Locally and in a narrow time window far too many other factors will utterly swamp the signal. Its a global signal ( present in global averages) that is small relative to other natural fluctuations.

    You really want to test it? suck half the C02 out of the atmosphere or double it. we are currently doing the latter experiment. Lets hope it doesnt turn out as badly as models predict.

  39. pat says:

    And we have the fake math again. A bonus, I suppose. Measuring something via calculation that differs than real data.
    Of course the base supposition confounds the entire idea of atmospheric circulation.
    That having been said, I recently revisited the Wikipedia page on the Greenhouse effect. While the first few sentences started off rather rationally, it quickly entered an area of bizarre speculation. Such as the temperature of the Venus surface is a result of a run-away greenhouse effect much like AGW.
    We are talking crazy stuff here.

  40. Spector says:

    I am not sure that this poor mixing issue is a good argument against carbon dioxide hysteria. It is like saying that it cannot kill us all because some areas have only twenty-five percent of a lethal dosage and only a few areas have that 400 percent lethal dose.

    I personally believe that the best argument is that CO2 is a minor player in tropospheric heat transfer with water vapor being the major facilitator. Water vapor forms clouds to reduce incoming solar radiation and it appears to enable the circulation that transports heat from the surface to the upper atmosphere where it can be radiated to outer space. As we live in the troposphere, I believe the unique properties of these ‘sticky’ water molecules are the most important to us.

  41. Legatus says:

    I was kind of hoping for larger variations in CO2 by area. For instance, by being just west of California, one would be in an area of 386ppmv, go far enough west and it drops to 382, yet that is only 4 ppmv. If, then, one could find a day when temeratures and pressures and humidity and clouds (at all altitues for all of these) were the same in the two locations, leaving amount of CO2 as the only variable, one could directly measure infrared and see if it goes up. However, 4 ppmv may be too small to tell.

    Now, however, I hear that it varies much more over land, this would seem to be the best place to tell. However, over land, the amount of radiation from the surface would vary much more strongly, as well as detectable infrared from rising hot air and evaporating water.

    So the idea of seeing if there is more detectable infrared under areas of sky with more CO2 would be difficult to pull off. That leaves a worldwide avwerage over wide areas of measured infrared, over a long enough period of time that it goes back many decades. Does such a dataset exist? The TAO dataset seems to not go back any further than 2001.

    In other words, has anyone yet directly measured increased infrared with increased CO2, such that it could be difinativly said that the infrared was the result of the CO2, and not from something else? If not, are we not discussing CAGW when we have no direct data to tell us if it’s central idea, that increasing CO2 causes increasing infrared, is true or false? Or is it all just modeling and guesswork?

  42. Willis Eschenbach says:

    steven mosher says:
    October 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Willis

    “One possibility might be a study done around a strong CO2 source like a cement plant. The change there might be measurable enough, although the stack emissions generally contain more than just CO2.”

    The problem is this misunderstands how the C02 effect works and misunderstands the time scale.

    Adding C02 over time raises the opacity of the atmosphere ( on average). That increase in opacity raises the height at which radiation finally escapes back to space. As that height slowly increases and radiation escapes from a higher colder location, the temperature at the surface, again on average, rises.

    This mechanism is something that you cannot measure locally or in a small time window. Locally and in a narrow time window far too many other factors will utterly swamp the signal. Its a global signal ( present in global averages) that is small relative to other natural fluctuations.

    The change in DLR is immediately apparent when (for example) a cloud comes over at night. So clearly, a large enough change in the atmospheric absorption/radiation of longwave radiation can and does have an immediate effect. So your claim that the time window is too small to detect the changes from changing DLR runs aground there.

    Similarly, a change in the CO2 concentration around a point source will indeed make an immediate change in the DLR, despite your claim to the contrary. For it not to do so would be a contravention of physics. It absorbs the IR, it warms the atmosphere, which increases the radiation of the atmosphere.

    Finally, variations in GHGs like water vapor certainly make a measurable difference “locally”, think a desert versus over the ocean. I am mystified why you think the effect of GHGs cannot be measured either locally or quickly.

    So your claim that I “misunderstand how the CO2 effect works” is not true. In fact, you acknowledge that when you claim further down that the problem is not that I misunderstand, but that that the signal is too small locally to measure … which is an entirely different claim, one which acknowledges that I do know what I’m talking about, since I SAID THE SAME THING, that the effect is there but quite small locally. So in fact, you are agreeing with what I already said.

    Finally, is there a measurable effect around a cement plant? Neither you nor I know the answer to that, Steven … but you claim to know, and I’m not that bold to claim something I don’t know. I claim that if it is measurable locally anywhere, it might be measurable there, but nobody knows because no one has tried it.

    w.

  43. Sparks says:

    Co2 also rises logarithmically maybe Moore’s law could be applied to the production of co2, there has to be a point where co2 generators reach a natural peak of co2 production, Unless you believe that a rise of co2 is solely caused by Anthropogenic sources and that they correlate with human population growth.
    Other trace gases such as Argon which is almost 1% of the atmosphere at 9340ppm and who’s Molecular Weight is 39.95 which is lighter than Co2 who’s Molecular Weight is 44.01 (this means that Argon stays in the atmosphere longer than Co2 and presumably this is due to the difference between their Molecular Weights) does not have concerned groups of wacky environmentalist, human hating extremists or financially motivated political campaigns to ban it’s production to set up Argon cap n’ trade markets in the name of saving the planet from global warming or cooling or whatever the hell effect Argon at 9340ppm has on the climate.
    :)

  44. John Marshall says:

    CO2 concentrations do not matter if CO2 has no effect on climate. If CO2 is heated by incoming solar radiation that energy is lost to heating the surface because 1st law must be obeyed. That heat will be lost to the surrounding atmosphere and eventually to space.

  45. Dan says:

    WhatdidItellyou.

  46. Will says:

    steven mosher says:
    October 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    “Adding C02 over time raises the opacity of the atmosphere ( on average). That increase in opacity raises the height at which radiation finally escapes back to space. As that height slowly increases and radiation escapes from a higher colder location, the temperature at the surface, again on average, rises.”

    Mosher, there is no historical record of correlation showing CO2 driving temperature. NONE, get used to it.

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 3, 2011 at 12:21 am

    “It absorbs the IR, it warms the atmosphere, which increases the radiation of the atmosphere.”

    Willis, you don’t seem to have much of a grasp of physics. The absorption and re-emission of IR does not necessarily equate to warming.

    In a gas for example, absorption and re-emission of IR cannot cause warming if the gas has already reached the maximum local thermal equilibrium temperature possible from that particular source of IR, namely the ground. If however the gas in question has in fact been heated to a higher LTE temperature by another more powerful source of IR, such as that from incoming solar EMR, as is always the case during daylight hours, then there will be no heating whatsoever from the outgoing IR.

    This is simply a description of the second law of thermodynamics in action.

    IR has to become thermal radiation before heating can occur. Thermalisation of EMR can only occur where the laws of thermodynamics allow. You cannot ignore these laws, as so many, including you Willis and Mosher there, continue to do.

  47. As I understand it, the term “well mixed” does not mean homogeneous, or as AR3 has it “uniformly mixed” – the clue is in the term itself.. There appears to be no correlation on the distribution map between CO2 and known sources and sinks , as might be expected. Man-made emissions are dwarfed by those from natural sources, and are (relatively) highly localised, so wouldn’t show up on a map on that scale.

    Any attempt to correlate local warming with local CO2 concentration is likely doomed to failure, since the CO2 signal would be dwarfed by water vapour. I have somewhere a report (pdf) of an attempt made in Hawaii to do just that, and the results were, to say the least, inconclusive. I’ll see if I can find it and provide a link.

  48. Paolo M. says:

    Willis Eschenbach,
    I think I don’t agree with your statement:

    “Similarly, a change in the CO2 concentration around a point source will indeed make an immediate change in the DLR, despite your claim to the contrary. For it not to do so would be a contravention of physics. It absorbs the IR, it warms the atmosphere, which increases the radiation of the atmosphere.”

    For what I know, the CO2 concentration at ground level is high enough to not perturb IR absorption, after a CO2 pulse is added, to a level accurately measurable.
    A CO2 increment can reveal itself only at an higher altitude, after the atmospheric circulation mixed and rised it aloft.

  49. Gail Combs says:

    Caleb says: @ October 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    “…..Mauna Loa CO2 data is a sort of Gospel people have faith in. If it turns out to be “adjusted” like Hansen’s temperatures, I am going to be %%&&^%$!!!”
    _______________________________________________________________________

    I think you had better read Tom V. Segalstad’s website, http://www.co2web.info/

    From one of his pdfs
    “…The 19th century measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere were carried out with an error of up to 100% . A value of 290 ppm v (parts per million, by volume) was chosen as an average for the 19th century atmosphere, by rejecting “not representative” measured values which differed more than 10% from the “general average for the time”. This introduced a subjective factor in the estimates of the pre-industrial level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The Mauna Loa (Hawaii) observatory has been regarded an ideal site for global CO2 monitoring. However, it is located near the top of an active volcano, which has, on average, one eruption every three and a half years. There are permanent CO2 emissions from a rift zone situated only 4 km from the observatory, and the largest active volcanic crater in the world is only 27 km from the observatory. These special site characteristics have made “editing” of the results an established procedure, which may introduce a subjective bias in the estimates o f th e “true” values. A similar procedure is used at other CO2 -observatories. There are also problems connected to the instrumental methods for measurements of atmospheric CO2 ….

    …The concentration of C O 2 in the gases emitted from the Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanos of Hawaii reaches about 47% . This is m ore than 50 tim es higher than in volcanic gases em itted in many other volcanic regions of the world. The reason fo r th is is the alkaline nature of this volcanism, strongly associated with mantle CO 2 degassing. The Kilauea volcano alone is releasing about 1 MT CO2 per year, plus 60 – 130 kT SO2 per year (Harris and A nderson, 1983)…..

    Daily fluctuations of C O 2 concentration over a grassland w ere found to reach 40 ppm ,
    and the seasonal variations (between June and September) reached about 25 ppm (Spittlehouse and Ripley, 1977). daily variations over a w heat field can almost double the amoun t o f C O 2 in the air (Fergusson, 1985). Pales and Keeling (1965) noticed the existence of C O 2 sources at the Mauna Loa observatory itself, such a s e x h austs of a diesel engine-driven generator and automobile pollution which have become a problem (Keeling et al., 1976). In view of these points of criticism , the claim of Pales and Keeling (1965) that “the observatory is thus an excellent, if not ideal, site for measuring CO2 in the upper air” seem s to be overly exaggerated.

    Throughout the whole period of measurements the results were “edited” (an expression used by Bacastow et al., 1985) to account for local disturbances causing both higher and lower CO2
    concentrations. As Pales and Keeling (1965) stated, the measurements are clearly locally influenced. The authors applied “omissions of variable periods from the daily averages” to eliminate both high and low readings. In Figure 1 about 80% of the readings w ere omitted. In addition, days without data constitute 17% of the record. For these lacking days the values were assigned by linear interpolation (Keeling et al., 1976)…..

    The pdf is 65 pages long and rips apart the whole CO2 data base including Ice Cores and Manuna Loa. There are a lot of references to back up the anaysis too. So yes the data has been “adjusted” like Hansen’s temperatures. No wonder the Mauna Loa data shows a nice linear increase in CO2. Without the CO2 is “well mixed” assumption the whole house of cards collapses.

    Segalstad also had some interesting things to say about Keeling and his “agenda” for setting up the Mauna Loa observatory that puts an even larger question mark on the data. However I can not find the exact pdf it was in. It may also have been purged from the website for liability reasons although again he backed up his analysis with documentation.

  50. LazyTeenager says:

    Willis says in response to Steve Mosher
    ———
    The change in DLR is immediately apparent when (for example) a cloud comes over at night. So clearly, a large enough change in the atmospheric absorption/radiation of longwave radiation can and does have an immediate effect. So your claim that the time window is too small to detect the changes from changing DLR runs aground there.
    ———-
    I agree that in principle that at ground level a measurable increase in downward long wave IR radiation is detectable for a local source of CO2.

    But this is not exactly the same as the greenhouse effect for the simple reason that effect of IR emission from CO2 and other GHGs needs to be evaluated over the entire depth of the atmosphere. The local source you describe only acts in the 100 metre height near ground level.

    I favor an electrical circuit analogy to visualize how this process works. In this analogy the Sun’s energy as absorbed at the earth’s surface constitutes a constant current source. The levels of the atmosphere can be thought of as a resistor chain representing an impedance to the passage of energy from the surface (the current source) to the vacuum of space ( ground).

    A change in the resistance at any point of the chain will cause a change in potential (temperature) at all points along the chain.

    Near the ground the conductance of energy is largely due to convection since gas density is high there. At higher altitudes the gas is not dense enough to transport energy so radiation must carry the same amount of energy. So let’s simplify things by referring to just 2 resistors: one at high altitude and one at low altitude.

    If the resistance to heat transfer at high altitude increases then the total resistance of the circuit increases and so the potential difference (aka the temperature) between the surface and space increases. Since the temperature of space is constant the surface temperature must increase.

    Getting back to your point I would conclude from my analogy that a local source of CO2 at ground level will have some effect on DLWR, but little effect in the overall rate of upward energy transfer. And that it would have a greater effect if the CO2 was released at high altitude.

    Feel free to find holes.

  51. Alexander Vissers says:

    But lets be fair, if they are not assumed to be well mixed, then who can do the math’s? I mean a modeller’s life is troubled enough as it is, a bit hard to make it any more difficult not?

  52. mizimi says:

    Why worry about how well mixed CO2 is and how that impacts the AGW hypothesis?
    CO2 forms less than .04% of the atmosphere and the effect of any variation in distibution will be absolutely minute.
    Water vapour however, represents between 1 and 4% of the lower atmosphere and is HIGHLY variable both temporally and spatially – as well as being a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
    Concentrate on the big issues.

  53. Gail Combs says:

    George Steiner says:
    October 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm
    Let me ask this. What is the mechanism that does the mixing? Most man made CO2 is produced in the Northern Hemisphere I assume. So what does the mixing?
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Myrrh says:
    October 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm
    Well, you asked..

    A combination of ideal gas properties of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen – random elastic collisions at superspeeds in empty space (think jar), with Brownian motion thrown in for good measure – here I think this is oxygen and nitrogen bouncing it around until it is well mixed. As I had a PhD (physics) explain it to me, as he taught it and examined on it, carbon dioxide will diffuse into the atmosphere as per ideal gas where it will become thoroughly well-mixed it can’t be unmixed except by applying great work. No work required to mix it thoroughly, it diffuses because that’s how ideal gas molecules move in empty space.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    This is slightly misleading for a couple of reasons.
    We are not talking about near vacuum, so “random elastic collisions at superspeeds” doesn’t quite give the true picture.

    We have all done the experiment but we do not talk about it in polite company.

    Eat beans with onions to produce mercaptans and hydrogen sulfide gas in your digestive tract. When the gas is expelled see how long it takes for your spouse sitting ten feet or more away in an enclosed space (no wind) to make a rude comment. It is not instantaneous. That will give you a feel for the speed of diffusion of gases at sea level or where ever you live. That is also the atmospheric level where CO2 is produced and consumed…. every minute of every day. And that is the second reason that assumption of “well mixed” is a bit misleading.Think of it as a huge pot of soup with hundreds of people adding ingredients and hundreds of people removing servings. No way is it ever going to be “well mixed” at least at the surface of the earth where most of the data has been taken.

    Oh and do not forget that CO2 is “heavier than air” a simple kids experiment: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/405643/kids_science_experiment_to_show_that_co2_is_heavier_than_air/

  54. Gail Combs says:

    Paul Linsay says:
    October 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    The right question to ask is whether the variations in the global map or in the Wiscinsin tower plots matter for the IR properties of the CO2 that vary only logaritmically with concentration. Probably not.
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    No that is not the right question since the whole CAGW is all about evil mankind producing CO2 that can not be absorbed by the earth. The IR properties of the CO2 have nothing to do with whether or not mankind is producing excess CO2.

  55. Spector says:

    RE: steven mosher: October 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm
    “The problem is this misunderstands how the CO2 effect works and misunderstands the time scale.

    “Adding CO2 over time raises the opacity of the atmosphere ( on average). That increase in opacity raises the height at which radiation finally escapes back to space.”

    CO2 primarily affects the atmosphere, as far as terrestrial thermal radiation goes in a narrow band about 90 kayzers (cycles per centimeter) wide around a wavenumber of 667 kayzers (or wavelength of 15 microns). Most of this hole is already 100 percent obscured. Only a small fringe around this hole is widened slightly. CO2 is mostly self-masking. That is why the effect is logarithmic. You have to double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to get one more degree of *raw* warming.

    According to a level-by-level analysis of MODTRAN results, this web utility from the University of Chicago seems to be indicating that more heat is being progressively lost at every level of the troposphere such that direct radiation from the ground is only a small fraction of the total radiation eventually emitted by the earth to outer space. I suspect the sticky polar electrical field of the water molecule may be involved as this radiation drops dramatically above the tropopause. Also note, the cooling from this radiation would force upwardly convected air to settle back down to earth.

    It is my understanding that CO2 does not become thin enough so that it can radiate to outer space until you get above the stratosphere.

    “The mesopause is the temperature minimum at the boundary between the mesosphere and the thermosphere atmospheric regions. Due to the lack of solar heating and very strong radiative cooling from carbon dioxide, the mesopause is the coldest place on Earth.”

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

  56. Truthseeker says:

    I think that Willis’s point about the gas variation being plus or minus 5 ppm from about 380 ppm should be considered well mixed is a good one. Average or mean it doesn’t matter. The range from the minimum value to the maximum value of 10 ppm is just not big enough for this not to be considered “well mixed”. Also, what about the three dimensional mixing? We have CO2 being a “heavy” gas but then there is “hot” gas rising and “cold” gas falling, so what is the mixing like in terms of altitude? These questions may be of interest to those that study the atmosphere and its composition, but it is irrelevant to questions about climate. Let’s not quibble about irrelevant things.

  57. federico says:

    Sparks says:
    October 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Re.: Argon vs. CO2 as trace gases

    Comparing CO2 with Argon is like comparing apples with bananas.

    Argon is a noble (inert) gas, non-reactive, not “generated” by any natural or anthropogenic source, just a gaseous component of the atmosphere with infinite lifetime. CO2 is reactive, is absorbed, adsorbed, and transformed in the ecosystem, released and produced by nature and man, absorbs IR radiation, has a dipole momentum, has a good solubility in water, etc. etc. Molecular weight comparison of Ar with CO2 as indicator of differences in volatility are not valid, just compare any of both with water, which is liquid at ambient temperature despite its low molecular weight (18).

  58. HankHenry says:

    There is a reason Keeling chose Mauna Loa; elsewhere the concentration varies too much. In fact I think if you dig into his work you find that he discards results when the prevailing wind is from a direction that brings in air from farm fields.

  59. A. C. Osborn says:

    Paul Clark says:
    October 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Willis Eschenbach, October 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm,

    A signal of that maximum amplitude is going to be very hard to find…

    Still though, you’d think that there would be more of an interest to find some sort of correlation in hourly, daily, monthly, year-to-year and regional variations of CO2 to temperature. If there was a discernible correlation it would be the smoking gun the AGW lobby was looking for. Why aren’t they looking for it?

    There are plenty of thermometers that give hourly readings but they do not have accompanying CO2 measurements. If the coverage for CO2 was as good as that for temperature I suspect a CO2 signal, were there to be one, could be found in the temperatures.

    On Bart’s OurChangingClimate Forum there was a thread on Temperature comparisons and a Poster called VS made some telling comments. but among the responses were those from Tim Curtins whoa has done “Local” linear Regressions of temperature versus various atmospheric conditions, including CO2. The dominant factors were sunshine & Moisture, CO2 did not get any correlation at all.

  60. Dave Springer says:

    Vincent Gray claims GHGs not well mixed.

    FAIL

  61. Steve Keohane says:

    steven mosher says: October 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Willis

    “One possibility might be a study done around a strong CO2 source like a cement plant. The change there might be measurable enough, although the stack emissions generally contain more than just CO2.”

    The problem is this misunderstands how the C02 effect works and misunderstands the time scale.

    Adding C02 over time raises the opacity of the atmosphere ( on average). That increase in opacity raises the height at which radiation finally escapes back to space. As that height slowly increases and radiation escapes from a higher colder location, the temperature at the surface, again on average, rises.

    This mechanism is something that you cannot measure locally or in a small time window. Locally and in a narrow time window far too many other factors will utterly swamp the signal. Its a global signal ( present in global averages) that is small relative to other natural fluctuations.

    You really want to test it? suck half the C02 out of the atmosphere or double it. we are currently doing the latter experiment. Lets hope it doesnt turn out as badly as models predict.

    Steven, how would you evaluate the effect of a less thick thermosphere on your proposed increasing height of of radiation escaping due to adding CO2? The solar minimum has reduced the density of the thermosphere some 30% more than expected. See below:

    Shrinking atmospheric layer linked to low levels of solar radiation

    AGU Release No. 10–28
    26 August 2010
    For Immediate Release

    WASHINGTON—Large changes in the Sun’s energy output may cause Earth’s outer atmosphere to contract, new research indicates. A study published today by the American Geophysical Union links a recent, temporary shrinking of a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation levels.

    The research indicates that the Sun’s magnetic cycle, which produces differing numbers of sunspots over an approximately 11-year cycle, may vary more than previously thought.

    “Our work demonstrates that the solar cycle not only varies on the typical 11-year time scale, but also can vary from one solar minimum to another,” says lead author Stanley Solomon, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s High Altitude Observatory. “All solar minima are not equal.” Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) also contributed to the project.

    The findings may have implications for orbiting satellites, as well as for the International Space Station. The fact that the layer in the upper atmosphere known as the thermosphere is shrunken and less dense means that satellites can more easily maintain their orbits. But it also indicates that space debris and other objects that pose hazards may persist longer in the thermosphere.

    “With lower thermospheric density, our satellites will have a longer life in orbit,” says CU professor Thomas Woods, a co-author. “This is good news for those satellites that are actually operating, but it is also bad because of the thousands of non-operating objects remaining in space that could potentially have collisions with our working satellites.”

    The Sun’s energy output declined to unusually low levels from 2007 to 2009, a particularly prolonged solar minimum during which there were virtually no sunspots or solar storms. During that same period of low solar activity, Earth’s thermosphere shrank more than at any time in the 43-year era of space exploration.

    The thermosphere, which ranges in altitude from about 90 to 500 kilometers (55 to more than 300 miles), is a rarified layer of gas at the edge of space where the Sun’s radiation first makes contact with Earth’s atmosphere. It typically cools and becomes less dense during low solar activity. But the magnitude of the density change during the recent solar minimum appeared to be about 30 percent greater than would have been expected by low solar activity.

    The study team used computer modeling to analyze two possible factors implicated in the mystery of the shrinking thermosphere. They simulated both the impacts of solar output and the role of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas that, according to past estimates, is reducing the density of the outer atmosphere by about 2 percent to 5 percent per decade.

    Their work built on several recent studies. Earlier this year, a team of scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory and George Mason University, measuring changes in satellite drag, estimated that the density of the thermosphere declined from 2007–2009 to about 30 percent less than that observed during the previous solar minimum in 1996. Other studies by scientists at the University of Southern California and CU, using measurements from sub-orbital rocket flights and space-based instruments, have estimated that levels of extreme-ultraviolet radiation—a class of photons with extremely short wavelengths—dropped about 15 percent during the same period.

    However, scientists remained uncertain whether the decline in extreme-ultraviolet radiation would be sufficient to have such a dramatic impact on the thermosphere, even when combined with the effects of carbon dioxide.

    To answer this question, Solomon and his colleagues used a computer model to simulate how the Sun’s output during 1996 and 2008 would affect the temperature and density of the thermosphere. They also created two simulations of thermospheric conditions in 2008—one with a level that approximated actual carbon dioxide emissions and one with a fixed, lower level.

    The results showed the thermosphere cooling in 2008 by 41 kelvins (about 74 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to 1996, with just 2 K attributable to the carbon dioxide increase. The results also showed the thermosphere’s density decreasing by 31 percent, with just 3 percent attributable to carbon dioxide. The results closely approximated the 30 percent reduction in density indicated by measurements of satellite drag.

    “It is now clear that the record low temperature and density were primarily caused by unusually low levels of solar radiation at the extreme-ultraviolet level,” Solomon says.

    Woods says the research indicates that the Sun could be going through a period of relatively low activity, similar to periods in the early 19th and 20th centuries. This could mean that solar output may remain at a low level for the near future.

    “If it is indeed similar to certain patterns in the past, then we expect to have low solar cycles for the next 10 to 30 years,” Woods says.

    The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, was funded by NASA and by the National Science Foundation.
    Another paper I can’t locate at the moment claims about a 120 mile reduction in total atmospheric thickness.

  62. Dave in Delaware says:

    Mixing in Humidity
    The caption on the CO2 graphic shown with the posted article says
    AIRS July 2008 CO2 (ppmv)
    The little ‘v’ in ppmv means ‘by volume’.
    Composition of Air is generally given ‘by volume’ on a ‘dry’ (water free) basis. That is because the air can easily contain 1% to 4% water vapor on a ‘wet’ basis, which would affect (dilute) the ‘by volume’ values by a variable amount.

    As I recall, the Mauna Loa results are measured and reported on a ‘dry’ basis, to remove the potential water vapor fluctuations. But what about the Satellite readings? Have they done a water vapor measurement and subtracted it out to get a ‘dry air’ value? I am guessing not.

    So what would be the affect of diluting the CO2 values by 1 to 4% due to water vapor? The scale on the graphic runs from 376 to 386.
    If the ‘dry’ basis value for CO2 was say 390, then
    with 1% water vapor, the CO2 ppmv would be 390 * (1 – 0.01) = 390* 0.99 = 386
    and with 4% water vapor, the CO2 ppmv would be 390 * 0.96 = 374
    Which is pretty much the range of CO2 values in the chart.

    Not saying the water vapor is the only factor influencing regional CO2 values, but that alone could add a variance much like what we see in the graphic.

  63. Ian L. McQueen says:

    Mauna Loa is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. What do we know about the absorption of CO2 as it passes over the waters of the ocean en route to Hawaii? Do we know if the water is saturated in CO2? Is the water absorbing? How representative of global CO2 concentration are the readings at Mauna Loa? I know that the place was picked for presumably good reasons, but I have always wondered how absorption (etc.) by the water that the air passes over would affect the concentration.

    IanM

  64. Ian W says:

    mizimi says:
    October 3, 2011 at 3:25 am
    Why worry about how well mixed CO2 is and how that impacts the AGW hypothesis?
    CO2 forms less than .04% of the atmosphere and the effect of any variation in distibution will be absolutely minute.
    Water vapour however, represents between 1 and 4% of the lower atmosphere and is HIGHLY variable both temporally and spatially – as well as being a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
    Concentrate on the big issues.

    Very true.

    But water vapor has another effect. As the amount increases in the atmosphere the enthalpy of that volume of atmosphere increases. Therefore, more outgoing radiation is needed to increase the temperature of that volume of air. At 100% humidity that is nearly an order of magnitude more heat radiation before the air will start warming. So the atmosphere will not warm readily when outgoing radiation is trapped by water vapor – a kind of built in heat sink. However, the water vapor _will_ lower the density of the volume of air (as its molecular weight is less than that of N2 and O2) so even though it does not increase in temperature the volume of moist air will start to rise convectively. This rising air will cool at the moist adiabatic lapse rate and eventually the stored heat is released as the water vapor condenses – above the CO2 ‘opaque’ layer. As the models seem to envisage the atmosphere as a set of radiating unmoving slabs a lot of this detail seems to be disregarded.

  65. G. Karst says:

    The problem with “red herrings” is that everyone focuses on them. GK

  66. Frank Kotler says:

    I’m sure I saw an article here on WUWT on locally high (dangerous!) concentrations of CO2. Can’t find it, even with the help of Ric’s excellent “Guide”… but here:

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo/activity/monitoring/co2.php

    Obviously CO2 isn’t “always well-mixed, everywhere”. Still, “fairly well-mixed, globally” seems approximately correct – the map above shows rather small variations.

    So what?

    Best,
    Frank

  67. Septic Matthew says:

    Trutheseeker wrote: These questions may be of interest to those that study the atmosphere and its composition, but it is irrelevant to questions about climate. Let’s not quibble about irrelevant things.

    I think that you are wrong there.

    The IPCC put its “credibility” on a climate sensitivity in the range 2k – 4.5K, or about 1% of the base spatio-temporal mean temperature of 288K. All the climate models are based on approximations, where the error of the approximation in each equation may exceed 3%. ( I made an order of magnitude miscalculation of the deviation from “well-mixed” up above.) The 3% deviation from the well-mixed assumption, by itself, could obliterate the reliability of the computation of the equilibrium climate sensitivity — which may itself not occur for 2,000 – 4,000 years. Add to that: the obliquity of the earth’s axis of rotation, its rotation on its axis, its revolution about the sun, and Earth surface curvature, and the deviations of the Earth’s climate from equilibrium works out to about 20%. Because water vapor heats and rises, then cools and precipitates (rain, fog, dew; see Ian W. above), the Clausius-Clapayron and “lapse rate” calculations, which depend on the equilibrium assumption, are each inaccurate by around 10%. Plus, the energy transfer in that daily rise and fall is mostly omitted from calculations (as far as I am aware — correct me if I am wrong.)

    What is needed for human planning with respect to climate change is a really accurate estimate of the transient climate response: the response of Earth’s climate to projected CO2 increases over the upcoming century (by which time almost all industrial energy will come from renewable or nuclear sources.)

  68. George Steiner says:

    What is the definition of “well mixed” as it relates to CO2 in the atmosphere?

  69. anna v says:

    The Jaxa column averaged record shows 10% variations. It is rather suspicious that they are not releasing new data. It seems to me they are stretching them on the bed of Procroustis so as to become consistent with orthodoxy.

    For those not raised on myths, Procroustis was a monster killed by Theseus. Procroustis was laying in wait for travelers to and from Athens and the Peloponese, on the narrow pass. He would put them on a bed, and if they were shorter he would stretch them and if they were longer he would cut off what went over..

  70. Septic Matthew says:

    Will wrote: In a gas for example, absorption and re-emission of IR cannot cause warming if the gas has already reached the maximum local thermal equilibrium temperature possible from that particular source of IR, namely the ground. If however the gas in question has in fact been heated to a higher LTE temperature by another more powerful source of IR, such as that from incoming solar EMR, as is always the case during daylight hours, then there will be no heating whatsoever from the outgoing IR.

    first question: how accurate is the LTE assumption? Is it, like most of the approximations used in these calculations, not accurate enough to relate to a hypothetical 2K-4.5K increase in the equilibrium spatially-temporally averaged Earth mean temperature. Has the inaccuracy of the approximation been studied? If not, it is probably “worse than we thought”.

    second question: what happens after the sun sets and the Earth surface cools?

  71. Theo Goodwin says:

    I agree with Willis’ first post. Dr. Gray’s article does not make its case. However, the article and its discussion does reveal how our imaginations are prisoners of the “a priori” nature of climate science. The discussion pretty much takes for granted the assumptions of “mainstream climate science” and concludes that Dr. Gray’s thesis is a non-starter. Maybe it is. But I would like to point to one question raised by the discussion that requires empirical investigation.

    Isn’t it true that the IPCC claims that manmade CO2 contributes about 3% to Earth’s total concentration of CO2? And do they not also claim that the increase in CO2 since 1850 is almost entirely manmade CO2? How do they come up with that figure? If the drift of the discussion on this post is any indicator, there is no empirical method to measure manmade CO2 production at its source. Let me be a bit more explicit. There is a need to focus on process. There must be some process or processes by which manmade CO2 moves from its source to its place in the well-mixed atmosphere. In other words, if the industrial world is responsible for increased CO2 since 1850 then the CO2 had to move from the relatively tiny industrial base to its destination around the world. However, if this discussion is to be taken as authoritative then there is no empirical method to measure any such process. So, am I wrong to conclude that there is no direct empirical evidence for the claim that manmade CO2 has caused the rise in CO2 since 1850?

  72. Dan Pangburn says:

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide at various locations is graphed since 1850 at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/pangburn.html and appears to be quite well mixed. However, as demonstrated in the pdfs made public 3/10/11 and 9/24/11 at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true, change to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has insignificant influence on average global temperature.

  73. Myrrh says:

    Gail Combs says:
    October 3, 2011 at 3:29 am
    George Steiner says:
    October 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm
    Let me ask this. What is the mechanism that does the mixing? Most man made CO2 is produced in the Northern Hemisphere I assume. So what does the mixing?
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Myrrh says:
    October 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm
    Well, you asked..

    A combination of ideal gas properties of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen – random elastic collisions at superspeeds in empty space (think jar), with Brownian motion thrown in for good measure – here I think this is oxygen and nitrogen bouncing it around until it is well mixed. As I had a PhD (physics) explain it to me, as he taught it and examined on it, carbon dioxide will diffuse into the atmosphere as per ideal gas where it will become thoroughly well-mixed it can’t be unmixed except by applying great work. No work required to mix it thoroughly, it diffuses because that’s how ideal gas molecules move in empty space.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    This is slightly misleading for a couple of reasons.
    We are not talking about near vacuum, so “random elastic collisions at superspeeds” doesn’t quite give the true picture.

    We have all done the experiment but we do not talk about it in polite company.

    Eat beans with onions to produce mercaptans and hydrogen sulfide gas in your digestive tract. When the gas is expelled see how long it takes for your spouse sitting ten feet or more away in an enclosed space (no wind) to make a rude comment. It is not instantaneous. That will give you a feel for the speed of diffusion of gases at sea level or where ever you live. That is also the atmospheric level where CO2 is produced and consumed…. every minute of every day. And that is the second reason that assumption of “well mixed” is a bit misleading.Think of it as a huge pot of soup with hundreds of people adding ingredients and hundreds of people removing servings. No way is it ever going to be “well mixed” at least at the surface of the earth where most of the data has been taken.

    Oh and do not forget that CO2 is “heavier than air” a simple kids experiment: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/405643/kids_science_experiment_to_show_that_co2_is_heavier_than_air/

    ……………

    No, no, no, Gail. CO2 is an ideal gas, it doesn’t have weight, or volume, or interactions, it diffuses through the empty atmosphere at a great rate of knots and so thoroughly mixes in elastic collisions. Therefore it is in the same proportion everywhere. Therefore there is no attraction, so water and carbon dioxide do not have this irresistable thing for each other (which means that all rain is carbonic acid, and fog, and dew, in the real gas world) and so it stays up in the atmosphere accumulating for hundreds, nay, even thousands of years (because weight doesn’t matter).

    So, that’s how it’s explained. And experiments are shown to prove it! Scent from a bottle opened diffuses through the classroom proving that CO2 is an ideal gas. Ink poured into a glass of water proves molecules diffuse and so mix thoroughly. Weight? Ideal gases don’t have weight. It doesn’t matter because CO2 is moving at superspeeds through the empty atmosphere, (devoid of volume), bumping into other ideal gas molecules doing the same thing, so it doesn’t make any difference. AGW doesn’t teach convection.

    The PhD physics who teaches this, it’s commonly taught in schools in Britain, first of all denied that CO2 could separate out of air! After real world examples, mines, volcanic venting, breweries, he conceded that it could. Wait for it, his rationalising of it was that the greater mass of CO2 in a particular amount of air would bring it all down to ground level, molecules of oxygen and nitrogen an’ all. Weight of gases relative to each other doesn’t exist in AGWScience Fiction. ‘It is well-mixed in the atmosphere and it will rise spontaneously from being pooled on the floor to mix thoroughly into the atmosphere without any work being done’, said this teacher. I suggested that maybe the molecules of carbon dioxide used a bit of blue tack or something to stick a few of the lighter molecules together like a balloon..

    That’s why the AIRS results were so mind-blowing for those who did the measurements. That’s why we don’t have any more detail except for their conclusion, that ‘contrary to what was believed CO2 is not well-mixed, but lumpy, and, it is insignificant in ‘greenhouse warming’, compared to water in the atmosphere’.

    It’s a recurring theme – ‘contrary to what is believed’ in so many reports coming out now, from this new generation of researchers who have been brought up on the AGW science fiction memes. Not that they will really be able to make any sense of it until they understand that they were fed misinformation about the real physical world to begin with.

  74. Stephen Skinner says:

    Mike McMillan says:
    October 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm
    “I checked a prevailing wind chart, and the concentrations seem more connected with high pressure areas than winds or human generated CO2.”

    I would agree with you. The differences between the max and min CO2 seem to correlate with the max and min atmospheric pressure, with a similar difference as a proportion. Looking at the image the pattern seems to fit well with the Hadley cells, which means it looks like there is a higher concentration of CO2 in high pressure. And, although colour has been used to help highlight the different amounts of CO2, the colour contrast is dramatic, thereby implying greater differences. I would say global CO2 looks well mixed, considering all the supposed places that CO2 should be concentrated. There are no concentrations around any cities, or transport corridors, or geographic fault lines, etc. What would be useful is a 12 month time lapse. Then we could see the seasonal fluctuation in CO2.

  75. Keith says:

    Are there any cement factories in the Sahara? If not, would somebody be so kind as to open one?

  76. Theo Goodwin says:

    Myrrh says:
    October 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm
    “I suggested that maybe the molecules of carbon dioxide used a bit of blue tack or something to stick a few of the lighter molecules together like a balloon..”

    Enjoyed your post immensely. Yes, it seems CO2 molecules have only one physical characteristic, namely, the ability to redirect radiation toward Earth’s surface. They resemble wizards (demons? genii?) more than physical molecules.

    And once again we learn that Warmista scientists are totally incapable of explicating their claims in terms of measurable characteristics of physical phenomena.

  77. Sparks says:

    federico says:
    October 3, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Re.: Argon vs. CO2 as trace gases

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t suggesting that Argon was in anyway similar to Co2 or it’s role on the ecosystem, I was pointing out that another trace gas in a larger quantity than that of co2 is considered irrelevant because it has no major role in the environment or human consumption and there for considered unimportant to concerned groups of wacky environmentalist, human hating extremists or financially motivated political campaigners, You have explained the differences between the two gases which is fine, but that was not what my opinion was about.

    But as you brought it up! In the Ecosystem, where there is Potassium K, there is Argon Ar, Potassium is an essential element for plant growth and it’s decay produces Argon. Humans add Potassium to soil in agriculture, and there is 1% of Argon an inert gas in the atmosphere that causes Cooling, Warming or has no effect at all? Do you think that with a bit of imagination a C02 type hysterical spin could be concocted to point to Argon as being the cause of Anthropogenic Climate change, remember all facts are irrelevant when it comes down to what concerned groups of wacky environmentalist, human hating extremists or financially motivated political campaigners will do to get their way.

  78. Spector says:

    Just for reference, here is a comparison printout of the MODTRAN energy plot spectrum data at 99 km altitude looking down for 280 PPM CO2 and 396 PPM CO2 around the 667 kayzer (cycles per centimeter) CO2 absorption band. I was surprised to find the to curves so identical looking. I have also calculated the difference between these to data sets. I multiplied the values actually returned in the printout by 10,000 times pi() to convert to the units plotted. The whole plot runs from 100 to 1498 kayzers, however for brevity, I have just included a selected range around the CO2 hole.

    Wavenumber   CO2      CO2        
     kayzers     280      396     Difference    
                 PPM      PPM
       500     0.3581    0.3581    0.0000    --
       502     0.2991    0.2991    0.0000    --
       504     0.3330    0.3330    0.0000    --
       506     0.3116    0.3116    0.0000    --
       508     0.3330    0.3330    0.0000    --
       510     0.3519    0.3519    0.0000    --
       512     0.3550    0.3550    0.0000    --
       514     0.3644    0.3644    0.0000    --
       516     0.3173    0.3173    0.0000    --
       518     0.2975    0.2975    0.0000    --
       520     0.3138    0.3138    0.0000    --
       522     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       524     0.3550    0.3550    0.0000    --
       526     0.3054    0.3054    0.0000    --
       528     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       530     0.3896    0.3896    0.0000    --
       532     0.3927    0.3927    0.0000    --
       534     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       536     0.3393    0.3393    0.0000    --
       538     0.3833    0.3833    0.0000    --
       540     0.3770    0.3770    0.0000    --
       542     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       544     0.3613    0.3581   -0.0031    --
       546     0.3104    0.3098   -0.0006    --
       548     0.3456    0.3456    0.0000    --
       550     0.3519    0.3519    0.0000    --
       552     0.3833    0.3833    0.0000    --
       554     0.3676    0.3676    0.0000    --
       556     0.3707    0.3707    0.0000    --
       558     0.3896    0.3896    0.0000    --
       560     0.3990    0.3990    0.0000    --
       562     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       564     0.3676    0.3644   -0.0031    --
       566     0.3613    0.3581   -0.0031    --
       568     0.3173    0.3142   -0.0031    --
       570     0.3267    0.3267    0.0000    --
       572     0.3738    0.3707   -0.0031    --
       574     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       576     0.3204    0.3204    0.0000    --
       578     0.3644    0.3581   -0.0063    --
       580     0.3362    0.3330   -0.0031    --
       582     0.3362    0.3330   -0.0031    --
       584     0.3487    0.3424   -0.0063    --
       586     0.3456    0.3362   -0.0094    --
       588     0.3362    0.3299   -0.0063    --
       590     0.2875    0.2812   -0.0063    --
       592     0.2868    0.2824   -0.0044    --
       594     0.2978    0.2884   -0.0094    --
       596     0.2897    0.2758   -0.0138    --
       598     0.2934    0.2799   -0.0135    --
       600     0.3060    0.2966   -0.0094    --
       602     0.3019    0.2890   -0.0129    --
       604     0.2994    0.2862   -0.0132    --
       606     0.2853    0.2689   -0.0163    --
       608     0.2856    0.2689   -0.0167    --
       610     0.3025    0.2853   -0.0173    --
       612     0.3007    0.2856   -0.0151    --
       614     0.2749    0.2589   -0.0160    --
       616     0.2177    0.2070   -0.0107    --
       618     0.1860    0.1825   -0.0035    --
       620     0.2783    0.2598   -0.0185    --
       622     0.2636    0.2460   -0.0176    --
       624     0.2331    0.2187   -0.0145    --
       626     0.2243    0.2114   -0.0129    --
       628     0.2061    0.1923   -0.0138    CO2
       630     0.1982    0.1850   -0.0132    CO2
       632     0.1872    0.1762   -0.0110    CO2
       634     0.1762    0.1671   -0.0091    CO2
       636     0.1668    0.1583   -0.0085    CO2
       638     0.1568    0.1511   -0.0057    CO2
       640     0.1527    0.1483   -0.0044    CO2
       642     0.1464    0.1426   -0.0038    CO2
       644     0.1433    0.1433    0.0000    CO2
       646     0.1439    0.1455    0.0016    CO2
       648     0.1486    0.1530    0.0044    CO2
       650     0.1546    0.1602    0.0057    CO2
       652     0.1433    0.1477    0.0044    CO2
       654     0.1367    0.1411    0.0044    CO2
       656     0.1376    0.1411    0.0035    CO2
       658     0.1417    0.1467    0.0050    CO2
       660     0.1392    0.1439    0.0047    CO2
       662     0.1467    0.1524    0.0057    CO2
       664     0.1483    0.1546    0.0063    CO2
       666     0.1552    0.1621    0.0069    CO2
       668     0.2221    0.2284    0.0063    CO2
       670     0.1665    0.1744    0.0079    CO2
       672     0.1367    0.1423    0.0057    CO2
       674     0.1392    0.1442    0.0050    CO2
       676     0.1335    0.1385    0.0050    CO2
       678     0.1392    0.1448    0.0057    CO2
       680     0.1319    0.1376    0.0057    CO2
       682     0.1360    0.1411    0.0050    CO2
       684     0.1301    0.1335    0.0035    CO2
       686     0.1329    0.1357    0.0028    CO2
       688     0.1266    0.1285    0.0019    CO2
       690     0.1319    0.1335    0.0016    CO2
       692     0.1323    0.1294   -0.0028    CO2
       694     0.1357    0.1319   -0.0038    CO2
       696     0.1351    0.1297   -0.0053    CO2
       698     0.1458    0.1389   -0.0069    CO2
       700     0.1590    0.1480   -0.0110    CO2
       702     0.1546    0.1455   -0.0091    CO2
       704     0.1709    0.1596   -0.0113    CO2
       706     0.1910    0.1778   -0.0132    CO2
       708     0.1948    0.1813   -0.0135    CO2
       710     0.2051    0.1901   -0.0151    CO2
       712     0.2183    0.2029   -0.0154    CO2
       714     0.2253    0.2099   -0.0154    CO2
       716     0.2454    0.2271   -0.0182    CO2
       718     0.2051    0.1894   -0.0157    CO2
       720     0.1404    0.1382   -0.0022    CO2
       722     0.2356    0.2193   -0.0163    CO2
       724     0.2730    0.2545   -0.0185    --
       726     0.3025    0.2856   -0.0170    --
       728     0.2859    0.2683   -0.0176    --
       730     0.2516    0.2366   -0.0151    --
       732     0.2538    0.2372   -0.0167    --
       734     0.2840    0.2648   -0.0192    --
       736     0.2652    0.2476   -0.0176    --
       738     0.2601    0.2422   -0.0179    --
       740     0.2645    0.2469   -0.0176    --
       742     0.2337    0.2196   -0.0141    --
       744     0.2915    0.2783   -0.0132    --
       746     0.3236    0.3116   -0.0119    --
       748     0.3082    0.2963   -0.0119    --
       750     0.3236    0.3094   -0.0141    --
       752     0.3393    0.3299   -0.0094    --
       754     0.3204    0.3113   -0.0091    --
       756     0.3330    0.3236   -0.0094    --
       758     0.3676    0.3581   -0.0094    --
       760     0.3676    0.3613   -0.0063    --
       762     0.3770    0.3707   -0.0063    --
       764     0.3864    0.3801   -0.0063    --
       766     0.3833    0.3801   -0.0031    --
       768     0.3801    0.3770   -0.0031    --
       770     0.3707    0.3707    0.0000    --
       772     0.3896    0.3864   -0.0031    --
       774     0.3896    0.3864   -0.0031    --
       776     0.3581    0.3581    0.0000    --
       778     0.3707    0.3707    0.0000    --
       780     0.3833    0.3801   -0.0031    --
       782     0.3896    0.3864   -0.0031    --
       784     0.3519    0.3519    0.0000    --
       786     0.3833    0.3833    0.0000    --
       788     0.3896    0.3896    0.0000    --
       790     0.3864    0.3833   -0.0031    --
       792     0.3550    0.3456   -0.0094    --
       794     0.3613    0.3581   -0.0031    --
       796     0.3456    0.3456    0.0000    --
       798     0.3424    0.3424    0.0000    --
       800     0.3581    0.3581    0.0000    --
       802     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       804     0.3581    0.3581    0.0000    --
       806     0.3770    0.3770    0.0000    --
       808     0.3613    0.3581   -0.0031    --
       810     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       812     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       814     0.3613    0.3581   -0.0031    --
       816     0.3738    0.3707   -0.0031    --
       818     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       820     0.3801    0.3801    0.0000    --
       822     0.3770    0.3770    0.0000    --
       824     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       826     0.3707    0.3707    0.0000    --
       828     0.3581    0.3581    0.0000    --
       830     0.3770    0.3738   -0.0031    --
       832     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       834     0.3738    0.3738    0.0000    --
       836     0.3707    0.3707    0.0000    --
       838     0.3707    0.3707    0.0000    --
       840     0.3519    0.3519    0.0000    --
       842     0.3644    0.3644    0.0000    --
       844     0.3676    0.3676    0.0000    --
       846     0.3676    0.3676    0.0000    --
       848     0.3644    0.3644    0.0000    --
       850     0.3487    0.3487    0.0000    --
    
  79. Spector says:

    RE: Spector: (October 4, 2011 at 1:21 am)
    I believe the numbers in this table indicate watts per square meter per kayzer bandwidth radiated out from the approximate top of the atmosphere (99km). One kayzer is a wavenumber of one cycle per centimeter (CM-1) and a one-kayzer band is equivalent to a frequency-band that is about 29.979 GHz wide. Most of the differences between the two data sets occur over the selected region.

  80. Myrrh says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    October 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks!

    And once again we learn that Warmista scientists are totally incapable of explicating their claims in terms of measurable characteristics of physical phenomena.

    This is what gets to me – all claims are contortions of properties and processes, attributing out of context laws and so on, but after a while at looking at their ‘experiments to prove their physics’, it appears to me that someone had to know real physics very well indeed to come up with these variations and the sleights of hand to explain them.

  81. Will says:

    Myrrh says:
    October 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    A cursory glance at the list following list and all will be revealed.

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

    Second from the bottom in the list of formal fallacies is “special pleading”. This is the fallacy that was rebranded as “post normal science” by Ravetz. Studying this list in detail, it appears that the warmest have incorporated the entire list of known logical fallacies into their play book.

    AGW is based on pure sophistry. I predict that in the future, the entire fraud will one day be known as the Fourth Sophistic.

  82. Ulric Lyons says:

    This animation shows levels from c.350 to 390 in the Northern hemisphere through the seasons. Note how the plumes of higher CO2 in both hemispheres seem to originate from forest regions.

  83. Myrrh says:

    Will says:
    October 5, 2011 at 1:59 am
    Myrrh says:
    October 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    A cursory glance at the list following list and all will be revealed.

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

    Studying this list in detail, it appears that the warmest have incorporated the entire list of known logical fallacies into their play book.

    :) That was a fascinating read. There are some I’ve suspected, from the way they reply in discussions, who know all these tricks and use them deliberately and adjust their arguments accordingly, most I think simply regurgitate the answers provided by these.

    A couple of examples where I’ve seen pages where such methods have been used deliberately to confuse – wiki pages on global warming are still rampant with them, but they’re subtle and not always easy to spot.

    “Equivocation: the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time)”

    Using “Sunlight”, a general term, in a physics explanation where “Sun” should be used when talking about the types of wavelengths, this is done to bolster the confusion caused by the introduction of another on the list, “Definist fallacy: involves the confusion between two notions by defining one in terms of the other”. This is a major difference between the science fiction physics of AGW and real world in changing our physical reality by re-defining visible light (Light) with the properties of thermal infrared, and concurrently, thermal infrared (Heat) direct from the Sun taken out of the energy budget(as per the Kiehl/Trenberth cartoon). Light from the Sun, shortwave, is now how land and oceans are heated and thermal infrared is now the result of that and only exists on the Earth’s surface and in the atmosphere from being radiated back from the Earth after being created by visible (shortwave in-longwave out); thermal infrared no longer reaches the Earth’s surface direct from the Sun but somehow, again, no mechanism in place to say how it doesn’t reach us.

    Another example of glossing over which meaning is being used is “absorption” in promoting this definist fallacy that visible light heats organic matter of land and oceans. Technically in physics this means specific things in context and in known contexts the general use of the term wouldn’t be a confusion. I’m still waiting for an explanation of why the oxygen and nitrogen molecules in our atmosphere are not heated by visible light when this is reflected/scattered by the electrons of the gas molecules absorbing the energy of visible light before bouncing it back out, hence blue sky, while claiming the atmosphere is transparent to visible, when water, which is transparent to visible and so is transmitted and not absorbed in real physics, is claimed to be heated by visible because absorbed by the oceans, with blue light travelling further before being absorbed and therefore heating the oceans deeper. We’re meant to be confused. (I’ve narrowed this down to asking for proof that blue light can heat water…)

    “Kettle logic: using multiple inconsistent arguments to defend a position”. This is one used in carbon dioxide explanations for ‘thoroughly well-mixed’. Brownian motion used interchangably and together with ideal gas descriptions and wind/constant turbulence thrown into the pot for good measure. We’re back to wind being an outside force, a big wooden spoon stirring up all the empty space with ideal gas molecules zipping around in place of the gods at the four corners or the world in the constant tumble of a washing machine. I’m convinced some can’t hear my arguments because sound can’t travel in empty space..

    Second from the bottom in the list of [in]formal fallacies is “special pleading”. This is the fallacy that was rebranded as “post normal science” by Ravetz.

    “Special pleading: where a proponent of a position attempts to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule or principle without justifying the exemption”

    I’ve only very recently began exploring post normal science, first because of the amusement generated by discussions on the statistical method used in contorting the 2nd law, (the “net” of exchange of hot to cold and cold to hot flows of energy is said to abide by the law without providing any mechanism for it doing so, which of course means that a volume of ice can cook your dinner ..) but in exploring did find some fun criticisms besides the spoof by Sokal. I’ve just done a search on Ravetz to see what else I could find, and there’s an old discussion on WUWT – part II here with link to part I: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/22/jerry-ravetz-part-2-answer-and-explanation-to-my-critics/

    I shall have to re-read them now I’ve got a better idea of what he’s proposing (http://www.fedpubs.com/subject/techno/nn_science.htm), which I began to appreciate from Sokal’s piece, and bearing in mind the point you make.

    AGW is based on pure sophistry. I predict that in the future, the entire fraud will one day be known as the Fourth Sophistic.

    What do you make of him? Is he a product of someone else’s deliberate contortions and going along with the game or a clever manipulator in his own right, and originator?

  84. Spector says:

    RE: Ulric Lyons: (October 5, 2011 at 5:37 am)

    That is a nice looking animation. I note that the enumerated CO2 range runs from 360 to 375 PPM.

    However, for clear tropical air, at 99 km up, the MODTRAN web-utility hosted by the University of Chicago indicates that when we go from the nominal pre-industrial concentration of 280 PPM to a near current 396 PPM CO2 level, this only causes a *raw* heat transfer reduction of about 1.6 watts per square meter in IR radiation leaving the Earth. As the main flow is on the order of 289.2 to 287.6 watts per square meter, it would seem that this ‘huge’ increase in CO2 concentration has only caused about a half of a percent heat transfer change.

    For those who say this measurement should be at the tropopause, the levels are about 293.65 W/m2 at 280 PPM and 291.55 W/m2 for 396 PPM with a difference of about 2.1 watts at 15 km up.

    I emphasize the word ‘raw’ because I believe that MODTRAN does not include any climate feedback effects.

  85. Will says:

    Myrrh says:
    October 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Myrrh,

    thank you for this concise summary, particularly regarding the deliberate, deceptive and incorrect use of the interchangeable meaning between thermal radiation and IR.

    Of course much of the incoming solar EMR (more than 50%) is LW IR which gets thermalised by Oxygen and Nitrogen, hence the Diurnal Atmospheric Bulge:
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1966SAOSR.207…..J&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&plate_select=NO&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_GIF&classic=YES

    The so called “greenhouse effect” is a provable myth.

    Regarding your question about Ravetz, I believe the evidence speaks for itself.

  86. Brian H says:

    Oh, gawd. Another Myrrh-jack. Thermodynamics revised, amateur style.

  87. Myrrh says:

    Brian H says:
    October 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm
    Oh, gawd. Another Myrrh-jack. Thermodynamics revised, amateur style.

    Not at all, what I posted is directly pertinent to the subject of the post by Dr Vincent Gray:

    “This shows why they are so concerned to fiddle the measured results of gas concentrations to try and argue they are “well-mixed” and have no variability. So all results they don’t like are suppressed as “noise”, the many previous results, publicised by Beck, are suppressed, and measurements over land surfaces are forbidden. There is overwhelming evidence that none of the gases are “well-mixed”, so all of the Global Warming figures are Phoney.”

    You however, are using a typical response to shut down opposition bringing in facts to counter the fantasy science of AGW. What? Do you think if you say if often enough it will be believed true..? Why don’t you address the points I made?

    In real world physics the properties of gases matter, gravity matters therefore weight, carbon dioxide is heavier than air, but the claim from the pseudo science which dismisses Beck is that it and oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere are ideal gases, i.e., having no weight or real world interactions, no volume etc. Carbon dioxide is not well-mixed, but will vary locally to local conditions, the “is lumpy” of the AIRS data. Real world physics has to be set aside to argue for the fiction and the methods of explaining how it is are as I gave examples from the list posted by Will, with carbon dioxide by swapping its properties for that of ideal gases in Kettling, “using multiple inconsistent arguments to defend a position”. Here well-mixing ideal gas claims for carbon dioxide, which claims empty space without gases having volume, with well-mixing by Brownian motion which for a start presupposes a fluid volume in which microscopic particles are moved, and carbon dioxide in real world physics is of that fluid, etc.

    The inconsistencies are various, the mistake people make is to take these claims without due analysis of what kind of world these describe..

  88. Will says:

    Brian H says:
    October 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Brian H.

    That is Brian Hall, Fellow of the Royal Society, Canada.

    Title: George S. Campbell Professor of Biology
    Office: Dept. of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
    Status: Working
    Degrees:
    BSc (Zoology), U of New England, Armidale, NSW Australia, 1963
    BSc (Hons Zoology), U of New England, 1965
    PhD (Zoology), U of New England, 1969

    Awards
    Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2002
    Alexander Kowalevsky Medal (St.-Petersburg Soc of Naturalists, Russia), 2001
    International Craniofacial Biology Distinguished Scientist Award, 1996
    Fry Medal, Canadian Soc of Zoologists, 1994
    Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1985
    Young Scientist Award (Atlantic Provinces Inter-University Committee on the Sciences), 1974

    [snip]

    Perhaps you would like to draw attention to a specific point that you object to Brian H, instead of your usual poop flinging exercise.

  89. Brian H says:

    That’s not me.
    And repetitive harping on weakly founded or vacuous science assertions is thread jacking.

    But in this case, mea culpa. The post was pertinent. Apologies.

Comments are closed.