Spencer finds “the Big Picture” on cloud feedback

2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave

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I’ve Looked at Clouds from Both Sides Now -and Before

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

…sometimes, the most powerful evidence is right in front of your face…..

I never dreamed that anyone would dispute the claim that cloud changes can cause “cloud radiative forcing” of the climate system, in addition to their role as responding to surface temperature changes (“cloud radiative feedback”). (NOTE: “Cloud radiative forcing” traditionally has multiple meanings. Caveat emptor.)

But that’s exactly what has happened. Andy Dessler’s 2010 and 2011 papers have claimed, both implicitly and explicitly, that in the context of climate, with very few exceptions, cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.

Shortly after we became aware of Andy’s latest paper, which finally appeared in GRL on October 1, I realized the most obvious and most powerful evidence of the existence of cloud radiative forcing was staring us in the face. We had actually alluded to this in our previous papers, but there are so many ways to approach the issue that it’s easy to get sidetracked by details, and forget about the Big Picture.

Well, the following graph is the Big Picture. It shows the 3-month variations in CERES-measured global radiative energy balance (which Dessler agrees is made up of forcing and feedback), and it also shows an estimate of the radiative feedback alone using HadCRUT3 global temperature anomalies, assuming a feedback parameter (λ) of 2 Watts per sq. meter per deg (click for full-size version):

What this graph shows is very simple, but also very powerful: The radiative variations CERES measures look nothing like what the radiative feedback should look like. You can put in any feedback parameter you want (the IPCC models range from 0.91 to 1.87…I think it could be more like 3 to 6 in the real climate system), and you will come to the same conclusion.

And if CERES is measuring something very different from radiative feedback, it must — by definition — be radiative forcing (for the detail-oriented folks, forcing = Net + feedback…where Net is very close to the negative of [LW+SW]).

The above chart makes it clear that radiative feedback is only a small portion of what CERES measures. There is no way around this conclusion.

Now, our 3 previous papers on this subject have dealt with trying to understand the extent to which this large radiative forcing signal (or whatever you want to call it) corrupts the diagnosis of feedback. That such radiative forcing exists seemed to me to be beyond dispute. Apparently, it wasn’t. Dessler (2011) tries to make the case that the radiative variations measured by CERES are not enough energy to change the temperature of the ocean mixed layer…but that is a separate issue; the issue addressed by our previous 3 papers is the extent to which radiative forcing masks radiative feedback. [For those interested, over the same period of record (April 2000 through June 2010) the standard deviation of the Levitus-observed 3-month changes in temperature with time of the upper 200 meters of the global oceans corresponds to 2.5 Watts per sq. meter]

I just wanted to put this evidence out there for people to see and understand in advance. It will be indeed part of our response to Dessler 2011, but Danny Braswell and I have so many things to say about that paper, it’s going to take time to address all of the ways in which (we think) Dessler is wrong, misused our model, and misrepresented our position.

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148 thoughts on “Spencer finds “the Big Picture” on cloud feedback

  1. But, but, but – this work hasn’t been approved by The Central Committee on Climatology!

    How dare you subvert the normal processes of ‘science’ and let the general public see it without their sanction. Surely there must be at least three yers of process to go through before anything like this comes into the public domain – if at all.

    And to publish it at WUWT as well! You are a heretcic and an apostate and are hereby excommunicated from the One True Way. Cast into the outer darkness forever.

    /sarc

  2. The post looks great, and must be simple for those who are involved in this research and are familiar with all the language. Many of us, probably most of us, are not engaged in this particular discipline but as citizens of Earth we are interested to understand the “Big picture”.

    When someone puts out a new new “revelation” about something, especially in such a controversial subject, it would be good if the “man in the street” could understand it, and understand why it never came up before. It is the simple ideas that make the biggest impact on the majority of people so I hope these ideas can be presented so that non-scientist types can get to grips with them. Science speak is great for scientists but this issue is not just about some accademic/scientific theory in a lab that has no effect on the outside world, it effects the whole planet and everyone on it.

  3. For us that work in the weather we understand the “Cloud Effect” very well. From inside a climate controled enviroment through glass the effect is less. With no windows reality is realy out of perspective. When you take into account all the types of clouds and their microenviroments around the world at a given time to even think about any part being normal is out there. To even average over a period of time and call it normal climate leaves a lot.

  4. Looks like it’s getting harder and harder to say that an increase in a trace gas is the cause of all climate ills…… Yet Australia’s dopey Labor Party is about to tax its entire population for producing it.

    The Australian Labor Party….. The political party that taxed the air we breathe.

  5. Given that the list of matters it sounds like you intend to take Dessler to school on…I mean to rebutt him on…could it be possible to ask that you publish in installments? Say two or three a week for as long as it takes?

    For us “interested but I’m not a PhD candidate” types, we can’t absorb the thing as fast as you can write it, and we need time to catch up. Besides, by stretching it out, you put Dessler in a real bind. He can’t cherry pick one or two minor items out of the whole paper and then claim he has debunked the whole thing (a favourite tactic of the Team I’ve noticed), he has to respond to each piece as it comes out…our look like he doesn’t have a response at all. Best of all though, when defending himself on Chapter 1, he has to respond with facts that very well may rob him of his defense in Chapter 4, and so on.

    Besides, after having the media and the public at large at their beck and call for so long, watching a member of the Team twist in the wind for a few weaks instead of just one article…seems like justice.

    Wolfgang Wagner, are you paying attention? The demigod you bowed down to has sent his flag bearer to do battle on his behalf, to defeat SB11, the task he assigned to you and which you failed to accomplish. You’re of little use to him now, you’ve lost credibility with the CAGW croud and the skeptics alike. Judith Curry has done the world a great service by moving from blind faith to crtitical but fair comment. You too can do some good and be remembered in the history books for doing the right thing. Or for being a patsy. Your call.

  6. Temperature, humidity, clouds, atmospheric pressure,… etc. are the internal inter-dependent components of the climate system, with all feedbacks automatically factored in by nature, the laws of physics and the strong modulation by the annual insolation cycle.
    Only the external factors can be the long term causes of the climate oscillations. CCL.

  7. This looks like, REALLY important.

    So important that it needs spelling out in ultra-simple laymans language, appealing to our common experience, plus graphics. So important that it needs clear c-y-a arguments too, to answer Skeptical Science etc.

    Jo Nova? Mark Hendrickx? Minnesotans 4GW? Lord Monckton? Anyone?

    One detail that piques my curiosity: although cloud-as-feedback is clearly vastly smaller, time-wise it seems to lead slightly. Is this an artefact of the graph’s imprecision? Or could this be in reality more evidence for Svensmark, that clouds are determined by cosmic ray input which correlates with solar output – which might cause a slight delay in cloud effects?

  8. The big picture here is that it is only over the last decade that data specifically intended to accurately measure key climate values has become available, I am thinking of measuring incoming/outgoing radiation at top of atmosphere and ocean heat content.

    So rather than the science being settled, it is only just getting started.

    What Spencer is saying is that clouds are an important forcing in their own right.

  9. i wait with baited breath. But when a scientist tells me that heat will travel, by whatever method, from cold to hot as Dr. Spencer told me in an email, I view all his work with suspicion.

  10. More on the big picture;

    With prior datasets not specifically intended to measure the key climate variables, the AGW crowd could argue that you have to look at long time series to see the climate change signal because the data is noisy.

    Thats not the case with the new datasets and conclusions can be drawn from much shorter time series. Spencer draws his conclusions from 3 months of data.

    BTW, I came to a similar conclusion from the Argo ocean heat content data. The month to month changes can’t be accounted for by the forcings the AGW crowd use and there has to be another forcing at work and that can only be clouds (more specifically something that affects the phase change from vapor to liquid droplets).

  11. Writing a paper and getting published are two different things , the ‘Team’ will be on the case big style so it would not be a surprise to find this papers ‘review’ moves at pace suitable to keep it out of any IPCC consideration. And I would expect another record turn around in a answer to it.

  12. I’m not sure, but I think Dallas is on to something. I saw Roy’s stuff and immediately thought of him. Check it out.
    ==============

  13. go put your stuff on Roy’s blog, Dallas. Some person of discernment is eventually going to face the blackboard and look at it. I’ve mentioned previously that Good Cartoons drive out Bad Cartoons. I reason backwards that since Trenberth is missing something, maybe this is it.
    =========================

  14. I think we need to be careful with terminology, especially with what is meant by “forcing”. The IPCC describe forcing as a change in the radiative budget that is independent of the natural system (my interpretation – could be misunderstood). This would make the following causative events to be forcings by IPCC definition: CO2 buildup, changes in solar irradience, aerosols, changes in planetary albedo. These things are not held to be forcings: changes in cloud cover, changes in water vapour levels.

    The IPCC say that these things are the result of forcings and are described as feedbacks. Prima facia, this seems reasonable if we assume that changes in cloud cover and water vapour are controlled totally by temperature which itself is the result of forcings. We could argue (as many have) that cloud cover is effected by factors other than temperature. Svensmark cosmic ray hypothesis is the best known example. In this case, cloud cover is effected by events outside the forcing-temperature-feedback cycle already mentioned. By any definition, this would make changes in cloud cover a forcing.

    However, unless I am missing something, I can’t see how Dr. Spencer’s CERES graph has anything to say on cloud forcing as it is dealing with the net effect of many different causative factors. So I don’t think the question is settled.

  15. I wish the folk who post `important’ posts on this blog would take the time to draft a simple, introductory paragraph, explaining in simple terms the significance of whatever it is their post is about.

    This post is (with respect) another example of `in-house’ musing that fails to inform the generally interested follower of this blog.

    Ok, if there is no intention to inform the educated general public, that’s fine. Just that the Bear thought that was one of the main aims of a popular blog, such as this.

    Too whiny? Too much trouble?

  16. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:05 am
    “Only the external factors can be the long term causes of the climate oscillations. CCL.

    Does that mean in Cloud Capiche Land ???

  17. “I view all his work with suspicion.”
    good that is how all statements of this fact or that theory should be taken, it’s only when you start to do it to one side or one source that the trouble starts !

  18. Thanks Kim, the word is out. All I need is one undergrad with a fresh mind, computer that works and is fluent in southern, I’m good to go!

  19. I left the equation on Roy’s blog and asked for some emissivity information at 600mb, there seems to be a bump around -25 to -30C according to my calculations, ~0.71 ballpark. to fine tune the coefficients, e seems real close, don’t know about a and b, pretty complex PDQ relationship. Doable, if I had someone that hasn’t killed as many braincells as I have.

  20. ;) Very interesting… I had never thought the clouds would have an impact on the Eco-system, even if they fly higher at night and lower during the day. I am curious about how you will address the paper and what the comments and opinions about the paper will conclude and how you will find a conclusion. Will you prove Dessler wrong or has Dessler proved right?! I am also interested in your response to this. I believe I have learnt more about clouds, storms and the CERES-measured global radiative energy balance charts then I ever learnt from Geology in school. I look forward to hearing more!

    All the Best,
    Ezzy :)

  21. Actually Mr. Moderator, If you multiply the K&T DWLR, 321 by the TOA emissivity of 0.61, their budget will match and they will find the ~24Wm-2 missing in the atmosphere. Simple mistake. Using a surface frame of reference it is obvious, well, to me anyway. If K&T would check we could move move on to more exciting stuff :)

  22. Lucy Skywalker says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:07 am
    This looks like, REALLY important.

    So important that it needs spelling out in ultra-simple laymans language, appealing to our common experience, plus graphics. So important that it needs clear c-y-a arguments too, to answer Skeptical Science etc.

    Jo Nova? Mark Hendrickx? Minnesotans 4GW? Lord Monckton? Anyone?

    One detail that piques my curiosity: although cloud-as-feedback is clearly vastly smaller, time-wise it seems to lead slightly. Is this an artefact of the graph’s imprecision? Or could this be in reality more evidence for Svensmark, that clouds are determined by cosmic ray input which correlates with solar output – which might cause a slight delay in cloud effects?

    What is also needed is a graph showing what the CERES data should look like if the IPCC/AGW feedback hypothesis was true. Having shown the hypothesis it can then be compared to reality and falsified.

    This would also be an extremely powerful tool when dealing with ‘policy makers’. “Look – this is the graph that would be seen if the IPCC models were correct. But this is the actual measurements from the CERES satellite put up to measure the real world data. The CERES real world measurements do not match the model predictions – therefore the IPCC models are incorrect as are any decisions based on those models.

    The simpler this can be done the better – preferably in a one page executive summary to the larger paper.

  23. I may not have understood Dr. Spencers paper but if I am being told that Long Wave radiation accumulates under clouds and is then somehow forced back down to the surface of the earth and this radiation results in an increase in the temperature at the surface, I’m sorry but I just don’t believe it, however,

    The albedo, i.e. the amount of solar radiation reflected back out to space, of the earths surface is given as 30% of total solar radiation. Increased cloud cover decreases solar radiation reaching the earths surface, that’s a given. Increased cloud cover also increases the amount of solar radiation (reflected from the surface) ‘trapped’ by clouds. This in turn causes solar radiation ‘trapped’ by the cloud to be reflected back towards the surface of the earth. The result is an increase in the amount of Solar radiation absorbed by the earth when clouds are present, meaning that the albedo of the troposphere is reduced when clouds are present. As reflected solar radiation is equal to solar radiation directly from the sun there is a possibility that this reflected solar radiation could travel back down, however, until evidence to prove that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong, Long Wave radiation, being energy lower (colder) than Short Wave (hotter) cannot travel from an area of lower energy, i.e. the cloud to an area of higher energy, i.e. the surface of the earth.

    As a member of the general public I agree with other comments that to get the facts across to more people explanations in simple English are needed.

  24. John Marshall says:

    October 9, 2011 at 1:53 am

    i wait with baited breath. But when a scientist tells me that heat will travel, by whatever method, from cold to hot
    ___________________________________________
    You mean the way that Travesty Trenberth says that heat travels from the cold deep ocean to the warm shallow ocean? And he didn’t say it just to me, as Dr. Spencer apparently communicated just to you.

  25. As a few have commented, could we have a summary in layman’s language? As I read it Roy is saying outgoing radiation bears no correlation to surface temperature so some other factor like clouds is affecting matters.
    But is there any evidence that cloud cover is changing, is any change correlatable to radiation, what is causing such change and is cloud cover increasing or reducing temperatures?

  26. Regarding the “second law” arguments being made here against Spencer, they are off topic. My suggestion for those who disagree with him on that is to read the appropriate thread at SkS: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=164 and if you have a point of disagreement with a comment in the thread or a new argument, then add it to the thread. Please read the thread first although it is long and somewhat repetitious. Or read the Judy Curry thread http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/ But in event, try to refrain from bringing it up any time Spencer writes a post on a different topic.

  27. “John Marshall says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:53 am

    i wait with baited breath. But when a scientist tells me that heat will travel, by whatever method, from cold to hot as Dr. Spencer told me in an email”

    John, you know that matter radiates photons as a function of its temperature and emissivity.
    Cold objects radiate less energy than hot objects, if they have the same emissivity.
    Take two equally sized nearby objects with the emissivity, one at 100K and one at 400K, They will both emit photons and both absorb photons, the cold object will receive photons from the hot object and the hot one will receive photons from the cold one.
    In terms of the overall exchange of energy, heat, in the form of photons, will travel from the hot body to the cold body. This heat transfer is the sum sum of the fluxes, energy input – energy output. The hot body loses more heat than it gets from the cold body and the cold body gains more heat than it transfers to the hot body.
    Heat is transferred in both directions, but the overall transfer is in one direction.

  28. Dr. Spencer,
    It looks to me that the graph you show here is a combination of the graphs 1A and 1C in Dressler’s 2010 paper, in your graph delta-Ts is just multiplied by the constant lambda. Dressler says about this delta-Ts: “Also plotted is an ENSO index (23), and the close association between that and delta-Ts verifies that ENSO is the primary source of variations in delta-Ts.” and
    “Obviously, the correlation between delta-Rcloud and delta Ts is weak (r2 = 2%), meaning that factors other than Ts are important in regulating delta-Rcloud.”
    It seems to me that you’ve reached the same conclusion as Dressler, in that there is a low correlation between the radiative forcing at the TOA and the delta-Ts. Am I correct ?

  29. TBear Said: “I wish the folk who post `important’ posts on this blog would take the time to draft a simple, introductory paragraph, explaining in simple terms the significance of whatever it is their post is about.

    This post is (with respect) another example of `in-house’ musing that fails to inform the generally interested follower of this blog.”
    ———–
    Absolutely. I very much appreciate the hard work of Dr. Spencer and others who open their minds to the possibility that the “consensus science” view is far from the final answer.

    Since the matter of “global warming” has become very much a political matter that has engaged the minds of non-scientific people across the globe, it is incumbent upon the reporters of new climate science achievements – such as WUWT – to cast the technical scientific discussion in language the common man (ladies, too!!) can understand.

    Many thanks for all you do, Good People.

  30. I am afraid that I agree with Lucy Skywalker when she says This is “So important that it needs spelling out inultra-simple laymans language…”

    Those here at WUWT can probably figure out what is meant by this VERY important statement by Dr. Spencer.

    “What this graph shows is very simple, but also very powerful: The radiative variations CERES measures look nothing like what the radiative feedback should look like. You can put in any feedback parameter you want (the IPCC models range from 0.91 to 1.87…I think it could be more like 3 to 6 in the real climate system), and you will come to the same conclusion.

    To me, and I certainly maybe wrong, this says the IPCC models predict radiative feedback. However the actual radiative feedback measured by CERES does not come anywhere close to matching ANY of the climate models predicted radiative feedback.

    The conclusion is that the models have got it wrong. In fact they have it SO wrong there is absolutely no correlation at all.

    If I screwed that up how about someone correcting it in SIMPLE language.

  31. Looking at the big picture since the 1950s with two major shifts at around 1975 and 2000 I think the primary cause of changes in the amount of solar energy getting into the oceans is variability in the behaviour of the global surface air pressure systems under combined solar and oceanic influences.

    That makes the jet streams either:

    i) Move towards the poles and/or become more zonal for reduced global cloudiness.

    ii) Move towards the equator and/or become more meridional for increased global cloudiness.

    That is how the system input varies to the extent observed.

    The potential feedbacks are effectively overwhelmed by those changes in system forcing.

  32. Vince Causey says:

    Excellent summary of the issue.

    I’d add that science is about competing theories. Introduce new evidence and you shift the relative likelihood that any theory is correct.

    So I’ll take issue with your last paragraph. Producing evidence that an existing theory is incorrect is unrelated to that evidence supporting a competing theory.

    What lies between is ‘we don’t know’.

  33. “So important that it needs spelling out in ultra-simple laymans language, ”

    Try this:

    The changes in input (forcings) to the system (represented by variations in the amount of solar shortwave getting into the oceans) are far larger than ALL the feedbacks combined and so completely overwhelm the feedbacks.

    Thus the feedbacks have no climate significance. By the time the feedbacks get their collective acts together the changes in forcings have already moved on with THEIR direct effects on the system.

    So anyone who thinks that feedbacks caused by human activity can affect the system significantly are wrong. That includes every climate model ever constructed and the entire climate establishment.

    And all one needs to have such a profound effect on the system energy budget is to alter global cloudiness via a redistribution of the surface air pressure systems. That seems to be a natural cyclical consequence of an interplay between top down solar and bottom up oceanic variations.

  34. Sadly, if it weren’t for the billions of dollars spent on climatology (regarding global warming etc.) and the trillions of tax dollars in play, this is a subject that not only would I care nothing about but I would pay it even less attention.
    In fact, acknowledging that clouds act as a brake on a warming planet and that they serve to moderate insolation effects is of key importance. That the established climate crowd will refute this until the cows come home, goes without saying.
    Great good luck, Dr. Spencer, for you diligent pursuit of the truth in the face of near-insurmountable odds and unjustified criticism. No matter what your personal beliefs, the truth will set us all free. :)

  35. Roy Spencer writes:

    “I never dreamed that anyone would dispute the claim that cloud changes can cause “cloud radiative forcing” of the climate system, in addition to their role as responding to surface temperature changes (“cloud radiative feedback”). (NOTE: “Cloud radiative forcing” traditionally has multiple meanings. Caveat emptor.)

    But that’s exactly what has happened. Andy Dessler’s 2010 and 2011 papers have claimed, both implicitly and explicitly, that in the context of climate, with very few exceptions, cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.”

    Warmista cannot break free from their “radiation only” models of climate. They treat clouds and all such natural phenomena as epiphenomena of radiation. In other words, clouds can only be affected by climate changes and cannot affect climate. They must learn to respect the natural phenomena and create physical hypotheses that describe them.

    By the way, at some point we are going to get to real science and we will do away with charged metaphors such as “forcing” and “feedback” which are multiply ambiguous. In real science, such terms are replaced by universal generalizations that describe the flow of cause and effect among the objects under study.

    Thanks again for your good work.

  36. I completely agree with what Ian W (at 4:39 AM) says:

    “What is also needed is a graph showing what the CERES data should look like if the IPCC/AGW feedback hypothesis was true. Having shown the hypothesis it can then be compared to reality and falsified.”

    I don’t know if there would be a statistically significant falsification of the models in this case, but that is the wrong way to look at the issue. You don’t assume the models are right if reality doesn’t falsify at the 95% confidence level. You start with the assumption that reality is right, then you see how different the models are, in my view. What we need is the side by side comparison.

  37. Thanks Dr. Spencer. You have made very clear to me that although clouds are a response to surface temperature, they are more of a cause of surface temperature. So much more, that if one was to oversimplify, it would be less of a mistake to consider clouds as just a forcing instead of as just a feedback.
    As to what modulates clouds, ask Svensmark, I think he knows.

  38. Dr Roy,
    “But that’s exactly what has happened. Andy Dessler’s 2010 and 2011 papers have claimed, both implicitly and explicitly, that in the context of climate, with very few exceptions, cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.”

    Really? I wish you’d give a quote to back that up, because I don’t believe it is true. He’s just saying that you can’t identify a strong feedback. That doesn’t mean that ergo there is forcing – it may be something else. He spells that out in the 2010 paper:

    “Obviously, the correlation between ΔR_cloud and ΔT_s is weak (r2 = 2%), meaning that factors other than T_s are important in regulating ΔR_cloud. An example is the Madden-Julian Oscillation (7), which has a strong impact on ΔR_cloud but no effect on ΔTs. This does not mean that ΔTs exerts no control on ΔR_cloud, but rather that the influence is hard to quantify because of the influence of other factors. As a result, it may require several more decades of data to significantly reduce the uncertainty in the inferred relationship.”

  39. Semantics —————- often viewed as trivial, and are, that is, until it gets in the way of communication. Feedback vs forcing? Obviously there are other forces (heh) that change cloud cover other than an increase in temps. And, obviously, clouds effect our temps. I suppose it would be more correct to say energy transfer as opposed to temps. Wouldn’t that meet the explanation of a forcing? But, then, wouldn’t all factors meet that criteria, save for the external forcing, to whit, the sun?

    Maybe our friends Tbear, Pete, et al are on to something. Perhaps a primer with simple explanations of terms would be of some use. Though, I’m not sure anything would actually suffice for all. The problem is that none of us entered the discussion at the same time, and, each of us has a different level of understanding when we entered. Then, we all have different perspectives, as well.

    John Marshall says:@ October 9, 2011 at 1:53 am “……..”, well nothing other than to slide a snide, yet, cryptic comment into the discussion.

  40. Ask why is it so? October 9, 2011 at 5:25 am
    “…however, until evidence to prove that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong, Long Wave radiation, being energy lower (colder) than Short Wave (hotter) cannot travel from an area of lower energy, i.e. the cloud to an area of higher energy, i.e. the surface of the earth.”

    Radiation travels in any direction it wants; from hot to cold and cold to hot. It does this all the time. I believe you meant to say that the simultaneous net of the radiation from the cold surface to the warm surface and from the warm to the cold is dominated by the latter because of radiations dependence on an objects absolute temperature raised to the 4th power. Yes?

  41. @Roy A web page with definitions of terms would help. Your definitions, others definitions. That way you can just link to it if people want to know what you’re talking about in any particular discussion. It seems like the argument always gets cluttered up with an inadequate definition of terms.

  42. Re: DocMartyn says:
    October 9, 2011 at 6:09 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////
    It is not really appropriate to get into this debate since it is O/T to the Spencer article.

    I envisage that everyone accepts the statement that “…you know that matter radiates photons as a function of its temperature and emissivity. Cold objects radiate less energy than hot objects, if they have the same emissivity….”

    The problem is with your further statement “Take two equally sized nearby objects with the emissivity, one at 100K and one at 400K, They will both emit photons and both absorb photons, the cold object will receive photons from the hot object and the hot one will receive photons from the cold one.” That statement may be correct but then again, it may not be. I have never seen an experiment proving the correctness of that assertion and I consider that it is mere supposition albeit it I can understand the reason why someone may conclude that it is correct. However, I consider that we know and understand and have insufficent understanding of photons to be certain that you are correct.

    For example, lets consider that I have a room with an open door. I have a very powerful fan say 3 feet from the door aimed at the door. This very powerful fan blasts air at 400mph out through the door. Now outside that room say some 50 feet away from the open door I set up a similar but less powerful fan aimed at the door. This blasts air at 100mph ained towards the open door. What proportion if any of the air molecules blasted by the less powerful fan find their way through the door and into the room?

    My point is this. Merely because a low temperature object radiates energy, it does not follow that that energy can pass the threshold and get absorbed by a warmer object which is radiating energy at a higher state. may be it can, but may be it does not and this can be clarified only by properly constructed experimentation which to my knowledge has not been undertaken such that we simply do not know the answer to what is a very important issue in the climate science field.

  43. I have to apologize to Professor Dessler for messing up his name in my comment at 6:09 AM. The extra “r” is maybe caused by to much feedback from delta-R-coffee.

  44. For my own understanding (and it might help others), I consider “forcings” to be inputs to a system. “Feedbacks” to be parts of the system’s output that are fed back into the system by mixing them with the inputs.
    Negative feedbacks promote the stability while positive ones increase the responsiveness of the system.
    In electronics, one tends to design using negative feedbacks.
    Being the result of natural selection, our planet, I think, would contain mainly negative feedbacks.

  45. “John Marshall says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:53 am

    i wait with baited breath. But when a scientist tells me that heat will travel, by whatever method, from cold to hot as Dr. Spencer told me in an email, I view all his work with suspicion.”

    Don’t you mean he said photons can travel from a cooler body to a warmer body?

  46. RE: Nick Stokes
    October 9, 2011 at 7:26 am
    Nick, You should give a class in the repression of reasoning.
    Can you really not figure this out on your own?
    From Dessler 2011…
    6. Conclusions
    These calculations show that clouds did not cause
    significant climate change over the last decade (over the
    decades or centuries relevant for long‐term climate change,
    clouds acting as a feedback can indeed cause significant
    warming). Rather, the evolution of the surface and atmo-
    sphere during ENSO variations are dominated by oceanic
    heat transport.

  47. The forcing/feedback issue is a huge problem, as it depends upon the boundaries of the system, which can be defined in a number of ways. Response is less confusing for me, Rs to a +/-Fs. Too much is assumed and not stated.

    Bottom up versus top down modeling is confusing as well. Like the change in emissivity with pressure in the atmosphere issue, obvious how it is considered in some cases. As long as the nets match, okay, a little showmanship, but nets should be clearly defined.

  48. “The Australian Labor Party….. The political party that taxed the air we breathe.”
    When the natural inclination of people on the left, no matter where they live, is to raise taxes, and reduce liberty, what should rational people conclude about what the left really wants?

    And after CO2 fades as a reason to raise taxes and reduces liberty, some future swing of the climate to being much colder will trigger what reaction from the left? To raise taxes and reduce liberty in order to restore balance to the climate!

    We used to have sufficient levels of both prosperity and liberty to allow us to give in to leftists on their demands. But those days are over. We could never really afford their Utopia. It was never really “sustainable”, a concept the left loves to scold the rest of us about.

  49. davidmhoffer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 12:56 am
    Given that the list of matters it sounds like you intend to take Dessler to school on…I mean to rebutt him on…could it be possible to ask that you publish in installments? Say two or three a week for as long as it takes?

    For us “interested but I’m not a PhD candidate” types, we can’t absorb the thing as fast as you can write it, and we need time to catch up. Besides, by stretching it out, you put Dessler in a real bind. He can’t cherry pick one or two minor items out of the whole paper and then claim he has debunked the whole thing (a favourite tactic of the Team I’ve noticed), he has to respond to each piece as it comes out…our look like he doesn’t have a response at all. Best of all though, when defending himself on Chapter 1, he has to respond with facts that very well may rob him of his defense in Chapter 4, and so on.

    ————————

    I second that request.

  50. Re: “2.5 Watts per sq. meter”

    Isn’t that approximately the same as the influence density of the “Watts Up With That?” blog?

    ;)

  51. “cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.” This has been one of the most baffling ideas I have come across in climate science. It seems some have missed some of the simpliest observations or at least ignored them.

    Global cloud cover between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s declined through a period of warming. If the temperature change only affects cloud, then during this same period global cloud levels would have increased, not decreased. Warming temperatures are suppose to increase water vapor and cloud formation, not decrease them.

    Therefore this idea that ‘cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only’ are clearly wrong. The observed evidence shows using the satellite data since 1983 (cloud levels) that, declining cloud levels caused the temperature to increase with increasing surface solar radiation. Hence, that is the main reason why we can determine the chicken or the egg. (2nd paragraph) Since the decline has stopped and become stable, global temperatures have stopped rising.

  52. In my recent essay Obfuscation http://retreadresources.com/blog/?p=873 I review what is and is not: Science is:
    1. Posing a question.
    2. Constructing a hypothesis, or several. (I like several, that the geoscience way)
    3. Created an experiment(s) to test this hypothesis or hypotheses.
    4. Specify the parameters that would validate or support one or more hypothesis.
    5. Carried out the experiment(s). Note models are not definitive data producing experiments.

    Science is not:
    1. Determine the outcome required to secure continued and additional funding
    2. Construct a model to generate the required outcome and do nothing to calibrate it to reality.
    3. Locate data that supports the model and outcomes from 1 above. Ignore anything contrary to your ideological position.
    4. Make sure the model can not be calibrated to reality.
    5. Announce the predictive power of your model.
    6. Make one or more predictions far enough into the future, that you’ll be retired by the time it will be falsified.

    Something all of you know and have seen many times. Sometimes I think so called professionals need a big bit of reeducation.

  53. I think a glossary of terms is a good idea. As a layman, I am in a good position to list terms that are understood by the lay, and put question marks aginst those that baffle me

    so Here is my starter, feel free to contribute

    Al – A unit of hot air, often associated with lots of front. aka a hypocratee, or a DAISNAID (do as i say not as I do)
    Albedo – Reflectiveness of stuff.
    Briff – A long tongue. not of ice, that can slurp into fjords or other crevices
    Canard – A fib. a big fib. see Tree rings
    CO2 – a trace greenhouse gas. plant food. Supposed by some to be evil because although it is a small scale player, mankind produces some, so at last we have someone to blame. Mankind will be arrested shortly.
    Denier – A fool who refuses to believe that human knowledge has peaked.
    Dessler – A rapid turnaround coattail rider. See Spencer.
    Energy – This is what its all about.
    Finance – All sceptics are paid one million dollars per day by big oil. FACT
    Gore – Inventor of the internet, the pioneer who was first to discover that the centre of the earth was millions of degrees, and the first to realise that science had stopped. We already knew everything. Schtum. stop arguing. stop questioning. schtum.
    HadCrut – ?
    IPCC – A body that was set up to advance the science by using anti-science methods. Unable to understand that concensus to science is like captivity to a wild animal. The AR are a torch to be lit, not a bucket to be filled.
    Jones – An English unit of BS (See blivett, the US equiv. i.e. putting 2 cwt of BS in a 1 cwt bag)
    Kenji – A member of the Union of concerned scientists. Neither concerned, a scientist or a real member. but has a credit card
    Lysenkoism – ?
    Mann – A personality disorder. Drives the subject to believe they are special, living in special times, and only they have the answer. Harmless untill a few gather together at the same place at the same time, then they can gather a momentum and produce ‘self fullfilling prophesies’.
    They will never apologise for the horrors they inflict – see the Salem witch trials
    Non Disclosure – A late 20C, early 21C concept designed to improve the scientific process. How this works is even more obscure than how the conjunction of mars with venus affects your love prospects.
    Organisations ?
    Predictions – See falsifiability
    Quotes – The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
    Risk Assessment ?
    Spencer – Keep it up mate. Keep it up.
    Travesty Trenbo – To do a ‘Travesty Trenbo’ is to paint yourself into a corner , for no apparent reason. i.e. you tell your children that the tooth fairy left the money for the tooth at midnight. But the child says ‘I was awake at midnight and I was with a friend’. To do a TT you would say ‘ah yes, but the tooth fairy works on PST’ Then when the kid says ‘it wasnt my tooth, it was my friends tooth’ To do a TT, you would say ‘ah yes, but the tooth fairy knows that some teeth are deep teeth, that wont surface for a million years’ i.e. to make increasingly unbelievably outrageous statements, instead of admitting to a wise kid that there is, in fact, no tooth fairy
    UEA – a polytechnic in England, that wants to be a university
    Viner – To do a viner. This is to make a claim so far in the future that you never have to worry about being caught out. Except that when you are a young acolyte, 10 years seems like a long time. It isnt. Snow will become a thing of the past ? yes . and my butt is a cream bun.

    REPLY: We have a glossary in the menu below the header – Anthony

  54. The dogma cannot allow for the possibility that clouds can be a source of climate forcing. Why?
    Because such forcing would allow for the possibility of a cosmic ray effect or simply unforced chaotic changes that would upset the findings of climate models. And that would imply a much small climate sensitivity, and with that would go the case for the billions in funding and expanded government control of industry.

    Got it? It can’t happen. It can’t be allowed to happen.

  55. One other thought as to meeting the level of understanding of both the interested/layman and intelligent, and the highly knowledgable with regards to the scientific terms/details. Give it to us both ways. Toss out the details for the geek type and a summary for the layman. I’m on the border.

    Thank you WUWT and Dr. Spencer. This is what we have been waiting for!

  56. kim says:
    I think I’ve never heard so loud
    The quiet message in a cloud.

    ===========

    Someone needs to write a primer text on this topic entitled Clouds for Dummies.

    This book could include a discussion of the cloud modeling philosophies employed by climate modelers under a sub-chapter entitled Cloud Computing.

  57. more statistics. oh, joy.
    the statistics have stared everyone in the face to death.
    i know it was never about science – but wondering why people still pretend it is – and that statistics IS science.
    one good experiment would be far more useful and significant than all the statistics ever shoveled. but who wants to actually make sense and lose fame & funding?

  58. REPLY: We have a glossary in the menu below the header – Anthony

    I know that. just my little joke

  59. “i wait with baited breath. But when a scientist tells me that heat will travel, by whatever method, from cold to hot as Dr. Spencer told me in an email, I view all his work with suspicion.”

    And with what do you bait your breath? If you were waiting with bated breath, now, you might make more sense.

    I look forward to more on the cloud forcing debate, but not being a climate scientist, but instead an interested layman, I wouldn’t mind someone translating the more obscure language into plain English.

  60. Taken directly from Dessler’s paper:

    “And since most of the climate variations over this
    period were due to ENSO, this suggests that the ability to
    reproduce ENSO is what’s being tested here, not anything
    directly related to equilibrium climate sensitivity.”

    —–
    Question: Do you or do you not agree with this? Why or why not?

    Over the short time period observed, it seems Dessler is quite correct: ENSO changes (specifically heat transport by the ocean) drives changes in surface temperatures which drive cloud formation. In short, during the short time frame involved, clouds are reacting to heat transport by the oceans, with whatever affects of clouds on actual surface temperatures to be very small when compared to the effects of ocean heat transport on surface temperatures.

  61. Eternal Optimist

    Second derivative definition for

    Viner

    Someone who has a cushy job with the British Council promoting “Climate Change”, gets to travel round the world and earns £70K pa

  62. Eternal Optimist says:
    October 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I think a glossary of terms is a good idea. As a layman, I am in a good position to list terms that are understood by the lay, and put question marks aginst those that baffle me

    so Here is my starter, feel free to contribute….
    Lysenkoism – ?
    _____________________________________
    Professor to grad student: “Shut up and keep cutting out all the rats tails, ERRRRrrrr data points that do not fit my curve.”</i.

  63. The only CAGW conjecture for clouds and therefore positive feedback was to support increasing global temperatures with increasing cloud levels. This has simply not occured and been falsified a while now, plus with increasing evidence of negative feedback, not positive. Thats why an actual AGW theory using clouds could have been falsible, but never promoted because the Earth has never supported such assumption. This is ignored and dismissed for the simple reason the CAGW conjecture only exists with it and the only way to get away from reality is use a model instead.

    Clouds are a source of climate forcing and the observed evidence from the planet shows this. (discussed in my previous post)

  64. Clouds modulate the the solar energy that warms the earth. This can make a huge difference to local temperatures and heat content on both short and longer term timescales. If you don’t believe me, book a UK beach holiday for next summer.

  65. “John Marshall says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:53 am
    But when a scientist tells me that heat will travel, by whatever method, from cold to hot as Dr. Spencer told me in an email, I view all his work with suspicion.

    The you should hold all of mainstream climate science in suspicion starting with K&T and the IPCC. Their claim is that the sun, with a black body temperature of 6C (342 w.m2 at TOA), and GHG with a block-body temperature of 0C (321 w/m2) , combine together to heat the surface of the earth to a block-body temperature of 15C (392 w/m2).”

    That is the model for climate science. Another shell that is the sun, and inner shell that is GHG, and the core that is the surface. The solar shell is 6C, the GHG shell is 0C and the core is 15C.

    Because the GHG is transparent in one direction, it is argued that the GHG shell will reflect the radiation back from the core, allowing the core to be warmer than either of the shells that surround it.

    Coincidentally this is the basis for many perpetual motion machines in science fiction. The ability to take the heat from two cold objects and add it together using a one way mirror to create one hot item.

  66. I shall never forget an August afternoon in northern Arkansas around 15 years ago. It started as a bright sunny day, but the high was forecast at 62 degrees F, a figure which obviously sounded ridiculous. By 10 o’ clock, the clouds were building fast and then at midday the heavens opened for about eight hours, with occasional heavy hail.

    I never thought it would be possible to feel cold in the southern US in the afternoon in mid-summer.

    I assume this was a case of severe negative feedback. The process of daytime cloud formation and subsequent precipitation must be a huge negative feedback in much of the tropics, something which is presumably ignored by the IPCC et alia.

  67. “R. Gates says:
    October 9, 2011 at 11:16 am
    ENSO changes (specifically heat transport by the ocean) drives changes in surface temperatures which drive cloud formation. In short, during the short time frame involved, clouds are reacting to heat transport by the oceans,”

    Conjecture? Has a statistically significant lag been observed that shows that ENSO drive clouds? Didn’t Bart recently show that clouds feedback is negative with a 4.88 year ocean lag?

  68. richard verney says:
    October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    My point is this. Merely because a low temperature object radiates energy, it does not follow that that energy can pass the threshold and get absorbed by a warmer object which is radiating energy at a higher state.

    Temperature doesn’t give a treshold for receiving photons by any object. The only point is that the object must be a real blackbody. If the object is a 100% blackbody every foton received is absorbed (if not, part of the photons are reflected, that only reduces the energy exchange speed), no matter the temperature of the sending object. A photon is only a package of energy, which intrinsic amount of energy depends of its wavelength, which depends of the temperature of the sending object, that means that a hotter object will emit more energetic photons (and more photons), but that doesn’t mean that it can’t receive lower energetic photons of another radiating object.

    The main point is that even in a vacuum, the hotter object will cool down and the cooler will heat up from a distance. If no heat is lost to the surroundings, at steady state both will have the same temperature, depending of the differences in masses and specific heat, as if they were in direct contact with each other and the energy exchange was only by conduction.

  69. i know it was never about science – but wondering why people still pretend it is – and that statistics IS science.

    Do you think you can get over this bee in your bonnet and move into the century the rest of us are in? Please?

    Statistics are scientific. They generate knowledge that literally could not be found any other way, because direct experiment is not always possible. (Or in many quantum cases, literally never possible.)

    How do you prove smoking increases the risk of lung cancer when it is fairly easy to find 100 year olds who smoke without lung cancer? Do we say : an experiment has been performed, and the theory falsified? So people can smoke and won’t die young?

    Statistical data needs to be properly examined by experts in statistics, for sure. But to throw all the modern advances out just because you don’t understand/like them is just idiotic.

  70. R. Gates says:
    October 9, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Taken directly from Dessler’s paper:
    “And since most of the climate variations over this
    period were due to ENSO, this suggests that the ability to
    reproduce ENSO is what’s being tested here, not anything
    directly related to equilibrium climate sensitivity.”
    —–
    Question: Do you or do you not agree with this? Why or why not?>>>

    Two questions to you R. Gates:

    1. If you agree with the above, then do you also agree that since 19 of the 23 models cited by the IPCC clearly do a very poor job of modeling ENSO, they are wrong and hence useless until that matter is corrected? Or is ENSO not significant?

    2. What has that matter got to do with the issue raised above by Dr. Spencer?

  71. Sensible:

    M.A.Vukcevic (October 9, 2011 at 1:05 am) wrote:
    “Temperature, humidity, clouds, atmospheric pressure,… etc. are the internal inter-dependent components of the climate system, with all feedbacks automatically factored in by nature, the laws of physics and the strong modulation by the annual insolation cycle.
    Only the external factors can be the long term causes of the climate oscillations.”

    Thanks for sharing.

  72. Matthew says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    That is well known thanks, the ignorance appears with the relationship between changing global temperatures and clouds. Plus with warmer temperatures, there should be more clouds. How are more low level clouds suppose to cause a positive feedback? It is not possible when solar radiation is by far the major component and we have not seen an increase in global cloud levels with increasing global temperatures. Therefore the change in global cloud levels had nothing to do with caused by warming. Hence, there is no feedback detected observed by changing global clouds levels from warming, since the 1980’s until this century.

  73. Eternal Optimist…

    Thanks for updating the Devil’s Dictionary. It needed to be done, and provided me a lot of good laughs. :)

  74. Although I, too, would love to be kept in the loop as Spencer is addressing Dessler issues, I don’t think it’s a good idea. If Spencer “spills the beans” on a Blog before submitting a paper, some journals will refuse to publish it because the idea is no longer novel, or because they want to publish what has not already been published. Even when, in the case of the first reason, the idea is actually contradictory (blogs don’t count, you know), the reason has actually been used before.
    It’s better to give journals as little excuse as possible, so that when they do reject, the rejection looks silly.

  75. Matt G says:
    October 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm
    ********
    Wait, so are there more clouds because of rising temperatures or not? I ask because in the same paragraph you said, first, that “with warmer temperatures, there should be more clouds,” but then said that ” the change in global cloud levels had nothing to do with caused by [sic] warming.” Care to clarify?

    Also, I’m pretty sure you agree that clouds have a negative net forcing capacity. But despite having more clouds now than the past (due to warming, which, again, I’m only kind of sure you agree has happened), temperatures continue to rise. Shouldn’t that tell us that there is another culprit whose net forcing capacity is not only positive, but bigger than the absolute value of the forcing capacity of clouds?

  76. It seems like there should be some distinction between clouds over the ocean and clouds over land as far as feedback goes.

    Land gives up daytime heating primarily through radiation. So a warm cloud can really slow down that process. The ocean gives up daytime heating primarily through evaporation. A warm cloud that blocks radiative heat loss will only serve to accelerate evaporative heat loss.

    In the meantime, over both land and water, the cloud will of course throttle how much sunlight makes it to the surface to warm it in the first place. The reason teasing the noisy data apart looking for a feedback signal only turns up a poorly correlated pattern with several months of delay is because you’re seeing the sunlight throttling effect. It’s pretty well known in ocean heat budget that a lot of tropical summer solar energy is stored and released in the winter when the air is cooler, dryer, and evaporation proceeds at a faster rate. That’s where your several months of delay comes from.

    This is being made WAY more complicated than it is. It almost seems like making it over-complicated is a means for making sure researchers in the field have paid projects to keep them busy.

  77. Matthew says:
    October 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Sure, global cloud levels have declined by ~5 percent since 1983 until 2001, when they have stabilised since. During this period with a warming planet global cloud levels, should have been expected to increase if the warming caused the global cloud levels to change. Therefore during a warmer planet now they are still less clouds globally than nearly 30 years ago. The reason why global temperatures at least partly warmed up, due to increasing solar radiation reaching the surface. So your last paragraph is what should have been expected to happen, but didn’t. While the global cloud levels are close to 5 percent less than nearly 30 years ago, it is expected to be warmer now compared to then. The planet should return to similar levels 30 years ago, when cloud levels increase another 5 percent in future.

  78. John Marshall says:
    “i wait with baited breath.”

    “Sally, having swallowed cheese,
    Directs down holes the scented breeze,
    Enticing thus with baited breath
    Nice mice to an untimely death.”

    Geoffrey Taylor

  79. Where does the red dashed line of “Natural Radiative Forcing” come from?
    I assume the CERES NET is the measured difference (black line).
    The blue line is modeled feedback?

  80. “But that’s exactly what has happened. Andy Dessler’s 2010 and 2011 papers have claimed, both implicitly and explicitly, that in the context of climate, with very few exceptions, cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.”

    Incredible. Classic.

    Does Herr Doktor Dressler specify which is the chicken and which is the egg?

  81. richard verney says:
    October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am
    Re: DocMartyn says:
    October 9, 2011 at 6:09 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////
    It is not really appropriate to get into this debate since it is O/T to the Spencer article.

    I envisage that everyone accepts the statement that “…you know that matter radiates photons as a function of its temperature and emissivity. Cold objects radiate less energy than hot objects, if they have the same emissivity….”

    The problem is with your further statement “Take two equally sized nearby objects with the emissivity, one at 100K and one at 400K, They will both emit photons and both absorb photons, the cold object will receive photons from the hot object and the hot one will receive photons from the cold one.” That statement may be correct but then again, it may not be. I have never seen an experiment proving the correctness of that assertion and I consider that it is mere supposition albeit it I can understand the reason why someone may conclude that it is correct. However, I consider that we know and understand and have insufficent understanding of photons to be certain that you are correct.

    This statement is the fundamental underpinning of radiation heat transfer, it’s used by engineers all over the world every day, read any undergraduate text on the subject.

  82. Mooloo says:
    October 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    i know it was never about science – but wondering why people still pretend it is – and that statistics IS science.

    Do you think you can get over this bee in your bonnet and move into the century the rest of us are in? Please?

    Statistics are scientific. They generate knowledge that literally could not be found any other way, because direct experiment is not always possible. (Or in many quantum cases, literally never possible.)

    How do you prove smoking increases the risk of lung cancer when it is fairly easy to find 100 year olds who smoke without lung cancer? Do we say : an experiment has been performed, and the theory falsified? So people can smoke and won’t die young?

    Even finding one 100 year old smoker without lung cancer disproves (falsifies) that smoking causes lung cancer.

    I do recall health stats globally which looked at this and recall several countries with higher levels of smokers had lower levels of lung cancer.

    So yes, let’s see the experiments..

    The great problems with such generalised ‘statistics’ of the ‘contributing to’ is that anything can appear or be made to appear, and mean nothing at all because imput of any variables have no grounding, they might as well be random if you don’t know what causes lung cancer..

  83. Are there any factors other than the temperature and humidity that alter cloud cover? Does the cloud albedo change in response to anything independent of the climate variations?

    We have a well established physical mechanism that is adding energy to the surface for reasons independent of any inherent climate process.
    Contingent responses of clouds to warming as a negative feedback require the warming to occur for the feedback to happen.
    Unless you have a system with precognition that somehow manages to respond to a potential 1degC rise with a negative feedback that COMPLETELY negates it….

  84. izen;
    Contingent responses of clouds to warming as a negative feedback require the warming to occur for the feedback to happen.
    Unless you have a system with precognition that somehow manages to respond to a potential 1degC rise with a negative feedback that COMPLETELY negates it….>>>

    Of course, but that isn’t the point. The point is that the direct effects of CO2 increasing are in and of themselves inconsequential. They are simply too small to be of concern, UNLESS they trigger massive positive feedback that amplifies their effect. That is the basis of the alarmism regarding CO2 increases, and it is the basis of the science quoted by the IPCC and other sources.

    The mere fact that the largest positive feedback claimed is being shown by observational research to be negative rather than positive in and of itself negates the alarmist position. Feedbacks need not negate entirely the effects of CO2, and I don’t recall Dr Spencer or anyone else trying to claim they did. The simple fact that they are likely negative at all rather than positive defeats the CAGW meme.

  85. davidmhoffer… I don’t see R. Gates answering your two questions, and he’s certainly had time to do so. Would you agree that he’s negligent in his pursuit of honest science?

    I would too.

  86. Scott Brim says:
    October 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

    kim says:
    I think I’ve never heard so loud
    The quiet message in a cloud.
    ===========

    Someone needs to write a primer text on this topic entitled Clouds for Dummies.

    This book could include a discussion of the cloud modeling philosophies employed by climate modelers under a sub-chapter entitled Cloud Computing.

    I’m afraid that sub-chapter is excluded from every book the climate modelers read (and they avoid Clouds for Dummies entirely). To them, it would only confuse their approach and negate their results. Can’t have a chapter like that…

  87. “Contingent responses of clouds to warming as a negative feedback require the warming to occur for the feedback to happen.”

    Of course, but the only molecules affected then evaporate earlier than they otherwise would have done and take away ALL the added energy with them due to the net cooling effect of the evaporative process.

    Thus nothing left to add to system temperature because it gets converted to latent heat sooner, is transported upward sooner and is radiated away to space sooner.

    So what we have is an ACCELERATION of energy transport upward which is conceivably capable of offsetting the DECELERATION of energy transport from more GHGs in the air.

  88. “We have a well established physical mechanism that is adding energy to the surface for reasons independent of any inherent climate process.”

    We also have a well established physical mechanism that is removing energy from the surface for reasons independent of any inherent climate process.

    Does anyone have any evidence that there is any energy left over after the negative evaporative process has done its work ?

    The so called ocean skin effect which proposes a reduction in energy flow from ocean to air doesn’t work because the faster rate of evaporation is capable of offsetting the otherwise applicable effect of Fourier’s Law as I have explained elsewhere.

    The oft used illustration of a warming water surface when a cloud passes over doesn’t work either because a cloud overhead reduces evaporation whereas DLR from a clear sky increases evaporation.

  89. @- Stephen Wilde says: October 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm
    “Of course, but the only molecules affected then evaporate earlier than they otherwise would have done and take away ALL the added energy with them due to the net cooling effect of the evaporative process.”

    Okay, you claim you can get rid of all the extra energy without any rise in temperature by evaporation.
    But the 1LoT means that energy is now as latent heat of water vapor. And the water vapor as a GHG is adding to the ‘greenhouse’ effect.

    “Thus nothing left to add to system temperature because it gets converted to latent heat sooner, is transported upward sooner and is radiated away to space sooner.”

    No, the latent heat energy is returned to the atmosphere at a lower temperature than the temperature at evaporation so the rate of energy emission is much less than it would be from the evaporating surface.
    You get an increase in the water cycle, not necessarily more clouds, but more water vapor in the atmosphere acting as a GHG.

  90. “But the 1LoT means that energy is now as latent heat of water vapor. And the water vapor as a GHG is adding to the ‘greenhouse’ effect.”

    Apparently not because global humidity seems not to change much. Instead the water cycle gets faster (or larger) with no significant increase in total water vapour at any given time. The extra evaporation is matched by extra condensation. AGW theory somehow leaves out the condensation side of things.

    “No, the latent heat energy is returned to the atmosphere at a lower temperature than the temperature at evaporation so the rate of energy emission is much less than it would be from the evaporating surface.”

    The extra condensation at higher levels makes the energy content of those higher levels greater than it otherwise would have been. The air above is proportionately thinner than the air below so energy goes upward and out of the system faster than it would have done from the surface. You suggest that evaporation and condensation have a net warming effect for the system as a whole. That is not correct or possible and there is lots of established physics confirming that.

  91. @- Stephen Wilde says: October 10, 2011 at 1:35 am
    “Apparently not because global humidity seems not to change much. Instead the water cycle gets faster (or larger) with no significant increase in total water vapour at any given time.”

    Wrong satellite measurement have detected an increase in specific humidity, the amount of water vapor present even if relative humidity, the degree of saturation of the atmosphere has remained constant. Hotter air carries more water for thesame relative humidity.

    “The extra condensation at higher levels makes the energy content of those higher levels greater than it otherwise would have been. The air above is proportionately thinner than the air below so energy goes upward and out of the system faster than it would have done from the surface. ”

    No, the surface emitts energy at a much higher rate because of its higher temp. E==T^4
    If energy is transfered to a higher altitude but at a lower temperature half is STILL emitted downwards.

  92. “Wrong, satellite measurement have detected an increase in specific humidity”

    Very little and not accompanied by surface warming for more than 10 years which suggests natural forces dominate. Anyway the net position is unclear due to variability at different levels.

    “If energy is transfered to a higher altitude but at a lower temperature half is STILL emitted downwards.”

    But the downward portion does not all get as far downward as the surface because the atmosphere below is much denser than the atmosphere above. The net effect is faster loss to space than if the energy had remained at the surface all along.

  93. R. Gates says:
    October 9, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Taken directly from Dessler’s paper:

    “And since most of the climate variations over this
    period were due to ENSO, this suggests that the ability to
    reproduce ENSO is what’s being tested here, not anything
    directly related to equilibrium climate sensitivity.”
    Question: Do you or do you not agree with this? Why or why not?
    Over the short time period observed, it seems Dessler is quite correct: ENSO changes (specifically heat transport by the ocean) drives changes in surface temperatures which drive cloud formation. In short, during the short time frame involved, clouds are reacting to heat transport by the oceans, with whatever affects of clouds on actual surface temperatures to be very small when compared to the effects of ocean heat transport on surface temperatures.
    ————————————

    And what makes the ENSO oscillate between warm and cool phases?

    You skipped that step. Any CO2-based radiation involved in that?

    And we are testing climate sensitivity here. A real world situation with real world measurements over a real time-frame.

    Climate science relies on theory and CO2-based climate models while empirical measurements tells the real world story. Why does climate science seem to discount and ignore empirical measurements so often. The science would prefer to just change the measurements instead of trying to explain what is really going on.

  94. Andy Dessler’s 2010 and 2011 papers have claimed, both implicitly and explicitly, that in the context of climate, with very few exceptions, cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.

    And even if Andy Dessler were correct, Willis’ work shows that the cloud change result does not imply that increased CO2 will lead to warmer climate.

  95. I think you need a better explanation of exactly what the 3 lines in the graph represent.

    I also think you might omit the words “forcing” and “feedback” and give a narration of the events and their causal connections in accurate temporal sequence.

  96. Nick, if you can’t make that rather humble deduction for yourself based on part 6 of Dessler, I’m afraid I can’t help you. I don’t think anyone can help you.
    Nick Stokes says:
    October 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Eric Barnes says:

    Eric, Roy says Dessler said “cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only”

    I don’t believe he did. And I can’t find anything like that in your quote.

  97. Re: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/05/co2-heats-the-atmosphere-a-counter-view/

    I’m surprised this made it onto WUWT as it seems clearly wrong. The CO2 can be more excited than the N, and then there must be energy transfer. The notion that LTE demands they be the same is somewhat silly; LTE describes an equilibrium so if you assume equilibrium then you’re just assuming nothing changes and can’t therefore conclude on that basis “Hey, nothing changes!” In reality, of course, nearly all systems are only approaching equilibrium while being acted on by various distubances to that equilibrium.

  98. Septic Matthew said:

    “I also think you might omit the words “forcing” and “feedback” and give a narration of the events and their causal connections in accurate temporal sequence.”

    Since you asked:

    i) Solar variability alters the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere from above as does oceanic variability from below.

    ii) When the vertical temperature profile changes the surface pressure distribution shifts latitudinally.

    iii) Cloud amounts change globally to alter solar energy uptake by the oceans as a result of those latitudinal shifts.

    iv) Poleward shifts occur and the system gains energy from more sunshine into the oceans. Equatorward shifts occur and the system loses energy from less siunshine into the oceans.

    v) The net thermal consequence of that latitudinal shifting is always opposite in sign to the forcing that causes it, hence the long term stability of Earth’s climate.

    Although a warming system from poleward shifting allows more energy into the oceans the resulting faster exit of energy to space is enough to counter it.

    Although a cooling system from equatorward shifting allows less energy into the oceans the resulting slower exit of energy to space is enough to mitigate the effects until the solar forcings change again. Except for larger long term solar changes that is which is where Milankovitch comes in.

  99. In reply to Matt G @ October 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm:
    Can you provide a reference for your statement that clouds have declined about 5% from 1983 to 2001?

  100. Has anyone researched the patterns of blogs on this site? It seem to me that they start off interesting with many interested contributors, and then gets bogged down in arguments between more knowledgeable people until finally it fizzles out inconclusively never to be heard of again. Then everyone hops on to the next topic and repeats the process. It starts to feel like a WUWT cycle of it’s own that is going nowhere. A strange process of information exchange that has no ultimate objective other than declaring itself to be alive and functioning. The articles are great but does anything ever get resolved?

  101. “”””” richard verney says:

    October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Re: DocMartyn says:
    October 9, 2011 at 6:09 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////
    It is not really appropriate to get into this debate since it is O/T to the Spencer article.

    I envisage that everyone accepts the statement that “…you know that matter radiates photons as a function of its temperature and emissivity. Cold objects radiate less energy than hot objects, if they have the same emissivity….” “””””

    I’m not going to waste the space to post all of your post; you can go back and re-read it. But both of you are in need of some elementary physics schooling, that should be well understood by anybody who is reading here at WUWT.

    For starters “heat” and “electromagnetic radiation” are not synonyms; in fact they have nothing to do with each other.

    The earth receives virtually ZERO “heat” from the sun; it does receive vast amounts of “electromagnetic radiation”. EM Radiation in turn knows absolutely nothing about “Temperature”, which is a property that is uniquely confined to real matter (maybe anti-matter too). “Heat” is also a process (verb); not an object (noun). It is the process that increases the “Temperature” of some body of material. EM radiation requires NO material for its propagation, and it propagates at a velocity that is entirely dependent on the electrical and magnetic properties of free space; containing no real material at all.
    Temperature is a measure of the mean kinetic (mechanical) energy of particles of real matter; and absent that matter, the word Temperature has no meaning whatsoever.

    The heating process of course cannot (absent some outside influence) proceed from a source at one Temperature to a sink at some higher Temperature; the second law of thermodynamics precludes that; but EM radiation can freely travel from any source body to any sink, regardless of the Temperatures of either the source or the sink.

    If you hold up a 16 ounce bottle of drinking water at about room Temperature, it will radiate (EM radiation) in all directons, at about 400 W/m^2, and some of that LWIR emission will eventually escape from the earth and proceed through space to the moon. let’s say we have a half moon, half in dark, and half in daylight. The day side is much hotter than your water bottle, while the dark side is much colder. Both halves will receive, and absorb the same amount of the LWIR from your water bottle.
    Meanwhile, in a different direction, the same solid angle cone of EM radiation will proceed towards the sun, which is much higher Temperature than either side of the moon, as well as your water bottle. The sun will also receive and absorb the same amount of EM radiation as the moon did..

    It is the “heating” process, which cannot proceed without expenditure of work from a cold body to a hot body. EM radiation which has NO understanding of Temperature whatsoever, can propagate from anywhere to anywhere else. LWIR emissions from high cold clouds, can and do radiate down to earth and get absorbed. The Temperatures have no effect on the transmission. The cloud source Temperature will determine HOW MUCH EM radiation is emitted from the clouds, or from the atmospheric gases for that matter; but that has no effect on where that radiation can travel.

  102. “(for the detail-oriented folks, forcing = Net + feedback…where Net is very close to the negative of [LW+SW]).”

    Negative forcing? Here? I must warn the others. Oh no, I’ve been shot!

  103. “(for the detail-oriented folks, forcing = Net + feedback…where Net is very close to the negative of [LW+SW]).”

    Synaptic overload? No, my seizures occur in the right hemisphere. OK, try again. Net is negative, feedback is small, so forcing must be negative. Yep, it still doesn’t make sense.

  104. Stephen Wilde: iv) Poleward shifts occur and the system gains energy from more sunshine into the oceans. Equatorward shifts occur and the system loses energy from less siunshine into the oceans.

    Poleward shifts of clouds? Did Dr. Spencer’s post mention poleward shifts of clouds?

  105. Septic Matthew:

    It is what Roy could have written if he were to put his observations into a wider context.
    He didn’t, so I’ve done it instead.

  106. I’m curious, why no mention of ENSO? Several studies now (not just the recent one by Dessler) have discussed the importance of ENSO, especially on decadal time-scales. How can you simply ignore what is known to be an important modulator on ocean and atmospheric temperatures?

  107. An Inquirer says:
    October 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/index.html

    The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP). Datasets are obtained from passive measurements of IR radiation reflected and emitted by the clouds.

    Climate4you has a lot of this data already in graph form ready for instant view.

  108. Stephen Wilde: It is what Roy could have written if he were to put his observations into a wider context.

    Could you explain for him what the red and black lines on the graph are?

  109. “Could you explain for him what the red and black lines on the graph are?”

    In my opinion, the main component would be variations in the amount of energy entering the oceans.

    Though I’m open to alternative explanations and Roy might well have his own ideas for all I know. It will be interesting to see his main paper when it is published.

  110. 50.richard verney says:
    October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    My point is this. Merely because a low temperature object radiates energy, it does not follow that that energy can pass the threshold and get absorbed by a warmer object which is radiating energy at a higher state. may be it can, but may be it does not and this can be clarified only by properly constructed experimentation which to my knowledge has not been undertaken such that we simply do not know the answer to what is a very important issue in the climate science field.

    This is a law, that heat always flows from hot to cold, because that is what is always observed, isn’t it? Like, rivers always flow downhill. It takes work to alter that. Sure locally, the river might hit a rock and some water forced back against the stream, but that is work done to change the direction. Heat always flows from hot to cold unless work is done to alter this. I thought this was basic knowledge. I really don’t know what to say about George E. Smith’s summary of what he thinks it is, but I too would like to see some real physical experiments proving it.. I hope he can provide these.

  111. re: heat transfer from colder body to warmer body.

    My 2c.

    I believe it is “net” energy that flows downhill. Here is another perspective:

    Consider the rate of cooling of a body at temperature T. Let Ta be the ambient temperature, less than T. According to newton’s law of cooling, dT/dt = -k(T – Ta).

    Imagine body A to be emitting photons (which is independent of its surroundings, only on its temperature and emissivity).
    The only way for A’s rate of cooling to decrease is when its emitted photons are replenished somehow from its cooler surroundings. In other words, there must be transfer of photons from the cooler surroundings to A. A similar argument could be made using EM waves instead of photons.

    In the macroscopic view, heat still “flows” from hot to cold.

    Thats my general idea anyway. I’m no physicist and English is not my first language but I think I have a valid point which can be refined by those more knowledgeable. I’ll be glad if someone points out the “error of my ways”.

  112. George E. Smith; says:
    October 10, 2011 at 9:59 am

    ———————–

    Thank you. Your explanation was my understanding. Total confidence now.

  113. BargHumer says:
    October 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

    ——————————

    A lot of us learn a lot from these discussions that is not available anywhere else. WUWT offers us that opportunity.

  114. @eyesonu Oct 10 9:10pm

    I love WUWT, and I think I have learned a lot too, but I am plagued by the question of whether I have learned what is true.

    Each logical statement is followed by other logical statements with increasing depth and intensity borne of the convictions of the contributor. As it says in Proverbs 18:17 “The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.” ad infinitum.

    Take the ongoing discussion about heat transfer from cold to hot. It seems silly to suggest that it is possible, yet radiation is emitted by anything above absolute zero as I understand it. Nevertheless, the issue is about heat and this is a net effect. Heat cannot go from cold to warm but a warm object in a cold environment, some distance from a cool but not cold object, will of course lose less heat, so………

    The point is, there must be simple ways of defining what is true in the world of basic physics, and many other subjects. My guess is that many of us learn a lot from the blogs but we don’t know how much of it is true.

    It is great that both sides of the debate can be seen on this blog, unlike the totally biased warmist blogs, but somehow some firm and true conclusions need to be drawn. Climate skeptics should not be in the business of creating new modern day myths to combat the myths of the warmists. Thr truth is what is needed and it needs to be made very clear.

    I was shocked to see CNN broadcast the prediction of decades of colder weather coming. This was supported by their favourite weatherman and a Prof. from the UK. The weatherman clevery skipped the question about global warming from Becky, but the question was strong on the air all the way through. If CNN have finally realised that the global warming fox is dead, they may be changing their position and it is sure to be followed by the BBC and ABC in time albeit with much chagrin, but this could be a new phase in the whole debate.

  115. 125.LouN says:
    October 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm
    re: heat transfer from colder body to warmer body.

    My 2c.

    I believe it is “net” energy that flows downhill. Here is another perspective:

    So, in any river flowing downhill there are drops of water spontaneously flowing uphill?

    Consider the rate of cooling of a body at temperature T. Let Ta be the ambient temperature, less than T. According to newton’s law of cooling, dT/dt = -k(T – Ta).

    Well, some might be able to consider the formula, you’ll have to write in English for me, in detail.

    Imagine body A to be emitting photons (which is independent of its surroundings, only on its temperature and emissivity).

    OK

    The only way for A’s rate of cooling to decrease is when its emitted photons are replenished somehow from its cooler surroundings.

    And how do they do that when heat always flows spontaneously from the hotter to the colder? The colder will continue to become hotter until equilibrium is reached.

    In other words, there must be transfer of photons from the cooler surroundings to A. A similar argument could be made using EM waves instead of photons.

    I can’t see an argument here. You’re just saying that it must happen if A’s cooling is to decrease. You don’t say how those photons from the cooler get to the hotter A to stop it cooling .

    In the macroscopic view, heat still “flows” from hot to cold.

    So you say, but then you contradict that. In the macroscopic world according to the law that heat always flows from hotter to cooler the photons from the cooler cannot flow to the hotter. The cooler is receiving not giving.

    Where is the proof that the drops of water in a river are always spontaneously flowing uphill? And how is this stopped to get your ‘net’?

    You need to provide a mechanism for this to be happening or drops of water flowing downhill can always spontaneously flow uphill until all the water is flowing uphill.

    If it is the ‘net’, what is the mechanism in place which prevents the cold photons from overwhelming the hotter with photons and heating it up further which destroys the ‘net’?

  116. BargHumer says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Each logical statement is followed by other logical statements with increasing depth and intensity borne of the convictions of the contributor. As it says in Proverbs 18:17 “The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.” ad infinitum.

    :) The trick is to sit in the middle and not get pulled one way or the other, I had a very bad case of sea-sickness for a few weeks when I first began to compare the arguments..

  117. BargHumer says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I love WUWT, and I think I have learned a lot too, but I am plagued by the question of whether I have learned what is true.
    =====================================
    I love WUWT too. This site gives you the opportunity to voice a point of view and get feedback. The feedback, some bad but mostly good, sets me off to research something I’ve got wrong, or misunderstood or something I didn’t know or to reconfirm what I already knew. Often the issue fizzles out leaving you with conflicting points of view but I find enough has been said to give me a direction to research it. Cheers.

  118. WORDS HAVE MEANING !!!

    “”””””Myrrh says:
    October 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm
    50.richard verney says:
    October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    My point is this. Merely because a low temperature object radiates energy, it does not follow that that energy can pass the threshold and get absorbed by a warmer object which is radiating energy at a higher state. may be it can, but may be it does not and this can be clarified only by properly constructed experimentation which to my knowledge has not been undertaken such that we simply do not know the answer to what is a very important issue in the climate science field.

    This is a law, that heat always flows from hot to cold, because that is what is always observed, isn’t it? Like, rivers always flow downhill. It takes work to alter that. Sure locally, the river might hit a rock and some water forced back against the stream, but that is work done to change the direction. Heat always flows from hot to cold unless work is done to alter this. I thought this was basic knowledge. I really don’t know what to say about George E. Smith’s summary of what he thinks it is, but I too would like to see some real physical experiments proving it.. I hope he can provide these. “””””

    This exchange between Myrrh and Richard illustrates, how easy it is to miscommunicate, when TECHNICAL TERMS are misused or used “loosely”.. Now both Myrrh and Richard may understand completely, exactly what each of them is saying, but that does not mean that everyone else, specially “lay” readers will, and nothing miscommunicates more than less than pedantic use of technical terms that have VERY SPECIFIC technical meanings, that may differ from colloquial usage.
    So without being critical of either, let’s examine this exchange.
    So in Richard’s second sentence, we get the following words:- (low) temperature, object, radiates, energy, energy, threshold, absorbed, warmer, object, radiating, energy, higher, state .

    To this flow of words, (presumably), Myrrh responds with:- law, heat, flows, hot, cold, (flow) downhill, work, heat, flows, hot, cold, work.

    Now in this context, I would not qualify as ” a lay person”, since I have both formal education in the subject matter, and a somewhat lengthy career of field application of such matters.

    So I have no problem whatsoever in grasping exactly what Myrrh is saying; and I have NO great problem with exactly how Myrrh chose to state his response; and no-one with formal Physics training should be put out by Myrr’s statement; although some may wish for a more pedantic statement. A specific absence from Myrr’s statement is the word Temperature. “Hot” and “cold” are a little too colloquial, compared to “high(er) Temperature” and “low(er) Temperature”, WHEN ADDRESSING LAY FOLKS. The cognoscenti will simply roll with Myrr’s language, as perfectly satisfactory. We know exactly what he means; and also we feel confident, that HE knows what he means. Also absent from the statement is the word “energy”.

    So Myrrh is clearly talking about the PROCESS of “heating”, which will often be described as “heat” flow, making “heat” a noun rather than a verb. He also does not use the words “object” or “medium”. And the process he describes clearly REQUIRES real objects or media to propagate the purely mechanical kinetic “energy” that is the signature of both Temperature and “heat” in its noun manifestation.

    And the transport of that mechanical energy from place to place, is not possible without a real physical material medium or media between the “source” and the “sink”.

    The process Myrr describes IS a process, which is constrained by the second law of thermodynamics. I like the exotic form as stated (English translation) by Rudolph Clausius.

    “No cyclic machine can have no other effect, than to transport “heat” from a source at one Temperature, to a sink, at a higher Temperature.”

    The necessary “other” effect to result in such a transport, IS, as Myrrh said, “work” which requires the investment of “energy”.

    So now back to what Richard had said. He does use the word “Temperature”, which is uniquely a function of real physical materials, and he uses the colloquial “warmer”, and unlike Myrrh, he does use the word “energy”.
    But Richard says NOTHING about “heating” or even “heat”, and he talks about RADIATING “energy”. He also talks of a warmer object radiating at a “higher state” , (presumably than his “low temperature” object.
    Well here we have a clear misdirection. Higher “rate” would be accurate; “higher state” is simply incorrect usage, and can only confuse.

    But Richard is quite accurate in suggesting that his “low temperature” object radiates at a lower rate (not state) than his “warmer object”.

    What Richard is describing is the emission and propagation of “Electro-magnetic radiation” which is a form of ENERGY that is described in detail in Maxwell’s equations which govern “radio” and like emissions.

    Also we are taught that EVERY “body”, that is at a Temperature higher than zero Kelvins, MUST radiate EM radiation. The basic radiation mechanism can be described as in Radio-Physics as a varying “electric current” flowing for some non-zero distance (antenna length); which we can also describe as an accelerating “electric charge”, travelling for some distance; or associated with some non-zero “electric dipole moment” (the antenna).

    Either description with the application of Maxwell’s equations suffice to describe in some form the readiation and propagation of electromagnetic waves; which if we choose, can also be described in terms of photon emission.
    And Planck’s radiation law, leads to the Stefan-Boltzmann 4th power of Temperature law for total emission in certain ideal cases.

    Nothing in Maxwell’s equations limits EM wave transmission, propagation, and reception as a consequence of Temperature.

    There is NO “threshold” for EM waves to surmount. They do interract with physical media, which can thereby absorb the energy, and convert it to some other form; which certainly could be simply waste “heat”, but could also be the release of an energetic electron, as in the photo-electric effect.

    The point is Richard’s subject matter, and Myrrh’s response, are simply not related to one another. They are two entirely different subjects.

    As for demonstrative experiments; a waste of time. The remedy is in a contrary result demonstration; not any finite number of supportive experiments.

    The problem of a lack of pedantry was demonstrated by a recent post by Phil related to the “discovery” of Ozone on Venus. Phil noted the larger TSI for Venus, because of its closer solar distance; but he was mis interpreted to be asserting that closeness to the sun raised the photon energies incident on the Venusian atmosphere.

    So we have to choose our words carefully, to avoid confusion of “lay” readers.

  119. George E. Smith; says:
    October 11, 2011 at 11:39 am
    WORDS HAVE MEANING !!!

    So Myrrh is clearly talking about the PROCESS of “heating”, which will often be described as “heat” flow, making “heat” a noun rather than a verb. He also does not use the words “object” or “medium”. And the process he describes clearly REQUIRES real objects or media to propagate the purely mechanical kinetic “energy” that is the signature of both Temperature and “heat” in its noun manifestation.

    Myrrh is actually talking about heat on the move, such as the thermal energy of the Sun on its way to us, which is transfer by radiation and doesn’t require a medium.

    There are three different ways heat, thermal energy, moves from one place to another: conduction, convection, radiation. This is bog standard traditional science that radiation doesn’t need a medium, it gets from A to B without one. It can be slowed down by different mediums it passes through, such as our atmosphere and even more slowed down by passing through the water of our oceans.

    This is standard physics, and those who object to it need to show their workings. As it stands the above is a typical response; objecting, putting in some other explanation which makes nonsense of it and demanding that traditional physics changes to suit without being able to show any reason for such a change.

    And the transport of that mechanical energy from place to place, is not possible without a real physical material medium or media between the “source” and the “sink”.

    Well, you really must do better than this if you are arguing against bog standard traditional physics which teaches what radiation is, the missing link from your strange, to traditional physics, ideas, to appreciating the reality of the world around us as we so far know it. The Sun’s heat, its thermal energy, radiates out and flows from hotter to colder, it affects matter it meets in various ways, depending on the matter. That heat is thermal energy on the move, thermal infrared, heat in transfer.

    I don’t know what would meet George’s idea here that this requires a medium, I’ve speculated that this must entail some supernatural wagon train of a conveyor belt from the Sun to Earth run by the gods to bridge the emptiness of space. But seriously, what I think the problem is that there’s no appreciation of the differences in properties of the various wavelengths. The meme ‘all energy is the same and all creates heat’ has done away with all that until as we have here, the actual reason for science has been lost, the exploration of how our universe really works which is examination of the detail of differences and so we get statements which contradict known tried and tested traditional physics bandied about as if they are fact, without any connecting logic or empirical proof.

    Since there’s interest in this, here’s what traditional physics has to say:

    http://www.astro.uu.nl/~strous/AA/en/antwoorden/temperatuur.html

    9. Transport of Heat

    Heat and energy can travel in three ways:

    1. as thermal radiation or heat radiation or infrared radiation through the air. You cannot see these rays, but you can feel them on your face, coming from a fire or from a heat lamp. If you hold your hand between your face and the fire or the lamp, then you don’t feel the heat on your face anymore so the heat travels in a straight line from the fire or lamp.
    2. through things at rest. This is called conduction of heat, and this is how soup in a pan gets heated. The heat travels through the metal of the pan and gets into the soup. When the soup isn’t very hot yet, then the soup itself is heated by conduction, too.
    3. by movement of hot fluids or gases. This is called convection of heat, and this is how the air quite far above a burning candle gets to be hot. The air close to the candle is heated by radiation or conduction and then rises up to your hand quite far above the candle. When soup in a pan gets hot enough, then you can see bubbles of hot soup rising to the surface, and that is convection, too.

    …..

    3. The Lowest Temperature

    Temperature is a measure for how fast atoms move. If all atoms are as motionless as possible, then the temperature is the lowest that it can get. You can’t go even lower in temperature, because you cannot be more motionless than motionless.

    _____________

    http://thermalenergy.org/

    What is thermal energy ?

    Thermal Energy: A specialized term that refers to the part of the internal energy of a system which is the total present kinetic energy resulting from the random movements of atoms and molecules.
    The ultimate source of thermal energy available to mankind is the sun, the huge thermo-nuclear furnace that supplies the earth with the heat and light that are essential to life. The nuclear fusion in the sun increases the sun’s thermal energy. Once the thermal energy leaves the sun (in the form of radiation) it is called heat. Heat is thermal energy in transfer. Thermal energy is part of the overall internal energy of a system.
    At a more basic level, thermal energy comes from the movement of atoms and molecules in matter. It is a form of kinetic energy produced from the random movements of those molecules. Thermal energy of a system can be increased or decreased.
    When you put your hand over a hot stove you can feel the heat. You are feeling thermal energy in transfer. The atoms and molecules in the metal of the burner are moving very rapidly because the electrical energy from the wall outlet has increased the thermal energy in the burner. We all know what happens when we rub our hands together. Our mechanical energy increases the thermal energy content of the atoms in our hands and skin. We then feel the consequence of this – heat. Laws of Thermodynamics [link to]

    Italics in the original. The heat is in transfer whether you can feel it or not. It doesn’t come into existence because you feel it, you’re not creating it ‘out of electromagnetic energy’, it already exists. All energy from the Sun is not the same, gamma rays are not radio waves, there are distinct differences between them, they have properties different from each other as well as some having like properties which others don’t have. You’d need to use sets or something to build a picture of this as categories overlap, for example, in ionising and non-ionising UV is in both. Ionising means the radiation is energetic enough to knock an electron out of its orbit, non-ionising moves the electron into higher energy state but isn’t strong enough to move it out of its orbit, rather the reverse, it is bounced back out by the electron and an example of this is visible light reflected/scattered by the electrons of the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen in our atmosphere. The more highly energetic the smaller the wavelength, these highly energetic actions on meeting matter are known as electronic transitions, they work on the electron scale of the molecule. Heat energy is bigger and slower, less energetic, but that does not mean it is less ‘powerful’ than the ‘highly energetic’. Heat energy moves the whole molecule into rotation/vibration, which is what temperature is, the movement of atoms and molecules of matter. As above, the simple “thermal energy comes from the movement of atoms and molecules in matter” is created in land and oceans by the thermal energy direct from the Sun, infrared radiation which is heat on the move, which is powerful enough to do this, just as the mechanical energy of rubbing hands together does this and results in what we feel, heat.

    I’m not going to put my tuppence worth in on all the examples you give from Richard, but where it impacts what I’ve said: “So now back to what Richard had said. He does use the word “Temperature”, which is uniquely a function of real physical materials, and he uses the colloquial “warmer”, and unlike Myrrh, he does use the word “energy”.
    But Richard says NOTHING about “heating” or even “heat”, and he talks about RADIATING “energy”. He also talks of a warmer object radiating at a “higher state” , (presumably than his “low temperature” object.
    Well here we have a clear misdirection. Higher “rate” would be accurate; “higher state” is simply incorrect usage, and can only confuse.

    The misdirection isn’t coming from us, you have erased the transfer of thermal energy by radiation.. :) I do use the word ‘energy’, when I find it appropriate to use. But one doesn’t really have to be so tied up in knots over the use of words, different systems may use these words in ways specific to their system, but the basic meaning is still the same as long as all know what the basic is. ‘Heat’ is actually the easiest to use, if you mean heat.., but only if you begin by heat and radiation and energy meaning what traditional physics says these mean, so we all know we’re on the same page.

    http://thermalenergy.org/heattransfer.php

    Heat Transfer

    Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing. Heat is always the thermal energy of some system. Using the word heat helps physicists to make a distinction relative to the system they are talking about.

    Heat: Term used to describe the transfer of thermal energy between two thermodynamic systems at different temperatures.

    </blockquote

    There’s nothing really confusing in this, we can all feel heat radiating out from something (what we learn is that this is invisible thermal infrared and what is happening on an atomic and molecular level of the body radiating heat and the body receiving it). What makes it confusing is not using all of it and then adding a concept that is not proven to exist, that ‘heat is the net exchange of heat flowing from colder to hotter and hotter to colder and the net is always from hotter to colder’, and, that re-written as the 2nd law in textbooks without even giving a mechanism for this to work, and then demanding that the terms used should fit this novelty.. :)

    “Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing.”

  120. Nick, try this interpretation of the conclusion from Dessler

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

    If Clouds didn’t cause significant climate change over the last decade then logically variations in cloud must have been caused by climate change. Alternatively you might argue that Dessler is saying that there are no variations in cloud cover despite climate change…but I doubt Dessler is implying this…

    “…(over the decades or centuries relevant for long‐term climate change, clouds acting as a feedback can indeed cause significant warming)….”

    …because here Dessler is very clearly implying there are variations in cloud cover with climate change and those variations will have a net positive effect on temperatures. He is meaning as a feedback.

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

    And here Dessler is saying that variations were caused by the short term changes in the ocean. And therefore is suggesting that clouds play no part in those ocean variations. Unless you want to argue that Dessler is being pedantic about saying that “clouds dont force temperatures directly” whilst obfuscating the possibility that clouds “force” the ocean which in turn force clouds which alter temperatures.

    So its quite clear to me that Dessler is saying that temperature causes cloud variation which, over the longer term feeds back with increased warming. So now we can re-examine the original claim by Spencer

    “But that’s exactly what has happened. Andy Dessler’s 2010 and 2011 papers have claimed, both implicitly and explicitly, that in the context of climate, with very few exceptions, cloud changes must be the result of temperature change only.”

    And this is indeed what Dessler is saying. Please break down his conclusion with an alternative interpretation if you still think otherwise.

  121. “”””” Myrrh says:

    October 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    October 11, 2011 at 11:39 am
    WORDS HAVE MEANING !!!

    So Myrrh is clearly talking about the PROCESS of “heating”, which will often be described as “heat” flow, making “heat” a noun rather than a verb. He also does not use the words “object” or “medium”. And the process he describes clearly REQUIRES real objects or media to propagate the purely mechanical kinetic “energy” that is the signature of both Temperature and “heat” in its noun manifestation.

    Myrrh is actually talking about heat on the move, such as the thermal energy of the Sun on its way to us, which is transfer by radiation and doesn’t require a medium. “””””

    Well Myrrh; I’m going to let you have the last word on this. I have a rule to never get between a man and the cliff he is racing towards to jump off..

    “objects” and “media” need no introduction. They comprise some form of the 92 elements of the periodic table of the elements (you can also have all the transUranics too; be my guest.

    They transport mechanical (thermal) energy the same way a car conveys mechanical energy to a bridge abuttment; through collisions, which is the process of “Conduction”.

    You could list the ten most common of these elements that fill the space between the sun and the earth to transport “heat” from the sun to earth.
    EM radiation doesn’t do it,, it conveys EM energy. What the earth does with that energy is a function of the materials of the planet. Yes a good part of that energy is eventually wasted in the mechanical form some call “heat”. Strangely PV solar cells convert only a portion of the EM energy to “heat”. A significant part of it is converted to electricity instead. Some of it is even converted to “light” by the human eye.

    But as I said, I’ll stand aside, and let you charge on. My apologies to all of the innocents who jump off the cliff with you.

  122. Myrrh
    I don’t know why you are talking about rivers, our topic is radiative heat transfer.

    A1. All objects emit photons (or EM radiation) independent of its surroundings.
    A2. An object may absorb a photon regardless of where the photon came from.
    A3. When a body emits photons, it loses energy.
    A4. When a body absorbs photons, it gains energy.

    Scenario #1: Two objects in a vacuum separated by a small distance, object A and object B at temperatures Ta and Tb, Ta > Tb.
    Q. Why does the net radiative energy flow between body A and body B depend on the temperatures (among others) of both bodies?
    A. Because _both_ bodies emit and absorb photons, albeit at different rates and energies. (direction of _net_ energy transfer: from A to B)

    Scenario #2:Object A in a vacuum at temperature Ta, no energy source. It will cool down as it emits photons. Introduce object B near A at temperature Tb, Ta > Tb.
    Q. Do you think object A will decay at the same rate as before? If not, why?

    If you cannot accept that warmer bodies can accept photons from colder bodies then you cannot explain why net energy transfer between two bodies depends on the temperatures of both bodies and why the rate of energy loss is affected by the presence of nearby objects.

    I refer you to the heat transfer textbook freely available in the web : http://web.mit.edu/lienhard/www/ahtt.html

    In page 44 of pdf or page 32 of book, it says:

    “Suppose that a heated object (1) radiates only to some other object (2) and that both objects are thermally black. All heat leaving object 1 arrives at object 2 and all heat arriving at object 1 comes from object 2. Thus the net heat transferred between object 1 and object 2 is …”

    In page 553 of pdf or page 541 of book it says:
    For two bodies:
    Qnet = Q12 – Q21. where Qnet = net heat exchange, Q12 = heat exchange from 1 to 2, Q21 = heat exchange from 2 to 1. for radiative heat transfer:
    Qnet = k (T1^4 – T2^4), where k = a factor for area, emittance, stefan-boltzmann constant, etc..

    This book has no problem with objects _exchanging_ radiative heat.

    note: the authors’ email address are on that page.

  123. George E. Smith; says:
    October 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Well Myrrh; I’m going to let you have the last word on this. I have a rule to never get between a man and the cliff he is racing towards to jump off..

    “objects” and “media” need no introduction. They comprise some form of the 92 elements of the periodic table of the elements (you can also have all the transUranics too; be my guest.

    They transport mechanical (thermal) energy the same way a car conveys mechanical energy to a bridge abuttment; through collisions, which is the process of “Conduction”.

    You could list the ten most common of these elements that fill the space between the sun and the earth to transport “heat” from the sun to earth.
    EM radiation doesn’t do it,, it conveys EM energy. What the earth does with that energy is a function of the materials of the planet. Yes a good part of that energy is eventually wasted in the mechanical form some call “heat”. Strangely PV solar cells convert only a portion of the EM energy to “heat”. A significant part of it is converted to electricity instead. Some of it is even converted to “light” by the human eye.

    But as I said, I’ll stand aside, and let you charge on. My apologies to all of the innocents who jump off the cliff with you.

    ? As I’ve tried to point out before, you are taking all em energy to be the same and have created a world in which matter takes this and in some unspecified way creates stuff from it.. Where do you see this happening?

    The energy from the Sun has different properties. It is these properties as distinct attributes which on meeting matter will act in certain ways particular to that energy and the matter it meets. Heat is the thermal energy of the Sun, that is what moves out from the Sun, it is the same thermal energy on the move and it doesn’t need a medium to move through, it travels through space to reach us. This is not the same as UV or gamma or radio or xray, which have properties distinct to themselves and from each other. Visible light doesn’t penetrate you body the way xrays can. They are different from each other. They are different sizes etc. Photo-voltaic cells don’t convert visible light to heat, that would mean visible was moving the molecules of the photo-voltaic cells.. If they’re getting a tad hot it will be from the thermal energy of the Sun heating them up.

    Anyway, what I see you’re doing is junking well understood physical properties as still taught in traditional physics, and replacing it with concepts which you have still failed to back up with any rational explanation let alone empirical evidence. Saying ‘it must be this’ doesn’t cut it in real science. Why don’t you deal with this aspect I’ve asked you to produce?

    LouN says
    October 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    [examples] If you cannot accept that warmer bodies can accept photons from colder bodies then you cannot explain why net energy transfer between two bodies depends on the temperatures of both bodies and why the rate of energy loss is affected by the presence of nearby objects.

    Ah, the ol’ ‘it must x because we don’t know what else it could be’ clincher..

    Because heat always flows from hotter to colder. The real net here is in this exchange between the bodies in that principle. As heat flows from A to B, A will be losing heat at the same time as B is gaining and if there is a hotter C around it will have an effect in the exchanges happening. The REAL net is in this exchange, as can be visually better understood in convection, say of a hotter liquid being poured into a colder. That’s how we get weather in our atmosphere, which is a fluid gaseous ‘ocean’ above us, convection currents. It doesn’t need any such ‘scenario’ as ‘photons’ flow from colder to hotter – photons, if such a thing actually exists.., are not all equal.., they are the product of the body emitting them. A colder body is not emitting the same ‘photons’ as a warmer body, and these will be restricted to behaving depending on their properties and the properties and states of whatever matter it meets, such as for example visible light being slowed down by our fluid gaseous atmosphere and fluid liquid water oceans.

    “Suppose that a heated object (1) radiates only to some other object (2) and that both objects are thermally black. All heat leaving object 1 arrives at object 2 and all heat arriving at object 1 comes from object 2. Thus the net heat transferred between object 1 and object 2 is …”

    In page 553 of pdf or page 541 of book it says:
    For two bodies:
    Qnet = Q12 – Q21. where Qnet = net heat exchange, Q12 = heat exchange from 1 to 2, Q21 = heat exchange from 2 to 1. for radiative heat transfer:
    Qnet = k (T1^4 – T2^4), where k = a factor for area, emittance, stefan-boltzmann constant, etc..

    As I said earlier, you’ll have to spell out in detail in English what you mean if you post maths formulae as answers to me. I don’t know what you’re mean by it.

    Again, it doesn’t require any such construct as you give, it is more than adequately explained by the real 2nd law.

    As you said:

    A1. All objects emit photons (or EM radiation) independent of its surroundings.
    A2. An object may absorb a photon regardless of where the photon came from.
    A3. When a body emits photons, it loses energy.
    A4. When a body absorbs photons, it gains energy.

    +

    A5 All these move relative to their surroundings. If you block visible light by using a filter for example.

    addendum:

    http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/thermo.html

    quote:
    “Thermodynamics is a branch of physics which deals with the energy and work of a system. … Thermodynamics deals only with the _large scale_ response of a system which we can observe and measure in experiments.”

    Proof?

    You’re all (generic) claiming known tried and tested traditional physics is wrong and will not provide one iota of rational explanation for disagreeing with it nor provide one iota of evidence that what you’re replacing this with is even possible!

    Why don’t you for an experiment, if you’re able, put aside what you think you know about all this and try to objectively understand what traditional physics teaches. If you can do that you will find that traditional physics is internally consistent, the parts all fit together, it already has answers for these so called ‘questions’, you don’t have to introduce unknowns to answer them.

    What, sadly, I see happening, is that with these strange ideas about properties and processes we will end up with a generation who not only have lost the knowledge we’ve gained in the last few centuries about the physical world around around us, but who will have no way of building on that solid foundation when we meet something new to us.

  124. Well as I said, Myrrh, I’m standing out of your way, so go for it. Just DO NOT go claiming that “I” said ANY of those things that YOU cited in your post after the word “Proof ?” I did not; I suggest you read what I did say, including at the start “Words have meaning”.

  125. Myrrh

    No one has implied that the 2nd law is wrong. It is just a matter of interpretation i think. In all the examples the net heat transfer is still from higher temperature to lower temperature.

    I did not imply that the cooler object can increase the temperature of the warmer object higher that its temperature before the event. Even though the colder object can transfer heat to the warmer object, this heat is not enough to warm the warmer object to its temperature before the transfer. This is because the warmer object will cool down when it transfers heat to the cooler object at the moment of transfer. When it receives heat (q) from the cooler object, it has already given up a larger amount heat (Q). The amount of heat it receives from the colder object is less than the heat it has given up (Q > q). The result is that instead of cooling by Q amount, it will cool by (Q-q) amount. The net effect is the warmer object will not warm at all, but cool down less slowly. (The analysis assumes no external sources)

    Also, consider two bodies at T1 and T2, T1 > T2. Assuming the amount of heat transferred from T1 to T2 is dQ, the net change in entropy of the system is dS = dQ/T2 + -dQ/T1 (the change in entropy of body 2 plus the change in entropy of body 1). dS (change in entropy of system) is a positive number (because T1 > T2) as required by the second law. But, if you consider the bodies individually, the second body (T2) increased entropy (heat gain) while the first body (T1) decreased entropy (heat loss). It is a mistake to invalidate the process by saying that body 1 violated the second law of thermodynamics (because its entropy change is negative). the system must be considered as a whole.

    I might be mixing things up (signs are confusing) but let me just say that the second law must be applied to the whole system, the sub-systems may violate it. The only requirement is the change in system entropy must be positive.

  126. “”””” LouN says:

    October 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm “””””

    And like you LouN; nothing I have said implies any problems with either the second law or ANY other Physical laws.

    ALL that I have said (using other words) is that just as “heat” cannot travel through the vaccuum of an ordinary thermos bottle; (but can slowly be CONDUCTED around the low conductivity (continuous) glass envelope), nor can it travel through the even sparser vaccuum of space to get from the sun to the earth; and in that case there IS no continuous glass conductive path like in the thermos bottle.
    So for all practical purposes, “heat” CANNOT propagate from the sun to the earth. And it doesn’t need to, because we are perfectly capable of making ALL of the “heat” that we need right here on earth.
    The sun can and does send us copious supplies of energy in the form of Electromagnetic Waves, which can propagate over infinite distances without ANY intervening medium containing ANY real matter. Those waves range in frequency and/or wavelength from near zero to near infinity; excluding both end points; and ANY of that Radiant energy can be converted into “heat” by common processes right here on this planet; so we don’t need to get ANY “heat”
    from the sun, and can’t anyway.

    Fortunately for us, not all of that solar EM Radiant energy gets turned into “heat”, which is the lowest from of energy there is.
    Solar energy, is also converted into light, bio-materials, either for food, or stored chemical energy, other living organisms, and via the various weather processes, into snow and ice, and stored water gravitational potential energy, and a Myrriad of other forms.

    As for what the standard teachings of Physics might be; I am perfectly capable of picking up a copy of the Quran, in its original Arabic, and perusing it; even repeating what it says on a blog; even WUWT.
    But lacking an understanding of the Arabic language, either written or spoken, I am quite unable to convey any ideas or wisdom or knowledge from that text.

    Likewise, anyone can read and cite from any Physics text book; but unless one also understands what it is that you are reading; then one still can’t convey any ideas or wisdom from that text either.

    http://www.giggle.com is not an automatic entre into learning or knowledge.

    I’m retiring while I am still sane LouN; you might consider that also, instead of beating your head on the wall.

  127. George E. Smith; says:
    October 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    Well as I said, Myrrh, I’m standing out of your way, so go for it. Just DO NOT go claiming that “I” said ANY of those things that YOU cited in your post after the word “Proof ?” I did not; I suggest you read what I did say, including at the start “Words have meaning”.

    ? I realise you think you’re giving me real physics, but you’re going against real physics, as traditionally taught, and so, it does apply to u, because “You’re all (generic) claiming known tried and tested traditional physics is wrong and will not provide one iota of rational explanation for disagreeing with it nor provide one iota of evidence that what you’re replacing this with is even possible!”

    You seem to think I’m coming up with something new, how many times do I have to tell you I’m giving you “traditional” physics – words mean something, I mean something by using the word “traditional”. You’re the ones giving un-traditional science explanations. And I keep asking you to prove them and you keep not replying with proof.

    #

    LouN says:
    October 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    Myrrh

    No one has implied that the 2nd law is wrong. It is just a matter of interpretation i think. In all the examples the net heat transfer is still from higher temperature to lower temperature.

    I have stated quite clearly that your ‘interpretation’ of the 2nd law is wrong, because within this “net heat transfer” you include heat from the colder to the hotter. There’s nothing wrong with the 2nd law, except that you’re breaking it.

    I did not imply that the cooler object can increase the temperature of the warmer object higher that its temperature before the event. Even though the colder object can transfer heat to the warmer object, this heat is not enough to warm the warmer object to its temperature before the transfer.

    Why can’t it increase the temperature of the warmer object? This is what I have asked you to explain, you have not given any mechanism for this ‘heat flow from the colder to the hotter’ ever stopping. You have not shown any proof that the real 2nd law as taught in traditional physics is wrong and it contradicts you here. You are claiming that heat flows from the colder to the hotter. This is breaking the law. Either show and explain how, logically and present proof that such a thing is happening, or admit that you have broken the real 2nd law.

    All both of you here are doing is just making claims contradicting traditional physics and not presenting any proof of your claims.

    This is because the warmer object will cool down when it transfers heat to the cooler object at the moment of transfer. When it receives heat (q) from the cooler object, it has already given up a larger amount heat (Q). The amount of heat it receives from the colder object is less than the heat it has given up (Q > q). The result is that instead of cooling by Q amount, it will cool by (Q-q) amount. The net effect is the warmer object will not warm at all, but cool down less slowly. (The analysis assumes no external sources)

    Again, all you’re trying to do here is incorporate something of what I have described happens in the real net exchange, but you’re still including the claim that ‘heat flows from colder to hotter’, which breaks the second law.

    And until you come up with something actually proving that this is happening you’re not being scientifically rational here. And you still have to come up with a rational explanation of why it comes out ‘net’ hotter to colder.

    The claim that “heat flows from colder to hotter” is NOVEL to traditional physics. I do understand that you are surrounded by people who teach this and think it real physics, but it is novel. You have to prove that traditional physics is wrong first.

    And if you’re confused by the following maths you posted…

    I might be mixing things up (signs are confusing) but let me just say that the second law must be applied to the whole system, the sub-systems may violate it. The only requirement is the change in system entropy must be positive.

    Rubbish according to the second law. You are simply claiming such a thing which breaks the second law and then twisting out of the conundrum you’ve created by postulating a ‘requirement’ without showing the mechanism, any logic, in how that ‘requirement’ can come into existence. Can you see that’s what you’re doing? All you’re saying is that heat flows from colder to hotter and somehow the net turns out as per the 2nd law, but you’ve broken the second law. It only comes out ‘net hotter to colder’ per your new version of the second law, which begins with the premise that heat flows from colder to hotter and you can’t show how it becomes ‘net hotter to colder’.

    You have no way of stopping heat flowing from colder to hotter ad infinitum.

    You don’t have a ‘different interpretation’, you’ve broken the 2nd law.

    All your reasoning about the subject is based on your new version.

    When you have a new version of anything in physics, you are required to prove it.

    #

    George E. Smith; says:
    October 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    And like you LouN; nothing I have said implies any problems with either the second law or ANY other Physical laws.

    Not for you.. For me you’re talking gobbledegook. You can’t see that because you really haven’t taken on board what I’ve been trying to tell you here, that you are giving scenarios based on first breaking the second law and other things you claim which are contrary to traditional physics.

    I’m going to take one more look at this with you, and then I’m quitting this discussion, there is still plenty of information from traditional physics available, but you’ll have to first be objective enough to take on board that what you are saying contradicts it.

    ALL that I have said (using other words) is that just as “heat” cannot travel through the vaccuum of an ordinary thermos bottle; (but can slowly be CONDUCTED around the low conductivity (continuous) glass envelope), nor can it travel through the even sparser vaccuum of space to get from the sun to the earth; and in that case there IS no continuous glass conductive path like in the thermos bottle.
    So for all practical purposes, “heat” CANNOT propagate from the sun to the earth. And it doesn’t need to, because we are perfectly capable of making ALL of the “heat” that we need right here on earth.
    The sun can and does send us copious supplies of energy in the form of Electromagnetic Waves, which can propagate over infinite distances without ANY intervening medium containing ANY real matter. Those waves range in frequency and/or wavelength from near zero to near infinity; excluding both end points; and ANY of that Radiant energy can be converted into “heat” by common processes right here on this planet; so we don’t need to get ANY “heat”
    from the sun, and can’t anyway.

    Heat is an electromagnetic wave.

    Who told you it wasn’t?

    And from that misinformation you’ve been given, comes the scenario that matter takes this ‘new stuff which can travel through space and creates stuff out of it’

    Now, please, this really is the last time I’m posting on this thread, you can’t understand what I’m saying because you believe this, but, I’m telling you that you are saying something that is not in traditional science which teaches that heat, thermal infrared, thermal energy of the Sun on the move, is an electromagnetic wave, part of the electromagnetic spectrum:

    http://www.ehow.com/about_6401680_definition-heat-wave-energy.html

    Energy appears in many forms within the physical environment. Heat is also a form of energy that you can’t see, but you can feel it through the sense of touch. All forms of energy consist of waves of particles that carry energy inside them. Heat waves are characterized by certain wavelengths that move at particular speeds and intensities.

    Electromagnetic Spectrum
    The electromagnetic spectrum is made-up of different types of energy waves or wavelengths that appear in various forms within the physical environment. Sounds, colors and microwaves are all different types of energy waves according to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Heat wave energy–also known as infrared waves–sits just below the color or visible light portion of the spectrum. With radio wavelengths being the slowest and gamma rays being the fastest, heat energy waves move just a little slower than those that make up visible light.

    Read more: Definition of Heat Wave Energy | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6401680_definition-heat-wave-energy.html#ixzz1ahPKxSTc

    Please, do take time to read this, and to re-read what I’ve posted before on heat. Really, what I’ve posted is bog standard traditional physics. You keep coming up with all kinds of claims about things that are utterly different, that contradict traditional physics. You’re not arguing against me, you’re arguing against tried and tested and very well known traditional physics basics. That’s why the scenarios you present don’t make any sense in traditional physics. Words mean something to me too, please do take on board what I mean by traditional, I’ve given you more than sufficient examples, the rest is for you to explore.

    One last example:

    http://www.ftexploring.com/energy/heatflow.htm

    There are two basic ways that energy can be transferred from one place to another through the heat flow process – radiation and conduction.

    Radiation is a type of energy that can travel through space. It doesn’t need matter to conduct it from place to place. It can travel through a vacuum, no trouble. It can also travel through air, no trouble.

    When you stand near hot molten lava, the heat you feel on your skin is mostly radiant heat. This type of heat doesn’t need air to travel through. Even if you were standing in a vacuum (no air) you would feel the heat (except you’d be unconscious, or worse, from lack of air).

    Almost all of the energy from the sun that travels 93 million miles in 8 and 1/2 minutes through the vacuum of space is radiant energy. When you stand outside on a sunny day feeling the warm rays, remember that only 8 and 1/2 minutes ago it left the sun. Scientists call it electromagnetic radiation. Infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light are examples of electromagnetic radiation that can transfer energy from one object to another object.
    Believe it or not, your body and all other objects are always giving off or absorbing heat by radiation. Heat transfer by radiation goes from a hotter object to a cooler object – like from the sun to earth, or from hot coals to you, or from your body to the cold walls of a lonely castle on a dark and stormy night.

    This contradicts you. It’s not just me, it’s not just these, there’s a whole body of people who have been teaching this and using the knowledge of it, applied science. You’re contradicting this, in the last couple of decades it’s become ubiquitous.., but it’s the real knowledge of traditional physics about light and heat which could created photo-voltaic cells to capture visible light to turn it into electricity, because it knows that that’s visible light isn’t capable of directly heating water and earth…

    Now, one word of warning, be careful how some things are written, here in the middle of talking about heat in a traditional explanation, UV and visible have been thrown in, and remember what I’ve said about that. These are not thermal energies, they do not move molecules which is what is necessary to creat heat. Therefore, they do not heat the land and oceans of Earth as claimed in the ‘energy budget’. He does explain that heat moves the molecules. But if you didn’t know that UV and visible can’t do this, you might think that is how they worked and/or they were creating heat, by heating up objects.

    These “novel” ideas, claims, which you are both presenting here are the “memes” created by those who created the AGW scare. That these are now taught in schools as if they are traditional science and real basic physical fact shows how successful they have been in taking over the education system.

    As an example, one of the AGWScience Fiction Inc’s memes you keep repeating George is that ‘all electromagnetic energy is the same’, and so you come up with the novel idea of matter taking this and creating different things out of it, rather than as traditional physics teaches, there are differences between the different wavelengths, and it is these differences as the properties of the wavelength which impact matter interacting in various ways, the processes. It might appear that matter ‘creates’ out of a bog standard same energy if that’s what you’re taught to believe is basic physics, but it doesn’t, in reality it utilises or is affected by the differences in the properties. Electromagnetic energy has distinct properties just as matter has.

    The electromagnetic wave thermal infrared, heat, thermal energy, will move molecules to heat, the visible light energy can’t do this because it doesn’t have enough power to move molecules, but gets to be a pin ball in the atmosphere bouncing off electrons or used in photosynthesis, its energy used to create chemical energy, the creation of sugars, which is not creation of heat.

    Anyway, I hope at least that you can see that I’m giving you traditional physics and it’s consistent. The arguments about this are not about ‘interpretation’, but about the fact that AGWScienceFiction has introduced memes about physics basics that contradict traditional science, and you don’t realise that you’re repeating them, but think they are real physics.

    I can only hope that if and when you do take that on board, examine it for yourselves, that you will be as annoyed as I am that such a deliberate confusion has been introduced into science education.

    http://www.ftexploring.com/energy/heatflow.htm

  128. One p.s. re meaning of words, traditionally “radiation” refers to heat, as traditionally the category division is between Light, reflective, and Heat, absorptive, where absorptive specically means how heat is produced by moving the molecules. See my post above and the extract which explains that there is no real confusion about heat when you know that you are talking about the same thing. But, as above, you’ll have to explore the differences, and watch out for sleight of hand from those knowingly pushing the AGWSF memes, wiki can be very confusing..

  129. Well Myrrh, thank you for all those highly informative treatises on Physics.
    When I graduated in 1957, with two majors in Mathematics (pure and applied), plus three majors in Physics, (plus Radio-Physics and Mathematical Physics) I was Senior Scholar in Physics that year.

    And over 50 years ago, I was teaching (pre-med freshman) Physics to a class of two hundred students. The least competent, of the 35 or so students who were just there for the social life, could easily blow you out of the water, with half their brain tied behind their back.

    For one last time “heat” IS NOT an “Electromagnetic Wave”, even if one accepts it as a noun rather than a verb; please note the RadioPhysics major mentioned above; half of which related to the generation, Propagation and detection of ELECTRO-MAGNETIC WAVES per Maxwell’s Equations.

    “Heat” is the process of raising the Temperature OF A COLLECTION OF PARTICLES (matter) by increasing the mean Kinetic energy of that collection of particles; by any of a variety of processes; such as placing in contact with another collection of particles that have a higher mean kinetic energy per particle, which is the mechanism commonly called conduction.
    Absent the collection of particles there is NO kinetic energy, so NO “heat” (noun) and also NO TEMPERATURE.
    Another way of raising the Temperature (mean kinetic energy per particle) is through the absorption of Electromagnetic Waves (of virtually any wavelength or frquency) through the Einstein relation ; E = h (nu) or hf if you prefer or hc/lambda..

    Such EM waves might come from the quartz “radiator” across your room, or from the sun 93 million miles away; but NO “heat” (noun) accompanies the latter; and only a miniscule amount in the former case, because of the intervening atmosphere in the room.

    But as I have said many times at WUWT; Ignorance is not a disease; we are all born with it; but stupidity has to be taught, and there are many willing and able to teach it; and you are one of the better practitioners of that.

  130. Well George, since you’re clearly teaching such nonsense, against all known applications actually derived from real physical knowledge as I’ve given traditional science, and you show elementary ignorance even about photo-voltaic cells as well as all the other gobbledegook you’ve come up with in descriptions, then your science education was sadly lacking in reality, …whenever you acquired it.

    If you hold up a 16 ounce bottle of drinking water at about room Temperature, it will radiate (EM radiation) in all directons, at about 400 W/m^2, and some of that LWIR emission will eventually escape from the earth and proceed through space to the moon. let’s say we have a half moon, half in dark, and half in daylight. The day side is much hotter than your water bottle, while the dark side is much colder. Both halves will receive, and absorb the same amount of the LWIR from your water bottle.
    Meanwhile, in a different direction, the same solid angle cone of EM radiation will proceed towards the sun, which is much higher Temperature than either side of the moon, as well as your water bottle. The sun will also receive and absorb the same amount of EM radiation as the moon did..

    As Richard said:

    richard verney says:
    October 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    My point is this. Merely because a low temperature object radiates energy, it does not follow that that energy can pass the threshold and get absorbed by a warmer object which is radiating energy at a higher state. may be it can, but may be it does not and this can be clarified only by properly constructed experimentation which to my knowledge has not been undertaken such that we simply do not know the answer to what is a very important issue in the climate science field.

    I add, you really don’t like giving me the last word do you?, that since George in pushing this AGW science fiction meme can show no way that heat in their scenario can stop going from colder to hotter and thereby heating the hotter further to get their claim that there is a ‘net effect of hotter to colder so complying with the law’, they have made no attempt to provide the mechanism merely claiming it exists, then this breaking of the 2nd law can’t be taken seriously. Until George and his ilk can provide evidence that thermal energy from a colder to a hotter object is absorbed by the hotter as he claims, then they are claiming against traditional tried and test physics which says it can’t. And as Richard notes that none can be found from his looking for it, there is no attempt made to prove. See if you can find any.. They begin by breaking the 2nd law and build their scenario of the physical world around us on that broken law. Gobbledegook ensues as a matter of course, the law of gigo.. :)

    And, lest any reading think that such a mechanism could be discovered to give a ‘net’ complying with the 2nd law, there are some of this ilk who claim that there is no such mechanism but that in reality this flow of heat from colder to hotter has no way of stopping, Spencer argues for this. This is said in support of the fiction meme that ‘back-radiation’ continually bounces back to earth from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which bounces it back again ad inf thus heating the world into runaway tipping point catastrophic global warming, and so with no such mechanism in existence this is what will happen. So bear in mind that there are two varieties of scenarios bandied about from the ‘hypothesis’ that begins with the premise that the 2nd law is broken by the unproved (unprovable or they would have provided it by now) claim that heat also flows from colder to hotter. Our energy problems would be solved if this were our physical reality…

    And on the other claim he makes about electro-magnetic waves and heat: for George an x-ray doesn’t become an x-ray until it reaches matter which converts his ‘electro-magnetism with no distinct differences in properties’ into an x-ray and a plant takes some of that energy and converts it to blue and red light to use in photosynthesis, and an unknown something is converting some of it to green light to bounce off the plant, or maybe there’s no such thing as reflection at all and the plant is also converting some of it to green light to radiate out, and so on.

    So for me he also has to prove, show his workings, that energy in the material state has the ability to do such a thing. If this were really standard known physics such descriptions and applications would be basic observable and fully explained physics in use in countless applications, but there’s nothing that I can find.. Only such claims in isolation, repeated ad nauseum by some who never provide one iota of real proof. He can’t provide it because it doesn’t exist, and does what all such claiming to be greatly educated in science while pushing these science fiction memes do, he avoids admitting he is not providing it. Instead relying on repetition of these memes from this brand of science fiction to confuse and distract from the fact that he has never provided any. And when he meets someone who knows enough to call him on it he goes into overdrive to distract from the ludicrous descriptions he gives as examples as if they prove his point when they do no such thing, such as above with photo-voltaic cells.

    Light does not heat, Heat heats. Heat on the move is the thermal energy of the Sun travelling from hotter to colder, the thermal infrared electro-magnetic wave is that heat of the Sun travelling to us through space. It is invisible, but we can all feel it, it has the power to move atoms and molecules into rotation/vibration heating them. Light, visible electro-magnetic waves, is not thermal, it is not hot, it does not heat land and oceans, because it cannot move the atoms and molecules of matter into rotation/vibration. It is tinier, it doesn’t have the power but affects and is affected by the electrons of the atoms and molecules. Some of these electrons absorb its energy and bounce it back out as in our atmosphere by the electrons of the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen, this is called reflection/scattering, and some electrons it doesn’t even reach because the atoms and molecules keep it out, water does this, this is called transmission when the energy is simply passed on through a transparent medium, because water is a transparent medium for visible light.

    So, to any reading this exchange and trying to follow the arguments, ask for proof that the 2nd law is broken and don’t be fobbed off by the distraction/sleight of hand of the claim that it doesn’t break the 2nd law because it is ‘net’ exchange of hotter to colder and colder to hotter – ask for the mechanism which accomplishes this. And ask for the mechanism in organic matter which converts ‘all electro-magnetism is the same’ into the different properties electro-magnetism really has as distinct properties from inception according to traditional physics. Is it one such mechanism common to all organic matter which enables different substances to convert this ‘same energy’ into whatever it is required by matter to affect a noted change in it – or is every substance working to its own recipe for such conversions so where are the recipes – or how does matter decide what it will do with this memed ‘all electromagnetic energy is the same’, free will – etc.?

    And good luck.

  131. George E. Smith; says:
    October 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm
    Well Myrrh, thank you for all those highly informative treatises on Physics.
    When I graduated in 1957, with two majors in Mathematics (pure and applied), plus three majors in Physics, (plus Radio-Physics and Mathematical Physics) I was Senior Scholar in Physics that year.

    And over 50 years ago, I was teaching (pre-med freshman) Physics to a class of two hundred students. The least competent, of the 35 or so students who were just there for the social life, could easily blow you out of the water, with half their brain tied behind their back.

    Yeah George, I’m really impressed – it was early on when I was puzzled by the AGW claims made for carbon dioxide and found that none was discussing the questions I had that I asked such a ‘well educated PhD in physics pushing AGW memes’ who taught the subject, tested on this, “how can carbon dioxide stay up in the atmosphere when it is heavier than air and will therefore always sink displacing air unless work is done to change this?” First of all he refused to acknowledge that carbon dioxide could separate out, until I provided real world well-known tried and tested examples, breweries, volcanic venting, mines etc., and then he edited out his claim where he said it didn’t, but he kept arguing, this is what he taught as real physics, that carbon dioxide was an ideal gas and with a mangled mix of ideal gas descriptions, which have no volume, and including Brownian motion, which assumes gases have volume, he said that if carbon dioxide had pooled on the floor in a room then without any work being done, no window opened, no fan put on, no change from the conditions which existed when the carbon dioxide pooled, the carbon dioxide would spontaneously rise from the floor and mix thoroughly in the atmosphere of the room because it was an ideal gas and so moved rapidly and randomly knocking all the other molecules in elastic encounters in empty space around them until they all became thoroughly mixed and couldn’t be unmixed without work being done.

    Your qualifications don’t impress me, your lack of understanding of our physical reality in the areas you claim to have knowledge is testament that your qualifications are based on pseudo science or that you have since acquiring them changed the traditional physics basics your original qualifications were examined on. If the latter, it means that you know you are promoting a different physics. Even less reason for me to be impressed if so, because you are not admitting it and so making it appear that your claims here are traditional, and one then has to wonder, why? So which is it? Were you taught this pseudo science? You must have quite a collection of text books from that time teaching it..

    For one last time “heat” IS NOT an “Electromagnetic Wave”, even if one accepts it as a noun rather than a verb; ….

    “Heat” is the process of raising the Temperature OF A COLLECTION OF PARTICLES (matter) by increasing the mean Kinetic energy of that collection of particles; by any of a variety of processes; such as placing in contact with another collection of particles that have a higher mean kinetic energy per particle, which is the mechanism commonly called conduction. etc.

    As before:

    http://thermalenergy.org/heattransfer.php

    Heat Transfer

    Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing. Heat is always the thermal energy of some system. Using the word heat helps physicists to make a distinction relative to the system they are talking about.

    Heat: Term used to describe the transfer of thermal energy between two thermodynamic systems at different temperatures.

    </blockquote

    “Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing.”

    You are confused because you don't understand this basic physics principle as taught traditionally or know it very well and are deliberately teaching confusion by now saying they are different.

    Well Myrrh; I’m going to let you have the last word on this.

  132. Ignorance and Learning.
    Totally off topic Chasmod, so erase at will. This post is unrelated to weather or climate in any way.
    Ignorance and learning are a couplet, in that either one counterracts the other. Some would argue that the counter to ignorance is “teaching”; this is simply incorrect, because no amount of teaching can combat ignorance; the recipient has to LEARN.
    I recently posted some minor details of my own learning experience from over half a century ago. “I’m really impressed” was one comment; just as quickly retracted.
    Quite irrelevent; impressing anybody at all, was NOT the intent.
    I had been asked for “proof” or other support of statements I had made in earlier posts. So I gave that; my own learning experience is the origin of virtually everthing I have ever posted at WUWT, or anywhere else for that matter.
    I went to school in an era, when students were actually supposed to learn something in school; well something other than how to fill in one of five randomly chosen open circles with a number two pencil, as evidence of knowledge.
    I’m related to a kindergarden teacher; and the first thing she teaches in her class, is how to fill in selected lined areas of some picture with crayons,and keep the color within the lines. This is the preparation for the subsequent number two pencil exercises, that can get you a drivers licence, or even US citizenship later in life.
    From the time I stepped into my first “primer one” (first grade) class, until 20 years later I closed the doors of academia behind me; to go and apply my learning in industry, I can say that I never once took part in any “shared experience” or “joint project”, or “focus group” encounter along with some other student(s). They were also there like me to learn; not to socialize, and we were all competing with each other from day one at school; just as we do in real life. No group think, where one person does the work, and the whole group gets the same grade.
    So virtually everything I have posted is simply assembled in my own brain from my learning. It is of course ALL available in thousands of public domain text books that anyone can consult for his own edification.

    I have never published ANY peer reviewed paper in any journal; and I virtually never read such literature. 99% of it is of little practical use to anybody, other than specialists in the specific field of the paper’s authors. It is mostly for academic brownie points rather than for communication of knowledge. Anything of wide use, will eventually make it into the standard textbooks.
    One month’s issues of SCIENCE journal contain more information than any one person can assimilate and become fluent in for the rest of their life. Most of it, just like today’s top ten rock hits, will have a similar longevity to the “music”.
    Once in a very great while, I will cite some SCIENCE paper or from other sources; and in every such case, there is always an authorship name I can reference.
    I almost never bother to click on somebody’s posted link to some supposed wisdom. Most often when I do so; I get routed to some blog or other; and virtually never to the subject that was under discussion when the link was posted; a total waste of time.
    I pay very little attention to what anybody says, that they are ashamed to attach their own name to; they of all people, know what their anonymous stuff is worth.
    Anybody can click on dubdubdub wikipedia (or google), and post something from there; either just by link, or in their own words.
    Some people who do that are so ignorant, that they don’t even realize, that in putting their great “find” into their own words; they change it so that what they say is total rubbish. Like I said at the outset; if you don’t LEARN from what you read, but simply parrot it in what you think is equivalent language; you simply send up a signal proclaiming how ignorant you are.
    But not to get too far off track. My posts at WUWT, are virtually always straight out of my head. There is always standard textbook backup; because that’s how I learned much of it; and anybody can readily consult those texts for themselves.
    Those who choose for their own reasons to dismiss something I have posted; can always demonstrate my error, by citing their own counter evidence; just don’t post a wikipedia “authority”, or somje othe blog unless you include the author’s name from that citation. And remember Einstein’s admonition that NO amount of evidence, can “prove” anything in science; yet a single counter example can disprove it.
    So the burden falls on the challenger; you don’t believe something; simply give a contrary example.
    If you need the internet to back up your claims, you clearly haven’t learned your subject.

  133. But not to get too far off track. My posts at WUWT, are virtually always straight out of my head. There is always standard textbook backup; because that’s how I learned much of it; and anybody can readily consult those texts for themselves.

    So bring the textbooks here, to this discussion, answer my questions, prove your claims.

    You can’t. Because AGWScience Fiction Inc doesn’t have any proof for any of your claims. It is science fiction, fantasy, and the proof it is fiction not real world physics is in your replies, or rather lack of them…

    So, how does matter convert this “electromagnetic energy” into heat (thermal infrared, thermal energy), light, x-rays, radio waves, gamma, UV..? How does a plant create blue and red light out of this “electromagnetic energy” to enable it to use the energies to create sugars? What is creating the green visible light out of these electomagnetic energies which the plant reflects?

    What is the mechanism which stops “and heat travels from colder to hotter” to make the outcome obey the 2nd Law that Heat always travels from hotter to colder..?

    Show me evidence that visible light heats water. Show me any textbook which explains how it does it.

    Etc.

    You’re full of misinformation. You have never provided one rational explanation for all your claims. You continually use ad hominem instead of giving rational, logical, proven physics. You continually avoid producing evidence or rational physics as your last post shows. You are merely posturing. You cannot be taken seriously.

    But not to get too far off track. My posts at WUWT, are virtually always straight out of my head. There is always standard textbook backup; because that’s how I learned much of it; and anybody can readily consult those texts for themselves.

    Bring them to this discussion. This, for any wondering, is an oft used ploy to distract from not being able to produce any such textbook.

    Enough prevarication, interesting though your stream of consciousness is.. I have given detailed information from traditional physics which contradicts you.

    You go fetch your textbooks and we’ll have a look at them.

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