Matt Ridley: A Lukewarmer’s Ten Tests

What it would take to persuade me that current climate policy makes sense

Guest post by Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley (Photo credit: thinkingdigital)

I have written about climate change and energy policy for more than 25 years. I have come to the conclusion that current energy and climate policy is probably more dangerous, both economically and ecologically, than climate change itself. This is not the same as arguing that climate has not changed or that mankind is not partly responsible. That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept. What I do not accept is that the change is or will be damaging, or that current policy would prevent it.
For the benefit of supporters of climate change policy who feel frustrated by the reluctance of people like me to accept their assurances, here is what they would need to do to change my mind.

1. I need persuading that the urban heat island effect has been fully purged from the surface temperature record. Satellites are showing less warming than the surface thermometers, and there is evidence that local warming of growing cities, and poor siting of thermometers, is still contaminating the global record. I also need to be convinced that the adjustments made by those who compile the global temperature records are justified. Since 2008 alone, NASA has added about 0.1C of warming to the trend by unexplained “adjustments” to old records. It is not reassuring that one of the main surface temperature records is produced by an extremist prepared to get himself arrested (James Hansen).

2. Despite these two contaminating factors, the temperature trend remains modest: not much more than 0.1 C per decade since 1979. So I would need persuading that water vapour will amplify CO2’s effect threefold in the future but has not done so yet. This is what the models assume despite evidence that clouds formed from water vapour are more likely to moderate than amplify any warming.

3. Nor am I convinced that sulphate aerosols and ocean heat uptake can explain the gap between model predictions and actual observations over the last 34 years. Both are now well understood and provide insufficient excuse for such an underperformance. Negative cloud feedback, leading to total feedbacks being modest, is the more plausible explanation.

4. The one trend that has been worse than expected – Arctic sea ice – is plausibly explained by black carbon (soot), not carbon dioxide. Soot from dirty diesel engines and coal-fired power stations is now reckoned to be a far greater factor in climate change than before; it is a short-lived pollutant, easily dealt with by local rather than global action. So you would need to persuade me that this finding, by explaining some recent climate change, does not further reduce the likely sensitivity of the atmosphere to carbon dioxide. Certainly, it “buys time”.

5. Even the Met Office admits that the failure of the models to predict the temperature standstill of the last 16 years is evidence that natural factors can match man-made ones. We now know there is nothing unprecedented about the level and rate of change of temperature today compared with Medieval, Roman, Holocene Optimum and other post-glacial periods, when carbon dioxide levels did not change significantly, but temperatures did. I would need persuading that natural factors cannot continue to match man-made ones.

6. Given that we know that the warming so far has increased global vegetation cover, increased precipitation, lengthened growing seasons, cause minimal ecological change and had no impact on extreme weather events, I need persuading that future warming will be fast enough and large enough to do net harm rather than net good. Unless water-vapour-supercharged, the models suggest a high probability of temperatures changing less than 2C, which almost everybody agrees will do net good.

7. Nor is it clear that ecosystems and people will fail to adapt, for there is clear evidence that adaptation has already vastly reduced damage from the existing climate – there has been a 98% reduction in the probability of death from drought, flood or storm since the 1920s, for example, and malaria retreated rapidly even as the temperature rose during the twentieth century.

8. So I cannot see why this relatively poor generation should bear the cost of damage that will not become apparent until the time of a far richer future generation, any more than people in 1900 should have borne sacrifices to make people today slightly richer. Or why today’s poor should subsidise, through their electricity bills, today’s rich who receive
subsidies for wind farms, which produce less than 0.5% of the country’s energy.

9. Indeed I will need persuading that dashing to renewables can cut emissions rather than make them worse; this is by no means certain given that the increased use of bioenergy, such as wood or corn ethanol, driven by climate policies, is indeed making them worse.11 Meanwhile shale gas use in the USA has led to a far greater cut in emissions than
any other technology, yet it is opposed every step of the way by climate alarmists.

10. Finally, you might make the argument that even a very small probability of a very large and dangerous change in the climate justifies drastic action. But I would reply that a very small probability of a very large and dangerous effect from the adoption of large-scale
renewable energy, reduced economic growth through carbon taxes or geo-engineering also justifies extreme caution. Pascal’s wager cuts both ways.
At the moment, it seems highly likely that the cure is worse than disease.
We are taking chemotherapy for a cold.

Full paper with graphs and references here

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310 thoughts on “Matt Ridley: A Lukewarmer’s Ten Tests

  1. So come on, where are the answers?
    I’m not holding my breath, ‘cos I don’t think there are any rational ones.

  2. i’m also going to need persuading that the climate activists don’t have too much influence, that politicians aren’t responding primarily to sociological factors, and that scientists have recovered objectivity. Policy certainly should reflect many influencing factors, but these should be separable and not cross-contaminated.

  3. Basically, sir, you are asking the proponents of the CAGW meme either to put up or shut up, just as most here have been asking for some time.
    The output of ‘climate models’ is not evidence, no rational explanation for the adulteration or expunging of existing temperature measurements has ever been forthcoming from those corrupting previously valid data and the proliferation of blatant untruths about “extreme weather events” being related to a global warming which has not occurred for the last sixteen years continues apace.

  4. Nice summary, #4 I wonder if the ice melt has a connection to the ENSO sending a pulse of warm water north and south at the end of each El Nino.
    The time is certainly right for a summary of the cause, thank you Matt Ridley.

  5. The “98% reduction in the probability of death from drought, flood or storm” and the ‘retreat’ of malaria and other communicable diseases are more the result of the increased availability of food, transportation, medicines, and pesticides resulting from abundant energy and the cumulative effects of scientific research, but that argument is more useful in the fight against energy rescidivism and the ‘Stone Age’ goals of the environmentalists.

  6. Matt Ridley says The one trend that has been worse than expected – Arctic sea ice – is plausibly explained by black carbon (soot), not carbon dioxide.

    I would suggest that it is the intrusion of warm Atlantic and Pacific waters that have fostered the the rapid melting of Arctic sea. In the Antarctic sea ice has grown more than predicted. There the Antarctic Circumpolar Current prevents direct intrusions of warmer water and sea ice extends ~uniformly beyond the Antarctic Circle. The Antarctic ice is mostly thinner annual ice and the summer melt back is far greater than the Arctic, yet still the sea ice is expanding.

    In contrast, even when the Hudson Bay or Bering Sea are frozen despite lying south of the Arctic Circle, deep inside the Arctic Circle the warm water from the Atlantic causes the Barents Sea to be largely open water. Moorings have shown that there has been an increased volume in warm water from the Atlantic entering the Arctic. Likewise during the 2007 melt there was more warm water entering from the Pacific. Because Atlantic water is so salty despite being much warmer it sinks below the surface of the Arctic water . The Pacific water is also warmer but less salty. Those subsurface waters have enough heat to melt all the Arctic ice several times over if brought to the surface.

    Several studies have shown the Icelandic Low and Aleutian Low modulate how much warm water enters the Arctic. Furthermore studies have shown it was cold winds, not warmth from above that removed layers of thick multiyear Arctic ice. With the loss of insulating sea ice, the winds and ocean surface were reconnected and that allowed greater mixing of warmer subsurface waters causing ice to melt from below. Studies in the Bering Strait showed that even when the flow of intruding warm water slowed and cooled, surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean near the Beaifort Sea continued to warm due to this mixing.

    Climate models have failed to corrcetly simulate the oscillations that drive these warm water intrusions. Thus the same models that predicted the Antarctic ice should be melting from above, also failed to predict how rapidly the Arctic ice could melt from below.

  7. Reasonable questions like these require reasonable answers. Surely, modern science is based on reason so this set of questions could not be considered ánti-science’? In fact from my humble position the vast body of knowledge that is science are answers to searching questions. The answers are not always complete and continue evolving as the ability to improve the questions continues.
    The most disappointing aspect of discussions on “Global Warming””is the attempt to stop the questions and the tawdry attempts to align such questioning with one of the worst episode of human history.
    And what about Ocean PH ”neutralisation”?

  8. “That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.”

    From a well published individual of such prodigious ability, and given the following ‘Lukewarmer’s Ten Tests’ it appears very off-beat to make this statement without quantification or reference to indisputable empirical findings. Beyond any very small theoretical inconsequential warming, this statement maintains the devastating socioeconomic hypothesis of causation over quite harmless association.

    A ‘Lukewarmer’ indeed.

  9. @Matt Ridley
    I fail to see how, via this set of perfectly valid arguments – you can remain a Lukewarmer!
    On the one hand you say you accept that man made CC is happening (or rather, has happened, because it isn’t at the moment?) and then raise the perfectly valid point that natural climate variation at least matches that supposed anthropogenic ‘signal’. In reality, the natural variation is probably many times larger than any possible anthropogenic signal (especially if you take UHI and duff station data out of the equation – as you say satellites do not show the warming!) – For heavans ssake if we have a natural climate variation from the MWP, etc, of similar or greater rate changes than today – which real scientist would conclude (without apparent doubt, a la the IPCC and alarmist camp) that it MUST be anthropgenically caused.
    Your arguments are far more skeptical (of the mainstream consensus) than perhaps you realise!

  10. Well done that man.
    Pretty much encapsulates my stance – global warming exists, about part of the time [so does global cooling, and global not much change here – move along. Both for about a part of the time.]; we have an effect – UHIs most obviously, but soot and other factors, too; and I have read nothing to prove that human effects dwarf, or even approach, those of Nature [galactic, solar, terrestrial, and smaller scales].
    But this is much better informed and much more elegantly written than I could hope to do.

    Much appreciated.

    Auto

  11. “and malaria retreated rapidly even as the temperature rose during the twentieth century.”

    Malaria is NOT a tropical disease and there is no reason to think that warming would have any affect on it’s spread. The worst outbreak of malaria in the 20thC happened in Siberia. And it happened before any significant human contribution to warming. Alaska has also had severe outbreaks.

    The range of malaria today is largely defined by the areas that hadn’t run DDT based eradication programs prior to DDT being banned.

  12. “That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.”
    It’s an article of faith, then. No evidence required.

  13. Thank you for an interesting and thoughtful article. However, I feel it won’t have a lot of impact.

    It would be more powerful if it focused on the projected costs of current policy and the likely benefits which we know are miniscule at best. More so if it then compared those costs/benefits to those associated with alternative policy scenarios (e.g. improving water and air quality, increasing food production, reducing disease).

    Folks need to understand that CO2 is the most expensive red herring in the history of mankind.

  14. Thanks, Mr Ridley, for a clear, easy-to-understand piece. Thanks to all the regular technical writers here, infact. As a non-scientist, but as someone is who is nevertheless interested in the subject of CAGW and all the competing arguments, I appreciate it.

  15. Sounds pretty reasonable to me, and is very similar to my own basis for skepticism. I would add that a synthesis of all of these questions constitutes yet another point independent of the points themselves standing alone. In total, they suggest that we are remarkably ignorant about the correct solution to a highly complex problem, with new discoveries (such as the black soot discovery) arising with some regularity, each of them a potential game changer, usually (given flat temperatures) in the direction of less warming and cause for alarm, not more.

    The really funny thing is that temperatures have been flat across pretty much the entire post-Mann era, after the 1997-1998 Super-ENSO event. That is, across the entire functional lifetime of the IPCC. Every additional year without warming now is a further embarrassment to the entire institution of science (and further constrains likely climate sensitivity). So far, there is little reason to expect that temperatures are going to spike up in 2013 to rejoin a “catastrophic” curve somewhere. If anything, the degeneration of a weak (effectively skipped) El Nino into an incipient triple La Nina suggests further stagnation of global temperatures if not actual reduction. Our ignorance and ability to explain or predict this sort of thing is profound.

    rgb

  16. 28 Jan: Bloomberg: Adam Ewing: Norway Data Shows Earth’s Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared
    After the planet’s average surface temperature rose through the 1990s, the increase has almost leveled off at the level of 2000, while ocean water temperature has also stabilized, the Research Council of Norway said in a statement on its website. After applying data from the past decade, the results showed temperatures may rise 1.9 degrees Celsius if Co2 levels double by 2050, below the 3 degrees predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    “The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s,” said Terje Berntsen, a professor at the University of Oslo who worked on the study. “This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity.”…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-27/norway-data-shows-earth-s-global-warming-less-severe-than-feared.html

  17. That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.

    The climate would change irrespective of man’s co2.

  18. We need more lukewarmers like Matt, it give our side of this argument better PR.
    Because if we’re losing the argument, it because of PR, not science.

  19. There are actually ten points in my list, if you click through to the actual paper. It’s a pity it got cut off at 7 : Anthony might like to update it by adding in the rest of the piece. That would answer one or two queries here.

    Thanks for the comments. I don’t (yet!) question the greenhouse properties of CO2, because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.

    Matt

  20. That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.
    ===========
    it has increased 0.01% of total
    ….what percent of that can you attribute only to man

    and do you really think the weather is that sensitive

  21. Our ignorance and ability to explain or predict this sort of thing is profound.
    rgb

    Amen to that. The problem is climate scientists absolutely need to hide their doubts and put up a united front against sharp shooting sceptics. Oh, and to keep the funds rolling in.

  22. Matt sums up the reasons for scepticism pretty well. These cause me to be a sceptic rather than a lukewarmer. He has written clearly and well I though and what he says is a good addition to the discussion that should be taking place.

  23. Matt Ridley writes Thanks for the comments. I don’t (yet!) question the greenhouse properties of CO2, because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.

    I agree that the physics are sound. CO2 can slow the escape of infrared. The debate is how much does Co2 effect the climate. There are numerous “warming holes” such as the southeastern United States that argue other factors are far more important. LIkewise the flattened warming and the increasingly colder winters.

  24. BTW, I loved your books Genome, Red Queen, and Nature via Nurture. I used the latter to teach supplement my biology classes.

  25. I am pretty far to the left progressive side yet I find myself agreeing with these points.

    I am actually fairly convinced that drastic action to limit greenhouse gases is not a good policy agenda even for the left, although it will be very hard to convince many of them of that. The biggest issue to me is that increasingly future greenhouse gases will come from the underdeveloped world so to achieve significant reduction would actually hamper the ability the underdeveloped world to adapt to any future effects of warning.

    http://broadspeculations.com/2012/08/26/climate-of-change/

  26. You have summarised how I feel about climate change. The only difference between us is that you put it much better and more succinctly that I could!
    Thank you.

  27. 8. So I cannot see why this relatively poor generation should bear the cost of damage that will not become apparent until the time of a far richer future generation, any more than people in 1900 should have borne sacrifices to make people today slightly richer. Or why today’s poor should subsidise, through their electricity bills, today’s rich who receive
    subsidies for wind farms, which produce less than 0.5% of the country’s energy.

    Given today’s political climate, there’s a good chance future generations won’t be wealthier, particularly if the green extremists get their way.

  28. Matt Ridley says:
    January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    “I don’t (yet!) question the greenhouse properties of CO2, because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.”

    Willis did a fine job of showing empirically that the earth has a natural cooling mechanism. That told me that the so called 1.2 C theoretical warming might end up being only 0.3 C or so. Thus it is not the physics, it is the dynamic earth that counts.

    Maybe in 20 years our models might get it right.

    Overall though, the empirical data shows us that the sun and our orbits drive climate.

  29. Great post, Mr. Ridley. For our edification, can you offer a 2-3 sentence definition of the term “Lukewarmer” as it applies to you?

    Thanks.

  30. Duh! But then again the debate has ended and second guesses do not matter at this point. You are on the train or you are not. The truth, model errors, and cost concerns were left at the station a long time ago. Get right with the climate gods or be labeled by the high priests for stoning.

  31. Matt Ridley says, January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm: “I don’t (yet!) question the greenhouse properties of CO2, because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.”
    =========================================================

    Matt, I am pleasantly surprised! To retain an open mind is very unusual for “lukewarmers”, from my experience.

    To avoid derailing this thread I’d like to direct you to my comments on the issue on the parallel thread “Yet another study shows lower climate sensitivity”, starting with this one: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/25/yet-another-study-shows-lower-climate-sensitivity/#comment-1209163 .

  32. Matt Ridley says The one trend that has been worse than expected – Arctic sea ice – is plausibly explained by black carbon (soot), not carbon dioxide.

    ##########
    huh? there is no such explanation. There is a hypothesis that it may contribute, but anybody who has a look at the changes in circulation over the 30 years will see that circulation plays a role.
    And anybody who looks at SST understands that it plays and role. And yes, soot plays a role.
    And yes, winds play a role. But there is no evidence whatsover that the decline is fully and completely explained by soot. That’s as nuts as saying the full decline is fully explained by C02.And, nobody argues that there is a direct connection betweeen c02 and ice melt. C02 is ONE forcing. It plays a role in causing a warmer planet. A warmer planet plays role in having less ice in the NP.

    Or i could just ask matt how more soot means more ice in the south pole

  33. My Lord,

    It is not enough to simply accept the warmers’ case for CO2. It may be that the undoubted simple physics of the greenhouse effect is overwhelmed by water vapour variation, stochastic wanderings, other forcings. The only way to find out what is going on is to look for strange happenings, things which do not fit the narrative, and then explain them. Excessive warming is as damaging for the theory of CO2 AGW as no warming at all.

    Tom Wigley understood this as he frantically massaged away at the WWII sea temperatures, with Folland and Parker inventing bucket corrections to smooth over the unconvincing narrative. Even so, Wigley was still enough of of a scientist to ask ‘why the blip?’

    See http://bobtisdale.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/nighttime-marine-air-temperature.html Fig. 2 as an illustration of the the thing that did not fit. Perhaps I can ask you the same question: why the blip?

    Arctic warming is much faster than the theory predicts. Why? Black carbon will be some of the answer, but I distrust it because it is another of the patches and plasters applied by climate science to fill the gaps. Consider this; enough light oil comes down the Siberian rivers to equal an Exxon Valdez every four weeks. I have been unable to quantify the North Slope pollution levels. I mention this in passing, you understand.

    Then see:

    Hughes S.L., N.P. Holliday, J. Kennedy, D.I. Berry, E.C. Kent, T. Sherwin, S. Dye, M. Inall, T. Shammon, and T. Smyth (2010) Temperature (Air and Sea) in MCCIP Annual Report Card 2010-11, MCCIP Science Review,
    Fig 1.

    What’s going on there? Why the blip just off the Rhine?

    I can give you an overarching theory which explains all these observations. Got screw? I got hammer.

    [sigh]

    JF
    Rave, froth etc….

  34. rgbatduke says:
    January 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    “The really funny thing is that temperatures have been flat across pretty much the entire post-Mann era, after the 1997-1998 Super-ENSO event. That is, across the entire functional lifetime of the IPCC.”

    And more rgb: the 16 years pretty much equals the time it spent warming (since 1979?). Also, as Matt points out, we have extremist activists looking after and fiddling with the temperatures. It took them 15 years and three adjustments since 1987 to push July 1934 out of the picture as a record warm temp for the US and, in that decade, apparently for much of the rest of the world.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/23/a-question-for-zeke-hausfather/

    I would say this fact, should whittle you and Matt Ridley’s reckoning down a bit below luke (slightly tepid?) warmer. Have we heated the world, probably a little bit, but if it takes dollops of positive feedbacks to make the CO2 affect responsible for +0.4C since 1950, and more and more we seem to be getting studies that indicate the earth responds to warming with negative feedbacks – a thing that makes sense with all that water changing phases.

  35. Manfred says:
    January 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    “A ‘Lukewarmer’ indeed.”

    I don’t think Matt is anymore a “lukewarmer”, than that “Best” Professor ever was a “Sceptic”. It is just a saying in order to get more acceptance in the “other camp”.

    When that is said, it was a very good essay in my camp.

    Hehe.

    So keep on the good job, M. Ridley! Although I don’t think logical reasoning wil help much, as long as one “believe” that CO2 will induce warming from water vapour. And disregard the positive and negative feedback effects from clouds.

  36. Methinks Mr. Ridley wants to broker the conversation, much as an arbitrator works in labor disputes, or a mediator in a marriage. Very sly. We on the correct side of this never ending dispute *may* have fewer numbers and far FAR less money for promotion/propaganda, but we also have observational data gleaned from Nature herself, and empiricism. May as well argue with a thermometer. Matt, you are outed. We know you are not an innocent ‘lukewarmer’, but THEY don’t .. nudge nudge wink wink. I’ll say no more. Let’s see if anyone wants to accept your challenge(s), especially right here on WUWT.

  37. If I am correct in my reading of the whole argument Matt makes, seems that “””EVEN THOUGH” he currently believes mankind, through CO2 emissions is adding a warming piece to climate change, it is not the SOLE cause.

    OK, so this is a man you can debate the fine points with. Given there is no proof of CO2 as the single cause of Anthro warming, his 10 questions should stop any activist cold. But they won’t. Even so, he walks away from this essay leaving any of us arguing the window dressing.

  38. Jim Steele “I agree that the physics are sound. CO2 can slow the escape of infrared.” Are you sure CO2 can slow the escape of infrared? Are you sure it doesn’t speed up the escape of infrared? Perhaps by colliding with N and O molecules, CO2 can take some of their energy and radiate it to space?

  39. Nice try, but such lists are not science. This whole article founders upon the following:

    “That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.”

    This is a statement of blind faith. Until someone presents observed data to support the hypothesis that carbon dioxide of human origin is a significant player in global temperature forcing, and until such data is more convincing than all of the myriad other explanations (from AMO/PDO to the GCR low-cloud nucleation) there is no justification for such a belief. Absent observed data to validate the AGW conjecture, and confirmation thereof by experiment, there is simply no scientific basis for any policies aimed at constraining CO2 emissions. There is no need to take the argument any further.

  40. “I have come to the conclusion that current energy and climate policy is probably more dangerous, both economically and ecologically, than climate change itself.

    Nicely succinct statement and oh the irony! Brings to mind, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

    theduke

  41. Matt Ridley says:
    January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm
    “I don’t (yet!) question the greenhouse properties of CO2, because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.”
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Matt,
    Perhaps now would be a good time to go back and re-examine the “basic physics” of the “settled science” Here is a helpful check list of things not to do when trying to determine the true role of radiative gases in the atmosphere –

    – Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
    – Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
    – Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
    – Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
    – Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
    – Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

    Those claiming to have a mathematical model representing the physics of radiative gases in our atmosphere have usually included most of that list. The result is that the critical role of radiative gases in convective circulation below the tropopause is not correctly modelled. When you do correctly model a moving atmosphere with gravity you will find that radiative cooling at altitude is critical for continued convective circulation in the troposphere. If convective circulation stalls, the atmosphere heats. How did the ludicrous claim that the atmosphere would be 33C cooler without radiative gases come about? Generally the climate pseudo scientists had one of the first two “Do nots” on the list above at the core of their modelling. Given the critical role of radiative gases in deep vertical convective circulation in the troposphere, they will act to cool the atmosphere at all concentrations above 0ppm.

    It seem that some prominent AGW supporters have known for quite some time just how wrong their “basic physics” was. The recent acceptance of the Makarieva2010 discussion paper for publication has put blog debate from 2010 in new light. This paper proposed that rising moist air masses being less than wholly adiabatic could be a partial driver of horizontal winds particularly in tornadoes and cyclones. A slight improvement on basic meteorology with little to do with climate. Yet strangely AGW supporters threw up fierce opposition to the discussion paper in thousands of comments across several blogs. At the time many thought that this was just so no fault could be found with GCMs. But reviewing today one of the threads from 2010 –

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/weight-of-water-and-wind-hurricane-pros-weigh-in/

    – the fierce opposition can also be seen to be an attempt to suppress any discussion of water vapour radiating IR to space making rising moist air masses less than wholly adiabatic. A quick read will show a number of prominent AGW supporters defending the adiabatic assumption and stamping repeatedly on any suggestion that radiative cooling of a moist air mass could make the Markarieva Effect possible.

    The “basic physics” of AGW does not appear sound. It also appears than may of those claiming it was have known of the mistakes for many years.

  42. “That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.”
    Sir,
    If it can be assumed that the Co2 rise of the last 60 years can be attributed to mankind, fine.
    The number that keeps sticking in my mind though is the 2.9% that is attributable to anthropogenic emissions. If the last number is correct, then you can provide proof of the chemical reactions but to prove that the warming is due to the “2.9%” would have to be very rigorous indeed.
    Also, see previous blog regarding “waste heat”.
    Under (7), what about the probability of death due to cold? Seems lukewarmers have some difficulty in remembering “cold” weather. The hundreds who have already died in east Europe as well as the northern parts of Asia this winter would not appreciate this neglect.
    Sorry, sir, but it seems to me that you have draped the “lukewarmer” moniker on yourself a long time ago and then failed to check your premises since.

  43. Guest post by Matt Ridley: “That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept. … 1. I need persuading that the urban heat island effect has been fully purged from the surface temperature record. … I also need to be convinced that the adjustments made by those who compile the global temperature records are justified. … 2. Despite these two contaminating factors, …”
    ===========================================================

    I am afraid I can sense an internal contradiction here. How can you “fully accept” this “global warming” thing despite “these two contaminating factors” you are aware of?

    Another thing is, being aware of “these two contaminating factors” should have prompted you to look deeper in the very methods of calculations of the “global warming”. I doubt that you have ever done that. They assign temperatures or temperature trends to large areas and “reconstruct” temperatures for periods of time without measurements, how do you like that?

  44. Have have not been able to sufficiently articulate my sceptism for CC (GW) up till now, but Matt has done that for me, thank you Matt.

  45. I would add another point.
    Any large scale project requires effective management to achieve the planned objectives. Even if there was a demonstrable enormous potential problem and and a set of appropriate policies implemented that is theoretically capable of combating that problem, without detailed project management huge amounts of money can be expended without getting any desired results.
    Matt Ridley’s allusion to the medical sphere – of taking chemotherapy for a cold – can be extended further. There is a diagnosis of the early stages of an entirely new disease. We only have a vague idea of how severe this disease might develop, with little attempt to revise downwards the initial diagnosis following a distinct lack of distinctive strong signs of progress of the disease. The symptoms are faint, and evidence that they might belong to the normal variations of life is ignored. The treatments are untested, possibly ineffective, and have emerging debilitating and painful side effects. Yet the professionals ignore these signals. Furthermore the prescribers have scant regard for dosage, and do not monitor the progress of the patient.

  46. Julian Flood:

    At January 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm you ask concerning geographical spread of night-time temperatures.

    What’s going on there? Why the blip just off the Rhine?

    I would expect it. Nitrates and phosphates from the land are conveyed to the North Sea by the Rhine. They fertilise phytoplankton in the sea with resulting increase to DMS (dimethylsulphide) emission from the sea surface. The DMS breaks down under the action of UV in the atmosphere to form sulphate cloud nuclei which alters cloud cover. Clouds affect surface temperature. (I worked on this alteration to the sulphur cycle in the 1980s).

    Richard

  47. “The one trend that has been worse than expected – Arctic sea ice – is plausibly explained by black carbon (soot), not carbon dioxide.”

    Also, in August 2012 there was The Great Arctic Cyclone, which tore across the sea ice and smashed it up & shifted it about pretty good – for over a week.

    I know there are other forces at work over the long-term, but I’m jus’ sayin’!

  48. A very reasonable piece. I go further, on the skeptic scale myself, but Matt Ridley provides a very reasonable position.

  49. Phillip Bratby says:
    January 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    “Are you sure it doesn’t speed up the escape of infrared? Perhaps by colliding with N and O molecules, CO2 can take some of their energy and radiate it to space?”
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    What?! The ability of CO2 to intercept surface IR is in inverse logarithmic function of its concentration in the atmosphere? The ability of CO2 to radiate any energy acquired by the atmosphere is a linear function of its concentration in the atmosphere?? CO2 cools???
    Heresy! Silence!! Silence unbeliever!!!

    /sarc

  50. Mosher, you say, ” Or i could just ask matt how more soot means more ice in the south pole.”
    Steve, knowing that the majority is produced in the northern hemisphere coupled with understanding with the jet stream, some would ask you why you would not expect more ice in the SP.

  51. Konrad,

    The “basic physics” of AGW does not appear sound.

    I’ve always had this suspicion that the AGW “basic physics” is a bit like Zeno’s Arrow Paradox because that downwelling LR is absorbed and half reflected back up, ad infinitum; assuming a spherical horse. A situation for which there is a simple mathematical solution. Of course, this produces a miniscule amount of warming and so magical positive feedbacks are brought into play.

  52. James Cross says:
    January 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    ….. The biggest issue to me is that increasingly future greenhouse gases will come from the underdeveloped world….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually the US has less CO2 emissions than the underdeveloped world according to JAXA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Greenhouse Gas Observation Satellite ‘IBUKI’ link

    The August 2012 MAP

    This may be due to the fact the USA has much better agriculture (we now grow twice as much on the same acreage) and especially in the east we manage our forests as long term “crops” Young trees “eat” more CO2 compared to older forests. In the far west lumbering unfortunately has been stopped reulting in more wildfires and less CO2 sequestering.

  53. At the risk of boring people I would like to point out yet again the serious mistakes in the physics of Climate Alchemy. These people have constructed a scientific cock and bull story. The main error is to fail to understand that the signal from a single pyrgeometer is the potential energy per unit time per unit area that the emitter could transfer to the Vacuum Energy, the zero point energy of space. This is a fancy way of saying it would have to be an isolated emitter in a vacuum..

    Ramanathan uses the clear sky atmospheric greenhouse factor, the difference between the temperature radiation field of the Earth’s surface and the OLR = 157.5 W/m^2. 134.5 W/m^2 of this is imaginary, the artefact of incorrect boundary conditions, so must be discounted. Thus the rate of accumulation of heat energy in the lower atmosphere is multiplied by a factor of 5.1.leading to the imaginary positive feedback.

    Because heating rate is near zero, they have had to invent a cooling factor from polluted clouds. They do this by cheating yet again, using doubled real low level cloud optical depth in the hind casting.

  54. OK what’s all about this spherical horse?

    An accountant, a statistician and a physicist are at the horse races, making bets, having a beer and generally enjoyning a day at the races. Discussion turns to the next race, an who can predict the next winner.

    The statistician talks of form, past records and admits that, although he cannot predict exactly the winner, he’s sure that his chosen horse would not come last.

    The accountant talks of handicap, track conditions, various strengths of the participants and the record of the jockies. He’s pretty sure that he can chose the winner 50% of the time, but each bet is a crap shoot.

    The physicist states categorically that he can predict the winner, assuming a spherical horse.

  55. Re 4. The one trend that has been worse than expected – Arctic sea ice – is plausibly explained by black carbon (soot), not carbon dioxide.

    First, wasn’t it last year that the Arctic was supposed to be ice-free already? I seem to remember a countdown for that particular prediction. Yet despite the storm that broke up the ice, the Arctic wasn’t ice-free, so how is that worse than expected? They keep moving the goalposts.

    And second, low sea ice conditions in the Arctic aren’t unprecedented, even in the historical past.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice-tony-b/

    And there were no dirty diesel engines back then. There’s evidence that the Arctic might have been periodically ice-free in the past, but sea ice has since rebounded.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/08/inconvenient-ice-study-less-ice-in-the-arctic-ocean-6000-7000-years-ago/

  56. Since temperatures according to even Dr Hansen himself the alarmists have switched to extreme weather for their FEAR !

    Simply stated there is no indication of a trend toward extreme weather.

    in fact according to thermodynamics CO2 spreads the heat making storms MILDER !

    I see little ention of this in skeptical literature ! Why is that ?

  57. rgbatduke: I would add that a synthesis of all of these questions constitutes yet another point independent of the points themselves standing alone. In total, they suggest that we are remarkably ignorant about the correct solution to a highly complex problem, with new discoveries (such as the black soot discovery) arising with some regularity, each of them a potential game changer, usually (given flat temperatures) in the direction of less warming and cause for alarm, not more.

    I thought so too. Paraphrasing a well-known refrain, The whole is less than the sum of its parts.

    I think the “lukewarmer” appellation comes from the acceptance that CO2 can absorb upwelling long-wave IR radiation, so there is a naive “model” that increased CO2 will produce a decreased radiant cooling rate and higher resultant surface and near surface temperatures. That is a pretty naive theory, however, even when elaborated in texts such as Pierrehumbert’s. A survey of all the knowledge of all the heat and mass transfer processes throughout the system shows that the naive theory is too simple. His essay highlights the holes in the knowledge.

  58. Gail Combs says:
    January 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    “This may be due to the fact the USA has much better agriculture (we now grow twice as much on the same acreage) and especially in the east we manage our forests as long term “crops” Young trees “eat” more CO2 compared to older forests. In the far west lumbering unfortunately has been stopped reulting in more wildfires and less CO2 sequestering.”

    Ummmm….not exactly.

    Forest management has been stopped on federal forests in the west (National Forests and BLM) which, depending on the state can be more than half of the total forested land. This is a crime, and amounts to mal-practice and theft of the people’s natural resources. If you live in the east, imagine what it would be like to have half or more of the ground controlled by interests 2-3000 miles away.

    However, forest management and timber harvesting continues on private timber lands, and also on those managed by the states.

  59. Konrad: At the time many thought that this was just so no fault could be found with GCMs. But reviewing today one of the threads from 2010 –

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/weight-of-water-and-wind-hurricane-pros-weigh-in/

    – the fierce opposition can also be seen to be an attempt to suppress any discussion of water vapour radiating IR to space making rising moist air masses less than wholly adiabatic.

    I am glad you wrote that. “Adiabatic” anythings are simplifying approximations that enable solutions to be found that may be at least approximately correct to first order. How accurate the “adiabatic lapse rate” and “moist adiabatic lapse rate” really are compared to the measured lapse rates in many varying localities with different winds and surface water is seldom explored (this is an invitation to people to direct me to where such comparisons are made explicitly.) The standard AGW presentations are full of such approximations, and the net effect of the aggregated inaccuracies entailed in all of the approximations can’t be estimated very accurately. That’s one of the reasons I wrote above that “The whole is less than the sum of the parts.”

  60. Phillip Bratby says: Are you sure CO2 can slow the escape of infrared? Are you sure it doesn’t speed up the escape of infrared? Perhaps by colliding with N and O molecules, CO2 can take some of their energy and radiate it to space?

    We are not in such a disagreement. CO2 can absorb escaping infrared. When it re-radiates that infrared half continues to outer space the other half is redirected downward just as water vapor does. In the winter I can always tell a cloudy night will be warmer than a clear night due to the greenhouse effect. In that limited arena, the physics are sound and it is not the battleground that sceptics should challenge. As I said, the question is how does CO2 affect climate. I think CO2’s contribution is real but trivial. The tropics are warming the least despite the thickest layer of CO2 and the most warmth that elevates infrared radiation. In contrast the coldest areas show the most warming despite the thinnest layer of CO2 and the least amount of infrared. I believe most of climate change is due to the redistribution of heat via ocean oscillations and land surface changes the alter vertical convection and the inversion layer. Most of the warming in polar regions is due to heat escaping from warm waters when winds sweep away the ice, not added warmth from CO2. Those natural variation are what need to be emphasized. So why challenge CO2’s ability to redirect infrared?

  61. In some ways he reminds me of Bjørn Lomborg – they both see the wrongs perpetrated by the global warming movement yet stubbornly refuse to stop believing that carbon dioxide is warming up the world. During Stalin’s purges there were communist sympathizers in America who knew about them yet did not give up their belief in the superiority of communism over capitalism. Clearly talking to Ridley or Lomborg about the irrationality of global warming policies is not going to change their minds. They think the science is there and only disagree about what should be done about it. I will demonstrate two things below. First, that there is not now and there never has been any anthropogenic greenhouse warming. And second, that the theory of greenhouse warming that is imputed to have caused warming is completely false. To demonstrate the first thesis we must know the current and recent temperature history of the world. In researching this for some years now I have determined that temperature records given to us have been falsified in various ways to make us believe in a non-existent warming. There has been much talk about the distortion caused by the Urban Heat Island effect but in the big picture it pales into insignificance when you realize that an eighteen year standstill in warming is papered over by a non-existent “Late Twentieth Century Warming.” This has worked itself into temperature curves from the hockey stick to Müller’s BEST temperatures. It shows a steep rise in the eighties and nineties that does not exist. But let’s start from the situation now and work our way back. First, according to the Met Office, there has not been any warming at all for the last 16 years. That has made people like Hansen unhappy and they have come out with lies to question it. His claim is that the years 2005 and 2010 share the honor of being the warmest years in history. Checking satellite data I find this claim to be a complete lie. The year 2005 is indistinguishable from other years of the first decade of this century. The year 2010 is an El Nino peak year but it still is not as high as the super El Nino of 1998 which remains highest. The twenty-first century began with a seven year flat temperature platform, the twenty-first century high. This platform exists because the huge amount of warm water the super El Nino of 1998 had carried across the ocean. It has became the new normal for the twenty-first century. The next La Nina after it appeared in 2008 and was followed by the 2010 El Nino. For an ENSO oscillation the mean temperature is determined by the center point between an El Nino peak and the bottom of its neighboring La Nina valley. And the center point between the 2008 La Nina and the 2010 El Nino lines up exactly with the level of the twenty-first century high. Which means that the alleged warming from 2005 and 2010 has not had any influence on global temperature as Hansen would have us believe. While global temperature stalled for 16 years carbon dioxide kept on going up. It is quite obvious that it is not causing any warming. In 2007 IPCC AR4 had predicted from greenhouse theory that warming in the twenty-first century shall proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees per decade. We are now in the second decade of this century and there is no sign of this predicted warming. This alone is sufficient to consign the greenhouse theory to the scrap heap of history. But there is more. The satellite temperature record shows that from 1979 to early 1997 there was nothing but a series of ENSO oscillations, El Ninos with La Ninas in between. There were five El Nino peaks in this interval. If you put dots in the middle of each line connecting an El Nino peak and its neighboring La Nina valley these dots line up in a straight horizontal line, eighteen years long. This determines the mean temperature of the ENSO oscillation. And tells us that for eighteen years, from 1979 to 1997, there was no warming at all. It was followed by the super El Nino of 1998. That super El Nino brought so much warm water across the ocean with it that it caused a step warming. In four years global temperature rose by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. There has been no warming since then and there was none before it as we saw. And since it is completely impossible for greenhouse warming to generate any step warming we can say with confidence that there has been no greenhouse warming at all during the 33 years of satellite observations. But what about the years before satellites? Records show that there was no warming for at least 26 years in the fifties, sixties and seventies. And people then were not worried about warming but feared another ice age, and magazines had articles about it. But say this to Hansen and he will tell you that it really was a warming period except that aerosols from war production must have blocked out the sun! The short stretch of 1976 to 1979 connects it to satellite observations. It is taken up by another step warming, this time caused by the Great Pacific Climate Shift which is said to have raised global temperature by 0.2 degrees Celsius. But there was actual steady warming in the early part of the century which is mostly neglected. It started suddenly in 1910 and stopped even more suddenly in 1940. Laws of physics dictate that if you want ro start greenhouse warming suddenly you must increase the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide equally suddenly. That is because the infrared absorbance of carbon dioxide is a property of the gas and cannot be changed. We know for sure that there was no sudden increase of carbon dioxide in 1910 which rules out greenhouse warming as a cause. It is also impossible for a greenhouse warming to stop as suddenly as happened in 1940. That is when World War II cooling appeared out of nowhere. If you lived then you would have known that the Finnish Winter War of 1939/1940 was fought at minus forty Celsius and that German tanks in front of Moscow were frozen in their tracks. We almost have the twentieth century covered. The first ten years of the century were cooling, not warming. And World War II cooling gradually warmed up by 1950. In the forties there were still blizzards around and one of them, the blizzard of 1947, completely shut down the City of New York. If your global temperature chart shows a heat wave there you should demand a refund. Everything I said about temperature above is a matter of public record that you can check out yourself. It all adds up to this conclusion: there has been no greenhouse warming for the last 100 years. And probably there was none at any time. How is this possible? you may ask. Ferenc Miskolczi has the answer. In 2010 he used NOAA weather balloon database to measure the absorption of long-wave radiation by the atmosphere and determined that it had been constant for 61 years. At the same time the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased by 21.6 percent. According to the greenhouse theory of warming the addition of this substantial amount of CO2 to the atmosphere should have shown up as absorption but nothing happened. I hope I don’t need to remind you that the absorption is necessary to produce that warming. With this, the greenhouse theory of global warming is dead. And the anthropogenic theory of global warming is likewise dead. But there is one more detail that you should know to make things clear. All those predictions of dangerous greenhouse warming from IPCC did not come from the original theory of Arrhenius. That is because if you follow Arrhenius and calculate the sensitivity of carbon dioxide to doubling you find it is 1.1 degrees Celsius. This is not enough to frighten anybody so IPCC decided to bring in water vapor as a helper. The argument is as follows. First, carbon dioxide warms the air. Warm air can hold more water vapor and the greenhouse effect of this additional water vapor gets added to the original warming from carbon dioxide. They call this positive water vapor feedback. Their computers tell us that it can triple or more the original warming from carbon dioxide. And that is how these dangerous warming predictions originate. But Miskolczi theory maintains that the opposite is true: that water vapor, instead of boosting the warming from carbon dioxide, actually retards it. In other words, water vapor feedback is negative, not positive. That is why they hate Miskolczi so much and keep telling everyone that his theory is wrong. Well, his theory is not wrong as proven by data collected by NOAA over the years. This is empirical science and it overrides any conclusions derived from pure theory that don’t agree with it. Most specifically, it overrides predictions of warming used as justification for passing emission control laws. These laws have been passed under false premises and must be voided.

  62. Since we only have the Mauna Loa CO2 records going back to the 1950’s, how can we possibly know the percentage of the rise since then that is man-made and what is natural as a result of the warming oceans giving off CO2 like a can of soda left out on the counter top?

    I’ve heard the figure that only 5% of the annual CO2 is human-caused, but I’ve never found a good source for that claim. Does one actually exist?

  63. For the benefit of supporters of climate change policy who feel frustrated by the reluctance of people like me to accept their assurances, here is what they would need to do to change my mind.

    They don’t need to convince you, they just need to shout you down or convince others you are a fool. The “climate science” of the alarmists doesn’t need to be correct, it just needs to fool the masses. It’s all politics now.

  64. Hello, Matt…

    I thought enough of your writings that I sent it out to all my friends (skeptics and believers, alike). Here is what I wrote:

    OK, those of you who know me know that I think the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) or ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change- which covers everything from warming to cooling to hurricanes to tornadoes to earthquakes to… oh, never mind) is a hoax, a fraud, a serious combination of superstition and arrogance.

    All right, not everyone goes along with me on this. This is a missive by a guy who has kept an open mind, but explains why he needs to be convinced that we need to sacrifice our economy in order to save the planet. I thought it was interesting enough to send it on… I hope you will read this and consider…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/28/matt-ridley-a-lukewarmers-ten-tests/#more-78324

    BTW, I STILL think that AGW or ACC is a hoax, a fraud, a- oh, you get what I mean…

  65. “I have come to the conclusion that current energy and climate policy is probably more dangerous, both economically and ecologically, than climate change itself. The tax bite is always worse than the bark.

  66. rgbatduke: The really funny thing is that temperatures have been flat across pretty much the entire post-Mann era, after the 1997-1998 Super-ENSO event. That is, across the entire functional lifetime of the IPCC.

    Yeh. The Climate Catastrophists repeatedly tell us that a lot of years are needed to detect a change in climte (17 – 30 years), but we have now had more years of non-warming than there were years of warming when Hansen started to sound the alarm. If they had any self-awareness at all they would at least blush.

  67. It is an invitation to a debate. Any takers out there to debate Matt Ridley? Doubt it.

    Thanks Matt for a bit of common sense in the world full of nonsense.

  68. Matt Ridley says:
    January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    “Thanks for the comments. I don’t (yet!) question the greenhouse properties of CO2, because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.”

    Negative forcings can overcome the effects of CO2. Demand a physical science of forcings before you accept Lukewarmism.

  69. Hi Matt,

    1 – BEST. Wasn’t the whole point to scrub UHI, et al.? Guess what, we really are warming.
    2. – Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. That is basic physics. Since CO2 increases will raise the temperature, and water is a more powerful GHG than CO2, there will be amplification. That other forcings also exist is a red herring.
    3. – So you _do_ understand the idea of multiple forcings pulling different directions! Had me going in #2 for a second. Isn’t it great that models are improving?
    4. – Laying the entire blame for Arctic sea ice decline on black soot is ludicrous. Sea ice is falling faster than all predictions.
    5. – The point is not that natural forcings can’t equal man-made ones, it is that you don’t get to pick your natural forcings. Your argument is along the lines of “I’ve been alive every day of my life, so I will never die!” When the worm turns, and the natural forcings reinforce the man-made ones, you won’t be so happy.
    6. – Given that we don’t ‘know’ any of these things, you should be easy to convince.
    7. – You are deliberately confusing two senses of ‘adapt’, since ecosystems and societies adapt in very different ways. In any case, the question is the cost of the adaptation. Building a dike around Florida is a non-starter.
    8. – Matt, it is called the time value of money, aka the miracle of compound interest. I would expect that even someone involved in a failed bank would get this. Yes, people in 1900 sacrificed for us. That is why we are rich! Do you really begrudge this of your grandchildren?
    9. – I agree. Lets debate the policy implications without sticking your head in the sand about basic physics and chemistry.
    10. – I agree again. Specific policies need open debate. However, your analogy is wrong. We are not treating a cold with chemotherapy. We’re still spending less on GW mitigation than on potato chips, or certainly cigarettes. A better analogy would be to protecting yourself during sex by thinking about condoms.

  70. I would not even attempt to put together a list of specific showings that would convince me. I don’t know enough about the field to know what that might be. What will not convince me is hiding data and techniques, making repeated unexplained “adjustments” to data, using statistical techniques made up on the spot and not evaluated by statisticians, ad hom attacks, or stifled, one sided, discussion.

    What will convince me is a knock-down, no holds or positions barred discussion with everything published, evaluated, and freely available to all. I don’t know enough to evaluate every paper in detail, but I do know enough to evaluate an exchange of papers and know who got the better of the argument. If only one side is presented its a big sign to be very suspicious.

  71. If at any time the global anomoly is negative, then by defintion hasn’t there been a net loss of heat from the starting point of the anomoly measurements to the current point? which to a lay man coudlbe interpreted as ‘cooling’

  72. I quote:

    ‘4. The one trend that has been worse than expected – Arctic sea ice – is plausibly explained by black carbon (soot), not carbon dioxide. Soot from dirty diesel engines and coal-fired power stations is now reckoned to be a far greater factor in climate change than before; it is a short-lived pollutant, easily dealt with by local rather than global action. So you would need to persuade me that this finding, by explaining some recent climate change, does not further reduce the likely sensitivity of the atmosphere to carbon dioxide. Certainly, it “buys time”.’

    Your speculation about black carbon is dead wrong. Arctic warming is caused by North Atlantic currents carrying warm water of the Gulf stream into the Arctic Ocean. That is the reason why the Arctic is the only part of the world that is still warming. It started at the turn of the twentieth century as a result of a reorganization of the North Atlantic current system. There was nothing before it except two thousand years of slow cooling. It paused in mid-century for thirty years, then resumed, and is still going strong. The temperature of the warm currents reaching the Arctic Ocean today exceeds anything seen within the last two thousand years. For full details see Energy & Environment 22(8):1069-1083 (2011).

  73. This is not the same as arguing that climate has not changed or that mankind is not partly responsible. That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.

    What Mr. Ridley still funds acceptable is quite unacceptable to me because it is unscientific to the max.. Thanks for a half snowflake.

  74. jim Steele says, January 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm: “In the winter I can always tell a cloudy night will be warmer than a clear night due to the greenhouse effect.”
    =======================================================

    Yes, about that. I am sorry to disappoint you, but the actual measurements does not support this idea.

    Please, look at this: http://english.wunderground.com/history/airport/KNYC/2012/7/28/DailyHistory.html . They measure the temperature a few times an hour and also report conditions. You can see, the temperature goes sometimes down despite increase in cloudiness.

    I guess the “greenhouse effect” works part-time. A lazy one.

  75. Many here insist on NO effect from added CO2. I know I won’t change minds here. What I will do is defend Matt Ridley’s assessment based on orders of magnitude differences. There may well be some CO2 warming, but whatever it is isn’t worrisome, absent synergy from water vapor. Policies prescribing “chemotherapy for a [minor] cold” is wildly inappropriate, as “Gaia” biologist James Lovelock would agree.

  76. LKMiller says:
    January 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm
    …..Forest management has been stopped on federal forests in the west (National Forests and BLM) which, depending on the state can be more than half of the total forested land. This is a crime, and amounts to mal-practice and theft of the people’s natural resources. If you live in the east, imagine what it would be like to have half or more of the ground controlled by interests 2-3000 miles away.

    However, forest management and timber harvesting continues on private timber lands, and also on those managed by the states.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I was thinking of the minor variation of a common bird, the spotted owl and tree spiking idiots who have put a major crimp in the forest industry.

    Oregon timber harvest jumps 13 percent, but still way below historic levels
    Despite the increases, Oregon’s timber harvest remains a splinter of what it was in the past. The total harvest on federal land, 539 million board feet, compares to the nearly 5 billion board feet cut on Forest Service and BLM land in 1988.

    The total harvest from all forests — federal, state, large and small private land, tribal — was less than half the 25 year high of about 8 billion board feet, Kaetzel said. A board foot measurement is a piece of lumber one-foot long, one-foot wide, and one-inch thick.

    The harvesting of timber on private lands in California is regulated by the State. California’s first Forest Practice Act [FPA]….
    The FPA requires that any timber harvest on private lands must first be advanced in a Timber Harvest Plan [THP] prepared by a State-registered professional forester [RPF] and submitted to the State Department of Forest and Fire Protection [CDF] for its prior review and approval. The pubic has an opportunity to review and comments on these THPs…. Dunne et al. (2001) recommend that “responsibility for the assessments be taken out of Timber Harvest Applications and given to a new unit of a State agency, which would make whole-watershed assessments of how land use alters the risk of damage to ecosystem values.”

    Don’t tell me anyone actually manages to make it through all the hoops in California and actually gets to cut a tree… Unless he is a personal friend of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer or Governor Moonbeam that is. current timber growth potential is lower than would be expected due to past harvesting and wildfire suppression efforts…. At the peak in 1988, 2 billion board feet of timber was harvested from public land; by 2002, the public timberland harvest had dropped to less than 200 million board feet. Private land harvest levels have been somewhat more stable, with a recent peak of approximately 2.8 billion board feet in 1990 down to about 1.5 billion board feet in 2002.

    In the state of Washington the harvest is also about half what it was in 1987 link

    on the east coast our forests have actually grown back. you can see the old stone walls meandering through woods that were at one time farm land. My property has been reforested.

  77. Oh, follow the money, awready. We are NOT funded by Big Oil. Shell Oil appeared in the Climategate I papers.
    The Big Nobel Prize winner Al Gore ran for President, remember? His Dad was a Congressman. POLITICIAN. He is used to wealth and wants more and all his life money has come from the government. The gov gets it from taxes. This whole thing is a scheme to promote carbon taxes one way or another.
    Catch is–the people are tapped out. There is no more money to be obtained from them. Politicians can certainly try, oh yes. And then the economy collapses and there is LESS revenue, not more.

  78. In response to Mosh’s blovia: The arctic cover is the regulator on the pressure cooker. Less ice exposes more ocean to direct to space radiation of ocean heat and to redistribution of sea surface heat by contact with wind. The spectacular recovery of ice cover this year after the record low extent over the arctic melt season demonstrates the dynamic range of this regulator and the effectiveness of of this system. I have greater fear of human suffering from loss of our food crops to biofuel because of unjustified fear of climate change than to climate change. We already have evidence this is a problem but half of us choose to ignore it just as we have evidence that global warming has paused far longer than it existed when the alarmists began sounding the alarm in the 1980’s.

  79. Konrad, and others, I’ve actually researched the CO2 effect a bit. Let CO2* be a CO2 molecule that has absorbed a ~15 micron photon, and is vibrationally excited.

    At 1 atm pressure of nitrogen, the collisional deactivation time of CO2* is about 10^5 times faster than radiational decay — ~0.4 sec., vs about 10 microsec. So, until the atmosphere thins to about 10^-4 of sea level pressure (~35 km), CO2 re-radiation will not contribute anything significant to the equation.

    The IR absorption spectrum of CO2 indicates that at 290 ppmv CO2, 99% of any 15 micron IR radiated up from the surface will be absorbed in the first ~64 meters of atmosphere above the surface. At 390 ppmv, the distance reduces to about 47 m, and at 600 ppmv it’s about 38 m.

    Any absorbed 15 micron radiant energy from the surface into CO2* will be collisionally dumped into the surrounding nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere. This process will marginally increase the kinetic energy of these molecules, i.e.,

    CO2 + 15 micron hv –> CO2*
    CO2* + N2/O2 –> CO2 + (N2/O2)K.E.,

    which in turns means an increase in sensible heat (molecular K.E. = heat). Any 15 micron black body radiation isotropically released by the warmer air, will be re-absorbed above and below by CO2. This re-absorbed radiation is again collisionally dumped into the surrounding atmosphere.

    This process provides the mechanism for CO2 warming. However, how the extra K.E. is partitioned is anyone’s guess. It may disappear into a more vigorous hydrology, or cause increased cloudiness through enhanced evaporation and convection, or whatever.

    Notice that there’s no increase in upward radiation with increased CO2. It’s that the number of layers in the atmosphere, where 15-micron reabsorption/collisional dumping = enhanced K.E. occurs, increases with increasing CO2.

    When CO2 is present in the atmosphere, its vibrational excitation turns out to be a kind of latent heat. CO2 is a kind of transducer, turning IR radiant energy into kinetic energy.

  80. JamesS says:
    January 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Since we only have the Mauna Loa CO2 records going back to the 1950′s, how can we possibly know the percentage of the rise since then that is man-made….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually there were plenty of tests for CO2 before Mauna Loa.

    See:http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/CO2-ice-HS.htm

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2007/06/on_why_co2_is_known_not_to_hav.html#more

  81. DvunK, “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. That is basic physics.

    That is an assumption of climate modeling, and is not at all a basic of climate physical theory.

  82. Matt Ridley wrote;

    “because I convinced myself a few years ago that the physics is sound, but of course I’ll retain an open mind.”

    With respect, the basic physics is indeed sound, as far as it goes. However in many complex systems it is very easy to understand the basis physics and still get the wrong answer.

    For those with an open mind consider these observations;

    1) Any explanation of the “Greenhouse Effect” that invokes the terms “Extra Energy”, “Net Energy Gain” or the like violate the laws of thermodynamics. Engineers have long used “predictions” of energy gain in our analyses as a RED FLAG to tell us we screwed up the calculations and we need to start over.

    2) A thermal insulator performs its function by slowing the velocity at which heat energy flows through a system. The insulation in the walls of your house does nothing else but slow the velocity of the expensive heat from your furnace as it travels through it. This causes your expensive heat to “runaway” more slowly, thus delaying the eventual moment when you need to buy more (ie your furnace turns on).

    3) For a material to act as a thermal insulator in a system it must cause the heat energy to flow more slowly than the other materials in the system. The material in the system with the slowest speed of heat acts as an insulator, all the other materials are just there, they are not acting as an insulator.

    4) The “Greenhouse Effect” causes some energy to make multiple passes through the system (via reemission back towards the surface), however this energy (IR light) flows at the speed of light, quite a bit faster than heat flows via conduction or convection (by many many orders of magnitude). Since the IR energy is flowing at the speed of light and the other heat energy is flowing more slowly through the oceans and atmosphere via conduction and convection the “Greenhouse Gases” are not acting as a thermal insulator (or “blanket”).

    5) Travelling though a system multiple times at a very high velocity is not the same as traveling through the system once at a much lower speed.

    6) The “Greenhouse Effect” simply delays the flow of energy through the Sun/Earth Surface/Atmosphere/Universe system by a few tens of milliseconds, since there are approximately 86 million milliseconds in each day the “Greenhouse Effect” has no impact on the average temperature of the Earth.

    I guess I’m pretty far from a “lukewarmer” am I not ?

    We are treating a predicted future sneeze with arsenic today.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  83. jim Steele says:
    January 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm
    “So why challenge CO2′s ability to redirect infrared?”
    ——————————————————————-
    Jim,
    Nice Strawman, well stabbed!. Phillip Bratby is not challenging CO2s ability to redirect IR. Read again –
    “Perhaps by colliding with N and O molecules, CO2 can take some of their energy and radiate it to space?”
    – this is clearly commenting on CO2s ability to radiate energy to space that was NOT acquired from IR radiation from the surface. CO2 can radiate to space energy from the atmosphere that was acquired by conductive contact with the surface and the release of latent heat.

    Running back to the AGW position of only considering the interaction between outgoing surface IR and CO2 in the atmosphere will not work. Almost all the energy in the atmosphere was acquired from sources other than surface IR. Almost all the energy entering the atmosphere is radiated to space by radiative gases at altitude. This is critical to continued convective circulation below the tropopause and critical to cooling the atmosphere. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability.

    There is no merit in the “lukewarmer” position. The AGW hoax is a political vampire that is sucking the life blood of science. A little lukewarmer garlic will not work. “negative feedbacks”, “natural variation” and all the rest simply allow this hideous un-dead monster to flee and return in a new guise. It must be staked through its black heart. The failure to model the true role of radiative gases in convective circulation is just the stake needed.

    The pseudo scientists did not just get the magnitude of the effect of added CO2 wrong. They got the sign of its effect wrong. The lukewarmer position is no service to science, only politics.

  84. John Brookes says:
    January 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Only actual warming and consequent disasters will convince you, and even then I suspect you’ll still have doubts.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Only a change in the funding to promote the sun/ocean/cosmic rays or whatever and no funding for CAGW will ever convince johnny boy to switch sides. (We know empirical data certainly has not) But of course he knows which side of the debate funds his pension just like Hansen does.

  85. Pat Frank says:
    January 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm
    ——————————————————————————–
    Pat,
    few would question that CO2 is a radiative gas and that it can absorb IR emitted from the surface. However despite the ludicrous values given in Trenberthian energy budget cartoons, most of the energy in our atmosphere was not acquired from surface IR. What the AGW supporters would like ignored is that CO2 like other radiative gases, cools our atmosphere by radiating energy as IR to space.

    The ability of radiative gases such as H2O and CO2 to radiately cool the upper troposphere is critical to continued convective circulation. If convective circulation stalls, our atmosphere heats.

    Adding radiative gases to our atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability.

  86. 11. There is absolutely no evidence of a “radiative greenhouse effect,” SO all this moronic speculation has no physical basis.

    Robert Woods in 1909 proved that the “greenhouse effect” in greenhouses is due only to stopping convection. HE ALSO PROVED that there is no “radiative greenhouse effect,” if you read the results of the experiment closely: SURELY, if there is no effect from “backradiation” in the glass greenhouse from the glass, THEN there cannot be any effect from any “atmospheric back-radiation.”

    Face it, consensus skeptics, the “Slayers” are correct. There is no real physics with imaginary “shell diagrams” or “planets with no greenhouse gases,” OR any of the other hypothetical CRAP that we are witnessing in this weirdo-scientific period!

    The fact that temperatures are not increasing, despite exponential increases in OCO and all the urban heat effects certainly does not help the “consensus,” either. Empirical evidence is everything, as Einstein emphasized.

    QED and LOL!

  87. I would also ask that if CO2 has historically failed to impact global temperatures, why should it now, whether natural or man-made. I would suggest Occam’s Razor provides the answer,I.e. that its the simplest answer that is right, that it can’t.

  88. Would be interesting to know what nowadays a “lukwarmer” differentiates from a “sceptic”,

    A climate sensitivity not only below IPCC’s “very likely” range (2K-4.5K), but even within the “very unlikely” range (< 1.5K) appears to have been sceptic territory, and would mean that transitional sensitivity and temperature increase in 2100 would be even below 1K.

    And that's what you get if you only correct sensitivity for errors in application of the Bayes' theorem, correct for reduced aerosol cooling and correct for increased black carbon warming.

    There is a tendency to overlook merits of sceptical scientists just to appease mainstream.

  89. Tried to post earlier, but no dice. Again:

    11. There is no such thing as a “radiative greenhouse effect.”

    Face it, lukewarmer consensus, Robert Woods experiments in 1909 demonstrated, not only do greenhouses get hotter because they block convection, but ALSO there is no “radiative warming;” since CERTAINLY, if the backradiation from the glass in the glass greenhouse could not increase the temperature of the glass greenhouse, relative to the NaCl greenhouse, THEN CERTAINLY the backradiation from the atmosphere (which is much smaller) cannot heat the surface.

    Sorry for those short on physics, but the “Slayers” are correct, and the “shell theories” and theoretical planets without GHGs are not at all realistic and persuasive. The gas law does apply.

  90. James Cross says (January 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm): “The biggest issue to me is that increasingly future greenhouse gases will come from the underdeveloped world so to achieve significant reduction would actually hamper the ability the underdeveloped world to adapt to any future effects of warning.”

    Which gives us point #11, any realistic CO2 emission reductions by the “developed” world will be overwhelmed by increased emissions in the “developing” world, e.g. China and India which don’t give a @#$% what the IPCC says. In other words, we’re getting the consequences of increasing atmospheric CO2 no matter what we do. Might as well enjoy it, folks. :-)

  91. Anthony,

    jae, alecm and greg house are all spouting sl@yer drivel which is an even bigger load of claptrap than the alarmist bs itself (which at one time I would have deemed impossible). I for one am tired of seeing it.

  92. Konrad, the rapid collisional decay rate of 15-micron vibrationally excited CO2 means that it will not radiate away any significant amount of IR energy below about 35 km, i.e., the stratosphere.

  93. For the record, I have no association with so called “Slayers”. My position is based solely on empirical experiments into conduction, convection and radiative gases. I have designed these experiments to be easily repeatable by others and have posted images and instruction elsewhere on the web. I believe that the lack of understanding shown by the “Slayers” regarding convective circulation and radiative gases is equal to that of the AGW believers.

  94. Jae, I’m not really clear what your position on the “Greenhouse Effect” is, could you elucidate that more clearly please? /sarc off

    I’ve been posting for several years now that the whole thing is bogus, glad I’m not the only voice in the wilderness anymore.

    As an engineer I like to pose this question; “Are we to believe that the miniscule amounts of “radiative gases” in the atmosphere are actually pulling the MASSIVE thermal capacity of the oceans into thermal “equilibrium” with themselves ??????????”. The whole notion that the gases are controlling anything WRT temperature has always been a FARCE. It’s like throwing an ice cube in your bathtub and projecting that the whole mass will freeze solid.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  95. jae says (January 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm): ‘Sorry for those short on physics, but the “Slayers” are correct, and the “shell theories” and theoretical planets without GHGs are not at all realistic and persuasive.”

    Since prominent scientists on both sides of the CAGW debate accept the so-called “greenhouse effect” (SCGE)–while differing on the danger it poses, if any–anyone who could experimentally disprove the SCGE would win a Nobel Prize, at least. Yet the so-called “slayers” are long on rhetoric and very very short on experiments, despite the rewards supposedly theirs for the taking. WUWT?

  96. With all due respect Matt, there two more particularly important questions you should consider asking:

    When, in the warmist world, is the Holocene supposed to reach it’s end?

    And what would you propose to do about that?

  97. Gary Hladik wrote;

    “if any–anyone who could experimentally disprove the SCGE would win a Nobel Prize”

    Sorry, but ever since the “doctor” that “perfected” the lobotomy operation won a Nobel Prize I have never wanted one.

    But it can be disproven quite simply, Woods did it 100 years ago.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  98. 1.) When it comes to global warming, Size Matters.

    2.) So does the Motion of the Ocean.

    3.) And as for “adjustments”, If You Shake It More Than Three Times, You’re Playing With It.

  99. When, in the warmist world, is the Holocene supposed to reach it’s end? And what would you propose to do about that?

    I think they’re gonna let their grandchildren worry about that one . . .

  100. Gary Hladik says, January 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm: “Since prominent scientists on both sides of the CAGW debate accept the so-called “greenhouse effect” (SCGE)–while differing on the danger it poses, if any–anyone who could experimentally disprove the SCGE would win a Nobel Prize, at least.”
    ===========================================================

    A wonderful idea, Gary: “accept” vs “disprove”. Some people might consider “prove” vs “disprove” being a little bit fairer…

    As for “disprove”, we have just had a lovely debate about it on the parallel thread “Yet another study shows lower climate sensitivity”. You could make your contribution there.

  101. David vun Kannon says:
    A) “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. That is basic physics.”
    B) “Since CO2 increases will raise the temperature, ”

    Can you actually show the basic physics for A) ?
    Is B) basic physics as well, otherwise what is the justification for the statement?

    I’ve seen similar claims that CO2 causes global warming is just basic physics, but to me there seems to be a big gap between the basic physics of CO2 and the warming of a chaotic open system. So, what is the magic step 2) here?

    1) CO2 absorbs and remits infrared radiation – This is basic physics
    2) Errrmmmmmm ….
    3) Global Warming

  102. Matt Ridley: “We now know there is nothing unprecedented about the level and rate of change of temperature today compared with Medieval, Roman, Holocene Optimum and other post-glacial periods, when carbon dioxide levels did not change significantly, but temperatures did.”

    I don’t think we do “know”. I think we can say it’s likely that the other warm periods were at least as warm as now. But our “temps” from those periods are all taken from proxies, which are notoriously unreliable. The error bars for any of these proxies are larger than the differences between the coldest and warmest of the Holocene. We just don’t know.

    And that’s the problem with AGW theory. We can’t say whether current warming is unprecedented. Mann and his buddies tried to make it seem like we could, but they failed miserably.

  103. Matt Ridley must be congratulated on being able to keep an open mind on the subject of CAGW.
    While reading the comments I realize I do not have that capacity, when it comes to Team IPCC, the UN and most of the media, my immediate reaction is cynicism
    If claims being made which come from my government, cite computer models, full of could,might weasel words or have any of the climate-gate names as authors, I have to force myself to read them.
    My default is to reject , as these sources have demonstrated that they are willing to lie to me to further their cause. With no end of their dishonesty in sight.
    Hardly a scientific approach I admit, but life is too short to humour lying stealing time wasters.

  104. Gary Hladik says, January 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm: “Since prominent scientists on both sides of the CAGW debate accept the so-called “greenhouse effect” (SCGE)”
    ============================================================

    Gary, if you look closely into the well known study Doran&Zimmerman (2008), you can see that 70% of related scientists do not support the AGW concept. Unfortunately, it is a silent majority. Details here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/consensus-argument-proves-climate-science-is-political/#comment-972119 .

  105. davidmhoffer says:
    January 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm
    ——————————————————————————————-
    What are you asking Anthony to do? Censor polite and on-topic comments because you do not agree with them?

    Where do you think you are … SkepticalScience?

  106. Greg House says:
    Yes, about that. I am sorry to disappoint you, but the actual measurements .

    Greg there is nothing informative about your link. Furthermore I am totally bewildered you, Bratby and Conrad’s attempts to say there is no greenhouse effect at all. If you have ever done any backpacking you you will vividly experience the difference between cloudy nights and clear nights.Camping in the desert reveals a similar greenhouse effect. During every drought and accompanying heat wave, there is a hot day/cold night effect observed in the temperature data. The lack of moisture allows the surface to heat more rapidly but also allows the heat to escape more rapidly. Those examples are not straw dogs, but tangible greenhouse effects. What most believers get wrong is that think CO2 traps and stores heat. It merely slows it down on a daily basis. The hoax is to use average temperature as proof. At many USHCN site minimums have trended upwards while maximum are trending downward. A declining maximum clearly says heat is not being trapped.

    I have researched every important animal from polar bears, penguins, pika, frogs and butterflies that CO2 advocates have suggested are going extinct. The research is heavily flawed and sometimes approaches outright fraud. From that perspective I agree that much of the global warming is a bad hoax and must dealt with. That needs to be exposed. However you three attack people for merely accepting a trivial greenhouse effect or expressing uncertainty. It is insulting and does not promote debate. I proudly call myself a global warming denier, but when I listen to you guys, it actually evokes sympathy for the believers. Your attacks against your closest allies makes me wonder if you are not provocateurs for the other side. I don’t believe tha,t but I hope you can hear what a negative effect your methods engender.

  107. jae;
    SURELY, if there is no effect from “backradiation” in the glass greenhouse from the glass, THEN there cannot be any effect from any “atmospheric back-radiation.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Surely even a child can understand that a sheet of glass and the atmosphere are two completely different things. Surely such pronouncements do not belong in a science blog.

  108. Truthseeker says:
    January 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm
    davidmhoffer says:
    January 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm
    ——————————————————————————————-
    What are you asking Anthony to do? Censor polite and on-topic comments because you do not agree with them?
    Where do you think you are … SkepticalScience?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    Anthony has banned the sl@yers and their total bs. A very long list of very well known scientists from both sides of the debate have gone to great lengths to try and reason with this crop of miscreants who spout the precise same drivel. The bulk of them have given up. These are trolls who hijack threads with complete bull and do as much damage to the debate as the cagw alarmists themselves. They should be treated as such, exactly like the sl@yers themselves.

  109. jim Steele says, January 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm: “Greg there is nothing informative about your link.”
    ==========================================================

    My link disproves your assertion about clouds raising temperature. You did not scroll down, I guess. Otherwise you would have found temperature measurements and remarks about clouds condition corresponding every single temperature measurement.

    Your thesis does not hold water, this is obvious.

  110. Thanks for the well argued analysis. From my vantage point, warming proponents are knowingly peddling false, hysterical predictions, based on rigged models and fake/ adjusted data. I imagine they will keep on keeping on, as science and veracity have zilch to do with their argument or goals.

  111. jim Steele says:
    January 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm
    “Conrad’s attempts to say there is no greenhouse effect at all.”
    ——————————————————————————
    Jim,
    I have never claimed that there is no “greenhouse effect”. I am well aware that the true “greenhouse” gases are N2 and O2. These gases are poor at radiating energy they have acquired from the release of latent heat from condensing water vapour and conductive contact with the surface.

    Radiative gases moderate this effect by radiating energy to space from the upper troposphere. The ability of radiative gases to warm by intercepting IR from the surface is inconsequential compared to the cooling it provides at altitude.

    Some fools just mixed up “taxing the air we breathe” with “taxing the air we breathe out”.

  112. Please, look at this: http://english.wunderground.com/history/airport/KNYC/2012/7/28/DailyHistory.html . They measure the temperature a few times an hour and also report conditions. You can see, the temperature goes sometimes down despite increase in cloudiness.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Even a child understands that a single weather station no more disproves the average effect of clouds than does a single man in Armenia who lived to 110 despite smoking since he was 6 disproves the link between smoking and cancer.

  113. mods ~ AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! blew the end italics tag above. turns out when you type in the part that you blew….it is still an end of italics tag and so doesn’t show up.

    [Is that what you intended? Mod]

  114. davidmhoffer says, January 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm
    Please, look at this: http://english.wunderground.com/history/airport/KNYC/2012/7/28/DailyHistory.html . They measure the temperature a few times an hour and also report conditions. You can see, the temperature goes sometimes down despite increase in cloudiness.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Even a child understands that a single weather station no more disproves the averageI/i> effect of clouds than

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

    In this particular case 1 single weather station is sufficient to disprove the warming effect of the clouds (by back radiation).

    As soon as a cloud has emerged, (more) back radiation is immediately there, it takes like 0.00001 seconds. Now it is supposed to raise the temperature near the ground, but the measurements in the link above demonstrate that the temperature in fact goes down, despite emerging clouds. Thesis disproved.

    Well, OK, like I said, you could modify the thesis and say “sometimes”, but then we would have a very peculiar “greenhouse effect” working also “sometimes”. Never heard of that. Might be interesting.

  115. nothothere says (January 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm): “But it can be disproven quite simply, Woods did it 100 years ago.”

    Oh, my mistake then. BTW, do you have a link to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech? :-)

    What Wood actually did was show that a greenhouse warms its interior mainly by restricting convection, and not primarily by trapping infrared radiation. Since the earth’s atmosphere is pretty much the opposite of a physical greenhouse (no roof) the so-called “greenhouse” effect (SCGE) is a misnomer, but we’re stuck with it.

    Greg House says (January 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm): “A wonderful idea, Gary: “accept” vs “disprove”. Some people might consider “prove” vs “disprove” being a little bit fairer…”

    Well, since “proving” the SCGE would be worthless (both sides of the CAGW debate accept it), but “disproving” it would earn wealth, fame, and the everlasting gratitude of a world freed from the fear of thermageddon, I find the lack of disproof more than a bit puzzling. It’s not a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of incentive.

    Greg House says (January 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm): “Gary, if you look closely into the well known study Doran&Zimmerman (2008), you can see that 70% of related scientists do not support the AGW concept.”

    If you mean this study

    http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

    90% of participants said the earth has warmed since 1800, and 82% said humans contribute “significantly” to global temperature change. Not a word on the SCGE.

    You’re confusing the actual SCGE with dire predictions of its consequences. It’s perfectly reasonable to accept the SCGE while scoffing at warnings of doom from overestimation of its effect and/or underestimation of counteracting factors.

  116. Pat Frank says:
    January 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm
    “Konrad, the rapid collisional decay rate of 15-micron vibrationally excited CO2 means that it will not radiate away any significant amount of IR energy below about 35 km, i.e., the stratosphere.”
    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Pat,
    the “Effective Radiating Level” game is entertaining as it is one of the few games in which the AGW calculations even consider that the atmosphere actually has depth. But a game is all it is. The ERL argument was concocted to bury under a mountain bafflegab the fact that radiative gases are radiating far more energy to space than they intercept from outgoing surface IR.

    For an atmosphere such as ours that has been maintaining a very stable temperature for thousands of years and exhibiting strong convective circulation under the tropopause there is only one answer. Energy must be exiting the atmosphere at a higher altitude than it is entering the atmosphere. This is the “basic physics” of convection.

    There are several ways for energy to enter our atmosphere low in the troposphere. Conduction, latent heat and a small amount of intercepted IR. There is only one way energy can exit our atmosphere at altitude, that is radiative gases. Remove these gases from our atmosphere and convective circulation would stall and the atmosphere will heat.

    Where are almost all the strong radiative gases in our atmosphere? Below the tropopause.

    Where does almost all strong vertical convective circulation occur? Below the tropopause.

    No amount of maths games with ERL can cover the fact that the “basic physics” of AGW does not properly model the role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation.

  117. There is, of course, a more telling conundrum…..

    An exhaustive study by Mudelsee (2001) puts it this way:

    “On long timescales, variations in Vostok’s CO2 record lag behind those of its air-temperature record (dD) by 1.3±1.0 ka, and lead over global ice-volume variations (derived from Vostok’s d18Oair and marine d18Omar) by 2.7±1.3 ka.”

    Caillon et al (2003) found that for ice age Termination 3 (the Kansan ice age) CO2 increases lagged temperature increases by 800 years ( 200 years). Spahni et al (2005) found similar GHG lags as related to temperature changes in the greater depths of the Dome Concordia ice core, and Fischer et al (1999) found Vostok data to show similar lags in CO2 with respect to temperature changes.

    The problem here, of course, is that atmospheric concentrations if CO2, purportedly lower than the end-Holocene’s anthropogenic attribution in addition to, whatever lesser domain that really was, failed to prevent onset of the next time/cimate(?)-honored descent into the next punctual glacial.

    Which, given CO2’s vaunted thermodynamics, leaves us with something of a paradox, doesn’t it?

    Environmental cognoscenti will gladly strip the purported climate security blanket from the late Holocene atmosphere quick-smart.

    Just out of curiosity, what significance might that gesture have with respect to normal, similar eccentricity-minima interglacials that can naturally score from 1 to 3 thermal pulses right at their very ends? The most recent being MIS-11e which scored something like from 1.5 to 2 precessional cycles duration, and may have topped-out some +21.3m (or some 36 times the IPCC’s 2007 AR4 (IPCC (2007) worst case scenario of +0.59m by 2100) amsl……

    In the political science game we are playing here, because if the word science is employed at all….

    “I”ll see your +0.59m highstand in 2100 and raise you +6.0m at the end-Eemian.” (Hearty and Neumann, 2001). I’m still holding climate cards that extend to ~+45m (Hearty and Neumann, 2001), maybe +52m amsl (Lysa et al, 2001) just at the end of the last interglacial back.

    But I have a pretty decent hole-card in MIS-11, the very first extreme interglacial, which also just happens to have happened at the last eccentricity minimum, the late Holsteinian highstand some 36 times the 2007 AR4 worst case estimate at +21.3 amsl……

    You simply have to do better than Mother Nature, gaia, to get my end-iextreme-interglacial attention here.

    References.:

    Caillon, N., J. Severinghaus, J. Jouzel, JM Barnola, J. Kang and V. Lipenkov, 2003, Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes Across Termination III, Science, vol. 299, no. 5613, pp. 1728 – 1731.

    Fischer, H, M. Wahlen, J. Smith, D. Mastroianni and B. Derek, 1999, Ice Core Records of Atmospheric CO2 Around the Last Three Glacial Terminations, Science, vol. 283, no. 5408, pp. 1712-1714.

    Hearty, P. J., and A. C. Neumann (2001), Rapid sea level and climate change at the close of the last interglaciation (MIS 5e): Evidence from the Bahama Islands, Quat. Sci. Rev., 20, 1881–1895.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007, Assessment Report 4, Climate Change 2007, Cambridge University Press

    Lysa, A, Demidov, I, Houmark-NielsenI, M and E. Larsen, 2001, Late Pleistocene stratigraphy and sedimentary environment of the Arkhangelsk area, northwest Russia, Global and Planetary Change 31 Ž2001. 179–199

    Mudelsee, M., 2001, The phase relations among atmospheric CO2 content, temperature and global ice volume over the past 420 ka, Quaternary Science Reviews, 20, pp 583-589.

    Olson, Storrs L. and Paul J.Hearty, 2009, A sustained þ21 m sea-level highstand during MIS 11 (400 ka): direct fossil and sedimentary evidence from Bermuda, Quaternary Science Reviews 28 (2009) 271–285.

    Spahni, R., J. Chappellaz, T. Stocker, L. Loulergue, G. Hausammann, K. Kawamura, J. Flückiger, J. Schwander, D. Raynaud, V. Masson-Delmotte and J. Jouzel, 2005, Atmospheric Methane and Nitrous Oxide of the Late Pleistocene from Antarctic Ice Cores, Science, vol. 310, no. 5762, pp. 1317-1321.

  118. Gary Hladik says, January 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm: “If you mean this study http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf 90% of participants said the earth has warmed since 1800, and 82% said humans contribute “significantly” to global temperature change.”
    ============================================================

    I mean this study, right, but the point is that 70% of the scientists polled refused to confirm the AGW concept, although it would have taken them only 2 minutes to do it. This is the silent scientific majority, Gary.

  119. Greg House;
    As soon as a cloud has emerged, (more) back radiation is immediately there, it takes like 0.00001 seconds. Now it is supposed to raise the temperature near the ground, but the measurements in the link above demonstrate that the temperature in fact goes down, despite emerging clouds. Thesis disproved
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Even a child understands that when you turn the burner on a stove to high that the pot of water doesn’t boil in like 0.00001 seconds. Even a child understands that there is a lag. Even a child would also understand that the bottom of the graphs you so proudly display shows that there is significant wind over the period of time you show, that the direction of the wind changes over that period of time, and that the influx of air could be warmer, cooler, or the same as the air around the weather station. Without knowing if the wind is adding warming, cooling or nothing to the temperature, you have no idea what changes are from clouds and what from wind. I notice also that there are changes in barometric pressure, humidity and precipitation which also change temperature and you haven’t bothered to take these into account in your “proof”.

    Genius that you are, looked at all that data and simply decided to dismiss anything and everything that could affect temperature so that you were left with only the 10% of the data that said what you wanted it to say. This technique has been perfected by the cagw alarmists and I am sorry to see it show up here in support of ANY argument, not just skeptic ones.

  120. davidmhoffer says:
    January 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm
    —————————————————————–
    Anthony has chosen not to have a post that proposes the lack of a greenhouse effect. That is his choice. He has also banned commentators that do not obey the rules. His blog, his choice.

    I return to my original point which you avoided probably because it is an uncomfortable analogy for you. Censoring non-abusive and on topic comments because you do not agree with them is what sites like SkepticalScience does, not what WUWT does. Also, going to the argument from authority defence is also what the likes of SkepticalScience and their ilk does. It is not how science is debated.

    By the way, Dr Tim Ball is a welcome commentator and occasional poster and gets a link on the WUWT side bar. He is a “sl@yer” as you call them. Seems like your perception of Anthony’s attitude is not in keeping with the evidence at hand.

  121. Gary Hladik says, January 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm: “What Wood actually did was show that a greenhouse warms its interior mainly by restricting convection, and not primarily by trapping infrared radiation. Since the earth’s atmosphere is pretty much the opposite of a physical greenhouse…”
    ========================================================

    No, Gary, what Wood did was to compare 2 boxes where convection was equally restricted, but only in one of them the radiation was trapped (glass lid vs rock salt lid). And the experiment demonstrated that despite this trapped radiation the difference in temperature between the boxes was either zero or negligible.

  122. I am only a ‘lukewarmer’ if it means the position that a planet with an atmosphere has a less extreme surface temperature variation at contact than a similar but atmosphere-less planet.

    However, ‘lukewarmer’ is logically an unsupportable position if it condones the integrity-challenged activities of intentionally biasing science toward seeing all warming as both bad and attributable to man. In that context then the alarming AGW belief is the same fundamentally equivalent intellectual position as a ‘lukewarmer’ position. That is because there appears to be intellectual equivalency between a science influenced by politics / ideology to find alarming AGW and the very same science influenced by politics / ideology to find one tenth of the alarming AGW.

    In that sense both ‘alarming’ and ‘lukewarming’ are not products of scientific integrity.

    John

  123. Theoretically, as a consequence of the current unremitting levels of CO2 emissions, the global temperature should be increasing at the same rate as that seen in the 40s onwards. It is not, it has stalled. As soon as you accept that natural variation can cancel out the effects of manmade CO2 emissions thereby explaining the present stall in temperature anomaly rise, it becomes impossible with any degree of certainty to argue that the only explanation for the 1940s onwards warming was manmade CO2 emissions. An equally likely explanation for that warming is natural variation.

    Put at its kindest, it would appear that there is extremely strong evidence to suggest that the sensitivity to CO2 has been grossly over-estimated and that there is little worry that CAGW will come to pass.

    Personally, I consider there has been a complete failure to properly evaluate the effects of a warmer world which I suspect that if properly evaluated would be seen to be net beneficial. There was no mass extinction during the Holocene Optimum. There is no evidence that the world (and life on Earth) did not flourish during that epoch. That being the case, there is no reason to presume there would be any significant problem if temperatures were once again to rise to that level.

    There is a reason why we do not live in the Arctic, and Antaarctic and that populations are always small in cold Northern Climes, whereas populations are large in more temperate climes. Warmth is good for life.

    The precautionary principle is misunderstood and misapplied. The true disaster scenario is:
    1. We spend trillions on mitigation, only to find that the climate continues to change but this is not due to manmade emissions of CO2 but is due to natural variation and the western world has bankrupted itself and cannot afford to pay for adaption. The developing world also does not have sufficient funds nor knowledge nor wherewithall to meet the demands of adaption; or
    2. We spend trillions on mitigation which is successful but later evidence establishes beyond doubt that a warmer climate is of huge benefit and we have deprived us and our childrens from reaping the benefit that would have occured had we not engaged in mitigation, ie., mitigarion is in fact counter productive.

    The only sensible policy is targeted adaption. This works whatever the cause of any climate change (whether manmade or natural) and does not waste money should it transpire that climate change is net beneficial. Of course, it also covers the situation where there is no real or significant climate change and what we saw in the 20-th century was poor quality and misunderstood data.

  124. Thanks to Arno, Pat, Konrad and others. Nice to find that sane thinking exitsts on the AGW hoax.
    Also, AIUI satellites show stratosphere temps dropping steadily. This is consistent with CO2 behaving as a coolant there. More CO2 leads to more cooling. Humlum’s page has charts for that.
    I think he also has a chart that shows OLR has remained (essentially) steady over decades. If OLR is truly not changing then the “Global Warming” people have some explaining to do.
    The presence of good surface temp data at Amundsen-Scott, Vostok, Halley and Davis stations show zero warming since the 1950s. Warmerist physics claim that Antarctica would be the first to show warming. They don’t seem too excited to explain why the bulk of Antarctica is immune to their claims. They don’t like to admit anymore that they made those claims.

  125. I do not want to engage in the off topic debate regaring radiation and the so called basic physics.

    However, a couple of days ago, I watched a programne on the BBC about ‘Life on Earth’ It was presented by Professor Brian Cox, who is young and trendy, and often on BBC science programnes. He talked about the conservation of energy and the inevitable demise of the universe.

    He sat on a beach and said that during the day, the sand receive high quality ordered energy from the sun. The sand then radiates (especially at night) the energy that it has received. However, whilst it gives up the energy that it receives, the energy that it radiates is ‘a lower quality disordered energy’. That energy is ‘less useful and can do less work’. He actually said it can do less work.

    I had a number of issues with some of the comments made throughout the programne and he talked quite a bit about the 2nd law of thermodynamics indicating that was perhaps one of the very few universal laws of physics. He did not really explain it, nor did he mention the law of entropy. However, I suspect that that was what he really was getting at, the inevitable and unremitting procession towards disorder.

    If he is correct that the energy that is radiated from the ground is of a lower quality and more disordered than the energy received from the sun and can do less work, no doubt he holds the view that the energy that is re-radiated from the atmosphere (the radiated/reflected back energy that was received from the ground having radiated energy) is of even lower quality and even more disordered so that it can do even less work than the energy that was radiated from the ground. In other words although energy may be conserved, what is being conserved is not of the same order and quality but rather it has in some way become disordered and less capable of performing work.

    The K&T energy diagram assumes that all energy has the same quality, is equally ordered and equally capable of performing work. However, the law of entropy may suggest that 2nd hand, and then 3rd hand energy etc is not equally capable.

  126. richardscourtney says: January 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Julian Flood:wrote
    “Why the blip just off the Rhine?”

    quote
    I would expect it. Nitrates and phosphates from the land are conveyed to the North Sea by the Rhine. They fertilise phytoplankton in the sea with resulting increase to DMS (dimethylsulphide) emission from the sea surface. The DMS breaks down under the action of UV in the atmosphere to form sulphate cloud nuclei which alters cloud cover. Clouds affect surface temperature. (I worked on this alteration to the sulphur cycle in the 1980s).
    unquote

    A simple increase in DMS would yield more CCNs and thus more stratocumulus cloud (see Salter’s cloud ships), which my naive understanding says leads to cooling. Let us be bolder. The run-off will contain dissolved silica, the limiting nutrient for diatoms. Diatoms outcompete calcareous phytoplankton until the silica is depleted and one might predict that calcareous blooms will occur later where agriculture is disturbing soil cover. Diatoms do not, AFAIK, produce DMS, so the cloud levels will fall. Low level stratocumulus has an albedo of 70, open sea essentially nil. Diatoms export less C to the deep oceans (generally, I know how shallow the North Sea is) and because their metabolic pathway (CAM-like) is less discriminatory against heavy C isotopes. So less pull down leads to higher levels of atmospheric carbon, relatively increased levels of heavy C export leaves a light C ‘it must be fossil fuels because we can’t think of anything else’ signal. Oh, look…

    I think it’s oil/surfactant pollution (there is a NASA claim that the annual oily road run-off from a city of 5 million equals a major tanker disaster) reducing salt aerosols, smoothing, lowering albedo, reducing emissivity and evaporation, but the two hypotheses are not contradictory — in the deep ocean there are ways that smooths will reduce phytoplankton feeding. I have banged on elsewhere ad nauseam* about the Kriegsmarine effect.

    You realise that one could carry out experiments to see which of us is correct? What next, putting some science into the discussion? Demanding that biological responses to warming, cooling and pollution be incorporated into the settled science? We’d better be careful, might get drummed off the internets.

    JF
    *If you’ll excuse a Monktonism.

    .

  127. Greg House says:
    January 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    …My link disproves your assertion about clouds raising temperature. You did not scroll down, I guess. Otherwise you would have found temperature measurements and remarks about clouds condition corresponding every single temperature measurement….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am sorry Greg but the empirical data shows you are wrong. The Greenhouse gas H2O as vapor in the atmosphere DOES MODIFY THE TEMPERATURE.

    First the data from the eclipse as seen in the Libya desert in 2006: http://www.shadowchaser.demon.co.uk/eclipse/2006/thermochron.gif

    Note the absence of sunlight makes the air temperature drop by over 10C while the sand temperature only drops by about 5 C. If you change the energy you change the temperature.

    Next look at a comparison of the humid Brazilian rain forest and the dry N. African Desert.

    Sleepalot @ July 21, 2012 at 4:53 am pointed out the actual effects of the GHG water vapor on the temperature by comparing high vs low humidity.

    ….monthly min 20C, monthly max 33C, monthly average 26C
    Average humidity 90%

    …..monthly min 9C monthly max 44C, monthly average 30C
    Average humidity around 0%

    #1. The solar eclipse data tells you the earth & air temperature response (in low humidity) to a change in solar energy is FAST!

    #2 The effect of the addition of water vapor (~ 4%) is not to raise the temperature but to even the temperature out. The monthly high is 10C lower and the monthly low is ~ 10C higher when the GHG H2O is added to the atmosphere in this example. The average temperature is about 4C lower in Brazil despite the fact that Algeria is further north above the tropic of Cancer. Some of the difference is from the effect of clouds/albedo but the dramatic effect on the temperature extremes is also from the humidity.

    I took a rough look at the data from Brazil. Twelve days were sunny. I had to toss the data for two days because it was bogus. The average humidity was 80% for those ten days. The high was 32 with a range of 1.7C and the low was 22.7C with a range of 2.8C. Given the small range in values over the month the data is probably a pretty good estimate for the effects of humidity only. You still get the day-night variation of ~ 10C with a high humidity vs a day-night variation of 35C without and the average temp is STILL going to be lower when the humidity is high.

    This data would indicate GHGs have two effects. One is to even out the temperature and the second is to act as a “coolant” at least if the GHG is H2O.

    The latent heat of evaporation could be why the average is 4C lower when in Brazil vs Algeria. As one of the commenters here at WUWT mentioned using temperature without humidity to estimate the global heat content is bad physics.

    More details:
    The data is from May which is midway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice and therefore the sun would be midway between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer (the latitude line at 23.5° North) so the solar insolation at both locations would be roughly equal with a bit more expected in Barcelos, Brazil.

    ALTITUDE:
    Barcelos, Brazil elevation ~ 30 meters (100 ft)
    Adrar, Algeria ~ Elevation: 280 metres (920 feet)

    One would expect a drop in temperature of ~ 4C due to altitude for Adrar, Algeria so the difference between locations, taking into account altitude is ~ 8C higher in Adrar which is further north but with much lower humidity.

    A look at the actual wavelengths for energy interaction with CO2: Graph Both CO2 and H2O interact with wavelengths in the solar as well as the earthshine bands.

    The most important vibrational and rotational transitions for CO2 is
    Center……Band interval
    667…………..540-800

    961
    plus…………..850-1250
    1063.8

    2349………….2100-2400

    Visible and near-IR absorption bands
    2526………….2000-2400
    3703………….3400-3850
    5000………….4700-5200
    6250………….6100-6450
    7143………….6850-7000

    Chart from http://irina.eas.gatech.edu/EAS8803_Fall2009/Lec6.pdf

  128. I am sorry that Matt still believes the fairy story of GHG’s. Please read Joe Postma on
    http://www.climateofsophistry.com
    Full explanations plus the math of the stupidity of the GHG theory.
    Arctic ice decline may be due to being in the declining side of the 80 year polar cycle, or, slight changes to ocean currents to funnel warmer water polewards since water will melt ice much faster than warm air. There is also the satellite problem seeing melt ponds on the ice surface as clear water and broken ice from storms seen as clear water.

  129. I have the greatest respect for Matt Ridley, and I greatly enjoyed reading his book ‘Genome’ some years ago. As a matter of interest the book contained a good example of how the scientific consensus can be wrong. For decades scientists thought there were 24 chromosomes in the human genome. In fact it was always obvious that there were actually 23, but the existence of the concensus was more powerful than the truth.

    But I am puzzled by one thing: that he believes in the basic theory of AGW. Of course, he may think that the sensitivity is low or even very low. I wonder if he could comment?

    But his statement about the physics is rather odd. I would think that most people accept that doubling CO2 will increase the temperature by around one degree – in the laboratory, that is. The climate system is completely different: sometimes chaotic and full of complex feedbacks. It’s the climate system that decides the real sensitivity, not something that happens in a laboratory, particularly if the experiment is conducted by Al Gore’s supporters.

    It would be great if Matt could write a piece that explains his belief: what sensitivity figure does he subscribe to and exactly what empirical evidence supports this figure.

    For me, the best evidence, the ice cores, strongly suggest that the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide is very small and possibly negligible. This is consistent with the lack of recent warming. It’s also consistent with the early 20th century warming. This warmong (1900 to 1945) provided almost half of the total modern warming, but it could not have been caused by CO2 as there was not enough of it.

    Matt posed ten very reasonable questions. So here are my questions to Matt:
    1. How much warming would be caused by a doubling of CO2?
    2. If you think there is a fairly high sensitivity to CO2, how do you explain the lack of evidence for this in the ice cores?
    3. How do you explain the simple fact that all the significant predictions of AGW are contradicted by empirical measurements? Examples: all computer models showed warming that hasn’t happened, the lack of an equatorial hot spot, the trend in emitted infra red is not just wrong in amount but has the opposite sign (a paper by Richard Lindzen).

    Chris

  130. Even with a (hypothetical) vacuum layer between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere (so that the surface cools only by radiation), I don’t think there would be any significant warming CO2 effect (radiatively active gases would still be the only cooling for the atmosphere). However, with the direct contact surface/atmosphere? No way. How would that work?

  131. For me it’s 100% about the feedback. IF the increase in water vapor is proven to be a major positive feedback, then I’m on board with the “consensus” view although I may not agree with the actions to mitigate. But since CO2 has risen and fallen many times in our geological history and there has NEVER been a case of amplified warming from water vapor, then the most likely case is water vapor is a negative feedback, cutting the 1.whatever C warming you get in the laboratory from a doubling of CO2 to very likely less than 1C.

    Water vapor is THE ISSUE between warmists and realists.

  132. ” That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept. ”

    It has still not been demonstrated. The “attribution” and “fingerprinting” studies are junk.
    The slope of the warming in the 80ies and 90ies was identical to the slope of the warming from 1910 to 1940.

    Just “accepting” the CO2AGW conjecture is not scientific.

    I accept that there is gravity because I can demonstrate its effects. I can’t do that with CO2 and temperature.

    Where is the conclusive attribution study that is NOT junk?

  133. richard verney says:
    January 29, 2013 at 1:10 am

    He sat on a beach and said that during the day, the sand receive high quality ordered energy from the sun. The sand then radiates (especially at night) the energy that it has received. However, whilst it gives up the energy that it receives, the energy that it radiates is ‘a lower quality disordered energy’. That energy is ‘less useful and can do less work’. He actually said it can do less work.

    I had a number of issues with some of the comments made throughout the programne and he talked quite a bit about the 2nd law of thermodynamics indicating that was perhaps one of the very few universal laws of physics. He did not really explain it, nor did he mention the law of entropy. However, I suspect that that was what he really was getting at, the inevitable and unremitting procession towards disorder…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am not a physicist so take this with a grain of salt.

    First ‘ordered’ and ‘disordered’ light/energy probably refers to coherent light such as the light from a laser. This has a decent simple explanation of coherence and other properties of light. Polarization, Coherence and Interference

    The blog thread Optics basics: Coherence has another good discussion of the coherence of sunlight.

    I think when he speaks of a lower quality energy he might be referring to the actual energy (ability to do work) of an individual wavelength.
    This graph show the relationship between high energy sunlight and low energy earthshine quite well. (Think of it as a billion dollars vs pennies) Since the incoming energy is roughly equal to the outgoing energy that means there are a heck of a lot more ‘wavelengths’ in earthshine than in the sunlight. Here is another graph of the same information. link (this is why this graph is so deceptive. The effect of GHG on sunlight will be much greater than the effect on earthshine interms of energy.)

    This chart gives the energy value for different wavelength categories. This gives an explanation of the chart link

    Hope that helps. (I certainly think he mucked up the explanation by not using the correct terms. A good way to keep people from doing any independent research on the concepts presented isn’t it.)

  134. The link in this sentence didn’t work: “This has a decent simple explanation of coherence and other properties of light. Polarization, Coherence and Interference.” I double checked my copy and it should have.
    the link was: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&ved=0CF4QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iet.ntnu.no%2FCourses%2Ftfe4160%2FNotater%2FPolarization%2C%2520coherence%2C%2520interference%2520and%2520lasers.pdf&ei=4LgHUdyyKJSe9QTlmYEo&usg=AFQjCNF7Kpe6n9r_Ub0i34xflj_O5_uuHg

  135. Julian Flood says: @ January 29, 2013 at 1:40 am
    …You realise that one could carry out experiments to see which of us is correct? What next, putting some science into the discussion? Demanding that biological responses to warming, cooling and pollution be incorporated into the settled science? We’d better be careful, might get drummed off the internets….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Oh wouldn’t it be great to include biology and geology in the discussion!

  136. DirkH says:
    January 29, 2013 at 4:10 am

    ” That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept. ”

    It has still not been demonstrated. The “attribution” and “fingerprinting” studies are junk….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    EM Smith has a good thread explaining why “The “attribution” and “fingerprinting” studies are junk,” that Matt Ridley should read. link

  137. davidmhoffer says:
    January 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Ask yourself why Dr. Ball is being hit with TWO lawsuits by “prominent” climate scientists. If you respond with “it was what he wrote”, I will laugh for two reasons. One, they have written far worse about him. Two, others have said far worse things about them. Give that big brain of yours a shake.

  138. John Brookes says:

    “Only actual warming and consequent disasters will convince you, and even then I suspect you’ll still have doubts.”

    Since there is zero evidence or indication of global “disasters” as a result of [natural, beneficial] global warming, why should we take your alarmism seriously?

  139. I’m not sure exactly what “lukewarmer” means. I believe it means

    * The greenhouse effect is real (no matter how misnamed).
    * CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    * Human activities have increased the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    * Human activities are therefore responsible for some of the recent warming.
    * However, there is no evidence that CAGW, impending climate disasters, etc., are real problems to be addressed.
    * There is no proof the effects of more warming will be more harmful than beneficial.

    Is that about right?

  140. >Since 2008 alone, NASA has added about 0.1C of warming to the trend by unexplained “adjustments” to old records.

    Actually, since Dec 2012, NASA has added over .05C of warming to the trend. The last GISTEMP update has systematically raised temperatures for the past few decades while lowering them for the 1920s and 1930s.

  141. John Brookes says:
    January 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Only actual warming and consequent disasters will convince you, and even then I suspect you’ll still have doubts.

    Only actual cooling and consequent disasters will convince you, and even then I suspect you’ll still have doubts.

  142. “That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept.”

    Well personally I don’t think that’s a particularly controversial statement and well qualified by the points that followed it. Anthropogenic CO2 is of course the result of burning fossil fuels or running the earth’s storage battery if you like. The obvious release of heat energy involved is the primary stuff of thermometers rising near aircond outlets for starters and then there’s the secondary effects of all that bitumen, concrete, steel and tile roofing, not to mention changing albedo through land clearing and plain old soot. Extracting that lot from some perceived ‘primary’ CO2 greenhouse effect seems extremely problematic, even before turning my gaze outward to the heavens for more answers.

    Taking that into consideration I am quite lukewarm about CO2, even before all the cherry-picking, thermometer reading manipulations, tricks and hiding of declines with tree rings. What comes first from the burning of fossil fuels seems completey indivisible and rather anachronistic to me now.

  143. Steven Mosher [January 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm] says:

    “Or i could just ask matt how more soot means more ice in the south pole”

    As interesting as this might be I would personally like to see you, Steve Mosher address his other point …

    2. Despite these two contaminating factors, the temperature trend remains modest: not much more than 0.1 C per decade since 1979.

    … and finally explain what that number should be coming out of that well-known multi-decadal global cooling period of the 1960’s to 1970’s. I also want to know what the number should be coming out of that other well-known multi-century global cooling period of the Little Ice Age.

    When I ask what it should be I am looking for a simple explanation of whether we should still be in the cooler 1960’s to 1970’s climate or the cooler Little Ice Age. Has human activity accidentally saved us from the cold or are we warming right on schedule like we are supposed to be?

    The climate hoaxsters all sound to me like advocates for a deep freeze and appear genuinely upset that man has adapted to the current ice age so well by putting tiny little pinpricks into the surface of the planet and recycling long buried and liquefied fossils into useful heat. The ugly “alternative” to this recycling was already used for thousands of years prior to the oil age when humans burned everything in sight on Earth’s surface, alive or dead, plant or animal, to keep warm. I think are modern way is better, both for us and for the plant and animal slaughter that has been so greatly reduced.

  144. We’re still spending less on GW mitigation than on potato chips, or certainly cigarettes.

    No economic stress, therefore, could be caused on the economies of Spain, Germany, Denmark, the UK, etc. from such measures then, as statistics there are beginning to indicate, and as bigshots (and those suffering fuel poverty) are beginning to complain? It’s all just hypochondria or shortsighted greed they’re suffering from?

  145. richard verney says:
    January 29, 2013 at 1:10 am

    He sat on a beach and said that during the day, the sand receive high quality ordered energy from the sun. The sand then radiates (especially at night) the energy that it has received. However, whilst it gives up the energy that it receives, the energy that it radiates is ‘a lower quality disordered energy’. That energy is ‘less useful and can do less work’. He actually said it can do less work.
    ====================
    What Professor Cox meant by lower quality, is just that it is at a lower temperature. Work can be done by heat when there is a heat gradient, so the sun, being very hot, can cause a lot of work to be done. When you get to the warm sand, what happens, is that the same amount of energy is there, in joules, but because the temperature is quite low, it would be very difficult to get any work out of it. Indeed, you would only be talking about a few degrees temperature gradient between the sand and the air.

    The other point you raised, about lower quality energy being returned in back radiation being of less importance than the original energy, is, I think, not relevant. We are primarily interested in the relationship between temperature and radiation density, as described by the Stefan-Boltzman equation. It is the quantity of energy falling per second on the surface that results in that surface having a specific temperature. The low quality energy from the back radiation, is measured in joules, just the same as high quality energy, so it’s effects on the surface temperature would not be affected. The ability to do work does not come into it.

  146. David Ball says:
    January 29, 2013 at 6:21 am
    davidmhoffer says:
    January 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Ask yourself why Dr. Ball is being hit with TWO lawsuits by “prominent” climate scientists. If you respond with “it was what he wrote”, I will laugh for two reasons. One, they have written far worse about him. Two, others have said far worse things about them. Give that big brain of yours a shake.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Oh for gawd’s sake! I’ve read plenty of what Dr Ball has written and he is no sl@yer. The law suits against him I am also familiar with and have nothing, zero, nada, to do with the sl@yer argument. His criticisms of cagw meme are rooted in actual science not sl@yer crap. Give YOUR head a shake.

  147. More Soylent Green! on January 29, 2013 at 6:47 am
    I’m not sure exactly what “lukewarmer” means. I believe it means

    * The greenhouse effect is real (no matter how misnamed).
    * CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    * Human activities have increased the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    * Human activities are therefore responsible for some of the recent warming.
    * However, there is no evidence that CAGW, impending climate disasters, etc., are real problems to be addressed.
    * There is no proof the effects of more warming will be more harmful than beneficial.

    Is that about right?

    – – – – – – –

    More Soylent Green!,

    You did a good job in attempting to synthesize what the ‘lukewarmer’ position might be. It is often presented in many forms by many individuals, many of whom eschew the validity of the idea of a ‘lukewarmer’ position. So, it is a confusing situation.

    I suggest one of several possible ideas about ‘lukewarmism’ is that it is a position held by certain individuals with non-expert / non-professional concerns about AGW in order to avoid the sharp pointed extremes of the scientifically contentious arguments.

    The Earth-Atmospheric System’s response to man’s activities provides, to the non-professional, an infinite opportunity for picking out slick PR labels. I think the professional scientists mock names like ‘lukewarmer’. N’est ce pas?

    John

  148. More Soylent Green! says:
    January 29, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I’m not sure exactly what “lukewarmer” means. I believe it means

    * The greenhouse effect is real (no matter how misnamed).
    * CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    * Human activities have increased the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    * Human activities are therefore responsible for some of the recent warming.
    * However, there is no evidence that CAGW, impending climate disasters, etc., are real problems to be addressed.
    * There is no proof the effects of more warming will be more harmful than beneficial.

    Is that about right?
    I believe it is. In a nutshell, they accept the idea that there is a human fingerprint on the recent warming. They just can’t show it to you.

  149. davidmhoffer:

    You keep repeating the phrase: “Even a child understands…” Sir, that type of logical fallacy (appeal to authority) has no place in scientific discussions. Why don’t you offer some type of EVIDENCE to support your position? I already did, and you did not refute it in any logical way. You just claimed that “Even a child understands..” That is no argument, just hot gas.

    Here’s another thing to ponder: the dry lapse rate depends upon only on the heat capacity of the molecules and the gravitational effect (lapse rate = g/Cp). If backradiation somehow helps “keep the heat in the air,” or “slows down the rate of cooling,” then we should have a different lapse rate equation for those gases that interact with IR, no? But we do not. Please explain.

  150. I return to my original point which you avoided probably because it is an uncomfortable analogy for you. Censoring non-abusive and on topic comments because you do not agree with them is what sites like SkepticalScience does, not what WUWT does.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    Well by all means let’s welcome back the slayers then. Contrails too. The earth is flat by the way, just look our your window and see with your own eyes. you must be stupid if you can’t see that it is flat. The sun circles the earth by the way, that should be obvious too, happens every day, just keep track yourself.

    I’ve noticed that richardscourtney, joel shore, rgbatduke, ira glickstein, leif svalgaard and many others have given up trying to address this drivel, and I am next. Which leaves the drivel spouters to spout their drivel unopposed. The inmates are taking over the asylum.

  151. @Pat Frank

    DvunK, “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. That is basic physics.”

    That is an assumption of climate modeling, and is not at all a basic of climate physical theory.

    No. Water molecules that are moving faster can break free of surface tension more easily. That is all it is. Not a climate model in sight.

    And to all that are congratulating Matt on writing great books like Genome and The Red Queen, please note that these great books (and they are) were written by Mark Ridley. Matt Ridley wrote his own pretty good book, The Rational Optimist, which I have read and recommend.

  152. @Climatebeagle

    David vun Kannon says:
    A) “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. That is basic physics.”
    B) “Since CO2 increases will raise the temperature, ”

    Can you actually show the basic physics for A) ?
    Is B) basic physics as well, otherwise what is the justification for the statement?

    A) is pretty easy to show. Rain. Molecules of water prefer to associate with each other than remain mixed with atmospheric gases. This preference creates surface tension. Overcoming surface tension requires a certain energy. As the temperature of the collected water rises, more molecules have that energy and can escape. Higher temperature = more water escaping. Basic physics.
    Yes B) is also basic physics.

  153. Dr. Ball is currently a big part of the fake slayer journal “principia” though has taken a step back from the ridiculous “Slaying the Sky Dragon”. IMHO he’s fence sitting on the outhouse fence. He’d do well to just step away from all of it.

  154. jae;
    Why don’t you offer some type of EVIDENCE to support your position?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I did. Just read the rest of the sentence.

  155. @rogerknights

    No economic stress, therefore, could be caused on the economies of Spain, Germany, Denmark, the UK, etc. from such measures then, as statistics there are beginning to indicate, and as bigshots (and those suffering fuel poverty) are beginning to complain? It’s all just hypochondria or shortsighted greed they’re suffering from?

    No, that is not what I said. I was pointing out that Ridley’s ‘chemotherapy’ analogy was of the wrong scale. I’m no fan of biofuels that raise food prices. I would much rather see a well regulated nuclear power industry around the world beating down the problem of AGW and spreading electricity to poverty stricken areas. These are policy choices and deserve debate.

  156. Anthony Watts says:
    January 29, 2013 at 9:44 am
    Dr. Ball is currently a big part of the fake slayer journal “principia” though has taken a step back from the ridiculous “Slaying the Sky Dragon”. IMHO he’s fence sitting on the outhouse fence. He’d do well to just step away from all of it.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I’ve read a considerable number of Dr Ball’s papers which are excellent science. I was unaware that anything he had written had shown up at principia. If he’s taken a step back, then good, I would join you in urging him to step away completely.

    The first physics problem I ever had to verify via experimentation involved beer. The problem was to put a bottle of warm beer in a cold river, take the temperature at one minutes and five minutes and from those two data points extrapolate the temperature of the beer at any point in time in the future. Five pages of calculus and I solved it. Professor said prove it. So, I took a completely different approach to the math and physics that produced the same answer. That’s not proof said the professor. He produced two cases of warm beer, a pack of thermometers, and marched the class down to the river bank and told us to prove out work.

    So we did.

    I got an A. If I’d used what passes for physics at principia and the whole sl@yer bs load of garbage I would have flunked.

    • @ David M Hoffer from the slayer fake journal website: http://principia-scientific.org/about/principles-of-association.html

      Bold mine.
      =================

      FOUNDING MEMBERS

      IBritish legal analyst and science writer, John O’Sullivan pursued a vision to form a large body of experts united in opposing the worst excesses of government-funded science. PSI would succeed where lone voices had failed.From the outset PSI was driven by retired Dutch Analytical Chemist, Hans Schreuder, Texan engineer and science writer, Joseph A. Olson and Canada’s most popular climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball. Dr. Ball is the appointed Chair of PSI.

      In July 2011 PSI published the first of a series of science papers under the optimistic banner of Principia Scientific International. All PSI’s published papers are thoroughly peer-reviewed among a team of highly qualified experts. PSI is particularly proud of all it’s papers not least our first by Biologist, Professor Nasif Nahle and Astrophysicist, Joe Postma. These and all our subsequent free-to-view papers are located in the ‘Publications’ section of this website.

  157. Konrad, your original comment, to which I was responding, i.e., here, concerned the radiation effects of CO2, only.

    My replies concerned the radiation effects of CO2, only. The term, “Effective Radiating Level” occurred nowhere in any of my posts. Nor was I playing “math games.”

    CO2 does not re-radiate IR in the troposphere. It can’t do, because the collisional deactivation time is too short; much, much shorter than the re-radiation deactivation time. That’s not a math game, that’s an experimental fact.

    I understand that you have a point you want to establish. But you should leave CO2 out of it. It’s not a radiative gas in the troposphere in the sense you mean; at least not in the 15 micron band.

    DvunK, constant relative humidity has been an assumption in climate models at least since the time of Manabe and Wetherall in 1967. But it has not been demonstrated to occur in the climate. David Stockwell has an accessible and critical summary discussion here.

  158. “I got an A. If I’d used what passes for physics at principia and the whole sl@yer bs load of garbage I would have flunked.”

    Oh, that is SO convincing! SO much factual matter there… LOL

    [OK, enough Slayer references. Thanks. — Mod.]

  159. DMH:

    “That’s not proof said the professor. He produced two cases of warm beer, a pack of thermometers, and marched the class down to the river bank and told us to prove out work.”

    Hmm, your professor appears to have been a very good scientist, because he understood the importance of empirical evidence. Diagrams and math don’t prove anything, by themselves. Remember that Einstein had to wait for 4 years for empirical evidence proving his theory of relativity. This is a big problem for proving the existence of a “radiative GHE.” And the mismatch between the constantly increasing OCO, but constant or decreasing temperatures over the last 16 years sure isn’t helping with empirical evidence.

  160. Dear Mr. Ridley:

    I read a lot of your stuff and generally applaud what, and how, you write – but not this time.

    First: please check this out – it’s 3000 words that won’t fit into this note:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/things-we-dont-know-about-climate/

    And then let me add something: things like the Noachian deluge, the medieval warming period, and the Dalton minimum all had natural causes. Similar events and processes now are caused by the American SUV – or CO2. How did that happen? Did God die on the job, or what?

  161. bw: Also, AIUI satellites show stratosphere temps dropping steadily. This is consistent with CO2 behaving as a coolant there. More CO2 leads to more cooling. Humlum’s page has charts for that.

    Do you have a link for that?

    [Reply: Dr. Humlum’s page is at: climate4you.com. Excellent resource. — mod.]

  162. jae;
    Diagrams and math don’t prove anything, by themselves.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Correct. In particular when drawn by people who have no grasp of the math, no grasp of the physics, no experience verifying either via experimentation, and who yet who feel qualified to explain to me what I don’t know about physics and what they do.

  163. Gail Combs says:
    January 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    JamesS says:
    January 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Since we only have the Mauna Loa CO2 records going back to the 1950′s, how can we possibly know the percentage of the rise since then that is man-made….

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually there were plenty of tests for CO2 before Mauna Loa.

    I can only think that Gail’s tongue was firmly planted in cheek when she provided me those links. Thanks for the read!

  164. Greg House says (January 28, 2013 at 11:25 pm): “I mean this study, right, but the point is that 70% of the scientists polled refused to confirm the AGW concept, although it would have taken them only 2 minutes to do it. This is the silent scientific majority, Gary.”

    Ah, now I understand your point! You assume that everyone who didn’t bother to answer the survey (or had changed E-mail address, or dismissed the survey as spam, etc.) didn’t think the earth had warmed since 1800 and didn’t think humans “significantly” affect global temperatures. In other words, “If you didn’t vote, you did, and you voted the way I say you voted.” :-)

    Interesting logic, but probably consistent with belief in a “theory” that no one bothers to demonstrate experimentally despite fabulous rewards for doing so. In future, though, it would save time if you mention up front that the 70% who supposedly “refuse to confirm AGW” are the ones who don’t actually express an opinion. Thanks in advance.

  165. Other_Andy says (January 28, 2013 at 11:56 pm): “Tell me you and Greg are not using the meaningless debunked “97%” Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman paper?
    GIGO…….”

    Not to worry, Andy. I was just pointing out that Greg, who thinks the survey says the opposite of what it really says, is literally reading what isn’t there. The survey of course only says that a majority of participants think the earth has warmed since 1800 and humans “significantly” affect global temperatures. I would answer “true” to the first and “false” to the second based on my own interpretation of the word “significantly”, which was undefined in the survey. GIGO indeed!

  166. Human nature is a tragically ugly thing, and the climate change has everything to do with it and nothing to do with science. You can take all the graphs, the wordiness and the postulations as meaningless; because science is not and will never be the real cruxt of this context which is, by default, meant to define who make money (the established, the hysterical and the so-aligned) and how pays (toilers, taxpayers, the poor) by FORCE. Remember; it’s our ugly human nature at play, not carbon dioxide.

  167. Greg House says (January 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm): “No, Gary, what Wood did was to compare 2 boxes where convection was equally restricted, but only in one of them the radiation was trapped (glass lid vs rock salt lid). And the experiment demonstrated that despite this trapped radiation the difference in temperature between the boxes was either zero or negligible.”

    Missing the point. Both boxes were significantly warmer than the “outside”, where convection was unrestricted. As Wood wrote about the concept of a greenhouse as a “radiation trap”, “It appeared much more probable that the part played by the glass was the prevention of the escape of the warm air heated by the ground within the enclosure. If we open the doors of a greenhouse on a cold and windy day, the trapping of radiation appears to lose much of its efficacy.” His experiment in fact showed that in his model greenhouses, “trapping” radiation was not much more effective than restricting convection.

    Wood extrapolated his results to the atmosphere as a whole, but wrote this disclaimer, “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”

    As I pointed out in an earlier comment, the earth’s atmosphere is not a greenhouse, so Wood’s results can’t be extrapolated to the earth as a whole.

    BTW, Wood’s experiment has been severely criticized, e.g. by Vaughan Pratt. An excerpt:

    “No one familiar with experimental methods in physics could possibly take this experiment seriously. It is riddled with methodological errors. One glaring one is that Wood neglected to take into account that his extra glass covering the salt window will itself trap radiation and heat up even when ventilated. He also made no attempt to investigate possible sources of errors, or to document the experiment in any reasonable detail. No dimensions or any other numerical parameters of the experiment were given and we have no idea whether the boxes were 2 inches or 2 feet on a side (presumably closer to the former since large IR-transparent windows are a rarity in optical labs), or whether they were cubes or flat trays, or how thick the windows were other than that they were the same thickness, etc. etc.”

    See Pratt’s full comment on Judith Curry’s blog (scroll down through comments):

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/13/slaying-the-greenhouse-dragon-part-iv/

    Pratt’s failure to replicate Wood’s results is covered here:

    http://boole.stanford.edu/WoodExpt/

    So there’s still time to perform the Nobel prize-winning experiment to disprove the so-called “greenhouse” effect. :-)

  168. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm: “Ah, now I understand your point! You assume that everyone who didn’t bother to answer the survey (or had changed E-mail address, or dismissed the survey as spam, etc.) didn’t think the earth had warmed since 1800 and didn’t think humans “significantly” affect global temperatures. In other words, “If you didn’t vote, you did, and you voted the way I say you voted.” :-)”
    ==========================================================

    Yes, Gary, in this particular case not answering can be interpreted as disagreement with the AGW concept.

    You forgot to mention that those “everyone” were not just randomly chosen ordinary people in an anonymous poll. They were earth scientists contacted via their official e-mail addresses: “An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 10,257 Earth scientists. The database was built from Keane and Martinez [2007], which lists all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA U.S.
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; andso forth).”

    Second, the 2 simple questions about asked were politically very important for everyone. And third, it would have taken only 2 minutes to fill in the form end press “send” button.

    Given that an open disagreement on AGW could have had unpleasant consequences for the scientists polled and that AGW proponents had no reason to refuse to answer, the refusal to answer can be interpreted as disagreement on AGW concept.

  169. Pat Frank says:
    January 29, 2013 at 10:32 am
    “CO2 does not re-radiate IR in the troposphere. It can’t do, because the collisional deactivation time is too short; much, much shorter than the re-radiation deactivation time. That’s not a math game, that’s an experimental fact.”
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    Pat,
    My apologies for the pre-emptive strike on ERL. I am a little too used to the shifting goal posts of the AGW claims.

    First we had the DWIR slows the cooling of the surface thing. However this does not work for liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool, 71% of the earth’s surface. Then AGW moved on to the direct thermalisation claim. However the ability of CO2 to radiate energy acquired by means other than outgoing IR from the surface would offset this. Then the ERL thing became popular.

    In re-reading your post I see that you were indicating next to no LWIR emitted from CO2 below the tropopause and not referring to the ERL game.

    However I would suggest that CO2, as with all matter, must emit IR at any temperature above 0K. CO2 is also far better at this than N2 or O2. If CO2 could only emit IR above tropospheric altitude, then due to the optical density in the troposphere we would not be able to detect any downwelling IR in the 15um band. 15Um IR from the stratosphere would be absorbed before it reached the surface. This would rule out CO2 increasing DWIR. This is clearly not the case. We do see DWIR in the 15um band.

    One of the huge problems with AGW “science” is that it is almost totally focused on radiative exchange. There is little discussion of radiative gases emitting energy from the release of latent heat from condensation or conductive surface contact to space. Given your interest the the adsorption and radiative properties of CO2 there are some simple experiments you could try that would demonstrate the ability of CO2 to radiate energy it has acquired through means other than IR radiation, and do so at tropospheric temperatures and pressures.

    Experiment 1. (low cost)
    Build two insulated containers with potassium chloride salt lenses for lids. Under a clear dry night sky (desert conditions would be best) fill both containers with dry 30C gas. CO2 in one container 1, N2 in container 2. Which container cools Faster? Is the answer –
    A. Both containers cool at the same rate.
    B. Container 1 cools faster because of the greater IR emission from CO2.
    C. Container 2 cools faster because of the greater thermal conductivity of N2.

    Experiment 2. (high cost)
    Attach two gas cylinders with regulators one CO2, one N2, to two 10m long lengths of 5mm PVC tubing. Coil most of the tubing through an insulated container full of hot water. Attach the two open ends of the PVC tubes to two retort stands in front of a cool wall. Set gas flow from both tubes to 1 L/s. Observe the gas flowing out of both tubes with a high quality IR camera capable of seeing beyond 15um. Are the results –
    A. Both tubes are visible as warm, but both gas plumes are undetectable.
    B. Both tubes are visible as warm and the CO2 gas plume is also visible.

  170. @PatFrank

    DvunK, constant relative humidity has been an assumption in climate models at least since the time of Manabe and Wetherall in 1967.

    Sorry, were not talking about relative humidity or climate models. We’re talking about something much simpler – does an increase in temperature increase the amount of water that can be carried by air? The answer is yes.

    Air at 50C can carry almost 10% water. Air at -20C can carry almost 0% water. Guess how much water can be carried by air at 100C? (Hint: its called steam.)

    So, a rise in temperature due to any source, including more CO2, will be amplified by the increase in water vapor. That addresses the misconception of Matt Ridley. With respect to climate, you’d have to argue that overall relative humidity is falling constantly, and by enough, for there to be _no_ amplification of CO2 by H2O. Good luck with that.

  171. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm: “Wood extrapolated his results to the atmosphere as a whole, but wrote this disclaimer, “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”
    ========================================================

    This is not a disclaimer. Let me emphasize the essential part for you: “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”

    “The fact”, Gary, as a result of his experiment.

  172. Given that an open disagreement on AGW could have had unpleasant consequences for the scientists polled and that AGW proponents had no reason to refuse to answer, the refusal to answer can be interpreted as disagreement on AGW concept.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    ROFLMAO

  173. dvunkannon says:

    “…you’d have to argue that overall relative humidity is falling constantly, and by enough, for there to be _no_ amplification of CO2 by H2O. Good luck with that.”

    Oh, wait

  174. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm: “BTW, Wood’s experiment has been severely criticized, e.g. by Vaughan Pratt. An excerpt: “No one familiar with experimental methods in physics could possibly take this experiment seriously. It is riddled with methodological errors. One glaring one is that Wood neglected to take into account that his extra glass covering the salt window will itself trap radiation and heat up even when ventilated. …”
    =============================================================

    I just hope that Pratt did not made it up about “extra glass covering the salt window” intentionally. First, he could not have witnessed the Wood experiment, because he was not even born then yet. Second, it can not be derived from the published description of the experiment either. Let us say, Pratt had probably misunderstood the article.

    “Extra glass covering the salt window” would have indeed invalidated the experiment, this is obvious. However, nothing in the article indicates that Wood did that. What he did was let the sunshine pass through a glass pane first to eliminate the warming effect of the solar infra-red. In Wood’s words: “When exposed to sunlight the temperature rose gradually to 65 oC., the enclosure covered with the salt plate keeping a little ahead of the other, owing to the fact that it transmitted the longer waves from the sun, which were stopped by the glass. In order to eliminate this action the sunlight was first passed through a glass plate.” That is all about the extra glass plate in the article. The glass plate could have been easily positioned 2-3 meter away from the boxes thus making a possible effect of “returned” IR negligible.

    The results are realistic, we all know how temperature rises in a car when parked in the sun in summer.

    By the way, in the same comment (http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/13/slaying-the-greenhouse-dragon-part-iv/#comment-100724) Pratt refers to an experiment where in a box with a glass covering the temperature reached 118C (!) (“three glass covers on a box”). I just wonder, we could boil water this way without power, right?

  175. Konrad, not a problem. :-) Atm CO2 will absorb 15 micron radiation. It just will not release that energy as re-radiation, below the tropopause. Instead, it preferentially converts the absorbed energy into kinetic energy by collision with N2 and O2. So, there will always be a 15 micron absorption band. But there won’t be a fluorescence emission band, because the energy has been released by a different mechanism (collision).

    Your two closed-lid experiments don’t capture the physical reality of the process.

    DvunK, Earth climate isn’t modeled by a heated pot of water. Any increased K.E. in the atmosphere gets partitionaed among a number of climate processes. What we end up observing depends on where it goes. Maybe sensible heat. Maybe increased convection and turbulence. Maybe more clouds. Insisting it all goes directly into water vapor and increased sensible heat is naive. But that’s pretty much what’s built into climate models.

  176. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm): “Yes, Gary, in this particular case not answering can be interpreted as disagreement with the AGW concept.”

    Romney’s lawyer addressing the US Supreme Court: “Yes Obama won the popular vote 53% to 47%, but only 57.5% of eligible voters cast ballots. The other 42.5% obviously didn’t want Obama to be president, so Romney should get their votes.”

    Marketing VP addressing board of directors: “70% of consumers participating in our survey chose our competitor’s yogurt over our new yogurt, but only 30% participated. That means 79% of consumers failed to pick theirs over ours, so we should definitely mass market our new yogurt!”

    Al Gore to the Florida Supreme Co– Nah, let’s not go there. :-)

    As I mentioned before, Greg, your view that no data is the same as data is certainly consistent with your view on the so-called “greenhouse” effect. Note, however, that while the Doran & Kendall survey results can be interpreted your way, they can also be interpreted as saying that 70% of E-mailed scientists would rather watch internet porn than answer a survey. I say we conduct a survey to settle the question, and I get to interpret the non-respondents. :-)

  177. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm): “Let me emphasize the essential part for you:”

    Now let me emphasize the important part of the disclaimer:

    “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter…”

    In particular, he didn’t delve at all into his speculation that the so-called “greenhouse” effect is of little importance in the earth’s atmosphere. His results applied to his model greenhouses, and nothing else. It would be best to follow Wood’s lead and not pretend that they have wider application.

  178. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm): ‘“Extra glass covering the salt window” would have indeed invalidated the experiment, this is obvious. However, nothing in the article indicates that Wood did that.’

    Nothing indicates he didn’t. But since we always interpret no data as data supporting our own view, then obviously he didn’t, right? :-) Of course if one is a scientist, not a lawyer, one would like to know all the experimental details before passing judgment.

    “The results are realistic, we all know how temperature rises in a car when parked in the sun in summer.”

    Well, a car is closer to a greenhouse than the atmosphere is, but why not use an actual greenhouse as your example? It’s OK, I’ve been in real greenhouses growing real plants (legal ones, I hasten to add). :-)

    “By the way, in the same comment (http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/13/slaying-the-greenhouse-dragon-part-iv/#comment-100724) Pratt refers to an experiment where in a box with a glass covering the temperature reached 118C (!) (“three glass covers on a box”). I just wonder, we could boil water this way without power, right?”

    For places with sunlilght but without other power or fuel, it’s probably easier to use a solar oven:

  179. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm: “I say we conduct a survey to settle the question, and I get to interpret the non-respondents. :-)”
    ================================================================

    Of course, Gary, non-responding can be interpreted in a certain way, if certain responding can lead to certain problems for responders, this is obvious.

  180. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm: “Now let me emphasize the important part of the disclaimer: “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter…””
    =========================================================

    Gary, this can not be seen as a disclaimer because in the same sentence Wood said “the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”

    “The fact”, Gary?

    Second and more important, the results of Wood’s experiment demonstrate that back radiation has zero or negligible effect on the temperature of the source. This is what matters.

  181. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm: “The results are realistic, we all know how temperature rises in a car when parked in the sun in summer.”
    Well, a car is closer to a greenhouse than the atmosphere is, but why not use an actual greenhouse as your example?

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

    Because, Gary, only very few people have ever been in a greenhouse. And to avoid a possible misunderstanding that this is about greenhouses. It is not about greenhouses, it is about back radiation having zero or negligible effect on the temperature of the source. And it is about the “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC having been disproved 70 years before the IPCC was established.

  182. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm): ‘Gary, this can not be seen as a disclaimer because in the same sentence Wood said “the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”’

    It’s a disclaimer because “the cases with which we are familiar” consist of two boxes of incompletely documented construction which may or may not accurately model bigger greenhouses of varying construction and are only vaguely related to the earth’s atmosphere.

    “Second and more important, the results of Wood’s experiment demonstrate that back radiation has zero or negligible effect on the temperature of the source.”

    …under Wood’s imcompletely documented experimental conditions and for the two very special cases he investigated. Extrapolating these results to the earth’s atmosphere, which Wood did not attempt to model, is pure speculation.

    A better way to test the concept of so-called “back radiation” (SCBR), though not necessarily the best way, would be to perform Dr. Roy Spencer’s thought experiment for real, as I’ve suggested in several WUWT comment threads:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

    I’m still baffled that SCBR skeptics haven’t performed such an experiment and revolutionized radiation physics. :-)

  183. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm): “Of course, Gary, non-responding can be interpreted in a certain way, if certain responding can lead to certain problems for responders, this is obvious.”

    The survey reported responses by name?
    The survey threatened to rat out politically incorrect responders to their employers?
    Those who did respond and answered “incorrectly” suffered adverse consequences?
    The response rate of the survey was significantly different from other web surveys on non-controversial subjects?

  184. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm: “Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm): ‘Gary, this can not be seen as a disclaimer because in the same sentence Wood said “the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”’
    —————-
    It’s a disclaimer because “the cases with which we are familiar” consist of two boxes of incompletely documented construction which may or may not accurately model bigger greenhouses of varying construction and are only vaguely related to the earth’s atmosphere.”

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

    It is not a disclaimer per definition, maybe you need to look this word up in dictionary.

    Second, as I said in my previous comment, it is not about greenhouses and therefore there is no need to model bigger or whatever greenhouses. It is about about certain mechanism, namely alleged effect of back radiation on the temperature of the source.

    Now, if this effect is zero or negligible, as the Wood’s experiment demonstrates, then it is irrelevant what substance produces back radiation. It can be glass or a gas or whatever. It does not matter, Gary, because this back radiation effect does not effect the temperature of the source.

  185. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm): “It is not about greenhouses,”

    Um, Wood’s experiment is absolutely about greenhouses, more specifically about his models of greenhouses. He speculated about extrapolating his results to the atmosphere, but never followed up AFAIK. BTW, the Pratt & Nahle experiments are also about model greenhouses, not the atmosphere, because the atmosphere doesn’t have walls or a glass, salt, acrylic, or polyethylene roof.

    ” it is about back radiation having zero or negligible effect on the temperature of the source.”

    Great. I’ve suggested a much better experiment to disprove so-called “back radiation”, but so far no takers. WUWT?

  186. Gail Combs says:
    January 29, 2013 at 4:53 am

    and

    Vince Causey says
    January 29, 2013 at 7:52 am
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    I think that the programne that I was referring to was called ‘The wonders of Life’. No doubt it is still on BBC iplayer.

    Brian Cox is a professor of particle physics specialising in high energy physics. Here is his wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Cox_(physicist). This would appear to be well within his field of expertise.

    Whilst I would really have liked to question him to explore the views that he expressed, I have little doubt that he was not referring to temperature, and the use of the expressions ordered and disordered was deliberate.

    I am quite sure that he was suggesting that whilst energy is conserved, everytime that it is used and recycled, it loses some inherent quality such that it gradually becomes less and less useful, ie., it has a lesser ability to perform useful work.

    I have little doubt that he was suggesting that whilst the amount of Joules remained constant, there was some quality within the energy itself that is lost such that its ability to do work becomes less and less. I am fairly convinced that he was inferring that this is inherent in the law of entropy and why everything tends to disorder.

  187. Anthony, your blog has come a far way from just questioning the accuracy (atrocious, as you rightly pointed out) of the historical temperature records. Now people are actually discussing the validity of the “Radiative Greenhouse Effect”. Seems a little bit like that old consensus about stomach ulcers being caused by stress and spicy foods and needing surgery and diet modification to remediate.

    Maybe the “slayers” are quacks, OR maybe they are correct ? Like the doctors that found the real cause of ~90% of the ulcers ?

    But these kind of comments;

    “jae, alecm and greg house are all spouting sl@yer drivel which is an even bigger load of claptrap than the alarmist bs itself (which at one time I would have deemed impossible). I for one am tired of seeing it.”

    Don’t add much, if anything to our understanding.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  188. Pat Frank says:
    January 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    “ Atm CO2 will absorb 15 micron radiation. It just will not release that energy as re-radiation, below the tropopause.”

    “Your two closed-lid experiments don’t capture the physical reality of the process”
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    Pat,
    you would have to be the first person I have read claiming that CO2 was not radiating 15um radiation within the troposphere. I am beginning to see your misunderstanding. There is nothing special about the energy CO2 receives by intercepting IR. It is no different than energy CO2 molecules in the atmosphere acquire from such sources as conduction or latent heat. Heat CO2 to 30C by incident IR or conductive contact with 30C surface, it doesn’t matter. The radiation from that CO2 will be the same. CO2 radiates energy it has acquired from all three sources both below and above tropopause. Few would dispute that 15um radiation emitted from the atmosphere can be measured at ground level. Despite your claim, CO2 is radiating at all levels within the troposphere.

    “Your two closed-lid experiments don’t capture the physical reality of the process”
    Firstly one of the two experiments was not closed-lid. Secondly I note you did not try to give an answer to either experiment. Thirdly if a physical experiment cannot be used to capture the physical reality of a process then the process described is not physically possible. This is probably why there are no physical experiments proving AGW.

    CO2 radiates acquired energy better than N2 or O2. CO2 does not care how it acquired the energy it radiates. To CO2, intercepted IR is no different to energy acquired via conductive contact with the surface or other atmospheric gases. CO2 does not treat IR from the surface as “magic AGW energy” that it must not radiate below the tropopause.

    1. CO2 is a radiative gas.
    2. Radiative gases are the only method for energy loss at altitude in our atmosphere.
    3. Energy loss at higher altitude than energy gain is critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause.
    4. If convective circulation stalls, our atmosphere heats.
    5. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the radiative cooling ability of the atmosphere.
    6. Radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0ppm.

  189. No response to this from the Huffer (or others) with respect to this query I posted above:

    “Here’s another thing to ponder: the dry lapse rate depends upon only on the heat capacity of the molecules and the gravitational effect (lapse rate = g/Cp). If backradiation somehow helps “keep the heat in the air,” or “slows down the rate of cooling,” then we should have a different lapse rate equation for those gases that interact with IR, no? But we do not. Please explain.”

    Or this one: “And the mismatch between the constantly increasing OCO, but constant or decreasing temperatures over the last 16 years sure isn’t helping with empirical evidence.”

    And there are many other questions that challenge the concept of a GHE which remain unanswered with actual facts and data.

    Can SOMEONE please point to empirical data that support the GHE?

  190. @KevinK: A consequence of not blocking or censoring comments is that you have to put up with some fairly inane ones. I personally think that is a cost worth paying on order to have an honest forum where an honest discussion can take place.

  191. Jim Steele wrote;

    “If you have ever done any backpacking you you will vividly experience the difference between
    cloudy nights and clear nights. Camping in the desert reveals a similar greenhouse effect.”

    No need to go backpacking to see this effect, it happens here in the rural areas as well. I suggest what you are seeing is simply that fact that heat travels more slowly through some materials (water vapor) than through others (dry gases like O2, N, Co2, etc.). This causes things to cool off more slowly when it is cloudy at night.

    As a corollary you might want to consider why people use gloves to pick up metal hand tools in very hot/cold weather ? The metal has a faster “speed of heat” than the human hand and when you pick it up it quickly transfers more heat energy to your hand than an insulated tool would, Ouch that smarts.

    No “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” necessary to explain that.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  192. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm): “It is not a disclaimer per definition, maybe you need to look this word up in dictionary.”

    Oh, sorry. Does “caveat” work better for you? “A rose, by any other name” still says Wood didn’t claim to examine greenhouses in detail, or the atmosphere at all. Rather than proclaim a result well beyond what Wood himself was willing to support, why not do the definitive experiment that Wood would not?

    BTW, if I belonged to the “no data is my data” school of logic, I’d read volumes into the fact that AFAIK Wood never followed up on his backyard science experiment. But I don’t so I won’t. :-)

  193. Ian H, yes I agree. I only meant to point out the “inane” comments when I see them. Anthony has a fine blog, and his policies are fair and unbiased.

    I do try not to post “drivel” since I hate to waste my time or anyone else’s.

    Thanks, Kevin.

  194. jae;
    Can SOMEONE please point to empirical data that support the GHE?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The earth and the moon get nearly the exact same amount of energy from the sun. On average the earth considerably warmer than the moon. The earth has an atmosphere, the moon doesn’t.

    Mercury gets considerably more energy from the sun than does Venus, yet Venus has an average temperature far higher than that of Mercury. Venus has an atmosphere, Mercury doesn’t.

    Stefan and Boltzmann developed a formula that accurately predicts the surface temperature of any body in thermal equilibrium based on the energy input. This is known as the Stefan-Boltzmann Law of physics and has been verified by experimentation on a daily basis by engineers who use it to accurately design everything from the mundane such as hot water heaters to the incredibly complex such as nuclear reactors to the critical such as the cooling system for spacecraft. Using SB Law and the energy flux received directly from the sun, the surface temperature of earth is about 33 degrees higher than the SB Law would predict. As seen from space however, the apparent temperature of earth is precisely a match to the SB Law calculation, indicating that the presence of an atmosphere makes the surface of the earth warmer than it otherwise would be but the average temperature from earth surface to TOA does in fact match the SB Law calculation.

    It is possible to measure downwelling LW radiation from the sky toward the surface at night. Since there is no sunshine at night, the only logical conclusion is that the source of the downwelling LW is somewhere in the atmosphere. I have provided three links in a comment above to articles on WUWT which go into detail on these issues. The first of these contains direct measurement of downwelling LW in environments with both high and low levels of water vapour, showing the profound effect of water vapour as greenhouse gas.

  195. What Matt Ridley is or isn’t persuaded of is, unsurprisingly, completely irrelevant. He can remain as unpersuaded as he likes. His 10 points are riddled with lies and distortions so one suspects he will not be letting reality trouble his chosen world view any time soon.

  196. KevinK;
    I suggest what you are seeing is simply that fact that heat travels more slowly through some materials (water vapor) than through others (dry gases like O2, N, Co2, etc.). This causes things to cool off more slowly when it is cloudy at night.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The surface cools due to multiple processes including convection and radiance, with the radiance part being according to SB Law. Radiance is in fact the release of energy from a surface in the form of photons which travel at the speed of light. They do not change speed due to the presence of clouds or no clouds. In fact the SB Law formula is:

    P=5.67*10^-8*T^4

    where P is in w/m2 and T is in degrees Kelvin. I draw your attention to the fact that there is no term in the equation for the presence of, at any temperature, another body. In other words, a body at 300 degrees K radiates at 459.3 w/m2 if it is next to dry ice and if it is next to the sun itself the exact same number. If the temperature of the body is going up or down is entirely dependent upon the body receiving more energy than it radiates (temp goes up) or less (temp goes down) but at an instant in time when it is at THAT temperature, it radiates at 459.3 w/m2. In the case of a cloudy night, the surface of the earth at, for sake of argument, 300 K (23 C) will cool at a rate of 459.3 w/m2. On a very clear night with low humidity (such as a desert) the temperature will drop rapidly. The exact same earth surface though in a high humidity or cloudy night sky or both will cool more slowly. Not however because the surface is cooling more slowly, it is still cooling at 459.3 w/m2. Nor because the “heat” travels more slowly. The photons travel at the speed of light no matter what. The reason for the slower cooling is the downward LW from the clouds, water vapour and other ghg effects of the atmosphere. These can be measured, and the explanation I’ve just provided can be confirmed by consulting any university level text book on radiative physics. Confirming SB Law via experimentation is a standard part of engineering and physics curriculum at universities world wide.

  197. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm: ““A rose, by any other name” still says Wood didn’t claim to examine greenhouses in detail, or the atmosphere at all.”
    ===========================================================

    Right, Gary, he did not examine greenhouses in detail, or the atmosphere at all. What he did examine was the alleged effect of trapped radiation on the source. The result was zero or close to zero.

    My guess is that back in the 19th century some scientists knew about glass being opaque to IR radiation and thought that glass walls and roofs of greenhouses kept them warmer inside by trapping IR radiation. Then, after certain radiative properties of some gases were discovered, that idea about trapped radiation was extended to the atmosphere, just like that,and the problem was that those scientists did not bother to check it.

    But Wood did, by a very easy experiment. Again, he checked whether trapped radiation worked as it was thought or not. The result was: it did not. The whole old thing about “greenhouse effect” was a fiction, a mistake, a wrong guess.

    Unfortunately, now we have a problem, because this fiction has been used in a certain well known way.

  198. My guess is that back in the 19th century some scientists knew about glass being opaque to IR radiation and thought that glass walls and roofs of greenhouses kept them warmer inside by trapping IR radiation.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Increase of temperatures due to suppression of convection has been known to engineers and scientists as far back as ancient Rome.

  199. David vun Kannon says:
    “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. ”
    and
    “So, a rise in temperature due to any source, including more CO2, will be amplified by the increase in water vapor. ”

    So how come we have USCRN stations that show an increase in temperature from 24.6°C to 36.4°C, yet RH drops from 72% to 26%?

    So warmer air has the ability to hold more water, but doesn’t mean it will hold more water.

  200. davidmhoffer says:
    January 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm
    “Increase of temperatures due to suppression of convection has been known to engineers and scientists as far back as ancient Rome.”
    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Ever wondered what would happen to convective circulation below the tropopause if the atmosphere could not radiate IR to space? ;)

  201. davidmhoffer says, January 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm “My guess is that back in the 19th century some scientists knew about glass being opaque to IR radiation and thought that glass walls and roofs of greenhouses kept them warmer inside by trapping IR radiation.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Increase of temperatures due to suppression of convection has been known to engineers and scientists as far back as ancient Rome.”
    ======================================================

    Yeah, that is why until a couple of years ago internet was full of explanations referring exactly to that “trapped radiation” in greenhouses and not to suppressed convection. Such explanations still can be found. This is one from 2001 (Wikipedia, “Greenhouse effect”):

    “The term greenhouse effect originally came from gardening. A greenhouse is built of glass roofs and windows to keep plants warm. Sunlight passes through the glass and warms up the plants and objects inside the greenhouse. The heat is radiated back as infrared in longer wavelengths. The longer wavelength outgoing infrared cannot penetrate glass as well as the shorter wavelength incoming radiation. In a sense, a greenhouse let more of the solar energy coming in than going out. The temperature inside the greenhouse builds up over time. The greenhouse effect refers to the heat trapping characteristics of a greenhouse.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Greenhouse_effect&oldid=254426) Enjoy.

  202. Greg House says (January 29, 2013 at 8:41 pm): ‘The whole old thing about “greenhouse effect” was a fiction, a mistake, a wrong guess.’

    Again, you go much farther than Wood himself did. He speculated that so-called “back radiation” was of negligible importance in the earth’s energy budget, but

    1) did not claim his experiment was conclusive in that regard, and
    2) AFAIK did not go beyond one poorly documented experiment to settle the matter.

    As I investigate the subject further, I find more “Wood-y” experiments. Here’s one comparing IR-opaque with IR-transparent polyethylene covers for the “high tunnel” variety of greenhouse:

    http://www.hort.cornell.edu/hightunnel/about/research/general/plastic_comparisons_reid.pdf

    The result: “Infrared wavelength blocking covering offered a benefit of 1-3 degrees F in minimum temperature [at night] in our research, without consistently increasing maximum temperature during the day.”

    Were I the excitable type, I’d proclaim that this proves the reality of the so-called “greenhouse” effect, but of course it just demonstrates a non-zero non-negligible role of IR so-called “back radiation” in a type of greenhouse. No Nobel Prizes here. :-)

    (Hat tip to Nick Stokes commenting on Eli Rabett’s blog.)

  203. DZ Berry says:
    January 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    =============================

    re: “completely irrelevant”

    Funny thing, DZ, your comment is devoid of substance so one cannot tell if you know anything or have any useful thoughts at all. Comments like that are “completely irrelevant”….

  204. Greg House;
    Yeah, that is why until a couple of years ago internet was full of explanations referring exactly to that “trapped radiation” in greenhouses and not to suppressed convection. Such explanations still can be found. This is one from 2001 (Wikipedia, “Greenhouse effect”):
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    To demonstrate something you said didn’t happen until a couple of years ago, you provide a link to an article that was written 12 years ago, ten years prior to when you claim it started happening. I note that the article was corrected to say that the use of the word greenhouse was actually a misnomer because actual greenhouses warm by suppressing convection, and that correction was inserted in 2002, 12 years ago.

    In addition to making up your own facts you appear to also invent your own timelines and then falsify them with your own evidence.

  205. D.M.H – “Increase of temperatures due to suppression of convection has been known to engineers and scientists as far back as ancient Rome.”

    K- “Ever wondered what would happen to convective circulation below the tropopause if the atmosphere could not radiate IR to space? ;)”
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    In the vacuum of space, no one can hear your spherical chicken squawk.*

    * Chickens may rapidly become spherical when introduced to the hard vacuum of space. They just don’t stay that way for long…

  206. davidmhoffer says:
    January 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm
    KevinK;
    I suggest what you are seeing is simply that fact that heat travels more slowly through some materials (water vapor) than through others (dry gases like O2, N, Co2, etc.). This causes things to cool off more slowly when it is cloudy at night.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The surface cools due to multiple processes including convection and radiance, with the radiance part being according to SB Law. Radiance is in fact the release of energy from a surface in the form of photons which travel at the speed of light. They do not change speed due to the presence of clouds or no clouds. In fact the SB Law formula is:

    P=5.67*10^-8*T^4

    where P is in w/m2 and T is in degrees Kelvin. I draw your attention to the fact that there is no term in the equation for the presence of, at any temperature, another body. In other words, a body at 300 degrees K radiates at 459.3 w/m2 if it is next to dry ice and if it is next to the sun itself the exact same number. If the temperature of the body is going up or down is entirely dependent upon the body receiving more energy than it radiates (temp goes up) or less (temp goes down) but at an instant in time when it is at THAT temperature, it radiates at 459.3 w/m2. In the case of a cloudy night, the surface of the earth at, for sake of argument, 300 K (23 C) will cool at a rate of 459.3 w/m2. On a very clear night with low humidity (such as a desert) the temperature will drop rapidly. The exact same earth surface though in a high humidity or cloudy night sky or both will cool more slowly. Not however because the surface is cooling more slowly, it is still cooling at 459.3 w/m2. Nor because the “heat” travels more slowly.

    David, you miss the emissivity in the formula which makes a great deal of difference.
    The Earth as a whole loses energy to space as a grey body, the radiation coming from various levels, some directly from the surface, some from the atmosphere at different levels.

    CO2 radiation in discussion covers narrow bands of the outgoing radiation leaving the Earth.
    Changes in CO2 concentration affect primordially those narrow bands emissions. The net heat changes in this area is the CO2 effect – as through enrichment of the CO2 in the atmosphere, these radiation to space are said to come from higher & cooler atmospheric levels.

    Inside the atmosphere there are other heat transfer to bring heat at the radiation points from where it leaves the Earth. This heat transfer is described by Kevin.
    What you describe are changes in the level from where the heat is radiated to space through clouds, which I do not find relevant to the CO2 discussion directly.

  207. Matt Ridley: A Lukewarmer’s Ten Tests
    Posted on January 28, 2013 by Guest Blogger
    What it would take to persuade me that current climate policy makes sense
    ……………………….
    Full paper with graphs and references here

    Anthony the link leads to “404 not found” error. Here is the functioning link:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/mett-ridley-lukewarmers-ten-tests/

    or here:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/01/Ridley-Lukewarmer-Ten-Tests.pdf

    to replace the above:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/01/Ridley-Ten-Tests.pdf

    Thank you Matt for putting this list up. It helps a lot to have the points clarified.
    One point not discussed above is the very sad situation to see how science is being misused to support certain ideology. The environmentalist movement has very much positioned itself against hard science, pretending to do the “real science” and trying to relativise science as such, becoming the 20th century new religion.
    The longer the relativisation of hard science takes, the longer activism is replacing rational discussions and arguments based on proof, the longer the fabrication of data is accepted the bigger the damage done.
    Clarifying the skeptics position is very important for the discussion, thank you again Matt for the hard work you do to try to bring rational conversation in front.

  208. Konrad says: January 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Experiment 1. (low cost)

    Experiment 2. (high cost)
    Attach two gas cylinders with regulators one CO2, one N2, to two 10m long lengths of 5mm PVC tubing. Coil most of the tubing through an insulated container full of hot water. Attach the two open ends of the PVC tubes to two retort stands in front of a cool wall. Set gas flow from both tubes to 1 L/s. Observe the gas flowing out of both tubes with a high quality IR camera capable of seeing beyond 15um. Are the results –
    A. Both tubes are visible as warm, but both gas plumes are undetectable.
    B. Both tubes are visible as warm and the CO2 gas plume is also visible.

    I have done some simple thermography of sky/boiling water/emissivity-reflectance
    see

    http://climateandstuff.blogspot.ca/search/label/thermal%20imaging?m=0

    water vapour at 100C is invisible to a camera with a 2 to 13um response
    clear sky appears <-40C camera limit.
    high cloud -16C +- a lot!
    Low cloud -9 +- a lot!

    But what is sky emissivity!
    There are a few videos showing that paper placed in the invisible 100C vapour is "instantly" heated. (if the embedded ones don't work try the youtube)

    If you wish to ask question please use the linked page – comments here keep disappearing!

  209. When I come to WUWT I feel privileged. I learn so much although so much of it is so beyond my ability to comprehend now and then I see an especially well written piece that even a layman like myself can understand. I urge everyone on this thread to go back to Arno Arrak`s entry of Jan 28th at 4:39pm where he presents a nice concise, factual history of recent climate trends.

  210. Lars P;
    David, you miss the emissivity in the formula which makes a great deal of difference.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I didn’t miss it, I left it out because it was not germaine to the question being discussed. The commenter was of the impression that clouds and humidity slow the movement of heat via radiance and what I provided was sufficient to show that this is not the case,

  211. Gary Hladik says, January 29, 2013 at 9:35 pm: “As I investigate the subject further, I find more “Wood-y” experiments. Here’s one comparing IR-opaque with IR-transparent polyethylene covers for the “high tunnel” variety of greenhouse:

    http://www.hort.cornell.edu/hightunnel/about/research/general/plastic_comparisons_reid.pdf

    The result: “Infrared wavelength blocking covering offered a benefit of 1-3 degrees F in minimum temperature [at night] in our research, without consistently increasing maximum temperature during the day.”
    Were I the excitable type, I’d proclaim that this proves the reality of the so-called “greenhouse” effect,
    ========================================================

    Gary, this “result” is not supported by their own data. Here they go into details: http://www.hort.cornell.edu/hightunnel/about/research/general/penn_state_plastic_study.pdf . You can find this there: “On some, but not all nights, the IR blocking materials provided extra protection by way of retaining heat inside the high tunnel at night.”.

    So, exactly like on cloudy nights (see above) we have a lazy “greenhouse effect” again, working part-time.

    Another peace of junk science.

  212. Pat Frank says:
    January 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    Konrad, not a problem. :-) Atm CO2 will absorb 15 micron radiation. It just will not release that energy as re-radiation, below the tropopause. Instead, it preferentially converts the absorbed energy into kinetic energy by collision with N2 and O2. So, there will always be a 15 micron absorption band. But there won’t be a fluorescence emission band, because the energy has been released by a different mechanism (collision).

    Pat, I have no idea where you got the idea that GHGs like CO2 give up most of their energy to kinetic collisions. I personally took an interest in this topic and did a little reading myself. What I found is the likelihood of re-radiation was significantly higher and typically occurs in less than 25 nanoseconds.

    I don’t have the reference at hand but I’d suggest you need to recheck this. Think about it. If all the heat radiated from the surface got stuck in the atmosphere how would it cool? The atmosphere would keep right on heating until it boiled off.

    I have been mentioning the “cooling effect” of GHGs for a few years now and my logic is exactly the same as Konrad’s. GHGs have 2 effects. The well known GHE does lead to warming but it is only part of the physics. The ignored part of the physics is the cooling effect described by Konrad. In fact, if you take the KT energy cartoons you see a significant amount of energy enters the atmosphere from non-LWIR sources. That energy also has to go away to avoid the over heating problem. CO2 is one of the gases that accomplishes that feat. More CO2, more atmospheric energy radiated to space.

  213. Hi climatebeagle:

    You wrote: “So warmer air has the ability to hold more water, but doesn’t mean it will hold more water.”

    That’s right. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation shows that a warmer atmosphere can
    have more water vapor present, for the same relative humidity. The key is that many
    of the climate models originally simply assumed that relative humidity would stay constant.
    Radiosonde data seem to show, though, that at the higher levels of the the atmosphere,
    relative humidity has been falling, not remaining constant. This means that the water
    vapor feedback effect is less than what’s been modeled.

  214. @DBStealey – Yes, that is the first part of the puzzle. RH is falling. Now, is it falling fast enough to offset the effect of water amplification? I don’t know. More deeply, what is the cause of the observed fall in RH? Can we rely on it continuing while CO2 steadily rises? If it is cyclical and due to natural variation, it is going to come back and bite us, big time. If it is not cyclical then global desertification ranks right up there on the list of things we need to understand, pronto. Lower RH means fewer clouds, which is itself a key climate forcing.

    For those that think RH is constant and hard coded in climate models (looks at Pat Frank)

    http://web.science.unsw.edu.au/~stevensherwood/2009JD012585.pdf

    is a good examination of how models predict change in RH. Clue – they couldn’t do that if RH was a constant and hard coded into the system. Now a quick read of this paper shows that the models are not predicting changes in RH anywhere near the size of the changes shown on the chart linked to by DBS, so there is certainly work to be done understanding all the feebacks.

    @climatebeagle –

    So how come we have USCRN stations that show an increase in temperature from 24.6°C to 36.4°C, yet RH drops from 72% to 26%?

    Individual circumstances. Over what time period are you bringing data? A day? A year? I think you are confusing weather for climate, but it is hard to say.

  215. So, exactly like on cloudy nights (see above) we have a lazy “greenhouse effect” again, working part-time.
    Another peace of junk science
    >>>>>>>>

    As has been explained to you on any number of occasions the temperature at any given point in time and space is governed by a combination of factors including conduction, convection, radiance, wind direction and intensity, humidity, barometric pressure, sensible and latent heat amongst others. Demonstrating that the total of all effects is sometimes in opposition to that of the ghe presents precisely zero evidence that the ghe doesn’t exist.

  216. @David vun Kannon
    You said:
    “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. That is basic physics.”

    I showed a case where your claim was not true, so you claim cannot be basic physics.
    Now you say I’m confusing weather with climate, but it’s your statement I’m responding to, which has no mention of timeframe.

    Not sure anything at climate timescales can be described as basic physics when the “climate system is […] inherently chaotic” (IPCC).

  217. Greg House says (January 30, 2013 at 7:16 am): “‘On some, but not all nights, the IR blocking materials provided extra protection by way of retaining heat inside the high tunnel at night.’

    So, exactly like on cloudy nights (see above) we have a lazy “greenhouse effect” again, working part-time.”

    Yet according to you, Greg, there should have been NO so-called “greenhouse” effect (SCGE), “lazy” or not, in this 2006 study, or the 2007 experiment which found a consistent SCGE. WUWT?

    So let’s sum up. We have three daylight “box” experiments (Wood, Pratt, Nahle) with two failures to detect a SCGE and one success. We have a 2006 day/night high tunnel experiment that found an inconsistent SCGE, and one in 2007 that found a consistent SCGE. Given these mixed results, do you still think the science is “settled”?

  218. thefordprefect says:
    January 30, 2013 at 4:41 am
    —————————————————————————————-
    thefordprefect,
    I note in your IR imaging that while water vapour does not read at 100C is is still slightly visible, reading 28C.

    In the absence of answers from Pat Frank, wonder if you would be prepared to offer an answer to these two experiments –

    Experiment 1. (low cost)
    Build two insulated containers with potassium chloride salt lenses for lids. Under a clear dry night sky (desert conditions would be best) fill both containers with dry 30C gas. CO2 in one container 1, N2 in container 2. Which container cools Faster? Is the answer –
    A. Both containers cool at the same rate.
    B. Container 1 cools faster because of the greater IR emission from CO2.
    C. Container 2 cools faster because of the greater thermal conductivity of N2.

    Experiment 2. (high cost)
    Attach two gas cylinders with regulators one CO2, one N2, to two 10m long lengths of 5mm PVC tubing. Coil most of the tubing through an insulated container full of hot water. Attach the two open ends of the PVC tubes to two retort stands in front of a cool wall. Set gas flow from both tubes to 1 L/s. Observe the gas flowing out of both tubes with a high quality IR camera capable of seeing beyond 15um. Are the results –
    A. Both tubes are visible as warm, but both gas plumes are undetectable.
    B. Both tubes are visible as warm and the CO2 gas plume is also visible.

    Or perhaps this –
    “What would happen to convective circulation in the lower atmosphere if the atmosphere contained no radiative gases?”

  219. @Climatebeagle – Sorry your definition of basic physics is so, um, basic. If you restrict yourself to claims that are always true, you’re left with e=mc^2 and c is constant in a vacuum. I’d say basic physics is what you can demonstrate repeatedly in a lab, where confounding individual circumstances can be removed. What happened at one station on one day is irrelevant. If I poked through the data and found one station and one day when the temperature went up and RH also went up, would I have accomplished anything? Would you be ‘disproven’? No, because you hadn’t ‘proven’ anything in the first place.

  220. Richard M says:
    January 30, 2013 at 7:40 am
    —————————————————————————–
    Richard,
    Evidence would indicate that some of the most fervent defenders of the cause have known for years that modelling an atmosphere without depth, gravity and moving gases was wrong.

    The castle of AGW may look impressive, but the walls are cardboard and the 2500 knights on the ramparts are scarecrows sewn from whole cloth and stuffed with grey literature.

    Look what happens when a Russian meteorologist accidentally gets too close to the walls. In 2010 a discussion paper on a possible driver of horizontal winds due to rising moist air masses was discussed at the Air Vent –

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/weight-of-water-and-wind-hurricane-pros-weigh-in/

    All that it would take for the Makarieva Effect to work is for rising moist air masses to be slightly diabatic. The Knights of Consensus all rode out to defend the “Cause” and trash the paper. Nick Stokes, Joel Shore, Eli Rabett and other old favourites can be seen in the fray. At the time many thought they were just trying to prevent re-examination of GCMs. But in hindsight they had to trash the paper because it was getting too close to the real role of radiative gases in the atmosphere. The question of whether the radiative properties of H2O could be the factor making rising moist air masses non-adiabatic gets stamped on hard.

    Nick Stokes tried to deflect discussion from possible diabatic processes here –

    “But in the atmosphere it’s different. The air is cooled adiabatically, by expansion on rising. Any latent heat released is not removed; it stays in the air and counters, but does not stop, the adiabatic cooling that is causing condensation.”

    and here –

    “The notion of adiabatic cooling is fundamental here. It means that the air cools with no (significant) heat moving anywhere (over the timescale). That means that LH, when released, is not removed.”

    Jim_D tried to dismiss radiative cooling after I offered it as a possible mechanism here –

    “The next question is why the energy can’t go anywhere, e.g. by radiation. Yes, radiation may influence cloud edges a little, but in the updraft cores, it is completely saturated and radiation does not get very far in those circumstances, besides which we are talking about small temperature differences locally, so the net radiation effect is close to zero.”

    and here –

    “While clear air is quite transparent to IR, cloudy air is almost completely opaque to it. This is why only cloud edges are subject to radiative effects (and mixing). As determined from cloud tops, the core cloudy air makes it up to levels consistent with adiabatic theory.”

    They knew there was a serious problem with the modelling of the role of radiative gases in the atmosphere. They knew years ago. I now believe that at least some of the AGW supporters have known for many years that radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0ppm.

    Trashing a Meteorology paper because it might accidentally hurt the “cause”? Simply putrescent.

    Radiative gases are critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause. Without convective circulation our atmosphere will cook. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability.

    PS. The good news, the Makarieva paper has finally been accepted for publication.

  221. Konrad,

    Thanks for the link and update re the Makarieva paper. I found this editorial statement on what appears to have been an extraordinary review process to be most interesting:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/C15277/2013/acpd-10-C15277-2013.pdf

    At least they are allowing publication now, but it is curious how strong is the resistance to publishing a scientific paper at the bleeding edge if it goes against the prevailing view or practice. How many important scientific insights could be blocked through the years if the dominant current players can dictate that articles arguing rival hypotheses cannot even be published??

    • What is amazing is that they let petty forms of pride override their scientific duty to enable genuine discovery, and fail to allow scientific method via experiment and observed data judge an hypothesis, but use close-minded jealously to be the judge instead. And we wonder how Copernicus felt :)

  222. Gary Hladik
    (and other sensible people)

    I just had the dumbest thought. Why are we arguing about the way the physics works and the details of experiments when we really don’t need to. We can measure directly. ARM, CERES, ERBE have been measuring all this stuff for years. Here’s one paper:

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20080014265_2008014213.pdf

    upward LW, downward LW, cloudy, clear sky, annual, seasonal, diurnal….all there. Diurnal variation is a lot less than I would have guessed. But that’s the data. All the graphs are after the references at the very end. Have a look at, for example, figure 15, downward LW versus precipitable water. Range of 200 to 400 w/m2. Now scroll up to the graph of diurnal variation and see how small it is. Now let’s ask the tough question:

    If, at night time, on a moonless night, we can measure 200+ w/m2 downward LW, and we know that background radiance from space is only 2.7 w/m2….

    What explanation is there for the downward LW other than ghe?

    Who needs boxes with salt windows and lasers and such. LW flux from sun = 0. From moon = 0. From space = 2.7 w/m2. OK, where’s the extra couple hundred watts coming from? Magic?

    • What about upward LW from the surface? Unless you measure in ALL directions, just quoting downward can be misleading. Are you sure you’re not just measuring the latent heat held by water vapour in the atmosphere, that’s transferred there from the surface by conduction and moved upwards by convection? (You also didn’t say whether it was cloudy or clear.)

      You’re quite correct that any heat in the atmosphere doesn’t get there by magic, but it is not and cannot be a heat source. The heat can only get there by incoming radiation (but being predominantly SW, passes straight through) or from the surface by both conduction and radiation. I would suggest that conduction (and convection to distribute it upwards) is the predominant heat transfer, i.e. surface cooling mechanism, with radiation playing a comparatively small role.

      The hypothesis that back-radiation further heats the surface is a basic maths failure. If a unit of heat has been lost from the surface (assuming for the sake of argument, by radiation), then *if* 0.x of that unit is back-radiated, the net heat at the surface would be -1 + 0.x, i.e. cooler, not 1.x or warmer. The heat cannot be in two places at once, otherwise you create energy.out of nothing, which is impossible.

  223. Skiphil & Simon,
    The example I gave is but one of the atrocities against science that the defenders of the “Cause” have committed. There are so many more for preserved forever in the climate shame file that is the Internet.

    The video of Svensmark being verbally attacked for presenting a hypothesis on cosmic rays and proposing further empirical study is another shocking example. The speed at which the counter papers were rushed unquestioned through pal review before the results of actual empirical experiments were in was shameful and obvious.

    The misuse of Anthony’s data by NOAA and the pre-emptive strike by press release Muller & Best is yet another shameful episode.

    These people knew what they were doing was wrong. They didn’t care about science, just politics and money.

  224. davidmhoffer says (January 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm):
    “Gary Hladik
    (and other sensible people)

    I just had the dumbest thought. Why are we arguing about the way the physics works and the details of experiments when we really don’t need to. We can measure directly. ARM, CERES, ERBE have been measuring all this stuff for years.”

    Thanks, David. The evidence for the so-called “greenhouse” effect in the earth’s atmosphere is indeed overwhelming. So much so that our “Is so!”/”Is not!” discussions here on WUWT are probably beyond funny to “real” scientists on both sides of the CAGW issue. Please understand, however, that while Greg takes the toy greenhouses of Wood, Pratt, and Nahle as models of the atmosphere, I see them only as models of…
    .
    .
    .
    (wait for it)
    .
    .
    ..
    greenhouses! :-)

    In fact I’ve mentioned this several times. Up to now I’ve thought, like Greg, that a radiation effect on greenhouse temperature was not detectable. The Pratt and high tunnel experiments, however, have me thinking maybe the effect is measurable when extraneous influences are minimized.

  225. davidmhoffer says:
    January 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    “OK, where’s the extra couple hundred watts coming from? Magic?”
    —————————————————————————————-
    No, not magic. Radiative gases, in particular H2O. And due to the pressure gradient in the atmosphere and its effect on optical opacity to IR, if 200 watts can be detected form ground level, more will be being radiated to space from that same patch of sky.

    It is this IR radiation that allows energy loss from the atmosphere at a level higher than energy enters the atmosphere. Without this convective circulation below the tropopause would stall. For a fluid column in a gravity field that is maintaining a constant average temperature over time, yet is exhibiting vertical convective circulation, energy must be exiting the fluid at a higher level than it is entering.

    What would happen to temperatures in the lower atmosphere if convective circulation stalls?
    “Increase of temperatures due to suppression of convection has been known to engineers and scientists as far back as ancient Rome.” – davidmhoffer

  226. davidmhoffer says, January 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm: “If, at night time, on a moonless night, we can measure 200+ w/m2 downward LW, and we know that background radiance from space is only 2.7 w/m2…. What explanation is there for the downward LW other than ghe?”
    ===============================================================

    This is very simple and I am happy to explain it to you again.

    The IPCC maintains that “greenhouse gases” not just absorb and re-emit the IR radiation coming from the Earth surface back to the surface (here is your downward LW), but also that this re-emitted IR radiation affects the temperature of the source (the surface).

    So, there are 2 parts in the “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC: (1) absorption/emission and (2) effect on the temperature of the source (the surface).

    The first part was proven experimentally 150 years ago, no problem with that, but the second one has apparently never been proven experimentally, by a real scientific physical experiment.

    On the other hand, it was experimentally proven long ago (1909) by American professor of physics R.W.Wood that that sort of IR (back/trapped radiation) had zero (or negligible) effect on the temperature of the source: http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html . Thus the second part was in fact disproved.

    So, again, it is not about whether there is back radiation or not, it is about whether this back radiation affects the temperature of the source (surface) or not. I hope this will help.

  227. Simon says:
    January 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm
    What about upward LW from the surface? Unless you measure in ALL directions
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    They do measure in all directions that was the POINT.

  228. Konrad;
    if 200 watts can be detected form ground level, more will be being radiated to space from that same patch of sky.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Obviously, like Simon, you didn’t read the paper.

    Konrad;
    It is this IR radiation that allows energy loss from the atmosphere at a level higher than energy enters the atmosphere. Without this convective circulation below the tropopause would stall.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Didn’t read any physics texts either I see.

    Konrad;
    What would happen to temperatures in the lower atmosphere if convective circulation stalls?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Well unless the laws of physics have been suspended, warn air rises unless it isn’t warm. There’s no “stalling”.

    Konrad;
    “Increase of temperatures due to suppression of convection has been known to engineers and scientists as far back as ancient Rome.” – davidmhoffer
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    ….and now you are quoting me completely out of context. Are you deliberately trying to be misleading or did you just not understand the statement in its proper context in the first place?

  229. Gary Hladik;
    I see them only as models of…
    .
    .
    .
    (wait for it)
    .
    .
    ..
    greenhouses! :-)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    LOL

  230. @dvunkannon

    You said: “I’d say basic physics is what you can demonstrate repeatedly in a lab, where confounding individual circumstances can be removed.”

    I’d agree with that, which rules out the earth’s atmosphere, so I think you are really stating that “Any rise in temperature will raise the amount of water held in the atmosphere. ” is not basic physics, contrary to your original claim.

    I really struggle to understand claims that additional CO2 will cause global warming is simple or basic physics. If it was, then there would be no arguments. I can relate to additional CO2 would cause global warming if all other factors remained the same, but that doesn’t happen in the climate system, which as the IPCC states is chaotic.

  231. davidmhoffer says:
    January 30, 2013 at 8:16 pm
    ——————————————————————
    “Obviously, like Simon, you didn’t read the paper.”
    I do not believe that paper contained a reference to any empirical measurement of DWIR at the surface while a satellite was simultaneously overhead measuring up-welling IR at TOA for the same point on earth. If I am wrong feel free to point it out.

    “Didn’t read any physics texts either I see.”
    I read engineering texts. I conduct empirical physics experiments.

    “Well unless the laws of physics have been suspended, warn air rises unless it isn’t warm. There’s no “stalling”.”
    You will note that I wrote “convective CIRCULATION stalls”. Hot gases can still convect to altitude in a non-radiative atmosphere, they just cannot descend again. This is of course entirely the point. Here is a diagram to illustrate that point –

    http://tinypic.com/r/6zy1ky/6

    The figure on the left shows normal convective circulation occurring. As you can see radiation of IR to space is critical to this continued circulation. The figure on the right shows what would happen shortly after the atmosphere lost its ability to radiate IR. Convective CIRCULATION “stalls” or stagnates, and the atmosphere heats. (this is just before the atmosphere goes isothermal and surperheats)

    Here is a simple empirical experiment you can build that illustrates the point –

    the image shows two EPS foam boxes full of air with aluminium heating and cooling tubes running through them. Equal volumes, equal temps for cooling and heating tubes. Build the boxes 1m tall for good results. Box 1 with cooling at higher altitude than heating always runs cooler than box 2.
    What’s happening in box 2?

    http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6

    Convective CIRCULATION has “stalled”. Hot air rises but cannot lose energy, just like gas in an atmosphere without radiative gases. Even at the small size of the experiment the speed of gas conduction cannot overcome the speed of convection. This effect will be far more severe in a gas column kilometres tall.

    David, the truth is that those promoting the failed hypothesis of AGW never modelled the role of radiative gases in vertical convective circulation in our atmosphere. You cannot model this by treating the earth and atmosphere as a single “body”. Those doing so were simply trying to miss-apply SB equations to a gaseous atmosphere. You cannot model the atmosphere as a static body or layer, because without modelling moving air masses you will get the conductive flux between surface and atmosphere during the diurnal cycle totally wrong. The reality is that the gases in our atmosphere move. Gravity keeps cold air near the surface at night, minimising conductive flux between the surface and atmospheric gases. Gravity keeps cold air near the surface during the day, maximising conductive flux between the surface and atmospheric gases.

    The simple fact, easily proved as I have done by empirical experiment, is that radiative gases are critical to convective circulation below the tropopause. It is a fact that the role of radiative gases in the basic physics of convective circulation has not been properly modelled in the “basic physics” of the AGW ”settled science”. Our atmosphere will not be “33C” cooler without radiative gases. It would be far, far hotter. Radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    “….and now you are quoting me completely out of context.”
    You may be right that the quote was not used in the context it was intended. However it is entirely accurate. If convective circulation stalls or stagnates in our atmosphere, the atmosphere heats. Radiative gases are the only way our atmosphere can lose energy at altitude. Without them, convective circulation will stall just as in the empirical experiment with the two EPS foam boxes.

    Adding radiative gases to our atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability. AGW is a physical impossibility.

    • Thank you Konrad for that. I was thinking of post-fixing my previous comment with “fundamentally, CO2 is a atmospheric coolant, so policies to reduce its level are 100% wrong, jeopardising Earth’s cooling mechanism, a far greater danger”, but whilst technically correct, is itself alarmist, as the contribution of CO2, let alone man’s ~3% of CO2 pales into insignificance compared to water vapour.

      You are absolutely correct though, AGW (increased heating by man’s CO2 via back-radiation) is physically (physics’ally) impossible, so any policy, regulation, law or tax based on this is fraudulent, and those who do so have had plenty of notification that this is so to make their actions deliberate, and not accidental or for lack of knowledge. The fact that the AGW promoters have actively tried to shut out reality (science is ‘settled’ etc.) to promulgate their perceived fantasy will not bode well for them, Obama, Cameron, Gillard, etc. included.

  232. Konrad;
    Our atmosphere will not be “33C” cooler without radiative gases. It would be far, far hotter.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    In this single sentence you demonstrate that you don’t even know what the effect being discussed actually is. Until you do, there is no point discussing it with you.

    • If you are assuming a model with a constant averaged energy input across the globe (i.e. the flat-disk model that the GCMs and CAGW energy budgets use) rather than an equivalent higher level over half the globe that’s rotating (a true, real-world model), then that would account for the 33C difference, but the flat disc model is totally wrong. Earth receives the total energy input from the sun over just half the surface for just half the day, which fully accounts for the temperature given our atmosphere and gravity. The atmospheric cooling mechanisms, conduction – convection – radiation, fully accounts for the energy output. No need for the GHE! GHE is an invention to compensate for the flawed models.

      Read Joe Postma’s “Climate of Sophistry” series of articles (at http://climateofsophistry.com/) where he clearly explains this.

  233. So, again, it is not about whether there is back radiation or not, it is about whether this back radiation affects the temperature of the source (surface) or not. I hope this will help.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I see. So you agree that there is 200+ w/m2 downward radiance. Your argument is that when it reaches the surface, the 200 joules/s/m2 of energy simply disappear. I understand completely.

  234. Simon;
    If you are assuming a model with a constant averaged energy input across the globe (i.e. the flat-disk model that the GCMs and CAGW energy budgets use) rather than an equivalent higher level over half the globe that’s rotating (a true, real-world model), then that would account for the 33C difference,
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I’m not and it doesn’t.

  235. from a comment I made (twice) that has not made it past the bit bucket:

    Then there are these which show DLWIR=ULWIR on some days wierd??

    http://www.patarnott.com/atms749/pdf/LongWaveIrradianceMeas.pdf

    Downward longwave irradiance uncertainty under arctic atmospheres: Measurements and modeling

    http://www.slf.ch/ueber/mitarbeiter/homepages/marty/publications/Marty2003_IPASRCII_JGR.pdf

    Figure 2
    Enjoy

    REPLY: Mr. Tuppen, see the addition to the comment above – Anthony

  236. More from the rejected post
    Experiment 1. (low cost) Build two insulated containers with potassium chloride salt lenses for lids. Under a clear dry night sky (desert conditions would be best) fill both containers with dry 30C gas. CO2 in one container 1, N2 in container 2. Which container cools Faster? Is the answer – A. Both containers cool at the same rate. B. Container 1 cools faster because of the greater IR emission from CO2. C. Container 2 cools faster because of the greater thermal conductivity of N2
    ——–
    This is not a good experiment as you describe it: the insulated walls/salt winow will be heated by the gas to gas temperature. These will then radiate in all directions, with BB radiationprofile, eventuall passing the window to space. same for both boxes. The CO2 will additionally radiate at specific wavelengths but the large proportion of escaping radiation will be from the warm insulation/salt. the CO2 will additionally intercept some of the wavelengths from the walls of the box/window preventing this escaping The hot Co2 will radiate in all directions. this wold reduce the radiation escaping at the absorption frequencies.

    I think i would suggest that the CO2 gas will cool slower.
    ———
    Experiment 2. (high cost) Attach two gas cylinders with regulators one CO2, one N2, to two 10m long lengths of 5mm PVC tubing. Coil most of the tubing through an insulated container full of hot water. Attach the two open ends of the PVC tubes to two retort stands in front of a cool wall. Set gas flow from both tubes to 1 L/s. Observe the gas flowing out of both tubes with a high quality IR camera capable of seeing beyond 15um. Are the results – A. Both tubes are visible as warm, but both gas plumes are undetectable. B. Both tubes are visible as warm and the CO2 gas plume is also visible
    —————
    both tubes will be visible at same temperature. N2 will be invisible. CO2 will show up as warm plume but on a camera adjusted for BB radiation the temp will be much less than the actual temp..
    ————-
    Or perhaps this – “What would happen to convective circulation in the lower atmosphere if the atmosphere contained no radiative gases?”

    Convection does not depend on ghgs. The ground would radiate as a BB and the lw radiation would all escape without absorption with no ghgs. The ground/sea transfers heat (conducts) from/to the non ghg atmosphere and eventually equilibrium will be reached when radiation from the ground = radiation from the sun. the ground temp will be the same as the lowest layer of atmos temp and presumably the amos will cool at adiabatic lapse rate from this temp

    REPLY: Dear Mike Tuppen (aka thefordprefect) outed here in climategate emails – You are in permanent moderation for all comments, because you have abused your posting privileges here many times before, don’t get a big head that we are allowing you back permanently because these were allowed. And no, I’m not interested in discussing your previous issue with hateful vitriol, those will stay in the bit bucket. Be as upset as you wish.

    Moderators – don’t approve any comments from Mr. Tuppen that diverge from his discussion of IR and CO2 – Anthony

  237. Greg House says (January 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm): “On the other hand, it was experimentally proven long ago (1909) by American professor of physics R.W.Wood that that sort of IR (back/trapped radiation) had zero (or negligible) effect on the temperature of the source: http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html . Thus the second part was in fact disproved.”

    Again, Greg, you’ve gone way beyond what Wood himself claimed. He did in fact acknowledge that so-called “back radiation” would warm his model greenhouse, claiming only that the effect was small compared to the effect of inhibiting convection. Note that “scarcely a difference of one degree” is very different from zero.

    I defy you to find any quote by R W Wood that so-called “back radiation” could not contribute energy to its original source, as you continue to claim without justification.

  238. thefordprefect says:
    January 31, 2013 at 8:41 am
    ——————————————————————————————–
    thefordprefect,
    The answer I have found to experiment 1 is that the CO2 cools faster. However your answer is reasonable as I did not define the nature of the insulation used in the boxes or give dimension.

    Your answer to experiment 2 was totally correct. Both in that the CO2 plume would be detectable with a camera that could see into the far infrared and that the gas plume would appear cooler than the tubes just as in your imaging of steam.

    Unfortunately your answer, “Convection does not depend on ghgs” to the third question “What would happen to convective circulation in the lower atmosphere if the atmosphere contained no radiative gases?” is incorrect.

    Our atmosphere has maintained a very stable temperature for thousands of years, yet it is exhibiting strong vertical convection below the tropopause. The basic physics of convection in a fluid in a gravity field indicates that for continued convective circulation to be occurring without increase in average fluid temperature, energy must be leaving the fluid at a point higher than energy is entering. Radiative gases are the only method our atmosphere has of losing energy at altitude.

    Adiabatic cooling on ascent is matched by adiabatic heating on decent and plays absolutely no role in atmospheric convective circulation. Conductive cooling at the surface cannot replace radiative cooling at altitude. The simple two box experiment I showed here
    http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6
    Shows what happens to temperatures in a gas column when the energy exit point is moved down to the same level as energy entry. The gas column heats.

    To observe the role of radiative gases in convection you can try this simple experiment –

    – get a large glass container of hot water and mix a ¼ teaspoon of finely ground cinnamon into it.
    – wait until Brownian motion slows till the suspended particles are barely moving.
    – now suspend a beer can full of ice water in the top 50mm of the hot water to one side of the clear container.
    – watch as convective circulation develops in the container.

    This experiment demonstrates convection flow driven by the removal of energy from a fluid column in a gravity field. Radiative gases do this in our atmosphere.

    Radiative gases are critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause. This has never been modelled correctly in the “basic physics” of AGW “settled science”. AGW maths relies on linear flux equations. To model the role of radiative gases correctly you need to run these flux equations in multiple iterations on discrete air masses to model convection correctly. Model convection correctly and the answer if that radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

  239. Gary Hladik says, January 31, 2013 at 9:23 am: “Again, Greg, you’ve gone way beyond what Wood himself claimed. He did in fact acknowledge that so-called “back radiation” would warm his model greenhouse, claiming only that the effect was small compared to the effect of inhibiting convection. Note that “scarcely a difference of one degree” is very different from zero.
    I defy you to find any quote by R W Wood…”
    ===========================================================

    Gary, generally science and what a scientist said or did not say are 2 different things. Therefore twisting Wood’s comments on his experiment can not scientifically devalue his experiment.

    Second, “scarcely a difference of one degree” is in fact close to zero and it is negligible, anyway in context of alleged 33 degrees warming by back radiation from “greenhouse gases”.

    Wood did not model a greenhouse, he “constructed two enclosures of dead black cardboard, one covered with a glass plate, the other with a plate of rock-salt of equal thickness. The bulb of a themometer was inserted in each enclosure and the whole packed in cotton, with the exception of the transparent plates which were exposed..

    By the way, thank you for referring to greenhouses this time, because there is a funny thing about how warmists have adjusted their “greenhouse effect” notion and claim now that it is not trapped/back radiation that warms a greenhouse, it is suppressed convection, but at the same time back radiation does warm earth surface outside greenhouses.

    Have you got the feeling yet that this does not fit together? Because, if back radiation warms (outside), why does it not warm inside a greenhouse? Glass is opaque to iR, so there is indeed trapped radiation in a greenhouse. Why would this trapped radiation not produce ADDITIONAL rise in temperature inside a greenhouse? What a capricious thing is this back radiation, it works only inside but not outside! What a bad naughty back radiation! This is warmists “physics”, Gary.

    You see, Gary, you can start here or you can start there, any way warmism still looks very much like a hoax.

  240. Sorry, I meant “What a capricious thing is this back radiation, it works only outside but not inside!” in my previous comment.

  241. Wood did not model a greenhouse, he “constructed two enclosures of dead black cardboard, one covered with a glass plate, the other with a plate of rock-salt of equal thickness. The bulb of a themometer was inserted in each enclosure and the whole packed in cotton, with the exception of the transparent plates which were exposed..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    And he got results commensurate with the apparatus and instrumentation available in 1906. If you’d stop and listen for a moment instead of insisting that all knowledge stopped in 1906 and nothing changed after that, you might notice that the Heinz Hug experiment is actually identical, but with modern apparatus and instrumentation. You might notice that the Hug experiment was not only identical in nature, but orders of magnitude more accurately measured. You might notice also that the criticisms of the experiment to which I have pointed you to on multiple occasions explain in excellent detail why the experiment as conducted by both wood and hug is not directly applicable to the scale of the atmospheric column. You might even notice that the Hug experiment is accurate enough that it could be used to extrapolate to an estimate of the atmospheric column and that the woods experiment isn’t even close.

    But you won’t. You’re too busy debunking physics that resulted in dozens of Nobel prizes since 1906. You must be a genius.

  242. davidmhoffer says, January 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm: “And he got results commensurate with the apparatus and instrumentation available in 1906. If you’d stop and listen for a moment instead of insisting that all knowledge stopped in 1906 and nothing changed after that, you might notice that the Heinz Hug experiment is actually identical, but with modern apparatus and instrumentation. You might notice that the Hug experiment was not only identical in nature, but orders of magnitude more accurately measured.”
    =============================================================

    The essential difference between the experiment by professor Wood (1909) and the experiment by Hug you have referred to a few times is that Wood’s experiment debunks the notion of warming via back radiation (“greenhouse effect”) and Hug’s experiment (http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm) does not deal with the issue of warming via back radiation at all. I have already told you that 2 times on 2 different threads. Please, read it again: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/why-we-need-debate-not-consensus-on-climate-change/#comment-1059271.

    Your reference is irrelevant to the issue.

  243. Greg House says:
    January 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm
    —————————————————–
    Greg,
    Radiative gases in the atmosphere are heated by a number of means. A small amount of intercepted IR from the surface, conductive contact with the surface and the release of the latent heat of evaporation in the atmosphere. These gases do radiate some of this energy back toward the surface. The AGW claim is not that this adds energy to the surface, rather that it delays escape of energy from the surface to space. It effectively slows the cooling rate of the surface. I have empirically tested the effect of incident IR on the cooling rate of materials and it can slow the cooling rate of some materials.

    However this effect is negligible on this planet because 71% of the surface is liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. 15um IR cannot penetrate the skin evaporation layer of liquid water, and does not effect the cooling rate of the water. The IR photons simply trip some molecules in the first few microns of the surface into evaporating sooner. This does not increase evaporation rate as a whole and does not change the cooling rate of the water. You can check this with a simple lab experiment.

    For fun, go back and look at the Trenberthian energy budget cartoons. Notice how the “surface” is never divided into land and water. AGW maths never considers this effect. The fools calculated the impact of LWIR on the oceans simply by using the emissivity of water to calculate the re-absorption of DWIR. Just one of the many, many things that AGW believers got wrong.

  244. davidmhoffer says:
    January 31, 2013 at 7:23 am
    “In this single sentence you demonstrate that you don’t even know what the effect being discussed actually is. Until you do, there is no point discussing it with you.”
    —————————————————————————————-
    “….no point discussing it with you” That sounds very much like the moist pop of a spherical chicken exploding. I did warn you they don’t stay spherical for long ;)

    Oh, and the 33C thing? That old AGW claim can never be erased from the Internet. Not ever.

  245. Huffer huffs again with this weird response:

    “But you won’t. You’re too busy debunking physics that resulted in dozens of Nobel prizes since 1906. You must be a genius.”

    Huffer, this is pure obfuscation, not science, as I’m sure you know. SOME LINKS, PLEASE! SOME REFERENCES, PLEASE! Your opinion won’t cut it here.

    Dozens of Nobel Prizes?? We dumb chemists want to check what you brilliant physicists are saying. FACTS, sir, FACTS and REFERENCES, not your standard (and dumb) diatribe….Just the FACTS, man…

    BTW, you STILL have not addressed my question about why the lapse rate is completely independent of “backradiation.” Since you are (I guess) a physicist, I would expect you to address this issue with ease. But you ignore it. Why?

    And you might also want to reconcile the gas law with surface temperatures: the heat STORED in the atmosphere easily explains the so-called GHE, and you should understand that as a physicist!

  246. Hug’s experiment (http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm) does not deal with the issue of warming via back radiation at all. I have already told you that 2 times on 2 different threads.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes, your insistence upon demonstrating that you do not understand the material is repetitive.

    I surrender. Your cloak of ignorance is impenetrable.

    dropping thread.

  247. Konrad says, January 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm: “Radiative gases in the atmosphere are heated by a number of means. A small amount of intercepted IR from the surface, conductive contact with the surface and the release of the latent heat of evaporation in the atmosphere. These gases do radiate some of this energy back toward the surface. The AGW claim is not that this adds energy to the surface, rather that it delays escape of energy from the surface to space. It effectively slows the cooling rate of the surface.”
    ===========================================================

    First, what this back radiation in fact produces has been demonstrated by Wood’s experiment, see above.

    Second, look at the contradiction in your own words: “These gases do radiate some of this energy back toward the surface. The AGW claim is not that this adds energy to the surface,”.

  248. Huffer concludes, thankfully:

    “I surrender. Your cloak of ignorance is impenetrable.

    dropping thread.”

    Brilliant response!

  249. Greg, et. al.: Now that the Huffer got frustraated and apparently “dropped thread,” maybe I can discuss this stuff with you.

    SAME QUESTION FOR YOU: IF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT YOU MADE IS TRUE: “It effectively slows the cooling rate of the surface.”—

    THEN WHY DOESN’T THE LAPSE RATE EQUATION (rate = g/Cp) DEPEND ON “BACKRADIATION”?????

    Simple question, but still no answer after years of asking….

    [snip]

  250. Greg House says (January 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm): “Gary, generally science and what a scientist said or did not say are 2 different things.”

    Generally a scientist says exactly what the science (his experiment) supports, no more, no less. Surely you’re not saying Wood was unscientific? Or is this just your way of acknowledging that Wood himself did not share your conclusion? If so, this is progress, I suppose.

    “Therefore twisting Wood’s comments on his experiment can not scientifically devalue his experiment.”

    Um, Greg House claims much more than his hero Wood can claim, but I’m the one twisting his words??? Please note, Greg, that Wood himself “devalued his experiment” when he wrote “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter”. Greg, do you pretend he did?

    “Second, ‘scarcely a difference of one degree’ is in fact close to zero and it is negligible, anyway in context of alleged 33 degrees warming by back radiation from ‘greenhouse gases’.”

    So you acknowledge that the so-called “greenhouse effect” (SCGE) is real, and are just arguing about its magnitude? This is also progress, though you’re comparing apples (the “inside”) to oranges (the “outside”).

    “Wood did not model a greenhouse…”

    Um, he most certainly tried to. Quoting (not “twisting”) Wood, “As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that a greenhouse made of a glass transparent to waves of every possible length would show a temperature nearly, if not quite, as high as that observed in a glass house.” That’s what he was testing, and that’s what he modelled. Greg, if Wood didn’t model a greenhouse:

    (1) What did he model, if anything (please justify your choice), and
    (2) How can you apply his results to anything other than whatever he did model?

    Note that he certainly didn’t model the atmosphere, which has no walls (black or otherwise), no cotton stuffing, no glass or salt cover, is much, much bigger than a real or model greenhouse, has much, much more convection than a real or model greenhouse, and about half of which at any one time receives no sunlight.

    “By the way, thank you for referring to greenhouses this time, because there is a funny thing about how warmists have adjusted their “greenhouse effect” notion and claim now that it is not trapped/back radiation that warms a greenhouse, it is suppressed convection, but at the same time back radiation does warm earth surface outside greenhouses.”

    Thank you for “twisting” both the “warmist” and CAGW skeptic views. Both actually agree that reduction of convection generally outweighs IR “trapping” in raising greenhouse temperature. Every one of the experiments we’ve checked (Wood, Pratt, Nahle, high tunnels) supports this. But did you ever ask yourself how these results apply to the whole earth/ocean/atmosphere, which is pretty much the opposite of a greenhouse? You said it yourself: the greenhouse is “inside”, the atmosphere is “outside”! Wood only modelled the “inside”.

    “You see, Gary, you can start here or you can start there, any way warmism still looks very much like a hoax.”

    It does, but not because of Wood’s poorly documented simplistic one-off daylight backyard experiment which, at best, is relevant only to greenhouses. :-)

    Out of sincere curiosity, Greg, if you ever became convinced that the SCGE actually raises Earth’s surface temperature roughly 30 degrees C compared to a hypothetical Earth without so-called “greenhouse” gasses, would you automatically become a “warmist”?

  251. jae says (January 31, 2013 at 7:28 pm): “THEN WHY DOESN’T THE LAPSE RATE EQUATION (rate = g/Cp) DEPEND ON “BACKRADIATION”?????

    Simple question, but still no answer after years of asking….”

    Out of curiosity, why do you think (if I understand correctly) the adiabatic lapse rate equation should depend on any kind of radiation? Looking at the sea level solar spectrum

    I see that several gasses (CO2, O2, H2O, O3) absorb at least some incoming solar radiation, yet your equation doesn’t include this “front” radiation. Do you think it should, or am I misunderstanding you?

  252. davidmhoffer says:
    January 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm
    “dropping thread.”
    ——————————————————–
    Off to find a fresh spherical chicken I expect…

  253. Konrad:

    Your post at January 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm suggests that davidmhoffer has dropped the thread because he is “off to find another spherical chicken”.

    As an onlooker, I have a different conclusion; i.e.
    his head is hurting from banging it against the ‘brick wall’ of willful ignorance and deliberate stupidity displayed by those who dispute the existence of the atmospheric GHE.

    I never contributed to the head-banging because I know that ‘brick wall’ is buttressed by so much prejudice that – as this thread demonstrates – it cannot be breached by logic, evidence and reason.

    Richard

  254. richardscourtney says:
    February 1, 2013 at 1:55 am
    “…willful ignorance and deliberate stupidity displayed by those who dispute the existence of the atmospheric GHE.”
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Richard,
    I dispute the radiative GHE on the basis of empirical experiment, not on the basis of “willful ignorance and deliberate stupidity”.

    There is a greenhouse effect on earth, caused by N2 and O2 being poor radiative gases. This effect is moderated by the radiative gases in our atmosphere, primarily H2O.

    The failed hypothesis of the radiative GHE only looks plausible when you fail to model the atmosphere correctly. The “basic physics” of the “settled science” is in error. How many of the “Do nots” of modelling a moving atmosphere were used in supporting the claims of a radiative GHE?

    – Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
    – Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
    – Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
    – Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
    – Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
    – Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

    The history cannot be re-written in the age of the Internet. The evidence that the critical role of radiative gases in convective circulation was not correctly modelled in the radiative GHE calculations cannot be erased. When this is taken into account, the NET effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling.

    Richard, I will ask you directly, Do radiative gases play a critical role in convective circulation below the tropopause? Is the answer –

    A. No
    B. yes
    C. Bafflegab
    D. Unicorn

  255. Konrad.:

    re your question to me at February 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Answer: B (yes) in two important ways.
    Radiative gases warm non-radiative gases (N2 and O2) by collisional de-excitation and they warm the surface radiatively thus adding to the conductive warming of gases in contact with the surface. Warmed gas rises (i.e. convection).

    Now, I don’t intend to waste time discussing whether basic radiative physics is correct when it is.
    So, I also am “signing off” from this thread.

    Richard

  256. Davidmhoffer wrote on 1/29/2013 8:22 pm;

    ………. Did not quote here verbatim to save space.

    Yes indeed the IR radiation does not slow down, but it is absorbed by the water vapor (remember
    water vapor is the MOST powerful Greenhouse Gas) and thereafter the speed at which the energy flows (via conduction, convection) is indeed slowed.

    And the SB law only predicts the distribution of energy versus wavelength, it says nothing about the speed at which energy flows through a complex system where conduction, convection and radiation are all happening to different degrees in parallel.

    And yes indeed I learned all about the SB law in school and apply it every day to make verified predictions of how a real system responds to real world stimulus.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  257. richardscourtney says:
    February 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm
    Now, I don’t intend to waste time discussing whether basic radiative physics is correct when it is.

    Well, Konrad has convinced me. The only thing basic about AGW radiative physics is that it’s basically wrong.

    CO2 cools the surface by radiating at altitude what would otherwise be radiated from the surface. If there were no IR gases on earth the surface would be much warmer. Count me in as luke-cooler :)

  258. Eric Barnes says (February 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm): “CO2 cools the surface by radiating at altitude what would otherwise be radiated from the surface. If there were no IR gases on earth the surface would be much warmer.”

    At this point I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind, but I can’t help referring Eric to Willis Eschenbach’s excellent “Glass Planets” article on WUWT:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/27/people-living-in-glass-planets/

    The case of an Earth with no so-called “greenhouse” gasses in its atmosphere is very much like Willis’s Figure 2, except the transparent non-radiating shell is in contact with the surface and has the same temperature. Note that this doesn’t warm the surface.

    The radiating shell in his Figure 4 does indeed “cool” the model planet, but it also “warms” the planet because it radiates both “out” and “in”. Note that the planet without a radiating shell (or with a non-radiating shell) only radiates “out”.

    For a different look at a non-radiating atmosphere, I recommend Dr. Roy Spencer’s article here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

  259. Gary Hladik says:
    February 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I don’t see how Willis’ example brings clarity to the question of whether IR active gases warm or cool the planet. It’s strays from the heart of the matter as I understand it.

    Konrad’s example is to the point.
    Consider Earth A without any IR gases compared to Earth B with all IR gas.

    All Solar energy “must be radiated from the surface” of Earth A. Convection and conduction occur, but what goes up must come down and will heat the surface.

    Earth B can effectively use convection and conduction *and* IR gas to radiate at height (away from the surface).

    To me, that’s as clear as it get’s that IR active gases cool the surface of the planet (or any planet for that matter).
    Konrad has said it before and I’ll repeat it. The true greenhouse gases are the NON-IR gases.

    I’ll read Willis and Dr. Spencers posts again They aren’t doing much for me at the moment.

  260. Eric Barnes says (February 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm): ‘All Solar energy “must be radiated from the surface” of Earth A. Convection and conduction occur, but what goes up must come down and will heat the surface.’

    As Dr. Spencer writes, since the atmosphere doesn’t cool at the top (it doesn’t radiate), vertical convection ceases when the atmosphere is well mixed to the same temperature as the surface. The atmosphere, heated by conduction from the surface, can’t conductively heat the surface to a higher temperature. The surface radiates as in Willis’s Figure 2, whether the transparent non-radiating shell/atmosphere is in contact with the surface or not.

    “Earth B can effectively use convection and conduction *and* IR gas to radiate at height (away from the surface).”

    Correct, but remember the radiating atmosphere/shell radiates both “out” and “in”; the transparent shell/atmosphere doesn’t. In a manner of speaking, the surface gets a “rebate” on its radiated energy that it doesn’t get from the transparent shell/atmosphere.

  261. Konrad’s insights also provides an explanation in my mind to another puzzle of the temperature record.

    Even as surface temperatures have warmed, the number of all time highs have dropped (for long lived stations).

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/a-simple-proof-that-the-1930s-were-hotter/

    The greater concentration of CO2 in the thermosphere of today relative to the past means the surface is more effectively cooled now vs. then. Any indcident radiation on CO2 above the surface can be radiated directly to space or conducted to gases that are moved by convection to TOA and subsequently radiated to space (thus bypassing the surface).

  262. Gary Hladik says:
    February 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    “As Dr. Spencer writes, since the atmosphere doesn’t cool at the top”.

    He doesn’t say this, and it is factually incorrect at the TOA. If you’re talking about something else I can’t make it out.

    I still fail to see how the model Willis describes has any bearing on whether IR gases warm or cool the earths surface.

  263. Eric Barnes says (February 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm): “The greater concentration of CO2 in the thermosphere of today relative to the past means the surface is more effectively cooled now vs. then.”

    Don’t forget, Eric, if CO2 is radiating more “out” of the system, it’s also radiating more “into” the system.

  264. Gary Hladik says:
    February 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Don’t forget, Eric, if CO2 is radiating more “out” of the system, it’s also radiating more “into” the system.

    More to the surface than transparent N2 or O2? No.

  265. Gary Hladik says:
    February 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm
    —————————————————————————————
    Gary,
    This statement “except the transparent non-radiating shell is in contact with the surface and has the same temperature. Note that this doesn’t warm the surface.” is entirely wrong.

    Lets review the “do nots” of atmospheric modelling –

    1. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
    2. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
    3. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
    4. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
    5. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
    6. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

    To claim that a non-radiative atmosphere will have the same temperature as the surface you would need to committed the following “do nots”. 2,4,5 & 6.

    While the surface under a non-radiative atmosphere may have a lower Tmin, the temperature of hot air rising into the atmosphere is set by Tmax Not Tmin or Tav. This simple empirical experiment you can build yourself –
    http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6 http://tinypic.com/r/15n0xuf/6
    demonstrates this point very clearly. It also demonstrates the critical importance of cooling at altitude to convective circulation and atmospheric temperatures Box 2 always runs hotter, build the boxes big enough to minimise the slow effects of gas conduction and the temperature of Box 2 will rise close to surface Tmax.

    I have comented previously on this thread about the mistake of modelling the atmosphere as a single layer or modelling an atmosphere without moving gases. You are making the same mistake. In an gas column in a gravity field, cooling at the base of the column is less effective than cooling at the top of the column. A lower Tmin under a non-radiative atmosphere will not lead to lower atmospheric temperatures. Gravity keeps cooler air at the surface during the night minimising conductive flux. Gravity keeps cooler air at the surface during the day maximising conductive flux.
    Here is another simple empirical experiment that you can build and run yourself that demonstrates this –

    What you see in the image are two small EPS foam tubes. Internal volume is 75 x 75mm by 200mm high.
    Tube 1 has a top with cling film replacing the foam.
    Tube 2 has a base with cling film replacing the foam.
    Each tube has a battery pack and a small 5V computer fan blowing across the outside of the cling film.
    Tube 1 has small legs on one side to tilt it to around 5 degrees off vertical. This helps convective flow start against the friction of the internal walls.
    Tube 2 has 50mm legs to allow its fan to move air freely across the cling wrap
    You will note that there are multiple thermometer probe entry points in each tube.

    The experiment has been scaled to fit in a refrigerator. Over 200mm the speed of gas conduction is well out of scale to a real atmospheric column, but the imbalance in conductive energy flows between the two tubes is still very clear.

    To conduct the experiment first equalise the internal temperature of each tube to room temperature by turning each tube cling film down and running the fans for 15 minutes. Use a thermometer probe position equal distance from the cling film for each tube.

    Now orientate the tubes so tube 1 has cling film at the top and tube 2 has cling film at the base. Place them on a shelf in a refrigerator with the fans running and close the door with the thermometer outside. The fans ensure air in the refrigerator does not stagnate need the cling wrap cooling zones on each tube. If your refrigerator has wire shelves, place a plate under each tube.

    Use the probe differential button on the thermometer to observe the temperature differential between the tubes develop as they cool from room temperature. Due to the small size of the tubes compared to the speed of gas conduction, maximum differential should be achieved in 2 minutes and decrease thereafter.

    Remove the tubes from the refrigerator and allow them to equalise to room temperature again, move the thermometers to new positions and repeat the cooling run. Do this a number of times to build up a picture of the temperature differential at various distances from the cling wrap in each tube at the 2 minute mark.
    With a room temperature of 25C and a refrigerator temperature of 7C here are some typical temperature differentials at the 2 minute mark
    175mm from the cooling surface – tube 1 2.0C cooler than tube 2
    100mm from the cooling surface – tube 1 1.3C cooler than tube 2
    25mm from the cooling surface – tube 2 0.3C cooler than tube 1

    Tube 1 with the cooling surface at the top cools faster. This is because cooling from the top of a gas column in a gravity field sets up a convective flow bringing the hottest gases in contact with cooling surface. This maximises temperature differential at the cooling interface and maximises conductive energy flow. In box 2 convection does not occur and gravity keeps the coolest gas in contact with the cooling interface. This minimises temperature differential at the cooling interface and minimises conductive energy flow.

    The experiment gives clear results even when compromised by being scaled to fit in a domestic refrigerator. If you want truly dramatic results try insulated tubes 2m tall in a commercial cool room.

    Now if instead you want the garbage AGW math to work you can do that too. You simply need to remove the factor not modelled in the AGW calculations, which of course is GRAVITY. Simply turn the boxes on their side when placing them in the refrigerator and they will cool at the same rate.

    Gary, you will note that some other “lukewarmers” have shamelessly fled rather than debate. You can do as they have done, you can type, link and cut&paste or do your own work. I highly recommend that you drop the mouse and step slowly away from that keyboard. Do the empirical experiments. You will find –

    – Without convective circulation below the tropopause our atmosphere heats.
    – radiative gases are critical to convective circulation below the tropopause
    – radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm

  266. richardscourtney says:
    February 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm
    “Now, I don’t intend to waste time discussing whether basic radiative physics is correct when it is.
    So, I also am “signing off” from this thread.”
    ————————————————————————————
    [snip. That is a sure way to make sure no one ever disengages. — mod.]
    In answering “B” Richard got the right answer, but his qualification was plain wrong. Radiative gases also play vital role in convective circulation by removing energy from the atmosphere. Te simple experiment you all can try –
    – get a large glass container of hot water and mix a ¼ teaspoon of finely ground cinnamon into it.
    – wait until Brownian motion slows till the suspended particles are barely moving.
    – now suspend a beer can full of ice water in the top 50mm of the hot water to one side of the clear container.
    – watch as convective circulation develops in the container.

    This experiment demonstrates convection flow driven by the removal of energy from a fluid column in a gravity field. Radiative gases do this in our atmosphere.

    To those still reading this thread I would advise that I do not side with the “slayers”, I base my scientific argument against the radiative GHE hypothesis on the basis of my own empirical experiments. I am not linking to or cutting and pasting the work of others. Despite intentional mis-characterisations, I do accept that radiative gases in our atmosphere intercept out going IR from the surface. I do accept that the atmosphere radiates IR back to the surface. I contend however that these gases in our atmosphere have a far more important role in radiating IR to space at altitude. Without this, convective circulation under the tropopause would stall and cease and our atmosphere would heat dramatically. Radiative gases therefore cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    Readers will note the unseemly haste with which “Lukewarmers” Richard and David fled the thread. They barely lasted two rounds. A sorry display, but it illustrates an important point, FEAR.

    Sceptics by all measures are more technically and scientifically educated then AWG believers. However few lukewarmers are willing to challenge the “basic Physics” of the “settled science”. The Knights of Consensus clearly failed to model gravity, or its effects in mobile gaseous atmosphere. Yet lukewarmers will not challenge. It is important to note here that there are more “sceptic” lukewarmers who claim to understand and accept the radiative GHE hypothesis than there are AGW believers who would claim the same. It is the FEAR of going against the herd or tribe that holds these sceptics in thrall. In the FEAR of seeming foolish, lukewarmers are exhibiting the ultimate in stupidity. This is how they planned to trap you and you fell for it. Lukewarmers do not want to admit that they do not understand the math used to support the radiative GHE hypothesis for FEAR of looking foolish. You do not need to understand the math, you only need to recognise that it has not been applied to discrete moving air masses and that it has not been applied iteratively.

    What readers should understand is that the Knights of Consensus, Nick Stokes, Joel Shore, Jim D, and of course S.Mosher (who has shed his false tabard at JC), have known for years that the radiative GHE model they were defending was false. These guys are smarter than “Lukewarmers” such as Richard and David, they did not debate directly but used a proxy. In a thread at the Talkshop lasting over 600 comments the AGW position pitted against my argument lost and lost badly. They gave it all they had and lost.

    The Knights of Consensus now have new standing orders. “Do not engage.” No matter.

    For those quisling lukewamers, a quote from Frank Herberts “Dune” –

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    Grow a spine sheeple!

  267. [snip. That is a sure way to make sure no one ever disengages. — mod.]

    I accept the [Snip], Anthony’s blog, Anthony’s rules. However in my limited defence I would say that while non conductive to further rational scientific debate….He deserved it! He sooooo deserved it…;)

  268. Gary writes: “As Dr. Spencer writes, since the atmosphere doesn’t cool at the top”.

    Eric writes: “He doesn’t say this, and it is factually incorrect at the TOA.

    The top of a non-radiating atmosphere doesn’t cool because it has no way to do so. The top of a radiating atmosphere cools by–surprise!–radiation.

    Gary writes: “Don’t forget, Eric, if CO2 is radiating more “out” of the system, it’s also radiating more “into” the system.”

    Eric writes: “More to the surface than transparent N2 or O2? No.”

    In a non-radiating atmosphere, nothing radiates to the surface. If you mean conduction, the surface conductively heats the atmosphere, which can’t then conductively heat the surface any hotter.

  269. Konrad. says (February 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm): “I contend however that these gases in our atmosphere have a far more important role in radiating IR to space at altitude. Without this, convective circulation under the tropopause would stall and cease and our atmosphere would heat dramatically.”

    What about the surface of the planet?

  270. Gary Hladik says:
    February 2, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks Gary.

    This statement …
    “Only the surface and a shallow layer of air next to the surface would go through a day-night cycle of heating and cooling. The rest of the atmosphere would be at approximately the same temperature as the average surface temperature. And without a falloff of temperature with height in the atmosphere of at least 10 deg. C per kilometer, all atmospheric convection would stop.”

    doens’t make any sense to me. There would be strong heating at surface on the day side of the planet at lower latitudes (all heating is at surface, so the temperature differential is higher than an IR gas world, hence, stronger convection) and progressively less as you moved to higher latitudes. It also seems like Dr. Spencer does not consider the lapse rate is defined by gravity? Heated air would still rise *and* cool as it exchanged KE for PE as it climbed the gravity well. Once the heated air had climbed and cooled it would descend and heat on the return bringing that energy back to the surface. It would seem to make sense that a strong movement of air from tropics to poles (at height) and (poles to tropics at surface) would develop.
    Once again. All radiative heating and cooling from the non-IR system in total must occur at the surface. Non IR gases ensure that all energy in the system eventually goes there. An IR gas world can cool from a much larger area and so it makes sense that the surface temperature on average *drops*.

    Thanks again for the link.

  271. Eric Barnes says (February 3, 2013 at 7:16 am): “(all heating is at surface, so the temperature differential is higher than an IR gas world, hence, stronger convection)”

    Don’t forget that the top of the non-radiating atmosphere has no way to cool, so the best that convection can do is establish a temperature gradient equal to, not greater than the lapse rate. You don’t get more convection, you eventually get less. Conduction eventually erases even that temperature gradient, except for a layer near the surface which perpetually warms and cools as the planet rotates.

  272. Gary Hladik says:
    February 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm
    “What about the surface of the planet?” [under a non radiative atmosphere]
    —————————————————————————————–
    Gary,
    a very good question. Here is a simple diagram showing energy flux for SW IR and conduction in a non-radiative atmosphere for day and night over a desert –
    http://tinypic.com/r/5m01ac/6
    The reason for the difference in size of the purple arrows for conduction is explained by the insulated tubes experiment I posted earlier.

    The land surface of a planet under a non radiative atmosphere would have a lower Tmin and lower Tav. This effect would be minimal over oceans as liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool does not have its cooling rate effected by DWIR. Over land this would result in severe temperature swings during a diurnal cycle in a few metres of air close to the surface. Night temperature inversion would be far more pronounced. Normally night temperature inversion is strongest on low wind nights and is broken up by “mechanical convection” on windier nights. However with deep vertical circulation in the atmosphere stalled, forces available to drive such wind would be limited. Wind may be limited to horizontal advection winds at dawn and dusk.

    Essentially a non radiative atmosphere will run far hotter at most altitudes and most locations on the planet. Very close to the surface on land, extreme diurnal temperature swings would likely be experienced. This is currently what occurs in the driest desert regions under the current atmospheric conditions.

    Gary, It should be noted that the diagrams I have posted only relate to a theoretical period shortly after the ability of the atmosphere to intercept or radiate IR was “switched off”. What would happen after that is far more extreme. Currently we have a troposphere which is cooled by radiative gases. Above this we have a stratosphere which is conductively cooled from below by the troposphere. This is evidenced by the lapse rate reversal. Above this is the thermosphere where extreme temperatures are the norm.

    N2 and O2 do have a small ability to absorb electromagnetic radiation from UV to IR. Their ability to radiate this intercepted energy as IR is poor at low temperatures. Without radiative gases cooling the troposphere, the stratosphere and the upper regions of the atmospheric region formally known as the troposphere would slowly begin to superheat and expand. Much of the atmosphere could then be swept away by solar wind.

    Radiative gases do not just keep the planet cool, they help the planet keep its atmosphere. Have a look around the solar system. Are there any planets or moons that have managed to retain an atmosphere without radiative gases?

    What I am proposing may sound extreme after years of lies about radiative gases, but it is far more scientifically sound than the extreme claims of the AGW crowd. They are essentially claiming that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce its radiative cooling ability, an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. They have none. The “basic physics” of their “settled science” requires the atmosphere to be modelled as a single layer without gravity and moving gases. They have not just gotten the magnitude of the effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere wrong but critically they got the sign of the effect wrong. In light of this, the position of “Lukewarmer” is not a scientific position it is a political position.

  273. Konrad. says (February 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm): “Here is a simple diagram showing energy flux for SW IR and conduction in a non-radiative atmosphere for day and night over a desert –
    http://tinypic.com/r/5m01ac/6
    The reason for the difference in size of the purple arrows for conduction is explained by the insulated tubes experiment I posted earlier.”

    I assume the two diagrams are not to scale, as the thermal conductivity of air at 40 degrees C is only about 12% greater than air at 0 degrees C.

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d_156.html

    “The land surface of a planet under a non radiative atmosphere would have a lower Tmin and lower Tav. This effect would be minimal over oceans as liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool does not have its cooling rate effected by DWIR.”

    I assume you’re saying this situation is only temporary, and would change even if the atmosphere weren’t stripped away, as otherwise you’re agreeing with your recently departed opponents.

    “They are essentially claiming that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce its radiative cooling ability, an extraordinary claim.”

    Why is it extraordinary? We agree that the addition essentially redirects some of the surface radiation back to the surface. The extraordinary claim is that the added energy won’t warm the surface. I think we’ve reversed the null hypothesis here. :-)

  274. Gary Hladik says:
    February 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    1.”I assume the two diagrams are not to scale, as the thermal conductivity of air at 40 degrees C is only about 12% greater than air at 0 degrees C.”

    2. “Why is it extraordinary? We agree that the addition essentially redirects some of the surface radiation back to the surface. The extraordinary claim is that the added energy won’t warm the surface. I think we’ve reversed the null hypothesis here. :-)”
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    gary,
    In answer to 1.
    No the arrows in the diagram are indicative and not to scale. If true to scale the arrows for IR intercepted and emitted by N2 and O2 would be less than a pixel in width. The reason for the difference in size to the two conduction arrows is due to the effect of gravity in a mobile gaseous atmosphere. This has not been correctly modelled in AGW calculations or in Dr. Roy Spencer’s work. The arrows represent conductive flux, energy transfer over time. It is important to note that conductive flux depends on temperature differential. At night gravity traps cool air close to the ground minimising conductive flux between the surface and atmospheric gases. Energy transferred from the atmosphere to the radiately cooled surface is limited to the speed of gas conduction in the atmosphere. During the day gravity moves cool air to the SW heated surface maximising conductive flux. Convection can still move the heated gases away from surface even in an atmosphere in which full convective circulation has stalled. Gravity creates a bias whereby the surface is more effective at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.

    You will note that this effect, easily proved empirically by the “two tubes” experiment posted above, has not been accounted for in AGW calculations. Dr. Spencer is in error claiming that a non radiative atmosphere will have a temperature set by Tav. Instead temperatures a hundred metres up may rise to close to surface Tmax.

    In answer to 2.
    Yes radiative gases in the atmosphere intercept outgoing surface IR. They emit some of this back to the surface. This can slow the cooling rate of materials that are not able to cool by transpiration or evaporation. Non vegetated land area like deserts is effected by this. However it is important to understand that most of the energy radiative gases in our atmosphere are emitting was not acquired by the atmosphere intercepting IR from the surface. Pat Frank further up thread had some difficulty with this concept.

    “The extraordinary claim is that the added energy won’t warm the surface.” Gary, I have never made that claim. Indeed it should be very clear that I do accept that increased radiative gases will lead to reduced radiative cooling over un-vegetated land. Of course at less than 29% of earth’s surface this is largely irrelevant compared to the critical role radiative gases play in convective circulation. If convective circulation stalls the atmosphere heats. The empirical experiments I use to show this are simple and easily replicated. The claims I make are simple and direct –

    – Those claiming a radiative GHE never modelled a moving atmosphere with depth and gravity.
    – Without convective circulation below the tropopause our atmosphere will heat.
    – radiative gases providing energy loss at altitude are critical for convective circulation below the tropopause.
    – adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability.
    – radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm

    The “radiative GHE” is quite simply the worst scientific blunder in the history of human scientific endeavour. I would take this further and say that a review the 2010 debate on the Makarieva discussion paper reveals that some of the defenders of the “Cause” have known that the hypothesis was junk for years. I find it very revealing that in the current discussion over at JC, now that paper has been accepted for publication, even when directly challenged the Knights of Consensus will not debate. Not even the “too stupid to waste time on” thing that David and Richard tried. Just silence. They know they got it wrong, they have known for years.

  275. Konrad. says (February 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm): “Convection can still move the heated gases away from surface even in an atmosphere in which full convective circulation has stalled. Gravity creates a bias whereby the surface is more effective at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.”

    As I understand Dr. Spencer’s article, convection in an old non-radiating atmosphere is confined to a near-surface layer whose height is determined by the extent of nocturnal conductive cooling. Above that the atmosphere remains at about surface temperature.

    “Dr. Spencer is in error claiming that a non radiative atmosphere will have a temperature set by Tav. Instead temperatures a hundred metres up may rise to close to surface Tmax.”

    So if I understand correctly, you’re predicting the temp of a non-radiating atmosphere high over the poles would be about the same as surface temp at the equator, because the higher polar atmosphere is effectively insulated from the colder polar surface?

    “Indeed it should be very clear that I do accept that increased radiative gases will lead to reduced radiative cooling over un-vegetated land.”

    No, I meant that under a radiating atmosphere the downwelling IR is at all points and at all times added to the incident solar radiation, which is all that warms the surface under a non-radiating atmosphere. In that case it seems “extraordinary” to predict a lower surface temperature.

    “- Those claiming a radiative GHE never modelled a moving atmosphere with depth and gravity.”

    Out of curiosity, could you comment on Willis’s simplified model illustrated in Figure 4 of his “Steel Greenhouse” article?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/17/the-steel-greenhouse/

    I’m guessing you’d increase the convection term (the orange up arrows) just for starters. Any chance you have a “corrected” diagram?

    “I find it very revealing that in the current discussion over at JC, now that paper has been accepted for publication, even when directly challenged the Knights of Consensus will not debate. Not even the “too stupid to waste time on” thing that David and Richard tried. Just silence. They know they got it wrong, they have known for years.”

    Well, that’s one interpretation. Another is that “they” know they’re right, and just won’t waste time on (as they see it) claims the moon landings were faked. :-) I confess to similar feelings whenever “slayers” show up on WUWT threads, but I have engaged on occasion just to explore their arguments.

  276. Gary Hladik says:
    February 5, 2013 at 12:18 am
    —————————————————————————-
    Would I comment on any of Willis’ work? I understand that WUWT still labours under the “Reign of Willis”. He claimed that DWIR could slow the cooling rate of the oceans. He lost to a roll of microwave safe cling-wrap. Way to go Willis. Out of his depth on a wet pavement? So far out of his depth the fish have lights on their noses!

    I would agree with your comments about “slayers”, their physics is trash. Moon landings? Well I have only met and spoken with one Apollo astronaut, Harrison Schmitt. The geologist who flew on 17. This was years ago and we only very briefly discussed joint design for gas pressurised suits. I understand he is a climate sceptic now. Go figure.

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