A Comparison Of The Earth’s Climate Sensitivity To Changes In The Nature Of The Initial Forcing

Earth Full South Pacific

Earth Full South Pacific (Photo credit: FlyingSinger)

Guest post by Bob Irvine

ABSTRACT

The Earth’s feedback response to warming is independent of the nature of the forcing that caused that warming. The question I intend to examine is whether the nature of the forcing will have a significant impact on the initial warming or the response time of the earth’s system. I looked at changes in three different types of forcing and their effect on the earth’s temperature response.

1. Changes in solar forcing caused by variation in solar output at the sun’s surface that may cause changes in Cosmic Ray flux or other solar multiplier effects.

2. Changes in solar forcing caused by changes in the earth’s milankovitch cycles (Last Glacial Maxima, LGM) and volcanic activity that do not affect cosmic ray flux.

3. Changes in Anthropogenic Green House Gas (AGHG) concentrations.

The IPCC and others assume that climate sensitivity derived from #2 (Last Glacial Maxima, or Milankovitch cycles and volcanic activity) also applies to #1 and #3. This paper attempts to show that this is unlikely to be the case when the best available data is compared.

For #1 we found the climate sensitivity to be between 1.0°C and 1.8°C per Watt per Square meter of forcing. For #2 we found climate sensitivity to be approximately between 0.4°C and 1.2°C per W/M2 and for #3 we found climate sensitivity to be between 0.1°C and 0.36°C per W/M2.

INTRODUCTION

Climate sensitivity is the temperature increase at equilibrium for each Watt per square meter of forcing or “X” in the following equation. X°C/WM-2 .

Generally as the planet warms it activates various feedbacks. A negative feedback will decrease the earth’s system response time at the top of the atmosphere and a positive feedback will increase this response time. For example, a decrease in sea ice will slow the return of energy to space and can, therefore, be considered a positive feedback to warming.

Not all feedback’s, however, are a response to warming. For example, if the cosmic ray effect is real then it can be considered a positive feedback to increased solar activity that is not related to warming. Similarly different types of forcing can have different response times at the top of the atmosphere. I intend to show in this paper that changes in long wave GHG forcing have a considerably shorter response time than changes in short wave solar forcing and, therefore, can be expected to have a lower climate sensitivity.

I, therefore, intend to show that the IPCC’s climate sensitivity based on #2 above should not be applied to AGHGs.

I have used the IPCC’s climate sensitivity derived from #2 above to calculate the current equilibrium temperature due to AGHG’s already in the system and compared this with the NOAA actual temperature since 1880 in Fig. 1. The calculations done to produce the graph below are set out in Appendix “1”.

Basically the IPCC’s agreed CO2 concentrations were used to calculate expected equilibrium temperature which was adjusted using the IPCC’s 3rd and 4th assessment reports figures to include all AGHG’s (i.e. NO2, CH4, Halogens etc.). All calculations used to produce this graph (fig. 1) are generally agreed and accepted and used by the IPCC.

The inconsistency of the IPCC central prediction and upper limit with the actual data (blue line) is immediately apparent. It is possible that the lower IPCC limit might be compatible but even this becomes untenable when climate sensitivity to changes in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) which include any solar multiplier effects, #1, is taken into account. This sensitivity, #1, will be estimated in section “A” below. Section “B” will show how the IPCC derived their climate sensitivity for #2 above.

The IPCC’s position is that industrial aerosols have artificially cooled the planet masking the warming effects of the AGHGs and that equilibrium temperature is approximately 1.5 times transient or current temperature. Section “C” will show that even these are not enough to avoid the conclusion that climate sensitivity due to changes in AGHGs, #3, is considerably smaller than both #1 and #2.

image

Fig. 1 AGHG Forced equilibrium temperature using the IPCC’s sensitivity based on #2 (LGM and volcanic) and compared to actual temperature as measured by the NOAA since 1880. The upper IPCC limit assumes a climate sensitivity of “X” = 1.2, the IPCC central prediction assumes “X” = 0.8, and the lower IPCC limit assumes “X” = 0.4.

#1. SECTION A We used two methods to match TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) changes as Watts/Square meter at the earth’s surface with the best temperature data available. These TSI changes will affect the cosmic ray flux and possibly have other solar multiplier effects as they are caused by changes in solar activity at the sun’s surface.

If these changes in TSI lead to greater temperature changes per unit forcing than solar changes that do not result in changes in the cosmic ray flux, such as Milankovitch cycles or volcanic activity, then this would lend some credence to theories suggesting that cosmic rays have a significant effect on the earth’s surface temperature.

The two methods we will use are a) compare solar irradiance changes over the last millennium with temperature records, and b) compare temperature and forcing for the 11 year sun cycle.

a) The TSI variations are taken from Swingedouw et al (2011) who used the Bard et al (2000) reconstruction and are the same as those used by Crowley (2000). The scaling used is from Lean et al (1995). Lean et al (2002) and Foukal et al (2004) suggest that long term irradiance changes could be considerably less which would imply a higher temperature sensitivity to a given forcing.

image

Fig. 2, W/M2 at the earth’s surface due to changes in Solar activity for the last millennium.

image

Fig. 3, Solar activity for the last 1100 years.

I have used the temperature reconstructions of Mann 2008 EIV, Moberg 2005, Loehle 2008 and Ljungqvist 2010 to represent temperature change over the last millennium. They are, I believe, the best available series at the time of writing. These temperature reconstructions are reproduced in Appendix “2”. An approximation of the range of temperature over this period is then compared with the range in solar forcing at the earth’s surface.

With considerable uncertainties, this comparison will give us an approximation of the climate’s sensitivity to changes in solar forcing at the earth’s surface that include any cosmic ray effect and/or other solar multiplier effects .

image

Fig. 4, Maximum and minimum temperatures for 4 different temperature reconstructions over the last 1500 years. The warmest three decades and the coolest three decades from each reconstruction are shown.

From fig 2 and fig 3 the range in solar forcing at the earth’s surface over the last 1000 years excluding the 20th century is approximately 0.6 w/m2.

From fig 4 the range in temperature in each of the four reconstructions can be seen. It is then possible to calculate “X” where X is the change in the earth’s surface temperature in degrees Celsius that results from a one w/m2 change in forcing.

From Fig 4 the range in temperature for Mann 2008 EIV is approximately 0.75°C, for Moberg 2005 is approximately 0.9°C, for Loehle 2008 is approximately 1.1°C and for Ljungqvist 2010 is approximately 0.9°C.

Climate sensitivity is described by the equation X°Celcius / wm-2. .

The value of “X” will change, with time from equilibrium, and with any other changes in the earth’s feedback systems etc. For the purposes of this paper, however, “X” will be considered to be linear for a given forcing. This paper is considering the possibility that “X” will change considerably depending on the nature of the forcing that drives any change.

The value of “X” is then derived for each of the four different temperature reconstructions.

For Mann 2008 “X” equals 1.25 (0.75/0.6)

For Moberg 2005 “X” equals 1.5 (0.9/0.6)

For Loehle 2008 “X” equals 1.8 (1.1/0.6)

For Ljungqvist 2010 “X” equals 1.5 (0.9/0.6)

These values of “X” should approximate the equilibrium response since the data is taken over a millennium or more. There are considerable uncertainties in these estimates of climate sensitivity that derive from the max/min method used and the error margins of the various temperature reconstructions used.

It is worth noting that if the max/min method used overstates the temperature response then it is also likely that max/min method also overstates the solar forcing at the earth’s surface causing some of the possible error to be cancelled.

It is beyond the scope of this paper to estimate these uncertainties other than to say that the climate sensitivity, as calculated from current knowledge by this method, probably lies in the range 1.25°C/wm-2 and 1.8°C/wm-2.

b) The 11 year solar cycle will also include changes in cosmic ray flux as it too results from changes in solar output at the sun’s surface.

Camp and Tung (2008) use the 11 year sun cycle to derive transient sensitivity of between 0.69 and 0.97°C/wm-2. They also estimate equilibrium temperature as being 1.5 times higher than this which is consistent with the IPCC’s position in their 4AR.

This gives an “X” value for climate sensitivity calculated by this method of between 1.04°C/wm-2 and 1.46°C/wm-2

Combining a) and b) we get the likelihood that climate sensitivity for TSI changes that include changes in cosmic ray flux and/or any other solar multiplier effect will probably lie between 1.0°C/wm-2 and 1.8°C/wm-2.

#2. SECTION B The second type of forcing is one that causes changes in solar energy reaching the earth without effecting cosmic ray flux. These include the Milankovitch cycles and volcanic activity that occur at the earth’s surface and, therefore, are not due to changes in TSI at the sun’s surface.

Annan and Hargreaves (2006) looks at climate sensitivity derived from observation of volcanic activity and the Last Glacial Maxima (LGM).

They studied the literature and concluded that volcanic activity indicates that climate sensitivity would be between 1.5°C and 6°C for a forcing of 3.7w/m2 at equilibrium with the upper limit constrained to 4.5°C after the 20th century temperature record and evidence from the Maunder minimum are considered.

Volcanic activity, therefore, gives a climate sensitivity of between 0.4(1.5/3.7)°C/wm-2 and 1.2(4.5/3.7)°C/wm-2 to 95% confidence.

A & H (2006), after studying the literature, concluded that LGM measurements support a climate sensitivity between 1.3°C and 4.5°C for a 3.7w/m2 forcing to 95% confidence. The upper limit was constrained for the reasons outlined above.

This gives a value for “X” between 0.4 and 1.2 derived from evidence taken from both volcanic activity and the LGM. This agrees closely with the IPCC’s position outlined in all of their assessment reports.

image

Fig. 5, IPCCs Forcing’s bar graph from their 2007 4AR. Note the large aerosol cooling effect they expect for 2005. Minimum -0.4w/m2, Likely -1.2w/m2, Maximum -2.4w/m2. Note also the large AGHG Forcing of approximately 2.7 w/m2 which at their central sensitivity of “X” = 0.8 should give an equilibrium temperature increase in 2005 of 2.16°C. This is not consistent with actual temperature rise as seen in Fig. 1.

That Milankovich Cycles are overwhelmingly the main drivers of the ice ages, and more particularly the LGM used by A & H (2006) to estimate their climate sensitivity, is shown convincingly by Roe (2006) “In Defence of Milankovich”.

#3. SECTION C Since 1880 an extremely active sun has added directly, approximately 0.5w/m2 at the earth’s surface (Fig. 2). According to our best historical temperature series as seen in section A and after an adjustment to give transient temperature, this active sun should have increased the earth’s temperature by a minimum of approximately 0.33°C to a maximum of 0.6°C since 1880.

According to the NOAA in Fig. 1 the earth’s temperature has risen by about 0.7°C since 1880.

This leaves between 0.1 and 0.37°C plus any industrial aerosol cooling effect to be explained by increasing AGHGs.

This can be summarised by the following equation;

Equation 1; “Y” plus (0.1 to 0.37) = “Z” Where “Y” is the net aerosol cooling in 2010 and “Z” is the total transient warming due to AGHGs in 2010.

At this point we introduce another check on aerosols to get a second simultaneous equation. According to Stern (2006) industrial aerosol production has fallen by over 30% since 1990, Fig. 6. Mishchenko confirms this with satellite measurements showing a drop in sun blocking aerosols since 1990, Fig. 7. Basically, If an increase in industrial aerosols gives a significant cooling as postulated by the IPCC then a drop in aerosols, as has happened since 1990, should cause a significant warming. Here is a supporting quote from the IPCC’s 4AR. “Global sulphur emissions (and thus sulphate aerosol forcing) appear to have decreased after 1980 (Stern 2005)…”

This drop in industrial aerosols can be explained by cleaner combustion techniques forced on people by acid rain and other undesirable environmental effects.

There are other contributors to the earth’s temperature other than Industrial aerosols, AGHGs, and solar, but they are negligible in the context of this paper.

To form a second simultaneous equation we need an estimate of AGHG forcing and an estimate of temperature change since 1990.

image

Fig. 6 Estimated global SO2 production. Stern 2006

image

Fig. 7.

The temperature series, Fig. 8, below gives a temperature rise between 1990 and 2010 of approximately 0.2°C. It is uncertain whether natural forcing’s would have increased or decreased this figure so we have approximated this figure to a rise of between 0.1°C and 0.3°C which is an estimate of the anthropogenic temperature change since 1990. The effect of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 has also been removed.

image

Fig. 8 Earth’s temperature 1990 to 2010 according four main temperature series.

AGHGs added 0.82 w/m2 from 1990 to 2010, based on their increase in concentration, which is 28% of the total forcing, attributed to AGHGs in 2010 by the IPCC.

We can now create a second simultaneous equation;

Equation 2; 0.3 x “Y” Plus 0.28 X “Z” = 0.1 to 0.3

Solving for the simultaneous equations 1 and 2 gives total aerosol cooling of between 0.12°C and 0.34°C in 2010 (“Y”). This implies total AGHG forced transient warming in 2010 (“Z”) of between 0.22°C and 0.69°C.

If we assume equilibrium temperature is approximately 1.5 times transient temperature and use the IPCC’s total forcing of 2.9 w/m2 we arrive at an AGHG climate sensitivity of;

“X” = 0.11°C/wm-2 to “X” = 0.36°C/wm-2.

CONCLUSION

To my mind the IPCC’s upper limit and central prediction are not consistent with the NOAA actual temperatures in Fig. 1. If our best temperature series over the last 1000 years are to be believed then the IPCC lower limit in Fig. 1 can also not be reconciled with the actual measured temperatures as has been demonstrated in section A, B and C above.

The IPCC would put 4 possible arguments to explain the discrepancies apparent in Fig. 1.

1. That equilibrium temperature is considerably more than 1.5 times transient temperature which would overturn nearly all the literature on the subject and be inconsistent with all the IPCC’s model assumptions.

2. That industrial aerosols have a massive cooling affect which would be inconsistent with evidence since 1990 (see section C above). They would also need to explain the fact that industrial aerosols generally remain local and are overwhelmingly produced in the northern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere has experienced more warming over the last century than the southern hemisphere.

3. That AGHG sensitivity is not linear. It is initially lower and increases to their published sensitivity at doubling. It is therefore unlikely but possible that the IPCC’s lower limit of “X” = 0.4 could be consistent with the upper limit for AGHGs of “X” = 0.36. This would imply a much larger cosmic ray or other solar multiplier effect (minimum “X” = 1.0, see section A above) than is generally accepted.

4. That temperature measurements over the last millennium are so uncertain that no conclusions can be drawn from them. These are the best series (see appendix 2) that we have. The existence of the medieval warm period and the little ice age have been confirmed by many studies around the world and are not seriously challenged anymore. It can be safely stated that the IPCC’s estimated climate sensitivity range can be falsified by the best evidence that we have at the time of writing.

The IPCC’s position is that climate sensitivity measurements deduced from the LGM and volcanic activity that do not include any solar multiplier effect and are based on short wave solar radiation can be assumed to apply to Long Wave Radiation from AGHGs and changes in TSI at the sun’s surface that include possible solar multiplier effects.

This paper proposes that the IPCC’s position is not consistent with our best millennial temperature records nor is it consistent with Green House Gas Forcing and temperature rise in the 20th century (Fig. 1) without unrealistically large aerosol cooling. The IPCC’s position is particularly inconsistent when it is noted that aerosol levels have fallen over the last 20 years at a time when temperature rise has abated.

All the available data is neatly reconciled and consistent if we are prepared to accept that the earth’s climate sensitivity is different for long wave greenhouse gas forcing than it is for short wave solar forcing. It is, in fact, unlikely that these two would have the same sensitivity and there are good physical reasons why they wouldn’t.

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

1. The existence of a cosmic ray effect on temperature has been debated for some time now and would explain the different sensitivities described in section “A” and section “B”. This is discussed in Shaviv 2005, “On Climate Response to Change in Cosmic Ray Flux and Radiative Budget.” Certainly the existence of some form of solar multiplier is supported by the evidence of the last millennium (section “A”) when it is compared with the IPCC’s sensitivity (section “B”). The IPCC’s climate sensitivity is derived from LGM and volcanic measurements that don’t include any solar multiplier effects as they are caused by changes at the earth’s surface as opposed to changes at the sun’s surface.

2. The climate response time is the time it takes for the atmosphere to respond to a change in forcing and is dependent on sensitivity and the amount of ocean mixing. Hansen, Sato and Kharecha, “Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications”, say “On a planet with no ocean or only a mixed layer ocean, the climate response time is proportional to climate sensitivity. ………..Hansen et al (1985) show analytically, with ocean mixing approximated as a diffusive process, that the response time increases as the square of climate sensitivity.”

If it can be shown that a change in the Long Wave Radiation from AGHGs has a shorter response time than a change in Short Wave Solar Radiation, then this would imply a lower climate sensitivity for changes in AGHGs than you would expect from changes in solar forcing.

It is well known and accepted physics that Long wave radiation from GHGs only penetrates the oceans to a depth of a fraction of a millimetre. Water is almost totally opaque to these wavelengths. Short wave solar radiation, on the other hand, penetrates water to a depth of 10 meters or more and is, therefore, readily involved in ocean heating.

There is clearly a significant difference in response times between Long wave radiation from AGHGs and the Short wave solar radiation used by the IPCC to calculate their sensitivity. Long wave radiation is returned almost immediately to the atmosphere while Short wave solar radiation is largely absorbed by the ocean and takes much longer to find its way back to the atmosphere on average.

It is entirely logical that shorter response times would equate to lower temperature sensitivities at equilibrium. There would quite obviously be less energy in the pipeline as the oceans are not warmed significantly by AGHG’s.

The IPCC and others argue that the warming of the top fraction of a millimetre by AGHGs prevents energy from escaping from the deeper ocean and, therefore, effectively has the same response time as solar radiation. This position is shown to be not correct by the simple experiment outlined in Appendix 3.

3. As you would expect the IPCC’s models and predictions are already starting to fail as a result of them using the wrong wavelength to estimate AGHG forced climate sensitivity. James Hansen’s catastrophic predictions to the USA congress in 1988 are compared with actual temperature in Fig. 9. They clearly don’t correlate.

image

Fig. 9 James Hansen’s 1988 predictions to the USA congress compared with actual temperature.

Here is a quote from the IPCC’s 2001 TAR, “..anthropogenic warming is likely to lie in the range of 0.1°C to 0.2°C per decade over the next few decades”, and another from the IPCC’s 2007 4AR “For the next 2 decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected”. The earth’s temperature has remained level or fallen since both of these predictions were made.

 

APPENDIX 1

image

Fig. 1 AGHG Forced equilibrium temperature using the IPCC’s sensitivity based on #2 (LGM and volcanic) and compared to actual temperature as measured by the NOAA since 1880. The upper IPCC limit assumes a climate sensitivity of “X” = 1.2, the IPCC central prediction assumes “X” = 0.8, and the lower IPCC limit assumes “X” = 0.4.

The method used to plot this graph;

1. A preindustrial CO2 concentration of 280 ppm was assumed. CO2 concentrations since 1880 were taken from the IPCC pre 1960 and from Mauna Loa after 1960.

2. CO2 Forcing was calculated using the widely accepted formula ;

rF = 5.35 x ln(C/C0) wm-2

Where “C” is the current CO2 concentration and “Co” is the initial CO2 concentration. This formula is the basis for the IPCC’s position that a doubling of CO2 concentration will produce a Forcing of 3.71 wm-2. i.e. rF = 5.35 x ln (2) = 3.71 wm-2.

3. Based on the IPCC’s TAR and 4AR reports, the CO2 forcing was then multiplied by 1.66 to give the total forcing of all the AGHGs (NO2, CH4, Halogens etc.) See Fig. 5.

4. The IPCC’s equilibrium temperatures were then calculated using the IPCC’s sensitivity factors, 0.4 (lower), 0.8 (central), and 1.2 (upper). i.e. The IPCC’s central predicted equilibrium temperature for a doubling of CO2 is, therefore, 0.8 x 3.71 wm-2 or approximately 3.0°C.

5. All graphs were then zeroed at 1880, the time when relatively accurate thermometer temperature measurements commenced.

 

APPENDIX 2

The four main millennial temperature series summarised in Fig. 4.

image

Fig.10 Temperature series for the last 1000 years. Ljungqvist 2010 (Black Line), Loehle 2008 (Blue Line)

image

Fig 11. Moberg 2005 1000 year temperature record including more recent instrumental records.

image

Fig. 12 Mann 2008 EIV 1000 year temperature series.

 

APPENDIX 3

The simple experiment, attributed to Tallbloke, that proves that GHG increases do not significantly warm the oceans.

Konrad: Empirical test of ocean cooling and back radiation theory

Posted: August 25, 2011 by Tallbloke in atmosphere, climate, Energy, Ocean dynamics 68

Some background -

Willis Eschenbach had a guest posting over at WUWT in which he claimed that LWIR could heat Earth’s oceans. Myself and several others on the thread contended that this LWIR was likely to be stopped by the evaporative skin layer and would not slow the exit of heat from the oceans. Numerous requests for empirical evidence to support Willis’s claim only resulted in one inapplicable study used by the “Hockey Team” to support such claims. After several hundred comments without empirical evidence being offered, I gave up reading and designed and conducted an empirical experiment that shows that any effect of backscattered LWIR on the cooling rate of water would be negligible.

What follows is an edited version of the experiment design and results as posted on the WUWT thread. I would encourage others to conduct similar experiments to check my results. The equipment required is not overly expensive and the results can be observed in minutes. The results appear to show the measurable difference between reflecting LWIR back to warm water when it is free to evaporatively cool and when it can only cool through conduction and radiation.

What is required -

- Two identical probe type digital thermometers with 0.1 degree resolution

- Two identical insulated water containers. I used rectangular 200ml Tupperware style containers, insulated on their base and sides with foil and Styrofoam. I cut away the clip on rim from each lid to create a frame to clip down cling film for Test B of the experiment.

- One IR reflector. I used an A4 sheet of 10mm Styrofoam with aluminum foil attached with spray adhesive.

- One IR window. I built an A4 size “picture frame” of 10mm square balsa wood strips and stretched cling film over it.

- One 1 litre measuring jug

- Two small identical computer fans. I used Suron 50mm centrifugal blowers powered by a 6v gel cell battery

- Extra cling film

- Optional extras – kitchen timer, an A4 ”dark cool sky” panel of matt black aluminum with peltier cooling, glamorous lab assistant of choice.

image

What to do -

- Position probe thermometers in identical positions in both water containers. I placed the tips 10mm below the water line by drilling force fit holes in the sides of the containers.

- Position IR reflector and IR window 50mm above either water container. You may need to build two Styrofoam side walls, but air must be free to move over the surface of the water. (The use of the IR window is to ensure that air flow is similar over each water container.)

- Position the computer fans to blow across the water surface of each container, but do not turn on.

- Fill jug with warm water, stir, then fill each water container from the bucket. I used water around 40C as the ceiling was around 18C not a 3k sky.

- When and equal amount of water is in each container, turn on the computer fans.

- Observe the temperature change over time for each tank. Less than half an hour is required for such a small amount of water. You should observe that both tanks cool at the same rate (TEST A).

- Now the important bit – Repeat the experiment, but this time lay a small sheet of cling wrap on the surface of the water in each water tank. This allows cooling through radiation and conduction but prevents evaporation. You do not need the computer fans on in this test. You should be able to observe that while both containers cool slower than before, water under the IR reflector cools slowest (TEST B).

image

Interpretation -

In TEST A the water cools more quickly, however the two water containers temperatures remain very close to each other over time. This indicates that backscattered LWIR has a very limited effect on the rate of cooling for water when it is free to evaporatively cool.

In TEST B both water containers cool more slowly than Test A, but a divergence in temperature between the two water containers is readily detectable. The container under the foil sky cools more slowly than that under the cling wrap sky. This indicates that backscattered LWIR from a warm material can slow the rate at which that material cools, if radiation and conduction are the only methods for cooling.

Test A represents the evaporative cooling conditions in the real oceans. Test B represents how the climate scientists have modeled the oceans with regard to backscattered LWIR. From what I have observed, backscattered LWIR can slow the rate at which substances cool. However in the case of liquid water that is free to cool evaporatively this effect is dramatically reduced. It would appear that including the oceans in the percentage of Earth’s surface that could be affected by backscattered LWIR may be a serious error. Earth’s oceans cover 71% of the planet’s surface. If backscattered LWIR cannot measurably affect liquid water, then CO2 cannot cause dangerous or catastrophic global warming.

I have conducted further tests using a “cold sky” panel cooled with ice water over the top of the cling film IR window. While the temperature divergence in the evaporation restricted test B does not appear faster, it does appear to diverge for longer.
I would encourage others to conduct similar empirical experiments and share their observations. I would be interested in comments in further experimental design, or empirical evidence related to the LWIR question.

Typical TEST A

Time Cling Wrap Screen Foil screen
0 37.1 37.1
5 33.2 33.2
10 29.4 29.4
15 27 26.9
20 25.5 25.5
25 24.5 24.5

Typical TEST B

Time Cling Wrap Screen Foil screen
0 38.2 38.2
5 36.3 36.6
10 34.8 35.3
15 33.5 34.2
20 32.6 33.4
25 31.5 32.6
About these ads

114 thoughts on “A Comparison Of The Earth’s Climate Sensitivity To Changes In The Nature Of The Initial Forcing

  1. Evaporation can be masked by galactic radiation causing increased cloud formation. As clouds increase due to ionization of the atmosphere the reduced solar heat reaching earths surface slows the evaporation process.

    Interestingly Solar wind/output is the river in space that either collects and sweeps these ions away or allows them to pass into the earths atmosphere causing cloud formation.

    It seems that your three items are intertwined in such a manner that it would lower their potential forcing sensitivity substantially. And the Sun is the primary driver… Now who would of thunk that?

  2. The notion that [there] is a “climate sensitivity” is scientifically nonsensical as this sensitivity is defined in terms of an equilibrium temperature but this temperature is not an observable.

  3. Decreasing sea ice exposes more of the warmer sea to space and the atmosphere – both conditions will permit greater loss of energy from the ocean by radiation, convection, and conduction. Capping it with ice hinders that. Melting ice does nothing, by comparison – the energy in the sea simply moves from the sea to the ice, melting it which sends every joule of it back to the sea.

    Bottom line is energy in the sea has to pass through the atmosphere to get back to space where it came from and any lid you put on it, ice, clouds, CO2, is going to inhibit that.

  4. Given that the globe has been cooling for thousands and thousands of years, I’m about to hope for a higher sensitivity.
    =============

  5. I had just posted the following list of experiments on the Freeman Dyson thread before I noted Bob Irvine had posted details of one of my first experiments with LWIR and liquid water. I am reposting the list of five experiments here as Experiment 1 described below is an improvement on the version Bob has shown. The old version simply reflected the outgoing IR from cooling water back to its surface, so Incident IR dropped as the samples cooled. The later improved version uses a constant external LWIR source. Some readers at the Talkshop will be familiar with many of these experiments and this list is a cut and paste from an essay for the Talkshop that I will eventually finish. Experiments 2 to 4 cover energy flux to and from moving fluids in a gravity field, something missing from “basic physics” of the “settled science”.

    Experiment 1. Effect of incident LWIR on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.
    Incident LWIR can slow the cooling rate of materials. Climate scientists claim that DWLWIR has the same effect over oceans as it does over land, and this is shown in many Trenberthian energy budget cartoons. Does the ocean respond to DWLWIR the same way as land?

    – Build two water proof EPS foam cubes 150mm on a side and open at the top.
    – Position a 100mm square aluminium water block as LWIR source 25mm above each cube.
    – Position two small computer fans to blow a very light breeze between the foam cube and the water blocks.
    – Insert a probe thermometer with 0.1C resolution through the side of each cube 25mm below the top.
    – Continuously run 80C water through one water block and 1C water through the other.
    – Fill both EPS foam cubes to the top with 40C water an allow to cool for 30 min while recording temperatures.
    – Repeat the experiment with a thin LDPE film on the surface of the water in each cube to prevent evaporative cooling.

    Here is an early variant of this experiment in which IR from cooling water samples was reflected back to the water surface – http://i47.tinypic.com/694203.jpg

    Experiment 2. Radiative cooling properties of CO2
    CO2 can both absorb and radiate IR. Some of the energy CO2 is radiating to space is from intercepted outgoing IR from the Earths surface. Most of the net energy CO2 radiates to space is acquired from latent heat from condensing water vapour and conductive contact with the Earths surface. Could the radiation of energy from the atmosphere to space acquired by surface conduction or release of latent heat balance the energy intercepted from surface IR?

    – Build two EPS foam boxes 250 x 250mm and 100mm deep, open at the top.
    – Make a small 5mm hole in the bottom corner of each box to ensure constant pressure
    – Place an identically sized matt black 200 x 200 x 2mm aluminium target plate in the base of each box.
    – At one side of the interior of each box position a IR and SW shielded tube 200mm long containing a small circulation fan to cycle all the gas in the box through the tube.
    – Position a thermometer probe with 0.1C resolution in each tube.
    – Seal the top of each box with a frame double glazed with thin LDPE film.
    – At equal distances above each box position a 50w halogen light source with sealed glass face.
    – Use small computer fans to cool the glass face of each halogen globe to minimise LWIR emission.
    – Fill one box with air and the other with CO2
    – Wait for box temperatures to equalise then illuminate each target plate with the SW source.
    – Record gas temperatures during 30min of heating for each box.
    – Switch off the halogens and record gas temperatures during cooling.

    Here is image of equipment for experiment 2. Bike tyre inflater cartridges are an easy source of dry CO2 – http://i49.tinypic.com/34hcoqd.jpg

    Experiment 3. The role of energy loss in convective circulation.
    In describing convective circulation in the atmosphere the role of heating low in the atmosphere is often emphasised. Does cooling at altitude have an equally important role in convective circulation?
    – 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.
    – Observe any circulation patterns developing in the hot water.

    Experiment 4. Convective circulation and average temperature in a gas column.
    Most AGW calculations are for linear fluxes into and out of a static atmosphere. However the gases in our atmosphere move. Should these linear flux equations have been run iteratively on models with discrete moving air masses? The height of energy gain and loss in a gas column effects convective circulation. Does this effect the average temperature of a gas column?

    – Build two sealed EPS foam boxes, 1000mm wide, 200mm deep and 1000mm high.
    – Penetrate each box with a number of thin aluminium water heating and cooling tubes
    – In box 1 position heating tubes on the lower right hand side and cooling tubes on the upper left hand side. Keep the heating tubes as close to the lower interior surface as possible.
    – In box 2 position heating tubes on the lower right hand side and cooling tubes on the lower left hand side. Keep the heating and cooling tubes as close to the lower interior surface as possible.
    – Make small thermometer probe holes in the face of each box in a number of different horizontal and vertical positions.
    – Position 0.1C resolution thermometer probes in identical positions in each box.
    – Start 1C water running through the cooling tubes in each box and 80C water running through the heating tubes in each box at around 1 litre a min. Record temperatures over 30 min.
    – Cut water flow and equalise the temperature in each box. Reposition the thermometer probes and re run the experiment until a circulation pattern and average temperature can be obtained for each box.

    Here is a diagram of the initial experiment – http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg and an image of a later small variant in which the strength of cooling can be altered at the top and bottom of the gas column – http://tinypic.com/r/15n0xuf/6

    Experiment 5. Surface to gas conductive flux in a gravity field.
    Climate scientists have claimed that under an atmosphere without radiative gases the radiative cooling of the surface will be greater (see also experiment 1). Does this mean the conductive cooling of the atmosphere in contact will be significantly higher? Is it correct to model the conductive flux between the atmosphere and the surface with the atmosphere modelled as a single body without moving gases?

    – build two small EPS foam tubes with internal volume 75 x 75mm by 200mm high open at one end.
    – For tube 1 cover the open top with LDPE film
    – For tube 2 cover the open base with LDPE film
    – on each tube attach a battery pack and a small 5V computer fan blowing across the outside of the cling film.
    – On tube 1 add small legs on one side to tilt it to around 5 degrees off vertical.
    – On tube 2 attach 50mm legs to allow its fan to move air freely across the cling wrap base
    – Make multiple thermometer probe entry points along each tube for K-type probes from a dual probe thermometer.
    – Place the thermometer probe position equal distance from the cling film for each tube.
    – Equalise the internal temperature of each tube to room temperature by turning each tube cling film down and running the fans for 15 minutes.
    – 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 units outside.
    – Use the probe differential button on the thermometer to observe the temperature differential between the tubes develop as they cool from room temperature over about 2 min.
    – 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.

    Build the tubes small enough to fit within your refrigerator. If you have wire shelves, place a plate under each tube – http://oi49.tinypic.com/akcv0g.jpg

    Those that take the time to build an run these experiments as I have done will be able to answer the questions “Will adding radiative gases to the atmosphere reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability?”, “what is the role of radiative gases in convective circulation below the tropopause?” and “would our atmosphere be hotter or colder without radiative gases?”

  6. Milankovich Cycles cause an amplifying albedo change in ice sheet extent, with glaciers on land expanding (or contracting) over timeframes of millennia (or hundreds of years) in manners they don’t so substantially on much shorter timeframes.

    On much shorter timeframes, when TSI at Earth fluctuates predominately from variation in the sun internally rather than Milankovich orbital cycles, when accordingly the solar magnetic field and GCR flux vary mostly in step with TSI, the primary amplifying albedo effect is instead cloud variation. Dr. Shaviv estimated up to around 4 times more impact of all solar effects (including indirect GCR influence) than TSI variation alone (in http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/%7Eshaviv/articles/2004JA010866.pdf discussed at http://sciencebits.com/OnClimateSensitivity ). If I recall correctly, another paper gave a figure of about 3 for the ratio, but it may depend a bit on the timeframe analyzed.

    Anyway, this interesting article by Bob Irvine seems on the right tracks.

    Such as the blatant correlation of GCR variation with variation in specific humidity illustrated in http://s7.postimg.org/69qd0llcr/intermediate.gif leaves no doubt that solar/GCR variation has a major impact.

  7. I was looking at the experiment more closely when noticing something:

    “- One IR reflector. I used an A4 sheet of 10mm Styrofoam with aluminum foil attached with spray adhesive.

    – One IR window. I built an A4 size “picture frame” of 10mm square balsa wood strips and stretched cling film over it.

    Unfortunately that part is not optimal. From the text description and the picture, the “IR reflector” is 10mm thick over the bulk of its area and more what I would call “a thick panel of low thermal-conductivity insulator,” while the “IR window” is a thin sheet in contrast.

    Forget radiative heat transfer (IR) for a moment: they aren’t remotely similar with regard to thermal conductivity. That may not matter much in test A when heat escapes predominately by other means but may in test B.

    What the experiment should have done is have the IR reflector use a picture frame like the thin-film IR window but with simply stretched thin aluminum foil over it, without any backing to the aluminum foil. (Aluminum foil isn’t too fragile).

    As a side note, though I haven’t spent any time to try doing actual math myself, the quantitative magnitude of how much radiation versus conduction & convection would matter in test B might be approximately estimated by an engineer with a heat transfer background. People might be very surprised at the results, especially at this small scale and these temperatures.

    I do see the comment by Konrad, which includes a number of different experiments. I’ll refrain on commenting on those until reviewing more.

  8. Untill you add to your calculation all of the wireless com’s ,radars and remote sensing wattage that is propagated through the atmosphere you will never be close to answering the forcing problems The ERP for Americian TV station out put is 100,000 watts and there is about 4 million mobilephone towers and 4 billion subscribers At about 100 watts per tower and 2-4 watts per hand set all use microwave frequencies and here’s what a 1000 watts at 2.4 gig can do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7RFyh5ABcQ Most people say it’s the extra heat created by the match that creates the plasma. So what creates it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i2lhO3bSjQ
    And how would you figure out the positive or negative forcing created by this process and when and where it’s being done? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZNj9jtl9Us
    One thing you might know is how much power is used to create these pathways http://www.ips.gov.au/Educational/5/2/3 ?

  9. One day sooner or later, the climate science will have to look further than CO2 and TSI. Neither of two (I assume) can affect tectonic activity in the N. Atlantic or the Arctic, and yet there is an ‘uncanny’ correlation with the solar cycles.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH-NV.htm

    The correlation extends to the hemisphere’s temperature variability including the AMO and the CET.

  10. The Earth’s feedback response to warming is independent of the nature of the forcing that caused that warming.
    That is the basic rule of what the IPCC says: 1 W/m2 change in GHG effect has the same effect on earth’s temperature as 1 W/m2 change in solar insolation. That is implemented in all GCM’s with a maximum of +/- 10%, compared to CO2 (except +40% for CH4 because of water vapour formed near the stratosphere). But that can’t be true: 1 W/m2 change in solar has most effect in the lower stratosphere (UV – ozone formation) and penetrates the ocean surface down to several hundred meters. IR from GHG’s affects only the upper fraction of a mm of the sea surface. Quite different processes at work.

    Even the HadCM3 model shows that solar changes may be underestimated with at least a factor 2. compared to CO2 forcing changes, within the constraints of the model (like a fixed response to human aerosols). See:

    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/StottEtAl.pdf

    But as far as I know, they never included these results in the Hadley center model…

  11. stan stendera says: April 6, 2013 at 12:48 am
    “When [if] Mikey Mann reads this he won’t know what the post is talking about because he hasn’t done an experiment since college as an undergrad.”

    The problem is to do experiments that tell you about the atmosphere or ocean. If you do an experiment on a little pot of water, it tells you about a little pot of water. If you want to relate that to the ocean/atmosphere, you need some theory.

    That’s where this one breaks down. The sea is constantly in motion. It has waves. These induce a turbulence structure which is the main mode of transmitting heat in the top layers. That is totally lacking here. Blowing a fan at it doesn’t cut it.

    But there’s another major lack. It’s actually true that IR does not generally produce a downward heat flux in the water. That’s because the water is heated by sunlight. That heat is conveyed over time to the surface (by that turbulent transport, mostly) and emitted (day and night) mostly as IR, with some evaporation. That’s easy to quantify – it’s measured by satellites.

    But downward IR is still vital. The surface is at a temperature generally from 0 to 30 °C (if not freezing). The surface temperature is maintained by heat from below and downward IR. The heat from sunlight alone is not enough to sustain the IR emission from a surface at say 10°C in midlatitude. It would freeze without IR.

    None of that is covered by this experiment.

  12. Bob Irvine,

    Your point that climate sensitivity cannot be assumed to the same for different forcings that couple to the climate system differently, is inherent in its nonlinear dynamic nature. This is pretty much admitted by Knutti and Heggerl. I’m surprised you didn’t also discuss solar variation in the UV range and its coupling to the stratosphere, and chemically through generation of the greenhouse gas ozone Here is the Knutti reference:

    Knutti and Heggerl state in their 2008 review article in Nature Geoscience:

    “The concept of radiative forcing is of rather limited use for forcings with strongly varying vertical or spatial distributions.”

    or this:

    “There is a difference in the sensitivity to radiative forcing for different forcing mechanisms, which has been phrased as their ‘efficacy’”

    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

  13. Bob: great post, thanks. The relative forcings you arrived at are consistent with the simple model I constructed to replicate SSTs since 1875 which was featured in a post by Norman Page here at WUWT a few months ago. Because the equilibrium time for solar forcing of ocean heat content is long as you point out, sunspot number needs to be integrated to represent the response properly. Once it is, it can be seen that the Sun increased OHC all the way from 1934 to 2003.

    Konrad: looking forward to publishing your essay now the busy season is drawing to a close in Oz.

  14. Konrad says: “Experiment 1 described below is an improvement on the version Bob has shown. ”

    These experiments are very interesting. #1 especially so. Absorption of photons is a molecule by molecule process, as is evaporation. Clearly a surface molecule that has just absorbed a photon will be more likely to evaporate than one that has not.

    Since LW penetrates so little most of this energy is precisely affecting molecules likely to evaporate.

    Your experiment may be more indicative of tropics due to the water temperature.

    Do you have results for the modified version posted anywhere?

  15. One only has to look at fig 2 @3 to see that all past events of warm and cool periods are related to the vagarities of the sun.

    The sun seems to have many cycles and not just the 11 year ones, that after a period of strenuous exercise it is resting, does not auger well for the global warming cause, nor for those that do not like cold winters.

  16. From the paper I read “The IPCC’s position is that climate sensitivity measurements” Assuming this is referring to the climate sensitivity of CO2, please note that, res ipsa loquitur, the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, has NEVER been measured, so this statement is nonsense. There are NO climate sensitivity of CO2 measurements; none whatsoever. Warmists will not admit that the CS of CO2 has never been measured, and as a result, the important implications of thsi fact cannot be properly discussed.

  17. Nick Stokes is talking nonsense. The point at issue is whether DWIR can heat the bulk of the ocean, not whether the surface briefly absorbs and re-emits it. Konrad’s experiment shows the way forward. The reason CSIRO won’t do it under conditions better simulating the open ocean is they know it’ll blow their pet theory out of the water.

  18. The money quote: “It is well known and accepted physics that Long wave radiation from GHGs only penetrates the oceans to a depth of a fraction of a millimetre. Water is almost totally opaque to these wavelengths. Short wave solar radiation, on the other hand, penetrates water to a depth of 10 meters or more and is, therefore, readily involved in ocean heat”…
    To my layman mind, the lack of any evidence of the IPCC GCM predicted “Tropospheric Warm Zone” coupled with this interesting fact, (the above quote) Shows CO2 warms neither the atmosphere nor the oceans to any significant degree.
    It’s amazing that a revelation of good news disappoints so many warmistas.
    This chagrin at good tidings shows the warmistas true misanthropic desires.

  19. By the way my last comment was written by no other than Geoffrey Lean. That’s right Geoffrey Lean. He mentions now looks into climate sensitivity.

  20. I have used the temperature reconstructions of Mann 2008 EIV, Moberg 2005, Loehle 2008 and Ljungqvist 2010 to represent temperature change over the last millennium.

    Mr. Irvine
    The Loehle’s temperature reconstruction

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LLa.htm

    has good correlation with the Arctic’s geomagnetic field variability, which is about two orders of magnitude greater than the heliospheric magnetic field at the Earth’s orbit.
    In the Antarctic too, geomagnetic field directly correlates to the heliospheric magnetic field, but again is about two orders of magnitude greater than the heliospheric.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/TMC.htm

  21. Nice reply Nick Stokes! You’re right of course. I was just making a snarky remark about Mr. [sic] Mann. However, I’ll bet he hasn’t done any experiment since undergrad days.

    What I am getting at here is we have a new type of scientist: The desktop scientist. All they do is play on their computer combining and [“refining] adjusting other people’s studies and come up with some theory. The problem is all the’re doing is making paper mache. Mr. Mann correlated alot of papers and put them in a bath of refining water and made a paper mache hockey stick which soon disolved in a tidal wave of research. The papers he “refined” were not based on observation or experimentation so they disolved quite easily.

    Interestingly Mr. [sic] Mann’s work revolved around tree rings. The root of tree ring studies is some obsessive, whose name I, unfortunately, can’t remember, who tramped all across the Northern part of the globe in the late 1800s taking tree bores elucidatiig tree rings. I am a betting man and I’ll bet a large amount of money that Mann has never taken a tree bore. The point is, in spite of the prop cross cut of a tree he uses in a photo op, is that if Mann had ever, ever made a tree bore he would have understood the limitations of tree rings. Articles and papers about his hockey stick do make good paper mache, however!

  22. AW Time to make your tips and notes page much much smaller Anyway this may make an interesting posting “Astrophysicist Chabibullo Abdussamatov claims that the sun will radiate significantly less warmth in the coming years. “Consequently a ‘little ice age’ lies ahead.” from german skeptic site like to see Leifs take on this

  23. tallbloke says: April 6, 2013 at 3:54 am
    “…nonsense…”

    The ocean surface temperature determines the temperatures below. If it can be held at an average of 12 °C, that will keep the sea warm.

    The Earth surface gets on average 238 W/m2 solar, and that’s a pretty good estimate for the ocean. A “black” (to IR) surface at 259°K emits 238 W/m2. A surface at 285°K emits 374 W/m2. Something has to supply the 115W/m2 difference. That’s down IR. In fact there’s evaporative loss, so more IR is needed to balance.

    But if it does the surface is held at average 285°K. And the sea stays unfrozen.

    • “The ocean surface temperature determines the temperatures below. If it can be held at an average of 12 °C, that will keep the sea warm.”

      Considering the relative heat capacities of air and water, and the fact that average near surface air temps lag SSTs by a few months, it’s obvious that the sea surface temperature is determined by the heat content below, not by the surface temp controlling OHC as Nick claims. As usual, the warmist theory has everything upside down.

  24. First “the atmosphere acts like the glass of a hothouse” now it acts like a “sheet of tinfoil”?
    Whatever people are smoking it must be “off the charts”(lol).

  25. The whole 3.0C per doubling proposition is based on the feedbacks (and if fact, how they multiply out and produce feedbacks on the initial feedbacks and then accumulate).

    The values that are used for the feedbacks are carefully tuned to arrive at the 3.0C per doubling proposition (and to remain at the 3.0C which was guessed at in the beginning of the science before the feedback values and the forcing calculations for GHGs were finally sorted out – the science was not even sorted out before 3.0C per doubling was decided on).

    For example, here are the IPCC feedback values:

    Initial Doubled GHGs – +4.2 W/m2 –> +1.12C

    Water Vapor Feedback -> +1.75 W/m2/K
    Cloud Albedo Feedback -> +0.75 W/m2/K
    Other Feedbacks -> -0.05W/m2/K

    Total increase from Feedbacks (and feedbacks on feedbacks) -> +7.46 W/m2 –> +1.98C
    Total Increase –> +3.05C per doubling
    ———————————————–

    Let’s double the feedback values to:

    Water Vapor Feedback -> +3.5 W/m2/K
    Cloud Albedo Feedback -> +1.5 W/m2/K
    Total increase from Feedbacks (and feedbacks on feedbacks) -> +242.1 W/m2 –> +48.1C
    Total Increase –> +49.2C per doubling
    ———————————————–

    Let’s cut the feedback values in half:

    Water Vapor Feedback -> +0.875 W/m2/K
    Cloud Albedo Feedback -> +0.375 W/m2/K
    Total increase from Feedbacks (and feedbacks on feedbacks) -> +1.94 W/m2 –> +0.50C
    Total Increase –> +1.6C per doubling
    ———————————————

    Let’s just reverse the sign of the cloud feedback:
    Water Vapor Feedback -> +1.75 W/m2/K
    Clouds Albedo Feedback -> -0.75 W/m2/K
    Total increase from Feedbacks (and feedbacks on feedbacks) -> +1.40 W/m2 –> +0.37C
    Total Increase –> +1.48C per doubling
    ———————————————

    The cloud feedback value is a make or break for this theory. We have no idea what it really is or whether it really has a positive sign or a negative sign. And even more so, the water vapor feedback is a make or break. At least it is based on another theory Classius Clapeyron, but so far this value looks to overstated by almost double.

    There is room within this theory to examine at least the feedbacks (if not the temperature change from doubled CO2 itself). As this post does, we need to use empiricial data to see what is really correct.

  26. Jimbo says:
    April 6, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Kinda on topic? The media walk back continues. Will it soon be a flood?

    When someone like Lean starts to fray at the edges then you know something is afoot. He has long been a dyed-in-the-wool alarmist who appeared beyond redemption. Who’s next? George Monbiot?

  27. Nick Stokes says “The surface temperature is maintained by heat from below and downward IR. The heat from sunlight alone is not enough to sustain the IR emission from a surface at say 10°C in midlatitude. It would freeze without IR.”

    There is no “heat from the sun” it’s electro magnetic radiation. This energy but not “heat”.

    It may be reasonable to suggest that not all the downward IR is instantly lost to evaporation but clearly a significant amount of it is. Saying it is all lost is as simplistic as IPCC assuming it is all absorbed.

    ” If you do an experiment on a little pot of water, it tells you about a little pot of water. ”

    And if you do your experiments properly you can derive a result that will be applicable in a real situation. This is the basis of the fundamental gas laws that are built into climate models too.

    Boyles Law, Charles’ Law etc. were all developed based on bench top experimentation. That does not mean they “don’t cut it”.

    Konrad’s experiments are only a first step and could use some refinement but they sure seem to show that “assuming” all IR is absorbed is a false assumption.

    Perhaps you could comment more objectively.

  28. Points:
    1. Please get the historical solar forcing right — it’s essentially constant.
    2. The question about LWR effects on the ocean is moot. Energy added on the ocean surface shows up as extra watts, no matter what happens to it — either highers temps or added latent heat (water vapor), or a combination.

  29. beng
    “Please get the historical solar forcing right — it’s essentially constant.”
    Is it? What is it now? 1355, 1361, 1365, 1368?

  30. In a chaotic system climate sensitivity cannot be a constant. It is variable and varies based on the distance from attractor states. Even giving a range based on one experiment is problematic.

  31. Doesn’t changes to cloud cover provide the biggest variable forcing? Did I miss something? How is that handled in the discussion? (is it bundled under cosmic ray changes?)

  32. P. Solar says:April 6, 2013 at 6:08 am
    “Saying it is all lost is as simplistic as IPCC assuming it is all absorbed.”

    No-one says that. Trenberth’s 80 W/m2 evaporation is mostly ocean, and is worked out from rainfall (about 900 mm average, I believe). That’s only about 1/4 of down IR.

  33. stan stendera says:
    April 6, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Nice reply Nick Stokes! You’re right of course. I was just making a snarky remark about Mr. [sic] Mann. However, I’ll bet he hasn’t done any experiment since undergrad days.

    What I am getting at here is we have a new type of scientist: The desktop scientist. All they do is play on their computer combining and [“refining] adjusting other people’s studies and come up with some theory. The problem is all the’re doing is making paper mache. Mr. Mann correlated alot of papers and put them in a bath of refining water and made a paper mache hockey stick which soon disolved in a tidal wave of research. The papers he “refined” were not based on observation or experimentation so they disolved quite easily.

    My response might be even snarkier, as I propose an analagous term for what they do–they’re masters of “mashup science”, where “mashup” comes from the practice of programmers assembling Internet systems from various programs authored by others. Sometimes mashups work; sometimes they don’t.

    The hockey stick by “mashup scientist” Mann is the quintessential example of “mashup science”, and is of the second type (doesn’t work). Your use of the term “dissolves” is good, but “devolves” in the negative sense is applicable, too.

  34. The most important fact given is that Short Wave, i.e., Ultraviolet radiation can penetrate 10 meters into the Oceans. During a Sunspot peak the amount of UV is up to 100 times [measured in space] a Sunspot minimum.

    Questions:
    1) Sunspot peak -> the amount of energy due to UV deposited into the Oceans?
    2) Sunspot minimum -> the amount of energy due to UV deposited into the Oceans?
    3) TSI is nearly a constant, but UV radiation is not. What is the integral [area under the curve] of UV reaching the Oceans during a Sunspot Minimum/maximum?
    4) Verify the +0.1C temperature difference between Sunspot Min./Max.?
    5) Convert Sunspots to UV equivalent from 1650 until now. How does the integral of UV affect Ocean temperatures?

    A simple proxy for UV is the 10.7cm Flux!

  35. It is difficult to see how DWLWIR can heat the oceans, and I am therefore not surprised by the results of the experiment referred to in this article.

    Over the years, Willis and I have had a number of heated exchanges regarding this subject wherein I have asked him to explain the physical processes involved whereby DWLWIR can effectively heat the oceans, and although Willis has responded to me, he has never offered, what in my opinion, amounts to an explanation. It appears to me that essentially the main thrust of Willis’ position is that without DWLWIR, the oceans would freeze and therefore DWLWIR must be heating the oceans. I consider that to be a moot point, since the tropical ocean receives plenty of solar energy (sufficient to mean that in ordinary circumstances it would not freeze) and ocean currents distribute this excess solar energy polewards thereby heating the sub-tropical and higher latitude oceans preventing those oceans from freezing year round (high latitude oceans display seasonal freezing and one reason why the tropical ocean is predominantly capped at a temperature of about 30degC is because the excess solar energy is being circulated away from the tropical ocean before it heats the tropical ocean to a higher temperature).

    I am interested in the precise physical process, if you like on a molecule by molecule basis, whereby DWLWIR heats the ocean and the energy therefrom is carried down to depth. This is the issue that I consider that Willis has failed to adequately address. At one time I suggested to Willis that he should write a second article on ‘radiating the oceans’ wherein he explores some of the issues in more detail. Let me explain what I consider to be the problem.

    1.
    Water is a very effective absorber of LWIR. The optical physics is that half of all LWIR is absorbed within the first few microns (not millimetres) of water. Virtually, no LWIR can penetrate beyond 10 microns since more than 83% is fully absorbed within the first 10 microns (see http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/06/does-back-radiation-heat-the-ocean-part-one/ which contains an absorption plot taken from Wiki).
    2.
    DWLWIR is omni-directional. It is often said that re-radiation is half up and half down, and, from this, people jump to the conclusion that DWLWIR is acting in a perpendicular downward direction. However, this is an over simplification, and the interaction of DWLWIR with the surface is at every angle between just more than 0 degrees and 90 degrees. Accordingly, 2/9th of all DWLWIR is impacting upon the oceans at an angle of incidence between say about 0.000001 deg and 9.999999 deg and the ocean surface. A further 2/9ths is impacting upon the oceans at an angle between about 10 deg and 19.999999 deg. The effect of this is that whilst some 50% of LWIR when operating in a perpendicular plane would be fully absorbed within 3 microns of the water, more than half of all DWLWIR is so absorbed within 3 microns, and about 50% even within just 2 microns (because of the omni-directional nature of this flux).

    THE DISASSOCITIATED OCEAN LAYER

    3.
    The atmosphere immediately above the oceans is not well understood. When discussing radiating the oceans, it is assumed that the oceans are still. However, in the real world, this is not true. In the real world, the average wind speed over the oceans is BF4 (see http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/winds/global_winds.html) which is far from still and which is sufficient to wisp off the top surface layer of the ocean (which the human eye sees as white crested foam often referred to as white horses) and to disassociate this from the ocean surface below. But averages, mask reality due to variability, and the Atlantic and South Pacific are subjected to greater wind speeds (see http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/windpower/ResourceMap/index-world.html). As we are presently reading this article, many areas of the oceans are being subjected to BF 6 to 7, and some areas to BF 10 to 12. The reality is that large areas of the oceans are under-going very rough conditions and this has an impact on the atmosphere immediately above the oceans.
    4.
    In the real world, immediately above a large extent of the oceans, is wind borne and wind swept spray and spume, which has fully disassociated itself from the ocean below. It is important to appreciate that this is distinct from water vapour, it consists of fine water droplets which are more than just a few microns in diameter and which are fully airborne and which are not in contact with the top surface layer of the oceans. DWLWIR is impacting upon this wind swept spray and spume and due to the optical absorption characteristics of LWIR in water it is being absorbed by the spray and spume energising the water molecules therein.
    5.
    This disassociated layer of windswept spray and spume acts rather like the equivalent of a parasol (or sun cream/block). It absorbs some part of the DWLWIR and it thereby prevents the absorbed DWLWIR reaching the top surface layer of the oceans. So two issues arise. First how much of the total DWLWIR coming from high above is absorbed in the layer of windswept spray and spume? Second, what effect does the absorption of this DWLWIR have on the spray and spume? With regard to the latter, how do the energized water molecules in the spray and spume respond, where and how is the energy so absorbed by these molecules dissipated elsewhere? To take just a few examples, does it drive evaporation of some part of the spray and spume? Does it lead to increased convection? Does it heat the surrounding air by conduction? What part of the wind swept spray and spume eventually reconnects with the ocean (may be 100s of metres later) thereby warming the top surface layer of the ocean? If the energy absorbed in the spray and spume powers evaporation at a speed greater than the time required for the windswept spray and spume to reconnect with the top surface of the ocean, then it would appear that the energy from the DWLWIR never reaches the oceans. I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I consider that this is an issue that needs investigation and consideration.

    THE TOP SURFACE LAYER OF THE OCEANS

    6.
    Assuming that DWLWIR is able to make its way through the disassociated layer of windswept spray and spume, the DWLWIR will then get absorbed in the very top micron layers of the surface. Bear in mind that more than 50% of LWIR is absorbed within just 3 microns. Due to DWLWIR being omni-directional, in practice, approximately 50% is absorbed within just 2 microns. That is a lot of energy. What happens to all this energy? In particular through what process can it be dissipated?
    7.
    Willis suggests that the radiative budget for the oceans is: the oceans are receiving: 170 W m^-2 (solar) + 320 W m^-2 (DWLWIR), and are losing 390 W m^-2 (surface radiation) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 490 W m^-2. If those figures are correct (leaving aside the issue of how much DWLWIR is absorbed by the disassociated layer of spray & spume), it means that the first 2 microns of the ocean surface layer are effectively absorbing about 160 W m^-2 (one can ignore the effect of solar since fortunately almost none of this is absorbed within the first few microns or even the first few millimetres of the ocean but is instead absorbed at a depth below the very top surface layer). The 160 W m^-2 is the figure for the absorption of DWLWIR in the first couple of microns of the notional average ocean, of course, the tropical ocean would be absorbing far more; may be, as much as about 60% more.
    8.
    160 W m^-2 is a lot of energy, and should of course be considered in joule seconds. This would lead to substantial evaporation from the top 2 micron layer unless this energy can be dissipated/sequestered downwards at a rate/speed faster than the rate/speed of evaporation. So how can it be dissipated/sequestered downwards, and at what speed can this be achieved?
    9.
    It would appear that this energy cannot be dissipated/sequestered downwards by conduction because at the top surface layer, the energy flux is upwards, not downwards and there appears to be no known mechanism whereby energy can be conducted against the direction of flux. It is vitally important to bear in mind the very top few microns of the oceans is cooler than the ocean layers below. This is probably because the evaporation which takes place, takes place from the top few microns thereby cooling these microns of water. See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_surface_temperature from which it will be seen that the top surface of the ocean is cooler, and that the ocean temperature increases from the top 10 microns through to about 5 metres. It is only as from a depth of about 5metres onwards does the ocean begin to cool. It follows from this that energy flux is upwards not downwards, so how can any energy absorbed within the first 2, 3 or so microns be conducted downwards? I understand form one of Willis’ responses that Willis accepts that the energy absorbed in the top few microns cannot be conducted downwards.
    10.
    Can the energy be dissipated/sequestered downwards by some other process such as ocean overturning? Without wishing to put words in Willis’ mouth, I understand this to be his position. However, I perceive problems with this. First, the greater part of ocean overturning is a nocturnal process/phenomena. It is not clear how much overturning takes place during the day. Second, ocean overturning is a slow mechanical process, and since it is a slow mechanical process it is difficult to see that it can dissipate energy downwards at a rate faster than that at which it is being received. If it acts at a slower pace than the speed of receipt, then evaporation from the top micron layer would take place before the energy can be dissipated to and lower depth, Third, ocean over turning is essentially a vertical current, so can it effectively wrap over the top micron (or top few microns) and take these microns downwards. It is far from clear that it can wrap over the top micron, and if it cannot, it could not take the energy absorbed in that top micron to lower depth at any speed, let alone at a speed greater than the speed at which the top micron absorbs DWLWIR.

    Of course, I have no real answer to these issues. They are merely matters that require consideration and need to be addressed by anyone who asserts that DWLWIR in some way heats the oceans.

    One obvious answer to all of this is that the measured 255K DWLWIR is merely a signal but is not in practice sensible energy capable of performing sensible work on an ocean which is at a temperature of say some 302K (tropical ocean) or some 288K (average ocean surface temperature). I am not saying that is indeed the case, but simply that it is one possible explanation.

    As far as I am concerned, I consider the null hypothesis energy budget of the oceans to be: the oceans receive: 170 W m^-2 (solar), and are losing 70 W m^-2 (radiation loss) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 170 W m^-2 and presently I remain sceptical that the energy budget is as Willis puts forward in his Article on ‘Radiating the Oceans’.

  36. Bob Irvine,
    You were doing fairly well until you commented on back radiation. It is true that back radiation does not directly heat the ocean. It is solar radiation (and a much smaller amount of energy from the interior of the Earth) that heats the ocean. However, back radiation SLOWS the radiation cooling from the ocean, resulting in a higher equilibrium temperature than without it. Your experiment is a typical one that misses the basic physics, due to it having several dominant factors that prevent the correct physics from being observed. A discussion at:

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2012/07/23/how-the-greenhouse-effect-works-a-guest-post-and-discussion/

    And a similar version at The Air Vent, describe the physics.

    Keep in mind that not only is the back radiation absorbed at the thin layer of the surface, but outgoing radiation also leaves from that same thin layer. Evaporation and convection are far the dominant sources of heat transfer from the surface, but without greenhouse gases that cause the back radiation, which are also related to the altitude of radiation leaving from the atmosphere, the atmosphere would not get rid of the energy carried by convection and evaporation. In that case ALL of the energy radiated to space would have to come from the surface directly, and the equilibrium temperature would be lower.

  37. An aside -> Quiet Sun, less UV to enter the Oceans; reduced heating.
    The La Nina is the norm for the Pacific Ocean’s Equatorial circulation pattern. The El Nino is the exception due to Solar heating since 1650.

    Prediction: The El Nino will be greatly reduced if not vanish; these will be replaced by warmer and cooler La Nina. We have never been through a long term cooling cycle starting from a warm Planet. What a time for great research!

  38. Bill Illis says:
    “The whole 3.0C per doubling proposition is based on the feedbacks (and if fact, how they multiply out and produce feedbacks on the initial feedbacks and then accumulate).

    The values that are used for the feedbacks are carefully tuned to arrive at the 3.0C per doubling proposition (and to remain at the 3.0C which was guessed at in the beginning of the science before the feedback values and the forcing calculations for GHGs were finally sorted out – the science was not even sorted out before 3.0C per doubling was decided on).”

    Point well made with all the following figures showing how sensitive the result is to changes in these assumptions and guesses.

    So the bottom line, behind the side show of the climate models, is that they “knew” what the answer was before they started and made sure that the models produced it using what Freeman Dyson and others have referred to as fudge factors.

    Climate models have been used as an elaborate (and expensive) game of smoke and mirrors to dress up the crude assumptions that we had 30 years ago.

  39. Konrad says:
    April 6, 2013 at 12:01 am
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Konrad

    I have read your experiments with interest.

    I consider that one needs to conduct an experiment to consider whether any low incident LWIR is reflected by water (or ice). Water (and ice) reflects some low incident sunlight, Does water (or ice) reflect any low incident LWIR?

    This is important since it appears to be assumed that DWLWIR is acting in a perpendicular plane. However, re-radiation is omni-directional such that in practice some part of the DWLWIR is not inter-acting with the surface on a perpendicular plane, but is instead inter-acting at low incidence (say less than 15 degrees to the horizontal).

    If some part of low incident LWIR is reflected by water (or ice) then the K&T energy budget which shows reflected solar may be erroneous in not showing a component for reflected DWLWIR.

    If some element of low incident DWLWIR is reflected by water (or ice) then folowing from above, the K&T energy budget would not be in balance. It goes without saying that if even just a couple of percent of DWLWIR is simply reflected rather than absorbed this would have significant implications on the correctness of a balanced energy budget.

  40. The readers here sure are quick. Less than 5 comments down and someone brought up the insulation qualities of snow and ice. That the investigator would make such a contrary statement leaves me to wonder about the entire article. A mistake made at the basic physical science level will multiply as the experiment grows. Big oops.

  41. While there is much to applaud here (actual experimentation, ranging from multiple observations) there is also room for some skepticism. The derived value for GHG sensitivity is even below that of Lindzen and Choi (2011), which itself is too low because of the Large size of the implied negative feedback.
    What is known from observation ( even though much of it is newer than or ignored by AR4) is that the water vapor feedback ( which is obviously positive or we would not exist) is less than the models show. That is why the troposphere hot spot does not exist. UTrH declines with temperature rather than remaining roughly constant. The most likely reason is an expanded version of Lindzens adaptive iris hypothesis– we know the models understate precipitation, especially in the tropics. More precipitation means less humidity to be convected into the UT, and also more atmospheric residual latent heat to radiate away as OLR.
    And the models underestimate clouds, especially the lower/ mid clouds that tend to cool. Observationally, clouds increased rather than decreased from 1965 to about 2000 ( both in ICOADS and ISSCP). The positive cloud forcing in both AR4 and AR5SOD is much more likely to be zero, as an honest assessment if Dessler (2010) would conclude.
    The combination, plus four other lines of independent evidence, suggest an equilibrium climate sensitivity between 1.5 and 1.9 rather than 3 as AR4 concludes.
    Exhaustive details are given with about 200 references in the climate chapter of The Arts of Truth.
    This all suggests more refinement and reconciliation of lab experiment, observational data, and theory is in order. The science is FAR from settled, as the observational pause in temperature now itself proves.
    Regards

  42. It would seem that the opacity to visible-IR wavelengths (both incoming and outgoing), the amount of reflective surface cover and the structure variability within the ionospheric layers, the mesosphere and upper troposphere have varying effects on the heat budget over time. The bending of the magnetosphere during impulse arrivals allows different distributions & mixing within each layer and those effects are unknown.
    The changes happening within the planets hot ferrous core are not understood, which have dramatic effects as the magnetic field lines perform self correction, wandering and intensity modifications (eventually hitting a null and changing polarity).
    The sign, depth and intensity of the Indian ocean dipole, PDO, NAO, AO, Antarctic stream and the MEI’s persistence seem to be intertwined with each other and the changes within the planets core.
    But, it’s good to know the science is settled!

  43. That a lack of snow and ice combined with dry air releases heat in areas (IE Arctic areas) that are prone to strong radiative conditions (heat is released and rises right through the dry cold atmosphere) brings to mind a hypothetical “I wonder if”. When incoming current are colder and winds calmer, polar sea ice caps build up and extend their blanket during the melt season when, preventing heat release, thus keeping the major ocean currents coming back out of that area warmer. However, when equatorial La Nina events, pilled on top of each other in rapid success, soak up clear sky solar warmth, this warmth eventually returns to the Arctic as warmer incoming currents, warm enough and creating winds that overcome the insulating ice blanket thus reducing its extent and allowing the warm currents coming into the Arctic to once again release heat, sans its blanket, at the pole. To me, this feels like hypothetical natural oscillating behavior that would take quite some time to complete a full cycle.

  44. A lack of a snow and ice blanket combined with dry air can release heat in areas that are prone to strong radiative conditions. This brings to mind a hypothetical Arctic “I wonder if”.

    When incoming Arctic ocean currents are colder and winds calmer, polar sea ice caps build up and extend their blanket, even during the melt season. This prevents oceanic heat release, thus keeping the major ocean currents coming back out of that area warmer.

    However, when equatorial La Nina events pile on top of each other in rapid succession, the ocean soaks up clear sky solar warmth. This warmth eventually returns to the Arctic as warmer incoming currents that are warm enough to overcome the insulating ice blanket thus reducing its extent (and possibly helping to create winds that work to push that blanket back even more). With the blanket turned back, currents coming into the Arctic once again release heat at the pole. And leave with a lot less stored heat.

    To me, this feels like hypothetical natural oscillating behavior that would take quite some time to complete a full cycle.

    There. Much better. Full size key boards are necessary for this old typist.

  45. I’m industrial boiler designer. I just wonder what absorption factor they use for CO2 or water vapor in atmospheric temperatures. When we design boilers and measure them we can’ t get any ir-radiation from clean fluegases (a little from hot particles) if temprature is below 600C. There is approx 12% CO2 in fluegases. Max absorption factor from this is 0,2 at 1500C, partial pressure 0,12 atm. When paritial pressure is 0,0035atm we can’t calculate any absorption factor for CO2 in 130C. Atmosphere is much colder in all places on earth than this. Gases don’t absorb IR-radiation in these temperatures nor CO2, if they don’t absorb then they can’t emit it, so what the hell is backradioation or radiative forcing? There might some misunderstanding what means absorption spectrum, that is definately not same as energy transfer.

  46. Jim Cripwell says:
    April 6, 2013 at 3:52 am
    From the paper I read “The IPCC’s position is that climate sensitivity measurements” Assuming this is referring to the climate sensitivity of CO2, please note that, res ipsa loquitur, the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, has NEVER been measured, so this statement is nonsense. There are NO climate sensitivity of CO2 measurements; none whatsoever. Warmists will not admit that the CS of CO2 has never been measured, and as a result, the important implications of thsi fact cannot be properly discussed.

    ############################

    Yes it has Jim.

  47. “””””…..ABSTRACT

    The Earth’s feedback response to warming is independent of the nature of the forcing that caused that warming………””””””””””

    Well I would reject this premise, as baseless and unsupportable.
    For starters, we have absolutely no idea, what: “The Earth’s feedback response to warming” even is.
    How many highly touted climate models are there? 13 or so isn’t it. And they don’t even agree with each other, and none of them agree with observed experimental data.

    Having said that, I have to thank Bob, for the effort he must have put into this presentation, and all the reported “information” he has assembled.

    I can’t agree with much of what is stated in the presentation. This for starters makes my flesh creep:

    “””””……

    Climate sensitivity is the temperature increase at equilibrium for each Watt per square meter of forcing or “X” in the following equation. X°C/WM-2 ……”””””

    The earth is never at equilibrium; any kind of equilibrium, and certainly not thermal equilibrium.

    The earth rotates once every 24 hours, and as a result, most spots on the surface or in the atmosphere undergo wild thermal changes every day.

    Bob says “Climate Sensitivity” Is “Temperature increase” per “increment of forcing”

    What Temperature ? and where is the increment of irradiance measured ?

    So what happened to the oft stated definition of “climate sensitivity”, apparently due to the late Stephen Schneider of Stanford,, that climate sensitivity is the slope of the straight line graph of earth surface Temperature, versus the logarithm of the (well mixed) atmospheric CO2 abundance ??

    Well either one is somewhat nonsensical.

    But how about that demonstration of LWIR slowing of water cooling. In the real world, that LWIR radiation comes from an atmosphere that is unrestricted and free to move around due to thermal influences. So how do you compare that to a setup, that prevents the air close to the cooling surface ( that is warmed by it), from freely moving to somewhere else, as happens in the real world.

    That LWIR from the surface warms the atmosphere, is not a controversial claim. The laws of conduction and convection, do not seem to encourage any non-radiative thermal processes, to transport heat from that warmed atmosphere back to the surface.
    That leaves only EM radiation as an energy (not heat) transport mechanism to try slowing the cooling rate. And the appropriate spectrum of EM radiation, and the appropriate spectral radiance, would be similar to that emitted from a bottle of cooled drinking water; certainly not what a 100 Watt light bulb, or common “heat lamps”, often used in other demonstrations. These sources emit about 10,000 times the total radiance, of thw water bottle.

    So I don’t agree with the premise Bob laid out at the start; nor with much of what is later asserted.

    I still do applaud the effort, and all the work.

  48. Nick Stokes says: April 6, 2013 at 2:40 am
    AND
    Nick Stokes says: April 6, 2013 at 5:05 am
    AND
    Nick Stokes says: April 6, 2013 at 7:10 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Nick

    There is a problem here.

    The absorption characteristics of LWIR in water are governed by the optical physics. I do not understand there to be any dispute that about 50% of all LWIR is fully absorbed within just 3 microns of water.

    As I explain above (April 6, 2013 at 7:35 am ), due to the omni-directional nature of DWLWIR, approximately 50% is fully absorbed within just 2 microns.. But nothing really turns on that refinement. I am quite happy to consider the 50% within 3 micron absorption.

    I recall (it was probably about a year ago) that YOU, in response to one of my comments, calculated that if about 160 W m^-2 is absorbed within the first 3 microns of the ocean (this is 50% of the figure used by Willis for average DWLWIR) it would mean that the first 3 microns would absorb so much energy that it would give rise to about 15 to 16 metres of rainfall. You did not dispute the absorption characteristics of LWIR and I do not significantly join issue with your math calculation.

    This, is of course, underlined my very point when I was pointing out that there is a problem with DWLWIR. The problem is this, if DWLWIR exists in the quantity claimed, and if it is capable of performing sensible work in the ocean environ, why are we not seeing copious amounts of evaporation and hence rainfall? This would be the inevitable result unless the DWLWIR can be sequested to depth at a rate faster than the rate at which it is absorbed in the first few microns and at a rate faster than the evaporation which would thereby resuult.

    I thnk that you accept that the energy absorbed cannot be sequested to depth by conduction since you accept that the energy flux operates in an upward direction in the first few millimeters of the ocean.

    So the question is this, can the slow mechanical process of rolling waves, and/or ocean overturning sequester the energy being absorbed in the first few microns at a rate faster than it is being absorbed?

    If it cannot sequester to depth at a faster rate than the rate of absortion then the inevitable consequence is evaporation. The amount of evaporation would be substantial because of the amount of energy (160 W m^-2) being absorbed.

    So what eveidence is there that the top micron of the ocean can be overturned? Indeed, what is the minimum thickness of water required not to break the over-turning process? What is the rate of overturning compared to the joule second rate of absorption and evaporation? What is the difference in daytime rate and nighttime rate?

    Finally, the idea that one cannot do a useful experiment does not carry weight. There are very large model tanks used for ship design. These can replicate waves and swell. The atmosphere can be made windy with wind generation machines. It would not be difficult to replicate the tropical ocean (water at about 29degC with air temp at about 29 deg, to which 255K LWIR can be bombarded and then the temperature profile of the water measured.

    Your argument about the ocean freezing is circuitous and does not shed light on the real life energy budget of the ocean. It does not answer whether the energy budget for the oceans is that they are receiving: 170 W m^-2 (solar) + 320 W m^-2 (DWLWIR), and are losing 390 W m^-2 (surface radiation) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 490 W m^-2, or whether it is the null hypothesis energy flux position that the oceans receive: 170 W m^-2 (solar), and are losing 70 W m^-2 (radiation loss) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 170 W m^-2, The oceans do not freeze irrespective of which energy budget is correct.

  49. Rud Istvan:

    In your post at April 6, 2013 at 7:58 am – much of which I agree – you say

    The derived value for GHG sensitivity is even below that of Lindzen and Choi (2011), which itself is too low because of the Large size of the implied negative feedback.
    What is known from observation ( even though much of it is newer than or ignored by AR4) is that the water vapor feedback ( which is obviously positive or we would not exist) is less than the models show.

    Allow me to correct your statements which I have quoted.

    The derived value for GHG sensitivity is even below that of Lindzen and Choi (2011), which demonstrates the Large size of the existing negative feedback, and confirms the finding of low GHG sensitivity Idso obtained from his ‘8 natural experiments’

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf

    What is known from observation (even though much of it is ignored by the IPCC including in the AR4) is that the water vapor feedback is obviously negative or we would not exist. The empirically determined climate sensitivity to GHGs is much less than the variety of values used as fudge factors in the models and are reported by Kiehl as shown in his Figure 2.

    http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/8167/kiehl2007figure2.pngb

    (ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).

    Richard

  50. About the experiment presented above (http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/image14.png). I do not see the conclusion about back radiation effect as justified. The covers above the containers are different and it is easy to assume, that the cover on the right is a worse heat conductor then the one on the left, and therefore the air under the right one would be a little bit warmer, thus making the cooling of water slower. This effect is similar to the one in the R.W.Wood experiment (1909), where the glass lid did produce a slight difference in temperature (under 1C), but was also a worse heat conductor, than the rock salt lid.

  51. Oh cripes, not this BS again. I don’t care how much back radiation you have, YOU CANNOT HEAT A WARM OBJECT WITH A COOLER ONE! … You can not do so in this UNIVERSE!…

    SHEEESH….

  52. It is often not sufficiently appreciated that the air over land is very different to the air over oceans. The air over land is often significantly cooler than the land temperature (especially in daytime) but the air over the ocean is at nearly the same temperature as the ocean underneath.

    It is the ocean that warms (and keeps warm) the air above.. Because of this, there is little diurnal range.

    If GHGs lead to DWLWIR then one would expect far more DWLWIR over oceans (than over land at the same latitude) since ocean air is humid containing high levels of water vapour (the ocean evaporate).

    I would suggest that this casts doubt on the relevance and accuracy of the average energy budget put forward by Willis, ie., the oceans are receiving: 170 W m^-2 (solar) + 320 W m^-2 (DWLWIR), and are losing 390 W m^-2 (surface radiation) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 490 W m^-2.

    Surely, the position must be that due to the high level of water vapour immediately above the oceans and the GHE of that water vapour, the oceans must be subject to more than the average 320 W m^-2 (DWLWIR), used by Willis, and if so, this begs the question, why are the oceans not heating up?

    If DWLWIR has sensible energy capable of performing sensible work, why does morning dew not evaporate. we must have all seen in winter, a hollow half of which is in the shade most of the day. Within 1/2 an hour or so of sun up, dew in the hollow is burnt off whereas dew on the shady side side of the hollow can linger for most of the day. This is so, notwithstanding that morning winter sunlight is weak and if you compare the total energy imparted onto the dew from say 1 hours worth of low solar power + DWLWIR with say 3 hours worth of just DWLWIR, the dew on the shady side of the hollow would have received more energy than was received by the dew on the sunny side of the hollow by the time the dew on the sunny side evaporated, and yet the dew on the shady side does not evaporate. Why is this? It is something which is frequently seen in the late autumn through to early Spring months, and is something with which we are all familiar.

    Just a couple of points to ponder on for those that are interested.

  53. CO2 Climate Sensitivity Vs. Reality

    Arguments about climate sensitivity, on the part of “lukewarmers” opposed to the alarmists, are like arguments over who can use the least number of epicycles to explain the apparent paths of the planets in the night sky over time, assuming they really travel in perfect circular orbits: It is all in vain (not to mention out of date by more than 20 years, with respect to provably incompetent climate science).

  54. Leonard Weinstein says:
    April 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

    “However, back radiation SLOWS the radiation cooling from the ocean, resulting in a higher equilibrium temperature than without it.”

    I have a question about this assertion. I have seen it stated in several different places that a non-zero lapse rate is necessary in order to have a greenhouse effect. On the Science of Doom website, there is a post titled “Understanding Atmospheric Radiation and the ‘Greenhouse’ Effect – Part Four”. Figure 4 of that post shows how, in an atmosphere containing GHGs, the lapse rate affects the TOA radiative flux and also how the lapse rate affects DLR. (I am assuming that “DLR” is an equivalent term to “back radiation”.) When the lapse rate is 0 K/km, with all else being equal the DLR is at a maximum. At the same lapse rate of 0 K/km, the TOA flux is calculated as equal to the flux at the Earth’s surface, implying no greenhouse effect.

    So as I understand it, SoD is saying that, under a zero lapse rate condition, a strong presence of back radiation does _NOT_ result in a higher equilibrium temperature. My conclusion would then be that back radiation has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect.

    Do you see any flaw in this logic?

  55. Climate Sensitivity:

    Terry Oldberg says: April 5, 2013 at 11:25 pm
    “…The notion that [there] is a “climate sensitivity” is scientifically nonsensical as this sensitivity is defined in terms of an equilibrium temperature but this temperature is not an observable….”

    To this I would add that logic suggests that it is impossible to determine climate sensitivity from observational data until one knows and fully understands natural variation, and its bounds.

    The reason for this is that until one knows the precise nature of natural variation, how it is acting and what its bounds are, it is possible that each and every variation in the temperature record is fully explained solely by natural variation and changes therein. At this stage, we cannot conclude that all the post 1850 warming was due to natural variation, the post 1880 cooling was due to natural varaition, the post 1920 warming was due to natural variation, the post 1940 cooling was due to natural variation, the post 1975 warming was due to natural variation etc.

    It is even possible that climate sensitivity to CO2 is negative. This cannot be conclusively ruled out. For example, since we do not know enough about natural variation, it is possible that between 1940 and late 1970s its effect was entirely neutral and the post 1940 cooling is actually explained predominantly by the increasing CO2 levels and part by aerosol emiisions from power plants etc. Then post 1970s, natural variation was stronly positive so that it off-set the cooling effect of increasing CO2 emissions, the reduction in aerosols from cleaing up power plant emission also acted in a positve fashion, such that we then saw a net warming. Now as from the late 1990s. natural variation is slightly positive but with the negative effect of increased CO2 we are seeing neutral to possibly slightly falling temperatures.

    I am not suggesting that the above properly explains the thermometer record, but it could do, and we cannot rule out such an explanation until such time as we can fully identify each and every forcing encompassed in the expression natural variation and whether they are positive or negative and the upper and lower bounds of each and every such forcing.

    In conclusion, climate sensitivity will never be anything more than a guess untill we have a full understanding of natural variation and its bounds simply because until we have such knowledge, it is impossible to extract the signal (ie., climate sensitivity) from the noise (ie., changes in temperature brought about by natural variation)

  56. Lead sentence of article:
    “The Earth’s feedback response to warming is independent of the nature of the forcing that caused that warming.”

    Ferdinand Engelbeen (April 6, 2013 at 2:04 am) commented on this:
    “That is the basic rule of what the IPCC says […] But that can’t be true”

    Agree. Ignorance &/or deception about the role of spatiotemporal pattern in flow. The usual trick.

  57. “‘I’d like a martinus.’ ‘You mean a martini.’ ‘If I want two I’ll ask for them.'” (don’t know the skit author) LGM = Last Glacial Maximum–maxima is plural. –AGF

  58. There is no doubt that an enormous amount of down IR (=to SI) goes to the ocean but it goes no deeper than the “black” skin. If the atmosphere were warming, its thermal mass would decrease the heat loss from the surface and warm the ocean, but the atmosphere has not been warming.

    If well mixed GHG’s were warming the oceans such warming should be even, but all ocean warming in the instrumental period can be accounted for the Indian, the North Atlantic, and the Arctic Oceans.

  59. squid2112:

    At April 6, 2013 at 9:25 am you write in total

    Oh cripes, not this BS again. I don’t care how much back radiation you have, YOU CANNOT HEAT A WARM OBJECT WITH A COOLER ONE! … You can not do so in this UNIVERSE!…

    SHEEESH….

    You have caught my interest because 10 minutes ago I heated the bacon for my sandwich in a microwave oven. Thus, I heated an object with a cooler one.

    Until now I have not had a conversation with a being in another universe that operates under different laws of physics. I am fascinated by your universe, and there is much I would like to know about it. For example, do you have gravity there?

    Richard

  60. Paul Vaughan says:
    April 6, 2013 at 10:29 am
    =============================================================================
    For example, although TSI due to orbital forcing varies only slightly when averaged globally, when the edge of the ice sheet gets an extra 80W/m^2 and local albedo changes from near 1 to near 0, the ice melts faster than it snows. The more we average, the more we ignore the pertinent processes. –AGF

  61. Probably nobody wants to know but there are other effects that the sun does to the atmosphere, according to NASA, it makes it vary in size, that is volume. Now if the volume of the atmosphere varies with solar variations does this not reflect on both weather and climate?

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/AGU-SABER.html

    and

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/15jul_thermosphere/

    or do all those computer models take this into consideration?

  62. tckev says:
    April 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Probably nobody wants to know but there are other effects that the sun does to the atmosphere, according to NASA, it makes it vary in size, that is volume.

    Not only that but a solar cycle also shifts the jet streams poleward at high solar activity and reverse together with the accompanying cloud and rain patterns (cause: more UV – more ozone – higher temperature in the equatorial lower stratosphere – more temperature difference between equator and poles at that height). The impact on regional climate in general is huge and may influence global climate. The influence of GHGs on the jet stream position is probably zero, despite recent claims (in Europe) that the sea ice melting of the Arctic influenced the jet stream position too and was the cause of the long winters here…
    Several links:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL024393/abstract

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL023787/abstract

    http://ks.water.usgs.gov/pubs/reports/paclim99.html

    http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/alexander2707.pdf

  63. richard verney says:April 6, 2013 at 9:12 am/i

    Richard, there is no need for the heat from LW to be sequestered. The overall heat flux is upward. In fact at each water level, on time average, the hat flux up balances the SW energy flux downward. There’s a balance to be achieved at the surface; without down IR the loss from the warm water would be more than insolation could supply. With down IR, there’s enough to cover evaporation too.

  64. Regurgitation? I have a distasteful problem with references to “forcing function” and “feedback’, and particularly with “positive feedback”. These terms evoke some bad (although few) memories of my stint at the U.S. Submarine base on Midway Island until the war ended in 1945.

    The entire western island (there were two of them within the reef) was covered with nesting gooney birds when I got there. Only the airstrip was kept clear of them (for obvious reasons.) They were also kept clear of a small patch of green grass that grew on imported black dirt around the old transpacific cable station, because it provided fodder for the single milk cow that provided fresh milk for the sick-bay residents, and sometimes as a special fresh-food treat for west going submariners.

    The baby goonies provided an endless variety of entertainment, as they exercised their wings on the surface before learning to fly, then as they returned from their first flights, folded up their big wings and tried to land (er.. is-land?).

    But the problem I am homing in on is that as the gooney babies were growing up in their nests on the sand,. their parents kept feeding them by regurgitating the glop from fish they had caught while out fishing for sustenance, swallowed, and had partially digested. It looked like ugly stuff while being regurgitated into the wide-open beaks of their babies.

    So that is why I would prefer the use of the word “reaction,” as in Newton’s third law, instead of pejorative words such as “positive feedback” or “forcing function” — they just evoke an ugly memory of gooney-birds regurgitating dead, partially decomposed fish.

  65. richardscourtney @April 6, 2013 at 10:52 am
    “You have caught my interest because 10 minutes ago I heated the bacon for my sandwich in a microwave oven. Thus, I heated an object with a cooler one.”
    uhmmm…
    Hey guy your microwave oven doesn’t heated your your beacon at all, it was the electromagnetic field produced by its magnetron which being tuned up at the resonant frequency of the water molecular dipole heated your beacon.
    Do you want a proof of what I say?
    Well, put a piece of good insulating ceramic such as alumina or a good insulating plastic into you microwave oven, turn it on at the maximum power and wait all the time you want, but when you’ll open the oven the insulating material is still at the environment temperature.
    squid2112 was quite right in his statement, except that he missed to tell that there is an overall condition: without external work/energy applied to the system.

  66. Massimo PORZIO:

    Your post top me at April 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm concludes saying

    squid2112 was quite right in his statement, except that he missed to tell that there is an overall condition: without external work/energy applied to the system.

    No! He was completely wrong as the example of my microwave oven demonstrated.

    As you say, the energy transfer used by my microwave oven is conducted by electromagnetism. Similarly, the back-radiation to the Earth’s surface is conducted by electromagnetism.

    In both cases there is an external source of energy: unless, of course, you want to claim the Sun is not a source of energy?

    Richard

  67. If the Earth’s surface is lumped as a simple swampy thermal model (and I know there are people who object to this), then from the discussion above solar radiation is 170 W/m2, LWIR is 320 W/m2, outgoing LW is 390 W/m2, and evaporation is 100 W/m2. This represents one point on our sensitivity curve. The problem is working out how these figures vary given changes in conditions.

    The extra CO2 will increase the LWIR by 2 W/m2 or something like that. I suppose I have a bit of a problem with saying that this would not be absorbed by the swamps, because clearly the existing incoming LWIR of 320 W/m2 is absorbed, and there is no difference qualitatively between these 320 W/m2 and the extra 2 W/m2. If this 320 W/m2 was not absorbed, there would be a massive imbalance in the (170 + 320) = (390 + 100) energy flux budget.

    Pretend the atmosphere is a perfect transmitter of long wave, and there is no greenhouse effect. Thermal equilibrium would be about 30 degrees (C or K) lower. So the effect of the extra 390 W/m2 back radiation is to raise the temperature by 30K. So a straight line fit suggests a sensitivity of something like 30K divided by 390 W/m2 gives 0.077 Km2/W odd, which is far lower than anything suggested by the IPCC.

    Of course a straight line fit is unsupportable. Convection kicks in to make the curve non-linear. However the effect of this added non-linearity is to move even more heat away from the surface as a function of temperature, so the sensitivity is far lower even than 0.077.

  68. “””””….. richard verney says:

    April 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Nick Stokes says: April 6, 2013 at 2:40 am
    AND
    Nick Stokes says: April 6, 2013 at 5:05 am
    AND
    Nick Stokes says: April 6, 2013 at 7:10 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Nick

    There is a problem here.

    The absorption characteristics of LWIR in water are governed by the optical physics. I do not understand there to be any dispute that about 50% of all LWIR is fully absorbed within just 3 microns of water.

    As I explain above (April 6, 2013 at 7:35 am ), due to the omni-directional nature of DWLWIR, approximately 50% is fully absorbed within just 2 microns.. But nothing really turns on that refinement. I am quite happy to consider the 50% within 3 micron absorption……”””””

    Well I’d like to see your references to papers asserting that result, over which you assert there is no dispute.

    I would suggest that just one peer reviewed paper asserting something different, would constitute a dispute. Remember Eienstein said only one contrary result overrides a thousand supporting ones. ( or words to that effect.

    So I offer G.C. Ewing (ed.), “Oceanography from Space.” Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA. WHOI Ref. No. 65-10, April 1965.
    This is ref 3-91 , and fig 3-113 in chapter 3 of “The Infra-Red Handbook, published by theInfrared Information Analysis Center of the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, for the Office of Naval Research, Department of The Navy.

    So what does fig 3-113 say ?

    Well for starters, it shows that sea water has its maximum absorption of EM radiation at 3.0 micons wavelength; not exactly LWIR, but probably not near IR either.
    at 3.0 microns, sea water has an absorption coefficient of about 8,000 cm^-1 (hard to read, but 7-9 range) So that means that the 1/e (37%residual) absorption depth is 1.25 microns.
    So the 1/2 power point is 70% of that (0.6931) , or about 0.866 microns. Now that is a peak absorptance. There are local minima at about 4.0 microns; 40 times lower absorption coefficient,(200cm^-1) and at about 2.3-2.4 microns, maybe 8-10 times lower than that (20 cm^-1)

    So that’s the highest absorptance pak, and barely long wave.
    The second highest peak comes at about 6.0 microns wavelength, now real LW, but only 1% of atmospheric sourced LWIR occurs shorter than about 5.0 microns. So that second peak is about 2,000 cm^-1, so now a 5 micron 1/e depth, and again a narrow peak..

    From 7-10 microns, about where the atmosphere window is, we get about 900 cm^-1, so about 11 microns 1/e depth. From that 900 low, at 7 microns, it climbs slowly to about 3,000 cm^-1, and then drops about monotonically , reaching 100 cm ^-1 which they call a 0.1 mm “optical depth” at about 600 microns wavelength. So optical depth, is what they call the 1/e residual depth, and over the 5-80 micron wavelength range of atmospheric LWIR, the optical depth, is much more like 10 microns plus, than 2.0 or 3.0 microns.

    Three times the optical depth, gives 95% absorption; 5% transmission, so 30 microns, and five times optical depth or 50 microns depth, gives 99% absorption, 1% residual transmission.

    Yes atmospheric LWIR is trongly absorbed in sea water, but that 2-3 micron figure for 50% loss, is more like the maximum for the whole 3 micron wavelength line, than for the whole LWIR spectrum.

    This data, which is of great importance to seafarers, and Naval folks, is not recent news, it has been well known for about a half century.

    So nyet on the 2-3 micron “skin”.

    But hey! I agree completely on the basic concept; just let’s not exaggerate, what in reality, is already dramatic enough.

  69. richardscourtney says (April 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm): “…the energy transfer used by my microwave oven is conducted by electromagnetism. Similarly, the back-radiation to the Earth’s surface is conducted by electromagnetism.
    In both cases there is an external source of energy: unless, of course, you want to claim the Sun is not a source of energy?”
    ======================================================

    As it so often happens, existence of back radiation is confused with the alleged warming effect of back radiation. Back radiation exists, but it apparently neither warms the source nor slows down the cooling rate of the source.

    It is not the Sun that makes the back radiation in question. It is the radiation of the body (source), like Erarth surface or whatever that produces radiation and then this radiation hits a reflector or CO2 or whatever. The result is back radiation. You have been around this debate for years and still won’t get it? It is hard to believe.

    I suggest you just stand in front of a mirror or something covered with a nice IR reflecting material and enjoy the heat radiated back to you. Then be so kind and report this scientific experimental experience here, please.

  70. george e. smith says:
    April 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm
    /////////////////////////////////////
    George

    Thanks your comments. I do not have a copy of G.C. Ewing (ed.), “Oceanography from Space.” so my response is thereby limited.

    As I stated in my first comment, the data comes from the Scienceofdoom website article on back radiation heating the oceans. The LWIR absorption data I used is from Figure 7 of their article headed “Ocean Transmission of DLR by wavelength” The zoomed plot can be viewed at: http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/dlr-absorption-ocean-matlab.png . Have a look at that plot.

    I presumed (I know a dangerous thing) that their reference to DLR is to LWR in the wavelengths that we are particularly interested, ie., those of back radiation not simply from CO2 but from a composition of all GHGs coming down from on high.

    The scienceofdoom article (http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/06/does-back-radiation-heat-the-ocean-part-one/) contains in Figure 4 details of a paper by Wozniak titled “Light Absorption in Sea Water”, Wozniak (2007). A zoomed in scan of the relevant plot can be viewed at http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/from-light-absorption-in-sea-water-wozniak-2007-499px.png

    This plot, of course, is not the absorption characteristics of long wave EM but rather that of (approximately) vissible light. It is interesting in that in broad terms it appears to give a similar profile to that which you set out for light in the wavelength range of above 300nm (nanometres), ie., maximum transmission is at 300nm, a minima at 400nm, rising again at 500 to 600nm, and then falling from 900 through to 1300nm. I should emphasise that the wavelengths in this plot are expressed in nanometres not micrometers. 300 nanometres is of course 0.3 micrometres, not 3 micrometres.

    I find this plot interesting merely because the shape characteristic appears similar to what you are describing from the Ewing book. This leads me to wonder whether you may have (in some way) converted the scaling used in the Ewing plot to which you refer. Have another look at the Ewing plot, and have a look at the Wozniak (2007) plot and compare the same.

    Have you by any chance erroneously converted nanometres into micrometres? I do not mean any disrespect but since I cannot check the Ewing book, I just wonder whether there may be something in the point I raise (ie., that 300nm is 0.3 micrometres not 3 micrmetres). Please just clarify.

    PS. As you know scienceofdoom is a pro AGW site, so it would surprise me if they made a mistake in the absorption characteristics of long wave radiation which error goes against AGW. It is in their interests to demonstarte that long wave radiation from DLR (I refer to as DWLWIR) penetrates the ocean to greater depth. I seem to recall (but I have not rechecked) that Wikipedia (also known for its warmist stance) contains similar information on the absorption of DLR in water. I seem to recall that it also contains the plot which scienceofdoom set out in Figure 7.

  71. George

    Further to my last post, once I had submitted my comment, I consider that I have somewhat misdescribed the Figure 4 plot when describing it as approximately vissible light.

    When I gave it that description late at night (it is about 4am) I had in mind the peak between 300 to say around 700nm, thinking that that s broadly vissible wavelengths. Of course, this plot extents beyond vissible light.

  72. Greg House says: April 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    /////////////////////////////////////

    This experiment is best done in a hall of mirrors, for maximum effect.

    I have been in a curved room with mirrored walls, and i am still here to tell the tale. I was not roasted alive from all that back radiation, even though there were about 30 other people in the room all radiating heat. Those mirrors were sure re-radiating an awful lot of heat in a never ending spiral (to misquote that song The Windmills of Your Mind) of energy.

    When people raise space blankets, I often comment to similar effect. A space blanket keeps the user warm because it hinders convection, not because of back radiation.

    If a space blanket were to use back radiation as its effective means of keeping the patient warm, it could be constructed like a toilet roll. The roll could have a diametre of say 60cm and be say 2 metres in height with the patient standing inside the roll enjoying the radiation and re-radadiation off the never ending mirrored curved surface. Heck, it would not matter if the diametre were not 60cm but was say 1 metre or 5 metres or even 10 metres. There would still be the same measured back radiation for the patient to enjoy and to keep the patient warm.. But of course, that nasty thing called convention rears it’s ugly head, so in the real world, it just don’t work like that.

  73. Nick Stokes,
    Bob Irvine has posted material from an experiment I built in 2011. At the time I wrote “If backscattered LWIR cannot measurably affect liquid water, then CO2 cannot cause dangerous or catastrophic global warming.”

    I was wrong.

    Liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool does respond very differently to incident LWIR than other materials. However this on its own does not disprove the radiative green house hypothesis. The radiative green house hypothesis would fail for a desert planet as well. Experiments 2 to 5 posted earlier on the tread here –

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231

    – show why the radiative green house hypothesis fails for a moving atmosphere.

    Experiment 2 demonstrates the ability of CO2 to radiate energy it has acquired by conduction. Most of the net energy being radiated to space by radiative gases was acquired by surface conduction and the release of latent heat.

    Experiment 3 demonstrates that convective circulation in fluid in a gravity field can be driven by removing energy from the top of the fluid. Radiative gases do this in our atmosphere. Adiabatic cooling of ascending air masses does not represent a loss of energy from the air mass and therefore does not create a loss of buoyancy.

    Experiment 4 demonstrates two important things. First, the relative height of energy input and output for a gas column in a gravity field determines whether convective circulation develops. Secondly, in box 2 where strong convective circulation does not develop, the average gas temperature is higher. Heated gases rise to the top of box 2 and do not descend. Cooling in box 2 is limited to the speed of gas conduction. The bigger you build the experiment, the better it works. Heating and cooling a gas column in a gravity field a separate locations at the base results in a higher average temperature than heating at the base and cooling at the top.

    Experiment 5 demonstrates the folly of treating gas as a static body when calculating surface to gas conductive flux. The two tubes cool at different rates. In tube 1 with the cling film at the top, convective circulation develops, bringing the hottest air against the cooling surface and maximising conductive flux. In tube 2 with the cling film at the base, gravity keeps the coldest gas against the cooling surface, minimising conductive flux. The same effect works in our atmosphere. Gravity moves the coldest gases against the surface during the day, maximising conductive flux into the atmosphere. Gravity moves the coldest gases against the surface at night, minimising conductive flux out of the atmosphere. This experiment also demonstrates why conductive flux between the surface and atmosphere should not be calculated from surface Tav. Land surface Tav may be lower under a non radiative atmosphere, but this does not translate to a cooler atmosphere.

    In 2011 I was wrong to claim experiment 1 disproved CAGW. Experiments 2 to 5 however prove that the radiative green house hypothesis fail for an atmosphere in a gravity field in which the gases move. I should also note that the ERL hypothesis also fails for an atmosphere with moving gases.

    Radiative gases are critical for convective circulation in the troposphere. Radiative gases act to cool the troposphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. An increase in convective circulation speed or tropospheric cooling from the addition of trace amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere would be impossible to detect against natural variability.

  74. In reply to dp

    dp says:

    April 5, 2013 at 11:31 pm
    ….Bottom line is energy in the sea has to pass through the atmosphere to get back to space where it came from and any lid you put on it, ice, clouds, CO2, is going to inhibit that.

    William:
    I would assume you are stating that increased atmospheric CO2 will cause warming as that has been repeated over and over again in the media and by some scientists.

    The scientists who have been pushing the AGW paradigm have been holding back information concerning the paleoclimatic record and information concerning the 20th century warming Vs predictions.

    There are periods of millions of years when atmospheric CO2 was high and the planet was cold and periods of millions of years when atmospheric CO2 was low and the planet was low. In the geological past CO2 does not correlate with planetary temperature.

    Curiously the 20th century warming has not global. The tropics and the Southern Hemisphere experienced almost no warming. The 20th century warming occurred in the high Arctic and high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The CO2 warming theory predicted that the largest amount of warming on the planet due to the increased CO2 would be in the tropical troposphere at around 10 km above the surface of the planet. (The CO2 mechanism will warm the region that receives the most amount of radiation and as water vapor amplifies the CO2 warming the tropics should also warm the most. The tropical troposphere warming at 10 km was then predicted to warm the tropics which would in turn warm the remaining planet. There is no observed tropical troposphere warming at 10 km.

    There is a physical reason for that observation and for the observation planetary temperature does not in correlate with atmospheric CO2 in the paleoclimatic record. Certainly a significant reason is the IPCC (GCM) models incorrectly model clouds.

    Lindzen and Choi’s research indicates that planetary cloud cover increases or decreases (negative feedback) in the tropics to resist any forcing change. If the planet resists rather than amplifies the warming due to CO2, the warming due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will be less than 1C. Negative feedback is likely a significant reason for the lack of correlation of atmospheric CO2 and planetary temperature in the past, however, as the 20th century is not in the regions predicted by CO2 theory (i.e. It is not global.) it is likely there are multiple errors or something is fundamental incorrect reality vs simplified model.

    The tropics receives the largest amount of solar radiation, water vapor was predicted to amplify the warming. The lower troposphere is saturated with CO2. Additional CO2 atmospheric therefore was not predicted to warm the lower troposphere directly.
    The 20th century warming was primarily in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic. As the region of warming does not match the CO2 mechanism, scientists should have looked for another explanation. Unfortunately any warming has accepted as CO2 warming which is ridiculous, irrational. If we compare a criminal investigation to a scientific investigation, the prosecutor must explain the observations, must prove the suspect was at the scene of the crime, that the suspect has capable of the crime, and so on. In this case atmospheric CO2 is not capable of causing the warming pattern observed.

    Curiously there is in the paleoclimatic record cycles of warming and cooling that exactly match the pattern of warming observed in the 20th century, Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles. There is coincidental with the D-O cycle a cyclic change to solar magnetic cycle. It appears the past warming and cooling cycle was caused by the solar magnetic cycle.

    What is missing is a full explanation as to how the sun changed in the past and how the solar magnetic cycle like changes caused the planetary warming and cooling.

  75. squid2112 says:
    April 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Greg House says:
    April 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    ————————————————————————————
    Squid & Greg,
    AGW is a failed hypothesis, however getting the radiative physics wrong does not do sceptics any favours. So you can get a better understanding of LWIR I have two simple experiments for you that demonstrate LWIR slowing the cooling rate of materials.

    Greg,
    On a cold clear night with no wind, go outside and hold a 100mm square of aluminium foil 20mm away from your cheek with the shiny side toward you. As your skin cools in the cold air, one cheek will feel warmer. Outgoing LWIR from your skin is being reflected back, very slightly slowing the cooling rate of that skin.

    Squid2112,
    AGW believers and sceptics alike are not claiming IR from a cold body can make another body hotter than the cold body. Rather that IR from one body can slow the cooling rate of another. On a cold (10C) clear night with no wind, go outside and hold a coke can filled with 15C water 20mm away from your cheek. As your skin cools in the cold air, one cheek will feel warmer. LWIR emitted from the 15C coke can is slowing the cooling rate of your skin, even though your skin is at a higher temperature.

    The radiative green house hypothesis fails not because of problems in radiative physics (although they got the liquid water thing wrong), but because the original calculations involved modelling a static atmosphere or in the worst cases modelling a combined surface and atmosphere. The gases in our atmosphere move and radiative gases, most importantly water vapour, play a critical role in tropospheric convective circulation.

  76. Konrad says (April 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm): “AGW is a failed hypothesis, however getting the radiative physics wrong does not do sceptics any favours. So you can get a better understanding of LWIR I have two simple experiments for you that demonstrate LWIR slowing the cooling rate of materials. …On a cold clear night with no wind, go outside and hold a 100mm square of aluminium foil 20mm away from your cheek with the shiny side toward you. As your skin cools in the cold air, one cheek will feel warmer. Outgoing LWIR from your skin is being reflected back, very slightly slowing the cooling rate of that skin. …AGW believers and sceptics alike are not claiming IR from a cold body can make another body hotter than the cold body. Rather that IR from one body can slow the cooling rate of another.
    ==============================================================

    OMG (shock)!

    OK, I should not have allowed me to express my feelings in this scientific discussion. Let me start with your second point: “AGW believers and sceptics alike are not claiming IR from a cold body can make another body hotter than the cold body. Rather that IR from one body can slow the cooling rate of another.”. Yes, they are implicitly. Because if a warmer body has a stable temperature (thanks to an internal heat source, for example), then according to your concept back radiation from a colder body would heat that warmer body up, then the warmer body would heat the colder body even more thus getting from it even more back radiation and so on, and this would lead to more energy produced by the system than it is possible. Here your concept drops dead on the theoretical level.

    As for you “experiment”, if you hold something “20mm away from your cheek”, you suppress convection. Provided the air temperature is lower than your skin temperature, it would reduce convective cooling of your skin and your cheek would indeed feel warmer.

    Now, it can theoretically be both, but your experiment does not prove it. The same way you could prove that saying “abracadabra” turns your TV on. It goes like that: say “abracadabra” and push the power button on your remote. If your TV turns on, you have proven it, congratulations.

  77. In this thread, a number of well meaning people claim that modern climatological models make predictions. These claims are false. These models make projections. They do not make predictions.

  78. Richard Verney thankfully points out, from time to time, that GHGs radiate omnidirectionally. It is usually said, to make it simple, that half of the photons go up and the other half down.
    I hope, that nobody will hold it against me if i now posit, that half of the radiation goes to the right and half goes to the left, or half in front and half backwards – nearly none of it touching the earth. Generosity makes me finally say, one sixth of the photons goes in each of 6 directions – which reduces, to simplify, downwelling radiation to 16.5% of the whole radiation.

  79. Greg House says:
    April 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm
    ———————————————————————
    Greg,
    try holding the foil in a vertical orientation, and then compare results by substituting a square of matt black card ;)

    I will try one last time. The only thing that climate scientists have gotten wrong with radiative physics is the effect of LWIR on the surface of liquid water in contact with a gaseous atmosphere. However the ability of water molecules to undergo phase change to gas at this interface makes this a special case. This mistake does not on its own invalidate the radiative green house hypothesis. The hypothesis is invalid because the linear flux equations they have used do not work for an atmosphere with moving gases.

    – Almost all solids and liquids above 0 kelvin emit IR photons
    – IR photons from a cooler object impacting the surface of a hotter object can slow the cooling rate of the hotter object.
    – IR photons from the surface of a cooling object reflected back to its surface will slow its rate of cooling.
    – IR photons incident on the surface of an object with an internal heat source will raise its equilibrium temperature
    – IR photons from one object cannot raise the temperature of the receiving object higher than the emitting object, unless there is a further source of energy heating the receiving object.

    Greg, radiative physics is fine. I have demonstrated in the empirical experiment that Bob Irvine posted that the cooling rate of materials can be slowed by reflecting IR photons emitted by the cooling material back to its surface.

    I have demonstrated the failings of the AGW hypothesis through repeatable empirical experiment. I am sure that I am not the only WUWT reader distressed at you continuing disbelief of radiative physics. You have made repeated claims in this area. It is high time you conducted your own empirical experiments to support your claims. Type is cheap.

  80. There are physical reasons why the 20th century warming occurred. The physical reasons/mechanisms must explain why the 20th century warming has not global. The CO2 warming mechanism predicted/projected (William: A person above had a problem with the term predicted and suggested projected. I am not sure I understand the difference. Please elaborate.) that the majority of the warming should have occurred in the tropics. It did not. The majority of the 20th century and early 21st warming occurred in the Arctic and above the Greenland Ice sheet.

    Attached immediate below is a link to a graph that shows how temperature has change on the Greenland Ice for the last 12 thousand years. It clearly shows cycles of warming and cooling which are called Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles. The D-O cycles correlate with solar magnetic cycle changes. Something in the past caused the cyclic warming and cooling on the Greenland Ice sheet. The something, the physical cause is not changes in atmospheric CO2. The past D-O cycles appears to match the 20th century warming. I attempted to present this information and information from a series of published papers that outline how solar magnetic cycle changes and geomagnetic field changes modulate planetary temperature at RealClimate and was told the information was ‘off message’ and I would be blocked.

    A disingenuous comment or theory is a theory made or comment made by a person how knows that there is other information that disproves the comment or theory. Our legal system is based on the premise that the prosecution is required to explain and not hide data that exonerates as well as convinces the accused. Science is based on the premise that scientists are interesting in determining the physical cause of what is observed, as opposed to pushing a specific theory for personal motives.

    This is the site where the above graph is located.

    http://climate4you.com/GlobalTemperatures.htm#Recent%20global%20satellite%20temperature

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JA014342.shtml

    If the Sun is so quiet, why is the Earth ringing? A comparison of two solar minimum intervals.
    Observations from the recent Whole Heliosphere Interval (WHI) solar minimum campaign are compared to last cycle’s Whole Sun Month (WSM) to demonstrate that sunspot numbers, while providing a good measure of solar activity, do not provide sufficient information to gauge solar and heliospheric magnetic complexity and its effect at the Earth. The present solar minimum is exceptionally quiet, with sunspot numbers at their lowest in 75 years and solar wind magnetic field strength lower than ever observed. Despite, or perhaps because of, a global weakness in the heliospheric magnetic field, large near-equatorial coronal holes lingered even as the sunspots disappeared. Consequently, for the months surrounding the WHI campaign, strong, long, and recurring high-speed streams in the solar wind intercepted the Earth in contrast to the weaker and more sporadic streams that occurred around the time of last cycle’s WSM campaign.

    The following paper shows planetary temperature tracks the parameter Ak (Ak measures how much the geomagnetic field changes in a 3 hour period. Ap measures how much the geomagnetic field changes in 24 hours. Large, lumpy changes to the solar wind cause the greatest changes to Ak.)

    http://sait.oat.ts.astro.it/MSAIt760405/PDF/2005MmSAI..76..969G.pdf

    Once again about global warming and solar activity K. Georgieva, C. Bianchi, and B. Kirov
    We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period for which we have data.

    In Figure 6 the long-term variations in global temperature are compared to the long-term variations in geomagnetic activity as expressed by the ak-index (Nevanlinna and Kataja 2003). The correlation between the two quantities is 0.85 with p<0.01 for the whole period studied.It could therefore be concluded that both the decreasing correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, and the deviation of the global temperature long-term trend from solar activity as expressed by sunspot index are due to the increased number of high-speed streams of solar wind on the declining phase and in the minimum of sunspot cycle in the last decades.

    William: The solar wind changes create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which in turn affects the global electric circuit.

    The review paper linked to immediately below discusses two mechanisms by which the solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary temperature:

    1) Modulation of galactic cosmic rays GCR by the solar heliosphere. GCR are mostly high speed protons which are believed to accelerated by magnetic fields created in super nova) by which solar magnetic cycle changes are believed to modulate planetary temperature. The solar heliosphere is the name for a region of space about the sun that changes as the solar magnetic cycle progress. Pieces of the solar magnetic field are carried off into space by the solar wind. The pieces of magnetic field in the solar heliosphere deflect the GCR. GCR strike the planet’s atmosphere creating ions. Ions affect the formation of clouds, albedo of clouds, and the lifetime of clouds. Modulation of GCR is one of the mechanisms by which solar magnetic cycle changes affect planetary climate.
    2) Modulation of the Global electric circuit by solar wind bursts. As noted below, solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which removes cloud forming ions. Solar cycle 22 and 23 had an increase in solar wind bursts at the end of the solar cycle. These solar wind bursts removed cloud forming ions, so even though GCR has high there was a reduction in planetary clouds which caused the planet to warm.

    http://www.utdallas.edu/physics/pdf/Atmos_060302.pdf

    See section 5a) Modulation of the global electrical circuit in this review paper, by solar wind bursts and the process electroscavenging. Solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which removes cloud forming ions. As the electroscavenging mechanism removes ions even when GCR is high, electroscavenging can make it appear that GCR does not modulate planetary cloud if the electroscavenging mechanism is not taken into account.

    The above review paper summarizes the data that does show correlation between low level clouds and GCR.

    2. CORRELATIONS OF CLOUD PROPERTIES WITH DECADAL GCR AND SUNSPOT VARIATIONS
    Among the many reported decadal timescale correlations of meteorological parameters with solar activity, one of the least ambiguous as an effect of space particle fluxes on clouds is that shown in Figure 2.1. This is a correlation of precipitation and precipitation efficiency with GCR flux in the Southern Ocean that is greatest at the highest geomagnetic latitudes, where the amplitude of the GCR flux variations and the associated vertical current density (Jz) variations are greatest [Kniveton and Todd, 2001].
    The location of the geomagnetic pole is marked by an X. The precipitation data were from the Climate Prediction Center Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) product. The amplitudes of the precipitation and precipitation efficiency variations were 7-9% at 65-75 Degree geomagnetic latitudes and at those latitudes the GCR flux and Jz vary by 15-20% over the solar cycle. The statistical significance of the correlation with GCR flux is better than 95% over a large oceanic region as shown in Fig. 2.1. There is a tendency for reversed correlation at lower latitudes.

    • William Astley:

      You request an explanation of the difference between a “prediction” and a “projection.” Good question! An explanation follows.

      There is a kind of model that makes a predictive inference. An example of this kind of inference is:

      Given that is cloudy,
      the probability of rain in the next 24 hours is 30 percent.

      Given that it is not cloudy,
      the probability of rain in the next 24 hours is 10 percent.

      A predictive inference extrapolates from one unspecified state of nature to another. For example, it extrapolates from an unspecified state in the set {cloudy, not cloudy} to an unspecified state in the set {rain in the next 24 hours, no rain in the next 24 hours}. Conventionally, the states in the first type of set are called the “conditions” while the states in the second type of set set are called the “outcomes.” A condition and an outcome are properties of a kind of event in a statistical population. In my example, one kind of event has the condition “cloudy” and the outcome “rain in the next 24 hours.”

      A “prediction” is like a predictive inference but the condition is specified. For example, with the condition “cloudy” specified, the prediction of the predictive inference described above is:

      The probability of rain in the next 24 hours is 30 percent.

      Today’s climate models do not make predictions. They cannot make them, for a prediction corresponds to an event in the statistical population that underlies the model but for today’s climate models there is no such population. However, these models do make projections. A “projection” is a mathematical function that maps the time to the computed and spatially averaged air temperature near Earth’s surface.

      People, including professional climatologists, are inclined to conflate predictions with projections through claims that today’s climate models make predictions. However, to do so is to imply that a statistical population underlies each of today’s climate models when there are no such populations.

      That these populations are nonexistent has implications for global warming climatology that are perfectly ghastly. One of them is that the scientific method is not being followed in the execution of these studies though professional climatologists claim the scientific method is being followed. That global warming climatology is defective in this way is a reality that should not be obscured by misapplied terminology.

  81. richardscourtney @April 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Richard, how could you state that a cool body heats up a warmer one, if you accept an external source of energy in the system, source which supply the whole energy to the heating of the warmer body?
    Maybe you was not aware of it, but the whole energy which heated your beacon came from the magnetron; that is, it came from the power grid, NOT from your cold oven frame!
    That’s not a thermodynamic heat exchange of the two bodies involved in the oven-beacon system.
    squid2112 was right, making the appropriate assessment that I did about the external work/energy inputs to the system.
    When you write about the Sun energy you are just making my point. The Sun energy is a third party in the two bodies system, but squid2112 wrote about ONE warmer body which can’t be heated by ONE cooler body.

    Massimo

  82. Greg House says:
    April 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Back radiation exists, but it apparently neither warms the source nor slows down the cooling rate of the source.

    Please, som explanation how it is possible that the same surface with the same moisture content and starting at the same temperature cools much faster under open sky vs. under clouds at night?

  83. feliksch says:
    April 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    I hope, that nobody will hold it against me if i now posit, that half of the radiation goes to the right and half goes to the left, or half in front and half backwards – nearly none of it touching the earth.

    Nothing against you, but the earth is a little larger than you expect: near halve what is going left and right still is touching the surface, be it over a longer distance, depending of the height of the emitting molecule…

  84. Ferdinand Engelbeen (April 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm) wrote:
    “[…] a solar cycle also shifts the jet streams poleward at high solar activity and reverse together with the accompanying cloud and rain patterns (cause: more UV – more ozone – higher temperature in the equatorial lower stratosphere – more temperature difference between equator and poles at that height). The impact on regional climate in general is huge […]”

    Earth’s climate and the heliosphere share a common decadal structure & cadence.

    Earth’s climate and the heliosphere share a common multidecadal structure & cadence.

    Earth’s climate and the heliosphere also share a common centennial structure & cadence. (new illustrations forthcoming)

    The dark agents of ignorance &/or deception mess with the choice of markers, aggregation criteria, & inferential assumptions to make sure the public remains ignorant &/or deceived about this.

    The sensible thing to do is straight up reject and shut down darkly ignorant &/or deceptive intimidation — i.e. tell them go away creep and don’t ever speak to me again. It’s that simple.

  85. @Richard Verney

    Regarding your no. 10: overturning

    I have faced the same question when trying to work out the heat transfer from hot gasses upward to a flat pot. It looks simple to start with.

    I was assisted by Prof Snow, Univ of London, who was able to show, once given a correct problem description, that the buoyancy effect of the hot rising fluid was about 30 times the overturning power. This is of course based on the Reynolds Number, the velocities and temperatures involved.

    I suggest that you have described the same problem expressed in terms of rising heat (overall) and the overturning forces. The pot is replaced by the sky and the heat source applies the heat via IR, largely.

    It seems to me that overturning waves pushed by the wind cause far more and deeper stirring than the day/night effect which might in the end be ignored – not sure yet. But picking up your point about rising and day/night overturning the departure point would be to quantify them both first then consider how waves overpower the net result, and under what conditions.

  86. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:

    April 7, 2013 at 3:04 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////
    One would expect a difference, if for no other reason than convection.

    Putting a lid on a sauspan reduced the rate at which the contents therein cool, not because the lid back radiates heat, but because the lid limits convection thereby effectively traping heat. Clouds play a similar function.

    Perhaps you should explain why the height of cloud cover has a bearing on temperature. The height has no impact on the availability of back radiation, or even on the shielding from the ‘cold’ of outter space, but it does have an effect on convection.

    Finallty, are you suggesting that back radiation only exists when cloudy? So if cloudiness only exists on average in various regional bands say 30% of the time or 40% of the time, or what have you, then for those bands the amount of DWLWIR should be reduced accordingly to reflect the duration of their average cloudiness.

  87. Massimo PORZIO says:
    April 7, 2013 at 2:59 am

    squid2112 wrote about ONE warmer body which can’t be heated by ONE cooler body.

    As said by others, that is true, but the cooling rate of the warmer body can be slowed down by the presence of a cooler body.

    Imagine a warm body in space, without any other body in the neighbourhood. The rate of cooling is the amount of energy emitted in all directions, which is strongly temperature dependent and the heat content of the body mass.
    Then bring a cold (anywhere over 0 K) body in the neighbourhood. The radiation of the warm body in first instance doesn’t change, but the radiated energy of the cold body will reach the warm body where no external heat input existed before. If the warm body absorbs any amount of these cold body radiation (thus not 100% reflective), there is less decrease in heat content than without the cold body.

    The amount of energy received by the warm body from the cold one anyway is less than reverse, because of the difference in temperature and thus radiative energy transfer per surface area. That means that the cooling rate of the cool body will be more slowed down (even may heat up, if the warm body is much larger and/or hotter) than the effect of the cold body on the slow down of the warm one.
    In no case it is possible that a cold body will warm up a warmer one without the use of some kind of IR magnifying glass…

  88. Konrad says:
    April 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm
    ///////////////////////////////////

    Konrad

    Have you ever measured to see whether any low incident LWIR is reflected off water (or off ice)?

    By low incident, I mean LWIR inter-acting at an angle of say 15deg or less to the surface?

    It may be that because water is such a good absorber of LWIR, no LWIR is reflected. However, it may be that some small amount of low incident LWIR is simply reflected from the surface.

    It appears that you have the experimental equipment. I would be interested in learning the result.

  89. beng says:
    April 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Points:
    1. Please get the historical solar forcing right — it’s essentially constant….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That like everything else is a point of contention.

    This is what the Principal Scientist says, you know the guy with the DATA…

    NASA Study Finds Increasing Solar Trend That Can Change Climate

    Since the late 1970s, the amount of solar radiation the sun emits, during times of quiet sunspot activity, has increased by nearly .05 percent per decade, according to a NASA funded study.

    “This trend is important because, if sustained over many decades, it could cause significant climate change,” said Richard Willson, a researcher affiliated with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, New York. He is the lead author of the study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.

    “Historical records of solar activity indicate that solar radiation has been increasing since the late 19th century. If a trend, comparable to the one found in this study, persisted throughout the 20th century, it would have provided a significant component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to have occurred over the past 100 years,” he said….
    In this study, Willson, who is also Principal Investigator of NASA’s ACRIM experiments, compiled a TSI record of over 24 years by carefully piecing together the overlapping records. In order to construct a long-term dataset, he needed to bridge a two-year gap (1989 to 1991) between ACRIM1 and ACRIM2. Both the Nimbus7/ERB and ERBS measurements overlapped the ACRIM ‘gap.’ Using Nimbus7/ERB results produced a 0.05 percent per decade upward trend between solar minima, while ERBS results produced no trend. Until this study, the cause of this difference, and hence the validity of the TSI trend, was uncertain. Willson has identified specific errors in the ERBS data responsible for the difference. The accurate long-term dataset, therefore, shows a significant positive trend (.05 percent per decade) in TSI between the solar minima of solar cycles 21 to 23 (1978 to present). This major finding may help climatologists to distinguish between solar and man-made influences on climate.….

    Quiet Sun Means Cooling of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

    …The extent of current solar minimum conditions has created a unique situation for recent SABER datasets, explains Stan Solomon, acting director of the High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. The end of solar cycle 23 has offered an opportunity to study the radiative cooling in the thermosphere under exceptionally quiescent conditions…
    “The Earth’s thermosphere is responding remarkably — up to an order of magnitude decrease in infrared emission/radiative cooling by some molecules.”

    The TIMED measurements show a decrease in the amount of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun. In addition, the amount of infrared radiation emitted from the upper atmosphere by nitric oxide molecules has decreased by nearly a factor of 10 since early 2002….

    There are plenty of other NASA articles and other papers of a similar nature.

    SPARC Theme: Stratosphere-Troposphere Dynamical Coupling

    http://www.sparc-climate.org/about/themes/stratosphere-troposphere-dynamical-coupling/

    Stratospheric changes are important because they can affect tropospheric weather and climate….. Stratospheric changes are both dynamical and chemical, and thus can affect the troposphere not just through dynamical coupling, but also through altered exchange of chemical constituents and through changes to UV radiation.

    For example, stratospheric ozone depletion in the Southern Hemisphere has been connected to substantial changes in tropospheric winds. These changes affect both the ocean circulation (and oceanic biota such as krill), and precipitation over sensitive regions such as Australia. There are indications that sustained stratospheric anomalies can affect the deep ocean circulation in the North Atlantic. As climate continues to change through the rest of this century and beyond, it is important to understand what role the stratosphere will play….

    Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1460.html

    Large changes in solar ultraviolet radiation can indirectly affect climate1 by inducing atmospheric changes. Specifically, it has been suggested that centennial-scale climate variability during the Holocene epoch was controlled by the Sun…

    Here we analyse annually laminated sediments of Lake Meerfelder Maar, Germany, to derive variations in wind strength and the rate of 10Be accumulation, a proxy for solar activity, from 3,300 to 2,000 years before present. We find a sharp increase in windiness and cosmogenic 10Be deposition 2,759  ±  39 varve years before present and a reduction in both entities 199  ±  9 annual layers later. We infer that the atmospheric circulation reacted abruptly and in phase with the solar minimum. A shift in atmospheric circulation in response to changes in solar activity is broadly consistent with atmospheric circulation patterns in long-term climate model simulations, and in reanalysis data that assimilate observations from recent solar minima into a climate model. We conclude that changes in atmospheric circulation amplified the solar signal and caused abrupt climate change about 2,800 years ago, coincident with a grand solar minimum.

    An influence of solar spectral variations on radiative forcing of climate

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7316/full/nature09426.html

    … Radiation at ultraviolet wavelengths dissociates atmospheric molecules, initiating chains of chemical reactions—specifically those producing stratospheric ozone—and providing the major source of heating for the middle atmosphere, while radiation at visible and near-infrared wavelengths mainly reaches and warms the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface1. Thus the spectral composition of solar radiation is crucial in determining atmospheric structure, as well as surface temperature, and it follows that the response of the atmosphere to variations in solar irradiance depends on the spectrum2. Daily measurements of the solar spectrum between 0.2 µm and 2.4 µm, made by the Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) instrument on the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite3 since April 2004, have revealed4 that over this declining phase of the solar cycle there was a four to six times larger decline in ultraviolet than would have been predicted on the basis of our previous understanding. This reduction was partially compensated in the total solar output by an increase in radiation at visible wavelengths. Here we show that these spectral changes appear to have led to a significant decline from 2004 to 2007 in stratospheric ozone below an altitude of 45 km, with an increase above this altitude….

    NASA: Solar Variability, Ozone, and Climate

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/shindell_03/

    Previous studies have concluded that changes in solar output over a solar cycle seem to be too small to have much direct impact at Earth’s surface. Solar cycle variability is greatest at ultraviolet wavelengths, which are largely absorbed by the stratospheric ozone layer. The direct effects of solar variability are therefore felt predominantly in the stratosphere or higher. However, since the stratosphere is coupled to the troposphere (the lower atmosphere), these changes could also indirectly affect the surface….
    …We have now included both realistic solar irradiance and ozone changes in a version of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate model which includes a representation of the complete stratosphere…

    …. The coupling between the stratosphere and lower atmosphere may therefore play a crucial role in the interaction between solar variability and climate. The total energy change over a solar cycle is quite small, which has led many to argue that solar variability has little impact on climate. Through this coupling, however, solar variability affects the lower atmosphere by changing the distribution of the large amount of energy which is already present. The impact on global average temperature seems indeed to be small; however, changing the flow of energy produces large regional impacts….

    The solar induced changes in the lower atmosphere affect surface features such as temperature and pressure.

    Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate/

    There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet…
    The full report, “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” is available from the National Academies Press at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13519

  90. richard verney says:
    April 7, 2013 at 4:29 am

    One would expect a difference, if for no other reason than convection.
    Perhaps you should explain why the height of cloud cover has a bearing on temperature. The height has no impact on the availability of back radiation, or even on the shielding from the ‘cold’ of outer space, but it does have an effect on convection.

    Height has direct impact on cloud temperatures, thus also on back radiation.
    There were a lot of measurements in The Netherlands about clouds, including upwelling and downwelling radiation of visible and IR spectra. The simple conclusion: the downwelling IR spectra show the base temperature of the cloud and its height above ground. With open sky the IR “temperature” drops below the instrument range of -50°C, thus indicating a huge difference in backradiation. See Fig. 3 in:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-85-10-1565

    Quite an interesting story…

    Finally, are you suggesting that back radiation only exists when cloudy?

    No, but water vapour and liquid water are far more effective in backradiation in a lot of wavebands than GHGs. But clouds act in both ways: reflecting more incoming sunlight, thus less insolation at the surface during the day and more backradiation at night. That makes that the diurnal variation is lowest during cloudy days and largest with open skies…

  91. Gail that report was from 2003 and YOU KNOW new information questions, nay reverses, that position on solar trend. You are a respected commenter here. Please question the dates of the articles you link to. New information is gathered all the time. But those who ignore new information, or better understanding of old information, run the risk of becoming irrevelant (just like climate models).

  92. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    April 7, 2013 at 7:36 am
    ////////////////////////////////////

    i don’t disagree with all you say, but nothing is that simple. Where I live in Spain, we have these past months had many cloudy days where the temperature struggles around the 18 to 20deg C mark and at night (also cloudy) the temperature is around 4 to 8 degC. So a diurnal range of say about 13degC.

    in summer, we will usually experience cloudless days and cloudness nights. The day time temp will typically be about 32degC and the nighttime temp 28degC, so a diurnal range of about 4 degC.

    So there can be less range in cloudless conditions; many factors influence the temperatures that one experiences, clouds being just one. I suspect that their blocking of incoming solar far outweighs the effect of any notional backradiation.

  93. Konrad says (April 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm): “I will try one last time. […] radiative physics is fine.”
    ============================================================

    I do not believe you that it is the last time. I believe you will keep trying again and again.

    Your fictional story has nothing to do with physics.

  94. Ferdinand Engelbeen @April 7, 2013 at 4:42 am
    “As said by others, that is true, but the cooling rate of the warmer body can be slowed down by the presence of a cooler body.”
    Yes of course. But it has nothing to do with “a colder body can heat a warmer one”. A colder body could warm more a warmer one only if you introduce a source of energy in the system, no matter where it enters the system (I mean in which body it enters). In that case the warmer body could be warmed more because of the thermal resistance opposed by the bodies, and its warming effect depends upon the density of the added colder body.
    By the way, I’m not a climate scientist but just an engineer, so maybe I’m wrong, but I never been able to cook any beacon just placing some colder objects around it :) (it’s a joke of course).
    Have a nice day

  95. Massimo PORZIO says: (April 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm): “Ferdinand Engelbeen @April 7, 2013 at 4:42 am
    “As said by others, that is true, but the cooling rate of the warmer body can be slowed down by the presence of a cooler body.”
    ……………………..
    Yes of course. […] I’m not a climate scientist but just an engineer”

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

    Really? Then what about a situation where the warmer body is not cooling, but has a stable temperature? Let’s look into it: then a colder body would warm the warmer body up, according to your concept, right? Then the warmer body would warm the colder body more, because the warmer body has become warmer, and then the colder body would warm the warmer body even more, because the colder body has become warmer too. So must it go on and on in the endless cycle of mutual warming…

    You as engineer should understand what an absurd crap this concept is.

  96. All,
    A long line of distinguished physicists, engineers, chemists and others from both sides of the climate debate have done their best to educate Greg House in regard to basic physics. You would be better served to expend your energy trying to convince Michael Mann that he should publicly repudiate his own hockey stick. On that matter you would have at least some chance of success, however slim.

  97. Greg House @ April 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    No, Greg. It’s not that.
    Maybe I’ve been not clear indeed. If the energy enters the system in the colder body, it warms the warmer one by delaying its cooling. That is, let the warmer body @ 300K at time 0, without any other energy coming into the system, it drops to say 298K after 1s. Then what I was meaning there is that if a supplemental energy entered the system from the colder body, the warmer one after 1s falls just to 299K instead of 298K (numbers are just for example of course).
    What I believe about the atmosphere, is that the only down welling radiation which could heat up the ground is the one coming from to the Sun rays which is converted to heat by the atmospheric gases and the one due to the water changes of state (clouds formation and evolution in troposphere).
    In my opinion calling that “back radiation” is not fully correct, it could be right for the part of energy which come back from water condensation.

  98. “””””…..richard verney says:

    April 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    george e. smith says:
    April 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm
    /////////////////////////////////////
    George

    Thanks your comments. I do not have a copy of G.C. Ewing (ed.), “Oceanography from Space.” so my response is thereby limited……

    Richard, the Ewing reference was a paper; not a book. I believe it was an internal Woods Hole Symposium. The only part of it I have seen, is the fig 3-113 reprinted in The Infra-red Handbook.

    You should be able to find that handbook in any University Physics Library. It is a major reference manual for anybody working in any sort of Military Infra-red harware Industry, and has become invaluable for climate science as well. As you might imagine the success of hardware, like Sidewinder missiles and their ilk, depends on being able to detect weak infrared signals, at long ranges, in the presence of atmospheric and environmemtal noise, hence the US Navy’s reason for commissioning it. I’ve never worked in any such endeavour, but I was lucky enough to purchase the handbook many years ago. I have the third edition of the handbook, which was printed in mid 1989. They only printed 2500 copies. All together 20,000 copies have been printed since the first edition in 1978. The editors are George J. Zissis, and William L. Wolfe.

    In addition to having many thousands of data graphs, there are countless references to peer reviwed papers. And with a 1989 print date, there is not much missing. Indeed the modern warming hiatus beginning, predates my copy.

    So I don’t have to make stuff up; I have more than enough right at my fingertips.

    But with reference to your Science of doom reference, I did look at that paper, and their graph, and apart from the fact that the wavelength scale is reversed in their (wiki) reference, the two graphs, are quite similar. As I recall, your graph shows the 3.0 micron peak at around 11,000 cm^-1, wheres mine has it at around 8-9 thousand.

    Close enough, the information is about the same. Mine is somewhat easier to read (larger scale,) and then my book has other graphs, one at least carries the water absorption all the way out to radio wavelengths, showing why ULF radio communication is possible in the ocean.

    I think you will find my numbers are not at variance with the wiki graph you found on SOD.

    Bottom line is the short range of LWIR in water is well documented, and explains why down LWIR is not effective in ocean warming. I just think we have to be careful, that in the telling and retelling, we don’t exaggerate the numbers. The real numbers, are damning enough to the notion that LWIR stores energy in the deep oceans.

  99. Massimo PORZIO says (April 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm): “Maybe I’ve been not clear indeed. If the energy enters the system in the colder body, it warms the warmer one by delaying its cooling.”
    ===========================================================

    I perfectly understood your concept and told you that if it worked that way then you would get an endless cycle of mutual warming if the warmer body initially had a stable temperature (not cooling): “Then what about a situation where the warmer body is not cooling, but has a stable temperature? Let’s look into it: then a colder body would warm the warmer body up, according to your concept, right? Then the warmer body would warm the colder body more, because the warmer body has become warmer, and then the colder body would warm the warmer body even more, because the colder body has become warmer too. So must it go on and on in the endless cycle of mutual warming… You as engineer should understand what an absurd crap this concept is.”

    Well, you apparently have missed that point, because you said something about cooling of a warmer body again, so, please, make an effort now.

  100. Let a layman ask a question.

    Massimo PORZIO says:
    April 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm
    “If the energy enters the system in the colder body, it warms the warmer one by delaying its cooling. That is, let the warmer body @ 300K at time 0, without any other energy coming into the system, it drops to say 298K after 1s. Then what I was meaning there is that if a supplemental energy entered the system from the colder body, the warmer one after 1s falls just to 299K instead of 298K (numbers are just for example of course).”

    So this means that GHGs don’t heat up the atmosphere but delay cooling, right?
    If this is true what is the reason that the “global” temperature is ~15°C wheras temperature calculations via solar constant and Stefan-Boltzmann lead to a “global” temperature of -18°C up to +6°C (depending on albedo and emissivity)?

    Thanks for answers!

  101. William Astley says:
    April 7, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Link not working so good. http://www.utdallas.edu/physics/pdf/Atmos_060302.pdf
    Got another?

    Huge vortices at equatorial latitudes, driving electrified plasmas, into the magnetosphere, compliments of Ol Sol.

    Earth’s magnetosphere behaves like a sieve
    24 October 2012
    ..A new study based on data from ESA’s Cluster mission shows that it is easier for the solar wind to penetrate Earth’s magnetosphere than had previously been thought.
    In 2006, Cluster made the surprising discovery that huge, 40 000 km swirls of plasma along the boundary of the magnetosphere – the magnetopause – could allow the solar wind to enter, even when Earth’s magnetic field and the IMF are aligned.
    These swirls were found at low, equatorial latitudes, where the magnetic fields were most closely aligned.
    These giant vortices are driven by a process known as the Kelvin–Helmholtz (KH) effect, which can occur anywhere in nature when two adjacent flows slip past each other at different speeds.
    Examples include waves whipped up by wind sliding across the surface of the ocean, or in atmospheric clouds.
    Analysis of Cluster data has now found that KH waves can also occur at a wider range of magnetopause locations and when the IMF is arranged in a number of other configurations, providing a mechanism for the continuous transport of the solar wind into Earth’s magnetosphere..

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Cluster/Earth_s_magnetosphere_behaves_like_a_sieve

    http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images/2012/10/Solar_wind_entry_at_low_latitudes

    Differences in IMF, northward IMF cooler and denser plasma penetration than during a southward IMF into earths magnetosphere.

    Cluster finds magnetic reconnection within giant swirls of plasma
    06 Dec 2006
    ..The Earth’s magnetic field lines are always oriented from the South to the North poles and are static. In comparison the IMF is rather dynamic, changing orientation frequently. When the Bz component of the IMF is oriented southward, the IMF is anti-parallel to the geomagnetic field lines at the subsolar point (the ‘nose’ of the magnetopause facing the Sun). In this case, magnetic reconnection can readily account for solar wind entry at the dayside magnetopause. With a Bz component of the IMF oriented northward, reconnection at the dayside magnetopause is highly unlikely. However, measurements in space have shown that the plasma content of the outer magnetosphere increases during northward IMF, contrary to expectation if reconnection is the dominant transfer mechanism. Under northward IMF conditions, the characteristics of the heart of the magnetosphere, a region called the plasma sheet, located around the Earth and extending significantly on the Earth’s nightside, are significantly modified. Only a couple of hours of Northward IMF conditions are necessary for such a transition, where in-situ satellite observations show that the plasma sheet is cooler and denser than compared to the situation when the IMF is southward. Under these northward IMF conditions, the plasma sheet is referred to as the cold and dense plasma sheet..

    http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=40420

    This link is for the Vuks..might find it useful..
    Magnetospheres of the Outer Planets Group MOP

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/mop/resources/graphics/

    One more thing Vuks.. EEJ gets some turbulence and they find it reverses prior to the onset of Sudden Stratospheric Warmings..

    Lunar and solar tidal variabilities in mesospheric winds and EEJ strength over Tirunelveli (8.7°N, 77.8°E) during the 2009 major stratospheric warming
    S. Sathishkumar1, S. Sridharan2,*
    Article first published online: 25 JAN 2013
    ©2012. American Geophysical Union.
    [1] Mesospheric wind observations by the medium frequency radar and geomagnetic field observations at Tirunelveli (8.7°N, 77.8°E, 1.75°N dip angle) are used to study the relative importance of solar and lunar influences in the variabilities of mesospheric tides and equatorial electrojet (EEJ) strength during the unprecedented major stratospheric sudden warming (SSW) of 2009. It is observed that the afternoon reversal in the EEJ, popularly known as counter electrojet, occurs consecutively for several days during the SSW event, when there is an enhancement of solar semidiurnal tide in both zonal wind at 90 km and EEJ strength over Tirunelveli. Although the amplitude of lunar tides also shows enhancement, it is much less than that of solar. The diurnal tidal amplitude in zonal wind and EEJ strength also shows large enhancement just before the onset of SSW. However, solar semidiurnal tide dominates diurnal tide during the SSW. The diurnal tidal phase in zonal wind shifts to a few hours earlier during the SSW. The lunar semidiurnal tidal phase shifts to later hours in both zonal wind and EEJ strength. The main observation of the present study is that the large semidiurnal tide observed during the SSW 2009 is mostly solar driven and only partly lunar driven, although tidal planetary wave interaction also may play a vital role. Although a similar behavior is noticed during the SSW 2006 also, the large lunar semidiurnal tide observed in the EEJ strength without having large lunar semidiurnal tide in the underlying mesospheric winds needs further investigation.

  102. wernerkohl @ April 8, 2013 at 4:07 am
    “If this is true what is the reason that the “global” temperature is ~15°C wheras temperature calculations via solar constant and Stefan-Boltzmann lead to a “global” temperature of -18°C up to +6°C (depending on albedo and emissivity)?”
    You are asking the wrong question to the wrong subject (me).
    I’m not a climatologist, but an electronic engineer. What I can tell you is that in my professional experience I learnt that to comply a task successfully you must measure what you want to do. Climatologist didn’t do it till today, The way they do measurements is at least questionable. Also the use of the Stefan-Boltzmann law to infer the temperature of free expanding gases is questionable. To correctly use S/B the gases should be constrained in volume.

Comments are closed.