Satellites show no global warming for 17 years 5 months

FLATBy Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The monthly satellite lower-troposphere temperature anomaly from Remote Sensing Systems, Inc., is now available.

Taking the least-squares linear-regression trend on this dataset (the bright blue horizontal line through the dark blue data), there has now been no global warming – at all – for 17 years 5 months.

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Would readers like to make a projection of how many mainstream media outlets will report this surely not uninteresting fact?

It shows that the Hiatus hernia for true believers in the New Religion continues.

My own prediction is that the number of media reporting 17 years 5 months without any global warming will be approximately equal to the number of general-circulation models that predicted such a long Pause notwithstanding ever-rising CO2 concentration.

Print out the graph as a postcard and send it to the editor of a newspaper near you that has shut down democratic debate by announcing that it will refuse to print any letters at all from “climate deniers”.

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254 thoughts on “Satellites show no global warming for 17 years 5 months

  1. When one’s group is shown deficient because the facts do not support them the only recourse left is to deny a voice to those exposing the lie.

    The Liberal Main Stream Media following the emperor and his new cloths blindly.

  2. A gamble at which we will modulate the pleasure of being proven wrong.

    Times they are a-changing, and perhaps a bit quicker with the British media.

    I will predict 2 independent publishers, within 10 days, one in England, and another – notable – elsewhere.

  3. And on top of this, they have levered the pre-satellite record downwards to get rid of the pesky 1930s/early 40s record temps, believing, apparently correctly, that the big El Nino of 1998 may be the last chance to get a new world record for some time. I have to admit that I’m frustrated the temp isn’t declining a little bit in retribution for all the augmentations to warming that were done in the 1990s. How much discretion is there in “validating” the satellite record. If there is any, it will be to jack up the right end of graph.

  4. send it to this crowd, incl the “scientists”:

    6 Feb: eScienceNews: University of Montana research shows converting land to agriculture reduces carbon uptake
    Postdoctoral researcher Bill Smith and UM faculty members Steve Running and Cory Cleveland, along with a former UM postdoctoral researcher and current USGS scientist Sasha Reed, used estimates of agricultural NPP and satellite-derived estimates of natural NPP to evaluate the impact of expanding agricultural land to meet needs for food and fiber. Terrestrial NPP represents the total annual growth of vegetation on the land, which is a critical factor that helps determine how much carbon can be absorbed and stored from the atmosphere…
    “Current forecasts suggest that global food demand will likely double by 2050,” Smith said. “We hope that this research will help to identify strategies that, from a carbon balance perspective, should be avoided due to the potential for severe degradation of global vegetation growth and carbon storage.”

    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2014/02/06/university.montana.research.shows.converting.land.agriculture.reduces.carbon.uptake

  5. If you included the as/built, proposed to be built (a dying breed), cost/ benefit ratios of the solutions, the general public might go to sleep.
    It can be hard to compete when you have a seemingly endless supply of other peoples money.

    That will be their downfall, they feel it right now.
    Promises not kept.

  6. That’s an impressive graph.

    Individuals are waking up and stepping across to the Questioner and Realist side. As the numbers increase, the wake-up accelerates – more people are talking, more people are listening and raising their own questions. The murmur is rippling through the crowd. Eventually (potentially quite soon), the change will swing the balance fully the other way… Now there’s a tipping point I’m looking forward to. :)

  7. The spike in Earth’s computed mean temperature from approximately 03/31/97 to 03/31/98 is 1C. This is 30% greater than any other spike I can find in the satellite or land based temperature records going back to 1880. I don’t believe the El Nin~a in ’98 was strong enough to account for this anomalous spike. And NASA/NOAA TOD adjustment had not been injected into the US land base records.

    Where did all this extra energy come from? I think the Earth received a glancing blow from a gamma ray burst. Any other plausible sources, explanations?

    Bill

  8. jones says:

    February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?
    ============
    Is that the same as saying, you give up and need a governance to run your life ?

  9. Here are a couple of additional facts that the editorial board of the SouthCoastToday.com seems to have forgotten;
    A) the unanimous consensus of a theory doesn’t make it a fact, and
    B) correlation does not equate to causation.

  10. Alice and I will be in Antarctica in two weeks with Lindblad/National Geographic. Their 80-page handout, which is excellent for exploration history and flora and fauna, contains the obligatory pages that the Antarctic is warming and sea ice is shrinking. Further, global warming and the expanding ozone hole are going to kill off the diatoms, which will starve the krill, which will starve the fish, birds, seals, whales, and everything else except we pampered tourists, who will still marvel at the abundance of all the starving creatures. I’ll come armed with my Dr. H H Lamb climate history books, numerous charts and graphs gleaned from WUWT, Climate Depot, &etc., but I have a feeling that I will be the skunk that just wandered in during church services, the blasphemer in the cathedral of the true believers. It should be a lot of fun.

  11. jones says:
    February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm
    Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?
    —————————————————————————-
    Look no further than 1998 on the graph…it stands out as the warmest year…

  12. Well my calibrated eyeball can look at his Lordship’s plotted data from RSS, and noting the well known 1998 and 2010 El Nino events, and maybe some La Ninas in there too, I can discern a definite curvature, of a local maximum, in that 17 years and five months of data.

    I see not a hint of a cubic like point of inflection, which might signal a temporary plateau, preceding a new uptick coming soon.

    I don’t have Lord Monckton’s plotting skills, but I’m curious if it is feasible to try fitting with some sort of least squares fit criterion, a simple circular arc of as yet unknown curvature, in the manner in which Christopher arrived at his best fit straight line.

    Then for encores, is it perhaps possible, or just wishful thinking, that fitting some circle and getting a smaller RMS deviation, than this FLAT trend line, would be indicative of the circle being the better fit; or is that just some BS I might have stepped on ??

    Anyhow my eye says it curves down, just like my eyebrows.

  13. The warming jalopy has broken down so we are left with the money grubbing to talk about. That is an easier case to make. Everyone understands greed.

  14. William Yarber says:
    February 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    If you have written your question without knowledge of the posts of Bob Tisdale then you should go to his site and start reading (or search on WUWT for them). Use this to get to his El Niño – La Niña posts.
    Click here.

    If you believe a “gamma ray burst” is responsible for the spike can you provide a reference for such?

  15. Michael B. Combs says:

    February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm
    ============
    Just enjoy the experience, it would be foolish to do otherwise.
    At best it is only 1 data point, which means nothing.
    Put the camera away and just observe.

    Wish I was there :)

    • Alice and I will enjoy it all, and I live to have good arguments. It is always more interesting to talk to someone who disagrees with me than with someone who doesn’t. I live in a very anthropogenic climate change region of northern California, and have named my opposition the natural climate change deniers after they chose to call me a climate change denier. And still do, although my weekly letters to the local paper, which always are printed, usually include my statement that climate change has been a constant since atmosphere on Earth began. It’s odd to [be] told I deny what I don’t by those who purportedly read my letters.

  16. jones says:
    February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm
    Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?

    It is more or less true, but there are exceptions. 2000, with an anomaly of 0.092 is 18th and 2008, with an anomaly of 0.046, is 24th.

    But on the other hand, 1987, with an anomaly of 0.099 is 17th and 1995, with an anomaly of 0.159, is 13th.

  17. Then for encores, is it perhaps possible, or just wishful thinking, that fitting some circle and getting a smaller RMS deviation, than this FLAT trend line, would be indicative of the circle being the better fit; or is that just some BS I might have stepped on ??

    Anyhow my eye says it curves down, just like my eyebrows.

    Eyes are notorious for their abilities to find trends where none exists. You could easily test it in Excel with a second order fit.

  18. Is the “Trend -0.00%” really that accurate? I was taught not to pad the zeros if they are not significant. (The earliest value in the displayed plot is lower than the latest value, which tends to imply rounding off.) Jist askin’, Milor’.

  19. Michael B. Combs says:
    February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Dear Skunk,
    Can you find out who is responsible for the “color commentary” on your trip. I could not find it. National Geographic is in with both (all) feet regarding CAGW but the “expert” on board may be someone such as a retired university instructor. Some such are less strident than others but likely will follow the program if they want to get another paid vacation.
    Please do report back.

  20. What I love is the scale that you have to use to show anything at all happening. You have to talk about 10th and 100ths of a degree. It is *insanity* to worry about these numbers.

  21. jones, u.k.(us), Ben D, Werner,

    I have been above my life’s average height for many many years. However, at my last annual doctor’s visit the nurse told me I was getting shorter (and wider, but let’s not talk about that). My working hypothesis is that Earth’s atmospheric temperature peaked a few years ago and, like my height, is now dropping. Neither of these things do I think of as good.

  22. brians356 says:
    February 6, 2014 at 8:20 pm
    Is the “Trend -0.00%” really that accurate?
    The number according to WFT is slope = -0.000 139 029 per year. Of course we all know it is not accurate to the nearest billionth, but the thing to note is that it is negative and not positive.
    However if you are interested in statistically significant warming for RSS, that is since November 1992: CI from -0.018 to 1.936.
    See: http://moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/temperature-trend-viewer.html?Xxdat=%5B0,1,4,48,92%5D.

  23. although applying linear regression through none-linear, stochastic data is technically/mathematically totally incorrect and an invalid technique, it does serve the purpose of showing that GSTA have neither increased nor decreased over the past 17.5yrs, which is the easiest statistical technique to comprehend for the human brain and general public enlarge. It shows AGW is not accelerating as some pundits may claim. Neither does it show warming, nor cooling. It would be even better to add the temporal atmospheric CO2 concentrations below, above or behind this plot to show the none-correlation between CO2 and GSTA.

    Applying none-linear stochastic statistics to this type of data is most appropriate, but alas the general public won’t understand it. So for now, let’s carry on. Brilliant work and let people know that warm is not the same as warmING…

  24. John F Hultquist;
    However, at my last annual doctor’s visit the nurse told me I was getting shorter (and wider, but let’s not talk about that). My working hypothesis is that Earth’s atmospheric temperature peaked a few years ago and, like my height, is now dropping. Neither of these things do I think of as good.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    The condition can be remedied by ensuring that you lie down whilst the measurements are being taken. In this manner, your most recent results will indicate that you are getting thinner and taller.

  25. I hope this works from my taet. It has become quite the pain doing youtube ffrom a mobile device lately in a post…..

    This whole thing just doesn’t smell right!

    Just sayin……

  26. I am sure the CAGW believers will say we are “cherry picking” to get this result. However, cherry picking is selecting BOTH the beginning and end point. When one of the end points is the present, that is not cherry picking. No warming in 17 years 5 months is just what it is, no warming.
    The pause continues.

  27. What happens if we take the RSS back 30 years or even back to the beginning of its measurements? I’m guessing the trend would show a minuscule rise, probably right in line with the natural variability of our climate over the last few thousand years….

  28. Looks like ( Ex) Prince Charles was right about “flat” Earthers, just in the wrong way!

    Tumbrils please.

  29. I suspect too much is being made of this.
    I’m not able to calculate this, but I would make a strong guess that the 1998 peak has a strong influence in making the trend line flat. If that year was not present (or if the temperature was average), I would expect the trend over the last 17 years to be positive.
    A simple test for this would be to identify the trend since 1999. Another way would be to lower the 1998 figure to the average for the period so that its influence is removed.

  30. [snip and it's really hard to stomach a website full of made up stuff like your citation of "rationalwiki" take it elsewhere -mod]

  31. Reblogga detta på Norah4you's Weblog and commented:
    Så visade sig det att verkliga data från satelliterna inte alls stödde CO2-hot folkets påstående om Global uppvärmning…..
    Vart har alla pengar för klimatkompensation, ‘rädda isbjörnar’ m.m. gått? Frågan måste besvaras snarast.

  32. AndyL at 10:38

    The 1998 peak resulted from physical processes and the follow-on but smaller peaks are related to the first. Get rid of the first and you get rid of them all. This would be just playing with numbers and have nothing to do with the processes.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Matt at 10:45

    You failed to mention anything about the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) report or the finding of the 17 years and 5 months without warming. Why not have a look at what they do and see if it makes any sense to you.

    http://www.remss.com/

    If I were to read a weather forecast on the web I would not be interested in what the writer thought about religion, aids, or Jello. Please try to be useful in these discussions. Thanks.

  33. So…No issue with the findings as reported, but you’ll write a page-long diatribe to cry “hypocrite” over two words at the end of a single sentence in the article speculating on the reaction (or lack thereof) to the chart? Priceless.

  34. Matt,

    Monckton is not posting anything even analogous to your rant (February 6, 2014 at 10:45 pm) in this forum. So why don’t you take your trash talk elsewhere and stuff it up your a**. This is a science related forum.

  35. Print out the graph as a postcard … .

    Great idea! I’ll make several and send them to….

    A high school senior I know…
    _________________________________________________
    Hi, Kate,

    There has been NO warming of global temperatures since…
    before you were born! Very cool, no?

    Love,
    Janice
    __________________________________________________

    And a college senior I know…
    __________________________________________________
    Hey, Zach,

    No global warming since you were 4 years old. And, yes,
    that completely blows Al Gore, et. al. out of the water.
    Bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaaaa!
    Go with Rice U. — Berkley is a has been.

    Take care,
    Janice
    ____________________________________________________

    And a 20-something entrepreneur…
    __________________________________________________
    Hi, Danni,

    NO GLOBAL WARMING SINCE you went to Disneyland for the
    first time. CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.
    Buy: Conoco, XTO, and United States Steel Corp. (that pipeline
    WILL happen) — oh, and Boeing (of course!) #(:))
    (re: that guy you brought home for Christmas — dump him
    he is just using you until that talking Barbie doll Karissa gets back;
    he talked about HER the entire time he was here!!! ugh)

    Love and a hug,
    Janice
    _______________________________________________

  36. Good post Janice…
    You others that say that the 17 years were the hottest recorded. I guess you must believe that the 30′s were cooler than 1998. I think that those temps have been “adjusted” down.
    Just sayin.

  37. Janice Moore says:
    “There has been NO warming of global temperatures since…
    before you were born! Very cool, no?”

    Interesting observation. You could also add an extra clause: Although you have constantly been bombarded throughout your life with information that global warming is a fact, there has been NO warming of global temperatures since….before you were born!

    This could be a good entry to the Beloit College freshman mindset list. “The Mindset List was created at Beloit College in 1998 by Ron Nief and Tom McBride for the class of 2002, born in 1980. Now in its 15th year, it continues to reflect the world view of entering first year students.” A few references from 1998 include:
    11.Bottle caps have not always been screw off, but have always been plastic. They have no idea what a pull top can looks like.
    12.Atari pre-dates them, as do vinyl albums.
    13.The expression “you sound like a broken record” means nothing to them.
    14.They have never owned a record player.
    15.They have likely never played Pac Man, and have never heard of “Pong.”

    For the 1998 mindset list and all others up to the most modern see:

    http://themindsetlist.com/lists/2002/

  38. jones says at February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?

    It’s the same as saying that whatever caused the warming prior to the last 17 years is now exactly balanced by something else – for 17 years.
    Which is a remarkable balancing act, unless there is some negative feedback that stops dangerous climate change from happening.

    Or…
    It’s the same as saying that whatever caused the warming prior to the last 17 years is now stopped – for 17 years.
    Which means it wasn’t CO2, as that is still being released.

    Or…
    It’s the same as saying that whatever caused the warming prior to the last 17 years wasn’t real and the measuremetns are all bogus.
    Which menas we know nothing and have to start again.

    What else can it mean?

  39. I know, Sir Christopher, that you are a self-confessed “scientific non-scientist” ,that RSS is your preferred data set and you’ve constructed a graph that points down.

    But I’m a simple bloke. I look at the “simple running 37 month average” on the 5 data sets on climate4you ( http://www.climate4you.com/ ) and what do I see?

    UAH peaked in 2010, RSS in 2003, HadCRUT4 in 2006, NCDC 2006, and GISS in 2006.

    The “superimposed plot of all five global monthly temperature estimates” comes out at 2006.

    All this while you say that for the 9 years since 1/1-2001 there has been “statistically significant and rapid cooling”, and that in “1995..all global warming stopped”

    Sorry, I don’t believe you

  40. jones says:
    February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?

    Is that the same as saying that most of the warming since 1850 occurred between 1910 to 1940?

  41. Friends:

    At February 7, 2014 at 12:39 am Village Idiot says to Lord Monckton

    Sorry, I don’t believe you

    At last, there we have it, the definitive proof that Lord Monckton is right!

    And, of course, as always Village Idiot is wrong because – as always – he provides nonsense to demonstrate why – as always – he is wrong! He says

    I look at the “simple running 37 month average” on the 5 data sets on …

    Raw egg white is fluid and cooked egg white is not.

    Richard

  42. Hia

    I’m detecting that folk feel I’m supporting the warmist agenda.. I’m not, my use of words was an attempt to convey the stupidity of the line Yeo took with Lindzen. I should have clarified my meaning.

    It IS how they will portray it…..

  43. Village Idiot says at February 7, 2014 at 12:39 am…
    Well, you are entitled to your opinion but you are also clearly wrong.

    Even the House of Commons Select Committee has had a panel to talk about the Hiatus and AR5.
    Link here.

    All six panelists acknowledge the reality: Yes, the hiatus is real.
    Are you really saying that
    1. Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Grantham Institute, Imperial College London
    2 Professor Myles Allen, University of Oxford University
    3. Dr Peter Stott, Met Office
    are sceptics?

  44. Village idiot is aptly named.

    He is wrong of course.

    The data shows that there has been no warming for 17 years. Learn to read a graph.

    It’s funny how the trolls always come out on a Monckton post, they really hate his systematic dismantling of the alarmist tripe.

    Thank you Lord Monckton for fighting evil.

  45. richardscourtney says February 7, 2014 at 1:23 am:

    “Lord Monckton is right”

    But not about the settled – unsettled settled science, right?

    “I’m going to show you the latest science, which now doesn’t leave the question unsettled anymore. This is now settled science that there is not a problem with our influence over the climate. The science is in, the truth is out and the scare is over.”

  46. It seems the science shows that climate sensitivity is very low, even below the IPCC’s lowest estimate, on the order of approx 1 degree per century.
    No credible scientist disputes the fact that GHGs cause warming all things being equal but the empirical data shows that there must be counterbalancing factors that cause negative feedbacks such as low level cloud albedo, cumulonimbic convection and radiative subsidence at the emission level. The models average out relative humidity and upper tropospheric water vapour and underestimate the sub parameter convective radiative anomalies that lead to more outgoing longwave radiation.
    Bottom line satellites (ERBE) have measured increased outgoing longwave radiation with increased surface warming.
    There is no mid tropospheric hotspot that is a critical part of the models’ theory on positive feedbacks.

    The evidence disproves a net positive feedback.

    So the critical point about whether it’s a problem and whether action needs to be taken is answered.

    No.

  47. @ Lord Monckton.

    17 years 5 months you say, and NO warming?

    You’d better tell Dana over at Guardian Towers. The fella thinks it’s all hiding in Davey Jones’ locker.

  48. Cheshirered says February 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

    You’d better tell Dana over at Guardian Towers. The fella thinks it’s all hiding in Davey Jones’ locker.

    Well, he says it’s going into the Ocean but those are just his words. There’s no reason to think he believes it.

    You give him too much credit for integrity.

  49. David says: February 7, 2014 at 2:53 am

    “climate sensitivity is very low…..approx 1 degree per century”

    Now that’s a new concept!

    “The climate sensitivity specifically due to CO2 is often expressed as the temperature change in °C associated with a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere”

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

    And I’m the one who’s lambasted for not being able to read a graph! More likely – I’m careful which graphs I trust, who has constructed and with the intention of proving what?

  50. Michael B. Combs says:
    February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    All I can say is don’t “accidentally” slip and fall overboard. Do enjoy the sights.

  51. Village Idiot:

    At February 7, 2014 at 3:47 am you say

    And I’m the one who’s lambasted for not being able to read a graph! More likely – I’m careful which graphs I trust, who has constructed and with the intention of proving what?

    No, Idiot. Your assertions are merely further demonstration of your idiocy.

    A graph is a pictorial representation of data. It cannot “prove” anything.

    A graph represents an understanding of the data which its presenter wants to present.

    And “who” constructed the graph is not relevant. The only pertinent consideration is whether the graph is a correct representation of the data or not.

    A graph cannot be trusted: it is either a correct representation of the data or not.
    You have already shown your ignorance of this in your earlier post in this thread (at February 7, 2014 at 12:39 am) where you asserted that processed data is more true than the unprocessed data. A graph of processed data is misrepresenting the data unless the real data is presented on the same graph and justification for the processing is provided (that justification is also data presented by the graph).

    Sadly, Idiot, your post yet again demonstrates that you really, really don’t understand this thing called science.

    Richard

  52. Christopher please drop the “Lord” “Viscount” and “Brenchley” rubbish. We are not living in the middle ages now. You think your titles lend you authority as an expert on climate. They do not. They make you look like a narcissistic ponce.

    Anthony please stop accommodating Chris Monckton. There is one tiny part of the world stuck in a time warp where ancestral titles still mean something. The rest of the world is a democracy and we couldn’t give a rat’s about the man’s claims to superiority and nobility. You think that by associating with the self-proclaimed upper class, you raise your own status. You do not. You make yourself look like a cousin of Neville Chamberlain.

    REPLY: Noted, but it doesn’t change the fact that the temperature anomaly is still flat. If the Pope had published this, your arguments would still apply about titles, and be just as pointless about the conclusion. – Anthony

  53. Michael B. Combs says: @ February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    GO FOR IT!
    Do not forget though that these people are emotional. It is useful to hit them in the emotions. Here are some we@pons:

    USA UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ratified 21/03/94
    The ‘Official Definition’ of “Climate change” from UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (The USA ratified 21/03/94 )

    “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
    unfccc(DOT)int/essential_background/convention/background/items/2536.php

    That goes along with the IPCC mandate that states:

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation.

    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/

    But the real fox in the hen house is this quote that the IPCC actually included in the Science Report in TAR:

    “in climate research and modeling we should recognise that we are dealing with a complex non linear chaotic signature and therefore that long-term prediction of future climatic states is not possible”

    IPCC 2001 section 4.2.2.2 page 774

    In other words the IPCC with all their fancy computers and models can’t predict their way out of a paper bag. (Hence the use of the word projection)

    The Occupy Wall Street crowd as well as the Tea party types both h@te the Banksters so this is a good we@pon:
    Robert Watson worked for the World Bank while IPCC chair, so whats in it for the banks?

    World Bank Carbon Finance Report for 2007
    The carbon economy is the fastest growing industry globally with US$84 billion of carbon trading conducted in 2007, doubling to $116 billion in 2008, and expected to reach over $200 billion by 2012 and over $2,000 billion by 2020

    That is a direct funnel from the poor to the rich.

    They also ‘H@te’ the Oil Companies:
    Ged Davis, Shell Oil VP who was a IPCC lead author and wrote the ‘Sustainability’ scenario. See my comments:

    wattsupwiththat(DOT)com/2014/01/30/response-to-the-sotu-address-efforts-to-cap-co2-emissions-are-adverse-to-human-health-and-welfare/#comment-1555951

    wattsupwiththat(DOT)com/2013/11/10/cei-wins-foia-tiff-with-nasa-via-judicial-order/#comment-1471882

    (I am try not to get dumped into moderation as much)

  54. AndyL says:

    February 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I suspect too much is being made of this.
    I’m not able to calculate this, but I would make a strong guess that the 1998 peak has a strong influence in making the trend line flat. If that year was not present (or if the temperature was average), I would expect the trend over the last 17 years to be positive.
    A simple test for this would be to identify the trend since 1999. Another way would be to lower the 1998 figure to the average for the period so that its influence is removed.

    I can confirm your suspicion. The trend is positive when calculated from all months in 1999, except December. You also get a positive trend if you look back only as far as 2006 and 2007, so the start date is important when applying a straight-line fit to determine a trend.

    Some more notes on the RSS dataset:

    Trend (in degC/decade) since it started in January 1979 = 0.126
    Trend since the beginning of the Millenium (Jan 2001) = -0.058
    Warmest 12-month anomaly, January to December 1998 = 0.55 (most recent 0.204)
    Warmest 5-year anomaly April 2001 to March 2006 = 0.288 (most recent 0.25)
    Warmest 10-year anomaly October 1998 to Sept 2007 = 0.267 (most recent 0.231)

    But as another commenter has pointed out, the UAH data set shows more or less continued slight warming, unless one cherry-picks a starting date between 2008 and 2010. So which one is right? Or are they both wrong? Can anyone give a logical explanation (other than “we’d like it to be this one”).

  55. What level is the temperature at for the pause and does the actual averaged pause temperature able to vary?
    My understanding is that if we had a fall in temperatures for the next year or two that the pause would the actually start at an earlier date albeit at a lower coverage temperature.
    In other words the 17 year pause now could become a 19 year pause in 1 year if the temperature dropped enough in 1 year,
    Conversely rising temperatures would just mean a shorter pause at a higher average temp.

  56. richardscourtney says:
    February 7, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Well, quite!

    And the Idiot, in the same post you referenced, quoted wikipedia!!! Apart from the probability that the article he quotes has been Connolley-ised to death, my son and daughter, who both graduated in the last 10 years, were told in no uncertain terms that any referencing of wikipedia in any shape or form would lead to a loss of marks (quite apart from a loss of credibility).

  57. Hello, a penalty marker has been thrown. I’m guessing it’s for mentioning C0nn0lley, but I sppose it could be for w1k1ped1a or 1diot. I await the decision of the officials.

  58. Mr. Dohbro says linear regression is not an appropriate method of determining the trend on stochastic data. However, it was developed precisely for that purpose, and it is one of many methods that might be used. Mr. Dohbro does not suggest what method he would prefer, besides saying that it should be non-linear. One might, for instance, use a higher-order fit, or one might use an AR(n) auto-regressive model, though the former would reveal little over less than half a century and the latter is unnecessary in global temperature records because for obvious reasons they exhibit no seasonality.

    However, I have used linear regression because that is what the IPCC uses and that is what Professor Jones uses. As anyone versed in Socratic elenchus will appreciate, using the methods of one’s opponents in debate leaves them less wriggle-room when – as here – results based on their own methods are at odds with their conclusions.

    Andy L says he suspects that the Great el Niño of 1998, more strongly represented in the RSS dataset than in the other four, may be partly responsible for levelling what might otherwise be a slight uptrend. He asks what the RSS trend is from 1999, after the Great el Niño event of 1998 had ended. The answer is that there is an insignificant uptrend of 1/25 K since 1999.

    The self-proclaimed “Village Idiot”, in a characteristically spiteful, unconstructive and ill-informed comment, raises – as is its wont – a scatter-gun series of half-baked objections. It says I call myself a scientific non-scientist. Well, at least I attempt to examine the actual data rather than adopting some arbitrary standpoint that is as aprioristic as it is indefensible.
    “Village Idiot” says I “prefer” the RSS dataset. No, as it well knows, I regularly post here using all five datasets, three terrestrial and two satellite. However, it is possible that over the past couple of decades RSS may be the most accurate of the datasets because it alone correctly represents the relative magnitudes of the Great el Niño, which was severe enough to cause widespread coral bleaching, and of the subsequent el Niños, which were not. I suspect, but have not yet verified, that the other datasets apply self-correcting dampers to their data to reduce the magnitude of sudden anomalies such as that of 1998.

    It (the “Idiot”, that is) goes on to say that I have “constructed a graph that points down”. I have not “constructed” anything. I have merely taken the data off the satellites and plotted them to high precision on a graph. I have then determined the least-squares linear-regression trend, using two distinct algorithms to ensure that identical answers are given by both, and have plotted the trend-line in bright blue. As should be obvious, the trend-line does not “point down” much: it is as near horizontal as makes no difference. If the “Idiot” were capable of determining a linear-regression trend, it would no doubt be able to process the data for itself to verify that the trend-line on the graph was accurately determined. Before finalizing and using the 350 lines of code that generate these very clear temperature graphs, I had the linear-regression routine verified by a professor of epidemiological statistics to ensure that it was sound.

    Next, the “Idiot” says he has looked at the 37-month running average on the five global-temperature datasets and has observed that they “peaked” – whatever that may mean – in 2006. Well, my algorithm is capable of plotting the average of any combination of the five datasets, and it shows that taking the average of all five datasets there has been no global warming for 13 years. The “Idiot”, when examining a trend to the present, ought not to have relied upon a 37-month mean, for by definition that will show a plot of what has occurred in the past three years.

    Next, the “Idiot” cites a speech made by me in October 2009, in which I said that for the nine years since 1 January 2001 there has been “statistically significant and rapid cooling”. Sure enough, in the 8 years 9 months from 1 January 2001 to 30 September 2009 (my speech was on 14 October) the RSS dataset shows a statistically-significant cooling of 0.16 K, equivalent to 1.87 K/century of cooling.

    The “Idiot” also says I said in that same speech that all global warming had stopped since 1995. And so it had – all but a statistically-insignificant 0.4 K warming over the period from January 1995 to September 2009.

    The only statement made by the “Idiot” is that it does not believe me. But, as it will learn when it grows up, science is not a belief system. The “Idiot” need do no more than attend Statistics 101, as I did, and then obtain the RSS data from the link plainly shown on the graph, and then plot the data and determine and position the least-squares linear-regression trend line. When it has taken these necessary steps, it will be able to determine for itself whether or not the graph as displayed in the head posting is correct and fair, and it will find that it is.

    The “Idiot” is by no means the first troll to make the imprudent and impudent assumption that because I have not received a certificate to the effect that I have received socialist “training” in science I do not know any. I am one of the few mathematicians in the world who has made substantial sums by using math in innovative ways. The “Idiot” – unless it is paid very well by those who spend so much time and money trying to discredit anyone who does not unquestioningly accept every daft tenet of the New Religion – would be better off going to play in the Little Leagues in future. It is not man enough, and not knowledgeable enough, to take an effective or constructive part this debate. Indeed, it does not even have the courage to reveal its own identity, preferring to snivel furtively behind an admittedly appropriate pseudonym.

  59. I think this post could have an appreciable effect.The term “smiting them hip and thigh” comes to mind.

  60. @Village Idiot. Why would you filter monthly temperature data over 3 years + 1 month? The 1998 El Nino is smoothed out over a 6 year period in your graph. Smoothing data so much gives you the impression there is little variability when year over year the “global temperature” can vary by over 0.5 deg C (almost a century of implied CO2 warming in one year). It’s the equivalent of cooking a turkey for 21 hours.

  61. Richard Barraclough:

    re your post at February 7, 2014 at 4:56 am.

    A linear ‘trend’ can be computed from any data time series. At issue here is whether the trend in global atmospheric temperature anomaly (GASTA) differs from zero (i.e. no discernible global warming or cooling) and – if so – for how long before the present.

    Climastrology uses linear trends and 95% confidence. There are good reasons to dispute each of these conventions, but they are the conventions used by climastrology so they are the appropriate conventions in this case.

    The period to be determined of no discernible global warming or cooling is up to the present. Therefore, the end point is now and the data is assessed back in time until a linear trend over the period differs from zero at 95% confidence.

    Each of the several time series of GASTA indicates no trend which differs from zero (i.e. no global warming or cooling) for at least 17 years until now; RSS indicates 24.5 years.

    And it is not reasonable to remove data from the data set(s). 1998 had a high value and there is no possibility of justifying its removal from the data set whatever the cause of it being a high value. This is because the assessment is of how long there has been no discernible warming or cooling, and any distortion of the analysed data provides a distortion of the result of the analysis.

    Importantly, 17 years takes us back to 1997 and there was statistically significant warming over the previous 17 years. Therefore, discernible global warming stopped at least 17 years ago.

    Richard

  62. Taphonomic says: @ February 7, 2014 at 12:23 am

    This could be a good entry to the Beloit College freshman mindset list. … A few references from 1998 include…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And most moderns don’t know what:

    A hair across his @rse means (Get a tail hair caught under a carriage horse’s crupper and you sure will find out in a hurry)

    Grab the reins (My husband hates when I do that unless he has the 4-in-hand headed for the ditch)

    Look a gift horse in the mouth (You can tell a horse’s age by his teeth)

    Having your @$$ in gear IMAGE

    Doing it @$$ backwards IMAGE (A friend of hubby’s about 20 years ago)

  63. Is there a high resolution version of the graph available. I am considering printing it out and posting such charts at the various coffee shops I visit, then sitting back and observing while I enjoy my coffee :-)
    I would like the text of the source to not be fuzzy, I don’t want anybody to think something is trying to be obscured.

  64. If Gary Mount would like to let me have his email address, I shall be very happy to send him a high-resolution version of the graph showing no global warming for 17 years 5 months. The narrow width of the standard WordPress columns at WUWT does not allow graphs such as this to be displayed as well as one might like.

  65. Monckton of Brenchley says: “If Gary Mount would like to let me have his email address…”

    Christopher, you have my email address. Send me a copy, please. I’ll upload load it to WordPress and leave a link on this thread. That way anyone can have a copy.

    Regards

    Bob

  66. 17 years and 5 months is an odd interval. What does the data show about warming over 20 years, 15 or 30?

  67. M Courtney says:
    February 7, 2014 at 3:31 am
    Cheshirered says February 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

    You give him too much credit for integrity.

    Nah, trust me, I don’t. He won’t take ANY posts, comments or questions from me at all on CiF. I’m suppressed, silenced, censored, barred. That’s the liberals version of freedom of speech.

  68. Sorry, although I’d like, Ican’t print the picture as is. It needs to be a .PDF-file to be printable for me. Any solutions?

  69. The PDO flattened it and the PDO+AMO combo will drive it down. Add in solar cycle and depressed cycle 25 for good measure.

  70. Mike Mellor says:
    February 7, 2014 at 4:18 am

    … You make yourself look like a cousin of Neville Chamberlain.

    Is that giant chip on your shoulder weighing you down?

  71. Richard S Courtney

    Hi there – perhaps I wasn’t quite clear in my post. I didn’t remove any months from the dataset – I merely calculated the trend starting in a variety of different months and finishing at the present.

    AndyL had speculated on what the trend might look like if it started after the el Nino peak of 1998, and I did the calculation for him, starting with each month in 1999. The trend from each of these until now was positive, except for using December 1999 as a starting month, which again gives us a negative trend.

    As you say, there’s not much significance in such small trends either up or down. You sometimes have to go to 3 or 4 decimals to distinguish it from zero, so it’s more a mathematical exercise than a revelation of dramatic changes in the climate.

  72. Kathy says:

    February 7, 2014 at 6:05 am

    17 years and 5 months is an odd interval. What does the data show about warming over 20 years, 15 or 30?

    Hi Kathy,

    You can calculate the linear trend between any 2 points, and more specifically from any given starting point up until the present. If you do this exercise from January 1979 until the present, you get a positive trend of 0.126 degC/decade. If you start your analysis in later and later months, the calculated trend fluctuates up and down a bit, reaching a high 0.149 if you start in December 1983. Thereafter it meanders generally downwards, and the first starting month for which it goes negative is September 1996, which is 17 years and 4 months before the last month of January 2014.

    Whether you should count both the start and end months in your time interval is the subject of another discussion. Should the trend be regarded as being from 1st September 1996 until 31st January 2014, then that is (almost) 209 months. If you only regard the trend as being between the midpoints of the months then it is 208 months.

    Regards

    Richard

  73. Mr Mockton, I did mention an alternative: use none-linear stochastic statistics; e.g. like the MACD analyses I presented last year here on WUWT. It will provide you the peaks and bottoms of the data and then between those peaks and bottoms you can -more easily- apply linear regression analyses. Since the MACD -and other none-linear types of analyses- show the data is also cyclical, linear regression through the entire data set is even less appropriate (one can’t draw linear regression lines through for example sinus waves….).

    You also missed my point that, unfortunately, more complex -albeit correct- statistical analyses will most likely not be well-understood by the general public enlarge (and probably not even by many scientists), so the linear regression will have to do (for now) to tell the story.

    So there’s a difference between what’s statistically more appropriate and what’s more appropriate to tell the story.

  74. Ted Clayton,

    You alone are worth the price of admission. I needed a good laugh to usher in the weekend. Thank you! (And keep ‘em coming.)

  75. Mr. Barraclough asks whether one should regard The Pause as being 17 years 5 months or only 17 years 4 months. The linear trend is compiled using 17 years 5 months of data, so that is the appropriate period.

    Mr. Dohbro says he prefers non-linear trend analysis, but I have long learned not to get into debates about precisely what method of trend analysis is the most appropriate. Every statistician has his own pet theory. Last year I was told I should be using an AR(1) autoregressive model to eradicate trend distortions caused by seasonality in the data for periods that are not exact multiples of 12 months, until I pointed out that there is no seasonality in global data.

    For the simple question whether the data are on a rising or a falling trend, linear regression is just fine, which is why it is used near-universally in climate science.

    And of course one can determine a linear-regression trend on a sine-wave. Over any number of complete cycles, the trend is zero. Otherwise there will be some departure from zero.

  76. I have to assume Mike Mellor is a British subject. Little else could explain his emotional outburst of class envy and proletarian resentment. His rant says much about Mellor and nothing about Monckton.

    “Awww, ’tis the refuge we take when the unreality of the world weighs too heavy on our tiny heads.”

  77. About the chart
    Horrors! I just realized you’ve done this in the colors of the left coast team that just won the american-type football big game. Thanks, though. It downloaded fine and now resides on my hard drive.

    For Kathy
    The 17 year thingy: Some years ago a member of the “climate Team” expressed the view that 17 years would be indicative of a problem in the Team’s approach to modeling Earth’s atmosphere and taking its temperature.** Apparently, graduate students at several universities poured over hundreds of model runs and could find a “pause” of only about 15 years so the next logical jump was that 17 would not happen in the real world. [I can make leaps of imagination too – I don't know what really was done in those ivory towers!]
    As the 17 year pause got near, the necessary length to be a problem was reset (moving the goal posts) to 30 years or something. No one really cares about the latest statement from “the Team” because “The 17-year Pause” was stated first and boldly. It is the icon of moment and is thus the reason for titles, such as for this post, to incorporate it.
    ____________
    **This used to be done under the arm (Stevenson screen) but the Team now thinks the appropriate place to check Earth’s temperature is in some deep hole where the Sun doesn’t shine.

  78. To AndyL:

    The answer to your question was provided by Richard Barraclough.
    By using the site http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1999.0/plot/rss/from:1999.0/trend
    and starting the plot from the beginning of 1999, you do get a positive trend
    with slope = 0.00275884 per year. As Lord Monckton points out, this is not
    different from zero in a statistical sense.

    An even more telling point, though, is that this slope is approximately
    one full order of magnitude
    smaller than the 0.2 degrees C. per
    decade which the IPCC quotes as the ensemble average of all the GCM
    models.

    The entire proposed “AGW theory” is giving all the signs of a theory in
    significant trouble: busted predictions, auxiliary hypotheses needed to
    explain failures (Trenberth’s “missing heat is in the deep oceans” comes
    to mind), increasingly strident outcry from adherents to the theory, claims
    of being able to measure a small effect to outrageous precision, and the like.

  79. The Great Lakes are also almost iced over. Only Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan have appreciable open water (although even this water it is 1/10 to 3/10 ice cover). Normally Lake Superior is ~40% iced over. Nothing like it in a couple of decades.

  80. “Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?”

    Not if you count the archaeological record of Viking /farms/ under Greenland’s glaciers.

  81. “Jones says: @ February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Is that the same as saying the warmest 17 years on record have occurred in the last 17 years?”

    Yes. In other words, the global temps have it a plateau, and there’s enough noise in the temp data to allow NOAA to declare that such and such a month was the warmest month in 17 years, or some such thing.

  82. @Mike Melloir
    “Christopher please drop the “Lord” “Viscount” and “Brenchley” rubbish. We are not living in the middle ages now. You think your titles lend you authority as an expert on climate. They do not. They make you look like a narcissistic ponce.”

    You should remember that the next time you address someone with a Phd. And I never heard of an expert of anything being called a Lord. Finally, why don’t you explain your use of the word ponce?

  83. Thank you, J. P. Peterson and Taphonomic. FUN list, Tapho! Thanks for sharing. And, yes, your unabridged version of my postcard was much better. Remember, I was writing to a teen-aged girl who has a MILLION things to do… . (smile)

    @ Gail — good point re: Taphonomic’s linked list — I was thinking along those lines, that many of those metaphors ARE enduring and used, even though their sources are obsolete. Carrying coals to Newcastle and Been through the wringer and Threw down the gauntlet.

    Thus, there is hope that that most useful saying: like a broken record will survive.
    #(:)) (seriously, I think it will — I asked a typical teenager about 2 years ago and he not only knew what that one meant, he used it occasionally … so, there’s hope for that one the next 80 years or so!)

    @Gail and Richard C. (and others) — WAY TO GO with the excellent refutations of the troll’s idiotic blatherings. Nice research, as usual, Gail (I think there ought to be a Gail (and Jimbo) Exception to those moderation rules).

    *!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!

    Re: “… the colors of the left coast team that just won the American-type football big game.”

    AHEM!
    John Hultquist! I thought you were from Washington State?!! I’m not even a big football fan and I am SO HAPPY THAT THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS WON THE SUPERBOWL (I was born and raised about 1 hour from Seattle) that I could SCREAM!!! And I DID!!!!!!! Yeah, that Socialist Seattle is their town is, indeed, sickening, but, come on, man… that the Seahawks won the SUPERBOWL 43 to 8 is MAJORLY COOL! How can you, such a generous, kind, man (yes, your comments on WUWT have revealed that) be so calloused??? They are your “home team!”

    To each his or her own. Hope all is well and you and Nancy are keeping warm over there.

  84. I am sure the CAGW believers will say we are “cherry picking” to get this result. However, cherry picking is selecting BOTH the beginning and end point. When one of the end points is the present, that is not cherry picking. No warming in 17 years 5 months is just what it is, no warming.
    The pause continues.

    I think his point is that if one fits all intervals from the present backwards, the longest interval with either no warming or cooling (relative to the present) is 17.5 years. There are obviously many points one could terminate with active cooling — anytime in the 1997/1998 ENSO pulse, for example. There are also many points where one could terminate with active warming — right after this pulse in the rebound.

    If you go back before this, there is warming visible all the way back to the start of the RSS record, but at the modest pace IIRC of 1C/century give or take a hair. We cannot go back beyond this with apples to apples comparison, but if one goes back to 1850 in e.g. HADCRUT4, the overall warming across the entire HADCRUT4 record is a modest 0.8C divided by 164 = 0.5C/century:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1800/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

    Note well that the straight line is not a terrible fit to this — an even better (but less significant) fit if one accounts for the (large) probable error in the graph. Note also the clearly visible double oscillation around the linear trend, with period of roughly 60 years. Note the nearly identical warming that occurred in the first and second half of the 20th century, the first half with no help from CO_2 the second half (according to the warmist dogma) with no help from nature.

    The issue is not “the planet has not been visibly warming since the end of the Dalton Minimum as an extension of the Little Ice Age”. That’s almost certainly true on the basis of both thermometric data, human historical report, and various proxy data, nobody serious contests that although as I like to point out how MUCH warming has occurred is highly uncertain because all global thermal estimates have a substantially increasing error bar (lack of precision) as one goes back in time, never displayed on any graph (wood4trees CAN’T display it — the data isn’t there AFAICT). The real question is: “Can all or any specific part of the warming at any point on this graph be reliably and quantitatively attributed to CO_2 increases in the atmosphere”.

    The answer is a very simple “no”. This, too, really isn’t a matter of discussion. The sole basis for attributing any portion of the warming to CO_2 are GCMs fit to the time that CO_2 was increasing with the prior assumption that it was the primary cause of the warming observed in the latter half of the 20th century, ignoring the fact that the warming there precisely matched that in the first half without the help of CO_2 at all. Aside from the fact that this makes the model predictions self-fullfilling prophecy across the training interval, one cannot validate any predictive model with the training data, and I have yet to see any evidence that a GCM could predict even the 164 year span of HADCRUT4 based on the parameters that fit 1970-2000 or thereabouts. And as we all know, most of the GCMs in CMIP5 (if I have the acronym letters right, sigh) are in bad disagreement with the entire interval of temperatures after their initialization, producing as much as 0.6C entirely spurious warming by the present compared to the flat temperatures observed over the entire interval.

    So “the pause” isn’t about any sort of disproof of AGW, GW, CAGW, CC, ACC, CACC. It is all about the models. Our sole basis for believing any or all of the claims for continuing anthropogenic warming and possible consequent catastrophe is the predictions of the GCMs. The GCMs are not validated theories with known predictive skill, they are themselves complex highly complex hypotheses of no use whatsoever until they have been validated. Many of them are actively failing their validation — indeed, one would be tempted to say that a fair number of them (all the ones that result in absurdly high climate sensitivity) have failed their validation.

    I honestly don’t think that most of the climate scientists out there do not know and understand this. They just don’t know exactly what to do about it, besides cross their fingers and pray for a massive super-ENSO that pops global temperatures back up to somewhere NEAR their extrapolations instead of steadily evolving flat to slightly falling out of the entire range predicted by all of them. Odd as it is for any human to hope that we are facing a possible disaster, because the alternative is for them to (very minimally) “lose face”. But that’s what the world has come to. One can hear actual satisfaction oozing from the voices of those that interpret every extreme event as proof that we are en route to catastrophe.

    Everybody knows that if you sin against God (oops, I mean “nature”) you will be punished, afflicted with diseases, poverty, and misery (oops, I mean drought, floods from rising seas, superstorms, scorching heat) and cast into an eternity (oops, thousands of years) of hell in Hell (oops, on Earth in the form of a “changed” climate). Preachers of both sects take great pleasure in delivering sermons transforming every bad thing that ever happens into proof that God/Nature is watching you and it all is your Just Desserts. Or was that Just Deserts. I get confused.

    Religion masquerading as science as a very bad thing. Science masquerading as a religion might actual be worse, though.

    rgb

    rgb

  85. Monkton-

    I disagree with one thing you assert:

    “The “Idiot” need do no more than attend Statistics 101, as I did, and then obtain the RSS data from the link plainly shown on the graph, and then plot the data and determine and position the least-squares linear-regression trend line”

    Taking a Statistics 101 course does not guarantee subsequent proficiency. There’s a good chance that Mr. Idiot would still get the statistics horribly wrong.

  86. I’m afraid I don’t quite understand this:

    Sure enough, in the 8 years 9 months from 1 January 2001 to 30 September 2009 (my speech was on 14 October) the RSS dataset shows a statistically-significant cooling of 0.16 K, equivalent to 1.87 K/century of cooling.

    The “Idiot” also says I said in that same speech that all global warming had stopped since 1995. And so it had – all but a statistically-insignificant 0.4 K warming over the period from January 1995 to September 2009.

    Why is 0.16K/45 months (0.0035/month or 0.43/decade) statistically significant but 0.4K/117 months (0.0034/month or 0.41/decade) statistically insignificant?

  87. no temperature trend is highly unusual. Obviously an example of weather weirding and climate disruption. We are destroying nature’s cycles. Just sayin’.

  88. The last time there was no temperature trend comparable to this length was during the previous negative PDO phase. At the time though global temperatures were showing a lot more cooling than the same data does nowadays with land surface temperatures.

    The period is almost approaching the same length of time that all the global warming scare was based on.

  89. richardscourtney says:February 7, 2014 at 4:05 am:

    “unprocessed data”

    That’s the RSS data set, right?

    @ Sir Christopher:

    Thank you for using your valuable time in answering my few obvious, logical observations. Satisfying to know that my comments touched a nerve, and I hope others have noted how easy it is to prod at your house of cards.

    “unless it is paid very well by those who spend so much time and money trying to discredit anyone who does not unquestioningly accept every daft tenet of the New Religion – would be better off going to play in the Little Leagues in future”

    No, I’m just a part-time warehouse worker, but a clever smear nevertheless. I hope to be hanging around because someone will be needed to announce to the Village that “The Lord is wearing no clothes” when global temperatures again begin to ratchet upwards.

    Just a comment about your general tone. Remember your oath, which was in part:

    “… to conduct myself as a person of honour”

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

  90. Ok, if I look briefly at the picture of the graph above I see: “No Global Warming For 17 Years 5 Month”. But if I look closer I see: “RSS global mean temperature change [...]” and the blue line showing: 0.24 C. To me that means that there is an average temperature increase but no acceleration of the trend. Doesn’t that mean that the statement ” No Global Warming For 17 Years 5 Month” is incorrect???

  91. I have a simple question. I think. Doesn’t this 17 year, 5 months hiatus in warming (assuming that satellite temperature data is the best we can get) falsify the greenhouse gas theory with respect to CO2? Warming has “paused ” and atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to rise un abated. There appears to be no cause and effect. Isn’t this true?

  92. “The “Idiot” need do no more than attend Statistics 101, as I did, and then obtain the RSS data from the link plainly shown on the graph, and then plot the data and determine and position the least-squares linear-regression trend line”

    Or use wood4trees and do the same thing with no knowledge of statistics whatsoever, with five mouse clicks, free, online:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/trend

    It takes a bit longer if you want to find the longest interval for which the curve is flat, and W4T doesn’t do a good job of telling you what the “trend” it fits is or what its e.g. chisq might be estimated to be or what Rsq is or…

    But these days lots of tools will do it for you — R, most notably — for free and without needing a lot of stats mojo.

    rgb

  93. Mike Mellor @ February 7, 2014 at 4:18 am;

    Titles and honorifics are not anachronisms, or rare; neither are they in some/any way inappropriate, or useless.

    We continue to instill their use in children, at public school, where Teachers are normally addressed & referenced with various combinations of titles and/or honorifics. The head teacher running the local schoolhouse, is always “The Principle” (etc).

    Police Officers, medical Doctors and Nurses, Judges, Elected Officials and lots of others, are “typically” addressed/referenced, using special terms.

    In perfect truth, walking up & down the aisles of my local supermarkets, one hears staff & customers in all combinations speaking & referring to each other using “Sir”, “Ma’am”, and others – not “universally” and always, no – but rather routinely & commonly – yes.

    Not only do we still use Titles for ‘higher-ups’ … our organic culture at the grass roots keeps honorific forms of address entirely & pragmatically relevant, among & between the ordinary citizens.

    Whatever could you have been thinking …, Sir?

  94. I have a simple question. I think. Doesn’t this 17 year, 5 months hiatus in warming (assuming that satellite temperature data is the best we can get) falsify the greenhouse gas theory with respect to CO2? Warming has “paused ” and atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to rise un abated. There appears to be no cause and effect. Isn’t this true?

    I doubt that this is fairly true. First of all, one is never going to falsify the GHG theory because it is correct, and everybody who understands basic physics knows it. Furthermore, there is plenty of direct evidence of it in operation here and elsewhere we can observe including laboratory scale experiments. It really is beyond reasonable doubt. What is dubious are the claims of catastrophic warming due to additional CO_2, since the greenhouse effect due to CO_2 is long since saturated and increases in greenhouse trapping with CO_2 partial pressure are at the very best extremely weak, and at worst are largely cancelled or obscured by much larger natural effects or internal feedbacks.

    What one can reasonably say is that the last 17 years are not strong evidence in favor of the hypothesis of catastrophic warming. What one can also very reasonably do is falsify specific general circulation models as being very probably wrong. One cannot falsify “GCM”s as a category, as there may well be GCMs that are good predictors of the future climate, but at this point I personally think that the hottest running GCMs with egregious climate sensitivity are just plain wrong, and a whole lot more of them are in a position of serious doubt. In the real world, falsification isn’t a matter of reaching some threshold p-value, but a gradual process where people come to doubt a result long before the p-value passes (say) 0.05 and where even a model with a p-value of 0.01 (badly failed) has a 1/100 chance of coming back from the dead and being right after all. That’s why I say “not strong evidence for” — which isn’t exactly the same thing as “direct evidence against”. Whether or not they are or are not “false”, if the damn things aren’t working there is little reason to take them trillion-dollar investment for the salvation of humanity seriously.

    rgb

  95. Janice M at 11:49

    It has been cold in central Washington where we have lived for as long as we have lived anywhere but I’m from closer to Pittsburgh or Cleveland and Nancy is from Atlanta, and we also lived in Cincinnati. Anyway, it appears folks are having a bit of fun on this thread. Merle Haggard has a hit regarding the way I feel about cities, look it up: “Big City”

  96. Impressive. But think that every year they can say that we now have one more year that was warmer than some average before that. Statistics is amazing.
    It takes a long time before that sentence gets meaningless.

  97. rgbatduke says: February 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm
    “It takes a bit longer if you want to find the longest interval for which the curve is flat, and W4T doesn’t do a good job of telling you what the “trend” it fits is or what its e.g. chisq might be estimated to be or what Rsq is or…”

    You can see that easily here. The regions of near zero trend are marked in brown. You can click for details. It gives CI’s (85%) and t-statistics.

  98. Ah, Mr. Hultquist, (smile), so you are very likely a STEELERS fan. No wonder you could not care less about the Seahawks. How many “Terrible Towels” do you own? Heh.
    #(:))

  99. “””””…..Gail Combs says:

    February 7, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Kathy says: @ February 7, 2014 at 6:05 am

    17 years and 5 months is an odd interval.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Kathy, go back and read Richard Courtney’s explanation of why the analysis starts in the present and goes back in time until the data says there is warming.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/06/satellites-show-no-global-warming-for-17-years-5-months/#comment-1561052…..”””””

    Trust a farmer to be thinking straight.

    Viscount Monckton, introduced us to this extended period of essentially zero slope, some time before it was even 17 years, as others had suggested 17 years as a minimum interval to be climatically significant.

    Since then, Christopher has updated his extraction monthly starting as Gail says from the point in time where growth last showed up statistically, and has continued to do so.

    I think that is a lot of work to go to, although I’m sure he has it automated, so he only needs to update the data set, as the numbers come in; and presumably at some future month, he will be able to say that a definite drop or a definite increase has appeared on the scene.

    Besides those numbers like 17 years, and five months, are pure artifacts of our archaic time system.

    Perhaps if Lord Christopher, would switch over to “star dates”, instead of earth years and months; then the texting nerds, might understand the numbers don’t really count that much it is the total elapsed time that matters.

  100. Can we see your workings for the graph? A link to the data?

    No, I didn’t think so. #dishonest

    REPLY: You didn’t give a chance for a response before pronouncing “Guilty as charged”. Sure, you can plot it yourself from the data available here: http://www.remss.com/measurements/upper-air-temperature#RSS%20Sounding%20Products

    Or if that’s too technical for you, here is a graph with that same data you can interactively do yourself.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2000/plot/rss/from:2000/trend

    An apology is in order for your next comment – Anthony

  101. per Mike Mellor.

    “””””…..Anthony please stop accommodating Chris Monckton. There is one tiny part of the world stuck in a time warp where ancestral titles still mean something. The rest of the world is a democracy and we couldn’t give a rat’s about the man’s claims to superiority and nobility. …..”””””

    Well Mike, I don’t know what planet YOU live on, but on the one I live on, democracies are rather rare.

    For example, I live in a Country, a quite large one, that is a Republic; NOT a Democracy. And each of its several States, is Guaranteed by its Constitution, that they shall have a Republican form of government. Now I suppose they could themselves choose to amend their own State Constitutions, to convert to a Democracy; which is really a polite word for Anarchy.

    But only a minority of the worlds people live in a democracy, or even enjoy ANY kind of self rule at all.
    Dictatorships and oligarchys are far more common.

    You sound like you live in a place, where nothing at all means anything to anybody. Why do you even have a name ? Surely a simple number perhaps in the range of 1 up to seven billion, should suffice to distinguish YOU from all the milling crowds on this earth.

    For that matter; throw in the animals as well, and enumerate them too.

    Or do you somehow feel that YOU deserve to be elevated above mere animals, as some kind of special case, of evolutionary superiority.

    Certainly, intelligence has so far not proven to have any better survival characteristics, than simply being big and mean, and ugly. That suited the dinosaurs for about 140 million years or so, while intelligence maybe has lasted for 100,000 years, and doesn’t look like it will last much longer.

    If your only criticism of Viscount Monckton’s statistical analysis of the RSS data set, is that he happened by accident, to inherit a Hereditary title; usually reserved for persons who have demonstrated high achievement, and service, then you perhaps would find it more comfortable for you somewhere else.

    It is said that the Emperor Napoleon, crowned himself; couldn’t wait for the Pope I guess. I think maybe the same thing has happened in America, by the sound of things.

    Christopher Monckton at least, was not a party to his becoming a Hereditary Viscount; it fell upon him, so to speak.

    Perhaps you might read some history. Even on Wikipedia, it is possible to learn some interesting history.

    Your comment says more about you, than it does about Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.

  102. Markus says:
    February 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Doesn’t that mean that the statement ” No Global Warming For 17 Years 5 Month” is incorrect???

    No, it does not. As an analogy, suppose you went on a long holiday and set your thermostat at 35 F. Then when you came back, you set it at 72 F. Now let us pretend you never went on a holiday for the next month and the temperature of your house stayed at 72 F for the entire month once it reached that point. It did not warm any further once it reached 72 F, so while it was warmer than 35 F, there was no further warming.

  103. Thank you Christopher Monckton of Brenchley and Bob Tisdale for the graphics link. I have downloaded it and it looks great. I went to bed after posting my request and have just saw the reply just now. My coffee shop is full of people today and I have resorted to sitting outside where we are having record cold temperatures, and my fingers are now begin n ning to fre

  104. Thank you, Christopher Monckton, for this great thread. Yours always elicit much helpful discussion (and much heat without light, too, but, at least that may warm Mr. Mount’s fingers).
    ***********************************************************************

    In the midst of all this excellent discussion of just how exactly, precisely, the stop in warming should be quantified… LET US RECALL THIS BASIC FACT, dear friends:

    The burden of proof remains on the AGW gang to prove their unsupported speculation
    and,
    so far, they have not proven that human CO2 can to ANYTHING to alter the climate zones of the earth.

    ***********************************************************
    Further, the powerful message of: CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED has completely drowned out their feeble warblings (which they style a “theory”) about human CO2.

    AGW is dead.

    Moreover, it was never alive.

  105. As mentioned before the lack of warming itself does not falsified the greenhouse effect, but it does appear to falsify the current IPCC approved version of AGW. Two papers are relevant:

    Knight et al … “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more”

    Fyfe et al … “On this basis, the rarity of the 1993–2012 trend difference [models vs. data] under assumption (1) is obvious [zero chance models are correct]. Under assumption (2), this implies that such an inconsistency is only expected to occur by chance once in 500 years”

    This does not mean the alarmists cannot construct a new and improved (?) version of AGW, but the old version has clearly been falsified at the 95% confidence level. In any real science that would be …. The End.

    ——

    For those wondering about the impact of the 1998 El Niño, Werner Brozek provided a very nice graph in the past.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996.58/to/plot/rss/from:1996.568/to/trend/plot/rss/from:2000/trend

    Note the trend starting before and after the noisy ENSO period is flat. I like to avoid starting any graph in 1998, 1999 or 2000 as they could all be viewed as cherry picking.

  106. @Michael Combs -
    On your trip to the Antarctic, just be careful (1) you don’t get stuck AGAIN like those imbeciles did on the Turney cruise, (2) that the zealots don’t lynch you, and (3) to check out the ship’s crew and officers before you go, to get at least get some idea as to whether they will take the kinds of stupid, unconscionable risks the crew of the Turney misadventure did. Those people are damned lucky to be alive.

    Of course the other passengers are sure to believe they can walk right up to the South Pole, despite what happened to their fellow airheads – unless, maybe, there’s another infiltrator there like yourself.

  107. Roy Spencer says:
    February 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    no temperature trend is highly unusual. Obviously an example of weather weirding and climate disruption. We are destroying nature’s cycles. Just sayin’.

    You are probably aware that this interpretation IS being employed by one of the main warmist data purveyors (NOAA?). It counts mild (cooler) summers and mild (warmer) winters as evidence that temperature “extremes” are increasing. The denotation may e technically correct (distance from the average is increasing), but the connotation (impression conveyed to the audience) is misleading (i.e., that summers are hotter and winters are colder).

    This sort of debater’s trick discredits its source. (Do you remember who it is? It was discussed here on WUWT about a year ago.)

  108. Village Idiot:

    re your silly post at February 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm.

    Please see my post at February 7, 2014 at 5:19 am. It explains some of what you, being an Idiot, say you don’t understand. This link jumps to it here.

    It would help to avoid your wasting space in the thread if
    (a) you were to read the thread before posting points that have been answered
    and
    (b) if you were to ask about things you don’t understand instead of making statements which display you are an Idiot.

    Richard

  109. Michael B. Combs says:
    February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm
    Alice and I will be in Antarctica in two weeks with Lindblad/National Geographic. [...] I have a feeling that I will be the skunk that just wandered in during church services [...] should be a lot of fun.

    Buy a Livescribe Echo Pen and record what you hear. ;-))) Don’t buy any of the newer ones. The Echo pen lets you turn the display down all the way too, and you can get one cheaply these days. The separate microphone-earphones have amazing clarity.

  110. “Ted Clayton apparently cannot explain the Uranus dilemma, where no significant radiation exists near the base of its troposphere, and no significant internal energy is being generated, and where the planet is nearly 30 times further from the Sun than is Earth and yet the temperature at the base of the troposphere (altitude -300Km) is about 320K – hotter than Earth’s surface.”

    This is difficult to explain, but Uranus is mainly hydrogen and helium with the blue clouds methane. Maybe hydrogen and helium are highly concentrated above and just below the base of troposphere and trap methane with it. This would enable an unusual greenhouse type scenario caused by high concentration of much lighter hydrogen and helium Unlike earth the atmosphere is not well mixed and hydrogen and helium don’t escape anywhere near as easily on Earth.

  111. Returning briefly to the topic at hand, I should give a response to “Village Idiot”, who congratulates itself on having obtained from me a lengthy answer to what it calls the “logical” points in its earlier posting. At all points, “Village Idiot” was wrong, and in my earlier posting I answered each of those points one by one. I need note only that “Village Idiot”, though it says it regards itself as “clever”, was unable to refute a single one of my answers with any scientific argument.

    There was, however, a typo in one of my answers. Though the “Idiot” did not spot it, others did. I had referred to “a statistically-insignificant 0.4 K”. The figure should have been 0.04 K.

    One troll, rightly slapped down by Anthony, asked me to show my working and give a link to the data and, before having seen either, alleged that the graph was “dishonest”. The link to the data appears near the top of the graph and, on a good computer screen, is quite legible. Or anyone can obtain a hi-res image of the graph from Bob Tisdale.

    I explained the very straightforward and standard methodology behind the graph in a piece from Doha published here in December 2012. In accordance with best practice among true lovers of science, I am happy to make both the data and the source-code available to anyone who would like to study them and pick them to pieces.

    However, since the interactive trend plotters at woodfortrees.org and at “skeptical” “science” produce results identical to mine, either we are all making the same mistake (like the models) or we are all doing it right.

    I submit that the advantage of my graphs is that they are brutally clear. The graphics routine I use, PowerBasic, is particularly good at rendering graphic data very clearly. The fact that so many trolls have made such heavy weather of the perfectly straightforward graph indicates that it has had its effect. They can see for themselves that the global warming so ambitiously and unanimously predicted by the models has not occurred. And they don’t like it.

    Finally, the “Idiot” says he hopes to live long enough to crow at me when the temperature starts to ratchet up again. However, the greenhouse effect, though poorly named, is well established both theoretically and empirically; this graph does not of course in any way call it into question, though, as Professor Brown has correctly pointed out in one of his admirably lucid and well-balanced comments, it does call into question the predictive skill of the models on which the decisions of panicky or socialist governments to squander trillions are largely based. Therefore, I should expect some warming to resume, though probably not very much.

    The “Idiot” and the other trolls upon whom history will look with distaste and disdain for the intellectual dishonesty or outright stupidity of their approach to science will only have the right to crow if global warming this century markedly exceeds the 1 K that I mentioned in a paper for Physics and Society in 2008 – one of the earlier papers suggesting a low climate sensitivity.

    Events since that paper was published, including a continuing absence of warming, have tended to confirm the likelihood that sensitivity is low and that, therefore, there will be little warming this century. That is one reason why the IPCC has cut by almost half its prediction of warming over the next 30 years. The trolls are now out of line even with the IPCC.

  112. You can see that easily here. The regions of near zero trend are marked in brown. You can click for details. It gives CI’s (85%) and t-statistics.

    Wow, way cool, Nick! It takes a few minutes to figure out the triangle graphic, but once you do it is remarkably informative. Makes cherrypicking easier than ever before (just kidding, kinda, maybe:-)!

    But yeah, it reduces searching for neutral to cooling trend times to a glance (and also redisplays the stretches of strong warming and cooling in an interesting way).

    rgb

  113. Events since that paper was published, including a continuing absence of warming, have tended to confirm the likelihood that sensitivity is low and that, therefore, there will be little warming this century. That is one reason why the IPCC has cut by almost half its prediction of warming over the next 30 years. The trolls are now out of line even with the IPCC.

    Mr. Monckton, while I agree with most of your statements and understand your need to present a sane political position that is necessarily slightly overstated in order to counter the complete lack of objectivity and obvious scientific pandering the counter position, I would put it very slightly differently. The continuing absence of warming does not confirm low sensitivity (although it does as you note tend in that direction. What it does is allow us to fairly conclusively reject GCMs that predict (in my opinion, absurdly) high climate sensitivity and get them out of the ARn reports! To put it bluntly, any GCM that has predicted a mean warming of 0.5C higher than what has been observed over the last 20 years is almost certainly badly broken. So why are models in this general category still in AR5? Because they permit one to draw deliberately misleading pictures for policy makers in the SPM (e.g. figure 1.4) while still being able to make the lofty claim of scientific neutrality. Whether or not one “averages” the GCMs (an utterly meaningless abuse of the mathematical science of statistical analysis to produce a “mean prediction” that supposedly should have more weight than the individual GCMs that actually are not in terrible agreement with observation) the human eye and mind perceives the envelope of model results and by its nature averages it to produce a curve with extrapolated sensitivity in between none and the 5+C of the hottest running failed models.

    The climate scientists that write the report can apparently do little better than the human eye, but dress up an indefensible statistical claim with indefensible assertions of “confidence”. Precisely what is the statistical basis of their “confidence”?

    At the moment, the most accurate way of stating affairs is that the observational data does not support the claims for high sensitivity because it suffices to fairly conclusively reject the GCMs that predict it with a high degree of confidence. It substantially weakens the claims for intermediate (2-3 C) sensitivity — models that produce median sensitivity in this range probably do have more than 5% overlap in their Monte Carlo runs with observation, but not much more — they are models that should indeed be slated for rejection should the neutral trend continue. The data doesn’t really substantially constrain the models that produce comparatively low climate sensitivity (0-2C) — those models produce runs that are actually cooler than the present in reasonable abundance as well as those that are warmer. I wish that I had time to sort out CMIP5 models one at a time — I think it would be very revealing to apply a reasonable rejection criterion and write an alternative summary for policy makers from the same data, but with the statistical analysis done correctly and in a defensible way, backed up by a statistical report (not really a scientific report) laid out in detail. I think such a report could be placed head to head in competition with the official one and would convince even a lot of climate scientists that the AR SPMs are dangerously overblown and risk destroying the reputation and future of climate science itself as time passes.

    I do not feel confident in personally even estimating the future climate sensitivity by year 2100 within any range that would be particularly useful. The data tells us that >3C is unlikely at this point, but not so unlikely as to be impossible. The data probably also suffices to exclude negative climate sensitivity, which is physically implausible anyway. However, the real problem here is that none of the GCMs are correctly capturing the split between GHG-forced warming, natural feedbacks, and natural variation where the latter is (again IMO) a much, much greater factor than AR’s SPM “confidently” states. Again, this is something that I think that even a lot of the climate scientists that have in the past made egregious claims about CO_2 forced warming are starting to face — they know the models are failing and really, they aren’t stupid, only misled by their own perhaps too-strong prior beliefs about linearized feedbacks against a flat natural background.

    Michael Mann is not without a share of blame for this — he did the entire discipline of climate science a serious disservice when he “erased” all of the natural variation of the climate over the last 1000 years in the infamous hockey stick graph. If one weights the hockey stick strongly as a prior belief, the conditioned analysis of everything changes. It takes time and confounding data to overcome the bias this represents.

    But to the extent that a nonlinear chaotic strongly couple system can be “split” into natural variation (utterly unpredictable within current models, not even particularly well representable) plus GHG+feedback forcing, a larger contribution from natural variation comes at the strict expense of a smaller contribution from GHGs. The problem is that I don’t think anybody has a defensible way to decompose climate variation on any climactically relevant timescale in this way. At the moment, natural variability could easily end up being a larger factor than GHG forcing plus feedbacks and we could all be actively misled about the future in either direction, because we cannot even begin to predict if natural variation will further warm the climate (independent of GHGs) or cool it (independent of GHGs) or what will happen when what would have been a warming or cooling trend> interacts nonlinearly with GHG forcing variation.

    It is worth remembering that the climate has a known cold-cycle instability, and we do not, actually, have any clue as to what triggers it to produce cyclic glaciation, or when those factors align to make cold-cycle instability critical. A glance at the climate record of the Pliestocene in general and the Holocene in particular suggests that if anything, the geological time scale evolution of the climate is one of cooling towards the transition point to the next round of glaciation, which really would be something to panic over. So in spite of the fact that GHG-linked climate sensitivity is very likely to be (as you say) in the ballpark of perhaps 1-2 C averaged over and ensemble of possible unpredictable natural futures, the variation of those futures alone is likely commensurate. We could have anything from cooling over the whole next century (due to natural cooling that might have been much greater if it were not for CO_2) to double the warming that CO_2 might have produced if nothing else changed if natural warming adds to CO_2 in some way.

    I suspect that we are roughly 20 to 30 years away from having the data alone needed to build successful climate models that can represent the natural vs forced split accurately. This isn’t an arbitrary number of years — we need a time span of accurate, satellite-based observations that includes at least one whole cycle of the PDO, and hopefully will include the phase transition in e.g. the NAO and other multidecadal cycles, as these cycles are strongly correlated with past climate shifts, have periods that are generally not integer multiples of each other and hence can constructively or destructively interfere in their effects. We simply don’t have any useful measurements of things like the jet stream in all of the different phase combinations, and variations of the jet stream or Hadley circulation patterns have large and “immediate” effects on the climate, not to mention the pattern of weather. We are also waiting for enough decades of ARGO data (ideally with a steadily increasing number of fixed and floating buoys, as the coverage is still far too sparse for 70% of the Earth’s surface), enough decades of satellite-based GRACE data and correctly adjusted SLR data — basically we are barely ENTERING the era where we might get accurate measurements in many dimensions needed to constrain the climate models to where they work.

    If they can work at all at their current granularity. This all by itself is a serious issue. Climate models are literally blind to all sorts of short spatial wavelength phenomena, both horizontally and vertically. They perforce attempt to dynamically evolve with some sort of “average” over the short wavelength behavior, but in a highly nonlinear system with substantial feedbacks it is very difficult indeed to “renormalize” the dynamics to a macroscopic scale in such a way that it will reproduce even on average the time evolution of finer-grained trajectories. As Pielke, Sr. just presented on another thread (with admirable support from the literature) GCMs are failing badly outside of their glaring failure in global average temperature — they fail to accurately reproduce the climate at any length or time scale, getting countless things wrong and only a comparatively few things right. They have basically no skill out to a decade, and as we can see they have no skill (so far) out to nearly two decades in global average temperature. GCM defenders are reduced to claiming that they will only have skill out at 30 years or more, but while this might be true, it is obviously an easily doubtful assertion.

    It appears that climate skeptics are at long last getting something of a hearing, motivated by the observation that they might be right after all and it wouldn’t do politically to appear overtly biased against the side that ends up being right after wasting a few hundreds of billions of dollars and diverting the energy of an entire civilization down the rabbit hole for two decades at the expense of solving the world’s real problems. It would be extremely wise to assemble a correctly done counteranalysis of the GCM data (which is, fortunately, freely available) and use that analysis to reject the failed models and thereby quantitatively moderate the egregious predictions and “confidence” assertions of AR5′s SPM.

    rgb

  114. Believe these robots or your lying eyes; google-earth the 5 Molasses Keys (hint there are only 2 left from the rising Caribbean Sea) just off the 7-mile bridge, flooded during the same 17.5 years!

  115. Professor Brown rightly reproves me for writing that the lack of warming over the past 17 years 5 months “tends to confirm that climate sensitivity is low”. The word “confirm” is, of course, too strong to be scientifically supportable, and it is wiser, as the Professor suggests, to say it the other way about: namely, that it is the GCMs’ predictions that are insupportable.

    His suggestion of conducting a proper statistical analysis based upon the models is interesting. It would be an enormous task. My one fear is that, by the curse of intercomparison, much the same errors are propagated throughout the models, and I am not sure how a statistical analysis of their output would take account of this.

    But it is an idea worthy of being tried out on the wider WUWT readership, so I hope that Anthony will elevate your fascinating and, as always, profoundly informed and eloquently expressed comment to a head posting in its own right.

  116. Sir Chris February 8, 2014 at 3:50 am

    “I need note only that “Village Idiot”, though it says it regards itself as “clever””

    No. I commented that you had attempted a “clever smear” with your comment:

    “The “Idiot” – unless it is paid very well by those who spend so much time and money trying to discredit anyone who does not unquestioningly accept every daft tenet of the New Religion..”
    ——————————–
    You write:
    “I need note only that “Village Idiot”, though it says it regards itself as “clever”, was unable to refute a single one of my answers with any scientific argument.”

    I’m just airing my views which you have counted. I think other Village residents can draw their own conclusions, though for reasons best known to yourself, you may prefer a protracted slanging match.
    ———————-
    Just one point. You say: “there will be little warming this century.” That’s a bit vague. Care to put even an approximate figure on it, what with you being so good at all those Statistics 101, math an’ all. 0.05 per decade? 0.1 per decade? Can you tell us (in laymans terms) how you reach that estimate or is it mere apriorism (look it up. You misused the term on me above).

  117. Bruce says @ February 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm;

    … google-earth the 5 Molasses Keys (hint there are only 2 left from the rising Caribbean Sea) just off the 7-mile bridge …

    If we do a straight Google search for the quoted phrase, “5 molasses keys”, we get 2 results, which appear to be the same content:

    Say Hey, 3 of the 5 Molasses Keys off the 7-mile Bridge in the Florida Keys have submerged, too!

    Also, 3 of the 5 Molasses Keys off Marathon’s 7-Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys Have SUBMERGED.

    That’s it.

    When we take the “5″ out, quoted “molasses keys” brings us 47,900 results. Looks like the name doesn’t really include the number. Discussions indicate that 2 cays are fairly solid, and sometimes other less-reliable beaches/sand-bars are accessible too.

    How about all the other Florida Keys places? There’s 100s of solid cays; 1,000s of the tinier ones? It wouldn’t be just members of the Molasses group that would be affected.

    Many small cays are shifting, impermanent or transitory. There have been issues with development, construction and dredging, all & more affecting keys. The 7-Mile Bridge … it’s a humongously long bridge that has badly deteriorated, and is in the midst of a major construction-project.

    Keys & cays are fragile. Big storms do a lot of damage & rearranging, very suddenly. People-activity plays an important role in Key-ecology, too. I’d sure like to go have a good look myself … what a cool place!

  118. One notes that the self-describing “Village Idiot” remains unable to answer any of the scientific points I had made in reply to it original and characteristically venomous posting. I refer it to my paper in Physics and Society for July 2008, which estimates based on scientific considerations that the contribution of Man to global warming over this century will not be likely to exceed 1 K. On verra, as the French say. In the meantime, the “Idiot” should be more circumspect in future when attempting to sneer about matters of which it has little understanding. And, if it were really confident of itself, it would cease to skulk behind its pseudonym.

  119. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    February 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    “In the meantime, the “Idiot” should be more circumspect in future when attempting to sneer about matters of which it has little understanding.”

    And your scientific credentials are what???

  120. The sneakily pseudonymous “JBJ” asks what my scientific credentials are. Only a Socialist would ask such a question. A scientist would look at the quality of my published research and form a view that way. If “JBJ” were to read the nonsense originally posted on this thread by the snidely pseudonymous “Village Idiot”, and my detailed replies to each of the “Idiot’s” pseudo-scientific fatuities, it would be able to form a view on which of us was right, scientifically speaking. It does seem that the trolls are becoming more desperate every day as their precious global warming theory collapses for lack of – er – global warming.

  121. Bruce says:
    February 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    If four centimeters of sea level rise in 17 years & five months could submerge a cay, then it was really more of a sand bank than an island. And that’s taking a high guess for Caribbean MSL rise during that period.

  122. rgbatduke says:
    February 8, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Well & tightly argued, as usual.

    It has IMO long been apparent that GCMs aren’t adequately skillful tools upon which to base economic & energy decisions affecting the lives of billions at a cost of trillions.

    The infantile state of climate modeling now reminds me of the premature attempt in the 1970s to wage a war on cancer, at a cost of billions (tens thereof inflation adjusted), before the basic science involved was adequately understood. Throwing money at cancer didn’t work, but wasted resources which could better have been expended elsewhere.

  123. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    February 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    So what are your scientific credentials then??? You didn’t answer my question!

  124. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    February 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Are you saying socialists cannot be scientists? Your true colours are coming out!

  125. “It does seem that the trolls are becoming more desperate every day as their precious global warming theory collapses for lack of – er – global warming.”

    Another point Mr. Moncton … I do not believe in AGW … you are very presumptuous to say the least.

  126. rgbatduke says:
    February 8, 2014 at 8:48 am

    ” It would be extremely wise to assemble a correctly done counteranalysis of the GCM data (which is, fortunately, freely available) and use that analysis to reject the failed models and thereby quantitatively moderate the egregious predictions and “confidence” assertions of AR5′s SPM.”

    Well, I guess after waiting for a decade or more for some mainstream climate scientist to do something about the hopeless models, eventually someone has to take up the task. Skepticism used to be a lot easier – you didn’t have to prove some alternative, just logically deconstruct the status quo or show the math and stats were incorrectly applied. So, I agree the job has to be taken up or we will be flagellated with meaningless rainbow spaghetti for decades to come. While we are at it, we better start out with an overhaul of the thermometric record which has been the main front of tinkering CAGW climate scientists trying to hold the trace up to match the trajectory of the spaghetti. How on earth can one hope to improve the physics of climate models without correcting the fiction of the temperature record upon which they are being tested? We could chop off a few tenths right now, based on the idea that if these guys with their belief system were tinkering with the record all these years, they certainly wouldn’t have been subtracting temps. Submerging the mid30s-mid40s by several tenths to erase this otherwise-still-standing record warm decade could easily be re-visited.

    I’m led to recall Donald Trump’s intervention in getting the skating rink in Central Park going after decades of failure by NY authorities.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1899&dat=19860610&id=OPJGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dfMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4023,1181043

    He took on the task and succeeded and at the same time gave an insight into why he is so successful. He went to Toronto and asked who is the best hockey rink designer there is, found him, and this guy came down, threw out all the old badly functioning system and set up one that since has given joy to hundreds of thousands of New York skaters. Donald Trump, who was well used to being hated for his success, got a new wave of hateful static, of course.

    The current crop of corrupted leading CliSci’s are not going to get the thing going in the right direction no matter how far out their projections have been. They’re busy trying to rationalize the fiasco. They’re chasing the delinquent heat like a pinball in three dimensions. They are checking up aerosols (did I spell that correctly) and other confounding avenues, but not to find alternatives to their GHG theory of warming. No. Rather it is to put the dyed-in-the-wool theory on life support. You are right that we don’t know if we will end up with a hot future or not. We do know that the theory as expounded has been proven wrong, though. I gasp to think what would have happened if they were wrong but the climate did continue to heat up. We would have covered the earth with solar and windmill power and when it turned cooler would have had a self-fulfilling prophesy that would have destroyed civilization, freedom and put Greenpeas on every plate. Yeah, for goodness sake let’s do something.

  127. C. Monckton: one other thing. We are doing the CAGW theory a favor by extending the horizontal temp further into the past. They counter with slightly reduced linear slope, arguing it is still rising. Let’s start at 2005, or whatever it is and proceed with a cooling trend.

  128. The Contributions of JBJ

    #1 – That regression is statistically pointless!

    #2 – Look at this graph http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/temp/vostok/graphics/tempplot5.gif

    I don’t think it would be too difficult to find a date which shows there has been no warming for the last 300,000+ years!

    #3 – “In the meantime, the “Idiot” should be more circumspect in future when attempting to sneer about matters of which it has little understanding.”

    And your scientific credentials are what???

    #4 – So what are your scientific credentials then??? You didn’t answer my question!

    #5 – Are you saying socialists cannot be scientists? Your true colours are coming out!
    =====

    That’s everything JBJ ‘contributed’ in this forum.

  129. The head teacher running the local schoolhouse, is always “The Principle” (etc).

    He may well have strong principles, but he would probably be called “The Principal”

  130. Nick Stokes says:

    February 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    You can see that easily here. The regions of near zero trend are marked in brown. You can click for details. It gives CI’s (85%) and t-statistics

    Nick – your triangular diagram is really clever. What software did you use to produce it? It neatly summarises pages and pages of data which I have tabulated in Excel spreadsheets. I also have one or two financial spreadsheets which could also benefit from such clarity. My only complaint would be the similar colours for small positive and negative trends, but I guess these are customised to taste?

    Regards

    Richard

  131. Richard Barraclough observed @ February 8, 2014 at 8:09 pm;

    [The head teacher] may well have strong principles, but he would probably be called “The Principal”

    aarrrggghh … thank you. ;)

  132. Monckton of Brenchley said February 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm:
    “The sneakily pseudonymous “JBJ” asks what my scientific credentials are. Only a Socialist would ask such a question.”

    In as much as the issue of “credentials” comes up here from time to time (too often!) I have a couple times posted my favorite quote on the issue, from Noam Chomsky, who many would consider to be a socialist I believe! So do you mind one counter-example? Here is what Chomsky said:

    “Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is the concern for content.”

  133. Richard Barraclough says: February 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm
    “Nick – your triangular diagram is really clever. What software did you use to produce it?”
    ?

    Thanks, Richard. There are R programs that I run at home. Some download (update weekly) and process the data. Others calculate the regression coefficients and the CI’s etc. There’s a bit on the computation of CI’s here. It takes about an hour to make all the triangle and timeseries plot files.

    The rest is Javascript. That does all the responses to clicking, including re-calculating the data that pops up when you click, and also the dynamic picturing of trend lines.

    I’ve written a few posts, with links listed in this most recent one.

    rgbatduke says: February 8, 2014 at 7:39 am
    ” Makes cherrypicking easier than ever before (just kidding, kinda, maybe:-)!”

    Actually, I titled the first post “A cherrypicker’s guide”. My hope was that, while it made cherrypicking easier, it also made it easier to spot. But thanks for the kind remarks.

  134. Ted Clayton says:
    February 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm
    The Contributions of JBJ

    Thanks Ted … I’m glad you enjoyed them :)

  135. The “pause” (already a rationalization) is a perfect fit to Taleb’s Black Swan Theory:

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

    “Identifying a black swan event -Based on the author’s criteria:

    1)The event is a surprise (to the observer).
    2) The event has a major effect.
    3) After the first recorded instance of the event, it is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected; that is, the relevant data were available but unaccounted for in risk mitigation programs. The same is true for the personal perception by individuals.

  136. Brian T. Johnston said @ February 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm;

    Solar models show that this period would be about the same temperature, or slightly cooler see: http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2012ScienceMeeting/docs/presentations/S2-03_Scafetta_SORCE.pdf Until people are really understanding the basis of the cycles then you can’t take chances with global warming. In this case it is better err on the side caution.

    The Scaffetta PDF is interesting. Not compelling, but a worthwhile read. Factors other than planetary gravity could cause effects. Magnetospheres, eg.

    Can’t take chances with global warming? And CO2 did it? And combustion has to be curtailed?

    Let’s assume for the moment that CO2 wasn’t from the start Activism & Politics.

    Our population now relies on a smooth-running ‘technological civilization’. There are several ‘linch-pins’ that have to be in place, to support this phenomenon. The economy, and energy, eg.

    In the USA, more than 3/4 of the economy is “consumer spending”. Without it, the economic house of cards comes down, and with it civilization.

    We jerk society around too much, our support-system could fail.

    So, we err on the side of caution, to minimize big-picture risks.

  137. His suggestion of conducting a proper statistical analysis based upon the models is interesting. It would be an enormous task. My one fear is that, by the curse of intercomparison, much the same errors are propagated throughout the models, and I am not sure how a statistical analysis of their output would take account of this.

    I don’t think it would be that enormous a task. Steve McKintyre has the data here:

    http://www.climateaudit.info/data/models/cmip5/GLB/

    and the entire point is to NOT compare the models to each other or consider their shared errors, but to take each model, one at a time, and apply the ordinary rules of hypothesis testing to the following null hypothesis:

    This GCM is a perfect representation of climate dynamics.

    in comparison with the actual time evolution of the climate. Chapter 9 of AR5 is (apparently) morphing over time to partially acknowledge the problem; box 9.2 is an entire apologia in three parts for the “fifteen year” hiatus (their terminology) where it is only 15 years because they terminate the record in 2012. However, the fundamental problem with Chapter 9 is a very simple one. They base all of their predictions and projections and assessments of probable accuracy on two things:

    a) The Multimodel Ensemble. Seriously, what are they thinking? Yes, they acknowledge in section 9.2.2.3 that model runs are not iid samples from a distribution. They present many learned papers that address the fact that model runs are not iid samples from a distribution and hence “creates challenges for how best to make quantitative inferences of future climate” (an understatement if there ever was one!). As it is, the multimodel ensemble mean is the next best thing to a completely mean-ingless quantity as exists on Earth. And while they do indeed do a credible job of listing some of the reasons that this is true (the models aren’t independent — they share lineage and hence possible bias, the models don’t all contribute the same number of model runs to the overall result, the models do not all score equally well in the training set validation) while ignoring one of the most important of the others — there is no reason to believe that intermodel errors are a uniformly distributed random variable with a symmetric effect on the mean performance and so there is quite literally zero reason to expect that averaging over models will give a better result than simply using the best model.

    In fact, we know perfectly well that the best model will usually outperform the mean performance of an ensemble average of the best model and a bunch of worse models, especially in this precise context. Treating the results of the worse models as noise, one can apply the concepts of information theory and predict the degradation of the information due to the admixture of noise from the inferior models. To give a lovely example in physics, to the extent that Hartree-Fock models usually outperform Hartree models in capturing correlation/exchange energy, averaging ten Hartree models to one Hartree-Fock model simply guarantees a worse performance in a systematic way.

    b) Validation on the training set. This is truly inexplicable to me. Forget about things such as figure 9.2c, which (if I understand the figure) indicates in simple graphical form that nobody could possibly miss that the MME mean fails badly to correctly represent the climate — consider figure 9.8a, which basically plots CMIP5 against the actual climate across all of the time span of HADCRUT4. Are they kidding me? The training set period is clearly marked — the agreement even of the meaningless mean within the training set is indifferent at best and the performance of the individual models is for the most part terrible — one only preserve the illusion of good performance by means of the mixing of TRAINING SET FITS which are more or less constrained to give the right interval increase in temperature and hence cannot much deviate in the mean from HADCRUT etc. If one examines the rest of the graph, hindcast performance is much worse than even this. For example, it completely fails on the interval from roughly 1900 to 1940 — it completely misses the first half of the twentieth century, both one model at a time and in meaningless aggregate. No wonder they can state with “confidence” that natural variation is unimportant — they build models that eliminate a completely natural interval of strongly increasing temperatures and replace it with a far-too-smooth, much warmer curve reaching back to 1870 or so and missing most of the interesting bounces in between, claim that the MME mean is validated on the training set (where it is not, not one model at a time, which is the only way a meaningful hypothesis test/validation can be performed) and then assert that because the models didn’t need to use natural variation on the training set it still is unimportant on the future prediction.

    Hell, the MME mean failed in the past predictions for a 30-40 year interval — why wouldn’t it fail in the future as well?

    The point is that it is really, really easy to fix this. Simply test each model against HADCRUT4! Most of the models have the data from their individual runs available somewhere or the other — the part generated by the perturbed parameter ensembles discussed in 9.2.2.2. This is really the only part that matters. If a given model is used to generate 100 PPE runs, and these runs collectively spend 98% of their time above the actual measured climate across the entire trial period (or fail any one of a number of other elementary tests, such as having approximately the correct autocorrelation time and variance), presto chango, the model has now officially failed a simple hypothesis test with a p-value of 0.02 or less!

    When an individual model fails and individual model hypothesis test, the only sane thing to do is to remove it from the MME! I mean jeepers! In figure 9.8a, which is basically the full span version of SPM 1.4 without the last-second adjustment voodoo, one can clearly make out multiple colored threads that spend all of their time above even the MME mean, let alone the actual HADCRUT4 temperature far beneath that mean. One can see that most of the threads are spending all of their time above the actual mean.

    How many threads? According to box 9.2: 111 out of 114 realizations, and that is as of 2012, not as of the present. Box 9.2 is basically openly acknowledging safely in a science section where no policy maker will ever find it that CMIP5 is badly broken, we don’t know why, we cannot even narrow the possible reasons why down to only two or three, and the best that we can do is note that the models themselves sometimes one at a time spend 17 year spans too warm so that this doesn’t disprove them!

    Come on, this is pure piffle. You can’t have it all ways — ignore the weighting of the models in terms of PPE, ignore their shared lineage and biases, refuse to apply any sort of hypothesis test to the models one at a time before admitting them into the ensemble to be used to make critical decisions regarding the expenditure of the energy of the entire human species for decades into the future, the first such collective expenditure in human history after the end of the cold war and one that diverts that energy away from things like establishing world peace and prosperity in favor of averting a hypothetical disaster, create a MME mean that by itself fails a hypothesis test against the data everywhere outside of the training set where it is constrained not to fail and then claim any sort of statistical high ground or knowledge at all!

    This is absolutely shameful. There really is no question about this. What they do is indefensible, and its indefensibility will be obvious to the entire world in another three years no matter what unless they get lucky and warming resumes at a frenetic pace! Which even they recognize is now not likely gonna happen. It could, but it is literally not probable at this point and they know it!

    rgb

  138. As I have not yet seen an answer, I will repeat my question. My Lord Monckton, would you please be kind enough to explain what I am missing here?

    I’m afraid I don’t quite understand this:

    Sure enough, in the 8 years 9 months from 1 January 2001 to 30 September 2009 (my speech was on 14 October) the RSS dataset shows a statistically-significant cooling of 0.16 K, equivalent to 1.87 K/century of cooling.

    The “Idiot” also says I said in that same speech that all global warming had stopped since 1995. And so it had – all but a statistically-insignificant 0.4 K warming over the period from January 1995 to September 2009.

    Why is 0.16K/45 months (0.0035/month or 0.43/decade) statistically significant but 0.4K/117 months (0.0034/month or 0.41/decade) statistically insignificant?

    I’m not clear on how cooling of 0.43K per decade is significant, but warming of 0.41K per decade is insignificant. Can anyone on this thread clear this up for me?

  139. TonyG:

    At February 9, 2014 at 10:23 am you ask

    I’m not clear on how cooling of 0.43K per decade is significant, but warming of 0.41K per decade is insignificant. Can anyone on this thread clear this up for me?

    OK, I will try. I suspect nobody answered because your question reveals there is so much you do not understand that an attempt at an answer is daunting.

    The short answer is that significance is a function of the variance of the data and is often expressed as a percentage confidence. But I feel sure that is only words and not information for you.

    This link may help. If not then get back to me so I can try to explain it.

    http://mathbits.com/MathBits/TISection/Statistics2/correlation.htm

    Richard

    • richardscourtney says:
      OK, I will try. I suspect nobody answered because your question reveals there is so much you do not understand that an attempt at an answer is daunting.

      Seems to me that it’s better to help someone understand than to leave them ignorant, especially when they’re asking for help.

      The short answer is that significance is a function of the variance of the data and is often expressed as a percentage confidence. But I feel sure that is only words and not information for you.

      No, I actually get what you’re saying – it seems that I was missing some of the context, and that was the cause of my lack of understanding. I was simply plotting the amount of change over the same period, instead of relating it back to the data. So my simplification was not a valid comparison.

      I’m learning, and have been from a few years – but it’s really easy to miss things when I only have a chance to read in snippets. I wish I had more time to devote to understanding things.

      This link may help. If not then get back to me so I can try to explain it.

      http://mathbits.com/MathBits/TISection/Statistics2/correlation.htm

      Thank you for the link. I understood the concept of the correlation coefficient, but only in a very broad sense (I’m aware of it and of its importance, but not the details of how it’s calculated and such). That fills in a lot of details for me. I’ll be keeping that window open & studying it a bit more.

  140. TonyG says:
    February 9, 2014 at 10:23 am

    These quote are from Monckton of Brenchley February 7, 2014 at 5:05 am

    By way of acknowledging your request, my initial remark would be that the “0.4 K warming over the period from January 1995 to September 2009” is termed insignificant, because much stronger warming was supposed to be occurring.

    What warming took place during the Pause, is deemed insignificant, in comparison to the unrealized predictions of computer climate models.

    I speculate … but it’s a start. :)

    [Ah - Richard is here, but mine requires less homework. ;]

  141. Monckton of Brenchley said in part February 8, 2014 at 3:50 am
    “…..There was, however, a typo in one of my answers. Though the “Idiot” did not spot it, others did. I had referred to “a statistically-insignificant 0.4 K”. The figure should have been 0.04 K.”

    Not unlikely, TonyG (February 9, 2014 at 10:23 am), this is why your question was unanswered.

    • Bernie Hutchins
      “…..There was, however, a typo in one of my answers. Though the “Idiot” did not spot it, others did. I had referred to “a statistically-insignificant 0.4 K”. The figure should have been 0.04 K.”

      And then there’s that. Leaving aside coefficient of correlation, even on my super-simplified approach that makes a HUGE difference! I missed the correction – thank you for pointing it out.

  142. I am grateful to Bernie Hutchins for answering “TonyG’s” question. I had omitted a zero, and a value that should have read “0.04 K” read “0.4 K” by mistake. Nearly as bad as the IPCC printing that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone by 2035 when they meant 2350: except that their error was deliberate and mine accidental.

    And I am also grateful to Professor Brown for elaborating his suggestion of a project to evaluate the climate models statistically, one by one, comparing them with the real-world outturn. If he would like to say how many scientists the task would need, and how long it would take, and how much it would cost, it might be possible to find funding for the project.

    The Professor would be an admirable lead scientist for the project that is his idea. His rigor and clarity of thought are exceptional.

  143. Nick Stokes

    Thanks for the links. I’ve never used R, so I’ll schedule myself for a bit of education next week

    Cheers

    Richard

  144. If he would like to say how many scientists the task would need, and how long it would take, and how much it would cost, it might be possible to find funding for the project.

    One “scientist” (or one halfway decent statistician), three or four months, and a living in the meantime. As I understand it, the data is all there and openly accessible, although collecting it on a single workstation and organizing it for the analysis might take some time. But three or four months would be to do a really good job — to do the preliminary work and then use THAT to do a meta-analysis of some of the other questions dodged in AR5 chapter 9, like the reasonably precise extent that common parentage in climate models affects their bias, like doing a run-weighted analysis of the MME. If the perturbed parameter ensemble (PPE) data for the different models are readily available on a per-model basis, it is just a matter of taking the actual data and comparing the integrated amount of time the model spends above or below the actual data.

    That’s why I made the null hypothesis explicit. I do this all the time in random number generator testing. The null hypothesis there is This is a perfect random number generator. One then uses the supposedly perfect RNG to generate a statistical result with a known distribution and mean. If the result the RNG produces is very, very improbable in terms of that known distribution and mean, the RNG can reasonably be said to fail the test and falsify the null hypothesis. That doesn’t prove that it really is a bad generator — “p happens”, in the words of George Marsaglia, one of the past masters of RNG testing — but it certainly doesn’t give one confidence that it is a good generator and at some value of p we become virtually certain that the generator is not a good generator.

    Given PPE data, the process is almost identical. If a model is used to generate (say) 100 possible future trajectories for global mean surface temperature from a given starting point, and over time those trajectories spend 99% of their collective time warmer than the actual temperature, then one can state that if the null hypothesis is correct, the probability of getting the actual trajectory (given this perfect model) is no greater than 1%. Only it is actually going to be much lower than this, if none of the trajectories (as will usually be the case) have even a median performance that matches the actual trajectory. Again, one can easily transform this into terms anyone can understand. Either we have been very, very lucky not to have warmed the way the models predict, or else the models are wrong, one model at a time.

    Ordinarily in science, we assume that what nature does is the most probable outcome, not the least probable outcome. It is very, very difficult to assert that the Earth should have warmed because a model that has never been properly validated outside of its training set predicted warming that did not occur. It is far more reasonable to assert that this is strong evidence that the model is incorrect.

    I think it would take very little time indeed to sort models out according to three general categories: a) Models that are egregiously wrong. AR5 implicitly acknowledges that they are there in section 9.2.2.3, when it asserts that it is “challenging” to know how to make quantitative predictions based on the MME mean when it incorporates failed models. That does not, however, prevent them from doing so anyway. b) Models that are probably wrong. p does, indeed, happen, but almost all of the models have a poor p-value. Indeed, one would expect that at least a few models would have decent p-values on the basis of pure data dredging, given so many models to pull results from. Models that have p-values under 0.1 should at the very least be suspect, and I’d be tempted to make the cut-off even higher given the purely monotonic direction of failure of all of the models, suggesting a common error in them. c) Models that at least could be right. Indeed, it would be lovely to rank the models in terms of how accurately the model in question predicted the actual temperature, how deeply embedded the actual temperature trajectory is in its PPPE runs. A good model would be one where roughly half of the runs were above the observed temperature and half below and I rather doubt that any models make that grade, but it could be that there are models that produce a respectable number of climate trajectories that show little to no warming, especially if they match other features that one might reasonably expect a climate model to reproduce, such as the correct variance around some mean smoothed trajectory, the right autocorrelation times (the duration and sharpness of temperature fluctuations), as well as things like Pielke’s article on a different thread discusses, failure to accurately predict gross measures like regional distribution of rainfall, storm frequency and violence, tropospheric warming.

    This preliminary, rapid analysis might motivate a deeper analysis if GCMs predominantly fail the PPE test — as one rather expects — on the basis of some set of common features or shared lineage. Here one would apply the entire apparatus intended to correct for data dredging — given 36 distinct strands of spaghetti to choose from in AR5 figure 9.8a, one actually has to be more stringent in assessing model success or failure compared to reality. One would expect even bad models to sometimes produce decent p-values given enough opportunities, after all. Studying the pattern of failure might motivate the rejection of entire model families even when one or two members are nominally within some arbitrary cut-off But this sort of thing would be icing on the cake compared to the primary job of cleaning up AR5′s statistics section.

    Once this sorting is done, one could do the following very interesting thing. Observe the systematic variation of the MME weighted sub-average of member models as one smoothly increases the cut-off PPE p-value from 0 (include them all, no matter how bad) to the inclusion of the single best model in the lot in terms of straddling the actual observational data. This would be a map of weighted estimated climate sensitivity as a function of the observational accuracy of the models, and would clearly identify a probable range for the actual climate sensitivity subject to the sole assumption that the actual climate trajectory is probable rather than improbable. This process would substantially and immediately lower the most probable value of the climate sensitivity by eliminating the crap GCMs that are included, as far as I can tell, for the sole purpose of propping the MME equally weighted global mean surface temperature estimate up so that it continues to predict “catastrophic” warming by 2100 in the face of data that (to say the least) does not support that conclusion. It would also make it quite clear, in an easily understandable way, that the residual MME mean estimate would almost certainly be an upper bound, not in any sense a Gaussian mean, of the eventual climate sensitivity.

    Finally, it would make it appallingly clear that it is time to go back to the drawing board, something that is obvious by looking at the past behavior (hindcasting) in figure 9.8a as well. I simply do not see how any reasonable person could look at figure 9.8a’s performance and not reject CMIP5 en masse until models are built that can do much, much better. Here is a single metric that doesn’t require a rocket scientist or Ph.D. statistician to evaluate. Compare the CMIP5 MME mean (red line) to HADCRUT4 (black line). The red line is below the black line for an eyeballed total of roughly 25 years out of the nearly 155 years represented on the curve. Hell, I’d go to thirty. And this includes the training set!

    Oh, my, god. How anyone has the balls to actually put this figure into a report as evidence that the models are working is beyond me.

    Let me put it this way. Suppose that both curves are actually drawn by taking some underlying smooth curve that represents what we might call the “climate set point” around which the climate is oscillating, and then adding delta correlated, exponentially smeared noise (that is, make it bounce around the true mean behavor with bounces that are roughly in agreement with the observed amplitude and widths of variations from this mean behavior. What is the probability that one of the curves would be spend 5/6ths of its time above or below the other? Guestimating the number of autocorrelation-separated samples in this to be at least 30 (five years is a reasonable measure of the feature persistence in HADCRUT4) that’s ballpark the odds of flipping a coin 30 times and getting 5 heads. Plugging that into a handy-dandy online calculator for the binomial distribution here:

    http://stattrek.com/online-calculator/binomial.aspx

    we see that the probability of getting five heads or fewer in 30 trials is roughly 0.000162. This is a crude, but quite reasonable upper bound estimate of the p-value for the following null hypothesis:

    The CMIP5 MME mean is an accurate measure of the true climate within the bounds of natural variability.

    Upper bound because the trials above contain the training interval! Because this ignores the two spans of forty and fifteen years outside of the training interval when the MME mean is always greater than HADCRUT4.

    In the modelling business we call this sort of p-value failing validation! There isn’t the slightest bit of doubt in this. The actual p-value, corrected for this and that and done properly, is probably order of 0.000001 — one in a million. We may not know how models in CMIP5 fail, or which models in CMIP5 fail, but we know from figure 9.8a alone that the CMIP5 MME mean itself fails to describe the climate variation of the last 155 years with near certainty. A trained monkey armed with a coin to flip to go up or down according to some simple rules around the smoothed behavior of HADCRUT4 could do better than the CMIP5 MME mean. It would actually be as likely to produce mean temperatures lower than the observed ones as ones above them.

    The sad thing is that all of the rules these claims egregiously violate are well known in statistics. They are standard operating procedure in building models in e.g. economics, simply because anybody that tries to build a simple economic/market model that validated on the training data would rapidly be described by a single word.

    Broke.

    rgb

  145. I have mentioned before that the greenhouse effect on planet Earth (33c) is accounted for incorrectly. The reason being only the atmosphere is taken into account and not the energy content of the oceans. The greenhouse affect also doesn’t explain the difference in temperature between both poles. How can we calculate what greenhouse effect the ocean has compared to the atmosphere?

    This is not so difficult as it sounds because we can compare the temperature difference between the poles. In theory if both poles were oceans then during winter and summer they would both measure similar temperatures. If both poles were continents then during winter and summer they would also measure similar temperatures.

    The advantage we have is that this is not the case and one pole is ocean and the other land. The difference in temperature between the two is how much the greenhouse effect of the ocean is having compared the two. The atmosphere is similar above both poles, so should have similar atmospheric greenhouse effect. Therefore the difference in temperature is mainly down to just the ocean greenhouse effect in the Arctic. If the greenhouse effect was only down to the atmosphere then temperatures at both poles would be similar.

    This is only an estimate, but the difference in winter between both poles is about 30 c. The difference between both poles in summer is also about 30 c. Therefore this concludes that 30 c of 33c total greenhouse affect is exclusively down to the ocean heat content. The rest of the atmospheric greenhouse gases including water vapor and CO2 only account for 3 c. This would be a controversial observation, but if true would improve the understanding of climate science.

    This value would also explain why some planets are colder near the surface when compared to Earth. The value when taking into account yearly variation and more accurate regional variation though, would likely be lower than 30 c .

  146. Professor Brown has sold me on his proposal. Now we move to what the Whitehall mandarins call “the modalities”, or what Margaret Thatcher, more bluntly, called “names, dear, names!” Who is going to do this?

    First step: if Professor Brown is willing, perhaps he would assemble the outline he has given in his various posts above into a clear brief that a competent statistician would understand, and email it to me with an indication of whether he is willing to supervise the project if I can find someone qualified to take it on. The output, presumably, would be a devastating paper for publication not in a climate journal – where the barriers against the truth are formidable – but in a leading journal of statistics.

    Assuming that the result is as the Professor expects – and the Mk. 1 eyeball suggests that his is a hypothesis well worth testing – the final step would be to arrange for the lead authors of the modeling chapters in the next IPCC report to be thoroughly briefed. One more nail in the already well-studded coffin of Thermageddon.

  147. First step: if Professor Brown is willing, perhaps he would assemble the outline he has given in his various posts above into a clear brief that a competent statistician would understand, and email it to me with an indication of whether he is willing to supervise the project if I can find someone qualified to take it on. The output, presumably, would be a devastating paper for publication not in a climate journal – where the barriers against the truth are formidable – but in a leading journal of statistics.

    I would sort of be willing — that is, willing with some caveats. The first problem is my time commitments. Here is a short list of my current activities:

    a) Co-teaching introductory mechanics (96 students) in a new experimental format.
    b) Co-teaching introductory electricity and magnetism (270 students) in a new but slightly different experimental format.
    c) Participating in one “established” startup company doing predictive modelling and other high end statistical work of which I am a co-founder and in which I have a substantial interest. And I use the term participating already with a grain of salt as I’ve been too busy to do more than pay lip service to actual activity on its behalf for months now.
    d) Preparing to co-found a brand new startup company providing a key security service for websites as a primary contributor to the core security technology and algorithm. This might or might not involve me writing a patent application over the next month, which I’ve done several times now and is enormously time consuming with its stilted language and need for carefully constrained statements.
    e) Finishing/refining the two textbooks, two associated review guides, one novel, and one philosophical work (Axioms) that I am working on, where there is some urgency about the first four items as they are in active use by students at Duke and elsewhere.
    f) Supporting at least dieharder, the aforementioned RNG tester. I’m way behind in bugfix requests, but this is the lowest priority task in the list, sadly, in spite of the fact that a lot of people use the tool and more would use it if I ever had the time to add planned improvements, additional tests, and so on that I have in mind.
    g) Trying to support a marriage to a woman I love and who works harder than I do (she’s a physician), three sons with two in college and one trying to start a family on a shoestring, and a couple of rascally vagrant dogs, all of whom not unreasonably make demands on my time when I’m not totally committed to one task or another above.

    And somewhere in there is writing long posts on WUWT as a hobby of sorts, trying to police the science and make up my own mind about what is properly “known” in climate science, what is sheer speculation and fancy, and what the most ethical course of action is for myself, at least, in the ongoing debate.

    You can see my problem, I hope. If all I were divorced and living alone, teaching a single course, basking on the coast living on a substantial income from companies that were no longer starting up, with all of my offspring well-launched I would have already done the work I outlined above, as climate science is indeed my “hobby” to the extent that it generates no income but intrigues me and is clearly one of the more important issues of the day. Happily in some ways, sadly in others, I am not retired and single and free to do whatever I damn well please — yet. So if I’m to supervise anyone in doing the work, they have to be a self-starter and not an idiot when it comes to e.g. using R or other tools to do statistics, finding and downloading data sets, as well as the general ideas underlying Bayesian reasoning and hypothesis testing, at least. I simply don’t have time to teach someone this stuff — it would be faster to do it all myself and I don’t have time to do THAT.

    Does this make sense? I’m not trying to wuss out — I am seriously overcommitted in my time well out into the indefinite future barring one of my companies being bought out and transforming me into the idle rich overnight, and I very much doubt that will happen this year in either current case although I do have some hopes for next year and the year after. So my expected time commitment would have to be at most an hour or two a week, maybe, and at that I’d pretty much have to not write on WUWT in the meantime (sigh).

    That might be enough. As I said, 9.8a speaks for itself, even without pegging on the last two years to further extend the divergence of the predicted from the realized. But the really interesting possibility is fixing the multimodel “ensemble” by eliminating the cruft through simple statistical analysis and comparison to the real world data. This is to some extent contingent on being able to obtain PPEs per model. I Do Not Know how easy this will be — there is one figure in AR5 that I recall that shows a single collection of PPEs for one of the models, so I’m certain the data is out there for SOME of them, but I’m not at all certain about all. Steve M. probably knows if he doesn’t already archive it.

    rgb

  148. I would rather “verify” any theory or “model” trying to calculate the heat budget and radiation theory for ANY planet-sized rotating body in this solar system be able to first provide an accurate year-long stable radiation-surface temperature map for two stable bodies near the sun with no atmosphere.

    If the proposed model can produce stable multi-years-long temperature plots at all latitudes of the Moon and Mercury, THEN maybe it can be expected to start explaining the extra and very difficult physics of the planets with collapsible atmospheres but NO water: Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune.

    get those “right” then we can begin discussing the difficult ones: Jupiter (way too hot due to ????), Earth, and Saturn.

    Sure, it is not glorious and glamorous to discuss moon dust and lunar seas and lunar mountain albedo and dust heat capacity. But. A VALID and working radiation-heat-exchange model must be able to do those simple, static things first.

  149. And no, the WUWT article which ran a wire up the outside of a cylinder did not rebut it because the wire also develops a temperature gradient which prevents perpetual energy circulation.

    My article, and I cry foul. The temperature gradients inside the wire — which can be a thick, well-insulated, excellent thermal conductor like a square meter bar of silver in a double insulated vacuum, it’s a gedanken experiment so we don’t have to actually pay for it — will not match the temperature gradient inside the cylinder because it is a much better conductor of heat.

    Your problem is that you are confounding temperature and heat. The heat equation is straightforward. Depending on the TEMPERATURE of the ends, heat will flow through the wire from the hotter bottom to the colder top, because heat flows in materials from a higher temperature to a lower one, period. Which itself is pure statistical mechanical diffusion of available energy into the degrees of freedom of the rod’s atomic/molecular constituents. If you assert that gravitation can maintain a thermal equilibrium thermal gradient in a sealed fluid, in spite of the fact that this is a classic example of Maxwell’s Demon and that it can be directly proven in both stat mech and thermo that thermal equilibrium is isothermal in precisely this case, there is no question that thermal equilibrium for the e.g. silver “wire” is isothermal, gravitational gradient or not.

    So when you place an isothermal wire at an intermediate temperature in contact with the hot bottom and cold top of your column (assuming that this ends up being equilibrium, which it won’t other than transiently) there is absolutely no doubt that heat will flow out of the bottom and into the top of your column — the temperatures are different at the point of contact. There is also no doubt that a thermal gradient will be maintained across the rod. The problem is, this thermal gradient violates the second law of thermodynamics because it can only be maintained by heat flow.

    Heat flow satisfies the moral equivalent of “Ohm’s Law” in this case — a thermal gradient in the rod requires a heat “current” driven by a temperature difference. You cannot have a thermally conductive rod in thermal equilibrium with a temperature gradient, and the only way to have a temperature gradient is in direct association with heat flow.

    I’m surprised that you would get this wrong. You assert that you understand that one proposed mechanism for the surplus heat emitted by Jupiter is that it is still gravitationally contracting (which releases heat/kinetic energy as the gravitational potential energy of the system slowly decreases). You point out, correctly, that if a planet has a large rocky core and comparatively shallow atmosphere — as do Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and arguably Uranus (although what we don’t know about the structure of the gas giants outweighs what we know by a substantial margin) plus the larger moons with atmospheres — there is no ongoing gravitational collapse, and if anything a slow top of atmosphere outgassing with a very slight cooling effect as a tiny slice of Maxwell-Boltzmann distributed molecular temperatures have escape energy and are headed in the right direction there. Surely you understand that for a static gas in thermal equilibrium, neighboring vertical slices are in direct thermal contact and that there is no relative mass transport between them, so there is no net heating from downward directed molecules unbalanced by net cooling from upward directed molecules in a stationary density gradient and mere conduction/diffusion/radiation will maintain identical temperatures on both sides of the interface.

    Thermal equilibrium is isothermal, period. Gravity does not act as a Maxwell Demon, sorting out faster moving molecules so that they only exist in perpetuity at the bottom of a thermally isolated fluid while leaving behind the slower moving molecules at the top. Any proposed mechanism that requires no input of free energy that spontaneously sorts a molecular reservoir into distinct temperatures as a supposedly equilibrium state violates the second law of thermodynamics and can be used to build perpetual motion machines of the second kind. This is kiddy thermo. The grown-up stat mech involves looking at detailed balance between adjacent parcels of the material at supposedly distinct temperatures with an appropriate choice for e.g. canonical distribution, where it is merely probable that energy will be transferred from the higher temperature reservoir to the lower one until detailed balance is satisfied. Either way, no, the wire does not build up a thermal gradient that stops heat transfer, heat transfer must accompany any thermal gradient in the wire.

    rgb

  150. I’ve done it all for you in thousands of hours of study and thinking about how the laws of physics apply to planetary atmospheres, surfaces, crusts, mantles and cores.

    I’ve put in my own hours, thank you. This is not helpful in the specific context of doing a defensible statistical analysis of CMIP5. Also, I am enormously skeptical about any work that asserts that the DALR is the result of anything but convection in an open system, given that this is how it is properly derived in a treatment of the Navier-Stokes equation, although there are semi-heuristic treatments like the one in Caballero that examine only uplifting or downfalling parcels. The DALR is a dynamic feature of an open, driven fluid systems, not something that is maintained in by gravity functioning as a Maxwell Demon.

    Whenever this sort of thing is proposed, I cannot help but connect the dots and conclude that the proposer is seeking some sort of physical mechanism that would permit them to claim that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect, that surface temperature is maintained “by gravity” in some sort of stationary way. It is often accompanied by the assertion that CO_2 is a cooling gas and other idiocy. I sincerely hope that you are not yet another “dragonslayer” in disguise, as this is the sort of thing that runs rampant amongst them, especially when “distinguished” 19th century physics is invoked (pretending that Gibbs and the entire 20th century progression of stat mech never happened, that quantum mechanics is irrelevant, etc.) and above all, when the laws of thermodynamics are invoked by individuals that clearly do not understand them.

    If you are indeed a “physicist”, then surely you understand Maxwell’s Demon, detailed balance, have taken a credible course in statistical mechanics (and several in thermodynamics), have studied graduate-level electrodynamics and quantum theory, have taken courses in partial differential equations, complex variables, advanced calculus, and so on and hence should no better than to invoke gravity as a Demon. If you have done all of these things but somehow missed that part, I suggest that you do a web search or literature search, as I was able to find online derivations presented as parts of ordinary undergrad classes in thermo that covered it without much difficulty — you don’t even need to go back to your textbooks to try to find it (as it might well have been omitted from any given textbook). You might also review the heat equation as you seem to have a serious misunderstanding about the connection between a thermal gradient and heat flow through a homogeneous medium in a non-equilibrium dynamic energy transfer.

    If you are in fact a dragonslayer, then to the best of my experience there is little or no hope for you. I have yet to find a single slayer that takes instruction in physics well, or is even willing to openly debate the physics with the use of actual equations and derivations following from clear statements of physical law.

    rgb

  151. rgbatduke @ February 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I’ve searched with combinations of ‘wattsupwiththat wire cylinder rgbatduke rgb’, and although I pull up interesting material, your silver wire stratified cyclinder gedunken article doesn’t seem to be among the results.

    Can you suggest any additional specific terms I can use to help pull up your piece? Or is a link available? Thanks!

    tc

  152. It was in response to a proposal by Nikolov and Zeller (IIRC) and another person named Jelbring that the DALR was a static feature of true thermal equilibrium in a gravitational field (Jelbring more than N&Z) so that surface temperature strictly depended on fluid pressure. I pointed out in threads on multiple blogs that thermodynamic equilibrium is isothermal, gravitational field or not, and finally wrote a top article demonstrating in a fairly simple way that one could build a perpetual motion machine of the second kind if in fact gravity acted like a Maxwell Demon so that the bottom of an adiabatically insulated fluid column in a gravitational field was warmer than the top in stable thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Since then, people periodically revisit it and assert without any actual support that my argument is wrong without ever (of course) being able to prove it or refute it algebraically from some sort of first principles. I’ve had people actually claim that heat flow itself is subject to gravity and flows more easily downhill than uphill (which of course is the absurdity that is at the heart of this, as one way or another that is the consequence of non-isothermal equilibrium).

    In actual fact, the DALR is derived by considering the convective motion of approximately adiabatically isolated fluid parcels up and down in a gravitational field, something that only happens if the fluid is being driven by thermal asymmetry into convective flow in an open system that is differentially heated. The heating need not be at the bottom vs cooling at the top, although that is certainly the simplest example; for a planet or moon heating at the equator and cooling at the poles is sufficient to cause a bulk convective transport sufficient to maintain a troposphere with a DALR and a stratosphere. To put it another way, if one placed a heated plate on the ceiling of your well-insulated room on one side and a cold plate on the ceiling of your well insulated room on the other side, the cold plate would increase the density of fluid locally, which would then sink, displacing warmer fluid beneath, and being replaced by fluid from the side while the hot plate would heat air in contact with it, reducing its density and maintaining it at the ceiling. In time a convective roll would develop that sinks on the cold half of the room and rises on the warm half of the room. Of course it would be much simpler to put the hot plate on the ground (as it effectively is on the Earth with its visible-light transparent atmosphere) and the cold plate at the top of the troposphere where the atmosphere radiatively cools in the LWIR, and of course in a real planet one has to still throw in equatorial/polar asymmetry and substantial lateral asymmetry and latent heat and phase transitions in water and even more stuff.

    This is all part of the Big Question — how do asymmetrically heated and cooled fluids in open complex systems self-organize to transport the energy? What are the emergent structures, and how do things like their transport efficiency vary with the non-equilibrium state? These are really difficult questions, and cannot be answered with trivial linear models as the self-organized structures themselves are highly nonlinear, highly variable and have their own rules that cannot easily or meaningfully be reduced to the microscopic level. Fluid dynamics in an an open system with the complexity of the Earth is very, very complicated; arguably the most difficult problem in physics. There is nothing shameful in the fact that we cannot yet solve it, although there is something wrong with claiming that we have solved it at a precision sufficient to justify the mortgage of human civilization for the next century on the basis of its predictions when manifestly we have not.

    The WUWT article is here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/

    It’s one of the only articles I actually have written for WUWT, although periodically a thread comment gets elevated to become a comment.

    rgb

  153. rgbatduke @ February 10, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Thank you for the background & context, and the link!

    It sounds not that far from having an apparatus in it. With equations.

    This might be implemented … cloud chamber, heat pipe, thermocouple/diode, amp … or use them as model-elements.

    tc

  154. Electric sail could send probe to explore Uranus

    The electric sail, or E-sail, being proposed by the Finnish team more resembles an umbrella’s pattern of spokes – wire tethers that when charged up will generate an electric field around the spacecraft and allow it to be pushed along by solar energy.
    The concept of the E-sail was put together by engineer Pekka Janhunen, who is also leading a proposal to send a space probe to study the distant ice giant planet Uranus.

    For a larger probe, as envisioned for a mission to Uranus, nearly 3 billion km from Earth (1.8 billion km) the journey time is still estimated at about just six years at a speed of up to 72,000 km per hour.

    A probe to Uranus ranks high & is being considered at several agencies.

    A high level of activity at Answers in Genesis and in the wider Creationism community, seeking to use the irregularities of Uranus as a challenge to planetary evolution, may be helping raise the profile of this mission.

    Data & facts on Uranus are fairly close at hand.

  155. per Fritz.

    “””””……Anyhow my eye says it curves down, just like my eyebrows.

    Eyes are notorious for their abilities to find trends where none exists. You could easily test it in Excel with a second order fit…….””””””

    Eyes (and ears) also have an uncanny ability to see “information” that sometimes defies analytical discovery.

    For example, a two year old child can easily distinguish a tree; ANY tree, from a telephone pole (the AT&T “tree”).

    Try locating some software on the web (any software) that can do likewise.

    Now the rugrat, may get stumped (pun intended) by the Baja desert “boojum tree”, but then lots of humans aren’t sure its a tree, and not maybe a cactus.

    But in self defense, I DID query, whether some formal analysis might put numbers, where my eye simply sees a pattern; (even if none really exists) in this case.

  156. rgbatduke says:
    February 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm
    Indeed, one would expect that at least a few models would have decent p-values on the basis of pure data dredging, given so many models to pull results from.
    ———————————————————————————
    Your posts enlighten all of us, and your clear understandable wording simplifies the complex, so that even a full amateur such as myself can follow the thought stream. Your arguments have a keen edge to them.

  157. I have explained in this comment (and in more detail in my book) why thermodynamic equilibrium in a gravitational field is not an isothermal state.

    Explained in detail is utterly meaningless. Have you done a stat mech computation that demonstrates this? Of course not. Words don’t count in physical theory. Equations and derivations from established physical laws do.

    You are also pretending that both Venus and Uranus have adiabatically isolated static atmospheres, as thermodynamic equilibrium naturally contains no driven motion or heat absorption or dissipation. I would have to state that both of these things are observationally false. They are open systems as you implicitly acknowledge when you talk about temperature variation, and are not in anything like thermal equilibrium.

    Finally, I note that you carefully avoid addressing my recapitulated proof that if an actual adiabatically isolated fluid column in a gravitational field had a true thermodynamic equilibrium with a thermal lapse rate that varied with the density, it would violate the second law of thermodynamics. Let me once again refute you in a way that you cannot possibly blind yourself to.

    The DALR (established by convection, not equilibrium processes, but never mind) is g/C_p, and it is this lapse rate that you claim is stable thermodynamic equilibrium, one that will be maintained in a completely isolated fluid column.

    However, you seem to not have realized that C_p here is not a constant — it is the heat capacity of the fluid in question — different fluids, different densities, different heat capacity. A monoatomic fluid and diatomic fluid and molecular fluid with many degrees of freedom will all have different heat capacities, as will any one of these kinds of fluids as their density is changed. The point being — the lapse rate is not a constant!

    Now imagine the scenario I clearly lay out in my refutation of any possibility that the lapse rate describes thermodynamic equilibrium in the article linked above. We mentally build not one but a dozen adiabatically insulated columns. We fill each of them with a different fluid at a different density and wait a long time so we end up (according to you!) with a dozen different thermodynamic equilibrium lapse rates in then different columns, which all have the same height.

    Now, I’m certain that you recall the zeroth law of thermodynamics, because it is the one that defines thermodynamic equilibrium and permits us to define and measure temperature. What exactly do you think will happen when you establish a thermal connection between the tops and bottoms of the adiabatic columns you have built? The tops and bottoms will be at different temperatures! Heat will flow!

    When, exactly, will it stop flowing?

    If this is too abstruse for you, imagine connecting the top and bottom of each column with an identical well-insulated silver rod. You have asserted — incorrectly — that the silver rod will somehow also have a thermal lapse rate because it is in a gravitational field so that heat will stop flowing, in spite of the fact that there is ample empirical evidence that no such thing will occur. But even if it does, the lapse rate will not match all of the dozen fluid columns and the properties of the silver could not possibly lead to the same lapse rate as any of the columns — it is Dulong-Petit (an incompressible solid) not a molecular fluid with highly variable density and structurally variable degrees of freedom!

    So once again, heat will flow in perpetuity because you have built a perpetual motion machine of the second kind with your assertions.

    Normal people, especially if they are in fact physicists (which at this point I very much have to say that I doubt) know better than to assert processes that violate the second law. Indeed, to quote Eddington:

    If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations—then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation—well these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

    Please collapse.

    rgb

  158. rgbatduke 7:37am: “What exactly do you think will happen when you establish a thermal connection between the tops and bottoms of the adiabatic columns you have built?”

    Once connected, the two systems are 1 system again, an adiabatic thermal universe of their own. Entropy will increase to the maximum possible value. At that exact point (ideal & exact T(z) determined by relevant Poisson eqn.), heat will stop flowing – thermodynamic equilibrium will once again be achieved isentropic, non-isothermal by a small percent in a gravity field. There is no PPM. 2nd law is observed. See Dr. Bohren’s 1998 text sec. 4.4 for the mathematical proof. The Verkley et. al. 2004 paper we discussed before shows a great, concise mathematical explanation/extension proof using 1st and 2nd law with the calculus required.

  159. Once connected, the two systems are 1 system again, an adiabatic thermal universe of their own. Entropy will increase to the maximum possible value. At that exact point (ideal & exact T(z) determined by relevant Poisson eqn.), heat will stop flowing – thermodynamic equilibrium will once again be achieved isentropic, non-isothermal by a small percent in a gravity field. There is no PPM. 2nd law is observed. See Dr. Bohren’s 1998 text sec. 4.4 for the mathematical proof. The Verkley et. al. 2004 paper we discussed before shows a great, concise mathematical explanation/extension proof using 1st and 2nd law with the calculus required.

    Are you mad, sir? Next you’ll be telling me that if I take a column of gas at equilibrium, attach a hot reservoir to the bottom known to the gas only by the temperature maintained on a plate there and a cold reservoir to the top known to the gas only by the temperature maintained on the plate there that no heat will be flowing in the new “equilibrium” that establishes itself. Because that’s just what you just told me.

    A hint, sir. There are many itsy bitsy coarse grained differential chunks — parcels — of fluid in the gas column. Not one of them “knows” or interacts with any of the other chunks outside of its nearest neighbors — there are no long range interactions. Each such parcel of matter — including the matter bounding the container — obeys entirely simple rules concerning the need for detailed balance in equilibrium. What that means practically is that the zeroth law of thermodynamics must be satisfied — the one that defines the state of equilibrium.

    This law is defined for each and every parcel interacting only with its immediate neighbors. The zeroth law for equilibrium requires detailed balance of energy flow across the boundary of each parcel. Locally, without question, if you increase or decrease the temperature on one side of a boundary surface, energy will diffuse across that surface until the temperature change is eliminated. It is that property that defines temperature — two reservoirs in equilibrium with a third must be in equilibrium with each other.

    The thermodynamic equilibrium of an isolated gas column is a property of that column. It is the state whereby detailed balance is maintained between all neighboring parcels. It is the state that the entire system will spontaneously evolve to, if left alone with no energy inputs from the outside world. If you increase the temperature on the boundary of the bottom parcels, you disequilibrate them. Heat will flow into the system at the bottom, and start to migrate up through the gas column to try to bring the entire system into equilibrium with the new temperature. Because (as I hope is perfectly obvious) the temperature of the entire column whether or not you believe in a stable lapse rate is a monotonic function of the temperature maintained at any point on the boundary of the fluid, the only possible response to putting a surface at a higher temperature on the bottom of the column is for the entire column to increase its temperature (over time) until detailed balance is once again maintained. Note well that “increase temperature” means that heat will flow in at that bottom plate and diffuse upward through the entire column until it is once again in equilibrium at a new, higher, temperature.

    Of course, if you put a plate in at the top of the column that is colder (in temperature) than the prior equilibrium temperature, the entire system will attempt to come into equilibrium with that colder temperature. The entire column would monotonically shift its equilibrium temperature, or temperature distribution as you erroneously prefer, down. Energy would flow out of the entire system at the top until detailed balance was once again maintained and the energy that goes out through this surface is once again on average equal to the energy that come in.

    There is absolutely nothing special about the bottom or top, or vertical or horizontal in this. If you place a boundary anywhere on the container wall and maintain a temperature there, heat will flow until the entire container (with or without a lapse) is in thermal equilibrium with that temperature. That’s what thermal equilibrium means.

    The problem arises the second you put in two such plates. Equilibrium is a property of the unforced fluid. If you warm or cool one such plate, you have absolutely no freedom to independently choose the temperature of the second plate — you cannot have two temperature distributions that constitute equilibrium because (recall from above) we’ve already established that parcel to parcel, detailed balance determines the temperature difference between parcels at equilibrium and nothing else. Heat will not flow between the neighboring parcels only when the correct temperature difference is maintained between them. I (and every other book on thermodynamics ever published) hold that the temperature difference when heat no longer flows is zero, but even if you want it to be non-zero, it can’t have two or more values as it is a local property of the fluid.

    Consequently, when you put two plates in, one at the top and one at the bottom, and maintain a higher (than the original equilibrium) temperature on one and a lower temperature on the other, heat will flow and never stop flowing as long as the temperature differential is maintained. Of course you know this perfectly well (at least, I hope you do!) because there are some really simple limits here such as heating a bottom plate to 1000 K and maintaining the top plate at 3 K. Are you going to try to assert that this is an “equilibrium” state of the fluid and that no heat will flow through the fluid from the hot plate to the cold plate? Of course not.

    So exactly what temperature difference will constitute thermal equilibrium, the state where there is no heat flow through the fluid? Remember that the fluid in the column has no knowledge of the process that maintains the temperatures of the two plates. On the other side of those plates there could be heaters and refrigerators, or there could be a second gas column that spontaneously creates a different lapse based temperature difference, there could be a thermal superconductor that maintains a zero temperature difference between the top and bottom plate that is too cold for your imaginary stable lapse at the bottom, too warm for it at the top. The gas column itself doesn’t know — it just knows about the temperatures of the plates, and knows that if those two plates are not at precisely the temperatures that constitute the equilibrium temperatures of the gas column, heat will flow between the two plates. If one connects two columns with different equilibrium temperatures at the point of connection, heat will flow forever because there is no common state that can be called equilibrium in which no heat flow! If there were, the thermodynamic equilibrium of each gas column would not be unique, would it?

    What is the correct thermal equilibrium of the gas column? We can already see it as the limit of the examples given above. If we place a thermal superconductor inside the fluid column, there is no question that the top and bottom of the superconductor will be at the same temperature, always. The only possible way the fluid could be in equilibrium with this superconductor is if it, too, were at the same temperature throughout. There are not two thermal equilibrium states of this fluid, as thermal equilibrium is established locally on the basis of detailed balance and you cannot simultaneously tell me that detailed balance has a higher temperature by some however tiny amount on the lower of two neighboring parcels and that detailed balance is also satisfied by those two parcels having the same temperature.

    All of this is precisely analogous to what one gets when considering resistance, potential difference, and current flow in loops, by the way. Equipotential is equipotential. For absolutely identical reasons, one cannot assert that charged particles in motion get a “gravity assist” so that they have a greater equilibrium potential difference across one medium than they do across another medium, because if one then connects the two media in parallel current will flow forever violating all sorts of important laws.

    Fortunately, this condition — thermal equilibrium means “at the same temperature” also satisfies all of the laws of thermodynamics. No heat flow in equilibrium? Check. Two reservoirs in equilibrium with a third in equilibrium with each other? Check. First Law? Check. Second Law? Check.

    I mean, seriously dude — suppose you have a thermometer stuck into the bottom of your fluid at the bottom while the whole shebang comes into equilibrium. You then remove it and move it to the top and poke it in there. The whole point of the zeroth law is that that thermometer must be in equilibrium when you poke it in at the top, but its temperature didn’t change as you carried it reversibly slowly uphill. If its temperature is different — and of course it will be different if there is a stable lapse rate — than heat will flow from the thermometer and the entropy of the entire system will increase, demonstrating that no your system was not at maximum entropy in its previous state.

    rgb

  160. You have not proved this. I have proved the opposite. Isothermal conditions have unbalanced energy potentials (because of the additional mean gravitational potential energy at the top) and so they are not the state of maximum entropy as described in the Second Law.

    So you are saying that if you lift a sealed, adiabatically isolated container of gas up 10 km, its temperature will change according to the lapse rate.

    The problem, sir, is obvious.

    They are also demonstrably not in the state of maximum entropy. That’s the whole point of connecting the top and bottom of your supposedly maximum entropy fluid by a good conductor of heat. Heat will flow because it is not in maximum entropy — you have a thermal gradient that is just begging to be equilibrated by transferring heat from the higher temperature to the lower temperature, a process that macroscopically, without doubt, increases entropy. You actually have to come up with a glib explanation for why this entropy increase does not occur, since gravity is a conservative force and is net neutral in all energy exchanges from the top of the fluid to the bottom, and the fluid is a conductive medium perfectly capable of moving heat from the bottom to the top.

    I just don’t get it. All of this is perfectly obvious. Also, there are numerous books that derive the DALR, which is not a “thermal equilibrium” or “thermodynamic equilibrium” condition either one, it is a condition established by the vertical convective motion of the gas. You cannot just redefine the language of physics to suit yourself, by the way — everybody knows that “thermodynamics” is a misnomer, but everybody also understands perfectly well what it means and that it does not apply to open system dynamics per se, hence the phrase “non-equilibrium thermodynamics”.

    If you want to say that planetary atmospheres will generally establish a lapse rate, that is just fine with me. I agree. However that lapse rate is not therma-whatever equilibrium any more than a rod between two thermal reservoirs is in thermal equilibrium. Heat is being actively transported throughout the system, both in the rod and in the planetary atmospheres. If one takes an isolated column of fluid and waits for it to stop moving and equilibrate, therma-whatever equilibrium is isothermal, period, because it is absolutely trivial to show a) any other state is not, in fact, maximum entropy because the transfer of energy from the higher to the lower temperatures increases entropy; b) if one connects the two supposedly equilibrated regions with a heat engine, one has a perpetual motion machine of the second kind, as one might expect since you have violated the second law with your assertion of therma-whatever equilibrium.

    The problem with this is that suddenly you aren’t contributing to the discussion at all any more. The DALR has been derived and reasonably well understood for a long time. So are its variations with things like humidity. Its role as one of the legs upon which the greenhouse effect is built is reasonably well understood — the greenhouse effect would produce warming in a pure single layer model, sure, but the real thing in a real atmosphere is vastly more complex because the real atmosphere is not a single layer with ideal properties, it is a complex entity with substantial circulation that maintains a lapse rate that varies substantially with humidity and local conditions, such that the radiative temperature of the top of the troposphere where it becomes transparent to LWIR is much cooler than the surface temperature and is not identical to the temperature that one might expect from a “perfect” single layer model even with the approximately correct mean absorptivities.

    I personally generally recommend that people such as yourself consider reading e.g. Caballero’s lecture notes on atmospheric physics available here:

    http://people.su.se/~rcaba/index.php?view=teaching

    In particular, note his entire chapter 2. This is all pretty straightforward stuff, and note well that it involves moving air parcels — it does not assert, nor would it be correct to assert, that it describes thermodynamic equilibrium. Note well that considering the DALR and scale height in the context of planetary atmospheres is often assigned as homework in atmospheric physics courses. What, exactly, are you contributing to this that isn’t well-known, more correctly derived without all of the assertions of second-law-violating “equilibrium”, derived with consideration of the actual chemistry of the atmosphere in question (e.g. wet air lapse rates)? Would that be “nothing”?

    Finally, even Caballero’s treatment isn’t quite “right” — it is semi-heuristic. The proper way to derive the DALR is to consider the Navier-Stokes equation itself. This derivation is in books on the advanced physics of planetary atmospheres, but I failed to bookmark the one I did find online that contained it and so I cannot give you a link. I’m guessing it is in several, however, so if you search I’m sure you will find. Navier-Stokes, of course, is not at all about equilibrium thermodynamics, it is about transport processes, both bulk fluid and heat/energy, usually driven by temperature/pressure differences.

    rgb

    [DALR = Downward ? ??? Lapse Rate? Longwave Radiation? Mod]

  161. rgbatduke 7:46am: “Are you mad, sir?”

    No, I seldom get mad at confused but inquisitive students that want to improve. I only get mad at my tags that fail, let’s hope these work out. Thanks for your response. This 7:46am response shows you have not yet read up on the basic proofs in the cites I provided. My statements at 9:25am the day before are proven beyond reasonable doubts in the cites I gave using 1st principles and a bit of calculus. There is at least one step in the calculus checking that may need a visit to your math dept. but that is always a good thing to do.

    If you want to contribute to developing an understanding of the FLAT 17+ years in near surface and lower troposphere mean global temperature observations in the face of ever increasing infrared-active gas ppm shown in top post, you must first end your confusion and master the basic science (the adiabatic columns). This is easily done by traipsing over to the library and checking out Dr. Bohren’s 1998 text and having the pre-req.s to read thru the proof of my 9:25am statements in sec. 4.4 (don’t just take the word of an anonymous poster on the internet). You will have to re-read it a couple times, it is idealized, exact, concise, you are smart and the work is physically correct so you will eventually come around to writing the right stuff on the basics.

    As I would do for any critical, informed student visiting during my office hours, I will give some hints on why you have been marked down on exams and homework assignments in the past. I will not do the fix-up work for you, that is up to you if you want to apply yourself to advancing the science. Here goes; assume you just marched into my office and announced yes, you want to apply yourself to further study.

    1) You announce but: “The zeroth law for equilibrium requires detailed balance of energy flow across the boundary of each parcel.”

    Dr. Bohren discusses this and shows why you are wrong.

    Hint: the zeroth is applicable to three thermodynamic systems. Research assignment: The adiabatic tall column of interest is how many thermodynamic systems? Once the adiabatic two are connected, how many adiabatic systems remain? Come back when you have a cite with your answer about whether zeroth is applicable. You are confused, as Dr. Bohren writes, by conduction in solids. Solid enthalpy is the same as gas enthalpy except a term is assumed to be so small as to be justly ignored in a solid. What term is that exactly? Hint: It cannot be ignored in the study of gas enthalpy in the pursuit of understanding adiabatic thermodynamic equilibrium in a tall m^2 column of standard air.

    2) You counter: “If you increase the temperature on the boundary of the bottom parcels, you disequilibrate them…..heat will flow until the entire container…”

    Hint: read up on the term “adiabatic”. Return when you can explain that term in your own words and why this statement of yours is irrelevant.

    3) You complain I have not read every other book: “I (and every other book on thermodynamics ever published) hold that the temperature difference when heat no longer flows is zero, but even if you want it to be non-zero, it can’t have two or more values as it is a local property of the fluid.”

    Again, you were marked down because you confuse conduction (and enthalpy) in solids with conduction (and enthalpy) in fluids and gases and plasmas. This is nothing to be ashamed over, many, if not all, students are in this position entering Dr. Bohren’s classes as he writes and have to be first unlearned of gibberish then re-learned in the right stuff of science.

    4) You have to re-ask: “So exactly what temperature difference will constitute thermal equilibrium, the state where there is no heat flow through the fluid?

    Dr. Bohren points out in the literature that the T(z) difference in the tall adiabatic column at max. entropy that will constitute thermodynamic equilibrium is the relevant Poisson eqn. (ref. eqn. 4.149 p. 166). If you run the numbers from earth surface to tropopause, find a temperature ( z) difference of a small percent (not constant).

    5) You ask: “If one connects two columns with different equilibrium temperatures at the point of connection, heat will flow forever because there is no common state that can be called equilibrium in which no heat flow! If there were, the thermodynamic equilibrium of each gas column would not be unique, would it?”

    Hint: Figure out your best answer to 3) above and re-examine these questions. Return during office hours when you have thought this through without confusion.

    6) You ask repeatedly as if the answer was not already in the literature: “What is the correct thermal equilibrium of the gas column?”

    Hint: This allows me to judge you have not completed the classroom assigned reading assignments. Get back to me when you have answered your own question by digging thru Bohren 1998 sec. 4.4 assigned in class above.

    7) You state: “Fortunately, this condition — thermal equilibrium means “at the same temperature” also satisfies all of the laws of thermodynamics. No heat flow in equilibrium? Check. Two reservoirs in equilibrium with a third in equilibrium with each other? Check. First Law? Check. Second Law? Check.”

    Hint: Think about when this is actually true. Giving it away hint: Think about when there is no external gravity field applied. Thermodynamic equilibrium at max. entropy with an external gravity field applied is proven in the literature to be not at the same temperature(z). By using fundamental correct, testable, observable-in-the-wild physics, see Bohren 1998 sec. 4.4 including his cites.

    8) You conclude: “If its temperature is different — and of course it will be different if there is a stable lapse rate — than heat will flow from the thermometer and the entropy of the entire system will increase, demonstrating that no your system was not at maximum entropy in its previous state.”

    Hint: This shows you have attended class, done a little study already. What happened to the adiabatic system max. entropy point as soon as you poked in the thermometers? Think what the (adiabatic) thermometers would show had they been in the system as it came to thermodynamic equilibrium. Think about the Poisson eqn. T(z) 4.149 p. 166 in Bohren 1998. Then let’s have another office hour session chat; this one was fun and allowed me to actually practice the art of teaching. I appreciate that.

  162. A few further ideas on lapse rate and steady state. A steady temperature gradient in a conducting medium generates entropy at a rate k(1/T dT/dx)^2 per unit vol. This also works pretty well if conductivity k is a turbulent conductivity. If the gradient is in steady state, something must be removing that entropy.

    That needs a heat pump, which is provided by air motion. Wind, but it’s the vertical component that is effective. That pumps heat against the gradient (if below the DALR). Of course there is no global entropy loss; the energy comes from the kinetic energy of the wind, which was generated from the atmospheric heat engine. Heat engines necessarily create entropy.

  163. “I suggest that this discussion be combined with that on the more recent thread about the models.”

    I don’t thing so. You can’t even keep your own ‘comment-spaghetti’ straight. ;)

  164. Trick and I are correct in stating that a new equilibrium state will evolve for the complete system

    …in which energy is actively flowing from point to point, so that it is not, in fact, an equilibribium state.

    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Seriously. If you think that it is possible to build a perpetual motion machine of either the first or the second kind, you are wrong at such a deep level that there is probably no correcting you. Feel free to think that it is possible, but sorry, it isn’t.

    And Trick, explain to me how thermal equilibrium (defined as a state where heat does not flow) depends on the boundary conditions of a system, again?

    rgb

  165. How many times do I have to repeat, the temperature gradient evolves in all solids, liquids and gases. Thus it evolves in any wire or silver rod, and that stops any perpetual cycle of energy.

    Ah, so you are saying the lapse rate is not g/c_p? So the lapse rate for all materials is the same?

    Because if one has a lapse rate in an fluid in equilibrium, then if one alters the temperature of a surface in contact with it away from that equilibrium temperature, heat will flow and the material cannot come back into equilibrium at that lapse rate.

    Once again, it is difficult to explain or understand how you could think that two different temperature profiles could both be “equilibrium” for a confined fluid. Either the temperatures of two neighboring parcels are such that no energy flows between them, or it is not.

    rgb

  166. It seems that the discussion should focus upon quasi-steady-state conditions in a non-equilibrium system. That is the actual geophysical problem.

  167. FWIW:

    A column of dry air in hydrostatic equilibrium is considered, bounded by two fixed values of the pressure, and the question is asked, what vertical temperature profile maximizes the total entropy of the column? Using an elementary variational calculation, it is shown how the result depends on what is kept fixed in the maximization process. If one assumes that there is no net heat exchange between the column and its surroundings—implying that the vertical integral of the absolute temperature remains constant—an isothermal profile is obtained in accordance with classical thermodynamics and the kinetic theory of gases. If instead the vertical integral of the potential temperature is kept fixed—as argued by several authors to be appropriate in the case of convective mixing—an isentropic profile results. It is argued that, if one wishes to apply the latter constraint, it should be used as an additional, rather than as an alternative, constraint. The variational problem with both constraints leads to a profile in between the isothermal and the isentropic extremes. This profile has the merit of reproducing very accurately the tropospheric part of the U.S. Standard Atmosphere, 1976.

    This is Verkeley and Gerkema, 2004 (one of your favorites, right?). Note well that convective mixing is not an isostatic fluid at rest. If there is heat exchange, then sure then “equilibrium” won’t be isothermal. Nor will it be equilibrium!

    Nobody is arguing that adiabatic lapse rates are not sustained in open atmospheric systems. However, those rates are not thermodynamic equilibrium, they are sustained by the flow of mass and heat as energy flows in and out of the system. Calling this “equilibrium” is as silly as calling the thermal gradient in matter connecting two thermal reservoirs “equilibrium”. It is a steady state, to be sure. It is not thermodynamic equilibrium, a phrase that has a very specific meaning.

    Y’all are trying to twist something that you do not understand into a series of statements that are a) irrelevant; and b) taken at face value, clearly and unequivocally violate the laws of thermodynamics. I pointed this out (Trick) last time I read Verkeley — he was not then and is not now describing thermodynamic equilibrium, and he openly acknowledges that in the absence of convective mixing thermodynamic equilibrium is isothermal.

    So you want to try again?

    rgb

  168. rgbatduke 4:39pm: “..Trick, explain to me how thermal equilibrium (defined as a state where heat does not flow) depends on the boundary conditions of a system, again?…5:30pm: Try again.”

    Ok. Very astute question with maybe a minor terminology issue, congrat.s as this is informed & critical, shows you are making progress thinking this thru.

    I will assume you mean thermodynamic equilibrium in these ideal columns as that is what I discussed and is more encompassing than just thermal equilibrium. If I am correct in this assumption, I will refer you to your linked Caballero text sec. 2.17 pp.35-37 “Thermodynamic equilibrium and heat conduction”. If not fill me in on what you mean exactly by writing “thermal equilibrium (defined as a state where heat does not flow)” with text book cites as regards entropy maximization theory in the adiabatic system of interest (the tall column of standard air).

    You will find in Caballero ref. that your isothermal hypothesis is attained ideal and exact if boundary condition constraints are “weak” and there is no external gravity field (Caballero Fig. 3). Verkley 2004 Fig. 1 showed these constraints exactly in math and added the external pervasive gravity field.

    Caballero’s isothermal “weak” constraints were used by the thermo. grand masters as Verkley et. al. intro. discusses – boundary constraints were “weak” in that they allowed the column to do work on the columns above and below to attain the classic isothermal solution.

    Strong boundary conditions as in an ideal adiabatic container in a gravity field allow no work on the column above and below, and attain the isentropic, non-isothermal solution as shown in Bohren 1998 sec. 4.4 and Verkley 2004. Both of which can be found on line along with Caballero text.

    Understanding all this thoroughly is an entry into the science behind working on understanding the FLAT 17+ years in top post. Otherwise, w/o these pre-req.s accomplished, gibberish is the blogging result.

    NB1: “Thermal equilibrium” is not discussed in Caballero on-line, that cite would not be informative.

    NB2: Verkley is indeed discussing an atm. in thermodynamic equilibrium, you must have missed this under 2. Maximum Entropy Profiles: “For an atmosphere in local thermodynamic equilibrium…”. Indeed the very defn. of thermodynamic equilibrium is the max. entropy point profile.

    The big universe will reach this point one day in 10^100 eons, no heat will flow anywhere at max. entropy, IF our universe is truly isolated and not closed by gravity.

  169. Trick says @ February 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Ted Clayton quotes Trupp 1:55pm: “Thus (Loschmidt) was convinced he had detected a never ending source of usable energy for mankind.”

    Mostly true, exploiting the atm. global mean temperature decrease with increase height on Earth would be usable source of energy as long as sun is driving it.

    A little further down, Trupp specifies Loschmidt’s “source”:

    Loschmidt, however, was convinced that a perpetual motion machine of the second kind was compatible with the second law of thermodynamics. In that point, he disagreed with Clausius, Thomson, Boltzmann, and Maxwell. In particular, he believed that a perpetual motion machine of the second kind could be operated by means of a vertical column of gas, the temperature of which he claimed to be stratified.

    Sufficiently waterboarded, The 2nd Law agrees to cooperate.

  170. Ted 6:47pm: Well, in so far as the vertical gas column heat engine wouldn’t be perpetual motion. Last only as long as the sun is the energy source. If Loschmidt wrote that, he simply meant the sun lasts a long time – not perpetually long.

  171. Trick says @ February 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    If Loschmidt wrote that, he simply meant the sun lasts a long time – not perpetually long.

    Trupp concludes his article with a juicy Loschmidt quote:

    Loschmidt, on his part, had the following vision for the future: “Thereby the terroristic nimbus of the second law is destroyed, a nimbus which makes that second law appear as the annihilating principle of all life in the universe, and at the same time we are confronted with the comforting perspective that, as far as the conversion of heat into work is concerned, mankind will not solely be dependent on the intervention of coal or of the sun, but will have available an inexhaustable resource of convertible heat at all times” 15) .

    15) Loschmidt, “Über den Zustand des Wärmegleichgewichts… I”, p. 135.

    Evidently, Loschmidt first tried to be a businessman, several times. Academia was his fall-back, and he only started at 33. He appears to have copped quite an attitude toward Capitalism.

  172. NB1: “Thermal equilibrium” is not discussed in Caballero on-line, that cite would not be informative.

    NB2: Verkley is indeed discussing an atm. in thermodynamic equilibrium, you must have missed this under 2. Maximum Entropy Profiles: “For an atmosphere in local thermodynamic equilibrium…”. Indeed the very defn. of thermodynamic equilibrium is the max. entropy point profile.

    There are not two thermodynamic equilibria. As Caballero and everybody else who does atmospheric physics seems to understand, the Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate is derived by assuming parcels of air that are in motion, uplifting and adiabatically expanding from a base temperature on the ground. They thus follow an adiabatic curve, which is of course not isothermal. Nor does it describe a state of global thermodynamic equilibrium — it is a quasi-static curve associated with net energy transfer. In the atmosphere, it is even fussier than it is when one considers fluid in cylinders in classical thermo, because what goes up one place must come down someplace else. It is actually interesting to note that there enough persistent vertical mixing in the atmosphere to maintain an approximately adiabatic lapse rate.

    Take that same atmosphere and place it in an unheated insulating container and wait, and it will first stop convecting, as convection is driven by energy transfer from a hot to a cold reservoir. Its original profile might well have been a DALR, but once it has time to equilibrate it will be isothermal. Verkeley seems to understand this. Textbooks on atmospheric physics most definitely discuss this. If one solves the NON-equilibrium Navier-Stokes equations for non-turbulent convection one can derive this.

    I repeat — what is at issue here is not that there is a lapse rate in a planetary atmosphere, any more than that was at issue back when I first discussed this with e.g. Jelbring. It is whether or not that atmosphere is in stable thermodynamic equilibrium, whether or not GRAVITY ACTS LIKE A MAXWELL DEMON to sort out hotter molecules with more average kinetic energy on the bottom AS A STABLE, ONGOING PROCESS rather than as a one-shot heating as e.g. an atmosphere collapses. It does not. That is a butchery of both stat mech and the concepts of thermodynamics. If molecules on the bottom of an atmosphere are intrinsically hotter because they have more gravitational potential energy in bulk, then one can build perpetual motion machines of the second kind. And one can’t.

    One can indeed have stable states in open thermodynamic systems. As I said, put a conducting rod between two heat sinks and it will settle down to a stable thermal profile. Heat a pan full of water on the bottom gently, and it will establish a more or less stable pattern of convection driven by water heating, rising, cooling, falling. One can (with some license) call these states “equilibria”, and in coarse-grained chunks of the material in question there can be enough molecules with similar enough temperature for the notion of a local temperature to apply (which is all “local thermodynamic equilibrium” means, that one can talk about a varying temperature field in a material), but they are not global thermodynamic equilibria because that is isothermal. In all cases heat is moving around in the material, carried in the bulk motion of parcels as they rise or fall or as it enters on one (hotter) side of a slice and exits on the other (cooler) side of a slice.

    The Earth’s atmosphere is without question heated on the bottom and cooled on the top. Other atmospheres are also differentially heated. Differential heating/cooling and gravity are a sufficient condition for convection, and convection leads to a DALR as opposed to isothermal atmosphere as a more or less steady state. But it is not thermodynamic equilibrium, and one cannot build a perpetual motion machine from it because it is a HEAT ENGINE. The entire atmosphere is a heat engine, with its motion driven by temperature differences. Of course it can do work.

    rgb

  173. rgbatduke 6:11am: “Its original profile might well have been a DALR, but once it has time to equilibrate it will be isothermal. Verkeley seems to understand this.”

    Agree initial condition environmental DALR, ref. Verkley Fig. 2. Verkley understands and Caballero teaches that boundary conditions matter for the tall ideal column of standard air.

    “Weak” boundary conditions meaning adiabatic column allowed to do work on column above and below = classic isothermal constant T(z) solution at thermodynamic equilibrium max. entropy point dS/dt=0.

    “Strong” boundary conditions meaning adiabatic column not allowed to do work on columns above and below = modern text book non-isothermal varying T(z) given by Bohren 1998 eqn. 4.149 Poisson eqn. at thermodynamic equilibrium max. entropy point dS/dt=0.

    “Differential heating/cooling and gravity are a sufficient condition for convection..”

    The sufficient condition for convection also includes higher temperature to be at the bottom of the fluid. Troposphere increased in temperature from bottom = convection & DALR, stratosphere increased in temperature from the top = little convection, no DALR for certain z range.

    “The Earth’s atmosphere is without question heated on the bottom and cooled on the top.”

    Majority of Earth system thermal energy source is the higher temperature sun except for the negligible geothermal component and the negligible CMB. Earth system radiates energy from the TOA and reflects it to sink of deep space, all in ~steady state.

    Modulating atm. composition infrared-active gas ppm will affect global near surface mean temperature in opposition to global mean temperature at great height; science can’t yet establish the magnitude of the modulation. Nor explain FLAT 17+ years; I confidently predict science will progress. I also think blogs evidently increase the progress speed as the former print publishing of Einstein/Maxwell eras was much slower – measured in something like decades. Couple posts from them:

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/108968

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/E_mc2/e_mc2.pdf

  174. “Weak” boundary conditions meaning adiabatic column allowed to do work on column above and below = classic isothermal constant T(z) solution at thermodynamic equilibrium max. entropy point dS/dt=0.

    “Strong” boundary conditions meaning adiabatic column not allowed to do work on columns above and below = modern text book non-isothermal varying T(z) given by Bohren 1998 eqn. 4.149 Poisson eqn. at thermodynamic equilibrium max. entropy point dS/dt=0.

    “Allowed to do work” isn’t the point. The atmosphere can only actually do work when it moves. And in equilibrium it is not in motion. The boundary condition involved isn’t pressure at the bottom and/or top of the column, it is the temperature of the top and bottom of the column, or more precisely, whether or not the column is connected to heat source/sinks at the top or the bottom.

    The DALR does not, after all, extend to the top of the atmosphere, does it? It extends to the tropopause. Why is that, do you thin? Could it be because the tropopause is the break point between radiative cooling as GHGs become transparent and radiative warming of the stratosphere on up? There is no possible way one can consider the atmosphere of a planet to be like a column of air, but that does not mean its steady state atmosphere (to the extent that any such thing exists, especially on the Earth where it certainly does not) is in thermodynamic equilibrium.

    As I said, we are quibbling about an irrelevant point. We seem to be in agreement that Visiting Physicist is wrong in his belief that he alone understands the temperature profile of planets, and I assume that we would likely agree that Nikolov and Zeller are similarly wrong, especially since whatever they used for planetary and moon surface temperatures in their plot, they weren’t the accepted published values and when plotted correctly not even their multiparameter fit equation actually fit the data.

    I would guess that we agree that the atmosphere of any planet warmed by a sun will have a troposphere (whether or not it is warmed from above or below). We agree that the troposphere will have a lapse rate, because any differentially warmed atmosphere will have a convective turnover and hence its steady state (driven) atmospheric thermal profile will tend to be adiabatic, not thermal equilibrium isothermal. Basically, conduction will be too slow to equilibrate the quasi-static, approximately adiabatic parcels as they turn over, carrying heat from source to sink. We disagree on whether or not an adiabatic lapse can be called “thermal equilibrium” or “thermodynamic equilibrium” — to me the question is absolutely clear but if you want to make up terminology that considers systems with active heat transport to be in equilibrium that’s fine with me as long as you recognize that you will have a hard time communicating with your own made up language. Sure, the parcels are in local equilibrium (have a well defined coarse grain average temperature and meaningful local properties like coarse grain average density and pressure) but they do not fit the thermodynamic equilibrium profile and net energy is being transported in order for the state to exist at all. But I can’t/won’t argue with a private language, as long as it isn’t used to communicate things or reason out things by using a term two inconsistent ways that are not true.

    The one remaining point to clear up is the second law, which is precisely where your private language is getting you into trouble. The thing that makes it very clear that your nomenclature is not standard is that you are asserting that when I put a silver rod into an atmosphere connecting the top and the bottom, the atmosphere was in equilibrium before but now changes to a new equilibrium. You assert that the silver itself maintains some sort of “lapse rate”, and (most disturbing) that there exists a state where the top and bottom of the air column are at different temperatures and no heat is flowing through the silver!

    This last thing is an absolutely direct violation of the second law, as I hope you recognize. No matter how you orient a silver bar in a gravitational field, the entropy of the system will increase if heat is transferred from the hot side to the cold side, and this transfer will occur as long as the two ends of the rod are at different temperatures. The precise same thing is true of the gas column without the silver, of course — it has a finite (poor) conductivity and given time and no external disturbance or heat sources or sinks it will eventually equilibrate isothermal. But with a good conductor connecting the two ends, no matter what state of stress you imagine the silver to be in as a function of gravitational height, it is pretty easy to see that the entropy gradient for any two adjacent slices at different heights is towards equal temperatures in the slices. Even if the silver does some work expanding or contracting as it reaches equilibrium, even if this work is differential along its length, this work is not cyclic! As it relaxes, the entropy gradient is monotonic towards isothermal, period, with heat always being conducted from hot to cold until it is attained.

    The same exact thing is true in the atmosphere, of course. In a static air column, it might well expand or contract towards an adiabatic temperature profile if released from an arbitrary state as long as there is sufficient motion and freedom to allow the gas parcels to expand (do adiabatic work) or contract (have adiabatic work done on them), but this expansion is not cyclic and once the adiabatic lapse profile is attained, it is entropy-unstable. Parcel by parcel from the top to the bottom, one can always gain entropy by equalizing their temperatures. Nick pointed this out up above as well. The consequences of connecting the top and bottom of the air column with a good conductor of heat simply makes this consequence impossible to ignore.

    To conclude, if one prepares a closed system in some way and then permits that system to relax for an infinite amount of time, there are not two possible states for that system to be found in, there is only one. That state is thermodynamic equilibrium, and it is isothermal as long as the different components of the system are thermally connected at all. If it were any other state, we could always use this system to build a perpetual motion machine of the second kind, build an engine whose sole effect is to take energy from a hot reservoir to a colder reservoir, build a heat engine whose efficiency exceeds the efficiency of a Carnot cycle (transforming heat directly into work) etc. The proofs of this are given in any intro thermo textbook. Even if you want to propose a true-equilibrium lapse rate, it would have to be the same true-equilibrium lapse rate for all materials in a gravitational field or one can always build a second law violating engine or refrigerator by tapping into the energy in flow when the two systems are connected, turning some of it into work, and then removing it. Wait, and the original air column has to return to a lapsed profile. Reconnect it, and it does still more work. Disconnect it and wait for it to come to a new lapsed profile. Reconnect it and it does more work.

    By simply connecting and disconnecting a system with a different “equilibrium” lapse rate and hence different thermal profile supposedly incapable of doing work, one can turn the heat content of the original gas into work outside of the pair of systems altogether with no other change being made in the Universe. Oops. Imagine a simple ideal electrical thermocouple, for example, connected to the top and bottom of your lapsed fluid with thermally superconducting wires and running a small electrical motor outside of your isolated air column. It will run as long as there is a thermal lapse, turning heat in the air column into work. By alternately heating the gas to maintain its total energy content and then letting the thermocouple do work across the supposed spontaneous, stable lapse rate that results, one turns heat directly into work indefinitely.

    All of this is well-known, as Ted pointed out above. It is old news! So old that it is nineteenth century news, in fact. Note that I do not care a whit what you imagine the “boundary conditions” on the gas to be — if you can ever prepare such a gas and it ever spontaneously develops a true thermodynamic equilibrium lapse rate, I will show you how to build a perpetual motion machine and violate all of the statements of the second law with it, because I will not need a cold reservoir into which to reject any added heat. I just have to wait a bit, and your gravitational Maxwell’s Demon will make a cold reservoir for me.

    All of this is so very elementary. It is literally kiddy-physics textbook stuff. A system with an equilibrium thermal gradient can always be connected by a Carnot cycle engine across that gradient and the second law is finished. Hence thermal equilibrium is isothermal, or it would permit the violation of the second law. This is provable with big, block diagrams — it needs nothing fancy. You literally have to postulate that equilibrium temperature in a medium is an absolute function of gravitational field strength — something that is utterly indefensible and easily proven false and indeed contradicted by the actual formula for the DALR gradient — in order to avoid this failure, and I’m not certain one could avoid it even then.

    rgb

  175. Modulating atm. composition infrared-active gas ppm will affect global near surface mean temperature in opposition to global mean temperature at great height; science can’t yet establish the magnitude of the modulation. Nor explain FLAT 17+ years; I confidently predict science will progress.

    And here, we do not necessarily disagree. Indeed, this doesn’t disagree with the GCM predictions. Increasing GHGs are naively expected to increase surface temperatures and may or may not have much effect at the top of the troposphere. I do not find the arguments there convincing, nor do I find them well supported even by books like Petty’s book on atmospheric radiation. Band spreading is a matter of absolute pressure, not partial pressure, so it is difficult to see how it will be measurably modulated by increasing a trace gas in an atmosphere with 5% modulations in surface pressure due to mere weather happening all the time. The troposphere itself is long since opaque, and it is well empirically established that even planets with no meaningful GHG concentrations develop troposphere and stratosphere — the top of the troposphere may be weakly modulated by GHG concentrations, but the dominant determinant of tropospheric height is very likely convective turnover. Also, the actual atmosphere’s effective radiation height is horrendously nonlinear, horrendously varying function of water vapor content, cloud cover and type, frequency, time of day, latitude, temperature, GHG concentrations, aerosol concentrations, particulate concentrations, and whether or not there is a kitchen sink floating around.

    But there is literally no point in asserting that a lapse rate is stable thermodynamic equilibrium. It is sufficient to note that planetary atmospheres empirically establish a troposphere with a lapse rate, that the lapse rate can be understood by considering the thermal profile of approximately adiabatic parcels of atmosphere as they rise and fall in atmospheric convection (maintained by temperature differential between heating and cooling mechanisms), and that this is one important component of the mechanism responsible for atmospheric warming misnamed “the greenhouse effect” even though it is vastly more complex than single slab greenhouse models admit. In addition to being incorrect (equilibrium is isothermal, or the second law can easily be violated) it just gives warmists yet another opportunity to correctly point out that some skeptical arguments are crazy wrong. And what’s the good in that?

    rgb

  176. rgbatduke 8:38 & 8:54am: You continue to let conduction (and enthalpy) in solids cloud your thinking about ideal mathematical thermodynamic equilibrium (TE) in a gas and I fail to see why you think TE is my private term when I ref.d TE in Caballero for you. TE is ideal defined where dS/dt=0 at the max. point, look it up in any other thermo. text. (S=entropy value.)

    The adiabatic tall column of standard air allowing no work on external columns is proven in modern times non-isothermal T(z) by both Dr. Bohren in 1998 and Verkley in 2004 (confirmed by Akmaev 2006) all by letting the math do the work not their intuition. Why you object to their solid proofs is not apparent to me in your responses that confuse idealized and real atm. processes. You will not get a passing grade in this class until you accomplish the reading assignment Bohren 1998 sec. 4.4 and/or can show exactly where these three published authors are incorrect, misstep. If you really think differently and can prove it, is a paper forthcoming?

    I can see I am not getting through to you to update your thinking into modern times and it is useless to continue. My office door remains open.

    Hint: My aluminum flagpole out in the backyard is just like your silver wire. Observation shows my pole obeys the second law (no PPM – it won’t power my BBQ forever as much as I wish it would and you seem to think it should); it matches the air temperature mean over time. Just like any silver wire would do inserted in the Bohren and Verkley tall columns attaining Poisson eqn. T( z) 4.149 at TE without causing any sort of PPM. Of course the wire will alter the math more difficult but not cause PPM.

    Your silver wire does not cause PPM either even though the relevant Poisson eqn. is the ideal column T field solution, you need to let your intuition yield to the math in sec. 4.4 of Bohren 1998 to discover the detailed physics. The mechanics are really elegant & non-intuitive, which is probably what attracted my attention to all this in the 1st place.

    Modern understanding is necessary but not sufficient to understand FLAT in top post.

  177. Trick and rgbatduke:

    Not to stir the pot, but I can’t resist the temptation to mention my forlorn attempt here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/#comment-874313 to obtain help with the Velasco et al. and Román et al. papers–which I interpreted as demonstrating that Dr. Brown’s proof was flawed.

    Despite Dr. Brown’s characteristically admirable patience in that thread, I remain of the opinion that he did not effectively defend his proof there, either. (But I have to admit that the majority on that thread thought otherwise.)

  178. They thought otherwise because this isn’t complex, it is quite simple, and most people clearly understand this. Trick continues to fail to explain why one cannot do work by putting a heat engine between the temperature differences “spontaneously and stably” created. If one can, under any circumstances, then the second law is egregiously violated. Even his agreement that the lapse rate will change if one connects the top and bottom of the air column with a wire that is a good thermal conductor (which could easily be insulated everywhere except at the top and bottom) is sufficient to show that the second law is violated.

    What Trick seems quite incapable of grasping is that whether or not heat flows from the bottom to the top of the wire is determined by one thing only. Whether or not the bottom and top are at the same temperature. The wire has no knowledge of why they are at different temperatures, it only knows that when molecules bounding the wire at the bottom bounce against it, they do so with a certain average kinetic energy, and ditto at the top. If they are at different temperatures, heat will flow through the wire continuously until they are at the same temperature.

    If the bottom and top of the gas column are at different temperatures, heat will flow up the wire and down through the gas forever. Note that these are distinct flows. Note also that one could break the silver wire and attach its two sides to an ideal Carnot cycle engine (isolated from the gas) anywhere in between and do work across the temperature difference. It doesn’t matter how small it is — there cannot be any temperature difference or else the second law could be violated by an ideal Carnot cycle engine placed in between the reservoirs.

    But again, I’m getting a bit bored working through this yet again. If you (Trick) want to email Caballero and ask him if an atmosphere with a DALR is in true thermodynamic equilibrium or if true equilibrium is isothermal, perhaps you will believe him. His contact information is readily available. Or write Bohren — I don’t care. Just be sure to ask why one cannot do work with the lapse-rate maintained temperature, because if one can, even in principle one can build a perpetual motion machine.

    In the words of Eddington, I think you should all just collapse in abject humiliation. Your assertion violates the second law, and there is no hope for it.

    rgb

  179. But, Dr. Brown, as I explained to you at the time, your “proof” begged the question.

    And you never did directly answer the (quite simple) thought experiment I opened with.

    My reading of Velasco et al. is that it is a demonstration, based on no assumptions other than the basic axioms of statistical mechanics, that at equilibrium there is in fact a non-zero (albeit, for any significant quantity of gas, quite small) translational-kinetic-energy gradient in the presence of a gravitational field. If you haven’t disproved that through statistical mechanics, your “refutation” is illusory. .

  180. Well, illusory except for the implicit violation of the second law. Because if a gas has a lapse rate and metal has a different one then you have perpetual motion. The only way to avoid a violation of the second law is for all material objects to come to the same thermal gradient in a gravitational field. I’m hoping you can see why this is not ever going to be the case.

    This is also the way you can see why Velasco et al is almost certainly wrong in their conclusion. It is all about Maxwell Demon models. Microdynamics that preferentially sorts faster molecules spatially in equilibrium violates detailed balance and inevitably permits second law violations.

    Note that the second law doesn’t care about how large the violation is — if it is macroscopically violated you can, in principle, work free-lunch magic.

    Do you really think that this could happen, that there could be free lunch engine simply turning heat directly into work, a refrigerator that doesn’t require a power supply? Because those are direct consequences of a thermodynamic equilibrium lapse rate.

  181. rgbatduke said @ February 13, 2014 at 8:38 am

    All of this is well-known, as Ted pointed out above. It is old news! So old that it is nineteenth century news, in fact.

    And not only was this all cut-and-dried science, but for several generations steam engines had been a veritable craze in 19th C society. While actual engineers were in charge at corporate design departments, “technicians” operated steam plants in vast numbers.

    But whereas the main consequence of mishandling a modern gasoline, internal combustion engine is that it dies, the result of mishandling steam engines is all-too-likely that the operator and everyone nearby, dies.

    Furthermore, steam engines were a large investment. Damage or premature wear could take the profit, quickly.

    So actually … all steam plant operators were known as “engineers”, and were expected to have a functional command of the thermodynamics involved … which was basically the only way to remain alive, and productive.

    Thus, not only was this all cut-and-dried in Academia, it was very real & intensely engaged, on the popular level. Like with the aviation that soon came along, there was no way to fake a command of heat engines, in the steam era.

    NACA, the predecessor of NASA, was formed early the aviation era. It was institutionally modeled on the long-standing external combustion heat engine culture.

  182. Joe Born said @ February 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Not to stir the pot, but I can’t resist the temptation to mention my forlorn attempt here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/#comment-874313

    I glanced quickly at your linked comment, and see a specific misstep that will derail the effort.

    You are posing a single molecule, and asking to consider it under manipulations.

    However, the breakthrough of Maxwell & Boltzmann, was the realization that individual molecules cannot provide a way to treat thermodynamic matters.

    Their contributions, was to put the effort on a statistical basic … considering masses of molecules, statistically. Individual or isolated molecules are not amenable to your goals … and that was central advance, back in the 19th C.

    tc

  183. Joe Born said @ February 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Not to stir the pot, but I can’t resist the temptation to mention my forlorn attempt here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/#comment-874313

    The breakthrough of Maxwell & Boltzmann, was that we can’t do individual molecules.

    Their key contribution, was to put the effort on a statistical basic … considering probabilities & parameter-distributions with masses of molecules, statistically. Individual or isolated molecules are not amenable to modeling or measuring … and that was the central advance, back in the 19th C.

    Loschmidt (close associate of the above 2) wanted to stick with trying to say things about the isolated molecule, and that’s where he lost out, as the achievable future developed on a different track.

    tc

  184. rgbatduke 3:23pm: “If the bottom and top of the gas column are at different temperatures, heat will flow up the wire and down through the gas forever.”

    No. It is your assertion violates the second law right there, and there is no hope for it. Your statement is incorrect. Entropy will increase, reach a maximum & heat will stop flowing. If what you write were possible, my aluminum flagpole out back would be a perpetual motion machine. It is not. Nor can it ever become one.

    The 2nd law works; the silver wire in the ideal tall adiabatic column of standard air will come into thermodynamic equilibrium with the gas in the gravity field at the max entropy point if left alone long enough and heat will stop flowing as it must at dS/dt=0 with T( z) given by the Poisson eqn. Just like the heat death of our isolated big universe at max. entropy. Why you do not just look Dr. Bohren’s work up is beyond me. It has been in the literature now for 15 years, not disproved but backed and extended by further work from other authors.

    There is nothing unphysical that happens dropping a silver wire into a tall adiabatic column of air with T( z) as a function of pressure & that was at thermodynamic equilibrium or even if it was at the standard lapse to begin. Left alone, there will be a new thermodynamic equilibrium established at dS/dt=0 T( z) non-constant in a gravity field, no flow of heat forever. The math proves it; check out Bohren 1998 sec. 4.4 where this is proven rigorously.

    It is not that I can’t see it; you have to convince me where you see Dr. Bohren’s physical science work is incorrect – I don’t have to ask him, he already showed it and is further backed by work of Verkley and Akmaev. So far you have only incorrect, confused assertion & have not shown your own work to maximize entropy at dS/dt=0 of the adiabatic system of interest (with or without wire). Or provide a link as I have done.

    ******

    Joe Born – I agree, Velasco eqn. 8 had it right also but in a limited circumstance; earlier backing for Dr. Bohren’s work that made T( z) field non-constant in gravity field & completely generalized to the system of interest.

  185. I’ll say it again, even before this global warming fad started I knew my history. I knew there was a medieval warm period because historians, researching the historical records written by eye witnesses, said so. There was a Viking settlement in an area now covered by permafrost, therefore the area was warmer then than today. They had to import wine to England from France after the 14th century, (a little aside I found when reading A N Wilson’s biography of Elizabeth I) because climate change rendered the land incapable of growing wine. Etc Etc Etc. So what are my scientific credentials for repudiating the notion of AGW? None. And I don’t need them. The thought that only scientific knowledge is valid knowledge is absurd. Read some history. No. I am not rejecting science, for the science of those who know their business actually confirms the real historical record, surprise surprise. So I for one rejoice that I got my degree in the Arts. I don’t dispute that some know that AGW is nonsense through science. But I know it through history. And this is why I am incensed at the bare faced lies told by Mann and co to invent the hockey stick. I would trust a contemporary painting of an Ice Fair on a frozen Thames in the 17th century of thereabouts before I trust a “scientist” who would contradict an incontrovertible fact of history

  186. Ted Clayton:

    I agree with you that thermodynamics has little to say about an isolated particle (which was the subject of my thought experiment), but adding particles indefinitely to that experiment only reduces the gradient; it doesn’t eliminate it; the gradient approaches zero asymptotically but never reaches it.

    As I interpret their work, that is what Velasco et al. say. (I’m not a physicist, and I’m open to being proved wrong. Indeed, I don’t profess to have comprehended all of Velasco et al. But I do recognize a reasoned argument, and, despite their credentials, none of the physicists who tried to do so has convincingly either (1) shown that Velasco et al. should be interpreted otherwise or (2) demonstrated that Velasco et al. were wrong.)

  187. Trick: Yes, Velasco et al. did not attach the external system, whose attachment would cause the resultant composite system to reach a new equilibrium state, presumably one with an even smaller gradient than Velasco et al. define.

    I doubt that I’ll invest in the Bohren book, but is the excerpt to which you refer available online somewhere?

    Now, the gradient Velasco et al. specify is extremely small; its too small to be measured as a practical matter. Despite my surname, I’m no physicist, so I don’t know enough quantum mechanics to answer the further question: is it too small to be measured even in principle?

  188. rgbatduke: “[I]f a gas has a lapse rate and metal has a different one then you have perpetual motion. The only way to avoid a violation of the second law is for all material objects to come to the same thermal gradient in a gravitational field. I’m hoping you can see why this is not ever going to be the case.”

    As I said before, you’re begging the question. You’re assuming that at equilibrium the coupled system would have to exhibit a gradient the same as those the constituent systems do when they’re isolated. As I said before, I’m no physicist, just a retired lawyer. But it strikes me as extraordinary that physics would dictate such a relationship.

  189. Joe Born 2:31am: No need to invest in the Bohren 1998 book, it is readily available for a loan thru a local college or even public library. I had thought rgbatduke would eventually ask where to find a copy, but shows no interest in learning the facts oppose his intuition from solids. Thermal equilibrium is for two bodies, zeroth law for 3 bodies where the tall column is one body. Thermodynamic equilibrium at dS/dt=0 applies to all single bodies like the tall column or the big universe.

    Can also get the full text online here if this link works, you will have to know the pre-req.s to completely understand on the way to contributing to why the top post is FLAT but the authors do a good job explaining in the Queen’s English:

    http://bib.convdocs.org/docs/7/6307/conv_1/file1.pdf

    ”..gradient Velasco et al. specify is extremely small…”

    Agree, and I prefer to use Bohren’s p. 166 eqn. 4.149 to find the small percentage difference in mean T(p) at top of column from mean To (theta) at surface through the function of p(z) for an ideal column from say surface 1 bar to the pressure at earth tropopause – the salient fact being T( z) is non-isothermal when dS/dt=0 as the column comes into thermodynamic equilibrium with or without a silver wire (or my aluminum flagpole). How small exactly is a product of the physics and constants.

  190. Joe Born said @ <February 14, 2014 at 2:18 am

    I agree with you that thermodynamics has little to say about an isolated particle …

    It appears more adverse than that. 1.), The isolated particle modeling didn’t provide a useable scientific ‘handle’ on the problems of interest (statistics did), and 2.), Loschmidt clung to particle-descriptions, because he was committed to creating a perpetual motion machine.

    Currently, Visiting Physicist continues to invoke the Loschmidt ‘particle magic’, because he too wants to obtain a result that science can’t support.

    Once a guy says “a particle” or “one molecule”, academic referee flags fly like a blizzard. ‘Does not compute’ … and everything that comes after the opening ‘single particle’ “premise”, is therefore itself based on an invalid premise. You’re a lawyer, eh? ;)

    I don’t myself really have a big personal problem with this kind of stuff (‘magic’, Zero Point, etc), but I’m reluctance to get drawn into ‘endless’ examinations of it, especially if it seems not to be recognized for the attempt to make an ‘end-run’ around science, that it is But climbing over the approved playground fence & exploring off-limits terrain is not without some attraction. :)

    Loschmidt got a raw deal, but he was explicitly after a Perpetual Motion Machine outcome, and indulged in “extreme rendition” to get his model to “confess” what he wanted to hear. One wants to avoid falling into that ol’ pitfall … it’s always lurking out there.

    tc

  191. rgbatduke: “whether or not heat flows from the bottom to the top of the wire is determined by one thing only. Whether or not the bottom and top are at the same temperature.”

    In my last comment, I may have argued past you. Let me try it differently.

    First, let’s accept what you said in the passage just quoted, but with one difference. What you say is true of conduction only: the total (zero) flow is made up of a conduction flow but also a counteracting, gravity-caused drift flow. This is analogous to the (lack of) current flow across a semiconductor diode that isn’t in a circuit: a diffusion current occurs across the junction, I’m told, because of the different charge-carrier populations in the differently doped semiconductors, but that causes an electric field that in turn cause a drift current that cancels out the diffusion current.

    That’s one way of looking at it. The other way doesn’t accept your premise. In your “refutation” post you said, “Such a wire admits the thermally driven conduction of heat according to Fourier’s Law [which is] an empirical law, and in no way depends on whether or not the wire is oriented horizontally or vertically.”
    How could its independence of orientation have been empirically determined when the gravity-caused gradients of interest here are too small to measure?

    See, there’s a logical flaw. You assume (1) that there’s an equilibrium gradient in the gas column but (2) that there’s none in the silver wire. So you’ve essentially assumed a contradiction from the beginning. No wonder you end up with one.

    Now, you observe, reasonably, that it’s not too plausible that the gas column and the silver wire would have equal equilibrium gradients in isolation, even if you were to accept that such gradients are possible. But an initial, temporary heat flow, similar to the diode’s initial current flow when the two differently dope semiconductors are joined, could establish a new, common gradient–and eliminate the perpetual motion.

    Do I know the exact microscopic mechanism for such an adjustment? No. But you haven’t given a good reason why one could not occur–and you have identified no step in which the Velasco et al. paper went wrong.

  192. Velasco et al Eur. J. Phys. 17 (1996) 43–44. Not a Paper.

    It’s an item in Eur. J. Phys. LETTERS AND COMMENTS.

    It looks like a normal “paper”. But it isn’t; and thus it isn’t part of the formal scientific literature. It’s not peer reviewed; it cannot be cited as such.

    It’s scuttlebutt. Possibly intelligent & insightful scuttlebutt … but not an authoritative scientific reference.

  193. Ted 11:20am: It is the substance that really counts. If the substance is novel & good enough, physics will grant a Nobel Prize on the basis of even a short paragraph at the end of a May 1965 Letter to the Editor as shown in the 1978 Nobel Prize awarded Penzias & Wilson for finding the CMB “hiss” aka “excess temperature” in a certain horn antenna.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1965ApJ…142..419P

    The Eur. J. Phys. site does tell us: ”Comments will be subject to the normal refereeing procedures.”

  194. Trick:

    I just realized that I had in fact failed to post the comment I thought I’d posted.

    The substance of it was that your link to Bohren worked, and (I resent it but can’t deny it) you were right in your inference that I’ll need to study some before I can comprehend the equation to which you referred.

  195. Ted Clayton: “Once a guy says “a particle” or “one molecule”, academic referee flags fly like a blizzard. ‘Does not compute’ … and everything that comes after the opening ‘single particle’ “premise”, is therefore itself based on an invalid premise. You’re a lawyer, eh? ;)”

    Each of us makes judgments based on his own experience, and, since I undoubtedly don’t have the same experiences as you, I can’t say I wouldn’t have assumed a similar point of view if my experiences were the same as yours.

    As a result of my experience, though, the practices of an “academic referee” leave me singularly unimpressed. Yes, I was a lawyer. In that role I dealt intimately with the theories of a large number of technical experts, and significant investments not infrequently depended on those theories’ accuracy. By detecting errors in the theories of PhD.s from among the most-prestigious institutions, I have more than once saved investors from misdirecting resources to enterprises based on those theories. Conversely, I have received profound physics insights from at least one person who was a step away from being a street person.

    So, although I understand your viewpoint, you may perhaps forgive me if my own experience set leads me to give credentials and other matters of form mean rather less, well, credence.

  196. Trick said @ February 14, 2014 at 11:53 am

    It is the substance that really counts. If the substance is novel & good enough, physics will grant a Nobel Prize on the basis of even a short paragraph at the end of a May 1965 Letter to the Editor as shown in the 1978 Nobel Prize awarded Penzias & Wilson for finding the CMB “hiss” aka “excess temperature” in a certain horn antenna.

    The discovery of Cosmic Microwave Background radiation was substantiated, big-time. It wasn’t scuttlebutt.

    It was real observational data; plainly pointing to an epochal discovery; gathered with a physical antenna-instrument.

    The Scientific Tectonic Plates trembled perceptibly, as a million-head herd of peer & colleague wild buffalo stampeded in delirium across the primal intellectual prairie.

    Penzias & Wilson’ initial report could be verified, validated, and repeated. And was, quickly, at 100s of leading labs, by thousands of scientists.

    For sure, what sets P&W apart from Velasco et al, is the horn antenna they used to gather ‘actual’ data & facts. If a test could be offered, that would put Velasco’s conjecture on a data-driven, instrumented, test-hypothesis basis – and their ideas panned out – they too could become scientific celebrities.

    Nobody would be more tickled than me, to see Velasco’s work shake the tectonic plates. So far, though, there is no way to test it; no data, no verification, no validation … no substance.

    That leaves us with unsubstantiated ‘talk’. Scuttlebutt.

  197. Ted 1:42pm: “…leaves us with unsubstantiated ‘talk’.”

    And Bohren’s rigorous 1998 work, Verkley’s 2004 extensional work, Akmaev follow-up preciseness in 2008. Can you point to something wrong with the Velasco “scuttlebutt” (Ted term)? Or a subsequent paper/editor letter/comment/blog post that does? This to extend the atm. science work to generate a better understanding of the FLAT in top post. You know like Penzias & Wilson did even if by “accident.”

  198. Joe Born said @ February 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Ted Clayton [said]: “Once a guy says “a particle” or “one molecule”, academic referee flags fly like a blizzard. ‘Does not compute’ … and everything that comes after the opening ‘single particle’ “premise”, is therefore itself based on an invalid premise. You’re a lawyer, eh? ;)”

    My apologies, Mr. Born. That was not meant as a dig or put-down. Is was meant as a ‘nod’ to the logic & deductive training of a lawyer.

    … That, in the legal world, a flawed initial premise means that subsequent findings based on the flawed initials, will also be flawed. I regret not being more clear.

    Specifically, in your case, the validity of a train of logic beginning with a single molecule, relies on the validity of the initial assumptions about the molecule. When we ‘start with one molecule’, and then pose a series of ‘such-thats’ and ‘therefores’, our eventual conclusions reflect the assumptions inherent in the first molecule. Whether they were stated or not …

    What happens is, by adjusting the assumptions about the initial state or premise or molecule, we can, and people repeatedly do, arrive at virtually “any” outcome. (Such as, as we see argued, the assertion of the ability to create a Perpetual Motion Machine (by selecting the right assumptions about the molecule). As Loschmidt did.)

    That’s the weakness or failing of the “Given an isolated molecule…” approach. It doesn’t reliably produce “an” outcome, but instead produces “almost any kind of outcome that can be imagined”. Rhetorically, it ends up tells us whatever we want to hear.

    There has to be/are assumptions about the hypothetical single particle, etc. Whether they are recognized and planned, or not. As the cause-effects series plays out, what emerges is a chimera or shape-shifter, which varies unpredictably & unreliably based on the assumed initial nature of the particle.

    That’s why this approach was abandoned, and replaced with statistics, during the later part of the 19th C. That’s why we honor Boltzmann & Maxwell, because it is they who saw the problem in this approach, and found a workable alternative, using statistics.

    tc

  199. Trick said @ February 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Can you point to something wrong with the Velasco “scuttlebutt” (Ted term)?

    “Scuttlebutt” isn’t a synonym for wrong/false. Some ‘talk’ ends up true, but we don’t know until additional information validates & verifies it.

    Additional scuttlebutt (new but also unsubstantiated – untested/untestable – talk or discussion) about the original scuttlebutt, does not validate or verify it. It stays scuttlebutt … until a test or experiment or data can give it substance.

    tc

  200. I believe we’ve reached an impasse. But let me summarize so that I’m sure we’ve communicated.

    I believe it is clear that Trick and I think (1) an isolated vertical gas column in a gravitational field will exhibit a (minuscule but non-zero) translational-kinetic-energy gradient, (2) a thermally conductive wire extending through the same height range may also exhibit a translational-kinetic-energy gradient, although probably not the same one, and (3) when respective ends of those two erstwhile-isolated systems are brought into thermal communication, an initial, short-lived flow of heat serves to equalize the two systems’ gradients, after which heat flow will cease.

    On the other hand, Dr. Brown and Mr. Clayton believe that assumption of (1) and (2) necessitates the conclusion that a non-vanishing level of heat flow would continue indefinitely: the composite system would be a perpetual motion machine. They therefore conclude that statement (1), which is the ultimate issue, cannot be true.

    My reason for thinking (1) is that I believe Velasco et al. say it’s a result of conventional statistical mechanics. Specifically, they say that in the microcanonical ensemble subject to a uniform gravitational field the mean translational kinetic energy is a diminishing function of elevation.

    I infer from their remarks that Dr. Brown and Mr. Clayton believe that Velasco et al.’s conclusion is not conventional statistical mechanics. If so, perhaps they could cite some authority for precisely uniform translational kinetic energy in the microcanonical ensemble subject to a uniform gravitational field.

  201. Joe Born 5:22pm: “..a thermally conductive wire extending through the same height range may also exhibit a translational-kinetic-energy gradient,”

    Not exactly, the thin wire is a solid, no translation KE, constituents will vibrate in place. Wire can still come to thermodynamic equilibrium at max. entropy w/no heat flow in the system any longer AND thermal equilibrium with the gas if left alone long enough now that there are two bodies in there. Tougher solution. I’ll gladly let Joe be the 1st to rigorously solve. Go for the glory Joe, sufficiently armed with the Bohren 1998 text.

    Next on your reading list is the Bohren 2006 text on atm. radiation…to be really dangerous on the blogs. If you like the guy’s writing as I do, first tackle ‘Clouds in a Glass of Beer’ and then ‘What light through yonder window breaks’. Interesting clips available for free if you look.

    After all that, you will not need the Velasco stuff anymore to better understand FLAT in top post.

  202. Thanks for the pointers, Trick.

    Having failed to get a creditable answer from the physicists when this came up a couple years ago, I have from time to time thought of trying to teach this stuff to myself–and maybe then submitting a WUWT response to Dr. Brown’s “Refutation” post. As you can see, though, it’s been over two years, and I haven’t yet grasped the nettle; all those equations make my head hurt. So don’t hold your breath.

    Still, even though my brief review hasn’t revealed a statistical-mechanics treatment in it, Bohren does look like a good source, so it may inspire me.

    In any event, thanks again for the link.

  203. Joe Born said @ February 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Having failed to get a creditable answer from the physicists when this came up a couple years ago, I have from time to time thought of trying to teach this stuff to myself–and maybe then submitting a WUWT response to Dr. Brown’s “Refutation” post. As you can see, though, it’s been over two years, and I haven’t yet grasped the nettle; all those equations make my head hurt. So don’t hold your breath.

    It isn’t in your interests, to gaze up at the Ivory Tower and try to interpret the hand-signals and incantations. And you don’t have to, in this particular case, for very solid reasons.

    Thermodynamics was originally a practical matter, and then the practicality of it remained intensely relevant. “Theory” came panting along after-the-fact, trying to hen-scratch explanations for existing, working, applied reality.

    All along, because of the practical role of thermodynamics, it was urgent to inform & prepare non-academic engine-operators. Steam is dramatically unforgiving, and the machinery is expensive. You have to ‘fly’ or ‘ride’ a steam machine. Our ancestors ‘drove’ wagons and carts, but they ‘rode’ horses … and they full-well knew the difference. One is static, the other is dynamic.

    Loschmidt was a businessman, first. He was a serial business-failure, before he returned to the campus at 33. His motive for crafting the gravity-thermal-gradient concept, was “applied” in nature. He was not pursuing science or practicing theory-art. He was trying to free humanity from the grinding pursuit of energy (and possibly aiming to strike a blow against the Capitalists).

    Loschmidt’s thermal gradient in a gravity field idea was published in 1876. People have been playing with it, ever since. Nobody has ever gotten it to work. My personal opinion is, the phenomenon he describes – if real – would leave various kinds ‘signals’ or signs, in the environment at large (the atmosphere, eg). These ‘signals’ would have been investigated, and the phenomenological underpinnings of Loschmidt’s proposal – thermal gradient in a gravity field – exposed. Long ago, really.

    That nothing has ever come of Loschmidt’s idea, does not prove that it is false. But that Loschmidt was actually not looking for, nor particularly interested in, ‘the truth’, is an inauspicious “signal”, right from Day One.

    Loschmidt was not only working from several non-scientific ‘ulterior motives’, but he furthermore had the advantage of having Boltzmann & Maxwell at his elbow … “Nooo, Josef, that doesn’t look right at all”. Yet he persisted, without a speck of observational support, and in direct opposition to the sharpest colleagues around.

    Remember, farm boys and street-kids run the steam & nuke plants on Navy vessels. And they know their thermodynamics (and their nuclear physics, to-boot). Don’t get too hung-up on the Ivory Tower … which actually is not and never was the leader, in the thermodynamics game. (Radioactivity, nuke-phys, a little different situation…)

    tc

  204. To Joe:

    Fourier’s Law (in 1 dimension, all that is relevant): q = - k \frac{\partial T}{\partial x}. This precisely analogous to Ohm’s Law: I = \Delta V/R. Heat flows if a system with a finite thermal conductivity has a temperature difference across it. Current flows if a system with a finite electrical conductivity has a potential difference across it. In both cases, thermal equilibrium and electrostatic equilibrium are established if the ends are by a thermal or electrical conductor if and only if the ends are isothermal or equipotential, respectively.

    System A, in thermal equilibrium with a proposed vertical thermal lapse \Delta T_A (in spite of the fact that it shorts itself out because it has a finite thermal conductivity). Thermal equilibrium is the state where no net heat spontaneously flows, because heat only flows within a system that is not in equilibrium. There is precisely one self-consistent temperature field in which no heat or matter will flow. Consequently, if you change the temperature difference from \Delta T_A to something else, heat will flow until the temperature difference is once again \Delta T_A.

    System B, in thermal equilibrium with a different proposed vertical thermal lapse \Delta T_B \ne T_A$. Again, if you place any other temperature difference across system B, heat will flow not to where it once again comes into thermal equilibrium with a new temperature difference — it will flow until the temperature difference \Delta T_B is once again obtained. Again, nothing fancy here — this is straight up Fourier’s Law (except that FL clearly requires \Delta T_A = \Delta T_B = 0, but we're pretending that this isn't true for the moment to see the contradiction).  Connect the two systems thermally at the top and bottom and wait for the two systems to stop changing.  System A will have zero spontaneous internal heat flow <i>only</i> if the temperature difference is latex \Delta T_A$ (unless you want to claim that Fourier’s Law is false, and that there are many temperature differences for a single system that permit no heat flow, an assertion that is sufficiently absurd and in contradiction of moutains of empircal evidence that I’ll have to ask you to prove it). If it is in equilibrium, then system B is not and heat is flowing within it. If system B is in equilibrium, system A is not and heat is flowing within it.

    There is no state of “mutual” thermal equilibrium in which no heat flows in both at some interpolatory temperature difference because thermal equilibrium in A has nothing to do with what is going on in B and vice versa. They are not well-mixed systems — they are distinct systems with a thermally conductive contact connecting them at certain points, just like the ones pictured repeatedly in thermo texts to make some of these exact points. Equipartition in one has nothing to do with equipartition in the other. Their specific heats are different. The physical mechanisms that lead to equilibrium can be different (or at least, differently weighted). All A knows of B are the temperatures at the points of thermal contact. Those temperatures in contact with B could just as well be produced by tiny electrical heaters or refrigerators as by system A.

    Do you seriously think that no heat will flow through A or B for an arbritrary range of temperature differences between the ends? Because that is what you and Trick are asserting.

    rgb

  205. rgbatduke 1:59pm: “Do you seriously think that no heat will flow through A or B for an arbritrary range of temperature differences between the ends?”

    No, not me. Not an arbitrary T( z) range. Nature’s range of temperatures will no longer be arbitrary when the isolated system of interest entropy value has been left alone long enough thereby increased to the maximum achievable entropy where heat no longer flows. The unique temperature field T(z) will be exactly and ideally determined as derived by Poisson long ago. For the ideal gas T field derivation, google this string: isentropic wiki

    When the entropy stops increasing in the isolated system of interest here, heat will no longer flow, the system is said to be isentropic. For an isentropic (meaning unchanging entropy value) single system of gas in a gravity field, Poisson derived that T(p) as a function of p(z) long ago. Drop a thin silver wire in there and the system will still achieve max. entropy. I know as the wire diameter is increased to fill the system, an alternate solid solution increasingly emerges and your intuition & Fourier conduction becomes more and more applicable.

    This latest post of yours shows my point that you cannot be dislodged even by dynamite from intuitively thinking about Fourier conduction in solids being applicable to gas. The Fourier conduction “law”* is not strictly applicable to fluids (due to their translational KE). Except at the no slip boundary in fluid flow, where it is useful. Just do the research, I should have provided enough hints by now. Instead of taking the trouble to read Fourier’s words, you merely repeat what others have said. A good example of error propagation in practice like Newton’s law of cooling when Newton never annunciated it at all.

    Again, if want to discuss and/or contribute to further understanding FLAT in top post, one has to do the basic work correctly, i.e. pass the pre-req.s for admittance.

    *”Law” in quotes because it is not applicable universally so strictly it is not a law. THIS could be one source of confusion.

  206. Dr. Brown:

    I’m afraid I can’t respond further to your argument, because I have merely inferred, from (what I currently see as) the fact that the equilibrium gas column in a gravitational field will exhibit a translational-kinetic-energy gradient, that a new equilibrium, no-net-heat-flow state will be established when the two systems are joined. That is to say, I have no explanation for that result except that the fact I’ve assumed dictates it.

    That’s not much of an answer, I know, but unfortunately I’ll need to get smarter about the statistical mechanics before I can contribute more effectively to the discussion.

    That said, I will mention that I don’t view the analogy to current flow in the same way you do. To me, heat flow is more like a diffusion phenomenon, while it is the gravitational effect that is more like flow in response to an electric field.

    Specifically, you say, “Current flows if a system with a finite electrical conductivity has a potential difference across it,” i.e., I = V/R. And who am I to argue with Ohm’s Law? Yet no current flows through the junction of an unconnected semiconductor diode even though there’s a potential difference across that junction (but not across the diode as a whole). So you have to add a gloss to Ohm’s Law: there is indeed a drift, i.e., Ohm’s-Law, current, but it’s canceled by an opposite, diffusion current. You may similarly want to consider the possibility that on occasion Fourier’s Law also needs a gloss if it is to be applied properly.

    Again, though, these plausibility arguments have reached an impasse. Resolution can come only from a rigorous analysis. I currently believe that the Velasco et al. papers do provide such an analysis from a statistical-mechanical perspective, and my guess is that Bohren et al. do from the more-traditional dS = dQ/T perspective. But I never quite mastered the former completely, and I’ve only just cracked open the latter, so I’m not yet able to argue further

  207. Yet no current flows through the junction of an unconnected semiconductor diode even though there’s a potential difference across that junction (but not across the diode as a whole).

    Try (imagine) shorting it out.

    rgb

  208. When the entropy stops increasing in the isolated system of interest here, heat will no longer flow, the system is said to be isentropic. For an isentropic (meaning unchanging entropy value) single system of gas in a gravity field, Poisson derived that T(p) as a function of p(z) long ago. Drop a thin silver wire in there and the system will still achieve max. entropy. I know as the wire diameter is increased to fill the system, an alternate solid solution increasingly emerges and your intuition & Fourier conduction becomes more and more applicable.

    Obviously you are never going to get the point of the silver wire.

    Look, this problem has been solved literally forever. It is literally a textbook problem. One of many treatments of the correct solution can be found in the following article in the American Journal of Physics:

    http://scitation.aip.org/content/aapt/journal/ajp/53/3/10.1119/1.14138

    This one is particularly simple — intended to help instruct undergraduates seeking to understand precisely this question. In it, the authors provide a clever, very short proof that should make even Joe happy. If one has an ideal gas in an isolated container etc etc that has been left for a very long time, and imagine that the gas particles have a Maxwell distribution (that is, are at a well-defined temperature) at a single height and are completely non-interacting, the molecules from that height still have a Maxwell distribution at the same temperature after they have risen to a new height. This works because the Maxwell distribution is exponential in the kinetic energies — shifting all the kinetic energies by the same constant amount ends up shifting the distribution by an overall scale factor but does not affect the distribution itself. That is, the average kinetic energy is not a function of height!

    Adding perfectly elastic collisions of course is not going to change anything, although if you want to go through the brute force proof then you should acquire e.g. the venerable The Mathematical Theory of Non-Uniform Gases by Chapman and Cowling (for example) and learn how to solve e.g. the Boltzmann equation with a uniform field present for the stationary velocity distribution for at least ideal gases — the general problem of solving the Boltzmann equation, like the general problem of solving the closely related Navier-Stokes equation, is mathematically extremely difficult and a lot of people are still working on it in many different contexts.

    The argument of Coombes and Laue is sufficient, however, to address the most common argument made in favor of a lapse — that as particles fall they should speed up so surely there should be more kinetic energy, on average, per particle, at lower heights. Because they all shift their kinetic energies up by the same amount (and because the distribution function is an exponential of the kinetic energy over kT, basically), while the density and pressure increase, the average kinetic energy per particle does not.

    For the (I sincerely hope) last time, we did not need even this much of the apparatus of statistical mechanics to demonstrate that equilibrium is isothermal (as is clearly stated and proven over and over again in the literature and textbooks). If equilibrium is not isothermal, it is possible to build perpetual motion machines of the second kind. It is not possible to build perpetual motions period, first or second kind. Therefore equilibrium is isothermal. Q.E.D. — pure symbolic logic. Only if equilibrium is isothermal do you eliminate the possibility of perpetual motion heat/energy loops in equilibrium, because we know perfectly well that heat flows from hotter places to colder places given any opportunity. All I have to do is provide one such pathway that shorts out the supposedly equilibrium lapse and heat will flow forever, because as fast as it flows out at the bottom of the gas column, up through the silver, and out into the gas at the top of the gas column, gravity will sort it out again spontaneously.

    No, it doesn’t. The silver is in thermal equilibrium when it is isothermal, with both ends at the same temperature. As the argument above shows, so is the gas! If it has any well-defined temperature at any height, the isothermal Maxwell distribution is uniquely precisely stationary, preserving the probability distribution of kinetic energies at all heights at a constant temperature even if the gas molecules are in completely free non-interacting motion.

    rgb

  209. rgbatduke – There is no difference in potential across the junction, there is a difference of potential. These are completely different statements. viz, nothing to short.

  210. rgbatduke 12:42pm: “One of many treatments of the correct solution…”

    Coombes&Laue?? Not held to be correct anymore. You are living in the past. See not even the dynamite Velasco et. al. used refuting this paper you cite works to get you to the physical truth of this matter. The more modern Bohren 1998 sec. 4.4 generally refuted your 1985 cite also, Verkley 2004 refuted it for the 3rd time along with Akmaev 2008 for the 4th time. You are way behind in your reading as I have repeatedly informed.

    If there really are other texts out there showing your views that refute these papers, please list them. I will go get them. I have ordered up a copy of Chapman you cite not on my shelf – but is way outdated – I have ordered the updated 1995 edition.

    “…because we know perfectly well that heat flows from hotter places to colder places given any opportunity…”

    I do agree in solids, this is a perfectly correct result of the 2nd law which is built on the foundation of entropy increase for all real systems. The 2nd law tells us an isolated system such as the big universe will increase entropy until it reaches the max. then die a natural heat death where heat no longer can be made to flow. 2nd law says nothing about the time or the temperature field for that to occur. The tall column is entirely isolated, a universe unto itself. Entropy increases to max. and heat ceases to flow; Poisson gave us the gas temperature field as a function of the pressure field at that max. entropy value (isentropic).

    This is just your understanding limitations at play, your insistence that solids are like gases for heat flow at isentropic condition – which Poisson proved long ago is not the case. Did so despite your incorrect assertions.

    This is why Fourier developed first the solid heat flow “law”, then the needed IGL PV=nRT was added for gases along with the 2nd law to keep your thin silver wire from being a perpetual motion machine where it cannot become one even if the tall top is at a different temperature than the bottom in the isentropic gas column as shown by Poisson eqn. and some max. entropy calculus.

    Inspect a real 1768 foot or more radio tower. Do you really think the metal is the exact same T at the bottom as the tip top? Or it is a perpetual motion machine? No. Not isothermal. There are two bodies in this case, the air and metal can come into thermal equilibrium along the 1768 foot length. They do not come into thermodynamic equilibrium as this situation is not isentropic, one system nor isolated, all by inspection.

    Here is a video of a maintenance worker climbing up a metal tower (no safety straps for good reason):

    NB: You continue to confuse the heck out of these long standing terms below found in the literature. The tall column is just one isolated max. entropy system. The silver wire may be isothermal in two body thermal equilibrium at the beginning but as the isolated single system increases to max. entropy as it must, the column with or without thin wire becomes isentropic not isothermal as rigorously proven by the four cites I gave and you have yet to read 3 of them.

    Thermodynamic equilibrium = applicable to single isolated object, body or system (call it what you will) at max. entropy.
    Thermal equilibrium = applicable to at least two objects, bodies, systems.
    Zeroth law = applicable to three objects, bodies, systems.

  211. Musatroglophobia; diagnosis and treatment

    Musatroglophobia is the fear of, or taboo against, giving the monkey the banana. In this malady, it is thought the monkey can only optimally realize the boon of the fruit, after he apprehends the underlying nature of banananess, and its array of relationships to the Known Universe.

    It’s a boutique disorder, having only become widespread (in Modern Times), in the changes brought to social, political, scientific & academic institutions, in & around The 1960s. Drugs are thought to have played a role.

    Pre-WWII scientific texts are often heavily-freighted with bananas. Monkeys have learned to pilot spaceships, eg, by studying these sources. The discovery of FLAT has been associated with unauthorized recent consumption of this high-octane, intellectually stimulating nutrient.

    The Internet has of course greatly expanded the natural range & productivity of non-institutionalized varieties of the banana. Sadly, some monkeys still avoid these free-growing forms of the fruit, which musatroglophobia falsely warns can cause reduced blood-flow to the brain, and halitosis.

    But the truth is out there.

    tc

  212. rgbatduke: “Try (imagine) shorting it out.”

    I have (mentally). No difference. The unconnected diode exhibits no potential difference across its terminals, so shorting its terminals has no effect. The potential difference I mentioned exists across the junction, not across the terminals.

    What I envisioned was a quasi-sigmoid potential curve centered on the junction, but this may not be precisely correct; I’m not a solid-state (or any other kind of) physicist. So, in response to your comment, I Googled “semiconductor junction potential,” and this popped up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%E2%80%93n_junction. I commend it to your attention.

  213. rgbatduke 12:42pm: “…you should acquire e.g. the venerable The Mathematical Theory of Non-Uniform Gases by Chapman and Cowling (for example)…demonstrate that equilibrium is isothermal (as is clearly stated and proven over and over again in the literature and textbooks).”

    Yes, of course when the gas vessel is not in a gravity field. When the hydrostatic condition & gravity field is added, the small percentage non-isothermal temperature field result at thermodynamic equilibrium is rigorously proven over and over again in the modern literature.

    My copy of Chapman 3rd. ed. 1970 reprinted 1995 came in today. A column in gravity field is not mentioned in the TOC, gravity not even mentioned by index. The only column ref. is to a separation column p. 268 and the reader is referred to other authors. The Earth atm. is mentioned only in context of strong electric field phenomena in its upper atm. p. 383.

    Perhaps you have a page and section number in Chapman 1970 with which to turn my attention? Otherwise, you will need supply another cite (besides the outdated C&L 1985) purporting to support your hypothesis about FLAT in top post.

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