CRISES IN CLIMATOLOGY

Guest essay by Donald C. Morton

Herzberg Program in Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada

ABSTRACT

The Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September 2013 continues the pattern of previous ones raising alarm about a warming earth due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. This paper identifies six problems with this conclusion – the mismatch of the model predictions with the temperature observations, the assumption of positive feedback, possible solar effects, the use of a global temperature, chaos in climate, and the rejection of any skepticism.

THIS IS AN ASTROPHYSICIST’S VIEW OF CURRENT CLIMATOLOGY. I WELCOME CRITICAL COMMENTS.

1. INTRODUCTION

Many climatologists have been telling us that the environment of the earth is in serious danger of overheating caused by the human generation of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is mainly to blame, but methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and certain chlorofluorocarbons also contribute.

“As expected, the main message is still the same: the evidence is very clear that the world is warming, and that human activities are the main cause. Natural changes and fluctuations do occur but they are relatively small.” – John Shepard in the United Kingdom, 2013 Sep 27 for the Royal Society.

“We can no longer ignore the facts: Global warming is unequivocal, it is caused by us and its consequences will be profound. But that doesn’t mean we can’t solve it.” -Andrew Weaver in Canada, 2013 Sep 28 in the Globe and Mail.

“We know without a doubt that gases we are adding to the air have caused a planetary energy imbalance and global warming, already 0.8 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. This warming is driving an increase in extreme weather from heat waves to droughts and wild fires and stronger storms . . .” – James Hansen in United States, 2013 Dec 6 CNN broadcast.

Are these views valid? In the past eminent scientists have been wrong. Lord Kelvin, unaware of nuclear fusion, concluded that the sun’s gravitational energy could keep it shining at its present brightness for only 107 years. Sir Arthur Eddington correctly suggested a nuclear source for the sun, but rejected Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s theory of degenerate matter to explain white dwarfs. In 1983 Chandrasekhar received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his insight.

My own expertise is in physics and astrophysics with experience in radiative transfer, not climatology, but looking at the discipline from outside I see some serious problems. I presume most climate scientists are aware of these inconsistencies, but they remain in the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the 5th one released on 2013 Sep 27. Politicians and government officials guiding public policy consult these reports and treat them as reliable.

2. THEORY, MODELS AND OBSERVATIONS

A necessary test of any theory or model is how well it predicts new experiments or observations not used in its development. It is not sufficient just to represent the data used to produce the theory or model, particularly in the case of climate models where many physical processes too complicated to code explicitly are represented by adjustable parameters. As John von Neumann once stated “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” Four parameters will not produce all the details of an elephant, but the principle is clear. The models must have independent checks.

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Fig. 1. Global Average Temperature Anomaly (°C) upper, and CO2 concentration (ppm) lower graphs from http://www.climate.gov/maps-data by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The extension of the CO2 data to earlier years is from the ice core data of the Antarctic Law Dome ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/law/law_co2.txt.

The upper plot in Fig. 1 shows how global temperatures have varied since 1880 with a decrease to 1910, a rise until 1945, a plateau to 1977, a rise of about 0.6 ºC until 1998 and then essentially constant for the next 16 years. Meanwhile, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere has steadily increased. Fig. 2 from the 5th Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013) shows that the observed temperatures follow the lower envelope of the predictions of the climate models.

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Fig. 2. Model Predictions and Temperature Observations from IPCC Report 2013. RCP 4.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5) labels a set of models for a modest rise in anthropogenic greenhouse gases corresponding to an increase of 4.5 Wm-2 (1.3%) in total solar irradiance.

Already in 2009 climatologists worried about the change in slope of the temperature curve. At that time Knight et al. (2009) asked the rhetorical question “Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?” Their response was “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, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

Now some climate scientists are saying that 16 years is too short a time to assess a change in climate, but then the rise from 1978 to 1998, which was attributed to anthropogenic CO2, also could be spurious. Other researchers are actively looking into phenomena omitted from the models to explain the discrepancy. These include

1) a strong natural South Pacific El Nino warming event in 1998 so the plateau did not begin until 2001,

2) an overestimate of the greenhouse effect in some models,

3) inadequate inclusion of clouds and other aerosols in the models, and

4) a deep ocean reservoir for the missing heat.

Extra warming due to the 1978 El Nino seems plausible, but there have been others that could have caused some of the earlier warming and there are also cooling La Nina events. All proposed causes of the plateau must have their effects on the warming also incorporated into the models to make predictions that then can be tested during the following decade or two of temperature evolution.

3. THE FEEDBACK PARAMETER

There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor. The CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration. The estimated effect accounts for only about half the temperature rise of 0.8 ºC since the Industrial Revolution. Without justification the model makers ignored possible natural causes and assumed the rise was caused primarily by anthropogenic CO2 with reflections by clouds and other aerosols approximately cancelling absorption by the other gases noted above. Consequently they postulated a positive feedback due to hotter air holding more water vapor, which increased the absorption of radiation and the backwarming. The computer simulations represented this process and many other effects by adjustable parameters chosen to match the observations. As stated on p. 9-9 of IPCC2013, “The complexity of each process representation is constrained by observations, computational resources, and current knowledge.” Models that did not show a temperature rise would have been omitted from any ensemble so the observed rise effectively determined the feedback parameter.

Now that the temperature has stopped increasing we see that this parameter is not valid. It even could be negative. CO2 absorption without the presumed feedback will still happen but its effect will not be alarming. The modest warming possibly could be a net benefit with increased crop production and fewer deaths due to cold weather.

4. THE SUN

The total solar irradiance, the flux integrated over all wavelengths, is a basic input to all climate models. Fortunately our sun is a stable star with minimal change in this output. Since the beginning of satellite measures of the whole spectrum in 1978 the variation has been about 0.1% over the 11-year activity cycle with occasional excursions up to 0.3%. The associated change in tropospheric temperature is about 0.1 ºC.

Larger variations could explain historical warm and cold intervals such as the Medieval Warm Period (approx. 950 – 1250) and the Little Ice Age (approx. 1430 – 1850) but remain as speculations. The sun is a ball of gas in hydrostatic equilibrium. Any reduction in the nuclear energy source initially would be compensated by a gravitational contraction on a time scale of a few minutes. Complicating this basic picture are the variable magnetic field and the mass motions that generate it. Li et al. (2003) included these effects in a simple model and found luminosity variations of 0.1%, consistent with the measurements.

However, the sun can influence the earth in many other ways that the IPCC Report does not consider, in part because the mechanisms are not well understood. The ultraviolet irradiance changes much more with solar activity, ~ 10% at 200 nm in the band that forms ozone in the stratosphere and between 5% and 2% in the ozone absorption bands between 240 and 320 nm according to DeLand & Cebula (2012). Their graphs also show that these fluxes during the most recent solar minimum were lower than the previous two reducing the formation of ozone in the stratosphere and its absorption of the near UV spectrum. How this absorption can couple into the lower atmosphere is under current investigation, e. g. Haigh et al. (2010).

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Fig. 3 – Monthly averages of the 10.7 cm solar radio flux measured by the National Research Council of Canada and adjusted to the mean earth-sun distance. A solar flux unit = 104 Jansky = 10-22 Wm-2 Hz-1. The maximum just past is unusually weak and the preceding minimum exceptionally broad. Graph courtesy of Dr. Ken Tapping of NRC.

Decreasing solar activity also lowers the strength of the heliosphere magnetic shield permitting more galactic cosmic rays to reach the earth. Experiments by Kirkby et al. (2011) and Svensmark et al. (2013) have shown that these cosmic rays can seed the formation of clouds, which then reflect more sunlight and reduce the temperature, though the magnitude of the effect remains uncertain. Morton (2014) has described how the abundances cosmogenic isotopes 10Be and 14C in ice cores and tree rings indicate past solar activity and its anticorrelation with temperature.

Of particular interest is the recent reduction in solar activity. Fig. 3 shows the 10.7 cm solar radio flux measured by the National Research Council of Canada since 1947 (Tapping 2013) and Fig. 4 the corresponding sunspot count. Careful calibration of the radio flux permits reliable comparisons

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Fig. 4. Monthly sunspot numbers for the past 60 years by the Royal Observatory of Belgium at http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-index-graphics/sidc_graphics.php.

over six solar cycles even when there are no sunspots. The last minimum was unusually broad and the present maximum exceptionally weak. The sun has entered a phase of low activity. Fig. 5 shows that previous times of very low activity were the Dalton Minimum from about 1800 to 1820 and the Maunder Minimum from about 1645 to 1715 when very few spots were seen. Since

these minima occurred during the Little Ice Age when glaciers were advancing in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, it is possible that we are entering another cooling period. Without a

physical understanding of the cause of such cool periods, we cannot be more specific. Temperatures as cold as the Little Ice Age may not happen, but there must be some cooling to compensate the heating that is present from the increasing CO2 absorption.

Regrettably the IPCC reports scarcely mention these solar effects and the uncertainties they add to any prediction.

5. THE AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

Long-term temperature measurements at a given location provide an obvious test of climate change. Such data exist for many places for more than a hundred years and for a few places for much longer. With these data climatologists calculate the temperature anomaly – the deviation from a many-year average such as 1961 to 1990, each day of the year at the times a measurement

is recorded. Then they average over days, nights, seasons, continents and oceans to obtain the mean global temperature anomaly for each month or year as in Fig. 1. Unfortunately many parts of the world are poorly sampled and the oceans, which cover 71% of the earth’s surface, even less so. Thus many measurements must be extrapolated to include larger areas with different

climates. Corrections are needed when a site’s measurements are interrupted or terminated or a new station is established as well as for urban heat if the meteorological station is in a city and altitude if the station is significantly higher than sea level.

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Fig. 5. This plot from the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency shows sunspot numbers since their first observation with telescopes in 1610. Systematic counting began soon after the discovery of the 11-year cycle in 1843. Later searching of old records provided the earlier numbers.

The IPCC Reports refer to four sources of data for the temperature anomaly from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forcasting in the United Kingdom and the Goddard Institute for Space Science and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States. For a given month they can differ by several tenths of a degree, but all show the same long-term trends of Fig. 1, a rise from 1978 to 1998 and a plateau from 1998 to the present.

These patterns continue to be a challenge for researchers to understand. Some climatologists like to put a straight line through all the data from 1978 to the present and conclude that the world is continuing to warm, just a little more slowly, but surely if these curves have any connection to reality, changes in slope mean something. Are they evidence of the chaotic nature of climate with abrupt shifts from one state to another?

Essex, McKitrick and Andresen (2007) and Essex and McKitrick (2007) in their popular book have criticized the use of these mean temperature data for the earth. First temperature is an intensive thermodynamic variable relevant to a particular location in equilibrium with the measuring device. Any average with other locations or times of day or seasons has no physical meaning. Other types of averages might be more appropriate such as the second, fourth or inverse power of the absolute temperature, each of which would give a different trend with time. Furthermore it is temperature differences between two places that drive the dynamics. Climatologists have not explained what this single number for global temperature actually means. Essex and McKitrick note that it “is not a temperature. Nor is it even a proper statistic or index. It is a sequence of different statistics grafted together with ad hoc models.”

This questionable use of a global temperature along with the problems of modeling a chaotic system discussed below raise basic concerns about the validity of the test with observations in Section 2. Since climatologists and the IPCC insist on using this temperature number and the models in their predictions of global warming, it still is appropriate to hold them to comparisons with the observations they consider relevant.

6. CHAOS

Essex and McKitrick (2007) have provided a helpful introduction to this problem. Thanks to the pioneering investigations into the equations for convection and the associated turbulence by meteorologist Edward Lorenz, scientists have come to realize that many dynamical systems are fundamentally chaotic. The situation often is described as the butterfly effect because a small change in initial conditions such as the flap of a butterfly wing can have large effects in later results.

Convection and turbulence in the air are central phenomenon in determining weather and so must have their effect on climate too. The IPCC on p. 1-25 of the 2013 Report recognizes this with the statement “There are fundamental limits to just how precisely annual temperatures can be projected, because of the chaotic nature of the climate system.” but then makes predictions with confidence. Meteorologists modeling weather find that their predictions become unstable after a week or two, and they have the advantage of refining their models by comparing predictions with observations.

Why do the climate models in the IPCC reports not show these instabilities? Have they been selectively tuned to avoid them or are the chaotic physical processes not properly included? Why should we think that long-term climate predictions are possible when they are not for weather?

7. THE APPEAL TO CONSENSUS AND THE SILENCING OF SKEPTICISM

Frequently we hear that we must accept that the earth is warming at an alarming rate due to anthropogenic CO2 because 90+% climatologists believe it. However, science is not a consensus discipline. It depends on skeptics questioning every hypothesis, every theory and every model until all rational challenges are satisfied. Any endeavor that must prove itself by appealing to consensus or demeaning skeptics is not science. Why do some proponents of climate alarm dismiss critics by implying they are like Holocaust deniers? Presumably most climatologists disapprove of these unscientific tactics, but too few speak out against them.

8. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

At least six serious problems confront the climate predictions presented in the last IPCC Report. The models do not predict the observed temperature plateau since 1998, the models adopted a feedback parameter based on the unjustified assumption that the warming prior to 1998 was primarily caused by anthopogenic CO2, the IPCC ignored possible affects of reduced solar activity during the past decade, the temperature anomaly has no physical significance, the models attempt to predict the future of a chaotic system, and there is an appeal to consensus to establish climate science.

Temperatures could start to rise again as we continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere or they could fall as suggested by the present weak solar activity. Many climatologists are trying to address the issues described here to give us a better understanding of the physical processes involved and the reliability of the predictions. One outstanding issue is the location of all the anthropogenic CO2. According to Table 6.1 in the 2013 Report, half goes into the atmosphere and a quarter into the oceans with the remaining quarter assigned to some undefined sequestering as biomass on the land.

Meanwhile what policies should a responsible citizen be advocating? We risk serious consequences from either a major change in climate or an economic recession from efforts to reduce the CO2 output. My personal view is to use this temperature plateau as a time to reassess all the relevant issues. Are there other environmental effects that are equally or more important than global warming? Are some policies like subsidizing biofuels counterproductive? Are large farms of windmills, solar cells or collecting mirrors effective investments when we are unable to store energy? How reliable is the claim that extreme weather events are more frequent because of the global warming? Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it?

References

 

DeLand, M. T., & Cebula, R. P. (2012) Solar UV variations during the decline of Cycle 23. J. Atmosph. Solar-Terrestr. Phys., 77, 225.

Essex, C., & McKitrick, R. (2007) Taken by storm: the troubled science, policy and politics of global warming, Key Porter Books. Rev. ed. Toronto, ON, Canada.

Essex, C., McKitrick, R., & Andresen, B. (2007) Does a Global temperature Exist? J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn. 32, 1.

Haigh. J. D., et al. (2010). An influence of solar spectral variations on radiative forcing of climate. Nature 467, 696.

IPCC (2013), Climate Change 2013: The Physicsal Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, http://www.ipcc.ch

Li, L. H., Basu, S., Sofia, S., Robinson, F.J., Demarque, P., & Guenther, D.B. (2003). Global

parameter and helioseismic tests of solar variability models. Astrophys. J., 591, 1284.

Kirkby, J. et al. (2011). Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric

aerosol nucleation. Nature, 476, 429.

Knight, J., et al. (2009). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90 (8), Special Suppl. pp. S22, S23.

Morton, D. C. (2014). An Astronomer’s view of Climate Change. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. Canada, 108, 27. http://arXiv.org/abs/1401.8235.

Svensmark, H., Enghoff, M.B., & Pedersen, J.O.P. (2013). Response of cloud condensation nuclei (> 50 nm) to changes in ion-nucleation. Phys. Lett. A, 377, 2343.

Tapping, K.F. (2013). The 10.7 cm radio flux (F10.7). Space Weather, 11, 394.

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316 thoughts on “CRISES IN CLIMATOLOGY

  1. “Are these views valid? In the past eminent scientists have been wrong.”
    Lord Kelvin was certainly eminent!
    But James Hansen, John Shepard and Andrew Weaver????? Not in my book! I have at times sighed deeply when I hear them called scientists.

  2. Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it?

    Best statement and the one that should be acted upon.

  3. Very nice summary. Thank you for your work. Your Figure 5 is showing up in the wrong section with my Chrome browser.

  4. Almost all very good, especially section 6 on Chaos. It is a fair point that the models do not behave in a way that replicates a chaotic system – yet the weather is chaotic so surely the climate will be too.

    However, section 4 (The Sun) is a bit weak in my opinion.

    Regrettably the IPCC reports scarcely mention these solar effects and the uncertainties they add to any prediction.

    Lots of things could have an effect and so could add uncertainty. But there needs to be some evidence that the effect actually do exist and are significant. Otherwise we have the same problem that arises with CO2 and its feedbacks. It could be significant at the current time and it could be a problem, but there’s no evidence for that.

    OK, Kirkby and Svensmark are getting there but it is not proven yet.

  5. Presumably most climatologists disapprove of these unscientific tactics, but too few speak out against them.
    ================
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.

  6. Donald, an excellent post!
    Reading this as a layman, I think it is very balanced and reflects my non in depth knowledge of climate. My only concern about this paper is the graph showing CO2 content, I did not realise it was ever less than 300ppm as the graph shows in 1880. The paper is unusual in that it draws together the scientific, social and environmental issues associated with climate change.
    The last sentence:

    “Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it?”

    I think hits the nail on the head, we don’t know, it is as simple as that. The models that predict climate and local weather, based on AGW are clearly not working. The almost 18 year pause, the fact that the MET Office cannot tell me what is going to happen this Spring and got it totally wrong this winter, must indicate to even the most hardened supporter of AGW that things are not quite right. This leads me to my only criticism of the paper, what was mentioned briefly was the word “deniers” in reference to those who don’t believe in climate change and the simile to holocaust deniers. The problem is that AGW is now a religion with beliefs, that run counter to any evidence to the contrary, as such reason and rational thought does not enter the equation.

  7. Now all you’ve got to do is read this to the likes of O’bama and Cameron, as I doubt they have the attention span needed to read it themselves.

  8. ConfusedPhoton says:
    February 17, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Few are even the most eminent scientists who were not wrong about somethings. Copernicus retained circular orbits, hence still needed epicycles. Galleo also held out for circular orbits & was wrong about tides. Galileo had less justification for his adherence to circular orbits, since Kepler had shown using Tycho´s data that Mars’ orbit is elliptical.

  9. Very nice essay. I’ve always felt that the biggest problem in climate science in general is the vitriolic comments directed against people that disagree with anthropogenic causes of climate change. So much of science is coloured by opinion – either initial opinions prior to experiment, or interpretation of data post-experiment.

    If someone conducts objective research and their conclusion is that carbon dioxide has an influence and adequate peer review finds no errors in their methodology, then so be it – but if someone else conducts similarly objective research backed by peer review, but concludes that other factors have a strong influence then they should not be belittled or slandered simply because they have investigated a different phenomenon. Am I being too naïve to think that climate science can still function like this?

  10. Very good summary.

    But here’s a needed edit:

    Unfortunately many parts of the world are poorly sampled and the oceans, which cover 71% of the earth’s surface, even less so.

    This syntax is either meaningless or self-contradictory. The “so” in “less so” has no useful referent. Less poorly sampled is obviously not your intent. But “less well sampled” would make sense.

  11. “fluxes during the most recent solar minimum were lower than the previous two reducing the formation of ozone in the stratosphere and its absorption of the near UV spectrum. ”

    Apparently the sign of the ozone response was reversed above 45 km and given that the descending stratospheric polar vortices would bring that reversed response down towards the surface at the poles we should be looking for a warmer stratosphere and lower tropopause heights at the poles whilst the sun is less active.

    That would then be the cause of more and larger parcels of cold polar air surging across middle latitudes in winter.

  12. The seventeen year lack of temperature rise is enough to invalidate 95% of the IPCC’s climate models. Of the remaining 5% the temperature rise is at the bottom end of the scale.

    None of this has stopped the cult of the burning planet to stop and see sense.

    There are many articles, including this excellent example, showing how false and disingenuous the IPCC and its cohorts are.

    The CAGW machine is just too big to be stopped in its tracks. Only with the growing number of climate skeptics will we eventually bring this around, but just how long will that take? Will a one degree drop in the next five years force a reaconning? Or will the IPCC and its cohorts just change their tune and say that all their hard work is now paying dividends? I predict the latter.

    I think only those who are concerned over the multitude of lies are truly bothered. The masses really couldn’t care less.

  13. Prof. Morton I have one nit to pick, and one observation. You write “. The CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration.” Beer/Lambert predicts the logarithmatic response of absorption. When absorption is saturated, Beer/Lambert no longer applies, and the response is no longer logarithmatic. There is no more absorption once saturation has been reached.

    I observe that no-one has measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. To me this means that no signal has been measured above the noise. By standard signal-to-noise ratio physics, it follows that the climate sensitivity of CO2, added to the atmosphere from current levels, must be 0.0 C to one place of decimals, or two significant figures. Please note that the IPCC FAR predicted that there would be a measurable CO2 signal by 2002, if CO2 were to be added to the atmosphere at the rate which has occurred since then.

  14. Morton is entirely right in his views . Climate forecasts based on the IPCC models are clearly useless.
    The current weather patterns in the UK and USA are typical of those developed by the more meridional path of the jet stream on a cooling earth. The Fagan book “The Little Ice Age ” is a useful guide from the past to the future. The frequency of these weather patterns, e.g. for the USA the PDO related drought in California and the Polar Vortex excursions to the South will increase as cooling continues
    The views of the establishment scientists in the USA re the recent blizzards and the UK Met office’s publicity relative to the UK floods reveals their continued refusal to recognize and admit the total failure of the climate models in the face of the empirical data of the last 15 years. It is time for the climate community to move to another approach based on pattern recognition in the temperature and driver data and also on the recognition of the different frequencies of different regional weather patterns on a cooling ( more meridional jet stream ) and warming (more latitudinal jet stream ) world.
    For forecasts of the coming cooling based on the 60 year (PDO) and the 1000 year quasi-periodicities seen in the temperature data and the neutron count as a proxy for solar activity in general see several posts at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    For a review of a 3 year update of a 30 year forecast see

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/07/skillful-so-far-thirty-year-climate.html

    For an estimate of future NH temperature trends see the latest post at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

  15. Chris Huhne ex DECC Secretary of State said on the BBC Today program “we must stop climate change”. Presumption first step tell China to stop burning American coal, 2nd step tell Germany to stop building new coal fired stations because German green made them close nuclear because of Fukushima, 3rd step tell Indonesia to stop exporting coal to everyone else before they whinge “we can stop it now” referring to the Philippine typhoon. 4th step stop climatologists, greens, EU, UN and countless thousands of green activists burning copious quantities of high grade aviation kerosene using 1 barrel of crude to get less than half a barrel of kerosene, I calculated 24 million gallons last time around and just maybe we could reduce our emission by zero plus nothing. Just maybe no one really does have any idea whatsoever how our climate really does function, maybe Co2 in its miniscule quantity has no effect whatsoever which could be true seeing there has been no rise in 17 years and 5 months but only of course if you believe that temperature anomalies are even remotely pertinent to the argument. But the last thing anyone should do is pay even the remotest attention to climate models they are a complete waste of space. I had a big argument with Joanna Haigh who said “the climate models we use are really fascinating, its just amazing how with a few tweaks we really can make viable predictions” clearly this lady with all of her fascinated knowledge of physics lives in a parallel universe. Unfortunately people really do possess the belief that whatever comes out of the back arse of a computer is reality they really do forget a computer is just a big calculating machine that without some arse who himself is programmed to write code that achieves his desired result would be a completely useless lump of gold plate and silicon. I have been using windows operating systems for decades and only now with 8.1 have I got something that appears to be reliable yet Julia Slingo would like us to believe she possess cutting edge science that is able to replicate our climate with just 5% knowledge of exactly how it works. And when clearly it doesn’t work the first thing she does is go into default mode with the word “belief” and now it isn’t warming according to anomalies then forget models and indulge in some 21st century crystal ball gazing and regurgitate the Arctic, polar bears and whatever other extraneous anomalies they can dream up to justify their public sector salaries and pensions. The reality is that the IPCC was set up by Maurice Strong to find a way of demonizing Co2 for his own dubious political ends and that is why we get harangued morning noon and night about climate change. I understand that Caroline Lucas of the UK green party has turned down the lead role in Alien 4 because Ed Davey refuses to get back in her box and in any case is just not repulsive enough to be reborn as a green monkey. Apparently she never did really understand what climate had to do with holocaust denial and circumcision its just too Jewish. Yes I am sick and fed up to the back teeth with all of this climate obsessive cow crap.

  16. Imo the largest problem has its origin in astrophysics: the use of the Effective temperature (Te) as base for our climate. With albedo .30 the Te for earth is 255K. For the moon (albedo .11) the Te is 270K. Yet its actual average temperature is only ~197K. (Diviner project)
    So the temperature rise attributed to the GHE is not 33K, but at least 288K-197K = 91K.
    (actually more like 145K)
    I’m sure not many people will believe the atmosphere with a thermal mass equal to that of ~3 meter of water can achieve this temperature rise.
    The fact that earth is a planet consisting of molten rock, with a core of molten metal has everything to do with our pleasant surface temperatures.
    I admit that the mechanism is not easy to spot, but the explanation is amazingly simple.

  17. Please also lock at Beenstock&Reingewertz&Paldor, “Polynomial cointegration tests of
    anthropogenic impact on global warming”.

    They apply a test for Granger causality and find that an anthropogenic forcing increase cannot cause a temperature increase persistently, but that the derivative of the anthropogenic forcing can (a temporary effect, hinting at the existence of a negative feedback with a lag time; which could be, for instance, the negative water vapor feedback that Miskolczi proposes)

    http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.pdf

    Ironically, published by Copernicus. Maybe the publisher never read it. Copernicus hates anti IPCC views.

  18. Two things struck me about Figure 1. I have seen the CO2 part of the graph several times and never thought to ask, why do they not use a logarithmic scale?

    Many social and physical phenomena are approximately log-normal (normal distribution after taking the logarithm) because the underlying process is multiplicative rather than arithmetic. In such cases, we do regression analysis we usually transform the non-linear process by taking logarithms. Often the transformation reveals a linear relationship.

    The second thing I noticed was that half the warming since around 1910 was before 1950 I had read this, but it really shows in Figure 1. The problem for the alarmists is that prior to 1950 the rate of GHG emissions was quite low.

    The temperature graph shows something else that shows up when you use the ice core data. There is a cooling period from about 1870 to 1910. Now this one I know something about from my childhood.

    No I am not over 100 years old.but my mother was born in 1910 and her father, my grandfather, was born in about 1867. He lived in Toronto a few kilometers from the city hall. He had garages behind the house where my mother was born. Formerly they held his horses and carriages and a huge sleigh, very much like the one I imagined Santa Claus was using. In 1937 the sleigh was in very good condition but never used in my lifetime and never a topic of conversation.

    So sometime in the past, probably around 1910 or so, there was enough snow and ice in central Toronto to drive a big horse-drawn sleigh. [To my knowledge reindeer were never used in Ontario.]
    Then temperature increased again by 1950 to reach about the same temperature as 1870, a fluctuation of about 0.4 degrees Celsius in 80 years, about 40 years down and 40 years up during a period for which there are no serious people saying the humans induced either the cooling or the warming.

  19. Thank you for an excellent scientific summary of the counterarguments, free of politics and conspiracy theories.

  20. It’s worse than we thought. According to the world’s most experienced expert on Global Warming / Climate Change, John Kerry [sarc];

    “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk.”

    In the middle of a trip to Asia and the Middle East, Mr Kerry argued that it made no sense for some nations to act to stem climate change while others did nothing.

    “Think about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

    “It doesn’t keep us safe if the United States secures its nuclear arsenal while other countries fail to prevent theirs from falling into the hands of terrorists.

    “The bottom line is this: it is the same thing with climate change.

    “In a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

    He says climate change ranks alongside terrorism as an issue of global importance that needs to be tackled like any other.

    “Terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: all challenges that know no borders,” he said.

    “The reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”

    Mr Kerry had little patience for such sceptics in his speech. He said the scientific debate over climate change was settled, with 97 per cent of scientists saying the problem is real.

    “We just don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” he said. “I’m talking about big companies that like it the way it is, that don’t want to change, and spend a lot of money to keep you and me and everybody from doing what we know we need to do.

    “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists … and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact,” he said. “The science is unequivocal and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/john-kerry-climate-change-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction-20140217-hvcng.html#ixzz2tajTPZL3

    Speaking of ‘burying theirs heads in the sand’, that is also a myth. Ostriches DO NOT bury their heads in the sand.

  21. A very good article.

    Perhaps it is time to propose a global cooperative for the establishment, maintenance and provision of open access to high quality, consistent, long-term temperature data, a global, climatological equivalent of CERN??

    Climate is truly global, not respecting national or even regional boundaries and it is clear that teleconnections occur between events half-way around the globe. The whole world will benefit from greater knowledge of climate and wars should reduce as a result.

    It is a fairly obvious requirement for the next two centuries at least and all countries would contribute because data from all countries would be necessary to produce databases of sufficient quality to be worthy of the effort at all.

    In the spirit of investment bankers not interfering in retail banking, perhaps it could also be stipulated that those who produce the primary data, develop instrumentation, automated data collection etc etc, should not be the ones analysing the data?? This would decouple any links between political correctness and data production, which is of course the most fundamental underpinning of any climate analysis, policy development and economic outcomes.

  22. David Wells says:
    February 17, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Convicted criminal and proven liarChris Huhne ex DECC Secretary of State said on the BBC Today program “we must stop climate change”.”

    Fixed it for you.

  23. To Prof. Morton:
    IPCC climate models are and must be outright wrong, because 5 astronomical
    climate drivers are omitted in model inputs. Global warming hit the very top
    in the past decade, the temp plateau will continue and will fall
    thereafter into the renewed future Little Ice Age. Because omitted climate drivers
    are astronomical, I suggest to check:
    http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/eoo_paper.html, all explained in detail.
    JS.

  24. Essex, McKitrick and Andresen (2007) and Essex and McKitrick (2007) in their popular book have criticized the use of these mean temperature data for the earth. First temperature is an intensive thermodynamic variable relevant to a particular location in equilibrium with the measuring device. Any average with other locations or times of day or seasons has no physical meaning. Other types of averages might be more appropriate such as the second, fourth or inverse power of the absolute temperature, each of which would give a different trend with time. Furthermore it is temperature differences between two places that drive the dynamics. Climatologists have not explained what this single number for global temperature actually means. Essex and McKitrick note that it “is not a temperature. Nor is it even a proper statistic or index. It is a sequence of different statistics grafted together with ad hoc models.”

    I’ve been pointing this out for some time, yet we keep getting graphs with one number. If physicists know this, why is it still presented this way? Just because “it’s all we have” doesn’t make it meaningful.

  25. Donald, I have had a thought as to what can actually be done with your wonderful essay. You are living in Canada, as I am, and as is Dr. Andrew Weaver. Dr. Weaver was a science professor at, IIRC, Simon Fraser University, and is an out and out warmist. Now Andrew has recently been elected to the BC legislature. Under our Canadian system, if a constituent writes, officially, to his/her elected member, that member is obliged to respond. I don’t this that this is a legal requirement, but it most certainly is a moral one, and, if not followed, should be the subject of public disclosure.

    Could you find a constituent of Dr. Weaver’s, and persuade that person to write officially to him, asking him for a detailed response to your statements? If you could, the results could be very interesting.

  26. Models of a hypothesis are not a valid test of the hypothesis. Only the comparison of the prediction of the hypthesis against empirical observation of reality is a suitable basis for testing the CAGW hypothesis. Anything else is snake oil sales technique.

    The only scientifically valid conclusion of totality of the available evidence is that the CAGW hypothesis must be rejected. It is falsified.

  27. “Unfortunately many parts of the world are poorly sampled and the oceans, which cover 71% of the earth’s surface, even less so.

    This syntax is either meaningless or self-contradictory. The “so” in “less so” has no useful referent. Less poorly sampled is obviously not your intent. But “less well sampled” would make sense.”

    They obviously mean “land” in the first clause…. which is poorly sampled…. as opposed to the ocean which represents much more of the earth’s surface and is hardly sampled at all.

  28. Both the Marcott 2013 proxy data re-dating fraudulent hockey stick, cheered on by Mike Mann himself, and Steve Goddard’s recent plots of the massive peer review lacking historical revisionism of the global and especially US temperature averages point to corruption of science akin to the sway of the single bullet theory of heart disease whipped up by Ancel Keys that led to the carbohydrate loaded Food Pyramid. Any essay like this that avoids calling out this strong and morally upstanding version of climate skepticism merely enables talk show alarmists to discredit skeptics quite successfully by pointing out the idea that skepticism suggests a vast secret society conspiracy at work rather than just money fueled corruption with Gaian religious heroism thrown in. Merely criticizing use of universally accepted temperature averages themselves, however valid, also invites quite successful dismissal of skeptics as crackpots. With Bill Nye still holding up Mann’s original bad math hockey stick graphic on TV, where are the skeptics holding up the Marcott 2013 input data plots to finally show the public outside of blogs that here lies fraud? They finally showed their hand with this latest hockey stick, and not a single news story has appeared outside of blogs. My God, people, get the damn word out. The enemy of Mankind just handed you heroes an atomic bomb. Use it!

    Marcott 2013 input data plotted by Willis and Mann’s Snoopy dance over it on Facebook is here:
    postimg.org/jb6qe15rl/Marcott_2013_Eye_Candy.jpg

  29. Insufficient coverage of solar factors, individual cold years in the past correlate very well to a lack of Aurora. Changes in Joule heating of the upper atmosphere in the polar regions are probably far more influential on the weather and climate of the mid latitudes than TSI variations.

  30. So if a global temperature average is meaningless, what should be used as a metric? And why then, aside from the IPCC using this supposedly irrelevant information (when it suits them,) are skeptics continually going on about the ‘pause’? Doesn’t it become a moot point?

    And in possiblecontradiction to the above…

    One thing I’ve never understood since I am not knowledgeable on the subject: is it possible due to the addition of higher concentrations of GHG’s to have no apparent effect on temperature but to actually be retaining more heat in the atmosphere? (Like the idea that a pound of lead and two pounds of lead can be the same temperature but have different quantities of heat.) If so, what does it mean?

  31. This article makes great points, but it needs to pile on with another point: the various temperature data sets have been adjusted and homogenized in ways that add a significant warming trend to the raw data. Set after set, which refuses to conform, is later adjusted. There will be more adjustments to overcome this current “pause,” so that the flow of climate-alarm funding will continue.

  32. These points are clearly stated and should be reviewed by any diligent policy maker before considering major adjustments to our economies in the name of controlling the chaos. Another point that needs to be addressed by other good scientists is the finding of Murry Salby that the total atmospheric CO2 content is nearly non correlated to anthropogenic emissions. I have read one article confirming his findings but none that really disagree using anything like cogent arguments.

  33. “At least six serious problems confront the climate predictions presented in the last IPCC Report. The models do not predict the observed temperature plateau since 1998, the models adopted a feedback parameter based on the unjustified assumption that the warming prior to 1998 was primarily caused by anthopogenic CO2, the IPCC ignored possible affects of reduced solar activity during the past decade, the temperature anomaly has no physical significance, the models attempt to predict the future of a chaotic system, and there is an appeal to consensus to establish climate science.”

    Well summarized. “At least” is correct, since there are more.

    I’ve always preferred “plateau” to “pause” or “hiatus” since coming decades could be warmer, cooler or stay the same. The latter two terms imply a resumption of warming.

    IMO “affects” should be “effects”.

    In the absence of predominantly positive feedbacks (such as follow-on rise in H2O vapor) not in evidence, the effect of increasing CO2 is sure to be negligible. Even should its concentration reach 560 ppm (doubling from presumed 280 in AD 1850) in dry air by the end of this century, it will still constitute only a small fraction of all the GHGs in our atmosphere (less than 2%, up from 1%). And as its assumed heating effect is logarithmic, any resultant rise in temperature will be insignificant at best, not catastrophic.

  34. Alan the Brit:

    At February 17, 2014 at 7:33 am you say

    @David Wells.
    If you’re ever down in Cream Tea country, I’ll buy you a beer! ;-)

    I add that if Mr Green Genes ever continues on to here where we put the jam and cream on the right way up then I will buy him a cider (see his post here).

    Richard

  35. I’ve been pointing this out for some time, yet we keep getting graphs with one number. If physicists know this, why is it still presented this way? Just because “it’s all we have” doesn’t make it meaningful.
    Jeff, it’s because it conveys the right message. The sheoples can’t take in anything that does not include tits and bingo.

  36. Here are some of the natural systems which affect the climate:

    –The atmosphere
    –The hydrosphere
    –The cryosphere
    –The lithosphere
    –The biosphere
    –The heliosphere

    Which of these do the global warming (“General Circulation Models) attempt to model, and which do they ignore?

  37. Measured the sky and air temperatures today from the ground. They were half a degree different. Yesterday they were 40 degrees different. All that increased back warming from the sky has made no difference to the air temperature.

  38. Good Post Mr. Morton.
    It was written in a way that science dummies like me can actually understand …..I appreciate that, and I am saving it.
    One thing that dummies like me do know is: When a scientist (or politician) says “the debate is over” you can be sure of two things:
    1. The debate is not over.
    2. The scientist (or politician) that said it is losing the debate.
    Ron Richey

  39. I would like to see information about what would be the optimum CO2 concentration for humanity. Is there an optimum CO2 level to breathe? Can animal life be better, even longer, with higher (or lower) CO2? I expect one could easily find correlation between longevity and CO2, though we ought to be skeptical. We know food grows well in the tropics and not so well in polar regions. We know lower food production costs and plentiful food help us live longer.

    I expect humanity has become more “brainy” because of living longer rather than breathing CO2, but it certainly appears that CO2 is a factor in longevity. Of course “more brainy” increases longevity, but leaving aside the idiocy of a runaway planet, can someone suggest what might be the optimum CO2 level for us to live in?

  40. Dr Norman Page says:
    February 17, 2014 at 6:29 am
    Morton is entirely right in his views . Climate forecasts based on the IPCC models are clearly useless.
    ———————–

    How about “worse than worthless” v. “useless” as climate forecasts?

  41. Stephen Richards says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Jeff, it’s because it conveys the right message. The sheoples can’t take in anything that does not include tits and bingo.

    Wait, there’s bingo??

  42. “The upper plot in Fig. 1 shows how global temperatures have varied since 1880 with a decrease to 1910, a rise until 1945, a plateau to 1977, a rise of about 0.6 ºC until 1998 and then essentially constant for the next 16 years. Meanwhile, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere has steadily increased.”

    In think the most interesting view on all of this is if you extend the temperature record (by including some proxies) back just a little further in time to 1800.

    Now the CO2 line most definitely does NOT explain those extra, only 50, years. Of non-declining temps as CO2 would require.

    The proxies MUST be valid for that small extra time span, otherwise how can they be relevant in the year since then to match themselves to the thermometer record!

    And the CO2 picture starts to come apart already at that point.

  43. Nice read, thanks.

    I do recall some calculations being done with respect to CO2′s potential role as a GHG. I believe it was stated that we have experiencec 93% of the potential warming from CO2 to date. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the link. I do believe it was posted on this site in comments some time ago also.

  44. 2kevin:

    Your post at February 17, 2014 at 7:40 am says in total

    So if a global temperature average is meaningless, what should be used as a metric? And why then, aside from the IPCC using this supposedly irrelevant information (when it suits them,) are skeptics continually going on about the ‘pause’? Doesn’t it become a moot point?

    And in possiblecontradiction to the above…

    One thing I’ve never understood since I am not knowledgeable on the subject: is it possible due to the addition of higher concentrations of GHG’s to have no apparent effect on temperature but to actually be retaining more heat in the atmosphere? (Like the idea that a pound of lead and two pounds of lead can be the same temperature but have different quantities of heat.) If so, what does it mean?

    I do not know where you obtained your ideas but I award an A for successful obfuscation but an F for failed attempt to move the goal posts.

    Firstly, the global temperature anomaly (GASTA) is a meaningless metric (see Appendix B of this). However, GASTA is the metric which climastrologists use to assess global climate change and, therefore, GASTA is the appropriate metric to use when assessing if global climate change has stopped.

    All the various compilations of GASTA show no linear trend different from zero at 95% confidence for at least 17 years, RSS says 24.5 years. So, discernible global climate change stopped at least 17 years ago. That is not “a moot point” when global climate change is being used as an excuse to damage economic, energy and environmental policies world-wide.

    Secondly, no, it is NOT possible for addition of higher concentrations of GHG’s (except water vapour) to have no apparent effect on temperature but to actually be retaining more heat in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is only 0.4% of the atmosphere. Hence, your question means nothing.

    Richard

  45. Thanks for a well written, soundly reasoned article. If more scientists who have taken a hard look at the available data will speak up we may yet avoid the implementation of misguided policies.

  46. Jeff Alberts says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:20 am

    “I’ve been pointing this out for some time, yet we keep getting graphs with one number. If physicists know this, why is it still presented this way? Just because “it’s all we have” doesn’t make it meaningful.”

    Because the are plotting CHANGE in the variable, not the variable itself.

    In fact, if they stopped there, and only plotted the deltas from the average for the sampling points involved, we could probably derive something useful from the data.

    No worries (or only a few anyway) about Nyquist and what he said about sampling rates in time and space.

    Assume that we have a representative sample and move forward. But no, we have to try and extend that to some mythical ‘temperature field’ by extrapolation/interpolation/guesswork and thus be able to tie it all back the physics that the models produce.

    That circle has yet to be closed, even in part.

  47. richardscourtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 8:06 am

    “Firstly, the global temperature anomaly (GASTA) is a meaningless metric (see Appendix B of this). However, GASTA is the metric which climastrologists use to assess global climate change and, therefore, GASTA is the appropriate metric to use when assessing if global climate change has stopped.”

    See my post about Nyquist above and why just tracking the change in the deltas rather than trying to (guess)estimate the ‘temperature field’ from them would be a least one step forward.

  48. Ossqss:

    At February 17, 2014 at 8:01 am you say

    I do recall some calculations being done with respect to CO2′s potential role as a GHG. I believe it was stated that we have experiencec 93% of the potential warming from CO2 to date. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the link. I do believe it was posted on this site in comments some time ago also.

    I think this is what you want.

    Richard

  49. Three points:

    1. The fact that I was already reasonably familiar with each of the six arguments is a testimony to the effectiveness of WUWT, of which I’ve been a consistent reader for a couple of years now.

    2. A question really: Does the author take for granted the temperature record as currently reported? We continue to see anecdotal evidence of the reduction of older temps in various locations, yet generally the discussions of a “pause” in warming all tend to assume that the currently-reported historical record is to be taken as a given.

    3. The point about the setting of the feedback parameter in the models would seem to be a key point of attack when addressing anyone relying upon said models. If the modelers, looking at past temperature rises that could not be explained simply by the amount of CO2 being introduced to the atmosphere over the recent past were therefore encouraged to introduce a parameter that specified a positive feedback, then surely (as the author stated) the value assigned to that parameter (and probably even its sign) is called into question by the current pause. So it would seem a reasonable question to put to any modeler to ask what his results would show if the feedback parameter were changed to reflect recent reality. How scary would the future be if the feedback parameter were changed to reflect the actual temps experienced from, say, 1973 to 2013, rather than from just 1978 to 1998? Surely any responsible modeler would have, by now, attempted such a run if for no other reason than to satisfy his own curiosity. Have none of them been asked for the results of such a run?

  50. Great essay, unfortunately it requires a small degree of science literacy to read and therefore the people who need to read it the most, are least capable of understanding it.

  51. RichardLH:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at February 17, 2014 at 8:11 am which says

    See my post about Nyquist above and why just tracking the change in the deltas rather than trying to (guess)estimate the ‘temperature field’ from them would be a least one step forward.

    Sadly, I have to disagree about it being a “step forward”. I agree your point about sampling issues, but the problem with GASTA is more fundamental than you suggest.

    Please read Appendix B of this.

    Richard

  52. Rod Everson says at February 17, 2014 at 8:14 am

    2. A question really: Does the author take for granted the temperature record as currently reported? We continue to see anecdotal evidence of the reduction of older temps in various locations, yet generally the discussions of a “pause” in warming all tend to assume that the currently-reported historical record is to be taken as a given.

    I think you need more than anecdotal evidence before you can start discarding measurements.
    The measurements are our closet link to the real world.

    It is correct to discard models that don’t match measurements. But don’t set the precedent of discarding measurements without a very strong reason. Otherwise we will lose any basis for understanding the real world.

  53. 2Kevin asks What should be used as a climate metric . Check my post from 2011 at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2011/10/climate-metric.html

    It begins
    “There is currently a difference in approach to climate science between the sceptical Baconian – empirical approach solidly based on data and the Platonic IPCC approach – based on theoretical assumptions built into climate models. The question arises from the recent Muller – BEST furore -What is the best metric for a global measure of and for discussion of global warming or cooling. For some years I have suggested in various web comments and on my blog that the Hadley Sea Surface Temperature data is the best metric for the following reasons . (Anyone can check this data for themselves – Google Hadley Cru — scroll down to SST GL and check the annual numbers.)
    1. Oceans cover about 70% of the surface.
    2. Because of the thermal inertia of water – short term noise is smoothed out.
    3. All the questions re UHI, changes in land use local topographic effects etc are simply sidestepped.
    4. Perhaps most importantly – what we really need to measure is the enthalpy of the system – the land measurements do not capture this aspect because the relative humidity at the time of temperature measurement is ignored. In water the temperature changes are a good measure of relative enthalpy changes.
    5. It is very clear that the most direct means to short term and decadal length predictions is through the study of the interactions of the atmospheric systems ,ocean currents and temperature regimes – PDO ,ENSO. SOI AMO AO etc etc. and the SST is a major measure of these systems. Certainly the SST data has its own problems but these are much less than those of the land data.”

    Since 2011 the alarmists increasingly claim that the missing heat has gone into the oceans. This strengthens the case for using Hadley or NOAA SST’s as the metric for discussion because of point 4 above.
    This missing heat argument has recently been destroyed by the meta-analysis of the OHC data by http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_final.pdf
    (see Table 1)

  54. richardscourtney: Carbon dioxide is only 0.4% of the atmosphere. Hence, your question means nothing.

    0.04%. It’s Monday, Richard.
    : > )

  55. Dear Dr. Morton:

    Thank you for the interesting paper and for inviting critical comments. A crisis that you
    do not address is that climatologists of all stripes perennially draw conclusions from equivocations thus being guilty of the equivocation fallacy. A consequence is for logically improper conclusions to be drawn from arguments.

    Avoidance of this fallacy requires a restructuring of climatology that references predictions to sampling units.There are details in the peer-reviewed article at http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=7923 .

  56. The greater public only believes what it hears from the media. Most of which just parrots the alarmist view. Just today, NPR broadcast John Kerry equating climate change deniers with flat earthers. Which means he doesn’t even comprehend the arguments presented in this and other skeptical forums. I’ve done my best to enlighten my alarmist friends but if they don’t hear it on NPR, the networks, or their favorite liberal blogs, it is ignored.

    Thanks for fighting the good fight!

  57. juan slayton:

    Many thanks for your correction of me in your post at February 17, 2014 at 8:25 am which says

    richardscourtney:

    Carbon dioxide is only 0.4% of the atmosphere. Hence, your question means nothing.

    0.04%. It’s Monday, Richard. : > )

    Yes. Thankyou.

    I have a problem proof reading my own words: I tend to ‘see’ what I intended to type and not what I did type.

    Richard

  58. M Courtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 8:23 am

    IMO there is much more than anecdotal evidence that the past & present observations of temperature have been systematically adjusted, ie stepped on, bent, folded, spindled & mutilated so thoroughly that the “data” books are cooked beyond all recognition. I’d say this blatantly shameless manipulation is an established fact.

    It’s one reason why GISS, UEA, etc have been at such pains to keep the original observations secret, along with their adjustment algorithms. When finally forced by FOIA barrages to reveal the algorithm for adjusting for the UHI effect, the public learned (despite lack of press coverage, natch) that the adjustments amazingly make the temperatures hotter rather than cooler. And how does HadCRU adjust for the fact that land surface stations run warmer than ocean surface observations? Why by raising the sea surface Ts, of course!

    It’s not science but politics. Those who control the public purse strings call the tune for academic & regime “scientists”.

  59. I am not sure how many are aware that I have two lawsuits against me brought by the same lawyer. Most know of the lawsuit by Michael Mann, but few know that nine days before that lawsuit was filed I received one from Andrew Weaver. Mann’s lawsuit is higher profile, but I consider the Weaver one more important because of his role in the chapter on climate models in four of the IPCC Reports (1995, 2001, 2007, 2013). The models produce the results that allow the claim that humans are the cause of global warming/climate change and make the projections that the trend will continue. We are in discovery phase in both lawsuits but appear stalled right now.

  60. When one stops to consider the reliability of the historic temperature records, one is left to wonder if we are kidding ourselves about our ability to gauge the extent to which current temperatures are or are not higher or lower.

    Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable?

    Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable?

    Do you seriously believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say, 1850-2012 are accurate?

    I don’t.

  61. While the article mostly makes valid points, for conciseness I’ll skip what I agree with and add some notes otherwise:

    The upper plot in Fig. 1 shows how global temperatures have varied since 1880 with a decrease to 1910, a rise until 1945, a plateau to 1977, a rise of about 0.6 ºC until 1998 and then essentially constant for the next 16 years.

    I would challenge anyone to find any plot published in or around 1977 (not by later activists but by scientists back then) which shows a quantitatively equivalent mere plateau 1945-1977 for global or NH temperatures, as opposed to major decline like what is illustrated in part of http://img213.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=62356_expanded_overview3_122_1094lo.jpg

    The publications of the 1970s still exist in libraries, like one of the plots in the preceding link I’ve seen in non-rewritten paper form. The global cooling scare then didn’t happen for no reason.

    Larger variations could explain historical warm and cold intervals such as the Medieval Warm Period (approx. 950 – 1250) and the Little Ice Age (approx. 1430 – 1850)

    That and the rest of the solar discussion conveys some info but not enough: see prior link.

  62. Are there other environmental effects that are equally or more important than global warming?

    An excellent question. In North America the focus seems to be primarily on global warming . However it is the winters that we should be focused on for the next 20-30 years. Winters have been getting colder for 15 years now in North America. Winters like we used to have 30 years ago are returning as we have seen with this current severe winter This colder weather spills over into a colder spring in Canada and colder spring in United States for 2 months out of three spring months . Fall is also getting colder in United States. In summary the weather is getting colder for 7 months of the year, flat for another two and only warming during three months. This cooler weather means a potential for more floods from spring snow melts ,wind storms, tornadoes, winter snow storms and, more snow as the cold and warm fronts meet more often and at bigger amplitudes. The net result is many areas are unprepared for the current and more importantly the upcoming colder weather in terms of emergency planning, snow clearing infrastructure , heating fuel stocks( propane and natural gas) , local winter budgets , flood control measures,transportation needs , power outage repair capability and impact on local economy . It is time to get off this global warming only focus and concentrate on the real problems that confront us today and in the near term .We may have to vote in a new government to get a more balanced approach to these issues .

  63. Alan the Brit I might just take you up on that offer but what about the fossil fuel I will burn on the way? Seriously though we really should take pity on Huhne it must be early onset Alzheimer’s because after he has conquered the climate presumably his next step is to find a way of turning the sun on and off I mean nothing less that total control of the universe, space and time. Like Jeremy Clarkson pitting the McLaren P1 against the Porsche equivalent if we are having any effect on our atmosphere I will change my name to Lucy. There are a few more daft than Huhne however both Hugo Rifkind and Tom Heap think that we just have to accept that we have committed serial crimes against our planet and its time to put the various wrongs right. These guys conveniently forget that had it not been for the abundance of fossil fuel allowing the population to grow they would not be here to whinge and moan about us being to blame and on reflection maybe eugenics was a good idea and by extension its a shame that Bert Bolin – Swedish/Eugenics – was not put down like the giraffe in Denmark because he had the wrong genes. As a aside we only got Hitler because some daft passer by jumped in and dragged him out when as a child because he fell into the flow of a water wheel and got trapped, so these butterfly moments could be the harbingers of disaster to come?

  64. Adding to prior comment:

    Regarding CO2 and temperature comparisons like this article’s figure 1, here is an illustration (which isn’t in my prior link for conciseness but of relevance):

    http://tinyurl.com/3d4mrbt

    (Someone could argue that the ice core CO2 readings are junk compared to stomata data, but that would have consequences unsuited for global warming alarmism in another way and still wouldn’t give a match on these timescales since the oceans take time to warm & outgas).

  65. “Now the CO2 line most definitely does NOT explain those extra, only 50, years. Of non-declining temps as CO2 would require.”

    Huh, C02 sure does work.

    And on your proxies.. you need to recalibrate them.

  66. Stephen Wilde says:

    “fluxes during the most recent solar minimum were lower than the previous two reducing the formation of ozone in the stratosphere and its absorption of the near UV spectrum. ”

    “Apparently the sign of the ozone response was reversed above 45 km and given that the descending stratospheric polar vortices would bring that reversed response down towards the surface at the poles we should be looking for a warmer stratosphere and lower tropopause heights at the poles whilst the sun is less active.

    That would then be the cause of more and larger parcels of cold polar air surging across middle latitudes in winter”

    I have noted similarities with this Winter and the bitter cold ones of 1970′s, particularly 1976/77. During that Winter, the “Polar Vortex” repeatedly dropped south into the US and Southern Canada very much like this Winter(though the upper level ridge at higher latitudes this time has been farther west). This occurred much more frequently in the 1970′s, then became rare after that………..after the sun became more active.

    Note the similarities with the current sun and it being less active during the 70′s.

    Also, last Winter in the Southern Hemisphere July/August 2013, we witnessed the same thing happening. The Polar Vortex is much harder to temporarily displace there(it is much stronger at the South Pole) but intense cold penetrated great distances towards the equator(coffee growing regions of Brazil saw their coldest weather in decades) with record cold and snow into Northern Argentina and Southern Brazil.

    At the same time, the Arctic last Summer was having one of its coldest Summer’s and earlier this Summer, the Antarctic had widespread cold anomalies sitting on top of it for many consecutive weeks.

  67. Dr Norman Page says:
    February 17, 2014 at 8:24 am
    For some years I have suggested in various web comments and on my blog that the Hadley Sea Surface Temperature data is the best metric for the following reasons . 

    I agree. And what does Hadsst3 show? There has been no warming for 13 years and 2 months since December 2000. See:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl/from:2000.9/plot/hadsst3gl/from:2000.9/trend

    Furthermore, the January 2014 anomaly of 0.341 would only rank 2014 at 11th place if it stayed this way.

  68. richardscourtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 8:21 am

    “Please read Appendix B of this.”

    I have already, thanks. The point I was making was that regardless of what the data is tracking, just observing the changing deltas to those figures and without in any way manipulating or further extending them DOES provide a potentially useful metric.

    All on its own and without any necessary link to a wider picture.

    These sampling points have changed is this way (assuming that instrument changes , etc. have been correctly dealt with) over this time.

    To extend beyond that is to my mind the fatal flaw. To somehow think that we can from those changes derive some understanding about what an almost mythical ‘temperature field’ has done.

  69. Steven Mosher:

    At February 17, 2014 at 8:58 am you assert

    And on your proxies.. you need to recalibrate them.

    How? And why?

    Richard

  70. Steven Mosher says:
    February 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

    “Now the CO2 line most definitely does NOT explain those extra, only 50, years. Of non-declining temps as CO2 would require.”
    Huh, C02 sure does work. http://static.berkeleyearth.org/img/annual-with-forcing-small.png

    Interesting. Would you care to give your Nyquist sampling rate before, say 1900, as to the accuracy of those figures?

    And your 1*1 degree grid percentage as I have repeatedly asked you for (not station count as that is an almost useless statistic).

    “And on your proxies.. you need to recalibrate them.”

    Really. They are calibrated to HadCrut4 as per their literature mostly says. What would you suggest I calibrate them to?

  71. Thank you, a very effective summary of the manifold and manifest weaknesses in the warmists’ arguments.
    One typo: “affects” should be “effects” in the conclusion: “…the IPCC ignored possible affects of reduced solar activity during the past decade,…”

  72. Don’t forget ‘falsifiable hypothesis’, which was only indirectly referred to in the abstract. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it is a ‘third leg’ to stand on wrt scientific hypothesis, isn’t it?

  73. “There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor. “

    Sure there is. Or are you discounting those that say CO2 has no climate effect whatsoever?

  74. richardscourtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:05 am

    “How? And why?”

    Because a simple greater than 15 year low pass ‘Gaussian’ filter makes for very awkward explanations otherwise. Please note he did not ask first HOW I calibrated them, just asserted it was wrong.

  75. Thank you Dr. Morton for a concise summary of the skeptic side of eth mainstream climate debate..

    The “mainstream” global warming debate centres on the magnitude of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (“ECS”) to atmospheric CO2, which is the primary subject of contention between global warming alarmists (aka “warmists”) and climate skeptics (aka “skeptics”).

    Warmists typically say ECS is high, greater than ~~3 degrees C [3C/(2xCO2)] and therefore DANGEROUS global warming will result, whereas skeptics say ECS is 1C or less and any resulting global warming will NOT be dangerous.

    The scientific evidence to date strongly suggests that if one had to pick a side, the skeptics are more likely to be correct.

    However, BOTH sides of this factious debate are in all probability technically WRONG. In January 2008 I demonstrated that CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales*, so the mainstream debate requires that “the future is causing the past”, which I suggest is demonstrably false.

    In climate science we do not even agree on what drives what, and it is probable that the majority, who reside on BOTH sides of the ECS mainstream debate, are both technically WRONG.

    Hypothesis:
    Based on the preponderance of evidence, temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature, so ECS may not exist at all at the “macro” scale, and may be utterly irrelevant to climate science except at the “micro” (and materially insignificant) scale.
    There may be other significant sources of CO2 that contribute to its increase in the atmosphere, but increasing CO2 just does not have a significant or measureable impact on global warming (or cooling), which is almost entirely natural in origin.

    I therefore suggest that the oft-fractious “mainstream debate” between warmists and skeptics about the magnitude of ECS is materially irrelevant. ECS, if it exists at all, is so small that it just does not matter.

    Wait 5 to 10 more years – I suggest that by then most serious climate scientists will accept the above hypo. Many will claim they knew it all along… :-)
    ________

    * If ECS (which assumes CO2 drives temperature) actually exists in the Earth system, it is so small that it is overwhelmed by the reality that temperature drives CO2.

    Proof:
    In this enormous CO2 equation, the only signal that is apparent is that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature, and CO2 lags global Lower Troposphere temperatures by about 9 months.

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    CO2 also lags temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record on a longer time scale.

    To suggest that ECS is larger that 1C is not credible. I suggest that if ECS exists at all, it is much smaller than 1C, so small as to be essentially insignificant.

    Regards, Allan

  76. The important senstence below is incomplete.
    “Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it?”

    It should read simething like:
    Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it and is our ability to do this not highly questionable?

    The point is that the CAGW crowd not only claim (in the fce of contrary evidence) that the extra CO2 is the main driver of rising temperatures but that we can slow the temperature rise down by tinkeing with out CO2 producisn rate. Tbis must surely be the height of unbridled hubris.

  77. John W. Garrett says:
    February 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I don’t believe the alleged temperature data as adjusted by NASA, NOAA & HadCRU. In fact I’m sure they’re are fictional, & getting more so with each passing month.

    The 1930s were warmer not only in the US than the 1990s, but globally, just there were 30-year phases of the Medieval Warm Period hotter than now, more of them in the Roman WP, more yet in the Minoan WP & lots of them during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Not to mention most of the Eemian Interglacial, without benefit of a Neanderthal Industrial Age.

  78. RichardLH:

    Thankyou for your reply to me which you provide at February 17, 2014 at 9:02 am.

    Clearly, I am failing to understand what you are trying to say to me.

    You write

    The point I was making was that regardless of what the data is tracking, just observing the changing deltas to those figures and without in any way manipulating or further extending them DOES provide a potentially useful metric.

    All on its own and without any necessary link to a wider picture.

    These sampling points have changed is this way (assuming that instrument changes , etc. have been correctly dealt with) over this time.

    To extend beyond that is to my mind the fatal flaw. To somehow think that we can from those changes derive some understanding about what an almost mythical ‘temperature field’ has done.

    OK. Let me break down what I am not understanding because that may unblock the impasse.

    What would be the “potentially useful metric”?
    What would it indicate and why would that be “useful”?
    What is an “almost mythical ‘temperature field’” and how is it defined?
    How does applying the Nyquist Limit do other than reject sample points?
    Indeed, what relevance has the Nyquist Limit; e.g. would you reject a region because it only contains one measurement site?

    Please note that I am not agreeing and not disagreeing with you. I cannot because I am trying to understand your point which I cannot accept or dispute until I do understand it.

    Richard

  79. “Consequently they postulated a positive feedback due to hotter air holding more water vapor, which increased the absorption of radiation and the backwarming.”

    ————————–

    This is a testable hypothesis. If correct , we ought to have some sort of record of increasing total atmospheric water vapor with time or some sort of positive correlation between global water vapor & global temperature (which might even allow defining a “feedback parameter” more accurately.

    Does anyone know if a water vapor data set exists? & if so a link to it online ?

  80. I’m disappointed by the essay. One would expect something much more analytical from an astrophysicist than an intelligent narrative re-hash of points already made many times here on WUWT.

    For example, the radiative forcing of CO2 is well-established, as Dr. Morton notes (1): “There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy…

    But his conclusion (2), “… resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor.” begs the climatological question. Radiative absorption by CO2 puts energy into the atmosphere (step 1), true. But how the climate system partitions that extra kinetic energy is the question at hand.

    The IPCC and its minions claim all that extra energy warms the oceans and the atmosphere. However, the terrestrial climate has many more response channels than that. The energy could increase the strength of convective updrafts, for example. It could change the cloud fraction. It could increase tropical rainfall.

    Any of these could disperse the energy produced by CO2 absorption so that there is no detectable increase in sensible atmospheric heat at all.

    All the predicted baseline warming due to the radiative forcing of CO2 is calculated under conditions of ceteris paribus — everything else remains equal. That is, all climatological conditions remain constant: no change in clouds, convection, or tropical rainfall ≈ 1 C of air temperature change per doubling. But all those things will change. And no one knows how or by how much.

    The entire IPCC message depends on neglecting our profound ignorance about how the terrestrial climate operates. It’s all pretend science (I’ll have an article in an up-coming E&E issue about the battening on ignorance of consensus climatology).

    And that reminds me. GCMs don’t make scientific predictions, because they do not converge to unique physical solutions. Comparing their outputs to observations is completely pointless. Doing so raises GCMs to a status they absolutely do not deserve.

    I’d expect an astrophysicist to know all this, and do a few calculations to make the point that only small adjustments of the climate can obviate any possible effect of doubling CO2 from 300 to 600 ppmv. That would be a far stronger repudiation of the IPCC and its betrayers of science than just the narrative displays we got here.

  81. Dr. Morton says:

    “Experiments by Kirkby et al. (2011) and Svensmark et al. (2013) have shown that these cosmic rays can seed the formation of clouds.”

    This is not correct. Their experiments showed that new particles in the nanometer range can be created, but left unclear whether they can grow to the 50-nm cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) diameters needed to promote cloud formation. This further step needs to be clarified before the Svensmark hypothesis can be accepted.

  82. richardscourtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    What would be the “potentially useful metric”?

    That a sampling point(s) had changed in this way.

    What would it indicate and why would that be “useful”?

    It would show an evolution over time for that spot(s) (only)

    What is an “almost mythical ‘temperature field’” and how is it defined?

    Trying to work out what has happened around and between the sampling points based on what happens to them. ( a futile quest as Nyquist has hardly been honoured at all).

    How does applying the Nyquist Limit do other than reject sample points?

    Shows there are insufficient sampling points to provide a true estimate of the field between the points. Especially true the further back in time we go.

    Indeed, what relevance has the Nyquist Limit; e.g. would you reject a region because it only contains one measurement site?

    See above

    Please note that I am not agreeing and not disagreeing with you. I cannot because I am trying to understand your point which I cannot accept or dispute until I do understand it.

    My fault in explanations probably.

  83. We don’t have a crises in climatology.
    We all know who is sprouting nonsense and who is delivering real science.

    We have an integrity crises in politics.

    That’s an entirely different ball game.

  84. 2kevin says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

    One thing I’ve never understood since I am not knowledgeable on the subject:

    (Like the idea that a pound of lead and two pounds of lead can be the same temperature but have different quantities of heat.) If so, what does it mean?
    ——————

    What that mean is, …… “pounds” are a measurement of the total molecular weight of all the lead molecules in each volume – 1 pound verses 2 pounds.

    Temperature is a measurement of the “heat induced” excited state of each and every lead molecule in their respective volume of lead. (for this example that is)

    Thus, it requires twice (2X) the amount of heat energy to excite all the molecules in 2 pounds of lead to a specific temperature …. as it does to excite all the molecules in 1 pound of lead to the same specific temperature.

    Or, it means that, it takes 4 times as much heat to get 1 gallon of water to boil as it does to get 1 quart of water to boil (given they are both at the same temperature at the start).

    Thus the temperatures are the same but the quantity of heat in each one is different.

  85. Steven Mosher says:

    “Now the CO2 line most definitely does NOT explain those extra, only 50, years. Of non-declining temps as CO2 would require.”

    Huh, C02 sure does work.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That chart reminds me of this one.
    Note that the red line isn’t CO2. It’s the U.S. CPI…

  86. Lance Wallace says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Am I mistaken in thinking that Svensmark, Enghoff & Pederson in Physical Letters A (2013) showed that, where ultraviolet light produces aerosols from trace amounts of ozone, sulfur dioxide & water vapor, clusters of these cloud condensation nuclei precursors produced by gamma ray ionization all grew up to diameters larger than 50 nm?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375960113006294

  87. What is really frustrating is that May, as a pioneer of chaos theory must surely appreciate the inherent complexity of complex non-linear dynamic systems. Yet he is religiously warmist!

  88. dbstealey says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    “That chart reminds me of this one.
    Note that the red line isn’t CO2. It’s the U.S. CPI…”

    With error bars as big as they are in BEST you could draw almost anything through it and get it to fit. Remember it is only the outer edges of the envelope that count, not that over convenient centre line.

  89. Whoops–I apologize for my hasty comment above that Svensmark had not shown growth to CCN size of 50 nm. He has in fact reported (2013) on a chamber experiment showing such growth in the presence of ions when the concentration of sulfuric acid is kept constant. The remaining problem then is to find a mechanism in the real atmosphere where the sulfuric acid can be replenished. Given Svensmark’s dogged persistence in testing his hypothesis, it would be unwise to bet against him.

  90. dbstealey says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

    “You can do lots of things with graphs, once you start ‘adjusting’.”

    No adjustments needed, just a simple low pass filter at 15 years is all you need (cue Beatle’s song)

    Now with added Ammann :-)

  91. RichardLH:

    Sincere thanks for your answers to my questions which you provide in your post at February 17, 2014 at 9:26 am.

    I will here state what I understand you to be saying. Please note that I am NOT ‘putting words in your mouth’: I am stating what I think you are saying so you can correct me if I am still misunderstanding.

    I understand you to be saying that
    (a) each temperature sample point should be assessed individually within each region,
    (b) then regions should be assessed as being temperature sampled according to some (undefined) application of Nyquist such that those regions which do not comply are rejected,
    (c) and then only the remaining regions should be collated (in some unspecified way) to determine an average temperature.

    Have I understood you correctly?
    If so, then what would the resulting average be of and what would it indicate?

    Richard

  92. This article could be really useful ‘outside the bubble’. I need something to pass on to my MP here in the UK, which is simple enough for him to transmit to others in the crowded, noisy bear-pit that is our lower House. All it needs for this is a pre-pended ‘Summary for Policymakers’ – not simple-minded (my MP is anything but that, and he has recently demonstrated his integrity in a different context), just shorter and memorable. I think we should all now be concentrating on ‘outward’ communications rather than adding endless refinements to our arguments between ourselves.

  93. A follow up to my last comment on water vapor.

    Willis showed a few weeks ago how most of the “global warming” is in the arctic :

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/29/should-we-be-worried/

    Given that cold arctic air is much drier (at least in the lower atmosphere) than tropical air, this represents less net energy increase in the system than if the same warming had occurred in the moist tropics.

    There have been a lot of comments on the inappropriateness of a “global temperature ” metric. This is just one more reason it is inappropriate – since global water vapor isn’t uniformly distributed & thus a change in temp in the arctic doesn’t represent the same atmospheric energy change as the same change in temp in the humid tropics.

    All temperature changes are not created equal.

    It would be interesting to see how much water vapor has changed in the arctic vs the tropics to see if the “feedback” principle has any basis in the data.

  94. Jim Cripwell says:
    February 17, 2014 at 6:29 am
    Prof. Morton I have one nit to pick, and one observation. You write “. The CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration.” Beer/Lambert predicts the logarithmatic response of absorption. When absorption is saturated, Beer/Lambert no longer applies, and the response is no longer logarithmatic. There is no more absorption once saturation has been reached.

    You have this completely wrong, the logarithmic dependence is not due to the Beer Lambert law rather it is due to spectral broadening. Saturation at the band center does not mean saturation in the band wings.
    See: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~pettini/Physical%20Cosmology/lecture10.pdf

  95. “Climatologists have not explained what this single number for global temperature actually means.” “Global warming” or “climate change,” both terms commonly bandied about now — daily — both ignore this obvious point that the earth doesn’t have “a” climate. It has multiple climates. I agree that the reduction of earth temperatures to a singe number has no meaning, does nothing to explain droughts, rains, storms, humidity, or any of the other effects of weather that determine climates (i.e. ecosystems). The solitary number bears no relationship to life cycles of animals, to evolution or to biological diversity. So why are we confronted with even this notion?

    I’d be curious to know when the idea of a singular “global climate” entered the arena and in regard to which specific scientific observations. I have no doubt that the first baby steps of scientific data gathering that initiated the idea of climate change began as genuine science, that various scientists noticed something new of legitimate interest that raised new questions about how weather happens on planet earth. And it seems equally apparent that somewhere along the path the legitimate data gathering and theoretical musings of various scientists got highjacked and transformed into “Global warming” and afterwards into the more vague and hedgy “climate change.”

    It would be an interesting foray into sociology of science to discover just when these transformations took place. But for the present all one can note is that we still have the same climates occurring in the same places as they have existed over long periods of human history with the same species interacting in the same ecosystems. Indeed the only ecosystems that seems really to be changing are the political ones in the West, transforming from representative democracies to aristocratic dictatorships, and that’s a change that we need stalwartly to resist. I know I personally have no interest in “evolving” into a peasant so that John Kerry can continue to enjoy his frequent trips to Switzerland.

  96. richardscourtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:56 am

    “I will here state what I understand you to be saying. Please note that I am NOT ‘putting words in your mouth’: I am stating what I think you are saying so you can correct me if I am still misunderstanding.

    I understand you to be saying that
    (a) each temperature sample point should be assessed individually within each region,”

    Not quite. Each temperature sampling POINT shows only that. You cannot stretch that reliably to an area.

    ” (b) then regions should be assessed as being temperature sampled according to some
    (undefined) application of Nyquist such that those regions which do not comply are rejected,”

    See above. Sample points only, not areas or in between.

    ” (c) and then only the remaining regions should be collated (in some unspecified way) to determine an average temperature.”

    You can never (because Nquist has not been honoured) derive anything useful/reliable from the points you have about the spaces in between.

    “Have I understood you correctly?”

    See above.

    “If so, then what would the resulting average be of and what would it indicate?”

    The average change in the points, not the average change in some ‘mythical temperature field’.

  97. Kelvin Vaughan says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Measured the sky and air temperatures today from the ground. They were half a degree different. Yesterday they were 40 degrees different. All that increased back warming from the sky has made no difference to the air temperature.

    I presume today was cloudy, and yesterday was less so. What I have found is that when it’s cloudy, if a weather front doesn’t go through it doesn’t cool as much at night, if it’s clear it cools a lot. This is a clear example of why Co2 isn’t the control knob to temperature. Temperatures are regulated by clouds (and the mechanisms that control them).

  98. Amatør1 says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

    “There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor. “

    Sure there is. Or are you discounting those that say CO2 has no climate effect whatsoever?

    Without CO2 and other (so-called) GHG there would be no climate. Those who say CO2 has no effect are bat-shit crazy and are easily discounted.

  99. Jeff L says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:59 am

    It would be interesting to see how much water vapor has changed in the arctic vs the tropics to see if the “feedback” principle has any basis in the data.

    Humidity sampling is even worst than temperatures. But for what’s it’s worth:
    YEAR RELH TR RELH NP
    1940 70.64002161 NA
    1941 71.48743003 71.81288945
    1942 74.44365932 72.28019435
    1943 74.48898829 72.46640888
    1944 74.78972972 74.90909578
    1945 75.50467989 75.4373167
    1946 75.81793224 75.32858716
    1947 75.874704 76.40184812
    1948 73.39372187 77.44875444
    1949 75.00951207 77.28932276
    1950 76.15277769 79.73058696
    1951 75.36252013 80.44106518
    1952 74.55626058 79.11918017
    1953 74.53402179 77.50971185
    1954 75.4208098 77.37630173
    1955 75.44489038 78.84127323
    1956 75.0139058 77.44018512
    1957 71.94946394 78.7073159
    1958 68.11772617 79.88452536
    1959 72.31355692 79.09632973
    1960 71.38914084 79.25327151
    1961 70.29238259 79.13157848
    1962 69.90136706 79.16170664
    1963 70.30132841 79.4679455
    1964 70.91665645 80.61563404
    1965 69.57666415 81.54620246
    1966 68.1294681 81.16833696
    1967 68.77663278 81.12914141
    1968 71.69923154 80.47268662
    1969 72.94092179 80.86544433
    1970 72.89109139 80.64663822
    1971 71.76053706 79.15448697
    1972 67.61442958 79.45581893
    1973 72.15867309 79.63790496
    1974 72.60319377 79.5431286
    1975 72.60380708 79.5862285
    1976 71.76016271 79.08938293
    1977 71.39883635 79.68852666
    1978 71.76896778 79.83358279
    1979 71.36412032 79.50956325
    1980 70.94299719 79.40273529
    1981 70.8835044 80.56449611
    1982 71.0704677 79.99803196
    1983 70.71485684 80.10884377
    1984 70.61875558 79.99927101
    1985 70.50146097 79.78742564
    1986 70.22170161 79.8986969
    1987 69.55617184 79.68229726
    1988 70.38924133 79.63163363
    1989 69.97071564 79.84684053
    1990 69.72100428 79.39581293
    1991 69.45767559 79.74233895
    1992 69.17505561 79.65509738
    1993 69.84131446 79.78064756
    1994 69.54201997 78.7683235
    1995 70.28091871 78.66860619
    1996 70.79606309 78.21045962
    1997 70.62382597 78.41799209
    1998 70.71662093 79.11330984
    1999 70.73133104 78.48120927
    2000 70.84629313 78.82348239
    2001 70.08609182 78.43021169
    2002 69.06180237 77.64965812
    2003 69.16844051 77.61573389
    2004 69.08371207 77.4826534
    2005 69.16287754 78.22964015
    2006 69.51158678 77.81105832
    2007 69.6889107 77.70652471
    2008 70.34170581 78.44730318
    2009 69.57470839 77.83691188
    2010 70.46690218 78.67285984
    2011 70.4919028 78.0466264
    2012 70.21315126 78.73001974
    The tropic is all stations from 23S to 23N, NP is 65.xx N

  100. dp says:
    February 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Without CO2 and other (so-called) GHG there would be no climate. Those who say CO2 has no effect are bat-shit crazy and are easily discounted.

    I don’t say it has no effect, just that the change in % Co2 doesn’t show up in the surface measurements.

  101. dp says:
    February 17, 2014 at 10:26 am
    Amatør1 says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

    “There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor. “

    Sure there is. Or are you discounting those that say CO2 has no climate effect whatsoever?

    Without CO2 and other (so-called) GHG there would be no climate. Those who say CO2 has no effect are bat-shit crazy and are easily discounted.

    *****

    Have at it.

    Since we know how GHGs work, can you provide a simple calculation here?

    If a parcel of air with a volume of 1 cubic mile is cooling at that rate of 2 degrees F per hour, at what rate must CO2 convert the earth’s outgoing infrared radiation to downwelling radiation to stop the given rate of temperature change?

  102. Excellant.
    This is the nugget of gold for me
    “This questionable use of a global temperature along with the problems of modeling a chaotic system discussed below raise basic concerns about the validity of the test with observations in Section 2. Since climatologists and the IPCC insist on using this temperature number and the models in their predictions of global warming, it still is appropriate to hold them to comparisons with the observations they consider relevant.”

  103. richardscourtney on February 17, 2014 at 8:06 am
    2kevin:

    Your post at February 17, 2014 at 7:40 am says in total

    “I do not know where you obtained your ideas but I award an A for successful obfuscation but an F for failed attempt to move the goal posts.”

    I was referring to the portion of the article mentioning the paper that McKitrick coauthored. Their conclusions are apparent when read. Taking into account what they had to say I was then wondering why it is, in light of the aforementioned paper, that everyone seems to be focusing on something which according to the paper states: “Physical, mathematical and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming.”

    I am not trying to obfuscate or move goalposts. I simply do not understand the subject very well. People generally ask questions when they do not understand something, do they not? I almost get the feeling that you can divine my supposed ill intent and malignant motivations via an unknown mystical process.

    “Firstly, the global temperature anomaly (GASTA) is a meaningless metric (see Appendix B of this). However, GASTA is the metric which climastrologists use to assess global climate change and, therefore, GASTA is the appropriate metric to use when assessing if global climate change has stopped.”

    Why do they use an admittedly meaningless metric then? I still don’t understand. Is it simply creating an arbitrary system of measurement to which you can then self refer? Is it like the creation of feet and inches, which in themselves are arbitrary but have meaning once we choose to use them as a standard?

    “All the various compilations of GASTA show no linear trend different from zero at 95% confidence for at least 17 years, RSS says 24.5 years. So, discernible global climate change stopped at least 17 years ago. That is not “a moot point” when global climate change is being used as an excuse to damage economic, energy and environmental policies world-wide.”

    Okay.

    “Secondly, no, it is NOT possible for addition of higher concentrations of GHG’s (except water vapour) to have no apparent effect on temperature but to actually be retaining more heat in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is only 0.4% of the atmosphere. Hence, your question means nothing.”

    So this would mean that things like methane etc. are of little consequence?

    Again I do not understand many of these things which is why I’m asking questions. The question was not ‘meaningless’ to me as a result of learning something from it.

    I think you would be well served losing the adversarial approach to your replies in situations like this and understand that some people honestly lack knowledge and truly want to learn something. [snip]

    [Stay civil, please - mod]

  104. DONALD SAYS
    There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor. The
    CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration. The estimated effect accounts for only about half the temperature rise of 0.8 ºC since the Industrial Revolution.
    HENRY SAYS
    rubbish. there is a lot of controversy
    a) there is no global warming
    b) it is only globally cooling
    from the top
    [90] latitude

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/22/nasa-announces-new-record-growth-of-antarctic-sea-ice-extent/#more-96133

    CHECK
    what this global cooling does to the climate

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/04/29/the-climate-is-changing/

  105. @ Herkimer 8.52

    Re: your observations that the last 10 years have seen a return to what was happening during the 70′s

    As a farmer since the early 70′s. I could not agree more , as the temperatures climbed upwards in the 80′ and 90′s our crops changed to more and more warm climate tolerate ones., today those same growers are seeing winter damage increasing, certain crops needing to be harvested earlier (too early) due to threatening early colder Fall temperatures and now the mad scramble back to winter hardy crops ( most of which are occurring in the soft fruit sector such as grapes, cherries etc..Thanks for your insight.

    • Where is the source of the original data ? Thanks!

      The source is NCDC’s Global Summary of Days. You can find my code if you follow the link in my name. They provide Dew Point, I converted it to Rel H, average measurements by area.

  106. richardscourtney says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I add that if Mr Green Genes ever continues on to here where we put the jam and cream on the right way up then I will buy him a cider.
    ===================================
    You’re a gentleman and a scholar, sir!! A pint of Sam’s Dry from the Winkleigh Cider Company would slip down very nicely.

  107. “We know without a doubt that gases we are adding to the air have caused a planetary energy imbalance and global warming, already 0.8 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. This warming is driving an increase in extreme weather from heat waves to droughts and wild fires and stronger storms . . .” – James Hansen in United States, 2013 Dec 6 CNN broadcast.

    That statement by Hansen drives competent meteorologists nuts. A broader thermal gradient between the poles and the equator will cause the effects Hansen is talking about. Warming at the poles will lessen the effects. The increase in wild fires, however, is anthropogenic.

    Climatologists are not meteorologists, but they should be before becoming climatologists. Also, as McIntyre and McKittrick have emphasized, they should acquaint themselves with expert statisticians.

  108. Excellent overview by a real scientist. Take note, Phil Plait, the “bad astronomer”, your view is not shared by your profession. Good astronomers and good physicists are climate skeptics.

  109. Further to 2/17/8:24AM above
    Trenberth’s heat hidey hole is disappearing fast. The best meta- analysis of the OHC anomaly is seen at http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_final.pdf
    Check Table 1 which shows warming reported as heat flux applied to Earth’s entire surface area (in W m-2) corresponding to trends in annual REP OHCA estimates.
    This Table shows that warming when averaged from 2004 – 11 OHC data had declined nearly 90% compared with the average from 1983 -2011.
    Substantial though, as might be expected from the thermal inertia of the oceans ,smaller declines were also seen in the 0-300 and 0-700 m data.
    On a cooling planet the shallower waters are cooling first.

  110. 2kevin:

    re your post at February 17, 2014 at 11:05 am which is here.

    Oh, that is good! Well done!
    It is a perfect demonstration of passive aggression combined with a false accusation of victimisation.

    I alone answered your post probably because it had so many signs of ‘false flag’ trolling that others chose not to touch it. But I took the trouble to answer your post and I included a link which gave a complete explanation of what you claimed to not understand.

    Have you thanked me for my trouble and the information I provided? No.
    Instead you claim I hurt your feelings and you accuse me of [snip]. Pffft!

    Richard

    [The accusation to which you refer has been snipped - mod]

  111. Donald Morton states in his article “”Their graphs also show that these fluxes during the most recent solar minimum were lower than the previous two reducing the formation of ozone in the stratosphere and its absorption of the near UV spectrum.””.

    Wouldn’t that imply that the issue of ozone depletion back in the 1960s/70s was due to similar events, during the cooling cycle from the late 40s till the late 70s?

  112. My personal view is to use this temperature plateau as a time to reassess all the relevant issues.

    That’s my view. The reassessment should be understood to entail much continued scientific research of diverse kinds, including development of better computer models. And it should include a reasonable preparation for the possibility that deleterious warming or deleterious cooling may follow the plateau.

  113. “Here is the BEST graph from the same Berkeley group: adjusted & raw data.

    You can do lots of things with graphs, once you start ‘adjusting’.”

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

    Well thats wrong. The lower graph is from pre publication. The blip at the end should tell you that. At the end of every month data is downloaded. There are 16 datasets. At month close
    most of the stations do not have complete reports. it takes usually a month or so for all the data to come in. Thats why, for example, we’ll release the record for 2013 shortly. a couple months for records to come in and roughly two weeks CPU time to compute uncertainties.

    Second there is no “adjusted” data.

    The record is created from raw data.
    Then using the raw data a surface is fit to minimize the noise. This is a best fit to the raw data.
    Its called the regional expectation. Its a prediction.

    You can, IF YOU CHOOSE TO, extract a station and the values it would have if it “fit” the reginal expectation. Some folks call this “adjusting” the data. But the data are not adjusted. The raw data
    are used to create a regional expectation. Some raw stations will be very close to the reginal expectation. Other stations ( say ones suffering UHI) will be different that the regional expectation.

    Adjusting looks like this: You take raw data, You see that they changed sensors. You try to model the new sensor ( say MMTS). Then you add or subtract to the raw series. That’s adjustment.
    Instead, we dont adjust. A field that minimizes noise is fit to the raw data. That field statstically is the best fit to the data. The records of stations are not changed or adjusted. IF YOU CHOOSE TO you can extract the regional expectation for a station.. we refer to this data as “homogenized” but the procedure is not what climate science typically does to “adjust” stations.

    How good is the reginal expectation approach? Well, you can actually do a double blind EXPERIMENT

    Heres how.

    Step A. using temperature series ( like the ones at WUWT approved CRN stations ) you create
    a field of synthetic temperatures. We refer to these as ground truth.

    Step B. You have “team corruption” go into the data and secretly introduce errors and biases.
    The create 8 worlds. the world from A and 7 corrupt worlds.

    Step C. You pass the worlds out to researchers and tell them to find and fix the hidden errors.

    Step D. You score the teams.

  114. @Richard

    So now I should be thanking you for your freely given information that was bookended in snark and implications of false motivation? Wow. As for false flag trolling that would require that you once againg could divine intent. Telling you clearly why I was asking what I asked is apparently a form of feeling victimized now. So really you’re just rationalizing your behaviour because, again, you think you you know intent and with that knowledge comes justification of action. Attitudes like that are certainly not going to make for any more converts. So much for civil discourse.

  115. 2kevin:

    re your post at February 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm.

    Dry your crocodile tears and stop sniveling. Your faux indignation combined with your insults and lack of gratitude speak about you and not me.

    Richard

  116. Repaired link of the Marcott 2013 hockey stick via unsophisticated data processing artifact and Mann’s promotion of it:

  117. Rhys Jaggar says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:10 am

    A very good article.

    Perhaps it is time to propose a global cooperative for the establishment, maintenance and provision of open access to high quality, consistent, long-term temperature data, a global, climatological equivalent of CERN??
    ———————————————-
    Very nice thought along with the rest of your comment, but with the wrong people in charge of the reins as it now stands, how can that come to pass?

  118. ASYBOT
    Here are the individual months trends in Contiguous US
    The following are monthly temperature trends for Contiguous US or 48 states as calculated by the NCDC/NOAA Climate at a Glance web page for the last 15 years [1998-2013]. The figure reflect the linear trend in Fahrenheit degrees per decade per NCDC/NOAA web page data http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/

    WINTER (-1.56 F/DECADE) – DECLINING
    DEC -1.26 F/decade (declining)
    JAN -1.48 (declining)
    FEB -2.64 (declining)

    SPRING (+0.20 F/DECADE)- RISING
    MAR +1.39 (rising)
    APR -0, 22 (declining)
    MAY -0.58 (declining)

    SUMMER (+0.50 F/ DECADE-RISING
    JUN +1.18 (rising)
    JUL +0.28 (rising)
    AUG +0.03 (flat)

    FALL( -0.42 F/DECADE-DECLINING
    SEPT +0.09 (flat)
    OCT -0.58 (declining)
    NOV -0.75 (declining)mbined fall and winter decline -0.80 F/decade

    ANNUAL(-0.38 F/DECADE-DECLINING

    Summary
    7 months are declining, 2 months are flat, and 3 months are rising

    WINTER AND FALL have DECLINING TEMPERATURES
    SPRING AND SUMMER have RISING TEMPERATURES [spring is almost flat too]

  119. The fact remains: Man’s activities represent an infinitesimal portion of total earthly carbon dioxide activity, and carbon dioxide is an infinitesimal factor in climate change – an infinitesimal of an infinitesimal, mathematically one over infinity squared.

    Global warming alarmism ultimately has nothing to do with climate or the environment, and it is diametrically opposed to human well-being. It is a device for doing two things: aggrandizing dictatorial power to unscrupulous politicians, and transferring wealth from low- and middle-income people to equally unscrupulous billionaire elites at home and abroad.

  120. Jim Cripwell says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:21 am
    Donald, I have had a thought as to what can actually be done with your wonderful essay. You are living in Canada, as I am, and as is Dr. Andrew Weaver. Dr. Weaver was a science professor at, IIRC, Simon Fraser University
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Maybe there are two Andrew Weavers because the one in the legislature is from UVic. Perhaps he was at SFU at one time, similar philosophical policies.

    http://climate.uvic.ca/people/weaver/

  121. Regarding the butterfly effect
    Why is the electronic industry allowed to use the atmosphere as part of their infrastructure ? From remote sensing to communication networks they all produce heat as waste. And when man uses electromagnetic radiation as a weapon of mass destruction to alter weather patterns as can be seen in England and the USA while Russia is bathed in sunshine for the winter Olympics and the advertising dollar . How many nations are beaming pictures out of Russia? How much electrical energy is beamed into h polar jet stream?

  122. Jeff Lean says: @ February 17, 2014 at 6:09 am

    ….. Am I being too naïve to think that climate science can still function like this?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    YES! Because it is not science, it is a political tool.
    here’s the official definition of Climate Change:

    “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.

    That’s from the official UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (http://unfccc.int/essential_background/convention/background/items/2536.php). The term specifically excludes all natural climate change, end even excludes any caused by humans due to, for example, land clearance or city building, considering only atmospheric changes.

    The USA signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on 12/06/92 and ratified 21/03/94.

    WORLD BANK:

    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

    IPCC:

    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.
    (wwwDOT)ipcc-wg2.gov/

    Academia is providing the manufactured evidence to ‘frame’ the human race and they are KNOWINGLY doing so. In other words Academics who prides themselves as being ‘lofty socialists’ untainted by plebeian capitalism are KNOWINGLY selling the rest of the human race into the slavery designed by the elite. (Agenda 21)

    “The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” ~ Dr David Frame, climate modeler, Oxford University

    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” ~ Daniel Botkin emeritus professor Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    “Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life? These may be complex questions, but they demand answers.” ~ Pascal Lamy Director-General of the World Trade Organization

    “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination…
    So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
    ~ Prof. Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports

  123. 2kevin says: @ February 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

    One thing I’ve never understood since I am not knowledgeable on the subject: is it possible due to the addition of higher concentrations of GHG’s to have no apparent effect on temperature but to actually be retaining more heat in the atmosphere? (Like the idea that a pound of lead and two pounds of lead can be the same temperature but have different quantities of heat.) If so, what does it mean?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes through the evaporation of water. Air with more water (as vapor) has a higher energy content than dry air. This higher content of energy is lost when the water condenses as dew, rain or clouds.

    The upper atmosphere humidity is decreasing while other altitudes have stayed relatively constant sowith the same temperature for seventeen years the total heat content has actually decreased:

    Clouds: http://climate4you.com/images/CloudCoverAllLevel%20AndWaterColumnSince1983.gif
    (Remember water has already condensed releasing heat to the upper atmospherewhen it form clouds.)

    ALSO SEE WUWT: wattsupwiththat(DOT)com/2012/11/08/trenberth-dials-up-the-warming-predictions/#comment-1141320

  124. This post by Donald C. Morton is a very good summary of the state of the struggle against the madness of CAGW.

    “Is it time to admit that we do not understand climate well enough to know how to direct it?”

    We know almost nothing at all of how climate and weather work and can predict accurately, less than five days in the future. However the CAGW mob attempt to extrapolate nonsense up to 2100 AD and beyond. When the model predictions fail in a just a few years they start on new wild speculative excursions. The UK MET Office consistently fails to predict the next year. How bad can a theory, climate model or Alarmist cult get?
    CAGW is just a weird religion with beliefs, that run counter to all evidence. Belief is all that they have left, there is no science.

  125. NotAGolfer says: @ February 17, 2014 at 7:41 am

    This article makes great points, but it needs to pile on with another point: the various temperature data sets have been adjusted and homogenized in ways that add a significant warming trend to the raw data…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The exact same thing was also done to the CO2 data sets.
    Callendar chose only the historic CO2 data that ‘Fit’ his curve and left out all the higher CO2 measurement made prior to Mauna Loa Obs.

    graph

    SEE: Dr Ball’s explanation: http://drtimball.com/2012/pre-industrial-and-current-co2-levels-deliberately-corrupted/

    The ice core data was also subject to purging of undesirable results.

    ….important observations were made in these early studies. It was found that the CO2 content of the air trapped in pre-industrial and ancient ice is rather high, and has a very wide concentration range of about 100-7400ppm (Table 1). Even more important was the finding that several physical and chemical processes (such as melting, the presents of liquid brines in capillary-like interstitial voids, the presence of carbonates, over-pressure in the air bubbles, and solid deposition of super-cooled fog, combined with large differences of solubility of different gases in cold water, and mobility of CO2 in ice) lead to differentiation of the original atmospheric ratios of N2 O2 Ar and CO2, and to depletion or enrichment of CO2 in the ice (coachman et al., 1958; Hemmingsen 1959; Scolander et al., 1961; Matsuo and miyake, 1966: Raynaud and delmas, 1977)…. Three different methods of gas extraction were used, and they produced different results. This is illustrated in Fig.2. It can be seen that in air from the same section of a pre-industrial ice core, after 7h ‘wet’ extraction of melted ice, the CO2 concentration was up to about 1000 ppm, and it was 1.5-4.5-times higher than after the 15 min ‘wet’ extraction. The ‘dry’extraction, consisting in crushing or shaving the ice samples at about -20c, produced results similar to the 15 min ‘wet’ extraction. The short ‘wet’ and the ‘dry’ extractions recovered about a half or less of the total CO2 present in the ice…. (wwwDOT)co2web.info/stolen92.pdf

  126. Donald C. Morton

    I dispute your statement “There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor.”
    There is absolutely no empirical evidence that increasing the percentage of water vapor above any particular location leads to warmer mean temperatures. In fact a statistically significant study has shown the opposite to be the case and dry deserts do in fact have warmer mean temperatures than rain forests at equivalent altitudes and latitudes, as intuition tells us.
    From what do you suppose water vapour is raising the temperature? Are you really going to try to tell me that an isothermal troposphere (all at 255K) is a state of thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy and no unbalanced energy potentials, when clearly the molecules at higher altitudes would have greater total energy because of the extra gravitational potential energy? Where Sir is your understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

    The planet Uranus provides all the evidence we need that it does not require water vapour or carbon dioxide to raise temperatures at lower altitudes in a planet’s troposphere. As you can read in Wikipedia (Uranus | Troposphere) that troposphere is about 320K at its base, despite a radiating temperature of less than 60K. So it’s not “33 degrees of warming” out there, nearly 30 times further from the Sun: it’s 250 degrees of warming due to a gravitationally-induced thermal gradient that is seen in the whole of the 350Km high troposphere. And in case you think the methane is doing the trick, it’s all concentrated in the uppermost layers where it absorbs virtually all of the solar energy and radiates it back to space. There is no convincing evidence of internal energy generation, no significant energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere, no significant direct solar radiation reaching down into the troposphere and no surface at the base of that troposphere to absorb any radiation. Yet it’s hotter than Earth there.

  127. Pete says: @ February 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I expect humanity has become more “brainy” because of living longer rather than breathing CO2…
    Actually it was glaciations and other climate stress that made humans ‘Brainy’

    ..Eventually, via numerous glaciations, and the increased braincase size that these wrenchingly long freezing events spurred, we made it intact…. So the question really begs to be asked. Will it take another (let’s call it the next, since its actually time for the next one now) ice age to “smarten us up” some more?

    All five parts available HERE

  128. M Courtney says: @ February 17, 2014 at 8:23 am
    …. But don’t set the precedent of discarding measurements without a very strong reason. Otherwise we will lose any basis for understanding the real world.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It is not discarding measurements, it is raising a screaming hissy fit when those measurements are mauled, manipulated and twisted to fit a political agenda and then the ‘psycentists’ refuse to tell how and why the original data was manhandled.

    The Goat ate the Data and many many more essays on data mauling.

  129. This article is an exceptionally clear, erudite, succinct and well argued summary of the current status of climate science, as it languishes in the grip of a failed yet increasingly shrill and strident narrative.

    The contrast between the real scientific reasoning of Dr Morton and the eldritch hysteria of dishonest-dissembling warmists is clear to see.

    The discussion about chaos also indicates a rare commodity in climate science, a real desire to know what really drives weather and climate. He rightly mentions Ed Lorenz, author of the only successful and meaningful computer simulation of climate that ever has been, and possibly ever will be made. In 1962.

  130. There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor.

    There isn’t but there is a blind spot that only a few point out.

    Nitrogen and oxygen are non-radiative gases. An atmosphere made up of only these two gases would not radiate much if any heat at all until extreme temperatures. Add a radiative gas CO2 to the mix and the heat in the atmosphere will be radiated as infrared as the CO2 gains sensible heat from the non-radiative gases by collision and then radiates that heat. Therefore, adding CO2 to the atmosphere cools the atmosphere. This aspect is not shown in any of the Mickey Mouse diagrams preferred by the climate ‘scientists’ as it would remove much of the effect of absorption of infrared radiated from the surface. It is probably because of this effect that in previous epochs when the CO2 levels were many times higher than they are now that the atmospheric temperatures did not become extreme. Like atmospheric enthalpy, the radiative effects of CO2 are being deliberately ignored and only the absorption used in the models.

  131. @ntesdorf -
    Yes, belief – or perhaps better characterized, dogma – is all they have left. But belief of the wrong sort can do horrific things, as the Nazi and Stalinist and Maoist Holocausts so plainly demonstrated.
    And now we have the so-called “science” adviser to another ruthless dictator calling for the elimination of 6 billion people, “to save the planet”. Where is this leading? Does our government want to be the world champion of genocide? There are certainly enough of its adherents and sycophants and lapdogs that would seem to want it to be.

  132. Allan M.R. MacRae says: @ February 17, 2014 at 9:11 am
    AMEN! you hit a very major point. It is the oceans that rule CO2 and not the other way round.

  133. R. de Haan says: @ February 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    ….We have an integrity crisis in politics.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And an integrity crisis in science.

    Despite the fact I am a chemist I would like to see ALL public funding of science and universities yanked. We tax payers can no longer afford the price tag especially when a cow produces more useful material out of her back end when compared to the idiots and other dreck coming out of universities.

    For 10 years, William Schmidt, a statistics professor at Michigan State University, has looked at how U.S. students stack up against students in other countries in math and science. “In fourth-grade, we start out pretty well, near the top of the distribution among countries; by eighth-grade, we’re around average, and by 12th-grade, we’re at the bottom of the heap, outperforming only two countries, Cyprus and South Africa.”
    Source

    … Surveys of corporations consistently find that businesses are focused outside • the U.S. to recruit necessary talent. … One respondent to the survey even noted, “If I wanted to recruit people who are both technically skilled and culturally aware, I wouldn’t even waste time looking for them on U.S. college campuses.”
    Source

  134. Gail Combs says on February 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm
    Allan M.R. MacRae says: @ February 17, 2014 at 9:11 am
    AMEN! you hit a very major point. It is the oceans that rule CO2 and not the other way round.

    Allan Says:

    Thank you Gail.

    I suggest that even more than the oceans it is the land masses, dominated by the larger Northern Hemisphere land masses, that rule atmospheric CO2.

    Please examine the beautiful 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at

    [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

    It is difficult to see the impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power.
    In the animation, does anyone see the impact of industrialization? USA? Europe? India? China? Anything related to humanity? I don’t.

    I do see evidence of natural seasonal fluxes on land, and also evidence of deep ocean currents.
    The animation does make it look like we Canadians and the Russians have lots of heavy industry emitting megatonnes of CO2 in the far northern Arctic. Not so.

    This is no proof, but it appears that atmospheric CO2 flux and CO2 concentration have significant natural drivers. This does out rule out a humanmade component to the observed CO2 increase due to fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc.

    But remember good people, CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    Regards, Allan

  135. asybot says: @ February 17, 2014 at 11:17 am
    @ Herkimer 8.52
    Re: your observations that the last 10 years have seen a return to what was happening during the 70′s
    ….
    As a farmer since the early 70′s. I could not agree more….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Since the Government is starting up these Regional Climate Hubs, we as farmers should get our other farmer friends to individually go to these hubs and ask them for more winter hardy plants/animals since the climate is OBVIOUSLY getting colder.

    I have plans to go to The Southeast Regional Climate Hub and ask them where I can get some good winter hardy, parasite resistant cashmere bucks for my goat herd and some good winter hardy, parasite resistant wool sheep to cross with my blackbelly barbadoes ewes.

    I can not wait to see them sputtering.

  136. Ian W says:
    February 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm
    There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor.

    There isn’t but there is a blind spot that only a few point out.

    Nitrogen and oxygen are non-radiative gases. An atmosphere made up of only these two gases would not radiate much if any heat at all until extreme temperatures. Add a radiative gas CO2 to the mix and the heat in the atmosphere will be radiated as infrared as the CO2 gains sensible heat from the non-radiative gases by collision and then radiates that heat. Therefore, adding CO2 to the atmosphere cools the atmosphere. This aspect is not shown in any of the Mickey Mouse diagrams preferred by the climate ‘scientists’ as it would remove much of the effect of absorption of infrared radiated from the surface.

    Actually it’s in just about every one I’ve ever seen! You appear to misunderstand the physics of the process though.

    Including this one for instance:

  137. I very much admire Essex and McKitrick for their stance on the “global temperature” – I found the term somewhat maddening when our local reporters used it. I knew there could be no such animal. I’ve noticed alarmists have taken to saying “global average temperatures” (plural) now, which is just as mystifying to me. Exactly which “global average temperatures” are they referring to? Like its predecessors “global climate change” and “global climate disruption”, it begs the question “What do you mean when you say that?”

  138. Dr Morton,
    Thank you for writing a level headed, simple article that lays out the problems of CAGW without getting too lengthy or getting into very controversial areas.

    Well done!

  139. 2kevin said:

    “@Richard

    So now I should be thanking you for your freely given information that was bookended in snark and implications of false motivation? Wow. As for false flag trolling that would require that you once againg could divine intent. Telling you clearly why I was asking what I asked is apparently a form of feeling victimized now. So really you’re just rationalizing your behaviour because, again, you think you you know intent and with that knowledge comes justification of action. Attitudes like that are certainly not going to make for any more converts. So much for civil discourse.”

    Nah. You have it wrong. It’s your fault that richardscourtney carries on like he does. And mine, if he is talking to me.. and anyone else he feels like lashing out at. He isn’t responsible for his actions. What he does is fine and well justified because anyone who says anything he doesn’t like is just a sniveling troll like us.

    Brilliant how that works eh?

  140. An earlier comment said..”The reality is that the IPCC was set up by Maurice Strong to find a way of demonizing Co2 for his own dubious political ends and that is why we get harangued morning noon and night about climate change.”

    Yes, Agenda 21 is driving this CAGW stuff. That’s the heart of the issue but no one wants to go there it seems. If ordinary folks new about it they might be more informed and therefore more skeptical. Most people have never heard of Agenda 21, it’s about time they did.
    Anthony you could assist in this please.

  141. In Richards defense, he has only recently stopped finding reds under his bed, so he tendency to assume malicious intent is actually grounded in long experience…

  142. Good essay Dr. Morton.

    The answer to your first question “Are these views valid?” depends upon whether one is capable of analyzing signal strength relative to background.

    What sort of climate should one expect at an already half-precession old interglacial? The answer to that is derived from examination of the many lines of evidence accumulating as to what the ends of the other most recent interglacials have been like. The worst case predication of AGW from the IPCC would appear to be a few degrees C and less than 1 meter of sea level rise by 2099. The Eemian, the interglacial which precedes this one, the Holocene, experienced a minimum of two strong thermal pulses right at its very end. Estimates of the sea level stillstands and final highstand come in from +6 to +52 meters above today’s means sea level.

    The highstand during the closing stages of MIS-11 (the Holsteinian) reached +21.3 meters amsl. If an anthropogenic signal of ~1 meter is to be considered anomalous for such a perilous time as a half-precession old interglacial, then we have new science that has turned all previous science upside down, such that the number 1 now represents a larger quantity than say the numbers +6, +21.3 and +52, at the very least.

    Perhaps a few questions are in order here:

    1. Is it possible or even likely that the Holocene will actually never end?

    2. Aside from Loutre and Berger’s 2003 astronomical model, which was soundly trounced by Lisiecki and Raymo’s 2005 rebuttal, there has only been one well-accepted means of preventing glacial inception discussed in the literature: greenhouse gases. This, of course, is not how it is meant to be discussed in the “new science.” Can anyone suggest another means of delaying or preventing glacial inception except GHGs?

    3. But perhaps the most important question of all might be should we attempt to delay or prevent onset of the next glacial? Would a ~90,000 year long glacial (aka ice age) be just what the doctor ordered for at least (as reported today) say 42% of the US population?

  143. “There is no controversy about the basic physics that adding CO2 to our atmosphere absorbs solar energy resulting in a little extra warming on top of the dominant effect of water vapor”

    Amatør1 says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Allan M.R. MacRae says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Pat Frank says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:22 am

    HenryP says:
    February 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Alex Hamilton says:
    February 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Ian W says:
    February 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    It is good to see so many prepared to challenge. Donald C. Morton has indicated he is happy to accept critical comments. I am more than happy to challenge the above statement on the basis of empirical experiment.

    Climate scientists have made the mistake of applying Stefan Boltzmann calculations to moving fluids in a gravity field and to transparent materials. This leads to two false conclusions -
    1. That the oceans would freeze in the absence of radiative gases.
    2. That adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability.

    There is a radiative greenhouse effect on earth, but not a NET radiative greenhouse effect. In claiming a net radiative greenhouse effect, climate scientists have calculated that the oceans would freeze in the absence of radiative gases and the surface would have an average temperature of -18C. This claim is false. If our oceans could be retained in the absence of an atmosphere, SW from the sun would drive them to near 80C. This means that the net effect of the atmosphere over the oceans is cooling. And the atmosphere has only one effective cooling mechanism – radiative gases.

  144. I welcome here in particular the article Morton 2014 in that it not only presents solar-climatic coupling using the relevant proxies and time-scales – the work of Holocene geology – but also does so in the additional context of this coupling being deliberately disregarded by IPCC assessments and climate simulation, and furthermore, all on top of the astronomy.

    It thus stays out of the other modeling-centered center stage, looking more like an informed skeptic-side’s proper focus and what I’ve been expecting from a candidate for its called-for main ‘killer’ reference.

  145. Robin.W says: @ February 17, 2014 at 6:16 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Agenda 21/Sustainability gets brought up quite frequently by me and others.

  146. William McClenney says: @ February 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm …
    William, I do not know if anyone else here appreciates your wit, but you have me ROTFLMAO with that last zinger.

  147. Konrad says:.

    …..And the atmosphere has only one effective cooling mechanism – radiative gases.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am no physicist but a very effective cooling mechanism is evaporation of water and the rise of that water vapor to significant heights where the energy is released as the water vapor condensed into water droplets aka clouds. (Willis’s Thermostat Theory) There is also convection where warm air rises and we get all the various circulation cells that drive our weather.

    In other words radiative gases play a minor role.

  148. Hi Don,

    The knaves over at HotWhopper are “twisting the truth you have spoken”, here. Whilst you say critical comments are welcome, deliberate misinterpretation perhaps deserves to be challenged.

  149. I’m aware of many politicians who are at least partly socialist, but communist? Aren’t too many of them about.

    I think the term has been cheapened by the way it is bandied freely as an insult to anyone who supports government action on an issue, regardless of why it is they believe that particular thing actually requires government intervention.

    I remember my dad, who is strongly for small government, being called a communist by local businesses when he finally called for government intervention after years of our local river becoming more and more polluted.

  150. “””””…..Jim Cripwell says:

    February 17, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Prof. Morton I have one nit to pick, and one observation. You write “. The CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration.” Beer/Lambert predicts the logarithmatic response of absorption. When absorption is saturated, Beer/Lambert no longer applies, and the response is no longer logarithmatic. There is no more absorption once saturation has been reached……”””””

    Well I would pick nits with both Prof Morton, and Jim Cripwell.

    Prof Morton says: “. The CO2 spectral absorption is saturated so is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration.”

    That seems a wild leap of fantasy to me. Now I’ll even accept the claim that the CO2 15 micron is “saturated” at present CO2 atmospheric abundance; never seen any evidentiary proof of that, but I accept it just as I accept Richard S. Courtney’s assertion that the bottom 100 meters of atmosphere, absorbs all the CO2 band radiation from the surface; or words to that effect. Not trying to put words in Richard’s mouth, just saying he mentions this from time to time.

    If that was all there was to it, there would be NO CO2 15 micron band radiation detectable above that first 100 meters, all the way to outer space. I doubt that is true.

    Moving on to Jim’s comment That the Beer-Lambert Law predicts a logarithmic absorption response.

    Beer’s Law , which relates to the absorption of a specific radiation (not all radiation) as a function of the concentration of “dilute” solutions of some chemical species, describes the ABSORPTION of the INPUT signal wavelength. It DOES NOT relate to the total radiant energy transmission of the medium. It assumes that the absorbed radiation energy, STAYS DEAD !

    So it DOES NOT apply to cases where the medium fluoresces, or otherwise RE-EMITS the energy at some other wavelength. It is limited to the attenuation of the specific input signal wavelength; not to the energy transmission. They all ultimately re-emit absorbed energy at some thermal wavelengths due to Temperature increase

    CO2 in the atmosphere DOES NOT conform to Beers law; the LWIR radiant energy, does not stay dead. The atmosphere thermalizes it and re-emits it at some other thermal spectral wavelength, so the energy continues to propagate (and generally isotropically scatter), and some portion of that re-emission spectrum, will again fall foul of the next higher layer of CO2 containing atmosphere. If you increase the CO2 concentration, the 1/e absorption depth simply diminishes to contain the same number of CO2 molecules.

    And all of this is of little practical concern anyhow, because the gospel according to CACCGW asserts that it is the surface TEMPERATURE, or the lower troposphere Temperature, that allegedly tracks the logarithm of the CO2 abundance; that is what climate sensitivity is the change in global TEMPERATURE for a doubling of CO2. So why is it that it seems as though EVERY POSSIBLE CLIMATE VARIABLE tracks the logarithm of CO2.

    And for the doubling of CO2, that of course means going from 280 ppm to 560 ppm, or going from 28 to 56, or 2.8 ppm to 5.6 ppm. Last time I checked, that is precisely what the logarithm function is.

    And we have believably from, Mauna Loa data, perhaps a 1.27 factor increase in CO2, and that fits logarithmically, or linearly, or even exponentially with the observed global Temperature over the same time frame. Well I don’t even believe that Hadcrud CRUTEM, is even a measure of any global Temperature.

    But for Prof Morton, I have a more fundamental question, since he is a radiation physics expert.

    Kevin Trenberth’s Earth “radiation budget” cartoon shows 390 W/m^2 surface LWIR emittance, which is about equal to the total black body radiant emittance for a 288 kelvin surface Temperature (for scientists) or 15 deg. C for the rest of the world, and 59 deg. F for the USA.

    I fully believe that is about what one might measure from a pretty much cold to the touch road surface in the USA, say 30 minutes after sunset on an average day. So that figure is what Trenberth takes for the entire earth surface, on average, full time. Seems reasonable to me.
    I notice that his cartoon also includes some upward conductive and convective “heat” energy transport to the upper atmosphere. So what the hell is that doing in “the earth’s radiation budget” ??
    Now the chart also shows TSI from the sun as 342 W/m^2, which is lower that the 390 W/m^2 surface LWIR BB emittance, which is the absolute maximum possible radiant emittance for a body at 288 K or thereabouts. So clearly the sun cannot possibly warm the earth up even to 288 K, with only 342 W/m^2 .

    Ah!, I think I see a snag in here. Watts per meter squared, is not a measure of RADIATION ; it is a measure of POWER areal density; a RATE OF ENERGY PASSAGE / arrival / usage / wastage / whatever. !!

    Well you see, the actual incident power areal density at TOA is actually 1366 W/m^2, and maybe 1,000 W/m^2 at the earth surface in say air mass 1.5 conditions. It is NOT 342 W/m^2.

    So now I see why the sun can actually warm the earth’s surface way above 288 K; maybe even to 333K in tropical deserts.

    So why do we continue to propagate this nonsense, that CO2 in the atmosphere is required to raise earth’s Temperature from around 255 K up to 288 K.

    Clearly the sun can do that all by itself. It can cook the sunlit half of the planet for from 8-16 hours depending on time of year and latitude, and at sunset, the surface reverts to around 288, and cannot radiate faster than the BB rate of around 390 W/m^2.

    During the day of course, with much higher Temperatures (if global anomalies have changed about 1 deg. C in 150 years; then ANY average diurnal Temperature change qualifies as MUCH HIGHER TEMPERATURES) .

    I noticed, that in addition to the oddball inclusion of some non-radiative thermal conduction and convection “heat” power transfers, to earth’s “radiation budget”, Trenberth has surprisingly left off the chart; an enormous contribution to “earth’s radiation budget”.

    Hey Kevin ! Want to know where your “MISSING HEAT” went ??

    Well what happened to your “radiation budget” that throws it out of whack, is that SOME OF THE SOLAR RADIATION ENERGY refused to turn into “heat”, so there isn’t any missing “heat”; there is simply less heat made here on earth, from the solar radiant energy (EM radiation).

    Some of it got turned into Soy beans, and wheat, and wood, and flowers, and natural gas, and oil, and coal, and nowadays, some even gets turned into electricity instead of “HEAT”., and of course all the little critters on the land and in the sea, from ants to sea urchins, and coral reefs; acid oceans or not.

    That’s where your missing “heat” is Kevin; we aren’t making it at all.

    And the more CO2 we have in the atmosphere, the more solar energy we turn into wood, for later free clean green renewable stored chemical energy usage. Like coal, it just sits there coldly, until we light a match to it, to turn it into “heat”.

    Of course, these days, with 43.5 %efficient solar cells, with a dichroic mirror window reflecting most of the unconvertible radiant energy back into space, we can add high efficiency LEDs (I didn’t say cheap LEDs), we can turn maybe 80-90% of that solar PV electricity back into EM radiant energy (probably yellow/amber color), and shine that back to the outer solar system, and then we would really cool things down. Well you get that this is just a mind experiment.

    These climate post doc fellows, with PhDs in Physics, who can’t get a permanent job, seem to have ignored biology, and other ways to not turn solar radiant energy, into waste heat here on earth.

    As for “positive feedback”, Professor Morton, that is when a cloud passes in front of the sun, and it gets warmer in the shadow zone. Never seen it happen yet.

    By the way; I do in fact like your guest essay, and will digest it more fully, as I get some time, before it scrolls down off the page; lot of information to ingest.

  151. Gail Combs says:
    February 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm
    ————————————–
    Gail,
    the process you describe is the most powerful mechanism for surface cooling, given that 71% of the earth’s surface is ocean. However my claim regarding radiative gases relates to atmospheric cooling.
    Ian W’s comment @ February 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm is relevant here. In talking of atmospheric cooling I am referring to energy exiting the atmosphere.

    The atmosphere has many ways of acquiring energy, including intercepted solar and surface radiation, surface conduction and the release of latent heat as water vapour condenses. However the atmosphere has fewer ways of losing energy, via LWIR to space or conduction back to the surface. Simple empirical experiment shows that for a moving gas atmosphere, conduction back to the surface is ineffective (even Dr. Spencer gets this one wrong.). This leaves LWIR to space as the atmospheres primary cooling (energy loss) mechanism. Basically without radiative gases, our atmosphere would still be heated by surface conduction, but would have virtually no way to cool.

    It is notable that no planets or moons in our solar system have managed to retain an atmosphere without radiative gases.

    You are correct in part when you state – “There is also convection where warm air rises and we get all the various circulation cells that drive our weather.” Tropospheric convective circulation is the primary driver of all weather, with pole-wise energy flow a secondary player. But you should consider the corollary of “warm air rises”. Cool air descends. How do the air masses that have risen in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar convective cells cool and descend? Adiabatic cooling on ascent is matched by adiabatic heating on decent, therefore has a neutral effect on vertical circulation. It is only radiative gases that allow energy loss from the atmosphere at altitude.

    Those like myself claiming that the net effect of radiative gases is atmospheric cooling are not as “bat-shit crazy” as some may say. Disappointingly many here at WUWT are trying to claim MandBearPig does not exist while still trying to claim that ManBearPiglet does. Allan M.R. MacRae’s comment @ February 17, 2014 at 9:11 am is relevant here.

  152. dp says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm
    —————————————
    That was an excellent post by Dr. Spencer. He correctly describes why strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would stall in the absence of radiative gases and that atmospheric circulation would be limited to advection winds in a near surface layer.

    That was also a terrible post by Dr. Spencer. After he gets it so right, he gets it horribly wrong. He claims that the resultant isothermal temperature of such a non-radiative atmosphere would be set by surface Tav (which he incorrectly calculates as -18C), when in fact the simplest empirical experiment shows that it would be driven by surface Tmax. Argggh!

    Surface conduction is effective at heating a moving atmosphere in a gravity field, but ineffective at cooling it. Without radiative gases our atmosphere has no effective way to cool. If our atmosphere has no way to cool, the oceans have no way to cool. They could reach 80C if not beyond. But that is irrelevant, well before then most of our atmosphere would have expanded beyond the geomagnetic field and been swept into space by the solar wind. Breathing privileges would be revoked for all.

    Lesson? Do not remove radiative gases from the atmosphere, we need those to live.

  153. george e. smith says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm
    “So now I see why the sun can actually warm the earth’s surface way above 288 K; maybe even to 333K in tropical deserts”
    —————————————
    Getting close ;-)

    Want to see those precious Stefan-Boltzmann equations fail?

    You may want to try a little empirical experiment I call “Shredded Lukewarm Turkey in Boltzmannic vinegar”-

    Get two 100 x 100 x 10mm blocks of clear acrylic. Paint one black on the top surface, and the second black on the base. Spray both blocks with several layers of clear-coat on their top surfaces to ensure equal reflectivity and IR emissivity. Attach thermocouples to upper and lower surfaces. Insulate the blocks on the sides and base. Enclose each in a small LDPE greenhouse to minimise conductive losses. Now expose to strong solar SW. Three hours should result in a 17C differential between the blocks. The block with the black base runs hotter. SB equations alone clearly do not give the correct answer. (caution – experiment temperatures can exceed 115C)

    Both blocks have the same ability to absorb SW and emit LWIR, yet after three hours in full sun the temperature differential is 17C. Which block most closely models our oceans, and which is closer to how climate scientists modelled our oceans?

    Here I go further and place the blocks under intermittent halogen light sources with air cooled IR shields between the blocks and the halogen lights. -

    While the lights are less powerful than the sun, this set up demonstrates that when the SW heating is intermittent, the block with the black base can achieve not just a higher average temperature, but a higher surface temperature as well. The experiment also works if clear water filled blocks are used, one with a black top surface and one with a black base.

    Climate “scientists” were the “C” grade students. They couldn’t pass engineering. They wouldn’t have even made the entry mark.

    The oceans are not being heated at the surface by a ¼ power sun at 240 w/m2, they are being heated at depth by intermittent SW pulses of over 1000 w/m2. Non-radiative energy transports control the energy flow back to the ocean surface and thereby the heating of the oceans. Those trying to calculate the temperature of the oceans through the use of SB equations are fools.

  154. drumphil:

    At February 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm you say of me

    What he does is fine and well justified because anyone who says anything he doesn’t like is just a sniveling troll like us.

    Well, the only part of that which you got right is that you are a sniveling troll.

    Will you now apologise for your unjustifiable behaviour when avoiding justification for your statement that that CO2 emissions should be accounted “as a negative” when assessing power generation costs which you made here.

    Or do you want to continue with your evasions, irrelevancies and Red Herrings which you kept up for days instead of answering my clear question in response to your assertion? It is

    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Increased plant growth being the ONLY discernible effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Richard

    PS I see you fail in another attempt at an insulting Red Herring at February 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm where you make the funny accusation

    In Richards defense, he has only recently stopped finding reds under his bed, so he tendency to assume malicious intent is actually grounded in long experience…

    I never looked under it because I sleep on it and I am a “Red” (i.e. a socialist).

  155. We read in the article: “At least six serious problems confront the climate predictions presented in the last IPCC”

    The seventh serious problem (or perhaps it should be the zeroth) is that a study of temperature records has shown that an increase in water vapor leads to cooler mean daily maximum and minumum temperatures, not warmer.

    Water vapor does not raise the surface end of some isothermal temperature profile in the troposphere, more so in a moist area. Rather, it reduces the steeper gravitationally-induced thermal profile so that it meets the surface at a lower temperature where the wet adiabatic lapse rate prevails.

  156. Konrad says:
    FebruaryTl,
    …..

    You are correct in part when you state – “There is also convection where warm air rises and we get all the various circulation cells that drive our weather.” Tropospheric convective circulation is the primary driver of all weather, with pole-wise energy flow a secondary player. But you should consider the corollary of “warm air rises”. Cool air descends. How do the air masses that have risen in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar convective cells cool and descend? Adiabatic cooling on ascent is matched by adiabatic heating on decent, therefore has a neutral effect on vertical circulation. It is only radiative gases that allow energy loss from the atmosphere at altitude.
    ….”
    ****
    Say what?

    Can you plot your “warm air rises and cool air descends” on a T-S diagram?

    No work is done?

    If I have large vertical cloud that has a lot of warm moist air being drawn in and cold air along with water and ice being removed as rain, where does the energy go? As the water vapor condenses and solidifies, latent energy is given up, why is that not just radiated into space??

  157. Box of Rocks says:
    February 18, 2014 at 2:49 am
    ——————————————
    What are we, thick as a box of rocks?

    No one who challenges me wins. Those are the rules. Questions?

    • Konrad, I looked at your picture, and have a question. A non – radiative atm, that is transparent to IR, why wouldn’t the surface just radiate right through it to space?

  158. “Will you now apologise for your unjustifiable behaviour when avoiding justification for your statement that that CO2 emissions should be accounted “as a negative” when assessing power generation costs which you made here.”

    So why did you ask me about why I though enhanced plant growth was negative, rather than asking me why I thought CO2 emissions should be counted as a negative? Why didn’t you ask that instead of what you did ask? If you wanted me to justify my statement, then why did you ask about plant growth, and not simply ask me what I have to justify my actual position? Why include the premise in your question when you know I do not agree?

    Why don’t you quote what you actually asked me, so that everyone here can see what a sniveling troll I am for not answering your straightforward, un-loaded question, and so they can see the simple, straight forward, forthright manner in which you have asked?

    What you have done is say:

    “All increased CO2 levels do is enhance plant growth, so are you against increased plant growth?”

    which is OK because you believe this to be a fact.

    but if I say:

    “Increased CO2 levels have more effects than that, and do is cause environmentally damaging warming, so are you for damaging warming?”

    it is OK because I believe that to be a fact….

    Oh wait, you don’t accept that, but that is completely different issue to when you declare facts. Obviously.

  159. Whatever you do, don’t actually ask me to justify my assertion that increased CO2 concentrations harm the environment, because to do so would be to admit that you asked a different question before. Why would an honest man ask something other that what they wanted the answer to?

  160. drumphil:

    You continue your obnoxious and egregious trolling with your post at February 18, 2014 at 4:43 am which pretends to answer my post at February 18, 2014 at 1:04 am which is here.

    I could go through every falsehood and misrepresentation in your post but I see no reason to flatter your ego so I will address this question which it poses to me

    Why don’t you quote what you actually asked me, so that everyone here can see what a sniveling troll I am for not answering your straightforward, un-loaded question, and so they can see the simple, straight forward, forthright manner in which you have asked?

    I did quote it in my post. Your assertion that I did not is a lie.

    My post says

    Will you now apologise for your unjustifiable behaviour when avoiding justification for your statement that that CO2 emissions should be accounted “as a negative” when assessing power generation costs which you made here.

    Or do you want to continue with your evasions, irrelevancies and Red Herrings which you kept up for days instead of answering my clear question in response to your assertion? It is

    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Increased plant growth being the ONLY discernible effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    You compound that outrageous lie that I did not quote my question (I did and I linked to it in its original thread as I have again in this post) when at February 18, 2014 at 4:52 am you write saying in total

    Whatever you do, don’t actually ask me to justify my assertion that increased CO2 concentrations harm the environment, because to do so would be to admit that you asked a different question before. Why would an honest man ask something other that what they wanted the answer to?

    You really, really don’t know what honesty is. In the other thread I went so far as to tell you that you could prove me wrong when I wrote to you saying

    Allow me to point out how you could make a rational response to my having asked you the question which torpedoed your daft assertion below the water-line.

    My question is based on the fact that increased plant growth is the only discernible effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution. My question would be shown to be an incorrect request of you if you were to provide evidence of any other discernible effect of the increase and that the other discernible effect is harmful.

    Please note that this is NOT a debating trick. It is a genuine solution to your problem and it is the ONLY way you can show your assertion was not pure bollocks.

    As on this thread, your reply was more pure bollocks.

    Crawl back under your bridge but first answer the question and apologise for your behaviour.

    Richard

  161. “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    There is your original question. That is it in it’s entirety. How is that asking me about anything other than my opinion on enhanced plant growth?

  162. If you feel that your question, as stated, implies something else, then you should ask that too. What is this? Questions by proxyquestion?

  163. drumphil:

    I am responding to your daft post at February 18, 2014 at 5:27 am so others can see I am not running from your trolling.

    I answered that in my post at February 18, 2014 at 5:18 am where I quote the answer I gave you in the other thread.

    I repeat
    Crawl back under your bridge but first answer the question and apologise for your behaviour.

    Richard

  164. And, I need to wait until I’ve got everything I want to cover in order before I post, so I don’t end up with four posts in a row… Oh wait.. damn.

  165. Yes, well, I could write a few paragraphs on my opinion of you, but anything that isn’t directly dealing with the issue at hand is at best a sideshow distraction, and at worst a deliberate misdirection.

  166. OK, so you’re reduced to repeating our questions to try to ???

    Why is greater plant growth – more food, fuel, fodder, farming, feasting and fortunes – a negative?

  167. I don’t think that it is. I also don’t think that increased CO2 doesn’t have any other negative effects, and I don’t think that the supposed positive effects of CO2 necessarily lead to feasting and fortune either.

  168. See how an honest, straightforward answer to that question doesn’t satisfy richard, who believes that the question demands that I justify my position on why increased CO2 levels are a bad thing.

  169. drumphil:

    At February 18, 2014 at 5:38 am you say

    I also don’t think that increased CO2 doesn’t have any other negative effects, and I don’t think that the supposed positive effects of CO2 necessarily lead to feasting and fortune either.

    Really?
    Then why have you failed to state any discernible “negative effects”?
    And why did you ignore the post on the other thread from Lars P. ? It said

    The stupidity of your post is clearly explained if you start to understand that food for about 1 billion out of 7 billion of people is due to the enhanced plant growth due to CO_2.

    Richard

  170. drumphil says:
    February 18, 2014 at 5:38 am

    “I don’t think that it is. I also don’t think that increased CO2 doesn’t have any other negative effects, and I don’t think that the supposed positive effects of CO2 necessarily lead to feasting and fortune either.”

    So what are your positive and negative lists for CO2 growth, as currently determined, since start year of your choice?

  171. “Then why have you failed to state any discernible “negative effects”

    Because your question wasn’t asking me to do so. It was asking whether or not I thought enhanced plant growth was a good thing. You still haven’t acknowledged this. That is what I have been getting at this whole time. I’m not sure how I could express it any more clearly.

    So, yet again, I’m just going to have to submit to your superior intelligence, niceness, and just generally how much better than me you are, and retire from this crap once again. I need sleep.

  172. drumphil:

    re your post at February 18, 2014 at 5:58 am.

    You need more than “sleep”. It is very clear that you need to remember to take your meds.

    Richard

  173. Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 5:37 am
    —————————————
    Look again at the lower arrows in each panel. IR direct to space is shown. So too is the changed temperature gradient of the surface.

    There is however an error in the diagrams. Panel 2 should be labelled “atmosphere without radiative ability1 day after radiative ability removed”.

    After vertical tropospheric circulation has stalled due to the loss of radiative gases, “non-radiative” gases stalled at altitude begin to super heat due to interception of small amount of IR, SW but particularly UV. Yes, it’s worse than you thought.

    • After vertical tropospheric circulation has stalled due to the loss of radiative gases, “non-radiative” gases stalled at altitude begin to super heat due to interception of small amount of IR, SW but particularly UV.

      Why wouldn’t the “non-radiative” gases at worst, radiate as a black body to space?

  174. dp says:
    February 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Without CO2 and other (so-called) GHG there would be no climate. Those who say CO2 has no effect are bat-shit crazy and are easily discounted.
    —————-

    Atmospheric CO2 does have an effect on near-surface air temperatures ….. but the effect of 398 ppm of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere is so miniscule that it is nigh onto impossible to measure.

    Heat energy in the atmosphere is NOT additive or cumulative from day to day or year to year, therefore it is immaterial what the CO2 ppm was 20 years ago or 100 years ago.

    If 25,000 ppm of H2O vapor in the near-surface atmosphere won’t “burn your socks off” …… then 600 or 1,000 ppm of CO2 won’t burn your socks off either.

    And a simple experiment will prove and/or verify all the above.

  175. Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 10:05 am
    After vertical tropospheric circulation has stalled due to the loss of radiative gases, “non-radiative” gases stalled at altitude begin to super heat due to interception of small amount of IR, SW but particularly UV.

    Why wouldn’t the “non-radiative” gases at worst, radiate as a black body to space?

    Because without a dipole their emissivity is ~0.

  176. Samuel C Cogar says:
    February 18, 2014 at 11:16 am

    It would be hard to promote academic careers, soak tax & rate payers & hobble the global economy with phony scare stories if the average atmospheric concentration of the GHG water vapor had allegedly increased from 30,285 to 30,398 ppm since 1850, instead of the GHG CO2 from 285 to 398 ppm.

  177. Phil. says:
    February 18, 2014 at 11:30 am
    “Because without a dipole their emissivity is ~0”

    That little “~” symbol is what allows the thermosphere to superheat, with molecular temperatures in the hundreds of degrees.

    Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 10:05 am
    “Why wouldn’t the “non-radiative” gases at worst, radiate as a black body to space?”

    The problem is that poor absorbers are poor emitters. Park an old fashioned black car with chrome trim in the sun. The black paint heats faster than the chrome, but after a few hours the black paint is hot, but the chrome trim is too hot to touch.

    Without radiative gases, topospheric convective circulation would stall, the lapse rate would disappear and the bulk of the atmosphere would quickly trend isothermal through gas conduction to a temperature close to surface Tmax. This alone would be sufficient for much of our atmosphere to be lost to space. Following this radiative super heating of stagnated N2 and O2 becomes a secondary issue.

  178. Konrad says:
    February 18, 2014 at 3:26 am
    Box of Rocks says:
    February 18, 2014 at 2:49 am
    ——————————————
    What are we, thick as a box of rocks?

    No one who challenges me wins. Those are the rules. Questions?

    ****

    Yeah, is your picture a T-s diagram by chance?

  179. Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 11:46 am
    “Because without a dipole their emissivity is ~0.”

    All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature.

    Not in the gas phase they don’t!
    You misunderstand Feynman too.

    • You misunderstand Feynman too.

      I don’t think so, but I will listen to your explanation why you think I did.

      The gas contents of a nitrogen bottle will normalize to room temp, the electrons will vibrate based on their temp, and they will radiate black body IR based on that temp.

  180. “””””…..Mi Cro says:

    February 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Because without a dipole their emissivity is ~0.

    All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature……”””””

    Well if they have a Temperature, that means they are in collisions with many other molecules with a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. During such collisions (which last an eternity, at thermal energies) even quite symmetric atoms or molecules undergo distortion, because although the electric charge in the nucleus, and the electron “cloud” are equal (and opposite), their respective masses are greatly different, with a nuclear to electron mass ratio that is typically around 3675 , so virtually all of the kinetic energy is in the nucleus.
    So during such collisions, the atom/molecule most certainly has a dipole moment that is different from zero, along with accelerating electric charges so it WILL radiate a thermal spectrum, like any other material not at zero kelvins, and hence not in collisions. Thermal spectrum emissions happen at the atom/molecule level; that’s where the accelerating electric charges are.

    And there are other antenna designs besides dipoles, that can radiate EM radiation.

    Now of course, because the atmospheric gases; N2, O2, Ar are much lower density than solids or liquids, they are nowhere near total absorbers, even in earth sized thicknesses, so they would not approach black body emissivity levels. But there’s a lot more of them, that GHG molecules.

  181. Mi Cro says:

    “All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature.”

    Phil. says:

    “Not in the gas phase they don’t!”

    So even though the molecules are above absolute zero, they cannot radiate at all?

  182. George,

    so they would not approach black body emissivity levels.

    Would not an planets atmospheric sized collection of atm gases approximate a black body at whatever temp it is at?

  183. Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    the electrons will vibrate based on their temp

    This came out clunky, I don’t mean the temp of the electron, but the temp of the atom the electron is in the shell of.

  184. drumphil says:

    “Increased CO2 levels… cause environmentally damaging warming, so are you for damaging warming?”

    …I believe that to be a fact….

    Are you serious? If so, please post verifiable global damage or global harm due to the ≈40% rise in CO2.

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

    Konrad says:

    “Without radiative gases… [ ... ] This alone would be sufficient for much of our atmosphere to be lost to space.”

    Are you serious? Doesn’t gravity have some effect on the atmosphere?

    [Sorry if I missed anything, I didn't read this whole thread.]

  185. Mi Cro:

    Allow me to try to help.

    Materials (including gases) do absorb (and emit) radiation by raising (or lowering) electrons in their atoms to other energy levels. However, this effect is very small compared to the radiative absorbtion and emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) molecules.

    A GHG molecule changes its energy state by gaining rotational or vibrational energy when it absorbs a photon. Consider a CO2 molecule
    C – O – C
    It can vibrate by changing the ‘angle’ between its carbon atoms.
    Now consider an N2 molecule
    N – N
    It has no ‘angle’ to vibrate and is not a GHG.

    In the atmosphere the molecular effect is so much larger than the atomic effect that the atomic effect is usually ignored because it is too small to be of significance.

    I hope that helps.

    Richard

    • Richard, My comments were in response to Konrad comment:

      Without radiative gases our atmosphere has no effective way to cool. If our atmosphere has no way to cool, the oceans have no way to cool. They could reach 80C if not beyond.

      I think this is flat wrong, his reason was because without a dipole there’s no way for the “non-radiative” gases to cool, again, all atoms above 0K radiate IR. I’m okay with your comment it’s not an important factor in cooling the planet (we have radiative gases).
      I’m okay with George Smith’s comment about there being no ideal black body, and they are all pseudo BB’s (or gray, or white). I also like Georges comment about how collisions of atoms alter their shape creating a dipole so they can radiate.
      I’m also okay that at high altitude non-radiative atoms can be quite warm, but there are so few of them it’s still very cold at those same altitudes.
      But, I don’t think either Phil or Konrad have shown how the planet wouldn’t cool at all without GHG’s in the atm.

      And I don’t need either of them to try and explain it too me, I don’t really care, but I did want to acknowledge comments from Richard and George.

  186. OOPS
    Obviously, my representation of a CO2 molecule was daft. Intended to write

    O – C – O
    It can vibrate by changing the ‘angle’ between its oxygen atoms.

    Sorry.

    Richard

  187. dbstealey says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    Mi Cro says:

    “All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature.”

    Phil. says:

    “Not in the gas phase they don’t!”

    So even though the molecules are above absolute zero, they cannot radiate at all?

    That’s correct, to emit in the IR they need a dipole and N2 and O2 don’t have one.
    IR is due to molecular motions, rotational and vibrational not electronic.

    Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    “You misunderstand Feynman too.”

    I don’t think so, but I will listen to your explanation why you think I did.

    The gas contents of a nitrogen bottle will normalize to room temp, the electrons will vibrate based on their temp, and they will radiate black body IR based on that temp.

    As stated above IR is due to molecular motion not electronic so your scenario does’t happen.

    Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    George,

    “so they would not approach black body emissivity levels.”

    Would not an planets atmospheric sized collection of atm gases approximate a black body at whatever temp it is at?

    No!

    richardscourtney says:
    February 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    O – C – O
    It can vibrate by changing the ‘angle’ between its oxygen atoms.

    And also by asymmetric stretching

    O – C – O
    -> ->

  188. My own expertise is in physics and astrophysics with experience in radiative transfer, not climatology, but looking at the discipline from outside I see some serious problems.

    Don’t you worry your sweet little head. Here is Dr. James Hansen looking at climatology from the inside and outside. It’s the father of modern day global warming aka CAGW.

    NASA GISS
    Hansen was trained in physics and astronomy in James Van Allen’s space science program at the University of Iowa, receiving his bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in physics and mathematics, master’s degree in astronomy, and Ph.D. in physics in 1967. Except for 1969, when he was a National Science Foundation post-doctoral student at the Leiden Observatory in Holland, Hansen spent his professional career at GISS. Hansen was a visiting student at the Institute of Astrophysics, University of Kyoto and Department of Astronomy, Tokyo University, Japan from 1965-1966. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20130402/

    You see, anyone can be a climatologist or weatherman. Today we see Calamatologists talking endlessly about the causes of weather while forgetting that they told us that the weather is not the same as climate. They fooled me for sure, DOH.

  189. Phil.:

    Thanks for your mention of stretching excitation in your post at February 18, 2014 at 3:08 pm.

    My point was that people were discussing atomic excitation which can be ignored because the GHE is an effect of molecular excitation. As you say, there are many details which I omitted. However, the important issue I was trying to point out was that people were discussing the wrong (and an irrelevant) effect.

    Richard

    • Calamatology I like. Should be submitted to the OED for a coinage of the year, along with ‘dramagreen’ and ‘skeptiphobia’ (ok, the last is mine).

  190. If any fool wants to argue that Hansen is now an expert on Earth’s climate then they must have too much co2 on the brain. Hansen argued that dust made Venus warm in a 1960s paper. He later said that soot caused more global warming than co2. He then argued that non-co2 gases like cfcs were responsible for most of the warming up to 2000 I vaguely recollect. Hansen has been jumping from pillar to post trying very hard to leave his mark on the world, trying to be someone of historical importance. He has left his mark, it is called a skid stain in his underpants and the whole thing stinks. I am sick and tired of this BS.

  191. I am very grateful for all the comments I have had, making this a better paper and providing suggestions for further investigations.

  192. “””””…..Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    George,

    “so they would not approach black body emissivity levels.”

    Would not an planets atmospheric sized collection of atm gases approximate a black body at whatever temp it is at?

    No!…..”””””

    Well like Phil says; only maybe “hell no”.

    You have to keep in mind, that not only does particle density (from solid to liquid to gas) affect the number of molecules/atoms available to radiate collision induced radiation, but it astronomically increases the frequency at which such collisions occur, because the molecules are so much closer together in solids and liquids, so the intensity of thermal radiation from gases is much lower, than with solids. There is no such thing as a black body; but there are pseudo black bodies, that are sufficiently absorbing IN THE SPECTRUM APPROPRIATE FOR THEIR TEMPERATURE, that they look pretty black to those wavelengths.
    98% of a BB radiation spectrum (vs wavelength) lies between half of the spectrum peak wavelength, and eight times the peak wavelength. So for solar like, with a 500 nm peak wavelength, 1% of the energy is shorter than 250 nm, 25% of the energy is shorter than 500 nm, and only 1% is longer than 4.0 microns. There’s very little earth surface thermal radiation below 4.0 microns, since the peak (for 288K) is at 10.1 microns. So the CO2 asymmetrical stretch mode, doesn’t get much of a workout from either the sun, or from the mean earth Temperature thermal.

    As to other planets; it is not the total mass of the whole atmosphere, but how much mass is in an optical path through it, that matters as to how black or grey (or off-white) it is.

    I don’t think upside down in frequency or wave numbers, so I don’t have carved on my tongue, the important numbers for a wave number or frequency based BB spectrum, so dunno what those are; I’m sure Phil knows.

    Some people even [think] of BB spectra in terms of numbers of photons, which gives a whole ‘nother spectrum graph.

    With a wavelength based spectrum, the Y-axis is in ….Watts per square meter PER MICRON of wavelength (shift); but with a wave number based spectrum it is….Watts per square meter PER WAVE NUMBER , so the maximum will be at a different place for those two spectra.

  193. “””””……richardscourtney says:
    February 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    O – C – O
    It can vibrate by changing the ‘angle’ between its oxygen atoms.

    And also by asymmetric stretching

    O – C – O
    -> ->……””””””

    The angle (bending mode) of CO2 is actually two identical, but indistinguishable modes.

    You can think of the …O-C-O as bending up and down in the plane of the paper, or side to side perpendicular to the paper, so it does both (but how do it know).

    I tend to think seat of the pants wise differently, since the CO2 really looks like …O=C=O

    And then I think, in the diamond state, the four carbon bonds would be tetrahedrally disposed, which gives you two pairs, which are at right angles to each other, and that would lead me to see CO2 as actually looking like ….O=C-O where the – is a sideways look at the other bond pair. Now it looks easy; the left hand O can easily move in and out of the paper, by bending those two “springs”, while the right hand O can move up and down on the page, by bending the other pair on the right; hence the two (degenerate) identical modes.

    But dag nabit; that’s wrong too. The physical chemists (I ain’t one) insist that something called sp hybridization buggers up my nice picture, so that the molecule truly is flat, just like :

    O-C-O or maybe O=C=O

    So no, I’m not a quantum mechanic either, so I don’t get it, but I’ll take their word for it. I did hear of sp hybridization in Physics class, but not in any way to explain the shapes of molecules.

    As for Phil’s asymmetrical stretch of OC>-<O where all three atoms are moving, but their CM is stationary, so the left-right electron cloud charge gets out of symmetry, so it can radiate. It's not as clumsy as the bending mode, so it's higher frequency; I think around 4 microns where nobody cares (on earth).

    Then there is symmetrical stretch mode that does this….O>-<CO so the C stays put, and the two Os go OO to O>–<O and this one really hums along since the carbon behaves like an infinite anchor, so it goes about 2.4 microns or thereabout.

    Trouble is that you have two axially opposed dipoles OC and CO which tend to cancel their external fields, leaving a much lower efficiency radiating antenna, so this mode is normally considered radiatively inactive, but it can be observed. I have forgotten whether that leaves a quadrupole antenna or something else, but the two opposing dipoles are so close to each other, that their radiation patterns virtually overlap and cancel, leaving a very highly directional antenna; and you have to figure out how to kick it to get it started. Of course it is duck soup to transmit with this antenna if you are electrically driving it up on your tower; but trying to get it to "ring" by just kicking it, isn't so effective. So nyet on the CO2 symmetrical stretch mode.

  194. A GHG molecule changes its energy state by gaining rotational or vibrational energy when it absorbs a photon. Consider a CO2 molecule
    C – O – C
    It can vibrate by changing the ‘angle’ between its carbon atoms.
    Now consider an N2 molecule
    N – N
    It has no ‘angle’ to vibrate and is not a GHG.

    *****

    So we know how much energy it takes to “change the angle” and at what frequency it happens and on the flip side when the “angle changes back” we know how much energy is released and at what frequency then right?

    Henceforth a calc is out there the sums up the whole process, right? (And shows that something that is 0.04% of a c.v. can do this at a rate to sustain the temp of a c.v as it cools, – sweet!

    Show me the numbers!

  195. “””””…..Box of Rocks says:

    February 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    A GHG molecule changes its energy state by gaining rotational or vibrational energy when it absorbs a photon. Consider a CO2 molecule
    C – O – C
    It can vibrate by changing the ‘angle’ between its carbon atoms.
    Now consider an N2 molecule
    N – N
    It has no ‘angle’ to vibrate and is not a GHG…….”””””

    Well N-N looks like a dumbbell, so it actually can do NN just like CO2 symmetrical stretch, but like the CO2 it’s a really lousy antenna so hard to kick; in this case very hard.

    So the dumbbell can rotate in three axes , one spinning on the axle – and the other two rotating at right angles to that axle The latter two, have pretty big moments of inertia, so they can only rotate slowly, so they are active at radio frequencies, and not at IR. The thermal earth doesn’t emit diddley at radio frequencies; it’s way down in the mud; literally.

  196. Cam_S says:
    February 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for posting that reply by Mr. Weaver. In the response he states;

    “Let’s see what I actually said in the article: “Weaver doesn’t think it’s appropriate for an MLA to endorse or advocate for a specific project.”

    Then goes on stage with Neil Young to advocate for a specific project. :)

    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  197. “””””…..Konrad says:

    February 18, 2014 at 12:28 am

    george e. smith says:
    February 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm
    “So now I see why the sun can actually warm the earth’s surface way above 288 K; maybe even to 333K in tropical deserts”
    —————————————
    Getting close ;-)

    Want to see those precious Stefan-Boltzmann equations fail?…..”””””

    I’m not getting your point Konrad. I believe I just explained in my post that the sun radiates the earth at about 1,000 W/m^2, not 250, so you repeated that for what reason ?

    And I wasn’t able to decipher your description of the two acrylic blocks, to see how that was. One has an acrylic top and the other a black top, and then you paint both those with clear coat ?

    So one of the blocks has both solar spectrum, and black back surface LWIR radiations passing through the acrylic, and the other has no solar spectrum radiation passing through it.
    So if acrylic absorbs any of the solar spectrum significantly (it does), then the block that has solar energy going into it would get hotter due to that absorption.

    Have you tried the experiment with a highly reflective mirror surface on it, so now you will have almost no solar absorption in one block and a double pass solar absorption in the other, and that second one should get hotter too, even without any LWIR to speak of.

    And I’m not too concerned for the health of the Stefan -Boltzmann law, since it is a hypothetical law for an object (black body) that cannot possibly even exist, so nobody has ever seen black body radiation; just a shadow of it.

    Planck’s BB radiation law does NOT escape the so called “ultra-violet catastrophe” of the Raleigh-Jeans law, like everybody thinks, because a real BB absorbs ALL EM radiant energy from zero to infinite frequency (sans end points) or wavelength if you prefer, and since Planck said the photon energy is h,(nu), if (nu) is infinite, so is the photon energy.

    But Planck’s spectral law also says, you don’t actually get a hell of a lot of infinite frequency photons anyway. Maybe once every big bang.

    Planck’s photons are not really energy quantized like Bohr photons, since Planck in no way restricted the frequency or wavelength of the photon. All possible photon frequencies from zero to infinity are allowed, so any and all photon energies are allowed; you just can’t have half a photon.

  198. george e. smith says: @ February 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    …………Now the chart also shows TSI from the sun as 342 W/m^2, which is lower that the 390 W/m^2 surface LWIR BB emittance, which is the absolute maximum possible radiant emittance for a body at 288 K or thereabouts. So clearly the sun cannot possibly warm the earth up even to 288 K, with only 342 W/m^2 .

    Ah!, I think I see a snag in here. Watts per meter squared, is not a measure of RADIATION ; it is a measure of POWER areal density; a RATE OF ENERGY PASSAGE / arrival / usage / wastage / whatever. !!

    Well you see, the actual incident power areal density at TOA is actually 1366 W/m^2, and maybe 1,000 W/m^2 at the earth surface in say air mass 1.5 conditions. It is NOT 342 W/m^2.

    So now I see why the sun can actually warm the earth’s surface way above 288 K; maybe even to 333K in tropical deserts……….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    George, Thank you for that information. Trenberth’s 342 W/m^2 always bothered the heck out of me but I don’t have the physics background to figure out why.

  199. Gail:

    What you want to look at is the column below called “Direct Radiation Horizontal Surface”.
    Those are radiation received on the equinox for solar radiation at each latitude at noon.

    I’m going to duplicate below a “spreadsheet copy” of a spreadsheet I have for all latitudes for the actual radiation on to a horizontal surface at 12:00 on that “average” 342 watts/meter^2 day. Remember, top-of-atmosphere radiation is going to vary over the year from 1410 (high, on January 3) to the 1320 (the “low” value on July 3 each year). This is for a day in mid-September, near that “average” value on the equinox at time of minimum Arctic sea ice extents. Let me know if you want a different day or different hour.

    At noon, on the equator on the equinox, is not every other hour of the day at the the rest of the latitudes on the rest of the days of the year.
    This is the MAXIMUM POSSIBLE solar radiation. Every other minute of the day, solar radiation levels will be less.

    Note” the differences possible from NASA’s “joke” of a yearly average TSI rather than the daily TOA values.

    Note: on any other day of the year, the declination correction for axial polar tilt will start affecting night and length of day radiation levels..

    Regardless, on your “perfectly clear day” on the equinox on the equator, here is the rest of the world’s latitudes. Attenuation factor = 0.85 – adequate for a very clear low humidity polar sky with no clouds, air masses from NOAA and Bason.

    Day-of-Year=> 267       1361	<=TSI-this-Year (Average Radiation)
    Today=>	23-Sep		1353	<=TOA Today (Actual Radiation)		Theoretical Clear Day, 0.85 Att. Coef. (Artic, Low Humidity)					
                                                    Direct  Direct  Direct         Direct  Direct  Direct Direct Direct    
                            SEA     SEA       Air   Rad     Rad.    Rad.     Cos   Ocean   Rad.    Rad.   Rad.   Rad.
    Lat_W	Hour	HRA     Radian	Degree	 Mass	Attenu.	Perp.	Hori.	(SZA)  Albedo  Ocean   Ocean  Ice    Ice
                                                    Factor  Surf    Surf	               Absorb  Refl  Absorb  Refl
    80	12.0	0.0000	0.1721	9.9	 5.658	 0.399	540	92	0.171	0.343	61	32	19	74	
    70	12.0	0.0000	0.3467	19.9	 2.922	 0.622	842	286	0.340	0.143	245	41	57	229	
    67.5	12.0	0.0000	0.3903	22.4	 2.614	 0.654	885	337	0.380	0.121	296	41	68	269	
    60	12.0	0.0000	0.5212	29.9	 2.003	 0.722	977	487	0.498	0.078	448	38	98	389	
    50	12.0	0.0000	0.6957	39.9	 1.558	 0.776	1051	673	0.641	0.048	641	33	135	538	
    40	12.0	0.0000	0.8703	49.9	 1.307	 0.809	1094	837	0.765	0.033	809	28	168	669	
    30	12.0	0.0000	1.0448	59.9	 1.156	 0.829	1121	970	0.865	0.027	944	26	195	775
    23.5	12.0	0.0000	1.1582	66.4	 1.091	 0.838	1133	1038	0.916	0.025	1012	26	208	830
    20	12.0	0.0000	1.2193	69.9	 1.065	 0.841	1138	1069	0.939	0.025	1042	26	214	854
    10	12.0	0.0000	1.3939	79.9	 1.016	 0.848	1147	1129	0.984	0.025	1101	28	227	903
    0	12.0	0.0000	1.5684	89.9	 1.000	 0.850	1150	1150	1.000	0.025	1121	29	231	920
    -10	12.0	0.0000	1.3987	80.1	 1.015	 0.848	1147	1131	0.985	0.025	1102	28	227	904
    -20	12.0	0.0000	1.2241	70.1	 1.063	 0.841	1139	1071	0.941	0.025	1044	26	215	856	
    -23.5	12.0	0.0000	1.1630	66.6	 1.089	 0.838	1134	1041	0.918	0.025	1015	26	209	832	
    -30	12.0	0.0000	1.0496	60.1	 1.152	 0.829	1122	973	0.867	0.026	947	26	195	778
    -45	12.0	0.0000	0.7878	45.1	 1.409	 0.795	1076	763	0.709	0.039	733	30	153	610
    -60	12.0	0.0000	0.5260	30.1	 1.986	 0.724	980	492	0.502	0.077	454	38	99	393
    -67.5	12.0	0.0000	0.3951	22.6	 2.584	 0.657	889	342	0.385	0.119	301	41	69	274
    -70	12.0	0.0000	0.3515	20.1	 2.884	 0.626	847	292	0.344	0.141	250	41	58	233	
    -80	12.0	0.0000	0.1769	10.1	 5.516 	 0.408	552	97	0.176	0.333	65	32	19	78	
    
  200. dbstealey says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm
    “Konrad says:

    “Without radiative gases… [ ... ] This alone would be sufficient for much of our atmosphere to be lost to space.”

    Are you serious? Doesn’t gravity have some effect on the atmosphere?”
    ——————————————————————————–
    Yes I am serious. Gravity does have some effect on the atmosphere, however if radiative cooling of the atmosphere was prevented, strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would stall and the atmosphere would heat dramatically. The temperature profile of the atmosphere would trend isothermal except for a near surface layer over land. This atmospheric heating would cause expansion of the atmosphere. While gravity should keep a dramatically expanded atmosphere in place, there is solar wind to contend with as the protection of the geomagnetic field decreases with altitude.

    In their very limited consideration of the temperature profile of a non-radiative atmosphere climate scientists made a number of critical mistakes. First they assume that the “surface” would have an average temperature of -18C in the absence of radiative gases. This would only be close to correct for a desert. This is an ocean planet and LWIR plays no role in heating the oceans. Empirical experiment shows that intermittent SW heating at depth is sufficient to heat our oceans.

    Second they assumed that the temperature of such an atmosphere would be set by surface Tav. This is also incorrect. The simplest empirical experiment shows that for gas atmosphere in a gravity field, surface Tmax would drive the average temperature of the atmosphere.

    Third they assumed the lapse rate would remain in the absence of radiative gases. This is also incorrect. Radiative cooling at altitude allows subsidence of air masses, without this strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation stalls. It is this circulation across the pressure gradient of the atmosphere that pneumatically generates the current lapse rate. (Dr. Spencer seems to be one of the few who got this right)

    Essentially without radiative gases our atmosphere would still heat, but it would have no effective cooling mechanism.

  201. george e. smith says:
    February 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm
    “I’m not getting your point Konrad. I believe I just explained in my post that the sun radiates the earth at about 1,000 W/m^2, not 250, so you repeated that for what reason ?”
    ———————————————————————————————
    George,
    I am essentially in agreement with you. Your comment about over 1000 w/m2 verse ~240 w/m2 caught my eye as few others seem to understand what this means. I repeated it and added the empirical experiment to show what this means for the oceans.

    Climate pseudo scientists have used SB equations that treat the ocean as if it were heated at the surface by a constant 240 w/m2 sun. From this they derive the incorrect average temperature of -18C for the oceans and then add down welling LWIR to make up the difference between their “climate science” and reality. This of course ignores the fact that LWIR cannot heat nor slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.

    The experiment shows why this is the incorrect approach. Our oceans are heated at depth by intermittent diurnal pulses of of SW radiation peaking at over 1000 w/m2. Because of the slow speed of non-radiative energy transport back to the surface, this has a cumulative effect on temperature that cannot be calculated by SB equations.

    The experiment in its basic form is simply two solid blocks of clear acrylic plastic. One is painted black on its lower surface, the other the top. The additional layer of clear coat on the top of each block is to ensure equal LWIR emissivity. Both blocks now have an equal ability to intercept SW and cool by emitting LWIR.

    The SB approach indicates that both blocks should reach the same equilibrium temperature when exposed to equal amounts of SW. The reality is very different. The block with the black paint at the base heats to a far higher temperature. SW enters the block and heats it from the base, with slow non-radiative conduction returning energy to the surface where it can be lost as LWIR. The block with black paint at the top intercepts SW before it can enter the block. This heats the top surface with some energy being lost swiftly as LWIR and the rest conducting slowly down into the block.

    The 17C temperature differential achieved in 3 hours is a dramatic demonstration of how incredibly wrong climate pseudo scientists were in applying SB calculations to the oceans. Their crazed claims that the oceans would freeze in the absence of LWIR from the atmosphere are clearly false.

    How hot could intermittent SW at 1000 w/m2 drive our oceans if there was no atmosphere to cool them? Probably something like this -

    Climate pseudo scientists claim that the net effect of the atmosphere over the oceans is warming of the oceans when it is actually cooling. And the atmosphere has only one effective cooling mechanism, that being radiative gases.

  202. dbstealey says:
    February 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm
    “I have a question! Who is the referee? ☺”
    —————————————————-

    Good question!

    The general answer is reality. The more specific answer is the reality of empirical experiment. ;-)

  203. Box of Rocks says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm
    “Yeah, is your picture a T-s diagram by chance?”
    ———————————————————–
    No, the diagram posted is a essentially a fluid dynamics diagram, giving a graphical illustration of what Dr. Spencer described in 2009 -

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/12/what-if-there-was-no-greenhouse-effect/

    I have never seen a T-s diagram that accurately depicts the atmospheric processes for a radiative atmosphere, combining pole-wise energy flow (heat engine) and tropospheric convective circulation (vapour condensate heat pump to space). In the case of pole wise energy flow work is being done constantly, in the case of tropospheric convective circulation work is intermittent in exceeding the Rayleigh number for the breakaway of air masses from the surface boundary layer.

    In the case of the second panel showing an atmosphere shortly after radiative ability was removed a T-s diagram would not be appropriate as the atmosphere could no longer achieve equilibrium. Atmospheric heating would become an irreversible process. Energy would be constantly entering the atmosphere, but little would be leaving.

    The differences between circulation and temperature profile in a radiative and non-radiative atmosphere can be determined by CFD or a very simple empirical experiment. You can try the experiment for yourself -

    Simply build two insulated gas columns around 1m tall with aluminium heating and cooling tubes positioned as shown. Where one thermocouple is shown it is advised to read temperature at nine places in each column to build a picture of the resultant temperature profiles.

    Which column best represents a radiative atmosphere and which a non-radiative atmosphere?

    Which column reaches the highest average gas temperature?

    Which column exhibits full convective circulation and which does not?

  204. Ben Wouters says:
    February 17, 2014 at 6:41 am
    Imo the largest problem has its origin in astrophysics: the use of the Effective temperature (Te) as base for our climate. With albedo .30 the Te for earth is 255K. For the moon (albedo .11) the Te is 270K. Yet its actual average temperature is only ~197K. (Diviner project)
    So the temperature rise attributed to the GHE is not 33K, but at least 288K-197K = 91K.

    You got it wrong. The 270K would be the temperature if the moon received the energy it receives from the sun UNIFORMLY along its surface, and if its temperature was constant, IN TIME AND SPACE. This is very far from being the case. The moon has a daytime which lasts 14 terrestrial days. This creates huge temperature differences between the illuminated side (day side) and the dark side (night side). This is increased even more by the fact that there is no oceans or atmosphere redistributing heat from one side to the other. The very low average temperature is a result of this distribution of it, very far from uniform. Given that outgoing radiation depends on T^4, any lack of uniformity will reduce the average temperature. Let’s say, a body at 2K emits the same energy as a body with just 1/16 of its surface at 4K and the rest at 0K, yet the average temperature of both bodies will be completely different. It will be an average of 2K for a uniform temperature distribution, and 0.25K if the distribution is not uniform.

    The average temperature of the moon is much lower than it would be IF it was uniformly distributed, basically because it is NOT uniformly distributed. GHGs have nothing to do with that.

  205. Nylo says: February 19, 2014 at 1:28 am
    “You got it wrong. The 270K would be the temperature if the moon received the energy it receives from the sun UNIFORMLY along its surface”
    It’s not me who got it wrong. its the guys who use the 255K Te for earth who got it wrong.
    The moon is living proof that the sun is totally UNABLE to warm a greybody at our distance from it to that temperature. (check Holdens inequality).
    A realistic greybody temperature for earth is ~150K (~300K for the dayside, 0K for the night side)
    Anyone who believes that the thin atmosphere that surrounds our planet can raise that temperature ~140K is seriously wrong.
    Earth is a planet consisting of molten rock, with a core of molten metal. It has a temperature!!
    Using the SB formula implies the zero radiation temperature to be 0K. This is nonsense for our earth.

  206. Ben Wouters, you still don’t get it. You are attributing all of the difference between Earth and Moon’s average temperatures (91K) to GHGs. And I have just explained that GHGs are not the only difference between Earth and Moon, nor are they even the biggest one, with respect to how average temperatures go. Most of the reason why the average temperature of the Earth is 91K hotter than that of the moon, is that the Earth’s daytime lasts 12h, and that the Earth has an atmosphere and oceans distributing heat from hot places to cold ones, both things leading to a much more uniform temperature distribution. As a result. standard temperature swings between day and night on Earth at any given place rarely exceed 20 degrees C. In the Moon, the temperature differences between day and night exceed 200 degrees C in most places! Remove GHGs and you will still have a 12h daytime as well as atmosphere and oceans making the average temperature of the Earth still way hotter than that of the Moon. GHGs provide some additional warming, that’s for sure, but definitely not 91K.

  207. Nylo says:

    February 19, 2014 at 1:54 am

    GHG’s do NOT provide any additional warming. The reason the avg. temperature on earth is 91K higher than the moons is the geothermal TEMPERATURE of the earth.
    The atmosphere only reduces the heat loss to space.
    A planet with an avg. surface temperature of 290K (no atmosphere) radiates ~400 W/m^2 to space.
    Our atmosphere reduces this to ~240 W/m^2, simple isolation at work.

  208. Ben Wouters,
    A planet with an avg. surface temperature of 290K (no atmosphere) radiates ~400 W/m^2 to space.

    WRONG. It depends on how its temperature is distributed. For 400W/m^2 radiation to space, the average temperature will only be 290K if you have the same temperature along all of its surface. Create differences, and the average temperature will drop, for the same total energy output. Sorry but if you cannot get this simple concept, I will not continue with this discussion.

  209. No need to repeat basic knowledge.
    Earth is a planet with a temperature of ~275K BEFORE the sun starts adding its energy.
    Of course it gets warmer in the tropics than near the poles, but the sun has to add only ~15K to earths temperature to reach our AVG. surface temperature of 290K.

  210. Ben Wouters, do you really mean that the Earth’s average temperature would be 275K (2C) if there was no sun at all? WOW. Nuf said.

  211. Nylo:

    You make an important point when you say at February 19, 2014 at 2:16 am

    For 400W/m^2 radiation to space, the average temperature will only be 290K if you have the same temperature along all of its surface. Create differences, and the average temperature will drop, for the same total energy output.

    Yes! I have often pointed out (including on WUWT) that ALL of the ~0.8°C in global temperature anomaly can be accounted as being a result of surface temperature changes induced by e.g. variation in energy transport by the oceans.

    The reason is that radiative emission is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature (T) of the emitting surface (i.e. the radiated energy flux is proportional to T^4).

    The energy radiated into the Earth system (from the Sun) has to equal the energy radiated from the Earth system or there will be a radiative imbalance. If there is an imbalance then the Earth’s temperature will adjust to restore the balance.

    Drop the temperature of a km^2 in the warm tropics by 1.0°C and raise the the temperature of a km^2 in the cool Arctic by 1.0°C and the Earth’s average temperature will not be changed. This is because the temperatures of the two regions change by the same amount (Tt = Ta). But it creates a radiative imbalance.

    The imbalance is because the amount of energy radiated by each region does NOT change by the same amount because Tt^4 does NOT equal Ta^4. Hence, the Earth will adjust its temperature to restore radiative balance.

    Simply, moving heat from one place to another across the surface of the Earth changes the radiative balance and the Earth’s temperature always adjusts to restore the radiative balance.

    Richard

  212. Nylo says: February 19, 2014 at 2:56 am
    Ben Wouters, do you really mean that the Earth’s average temperature would be 275K (2C) if there was no sun at all? WOW. Nuf said.

    275K is the temperature of the oceans at ~1000 meter, way below the influence of the sun.
    (unless you believe that the sun can heat the oceans below the surface layer and the thermocline)
    Without sun the oceans would of course cool down rapidly. Again, no need to state simple basic knowledge.
    Il give a very simple example:
    young earth was covered with magma oceans. Lets say surface temperature 1000K.
    Heat loss to space 56704 W/m^2. Whatever the sun could deliver (TSI ~1000 W/m^2 in those days) wouldn’t make any difference at all.
    Presently the temperature of the deep WATER oceans is still ~275K, and yes the sun is now able to warm the surface layer to around 290K ON AVERAGE.
    All interaction between sun and ocean is restricted to the surface layer, which loses as much energy to space as the sun can provide.

  213. Ben Wouters:

    re your post at February 19, 2014 at 3:32 am.

    Please read-up on the thermohaline circulation and amend you very mistaken ideas accordingly.

    Richard

    • Check http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/diagrams/woce/
      None of the basins has high saline water below roughly 1000m.
      Highest salinity is mostly near the surface, where evaporation is high.
      Only near the poles some slightly less cold water is sinking into the deep oceans due to a small salinity difference.
      So pse explain your deep ocean warming a bit more convincingly.
      If you were correct, highest salinity should be in the deep oceans.

  214. Earth’s average radius =~ 6371 kilometres
    Oceans’ average depth =~ 4 kilometres
    Atmosphere average height =~ 12 kilometres

    We do rather tend to fixate on a very, very tiny sub-section of that overall view.

  215. RichardLH says: February 19, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Earth’s average radius =~ 6371 kilometres
    Oceans’ average depth =~ 4 kilometres
    Atmosphere average height =~ 12 kilometres

    We do rather tend to fixate on a very, very tiny sub-section of that overall view.

    Couldn´t agree more. Earth is a ball of molten rock. If you drill into the crust the temperature rises some 20 to 25 K for every kilometre.
    The fixation on the thin atmosphere is unbelievable.
    Thermal mass of the atmosphere is equal to that of about 3 meter of water.

  216. Ben Wouters says:
    February 19, 2014 at 4:55 am

    “The fixation on the thin atmosphere is unbelievable.
    Thermal mass of the atmosphere is equal to that of about 3 meter of water.”

    And then we have to get into thermal coupling and human timescales :-)

  217. RACookPE1978 says: @ February 18, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Gail:
    What you want to look at is the column below called “Direct Radiation Horizontal Surface”.
    Those are radiation received on the equinox for solar radiation at each latitude at noon….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thank you. That is a lot more believable compared to Trenberth’s very unbelievable ~341 W/m^2

    First let me say, I haven’t used calculus for more decades than I want to remember and my college physics courses are just as old so I am more of a lay person trying to get a ‘feel’ for what is going on.

    I do realize the solar radiation is going to vary because of day of year, time of day, latitude, and atmospheric conditions however that variation is a large part of what gives the earth its weather.

    As someone else said Trenberth and his buddies live on a world that is a flat disk always facing a weak star.

    The value of 1150 W/m^2 at the equator at mid day vs TOA for that day receiving 1353 W/m^2 gives a much better idea of how much energy is ‘lost’ before it encounters the oceans at the Equator and is absorbed or reflected. ‘Lost’ is being reflected or being available to interact with the upper atmosphere such as forming ozone. In other words at that latitude at midday the atmosphere is pretty darn transparent especially when you consider the chemical reactions taking place in the atmosphere and the fact that some of the incoming radiation is absorbed and transformed in to ‘heat’ – kinetic energy.

    Trenberth’s cartoon doesn’t even get into the chemical reactions taking place in the atmosphere.

    If we compare the numbers in Trenberth’s cartoon to your numbers, he has 23 W/m^2 reflected by the surface and 162 W/m^2 absorbed or putting their flat disk as equivalent to a horizontal surface at midday some where between Lat_W of 70 to 80. I know I am comparing apples to the stuff coming out of the back end of a pig. However even, I as a lay person realizes the energy that hits the surface of the earth is not immediately re-radiated once the sun goes down else we would be heading towards absolute zero every night.

    In other words Trenberth’s cartoon is using arithmetic, 1364/4 = 341 instead of using calculus as he should. This gives a completely false picture of what is going on.

    (BTW, your answer is definitely a keeper.)

    • However even, I as a lay person realizes the energy that hits the surface of the earth is not immediately re-radiated once the sun goes down else we would be heading towards absolute zero every night.

      It does try, it’s just the Sun comes up before it gets very far. I have found looking at yesterdays rising temp and last nights falling temps as the year progresses very interesting. As the length of daylight to night ratio changes you can see the effect on daily temp. It’s also very illustrative to CS, every night once the Sun goes down Co2 reflects it’s prescribed amount of IR Earthward, and every night the surface cools to a fraction of a degree of this mornings temp, based on the ratio of day to night.

  218. Nylo says:
    February 19, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Ben Wouters, you still don’t get it. You are attributing all of the difference between Earth and Moon’s average temperatures (91K) to GHGs….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually Ben is attributing the difference to the fact that the earth is not a cold solid rock like the moon but a ‘Warm’ planet with internal heat aka a molten core.

    Throws in this graph ducks, spins and runs and then sits back to watch the fun.
    {:>)
    …..
    He has it sort of correct and so do you, since the earth does not instantaneously radiate ALL the energy back to space as soon as the sun goes down. The oceans, 70% of our surface area, act as giant hot water bottles. Also lower atmospheric water vapor releases the latent heat of evaporation as fog and dew moderating night temperatures over a lot of the land surface.

    You can see that in the real world if you look at Day/Night temps in Brazil (humidity 80% with no rain) vs Algeria ( humidity around 0%). SEE my comment

    This graph of the air temperature vs the sand temperature during a solar eclipse in the N. African desert is also enlightening. Air temps are much more effected by the loss of direct energy that the sand is. The air temperature drop is over 12 °C while the sand temperature drop is only ~ 5 °C.

    (H/t to Sleepalot for pointing all this out.)

    • The air temperature drop is over 12 °C while the sand temperature drop is only ~ 5 °C.

      I did this same experiment in the backyard one frosty night, The air dropped before freezing, the grass got a nice white frost on it, but the bricks in the patio never dropped below freezing.

  219. Gail Combs says: February 19, 2014 at 6:42 am
    The massive amount of energy the sun sends into the oceans in the tropics during daytime is buffered in the upper 5 meters or so. The surface temperature varies only 1K between day and night, unless the surface is calm ( no waves) and no wind is blowing

  220. RichardLH says:February 19, 2014 at 5:47 am

    And then we have to get into thermal coupling and human timescales :-)

    The base for our current climate has been laid some 84 million years ago, when the last serious warming of our earth ended. Deep ocean temperatures were ~18K HIGHER than today.
    The oceans (and thus climate) have been cooling down since then.
    Simpletons who actually believe that a few CO2 molecules could cause those high deep ocean temperatures are beyond believe.
    This 18K higher temperatures put the current OHC discussion in its proper place as well.

  221. Mi Cro says:
    February 19, 2014 at 7:00 am
    Richard, My comments were in response to Konrad comment:

    Without radiative gases our atmosphere has no effective way to cool. If our atmosphere has no way to cool, the oceans have no way to cool. They could reach 80C if not beyond.

    I think this is flat wrong, his reason was because without a dipole there’s no way for the “non-radiative” gases to cool, again, all atoms above 0K radiate IR. I’m okay with your comment it’s not an important factor in cooling the planet (we have radiative gases).

    All molecules do not radiate IR if they’re above 0K, they can only do so if they have a dipole, this is fundamental Physical chemistry! Molecules such as CO2 (bending modes and asymmetric stretch), HCl, CO, H2O etc.have dipoles and emit in the IR, N2, Ar and O2 do not have dipoles and do not emit in the IR (not within 6 orders of magnitude of the radiative species).
    You need to lose your mistaken idea that all atoms above 0K, it’s just not true, basic freshman Physical chemistry.

    • All molecules do not radiate IR if they’re above 0K, they can only do so if they have a dipole, this is fundamental Physical chemistry!

      Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of charged particles in matter. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation.

      These atoms and molecules are composed of charged particles, i.e., protons and electrons, and kinetic interactions among matter particles result in charge-acceleration and dipole-oscillation.

      But they do all radiate.

  222. MiCro says:

    “But they do all radiate.”

    Thank you, MiCro. That was my point upthread. Now Phil. is qualifying that to mean ‘radiate in the in the IR‘.

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

    Also, I would like to comment george e. smith and richardcourtney for their explanations. I always learn something from them.

  223. dbstealey says:
    February 19, 2014 at 10:58 am
    MiCro says:

    “But they do all radiate.”

    Thank you, MiCro. That was my point upthread. Now Phil. is qualifying that to mean ‘radiate in the in the IR‘.

    No they don’t, your ‘worldview’ is wrong and that qualification was made by MiCro in the statements to which I replied:

    Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Why wouldn’t the “non-radiative” gases at worst, radiate as a black body to space?

    Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

    All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature.

    Mi Cro says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    The gas contents of a nitrogen bottle will normalize to room temp, the electrons will vibrate based on their temp, and they will radiate black body IR based on that temp.

  224. Gail Combs says:
    February 19, 2014 at 5:49 am

    In other words Trenberth’s cartoon is using arithmetic, 1364/4 = 341 instead of using calculus as he should. This gives a completely false picture of what is going on.

    I think not, try integrating the insolation over the whole sphere over latitude and longitude.

  225. Phil. says:
    February 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    “I think not, try integrating the insolation over the whole sphere over latitude and longitude.”

    Don’t forget the whole 1 year orbital period as well if you do Long and Lat integration – it does kinda matter you know.

  226. Mi Cro says:
    February 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    Phil, again your reply is very enlightening.

    Good, it’s important to get the science right.

  227. RichardLH says:
    February 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Phil. says:
    February 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    “I think not, try integrating the insolation over the whole sphere over latitude and longitude.”

    Don’t forget the whole 1 year orbital period as well if you do Long and Lat integration – it does kinda matter you know.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It also matters whether it is land or ocean receiving the energy from the sun. It matters whether it is sand, rock, asphalt or vegetation if it is land. The amount of heat stored over 24 hours varies with the material as well as varying with the humidity, latitude and time of year.

    The other obfuscation is the amount of upward LWR varies with the temperature which in turn varies with all of the above.

    … The two large energy flows named Surface Radiation and Back Radiation are different from all the others. They are not measures of energy transfers, but of radiative flux (also called forcing). As I have described before, there is a difference between energy transfers and radiative flux. Two objects at the same temperature have zero net energy transfer and as a result, will not change temperature. As the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere above have a small temperature difference (to be shown in a later article), there is little energy transfer between the two….

    From a practical point of view it is unreasonable that the surface of the Earth transfers more energy to the atmosphere than the sun transfers to the Earth. That is really the main problem with the FT08 and any balance that uses radiative flux (forcing) instead of transfer of energy. While the values for flux are reasonable, the idea behind their usage is not as they do not accurately describe the transfer of heat from the surface to the atmosphere.

    That is why it is important to show only NET energy transfers in the Earth’s energy balance. When the impact of CO2 is viewed as part of the NET energy transfers from the surface to the atmosphere, it is only 3% of the total. That is one of the main reasons that the overall effect of CO2 changes are so limited. Changes in CO2 concentration have a very, very small impact on that 3%. That in turn has almost no impact on the global temperature…

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2010/11/the-earths-energy-balance-simple-overview/

  228. Mi Cro says:

    “Phil, again your reply is very enlightening.”

    That sounds like sarcasm to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Phil. has been wrong in the past, and he is wrong now. All it takes is viewing this thread. Anyone can see that Phil. has changed the discussion to mean that ‘radiate’ now means ‘in the in the IR’. But as anyone can see, I never wrote about IR. I simply pointed out that everything above absolute zero radiates. I was right about that, no? That is either a correct statement, or it is wrong.

    As Willis would say: quote my words. Don’t move the goal posts.

  229. dbstealey says:
    February 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm
    Mi Cro says:

    “Phil, again your reply is very enlightening.”

    That sounds like sarcasm to me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Phil. has been wrong in the past, and he is wrong now. All it takes is viewing this thread. Anyone can see that Phil. has changed the discussion to mean that ‘radiate’ now means ‘in the in the IR’.

    Only if they’re blind to the posts to which I was replying, which you clearly are!

    But as anyone can see, I never wrote about IR. I simply pointed out that everything above absolute zero radiates. I was right about that, no? That is either a correct statement, or it is wrong.
    It’s wrong, like most of your statements.

    As Willis would say: quote my words. Don’t move the goal posts.

    So don’t do it!

    dbstealey says:
    February 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    Mi Cro says:

    “All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature.”

    Phil. says:

    “Not in the gas phase they don’t!”

    So even though the molecules are above absolute zero, they cannot radiate at all?

    Pretty clear who moved the goalposts there!

  230. Phil, I will concede the argument if you show me where I limited radiation to “IR”.

    If you can’t, though, you lose.

    Since Phil. avoids quoting my words verbatim like Dracula avoids sunlight, let me help him out here. I wrote:

    So even though the molecules are above absolute zero, they cannot radiate at all?

    My point probably whizzed right over Phil’s head. If he had carefully read what I wrote, he would have understood that I was making one simple point: every bit of matter above absolute zero radiates. I said nothing about IR. And quoting what others wrote wins no points. I will defend what I wrote, and watch as Phil. impotently tries to re-write it. ☺

  231. dbstealey says:
    February 19, 2014 at 9:39 pm
    Phil, I will concede the argument if you show me where I limited radiation to “IR”.

    It was limited by the prior discussion, you came in and tried to change the subject.
    And more to the point, “every bit of matter above absolute zero” doesn’t radiate!

  232. Phil. says:
    February 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    ————————————–
    I’m sorry, you are still wrong and dbstealey is still right. All matter above 0K emits electromagnetic radiation.

    So called “non-radiative” gases such as N2 and O2 do absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation, they are just orders of magnitude poorer at doing this than “radiative” gases with three or more atoms in their molecules.

    This is what leads to molecular super heating of “non-radiative” gases in the thermosphere, these gases only absorb a very, very small amount of IR and are primarily heated by solar UV, cosmic rays and intermittent bursts of solar wind from flux tunnelling events every 8 minutes. However because they are such poor emitters they need to reach a very high molecular temperature to radiate this energy away. Hence molecular temperatures in the thermosphere can be in the hundreds of degrees.

    An example of “non-radiative” gases emitting electromagnetic radiation in other than the IR wavelengths at lower temperatures can be found in the most reliable* temperature record we have, satellite temperatures. These involve passive microwave sounding of the atmosphere. The system Dr. Spencer helped design is reading microwave emission from oxygen molecules in the atmosphere. So called “non-radiative” gases are emitting a very small amount in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is how satellite temperature record is derived.

    *There remains an issue as to whether satellite sounding is “over-reading”. The system has not had multiple re-calibrations focused on ice and snow surface microwave reflection issues. The satellite temperature record shows recent slight cooling, but cooling may be greater than calculated as snow and ice levels are now frequently greater than 1979.

    • Phil, Konrad,
      First let me say it isn’t as simple as I thought it was, and some of the following is a bit over my head, but I think it does explain how a non-radiative gas normalizes it’s temperature in the presence of a EM field, exchanging kinetic energy for EM, and back as needed, and in the process still create a black body spectrum.
      The first link Quantum mechanics of thermal radiation

      The thermal radiation associated with some object is typically described in terms of the “black-body” spectrum for a given temperature, given by the Planck formula. This formula is based on an idealization of an object that absorbs all frequencies of radiation equally, but it works fairly well provided that the object whose thermal spectrum you’re interested in studying doesn’t have any transitions with resonant frequencies in the range of interest. As the typical energy scale of atomic and molecular transitions is somewhere around an eV, while the characteristic energy scale for “room temperature” is in the neighborhood of 1/40 eV, this generally isn’t all that bad an assumption– if you look in the vicinity of the peak of the blackbody spectrum for an object at room temperature, you generally find that the spectrum looks very much like a black-body spectrum.

      How does this arise from the interaction between light of whatever frequency and a gas of atoms or molecules having discrete internal states? The thing to remember is that internal states of atoms and molecules aren’t the only degree of freedom available to the systems– there’s also the center-of-mass motion of the atoms themselves, or the collective motion of groups of atoms.

      The central idea involved with thermal radiation is that if you take a gas of atoms and confine it to a region of space containing some radiation field with some characteristic temperature, the atoms and the radiation will eventually come to some equilibrium in which the kinetic energy distribution of the atoms and the frequency spectrum of the radiation will have the same characteristic temperature. (The internal state distribution of the atoms will also have the same temperature, but if you’re talking about room-temperature systems, there’s too little thermal energy to make much difference in the thermal state distribution, so we’ll ignore that.) This will come about through interactions between the atoms and the light, and most of these interactions will be non-resonant in nature.

      The reason you are confused is that you think that there is no way that atoms will emit thermal continuous spectrum when their lines are discrete. But there are severe constraints on atomic transitions which come from the fact that any atom placed in an electromagnetic field will absorb and emit thermal radiation in such a way that it maintains the radiation in equilibrium. This is Einstein’s A and B coefficient paper, it is how he deduced the laws of stimulated emission, from the paradox you are considering. – Ron Maimon Jul 23 ’12 at 19:42

      Perhaps this will shed some light on the matter. The paper linked there has a full many-body treatment of the problem as well. – Vijay Murthy Jul 24 ’12 at 8:30

      Finally, as a real example, stars radiate most of their energy as black body radiation, some are rather cold, Then there’s the large gas giants made mostly of hydrogen and helium, which I don’t think are GHG’s.

  233. richardscourtney says: February 19, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Ben Wouters: re your post at February 19, 2014 at 3:32 am.
    Please read-up on the thermohaline circulation and amend you very mistaken ideas accordingly.

    You may have missed my reply February 19, 2014 at 4:49 am.
    I’m still waiting to hear how you propose to let warm surface water sink past the thermocline into the deep, cold, dense oceans and warm them substantially, to something like the 18K higher deep ocean temperatures we had ~84 million years ago.
    Perhaps time to amend your mistaken ideas?

  234. I do know about the thermohaline circulation. You’re mistaken in thinking it can warm the deep oceans. No need to believe me, let an oceanographer explain it:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ocean.html

    Especially the part : What about thermohaline circulation?

    The oceans have been and still are warmed by geothermal heat. Presently the 100 mW/m^2 flux is enough to warm all ocean water 1K every ~5000 years. The heated water can not rise to the surface whenever a thermocline and warm surface layer is in place (unless of course you believe in backconduction)
    An occasional magma eruption adds to this steady warming. Think 100 million km^3 for a medium sized event.
    Only place the deep oceans can cool is at high latitudes, where the thermohaline circulation starts.

  235. Ben Wouters:

    re your post at February 20, 2014 at 5:03 am.

    Believe whatever you want. Reality is what it is. I will continue to accept that reality is what it is observed to be.

    And that is my final response to your Red Herring.

    Richard

  236. Gail Combs says:
    February 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    “It also matters whether it is land or ocean receiving the energy from the sun. It matters whether it is sand, rock, asphalt or vegetation if it is land. The amount of heat stored over 24 hours varies with the material as well as varying with the humidity, latitude and time of year.”

    I know.

    It is just that people have a habit of only extending things only just enough to try and prove their point. They never consider how the next logical step might invalidate the ground on which they pitch their flag.

  237. Konrad says:
    February 20, 2014 at 12:23 am
    Phil. says:
    February 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    ————————————–
    I’m sorry, you are still wrong and dbstealey is still right. All matter above 0K emits electromagnetic radiation.

    Really, in which case what is the emission spectrum of Argon gas at room temperature?

  238. Phil. is re-framing the argument by referring to what others wrote. That loses the argument. Phil. is probably used to that.

    Thanks to MiCro and Konrad for pointing out that everything radiates [it's even senseless to say "below 0º" because it can be logically argued that at or below absolute zero, matter cannot exist].

  239. Mi Cro says:
    February 20, 2014 at 7:07 am
    Phil,
    The link I took my reply from was specifically asked about noble gases, and the answer to your question, is it’s a BB spectrum.

    Hardly an authoritative source , but although the question was asked it wasn’t answered! It’s certainly not a BB spectrum.

    • Hardly an authoritative source , but although the question was asked it wasn’t answered! It’s certainly not a BB spectrum.

      LOL, you didn’t even look at the other link did you? You might want to check the name of the author before you declare it non-authoritative!
      The question was about thermal radiation of noble gases, and Argon is a noble gas last I checked. They provided a rather detailed explanation of how it works, as opposed to your “you’re wrong”. You even ignored my real examples! I’m hurt!

      But, I tell you what I’ll take Albert Einstein’s word over some anonymous guy named Phil on the internet :-)

  240. dbstealey says:
    February 20, 2014 at 8:11 am
    Phil. is re-framing the argument by referring to what others wrote. That loses the argument. Phil. is probably used to that.

    As usual trying to cover up for your mistake, as is clear from the quotes the discussion was always about IR or BB radiation. Then you came in and left out that qualifier and now try to claim it wasn’t there in the original posts! Usual prevarication by you, just admit it you’re wrong (as usual).

    Thanks to MiCro and Konrad for pointing out that everything radiates [it's even senseless to say "below 0º" because it can be logically argued that at or below absolute zero, matter cannot exist].

    Just because the same two guys continue to say it without being able to find support doesn’t mean much. MiCro linked to a Q&A site which didn’t answer the question about Ar anyway! Konrad still hasn’t responded.

  241. MiCro,

    Thanks for that fascinating article on quantum gas. I read it all, but I still do not think that absolute zero [or lower] can be reached, any more than one can move at less than zero speed. But I could very well be wrong.

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

    Phil. says:

    “Hardly an authoritative source… Just because the same two guys continue to say it without being able to find support…”

    Funny! Phil. says that Albert Einstein is not an authoritative source! That’s what happens in acedemia: people get cornered into supporting a wrong conclusion, and then they hold that position come hell or high water.

    The difference between Phil. and the rest of us is that we admit that we could be wrong. But not Phil. He’s an academic, and therefore [in his own mind] he can never be wrong! heh☺

    But Phil. is wrong. All matter above absolute zero radiates.

  242. Mi Cro says:
    February 20, 2014 at 10:08 am
    “Hardly an authoritative source , but although the question was asked it wasn’t answered! It’s certainly not a BB spectrum.”

    LOL, you didn’t even look at the other link did you? You might want to check the name of the author before you declare it non-authoritative!

    That link wasn’t in your post that I was responding to. The post that included it was posted before my post concerning Argon, I didn’t see it until I went back to look for it, perhaps it was delayed in moderation? It doesn’t make any difference since it is Einstein’s derivation of Planck’s formula and says nothing about the room temperature thermal emission of Argon! The derivation starts with the following assumption: “Let us assume that the molecule is capable of a transition from state n into state m with absorption of radiation energy; that, similarly, the transition from state m to state n is possible, with emission of the same radiative energy.” Can you justify that for room temperature Argon? If I put Ar into the cell of an FTIR spectrometer I don’t see an absorption spectrum as would be required.

    The question was about thermal radiation of noble gases, and Argon is a noble gas last I checked. They provided a rather detailed explanation of how it works, as opposed to your “you’re wrong”. You even ignored my real examples! I’m hurt!

    In the link that I said was not authoritative they gave several answers to the first question (which was not about a noble gas, and none of them was Einstein). The question about noble gases was not answered! The original questioner recognized the issue of an noble gas at room temperature which is why he posed the question, no one answered him. I’ve already told you why your statement that: “All elements and molecules radiate in ir based on their temperature.” is wrong.

    But, I tell you what I’ll take Albert Einstein’s word over some anonymous guy named Phil on the internet :-)

    As you should where relevant, such as the derivation of Planck’s formula, however that’s not relevant to what we’re discussing!

    • The question about noble gases was not answered!

      It was. The original question:

      What about substances (such as noble gases) which don’t form molecules, how do they emit or absorb thermal radiation?

      The first answers:

      The reason you are confused is that you think that there is no way that atoms will emit thermal continuous spectrum when their lines are discrete. But there are severe constraints on atomic transitions which come from the fact that any atom placed in an electromagnetic field will absorb and emit thermal radiation in such a way that it maintains the radiation in equilibrium. This is Einstein’s A and B coefficient paper, it is how he deduced the laws of stimulated emission, from the paradox you are considering. – Ron Maimon Jul 23 ’12 at 19:42

      Perhaps this will shed some light on the matter. The paper linked there has a full many-body treatment of the problem as well. – Vijay Murthy Jul 24 ’12 at 8:30

      Please note that Einstein’s A and B coefficient papers referenced as containing the answer.
      Second, the link mentions Einstein’s paper on the Quantum Theory of Radiation. Which if you read the page marked as pg 64 you find this about 3/4 the way down:

      This requirement should hold independently of the nature of the molecules under consideration and independently of the frequencies emitted or absorbed by them.

      So Einstein’s postulating that for any molecule their kinetic energy will match the Planck radiation field of the same temperature as described by Maxwell. ie your mystical Argon.
      Following this is this:

      The thermal radiation associated with some object is typically described in terms of the “black-body” spectrum for a given temperature, given by the Planck formula. This formula is based on an idealization of an object that absorbs all frequencies of radiation equally, but it works fairly well provided that the object whose thermal spectrum you’re interested in studying doesn’t have any transitions with resonant frequencies in the range of interest.

      and this

      The central idea involved with thermal radiation is that if you take a gas of atoms and confine it to a region of space containing some radiation field with some characteristic temperature, the atoms and the radiation will eventually come to some equilibrium in which the kinetic energy distribution of the atoms and the frequency spectrum of the radiation will have the same characteristic temperature.

      Which is the same explanation Einstein gives.

    • Oh, and Argon is included in the list of Noble gases, so the answer to a question on noble gases would apply to Argon as well.

      Just in case you weren’t sure.

  243. dbstealey says:
    February 20, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Phil. says:

    “Hardly an authoritative source… Just because the same two guys continue to say it without being able to find support…”

    Funny! Phil. says that Albert Einstein is not an authoritative source! That’s what happens in acedemia: people get cornered into supporting a wrong conclusion, and then they hold that position come hell or high water.

    Really, that appears to be your position here, you made a mistake and refuse to admit your error (as usual). I didn’t refer to the Einstein paper at all, but since he wasn’t addressing the question it hardly matters.

    The difference between Phil. and the rest of us is that we admit that we could be wrong.

    When did you last admit to an error?

    But not Phil. He’s an academic, and therefore [in his own mind] he can never be wrong! heh☺

    But Phil. is wrong. All matter above absolute zero radiates.

    Answer my question about room temperature Argon then, strange that a major atmospheric component such as Argon doesn’t have a spectrum in the Hitran database if what you say is correct!

  244. “””””……Gail Combs says:

    February 18, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    george e. smith says: @ February 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm …..”””””

    Gail, The 342 W/m^2 number is not any mystery, but it is a fallacy promulgated by standard “climate science.

    The basic assumption, is that the earth is a perfect black body absorber (assume albedo = zero for now) and it is also infinitely thermally conductive.

    So the earth presents a circular disc of area pi.r^2 to intercept solar energy at TSI = 1366 W/m^2. (zero albedo)
    That totally absorbed energy is instantly conducted through the whole earth and heats the earth uniformly to some isothermal Temperature. As a result, the whole earth radiates uniformly. being a perfect black body, and what do you know; it has a total spherical surface area of 4pi.r^2; exactly 4 times the area of the intercepting disk. so that is why they divide the 1366 by 4 to get 342 W/m^2 for the average over the whole surface.

    So Trenberth’s physical model of the earth is that it receives, and transmits 342 W/m^2 at any and every point on earth, all the time, even in the Antarctic winter midnight darkness.

    That is a totally ludicrous postulate.

    Now you, being a farm Gal, know all about eggs, chicken / duck / whooping crane / whatever.

    Everybody knows that you can’t cook an egg at the top of mount Everest, even if you let it boil for 20 minutes.

    Some things just don’t happen, in cooking, if you never get anywhere near the required Temperature for the chemical reactions to occur; no matter how long you wait.

    That’s why I flatly reject the hypothesis that earth’s climate is simply the long term average of the weather. NO ! it is the sum total of everything that has gone on so far, including all manner of extreme events, that do all kinds of calamities, that never happen under AVERAGE conditions.

    Now the numbers above all get diminished when you factor in the actual albedo, because clouds prevent all 1366 W/m^2 from ever reacing the surface, only about 1,000 W/m^2 do .

    The single most important effect on planet earth that affects our climate, is that earth rotates on its axis once in 24 hours or so.

    So the earth is NEVER IN THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM. So talking about equilibrium BB Temperatures, for the earth of 255 K or 288 K , is simply nonsense; and until climatists accept that simple observable fact, their “models” will never replicate earth’s climate.

    That’s why I don’t get embroiled in the minutiae of hadcrud or giss or any other purported earth Temperature, because as far as I am concerned, the Temperature is somewhere between about -94 deg C (Antarctic midnight highlands) and + 60 deg. C (maybe more) in the tropical deserts.

    And due to an argument by Galileo, every possible Temperature, between those extreme limits (which can both occur simultaneously), can be found somewhere.

    In fact, you can join those two points of min-max extremes, by any arbitrary continuous line, and somewhere on that line, you will find every temperature between those extremes.

    So playing with “anomalies” in a +/- 0.5 or +/-1.0 deg. C total range, is just silliness.

  245. As for the “radiation” from physical materials; atoms / molecules / whatever , or the absorption of radiation by them, it is well understood, that a single ISOLATED atom / molecule, (meaning isolated from contact with other atoms / molecules) can absorb and emit EM radiation, at some wavelengths or frequencies.

    Since our atom / molecule is isolated, it has NO Temperature; well no Temperature that can be distinguished from zero kelvins. Ergo, classical Physics asserts that it does not emit or absorb THERMAL RADIATION SPECTRA, which require acceleration of electric charges (varying electric currents) in some antenna structure (which may be just free space). The usual model, is a short element of a conductor, along which a time varying electric current flows. Well you don’t need the wire, if you have free electric charges, either electrons or protons.

    In the case where you have a positive charge, and a negative charge separated by some non zero distance, then you have a so-called dipole.

    In the classical physics model, relative motions of those separated charges, radiates EM radiation energy described by Maxwell’s equations of electro-magnetism. Now remember this is true of our isolated single atom/molecule.at zero K.

    Certain frequencies of EM waves, can excite various oscillations of the charges in our system, and those frequencies depend on the possible modes of oscillation that the system has.

    Now when the individual electrons within a specific atom species are involved, we get the very sharp resonances of atomic spectra. This is not particularly related to atmospheric physics of weather or climate, and involves much higher frequencies.

    But what about the whole electric charge of an atom or molecule. We know there is a nucleus containing some number of protons with positive charges, and a like number of negatively charged electrons in a “cloud” quite distant from the nucleus, and sometimes spherically disposed about it.

    The Proton / Electron mass ratio, is about 1836 : 1 . But in the lighter atoms, we typically have also an equal number of neutrons, in the nucleus, and the neutron / electron mass ratio is 1837. Sort of makes a neutron look like a proton plus an electron.

    So the nucleus behaves like a point mass that is about 3673 times as massive as the entire electron cloud, which we can think of as being roughly a uniform spherical shell of negative charge.

    We know that there is no electric field inside such a uniform charge shell. So it would seem, that the nucleus, is not even aware of the electrons around it (in this symmetrical state). So presumably, the nucleus can just wander around inside the cloud. Evidently, the electrons are aware of the nucleus, and they keep themselves more or less where they are supposed to be.

    Now if two such atoms rush towards each other on a collision course, each atom will have a radial electric field due to the point nucleus and its positive charge, and superimposed on that is a similar nearly radial field of opposing sign due to the electron cloud.

    At large distances, the two fields cancel, and there isn’t any field at some distance from the atom.

    But as the atoms get closer, the finite size of the electron clouds starts to matter, and the electrons start to repel the other approaching cloud.

    But virtually all the kinetic energy and momentum is in the 3673 times more massive nucleus, so it goes roaring on oblivious to the fact that the electron cloud repulsions, are slowing them down, so they are decelerating (and hence radiating), and the nuclei, must now move away from the center of mass of the electron cloud, so now you have +/- charge separation, and a non-zero dipole moment (charge times distance).

    The electrons eventually stop (center of mass space), and then start flying apart again (at some angle. Meanwhile, the nuclei keep on going till the get only about 1/60 th of the electron cloud spacing (distorted too). This is root of 3673, and the proton repulsive field is now strong enough to slow the massive nuclei down, so they too must now radiate because of their deceleration, and finally, everybody backs up and the two atoms fly apart. Now in general, the collision is not central, so they will bounce off each other, in some random direction or other, and this uncertainty, plus the Temperature distribution of kinetic energies all conspire to produce the classical EM radiation spectrum distribution depending on the thermal collision energies.

    Now this is just a rudimentary description of how collision induced distortion of otherwise charge symmetrical atoms / molecules leads to classical EM radiation (and absorption too ) at the individual atom / molecule level, but due to the usual distribution of collision energies, in a collection of a large number of interacting particles required, for there to be a recognizable Temperature to talk about.

    No internal electron energy state considerations are required, it is simply a consequence of classical EM radiation of accelerating electric charges, during collisions.

    Now this took me forever to describe and write; but that is exactly how it looks to two atoms colliding at THERMAL ENERGIES where the nuclei are never going to knock heads, and do real physical damage to each other. They have all day it seems to radiate energy during the collision, and they will do it all over again, when they encounter their next dancing partner.

    This process is entirely distinct from the atomic species specific resonances, that occur in atoms or molecules, including the molecular bands of ghgs.

    And two atoms / molecules in collision have no concept whatsoever, of solid / liquid / gas / whatever. Only the collision energies and the rates of such collisions, affect whether the thermal radiation intensity is large or small (emissivity). there aren’t any spectral lines or bands, as in resonance radiation processes, it is a true continuum spectrum.

    • George, the only thing I’d change is this:

      Since our atom / molecule is isolated, it has NO Temperature; well no Temperature that can be distinguished from zero kelvins. Ergo, classical Physics asserts that it does not emit or absorb THERMAL RADIATION SPECTRA

      In the presence of a field of thermal radiation, you can both change and measure the temperature (internal kinetic energy) of a single atom. You can change it because it will absorb or emit energy trying to match the field, and if you have a known field, you can detect the change in the field due due to this effect, and the addition or subtraction of kinetic energy from our single atom changes it’s temperature. Now, this also doesn’t take into account our ability to actually measure such small amounts, so I don’t know if this is actually possible or theoretically possible. This was all explained in the gobble gook I’ve been quoting from. To which I’d like to thank Phil, I learned something new today.

  246. “””””…..Mi Cro says:

    February 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    George, the only thing I’d change is this:

    Since our atom / molecule is isolated, it has NO Temperature; well no Temperature that can be distinguished from zero kelvins. Ergo, classical Physics asserts that it does not emit or absorb THERMAL RADIATION SPECTRA……”””””

    Feel free to change anything you like. So just what is the kinetic energy of an isolated single atom ? What frame of reference does that KE relate to ?

    Temperature is a macro thermodynamic property of large assemblages of many particles in constant collision with each other. Absent collisions, there is no meaning to temperature.

    And I specifically excluded all radiations which result from changes in energy levels of individual electrons, which are a consequence of specific atomic species.

    Thermal radiation pays no heed to the specific properties of any material atomic species.

    Planck’s derivation of the BB radiation law, and the subsequent Bose derivation, do not identify the materials involved in any manner. It is entirely independent of material. Hey it is a complete fiction anyway, since no such thing as a black body can exist.

    I’m not here to tell anyone what to believe or not. But an isolated atom / molecule that has no electric polar moment, such as dipole or more complex, can have no interaction with a general thermal spectrum EM radiation field.

    GHG molecules like CO2 ; … O=C=O are perturbed from their symmetrical state because of Heisenberg’s principle. If the atoms are exactly in the prescribed positions, Heisenberg says their momenta, are unknown to a given extent, hence they will move from that symmetry to some other configuration, and that exposes a non-zero polar moment which can absorb or radiate.

    Non polar atoms / molecules, can only get a non zero polar moment during collisions, and hence would not be isolated.

    But I’m not an evangelist; I’m not concerned by anything people want to believe.

    • So just what is the kinetic energy of an isolated single atom ? What frame of reference does that KE relate to ?

      It’s the same Center of Mass motion of the atomic nuclei that all atoms have above absolute zero. A block of iron has a temperature, as does a block of aluminum, the nuclei are vibrating. Think about why the elements have different thermal properties. And in the example of a single atom, it’s reference frame is it’s center of mass.

      Temperature is a macro thermodynamic property of large assemblages of many particles in constant collision with each other. Absent collisions, there is no meaning to temperature.

      Temperature is just our way of interpreting molecular kinetic energy.

      But an isolated atom / molecule that has no electric polar moment, such as dipole or more complex, can have no interaction with a general thermal spectrum EM radiation field.

      This is wrong, Einstein shows that it’s wrong, go read the link I provided up thread, it’s not my idea, it’s Einstein’s. Basically the kinetic energy of any number of atoms will exchange energy with a thermal field (IR radiation) until they match the energy field.

      The central idea involved with thermal radiation is that if you take a gas of atoms and confine it to a region of space containing some radiation field with some characteristic temperature, the atoms and the radiation will eventually come to some equilibrium in which the kinetic energy distribution of the atoms and the frequency spectrum of the radiation will have the same characteristic temperature. (The internal state distribution of the atoms will also have the same temperature, but if you’re talking about room-temperature systems, there’s too little thermal energy to make much difference in the thermal state distribution, so we’ll ignore that.) This will come about through interactions between the atoms and the light, and most of these interactions will be non-resonant in nature. In terms of microscopic quantum processes, you would think of these as being Raman scattering events, where some of the photon energy goes into changing the motional state of the atom– if you have cold atoms and hot photons, you’ll get more scattering events that increase the atom’s kinetic energy than ones that decrease it, so the average atomic KE will increase, and the average photon energy will decrease. (Or, in more fully quantum terms, the population of atoms will be moved up to higher-energy quantum states within the box, while the population of higher-energy photon modes will decrease.)

      For thermal radiation in the room temperature regime, of course, the transitions in question are so far off-resonance that a Raman scattering for any individual atom with any particular photon will be phenomenally unlikely. Atoms are plentiful, though, and photons are even cheaper, so the total number of interactions for the sample as a whole can be quite large, and can bring both the atomic gas and the thermal radiation bath to equilibrium in time.

      I’ve never seen a full QFT treatment of the subject, but that doesn’t mean much. The basic idea of the equilibration of atoms with thermal radiation comes from Einstein in 1917, and there was a really good Physics Today article (PDF) by Dan Kleppner a few years back, talking about just how much is in those papers.

      I’m not asking you to believe me, but if you think you know more about this topic than Einstein, write up some papers and win a Nobel Prize for your effort, that’s exactly what he got for writings on this.

      The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 was awarded to Albert Einstein “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. Albert Einstein received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1922.

  247. Basically the kinetic energy of any number of atoms will exchange energy with a thermal field (IR radiation) until they match the energy field.

    Actually I said this wrong, it should be:

    Basically the kinetic energy of any number of atoms will exchange energy with a thermal field (IR radiation) until they come into equilibrium with the energy field.

  248. Mi Cro says:
    February 21, 2014 at 6:19 am

    “But an isolated atom / molecule that has no electric polar moment, such as dipole or more complex, can have no interaction with a general thermal spectrum EM radiation field.”

    This is wrong, Einstein shows that it’s wrong, go read the link I provided up thread, it’s not my idea, it’s Einstein’s. Basically the kinetic energy of any number of atoms will exchange energy with a thermal field (IR radiation) until they match the energy field.

    You go and read the link properly this time. As I told you without a dipole there can be no interaction with light, whether it’s permanent dipole or a collision induced dipole that George refers to (very weak). As Einstein points out in his paper (and as I posted for you) his derivation depends on the following assumption:
    “Let us assume that the molecule is capable of a transition from state n into state m with absorption of radiation energy; that, similarly, the transition from state m to state n is possible, with emission of the same radiative energy.”
    Without the dipole that doesn’t happen, Einstein knew this, George knows this, I know this, you and stealey didn’t, but now you do!

    • In developing his theory of radiation, Einstein employed a crucial new concept: stationary states, introduced in Niels Bohr’s 1913 paper on hydrogen. The idea of nonradiating states of an electron orbiting a nucleus could be described as deep nonsense, because, according to the well-established principles of electromagnetic theory, the electron would radiate intensely, emitting a broad spectrum as it crashed into the nucleus. One might argue that the time had come to set aside classical laws, but major features of Bohr’s model rested squarely on those laws. The concept of stationary states was exactly the type of truth-in-nonsense that, in Einstein’s hands, could be used to work magic.
      Einstein’s theory of radiation analyzes the processes by which the energy and momentum states of a gas of atoms achieve equilibrium with a thermal radiation field. His reasoning is transparent and novel. For example, he did not take as his starting the known field for thermal radiation, given by the Planck radiation law. Instead, Einstein assumed that atoms are in thermal equilibrium and then deduced the properties of the radiation field required to maintain the equilibrium. The field turned out to be given precisely by the Planck radiation law.
      From Dan Kleppner’s review of Einstein’s paper.
      The 2 states that are referenced are ionization states, something all atoms have, the key to Einstein’s paper was that photons also have momentum, and can transfer some of the momentum during collisions.

      What I’m confused about is how you think a hot gravity bound collection of mostly non-radiating gas can generate a Black body spectrum, if not in the same way as Einstein described?

  249. I should have quoted this:

    In developing his theory of radiation, Einstein employed a crucial new concept: stationary states, introduced in Niels Bohr’s 1913 paper on hydrogen. The idea of nonradiating states of an electron orbiting a nucleus could be described as deep nonsense, because, according to the well-established principles of electromagnetic theory, the electron would radiate intensely, emitting a broad spectrum as it crashed into the nucleus. One might argue that the time had come to set aside classical laws, but major features of Bohr’s model rested squarely on those laws. The concept of stationary states was exactly the type of truth-in-nonsense that, in Einstein’s hands, could be used to work magic.
    Einstein’s theory of radiation analyzes the processes by which the energy and momentum states of a gas of atoms achieve equilibrium with a thermal radiation field. His reasoning is transparent and novel. For example, he did not take as his starting the known field for thermal radiation, given by the Planck radiation law. Instead, Einstein assumed that atoms are in thermal equilibrium and then deduced the properties of the radiation field required to maintain the equilibrium. The field turned out to be given precisely by the Planck radiation law.

    After typing it all in, I forgot.

  250. Mi Cro says:
    February 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

    The 2 states that are referenced are ionization states, something all atoms have, the key to Einstein’s paper was that photons also have momentum, and can transfer some of the momentum during collisions.

    They can be ionization states, or electronic/vibrational/rotational, they have to be accessible to the radiation, the ionization states aren’t accessible at low temperatures for Argon (~1500 kJ/mole-1)

    What I’m confused about is how you think a hot gravity bound collection of mostly non-radiating gas can generate a Black body spectrum, if not in the same way as Einstein described?

    This is like pulling teeth! ‘A hot gravity bound collection of mostly non-radiating gas’ will radiate exactly as Einstein describes if it is hot enough and the gravity is high enough, room temperature Argon doesn’t qualify!

    • The ionization state doesn’t have to be accessible.

      What about a cold gravity bound collection of gases?
      Let’s see if i can make a picture that you can wrap your head around. Imagine a very very large collection of Argon gas magnetically confined to earth normal pressure, 61F in temp floating in an empty Universe. I assume you can accept this as a possible thought experiment. Would there not be a 10 u IR Thermal radiation field in the middle of this gas cloud?
      No?, What if the field of 10u IR was getting beamed through the cloud of gas, and you changed it from 10u (61F) to 9u(119F), wouldn’t that cause your Argon’s temp to increase to 119F?

  251. I’m quite happy to have anybody, take anything I might write, and rewrite it or remake it in their own words, and add anything, or subtract anything they like. But they should not then ascribe the result to me.

    I choose my words very carefully. When not acting the goat, with all the hilarious things Anthony finds for us, I try to be very pedantic with my choice of words, on science matters. We use a lot of words that have colloquial meanings, that are quite different from their scientific or technical meanings. “Brightness” is a case in point. It is even used by particle Physics people, when talking about the particle beams in their accelerators. Misuse leads to misunderstanding.

    One thing, I am not is a quantum mechanic. I know enough to stay well enough away from it. If I can’t find a rational classical description that “works well enough”, then I like to listen and learn from others. But I do have a degree that has “Radio-Physics” as one of its majors. There was a choice of three physics majors, when I did my degree; so I did all three plus two in maths. Never got to use all of it in industry; but one thing I do know is how radio antennas work. And Maxwell’s equations don’t have any size constraints on them, so the concepts work quite well enough, until you can’t ignore the quantum intrusions.

    So from my viewpoint, even CO2 as an isolated molecule should not radiate, because of its symmetry. But I can see how it can get bent out of shape in molecular collisions, so excitation of the bending mode seems doable. And I suppose that the uncertainty principle ensures that it doesn’t stay symmetrical all the time, so perhaps even an isolated molecule can absorb radiation particularly in the IR.

    But I don’t see how an isolated Argon or other noble gas atom can get enough of a radiating antenna, to be easily excited by other than the usual atomic spectral lines. As for “magnetically” confining one, I don’t know how that works; but never thought about it either.

    The Bohr-Sommerfeld atomic theory, was supposed to send Maxwell’s electromagnetism to the old history books. What accelerating charges radiate ! Not if they are in one of the places I want them to be. I don’t believe that Bohr ever justified his assertion of stable non-radiating “orbits”, just declared it because it worked. I guess QM got rid of the problem, by getting rid of the acceleration in orbits; replaced by location probabilities instead; or something like that.

    So as far as I know Maxwell still reigns, and accelerating electric charges (time varying electric currents) still radiate, and the physical constants, that define their propagation are the only ones in all of Physics, that have exact defined numerical values. ( c and mu-nought, and epsilon-nought ).

    Well (g) has an exact value also, but only in the sense of defining what the words “one g acceleration” mean ; not what is earth’s gravitational acceleration.

    And if anyone wants to assign a Temperature to an isolated atom in free flight in space; if it floats your boat, then go for it. I’ll stay on dry land.

  252. Mi Cro says:
    February 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    The ionization state doesn’t have to be accessible.

    Actually according to Einstein they do!
    “Let us assume that the molecule is capable of a transition from state n into state m with absorption of radiation energy; that, similarly, the transition from state m to state n is possible, with emission of the same radiative energy.”

    What about a cold gravity bound collection of gases?

    What about it without a dipole there’d no action!

    Let’s see if i can make a picture that you can wrap your head around. Imagine a very very large collection of Argon gas magnetically confined to earth normal pressure, 61F in temp floating in an empty Universe. I assume you can accept this as a possible thought experiment. Would there not be a 10 u IR Thermal radiation field in the middle of this gas cloud?

    No there would not be such a field, there is no dipole under those conditions. The radiation from the surface will pass though unattenuated.

    No?, What if the field of 10u IR was getting beamed through the cloud of gas, and you changed it from 10u (61F) to 9u(119F), wouldn’t that cause your Argon’s temp to increase to 119F?

    No, no change at all, get it straight, no dipole – no interaction!

  253. Oh, I know you’re a little slow, so I should add the second statement
    “The shape of a continuous spectrum depends on only the temperature of the object NOT its chemical composition. This allows you to determine the temperature”
    So, I didn’t know how density impacted thermal spectrums emitted from gases, but I was right that Argon will have a thermal spectrum at 25C, as long as it’s dense enough. The part of Einstein’s paper you quoted wasn’t a requirement, but the explanation as to how it does it.

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