Kristen Byrnes interview on NPR

16 year old Kristen Byrnes got some national media exposure today on National Public Radio. You can read the article and listen to the story via MP3 here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89619306

You might also want to visit her website and offer some words of support or perhaps a little help towards college:

http://home.earthlink.net/~ponderthemaunder/index.html

Kristen has surveyed many stations in New England for www.surfacestations.org and I appreciate her (and her parents) hard work on the project.

 

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81 thoughts on “Kristen Byrnes interview on NPR

  1. What makes me ill are the posts on the warmer blogs whining about the fact that NPR dared to run a peice about a GW sceptic. Some even claiming that NPR is a mouthpeice of the Bush administration!

  2. I’m also a little surprised NPR put an even-handed story, but note they avoided tackling the issues with Kristen. Wise move.
    I suggest anyone differing with Kristen get their facts in order, and check them twice.

  3. Millions of granolaish Volvo drivers with their radio dial stuck on the local NPR station undoubtedly heard Kristen … maybe she made them think instead of regurgitating bumper sticker slogans … bravo!

  4. Thanks Anthony,
    You would be amazed at the number of sceptics in their audience. I also have to say that even the people who disagree were very polite and (tried to be) constructive. : ) I was suprised that they did not mention the surface stations. We talked about them a lot.

  5. Pingback: Global Warming Hoax « Forty Four

  6. This sums up the general ailment:
    Most of us delegate, decide to believe someone we trust. We don’t actively seek out the other side.
    We all suffer from confirmation bias to some extent. The need to confirm our existing beliefs and to dismiss, without sufficient analysis, those things that contradict. I suspect (hypothecise) that that is built into us as human beings from the time when “wasting time” thinking got you killed. We are far more likely to stop thinking when confronted with alarming threats. Fear inhibits rationality.
    Recognizing that condition is an important step in overcoming the bias; to be open to scepticism, to think rationally and to imagine things beyond our beliefs. In the 21st century, thanks to technology freeing us from a constant struggle for survival, many of us have plenty of time to “waste” thinking for ourselves.
    Bravo Kirsten. Bravo NPR.
    The main quibble that I have with the NPR item is that its says:
    Much of the evidence comes from detailed computer models.
    Only the real world provides evidence. Computer models support confirmation bias. Trust me. I’m an expert. 😉 I’ve fooled myself often enough with my own computer models.
    And we know how “detailed” the models are: Superficial.

  7. I have to say, NPR kind of made it look like it was just one teenage girl against a bunch of people who “know what they are talking about”.
    Mind you, she’d probably mop the floor with quite a few people who claim to “know what they are talking about”, but most people are going to think she is just being an upstart.

  8. Anthony:
    Bernd (18:15:43 above) makes the point about models not being evidence. Sometime last year I attempted to clarify for you the steps in development and testing of models. Since then, there have been a lot clearer discussions on here and the other blogs. Finally, today, Dr. Pielke, Sr. phrased the discussion as it should have been 10 years ago. See Climate Science for his comment on models vs. observations, stated much more clearly than I could ever manage.

  9. Bravo, Kristen! Brilliant work. And the name of your blog is not in the slightest obscure, or obtuse (whatever silly word NPR used) to anyone who knows the first thing about climate. Unfortunately, this leave out the carbon dioxide alarmists.

  10. Bravo Kristen! keep up the good work – love your site!
    has anybody seen this?
    “AUSTRIA: April 16, 2008 – VIENNA – Melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warming water could lift sea levels by as much as 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) by the end of this century, displacing tens of millions of people, new research showed on Tuesday.
    Presented at a European Geosciences Union conference, the research forecasts a rise in sea levels three times higher than that predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year. The UN climate panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President Al Gore.
    Svetlana Jevrejeva of the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Britain said the estimate was based on a new model allowing accurate reconstruction of sea levels over the past 2,000 years. … ”
    A linear extrapolation of 2,000 years of highly variable data? Does anybody have access to the abstract?

  11. If Al Gore and James Hansen won’t debate any PhD climatologists, maybe they’ll be willing to do a televised debate with a 16-year-old? We can only hope…

  12. Whew, Check out Atmoz, he and many of his posters are really blasting Kirsten, It is actually shameful what they are doing. It is even mentioned that Dr. H is going to sue for libel. Just like a good warmer can’t shut up a 16 year old just sue them into oblivion. many are suggesting that she will never be accepted at university except maybe a Christian flat earth type. The rhetoric is truly alarming.
    Bill Derryberry

  13. Kristen, keep up the good work. You are on the right track. The hard part of good science is verifying the data, which is something few so called scientists like to do. Monitor location is highly important as are QA/QC procedures used in the collection and reporting of data. Also keep in mind the heat island effect as it can play a significant factor for some sites that are affected by urban sprawl.

  14. Amid all this applause for Kristen, please allow me to demur.
    I’ve had a quick look at the website.
    Inferring that all climate change, now and in the future, is natural simply because climate change in the past had natural causes (before humans started pumping CO2 and other GHGs into the atmosphere) is faulty logic: the conclusion does not follow from the premises (a non sequitur).
    Kristen claims, among other things, that “this effect [that some of the outgoing radiation is reflected from the top of the atmosphere and back to Earth] has never been measured, only calculated”. This is incorrect. First, Gore gives us a simple version of the greenhouse idea. A more subtle version of this is that greenhouse gases are predicted to affect the radiation balance of the earth by reducing IR radiation lost to space. As the incoming solar component is (roughly) constant, the amount radiated back to the surface increases.
    Now, it is known from observation that carbon dioxide, methane and other GHGs affect the radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere. In particular, radiation lost to space from the 15-micron CO2 band is reduced, and from the 8-micron methane band, corresponding to a lower brightness temperature in these regions. This has been determined from spectrometric (IRIS) satellite measurements begun in the early 1970s. This is a predicted outcome of increasing GHGs and is experimentally confirmed. Spectra from IRIS are frequently published in textbooks. I suggest Kristen consult the texts.
    The interview with Hansen in Der Spiegel has been distorted to make it appear that Hansen was saying sea-level rise now is 1 m/20 years. This is incorrect. Hansen was referring to the situation during the last deglaciation (more than 10,000 years ago). His warning was of the consequences should the same thing happen today. This is what Gore’s film says: not what WILL happen, but WHAT IF this happens. Some people should learn to be more careful about what folks like Hansen and Gore actually say.
    Last, I recommend Kristen avoid the ad hominem. It is bad form at such a young age, and one day the big boys may come out to play.
    I am sure there is more I can criticise, but this will do for now.
    Have a nice day.
    P.

  15. Check out Kristen’s forecasts for 2008 climate.
    http://home.earthlink.net/~ponderthemaunder/id31.html
    I think her hurricane forecast will be way off, but so will everyone elses. The reason being the forecasts for the just ended SH cyclone season being very active were about as far off as it’s possible to be. It was the quietest cyclone season in at least 20 years. The ENSO/SST predictor of cyclone/hurricane activity is clearly being over-ridden by some other effect this year.
    A pity we don’t have cyclone/hurricane data for the Maunder and Dalton Minimums.

  16. Kristen, you could be the salvation to debunking one of the Earth’s potentially greatest financial treats (AGW Panic).
    Go Girl!!!!!

  17. Kirsten There is a lot more data from IPCC sites that shows that the recent cooling is a lot greater than you have mentioned on your site. This is what is going to hammer them
    These are all pro AGW or neutral (called lukewarmers now)…(but run by honest)
    Cryosphere today
    AMSU satellite data
    UAH
    rankexploits
    sea ice index (very AGW pro)
    Good luck. In the end you may considered a hero.
    In the event that the earth contnues to cool as it is now for say 2-3 years there may be many organizations, individuals who will be wanting their money back from the inititiual investment in “Global warming” expect major lawsuits/goverment changes happening then.

  18. peterd
    I’m wondering who it is that needs to hit the textbooks.
    During the last deglaciation period, there was probably 50 times more ice to melt than there is today. Fifty inches of melting snow produces far greater run-off than 1″ of melting snow. So, even if it did get warm, the flowrate from the resulting melt would be far less than it was when the ice age thawed away. You’re comparing a 1/4″ diameter pipe to one that was 6″ diameter.
    Further, what you claim Gore intended to communicate and what he actually left as an impression are completely different. Clearly his intent was to shock the audience. Indeed his film was an abject failure because it was poisoned by his sore-loser POLITICS, and blatant attempts to fan hysteria.
    Finally, that a person would cite Gore in a scientific discussion points squarely to that person’s lack of undestanding of the topic at hand.
    Keep it about climate science. Keep the politics out.

  19. Bill in Vigo:
    I rather doubt that Dr Hansen would hazard such an action as a tort for libel. During discovery, the complete body of his work would be subject to review. On the stand, he may have to have the defacto debate with other climatologists that he seeems to be avoiding.
    The resulting circus may remind people of Scopes v. State, 152 Tenn. 424, 278 S.W. 57 (Tenn. 1925).
    Inherit the Wind indeed!

  20. Some good reasons to be cheerful here.
    Kristen is a young person but is capable of rational, independent thought. She does not follow the herd, which I suspect is what most adults, let alone teenagers, do. Too often I hear young people simply repeating the “we’re destroying the ice caps and trashing the planet” line without bothering to find out for themselves whether this is true or not.
    Also being a young person, she is more likely to be listened to by other young people.
    She has plenty of other interests, apart from the climate issue. This is good: she is thus in no danger of turning into some sort of single-issue fanatic. These, in my opinion, are what the world does not need more of, whatever side they happen to be on.
    Another thing I would note is that the NPR article appears to be equating building energy-efficient buildings with environmentalism. This is a mild example of something I generally find quite irritating – the automatic linking of sensible energy-saving measures with environmentalism and then through to carbon-neutrality. There are good reasons for reducing waste and saving energy (and money) that have nothing to do with melting ice-caps, drowning polar bears or cannibal holocausts. I’m having new loft insulation put in, not to reduce my carbon shoe-size but because my home will be warmer and I will save money. (N.B. if the world is actually going to get a little cooler, this sort of measure could well be sensible anyway.)
    So well done, Kristen! There should be lots more like you!

  21. This is a predicted outcome of increasing GHGs and is experimentally confirmed.
    I assume you are referring to the satellite study that showed a clear increase in infrared absorption over I recall 25 years. This is touted as the smoking gun experimental proof of increased GHG warming.
    Problem is it was almost all by methane. Any CO2 effect was lost in the error bars.
    The experimental evidence says CO2 isn’t causing significant GH warming. Hence the widespread and disengenous references to GHG warming.
    http://www.john-daly.com/smoking.htm
    http://www.john-daly.com/smoking.htm

  22. Kristen,
    This attention is pretty heady stuff, so just one word of advice. Be as skeptical of your admirers and the politicians as you are of scientific hypotheses. Stick to the facts and don’t get into food fights – you won’t be the 16-year-old wunderkind forever and nasty people will be brutal when they get the chance. Otherwise, congratulations on your interview.

  23. this liberal lukewarmer skeptic thanks you Kristin for your work. I enjoyed the interview yesterday morning.

  24. I’ve had a quick look at the website. Inferring that all climate change, now and in the future, is natural simply because climate change in the past had natural causes (before humans started pumping CO2 and other GHGs into the atmosphere) is faulty logic: the conclusion does not follow from the premises (a non sequitur).
    P, that is just a typical AGW hysterics’ deliberate misrepresentation of the skeptics argument, and thus contains its own faulty logic. Today’s climate change isn’t natural “simply because” it always was in the past. You then go on to post a bunch of typical AGW pseudoscientific drivel which has been debunked many times. As for your “quick look”, well, that may be part of your problem. Try looking more, and taking your AGW blinders off. You might actually learn something.

  25. Texas Aggie,
    I agree that would be a true night mare for Dr. H. I have heard of stranger things happening. Can you just imagine if our courts were to find against Dr. H. as the courts in England did against “Dr. Gore”
    I just report what was stated on Atmoz. I very doubt that the good Dr. would sue the 16 year old. warmers hate to be proved silly.
    Bill Derryberry
    Keep cookin’ Kirsten

  26. peterd:
    Your comments re: 15u radiation being reduced need a citation. Water vapor absorbs at this wavelength. H20 abundance is, at minimum 100 times that of C02 and its absorptivity twice that of CO2.
    All radiation in that band, emitted from the ground, is absorbed in the first few hundred meters and converted to kinetic energy.
    Nothing, thereafter, requires H2O or CO2 to reemit preferentially at that wavelength and emission in the far infrared dominates.
    I don’t believe your weather satellites from the 1970s could possibly be relied on for your assertion of any diminution to be at all meaningful.
    Radiation balance? Where in your study of physics did you ever encounter this terminology?
    My, distortion by Der Spiegel you say? What were you expecting, big boy?

  27. Not to mention, are any of her statements truly libelous? If they’re true, then there’s no libel. If she’s taken something out of context, or confused an item or two, is that libel? Hansen IS one the alarmists in chief, so to sue her for saying alarming sea level rise was going to happen would be tantamount to an admission on his part that it won’t.

  28. LOL! Sue her for libel?
    Hansen ought to be sued for fraud and ineptitude!
    Kirsten – don’t let anyone drag you down into the gutter of politics. Keep it about climate science.
    You’re doing great!

  29. Let’s see… if you wanted to discredit AGW skeptics who would you put on the air– a well-known credentialed climate scientist/skeptic or a cute, little 16 year old girl. Hmmm. The not so subtle message is: this is the intelligence level of your typical AGW denier. Don’t be so quick to give NPR credit on this one.

  30. @Bill in Vigo,
    Those posts of mine were made last July. And I would not characterize them as anthing close to “blasting”. I’m not sure how what I wrote could be construed as anything but positive criticism.
    REPLY: I think maybe he followed the “what I’m reading” link to another site.

  31. Hey! Hey! I’m barely a year older than Kristen and I’m an eloquent AGW skeptic!? LOOK AT ME!!!
    Although, admittedly, my science is a little less thorough than hers, my websites look better. Good on her, anyway…

  32. Let’s see… if you wanted to discredit AGW skeptics who would you put on the air– a well-known credentialed climate scientist/skeptic or a cute, little 16 year old girl. Hmmm. The not so subtle message is: this is the intelligence level of your typical AGW denier. Don’t be so quick to give NPR credit on this one.

    Doesn’t seem to matter. The most credentialled CLIMATE scientists in the world have discredited it (Richard Lindzen, William Grey, Vincent Grey, Reid Bryson, Tim Ball) and it doesn’t seem to matter.

  33. Dave
    That may have been NPR’s goal, but when the 16 year old kicks the financially endowed(read their career depends on their being right) climate scientists butt, the tables turn. The effect, desired or not, on my left wing buddies at the office was to come tell me that they now realize that AGW is a complete hoax. “Where can I find out more about that?”
    She hit all the high points too. Tree rings are a better indicator of water level/tree stress than temperature. The hockey stick graph was a fabrication. CO2 follows temperature.
    I’ve got to go get my sweaters back out. It’s going to get cold again tonight.

  34. Evan Jones (17:07:54
    Evan,
    Their audience is 30 million people, most of them dead tired of shoveling snow.

  35. @peterd
    Are you stating that a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere that is emitting IR at 0C has the ability to heat a molecule at the surface that is emitting IR at 15C.

  36. peterd
    “This is what Gore’s film says: not what WILL happen, but WHAT IF this happens. Some people should learn to be more careful about what folks like Hansen and Gore actually say.”
    WHAT IF……….
    If a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump it’s ass.
    Al Gore and Co. are putting wings on a frog viva playstations.

  37. Suing Kristen Byrnes would be the dumbest thing Hansen could possibly do, and he knows it.
    Though such a suit might work out to be the skeptic’s best friend–a modern day “monkey trial”?

  38. For contributions, Kristen’s site says something about “mail.” I researched — seems to be some sort of archaic communication methodology using paper and lots of people running around in funny uniforms.
    I sent Kristen’s parents an email, as I sent you (apparently ate by your anti-Paypal spam filter,) discussing Paypal for the lazier, lesser sophisticated of us.
    Anyway, I’ve set up to make a small monthly contribution to “Watts Up With That?” and would do the same, if it were possible, for Kristen’s site. I really don’t understand why you won’t put the Paypal contribution button somewhere close to your “gadget” button. I’m not going to buy something I don’t need. I would just like to contribute a monthly ten or fifteen bucks, I can afford to part with, toward a work that I believe in.
    REPLY: “I really don’t understand why you won’t put the Paypal contribution button somewhere close to your “gadget” button.”
    I’ve just never been comfortable putting out a beggars cup on a daily basis. – Anthony

  39. Atmoz,
    Perhaps I was a little hasty, but telling a very bright 16 year old that they will probably bypass any good university and attend a flat earth Christian school? That unless she changes there will be no good positions available to her, No good schools, no good research job, and no good grants. All because she is an outspoken skeptic of ones position on a scientific hypothesis. There are problems with this kind of positive constructive criticism. Skepticism is a very good thing, most advancements in history are because someone was skeptical of current accepted knowledge. My concern is about the harsh nature of post and the (almost doom and gloom you will not make it if you don’t agree with us) comments following. I am very sorry to disagree with you but I do. It would be a very good thing if we could all agree but we don’t. Perhaps our world will give us the answers in the years to come. If you take offense I do humbly apologize. Perhaps it is time for both sides of this debate to step back and look at just what we are saying to each other and at a minimum try to read and understand the science, data, and methodology of the other researcher. I read your work some I understand some I don’t but at least I try and I read your conclusions. Some times I agree some times I don’t but that is the way of the unsettled science of climate study. Lets keep the study ongoing and prepare for what nature hands us be it warming or cooling.
    If I met you on the street I would shake your hand and we could agree to disagree. And I would still respect your opinion. I would probably still disagree with it but would still respect it.
    Bill Derrytberry

  40. “I’ve just never been comfortable putting out a beggars cup on a daily basis. – Anthony”
    It’s not a “beggars cup,” It is not a “necessary evil.” Donations provide those who share your passions, but not your skills, the opportunity to be involved. To truly contribute — not just sit on the sidelines with an opinion.
    Google: “global warming” donation
    It is clear that the people on the other side of this debate do not share your compunction. They know and, the people supporting them know, it takes money. After a contribution to their particular battle unit, many sites provide a list of additional recommended allies that welcome monetary involvement.
    If you get a chance, please check out http://www.nonprofitmarketingblog.com/ . Seems to be worth looking at and has links to other related sites.
    If you feel turned off by the Paypal button, do it separately like http://www.climateark.org/ . . . . . which has a non-intrusive “Donate” link to http://www.climateark.org/donate/ . . . . .
    After this, if you remain firm, I give up on this particular horse. 😉

  41. Bill in Vigo (08:42:47)
    After about 500 emails, about 30 schools sent Kristen recruitment letters; about half of those were prominent, including 2 Ivy League schools. There are still over 2,000 unread messages in her mailbox.

  42. Tammy Byrnes,
    I am so proud that Kristen is being recognized and recruited by the “good” universities I pray that she can take full advantage of every opportunity to gain a wonderful education. Thank you for the information. It is good to know that the warmers haven’t the power they try to imply.
    Thank you so much.
    Bill Derryberry

  43. You must be one proud mom, Tammy. One of those 2,000 emails is probably mine, congratulating her, of course. I would guess most of them would be congratulatory, though I’m sure some are negative.

  44. Tammy Byrnes,
    You may want to look into Olin College, a tiny engineering school in the Boston suburbs that started up about 5 years ago. It’s very intense and seems to be very good. Its reputation has now risen to the point where students are turning down MIT and CalTech to come. Average entering GPA is 4.25 (out of 4! Lots of AP courses) I took one of my sons there for a look and the campus is beautiful. It doesn’t hurt that tuition is free.

  45. Hmmm…I was going to post the link to the secret beggars cup, but I see Anthony already made it visible.
    Good job Kristen.

  46. Pierre Gosselin:
    I do not know where you get your figures on ice volumes from- they seem to have come “off the top of your head”, as the saying goes- but according to the IPCC’s TAR (p.641): “Since the Last Glacial Maximum about 20,000 years ago, sea level has risen by over 120 m at locations far from present and former ice sheets, as a result of loss of mass from these ice sheets.”
    Also from the TAR (p.650): “Together, the present Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets contain enough water to raise sea level by almost 70 m.”
    It seems to me that the respective sea-level rises, 120 m and 70 m, indicate that the remaining ice volume is a significant fraction (maybe ~30%) of the original (glacial) ice mass. This seems commonsensical; a significant fraction of the Sun’s incident energy is reflected back to space by ice. This might be suggested by looking at a globe and seeing what fraction of the Earth’s surface is currently covered by ice, but perhaps you didn’t get around to that.
    By the way, the flow rate ratio at given pressure difference, proportional to cross-sectional area, of a 6” pipe to a ¼” is in the ratio of the squares of the radii. This is 576 to one, not 50 to 1. You might at least try to do your arithmetic correctly.
    Last, you object “that a person would cite Gore in a scientific discussion”.
    Who “cited” Gore? I did not cite him as an authority. Remember, it was Kirsten who attacked Gore (and Hansen). I simply pointed out that in criticising someone else for his utterances, it is valuable to keep in mind their words (as distinct from what their detractors imagine them to have said).

  47. Philip_B:
    “Problem is it was almost all by methane. Any CO2 effect was lost in the error bars”
    I am amused that you think the John Daly website is a reliable source of information about the interpretation of spectroscopic measurements of upper-atmosphere GHGs.
    For your information, go to the chapter by J.E. Harries titled The Impact of Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Spectrum on Climate Research, in Meteorology at the Millennium, ed. R.P. Pearce. Have a look at Figure 3 there, which shows difference spectra from IRIS/Nimbus 7 (1970-1) and IMG (1997) data. The difference spectra for CO2 (15 micron band) are certainly distinguishable from noise, as are the methane data. The noise in these experiments is much less than the differences that were measured. A lot of work went into establishing this, but you, like so many other denialists, belittle the honest work of researchers with integrity.
    BTW, I work with the type of instrument used in these experiments (Fourier-transform spectrometers) and I can tell you that the achievable precision and noise of these instrument can be as claimed in these experiments.

  48. Gary Gulrud: you are wrong in almost everything you wrote.
    “Your comments re: 15u radiation being reduced need a citation. Water vapor absorbs at this wavelength. H20 abundance is, at minimum 100 times that of C02 and its absorptivity twice that of CO2.”
    I think you’re the one who needs to provide a citation. I am looking at the HITRAN molecular spectroscopic database and what I see when I look at the region around the peak of the 15 micron band (i.e. 667 wave-numbers) is extremely weak water vapor lines, while those for CO2 (e.g. the Q-branch) are about 5-6 orders of magnitude greater. Water vapor absorbs over a wide region through its continuum, but this is extremely weak. The total continuum absorption becomes significant because it happens over a wide wavelength range.
    Have a look also at David Andrews’ An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics. In Fig. 3.14, you’ll see the absorptances of various atmospheric gases vs wavelength, “for a vertical beam passing through the atmosphere”. That shows that the absorption by CO2 in the region 14-17 microns is practically complete (absorptance ~1), while that for water in the same region is far less than complete.
    The concentration of water vapour in the upper atmosphere (e.g., stratosphere) is not 100 times that of CO2. This is because water vapor drops off with height much more rapidly than does CO2. What is the temperature (typically) in the stratosphere? Are you aware that water freezes at 0 Celsius?
    “All radiation in that band, emitted from the ground, is absorbed in the first few hundred meters and converted to kinetic energy.”
    “All radiation”? Wrong. Even “black-bodies”, which completely absorb all radiation incident on them, at all frequencies, can also emit radiation. Kirchhoff’s law relates the absorptive power of real bodies to their emissive power: good absorbers are good emitters. Not all the energy of excitation is converted to kinetic energy. A certain fraction, depending on temperature, pressure, and other factors, can be re-emitted. The measure of the emitted radiation is emissivity, which for CO2 at atmospheric concentrations, can be calculated.
    “Nothing, thereafter, requires H2O or CO2 to reemit preferentially at that wavelength and emission in the far infrared dominates.”
    The far infrared (beyond ~20 microns) does not “dominate”. How can it? What dominates must be that which most affects radiation near the peak of the spectrum of outgoing radiation. For a blackbody at 220 K (we can take this as the top of atmosphere temperature), the Wien law tells us the radiation peaks around 13.5 microns. The main water absorption bands at 6.3 and 2.7 microns are somewhat further removed from the peak of outgoing blackbody radiation than is the CO2 “nu2” band at 13-17 microns, which lies pretty much smack at the peak. The pure rotation band of water at 20 microns and beyond can affect the Earth’s Radiation Budget (ERB), to quote Sinhal & Harries (J. Clim., v.10, p.1601), from their findings, as can the continuum, but it cannot be “dominant”. How can it? You’re defining “dominates” to make it mean what you want it to mean, as in Alice in Wonderland.
    Gary: “I don’t believe your weather satellites from the 1970s could possibly be relied on for your assertion of any diminution to be at all meaningful.”
    “Weather satellites”?
    Read my response to Philip_B above.
    You regurgitate the notion about CO2 absorption being so complete at surface level it “proves” that added CO2 can’t have any effect. This apparently shows that you have been reading the John Daly website. He picked this idea up from Heinz Hug and Jack Barrett. The idea is wrong, wrong, WRONG. Yes, the centre of the 15-micron CO2 band is close to being saturated at ambient temperatures, pressures, and concentrations, but this does not mean that extra absorption (by added CO2) cannot happen. Simply, it does not happen at the centre of the band; it happens in the wings. First, the centre of a spectral line becomes saturated, then the saturation moves towards the wings. If an absorber is saturated at all wavelengths, we say it is “black”. The wing absorption was known about in the 1950s, and was studied by a quite a few researchers- e.g., G. Callendar, Gilbert Plass, Kaplan, and others but- curiously- it has been forgotten by the denialists.
    I never wrote that Der Spiegel distorted what Hansen said. Read the interview, then compare it with Kristen claims at her website. (If you can get on to her website, that is: I just tried and got an “Overload” message. Try again next month!) It was Kristen who distorted what Hansen said, by making it appear he claimed the current rate of sea-level rise inferred during deglaciation actually applies today. He does not say this. I continue to suggest that it is wise to avoid ad hominem attack.

  49. Another response to Gary: “Radiation balance? Where in your study of physics did you ever encounter this terminology?”
    “Radiation balance”: Have a look in almost any textbook or review article on atmospheric radiation and the Earth’s energy budget. E.g., Section “B. The Global Radiation Balance” in Absorption of Solar Radiation in the Atmosphere, by A. Slingo in Meteorology at the Millennium, ed. R.P. Pearce.

  50. TD (19:13:15)
    “Are you stating that a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere that is emitting IR at 0C has the ability to heat a molecule at the surface that is emitting IR at 15C”
    Oh TD, TD- what are we going to do with you? With your pseudo-scientific language, you probably think you are a scientist. Did you finish high school? The vast majority of atmospheric molecules “at the surface”, namely nitrogen (~78%), oxygen (~20%) and argon (~1%)- someone may like to produce more precise numbers- are not active emitters in the infrared. They are infrared *inactive* and cannot absorb or emit in the IR (except for oxygen, which has weak “forbidden” bands in the near IR). These molecules are “warmed” by COLLISIONS with other molecules, during which energy may be lost from collisionally (or even radiatively) excited molecules. The collision is the predominant process by which energy is exchanged between atoms and molecules in thermal equilibrium. When we turn to purely radiative processes, it is certainly the case that molecules at lower temperatures can “warm” (as you so quaintly put it- a real spectroscopist- which you’re obviously not- would say “excite”) a molecule at higher temperature. A higher temperature simply means a larger fraction of the atoms or molecules are in excited states at any instant. Not all of them are in excited states, however, at any instant, and those atoms or molecules that remain in the ground state can absorb radiation (of the correct frequency).
    Your question is meaningless at another level. It is just not the case that a “cold” molecule of CO2 at the top of the atmosphere can emit a photon downwards that gets all the way to the ground to be “met” by a “warm” molecule at the surface temperature. The original CO2 molecule’s photon would have been “lost” through reabsorption, multiple collisions and absorption/emission processes, which take place, hundreds or thousands of times a second (have you ever calculated gas-kinetic collision frequencies?).

  51. Who “cited” Gore? I did not cite him as an authority. You did, peterd, when you said “First, Gore gives us a simple version of the greenhouse idea.” I guess you “forgot”.
    What if the sky fell, eh, peterd?

  52. peterd:
    I was beginning to think I’d failed to tweak your elevated nose out of joint.
    I’m happy you’ve read climate scientist’s treatments of physics but would refer you to “Thermal Physics”, Kittle & Kroemer, especially chapter 4, on the application of Planck’s Law, the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, and Kirchoff’s black-body equations. This is a standard for undergraduate study of Thermodynamics.
    These three analyses were developed for application to plane-solid cavity measurements at constant temperature. While we allow their use in calculation of solar TSI they are known to be an approximation only.
    Neither the earth’s surface nor its atmosphere may be described as black bodies at constant temperature and calculations using the preceding equations are meaningless, a common practice of your ‘Atmospheric Scientists’.
    And for emissivities, absorptivities, etc., which must therefore be established experimentally, please refer to Hottel, 1942. I believe you will find your reading of Andrews graphs require further investigation as to his source, examination of the scales of the graphs, etc.! “5-6 orders of magnitude greater”, is obviously impossible. You are confused.
    Spectrographic spectral peaks may beguile you but the absorptivity of these molecules possessing spatial assymetries is related to the angular distance carved out in their component displacements. That is why the polar covalent H20 absorbs over a much wider spectrum (indeed 15u is at the edge of of one of its near infrared continua) and at higher absorptivity.
    That being said, the vibrational activity of these molecules in the the near infrared is a small portion of the entire eletromagnetic spectrum and all gases will emit in the far infrared and/or lower frequencies.
    Infact, the abundance of water vapor ranges from 100 to 10,000 times that of CO2 in the troposphere between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn where 85% of solar energy is taken in, primarily by the oceans. The oceans have 2000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Heat transfers are there dominated by evaporation at the surface, cooling the ocean, and by condensation in the high troposphere, liberating heat to regions above.
    The fact that the MSU data of RSS and UAH agree that the low latitude tropopause is not warming, and the Aqua satelliite data that the stratosphere is not cooling leave the onus on you, or bigger boys, to show why AGW should not be abandonded, dropped like the bad habit its become.
    In the process it would behoove you to develop your theories without non-physical inanities like ‘radiation balance’, ‘Earth’s Radiation Budget’, ‘optical depth’, etc., they only confuse you:
    “That shows that the absorption by CO2 in the region 14-17 microns is practically complete (absorptance ~1)”
    “Yes, the centre of the 15-micron CO2 band is close to being saturated at ambient temperatures, pressures, and concentrations, but this does not mean that extra absorption (by added CO2) cannot happen”
    Re: Der Spiegel, of course we knew what you meant, but your umbrage at such a slight is histrionic and your implacable criticism of someone you suppose your inferior (I do not admit this until demonstrated) is small and petty.

  53. “The most credentialled CLIMATE scientists in the world have discredited it (Richard Lindzen, William Grey, Vincent Grey, Reid Bryson, Tim Ball) and it doesn’t seem to matter.”
    Sigh. What a selection! The echo chamber effect at work. You might show up at an AGU meeting and see whose work is actually discussed, though.
    I have met more than half your list. I will go so far as to say that Reid Bryson is a very nice fellow.
    You people are not doing Kristen any favors by encouraging her in thinking that she is thinking clearly. She has a great deal of promise and should get as far as possible from this topic for a good long while and maybe revisit it once she’s in grad school.

  54. Sigh. What a selection! The echo chamber effect at work. You might show up at an AGU meeting and see whose work is actually discussed, though.

    Way to not address the issue. Please explain why these men are not highly credentialed climate scientists. Whether or not you or I have met them is irrelevant, nor what we may think of them personally. I have more respect for them personally than I ever will for Mann or Hansen.

  55. MT: Sorry, no tinfoil mortarboard for Kristen. The article said she intends to put this passing fad behind and focus on architecture.
    Should we know who you are? Possibly an Erhlich protege?

  56. Gary
    Do you think peterd knows about the argo program, 3000 oceanic probes and the cooling oceans? CO2 drives the climate theory dies by a thousand cuts.

  57. You people are not doing Kristen any favors by encouraging her in thinking that she is thinking clearly. She has a great deal of promise and should get as far as possible from this topic for a good long while and maybe revisit it once she’s in grad school.
    Clearly, MT, whoever you are, she’s a lot more clear headed than you are, or ever will be.
    The echo chamber effect at work. Save your tired, AGW alarmist put-downs of something of which you obviously have no understanding, or wish to understand for RC, or dsm, or wherever you came from. Sigh? Really! How infantile can you get?

  58. old construction worker:
    Good point. The AGW theory fails at every point in their heuristics–the fidelity of their teaching illustrations with reality– and experimental results.
    Your addition is of equal importance to all of the satellite atmospheric observations.

  59. Gary, I hope you didn’t give up on me. I found it hard to resist the pull of the beautiful warm weather of my April weekend and get back here to read you.
    Your post nicely illustrates the truth of the old dictum about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. This is a pity, as you actually seem a reasonably intelligent person, who might be able to master some of the concepts we’ve discussed, were you to apply yourself. However, it is becoming tedious to refute the know-nothing “science” on global warming you are dredging up.
    “Neither the earth’s surface nor its atmosphere may be described as black bodies at constant temperature and calculations using the preceding equations are meaningless, a common practice of your ‘Atmospheric Scientists’.”
    To the contrary, no assumption as to the surface & atmosphere being “described as black bodies at constant [do you mean “uniform”?] temperature” need be made. The source function, which can be the Planck function, is modified by explicitly incorporating line absorption coefficients. It is not the case that radiative transfer models require the atmosphere to emit cavity-type radiation. This sounds like Jack Barrett (via the John Daly website?) again. Where do you get this nonsense from, Gary? See Keith P. Shine, Spectrochim. Acta, vol.51, p.1393 (1995), for a refutation of Barrett.
    “And for emissivities, absorptivities, etc., which must therefore be established experimentally [I agree], please refer to Hottel, 1942. I believe you will find your reading of Andrews graphs require further investigation as to his source, examination of the scales of the graphs, etc.! “5-6 orders of magnitude greater”, is obviously impossible. You are confused.”
    You’re the confused one, Gary. I referred to HITRAN for *line* (not band) intensity data in the vicinity of the CO2 15-micron (nu2) band. Those data show clearly that the water vapour lines in that region are 4 to 6 orders of magnitude weaker than those of CO2. You say HITRAN is wrong? Brave boy, Gary. But you’ll need data to back that up. I looked for the Hottel (1942) book you mentioned but could not find it at my local well-stocked university library. Perhaps it is out of date. I did, however, find “Radiation Transfer” by H.C. Hottel and A.F. Sarofim (`1967). I do not believe the data for water and CO2 published in this book (pp.227-233) support your claim. They are total absorption data (as is clearly stated, p.227), and are not spectrally resolved. Instead, I refer you directly to Allen’s Astrophysical Quantities (3rd Ed.). This book is a standard reference for astronomers and astrophysicists. Have a look at the figure on p.130 there. You will see plotted infrared absorption of a number of atmospheric gases, on logarithmic scale, vs wavenumber. The quantity plotted, b(lambda), is the reciprocal of the thickness that would give 50% absorption or transmission, and is therefore directly related to the absorption coefficient. You will see that CO2’s value at 15 micron exceeds that of water by more then four orders of magnitude. For most of the region from ~600 to ~750 wave-numbers, that of CO2 exceeds water by some thee orders of magnitude. The values for water do not equal those for CO2 until a wavelength of 30 microns is reached.
    “Spectrographic spectral peaks may beguile you but the absorptivity of these molecules possessing spatial assymetries is related to the angular distance carved out in their component displacements. That is why the polar covalent H20 absorbs over a much wider spectrum (indeed 15u is at the edge of of one of its near infrared continua) and ….”
    “absorptivity of… molecules possessing spatial assymetries is related to the angular distance carved out in their component displacements” is gobbledegook. You don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s hard, even for a spectroscopist, to work out what you’re trying to say here, but what do you think CO2 is, if not polar and covalent? The most sense I can make of this is that you’re confusing the various kinds of molecular changes that result in electronic, vibrational, and rotational spectra.
    Why do you suppose that I, who practice spectroscopy for a livelihood, have anything to learn about it from someone who can write such rubbish? When you’ve got some real expertise in spectroscopy, get back to me, Gary.
    “ the vibrational activity [sic] of these molecules in the the near infrared is a small portion of the entire eletromagnetic spectrum”
    No, it’s not! The question is about the fraction of outgoing terrestrial radiation, whose peak falls around 14 microns, in the mid-to-far (not near) infrared- try to be precise, Gary- is likely to be absorbed by atmospheric gases such as CO2.
    “all gases will emit in the far infrared and/or lower frequencies”.[All gases? No.]
    “Infact, the abundance of water vapor ranges from 100 to 10,000 times that of CO2 in the troposphere between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn”
    This is difficult to believe, but you keep repeating it, Gary. The saturated vapor pressure of water at 25C is about 24 mm Hg. For 380ppmv of CO2, this makes the volume fraction of CO2 to be about 1.1% that of water. This is quite a lot more than 1/10,000th.
    “non-physical inanities like ‘radiation balance’, ‘Earth’s Radiation Budget’, ‘optical depth’”: It’s obvious you don’t have a clue, Gary. I have failed to convince you about the common use of the terms “radiation balance” and “Earth’s Radiation Budget”. They are stock-in-trade of atmospheric scientists, and their book, but you don’t read those, do you Gary? As for “optical depth”, actually, I cannot recall using the term, but since you’ve raised the issue, I’ll reply. Far from being “unphysical”, optical depth is a precise concept in physics. It is defined as the product of line strength times number density times column length. See, for example, formula (9.2) in “Spectrophysics” by A. Thorne, U. Litzen and S. Johansson. Likewise, the terms “optically thick” or “thin” have meanings relative to this definition. They are part of the stock-in-trade of spectroscopists, but as you’re obviously not a spectroscopist, Gary, I wouldn’t expect you to understand. You can huff and puff all you like, but you won’t blow any houses down.
    “The fact that the MSU data of RSS and UAH agree that the low latitude tropopause is not warming”
    Isn’t the tropopause the region that separates the troposphere from the stratosphere? And if the troposphere is warming (as RSS and UAH show, for the MSU T2 channel), while the stratosphere is cooling, doesn’t that mean that somewhere in between the temporal temperature trend has to be stationary? Oh, but of course, that’s why you deny the stratosphere is warming and claim Aqua supports it. But wait, didn’t you just cite UAH and RSS to support your first claim about the tropopause? What do they say about the stratosphere? Why, if we look at the MSU (T4 channel) data from both UAH and RSS, as summarized by IPCC (in the FAR; see Fig. 3.18), we see that they report stratospheric cooling. This is the accepted result. As IPCC say, “…both [RSS & UAH] data sets support the conclusions that the stratosphere has undergone strong cooling since 1979.” So, are Christy/Spencer and Mears/Wentz saying something different from what they said for the work cited by IPCC? If so, what and where? Why are they right about the tropopause but wrong about the stratosphere? Pray tell, Gary.
    “That shows that the absorption by CO2 in the region 14-17 microns is practically complete (absorptance ~1)” and “Yes, the centre of the 15-micron CO2 band is close to being saturated at ambient temperatures, pressures, and concentrations, but this does not mean that extra absorption (by added CO2) cannot happen”.
    My final words are not directed not at you, Gary, but at the intelligent reader who can put all this stuff about water vapour and carbon dioxide absorption aside for long enough to read and understand the following.
    “In fact, most of the enhanced greenhouse effect occurs not because of changed absorption of radiation from the surface (although some change does occur in the wings of the carbon dioxide band where absorption is weaker) but because as the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the average height (around 6 km) from which carbon dioxide emits radiation to space also increases. Since atmospheric temperature in the lower atmosphere falls with altitude, if nothing changes other than the amount of carbon dioxide, the amount of radiation to space is reduced. For atmospheric carbon dioxide this reduction can be accurately calculated; for doubled atmospheric concentration it is about 4 W.m^-2. To restore the Earth’s energy balance the temperature throughout the lower atmosphere has to increase – hence the enhanced greenhouse effect.” (J. Houghton, Spectrochim. Acta, v.51, p.1391 (1995)
    These are the words if a distinguished atmospheric physicist and knight of the realm. His scientific achievements are likely to exceed by far any of the posters here (I do not exclude myself from this group).
    Cheers.

  60. A tiny correction:
    For “… that’s why you deny the stratosphere is warming and claim Aqua supports it” I should of course have written “…the stratosphere is cooling”. Post in haste, regret at leisure.

  61. jeff Alberts:
    Having said “whether or not you or I have met them is irrelevant, not what we may think of the personally”, you then go straight on to say “I have more respect for them personally than I ever will for Mann or Hansen.” Irrelevant, Jeff? Why do you respect them anyway? Have you met any of these guys, jeff? What’s your familiarity with their work, apart from what you read on the internet?
    But what about these guys? MT did not say they were not “credentialled”. He said that most people working in the fields in which these gentlemen work do not cite their work frequently, or appear to give much credence to their views. This is a quite different issue from that of “credentials”.
    As it happens, I have respect for the views of Reid Bryson, who seems a thoroughly honest researcher, & whose name I became acquainted with at undergraduate level, through an informative and even-handed essay he wrote way back in the late 1960s (when there was much less certainty about some of the issues than there is now). I suspect Bryson is stuck in the 1960s, though I can respect that.
    I also have some respect for Lindzen, who is a real scientist. I suspect, however, that most of the people working in his area agree with him less and less.
    I have little respect for Vincent Grey, a retired know-nothing who thinks he knows everything, trots off to this or that conference to embarrass himself, and whose ridiculous, absurd claims on behalf of the revision of historical CO2 data by the German school-teacher Beck were recently demolished by a couple of University of Otago (New Zealand) chemists in the house journal of the NZ chamists’ society. Please don’t put Grey in the company of Bryson and Lindzen: he’s just not worthy of being put alongside those two.
    Tim Ball is the clown who appeared on the BBC’s Great GW Swindle doco to try and tell people that the “greenhouse” effect of a gas is related to its mass in the atmosphere, and since there’s so much more water vapor than CO2, much less all the other atmospheric gases, well that proves CO2 doesn’t matter, right? The person who believes rubbish like this will believe anything. (See my posts elsewhere here for further explication.)
    William Grey- I don’t know much about him.

  62. peterd:
    While I am not a spectrographic technician, Spectroscopy was the first (and most trivial) physics course I took at college (having two years in secondary school I bypassed a year of mechanics).
    I will endeavor to track down your sources, we clearly do not agree. Indeed, I believe we find each other’s terminology foreign.
    Optical depth, e.g., a simplification following Beer’s Law, is an aproximation avoiding integrations of two dimensions, leading to much shoddy work. I hope your sources do not prove so. I need some time to do this.
    Your assumption of an abundance of CO2 everywhere of 380ppm or that H20’s upper limit is saturation I find naive.
    But at least here, we can talk, re: your last paragraphs on authority, we cannot.

  63. Peterd, the question was about credentials, that’s all. All of those men have the credentials and should be listened to as much as Mann or Hansen, that’s all.
    Why do I have no respect for Mann or Hansen? Because instead of owning up to their mistakes and thanking those who found them for pointing them out, they continue making the same mistakes and insist the science is settled. They’re not out to disprove the theory, in order to test it, they’re out to support a pre-conceived notion. Why, I don’t know.
    I’m not going to argue whether Vincent Grey made any strange claims or not, most scientists do at one time or another, I’m sure. Einstein was considered a crackpot at one point too. Same goes for Tim Ball. Again the statement was about credentials. They’re climate scientists, they know the science, I don’t. You seem to think that because someone is retired that they are no longer relevant. Or is it just because they don’t agree with you?
    Dr William Grey (might be Gray, not sure) is one of the guys people go to for hurricane predictions here in the US. While he’s been frequently wrong, as have just about all of the predictors, he doesn’t buy into the AGW hypothesis. And with increasing evidence that CO2 doesn’t drive hurricane formation or intensity, he’s being proved correct.

  64. Sorry for distracted comments by new father:
    By “is an aproximation avoiding integrations of two dimensions,” I meant ‘simplification to avoid a double integral’.
    I have never seen a derivation using Beer’s Law that approaches a legitimate attempt at accuracy. The absorption coefficient when so calculated may range from 0.6 to 0.8, but this value is arrived at with an ‘optical depth’ corresponding to the entire atmosphere. I suspect therefore, your absurd values for CO2 at 15u relies on such an attempt.
    Whether, in each case, this is incompetence or deliberate deception I care not.
    And this is also the case with the IPCC transfer equations.
    I am happy to evaluate the spectroscopic issues with you, as you seem to feel this is your ‘wheelhouse’ but the remainder is beginning to bore me (look a little further into the troposphere/stratosphere predictions of AGW).

  65. “The measure of the emitted radiation is emissivity, which for CO2 at atmospheric concentrations, can be calculated.”

    ” I refer you directly to Allen’s Astrophysical Quantities (3rd Ed.). This book is a standard reference for astronomers and astrophysicists. Have a look at the figure on p.130 there. You will see plotted infrared absorption of a number of atmospheric gases”.
    You do realize these are very different applications, the latter is signal attenuation for Astronomy. There Beer’s Law is fine, I have no problem. The signal is indeed passing through the entire atmosphere.
    However, if your coefficient of absorptivity for CO2 in the former case is derived from this value, you have a problem. In fact the very problem I suspected. You have not been careful to establish the instantaneous cross-sectional area of CO2 at any given point.
    I will proceed with your sources, peterd, but things don’t look good for you.

  66. peterd (01:59:11)
    I was not attempting pseudo-scientific language, I was attempting to frame my question as clearly as I could, to get an answer.
    What you can do with me is provide answers.
    I post questions here because I get answers and any misinformation is quickly corrected.
    I started off with the simple question of how does CO2 cause global warming
    My search of the net turned up only a cartoon showing the Sun warming the surface which emitted IR that bounced of CO2 in the Sky and back to the surface.
    This was not good enough, so I started hunting web forums.
    Peterd or anyone else feel free to correct any of my misconceptions here.
    I appreciate it and I have no ego to be bruised.
    This is where I am so far with my question.
    The Sun does indeed heat the surface which cools by convection and does emit IR.
    IR does not bounce of CO2, but is absorbed by CO2 (and other GHGs) and the heat is passed on by convection and re-emission of IR.
    Now the reason for my question.
    I have read that heat returning from colder layers of the atmosphere to the warmer surface has a problem with the 2nd law of Thermodynamics (and yes I had to look it up), so I am not at the stage of the surface being heated by the re-radiated IR yet.

  67. Link to paper citing and confirming Hottel in DOD library:
    http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0006675
    Example of Climate Science classic using Beer’s law with invalid ‘e = C(1-a)’ relation for Gas emissivity to absoptivity. This is valid for solids in Kirchoff’s equations, not gases.
    Hottel has e=a=9*10^-4 at STP for CO2.
    http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/rd/162/ibmrd1602L.pdf
    Note k = 0.7 is the value for absorptivity refered to in text but the formulae include another k without specification in the text.
    While more sophisticated than most CS treatments the approach has a number of problems.
    Note also that they are integrating across wavenumbers a successive altitudes without worrying about varying emissivities. They make an accomodation for difference in Pressure but, I gather, assume Temperature constant.

  68. Pingback: Around the world on Spectroscopists » Blog Archive » Fast Tuesday links

  69. You don’t suppose peterd wants me to resume at His Blog? I feel warm-fuzzies all over!
    CO2 has covalent bonds, but the bonds weren’t my point, rather the spatial arrangements of the components and the bonding determines, in this case, the relative degree of assymetry between two otherwise similar molecules.
    The pattern is clear, if unintended: Take issue with some point incidental or extraneous to your adversary’s reasoning to monopolize his time and eventually enhance your self-image.

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