New cartoon series on climate

This is an appropriate introductory image to this new series.

Our friend Josh at cartoonsbyjosh.com has decided to launch a news series of cartoons dealing with some of the more absurd issues that have surfaced recently related to Climategate, the whitewash investigations, and other general climatic malaise.

Here’s #1, Josh writes:

I am starting a new series called ‘Fantasy Climate’ where anything goes really. This first one is Phil and Steve meeting at the pub. It didn’t happen, but it should have.

The cartoon is satire, Muir-Russell not asking questions of either Jones or McIntyre is fact.

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44 thoughts on “New cartoon series on climate

  1. And the next one is Michael Mann holding a thermometer upside down yelling: “I told you it was getting warmer”..

  2. If I am ever investigated I want only defense witnesses at my “investigation”!
    I also want someone I have worked with for 18 years on the jury.

  3. Real life is becoming a cartoon we now have nuclear power causing global warming http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article20030
    Fat squirels caused by global warming http://www.aolnews.com/article/squirrels-are-getting-fatter-now-too-thanks-to-global-warming/19563787
    and 1/3 of US counties facing water shortage because of global warming
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/07/global-warming-raises-water-shortage-risks-in-one-third-of-us-counties/1
    The Southeast more vulnerable to global warming
    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100722/NEWS01/7220331/Southeast-may-be-vulnerable-to-worst-of-global-warming-s-effects
    Worse smog from global warming
    http://www.ocregister.com/news/ozone-258829-study-california.html
    and more malmots
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0721/Another-consequence-of-global-warming-more-marmots
    and those are just what I found today on Google News. It has really gotten nuttty out there.

  4. What J.”Trains” Hansen used to sing to Mr.Jones:
    Me and Mr. Jones, we got a thing going on,
    We both know that it’s wrong
    But it’s much too strong to let it cool down now.
    We meet ev’ry day at the same cafe,
    Six-thirty I know she’ll be there,
    Holding hands, making all kinds of plans
    While the jukebox plays our favorite song.
    Me and Mr., Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones,
    Mr. Jones got a thing going on,
    We both know that it’s wrong,
    But it’s much too strong to let it cool down now.
    We gotta be extra careful that we don’t build our hopes too high

    And now he sings:
    They say that breaking up is hard to do
    Now I know, I know that it’s true
    Don’t say that this is the end
    Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again

  5. All it needs is background music from “Spike” Jones Hawaii War Chant
    ♫♫♫So,as the sun pulls away from the shore and our ship sinks slowly into the west♫♫♫

  6. Yes, I think ‘fact’ should be in the title somewhere. I was tempted to call it ‘Real Climate’ but I might just get into trouble.

  7. Go Josh! And as a follower of his Comic Curmudgeon, I can’t say how happy I am to not only learn that he’s in the sceptic camp, but that he’s on this very site.
    Hey, Josh. Maybe you could have a new line of products. Instead of “What would Margo do?” you could have “What would Mann do?”

  8. You are being unkind. If they got their science right, I wouldn’t have bothered with the climate topic, but now I got something to do in my spare time.
    My thanks and gratitude go to Jones, Mann and ‘AGW brotherhood’.

  9. Real life is becoming a cartoon we now have nuclear power causing global warming http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article20030
    ??????????
    Has this idiot forgotten the friction (heat) generated by the mechanical motion of the wind turbine? He mentioned it when he talked about working out but conveniently forgets about it when he mentions wind power? And this guy is a MD? I know science courses are required to become a doctor. How did this guy pass?

  10. Myron Mesecke says:
    July 22, 2010 at 11:57 am
    Real life is becoming a cartoon

    How is it the topological distribution of this life change on earth?

  11. “(Josh’s) cartoon is fiction”– climate hysterics would like to believe that, but in their well-appointed Alternate Reality it has the ring of truth.

  12. Vuk etc. says:
    July 22, 2010 at 11:35 am
    You are being unkind. If they got their science right, I wouldn’t have bothered with the climate topic, but now I got something to do in my spare time.
    My thanks and gratitude go to Jones, Mann and ‘AGW brotherhood’.

    But now THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE !!”
    Do you remember “someone is knocking my door…..”?

  13. Remember the ice age scare, that apparently was not part of popular culture, and did not happen!
    The Clash: London Calling – December 1979
    CHORUS
    The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
    Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
    Engines stop running, but I have no fear
    Cause London is drowning and I, live by the river

  14. Real ale is supposed to be served at cellar temperature which is cooler than room temp but not cold. Remember this if you’re drinking Gruddlington’s old peculiar with bits of twig in it.

  15. Re: Nuclear power causing global warming.
    The writer is a fool, but his argument is qualitatively correct—to a point. The waste heat from exothermic power generation is expelled to the environment and becomes part of the overall thermal “economy.” (Actually, it is probably fair to say that most of the power generated goes into the environment, because a large part of the power utilized is also dissipated by friction, turbulence, etc.) This is also a “problem” for coal, oil, and gas-fired powerplants, even though he pushes them off the stage. The crux of this contention, however, is the fact that the total amount of power production is peanuts compared to natural insolation and is therefore “in the noise,” a fact he does not evaluate by calculation. In any case, the slight increase in outbound radiation needed to keep the planet in thermal balance may be a trifle for natural systems to accommodate.
    This is not to say that it can never become a problem. Krafft Ehrike, the late colleague of the late Wernher Von Braun, proposed in his book “The Extraterrestrial Imperative,” that the growing heat release of a continually advancing world economy may require us to put our powerplants in orbit so the heat can be radiated into space (not into the biosphere) and the power beamed down to the surface. That is quite a ways away, but it illustrates that interesting things can result from massive economic growth.
    As to the friction from the wind turbine? It was only power that was previously in the wind, but now the wind has less power due to the extraction from the turbine. No net increase in temperature, but in fact a reduction, due to the conversion of wind kinetic power into electrical power.

  16. Hey Yarmy, you’re confused – the wood in beer is found in American stuff, not our unique British heritage ales. And they’re proud of it – have you ever seen a Budweiser label? Rice too… anybody know why 😉

  17. Vuk etc. says:
    July 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm
    I was not thinking about the Beatles’ song but the poem:
    “THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

  18. Michael J. Dunn says:
    July 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    If you have seen the “environment” from a plane flying at 45000 ft., what do you see?, any one of those pesky and contaminant human beasts?…None?…where did they go?, are they those colored patches down there, a kind of molds coloring the surface of the earth in a few tiny spots and sharing with molds their breathing of oxygen?
    How can you believe that those microscopic creature you don’t see can make ANY visible harm to the environment?, however you can see big volcanoes, they can surpass whensoever they wake up from resting, a million, a billion, a trillion SUVS!
    The fact is that the Global Warmers egos are so big that they hallucinate about pollution [snip]
    [Reply:] Sorry for the snip, but: Ewwww! RT-mod

  19. Josh says:
    July 22, 2010 at 11:26 am (Edit)
    Yes, I think ‘fact’ should be in the title somewhere. I was tempted to call it ‘Real Climate’ but I might just get into trouble.

    How about ‘Surreal Climate’ ?
    Great cartoon, thanks Josh.
    Now how about Mann yelling at helmsman Jimmy James on the bridge of the Titanic
    “What Iceberg?! Your heat map said they had all melted!!”

  20. @ Yarmy says:
    July 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm
    It should be Theakston’s Old Peculier, my dear chap. An excellent beverage with much to recommend it. Please sully not it’s reputation by including it in such an unsavoury topic as AGW.
    (Brewing ales, both fine and coarse, causes the emission of large quantities of the eeeevil CO2. Shhhhhhhh!! Lest this fine tradition be traduced)

  21. Pamela Gray
    The cartoon is headed “fantasy” – it would be most unusual for Phil Jones and Steve McIntryre to be seen drinking together.
    But the real fantasy was the notion that the Muir Russell panel would make proper enquiries. In fact, Russell did not attend the panel’s meeting with Phil Jones (most of the rest of the panel also missed it) . This was confirmed by the UEA representative at the recent Guardian debate.
    So – Russell did not ask any questions of Jones, which in the cartoon Jones says was surprising.
    Russell did not interview McIntyre either – or any critic of CRU. McIntyre was justifiably critical of this – but maybe even more surprised to hear that Jones had not been questioned by Russell.
    ……………
    (The subsidiary joke is McIntyre saying the beer is warm – in North America their “beer” is chilled. Jones blames the beer temperature on global warming.)
    A cartoon is worth a thousand words.

  22. Ref – P Gray says:
    July 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm
    “I don’t mean to put a wet blanket on the effort, but I don’t get the cartoon.”
    ______________________________
    I tend to agree. It’s VERY deep. Kinda inside, and tongue in cheek too. Sorta close to the vest. I think the guy has talent, so let’s see what he comes up with. Hopefully he’ll be able to cool things off a bit; wet bulb today is going to be 110F.

  23. Michael J. Dunn says:
    July 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    As to the friction from the wind turbine? It was only power that was previously in the wind, but now the wind has less power due to the extraction from the turbine. No net increase in temperature, but in fact a reduction, due to the conversion of wind kinetic power into electrical power.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Maybe this is too pedantic, but how do you get to “a reduction”? It should be a wash – no net change – unless you’re assuming that some of the electricical energy is stored in products like electrolytic aluminium and not returned to the environment. There’s also a very small (and quite insignficant) effect whereby the air flowing past the turbine is at a slightly different pressure – and thus adiabatically a slightly different temperature – than it otherwise would have been. Since the purpose of a wind turbine is to slow the air, then by Bernoulli’s principle the pressure (and temperature) should be higher. However, if the pressure and temperature are higher, itwill radiate slightly more to space, which makes for stronger cooling (possibly stronger than it would have been where the heat would otherwise have radiated from … or not!). It’s not clear what the net effect would be, but it’s surely not going to be precisely zero.

  24. I wish this thing had a preview or edit button!
    “Electricical energy” is clearly the special kind of intermittant stuttering electricity you get from windpower.
    An “insignficant effect” is one where you don’t even know its sign.

  25. This whole thing stunk to high heaven and those media whores involved shunning face to face confrontation with people like Steve McIntyre spoke volumes even the deaf managed to hear. The OJ trial was less racially biased than these enquiries were politically and that will come to light as Mr Simpson found out sooner than later.

  26. Paul Birch says:
    July 23, 2010 at 11:31 am
    Dear Paul,
    My background is two graduate degrees in aeronautics & astronautics (fluid physics) and a 33-year career in applied physics, with a goodly amount of that in thermodynamics and energy conversion. I am therefore speaking as a subject matter expert, not as a partisan.
    In order for power (work per unit time) to be extracted from wind, the total temperature of the airflow must drop (the difference in thermal energy being the work extraction, where kinetic energy and heat content are interchangeable). This is realized by a drop in the velocity of the air in the wake behind the turbine. (The pressure field is essentially uniform, under the conditions of subsonic, incompressible flow.) If this air were brought to rest, and compared to the other air brought to rest, it would be at a lower temperature than the air not going through the turbine. Insofar as generating electricity is concerned, work has no temperature. When it comes to using the electricity, it is possible to dissipate the power thermally to achieve an enrironmental net null result (running a blender). Or the work could be locked up in potential energy (hilltop reservoir) or chemical energy (smelted aluminum), neither of which contribute to environmental temperature.
    Does it seem you are getting something for free? You are! That’s the whole appeal of the so-called “renewable” sources of power. You are, in effect, scraping off a little work from the naturally-occurring streams of thermal power available in the environment. Why are they available? Because planet Earth is a huge radiative heat engine, with solar radiation as the source (effective black-body temperature of 6000 K) and outer space as the sink (effective black-body temperature ~3 K). But the practical problem is that the power availability is dilute, on the order of a kilowatt per square meter. We have better things to do with our time, energy, resources, and environment than (e.g.) plate over Texas with solar cells, when we can achieve the same results by building powerplants that take up only a city block apiece and are conveniently located close to concentrations of civilization.
    Hope this clarifies the relationship between work and thermal energy, and the fact that temperature pertains only to heat energy.
    –MJD

  27. Michael J. Dunn says:
    July 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm
    “… Hope this clarifies …”
    No, sorry, you’ve given a long lecture which as a physicist myself I don’t need, yet failed to supply a direct answer to my query.
    You said, “In order for power (work per unit time) to be extracted from wind, the total temperature of the airflow must drop (the difference in thermal energy being the work extraction, where kinetic energy and heat content are interchangeable).” This is incorrect. KE and heat are not interchangeable (hint, compare entropies). The wind turbine is not extracting heat, it is extracting KE. The temperature in the airflow does not drop. On average it must rise, because its speed is reduced. It does not rise as much as it would if it were brought to rest by purely dissipative processes in which all the energy ends up as heat in the same body of air, but it does rise.
    Apart from subtleties like variations in the timing and pattern of radiation into space (as I mentioned), the only way capturing windpower could produce a net reduction in temperature is if some of the captured energy thyat otherwise would have been dissipated to the environment is not so dissipated but held as, eg, the chemical energy of refined aluminium. I ask you plainly: is that what you meant? If so, fine. Temporary energy storage doesn’t count – it’s still dissipated.

  28. Dear Paul,
    It seems we are an eddy conversation, so I will try to keep this succinct. You are evidently not a fluid physicist. Flowing gas conserves enthalpy, which is the totality of thermal and kinetic energy of the gas. Kinetic energy converts to a high stagnation temperature when the gas is brought to rest (diffusers), or heat energy converts to kinetic energy when gas is allowed to expand (nozzles). It is a fact that these are isentropic processes; we have a century of engineering practice designing diffusers and nozzles in accordance with this fact. Let’s not argue about fact.
    Eventually, all wind dissipates its kinetic energy by viscous processes into heat, so the airflow will come to its total temperature…and mix with the rest of the air. If the total temperature has been reduced by work extraction, then the air will contribute less heat than had it not gone through the turbine. If this were not so, we would have extracted work without changing the energy content of the airflow, which would be the basis for a perpetual motion machine.
    I nowhere said that the wind turbine is converting “heat” to energy; I emphasized the reduction in air velocity. “Total temperature” of the airflow is the temperature the air would attain when brought to rest. This is otherwise a measure of the enthalpy of the airflow. Reduction of the velocity reduces total temperature (static temperature would remain unaffected). Thermodynamic analysis of the flow properties through a jet engine, for example, is conveniently handled by reference to total temperatures.
    How else do you think we ever extract power from natural processes? If I burn oil in a combustor to heat a boiler, some of the heat of combustion has to be imparted to the steam, and the resulting temperature of the exhaust gases will be lower than had I simply burned the oil without running the hot gas through a boiler. Even a hydroelectric dam follows this principle. If I extract the potential energy from the stream of water by a hydroelectric turbine, it will outfall at a certain velocity. Had there been no turbine, work would not have been extracted, the outfall velocity would be higher, and the kinetic energy would ultimately dissipate into heat, making the temperature of the outfall higher than it would have been from the generator flow. On and on, this is the way it works. When we extract work from a process, the flow will be at a lower temperature (ultimately) than had we not extracted the work. The main objective of turbines and other engines is to arrange the thermodynamics of the process so this can occur.
    So, to recap: the wind generation process reduces the air temperature. The utilization of the work so generated may release all that energy back into the environment…but that is a consequence of using work, regardless of where it comes from.

  29. Michael J. Dunn says:
    July 24, 2010 at 10:38 am
    “It seems we are an eddy conversation, so I will try to keep this succinct.”
    Pity you failed. Please stop trying to lecture. I understand the physics far better than you do. Just answer my question.
    “Flowing gas conserves enthalpy, which is the totality of thermal and kinetic energy of the gas.”
    This isn’t what you said. You said that KE and heat are interchangeable, which they’re not. You slipped up in your lecturing. Even this replacement statement isn’t quite true – there are other components of the enthalpy in a flow, such as PE and chemical energy, the latter strongly reducing hypersonic stagnation temperatures for example. It is also somewhat ambiguous; the enthalpy is not conserved within the flow, but over the whole system, which in this case, since we are radiating to space, comprises the entire universe.
    “Kinetic energy converts to a high stagnation temperature when the gas is brought to rest (diffusers), or heat energy converts to kinetic energy when gas is allowed to expand (nozzles). It is a fact that these are isentropic processes; we have a century of engineering practice designing diffusers and nozzles in accordance with this fact. Let’s not argue about fact.”
    Except that it’s not a fact. They can be nearly isentropic, but there is always some loss. There is frictional drag at the boundary layers, turbulence from vortices and thermal transfers to and from the flow.
    “Eventually, all wind dissipates its kinetic energy by viscous processes into heat, so the airflow will come to its total temperature…”
    This isn’t true either. First, even in the natural environment, some of the wind energy does other things, such as blowing sand up a slope, or powering lightning which induces chemical changes in the air and ground. Not quite all of it is simply dissipated as heat. Second, even with purely dissipative processes, the air would not heat up to its stagnation temperature (“total temperature” is an inaccurate and misleading term strongly to be deprecated, since it is not an actual temperature at all, merely a hypothetical equivalent for the total enthalpy), not only because it is radiating and cooling as it goes, but also because much of the dissipated heat (typically around half) is transfered, by the same frictional process, to whatever it is that the airflow is flowing past (eg, the ground). Third, the airflow is interacting with the environment is numerous ways, some of which reduce its temperature (eg, evaporation), some increase it (eg, passage over warmed ground). In particular, the airflow is being warmed by the heat lost to the environment by the consumption of the power extracted by wind turbines. Unless the extracted energy is locked up in a semipermanent form (eg, refined aluminium), the net effect of the wind turbine on the temperature of the environment is (very nearly) nil. It’s a wash. There is no net reduction in temperature.
    Originally you seemed to be claiming either that the use of wind energy does actually reduce the temperature of the environment (not merely fails to increase it like burning fossil or nuclear fuels does), or that a wind turbine reduces the actual temperature of the wind passing it (even though slowing and friction both tend to raise it). However, it would now appear that in saying “the wind generation process reduces the air temperature” you are referring to a purely hypothetical situation in which the energy extracted from the wind is never returned to it, not the real situation in which it (mostly) is. Again, I ask you plainly: is this all you mean? If so, fine.

  30. I apologise for my snarky “I understand the physics far better than you” retort. It may or may not be true, but I shouldn’t have said it. All such considerations are irrelevant. Only the hard science, observations, evidence and rational arguments matter.

  31. Dear Paul (re all the above),
    I’m sorry you perceive my explanations as “lecturing,” but unless I explain, there is no way to answer your objections.
    Let me get a mea culpa out of the way. In my original post, I remarked that wind power generation results in a lowered air temperature. Subsequently, I clarified that to be the total (or stagnation) temperature of the air. The static temperature would not change. My apologies for jumping ahead to concepts familiar to me, but not to the general public. In any case, it does not matter. The effect on environmental temperature is the extent to which the dissipated energy of the wind degrades to thermal energy; if there is less wind energy, there will be less thermal energy, and air temperature at rest is a direct measure of thermal energy.
    Now I stated that flowing gas conserves enthalpy, which is the sum of thermal and kinetic energy of a gas, and that because of this conservation law, thermal and kinetic energy can be converted back and forth. The context for this comment was terrestrial surface air at low Mach number, which is all we experience normally. Potential and chemical energy are not involved (unless the wind is blowing up or down a mountainside, or you are riding outside of a Space Shuttle on re-entry). And, yes, the entropy is conserved within the flow (per unit mass) because it is a physical property. I refer to devices that convert kinetic to thermal energy (diffusers) and vice versa (nozzled), whose existence contradicts in practice your assertion that these conversions are not possible. And they are isentropic to a degree that justifies neglecting boundary layers for most analyses. They are non-isentropic only to the degree that they have boundary layers; the main flow is isentropic. (Since there is no heat transfer experienced through a wind turbine, the process is adiabatic.) What we come to at the end is that you do not argue against any of these facts, but quibble over minor deviations from inviscid aerodynamics. These quibbles make for entertaining repartee between experts who like to argue for the sake of argument, but they do not edify the general audience, which is who I was speaking to.
    Next, you object to the idea that winds dissipate their kinetic energy into heat. There is no way around this one. The winds are set in motion by the terrestrial heat engine; unless they dissipate, they will have to continually increase in velocity (rather like the J. G. Ballard novel, “The Wind from Nowhere”). The terrestrial boundary layer is as much as 2 kilometers deep, so all the wind we see is in the midst of a dissipative process. It is not involved in lighning generation. If you want to allege that all the wind energy is dissipated in building sand hills, well, you are grasping at straws. It is all dissipated as heat because that is what viscous fluids do. They remain in motion only because there is a driving force.
    Total (stagnation) temperature is well-established terminology in aerodynamics, which is why I conclude you are not really familiar with this field. It is a physically definable temperature and is regularly reached in diffusers. In boundary layers, there is a viscous analogy to the diffusion process (not isentropic) and what is reached is the “recovery temperature.” This attains about 80-90% of the temperature rise as for an isentropic diffusion process. It is the reason that high-speed aircraft (e.g., SR-71) are subjected to high temperature over their skins.
    You give a list of reasons why the airflow through a wind turbine would “not” reach a total or recovery temperature condition. These are not relevant arguments, because these same processes would occur had there been no wind turbine. What we are talking about here is the difference the wind turbine makes to the airflow, and any consequence this may have.
    Finally, we come to the issue of “net effect.” My original comments were strictly in regard to the power generation process itself, not to the overall energy economy of which the process might be a part. Insofar as the process goes, it will reduce the heat energy being dissipated by the wind, and thus result in a lower air temperature than had the wind turbine not been there. That is the point of contention, not whether the subsequent uses of electrical power result in heat dissipation.
    Don’t take my word for this; read the text by Liepman and Roshko for a good introduction to gas flow thermodynamics. The moderator has my permission to forward you my home e-mail address if you would prefer to continue this offline (since we are probably talking over most everyone’s heads at this point).
    Best wishes,
    –MJD

  32. @Paul Birch
    Hey Paul, if kinetic energy and thermal energy aren’t interchangeable then how come the brake rotors in a car heat up when you use them to slow the car down?
    You got a graduate degree in physics, you say? And you don’t know about conservation of energy? Fascinating.

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