# The Mystery of Equation 8

I’ve been looking at the Nikolov and Zeller paper again. Among other things, they claim to be able to calculate the surface temperature Ts of eight different planets and moons from knowing nothing more than the solar irradiation So and the surface pressure Ps for each heavenly body. Dr. Zeller refers to this as their MIRACLE equation. He says:

Why aren’t you all trying to disprove our MIRACLE equation rather than banging your heads against walls trying to prove or disprove who knows what and exclaiming you have problems with this or that? The question is how can we possibly have done it – there is no question that our equations work – if you haven’t verified that it works, why haven’t you? […] Why aren’t you thinking: “hmmmm, N&Z have given us an equation that lo-and-behold when we plug in the measured pressures and calculate Tgb as they suggest, gives us a calculated Ts that also matches measured values! You can’t disprove the equation? So maybe we are cooking the data books somehow, but how?

This is supposed to be evidence that their theory is correct, and people keep telling me ‘but they’ve got real evidence, they can make predictions of planetary temperatures, check it out”. Plus it’s hard to ignore an invitation like Dr. Zellers, so I checked it out.

Figure 1. These are not the equations you are looking for.

They first postulate something called the “Near-surface Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement” or “ATE” effect that makes the earth warmer than it would be without an atmosphere.

The “ATE effect” is measured by something called Nte(Ps), which is defined and estimated in their paper as follows.

where Nte(Ps) is a measure of the “Near-surface Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement” effect.

Nte(Ps) is defined as the actual average surface air temperature of the planet Ts divided by the theoretical “graybody” temperature of the planet Tgb calculated from the total solar insolation So of the planet. Nte(Ps) is estimated using a fitted function of the surface pressure of the planet Ps.

Let me simplify things a bit. Symbolically, the right part of equation (7) can be written as

Nte(Ps) = e^(t1 * Ps ^ t2 + t3 * Ps ^ t4)       (7Sym)

where “e” is the base of natural logs and Ps is the surface pressure on the planet or moon. There are four tunable parameters (t1 through t4) that are “fitted” or tuned to the data. In other words, those values are repeatedly adjusted and tuned until the desired fit is obtained. This fitting can be easily done in Excel using the “Solve…” menu item. As you’d expect with four parameters and only eight datapoints, the fit is quite good, and their estimate is quite close to the actual value of Nte(Ps).

Amusingly, the result of equation (7) is then used in another fitted (tuned) equation, number (8). This is:

where So is total solar irradiation.

This is their piece de resistance, their MIRACLE equation, wherein they are saying the surface temperature of eight different planets and moons can be calculated from just two variables— Pr, the surface pressure, and So, the total Solar irradiation. This is what amazes the folks in the crowd so much that they write and tell me there is “evidence” that N&Z are right.

Obviously, there is another tuned parameter in equation (8), so we can rewrite this one symbolically as:

Ts = t5 * (Solar + adjustment ) ^ 1/4 * Nte(Ps).        (8Sym)

Let me pause a minute and point something out about equation (8). The total solar irradiation Solar ranges from over 9,000 W/m2 for Mercury down to 1.51 W/m2 for Triton. Look at equation 8. How will adding the adjustment = 0.0001325 to any of those values before taking the fourth root make the slightest bit of difference in the result? That’s just bizarre, that is. They say they put it in so that the formula will be accurate when there is no solar, so it will give the background radiation of 3 Kelvins. Who cares? Truly, it changes Ts by a maximum of a thousandth of a degree for Triton. So for the moment let me remove it, as it makes no practical difference and it’s just confusing things.

Back to the tale. Removing the adjustment and substituting equation 7 into equation 8 we get:

Ts = t5 * Solar^0.25 * e^(t1 * Ps ^ t2 + t3 * Ps ^ t4) (eqn 9)

This is amazing. These guys are seriously claiming that with only eight datapoints and no less than five tunable parameters , they can calculate the surface temperature of the eight planets knowing only their surface pressure and solar irradiation. And with that many knobs to turn, I am sure they can do that. I did it on my own spreadsheet using their figures. I get about the same values for t1 through t5. But that proves nothing at all.

I mean … I can only stand in awe at the sheer effrontery of that claim. They are using only eight datapoints and five tunable parameters with a specially-designed ad-hoc equation with no physical basis. And they don’t think that’s odd in the slightest.

I will return to this question of the number of parameters in a bit, because even though it’s gobsmacking what they’ve done there, it’s not the best part of the story. Here’s the sting in the tale. We can also substitute equation (7)  into equation (8) in a slightly different way, using the middle term in equation 7. This yields:

Ts = t5 * Solar^0.25 * Ts / Tgb  (eqn 10)

This means that if we start out by knowing the surface temperature Ts on the right side of the equation, we can then calculate Ts on the left side … shocking, I know, who would have guessed. Let’s check the rest of the math in equation (10) to see why that works out.

Upon inspection it can be seen that the first part of the right side of equation (10),

t5 * Solar^0.25

is an alternate form of the familiar Stefan-Boltzmann equation relating temperature and radiation. The S-B equation can be written as

T = (Solar / c1) ^ 0.25.

where T is temperature and c1 is a constant equal to the S-B constant times the emissivity. We can rewrite this as

T = 1/(c1^0.25) * Solar^0.25

Setting another constant c2 equal to 1 / (c1^0.25) gives me the Stefan-Boltzmann equation as:

T = c2 * Solar^0.25

But this is exactly the form of the first part of the right side of equation 10. More to the point, it is an approximation of the graybody temperature of the planet Tgb.

We can check this by observing that if emissivity is .9 then constant c1 is 5.103E-8, and c2 is therefore about 66. However, that value will be reduced by the rotation of the planet. Per the N&Z formula in their latest post, that gives a value of about 27.

Their fitted value is 25, not far from the actual value. So curiously, what it turns out they’ve done is to estimate the Stefan-Boltzmann constant by a bizarre curve fitting method. And they did a decent job of that. Actually, pretty impressive considering the number of steps and parameters involved.

But since  t5  * Solar^0.25  is an estimation of the graybody temperature of the planet Tgb, that means that Equation 10 reduces from

Ts = t5 * Solar^0.25 * Ts / Tgb (eqn 10)

to

Ts = Tgb * Ts / Tgb.

and finally to

Ts = Ts

TA-DA!

CONCLUSION

Let me recap the underlying effect of what they have done. They are looking at eight planets and moons.

1. They have used an equation

e^(t1 * Ps ^ t2 + t3 * Ps ^ t4)

with four free parameters to yield an estimate of Ts/Tgb based on surface pressure. As one would expect given the fact that there are half as many free parameters as there are data points, and that they are given free choice to pick any form for their equation without limit, this presents no problem at all, and can be done with virtually any dataset.

2. They have used an equation

t5 * Solar^0.25

with one free parameter in order to put together an estimate of Tgb based on total planetary insolation. Since Tgb does depend inter alia on planetary insolation, again this presents no problem.

3. They have multiplied the two estimates together. Since the result is an estimate of Tgb times an estimate of Ts/Tgb, of course this has the effect of cancelling out Tgb.

4. They note that what remains is Ts, and they declare a MIRACLE.

Look, guys … predicting Ts when you start out with Ts? Not all that hard, and with five free parameters and a choice of any equation no matter how non-physically based, that is no MIRACLE of any kind, just another case of rampant curve fitting …

Finally, there is a famous story in science about this kind of pseudo-scientific use of parameters and equations, told by Freeman Dyson:

We began by calculating meson–proton scattering, using a theory of the strong forces known as pseudoscalar meson theory. By the spring of 1953, after heroic efforts, we had plotted theoretical graphs of meson–proton scattering. We joyfully observed that our calculated numbers agreed pretty well with Fermi’s measured numbers. So I made an appointment to meet with Fermi and show him our results. Proudly, I rode the Greyhound bus from Ithaca to Chicago with a package of our theoretical graphs to show to Fermi.

When I arrived in Fermi’s office, I handed the graphs to Fermi, but he hardly glanced at them. He invited me to sit down, and asked me in a friendly way about the health of my wife and our newborn baby son, now fifty years old. Then he delivered his verdict in a quiet, even voice. “There are two ways of doing calculations in theoretical physics”, he said. “One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.

I was slightly stunned, but ventured to ask him why he did not consider the pseudoscalar meson theory to be a selfconsistent mathematical formalism. He replied, “Quantum electrodynamics is a good theory because the forces are weak, and when the formalism is ambiguous we have a clear physical picture to guide us. With the pseudoscalar meson theory there is no physical picture, and the forces are so strong that nothing converges. To reach your calculated results, you had to introduce arbitrary cut-off procedures that are not based either on solid physics or on solid mathematics.”

In desperation I asked Fermi whether he was not impressed by the agreement between our calculated numbers and his measured numbers. He replied, “How many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?”

I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said, “Four.”

He said, “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” With that, the conversation was over. I thanked Fermi for his time and trouble, and sadly took the next bus back to Ithaca to tell the bad news to the students.

The Nikolov and Zeller equation contains five parameters and only eight data points. I rest my case that it is not a MIRACLE that they can make the elephant wiggle his trunk, but an expected and trivial result of their faulty procedures.

My regards to everyone,

w.

PS—There is, of course, a technical term for what they have done, as there are no new mistakes under the sun. It is called “overfitting”. As Wikipedia says, “Overfitting generally occurs when a model is excessively complex, such as having  too many parameters relative to the number of observations.” Five parameters is far, far too many relative to eight observations, that is a guaranteed overfit.

PPS—One problem with N&Z’s MIRACLE equation is that they have not statistically tested it in any way.

One way to see if their fit is even remotely valid is to leave out some of the datapoints and fit it again. Of course with only eight datapoints to start with, this is problematic … but in any case if the fitted parameters come out radically different when you do that, this casts a lot of doubt on your fit. I encourage N&Z to do this and report back on their results. I’d do it, but they don’t believe me, so what’s the point?

Aother way to check their fit is to divide the dataset in half, do the fit on one half, and then check the results on the other half. This is because fitted equations like they are using are known to perform very poorly “out of sample”, that is to say on data not used to  fit the parameters. Given only eight data points and four parameters for equation 7, of course this is again problematic, since if you divide the set in half you end up with as many parameters as data points … you’d think that might be a clue that the procedure is sketchy but what do I know, I was born yesterday. In any case I encourage N&Z to perform that test as well. My results from that test say that their fit is meaningless, but perhaps their test results will be different.

[UPDATE] One of the commenters below said:

Seriously N&Z are only demonstrating in algebra what has been observed in experiments, that heating a gas in a sealed container increases both pressure and temperature.

OK, here’s my shot at emulating the surface temperature using nothing but the data in the N&Z chart of planetary body properties:

Figure 1. Willis’s emulation of the surface temperature of the planetary bodies.

My equation contains one more variable and two less parameters than the N&Z equation. Remember their equation was:

Ts = 25.3966 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.233001 * Pressure ^ 0.0651203 + 0.0015393 * Pressure ^ 0.385232)

My equation, on the other hand, is:

Ts = 0.8 * Tgb + 6.9 * Density + 0.2 * Gravity)

Note that I am absolutely not making any claim that temperature is determined by density and gravity. I am merely showing that fitting a few points with a few variables and a few parameters is not all that difficult. It also shows that one can get the answer without using surface pressure at all. Finally, it shows that neither my emulation nor N&Z’s emulation of the planetary temperatures are worth a bucket of warm spit …

[UPDATE 2] I figured that since I was doing miracles with the N&Z miracle equation, I shouldn’t stop there. I should see if I could beat them at their own game, and make a simpler miracle. Once again, their equation:

Ts = 25.3966 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.233001 * Pressure ^ 0.0651203 + 0.0015393 * Pressure ^ 0.385232)

My simplified version of their equation looks like this:

Ts = 25.394 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.092 * Pressure ^ 0.17)

Curiously, my simplified version actually has a slightly lower RMS error than the N&Z version, so I did indeed beat them at their own game. My equation is not only simpler, it is more accurate. They’re free to use my simplified miracle equation, no royalties necessary. Here are the fits:

Figure 2. A simpler version of the N&Z equation 8

Again, I make no claim that this improves things. The mere fact that I can do it with two less tuned parameters (three instead of five) than N&Z used does not suddenly mean that it is not overfitted.

Both the simplified and the complex version of the N&Z equations are nothing but curve fitting. This is proven by the fact that we already have three simple and very different equations that hindcast the planetary temperatures. That’s the beauty of a fitted equation, if you are clever you can fit a lot using only a little … but THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT PRESSURE DETERMINES TEMPERATURE.

For example, I can do the same thing without using pressure at all, but using density instead. Here’s that equation:

Ts = 25.491 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.603 * Density ^ 0.201)

And here’s the results:

Figure 3. An emulation of the planetary temperatures, using density instead of pressure.

Does this now mean that the planetary temperature is really controlled by density? Of course not, this whole thing is an exercise in curve fitting.

w.

## 518 thoughts on “The Mystery of Equation 8”

1. Actually, there is a “miracle” here. Willis, you have the string: “too many parameters relative to the number of observations” with the HTML markup for bold displaying, rather than the bolding being applied. How you do dat in WordPress?
Nice summary BTW.
[Thanks, fixed. -w.]
[Reply: Use these symbols: “& g t ;” if you want this to appear: >. (first take out the spaces between the symbols). Use “lt” for the “less than” symbol: < ~dbs, mod.]

2. I truly wish I paid more attention in school. But from what I’m reading here, I can safely say my conclusion is: “That’s going to leave a mark.”

3. I agree. They actually fit their multi-parameter formula to only six planet bodies; two are said to have too little atmosphere. But one of those fitted is Europa. As they found in Wikipedia, it has a notional pressure of 10^-7 Pa. About a tenth of a milligram oxygen per sq m, estimated by spectrum. That is the whole “atmosphere”. And this, they claim, enables them to predict the “climate” to 3 figure accuracy using their miracle formula. Despite the fact that pressure has barely one significant figure accuracy, and the measure of “climate” little better.

4. Hoser says:

Nice. And thanks for telling the whole Dyson/Fermi story. Had a chance to hear Dyson speak, oh, about 20 years ago. Good guy.
I do believe there is something useful to take from this exercise. I haven’t had time to cook up the math, but I am sure there is an important atmospheric effect. If you think about it, an atmosphere must cool hotspots on the surface of a planet and warm the cool spots. It will effectively prevent rapid re-radiation of incoming energy, and will lead to the accumulation of thermal energy in the surface. Sufficient atmosphere will delay the reradiation of energy back to space. When energy is retained until the next day, the surface will be warmer, and it will continue to get warmer until the surface is warm enough to reradiate over the entire day/night cycle an amount of energy equivalent to what it takes in during the day.
Here’s a question in the spirit of your post: How many characters are displayed as text adding up all pages available in WUWT?

5. Philip Finck says:

You were very polite to N&Z.

6. wayne says:

Darn Willis, you moved to a new thread. Here’s something to help your problem with the calculus of equations 4 & 5 and your attempt to word it correctly to your Mathematica model program:
A spherical integration of the per-point average temperature field:
T.gb = ¼π ∫[0, 2π] ∫[0,1] T.i dμ dφ
or even clearer:
T.gb = ½ * ½π ∫[0, 2π] ∫[0,1] T.i dμ dφ
As for μ = cos(θ.i), this will only need to be evaluated at two locations, 0 & π/2; first is when the sun is directly above and the second at the 360° terminator that is 90° from the first. So the ultimate results of these two evaluations are cos(0)=1 & cos(π/2)=0.
T.gb = ½ * ½π * ∫[0,2π] ∫[0,1] root4( S.0 (1-α.0) μ / (εσ) ) dμ dφ
T.gb = ½ * ½π * root4(S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ)) ∫[0,2π] ∫[0,1] μ^(1/4) dμ dφ
First integrate ∫ [0,1] μ^(1/4) dμ:
= 4/5 * ( cos(0)^(5/4) – cos(π/2)^(5/4) )
= 4/5 * ( 1^(5/4) – 0^(5/4) )
= 4/5 * 1^(5/4)
= 4/5
Giving:
T.gb = 4/5 * ½ * ½π * root4(S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ)) ∫[0,2π] 1 dφ
T.gb = 4/5 * ½ * ½π * root4(S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ)) ∫[0,2π] dφ
Next integrate ∫[0,2π] 1 dφ
2π*1 – 0*1

T.gb = 2π * 4/5 * ½ * ½π root4(S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ)) * 1
Simplifying:
T.gb = 8π/20π root4(S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ))
T.gb = 2/5 root4(S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ))
or
T.gb = 2/5 (S.0(1-α.0)/(εσ))^0.25
That is the final closed form equation given by Drs. Nikolov and Zeller.

7. Seems to me a planet with an atmosphere is actually a black body. By that I mean from the point where the atmopshere ends and becomes space where all radiation from the sun entering it is absorbed.
Clouds and rocks and ice are way inside the internals of a planet with an atmosphere so effectively there is no albedo effect preventing all solar radiation from entering and “heating” the planet’s atmosphere.
The ideal gas law holds good in my “it seems to me” opinion. As for so called “Green house” gases do they not simply help to spread the heat out more evenly/quickly with their radiative properties, such as an increase in CO2 in the Northern Hemisphere making the Arctic a bit warmer and the lower Northern lattitudes a bit cooler but the average mean remains the same?

8. Willis Eschenbach says:

Philip Finck says:
January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm

You were very polite to N&Z.

Hey, I’m a reformed cowboy, and I’m working on reforming some more. Gotta say it’s a sight harder than it looks. However, at the urging of both my friends and my scientific opponents, I’ve been cutting back. In that spirit, I redacted some of my more memorable phrases before publication. And despite the loss to the colorful nature of my general reportage, I suspect that in this case they are right.
w.

9. Steve O says:

I also have a miracle equation.

10. oMan says:

Nicely done. The equations are subjected to steady heat to drive off the vapor, revealing a well-boiled bootstrap.

11. DRE says:

The right answer for the wrong reason is ALWAYS the wrong answer. (Used to teach cal. based Physics)

12. I suggest that to expect any reasonable statistical significance in a curve fit, you should have at least five times as many degrees of freedom (data points) as you have factors (parameters). You will always get a perfect fit when the degrees of freedom matches the number of factors. Years ago I heard a person proudly present a paper that did just that.

13. eyesonu says:

Sounds good to me. I will await the coming comments.

14. F. Ross says:

Willis of Ockham?

15. jimmi_the_dalek says:

When I saw that MIRACLE quote in the other thread, I was (almost) sure it was a joke on somebody’s part. If it was actually from the real Zeller, then I think he just disqualified himself.
Wayne,
The problems with the integration occur before the steps you describe – it is the variable substitution mu = cos(theta) which is dubious. Simply try comparing
the integral of mu^0.25 on [0,1]
with the integral of cos(theta)^0.25 on [0, pi/2]
and see what you get.

16. @ Willis
> There is, of course, a technical term for what they have done,
> as there are no new mistakes under the sun. It is called “overfitting”.
I think you’re looking at this in the wrong way. You say ‘overfitting’, which suggests they are somehow dishonestly trying to ‘cook’ a formula to fit 8 examples.
I don’t think N&K (Ned&Karl) are dishonest. In fact, I think they are merely learning the relationships between pressure induced and radiative warming by trying to fit the set of parameters to a regression equation.
“Learning is compression” in the sense that they want to find the smallest set of parameters which fit the data. I.e Occam’s Razor: if two regressions, one with 5 parameters and another with 5000 parameters, both fit the data, which is better? Ans: keep it as simple as possible (but not too simple).
You’re also missing the main point:
“Pressure by itself is not a source of energy! Instead, it enhances (amplifies) the energy supplied by an external source such as the Sun through density-dependent rates of molecular collision. This relative enhancement only manifests as an actual energy in the presence of external heating. “
Look at my response to Tallbloke and GeoSmith …
… particular the derivation of the Ideal Gas Law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law#Derivations
Note that the temperature T of a system in equilibrium can be computed from the just kinetic energy of the moving gas particles and their mutual collisions (density, implying pressure). We don’t need to know the radiative aspects of the system to compute the temperature! What part of the Ideal Gas Law do you not understand here?
So, having computed the temperature T we can then ask the question: where did the kinetic energy come from? Probably from solar heat energy absorbed by the surface.
But the point is we don’t need to know where the energy came from. Temperature T is soley dependent upon the internal kinetic energy of the gas and its density.
No change in pressure required. Yes, a pressure “gradient” necessarily exists on all planets with atmospheres, but that is accidental in the sense that even the gradient itself is not required to understand that at any point x,y,z the temperature is solely a function of kinetic energy and transfer of momentum by collisions.
N&K further make the claims that show no pressure change is needed
“In the case of an isobaric process, where pressure is constant and independent of temperature such as the one operating at the Earth surface, it is the physical force of atmospheric pressure that can only fully explain the observed near-surface thermal enhancement (NTE). “
Isobaric?
Yes, if you choose a long-enough time scale:
“the near-surface atmospheric dynamics can safely be assumed to be governed (over non-geological time scales) by nearly isobaric processes on average, i.e. operating under constant pressure. This isobaric nature of tropospheric thermodynamics implies that the average atmospheric volume varies in a fixed proportion to changes in the mean surface air temperature following the Charles/Gay-Lussac Law, i.e. Ts/V = const. “
Willis, please think about it some more before summarily rejecting it as nonsense.

17. Bob says:

“Figure 1. These are not the equations you are looking for.”
That’s hilarious!

18. GeoLurking says:

And that is why I keep coming here.
Bravo!

19. jimmi_the_dalek says:

This whole thing reminds me of a problem I have seen in other areas of science. Basically the scenario goes like this:
1) First make a really poor estimate of some physical quantity
2) Compare your estimate with reality, and you find there is a large difference!
3) Claim that the difference is not just the error in your calculations, but is actually due to a real hitherto unsuspected effect.
4) Announce you have found something new and important.
(and before anyone adds the obvious comment – yes, some parts of ‘standard’ AGW theory seems to suffer from that condition as well)

20. JimOfCP says:

“With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” — John von Neumann

21. Jeremy says:

Yawn. It is sad, Willis, that you have to go to such great lengths to point out the obvious.
So the gist is N&Z have demonstrated that a fifth degree polynomial will fit exactly and perfectly 6 points (or something like that)?
MIRACLE indeed. ROFL.

22. jorgekafkazar says:

jimmi_the_dalek says: “When I saw that MIRACLE quote in the other thread, I was (almost) sure it was a joke on somebody’s part. If it was actually from the real Zeller, then I think he just disqualified himself.”
Yes, “MIRACLE” does not engender confidence, does it? In fact, if I’d seen that first, I wouldn’t have read any further. And I suspect the statistical tests will be similarly discouraging, given the presence of exponentials in the “curve fit.”

23. JamesD says:

Ts = (Ts/Tgb) * Tgb

24. Randy says:

Very entertaining. And truly not all that complex of an analysis such that even a lowly chemist could follow along.
I suspect the AGW model maths follow along these lines also. The ole self fulfilling prophecy.

25. Joel Shore says:

Willis:
I definitely am in agreement with what you say here. It is bizarre that they actually claim their fit as some sort of miracle!
The one comment I would make is I think that what your last part before the conclusion shows is simply that “t5” probably wasn’t a free parameter but was determined by them through their equation for T_sb. At least, that is what I assume that they did…although, who knows, maybe they tried to fit it! I wouldn’t put it past them.

26. Joe Born says:

If memory serves, when I reached essentially the same conclusion a couple of weeks ago, I found that even the “fitted” curve was not as good as it initially appeared if you put it on a log-log plot. I haven’t re-run the plot, but my recollection is that a couple of the bodies fall of the graph then.

27. JimOfCP says:

Please don’t post the von neumann quote. I didn’t see it in the article until a bit later.
[Done. -w]

28. Equation 8 is not (I think) a fitted equation. It’s their equation 2, using (for all planets) their modified earth albedo, and emissivity close to 1. So they only(!) have four parameters to find some functional form fitting their six points.

29. Warren in Minnesota says:

Determining the temperature of an atmosphere using the Ideal Gas Law as mentioned by John Day or using the Boltzman Constant with volume and pressure gives the approximate temperatures for Venus, the Earth, and Mars.

30. Spector says:

The only pressure relationship that would make any sense to me would be that due to the increased partial pressure of greenhouse or infrared absorbing gases in the atmosphere. It would seem reasonable that the planetary surfaces would tend to become warmer as the atmosphere became more dense due to increased net IR absorption overhead. The effect would likely be logarithmic, like increasing concentration, which also increases the net mass of greenhouse gas above.
This effect would probably be complicated by the special attractive properties of polar water molecules if they were present.

31. JamesD said @ January 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Ts = (Ts/Tgb) * Tgb

Yup! By Willis Eschenbach who seems to be suggesting the paper needs some revision 😉

32. Terry says:

One query that is related to Wilis analysis is that I suspect that most of the planetary temperatures have been determined spectroscopically. Which means that you will always end up with a SB distribution when fitting a curve, ie it is a circular argument. I aksed Nic about the temperature methods for the planets he used over at Spencer’s but he may have missed it.

33. wayne says:

jimmi_the_dalek says:
January 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm
“really poor estimate of some physical quantity”
Your are speaking of all of NASA’s data, right jimmi?

34. noaaprogrammer says:

For those planets that have molten cores, the amount of heat flux at the planet’s surface due to its interior depends on the ratio of the planet’s surface area to its total volume. Would that have a significant effect on the surface temp for some of the smaller planets?

35. I’m amazed that most of you (including Willis) think that fitting a smooth (“natural”) curve with a few parameters is ‘overfitting’.
FYI, ‘overfitting’ happens when your regression produces an “unnatural” curves (i.e. full of ‘wiggles’).
Here’s a good example of overfitting:
http://www.gch.ulaval.ca/nnfit/english/man/nnfit2_man.html#surappr
Now look at the N&Z curve again and note how natural it appears. No wiggles. I.e. it matches the underlying physical process. This is a “good” regression, not overfitting.
😐

36. dp says:

Something someone is sure of is wrong.

37. Terry says:

My applogies, I meant Ned not Nic in my earlier post.

38. jimmi_the_dalek says:

“Your are speaking of all of NASA’s data, right jimmi?”
No, but I am thinking of some of their computer models….

39. Willis Eschenbach says:

Nick Stokes says:
January 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Equation 8 is not (I think) a fitted equation. It’s their equation 2, using (for all planets) their modified earth albedo, and emissivity close to 1. So they only(!) have four parameters to find some functional form fitting their six points.

Interesting thought. I just looked to see. If so, they are using an emissivity of about 0.95, so that’s possible. What argues against it is that I doubt they realized that’s what they were doing. Also, to pull out all of the variables and constants (albedo, emissivity, S-V constant) into one single factor … what would be the reason to do that?
In any case, as you say … down to only(?) four parameters.
w.

40. Carl Brannen says:

Looking back at the original article, my favorite was the claim that higher temperatures would increase the pressure at sea-level. I’ve assigned my students the problem of computing the sea-level pressure from the mass of the earth’s atmosphere and the acceleration of gravity. Temperature has absolutely zero to do with it.

41. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

@ Willis

There is, of course, a technical term for what they have done, as there are no new mistakes under the sun. It is called “overfitting”.

I think you’re looking at this in the wrong way. You say ‘overfitting’, which suggests they are somehow dishonestly trying to ‘cook’ a formula to fit 8 examples.
I don’t think N&K (Ned&Karl) are dishonest. In fact, I think they are merely learning the relationships between pressure induced and radiative warming by trying to fit the set of parameters to a regression equation.

You misapprehend the term “overfitting”. It is a mathematical error, not an accusation of dishonesty or deliberate deception. Generally the only people who do it are those who don’t realize they’re doing it.
Let me be very clear. I don’t think N&Z are dishonest, that’s not my reading at all. I think they actually believe what they are claiming.
I got conned one time by a guy named Bill, who was so good at it you could hardly stay angry at him. I told a friend of mine the problem with Bill was that he could weave together a pack of lies, half truths, invented facts, actual truths, and artful omissions so well, he could make anybody believe it.
My friend disagreed. He said that was not giving Bill his full due. He said the real problem was that Bill could tell a story so damn well, and with such feeling and majestic artistry, he ended up believing it himself …
w.

42. Willis Eschenbach says:

Terry says:
January 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

One query that is related to Wilis analysis is that I suspect that most of the planetary temperatures have been determined spectroscopically. Which means that you will always end up with a SB distribution when fitting a curve, ie it is a circular argument. I aksed Nic about the temperature methods for the planets he used over at Spencer’s but he may have missed it.

Interesting, I hadn’t thought of that. So in addition to the circular argument I pointed out, where they use Ts to find Ts, we have one other.
w.

43. Andrew30 says:

This looks a lot like reducton for the “The Jello Equation”
“We have been able to simulate these unique and complex Jell-O ® dynamics using spatial deformations [Barr, 1986] and other hairy mathematics. From previous research with rendering systems we have learned that a good dose of gratuitous partial differential equations is needed to meet the paper quota for impressive formulas.”
Source: Ray Tracing J ELL-O ® Brand Gelatin
http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~ago820/cs395/Papers/Heckbert_1987.pdf

44. Werner Brozek says:

“John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm
Temperature T is soley dependent upon the internal kinetic energy of the gas and its density.”
Is density even needed? Granted, temperature is a macroscopic property and not a microscopic property, but above a certain minimum density, is the following not true?
1/2mv2 = 3/2kT
See:
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/kintem.html
P.S. From the article: “Pr, the surface pressure,” I assume you meant Ps since that is what was used in the equations.

45. assman says:

4 parameters + choice of functional form. After all they could have put exponentials, logs, or anything in their equation. This provides a lot of a additional curve fitting power and reduces the need for parameters. A school friend of mine had to fit a wind turbine velocity power equation which had 10 points. He did it with a single well chosen function and two parameters.
Its insufficient to just look at the parameters its also necessary to consider the complexity of the functional form because this is also a source of “information”.

46. @Willis
> You misapprehend the term “overfitting”. It is a mathematical error …
No Willis, you are misapprehending this term. Re-read my post above:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/23/the-mystery-of-equation-8/#comment-873883
I think the term “overconfident” (i.e. “low entropy”) better describes an estimator which produces results which seem to be “too good” because there aren’t enough valid examples to sample. (Example, “label bias” in maximum-entropy classifiers)
That may be the case here, only 8 examples. But can you (or anybody) provide enough convincing counter-examples to disprove the N&Z claim?

47. @Werner Brozek
> Is density even needed?
Yes, because we need to compute the forces that the gas molecules exert on each other when then collide. (Force = rate of change of “motion” [momentum in Latin]). If there are no collisions, then “no change of motion”=”no pressure”=”no temperature”.
@Willis
Why haven’t you addressed my comments on the Ideal Gas Law, the crux of this N&Z theory?

48. Bill Illis says:

We do need some new theories however. We should just start with the actual observations first (of all bodies) and try to work what is really happening in all cases.
GHGs are not the end-all be-all answer. They do not work sufficiently in any case and certainly not in all cases. Much more is going on.
Energy is coming in, and is being released and is being stored up and emission is delayed and all the molecules in the whole system are participating in this over every single nano-second. Exotic issues like pressure and gravitational potential also have to be included because this affects how the energy comes about and how it flows in and out etc.
There may be a long-term balance between the solar energy coming in and its re-emission at some layer in some atmosphere, but there are time differences and different things are going on above and below that layer. Hansen says CO2 and GHGs run the whole system. Hardly.

49. Edim says:

I don’t have time to look into the equation(s) in question but I agree with John Day. I was trying to make the same point by saying that ideal gas law (or any other, more accurate equation of state for real gases) is just a relation between state variables (pressure, density, temperature). That’s all. You don’t need a thermodynamic system, well defined system boundaries, energy inputs/outputs over system boundaries and so on. It’s just about state variables at any point (x,y,z).
“But the point is we don’t need to know where the energy came from. Temperature T is soley dependent upon the internal kinetic energy of the gas and its density.”

50. KR says:

Terry“One query that is related to Wilis analysis is that I suspect that most of the planetary temperatures have been determined spectroscopically. Which means that you will always end up with a SB distribution when fitting a curve, ie it is a circular argument.”
Actually, you look at the emission spectra for the planet in question, and select the _highest_ possible SB curve to identify the surface temperature (coming through windows in the atmospheric absorption). Thermal emission has a very characteristic curve, and barring Martian death rays, that upper limit represents the hottest thing emitting. Notchs in the spectra dropping below that surface temp value show where there’s absorption from GHG’s or clouds or whatever. The integral of the entire spectrum, on the other hand, should match the energy coming in (insolation), which provides something of a check point.

51. Willis Eschenbach says:

assman says:
January 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm

4 parameters + choice of functional form. After all they could have put exponentials, logs, or anything in their equation. This provides a lot of a additional curve fitting power and reduces the need for parameters. A school friend of mine had to fit a wind turbine velocity power equation which had 10 points. He did it with a single well chosen function and two parameters.
Its insufficient to just look at the parameters its also necessary to consider the complexity of the functional form because this is also a source of “information”.

Indeed, which is why I pointed out that they have “five free parameters and a choice of any equation no matter how non-physically based”.
The form they use is quite curious. I’ve never seen it used before. It is the sum of two fractional powers of the same variable, Pr. Odd.
w.

52. w.;
Play devil’s advocate against yourself: if the N&Z hypothesis were correct, what form would you expect the equation(s) to take?

53. G. Karst says:

davidmhoffer says:
January 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm
…and noting that there are “only” six planets being fitted. “Only” six? They found ONE curve and it fits SIX planets.
Seems like a pretty good curve to me.

I would be interested in your response. GK

54. Bill Yarber says:

Antony
Are there 4-8 other planets/moons where Ts, So and Nte are known?
If yes, plug them into their magical equation 8 and see what you get. Just because you don’t understand the physical causes of the relationship which yields that equation does not mean the equation is valueless! If the data for the other planets/moons fit the equation, then they are on to something and CO2 is eliminated as a climate (temperature) forcing! QED. We can figure out the physics later. Einstein made predictions based on his equations and many of them were later verified. I, for one, would like to drive this stake in the heart of AGW and stop the hoax for good!
Bill

55. Great explanation – you sat down and plucked the keystone from their tower, now just a lovely pile of rubble…
But the larger mystery remains.
The gobsmacking absence of actual evidence of AGW…
The mind blowing arrogance that having a vague understanding of energy flows of the climate system allows climatologists to have CONFIDENCE in their statements that the system is heating “too fast” to be normal so they must blame mankind’s production of the trace gas Co2…
That’s the vast and murky mystery of “Can’t Equate”…

56. AusieDan says:

Willis – I think that you have got a bit of circluar reasoning going on there.
Let me explain how I see it.
(1) N&Z calculate Tgb (gray body temperature) as a function of Irradiance.
I trust that you are not objecting to that?
The temperature of solar bodies is primarliy due to solar irradiance?
The reason for that one free paramater, is because (from the viepoint of solar bodies) both irradiance and and grey body temperature are measured in arbitary units.
Otherwise Tgb would equal the fourth root of irradiance, measured in appropriate units.
OK do far – we can deduct one free dimension.
(If not it’s back to physics 101 for both you and me).
(2) Again you are being too hard in claiming that as Ts = Tgb * Nte
and Nte = Ts/ Tgb and so Ts = Tgb * Ts / Tgb or Ts = Ts
Very —– well very.
You did mention that the value of Nte was a value thatwas merely curve fitted?
In other words, the value of Nte is the value and THE ONLY VALUE available in the whole numbering system, where Nte doesequal Ts / Tgb.
It’s been engineered that way.
So it’s true that you have proved that Ts = Ts, but it’s not very relevant.
(I did that some days ago but realised that it is a complete red herring for the reason I have just pointed out.
The real meaning od Nte comes from equation 7 in the original N&Z paper, where they show that Nte is a function of atmospheric pressure.
I do agree that it is a rather awkward function and have spent some days working on that as well.
I surmise that its complexity is due to several small assumptions that are not completely correct.
I intend to take that up with the authors eventually, as it does not make any significant differnce to their theory, I’m content to leave it for the moment.
So back to square one.
By the way, you did ask for an escellator explanation of their theory.
I gave what I called and escellator explanation in an earlier post which you may have missed.
It was very brief – two lines and can perhaps be better described as a satellite explanation.
I have recently made a longer, clearer and more detailed explanation in a comment to Jeff Id’s Air Vent, which you may like to look up.

57. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I’m amazed that most of you (including Willis) think that fitting a smooth (“natural”) curve with a few parameters is ‘overfitting’.
FYI, ‘overfitting’ happens when your regression produces an “unnatural” curves (i.e. full of ‘wiggles’).

John, first you claimed that my use of “overfitting” was somehow saying that N&Z were dishonest. I said that was not the case.There was an option in there for you to say “Sorry I accused you of calling N&Z dishonest when you hadn’t”.
You correctly note that I and most other folks think the use of 5 free parameters plus free choice of any kind of equation is overfitting.
One logical conclusion from noticing that is it might be prudent to try some fitting yourself, to see how easy it is to fit a few data points with a fistful of parameters.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of parameters. Four is plenty to do what they’ve done, particularly when given free choice of any fitting equation.
Finally, the idea that you can identify an overfit equation because it will be “full of ‘wiggles'” and that a smooth curve is “natural” is … umm … well, I’m reforming here, so I’ll just call it unsupported in the literature to the best of my knowledge, and set my incredulity aside.
w.

58. LazyTeenager says:

Thanks Willis. Well done.
LT is very happy to see some skepticism here.

59. Willis Eschenbach says:

Brian H says:
January 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

w.;
Play devil’s advocate against yourself: if the N&Z hypothesis were correct, what form would you expect the equation(s) to take?

1. I don’t really understand what the N&Z hypothesis is, so I can’t say anything about that.
2. I don’t expect there to be any MIRACLE equations of that form or any form at all.
w.

60. JamesD says:

Brain H,
The form of the equation is this: Ts = (Ts/Tgb) * Tgb

61. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

@Willis
Why haven’t you addressed my comments on the Ideal Gas Law, the crux of this N&Z theory?

Because this thread is about equation 8. The clue is in the title.
Along those lines, I ask everyone kindly to not debate the whole theory, gravity, the ideal gas law, or any other extraneous stuff on this thread. Please confine yourselves to the topic of the thread, the alleged “evidence” that their theory works. There is a “comments” thread open for your general discussions.
w.

62. Cal says:

Its really just sinking in for me that the prevailing model of planetary temperature doesn’t include atmospheric pressure!
How do GCMs do with Venus?

63. AusieDan says:

There swwms to be a lot of confusion about N&Z’s theory and how it fits in to the overall picture.
So I repeat her, the comment tht I made at the Air Vent.
The following is my understanding og their theory.
——————————————————————-
The so called greenhouse effect is an artifact of a failed experimental configuration, first perpertrated by John Tyndall over 100 years ago and repeated endlessly ever since.
Carbon dioxide, by its molecular weight and atomic structure, expands more rapidly under heat than does an average sample of air. This causes increased pressure in the sealed container holding the carbon dioxide sample, relative to the container holding just air. Increased pressure results in the temperature of the carbon dioxide to rise higher than the air in the other container. That is the so called greenhouse effect.
HOWEVER, when the pressure in the two vessels are allowed to equate, such as by providing a hole in the top for the excess gas to escape to the outside air, then the temperature in each vessel rises to a lower level than before and the temperature in both containers remains the same. Bye Bye, greehouse effect. This has also been demonstrated on a number of occasions, but with far less noise and propaganda than the false greehouse effect.
Now, when we turn to the real atmosphere, we see that gravity draws more air molecules towards the surface and leaves fewer higher up, where in any event, there is more room for them to expand as the diameter of the atmosphere keeps increasing, the further up you go from the surface, so pressure is lower for both reasons.
More molecules near the surface means higher pressure than further up. Higher pressure, as already demonstrated, means higher temperature near the surface and lower temperature further up. However, there is no net increase in temperature or energy for the whole atmosphere, only a redistribution.
Let me quote: “Adiabatic changes in temperature occur due to changes in pressure of a gas while not adding or subtracting any heat”.

64. George E. Smith; says:

“”””” John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm
tallbloke says:
January 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm
George E. Smith; says:
January 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm
There will be no permanent increase in the Temperature following a pressure increase; unless that cooling is somehow prohibited…
Hi George; that was Ira’s argument, but it isn’t initial compression and consequent transient heating we are talking about here. It’s simply the way nature has compressible gases and gravity arranged in a pressure gradient as an ongoing condition which causes there to be lots more warmth near the surface when illuminated by a star. Simply put, there are lots more molecules per cc to hold kinetic energy (and therefore heat) near the surface than at high altitude. And the nearest star warms them up.
TB is correct. George is somehow hung up on the notion of ‘heat generated by compression’. “””””
Well John, If YOU think I am “hung up” on anything you are sadly mistaken; and it is obvious that you have never pumped up a car or bike tire with a hand pump.
The act of reducing the volume of a fixed mass of gas, requires applying a force proportional to an area, during a distance travelled by some “wall” reducing the volume. Some trivial calculus will show that the work done by a small change in volume dV, is simply PdV. That work is simply dissipated as “heat”, which will raise the Temperature of the gas above its orignial ambient Temperature. Unless you know of a container with zero thermal conductivity walls, that excess “heat” energy will leak out to the surroundings and the Temperature will re-establish equilibrium with the environment. The pressure will fall slightly during the cooling phase as required by the gas law, and the final equilibrium result will be a smaller volume at a higher pressure, at exactly the same Temperature as the environment; which presumably is thermally massive compared to our container of gas.
If the container of gas DOES NOT COOL DOWN as YOU seem to say it won’t, then your container becomes a perpetual supply of heating to the environment. Gee who knew you could warm your house just by pressurizing it.
The heating of a stellar mass of gas to form a star, is a consequence of the work done by the force of gravity, against the increasing gas pressure, that results from the eventual occurrence of collisions between the gas molecules once they are close enough to each other to have collisions. That heating and gravitational collapse, will continue unabated, until the Temperature, pressure, and molecular interraction time reaches the critical surface that defines the onset of thermonuclear hydrogen “burning”; hydrogen being the principal gas of the universe.
Then it will stop as thermo-nuclear energy takes over the heating to compensate for the radiation loss from the much cooler outer surface of the star. The core can’t rapidly cool, since the outer layers are opaque to the high energy photons, emitted at the “burning” site.
If anyone is “hung up” it is you who believe that a constant pressure can maintain a constant Temperature rise above the environment Temperature.
Any Temperature gradient in this unified theory of climate is a simple consequence of the non-equilibrium continual supply of external energy that is converted to heating at the bottom of the atmosphere, and subsequently must leak out through that atmosphere by a variety of thermal processes, some of which require a Temperature gradient (conduction for example).
I didn’t come down in the last shower, and you will have to do a lot better to try and get me “hung up.”

65. AusieDan says:

What I meant to say was:
There seems to be a lot of confusion about N&Z’s theory and how it fits into the overall picture.
So I repeat above, the comment that I made at the Air Vent.
The following is my understanding of their theory.
—————————————————————————-
I’m sure that there are typos as well in the main comment from the Air Vent.
I can do no more than apologise yet once again for my very poor typing and spelling.

66. @Willis
> There was an option to say “Sorry I accused you of
> calling N&Z dishonest when you hadn’t”.
Read my remarks carefully. I didn’t “accuse you of calling N&Z dishonest”. You’re blowing my statements out of proportion. I said it suggested dishonesty.
I’ll accept that you don’t really believe they’re ‘dishonest’. But look at your own words, which still suggest you believe this to be a form of “conning”
“Let me be very clear. I don’t think N&Z are dishonest, that’s not my reading at all. I think they actually believe what they are claiming.
I got _conned_ one time by a guy named Bill…”
Actually, the tone of your remarks and many of the others here suggest that N&K are a pair of complete idiots for claiming that a smooth curve (representing a natural law) could be modelled with a small number of parameters. (When the truth is that their regression formula elegantly represents what they have _learned_ about the relationship between kinetic warming and radiative warming)
I think you (and the others) owe N&Z an apology for insulting their intelligence with these remarks.
And I think you also owe us explanation of your views on the Ideal Gas Law issue, which is crucial for understanding the N&K theory (which I pointed out to you on 30 December http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/#comment-848028).
And don’t be so danged emotional. I still admire and respect your efforts in supporting getting the truth out on climate issues.
😐

67. wws says:

I can do better than N & Z! I have developed an equation which tells me exactly what the aliens on the other planets are thinking right now! YOU CAN”T PROVE IT’S WRONG!!!

68. Willis Eschenbach says:

Bill Yarber says:
January 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Antony
Are there 4-8 other planets/moons where Ts, So and Nte are known?
If yes, plug them into their magical equation 8 and see what you get. Just because you don’t understand the physical causes of the relationship which yields that equation does not mean the equation is valueless!

First, Bill, I’m the author of the post, not Anthony. Are there other planetoids? I don’t know. But you have the cart before the horse.
It is up to them to actually establish their ideas in the manner you describe BEFORE they proclaim a MIRACLE. It’s not our job to do that.
w.

69. George E. Smith; says:

“”””” Look at my response to Tallbloke and GeoSmith …
… particular the derivation of the Ideal Gas Law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law#Derivations
Note that the temperature T of a system in equilibrium can be computed from the just kinetic energy of the moving gas particles and their mutual collisions (density, implying pressure). We don’t need to know the radiative aspects of the system to compute the temperature! What part of the Ideal Gas Law do you not understand here? “””””
So what part of THIS SYTEM IS “NOT” IN EQUILIBRIUM is it that YOU do not understand. It is not even a closed system, since you yourself said it is being illuminated by a star which is constantly feeding energy into the system.
OOoops !! the ideal gas law applies ONLY to closed systems in thermal equilibrium. Gee!! that requires the whole system to be at a single uniform Temperature.

70. Willis Eschenbach says:

AusieDan says:
January 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm

… The real meaning od Nte comes from equation 7 in the original N&Z paper, where they show that Nte is a function of atmospheric pressure.

Dan, they have not shown that Nte is a function of pressure. They have used a very carefully designed equation with four parameters to fit it to the Nte. This kind of fitting is meaningless, with four parameters you can fit an elephant.
So no, they have shown no such thing as Nte being a function of pressure. Nor is there any reason to think it should be a simple function of pressure, given the number of other factors involved in the climate.
w.

71. LazyTeenager says:

John Day says
I think you’re looking at this in the wrong way. You say ‘overfitting’, which suggests they are somehow dishonestly trying to ‘cook’ a formula to fit 8 examples.
——-
No it does not say they are dishonest at all.
It does say they are very, very naive in the area of data analysis. Overfitting is a mistake any science or engineering or social science or economics graduate is taught to avoid.
Something is seriously wrong with the basic education of these 2 PhD’s.

72. John Andrews says:

As I read this work, I started to smile, then to grin, then to say out loud: “Aha!” This is fun stuff. I wish understood it all as well as you do, Willis. Keep it up.
— John Andrews; in Knoxville.

73. Gregory Andreev says:

@Willis
What is your opinion of Roy Spencer’s use of 5 fitting parameters (the same as N&Z) to predict the surface temperature of just ONE planet, namely the Earth?
my source:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/just-put-the-model-down-roy.html
Is the underlying physics of Spencer’s model questionable as well?
I look forward to your response.

74. jimmi_the_dalek says:

The demonstration that the equations are a tautology is not as convincing as I first thought. If you start from equation (8) and rearrange it to a more sensible form you just get
Tbg = 25.3966 S^0.25
which as you say if just the Stefan-Boltzmann equation for a grey body, with the emissivity absorbed into the constant. So this is hardly surprising.
Then from equation 7 you get
Ts = Tgb * exp(t1 * Ps ^ t2 + t3 * Ps ^ t4)
I do not see that rearranging it to give Ts=Ts actually shows anything – you have inserted the tautology, not them.
On the other hand, that fitted expression is very dubious . Note that the insolation is all in Tbg. The rest of the expression is fitted to pressures. However though it is said that there are 8 planets used, three of them are essentially the same – Mercury, the Moon and Europa all have P=0, so
are not independent data values, and Titan has P almost zero. So I do not think the fit says anything except that you can fit 5 points with 4 parameters.

75. LazyTeenager says:

George E Smith says
Note that the temperature T of a system in equilibrium can be computed from the just kinetic energy of the moving gas particles and their mutual collisions (density, implying pressure). We don’t need to know the radiative aspects of the system to compute the temperature! What part of the Ideal Gas Law do you not understand here? “””””
——-
Somewhat ironically George claims that temperature can be calculated from —mutual—- collisions of gas molecules. This is not true.
The ideal gas theory considers molecules to be too small to collide with each other and ignores that factor as being
Seems George needs to spend some time actually studying the ideal as law

76. martin mason says:

Willis, you are losing your marbles mate. Why don’t you stop the grandstanding and speak to N&Z, they will either put you right or accept that they are wrong. What you are doing with these threads is obsessive and completely wrong. If they are wrong then thats two theories that are wrong, the other is surface heating by back radiation. Have you read the paper by Oleg Sorokhtin from 2005? Excellent and supportive of N&Z

77. anna v says:

LazyTeenager :
January 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm
Please read a bit on how thermodynamical equations dovetail beautifully to statistical mechanics equations where the scatterings do play a role and temperature appears connected by the statistics to the average kinetic energy of the molecules which scatter against each other. True for the ideal gas law too.

78. AusieDan says:

Seriously N&Z are only demonstrating in algebra what has been observed in experiments, that heating a gas in a sealed container increases both pressure and temperature.
A gas that expands by a larger amount than air, will rise to a higher temperature.
When each vessel is allowed to vent to the atmosphere, so pressure is not increased, then they will both rise to the same level, which will be lower than either when fully contained.
No Greenhouse effect involved, only the effect of pressure in the presence of incoming heat.
So if four parameters are required, then please go ahead and use four.
It’s not ours to pick and choose.
I believe thatN&Z used data from all the available solar bodies. As far as I am aware the other planets have significant internal heat sources of their own, while data is hard to get for the smaller outer moons.
Surprisingly, it seems difficult enough to get good data for our own moon.

79. Willis Eschenbach says:

Gregory Andreev says:
January 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

@Willis
What is your opinion of Roy Spencer’s use of 5 fitting parameters (the same as N&Z) to predict the surface temperature of just ONE planet, namely the Earth?
my source:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/just-put-the-model-down-roy.html
Is the underlying physics of Spencer’s model questionable as well?
I look forward to your response.

Spencer’s model is a simplified version of the current paradigm. I am neither a skeptic nor an AGW supporter. I am a heretic. Both Spencer and the GCMs are trying to measure a constant that they call “climate sensitivity”. I think that the climate sensitivity is a function of temperature, and as such a global average conceals a host of mechanisms which are crucial to the climate.
See my post “It’s Not About Feedback” for a discussion of how climate sensitivity varies daily in the tropics.
So … I have little use for the current climate models, simplified or not, from either side of the aisle. Much more interesting models are those of Ou and Bejan, which I discuss in “The Thermostat Hypothesis“.
Best regards,
w.

80. Edim says:

George E. Smith; says:
“So what part of THIS SYTEM IS “NOT” IN EQUILIBRIUM is it that YOU do not understand. It is not even a closed system, since you yourself said it is being illuminated by a star which is constantly feeding energy into the system.
OOoops !! the ideal gas law applies ONLY to closed systems in thermal equilibrium. Gee!! that requires the whole system to be at a single uniform Temperature.”
This is not correct. Ideal gas law applies to any point (x,y,z) of gas when ideal gas approximation can be used with reasonable accuracy (real gas that behaves sufficiently like an ideal gas). When not, there are more detailed equations of state gor real gases. Equilibrium or not is irrelevant.

81. Dr Burns says:

Nothing is to be gained by Willis or Ned attempting to denigrate each other. Ned has some good ideas but I disagree with his conclusions, as obviously does Willis.
My summarised thoughts are that there are two broad situations in a simple model of the Earth. a) the 30% of the Earth with no clouds and b) the 70% with clouds.
a) If a packet of air containing IR absorbing gases is considered, it will exchange heat with its surroundings by evaporation/condensation, convection, conduction and radiation. The closer to the earth’s surface, the smaller the significance of radiative transfer, yet at high altitudes, radiation is the dominant mechanism. The IPCC view is that only radiative heat transfer takes place and clouds are effectively ignored.
b) For the 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by clouds, radiation from the Earth’s surface is irrelevant. Heat is transferred primarily by evaporation/condensation and convection. Cloud temperature is mainly set by the lapse rate. Heat is absorbed from the sun and lost to space mainly by radiation, from the tops of clouds. IR absorbing gases have little impact on heat transfer.
My view is that overall the impact of IR absorbing gases is far less than that claimed by IPCC but not zero as claimed by Ned.
Looking forward to any constructive criticism.

82. Willis Eschenbach says:

martin mason says:
January 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Willis, you are losing your marbles mate. Why don’t you stop the grandstanding and speak to N&Z, they will either put you right or accept that they are wrong.

Martin, that’s what I’ve been waiting for, for them to show that I’m wrong. That’s why I put my work up here in public, for people to try to find things wrong with it and poke holes in it. N&Z are welcome to point out any errors above.
I raised some questions on the other thread, and the folks there (including Ned Nikolov) showed me where I was wrong. I admitted it, and thanked them for fighting my ignorance.
To date, most folks agree that five parameters and eight data points is a non-starter. If you are defending their five-parameter fit, I refer you to “Johnny” von Neumann. If N&Z want to defend it, I am most interested to hear their reasons.
All the best,
w.

83. Willis Eschenbach says:

w.

84. jorgekafkazar says:

LazyTeenager says: “The ideal gas theory considers molecules to be too small to collide with each other and ignores that factor as being…[?]”
“An ideal gas is defined as one in which all collisions between atoms or molecules are perfectly eleastic and in which there are no intermolecular attractive forces. One can visualize it as a collection of perfectly hard spheres which collide but which otherwise do not interact with each other.”
Source: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/idegas.html

85. AusieDan says:

Willis,
As a matter of interest, I have fitted a much simpler equation to the estimate the temperature for each of the eight solar bodies in question:
Calculated Ts = Tgb * (1 + (Parameter * Surface Pressure / 101,325)
The value of parameter is 0.033, which I used solely to get a reasonable fit to the data.
The figure of 101,325 is my understanding of the standard pressure on earth at 20 degrees C.
So this could be reduced to just one parameter, 3.257E-07 or thereabouts, (not to take up too much space with spurious accuracy).
Now my little one parameter model does not fit nearly as well and the N&Z version, yet the correlation with the actual measured values of Ts is 0.9806404.
That means that 0.962 of the actual are “explained” by the equation (correlation squared).
Not very good, I hear you cry!
Yes I would have to agree, but in my defence I would claim that mine is only a little equation.
What’s more, if my understanding of these matters is correct, I would claim in its defence that the NUL hypothesis has a Pr < 0.01, with a two tailed test, for eight data items.
So it still seems possible to me that the N&Z theory deserves serious study.
Tennis – anyone?

86. jorgekafkazar says:

jimmi_the_dalek says: “How many parameters does it take to draw an elephant….” and
“The demonstration that the equations are a tautology is not as convincing as I first thought.”
Great comments throughout, jimmi.. I fear you’re right about the source of the tautology. I’d been wondering what the result of substituting equation 7 into equation 8 would be if 8 were a fit of data derived from 7. This thread and the previous ones have shown me how easy it is to toss off statements that seem logical, but upon closer examination are error-laden.

87. Claude Harvey says:

You are crazier than an outhouse owl, Willis, and I do admire your analytical skills. Distilling things down to their fundamentals is almost a lost art in the “global climate” arena. “Sic ’em”, Bulldog!

88. wayne says:

Willis: “To date, most folks agree that five parameters and eight data points is a non-starter.”
Where are you getting your data. Just here? Your own thread? If not, do you mind to show us?

89. Willis Eschenbach says:

AusieDan says:
January 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm
As a matter of interest, I have fitted a much simpler equation to the estimate the temperature for each of the eight solar bodies in question:
Calculated Ts = Tgb * (1 + (Parameter * Surface Pressure / 101,325)
That’s terrible. For Venus, Tgb is 181.6 and pressure is 6.2e+6. Put those in your formula and you get 5,622 kelvin for the surface temperature.
w.

90. Septic Matthew says:

good post.
Thanks.

91. Dr Burns says:

Willis said:
Do you mean your other thread ? You only allowed discussion of your pet theory ! Neither yours nor Ned’s reflect the real world.

92. Willis Eschenbach says:

AusieDan says:
January 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Seriously N&Z are only demonstrating in algebra what has been observed in experiments, that heating a gas in a sealed container increases both pressure and temperature.

See my update to the head post, wherein I make the elephant wave his trunk …
w.

93. Willis Eschenbach says:

wayne says:
January 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

Willis: “To date, most folks agree that five parameters and eight data points is a non-starter.”
Where are you getting your data. Just here? Your own thread? If not, do you mind to show us?

I get all my data from an international data supplier, everything is cheaper from China … however, if you want to defend using five parameters on eight data points, go right ahead. I can hardly wait to hear your definition of overfitting.
w.

94. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dr Burns says:
January 24, 2012 at 1:17 am

Willis said:

Do you mean your other thread ? You only allowed discussion of your pet theory ! Neither yours nor Ned’s reflect the real world.

w.

95. rc says:

Leaving aside the curve fitting part of the discussion:
I thought equation 8 was derived from equation 7 “allows us to derive a simple yet robust formula” as stated by N+Z, not “another fitted (tuned) equation” as stated by Willis.
So substituting anything from 7 into 8 will always end in X = X results, it’s substituting a formula into itself.

96. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm
John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm
@Willis
Why haven’t you addressed my comments on the Ideal Gas Law, the crux of this N&Z theory?
Because this thread is about equation 8. The clue is in the title.
Along those lines, I ask everyone kindly to not debate the whole theory, gravity, the ideal gas law, or any other extraneous stuff on this thread. Please confine yourselves to the topic of the thread, the alleged “evidence” that their theory works. There is a “comments” thread open for your general discussions.
w.

Willis, the supporting material you so daintily call “other extraneous stuff” is in fact the evidence that their theory works. “So by ruling out of court” things like the similarity of their non linear regression, to the clausius curve, you cut N&Z off from the facts supporting their theory.
As Jimmi points out above:
“I do not see that rearranging it to give Ts=Ts actually shows anything – you have inserted the tautology, not them.” In other words, you’re being arsey for the sake of it.
Regarding the number of data points, it is trivially true that research work into solar system dynamics is made more difficult by the fact that there aren’t enough planets with good measurements in place to satisfy arsey stats fiddlers with a predisposition to dispose of a promising theory. That’s just how it is.
Now, regarding the alleged number of free parameters:
Eq. 7: Ts/Tgb = NTE(P)
Eq. 8 simply solves for Ts, i.e. Ts = Tgb*NTE(P)
Also, the constant 29.3966 in Eq. 8 is not a ‘tuned parameter’, but a result of combining 4 constants from the gray-body temperature in Eq. 2, i.e.
(2/5)*[(1 – 0.12)/(ϵ*σ)]^0.25 = 29.3966
In addition, you already knew that the purpose of the small constant Cs in Eq. 2 is, to make Eq. 2 predict a temperature of 2.725K (instead 0K) when So = 0 (no radiation present).
In short Willis, you are a serial shark jumper leading a charmed life.

97. Mydogsgotnonose says:

My initial thought, applied to the original paper’s comments, was that they have re-invented lapse rate heating.
I still stand by this.

98. John Brookes says:

Willis, with your recent output I’m worried that you might be a warmist troll?

99. Frank says:

I did the curve-fitting in Excel, using the Solver minimizing a sum-of-squared-error function. The interesting thing is that (with my least-squares error function), other tuning parameters appear, leading to a lower LS error. Maybe LS is not the best criterion, I haven’t checked.
I then proceeded to leave out one planet at a time and redoing the fit. It turned out that there are many local minima, so it matters how you initialize the tuning parameters. I decided to always start from Nikolov’s values. The tuning parameters varied by about 10%-20%.
Especially when leaving out the outlier Venus, the parameters T3 and T4 are completely different. T4 doubles, T3 is reduced to near zero.
Based on this, I would say that Willis is right about fitting the elephant.

100. John Marshall says:

Atmospheric compression creates heat due to that compression, by increasing the KE of that gas through the work done on it.. Jupiter, with its atmosphere of hydrogen and helium, radiates more heat than it receives. since there are no GHG’s in the Jovian atmosphere there must be another mechanism to create that extra heat and that must be gravity.
Gravity starts suns so why not also provide extra heat to a simple shallow atmosphere a few tens of Km deep.

101. 3x2 says:

They are using only eight datapoints and five tunable parameters with a specially-designed ad-hoc equation with no physical basis.
Presumably why the elevator speech is still “in the post” 🙂

102. Steve Richards says:

W. I am surprised that you are surprised when you found the Boltzmann constant could be derived from eq 7.
So curiously, what it turns out they’ve done is to estimate the Stefan-Boltzmann constant by a bizarre curve fitting method. And they did a decent job of that. Actually, pretty impressive considering the number of steps and parameters involved.
As they are working with gray body temperatures which follow the Boltzmann concept, it should not be a surprise.
It is a bit like being surprised that ohms law I = V/R is related to P = V^2/R etc etc and that substitutions can be made…
When dealing with natural laws, many relationships can be found between parameters of laws which bolster the acceptance of laws.
A proposed law that can not fit with all other known laws would have extreme difficulty in being accepted.
The concept of splitting your dataset in two to test your theory is fine when your dataset is large, but with 8 data points it is unrealistic.
They only have 8 data points.

103. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 24, 2012 at 1:33 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm

John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

@Willis
Why haven’t you addressed my comments on the Ideal Gas Law, the crux of this N&Z theory?

Because this thread is about equation 8. The clue is in the title.
Along those lines, I ask everyone kindly to not debate the whole theory, gravity, the ideal gas law, or any other extraneous stuff on this thread. Please confine yourselves to the topic of the thread, the alleged “evidence” that their theory works. There is a “comments” thread open for your general discussions.
w.

Willis, the supporting material you so daintily call “other extraneous stuff” is in fact the evidence that their theory works. “So by ruling out of court” things like the similarity of their non linear regression, to the clausius curve, you cut N&Z off from the facts supporting their theory.

As Jimmi points out above:
“I do not see that rearranging it to give Ts=Ts actually shows anything – you have inserted the tautology, not them.” In other words, you’re being arsey for the sake of it.

“Inserted the tautology”? I have shown that the underlying structure of equation 8 is Tgb * Ts / Tgb. I have not “inserted” anything.

Regarding the number of data points, it is trivially true that research work into solar system dynamics is made more difficult by the fact that there aren’t enough planets with good measurements in place to satisfy arsey stats fiddlers with a predisposition to dispose of a promising theory. That’s just how it is.

You are correct. That’s how it is. However, the universe having given you very few data points doesn’t mean that you are justified in drawing conclusions from that tiny sample as though you had sufficient data.

Now, regarding the alleged number of free parameters:
Eq. 7: Ts/Tgb = NTE(P)

Equation 7 contains parameters t1 thru t4, four parameters.

Eq. 8 simply solves for Ts, i.e. Ts = Tgb*NTE(P)
Also, the constant 29.3966 in Eq. 8 is not a ‘tuned parameter’, but a result of combining 4 constants from the gray-body temperature in Eq. 2, i.e.
(2/5)*[(1 – 0.12)/(ϵ*σ)]^0.25 = 29.3966

I discussed this above and acknowledged the possibility that it was not a parameter … including the fact that still leaves four parameters and eight data points. The oddity that confused me is that to get 29.3966 from your formula there you need to have an emissivity of 0.955, which seems strange. But no matter, four parameters is plenty to be too many.

In addition, you already knew that the purpose of the small constant Cs in Eq. 2 is, to make Eq. 2 predict a temperature of 2.725K (instead 0K) when So = 0 (no radiation present).

That’s some excellent detective work, considering that in the head post I said:

They say they put it in so that the formula will be accurate when there is no solar, so it will give the background radiation of 3 Kelvins.

But yes, you are correct.

In short Willis, you are a serial shark jumper leading a charmed life.

Dang … that actually sounds about right in some strange way. Me and the sharks have been friends, well, not friends exactly but we have had a kind of wary mutual underwater respect for decades now. I’d sign up to be a shark jumper, sounds like fun.
As regards my charmed life, Napoleon is rumored to have said that he didn’t care if his generals were good, as long as they were lucky. And my aikido teacher said the best aikido is, when the fight is starting on third street, you’re walking down seventh street. I can only wish that everyone have that kind of good fortune.
My best to you,
w.

104. Björn says:

Jimmy_the_Dalek says:
……
Wayne,
The problems with the integration occur before the steps you describe – it is the variable substitution mu = cos(theta) which is dubious. Simply try comparing
the integral of mu^0.25 on [0,1]
with the integral of cos(theta)^0.25 on [0, pi/2]
and see what you get.
….
You are quite right that the 2 integal above give different results. But you have overlooked a small detail, that results in an incorrect conclusion in this context . The correct comparision would be
to compare
the integral of mu^0.25 on [0,1]
to
the integral of sin(theta)*cos(theta)^0.25 on [0, pi/2]
and if you do that you get the same result in both cases.
Why ? Well it goes like this. Think of theta and phi as the latitude and longitude of the Earth ( and assume Earth to be a sphere rather than a an ellipsoid ) you can then identify the position of every point on the surface with those two numbers.( elementary geography ok ?).
Now you may or may not know it but the vertical distance between two positions that have the same longitude, and f.x. a 1 degree diffrence in latitude is the same regardless of which longitude you are on , but when you have two points with the same latitude and a 1 degree difference in longitude the horisontal distances are different for different latitudes, on the equator the length of the 1 degree latitude arc is aproximately the same as length of a 1 degree longitude arc, but when yo go from there towards either one of the poles th horisontal degrees get smaller and end in a zero on the pole while length of the longitude degree is still the same as on the equator. And to calculate the length of 1 degree difference paralell with the equator at latitude theta you have to use sin(theta).
And the exact same thing happens when you use integation to calculate an area on the surface of the Earth and with positions determined by spherical coordinates, the sinus of the latitude sneaks uninvited into the equation as a scaling factor of for the paralells.
So there is nothing dubious about the mu = cos(theta) substituion , and its effect can be seen from the following
the derivative of mu w.r to theta is d(mu)/d(theta) = -sin(theta)
and from that we get d(theta)=(-1/sin(theta))d(mu)
insert mu for cos(theta),and the left hand in the equ. above for d(theta) into
the integral of [sin(theta)*cos(theta)^0.25 d(theta)] on [0, pi/2] as well
as adjust the interval limit to reflect the new variable mu to [cos(0),Cos(pi/2)]
the result becomes
The integal of sin(theta)*(mu^0.25)*(-1/sin(theta))d(mu) on [1,0]
the sin(theta) factor now cancels out and we are left with
The integral of (-1)*(mu^0.25) on [1,0]
switch the upper an lower integation limits to [0,1]
and change the sign on the integrand to reflect that switch
our final result now has become:
the integral of mu^0.25 on [0,1]
Q.E.D.
P:S. Jimmy , take a quick peek at the wikipedia entry for Spherical Coordinates if I have not managed to convince you that there is nothing sinister about tha<t substtution.

105. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 24, 2012 at 1:33 am

Also, the constant 29.3966 in Eq. 8 is not a ‘tuned parameter’, but a result of combining 4 constants from the gray-body temperature in Eq. 2, i.e.
(2/5)*[(1 – 0.12)/(ϵ*σ)]^0.25 = 29.3966

Upon further contemplation, I realized that this statement couldn’t be true, since the albedos are different for each planet. As a result, if it is a constant for all planets it is a tuned parameter.
w.

106. “that still leaves four parameters and eight data points”
It’s only six data points. If you look at the table in their original post, they didn’t try to fit the Moon or Mercury.

107. I get the feeling that there are a number who can see Willis’ limitations who are no longer coming here to post. There has been a lot of shouting recently and what I did in that environment was to opt out and go back to study, carefully, the original material.
I studied N&Z carefully only because the shouting drove me to do so… but presently I felt I had discovered a goldmine, a game-changer. The remarks of many others indicates that I am not the only person to have had that “aha!” experience. But from then on, much of my energies have been diverted into consolidating this, so that one can answer doubts just once, not tire oneself out with repeating oneself again and again to more and more individuals. So you won’t see me much. And it’s not just N&Z talking about pressure-induced atmospheric temperature, there is a tradition even older than that of Arrhenius and Callendar, that has recently produced a whole spate of work, practical experiments and data fitting theoretical maths and physics. Graeff, following Loschmidt. Now not just Jellbring and Gilbert but also Sorokhtin. And a growing number of climate skeptics, many of whom have diverted currently to Tallbloke’s threads.
The pressure figures of Huffman for Venus fit very precisely, they will not go away. These figures, Willis, are in addition to the single planetary fits used by N/Z. Then there are the experimental figures of Graeff that fit his theoretical calculations. Then there are those of Miskolczi, where data fit theory so precisely that it could not be accidental, again M overturns the ghg stuff. And I now start to wonder if the much-criticised Gerlich & Tscheuschner were on to something similar, and if they too will be vindicated.
It’s not easy coping with a whole paradigm shift. I am still reeling myself. There are still bits of the new paradigm I do not understand. And bits of the maths I still have to come to terms with – where N&Z might still be wrong. However, I prefer to stay with the work where the data clearly has excellent fit to the theory, than where there is more emotion and less data. Right now I’m working on developing a protected wiki environment that will be able to answer each major doubt issue for all comers. To me, this will help the science.
All the best Willis, I still think your earlier work on tropical thunderstorms and Darwin was superb.

108. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:21 am
tallbloke says:
January 24, 2012 at 1:33 am
Also, the constant 29.3966 in Eq. 8 is not a ‘tuned parameter’, but a result of combining 4 constants from the gray-body temperature in Eq. 2, i.e.
(2/5)*[(1 – 0.12)/(ϵ*σ)]^0.25 = 29.3966
Upon further contemplation, I realized that this statement couldn’t be true, since the albedos are different for each planet. As a result, if it is a constant for all planets it is a tuned parameter.

It’s the albedo for rocky planets without an atmosphere. Assumed to be the same for all the bodies tested. So, Moon: measured albedo 0.12 Earth with no atmosphere, about the same, etc. So, not tuned; measured from the Moon, and applied elsewhere.
Read Nikolov and Zellers work and their contributions to the threads on my website for details would be my advice to anyone who wants to address what they actually say. You’re not banned from reading my website Willis, just from trying to gishgallop their (or anyone elses) theory into the dust.

109. jimmi_the_dalek says:

Willis,
Consider the following.
E=Mc^2
Therefore, c=sqrt(E/M)
therefore E=M * (sort(E/M))^2
therefore E=E
You can do it with any equation, and this is all you have done.
On the other hand, the fitting is definitely overdone, especially as 3 of the planets have P=0.
Also, your original objection has merit IMO – as they have omitted all properties of the atmosphere from their formulae, they have done the equivalent of postulating a totally transparent atmosphere with no chemical or optical properties – that cannot be right.
And whoever suggested that it is worth tracking down where that planetary data came from is correct – some of it must be spectroscopic in origin so the possibility of inadvertent circular argument is there.

110. Willis sez:
Eq. 7: Ts/Tgb = NTE(P)
Equation 7 contains parameters t1 thru t4, four parameters.

It doesn’t have to contain them because the parameters operating together in the form specified by N&Z are equivalent to (NTE)P and Ts/Tgb.
That’s why there’s two equals signs in there. One of them.between Ts/Tgb and NTE(P) and another one of those funny little parrallel line thingies (=) btween NTE(P) and the four parameters.
Sheesh.

111. OzWizard says:

Willis, I’m withholding detailed comment on the correctness of your ingenious analysis of equation (8), as it has distracted everybody from the equation (2) ‘elephant’ which is already glaring at them from within the original N & Z paper.
If equation (2) is correct, as I believe it is, and you do not yet understand it, then your above analysis (even if it is correct) is of secondary significance, compared to the paradigm shift which their equation (2) implies for GHE theory.
I have not seen a coherent criticism (by anyone!) of equation (2). Their new integration model is used to produce their fundamentally different “mean planetary gray body temperature” (Tgb) evaluation, which certainly features in (but eventually disappears from) your analysis.
Since Ned and Karl published Figure 1 in their “Reply to Comments” paper, I have found no error in the conception of that integration model or the resulting equation (2). So, show me where their equation (2) is incorrect (or where the simple geometry of its integration limits is in error) and I’ll reconsider whether your above analysis is worth analyzing in detail. The fact that your analysis effectively removes Tgb from the theory, as though it were irrelevant, is deeply troubling.
Could everybody have got the mean gray body temperature of an “airless, rotating, sun-lit sphere” so wrong in the past? I believe they could have, and await identification of any error in Ned & Karl’s equation (2) or in their brilliant new Tgb model.

112. LazyTeenager says:

Jorgekafkazar defines the ideal gas theory
——–
I am happy with your definition by I will respond with a derivation here: http://quantumfreak.com/derivation-of-pvnrt-the-equation-of-ideal-gas/
To summarize: the derivation is all about individual molecules, their kinetic energies and how that determines the impulse on the walls of the container, and hence the pressure. There is no need to consider collisions between molecules at all. It is not relevant.
You do need to consider molecular size at higher gas densities. Hence the old fashioned van der waals equation of state.

113. richard verney says:

Willis
I think that the point you raise in this thread is valid.
However, that does not mean that N&Z are wrong but rather that the equation in question (and the ancillary fitting) does not necessarily carry the significance to which N&Z would have attribute to it.
When English is not the first language of an author, it is necessary to give wide latitude to the language being used. I appreciate that this can often be difficult since precision in language is often of utmost importance. It is unfortunate that they used the expression ‘miracle’. Clearly the choice of that expression to a native English speaker is wrong but this should not in itself be used as a vehicle of harsh criticism or judgment when dealing with someone whose first language is not English

114. 1DandyTroll says:

“Why aren’t you all trying to disprove our MIRACLE equation”
That’s easy enough, really, there are no miracle equations.

115. Willis, your rebuttal almost makes me weep with joy. Well done! I hadn’t gotten around to N&Z as I’ve been distracted by Jelbring (see post coming soon that should finish that discussion once and for all) but I too was bothered by an empirical fit with no derivation or sound theoretical or physical basis (handwaving doesn’t count, especially not when the handwaving is based on sketchy ideas like “gravitational heating” in a steady-state planet.
Your quote of the Fermi-Dyson story reminds me of the good old days when I used to go to a lot of physics workshops where people presented the results of computations in condensed matter or nuclear physics based on diagrammatic perturbation theory. I don’t know if you are familiar with these fields, but they frequently involve trying to approximate a non-convergent or weakly convergent series with a few terms (usually terms selected because they come from the subset of all the possible terms that actually could be summed over, e.g. in some cases “ladder diagrams”, ignoring all the ones that they couldn’t or wouldn’t compute). I got so cynical while listening to talk after talk of this sort that I formulated the following:
The Fundamental Axiom of Diagrammatic Perturbation Theory
All the diagrammatic terms that I did not include in this computation do not significantly contribute.
I heard this axiom stated, in so many words, time after time after time, never with the slightest actual justification. Indeed, any justification offered was always a posteriori — they had a target result, or perhaps a few target results, that they wanted to explain. They had a computer code that would allow them to vary the degree of a non-convergent and/or incalculable series out to some order in a computable subset of all of the terms. They would then — intentionally or not — run the code a few dozen times with different numbers of included terms and — Surprise! Wow, look at that, if we include the first four regular terms and sum over all of the ladders, we get within 10% of the right numbers!
Of course, if one kept the first five or six terms, and summed over ladders and all of the other permutations of diagram types to systematically higher order — the kind of thing one would like to be able to do before claiming that a perturbative series result is actually valid — the answer would get worse. And the particular set of diagrams kept varied from computation to computation, presentation to presentation. Clearly another case of fitting the elephant, junk science skillfully hidden, although hey, theorists gotta eat.
I also spent my share of time trying to fit nonlinear functions that did have something of a theoretical basis in order to extract critical exponents, and that’s a damn difficult game. Nonlinear function fits with multiple, weakly covariant terms, often have many local optima, and one can sometimes get two or three distinct solutions all of which get worse if you perturb the solution parameters a bit locally (they are all gradient search optima) and which may be very nearly equivalently as good. This is well-known as the rough landscape problem — many optimization functions (and function fits are always optimization problems, although in e.g. linear regression there is frequently a unique best solution because of a smooth landscape) have parametric optimization surfaces that look like mountainous terrain — in N dimensions.
In that regard, their solution has a very suspicious aspect to it. It is the exponential of a sum of powers of the pressure. I have no idea how to enter equations into this interface yet (if you do know, or if Anthony knows — perhaps it would be a good idea to post a toplevel “Howto” document describing how, along with how to include figures and so on — can one embed figures in straight html?) so I’ll have to go with latex-style ascii equations, but:
N_TE = exp(t1*P^t2 + t3*P^t4) = exp(t1*P^t2) * exp(t3*P^t4)
Now, there is one other thing that Fermi was famous for — dimensional analysis and “Fermi estimates”. N_TE is a dimensionless number (ratio of two temperatures). The exponential function has a power series expansion (and hence must be dimensionless in physics. Its argument must be dimensionless in physics. This means that:
t1*P^t2
must be dimensionless! Well if it is, t1 must be some reference pressure, taken to the same power as the term it multiplies:
t1 = 1/P_1^t2 -> P_1^0.065 = 1/0.233 = 4.29
or:
P_1 = 5.407 x 10^9 = 5.4 x 10^4 atmospheres
(where I’m ignoring the difference between atmospheres and bar — really this is bar). Wow, the temperature on the surface of mercury depends on a pressure of 54 thousand atmospheres! I wonder where that number comes from?
For the uninitiated, the pressure in the ocean goes up by roughly one atmosphere for every ten meters of depth. 5.4 x 10^4 atm is thus the pressure at 5.4 x 10^5 meters, or 540 kilometers of depth in water! Alas, the Earth’s oceans are only a few tens of kilometers deep at their deepest points. That sort of pressure doesn’t exist on any of the planets in the list being fit. — the pressure on the surface of Venus is a mere 93 or so bar. You might find it — pretty far down — on one of the gas giants — or somewhere down inside the Sun.
This scale is, of course, absurd. There is no way that the temperature on tiny, nearly airless planets could meaningfully depend on a pressure of 54 kbar. So we have the first term:
exp(t1*P^t2) = exp((P/P_1)^t2) = exp( (P/54000)^0.065 )
where P 1/0.00154 = P_3^0.385
or
P_3 = 2.019 x 10^7 = 202 bar
Hmm, once again, I’m having a difficult time seeing where 200 bar could be a relevant pressure in any description of planetary climatology. It is over twice the size of the pressure at the base of the atmosphere on Venus, and yet is supposed to apply to a list of planetary bodies only two of which have atmospheres as high as 1 bar. Even Mars has almost negligible air pressure at the surface at 6 to 10 millibar.
Let’s write out N_TE properly then, shall we, in manifestly dimensionless form:
N_TE = exp( (P/54000)^0.065 ) * exp( (P/202)^0.385 )
Willis already dealt with the leading term in the T_s expansion — it is self-fullfiling prophecy. Let’s see what N_TE is for Earth:
N_TE(Earth) \approx exp(0.49) * exp(0.13) = 1.54 * 1.14 = 1.75
A nice number, order unity. What about the other planets? Well, for Venus this is clearly going to be a much larger number (but still not huge). For Mars it will be a much smaller number. The whole point of the big exponents is that it causes N_TE \approx 1 as soon as P << 1 bar. In fact, for small P — where even P = 1 bar is "small" in this game — we can power-series expand the exponential and observe that this is a linear fit to all of the planets but Earth and Venus, plus a quadratic and probably a cubic term that reach from Mars to Venus. The power series in P (again dimensionless) is certainly no less meaningless, and I’d predict that an ordinary 4th or 5th order power series expansion in P would work as well as this strange product of exponentials of powers of ratios of P and two utterly non-physical reference potentials.
I defy anyone to find any physics that would lead to the particular reference pressures 202 bar and 54 Kbar in the atmospheric science of Mercury, the Moon, Europa, Triton, Titan, or Mars. I double-dog-dare anyone to look for the mysterious meaning of 54 Kbar pressures in predicting the climatology of the Earth or Venus. Go on, show me how 1 g of gravity and atmospheric pressure that ranges from 1 bar to 0 can, for an ideal gas, make 54 Kbar an important, nay, critical pressure.
I’ll tell you exactly what this fit is. It is a double fit. One piece is negligible for very low pressures, where the other fits all the nearly airless planets on the list. That term, however, becomes comparable to the other right around “Earth” (1 bar) and fits only the range part between Mars and Venus! There isn’t the slightest bit of physics in either one.
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116. Arrg. The interface (or my mouse) ate a half paragraph out of my previous reply. Somewhere between where I compute the first term and the second it should have said something like “Now let’s do the same thing for the second term, and evaluate its reference pressure.” plus a half line of algebra that seems to have disappeared but follows exactly the same solution approach as the first term.
Sorry,
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117. LazyTeenager says:

Anna v says
Please read a bit on how thermodynamical equations dovetail beautifully to statistical mechanics equations where the scatterings
——-
Thanks Anna. The ideal gas definition there matched mine pretty well, but I dont want to get hung up on definitions when it is clear what the derivation of the ideal gas law from first principles requires as it’s basic assumptions.

118. And I also misspoke about a “linear” fit for the small planets. I meant a fit with only one term such as N_TE = 1 + (P/P_0)^\alpha… for some entirely meaningless P_0 and \alpha. One might manage it with a linear fit indeed, or linear with a weak quadratic correction, though. I don’t care. Numerology isn’t physics, especially when the nonlinear curve fits turn out to depend on utterly nonphysical parameters.
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119. LazyTeenager says:

John Marshall says
Gravity starts suns so why not also provide extra heat to a simple shallow atmosphere a few tens of Km deep.
———
The difference is that the initial heating of the sun or earth by gravity is only important during the sun or earth’s accretion phase.
That phase is largely over, though it is believed that gradual sinking of heavier material may be contributing a small amount to the internal energy budget of the sun, earth and Jupiter etc.
Nowadays the energy budget determining the surface temperature is determined largely by solar insolation.

120. Richard M says:

Willis, you created the tautology yourself as others have pointed out. Should make you wonder about the rest of your analysis.
On the other issue I just happened to read a bridge column last night where the only way to defeat the contract was leading away from an ace. Normally considered a stupid play but in this case the bidding made it pretty clear that something unusual was needed.
Yes, using multiple parameters to fit an equation is normally wrong, but that does not make it wrong all the time. You are making the same mistake a poor bridge player would make in assuming certain general concepts are always true.
You need to understand what they have done more closely. I pointed out in another thread that you need to consider figures 5 and 6 and note what the curve fitting produces. All and all I think you are over-reacting in this case. I can understand it somewhat given the silly comments by N&Z attacking non-PHDs. It doesn’t help your case here which is pretty much waving your arms.
Look, it’s pretty clear that there are major problems in N&Z’s hypothesis. But, attacking what may turn out to be a reasonable correlation based on an “In general” set of logic leaves a bad taste in my mouth and is not up to your normal standards.

121. jimmi_the_dalek says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:42 am
On the other hand, the fitting is definitely overdone, especially as 3 of the planets have P=0.
Also, your original objection has merit IMO – as they have omitted all properties of the atmosphere from their formulae, they have done the equivalent of postulating a totally transparent atmosphere with no chemical or optical properties – that cannot be right.

Hi Jimmi,
One of the surprising things N&Z have discovered is that the particular composition doesn’t matter. The planets still fit the curve omitting the properties. Pressure clearly dominates the setting of surface temperature (along with insolation). However it is worth noting that even moons in the outer solar system have precipitable gases like methane, and these have radiative characteristics. So the question of transparent atmosphere’s with all the attendant radiative balance issues (incorrectly) raised in the Jelbring thread doesn’t arise.

122. Kasuha says:

Your elephant fitting skills are really impressive except that you kinda miss the point.
The N&Z claim is:
Ts/Tgs = f(Pn)
Now if you take values of Ts/Tgs and Pn and put them to the graph, you get a set of points which is interpolate-able by a smooth function. Yes, the function they used is rather arbitrary and four parameters is a lot but someone smarter may figure out a way how to use even less parameters to just fit these points. Just looking at the graph also shows that there are actually multiple subsets of our eight examples which are pretty likely to generate very similar fits: take one of (Moon, Mercury, Europa), one of (Triton, Mars), one of (Earth, Titan) and Venus and you’ll get pretty similar fit with each such combination.
That does neither prove nor disprove whether there is any physical reality behind that fit. My personal opinion is, what plays important role in real surface temperature compared to gray body temperature is thermal capacity of the atmosphere and wind speeds and directions – but if these two appear to be correlated to atmospheric pressure in a favorable way, it is possible this arbitrary fit is real.
Substituting (7) to (8) is nothing more than evaluation of how realistic the fit is, as you basically take the fit and get back to source data from it. The only thing you prove by reducing it to Ts = Ts is that you omitted all of the fit’s imperfections on the way.

123. Jean Parisot says:

So the sun still matters

124. 1. Ts=Ts.
Of course it does. You’ve just proven by your own hand that their equations are properly balanced. If you could resolve them to Ts=1.5Ts theat would a be a problem.
2. E=IR and P=I^2*R. Using the precise same method that you have, I can resolve these to show that E=E, I=I, R=R and P=P. If I couldn’t, there would be a problem. That I can shows that the equations are properly balanced just as you’ve done by resolving Ts=Ts.
3. If SB Law did NOT show up as being integral to their equations, then there would be a problem. A major portion of their premise regards the proper application of SB Law, and they’ve produced equations that do precisely that, properly apply SB Law. That you can discover SB Law within their equations is no surprise. If you couldn’t, THAT would be a surprise.
4. I failed to understand your vitriol and agressiveness toward N&Z from day one. It hasn’t been objective, and your failed mathematical analysis in this thread is a prime example. Plenty of people have noticed it, and Lucy Skywalker’s admonishment upthread ought to give you pause. That said, perhaps the reason for your antagonism is contained in this thread where you once again draw attention to your own “thermostat hypothesis”. I’d ask you this Willis:
Is your cherished “thermostat hypothesis” so prescious to you that you would tear down the work of others to protect your own?

125. Alan Millar says:

I have raised the issue of free parameters many times before in the AGW debate.
How many GCMs are there, 55 or so?
I have said on a number of occasions send me 1000 or so random spins of a roulette wheel and I will send you a model that will show you can win money when applied to the data you have sent me. Hell, send me 55 lots of data and I will send you models that will win you money against all of them.
Of course a lot of these models are going to be different, not majorly different mind you. They will all use the same parameters some will be fixed but some will be free, like bet size, frequency of bet etc. The value of the parameters will however be slightly different between the models again not majorly.
My models will be very similar to the GCMs except that there will be less free parameters and the difference between the value of the free parameters will also be very likely less than in the GCMs. For aerosols for instance there can be a factor of 4 in the value of the parameter between models!
Of course someone will say a lot of these models are different and at the absolute best, only one could be right. Well that is exactly what is said about the GCMs. So the models are averaged and their output, we are now assured, is very close to reality having averaged out any gross errors.
Well I just do the same to my roulette models and get an output that I could now claim is close to reality and that reality is that you can win money consistently playing roulette.
So what is the difference between the the two sets of models?
Well we know for certain that you can not consistently win money playing roulette, we are confident in the Laws of Probability. We know, though my math is sound in my models, that I have obtained the result by use of the free parameters and my assigning particular values to them. In short they are bollocks!
Of course we know for sure that climate modelers make use of many free parameters in their models, aerosols, black carbon, clouds, land use etc etc. However, because climate science is still in its infancy (and that is why there are so many free parameters!) I cannot declare them an absolute bust as I can with my roulette models.
Using the models to establish some sort of Law or theory of climate science is so arse about that I might as well use my roulette models to create a new theory of probability!
However, whilst they might provide talking points and allow you to draw up some interesting possible scenarios why would anyone imbue them with great credibility, notwithstanding that the math might stand up, when so many free parameters are in play?
Like the Nikolov and Zeller paper, the math may appear ok but with so many free parameters, how much trust can you have in the outcome?
Not a great deal in my opinion.
Like the climate models the paper makes some interesting talking points is it anywhere near proof of anything?
Well like the GCMs clearly not.
Alan

126. Schrodinger's Cat says:

You don’t need to look at the math to see that the authors might be pushing their luck with equation (8). You just need to look at the graph and the number of points and the fact that several have no atmosphere anyway. I don’t think there is enough data or evidence to say they are right.
I don’t think there is enough to say they are wrong, either. They could be right, but there is insufficient evidence, so claiming it as a result is premature. Personally, I don’t care, because I don’t plan to live on any of these other planets or moons. However, I am very concerned about the earth and I truly believe that the AGW crowd have got it badly wrong. I can see some merit in the ATE effect and I find it disappointing that we are not debating the important stuff.

127. William M. Connolley says:

Willis is right. Obviously.
AM> So what is the difference between the the two sets of models?
Part of it is: if you take the GCMs code, and the correct initial conditions, they will predict tomorrow’s weather, or next week’s weather, for you.

128. @George E. Smith
> Well John, If YOU think I am “hung up” on anything
> you are sadly mistaken; and it is obvious that you
> have never pumped up a car or bike tire with a hand
> pump.
> The act of reducing the volume of a fixed mass of gas,
> requires applying a force …
Yes, I think I understand the ‘heat of compression’. What I meant was that your ‘hang up’ seems to be that you think ‘heat of compression’ is what N&Z is all about.
> If the container of gas DOES NOT COOL DOWN as YOU
> seem to say it won’t …
No, I didn’t say that. If you remove the source of heat (i.e. sun) the system will cool down. And yes, if you restore the source of heat, the system will get hotter. But it doesn’t matter. Read on.
What you (and the others) are not grasping is that the specific details about any radiative heating/cooling mechanism is not needed to understand how pressure establishes temperature via the Ideal Gas Law. I again invite you to read the derivation of gas law, which shows how, at the atomic temperature can be calculated at the molecular level using only Newtonian mechanics and the equi-partition theorem. Do we agree that this derivation is correct?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law#Derivations
Note that there is no reference to radiation energy here. Surprisingly, no mention of collisions either, but implicitly necessary because dp/dt would be zero otherwise. If momentum doesn’t change then there can be no forces, which establish pressure, which cause the molecules to repel each other and try to expand the occupying space.
Yes, the sun (and other sources of energy) are supplying the energy needed to “motivate” these molecules. But do you see that, at this level, we don’t care about the sources of energy when applying the idea gas law. We just accept the system, as is, with the “particles already in motion”. (Mostly by transferring heat from surface, but I digress, we don’t care how this happens, only that it sets the molecules in motions with a Boltzmann distributions of speeds.)
And from that we derive pressure (and volume by integrating the divergence) from temperature, or vice versa.
Yes, we can assume regard the Earth as an “isolated system in equilibrium”, and its atmosphere as being sufficiently ‘ideal’ (TBD) and by using the concept of ‘local equilibrium or by picking a long-enough epoch of time or space such that the average pressure suffices to describe the dynamics of the system. (How else could we discuss the ‘temperature of a system’ that is not in equilibrium).
Yes, the sun is pouring in energy all time. But the Earth radiates it back into space (at a different wavelength of course) such that EnergyIn = EnergyOut. (Otherwise we would have ‘runaway heating’ which we both agree doesn’t exist. right?) So, we have equilibrium (more or less) in that sense.
But that’s not complete N&Z theory (which will be further elaborated in Part II). But it seems to be a reasonable starting point for the theory.
Note that I’m not claiming the entire theory is correct. I don’t know all of the details either. But I think this theoretical foundation is sound enough to let these guys explain it with out a lot of jeering and insults (about their curve-fitting etc). Let’s take a respectful wait-and-see attitude. OK?
Stay tuned and grab some popcorn George, this is going to be fun.
[Ned and Karl. Have I got your N&Z foundation “approximately correct”?]

129. OK, so clearly writing so long a reply (and actually doing the work in it) made it too difficult for people to see or read down to, so let me simplify. N&Z’s “miracle equation, written in dimensionless form, is:
$N_{TE} = exp( (P/54000)^{0.065} ) * exp( (P/202)^{0.385} )$
$N_{TE} = exp( (P/54000)^0.065 ) * exp( (P/202)^0.385 )$
(sorry for the two forms, by Andrew said WordPress might grok inline latex and I’m testing as these are both actual latexisms and might render the equations correctly — if it works).
[COMMENT: Robert, I fixed the first one. To enter latex into wordpress, start with “$latex” with no space between the two, and finish with “$”. One oddity is that you need braces around numbers containing a decimal point. –willis]
In this expression, there are two reference pressures, given in bars. The first is 54 Kbar, the pressure one might find at the bottom of a column of water roughly 8% of the radius of the Earth in height. The second is 202 bar — not quite so bad, but more than twice the pressure found on the surface of Venus, the planet on the list with the heighest surface pressure.
Neither of these dimensioned numbers — which absolutely have to be the result of a reasonable derivation if N&Z’s “fit” is to be meaningful — has any possibility of being relevant in any way to climatology. They are bullshit. Willis was too kind — the reason this part of N&Z’s result is wrong isn’t just because it is a four parameter fit of an absolutely arbitrary functional form — it is that when one makes the arguments of the exponential dimensionless as they must be the characteristic pressures that emerge are absurd.
N&Z’s fit is the opposite of good physics. They didn’t even do the elementary dimensionless analysis that would have revealed that their fit contains numbers that could not possibly have the slightest bearing on the temperature of the nearly airless planets. What this function does is fit the airless planets (with a non-physical but monotonic function in P, the one with the 54000 in it). This function ranges from 1 to 2 over the range of pressures given (presuming one can meaningfully speak of a mean “pressure” on the surface of the moon or mercury). The second function is 1.02 for Mars (at a pressure of 0.01 bar, which is really on the high side). It is basically 1 (to three significant digits or more) for all of the moons and smaller planets.
This explains how N&Z get a good fit to eight data points with only four parameters. All the “airless” planets have almost no atmosphere and their surface temperature compared to some arbitrary parametric baseline is a very weak function of the pressure — so weak that increasing the pressure by six orders of magnitude on the low end of things makes only a 10% or so change in $N_{TE}$. The mechanism that keeps Mars, Earth and Venus warm, OTOH, appears to be totally different! The second term fits only these three planets — really only the last two, as 1.02 for Mars is a 2% shift and ignorable. So lessee, can I fit a two point monotonic difference function with a two parameter exponential that is basically “one” at the baseline/origin (Mars) and all pressures below! I believe I can! I bet I can do a really, really good job, too, with at most 2% total error to split three ways!
There is one very important lesson to be learned from N&Z. I mean aside from “check your dimensions and answers to make sure they are physically reasonable before publishing them”. There do appear to be two very distinct physical mechanisms at work here, comparing nearly airless planets to ones with actual atmospheric pressures large enough to keep your blood from boiling. Could they have discovered — gasp — the greenhouse effect?
Naaaaahhh, not on this website, not with all the people who are still in a state of abject denial that the greenhouse effect exists at all in spite of the top-of-atmosphere IR spectrum measurements of it in operation.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Being “skeptical” about the existence of the Greenhouse Effect is really pretty stupid. We have one very important thing that Arrhennius didn’t have — satellites with IR spectrometers. I don’t care what mechanisms create the thermal profile of the atmosphere compared to the surface. The fact that the mean temperature of the Earth is established as balance between incoming radiation and outgoing radiation, the fact that emission in the CO_2 band is in approximate thermal equilibrium with the top of the troposphere (that is, “cold”) means that the emission from the surface in the water window has to be higher than it would have been with no atmosphere at all, to keep flux balanced. That means that the surface temperature must be higher. Done. End of story. The GHE is “real” — you read it right off of the IR data.
I’m not asserting that it is the only thing going on. I remain open minded about the effects of convective mixing and so on, although I adamantly reject the arguments so far that attempt to assert that “gravity” causes some actual warming. I’m open minded about additional sources of free energy. I’m very open minded about modulation of the GHE and its (probable lack of) sensitivity to CO_2 concentration — the same satellite data suggests that the only way increased CO_2 could increase surface temperatures is by literally lifting the tropopause, and we’re talking about changes of hundredths of a percent in volume concentration, with a higher molecular mass, in a three-D atmosphere with an enormous base volume and mass, nearly all of it concentrated well below the tropopause. Then there are all of the negative feedbacks.
It is important to differentiate between CAGW, AGW, and GW from all other mechanisms. CAGW is (IMO) very, very unlikely. The large climate feedbacks proposed to lead to disaster are increasingly contradicted by the thermal record. AGW is not unlikely at all — some response to increased CO_2 is a very reasonable hypothesis, although it could be far smaller than simple arguments might suggest, especially if overall feedbacks are negative, as the overall stability of the climate suggests. Finally, the GW from all other sources is a very interesting question. I don’t really mean “warming” compared to an imaginary baseline “no atmosphere” temperature, I mean that the actual atmosphere with all of its nonlinearities, driven convection, contact with a heat-storing ocean with its nonlinearities and driven convection, and dependence on solar state has large temperature fluctuations clearly visible in its past thermal history, fluctuations that are poorly understood noise that is at least of the same order of magnitude as any possible signal of AGW. This confounds any attempt to make overreaching conclusions based on observations of the thermal record only.
Here’s a very nice way to put it. If the thermal trace of the last 1000 years, and the solar data for the last 1000 years, were given to someone, would that person be able to infer the CO_2 concentration from the data? What about the last 10,000 years? What about the last 1,000,000 years?
I’d have to say that the answer is categorically no. The temperature goes up. The temperature goes down. The greenhouse effect is clearly visible in that it never goes all the way down to where it would be without it, but there are fluctuations that are within a factor of 3 or 4 of equalling the total temperature shift associated with GH warming in the “standard” view. CO_2 (when one adds it in my means of proxies) does seem to fluctuate with temperature but as a follower of secular changes, not as a leader (through understandable mechanisms, actually).
That’s why I think that looking for atmospheric and solar mechanisms that can produce \Delta T fluctuations on the order of 1-5 K is really rather worthwhile. We know that they are there — a glance at T(t) over any time scale longer than two centuries reveals them, pretty much no matter where you are in the thermal record. N&Z are focussing on trying to explain “the big \Delta T” — the one associated with the real GHE — without it. A far more reasonable thing to do is to understand why and how the atmosphere and Sun and ocean can dynamically interact to flip the Earth into a multitude of locally stable states with temperatures that can differ by (smaller but still large) \Delta Ts quite independent of CO_2.
Absolute warming due to CO_2 could be signal, sure, or it could be noise! Specifically, it could be negligible compared to natural processes that make the temperature go up or down by a lot more than changes in CO_2 concentration, and negative feedbacks in the larger oscillations could even cancel most of any secular increase.
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130. Alan Millar says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 24, 2012 at 7:08 am
“AM> So what is the difference between the the two sets of models?
Part of it is: if you take the GCMs code, and the correct initial conditions, they will predict tomorrow’s weather, or next week’s weather, for you”
So I could run GISS model E initialised with todays conditions and get next weeks weather could I William?
Anyway very nice of you to take time off, from your job of buggering up Wikipedia, to take part in the debate.
Alan

131. William M. Connolley says:
January 24, 2012 at 7:08 am
Willis is right. Obviously.

Here’s a nice example of the kind of supporter Willis (and WUWT) is going to be left with.
if you take the GCMs code, and the correct initial conditions, they will predict tomorrow’s weather, or next week’s weather, for you.
Lol.
And of course, next years, and the year 2100.

132. I’m glad to see discussion of the statistical aspects of this problem. However, I have to point out that thus far this discussion has been somewhat stunted in its content.
While it is true that one needs “datapoints” to build and test a model, it is more precise and revealing to call them “observed events.” The observed events are a subset of a complete set of statistically independent events or “statistical population” belonging to a study.
The “predictions” of a model are extrapolations from conditions defined on the model’s independent variables to the outcomes of the events in the population. Thus, the predictions bear a one-to-one relationship to the elements of the population. The model is tested by comparison of the predicted to the observed outcomes in a subset of the observed events that is reserved for testing.
By climatological tradition, the methodology of a climatological study fails to identify the statistical population and the model fails to make predictions with the consequence that the model cannot be tested. It follows that the methodology is not a scientific one from the lack of testability of the model. To join climatology to the sciences, we need to turn this situation around.

133. Willis Eschenbach says:

Nick Stokes says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:23 am

“that still leaves four parameters and eight data points”

It’s only six data points. If you look at the table in their original post, they didn’t try to fit the Moon or Mercury.

Story just gets better.
w.

134. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 24, 2012 at 9:09 am
Nick Stokes says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:23 am
“that still leaves four parameters and eight data points”
It’s only six data points. If you look at the table in their original post, they didn’t try to fit the Moon or Mercury.
Story just gets better.
w.

And note from my argument (and a bit of actual arithmetic, sigh), one of the two forms fit is “one” for all but two points. So really what they have done is joined two fits — an exponential that is 1 for mars and pressures below but a two-parameter fit of Earth and Venus that is as “miraculously” good as you like — I think I could make it 100% accurate with algebra and a hand calculator, but that’s just me, trying to fit an arbitrary two parameter monotonic function that can be made to cut off arbitrarily sharply for pressures below a cutoff with two data points, or I could let a routine split the 2% maximum error up among Mars, Venus and Earth.
The three moons — all with very similar insolation and atmospheric pressures — and Mars are then fit with the two remaining parameters (the ones where 54 Kbar is the characteristic pressure). And look at the exponent! 0.065! It can transform even a tiny number into a big one! Talk about sensitivity…
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135. G. Karst says:

Lucy Skywalker says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:38 am

Lucy: Your comment is the only one I feel comfortable with at this time. The push-pull of people absolutely convinced of their correctness has become noise. There are many who already treat this matter as settled. It reminds me that perhaps I am getting too old and too far behind the 8 ball to play with emerging science. I look forward to your slow thoughtful analysis and your calm spirit. GK

136. Willis Eschenbach says:

Lucy Skywalker says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:38 am

I get the feeling that there are a number who can see Willis’ limitations who are no longer coming here to post. There has been a lot of shouting recently and what I did in that environment was to opt out and go back to study, carefully, the original material.

You “get the feeling”, do you? Sadly, from the rest of your post, your science has come down to just that, following your feelings.

I studied N&Z carefully only because the shouting drove me to do so… but presently I felt I had discovered a goldmine, a game-changer. The remarks of many others indicates that I am not the only person to have had that “aha!” experience. But from then on, much of my energies have been diverted into consolidating this, so that one can answer doubts just once, not tire oneself out with repeating oneself again and again to more and more individuals. So you won’t see me much. And it’s not just N&Z talking about pressure-induced atmospheric temperature, there is a tradition even older than that of Arrhenius and Callendar, that has recently produced a whole spate of work, practical experiments and data fitting theoretical maths and physics. Graeff, following Loschmidt. Now not just Jellbring and Gilbert but also Sorokhtin. And a growing number of climate skeptics, many of whom have diverted currently to Tallbloke’s threads.

Lucy, thank you for commenting. I don’t know what you are reading, but Jelbring is easily shown to violate conservation of energy. Believe my analysis or not, Jelbrings claim that gravity magically separates hot and cold air into two piles is a joke.
A process that separates air into hot and cold with no energy input? That’s magical thinking, “something for nothing” thinking, “I feel it’s true” thinking, not scientific thinking. That’s a “Maxwell’s Demon” claim. And all of your “feelings” can’t turn it into something real. Let me be perfectly clear here. Anyone who believes Jelbring after reading my analysis and Robert Brown’s analysis and the comments of the other scientists here is a scientific newbie. A naif. A babe in the scientific woods. Someone who failed their logic class. A Pollyanna. Someone whose heart over-rules their head. Truly, we’re not talking rocket science, disproving the Jelbring hypothesis is routinely given as an exercise to first year physics students
So … you can go on all you want about how many scientists believe Jelbring and how many skeptics are “diverting to tallbloke’s threads”. I’m sure there are hundreds of gullible folks doing just that, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. As H. L. Mencken said, “No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”.
I’m just saying … don’t sell your physics textbooks quite yet, because as much as you and the others might want Jelbring and N&Z and the others to be right, wanting them to be right is not sufficient.
w.

137. Kip Hansen says:

I lean to tallbloke’s understanding over willis’. There is way too much smug nitpickery in willis’ ‘analysis’ and not enough straight-talk. The kicker for me is his complaint that both sides of an equation actually equal one another — his ‘Ts = Ts’. eGads, he knows better than to pull that one out of the junk pile — after all, that’s why they call these things equations.
My suggestion is to read the threads over at tallbloke’s to get wider and less prejudiced view of N&Z.
Note to Willis: I grew up that that ‘Bill’ you mention (or his clone with the same name) — we pulled off some wild scams and conns together, what great fun it was. 🙂

138. Robert Brown said @ January 24, 2012 at 4:34 am

Numerology isn’t physics, especially when the nonlinear curve fits turn out to depend on utterly nonphysical parameters.

It’s a shame that this needed to be said. But well said anyway.
I have commenced reading Lilith. You are a talented man, Robert.

139. Wayne2 says:

@Robert Brown: I think you put latex in like so: $\latex n^2$. If that worked, it is dollar signs around latex, with a backslash latex adjacent to the opening dollar sign. If it didn’t work…

140. Wayne2 says:

@Robert Brown: Oops, there should be no backslash on the latex, according to WordPress docs: $n^2$.

141. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:39 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:21 am
tallbloke says:
January 24, 2012 at 1:33 am

Also, the constant 29.3966 in Eq. 8 is not a ‘tuned parameter’, but a result of combining 4 constants from the gray-body temperature in Eq. 2, i.e.

(2/5)*[(1 – 0.12)/(ϵ*σ)]^0.25 = 29.3966
Upon further contemplation, I realized that this statement couldn’t be true, since the albedos are different for each planet. As a result, if it is a constant for all planets it is a tuned parameter.

It’s the albedo for rocky planets without an atmosphere. Assumed to be the same for all the bodies tested. So, Moon: measured albedo 0.12 Earth with no atmosphere, about the same, etc. So, not tuned; measured from the Moon, and applied elsewhere.

My point exactly. It’s actually has nothing to do with the various planetary bodies:
It’s not the even albedo from the moon. Here are the albedos from the paper, along with the corresponding t5 parameter if we used that albedo …

Body, Bond Albedo, Parameter t5
Mercury, 0.12, 25.4
Venus, 0.75, 18.6
Earth, 0.3, 24.0
Moon, 0.11, 25.5
Mars, 0.18, 25.0
Europa, 0.64, 20.3
Titan, 0.22, 24.7
Triton, 0.75, 18.6

These albedos range from a low end of 0.11 for the moon’s albedo to 0.75 for Triton’s albedo. The corresponding value for your parameter t1 ranges from 24.5 down to 18.6. And as a result, your value for t5 of 25.3966 is, as I said, a tuned parameter and not the “result of combining 4 constants” as you claim.
However, their use of one albedo for all bodies should make you stop and think hard about their claim, tallbloke … because it brings up a critical question—why would calculating Venus’s temperature with the moon’s albedo come out correct? Answer me that riddle, and you’ll be well on your way to understanding the problems with tuned parameters.

Read Nikolov and Zellers work and their contributions to the threads on my website for details would be my advice to anyone who wants to address what they actually say. You’re not banned from reading my website Willis, just from trying to gishgallop their (or anyone elses) theory into the dust.

Thanks for the invitation, but as I said before, I wouldn’t increase your page view count by one. You don’t do science there, tallbloke, you have joined RealClimate and Tamino in banning people for their scientific opinions. I don’t visit those sites either, why on earth would I want to visit any place that censors scientific opinion?
And given N&Z’s ludicrous claims about their MAGICAL equation … why would I want to continue down their path, whether on your blog or not? Look at the update to the head post, tallbloke, where I show that I too can spin straw into gold with a simple equation … the difference is, they actually believe and passionately defend their equation, they think it means something … whereas I know that both mine and theirs are just trivial curve fitting.
So why would I want to inquire further into N&Z’s theories? Someone who doesn’t even understand the bozo-simple concept of “overfitting” is not someone whose other work I want to waste time on.
w.

142. William M. Connolley says:
January 24, 2012 at 7:08 am
Willis is right. Obviously.
AM> So what is the difference between the the two sets of models?
Part of it is: if you take the GCMs code, and the correct initial conditions, they will predict tomorrow’s weather, or next week’s weather, for you.

Uh-huh. And how many GCMs will you need to “sample” before you find one that’s right about tomorrow or next week? And what are the odds the same one will be right for the next “prediction”?
(I note the ambiguity in your grammar. Did you mean “the GCM’s code” or “the GCMs’ code”. The latter is the plural possessive, which you seem to be referencing with “they”. Since their authors claim they are just “projecting” the effects of tweaks of various parameters and make no effort to match initial conditions, the chances of any one being right about next week’s weather for the right reasons is vanishingly small.)
N&Z, I believe, are quite explicit in disclaiming any intention or ability to “predict” weather or climate, but are establishing, they say, that the baseline temperature of a planet is the result of the mass of its atmosphere (the sole actual determinant of pressure). Since that doesn’t vary over less than geological time, it is not, as they state, responsible for short-term swings. By the same token, GHGs are not responsible for the prevailing “baseline” climate.

143. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:47 am

Willis sez:

Eq. 7: Ts/Tgb = NTE(P)

Equation 7 contains parameters t1 thru t4, four parameters.

It doesn’t have to contain them because the parameters operating together in the form specified by N&Z are equivalent to (NTE)P and Ts/Tgb.
That’s why there’s two equals signs in there. One of them.between Ts/Tgb and NTE(P) and another one of those funny little parrallel line thingies (=) btween NTE(P) and the four parameters.
Sheesh.

So let me see if I’m following this. Your claim is that there is not a single tuned parameter in equation 7?
w.

144. Wayne2 says:

@Robert Brown: Thanks for your contribution here. The discussion is enormously better for it. I just started participating in these discussions with the recent posting by Bob Tisdale, which had some serious statistical misunderstandings in it, so appreciate reading good reasoning that also teaches me something.
As an illustration, one of the several problems of F&R 2011 (the topic of Bob’s article) is assuming in their model that independent variables would affect the dependent variable after exactly an N month lag. I suspect that non-multiple-of-month cycles would be obscured with monthly averages, but more importantly they didn’t consider that input X might affect the dependent variable for several months. So I found an R package that does Distribute Lag models (which seems to fit the question) and tried modeling with that.
With DLNM’s I was able to get roughly the same adjusted R-squared as F&R’s model, even though I did not include a time trend. Woot for me! Except… the results were not physically plausible. The curves all fit nicely, but the meaning of the results didn’t make sense, so all I’d done was a bit of a parlor trick.

145. Willis Eschenbach says:

OzWizard says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:48 am

Willis, I’m withholding detailed comment on the correctness of your ingenious analysis of equation (8), as it has distracted everybody from the equation (2) ‘elephant’ which is already glaring at them from within the original N & Z paper.
If equation (2) is correct, as I believe it is, and you do not yet understand it, then your above analysis (even if it is correct) is of secondary significance, compared to the paradigm shift which their equation (2) implies for GHE theory.

I discussed the derivation of equation 2 over on the comments thread. It is (as far as I can tell) a reasonable estimate of one way to calculate “graybody” temperature, corresponding to a certain set of assumptions about how that imaginary planet would be different from its current state.
However, I see nothing in it to cause a “paradigm shift”. There’s nothing in there that invalidates anything about the theory of the greenhouse effect. It’s just a different definition of a “graybody temperature”, it doesn’t affect a dang thing about the theory.
w.

146. Willis Eschenbach says:

richard verney says:
January 24, 2012 at 4:02 am

Willis
I think that the point you raise in this thread is valid.
However, that does not mean that N&Z are wrong but rather that the equation in question (and the ancillary fitting) does not necessarily carry the significance to which N&Z would have attribute to it.

What it means is that 1) the authors are clueless about mathematical models, about fitted parameters, and about overfitting, and 2) so are all of their friends who read and discussed their ideas before they were published here.
Does this mean that they are wrong? Of course not. It just means that they are clueless about math and models, and they hang out with similarly clueless people. Sure, they could still be right … but it doesn’t improve the odds.

When English is not the first language of an author, it is necessary to give wide latitude to the language being used. I appreciate that this can often be difficult since precision in language is often of utmost importance. It is unfortunate that they used the expression ‘miracle’. Clearly the choice of that expression to a native English speaker is wrong but this should not in itself be used as a vehicle of harsh criticism or judgment when dealing with someone whose first language is not English

While your heart does you good in that paragraph, it doesn’t say a lot for your brain. Are you claiming that Zeller didn’t know what a MIRACLE is? I doubt that greatly. But set the exact wording aside, Richard, and consider his claim. Clearly, he thinks that the result of a fitted equation with four or five parameters is hugely, world-shakingly significant.
Spare me …
w.

147. Matthew Sullivan says:

Taking pressure to the powers of 0.0651203 and 0.385232. That’s… interesting.

148. G. Karst says:

This constant usage of the words “MIRACLE” and “MAGIC” as well as “PERPETUAL” are not helpful. They are an attempt, to lead people to a dismissal of facts presented, without due consideration. They are disrespectful and can be easily dropped. Let’s try reasoned arguments using reasoned words. I don’t care who first started using them. GK

149. Willis Eschenbach says:

Kip Hansen says:
January 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

I lean to tallbloke’s understanding over willis’. There is way too much smug nitpickery in willis’ ‘analysis’ and not enough straight-talk. The kicker for me is his complaint that both sides of an equation actually equal one another — his ‘Ts = Ts’. eGads, he knows better than to pull that one out of the junk pile — after all, that’s why they call these things equations.

So you judge your science, not on what you think of it, not on what someone else says about it, but on whether you like the style of the people that are commenting on it. Not their science, but their style. You think you can tell good science from science with mathematical errors in it based on whether the person explaining the error indulges in “smug nitpickery”.
OK, so you don’t consider the underlying issues yourself, instead you judge science on the optics of the presenter of the idea. Good to know that for when you next comment.
w.
PS—I pointed out that what they have done in the right side of the equation is to approximate the equation Tgb * Ts / Tgb so that people could understand what they have done. It looks like some random equation with a raft of fitted parameters and a couple variables. But at the heart it is only Tgb * Ts / Tgb.
My complaint is not that they have done that. That’s not a problem. The problem is that they have used 5 fitted parameters and (as Robert Brown points out) a very cleverly designed algorithm to do that, which means that they have not done anything worth paying attention to. With that many parameters it is easy to hokey up an estimate of Ts. But if that estimate is meaningless as theirs is, you’ve done nothing more than show that Ts = Ts.

150. Willis Eschenbach says:

Robert Brown says:
January 24, 2012 at 9:17 am

… And note from my argument (and a bit of actual arithmetic, sigh), one of the two forms fit is “one” for all but two points. So really what they have done is joined two fits — an exponential that is 1 for mars and pressures below but a two-parameter fit of Earth and Venus that is as “miraculously” good as you like — I think I could make it 100% accurate with algebra and a hand calculator, but that’s just me, trying to fit an arbitrary two parameter monotonic function that can be made to cut off arbitrarily sharply for pressures below a cutoff with two data points, or I could let a routine split the 2% maximum error up among Mars, Venus and Earth.
The three moons — all with very similar insolation and atmospheric pressures — and Mars are then fit with the two remaining parameters (the ones where 54 Kbar is the characteristic pressure). And look at the exponent! 0.065! It can transform even a tiny number into a big one! Talk about sensitivity…
rgb

Interesting analysis, Robert. I tried to untangle what their use of two functions of the same variable might be doing, but I couldn’t see it.
Folks, Robert has pointed out an important thing. By using two functions of the pressure, what they have done is to provide what is essentially two equations spliced together, one of which covers the Earth and Venus, and the other of which covers the rest of the planets. Quite clever of them, actually, but of course at the end of the day it is as meaningless as my fitting of an equation using Tgb, pressure, and gravity to the temperature data.
w.

151. Bomber_the_Cat says:

Lucy Skywalker says:
January 24, 2012 at 3:38 am
“I get the feeling that there are a number who can see Willis’ limitations who are no longer coming here to post.”
Yes, their goose has been well and truly cooked by Willis’s article, their fox has been shot. Anyone with a basic knowledge of science, or in this case,just basic mathematics, is aware that when the number of ‘fudge factors’ exceeds the number of unknowns then any ridiculous proposition can be formalised. It isn’t really a ‘Miracle’. Well done Willis – that’s what I call a game-changer.
Lucy, have you ever thought that you and Tallbloke do harm to the sceptic cause by promoting nonsense?
Apart from that you made a good post Lucy, I see that you write well – maybe you should seek a career down that path. Have you ever tried fiction or fairy stories?
Oh – just looked at your website! Good luck.

152. Phil. says:

Robert Brown says:
January 24, 2012 at 9:17 am
And note from my argument (and a bit of actual arithmetic, sigh), one of the two forms fit is “one” for all but two points. So really what they have done is joined two fits — an exponential that is 1 for mars and pressures below but a two-parameter fit of Earth and Venus that is as “miraculously” good as you like — I think I could make it 100% accurate with algebra and a hand calculator, but that’s just me, trying to fit an arbitrary two parameter monotonic function that can be made to cut off arbitrarily sharply for pressures below a cutoff with two data points, or I could let a routine split the 2% maximum error up among Mars, Venus and Earth.
The three moons — all with very similar insolation and atmospheric pressures — and Mars are then fit with the two remaining parameters (the ones where 54 Kbar is the characteristic pressure). And look at the exponent! 0.065! It can transform even a tiny number into a big one! Talk about sensitivity…

Agreed, the obvious reason for the pressure dependence of Earth and Venus is the pressure dependence of their atmospheric absorption/emission due to pressure broadening of the absorber/emitter spectral lines, far from falsifying the Greenhouse theory this result is what would be expected. The GHE is amplified by pressure (no surprise to anyone who understands the physics)!

153. Willis Eschenbach writes:
neither my emulation nor N&Z’s emulation of the planetary temperatures are worth a bucket of warm spit…
I agree with you regarding the quality and value of your input.

154. kdk33 said @ January 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

The lapse rate doesn’t apply to the ocean because water is incompressible.

What utter tosh! Water at the bottom of the ocean is denser than water at the surface at the same temperature. From the Wikibloodypedia:

The compressibility of water is a function of pressure and temperature. At 0 °C, at the limit of zero pressure, the compressibility is 5.1×10−10 Pa−1. At the zero-pressure limit, the compressibility reaches a minimum of 4.4×10−10 Pa−1 around 45 °C before increasing again with increasing temperature. As the pressure is increased, the compressibility decreases, being 3.9×10−10 Pa−1 at 0 °C and 100 MPa.

155. JPeden says:

Alan Millar says:
January 24, 2012 at 7:53 am
William M. Connolley says:
January 24, 2012 at 7:08 am
“AM> So what is the difference between the the two sets of models?
Part of it is: if you take the GCMs code, and the correct initial conditions, they will predict tomorrow’s weather, or next week’s weather, for you”
So I could run GISS model E initialised with todays conditions and get next weeks weather could I William?

No! But you can “Forecast the…er…Facts”. Naturally, being a Great Sophist*, William doesn’t say whether the “Facts” will turn out to be empirically correct or not. And why bother, when prediction success is not his goal to begin with?
*Note to William, there aren’t any…

156. Mike M says:

It seems so painfully familiar it got me wondering if either Nikolov or Zeller ever wrote a textbook for fluid mechanics?

157. Legatus says:

“smug nitpickery”

Nitpickery, whether (considered) smug or not, is what is called “The Scientific Method”. You present your idea, all the methods and data you used to verify that idea, to the public, and they then try and “pick” it apart (try it themselves, see if it works). This is known as “falsification”, if it succeeds, your idea is partially or completely wrong and you go back to the drawing board. Pride often causes people to not acknowledge that it is time to start over. Pride is the enemy of science, too much pride and we would still be using stone tools (if that).

Not their science, but their style

The actual main reason Galileo was put on trial for “heresy” was because of his style. He constantly insulted his detractors, and so they wanted to hurt him. This is also shown by recent scholarship that shows that the church itself was actually on Galileo’s side. The entire scientific method was invented to get around the problems of people choosing style over substance. Before the method was used, it was all style, you decided what the natural world was like based on who had a better styled argument on which Old Dead Greek Guy was right and which was wrong. I, for one, would rather have “nitpickery”, whether smug or not, with substance, instead of lack of or incorrect substance no matter the style. If you prefer style over substance, you will be taken in by con artists a lot, you can even take yourself in this way. You will note that in the end, everyone has come to believe Galileo despite the fact that he had terrible style (his nitpickery was very smug).
Just as an aside, what Napoleon then followed his preferred generals statement with was “Good generals make their own luck”. Setting things up so that you are more likely to get a lucky break (walking down seventh street when you suspect you might get into a fight on third street), being able to spot that break, knowing what to do to take advantage of it (perhaps already having set things up so that you can do so), and doing so fast before it gets away, are what he is talking about. The set of people who have had luck presented to them is greater than the set of people who have taken advantage of it (and possibly arraigned things so that it could happen) and been called “lucky”.

158. Willis Eschenbach says:

malagaview says:
January 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Willis Eschenbach writes:

neither my emulation nor N&Z’s emulation of the planetary temperatures are worth a bucket of warm spit…

I agree with you regarding the quality and value of your input.

So your contention is that the N&Z emulation of planetary temperatures is in fact worth a bucket of warm spit?
I do love people who come by with only venom. No numbers. No ideas. No logic. No insights.
And more than anything, no attempt to falsify, contradict, or even clarify or expand on a single thing I or anyone else has said.
Just venom, pure and simple. What a life, go around and dribble your toxic thoughts on a variety of websites, don’t contribute a thing, just make a nasty comment and move on.
Oh, well. Here, we do science, malagaview. Try it, you might like it.
w.

159. Joel Shore says:

Regarding the difference between the parameters in climate models and the parameters in a simple empirical model:
There is a big difference. A simple empirical model is designed to fit one particular piece of data and as such the empirical form is designed to do this. Climate models are designed totally differently: They are designed to emulate the atmosphere mechanistically. Their parameters are of an entirely different sort.
While von Neumann statement about free parameters is true for properly-chosen free parameters, it is also true that I could give you a function with 1 million free parameters that nonetheless could still not fit some very simple data.
And, the proof is in the pudding: Despite the fact that you have close to 20 climate models out there, none of them have been able to successfully fit the historical global temperature record without anthropogenic forcings. Even if you believe in a mass conspiracy theory that has prevented any groups from trying to do this or reporting a successful result of doing this, you have models in the public domain that any “AGW skeptic” could use to disprove my statement.
Now, there is one point worth noting: Since the forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols is a big unknown, it is true that models that include anthropogenic forcings that have different climate sensitivities can do equally well in reproducing the global temperature record by having different aerosol forcings. This is the reason why, in practice, the historical global temperature record does not constrain the value of the climate sensitivity that well.
So, despite the fact that the climate models tell us that the global temperature record can’t be reproduced without anthropogenic forcings, this record does not do that much to constrain what the climate sensitivity of the models has to be in order to get a good fit. Climate sensitivity is better constrained by other empirical data and most significantly by a combination of all empirical data available. Such data includes paleoclimate data (especially the Last Glacial Maximum)), data from major volcanic eruptions like Mt Pinatubo, and data on the present-day seasonal cycle.

160. [SNIP: Dr. Nikolov: I’d like to believe that you would have second thoughts about this. Could I ask you to, uhhh, rephrase this? -REP]

161. Willis Eschenbach says:

Joel Shore says:
January 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Regarding the difference between the parameters in climate models and the parameters in a simple empirical model:
There is a big difference. A simple empirical model is designed to fit one particular piece of data and as such the empirical form is designed to do this. Climate models are designed totally differently: They are designed to emulate the atmosphere mechanistically. Their parameters are of an entirely different sort.
While von Neumann statement about free parameters is true for properly-chosen free parameters, it is also true that I could give you a function with 1 million free parameters that nonetheless could still not fit some very simple data.
And, the proof is in the pudding: Despite the fact that you have close to 20 climate models out there, none of them have been able to successfully fit the historical global temperature record without anthropogenic forcings.

Yes, and that’s an exhaustive exploration of the climate model space … NOT. What we have is a number of models built on the same principle by people who believe the same things and that sometimes share chunks of code. The idea that your theory is right because your models can’t replicate the past is typical of the circular reasoning of AGW supporters.
This is PARTICULARLY TRUE OF TUNED MODELS, as you well know, Joel. You are seriously proposing this procedure:
1. You take a model which has been carefully tuned to replicate the past using inputs a, b, c, d, and e.
2. You pull out input “e” and note that the model does poorly without that input.
3. You conclude that “e” is a valid and necessary part of the system that the model is trying to represent.
So no, Joel, I’m not at all surprised that when you take half the forcing out of a tuned model, it doesn’t do well, and neither should you be.
That’s the problem with tuned models, just as in the tuned model in equation 8. Here’s a great example.
In my model above, I used gravity, density, and Tgb. Now, if I pull out Tgb and leave the rest unchanged,
a) will the fit get better or worse?
b) will the difference in the fit mean anything at all?
You see the problem in your claim, I’m sure.
w.

162. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:

I suspected something was very wrong when they claimed that the mean temperature of a planet is not affected by the uniformness of the temperature. That is simply not consitent with the non-linearity of the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

163. Joel Shore says:

Willis: Strange then that neither you nor any other skeptics have ever taken me up on my challenge to “retune” the models and show how you can fit the historical global temperature record without the anthropogenic forcings! At some point, the people who claim this is possible have to demonstrate it, no?
That is why I went through the trouble of demonstrating a specific case with N&Z whereby I did change the data (by artificially lowering the surface temperature data for the 3 celestial bodies that had a significant radiative greenhouse effect back down to the conventially-calculated blackbody emission temperature) and then I retuned their model and showed how it still fit this changed data! If you did the same thing with a climate model, you might have a convincing case. In the absence of doing so, not so much!

164. William M. Connolley says:

> 1. You take a model which has been carefully tuned to replicate the past using inputs a, b, c, d, and e.
No, that isn’t how GCMs are built. It is funny, that as soon as you stray away from the stuff you know about, you go hopelessly wrong.

165. Legatus said @ January 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm
[several things I must agree with]
but…

You will note that in the end, everyone has come to believe Galileo despite the fact that he had terrible style (his nitpickery was very smug).

We believe Galileo where he was correct. Unfortunately, Galileo was a man of great style and relished being the life and soul of the party in an era without television. He promoted, in his subsequently banned book “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”, the idea that tides were caused by the rotation of the Earth contra Galilean Relativity, and insulted the Pope in the same book. It’s worth noting that Galileo wrote inside his own copy of the book that he knew his tides argument was utter balderdash (paraphrasing here).
Immediately before this, Galileo was also embroiled in a vicious dispute with the Jesuit astronomer Fr de Grassi. de Grassi had demonstrated that comets occupied space between the Earth and sun; Galileo insisted they were an atmospheric phenomenon. Galileo had engineered his own downfall by alienating his friends such as the Jesuits and the Pope, and playing into the hands of his enemies The Pigeon League. [/nitpick]

166. scf says:

“By using two functions of the pressure, what they have done is to provide what is essentially two equations spliced together, one of which covers the Earth and Venus, and the other of which covers the rest of the planets.”
This makes me less impressed with their curve-fitting abilities. It’s the trivial way to get to what they want:
1. create a curve that maps one subset and is 0 elsewhere
2. create a curve that maps the other subset and is 0 elsewhere
3. Add the two curves. We have a curve that maps everything!
Of course, they’ve used the exponential version of this recipe:
1. create an exponential curve that maps one subset and is 1 elsewhere
2. create an exponential curve that maps the other subset and is 1 elsewhere
3. Multiply the exponentials. We have a curve that maps everything!
Terry Oldberg had some good points about the statistics involved. When fitting curves, It is necessary that one use up any and all available datapoints, so that nobody can take your curve and map it to an observed event that you’ve missed.
I can’t wait until scientists manage to measure the irradiation, surface temperature and surface pressure of another planet. Then we’ll be able to see how equation 8 stacks up. Personally, I’m not confident that it will stand strong.

167. Joel Shore,
How well do the models do when the aerosol OR solar forcing is taken out??
Oh yeah, they are tuned to have all those forcings!! Snicker.

168. Willis Eschenbach says:

Joel Shore says:
January 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Willis: Strange then that neither you nor any other skeptics have ever taken me up on my challenge to “retune” the models and show how you can fit the historical global temperature record without the anthropogenic forcings! At some point, the people who claim this is possible have to demonstrate it, no?

I’ll do it in a hot second, Joel. Of course, you’ll provide the model, the supercomputer, the graduate assistants, the programmers, and the funding, no?
Joel, that’s just a red herring. If you take a tuned model and pull out one or more of the inputs, it will do worse than with all the inputs.
You know that. I know that.
Your statement is the equivalent of “If I pull the anthropogenic inputs out of the climate models, then they can no longer hindcast the planetary temperature, and that shows that humans cause warming”.
Now, this is the important part. That is exactly the same as saying “If I pull the Gravity inputs out of Willis’ model, it can no longer predict the planetary temperatures, and that shows that Gravity causes warming”.
In neither case does it mean anything.
It means nothing that my model can successfully and exactly hindcast the planetary temperatures. It is tuned to do that.
It means nothing that the climate models can successfully and kinda closely hindcast the planetary temperature. They are tuned to do that.
It means nothing that my model cannot hindcast the planetary temperatures without the Gravity term. It doesn’t mean that Gravity causes planetary temperatures.
It means nothing that climate models cannot hindcast the planetary temperatures without the Anthropogenic term. It doesn’t mean that us anthroposubgeniuses cause planetary temperatures.
So let me request that stop bringing this bogus “test” up as though it proves something. It means nothing. You can’t have it both ways, Joel. You can’t bust H&N for a fitted model and then say fitted climate models are probative.
For those who claim that the models are not tuned, see Kiehl for the results of the tuning. Here’s the odd part. All the models give very different results for climate sensitivity. At one end, some say the climate is very, very sensitive to forcing, up to six degrees for a doubling.
Others say much less, down in the 1.5 – 2 degree per doubling range.
Yet all of them, each and every one, does reasonably well at hindcasting the global temperature. They all disagree greatly about the future, they are terrible at hindcasting precipitation, but lo and behold, they can all hindcast planetary temperature as accurately as H&N can.
Strange, that. What are the odds that by chance they would be so widely different on a basic parameter like climate sensitivity, and they would disagree so widely about what the future holds … and yet they would all be able to hindcast the historical record so well?
Joel, if you think that can happen based on physical principles without tuning, I’m not sure what to say except, read Kiehl. There is a good discussion of the implications of Kiehl’s paper (2007) here.
w.

169. Tilo Reber says:

Joel Shore: “Strange then that neither you nor any other skeptics have ever taken me up on my challenge to “retune” the models and show how you can fit the historical global temperature record without the anthropogenic forcings!”
You have a climate model that can fit the historical data for more than a few hundred years? Got a charted sample of that somewhere?

170. WIllis, it does not surprise me that a “cowboy” like you was one of the first to spot bullshit when you saw it. Great work on this Topic thread, I no longer give any scientific credence to the work of N&Z. THANKS!
– Ira

171. jorgekafkazar says:

John Marshall says: “…Jupiter, with its atmosphere of hydrogen and helium, radiates more heat than it receives. since there are no GHG’s in the Jovian atmosphere there must be another mechanism to create that extra heat and that must be gravity.”
No, there’s plenty of methane in Jupiter’s atmosphere, so wrong on that count. The extra heat may be from Uranium or other radioactive elements in the core, so your last “must” is wrong, too. Some say there may be some fusion, too, but we lack evidence of that.

172. jae says:

Uh, Willis:
Perhaps the BEST empirical evidence for the NZ ideas is presented by Huffman, concerning his treatise on the origin of the temps on Venus. Whose treatise you evidently have completely discarded, IIRC, by stating that it “gives you a headache!” Oh, yah, W., that’s a very scientific reason to ignore him, indeed! (Could the “headache” be caused by the Confirmation Bias Syndrome?)
You (as well as all the other self-proclaimed “experts” here, BTW, including, especially, the expert-sounding Brown, Joel, et. al.) seem to carefully ignore Huffman’s proofs. But in all fairness and honesty, maybe it’s time that you tried to discredit his empirical data for Venus, also? If you do that, then I think you will have also proved NZ wrong, and I will admit I’m also wrong. But not before, I’m thinking…
And beyond all this physics, which I admit is over my head, we have no evidence AT ALL that increases in GHGs have ever caused increases in temperature. The present era is a very good example. Where’s the beef?

173. jae says:

Ira:
“WIllis, it does not surprise me that a “cowboy” like you was one of the first to spot bullshit when you saw it. Great work on this Topic thread, I no longer give any scientific credence to the work of N&Z. THANKS!
– Ira”
REAL scientific conversation in action, Ira. LOL. It could easily be in the Climategate emails!

174. Tilo Reber says:

Konrad Hartmann ran a nice little physical experiment at Tallbloke’s showing the relationship between pressure and temperature in the presence of a radiative source. This should help the understanding of the tire pumpers, like George Smith.
Regarding the curve fitting issue, Wilis seems to be of the opinion that some number of parameters, X, automatically becomes an overfit. I agree with John Day. It depends on what is being modeled and how convoluted the thing that one is fitting to is. In the case of an almost random walk looking data set, like historical temperature, pushing the number of parameters to force the fit is a problem. I don’t see that N&Z are doing that. They are not fitting an elephant. Still, there is a problem with the number of parameters. It could be that their model is wrong and that their results are only due to overfit. But it could also be true that their model is right, in which case the number of parameters do not make it wrong, as Willis seems to think.
From my perspective, N&Zs main point is that higher pressure means more gas density which in turn means more captured radiative energy which then means higher temperature. I can’t see how Willis’ quibbling about curve fitting helps with proving or disproving that idea. Konrad Hartmann’s experiment, however, is a real contribution.

175. jorgekafkazar says:

LazyTeenager says: “To summarize: the derivation is all about individual molecules, their kinetic energies and how that determines the impulse on the walls of the container, and hence the pressure. There is no need to consider collisions between molecules at all. It is not relevant.”
Nice try, Lazy. How you do squirm! If it is not relevant, then why did you bring them into the discussion? January 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm:
“The ideal gas theory considers molecules to be too small to collide with each other and ignores that factor as being…” –Lazy Teenager.

176. jorgekafkazar says:

William M. Connolley says: “…if you take the GCMs code, and the correct initial conditions, they will predict tomorrow’s weather, or next week’s weather, for you.”
Beyond that, they’re worthless.

177. Allen63 says:

Surprising that someone would “over fit” to that extent and not recognize doing it. However, I caught the “non-mathematician scientists” at work doing that sort of thing routinely. So, maybe not so surprising.
Doesn’t mean they’re conclusions are wrong. Simply means their approach gives, at best, extremely weak confirmation of cause and effect. Basically worthless as it stands.

178. jorgekafkazar says:

Willis says: “Thanks, tallbloke. Here on this thread I’m focused on what they did in equations 7 and 8. There are many aspects to their work. I oppose the idea that it can all be settled in one thread.”
(1) It’s your thread, Willis; (2) covering all of N&Z in a single thread is proven bogus by what we’ve seen here. Even restricting discussion to two lousy equations has resulted in chaos. We even drew in Der Übertroll, to no particular gain. (3) It’s your thread.

179. Tilo Reber says:
January 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm
. . . From my perspective, N&Zs main point is that higher pressure means more gas density which in turn means more captured radiative energy which then means higher temperature. I can’t see how Willis’ quibbling about curve fitting helps with proving or disproving that idea. Konrad Hartmann’s experiment, however, is a real contribution.

Naive question: Isn’t this pretty close to the ‘elevator speech’ that Willis was asking for a few posts back? Sounds pretty common-sensical. One might ask how the gas captures radiative energy. In Willis’s challenge, the gas was transparent to IR. So it gets energized by conduction from the IR-absorbing surface. No GHGs necessary. And gravity makes it denser. All you need is an external source of radiation.
/Mr Lynn

180. G. Karst says:

davidmhoffer says:
January 24, 2012 at 6:06 am
1. Ts=Ts.
Of course it does. You’ve just proven by your own hand that their equations are properly balanced. If you could resolve them to Ts=1.5Ts theat would a be a problem.
2. E=IR and P=I^2*R. Using the precise same method that you have, I can resolve these to show that E=E, I=I, R=R and P=P. If I couldn’t, there would be a problem. That I can shows that the equations are properly balanced just as you’ve done by resolving Ts=Ts.
3. If SB Law did NOT show up as being integral to their equations, then there would be a problem. A major portion of their premise regards the proper application of SB Law, and they’ve produced equations that do precisely that, properly apply SB Law. That you can discover SB Law within their equations is no surprise. If you couldn’t, THAT would be a surprise.

Good response… That was my first reaction also, and was wondering if I was “out to lunch”. I still may be, but it’s nice to have company. GK

181. George E. Smith; says:

“”””” Edim says:
January 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm
George E. Smith; says:
“So what part of THIS SYTEM IS “NOT” IN EQUILIBRIUM is it that YOU do not understand. It is not even a closed system, since you yourself said it is being illuminated by a star which is constantly feeding energy into the system.
OOoops !! the ideal gas law applies ONLY to closed systems in thermal equilibrium. Gee!! that requires the whole system to be at a single uniform Temperature.”
This is not correct. Ideal gas law applies to any point (x,y,z) of gas when ideal gas approximation can be used with reasonable accuracy (real gas that behaves sufficiently like an ideal gas). When not, there are more detailed equations of state gor real gases. Equilibrium or not is irrelevant. “””””
Well Edim, now we have a real conundrum: “””””
This is not correct. Ideal gas law applies to any point (x,y,z) of gas when ideal gas approximation can be used with reasonable accuracy “””””
How about that: I went to your point (x,y,z) to look for the ideal gas, and I found nothing at all there. Now it is possible that something might at some time have been near there; but Werner Heisenberg tells me it doesn’t stay there any length of time, and I have no idea where the hell it went. Whatever it was, that maybe at one time was at x,y,z, it sure as hell wasn’t a gas, let alone an ideal gas; maybe an atom or molecule came by sometime; but NO, you cannot have a gas at x,y,z .
Whether the gas is real or ideal is somewhat inconsequential Yes we know that real gases consist of a very large number of molecules, or else they don’t have a definable Temperature, and without a definable Temperature, any equation of state, whether ideal or Van der Waals, or other is useless.
If the N&Z miracle equation can foretell the Temperature of the atmosphere on any planet, evidently without any consideration of what energy surces (if any) are present, then clearly I need to look for some alternative work from what I do now.
Now if you have five variables and eight observed data points, then I suppose you can write a formula that recovers those eight data points quite well, well with eight variables you should get all eight with complete accuracy. I have absolutely no qualms about such an equation.
One can even do it in words: eg “Bad boys rape our young girls, but violet gives willingly.”
Hows that for a miracle equation ? Every Radio Shack hobbyist knows that equation derives all the colors of the standard resistor color code; a “cool” way to remember a finite number of simple facts. Unfortunately, it gives a completely wrong set of answers for the colors of the rainbow. Dang ! I thought I was on to something there.
Dr Roy Spencer’s “third order polynomial” which he warns us is for entertainment only crashes and burns outside of the sphere of influence for which Roy designed it. That’s why he told us it was just for fun.
N&Z miracle is for fun only, it replicates the finite set of numbers that were used to create it.

182. scf (Jan. 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm):
Thanks for taking the time to respond and for the kind words! Your response make me wonder whether my message got across to you as I had intended. Though independent statistical events and datapoints are related, they are different concepts. Though IPCC assessment report 4 references datapoints, it does not reference the complete set of independent statistical events, the so-called “statistical population” of the IPCC’s study yet observed events from this population (if any) provide the sole basis for testing this study’s model.

183. George E. Smith; says:

“”””” LazyTeenager says:
January 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm
George E Smith says
Note that the temperature T of a system in equilibrium can be computed from the just kinetic energy of the moving gas particles and their mutual collisions (density, implying pressure). We don’t need to know the radiative aspects of the system to compute the temperature! What part of the Ideal Gas Law do you not understand here? “””””
——-
Somewhat ironically George claims that temperature can be calculated from —mutual—- collisions of gas molecules. This is not true.
The ideal gas theory considers molecules to be too small to collide with each other and ignores that factor as being
Seems George needs to spend some time actually studying the ideal as law “””””
Now Lazy; in my book, there is no lower form of animal life, than someone, who doesn’t even have the guts or confidence in their own position, to actually put their name to such unmitigated balderdash, as you have alleged here; to whit.
“”””” George E Smith says
Note that the temperature T of a system in equilibrium can be computed from the just kinetic energy of the moving gas particles and their mutual collisions (density, implying pressure). We don’t need to know the radiative aspects of the system to compute the temperature! What part of the Ideal Gas Law do you not understand here? “””””
——-
Somewhat ironically George claims that temperature can be calculated from —mutual—- collisions of gas molecules. This is not true. “””””
So now you truly lazy bladderwort, Why don’t you just go and find exactly WHERE it was that ” I SAID THAT” Just try and find where I said anything even vaguely resembling that.
For a start, my command of the English language, is sufficiently adequate, that I would never write anything quite that garbled.
So do us all a favor, and go back and find WHO IT WAS WHO ACTUALLY DID SAY THAT
Then why don’t you come back and give me an apology.
Do not put words into my mouth. I choose my words carefully; words have meaning; different words have different meaning; I choose to not use different words.
So if you are going to quote me; do so IN MY WORDS They mean exactly what I intended them to mean.
And do it quickly before I decide to post what I REALLY think of people like you.

184. Willis Eschenbach says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

1. You take a model which has been carefully tuned to replicate the past using inputs a, b, c, d, and e.

No, that isn’t how GCMs are built. It is funny, that as soon as you stray away from the stuff you know about, you go hopelessly wrong.

Ooooh, William doesn’t think that climate models are tuned, excuuuuse me! If this was Wikipedia, he’d just erase my statements …
William, you are an unpleasant man who has made a life out of erasing any opposition to your views from the Wikipedia pages on climate science. You did it in such a slimy way that Wikipedia finally threw you out on your keester.
Let me be clear. I do not like seeing you on my threads. You are a wrecker and a destroyer, not a builder or a teacher. Dissension and disagreement follow you like a bad smell.
I advise everyone, this man is a danger. Google his name, he is quite infamous. He is quite happy to do just about any underhanded thing to advance AGW alarmism. There has rarely been a clearer case of Noble Cause Corruption, as throughout his whole skeevy list of actions that finally cost him his title at Wikipedia, while ruthlessly squelching opposition views, he has always seen himself as being the white knight crusader for saving the planet, and devil take the hindmost.
William, you are so far in the wrong that it is doubtful that you could ever get back in the right. You are a dishonest, untrustworthy, and nasty person that has burnt all possible bridges. You can get back, but you’ll need to build the bridges.
Now, I have no desire to ban you from here, that’s not my style. I would greatly prefer it if you talked about nothing but the science. It would be nice if you put a curb on your tongue and a muzzle on your insinuations, but if you want to be a jerk I wont stop you. I just wanted to let you know how I feel about your presence. It makes me want to put Vaporub on my upper lip.
w.
… aw, man, now I’ve gone and blown my shot at reforming, I’ve fallen back down to the bottom of the twelve steps. Nothin’ else to do but stand up and start climbing all over again …

185. Willis Eschenbach says:

Ira Glickstein, PhD says:
January 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm

WIllis, it does not surprise me that a “cowboy” like you was one of the first to spot bullshit when you saw it. Great work on this Topic thread, I no longer give any scientific credence to the work of N&Z. THANKS!
– Ira

Thanks, Ira. Practical experience is greatly under-rated in the sciences. Being out in the real world as a commercial fisherman and a mechanic and a diver and a builder and the like give a man a pretty good BS detector.
I’d never heard of N&Z until they were posted here. I didn’t read their post until I read yours. My comment on their kind of gravito-thermal theories was:

Man, this kind of nonsense makes my head ache. When I read things like …

Atmospheric Near-Surface Thermal Enhancement should not be confused with an actual energy, however, since it only defines the relative (fractional) increase of a planet’s surface temperature above that of a Standard Planetary Gray Body. Pressure by itself is not a source of energy! Instead, it enhances (amplifies) the energy supplied by an external source such as the Sun through density-dependent rates of molecular collision. This relative enhancement only manifests as an actual energy in the presence of external heating.

I defy anyone to tell me what that means. It’s not energy, just a “relative enhancement” but it “manifests itself as an actual energy in the presence of external heating”.
Say what? Do people just swallow that content-free doubletalk in one big gulp, or is it easier to keep from gagging if you down it a word at a time?

The other thing to my advantage is that I worked as a bureaucrat for some years. I’ve both written and read dozens and dozens of project proposals and grant reports and replies to overseas donors and the like. Bureaucrats love the kind of bafflegab that N&Z are putting out above, the type that seems to say something but says nothing at all. So for example, sorting through dozens of applications which I could fund, partially fund, or not fund has definitely helped my ability to see through empty rhetoric.
That’s why I pushed people to give an elevator speech, to show that they’re not just all hat and no cattle, that they do understand the theory that they are defending.
All the best, keep up the good fight,
w.

186. jorgekafkazar says:

Willis says: “…now I’ve gone and blown my shot at reforming…”
Der Übertroll strikes again!

187. BigTenBob says:

Willis, you are too kind in your rebuke of Joel Shore. C’mon Joel, which models are out there for skeptics to tune, test, and evaluate first hand? Willis and Tilo really say all that needs to be said about the models. Nostradamus predictions brilliantly hindcast as well..
..
and John Marshall says: “… since there are no GHG’s in the Jovian atmosphere there must be another mechanism to create that extra heat and that must be gravity.”
Well that solves it then! Good grief, Must avoid using “must” on all but laws and first principals lest the word itself becomes your argument.

188. Jim D says:

Seems even more apropos now, so I will repost what I said ten days ago on “A matter of some gravity” thread. Willis kind of echoed the second one. I think eventually someone will also realize what I did about Jelbring’s greenhouse effect definition being actually his own invention.
“Jim D says:
January 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm
Elevator speech on Jelbring:
The atmosphere is warmer as you go down in it because of the adiabatic lapse rate (g/cp) therefore greenhouse gases have nothing to do with the adiabatic lapse rate (true). The adiabatic lapse rate causes the greenhouse effect (false).
Elevator speech on Nikolov and Zeller:
You can fit a four-parameter curve to surface temperature over blackbody temperature ratio of seven solar system atmospheres just as a function of mass (not albedo or composition or clouds!). Therefore these other things don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that you can’t derive this curve except by a mathematical fit to the data. Who needs to explain why it fits?”

189. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm
William M. Connolley says:
January 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

There has rarely been a clearer case of Noble Cause Corruption, as throughout his whole skeevy list of actions that finally cost him his title at Wikipedia,

w.

Actually, it was just a wee time-out, some misdirection. His friends/pawns continued in his brief absence, and he’s now back on the Editorial Board, making up for lost time.

190. Willis Eschenbach says:

jorgekafkazar says:
January 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm (Edit)

Willis says:

“…now I’ve gone and blown my shot at reforming…”

Der Übertroll strikes again!

Surrender, puny humans! No one can resist Der Übertroll!
Very funny, jorge,
w.

191. William M. Connolley says:

WE, you do sound threatened. But thanks for showing up your real side, you’d managed to hide it for quite a while. As for your link; neither you nor Watts understands wiki’s NPOV policy. This may help a bit.
> you are so far in the wrong
Oh dear. Because, as I clearly stated further up, I agree with you on N+Z. Does that mean you’re wrong, too?

192. “Note that I am absolutely not making any claim that temperature is determined by density and gravity. I am merely showing that fitting a few points with a few variables and a few parameters is not all that difficult. It also shows that one can get the answer without using surface pressure at all.”
1) What does Willis think the definition of the density of a compressible gas would look like without using pressure in the equation?
2) Can Willis or anyone else produce an equation which which will lie along a smooth curve which gives fit to the planetary surface temperatures using the radiative properties of gases rather than surface pressure which is as good as N&Z’s, or Willis’ density solution?

193. LucVC says:

I really think Willis comments need moderation. You can be funny (which Willis often is) or even a bit smug because you know something on this particular niche field, but you should never be demeaning. People make mistakes because they dont know something but not because they are stupid. What is happening here is that they are chased away to places where science does not run high. Take the Conolley comment. Even though he erased many of my contributions he’s not beyond repair as noboddy is. I was actually happyly surprised he popped up here. If he participates here within the rules he should be welcome. He might find out there are other ways to argument then to suppress opinion. I dont think he got an opportunity to learn that here today.
PS: I agree with your scientific opinion on this issue and greatly value your contributions. Just the style sucks big time lately. I guess Lucy was trying to say something similar but was not clear enough. ;-).

194. Willis Eschenbach says:

I have added an additional update, showing that I can beat their emulation of the planetary temperatures (lower RMS error) using only three parameters instead of five … take a look. I’ve done it with density instead of pressure as well.
w.

195. One of the mysteries of this paper is where the observed T_s values (which they claim to predict) came from. For most, no information on sources is given at all. Europa? Triton? What did they use and how did they get a global figure?

196. LucVC says:
January 25, 2012 at 1:59 am
I really think Willis comments need moderation. You can be funny (which Willis often is) or even a bit smug because you know something on this particular niche field, but you should never be demeaning. . .

One of the hallmarks of WUWT has been a policy of eschewing ad hominem attacks on other commenters. From Anthony’s Policy page:

Respect is given to those with manners; those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted. . . [comma changed to semi-colon to avoid run-on sentence]
Trolls, flame-bait, personal attacks, thread-jacking, name-calling such as “denialist,” “denier,” and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion may get deleted; . . .
[My emphasis]

/Mr Lynn

197. Sparks says:

So many errors everywhere, best to just have a guess and then argue with everyone over their guess. Then call it science at work.
Would it not be better if Nikolov, Zeller and Eschenbach and all the other great minds and interested parties here work together to Iron out the kinks and come up with something solid?
As an innocent bystander (lol) the condescending tone and the “I’m right and you’re wrong” attitudes are becoming old and worn out and sooooo boring!!
Ha! I did a quick search and found an article on Contracting (IRYW) disease, some folks may need to be tested.
Beware Contracting “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” Disease?
http://artpetty.com/2010/03/03/

198. Joel Shore says:

Willis Eschenbach says:

I’ll do it in a hot second, Joel. Of course, you’ll provide the model, the supercomputer, the graduate assistants, the programmers, and the funding, no?

Your usual can-do “do-it-myself” attitude seems to have disappeared here. However, I’ll note that you have already essentially shown the claim you are making here to be wrong. As I recall, you basically showed that for all of its complexity, the GISS Model E global temperature result hindcast / prediction closely follows the radiative forcings. Hence, if you don’t include the fact that radiative forcings have gone up due to the anthropogenic component over the half century, you aren’t going to be able to do a good job reproducing the global temperature record.
The parameters that you speak of are not parameters that are tuned to reproduce the global temperature record. They are parameters that, to the extent they are adjusted, are adjusted to reproduce things like correct cloud fraction or correct sea ice fraction. (It is also worth noting that the climateprediction.net experiment has done lots of runs where they have allowed such parameters to take on a whole spectrum of values.)

For those who claim that the models are not tuned, see Kiehl for the results of the tuning. Here’s the odd part. All the models give very different results for climate sensitivity. At one end, some say the climate is very, very sensitive to forcing, up to six degrees for a doubling.
Others say much less, down in the 1.5 – 2 degree per doubling range.
Yet all of them, each and every one, does reasonably well at hindcasting the global temperature. They all disagree greatly about the future, they are terrible at hindcasting precipitation, but lo and behold, they can all hindcast planetary temperature as accurately as H&N can.
Strange, that. What are the odds that by chance they would be so widely different on a basic parameter like climate sensitivity, and they would disagree so widely about what the future holds … and yet they would all be able to hindcast the historical record so well?
Joel, if you think that can happen based on physical principles without tuning, I’m not sure what to say except, read Kiehl. There is a good discussion of the implications of Kiehl’s paper (2007) here.

Now, there is one point worth noting: Since the forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols is a big unknown, it is true that models that include anthropogenic forcings that have different climate sensitivities can do equally well in reproducing the global temperature record by having different aerosol forcings. This is the reason why, in practice, the historical global temperature record does not constrain the value of the climate sensitivity that well.
So, despite the fact that the climate models tell us that the global temperature record can’t be reproduced without anthropogenic forcings, this record does not do that much to constrain what the climate sensitivity of the models has to be in order to get a good fit. Climate sensitivity is better constrained by other empirical data and most significantly by a combination of all empirical data available. Such data includes paleoclimate data (especially the Last Glacial Maximum)), data from major volcanic eruptions like Mt Pinatubo, and data on the present-day seasonal cycle.

So, yes, you are correct that the fact that the models can hindcast does not turn out to constrain the climate sensitivity that much, because there is too much uncertainty in the anthropogenic aerosol forcing and so different estimates of that and different climate sensitivities can pretty much offset each other.
However, there is no evidence that one can reproduce the temperature rise over the last ~40 years without including a steadily increasing radiative forcing and the only known such forcing is the forcing due to added greenhouse gases.

199. > I really think Willis comments need moderation.
Agreed.
Willis, among your many eccentric talents, you are pretty good at heaping out verbal scorn and abuse. In the case of Stoat, the blast he got from you was well deserved. I’ll have to give you an ‘Attaboy!’ for that one.
But in the case of N&Z, your words have directly and indirectly brought down a ton of scorn and derision on their work which is completely undeserved. You owe them a big apology.
Their thesis is not at all about curve-fitting data to 8 points. You’ve got it backwards. In those 8 planetoids they noticed a remarkable correlation between pressure and temperature. Using those 8 planets as a ‘training set’ they were able to come up with an empirical power law which gave a ‘good fit’ between pressure and temperature.
But that was just a preliminary step in their research. Such empirical power laws don’t explain why they work. Zipf’s Law predicts word frequencies, city sizes, personal incomes etc but even Zipf couldn’t come up with a good reason why it worked so well. All he could say, waving his hands, was it due to some ‘principle of least effort’.
N&Z have done better than Zipf. They have started a new theory, based in classical physics, which explains _why_ you only need to know pressure to determine temperature.
Does the pressure somehow ‘create’ the temperature? Of course not. It’s plain-old-physics that’s been around for a century: the Ideal Gas Law.
Think of it as a ‘dual solution’ in the abstract problem space. The theory doesn’t add any new laws or change any of the old laws of physics. It just ‘inverts’ the way we look at them such that radiation it put in the background and pressure is brought out as the ‘explanatory mechanism’.
So the Sun is still pouring out radiated energy, and the planets still absorb that energy as heat. Mostly the surface, but GHG’s are still absorbing too (as much as they always have). What’s different is that part of the physics is all subsumed as an assumption in the Ideal Gas Law.
As for curve fitting, you (and others) are totally mistaken in the idea that you can claim the sin of ‘overfitting’ by merely counting the numbers of parameters in the model.
In the first place, the 8 planets in question are merely the ‘training set’ used to train the model. Obviously the ‘test set’ comprises all of the other planets in the Universe, which I don’t have a number for, but I don’t think 5 or 6 parameters would be considered ‘overkill’ for that job.
In the second place ‘overfitting’ is not always bad. When you use trig functions on your computer you are invoking polynomial models because there are no ‘closed form’ solutions for these functions. So the models are carefully crafted to fit the expected values of the function over as many ‘useful’ ranges as possible. ‘Overfitting’ (implying perfect match) would be welcome here.
Overfitting can be bad when you train models using subsets of the data you want to model but not always. Most of the time you can get a good fit on the training set. Depending on the model used, the results on the test set can diverge greatly from the expected values. Polynomial fits (without regularization) are notorious for this. Also, outliers in the training set can throw the models off. But not always, support vector machines are surprisingly robust in this respect. You can ‘overfit’ the SVM’s training data all you want, and test sets still fit good too. (But they don’t explain anything about the features used. Bummer.)
So we need to stay tuned to the N&Z Show, Part II. Keep our scornful thoughts down to a minimum and learn some new ideas about old planetary physics.
Ned and Karl, keep up the good work! And keep those papers coming!
😐

200. beau nanza says:

I might be an idiot (please do point out if so) but to me it occurs that the atmospheric pressure has a lot to do with how heavy the celestial body is and how fast it rotates on its own axis?
venus has a thick atmosphere because it hardly rotates (243 earth days for 1 venus rotation)
mars has no atmosphere and it rotates like earth but has 1/10th the mass.
the physical explanation is the atmospheric molecules stick around due to gravitation , but might be spun off if spinning too fast. lol.
as we cannot change mass and rotation speed of earth (unless we build too many wimmills which will make earth lose its kinetic energy) earth atmosphere will remain at , say, 1 bar.
So, for every CO2 molecule that goes up in the air one has to drop down (or we would be violating an important rule here)

201. scf (Jan. 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm):
Further to my remarks of Jan. 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM, as the IPCC’s models are not testable, the IPCC’s inquiry into anthropogenic global warming cannot have had a scientific methodology but the IPCC has represented it as having had a scientific methodology. This is a really colossal error in the construction of the IPCC’s inquiry but few bloggers or climatologists exhibit an awareness of this error. If we could get people thinking in terms of statistical populations and samples rather than the nebulous term “datapoints,” we could turn this situation around!

202. Andre says:

What the h*** is the point of this post???
So you prove that Ps = Ps and that makes it wrong?
This post is worthy of RC, orwelian doublespeak at its best.
So you got better results by using eq. Ts = 0.8 * Tgb + 6.9 * Density + 0.2 * Gravity
Ok, now show us how you can just insert the expressions for the variables and get the result Ts = Ts. If you cant, your nothing but a POS with a personal agenda.

203. Tilo Reber says:

LucVC: “Take the Conolley comment. Even though he erased many of my contributions he’s not beyond repair as noboddy is.”
William Connolley is a political crusader Luc. Truth and science have no meaning for him except as potential vehicles for advancing a political agenda. Where he can use science for that purpose he will do so. Where the science goes against him he will suppress it. Nothing he does here will ever change that. In this Willis post he saw an opportunity to cheer lead something that he felt was good for his agenda, and that is really all that his comment consisted of. Willis was right to distance himself from Connolley’s intentions, even if he did it a little more emphatically than necessary.

204. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:09 am
I have added an additional update, showing that I can beat their emulation of the planetary temperatures (lower RMS error) using only three parameters instead of five … take a look. I’ve done it with density instead of pressure as well.

Harry Dale Huffman beat you to it. Anyway, show us your working so we can see how you derived density without using pressure. Two sides of the same coin.

205. Jim G says:

DRE says:
January 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm
“The right answer for the wrong reason is ALWAYS the wrong answer. (Used to teach cal. based Physics)”
This entire exercise reminds me of the oposite of the above which I experienced, ie getting the wrong answer for the right reason. In dynamic physics sophomore year where the problem involved James Bond shooting a bullet and calculation of the terminal effects, I got an answer of .006 jules or whatever. The professor took time to note that though he gave me almost full credit for the wrong answer since my error was simply in rounding, he should have given me no credit for my stupidity in not realizing the answer was supposed to be.007.

206. Richard M says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:09 am

Very nice, Willis. However, you did not create an elephant as requested. 😉
What you did is confirm the relationship may be even stronger than N&Z have found. I don’t think that was your intent. It still may be junk but it would take investigations of the values you used to determine that as a fact.
Did you read the Sorokhtin paper?
It’s a little beyond my abilities but it appears he uses real physical values in comparing Earth and Venus (which are probably the only two planets worth comparing).

207. @Willis
> I can beat their emulation … using only three parameters instead of five …
There are at least a zillion planets (maybe more) in the Universe. Does your 3-parameter model work better for those too? Do you understand why your parameters work as well as they do in terms of real-world physics?
If not, then you are just “gaming the system”.
When are you going discuss the science behind N&Z, instead of playing with models (something we “skeptics” normally scorn)?
@Willis
Oops sorry, I forgot that is against the rules you have arbitrarily set up for this game post.
😐

208. kzeller says:

Willis says …. “they claim to be able to calculate the surface temperature Ts of eight different planets and moons from knowing nothing more than the solar irradiation So and the surface pressure Ps for each heavenly body. Dr. Zeller refers to this as their MIRACLE equation…” …..”My simplified version of their equation looks like this: Ts = 25.394 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.092 * Pressure ^ 0.17)” = A SIMPLER MIRACLE
You folks just don’t get it do you, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees: Willis’ rendition of our MIRACLE is also a MIRACLE!!!!!!! What is the Miracle you don’t see? We calculate the average global equilibrium surface temperature on any planet/moon using only Solar input and surface pressure! Why is this a miracle? Because it implys that the AGW theory is bogus. Why does it do that? Since the average global surface temperature of any planet/moon IS the basic bottomline determinator of that planet/moon’s climate and our Eq 8 accurately calculates this temperature without using greenhouse gas information.
Dr. Nikolov & I have been working on this for over 2 years, our first attempts looked like Willis’ simpler miracle, and we’ve played with density also, but we are trying to get it exact, currently Eq 8. You CAN NOT fit an elephant with an exponential equation, you can with a polynominal. The argument about the number of constants in our equation 8 would be valid it it were a polynominal – it’s not.
We are handing WUWT ‘THE NAIL’ to the AGW coffin and you guys have forgotten about the coffin and are fixated on the details of the nail! Is it galvinized? Why isn’t it a wooden spike? They need 2 more nails. Wonder what kind of hammer they plan to use?

209. Tilo Reber says:

AusieDan: “Carbon dioxide, by its molecular weight and atomic structure, expands more rapidly under heat than does an average sample of air. This causes increased pressure in the sealed container holding the carbon dioxide sample, relative to the container holding just air. Increased pressure results in the temperature of the carbon dioxide to rise higher than the air in the other container. That is the so called greenhouse effect.
HOWEVER, when the pressure in the two vessels are allowed to equate, such as by providing a hole in the top for the excess gas to escape to the outside air, then the temperature in each vessel rises to a lower level than before and the temperature in both containers remains the same. Bye Bye, greehouse effect. This has also been demonstrated on a number of occasions, but with far less noise and propaganda than the false greehouse effect.”

210. Tilo Reber says:

Dr. Zeller: “You folks just don’t get it do you, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees: ”
LOL. I’m very sympathetic with your frustration here. My thought is that people are picking on your method, “galvanized nails or wooden spikes”, because the underlying physics isn’t clear to them. Hopefully your part 2 explanation will help with that. Also, remember that skeptics to AGW really are skeptics that will try to pick apart everything, even in cases where it is true and to their liking. Think of it as process rather than final conclusion. I think your ideas are basically sound, so please don’t be despirited because you have run into a dustup. In most cases in the past when scientists have produced new ideas the rest of the scientific community didn’t simply throw up their hands, acknowledge the brilliance, and embrace the change. Much more often there was a fight with the people who’s ideas were being displaced and with those that had come to accept those ideas. So buckle your chin strap and explain, explain, explain – then I think you will prevail.

211. I agree with Karl!
The major point that Willis totally missed (but follows from his own regression analysis) is that the planetary surface temperature CAN be explained in a straightforward fashion over a broad range of atmospheric conditions using ONLY pressure and solar irradiance . No other model can currently do that! This is the main point of our theory! The grand implications of the strong relationship shown in Fig. 5 (the NTE – Pressure curve) is that the so-called GH effect (we call it ATE) is a pressure phenomenon that is completely unrelated to radiative transfer! Hence, the GH effect in its physical nature is NOT a reduction of the surface IR cooling to space as currently assumed, but is a Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement (PTE) … It is that simple!

212. jorgekafkazar says:

kzeller says: “We are handing WUWT ‘THE NAIL’ to the AGW coffin and you guys have forgotten about the coffin and are fixated on the details of the nail! Is it galvinized? Why isn’t it a wooden spike?
Great analogy, Dr. Zeller. A wooden spike to kill the AGW vampire that wants to suck the blood out of the US.

213. Our official response to Willis’ ‘analysis’ of Eq. 8 will be coming very shortly….
We through we should not engage in correcting high-school math errors such as those made by Willis above, but it looks like we have to it at least once to set the record straight, so we do not have to degrade this discussion anymore in the future … Stay tuned!

214. William M. Connolley says:

KZ> “Why is this a miracle? Because it implys that the AGW theory is bogus”
Ah, you mean that only supernatural intervention could render the well-established greenhouse effect physics wrong. At last, something we can agree on.

215. jorgekafkazar says:

John Day says: “@Willis > ‘Please confine yourselves to the topic of the thread …’
Oops sorry, I forgot that is against the rules you have arbitrarily set up for this game post.”
Since the objective was to focus on the two equations in question without going off on a million tangents, I think the rules are less than arbitrary. As a result of them, we only have to wade through half a million rants, maunderings, troll castings, nit-pickings, and irrelevancies.

216. Richard M says:

kzeller says:
January 25, 2012 at 9:51 am
We are handing WUWT ‘THE NAIL’ to the AGW coffin and you guys have forgotten about the coffin and are fixated on the details of the nail! Is it galvinized? Why isn’t it a wooden spike? They need 2 more nails. Wonder what kind of hammer they plan to use?

Dr. Zeller, you guys need to consider that you’re presenting your ideas to a bunch of skeptics. You should use that fact to hone your own views. Yes, a lot of comments will be useless but that does not mean there isn’t good information available. And, if you can’t argue your points here what do you think will happen when you present them to AGW believers?
Personally, I think you are wrong when you believe you can replace the GHE with gravity. And, as I’ve said before, I think the relationship you found in the planets might be very important. That’s where you should try and improve your paper. You need to highlight the physical factors that lead to the miracle equation in more detail.
Don’t get discouraged.

217. William M. Connolley:
There is no ‘well established’ GHE physics! The whole notion about the GHE being a radiative phenomenon is based on a confusion that down-welling IR radiation warms the surface on a global scale. This confusion in turn comes from the fact that radiative transfer is being solved in climate models decoupled from convection. Once these two heat transport mechanisms are robustly coupled (i.e. solved simultaneously as a part of the same system of equations) as it happens in the real atmosphere, the convective cooling completely offsets the warming effect of ‘back’ radiation. This can be easily demonstrated mathematically.
What needs be realized here is that the long-wave ratiadive transfer in the atmosphere is only a RESULT (a BYPRODUCT if you will) of temperature, NOT a cause for it! Temperature, on the other hand, is a function of solar heating and pressure!
The situation with the current GH theory is one of confusion between cause and effect. It resembles quite the paradigm we had in medieval times prior to Copernicus, when it was believed that the Earth was at the center of the Universe based on the superficial observation that Heavens revolve around Earth. Similarly, the fact that we measure a significant LW radiation coming down from the atmosphere, it does not mean that that flux is actually responsible for the atmospheric thermal effect!
As we have shown in our Reply Part 1 through analysis of Moon temperature data here:
the actual magnitude of the atmospheric GH effect is about 133K. It requires many thousands of Watts of additional radiation (about 14,800 W m-2 to be exact) to raise the temperature of Earth from the gray-body value of about 155K to the present temperature of 287.6K. The observed average downward LW flux is only about 343 W m-2. So, even from the standpoint of this piece of evidence, it is clear that the GH effect CANNOT be possibly caused ‘back radiation’. Our interplanetary analysis explains the GH effect completely through pressure … What can be more clear than that?

218. Willis Eschenbach says:

Mr Lynn says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:18 am
LucVC says:
January 25, 2012 at 1:59 am

I really think Willis comments need moderation. You can be funny (which Willis often is) or even a bit smug because you know something on this particular niche field, but you should never be demeaning. . .

One of the hallmarks of WUWT has been a policy of eschewing ad hominem attacks on other commenters. From Anthony’s Policy page:

Respect is given to those with manners; those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted. . . [comma changed to semi-colon to avoid run-on sentence]
Trolls, flame-bait, personal attacks, thread-jacking, name-calling such as “denialist,” “denier,” and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion may get deleted; . . .
[My emphasis]
/Mr Lynn

Yeah, you’re likely right, Mr. Lynn, and I’m working on it. However, I don’t take well to being insulted by such a charming, intelligent, witty fellow as Mr. Connolley. He and I have a bit of history.
w.

219. Joel Shore says:

Tilo Reber:

Also, remember that skeptics to AGW really are skeptics that will try to pick apart everything, even in cases where it is true and to their liking.

God…Now, THAT’S funny!!!!! Thanks for giving me my daily belly-laugh!
Richard M says:

Dr. Zeller, you guys need to consider that you’re presenting your ideas to a bunch of skeptics.

No…He isn’t. He is presenting it to people who call themselves “skeptics”. There is clearly a huge difference as illustrated by the fact that many people here are still taking Nikolov & Zeller’s work seriously.
John Day says:

There are at least a zillion planets (maybe more) in the Universe. Does your 3-parameter model work better for those too? Do you understand why your parameters work as well as they do in terms of real-world physics?
If not, then you are just “gaming the system”.

Yes…Willis and my point exactly. The difference is that he is telling you outright that he is gaming the system whereas Nikolov and Zeller are not.

When are you going discuss the science behind N&Z, instead of playing with models (something we “skeptics” normally scorn)?

The science has already been discussed…and shredded! The “theory” does not even obey the 1st Law of Thermodynamics…I.e., it violates conservation of energy!
The authors claim that convection makes the radiative greenhouse effect has been demonstrated to be due to an extreme error in how they added convection.
The fact that average temperatures on various planets are lower than the conventionally-calculated blackbody temperature has been explained as a well-understood consequence of Holder’s Inequality applied to non-uniform temperature distributions.
What more do you want?

220. kzeller says:

djorgekafkazar says: Great analogy, Dr. Zeller. A wooden spike to kill the AGW vampire that wants to suck the blood out of the US.
Congratulations dj… , you’ve read the blog words, found & tasted some candy, now read the original post and part 1 for the hidden dishes making up our Sublime Smorgasbord. 🙂

221. Frumious Bandersnatch says:

John Day says:
January 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm
@Willis
> >There was an option to say “Sorry I accused you of
> >calling N&Z dishonest when you hadn’t”.
>Read my remarks carefully. I didn’t “accuse you of calling N&Z dishonest”. You’re blowing my >statements out of proportion. I said it suggested dishonesty.
I went back and reread your original comment wherein you make the “dishonesty” statement.
I guess it depends on what your definition of “is” is.

222. @jorgekafkazar
> Since the objective was to focus on the two equations in question
> without going off on a million tangents, I think the rules are less
> than arbitrary. As a result of them, we only have to wade through
> half a million rants, maunderings, troll castings, nit-pickings,
> and irrelevancies.
With respect, I disagree with that approach. All it does is encourage the meanderings and useless “dancing around the fire”.
The addition of planetary physics to the discussion would have, IMHO, a focusing effect to gauge and filter out the chaff and gaming.
One other piece of advice, to all: “Don’t feed the trolls!”
😐

223. William M. Connolley says:

> He and I have a bit of history.
Do we? I’d forgotten you I’m afraid. And you’ve forgotten me enough to get my title wrong, but then people often do. Or perhaps you’re just being impolite again; it can be hard to tell lack of politeness from lack of competence sometimes.
NN> we should not engage in correcting high-school math errors such as those made by Willis above
Interesting! I haven’t spotted any maths errors by WE, though I didn’t look that closely. I shall watch out for your interesting analysis. I do hope you’ll provide the promised errors in maths, rather than interpretation.
NN> The major point that Willis totally missed (but follows from his own regression analysis) is that the planetary surface temperature CAN be explained…
Err no. That is the point WE is desperately trying to make (indeed has made, quite convincingly) but you haven’t yet understood: that it is all to *easy* to explain the temperatures, using curve-fitting. Explaining it with physics is much harder, you should try it sometime.

224. Richard M
Where have we claimed that we replace the greenhouse effect with gravity?
What we state is that the GH effect, when measured as a dimensionless number (Ts/Tgb), i.e. the relative thermal enhancement, is completely explainable by pressure. Is pressure a gravity? No! Pressure is a FORCE resulting from the atmospheric mass per unit area AND gravity! What is the kinetic energy of a gas that determines its temperature? It is a product of Pressure and Gas Volume (PV), i.e. FORCE x Distance = Joules. In other words, you cannot have kinetic energy and temperature of a gas without a FORCE. On a planetary scale the force of pressure is INDEPENDENT of solar heating, atmospheric volume, or temperature, because we have on average an isobaric thermodynamic process at the surface. So, changing the mass of the atmosphere will change the FORCE generated by gravity at the surface, therefore, changing the temperature. Our non-dimensional NTE factor (the relative thermal enhancement) is a manifestation of that physical characteristic of pressure called FORCE … How is that for a physical explanation? We elaborate more on this in our Reply Part 2 …
The key to grasping our theory is understanding the actual physical meaning of different parameters such as pressure, irradiance, temperature, and energy and the best way to do that is to properly deciphering the units …

225. Joel Shore says:
The science has already been discussed…and shredded! The “theory” does not even obey the 1st Law of Thermodynamics…I.e., it violates conservation of energy!
Nice try, Joel. The Gas Law does not violate the 1st Law of Thermo, sorry! What violates that law BIG TIME is the idea that changing the concentration of minor gases in the FREE atmosphere can increase the kinetic energy of the troposphere and cause surface warming, or the assertion that some ‘heat-absorbing’ gases which amount to less than 0.5% of atmospheric mass can raise Earth’s surface temperature by 133K above that of an equivalent gray body! That’s more than a violation of the 1st Law, it’s a SUPERSTITION. Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …
Please, tell your friends at Kodak that you are failing the assigned task here, and they should stop wasting money on you … 🙂

226. > One other piece of advice, to all: “Don’t feed the trolls!”
But we can ask the Moderators to step in and snip/ban the trolls, when it becomes clear that they are trying to disrupt, not contribute to, the discussion.
😐

227. Phil. says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:30 am
the actual magnitude of the atmospheric GH effect is about 133K. It requires many thousands of Watts of additional radiation (about 14,800 W m-2 to be exact) to raise the temperature of Earth from the gray-body value of about 155K to the present temperature of 287.6K.

A reasonable value for surface heat capacity would bring the temperature of Earth to about 250K and the GHE could do the rest.
The observed average downward LW flux is only about 343 W m-2. So, even from the standpoint of this piece of evidence, it is clear that the GH effect CANNOT be possibly caused ‘back radiation’. Our interplanetary analysis explains the GH effect completely through pressure … What can be more clear than that?
We know what the cause of the large discrepancy that you calculate, it is your assumption of zero heat capacity, include that then we can talk

228. William M. Connolley says:

NN> properly deciphering the units …
Good point. So given that Nte is dimensionless, and Ps is in N/m2: in “Nte(Ps) = e^(t1 * Ps ^ t2 + t3 * Ps ^ t4)”, what units are t1 and t3 in?

229. William M. Connolley says:
See my reply to Richard M above for a physical explanation …
You seem to have limited knowledge about how science works. Do you know that all major theories that gave birth to so called ‘first principles’ have began with fitting empirical data to curves and inferring responses and functions? Do you have a science degree in a non-soft science area?

230. Jim G says:

Willis,
Degrees of freedom vs parameters. End of story. Not to be Shakesperian, but this seems to be much ado about nothing, or perhaps a tempest in a tea pot. Not that you are, of course, not right.

231. Willis Eschenbach says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 25, 2012 at 12:39 am

WE, you do sound threatened. But thanks for showing up your real side, you’d managed to hide it for quite a while. As for your link; neither you nor Watts understands wiki’s NPOV policy. This may help a bit.

Threatened by you, Billy? By YOU??? Oh, stop, please stop, is this your new plan? This is truly beyond evil, I see through your nefarious plot—you intend to kill me by making me laugh myself to death. It’s diabolical, I beg you, please have mercy, don’t threaten me again, my stomach can’t take the laughter and my cheeks are aching from grinning at your antics …
As for “showing my real side”, yes, my real side does indeed think that you are a unpleasant and undesirable person. You are willing to do anything to promote your POV, and it sure isn’t an NPOV. Your claim that we don’t really understand why you were forced out of Wikipedia is pretty funny, though. You were thrown out, but it had nothing to do with your POV and everything to do with you being a POS. You see, Billy, I was one of the nobodies who actually believed Jimmy Wales when he began wikipedia. And I was one of the nobodies who tried to do what Jimmy said, contribute. And I was one of the nobodies who got resounding erased, and re-erased, and re-erased, by the King Of Wikipedia climate censorship. That would be you … it didn’t matter if I posted facts, didn’t matter if God himself said it, if you disagreed with it, it was gone.
So I see you quite clearly and accurately, Billy, and what I see turns my stomach. And yes, that is my real opinion, my “real side” if you will.

> you are so far in the wrong

Oh dear. Because, as I clearly stated further up, I agree with you on N+Z. Does that mean you’re wrong, too?

Gosh, Billy, did you really think when I said that I was referring to your meaningless opinion on this issue? Your reading comprehension is worse than I thought … no, belay that, actually, given your history at Wiki, your reading comprehension has always been uniformly horrible, so I guess it’s no worse than ever.
And now you announce your intention to school me on computers, clearly another part of your devilish “make him laugh until he croaks” plan. I could point out that I wrote my first computer program when you were in nappies, Billy, but that wouldn’t be true. I wrote my first computer program before you were born.
But please, don’t spare us your hilariously obvious insights about computers, continue with your brilliant comic exposure of your fantasies, prejudices, and personal shortcomings. This is great entertainment, and to date the laughter hasn’t killed me, so do your worst, keep it up, leave’m dying in the aisles.
w.
PS—Some people have said that I’m too crude or too hard on poor William. Quite the opposite. The problem is not that I am too outraged at what Mr. Connolley has done.
The problem is that the rest of you are not outraged enough. The man has ruthlessly censored real, valid scientific opinion for years, and you want to play patty-cake and go all California on him, ask him about his feelings and invite him to share? Not me. He doesn’t deserve to hang out with decent people, I am never happy to see him show up, he is a force for damage and dissension who leaves trouble in his wake, and I think it is important that people know who he is and what he has done.
Is he beyond the pale, beyond redemption? I have no idea. But for him to show up and immediately start, not by adding to the scientific discussion but by attacking me personally, should give you a clue. You can pat his head if you want, I’m kinda attached to having all my fingers, he is unrepentant and he bites. I’ll wait until he shows some sign of at least noticing the trail of damage he has done to free scientific thought before I change my opinion.

• Willis Eschenbach,
We are in total agreement on this:
“The problem is not that I am too outraged at what Mr. Connolley has done.
The problem is that the rest of you are not outraged enough.”

232. @Joel Shore
> The authors claim that convection makes the radiative greenhouse effect
> has been demonstrated to be due to an extreme error in how they added
> convection.
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that this ‘extreme error’ is real, that doesn’t rule out that there might be a correct way of adding convection to make this idea
“work” (or not). I suppose N&Z will further address this issue in Part II.
But these convective claims do make sense to me in this qualitative way (waving my hands): the surface of the Earth absorbs most of the heat energy coming from the Sun. The atmosphere much less, especially the bulk of it O2 and N2 being transparent to heat radiation. But the GHG’s, though present in much smaller percentages, do behave like the surface in that they are capable of absorbing radiated heat too.
Here’s the difference: when the GHG’s heat up they can rise up and release this heat much closer to the TOA. (Too bad, Surface, you’re Grounded!) Furthermore, H2O can change states, up in the clouds, and release even more heat (of condensation) up high.
I know this is nothing new, but it sounds like GHG’s comprise a kind of ‘heat engine’ which involves both heating and cooling to me. The trick is to nail down the physics here in a quantitative way, which seems to be a very controversial topic. Beyond my pay grade. I hope N&Z (et alia) will give us further analysis of this and possibly eliminate some the controversy with their new ideas.

233. @me
> … when the GHG’s heat up they can rise up and release this heat much closer to the TOA…
Forgot to mention that O2 and N2 are also involved, of course, by being warmed by conductive transfer of heat from the surface to the air in direct contact with the ground. So they are also part of this ‘heat engine’.

234. Willis Eschenbach says:

Nick Stokes says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:09 am

One of the mysteries of this paper is where the observed T_s values (which they claim to predict) came from. For most, no information on sources is given at all. Europa? Triton? What did they use and how did they get a global figure?

Indeed, that has been asked before and not answered as far as I know. Nor do I know at what level one measures “surface pressure” on a planet with no ocean.
w.

235. Smokey says:

Regarding Connolley, Willis says: “You were thrown out, but it had nothing to do with your POV and everything to do with you being a POS.”
Seconded, doubled and squared. Connolley is a despicable insect who is unable to get traction with his climate alarmism, so he misuses his insider position to censor opposing points of view, no matter how polite and scientifically factual. Connolley is simply dishonest.
The difference between Wikipedia propaganda and WUWT – the internet’s “Best Science” site – is that Connolley is allowed to post his comments here. If equivalent comments were posted on Wikipedia, censor Connolley would arbitrarily delete them if he was not in personal agreement.
That makes William Connolley a despicable human being. Unfortunately for Connolley, he is unable to censor comments here like he does on Wikipedia – a blog that is losing credibility precisely because of Connolley’s dishonest censorship of different points of view.

236. Richard M says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:54 am
Where have we claimed that we replace the greenhouse effect with gravity?

Sorry I didn’t specify all the factors. I have mentioned them all in other comments this past few weeks. It was probably due to commenting recently on the Jelbring paper.
However, the problem is and will always be … without changing the effective radiation height nothing can warm the planet above the surface temperature and not violate thermodynamic laws. All of the planets that have atmospheres have radiating gases so there is no problem here.
I believe what you may have found is the GHE ltself is limited by equation 8. That puts just as big a nail in the AGW coffin as anyone needs. It means further additions of GHGs will have no impact. If you can demonstrate the physics that leads to this limit then you truly will have made a huge contribution.

237. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that this ‘extreme error’ is real, that doesn’t rule out that there might be a correct way of adding convection to make this idea “work” (or not). I suppose N&Z will further address this issue in Part II.

Yes…That can be ruled out. It is ruled out by the fact that when the scientific community has added convection correctly, they do not get the result that N&Z get. Besides which, it is easy enough to correct what N&Z did in adding convection to the toy model of the radiative greenhouse effect and one indeed sees that their claim of the radiative greenhouse effect disappearing is no longer true.

238. William M. Connolley says:

NN> See my reply to Richard M above for a physical explanation …
That doesn’t answer my question. I asked, what units are some of the constants in your equation in? Surely you can answer that simple question?
In your version, it is the “0.233001”. Is it dimensionless (I can’t see how it can be) or if it has dimension, what are the dimensions?
WE>
You’ve gone a bit dull I’m afraid. But I need to make a slight correction: NPOV should have been WP:RS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:RS). Yes, I know neither you nor any of yours care about wiki’s policies, but those of us who edit have to.
WE> I was one of the nobodies who tried to do what Jimmy said, contribute…
Really? Not under your own name, then. Did you do it secretly?

239. Joel Shore says:

Ned Nikolov says:

Nice try, Joel. The Gas Law does not violate the 1st Law of Thermo, sorry!

The Gas Law is not what we are talking about violating Thermodynamics. What violates the 1st Law is your misapplication of it to claim that the Earth can emit 390 W/m^2 from its surface but only 240 W/m^2 as viewed from space, and that the discrepancy can be explained anything other than the fact that some of the surface emissions are absorbed by the atmosphere!

What violates that law BIG TIME is the idea that changing the concentration of minor gases in the FREE atmosphere can increase the kinetic energy of the troposphere and cause surface warming, or the assertion that some ‘heat-absorbing’ gases which amount to less than 0.5% of atmospheric mass can raise Earth’s surface temperature by 133K above that of an equivalent gray body!

(1) Perhaps you didn’t notice but there is an object in the center of our solar system called “the sun”. It emits radiation to the Earth…and the Earth also emits radiation back out into space. Hence, the Earth is not an isolated system and you can’t apply conservation of energy as if it is.
(2) Nobody but you seems to believe that “heat absorbing” gases raise the Earth’s temperature by 133 K. They raise it by 33 K. The other 100 K is accounted for by the fact that different temperature distributions with different average temperatures can yield the same average emission of 240 W/m^2.

That’s more than a violation of the 1st Law, it’s a SUPERSTITION.

No…It is called “science”.

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

Really…And, you calculated that how exactly, given that a blackbody at 288 K is only emitting 390 W/m^2?

Please, tell your friends at Kodak that you are failing the assigned task here, and they should stop wasting money on you … 🙂

I am not at Kodak anymore. Speaking of failing…I must admit that I expect MUCH higher standards of science and scientific integrity from our public servants than I have seen displayed here!

240. Ned Nikolov said @ January 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

There is no ‘well established’ GHE physics! The whole notion about the GHE being a radiative phenomenon is based on a confusion

Sorry, wrong! It’s in T R Oke’s Boundary Layer Climates and a host of other places. It’s part of the Received View. That is, it’s what is taught at universities. Do you not understand what “well established” means? Get a grip! If you want to overthrow a paradigm theory, you don’t start by refusing to acknowledge that it is the established paradigm theory. I said earlier that you need to show that you understand what it is that you are claiming to overthrow. Ignorance doesn’t cut it.

The situation with the current GH theory is one of confusion between cause and effect. It resembles quite the paradigm we had in medieval times prior to Copernicus, when it was believed that the Earth was at the center of the Universe based on the superficial observation that Heavens revolve around Earth.

Pseudo-scientists do so love to compare themselves to Copernicus and Galileo don’t they? It is not a “superficial observation that Heavens revolve around Earth”. There’s nothing “superficial” about it. I observe it most nights. Yes, I know because I accept the Received View in astronomy that Earth revolves around the sun, but it’s manifestly not what I observe.
It’s worth bearing in mind why Copernicus model* was only slowly accepted by astronomers. It predicted a variation in diameter of 8:1 for Mars and 6:1 for Venus. There is no observable change for Venus and only a ratio of 2:1 when making naked eye observations. This is why Galileo was abjured not to take the model literally, but it was OK to use it mathematically. It wasn’t until that discrepancy was resolved that the Copernican model of the planets orbiting the sun (in perfect circles with even more epicycles than Ptolemy used) was accepted.
“The whole notion about the GHE being a radiative phenomenon is based” on observed emission spectra, not confusion. It may well be “wrong”, but you sure as hell are not making your case for anyone with a grounding in basic physics and philosophy (logic).
* Footnote: I wonder how many “sceptics” are now going to stop believing the Copernican model of the solar system just because it’s a model. Maybe they will just deny that it’s a model…

241. Richard M:
Please, consider the following important point (, which we have not discussed in the papers released to the public) – There is NO effective radiation height in reality. The concept of an emission height come from the incorrect application of the SB law when estimating the mean temperature of a sphere (see our Reply part 1). That simple equation produces about 255K (-18C) for Earth. This temperature is then erroneously identified with the actual measured temperature at about 5 km in mid troposphere, and a conclusion is drawn that this is where most of the IR radiation had to be emanating from. The reality is that IR radiation is coming out from all heights in the atmosphere simultaneously including the surface. It’s a continuum of IR fluxes in different wavelengths reaching space from various depths of the atmosphere. That continuum of emitted IR radiation with depth is what enables the remote sensing of vertical temperature and moisture profiles (as well as other atmospheric parameters) from satellites.
The ’emission temperature’ of a sphere computed from the simple inversion of the SB law is not really compatible in a physical sense with any palatable real temperatures measured in the atmosphere or at the surface … Hence, the emission height is another fiction of the GH theory with no physical equivalence!

242. Terry says:

“Nick Stokes says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:09 am
One of the mysteries of this paper is where the observed T_s values (which they claim to predict) came from. For most, no information on sources is given at all. Europa? Triton? What did they use and how did they get a global figure?
Indeed, that has been asked before and not answered as far as I know. Nor do I know at what level one measures “surface pressure” on a planet with no ocean”
As I pointed out if either T or P is specroscopically determined then the other will have a SB distribution.

243. Dr. Nikolov
You know much more about fysics then i do.
Stilli have this question.
Maybe the word back-radiation is misleading but its meaning does not have to be so.. Maybe we should recall it into “blocking radiation” or something. There is in fact no production of down-welling flux of 343 W m-2.. There is a delay of outgoing radiance.
It’s like my banket in a cold night. It doesn’t warm me but it isolates my body.
With no blanket i schould lose a lot of bodywarmth. So in fact my blanket warms me a lot. What of course is in fact not true.

244. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:09 am

I have added an additional update, showing that I can beat their emulation of the planetary temperatures (lower RMS error) using only three parameters instead of five … take a look. I’ve done it with density instead of pressure as well.

Harry Dale Huffman beat you to it. Anyway, show us your working so we can see how you derived density without using pressure. Two sides of the same coin.

Thanks, Tallbloke. I guess my point still isn’t clear to you, and it’s not in how I derived density.
What N&Z have done is just curve fitting. You can do it as you have done, with solar and pressure. You can do it as I have done, with Tgb and Gravity and Density. You can do it with solar and pressure using a much simpler equation than you used. You can do it with solar and density and a simple equation.
My point is, it is a painfully easy curve to fit. You can fit it in a host of ways. But that doesn’t mean anything, TB. With four parameters you can fit an elephant. I’m a good mathematician and it’s a simple elephant, so I did it with three, but it’s STILL JUST FITTING AN ELEPHANT!
Using five parameters and a free choice of any equation when there are only eight data points is a laughable newbie mistake, tallbloke. It’s not a MIRACLE. It’s not a blinding insight. It is a trivial equation fit, and I’ve just demonstrated that by fitting it in a variety of ways.
But forget about my demonstrations. Go ask the statistician of your choice. Ask them if fitting eight data points, given a free choice of any equation under the sun and five free parameters, is a valid and meaningful procedure.
They will tell you what I am telling you. It is risible. The fact that N&Z included it in their argument shows that they also are clueless about models and parameters. It should be a sign to anyone considering their theory.
I can’t state this strongly enough, tallbloke. Five parameters, eight data points and a free choice of equations is a no-brainer fit and it means nothing. Zip. Zero. It has no probative value. Ask a real scientist, TB, you’re embarrassing yourself claiming this procedure is valid.
w.

245. Willis Eschenbach says:

Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

Very nice, Willis. However, you did not create an elephant as requested. 😉
What you did is confirm the relationship may be even stronger than N&Z have found. I don’t think that was your intent. It still may be junk but it would take investigations of the values you used to determine that as a fact.

No, no, no, and no. Let me say it a different way, as clearly I still have not gotten the point across to you.
I have not “confirmed the relationship may be even stronger”. I’ve just fit the same points with a different curve. So far, N&Z fit it one way, and I’ve fit it three other ways using different variables and different equations and different numbers of parameters.
All that means is that the problem is trivially simple, because there are five tunable parameters and eight data points and I’m given free choice of any equation, no matter how non-physical it might be.
So none of the fits mean anything, Richard.
w.

246. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

@Willis
> I can beat their emulation … using only three parameters instead of five …
There are at least a zillion planets (maybe more) in the Universe. Does your 3-parameter model work better for those too? Do you understand why your parameters work as well as they do in terms of real-world physics?
If not, then you are just “gaming the system”.

My point exactly, John. N&Z are just “gaming the system” as you put it, their fits mean no more than mine do.
w.

247. Willis Eschenbach says:

Dr. Zeller, as the man who challenged us to look at equation 8, the MIRACLE equation, thank you for returning to defend it.
As you see above, my problem with the equation is that there are five tunable parameters, only eight data points, and you have free choice of any kind of equation to fit to the data points.
Please, please, sir. You are doing your reputation great damage by continuing to insist that fitting a curve to eight data points is somehow meaningful. I have shown three other ways to do it, using different variables, different equations, and different numbers of parameters. What that means is this:
Fitting eight data points when given five free parameters and free choice of equations means nothing because it is so trivially easy to do.
Now, I know you don’t believe me because I don’t have a PhD. So ask your favorite statistician. Ask someone involved with modeling natural phenomena. Ask any hardcore scientist, and they will tell you what I just said. Your results have no meaning because your model could be the poster child for overfitting.
kzeller says:
January 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

Willis says …. “they claim to be able to calculate the surface temperature Ts of eight different planets and moons from knowing nothing more than the solar irradiation So and the surface pressure Ps for each heavenly body. Dr. Zeller refers to this as their MIRACLE equation…” …..”My simplified version of their equation looks like this: Ts = 25.394 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.092 * Pressure ^ 0.17)” = A SIMPLER MIRACLE

You folks just don’t get it do you, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees: Willis’ rendition of our MIRACLE is also a MIRACLE!!!!!!! What is the Miracle you don’t see?

I see no miracle in fitting an elephant with five parameters. Neither did “Johnny” von Neumann.

We calculate the average global equilibrium surface temperature on any planet/moon using only Solar input and surface pressure! Why is this a miracle? Because it implys that the AGW theory is bogus. Why does it do that? Since the average global surface temperature of any planet/moon IS the basic bottomline determinator of that planet/moon’s climate and our Eq 8 accurately calculates this temperature without using greenhouse gas information.

Dr. Zeller, you should consider the question of how to test and validate a model such as yours. This is not new stuff, the statistics of it are well understood. Your claim is … painful.

Dr. Nikolov & I have been working on this for over 2 years, our first attempts looked like Willis’ simpler miracle, and we’ve played with density also, but we are trying to get it exact, currently Eq 8.

I guess you missed the part where I explained that my equation actually provides a better fit than yours … or maybe not. But like I said, you’re welcome to use it …

You CAN NOT fit an elephant with an exponential equation, you can with a polynominal. The argument about the number of constants in our equation 8 would be valid it it were a polynominal – it’s not.

My friend, what part of my demonstration above did you not understand? I just fit your elephant using an exponential equation, here it is again, see Figure 3 for the results:

Ts = 25.491 * Solar^0.25 * e^(0.603 * Density ^ 0.201)

See the exponent part on the right?

We are handing WUWT ‘THE NAIL’ to the AGW coffin and you guys have forgotten about the coffin and are fixated on the details of the nail! Is it galvinized? Why isn’t it a wooden spike? They need 2 more nails. Wonder what kind of hammer they plan to use?

Er … um … you might want to research the whole topic of “overfitting” before sending out the obituary notices for AGW …
w.

248. Richard M says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Please, consider the following important point (, which we have not discussed in the papers released to the public) – There is NO effective radiation height in reality. The concept of an emission height come from the incorrect application of the SB law when estimating the mean temperature of a sphere (see our Reply part 1). That simple equation produces about 255K (-18C) for Earth. This temperature is then erroneously identified with the actual measured temperature at about 5 km in mid troposphere, and a conclusion is drawn that this is where most of the IR radiation had to be emanating from. The reality is that IR radiation is coming out from all heights in the atmosphere simultaneously including the surface. It’s a continuum of IR fluxes in different wavelengths reaching space from various depths of the atmosphere. That continuum of emitted IR radiation with depth is what enables the remote sensing of vertical temperature and moisture profiles (as well as other atmospheric parameters) from satellites.
The ‘emission temperature’ of a sphere computed from the simple inversion of the SB law is not really compatible in a physical sense with any palatable real temperatures measured in the atmosphere or at the surface … Hence, the emission height is another fiction of the GH theory with no physical equivalence!

Yes, it is a continuum. That’s why it’s called an effective radiation height. No one believes all the radiation comes from a single altitude. The point is it does not all come from the surface. Without radiating gases it would have to come from the surface and the surface would have to average out to 33C cooler than it is. I don’t see anyway to avoid it.
I can see how the atmosphere could limit the GHE based on mass, gravity and solar input. Those items are what creates the structure of the atmosphere. All the gases work within that structure and it may be possible that the overall GHE is independent of the exact concentration of the gases and adhere to the Miskolczi constant optical depth concept. However, the atmosphere still requires a minimum amount of radiating gases.

249. Richard M says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm
No, no, no, and no. Let me say it a different way, as clearly I still have not gotten the point across to you.
I have not “confirmed the relationship may be even stronger”. I’ve just fit the same points with a different curve. So far, N&Z fit it one way, and I’ve fit it three other ways using different variables and different equations and different numbers of parameters.
All that means is that the problem is trivially simple, because there are five tunable parameters and eight data points and I’m given free choice of any equation, no matter how non-physical it might be.
So none of the fits mean anything, Richard.

Willis, you are using a logical fallacy here. Just because there exists multiple fits does not mean there doesn’t exist a meaningful fit.
I’m not trying to assert one exists. I’m simply trying to investigate whether one might exist. One of the reasons is that Miskolczi has found something very similar (a maximum GHE) through other methods. Empirical ones at that. And, then we have the Sorohkin paper as well. When I see lots of evidence pointing in the same direction it often means there’s something useful to be harvested. Or, it may be a bunch of weeds. However, try not to be hasty. If it turns out to be nothing, as you have claimed, then that will become evident eventually.

250. @Willis
> What N&Z have done is just curve fitting.
@Willis
> N&Z are just “gaming the system” as you put it,
> their fits mean no more than mine do.
Ah, there is a big difference. You admit that you were just fitting data for fitting’s sake.
N&Z did not set about to fit data for just fitting sake. After discovering that they could fit temperature to pressure alone in this data, they followed it up with a scientific theory to explain.
You didn’t carry your fitting pursuit to that next higher level.

Their thesis is not at all about curve-fitting data to 8 points. You’ve got it backwards. In those 8 planetoids they noticed a remarkable correlation between pressure and temperature. Using those 8 planets as a ‘training set’ they were able to come up with an empirical power law which gave a ‘good fit’ between pressure and temperature.
But that was just a preliminary step in their research. Such empirical power laws don’t explain why they work. Zipf’s Power Law predicts word frequencies, city sizes, personal incomes etc but even Zipf couldn’t come up with a good reason why it worked so well. All he could say, waving his hands, was it due to some ‘principle of least effort’.
N&Z have done better than Zipf. They have started a new theory, based in classical physics, which explains _why_ you only need to know pressure to determine temperature.

😐

251. Willis Eschenbach says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 10:31 am

I agree with Karl! [Dr. Karl Zeller, who commented above -w.]
The major point that Willis totally missed (but follows from his own regression analysis) is that the planetary surface temperature CAN be explained in a straightforward fashion over a broad range of atmospheric conditions using ONLY pressure and solar irradiance . No other model can currently do that! This is the main point of our theory! The grand implications of the strong relationship shown in Fig. 5 (the NTE – Pressure curve) is that the so-called GH effect (we call it ATE) is a pressure phenomenon that is completely unrelated to radiative transfer! Hence, the GH effect in its physical nature is NOT a reduction of the surface IR cooling to space as currently assumed, but is a Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement (PTE) … It is that simple!

Ned

Dr. Nikolov, as with Dr. Zeller, my thanks to you for defending your theory and your claims. This kind of public examination and defence of claims is in the best scientific tradition.
You say that

planetary surface temperature CAN be explained in a straightforward fashion over a broad range of atmospheric conditions using ONLY pressure and solar irradiance

The problem is that the way you have “explained” it involves five tuned parameters, only eight data points, and a free choice of equations. That doesn’t “explain” anything. It just fits one curve to another. You go on to say:

No other model can currently do that! This is the main point of our theory!

I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve just demonstrated above three other ways to do it, and I’m sure I could do it many more ways.
Dr. Nikolov, you and Dr. Zeller truly need to involve a good statistician in your team. Neither of you seem to have any idea that fitting a curve to eight points, using five free tunable parameters and your choice of equations, means nothing. Nada. Nihil. Niente. Zip. Zero. It has no evidentiary value at all, because it is a trivially easy thing to do.
To demonstrate just how trivially easy it is, I did it in three separate ways above, each of them in another manner than your method, using different variables, different equations, and different number of parameters. Not only that, but my few minutes spent producing this MIRACLE gave me an equation that was a better fit than yours (lower RMS average error). But none of that means anything, neither my fits nor yours. I cannot stress this enough. No result of that kind of fitting means anything. Not yours. Not mine. Not anyones. It is just fitting an elephant with parameters, as von Neumann observed.
You desperately need to look into the concept of “overfitting”. There are a number of discussions of it. Basically, the more parameters you have and the less data you have and the more choice of equations you have, the easier it is to fit dataset A to dataset B. You have made it ridiculously easy, with more than half as many parameters as there are data points.
Now, I can understand that you don’t want to believe me, I’m a cowboy and a commercial fisherman, I was born yesterday, what do I know? So take me out of the equation. Ask any serious statistician their opinion of fitting eight data points with five parameters and a free choice of equations. See how much weight they suggest you put on that procedure. They will tell you not to damage your reputation by making claims of MIRACLES because you can fit such an equation. The truth is that with that many parameters and free choice of an equation, it would be a MIRACLE if you couldn’t fit it.
My best to you, and my thanks again for your willingness to stand up for your ideas. It is rare these days.
w.

252. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

N&Z did not set about to fit data for just fitting sake. After discovering that they could fit temperature to pressure alone in this data, they followed it up with a scientific theory to explain.

Man, it must be stand-up comedy night here at WUWT.
There is no scientific theory; it is just a bunch of caballed together nonsense that appeals to people who can’t distinguish between real science and stuff that sounds sort of science-y.

253. Joel Shore says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm
“Man, it must be stand-up comedy night here at WUWT.
There is no scientific theory; it is just a bunch of caballed together nonsense”
LOL. Good neologism!

254. Willis Eschenbach says:

William M. Connolley says:
January 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

WE>

I was one of the nobodies who tried to do what Jimmy said, contribute…

Really? Not under your own name, then. Did you do it secretly?

Secretly? No, I did it anonymously. I was born yesterday, but I’m not foolish enough to go up against the King of Censorship on his own turf under my own name.
w.

255. Willis Eschenbach says:

Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

… Willis, you are using a logical fallacy here. Just because there exists multiple fits does not mean there doesn’t exist a meaningful fit.

You’ll have to define “meaningful fit” for me before I could comment on that.
w.

256. Joel Shore says:

“Man, it must be stand-up comedy night here at WUWT.
There is no scientific theory; it is just a bunch of caballed together nonsense”
LOL. Good neologism!

I’ll pretend that I did that on purpose! 😉 No wonder the spell-checker didn’t like it.

257. Willis Eschenbach says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

Thanks for the question, Ned. You might want to check your units. Watts per square metre is a FLOW of energy, not an AMOUNT of energy. As a result, you can never answer a question of “how much additional radiation is needed” with watts per square metre. You need watt-hours, or watt seconds (joules), or the like. Those are amounts of energy.
Next, the question as posed has no meaning. Presumably the moon will be radiating and losing energy as it is being heated. and to calculate the amount of radiation needed, you MUST specify the starting temperature. This is because of the T^4 relationship. Since you have not specified the starting temperature, your question is not answerable.
Finally, you have not specified how much of the moon we are heating. The top metre? The entire body of the moon? Since temperature change is inversely proportional to mass, we need to know that as well.
All the best,
w.

258. Willis Eschenbach says:

Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

… One of the reasons is that Miskolczi has found something very similar (a maximum GHE) through other methods. Empirical ones at that. And, then we have the Sorohkin paper as well. When I see lots of evidence pointing in the same direction it often means there’s something useful to be harvested.

Evidence? Evidence is observations. Facts. Data.
What you have is a couple of people who think that the greenhouse effect is not possible, doesn’t work, and like that. I doubt greatly that you could give me the elevator speech for either of those theories … but you are willing to promote them.
Curious, that … but not evidence of any kind.
w.

259. DeWitt Payne says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

The concept of an emission height come from the incorrect application of the SB law when estimating the mean temperature of a sphere (see our Reply part 1). That simple equation produces about 255K (-18C) for Earth. This temperature is then erroneously identified with the actual measured temperature at about 5 km in mid troposphere, and a conclusion is drawn that this is where most of the IR radiation had to be emanating from. The reality is that IR radiation is coming out from all heights in the atmosphere simultaneously including the surface. It’s a continuum of IR fluxes in different wavelengths reaching space from various depths of the atmosphere. That continuum of emitted IR radiation with depth is what enables the remote sensing of vertical temperature and moisture profiles (as well as other atmospheric parameters) from satellites.

When I look at an atmospheric IR emission spectrum to space, I don’t see a continuum. That implies a smooth curve with slowly changing slope like Bremsstrahlung from an x-ray tube or black body radiation. Remote sensing relies on structure in the spectrum. A continuum, by definition, has no, or at least very little, structure. I do agree that the concept of an effective emission height is nothing more than a mathematical construct. But that doesn’t make it meaningless. Calculating an effective temperature by integrating incident radiation over a broad wavelength range and plugging that into the SB equation to get a temperature isn’t an incorrect application of the SB equation. It’s precisely how most IR thermometers, including pyrgeometers, work.

260. DeWitt Payne says:

Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

So none of the fits mean anything, Richard.
Willis, you are using a logical fallacy here. Just because there exists multiple fits does not mean there doesn’t exist a meaningful fit.
I’m not trying to assert one exists. I’m simply trying to investigate whether one might exist. One of the reasons is that Miskolczi has found something very similar (a maximum GHE) through other methods. Empirical ones at that. However, try not to be hasty. If it turns out to be nothing, as you have claimed, then that will become evident eventually.

Miskolczi’s results are indeed empirical. A lot of his observed relationships between fluxes are just that, observed, and are not exact relationships even then. But he then treats them as physical law with exact solutions.
The theory he derives is fundamentally flawed. He treats a constant as a variable and a variable as a constant as the need requires to get the equation he wants. The whole concept of a global average optical depth is flawed as well because clouds have an effectively infinite IR optical depth so the global average would also be infinite. So his τ is a mathematical construct with no real physical meaning. He then plugs it into what amounts to a somewhat more complex single slab atmosphere which has an upper limit of doubling the surface flux and claims that therefore the real greenhouse effect also has a limit of 2. See the Miskoloczi posts at Science of Doom for more detail.

261. Tilo Reber says:

Willis: “You’ll have to define “meaningful fit” for me before I could comment on that.”
A meaningful fit would be one that could be used to correctly predict the temperature of other planets knowing only the atmospheric pressure and irradiation level. If N&Z have their physics correct, this should turn out to be the case. On the other hand, if you have done a curve fit that fits the data, but that is not based on correct physics, then it will break down as you look at more planets. Of course you could keep adjusting your fit. But your original fit would not have been meaningful. The point, again, is that four or five parameters could be a case of an overfit, or it could be a case of a correct fit. Let’s listen to their part two explanation and then decide if the way that they have done their math is consistent with the physical theory that they have explained. If they can give us good reason for their parameters being what they are, it may well be a “meaningful fit”.

262. Joel Shore says:

Tilo Reber says:

Let’s listen to their part two explanation and then decide if the way that they have done their math is consistent with the physical theory that they have explained. If they can give us good reason for their parameters being what they are, it may well be a “meaningful fit”.

The only interesting question left at this point is if Nikolov and Zeller are going to continue this charade or whether at some point they will have enough intellectual integrity to admit their fundamental errors. Based on what we have seen so far, I am afraid that the wise betting money would not be on them doing the latter.

263. Tilo Reber says:

Joel Shore: “The only interesting question left at this point is if Nikolov and Zeller are going to continue this charade or whether at some point they will have enough intellectual integrity to admit their fundamental errors.”
I’m not much interested in your opinions Joel. I’m still trying to get you to explain how the moon can maintain an average temperature “a few centimeters” below the surface that is 40 C warmer than the average surface temperature, as you explained earlier.

264. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm
Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm
Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …
Thanks for the question, Ned. You might want to check your units. Watts per square metre is a FLOW of energy, not an AMOUNT of energy. As a result, you can never answer a question of “how much additional radiation is needed” with watts per square metre. You need watt-hours, or watt seconds (joules), or the like. Those are amounts of energy.
Next, the question as posed has no meaning. Presumably the moon will be radiating and losing energy as it is being heated. and to calculate the amount of radiation needed, you MUST specify the starting temperature. This is because of the T^4 relationship. Since you have not specified the starting temperature, your question is not answerable.
Finally, you have not specified how much of the moon we are heating. The top metre? The entire body of the moon? Since temperature change is inversely proportional to mass, we need to know that as well.

Willis,
Where did you read ‘total energy’ in Ned’s question?
Solar irradiance is specified as power per unit area, which how he expressed his question.
He is saying that if you want to raise the surface temperature of the moon by 133K, then you’ll need to increase the irradiance by 14,800 W/m²
Do you really care what the total energy is, integrated over the whole Moon for some specified period of time?
I’m beginnning to see why you (and Joel) don’t seem to want to understand the N&Z theory. You seem to think they lack skills as physicists and so it just goes in one ear and out the other as nonsense. Am I correct?
😐

265. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

I’m beginnning to see why you (and Joel) don’t seem to want to understand the N&Z theory. You seem to think they lack skills as physicists and so it just goes in one ear and out the other as nonsense. Am I correct?
😐

No…It doesn’t go in one ear and out the other and we don’t want to not understand it. Willis and I in fact apparently understand Nikolov and Zeller’s work better than anybody else (including them). For example, most people read Section 2(B) of their paper and are apparently dazzled by the fact that they add convection and eliminate the radiative greenhouse effect. I look at it and say, “How amusing…They added convection into the model in a way that by their own statement is wrong (driven the atmosphere to an isothermal condition with height) and then marvel at the fact that this eliminates the greenhouse effect when they could have just read p. 148 of Ray Pierrehumbert’s book and known that the greenhouse effect would disappear if they adopted such an unphysical assumption.”
Some people look at their fit and marvel at the miracle. Willis and I actually endeavor to understand it and play around with the fit and test it.
So, I would say that it is exactly the opposite: The people here who marvel at their theory are the ones who don’t understand it. Those of us who understand it know exactly what is wrong with it.

266. Richard M says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm
Evidence? Evidence is observations. Facts. Data.

You mean like Miskolczi’s 230 observations over 25 years that all yield a constant optical depth?
What you have is a couple of people who think that the greenhouse effect is not possible, doesn’t work, and like that. I doubt greatly that you could give me the elevator speech for either of those theories … but you are willing to promote them.
Curious, that … but not evidence of any kind.

Looks like you’re guilty of what you so often blame others. Where I have “promoted them”? Shouldn’t you be quoting where I supposedly “promoted them”? At least that’s what you have chided others about numerous times.
The fact is I have asked them to try and find a reasonable physical basis for the relationship they have presented. How do you consider that to be “promoting them”? I have also stated I hadn’t been convinced that the GHE can be eliminated in any case where the surface temperature is raised above the incoming solar input. Now, please explain how that “promotes them”?
Unlike you, Willis, I’m willing to wait until more information is available before I commit to any position at all.

267. Richard M says:

DeWitt Payne says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm
Miskolczi’s results are indeed empirical. A lot of his observed relationships between fluxes are just that, observed, and are not exact relationships even then. But he then treats them as physical law with exact solutions.

Nowhere have I stated anything about what Miskolczi theorized. My only reference was to the empirical data he discovered.
The theory he derives is fundamentally flawed …
From everything I’ve read I would have to agree. That is why I did not intend to refer to his theories, only his data. Maybe I should have used another phrase instead of “optical depth”. My point is the GHE appears to behave as if it is independent of the mix of GHGs. One way of viewing K&Z’s equation gets you to the same point. The GHE may have some kind of limiting physical basis.
Instead of just dismissing anything that may not be a complete theory, I’m trying to push people to think of ways that such a limiting effect could exist.

268. DeWitt Payne says:

Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

You mean like Miskolczi’s 230 observations over 25 years that all yield a constant optical depth?

No, they don’t. The optical depth of the observations varies all over the map. His constant optical depth is a calculated average of those observations. Again, those observations are all clear sky. The optical depth of a cloud covered sky is very large. But Miskolczi conveniently ignores that fact.

269. Joel Shore says:

Tilo Reber says:

I’m not much interested in your opinions Joel. I’m still trying to get you to explain how the moon can maintain an average temperature “a few centimeters” below the surface that is 40 C warmer than the average surface temperature, as you explained earlier.

I already discussed this. It remains somewhat of a mystery as to whether the source that I cited that makes this claim is correct or not and what the reason for it is:
At any rate, it is an interesting sidelight but hardly vital for the present discussion. If I was wrong on the point that the temperature somewhat below the surface would have a temperature representative of the fourth root of the average of the insolation rather than just the average of the insolation, then I was wrong. It has no bearing on the fundamental and profound errors with N&Z’s “theory”. I am not perfect…but unlike some others I admit when I may have been mistaken.

270. Phil. says:

John Day says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm
He is saying that if you want to raise the surface temperature of the moon by 133K, then you’ll need to increase the irradiance by 14,800 W/m²

Whereas what they should really do to raise by most of that 133K is to use a reasonable value for the parameter they have omitted which is responsible for the low mean value they get, namely the heat capacity of the surface.
I’m beginnning to see why you (and Joel) don’t seem to want to understand the N&Z theory. You seem to think they lack skills as physicists and so it just goes in one ear and out the other as nonsense. Am I correct?
They appear to lack the skill to understand the critical role of heat capacity in this model since they studiously ignore all mention of it when it is raised! It’s a nice trick really, omit a critical parameter in your model which greatly exaggerates the value of the parameter under discussion, then claim personal incredulity as to the possibility of the GHE being able to explain such a large ΔT, then back that up by quoting the measured LW power density as being inadequate, while of course knowing that the number you’re using is bogus!

271. Richard M says:

DeWitt Payne says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm
[Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm
You mean like Miskolczi’s 230 observations over 25 years that all yield a constant optical depth?]
No, they don’t. The optical depth of the observations varies all over the map. His constant optical depth is a calculated average of those observations.
My understanding was the observation’s average stayed constant over the entire 25 years. In other words, the average itself did not vary over time. The average of the first few years did not vary after more observations. Is that incorrect?

272. Richard M says: January 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm
“Nowhere have I stated anything about what Miskolczi theorized. My only reference was to the empirical data he discovered.”

Miskolczi produced no empirical data at all. He looked up a database of measured profiles of air temperature and pressure from balloon ascents. Absolutely no measurement of optical depth, or anything involving IR. That all came from his theory.

273. martin mason says:

So much passion, willy waving and raging ego and yet it’s all ant f*cking with zero contribution to the real issues that face us over CAGW and zero relevance to the real world which some patently don’t inhabit. The other sad thing is that nobody outside of this small debating club is getting any message from this and the AGW industry must be rubbing its hands to see such bickering on a forum that has done so much to counter their propaganda by it’s unity.
Surely it is obvious that surface pressure has an impact on on near surface temperature, surely GHGs play some part and surely there are many other things which impact the reality of what we see in the chaotic real world which doesn’t have tall cylinders of atmosphere with silver wire connecting bottom to top and where thought experiments and elevator summaries don’t interest real people who are under massive threat from the AGW monster. The only thing obvious from this and other recent threads is that agenda driven people are totally incapable of listening to what anybody else has to say. I for one am sick of this almost infantile bickering and am really thinking of abandoning this site from which I’ve learned so much over the years

274. Willis Eschenbach says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Willis: “You’ll have to define “meaningful fit” for me before I could comment on that.”
A meaningful fit would be one that could be used to correctly predict the temperature of other planets knowing only the atmospheric pressure and irradiation level. If N&Z have their physics correct, this should turn out to be the case. On the other hand, if you have done a curve fit that fits the data, but that is not based on correct physics, then it will break down as you look at more planets. Of course you could keep adjusting your fit. But your original fit would not have been meaningful. The point, again, is that four or five parameters could be a case of an overfit, or it could be a case of a correct fit. Let’s listen to their part two explanation and then decide if the way that they have done their math is consistent with the physical theory that they have explained. If they can give us good reason for their parameters being what they are, it may well be a “meaningful fit”.

Oh, please. They have used a single variable twice, with different parameters, as the exponent in their equation. I have never, ever seen that in the physical description of any system. I will guarantee you that they will never, ever attempt to justify it as being physical, because it isn’t.
But sure, Tilo, if you want to wait for further handwaving from N&Z, be my guest.
w.
PS—Since there is no way at present to determine by your method if it is a “meaningful fit”, due to the lack of other planets to compare it to … and no hope of new planets … you could be waiting a while.

275. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

Thanks for the question, Ned. You might want to check your units. Watts per square metre is a FLOW of energy, not an AMOUNT of energy. As a result, you can never answer a question of “how much additional radiation is needed” with watts per square metre. You need watt-hours, or watt seconds (joules), or the like. Those are amounts of energy.
Next, the question as posed has no meaning. Presumably the moon will be radiating and losing energy as it is being heated. and to calculate the amount of radiation needed, you MUST specify the starting temperature. This is because of the T^4 relationship. Since you have not specified the starting temperature, your question is not answerable.
Finally, you have not specified how much of the moon we are heating. The top metre? The entire body of the moon? Since temperature change is inversely proportional to mass, we need to know that as well.
Willis,

Where did you read ‘total energy’ in Ned’s question?
Solar irradiance is specified as power per unit area, which how he expressed his question.

The real question is, where do you get off answering a question for Ned? You don’t know what’s in his mind. You don’t know whether he’s made a typographical error or not. You don’t know what his claims are about. You don’t know what lunar mass he is speaking of. I doubt greatly you even understand what I said about flows and amounts of energy. You can’t speak for him, don’t bother trying.
If I want to know about the music, I ask the organ grinder, not the monkey.
w.

276. Martin Mason:
You are right. I believe the reason we have so much bickering is because some the leading figures here apparently think that this is an EGO contest instead of being interested to solve an issue. The lesser one knows the bigger seems to be the Ego, that’s a steep relationship with high correlation coefficient! But maybe that’s what some people are paid to do here … 🙂

277. Willis Eschenbach says:

Richard M says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

… Unlike you, Willis, I’m willing to wait until more information is available before I commit to any position at all.

Cool. Let us know when you decide to commit to a position. Will there be balloons? Is it gonna be BYOP (bring your own position)?
w.

278. Tilo Reber says:

Willis: “PS—Since there is no way at present to determine by your method if it is a “meaningful fit”, due to the lack of other planets to compare it to … and no hope of new planets … you could be waiting a while.”
Yes, I’m aware of that, so for now I’ll have to do with a good physical explanation. I’ll decide if it’s handwaving after I’ve heard it. I suspect that you will call it handwaving regardless of what it is since you are now deeply committed to N&Z being in error.

279. Willis Eschenbach says:

martin mason says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm

… the AGW industry must be rubbing its hands to see such bickering on a forum that has done so much to counter their propaganda by it’s unity.

Right, we should paper over any disagreements and hide any differences in the name of “the cause” … after all, that worked so well for the other side …
Unfortunate, martin, this is how sausage gets made.If you don’t want to see it, read one or more of the many, many other threads at WUWT. There’s lots of non-gravity stuff going on.
w.

280. Phil says:

Isn’t the fact that temperature is an intensive variable important in all of these analyses? I’m really just asking. It is not my intent to increase the temperature of this discussion (begging the reader’s forgiveness).

281. Tilo Reber says:

Ned: I don’t think that anyone here is paid. And I think than each and every one of us has a substantial ego. I’ve been reading quite a bit of neurological research lately, and you would be amazed at the level of self delusion that we, as humans, are capable of. It’s just jaw dropping. Intelligence and academic credentials don’t make anyone immune. It only makes them more able to invent more plausible explanations for the inconsistencies that they are denying. I’m susceptible, you’re susceptible, and so are Joel and Willis. But to each of us, and in good faith, it looks like only the others are susceptible. There’s really nothing that any of us can do about it. We have to continue to debate the ideas and hope that reality will eventually prevail.

282. @Willis
> The real question is, where do you get off answering a question for Ned?
Happens all the time on these WUWT pages.
> You don’t know what’s in his mind. You don’t know whether he’s made a
> typographical error or not. You don’t know what his claims are about.
> You don’t know what lunar mass he is speaking of.
Yes, I know what he’s talking about: the amount of extra solar radiation it would take to bring the temperature of the _Earth_ up from airless, gray-body levels to atmospheric GHE levels, with the Moon as the reference gray-body.
I was more concerned about what was in _your_ mind
> I doubt greatly you
> even understand what I said about flows and amounts of energy.
The point I was making was _you_ don’t need to know the _amount_ of energy only the power per unit area.
What I’m really concerned about is that you claim that you don’t understand the N&Z theory, yet you don’t seem willing to try to understand it, instead getting all defensive and snarky about it.
I think you (and Joel) have written this off as BS and N&Z as idiots, or worse. Then why are you even bothering to discuss it with them?
I’m here because I want to learn more about it, right or wrong. Either way there is a lot to be learned.
😐

283. John Day says: January 25, 2012 at 6:21 am
… Using those 8 planets as a ‘training set’ they were able to come up with an empirical power law which gave a ‘good fit’ between pressure and temperature. But that was just a preliminary step in their research. …

Some years ago I worked with Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) that we intended to use to recognize certain types of targets. We began our research with a “training set” of hand printed characters and “rewarded” the connection weights in the neural pathways when the ANN guessed correctly and “penalized” them when the guess was wrong. Our “training set” was run repeatedly until the weights became tuned and the ANN got correct results for all the members of that “training set”.
As John Day wrote, that is only the preliminary step. The next step was to input a “test set” that the ANN had never seen before, and determine if the ANN could interpret those correctly. Of course the real test of such a system is to input real world samples, such as hand-printed addresses and determine if those results are correct.
In other words, we did not celebrate any kind of MIRACLE when the ANN developed the skill to recognize the “training set”. Any neural network with a certain number of nodes can learn to do that.
N&Z have worked years to come up with their MIRACLE equation (and Willis spent minutes to tune up three more). All four equations do a good job on the “training set”. The next step is to get a “test set” of pressure and temperature data for several dozen additional planets that N&Z (and Willis) have never seen before, and see how well their respective equations do.
Of course, it may take some years or decades to obtain suitable data, but I will not accept that N&Z (or Willis) have made any real scientific contribution until their equations work for a “test set” -OR- until N&Z provide some physical explanation, or a laboratory test, for their pressure “enhancement” theory. Perhaps N&Z part 2 will help along those lines.

Such empirical power laws don’t explain why they work. Zipf’s Law predicts word frequencies, city sizes, personal incomes etc but even Zipf couldn’t come up with a good reason why it worked so well. All he could say, waving his hands, was it due to some ‘principle of least effort’….

Zipf could do more than wave his hands! He could show that Zipf’s Law applied to new sets of data that he had never seen before, and he could invite others to look for examples both pro and con. So, either provide a derivation based on accepted principles of physics -OR- show that your equation works for data you have never seen before. That is how a Law gets tested. That is how science is done. Right now I give no more scientific credence to your theory and equation than I (or Willis) give to Willis’s three equations.
-Ira

284. Willis Eschenbach says:

Ned Nikolov says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Martin Mason:
You are right. I believe the reason we have so much bickering is because some the leading figures here apparently think that this is an EGO contest instead of being interested to solve an issue. The lesser one knows the bigger seems to be the Ego, that’s a steep relationship with high correlation coefficient! But maybe that’s what some people are paid to do here … 🙂

Paid to do? Are you under the impression we are paid here for our labors? Not true.
I was curious because the number seems way out, no matter how I interpret the question. You had said:

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

14,800 W m-2 corresponds via S-B to 442°C. If this were 133 kelvin warmer than the moon, that would make the moon 309°C … so that made no sense.
In any case, your clarification would be appreciated.
Finally, do you have any comments on the overfitting question? There’s a good discussion of it here. From that cite, regarding the ratio between the number of parameters and the amount of data:

Unfortunately, there is not much known about sample sizes needed for good modeling. Ryan quotes Draper and Smith as suggesting that the number of observations should be at least ten times the number of terms.

Since you have five parameters, that would mean you need at least fifty data points. Me, that still seems small, and the other reference in that citation gives larger minimum numbers. But let’s say it should be fifty data points for 5 parameters.
You have eight …
Many thanks,
w.

285. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

@Willis

> The real question is, where do you get off answering a question for Ned?

Happens all the time on these WUWT pages.

Great. Then I’m sure you can explain his statement.

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

14,800 W m-2 corresponds via S-B to a blackbody temperature of 442°C. For a blackbody, T = (Q / SB) ^ 1/4, where Q is radiation and SB is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, 5.67e-8.
T = (14800 W m-2 / 5.67e-8)^1/4 ≈ 715K ≈ 442°C
If this were 133 kelvin warmer than the moon, that would make the moon 309°C.
Since that obviously is not true … just what does Dr. Nikolov mean by his statement?
w.

286. kzeller says:

Tilo Reber says:
….. and you would be amazed at the level of self delusion that we, as humans, are capable of….
Tilo, I gotta tell you this is my 1st blog experience. Prior to this I was a solid “We are ONE, I AM’r” now based on WUWT hard facts data I’m back to the good ‘ole duality paradigm.

287. Willis Eschenbach says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Willis:

“PS—Since there is no way at present to determine by your method if it is a “meaningful fit”, due to the lack of other planets to compare it to … and no hope of new planets … you could be waiting a while.”

Yes, I’m aware of that, so for now I’ll have to do with a good physical explanation. I’ll decide if it’s handwaving after I’ve heard it. I suspect that you will call it handwaving regardless of what it is since you are now deeply committed to N&Z being in error.

Naw, I’m deeply committed to the scientific method, including the Laws of Thermodynamics. I’ve offered up a proof that no mechanism (not just Jelbrings or N&Zs, but no mechanism) can bring the planets temperature above theoretical S-B temperature if the atmosphere is transparent and GHG-free.
I am deeply committed to that proof, because I’ve posted it and nobody poked any holes in it. I understand that N&Z claim that their mechanism can raise the temperature above the S-B temperature regardless of atmospheric composition. If so, I think their claims violate conservation of energy. If no, then fine.
So I’m not deeply committed to N&Z being wrong. If they make that claim, they’re wrong.
w.

288. DaleC says:

Dr Zeller, you say above
“Tilo, I gotta tell you this is my 1st blog experience. Prior to this I was a solid ‘We are ONE, I AM’r’ now based on WUWT hard facts data I’m back to the good ‘ole duality paradigm.”
Such an outcome would be a shame. You have everything to gain by this engagement. Think of it as analogous to the Republican Primaries. They are all on the same side, but nonetheless relentlessly probe each other for weakness. The point is that when it comes to the real thing, all the potential lines of attack will have already been well and truly canvassed. If you are right, your place in history is assured. If you are right, but publish without having expressed your case with sufficient clarity to meet all possible objections, then the doomers will tear you apart. If you are wrong, you will have been spared the embarrassment of having your error immortalized in the literature. It’s win-win-win. I’m reminded of a documentary I saw about Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s last theorem. His peers exposed many weaknesses in the early stages. Wiles just kept at it until everyone agreed the proof was solid. Please do not let the wild-west nature of blog debates discourage you.

289. @Willis
> Since that obviously is not true … just what does Dr. Nikolov mean by his statement?
That was his point, he was trying to show, via reductio ad absurdum, that GHG’s can’t be the cause of GHE.

The Gas Law does not violate the 1st Law of Thermo, sorry! What violates that law BIG TIME is the idea that changing the concentration of minor gases in the FREE atmosphere can increase the kinetic energy of the troposphere and cause surface warming, or the assertion that some ‘heat-absorbing’ gases which amount to less than 0.5% of atmospheric mass can raise Earth’s surface temperature by 133K above that of an equivalent gray body! That’s more than a violation of the 1st Law, it’s a SUPERSTITION. Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

290. @Ira Glickstein
> Of course, it may take some years or decades to obtain suitable data,
> but I will not accept that N&Z (or Willis) have made any real scientific
> contribution until their equations work for a “test set” -OR- until N&Z
> provide some physical explanation, or a laboratory test, for their
> pressure “enhancement” theory.
Agreed. I think we’re quibbling over the word used (“miracle”) to describe this preliminary “good fit”. As you know, research typically starts with some “promising results”, which are discovered in “good fits” like, but are also, typically, at the “solving a toy problem” stage.
Many years of further research and testing are required, as you point out, to validate the theory.
And of course, empirical laws are often useful, even when we don’t know why they work. Another good example, in addition to Zipf’s Law, is the S-B Law, which was originally called ‘Stefan’s Law’ based on his empirical fitting of Tyndale’s data. Boltzmann later showed how the law could be derived from his laws statistical mechanics.

291. kzeller said @ January 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Tilo Reber says:
….. and you would be amazed at the level of self delusion that we, as humans, are capable of….
Tilo, I gotta tell you this is my 1st blog experience. Prior to this I was a solid “We are ONE, I AM’r” now based on WUWT hard facts data I’m back to the good ‘ole duality paradigm.

What on earth is this supposed to mean? It looks like English! Will it help me understand if I imbibe some hallucinogenic drugs and chant: “Wow! Reality! What a concept!”?
WWhat on earth is this supposed to mean?

292. Richard M says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm
So I’m not deeply committed to N&Z being wrong. If they make that claim, they’re wrong.

Willis, I think it’s pretty obvious that you are angry. Hey, Ned has essentially denigrated you a couple of times. Your reaction is normal. Maybe you can’t see it but others can. I suspect you’re trying as hard as you can to not let it affect you, but you are human after all (and a cowboy at heart).
OTOH, you have been basically calling their baby ugly. I suspect that’s why you got the reaction from Ned that you got.
Nick Stokes says:
January 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm
[Richard M says: January 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm
“Nowhere have I stated anything about what Miskolczi theorized. My only reference was to the empirical data he discovered.”]
Miskolczi produced no empirical data at all. He looked up a database of measured profiles of air temperature and pressure from balloon ascents. Absolutely no measurement of optical depth, or anything involving IR. That all came from his theory.

And, if you read what I actually wrote you’ll see the word “discovered” and not the word “produced”. Nick, this is one reason why you have such low credibility at WUWT. You tried to change the meaning of what I said and then produced absolutely no evidence to back up your claim. If his computations based on the empirical data were wrong, then demonstrate it. Otherwise, you’re once again acting like a troll.

293. LucVC says:

A comet is as much a heavenly body as a planet. I wonder if they can test ther theory on a comet. I remember Halley, quite some data should be available on that one from Esa’s Giotto probe. In 2014 the rosetta spacecraft will even land on comet Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

294. @Willis
> So I’m not deeply committed to N&Z being wrong.
> If they make that claim, they’re wrong.
Just to set the record straight (and then try to resume a productive scientific discussion) :
It seems you and Joel have both played around with the N&Z ideas a bit and attempted to understand them. But Joel obviously now thinks N&Z is quackery:
> There is no scientific theory; it is just a bunch of caballed
> together nonsense that appeals to people who can’t
> distinguish between real science and stuff that sounds
> sort of science-y.
But he also said …
> Willis and I in fact apparently understand Nikolov and Zeller’s
> work better than anybody else (including them).
which suggested [there I go again] that he thinks that you think like he thinks.
But your statement above clears the air for me. Good for you. So let’s continue this discussion about N&Z’s theory, which is real science (even if it turns out be mostly wrong).
That is how scientific theories (and sausages) are made. Ain’t always pleasant.
😐

295. DeWitt Payne says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Okay, let’s move on. Why do you consider Konrad Hartmann’s experiment “ill conceived and carried out”.

For one, PETG isn’t perfectly rigid. If you put it under pressure the bottle will expand. Since the painted surface isn’t flat, it can’t all be perpendicular to the incoming sunlight. But a pressurized bottle would have an increased diameter so it would absorb more solar energy and get hotter. And that’s just one thing off the top of my head.

296. Phil. says:

Interesting that shortly after my most recent posting here about N & Z’s omission of heat capacity both Ned and his colleague have posted here but they won’t touch that issue with a ten foot pole!

• Anthony Watts says:

Yes, Ned, see Phil. above. WUWT?

297. G. Karst says:

Maybe what is needed is a chair swap.
For one thread, Willis should argue why this theorem is correct and Ned should argue why his theorem is false. Perhaps points of understanding will be transferred. This dog’s breakfast is rapidly producing entrenched positions, where there should not be any, considering it is just appearing, in this forum. Ned – it was a little naive of you to think that your hypothesis would be overwhelmingly accepted, just because it is “anti GHE CAGW”. Validation can be more difficult here, than many so called, peer reviews of academia. GK

298. Joel Shore says:

Tilo Reber says:

Okay, let’s move on. Why do you consider Konrad Hartmann’s experiment “ill conceived and carried out”.

The main problem with the experiment is it doesn’t show what people are claiming it shows. Assuming he did the experiment correctly, he showed that a box filled with air at elevated pressure and exposed to sunlight was at a higher temperature than the box not at elevated pressure.
However, he has not in any way bothered to figure out what conventional physics would predict for this case. His boxes contain air that has greenhouse gases in it, for example. The one at higher pressure will have more greenhouse gases…and will also have broader absorption bands.
One does not abandon a century of physics because someone does an experiment and doesn’t know how to intelligently interpret the results!

299. @Phil.

John Day says:
January 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm
He is saying that if you want to raise the surface temperature of the moon by 133K, then you’ll need to increase the irradiance by 14,800 W/m²
Whereas what they should really do to raise by most of that 133K is to use a reasonable value for the parameter they have omitted which is responsible for the low mean value they get, namely the heat capacity of the surface.

My recollection was that they were talking about the volumetric heat capacity of air, which _is_ neglible compared to the surface (air=~0.001J/(cc*K) vs >1 for solids)
@N&Z
> Radiative transfer alone cannot explain this effect (e.g. Figs. 2 & 3)
> given the negligible heat storage capacity of air,
> no matter how detailed the model is.
Phil, while we’re waiting for Ned to respond to this, can you point us to where he said surface heat capacity was zero?

300. DwP – do you have in mind a better experimental set-up? The argufying can continue until the conversion of the Jews, but a simple experiment might stop it in its tracks.

301. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

Phil, while we’re waiting for Ned to respond to this, can you point us to where he said surface heat capacity was zero?

The value of T_sb, i.e., the surface temperature of an airless planet is computed under the assumption that the local instantaneous temperature is determined by requiring radiative balance with the local instantaneous solar insolation. This thus assumes no heat storage and no heat transport (other than via radiation).

302. Phil. says:

John Day says:
January 26, 2012 at 10:06 am
@Phil.
Phil, while we’re waiting for Ned to respond to this, can you point us to where he said surface heat capacity was zero?

The fact that in their model the surface temperature drops to zero means that the surface heat capacity is zero.

303. Willis Eschenbach says:

Richard M says:
January 26, 2012 at 5:20 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm

So I’m not deeply committed to N&Z being wrong. If they make that claim, they’re wrong.

Willis, I think it’s pretty obvious that you are angry. Hey, Ned has essentially denigrated you a couple of times. Your reaction is normal. Maybe you can’t see it but others can. I suspect you’re trying as hard as you can to not let it affect you, but you are human after all (and a cowboy at heart).

Ned has denigrated me? Ned? Yes, he’s tried, but dude, he’d need a stepladder to denigrate me. Most of the time he won’t even answer me.
And me being angry? Obviously, you haven’t seen me angry, or you wouldn’t make that foolish claim. This is me being nice to PhDs who see themselves as James Dean but are really rebels without a clue …
w.

304. Bryan says:

Phil. says:
January 26, 2012 at 10:44 am
“The fact that in their model the surface temperature drops to zero means that the surface heat capacity is zero.”
What surface heat capacity was used for the K&T 97,and 2008 Energy Budget diagrams?
An accurate way to determine a surface temperature given the various heat and radiation fluxes and thermal capacities seems to elude most attempts.

305. Willis Eschenbach says:

G. Karst says:
January 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

Maybe what is needed is a chair swap.
For one thread, Willis should argue why this theorem is correct and Ned should argue why his theorem is false. Perhaps points of understanding will be transferred.

Having offered a proof that their theorem is incorrect in “A Matter of Some Gravity“, I fear that arguing for the other side would reduce me to invoking rainbows, unicorns, and faeries to as power sources for their proposed warming mechanisms.
G. Karst, you are asking me to argue for their position, a position which is forbidden by the laws of thermodynamics, that of a planet with a transparent GHG-free atmosphere whose surface is above the theoretical S-B temperature given the incoming radiation.
Obviously, the surface would have to be radiating more than it is absorbing. I fear that absent rainbows, faeries, and unicorns for power sources, I cannot argue for that claim at all.
So I tell you what, G. How about we argue about gravity instead? You can take the position that corresponds to N&Z’s position on thermodynamics, that gravity is just a good idea that we can work around. I’ll take the other side, that it’s a law that no one has figured a way to work around.
I can hardly wait for your experimental demonstration …
w.

306. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day, you had said to me that you were going to answer my question to Ned in place of Ned himself answering it. I said I found that strange, but you insisted that it’s done all the time.
But after confidently asserting that you would answer for Ned, you haven’t answered my question
Still waiting …
w.
PS—Out of curiosity, why do you think Ned needs someone to answer for him?

307. Joel Shore says:

Bryan says:

What surface heat capacity was used for the K&T 97,and 2008 Energy Budget diagrams?

Their diagram is not based on any assumption for the heat capacity. The values are average energy fluxes obtained from various empirical data.

308. Willis Eschenbach says:

Examining the claim of Ned’s that John Day is going to explain, it gets odder and odder. Looking upthread, I find that first Ned said (emphasis mine)

It requires many thousands of Watts of additional radiation (about 14,800 W m-2 to be exact) to raise the temperature of Earth from the gray-body value of about 155K to the present temperature of 287.6K. The observed average downward LW flux is only about 343 W m-2. So, even from the standpoint of this piece of evidence, it is clear that the GH effect CANNOT be possibly caused ‘back radiation’. Our interplanetary analysis explains the GH effect completely through pressure … What can be more clear than that?

Then Ned said:

Do you know how much of addition[al] radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

1.) Is the 14,800 W/m2 needed to raise the temperature of the moon by 133°C, or the temperature of the Earth, or is it the exact same number for both?
2.) A blackbody at 155K has a blackbody radiation of about 33 W/m2. On the other hand, a blackbody at 287.6K has a radiation of 388 W/m2 … I don’t see 14,800 W/m2 difference in their anywhere. So John, as Ned’s official Professorial Spokesdude, what on earth does the 14,800 W/m2 refer to?
w.
PS—You can always tell the newbies, they love the extra digits. For example, we don’t really know the exact average temperature of the earth’s surface. It’s around 14°-15°C, and is usually given as 288K. But Ned gives it as 287.6K. Not two hundred eighty seven and a half degrees, but two eighty seven point six

309. Willis Eschenbach says:

Bryan says:
January 26, 2012 at 11:37 am

… What surface heat capacity was used for the K&T 97,and 2008 Energy Budget diagrams?
An accurate way to determine a surface temperature given the various heat and radiation fluxes and thermal capacities seems to elude most attempts.

None, because none was needed. K&T did an examination of the steady-state equilibrium energy flow conditions, and as such, surface heat capacity is immaterial. They’re not looking at surface temperatures and how they change, they are looking at steady-state average energy flows.
w.

310. @Willis
> John Day, you had said to me that you were going to answer my
> question to Ned in place of Ned himself answering it.
Again you’re putting words in my mouth Willis. I never said “I will answer that question in place of Ned”. As Yoda would say: “Suggests dishonesty putting words in my mouth”
I merely responded to the question you posed to Ned. Does it make any difference if my response preceded Ned’s response? Or not?
Why are you not jumping on Joel, who responded to a question I directed to you, before you responded?
Is there some Law that says: “The Questions posed Here may have only one Response”? Or that they must be responded to in some rigid order?
I don’t think so.
Now, having said that, what would be my response _if_ I were responding _for_ Ned?
😐

311. Eli Rabett says:

Eli being a kindly bunny will offer Ned a way out that even Willis will agree with, simply derive those five parameters from first principles for any one planet.
Another amusing exercise would be to do a sensitivity analysis.
REPLY: In what may be a singularity, Eli and I find ourselves in agreement on this one – Anthony

312. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

@Willis

John Day, you had said to me that you were going to answer my question to Ned in place of Ned himself answering it.

Again you’re putting words in my mouth Willis. I never said “I will answer that question in place of Ned”. As Yoda would say: “Suggests dishonesty putting words in my mouth”

Well, let’s review the bidding, because I think I reported your position fairly and didn’t put any words in your mouth. I asked a question of Ned. You attempted to answer it. I said:

The real question is, where do you get off answering a question for Ned? You don’t know what’s in his mind. You don’t know whether he’s made a typographical error or not. You don’t know what his claims are about. You don’t know what lunar mass he is speaking of. I doubt greatly you even understand what I said about flows and amounts of energy. You can’t speak for him, don’t bother trying.
If I want to know about the music, I ask the organ grinder, not the monkey.

You defended answering for him, saying

@Willis

The real question is, where do you get off answering a question for Ned?

Happens all the time on these WUWT pages.

You don’t know what’s in his mind. You don’t know whether he’s made a typographical error or not. You don’t know what his claims are about. You don’t know what lunar mass he is speaking of.

Yes, I know what he’s talking about: the amount of extra solar radiation it would take to bring the temperature of the _Earth_ up from airless, gray-body levels to atmospheric GHE levels, with the Moon as the reference gray-body.

Hmmm … OK, you claim it’s perfectly fine for you to answer for Ned because you understand what he’s talking about. I figured that was good news, since Ned wasn’t answering. So I replied:

Great. Then I’m sure you can explain his statement.

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

Whoa, the brakes went on then, the g-force was immense from your rapid deceleration. Now, you’ve gotten all coy and shy, suddenly you are not interested in answering for Ned … now you say

Yeah, you’ll let Ned answer it, after all your bluster, just like I suggested that you should let Ned answer when you first butted in.
Ned, you listening?
w.

313. Willis,
Calm down. It’s OK for someone to comment on or even answer a question, or parts of a question, intended for someone else. It happens all the time here.
There was no intent on my part to exclude Ned from answering the question that was directed to him.
It seems to me that you posed that question merely to ridicule Ned for using the wrong units with regard to “how much radiation would it take? ” etc. Actually you were wrong. Irradiance is measured in power per unit area not energy.
Will you admit you were wrong on that?
@Willis

Now, you’ve gotten all coy and shy, suddenly you are not interested in answering for Ned … now you say

You’re twisting my words again Willis. What part of “I don’t know.” did you fail to understand?
😐

314. Tilo Reber says:

Joel Shore: “The one at higher pressure will have more greenhouse gases…and will also have broader absorption bands.”
2C from a fraction of greenhouse gases in a cylinder that is about 4 inches across. I don’t think so. I think you are grasping for straws.
“One does not abandon a century of physics because someone does an experiment and doesn’t know how to intelligently interpret the results!”
I’m still waiting for you to intelligently interpret the results. It’s simply your opinion that anyone is abandoning a century of physics. It’s just as likely that your interpretation of how the laws of physics apply to that experiment are in error.

315. Tilo Reber says:

DeWitt Payne: For one, PETG isn’t perfectly rigid. If you put it under pressure the bottle will expand. Since the painted surface isn’t flat, it can’t all be perpendicular to the incoming sunlight. But a pressurized bottle would have an increased diameter so it would absorb more solar energy and get hotter. And that’s just one thing off the top of my head.
So, let me see. Your claim would be that if a bottle that was, say, twice the diameter, was used, then the difference in temperature would be even larger. He got 2C out of a tiny amout of diameter increase. So if he repeated the experiment with one that was twice the diameter we should expect a temperature difference that would be greater than, say, 10C – without pressurization of either bottle. And the increase in internal volume, plus the increase in radiative surface for shedding heat, according to you, would not compensate for the extra captured sunlight. Have I got that right? Is that your position?

316. Bryan says:

I said
What surface heat capacity was used for the K&T 97,and 2008 Energy Budget diagrams?
Joel Shore said
“Their diagram is not based on any assumption for the heat capacity. The values are average energy fluxes obtained from various empirical data.”
The values just happened by accident to coincide with a emissivity of unity.
The Earth surface as a perfect back body.
Some would suspect a calculator and a careless attitude to reality from the ‘team’.

317. Tilo Reber says:

kzeller: “Tilo, I gotta tell you this is my 1st blog experience. Prior to this I was a solid “We are ONE, I AM’r” now based on WUWT hard facts data I’m back to the good ‘ole duality paradigm.”
Sorry about the late response, Karl. I decided to go ski Copper today. Let’s hope that this is one of those internal party politics cases, where they throw the kitchen sink and then kiss and make up after it’s over.

318. Tilo Reber says:

thepompousgit: says: “What on earth is this supposed to mean?”
It’s a metaphor, pomp – where two somewhat well known metaphysical/spiritual positions are maped to two blogging experiences; one expected, another received.

319. DeWitt Payne says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

So, let me see. Your claim would be that if a bottle that was, say, twice the diameter, was used, then the difference in temperature would be even larger. He got 2C out of a tiny amout of diameter increase. So if he repeated the experiment with one that was twice the diameter we should expect a temperature difference that would be greater than, say, 10C – without pressurization of either bottle. And the increase in internal volume, plus the increase in radiative surface for shedding heat, according to you, would not compensate for the extra captured sunlight. Have I got that right? Is that your position?

How do you know the diameter increase was tiny? Was it measured? You mean if he compared two bottles with different diameters? Of course the temperature would be different. The larger bottle would have a higher effective surface area exposed to sunlight than the smaller bottle. Given that polyester is opaque to thermal IR, a large enough bottle might actually melt if it was well insulated. It would certainly exceed the glass transition temperature and distort. I’ve melted a box constructed from EFP with a black painted metal plate on the bottom exposed to sunlight and the box covered with a polyethylene film.

320. Richard M says: January 26, 2012 at 5:20 am
‘And, if you read what I actually wrote you’ll see the word “discovered” and not the word “produced”. Nick, this is one reason why you have such low credibility at WUWT. You tried to change the meaning of what I said…’

You said:
“You mean like Miskolczi’s 230 observations over 25 years…”
and then later
“My only reference was to the empirical data he discovered.”
Sounds to me like you’re trying very hard to suggest that Miskolczi produced some experimental observations, instead of just looking up numbers in a standard database (TIGR).

321. DeWitt Payne says:

Tilo Reber,
Here’s some more. Was the temperature inside the hot water bottle monitored? Was the pressure monitored or was it just assumed to be constant? This experiment is nowhere near as simple as the Wood experiment, and he managed to botch that.

322. Joel Shore says:

Tilo Reber says:

2C from a fraction of greenhouse gases in a cylinder that is about 4 inches across. I don’t think so. I think you are grasping for straws.

What do you expect that effect to be? And, what do you expect all other effects to be? How do YOU explain it?

I’m still waiting for you to intelligently interpret the results.

Sorry…That is not how the game is played. It is not my job to tell you what some experiment some random person on the web means. I think it means nothing. If you guys think it means something, it is up to you to intelligently explain what it means. And, if the explanation calls for overturning all conventional understanding of atmospheric physics, then it is up to you to make a really, really convincing case, including discussing how you carefully eliminated all possible other explanations using conventionally-understood physics.

323. I feel so stupid now that I am getting old and realize I cannot – any longer (and I am obviously the only one who cannot) – use the numerical values for irradiation (So) and for the surface pressure (Ps) and end up with surface temperature (Ts)
And as if I am not already confused enough – the ”Near-surface Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement” or “ATE” effect that makes the earth 33 Kelvin warmer than it would be without an atmosphere, I – (using the values for the Earth) end up with (1 bar = Earth’s Ps): 33 K * 1 Bar = 33 – But which “value” is correct 33 K or 33 Bar? – And, furthermore, if a “grey-body temperature” is anything like a “Blackbody temperature” then Ts should equal Tgb and as then Ts/ Tgb = 1. (This time the answer is T or 1 Kelvin) – Therefore the first part of their equation; “Nte(Ps) = Ts/ Tgb” – should simply look like this: (33 = 1) which, to me does not look very equal at all and has no value, either in heat or weight. So, I still do not know temperature from pressure!
Sorry Willis, I am lost long before (8)
But then as I said, I have probably got too old and “feeble of mind” – I probably cannot even explain myself! –

324. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Willis,
Calm down. It’s OK for someone to comment on or even answer a question, or parts of a question, intended for someone else. It happens all the time here.
There was no intent on my part to exclude Ned from answering the question that was directed to him.

Look, I said you should let Ned answer. You said no, you could answer for Ned, because answering for other people happens all the time. Now, after answering for Ned, you say you didn’t want to answer for Ned.
OK …

It seems to me that you posed that question merely to ridicule Ned for using the wrong units with regard to “how much radiation would it take? ” etc. Actually you were wrong. Irradiance is measured in power per unit area not energy.
Will you admit you were wrong on that?

I can’t even figure out whether Ned is talking about the earth or the moon. So I haven’t a clue if I’m wrong yet, and I won’t until Ned answers. To date neither you nor I nor anyone can make heads or tails of Ned’s numbers, so until his explanation, I’m not sure about anything.

@Willis

Now, you’ve gotten all coy and shy, suddenly you are not interested in answering for Ned … now you say

You’re twisting my words again Willis. What part of “I don’t know.” did you fail to understand?

I understand perfectly that you don’t know, John, you have very publicly exhibited your surprising lack knowledge for all to marvel at.
My concern is that you don’t seem to realize that you don’t know.
w.

325. Tilo Reber says:

Joel Shore: “What do you expect that effect to be? ”
Well, if we buy your greenhouse gas assumption, for the sake of argument, and just look at CO2, then we have a 40% increase that has produced less that 1C of warming. And that change would be the result of miles of the stuff. Now you want to attribute 2C to about four inches of the suff. And only to the delta amount of it that results from a small pressure change. LOL. Come on!
“It is not my job to tell you what some experiment some random person on the web means.”
You already did. You said that it was ill conceived and poorly executed. And while it may not be your responsibility to explain what it means, it is your responsibility to explain why it is ill conceived and poorly executed. So far all that you have given us is handwaving and opinion. Your opinion is that only you understand the laws of physics and how they apply to this experiment. Unfortunately, as I said before, I have no interest in your opinions. I’m going to need a better explanation than just your opinion before I believe that the experiment is ill conceived and poorly exectued.

326. Willis Eschenbach says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Joel Shore:

“One does not abandon a century of physics because someone does an experiment and doesn’t know how to intelligently interpret the results!”

I’m still waiting for you to intelligently interpret the results.

So this is the new science? Konrad does an experiment without understanding the theory he’s testing. I told him that to test the theory by experiment, he needs to understand the mechanism that he is testing first. How can you design an experiment to verify a mechanism you don’t understand?
That was too high a mountain for Konrad. He replied:

Konrad says: The first step to resolution is empirical testing to confirm the mechanism. Numbers to quantify this come second.

Willis says: Couldn’t disagree more. First I need a crystal clear explanation of what you call “the mechanism”. Only then can I design an experiment to determine if said mechanism works.

Nope, that “understand the theory first” nonsense is far too twentieth century for Konrad, he did the experiment anyway. He didn’t bother to state what he expected to find in advance, or what kind of finding would support the N&Z theory, because he can’t explain the N&Z theory.
So Konrad did the experiment, without forethought or even afterthought. Now Joel points out that Konrad doesn’t know how to intelligently interpret the results, and in response you bust Joel because he can’t interpret the results?
Not Joel’s job, Tilo. Not my job or yours. That’s Konrad’s job, and from all appearances he is too foolish to know how to design an experiment, and too proud to find out. He just says empirical testing will confirm some unknown mechanism, and off he goes to test the mechanism by … by … by doing something or other, which shows … something or other.
w.

327. Tilo Reber says:

DeWitt Payne:
“How do you know the diameter increase was tiny?”
How do you know if the diameter increase was of any significance at all? You are simply shooting in the dark with that one. But if you are really concerned, why not ask Konrad to measure it. The answer, of course, is that you are simply throwing stuff at the wall hoping it will stick.
“You mean if he compared two bottles with different diameters? Of course the temperature would be different.”
You did the experiment?
“The larger bottle would have a higher effective surface area exposed to sunlight than the smaller bottle.”
Good example of one dimensional thinking. It would also have a larger internal volume and it would have a larger surface area through which to conduct heat back outside the bottle.
“Given that polyester is opaque to thermal IR, a large enough bottle might actually melt if it was well insulated.”
But the bottles in his experiment where not insulated. So an increase in surface area would also mean an increased area through which to loose heat.
“I’ve melted a box constructed from EFP with a black painted metal plate on the bottom exposed to sunlight and the box covered with a polyethylene film.”
How nice. Was this a controlled experiment? Did you try it with a small box and a large box? Or is this conclusion of yours simply based on your faith in your one dimensional thinking?
“Here’s some more. Was the temperature inside the hot water bottle monitored?”
Good point. I’m sure that it wasn’t. We know that he allowed the system to come to equilibrium before exposing the bottles to the sun. As the temperature warmed, I suppose there could have been some convection between the solar bottle and the hot water bottle. But that would only mean that the solar high pressure bottle was heating it’s own air as well as that in the hot water bottle. And to some extent, that hot air could then have used the walls of the hot water bottle to conduct away some of the heat. So his 2C increase might actually have been larger.
Got any more maybes that you want to run up the flag pole? Of course if you are truely interested in doing more that destroying the experiment with implausible maybes you could simply ask Konrad some of these things.

328. Eli Rabett says:
January 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Eli being a kindly bunny will offer Ned a way out that even Willis will agree with, simply derive those five parameters from first principles for any one planet.
Another amusing exercise would be to do a sensitivity analysis.
REPLY: In what may be a singularity, Eli and I find ourselves in agreement on this one – Anthony

And the Universe didn’t even explode 🙂

329. Tilo Reber said @ January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm

thepompousgit: says: “What on earth is this supposed to mean?”
It’s a metaphor, pomp – where two somewhat well known metaphysical/spiritual positions are maped to two blogging experiences; one expected, another received.

OK:

We Are One
I came from the dream-time, from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame.
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come.
For forty thousand years I’ve been the first Australian.
We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian
Etc

And

I am R, I’m not going to tell you much about myself, only that I find I can relate to L, also known as L Lawliet, Ryuzaki, Hideki Ryuga, Eraldo Coil and Deneuve, not in his background, but in the way he thinks, the way he acts, and the way he does things.
I feel I am very close to L, having watched the anime Death Note over 20 times and having read the manga close to 40 times, I have a pretty good idea of what L will do in certain situations, but I try not to be too much of a copycat, because L is L, and I’m not L.
One of the closest things to L, maybe, but no one can truly surpass L. I try to take my own style onto his, creating a mix of L and R, which amounts to a lot of power and thought. I value knowledge more then anything – My education is what makes me. That’s me, and I’m…
~R~

And The Git is still completely and utterly bewildered… Divided by a common language I guess 😐

330. Tilo Reber says:

Willis: “So Konrad did the experiment, without forethought or even afterthought.”
I’m not sure what you are going on about here, Willis. It seems pretty obvious to me that the idea is to test the amount of solar warming of a gas with the only variable being pressure. And he designed an experiment whose objective was to control and equalize all the elements but pressure. And the concept he is testing seems equally clear. He wants to know if more gas in a given volume will capture more radiative energy. It strikes me as intuitive that it would. I can’t see your or anyone else’s problem with that idea. And I can’t see what laws of physics you think that idea breaks.

331. Willis Eschenbach says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Willis: “So Konrad did the experiment, without forethought or even afterthought.”

I’m not sure what you are going on about here, Willis. It seems pretty obvious to me that the idea is to test the amount of solar warming of a gas with the only variable being pressure. And he designed an experiment whose objective was to control and equalize all the elements but pressure. And the concept he is testing seems equally clear. He wants to know if more gas in a given volume will capture more radiative energy. It strikes me as intuitive that it would. I can’t see your or anyone else’s problem with that idea. And I can’t see what laws of physics you think that idea breaks.

Tilo, thanks for the reply. I have never found anyone who could give me an “elevator speech” about how the N&Z effect is supposed to work. Konrad could not do so. Well that’s not true. He said he could give me an elevator speech, but wouldn’t.
Now, if you could give me the elevator speech, that would be a first. How is the dang thing supposed to work?
Then, we can see if what Konrad is doing has any relevance to whatever the N&Z claims might be. You seem to think that somehow their claim involves the idea that the sun will warm a gas under pressure faster than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Or perhaps the claim is that the sun will warm a gas under pressure more than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Or perhaps the claim is that the sun will warm a gas under pressure to a higher equilibrium temperature than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Now, I don’t know which of these Konrad is testing. I don’t know if Konrad knows. I don’t know what he thinks will happen in any of these cases. And that is a huge hole.
If you don’t have a clear physical picture of what you think will happen, how can you interpret your results?
But the bigger hole is, what do any of these questions have to do with N&Z? Here’s an example of the two holes together:
If he finds that a more dense gas heats faster, is that what you’d expect, and if so, exactly how does that tend to confirm or falsify N&Z?
To support or falsify N&Z, you need to specify your experiment very carefully so it answers important questions or establishes important data points. You can’t do that by just picking an experiment at random.
w.

332. jimmi_the_dalek says:

.” You can’t do that by just picking an experiment at random.”
Too true.
I once shared an office with a physical chemist whose was designing a complicated experiment – nothing to do with climate science – it was to measure an obscure electro-optical effect. Before he took a single measurement he sat at his desk and firstly calculated the magnitude expected for this effect, then calculated the sensitivity his apparatus would need to make the measurement, then considered the materials which would be required, the electronics needed for the data analysis, and the likely error bars. This took 3 months. Then he built the apparatus and took the measurements. It worked first time, and exactly as he had predicted.
The point of this little anecdote? Well that’s how you do experiments properly – you do not just stick some gas in a bottle and put it in the sun without knowing what you are trying to measure or why.

• kuhnkat says:

Jimmi_the_dalek and Willis Eschenbach,
are you trying to tell us that the only good experiment is one where you already know everything about what you are working on and are just going to confirm it?? Are you guys for real?!?!?!?! How many of our best scientists had to redesign their experiments numerous times before they reached that level of understanding?!?!? Did the LHC folk find what they expected, er HOPED, to find?? How about the CLOUD experiment. I believe the AMMONIA result was just a little surprising. Try to contact the ground occasionally won’t you? My opinion is that a good experiment is any one where the experimenter actually LEARNS something without it costing too much!!

333. @John Day
> Will you admit you were wrong on that?
@Willis
> I can’t even figure out whether Ned is talking about the earth or the moon.
It doesn’t make any difference (else why would Ned use the Moon as reference?). The Stefan-Boltzmann equation doesn’t have a term for area, time or mass. You plug in an absolute temperature and emissivity and it spits out power per area. Ned wanted to know the absolute temperature corresponding to a certain watts/m². You said it was impossible (thinking you could expose his stupidity). You were wrong. Case closed.
@Willis
> John, you have very publicly exhibited your surprising lack knowledge for all to marvel at.
I’m here to learn and not too proud to admit my ignorance.
You’re a talented and brilliant guy, but you have a few things to learn about controlling the snark and venom in your words. Its not necessary and turns people against you. Haven’t you figured that out?

334. Joel Shore says:
January 26, 2012 at 9:10 am
Tilo Reber says:
Okay, let’s move on. Why do you consider Konrad Hartmann’s experiment “ill conceived and carried out”.
The main problem with the experiment is it doesn’t show what people are claiming it shows. Assuming he did the experiment correctly, he showed that a box filled with air at elevated pressure and exposed to sunlight was at a higher temperature than the box not at elevated pressure.

Have you even read the write up? The box contained two bottles. One at higher pressure than the other.
However, he has not in any way bothered to figure out what conventional physics would predict for this case. His boxes contain air that has greenhouse gases in it, for example. The one at higher pressure will have more greenhouse gases…and will also have broader absorption bands.
You’re kidding me. You think higher pressure air bottle’s water vapour or co2 is going to lift the bottle temperature 2 Celcius because it’s at a slightly elevated pressure?? Jericho would be cooking.
One does not abandon a century of physics because someone does an experiment and doesn’t know how to intelligently interpret the results!
Lol. You gravity deniers are floating off into lala land.

335. Tallbloke sez
It’s the albedo for rocky planets without an atmosphere. Assumed to be the same for all the bodies tested. So, Moon: measured albedo 0.12 Earth with no atmosphere, about the same, etc. So, not tuned; measured from the Moon, and applied elsewhere.
Willis sez
My point exactly. It’s actually has nothing to do with the various planetary bodies:
It’s not the even albedo from the moon. Here are the albedos from the paper, along with the corresponding t5 parameter if we used that albedo …
Body, Bond Albedo, Parameter t5
Mercury, 0.12, 25.4
Venus, 0.75, 18.6
Earth, 0.3, 24.0
Moon, 0.11, 25.5
Mars, 0.18, 25.0
Europa, 0.64, 20.3
Titan, 0.22, 24.7
Triton, 0.75, 18.6
These albedos range from a low end of 0.11 for the moon’s albedo to 0.75 for Triton’s albedo. The corresponding value for your parameter t1 ranges from 24.5 down to 18.6. And as a result, your value for t5 of 25.3966 is, as I said, a tuned parameter and not the “result of combining 4 constants” as you claim.

You seem to be having comprehension difficulties Willis. I’ve bolded the bit you need to re-read. Bear in mind Earth with no atmosphere won’t have any oceans either.
So the same value is used for all the rocky planets, the value of the albedo doesn’t change, and it is not a tuned parameter but an empirical measurement, no matter how many times you tell yourself, (and anyone still daft enough to listen to you) that it is.

336. John Day says:

I have been greatly intrigued by the N&Z theory and would really to learn more about it from its inventors, Drs. Nikolov and Zeller, whom we’re fortunate to have on board as mentors.
I would like to start by presenting my version of the N&Z ‘elevator’ speech. Probably shouldn’t do this because Willis has already revealed my “surprising lack [of] knowledge” in these areas. Shouldn’t butt in where you’re not welcome etc.
But you learn by teaching others what you have learned from others. Hopefully one teaches what is correct. But if not, you should expect to be corrected (politely) by others with corre t knowledge.
Let’s start off with a question: “Without using the S-B equation (that’s ‘cheating’) how would you determine the surface temperature, illuminated by a nearby star, of an airless planet?”
Well, you might say, it has to depend on the kinetic energy of the molecules in the surface. We could apply statistical mechanics and sum up the energies of the molecules over all their degrees of freedom and distributed motion and computer NkT. Pretty messy, all those solid bonding and vibration DOF’s to deal with. But it would have to work because of energy and momentum conservation principles.
Yes, I would say, but certainly an intractable computation (wiggling my fingers rapidly). Isn’t it therefore surprising that the S-B equation does that job so well, given two parameters: energy per unit area and emissivity? We don’t need to know anything about mass, compostition, chemistory or molecular motions and still get a reasonably good estimate of the surface temperature. It’s scary, almost magic in its simplicity.
It works because of the Gas Law, not the Ideal Gas Law (IGL) for paritcles made of fermions, but the Photon Gas Law for bosons. Very similar to IGL, in fact, except bosons don’t collide with each other. But photons do interact with matter. Keep listening, I’m still many floors my destination.
The S-B equation is really Planck’s Equation (look it up when you get to your office) integrated over all the frequencies in the radiation of that nearby star. Planck’s equation, in turn, uses the statistical distribution of photons to compute power by frequency. (Planck’s equation, BTW, was purely empirical, conceived to mitigate the ‘ultra-violet’ disaster and later derived from quantum principles by Bose and Einstein). Turns out the Bose-Einstein distribution squelches the radiation energy perfectly in the sense of predicting how warm an airless planet will get with a nearby start shining on it.
The ‘take away’ here is that the airless temperature can be predicted with knowing the mass or specific heat capacities of the solids on the surface. So ‘surface heat capacity’ in formal sense be ignored for this purpose. We don’t need it to determine temperature, do we?
You say, but, but that’s not right. You can’t ignore …
Shush! Let’s add transparent air (N2, O2, not GHG’s) to cover the planet. Now how much warmer does the planet get?
That’s easy, you say. Willis already proved that the planet can’t get any warmer because that would violate the conservation of energy law. Sure the heat will diffuse into the atmosphere and warm the gas. But it will all come to equilibrium at the same temperature. It has to because Willis said so!
But I’ll say you haven’t proven anything, because we didn’t have to compute kinetic energy of molecules in the ground to get the surface temp. All determined by the Photon Gas Law where photons interact with matter (aka S-B equation).
Furthermore, the temperature of the gas will also be determined by the Ideal Gas Law. But this time we look at the average kinetic motion of gas molucles because they do collide together, producing a change in momentum (“force”) from which we can compute pressure. The temperature follows simply by applying the IGL (PV=nkT). Since pressure depends on the density of collisions at a particular altitude, we see that temperature goes down as the air gets thinner.
Unlike the surface case, where photons interact strongly with matter, they don’t have that much effect on gas molecules. So the effects of GHG’s are not as great as supposed.
So (waving my hands) you see I’ve shown you that it really hasn’t been proven that ‘enhanced temperature’ due to this pressuration would violate energy. In fact the N&Z theory explains how the temperature increase due to the so-called Green House Effect can be explained entirely in terms of pressure from the Ideal Gas Law.
You might say then: But exactly how does this Atmospheric Temperature Enchancement (ATE) actually work?
[Ding] Sorry. This is my floor. Say, why not just talk to Ned and Karl. They’re just down the hall and would be glad to explain it to you.
😐

337. Richard111 says:

This laymans view is that gravity does not create the temperature of the air column.
Gravity provides the “structure” for the lapse rate up the air column.
The surface temperature at the bottom of the column defines the start temperature.
Hence the tropopause is much lower at the poles, start temperature maybe -30C whereas
at the equator the start temperature could be +30C. At ten degrees per kilometre
this seems to fit.
You can pump up a divers air bottle to a few atmospheres and the bottle gets warm.
It soon cools but does not lose pressure.

338. Tilo Reber says:

Willis: “You seem to think that somehow their claim involves the idea that the sun will warm a gas under pressure faster than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Or perhaps the claim is that the sun will warm a gas under pressure more than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Or perhaps the claim is that the sun will warm a gas under pressure to a higher equilibrium temperature than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.”
Okay, let’s try an analogy. This is how I see it – basically in Newtonian kinetic energy terms. Let’s say that we throw a rubber ball at the target. The ball has a certain kinetic energy and the target will absorb or disipate some of that energy. Now, let’s hit the target with two rubber balls, each moving as fast as the earlier ball. Now we would expect the target to have to absorb twice the energy. I look at the gas molecules in the bottle as rubber balls and the thermometer as a target that measures the kinetic energy of those molecules. The analogy isn’t perfect of course, but that’s the basic idea. Now, when the sunlight enters the bottle it releases a certain amount of energy to those molecules, and the longwave radiation coming back from the black surface releases more energy to those molecules. The energy entering the bottle in both cases is the same. The longwave coming off the black surfaces is the same. But all of it is not captured by the gas in the bottle. Some of it leaves the bottle as radiant energy. My point is that the bottle with the higher pressure has more molecules in the same volume. This means that there are more molecules to absorb the radiation energy going through the volume. Each molecule, taken alone, does not end up with more kinetic energy in the high pressure bottle. The kinetic energy of the individual molecules in both bottles should be about the same. But the temperature that is measured within the bottle is a measure of the summed kinetic energy of the molecules. And the content of the higher pressure bottle has more kinetic energy simply because it has more molecules. So I would expect less radiant energy to leave the higher pressure bottle. This means that the internal temperature will rise until the extra conduction through the walls of the bottle bring the bottle to equilibrium. So the higher pressure bottle would loose less energy through radiation and more energy through conduction, but at a higher equilibrium point. Think about empty space where the temp is near 0K. It’s not that there is no radiation passing through that space. It’s that there are no gas molecules to capture its energy. Until someone can explain what I am missing, that’s my take.

339. Richard M says:

Nick Stokes says:
January 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm
[Richard M says: January 26, 2012 at 5:20 am
‘And, if you read what I actually wrote you’ll see the word “discovered” and not the word “produced”. Nick, this is one reason why you have such low credibility at WUWT. You tried to change the meaning of what I said…’]
You said:
“You mean like Miskolczi’s 230 observations over 25 years…”
and then later
“My only reference was to the empirical data he discovered.”
Sounds to me like you’re trying very hard to suggest that Miskolczi produced some experimental observations, instead of just looking up numbers in a standard database (TIGR).

Sounds to me like you’re making up things as you go along. Did I say “experimental observations” … nope, those are your words. Miskolczi did “discover” a relationship in real empirical data/observations. Why would anyone care who made the direct experimental observations? It’s not relevant to the discussion. And, why do you come unglued at something that’s not relevant? Are you worried that Miskolczi is onto something?
All I’m doing is pointing out there are multiple cases which would be explained if there was a limit to the GHE. Could they all be coincidences? Well, from a purely logical point of view that is unlikely. So, I’m simply pointing out that more effort should be put into understanding these issues. That’s all.

340. @Tilo
> Now, when the sunlight enters the bottle it releases a certain
> amount of energy to those molecules, and the longwave radiation
> coming back from the black surface releases more energy to those
> molecules.
Tilo, if you’re trying to defend the N&Z theory, then you can’t use warming caused by absorbed radiation. That is the counter theory.
In general the sunlight will warm the solid walls of container, which will then diffuse into gas in contact with surface, eventually mixing through the gas until equilibrium is reached. Yes, any GHG’s in the gases will absorb a small amount. But N&Z, I believe, claim that this is neglible if present in trace amounts.
Yes, a gas under pressure has higher heat capacity because of the increased mass density. But if I’ve gleaned correctly, this particular experiment wasn’t set up very carefully (i.e. adiabatically) and is somewhat useless because the container will try to come into equilibrium with its contents and surroundings, so I wouldn’t expect to see temperatures rising because the pressure it higher. Would lead get hotter than aluminum, both exposed to sunlight in the same sealed container?
To defend N&Z you have to show how the Ideal Gas Law is creating the so-called “ATE” effect.
How would you design an experiment to show that? Well, why not pick 8 or so planets, with and without atmospheres and show that you can predict their termperatures from pressure alone.
Of course that’s what N&Z already did. But they did it empirically. They need to run this experiment again, but this time deriving the results from first principles, not empirical fitting. (Thanks Eli).
😐

341. John Day says:

@John Day
> Of course that’s what N&Z already did. But they did it empirically.
I should have added that there is really nothing wrong with their emprirical fitting, since it produced a very smooth curve with a small number of parameters, suggesting a natural law lurking in the background. There was no ‘overfitting’ in the sense of contrived contortions or gymnastics to make a regression line wiggle through a random set of points. But this will never please the critics, so they must at least show how their power law can be derived from first principles, in the same way Boltzmann derived Stefan’s Law and Bose & Einstein derived Planck’s Equation.
There is an interesting footnote on the Bose-Einstein derivation. Bose couldn’t get his paper published on his new quantum-insprired statistcal distribution of spin states because it was rejected by his peers who claimed it was mathematically unsound (plus he didn’t have a PhD). Einstein read the paper, saw that Bose was right and submitted it in German under both their names. It became one of the great theoretical physics achievments of the 20th century.
😐

342. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 3:31 am

@John Day
> Will you admit you were wrong on that?
@Willis
> I can’t even figure out whether Ned is talking about the earth or the moon.

It doesn’t make any difference (else why would Ned use the Moon as reference?). The Stefan-Boltzmann equation doesn’t have a term for area, time or mass. You plug in an absolute temperature and emissivity and it spits out power per area. Ned wanted to know the absolute temperature corresponding to a certain watts/m². You said it was impossible (thinking you could expose his stupidity). You were wrong. Case closed.

That interpretation of Ned’s words proves beyond a doubt that you don’t have a clue about what you are raving about. If you plug in Ned’s 14,800 W/m2, as I said above, you don’t get a 133° temperature rise as Ned says.

@Willis
> John, you have very publicly exhibited your surprising lack knowledge for all to marvel at.

I’m here to learn and not too proud to admit my ignorance.

No, you’re not. See your pathetic nonsense immediately above regarding W/m2. You are here childishly attempting to school people who, unlike you, actually know what they are talking about.

You’re a talented and brilliant guy, but you have a few things to learn about controlling the snark and venom in your words. Its not necessary and turns people against you. Haven’t you figured that out?

John, you are right. I am overjoyed to talk science with folks, but I don’t suffer puffed-up fools gladly. I give them a couple chances, and if they continue to be arrogant idiots who want to answer questions for others, questions that they don’t have a clue about, I call them on it. Consider yourself called.
w.
PS–For those keeping score, Ned had said:

It requires many thousands of Watts of additional radiation (about 14,800 W m-2 to be exact) to raise the temperature of Earth from the gray-body value of about 155K to the present temperature of 287.6K.

That statement, by itself, makes no sense at all. Ned also said:

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

I have no clue what Ned means. I have asked him. He hasn’t answered. His court jester, John Day, claimed he knew the answer and would answer for Ned. Except then he claimed he wouldn’t answer for Ned. Now, John again claims to know the answer. Now he says this was Ned’s meaning:

You plug in an absolute temperature and emissivity and it spits out power per area. Ned wanted to know the absolute temperature corresponding to a certain watts/m².

The temperature corresponding to 14,800 W/m2 is 442 degrees. That’s 133 degrees above 309 degrees. That’s why Ned’s statement makes no sense. John’s statement also makes no sense.

343. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 27, 2012 at 7:56 am

Tallbloke sez

It’s the albedo for rocky planets without an atmosphere. Assumed to be the same for all the bodies tested. So, Moon: measured albedo 0.12 Earth with no atmosphere, about the same, etc. So, not tuned; measured from the Moon, and applied elsewhere.

Willis sez

My point exactly. It’s actually has nothing to do with the various planetary bodies:
It’s not the even albedo from the moon. Here are the albedos from the paper, along with the corresponding t5 parameter if we used that albedo …
Body, Bond Albedo, Parameter t5
Mercury, 0.12, 25.4
Venus, 0.75, 18.6
Earth, 0.3, 24.0
Moon, 0.11, 25.5
Mars, 0.18, 25.0
Europa, 0.64, 20.3
Titan, 0.22, 24.7
Triton, 0.75, 18.6
These albedos range from a low end of 0.11 for the moon’s albedo to 0.75 for Triton’s albedo. The corresponding value for your parameter t1 ranges from 24.5 down to 18.6. And as a result, your value for t5 of 25.3966 is, as I said, a tuned parameter and not the “result of combining 4 constants” as you claim.

You seem to be having comprehension difficulties Willis. I’ve bolded the bit you need to re-read. Bear in mind Earth with no atmosphere won’t have any oceans either.

So your claim is that the temperature of Venus, with an albedo of 0.88, is secretly controlled by the surface albedo that you think Venus might have if there were no clouds?
We are talking about the surface albedo of Venus, where hardly any light makes it because of the clouds, yes? And you are claiming that the surface albedo is the regulating factor in the Venusian surface temperature?
Here’s the deal. You are seriously making the argument that the temperature of the earth can be simply calculated by making the following assumptions:
1) The albedo of the Earth without oceans is exactly equal to the albedo of Venus without clouds, which in turn is kinda like the albedo of the moon, but oh, my, it’s much less than the albedo of Mars.
2) The albedo of the Earth’s ocean floor is a critical factor in the Earth’s current temperature.
Really? That’s your serious claim? That to calculate the Earth’s temperature, what we need to do is to assume that if the oceans weren’t there, the ocean floor would have an albedo about two-thirds that of Mars, and that that assumed ocean floor albedo rules the final temperature?
Do you really read this stuff over before you send it off?

So the same value is used for all the rocky planets, the value of the albedo doesn’t change, and it is not a tuned parameter but an empirical measurement, no matter how many times you tell yourself, (and anyone still daft enough to listen to you) that it is.

Tallbloke, the exact number they used is 25.3966. This is ((1-alpha)/(epsilon*sigma))^0.25. Assuming that they used epsilon (emissivity) of 0.95 gives the most reasonable numbers. This solves to alpha (albedo) equal to about 0.125.
Note that this is not the empirically measured albedo of any of the planets or moons. It is just a number. It’s kinda like the moon’s albedo, but it’s not the moon’s albedo, or Mercury’s albedo. Mar’s albedo is about 50% higher than that, so your claim that somehow it applies to “all the rocky planets” is seen to be totally unsupportable.
So no, it’s not an “empirical measurement” from their list of planetary albedos, tallbloke, and even if it were, it loses that aspect when you use that identical albedo for all of the planets regardless of their actual albedo.
At that point, it becomes just a parameter that they picked to make the whole thing work. More to the point, there is no theoretical reason to think that it has the slightest meaning to Venus. The surface albedo of Venus itself has little to do with Venus’s temperature. The surface albedo of the earth ocean floor has little do with Earth’s temperature.
The temperature of Venus is not controlled or set by some random number that is two-thirds the surface albedo of Mars, TB, that’s a joke that even you “gravito-thermal” advocates should be able to see through.
w.
PS—But heck, suppose you are right and the (assumed) planetary albedo of 0.125 it is a, what did you call it, an “empirical measurement”. We’ll ignore the fact that you can’t tell us which empire is being measured.
But that still leaves four tunable parameters, which is half the number of data points. So even if you were right, TB, that doesn’t help at all. With four parameters you can still fit an elephant, and with four parameters, full choice of equations, and only eight data points, you are out in statistical fairyland.
Go ask a real statistician, TB, whether the whole four-parameter fit nonsense carries the slightest weight. You’re a long ways off the statistical reservation here, and you don’t seem to even have noticed.

344. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

I have been greatly intrigued by the N&Z theory and would really to learn more about it from its inventors, Drs. Nikolov and Zeller, whom we’re fortunate to have on board as mentors.
I would like to start by presenting my version of the N&Z ‘elevator’ speech.

You might say then: But exactly how does this Atmospheric Temperature Enchancement (ATE) actually work?
[Ding] Sorry. This is my floor. Say, why not just talk to Ned and Karl. They’re just down the hall and would be glad to explain it to you.

Are we reading the same thread? N&Z have steadfastly refused to give an elevator speech explaining how their theory works. Your elevator speech ends where it should start, with the explanation of how it works. I can’t even get Ned to explain his calculations on the 14,800 W/m2 … and yet you think they would be “glad to explain it”? Are we on the same planet here?
Because if they are glad to explain it, their continued silence is a curious expression of just how glad they are …
w.

345. Willis Eschenbach says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

Willis:

“You seem to think that somehow their claim involves the idea that the sun will warm a gas under pressure faster than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Or perhaps the claim is that the sun will warm a gas under pressure more than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.
Or perhaps the claim is that the sun will warm a gas under pressure to a higher equilibrium temperature than it will warm a gas that is not under pressure.”

Okay, let’s try an analogy.

No, let’s not try an analogy. Unless you can tell me which claim N&Z are making, an analogy is worse than useless, because it convinces you that we’re moving forwards.
But we can’t move forwards if we don’t understand what the theory is saying. You lay out a whole line of reasoning … so what? Until we know what N&Z are talking about, what good does it do? Your whole layout may have nothing to do with what N&Z are talking about, we don’t know.
And that’s the problem with setting up an experiment now. How can we design the experiment if we don’t have a clue what we are trying to either falsify or support?
w.

346. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

@John Day

> Of course that’s what N&Z already did. But they did it empirically.

I should have added that there is really nothing wrong with their emprirical fitting, since it produced a very smooth curve with a small number of parameters, suggesting a natural law lurking in the background.

John, I can’t tell you how truly silly your claim is, that because what results is “a very smooth curve with a small number of parameters” there is “nothing wrong”. That is truly eye-popping, gob-smacking, jaw-dropping cataclysmic level foolishness.
You appear to have no clue that with eight data points, five parameters is a VERY VERY LARGE NUMBER of parameters. You make the idiotic claim that a smooth curve indicates a lack of overfitting. You think that if you can fit eight data points with five parameters and a free choice of equations it suggests “a natural law lurking in the background”.
Any one of these claims is enough to earn you a resounding “F” in a statistics class. Combined, they indicate an almost superhuman ability to be oblivious to statistical concepts.
In short, John, once again you have revealed yourself to be beyond clueless. Your claims would have a first-year statistics class rolling in the aisles, and yet you are delivering your nonsensical ideas as though they were pearls of wisdom.
Truly, my friend, I don’t know how to put this nicely, but you are making a monumental arse of yourself. You do not understand statistics. You do not understand what the issues are here. You do not understand what Ned meant with his 14,800 W/m2. You do not understand what you are talking about. You do not understand overfitting.
My suggestion is that you stop acting like you do understand. But heck, that’s just me. If you want to continue prancing around passionately declaiming statistical inanities and spouting mathematical impossibilities, by all means, don’t let me hinder you, play on through …
w.

347. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

… To defend N&Z you have to show how the Ideal Gas Law is creating the so-called “ATE” effect.
How would you design an experiment to show that? Well, why not pick 8 or so planets, with and without atmospheres and show that you can predict their termperatures from pressure alone.
Of course that’s what N&Z already did. But they did it empirically. They need to run this experiment again, but this time deriving the results from first principles, not empirical fitting. (Thanks Eli).
😐

Hey Eli, did you catch this? John says no problem. All N&Z have to do is “run the experiment again”, but this time they just need to “derive the results from first principles”.
This guy is classic, he actually thinks that your suggestion can be implemented easily, all you need to do is just “run the experiment again” and this time keep your eyes open for first principles …
John, that’s too good, that’s your most hilarious post yet, and you don’t even realize it’s funny. Keep’m coming … you’ve actually gotten me and the eponymous lagomorph on the same side of the fence, and not many men can achieve that.
w.

348. @Willis
> Consider yourself called.
No, I’m calling you on this one Willis. I’m referring to this post:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/23/the-mystery-of-equation-8/#comment-875663
Ned said:
“Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …”
You said:
“Thanks for the question, Ned. You might want to check your units. Watts per square metre is a FLOW of energy, not an AMOUNT of energy. As a result, you can never answer a question of “how much additional radiation is needed” with watts per square metre. You need watt-hours, or watt seconds (joules), or the like. Those are amounts of energy.”
Ned did have the units right watts/m², power per unit area, not “AMOUNT of energy” as you _incorrectly_ claimed (but won’t admit).
For the umpteenth time, the S-B equation relates temperature to power per unit area. NOT AMOUNT OF ENERGY!!!
That’s all I was referring to. You accused me of not even knowing what Ned was talking about. I countered that I did, which you somehow twisted into saying that I had volunteered to explain N&Z in place of Ned. I made no such statement.
But that’s not as bad as the snarky tone of “You might want to check you units” followed by an elementary-school lecture on the difference between power and energy.
It is this kind of uncalled for venomous ridicule (just one example out of dozens) that you and others have made that explain why Ned and Karl are reluctant to answer (“refused” as you say) your request for an elevator speech.
Perhaps Anthony needs to set up a new thread on this where you are banned from commenting. Then we could have a fruitful discussion with the good Drs. (Just saying.)
> Your elevator speech ends where it should start, with the explanation of how it works.
Actually I thought it did a little more than that, addressing the issues of energy conservation and heat capacity, which have been considered ‘show stoppers’ for many who would otherwise be willing to look at it.
And you’ll have to admit that it’s the best ATE elevator speech given so far, even though I didn’t really explain ATE. Because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the details of that.
Stay tuned.
😐

349. DeWitt Payne says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Got any more maybes that you want to run up the flag pole? Of course if you are truely interested in doing more that destroying the experiment with implausible maybes you could simply ask Konrad some of these things.

I don’t need to destroy the experiment because there is no evidence that it proves anything about Equation 8. You can’t test a hypothesis with an experiment unless you understand the physical basis for the hypothesis. Since no one has been able to explain the hypothesis underlying Equation 8, much less linking to known physical laws (i.e. Eli’s challenge to derive it ab initio remains unanswered), handwaving about the ideal gas law notwithstanding, designing an experiment to test it is problematic, to put it mildly. Konrad has obtained a result. What’s implausible is that this result is due to some previously unknown relationship between pressure and temperature. There are lots of possible reasons that are linked to known physical laws that might explain that result. I’ve thrown out a few. But it’s not my responsibility to analyze the experiment in detail. It’s Konrad’s to show that he hasn’t made some fundamental error in reasoning in designing the experiment and that the result has proved the existence of the underlying physical principle of Equation 8, whatever that is. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

350. Hey Eli, did you catch this? John says no problem. All N&Z have to do is “run the experiment again”, but this time they just need to “derive the results from first principles”.
This guy is classic, he actually thinks that your suggestion can be implemented easily, all you need to do is just “run the experiment again” and this time keep your eyes open for first principles …
John, that’s too good, that’s your most hilarious post yet, and you don’t even realize it’s funny. Keep’m coming … you’ve actually gotten me and the eponymous lagomorph on the same side of the fence, and not many men can achieve that.

Then why didn’t you ridicule Eli when he proposed it? I’m not taking credit for the idea. Anthony liked it too.
Maybe because Eli is not threatening your credibility and your strangle-hold on the tone of this discussion?
I really think your ridiculing comments like above should be moderated by Anthony.

• John Day,
unfortunately for some, blogs ARE a “beauty” contest. As long as people are animated about Willis’ posts they will continue pretty much as we see them. Willis is. If people start shunning his posts then things will change. No I am not calling for a boycott even though I think Willis would help the discussion along by not heaping the ridicule so quickly and so high. Just suggesting that looking for a policeman to take down the bully isn’t the solution to the issue.

351. Tilo Reber says:

Willis: “You lay out a whole line of reasoning … so what?”
Thanks, Willis. I think that tells me everything that I need to know about your position.

352. John Day says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm
Willis: “You lay out a whole line of reasoning … so what?”
Thanks, Willis. I think that tells me everything that I need to know about your position

Tilo, I share your frustration. Willis is attacking and ridiculing our attempts to present ideas about this. No wonder N&Z are avoiding get involved. It’s getting toxic here.

353. jae says:

Look, folks, I tend toward NZ’s stuff, but they need to rationalize Willis’ basic “transparent atmosphere catch-22” before they go any further. (Even though a “transparent atmosphere” is probably just a big figment.).
And Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus.

354. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

@Willis

> Consider yourself called.

No, I’m calling you on this one Willis. I’m referring to this post: …

Call all you want. You said you were not going to answer for Ned. You are referring to a question Ned has not answered. I told you, when I want to know about the music I ask the organ grinder, not the monkey.
I don’t care what you think Ned’s answer will be, or should be, or might be. I don’t care whether you think Ned is right or wrong.
I care what Ned’s answer is.
w.

355. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Hey Eli, did you catch this? John says no problem. All N&Z have to do is “run the experiment again”, but this time they just need to “derive the results from first principles”.
This guy is classic, he actually thinks that your suggestion can be implemented easily, all you need to do is just “run the experiment again” and this time keep your eyes open for first principles …
John, that’s too good, that’s your most hilarious post yet, and you don’t even realize it’s funny. Keep’m coming … you’ve actually gotten me and the eponymous lagomorph on the same side of the fence, and not many men can achieve that.

Then why didn’t you ridicule Eli when he proposed it? I’m not taking credit for the idea. Anthony liked it too.

Eli proposed it as A JOKE, John, because he knew it was an impossible task. First, it’s not an “experiment” that they can “do again”, it’s a trivial fitting exercise. Second, there is no way to derive that equation from first principles. None. It’s just a curve fitting exercise, nothing more.
Eli was sending you on a snipe hunt, putting you onto a search for a left-handed monkey wrench, instigating a quest to fetch a bucket of steam.
Amazingly, you bit on Eli’s suggestion, and seriously wanted to relay it to N&Z. You were so astoundingly clueless, you didn’t realize that Eli was just taking the mickey out of you.
Then, when I called Eli’s attention to the fact that you were, of all things, seriously proposing what Eli said in jest, you have now come back to ask why I didn’t ridicule Eli?
Ridicule Eli for making a hilarious and totally unachievable suggestion? I just thought what he said was funny. Hey, I never thought you’d be so out of it as to actually take Eli’s bait.
John, watching you thrash around is painful.
w.

356. Willis Eschenbach says:

Tilo Reber says:
January 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Willis: “You lay out a whole line of reasoning … so what?”
Thanks, Willis. I think that tells me everything that I need to know about your position.

John Day says:
January 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

You guys insist that the claim of Ned about the 14,800 W/m2 means something. Yet you can’t even say which possibile interpretations of his words is right. Or maybe all of them are wrong. WE DON’T KNOW until Ned comes back to explain them.
So no, Tilo, I don’t care in the slightest about your reasoning, or John’s reasoning. Until Ned comes back we know nothing, you guys are just guessing, and I care as little for your fantasies of what Ned means as I care for my own fantasies in that regard.
w.
PS–For those keeping score, Ned had said:

It requires many thousands of Watts of additional radiation (about 14,800 W m-2 to be exact) to raise the temperature of Earth from the gray-body value of about 155K to the present temperature of 287.6K.

That statement, by itself, makes no sense at all. Ned also said:

Do you know how much of addition radiation is needed to actually raise the temperature of the Moon by 133K?? 14,800 W m-2 …

I have no clue what Ned means. I have asked him. He hasn’t answered. John Day claimed he knew the answer and would answer for Ned. Except then he claimed he wouldn’t answer for Ned. Now, John again claims to know the answer. Now he says this was Ned’s meaning:

You plug in an absolute temperature and emissivity and it spits out power per area. Ned wanted to know the absolute temperature corresponding to a certain watts/m².

The temperature corresponding to 14,800 W/m2 is 442 degrees. That’s 133 degrees above 309 degrees. That’s why Ned’s statement makes no sense. John’s statement also makes no sense.

357. Willis Eschenbach says:

jae says:
January 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

… And Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus.

I have shown that no effect can raise the temperature of a planet with a transparent GHG-free atmosphere above the theoretical S-B temperature. That’s one win.
I have shown, as has Robert Brown, that the Jelbring hypothesis is falsified. That’s two wins.
I have shown above that the MIRACLE equation is a trivial exercise in curve fitting. Three wins.
Now, there may be other discussions out there, perhaps including “all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus”. And I might win there too, or I might lose.
But until someone can explain Huffman’s theory to me in a clear and concise way, I’m not touching any evidence. I’ve wasted enough time on gravity-heads this week to last a lifetime. You want me to look at Hoffman, you tell me what his theory is.
w.

• Willis Eschenbach,
” I have shown above that the MIRACLE equation is a trivial exercise in curve fitting. Three wins.”\
No, you have shown that it MAY or even PROBABLY is a trivial exercise in curve fitting. If you are going to continue hammering people try being more precise and correct yourself.

358. @Willis
> You guys insist that the claim of Ned about the 14,800 W/m2
> means something. Yet you can’t even say which possibile
> interpretations of his words is right. Or maybe all of them are
> wrong. WE DON’T KNOW until Ned comes back to explain them.
I hope you understand that it represents the ATE warmth that an atmosphere provides (but I’m not so sure about that).
You keep asking me to derive the steps of the calculation the produced this particular number, and I’ve told you as politely as I can that I DON’T KNOW!
But, unlike you, I don’t automatically assume that if I don’t understand something then it must be nonsense.
Yes, it would be nice to have Ned explain exactly how that exact value was obtained.
Even if it was a miscalculation on Ned’s part, it doesn’t invalidate the theory. It was just a piece of dialog trying to explain the theory. But you have so poisoned the atmosphere here (no pun intended) that I can understand why Ned wouldn’t want you to him ridicule him. “Hey, look folks. Ned made stupid a error! My, what sheer effrontery! That means his theory is wrong!”

359. @ John, watching you thrash around is painful.
That’s the exactly the kind of language that poisons the atmosphere here and prevents any meaningful discussion.
I don’t really care what Eli’s motives were, perhaps he is a troll, his suggestion actually made sense.
Konrad proposed a ‘bottle’ experiment (offline somewhere I didn’t read the details) which I gather was supposed to demonstrate (or not) how pressure effects temperature according to the ATE. If successfull, then I suppose Konrad could claim that it proves it would work the same on the planets. Even I (with remarkable ignorance) can see such an experiment would prove little unless carried out with very precisely defined controls.
Why not just show directly how it works with “live” planets as the experimental subjects?
In fact, N&Z have already started this experiment. Yes, they’ve attempted to fit the data to a power law which Willis doesn’t approve (because he can do it ‘better’).
But they also demonstrated, from first principles, that the simple Ideal Gas Law formula T = P/ ρ • M/R when applied directly to Venus ,Earth and Mars gives reaonable estimates of their surface temps.
But Willis has no patience with this. Oh, but it’s not perfect and there are some planets that don’t fit this simple equation. So it must be nonsense. Don’t try to analyze why it doesn’t work for some planets and come up with a better formula derived from first principles. Right?
If Edison listened to Willis he would have never got past his first failed light bulb attempt.
😐

360. @ John, watching you thrash around is painful.
Actually, your intent seems to be to deliberately cause pain by throwing these poisoned barbs at us, for daring to speak our thoughts on these subjects.
Perhaps some of us lack complete understanding or occasionally make silly statements.
That’s no excuse for this vendetta of personal attacks and ridicule.
It’s really over the top. I wish Anthony would yank you out of here so the rest of us (including N&Z) could have some meaningful discussions about this novel theory.
If it turns out to be wrong, so what? We’ll all learn from this, even from the mistakes, which do not merit your mean-spirited barbs.
😐

361. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

But they also demonstrated, from first principles, that the simple Ideal Gas Law formula T = P/ ρ • M/R when applied directly to Venus ,Earth and Mars gives reaonable estimates of their surface temps.

No, they haven’t. They just mumble some stuff about the ideal gas law and then draw a conclusion that in no way follows from it and you guys naively believe them! If you can find me a book on climate science that doesn’t discuss the ideal gas law then I will be impressed…The notion that climate science ignores the ideal gas law or that N&Z’s silliness follows from the ideal gas law is a complete falsehood swallowed hook-line-and-sinker by the gullible.

If Edison listened to Willis he would have never got past his first failed light bulb attempt.

Oh, so now Nikolov and Zeller are Edison, in addition to be Copernicus and Einstein! For those of us who know the difference between actual science and nonsense, these comparisons are just plain silly.

362. Steve from Rockwood says:

What interests me about the N&Z claim is the attempt to draw all planets/moons into the debate on what the surface temperature of a planet/moon should be. They believe it can be explained by total solar irradiation and pressure (where an atmosphere is present). They present an empirical formula that fits all the data in our solar system. Yes, the “MIRACLE” equation is wrong in the sense that it is empirical and not theoretical and simpler equations likely can be found. But the fact remains that pressure seems to factor in to planetary temperatures in a way that we don’t understand.
I’m with John Daly on this one. There is likely a rational explanation lurking in the background somewhere. I doubt it will be found in this thread.
We don’t even know why some planets (Jupiter, for example) emit more energy than they receive from the sun. Uranium? I don’t think so. Energy trapped during its formation? Probably not. Fusion? Uh – no. So we don’t even know why planetary temperatures are not what they are supposed to be, but we pretend to know that pressure is not related to the answer.

363. @Steve
> I’m with John Daly on this one. There is likely a rational
> explanation lurking in the background somewhere. I doubt
> it will be found in this thread.
Please don’t confuse me (remarkably ignorant) with the late, great John Daly, whose shoes few are worthy of filling:
http://www.john-daly.com/
> So we don’t even know why planetary temperatures
> are not what they are supposed to be, but we pretend
> to know that pressure is not related to the answer.
Agreed. Isn’t it ironic that we all accept the S-B equation as a reliable estimator of airless planet surfaces, without even considering chemical composition, densisty, heat capacity etc? In other words, each planet’s “dirt” is remarkably different yet seems to have no effect on the GB temperature.
On the other extreme, atmospheres (for those planets lucky enough to possess one) are remarkably more “pure” than the surface “dirt”. Just a nice mixture of a few clean gases.
But when N&Z suggest that atmospheric composition can be ignored for computing the so-called ‘green house effect’ and further suggest it can be computed directly from the Ideal Gas Law, everyone goes into a tizzy and says “You can’t use the Gas Law like that without considering composition! A very tiny amount of CO2 changes everything!! ( But really big changes in carbonates in the ground has no effect at all on the GB temperature)
Double standard? Yes. And even more so because the S-B equation is also based on a similar gas law (Photon Gas Law). (Described in more detail in my ATE elevator speech above).
😐

364. Joel Shore says:

Steve from Rockwood says:

But the fact remains that pressure seems to factor in to planetary temperatures in a way that we don’t understand.
I’m with John Daly on this one. There is likely a rational explanation lurking in the background somewhere. I doubt it will be found in this thread.

That is another myth, that we don’t why pressure is a factor. Maybe you don’t, but I quite clearly understand reasons why pressure is a factor:
(1) The most important reason is that because of the way that N&Z have chosen to define T_sb, anything like an atmosphere that causes the temperature distribution to become more uniform on a planet or moon (than it would be under their assumption that local temperature is determined by radiative balance with local insolation) will cause an increase in the average temperature. This increase is not associated with any increase in the radiative power emitted by the surface. It is simply due to the fact that there are many different temperature distributions and corresponding average temperatures that give the same emitted power…and the more uniform distributions among these have higher average temperature. Hence, as you add an atmosphere to a planet, there is more heat transport and storage and as a result, the temperature distribution becomes more uniform and the average temperature higher WITH NO CHANGE IN THE POWER EMITTED BY THE PLANET’S SURFACE. Or, to put it another way, conservation of energy (radiative balance) REQUIRES that a planet with a more uniform temperature distribution (and the same total insolation from the sun) be at a higher average temperature than a planet with a less uniform temperature distribution. Of the 8 bodies that N&Z studied, this is practically the sole reason why the average surface temperature exceeds their calculated T_sb for 5 of them and the majority reason for another two (Earth and Titan). [For example, in the case of Earth, it accounts for ~75% of the purported 133 K discrepancy, with the radiative greenhouse effect accounting for the other ~25%.] Only for Venus is it necessary to invoke a higher surface emission (due to a radiative greenhouse effect) to explain the majority of their surface temperature enhancement. It is somewhat puzzling to me why these concepts seem so difficult for many people to grasp.
(2) There will also tend to be a positive correlation between pressure and strength of the radiative greenhouse effect. Two reasons for this is that a planet obviously has to have a significant atmosphere in order to have a significant amount of greenhouse gases, and that an effect of higher pressures is to broaden the absorption bands of the greenhouse gases, making them more effective.

We don’t even know why some planets (Jupiter, for example) emit more energy than they receive from the sun.

From what I can gather, it is actually understood: Jupiter is undergoing slow gravitational collapse.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080106005818AA6tNF8 Hence, it is converting gravitational potential energy into thermal energy. This is a way that gravity can “generate” energy that follows accepted Laws of Physics, i.e., obeys conservation of energy, in contrast to the gravity-pressure nonsense like N&Z propose. The Earth and its atmosphere are not undergoing gravitational collapse…and, furthermore, the Earth as seen from space is not emitting more energy than it receives from the sun. The surface of the Earth is doing this, but some of what the surface emits is absorbed by the atmosphere, a process that we call the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

365. John Day said @ January 28, 2012 at 4:29 am

It’s really over the top. I wish Anthony would yank you out of here so the rest of us (including N&Z) could have some meaningful discussions about this novel theory.

John, I don’t seem to have any problem reading your comments, so I suspect nobody is stopping you. There is a lack of “meaningfulness”. Meaningful: having a recognizable purpose or function resulting from the application of the rules of a language or sign system. Requests for clarification of what the heck N&Z mean have not resulted (so far) in meaningful responses. If there’s a “vendetta” here, it’s being waged on common sense.

366. @Willis
> I have shown that no effect can raise the
> temperature of a planet with a transparent
> GHG-free atmosphere above the theoretical
> S-B temperature. That’s one win.
What’s this ‘win’ stuff? Who’s keeping score in this ‘competition’? Do you think it’s fair that one of the ‘competitors’ is also the ‘referee’?
And why did we start ‘keeping score’ in this competition before the other ‘competitor’ had fair change to complete their presentation (Part II)? All we have is their abbreviated poster-board description and Part I clarification.
And who determined that Willis was correct in the assertion above? (Ans: Willis, of course. He’s the referee).
He’s wrong of course. His argument contains a logical fallacy (‘begging the question’), that even I, who am remarkably ignorant, could spot right after reading it. (In fact it inspired my ATE Elevator Speech. Thanks Willis)
He claims that planets with atmospheres can’t have temperatures above S-B unless some mechanism is in effect. If that mechanism is present then the temperature can be raised. But if that mechanism is not present then it can’t rise above S-B temp.
What is this mechanism? Well, Willis apparently believes that atmostpheric chemical composition is needed to determine planetary temperatures. So that mechanism is the presence (or not) of GHG gases. And it’s the only mechanism that has this capability, according to his proof.
What if someone wanted to claim that some other mechanism could also raise the temperature?
Sorry, we have assumed a priori that GHG-free is the only mechanism. Let’s look at your argument. Oh, you claim ATE is also a mechanism that can explain the rise in temperature? Sorry, that is not GHG-related so it cannot be true.
Now, Willis is very bright, so he will counter: “But ATE has not been proven! So GHG certifiably can only be admitted in discussion. Case closed. I win”
But that’s begging the question. Willis considers this a “show stopper” for ATE and has set this discussion up with that assumption (i.e. he’s already awarded himself one point on the win side). But if we could show that ATE is true, then Willis would be wrong (and his score decreased).
Willis is basically trying to disprove ATE, using the fact that GHG is the only ‘approved’ temperature raising mechanism. Therefore ATE must be false, begging the question.
I stated this in my elevator speech, but I guess I didn’t elaborate the underlying fallacy enough.
So, for the sake of argument, we need to assume ATE would raise the temperature and then prove or disprove that claim on its own merits, not assume it’s false before we attempt to prove it.
😐

367. @git
> so I suspect nobody is stopping you.
Thanks for you comment. But note that, in addition to ranting about Willis’ rude behavior, I have posted many comments already (hopefully not too remarkably ignorant) towards a meaningful discussion and trying to entreat N&Z to re-engage (perhaps with assurances that they won’t be regarded as idiots).
I think my elevator speech is a step in that direction. In fact I think I may have found yet another ‘unifying’ theme that might have been overlooked even by N&Z, namely that all planetary temperatures, even the S-B derived temps, are the product of “gas laws”: 1) Photon Gas Law (aka S-B) and 2) Ideal Gas Law.
😐

368. DeWitt Payne says:

John Day says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

Sorry, we have assumed a priori that GHG-free is the only mechanism. Let’s look at your argument. Oh, you claim ATE is also a mechanism that can explain the rise in temperature? Sorry, that is not GHG-related so it cannot be true.

I presume you mean ex nihilo rather than a priori, but that’s just a nitpick. The reason that ghg’s are invoked as the mechanism is because the experimental evidence, particularly, but not limited to, the IR emission spectra observed from high altitude show this to be the case. While the energy balance can’t be closed completely either from space or at the surface because measurement precision is lacking, there just isn’t much room left for any other explanation.

369. @Joel Shore
> No, they haven’t [demonstrated from first principles etc]
According to wayne, who created a concise results table below, when you plug in the values for Venus, Earth and Mars you get 740.40 290.09 210.24 K
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/#comment-847256
Yes, they should have included this chart in their poster. Perhaps we’ll see it in Part II. In any case, it’s a set of ‘promising results’. That’s all I said it was at this stage. The theory doesn’t have to be complete developed to be worthy of further research.
😐

370. @DeWitt Payne
> I presume you mean ex nihilo rather than a priori, but that’s just a nitpick.
No, I meant a priori in the sense that he is assuming beforehand that there exists only one valid mechanism as ‘proof’ that there cannot be any others.
> .. there just isn’t much room left for any other explanation.
Then you accept that other mechanisms are feasible. If ATE turns out to correct, then it obviously will become the defacto explanation.
Yes, I know, if pigs had wings they could fly. But I’m just addressing the logic of Willis’ proof. Not the likelihood that ATE is correct at this point. (We’ll have a better estimate after further discussions with N&Z)

371. @Joel Shore
I read through your paragraph (1) above and confess that I don’t understand it well enough to make a meaningful comment. (But I don’t consider it to be nonsense)
> (2) There will also tend to be a positive correlation between pressure
> and strength of the radiative greenhouse effect.
Yes, of course, but N&Z go further and claim this correlation completly determines temperature from pressure, supplanting the GHE theory.
> … reasons for this is that … an effect of higher pressures is to
> broaden the absorption bands of the greenhouse gases,
> making them more effective.
I’m skeptical (but possibly misinformed) that this broadening effect is due to Doppler shift caused by the increased molecular speeds. I posted a comment about this to Nilolov, but he didn’t respond (up to his neck wrestling with other alligators I guess)
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/#comment-851868
Can you give me a pointer to what makes the molecules under pressure more efficient absorbers of radiation, given that ‘pressure’ doesn’t exist at the molecular level, just more or less frequent collisions.
Also, you gave a reference in the Pierrehumbert book, page 148, which is the blank page preceding Chap 4. Maybe we have different editions. Can you give me a paragraph reference of that claim you made that ATE was somehow addressed there. Thanks.
😐

372. @me
Ned, if you’re listening, sorry about the typo, “Nikolov” (Николов, по русски. Читаю немного)

373. DeWitt Payne says:

John Day says:
January 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Then you accept that other mechanisms are feasible.

No. I haven’t seen a single proposed mechanism other than ghg’s that is feasible. That doesn’t meant that something else isn’t possible, just extremely unlikely.

If ATE turns out to correct, then it obviously will become the defacto explanation.

Also, no. At best it would be a minor correction to the existing theory if it were true, which it isn’t.

374. John Day said @ January 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

@DeWitt Payne
> .. there just isn’t much room left for any other explanation.
Then you accept that other mechanisms are feasible. If ATE turns out to correct, then it obviously will become the defacto explanation.

Let’s assume ATE is correct. Now, how does ATE explain the incoming and outgoing spectra that clearly show evidence of emission and absorption?

375. DeWitt Payne says:

I’ve got preview and I failed to use it. Doh!
The line: If ATE turns out… should have been in blockquotes.
[Fixed. -w.]

376. Steve from Rockwood says:

@Joel Shore. You have the answers – I can see that. All the gaseous planets are shrinking as they lose heat and this gravitational compression causes heat. So Neptune with a radius of 25,000 km emits twice the amount of heat that it receives from the sun, the same amount emitted by Saturn which has a radius of 60,000 km (over two times larger) which emits more heat than Jupiter (1.6 times) with its diameter of 71,500 km. Then there is Uranus with a radius of 25,500 km that emits the same amount of heat as it receives. And I thought Uranus would be shrinking at the mere thought that these numbers don’t make sense. Maybe it’s just puckering.
Neptune. R=24,765 km, Net heat=2 times
Saturn. R=60,268 km, Net heat=2 times
Jupiter. R=71,492 km, Net heat=1.6 times
Uranus. R=25,559 km, Net heat=0

377. Steve from Rockwood says:

Sorry. Should be:
Uranus. R=25,559 km, Net heat=1.0 times
Uranus, mass = 8.68E+25 kg, net heat = 1.0 times
Neptune, mass = 1.02E+26 Kg, net heat = 2.0 times
Saturn, mass = 5.69+26 Kg, net heat = 2.0 times
Jupiter, mass = 1.90E+27, net heat = 1.6 times
So the net heat that is caused by gravitational compression doesn’t appear to be directly related to either the size of the planet or its mass. Joel? Some help here.

Willis and Joel,
Your criticisms lack merit. If you want a valid basis to criticise the design, conduct or results of my experiment you will need to present your own empirical experiment. BS(blackboard scribbling) does not count.
WUWT readers who have some concerns about Willis and Joel dismissing empirical results when they have none of their own can visit
and read first hand about what was done. The experiment was designed to be replicated by others. Construction instructions and a materials list is provided.

379. @DeWitt Payne

No. I haven’t seen a single proposed mechanism other than ghg’s that is feasible. That doesn’t meant that something else isn’t possible, just extremely unlikely.
If ATE turns out to correct, then it obviously will become the defacto explanation.

Yes, exactly what I meant. (I get plausible-feasible-possible mixed up all the time)
> Also, no. At best it would be a minor correction to the
> existing theory if it were true,
Now that I would have to quibble with a bit. Certainly the social impact would be enormous, Al Gore and his minions would be out of a job. Kyoto and other thinly disguised ‘spread-the-weath’ scams would go out the door.
I think it would also have an effect in the [secular] environmental sciences too. Knowing that temperature, on a planetary scale, is independent of the chemical composition of the earth and atmosphere.
> … which it isn’t
Ah, I see your position is already ‘entrenched’. No problem, perhaps that could change as the theory is unfolded. I’m not entrenched either way, but I do find ATE compelling for symmetry reasons (without completely understanding yet how it works).

380. @git
> Let’s assume ATE is correct. Now, how does ATE
> explain the incoming and outgoing spectra that
> clearly show evidence of emission and absorption?
Let me rephrase that question: “Let’s assume the Copernican theory is correct, Now how does it explain the epicycles which are clearly visible in the heavens?”
So your question has a bit of the same ‘begging the question’ fallacy that Willis’ proof contained.
The answer to the question is that our knowledge of the existence and charertistics of these spectra won’t change at all, in the same sense that we can still “see” the epicycles. It’s just that ATE has eliminated the need to interpret physical chemistry (absorption spectra etc) to explain planetary temperatures. All we need is pressure.
So, you could argue, “But I can predict the planets’ positions accurately using epicyles. That proves Copermicus is wrong” [Maybe your predictions are correct, but Copernicus is still right]
or equivalently “But I can predict planetary temperatures correctly using absorption spectra. That proves N&Z are wrong” [Really? Then why do we need so many fudge factors (aka “sensitivity coeficients”) to make the temps match our expectations. No such ‘fudge factors’ are needed for ATE, what you measure (pressure) is what you get (temperature).]
CAVEAT: Assuming ATE is correct (and pigs have wings) of course.
😐

381. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

What is this mechanism? Well, Willis apparently believes that atmostpheric chemical composition is needed to determine planetary temperatures. So that mechanism is the presence (or not) of GHG gases. And it’s the only mechanism that has this capability, according to his proof.
What if someone wanted to claim that some other mechanism could also raise the temperature?
Sorry, we have assumed a priori that GHG-free is the only mechanism. Let’s look at your argument. Oh, you claim ATE is also a mechanism that can explain the rise in temperature? Sorry, that is not GHG-related so it cannot be true.

No…The reason it cannot be true is that it conflicts with well-established Laws of Physics. For example, we have a Law in Physics called “conservation of energy”. If you want to establish some new mechanism, you have to demonstrate how it obeys this law. (Or, make the extraordinary claim that this law is violated, which would require extraordinary evidence.) Nobody has been able to explain how any ATE mechanism that does not rely on the absorption of radiation by the atmosphere (which indeed depends on atmospheric composition) can obey this law.
We don’t just go around accepting any “theory” that comes up just because it agrees with what one’s ideology wants nature to be like. That is not science.

I read through your paragraph (1) above and confess that I don’t understand it well enough to make a meaningful comment.

What don’t you understand? It is all very basic stuff…Stuff you certainly have to get under your belt first before you have any ability to say anything intelligent about speculative “theories”. I’d be curious to know what parts of it you find confusing.

382. Joel Shore says:

Steve from Rockwood says:

So the net heat that is caused by gravitational compression doesn’t appear to be directly related to either the size of the planet or its mass. Joel? Some help here.

Yes, it could easily be more complicated than a simple dependence on radius or mass. I am no expert on the details of the current understanding of the role of gravitational compression in each of the gaseous planets. Here are two wikipedia articles about the basic mechanism though:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_compression
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin%E2%80%93Helmholtz_mechanism

383. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

or equivalently “But I can predict planetary temperatures correctly using absorption spectra. That proves N&Z are wrong” [Really? Then why do we need so many fudge factors (aka “sensitivity coeficients”) to make the temps match our expectations. No such ‘fudge factors’ are needed for ATE, what you measure (pressure) is what you get (temperature).]

You seem to have a hard time distinguishing between physics and curve-fitting. You also seem to lack the understanding that N&Z have plenty of “fudge factors”: They have 4 free parameters for a purely empirical equation with no theoretical understanding (except for gobbleygook about things like the Ideal Gas Law and about convection that are either do not support their theory or are demonstrably incorrect).
N&Z are nothing but a litmus test of how silly a notion can be and still attract support from people who want to believe it. It is just a Rorschach test…Useful for distinguishing fake skeptics from people who really exhibit at least a little bit of skepticism. A lot of people who should know better are failing the test.

384. Two more comments before I clear out of here for the evening:
1) So far we’ve been evaluating the correctness of ATE based on preliminary calculations provided by N&Z in their poster and comments on this blog.
Question: What if those calculations contained arithmetic errors, would that invalidate theory?
In other words, what if Copernicus made a few trivial math errors such that his plotted predictions of the planets were less accurate than ones made with Ptolemaic theory? Would that mean that the Copernican theory was totally false?
Well, the disciples of Ptolemy would certainly argue that. (And I see a some of that going on here in this blog).
Take away: Natural Law is bigger than the men and women who propose it. Errors in presentation of proofs of these laws have no effect on the actual truth of laws of nature.
2) If you believe ATE is false, can you explain why it is not necessary to know the chemical composition of an airless planet to compute its temperature, yet knowledge of chemical composition _is_ necessary if that planet has an atmosphere? Symmetry of natural laws would suggest that if composition was necessary for one, it would be necessary for the other configuration.
And isn’t strange you don’t need to know the composition of the surface, which is very dirty and complicated, yet knowledge of composition is necessary for the relatively pristine atmosphere, even for miniscule whiffs of CO2?
The surface has much greater entropy in an information theoretic sense, than the atmosphere. To see this, consider samples taken at random from the surface and atomsphere and analyzed for composition. A Boolean 92-vector (one Boolean flag for each natural element) reveals the entropy of the sample in terms of the number and variety of bits it would take to describe each sample.
Air samples would tend to have the same small number of bits set for each sample (because the atmosphere is well-mixed with respect to the surface (i.e low entropy, not much information required to describe all the samples).
Whereas the ‘dirt’ samples of the surface would have a much larger number of bits set and much greater variance in which bits were set (i.e. extremly high entropy, a lot of information needed to describe all the samples).
Yet at the planetary scale, the surface requires less information for temperature prediction than the atmosphere (if you don’t believe in ATE).
Why is that? Why the lack of “symmetry”?
You GHG-GHE believers please explain that to me. Thanks.
😐

385. @Joel
> You seem to have a hard time distinguishing between physics
> and curve-fitting. You also seem to lack the understanding
> that N&Z have plenty of “fudge factors”:
I do know the difference quite well. Actually I’m getting the impression from some of you folks (esp. Willis) that you think ATE is entirely about curve fitting.
For these theoretical discussions here I’m not all interested in those curve-fitting exercises. Not al all. Yes, I agree that there must necessarily be a bit of “fudging” in making empirical fits.
But again. At this stage I’m not interested in discussing those emprical equations (unless we talk about how they might be related to actual physics).
So unless you all insist otherwise, let’s start by discuss ATE from principles based on the laws of physics. Hard to get motivated by curve fitting. Agreed?
So, apart from the curve fitting, in the formal ATE theory (as you understand it) what “fudge factors” are you referring to, Joel?
😐

386. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

1) So far we’ve been evaluating the correctness of ATE based on preliminary calculations provided by N&Z in their poster and comments on this blog.

Take away: Natural Law is bigger than the men and women who propose it. Errors in presentation of proofs of these laws have no effect on the actual truth of laws of nature.

There are not just little errors. Their whole “theory” is just built on fundamental misconceptions. The only reason people in this little section of the universe are not just dismissing it as nonsense is because it is telling people here what they want to believe. But, notice that the most serious scientists amongst the AGW skeptics, e.g., Roy Spencer, Willis, Ira, and Robert Brown are desperately trying to give you their reasoned opinion as to why this is nonsense.

2) If you believe ATE is false, can you explain why it is not necessary to know the chemical composition of an airless planet to compute its temperature, yet knowledge of chemical composition _is_ necessary if that planet has an atmosphere? Symmetry of natural laws would suggest that if composition was necessary for one, it would be necessary for the other configuration.

I don’t know what “symmetry of natural laws” means in this context.
In this case, the reason for the different is very simple: Most solids and liquids have a basically continuous spectrum of excitations at infrared wavelengths so that they behave quite close to blackbody radiators and absorbers in this wavelength regime. Gases, on the other hand, are much different because the molecules are so weakly interacting. If a gas molecule does not have an excitation mode that can couple to electromagnetic radiation in a certain wavelength regime, then it simply will not absorb or emit radiation. This means that molecules like N_2 and O_2, which make up most of our atmosphere are transparent to radiation in the mid- and far-infrared. The small amount of interactions that do occur between molecules can allow for a very small amount of absorption and emission as the density of the gas increases, but this is just not enough to be close to relevant for Earthlike atmospheric densities.

387. @Joel
> No…The reason it cannot be true is that it
> conflicts with well-established Laws of Physics.
Here, let me rephrase that for you: “The reason Copernican Theory cannot be true, is that it conflicts with the well-established Laws of Epicycles”
Yes, I know that ATE hasn’t been proven. But you can’t prove a new theory’s falseness merely by claiming that it ‘conflicts’ with current theory. (If by ‘conflict’ you mean it proposes a different mechanism to explain the same results).

What don’t you understand? It is all very basic stuff…Stuff you certainly have to get under your belt first before you have any ability to say anything intelligent about speculative “theories”. I’d be curious to know what parts of it you find confusing.

It is densely packed. I just didn’t have time to wade through it. Yes, I will go through it and understand it. But my initial impression, from skimming, is that you’re merely presenting the ‘status quo’ again as ‘proof’ that can’t possibly be any other better theory. But I appreciate the time you took to write it out for me. I’ll ask for clarifications if necessary. (Remember: remarkably ignorant me)
BTW, were you able to find that Pierrehumbert reference you made about “page 148”? I would also like to understand the point you were making about that. Thanks.
😐

388. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 28, 2012 at 2:59 am

@Willis
> You guys insist that the claim of Ned about the 14,800 W/m2 means something. Yet you can’t even say which possibile interpretations of his words is right. Or maybe all of them are wrong. WE DON’T KNOW until Ned comes back to explain them.

I hope you understand that it represents the ATE warmth that an atmosphere provides (but I’m not so sure about that).

Of course you’re not sure …
If you’re not sure about it, John, and I’ve said I don’t give a fig for what you think because I’m waiting for Ned to answer … then what on earth would impel you to share your vague fantasies about what Ned means?
STOP, John. Please do yourself a favor and just stop posting your nonsense about the question for Ned. If Ned answers, he does. If not, he doesn’t. In neither case is your “i’m not so sure about that” guess as to what he means of the slightest use to anyone.
I hate to be so blunt, but my friend, you are clueless in these matters, and from all appearances, you don’t have the faintest idea just what a spectacle you are making of yourself in public. Read and think for a while, do some research, get a textbook, I don’t know how you might go about it but you should truly do your homework before uncapping your electronic pen.
Let me make my position clear. I think you’re capable of learning what you’d need to know to contribute to the discussion. I don’t know if you will do so, but I certainly encourage you to apply yourself.
My best regards to you, and I am totally serious about what I said above. You’re like Wile E. Coyote after he runs off the cliff, you have no idea you are standing on thin air …
w.

389. @Willis
> Of course you’re not sure …
Sorry my words were indeed ambiguous. What I meant was “I’m not so sure that you know
To repeat: it is very clear that the 14,800 watts/m2 refers to the additional warmth that the atmosphere provides compared to an airless planet. Were you aware of that? (That’s what I wasn’t sure about.)
It should be clear from the N&Z writeups that he was trying to impress that the ATE theory will generally come up with a much larger value for this temperature enhancement. If this larger enhancement turns out to be valid (TBD), then it will be more difficult to maintain that it is generated by GHG’s.
1) The fact that warming will occur, qualitatively, is true whether or not you believe in ATE.
2) But the actual amount will vary, because of the way ATE computes the GB temp based on the Hoelder integration.
How did Ned come up with exactly the number “14,800”. I don’t know.
I agree with you, Willis, only Ned can provide that piece of information. I don’t know how he came up with “14,800”.
But even if it represents some miscalculation on Ned’s part, that doesn’t necessary invalidate the whole theory. Errare humanum est
😐

390. @Kuhnkat
> I think Willis would help the discussion along
> by not heaping the ridicule so quickly and so high.
Thanks for those words of support. His ridicule really doesn’t bother me anymore, because my “anti-venom” is knowing that that he’s wrong on these issues.
😐

391. I thought this response over at Tallbloke’s was worth bringing over:
New comment on Tallbloke’s Talkshop
Konrad commented on Konrad Hartmann: Experiment to determine the effect of pressure on temperature in Earth’s atmosphere.
in response to tallbloke:
Many thanks for allowing me to present the results of my basic empirical experiment into the Nikolov and Zeller hypothesis at the Talkshop. Introduction The Nikolov and Zeller hypothesis has generated thousands of comments across several climate sites, but sadly little in the way of empirical evidence. After the first few hundred comments I decided […]
@Tilo I have had time to run further tests using the same rig. With regard to allowing the bottles to reach equilibrium away from sunlight, both equalise at the external air temperature. I have run further tests with pure CO2. The first was to run the same experiment again. One bottle at atmospheric pressure, the other maintained at a higher constant pressure. The results were as before, with the higher pressure bottle rising to a higher temperature when exposed to sunlight. The only difference noted was that the higher pressure bottle appeared to cool more swiftly when the rig was removed from sunlight. I conducted a further test in which both bottles were at atmospheric pressure but one contained air and the other 100% CO2. I was unable to measure any temperature differential between the bottles. They both heated at the same rate. I swapped bottles and probe thermometers. I tried sunlight and then a flood lamp (more IR) without success. If CO2 has some effect between 25 and 50C it is below the 0.1C resolution of my thermometers.. @ tchannon The hot water bottle and the bricks do ensure a constant pressure in the high pressure bottle. The volume will adjust as the temperature increases. @P.G. Sharrow Water columns are a good idea, but I would need a U shape over a metre in height to achieve similar pressures. @Tallbloke I’m sure a simple LOL or ROTFL would be an elegant sufficiency 🙂

392. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

Yes, I know that ATE hasn’t been proven. But you can’t prove a new theory’s falseness merely by claiming that it ‘conflicts’ with current theory. (If by ‘conflict’ you mean it proposes a different mechanism to explain the same results).

The point is that it doesn’t just conflict with current theory…It conflicts with things like conservation of energy. And, the way in which it conflicts with current theory is based on huge misunderstandings of basic points. For example, the authors don’t understand that the way one applies conservation of energy to a planet is not by assuming that the planet is isolated from the rest of the universe (and hence its average temperature can’t change) but by assuming it interacts radiatively with the sun and space. Another example is the authors add in convection into a simple radiative model of the greenhouse effect in a way that drives the atmosphere to be isothermal with height, in clear contradiction to reality and then marvel at getting a result (the disappearance of the greenhouse effect) that is well-known to be true for an atmosphere with an isothermal temperature profile.
These are simply elementary bone-headed errors.

BTW, were you able to find that Pierrehumbert reference you made about “page 148″? I would also like to understand the point you were making about that. Thanks.

Yes, it is in section 3.3 of his textbook (“Radiation Balance of Planets”), on p. 148 of the final printed version. In it, he is discussing the simplest picture of the greenhouse effect…and one thing that emerges from this picture is that “the greenhouse effect only works to the extent that the atmosphere is colder at the radiating level than it is at the ground”.

393. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
January 28, 2012 at 2:30 am

Jimmi_the_dalek and Willis Eschenbach,
are you trying to tell us that the only good experiment is one where you already know everything about what you are working on and are just going to confirm it??

Nope. We’re trying to tell you that smart people give much thought to and design their experiments very carefully so that they show something that is useful about their theory.
Who would have guessed?
w.

• Willis,
you know I am a pot calling the kettle black don’t you?? It is an issue I need to work on also and is too common generally. As you say, the frustration with people who simply won’t see the TRUTH gets to us.
Please point out where I have argued for a process that would result in perpetual motion. As you point out, I may not have realized that is what I was doing and would appreciate the information even if I don’t understand it.
“Nope. We’re trying to tell you that smart people give much though to and design their experiments very carefully so that they show something that is useful about their theory. Who would have guessed? w.”
Yes, and I am telling you that everyone is not that smart and can still get useful results. Whoda thunk?

394. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

@Willis
> I have shown that no effect can raise the
> temperature of a planet with a transparent
> GHG-free atmosphere above the theoretical
> S-B temperature. That’s one win.
What’s this ‘win’ stuff? Who’s keeping score in this ‘competition’? Do you think it’s fair that one of the ‘competitors’ is also the ‘referee’?

Gosh, John, do you think a clue might be found in the post I was responding to? Let’s see what that post was:
jae says:
January 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

… And Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus.

So I was just messing with Jae, because he was claiming that he had the power to set the rules about what was a win for me and what was not, involving me reading some guy I have no interest in and “refuting” his evidence. You can’t refute empirical evidence, only interpret it, but let that be. I found it pretty funny that some random anonymous internet poster had puffed himself up to where he was dictating what is or isn’t a win for me.
So I thought I’d list a few of my wins. I’ve been on a bit of a roll, and since Jae wanted to dictate what constitutes a win, I thought I’d mention what I consider a win.
I am sorry to see that my listing my wins seems to infuriate you. It’s your choice in your hands, you know. You can just ignore me and continue with your important conversation that you mentioned above.
Or I tell you what. You can list your wins too, and I can ignore them. Then we’ll be even, and we can move on.
All the best,
w.

395. Willis Eschenbach says:

January 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Willis and Joel,

Thanks for the reply, Konrad. Generally it’s good form to start by quoting the criticism you object to. That establishes what you are referring to, and allows others to see the error you say I’m making.
Then you need to demonstrate, not claim but actually show, that the criticism fails for specific reasons that you list and discuss.
I have said a couple things:
1. If you want to design an experiment to either falsify or support a theory, smart people start by first understanding the theory.
2. Once you understand the theory, then you can design an experiment that will be unambiguous and clear and measurable and with few confounding factors that will provide irrefutable evidence of the theory’s truth or falsity.
Which of those is “without merit”?

If you want a valid basis to criticise the design, conduct or results of my experiment you will need to present your own empirical experiment. BS(blackboard scribbling) does not count.

That is not true. I can evaluate your experimental design without proposing something better. If I see a flaw, I see a flaw, whether or not I could build it better.

WUWT readers who have some concerns about Willis and Joel dismissing empirical results when they have none of their own can visit
and read first hand about what was done. The experiment was designed to be replicated by others. Construction instructions and a materials list is provided.

I’m banned from Tallbloke’s Talkshop, so I fear your experiment will go unexamined. If you’d like to give the “elevator speech” for the N&Z theory that you are attempting to either support or falsify, I’d love to hear it. To date, no one has come forward to explain in clear concise terms how their theory works.
w.

396. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
January 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

John Day,
unfortunately for some, blogs ARE a “beauty” contest. As long as people are animated about Willis’ posts they will continue pretty much as we see them. Willis is. If people start shunning his posts then things will change. No I am not calling for a boycott even though I think Willis would help the discussion along by not heaping the ridicule so quickly and so high. Just suggesting that looking for a policeman to take down the bully isn’t the solution to the issue.

Yeah, you’re probably right, kuhnkat. I’m working on it, and it’s a work in progress. I’m just tired of often-anonymous posers who admit that they have absolutely no understanding of physics, yet they proudly and loudly and stubbornly declaim that perpetual motion machines are really truly honestly possible if we just look at their beautiful theory in the right light. (Dim lights are greatly preferred. Shining a spotlight is discouraged.)
No.
Perpetual. Motion. Is. Not. Possible.
You and others may not realize that you are arguing for a physical impossibility. But some of us do. My problem is that I find the intransigence hard to take at times, but I’m learning.
Appreciated,
w.

397. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

“Nope. We’re trying to tell you that smart people give much though to and design their experiments very carefully so that they show something that is useful about their theory. Who would have guessed? w.”

Yes, and I am telling you that everyone is not that smart and can still get useful results. Whoda thunk?

Why do I doubt that you have citations to poorly thought out and designed experiments that yielded useful results?
Why, because if you had them you’d cite them.
Poorly designed and thought out experiments yield junk, kuhnkat.
w.

• Willis Eschenbach, i guess we should stop using Vulcanized rubber and similar “accidents”. Not that I would put any money into a lab that was telling me they were looking for accidents.

398. @jae
>… And Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the …
@Willis
> So I was just messing with Jae
Gosh, Willis, where do you think jae came up with this idea of you “winning”? Ex nihilo ?
Could it be that he was referring to the tone of the “discussion” that you’re conducting with N&Z, which has turned out to be more of a kick-boxing tournament.
😐

399. oops “N&Z”. Mr. Moderator could you fix please? Thanks.
[FIXED –w.]

400. @Joel Shore
> The point is that it doesn’t just conflict with current theory…
> It conflicts with things like conservation of energy.
Are you calling this energy violation using Willis’ ‘proof’? If so, I still think that’s ‘begging the question’, because Willis is essentially saying there can’t be any other valid theory of a heat-enhancing mechanism because we already have a theory (that ‘works’) for that .
> For example, the authors don’t understand that the way
> one applies conservation of energy to a planet is not by
> assuming that the planet is isolated from the rest of the
> universe (and hence its average temperature can’t change)
> but by assuming it interacts radiatively with the sun and space.
Are you referring to where they establish the time period as “non-geological” thus creating an “isobaric” atmosphere? Isn’t it possible that they do understand that looking at shorter intervals would be more complicated because of thiese interactions?
I may be wrong, but I’m guesing they’re looking at these interactions sort of as random noise, which averages to zero over a long enough interval and therefore can be ignored, which simplifies their theory development. I’ve seen many theories where the authors snip terms saying “we can ignore this because it’s very small or goes to zero in the limit” etc. I’m not saying their assumption is necessarily valid, but perhaps we should let them make it, for the sake of argument, and let them finish explaning their theory.
> Yes, it is in section 3.3 of his textbook (“Radiation Balance of Planets”), …
Thanks, I’ll read that. Started digging through para (1). Your style of “prose” writing is very dense, Joel, which doesn’t make it easy.
😐

401. John Day said @ January 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

@Joel
> No…The reason it cannot be true is that it
> conflicts with well-established Laws of Physics.
Here, let me rephrase that for you: “The reason Copernican Theory cannot be true, is that it conflicts with the well-established Laws of Epicycles”

Clearly you know nothing about Copernicus’ theory. It uses more epicycles than Ptolemy needed for no greater accuracy. There is absolutely nothing law-like about epicycles; they are more analogous to N&Z’s fudge factors. There’s a cute animation here of Copernicus’ double epicycles in action here:
http://wlym.com/~animations/part1/copernicus.html
Above you compared emission spectra (that are empirically determined) with the fiction of epicycles.
You make it clearer with every stupidity you utter that you are clueless about almost everything you pontificate about.

402. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

Are you calling this energy violation using Willis’ ‘proof’? If so, I still think that’s ‘begging the question’, because Willis is essentially saying there can’t be any other valid theory of a heat-enhancing mechanism because we already have a theory (that ‘works’) for that .

No…What Willis and I are saying is that nobody has been able to come up with an explanation using correct principles of physics whereby conservation of energy is satisfied. And, we don’t see how anybody could.

Isn’t it possible that they do understand that looking at shorter intervals would be more complicated because of thiese interactions?

I have no clue what you are saying here. N&Z make statements regarding conservation of energy that show clearly that they don’t understand how to apply it to a system like a planet that is not isolated. It is as simple as that.

403. @git
> Clearly you know nothing about Copernicus’ theory. It uses
> more epicycles than Ptolemy needed for no greater accuracy.
Ok, I didn’t know that. But we’re driving to LiteralVille here. I don’t really care about Copernicus per se. It was just an example to demonstrate that is fallacious (logically) to argue that a New Theory, which challenges the Received Theory, is falsified merely because the Received Theory regards it as false
Yes, in a probabilistic sense, the likelihood of any “new” theory being correct is probably low. So I could get away with saying “The New Theory is False because the Received Theory says so” and be “successful” 99 times out of a hundred. But “success” here is being right for the wrong reason.
And yes, I don’t think ATE has an extremely high chance of being right, more like 50-50 to me, so you might be “successful” too. But there’s also a chance we could throw the baby out with wash.
What harm in discussing it from this POV? Since you’ve decided to spend the time anyway to watch.
:-

404. > What Willis and I are saying is that nobody has been
> able to come up with an explanation using correct
> principles of physics whereby conservation of energy
> is satisfied. And, we don’t see how anybody could.
You seem to be missing my point Joel. N&Z are claiming that ATE is a different (and the correct) way to explain the why atmospheres warm their planets. “Correct” because it doesn’t need to rely on the green-house gas effect, which is “in dispute” anyway (at least here at WUWT).
So why not, for the sake of argument, stop using ‘energy conservation’ as a “show stopper” and let them continue, without this contention, with the rest of their explanation?
> I have no clue what you are saying here.
I’ll explain in greater detail later. Have to run off to a luncheon for several hours. Thanks.
😐

405. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 29, 2012 at 3:54 am

@jae

>… And Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the …

@Willis

> So I was just messing with Jae

Gosh, Willis, where do you think jae came up with this idea of you “winning”? Ex nihilo ?

So first you claim you can answer for Ned.
Of course, you can’t. No one can but Ned.
Now you want us to believe that you know where “jae”, a random anonymous internet poster, gets his ideas.
Of course, you don’t. No one does but jae.
Dang, you are good … next you’ll be saying you can tell us where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.
Of course …
w.

406. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 27, 2012 at 11:49 am
So your claim is that the temperature of Venus, with an albedo of 0.88, is secretly controlled by the surface albedo that you think Venus might have if there were no clouds?

No, you’re still having comprehension difficulties. The correct gray-body temperature is determined from the albedo of an airless planet using real data. This gray-body value is going to be similar for all rocky planets in the solar system if they are airless. The value can be used to calculate the ratio between a planet’s gray-body temperature and its actual surface temperature.
You are seriously making the argument that the temperature of the earth can be simply calculated by making the following assumptions:
1) The albedo of the Earth without oceans is exactly equal to the albedo of Venus without clouds, which in turn is kinda like the albedo of the moon, but oh, my, it’s much less than the albedo of Mars.
2) The albedo of the Earth’s ocean floor is a critical factor in the Earth’s current temperature. Really? That’s your serious claim?

No, that’s just you trying to put words in my mouth through your misrepresentation of what N&Z say. Something you get upset about when others do it to you.
that’s a joke that even you “gravito-thermal” advocates should be able to see through.
Not half as much of a joke as you have made of yourself by claiming that gravity somehow has to ‘do work’ to create a situation where air is at higher pressure and is denser near the surface than at high altitude. Larger number of gaseous molecules in a given volume get hotter when external energy is added than an equivalent volume at lower pressure and density, as Konrad’s experiment shows.
That you are incapable of understanding it is your problem, and therefore unfortunately, Anthony’s.

407. John Day said @ January 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

@git
> Clearly you know nothing about Copernicus’ theory. It uses
> more epicycles than Ptolemy needed for no greater accuracy.
Ok, I didn’t know that. But we’re driving to LiteralVille here. I don’t really care about Copernicus per se.

Well, golly gosh, please accept my apologies for taking you literally. How do you want me take your words: figuratively, allegorically, metaphorically, symbolically? You are aware that we are discussing physics here, not poetry? Maybe not…

408. @Willis
> Now you want us to believe that you know where “jae”,
> a random anonymous internet poster, gets his ideas.
No, I didn’t. You’re being dishonest. I asked _you_ where jae got this notion of “winning”. I merely suggested that he might have pulled it out of thin air. The “Gosh, Willis” came from your use of “Gosh, John”. I thought it would nice to throw it back it to you. So I’ll ask again
Gosh, Willis, where do you think jae came up with this idea of you “winning”? Ex nihilo ?
> So first you claim you can answer for Ned.
> Of course, you can’t. No one can but Ned.
Your being dishonest here too. I’ve explained several times that I “butted in” to point out your error, (saying that Ned was using the wrong units) when it was _you_ who was in error. Furthermore, it’s clear (from your snarky tone) that you wanted to humiliate Dr. Nikolov, physics PhD, for not knowing watts from joules. Did you think that this would help you discredit his theory?
Once you realized your goofup, you tried to hide it by making up a statement that I had volunteered to reply on behalf of Ned, then accused me of not knowing what the question was all about.
Hmm, that’s strange why would I volunteer to become a proxy for Dr. N (which I didn’t) if I didn’t even know the context of the question?
But I’ll give you a chance to redeem yourself Willis. All you have to do is say “I was wrong, and apologize to Dr. Nikolov by insinuating that he did not know the difference between watts and joules”, then I will forgive you.
Waiting.
[Crickets chirping]
Waiting. Where’s that “I’m sorry, Ned”?
[Crickets chirping]
Still waiting for the “I’m sorry, Ned”
😐

409. @git
> Well, golly gosh …
Ok, I see that I’m dealing with one of Willis’ groupies.
So, do I take your reply to mean you were unable to understand the point I was making about logical fallacies? Is that why you suddenly switched into “Ridicule Mode”?
Or did Willis ask you to help him out?
Or would you rather continue the discussion, after the point where I said that it was just an example to help you understand the logical fallacy behind Willis’ proof. The fallacy remains if it turns out that I could have stated the example more accurately.
I am honest enough to admit that my example might not have been accurate according to the additional details you provided. (But the example was intended as an illustration, not a proof)
Are you honest enough to admit that you’re resorting to ‘ad hominem’ attacks to disguise that fact that you can’t disprove my claim about ‘begging the question’?
😐

410. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

“Correct” because it doesn’t need to rely on the green-house gas effect, which is “in dispute” anyway (at least here at WUWT).

And, the Earth being ~4.5 billion years old is in dispute on creationist websites, with about the same amount of scientific justification. No serious scientists doubt the greenhouse effect, including AGW skeptics like Lindzen and Spencer.

So why not, for the sake of argument, stop using ‘energy conservation’ as a “show stopper” and let them continue, without this contention, with the rest of their explanation?

“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”
Seriously, we are supposed to excuse a violation of a fundamental law of physics? And, as I have noted, that is not the only thing wrong. In fact, when you get right down to it, there is precious little that is right in their whole thing.

411. John Day said @ January 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

@git
> Well, golly gosh …
Ok, I see that I’m dealing with one of Willis’ groupies.

You’re going to have to try harder than that if you want to insult me 🙂

So, do I take your reply to mean you were unable to understand the point I was making about logical fallacies? Is that why you suddenly switched into “Ridicule Mode”?
Or did Willis ask you to help him out?

Why would Willis ask me to help him out? We are both old enough and ugly enough to stand or fall by our own arguments. I ridiculed you by pointing out that what you were saying was ridiculous. If you dislike being ridiculed, try learning the rules of the game. I highly recommend:
The Philosopher’s Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods – Blackwell, 2002 (co-written with Peter S. Fosl) ISBN 978-1405190183

Or would you rather continue the discussion, after the point where I said that it was just an example to help you understand the logical fallacy behind Willis’ proof. The fallacy remains if it turns out that I could have stated the example more accurately.
I am honest enough to admit that my example might not have been accurate according to the additional details you provided. (But the example was intended as an illustration, not a proof)
Are you honest enough to admit that you’re resorting to ‘ad hominem’ attacks to disguise that fact that you can’t disprove my claim about ‘begging the question’?

John, you said: “The reason Copernican Theory cannot be true, is that it conflicts with the well-established Laws of Epicycles”. I pointed out that this was a contradiction. How can I “understand the point [you were] making about logical fallacies” when it is based on a violation of the Second Law of Thought?
You then claimed that I should not have taken you literally. So, I reiterate my question, how am I to take your statements: figuratively, allegorically, metaphorically, symbolically? If you wish to argue logically, you are required to adhere to the three Laws of Thought. Violations of the Laws of Thought are by definition irrational.
I have engaged in no ad hominem attacks. Argumentum ad hominem is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it. I have been rude to you, but that is not an ad hominem.
You say: “I am honest enough to admit that my example might not have been accurate according to the additional details you provided.” Which is the same as saying it might have been accurate. Which is it? Is equivocation really being honest?
If you want to have a rational (logical) discussion, you must perforce do so through rational (logical) propositions. Allegory, metaphor and equivocation are not a good look. Beginning an argument with a contradiction doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

412. Willis Eschenbach says:

tallbloke says:
January 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

So your claim is that the temperature of Venus, with an albedo of 0.88, is secretly controlled by the surface albedo that you think Venus might have if there were no clouds?

No, you’re still having comprehension difficulties. The correct gray-body temperature is determined from the albedo of an airless planet using real data. This gray-body value is going to be similar for all rocky planets in the solar system if they are airless. The value can be used to calculate the ratio between a planet’s gray-body temperature and its actual surface temperature.

Thanks, tallbloke. I pointed out above that the value for the albedo used in your equation 8 is 0.125. This is not the albedo of any of the planets or planetoids on your list. In addition, the albedos of the airless planets are not only different from the value you used, they are different from each other. Finally, the value you used is not the average of those airless planets.
So it is clear that you are not using “real data”. Instead, you have picked a value that gives a good answer. The fact that it is near the value of the albedo of Mars may or may not be significant.
In any case, throw that one out. You still have four parameters, with which I have amply demonstrated that I can fit your particular elephant. Again, I recommend that you ask a real statistician if fitting eight points with four free parameters and open choice of equation is anything more than a trivial exercise. I’ve done it three times above, so obviously I don’t think so, but you ask the statistician of your choice if equations 7/8 means anything.
I’m voting no.
All the best to you,
w.

413. jae says:

Willis:
[SNIP: Jae, you were provoked but this is quite over-the-top. Can you re-write it at a somewhat lower ignition point? -REP]

414. jae says:

Try, try, again:
WTF, Willis:

“jae says:
January 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

… And Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus.

So I was just messing with Jae, because he was claiming that he had the power to set the rules about what was a win for me and what was not, involving me reading some guy I have no interest in and “refuting” his evidence. You can’t refute empirical evidence, only interpret it, but let that be. I found it pretty funny that some random anonymous internet poster had puffed himself up to where he was dictating what is or isn’t a win for me.”

What is with the “messing, Willis??” And just where the hell did I make some claim about setting rules? AYou pissed me off, again. Are you losing it, cowboy? Are you not up to par? Is it becauseyou are simply AVOIDING the argument with Huffman by painting a strawoman! Not cowboy, Willis, you can do better. Like proving that the arrogant Huffman is WRONG! (WHICH YOU SEEM TO WANT TO HIDE FROM???)
“Messing” is beyond the pale and doesn’t cut it Willis!

415. jae says:

REP, whomever you are, you are, you are dishonest. SHOW JUST WHAT I DID WRONG, SIR!
If you don’t, you are double dishonest.
ANTHONY??
[REPLY: jae, you really don’t want your original rant posted and you really don’t want to insult moderators. It makes us cry. -REP]

416. kuhnkat said @ January 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Willis Eschenbach, i guess we should stop using Vulcanized rubber and similar “accidents”. Not that I would put any money into a lab that was telling me they were looking for accidents.

The following is from Charles Goodyear’s autobiography that he wrote in the third person:

… The inventor made some experiments to ascertain the effect of heat on the same compound that had decomposed in the mail-bags and other articles. He was surprised to find that the specimen, being carelessly brought into contact with a hot stove, charred like leather.
….
He directly inferred that if the process of charring could be stopped at the right point, it might divest the gum of its native adhesiveness throughout, which would make it better than the native gum. Upon further trial with heat, he was further convinced of the correctness of this inference, by finding that the India rubber could not be melted in boiling sulfur at any heat, but always charred. He made another trial of heating a similar fabric before an open fire. The same effect, that of charring the gum, followed. There were further indications of success in producing the desired result, as upon the edge of the charred portion appeared a line or border, that was not charred, but perfectly cured.
.…
On ascertaining to a certainty that he had found the object of his search and much more, and that the new substance was proof against cold and the solvent of the native gum, he felt himself amply repaid for the past, and quite indifferent to the trials of the future.

Sounds like a very complicated “accident” 😉

• kuhnkat says:

thePompousGit,
“He was surprised to find that the specimen, being carelessly brought into contact with a hot stove, charred like leather. …”
yup, a complicated accident that provided information that was not gained through specific planning.

417. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

All that means is that the problem is trivially simple, because there are five tunable parameters and eight data points and I’m given free choice of any equation, no matter how non-physical it might be. So none of the fits mean anything, Richard.
—————————
Robert Brown says:
January 24, 2012 at 4:21 am

t1 = 1/P_1^t2 -> P_1^0.065 = 1/0.233 = 4.29 or:
P_1 = 5.407 x 10^9 = 5.4 x 10^4 atmospheres

P 1/0.00154 = P_3^0.385 or
P_3 = 2.019 x 10^7 = 202 bar

———————————
Got it. The problem is not only that there are multiple constants in the equations. Rather it’s that plus the constants are arbitrary and unphysical, with the result that this general method could fit any temperature/pressure data set, and with so few data points it takes even fewer arbitrary constants (aka overfitted/tuned).
So if the constants were physical (e.g. individual planet/moon albedo) they wouldn’t count as tunable. And the magickal exponents should instead be numbers with a physical basis (e.g. 0.5 or 1.0 or other ratios of small numbers, with a physical justification, would be fine).
Flipside, the adiabatic lapse numbers are good, even if we don’t understand the exact physics involved, because we can measure temperature at hundreds of altitudes, and interpolate where the equations differ from a simple equation. But extrapolation (e.g. using Earth, and then extrapolating the rules for pressure to 90 atmospheres, before we had data on Venus’ temperature/pressure) would be a guess.
We do have data on Luna and Mars, for solar irradiance, length of day, atmospheric composition, and heat storage capacity. So we should be able to determine, at least for the Luna/Mars range, what the effect of CO2 is in the absence of H2O, remembering that the altitude/pressure equation is different between Earth and Mars.

418. Willis Eschenbach says:

jae says:
January 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

… What is with the “messing, Willis??” And just where the hell did I make some claim about setting rules? You pissed me off, again. Are you losing it, cowboy? Are you not up to par? Is it becauseyou are simply AVOIDING the argument with Huffman by painting a strawoman! Not cowboy, Willis, you can do better. Like proving that the arrogant Huffman is WRONG! (WHICH YOU SEEM TO WANT TO HIDE FROM???)
“Messing” is beyond the pale and doesn’t cut it Willis!

My apologies, jae, for whatever you want an apology for.
Regarding setting rules, you wanted to dictate that I hadn’t “won” until I fulfilled your idiosyncratic requirements, saying:

… Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus.

You seem to think you are the one who decides the rules about what I have to do to win. In the context of this thread about equation 8, I just had to point out the number of data points (8), the number of fitted parameters (5) and the free choice of any fitting equation. At that point, all real scientists know the game is over.
So I listed some of my recent wins, just to show that your claim was foolish. I also said why I am under no obligation to fulfill your wishes. I wanted to shake you around, jae, to get you to see that you have no standing to say I have to explain Huffman’s fantasies about Venus. I don’t have to do a dang thing about Venus. I have shown Equation 8 is bogus, Hoffman’s ideas about Venus have nothing to do with this thread.
As an aside, here’s one problem I have with Venus:

As can be seen from above link, partial pressure of CO2 in the Venusian ground atmosphere amounts to ~89 bar and ground temperature to 737 K on average. The “critical point” data of CO2: p(crit.) = 72.9 bar; T(crit.) = 304 K (handbook of physics).
A substance beyond the critical point is neither gas nor fluid, though in general referred to as supercritical fluid. It surely is not a gas and very surely not a trace gas. It is very important to note that the evaporation enthalpy of a substance beyond the critical becomes zero; this means there exists no cooling effect by evaporation, which is a very important energy transfer and cooling mechanism on earth.
Though I have never seen the absorption or emission spectrum of a supercritical fluid, it seems safe to me to assume that such a substance behaves like a black body, not like a line or band absorber (cf. a very moist atmosphere, where water – far away from its critical point – starts behaving like a black body). Anyhow, it definitively does not make sense to extrapolate spectroscopic data of a trace gas to its supercritical conditions. And it definitively does not make sense to directly compare the physics of atmospheric band radiation (greenhouse gases) with the black body radiation of fog or clouds.

SOURCE
In other words, what’s happening on Venus is unlikely to be directly comparable to what’s happening on the Earth. I doubt we can draw many inferences that are common to both worlds. So I find all discussion of Venus in this context to be a total diversion. We don’t understand Earth’s climate, and our understanding of Venus’s climate is orders of magnitude worse.
Now, I’d said that until you could give me the elevator speech on Huffman, I wouldn’t touch his ideas about Venus at all. I repeat that again in spades. His writing is impenetrable to me. He uses vague words in a vague way, and tries to explain physics with metaphors rather than math. If you can explain his theory with an elevator speech, fine. Otherwise …
All the best,
w.

419. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
January 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Willis Eschenbach, i guess we should stop using Vulcanized rubber and similar “accidents”. Not that I would put any money into a lab that was telling me they were looking for accidents.

Of course you could stumble over something in the dark, kuhnkat. People have done that.
But please, that’s hardly a justification for perpetually stumbling around in the dark.
w.
PS—The scientists who discover stuff ‘by accident’ are generally the ones that do understand the theory …

420. Willis Eschenbach says:
January 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm

PS—You can always tell the newbies, they love the extra digits. For example, we don’t really know the exact average temperature of the earth’s surface. It’s around 14°-15°C, and is usually given as 288K. But Ned gives it as 287.6K. Not two hundred eighty seven and a half degrees, but two eighty seven point six …
——————————————-
Hmmm … so I take it you might not be impressed if a theory said the Earth’s average temperature (not the physical T4) said Earth’s 2m above surface temperature increased by 0.21K over the last 30 years, based on adjusted numbers from 136 U.S. airport locations, plus 7 for Australia, 2 for New Zealand, and about 1100 locations worldwide? It uses 2 decimal points, so it must be 10 times more accurate than Ned’s 287.6K.
Yes, I do know the difference between accuracy and precision. I also have some idea of the ratio of the amount of energy required to raise the T of the oceans by 1K vs. raising the T of the atmosphere by 1K. I haven’t yet figured out how much energy it’d take to raise the ground T 1K to a depth of 3km, but I know that in figuring long-term balance of energy it helps to consider the complete system. Given the low correlation between air temperature over the oceans and the sea surface temperature, it’s clear there is never a local thermal balance, so equations, generally of the partial differential form, are needed, and indicate that averaging of day-night and day of the month variations in temperatures will lead to inaccurate predictions faster than meteorology predictions diverge from observations.

421. [Sorry for the delay Joel. Yesterday was a busy day.]
@Joel Shore
> Most solids and liquids have a basically continuous spectrum
> of excitations at infrared wavelengths so that they behave quite
> close to blackbody radiators and absorbers in this wavelength
> regime. Gases, on the other hand, are much different because
> the molecules are so weakly interacting.
Good point against my “symmetry” argument, which is merely my batty notion that, since knowing the chemical composition of solids was not necessary to estimate planetary temperatures, then why should it be necessary for gases? This is mostly what I find intriguing about the N&Z theory because it suggests that such symmetry (or balance, whatever) exists. It would unify two gas law theories , if it were true (and pigs could fly).
Yes, I agree that solids and liquids behave more like ideal black-bodies, because their absorbtion spectra tend to be continuous, without big gaps like gases. The absorption rules for gases are clearly different. I’m not a “denier” about that.
But the atmosphere is not a separate system, removed from the planet. It is just another layer on top of a more-or-less solid spheroid. It’s just one part of the entire planetary system.
You say that if the atmosphere were transparent, then it would be neglible in the sense of having no warming effect. The radiation would merely pass through, undisturbed. But adding a tiny amount of water vapor and an even tinier amount of C02 changes everything. Now those photons are absorbed, heat is retained, and hallelujah we can take off our overcoats.
Not so fast. Those GHG’s are merely ‘absorbing radiation’, right? Just like rocks do, right? What if I replaced the entire atmosphere with solid rock? Wow, the absorption just pegged the meter. Right? It’s gonna melt!
Actually, no, nothing would happen. It would be “just another airless planet” whose temp follows S-B.
So I’m still not convinced that ‘chemical composition’ has much to do with this, on a planetary scale.
> Seriously, we are supposed to excuse a violation of a fundamental law of physics?
> And, as I have noted, that is not the only thing wrong. In fact, when you get right
> down to it, there is precious little that is right in their whole thing.
In that case, quit picking on the energy violation. If ATE were true, then it would explain the warmth, so there would be no violation. So insisting that ATE, on its own terms, leads to energy violation is not logical in this sense. It’s begging the question.
The weakest part of ATE, IMHO, is this Hoelder integration stuff, which ends up increasing the GHE enhancement from 33K to 133K. Do you accept that? If you can show that’s not true and that 33K is the actual enhancement, then the N&Z collapses internally, based on its own principles.
BTW, I checked paragraph 3.3 in the R.P. book. Were you referring to the part where Ray claims that the radiation at TOA must be cooler than the surface for GH warming to take place?
Thanks for your patience Joel. I’m appreciate you’re willing to discuss these issues with (remarkably ignorant) me.
😐

422. Willis Eschenbach says:

Thomas L says:
January 30, 2012 at 12:41 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm

… PS—You can always tell the newbies, they love the extra digits. For example, we don’t really know the exact average temperature of the earth’s surface. It’s around 14°-15°C, and is usually given as 288K. But Ned gives it as 287.6K. Not two hundred eighty seven and a half degrees, but two eighty seven point six …

——————————————-
Hmmm … so I take it you might not be impressed if a theory said the Earth’s average temperature (not the physical T4) said Earth’s 2m above surface temperature increased by 0.21K over the last 30 years …

I’m not impressed with any theory that claims an accuracy of a hundredth of a degree C for the global temperature. We don’t know global temperature to the nearest hundredth of a degree, either in theory or practice.
w.

423. Phil. says:

John Day says:
January 30, 2012 at 2:56 am
The weakest part of ATE, IMHO, is this Hoelder integration stuff, which ends up increasing the GHE enhancement from 33K to 133K. Do you accept that? If you can show that’s not true and that 33K is the actual enhancement, then the N&Z collapses internally, based on its own principles.

It’s certainly not true as it depends on the assumption of zero heat capacity for the planet’s surface, which is nowhere near true, even for the Moon. Rather than a virtually zero surface temperature the NASA data shows around 100K (N&Z show this in their post). N&Z have studiously avoided addressing this, despite Anthony prompting them too!

424. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

But the atmosphere is not a separate system, removed from the planet. It is just another layer on top of a more-or-less solid spheroid. It’s just one part of the entire planetary system.

Yes…but the atmosphere is above the solid/liquid surface. That is the important thing. It turns out that an atmosphere that absorbs radiation can make the planet’s surface warmer than would be possible if the atmosphere did not absorb any of the radiation emitted by the surface.

In that case, quit picking on the energy violation. If ATE were true, then it would explain the warmth, so there would be no violation. So insisting that ATE, on its own terms, leads to energy violation is not logical in this sense. It’s begging the question.

This makes no sense. You seem to want ATE to serve as the step “…And then a miracle occurs…”. Saying that if ATE were true then it would explain the warmth is TRULY begging the question. You have to be able to explain how a method not involving the absorption of radiation emitted by the planet’s surface can still lead to a surface temperature that exceeds the limit that seems to be placed on it by the constraint of radiative balance.
That is, new mechanisms to explain the warmth still have to obey known physical laws…Or, alternatively, if they don’t, then extraordinary evidence needs to be presented to confirm that these physical laws really are violated.

The weakest part of ATE, IMHO, is this Hoelder integration stuff, which ends up increasing the GHE enhancement from 33K to 133K. Do you accept that? If you can show that’s not true and that 33K is the actual enhancement, then the N&Z collapses internally, based on its own principles.

I have already explained this in great detail and it is unclear to me what part of it you don’t understand. It is true that a planet that has absolutely no atmosphere (and no liquid on the surface and such a slow rotation rate that any heat capacity can be neglected) would have an average temperature about 133 K colder. However, as I have explained many times, we already understand how to get rid of ~100 K of that 133 K discrepancy: It is a simply artifact of the fact that there are lots of different temperature distributions having different average temperatures that all have the same total emission of radiation from the surface and hence all are equally plausible solutions to the condition of radiative balance for the planet. Which distribution (and hence which average temperature) occurs depends on the issues that I talked about: distribution of insolation, heat transport on the planet, rotation rate of the planet, heat capacity, …
However, the highest average temperature a blackbody can have and still be emitting an average of 240 W/m^2 is 255 K. That average temperature occurs for a perfectly uniform distribution. And, it is the difference between 255 K and our planet’s actually average surface temperature of about 288 K (with corresponding average emission of 390 W/m^2 or so) that cannot be explained by any other way except that the atmosphere absorbs some of the radiation emitted by the surface.
Again, it puzzles me why these basic facts seem to be so difficult for you and some others to get your minds around. If you could tell me where you lose the flow of the logic, it would help.

425. Phil. says:

Willis Eschenbach says:
January 30, 2012 at 12:08 am
As an aside, here’s one problem I have with Venus:
As can be seen from above link, partial pressure of CO2 in the Venusian ground atmosphere amounts to ~89 bar and ground temperature to 737 K on average. The “critical point” data of CO2: p(crit.) = 72.9 bar; T(crit.) = 304 K (handbook of physics).
A substance beyond the critical point is neither gas nor fluid, though in general referred to as supercritical fluid. It surely is not a gas and very surely not a trace gas. It is very important to note that the evaporation enthalpy of a substance beyond the critical becomes zero; this means there exists no cooling effect by evaporation, which is a very important energy transfer and cooling mechanism on earth.

There’s a more fundamental problem with the N&Z fitting using the Venus data arising from the supercritical CO2 lower atmosphere. The Ideal Gas Law which they use in their calculation doesn’t apply! For an Ideal gas PV/nRT=1.0, at 90 atm CO2 and 273K PV/nRT =~0.3, for example. To apply their model they’d need to take account of the Compressibility factor at the surface conditions of the Venusian atmosphere. The high temperature reduces the compressibility effect but I see no evidence they’ve even considered it.

426. @Phil.
> It’s certainly not true as it depends on the assumption
> of zero heat capacity for the planet’s surface, which is
> nowhere near true, even for the Moon.
Let me see if I understand correctly. Are you claiming that N&Z stated explicitly that there is zero heat capacity, or that they didn’t include a heat-capacity term in their formulation?
If the latter, giving them the benefit of doubt, perhaps it is the case that heat capacity is not needed here.
Yes, it’s obvious that all solid materials have non-zero heat capacity. But surprisingly (to me at least), at the planetary level, the surface temperature estimate returned by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation seems to be independent of surface composition (and therefore surface heat capacity).
This is probably, as Joel pointed out, due to the broad, continuous spectra of solids and liquids. At a planetary scale they all tend to look alike, so you only need to supply insolation and emissivity to get a good wag on the surface temperature.
Does that help resolve the heat-capacity problem you’re talking about?
😐

427. @Joel Shore
> This makes no sense. You seem to want ATE to serve as the step
> “…And then a miracle occurs…”. Saying that if ATE were true then
> it would explain the warmth is TRULY begging the question.
No, I’m not asking you to believe in miracles, but merely to accept the premise for the sake of argument, because we have not been fully informed on how the ATE step actually works i.e. we’re still waiting for N&Z to publish enough details to get our heads completely around it. At that point we might discover that it specifies a perpetual-motion machine, or similar nonsense. But I don’t think we can confidently state we understand ATE to make that claim (correct me if I’m wrong).
At stake here is credibility. As soon as it is learned that a theory actually violates energy, the theory is toast. I wouldn’t give it the time of day. So, I don’t think it’s fair to give the theory that kind of mortal handicap until we understand it completely under the terms of their arguments.
So, we can’t just say “I don’t completely know how your ATE thingy works, but it obviously violates energy conservation because _we_ believe GHG’s are the only true way for this to happen, even though you claim it is a different (and the correct) mechanism to explain this warming.
Thus basing your falsification merely on the fact that it doesn’t recognize GHG-GHE would be begging the question. Or maybe it would help to call it begging the falsification, since falsification is the tool you have chosen to dislodge this question, in a formal logic sense.
Now, on the other hand, if you think you understand ATE enough to prove it violates energy then by all means call them out on it. (But, again, you can’t say it’s because they don’t believe in GHG’s, because that’s theory _they_ are trying to dislodge .
As an illustration [git!], it would be like the followers of Ptolemy insisting that Copernicus was wrong because his theory didn’t have enough epicycles in it [or too many epicycles, according to the anonymous git]
😐

428. @Joel Shore
> Again, it puzzles me why these basic facts seem to be so
> difficult for you and some others to get your minds around.
In my case, it’s partly because I was only “skimming” the N&Z issues then. So I missed some of your previous arguments. Sorry.
Let me look back and see I can get back up to date on the Hoelder issue.
Also, I have been studying your “basic stuff you need to know” above. I have a question or two about that, which I’ll also present to you for clarification later this evening. Thanks.
😐

429. Phil. says:

[Phil, you accidentally copied and pasted into your comment about half the comments in the thread. Your comment ended up hundreds and hundreds of lines long. I couldn’t figure out which of the thousands of words were yours, so I’m sorry, but you’ll have to post it again. My apologies, but it nearly doubled the length of the comments thread. w.]

430. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says:
January 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

@Joel Shore

> This makes no sense. You seem to want ATE to serve as the step
> “…And then a miracle occurs…”. Saying that if ATE were true then
> it would explain the warmth is TRULY begging the question.

No, I’m not asking you to believe in miracles, but merely to accept the premise for the sake of argument, because we have not been fully informed on how the ATE step actually works i.e. we’re still waiting for N&Z to publish enough details to get our heads completely around it. At that point we might discover that it specifies a perpetual-motion machine, or similar nonsense. But I don’t think we can confidently state we understand ATE to make that claim (correct me if I’m wrong).

Sorry, John, but science doesn’t work that way. Scientists don’t accept outlandish claims “for the sake of argument”.
The problem is exactly what you point out. Nobody can explain, and therefore nobody understands, N&Z. Until we do understand it, I for one will never accept it “for the sake of argument”. Why on earth would I want to do that? How can I argue either in favor of or against something I don’t understand?
Until you can explain it, it’s a claim of a miracle. My policy is … never discuss miracles with a true believer … or with an unbeliever, for that matter. Call me crazy, but I’m into facts.
w.

431. Joel Shore says:

John Day:
I think Willis very well-expressed what I would say in response to you. And, of course, when N&Z publish more details, I will read them. But, I think at this point, believing that they are going to come up with some sort of compelling argument about how their “theory” can satisfy conservation of energy is about as likely as believing that the next time that I play basketball, I am going to play as well as Michael Jordan. One cannot, strictly speaking, rule out the possibility…but nothing so far has given us any reason to expect this.
We already know that what we have gotten from N&Z are boneheaded errors: They don’t know how to add in convection to a radiative model of the greenhouse effect (and think they are the only ones who do know how to do it). They don’t understand how to apply conservation of energy to a planet that is receiving energy from the sun. They believe that a 4-free-parameter fit constitutes a miracle.

432. jae says:

Willis:
“In other words, what’s happening on Venus is unlikely to be directly comparable to what’s happening on the Earth. I doubt we can draw many inferences that are common to both worlds. So I find all discussion of Venus in this context to be a total diversion. We don’t understand Earth’s climate, and our understanding of Venus’s climate is orders of magnitude worse.
Now, I’d said that until you could give me the elevator speech on Huffman, I wouldn’t touch his ideas about Venus at all. I repeat that again in spades. His writing is impenetrable to me. He uses vague words in a vague way, and tries to explain physics with metaphors rather than math. If you can explain his theory with an elevator speech, fine. Otherwise …”
OK, I’m done, Willis. Especially if even Huffman can’t even come to his own defense! I thought he had presented some good empirical evidence. Perhaps not.
BTW, FWIW, I was not in any way trying to set a standard to which YOU would aspire, but one which I could aspire.
And the “messing” is arrogant, to say the least.

433. Phil. says:

Phil. says:
January 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm
[Phil, you accidentally copied and pasted into your comment about half the comments in the thread. Your comment ended up hundreds and hundreds of lines long. I couldn’t figure out which of the thousands of words were yours, so I’m sorry, but you’ll have to post it again. My apologies, but it nearly doubled the length of the comments thread. w.]

Sorry, using iPhone I didn’t see that!

434. John Day says:

@Joel Shore
> One cannot, strictly speaking, rule out the possibility…
> but nothing so far has given us any reason to expect this.
That is essentially the attitude that I am advocating. Possibly correct until proven false.
With respect to that 100K Hoelder discrepancy: earlier you said …

Or, to put it another way, conservation of energy (radiative balance) REQUIRES that a planet with a more uniform temperature distribution (and the same total insolation from the sun) be at a higher average temperature than a planet with a less uniform temperature distribution. Of the 8 bodies that N&Z studied, this is practically the sole reason why the average surface temperature exceeds their calculated T_sb for 5 of them and the majority reason for another two (Earth and Titan). [For example, in the case of Earth, it accounts for ~75% of the purported 133 K discrepancy, with the radiative greenhouse effect accounting for the other ~25%.]

So you agree with Nikolov on the method of integration, but you interpret the 100K difference has being caused by the non-uniform distribution of surface temps, so Tmean < Tmax. Else if strictly uniform then Tmean=Tmax. That actually makes sense now.
What are the major non-uniformities? Perhaps the night-vs-dayside and equator-vs-polar distributions?

435. Phil. says:

John Day says:
January 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm
@Phil.
> It’s certainly not true as it depends on the assumption
> of zero heat capacity for the planet’s surface, which is
> nowhere near true, even for the Moon.
Let me see if I understand correctly. Are you claiming that N&Z stated explicitly that there is zero heat capacity, or that they didn’t include a heat-capacity term in their formulation?

Their basic assumption that the surface temperature is zero where the insolation is zero implicitly means zero heat capacity. They include no heat capacity term in their formula.
If the latter, giving them the benefit of doubt, perhaps it is the case that heat capacity is not needed here.
No benefit of the doubt it’s flat out wrong, as is clearly shown by the NASA data for the moon which they quoted.
Does that help resolve the heat-capacity problem you’re talking about?
😐

No, it’s responsible for their large error in the calculation of the surface temperature because of the large effect on the temperature distribution.

436. Willis Eschenbach says:

jae says:
January 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

… BTW, FWIW, I was not in any way trying to set a standard to which YOU would aspire, but one which I could aspire.
And the “messing” is arrogant, to say the least.

My apologies, jae, if I did not understand what you meant when you said:

… Willis hasn’t “won” until he has refuted all the empirical evidence presented by Huffman for Venus.

Trying to dictate to a man the conditions under which you will concede that he has won is … well, let me just say that I’m not the only man who might misinterpret your statement.
You don’t get to say something like ‘you haven’t won until you do a back flip holding a coffee cup’. You also don’t get to say I haven’t won because I haven’t read some jerk you think has the inside track on perpetual motion. And yes, I am sensitive to that, perhaps overly so.
But it’s because I get that kind of garbage all the time ‘but willis, you must read this garbage, you must consider this impossibility’.
So I do apologize, jae, and I also want you to understand what your demand, that I consider your pet theory, looks like from this side.
My best regards to you,
w.

437. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
January 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Willis and Pompous,
here are 9 more, although some are more engineering type than pure research:
http://science.discovery.com/brink/top-ten/accidental-inventions/inventions.html

Although I appreciate your link, kuhnkat, I know about that stuff, there’s even a word for it. Serendipity, the lucky accident.
As I said before, the fact that people have stumbled over things in the dark doesn’t mean we should all go stumbling around in the dark, experimenting at random and hoping for the best.
So yes, Konrad may indeed be able to pull an experiment out of his … chance imaginings and have it provide valuable information. But that’s not how smart scientists play the experiment game, kuhnkat.
Smart scientists first study the theory until they understand all its parts. Then and only then, they design an experiment to either falsify or support whatever they see as the most vulnerable part of the theory. They are careful to design it to avoid as many confounding variables as possible, and to be able to measure the ones they can’t avoid.
Next, smart scientists say in advance what it is that they expect their results to be if the theory is right, and what they expect to find if the theory is wrong. That’s what the experiment is for, after all—to test the theory. The only way to do that is to design an experiment that can discriminate, that will give different results depending on whether it is true or false.
So sure, Konrad might find something stumbling around in the dark. It’s just that the smart money’s not betting on it. How will you interpret the results if you don’t understand the theory? How will you recognize the unusual if you don’t know what to expect?
w.

• kuhnkat says:

Willis,
you played cards and never figured out overplaying your hand away from the table??

438. Willis Eschenbach says:

John Day says [emphasis mine]:
January 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

@Joel Shore

One cannot, strictly speaking, rule out the possibility…but nothing so far has given us any reason to expect this.

That is essentially the attitude that I am advocating. Possibly correct until proven false.

John, the attitude that Joel is advocating is not what you claim.
He is advocating the attitude of “Almost certainly incorrect until proven false” whenever dealing with folks who make claims contrary to the Laws of Thermodynamics.
As am I. They don’t call it a Law for nothing. It is a law because it applies everywhere in all situations and nobody has ever found a single instance of it being violated. Not one. So if someone says they have, their claims are almost certainly incorrect.
w

439. @Willis
> … the attitude that Joel is advocating is not what you _claim_.
No, I _claimed_ (after reading that comment by Joel) “That is essentially the attitude that I am advocating. ”
Putting words in my mouth again you are.
Everyone is entitled to advocate whatever floats their boat.

440. DeWitt Payne says:

There is, in fact, a database for high temperature CO2 absorption/emission lines. It’s called HITEMP ( see description here). I calculated some spectra for a Venus-like atmosphere using HITEMP at Spectralcalc. A supercritical fluid is still more gas than fluid so it doesn’t behave quite like a black body. There are a few windows in the CO2 spectrum even at 700K and 92bar. However, they are mostly filled by water vapor and sulfur dioxide. As I remember, I calculated that at the surface, there was about 5 W/m² less downwelling radiation than upwelling radiation (out of ~14,000 W/m²). But the average flux from sunlight at the surface is at least 9 W/m².

441. @DeWitt Payne
> I calculated some spectra for a Venus-like
> atmosphere using HITEMP at Spectralcalc.
Very interesting. Is there a way to see some of the plots you generated?

442. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

So you agree with Nikolov on the method of integration, but you interpret the 100K difference has being caused by the non-uniform distribution of surface temps, so Tmean < Tmax. Else if strictly uniform then Tmean=Tmax. That actually makes sense now.
What are the major non-uniformities? Perhaps the night-vs-dayside and equator-vs-polar distributions?

Yes…In particular, the calculation that Nikolov and Zeller have done to determine the average temperature for an airless planet, T_sb, assumes that the temperature at a particular point on the planet’s surface at a particular time is just the value necessary so that this point is emitting back out into space exactly as much power as it is receiving from the sun. So, for example, the half of the planet that is not facing the sun is assumed to be at a temperature of absolute zero (which they then correct to ~3 K) because it isn’t receiving any power from the sun. These assumptions result in a very uneven temperature distribution on the planet and that is why their T_sb value is so low.

443. @Joel Shore
> These assumptions result in a very uneven temperature
> distribution on the planet and that is why their T_sb value is so low.
Ok, I think I am understanding this, but that last sentence threw me a bit. If their distributions are very uneven, wouldn’t we expect T_sb to be low? i.e. lower than for a uniform distribution, given the same insolation? Is it just that 3K is too low? If so, what value is expected for the backside?

444. DeWitt Payne says:

John Day,
Here’s the only one I could find quickly. It’s a plot of the absorption spectrum rather than emission, but it shows the windows with no other gas present than CO2. In case you can’t read the fine print, it’s a plot from 500-5500cm-1 with a path length of 500m, total pressure 92bar of which 96% is CO2. To get emission, one would multiply the Planck equation at each wavenumber and T=730K by the absorptivity at that wavenumber. If I did my sums correctly, peak emission at 730K is at 1431cm-1. I did the calculations in Excel and even broken down into smaller ranges, things were unwieldy. The spreadsheets got so large they wouldn’t open in XP, but would, barely, in Win7. The problem with line-by-line programs is that the resolution must be so high that an enormous number of points are generated. The text files were multi-megabytes.

445. Phil. says:

John Day says:
January 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm
@Joel Shore
> These assumptions result in a very uneven temperature
> distribution on the planet and that is why their T_sb value is so low.
Ok, I think I am understanding this, but that last sentence threw me a bit. If their distributions are very uneven, wouldn’t we expect T_sb to be low? i.e. lower than for a uniform distribution, given the same insolation? Is it just that 3K is too low? If so, what value is expected for the backside?

For the moon you’d expect more like 100K (they plot it from NASA in their response), that’s the result of not including surface heat capacty.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/image38.png

446. @Phil.
> For the moon you’d expect more like 100K (they plot it from
> NASA in their response), that’s the result of not including surface heat capacity.
So, I missed the previous message traffic on this. are you saying that N&Z have never responded at all to this issue? Seems rather crucial (now that I understand where you’re coming from, wrt heat capacity. Sorry for the confusion). I guess a faster rotating airless planet would have an even warmer backside.

447. @DeWitt Payne
> Here’s the only one I could find quickly.
Got it. Thanks.

448. Phil. says:

John Day says:
January 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm
@Phil.
> For the moon you’d expect more like 100K (they plot it from
> NASA in their response), that’s the result of not including surface heat capacity.
So, I missed the previous message traffic on this. are you saying that N&Z have never responded at all to this issue?

Not as far as I’m aware, Anthony even followed up on it, they have responded on here since but not addressed heat capacity.
Seems rather crucial (now that I understand where you’re coming from, wrt heat capacity. Sorry for the confusion). I guess a faster rotating airless planet would have an even warmer backside.
I would expect that too for the same heat capacity and heat transfer coefficient.

449. @me
>… are you saying that N&Z have never responded at all to this issue?
I think I found it in their first response (below). Looking at the sentence I bolded, I can see why you object. Actually, they do seem to address heat capacity, in the sense that temperature distribution would become more uniform. So, yes, the average temp should rise, given the same insolation. I don’t see how spinning faster would change the effective power input over time.
So they have never responded to this objection? Hmm.
😐

(N&Z)
In a recent analytical study, Smith (2008) argued that Eq. (5) only describes the mean temperature of a non-rotating planet and that, if axial rotation and thermal capacity of the surface are explicitly accounted for, the average temperature of an airless planet would approach the effective emission temperature. It is beyond the scope of the current article to mathematically prove the fallacy of this argument. However, we will point out that increasing the mean equilibrium temperature of a physical body always requires a net input of extra energy. Adding axial rotation to a stationary planet residing in a vacuum, where there is no friction with the external environment does not provide any additional heat energy to the planet surface. Faster rotation and/or higher thermal inertia of the ground would only facilitate a more efficient spatial distribution of the absorbed solar energy,thus increasing the uniformity of the resulting temperature field across the planet surface, but could not affect the average surface temperature. Hence, Eq. (6) correctly describe (within the assumption of albedo uniformity) the global mean temperature of any airless planet, be it rotating or non-rotating.

450. @N&Z
> would only facilitate a more efficient spatial distribution of the absorbed solar energy
Those words above occur just before the bolded section. This seems to be their explanation for why the average temp would not rise, i.e. due to “more efficient spatial distribution”.
What do they mean by that?

451. @me
> What do they mean by that?
(Talking to myself, sorry). Maybe they mean higher power outflux according to S-B because of the fourth power of temperature creating some kind of exponential gain?

452. Joel Shore says:

John Day says:

So, I missed the previous message traffic on this. are you saying that N&Z have never responded at all to this issue? Seems rather crucial (now that I understand where you’re coming from, wrt heat capacity. Sorry for the confusion). I guess a faster rotating airless planet would have an even warmer backside.

Personally, I am less concerned about what is a realistic value for T_sb than I am that they are making people believe that there is 133 K that needs to be explained when in fact we already understand the explanation of 100 K of it: I.e., that there can be a variety of different temperature distributions with different average temperatures that all satisfy radiative balance.
If they want their T_sb to represent a planet with such a slow rotation rate and small heat capacity that their approximation for the temperature distribution is valid, then fine. But, don’t pretend it is any big mystery why real planets have a higher average temperature than this (because they have a more uniform temperature distribution)!

Those words above occur just before the bolded section. This seems to be their explanation for why the average temp would not rise, i.e. due to “more efficient spatial distribution”.

No…What they are saying regarding the more efficient spatial distribution is simply that they agree that such a planet would not have as non-uniform a distribution as they imagined with their approximation that the instantaneous local temperature is just determined by radiative balance with the instantaneous local insolation. However, they still think that the average temperature would be the same. They explain clearly why they think this:

However, we will point out that increasing the mean equilibrium temperature of a physical body always requires a net input of extra energy. Adding axial rotation to a stationary planet residing in a vacuum, where there is no friction with the external environment does not provide any additional heat energy to the planet surface.

And, this statement makes it clear that they are clueless as to how to apply conservation of energy. They think that a planet receiving gobs of energy from the sun and emitting gobs of energy back out into space can be treated as if it were isolated. Hence, they think that the constraint on the planet is that its thermal energy can’t change.
In fact, the planet is nowhere close to being an isolated system and the constraint on it is that it must emit back out into space the same amount as it absorbs from the sun.
This is a huge and very fundamental error that they make!

453. jimmi_the_dalek says:

N+Z as quoted above are incorrect
” However, we will point out that increasing the mean equilibrium temperature of a physical body always requires a net input of extra energy. ”
Increasing the mean amount of radiated energy always requires a net input of extra energy, but increasing the mean temperature does not, because the T^4 dependence. This is easily shown by example. Consider a planet which for some reason had one hemisphere at 200K, and the other at 400K. The warmer hemisphere is emitting 16 times as much energy. Now even out the temperatures such that the hemispheres are equal. At what temperature is the same amount of energy emitted? Well it is not 300K – it is in fact 341K. Any evening out of the temperature distribution results in a higher mean temperature, provided the input energy remains constant.

454. Phil. says:

jimmi_the_dalek says:
January 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm
N+Z as quoted above are incorrect
” However, we will point out that increasing the mean equilibrium temperature of a physical body always requires a net input of extra energy. ”
Increasing the mean amount of radiated energy always requires a net input of extra energy, but increasing the mean temperature does not, because the T^4 dependence. This is easily shown by example. Consider a planet which for some reason had one hemisphere at 200K, and the other at 400K. The warmer hemisphere is emitting 16 times as much energy. Now even out the temperatures such that the hemispheres are equal. At what temperature is the same amount of energy emitted? Well it is not 300K – it is in fact 341K. Any evening out of the temperature distribution results in a higher mean temperature, provided the input energy remains constant.

Indeed that’s the whole point about Holder’s inequality, it is the mean T^4 which will be constant regardless of the distribution of T. The max mean T corresponds to a uniform distribution and for a radiatively heat planet (from a single source) the N&Z gives the minimum mean T (also the most unrealistic unlike the uniform case which is not a bad assumption for the earth).

455. I’m studying the paper related to this (Arthur Smith 2008), where Smith is explaining the non-rotating planet bit, in section IIIA. He assumes that, for his particular example, emissivity is 1, but albedo is independent, if I’m reading the words correctly.
[Possibly dumb question] Isn’t emissivity tied to albedo through Kirchoff’s Law of Thermal Radiation, which asserts that emissivity must be equal absorptivity?
In any case, it’s strange that N&Z rejected Smith’s paper here as ‘beyond the scope’ of their piece. Hard to imagine any rebuttal so complicated or subtle that it couldn’t be summarized (or at least catalogued by variety) in a sentence or two. Does look like a bluff.
😐

456. William M. Connolley says:

> Isn’t emissivity tied to albedo
At a given frequency. LW emmisivity is indep of SW albedo. Sfc LW emissivity is usually ~1. SW albedo varies with sfc type (and wavelength too, if you want detail).

457. Joel Shore says:

@John Day: Just to expand on what William said…
First of all “LW” stands for “long wave” (meaning wavelengths associated with typical terrestrial radiation, i.e., from a body having a temperature of around 300 K) and “SW” stands for “short wave” (meaning wavelengths associated with typical solar radiation, i.e., from a body having a temperature of around 6000 K).
The fact that absorptivity and emissivity depend on wavelength is what allows for the possibility of a greenhouse effect, because it allows for the fact that our atmosphere is more transparent to shortwave radiation than it is to longwave radiation.

458. @Stoat
> albedo varies with sfc type (and wavelength too.
That’s immaterial here (pun intended). These coefficients relate incoming and outgoing energy with respect to the solar constant S, which Smith clearly defines as the “integral over all wavelengths and propagation directions”. So, frequencies have been marginalized here.
I’m thinking it might time-related, in today-out tomorrow, so related to potential energy. But over long enough time window, Kirchofff must hold, right?
Or perhaps Smith is being a little loose and general here. But what I’ve read so far is drum-tight, seems to be a well-written monograph.
Joel, Phil. or DeWitt, can you help me out here?
😐

459. William M. Connolley says:

Solar power is negligible in the LW, compared to the SW. He is probably using one albedo (=1-emissivity) across all the SW, and another for the LW (=infra red, =terrestrial thermal radiation). It is what everyone else does, at that level of simplification.

460. @Stoat
> Solar power is negligible in the LW, compared to the SW.
True statement, but immaterial in the Smith paper because the frequency variable has been marginalized. Only ‘x’ (surface location) and ‘t’ (time) appear as parameters in his equations 1 through (12), after which we encounter this statement (pg 3) that I was pondering (and probably misinterpreting):
“Emissivity is assumed to be 1 everywhere; like S and a are uniform”
Doesn’t e=1 imply a perfect black body, hence a=0?
😐

• William M. Connolley says:

It would probably be best to post a link to, or full ref to, the Smith paper you’re trying to understand.

461. Oops, make that “likewise S and a are uniform”

462. > …best to post a link …
Smith, A. 2008. Proof of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Atmos. Oceanic Phys. arXiv:0802.4324v1 [physics.ao-ph]
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0802/0802.4324v1.pdf
It’s the “(Smith, 2008)” paper that N&Z referenced in their Part I reply, in the part that I quoted above.
Looks like Smith wrote this in 2008 as a rebuttal to yet another theory similar to N&Z.

463. Thanks. Smith says “Emissivity is assumed to be 1 everywhere; likewise S and a are uniform”.
e=1 means the LW (= infra-red = terrestrial heat radiation) emissivity is assumed to be 1. As I said, that is what people usually assume. So the LW albedo of the sfc is zero, if you like to think of it that way.
“Deﬁne the albedo a of the planet as the fraction of incoming irradiance that is reﬂected”
So “the albedo” means the SW (=visible) albedo. “incoming irradiance” means SW, because (as I said) so little of it overlaps with the LW that it can be neglected.
Note that Smith is ignoring variations of the albedo with frequency; he is effectively assuming that all the incoming radiation is at a single freq (or equivalently, that the albedo is constant across the SW band), which is an acceptable simplification for the level he is looking at. Don’t confuse that with his integration across space.
Actually, he says explicitly “S is an integral over all wavelengths”; because the fraction of LW in solar is negligible, that is effectively an integral across SW only.
It would be helpful if Smith explicitly stated that he is treating LW and SW as non-overlapping; this is such a common procedure that he probably just forgot. The situation is indeed as I said at 2012 at 11:13 am.

464. Phil. says:

William M. Connolley says:
February 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm
Thanks. Smith says “Emissivity is assumed to be 1 everywhere; likewise S and a are uniform”.
e=1 means the LW (= infra-red = terrestrial heat radiation) emissivity is assumed to be 1. As I said, that is what people usually assume. So the LW albedo of the sfc is zero, if you like to think of it that way.
“Deﬁne the albedo a of the planet as the fraction of incoming irradiance that is reﬂected”
So “the albedo” means the SW (=visible) albedo. “incoming irradiance” means SW, because (as I said) so little of it overlaps with the LW that it can be neglected.
Note that Smith is ignoring variations of the albedo with frequency; he is effectively assuming that all the incoming radiation is at a single freq (or equivalently, that the albedo is constant across the SW band), which is an acceptable simplification for the level he is looking at. Don’t confuse that with his integration across space.
Actually, he says explicitly “S is an integral over all wavelengths”; because the fraction of LW in solar is negligible, that is effectively an integral across SW only.
It would be helpful if Smith explicitly stated that he is treating LW and SW as non-overlapping; this is such a common procedure that he probably just forgot. The situation is indeed as I said at 2012 at 11:13 am.

I posted similar to this referring to Bond albedo but it got lost, note that it’s the “fraction of incoming irradiance that is reﬂected”, so only the incoming wavelengths are considered. Even if 10 micron radiation and above constituted 0.1% of the incoming and had an emissivity of 0.98 its contribution to the albedo is negligible (0.001* 0.02).

465. Ok, I was overlooking that Kirchoff’s Law is frequency dependent. Makes sense now. Thanks.

466. Christoph Dollis says:

I’m not trying to be a jerk about it, and yes I can — without hardly being a math expert — at least follow it written this way, but don’t you have a math program you can create images in where you can use multiple lines and more standard notation?

467. Christoph Dollis says:

“I discussed this above and acknowledged the possibility that it was not a parameter … including the fact that still leaves four parameters and eight data points. The oddity that confused me is that to get 29.3966 from your formula there you need to have an emissivity of 0.955, which seems strange. But no matter, four parameters is plenty to be too many.”

And thus the walkback starts — beginning with a stunning admission!

468. Christoph Dollis says:

Ira Glickstein, PhD says:
January 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm
WIllis, it does not surprise me that a “cowboy” like you was one of the first to spot bullshit when you saw it. Great work on this Topic thread, I no longer give any scientific credence to the work of N&Z. THANKS!
– Ira

This isn’t very logical of you, Ira.
Even if Willis is totally right, he recounts a famous story where Freemon Dyson, of all people, proudly brought gibberish mathematical physics to the attention of Enrico Fermi. Yet we’ve still heard of Dyson and he did good work.
So your statement about what you will allow yourself to consider in the future is unsound.

469. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 5:36 am

Ira Glickstein, PhD says:
January 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm

WIllis, it does not surprise me that a “cowboy” like you was one of the first to spot bullshit when you saw it. Great work on this Topic thread, I no longer give any scientific credence to the work of N&Z. THANKS!
– Ira

This isn’t very logical of you, Ira.
Even if Willis is totally right, he recounts a famous story where Freemon Dyson, of all people, proudly brought gibberish mathematical physics to the attention of Enrico Fermi. Yet we’ve still heard of Dyson and he did good work.
So your statement about what you will allow yourself to consider in the future is unsound.

The difference is that when it was pointed out to him that he was just curve fitting, Dyson acknowledged his mistake and learned from it.
When it was pointed out to N&Z that they were just curve fitting, N&Z refused to either acknowledge their mistake or learn from it.
As a result, Ira’s statement is perfectly reasonable.
w.

• Willis stated:
” When it was pointed out to N&Z that they were just curve fitting, N&Z refused to either acknowledge their mistake or learn from it. As a result, Ira’s statement is perfectly reasonable. w”
Of course, you never seem to consider that they weren’t CURVE FITTING. Did you actually ask them politiely whether they had tried other values for the parameters before settling on what they have?? They may have done the calculations and came up with a “miraculous” result. YOU did the curve fitting finding other equations that worked that is simply SOP.

470. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 3:30 am

I’m not trying to be a jerk about it, and yes I can — without hardly being a math expert — at least follow it written this way, but don’t you have a math program you can create images in where you can use multiple lines and more standard notation?

I haven’t a clue what non-standard notation you think I’m using … more detail in the post would be useful. As I have said many times, QUOTE MY WORDS if you disagree with them. Otherwise, as in this case, people may have no clue what you are on about.
w.

471. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 4:57 am

“I discussed this above and acknowledged the possibility that it was not a parameter … including the fact that still leaves four parameters and eight data points. The oddity that confused me is that to get 29.3966 from your formula there you need to have an emissivity of 0.955, which seems strange. But no matter, four parameters is plenty to be too many.”

And thus the walkback starts — beginning with a stunning admission!

So … what was the “stunning admission!”??
Was it where I admitted that four parameters is enough to fit an elephant? Was it where I admitted that I doubted that the fifth number was not a parameter?
Once again, your writing is totally opaque, Christoph.
w.
PS—”And thus the walkback starts” sounds like a line from some movie I haven’t watched, but I don’t see any sign of anyone walking back. I said above, and I still say, that Equation 8 is just a trivial exercise in curve fitting. I’m not walking back an inch from that true statement.
And N&Z continue to insist that fitting an elephant, with four (or five) parameters, only 8 points to fit, and free choice of equation, is a MIRACLE! They’re not walking back from their inanity.
If I understand your posts, they have one more rube totally fooled … if you run over to Tallbloke’s Talkshop, they’re still peddling their snake oil there, you can get in on the fun.

472. Joel Shore says:

kuhnkat says:

Of course, you never seem to consider that they weren’t CURVE FITTING. Did you actually ask them politiely whether they had tried other values for the parameters before settling on what they have?? They may have done the calculations and came up with a “miraculous” result. YOU did the curve fitting finding other equations that worked that is simply SOP.

We know that they did curve fitting because they told us that they did curve fitting ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/ ):

However, we discovered that NTE was strongly related to total surface pressure through a nearly perfect regression fit via the following nonlinear function:

And, now they have admitted (or, strangely enough, bragged) that they shopped around extensively for the nonlinear function that they chose to fit with ( http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/nikolov-zeller-reply-eschenbach/ ):

Mr. Eschenbach does not know that we have extensively experimented with exponential functions containing various numbers of free parameters many months before he became aware of our theory, and we have found that it takes a minimum of 4 parameters to accurately describe the highly non-linear relationship between NTE and surface pressure (Eq. 7).

So, it takes a minimum of 4 parameters to fit 8 pieces of data…and, as Robert Brown has argued, of those 8, only 5 are fit well. (It is hard to notice that the other 3 don’t fit all that well because they are scrunched up on the left-hand side of the plot where N_TE vs pressure rises so steeply.)
That is not the sort of “miracle” that is worth abandoning conservation of energy and one’s senses to embrace!

• Joel Shore,
you claim they were curve fitting. So, the parameters they are using have nothing to do with gravity, pressure, mass, albedo… Just a curve fitting exercise.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

473. Joel Shore says:

I just can’t resist pointing out this comment over at Tallbloke’s http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/nikolov-zeller-reply-eschenbach/#comment-16985 wherein David M Hoffer has claimed to have found something that would be a violation of Holder’s Inequality!
It rests on the fact that David doesn’t realize that if you have 24 values, half of which are zero, you still have to divide by 24 and not 12 to get the average! (Actually, he did realize this when he computed the average of the power radiated, just not the temperature, so maybe it was just a simple arithmetic error on his part.)
Gotta love how these guys think they can find examples that violate a rigorously-proven mathematical theorem!

474. Christoph Dollis says:

Willis Eschenbach, Re your February 10, 2012 at 10:59 am comment:
I’m going to let it play out. I haven’t even looked into what they’ve done in great depth yet. Beginning that is one of the things on the agenda for late tonight, for my curiosity. It’s an interesting, simple idea. It’s something that makes intuitive sense, but so do a lot of things including the mainstream AGW theory, which I don’t believe fits the data.
I do notice you seem to have an emotional investment in this over and above what the numbers are. I guess that makes sense; it’s your work and your competence that’s been called into question and vice versa.
Anyway, persuading me should only be of minor concern as I’m one voice in a much larger debate, which will not ultimately be settled by popular vote (one hopes).
I also find Henrik Svensmark’s work interesting and am curious what you think of his model. There seems to be a good data fit on short and long timescales as well as a simple, intuitively easily to understand and visualize physical model of how it works.
Also, as far as notation goes, of course your notation is accepted. I just meant it would be that easier to visualize if created in Latex with raised superscripts, two lines, and the like. It’s an aesthetic point, not a substantive one. It was just a suggestion, and I know it’s a minor one.
But I kind of like mathematical symbolic aesthetics.
Keep up the work. I appreciate your efforts and thought on these matters.
I DO think that discounting someone’s future work in advance because they don’t immediately back down when challenged isn’t in keeping with the best principles of scientific inquiry. Even if they’re wrong, you’re not as prominent now as was Enrico Fermi then, and it may take them longer to come to the realization.
We are all psychological beings, after all. If that wasn’t the case, the climate debate would be going much smoother, wouldn’t it?

475. Christoph Dollis says:

That is not the sort of “miracle” that is worth abandoning conservation of energy and one’s senses to embrace!

Since I last commented and before reading this comment, I’ve certainly been thinking about the conversation of energy and Anthony’s stated objection to same. I can imagine only one place the system might get energy to maintain temperature from at this point, and will have to read more to see if that’s what the authors mean and how they imagine this happens.
But my not understanding this aspect of their model doesn’t prove it it violates conservation of energy — rather, that tonight will begin further thought.
Willis, when I referred to your walkback it was because in your main post you definitely claimed there are 5 free parameters and now you are allowing that there may only be 4 (even though you think the correct number is still 5). So that is a walkback and I was not out of line for saying so. I certainly understand your broader position that 4 tunable parameters (2 pairs of linked) is still too small with such a small data set.
You are too quick to conclude that if someone takes issue with something you say, it necessarily means they have discarded; lock, stock, and barrel; everything you are saying, or that they are going to disappear off to your intellectual opponents’ blog to engage in unreasoned, closed-minded rah rah cheering sessions: in fact, it’s a little arrogant with a touch of petulance.
But I’ll overlook that because I can do that too.
My main purpose here is curiosity and wonder with a desire to figure out what’s going on, and also to support sound policies as a result.
But mostly the first thing. In that regard, I suspect you, I, Nikolev, Zeller, and of course out esteemed host, have something in common.

476. Smokey says:

Christoph Dollis says:
“…I’ve certainly been thinking about the conversation of energy…”
I have conversations about energy all the time.☺

477. Christoph Dollis says:

Ha ha.
Well spotted.

478. Joel Shore says:

I think today I have had a major breakthrough in a sociological aspect of the N&Z phenomenon that has been puzzling me, which is why the followers of N&Z find their claim that their theory follows from the ideal gas law to be so compelling when it is so clearly a falsehood to those of us more familiar with using the ideal gas law.
I mean, their argument essentially consists of writing down PV = nRT, saying “and then a miracle occurs” and then writing down the four-parameter fit that they have used. How could this possibly be at all convincing?
Why such logic should prove so compelling to some has been mysterious to me until I realized that the answer was right under my nose: For the last 5 quarters in a row now, I have been teaching the quarter of introductory physics where we do a little bit of thermodynamics, including the ideal gas law. One particular exercise we do is present the ideal gas law and the law that E_th = (3/2)nRT where E_th is the thermal energy of the (monatomic) ideal gas, have the students predict what will happen under certain scenarios, and then have them run a kinetic simulation of an ideal gas to test their predictions.
There is one scenario that invariably trips up nearly all of the students: We tell them that an ideal gas has the number of moles n doubled while keeping the volume V and thermal energy E_th constant and ask them what happens to the pressure. They nearly all predict that the pressure doubles and are then surprised when the simulation shows them that the pressure doesn’t change.
I then go over this scenario with them in detail, first presenting what I assume to be their incorrect reasoning, namely that pV = nRT implies that p must double if n doubles and V remains constant. I explain to them that in fact they can’t draw any conclusion from the ideal gas law alone because they don’t know what happens to T. I then explain to them how they first have to look at the equation E_th = (3/2)nRT, from which they are forced to conclude that T gets cut in half (since this is the only way for E_th to remain constant when n doubles). Only then, once they know what T does can they use pV = nRT to uniquely determine what p does (i.e., that it remains unchanged).
The fascinating thing is that even given the simulation, the explanation of the error in their logic, and an explanation of the correct method of solving the problem, if I give the students either the exact same problem or a slight variation on this problem a few weeks later (like on the exam), the majority of them will STILL get it wrong!
The desire to just look at the equation pV = nRT and determine from it how the pressure changes when you change n is just too powerful to be resisted for most students and this is in a case where (unlike the case with N&Z’s theory) the students have no preference for what they want the answer to be!
Like any “successful ” piece of pseudoscience, N&Z’s theory relies on fooling people in a way in which they are very easily susceptible to being fooled.

479. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Willis Eschenbach, Re your February 10, 2012 at 10:59 am comment:
I’m going to let it play out. I haven’t even looked into what they’ve done in great depth yet.

This is altogether typical. You have accused me of “walking back” on my statements and claims, and said that I made a “stunning admission”.
I asked you for specifics, saying:

So … what was the “stunning admission!”??
Was it where I admitted that four parameters is enough to fit an elephant? Was it where I admitted that I doubted that the fifth number was not a parameter?
Once again, your writing is totally opaque, Christoph.

Your reply? You “haven’t even looked into what they’ve done” … I certainly hope you realize how pathetically stupid that sounds.
I also hope that next time you want to be involved in one of my threads, you do your homework first, so you don’t look so foolish. This is not your usual blog, we expect people to follow the bouncing ball and, you know, actually READ BEFORE COMMENTING.
w.

480. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

… Willis, when I referred to your walkback it was because in your main post you definitely claimed there are 5 free parameters and now you are allowing that there may only be 4 (even though you think the correct number is still 5). So that is a walkback and I was not out of line for saying so. I certainly understand your broader position that 4 tunable parameters (2 pairs of linked) is still too small with such a small data set.

Oh, learn to read. I said they had five tunable parameters. I still think the same. TB or some other charming fellow said no, the fifth one was not tunable. I said maybe not, but it sure looked tunable to me. TB couldn’t explain where they got the number. I still think it was tuned like the others.
And that is neither a “walkback” nor a “stunning admission”.
w.

481. Willis Eschenbach says:

kuhnkat says:
February 11, 2012 at 10:11 am

Joel Shore,
you claim they were curve fitting. So, the parameters they are using have nothing to do with gravity, pressure, mass, albedo… Just a curve fitting exercise.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

kuhnkat, as the poet said, you seem to you have had the experience but you missed the meaning.
Joel didn’t say it was just a curve fitting exercise. N&Z said that.

However, we discovered that NTE was strongly related to total surface pressure through a nearly perfect regression fit via the following nonlinear function:

You see the part about the “regression fit”?
It was verified by the fact that when I said it was a fitting exercise they didn’t say “no, we derived it using the following formula” or anything like that.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
w.
PS—Assuming that it is the custom where you come from to end your emails with wild, maniacal laughter, I have done the same to show solidarity …

482. Christoph Dollis says:

This is altogether typical. You have accused me of “walking back” on my statements and claims, and said that I made a “stunning admission”.
Your reply? You “haven’t even looked into what they’ve done” … I certainly hope you realize how pathetically stupid that sounds.

Willis,
You’re just being an arrogant ass. That was apparent, but I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt that you were a bit more than that in this situation.
There’s been a lot of writing back and forth on this and a lot to look into. No, I haven’t looked into every aspect of it at this point: I’m reading a blog and I made a comment on it. I am not, in fact, one of the scientists involved on either side of the debate, a fact which might have escaped you; this is not an international science conference. People with various backgrounds and interest levels have their say on a blog, where you have chosen to place your work.

I also hope that next time you want to be involved in one of my threads, you do your homework first, so you don’t look so foolish. This is not your usual blog, we expect people to follow the bouncing ball and, you know, actually READ BEFORE COMMENTING.

I’ve commented off and on here for years, I read your post, and I didn’t read all of the then 490 comments before commenting, anymore than you read the very few new comments before replying as in the excerpted portion above … as evidenced by your next comment, which you begin….

Is this a big deal? Not really. It’s normal on a blog. But then I’m not whining about it either.
Let’s call a spade a spade here and say, based on simply the words you’ve written, your work looks sloppy.
In the comments you write this:

“I discussed this above and acknowledged the possibility that it was not a parameter  [Note: in the comments, not your post where you make an unambiguous strong claim] … including the fact that still leaves four parameters and eight data points. The oddity that confused me is that to get 29.3966 from your formula there you need to have an emissivity of 0.955, which seems strange. But no matter, four parameters is plenty to be too many.”

But in your posts, you write this:

Obviously, there is another tuned parameter in equation (8)…

This:

This is amazing. These guys are seriously claiming that with only eight datapoints and no less than five tunable parameters, [emphasis yours] they can calculate the surface temperature of the eight planets knowing only their surface pressure and solar irradiation.

This:

They are using only eight datapoints and five tunable parameters with a specially-designed ad-hoc equation with no physical basis.

This:

“Overfitting generally occurs when a model is excessively complex, such as having too many parameters relative to the number of observations.” Five [emphasis yours] parameters is far

This:

Five parameters is far, far too many relative to eight observations, that is a guaranteed overfit.

And further, relate a story about Enrico Fermi criticizing an equation given to him with five tunable parameters, as you call them, being far many in that case.
Does our post give the distinct impression you are talking about five tunable parameters?
I’d say it does, and in light of that, when you acknowledge in the comments:

“… the possibility that it was not a parameter … including the fact that still leaves four parameters and eight data points. The oddity that confused me is that to get 29.3966 from your formula there you need to have an emissivity of 0.955, which seems strange. But no matter, four parameters is plenty to be too many.”

This is obviously comes across as a walkback, a retraction, from what you said in your main post. Regardless of whether you now maintain there are four or five and your arguments for preferring to think of it as a fifth parameter, I was commenting on what you yourself wrote in the excerpt immediately aboved as compared to what you wrote, definitely, your own post.
Accordingly, Ned and Karl were justified to write something along the lines of this:

Mr. Eschenbach smugly informs our fellow bloggers that the constant 25.3966 is yet another tunable parameter, which he labels t5 (his Eq. 8sym)?! We point out that the fixed parameters used to produce this constant have been defined and set prior to carrying out the regression analysis that yielded Eq. (7). Indeed, it could not have been any other way, because these parameters are required to estimate the PGB temperatures (Tgb) used in the calculation of NTE values, which are subsequently regressed against observed pressure data. Thus, Eschenbach now leads the readers astray telling them that we use 5 tunable parameters instead of 4. Fascinating!

… before you went on to demonstrate that x = x.
I’m sure that got your goat, and you continue to be emotive about it, but that’s hardly my fault.
However right you may ultimately be — and as I said, I am still thinking about this and reading further … as an interested layman following a scientific discussion and commenting on a blog where I’ve done so for years — you come across as someone who is covering his rear after mistakes were revealed. If that isn’t the impression you wish to convey, you may want to adjust how you communicate in response to criticism.
Or not. Carry on, sir. You’re being so convincing this way.

483. Christoph Dollis says:

*Does your post give the ….

484. Joel Shore says:

Christoph: Yes, Willis was wrong to think of that particular parameter as a free parameter (and I said is much in my first comment in this thread: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/23/the-mystery-of-equation-8/#comment-873837 ) But, does it make it that much better that they only have 4 free parameters?
What N&Z are trying to do by attacking any mistakes that Willis has made is distract you from the fact that their “theory” is utter garbage: It consists of a hypothesis that does not even satisfy conservation of energy together with a meaningless empirical fit to data and some nice words about the ideal gas law that have nothing to do with anything, along with various complete fabrications about how climate scientists have ignored the ideal gas law and thermodynamics when in fact the law is discussed in the beginning of nearly every textbook on climate science and when they are the ones who are doing violence to basic thermodynamic laws.
Oh yeah, and add to that: They claim that climate scientists have not considered convection correctly because of some vague silly complaints about the details of how it is put into climate models but then they themselves put convection into the simplest model of the radiative greenhouse effect in a way that drives the lapse rate to zero and then marvel about how this eliminates the radiative greenhouse effect when they would have known that if they had just read an elementary textbook in the field that they claim to be revolutionizing.

485. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph Dollis says:
February 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

This is altogether typical. You have accused me of “walking back” on my statements and claims, and said that I made a “stunning admission”.
Your reply? You “haven’t even looked into what they’ve done” … I certainly hope you realize how pathetically stupid that sounds.

Willis,
You’re just being an arrogant ass. That was apparent, but I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt that you were a bit more than that in this situation.

Naw, I’m just being accurate. It does sound stupid when you say you haven’t looked into what they did and yet you are foolish enough to make various flat statements about what they did. Sorry you don’t like it, bro’, but it sounds stupid as hell.
More to the point, you’re gonna seriously sit there and argue that the important issue was whether they had five or four free parameters? That’s what you think is important here, whether it’s five or four parameters?
Look, Christoph, you yourself claim ignorance as though it were a prize, saying you “haven’t even looked into what they’ve done” … and yet you want to be a nitpicking jerk about what they did? How does that work?
Come back when you have looked into what they’ve done, Christoph. I have no time to discuss this with people who proudly announce that they haven’t done their homework.
w.
PS—It’s not important, but N&Z refused to explain how they calculated the fifth number. I cannot calculate it from any combination of the data they provided. As a result, I will continue to believe that it is a free parameter until they or someone else shows it is not one.

486. Christoph Dollis says:

“to make various flat statements about what they did.”

About what you wrote, jackass. Where did I make these various flat statements about what they did, except when commenting on the discrepancy in your claims as posted and commented by yourself?

More to the point, you’re gonna seriously sit there and argue that the important issue was whether they had five or four free parameters?

Never once did I do this. On the contrary, I took great pains to allow that you could be right overall. Show me once where I made this argument. Give it a shot. Because I can show you where I allowed for the distinct possibility of the opposite.
But this is the sort of if not dishonesty, emotionally biased “see what you expect to see” thinking I’m observing from you, like where to add unwarranted weight to your insult, you cut off my quote in an effort to take it out of context and change its meaning:

Your reply? You “haven’t even looked into what they’ve done” … I certainly hope you realize how pathetically stupid that sounds.

When I said:

“I haven’t even looked into what they’ve done in great depth yet….”

It’s a subtle and important difference. Clearing I’m still gathering and processing knowledge, but your error was obvious, pointed out in the first comment of this thread, as you know, and I commented on it. Since then, you’ve even walked back your walkback.
[trimmed. Robt]

487. Christoph Dollis says:

Willis, you are not so great at engaging a skeptic who is gathering information from different sides, including from yourself. The conflicting info written by yourself is what I commented on. Now I am considering Ned and Karl’s work generally and am thinking about it. I have concerns about it, such as all-important conservation of energy, as I stated above — also the possibility of errors in the math, rendering it less than meaningful.
However, I’m not going to conclude you’re wrong because you feel like playing the part of a noticeably defensive person, but certainly it doesn’t add anything to one’s confidence in your work.

488. Willis Eschenbach says:

Christoph, let me recap the bidding. You walked in the door and said
Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 3:30 am

I’m not trying to be a jerk about it, and yes I can — without hardly being a math expert — at least follow it written this way, but don’t you have a math program you can create images in where you can use multiple lines and more standard notation?

You might not have tried to be a jerk … but yes you can, and you succeeded. My notation is entirely understandable. Sure, I could typeset it all in Latex … but since everyone but you can read it like it is, why should I?
So you started out by bitching and whining about my style. You immediately doubled down on your foolishness by saying:
Christoph Dollis says:
February 10, 2012 at 4:57 am

And thus the walkback starts — beginning with a stunning admission!

When some random dorkhead wanders into the discussion and starts out by accusing me of “walking back” with a “stunning admission!”, complete with gratuitous exclamation point, you can bet I’m going to slap him across the face. That’s no way to start out, by walking into a man’s house and doing your best to insult him.

Willis, you are not so great at engaging a skeptic who is gathering information from different sides …

You are not here to “gather information”. Your actions have shown clearly that you are here to insult and harass me over minor, petty bulldust. I have no intention to “engage” with anyone who acts like that.
w.
PS: $Nte(Ps) = e^{(t1 * Ps ^ {t2} + t3 * Ps ^ {t4})}$
You happy now?

489. Christoph Dollis says:

It is quicker and easier to visualize.

490. Joel Shore says:

After 6 weeks of N&Z silliness, David M Hoffer, tallbloke, and the rest of the gang still don’t understand the basic question they are trying to answer! They keep trying to come up with sneaky ways to make the Earth warmer than 255 K ( http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/nikolov-zeller-reply-eschenbach/#comment-17227 ) without understanding how the 255 K constraint comes about not because the sun doesn’t provide sufficient power to push the temperature higher if the surface of the Earth somehow were to not radiate energy back into space, but rather because of the fact that the Earth’s surface does radiate according to its temperature (and all such radiation escapes to space if the atmosphere is transparent to this radiation).

491. JJThoms says:

from a post on tb which does not seem to be answered:
Equation 2 seems to sum TSI and Cs then spread it round the globe. However Cs is already global so should not be so spread it must be constant over the surface. Inconsequential but physically wrong.
I do not see where the continuous downwelling radiation is handled in the equations. Like Cs this is day and night 200 watts so should not be spread equatorially although it does taper off polewards.
the 200Watts was measured here SGP Central Facility, Ponca City, OK 36° 36′ 18.0″ N, 97° 29′ 6.0″ W Altitude: 320 meters
http://www.arm.gov/sites/sgp
Eq 1 uses ap= Earth’s planetary albedo (≈0.3).
Eq 2 uses agb=Earth’s albedo without atmosphere (≈0.125),
Why the difference both assume atmosphereless planet?

492. Joel Shore says:

I think that Ned Nikolov has, in his latest posts on Tallbloke’s, crossed the line into what I can only take to be deception:

The whole notion that CO2 changes can affect global climate comes from models and models ONLY! Such effect is predicted by the climate models due to decoupling of radiative transfer from convective heat exchange in their code. In other words, the CO2 warming effect is a result of a physical algorithmic error in climate models, it’s a model artifact with no physical equivalence!!

Nikolov continues to repeat this falsehood far and wide even though nobody has challenged my contention that the reason why N&Z got rid of the radiative greenhouse effect by adding convection (in contradiction to the rest of the scientific community) is that they added it in totally incorrectly. We know that this is how they did it because they tell us they added it in incorrectly when they say, “Equation (4) dramatically alters the solution to Eq. (3) by collapsing the difference between Ts, Ta and Te and virtually erasing the GHE (Fig. 3).” I.e., they tell us that they added in convection in a way that leads to the completely unphysical result of an atmosphere isotropic with height, i.e., with zero lapse rate. And, any elementary climate science book would tell them that this would indeed eliminate the radiative greenhouse effect (e.g., p. 148 of Ray Pierrehumbert’s textbook).
When someone has been repeatedly told that they did something wrong and they refuse to even address this contention but just continue to make their false statements, I think it says something about them and whether or not they can be trusted at all.

493. BigWaveDave says:

Joel Shore and others repeatedly refuse to address any proof that he and the climate community are wrong. A planet’s surface temperature is dependent on the mass of the atmosphere and surface area and mass of the planet. CO2 and back radiation have nothing to do with with it.
Do they offer proof that their position is correct?

494. Joel Shore says:

BigWaveDave: We have talked about the overwhelming evidence that our view is correct in these and other threads.
First of all, there is the empirical evidence: The Earth’s surface is emitting ~390 W/m^2. The Earth as seen by satellite from space is emitting only ~240 W/m^2 and the spectrum of that emission matches that of the radiative transfer models that compute the line-by-line absorption of radiation in the atmosphere, with the telltale absorption lines corresponding to water vapor, CO2, methane, etc. (There are also spectra taken of the sky from the Earth’s surface.) The entire field of remote sensing is based on the correctness of the physical equations used to calculate radiative transfer in the atmosphere!
Second of all, there is the fact that there is a law in physics called Conservation of Energy. There is overwhelming support for this law. Nobody has been able to explain using correct principles of physics how N&Z’s hypothesis could possibly satisfy Conservation of Energy…and they won’t be able to because it can’t satisfy it using any presently-known physical phenomena in our universe.
Does this constitute “proof” that we are correct? No, because there is no “proof” in science. It is inductive by nature. However, it does constitute absolutely overwhelming evidence. It is true that we cannot prove that N&Z are not correct…but we also can’t prove that the Earth isn’t only 6000 years old (or flat). We can’t prove that the next time that I drop an apple, it won’t fall up rather than down.
If you want to believe N&Z’s nonsense because of your ideology, then fine. Just don’t pretend you are basing that on scientific evidence because you are not.

495. Joel Shore says:

…And, just to follow-up, we now know some of the major blunders that N&Z have made, in addition to being unable to explain how their ideas obey conservation of energy:
(1) They think it is a miracle that one can fit 8 pieces of data (some of the data points being rather trivial or having large uncertainties and questionable sources for the numbers) with 4 parameters.
(2) They don’t understand even the most basic facts about how convection operates in the atmosphere and have made a gargantuan error in putting it into a simple model and then marveled at the fact that their way of doing this gives the answer that any climate scientist…or even people outside the field who have read parts of basic climate science textbooks…could have told them they would get by making this mistake.
(3) In part 1 of their Reply to Comments on their theory, they show that they don’t understand how to apply conservation of energy to a system that is not isolated. Hence, they mistakenly believe that a rotating planet with a more uniform temperature distribution must have the same average temperature as a non-rotating planet with a very uneven temperature distribution. This is another incredible blunder that shows that they haven’t even a clue of what they are talking about.
Anybody who doesn’t run as furiously and fast away from N&Z as possible is basically telling the scientific community (and even the more scientifically-oriented members of the AGW skeptic community), “I am gullible and will believe absolutely anything, no matter how silly, that confirms what I desperately want to believe.” It looks like you have just added yourself to that list.

496. Joel Shore says:

Over at tallbloke’s, Roger is continuing to allow Ned and Zeller to promulgate the blatant falsehood that adding convection gets rid of the radiative greenhouse effect. The following is something that he has refused to publish in response to his comments on what I said here: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/nikolov-zeller-reply-eschenbach/#comment-17513
Roger, the substance of your response is this statement: “The pressure and consequent thermal gradient is not included in equations 3 and 4 because it is not required for the purposes of demonstrating the inadequacy of radiative activity to account for the GHE (or the lapse rate), this is why the conceptual system under consideration is isotropic.” So, let’s consider this claim critically.
The claim that Nikolov and Zeller make is that the way in which convection is dealt with in the climate models is incorrect for some detailed numerical reason. They present no evidence to directly support their claim that the way in which the models handle convection leads to any unphysical results (such as an unphysical temperature distribution); rather, their sole piece of evidence is that when they add convection to a simple radiative model of the greenhouse effect in a way that they deem to be superior, they see the radiative greenhouse effect virtually disappear.
So, the question becomes: Is their method of handling convection really superior? As I have noted, their method of handling convection leads to a clearly unphysical distribution of temperature with altitude, i.e., it drives the lapse rate to zero by forcing the temperatures T_s and T_a to be essentially equal (as they themselves note). So, in contrast to the case of the way that convection is handled in the climate models, here we have unambiguous evidence that their way of handling convection leads to what is clearly an unphysical result. Hence, on the face of it, it seems rather unlikely that their way of handling convection is superior!
However, to get more evidence on this point, we need to address this question: Does the temperature distribution with altitude matter for the radiative greenhouse effect? The answer to this question can be obtained in two ways:
(1) We can simply look in the literature or in textbooks. For example, if we look at the textbook by Ray Pierrehumbert, we find a discussion that is summarized by the following sentence on p. 148: “The key insight to be taken from this discussion is that the greenhouse effect only works to the extent that the atmosphere is colder at the radiating level than it is at the ground.”
(2) We can study different ways of adding convection to the simple radiative model that they added convection to. For example, instead of adding convection so that tries to make the values of T_s and T_a to be equal, we can add it in such that it tries to make the atmosphere go to an adiabatic lapse rate (which, if we assume T_a is at a height of ~5 km would mean that T_s – T_a = 33 K). What one finds is that indeed now the greenhouse effect no longer disappears…but instead, that the temperature at the surface is ~33 K higher than the 255 K atmospheric shell, or 288 K.
So, what we have learned is that the temperature distribution with altitude is critical to the radiative greenhouse effect. In fact, it is both well-known and easy to show that forcing the lapse rate to go to zero (i.e., forcing the temperature at the effective radiating level to be equal to the surface temperature) gets rid of the greenhouse effect completely. Thus, what Nikolov & Zeller have shown is not new and their result is a direct consequence of the unphysical way in which they have put convection into the simple radiative model of the greenhouse effect.
As for Dr. Zeller’s response, what I have demonstrated is that it is the way that they have added convection to the model that is incorrect. I agree that if they add convection to a more complicated model in a way that is similarly incorrect (i.e., that allows the convection to drive the lapse rate to zero) then they will indeed get the same incorrect result that they got for the simpler model for the same reason. Guaranteed.

497. Here’s the reason I gave Joel for not publishing his comment, along with the usual accusations of lies, fr*ud and scientific malfeasance for which he is well known.
[Reply] Hi Joel. You have ignored Karl Zeller’s point that it is a simple demonstration, and Ned’s point that radiation and convection are decoupled in climate models. You have ignored my point that it isn’t radiation which supports the lapse rate, but gravity, pressure and density, which are not included in the simple demonstration. Your argument proceeds from ignorance, and gets deeper into muddy water from there. So I won’t publish it. Try again, and this time acknowledge that the higher heat capacity of denser air near the surface, heated by the Sun, contributes strongly to the observed lapse rate, and the reason the air is denser near the surface is because of the higher pressure and the gravity which induces it. Acknowledge also that convection and the latent heat of evaporation are stronger processes in the troposphere than radiation. If you believe those facts are not the case, explicitly give your arguments. Enough of evasion, debate the substance.
Needless to say, Joel won’t offer any explicitly stated arguments, because then his colours would be well nailed to the mast.

498. Willis Eschenbach says:

Joel Shore says:
February 20, 2012 at 6:16 am

Over at tallbloke’s, Roger is continuing to allow Ned and Zeller to promulgate the blatant falsehood that adding convection gets rid of the radiative greenhouse effect. The following is something that he has refused to publish in response to his comments on what I said here: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/nikolov-zeller-reply-eschenbach/#comment-17513

Jeez, Joel, you went back there? Man, I was overjoyed when Tallbloke banned me from his site, “Tallbloke’s Talkshop”. It relieved me of any responsibility of fighting the ignorance displayed there.
Roger Tallbloke has been given a number of clear scientific explanations by a host of posters of why both N&Z and Jelbring are not just wrong, but stupendously, stupidly, and even hilariously wrong. None of that seems to have made the slightest difference.
Here’s an example. I demonstrated above that not only is Equation 8 a trivially easy fit, but that I could get a better fit with less variables. I mean, fitting a measly eight! data points with at least four free parameters and wide-open choice of any equation no matter how non-physical is not science, it’s a sick joke … but not to Tallbloke. Not to N&Z. Heck, my demonstration that I could fit the data with a different equation and only three variables was hailed at the Talkshop as being support for the N&Z theory … and if that doesn’t say it all about the level of science at the Talkshop, nothing does.
Tallbloke’s Talkshop is infested with what I call “SIFs”, Single Issue Fanatics. They have an idea in their head, and by god don’t bother them with facts. Especially scientific facts.
Me, I’d run, not walk but run for the exit, Joel. Tallbloke has shown that his science-fu is very, very weak, too weak to recognize curve-fitting on specially selected data, too weak to recognize what N&Z have done, too weak to see through Jelbring’s nonsense.
Given that, your idea that some scientific proof of yours will dent the “Plus Ten Armor Of Deliberate Ignorance” that Tallbloke and his acolytes seem to wear is … well … run the odds, my friend.
Then just run. From the way the nonsense spreads around the Talkshop, it might be contagious.
All the best,
w.

499. Joel Shore says:

tallbloke says:

You have ignored Karl Zeller’s point that it is a simple demonstration

No…I addressed that in the last paragraph of my response. What their “demonstration” demonstrates is that if you wrongly put in convection so that it forces the lapse rate to zero then you necessarily get the incorrect result that the radiative greenhouse effect is canceled out because the radiative greenhouse effect only works to the extent that the atmosphere is colder at the effective radiating level than it is at the surface.

and Ned’s point that radiation and convection are decoupled in climate models.

No…I talked about the fact that Ned has never demonstrated that his claim about the gory details regarding how radiation and convection are treated in climate models leads to any unphysical results. I am not even sure that all climate models handle this issue in the same way, but to the extent that they do assume that the effect of convection is to constrain the vertical temperature profile (i.e., push it back to the adiabatic lapse rate when it exceeds the adiabatic lapse rate), this is perfectly reasonable. On the other hand, Nikolov and Zeller’s way of putting in convection by assuming it drives the lapse rate to zero is clearly unphysical…and unphysical in exactly the way that leads to their incorrect conclusion about the effect of convection on the radiative greenhouse effect.
Their claim is roughly analogous to claiming that someone else makes a mistake by ignoring the effect of the gravitational field of Alpha Centuri on projectile motion on the Earth while they instead make the mistake of ignoring the gravitational field of the Earth itself! It is just a bogus smokescreen.

You have ignored my point that it isn’t radiation which supports the lapse rate, but gravity, pressure and density, which are not included in the simple demonstration.

If you leave out from the simple demonstration the fact that convection will only drive the lapse rate to the adiabatic lapse rate (which is determined, by among other things, the gravitational acceleration) then you have left out a vital piece of physics. It makes your demonstration useless unless it was to demonstrate the point that Ray Pierrehumbert made in his book that the existence of the lapse rate is vital to the greenhouse effect.

So I won’t publish it. Try again, and this time acknowledge that the higher heat capacity of denser air near the surface, heated by the Sun, contributes strongly to the observed lapse rate, and the reason the air is denser near the surface is because of the higher pressure and the gravity which induces it.

These are both facts that are (more or less) true but irrelevant to the discussion since nobody is contesting them. (Well, the first one is not quite true as stated, but close enough to points that are true that I won’t bother to correct it because it is not relevant to the discussion.)

Acknowledge also that convection and the latent heat of evaporation are stronger processes in the troposphere than radiation. If you believe those facts are not the case, explicitly give your arguments. Enough of evasion, debate the substance.

You are correct that the lapse rate in the atmosphere ends up being controlled by convection (including latent heat of evaporation), i.e., it is convection that drives the lapse rate back down to the adiabatic lapse rate when the radiative conditions alone would lead to a larger lapse rate. And, that is in fact why Nikolov’s claim that the particular numerical details of how convection is dealt with are not really relevant. The approximation (sometimes?) made in the models amounts to exactly the assumption that convection is so efficient that we can assume that its effect is simply to enforce the condition that a la