Open Thread Sunday

I’m traveling today to another city to see a specialist to deal with a significant and ongoing personal health issue, so blogging will be light over the next couple of days. I invite guests authors to submit stories and regular contributors to add stories as well.

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M Courtney
October 26, 2014 2:00 pm

Take care of yourself and get well soon.
Many of us are thinking of you.

October 26, 2014 2:01 pm

Godspeed Anthony!

October 26, 2014 2:01 pm

Good luck, standing by.

Viv Forbes
October 26, 2014 2:05 pm

Sorry to hear you have health issues.
Pls feel free to use this as a stocking filler.
Viv Forbes
Letter to the Editor/Opinion Piece Watts Up With That?
27th October 2014
Climate Research needs Re-direction
Governments are running huge deficits, but still spend billions on climate research especially trying to model the effect of the atmosphere and its trace of carbon dioxide on surface temperature. Benefits are hard to find. It may have improved weather forecasts by a day or so, but official long-term predictions have not improved in the last fifty years. This is because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not the driver of weather or climate.
Around the world there are five official weather data-bases, about 14 weather satellites, 73 climate computer models, and thousands of academics receiving grants and attending never-ending climate conferences. Much of this torrent of public money is now focussed on trying to torture a climate confession out of one normally un-noticed and totally innocent trace gas in the atmosphere – carbon dioxide.
The major determinants of surface weather are latitude, earth’s rotation, the seasons, the sun with its variable radiations and orbital changes; and nearness to the oceans which maintain the water cycle, moderate temperatures and house massive volcanic chains.
Earth’s mighty oceans cover 70% of the surface. Evaporation of water and convection in the atmosphere transfer large quantities of solar heat from the surface to the stratosphere. This process creates clouds, rain and snow and also forms low pressure zones which are the birthplace for cyclones and hurricanes. Wind direction and strength are related to sun-generated convection in the atmosphere, the transfer of solar heat from the equator to the poles, and the Coriolis effect of the rotation of the earth. Carbon dioxide plays no significant part in these processes.
Oceans also conceal most of the volcanic ring-of-fire and are home to huge numbers of volcanoes, many of which are active. The mighty weather-changing ENSO/El Nino starts with a pool of warm water in the eastern Pacific. Carbon dioxide plays no part in creating such hot-spots, but periodic eruption of undersea volcanoes may do it. We know less about the floor of the oceans and their volcanoes than we do about the surface of Mars.
What is referred to reverently as “climate research” is mainly just grubby advocacy supporting the political war on carbon. Why are we still funding scientists who believe that “the science is settled”? If they believe that they know the answers, what are they are doing with their research funds?
The community is getting little benefit from atmospheric research and climate modelling and that money should be redirected to more productive areas.
Half of “climate research” money should be spent on improving the ability of public infrastructure to survive natural disasters.
The remaining funds should be spent on real climate research – mapping the floor of the oceans, with particular reference to locating active volcanoes; and investigating how volcanism, solar variations and cycles of the sun, moon, planets and solar system impact long-term weather forecasts and future climate. This work should preferably be done by contracting private operators; and the climate models in public hands should be handed over to practising meteorologists to see if they are useful for short-term weather forecasting.
(509 words)
Viv Forbes, Rosewood Qld Australia forbes …at…
For those who would like to read more:
73 UN Climate models are wrong:
Where Was Climate Research Before Computer Models?
Oceans important in past Climate Changes:
Super volcanos forming beneath Pacific Ocean:–100-million-years-erupts.html
Massive Hot Spot in Iceland:

Reply to  Viv Forbes
October 26, 2014 3:35 pm

Hi, Viv, from a fellow Queenslander. Another of your eminently sensible articles, which I hope our allies are reading and comprehending, and maybe acting on. However, given the poisonous politics of this issue, I’m not holding my breath. Instead, I’m optimistic because i believe that the economics, rather than the science of AGW will be our saviour, because while people can and do get fooled by enviro-babble, they can understand basic economics, like the cost of electricity going up because base load generators must buy overpriced, unreliable ‘renewable energy’, or industries closing down because of energy costs or environmental constraints. Unfortunately the economic damage is done before people wake up the this giant scam, but al least in our country we have a government that is aware of the scam and is trying to mitigate the damage. God help countries like the UK which are in a much worse political position, and a facing similarly worse economic damage. These fanatics make the communist subversives from the Cold War seem like amateurs! Keep up the good work.

October 26, 2014 2:09 pm

Hope all goes well.
Come back repaired, refreshed & rejuvenated

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
October 26, 2014 2:12 pm

Hang in there, Anthony. Hopefully it won’t require an Arc reactor…

John Boles
October 26, 2014 2:13 pm

My thoughts lately: we skeptics could have made some political hay on the climate march in NYC. That was tons of low hanging fruit. I saw a few interviews after my point, but they did not hit the nail as I would have. What I mean is to get the person to admit hypocrisy on camera. How did you get here? I flew, or I took a bus or drove a car. Do you heat your home? Do you use electricity? Stuff like that. Asking Kennedy if he uses a phone did not get the job done. Any thoughts on this?

David in Texas
October 26, 2014 2:25 pm

What is skeptic?
I’m going to do a two hour class on global warming in the Spring, and I wanted to get your opinions as to “what is skeptic”, etc. Below is what I have so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
What is skeptic skeptical of:
• Humans will cause catastrophic global warming
• That Kyoto type agreements are a good idea
What does a skeptic believe (in agreement with believers of CAGW):
• The climate is changing, always has, always will
• The climate has warmed since 1850
• CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas
• Humans do effect the climate to some extent
What a skeptic does not believe (in disagreement with believers of CAGW):
• That humans will cause catastrophic global warming.
• The net effect of fossil fuel use since 1850 has been negative to human life
o likely to continue to be negative in the foreseeable future
• Kyoto type treaties are a good idea

Harry Passfield
Reply to  David in Texas
October 26, 2014 2:53 pm

David, my initial response to your question is that a sceptic does not ‘believe’: that is the point of being a sceptic. Being sceptical about the belief in the science of AGW does not mean that one necessarily believes the opposite to be the case. The whole point of scepticism is that it seeks the truth by questioning the beliefs, as far as that is possible.

Reply to  David in Texas
October 26, 2014 2:58 pm

Skeptics demand to see the evidence. No amount of academic hand-waving or “let’s pretend” putative climate models is a substitute for data and logic. Failure to publish full data and methodology exposes journal publications (whether peer reviewed or not) as the juju sticks and devil masks that they really are.
Association doesn’t prove causation. No number of logical fallacies, however loudly or insultingly proclaimed, constitute a rational argument. The end does not justify the means. Godwin’s Law is inconsequential. The precautionary principle must be supported by accurate assessment of costs.

Reply to  David in Texas
October 26, 2014 4:04 pm

For me, a skeptic (or sceptic) is a person who doubts ‘accepted’ opinions based on propaganda. A person who appreciates that, of all the atmospheric gas in the sky, the total amount of CO2 is tiny (CO2 0.040%, all other gas 99.96%). And, that of this tiny amount of CO2, man’s contribution is an insignificant 3.225% (whilst all naturally occurring CO2 is 96.775%). This microscopic man-made contribution cannot be blamed for modifying the earth’s temperature or give cause for alarm. This is the belief of a sceptic.

Reply to  GeeJam
October 27, 2014 3:08 am

I would say there´s a very wide range of people being labeled skeptics. I´ve been called a “climate denier”, but I do believe CO2 has an influence on the world´s temperature. I do have differences with the “mainstream”, such as the actual attribution of green house gases to current warming, the use of climate hysteria and a nearly religious propaganda machine I see used to advocate watermelon politics, and of course the absolutely dumb solutions being used by governments (of which the corn ethanol and solar panel subsidies stand out as quite contrary to the national interest unless you happen to be from China).

Reply to  David in Texas
October 26, 2014 4:38 pm

there wasn’t sufficient co2 emissions from humans until starting about 1950. all warming prior was natural. so warming starting from 1850 to 1950 was natural warming.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  David in Texas
October 26, 2014 8:00 pm

Skepticism is an important part of the scientific enterprise. A scientist should always be dissecting theories, attempting to falsify them, trying to replicate them. Most theories can at least be improved by critical input from others as a minimum. It is not that the skeptic is sitting there with an alternative explanation or a beligerent antagonistic stance. The scientist who makes the “discovery” should ideallly also be skeptical and check out if everything he can think of fits. I don’t like the rebranding of skeptics as contrarians that has come out of their criticism of a science that has become a movement. This science has already been hugely falsified by nature not going in the predicted direction. That should be enough.
The war from the skeptics side at this point has become outrage that this falsification is being paved over with patches and hysteria. The war from the establishment side is a desperate attempt to hang onto the cash flow and fame. None of them have published anything substantial for several years (54 explanations for the pause in the last few years when a the Daily Mail reported no warming for 15 years – they had been praying for resumption of the heat but had to finally acknowledge that it wasn’t warming – I don’t count this).
M. E. Mann’s hockey stick paper was published in 1998, the very year when the blade of the stick was being bent back flat and declining. Since then he has been smearing and insulting, giving interviews, writing op eds and conference presentation from the yellowed papers from his youth. Don’t give a lecture if you aren’t sure what a skeptic is. In an ideal world, you yourself are a skeptic.

Don Perry
Reply to  David in Texas
October 27, 2014 10:53 am

“• Humans do effect the climate to some extent”
Please! Affect, not effect.

David in Texas
Reply to  Don Perry
October 28, 2014 8:57 am

Thank you.

Stevan Makarevich
October 26, 2014 2:26 pm

First of all, to Anthony, I hope that your issue is resolved quickly and wish you the best of health.
As for myself, I am NOT a scientist, nor am I learned in climate related topics. Since I’ve started visiting this blog, I’ve begun to realize how little I know – in fact, I feel quite stupid, but I AM trying to learn, at least a little bit.
The whole “man made global warming” topic has never passed the “common sense” test for me, and later, after having read both books and speeches by Michael Crichton, my gut feelings were reinforced. And it has been a joy to have stumbled upon this blog (referred to by someone’s response to a news article).
The reason that I’m writing is I got disgusted the other day, and I decided to take advantage of the Open Thread Sunday. I had performed a Google search on “anthropogenic climate change”, and one of the hits were for Wikipedia. Given that I’ve learned much in the past on Wikipedia, I joyfully began to read what they had to say. My joy quickly turned first to shock, and then to disgust. Here are just a couple of reasons:
– In the very first paragraph, it states “In the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused primarily by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view.”.
– In the paragraph under “Related controversies”, it states that the “scientific consensus” is that PASSIVE SMOKING is a contributor to global warming (caps are mine).
I have to ask, am I incorrect in thinking these two items I listed is hogwash? I have the utmost respect for most who post in this blog, and am sincerely trying to learn more about this topic,
The URL that I am referring to is:
Thank you,

Reply to  Stevan Makarevich
October 26, 2014 3:07 pm

Wankerpedia is highly politicized, with a strong Leftist bias. This affects all its information on AGW as well as anything historical that is inconvenient for them. Try to find mention of the collectivist roots of the Jamestown Colony and the utter failure of communism there. That has all been erased, sent down the memory hole, by the Leftist “editors” (if you can call them that) of Wankerpedia. It’s useless for research purposes and I avoid it in favor of other sources whenever practical.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
October 26, 2014 3:16 pm

Exactly right. Wikipedia is Leftist propaganda, 24/7/365. With ‘editors’ like the execrable Wm Connolley, it’s best to avoid it completely whenever possible. A simple search usually gets you what you need to find, without being indoctrinated in the process.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Stevan Makarevich
October 26, 2014 3:42 pm

I am an engineer and have “scientific” training. But the global warming scam fell apart when I looked at the historical evidence.
Hope all goes Anthony.

Reply to  Stevan Makarevich
October 26, 2014 3:44 pm

I’ll pass on actually reading the Wiki page, it sounds like Connolley is all over it. The passive smoking reference is likely a dig at Fred Singer, a long term climate skeptic and past researcher on passive smoking (he’s skeptical about the extent of the claims of health hazards of that too). (Note – let’s not spend much time on that well-beaten horse.)
As for Connolley, imagine the sort of person who could singlehandedly enforce a particular point of view on a pet subject and how he might go about doing so. You will likely come up with someone like him. There are many posts on WUWT, too many to come up with the best starting point. Try
Dinner’s ready…. This may be the best –

Reply to  Stevan Makarevich
October 26, 2014 3:45 pm

The sentence you are refering to is …..
“Many of the critics of the consensus view on global warming have disagreed, in whole or part, with the scientific consensus regarding other issues, particularly those relating to environmental risks, such as ozone depletion, DDT, and passive smoking”

Can you explain (in English) to me how this sentence says that passive smoking contributes to global warming?

I seem to think it is saying that “other issues” have gone against consensus.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  juan
October 26, 2014 8:18 pm

I would interpret that quoted sentence as saying:
Many…critics of the consensus view on global warming also disagree with the consensuses on other environmental risks, such as ozone depletion, DDT and passive smoking, so we know they are just disagreeable nut cases.

Reply to  juan
October 26, 2014 8:44 pm

No to your last sentence. It’s attempting to categorise AGW skeptics as people likely to be skeptical of a whole range of things, ie general dissenters. Trying to bundle AGW skeptics into the crackpot bin has been a tried and failed theme of the AGW team.

Reply to  juan
October 26, 2014 8:59 pm

And of course no study of “second hand smoke” could possibly be scientific. It’s simply acceptive as intuitive opinion.

Reply to  Stevan Makarevich
October 26, 2014 8:46 pm

Steven, as a rule, none of my students were allowed to cite Wiki as a source in any paper or research. I think you will find that this is the case for many other instructors as well. This should let you know my regard for this biased resource.

October 26, 2014 2:27 pm

Our prayers are with you…

Anything is possible
October 26, 2014 2:34 pm

Sorry to hear you are unwell, Anthony. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery.

John Boles
October 26, 2014 2:45 pm

Or better yet, we need a Climate Paparazzi, follow Mann or McKibben or Klein around all day and post vids of them doing what they tell others not to do. Do they use washboards with cold water? No, they use electric powered washers and dryers, they drive cars, they fly on jets. That gets me riled up a bit.

October 26, 2014 2:54 pm

This article might be of transitory interest only to a tiny minority interested in a possible sun-earth magnetic association:
data1 link has changed to:

October 26, 2014 2:56 pm

Get well soon, Anthony

Col Mosby
October 26, 2014 2:59 pm

Hope there’s no significant danger from your malady, Anthony.
I have been following the Elio three-wheeled car story for almost a year now and although I’m not in the market for a new car, I am very interested in seeing the vehicle go into production. The latest news is that
there are over 35,000 reservations made, 90% of which are “all in” reservations – $1,000 for a spot in line.
Now that Paul Elio has received the prototype castings for the 3 cylinder .9 liter engine from IAV engineering, has leased the old GM Hummer plant in Shreveport, has lined up and engaged the 12 auto parts suppliers that can produce all the required parts, run computer simulations for the mileage and crash worthiness targets, begun contacting former Hummer plant workers to return (sans their UAW) , formed a
company board containing auto industry veterans and others (former Chrysler Motors CEO, etc) ,
and two days ago announced that their application for a loan from the DOE as an advanced vehicle
has successfully passed the first step in a three step process, I would say that predictions by skeptics that this car was “vaporware” and a scam are rather hollow these days. At this point, it will be a shock if the car doesn’t go into production. That won’t happen, this I guarantee. Elio Motors is still making a nationwide tour
to display its protypes at various auto shows, state fairs, etc. and have several teams doing so.
They have specified the locales of all of their sales centers and have lined up Pep Boys as their warranty/
service providers. As technically characterized as a motorcycle (govts can be so silly ) they are not running into Tesla’s problems trying to sell directly to the public without using a tradtional auto dealership. They promise delivery to their sales centers in a matter of hours, regardless of options chosen by the customer. There will likely be no issues with respect to helmut laws in any of the states – they have sponsors in the half dozen states involved who have promised to have their state laws altered. While the car’s
small emissions’ footprint and high MPG have attracted many, making the car the first really effective commuter car/second car (at a pricetage of $6800, 49 city MPG, 84 Highway MPG) , my enthusiasm
is because of the fact that this car can really make a diference in terms of gas consumption and even more importantly, providing mobility to the lower economic classes, who need it most. Emissions-wise, the car on the highway is responsible for 4 times fewer emissions than a Tesla Model S. Most egregious of all is the
fact that the Feds provide $7500 tax credits for Tesla Model S buyers, for a car which eliminates exactly one (if that) gas powered vehicle from the road. Since the Tesla costs typically $80,000 plus, that $7500 is
responsible for actually eliminating less than 1/10th of a vehicle’s gas consumption, while if used to subsidize Elio buyers, would eliminate more than 1 gas powered car’s gas consumption. Same goes for
emissions, only more so – a dollar spent on an Elio would reduce emissions over 40 times greater than if spent on a Tesla Model S. I think it not an exaggeration to characterize the govt subsidies for Tesla cars
as stupid, obscene and unethical : minimum wage earners’ tax dollars going to subsidize very well-heeled Tesla buyers, who falsely believe and claim their cars to be of great value WRT emissions and gas consumption reductions. These are the kinds of things that ignite revolutions by the proletariat.

October 26, 2014 3:01 pm

Here’s to a successful but otherwise boring trip.

October 26, 2014 3:04 pm

Below is a critically important summary in this copy of a comment I have just posted in response to weak and incorrect arguments by Jeff Conlon (JeffID) of the Air Vent …
Jeff, the underlying assumption is surely that your two imaginary planets (one with N2 and one with CO2) receive the same flux of solar radiation at the very top of their exospheres (before albedo reductions) or, in other words, that they are the same distance from the same Sun.
The fact that rock and most substances on a solid planet’s surface (without water) have emissivity somewhat less than 1.00 (and that of water) means that an assumed mean emissivity of 0.83 is not unreasonable. Yes clouds, water, ice and snow also reflect more, so both these points are relevant regarding surface temperature.
So, the reduction in mean emissivity and the reduced albedo and reflection by the surface on a rocky planet could fully explain a temperature equivalent to Earth’s existing surface temperature without any need for any assumed carbon dioxide warming or any need for additional thermal energy to be delivered into to surface from a colder atmosphere, supposedly helping the Sun to raise the surface temperature each morning, which (as I explained to you Jeff in 2011 and in my March 2012 paper) would be a violation of the Second Law which applies to every independent process anywhere, including one-way radiation. In any event, an atmosphere cannot deliver more thermal energy out of its base than it received at the top, as is implicit in the K-T, NASA and IPCC energy diagrams which imply radiation always transfers thermal energy wherever it strikes something, which it doesn’t always do.
Now, Jeff, you have an example of a carbon dioxide atmosphere on Venus, and that carbon dioxide ends up holding over 97% of the energy delivered by incident solar radiation that’s not reflected. So this energy is in the carbon dioxide molecules rather than the surface. In other words, the solar radiation reaching the surface of a planet with a carbon dioxide atmosphere is considerably reduced by the time it reaches the surface. (Carbon dioxide absorbs solar radiation mostly in the 2.1 micron band.) Once again I have empirical evidence on my side in that Russian probes dropped to the Venus surface made measurements from which they deduced that the mean solar flux there was between a mere 10 and 20W/m^2 and that was for only the sunlit side.
You wrote more garbage when you said: “IF the AVERAGE emission altitude increases at all (even an inch) from N2 to a CO2 atmosphere, and your gradient is non-zero, meaning anything more than zero, then the surface temperature will be warmer in the CO2 planet.” It seems you need a geometry lesson, Jeff, because, as I have explained numerous times, radiating molecules radiate between themselves and reduce the temperature gradient. Once again, empirical evidence (which I have given in previous comments) proves that the gravitationally induced temperature gradient is reduced by the temperature-levelling effect of radiation. So the temperature plot drops a little at the surface and its gradient is reduced in magnitude. Sorry, Jeff, that’s not a warming effect at the surface.
Radiating molecules reduce the magnitude of the temperature gradient (aka “lapse rate”) …
(1) by about 35% on Earth (mostly by water vapour and a very little by carbon dioxide etc) as is well known
(2) by about 20% to 25% (by my calculations) on Venus by carbon dioxide
(3) By about 5% (by my calculations) on Uranus by a sprinkling of methane
Now the fact is that we live on a planet with water vapour, and that’s the planet we are concerned about. If we find (as I did) from empirical evidence that water vapour cools by about 4 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere rather than warms by more than 10 degrees for each 1% (as the IPCC implies) then the whole greenhouse conjecture is smashed.
There is no reason to assume carbon dioxide would do the opposite of water vapour, and even if it did, there would then be a larger negative feedback from additional water vapour if the IPCC are right about CO2 increasing water vapour.
Water vapour leads to lower supported surface temperatures because ….
(a) It reduces the magnitude of the gravitationally induced temperature gradient (just like carbon dioxide and methane do) and that causes the temperature profile to rotate downwards at the surface end, lowering the temperature supported by the base of the troposphere which is due to that gravitationally-induced temperature gradient.
(2) It increases the albedo through cloud formation as well as reflection from water, snow and ice surfaces
(3) It increases the mean emissivity of the Earth+atmosphere system, thus allowing the Earth to have radiative equilibrium with the Sun at a lower temperature than would a rocky Earth.
In the interests of science, even though it may bring down Jeff Conlon and his “Air Vent” (and hopefully one day the IPCC) this comment is being posted on several large climate blogs.
If anyone wishes to debate or enquire about my hypothesis (which is a whole new paradigm) there’s my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” on Amazon to read first.

October 26, 2014 3:04 pm

We all wish you a complete resolution of your health issues.

October 26, 2014 3:09 pm

Please look after your health, Anthony, for all our sakes, and get a bit more rest if you need it. We are hoping for the best outcome for you.

October 26, 2014 3:32 pm

The hockey stick(2001) is old news, but Mike Mann gave a speech at UCLA this week and talked about how the reason he didn’t use tree ring data after 1960 was because he didn’t want to “confuse people”. This is incredible. Assuming??? we have accurate data post 1960, a real scientist would use that as the control. Since the tree ring data post 1960 showed declining temperatures, a real scientist would throw ALL the tree ring data out as unreliable. He used what he promoted as the reliable data back 1,000 years.
Instead, this complete trickery passes the peer review at Nature and his study as highlighted throughout the world. He is still living off it and making speeches all over the place. This was the end of Science! All Scientists knew from now on it was the result that counted, now how they got to their result. I know it’s old, but it’s incredible to hear him say it in his own words.
at 38:00

McIntyre starts the skeptic movement!! This paper has math is over the head of most of us, but is worth reading through.

Reply to  glenncz
October 26, 2014 5:20 pm

Actually, Mann’s statement is consistent with many of his statements.
He is very reluctant to “confuse people” with the evidence or the facts.

October 26, 2014 3:39 pm

If you are a skeptic of skeptics and never trusted the model graphs that showed the IPCC models were almost all dead wrong, here is an IPCC report stating warming as .04C/decade since 1998. Basically zero.
And 111 out of their 114 models grossly estimate warming to be .021C/decade. Also, the IPCC writes that warming from 1950-2012 was .11C/decade. So it is completely ridiculous for someone to say the warming is accelerating and it’s hard to believe that .6C of warming over 60 years (and you could probably push that .6C back to 1940). This is the world as we now find it!
Box 9.2 | Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years (page 29 in my browser)

Adam from Kansas
October 26, 2014 3:51 pm

Apparently the Summer of 2014 saw a record number of places in the US that failed to reach 90 degrees F.
This would be among years that we have data of course, no word on how it was during the LIA or periods before.
We had a rather cool July here for one thing, but nature is making up for it by sending heatwaves containing one or more 90 degree days well into the Fall (our tomato plants were producing in waves until earlier this month and just picked some more, heat which saved our tomato harvest because the cool weather period was getting long enough to start producing blight on the fruit).

F. Ross
October 26, 2014 3:52 pm

Fair winds and good health to you Anthony

Curious George
October 26, 2014 4:00 pm

Indiana Pi Bill, NCAR Common Atmosphere Model 5.0, and Indiana Jones science.
(Originally posted on Climate Etc., 6/28/2013).
In 1897, the Indiana Assembly attempted to legislate the value of Pi to be 3.2 – a value 1.9% too high. It created so much ridicule that the bill never became a law.
The Common Atmosphere Model 5.0 from National Center for Atmospheric Research decreed a latent heat of water vaporization to be a constant independent of temperature. They chose a value that is 2.5% too high for tropical seas (where most of surface water evaporation on our planet happens). NCAR CAM 5 is considered “science”.
Is a 2.5% error ridiculous? Would it be nice to have a 97.5% reliable climate forecast? Yes, but .. it would only be a one hour forecast. CAM 5 is an iterative model. It takes a state of the atmosphere and in a computational step it estimates the next state of the atmosphere – usually about one hour later. Should this estimated state contain a 2.5% error, the following step starting from it would add another 2.5% error of its own. The errors tend to accumulate. After 40 steps you may get a 100% error – your result is influenced by accumulated errors as much as by the underlying physical system. After 80 steps the accumulated errors totally dominate.
In this worst case scenario, predictions of the model become completely unreliable after 40 hours. Let’s hope CAM 5 behaves better – for example, an error in a coefficient does not imply the same error in a result. I asked NCAR. Excerpts:
*** 5/18/12 From: (me)
In your “Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)”, NCAR/TN–464+STR, Table 6.1, “List of Physical Constants”, there is a Symbol Lv, Latent Heat of Vaporization, 2.501*10**6 J/kg. This is a correct value for 0 degrees Centigrade. Do you apply any corrections for other temperatures? If so, the correction coefficients should also be listed in Table 6.1. If not, could you please point me to a paper showing that no such correction is necessary.
*** 5/24/12 From:
As far as I know we only use the value for 0 deg and don’t any temperature corrections.
*** 6/1/12 From: (me)
Thank you very much for researching this matter. Since the latent heat of vaporization is
2.575 for -30C (in units of 10**6 J/kg)
2.501 for 0C
2.430 for +30C
the treatment that you describe introduces the error of 3% for this temperature range.
I believe atmospheric temperatures may easily reach -50C to +50C (that would introduce a 5% error at the extremes). I repeat my question: is there a paper showing that such an error does not negatively impact the predictive power of your model?
*** 6/1/12 From:
Not that I know of the top of my head.
*** 6/1/12 From: (me)
Thank you for your frank answer. Until I looked at your webpage, I had no idea that there were also CAM4 and CAM5. Is the latent heat treated differently there?
*** 6/19/12 From:
The latent heat of vaporization is a quantity that is identical in all components of the model (ice, land, ocean, sea ice) and it is a major task to change this since it is used to ensure energy conservation within the whole model system. As CESM is a community model I would encourage you to try and quantify the error with the current approximation and if significant try and correct it across the model. We will discuss this potential problem in our next model development meeting next week and discuss it’s potential priority.
*** (end of email excerpts) ***
I like the lighthearted approach NCAR takes to the accuracy of their flagship model. A total disregard for a temperature dependence of a basic thermodynamic property of water, with unknown consequences, is labeled a “potential problem”. Even better, the model has now been “scientifically validated”, whatever it means.
Please don’t get me wrong; I am not against climate models. I am not even against bad climate models – we have to start somewhere. Just reading the CAM 5 description [2] will show you an incredible amount of work that went into the model. What a pity that authors then take an undocumented shortcut which renders any results worthless.
I know that today’s computing technology is barely adequate to model a severely simplified climate. What I am against is to take that extremely simplified model seriously enough to worry about emperor penguins. NCAR should worry about a quality of their models and an accuracy of model results. But homeless penguins or drowning polar bears invoke much stronger emotions. Media love them.
I don’t know if a NCAR model development meeting mentioned in a 6/19/2012 email discussed this “potential problem”. A year later there is no trace of it. There is a new list of Notable Improvements [1], which does not contain a word “latent” at all. However it hints that the model has been scientifically validated. Scientific validation apparently goes the way of peer review and dinosaurs.
There is also an updated CAM 5 description [2], dated November 2012. It lists many approximations used in the model, but I could not find anything related to the temperature dependence of the latent heat. A nice display of scientific chastity: hide anything that disagrees with your “science”. Why worry about potential problems?
Indiana Jones never does.

Reply to  Curious George
October 26, 2014 6:49 pm

Curious, it turns out that virtually every property of real world materials varies with temperature; thermal capacity, thermal conductance, thermal diffusivity, density….. These variations are “only” a few percent, but build a model with hundreds of variables and that “few percent” means the “projection” is worthless.
And the variations are not even linear and monotonically increasing/decreasing. It varies all over the place. Trying to model the climate is pointless and a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Tarot card reading is quite probably more accurate.
Cheers, Kevin.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Curious George
October 26, 2014 8:58 pm

“In 1897, the Indiana Assembly attempted to legislate the value of Pi to be 3.2 – a value 1.9% too high. It created so much ridicule that the bill never became a law.”
A reference for your statement is “A History of Pi” by Petr Beckman, Chapter 17. It’s Bill No. 246, based on the discovery of squaring the circle. Follow the money. The reason for Indiana taking up the issue was the offer of a royalty to the state for anyone using Pi.
The error you stated was a bit too small. The value of Pi turned out to be 16 / 3^0.5 or about 9.2376….
What happened to the biggest Pi of all? Beckman noted that fortuitously, a professor from the Purdue mathematics department was visiting the State Capitol on another legislative matter and caught the error. The response from the legislature was to follow the money: “The case is perfectly simple. If we pass this bill which establishes a new and correct value of [Pi], the author offers our state without cost the use of this discovery and its free publication in our textbooks while everyone else must pay him a royalty.”
Beckman noted that the bill that was ultimately referred to the House Committee on Swamp Lands was tabled indefinitely.

Reply to  Curious George
October 27, 2014 4:43 am

In one of your sentences you used Centigrade, however the correct term to use is Celsius.
It is rather simple, Centigrade are the units that both the Kelvin scale and the Celsius scale use. You use Centigrade when you want to talk about the units and you use Celsius when you talk about the measured temperature of something. Centigrade for anomaly, Celsius for thermometer reading. Kelvin should be used instead of Centigrade if your audience is scientific, and context is understood.

george e. smith
Reply to  garymount
October 27, 2014 2:32 pm

Well centigrade simply means a scale divided into 100 parts. So the Celsius scale is a centigrade scale. And the Kelvin scale is chosen to have integral units identical to the Celsius degrees, so I don’t see how Kelvin is a centigrade scale.

Reply to  garymount
October 27, 2014 4:07 pm

The Kelvin scale has 100 units between water freezing and boiling (at standard pressure of course).

October 26, 2014 4:16 pm

Psychrometric charts give a latent heat for water vapor of around 1,100 Btu/lb. There is an interactive psychrometric program on Trane’s site/commercial/graphs & charts. The latent heat in steam condensing from a turbine exhaust is around 950 Btu/lb per ASME published steam tables. Sensible heat for water is usually considered 1 Btu/lb-F. English units. Don’t forget to use English hours w/Btu and metric hours w/kJ.

October 26, 2014 4:38 pm

I’ve made a kind of general request to commenters at WUWT and at BishopHill at
Please be useful

October 26, 2014 5:08 pm

Take care Anthony–thoughts and prayers are with you.

October 26, 2014 5:21 pm

Wishing you well Anthony.

October 26, 2014 5:23 pm

The phrase the ‘Green Blob’ was coined by former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson after he was sacked from the Cabinet in July.
He was referring to a network of pro-green lobbyists working at every level of the British Establishment, who have helped shape the eco policies sending household energy bills soaring.
But investigations by this newspaper reveal the Blob is not just an abstract concept.
We have found that innocuous-sounding bodies such as the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, the American William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Swiss Oak Foundation are channelling tens of millions of pounds each year to climate change lobbyists in Britain, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Reply to  Neo
October 26, 2014 8:55 pm
Richard Sharpe
October 26, 2014 5:25 pm

“This counterintuitive effect of the global warming that led to the sea ice decline in the first place makes some people think that global warming has stopped. It has not,” Colin Summerhayes, emeritus associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, said in a statement provided by the journal Nature Geoscience, where the study is published.

Ha ha. Hot is cold and vice versa.

michael hart
October 26, 2014 6:17 pm

A few years ago, singer Lily Allen co-launched a “global music petition” to help save everything from glbal warming.
Today she was reported as having treated herself to a new tattoo on her wrist. The tattoo shows a map of the world-minus Antarctica.

Reply to  michael hart
October 27, 2014 1:48 am

One little known benefit of tattoos (unknown to the people who have tattoos, that is) is that they identify the person as easily led and tending to make poor decisions. That labelling is quite useful for the rest of us.

Pamela Gray
October 26, 2014 6:24 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Chuck L
October 26, 2014 6:33 pm

Get better soon! Prayers and good wishes from all.

October 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Best wishes for good health, Anthony!

October 27, 2014 2:18 am

All the best. I am going though some issues withdrawing from some medication which was not helping my situation and I would not wish that experience on anyone.

Martin 457
October 27, 2014 3:22 am

Can I type that greenhouse gasses are gasses used by greenhouse owners to make their plants grow better and is not how the atmosphere of this planet works? Our atmosphere is gravity bound heavy gasses as we travel through the cold vacuum of the universe.

October 27, 2014 4:26 am

Thoughts and best wishes for you Anthony.

October 27, 2014 5:22 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you Anthony. You are a blessing to us all.

bill mckibben
October 27, 2014 6:07 am

Good luck and speedy recovery!

Lil Fella from OZ
October 27, 2014 12:32 pm

Do you realise, technically we are not the ‘skeptics.’ We are the holders of the truth when it comes to AGW Climate Change (so called).

Joel O'Bryan
October 27, 2014 12:35 pm

The Arctic sea ice extent is climbing rapidly.
So I have a question on the sea ice freezing process and loss of the latent heat from the salt water as it goes to ice.
1. Is the heat being carried away because below-freezing cold air is blowing across the near-freezing water? And thus the water freezing like the ice cubes in my freezer’s ice maker?
2. Is the near freezing salt water surface radiating heat into the clear night skies as the sun sinks lower and lower and the nights get longer and longer?
Here in the desert SW going into late November and December, nightly condensation forms an ice crust forms as the surface heat radiates to space. Or small shallow water puddles get an ice layer from radiation only on calm clear nights. So as for sea ice, I think the latter process, #2. Is that right?
Which means the heat is radiated to space and not transferred to the atmosphere where it can raise atmospheric temps. Certainly when the strong cold winds blow across the open water, the cold air temp is warmed by the 2-4 deg C marine water to form the moist marine layer that keeps coastal areas warmer than inland areas.
Any way, even if it is both processes, it is encouraging to see the strong growth of autumn sea ice in the Arctic which is very similar to 2013 Arctic sea ice growth, a winter when Arctic Polar vortex southerly incursions began in January.

October 27, 2014 1:08 pm

Joel O’Bryan
October 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm
So I have a question on the sea ice freezing process and loss of the latent heat from the salt water as it goes to ice.
1. Is the heat being carried away because below-freezing cold air is blowing across the near-freezing water? And thus the water freezing like the ice cubes in my freezer’s ice maker?
2. Is the near freezing salt water surface radiating heat into the clear night skies as the sun sinks lower and lower and the nights get longer and longer?
Here in the desert SW going into late November and December, nightly condensation forms an ice crust forms as the surface heat radiates to space. Or small shallow water puddles get an ice layer from radiation only on calm clear nights. So as for sea ice, I think the latter process, #2. Is that right?
Which means the heat is radiated to space and not transferred to the atmosphere where it can raise atmospheric temps.

Heat exchange is instantaneous, complex, and continuous – all at once. By the way, you left evaporation and conduction off of your list…. 8> heat gained, the local environment will (MUST!) cool off. Air heats up and cools much faster than water or ice, so the air gets very, very cold. The air radiates at high, medium, and low altitudes, and radiates more as you go higher up (10,000 meters to 25,000 meters altitude.)
All the while the air is radiating into space, it is also mixing (convective losses) from warmer air at all altitudes, cooling off that air above and below it. If the cooler air is forced across warmer seas or land, they cool off and try to heat the air … unsuccessfully. The air continues to lose heat energy into space but gaining it from the water and land that keep losing their energy to the air touching either surface.
There is no “either – or” situation: Heat is lost from hot surfaces to colder surfaces continuous and by all methods at the same time.
The ocean water keep radiating long wave heat energy at the same time it is convecting energy and evaporating energy. If it is a clear night, the 2 degree ocean water radiated much more energy per second into the clear night sky at -50C than it does into a cloudy night sky at -30 C, or -20 C at very cloudy nights. And, if that open ocean does freeze, the upper surface of the new ice keeps radiating as well: BUT!!!!! The new ice upper surface becomes just 1/2 or 1 degree less than the air temperature because the ice prevents water from radiating. The open ocean is much, much more mixed than the fixed land: Thus, the upper land surface will lose more energy into space than an equal mass of water. into the same air and the same night sky, a good solid high emissivity substance of the same mass and area (a car hood) will lose more energy than a low-emissivity substance. A substance under a tree or shaded by a cover or roof will lose less energy than an open piece.
Thus, when ice covers the open water any time between August 22 through March 22 in the Arctic, heat losses by long wave radiation go DOWN – less heat is lost from ice than from open ocean. Contrast water at 2 deg C to the upper surface of the ice at -20 C. Convert both to Kelvin. 275^4 compared to 253^4 Heat is still lost into the air and into space from ice by radiation, but less heat is lost. (We accurately note that “Ice insulates nature from the cold air.”) Note that some heat is gained into the Arctic Ocean by solar radiation when it hits open water in the Arctic in the five months of April, May, June, July, and August, but not much compared to the many days of increased losses.
Further, when open ocean freezes over, NO energy is lost to the air by evaporation of the water’s upper surface.
You can ONLY discuss heat transfer on an instantaneous, molecule by molecule basis. “Averaging the earth out over a full year by assuming a flat-plate? Yeah – I guess Obola’s catastrophysists don’t believe the earth rotates yet.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 27, 2014 2:16 pm

There’s also an odd heat loss mechanism as saltier water sinks due to ice formation and heat loss across the ice “shell”. ….. The sinking water is replaced by surface water coming from nearby ice edge open waters. Neat, isn’t it?

george e. smith
Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 27, 2014 2:47 pm

All my physics books say “heat” (noun) is a macro property of systems; not a property of individual molecules.
Yes, conduction of “heat” occurs by energy exchange between colliding molecules, in the micro view, but then convection is the mass transport of “heat” energy by moving huge numbers of molecules together, and physically transporting them, and their collisions to somewhere else, so it certainly isn’t a molecule by molecule proposition.
Radiation on the other hand, is emitted (or absorbed) by single molecules in the case of line spectral radiation, or my pairs of molecules during a collision, in the case of thermal (bb like) radiation. Its fundamental source is acceleration of electric charge, as required by Maxwell’s equations.

October 27, 2014 2:07 pm

The global temperature anomaly data HADCRUT4.3.0.0.monthly.ns_avg.txt have been published for Sep 2014 ( When I use the absolute temperature data “” published at to transform the anomaly data to temperatures, I find 15.7 °C for Sep 2014. The same procedure for NOOA NCDC global leads to 15.7 °C, and for GISTEMP LOTI to 15.8 °C. On the global scale, July (16.4 °C) is the hottest month, while Jan (12.6 °C) is coldest. This is caused by the unequal distribution of land and oceans on the northern and the southern hemisphere, respectively. Therefore it is better to use annual means for specifying global temperatures. I found for the 201310-201409 interval, 14.5 °C for HADCRUT4, GISTEMP, and for NOOA, respectively. This maximum value was also measured in the corresponding time spans 97/98, 01/02, 04/05, 05/06, 06/07, 08/09, 09/10, 12/13. The 360 month trend from 1984 to 2014 is 0,170 °C/decade for HADCRUT 4, 0,166 for GisTemp, and 0,156 for NOOA NCDC.
As the forecasts made by modeling the climate were not very successful in the recent decades, I have tried to make my own forecasts of the global temperature. My forecast is based on the historical temperature data. The idea behind is that the forcings of the climate (sun irradiation, albedo, GHG, land-use, oceans, etc.) are varying slowly in time and the “inertia” of the global climate is large. Simple least squares fitting is used with several choices of fitting functions. The aim is to find a function with fitting parameters which are stable in time. This means: When I make a forecast from the past to now the best fitting function will have the smallest deviation from the measured data. I determined the time span in the past with a deviation smaller than the error level (0.1 °C). This time interval is assumed to be the time span valid for the forecast.
The best fitting function for the temperature was found to be T(t) = c0+c1*t+c2*t^2+c3*sin(c4*t+c5) The ci are fitting parameters. HADCRUT4 is better than NOOA NCDC and GISS, because this dataset goes back to 1850, while NOOA and GISS start from 1880. The gridded dataset of HADCRUT4 worked better than the published global dataset, when I interpolated or extrapolated missing temperature anomalies in the gridded dataset ( i.e. Arctica and Antarctica) before averaging over the globe.
As a result of my analysis, the 1yr means global temperature is expected to rise from 14.5 to 15.5 °C in the next 60 years. This is a temperature increase of 1.0 °C. For comparison, the temperature rise during the last 60 years was 0.8 °C. I admit that this analysis is a more sophisticated version of saying that the weather tomorrow is the same as today or yesterday. Therefore it can give no answer about the origins of the change. Details of my calculations can be found on my website.

October 27, 2014 3:51 pm

Take care of yourself Anthony.
Don’t push to have so many “breaking news” stories, forget TV days. :o)
More guest articles (get working on one Keith), more moderators (alas I don’t have regular enough access).
Best wishes.

October 28, 2014 2:15 am

Anthony, just out of curiosity and if you don’t mind the personal question, as I suffer hearing issues too since birth, what was the procedure to restore your hearing?

Col Mosby
October 28, 2014 10:40 am

This just in : the local govt officials in the area affected have just overwhelmingly approved the restart of the local reactor that was the first Japanese nuclear plant that had been certified by the govt nuclear regulators with respect to meeting all of the new safety procedures and equipment required after the Fukushima accident. The vote was 19 out of 26, with 4 opposed and 3 abstensions. This virtually guarantees, I would think, that all 48 of their reactors will win local approval and be restarted. And none too soon – the Japanese economy has suffered with the added expense of importing more coal and LNG. Their nuclear plants produce over a third of their electricity.

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