# Where The Temperature Rules The Sun

I’ve held for a long time that there is a regulatory mechanism in the tropics that keeps the earth’s temperature within very narrow bounds on average (e.g. ± 0.3°C over the 20th Century). This mechanism is the timing and amount of the daily emergence of the cumulus cloud field, and the timing and emergence of thunderstorms.

Now, the current paradigm is that the sun rules the temperature, and our daily experience seems to bear that out. When the amount of sun reaching the surface goes up, the temperature goes up. This has led to the claim that the temperature must perforce follow the forcing in a linear fashion. For those interested in the math, the claim is that changes in temperature are equal to changes in forcing times a constant called the “climate sensitivity”. And much energy has been wasted trying to determine the value of that constant.

Despite hundreds of thousands of hours of both human and computer time dedicated to the quest, here’s the great progress that has been made:

Figure 1. Dr. Nir Shaviv’s comments on the history of estimates of the “climate sensitivity” parameter.

I hold that this stunning lack of progress is undeniable evidence that the underlying paradigm is flawed. As I said above, daily experience shows that the sun rules the temperature … but it turns out that while this is true on land, at sea things are quite different.

To show the difference, I looked at the correlation between sunlight striking the surface, and the temperature. Remember that a positive correlation means that the temperature and the sun are moving in the same direction, as the current paradigm insists. A negative correlation, on the other hand, means that they are going in opposite directions. Here’s a map of the globe showing the correlation between temperature and solar radiation at the surface.

Figure 2. Correlation between the solar radiation at the surface, and the surface temperature. This is calculated on a 1° x 1° gridcell basis.

There are several interesting things about this graph. First, it is easy to see why people have been fooled into thinking that the temperature slavishly follows the forcing. On the land, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the positive correlation is nearly perfect—when the surface sun increases, the temperature goes up, and vice versa. It leads to the obvious but incorrect conclusion that it is a feature of the whole planet.

But in the tropical ocean, things are quite different. There, we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.

We have two choices in assigning causation in these areas. Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely. Or, as I said above, increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.

I’m gonna go with Choice B …

There is another interesting aspect of this graphic. We know that the reason that the Earth’s surface temperature is well above that predicted by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is the poorly-named “greenhouse effect”. How can that be, if the temperature doesn’t follow the forcing as the climate paradigm states?

The answer is that other than in small isolated patches, this phenomenon doesn’t occur where the temperature is less than about 24°C. Below that, as the forcing goes up the temperature goes up as daily experience leads us to expect. So the greenhouse effect is able to warm up the planet … but only to a certain point. Beyond that, things start going the other direction.

Next, it is important to note the size of the phenomenon. A negative correlation between temperature and sunshine occurs over an area where no less than 17% of the sunlight is striking the earth. This is more than enough to serve as a thermoregulatory mechanism.

Finally, it is important to remember that this is not a static phenomenon. As temperatures increase and decrease these areas, the sun is moving in the opposite direction. This keeps the tropical temperature, and thus the global temperature, from getting either too hot or too cold.

My best regards to all. I’m still in the Solomon Islands, you’re welcome to read about my misadventures on my blog.

w.

My Usual Request: When you are commenting please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so we can all understand just what you are talking about.

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Earthling2
December 14, 2017 10:19 pm

“Or, as I said above, increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.”

That of course, sounds totally logical and is probably the correct answer considering that “Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely.” is probably totally wrong. Obviously.

The only other explanation would be that cooler ocean temperatures from below replace the warmer water on the surface, thus reducing temperatures and evaporation but that is also probably unlikely, except in a long term phase like a La Nina.

Unless there is some mechanism that does offer some change to the thermocline by more sunshine causing more warmer water and that causes thermal temperature gradient upheaval, although now I am only thinking out loud. We are all allowed to think out loud…

Earthling2
December 14, 2017 11:02 pm

Wait..scratch the thermocline gradient upheaval. That don’t make any sense and would take way too long. The thunderstorms probably make more sense. All that water vapour condensing out at high altitude and falling as cool rain, and dragging down a cool breeze from up above. Had it the wrong way around.

jinghis
December 15, 2017 8:00 am

I have made a number of measurements of the surface temperature of the ocean with an IR Gun. What I have noticed is that changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity, much more closely than cloud or Sun changes.

Clyde Spencer
December 15, 2017 12:34 pm

jinghis ,
You said, “…changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity,,,,: Are you suggesting evaporation as the cooling driver?

jinghis
December 15, 2017 1:00 pm

Clyde, jinghis ,
You said, “…changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity,,,,: Are you suggesting evaporation as the cooling driver?

Yes, the water temperature immediately below the surface is warmer than the skin temperature, while the air temperature just above the surface is always very close to the surface skin temperature. That means to me that the net radiation between the surface and air is zero. That leaves evaporation as the sole means of cooling.

I can even watch it in real time by measuring below the surface with a thermometer as the sun warms the water and creates a warm level just below the surface. While simultaneously reading the IR of the surface. When clouds appear they halt the warming of the water below the surface, but the surface temperature will stay constant. If the wind picks up however the skin temperature will drop and if the wind stops the surface temperature will rise, regardless of clouds or sun.

Wim Röst
December 15, 2017 2:38 pm

jinghis December 15, 2017 at 8:00 am: “What I have noticed is that changes in the surface skin temperature follow changes in the wind velocity”

WR: Wind is the big missing link. Besides the role of wind in oceanic [cold] upwelling and in mixing of the upper oceanic surface layers wind plays a huge role in evaporation. A rise in windspeed of 1.3 gives an extra wind stress of 1.69. The higher wind stress results in an even more enhanced evaporation: waves with a greater surface area develop and enhance evaporation in that way and with even more wind, drops of water in the air enhance the surface area exposed to evaporation enormously. And so evaporation rises exponential. Willis already wrote about this.

Wind is an essential element in the ocean-atmospheric system, the system that in its totality is ruling our climate. Wind is the element that badly is known so far and that doesn’t get the attention and research it deserves. Wind is very variable and adapts to changing circumstances. The total quantity of wind is NOT the same every day, every season, every year and every longer period. Variable wind plays a key role.

Some initial warming by whatever (!) cause changes the ocean/atmospheric system. The warmer, the stronger the evaporative reaction. Owners of a swimming pool know about the evaporative power of ‘heat’ + wind.

My compliments for the research of jinghis.

Paul Bahlin
December 15, 2017 6:12 pm

Under hurricanes you have an elevated surface relative to edges, so there is a slope from center out to edge. You also have circulating surface wind that pushes water at right angle to direction of wind complementing outward flow from slope.

So in theory it acts like a giant pump. That’s what the math would show; outward surface flow replaced by upwelling, cold, nutrient rich deep water.. Whether it actually works as such with all the other things going on at the surface, i don’t know if it has been observed as significant.

I would tbink same thing happens under tstorms too but i don’t know if they last long enough to get it going.

December 14, 2017 10:26 pm

The incident sun radiation can rapidly change the atmophere’s temps at the surface (skin temp).

A day on the beach can convince you of that. Cloudless, it’s warm sun bathing. Then a cloud rolls in front of the sun, you get a sudden chill, and your wife/girlfriend looks for the blanket to pullover her.

But the ocean’s and their temperatures are the key to Earth’s steady temperature. Not the air temp as measured by so many.

Leo Smith
December 14, 2017 10:50 pm

You sir, bathe at the wrong sort of beaches…
http://vps.templar.co.uk/Odds%20and%20Ends/index.jpeg

December 14, 2017 11:02 pm

A man’s warmth under the loincloth is deceptive for sure. Empires have collapsed and wars waged for such things.

AndyG55
December 15, 2017 12:01 am
menicholas
December 15, 2017 2:32 pm

Ok, so the general message is…it is complicated, but life is a beach.

Steve Ta
December 15, 2017 6:31 am

“cloud rolls in front of the sun, you get a sudden chill” – there’s another aspect to this, since the clouds are not rolling along in a static atmosphere. The air below the cloud is also rolling along, but harder to see. This air has been in shade for some considerable time – so is cold. And that cold air reaches you about the same time as the shade.

Samuel C Cogar
December 15, 2017 8:25 am

Steve Ta – December 15, 2017 at 6:31 am

“cloud rolls in front of the sun, you get a sudden chill” – there’s another aspect to this, since the clouds are not rolling along in a static atmosphere. The air below the cloud is also rolling along, but harder to see. This air has been in shade for some considerable time – so is cold. And that cold air reaches you about the same time as the shade.

And then, ….. there’s another aspect to this. You can get a sudden chill under full Sunshine iffen a cold wind blows in, ….. regardless of whether or not it precedes any cloud cover over top of you.

But anyway, the upper atmospheric winds that blow the clouds around are not always felt (detected) at the surface, ….. but their “shadow” that extends to the surface can cause a fairly “quick” bodily chill simply because of the “quickness” of the IR energy being both conducted and radiated away from your “warm” body and its surrounding air molecules.

george e. smith
December 15, 2017 8:34 am

So Steve how do you explain why that sudden chill still happens if you are inside looking up at that cloud rolling in front of the sun through double or triple pane glass ??

It has nothing to do with air movement; it is simply solar radiation in the 0.7 to 1.5 micron region where the water in your skin is a strong absorber.

Long wave EM radiation in the 10-50 micron wavelength region is not detectable by ANY of the human senses. It has NO taste either.

G

Samuel C Cogar
December 15, 2017 7:40 am

joelobryan – December 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

But the ocean’s and their temperatures are the key to Earth’s steady temperature. Not the air temp as measured by so many.

It should be quite obvious to most all learned individuals that your above two (2) claims, that I “boldfaced”, are unquestionably CORRECT.

Likewise, the ocean’s and their temperatures are also the key to the bi-yearly (seasonal) cycling of atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities. Not the seasonal growth and decomposition of the land-based biomass in the Northern Hemisphere that has been insinuated, guesstimated, estimated and/or “fuzzy math” calculated by so many notoriety seeking and/or “wannabe” recipients of government “grant” monies.

December 15, 2017 7:47 am

My instinct tells me that your final paragraph is right on the button as it appears that the temperature of the oceans are slow to change.

Walter Sobchak
December 15, 2017 8:18 am

The air does not warm the water. The water warms the air.

Clyde Spencer
December 15, 2017 12:46 pm

Walter Sobchak,
Such a universal statement is not warranted. Typically, if either warm air passes over the water, or the water surface receives incoming IR, water vapor will be evaporated from the surface, resulting in it cooling. On the other hand, if the air over the air-water interface is saturated (100% RH) with water vapor, negligible evaporation will take and conduction should allow heat to move to the cooler body. Similarly, if IR impinges on the water surface, it should warm if it isn’t able to remove the heat by evaporation. Again, the complexity of the situation suggests that the science isn’t settled, and that we may not have enough information to model the processes adequately. For example, I would suspect that in the absence of wind, the air immediately above the water surface will quickly become saturated, impeding evaporation.

Andy Pattullo
December 15, 2017 8:34 am

Joelobryan I agree. The vast majority is heat is stored in the oceans and has a very long time lag or lags depending on the processes that deliver that heat to the oceans. As Willis points out the surface temps of the oceans are closely regulated on short timescales by emergent phenomenon such as cloud formation and precipitation. Over very long time scales there may be very important influences by solar cycles, astronomic cycles such as the Milankovic cycles and possibly others. On land the surface temperature is likely the slave of winds, and heat delivered from the oceans along with incident radiation and the global circulation patterns which moves heat form equator to poles. The greenhouse effect may play a bigger role there, but I suspect even then, that various feedbacks (largely ignored by the concensorati) limit the extent that greenhouse gases can control temps. Thus the observed lack of progress in defining sensitivity.

thomasjk
December 15, 2017 4:31 pm

I think the fact that the albedo of the ice-free portion of the ocean is about .04,and that most of the TSI falls on the tropics, most of the area of the tropical surface is the waters of the oceans and all of the tropical ocean surface is ice free. Solar infra-red that penetrates the atmosphere and reaches the surface is absorbed in the first few millimeters of the oceans where as whatever UV and shorter wavelengths that reach the surface may penetrate a couple of hundred meters before their energy is fully absorbed by the water.

Somewhere in all that there may be an important fact or two.

Robert W Turner
December 14, 2017 11:20 pm

This is showing how heat is distributed and retained in the atmosphere from the real greenhouse effect — convection currents. You can even see a slight effect where air is rising and removing surface heat at the Ferrell/Polar cells, though obviously not as important as the Hadley Cells.

The heat is just transferred from the surface to higher in the troposphere and to higher latitudes when that air eventually falls back to the surface. When the overall general circulation of the atmosphere is not removing as much of this heat (the dry season), it heats up on the surface.

It’s the heat transfer that leads to a negative correlation in the tropics, not “increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface,” that is a catch 22. The tropical ocean is warmest during the dry season, when the surface is receiving more sun. It’s the solar equator that dictates where the Hadley Cells readily remove heat in the atmosphere, specifically at the ITCZ where the most heat is being removed.

December 14, 2017 11:49 pm

In the SW Arizona summer, it is the clear sky June (max insolation) heating of the desert floor that is essential to providing the surface heat that will ensure that when the moisture laden air arrives it will get destabilized to form massive cumulonimbus towers and dump its water on the desert. Without the summer clear sky pre-heating, the SW monsoons wouldn’t happen. The moisture would just pass on by.

rbabcock
December 15, 2017 6:03 am

AZ experiences heat lows in the summer which actually drag in the moisture laden air.. a cause and effect situation.

Andrew Cooke
December 15, 2017 6:24 am

That right there is the truth. I remember when I lived there June heat didn’t go above 110 one year – the monsoon was a no show and August was unbearable with heat in the 115’s. The normal was June heat in the 115-120 range and that meant blessed rain at the end of July and August.

We used to joke that if it didn’t hit at least 118 in the last week of June we wouldn’t see rain again until January.

bruce
December 15, 2017 6:49 am

Remember even central AZ gets monsoon action. At 5500 feet the temp is 17 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Thus the floor never reaches the base temp you mention. So it’s relative to air density, or something more interesting.

Samuel C Cogar
December 15, 2017 2:05 pm

Now I am sure the following 3 comments are honestly earnest opinions, to wit:

@ joelobryan – December 14, 2017 at 11:49 pm
Without the summer clear sky pre-heating, the SW monsoons wouldn’t happen. The moisture would just pass on by.

@ rbabcock – December 15, 2017 at 6:03 am
AZ experiences heat lows in the summer which actually drag in the moisture laden air..

@ Andrew Cooke – December 15, 2017 at 6:24 am
That right there is the truth. I remember when I lived there June heat didn’t go above 110 one year – the monsoon was a no show …

But I just hafta agree with what the University of Arizona authors have to say about the “SW monsoons”, to wit:

The monsoon is driven by the sun heating up the land and the Pacific Ocean at different rates, with land surfaces warming more quickly than the ocean. The warm land creates low-pressure zones as hot air rises. Once this pattern establishes across the region, the winds shift to fill in the vacuum. With this shift in the winds, the monsoon begins in northern Mexico in May. The moisture-laden monsoon air travels north to Arizona and New Mexico, encouraged by the pressure difference between the hot, parched southwestern air and the cooler Mexican air.

There are no evident trends in annual monsoon strength, making it difficult to predict. This variable tendency has been consistent over the past 100 years when record keeping generally began.

The above excerpted from: http://www.climas.arizona.edu/sw-climate/monsoon

jinghis
December 15, 2017 8:15 am

That is correct Willis, check the changes in wind velocity, the surface temperature tracks wind velocity better. The reason is because the ocean cools primarily by evaporation not radiation, while it warms entirely via radiation.

Samuel C Cogar
December 15, 2017 8:42 am

@ jinghis

while it warms entirely via radiation.

Uh, …. is not “conduction” an important player in both the warming and cooling of the surface?

RWturner
December 15, 2017 8:43 am
RWturner
December 15, 2017 9:00 am

The negative correlation is not for solar radiation at the surface, but for solar radiation at ToA. For most latitudes, when the sun is at its highest angle in summer, the surface has a higher temperature. But for the tropical marine environment, it’s the opposite. When the sun is at its lowest angle, the surface has a higher temperature because anticyclones depress cumulus formation. The anticyclones of course being part of the mechanism I described above.

RWturner
December 15, 2017 9:12 am

Buariki, too, has a higher temperature during the dry season.

https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/forecast/modelclimate/buariki-village_kiribati_7576353

A C Osborn
December 15, 2017 10:16 am

Er, that link doesn’t seem to show that?

RWturner
December 15, 2017 10:56 am

Uh, yes it does in general. Here is a more detailed look:

https://en.climate-data.org/location/788677/#temperature-graph

Graph the precipitation and maximum temperature from the table. In general, as precipitation increases, temperature decreases. August to November is the driest and warmest time of year, January to April is the rainiest and coolest time of year, and December is the only month that doesn’t show this general relationship.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 11:52 am

Interesting, RWturner.

A C Osborn
December 15, 2017 1:18 pm

is a straight line compared to the first graph you showed.

jinghis
December 15, 2017 2:01 pm

Huh? I fear there’s an error in your calculations, Genghis. Per the CERES data, the ocean radiates on the order of 400 W/m2. Evaporation is more difficult to measure, but is on the order of 80 W/m2, while conduction is on the order of 20 W/m2. The ocean cools primarily by radiation.

w.

I don’t doubt that the ocean is radiating 400 W/m2, my point is the air above the ocean is radiating 400 W/m2 back, for a net zero radiation. It is evaporation that transports the heat from the ocean into the atmosphere where I am certain it then radiates at 400 W/m2.

The surface of the ocean absorbs solar radiation probably close to 1000 to 1200 W/m2 and evaporation is how the energy is released. As the surface temperature rises the evaporation rate dramatically rises, creating a low pressure system, winds etc. You know the story.

menicholas
December 15, 2017 3:03 pm

Our skin has responded over millions of years of evolution to create at least mechanisms that cool our warm skin. Certainly our bodies are radiating, and when overheated, our circulatory system shunts blood from the core of our body to our skin, increasing radiational cooling.
But this transport of additional blood/heat to the skin is enhanced by the other mechanism…excretion of water from the skin, which leads to a huge removal of water via evaporation. The phase change of sweat evaporating sucks a tremendously large amount of thermal energy from our body.
Now consider the effects of wind and humidity on this cooling mechanism.
When it becomes very humid, the cooling effect of sweating is greatly diminished, and I would guess it is close to zero when the air is saturated, i.e. humidity 100%. But any breeze or wind greatly enhances cooling by sweat evaporating, even when it is humid…but likely not much if it is windy and 100% humidity.
(Luckily for us, it is rare that it is 100% humid when the sun is shining)
For people that spend lots of time outdoors engaged in the sort of exertion that requires large amounts of heat be shed, or who spend time outdoors in very hot areas, regardless of physical exertion, personal experience may prove insightful, but inconclusive.
Ditto for experiments involving thermometers and IR sensors on the surface of the ocean, unless this is done under a wide range of conditions and the results carefully recorded and plotted.
Interesting to note…in the hottest locations on earth, many animals have adapted strategies for cooling the body that rely more often on radiation…the huge ears of African elephants, giant fan erectly held ears with copious blood supplies on other animals, such as desert foxes, jackrabbits, some bats, etc.
Interesting discussion, food for thought.
Personally, I agree with Willis’s conclusions regarding tropical thunderstorms, having reached the same conclusion my self many years ago.

menicholas
December 15, 2017 3:04 pm

Sorry…at least two mechanisms…

(I think I need a new keyboard)

ATheoK
December 15, 2017 3:21 pm

“RWturner December 15, 2017 at 8:43 am
Not for Kiribati…”

You’re claiming warmer temperatures over oceans, by using Kiribati’s 3m surface temperature?

Robert W Turner
December 15, 2017 10:09 pm

A C Osborn December 15, 2017 at 1:18 pm
https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/forecast/modelclimate/buariki-village_kiribati_7576353
is a straight line compared to the first graph you showed.

Not the daily maximum temperature, that suggests it is on average 1 degree cooler at night and that makes sense because of less humidity. And we’re talking about when the sun is shining, so my assertion holds true.

ATheoK December 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm
You’re claiming warmer temperatures over oceans, by using Kiribati’s 3m surface temperature?

Do you know a better location within the negative correlation area on W’s map than this?
Napari, Kiribati
Tomorrows forecast, partly cloudy with a high of 80 F and a low of 77 F, go figure.

Where exactly is it cooler during the day when it is sunny/high pressure? WIth actual surface data. The only way that negative correlation could be made is with nighttime lows being factored in.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 11:30 pm

menicholas

I would guess it is close to zero when the air is saturated, i.e. humidity 100%.

Children in a Finnish sauna will quickly find out if they blow to their little brother’s back, that burns. The humidity is 99% and temp at 80C, so there is no relieve in air circulation, on the contrary. So evaporation turns into condensation, which makes cooling impossible.

Paul Bahlin
December 16, 2017 3:44 am

True. I suffered heat stroke one morning at dawn in Florida. Temp was 71. Dew point was 71. Sweating profusely while merely raking loose fill around new concrete piers.

My cooling system was inoperable.

Javier
December 15, 2017 4:20 am

One can certainly see in the figure bands of lower and higher correlation that might correspond to the Hadley and Ferrer cells. Convection is a powerful overlooked factor.

AJB
December 15, 2017 12:13 pm

+1

Richard111
December 14, 2017 11:47 pm

As I understand it, visible light can penetrate sea water down to about 100 metres. Infra-red light penetrates hardly or not at all, in fact tends to increase surface cooling by evaporation. Thus any back-radiation from the atmosphere is NOT heating some 70% plus of the planet.

AndyG55
December 15, 2017 12:49 am

UV !!

Bloke down the pub
December 15, 2017 2:56 am

We have two choices in assigning causation in these areas. Either increasing tropical sunshine at the surface is driving the surface temperature down, which seems highly unlikely. Or, as I said above, increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface.

I’m gonna go with Choice B …

Can’t it be both?

Stephen Skinner
December 15, 2017 3:00 am

So what would the average temperature of the Earth be? if it was:
(a) All water
(b1) All land – bare Sand
(b2) All land – bare Iron
(b3) All land – bare Soil
(b4) All land – Forest

Our Earth is a jumble of continents in a large body of water and the patterns of ocean and atmospheric currents are seriously perturbed by the various bits of land in the way. While a global average temperature can only be an average of other multiple averages it is also hard to work out what it ‘should’ be considering it is a jumble of land and water with large variations in response to the suns heat.
My maths is not currently up to the task of figuring this out but my guess is the 5 options above would have different averages.

Stephen Skinner
December 15, 2017 3:26 am

“then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?”
I meant to hazard an answer here.
Water is slower to cool down so that the sun is coming back up before the oceans could reach freezing? Also night time temperatures near or on the ocean can be moderate and dry land away from the oceans or in deserts gets very cold at night? On top of that I think the atmosphere itself must have some warming effect considering it gets below freezing a short way up in the atmosphere. So mountain tops will be covered in snow even though there is less atmosphere to block the sun but the sun ‘feels’ cold even though you can get badly sunburnt.

Javier
December 15, 2017 4:27 am

why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?

Because ice floats and because heat is coming up from the bottom of the ocean. Otherwise they might be frozen solid from glacial periods and wouldn’t melt during interglacials.

Gabro
December 15, 2017 5:01 am

Blue and green light penetrate farther than that, as does UV:

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 5:29 am

“So what would the average temperature of the Earth be? if…”
“my guess is the 5 options above would have different average”
Right
1) because of power 4 emission, a smooth temperature has higher average than the very same wattage emitted between between a high summer day and a low winter night. so b2 > b1 just because iron is a better heat conductor than sand and soil
2) water adds to the buffering of temperature, and this way keeps temperature still higher
3) photosynthesis also add to the buffering (eating energy in summer day, releasing it in night and winter); much lower effect, but since you mentioned forest…
4) dry Earth would had no clouds, lower, moon-like, albedo, 20% more power.
Notice that, on the moon, the low buffer effect from the soil and tiny atmosphere accounts for a lower average temperature than Earth, despite a higher solar energy (from lower albedo)

Lars P.
December 15, 2017 8:32 am

” However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid? See my post “Radiating The Ocean” for a full discussion of this question.”

1) The oceans would be frozen solid in a round sliced world somewhere behind Mars orbit – as it is shown in the averaged irradiation world of climate scientists.

I propose another point of view:
If one changes that and considers half of the world in the sun, half by night – as would be in a more realistic simulation – you suddenly have half of it not frozen solid.
The other side in the dark would be partially frozen.
The heat lost of the whole ocean would be also limited through the ice sheet on the frozen part.
So we have the interesting situation of 55% or more, not frozen, and 45% or less, frozen.
(just guessing the % no calculation behind)

2) In the linked post it states:
“People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean. But the same is true of the land. DLR is absorbed in the first mm of rock or soil. “

There is a fundamental difference:
The oceans have an inverted temperature gradient at the surface. Heat does not go from cold to warm. The surface is colder then the water a couple of centimetres below.
On land the surface is warmer and below the temperature is colder – so heat goes top down.

Due to the heat gradient the oceans warm only from the sun and not from ‘backradiation’.

Does this mean that the surface temperature has no effect?
No. The surface works like a heat valve. If the surface is warmer, the ocean below needs to get warmer to lose heat.

Another interesting point would be: if the surface becomes warmer the ocean will generally lose more heat through evaporation which will result in increased heat transfer.

3) Combining point 1) and 2) I would say that the heat transfer through the atmosphere is giving the relationship between the frozen ocean and the unfrozen part.
I haven’t seen proper calculation of heat transfer through the atmosphere, to my understanding climate scientists get even the lapse rate wrong, so they are far away from a proper calculation.

One essential point I am missing in all climate science is the first part the ocean warming directly from the sun and the value where the climate equilibrium (ice/non ice) would be without the atmosphere as a heat brake. Climate science considers the oceans more or less like solid ground which is wrong.

gnomish
December 15, 2017 11:14 am

cuz the ocean is a greenhouse liquid, willis. radiant energy penetrates to some depth and it stores heat. it can not reradiate that energy because it’s opaque to IR.
it’s a reservoir of heat while the land surface temp flaps in the breeze

the notion that the air heats the ocean is patently absurd.

Editor
December 15, 2017 12:13 pm

Willis,

However much I love your writing and appreciate your reasoning ability (indeed, have learned much from it), I fail to be convinced. Or, I fail to be convinced that warming of the ocean due to DLR is more than mere noise. Then, as now, “tallbloke’s” response is a cogent rejoinder, and is a prime example that the devil’s in the details: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/#comment-720229.

rip

Clyde Spencer
December 15, 2017 12:14 pm

Willis,

You asked, ” However, if your claim is true, then why aren’t the oceans frozen solid?” I think that the answer to the question is: circulation. When I lived in New England, the locals advised me to let a faucet trickle all night on really cold nights.

I think that what you have presented is extremely important! It is an insight on the complexities of the climate system that has evaded the ‘professionals’ who don’t have an appreciation for, or the ability to model to the appropriate scale, the nuances of climate relationships. When one focuses on global averages, it is expected that the details will be overlooked.

menicholas
December 15, 2017 3:35 pm

Well, I am not a ninth grader anymore, but I can think of an experiment:
1)Tank of water well insulated, like a calorimeter. Air in water above tank at 100% RH, eliminating net evaporation, source of LR above the water, shining down on it. All sealed up.
Graph temp profile of water over time. Same with air temp
2) Same apparatus as above but with air at 50% RH.
3) Same apparatus as #1 but with air at 5% RH.
4) Same Apparatus as #1 but with no source of radiation.
5) Same as #1 but with energy source emitting SH and not LW radiation.
Questions: What happens to each over time?
Increased RH represents energy stored in air, but now measurable with a thermometer. What of this?

gnomish
December 16, 2017 5:44 am

“So … what mysterious energy source are you folks proposing that provides 230 W/m2 of energy to the ocean, if it is NOT the downwelling longwave from the atmosphere?”
seriously? is this not the argument for CAGW in the raw? cuz you can’t find an explanation for a faulty model?
fact: water is virtually opaque to IR
fact: the ocean is not frozen

Lars P.
December 16, 2017 7:37 am

Willis Eschenbach says: December 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Guys, you’re missing the point. We know, because we’ve measured it from space, that the oceans radiate about 400W/m2.
We also know, for the same reason, that the oceans absorb about 170 W/m2 from the sun.

Sorry Willis but I see this as GW BS.
Insulation is not equal energy source.
If one would remove completely solar radiation from the equation (the 170 W/m2) the temperature would go to zero. Absolute zero. (now not considering the Earth core as energy source…)
If one would remove completely ‘backradiation’ the temperature would not go to zero.
=> the two ‘sources’ are not equal. There is only one heat source.

One can have all the ‘backradiation’ in the world it would still go to zero. The sun radiation drives the whole process.

In my view for proper calculation one should use net energy transfer. Backradiation will never exceed the source. Backradiation is only one member of a heat transfer process and should not be treated individually.

A C Osborn
December 16, 2017 10:28 am

Gnomish, I have been conducting Experiments to isolate this so called “Back radiation” based on Mr Eshenbachs last Thread on Energy Flow and trying to confirm all the outlandish claims made like
1. All photons are the same.
2. A Photon is a Photon and doesn’t know where it came from or is going to, it just gets absorbed and it’s energy increases the energy of the struck object and hence it’s Temperature.

As you surmise it can’t & doesn’t do the job of warming the surface or the Oceans
.
It doesn’t matter if it is 2 cooling objects of differing temperatures, 2 cooling objects of the same temperature or if one of the objects is constantly heated and one is cooler.
Colder objects do not make Warmer objects warmer, Period.
If you can’t reproduce it you can’t claim it works, “thought experiments” just don’t cut it..
Unfortunately they closed that thread before I could post my results, but then they ignored the first few anyway.

December 16, 2017 11:39 am

The ocean surface and the atmosphere above it reach equilibrium at the speed of light. If you go to modtran and look up and down from one meter, you get a range of upward radiation from 446 W/m2 in the tropics to 287 in subarctic summer. The latter (at 287K surface temp) is a reasonable approximation of high latitude ocean temperatures at a few degrees C.
When you look up from one meter, you get downward radiation ranging from 369 in the tropics to 281 in subarctic summer. The downward radiation is always less, with a difference of 78 in the tropics to 96 in subarctic. Net radiative transfer is nearly always from the ocean to the atmosphere, yet the respective temperatures of the ocean skin and the atmospheric boundary layer are essentially the same.

The atmosphere is far more transparent to IR than the ocean. Extinction at 15u is on the order of the wavelength for the ocean, and about a meter for the atmosphere. This asymmetry helps explain the net radiative transfer from the ocean to the air in spite of the boundary temperature equilibrium.

The ocean surface and the atmosphere up to an altitude of half a kilometer both radiate upwards at the Planck curve . Radiation at the Planck curve indicates equilibrium and saturation.

The ocean absorbs the ~325 (avg 369+281) downward radiation, but it does it in less than the thickness of a human hair. This downward radiation is NOT in equilibrium and wildly divergent from the Planck curve in the water and ozone bands. It is at the Plank curve in the CO2 bands.

commieBob
December 15, 2017 12:35 am

This has led to the claim that the temperature must perforce follow the forcing in a linear fashion.

Radiative forcing is measured in watts per square meter. The IPCC does indeed say that the change in temperature is linear with radiative forcing.

On the other hand … the Stefan Boltzmann Law states that the power (watts per square meter) radiated by a body is related to the fourth power of its temperature. If I double the temperature (in Kelvins), the power radiated increases times sixteen. That’s not linear at all, is it.

The linear nature of radiative forcing seems to conflict with standard physics. I wonder how they justify that.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 2:58 am

The linear nature of radiative forcing seems to conflict with standard physics. I wonder how they justify that.

At averages, it works, because at 288K and say, 292K (an assumed, large four-degree warming due to CO2) the difference between calculation and a linear approximation of it, is small.

(1+x)⁴ = 1 + 4x + 6x² + 4x³ + x⁴. If x is small 0 < x << 1, like 4/288, the difference between linear 1 + 4x and the full polynomial is just 6x² + 4x³ + x⁴ which has the factor x², which makes as small as 0.3‰.

Given the other possible errors, I consider this not very large by itself.

This calculation assumes, however, that the distribution is not changing, just temperature. That is not completely true.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 3:10 am

“which makes as small as” => “making it as small as”. I should have a secretary.

commieBob
December 15, 2017 4:09 am

Linear case:
292 / 288 = 1.014
The increase in radiated energy would be 1.4%
Nonlinear case:
(292^4) / (288^4) = 1.057
The increase in radiated energy would be 5.7%

The difference between the two cases is a factor of four.

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 5:31 am

factor 4, as it appears in (correct) Hugs calculation. And still linear. So what’s your problem, commieBob
?

Hugs
December 15, 2017 7:12 am

I got it wrong. The second term is about one thousandth. But yes, 4x is a linear dependency.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 8:03 am

Estimating polynomials like (T+dt)^4 with their linear approximations, including error estimation, is freshman-year physics. Some learned it in middle school, since it is a useful trick when computing by hand or even without pen and paper. After taking a cup of coffee to get some sobriety I’m almost capable of explaining that the 4th power polynomial’s linear approx is really ‘steeper’ with its multiplier four, but as a polynomial it is, you can always use a linear approximation. The question is only about how large the error is. Here, the error is small as long as dt/T is small, like 4K/288K in my gedankenexperiment. Then (dt/T)^2 is much smaller. Only caveat here is I’m not doing this stuff for work so you need to forgive me my errors… Try it out, commieBob!

December 16, 2017 5:04 pm

commieBob December 15, 2017 at 4:09 am
Linear case:
292 / 288 = 1.014
The increase in radiated energy would be 1.4%

No it would be 1+4x= 1.056

Nonlinear case:
(292^4) / (288^4) = 1.057
The increase in radiated energy would be 5.7%

The difference between the two cases is a factor of four.

Yes because you left out the constant, 4.

wildeco2014
December 15, 2017 12:37 am

The weight of the atmosphere bearing down on the ocean surface determines the energy value of the latent heat of evaporation and thus controls the maximum amount of solar energy that the oceans are able to retain.
Once that energy content has been reached the consequent evaporation rate supplements convective overturning since water vapour is lighter than air.
The lapse rate slope adjusts accordingly so as to neutralise any net effects from the water vapour produced so that the Atmosphere remains in the state of hydrostatic equilibrium set by the combination of insolation, atmospheric mass and the strength of the gravitational field.
Willis’s weather observations are simply the adjustment process in action.
Works the same way for all radiatively active material in the atmosphere.

Roger Clague
December 15, 2017 3:12 am

Lots of good physics especially

insolation, atmospheric mass and the strength of the gravitational field. and water vapor properties

The 4 causes of the the Lapse Rate and surface temperature.
Not IR gases such as CO2

However :
Atmospheric pressure is caused by mass not weight. Gas has no weight.
The atmosphere is a gas in dynamic equilibrium not hydro( liquid water ) static.

December 15, 2017 3:34 am

At a surface beneath an atmosphere, pressure is caused by weight which is a product of gravity attracting and compressing mass.

December 15, 2017 3:35 am

In the context of an atmosphere the term hydrostatic refers to any fluid, not water.

AndyG55
December 15, 2017 4:01 am

“Gas has no weight.”

OOPS !!!!

Gabro
December 15, 2017 5:37 am

Gas molecules aren’t accelerated by gravitational attraction?

Interesting.

I guess I am just imagining that cylinders filled with gas under pressure weigh more than when empty or filled with air at normal pressure.

Stevan Reddish
December 15, 2017 12:07 pm

“Atmospheric pressure is caused by mass not weight. Gas has no weight.”

Other’s addressed this statement with empirical evidence. My attempt at an explanation of the process:

A satellite in low Earth orbit is well within the Earth’s gravitation field yet produces no weight reading on any weight scale it passes over. At 1st look it appears as though air molecules do the same – whizzing to and fro over a weight scale without interacting with that scale.

But, a brick setting on a scale is mostly doing the same thing. Most of the molecules in the brick never “touch” the scale – each whizzing to and fro for a very short distance without directly interacting with the scale.

If only those molecules actually “touching” the scale were being weighed, a brick would weigh less when stood on end versus laying on its side. Since a brick doesn’t weigh less when standing on end, the molecules within the brick must be transferring their weight to the molecules at the lower surface. They do not do this by laying on the lowest molecules of the brick, as molecules within any material never just lay there, except at absolute zero. Each molecule is vibrating every which way. Every time a molecule bounces off its lower neighbor, it applies its weight against that molecule in the form of a little more energy downward than it transfers upward to the molecule upward. Thus every molecule’s weight is transferred to the molecules actually touching the scale.

The process is the same with molecules in a gas. That the gas molecules have less confinement doesn’t change the process of transferring weight downward. It allows energy to also be transferred laterally, thus pressure.

SR

menicholas
December 15, 2017 3:50 pm

Air does not show up on a scale because there is also air under the scale.
Remove the air under the scale and you have a barometer, which is weighing all of the air in a column all the way to TOA.
Also compare the weight of an object when immersed in a fluid like air or water, it apparent weight is reduced by the weight of the fluid it has displaced…it is buoyant.
In air for a dense object this is negligible for many purposes, like if you are operating a dirigible or a hot air balloon.
In water this buoyancy it is not negligible, hence boats and swimming and fish etc.
Which weighs more, a kilogram of feathers or a kilogram of gold?

menicholas
December 15, 2017 3:52 pm

Do, negligible for many purposes…but NOT if you are operating a dirigible or how air balloon.
Spent the day staring at too many streaming quotes.

Stevan Reddish
December 15, 2017 5:53 pm

menicholas December 15, 2017 at 3:50 pm

“Air does not show up on a scale because there is also air under the scale.
Remove the air under the scale and you have a barometer, which is weighing all of the air in a column all the way to TOA.”

It is my understanding that when a high-pressure air mass moves over a region of the Earth’s surface the atmosphere top rises while the air density decreases. This means that a local barometer’s increased reading is a measurement of increased pressure, but not of increased air weight.

A barometer combines air pressure due to air mass (weight), and air pressure due to air energy (temperature).

SR

December 15, 2017 11:02 am

menicholas
December 15, 2017 3:54 pm

Not sure I understand that graph.
Why is altitude squared for gravity?

December 16, 2017 7:25 am

It is Newton’s formula for gravity’s action at a distance.

Gordon Dressler
December 20, 2017 10:21 am

Except that the “altitude” used for plotting the gravity curve is incorrect. Gravity variation with distance is calculated from the distance from the CENTER OF MASS of object of concern . . . in this case the Earth. At the average surface of the Earth (realizing it is actually an oblate spheroid shape), the Earth center-of-mass is 6,371 km away. Gravity does vary by an inverse-square relationship to distance from CM, such that at, say, 50 km altitude above Earth’s average surface radius the reduction in gravity would only be a factor of (6371)^2/((6371+50)^2) = 0.984, equivalent to a reduction of 1.6%, which is nowhere near the “diminution” of >95% indicated by your graph.

December 20, 2017 6:56 pm

Thank you. Here is the revised graphic with gravity=altitude+6.371 and pressure and density scaled.

The important difference seems to be that pressure and density shift to the other side of the gravity curve and do not converge again. The mid troposphere divergence is the same with opposite sign.

Doug
December 15, 2017 12:45 am

“…in the Northern Hemisphere, the positive correlation is nearly perfect—when the surface sun increases, the temperature goes up, and vice versa.”

Could this be due to all the blacktop and buildings in the North which I think would hold more heat longer?

Peta of Newark
December 15, 2017 1:43 am

the sun rules the temperature … but it turns out that while this is true on land, at sea things are quite different.

The difference being: the amount of water in the landscape?

Hopefully via Wunderground, compare these 2 places for the last 12 months –
one= desert
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KAZBISBE10#history/s20161214/e20171215/myear
High T= 45. Low T= -5.6 Rain= 186mm

two= rainforest.
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=ISANTACR81#history/s20161214/e20171215/myear
High T=36 Low T=23 Rain= 2480mm

See the desert has higher max, lower min and a shed-load less rainfall

So, which came first – the climate then the plants or the plants followed by the rain.
What does cause what in a rain-forest?
Does rain make the forest or does the forest make the rain?

Sadly the room-elephant arrives via the epic over-simplification we all get taught at primary school.
We are all told that:
“Deserts have crap climates and hence plants don’t grow there”

If that really was the case, how do you explain deserts and rainforests existing at similar latitudes all around the planet? That is one desperately serious question.

Expand your thinking to include the possibility that maybe the plants (or lack of) create the landscape and hence the climate……
Just run the ‘thought experiment’ and see where you go.
Unless of course, the Kwashior, an urgent rendezvous with an iced doughnut or a chill-session down-the-pub get in your way.

Also the other horrendous over-simplification, repeated endlessly around here, that CO2 is a plant fertiliser and makes them plants grow (better)
Wrong.
Addition of the (Liebig) limiting nutrient is always the best fertiliser. For plants everywhere that is usually water-soluble nitrogen. As produced in chemical factories in huge amounts since 1945 also via the burning of ANYTHING in an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. Eg petrol, diesel, kerosene, coal or natural gas.

So. We have forest and desert.
Which is more resemblant of the ocean – which has the greater water content?

Also farmland.
Is farmland closer to being a desert or a forest?
On average, is it bare dirt and dark-colored more or less than a forest might be?
I say its closer to being desert

It matters not – what matters is the variation in the extent of it and how how intensive the farming is.
Surely one or both of those things must be changing otherwise we’d not be getting constantly all-ecstatic about ever rising food production.
Especially when growing wheat, corn, rice or potatoes. Such land is only actually green for 2 or 3 months of the year. Effectively desert the rest of the time.
(YMMV whether you class starch and vegetable protein as viable food for the human animal)

The rising starch production says that ‘something’ is happening (being done) to the farmland that was different x number of years ago.
Remember, this is 10% of the entire planet’s surface area

Is it unreasonable to expect that that ‘something’ is having an effect on thermometers planted around that ‘place’?

Similar to Willis and his learning adventures on the ocean, I’ve learned a thing or 2 from my adventures in the dirt.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not ‘anti farmer’ by any means, I spent 58 years being one.

And there, I suspect, is the root cause of this climate panic.
No-one wants to bad-mouth the farmers – for a pretty obvious reason.
Even the brain-rotting effect of eating carbs and refined sugar (and booze) allied to the protein deficiency (Kwashorior) we’ve nearly all got, doesn’t render us dumb enough to ‘bite the hand that feeds’

The chronic sugar-induced depression means we have to pass-the-buck – and so we do.

That all we can come up with to the accept the buck is the hapless CO2 molecule just goes to show how bad things really are becoming

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 5:46 am

“Also the other horrendous over-simplification, repeated endlessly around here, that CO2 is a plant fertiliser and makes them plants grow (better)
Wrong.
Addition of the (Liebig) limiting nutrient is always the best fertiliser. For plants everywhere that is usually water-soluble nitrogen. ”
Wrong.
For plants everywhere that is usually WATER. Only when water is enough, nitrogen becomes (usually) the next limiting nutrient.
And, furthermore, that’s water because they lose much water just to get CO2, through the stomata they open just for that. More CO2 means less water loss.
Notice than water conservative CAM and C4 photosynthesis systems, are actually CO2 management systems.

RWturner
December 15, 2017 11:06 am

If that really was the case, how do you explain deserts and rainforests existing at similar latitudes all around the planet? That is one desperately serious question.

I read to there and that was enough. We’ve all got a lot to learn, but some of us more than others.

http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap16/geo_clim.html

menicholas
December 15, 2017 5:33 pm

“If that really was the case, how do you explain deserts and rainforests existing at similar latitudes all around the planet? That is one desperately serious question.”
I suggest a class or three in physical geography and climatology if you think this is a serious question in desperate need of an answer.
I do not know who you hang out with to think the whole world is suffering from brain deficiencies due to protein starvation.

There is no mystery there.
I agree with RW Turner.
A compendium of misinformation.

mothcatcher
December 15, 2017 1:59 am

Leaving aside for a moment the actual mechanism which is the subject of Willis’ post, it first should be stated that the evidence that there is a water-vapour mediated thermostat, though perhaps circumstantial, seems to be compelling.

Surely the same logic that claims a positive ‘water vapour feedback’ deriving from CO2 warming comes close to being a ‘reductio ad absurdum’, because of the overwhelming preponderance of H2O as the major greenhouse gas. Surely a claim of warming mechanism from the addition of other, less effective, GHGs therefore requires a more complex explanation, which my reading has failed to uncover. This is why I tend to the sceptical position.

CO2 and any other GHG, would therefore be relegated to a bit part, acting perhaps in the drier polar regions only, and I guess might change the GMST, but I still haven’t seen a proper exposition even of this

menicholas
December 15, 2017 5:36 pm

Earth history for the past 600 million years disproves a positive water vapor feedback.
If this was the case, we would not be here to discuss it.

SAMURAI
December 15, 2017 2:24 am

Willis-san:

You’ve really done yeoman’s work showing how the equatorial ocean warming/tropical cloud cover/precipitation feedback help maintain equatorial ocean temperatures within a very narrow range.

Your work completely disconfirms CAGW’s “tropical hot spots”, which are erroneously baked into all climate models.

BTW, do you have any comments on Rosenthal et al 2013’s coral proxy data which suggest tropical ocean temperatures during the MWP could have been 2C warmer than now? That seems difficult as your analysis shows a pretty hard ceiling of maximum tropical ocean temps at 34C.

TIA.

SAMURAI
December 15, 2017 3:55 am

Willis-san:

Here is a WUWT link to the Rosenthal paper:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/new-paper-shows-medieval-warm-period-was-global-in-scope/

Correction: Rosenthal 2013 suggests Holocene Maximum Pacific Ocean temperatures (not MWP) were 2C warmer than present.

Cheers!

Gabro
December 15, 2017 4:53 am

Ocean temps have often far exceeded 30 degrees C in the past, despite a one percent weaker sun during the mid-Cretaceous.

Paleogene 34 degrees C:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003PA000937/full

Cretaceous 36 degrees C (Sept 2017 paper, but preceded by many similar findings):

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825217303859

Some have even suggested 40 degrees C (hot tub ocean), which has been cited as an explanation for Cretaceous cloudlessness from lack of biological CCNs, leading to the observed heat and equableness (pole to pole) of climate then.

rbabcock
December 15, 2017 6:23 am

Gabro-

On the Chesapeake Bay, a pretty much enclosed body of water with a pretty high summer Sun, the summer water temps magically hit 30C and stops regardless of many extended heat waves in June to Aug. Off the coast of NC south of Hatteras the water temps magically hits 30C and stops in July.

In both cases these are pretty shallow so you would expect they may actually get warmer than the open ocean.

The limiting ocean temps may have been warmer in the past, but we are talking about now conditions. Looking at the SST maps put out by NOAA (who is always right, right?), it looks like 30C is about as warm as it gets with few exceptions.

OweninGA
December 15, 2017 6:42 am

Samurai,
I haven’t read the paper, but as most corals form in a shallow reefing structure, are they certain they aren’t seeing the pool temperatures moderating the local coral temperatures rather than a strict open-ocean temperature? (shallow as in I was able to dive down the walls without too much busting of my open-water dive certs – I saw reef structures below me, but they were no way near as dense and active as the first 100 feet.)

Gabro,
Didn’t a great deal of that depend on the continental configuration at the time providing for a very large, shallow ocean right along the equator? That would seem to be a recipe for a very warm ocean, but I wonder about the cloud effects – it still seems counter-intuitive for less cloud to form with a very warm (even if only a couple 100 meters deep) ocean surface for evaporation. I wonder what kind of circulation currents might have appeared in that configuration, as I don’t remember how exposed the shallow seas were to the surrounding deep water.

Retired Engineer John
December 15, 2017 7:35 am

Not only do open ocean temperatures hit that hard temperature ceiling; fresh water lakes are also are limited to 30 – 31 C. The exceptions are the Persian Gulf, which is highly salty, and ocean areas that are muddy.

Gabro
December 15, 2017 8:35 am

All,

The high paleo SSTs I cited were from deep ocean sites as well as the Tethys Sea.

Continent arrangement and active submarine volcanism might well have contributed to mid-Cretaceous and Paleogene hot tub oceans.

The hottest parts of Cretaceous seas were inhospitable to biological CCN-producing organisms. Consequent low cloudiness is an hypothesized positive feedback in Cretaceous heat and equable temps.

Even today, in warm years, the Persian Gulf can hit 35 degrees C.

tty
December 15, 2017 11:47 am

All those very high TEX86 temperatures are dubious for two reasons.

1. Since there are no seawater that warm today the TEX86 values are either extrapolations or based on laboratory cultures of Archaea which are dubiously applicable to conditions in the open sea.

2. The warmest extant sea, the Red Sea, has “aberrant” TEX86 values. Using these yields much lower paleotemperatures, but for some reason they are not used, despite probably being the most relevant values available.

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:00 am

However, what factors might cause slow drift in our thermostabilized climate system is an open question.

‘Slow’ moving fluid, irregular topography?

Gabro
December 16, 2017 6:51 am

tty,

Paleoclimatologists and oceanographers use forams and other proxies besides archaeans.

The problem with shortage of present day real world comparisons has IMO been overcome by comparison with the few available suitable sites, such as the Persian Gulf and Red Sea (33 degrees C max), and, as you note, lab experiments.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08146-z

IMO the best explanation for mid-Cretaceous heat is the hot tub ocean hypothesis, leading to lower cloudiness.

tty
December 16, 2017 2:09 pm

“The problem with shortage of present day real world comparisons has IMO been overcome by comparison with the few available suitable sites, such as the Persian Gulf and Red Sea (33 degrees C max),”

The trouble is that the TEX86 values from the Red Sea (which go to 0.89) are not used for calibration because they occurr at much lower temperatures (almost 10 degrees) than equal values from the rest of the ocean (which only go to 0.72). There is a similar though smaller discrepancy for Mediterranean values.

And if you are into paleoceanography you must be aware that forams yield systematically lower temperatures than TEX86. This is usually stated to be due to the forams not living near the surface (though there is evidence that this also applies to TEX86, at least in upwelling areas). Furthermore many (most?) older foram temperatures are doubtful due to diagenesis problems.

I agree that the mid Cretaceous oceans were much warmer than today, but if the equatorial waters were anywhere near as hot as is often claimed they would have been devoid of eukaryotic life, which they emphatically weren’t.

Gabro
December 16, 2017 2:25 pm

Tty,

Marine reptiles presumably like it hot, but of course they needed prey which did, too. Naturally, a bit below the surface was probably more temperate,

Fish, shellfish and other marine eukaryotes manage to survive in the 33 to 35 degree C waters of the Persian Gulf and Red Sea today, but maybe sustained Ts in that range were a different matter.

December 16, 2017 5:45 pm

Retired Engineer John December 15, 2017 at 7:35 am
Not only do open ocean temperatures hit that hard temperature ceiling; fresh water lakes are also are limited to 30 – 31 C. The exceptions are the Persian Gulf, which is highly salty, and ocean areas that are muddy.

Also Dead sea which reaches an average of 37ºC in august. Presumably related to the reduced evaporation rate due to the high salinity (10x normal oceanic values).

Wim Röst
December 17, 2017 5:39 am

My alarm is ringing when I read about Tex86. Recalibration raised temperatures:

“Recent incubation (14) and core-top (15) studies resulted in a new calibration for TEX86 that is linear up to 40°C, which raises interpreted peak tropical SST by ∼5°C from those originally published using TEX86 (9).

WR: Interpretation of proxy data might differ quite a bit. About the warmest Eocene (different sources):

“Thus, a newer interpretation (see supporting online material) for the warmest Eocene suggests tropical SSTs in the 35° to 40°C range, not the 33° to 28°C range published in 2007 (9), or the 25° to 30°C range as thought a decade ago (3), or the 20° to 25°C range accepted two decades ago (2).”

Source:
A Hotter Greenhouse?
Matthew Huber*
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/321/5887/353

December 15, 2017 2:38 am

I wonder if this effect also occurs over the Himalayas and other high altitude ice fields? There seems to be a yellow blob in roughly the right area.

Although the temperature over alpine ice fields is colder than the 24C threshold, the 24C threshold might only apply at sea level.

If this is a contributing effect, the total impact on temperature in the current climate from alpine ice fields is not likely to be great – but during an ice age this effect if it exists might contribute to keeping the planet locked in a cold climate.

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:04 am

I wonder if this effect also occurs over the Himalayas and other high altitude ice fields? There seems to be a yellow blob in roughly the right area.

Where water vapour drops back out of atmosphere?

Nigel S
December 15, 2017 2:42 am

Very interesting, thanks WE. I think that just as Spring makes a young man’s fancy lightly turn to thoughts of love, daily tropical thunderstorms make one think about all that energy being transferred and the awesome power of nature.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
December 15, 2017 2:51 am

North coastal belt of Brazil present high turbidity and thus less radiation reaching the earth’s surface over this belt.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

December 15, 2017 3:03 am

Has anyone else realised that the thermostat hypothesis can only work in a scenario where the surface temperature enhancement caused by an atmosphere is a consequence of the adiabatic, mass induced, greenhouse effect and not the radiative version?

Andrew
December 15, 2017 4:26 am

Stephen, I think your ideas make a lot of physical sense. But you need to explain your thoughts in a less convoluted way. The above is a good example such as when you say “mass induced” as I understand it, you really mean gravity induced…

December 15, 2017 6:33 am

I agree the gravity/mass induced warming as the primary temperature set point, with radiative/humidity effects causing imbalances, resulting in turbulence. WE describes the process well. His work is outstanding.

I await the acceptance of his clarity that all our added CO2 does is cause thunderstorms and other vertical heat transport to arrive a few minutes earlier each day. Big deal!(one can retreat to the tropical bar bar a bit earlier as was his wry observation).

Thus the day maximum temperatures do not materially change, but night time cooling is slowed(ratiative effect), resulting in an overall small change in the average temperature.

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 8:10 am

The thermostat hypothesis works in the radiative version (which is actually not a different version, just like the “energy” version of mechanics is no different of its “force” version). I don’t like the radiative version, but it would work just as well if properly done.

December 15, 2017 8:40 am

No, imo the thermostat hypothesis is a function of vertical heat transport. The use of radiative physics alone does not describe thunderstorms, cloud cover variations, and surface wind changes, leading to increased evaporation, and thus more vertical transport. To my knowledge, no one has modeled this from fundamentals.. Willis has described it, and with data, demonstrated that it exists.

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 9:02 am

nobody use “radiative physics alone”, that’s why GCMs are used even in alarmists’ fantasy land.

December 16, 2017 5:06 am

Although the conclusion of those “proofs” is essentially true, I must once again point out that they are based on faulty assumptions.

Dr. Brown’s proof was a thought experiment involving a silver wire whose ends are thermally coupled at different altitudes to a gas column. The argument was that, if we assume that the lapse rate of a gas at equilibrium is non-zero, we are forced to conclude that the temperature gradient imposed on the wire by the gas column’ s lapse rate would cause heat to flow—and thus enable work to be performed—indefinitely. Since that’s perpetual motion, the argument went, the non-zero-lapse-rate assumption that led to it must be false.

But that argument tacitly made two questionable assumptions. The first was that coupling the wire to the gas column would not affect the gas column’s equilibrium lapse rate. The second was that the thermal coupling would impose the gas column’s lapse rate on the silver wire.

As can readily be seen by simulating molecules colliding in a gravitational field, neither assumption stands up to scrutiny for a finite number of molecules, no matter how large that finite number is.

Again, the basic conclusion that the equilibrium atmosphere’s lapse rate would not differ detectably from zero is correct. But, since the assumptions on which those arguments were based are invalid, it’s incorrect to call them proofs.

December 16, 2017 5:31 am

Neither of those ‘proofs’ deals with the exponential decline in density and pressure with height which gives rise to the real world lapse rate slope.
The column of gas used in Brown’s scenario is constrained laterally and so leads only to a linear decline in density and pressure with height which does not properly reflect the real world scenario.
As for the relevance to this thread I submit that it is critical because one needs a mechanism whereby the water cycle can reach only a set predetermined maximum temperature despite an increase in surface insolation.
The proper scientific reason for such a phenomenon lies with vertical energy transport via non radiative processes which is where the adiabatic element comes in.
In a similar manner we see that water boils at 100C given 1 bar atmospheric pressure no matter how fast one introduces additional energy from an external source.
So it is that surface pressure from air over the oceans sets the maximum temperature that the oceans can achieve before evaporation takes over.
That is the reason why Willis’s observations are important.
Note that throughout history the phenomenon has been noted and remarked upon so it is not unique to Willis.

December 16, 2017 5:42 am

The column of gas used in Brown’s scenario is constrained laterally and so leads only to a linear decline in density and pressure with height which does not properly reflect the real world scenario.

Actually, no. As Coombes and Laue demonstrated, a uniform temperature is entirely consistent with an exponential pressure reduction.

December 16, 2017 6:49 am

Joe,

I’m aware of the Coombes and Laue paper but they restrict their analysis to a single vertical column of air which is adiabatically enclosed (in which no heat or mass is transported across its boundaries) and which is in thermal equilibrium. I am sure they are right given those parameters but that does not represent an atmosphere that is convectively overturning around a sphere.
Such an atmosphere might be in thermal equilibrium overall but at any given moment every moving parcel of air within it is out of thermal equilibrium. Furthermore, there is a constant transfer of mass and heat across the boundaries between multiple rising columns and falling columns.
Additionally a planetary atmosphere is constantly receiving new energy from the surface below rising columns and returning it to the surface beneath falling columns so there is a constant flow of new heat into and old energy out of the convective system which cannot therefore be adiabatically enclosed.

So, ignore Coombes and Laue for present purposes.

December 16, 2017 7:09 am

Willis, I’d be happy to engage with you on your comments but I do not wish to derail this tread even though the adiabatic process is indeed critical to the convective activity in the tropics that you describe.

I gave you a five point elevator speech previously and you accepted the first three points.

Your issue was with points 4 and 5 only but I see them as following inevitably via simple logic from the first three.

My preferred method of resolving your continued objections would be a new post focusing solely on your objections to points 4 and 5.

In the meantime, if you raise posts to which my contentions are relevant I will continue chipping away at the subject in a polite manner.

December 16, 2017 8:17 am

I have no idea what “essentially true” means. Either they are true or they are not.

By “essentially true” I meant the following. Contrary to the assertions of the “proofs,” there would be a non-zero gravity-caused gradient in mean molecular kinetic energy: there would be a non-zero lapse rate. But that lapse rate would be too small to measure in a reasonable amount of time: it would differ undetectably from the conclusions at which you and Dr. Brown arrived.

The claim is that the equilibrium lapse rate is established by gravity. This means that it would reassert itself after any kind of disturbance.

You appear to mean that in the fullness of time the gas column’s lapse rate after the silver wire is coupled to it would settle on whatever value it had at equilibrium before that coupling. I say instead that the equilibrium lapse rate it would ultimately settle on would be different, because the gas column would be permitted a wider range of states.

If the top and bottom are at different temperatures as the theory claims, heat would flow in the wire.

I contend in contrast that heat would not flow. I know that’s counterintuitive, but it’s a conclusion at which one should arrive if he observes the behavior of molecules colliding in a gravitational field

Again, I don’t understand what that means.

Well, that’s fair; you’d need to see the simulation. So I’ve submitted one to Mr. Watts as a proposed post, complete with the R script. Unfortunately, except for one post I slipped in while he was on sabbatical, he has declined all mine ever since I failed to exhibit enough deference to Christopher Monckton’s erudition. So in all likelihood that portion of my comment will remain unexplained.

Since you’ve said nothing about my proof, I’m not clear which “proofs” you are referring to.

For my purposes they were the same; he had heat flowing through a wire, while you had a heat engine being driven by heat flow. But the invalid assumptions were the same.

Waving your hands and saying “The second [incorrect assumption] was that the thermal coupling would impose the gas column’s lapse rate on the silver wire” is meaningless without referring it to a statement in the proof.

As I said, those assumptions were only tacit; they were implied by the logic of the proof. But Dr. Brown did later state that assumption explicitly, although in different words:

The only way to avoid a violation of the second law is for all material objects to come to the same thermal gradient in a gravitational field. I’m hoping you can see why this is not ever going to be the case.

The problem is that derivations of the results everyone remembers from thermodynamics and statistical mechanics rarely include gravitational effects and are mostly based on assuming things like infinite-heat-bath environments. So, strictly speaking, many of their results are true only in the infinite limit: for finite systems they’re off by a skosh. This is fine for practical applications since in practice the number of particles is astronomical. But it’s bad to forget when you get into the “proof” business.

It turns out this is all really quite simple to understand if you go through a particle simulation. Unfortunately, such a simulation doesn’t lend itself to being shown in a comment. But I urge anyone with an open mind to try it.

December 16, 2017 8:58 pm

Sorry,

w.

Don’t be. Your post provided a lot of insight, which I appreciate. As to your failing to comprehend the shortcomings of your “proof,” I completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with starting from first principles to re-examine his beliefs; each of us has his respective limitations.

For the benefit of readers with a somewhat broader perspective, though, I’ll explain it thus:

If you simulate a monatomic gas comprising two constituents, one consisting of $N/2$ molecules of mass $m$ and another consisting of $N/2$ molecules of mass $2m$, all randomly traveling in one dimension for the sake of simplicity subject to a gravitational field and among them having total (kinetic + potential) energy $NE_{avg}$, what you find after a long period of “thermalization” is that at altitude $NE_{avg}/2mg$ the first constituent’s average molecular kinetic energy is $\frac{NE_{avg}}{2(3N-2)}$, while the second constituent’s is zero. (By “what you find” I mean what you find after averaging over a long time; variances are so great that over short time periods these averages not repeatably undetectable. I had attempted to get a post published here that would explain this in more detail, but apparently I’ve become persona non grata here since I disputed Christopher Monckton’s bizarre mathematics.)

In any event, those energies translate to respective temperatures at that altitude of $k_B\frac{NE_{avg}}{3N-2}$ and absolute zero for the different constituents, where $k_B$ is Boltzmann’s constant. You will also find that both constituents have the same average temperature, $2k_B\frac{NE_{avg}}{3N-2}$, at altitude zero and that both temperatures change linearly with altitude: both lapse rates are non-zero, but, since the constituents are both at equilibrium there is by definition no average heat flow.

In other words, the equilibrium temperatures at the higher altitude are different for the different constituents, the different constituents have different lapse rates, and these values’ averages over long periods persist even though the constituents are intimately mixed, but despite their temperature differences and their intimate mixing no net heat flows on average between them.

Moreover, you’d find that each constituent by itself would exhibit a lapse rate twice the value it exhibits when the two are mixed.

Now, a silver wire is not the same as a gas, and mixing two gas components together is not the same as coupling a silver wire to a gas column. But adding the second constituent to the first reduces the original first’s lapse rate by removing the constraint that the first constituent’s total energy remain fixed. Since coupling the gas column to the silver wire removes a similar constraint from the gas column, we are entitled to question the silver-wire proof’s assumption that coupling the silver wire to the gas column would leave the latter’s lapse rate unchanged.

Furthermore, since the added constituent adopts a lapse rate different from that of the original constituent—and since that difference persists despite the constituents’ being intimately mixed—it’s not self-evident that thermal coupling would cause the silver wire’s temperature difference to equal the gas column’s. Nor, since the different gas constituents’ lapse rates cause no heat flow down their respective temperature gradients, can we conclude that whatever temperature gradient prevails at equilibrium in the silver wire would necessarily cause heat to flow within it.

In short, although what we think we know about Fourier’s law would seem to dictate that any temperature gradient at all would cause some heat to flow through a heat-conductive medium, we find if we reason from first principles that gravity modifies that conclusion. Before we apply a physical law, that is, it’s important to know the assumptions on which it is based.

December 17, 2017 2:54 am

I cannot discuss thermal transfer with a man who seriously claims that if two things at different temperatures are connected by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire.

If two objects at different temperatures are connected thermally, by radiation or by a silver wire or an iron bar, heat will spontaneously flow from the warm object to the cold object until their temperatures equalize.

My immediately previous remarks were directed specifically to those contentions. I described a simulation you can run that is the basis for my belief that Fourier’s law is actually only a zero-gravity result, i.e., that with gravity Fourier’s Law is off a skosh, so that subject to gravity the wire could have a small temperature gradient without heat flow.

Specifically, I described simulating an equilibrium composite gas comprising two constituent gases of respective, different molecular weights. If you set those constituents’ molecules in motion in a gravitational field and let them randomly collide as they do in an equilibrium gas, what you’d find is that the constituents not only have respective non-zero (but small) lapse rates at equilibrium but also have different mean molecular kinetic energies at every non-zero altitude.

Since such a simulation would show that in the presence of gravity no net heat flow occurs despite a non-zero gradient within each (thermally conductive) equilibrium-gas constituent and despite a temperature difference between the two constituents at non-zero altitudes, we are entitled at least to speculate that a thermally conductive wire, like the thermally conductive gas, can have a temperature gradient at equilibrium, i.e., without heat flow, when it’s subject to gravity.

I’m open to being shown I’m wrong; my conclusion is clearly unconventional. But your idea of refutation seems to be to call me names and demand that I quote you even though I clearly have been doing so. That isn’t as persuasive as you may imagine.

December 17, 2017 2:58 am

If anyone is interested is performing that demonstration, here’s the code. But be forewarned: it takes a couple hours to run:

g <- 9.8 # Gravitational acceleration, m/sec^2
k.B <- 1.38064852E-23 # Boltzmann's constant, J/K
amu <- 1.660539040E-27 # Atomic mass unit, kg
T <- 288 # Temperature, K

gas <- function(m, z0, v0, t, collision.prob = 0.5){
N <- length(m)
if(length(z0) != N | length(v0) != N)
stop("m, z0, and v0 must be the same length")
g <- 9.8
z1 <- z0
v1 <- v0
t1 <- t[1]
v <- z <- matrix(nrow = N, ncol = length(t))
repeat{
#  Decide whether (provisionally) to allow collision and, if collision would
#  be allowed, which molecules would collide and when:
tc <- Inf
colliders  1){
for(i in 1:(N - 1)){
for(j in (i + 1):N){
if(collision.prob > runif(1)){
tc.i <- t1 - diff(z1[c(i, j)]) / diff(v1[c(i, j)])
if(tc.i <= t1) next
if(tc.i < tc){
tc <- tc.i
colliders <- matrix(c(i, j), nrow = 1)
}else if(tc.i == tc){
colliders <- rbind(colliders, c(i, j))
}
}
}
}
}

# Determine provisional bounce time and which molecules would bounce
tbs <- numeric(N)
for(i in 1:N) tbs[i] <- max(Re(polyroot(c(z1[i], v1[i], -g / 2))))
tb <- min(tbs)
bouncers <- which(tbs == tb)
tb <- tb + t1

#  End of current interval is earlier of provisional collision and bounce
#  times:
t2 <- min(tc, tb)
interval = t1 & t < t2)

# Current interval's position and and velocity curves
z[, interval] <- z1 + v1 %*% t((t[interval] - t1)) +
rep(-g, N) %*% t((t[interval] - t1) ^ 2 / 2)
v[, interval] <- v1 + rep(-g, N) %*% t((t[interval] - t1))

# for(i in 1:N) lines(t[interval], z[i, interval], col = i, lty = 3, lwd = 3)

# Next interval's initial conditions:
z1 <- z1 + v1 * (t2 - t1) - g * (t2 - t1) ^ 2 / 2
v1 <- v1 - g * (t2 - t1)

#  Implement collisions or bounces, whichever would come first:
if(tc < tb){
vc <- v1
for(i in 1:dim(colliders)[1]){
z1[colliders[i,]] <- rep(mean(z1[colliders[i,]]), 2)
v1[colliders[i, 1]] <-
((-diff(m[colliders[i,]])) * vc[colliders[i, 1]] +
2 * m[colliders[i, 2]] * vc[colliders[i, 2]]) /
sum(m[colliders[i,]])
v1[colliders[i, 2]] <- v1[colliders[i, 1]] - diff(vc[colliders[i,]])
}
}else{
v1[bouncers] <- -v1[bouncers]
}
t1 <- t2
if(t[length(t)] < t1) break
}
list(t = t, z = z, v = v, K = 1/2 * m * v ^ 2)
}

# HERE'S WHAT THE TRAJECTORIES LOOK LIKE
initial.conditions <- function(N, m = NA, T = 288){
if(missing(m)){
m <- seq(24.43433, 48.86866, length.out = N) * amu
}else{
if(length(m) != N) stop("Length of m must be N")
}
E.avg <- 3/2 * k.B * T  # Energy per molecule in one dimension
E <- N * E.avg * (r <- runif(N)) / sum(r)
v0 <- sign(runif(N) - 0.5) * sqrt(2 * (KE <- runif(N) * E) / m)
z0 <- (E - KE) / m / g
list(m = m, z0 = z0, v0 = v0)
}

N <- 4  # Number of molecules
t <- seq(0, 200, 0.1)

inits <- initial.conditions(N)
m <- inits$m z0 <- inits$z0
v0 <- inits$v0 trial <- gas(m, z0, v0, t, 0.75) plot(NA, xlim = range(t), ylim = range(trial$z), xlab = "Time (Seconds)",
ylab = "Altitude (Meters)",
main = paste(N, "-Particle-Gas Motion in One Dimension", sep = ""))
grid()
for(i in 1:N) lines(t, trial$z[i,], col = i, lwd = 2) # TO TAKE STATISTICS, WE GENERATE LONG RECORDS, WITH DIFFERENT NUMBERS OF # MOLECULES t <- 0:1000000 M <- 5 trials <- ab <- list() ab[[1]] <- matrix(c(3/2 * k.B * T, -m[1] * g), nrow = 1) for(N in 2:M){ inits <- initial.conditions(N) m <- inits$m
z0 <- inits$z0 v0 <- inits$v0
trials[[N]] <- gas(m, z0, v0, t, 0.75)
ab[[N]] <- matrix(nrow = N, ncol = 2)
for(i in 1:N) ab[[N]][i,] <-
lm(trials[[N]]$K[i,] ~ trials[[N]]$z[i,])$coefficients } # Plot the lapse rate of the lightest molecule in each trial plot(NA, xlim = range(0, -ab[[M]][1, 1] / ab[[M]][1, 2]), ylim = range(0, ab[[2]][1, 1] * 2 / k.B), xlab = "Altitude (Meters)", ylab = "Temperature (Kelvins)", main = "Temperature vs. Altitude for\nDifferent System Sizes") grid() for(i in 1:M) lines(c(0, -ab[[i]][1, 1] / ab[[i]][1, 2]), c(ab[[i]][1, 1] * 2 / k.B, 0), col = i, lwd = 2) legend("topright", bty = "n", lty = 1, lwd = 2, col = 1:M, legend = paste(1:M, "-Molecule System", sep = "")) # Compute and plot altitude histograms zmax <- dmax <- 0 histo <- list() for(i in 2:M){ histo[[i]] <- hist(trials[[i]]$z[1,], plot = FALSE)
dmax <- max(dmax, histo[[i]]$density) zmax <- max(zmax, histo[[i]]$breaks)
}
plot(NA, xlim = c(0, zmax), ylim = c(0, dmax), xlab = "Altitude (Meters)",
ylab = "Probability Density (/Meter)",
main = "Molecule-Presence Probability\nDensity as Function of Altitude")
grid()
for(i in M:2) lines(histo[[i]]$mids, histo[[i]]$density, col = i, lwd = 2)
legend("topright", col = 2:M, lty = 1, lwd = 2, bty = "n",
legend = paste(2:M, "-Molecule System", sep = ""))

#  Determine ratios of lapse rate to weight
simulation.ratio <- numeric(M)
for(i in 1:M) simulation.ratio[i] <-
-initial.conditions(2)\$m[1] * g / ab[[i]][1, 2]
theoretical.ratio <- 3 * (1:M) - 2
rbind(theoretical.ratio, simulation.ratio)

#  Plot the lapse rate of every molecule in the last trial
plot(NA, xlim = range(0, -ab[[M]][1, 1] / ab[[M]][1, 2]),
ylim = range(0, ab[[M]][1, 1] * 2 / k.B), xlab = "Altitude (Meters)",
ylab = "Temperature (Kelvins)",
main = "Temperature vs. Altitude for\nDifferent Molecule Masses")
grid()
for(i in 1:M) lines(c(0, -ab[[M]][i, 1] / ab[[M]][i, 2]),
c(ab[[M]][i, 1] * 2 / k.B, 0),
col = i, lwd = 2)
legend("topright", bty = "n", lty = 1, lwd = 2, col = 1:M,
legend = paste(round(m / amu), "AMUs"), title = "Particle Mass")
Philip Mulholland
December 17, 2017 3:15 am

Joe Born,
I would like to understand your ideas more fully. This thread is jumbled so I hope I am stitching into the weave at the correct point 😉
Starting here “For the benefit of readers with a somewhat broader perspective, though, I’ll explain it thus:
If you simulate a monatomic gas comprising two constituents, one consisting of N/2 molecules of mass m and another consisting of N/2 molecules of mass 2m, all randomly traveling in one dimension for the sake of simplicity subject to a gravitational field and among them having total (kinetic + potential) energy NE_{avg}, what you find after a long period of “thermalization” is that at altitude NE_{avg}/2mg the first constituent’s average molecular kinetic energy is \frac{NE_{avg}}{2(3N-2)}, while the second constituent’s is zero”

I take it that by the second constituent is zero you are referring to the more massive monatomic gas 2m and that its particle velocity will be zero? In essence are you describing the effect on particle kinetics of vertical escape velocity in a gravitational field? Let’s assume for the purpose of the model that the vertical gravity field is constant (not true for real planets) then starting at the surface for a given kinetic energy the massive particle 2m will reach a lower apex point of zero upward velocity than the lighter particle of mass m will because for a given temperature in a mixed gas the low mass particles must necessarily have a higher velocity to share the same momentum as the more massive gas. For a planet with a given gravity field and a given degree of solar heating a low mass, fast moving gas, such as Helium, will be lost to space while a slow moving, high mass gas, such as Argon will be retained.

December 17, 2017 4:40 am

Philip Mulholland:

Yes, you have it right. The highest theoretical altitude a molecule can have is the total system energy divided by that molecule’s weight: there it’s in the state in which it has all the energy and all other molecules are at rest on the ground. This is an incredibly improbable state, of course, and the probability decreases as the number of molecules in the system. In the case of our atmosphere, moreover, it would be parsecs away, where 1/R^2 has made a mockery of the uniform-gravity assumption.

But the principle is still valid: the zero-average-kinetic-energy altitude is twice as high for the light molecule as it is for the heavy one, yet at zero altitude their average kinetic energies are the same. So the lapse-rate-defining slope line is steeper for the heavy molecule than for the light one.

Remember, now, all this prevails in an equilibrium gas, so by definition no heat flows. Contrary to what we would ordinarily think Fourier’s Law tells us, therefore, there’s no heat flow in the (thermally conductive) gas despite temperature differences between the constituents at all altitudes above zero. (An interesting aside is that, because their populations are different functions of altitude, the constituents share total kinetic energy equally even though the lighter one’s average is greater than the heavier one’s at all altitudes above zero. At first that’s a head-scratcher.)

So my conclusion is that, strictly speaking, Fourier’s Law is actually exact only in the no-gravity limit. When you plug in the numbers, though, you see that the difference is so small as to be reliably detectable, even in principle, only with an impracticably long measurement.

Philip Mulholland
December 17, 2017 7:10 am

Joe,
Thanks, Now for the next bit about lapse rates:-
“Furthermore, since the added constituent adopts a lapse rate different from that of the original constituent—and since that difference persists despite the constituents’ being intimately mixed”
In the Earth’s mixed Nitrogen/Oxygen atmosphere dry air has a mixed molecular weight (MW) of 28.9. Water vapour however is a light molecule with a MW of 18. Moist air therefore has a different lapse rate to dry air. In addition to this mass difference, ascending moist air cools more slowly because of the release of latent heat associated with the two phase changes of water that can occur. The first change is from vapour to liquid (water droplet clouds) and the second phase change is from liquid to solid forming ice crystal clouds. All of this would be irrelevant if it were not for the physical separation of the water falling under gravity from the storm clouds in the form of solid crystal snow (or hail) at altitude and/or liquid rain lower down. Once the rain has fallen from the cloud the now dried air remains aloft and can only descend at the dry air adiabatic lapse rate. It is this difference in lapse rates that accounts for the Chinook (snow eater) winds that are the end stage of an advection process that transports the moist air from the Pacific across the Rockies, bringing snow to the mountains, and then as the air descends at the dry adiabatic lapse rate transforms it to reach the Canadian Prairies at surface altitudes of 3000 feet where it arrives with a higher air temperature than that of its initial sea level Pacific air mass origin.

Lapse rates matter on Earth because of water, the condensing fluid and its latent heat and rainfall. Here the lapse rates are not the same for ascending moist air parcels and descending dry air parcels.

December 17, 2017 7:33 am

Philip Mulholland:

Your comment is interesting, but it’s not something to which I can confidently respond. It deals with the types of lapse rates we actually see in real life: rates that dynamic processes produce.

My comments, on the other hand were more theoretical; the deal, not with those large, readily measurable lapse rates but rather the minuscule, hard-to-measure lapse rates that (I say) would prevail if the atmosphere were ever to reach equilibrium. My comments responded to “proofs” purporting to establish that the lapse rates in that theoretical situation would necessarily be zero. I say that simply observing random particle motion of particles in a gravitational field should convince one otherwise.

December 18, 2017 3:19 am

It appears that the site’s software sometimes interprets R’s assignment operator as part of an HTML tag or something and eats sections of the script. So, although the original script runs fine, when I post it to this site it gets mangled. I’m trying to get around that by replacing the usual assignment operator with equals signs, but I’ve yet to have it go through unmolested. I’ll post a workable version if I find a workaround.

In the meantime, I apologize to anyone who tried to run it.

December 18, 2017 5:45 am

While I try to stop this site from chewing up my script, I should mention that his own post to which Mr. Eschenbach linked above is indeed directed to something different from what the linked-to Robert Brown discusses. My comments above focus largely on Dr. Brown’s post, which contained passages like this:

As one can see in figure 2, there can be no question that heat will flow in this silver wire. Its two ends are maintained at different temperatures. It will therefore systematically transfer heat energy from the bottom of the air column to the top via thermal conduction through the silver as long as the temperature difference is maintained.

I say instead that under the influence of gravity a thermal conductor can indeed exhibit a (minute) temperature gradient without heat flow. I show this by simply observing the behavior of a (thermally conductive) gas’s colliding molecules bouncing from a zero-altitude surface. Observed over time periods long enough to pick small mean values out of large variances, the gas exhibits a very slight lapse rate, which decreases as the number of molecules increases.

Dr. Brown based his conclusion on Fourier’s Law, but that law was determined empirically, and the deviation for which I argue is so slight in comparison with statistical variance that its detection would have eluded experiment.

My (as it turns out, faulty) memory was that Mr. Eschenbach had written a proof similar to Dr. Brown’s but using a heat engine instead of a silver wire. I see now that the one he linked to above dealt instead with the effect that a purely transparent atmosphere would have on surface temperature. With that post I have no problem.

Still, my remarks were pertinent to Mr. Eschenbach’s comments of the following nature, to which I previously invited attention above:

I cannot discuss thermal transfer with a man who seriously claims that if two things at different temperatures are connected by a silver wire, that “heat would not flow” through the wire. Why on earth not?

To explain “why on earth not” rigorously would take some serious theoretical and statistical mechanics, but the demonstration I perform shows that behavior by “experiment.” Or, actually, it shows that behavior—i.e., that equilibrium non-zero temperature gradient—not in a silver wire but rather in the gas itself. As Dr. Brown said, though,

Nor does one require a silver wire to accomplish this. The gas is perfectly capable of conducting heat from the bottom of the container to the top all by itself!

December 18, 2017 7:28 am

I again apologize for flubbing the script upload, but I’ve despaired of getting the script to post unmolested.

What you would have seen if you’d been able to run the script is that it simulates a one-dimensional gas in which (for computational purposes, a necessarily small number of) molecules in a gravitational field sometimes collide with and sometimes pass through each other:

http://i68.tinypic.com/9091f6.jpg

If you simulate something like a million seconds each for two-, three-, four-, and five-molecule systems, and if for each system regress one molecule’s kinetic energy (temperature) against its altitude, you get the following illustration that the lapse rate falls as the number of molecules increases.

http://i68.tinypic.com/5odw69.png

By extrapolation, that lapse rate would be exceedingly small for the number of molecules in the atmosphere, but it would be some finite non-zero value.

December 18, 2017 7:31 am

I should also mention that, although the altitude range increases with the number of molecules, the average altitude does not:

http://i66.tinypic.com/14lnby9.png

Finally, the demonstration would have shown that within a given gas system the different-molecular-mass constituents have different lapse rates. So at an altitude above zero they maintain different temperatures: temperatures of intimately mixed constituents differ without heat flow between them.

http://i63.tinypic.com/eju64o.png

This suggests that gravity can cause an equilibrium temperature difference between different materials in thermal communication.

December 18, 2017 6:13 pm

As to tags, I did try “pre” tags and, later, “code” tags, and neither seemed to work; I’d run the code fine in my office, copy that exact code between the tags, post it, copy the resultant published code, and get a ton of errors when I ran the code I’d copied. Maybe the size of the script had something to do with it. (I believe I mentioned, though, that I sent it by email to Mr. Watts, if that’s helpful.) Anyway, I have long since exhausted that exercise’s amusement value.

Still, I was able to post the output graphs, which in essence are the elevator pitch, although they omit some nuance.

Now to Dr. Brown’s post.

Okay. Once more, with feeling. I did, as seems to have escaped your attention, quote Dr. Brown above, to the effect that a temperature difference would have to cause heat flow in any situation at all where there’s thermal conductivity. That’s what I dispute. We’ll go through why step by step.

First, Dr. Brown based that contention on Fourier’s Law: Heat flow is proportional to temperature gradient, normal area, and conductivity—or, if you prefer, temperature difference, normal area, and conductivity and inversely proportional to orthogonal distance. So, if there’s any temperature difference at all, no matter how small, Fourier’s Law seems to require that at least some heat will flow occur if there’s any thermal conductivity (as there is in a silver wire—and, due to colliding molecules, there necessarily is in a gas).

Second, Fourier’s Law is not restricted to silver wires; it applies to other things, too, like gases.

Third, an ideal gas is a collection of molecules that collide and, if they’re disposed in a gravitational field, otherwise follow ballistic trajectories.

Fourth, if we model an ideal gas consisting of colliding ballistic molecules and find, as the graphs above illustrate for a monatomic gas restricted to one dimension, that at equilibrium—i.e., at no average heat flow—it has a non-zero kinetic-energy gradient (non-zero lapse rate), then we can conclude, contrary to what we may have thought, that Fourier’s Law actually is only a limit as the number of molecules approaches infinity. For a finite number, that is, the law is off a bit, although for the number of molecules in a macroscopic object it’s so close that as a practical matter we’d never detect the difference—and, even in principle, detecting it would take quite a while.

Fifth, if that’s true of Fourier’s Law as applied to gases, we are entitled to suspect that it may be true for silver wires, too. We therefore cannot assume that what little temperature difference is imposed upon a silver wire by an equilibrium-lapse-rate-caused temperature difference between coupling altitudes will necessarily cause heat to flow through the wire.

But, sixth, the fifth step is actually superfluous, since in the fourth step we already found a non-zero lapse rate in an equilibrium gas, which is what Dr. Brown was trying to refute.

Basically, I have no problem with the conclusion of Dr. Brown’s proof if it’s qualified to mean that the lapse rate is so close to zero that as a practical matter we’d never detect the difference. But he rejected qualification:

[H]eat will flow through the silver for any difference in temperature until there is no difference in temperature. . . .

Look, I know this seems really far out: it seems to be denying Fourier’s Law. But in light of the simulation (and, in truth, some statistical mechanics that I won’t go into here) maybe it’s just interpreting Fourier’s Law more correctly.

paqyfelyc
December 19, 2017 6:25 am

@Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Nice proofs, but they just prove what should be obvious (I know, some people still believe otherwise …. sigh….): that the definition of equilibrium includes that no thermal gradient will appear out of nowhere. They applies to an non-existent atmosphere.
A ground heated, atmosphere is something else. It is out of equilibrium. It is a heat engine, complete with heat source, cold source, expansion of the fluid moving upward and compression of the same moving downward. Heat engine are funny things. In particular, they CAN move heat from the cold place to the hot one, provided you give them mechanical energy.

Obviously, standard IPCC greenhouse effect DOES include a downward movement of heat: “back-radiation” that is stronger than atmosphere’s radiation to space. And anyone claiming this is unscientific (as “slayers” do) is wrong: this back-radiation can be measured with real instrumentation, it is a fact.
Trouble is, a perfect mirror atmosphere could only send back just as much solar power the ground receive from the sun, plus half of what it itself absorbs from the sun, and fact is, it is ~2x stronger that. So you need something else to account for half of it. Which is?….

PS—
“you can’t prove anything in science” just means science is about theories, and theories do not prove facts, facts disprove theories. You cannot use Newton’s law to “prove” gravity, and you cannot prove Newton’s law with facts (despite it working so well it took centuries to discover flaws, usually irrelevant in everyday life). The existence of white swans is a matter of fact, that science cannot prove, doesn’t need to, and cannot even be invoked to prove. That is why the smartest move against Zeno’s “proof” that movement is impossible, was just to move.

December 15, 2017 3:23 am

Thank you Willis for a very interesting post. I am trying to understand how your conclusions correlate with the following post, which shows that:

The Nino3.4 temperature anomaly provides a good 3-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 4-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.

Similarly, the East Equatorial Upper Ocean temperature anomaly provides a good 5-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 6-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly. [H/T to Bill Illis.]

I am not disputing your hypo, I am trying to understand how this all fits together.

Best, Allan

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/20/from-the-the-stupid-it-burns-department-science-denial-not-limited-to-political-right/comment-page-1/#comment-2616345

NOT A WHOLE LOTTA GLOBAL WARMING GOIN’ ON!

Unlike the deeply flawed computer climate models cited by the IPCC, Bill Illis has created a temperature model that actually works in the short-term (multi-decades). It shows global temperatures correlate primarily with NIno3.4 area temperatures – an area of the Pacific Ocean that is about 1% of global surface area. There are only four input parameters, with Nino3.4 being the most influential. CO2 has almost no influence. So what drives the Nino3.4 temperatures? Short term, the ENSO. Longer term, probably the integral of solar activity – see Dan Pangburn’s work.

Bill’s equation is:
Tropics Troposphere Temp = 0.288 * Nino 3.4 Index (of 3 months previous) + 0.499 * AMO Index + -3.22 * Aerosol Optical Depth volcano Index + 0.07 Constant + 0.4395*Ln(CO2) – 2.59 CO2 constant

Bill’s graph is here – since 1958, not a whole lotta global warming goin’ on!

My simpler equation using only the Nino3.4 Index Anomaly is:
UAHLTcalc Global (Anom. in degC, ~four months later) = 0.20*Nino3.4IndexAnom + 0.15
Data: Nino3.4IndexAnom is at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

It shows that much or all of the apparent warming since ~1982 is a natural recovery from the cooling impact of two major volcanoes – El Chichon and Pinatubo.

Here is the plot of my equation:

I added the Sato Global Mean Optical Depth Index (h/t Bill Illis) to compensate for the cooling impact of major volcanoes, so the equation changes to:
UAHLTcalc Global (Anom. in degC) = 0.20*Nino3.4IndexAnom (four months earlier) + 0.15 – 8*SatoGlobalMeanOpticalDepthIndex

The “Sato Index” is factored by about -8 and here is the result – the Orange calculated global temperature line follows the Red actual UAH global LT temperature line reasonably well, with one brief deviation at the time of the Pinatubo eruption.

Here is the plot of my new equation, with the “Sato” index:

I agree with Bill’s conclusion that
THE IMPACT OF INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 ON GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS SO CLOSE TO ZERO AS TO BE MATERIALLY INSIGNIFICANT.

Regards, Allan

afonzarelli
December 15, 2017 9:42 am

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:16 am

Hourly basis.

dh-mtl
December 15, 2017 11:32 am

The basic correlations presented in the above post by Allan Macrae are good.
However, if you use an Exponentially Weighted Moving Average on the monthly Nino 3.4 data, and use a factor that weights the latest month equal to 0.01 (i.e. the weighted moving average centers approximately 4 years in the past), you will find that this EWMA is highly correlated with the Global Temperatures, and essentially accounts for the long term drift of global temperatures since the 1980s.

The correlations presented in Macrae’s post above capture the short term effects of El Nino, but do not reveal that there is a secondary, long term effect, of El Nino on global temperatures that is even more important. This EWMA as I describe in the paragraph above also correlates with the AMO.

In addition, if the Sunspot Index is added to the correlations, you will find that it is also significant.

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:24 am

Sorry, hourly basis which translates into, with no changes, a permanent basis.

Were I tasked with designing a planet that would hold its surface temperature within a few 10ths of a degree. Earth would be my finest achievement.

December 16, 2017 3:46 pm

ALLAN MACRAE December 15, 2017 at 3:23 am

Bill’s equation is:
Tropics Troposphere Temp = 0.288 * Nino 3.4 Index (of 3 months previous) + 0.499 * AMO Index + -3.22 * Aerosol Optical Depth volcano Index + 0.07 Constant + 0.4395*Ln(CO2) – 2.59 CO2 constant

Sorry but this equation makes no sense, you can’t take the log of a dimensional number, the terms should all have the units of temperature.

December 16, 2017 8:29 pm

Phil:

There is an obvious reason why Bill used the natural log function.

You can figure it out.

December 16, 2017 9:08 pm

ALLAN MACRAE December 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm
Phil:

There is an obvious reason why Bill used the natural log function.

You can figure it out.
He doesn’t understand dimensional analysis?

December 16, 2017 10:01 pm

Phil – to keep it simple: the units of each factor in Bill’s equation are whatever is needed to make it work.

I understand your point, I just cannot be bothered to go into more detail.

Bill Illis has demonstrated to me that he not only understands the science better than most, he is good at explaining it.

You will note that I did not use CO2 in my simpler equation – that is because increasing atmospheric CO2 has very little impact on global temperature. There is no real global warming crisis – it does not exist in reality.

December 17, 2017 10:25 am

ALLAN MACRAE December 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm
Phil – to keep it simple: the units of each factor in Bill’s equation are whatever is needed to make it work.

I understand your point, I just cannot be bothered to go into more detail.

Very convenient, in science you don’t just make up equations any way you like, all the terms must be balanced dimensionally. Makes one wonder what ‘make it work means’?

Bill Illis has demonstrated to me that he not only understands the science better than most, he is good at explaining it.

You will note that I did not use CO2 in my simpler equation – that is because increasing atmospheric CO2 has very little impact on global temperature. There is no real global warming crisis – it does not exist in reality.

Well you’re modeling the noise not the longterm trend so that’s not surprising.

December 17, 2017 8:29 am

Hello Willis,

I think I now have this sorted, but confirmation would be helpful.

https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/index.php

Can you kindly tell me:
1. Which CERES data are you using? Edition? Subset? etc.
2. Which temperature data are you using?

Data Sources would be appreciated.

Thank you.

December 17, 2017 3:07 pm

December 17, 2017 4:59 pm

Thank you Willis – I believe your hypo is correct. Very well done!

Rob Bradley aka Phil: The ~20-year “Pause” must be more distressing to you. And it is back!

Expect more global cooling in the next months – it is already a near-certainty based on the predictive relationship of the Nino34 anomaly, where the global LT temperature lags the Nino34 anomaly by ~4 months:

Bundle up, and Merry Christmas to all! Ho Ho Ho!!!

Regards, Allan 🙂

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

Year Month Nino34 Anom dC
2017 6 0.55
2017 7 0.39
2017 8 -0.15
2017 9 -0.43
2017 10 -0.46
2017 11 -0.86

December 17, 2017 6:04 pm

Folks, this is how I treat people with honest statements and honest requests.

Occasionally it is. Actually, though, Mr. Eschenbach’s responses to me above are more typical of the ill grace with which has for years responded to people who try to throw him a line when he’s in over his head (as, when it comes to math, he often is).

Now, the point I’ve been making above would benefit from actually looking at the simulation the script performs, so it’s perfectly understandable that he didn’t get it. But in the thread that starts here you can see that he exhibited the same lack of emotional maturity when several of us attempted repeatedly to help him out of his following error in basic statistics:

Invert the axes to get boundaries on a slope? One is the slope of X with respect to Y, and the other (reversed axes) is the slope of Y with respect to X. They are very different things, and the slope of one is simply 1/slope(the other). In no way are those two the “bounding extremes” for one of the slopes.

If you follow that thread you will see how (characteristically) rude his persistence in this error was. This has occurred many times over the years.

And in this case his using all caps to demand we quote him doesn’t negate the fact that I repeatedly did quote him verbatim–even thought that shouldn’t have been necessary. The simple truth is that his proof was to the effect that a temperature gradient could never exist in a thermally conductive medium without attendant heat flow, a proposition I showed was wrong by providing a simulation of its existence in a thermally conductive gas subject to a gravitational field. His response to the simulation was, as usual, just bluster.

December 17, 2017 11:35 am

Phil – I suggest you have revealed yourself as a troll, which I suspected earlier. Your aggressive and ignorant comments with no material content, and your use of a pseudonym is typical of the troll empire.
You most recently wrote:
“Well you’re modeling the noise not the longterm trend so that’s not surprising.”

BIll Illis’ above graph extends back to 1958, which means he included pre-satellite-era data.

My above graph encompasses ~all the entire satellite era.

Both graphs include a large percentage of the TOTAL fossil fuel consumed by humanity since the dawn of time.

You will note that in my graph, there is NO significant global warming in the Nino3.4 area since ~1980. I concluded that ~all the apparent global warming since that time is largely an artifact of two major volcanoes, El Chichon and Pinatubo. Other major papers before and since have reached similar conclusions.

Phil, unless you have something intelligent to say, backed up by some real data and your real name, I suggest you take your covert potshots elsewhere.

December 18, 2017 9:39 am

ALLAN MACRAE December 17, 2017 at 11:35 am
Phil – I suggest you have revealed yourself as a troll, which I suspected earlier. Your aggressive and ignorant comments with no material content, and your use of a pseudonym is typical of the troll empire.

‘No material content’, I pointed out that Illis’s equation as shown by you shows inappropriate use of logarithm of a dimensional term, in a proper equation all the terms should have the same units. That’s certainly ‘material content’. By the way I use an abbreviation of my own name not a pseudonym, most posters on here don’t use their actual names, e.g. tty, MattS, BallBounces, 3×2, Hugs to name but a few on this thread, are they all members of the ‘troll empire’?

You most recently wrote:
“Well you’re modeling the noise not the longterm trend so that’s not surprising.”

BIll Illis’ above graph extends back to 1958, which means he included pre-satellite-era data.

My above graph encompasses ~all the entire satellite era.

So what, the terms you use don’t include long term trends they’re just fluctuations hence you’re just fitting noise.

Both graphs include a large percentage of the TOTAL fossil fuel consumed by humanity since the dawn of time.

You will note that in my graph, there is NO significant global warming in the Nino3.4 area since ~1980. I concluded that ~all the apparent global warming since that time is largely an artifact of two major volcanoes, El Chichon and Pinatubo. Other major papers before and since have reached similar conclusions.

Well your earlier version showed no systematic trend over time unlike the UAH LT data so you needed to add something to correct that so you added the volcanic term. Regarding your graph since you mentioned it, you should indicate which of your fitted equations refers to which dataset and correct the labelling of the fitted lines on the graph, currently they are both shown as ‘Calc w/o Sato’.

December 18, 2017 11:35 am

Phil:

Your critical comments of Bill Illis’ work regarding dimensional analysis are utterly trivial.

So are your other comments to me – they were not intended to be constructive or insightful – they were mere pedantic nonsense, intended to imply that you know a lot more than you do.

I am not interested in interacting with you – you have brought nothing of value to this discussion.
__________________

Suggested reading for others, on the relationship between ocean temperatures, major volcanoes and global temperatures, and the MAXIMUM sensitivity of climate to increasing atmospheric CO2:

Satellite Bulk Tropospheric Temperatures as a Metric for Climate Sensitivity
John R. Christy and Richard T. McNider
Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama, USA
(Manuscript received 9 June 2017; accepted 14 September 2017)
© The Korean Meteorological Society and Springer 2017
Asia-Pac. J. Atmos. Sci., 53(4), 511-518, 2017 pISSN 1976-7633 / eISSN 1976-7951
DOI:10.1007/s13143-017-0070-z

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

[excerpt]
“If the warming rate of +0.096 K dec−1 represents the
net TLT response to increasing greenhouse radiative forcings, this
implies that the TLT tropospheric transient climate response (ΔTLT at
the time CO2 doubles) is +1.10 ± 0.26 K which is about half of the
average of the IPCC AR5 climate models of 2.31 ± 0.20 K. Assuming
that the net remaining unknown internal and external natural forcing
over this period is near zero, the mismatch since 1979 between
observations and CMIP-5 model values suggests that excessive
sensitivity to enhanced radiative forcing in the models can be
appreciable.”

This paper ASSUMES that ALL of the warming observed in the satellite era is due to increased atmospheric CO2, and concludes that “the TLT tropospheric transient climate response (ΔTLT at the time CO2 doubles) is +1.10 ± 0.26 K”.

In short, this means that climate is relatively INsensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 and there is NO real global warming crisis. We published this conclusion in 2002 and still believe it to be true.

Furthermore, it is probable that climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is even LESS than the 1.1K assumed in this analysis, since much of the observed warming in this period was due to natural causes, following the Great Pacific Climate Shift that occurred circa 1977.

December 19, 2017 6:57 am

ALLAN MACRAE December 18, 2017 at 11:35 am
Phil:

Your critical comments of Bill Illis’ work regarding dimensional analysis are utterly trivial.

Actually they’re fundamental.

So are your other comments to me – they were not intended to be constructive or insightful – they were mere pedantic nonsense, intended to imply that you know a lot more than you do.

Well at least you could thank me for pointing out the errors on your graph.

I am not interested in interacting with you – you have brought nothing of value to this discussion.

Well you’d better get used to it. As I said: “the terms you use don’t include long term trends they’re just fluctuations hence you’re just fitting noise”. This agrees with Foster and Rahmstorf who showed that much of the variability can be related to three known causes of short-term temperature variations: El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic eruptions, and solar variations including the solar cycle. They showed that the influence of ENSO is greater than that of volcanic forcing and much greater than that of solar variation, and that both ENSO and volcanic forcing affect LT temperatures much more strongly than surface temperature. So your results agree with theirs as far as that is concerned. However they also show that these factors have not contributed to an upward trend in temperature data. As a result: “There is no indication of any slowdown or acceleration of global warming, beyond the variability induced by these known natural factors.” For the UAH-LT data they show a warming rate of 0.14ºC/decade.

“Global temperature evolution 1979–2010”, Foster and Rahmstorf,
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 6, Number 4, 2011.

Incidentally regarding your statement; “Expect more global cooling in the next months – it is already a near-certainty based on the predictive relationship of the Nino34 anomaly, where the global LT temperature lags the Nino34 anomaly by ~4 months”, Spencer and Christy are “a little surprised that the satellite deep-layer temperature anomaly has been rising for the last several months, given the cool La Nina currently attempting to form in the Pacific Ocean.” Your graph hasn’t been updated recently enough to see if it shows a similar discrepancy.

December 20, 2017 7:23 am

Phil:

Here is what Christy and Spencer really think about the near future, in this recent email from John Christy to me. Since then, UAH LT temperature has dropped sharply, as predicted by the prior drop in Nino34 temperatures.

From: John Christy
Date: November 4, 2017 at 7:28:22 PM GMT+7
To: Allan MacRae
Cc: Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Joe D’Aleo, Joe Bastardi
Subject: Re: Sorted – atmospheric cooling will resume soon
Allan
Yes. We’ve seen this correlation since our first paper about it in Nature back in 1994. The Pacific gave up a lot of heat between July and October – and some of it is making its way through the atmosphere. We think the anomalies will drop soon too.
John C.
Sent from my iPhone

The correct prediction of near-term and longer-term global temperatures is cutting edge science.

In contrast, your comments to me were utterly trivial, nitpicking nonsense, and have added nothing of value to this discussion.

A C Osborn
December 20, 2017 7:53 am

Allan, that is Phil’s Modus operandi.
Whatever you do don’t provide Facts that don’t fit his world view, he just twists everything to suit it.

December 20, 2017 9:12 pm

ALLAN MACRAE December 20, 2017 at 7:23 am
Phil:

Here is what Christy and Spencer really think about the near future, in this recent email from John Christy to me. Since then, UAH LT temperature has dropped sharply, as predicted by the prior drop in Nino34 temperatures.

From: John Christy
Date: November 4, 2017 at 7:28:22 PM GMT+7
To: Allan MacRae
Cc: Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Joe D’Aleo, Joe Bastardi
Subject: Re: Sorted – atmospheric cooling will resume soon
Allan
Yes. We’ve seen this correlation since our first paper about it in Nature back in 1994. The Pacific gave up a lot of heat between July and October – and some of it is making its way through the atmosphere. We think the anomalies will drop soon too.
John C.

Just two days before that email Spencer posted “John Christy and I are a little surprised that the satellite deep-layer temperature anomaly has been rising for the last several months, given the cool La Nina currently attempting to form in the Pacific Ocean.”

The correct prediction of near-term and longer-term global temperatures is cutting edge science.

Yeah Foster and Rahmstorf did a good job back in 2011, they even included the SATO index back then, something you only just came up with.

In contrast, your comments to me were utterly trivial, nitpicking nonsense, and have added nothing of value to this discussion.

On the contrary I showed that you were mistaken in your statement that “I concluded that ~all the apparent global warming since that time is largely an artifact of two major volcanoes, El Chichon and Pinatubo”, as Foster and Rahmstorf have shown that when the SATO index is taken into account the remaining global warming is ~0.14ºC/decade. A point you have failed to address so far.
Your prediction is that the anomaly will be about zero in a couple of months, we shall see.

December 21, 2017 1:34 pm

The atmospheric cooling I predicted (4 months in advance) using the Nino34 anomaly has started to materialize in November 2017 – more to follow. This is weather, not climate (I hope).

Happy Holidays to all!

December 21, 2017 8:04 pm

Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 wrote in their abstract:
“When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Nino/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced.”

In fact, the Nino34 temperature anomaly, which is the most reliable predictor of near-term global temperature, is absolutely flat over the period from 1982 to present – there is only apparent atmospheric warming during this period due to the natural recovery from two major volcanoes.

There probably was some real (natural) global warming just after the Great Pacific Climate Shift circa 1977. It is unlikely that increasing CO2 played a significant role.

December 22, 2017 8:05 am

ALLAN MACRAE December 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm
Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 wrote in their abstract:
“When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Nino/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced.”

In fact, the Nino34 temperature anomaly, which is the most reliable predictor of near-term global temperature, is absolutely flat over the period from 1982 to present – there is only apparent atmospheric warming during this period due to the natural recovery from two major volcanoes.

I suggest you reread F&R since that is not what they found, the warming is there even when the volcanic influence is accounted for.
As I pointed out before the Nino term is the largest contributor to the noise in the record so it is a good short term predictor, that’s all.

December 23, 2017 6:55 am

I suggest that Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 is warmist propaganda – an attempt to attribute to increasing atmospheric CO2 a much greater role in driving atmospheric temperatures than exists in reality. There is NO credible evidence that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the sole or even the primary driver of global warming – there is better evidence that global temperature is primarily driven by natural factors, and atmospheric CO2 plays a minor and relatively insignificant role.

One important piece of supporting evidence is the moderate global cooling that occurred from ~1940 to ~1975, even as fossil fuel consumption and atmospheric CO2 rapidly accelerated.

Some natural global warming probably occurred following the Great Pacific Climate Shift circa 1977.

Furthermore, NO net NINO34 warming since 1982 suggests relatively INsignificant CO2-driven global warming since 1982.

The following points are proven:
1. There are orders of magnitude more heat calories in the oceans than in the atmosphere.
2. Atmospheric temperatures follow ocean temperatures.
3. Next to ocean temperatures, the next greatest influence on atmospheric temperatures is major (century-scale) volcanoes.
4. Attributing all remaining atmospheric temperature changes to increasing CO2 is self-serving warmist nonsense, circular thinking unsupported by evidence or logic.
5. Even attributing ALL remaining warming to increasing atmospheric CO2 only results in a climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 of ~1C/[2xCO2] – see Christy and McNider 1994 and 2017, which is so low that any impact on climate of increasing atmospheric CO2 would be minor, beneficial and not harmful.
6. Global warming alarmists have greatly exaggerated climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 in order to promote false global warming hysteria.
7. There is in reality NO GLOBAL WARMING CRISIS – it is a fiction, fabricated for political and economic gain, and is the greatest fraud in dollar terms in human history.

Runaway global warming as promoted by alarmists is highly improbable. Minor global warming, no significant change, or moderate global cooling are much more probable outcomes, based on the evidence.

MattS
December 15, 2017 3:37 am

“So the greenhouse effect is able to warm up the planet … but only to a certain point. Beyond that, things start going the other direction.”

Because water vapour absorbs incoming shortwave. As it increases it is saturated at long wave frequencies, but not yet at short wave. Thus it’s warming effect is maxed out, but it’s cooling effect isnt. So the surface gets colder.

The inverse is the desert. Very cold at night, very hot in the day, an absoloute 1 to 1 correlation with insolaiion. No water vapour.

Philip Mulholland
December 15, 2017 4:33 am

Willis,
You say “increasing tropical temperature leads to increasing clouds, which reduces the amount of sunshine at the surface”
Here is a plot of the average of all available rainfall in mm/dd from 1988 to 2011 as recorded by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM):-

This chart shows that for both the tropical east and central Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean the convective rainfall of the ITCZ is located north of the equator, whereas for the Indian and western most Pacific Ocean the annual rainfall pattern is distributed both north and south of the equator.
Here for comparison are the TRMM charts for January and July that clearly demonstrate the annual monsoonal pattern in the Indian Ocean and the Austral & Asian Seas located around Indonesia and the west Pacific as compared to the northern hemisphere bias of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific:-

There are clear differences between these TRMM rainfall charts and your annual solar radiation at the surface and the surface temperature correlation chart. Comments please.

tty
December 15, 2017 12:48 pm

The rain doesn’t necessarily fall in the same place where the water evaporated. As a matter of fact it usually doesn’t.
The absence of convective rainfall S of the Equator in the Eastern Pacific and South Atlantic is due to the Humboldt and Benguela currents. The water is simply not warm enough. There are no hurricanes in these areas either, for the same reason.

Philip Mulholland
December 18, 2017 3:48 am

Willis,
I want to explore your cloud shading idea a bit more. I live in north-west Europe on the eastern margin of a cloudy North Atlantic Ocean. Stratus clouds are the bread and butter weather here, particularly in winter and not just the rain bearing frontal clouds, but also the long weeks of dullness from the pervasive layer cloud that anticyclone gloom brings.
So I have no problem with the idea that clouds can reduce insolation. However I am not convinced that cumulus clouds can have such a regional affect. Many years ago my first visit to Tenerife involved a 4 hour flight south from Gatwick. After 2 hours flying we passed over the Algarve in southern Portugal and then for the next two hours we flew over the ocean, the Canary Islands are a long way south from Europe. The cloud patterns over the ocean showed that the light was reaching the sea and the high sun produced only a small shadow footprint on the waters below. Also the light was different, bright in a way I had rarely experienced at home. I saw a similar change in light quality on my first summer flight to Texas from Chicago; as we flew south down the valley of the Mississippi the reflected light from the walls of the towering cumulus lit the interior of the jet, so reflected side light is significant from bright cumulus clouds, but not so with dull stratus.
Your diagram for the Atlantic Ocean is particularly striking; it shows a double track correlation pattern north and south of the equator, but the TRMM data shows that the rain producing clouds of ICTZ, with their associated shading from anvil ice clouds, is located north of the equator throughout the year. The association of the ICTZ with the warmest surface waters is shown in the following two example NullEarth plots for January and July:-
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2017/01/17/0000Z/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-12.15,0.94,894
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2017/07/17/0000Z/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-12.15,0.94,894
So is there an additional explanation for the correlation band seen south of the equator?
This comment by Bobl posted elsewhere is interesting:

Surface Insolation depends on the air not being filled with condensed water, the typical humidity haze in tropical areas can reduce insolation by 15% even though it is hot and sunny.

So I believe that low level stratal haze in the doldrums could be another weather feature that your analysis is detecting.

BallBounces
December 15, 2017 4:52 am

I just read about the money being thrown around in Paris — what kind of money is being directed towards this really interesting, really important hypothesis?

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:28 am

:^}

Philip Mulholland
December 18, 2017 4:07 am

“Exactly how obscene an amount of money are we talking about? Profane or really offensive?”

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek
December 15, 2017 5:32 am

Willis

“A negative correlation between temperature and sunshine occurs over an area where no less than 17% of the sunlight is striking the earth. This is more than enough to serve as a thermoregulatory mechanism.”

I agree with this but it really needs quantification. If the 17% has the observed ability to cool the surface by 300 Watts per sq metre, and the positive correlation region is heating with 50 Watts average, then the 17% balances the rest.

Naturally there are manifold complications. The polar regions are net cooling to begin with. That can be deducted from the net warming areas. Even if there is a positive correlation, a net loss is still ‘cooling’.

Suppose there is net heating with a positive correlation from 20-60 degrees N and S. Suppose the Poles 60-90 are balanced, i.e. no net gain or loss on average. The thermoregulation of 20N to 20S only needs to control the positive correlation of 20-60 N and S, not the whole planet.

The area between 20-60 N and S is less that double the area of 20N to 20S. AND it receives less insolation. Let’s suppose the total energy is 1.5 times as much than the tropical region instead of double. It means the tropics with a cooling power of 100 Watts per sq metre (only) can offset 67 Watts per sq m of additional heating in the positive correlation zones. Dang.

The obvious conclusion is that should a great deal of heat be gained by the system, what was not countered by the tropical clouds would be moved to the net loss regions. That should result in warm poles and a relative leveled temperature over the planet, say, tropical at present temps, and poles at temperate climate levels.

Lo and behold, that is what the situation was long ago. Your thesis is genius level citizen science.

December 15, 2017 6:10 am

Willis, I am curious about the time-scale you were considering for the graph. Is this relating monthly average surface insolation with monthly average temperatures? Daily averages? hourly? Annual?

This would make a big difference in how the graphs are interpreted. For example, if individual sunny days are actually cooler along the equator, that would be pretty amazing to me. If sunny months are are cool, that is not quite so surprising. For one thing, TOA insolation peaks in March and September along the equator, but I could easily imagine water temperatures peaking in Jan or July as warm ocean currents carry warmth from the north or south.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 10:45 am

Thanks TJ for asking this. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I was already thinking in terms of seasons and different days. Different places act differently, but the big question is to quantify changes in clouds observationally, and build a theory that explains those changes. I’m not buying a AOGCM yet for this purpose. Some cloud data we have, which is promptly assumed worse that expected and caused by humans 110%.

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:35 am

Is this relating monthly average surface insolation with monthly average temperatures? Daily averages? hourly? Annual?

Not to speak for Willis … instantaneous reaction to ‘circumstances on the ground’.

December 15, 2017 6:27 am

Interesting in 2017 but not unknown in 1997 and 2007.

From “Trends in ISCCP, MISR, and MODIS cloud-top-height and optical-depth histograms”, figure 7, showing the anticorrelation of Nino34 with OD:

“The orange line in Figure 7 shows observed SST anomalies for the Niño 3.4 region (5°N–5°S, 120°–170°W) as compiled at the National Center for Atmospheric Research [Trenberth, 1997], while the blue line shows a 3 month running mean of the MISR high cloud fraction. The correlation between these two quantities is about −0.8, meaning that warm SSTs in the Central Pacific are associated with a reduction in high cloud over the Tropical Warm Pool, while cold SSTs in the Central Pacific are associated with an increase in high cloud cover.”

Fig 7

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/jgrd.50207/asset/image_n/jgrd50207-fig-0007.png?v=1&t=jb6ujohd&s=de48c5543a62d288f5bf73552d7629c234018245

Please define the measurement of ‘the surface sun increases’ ? What is the ‘surface sun’ data?

December 15, 2017 6:35 am

Correction – scratch the ‘1997 and 2007’ – the paper I cited was from 2013. More coffee!

December 17, 2017 12:12 pm

Thank you Bob Weber – good find!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50207/full

Trends in ISCCP, MISR, and MODIS cloud-top-height and optical-depth histograms
Authors Roger Marchand
First published: 27 February 2013
Journal of Geophysical Research Volume 118, Issue 4 27 February 2013 Pages 1941–1949

FIGURE 7 SHOWS THE ANTI-CORRELATION OF NINO34 TEMPERATURES WITH HIGH CLOUD COVER.

Figure 7.
Same as Figure 1, except for clouds with intermediate optical thickness (23 > OD > 3.6) with cloud top heights above 7 km over the tropical warm pool (30°N–30°S, 100°E–160°E). Orange line shows SST anomalies for the El Niño 3.4 region (5°N–5°S, 120°W–170°W). The SST anomalies are strongly anticorrelated with high cloud amount over in the tropical warm pool, most obvious in the 3 month running mean of MISR cloud amount (blue line).

December 17, 2017 12:25 pm

See my above post for how this all fits together:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/14/where-the-temperature-rules-the-sun/comment-page-1/#comment-2693544

[excerpt}

The Nino3.4 temperature anomaly provides a good 3-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 4-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.

Similarly, the East Equatorial Upper Ocean temperature anomaly provides a good 5-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 6-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly. [H/T to Bill Illis.]

December 18, 2017 2:27 am

Thank you again Willis.

Some “food for thought” for your long flight home, on the prediction of atmospheric temperatures:

In the sub-decadal time frame, as I stated previously:
The Nino3.4 sea temperature anomaly provides a good 3-month predictor of the UAH Lower Troposphere (LT) Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 4-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.
Similarly, the East Equatorial Upper Ocean temperature anomaly provides a good 5-month predictor of the UAH LT Tropical temperature anomaly, and a good 6-month predictor of the UAH LT Global temperature anomaly.

I don’t know if science will ever develop a good fundamental predictive methodology for the precise timing of ENSO events and major (century-scale) volcanoes, both significant drivers of sub-decadal global atmospheric temperatures – but then maybe we don’t really need to. These events tend to “average-out” in less than a decade.

At the longer time scale (multi-decadal to multi-century), I am generally supportive of the hypo that the integral of solar activity is the primary driver of global temperature, moderated by major shifts in the PDO such as occurred circa 1976. I still want to confirm similar work by Dan Pangburn and others, but cannot find the time.

These hypos and their time scales all fit together fairly well, and leave little room for any significant influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 on the global temperature equation. I suggest that the IPCC’s hypo that Increasing atmospheric CO2 is THE major driver of global air temperature has been repeatedly falsified, based on abundant evidence.

Earth appears to have a natural regulatory mechanism that holds temperature within narrow bounds, as you have described, and it takes a major external forcing such as a long-term planetary cycle to shift Earth into/out-of a new major Ice Age.

As I wrote in 2002, I do expect some moderate global cooling (similar or more severe than that of ~1940 to ~1975), starting anytime from ~2020 to ~2030, and probably closer to 2020. This prediction is looking more probable as SC24 is the weakest in a century, and SC25 is predicted to be similarly weak.

I hope to be wrong about this prediction of imminent global cooling, especially since Western politicians have compromised our energy systems by spending tens of trillions of dollars on intermittent green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful energy. This has been my primary message since 2002, and I see no reason to change it now.

Best wishes for a safe return, and for the Holidays.

Allan MacRae in Calgary

Retired Engineer John
December 15, 2017 7:49 am

Willis, the temperatures that you show – are they average temperatures or maximum temperatures. Christy and Spencer have shown about three land locations where the average temperatures have increased due to the low temperatures going up ; however, the maximum temperatures appeared to be subjected to some sort of limit. A thermostat would act on the maximum temperatures.

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 8:29 am

“A thermostat would act on the maximum temperatures” by limiting them. Which is exactly what you observe

December 15, 2017 7:52 am

My comment is the sun always rules the temperatures of the earth. Many times the effects are obscure because the sun not only does not only vary enough other than when in a prolonged solar minimum ,but it also cycles in an 11 year sunspot cycle which cancels out the solar effects.

December 15, 2017 11:02 am

Salvatore I hope you’re doing well.

“Many times the effects are obscure because the sun not only does not only vary enough other than when in a prolonged solar minimum, but it also cycles in an 11 year sunspot cycle which cancels out the solar effects.”

Huh?

1) The sun varies the least during a solar minimum
2) The 11 year cycle creates the solar effects, having both current and time-delayed effects.

Please note we’re getting into this solar minimum very early. The v2 SSN Nov. average was 5.7, the lowest monthly average this early in all the solar cycles 1-24! If this cycle is like the last, we’ll have 24-28 months left to go to the bottom, plenty of time for more zero sunspot number solar cooling!

How the sun rules the temperature and drives clouds & water vapor is the subject of my now over four year research project. My concern is now again too much emphasis is being placed exclusively on clouds as a feedback instead of learning of the cloud generation timing and mechanisms via solar warmed waters, by either high insolation (which is governed by cloud cover feedback) or TSI surges/levels, over time.

December 15, 2017 12:12 pm

Hi Bob, I am good. Thanks.

I was trying to say when the sun is in it’s regular 11 year sunspot cycle it does not vary enough in magnitude to have a big climatic impact, in my opinion..

Only when it enters or leaves prolonged solar minimum periods does the climatic effect of the sun become more apparent.

December 15, 2017 1:18 pm

Correction: The November v2 SSN average of 5.7 was the 3rd earliest value that low for all solar cycles #1-24, compared to 4 and 0, in cycles #11 & #2, after 103 and 105 months respectively, compared to this cycle at 108 months.

3x2
December 16, 2017 4:48 am

Salvatore – try to imagine that the Sun (and everything else) is constant but we could ‘tow’ Earth. We tow it closer and the band (equatorial band) increases. We tow it away and it decreases.

Willis proposes that there are ‘mechanisms’ that regulate these changes to within a few tenths of a degree…..

prjindigo
December 15, 2017 8:15 am

It’s GRAVITY, stupid. Gravity regulates pressure. Gravity literally regulates the upper bound of temperature at sea level at ALL latitutdes. It’s what determines whether convection or inversion occurs anywhere on Earth.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 10:49 am

And gravity changes a lot? You have a static model, ‘right twice a day.’

paqyfelyc
December 15, 2017 8:26 am

@Willis
There is no doubt that more heat will bring more evaporation and sooner in the day clouds, increasing average albedo.
Now, while physics says that any cause will prompt effects that will contradict the cause, it also says that it will not overrule it. Said otherwise: the feedback can reduce the correlation to zero (or close to), it won’t turn into a negative correlation.
This is a general rule that DOES have exception, but are just that: exceptions. Usually of man design, or in biological systems, rather than natural non living things. I find it hard to believe that tropical cloudiness is such an exception.

Hugs
December 15, 2017 11:35 am

Good point. But I do believe feedback being close to -1 is pretty logical over equatorial sea. There is a reason why the seasurface does not warm warmer than lukewarm.

December 15, 2017 12:12 pm

WE is not saying there is no warming, he is a luke warmer after all.

Michael Jankowski
December 15, 2017 8:33 am

The constant correlation range across the US seems peculiar. Maybe the graphic or approach is too “broad brush” for finer details, but I would have expected lesser correlations at high elevations.

December 15, 2017 10:08 am

The dynamic situation at the equator is not revealed in figure 2. The correlation is time-dependent, a fact that is not explored here.

The ‘cold tongue index’ shows, similar to Nino34, variability at the equator, not a static view, as implied by your figure 2:

http://research.jisao.washington.edu/data_sets/cti/cti18502011.gif

afonzarelli
December 15, 2017 9:21 am

One thing that may be overlooked here is the effect of walker cell trade winds on tropical SSTs. Walker trades require a pressure differential from east to west along the equator and that doesn’t happen until the sun is high in the sky. Typical trades in Hawaii don’t occur until afternoon. So this always keeps temperatures rather comfortable during the day. (and remember, walker winds are easterly which means the cooler temps in the eastern pacific are drawn westward)…

December 15, 2017 9:53 am

Does it follow that testing this hypothesis would require collecting world-wide data on an impossibly small grid over several centuries or more? If so, case closed. Save some research money and move on to more important problems.

Ben Wouters
December 15, 2017 10:18 am

Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 12:06 am

Not sure what your graph is showing, but straight temperatures do not show anything unusual to me.
See eg

or

Just realize that the maximum temps outside the tropics lag the highest sun position with 1-2 months due to the very high heat storage capacity of water.

tty
December 15, 2017 12:58 pm

The correlation between the highest SST areas and the “negative correlation areas” looks near perfect to me.

Ben Wouters
December 15, 2017 10:25 am

Willis Eschenbach March 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm
In one of the linked post you commented:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/air-conditioning-nairobi-refrigerating-the-planet/#comment-1245696

At that point, the released energy powers the vertical motion of the air through the thunderstorm, and thousands of these acting together power the Hadley Cell circulation.

Do you still believe that thunderstorms around the equator are capable of driving the Hadley circulation from the tropics to 30 N/S over thousands of kilometers or have you found the actual mechanism in the mean time?

Hugs
December 15, 2017 11:16 am

The impolite continuation would be it is the Sun, xx, but I don’t think Willis wrote badly. Of course, there is no need for thunder as the driving force is not electricity but sunshine that the equator gets a lot, moist air increasing the latent heat that is freed in precipitation – not exactly always with thunder I guess. But I couldn’t imagine you need to take every word that literally. I guess Willis has a lot of experience on thunder at tropics, where I have more experience on skating under the ice. All knowledge on nature helps putting things in the right place and scale.

Now you apparently can be snarky to Willis who is supposed to be alarmist, right? – but can you be productive?

Ben Wouters
December 15, 2017 12:31 pm

Hugs December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Thunderstorms is the word Willis used, but Cb’s or cumulonimbi is fine with me, as long as it is clear that they are not the driving force for the Hadley Circulation.

tty
December 15, 2017 12:56 pm

It would be more correct to say that that the thunderstorms and cumulonimbus clouds are an effect of the convection that drives the Hadley circulation.

Ben Wouters
December 16, 2017 8:02 am

Willis Eschenbach December 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

There is a string of thunderstorms all along the ITCZ … do you believe that is NOT enough energy to drive the Hadley cells?

Cb’s use all that energy to rise to their max altitude, so not much left for horizontal movement, maybe some during the creation of the anvil or near the ground as a microburst.
According Wikipedia the average radius of a Cb is 24 km. The distance between equator and 30N or 30S is 1800nm.
Hadley circulation is a thermal wind phenomenon, similar to the sea breeze, but on a much larger scale and includes the Coriolis effect that balances the horizontal pressure gradient force creating the sub-tropical jet.
http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/sea/crc.rxml
I hope you weren’t seriously proposing that Cb’s near the equator are responsible for the sub-tropical jetstream 😉
You are aware of the state of hydrostatic equlibrium against gravity the atmosphere is in?

Bruce of Newcastle
December 15, 2017 12:57 pm

The reason for that most boring graph of climate sensitivity is all to do with psychology.

If they claim 2XCO2 is above 4.5 C no one will believe them.
If 2XCO2 is below 1.5 C then CO2 is mostly harmless and the money gets withdrawn.

In reality 2XCO2 appears to be around the 0.5 C mark from the empirical data, due to negative feedbacks via the water cycle as Willis alludes in his first paragraph. CO2 is therefore completely harmless.

Most of the warming last century was due to the Sun, apparently via cloud cover changes, and also the artificial choice of the IPCC “century” as 1906-2005. The latter added an artefact of about 0.3 C due to the 60 year cycle being at bottom in 1906 and peak in 2005.

Peter Sable
December 15, 2017 9:52 pm

If they claim 2XCO2 is above 4.5 C no one will believe them.
If 2XCO2 is below 1.5 C then CO2 is mostly harmless and the money gets withdrawn.

One might call this the “band of funding”. And since funding appears to be virtually unlimited, of course it’s going to stay within that band.

December 15, 2017 4:01 pm

comparing land to ocean shows net water + cloud feedback must be negative. must be. IPCC and mainstream need to see some grad student take this thru peer review.

December 15, 2017 4:07 pm

compare land ocean fig 2. only plausible reason is water cycle is net negative feedback. as water cycle increases in volume net warming due to solar is decreased and eventually goes negative.

destroys IPCC assumption that water feedback is +3.

A C Osborn
December 16, 2017 1:07 am

Fred, this has been shown emperically years ago in 2011, there is nothing “new” about it.
Emprical data can be found here.
http://gustofhotair.blogspot.co.uk/
Unfortunately the graphs no longer show up and I am not sure what happened to Jonathan Lowe.

December 15, 2017 4:12 pm

PS. great work Willis. collaborate and peer review. this throws a lot of consensus science on its heads.

1sky1
December 15, 2017 4:46 pm

Based on the Bowen ratio observed throughout the globe, oceanographers have known for several decades that the transfer of heat from surface to atmosphere is dominated by evaporation, whose effect usually exceeds not only radiation, but all other mechanisms COMBINED. Since evaporation, which is greatest in the tropics, ultimately leads to insolation-reducing condensation into clouds, the negative correlation shown here over the oceans comes as no surprise. The notion of “positive water-vapor feedback” postulated by “climate science” is little more than a piece of misguided imagination.

Matt G
December 15, 2017 7:15 pm

“But in the tropical ocean, things are quite different. There, we find large areas of negative correlation, where when the sun is increasing the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.”

Choice C) There is negative correlation because of constant mixing of the ocean water is greatest around here for such a large surface area and cool water up-wells to the surface. Greater upwelling occur during La Nina’s similar to conditions like now and less upwelling occurs during El Nino’s. Warm surface ocean water is always flowing towards the western Pacific side. It is natures way of cooling the tropics constantly and warming other ocean currents as it is displaced.

http://physics.gallaudet.edu/OceanMotion/oscar/uvmean/spd/1992/06/spd06_19921021.png

“Current vorticity measures how strongly water swirls around on the surface. Positive (negative) vorticity indicates counterclockwise (clockwise) rotation of water. Vortices in flow indicate turbulence and they are important because it causes mixing of water.”

Therefore it is not either choice A or B, but rather choice B (minor) and C (major).

Why has choice C the most influence?

“Tropical variations in emitted outgoing longwave (LW) radiation are found to closely track changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During positive ENSO phase (El Niño), outgoing LW radiation increases, and decreases during the negative ENSO phase (La Niña).

CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Niña conditions and a net cooling influence during El Niño.”

During La Nina’s the cold upwelling water cools the region by a few degrees centigrade despite decreased cloud levels over the area.

tty
December 16, 2017 1:57 am

“and even over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land”

I strongly agree. I happen to have visited both the SW Pacific and the Amazon basin repeatedly, and they have essentially identical climate regimes. Clear mornings, growing cumulonimbus clouds and a late afternoon cloudburst. It is this constant recycling of rainwater that allows the Amazon to have rainforest climate deep in the center of a continent.
However in the absence of a stabilizing ocean there is greater annual change in the Amazon basin. Most parts have at least a somewhat drier season which is probably the reason only parts of the area have a negative correlation.

I haven’t visited the Congo Basin for obvious reasons, but friends who have (on UN peacekeeping duties) describe exactly the same weather pattern there.

Gabro
December 16, 2017 6:39 am

Not just tropical but subtropical. Florida also has regular PM rain.

tty
December 16, 2017 2:20 pm

Southern Florida is tropical. Am/Aw climate in the Köppen classification.

Gabro
December 16, 2017 2:28 pm

Tty,

The afternoon showers are more typical of central FL, ie Orlando.

Matt G
December 16, 2017 4:06 pm

“but if the answer is “C) El Nino”, why is the exact same phenomenon of negative correlation occurring in the Atlantic, in the Indian Ocean, off the southern coast of Mexico, and even over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land?”

I am not suggesting C is El Nino or La Nina.

C is referring to the same phenomenon below, but ENSO is just one of the causes in this part of the world. It is changes in ocean circulation allowing constant mixing of water and especially cold upwelling that contribute towards the negative correlation over ocean. I agree over a few of the wettest parts of the tropical land are majority B, still have influence from C.

[There is negative correlation because of constant mixing of the ocean water]

The answer is C) Changes in ocean circulation allowing constant mixing of water and especially cold upwelling.

Constant mixing of ocean water brings up cold water to the surface via upwelling.

Cold ocean currents in the Atlantic, Indian, west coast of North America towards southern coast of Mexico are causing most of the negative correlation.

http://staff.orecity.k12.or.us/steve.tebor/atm%20currents/current/images/world_circulation.jpg

“Also, the El Nino-La Nina phenomenon is constrained to a fairly narrow band along the equator, as your graphic clearly shows … but this phenomenon is much, much wider in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and crosses both the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at points.”

The development of El Nino-La Nina often is much wider than the narrow band matching figure 2.

http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-151101.gif

“Next, the water pumped by the El Nino-La Nina pumping action hits the coast/islands of Asia and splits to go north and south … but there is no sign of this in the Figure in the head post.”

The negative correlation becomes positive correlation after it hits the islands and splits N and S. The positive correlation is because of the warmer ocean being displaced via those directions.

The ENSO is just part of the big picture.

“Tropical variations in emitted outgoing longwave (LW) radiation are found to closely track changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During positive ENSO phase (El Niño), outgoing LW radiation increases, and decreases during the negative ENSO phase (La Niña).”

I don’t know where you found that but there is nothing special about El Nino-La Nina in that regard. In general outgoing LW increases with increasing temperature. So during El Nino when the ocean surface is warm you get more LW, and less during La Nina.

Tropical correlation of the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) and outgoing LW is 0.52, p-value = 0.001.

So that doesn’t support your hypothesis either.

Although there is nothing special about it, the significance is when compared with below.

“CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Niña conditions and a net cooling influence during El Niño.”

That shows more clouds during El Nino despite an increase in LW.

Therefore if B was the majority answer, how does a negative correlation occur with El Nino and increased LW?

The ENSO index (MEI) only represent a narrow strip much smaller than the actual size of ENSO surface ocean events so misrepresents it to some extent.

afonzarelli
December 16, 2017 5:09 pm

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/01/what-causes-el-nino-warmth/

Matt, here’s a decent link where spencer covers some of the dynamics that you’re talking about. “Vertical mixing” is key here. In the tropics there is mixing during non el nino conditions. During an el nino, walker cell trades cease and along with it the vertical mixing. This strong mixing at the equator keeps SSTs cooler than they otherwise would be (as evidenced by the warmer el nino SSTs). And of course, there is the upwelling of cool water in the east that is blown westward by walker trades and to a lesser extent by hadley trades. Since walker trades are temperature dependent (due to pressure differential), the warmer SSTs are the faster they blow. Hence with greater warmth comes greater vertical mixing and greater eastern pacific upwelling (during non nino conditions)…

menicholas
December 17, 2017 2:00 am

The entire peninsula gets the often daily rain in the wet season, and it is not always in the afternoon.
The daily rains typically begin in SE and SW Florida in April or May along sea breeze fronts (a lift mechanism that overcomes the stabilizing effect if the prevailing high pressure ridge.
Depending on the wind flow, the sea breeze land breeze interaction will create showers just off the East or West coast overnight, and these will move towards the coast and come inland as the sun rises and heats the land. Westerly winds bring rain in the morning to the West coast and these showers then creates an impulse of moisture and lift that propagates to the other coast, so the East coast gets it in afternoon.
More common east winds will bring showers ashore in the morning on the East coast, and the same thing happens in reverse, with afternoon showers to the Western side and also moving northward into central Florida.
Later In the rainy season, with the ground more saturated, and the air more humid and the sun a more direct angle for heating, they can start to pop up anywhere at any time.
Many factors influence the idealized pattern which is not what we actually see every day.
Ahead of tropical waves are zones of divergence and greater stability, and showers are suppressed, and behind the axis of the wave of low pressure the opposite occurs, and increase lifting, divergence and lifting enhance the chances of showers.
These morning storms along the coast move northward as the water warms all summer, and as the belts of moisture work into Central and Northern Florida. Rainy season in Central Florida usually does not start until June or so, and sometimes several weeks into the month.
On days with no storms or few storms, it stays very warm all evening and most of the night, and so the average temp for that day is higher than if big thunderstorms formed in midafternoon and it rained under the evening hours. While it is raining, we get our coolest temps of summer, and once the rain stops, it is mild and humid until morning, unless the rain dissipates before the sun has reached a low angle.
Days with rain are on therefore on average much cooler than days with no rain.
Storms sometimes sweep across the whole state, or form all at once across a wide area, and within a few minutes of the rain beginning thousands of square miles have transported an entire days worth of thermal energy aloft. It does not come back down.
The rain that falls is colder than the surface water that was evaporated and transpired and sucked up into the clouds, that is for sure.
Minutes to transport all of the heat, in the air, in the surfaces and materials on the skin of buildings, in all of the wood and leaves and branches and soil…everything is cooled down by hours of cold rain falling very hard.
Compared to all night long and it never cools down as much if it does not rain.
Convection is incredibly efficient at transporting energy along, to 45,000-50,000′ or more.
And even before the cumulus get big enough to build to the towering phase and the cumulonimbus phase, they are the visible evidence that convection is transporting heat from the surface to several thousand feet up, and warming the atmosphere at all levels in between.