Further to the UAH Lower Temperature Bound

By David Archibald

[This looks more like a technical analysis of a stock than a discussion of physical processes to me.  Any time series will have a lower bound.  Selecting a few of those data points that seem to fall on a straight line and asserting that they are bounded by an undefined feedback mechanism seems arbitrary at best.  But I’m posting for discussion anyway.  Have at it.~ctm]

This post was on the subject of how consistent the lower bound of the UAH satellite temperature series is. The lower bound is defined by a total of six monthly data points plotting on the green line in this graph of near 40 years of data:

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Figure 1: UAH Temperature of the Global Lower Atmosphere

To investigate this seemingly impenetrable bound let’s first detrend the data:

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Figure 2: Detrended UAH Temperature of the Global Lower Atmosphere

The slope of the lower bound, shown by the green line in Figure 1, is 1.1°C per century. UAH calculates the slope of this temperature series as 1.3°C per century. The difference is probably due to the two big El Ninos in the second half of the record.

The lower bound of the UAH temperature range is well defined with six tests of it over the near 40 year period.

The next step is to examine the distribution of the detrended monthly data:

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Figure 3: Cumulative distribution of monthly data points

Figure 3 shows that the detrended temperature record spends most of its time in a band 0.4°C wide from -0.4°C to 0.0°C. The excursions from that band are bigger on the upside than the downside.

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Figure 4: UAH Temperature Distribution by 0.2°C band

Figure 4 shows the number of data points per 0.2°C band in the current UAH record. There is no long tail in the lower end of the series – consistent with it bouncing off the lower bound as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The record appears to be lumpier than it should be, particularly at -0.10°C to -0.06°C. Perhaps the lumps will even out when we have accumulated another couple of decades of data.

The lower bound in the record to date is determined by six data points:

March 1984 -0.51°

September 1985 -0.51°

August 1992 -0.45°

March 1993 -0.43°

May 2008 -0.26°

February 2012 -0.22°

Figure 5 shows what happens when we plot up just those five points:

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Figure 5: The six points that determine the lower bound of the UAH record

As figure 5 shows, the lower bounding temperatures of the UAH record are far from a random walk. Some feedback mechanism is tightly controlling temperature once it departs too far from the preferred band. We will know that global warming is over once that bounding line is broken.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

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79 thoughts on “Further to the UAH Lower Temperature Bound

  1. It’s too bad that UAH data doesn’t go back 100 years or more. Personally, I wouldn’t make any long term conclusions or make any drastic changes in governance based on what little data we have, especially since in reality there’s not much that can be done anyway, unless one wants to get rid of people.

  2. I believe what we are seeing is recovery from the Little Ice Age. The “controlling mechanism” is the ocean. It is a thermal flywheel and takes time to warm up / cool down. Weather patterns can cause cold over continental land masses for a few years or El Nino warm over the Pacific but it changes. What is the limiting factor, though, is the ocean and it has been slowly getting warmer as it recovers from the LIA. The direction if that lower bound will likely change when the ocean begins net cooling. It should begin to level off soon, if that is true. While it takes 600 to 800 years for a complete ventilation cycle of the ocean (most of the ocean water to again come in contact with the surface and exchange gas with the atmosphere) I suspect most of the change gets done early, in the first century or two, as long as the ocean circulation patterns remain strong.

    Also, I would guess it is easier to cool the entire ocean from the surface than it is to warm it because convection assists in cooling. So warming the abyssal deep probably takes longer than cooling it does, though the surface would warm faster than it cools. I would guess that in a cooling ocean there is less stratification and more vertical mixing. In an ocean being warmed from the surface, more stratification as warmer water wants to stay closer to the surface.

    • crosspatch November 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

      In an ocean being warmed from the surface, more stratification as warmer water wants to stay closer to the surface.

      What mechanism do you propose to warm the deep (let’s say below the permanent thermocline) oceans from the surface?

      • It is the thermohaline current made up of currents like https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427101234.htm that mix the ocean upper layers with the lower layers. It is probable that they can be cold but not quite as cold as they were in previous years/decades leading to a slow increase in temperature. Of course there are also geothermal vents and other volcanism that will raise temperatures above what they would otherwise be.

        • Ian W November 13, 2018 at 9:53 am

          It is the thermohaline current made up of currents like https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427101234.htm that mix the ocean upper layers with the lower layers.

          This an example of AABW (AntArctic Bottom Water)
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_bottom_water
          This the coldest, densest water in the oceans that sinks all the way to the bottom.
          While in contact with the warmer ocean floor this water warms up, rises slowly and eventually returns to Antarctica to release the collected heat at the surface to the atmosphere and space.

          • Baser on the thermal gradient of the thermocline, there’s a bit less than 1 W/m^2 rising up from the bottom.

            The linear thermal gradient through the thermocline looks exactly like the temperature gradient through an insulating wall separating the cold bottom layers from the warm top layer, except that the R value is far lower.

            We don’t often think of water as a insulator, but even steel at a sufficient thickness can insulate hot from cold.

          • co2isnotevil November 13, 2018 at 12:17 pm

            We don’t often think of water as a insulator

            But we should in order to understand our climate system. Almost the entire ocean surface is warmed by solar, thus creating a perfect insulating layer preventing bottom heated water from reaching the surface.

            http://www.ewoce.org/gallery/P15_TPOT.gif

            Only at (very) high latitudes bottom warmed water can reach the surface and transfer energy to the atmosphere.
            The continental crust from a few meters below our feet downward is completely heated from inside the Earth. Same for the deep oceans, they are completely heated from below, making it possible for the sun to warm the surface layer a few degrees, explaining the very high surface temperatures on Earth relative to the amount of solar energy available.
            Atmosphere only slows the energy loss to space, NO heating of the crust or deep oceans possible or happening.

      • Salinity mostly. Surface water coming from the Gulf of Mexico is very salty and more dense. That current stays near the surface and continues to get saltier until it cools enough to sink. Once it cools enough to sink, it sinks deeper than fresher water would because it is heavier.

      • “What mechanism do you propose to warm the deep (let’s say below the permanent thermocline) oceans from the surface?”
        The 65,000 km of crustal rifting, most of which is in deep ocean. There is no technology yet developed to measure temperature to 0.01ºC – let alone systematically across ocean floors – yet a change of such magnitude in the vastness of these oceans would represent a very large amount of energy

        • If the total quantity of the oceans warmed ( or cooled) by .01C, that would indeed represent a great deal of heat even if were not sufficient to be measureable as temperature accurately. However, it would not have any effect on atmospheric temperature except at the surface interface. So, if the .01C was evenly distributed throughout the oceans it would presumably be a .01C anomaly at the surface, where its effect would be commensurate with that very small anomaly. If it distributed differently than that it would be apparent by measurement. At .01C it would have a tiny effect on heat transfer to the atmosphere via humidity as well.
          None of this hypothetical heat can be shown to exist!

        • On the outer Barcoo November 13, 2018 at 11:50 am

          The 65,000 km of crustal rifting, most of which is in deep ocean.

          Influence of this is small compared to the effect of the 100 mW/m^2 energy transfer from the warm(er) ocean floor to the ocean bottom water.
          Take eg an average crust thickness of 5km, spreading rate of 2 cm/year. This means that every 10.000 km of spreading ridge creates 1 km^3 magma every year.
          It takes ~million km^3 magma cooling down in the oceans to increase the temperature of ALL ocean water 1K. So the magma erupting at the spreading ridges delivers enough energy to warm the oceans 1K in ~154.000 years.
          The 100 mW/m^2 geothermal flux can do the same in just ~5000 years.
          It takes large eruptions like the Ontong Java one ( ~100 million km^3 magma) to significantly warm the oceans. Oceans in the Cretaceous were up to 18K warmer after this event.

    • crosspatch,

      The abysmal deep doesn’t change its temperature in response to change in the surface temperature. It’s temperature is dictated by the temperature/density profile of water. Cold water sinks and once it sinks deep enough (below the thermocline), it becomes insulated from warm surface waters. As long as there’s a source of cold water at the poles, the temperature of the deep ocean will remain close to 0C, even at the equator!

      • co2isnotevil November 13, 2018 at 8:53 am

        As long as there’s a source of cold water at the poles, the temperature of the deep ocean will remain close to 0C, even at the equator!

        Better imo: as long as cold, dense water sinking at the poles compensates the warming by all geothermal sources, the temperature of the deep oceans will remain close to 0C.
        Realize that the small geothermal flux (~100 mW/m^2) delivers enough energy to warm ALL ocean water 1K every ~5000 years, or bring the oceans to the boiling point in just 500.000 years.
        This implies that the heat content of the deep oceans is completely supplied by geothermal energy.
        This implies that the sun only has to warm the mixed surface layer ~15K above the deep ocean temperature to explain the current surface temperatures => NO GHE whatsoever.
        Reduction of energy loss to space, yes. Warming of the surface by the atmosphere, no way.

      • It will change but by smaller amounts. The abyssal deep is huge, a lot of water. To raise it 0.1 degrees takes more heat than to warm a thin surface layer by the same amount. By the same token, it takes less heat to warm a given amount of air a degree than the same volume of water. So a relatively small change in sea temperature can equate to a much larger change in air temperature by the movement of a given amount of heat energy.

    • Yes, it is the coldest temperatures that were moving up the scale while the warmest temperatures have hardly changed
      http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/CET-s-w.gif
      This shows that global warming has started some 300 years ago at the end of the Maunder minimum and it has been without a doubt greatly beneficial in many respects.
      As solar activity has moved from a grand minimum towards grand maximum more heat has been accumulating in the oceans warming the winter atmosphere above it.
      Increase in summer temperature acros 350 years is about 0.2C which is 0.07% in the absolute terms.
      Winter temperature however has increased by 1.4C or about 0.5% in the absolute terms.
      There is only one source of energy leading to this slow 300 years long winter temperature rise and undoubtedly that is sun.

    • I think this is pretty much correct. If we accept that the enthalpy of the oceans is approx. 1000 X that of the atmosphere then there is no way that the temperature of the atmosphere can have gone up to the extent it has while ocean temps have barely changed. We are told that the oceans have soaked up much more heat than was thought. This is clearly incorrect as measurement tells us. Regardless of temperature, the thermal gradient of the oceans makes this virtually impossible as the warmest water is at surface and HAS NOT WARMED. the oceans actually act as thermal flywheel, and the amount of heat they would need to absorb to have warmed appreciably is far beyond what has been measured. They are actually telling us that the oceans have warmed but it’s just not evidenced in the temperature. It’s a ridiculous statement! Only in the Alice in Wonderland of climate science could this be stated seriously. It’s a joke! Who are the clowns who did peer review on that paper?

  3. Either that or the one long-term cycle of significant for the satellite record (AMO) will be more evident.

  4. Putting the “fun” or not in the fundamentals:
    1) 33 C warmer w/ atmosphere is rubbish.
    2) up/down/”back” LWIR loop is thermodynamic nonsense.
    3) the upwelling 396 W/m^2 BB LWIR that powers all of it is simply not possible.
    1 + 2 + 3 = 0 RGHE & 0 CO2 warming & 0 man-caused climate change.

    • Nick Schroeder –

      Can you help put some ‘mental’ into the fundamentals?

      My claim is that if there is an actual ‘greenhouse gas’ physical property of CO2, then it must manifest itself somehow on Mars where the atmosphere is 95% CO2. Does Mars cool down at a slower rate due to CO2? Does it remain warmer through the entire night? Does Mars heat up more quickly at sunrise due to CO2?

      I want to see this manifestation expressed in an equation that resolves to some measure of heat delta and duration if compared to a theoretical Mars’ atmosphere, equivalent in mass, but made up entirely of nitrogen.

      I know we have no formulae to work with under the CAGW Theory. Likewise, we have no Laws, Theorems, Postulates, nor Axioms to reason with.

      I assume that the ability for an atmosphere to retain heat is a function of its total mass, so that seems like a starting point:

      Mars’ Atmosphere Total Mass –> MATM

      Perhaps we need the mass of Mars itself, its speed of rotation and amount of sunlight. At some point we can derive the rate of heat dissipation from the Mars’ surface at sundown. Now we can factor in the ‘greenhouse gas’ property. I know we have no actual value for this, but once we get started we can compare with actual temperature readings from NASA.

      I didn’t get very far with the formula. But can we describe the Order of Magnitude that this formula will resolve to?

      Duration: amount of time a room full of mirrors stays lit after turning off the lights.
      Heat: change of temperature seen for duration defined above (i.e. negligible)

        • Clyde Spencer –

          Excellent thought to bring the temperature values of Mars’ moons into the discussion. How cold do these moons get when they are eclipsed from sunlight by Mars itself?

      • Um… Pressure, anyone? Mars atmospheric pressure is about 0.6% that of Earth’s at sea level. So to take an analogy, if you cover yourself in a blanket that is 0.6% the thickness of your normal blanket, you expect it to provide a LOT less insulation.

        So if you accept that CO2 helps to retain heat on Earth (any amount at all), then it must retain heat on Mars, but the amount is so much lower (0.6%) it may be negligible and impossible to accurately measure. (Also, there is far less sunlight to provide radiant heat to be retained.) Heck, we can’t even measure CO2’s effect on Earth accurately, because of the complexity of the system in which it is interacting.

        • Robert,
          I don’t think that you are looking at the problem correctly. Ozone is very sparse, so we talk about total column ozone. While the Mars atmosphere is indeed very thin, it is mostly CO2. So, for purposes of comparison, one should compare total column CO2 of Earth with Mars.

    • Nick,

      1) Yes, the 33C of warming comes with 16C of unavoidable cooling from cloud albedo, so the net warming by clouds and GHG’s is only about 17C.
      2) No, the radiant GHG effect is demonstrably real, the feedback claimed to amplify it by a factor of 3 or 4 is what’s fake. You don’t need to deny the radiant GHG effect to show how wrong the alarmists are. All this does is empower them to claim that skeptics deny reality.
      3) The 390 W/m^2 of BB emissions by the surface is 150 W/m^2 more than the 240 W/m^2 or so incident power because the GHG’s and clouds in the atmosphere absorbed about 300 W/m^2 of what the surface emits and sends about half of this back to the surface after being delayed by the atmosphere. 150 W/m^2 returned to the surface plus 240 W/m^2 of new solar energy is what offsets the 390 W/m^2 of emissions. If you reject this, you are rejecting Conservation of Energy.

      • co2isnotevil: ” the radiant GHG effect is demonstrably real”

        It’s been proven and measured? (demonstrable)

        Then it should be demonstrably real on Mars as well. Yet we haven’t measured it on Mars, why not? It must resolve to something on Mars, let’s plug in the numbers to derive the equation.

        [(MassOfMarsAtmosphere) * (CO2.radiantGHGeffect)] – [(MassOfMarsAtmosphere) * (Nitrogen.lackOfGHGeffect)] = ?

        When, where and for how long is any heat trapped on Mars?

        It’s a theorist’s dream of being able to isolate this ‘radiant GHG effect’ of CO2 in a real world example with Mars having a 95% CO2 atmosphere. Yet NASA hasn’t been able to figure out how to quantify it, are NASA engineers capable of understanding this property?

        • Thomas,

          The temperature of Earth demonstrates the GHG effect as described by known physics. As for Mars, it has no water vapor or clouds in its atmosphere, and relative to excess surface warming, water vapor and clouds have a far larger effect. BTW, clouds warm the surface much like GHG’s, except that GHG’s are narrow band emitters and absorbers of surface emissions, while clouds are broad band emitters and absorbers.

          You’re trying to see the IPCC’s claimed effect manifested on Mars. This will never be observed because the IPCC is overestimating the GHG effect from CO2 by at least a factor of 3 and as much as a factor of 6. The warming that will be produced on Mars is mostly at night and too tenuous to see given the limited observability we have. We can’t even reliably ascertain Earth’s average surface temperature, much less Mars.

          • “The temperature of Earth demonstrates the gravity based thermal effect as described by known physics and measurements

          • Fred,
            The surface temperature is not dictated by the lapse rate, which is only a rate and not an absolute. The surface temperature is primarily a consequence incident solar energy, the lapse rate is a consequence of gravity and the kinetic temperature profile of the atmosphere (i.e. molecules in motion) is dictated by the lapse rate. The kinetic temperature decreases with altitude, thus air can not heat the surface by contact and instead, the contact is heating the air whose temperature decreases with altitude. While this does demonstrate a gravity based thermal effect, it’s a consequence of the surface temperature and not the cause of it.

            Venus, on the other hand is quite different, as the Venusian cloud tops are what’s directly heated by the Sun (not the solid surface below) and they heat the lower atmosphere from above in which case the sign of the lapse rate is reversed to that of the Earth which heats the atmosphere from below.

          • Where does it manifest on Earth in a measurable way? The deserts cool dramatically at night. There is very little water vapour relative to other areas on Earth. The CO2 effect should be apparent as a reduced rate of cooling from sundown to sunrise. Is it?
            Antarctica is likewise very dry and already very cold. Is the delay in cooling after sundown apparent there as a slower cooling than in “pre-industrial times|”?
            Has this been measured? If it has, does it result in a higher high than would otherwise be expected? These effects should be measurable.
            Michael Mann cutting down a carefully chosen tree for utterly cherry picked and bogus proxy data is accepted as evidence while the obvious stuff isn’t even looked for?

          • John,

            The Moon cools even quicker. Yes, deserts cool fast because of the lack of water vapor which otherwise contributes about 2/3 of the GHG effect. Just because the effect is small doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If the GHG effect from water vapor was only equal to the effect from CO2, rather than about 3 times as powerful, the planets average temperature would be about what it was during the ice ages.

      • “the radiant GHG effect is demonstrably real”

        Really ? Do you have empirical measurements of warming by atmospheric CO2 ?

        • fred250,

          You’re going down a dead end if your goal is to show how wrong the consensus is, and to be sure, there can be no doubt that they’re very wrong. You can’t separate GHG’s and clouds, relative to the surface temperature. The only difference is that GHG’s are narrow band absorbers and emitters of photons while the clouds covering 2/3 of the planet are broad band absorbers and emitters of photons. Both act to radiantly warm the surface beyond what the Sun can do on its own. To claim GHG’s have no effect on the surface temperature is the same as claiming clouds have no effect.

          The physics bounds the effect GHG’s and clouds can have to less than 2 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of incident solar power. It further predicts that half of what the surface emits and doesn’t pass through the transparent window by being intercepted by either GHG’s or clouds, must eventually end up being emitted into space or being returned to the surface, and in roughly equal parts. The absorption/emission of photons by gas molecules, i.e. the foundation of the GHG effect, is predicted by quantum mechanics and has been verified innumerable times. What hasn’t been observed or even predicted by the physics is the overstated role of ‘thermalization’ where photon energy is rapidly and completely converted into the kinetic energy of O2/N2 molecules in motion.

          Based on measured cloud data and absorption/emission line data, applying physics calculates that of the 390 W//m^2 of photons emitted by the surface, about 300 W/m^2 is absorbed by clouds and GHG’s, allowing only 90 W/m^2 to escape into space. 240 W/m^s is required to offset the incident power, thus 150 W/m^2 must come from the atmosphere, which can only originate from GHG emissions and the BB emissions from the water in clouds. This leaves 150 W/m^2 of the 300 W/m^2 absorbed to be sent back to the surface along with the 240 W/m^2 coming from the Sun to offset the 390 W/m^2 emitted by the surface at its average temperature of about 288K. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the arithmetic still works out and predicts the same average temperature and the same low ECS.

        • All,

          The Instruments & Measurements

          But wait, you say, upwelling LWIR power flux is actually measured.

          Well, no it’s not.

          IR instruments, e.g. pyrheliometers, radiometers, etc. don’t directly measure power flux. They measure a relative temperature compared to heated/chilled/reference thermistors or thermopiles and INFER a power flux using that comparative temperature and ASSUMING an emissivity of 1.0. The Apogee instrument instruction book actually warns the owner/operator about this potential error noting that ground/surface ε can be less than 1.0.

          That this warning went unheeded explains why SURFRAD upwelling LWIR with an assumed and uncorrected ε of 1.0 measures TWICE as much upwelling LWIR as incoming ISR, a rather egregious breach of energy conservation.

          This also explains why USCRN data shows that the IR (SUR_TEMP) parallels the 1.5 m air temperature, (T_HR_AVG) and not the actual ground (SOIL_TEMP_5). The actual ground is warmer than the air temperature with few exceptions, contradicting the RGHE notion that the air warms the ground.

      • I agree the clouds provide a real GHG effect but CO2 does not. The only wavelength that CO2 could possibly outperform H20 is the 15 micron one which you yourself have always said. However the CO2 molecules are already too warm to absorb the 15 micron LWIR unless the temperature is close to -80C. A 15 micron LWIR heater doesnt heat air. It heats objects which then radiate heat by conduction or convection. You cant keep a house warm in the middle of winter by surrounding it with a CO2 chamber.

        • Alan,
          A ‘hot’ co2 molecule can certainly absorb another photon and it will almost immediately emit another photon in a random direction. This is what makes measuring radiant flux so hard. It’s not a laminar flux of photons, except in the transparent regions of the spectrum. In the absorption bands, its photons traveling in all directions.

          It’s also not ‘hot’ co2 molecules warming the surface, as their kinetic temperature is no different than the kinetic temperature of O2 and N2. It’s the photons re-emitted by GHG molecules that returns to the surface and warms it. BTW, your hypothetical 15u heater warms objects by emitting 15u photons which those objects then absorb and re-emit as they cool.

          • co2isnotevil: “It’s the photons re-emitted by GHG molecules that returns to the surface and warms it. ”

            Would you like to walk that one back?

            Can you explain this same re-emitting in terms of waves and not photons?

          • Thomas,

            Quantum mechanics applied to absorption and emission is very clear on this, where the probability of spontaneous emissions increases dramatically as more photons are absorbed. It’s also very clear that any ‘thermalization’ is bidirectional and to the extent that state energy is converted into the linear kinetic energy of molecules in motion, the same amount of linear kinetic energy is converted into state energy. The net thermalization is zero and the evidence of this is the fine structure on both sides of the primary absorption resonances. If thermalization was only one way as the IPCC presumes, there would be fine structure on only one side of the primary absorption/emission lines. To be absolutely clear, HITRAN line data specifies both absorption AND emission bands and only absorption or emission of a photon can change the state of a GHG molecule. A collision may result in a state change, but only because it may stimulate the emission of a photon and definitely not because the entire bundle of state energy gets converted into the kinetic energy of translational motion.

            BTW, quantifying photons as a flux in W/m^2 is essentially modelling them as a wave as it represents the magnitude of the Poynting vector associated with EM waves.

          • co2isnotevil – Thank you for responding.

            However, you didn’t clarify your earlier comment:
            “It’s the photons re-emitted by GHG molecules that returns to the surface and warms it.”

            The ‘warms it’ proclamation implies that new heat energy is being added to the surface, yet it itself is the source of this heat energy. The CO2 molecule simply absorbed and re-emitted the same energy, there is no increase in energy. Are you saying that the surface temperature dropped in the time between emitting the photon that is essentially reflected back from a CO2 molecule? What is that time delta? What is the surface temperature delta for that time delta span? (These time and temperature deltas are the Order of Magnitude of CO2’s potential ‘heat trapping’ ability.) There is no ‘warming’, that implies an increase of heat.

            As for your reference to waves, you mentioned magnitude as an attribute of a wave. Is wave magnitude a function of the mass of the source? If so, how does the magnitude of a wave emitted from a single CO2 molecule compare to the waves emanating from the surface?

      • CO2,

        1) Yes, the 33C of warming comes with 16C of unavoidable cooling from cloud albedo, so the net warming by clouds and GHG’s is only about 17C.

        There is no 33 C warming. 288 K is a wild ass guess, 255 K is a theoretical S-B BB calculation with a 0.3 albedo and 240 W/m^2. These two numbers aren’t even in the same time zone and subtracting one from the other is meaningless. Without an atmosphere the earth will be a barren rock much like the moon, hotter not colder, albedo 0.12.

        2) No, the radiant GHG effect is demonstrably real, the feedback claimed to amplify it by a factor of 3 or 4 is what’s fake. You don’t need to deny the radiant GHG effect to show how wrong the alarmists are. All this does is empower them to claim that skeptics deny reality.

        Uh, no it isn’t real.

        3) The 390 W/m^2 of BB emissions by the surface is 150 W/m^2 more than the 240 W/m^2 or so incident power because the GHG’s and clouds in the atmosphere absorbed about 300 W/m^2 of what the surface emits and sends about half of this back to the surface after being delayed by the atmosphere. 150 W/m^2 returned to the surface plus 240 W/m^2 of new solar energy is what offsets the 390 W/m^2 of emissions. If you reject this, you are rejecting Conservation of Energy.

        No, I am defending conservation of energy. The 396 W/m^2 upwelling is a “what if” calculation that creates 333 W/m^2 out of thin air.

        Because of the contiguous participating atmospheric molecules BB LWIR from the surface is not possible.

        https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6466699347852611584

        https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6394226874976919552

        • There so many mistakes in the comments above. Look, people, get the basics right. Stop comparing an atmosphere with GHG to a planet with no atmosphere. Compare it to a planet with an atmosphere that has no GHG’s. That is how to discuss the effect of GHG’s.

          Without GHG’s the atmosphere has no way to cool by radiation. Surface heating would drive the temperature at 1.5m far higher than it is now. This whole “33 degrees” business is a chimera. It’s nonsense. The first thing that happens when some GHG’s are injected into the atmosphere is it cools rapidly, having gained some ability to do so.

          The comment above about having a 95% CO2 atmosphere on Mars vs a nitrogen atmosphere is relevant. Comparing Mars to an airless moon is not.

          Get the basics under control: the air is heated by the surface AND radiation. Remove the ability to cool by LWIR and it is heated continuously – by the surface. It will not be 255K.

          • Crispin,

            Without GHG’s, the atmosphere will not be heated, or cooled, except by physical contact of gas molecules with the surface. In the steady state, the bottom of the atmosphere will be at the temperature of the surface and the lapse rate will determine the kinetic temperature of molecule in motion as the altitude is increased. Note that the kinetic temperature of molecules in motion decreases with altitude, while the radiant temperature (radiant flux) is constant from the surface to space. They are not the same throughout the atmosphere because the coupling between them is 0.

            If the Earth received 240 W/m^2 and had a 1 ATM atmosphere consisting of only N2 and O2, the surface temperature would be about 255K. Of course, without GHG’s (including water), the albedo would be about 0.1 like the Moon and the resulting temperature would be closer to 271K.

        • Nick,

          288K is close enough to the average that’s any error is of no consequence to the analysis. The demonstrable warming effect is that the planet receives only 240 W/m^2 from the Sun and if the surface only emitted 240 W/m^2, its temperature would only be 255K. Instead, the surface is much warmer and closer to 288K which corresponds to 390 W/m^2 of emissions. To satisfy COE, you need to identify the origin of the 150 W/m^2 in excess of 240 W/m^2 of solar input that offsets the 390 W/m^2 being emitted by the surface. You can’t just claim the excess power is created out of thin air and use that as the basis to claim that the SB Law is invalid.

          396 W/m^2 are the average photon emissions of an object whose average temperature is about 289K. This is not a wild guess and is the result of an immutable, first principles law of physics called the Stefan-Boltzmann Law that quantifies the physical correspondence between W/m^2 and degrees K. The 390 W/m^2 I refer to corresponds to a temperature of 288K.

          • co2isnotevil November 13, 2018 at 6:36 pm

            The demonstrable warming effect is that the planet receives only 240 W/m^2 from the Sun and if the surface only emitted 240 W/m^2, its temperature would only be 255K. Instead, the surface is much warmer and closer to 288K which corresponds to 390 W/m^2 of emissions.

            This only shows that the atmosphere reduces the energy loss from the surface to space from ~390 W/m^2 (BB radiating into a vacuum and em. 1.0) to ~240 W/m^2 at the TOA. This is part direct radiation through the atmospheric window and indirect energy loss via the atmosphere.
            Removing the atmosphere will result in (much) lower temperatures. This does NOT mean that the atmosphere in any way WARMS the surface, the crust or the deep oceans, which are all warmer than 255K.

          • Ben,

            I’m not saying that atmosphere ‘warms’ the surface by the collisions of air molecules with the surface, only that the atmosphere slows down the cooling of the surface by intercepting and returning some of the photons emitted by it. It’s a radiant effect, not an effect of direct contact. The immutable truth that a cold body like the atmosphere can’t heat a warm body only applies to heat transfer by physical contact and not heat transfer by radiation. Otherwise, the reflection of the Sun in a cold mirror will not be a warming influence, yet it is.

            Conflating slowing down cooling with warming is one part of the misrepresentation that leads to confusion on both sides. The other is conflating the transport of energy by photons with the transport of energy by matter and this level of obfuscation falls squarely on Trenberth’s shoulders.

            The fact that the atmosphere reduces 390 W/m^2 at the surface to 240 W/m^2 at TOA means that the atmosphere must be either absorbing or reflecting surface emissions. If you say that only 150 W/m^2 is being absorbed all of which is returned to the surface, it conflicts with the actual size of the transparent window which only allows about 90 W/m^2 to escape directly into space (Trenberth claims even less, but he’s wrong) plus it conflicts with the geometric requirements. The remaining 300 W/m^2 must be absorbed by the atmosphere and in the steady state, the power leaving the atmosphere must be equal to the power it’s absorbing. Geometry dictates that power leaves over twice the area across which it was absorbed, thus half exits to space and the remaining half is returned to the surface. Those photons returning to the surface are added to the incident solar energy requiring an increased surface temperature to achieve balance by offsetting the sum of incident solar energy plus the return of surface emissions by the atmosphere.

          • co2isnotevil November 14, 2018 at 10:01 am

            The fact that the atmosphere reduces 390 W/m^2 at the surface to 240 W/m^2 at TOA means that the atmosphere must be either absorbing or reflecting surface emissions.

            Obviously. The atmosphere is heated by direct solar and by the surface via radiation, evaporation and conduction.
            The GHE is a (failed) attempt to explain why the surface temperatures on Earth are so much higher than incoming solar can explain.
            The 255K baseline temperature is irrelevant. We really need to explain why the average surface temperature on Earth (~288K) is so much higher than that on the moon (~197K).

            Reason is simply that the crust and the deep oceans are heated from inside the Earth.
            The little solar that reaches the surface is capable of increasing the temperature of the surface layer of the crust and deep oceans to the observed surface temperatures. The atmosphere just has to slow down the energy loss to space.
            Given the hydrostatic equilibrium the atmosphere is in against gravity the entire atmosphere is involved in this process, not just the so called greenhouse gasses.

          • Ben,
            The GHG effect plus clouds does explain why the surface temperature is warmer than the incident solar energy can support, although it’s important to understand that clouds have a larger relative effect which is often ignored. While it doesn’t explain the absurdly high ECS claimed by the IPCC that asserts each W/m^2 of forcing increases surface emissions by 4.3 W/m^2, it does explain the actual effect where the increase in surface emissions above and beyond the forcing is only 600 mw per W/m^2 and well within the theoretical maximum of 1 W/m^2 of additional warming per W/m^2 of forcing. The IPCC is more or less correct that a GHG effect exists, they’re just irreconcilably wrong about the magnitude of this effect, especially incrementally.

          • co2isnotevil November 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

            The GHG effect plus clouds does explain why the surface temperature is warmer than the incident solar energy can support, although it’s important to understand that clouds have a larger relative effect which is often ignored.

            See
            http://www.climate4you.com/images/ArgoTimeSeriesTemp59N.JPG
            Notice the seasonal warming and cooling of the mixed surface layer down to ~300-400m.
            In your opinion is this caused by solar energy or the GHE and clouds?
            The temperature at 500m is ~8C, cooling a little after 2014.
            This is ~270K, 73K above the average lunar surface temperature, or ~15K above the famous 255K.
            How did the GHE and clouds warm the oceans below the mixed surface layer all the way down to the ocean floor?

          • Ben,

            The temperature is not changing all the way down to the bottom of the ocean. The data doesn’t even get to the bottom of the thermocline which is nominally at about 1000m, where the bottom of the ocean can be as much as 10 km deeper. What changes is the temperature of the well mixed surface waters and this propagates to depth by conduction. The surface temperature is set by the sum of the solar energy it receives and the return to the surface of absorbed energy returned by clouds and GHG’s. So, the answer to your question is both, although in conjunction with conduction.

            I’ve noticed for a long time that the seasonal response at the top of the oceans is quite strong and this variability extends to depth, at least down to the bottom of the thermocline, especially at 60 degrees N where the seasonal variability is quite strong. Also at 60 N, the thermocline is less well defined and its top boundary extends all the way up to the surface during much of the year.

          • co2isnotevil November 15, 2018 at 3:37 pm
            In my previous post I wrote:
            This is ~270K, 73K above the average lunar surface temperature, or ~15K above the famous 255K.
            Should have been :
            This is ~280K, 83K above the average lunar surface temperature, or ~25K above the famous 255K.

            The temperature is not changing all the way down to the bottom of the ocean. The data doesn’t even get to the bottom of the thermocline which is nominally at about 1000m,

            Correct. Warming by solar during spring and summer penetrates max ~300-400m. After the summer the surface starts to cool and becomes colder than the underlying water. After the winter all stored solar energy has left the oceans at the surface and the cycle starts all over.
            see eg.
            http://research.cfos.uaf.edu/gak1/gak1_MonthlyT.png
            So no, the deep oceans are NOT warmed from above by whatever mechanism.

  5. If you look at the detrended temperature series and allow for the cooling events following the 1982 El Chichon and 1991 Pinatubo volcanic eruption, you get a temperature variation on sub-decadal time scales that is essentially the same as the variations seen in the ENSO indices (e.g. the SOI and the Nini3.4 SSTs).

    My hypothesis is that it is the Perigean New/Moon cycle that is effectively responsible for these (sub-decadal) temperature fluctuations via its tidal impact on the El Nino phenomenon.

    https://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com/2018/11/predicting-start-of-next-el-nino-event.html

  6. Technical analysis evaluates patterns and has little to say about causes. Still valuable if you don’t take it too far. The patterns hold up because systems obey rules (a/k/a inherent design characteristics), even if we have no idea what those rules are. See https://constructal.org/ for some insight.

    • Technical analysis of stocks indicates what the players have been thinking based on emotions. Their thinking is backed up by their participation in the market and provides a record of that. The key is to try to anticipate when that thinking is going to change.
      I don’t see how that applies to climate.

      • Not really true. A stock price is the net of tens of thousands of views on that price. There is no way of knowing what the thinking was let alone what it will be of all those participants.

        And plenty of work has shown stock prices have no memory, though also trading may be changing that.

  7. Where are the error bars on the graph? It’s easy to draw a line between nicely defined points, but they’re not nicely defined points. You can only match up the points by ignoring the estimated error.

    • Every graph, table and absolute number in climate science is expressed to the tenth or even hundredth and never, ever has an error bar. I think the reason behind this is because there are no errors.

      • But plenty of bars?
        This red flashing light of climate research, this refusal or inability to recognise and properly use error analysis, is one of the features that validate the description of “poor science”.
        A decade ago I was suggesting those who cannot or do not do proper error analysis should hand in their badges as a disgrace to science. Geoff

  8. While the data may be able to pick out a tenuous trend, it does absolutely nothing to connect this with CO2 emissions. The climate is always changing, whether its between night and day, summer and winter or longer term change. The ice core data is pretty clear that there are numerous influences with unambiguous periods from about 11 years to over a 100 thousand years. There’s absolutely no way to attribute any recent short term trend to CO2 emissions, especially since the observed change is no different than the RMS change seen in the ice cores throughout the current interglacial.

    Identifying trends in short term measurements spanning multiple generations of instruments and processing is an exercise in futility that tells us very little. Testable theory based on the laws of physics is all that should matter to science, yet the fundamentals are ignored because testable theory based on the laws of physics precludes the high ECS required by the UNFCCC.

  9. As figure 5 shows, the lower bounding temperatures of the UAH record are far from a random walk. Some feedback mechanism is tightly controlling temperature once it departs too far from the preferred band. We will know that global warming is over once that bounding line is broken.

    It may be an interesting fact that the selected minim seem to be increasing linearly, but I don’t see how any causla inference is justified.

    Statistically, he should be modeling using extreme value distributions; or, more generally, using quantile regression.

  10. Being Canadian, let me start with: I’m sorry.

    I’m not a scientist nor engineer. I know nothing about how these data are collected nor processed. All I know is that the graph shows monthly averages of global averages. In my limited imagination there is no physical process that could theoretically create a feedback mechanism that tightly controls the lower bounds of an average of an average.

  11. As for the lower limit, so the upper: what is the feedback process as well as mevhanism? And if CO2 is the cause, why are there feedback mechanisms?

  12. Notice the alarmists don’t shriek about the ppm CO2 anymore when they claim there is a linear relationship temp increases?

  13. It will break by 2022 and Global Warming cycle of the last 35 years will be clearly over even to hard-core CAGW’ers by 2025. The AMO and slow start SC25 are the reasons.

    Buy fossil fuel and coal company stocks and hold for long-term growth. They are cheap today compared to what they will be in < 7 years.

  14. This is a strange post.

    What physical phenomenon should [pray tell] govern the troughs of the UAH temperature (Global lower troposphere)?

    How well should this arbitrary linear fit be a predictor of future UAH Global Lower Troposphere temperatures?

    Does anyone really have a clue what causes massive shifts in GMST / Climate (the kind which lasts hundreds or thousands of years) and whether this is working in concert with or against the Enhanced GHG Theory?

  15. Kurt
    l would say that NH spring snow extent looks to be one of the key factors to climate change. Because its the only time in the year that the NH snow extent matches the warming trend seen in recent years. Which suggests to me its a key factor to climate change. Because it has such a large bearing on the rate of which the landmasses warm up as they move out of winter.

  16. But plenty of bars?
    This red flashing light of climate research, this refusal or inability to recognise and properly use error analysis, is one of the features that validate the description of “poor science”.
    A decade ago I was suggesting those who cannot or do not do proper error analysis should hand in their badges as a disgrace to science. Geoff

  17. The data in Figure 1, the UAH Temperature of the Global Lower Atmosphere, comes from millions of individual data points tortured in many ways to reduce the number of points to some 500, or so, points on a graph. The torture includes averaging over an arbitrary time period (in this case a month), adding missing data points, and throwing out others, weighting to account for earth’s surface representation, and likely much more. It takes quite a leap of faith to then draw a line through six of those points and suggest that some significance can be placed on the slope of that line.

    I’m not willing to take that leap. I would suggest that the line would look quite different if the averaging period were, say, one week, or maybe two months. If the straight line were to hold up under such additional torture, I would be better inclined to give it some significance.

  18. I remember the prevailing view from the right and the left after the 1988 Hansen testimony. Lets wait 20 years and see if the models pan out. Well its been 30 years and …………..

  19. The global sea surface temperature wave train does seem to be saltatory – proceeding in jumps of roughly 5-9 years. This could be ENSO driven, or related to the global mean surface temperature (GMST) time constant. The time constant that emerges from changes in GMST is determined from autocorrelation of that quantity over 1880-2004 to be 5 ± 1 yr.

    We will know that global warming is over once that bounding line is broken. Wring way around. It is cooling, not warming, that stops and bounces back when the lower bound is reached.
    But the fortuitous line-up of only 4 saltation minima does not really mean anything.

  20. ctm: “This looks more like a technical analysis of a stock than a discussion of physical processes to me. Any time series will have a lower bound. Selecting a few of those data points that seem to fall on a straight line and asserting that they are bounded by an undefined feedback mechanism seems arbitrary at best.”

    Any observed data will have a lower bound, but does the physical process that created them?
    Picking any data and asserting that there is an unknown underlying mechanism is not so unusual, and it’s good to ask questions. If you see a pattern where none is expected, it could be something new, or it could be the aliens playing tricks again. If you see data which does not fit the expected pattern, same thing.

    ctm: “But I’m posting for discussion anyway. Have at it.”

    Correct answer.

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