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« Quote of the day | Main | Lawson jousts with Beddington »

Beddington quotes

Some excerpts from the Beddington's letters to Lawson:

The significance of urbanisation on the global temperature record is not contested by the vast majority of climate scientists. Most stations are not affected by the urban heat island effect and there are well-established ways of taking the effect into account for stations that are (such as comparing temperatures on still and windy nights and excluding urban stations). I refer you to my previous response for further information on this issue.

I should clarify that I did not seek to defend the original hockey stick analysis; I am aware that there are issues and uncertainties associated with it. suggested that scientists at CRU delayed the release of temperature data they held. I hope that I can clarify this by laying out the situation as I understand it. The majority of the data in the CRU dataset are derived from the same freely-available raw data sets used by NOAA and NASA. However, the CRU dataset was compiled with the aim of  comprehensiveness and therefore also includes data derived from station data obtained directly from countries, institutions and scientists on the understanding that this would not be passed on.

It is true that global average temperature has remained roughly constant over the past decade, but this in no way undermines the evidence that greenhouse gases are causing warming

[In response to Lawson's suggestion that models didn't predict the slowdown in warming] It remains very difficult, however, to predict year to year changes caused by short-term, internal processes in the climate system such as ENSO – primarily because the climate system is chaotic.

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Reader Comments (92)

"It is true that global average temperature has remained roughly constant over the past decade, but this in no way undermines the evidence that greenhouse gases are causing warming"


Mar 27, 2011 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered Commentersunderland steve

In 2004, 'NASA' first claimed polluted clouds didn't cool as predicted by the models because they contained less water but the physics was fine, then it was because of new physics - enhanced reflection from greater water surface area. The latter explanation is bogus, probably aimed at abusing scientific authority to deceive the rest of climate science into keeping the imaginary cooling in AR4.

I suspect the UK scientific establishment now realises it was deceived, also that when you correct the physics you get another AGW so net CO2-AGW could be zero or negative. It's now all about news management so they keep their jobs.

Mar 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

"It is true that global average temperature has remained roughly constant over the past decade, but this in no way undermines the evidence that greenhouse gases are causing warming"


"The significance of urbanisation on the global temperature record is not contested by the vast majority of climate scientists. Most stations are not affected by the urban heat island effect and there are well-established ways of taking the effect into account for stations that are (such as comparing temperatures on still and windy nights and excluding urban stations). I refer you to my previous response for further information on this issue."

Or how about comparing real temp data on the same day/night at the same time. One in the city and one 3 miles or so outside the city limits. That should be pretty unequivocal. Of course it doesn't rely on any computer models so I can't see it happening any time soon.

Mar 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered Commentersunderland steve

Hmm , I sem to be getting multiple posts here

Mar 27, 2011 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered Commentersunderland steve

"...there are well-established ways of taking the effect into account ..."

This is simply untrue.
NOAA doesn't correct for UHI at all,
HadCrut doesn't correct for UHI and only increases error bars slightly,
and the GISS algorithm is disfunctional, as McIntyre has shown. Outside the US territory, there are about as many downwards (!) as upwards adjustments.

The only record handling UHI correctly is the satellite record, because there is none.

Satellite trends are considerably lower than ground based trends, though physics and climate models expect them to be significantly higher. This again implies, that ground based measurements are flawed.

Mar 27, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

This set of letters may be a tiny treasure of trove for insights into the thinking of those who are pushing us to be extremely concerned about the impact of rising CO2 levels on climate, an impact yet to be reliably discerned in the climate itself.

Trust in computer models (GCMs) provides one cornerstone of the arguments, but it would be interesting to see some kind of cause and effect network of ‘soundbite thoughts’ which are used to justify sounding the alarm.

Perhaps the GWPF will have the resources to do a thorough Fisking of the professor’s letters, in order to begin constructing a model of his thought processes re climate and policy matters. No doubt many gaps will need to be filled with some informed speculations, but many of these could be testable and hence add scientific interest.

Those of us who believe he is stalking the ramparts of a castle of sand built upon a sheet of thin ice would dearly like to help him get out of it. The letters could help us do so.

Mar 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

The statement that Lord Beddington makes on the lack of heat island effect on station data is factually incorrect.

I refer specifically to posts I have written on the temperature data for the states of Minnesota ; Oklahoma and Nebraska among others.

The curves showing the temperature:population relationships are the penultimate ones. I am currently working on comparing the data between the states, which may be a later post.

Mar 27, 2011 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterHeading Out

the wind/still argument again..

Wind will bring in warming in 50% of the time or so , and bring in cooling 50% of the time.
Wind is the variable that , you see, makes it possible that temperature changes over the earth surface.

It is exploiting the implicit childish model of "wind swipes away that excess heated air in our UHI" for propaganda purpose . Indeed wind does swipe away that heated air. But a 4 decennia offset remains in it.

I fail to see why wind/still variability of 1 day would have anything to do with the decennia long trend we are measuring and interested in.

If one were interested in that correlation you will have to prove it with , well, correlation techniques in Time series analysis.

Mar 27, 2011 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo


You say

The only record handling UHI correctly is the satellite record, because there is none.

Satellite trends are considerably lower than ground based trends, though physics and climate models expect them to be significantly higher. This again implies, that ground based measurements are flawed.

But take a look at HADCRUT3 and GISTEMP vs the UAH and RSS takes on satellite tropospheric temperature:

Eg, from Woodfortrees...

Since the satellite data became available in 1979, the trends actually match up pretty well. UAH is lower, but not by much.

Mar 27, 2011 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Apologies - formatting failure. Here's the WFT link again:

Mar 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


UAH/RSS trends are lower but should be considerably higher due to convection and the hot spot in the tropical troposhere. This makes significant overstatement of ground based trends very likely.

Mar 27, 2011 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterManfred


Yes, I know the tropospheric 'hot spot' is less than glaringly evident, but you said that the trend for satellite tropospheric temperature increase was much lower than for surface temperature increase. Which is not the case.

Mar 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


To be clear, I should have said that according to the blackboard physics the upper troposphere should be warming at a greater rate than the surface. And it doesn't seem to be.

Mar 27, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Registered CommenterBBD

A general point. Some have questioned Lord Lawson's scientific statements but as I understand it he (and even the much more maligned Monckton) have tended to use the IPCC's own figures in their arguments, to make the point that even on their own data the resulting policies are severely misguided.

Mar 27, 2011 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougieJ

BBD, Manfred --
Klotzbach et al., JGR 2009, [here and correction here] discussed the differences between ground-based temperature trends and satellite-based lower-troposphere trends. Table 1 in the paper shows that, while the global trends are fairly close, the trends over just the land area have a much greater difference. The authors believe this is due to bias in the land records. They put forth several possible causes of such a bias, but none can be considered definitive.

They also discuss BBD's point that the troposphere should be warming faster than the surface, according to climate models. This exacerbates the difference, as the measured lower tropospheric trend is less than the measured surface trend. The original paper seems to expect the tropospheric trend to be about 1.2 times the surface trend; in the correction they have separate factors of 1.1 over land and 1.6 over ocean.

Mar 28, 2011 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Slightly off-topic, but of interest to those who live in Lancashire.
An opportunity to explore with Sir John Haughton "the effects and implications of Climate Change". St. Mary's Church, Rawtenstall, 7pm, 7th May.

(At least it relates to a scientist named Sir John)

Mar 28, 2011 at 1:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can supposedly cause hurricanes in China, but scientists now claim to be able to adjust the earth's temperature up and down by simply using CO2 levels as a thermostat.

Isn't climate science wonderful?

Mar 28, 2011 at 4:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford


Table 2 in the "correction" implies an overstatement of ground based trends versus the most modern UAH satellite of approx. 0.1 deg/decade or approx. 0.3 degree sonce 1979.

Even if we assume, that the overstatement has not affected ground based trends before 1979, this would mean that recent global temperatures may have not been higher than 1940s temperatures.

Mar 28, 2011 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

The claim that the inevitable Chaotic tendencies in models can be aggregated together to give useful information is one of the biggest lies that props up the whole of climate science. Beddington echoes it like he is wind-up toy.

Mar 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

"obtained directly from countries, institutions and scientists on the understanding that this would not be passed on".

IIRC, about 3 countries requested that info not be passed on, mainly for trivial reaons that could have been negotiated. I have letters from Australian and UEA authorities stating that no such agreement existed between them. What is more, unless there is some devious wording, is there no agreement allowing CRU/UEA to "modify" the Australian copyrighted data without express written permssion in each case; nor to pass it on to others (such as NOAA) without prior permission, customary fair use conditions accepted I presume.

Mar 28, 2011 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

I've just read through all the documents - well worth doing, as the Bishop recommended. I have to say I'd like to take back some of my (already very light) criticisms of Lawson - not only does he rightly emphasize that he is most interested in economic policies, not on science, but he also writes about the science pretty carefully. The only thing that struck me in what he wrote as being a bit naive was about the water vapour feedbacks - it is true that in a very simple model, positive feedback leads to runaway instability, but it is not too hard to believe that in a real system, that might be limited. So I don't see anything fundamentally, earth-shatteringly, stupid about the models' claims that water vapour leads to positive feedback. That doesn't mean I think it's right, by the way, simply that I don't think you can dismiss the whole of high-sensitivity AGW theory simply on inspection based on this argument.

The issue about chaos, and the reason I agreed in my earlier comment (Mar 27, 2011 at 2:50 PM) with JK (Mar 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM) on this topic, is this: Beddington's letters look to me like recycled stuff that some civil servant has copied from skepticalscience, realclimate, etc. They are full of weaselly arguments, failure to answer Lawson's points but instead making counter-claims about related but not identical points (McIntyre's pea/thimble analogy suggested itself more than once during reading). But that does not mean that everything that he writes is completely wrong, or that he must be dishonest to write it. I can see a place for robust rage, ridicule, and invective in fighting AGW claims, but I don't think that place is here. Here, I feel we should try to be reasoned in our disagreements. So, when people here reject as ridiculous the claim that long-term climate might be more easy to model than short-term weather, I disagree. That doesn't mean I think that the models are right (in fact, I don't): I just think that you can't use the simple fact that weather forecasts are generally pretty rubbish to conclude that climate models are necessarily useless.

Mar 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterj

With reference to the last comment, the only 'evidence' for high feedback ['cloud albedo efffect' cooling, 44% of claimed AGW in Figure 2.4 of AR4] is an artefact of incorrect physics. After considerable experiment had shown no evidence for the effect, NASA claimed in 2004 a false physical explanation, plausible because it was worded very similarly to the correct physics of a respected researcher who had warned that physics did no apply in the genreral case.

If this was not fraud, it was appallingly incompetent science. Furthermore, correct the physics and out pops another AGW which means there is no proof of any net CO2-AGW.

Mar 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander



Mar 28, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Can you provide some backup for this assertion? Links to review articles and full text pdfs of the relevant papers would be ideal.


Mar 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

HaroldW; Manfred

It all depends on who you believe ;-)

For example, compare and contrast these papers (both examine radiosonde as well as satellite tropospheric data, and I am aware that there is emerging agreement that the radiosonde data is biased cold (Titchner et al. 2009; Randel & Wu 2006; Sherwood et al. 2005):

Tropospheric temperature trends: history of an ongoing controversy – Thorne et al. (2010)

Changes in atmospheric temperature have a particular importance in climate research because climate models consistently predict a distinctive vertical profile of trends. With increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the surface and troposphere are consistently projected to warm, with an enhancement of that warming in the tropical upper troposphere. Hence, attempts to detect this distinct ‘fingerprint’ have been a focus for observational studies. The topic acquired heightened importance following the 1990 publication of an analysis of satellite data which challenged the reality of the projected tropospheric warming. This review documents the evolution over the last four decades of understanding of tropospheric temperature trends and their likely causes. Particular focus is given to the difficulty of producing homogenized datasets, with which to derive trends, from both radiosonde and satellite observing systems, because of the many systematic changes over time. The value of multiple independent analyses is demonstrated. Paralleling developments in observational datasets, increased computer power and improved understanding of climate forcing mechanisms have led to refined estimates of temperature trends from a wide range of climate models and a better understanding of internal variability. It is concluded that there is no reasonable evidence of a fundamental disagreement between tropospheric temperature trends from models and observations when uncertainties in both are treated comprehensively.

Full text here:


Tropospheric temperature change since 1979 from tropical radiosonde and satellite measurements – Christy et al. (2007)

Temperature change of the lower troposphere (LT) in the tropics (20°S–20°N) during the period 1979–2004 is examined using 58 radiosonde (sonde) stations and the microwave-based satellite data sets of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH v5.2) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS v2.1). … When the largest discontinuities in the sondes are detected and removed through comparison with UAH data, the trend of day and night releases combined becomes +0.09, and using RSS data, +0.12. Relative to several data sets, the RSS data show a warming shift, broadly occurring in 1992, of between +0.07 K and +0.13 K. Because the shift occurs at the time NOAA-12 readings began to be merged into the satellite data stream and large NOAA-11 adjustments were applied, the discrepancy appears to be due to bias adjustment procedures. Several comparisons are consistent with a 26-year trend and error estimate for the UAH LT product for the full tropics of +0.05 ± 0.07, which is very likely less than the tropical surface trend of +0.13 K decade−1.

Full text here:

Mar 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I just wonder what this windy/still nights argument tries to prove ?
We have now many professors publishing on this and using this argument..

One does not try to deny the existence of UHI sites I hope. For that , we have the daily weather report.
London is hotter than Basingstoke. Or satellite pictures.

the windy/still nights argument attempts to promulgate that UHI sites do not have a 7 decennia rising trend ?
Well that is rubbish . The trend UHI sites "display" over 7decennia , is their emergence from non existant UHI site= rural site , to existing UHI site. They emerge due to urbanisation.

To analyse existing UHI sites in a smaller timespan for this discussion is ridiculous. The behaviour of an emerged=full fledged UHI site is irrelevant. The discussion and relevance of UHI to avg global earth temperature is *not* how the now existing UHI sites behave and vary (in totality or with respect to wind and day/night) , but if they do EMERGE over the decennia, amidst the total number of sites the avg earth temperature is taken from. their emergence adds to the rising avg global temperature trend. Their existence once emerged do not add to the supposed global warming trend.

Frankly, the professorships seem very poor at articulating what they are "analysing". A Phd and a nobel prize or whatever does not seem to make one more clever ?

Satellites help in analysing a site for they give more measuring points.
They give more calibrating power allthough one must be very careful to mix different sorts of "temperature" data together.

Mar 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

I think one of Beddingtons criticisms is correct; based on what is said in Lawson's book, he does not understand any of the science. He is an intelligant man who has started to delve into what has happened but he does not yet understand it.
Quite clever to pick on Lawson because he is an easy target in many ways.

Mar 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Reply to BBD: I assume you have AR4 and know about optical depth, the Beer-Lambert Law, the Lambert Cosine Law, Mie physics and Twomey. If not, read it up.

1. Monotonic albedo-optical depth maths originated here: [eq. 19]. It assumes constant Mie asymmetry parameter, g, and biased diffuse scattering. Neither assumption is true but this probably wasn’t realised by Sagan or his ex-students.

2. When pollution reduces droplet size, at constant water volume fraction optical depth increases [proportional to 1/r], so Sagan warned that because predicted albedo increased for all cloud thicknesses, it hid CO2-AGW. The CAGW scare was born.

3. Twomey found evidence of the effect for thin clouds but insisted diffuse scattering was symmetrical [hemispherical albedo <= 0.5, g=0] so couldn’t apply to thicker clouds. The modellers chose Sagan’s theory and assumed high feedback

5. Rising discrepancy between predicted and real temperatures led to work to prove the cooling. It wasn’t found, albedos can reach 0.9 and directed backscattering indicates a second optical process. NASA-funded work: concluded there was less water in such clouds but the optical physics was right.

6. Twomey was given a prize. NASA swapped his physics for ‘surface reflection’: . If true, it would explain directed, higher albedo for polluted clouds, but there’s no such physics easily proved by looking at thicker clouds as droplets coarsen prior to rain. They get dark underneath; glider pilots know directed albedo from rain clouds can temporarily blind.

7. The real physics is from Mie: when sunlight first interacts with droplets in line of sight, c. 3% is backscattered and the rest concentrated in forward lobes. At the next interaction, a few% is again backscattered but because lobe intensity is 10^7 at 15 microns, the absolute backscattered level is also high. The strong positive dependence on droplet size means pollution dramatically reduces albedo, another AGW.

8. It explains palaeo-climate better than CO2-GW [probably biofeedback from plankton in newly ice-free seas making dimethyl sulphide, a powerful aerosol]. It’s self-limiting [albedo asymptotes to c. 0.5], which may explain why global warming due to Asian aerosol emissions stopped in 2003: Trenberth’s missing heat’ exactly matches AR4’s imaginary ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling. Coincidence?

It’ll take some time before the enormity of it all sinks in, but it’s happening.

Mar 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander


Great stuff - many thanks. I've seen you talking about this in various places and have meant for some time to ask for the full briefing ;-)

Lots to read, so I won't respond here and now.


Mar 28, 2011 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Thanks for that post - I've just spent an hour or so with my "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics" textbook (Seinfeld and Pandis) and with Google/Wikipedia, plus the links you include, trying to make sense of it. I think I have got some of the way there (I now know what g = 0 means! I can make some sense of your glider pilots being blinded and the cloud albedo being lower), but not the whole way. Is there any chance you could direct those of us who are interested to a less short-hand version of your argument? Apologies if you've done so in the past and I haven't seen it.

Mar 28, 2011 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

Alexander, looking at some of your earlier posts, I am reminded of a principle I strongly believe in: if some peoples behaviour relating to a scientific topic can only be explained by either (a) stupidity/laco of knowledge or (b) malevolence, it is much more likely that the former explanation (a) is correct. I very much doubt that Beddington understands Mie theory at all so I find it exceedingly hard he could be party to a cover-up related to it. More likely he just goes by what he's told about sulfates and cooling.

Mar 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

I'll summarise: Lacis and Hansen introduced to climate modelling the Sagan 'two-stream approximation'. It assumes high scattering asymmetry causes diffusely scattered light to be biased in the backward direction. The physics came from Van de Hulst who wrote the text book. He had observed more light backscattered from sols [diluted milk etc.] than expected and fitted curves using 'lumped paramaterisation', a typical physicist's fudge, a curve fit with fancy greek letters.

Sagan made his career on it by his work on Venus then transferred those ideas to the Earth. The predicted cloud part of 'global dimming' was supposed to hide high CO2--AGW. Hansen and Lacis flogged the horse mercilessly to develop their careers but all the time the theory was wrong.

The reality is there are two optical processes. Twomey, made his career by proving using ships' tracks that thin clouds became brighter from pollution but apparently rejected the lumped paramaterisation and clearly realised he had missed something for thicker clouds. But despite his warnings not to assume too much, the modellers became even more convinced they were right and governments acting as proxies for banksters and the reinsurance companies poured money in to persuade the proles that if they paid carbon tax indulgences, they might escape CAGW hell.

Climate science doesn't have conferences, it has convocations at which they discuss how many of their own can dance on the head of a pin. But, by about 2003, it was clear to NASA that the high feedback hypothesis was bunkum. Instead of backtracking to sustainable science, they apparently decided to go go for AR4 by inventing invent fake physics and hoped no-one would rumble the scam.

It comes down to the question 'Is the albedo of polluted thicker clouds higher or lower than that of unpolluted clouds of the same physical thickness?'. Sagan, Chandrasekar etc., famous physicists, say 'Yes'. Twomey says 'I don't know'. I say 'No' because of the rain cloud test. [FYI I do have a strong background in optical physics having co-developed in the 1980s what we now call nanotechnology].

So, 'cloud albedo effect' cooling becomes neutral or heating, another self-limiting AGW. The CO2-AGW level falls dramatically. Normally in science, observation trumps theory but that's not the case in climate science because the fraudulent peer review process rejects contrary opinion. So, I seeded the idea into the wild learning from the response how the climate science establishment is responding to the death of their two main foxes.

Their response was first to use the 'nuclear winter' argument for which the existing optical physics works, but for those small particles there is no strong asymmetry of scattering and it is dominated by absorption. I've now been banned from the Graun and the Indy. I know from other feedback, in the US, also the physicists that the seed is sprouting fast, threatening the last redoubt of those at the centre of the scam.

I feel sorry for all those who were deceived, particularly groups like Hadley who will have to completely revise their models, but science takes no hostages and you have to be brutally honest with the second and third raters who came to run this newish science. It's a re-run of phlogiston.

Mar 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

Thanks, Alexander, that's helpful - but not being a physicist, it would take me some time to digest. I'll see how I get on.

Mar 28, 2011 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

I have hitherto remained silent about the CO2-AGW hypothesis because I was unhappy that my thermodynamic analysis was correct [that all extra CO2 does is to slightly change the moist adiabatic lapse rate, shift the thermopause up a bit and through increased precipitation efficiency, dry the stratosphere thus allowing extra GHG heat to escape more easily].

Here's a guy who has been thinking the same - he's a bit wordy at the end and there are still some issues left before I can say I'm certain. however, it's increasingly likely that the so-called GHG effect consensus is a mass delusion by people pretending to have top-level intellects:

Mar 29, 2011 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

I must say the still/windy nights argument is an intellectual strong one nevertheless..

The best refute of it lies in the accuracy of their observation.

Nobody disputes the avg earth temperature is a measure with a huge variability, but it was always the argument that the trend detection in it is important only.

this UHI wind/still argument is about splicing that trend in 2 trends and make an analysis on that one. How accurate can that be? The data is needed and needs to be analysed for accuracy.

Will be a lot of fun to get the data, and the code.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

The thing which really concerns me is this.
Beddington and his ilk are consulted by government. He then gives his opinion (and it clearly is an opinion, with precious few facts to support it) and on that opinion government policy and taxation is based.
Because there are so few 'sceptics' in government, or even on parliamentary committees, there is by default no challenge to his views, and thus very little proper debate about the issues on which this 'greenest government ever' bases its policies.
He is in an extraordinarily powerful position - ands we will all suffer because of it.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid


This is interesting: Dispersion bias, dispersion effect, and the aerosol–cloud conundrum Liu et al. (2008). From the abstract (emphasis added):

It is shown that inadequate representation of relative dispersion in climate models leads to an overestimation of cloud albedo, resulting in a negative bias of global mean shortwave cloud radiative forcing that can be comparable to the warming caused by doubling CO2 in magnitude, and that this dispersion bias is likely near its maximum for ambient clouds. Relative dispersion is empirically expressed as a function of the quotient between cloud liquid water content and droplet concentration (i.e., water per droplet), yielding an analytical formulation for the first aerosol indirect effect. Further analysis of the new expression reveals that the dispersion effect not only offsets the cooling from the Twomey effect, but is also proportional to the Twomey effect in magnitude.


Full text:

But it's not clear that the authors go as far as you are suggesting - at least if I have understood them correctly. I'm still very much grappling with the underpinnings of the ideas here, so your comments on this paper would be most welcome.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Sorry, formatting failure above.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Answer to BBD: the first aerosol direct effect is the increase of cloud albedo due to the reduction of water droplet size/increase of optical depth. Twomey warned it only applies to thin clouds because when [hemispherical] cloud albedo asymptotes to 0.5, any further increase of optical depth can have no effect on albedo.

The problem is that he did not realise there's the second component of albedo, direct backscattering, strongly dependent on droplet size and inversely dependent on cloud physical thickness below a critical level.

The latter has an upper bound order of magnitude increase for every doubling of droplet size [my theory]. Part of the light which enters the cloud is then diffusely scattered, optical depth proportional to 1/r, and the rest is transmitted directly. There’s also a detector dependence: pyranometers average over 180°; angular detectors have to be physically moved to change the observation angle.

So, the relative proportion of the directly backscattered light compared to the half of the diffusely scattered light which exits to cloud top can vary considerably and the measurement method can distort the results. For a thick cloud, the latter will show no wavelength dependence whereas the former will be biased towards the blue end.

You can’t trust any of the past data. The physicists now realise the problems though not why. The dispersion theory is in the right direction but because it incomplete Twomey physics, it’s the start of a long climb. How do I know better? Well, I’ve got Mie under my belt also a lot of the stereology and I realise there are two optical processes. In the land of the blind…….

[It’ll take another decade before the work is done because it’ll take some very bright people and they don’t grow on trees.]

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander


Thanks for your various responses. I think I begin to see. Dim illumination from backscatter, if you will ;-)

Have you tried to publish anything on this?

Mar 29, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

My ideas are known in the US and UK and are apparently being checked because if correct, they prove the biggest scientific mistake in history, possibly the biggest fraud.

They will be published but not peer reviewed because that process is fixed: delay for 14 months until, to protect the scam, rejection or rebuttal by simultaneous publication.

Mar 29, 2011 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander


I very much look forward to the book or monograph when it appears. The reaction from the orthodoxy will be extremely interesting and hopefully productive in improving our understanding of the climate system.

Which is by no means complete.

Mar 29, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

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