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« Black's Whitewash | Main | MSNBC on Climategate and the inquiries »
Friday
Mar162012

Irony fail

Readers will be amused by the outpourings of Lawrence Souder and Furrah Qureshi of Drexel University. Their latest paper appears in the Journal of Scientific Communication.

Most accounts of an ideal scientific discourse proscribe ad hominem appeals as one way to distinguish it from public discourse. Because of their frequent use of ad hominem attacks, the Climategate email messages provoked strong criticisms of climate scientists and climate science. This study asks whether the distinction between public and scientific discourse holds in this case and thus whether the exclusion of ad hominem arguments from scientific discourse is valid. The method of analysis comes from the field of informal logic in which argument fallacies like the ad hominem are classified and assessed. The approach in this study focuses on a functional analysis of ad hominem—their uses rather than their classification. The analysis suggests three distinct functional uses of ad hominem remarks among the Climategate emails: (1) indirect, (2) tactical, and (3) meta-. Consistent with previous research on ad hominem arguments in both public and scientific discourse, these results reinforce the common opinion of their fallacious character. Only the remarks of the last type, the meta- ad hominem, seemed to be non-fallacious in that they might help to preempt the very use of ad hominem attacks in scientific discourse.

Throughout their paper, Souder and Qureshi refer to anyone who questions any aspect of the AGW hypothesis as "deniers". Perhaps irony hasn't made its way to the top of the ivory tower yet.

The paper is quite interesting though.

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Reader Comments (58)

From the paper:

No one should be surprised that scientists, when among their closest colleagues, will let down their guard in the interests perhaps of conversational efficiency and say things like "Mike's Nature trick" and "to hide the decline" to refer to an acceptable method for combining different kinds of data sets. Subsequent investigations into this and other unfortunate choices of expression, in fact, have absolved the writers of any scientific wrongdoing.12

Footnote 12 is J. Randerson (2010), Climate researchers 'secrecy' criticised – but MPs say science remains intact, The Guardian, Tuesday 30 March 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/31/climate-mails-inquiry-jones-cleared
concerning the report of the parliamentary science and technology select committee (Willis), which according to its report "was not an inquiry into the science produced by CRU".

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

'The remark...suggests an impulse to horde information and seems to violate the norm of
communalism.'

Who does the reviewing, editing and proofreading for this journal? This is, after all, supposed to be the Journal of Science Communication, so how can something as illiterate as 'horde' for 'hoard' slip through?

Oh, dear, maybe I just made an ad hominem...

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

Standard Leftist agit-prop.

Start with your conclusion, and then work your way to justifying it using (only) that information that seems to support you.

Climate 'science' and climate science apologists share many of the same methods, it seems.

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Ad hominem attacks, for that is what they are and not "appeals", are attacks. That certainly suggests hostility. As for three flavors, I find it hard to differentiate.

Moving on with the psychological devolution of the motivation for such attacks, they are usually driven by perceived or actual threat. This is often complexed by superimposed emotions of denigration, anger, contempt and superiority. However, I find the most compelling is insecurity.

These, in turn, stem from belief, whether based on religious or other training, or self-developed. Usually beliefs are a composite of both training and self-developement.

In short, the driving force for most of these behaviors is insecurity about a belief one may have.

This grossly over-simplifies the subject, and does not do justice to it. I have been studying it for years and while I find it fascinating, I learn something new about it almost every day.

I am looking forward to the comments that will surely follow. Thank you, Bishop for posting this.

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Interesting paper. The authors do seem to have gotten this line...
.
In response to ClimateAudit’s frequent and trenchant criticism of their work, climate scientists mounted their own weblog, RealClimate.org.
.
...exactly backwards.

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryMN

When are they going to publish it in English?

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

I love me some irony:

http://talkingabouttheweather.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/stone-cold-irony/

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarold Ambler

An ad hominem attack, a form of rudeness, is very different from an ad hominem argument, which is logically fallacious. Supposedly clever men too often confound the two; they should not be confounded.
If I were to say that far too many alleged journalists covering “climate science” are mendacious, sycophantic, proctoleichous propagandists, that would be calumnious (though true) invective—an ad hominem—which does not necessarily invalidate any argument I might be making. if I were to say that one can’t believe a word they say because they’re willfully mischievous activists, that—an argumentum ad hominem—whether true or not, would invalidate the argument.

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDeadman

They describe George Monbiot as "politically moderate" (as compared to Christopher Booker), I doubt eve George himself would describe himself as politically moderate. It has all the in-built assumptions that right wing is extreme and left wing is moderate. Has the paper been peer-reviewed?

Can anyone explain to me why after the tyrannies that have been visited upon people throughout the world by left wing governments in the latter part of the 20th century and the rise in prosperity of those blessed to be in a capitalist society during the same period, we have come to a position where being left-wing is good and right wing is bad among the literati in academe, and the upper middle classes throughout the western world? It's a puzzle to me.s

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Should be " gliterati"

Mar 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Would describing Monbiot as "intellectually moderate" be considered offensive?

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

This paper says far more about the writers (and the dismal state of "science") than it does about anything else.

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterac1

The last paragraph of the paper is spot on .................."What distinguishes good from bad science is not the quality of scientists’ results but the candor of their reporting. The scientists as represented in the Climategate emails behaved imperfectly as scientists, but their imperfections became public only after their siege mentality had been breeched by a desperate act of boundary invasion. Ironically, when done with integrity, the rhetorical process of creating the boundaries that separate good from bad science, might model for the rest of us, the process of discerning the difference between good and bad thinking." ............................

Thanks goodness the person who "invaded the boundary" (made the Climategate emails available) was able to distinguish good from bad science and good from bad thinking.

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Thomson

Maybe they should get out more.

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Worse still, it refers to "Self-proclaimed climate deniers" and the following sentence starts with "Lord Lawson", and goes on to quote a sentence from the GWPF that does not deny anything, let alone climate? Is this libel?

There are also various factual errors for example
"In response to ClimateAudit’s frequent and trenchant criticism of their work, climate scientists mounted their own weblog, RealClimate.org."
In fact it was the other way round, CA was founded after RC, as the authors could have checked for themselves from wikipedia.

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

@Deadman

Well said, except that calumny is regarded as false, by definition.

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Looks interesting being a "climate" nerd who loves these pseudo intellectual studies I will defo read in detail later. However as the Bish says the irony is there to see with a quick scan. It is instructive to search for "denier" the first example is:

"along the continuum from climate change deniers to the so-called warmists"

Fair enough of course there could be continuum along that descriptive line. I dont think you can get further along the line on the left than outright climate change denial. Maybe you could go further to the right of that line beyond warmist to bugnuts crazy anti-human? ;)

Then the second example found and it goes off the cliff:

"Self-proclaimed climate deniers in the political arenas reactedpredictably to the first news reports about Climategate. Lord Lawson, Chancellor of the Exchequer underMargaret Thatcher, created the Global Warming Policy Foundation, whose website states: “Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and their economic and other implications”.

Self-proclaiming something should be easy to source and reference for us all to marvel at. But the geniuses who wrote this seem to have a problem. Could it be because they are using it as an ad-hom!

Fail

Mar 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Leopard

Your second example shows that the authors lack all cognitive skills, doesn't it. They are probably even less skilled at reading comprehension than Hengist. Where has Lawson, for example, ever proclaimed that climate does not change? He is always very clear to say that he will take the science as read and then simply debate the policies that result. Unfortunately for the Warmists, he is driven more by facts - no warming for 15 years - than by hyperbolic statements of doom.

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

diogenes
They even have a foot note reference to the GWPF home page too, just to add to the pseudo authority of the work they've done on that statement. And guess what? No evidence of "self-proclaiming" climate denial there on their home page either. Weird. ;)

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Skiphil,
mea culpa; for “calumnious” please read “contumelious”.

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDeadman

This is beyond Climate Porn

Global Warming Makes you fat

http://lifestyle.aol.co.uk/2012/03/15/is-co2-in-the-atmosphere-making-you-fat/?ncid=webmail5

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

ScientistForTruth (2:09 PM) -
The article contains another incorrect choice of a homophone - breeched rather than breached - and two outright spelling mistakes (metonomy and ad homimen [sic and sic]). None of which affects the content, of course, but they speak to laxity at the Journal; it is easy to avoid these simple mistakes. Being sensitive to such errors, I am distracted from the content by these oversights, which surely can not be a desirable outcome for either the authors or the journal.

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Speaking of irony...here I am complaining about silly mistakes, and then I mess up my html tags...

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

...but their imperfections became public only after their siege mentality had been breeched by a desperate act of boundary invasion.

Doesn't that mean someone clad their mentality in britches? Were they sans culottes until then?

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

Harold W

Great minds and all that.

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

HaroldW

Use the "Preview Post" option. It is your friend.

it is easy to avoid these simple mistakes

Yes, even this blog has a "ok" spelling checker. It certainly is my friend -- although it often comes up with the wrong correction, at least it draws attention to the issue.

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Harold, Don Pablo, better still, register as a contributor, then you can go back and edit your mistakes.

If we are going to be pedantic, the paper also misspells McKitrick.

Another strange thing is that on p 1 it says that a computer hacker infiltrated an email server at CRU. Then on page 4 it says that the emails were hacked or leaked from a server at CRU (citing a Grauniad article that refers to UAE).

Mar 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Would describing Monbiot as "intellectually moderate" be considered offensive?

Yes , on 2 counts.

Mar 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Paul & Don -
You're both correct, and I've availed myself of those resources in the past...but I wasn't signed in and didn't think I'd need to preview such a simple post. Hindsight and all that.

But to return to the topic at hand, I find this in Souder and Qureshi's conclusion salutary:

This community [of gravity-wave scientists], he [Collins] boasted, gave him virtually complete access to their work. On account of this transparency he felt he could trust them implicitly.

What a refreshing change from e.g. Dr Jones's response to requests for data from one who had expressed doubts about his conclusions. And the natural reaction is in direct proportion -- be open and forthright, and inspire confidence; be secretive and surreptitious, and inspire distrust.

I'd like to think that those who endorse openness in climate science are on the ascendancy, and those who view it as a pitched battle (no names please) are on the wane, but the warriors are still very much in evidence at the moment.

Mar 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

couldn't the people who wrote this report go and find a real job? It would make a real difference to their lives and everyone else's.

Mar 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Stephen Richards

Would describing Monbiot as "intellectually moderate" be considered offensive?

Yes , on 2 counts.

Touché.

Mar 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

couldn't the people who wrote this report go and find a real job? It would make a real difference to their lives and everyone else's.

Mar 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Stephen Richards

If they ever do get another job tell me, I will be staying well clear. Much like telephone hygienists there are some people who are unemployable.

Mar 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

"Only the remarks of the last type, the meta-ad hominem, seemed to be non-fallacious"

Pseuds' Corner beckons!

Does 'non-fallacious' mean 'true'..?

Mar 16, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

At least it was US taxpayers' money that was wasted on this, and not ours. Their definitions are woolly if they even bother, and as other posters have pointed out their facts are sometimes plain wrong and sometimes self-contradictory. Perhaps one of them would like to come on here and define "climate denier" and explain why they made no serious attempt to define the term - is it someone who thinks there is no such thing as climate, only weather? Or perhaps someone like Michael Mann or William Connolley who discounts all the documentary evidence of the MWP in favour of a dodgy statistical analysis of a few tree rings? At least their implicit acceptance of time travel is consistent with the Team line that they concealed data as a result of future vexatious FIOA requests.

Mar 16, 2012 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

geronimo (Mar 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM)

Can anyone explain to me why ... we have come to a position where being left-wing is good and right wing is bad among ... the upper middle classes throughout the western world? It's a puzzle to me.

Not in the space of a comment here, no. The first step towards understanding is to stop equating the Guardian reading lefties who are foisting their eco-miserablism on us with Stalinism. I consider myself as left-wing as Monbiot used to be, and am disgusted as anyone with the way the so-called left is lurching towards fascism on their tiny little low-carbon hooves.
They’re a new breed, the product of post-war mass university education. The best analyses of the process I’ve come across are in Christopher Lasch’s “The Revolt of the Elites” and Emmanuel Todd: “Après la Democratie”. Both authors are well to the left.
Robert E. Phelan, a sociologist who sometimes comments here, and at WUWT, has more in the same vein.

Mar 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

According to their website, this journal is peer-reviewed, but is somewhat lacking in detail of their process. It appears it's not the only 'scientific communication' journal. Maybe what we need is a peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Scepticism?

Mar 16, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

“Of course no scholar can make use of stolen material, and in particular one cannot legally or ethically quote a private message without the explicit permission of the writer.” Thus, we want to offer out of our concern for due diligence on matters of research ethics, a rationale for our use of the Climategate emails as data in this paper.''

Oh the ethical dilemma!

(But presumably OK if they actually are private, not subject to FOI disclosure like the CRU emails, or even embellished if they belong to deniers like The Heartland Institute, (remember the capital T though- the forgers downfall)

Mar 16, 2012 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I have to agree with geoff chambers. This is not an issue where left right captures the issue. That's not to deny that more on the left endorse the Green argument. However the question to ask is whether you feel more comfortable with Cameron, Goldsmith, Most of the Conservatives, in fact any right wing leader in Europe with the exception of Vaclav Klaus. This is the establishment vs the rest.

Mar 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTdk

"What distinguishes good from bad science is not the quality of scientists’ results but the candor of their reporting".

So if I report bad science candidly, it becomes indistinguishable from good science?

Mar 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterkatio1505

Are we sure that this wasn't a spoof, like the famous: Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

(which may explain much of the GCM world, now I come to think of it)

Mar 16, 2012 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Tdk...what makes Cameron "right wing" in any way? Of course the opposition are clamouring about expenditure cuts....that have not happened because Cameron lacks the guts to implement them - rather like Maggie T . Cameron and Osborne are increasing taxes rather than cutting spending.....the wrong option, as far as I believe.

Mar 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Tdk

Strangely enough I'd reopened my copy of Vaclav Klaus's Blue Planet in Green Shackles earlier to confirm his appreciation of the promotion of the UN climate change initiative underpinning the financing of the global governance agenda . Whether politicians are serially all gullible or culpable I still dont know, but I have my suspicions, particularly in view of the deceit as presented to the electorate concerning the EU ambition, and in the run up to the Copenhagen Conference judging by political advocacy from all sides (except UKIP) at that time, which has been maintained through many administrations and key appointments of both left and right. It would appear logical to assume that the slow but remorseless erosion of sovereignty and democracy adopted as the preferred strategy by the EU is part and parcel of the big global plan.

Mar 16, 2012 at 9:54 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

After getting past the jarring denier epthet and its underlying assumptions I think this is quite a fascinating read - not just interesting. I'm unfamilar with the field that this is supposed to be an example of but after getting past my initial defensive disdain I really like this paper on a pure enjoyment level. For what it is - I couldn't say if it a good *thesis* - but it does strike me as a refreshing look at the CG case that doesn't fit into the fawning category. I'm pretty sure the Team won't like this one bit if they ever saw it it. Or many other scientists for that matter. IN my reading, it basically comes to the conclusion that the CG drop provides a fortuitous set of data to give an insight into the likely state of discourse amongst science as a whole. Something that wouldn't surprise me but may not jibe well with other readers here. SO I think the climate aspect of it is almost incidental. Maybe that is why they were so free and easy with the "denier" label?

Yes, very interesting. I'd certainly recommend it to anyone as a primer on the whole Climategate episode. I'm certainly going to look up "Gieryn’s boundary work among scientists" now.

Mar 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

ZT

I thought it may have been a Sokal type hoax I after I struggled through this section-

Thus to issue the ad hominem argument that their anti-skeptic arguments should be dismissed becomes valid. Such an ad hominem about ad hominem remarks is more that a mutual ad hominem; it can be seen as a meta-ad-hominem argument.

But I would say there is some good stuff in there if you persevere with the rest!

Mar 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Paragraph 2 of the Introduction states


In November of 2009 a
computer hacker infiltrated an email server at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit

Is there something that they know that Norfolk plod doesn't?

Mar 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

Geoff, thanks for the suggested reading - I did not know either book though I've read other things by Todd. I had forgotten you were a French speaker. Have you ever read "Le Nouvel Ordre Ecologique" by Luc Ferry?

On the topic of this paper, Steve McIntyre has a rule on his blog that commenters should not try to solve the whole AGW problem in one short paragraph (or two or three long ones ;-) ) but should remain strictly within the boundaries of the precise topic he has chosen for debate. Although he is described in the paper as "[...] not a scientist [...]", that is very much an academic and scientific way of doing things: each academic paper should not try to cover all the issues in the field, but to focus on one very specific question. The question addressed here is, "How did scientists in one sub-field use ad hominem arguments in order to basically create a group culture?". Or, as the authors put it, how did ad hominem arguments help with 'boundary work', i.e. "[...] the effort to establish a character or ethos"? If you read the article, you can see that they don't hide the fact that lots of the ClimateGate emails are disgraceful. They belong to the Harry Collins/Bruno Latour school of sociology of science - those sorts of people tend to believe all scientists behave like this. The bits about deniers, wrong order of RealClimate/Climateaudit, hack/leak, inquiries vindicating CRU, are really just mentioned in passing and reflect the sort of lazy views not-so-informed people tend to have on these topics.

Mar 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Speaking of climate "discourse" the following should be of interest ...

Climatologists love to talk about energy being trapped by carbon dioxide and thus not exiting at the top of the atmosphere (TOA.)

It is nowhere near as simple as that. All the radiation gets to space sooner or later. Carbon dioxide just scatters it on its way so you don't see radiation in those bandwidths at TOA. The energy still gets out, and you have no proof that it doesn't, because you don't have the necessary simultaneous measurements made all over the world.

In the hemisphere that is cooling at night there is far more getting out, whereas in the hemisphere in the sunlight there is far more coming in. This is obvious.

When I placed a wide necked vacuum flask filled with water in the sun yesterday (with the lid off) the temperature of the water rose from 19.5 deg.C at 5:08am to 29.1 deg.C at 1:53pm while the air around it rose from 19.0 to 31.9 deg.C.

What did the backradiation do at night? Well from 9:15pm till 12:05am the water cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 23.4 deg.C while the air cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 22.7 deg.C.

According to those energy diagrams the backradiation, even at night, is about half the solar radiation during the day. Well, maybe it is, but it does not have anything like half the effect on the temperature as you can confirm in your own backyard.

This is because, when radiation from a cooler atmosphere strikes a warmer surface it undergoes "resonant scattering" (sometimes called pseudo-scattering) and this means its energy is not converted to thermal energy. This is the reason that heat does not transfer from cold to hot. If it did the universe would go crazy.

When opposing radiation is scattered, its own energy replaces energy which the warmer body would have radiated from its own thermal energy supply.

You can imagine it as if you are just about to pay for fuel at a gas station when a friend travelling with you offers you cash for the right amount. It's quicker and easier for you to just pay with the cash, rather than going through the longer process of using a credit card to pay from your own account. So it is with radiation. The warmer body cools more slowly as a result because a ready source of energy from incident radiation is quicker to just "reflect" back into the atmosphere, rather than have to convert its own thermal energy to radiated energy.

The ramifications are this:

Not all radiation from the atmosphere is the same. That from cooler regions has less effect. Also, that with fewer frequencies under its Planck curve has less effect again.

Each carbon dioxide molecule thus has far less effect than each water vapour molecule because the latter can radiate with more frequencies which "oppose" the frequencies being emitted by the surface, especially the oceans.

Furthermore, it is only the radiative cooling process of the surface which is slowed down. There are other processes like evaporative cooling and diffusion followed by convection which cannot be affected by backradiation, and which will tend to compensate for any slowing of the radiation.

This is why, at night, the water in the flask cools nearly as fast as the air around it. The net effect on the rate of cooling is totally negligible.

The backradiation does not affect temperatures anywhere near as much as solar radiation, even though its "W/m^2" is probably about half as much.

And there are other reasons also why it all balances out and climate follows natural cycles without any anthropogenic effect. This is explained in detail in my peer-reviewed publication now being further reviewed by dozens of scientists.

http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

Mar 16, 2012 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Cotton

What happened to pure science? These days it seems to be suppose so and interpreting chart patterns.

Mar 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim

What happened to the pure PHYSICS of Heat Flow

What is colloquially called "heat" is technically the movement or transfer of thermal energy from one body to another. Body A "heats" Body B if A is hotter than B.

We are all comfortable with the fact that thermal energy flows along metal barbecue tongs from the fire to our hand, not the other way. But, physics tells us that the temperature gradient is determined by the temperatures at the ends of a metal rod, or the boundaries of a wall, for example.

How does the energy coming from the hot body "know" what the temperature at the other end is going to be so that it starts out following the correct temperature gradient? This is what happens as thermal energy flows from the Earth's core to the surface. The temperature plots from boreholes as deep as 9Km all extrapolate from deep underground to the surface temperatures.

The mechanism by which it knows does in fact involve two-way molecular transitions, even though the thermal energy can only be observed going from hot to cold. There is a similarity between conduction and radiation: there's a two-way signal, but one way energy transfer.

As you can read on Wikipedia the Clausius statement:... No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower temperature to a body of higher temperature.

Physics tells us that you cannot send thermal energy from cold to hot unless you "pump" it there with extra energy, as in a blast furnace for example. So, if it went by itself it would have to create energy. And it cannot create energy even for a small fraction of a second in the "hope" that some future event will send at least as much energy back to the cooler source. That's just not physics.

Just as the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to conduction, so it must apply to radiation, for if it didn't, you could create energy that way.

The mechanism by which it happens with radiation is really quite simple. If a body receives radiation with familiar frequencies which it can emit itself then it just "rejects" that part of the radiation and effectively sends it on its way. But if the radiation it receives has higher frequencies or a greater intensity of the frequencies it can handle, then the extra radiated energy is converted to thermal energy because it's too much to handle with resonant scattering, sometimes called pseudo scattering because in fact new identical photos are created in lieu of the old ones.

Thus "heat" appears to flow from hot to cold, but in fact what moves is two-way radiated energy which is not thermal energy, and which is not necessarily going to be converted to thermal energy in full or in part the first time it strikes an object. It all depends how hot or cold that object is, relative to the temperature of the source of the radiation. Such is well-known physics, nothing else.


My paper is primarily a review of established physics and an explanation of where and why climatologists without a correct understanding of physics, have misapplied it.

.

Mar 17, 2012 at 2:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Cotton

Doug Cotton

I prefer to put it:

"You can't boil water by putting ice into it unless you are Harry Potter."

More easy for the Climate Scientists™ to understand. I also helps if you say it slowly. :)

Mar 17, 2012 at 3:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

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