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« Vision of awfulness | Main | Now I've heard everything »
Thursday
May302013

Yeo clarifies to obscure

Tim Yeo has issued a statement "clarifying" his views on climate change:

In the light of what has appeared on the Telegraph website suggesting that I have changed my views about climate change, I wanted to make clear that this is not the case.

My views have remained the same for over two decades. I accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities are having a major impact on the climate – there is an overwhelming probability that the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from human actions are contributing to climate change.

I will continue to press for urgent action on this matter, making the case that the move to a low carbon economy is not just right environmentally but also in our economic interest.

Meanwhile the Telegraph has released its audio recording of what Yeo said (here). His remarks do seem to me to represent a toning down of his position, but it's possible that we are over-interpreting.

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Reader Comments (51)

Nearly everyone, (including myself until a year ago) is still sucked into the line of thinking first thrust upon the world by the AGW crowd, namely that it is all to do with radiative forcing. .

I have been thinking this through for a long time and am now firmly of the opinion that all these energy budgets are incomplete, mainly because they don't show the missing link. On Venus and Uranus that missing link is a huge amount of energy which must flow downwards in the atmosphere. It's quite a lot on Earth too. Over the life of these planets there has been a build up of thermal energy from the Sun which can't escape.

So these planets (Uranus, Venus, Earth) are not still cooling off. It's cold out there where Uranus is because it only receives about 3W/m^2 in the very top of its atmosphere. It could easily have cooled off, but for the one thing that stops it. And that one thing is the gravitationally induced thermal gradient which forms by diffusion at the molecular level,, because molecules in free flight between collisions interchange kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy. In just two lines of calculations, you can derive the -g/Cp</I> value by equating PE and -KE. Kinetic energy will tend towards being homogeneous during collisions, but only at each altitude. Inter-molecular radiation reduces the gradient by up to about a third, but by less than 5% on Uranus where there is just a little methane causing that.

The Clausius (hot to cold) statement of the Second Law is not comprehensive and for conduction and diffusion it only applies in a horizontal plane. The process described in the Second Law means that thermodynamic equilibrium evolves spontaneously, and, in the process of maintaining such equilibrium there must evolve a temperature gradient. Most importantly, extra energy absorbed at higher altitudes can actually flow up this gradient because that will help restore the equilibrium.

Jun 4, 2013 at 12:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhysics-of-Climate

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