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« Abraham's Nuccitello | Main | Dixon in the dock? »
Tuesday
Sep172013

McKitrick explains the models

Ross McKitrick has a must-read article in the Financial Post, looking at climate models and their environmentalist-like divergence from reality:

The IPCC must take everybody for fools. Its own graph shows that observed temperatures are not within the uncertainty range of projections; they have fallen below the bottom of the entire span. Nor do models simulate surface warming trends accurately; instead they grossly exaggerate them. (Nor do they match them on regional scales, where the fit is typically no better than random numbers.)

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Reader Comments (53)

Increased confidence in attribution vs the Pause. The self-contradiction, it bashes.
===================================

Sep 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

He doesn't say exactly where that graph comes from - it is from the introductory Ch 1, figure 1.4, of the leaked 2nd order draft.

Here is the corresponding text, in which the IPCC desperately try to pretend that their 'projections' are something completely different from 'predictions', and that anyway they fit well.

"Even though the projections from the models were never intended to be predictions over such a short time scale, the observations through 2010 generally fall well within the projections made in all of the past assessments. Note that before TAR the climate models did not include natural forcing, and even in AR4 some models did not have volcanic and solar forcing, and some also did not have aerosols. The projections are all scaled to give the same value for 1990. The scenarios considered for the projections from the earlier reports (FAR, SAR) had a much simpler basis than the SRES scenarios used in the later assessments. In addition, the scenarios were designed to span a broad range of plausible futures, but are not aimed at predicting the most likely outcome."

Later in that paragraph is the even more absurd text that Ross quotes,
" In summary, the globally-averaged surface temperatures are well within the uncertainty range of all previous IPCC projections, and generally are in the middle of the scenario ranges".

Sep 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

This is one I hope gets widely quoted:

"Third, what is commonly called the “mainstream” view of climate science is contained in the spread of results from computer models. What is commonly dismissed as the “skeptical” or “denier” view coincides with the real-world observations. Now you know how to interpret those terms when you hear them."

What an exceedingly useful piece of information/advice!

Sep 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Potter

Ross McKitrick thought that rigorous science should inform the IPCC reports, but according to John Cook of "Skeptical Science" infamy the IPCC writers are actually "climate fighters" (whatever that odd term is supposed to mean).

If you understand that "climate fighters" are writing the IPCC reports then some things may be more understandable, even if not defensible:

sad interview with "Doctor" John Cook "criticizing reporting of IPCC leak"

He refers to the writers of IPCC reports as "climate fighters" -- an interesting term in more ways than one. What climate are they fighting, and what happened to the idea of having objective independent scientists writing the IPCC reports???

Also, since when is John Cook a "climate scientist"?? I thought he was in the category of Dana N. and other "climate propagandists"..... Does Cook conduct original research and publishing in climate science? Does he have a research level degree in a scientific field related to climate science?

Are Richard Betts and colleagues "climate fighters"??
interview with "Doctor" John Cook, Australian "climate scientist"

[emphasis added]


COOK: Well yeah, a leak is actually not the most appropriate term here, because just about anyone could sign up and receive the early draft for the IPCC. So these leaks aren't done necessarily by the climate fighters who are writing the reports. They're most likely done just by anyone online, on the internet, who signed up to be a commentator. So it's not like a whistleblower, finding something sensational.


(does anyone know if Cook really earned his doctorate? I haven't seen anything on him having an academic credential higher than a bachelor's degree)

Sep 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

It is an excellent article and I hope it gets circulated as widely as possible.

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

@skiphil
The IPCC is great. I'm a Nobel Laureate and a Climate Fighter! I got a Certificate (signed by the Pachauri Himself, and Christ for that matter) to prove the former. I am look forward to receiving my Klimaschutzstaffel Insignia from Reichsfuehrer Cook.

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

John Cook has been doing Phd, and he may have completed it by now.

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Richard Tol,

ahhh, to be both a Nobel Laureate and a Climate Fighter!! I should learn to take orders from Reichsfuehrer Cook. Most of us cannot even dream of such distinction.....

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:19 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Increased confidence in attribution vs the Pause. The self-contradiction, it bashes.
===================================

Sep 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

It is certainly a clash, Kim.
Delightfully, my BH advert underneath it is for "The Clash Hits Back. 33 Iconic Tracks."

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

It has long puzzled me why the 30 years warming from 1910 to 1940 are deemed sort of important, the 30 years cooling from 1940 to 1970 are not deemed important (now, anyway – they were important in the 1970s, as the fear then was of an ice age); the 15 years warming from 1975 to 1990 are considered sufficient “proof” of the warming to whip the PM up into saying rash things, yet the 17 years “pause” is not sufficiently long to be considered relevant to the argument, and the “fight” against Climate Change™ has to be continue.

Do you think someone might be taking us for fools?

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

The graph is to 2011: add 2 more years of little change...

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

But what do you expect when the incorrect physics predicts atmospheric IR heating up to 6.85 times reality after the incorrect Kirchhoff's Law claim at ToA.

Then to pretend this perpetual motion machine is correct, they offset the residual excess by double low level cloud optical depth and to account for the unobserved warming claim it has been hidden in the oceans. Pathetic.........

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Paul Matthews above handily provided the context for the graph in the article which includes the following: "Note that before TAR the climate models did not include natural forcing, and even in AR4 some models did not have volcanic and solar forcing, and some also did not have aerosols"

It is important to remember that we already have a heavy burden of legislation, policy and coercion based on this tripe. Did our betters know and appreciate that it was so speculative?

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

We've had years of hearing all this bullshit... dont tell me its going to take a simlar time to sweep it away.
Can we get Abbot from Oz on a Transfer ... Pleeeese ?

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBLACK PEARL

This is what Farage thinks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aylLhPHI1TI

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBLACK PEARL

Gareth 4:17 PM

Yes, if ever there was a case to apply the First Rule of Holes, that was it.

May they continue to dig.

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

"Note that before TAR the climate models did not include natural forcing, and even in AR4 some models did not have volcanic and solar forcing, and some also did not have aerosols"

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Gareth, I've also read in the last year or so that some of the newer CMIP5 models also incorporate a carbon-cycle. Meaning the earlier ones didn't. Draw your own conclusions as to whether that made them better or worse...

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Nice question, Radical Rodent. ( We should put it to Reichsführer Cook)

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Registered Commentershub

I've said it before and will say it again a super-computer running a "climate model" is the worlds most expensive dice.

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

What strikes me is the implicit (if unintentional) support McKitrick's article gives to the hotly disputed claim made by Rose in the Mail at the weekend; that warming has been roughly half that predicted by the IPCC. That claim has got climate science's tail in a spin from which it will struggle to recover.

Sep 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM | Registered CommenterHoward Goodall

'that warming has been roughly half that predicted by the IPCC.'

And it was not from CO2! Instead it was probably rapidly increasing Asian aerosols reducing cloud albedo.

Sep 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Much of Ross McKitrick's article applies to the Met Office as well as to the IPCC.

Following Nic Lewis's comments, Bob Tisdale over at WUWT has a low opinion of their HADGEM2-ES simulation of sea surface temperatures.

The Met office continues to be in denial that there is anything wrong with their models. Many millions of tax payers and energy consumers are going to be interested in seeing how this one develops.

Sep 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I take it that the UN-IPCC will define exactly what climate change is and how they have managed to differentiate it from natural climate variation.

Sep 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

The IPCC reminds me more and more of the 19th century Millerites.

Sep 17, 2013 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiT

(does anyone know if Cook really earned his doctorate? I haven't seen anything on him having an academic credential higher than a bachelor's degree)
Sep 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM Skiphil

I rather doubt it. I saw a comment by Cook not long ago where he explained that he had obtained an honours degree and he could therefore have proceeded to read for a doctorate had he decided to do so.

He gave the impression of wanting to convince the reader that having been in the position of being able to proceed to read for a doctorate had he decided to do so was pretty much the same thing as having actually obtained a PhD.

Sep 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Schrodinger's Cat
The trouble is SC, that millions of people won't be interested in understanding or even recognising there is a problem, because they are too busy watching East Enders, and Manchester United, and feeding the children or playing golf. The number of my quite intelligent friends who know nothing about the errors in the CC theory and don't read the papers and suspect that CO2 is evil and think recycling as great (and glaze over if I try to explain it to them) is quite sad.

Sep 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Messenger - Sorry for the delayed reply.
I couldn't agree more.
My comment was in the context of Ross Mc Kitrick's timescale which was that all would be clearer in the next five years.

In fact, all is becoming clearer this year. We now have non-alarmist climate scientists achieving publication, we have articles in specialist press like the one here and we have David Rose in the MoS. I do agree that we need an ice age with glaciation reaching Africa before the BBC will report it and the Met Office will still be saying that they are confident that the planet will reach record temperatures.

So you are completely right today. I do see cracks appearing in the warmist case and I do see signs of the MSM beginning to shift their allegiance. You and I and others can accelerate this process. If we can destroy the alarmism culture in the next few years by convincing the East Ender audience, that would be a great result.

Sep 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

You guys need to keep up. Didn't you see the episode where Ronnie and Sadie had that terrible misunderstanding because Ronnie was talking about equilibrium climate sensitivity and Sadie was talking about transient climate sensitivity. Oh how we laughed!

Sep 17, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

John Cook at UWA http://www.psychology.uwa.edu.au/research/postgrads?profile/1/id/3399

Expected submission: June 2014

Sep 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

The sooner the truth gets out, the better: "global warming/climate change" is not caused by emissions from fossil fuels, but is created by emissions from futile fools.

Sep 17, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

You forget the first rule of climate 'science' which is if the models and reality differ in value , its always reality which is in error . So you can easily take care of this issue by claiming its reality which is wrong .

Sep 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Richard Tol,

So Cook is (allegedly) researching into 'reducing belief polarization'. Presumably his 'studies' have inspired fantasies about reducing the numbers of people who do not adhere to his own world view.

I think we're getting to the bottom of the Schutzstaffel uniform fetish now.

The model predicts certain outcomes for various interventions designed to increase trust in science or reduce the influence of worldview which can be tested experimentally.

Interventions?? UWA ethics committee, HELLO!!

Ah, no call for ethics of any sort - I've just noticed who his supervisor is.

Sep 17, 2013 at 11:12 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

How can you be a doctor before your submission?

Sep 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Registered Commentershub

Sep 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM | shub

How can you be a doctor before your submission?

Well, if you think about it ... Cook may well be a special case! He is known for his almost bottomless capacity to pile higher and deeper than many. And he is equally known for, well, doctoring surveys (just like his thesis advisor!)

But back to reality ... (the real Dr.) Judith Curry has another excellent post today:

Consensus denialism

And in a comment responding to the every-whining David Appell, she also notes:

My understanding of climate is not helped much by climate models. Stay tuned, our big paper on natural internal climate variability just got accepted by Climate Dynamics

Ask yourself why the common sense stuff that I say is regarded as news.[emphasis added -hro]

Sep 18, 2013 at 2:43 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

It was inherently stupid to spend much money on models still less on research based upon model projections.

Right from the very outset it must have been obvious that the chances of being able to model Earth's climate leading to useful prediction was rife with difficulty in view of the proper and accurate modeling of the oceans and cloud formation, the various known unknowns (natural variability what this consisted of, the various directions of forcings encompassed within natural variation and the extent of the upper and lower bounds of each and every connstituent forcing), the various unknown unknowns and the chaotic nature of climate. It ought to have been patent (indeed obviously so) that nothing worthwhile would ever come out of attempts to model Earth's climate such that any attempt to do so was futile and a complete waste of money.

The obvious course was to investigate DWLWIR. This is because the entire theory rests upon DWLWIR and changes in the strength of this forcing brought about by an increase in CO2. So two issues are raised. First is DWLWIR real in the sense of being capable of performing sensible work. Second, if so, how can energy be produced in such a way as to minimize the increase in DWLWIR 9whicjh if it were to increase would lead to a change in the energy budget leading to warming). Now herein lies the beauty.

According to K&T DWLWIR is about twice as strong as solar. If DWLWIR is real and capable of performing sensible work then power (energy) could be extracted from it. Accordingly, if all money was spent researching DWLWIR and extracting energy from it (perhaps in a similar way to PVR cells but tuned to the LWIR wavebands as opposed to the solar spectrum) then we would either have ascrtained that it is not real in that it is not capable of performing sensible work such that any changes in the signal to DWLWIR cannot adversely influence the temperature of the Earth (it's climate), or we would have ascertained that it is real and capable of performing sensible work and we would have cracked the problem of extracting energy from it.

Hence, the former (ie., not real, not capable of performing sensible work) would mean that there was not a problem if this were to increase. If the latter (ie., it is real and capable of performing sensible work) would have led to an energy production system which would have solved the world's energy problems without the need to burn fosil fuels.

So if all monies had been spent on researching DWLWIR with a view to extracting energy from it, we would have ascertained whether there was any merit in the AGW theory, and if there was, we would have solved the world's energy problems without the need to emit harmful CO2 qnd hence we would have avoided the CAGW problem.


Any practical and competent scientist analysing the theory and the problem would easily have recognised that research should be concentrated on investigating and extracting energy from DWLWIR, and everything else is merely an accademic aside. If the scientists could not home in and isolate the central issue, governments and their advisors certainly ought to have been able to focus upon this issue.

Sep 18, 2013 at 3:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Further to my post above, essentially those who are convinced by the AGW theory and the radiative budget say that one must look at gross energy flows whereas a person who is sceptic to the theory (not luke warm) would say we are not convinced that that is the correct analysis, and perhaps the position is that one looks only at net energy flows and transfers.

Accordingly, as regards the oceans, an AGW believer says that the energy budget is: the oceans are receiving: 170 W m^-2 (solar) + 320 W m^-2 (DWLWIR), and are losing 390 W m^-2 (surface radiation) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 490 W m^-2. whereas a sceptic would say perhaps the correct analysis is (the null hypothesis energy budget) is that the energy budget of the oceans is: the oceans receive: 170 W m^-2 (solar), and are losing 70 W m^-2 (radiation loss) and 100 W m^-2 (sensible heat/convective/evaporative losses), thereby balancing at 170 W m^-2

So that is the test of the theory, ie., to ascertain whether DWLWIR is real in the sense of performing sensible work keeping the oceans from freezing. That is why, I say that all money (almost all money) should have been directed at investigating DWLWIR. Because this would not only have proved or disproved the theory, but in proving the theory (if that were the final conclusion of the research) would have led to something worthwhile, ie., the useful extraction of power/energy from DWLWIR thereby solving the world's energy problems. don't forget that not only is DWLWIR said to be twice as powerful as DWLWIR, it is a 24/7 source of energy, come rain or shine and therefore is stable, dependable and does not require storage unlike either solar or wind. It would be the green renewable energy source of choice.

Sep 18, 2013 at 3:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Re my post at 3:39am.
There is a significant typo in the final pararagraph. This should have read

"So that is the test of the theory, ie., to ascertain whether DWLWIR is real in the sense of performing sensible work keeping the oceans from freezing. That is why, I say that all money (almost all money) should have been directed at investigating DWLWIR. Because this would not only have proved or disproved the theory, but in proving the theory (if that were the final conclusion of the research) would have led to something worthwhile, ie., the useful extraction of power/energy from DWLWIR thereby solving the world's energy problems. don't forget that not only is DWLWIR said to be twice as powerful as solar, it is a 24/7 source of energy, come rain or shine and therefore is stable, dependable and does not require storage unlike either solar or wind. It would be the green renewable energy source of choice."

Now it makes sense!

Sep 18, 2013 at 3:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

From Richard Tol's link above...

John Cook

Thesis

Reducing belief polarization under a Bayesian framework

Summary

It is possible using Bayesian Networks (Bayes Nets) to simulate belief polarization, where two people receiving the same evidence update their beliefs in opposite directions. I have developed a quantitative model using Bayes Nets to simulate belief polarization with full Bayesian updating. The model assumes that worldview and trust in science are major drivers in how people process evidence that pertains to their worldview. Experimental data measuring change in belief in response to scientific evidence for worldview relevant issues such as climate change and evolution will be used to determine whether belief polarization is possible under a rational Bayesian framework. The model predicts certain outcomes for various interventions designed to increase trust in science or reduce the influence of worldview which can be tested experimentally.

Why my research is important

This research will pinpoint specific interventions that are effective in reducing the influence of worldview in biasing how people process scientific evidence.

Funding
School of Psychology, ARC

As we say in Scotland: "What a pile of shite!"

Sep 18, 2013 at 6:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

It may interest people to know that last night the Mail changed the headline from "World's top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just HALF what we thought ..." to "World's top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought ...".

Initially, poor old Leo Hickman tweeted that the Mail had been forced into an embarrassing climb down, until it was pointed out that they appear to have been 'embarrassed' into climbing in the wrong direction...

The paper says

"This amended article compares the 0.05C per decade observed in the past 15 years with the 0.2C per decade observed in the period 1990-2005 and with the prediction that this rate per decade would continue for a further 20 years."

http://dailym.ai/1aS4roS

Sep 18, 2013 at 7:45 AM | Unregistered Commenter@HG54

After reading the earlier post on academic bafflegab, I can see why Ross McKitrick's academic career is not as stellar as it might have been.

For some reason, he persists in writing clear, crisp, easily understandable prose.

Ross, Ross, unless your encephelograms are measuring your paradigms and feeding the results into the interstices between boundary layers, you are never going to get anywhere, mate!

Sep 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Where Ross in wrong is his estimate of the effects of falsification. This is going to be just like the various cults cited by Leon Festinger. We will see the effects of 'cognitive dissonance' in action. The more decisive the failure of the planet to warm, the more strongly the adherents will believe and proselytize for AGW.

We can be certain that in the UK if temperatures fall and winters become more severe, the ferocity of the demands to cover the country with windmills will rise. If the temperature of the planet falls, more and more weird explanations will be used to show that it is 'really' warming.

We are approaching this now with the claim that atmospheric temperatures can decline indefinitely but that does not mean that catastrophic warming is not happening, its the deep ocean that is catastrophically warming. Or maybe becoming acidic.

You don't believe it? The Jehovah Witnesses appear to have confidently expected the end of the world in 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1940 and 1975.

Did it end? No.

Did they disbelieve? No.

This thing is going to run and run regardless of what happens to measured temperatures.

Sep 18, 2013 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

@ Richard Verney

Conventional physics states that energy transfer by radiation is a function of temperature difference, f(T1Kelvin-T2Kelvin) and is from the hotter to the colder body. Climate science's DWLWIR is not in accord with the conventional.

Sep 18, 2013 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Re: ssat

> Climate science's DWLWIR is not in accord with the conventional.

It is. DWLWIR simply slows down the energy transfer from the warmer body to the cooler body.

Emergency blankets use the same principle, they reflect back up to 97% of radiated heat.

Sep 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"But the models don’t match reality".

Neither do politicians!

Sep 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

@ Terry S

In your example, the net flux remains from the body to its surroundings. There is no net flux from the blanket to the body. Climate science calculates just such a flux and gives it a quantity of 333W/m^2. Richard Verney asked the question of why that quantity could not be extracted as energy. The simple answer is that the net flux of LWIR is to space, not to surface. The DWLWIR, calculated by climate science as a flux does not satisfy f(T1Kelvin-T2Kelvin) which it must if it were to have that stated power. DWLWIR is the negative component of the total flux. Their diagram;

http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200904/trenberth.cfm

Sep 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

SSAT says:
Sep 18, 2013 at 8:46 AM | ssat

@ Richard Verney

Conventional physics states that energy transfer by radiation is a function of temperature difference, f(T1Kelvin-T2Kelvin) and is from the hotter to the colder body. Climate science's DWLWIR is not in accord with the conventional.
///////////////////////////////

I appreciated the classical position. The essence. of course, of the AGW theory is that the radiative model does not work that way and there are energy transfers both way. That is the crux of the issue to investigate.

As my post suggests, if efforts were concentrated upon investigating DWLWIR and its true capabilities, we would either find out that it lacks sensible energy and hence that there is nothing in the AGW theory, or we would establish that it truly is capable of sensible work and thus the theory has merit, but in so establishing this we would have solved the world's energy problems creating/tapping into a limlitless soruce of green renewable energy (twice as powerful as solar and reliable, stable and available 24/7 come summer, winter, rain, or shine thereby avoiding the need for storage and stabilisation of the grid which is the key problems of other renewables).

Thus research into the real capabilities of DWLWIR would be a no lose situation, or a win win situation. This is where the money ought to have been directed since either the theory would be disproved or something useful obtained. money spent on modelling (and model led research papers) is complete waste of time. This ought always to have been obvious, and what we are seeing now (the divergence of projections from reality) was all but inevitable and ought to come as no surprise to any serious scientist.

Sep 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

TerryS says (Sep 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM)
Re: ssat

> Climate science's DWLWIR is not in accord with the conventional.

It is. DWLWIR simply slows down the energy transfer from the warmer body to the cooler body.

Emergency blankets use the same principle, they reflect back up to 97% of radiated heat.

//////////////////

Terry

Emergency blankets/space blankets work predominantly by restricting convection. This is easy to establish, Consider how effective the design would be if as follows:

Instead of being a blanket that is wrapped around the patient, it is constructed like a toilet roll/tube, say with a diameter of 1 metre and a height of say 2 metres and the inner surface of which is coated in reflective foil. The patient stands inside the roll/tube (which has an open top), and is therefore completely surrounded by the reflective material which reflects back to the patient the radiative heat. However, the patient would quicly cool because of convection, the roll/tube being open at the top.

In theory there would be little difference in the radiative effect of such a roll/tube, if the diameter was say 1.5 metres or even 2 metres, but practically the performance would be significantly worse due to the increased convection resulting in more upward heat loss via the open top of the roll/tube.

the main effect of the emergency blanket is restricting convection. The radiative considerations are minimal.

I am not doubting all radiative physics. I am questioning whether DWLWIR is merely a signal not capable of sensible work. We can extract sensible work from the downward solar even from solar which is reflected off the underside of clouds (although to a much lesser degree), if DWLWIR is something more than a signal, if it is a source of energy capable of performing real work, then ought to be possible to extract that energy. Why is no one investigating the possibility of this given that it is supposed to be twice as strong as solar and does not suffer from the draw backs of solar (eg., peak energy demand in the UK being winter nights when solar has packed up for the day, but DWLWIR is still supposedly going strong). Any engineer would home into the energy source that is said to be twice as powerful as the other, especially when it does not suffer from the many drawbacks that beset solar. And yet, no one seems to be focusing attention on that, which suggests that physicists/engineers dod not consider that DWLWIR has any sensible energy from which real work can be extracted in our environ.

The crux of my original post was that it would be a better use of money to investigate DWLWIR than to blow it on models which quite obviously have no predictive ability

Sep 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Imagine a world, it rotates every 24 hours. It has no seasons, no axial tilt and is always exactly the same distance from the sun.

Pick any point on the surface, it will warm during the day and cool during the night. Eventually it will reach a stable temperature range of Tmin to Tmax.

During the night it will cool from Tmax to Tmin and during the day it will warm from Tmin to Tmax.

Now add some CO2.

Because CO2 will reflect some of the IR back it will slow down the rate of cooling so that in the morning the temperature is now Tmin+x. Because it has a higher starting point in the morning the maximum temperature will also increase to Tmax+y.

You now have a planet that has a higher surface temperature with the CO2 than without it.

Sep 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

@ Terry S: "Now add some CO2."

Solar irradiation is full spectrum. Your added CO2 will reflect incoming as it does outgoing. Your Tmax will diminish.

Sep 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

> Your added CO2 will reflect incoming as it does outgoing.

Let me just twiddle a a couple of knobs ....

Incoming solar radiation is now at all frequencies except those that are absorbed by CO2. Therefore CO2 will not reflect any incoming radiation and Tmax will still rise to Tmax+y. (In the real world incoming solar is at different frequencies than outgoing IR. Comparatively little of the incoming radiation is in the CO2 absorption bands).

Sep 18, 2013 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

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