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« More dark rumours | Main | The global warmist plan »

Cool, calm, collected

Here's a climate scientist seeking to bring a bit of sanity to the current outbreak of hysteria over extreme weather. While Lord Deben rather hilariously reckons he can see global warming in the weather patterns for January, John Wallace, a climatologist at the University of Washington has a rather more sensible take on it:

Like many of my colleagues in the climate dynamics community, I am not convinced that this winter’s extreme cold lies outside the range of internally generated variability of the climate system or that it was exacerbated by the recent reduction of summer Arctic sea ice coverage. The evidence linking Arctic amplification to the behavior of the wintertime polar vortex is not strong and it is not well supported by independent, peer-reviewed studies.

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Reader Comments (9)

Sorry to say, the ONLY sensible thing he really said, was not to link this winter's polar vortex behavior to 'man-made' global warming. Otherwise, Everything else he said, boils down to 'WE'RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIEEEEEEEE!'

.... well, maybe I overstate that a bit.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterOtter

Otter: Well the Bish did use the words "a bit of sanity". Perhaps a very small bit of sanity amidst a sea of alarmist insanity.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"the behavior of the wintertime polar vortex is not strong and it is not well supported by independent, peer-reviewed studies."

Not to worry, they will soon rustle up a peer reviewed study.

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

No, I think cool, calm and collected is a GOOD way of describing the extract above.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

I disagree. He may be calm but not collected. Who are these "apologists for economic growth at all costs?" Is that those of us who happen to think that higher fuel costs and less availability of energy actually do more harm than good to humanity and that rank bad science is therefore no basis upon which to base energy policy? He reveals therein the Malthusian dogma that guides much of this soft science. Whatever his view of the "carefully crafted consensus" is, it doesn't seem to encompass the blindly obvious observation that nothing unusual is actually happening to the global temperature despite all this extra CO2 we have supposedly added. And with no actual change in the global temperature in 17+ years, where on earth can he possibly derive any notion that any records at all are caused by said zero temperature rise? Yes of course, like the colleagues he gently chides, he just made it up too!

It seems to me he is really just an apologist for those in his profession who are prone to outright lying in the false belief that they are morally justified and his only real concern is that the public will see through them. He is clearly not at all worried at the base dishonesty of it all nor at the possible consequences for the rest of us mortals beneath his ivory tower.

Mar 2, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

The BBC, bless it, has a feature on its website by Matt McGrath, Environment Correspondent, headed "Europe-wide flood losses 'to increase four-fold' by 2050"...
Of course, you are meant to think that this is all down to 'climate change'...
Not a bit of it. Alright - a bit of it - but mainly due to 'socio-economic growth' - to you and me, that's more people living in flood-prone areas, and owning more stuff which can get flood-damaged.
Plus, of course, cost inflation between now and 2050...
See..? You can make a 'climate' story out of anything. Or rather the BBC can...

Mar 3, 2014 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Loschmidt was the brilliant 19th century physicist who was the first in the world to successfully estimate the size of air molecules - within a factor of 2 or so anyway. We can assume Loschmidt thought about what those molecules did, and, with the knowledge of the fact that gas molecules were far smaller than the space between them, the world saw the beginning of Kinetic Theory being applied to "ideal" gases with documented assumptions that I encourage you all to read, because Kinetic Theory was successfully used by Einstein and others, and from it we can derive the well known ideal gas laws. We can also derive (in just two lines) the magnitude of the so-called dry adiabatic lapse rate without using those gas laws or any pressure data.

It's not hard to visualise what Loschmidt did, namely molecules moving around at random and colliding with others rather like billiard balls. When they collide they share their kinetic energy, and as a result, we see diffusion of kinetic energy which results in a tendency towards equal temperatures in a horizontal plane. We have all observed such diffusion in our homes when warmth from a heater spreads across the room.

But, when those molecules move in free frictionless flight between collisions the assumptions of kinetic theory include the "classical treatment" of their dynamics, noting that "because they have mass the gas molecules will be affected by gravity." And so Newtonian mechanics tell us that the sum of kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy remains constant.

But, as a gas spontaneously approaches thermodynamic equilibrium it is approaching a state in which there are no unbalanced energy potentials. That state is isentropic, having (PE+KE)=constant at all heights, and this means that KE varies and, as Kinetic Theory tells us, temperature also varies in proportion to the mean kinetic energy of the molecules.

It does not matter that the final state is never completely materialised, and so entropy will still be increasing. We are considering what happens as we approach a limit, just as in calculus. Entropy will keep increasing until that limit is achieved, but it never is because, with a new day dawning more solar energy is added causing a significant disturbance to the process and moving it further away from equilibrium. Never-the-less, by the following night if there are calm conditions, the state of thermodynamic equilibrium will again be approached.

Over the life of the planet the temperature gradient has obviously evolved on all planets with significant atmospheres, and it also occurs in sub-surface regions such as Earth's outer crust and inside the Moon.

The empirical evidence is that Loschmidt was right and that Maxwell erred on just this particular issue wherein molecular studies were perhaps not his specialty. The huge significance of this is that there is no need for any greenhouse radiative forcing to explain planetary atmospheric and surface temperatures. These cannot be explained at all by radiation calculations - only by the gravity gradient. The trillion dollar question is thus, was Loschmidt right?

Mar 3, 2014 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterD o u g    C o t t o n  

Some cotton needs picking.

Mar 4, 2014 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

What is an air molecule?

Mar 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterClunking Fist

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