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Discussion > Its the Gas Laws what dunnit!


The rise in temperature is caused by external radiation acting on energised gas molecules!

Sorry, in what way are these molecules energised in such a way that their temperature is not raised?

By your misunderstood theory, gravitationally induced pressure (on its own) somehow 'energises' molecules, by some special application of the Ideal Gas Law, which then makes them able to absorb radiation more effectively than when they were not energised. What form does this energy take?

You might consider N&Z my scientific betters, but science is egalitarian and the only authority which matters is the one which is provable by science. It doesn't help your case that between myself, rhoda, Paul Dennis and Roger Longstaff, we independently demolished N&Zs lunar temperatures by demonstrating integrating temperatures over a spinning globe gave a different temperature from the SB temperature, and thus their non-spinning planets were not right. They later admitted this was a mistake.

The other problem (for you, not them) is that I actually understand N&Z's concept of thermal delay, which makes seeing your garbled attempts to explain it badly quite frustrating.

I'm not ignoring your points RKS, I'm trying to understand them in relation to the body of known Physics. I'm not sure if you misunderstand or miscommunicate them, either way it's mostly gibberish.
You may find me hubristic, condescending and arrogant. Unfortunately for you, I am also right, and I dare you to find a physicist who will contradict this. Luckily for science, my personality or your perception of it have absolutely no bearing on the reality of physics. You are wrong because you are wrong, not because I wish it were so.

You stated a theory in such terms that we all agreed this and that, most of it garbage, which you now claimed you did to hook me in, so well done. You do realise what they call people who post deliberately contentious material on a discussion group in order to point score against strangers? A troll.

You laid your theory down, I rebutted all your points. You threw your toys out of the pram. You were unable to defend your claim, and now claim the entire thread was nothing more than a troll. Whichever sad soul is still reading this thread is now able to make up their own mind about the veracity of what is said here.

So, if you would care to continue, please describe your pressure-induced energisation. Without the useless ad-homs.

Jun 28, 2013 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Eschenbach thinks N&Z are curve-fitting with their chosen parameters. He may be right.......

Jun 28, 2013 at 9:10 PM | Rhoda>>>>>

Sorry for the delay but life is a bit hectic lately.

I presume you're referring to Willis Eschenbach who writes the odd interesting post for WUWT about his travels. I'm surprised you choose a scientific illiterate to confirm your prejudices.

Ned Nikolov Ph.D. deals with him over at Tallbloke in the following manner......

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Why are you, fellows, engaging in a fruitless science discussion with a guy (Willis), who publicly admits that he has no science credentials at all and no science education??

He also has demonstrated a high illiteracy in math. He is just a construction manager! Arguing with people with no expertise in a subject matter is a waste of time and counterproductive. Please, leave Willis alone, as he is a learner, and do not pay attention to his opinions!

Thank you
- Ned"

He also devotes a whole thread to demolish this guy's naive arguments with an object lesson in basic maths thrown in.

I'll come back on the other aspects of N&Z's Unified Theory of Climate [covered in some detail over on the Tallblokes Talkshop blog if any reader is interested - look in archives on left hand side of home page] including their pressure related Atmospheric Thermal Effect. [which I've obviously failed to explain very well so far] but to which a few enthusiastic amateurs at BH seem to think they are qualified to totally reject and shout down all references to it. Until I've got more time to devote to the subject I'll just include the content of an email Ned Nikolov sent me over a year ago, I've redacted my full name and email address as I've no intention of putting out my private details to some of the more questionable characters who read climate blogs.......

"From: Ned Nikolov <>
Cc: Karl Zeller <>
Sent: Sunday, 19 February 2012, 18:26
Subject: Re: United Theory of Climate

Hi Kxxxxxx,

You understood it correctly - back radiation is totally irrelevant, since it contributes nothing to raising the surface temperature. The warming effect of back radiation on surface temperature is COMPLETELY offset (neutralized) in the real system by the convective cooling. This neutralizing effect is not simulated correctly by climate models, because they solve radiative transfer decoupled from convection! The relative enhancement factor (NTE = Ts/Tgb), which we use as new and more appropriate definition of the 'Greenhouse Effect', is ENTIRELY a pressure phenomenon and it has no dependence on radiation! Pressure provides thermal enhancement through its physical characteristic of FORCE. Kinetic energy of the atmosphere (determining its temperature) is a product of FORCE per unit area * VOLUME of the atmosphere. The force is provided by pressure, while the volume is determined by solar heating... I hope this answers your question.

- Ned"

Oh dear, did this Ph.D actually mention the dread words "Kinetic energy of the atmosphere (determining its temperature)"?

When it comes to a few smart arsed amateurs vs a couple of professional scientists I know whose opinion has my respect. Out of well over a hundred comments about the theory on Tallbloke a few questioned the effect of rotation on the Earth's temperature, yet I don't recall even one that questioned the basic concept of kinetic energy and insolation being the drivers of long term atmospheric temperature.

Just to be absolutely clear, the kinetic theory of gasses states that:- PV = 2/3K where P is pressure of the gas, V is volume of the gas and K is the kinetic energy of the gas. For a fixed volume, if the pressure is increased the kinetic energy of the gas increases and remains at that level until P and/or V changes. There is no other way to describe the equation.

Jul 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

When it comes to a few smart arsed amateurs vs a couple of professional scientists I know whose opinion has my respect.

And that is why you fail.

Jul 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I seem to recall that when the theory was proposed on WUWT, it was ridiculed by prfessional scientists such as Dr Robert Bown of Duke University and Joel Shore. Many other professional scientists disparaged it as a curve-fitting exercise. The consensus card is not viable on this theory.

Jul 5, 2013 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

diogenes, worse than that, if you play the "scientific credential = authority" card, then that logic forces you to accept Mann, Trenberth, Hansenm Gleick et al as being even more "true".. since their "authority" credentials are backed by Royal Societies, international panels and governments.

This is why such such an appeal to authority is foolish for any sceptic. The sceptic position is inherently anti-argument-from-authority. It says "I don't care if you're a RS Fellow or a housewife from Oxford, if you can prove it, then you're right"

Jul 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TBY - I know...was just trying to persuade the oddly angry RKS that arguing from authority about this theory when credible scientists such as Brown - towards the highly sceptic end of the scale - and Shore - towards the accepting end of the scale - both say it is nonsense means that extraordinary proof is required. These proofs are .....lacking as far as I know. The fact that Tallbloke's blog is full of folks, very few of whom are professional scientists, as far as I can gather, who believe in the theory says nothing at all about the theory and more about their mindsets. The fact that able mathematicians on Lucia's blog and Nick Stokes cannot work out what their equations mean is another telling factor. I guess you decide where to place your belief. N&Z for me have little credibility, for the little that is worth. RKS has bet his house on N&Z. That's ok by me. I tend to focus on the lack of predictive power of any of the theories.

Jul 6, 2013 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

There is nothing at all unusual in the derivation of working functions from measured data in science dating from the 18th century [one could even lump Pi and Pythagoras' theorem in as classical examples that were almost certainly first derived by measuring a length of string]. Robert Brown is not happy with equation 7 as he feels it might not be valid for more than the eight planets it does predict, but has NO argument regarding N&Z's connection between pressure and temperature, and Joel Shore is an AGW fanatic who is a complete laughing stock both on WUWT and Tallbloke.........And there is no way that the high surface temperature of Venus can be explained by the 'greenhouse effect' of even a 98% CO2 atmosphere at the supposed rate of 1.2C per doubling.....But N&Z get it right.

As Davidmhoffer says over on WUWT - N&Z's predictions of the surface temperature of 8 planetary bodies, including Earth,calculated with only TWO parameters - atmospheric pressure and TOA insolation - are correct.....

"davidmhoffer says:
January 2, 2012 at 10:51 am
Folks, as I watch this discussion I keep seeing people get lost in the details. Stand back and look at the big picture.

N&Z have provided a formula that appears to have predictive skill. One CANNOT falsify it by arguing the details! Sure radiative absorption and re-emission happens in a certain way. Sure convection happens in a certain way. Sure lapse rate works in a certain way.

So What?

If there is one thing we’ve learned over the last few years of the climate debate it is (or should be) that our understanding of the mechanisms and how they interact with one another is woefully incomplete. If we were anywhere near to understanding all the pieces of the puzzle and how they fit together, we’d have climate models with predictive skills coming out the yin yang. But the fact is we don’t.

I liken this discussion to being given a pail full of gravel and being asked to determine the weight of the gravel. I could thoroughly mix the gravel, extract a representative sample, weigh each rock, pebble and grain of sand, extrapolate the expected change in distribution of the rocks, pebbles, and sand from top of the bucket to the bottom of the bucket based on known paramaters for the settling of gravel over time, and from there arrive at an estimate of the weight of the gravel in the pail.

Or I could weigh the gravel and the pail, then pour the gravel out, and weigh the pail.

What N&Z are purporting to do is the latter. One cannot falsify their results by arguing about what the proper distribution of grains of sand is or how gravel does or does not settle when poured into a pail. The only way to determine if they are on to something is to weigh the gravel.

What they have said is that for a given TOA radiance, and a given mean surface atmospheric pressure, they can calculate the average surface temperature of a planet. They’ve even published their predictions for no less than EIGHT planetary bodies!

The only question we should be interested in at this point (it seems to me) is this:

Did they get the surface temps of those planetary bodies right or not?

If no, then their formulas are wrong.

If yes, then it seems to me there are only two possibilities.

1. Their formulas are correct, we just don’t know exactly WHY they are correct.


2. They successfully predicted the surface temps of 8 celestial bodies by coincidence.

If the latter, that’s one awfull big coincidence!

So, would it not make sense to dispense with the arguments about the life time of a photon in earth atmosphere, how convection changes with pressure, what absorption bands various gases have and just answer the question:

Did they nail the temps of those planetary bodies? Or not?"

Jul 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

An interestingly informative rebuke for Joel Shore by Tallbloke on WUWT regarding N&Z's theory......

"tallbloke says:
January 3, 2012 at 12:16 am
Joel Shore says:
January 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Stephen: This makes no sense. How is gravity supplying 150 W/m^2 of power? Gravity cannot supply energy unless the gravitational potential energy of the Earth and its atmosphere is decreasing.

Stephen, allow me to try again.


Keep re-reading this until you grasp it:

“Pressure by itself is not a source of energy! Instead, it enhances (amplifies) the energy supplied by an external source such as the Sun through density-dependent rates of molecular collision. This relative enhancement only manifests as an actual energy in the presence of external heating. Thus, Earth and Titan have similar NTE values, yet their absolute surface temperatures are very different due to vastly dissimilar solar insolation. While pressure (P) controls the magnitude of the enhancement factor, solar heating determines the average atmospheric volume (V), and the product P×V defines the total kinetic energy and temperature of the atmosphere. Therefore, for particular solar insolation, the NTE factor gives rise to extra kinetic energy in the lower atmosphere beyond the [expected] amount supplied by the Sun. This additional energy is responsible for keeping the Earth surface warmer than it would be in the absence of atmosphere, and is the source for the observed 44% extra down-welling LW flux in the lower troposphere”

[My italics and I've taken out the given quantity so we can concentrate on the concept without getting sidetracked]

Pressure does not have to supply energy ex nihilo to make this work: it is merely responsible for the way it is distributed. Perhaps you’d find it easier to understand if the Authors had used the word ‘more’ instead of ‘extra’, and added the redundant (but in your case seemingly necessary) statement: and less than expected in the upper atmosphere.

Energy is conserved, as it must be. The authors are not stupid people, much as you would like to paint them to be so."

Jul 7, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Another rebuke for Joel shore -- still on the same N&Z thread at WUWT, does anyone STILL want to use this weirdo as an example?........

"Richard S Courtney says:
January 3, 2012 at 2:20 am
Joel Shore:

At January 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm you say to me:

“As I have explained to you again and again, an earth with a hypothetical IR-transparent atmosphere would be emitting back out into space more radiation than it absorbs. You cannot remedy this by transferring additional energy away from the Earth. It only makes the “deficit” worse.”

Nobody is claiming it does (except, perhaps, you?)


Please read the post by Terry Oldberg at January 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm. It provides a complete explanation of your gross misunderrstanding.

When you grasp your misunderstanding then you will be able to recognise why you are very, very wrong to repeatedly assert the falsehood that the Nikolov and Jelbring hypotheses contradicts conservation of energy.

Please try to learn.

It is obvious to almost everybody that you have great difficulty learning anything so you search for security by clinging to your prejudices. But, in this case, you really do need to try to learn.

Richard S Courtney says:
January 3, 2012 at 5:12 am
Joel Shore:

I have been trying to think of ways to explain your error to you in another way in hope that I can help you to see your error. I think this may do it.

At January 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm you say to me:

“As I have explained to you again and again, an earth with a hypothetical IR-transparent atmosphere would be emitting back out into space more radiation than it absorbs. You cannot remedy this by transferring additional energy away from the Earth. It only makes the “deficit” worse.”

OK. So, for the sake of argument, I will consider your “earth with a hypothetical IR-transparent atmosphere”.

In this hypothetical case the atmosphere would not absorb any IR and it would not emit any IR.
Therefore, the only heating of the atmosphere would be by conduction from the planet’s surface so the atmosphere and surface would obtain a thermal equilibrium with no net energy flow between them.
Importantly, radiative absorbtion and emission would be to and from the planet’s surface alone.
The absorbtion and emission would be equal because there could not be any radiative heating of the surface from the atmosphere which does not absorb or emit IR.

This is somewhat simplistic because IR is not the only radiation, but for this explanation only IR needs to be considered because the same argument applies to all other electromagnetic wavelengths.


Richard S Courtney says:
January 3, 2012 at 5:41 am
Joel Shore:

This is a second part to my attempt to help you understand your error. I did not include it in my first part because this is a clarifying addendum which may have introduced confusion if not kept separate from the basic explanation.

IR is emitted as an energy flux proportional to the fourth power of the temperature of the emitting surface (i.e. the flux is proportional to T^4). And a planet has a wide range of surface temperatures.

A small change to hot planetary surface (e.g. in a tropical region) provides a large change to emitted IR (because the flux is proportional to T^4). But a large change to cold planetary surface (e.g. in a polar region) provides a small change to emitted IR (because the flux is proportional to T^4).

Atmospheric convection transfers heat from the tropics and day-time surfaces to the polar and night-time surfaces.

An average surface temperature of a planet can be obtained by an infinite number of temperature distributions over the surface. Therefore, the average surface temperature can change while the emitted flux of IR energy remains constant (and vice versa). And, thus, the equilibrium average surface temperature of a planet with an IR-transparent atmosphere is governed by atmospheric convection.


Jul 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

More on greenhouse gasses.......

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

The whole concept of a ‘greenhouse gas’ is somewhat distorted in the mind of the average person and even the average scientist. Most people (including Roy Spencer) seem to think that what makes a GH gas is the molecular structure of the gas. This is only partially true! The other big component is pressure. There is a phenomenon in gas spectroscopy called ‘pressure broadening of absorption lines’. Higher pressure makes any gas absorb more IR due to broadening of its absorption spectrum by reducing the gaps between absorption lines. So, any gas can become a significant GH gas under high enough pressure! This physical fact is not widely known, and rarely emphasized in undergraduate school, which is why most people have this ‘black & white’ image in their minds about what constitutes a GH gas … :-)

The reality is that N2 and O2 (the major gases in our atmosphere) are not at all 100% transparent to IR radiation. From what I know, the IR opacity of an atmosphere is closely related to (correlated with) total surface pressure (and the vertical pressure gradient), so that there is no such thing as a 100% IR-transparent atmosphere. The IR opacity grows in parallel with pressure, meaning that anytime you have a gas in a gravitational field (i.e. under some pressure), its IR emissivity/absorptivity will always be greater than ZERO! … For example, Mars’ atmosphere is 95% CO2, yet radiative physicists tell us that it’s very ‘leaky’ with respect to IR radiation with a rather weak ‘Greenhouse effect’ due to low overall pressure. In other words, the IR radiative transfer within an atmosphere is regulated by the vertical pressure gradient as much as (or even more than) by composition. Since atmos. pressure is independent of the energy balance (or radiative transfer), it must be considered as a controlling factor of the latter."

Jul 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Davidmhoffer explains the use of 'curve fitting' as a normal tool in the real world - so please stop wittering on about it....

"davidmhoffer says:
January 3, 2012 at 9:01 am
Joel Shore;
You’re losing it bud!

Please allow me to summarize this dogs breakfast of a discussion at the big picture level.

The theory of AGW is founded upon the notion that absorption and re-radiation of earth radiance by CO2 and other GHG’s increases the temperature of the earth. The theory further rests upon the notion that the effect of the GHG’s has an additional “positive feedback” that increases temperatures further by some amount. The debate has condensed into two seminal issues:

1. What is the magnitude of the direct effect of CO2 (and other GHG’s)?
2. What is the magnitude) and sign (+/-) of the feedback effects of CO2?

What we know from direct observation:

1. The combined direct and feedback effects of CO2 have been substantively less than expected which further implies that;
2. The feedbacks are not only less positive than expected, they may actually be negative.

What, at day’s end, are N&Z saying? They are saying that:

1. The combined direct and feedback effects of CO2 are insignificant.
2. The feedback effects are most likely negative, cancelling or nearly cancelling the direct effects of CO2.
3. Given that the net direct and feedback effects of CO2 appear to approach zero, the governing factors remaining in regard to temperature of earth surface are mean insolation at TOA and mean surface pressure.

They have developed forumulas dependant upon mean insolation at TOA and mean surface pressure in order to predict surface temperatures, and appear to have done so accurately. The fact that they can do so suggests that the GHG effects of CO2 etc are in fact negated nearly 100% by feedbacks, and real world observations strongly suggest that this is the case as well.

There is nothing in what they have presented that violates the laws of thermodynamics ad you have claimed. Your refutation of their position by focusing on what happens from the perspective of radiative physics is immaterial unless you can present with certainty what the combined direct and feedbadck effects of GHG’s are and that they are a) significant and b) don’t cancel each other out. You can spout theory all you want, but real world data compared to theory suggests that the net including feedbacks is, in fact, insignificant. Your accusation that they are curve fitting is equally spurious. Yes, in fact, they ARE curve fitting! How else does one derive constants? If you have a problem with this, then might I suggest you review the work of Stefan and Boltzmann in arriving at SB Law.

Curve fitting that shows predictive skill is, in fact, science. Curve fitting that shows no predictive skill but is nonetheless presented as being accurate requires “faith” to merit any consideration and as such lies outside the field of science. You’ve accused others of drifting into the realm of faith based acceptance of facts, but at days end the truth is:

1. The data shows that feedbacks are most likely negative, making the combined direct and feedback effects of GHG’s such as CO2 negtligible and;
2. The formulas arrived at by N&Z to quantify surface temperature show predictive skill."

Jul 7, 2013 at 10:51 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

They're still educating Joel Shore.....

"davidmhoffer says:
January 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm
Joel Shore says:
January 3, 2012 at 9:55 am
(3) Yes, the Laws of Thermodynamics are violated. Feedbacks are irrelevant: It is simply not possible to have the Earth emitting 390 W/m^2 from its surface when it is only absorbing 240 W/m^2 from the sun unless the atmosphere is absorbing the difference. [And, in fact, we know that the Earth as seen from space is not emitting 390 W/m^2 but only about 240 W/m^2, confirming the fact that the atmospheric absorption is what prevents a violation of conservation of energy...and the spectrum of that emission even agrees with what radiative transfer models predict it to look like.]>>>>

Where did N&Z say that the atmosphere doesn’t absorb the difference? In fact, they said the opposite! and yes, as seen from space, in going and out going balance at 240 w/m2. What does the spectrum have to do with it? If the composition of the atmosphere was different, then the spectrum of emission would also be different. And in coming and out going would still equal each other. Don’t you get it? Composition influences the emission spectrum, but NOT the total amount emitted!

Joel Shore says:
January 3, 2012 at 9:55 am
(4) A curve fitting exercise only shows predictive skill if it actually PREDICTS, i.e., if it actually can predict the value for the surface temperature of planetary bodies that were not used in deriving the empirical formula. (And, for the reasons I noted above, one would expect a generally positive correlation between pressure and surface temperature enhancement.)>>>>

Exactly. They DID predict the value of other celestial bodies using only a single equation with two variables. That’s the whole point! As you agree that one would expect correlation between pressure and surface temperature, the fact that their two variable equation has predictive skill without considering composition ought to sound that giant gong inside your head that rings when you have an epiffany regarding the falsity of your world view.

Joel Shore says:
January 3, 2012 at 9:55 am
David: I think you are intelligent enough not to be taken in by this nonsense. I would strongly suggest you think a little more before associating yourself in any way with this “theory”.>>>>

I dumped all over this theory when I first read it. Then I realized that what I have been saying for some time now about calculating energy balance from averaged surface temps instead of averaged fourth root of surface temps applies 100% to what N&Z are saying about how to determine surface temps. I was dumping on them for using in their calculations exactly the same approach I was advocating for a related purpose. In other words, that giant gong in my head went off, I had an epiffany! I started by admitting that my first impression of what they were saying was wrong. Yes, I admitted I was wrong about something!

You could do well to admit the same."

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

More on Joel Shore.....

"tallbloke says:
January 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm
“The radiative effects are what provide the greenhouse effect and the adiabatic lapse rate is what limits the extent to which the radiative greenhouse effect can be offset by convection.”

In your bad dream Joel."

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Ned Nikolov says....

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I think I can explain why the rush may be to discredit our work:

1) The radiative GH theory was the ‘only game in town’ until now, and although there is virtually no empirical support for it (i.e. evidence outside computer models), it was still a game that everyone, warmist and skeptic alike, was forced to play. Most skeptics currently are only arguing the degree of CO2-induced warming and hardly anyone dares to question its principle existence or physical reality .. One of our papers analyzes the CO2-temperature relationship using several global paleo-climate data sets over a number of time scales going back 65.5M years (the entire Cenozoic era). We found no empirical evidence that CO2 has ever affected Earth’s climate throughout history! The data analysis showed that CO2 changes have always lagged (followed) temperature changes and this lag increases exponentially with the time scale of the data set reaching 12.2M years at the scale of ocean sediment records covering the past 65M years… So, from the standpoint of empirical evidence, the radiative GH theory is on very shaky grounds. Maybe that’s why the mainstream science measures the GH effect only by the amount of absorbed outgoing IR radiation with little reference to its temperature effect. That’s because IR absorption is easy to measure and argue for, but it provides no proof for the physical cause of the GH effect. AND as shown by our study, that absorption is irrelevant …

2) We now have an alternative theory of the GH effect based on an irrefutable 160-year old Gas Law. This new theory has quite powerful predictive skills, so much so that it can accurately estimate the average temperature on hard-surfaced planets throughout the entire solar system, something that even 3D climate models have a challenge with. AND it does it by using only two parameters – TOA solar irradiance and mean surface pressure! …

I think you’d agree that those two sets of facts present a deadly combination by putting the current GH theory in a true chess-mat situation … :-)"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Keith Gordon says:
January 4, 2012 at 4:35 am
Keith Gordon says.

It seems to me this new theory has great potential. The current AGW theory has some consensus but, this only condemns it to just a hypothesis, If it were universally accepted there would be no need for a consensus, that is why there is no consensus for E=mc2, because it has been tested and universally accepted. Both sides of the “climate change” debate have some sort of consensus, both remain as a hypothesis in the eyes of the other. Only enough indisputable proof can change each others position,

Why then is there so much potential in this new theory, firstly it is simple and beautiful (most good theories are) it is also testable on other rocky planetary bodies in the Solar System with atmospheres, it purports to explain past and future climates on earth, I think it will explain the faint sun paradox, it seems to explain the shortcoming’s of AGW and Sceptical theory, it explains why Co2 levels didn’t drive past climate, It explains why the Sun is the main driver of climate, as we all knew, It could be the basis of everything we don’t know and everything we do know about climate, and wouldn’t that be an amazing and wonderful thing. Give this theory a chance, nothing I have heard so far in 550+ comments makes me think it wrong, if it is, it will get found out, and if there is only a reasonable consensus for it, it remains just a theory. Thank you to authors and good luck with your work. I await your next post with extreme interest.

Keith Gordon"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"G. Karst says:
January 4, 2012 at 8:36 am
Joel Shore says:
January 4, 2012 at 6:43 am

…surely they should be embracing it if they think it is anything but nonsense.

Repetition does not strengthen your arguments. Throwing the word “nonsense” into a group of people trying to critically analyze a hypothesis is deliberately insulting those people’s intellectual labor. You should realize – that is inflammatory and useless argumentation. This is a falsifiable hypothesis (unlike most AGW hypothesis/conjecture), and therefore can pass through normal scientific process. It doesn’t rely on post-normal, pseudo science. Your proper skeptical viewpoint has been duly noted. Now why not apply the same skepticism to the post-normal – “CO2 is evil and will kill us all meme.”

It has been clearly shown, that this hypothesis is NOT nonsense. It has NOT been shown that the hypothesis is correct. Validity and correctness are two different parameters. The hypothesis is valid, it remains, to be determined, whether it is correct or not.

Citing people who disagree is a very weak argument, and may be indicative, of misunderstanding the assertions of the hypothesis. Give it some more critical thought and time. If the hypothesis violates the conservation of energy (I disagree), then the hypothesis will die a sudden and complete death soon. Vindication and nose rubbing rights, will be yours. Happy days. GK"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"dr.bill says:
January 4, 2012 at 9:08 am
Joel Shore, January 4, 2012 at 6:43 am :

Hi Joel,

Well, at least you haven’t responed with “I AM NOT FOAMING !!!”, but xkcd notwithstanding, if you’re that obsessive, I’m surprised you still have a girlfriend. I also don’t believe you, but that’s just me. Pay no attention… :-)

To answer your question briefly, I am also a physicist (Theoretical Condensed Matter), and after reading (several times) the pdf of the Nikolov and Keller poster that I got at tallbloke’s place, I think that their ideas have merit, and should be examined and explored more fully. Nothing more complicated than that. They might be in error, but their errors, if any, have not been identified yet, and are certainly not contained in any of the things I’ve seen you write in response to it.

On the other hand, you’ve written so much, and in so many places, in so few days, that I doubt that anyone has read even half of it. At some point, so much activity starts to look foolish and desperate, even if it were to contain something of merit.

Happy foaming,

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

The professional (PhD) skeptics are very similar in their thinking to professional AGW supporters in one respect – they are quite knowledgeable about the details involving radiative transfer and various aspects of atmospheric dynamics. However, that knowledge of details overwhelms their holistic perception, so that they oftentimes cannot see the forest for the trees. This phenomenon is observed not only in atmospheric/climate science, but in all fields of science! It’s part of human psychology rooted in the workings of our minds… For example, if you read carefully Roy Spencer’s response to our paper, you’ll note that he does not address any of the central points/findings of our study such as the amazing predictive skill of Eq. 8, the 3 major problems of the current GH theory outlined in Section 2.1, or the implications of the Gas Law for planetary climates discussed in Section 3.1. Instead he spends all his time discussing energy balance issues and putting forward theoretical arguments about how pressure could not have a thermal enhancement effect, while the Gas Law and analysis of actual planetary data clearly show that it can! … Knowledge is power, but it can also be an obstacle in seeing new paradigms! This is why major breakthroughs in science (especially new theories) have mostly been developed by ‘outsiders’, i.e. people who have a broader overall knowledge, but are not part of the ‘establishment’ in a given discipline, and are not ‘handicapped’ by technical details … With respect to our particular topic, I was surprised to see that prominent researchers had difficulty with one of the most fundamental premises in thermodynamics that higher pressure would always result in a higher equilibrium temperature for the same amount of absorbed energy … I’m addressing this issue in more detail my official reply …"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm

You are experiencing the cognitive “blocking effect” of a wrong mental paradigm. You need to take off your ‘radiative transfer’-coated glasses and look at the GH phenomenon from an entirely different perspective. In my reply (currently in progress), I try to ‘force’ the reader to do just that. Without a shift in perception, one could never understand our new theory …

For starters, consider the possibility that the 390 W m-2 emitted by the surface is THE RESULT of a higher surface temperature (compared to that of an airless gray body) caused by solar heating and air pressure. In other words, what’s the chance that near-surface IR exchange is caused by the temperature rather than causing the temperature?"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

It’s not the perfect fit of a curve to some points in itself, which is significant, but the IMPLICATIONS that this fit carries, and that requires a change of glasses as I explained in my reply to Joel above …

To your question – I’m addressing the issue about Moon’s true temperature at length in my official reply. I will only say here that the IR temperature mapping of the Moon surface conducted by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner from 2009 to 2011 show that the Moon is MUCH colder than 255K on overage, and the mean diurnal temperature of the surface is very close to our theoretical estimate of 154K! … What’s even more amazing is that NASA’s astrophysicists had already a model predicting accurately Moon’s temperature back in 1999! This model has now been verified by Diviner’s IR measurements… This raises the question, where have the climate scientists been for the past 12 years not realizing that our moon is much much colder that their simple (and mathematically incorrect) application of the S-B equation suggests? … In fact, the Diviner data show that there is NO latitude on the Moon surface, where the average diurnal temperature is even close to 255K. Even on the lunar equator, the mean temperature does not exceed 210K and it drops to about about 95K at the poles … You do the math!"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm

One more comment regarding the integral of our Eq. 2 – Have you considered the fact that μ is the cosine of the solar zenith angle, and that a negative cosine implies that there is NO radiation reaching the surface (which is on the shaded part of the hemisphere), thus making the temperature ZERO in those areas and eliminating the need for an explicit integration? What Eq. 2 does is integrating the non-zero temperatures over the sunlit part ONLY and then dividing that number by the TOTAL surface area of the sphere to get the true average temperature … Do you understand it now?"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

Edge. Tipped. Over.

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

What kind of a science background do you have? Apparently your calculus skills can use some improvement.

The cos(theta) gets integrated between 0 and 1, because on the sunlit hemisphere, the solar ZENITH angle (theta) varies from 0 to 90 deg. What’s a solar zenith angle? It’s the angle between the solar beam and the axis perpendicular to the surface. So, theta varies between 0 deg at the equator and 90 deg at the poles. Since we have 2 poles (2 quarter spheres), we use a second integral from 0 to 2*pi, which essentially doubles the estimate obtained from the first integration of cos(theta). Note that 2*pi is used to account for the surface of a hemisphere. This completes the integration of the temperature field over the SUNLIT hemisphere. Since the temperature of the shaded hemisphere is 0, to estimate the overall mean temperature for the entire sphere, we now have to divide the above integral by 4*pi … and voila! Do you get it now? …"

Jul 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm
Reply to Robert Murphy (January 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm)


I address the Mercury and Mars temperature issues in my official reply. But here is the situation in a nutshell. The Mercury temperature of 440K reported by NASA is an estimate using the S-B equation, and not based on actual observations. As such, it suffers from the same problem as the 250K estimate for the Moon temperature – an incorrect application of the S-B law! So we used our Eq. 2 to estimate Mercury’s termperature.

The derivation of Mars temperature is briefly discussed in Section 3.2 of our paper (have you read it?). We used spatial data for surface temperature and pressure derived by researchers at Stanford University using satellite observations by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft from 1999 to 2005. The 210K value for Mars mean global temperature is erroneous, since it is based on measurements made at only 2 locations at LOW latitudes by the Viking probes in the 1970s.

About past atmospheric pressures – yes, there is a very good indirect evidence that, 50-60M years ago, pressure was much higher than today. That evidence is in the equable climate conditions that existed in that era. ‘Equable climate’ means that the temperature gradient between equator and the poles was nearly non-existent. This is inferred from the fossil record, which shows that tropical ecosystems thrived around and beyond the polar circle. So, not only was the mean global temperature 12-16K higher than today, but the Earth was also uniformly warm. That’s why they call it ‘hothouse climate’. Current climate models cannot reproduce these equable conditions using present atmos. pressure, and this is one of the main conundrums in paleo-climatology today. The ONLY way that such an uniform climate could have existed is if the atmospheric mass and pressure were much higher than today. Higher pressure means higher air density, which means more efficient meridional (poleward) heat transport. Paleo-climatologists all agree that these ‘hothouse’ equable climates require a VERY efficient meridional heat transport, but they have not found a mechanism for it yet, because no one has thought to look at pressure! Since the poleward heat transport is due 80% to atmospheric currents and 20% to ocean currents, it’s obvious that a higher atmospheric density will significantly increase this transport … Also, Venus is a present-day example of how high atmospheric pressure brings about high average temperature and a uniform climate. The surface of Venus is at 738K throughout the whole planet including the nighttime hemisphere despite the extremely slow axial rotation (one Venusian day lasts some 227 Earth days). The Moon surface cools 250K shortly as the Sun goes down, while Venus’ nighttime hemisphere stays led-melting hot for many months without any sunlight. That’s because high pressure (and the resulting high air density) transports heat from the sunlit to the shaded portion of the planet… I hope this helps evolve your thinking …"

Jul 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

"Ned Nikolov says:
January 6, 2012 at 10:41 am
Phil and Joel,

About the temperature of an airless planet:

Apparently you are confusing (unable to make distinction between) a temperature DISTRIBUTION over the surface of a body and the MEAN temperature of that body. The mean temperature depends on the shape of the celestial object (e.g. sphere vs. flat disk) and the distance of the object from the Sun. Those two factors along with the albedo are responsible for the amount of solar energy absorbed by the object. The DISTRIBUTION of the temperature across the surface, on the other hand, depends on thermal properties of the substrate of the object such as thermal capacity and thermal conductivity as well as on the speed of axial rotation (faster rotation will produce a more uniform temperature field, while a slow or absent rotation will result in a highly non-uniform ‘contrast’ temp environment).

Our gray-body model in Eq. 2 assumes a non-rotating planet that has reached an equilibrium with the incoming solar radiation. This assumption is ‘bad’ only if one is concerned with the surface temperature distribution, but has no consequence whatsoever if one is interested in the MEAN planetary temperature. Think about it …

Any real rotating planet with no atmosphere will have a temperature on the dark side greater than 0.0K. In fact, the lowest temperature in Deep Space is about 2.72K, and not zero. This is accounted in our model by the small constant added to So. If So = 0, Eq. 2 produces 2.725K.

After talking to Dr. Siegler yesterday (the person in charge of the Diviner lunar temperature data), he agreed that the mean diurnal temperature on the lunar equator is around 210K (in fact his own estimate was 206K), and that the mean diurnal temp. at the lunar poles is about 100K. So, the moon average diurnal temperatures span the range 206K – 100K, which gives a mean of (206 + 100)/2 = 153K. Our Eq. 2 produces 154K … In reality, the true MEAN temperature of the Moon may be shifted a bit towards the warmer side (206K) due to the spherical distribution of the temp. field, and it may deviate somewhat above the arithmetic mean of 153K, but it will still be MUCH closer to our theoretical estimate than to the 250K currently believed by climatologists … What’s amazing about the 250K is that this temperature as a diurnal mean does NOT occur ANYWHERE on the surface of the Moon!

So, please drop your arguments and embrace the reality.
Thank you!"

Jul 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterRKS