Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Does Climate Science Exist?

" I can understand part of your reasoning, as I have found myself indulging in
confirmation bias; pandering to my own belief, if you will – I mean, what if I
am wrong?! "

RR, I love Svensmarks theory as it is cool ;-) and seems to explain geological history well. I 'believe' that and long timescale ocean oscillations can explain many things (along with things like Milankovich and continents sliding around etc..)

If I'm wrong then no problem as I would have learnt something. Anything that seems to explain what we see I would be interested in looking at. That's just scientific curiosity.

Jul 6, 2015 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Martin A
If you want information on Trenberth's energy budget, go to the source.
Jul 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM Entropic man

EM - It's worse than I thought.

The surface emission is "determined" by processing the measured LW emission from the TOA by a radiation model. Referring back to the "KT97" reference of the paper you pointed to (KT97 = Earth’s Annual Global Mean
Energy Budget, J. T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth: 1997 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society)


b. Longwave radiation
We must rely on model calculations to determine
the surface radiative fluxes. As described above,
longwave radiation emitted from the surface is ab-
sorbed and reemitted by greenhouse gases and clouds
throughout the earth’s atmosphere. The transfer of
longwave radiation depends on both the local tem-
perature of the gaseous absorber and the efficiency of
the gases to absorb radiation at a given wavelength.
This absorption efficiency varies with wavelength. It
is also important to note that different gases can ab-
sorb radiation at the same wavelengths; this is called
the overlap effect. In the presence of clouds, the trans-
fer of radiation depends on the amount of cloud, the
efficiency with which clouds absorb and reemit
longwave radiation, that is, the cloud emissivity, and
on the cloud top and base temperatures. We employ
a narrowband Malkmus model (see Kiehl and
Ramanathan 1983; Kiehl 1983) to represent the above
physical properties of longwave radiative transfer.
This model calculates atmospheric absorption for a
prescribed spectral interval. Each of these intervals
contains absorption lines due to an atmospheric ab-
sorber (water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane,
and nitrous oxide). The line data used to determine
the absorption are from a comprehensive spectro-
scopic database (Rothman et al. 1992). Clouds are
assumed to exist in three layers and these layers are
assumed to be randomly overlapped.
To calculate the radiative fluxes, it (blah, blah)

So they get the surface radiation via a model (unvalidated, as there is no way to validate it. If there were, the model would not be needed). They get the transport of heat via latent heat without considering that water vapour returning as rain deposits less heat at altitude than water vapour returning as snow. Finally they get the unknown 'convection' as whatever is needed to get their numbers (surface radiation + latent heat transport +'convection') to equate to incoming visible radiation.

I think this paper has answered my question "Does climate science exist?"....

The Earth's energy budget is clearly a cornerstone of 'climate science'. If the cornerstone is that flaky, what can be said of the rest of the edifice?

Jul 7, 2015 at 7:59 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"The Earth's energy budget is clearly a cornerstone of 'climate science'. If the cornerstone is that flaky, what can be said of the rest of the edifice?"

It's surely worse than that. They cannot measure albedo, so that's a guess, they cannot measure, evaporation, to that's a guess, they cannot measure surface absorption, so that's guess, they cannot measure ground reflection, so that's a guest.. And when they've done all that they come up with a figure of 0.6W/M-2 as the imbalance (Otto et al 2013). which is 0.7% of the incoming radiation at the TOA. If they could measure all those parameters I doubt that any of them could be measured with an accuracy that would give any assurance that the actual imbalance was accurate. It is all bollards, and the number of scientists who are putting faith in these numbers beggars belief.

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Thank you, Geronimo – that makes my own hypothesis considerably more plausible than all the mumbo-jumbo of the AGWistas!

Now, we need to determine – and publicise – the rationale behind such a cockamamie idea that is being continuously pumped out at us by politicians and the MSM.

Jul 7, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Martin, geronimo. Just looking at some met office pages related to the UKCP09, and this isn't science, just models, maths, stats and politics.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/areas/understanding-climate/seamless-prediction

"
We cannot be certain about future climate change because:
some variations in climate are inherently unpredictable ......

and an imperfect knowledge of the Earth
system, so climate models have to approximate some of the key processes
that affect climate change. By understanding our
climate model across a range of time scales, we can learn about errors in our
climate model and factor this information into the projections."

That last point is completely wrong. At least they admit they aren't doing science here.

Jul 7, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Errata: The imbalance in Otto et al is not 0.7% of the energy incoming at the TOA it is 0.17%. Now I don't mind anyone having a go at figuring out the Earth's radiation budget, but given the uncertainties and unknowns in doing so, I would recommend anyone not to take any answer they get too seriously.

Jul 7, 2015 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Judith Curry's post yesterday is particularly relevant. New-research-on-atmospheric-radiative-transfer.
The models are worse than you thought.

Jul 7, 2015 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Come on you warmist lurkers and onlookers come on in and lend EM a hand ..You are welcome
... The thing is it looks like 5 against 1 at the moment.

Jul 8, 2015 at 5:38 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Yes. Where is Raff when he is needed?

Jul 8, 2015 at 7:46 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

You have just demolished electronics.

You mentioned resistivity. To obtain the resistance of a piece of wire you measure the voltage and current. You then use a mathematical model, Ohm's Law, to calculate resistance. If mathematical models are unreliable this is an unreliable procedure and you can never reliably derive resistance.

In fact, Ohm's Law is only a rule of thumb that works, more or less, under some conditions on some materials. It breaks down under many conditions. It's only claim to validity is that so far, when you repeat the ritual, you get approximately the same answer. There is no garuantee that this will always be so.

Consider your recent statement.

"he thinks that the statement "the resistivity of silver is less than the resistivity of iron" is a hypothesis, rather than a fact."

That is not a fact, just a description of the behaviour of these two materials at room temperature and 1 bar.

At a sufficiently low temperature and high pressure iron becomes a superconductor. Silver does not. Now the resistivity of iron is less than the resistivity of silver. Your "fact" is false.

Jul 8, 2015 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I have to say EM, and I don't want to interfere with the pummelling MartinA is giving you, but you are moving in the right direction. A law in physics only becomes a law when repeated experiments give the same answer. So Ohm's Law is indeed a law because experiment has shown that the behaviour of electricity in a conducting material always gives the answer I = E(or V)/R. And from this simple formula engineers have built everything from Nuclear power stations through to iPhones, because it is predictable. It may, of course, be wrong, because there are unknown unknowns, but it has consistently passed the one test that every hypothesis needs to become a law, it predicts what will happen and it does, moreover it does it repeatedly in all circumstances.

Now what are the laws of climate science again?

Jul 8, 2015 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo

Not so reliable.

The resistors I bought from Radio Shack were rated to a nominal resistance "+/-10%".

Every circuit my brother built had to incorporate variable components to tune it because the resistances were only approximate. Every change in temperature required retuning.

This is predictable and reliable? Your nuclear power stations and Iphones take years of development before they work, and endless tinkering to keep them working. When they go wrong the consequences vary from lost data up to entire cities made uninhabitable.

You also forget to mention that the mathematical model known colloquilly as Ohm's Law must be extended to account for variations in temperature, length and cross section of the conductor, the element or alloy involved, each inpurity element, the crystalline state of the material, etc, etc, etc.

It rapidly becomes an impossible exercise.

I give you a random piece of metal, with a connector at each end. I doubt very much that you could accurately predict the resistance between the connectors without months of work. You would need a lot of work building a mathematical model., even after you have collected enough information to set it up. And that is after 300 years of dedicated effort under controlled laboratory conditions and God knows how much investment in money and man-hours.

Laws of climate?

Climate is a system which takes in energy from space; transforms it; moves it around by conduction, convection and radiation; stores and releases it in physical and biological systems; and finally reradiates it to space.

The Laws of Climate are the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of heat transfer and storage, the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, the Schrodinger equation, the quantum physics of electron orbits, radiative physics, photosynthesis, respiration and energy storage in living organisms and ecosystems, and many more.

Martin A is right. Climate science is not one science. It is a composite entity of many sciences applied to climate. Those laws do not become invalid just because they are working in the volume between TOA and bedrock.

Jul 8, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Come on EM. Which is it? To use a model or not to use a model?

Not long ago in this thread you were saying "You don't need a model, unless you call calculations based on standard physical constants a model".

But now you are saying "You then use a mathematical model, Ohm's Law, to calculate resistance".

You don't seem to be thinking clearly here, EM. The normal starting point is to *define* the resistance of a passive circuit element as the ratio of the voltage across it to the current through it. We happen to use the word 'ohms' rather than saying 'volts per ampere', but that is not making use of Ohm's law.

It's only when you make use of the fact that (over a limited set of circumstances) the resistance of some circuit elements is independent of current to a good approximation that you are making use of Ohm's law . And I have to say that when you call it "only a rule of thumb", that is being disrespectful to the memory of Dr Ohm (and unfair to the linearity and constancy of precision metallic resistors).

If I say "a kilogram of lead has a smaller volume than a kilogram of sodium", only somebody wanting to score debating points will quibble that that is true only under a limited set of circumstances. It's a fact. In other words, it's something known to be true. The circumstances are implied as being what normal reasonable people would assume.

It's a convention of human language that we don't spell out all the terms and conditions that apply where the conversant can be relied on to understand what we are talking about. I think you knew perfectly well what I was getting at. Did you know that salespeople who point to clauses in the T&C that the disappointed customer had never noticed, are not universally admired....?

But to get back on track after this derailment...

Don't you find yourself obliged to agree with geronimo (Jul 7, 2015 at 10:01 AM) that in view of the guesswork, approximations and use of unvalidated models, calculations of the Earths 'radiative imbalance' have to be regarded as nothing more than a work of fiction?

Jul 8, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A


I am using your definition of a model, ie any calculation used to derive the value of a parameter from measurements. If that is not how you think, please give me clear definitions of a calculation and a model. Also make a clear the boundary between them so that we can use the terms while agreeing on a common meaning. I still remember you using an electronic engineer's definition of a cycle, which in most other fields was only half a cycle.

Do all engineers think in such a sloppy manner? If you want to qoute "facts" you should define the boundary conditions under which they are valid. We are not "normal people". We are an engineer and a bio!ogist discussing science, and need to use a standard to match. We should think in K as well as C, from the Planck length up to multiverses, and from picoseconds up to deep time. Please be more precise in future.

Speaking of which, could you provide a link validating Ohm's Law. I want to see what your idea of validation looks like. From where I stand Ohms Law looks just as much a rule of thumb as my forcing equation, and just as approximate, yet you remedy one and accept the other. Cognitive dissonance?

Surely you are not using Ohm's as an appeal to authority.? ☺

Jul 8, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Martin A


Don't you find yourself obliged to agree with Entropic man that in view of the guesswork, approximations and use of unvalidated models, calculations of electrical resistance have to be regarded as nothing more than a work of fiction? ☺

In practice, both the radiative imbalance and resistance are derived parameters which help us understand the behaviour of a system. Neither has real, hold in the hand, existance. Both are perceived as affecting the flow of energy in their respective.

Jul 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Please be more precise in future.
OK I'll do my best, but I'm not sure of being able to meet the standards you require.

I still remember you using an electronic engineer's definition of a cycle, which in most other fields was only half a cycle.

EM - would you please remind me what that was about? I have only the faintest recollection but it sounds strange.

I'll try to answer your other questions when I have a few moments.

Jul 8, 2015 at 4:39 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

If I may, Martin -- I recall an instance quite some time ago when someone (you?) used the term "peak-to-peak amplitude", which is a standard engineering term referring to the difference between the positive extreme of an oscillation and the negative one. EM, unfamiliar with the engineering term, interpreted "peak-to-peak" as referring to the change from one local maximum (peak) to the following one, resulting in some discussion at cross purposes. The peak-to-peak amplitude is obtained by comparing a maximum to a minimum, so may be viewed as being across a half-cycle. I suspect this is the incident which EM is recalling.

Jul 8, 2015 at 5:24 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

HaroldW - yes I'm sure that was it. A BH search on 'peak-to-peak' shows that EM was using the phrase to mean the period of one complete cycle rather than the difference between the most positive and the most negative value. Obviously EM missed your clarification at the time.

Jul 8, 2015 at 6:17 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin -
I recall the incident because I hadn't thought of "peak-to-peak amplitude" as jargon, requiring a definition. Yet it's capable of a plausible alternative interpretation.

Jul 8, 2015 at 8:30 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Climate science is science what bicycle tour racing is to sports.

Jul 8, 2015 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I forget the details myself. It may have been a confusion between uni-directional and bi-directional waveforms.

Jul 8, 2015 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

OK, let's start by getting "a rule of thumb" out of the way.

It's a guide to doing something that comes from experience or folk wisdom, rather than from analysis or measurement.

Some examples:
"A good rule of thumb is to fork in a handful of Gromore per square yard."
"A good rule of thumb for an interview is to dress like your boss."
"A good rule of thumb is to limit interest payments to 20% of your net income."

Ohm's law does not count as "a rule of thumb" any more than your forcing equation. I take it you mean something like "an approximate relationship with practical uses".

Speaking of which, could you provide a link validating Ohm's Law. I want to see what your idea of validation looks like. From where I stand Ohms Law looks just as much a rule of thumb as my forcing equation, and just as approximate, yet you remedy one and accept the other.

Ohm's law is not a universal law that applies in all situations. There are situations where Ohms law applies with great precision, others where it applies to a good approximation, and others where does not apply at all.

Ohm's law says that the voltage across a resistive circuit element is proportional to the current through the circuit element. So it applies to the extent that the circuit element is linear.

[I] A resistor wound with zero temp coefficient resistance wire is an example of where it applies with precision. Measure the voltage across a metallic resistor for different currents through the resistor and compute a straight line that fits the measurements - you'll have difficulty detecting any departure from linearity, even with very precise instruments, from the smallest voltages and currents you can measure up to the point where you begin to heat the resistor appreciably.

[II] There are other situations where it applies to a reasonable approximation but where departures from linearity are readily detectable. I replaced the broken cermet potential divider in a Marconi low distortion oscillator with a carbon film pot of the same resistance. The distortion jumped from 0.001% to around 0.1%.

[III] There are situations where Ohm's law does not apply at all (eg where the circuit element is a semiconductor diode, or any other highly nonlinear circuit element).

From where I stand Ohms Law looks just as much a rule of thumb as my forcing equation

No, Ohm's law and your equation are in different categories, though neither of them is "a rule of thumb".

[A] Ohm's law is not merely an empirical relation between voltage and current. The reason why Ohm's law applies to metallic resistors is understood fundamentally. The linearity of metallic resistors comes from the way an electric field within a metal induces a drift velocity on the movement of the electrons within it, with the drift velocity being proportional to the strength of the electric field. It's all well (and precisely) understood at the fundamental level and the mechanism is essentially simple.

Your forcing equation was produced by the use of complicated approximate models of unknown accuracy, giving results differing by 15% from the previous 'best' models. And applied to a system of which there is minimal understanding of many relevant aspects.

[B] Ohm's law, in situations where it applies, can be verified with precision as I said above.

Your forcing equation is incapable of physical verification if only because the IPCC's definition of radiative forcing does not exist physically. Even if it did exist physically, satellite measurements could not be used because they don't have the needed accuracy.

Surely you are not using Ohm's as an appeal to authority.? ?
Huh? I thought it was you who started talking about Ohm's law.
Don't you find yourself obliged to agree with Entropic man that in view of the guesswork, approximations and use of unvalidated models, calculations of electrical resistance have to be regarded as nothing more than a work of fiction? ?

No, it would be nonsense to say that linear resistive circuit theory is a work of fiction. The theory of linear electrical resistive circuits has been verified innumerable times and, when we make use of it in situations where it applies, the results are in accordance with what was predicted. And it is straightforward to check to what extent it applies, so there is no guesswork involved.

In practice, both the radiative imbalance and resistance are derived parameters which help us understand the behaviour of a system. Neither has real, hold in the hand, existance. Both are perceived as affecting the flow of energy in their respective.

I'm not sure what a "real, hold in the hand, existance" is. The resistivity of a metal is as real a physical property as its density or its specific heat. It can be measured with precision. Likewise the resistance of a metallic resistor.

TOA radiation imbalance has to be 'determined' by using models.

Jul 8, 2015 at 10:12 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

>sigh<
Let's try the simile again:
Climate science is to science what Bicycle road racing is to sports: exciting and corrupt.

Jul 9, 2015 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

>double sigh<

Despite my efforts, EM is still stuck in the meme that it is all the fault of CO2 – or, more specifically, human-produced CO2 – and clings to half-cocked formulae using guessed-at parameters to prove his point. Are the concepts I posited a bit too... er... radical for you? They are all easily investigated, and offer far more realistic scenarios than the idea of a trace gas controlling the whole shebang.

Hunter: there is shady dealing, corruption, severe corruption, and climate science. I think one snag with the whole thing is that climate science is really not very exciting, at all, hence the need to pep it up a bit by introducing global panic.

Jul 9, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Too many threads.

To get back on track, just as resistivity is an intrinsic property of a conductor, the greenhouse effect is an intrinsic property of an atmosphere.

Changing the concentration of greenhouse gases varies the rate of energy output from the system. This in turn varies the amount of energy stored in the system, especially the oceans.

Together they act as a variable heat capacitor.

Remember how, as a capacitor charges, the energy entering the capacitor is greater than the energy leaving it, ie unbalanced. When the capacitor reaches its equilibrium capacity the energy entering and leaving becomes equal and in balance.

Increasing the voltage across the capacitor increases the amount of energy stored.

The greenhouse effect works in a similar way. Leave the greenhouse gases constant for a few millennia and the system comes into equilibrium, with ingoing and outgoing radiation in balance and heat constant like a charged capacitor.

Increase the greenhouse gases, as we have done, has a similar effect to increasing the voltage across the capacitor. You get an imbalance More energy is incoming than outgoing. Like a charging capacitor energy accumulates in the system, iincreasing temperature.

Jul 9, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man