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Discussion > Love to read some feedback on this paper

Has anyone looked critically at this? I am not a physics nor math (except for golf scores) guy.

Jul 19, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDBD

I'm waiting for someone to admit the University of Northumbria paper on an upcoming Maunder Minimum exists at all!

Jul 20, 2015 at 9:10 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

DBD - not had more than a glance at the paper. I look forward to reading it, especially the bit about lapse rate. The idea that the lapse rate is constant, unaffected by just about anything, is one of the cornerstones of the belief that the world will rapidly hot up as a result of fossil fuel use.

Jul 20, 2015 at 1:17 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

A quick read of the paper and I think I can just about grasp his arguments. I would need to spend a lot more time to understand the detail.

It could be a hugely important paper but then again, the climate community could close ranks and ignore it.

The change in lapse rate required seems to be very small, less than the difference between summer and winter. But then I wouldn't want anyone to take what I say from memory as gospel.

Jul 20, 2015 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

" The idea that the lapse rate is constant, unaffected by
just about anything...."

How well can you predict the temperature at the top of the mountain from the temperature at the bottom? 2 suitable measuring sites should show what kind of variation in the difference you get.

Jul 20, 2015 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Rob Burton
I don't know how lapse rate is calculated but I would surmise that trying to confirm it by the use of measuring sites at the top and bottom of a mountain would not be of much value given all the other variations in weather conditions likely to be encountered between the two.
Is this an area where satellite observation over a region where the weather is benign would seve better to confirm the theoretical calculation.
I have had a quick glance at the paper DBD refers us to but don't have the scientific expertise to comment. Again I can only surmise that the Climateers will treat it as another example of how somebody has managed to misunderstand the science and either Manabe will continue to be treated as reliable or the whole thing will be pooh-poohed on the grounds that "we knew this years ago and it doesn't apply because ..."
I come back to the University of Northumbria paper presented at the National Astronomy Society meeting in Llandudno a couple of weeks ago. Another link here. This has to be about the most ignored paper on the subject of climate ever! Nothing here or on WUWT either. If it's anything close to correct we are seriously looking in the wrong direction!

Jul 21, 2015 at 9:32 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The lapse rate is usually calculated as g/Cp where g is gravity and Cp is the specific heat of the gas.
I don't see how changing the amount of CO2 from say 0.03% of the atmosphere to 0.06% would change this.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I haven't read the paper but had to do a double take on the name of the initiator of the discussion.
Please don't divert the discussion further on that topic.

Mike Jackson
Couldn't get your link to work.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

This paper is important is as much as it provides some challenge to assumptions in key papers by Manabe and others. The GCMs may well have been pampered until they produced results broadly in line with these papers, notably the use of a fixed relative humidity to increase climate sensitivity from about 1C to 2 or 3C, or more. This paper also notes the assumption of a constant average lapse rate before and after a doubling of CO2. As Paul notes above, it is not plausible at first glance that such a change in a trace gas could have an appreciable effect. I'm hoping to play around with some simple arithmetic tomorrow to do some crude checks on this, and also to study another paper by Kimoto where he might provide further details. In the current paper, he merely notes that a change in lapse rate from 6.5 K per km to 6.3, would be consistent with a surface climate sensitivity of about 0.1 to 0.2C in association with a 1K temperature change high in the troposphere (the greenhouse effect of the increased CO2). The paper is not compelling on this, but it is good to see the topic raised. He also challenges the use of a constant coefficient to qualify the distinctly non-black-body Earth to be treated by the Stefan-Boltzman equation which was developed for the hypothetical black-body. This coefficient, the 'effective emissivity of the surface-atmosphere system' is a classic fudge factor, and so it is also appropriate to explore the effect of allowing it to vary in value, but I find the paper a bit obscure about this.

Today, though, the forecast has much less chance of rain than tomorrow's has, and so I'm off to do some work in the garden.

Jul 21, 2015 at 1:52 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Is this an area where satellite observation over a region where the weather is benign would seve better to confirm the theoretical calculation.
Jul 21, 2015 at 9:32 AM Mike Jackson

Possibly not, since satellite measurements of air temperature are weighted averages over quite a wide range of altitudes.

Jul 21, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

First point - me, too!
Second point- works fine for me. But here is the actual link:
And your 6.10 point, thanks.

Jul 21, 2015 at 7:13 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson
Thanks both links work now, strange.

Jul 21, 2015 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mike Jackson, the effect of the reduction in sunspots is supposed to be up to a 3W/m2 drop in the solar flux. This is equivalent to a forcing of about -0.5 W/m2 or about the same (but opposite sign) as an extra decade of anthropogenic forcing. To conclude that this reduction in sunspots is going to result in a new mini ice age one has to think that earth is very sensitive to forcing from solar variation but insensitive to forcing from CO2. I've seen people try to square this circle by suggesting that solar UV variation affects the upper atmosphere whereas CO2 affects the lower atmosphere and that this makes all the difference to the energy balance. Is that what you have concluded and if so, why? If not how does such a small solar variation have the large effect that talk of a new mini ice age implies?

Jul 21, 2015 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff


May I suggest a modest proposal.

Leave them to it and see how long this discussion lasts. I have noticed that the denizens tend to run out of steam without us to challenge them.

Jul 22, 2015 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I haven't concluded anything.
A paper has been presented at the National Astronomy Society meeting which is worth consideration since it argues that there is an alternative explanation for changes to the earth's temperature and possibly sheds new light on the science of climate and climate change.
You appear to have concluded that it is a load of bollocks. Since I don't know what scientific qualifications you have for drawing this conclusion I'm not prepared to engage with your assertion. I suggest you follow Entropic Man's advice. And preferably take him with you.

Jul 22, 2015 at 5:39 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The change in total solar radiation with each sunspot cycle is quite small but the spectral distribution does change. In particular, the UV has its own cycle in sync with the TSI. The magnetic field reverses after each TSI cycle. The solar wind velocity is inverse to the TSI. The Ap index is broadly in sync with TSI. The neutron count on earth is out of phase with TSI. The solar microwave radiation peaks with TSI.

Out of that lot, the charged particles of the solar wind and the UV radiation are the two emissions most likely to interact directly in some way with our atmosphere. Cloud formation is probably the most likely effect and this has a powerful influence on climate.

In addition, there is the indirect effect of the polar wind, i.e. the modulation of cosmic rays the their effect on cloud formation.

One or more of these solar emissions may well interfere with our climate in ways we do not yet understand. The chemistry can be a bit fierce in the upper atmosphere with oxygen split to single atoms for example.

Jul 22, 2015 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

My read-through, fwiw.

The paper is claiming that a one dimensional radiative convective equilibrium model back in the '60's led to the acceptance of a fixed lapse rate for a doubling of CO2. That was an error as the lapse rate is affected by humidity and that itself would change with increasing CO2. Calculating a lapse rate for a doubling of CO2 finds a lower rate and that leads to a surface warming an order of magnitude less than the 1 degree C currently used (in climate models).

The author accepts the theory that the average height of radiation to space increases with increasing CO2 and that there would be additional energy in the atmosphere caused by that (CO2 forcing). However, the additional temperature accompanying that additional energy would not remain a constant 1 degree but would diminish to around 0.1 to 0.2 degrees due to his calculated lower lapse rate. He also believes there is an error in calculations of energy flows leading to erroneous energy budgets.

What it would certainly mean if correct is that effects of doubling of CO2 would be trivial at the surface, even if feedbacks were at the high end of the IPCC range. But its bigger effect is to show that cornerstones of climate science are not settled as claimed. I don't see it as a collapse of AGW theory as the Hockey Schtick claims: the author questions their mathematics but not the underlying physics.

Jul 22, 2015 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Hostages to fortune, dontcha' just hate 'em. The weather has been too good to come inside and study technical papers, and do sums, so my promise to try both by now will need to be stretched out a bit further. But I do note that the specific heat of CO2 is greater than that of dry air, and so I would be surprised on that count if adding more CO2, in tiny amounts at that, would lead to a decreased average lapse rate as posited in the paper (as noted by Paul above, the dry adiabatic lapse rate is given by dividing the acceleration due to gravity by the relevant specific heat. The wet lapse rate is always smaller, and so the overall average lapse rate lies in between). I also note that the paper in question may just be a pre-publication draft (my copy looks like one).

Jul 23, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

I was looking at various articles on the internet in connection with the above subject when I came across two discussions by Judith Curry
There is one link because the discussions are consecutive on her blog.

They concern the radiative part of the mechanism for a doubling of CO2. The discussions show what a complicated mess the whole thing is. You don't have to understand the detail to realise that the science underpinning the whole thing is very weak in parts. The posts are short and worth a read.

Jul 23, 2015 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I can't keep up! The Hockeyschtick blog has posted another paper from Kimoto, and it reiterates his previous claims

In Kimoto's new work below (and in prior papers), he addresses the multiple unphysical assumptions made by Manabe & Wetherald, Hansen/GISS, and IPCC modelers et al, including a "fudged," arbitrary, and fixed tropospheric lapse rate of 6.5K/km, which does not adjust to perturbations in the atmosphere. This false assumption artificially limits negative lapse rate feedback convection. Using physically correct assumptions, Kimoto finds the climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 to be a negligible 0.1-0.2C.

Added to my reading stack. Where it will not be lonesome.

Aug 4, 2015 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The stack keeps on a'growing. Another paper by Kimoto has been highlight at the Hockeyschtick blog:

A quick glance through and I found that he seems to be doing a parameter variation analysis with the average lapse rate, noting that instead of setting it fixed at -6.5C per km, which is associated with early estimates of basic climate sensitivity of 1.3C, one sets it to -6.4K per km, then that sensitivity becomes 0.1C. (my earlier readings led me to the value of -6.3K per km, see above, so that needs to be checked sometime)

This is interesting, but I would like to see more about actual measurement-based estimates of average lapse rates, and some theoretical justification for presuming a reduction in magnitude with a doubling of ambient CO2. Both might be in his work somewhere, and I hope someone will do a more thorough review of it.

Aug 18, 2015 at 5:31 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade