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Discussion > The end of the Great Delusion is at hand

I know I jumped on EM's statement:

"The problem is tha[t] when you measure them the sum of all the natural variations is neutral.. That leaves humanity as the only significant warming driver at present."

In fairness to him, I don't think he intended to say that the sum of all natural variations always has been neutral, rather that they are currently. However, I think even with that major qualification, it's still one heck of an assumption. Unfortunately for the climate alarmists, it's an essential assumption, a sine qua non of their world.

Nov 21, 2016 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Ssat: surely a) back radiation adds to the total radiation (amplification) is in contradiction at least one of the laws of thermodynamics, humorously summarized by C. P. Snow as:

1. You can’t win
2. You can’t even break even
3. You can’t get out of the game
How can back radiation add more energy to the system? This principle, that the whole scam seems to depend on, defeats all my attempts to understand it: a dot in the air absorbs a bit of radiative energy, then does… what? Hoard that energy, getting warmer and warmer? Sneak up to other dots and say, “Psst! Wanna have some heat?” Each dot of CO2 will have to share with 2,500 other dots; surely that is spreading it a bit thin? Re-radiate that energy? As a little over half of the sphere of that dot will be radiating to space, are we really being expected to believe that the tiny amount of radiation that the dot has absorbed and is reflecting back to Earth is driving global temperatures? What utter, utter balderdash! Heat a steel needle until it is glowing red, then drop it into a bath of water; how much will it raise the temperature of the water? It will not be measurable. Do that a thousand times; by how much will the water warm? Probably by not at all, as the heat lost while the needle is being heated will counter any heat gained from the needle – that, I feel, is how much of an effect CO2 is having on global temperatures! However much the “consensus” may spin it, none of it makes any sense, at all.

Nov 21, 2016 at 2:13 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

ACK, the usual suspects in climate science are regularly revered and referenced by the IPCC, but they are going from hero status to zero status. How this might effect the USA's contribution to the UN, for funding the IPCC remains unclear.

This may have devastating financial consequences for some tropical islands that have been banking on climate science to boost their economies, with plane loads of experts keen to see how quickly ice melts in exotic cocktails, whilst relaxing on sun loungers with warm waves lapping at their feet.

Nov 21, 2016 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

But if no attention is paid to unverified assumptions, then ECS = 0 is by no means an impossible value.

Nov 21, 2016 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Indeed. An oft unstated assumption is that the system ('Earth') is already at equilibrium, or close enough to equilibrium to make no difference. If the system is already warmer than an equilibrium reference point (whether one chooses total- or local-equilibrium), then adding a radiative gas to the atmosphere might actually cause cooling. This of course would show an apparent climate-sensitivity of less than zero.

The above assumption may be practically valid for the atmosphere, but the ocean heat content dwarfs that of the atmosphere and has a response time constant measured in centuries if not longer. I recall trying to point this out, perhaps inadequately, to SoD when he commented at BH but just got a "look at the math" answer.

This point could also be used by the global-warmers to explain away the post-1940's cooling and also, genuinely, argue that "it is worse than we thought". But the post-1940's cooling has now been eradicated by the 'adjustments'.

Nov 21, 2016 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Radical, quite. All radiation in the system is radiation received by the sun and is on its way out. It did its work at its arrival, not during its departure. It is the sheer absurdity of their theories that immunises them against logic and dumps them into the realm of belief systems.

Nov 21, 2016 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

How can back radiation add more energy to the system?
Nov 21, 2016 at 2:13 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

It can't. It's only skydragons etc that think it can. Backradiation is energy that did not manage to escape on its 1st (or its nth) attempt and so it arrives back, ready to make another attempt to get away until, finally, it does make it to outer space.

If I have a bucketful of snails to get rid of by throwing them through the wire fence into my neighbours garden and some of them hit the wire of the fence and bounce back, the back flux of snails does not increase my overall total of snails.

Nov 21, 2016 at 2:48 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

It seems that some errors in climate science maths keep being repeated. Were they there from the start?

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/9/26/carbon-brief-does-energy-budgets.html#comments

Nov 21, 2016 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Yup, Mark @ 1:50. Beth likes my 'Ignore the millennial at your perennial' when speaking of the century and millennial scale natural changes over which the alarmists practice diligent and persistent diffidence in order to cover desperate ignorance about what is probably contradictory evidence.
========================

Nov 21, 2016 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

kim, I think that is why Climate Science ignores history, archaeology, geology etc.

For their next trick, climate science will invent sliced white bread, from a cylindrical loaf, pointing out that it fits better on round plates, and may change the aerodynamics of a buttered piece of toast, for the better, on it's flight from table to floor.

Nov 21, 2016 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Martin A. But surely you only have your bucketful of snails because your neighbour is squirting snails through a hose at a constant rate into your garden (and you have collected them in your bucket)? The wire fence prevents all your snails from being returned so, over time, the difference builds up and you have more snails than you started with. This means that with every throw you are getting rid of a greater number of snails until you reach a balance. Increase the ability of the wire fence to intercept your snails (decrease the mesh size), more snails are returned by the fence, the number of snails in your bucket increases and you throw more snails until a new balance is reached. I don't think your analogy works.

Nov 21, 2016 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Minty: he could always get a hedgehog to solve the snail problem... though that does nothing to help the analogy, of course.

Nov 21, 2016 at 7:18 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Ravishing Rattie. Depends if it is a hedgehog that can never be buggered at all

Nov 21, 2016 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK, I think Martin A's analogy works, as far as it goes. Yours is also good, and takes the analogy further. They are not incompatible, IMO, because Martin A did not seem to be attempting to discuss the question in such depth. He was just addressing the oft-repeated 'skydragon' objections. These objections usually seem to make the unstated assumption of applying the laws of thermodynamics as if it was a system at equilibrium, i.e. as if the claim is that you can change the temperature of a system by simply adding mass. Or at least that's my interpretation of the whole debate, which I usually try and avoid entirely.

Nov 21, 2016 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

ACK, mark Hodgson

Clearly I need to be more pedantic.

When I described the sum of the natural forcings as neutral it was in the context of the graph I linked. This shows the effect of natural and human forcings since 1880.

Nov 21, 2016 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, the graph you linked to goes back to the Oxford University Environmental Change Institute, featuring Professor Myles Allen. He has a somewhat chequered past when it comes to "communicating" climate science/change, and has featured a few times here, and elsewhere.

https://climateaudit.org/2012/05/26/myles-allen-and-hide-the-decline/

Climate Audit (above) provides further links, including back here, should anyone wish to compare how far climate science communication has evolved in 5 years.

Nov 22, 2016 at 1:22 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Meanwhile, 100 papers from 2016 consider that the sun, that does warm the Earth, may have something to do with Global Warming.

http://notrickszone.com/2016/11/21/the-sun-climate-connection-over-100-scientific-papers-from-2016-link-solar-forcing-to-climate-change/#sthash.h2Tx8aju.dpbs

No one knows why the Sun was eliminated as a cause, by Climate Scientists, who had concluded that man made CO2 was the only possible culprit, and found it guilty without evidence, or a proper trial.

Curiously, my previous post concerning Myles Allen, links to a Climate Audit thread with some well known contributors in the subsequent posts that do identify problems that Climate Science has had, in considering evidence, when it is written down, in English, or in graph form. Conflicting evidence is so easily hidden or concealed, as Climate Science keeps demonstrating.

Nov 22, 2016 at 2:25 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golfCharlie.

Is "The Sun has got his hat on" included?
With or without the racist lyrics?

Nov 22, 2016 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Entropic Man

I thought your original post was clear, and I'm confident I understood what you meant. Hence mine at 1.50 pm yesterday by way of clarification. However, even allowing for your further clarification, I still stand by my own comment:

"However, I think even with that major qualification, it's still one heck of an assumption. Unfortunately for the climate alarmists, it's an essential assumption, a sine qua non of their world."

Put simply, if natural factors are not in balance, 20th century warming (which went up and down, and wasn't linear as one would expect from steadily increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, if the CO2 theory is correct) can't simply be blamed on CO2. So it's essential for the alarmists to claim that all natural factors are in balance. That's a big call - a huge call - given that it's impossible to know that we have accounted for all natural factors affecting our climate.

Nov 22, 2016 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson. It's worse than your 9.05am post states. Not only must all natural factors be in balance, but the effect of human increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration must ALONE create an enormous imbalance that upsets the entire climate system - even though most CO2 fluxes are natural (and thus in balance). Not only that, but a change that should decrease as concentrations increase, causes ever larger effects (alone within all science).

Nov 22, 2016 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Mark Hodgson

These are not assumptions, but measurements.

Over the post 1880 period albedo, vulcanism etc fluctuate. The sun follows an 11 year cycle, not always of the same strength. Weather fluctuates. ENSO can be neutral, El Nino or La Nina.

On short timescales, a year or a few years, these drive temperatures up or down. Look at the data and you see warm years in 1998 and 2015 due to El Nino. You see three cool years after the Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

In the longer term these short term variations have cancelled out. If they were all that drove the climate, temperatures would still be at the 1880 level.

Instead we are 1C warmer. That is consistent with the warming expected due to increased CO2.

Unfortunately for the climate alarmists, it's an essential assumption, a sine qua non of their world."

Your tone worries me. You pose as a neutral observer seeking information is slipping. More and more you resemble a conspiracy theorist like golf Charlie.

Nov 22, 2016 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Martin A. But surely you only have your bucketful of snails because your neighbour is squirting snails through a hose at a constant rate into your garden (and you have collected them in your bucket)? The wire fence prevents all your snails from being returned so, over time, the difference builds up and you have more snails than you started with. This means that with every throw you are getting rid of a greater number of snails until you reach a balance. Increase the ability of the wire fence to intercept your snails (decrease the mesh size), more snails are returned by the fence, the number of snails in your bucket increases and you throw more snails until a new balance is reached. I don't think your analogy works.
Nov 21, 2016 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Alan - RR asked "How can back radiation add more energy to the system?" and I answered "It can't".

To reemphasise the point I was making: back radiation does not add more energy to the system.**

Likewise, if I take a snail, chuck it, it hits the fence and immediately is returned to the bucket, it cannot be said, by reasonable use of language (and reasonable choice of timescales), to have added to the number of snails in the bucket.

Likewise, energy emitted by a body which is immediately returned to the body cannot be said to have increased the energy of the body.

I think the snail analogy can easily be made an exact analogy of the simple model often used to explain the greenhouse effect. [A black body surrounded by a shell of greenhouse gas so that each photon leaving the black body is captured by the ghg and is either re-emitted to space (p=0.5) or re-emitted to ground]

The rate at which the neighbours snail hose delivers snails is the power intercepted by the Earth from the Sun. Obviously, to make it an exact analogy I would need to throw snails at a rate which is the fourth power of the number in the bucket.

No question that the steady-state average number of snails in the bucket will depend on the rate at which I throw them and on the proportion that fail to make it through the fence (and so get immediately put back in the bucket). But that does not invalidate the point I made.

___________________________________________________________________________________

** ADDED. But he existence of back radiation *does* result in more energy being in the system. But that energy is energy that arrived directly from the Sun. It did not get added by the back radiation itself. It seems clear and obvious to me but I can see that it might be less apparent to some people. Maybe it's a more subtle point than it seems to me to be.

Nov 22, 2016 at 9:45 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Mr Hodgson: careful – you are in danger of facts clouding your judgement, here!

It has long been assumed that all natural factors are in constant balance (provided you ignore about 4.5 billion years of history, as it only applies to the last 200). Quite how that assumption is arrived at has never been explained; however, it IS so (‘cos Entropic man sed it woz). This means, of course, that any variation in the atmospheric conditions HAS to be the fault of yoomans, ’cos we exist now, and can watch it happening and, anyway, ’oo else would be daft enough to do such a thing? QED.

Nov 22, 2016 at 10:29 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Entropic Man

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but if my asking such an obvious question/making such an obvious point causes you a difficulty, I would suggest you need to re-evaluate your own position. You have just said:

"In the longer term these short term variations have cancelled out. If they were all that drove the climate, temperatures would still be at the 1880 level.

Instead we are 1C warmer. That is consistent with the warming expected due to increased CO2."

Again you make two assumptions which seem to me to be unjustified:

1. Short term variations have cancelled each other out. How do you know? And presumably you conclude they have cancelled each other out absolutely - not a partial cancelling out, but a 100% cancelling out. How convenient.

2. "If they were all that drove the climate, temperatures would still be at the 1880 level." Yes, if they were all that drove the climate, you MIGHT be correct (or then again, you might not). Because you can't conceive of any other natural drivers, you assume that there can't be any. "Instead we are 1C warmer. That is consistent with the warming expected due to increased CO2." Consistent with, perhaps - definitely the only cause? How do you know?

Or I could have said - wot RR said!

Nov 22, 2016 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Martin A. You replied "energy emitted by a body which is immediately returned to the body cannot be said to have increased the energy of the body". To continue with your snail analogy (what terrible neighbours you do have, but then you're no better) if we assume the rate of NEW snails arriving in your garden remains constant, and after trying to expel them some are returned to you by the fence, then the number of snails in your garden is the number of snails newly arriving from your terrible neighbour PLUS the number of snails returned from the fence, in other words you see an increase in snail numbers. Since in this simplistic analogy snails = energy, I cannot see how your analogy implies that energy doesn't increase from back radiation.

Nov 22, 2016 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Alan - please carefully re-read my last posting. In particular the footnote I added shortly after posting it. As I said, the point may be more subtle than I had thought it was.

There is no question that back radiation exists and is part of the physical processes where a planet having an atmosphere that interacts with radiation is warmer (ie has more energy) than an planet without such an atmosphere - for example one with an atmosphere of pure argon or pure nitrogen. But all [ *ALL* ]the energy in the planet where the greenhouse effect is in operation arrived directly from the Sun. So the back radiation itself does not "add energy to the system", even though it results in the system containing more energy than a non ghg atmosphere planet would contain. (Please let me know what you think of that last sentence - I think it holds the key.)

If the fence has smaller mesh, I'll finish up in the equiibrium state with more snails than if the fence had coarse mesh or the fence were not there at all. But in putting a rebounded snail back in the bucket, the addition of that snail does not increase the total number in the bucket except in the sense that it puts the number back to what it was a moment or two ago.

Nov 22, 2016 at 12:58 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A