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Discussion > Sense and Sensitivity

Which is what I have been saying, all along, Martin A. Thank you.

Mar 15, 2017 at 4:26 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Rhoda: A lot of radiative theory requires that CO2 re-emits. Thus DWIR.

It does but not until that re-emission escapes to space does it matter. It is then replaced immediately. Think steady-state, not equilibrium. The surface temperature (degrees K) is at the magnitude needed to feed IR (Watts) into the atmosphere to maintain its volume via temperature (degrees K). Conversion to temperature is via collision induced absorption of Watts. Collision induced radiation (same link I gave you earlier) reverses that conversion so the Watts travel to space.

DWIR has no ability to do any work: it cannot and does not raise the altitude of atmospheric mass via expanding the atmosphere. That work is done by IR emitted from the *surface. The atmosphere is aglow with IR constantly being replaced as it is lost. Whichever way you look with eyes that can see in the absorption/emission bands the glow would be like a light mist. Its travelling in all directions but the flow is, of course, outward.

* As Martin A states: it is the surface that warms the atmosphere.

Mar 15, 2017 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

ssat. It always seemed to me that it didn't matter how many conversions/collisions/state changes happened. A given photon, if we can imagine such a thing, will find its way out. The delay caused by 400ppm rather than 280ppm would be in microseconds.

I leave it to EM to invent the solar cell that works on DWIR, 384 w/m2(?) ALL THE TIME. That's in his free time after measuring a 45 metre change in TOA height. Except it isn't the top of the atmosphere and it doesn't have a consistent height being subject to all sorts of influences.

Mar 15, 2017 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Rhoda, yes, microseconds is the correct order of magnitude. For that reason it is quite difficult to accept another theory which has the altitude of outgoing radiation increasing without taking its temperature with it. The result is outgoing radiation reduces - yer actual 'trapped heat'.

Mar 15, 2017 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

"it is the surface that warms the atmosphere" yes but, but... most of the atmosphere doesn't come into contact with the surface. It is only that bit of the atmosphere that is in contact with the surface that is heated by it. Heat must be transferred from this part of the atmosphere by other means - convection and conduction (molecule to molecule).

Mar 15, 2017 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

AK - You forgot to add:

The atmosphere is also heated by IR radiation from the ground being absorbed by greenhouse gases. And with heat being transferred by radiation from greenhouse gases in lower layers being absorbed by greenhouse gases in higher layers, as well as by other mechanisms.

Mar 15, 2017 at 6:20 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Think steady-state, not equilibrium.

Mar 15, 2017 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Hm. Just realised that I've always referred to dynamic equilibrium as simply equilibrium.

It's a concept that pops up in multiple fields. In teletraffic analysis, you have a dynamic equilibrium when the rate of arriving calls equals the rate of terminating calls - so the mean number of calls in progress is constant.

In thermal conduction along a rod with each of its ends held at a (different) constant temperature.

Mar 15, 2017 at 6:54 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A. Yes, yes, yes, but the important thing is that these heat transmission systems are cooling the lower atmosphere and warming the upper parts. You warm the lower atmosphere by reducing the effectiveness of the heat transmission away to space.

Mar 15, 2017 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Martin A. Whatever name, it is important to understand that the energy continually created is what keeps the Earth's atmosphere from collapse. That would be the case if the atmosphere was pure nitrogen or as it is composed now. DWIR is merely an observation of an atmosphere containing radiative gases but has been assumed to be driver when it is only passenger.

Mar 15, 2017 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Martin A

Dynamic equilibrium it is! :-)

I wonder if the sceptics who claim that "There is no equilibrium" are thinking of static equilibrium. Rhoda and Jiminy Cricket raised the point that we cannot have complete information on the climate system, but it does not matter. Sit outside on a pleasant Summer afternoon and you feel every cloud shadow, every thermal, every gust of wind. Nevertheless these short term variations damp out and it remains a pleasant Summer afternoon.

Once again, previous training helps. Many biological processes are dynamic equilibria. Maintaining a constant temperature is a constant balancing act as your body adjusts second by second to variations in heat loss and heat production. To a biologist or a medic dynamic equilibria and the feedback systems that control them are part of the standard toolkit.

An engineer designing bicycles, aircraft or any dynamic systems would also have a similar toolkit.

Reading across to similar concepts in climate comes naturally.


As you have seen, I struggle with some mathematical and scientific concepts because they are not part of my toolkit. They come more naturally to you because they are part of your toolkit.

Mar 16, 2017 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, the principle that doing X will lead to Y is well established in science. Sometimes, stopping X or, doing Z can fix, or reduce the anount or consequences of Y.

For Doctors, Engineers and most Scientists, this is clearly understood, especially when human lives and/or lots of money is involved.

Climate Science still depends on the same Science to justify stopping X and doing Z, without any proof or evidence that Y is happening, or that it is caused by X. As a Country Bumpkin, I can work this out, I do not need to be a Scientist.

Climate Science is dependent on fudged data. I would have failed my O Level Physics if I did that.

Mar 16, 2017 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I wonder if the sceptics who claim that "There is no equilibrium" are thinking of static equilibrium.
I wonder who you could be referring to?

Nice try at a get-out, Entropic man, but… sorry, it doesn’t work: a dynamic equilibrium is where the elements in the equation are constantly changing, thus the state of equilibrium is also in flux, thus equilibrium can never be achieved. Equilibrium, whether dynamic or static, will never exist for very long in the real world; static equilibrium is a simple state where the ball is not moving when thrown into the air – the two steady forces involved are momentarily balanced. Dynamic equilibrium is where the ball is thrown into the air while you are riding a roller-coaster; at some point in the ball’s trajectory, it will be in equilibrium with something at some point, be it the ground, the car, or the thrower, but is unlikely to be in equilibrium with everything – while stationary in relation to the ground, it is unlikely to be stationary in relation to the car, or the thrower. In the infinitely more complex situation of the planetary system, while equilibrium is constantly being striven for – and it can only be dynamic equilibrium – it will never exist as such for any length of time more than momentarily. There will always be imbalance. Think of the weather system as an albatross, effortlessly soaring over the oceans, trying to maintain a constant height (the equilibrium sought) above the waves to optimise its chances of lunch, yet constantly having to make minor and major adjustments to its wings to benefit from the vagaries of the wind and waves (the dynamics involved).

Mar 16, 2017 at 3:27 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

It did not happen in 4.5 billion years (runaway warming) even with huge amounts of atmospheric CO2 and much hotter global temperatures than today therefore the theory of climate sensitivity as it is described today is total bollocks. When was it that empirical evidence lost credibilty, I must have missed that?

Mar 16, 2017 at 3:51 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, don't forget that CS works both ways. A low-side perturbation will cause a runaway low, or a flop to a lower equilibrium point. There does seem to be a way to achieve a low state for long periods. The same high side excursion doesn't seem to be very fearsome. We won't cook, we will freeze.

Mar 16, 2017 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

We won't cook, we will freeze.

Mar 16, 2017 at 4:06 PM | rhoda

Flocks of deep frozen, climate change chickens, are coming home to roost.

Mar 16, 2017 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

According to our supposedly accepted science, todays global temperatures are the lowest they have ever been without the planet already being in an ice age, I agree; we will freeze not fry unless climate scientists get their act together

Mar 16, 2017 at 5:40 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung don't give climate scientists any credit. Even if they got their act together, the climate will do what it wants to (unless we really screw up with geoengineering).

Mar 16, 2017 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

unless climate scientists get their act together

Mar 16, 2017 at 5:40 PM | Dung

I don't think the Climate has ever shown any sensitivity towards consenting Climate Scientists, and what they have decided by excluding common sense.

Leopards can't change their spots. Climate Scientists can't change their minds about that Stick.

Mar 16, 2017 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Apologies to you ST... the climate will do whatever it will do and we will have no influence, just a shame we are paying so much in so many ways in futile attempts to persuade it otherwise hehe

Mar 16, 2017 at 6:54 PM | Registered CommenterDung

WUWT has another go at CS today. For me, it starts at the wrong place, going over various IPCC calculations, after taking the concept of CS for granted. Of course, I reject the concept, at least in terms of its ability to make a useful prediction.

A definition occurred to me.

Climate sensitivity is the measure of the change in a notional value ( the disputed Global Mean Temperature) in response to an alteration of only one of an unknown number of influences.

Mar 17, 2017 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

rhoda: "Climate sensitivity is the measure of the change in a notional value ( the disputed Global Mean Temperature) in response to an alteration of only one of an unknown number of influences."

That's pretty much the perfect description, although I would add: "It is a useful concept when you're trying to scare the bejasus out of everyone and the effect of CO2 doubling is a benign 1.2C."

Mar 19, 2017 at 5:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

As aa way of bumping this, a link to the previous similarly-named thread. Same questions, largely the same participants. We haven't made much progress in the intervening four years.

Mar 20, 2017 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Ooops, link http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/2063688

Mar 20, 2017 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

We haven't made much progress in the intervening four years.

Mar 20, 2017 at 12:17 AM | rhoda

Correction!
Climate Science has not made much progress, so Trump has provided some financial stimulation.

Climate Science's continued lack of progress can continue for as long as Climate Scientists can afford.

Mar 20, 2017 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The top down approach has the advantage that you can see the wood, rather than having to measure every tree.

The simple answer is that the wood is the trees. The seasonal climate. The angle of the sun. The ancient paths of the animals. The angle of the slopes. The impact of humans. The impact of diseases. The impact of storms.

There is no Young's modulus for the climate "material" contained with any boundary defined for climate. It doesn't exist. No equivalent to tension, strain and modulus of some homogeneous climate material.

The wood is defined by what is within it. If you only see trees then you are blind.

Apr 4, 2017 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket