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Discussion > GHG Theory step by step

To give a brief answer to your first question, Gwen – everything!

For the second question – anything that could have an influence on our climates has, it would appear, been ignored in favour of CO2. The principle source of all energy in the system is assumed to be constant and unchangeable, therefore any changes in climate have to be caused by mere humans releasing a little of the energy that the Earth has collected over the millennia. Ignore the truly vast forces that are extant throughout the universe – many of which we are only just becoming aware of – over whether or not you use a SUV or a bicycle. Yep – it is that dire.

Aug 4, 2017 at 11:53 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Yes, I am obsessed with averages. I am well aware that averages are a dangerous thing, statistically and even arithmetically. Arithmetic means are not the same as geometric means. Either way one must beware of obtaining an average and then feeding it in to the next part of the calculation. It is not always valid. In the climate scenario, particularly the illustration of the GHG warming, averages are used incorrectly twice. Once when you assume 288K measured temp is equivalent to 255K derived from S-B, and again when using 390 w/m2 (derived from 288K) as input to a Trenberth LW budget, with all the average watts going up and down. Polar, Tropical, never mind, it all averages out. Forget the effect of T^4. It MIGHT not make much of a difference, but if bad methods produce the right result, they are still bad methods.

So, does anybody have a satellite picture of the Earth radiating uniformly at 240watts per square metre? Or 390? Or 342? Does it look uniform, or like a shivering jelly covered in sequins? (I stole that from a missile expert saying what a radar-guided missile can see of an incoming bomber).

Aug 5, 2017 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

rhoda, if you put your head in the fridge and your feet in the fire, then on average you should be comfortable.

Aug 5, 2017 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Precisely.

Aug 5, 2017 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

I used to ignore the global warming scare, it was just background noise to me. Then by chance I heard a BBC report in which some climate scientist was claiming that carbon dioxide controlled the climate, nothing else could compete with it. He then went on to say that the current warming (~ 2005) was unprecedented.

I couldn't believe that anyone calling themselves a scientist could make such outrageous statements. I decided that I must find out more. That is what started my interest. I must say that twelve years on, whatever they say doesn't surprise me any more. Let me give an example from this morning.

Someone from the Met Office is using computer simulations to help make precipitation predictions. She proudly claimed that they now had more than one hundred times more data than just the observational data with which to make the predictions. She really thought that was a big improvement. That really sums up the quality of climate science.

I know of no other science where they put their faith in unvalidated computer models then adjust the observational data to make it match.

Aug 5, 2017 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

NASA GISS, NOAA, CRU and the Hadley Centre are all relatively recent creations. Climate Science is only a few decades old. It was regarded as a backwater and didn't attract the brightest students. It was a small community as illustrated by the ClimateGate emails. When global warming became the big story, nobody was interested in understanding the basic climate. Carbon dioxide was the magic control knob. Now the subject is awash with funding provided it is spent on AGW due to greenhouse gases. I'm horrified to think that there are now generations of climate scientists all brainwashed with the same narrow minded dogma. The subject attracts people emotionally motivated to save the planet, which is not the most objective mindset for budding scientists.

I can't think of another science where the raw data is constantly being massaged and even re-written, where many of the drivers are not understood, ignored and even denied because they detract from the central theme.

The cry was that nothing can stop CO2 induced warming until the pause came along. Then all the effort went into claiming that the pause didn't happen. Nobody has a clue about what caused the pause, how long it will last and what the temperature will do after that. Now the effort is going into stoking up the alarmism yet again because when all else fails that is the tried and tested formula.

This isn't science, the search for truth. This is something else altogether.

Aug 5, 2017 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

SC might I add to your elegant summary that the climate mania is self perpetuating. Students wishing to obtain a good degree had better toe the line, graduates had better assume the climate missionary position if they want employment or funding. But worst of all you become surrounded by believers, some eminent. Your doubts become frayed, surely you must be wrong when all about you are proselytizing doom. I know, when working at UEA, the overwhelming number of my colleagues (including all at CRU) were strong adherents to the true faith, and who was I, a lowly geologist who had sold out to Big Oil long ago and with a minus credibility rating. It can be tough out there.

Aug 5, 2017 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Schroginger's Cat, Radical Rodent, & rhoda + anyone else

Thank you for your responses and this thread! Can it be concluded that there should be a consensus that

a) Lapse Rate is not clearly defined because too many guestimates have been processed into a few numbers that no one in Climate Science is brave enough to challenge?

b) That solar output is not a fixed number?

c) There are variable losses in transmission across space, so the amount of energy arriving at the outer layer of Earth's atmosphere is variable

Aug 5, 2017 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Supertroll, mine above was meant to include your name, but typed a few hours ago.

Aug 5, 2017 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Gwen. I am honoured to be considered for the "anyone else" bucket.I

Aug 5, 2017 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Golf charlie

I think that lapse rate is fairly well understood but in climate science nothing is certain, for example, all the recent claims that GHG affects it.

The solar output varies a little, 1.7% if I remember correctly. It used to be called the solar constant because they thought it was constant. They say it is not variable enough to change our climate. That is probably true, but there are lots of suggestions that there is a solar effect and as I pointed out earlier, a number of things change during the solar cycle.

I have no idea about your third point.

Aug 5, 2017 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Aug 5, 2017 at 4:50 PM | Schrodinger's Cat

So can the thread move on to what happens after increasing amounts of CO2 are injected into Climate Science Computer models, or have I missed out large amounts of science, just like a Real Climate Scientist?

Aug 5, 2017 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

[..]It is not possible to produce large spontaneous warming events without extra energy. This is why we can be here that the observed warming has a real cause and is not a spontaneous event.

Aug 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Once again you appear to acknowledge a technical point, yet simultaneously appear to wholly deny its ramifications, within the space of a sentence or two.
Everything has indeed a "real cause" but recent warming does not require any extra energy or explanation that cannot be attributed to a "spontaneous event".

To use a more specific example, the recent El Nino caused a significant short term warming in the earth's atmosphere. Yet no extraordinary energy input is required to explain it. It is currently explained by warm water in just the top few meters of one part of the tropical western pacific ocean to suddenly and rapidly 'slosh' eastwards and then away from the equator.

Yet the total amount of 'available heat' in the oceans to apparently either warm, or cool, the planet in such a manner is actually vastly greater than that transferred during an El Nino cycle. Such a spontaneous event could be far greater in extent, and far greater in duration than an El Nino event. Yet it would require no 'external' change in energy supply to force it, whether that was a change in the solar constant, or a change in atmospheric CO2 concentration, or indeed a change in an infinite number of other variables.

The challenge to the climate scientist is always that it is incumbent on them to establish that any changes in a modelled complex system are not due to such an internal variability. Mandelbrot and Lorenz made clear this intellectual challenge. It can indeed make life suddenly rather intellectually depressing for a real scientist. I know it did for me when I first learned about it. It also hints at a reason as to why climate modellers have apparently made no real effort to rise to the challenge: Too many of them are not real scientists.

Aug 6, 2017 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Adding to Michael Hart's point, the heat capacity of the ocean is huge. It is the oceans (and the land) that warm the atmosphere, not the other way round.

The warming around 1940 was identical to the warming around 1980 yet the former was not due to CO2 and the latter was all to do with anthropogenic CO2. That is claimed by the climate scientists, not me, but it illustrates the state of the thinking. Of course, that was what they said before the pause. Apart from denying the pause, I'm not sure what they are saying now. The reality is that temperatures change for all sorts of reasons.

Aug 6, 2017 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

"It is the oceans (and the land) that warm the atmosphere, not the other way round".

Not always as anyone living downwind of a mountain chain and experiencing a chinook wind can testify. In a matter of hours temperatures can rise several tens of degrees and strip snow cover. These dry winds devastated gardens in Calgary so that they needed to be watered in mid winter. These events clearly indicate atmosphere can warm land surfaces.

In a similar fashion, different air masses can dramatically change surface temperatures in the UK, even at night.

Aug 6, 2017 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Not quite, Minty. The chinook wind is a katabatic wind – i.e. it is air that has cooled at high altitudes in the mountains, then falls down the side of that mountain – they can be fierce, and very, very cold. They happen when there is little general wind in the area, allowing the air on the mountain top(s) to cool (and gain density), without being dispersed, until it is triggered to roll downhill. I have experienced these in Cape Town and Athens, as well as, possibly, the Isle of Man. Their dryness is because they have had the moisture condensed out when the air was at altitude; as it plummets down the side of the mountain, it gains heat, both from the land it is rapidly cooling, and from the simple gas law as its pressure rises, thus the relative humidity plummets. It is, you could say, as close to a reverse of convection caused by heating as is possible (though the reverse mountain-side wind – anabatic wind – tends to be more benign). Generally, it is the surface that cools (or heats) the air.

Aug 7, 2017 at 1:29 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Sorry RR but you are this time W R O N G. The Chinook is a WARMING wind, a föhn wind, also known in Canada as the "ice eater" and is caused by adiabatic warming. My point was, however that this is a case of the atmosphere warming the land (and how!)

Aug 7, 2017 at 6:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Ah. Yes, Minty. My bad, as they say. Something that slipped from my memory cache. Similar principles, though, in that the air loses its moisture as it blows over the mountains, but probably does not have much time to lose its heat (other than adiabatically – which it then regains via the same process, in reverse).

Aug 7, 2017 at 10:27 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Aug 7, 2017 at 6:30 AM | Supertroll

Aug 7, 2017 at 1:29 AM | Radical Rodent

Whether anabatic or katabatic surely the result is just localised stirring up of warmer and cooler air, whether the warmth is extracted from the sea, or caused by one side of a mountain range being in the sun, whilst the other side is in the shade.

The Greek coastline has fingers of land running north-south that are well known for producing very localised strong winds according to the time of day, and whether or not there are, or have been, clouds.

The Greek Island of Levkas has a resort/village called Vasiliki https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasiliki,_Lefkada

The strong wind that kicks in during the afternoon is romantically named "Eric", and is very popular with windsurfers.

Whether winds are called Chinook or even Eric, they have nothing to do with Carbon dioxide levels.

Meanwhile, the search for Trenberth's missing heat, hiding at the bottom of the ocean continues:

1) Has it yet been confirmed by Climate Scientists that the "missing heat" does not actually exist, because they got their sums wrong in the first place?

2) Have Climte Scientists yet admitted that there is MORE heat at the bottom of the oceans than they first guessed from thermal vents, and that their original sums were even more wrong than they have previously admitted to?

Aug 7, 2017 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie. The amount of heat released at black smokers is very small. Close to the vents, animals have to be adapted to heat but only a few metres away the water is at its normal 4 degrees C. This has led to much debate as to how new vents become colonized.

Aug 7, 2017 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

"only a few metres away the water is at its normal 4 degrees C. "

Yeah, but the hot water goes straight up. There is no automatic assumption that the amount is small. Even if it is. And there seem to be a lot of smokers. But the heat is not enough to do much for the total ocean temperature. It would need to be enough that it would be really obvious at the surface. What IS obvious at the surface? The sun.

Aug 7, 2017 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Aug 7, 2017 at 10:42 AM | Supertroll

I don't know when "Black Smokers" were first filmed, and in colour, but they featured in one of the brilliant BBC David Attenborough Series in the late 70s early 80s. I am sure they contradicted a statement in school O or A Level text books about all life forms deriving energy from the sun, or something.

Haven't more black smokers been found under the Arctic than were previously assumed?

I can remember the eruption of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heimaey and the spraying of lava flows with seawater to save the harbour, and think coverage on the News (or Blue Peter?) must have cross referenced with Surtsey 10 years previously.

Aug 7, 2017 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Rhoda, Of course it goes straight up, its hot. But its also very turbulent and mixes with the surrounding sea water very quickly. Within a short vertical distance (much less than 100m) its at near ambient temperatures.
Yes theres a lot of them, but they occur in clusters, with much of the mid oceanic ridges having few. Compared with the mass of oceans they are literally a "drop in the ocean". Over time they add significant heat but nowhere like the input from the Sun.

Aug 7, 2017 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Aug 7, 2017 at 12:40 PM | Supertroll anyone else?
Let me try rephrasing, (badly)
Is it known whether heat from the sea bed, via black smokers, oozing lava, hot water, steam under intense pressure etc etc were factored into Global Warming theory originally, and whether the sums have been adjusted up or down since realising the original sums were wrong, because they were based on under, or over estimates, of the amount of heat entering the oceans from beneath the sea bed?

I appreciate there are currents beneath the Arctic Ice Sheets, and having one 3kW kettle element simmering away will not make a huge amount of difference, but how many 3kW kettle elements are simmering away down there?

Are there geysers venting on the sea bed, but no steam due to the pressures at depth?

I remain curious about what Climate Scientists did get right, as a means of establishing what they didn't!

Aug 7, 2017 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC. Perhaps an analogy might be appropriate. Hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone Park, despite being hot, are unable to melt even quite close snow and ice.
Apart from the Red Sea, hydrothermal vents were only just being discovered in the late 1970s and it took some time before their frequency was realized. So I very much doubt if climate scientists had any idea about this source of heat when manufacturing their climate models and scares.

Aug 7, 2017 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll