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Many meteorologists have blamed water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for warming the earth. Below is an excerpt from a paper1 written by meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "Water vapor plays the central role in the atmospheric branch of the global hydrologic cycle and is the most abundant greenhouse gas. Climate models used for estimating effects of increases in greenhouse gases show substantial increases in water vapor as the globe warms and this increased moisture would further increase the warming."
The NOAA got it completely backwards about water vapor just as Al Gore did about CO2 in his "Inconvenient Truth" presentation of the Vostok Ice Core data. CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases after the earth temperature warms (liberation from the oceans due to lower solubility at higher temperature), not vice-versa as Gore proclaimed. Gore is a journalist, not a scientist, yet people believed him, proving that if you are well known you can say anything even if it is completely wrong and many people will follow you. I also found that most physicists, climatologists and meteorologists do not take courses in thermodynamics so many of them don't understand the first two simple laws of thermodynamics either.
First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can be changed from one form to another, but energy cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of energy and mass in the Universe is always constant; it merely changes from one form to another.
Second Law of Thermodynamics: Heat may only be transferred from a hotter to cooler body, never vice versa. A cooler atmosphere cannot radiate energy to earth's warmer surface. The greenhouse effect is a myth for its premise clearly violates the second law of thermodynamics! Although all bodies above absolute zero radiate and absorb radiant energy. The warmer body always provides more energy to the cooler body than it receives back from the cooler body. A cooler body therefore can never heat up a warmer body; the cooler body warms and the warmer body cools, never vice-versa.
The Scientific Truth
The truth of the matter is that any mass between you and a radiant energy source will provide cooling. Stand near a fireplace that is burning and feel the warmth of the radiant energy, then have two people drape a blanket between you and the fireplace -- you will feel cooler! This is like standing outside on a sun shiny day and when a cloud goes over and shields you from the direct rays of the sun, you feel cooler. A child knows this. Regarding the earth, our atmosphere provides cooling in the same manner. Nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide and any dust that is in the atmosphere all provide cooling. Why is this? It is very simple. If there were no atmosphere, all of the radiant energy from the sun would hit the earth.
With an atmosphere, a portion of the incoming sun's rays are reflected back toward the sun by striking the gaseous molecules and dust particles, so less radiant energy hits the earth and the earth is cooler because of its atmosphere, see Figure 1.
Everyone also knows that cloud cover at night (more insulation) prevents the earth from cooling off as fast as it does when there are no clouds. However, on a relatively clear night if a cloud goes overhead you cannot feel any warming effect of the cloud, so this insulating effect is shown to be minimal compared to the daytime effect.
No rocket science is required here, just common sense. If common sense isn't good enough for you there is also scientific proof.
Proof Greenhouse Gases Cool the Earth
The cooling effect of water vapor was proved following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Atmospheric scientists studied the effect of water vapor on temperature in the wake of the attacks. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibited commercial aviation over the United States for three days following the attacks and this presented a unique opportunity to study the temperature of the earth without airplanes and their contrails.
Dr. David Travis, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin, along with two other scientists, looked at how temperatures for those three days compared to other days when planes were flying. They analyzed maximum and minimum temperature data from about 4,000 weather stations throughout the conterminous (48 states) United States for the period 1971-2000, and compared those to the conditions that prevailed during the three-day aircraft grounding period and the three days when planes were flying before and after the grounding period. This research effort was sponsored by grants from the National Science Foundation.
They found that the average daily temperature range between highs and lows was 1.1 degrees C higher during September 11-14 (shown graphically in Figure 2) compared to September 8-11 and September 11-14 with normal air traffic.
The data proved that contrails (water vapor trails) have a net cooling effect. You cannot just look at a nighttime effect, like the IPCC climatologists and meteorologists have done, both day and night must be included to determine the overall effect. So Dr. Travis confirmed this with scientific analysis of real data that most people on this planet already know.
Comparison of Earth and Mars Average Temperatures
Both the Earth and Mars rotate around the Sun and also rotate on their axes. The rotation around its axis time for Earth is 23.9 hours and for Mars is 24.6 hours. Therefore, they are similar regarding the way the sun strikes them but Mars is only around 11% of the mass of the Earth. The atmospheric pressure on Earth is one atmosphere and the atmospheric pressure on Mars is only 0.007 times the earth's atmosphere.
The atmosphere on earth is primarily nitrogen (78.1%) and oxygen (20.9%) with an average of 0.41 vol % water vapor3 over the full atmosphere. On Mars, the atmosphere is approximately 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen and 0.03% water vapor. There is approximately 400 ppmv of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere or (400/1000000) x 1 = 0.0004 atmospheres (earth). The CO2 in the Mars Atmosphere is 0.953 *0.007 = 0.00671 atmospheres (earth). If you add water vapor which they also call a greenhouse gas, the partial pressure of CO2 plus water vapor in the earth's atmosphere yields a total partial pressure of (0.0041 + 0.0004) or 0.0045 atmospheres compared to 0.03% for Mars or 0.03 x 0.007 = 0.00021 earth atmospheres plus the 0.00671 for CO2 or 0.00688 earth atmospheres. Therefore, if greenhouse gases caused warming, the Earth's atmosphere and Mars should warm similarly when hit by radiant energy.
Is this what happens? No! The earth gets hit on average by 1367.5 watts/m2 and Mars by 589.2 watts/m2 of solar irradiance4. The average temperature on earth is 288.3°K and the average temperature on Mars is 208.3°K5. Now then if the Earth had the identical composition and atmosphere as Mars, based on the solar irradiance hitting it compared to Mars, the average temperature on earth would be (1367.6/589.2) x 208.3 = 483.5°K. The greater earth atmosphere is shown by this analysis to have a cooling effect (483.5-288.3) of 195°K (195°C or 383°F), compared to the temperature effect of the sparse Mars atmosphere.
What about the Moon?
There is no atmosphere on the moon so if atmospheric gases make the Earth warmer as the IPCC proclaim is the Moon cooler than the Earth? The answer is once again No! Astronomically, the Moon and Earth are nearly the same distance from the Sun. Both the rotation of the Moon and its revolution around Earth takes 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes. Although not an apples to apples comparison like Mars, the average temperature on the moon when radiant energy is hitting it is 107°C6 and the average temperature of the earth is 15°C with diurnal (day to night) variations of 4 to 10°C. Once again, this shows the Earth's atmosphere has a cooling effect.
Our atmosphere cools the earth, it doesn't warm it. The scientists that purport that carbon dioxide warms the earth are either completely non-schooled in thermodynamics or have their own nefarious reasons for backing carbon dioxide causing climate change. I have written several papers on the climate change issue and this is the most straight-forward and simple way I have found for showing that carbon dioxide causing the earth to warm is completely bogus.
1. Ross, R. J., and Elliott, W.P., "Radiosonde-Based Northern Hemisphere Tropospheric Water Vapor Trends" Journal of Climate, Vol. 14, 1602-1612, July 7, 2000.
2. Travis, D., A. Carleton, and R. Lauritsen, 2002: Contrails reduce daily temperature range. Nature, 418, 601.
Very convincing argument Bob, congratulations. Another way to put it is that the density of CO2 in earth's atmosphere is similar to the density of CO2 on Mars, but the earth does not warm up as much as it should based on the ratio of sunlight irradiance.
If these arguments are valid, then one must question what else is causing the obvious climate changes happening on earth. What is causing our polar ice caps and mountain glaciers to retreat to historic lows.
My theory is that CO2 and probably most other man-made air pollution is causing the earth’s climate patterns to change. Although evidence suggests otherwise the average global temperature may indeed be cooling, but, more importantly, there are dramatic weather pattern changes emerging globally. Unlike in past, our weather patterns seem to get stuck in the same patterns for weeks or months at a time, resulting in some climate seasons to be shortened while others are lengthened as compared to what used to be “normal”.
The primary result is that regional temperature averages all over the globe are changing. In any given year some regions experience a warmer than usual winter while others can be colder and stormier than normal, while simultaneously places in other parts of the globe experience colder than normal summers while some are much hotter than normal. The closer you go to the poles, the warmer those averages are becoming, with less polar and glacier ice able to form during their winter seasons, succumbing to greater melting rates during their summers. This is also evident in the observed rising ocean levels.
Secondary results are much greater intensity weather events, with larger extremes in storm wind speeds and pressure gradients. These are signs that the abnormal weather patterns that get stuck for weeks and months at a time cause large build-ups of energy in macroclimates, leading to sudden releases of this energy as more intense storm systems (“weather bombs”).
Harry Valentine 1.19.12
Excellent article Bob, material very well presented. The world's leading proponent of CO2 caused global warming was Dr Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia, whose seminal work became the foundation of the theory of man made global warming. Except that Dr Jones recanted the theory, claiming that his research staff had made errors that suggested the global warming was underway.
There are many theories that can explain the "evidence" that suggests the possibility of global warming, including solar activiity.
Len Gould 1.19.12
"What about the Moon? ... the average temperature on the moon when radiant energy is hitting it is 107°C"
-- WHY THE HECK ARE YOU COMPARING LUNAR DAYSIDE TEMPS TO EARTH AFVERAGE? To quote a RELIABLE source, "Specifically, the timing of the eruption that formed Rima Prinz, as in an eruption occurring during lunar night (120 K, Paige et al., 2010) vs. lunar day (380 K)," 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2011) - Effects of temperature on Erosion on Moon By any math but the author's, that places average lunar temperature at (120 + 380) / 2 = 250 K = -23 C, 34 C lower than earth.
The whole article is nonsense, and not to be trusted. The author has proven himself in past articles, and again here, to be willing to employ every trick and device to decieve his readers.
Jim Beyer 1.20.12
Venus, with a thicker atmosphere than Earth's, is much warmer than Earth, even accounting for its closer distance to the Sun.
Mars, with a thinner atmosphere than Earth's, is much cooler than Earth, even accounting for its farther distance from the Sun.
Ferdinand E. Banks 1.23.12
Why does somebody as intelligent as Bob Ashworth go off on these looney departures? I lecture every morning to my wife and myself on subjects of this nature, and although my wife sincerely wants me to change the subject or shut up, I still lecture to myself.
In any event, its the laziness and stupidity of the intelligent and well educated that has gotten us into all this trouble over the past twenty years or so. Moreso in fact than the greed of the rich. These are the people who convinced the less intelligent and well educated to reelect George W. Bush, although that man started a war on the basis of a lie. Without that war we might be facing a different and better economic and social scene.
Of course, I try to stay away from this particular subject because I know absolutely and totally nothing about it, and am probably incapable of learning anything about it that is usable, but what I do know from some of his previous posts is that when Mr Ashworth starts sounding off, its time to bring in the experts and see what they have to say. Apparently they are not impressed.
WES CAMPBELL 1.24.12
Perhaps if the author was not a chemical engineer who has worked on coal conversion processes his whole life , he would have something unbiased to say . I suppose that the 99% of Climate Scientists that are in agreement are all wrong then . It seems as though this gentlemen should stick to articles about Chemical Engineering , and leave the Climate analysis to those that have a better understanding of what is really going on .
Muxomor Squire 1.24.12
yes that's true. 20 years ago I was taking "Technical Writing" class in Santa Monica College and wrote about it. I got "C", just because that's not what americans want to hear. So to summarize the article.... nonsense. Grobal Warming, should be looked at from all sides. One thing I know is that atmosphere is 1% water and 0.04% CO2... So the affect of CO2 on Global Warming is EXTREMELY questionable. Biggest affect comes from water. But nobody ever talked about it in US.
Kerry Sloan 1.24.12
WES....where are you coming up with the "99%" number?
If these arguments are valid, then one must question what else is causing the obvious climate changes happening on earth." PLEASE tell me at any point in history when the climate WASN'T changing? Just once??? Guess what...it always has, and always will.
Malcolm Rawlingson 1.24.12
Kerry, Agree completely with your observation that the only thing constant about the Earths climate is that it is constantly changing. There should not be any expectation that it is constant yet there appears to be this assumption that any change is abnormal.
To a large extent I agree with Professor Fred whose wit and humour I always enjoy reading in that it really is pointless getting into these discussions since they have long since left the realm of practical science and are now religious arguments.
However suffice it to point out that just a few short years ago eminent scientists - probably even 99% of them (as good a number as any) were telling us that we were headed for another ice age.
Were they wrong - if so why? Did any one investigate why they appear to have got it so wrong - or did they get it right.
I am not the least bit concerned about the climate except to be very sure that we humans have not much to do with it. Of the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - a gas vitally important to photsynthesis - the small amount of the total added by humans is not significant. Much higher concentrations have been recorded at times when the Earth was much cooler....as yet the unexplained and conveniently absent bit of the infamous hockey stick curve.
But as noted above I am not conerned at all and if it results in lots more nuclear power plants then I will be very pleased. Often the world does the right thing for all the wrong reasons and as long as the world does do the right thing why they did it doesn't matter a hoot.
Malcolm Rawlingson 1.24.12
Jim, Just to point out to you that there is no water vapour in the Martian atmosphere and there is none (or very little) in the Venusian atmosphere therefore any comparison is irrelevant. You are trying to compare apples to oranges. There are numerous very active and larg volcanoes on venus, none on Mars and few on Earth at the present time. So what exactly is the basis for your comparison of the planets? Are you saying that the CO2 in the venusian atmosphere is the reason for its higher surface temperature and the absence of CO2 in the martian atmosphere is the reason for its lower temperature? Lets simply choose to ignore the fact that two thirds of the Earth is covered by water and none of the surface of Mars is covered with liquid water and if there was any liquid water on Venus it would be evaporated into the atmosphere. The big (and ignored) difference between the planets is that Earth is the ONLY one of the three you mention that is covered by enourmous volumes of water - that apparently has no effect on the Earths climate. I guess that rates as an inconvenient truth. Malcolm
WES CAMPBELL 1.24.12
Kerry...Virtually all the world’s roughly 3,000 professional climate scientists paint a psychologically daunting picture of the world in which today’s toddlers are growing up.
Estimates of people now dying who would not if there were no manmade warming are in the hundreds of thousands. The United Nations now estimates hundreds of millions of disruptive “climate refugees” in less than 40 years. Across the U.S., more frequent drought in southern regions and intensifying downpours and floods in the Midwest and Northeast fit patterns projected by climate experts 40 years ago. In the United States and worldwide, increasing food prices and insurance rates, and expanding species extinctions and ecological disruptions, are directly linked to the warming by climate scientists and other professionals who work closely with them.
Please note, that’s “climate scientists.” This and other reporters following the story have been surprised to see a few great scientists in other fields, including Nobel Prize winners, publish contrarian views that — by all appearances — climate scientists easily show to be simply wrong
This was an exerpt from the blog Climate Progress on 11/5/11 , which was originally written by ABC news . I am simply stating that I prefer my "Climate" news from people that don't have a vested interest in destroying it . Certainly someone that derived their income from coal for most of his working life(Mr. Ashworth's Bio) has a reason to cast doubt on what is commonly understood by the people who make a living studying it . Mr. Ashworth obviously sees his industry rapidly changing and would rather try to muddy the waters than evolve .
To Mr. Rawlingson ... How pleased would you be if the Fukashima Daiichi nuclear meltdown and fallout happened in your neighborhood ?
bill payne 1.24.12
"Second Law of Thermodynamics: Heat may only be transferred from a hotter to cooler body, never vice versa."
this article is completely one sided. way to be scientific about it.
Jon Wharf 1.24.12
These are some of the most transparently false arguments on climate change I have seen in a while.
Nearly as bad as the anti-nuclear arguments I encounter, sometimes from people who are quite rational on the climate crisis we are almost inevitably headed for.
Ferdinand E. Banks 1.25.12
Malcolm, you'll have to answer the question put to you by Wes Campbell, although you have already answered it in dozens of posts. You'll have to explain to him and other contributors to this forum once more that the Fukushima incident can mostly be attributed to the tsunami, and that the reactors there were intrinsically safe - though perhaps not safe given their location. You'll have to explain that or I'll have to explain once more that the laws of economics and facts of economic history assure us that rational voters are not going to accept the misery that would accompany a nuclear retreat.
Kerry Sloan 1.25.12
The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.
In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”.
It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife. However, new research, including work by British scientists, is casting doubt on such claims. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.
“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC.
The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.
These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.
Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.
“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”
The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report.
The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods.
“We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said. [...] Terry Mills, professor of applied statistics and econometrics at Loughborough University, looked at the same data as the IPCC. He found that the warming trend it reported over the past 30 years or so was just as likely to be due to random fluctuations as to the impacts of greenhouse gases. Mills’s findings are to be published in Climatic Change, an environmental journal.
“The earth has gone through warming spells like these at least twice before in the last 1,000 years,” he said. I don’t see how anyone can dismiss the likes of John Christy and Ross McKitrick and Terry Mills as kooks or prostitutes.
Wisely, the IPCC is not challenging their credibility or motives. Instead, it is resorting to the spin method of damage-control:
Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of the chapter of the IPCC report that deals with the observed temperature changes, said he accepted there were problems with the global thermometer record but these had been accounted for in the final report. Which may not be so wise. Because, like the article said, “In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”.
Richard Vesel 1.25.12
This article is complete nonsense, pure and simple.
I will only poke a hole in one of these specious arguments...
Water vapor in the atmosphere, in the form of contrails present and absent around the 9/11 attacks: Contrails at 30,000 to 40,000 feet DO indeed provide reflective albedo and cooling behavior. No argument. However, the increase in water vapor that contributes to the feedback that amplifies global warming is at lower altitudes. The reason that contrails form at those high altitudes is that the temperature is very low, and the atmosphere has no capacity to incorporate the water vapor from jet exhaust, so it condenses as ice crystals. This does NOT take place in the biosphere where there is massive evaporation of the sea, and buildup of water vapor from 0-10,000 feet.
Mr. Ashworth throws out astrophysical and thermodynamic mumbo-jumbo which only fools those who know pretty much nothing about the topic. To the rest of us, he's just babbling nonsense. Energy Pulse should do SOMETHING to review this kind of stuff, and filter out unscientific self-serving opinion blogs from ever reaching publication.
Bob Ashworth 1.25.12
Under the second law section. I wrote," A cooler atmosphere cannot radiate energy to earth's warmer surface." I meant to say, "A cooler atmosphere cannot radiate energy to the degree that it will heat the earth's warmer surface." Sorry about that!
I also see where many of you don't like my explanaiion. Although I have had several emails to me that liked the article. I am a chemical engineer and have designed coal gasification and combustion sytems, including radiation calculations that strangely worked as designed.
In a greenhouse the same thing happens in your car on a sunny day. It gets warm because there is no convection to dissipate the heat. I was the Process Engineer and Project Manager for an AFBC installation at a greenhouse. The greenhouse is heated at night and during cold days. It is wierd that there is so much false science being taught. To me, science and philosphy are both searches for truth and truth alone. I did not write this article because of any bias. It is based on Truth.
Do any of you know that in photosynthesis for every pound of CO2 converted to biomass that 10,000 Btu are absorbed. (Does the AGW crowd consider that?) That is one reason why a forrest is cool, one becuase of the shade provided by the leaf mass and the other the cooling effect of photosynthesis. There is approximately 390 ppmv of CO2 in the atmosphere with man's emissions contributing 11-12 ppmv of that, yet the AGW crowd say this is a dramatic effect that warms the earth. It actually cools the earth but the concentration is so small it could never be measured by man's instruments.
Richard Goodwin 1.25.12
please consider the following that supports the author's contentions
"Water vapor is the greenhouse gas with the greatest effect on the radiative balance of Earth's atmosphere, and it amplifies climate warming through positive feedback. Therefore, knowing precisely how much radiative forcing water vapor provides is of great importance for understanding atmospheric physics and climate change. Ptashnik et al. report laboratory measurements of the absorption of radiation by water in the near-infrared, performed at a range of temperatures and pressures. The data show that spectrally broad continuum absorption (as distinct from the better-characterized series of sharper, higher-cross-section resonances) is actually much higher than commonly assumed in atmospheric models. The result of this difference amounts to a globally averaged value of about 0.75 W/m 2 of additional radiative forcing, roughly 0.2% of the total solar input at the top of the atmosphere and about 1% of the global mean clear-sky atmospheric absorption. The authors speculate that this extra absorption could be due to the effect of water dimers." J. Geophys. Res. 116, D16305 (2011).
Richard W. Goodwin West Palm Beach FL
Len Gould 1.25.12
1. Effects of water vapour are fully accounted for in all models of earth climate. CO2 and methane are still the primary drivers of predicted global warming. If you don't understand this, educate yourself. I'm sick of constantly re-doing it. Think "GHG increases temp which increases water vapour which increases temp which increases water vapour which increases temp ... [loop repeatedly]. If temp drops, water vapour falls out immediately but GHG's don't. GHG's are controlling variables, water vapour is controlled amplifier."
2. Climate scientists are fully aware of the laws of thermodynamics.
3. Many participants in the debate have highly questionable conflicts of interest. Back up your contentions with peer reviewed references to be taken seriously.
4. Richard. Your reference actually increases the concern of adding GHG's to the atmosphere by eliminating the old argument that "the GHG's only absorb in a narrow band of IR and so increasing levels should have no further effect." Whether it could be construed to support the author's claim is irrelevant until that claim can be tested by several independent experts in the science and survive review. Period. We awaait such review.
Roger Arnold 1.25.12
I did not write this article because of any bias. It is based on Truth.
LOL! It's well that you wrote "Truth" with a capital "T". Because it's certainly not "truth". Whether you intended it or not, your "Truth" is similar to that of any religious fanatic -- "revealed" and not to to be questioned. Ah, well. I know that the movers and shakers in denial circles like to say the same about those who accept anthropogenic global warming. It's an effective strategy for sowing confusion, which is the whole point.
Never mind that those who accept the conventional view of greenhouse gases include not just the climate researchers behind the reviled IPCC, but even the few credentialed academics and researchers who are critical of the IPCC reports and what they see as "AGW alarmism". Freeman Dyson is one example. He's a widely respected and eminently competent physicist whom deniers tout as proof that their camp includes such fellows. But if you read what he has said about it, you'll find that Dyson understands greenhouse warming and understands that it is intensified by rising atmospheric CO2 levels. He also understands that it's human activities that are driving the rise in atmospheric CO2. He just doesn't think it's a Big Deal. He has faith in our ability to remedy the problems through geoengineering. Plus he doesn't like the way those who question details of the IPCC models have been treated by their collegues and by the press.
Or take Richard Lindzen -- atmospheric physicist and honored professor of meteorology at MIT. He's probably the best known and most actively critical opponent of the IPCC consensus. He attends and lectures at conventions of the denialist faithful. But even he understands the effects of rising CO2 levels and the role of human activities in that rise. He simply believes that there are unrecognized homeostatic mechanisms that increase high altitude cloud formation, raising the earth's albedo and offsetting the warming that would otherwise be happening. Lindzen warned activists at a convention not so long ago that they were going off the deep end, spreading junk science, and undermining the scientific credibility of the anti-IPCC movement.
The complete denial of GHG warming effects that you are advancing, Bob, is so far beyond the pale and so easy to refute (with physics and just a little math) that it's embarassing. I have to second Richard Vesel's comment above that Energy Pulse needs to institute at least some minimal filtering process for technical content.
Len Gould 1.25.12
Mr Sloan. Do you accept Christy's statement from his Wiki page "As far as the AGU, I thought that was a fine statement because it did not put forth a magnitude of the warming. We just said that human effects have a warming influence, and that's certainly true. There was nothing about disaster or catastrophe. In fact, I was very upset about the latest AGU statement [in 2007]. It was about alarmist as you can get." He argues only with the predicted effects, not the cause. All rational participants, including myself, constantly state that the real effects are not certain, only some probability. My contention is that given even a fairly low probability, we MUST take reasonable action to control it. 1) renewables where possible, including solar thermal electricity with thermal storage and long-distance HVDC transmission (it won't kill us economically, really. 2) Nuclear generation where no other option. 3) electrification of transportation. (other benefits, including reduced oil dependency)
Roger Arnold 1.25.12
Just FYI, as an example of where you went astray, you wrote:
Now then if the Earth had the identical composition and atmosphere as Mars, based on the solar irradiance hitting it compared to Mars, the average temperature on earth would be (1367.6/589.2) x 208.3 = 483.5°K.
Wrong! Your figures for solar irradiance of Earth vs. Mars look correct, and I'll assume that your figures for average surface temperatures are also correct. However, in that equation you wrote for average temperature, you are assuming that the temperature is linearly proportional to irradiance. That's not the case at all. Thermal emission is proportional to the fourth power of temperature. The surface temperature ratio should therefore go as the fourth root of the irradiance. The fourth root of (1367.6/589.2) is 1.2912; 208.3K x 1.2912 is 268.9K, or -4.197 C. Snowball earth time, if that were the average surface temperature of Earth.
Now you could well ask why, if the total GHG partial pressures of Earth and Mars are similar as you note, why is Earth warmed so much more than Mars? That's a fair question, but there's a lot more to the answer than I'm prepared to go into here. I'm not responsible for your education, any more than Len is.
Len Gould 1.25.12
Nice catch Roger. That's what reviewing of articles is all about. I knew it would be in there but didn't see it.
Bob Amorosi 1.26.12
Wow,...very good Roger! Bob Ashworth may be good chemist but he clearly didn't remember his physics very well. I'm neither a chemist or physicist, so I am certainly being educated if no one else is here.
"That's a fair question, but there's a lot more to the answer than I'm prepared to go into here." I totally agree there's a lot more to the answer.
There are factors about solar irradiance and thermal emission that have not been discussed here yet. For example, the electromagnetic energy transmission of the atmosphere, and the absorption / reflection characteristics of the earth’s surface are all very dependent on the wavelength of that solar energy as well as the atmosphere’s composition and the earth’s surface composition.
Given the sun's incident light energy is a broad spectrum of wavelengths, and given the composition of the atmosphere is in constant flux (think of cloud cover, man-made pollution, etc.), and given the earth’s surface composition is in a long-term state of flux (think deforestation, urbanization, farming), changes in global climate behavior over the long term is far more complex than most scientists realize. More importantly, it implies that the computer models of climate behavior in use today are probably woefully inaccurate for long-term climate behavioral prediction.
It is safe to say that ANY global changes to the composition of the earth’s atmosphere, and/or to the earth’s surface, man-made or otherwise, will undoubtedly have some effect on climate behavior, particularly long-term. It’s also safe to say that climate change due to man’s influence is surely significant.
Bob Ashworth 1.26.12
In case you don't know this watts is energy in Joules/sec or Btus/unit time. If you double the energy input the source being heated will double. For instance 1 Btu will heat 1 lb of water 1 degree F. 2 Btus will heat one lb of water two degrees F. The fourth power is how you calculate the radiation there is no temperature component there. You are wrong about that my friend.
One of my sayings is a man's arrogance and his ignorance are directly proportional. That is seen in the personal attacks thrown at me by many of you.
To me that adds prove to what I have relayed. When I proved Einstein was wrong about photons having no mass and the speed of light c being a maximum, one reviewer said I was mad as a hatter. They finally published the paper after 5 years of review. I sent the paper to a physicist in Cern Switzerland before I tried to publish it. He said, It was sophmoric physcis. Recently Cern measured neutrino speeds greater that c, as I relayed in 1998.
So when you guys go outside on a sunshiny day and a cloud passes over and shades you, all of you feel warmer? Interesting!
Len Gould 1.26.12
No sale Bob.
Bob Amorosi 1.26.12
Bob Ashworth, I think you are missing something. It has to do with energy transfer rates, storage of thermal energy, and the wavelength dependence of a medium’s light energy transmission properties, particularly for the mediums of clouds and other gas molecules.
During the day, clouds reflect most of the sunlight’s infrared spectrum back into space, but they still TRANSMIT some of the visible portion, resulting in cooler temperatures than if it were a clear day. What reaches the earth’s surface is largely converted and STORED as thermal energy (except for snow covered earth).
At night the dominant radiation source is infrared from the earth’s surface being released at a much lower rate than incident sunlight. On a clear night it largely escapes into space but not on a cloudy night where it is mostly reflected by clouds back to the earth. We all know it is noticeably warmer on a cloudy night than if it were a clear night because the clouds keep the infrared radiation trapped in the lower atmosphere.
How do your calculations account for these storage, transfer rates, and wavelength effects?
Jim Beyer 1.26.12
I think what Roger was indicating is that since the planet must be at stasis energy-wise (no net energy moving in or out), then the temperature of the planet would relate to its energy output in the form of radiation. Since 1367 Watts/meter^2 are incoming, then 1367 Watts/meter^2 must be outgoing as well. By Stefan-Boltzman law, this relationship is emissivity = k*T^4 (T to the power of 4).
I agree with Len and Roger. No sale Bob.
Malcolm Rawlingson 1.26.12
Wes, You asked me how pleased I would be if Fukushima had occurred in my neighbourhood. It is a very good question since my home is located very near to a large nuclear power plant. Since I have worked in the industry for well over 40 years now I feel very qualified to give you the answer which is it would not bother me that much. Now the earthquake that preceded it and the 50 foot tidal wave would have flattened my house and washed it out to sea would be of significant concern so by comparison so a bit of radiation would be the very least of my worries. Should I have been fortunate enough to survive the natural disasters (which I would if I was working at the plant) . To deal with the radioactive releases I would deploy the tools of radiation protection which are time, distance and shielding to keep safe. None of these work on earthquakes or tsunamis but are very effective for radioactive materials. But since I do not live near an earthquake fault line where the risk of being killed is orders ofLetL magnitude greater than the risks from radiation I am perfectly safe. Let me close by saying that the risks of dying from radiation exposure are highly exagerrated by the media who are unable to distinguish between lethal doses and insignificant doses or the different types of radiation and their effects on the human body. Of course it is like saying that taking one aspirin tablet is the same as taking 5 bottles of aspirin which as anyone knows is complete nonsense. The nuclear industry takes all releases of radiation seriously since we are by far the safest industry in the world even the most miniscule releases receive great attention. As far as risk goes and whether I would like Fukushima in my back yard. Earthquake - No, Tsunami - No, radiation release - I can survive that. Best policy is not to live near earthquake fault lines and volcanoes....way riskier than nuclear plants by miles.
Bob Ashworth 1.28.12
Jim, Bob and Roger:
The T^4 component times emissivity is the method of caculating the amount of radiant energy liberated from a body say like the sun. If we have two suns of the same temperature there will be no heating of either. The heat transfer is determined by the difference in temperature between two bodies and the distance between them. The cooler body insulates the warmer body and it doesn't cool as fast. The warmer heats the cooler body until it reaches its equilibrium temperature.
The following method of estimating the rate of heat transfer by radiation from carbon dioxide and water vapor to a bounding solid surface was developed by Hottel and Egbert.
The rate of heat transfer by radiation between a hemispherical mass of gas with a radius (L), partial pressure of gas emitting radiation of (p) atmospheres, at the uniform absolute temperature of the gas (Tg), and a small element of solid surface at its absolute temperature (Ts) with a surface emissivity (es) located on the base of the hemisphere at its center is:
Q/A = 0.173 es * [egg *(Tg/100)4 – egs*(Ts/100)4]
Where, Q = Rate of heat transfer between gas and solid A = Area of heat absorbing surface egg = emissivity of the gas at Tg egs = emissivity of the gas at Ts
So Q is equal to the difference in radiant energy generated between the two. You then use that Q in combination with the specific heat ot the body being warmed to determine how much the body was warmed Q = UA Deta T. T^4 is not involved.
Len Gould 1.29.12
Bob. "The T^4 component times emissivity " -- The calculation of rates of energy emitted applies to all bodies where radiation can pass between them, not only suns. There are three known means of transferring thermal energy between any two bodies. Conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction requires the bodies to be in physical contact. Convection requires the two bodies be joined by a fluid with a non-zero specific heat. Radiation requires only that there be a path between the two bodies have some level of tranparent to electromagnetic radiation.
Earth gains energy from the sun by radiation, so it must send energy away or constantly increase its temperature. It, with its atmosphere, is suspended in a near-perfect vacuum with no physical contact with any other body. Therefore it MUST radiate energy to ALL surrounding space, not only back to the sun (which comprises only a tiny proportion of the area of space surrounding earth to which it radiates. Per HyperPhysic website - Stefan-Boltzmann Law ,
"For hot objects other than ideal radiators, the law is expressed in the form:
(given alpha = 5.67 x 10^-8 watts per sq meter per Kelvin^4)
P / A = e x alpha x T^4
where e is the emissivity of the object (e = 1 for ideal radiator). If the hot object is radiating energy to its cooler surroundings at temperature Tc, the net radiation loss rate takes the form
P / A = e x alpha x (T^4 - Tc^4) "
Earth is radiating energy to all surrounding space, which has an apparent temperature (Tc) of about 3 kelvins compared to earth's approximate average 300 kelvins.
Not exactly clear what your calculation refers to (net energy transfer between a gas and a solid is of ZERO significance in this discussion). Perhaps with a reference we could clear that up for you.
Bob Amorosi 1.29.12
I must agree with Len and the others at this point. While Bob's article may nicely apply to gases in the atmosphere transfering heat energy to solid objects like a planet's surface, IT DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR ALL ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION EFFECTS.
Len Gould 1.29.12
Of course the thing gets hugely complicated when one gets into the real issues involved in anthro climate change. What is the spectrum of radiation coming in from the sun, where does it get intercepted (at earth's surface or at some level up in the atmosphere), from where does the outgoing thermal radiation get re-emitted, in what direction and at what frequency, and what if anything intercepts it when it is re-emitted. What are the characteristics of atmospheric convection and how do they affect climate? What percentages of incoming radiation get reflected, by what surfaces, and how do changes in those reflectors affect all the other issues? What energy gets stored in the oceans and transported to other locations, to what effect?
Once you\ve dealt thouroughly with all those questions at very small increments of surface area and ocean and atmospheric volume and increments of time, THEN you MIGHT usefully start developing an opinion regarding the effects of adding CO2 and methane from human processes to the calculations. Existing climate models are unthinkably hugely complex, running on enormous computers, developed by large teams of the most expert scientists.
For someone like Mr. Ashworth or any other non-qualified "expert" to claim they are smarter than those resources, well, all one can say is "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary backing". Bob Ashworth, and all the cranks of his ilk, certainly fail in that department. Miserably and obviously to anyone with even a modicum of knowledge, much less to the experts they rail against for refusing to waste the time to talk to them.
Bob Ashworth 2.3.12
It is apparent that most of you have never completed any mass and energy balances around a system. You use T^4 to obtain the energy input but then use Q = UA Delta T to get the temperature of the object heated. It is very simple, not complicated as many o0f you would like it to be.
Simplicity and profundity are one!
Malcolm Rawlingson 2.5.12
Well Len, you have much greater faith in "experts" than I do. While I agree with your statement..........
"Existing climate models are unthinkably hugely complex, running on enormous computers, developed by large teams of the most expert scientists."
.......I cannot help but be amused. Similar experts using unthinkably, hugely complex, climate models running on enormous computers developed by large teams of the most expert scientists are patently unable to predict the weather on this planet more than a day or two ahead and mostly the accuracy rate is no better than a guess when you go out more than a month. Are our weather scientists not experts? Do they not use the most sophisticated computer models available to us?Are weather models not hugely complex? And yet we are not able to predict hurricanes or even the severity or otherwise of a winter in Canada?
And you wonder why I and many others are so skeptical of pronouncements by "experts" of the state of the world climate and temperature 50 years from now. Big computers do not prove scientific theories. Hundreds of experts do not prove scientific theories. Consensus does not prove scientific theories. And C02 induced climate change is just that - a theory which cannot be proven. There is no means by which this theory can be proved or disproved.
To illustrate my point further. About October last year the weathermen (experts to a man and woman) of Environment Canada, no doubt using the most sophisticated tools imaginable, using the very best available historical data on weather in this region of the world, running on the most powerful computers known to man predicted a very bad winter in Ontario with heavy snowfalls. So far it has been the warmest for years and almost no snow. I have not heard an apology for that yet.
No doubt the global warming booster club (to coin one of Fred's phrases) will point to this is as "evidence" of global warming. But it is what it is - a warmer than normal year that could easily be followed next year by a colder than normal winter.
To use the size and complexity of a climate model to justify or imply its accuracy, or the fact that the models are running on big computers or that large numbers of "experts" worked on it it is truly the most comical statement I have heard - and I do listen to and respect what you say -usually.
When climate scientists can tell us when and where the next hurricane will develop - then I will stop being a skeptic on other matters related to the worlds climate.
As they used to say in the computer world - GIGO - Garbage in - Garbage out. It doesn't matter if the person inputting the garbage is an expert or whether the computer processing the garbage is a large or a small one. Garbage is still garbage. Even NASA had to admit its climate data was wrong since numerous temperature measurements were made in places heavily influenced by building air vents and air conditioner outlets whose readings bore no resemblance to the actual temperatures in those locations at all.
Len Gould 2.6.12
Ahhh Malcolm, trying to use that ancient tired misdirection "how can one predict climate if one cannot predict weather?" is simply long dead and you know it. For example, even though I can't tell you what the weather in Toronto will be like next July 4th, I can with confidence tell you the climate will be amenable to growing deciduous forest, wheat and corn, and the climate will be significantly cooler that that of Equador. Climate is NOT weather.
Give a reference for the "NASA climate data was wrong", and a quick analysis of by how much, and we can discuss it. My suspicion is that the correction won't be very significant.
Bob Ashworth 2.7.12
You are worried about CO2 that cools the earth and provides us food. Since we seem to be going into the next ice age, you will probably blame that on CO2. Of course the CO2 effect is so low you could never measure its cooling effect, but the pseudo-scientists will jump on it. See graph at website below.
Cooling effect of CO2? Thats so obviously wrong i'm amazed that you're not even TRYING to sucker people in with that one Bob.
Bob Amorosi 2.8.12
"Since we seem to be going into the next ice age"
This conclusion seems rather strange when the polar ice caps have been melting back further and further every summer in recent years, and most mountain glaciers have been retreating and disappearing altogether all around the world. If this is not due to global warming, what exactly is it due to Bob?... is someone pouring antifreeze into the world's oceans perhaps? I'll bet you could come up with a chemical theory to prove this too.
Bob Ashworth 2.8.12
You can't teach people anything who never open their minds. Common sense is thrown under the bus to be replaced by nonsensical computer models. On a sunshiny day when a cloud goes overhead and shades you, you become cooler. Even a child knows this. These are the lower lying clouds. At night the clouds have an insulating effect, as a fourth grader would know. The rate of energy from the sun overwhelms any insulating effect by the atmosphere and clouds at night. So the atmosphere has to cool the earth.
Further, manmade CO contributes ~12 ppmv (IPCC data) out of a total CO2 concentration of 390 ppmv in the atmosphere (man + nature). If we totally eliminated all manmade CO2 we would go back to the level we had in 2005 when it was warmer than it is now. The last ten years the atmosphere has cooled. People who support CO2 causing warming are either being paid to lie or have no technical ability to analyze data, or just say it does like a person practicing a fanatical religion. By the way God exists. God is the One Consciousness-Awareness, of which we are all apart. For Christians, that is why Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself!" Your neighbor is part of God and also part of you. The ego prevents man from realizing this. We exist within the One Consciousness as our dreams exist within us at night. So simple and yet there are so many atheists.
Bob: If you looked at the diagram from Iceage Now, the temperature changes as the solar irradiation changes. That is what will cause it like it did in medieval times. That period that Michael Mann doctored to show no warming and the variation the IPCC never mention. Charlatans, that is all I can say.
Bob Ashworth 2.8.12
Second paragraph should have read manmade CO2 not CO.
Bob Amorosi 2.8.12
"If you looked at the diagram from Iceage Now, the temperature changes as the solar irradiation changes."
The Iceage Now website says the polar icecaps are receding due to ... wait for it... undersea volcanoes causing the oceans to warm up. Hmmmm.... I don't recall the theory in this article accounting for geological thermal sources affecting ocean temperatures and hence climate trends, Bob. I would love to see some thermal calculations that account for how much energy is required to warm up the oceans as they have been observed to be in recent years … probably pretty massive amounts of thermal energy.
In any case, it's hard to imagine the sharp changes in global climate patterns being observed over the last 40 years being attributed entirely to solar irradiance fluctuations and undersea volcanism fluctuations over that time period. I mean how different are these levels been over the past decade than they were respectively 40 years ago. I doubt very much.
Jim Beyer 2.8.12
When I'm standing still outside, I watch the sun move across the sky. So obviously it revolves around the sun. That's just common sense, right?
Maybe, just maybe, the sun that is blocked by the cloud is heating the cloud instead of you! And since the cloud and you are both part of the earth, then your comment really has nothing at all to say about the overall heating of the planet. Hmm, I guess that's just common sense too....
Bob Ashworth 2.9.12
Bob: I know solar irradiance oscillates, normally on a 10-11 year cycle but there are larger variations from time to time.
Jim: 1st one not really good common sense; it could be the sun revolving around the earth like the ancients thought.
2nd one not common sense either. On a cloudy day the earth is cooler; on a cloudy night the earth is warmer.
Len Gould 2.9.12
Jim. we can't seem to get to Bod with either scientific arguments or common sense. I guess best to simply let him go on ranting foolishly and simply redirect so others are not sucked into his vortex of fantasy.
Bob Ashworth 2.10.12
Len: Neither the pseudo-scientific or pseudo-common sense arguments are valid. I answer the questions directly and that confuses you so you say I am ranting. The AGW group is indeed living in their own isolated fantasy world.
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