Radical New Hypothesis on the Effect of Greenhouse Gases

CLIMATE is complex but in an attempt to understand the effects of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on global temperatures simplified General Circulation Models (GCMs) have been developed and are used by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).      Al Gore, in his famous movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, explained that as the concentration of carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, more energy is trapped, warming the planet.   This assumption is central to the GCMs and the current consensus on climate change. 

Some sceptics complain that the GCMs do not realistically simulate climate because there are many processes that can’t be adequately modelled including cloud formation.  Michael Hammer, an engineer who specializes in spectroscopy, is also sceptical of the GCM but his criticism is more fundamental.  In the following paper, using the basic laws of spectroscopy, he shows that a significant portion of energy loss from the Earth’s surface is by direction radiation to space at wavelengths not absorbed by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.    This is in direct contrast to the IPCC explanation that there is low radiation from the Earth’s surface to space and potentially high radiation from the atmosphere to space.

Science is a process of getting it wrong and hopefully learning – on this single issue Michael Hammer and the IPCC can’t both be right.  

AN ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF GREENHOUSE GASES IN THE ATMOSPHERE
By Michael Hammer

1. SUMMARY

Kiehl and Trenberth in 1997 published a global mean energy budget for Earth.  This budget has significant implications for the proposed greenhouse mechanism and indirectly leads to the concept of an equivalent radiation altitude for Earth which changes with greenhouse gas concentrations.  The K&T and similar models form a basis for the global circulation models used in climate science.

This analysis derives a partial global energy budget based on an analysis of the observed atmospheric lapse rate, and basic laws of spectroscopy, which is at considerable variance with the K&T findings.  The differences have significant implications for the greenhouse mechanism and suggest that the concept of an equivalent radiation altitude has no meaning. 

It also suggests that the amount of positive feedback attributed to water vapour by these global circulation models is impossible and thus that the temperature rise postulated from the predicted increase in carbon dioxide concentration is greatly exaggerated.

2. INTRODUCTION

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere act entirely through radiative processes.  Earth’s net energy balance is also entirely due to radiative processes since a planet in space can only gain or lose energy by this means.  For these reasons, this paper is primarily concerned with an analysis based on radiative effects. 

While this paper specifically mentions the Kiehl & Trenberth model in some detail (since it is the model used by the IPCC), it is recognised that there are other models also used in modelling, for example, the one quoted in “An introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modelling” by Warren Washington and Claire Parkinson ISBN 0-935702-52-0 University Science Books.  While they show some differences compared to the K&T model they seem to share the same basic structure of low radiation from the surface to space and high radiation from the atmosphere to space.  This is the dominant issue being questioned and the K&T model is used here as a convenient example.

3. THE ROLE OF CONVECTION AND LATENT HEAT

This paper is primarily concerned with radiative processes.  This should not be taken as denying the role played by convection and latent heat.  Clearly these processes have enormous effect within the troposphere and indeed are a dominant cause of our weather.  They are also extremely significant in distributing heat around the planet and especially in energy transport from the equator to the poles.

Convection and latent heat effects impact on energy loss to space by changing the temperature versus altitude and latitude profiles within the atmosphere.  The variation in height and temperature of the tropopause with latitude is an example of this.  These represent perturbations superimposed on radiative processes.   While their effects are reduced by averaging over the planet, it is acknowledged that the impact does not entirely cancel out because of the non linear relationship between temperature and energy radiated.  Ignoring these effects thus introduces approximations which reduce the precision of the results obtained.

None the less, it is claimed that the mechanisms discussed in this paper are the dominant mechanisms controlling heat loss from this planet and the conclusions following from the analysis are extremely relevant in assessing the impact of green house gases in the atmosphere.

4. SOME BASIC SPECTROSCOPY

If a material absorbs light, one might intuitively expect the amount of light absorbed to be proportional to the concentration of the material, so that doubling the concentration doubles the amount of light absorbed.  This is not the case as can be seen by a simple thought experiment.  Imagine we have a piece of material which absorbs 50% of the light incident on it transmitting the other 50%.  Doubling the concentration of material is exactly equivalent to adding a second identical piece of the material behind the first piece.  The first piece absorbs 50% of the light incident on it transmitting the remaining 50%.  The second piece being identical does exactly the same, absorbing 50% of the light that passed through the first piece and transmitting 50%.  Thus the net light passing through the two pieces is not 0 but 25%.  If we have n identical pieces the transmission will be 0.5n.

The relationship between concentration and light absorbed is not linear.  Spectroscopists use the term absorbance to define the degree to which a sample absorbs a particular wavelength of light.  Absorbance is defined by  the equations;

Fraction of energy transmitted  =  10 –absorbance
Fraction of energy absorbed     =  1 – 10 –absorbance

If a sample has an absorbance of 1, it means that it absorbs 90% of the light incident on it, transmitting the remaining 10%.  The absorbance of a sample is directly and linearly proportional to the amount of absorbing material in the light path (Beers law).  Thus if a particular sample has an absorbance of 1 then doubling the concentration of the absorbing species for the same path length or doubling the path length with the same concentration will change the absorbance to 2.

5. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EMISSIVITY

All material substances both absorb radiant energy incident on them, and emit radiant energy at a rate dependent on their temperature.   The degree to which they absorb incident energy is often called the absorptivity and the degree to which they emit energy is often called the emissivity.  However from Kirchoff’s law of thermal radiation the emissivity and absorptivity must be equal to each other.

The absorptivity/emissivity is a property of the substance and its form.  A highly polished surface absorbs and emits less energy than a dull surface and a white surface absorbs and emits less energy than a black surface.  What Kirchoff’s law is stating is that absorption of radiant energy and emission of radiant energy are reciprocal processes, a material that does not absorb will also not emit and vice versa.  The same factor governs both to an equal extent.

Most of the atmosphere is made up of nitrogen and oxygen which do not significantly absorb infrared energy because their emissivity in this portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is exceptionally low.  This means they also do not emit significant infrared – they are not greenhouse gases.  Other gases however have a very strong ability to absorb energy at some wavelengths between 4 and 50 microns (the approximate range of emission wavelengths from earth’s surface).  They are the greenhouse gases and the most significant is water vapour followed by carbon dioxide and then methane and ozone.  Because their emissivity is high at the absorption wavelengths and low at other wavelengths they also selectively radiate energy at these same absorption wavelengths.
 
5. AN ANALYSIS OF THE KIEHL AND TRENBERTH MODEL

This model is documented at;

www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/abstracts/files/kevin1997_1.html
(from Bull Amer. Meteor Soc, 78, 197-208 1997). 

There is an update dated 2008 at;

 chrisclose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-Kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/ 

both documents specify very similar numbers.  The K&T model (2008 update) specifies the following energy flows all with the units watts/m2.

Incoming solar radiation   341
Reflected solar radiation   102
Energy radiated from earth’s surface  396
Surface radiation absorbed by the atmosphere 356
Energy radiated from surface directly to space  40
Energy emitted by atmosphere to space  169
Energy emitted from clouds to space   30
Energy transported to atmosphere via
Convection and latent heat  of water vapour  97
Solar radiation directly absorbed by atmosphere 78

This data shows that energy input to the atmosphere via radiative processes = 356 + 78 = 434 watts/m2.  Energy input via convective processes = 97 watts/m2.  Thus energy input to the atmosphere is dominated by radiative processes (82% radiative and 18% convective).

It should also be noted that the global circulation models GCM’s use a concept called the equivalent radiation altitude.  This is a hypothetical altitude from which it is assumed long wave radiation back out to space emanates.  Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations are assumed to change the equivalent radiation altitude.  Changes to this equivalent radiation altitude together with the known lapse rate through the atmosphere are used to calculate changes in surface temperatures.

There is a well known and documented temperature versus altitude data (lapse rate) for Earth’s atmosphere.  This temperature profile is established and maintained by the need for energy balance at every altitude.
 
The lapse rate consists of an almost linear decrease in temperature with altitude from the surface (+14C) to the top of the troposphere – the tropopause (at between 10 – 14 km altitude) where the temperature is between about -60 and   -80 C depending on latitude.  Above the tropopause (in the stratosphere) the temperature rises, again almost linearly, to a maximum of about -20C at an altitude of about 50 km.

The tropopause is thus a cold region sandwiched between warmer regions above and below.  For this situation to be stable (and it is stable), the tropopause must have a way of losing energy to a colder sink – otherwise it would warm up due to energy input from the adjacent regions.  The only colder region available is space itself and the only energy transfer mechanism available is radiative loss.

Thermal emissions from the tropopause will all be in the 5 micron to 50 micron wavelength range (governed by the temperature of the emitter) and can only occur at the characteristic absorption/emission lines of the green house gases.  There is however a problem with this scenario.  Ten percent of Earth’s atmosphere is above the tropopause in the stratosphere and the greenhouse gases in this region would normally absorb the emissions from the tropopause. 

Further, since the air in the stratosphere is warmer, the downwards radiation onto the tropopause would exceed the upwards radiation from it leading to net energy gain not loss.  Yet the tropopause is colder than the stratosphere so it must have a mechanism for losing energy.

A solution to this apparent paradox is that there is an abrupt change in the greenhouse gas composition at the tropopause such that the tropopause can radiate at wavelengths which the stratosphere is not capable of absorbing.  The tropopause represents a temperature inversion which greatly inhibits convection and when that is coupled with the fact that water vapour is carried up from Earth’s surface principally by convection, one would immediately suspect water vapour as the variable component – high concentration in the troposphere and low concentration in the stratosphere.  This suspicion is confirmed by the two quotes taken from the following link;

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/education/secondary/teachers/atmosphere.html

“The atmosphere is well mixed below 100 km, and apart from its highly variable water vapour and ozone contents, its composition is as shown below”

“As well as a noticeable change in temperature, the move from the troposphere into the stratosphere is also marked by an abrupt change in the concentrations of the variable trace constituents. Water vapour decreases sharply, whilst ozone concentrations increase. These strong contrasts in concentrations are a reflection of little mixing between the moist, ozone-poor troposphere and the dry, ozone-rich stratosphere.”

This information explains how the tropopause can remain colder than the air above and below.  It also explains why temperature rises in the stratosphere.  Ozone is a strong absorber of ultraviolet energy from the sun and such absorption will warm the stratosphere.  The energy gained will be re-emitted as thermal infrared energy at the absorption/emission lines of the greenhouse gases present, mainly CO2 and methane.  The energy absorption by ozone is greatest at around 50 km altitude which is why the temperature peaks at this point and the temperature profile down to the tropopause is essentially an upside down version of what happens in the troposphere.  

It should be noted that the tropopause radiates at all wavelengths corresponding to greenhouse gas absorption/emission lines but those greenhouse gases present in the stratosphere also radiate back down onto the tropopause and since they are warmer, the downward radiation exceeds the upwards radiation.  Thus the only net energy loss from the tropopause occurs at the wavelengths corresponding the water vapour absorption/emission lines.

Since the tropopause can radiate relatively strongly at the water vapour absorption/emission lines (strongly enough to keep itself cold) it follows that the emissivity at these lines must be relatively high which also means that the absorptivity is also high for the reasons discussed in the earlier section titled “the significance of emissivity”.  Couple that with the fact that water vapour concentration is higher at lower altitudes and it follows that the tropopause (possibly together with a small region immediately below it) will be opaque to radiation at the water vapour absorption/emission lines.  That means that emission from lower in the atmosphere directly to space becomes impossible at the water vapour absorption/emission lines because the energy is re-absorbed by the region at or immediately below the tropopause.

The implication is that thermal energy from the surface can escape to space in only two ways.  First, by surface emission escaping directly to space at wavelengths which the greenhouse gases do not absorb.  Second, by emission from the tropopause at wavelengths corresponding to the water vapour absorption/emission lines. 

It is possible to gain at least some idea of the relative magnitude of these two emission mechanisms.

Ozone absorbs essentially all radiation below 290 nanometers (UVC radiation) .  It further absorbs approximately 90% of radiation between 290 and 320 nanometers (UVB radiation) plus a decreasing amount of UVA radiation up to about 350 nm.  The amount incoming solar radiation in these wavelength ranges can be determined by solving Planck’s equation for a 5800K emitter (scaled to 341 watts/m2 total) at wavelength increments of, say, 5 nanometers and then numerically integrating over each wavelength range.  The result is 8.3 watts/m2 for UVC, 6.3 watts/m2 for UVB and 8.3 watts/m2 for UVA up to 350 nm.  The total absorbed by ozone is 8.3 + 0.9*6.3 + 0.5*8.3 = 18.1 watts/m2 .  It should be noted that ozone absorption peaks at around 50 km altitude which should be above most of the albedo effects.

The ultraviolet energy absorbed by ozone is not capable of being re-emitted at the same wavelengths because the gas is too cold.  Instead it will be re-emitted as long wave radiation at the CO2 and methane absorption/emission lines.  For a maximum stratosphere temperature of about -20C the black body radiation between 14 and 15.5 microns is 17.5 watts/m2 which is in reasonable agreement with the calculated energy absorption by ozone.  

The remaining incoming solar energy is either reflected back out to space (due to Earth’s albedo) or is absorbed lower in the atmosphere or at the surface.

The overall albedo of Earth is 0.3 so 341 * 0.3 = 102 watts/m2 is reflected back to space leaving  341 – 102 – 18.1 = 221 watts/m2 to be absorbed at or below the tropopause.  All of this must be radiated back out to space as long wavelength radiation if thermal balance is to be maintained.

There are many water vapour absorption lines below 8 microns.  Between 14 microns and 15.5 microns carbon dioxide absorbs strongly and above 15.5 microns water vapour again has many absorption lines.  Between 8 and 14 microns there is a window where the atmosphere offers little if any impediment to direct radiation to space from the surface. 

Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_windows

“The atmospheric window refers to those parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that are, with the earth’s atmosphere in its natural state, not absorbed at all. One atmospheric window lies approximately at wavelengths of infrared radiation between 8 and 13 or 14 micrometres[1].”
[1]   ISBN 0521339561 Houghton, J.T. The Physics of Atmospheres

And;
Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_absorption
Cotton, William (2006). Human Impacts on Weather and Climate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521840864. “Little absorption is evident in the region called the atmospheric window between 8 and 14 μm”
Solving Planck’s equation on a spreadsheet for a 288 K source at wavelength increments of 0.2 microns and then numerically integrating yields energies as follows;

Below 8 microns     45 watts/m2
8 microns to 14 microns 143 watts/m2
14 microns to 15.5 microns   28 watts/m2
Above 15.5 microns  174 watts/m2

Interestingly, the energy radiated by Earth’s surface over the strong carbon dioxide absorption band between 14 and 15.5 microns is 28 watts/m2 which is in good agreement with the value typically claimed for the energy retained by carbon dioxide.

It is also important to note that the regions below 8 microns and above 15.5 microns are not totally opaque.  There are multiple absorption lines but there are gaps between these lines where substantial energy can escape to space, especially in the wavelength region above 15.5 microns.  If this were not the case, line broadening through increasing concentrations of green house gases would have little if any impact on incremental energy retention (discussed in more detail later).  This substantially adds to the 143 watts/m2 calculated above.

6. THE IMPACT OF CLOUDS

The above numbers do not allow for the impact of clouds.  Clouds are droplets of liquid water and in the thermal infrared, water has an emissivity very close to 1 (hence the high emissivity of earth’s surface at these wavelengths). It is therefore reasonable to expect clouds to act as grey or black body absorbers with an emissivity approaching 1 as the clouds get thicker.  This would mean that thick clouds would absorb all the thermal infrared energy incident on them and in turn emit energy as a black body from the cloud top.  Since the cloud top is colder than the surface, the energy emitted over the atmospheric window will be lower.  How much lower is easy to calculate by integration of Planck’s law given the known atmospheric lapse rate of 6.5C per kilometer and the height of the cloud.
 
Thin clouds with an emissivity less than 1 would have a smaller impact.

Only a portion of the Earth’s surface at any given time is cloud covered and much of the dense cloud is low altitude cloud, thus a reasonable estimate for the Earth as a whole would be that clouds reduce the energy escaping to space in the atmospheric window by no more than about 15% to 20%.

The radiation from the cloud tops is admittedly no longer radiation directly from earth’s surface but it is still black body radiation and the fraction in the atmospheric window (and in the gaps between the lines at other wavelengths) can still escape directly to space without impediment from green house gas effects.  Thus, while clouds do cause some attenuation, their action does not negate the basis of the hypothesis being presented in this paper.

7. ENERGY RADIATION FROM THE TROPOPAUSE

Earlier discussion suggested that the tropopause can only generate net radiation to space at the water vapour wavelengths which means below 8 microns and above 15.5 microns.

Again solving and numerically integrating Planck’s equation over these wavelengths for a temperature of 213K (-60C) yields a total energy of 82 watts/m 2.  Surface/cloud plus tropopause radiation must equal 221 watts/m2 implying the net energy radiated from the surface and cloud tops would have to be about 139 watts/m2.  However the presence of gaps between emission lines suggests the tropopause radiation will be somewhat lower and the surface/cloud top radiation higher.  When this is taken into account the numbers are entirely consistent with earlier calculations.  Purely as a hypothetical example, if we assume cloud cover causes 15% attenuation and 17% of the energy in the below 8 micron and above 15.5 micron ranges is not absorbed we get;

Surface/cloud emission = 0.85 * ( 143+0.17*(45+174)) = 153 watts/m2
Tropopause emission = 0.83 * 82                                  =   68 watts/m2
Total emission                                                              = 221 watts/m2
 
Water vapour also has very strong absorption bands in the NIR centred at 1.45 microns, 1.95 microns 2.5 microns plus other weaker lines.  There is a significant amount of incident solar energy at these wavelengths and that energy will be rapidly absorbed once water vapour concentration becomes appreciable, which means at or close to the tropopause.  As a consequence, much of the energy emitted from the tropopause is not energy that has percolated up from the surface but rather energy absorbed directly from incoming solar radiation at or near the tropopause.

8. IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ANALYSIS FOR THE KIEHL TRENBERTH MODEL

The global mean energy budget claimed by K&T suggests the vast majority of the energy radiation to space comes from the atmosphere.  It paints a picture of an atmosphere which absorbs almost all surface emissions and then re-radiates a variable amount of this to space.  This implies that slight changes in concentration can vary the fraction emitted thus changing temperatures.  Hence the concept of an equivalent emission altitude and the prediction of a high sensitivity to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations.

The picture emerging from this analysis suggests the opposite, with most of the energy reaching the ground being radiated directly back to space from the surface or cloud tops in the windows between the atmospheric absorption lines.  It implies an atmosphere which blocks almost all the energy radiation from the surface to space at the GHG wavelengths while barely impeding energy radiation to space at other wavelengths.  In this scenario, changing GHG concentrations can only affect warming via line broadening. 

The concept of an equivalent emission altitude is not needed and indeed has no meaning in this scenario.  Energy loss to space from Earth’s surface can only occur directly from the surface/cloud tops or from the tropopause although the relative magnitude of each could change with changing greenhouse gas concentrations.

The very large difference in surface versus atmospheric emission levels predicted from this analysis compared to the Kiehl Trenberth model calls into question the basis of global circulation models based on K&T or other similar data.  It also calls into question the reliability of the output from such models and in the predictions flowing from those models.

It is possible to reinforce this finding by a completely different analysis which is shown below.

9. A SPECTRSCOPIC ANALYSIS OF GREEN HOUSE GAS ABSORPTION

Imagine a single greenhouse gas which absorbs energy at only one specific wavelength.  As the greenhouse gas absorbs energy it heats up until the energy it emits equals the energy it absorbs.  Because it only has significant emissivity at the absorption wavelength the energy will be re-emitted at this wavelength. However, the emitted energy will be emitted in all directions.  Since the atmosphere is a thin continuous shell covering the entire earth it has only two surfaces, an inner surface adjacent the planet itself and an outer surface adjacent to space.  Radiation leaves the atmosphere through one of these two surfaces.  Thus, radiating in all directions in effect means 50% will be emitted towards space and 50% returned to the planetary surface.

A very simplistic first approximation would be to say if the absorbance of the gas column is N then the gas absorbs 1- 10-N per unit of the incident energy and 50% of this is returned to the earth’s surface giving an effective energy retention of

Energy retained = 0.5*(1-10-N).  (1)

That may be correct when N is very small (<<1) but is grossly in error for higher absorbances because it ignores repeated re-absorption and re-emission of energy within the gas column.

As the absorbance of the gas column rises, repeated absorption and re-emission becomes very significant.  In this context we must again remember that the same emissivity covers both absorption and emission so that emitted energy will be predominantly at the absorption wavelengths thus facilitating repeated absorption and re-emission.  By the time the atmospheric absorbance has reached 1,   90% of the energy at the absorption wavelengths is being absorbed which also means that much of the energy emitted by the atmosphere will be re-absorbed within the atmosphere, possibly going through several absorption re-emission cycles within the atmosphere.
 
To analyse this situation, imagine we treat the entire gas column as stack of 1 absorbance layers.  As a first order approximation, assume that each layer absorbs all the energy it receives from above or below and maintains itself in thermal equilibrium by emitting an equal amount of energy, half towards the surface and half away from the surface.  The result is shown diagrammatically for an N absorbance atmosphere.

 

Where

E1 is the total energy absorbed by layer 1
E2 is the total energy absorbed by layer
En is the total energy absorbed by layer n
EN is the total energy absorbed by layer N

Equations (2) to (5) are obtained by summing energy into each layer.

Substituting (2) into (3) gives E2 = 2 * E3 / 3 (6)
Rewriting (4) with n=3 and then
Substituting (6) into it gives E3 = 3 * E4 / 4 (7)

In general for the nth layer En = n/(n+1) * En+1 (8)
Replacing n by n-1 in (8) gives En-1 = (n-1)/n * En (9)

 

 

 

 

 

  

 Since equn (9) holds for any n we can replace n by N to get
From (9) EN-1 = N-1/N * EN
Substituting into (5) gives EN = (N-1)/2N * EN +1
And rearranging EN = 2N/(N+1) (10)

If we expand (8) as a series we get;
En = n/n+1 * En+1
     = n/n+1 * n+1/n+2 * En+2
     = (n/n+1) * (n+1/n+2) * (n+2/n+3) *…* (N-1/N) * EN

Cancelling common terms gives En = n/N * EN (11)

Substituting for EN from equn (10) gives
En = 2n/(N+1)

The energy radiated away to space is 0.5 * E1 = 1/(N+1)    (12)
The energy returned to the earths surface is 0.5* EN = N/(N+1)   (13)

 Equations 1 and 13 are plotted below. Interestingly, even below 1 absorbance equation 13 gives essentially the same result as equation 1 and can thus be treated as a reasonable approximation over the entire absorbance range.

 

 

 

 

 

 10. INTERPRETATION OF THESE RESULTS

Heinz Hug (http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm) has measured the absorbance of the atmospheric column of CO2 at 280 ppm and reports a total absorbance in excess of 2000. The above calculation suggests that the fraction of energy at the absorbing wavelength which is radiated to space is only 1/2001 or 0.05%. This is in agreement with the analysis derived from the temperature versus altitude profile.

In the case of water vapour, it is only necessary to note that Fourier transform infrared spectrometers with an optical path length of well under 1 meter need to be either purged with dry gas or packed with desiccant and sealed in order to avoid unacceptably high energy loss from water vapour absorption and that the troposphere is 10,000 meters thick (more than 10,000 times the path length) to realise that a similar situation exists for water vapour.

11. THE IMPACT OF LINE BROADENING

Both of the above analyses suggest that greenhouse gases almost totally block energy loss to space at their absorption/emission wavelengths. This implies that significant energy loss from the surface or cloud tops is by direct radiation to space at wavelengths where the greenhouse gases do not absorb. Given that, one might be tempted to conclude that since the greenhouse gases already absorb everything they can, further increases in concentration should have no impact. This is not the case because of an effect known as line broadening.

The absorption versus wavelength profile for a green house gas line does not have infinitely steep sides. As concentration rises the line centre will saturate but absorption out in the wings of the line are not yet saturated. Further increases in concentration have no impact on the behaviour at the line centre but do slightly increase absorption out in the wings. In effect the line slowly broadens as the concentration increases. It is this effect that gives rise to the well known logarithmic relationship between concentration and energy absorbed.

In fact, the unsaturated lines of greenhouse gases are so narrow and therefore absorb so little energy, that the overall impact of a greenhouse gas does not become significant until the line centres saturate and the line start to broaden. This means that all greenhouse gases of significance are likely to display the logarithmic relationship between concentration and energy absorbed.

As the lines broaden they further constrict the wavelengths at which radiation can escape from Earth’s surface to space. For the same energy to be emitted from a narrower window implies higher energy density at the remaining wavelengths which implies a higher surface temperature.

In the case of carbon dioxide, the IPCC in their fourth assessment report stated that the increase from 280ppm to 390 ppm increased energy retained by 1.77 watts/m2. Applying the logarithmic relationship;

1.77 = n * log (390/280)
from which it follows that n = 12.3.

The increase from 390 ppm to 560 ppm (2070 projection from IPCC 4th assessment report) would increase retained energy by 12.3 * log (560/390) = 1.93 watts/m2 . Applying Stefan’s law at 288 kelvin (+14C) we find that each degree rise in temperature takes 5.4 watts/m2 . Thus the direct effect of the rise in carbon dioxide is 1.93/5.4 = 0.36C.

IPCC inflates this to about 3C by assuming massive positive feedback from water vapour. A 3C rise implies an additional 16.2 watts/m2 of which 16.2 – 1.93 or 14.3 watts/m2 must be coming from water vapour. The CRC handbook of chemistry and physics shows that water vapour content at constant humidity rises exponentially with temperature roughly doubling for each 10 K rise in temperature. This can be expressed as

water vapour concentration is proportional to 10 (temperature/33.2)

A 3C rise in temperature increases water vapour concentration by 10 (3/33.2) = 1.23 (23%). Applying the same calculations as for carbon dioxide

14.3 = m * log (1.23) from which m = 159 and each doubling of water vapour changes energy retained by 159 * log(2) = 48 watts/m2 .

The earlier Planck’s law calculations suggested water vapour at +14C retains at most 219 watts/m2 (in fact less when one allows for gaps between absorption lines). Coupling that with the CRC handbook data that water vapour doubles or halves for each 10C change in temperature, a sensitivity of 48 watts/m2 per doubling implies the following;

14C energy absorbed/emitted <219 watts/m2
+4C energy absorbed/emitted < 171 watts/m2
-6C energy absorbed/emitted < 123 watts/m2
-16C energy absorbed/emitted < 75 watts/m2
-26C energy absorbed/emitted < 27 watts/m2
-36C energy absorbed/emitted      0 watts/m2

This is completely incompatible with water vapour radiating substantial amounts of energy at -60C which is necessary to explain a cold tropopause.

12. CONCLUSIONS

Both the analysis from basic spectroscopy and the analysis based on atmospheric lapse rates give similar results and imply that greenhouse gases almost totally block energy loss to space at their absorption/emission wavelengths. That in turn suggests that a very significant portion of the energy loss from Earth’s surface is by direct radiation to space at wavelengths where the greenhouse gases do not absorb.

This is in conflict with the Kiehl & Trenberth model and other similar models which suggest that most of the energy loss to space is from the atmosphere. If the atmosphere emits little energy, and then largely from the tropopause and stratopause, the concept of an equivalent radiation altitude has no meaning. Further, the analysis suggests that most of the radiative energy loss from the atmosphere to space is re-radiation of solar energy absorbed high up in the atmosphere.

Surface temperature will increase with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations due to line broadening. The direct effect of carbon dioxide (in the absence of any feedbacks) using the IPCC quoted sensitivity and their postulated rise in carbon dioxide from 390 ppm to 560 ppm will contribute 0.4 degrees by 2070. The IPCC claim that positive feedback from water vapour will increase that to about 3C would imply a sensitivity of 48 watts/m2 per doubling in water vapour concentration. Such a high sensitivity is not compatible with the observed atmospheric temperature versus altitude profile.

It should be noted that this analysis does not predict no radiation to space at the greenhouse gas absorption lines. There is still energy at these absorption lines emitted to space. For the well mixed greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4 this energy largely emanates from the stratosphere and is powered significantly by UV absorption of incoming solar radiation by ozone plus some absorption of surface radiation at 9.6 micron . In the case of water vapour, the energy emanates from near the tropopause and is powered significantly by near infrared absorption of incoming solar radiation by water vapour.

**************

Michael Hammer graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering Science and Master of Engineering Science from Melbourne University. Since 1976 he has been working in the field of spectroscopy with the last 25 years devoted to full time research for a large multinational spectroscopy company.

285 Responses to Radical New Hypothesis on the Effect of Greenhouse Gases

  1. RW March 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    “Al Gore, in his famous movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, explained that as the concentration of carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, more energy is trapped, warming the planet. This assumption is central to the GCMs and the current consensus on climate change. ”

    It’s not an assumption. It’s an observation.

  2. cohenite March 3, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    “Assumption…..observation.” Only if your eyes are closed and the lobotomy has kicked in.

    A masterful effort by MH; it follows on from an earlier piece by him;

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/climate-change/Hammer2007.pdf

  3. Eli Rabett March 4, 2009 at 12:21 am #

    Cripes another clown with a pencil. At least the last one knew how to do these calculations.

  4. John Galt March 4, 2009 at 3:22 am #

    “It’s not an assumption. It’s an observation.”

    I am constantly amazed about how much climate science we don’t know and how much is assumed. And yes, the IPCC uses many assumptions to get the predicted warming. If they used observations, they would have packed it up long ago.

  5. JAE March 4, 2009 at 5:05 am #

    Come on, Eli, you are not adding anything, again….

  6. wes george March 4, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    “…Planck’s law calculations suggested water vapour at +14C retains at most 219 watts/m2…water vapour doubles or halves for each 10C change in temperature, a sensitivity of 48 watts/m2 per doubling implies the following…-36C energy absorbed/emitted 0 watts/m2

    …This is completely incompatible with water vapour radiating substantial amounts of energy at -60C which is necessary to explain a cold tropopause.”

    And they promised us no worries, the basic science is settled, then took an ax to our economy. And we all lived happily ever after. The End.

  7. Barry Moore March 4, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Excellent post it confirms much of what I have read over the years and provides a lot of much needed detail to fill in some gaps.
    A couple of observations I note that a constant adiabatic lapse rate has been assumed throughout, as a pilot of close to 40 years experience the lapse rate through clouds is assumed to be much less than the adiabatic rate possibly due to latent heat being given off during condensation, not sure if that is significant. From climate4you the global cloud cover varies from about 63% to 69% so I am not sure where the 15 to 20% factor comes from.
    Another point is that when applying Beer’s law since the density decreases with altitude the mean path upwards is longer than the mean path downwards so it not quite 50/50.
    Regarding the positive water feedback with increasing temperature Dr. Lindzen postulated as far back as 1990 that increasing temperatures caused accelerated water evaporation which then caused an increase in lower rain clouds which in effect stripped the water out of the atmosphere at a lower altitude thus leaving less water in the upper troposphere which becomes a negative forcing effect. This has been confirmed from the satellite data by Dr. Spencer and others independantly. Again climate4you shows decreasing upper troposphere water content with increasing surface temperatures and a lower upper troposphere temperature which is the reverse of the IPCC computer models. They have also added TOA radiation data recently which is very interesting as it has a very close inverse corellation with surface temperature.

  8. Nick Stokes March 4, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Only a portion of the Earth’s surface at any given time is cloud covered and much of the dense cloud is low altitude cloud, thus a reasonable estimate for the Earth as a whole would be that clouds reduce the energy escaping to space in the atmospheric window by no more than about 15% to 20%.
    This is the key part of the calculation, and you’re just plucking figures out of the air. I’m surprised that a spectroscopist would do all these sums without reference to the actual spectra observed from space, especially the ERBE experiments. You’ll need to do this before you can claim to have overthrown K&T.

    That said, the precise proportion of outgoing LW that is declared to be direct from the Earth’s surface is hard to pin down, and not particularly important. Here’s what K&T 97 say:
    The estimate of the amount leaving via the atmospheric window is somewhat ad hoc. In the clear sky case, the radiation in the −2
    window amounts to 99 W m-2 , while in the cloudy climate change, the dominant contribution of water case the amount decreases to 80 W m−2, showing that there is considerable absorption and re-emission at wavelengths in the so-called window by clouds. The value assigned in Fig. 7 of 40 W m−2 is simply 38% of the clear sky case, corresponding to the observed cloudiness of about 62%. This emphasizes that very little radiation is actually transmitted directly to space as though the atmosphere were transparent.

  9. Ian Mott March 4, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    I just can’t resist the temptation to ask, who is John Galt?

    This looks like a very large stake in the heart of climate frankinscience. Or is it just the natural consequence of the shedding of daylight on the denizens of the shadows?

    Such a grand bull$hit edifice completely shattered by the addition of a single variable, the full spectrum of radiative wave lengths.

    And nothing but moronic bleating from Brer Rabett.

    Now lets see, Luke will probably respond with a 30 page cut and paste job to bury the material and the usual rent-a-crowd will hive in with the ad homs to distract the readers.

  10. Jeremy C March 4, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    All it takes is faith……..

  11. Jan Pompe March 4, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    jae “Come on, Eli, you are not adding anything, again….”

    I’m sure there is an excellent reason for that but what I’m not sure.

  12. Jan Pompe March 4, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    Nick “You’ll need to do this before you can claim to have overthrown K&T.”

    All we need for that is to show there is no vacuum (or other perfect insulator) between the surface and the atmosphere to create the infinite temperature gradient at the surface.

  13. cohenite March 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    The 15-20% for clouds seems about right if you average the cloud cover at different levels;

    http://mclean.ch/climate/Cloud_global.htm

    Barry; just one question; if density decreases with height, as it does, wouldn’t the mean path be shorter upwards than downwards?

  14. Nick Stokes March 4, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    Cohenite
    No, you shouldn’t average, it’s more like the total that is needed. Look at the bottom plot. K&T use 62%. It’s this figure that makes the main difference.

  15. cohenite March 4, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Well, let’s look at this Nick; the lower cloud coverage is about 27%; the mid, 20% and the upper about 13%; if all cloud levels are occupying different parts of the atmosphere a cumulative cover is about what K&T say; but is that likely? If the cloud cover at the different heights is roughly vertically parallel then the average cover is about 15-20% as MH estimates.

  16. Geoff Sherrington March 4, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    For the ozone calculations, in an extreme case, if there was only one ozone particle it could not produce a significant effect. That is, the effect of ozone is concentration dependent. I did not see a calculation (though I might have missed it) showing that there is indeed adequate ozone to give the derived numbers.

    Ex-spectroscopist.

    Geoff.

  17. barry moore March 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    Cohenite , If you look at beer’s law in terms of absorbance it is a lot clearer.
    The Beer-Lambert law (also called the Beer-Lambert-Bouguer law or simply Beer’s law) is the linear relationship between absorbance and concentration of an absorber of electromagnetic radiation. The general Beer-Lambert law is usually written as:

    A = a x b x c
    where A is the measured absorbance, a is a wavelength-dependent absorptivity coefficient, b is the path length, and c is the analyte concentration.
    so as c decreases b increases.
    I must admit I still do not get the 15 – 20%. I agree with the 27-20-13 distribution although it is a little low but whether we are talking water aerosols or ice crystals they all still absorb the entire spectrum as opposed to wavelength specific absorbtion as in the case of molecules.
    Even if the clouds are stacked the radiation from the lower cloud would be absorbed by the higher cloud. Perhaps a measure of cloudless sky would be more useful.

  18. Michael Hammer March 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Firstly thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my article whether critical or supportive.

    To answer some of your comments; many of you have commented on the 15% to 20% figure with regard to clouds. I clearly did not explain myself well enough so I will try to clarify.

    Several of you suggest clouds cover about 60 to 70 percent of Earth’s surface which agrees with the data I have. Now not all of this cloud is thick enough to have an absorptivity of 1 but admittedly most probably will. As a reasonable assumption we could assume 60% of Earth’s surface is covered by cloud all of which it thick enough to have an absorptivity of 1. Then 40% of the energy radiated from Earth’s surface in the 8-14 micron atmospheric window will escape to space, the remaining 60% will be absorbed by clouds. But these same clouds also emit 8-14 micron energy and the amount depends on their altitude as calculated in the table I gave. Kiehl and Trenberth claim that full cloud cover reduces the energy from 99 watts/sqM to 80 watts/sqM suggesting that they are assuming an average cloud altitude of about 2 km. I assumed a somewhat higher average altitude of about 3 km. From the table this means they will emit about 71% of the 8-14 micron energy they absorb or about 60%*0.71 = 43%. Thus the total radiation to space in the atmospheric window is 40+43% = 83% which is about 17% less than the clear sky case. This last number is the 15% to 20% I was referring to in the text. As I said, I clearly did not explain myself well enough.

    In the last paragraph of that section I mentioned that this radiation is not all from Earth’s surface some is from cloud tops (in fact about 50:50) but that this does not negate my thesis. The reason for that claim is that all of this is black body radiation escaping directly to space without any impediment or being affected in any way by green house gas effects.

    Barry Moore you comment that the emission up and down will not be 50:50 because of the density gradient. I think I understand what you mean by this but I do not quite agree. The emission from a surface depends only on its emissivity and temperature. If each layer is thick enough to have an emissivity of 1 then the emission up and down should be the same (clearly that thickness in meters increases as one goes higher in the atmosphere). Of course the amount of energy received from above and below will be different so the nett emission up and down will be different but that comes out of my calculations.

    Nick Stokes you comment that I should have compared my analysis with the experimental measurement taken from space. In fact I did but I made the mistake of not including the comparison in the paper. Again let me correct it now. The websites Miskolczi.webs.com and http://ceos.cnes.fr:8100/cdrom-98/ceos1/science/dg/dg20.htm both give plots of measured emission versus wavelength as measured by the Nimbus satellite with the black body curves corresponding to various temperatures overlayed on this measured data. The data from the second web site show emission between 10 and 14 microns corresponding to that from a 320K source (+47C) and between 8 and 9.5 microns as corresponding to a 300K source (+27C). Now unless the satellite was over a desert at noon on a cloudless day I suspect the +47C could incorporate a bit of calibration error however the point is that the only area at these temperatures is the Earth’s surface. This means the satellite is seeing black body radiation directly from Earth’s surface in the atmospheric window which is exactly what I predict. The dip at 10 microns due to stratospheric ozone and the much larger dip between 14 and 15.5 microns due to CO2 are also clearly visible. The attenuation above 15.5 microns is less than my calculations predict but I suspect this is due to the limited resolution of the interferometer. It is not able to resolve individual lines and some of the energy being received in this spectral region is due to energy from the surface escaping directly to space in the gaps between the lines.

    The data from the Miskolczi source (on page 8) shows a very similar result. The energy in the atmospheric window now corresponds to a black body at about 280C which would be very consistent with a surface plus partial cloud cover or of course a cold region say at night. Again however energy levels corresponding to a black body at 280K implies radiation directly from the surface – the atmosphere would not be warm enough. Certainly it is not compatible with an equivalent radiation altitude which would have to be at about 255K.

    I hope this answers the main queries to date.

    On another subject, I have just found out that I will be travelling on business for 2 weeks. I will try to get to an internet site as often as I can but that could be infrequent. Please do not take this as a sign that I am not willing to answer questions or engage in debate.

    Regards

  19. Michael Hammer March 4, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Geoff Sherrington, apologies I missed your comment on ozone levels. The ozone is continuously formed by incomng solar radiation at wavelengths shorter than 190 nanometers. Such radiation has sufficient energy to split the oxygen-oxygen bond forming atomic oxygen which very readily reacts with an O2 molecules to form O3 so it will always be present.

    I note in reading over my previous post that the page reference on the Miskolczi paper is incomplete – it should read page 8.

  20. Phillip Bratby March 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    An excellent paper for discussion.

    Eli Rabett helpfully says “Cripes another clown with a pencil. At least the last one knew how to do these calculations.” Is that the best scientific critique you can come up with Eli? Or is it that you just like insulting people for no apparent reason?

    Nick Stokes quotes K&T as: “The estimate of the amount leaving via the atmospheric window is somewhat ad hoc.” Can we place any reliance on an ad hoc estimate? A calculation of the amount of radiation leaving via the atmospheric window has got to be better than an ad hoc estimate. Seems like the science is not settled.

  21. Steve Schapel March 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    I won’t pretend to have anything beyond a rudimentary understanding of the technicalities of this article. But I do understand this much… The actual behaviour and changes in climate are not well explained by the theories used by IPCC and brethren, and people like Michael Hammer are working hard to contribute to a more complete and accurate understanding. I therefore extend my very sincere thanks to Michael, and also my congratulations on his willingness to share this information so fully and so well presented.

  22. Stephen Wilde March 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    A good effort trying to ascertain why and how the consensus view of climate is failing to keep up with or anticipate real world developments.

    There seems to be more scientific thought to be found in blogs like this than within the climate establishment.

  23. Jimmock March 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Cohenite: “Barry; just one question…”

    Whenever Cohenite asks the dreaded question you just know that someone is about to stitch himself up right good, as they say. Brings to mind Detective Colombo in his beige raincoat. I thought I would add that since we already have this thread dedicated to Mike Hammer.

  24. cohenite March 4, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Yes, well, Jimmock, I am short, stocky, beady-eyed, irritable and irritating; actually I have a lot of time for Barry, he’s always worth listening to.

    Who would have thought the answer was water; well, Lindzen, Spencer, Braswell, Miskolczi, just about everyone except the modellers. Can someone please go and bury K&T? And does anyone want to buy a t-shirt saying;

    C.R.A.P. [carbon really ain’t pollution]?

  25. gavin March 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    I see cohenite “A masterful effort by MH; it follows on from an earlier piece by him” still views the world through the same tiny keyhole. IMO Michael Hammer doesn’t seem to get a berth outside the Lavoisier club and associated blogsphere.

    I had the privalige to hear some highlights from Aynsley Kellow’s “The Wrong Stuff” Perth address Oct 08 on ABC radio tonight and recognised much of the rhetoric trotted out here as arguments for damming the IPCC, warmers, greenies and so on. See –

    http://www.ipa.org.au/people/aynsley-kellow

    Although I enjoyed the broadcast including the debate following Aynsley I could not help thinking again his points were hollow if indeed there is climate change caused by the increasing production of man made GHGs. Note; IMO Aynsley gave us no real evidence to the contary all through. That’s the cop out!

    But we can each look for evidence, one way or the other on AGW and climate change matters without waiting for governments funding for “alternative” science. Before leaving for NZ friends kindly loaned us a book “The Beauty of New Zealand” 1975 with lots of pictures. On return we noticed a current brochure on the Fox glacier had a more recent photo taken from the same place as the one in the book. Comparing notes; we found the glacier was 16 km long then compared with only 13 km now. However walking up the muddy moraine had convinced me the thing was reeling backwards at an easily obsevable rate. BTW our motel host had a call from the Tasman side. It too suddenly lost another 200 m that week

    I read elsewhere tonight about a new effort to make raw climate data more “independent”

    NASA-Cisco climate project to flash ‘Planetary Skin’

    http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/03/03/03greenwire-nasacisco-project-to-flash-planetary-skin-9959.html

    While Aynslie and others like me have commented here in the past on the lack of agreed standards for climate science measurements, we are fast approaching a point when opinions re “alternatives” drop out of backwards thinking.

  26. Phillip Bratby March 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    Gavin:

    Does what you say have any relevance to the paper by Michael Hammer? Or do you just like writing long, random and irrelevant essays about odds and ends and personal experiences?

  27. Nick Stokes March 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    Mike,
    I’m now unclear as to what flux you are considering to be flux through the atmospheric window (AW). To most people, it is the flux that goes through with no absorption, and corresponds to the K&T figure of 40 W/m2. If you count IR that was in the AW when it was blocked by a cloud, well, then, indeed the energy is re-radiated (but half up and half down), but as you say, with a BB spectrum. In other words, even the energy that continues to be radiated is mostly no longer in the AW band. And much of that is then absorbed by GHGs.

    The spectrum you point to is the right kind of thing to be looking at. Actually, a hot land surface of 47C is not so unreasonable. My bare feet encounter that quite often. Here I discussed a clear-sky spectrum (Fig 8.2a), over ice, which simplifies the interpretation. It shows the direct AW transmission very clearly.

    But I’ve lost track of exactly what it is in K&T that you now claim to have disproved. After all, they knew about these spectra too.

  28. MattB March 5, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    One assumes that the next step is for this to be peer reviewed and published in a reputable scientific journal… and Hammer will be a Nobel Laureate with all the trimmings.

    Hmm or it could all be a bulldust smokescreen un-peer-reviewed piece of denialist clap-trap…

    I guess time will tell – I’m not holding my breath…

  29. stephen richards March 5, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    M. Lapin making his usual useless contribution by adding nothing but insults to the paper.

    Eli, if you are the climate expert you claim to be why don’t you contribute in the manner of a REAL scientist.

    Explain why you KNOW the paper fails and where it fails and what evidence there is that you can derived from the paper that proves that it fails. That’s how real scientist work, isn’t it?

  30. JLKrueger March 5, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    MattB:

    Your comment is nothing but ad hominem. Point to a single error in fact in MHs calculations or analysis and perhaps you’d get a hearing. If perchance you have not the expertise to do so, then you ought just lurk and keep your ad hominems on AGW alarmist blogs where they seem to thrive.

    Gavin:

    While a retreating glacier may be an indicator of warming, it says nothing about the cause of the warming. That is the fundamental dispute.

    Mike:

    I’d ditch the references to Wikipedia. Find another source, preferably a primary source. Otherwise my first read left me with the impression of a well-thought out analysis. I also liked that you did not get defensive in your reply to thoughtful criticisms, but strove to clarify.

    Of course that is the true scientific process that so many, including those who should know better, have forgotten.

    Back to lurking.

  31. Gary P March 5, 2009 at 5:42 am #

    I have a question for Michael Hammer.

    I have been persuaded by work such as Svenmark’s, “The Chilling Stars” that the recent warming we have seen (as described by here by Gavin’s essay) correlates much better with solar activity than with CO2. Total solar irradiance is quite constant. Svenmark’s theory is that a secondary effect, changes in the magnetic field and solar wind cause changes in high energy cosmic rays that are significant in forming low level clouds that reflect sunlight.

    Could another secondary effect by important? The high energy uv and solar wind from the sun is highly variable with the solar cycle. As an example there were stories of satellites coming down early due to enhanced drag form an expanded atmosphere from when the sun was more active. Could the additional absorbers, more ozone, more atomic oxygen, etc.; that are created by the variable uv have a significant effect on radiation transport at the top of the atmosphere? By significant, I mean ~1 watt/m^2. So far what I have found says no, the effect is much less. But the article only talked about atomic oxygen at a particular wavelength and I haven’t found a good reference for the total integrated effect.

    Thanks for the article.

  32. jae March 5, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    Nick:

    OK, he plucks some numbers out of the air, and he says so. But his basic mechanisms look pretty sound, no? I’ve never seen such a detailed description of all the relationships between wavelengths, the lapse rate, tropopause temperatures, etc. A lot of what is observed can be explained by this paper; whereas, Kiehl and Trenberth’s stuff is much more abstract.

    Where are the flaws in his basic reasoning?

  33. barry moore March 5, 2009 at 6:16 am #

    Thanks for the clarification MH. I was thinking of just the initial surface radiation not the overall effect, I have used the 50 up 50 down argument many times myself so I was just hitting a blank spot. Must be getting old.
    Since the mean path at 1 atmos 385 ppm of the resonant frequencies is in the region of 2 to 3 m ( ref John Nicol ) I agree it is pretty academic but it may be more significant at the higher altitudes where the mean paths are much longer.
    MattB great idea to hold your breath why not try it for 30 minutes and give us all a break and while you are at it since you are so fanatical about peer reviews try teaching the IPCC to incorporate all their peer reviews not just the politically acceptable ones. Read some of Dr. Vincent Grey’s comments on the peer reviews he submitted on all 4 IPCC reports.

  34. Michael Hammer March 5, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    Hello Nick; What I am considering flux through the atmospheric window is energy that is radiation without any interaction from green house gas effects, so to compare, that would be the 70 watts/sqM in the Keihl Trenberth model.

    To take up your comment of the difference between what I suggest and the Keihl Trenberth model. K&T are claiming 169 w/sqM out of a toal of 239 W/sqM energy loss to space is radiation from the atmosphere or about 71% of total emission. This would have to be generated by emissions from green house gases since the other components of the atmosphere (mainly oxygen and niitrgen) have essentially zero emissivity. A black body emitting 169 w/sqM would have surface temperature of about 255K which would put it well inside the troposphere. That means that most of the emission from space emanages from within the troposphere probably spread in varying degrees across all altitudes. In fact, since the green house gases cannot radiate between 8 and 14 microns (since if they don’t absord they also don’t emit) the equivalent temperature would have to be significantly higher, closer to 262K or an equivalent radiation altituide of about 4 km. The point here is that their model implies most of the energy loss from Earth is via green house gas emissions and changes in concentration lead to changes in the equivalent radiation altitude.

    Also, since the green house gases cannot emit in the atmospheric window the only energy in this wavelength range would be the 70 watts/sqM from the surface and clouds. That would correspond to an equivalent black body temperature of about 250K.

    Most importantly, all this suggests what I would call an analogue picture where green house effects modulate (attenuate? forgive my electrical engineering background) most of the emission.

    What my calculatuions suggest is a very different picture where most of the emissions from earth are in the atmospheric window and radiate without impediment from any green house effects. According to these calculations there is very little net radiation loss to space from green house gases within the troposphere only from the tropopause and a significant portion of that is re-radiation of energy absorbed from incoming solar energy in the NIR absorption bands from water vapour.

    I think of this as much closer to a digital model where at each wavelength energy is either free to radiate to space without green house gas impediment or is almost totally blocked by green house gases. Very little is partly blocked or attenuated. I see this as a significant difference especially when evaluating the effect of incremental increase in a green house gas component.

    If we look at the Nimbus spectra, the K&T model would lead one to predict that the energy received in the atmospheric window was less than the energy at other wavelengths (250K equ black body temperature versus 262K elsewhere) so the spectrum in that area should show a dip. According to my calculations the energy received in the atmospheric window should be substantially higher than elsewhere showing a peak at those wavelengths and attenuation elsewhere. The Nimbus plots I have seen seem to distinctly favour my view.

    Gary P; The impact of ozone formation and then UV absorption by ozone are all controlled by the UV energy from the sun. This UV energy is readily determined from Planck’s law since the sun behaves as a black body emitter. Now my calculations show about 17 watts/sqM of UV below 350 nm. A 1 watt/sqM change represents a change of nearly 6%. If that were to happen the changes in the visible would be of similar magnitude which I think is very unlikely. Maybe there is some other mechanism I don’t know about but if you force me to guess I would have to say i think it unlikely.

    On the subject of modulation of cosmic rays, I also have read about Svensmark’s theory and I think it quite plausible. The question of whether comsic rays influence cloud formation is to my thinking beyond dispute. For many years the priniciple tool used by physicists to make cosmic ray tracks visible was the Wilson cloud chamber. This works by creating a super saturated volume of gas. Cosmic rays travelling through this region ionise gas molecules which then act as condensation nuclei leading to vapour trails ie: cloud precursors. To me that essentially proves that cosmic rays do help to initiate cloud formation. We then need to see whether the cosmic ray flux does indeed vary with solar activity. I have seen some very brief reports which suggest that this effect has been measured succesfully although the data I saw was sketchy. however as I say, right now the theory sounds plausible to me. There does seem to be correlation between solar magnetic activity and temperature on Earth.

  35. Malcolm Hill March 5, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    Good old peer review always pops up whenever there is threat to the cosy and thoroughly inadequate arrangement for deciding whether the huge amounts of public money has been been wisely spent.

    Its a pity these so called rational thinkers who have their collective siphons so deep into the public coffers couldnt spend at least few spare neurones to come up with a more reliable and ethical process for deciding whats kosher.

    Peer review as currently prescribed is unreliable, biased and tantamount to fraud.

  36. Eyrie March 5, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    Michael Hammer,

    Can you clarify the point that the oxygen and nitrogen don’t radiate? Surely they are not at absolute zero and hence must radiate? Isn’t the oxygen microwave radiation used to infer atmospheric temperatures from satellite measurements?
    Thanks. Great article, much food for thought.

  37. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    OK, so MH shows the window is bigger than AGW allows for; he also looks at the logarithmic decline in the effect of the absorbance and emission of the GHGs; several issues with that; if incoming solar [reaching the surface, although atmospheric reradiation is a factor] is known then so to must be the surface emissions; a fixed amount of CO2 is sufficient to mop up that surface emission with any extra CO2 surplus to requirements; that is a crucial issue which means that extra CO2 has no heating effect; Hug puts an upper limit on this of 357ppm;

    http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm

    Secondly, Miskolczi’s theory says that an optical density will be maintained by equilibriating factors [such as the decline in atmospheric SH] such that the greenhouse effect is, without gross variation in incoming energy, always operating at maximum; variations in GHGs cannot disturb that maximum equilibruim; the crucial factor here is water; Dessler and Soden and the AGW posse generally maintain there is an increase in water, which, with an increase in CO2, would disturb both Miskolczi’s and MH’s observations; NOAA, of course shows water consistent with Miskolczi and MH; so which is right?

  38. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    Michael,
    If we look at the Nimbus spectra, the K&T model would lead one to predict that the energy received in the atmospheric window was less than the energy at other wavelengths (250K equ black body temperature versus 262K elsewhere) so the spectrum in that area should show a dip.
    I’m getting more confused about what your quantitative disagreement with K&T actually is. Could you quote one of their figures that you think is wrong, and say what you think it should be?

    Re the Nimbus spectra, do you mean total energy, or energy flux per wavelength band (radiance), which is what the plot shows. Total energy is what K&T would predict, and to get that you have to integrate over the whole spectrum. The result is not obvious just from looking at the plot, especially as part of the range is missing. K&T’s statements about flux across all wavelengths in no way suggest that there should be a dip in the spectrum at AW frequencies. Like everyone, they would say that the radiance should correspond to the temperature of the source.

    I’m still very puzzled about your notion of AW(8-14 μ) transmission. When energy from this band is blocked by a cloud, and subsequently radiated, then OK, it was not at that point radiated by GHG. But it will be radiated as BB, and most of that will subsequently be absorbed and re-radiated by GHG’s. So from space it will be seen as GHG radiation.

  39. jan pompe March 5, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    Michael Hammer: “A black body emitting 169 w/sqM would have surface temperature of about 255K which would put it well inside the troposphere.”

    Surely you mean 239 W/m^2 has a BB temperature of ~255K?

    I’m trying to clarify some things here.

    “Also, since the green house gases cannot emit in the atmospheric window the only energy in this wavelength range would be the 70 watts/sqM from the surface and clouds. That would correspond to an equivalent black body temperature of about 250K.”

    So 70 W/m^2 would be the portion Planck radiation for a BB at 250K within the spectral range of the atmospheric IR window?

  40. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Nick; 2 things; you seem to be saying that saturation is not a factor, but surely GHG concentration above a certain threshold will not continue to absorb the same amount of relevant wavelength radiation; which means that above that threshold GHG wavelength radiation must escape; also, you seem to be saying that GHG aborbs across the spectrum; surely that is erroneous and one of K&T’s mistakes; why would you intergrate across the whole spectrum?

  41. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Cohenite,
    No, I’m not saying anything about saturation or varying GHG concentration. All I’m saying is that the GHG’s currently there will absorb the fraction of BB radiation from clouds that falls within their absorption region. That isn’t all of it, but it is a lot.

    Neither I nor K&T say that GHGs absorb across the whole spectrum. What I am saying is that if you want to relate radiance measurements, as in the Nimbus spectra, to energy fluxes in W/m2, you have to integrate across the wavelength range.

  42. barry moore March 5, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Nick
    I think you are discounting the fact that energy absorbed by GHGs from the BB radiation eminating from the clouds and other aerosols is transferred by collision i.e. kinetic energy transfer to the large majority of the atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen. The wavelengths of the GHGs are therefore removed from the spectrum and not replaced except by other BBs. Exactly the same thing happens at the surface, all the originating resonant frequencies from the surface, i.e. water and CO2 wavelengths virtually dissapear in the first 50 m. Everything else is just energy transfer from one component to another which has a net energy balance of zero when considering the total energy in the atmosphere. ( TOA excepted)
    However it is not quite true that increased CO2 has absolutely no effect because of the wavelength broadening which is used to justify the logrithmic formula, but I believe the effect of an increase in CO2 has a minimal effect on temperature which is completely overshadowed by all the other drivers of our climate and there is no amplification by positive water forcing since this has been proven by observation to be a negative forcing effect.

  43. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Yes, Barry, this part of MH’s excellent thesis is giving me pause; GHGs, when excited by absorption, divest energy through collision, mainly with the dominant atmosphere gases, N2 and O2, and by emission; the collision will thermalise the packet of air to a LTE condition but the emission would be at a lower wavelength because the GHG has lost energy through collision; this effect would, you would think, mean less atmospherically sourced radiation for further GHG absorption and increase the window amount.

    Nick; I still don’t understand why you have to integrate across the whole spectrum; this is an issue raised by Pielke Snr;

    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-321.pdf

    As Pielke says, “The spatial distribution matters'; both horizontally and vertically; by integrating these “spatial differences” are ignored or masked; without wishing to revisit the Tafe/Teff issue from Arthur Smith’s paper, “Proof of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect”, suffice to say that apparent temperature increases may not be mirrored by energy retention due to the regional/spatial distribution effect of Stefan-Boltzmann based energy emission and consequent aborption; a temperature increase in one region may be compensated for by a temperature decrease in another with overall energy balance at TOA being maintained because the temperature increase may be from a lower SB energy base. Complementing MH’s thesis, if upper atmosphere, below the tropopause, concentration of water is dropping, as NOAA data suggests, then it doesn’t matter that there is a slight effect from increased line broadening because the decreased water means less interception and more window facility for outgoing radiation.

  44. jae March 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    “And does anyone want to buy a t-shirt saying;

    C.R.A.P. [carbon really ain’t pollution]?”

    Sign me up!

  45. David March 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    I am a bit confused as to whether the absorption/radiation by H2O changes when it is present as visible cloud or invisible water vapour. It seems to me that its presence as water vapour is being ignored in the calculations, unless I have missed something in my old age. Obviously, it will be different in the visible part of the spectrum, but elsewhere is my concern.

    The assumption of a constant lapse rate in the atmosphere might also need some revision.

  46. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    Barry,
    No, the role of O2 and N2 is irrelevant. They act as a thermal reservoir. IR is absorbed and emitted by the GHGs, and by Kirchhoff’s Law, is emitted preferentially in the same frequency bands as it is absorbed. MH explains all this correctly. My point is that once the energy which was originally emitted from the surface in an AW band, absorbed by a cloud, and is then reemitted, it has lost all connection with the AW, and is indistinguishable from all the other IR that got there by other means. And from space, you can’t distinguish its history.

    Cohenite, I couldn’t make any sense of your first para. Nor of your reference to Pielke, who is talking about spatial issues. The issue here is absolutely elementary. You have a spectrum of radiance, in Watts/m2/cm, or a more antique equivalent. The cm refers to wavelength. If you want to use it to talk about a flux in W/m2, you have to integrate over wavelength.

  47. jae March 5, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Comment from: gavin March 4th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Was that OT nonsense from the famous gavin of RC fame?

  48. jae March 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Unless I’ve missed it somewhere, nobody has yet shown any major flaws in Hammer’s analysis. Only nit-picks. Did I, indeed, miss something?

  49. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    Jae,
    No you haven’t missed anything. You may have forgotten, but you said it yourself. “OK, he plucks some numbers out of the air”. It’s a major flaw in a scientific analysis, especially when those numbers are vital.

    However, if you’re in triumphalist mode, you might like to explain what he’s actually proved.

  50. Michael Hammer March 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    Ahh Jan Pompe you are correct at 255K the black body emission is 239 W/sqM not 169 W/sqM. Proves one should never write things in a rush and i was hurrying to try and get last details organised for my trip tomorrow.

    To correct, according to K&T the atmosphere emits 169 W/sqM. Since the atmosphere has extremely low emissivity in the 8-14 micron region it cannot significantly emit in that range – the emssion is all below 8 or above 14 microns. If one integrates Planck’s law for the range below 8 microns and above 14 microns a black body which emits 169 W/sqM has a surface temperature of about 255K. In fact the equivalent temperature would have to be somewhat hgher than that because there are wavelengths above 14 microns (and below 8) where the atmosphere also does not emit (the gaps between the lines).

    The temperature of a black body which emits 70 w/sqM between 8 and 14 microns can be obtained by integrating planck’s law over this wavelength range and it turns out that is around 250K.

    Thus looking down from space the energy over the wavelength range below 8 and above 14 microns wouold be roughly the same as from a black body at 255K and the energy between 8 and 14 microns would be the same as a 250K black body. Both regions look like about the same black body temperature, Thus what the Nimbus satellite should see is a complete spectrum equivalent to a 250K source.

    However when one looks at the spectrum from the Nimbus satellite (either of the two sources I gave in an eralier post) one sees very substantially more energy between 8-14 microns than for the regions below 8 and above 14. The region between 8-14 corresponds to a source of about 280K or 310K depending on which of the two references you look at and there is marked reduction in energy below 8 and above 14. That means there is substantially more energy in the atmospheric window and less elsewhere which does not fit with the K&T prediction but is exactly in line with what my calculations suggest.

    Nick in your 8:06 post you mention that the energy radiated by the cloud tops will be subsequently absorbed bu GHG. There is a slight misunderstanding here. In my quotes of the emission from the cloud tops what I am quoting is NOT the total emission, it is only the emission between 8 and 14 microns ie: that fraction of the emission which is within the atmospheric window. And yes to determine this value one needs to integrate Planck’s law which is exactly what I did. I am claiming that emission in that wavelength range is not impacted on significantly by GHG.

    I noticed a question as to whether oxygen and nitrogen have emissions – suggestion of microwave emissions. There may well be weak emissions in the microwave frequency range but my understanding is that the amount of energy involved is neglegible compared to the levels we are discussing here. If that were not the case then nitrogen and oxygen would (by Kirchoffs law) also have to absorb significant energy whcih would make them GHG as well.

  51. Michael Hammer March 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    Nick your 12.11 post. You mention the radiance in watts/sqM/cm and indicate you have to integrate to get a flux. Absolutely true but do you really mean watts/sqM/cm or do you mean watts/sqM/cm-1. The latter is usually used and it does make a very big difference because cm-1 is not wavelength but inverse wavelength ie: frequency and it alters the shape of Plancks curve substantially. For example specifying the bandwidth as a frequency the peak of the curve for a 288K source is at about 17 microns as shown on the Nimbus data. Specifying the bandwidth as a wavelength eg: watts/sqM/micron puts the peak for a 288K source at about 9.7 microns. This sounds at first sight impossible but it does in fact work out ok

    I hate mixed units and since all the discussion relates to wavelengths I work in watts/sqM/micron. And I should add I checked all my formulae to ensure that the data from Plancks law agrees with Weins displacement law and that the integral over all wavelengths agrees with Stefans law. It all checked out correctly.

  52. JAE March 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    C’mon, Nick:

    “No you haven’t missed anything. You may have forgotten, but you said it yourself. “OK, he plucks some numbers out of the air”. It’s a major flaw in a scientific analysis, especially when those numbers are vital.”

    I didn’t mean he was plucking important numbers, just that he was plucking “examples.” Are you playing some game here?

  53. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Michael,
    Yes, I’m aware of the difference. I was using the units as shown on Fig 24 of the Nimbus data that you linked.
    But it doesn’t matter here. You have to integrate over either wavelength or wavenumber, depending on the units used in the spectrum.

  54. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Yeah, ok Nick, I’m with you now about integration, we were at cross purposes; my point about Pielke is probably surperflous to MH’s exposition which seems to have covered all bases; but just for completeness my point simply was that there can be TOA flux balance even though GMST is rising because GMST is based on average regional anomalies and if, for example, there is a high anomolous temperature increase in a colder region which, due to Stefan-Boltzman surface emissions, has its increase in upward radiation countered by a slight decrease in anomolous temperature in a warmer region, then you are going to have TOA balance despite there being an increase in GMST.

    My other point is that MH’s thesis seems to be consistent with Miskolczi’s theory, which is good news given the unreasonable rancour directed at Miskolczi.

    Jae; I’ll keep you posted about the t-shirts; other slogans are;

    Global Warming; what do we want? Nothing! When do we want it? Now!

    Carbon is life; love life.

    Humans are carbon lifeforms.

  55. Eli Rabett March 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    The two gapping hole in this piece of warmed over nonsense is that concentration decreases exponentially with altitude and water vapor concentration goes down even faster with altitude and to zilch in the stratosphere. It’s not for nothing that the tropopause is called the cold trap, and FWIW the water vapor concentration is pretty low there too. CO2 exceeds H20 at about 12 km in the tropics, 10 in mid-latitude winter and six in arctic winter. The atmosphere gets a lot more transparent to IR on water vapor lines fast. The effective height from which the atmosphere radiates is about 8 km.

  56. Michael Hammer March 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Nick and Jae; I dispute that i have plucked numbers out of the air. Presumably this is in referecne to the 15% to 20% reduction in outgoing energy in the Aw band due to clouds. I accept that the original explanation in the paper was not detailed enough but I have corrected that with a later post. I think I have given adequate detail of where these numbers came from and the justification behind them.

    With regard to what I have proven. My 6:52 post explained in some detail the differences between what my calculations suggest and the K&T model. I personally believe these differences are signifcant to an analysis of the incremental effects of green house gases in the atmosphere.

  57. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    “water vapor concentration goes down even faster with altitude and to zilch in the stratosphere.”

    Very good eli, you are in complete agreement with the paper.

  58. gavin March 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    Hey; I should apologise before going on. On first glance the paper seemed to peter out after those initial calcs. Wandering over the conclusion I decided it wasn’t worth going back into then. The fact is I also missed Michael’s reply on page 2. That’s it; I’m just a skimmer these days when it comes to doing business.

    However, if Michael hasn’t left yet, I suggest he leaves the screen alone while travelling and looks out the window. BTW I hog the window seats on every occasion.

    A news report today on the airliner crashing short of the runaway after suddenly having control difficulties leads me to make several more comments. The first, all instruments must be calibrated to respect other observations and any automatic measurement / control system must be tested for its reliability by jolting its components including sensors. That is in my jargon, throw something at it and watch the response from a safe place till it settles.

    I tend to read reports in the same way, after checking first who authorised it then deciding what organisation needs it.

    Looking at the earth from a 737 800 at cruising altitude we see mostly shades of blue over a high pressure area but there is a fairly distinct colour change right out on the curved horizon. On a low, we see mostly grey below however there could be 3 layers of cloud as we descend. On a parallel, these clouds are brilliantly white on top as the sunshine reflects upwards. I suggest all can be captured in an instant by digital camera.

    IMO this means, the bulk of our atmospheric research should target these nearest layers of gasses where most of the moisture remains to form the various bands of cloud we can observe from the ground.

    Also I doubt a mere meter of gas in some instrument down under can be the basis of these theoretical explanations. It’s a long time since I first attempted this sort of stuff in the lab but I’m quite confident wiki is up to date with all the latest terms, starting here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_line

  59. Gordon Robertson March 5, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    cohenite “you seem to be saying that GHG aborbs across the spectrum; surely that is erroneous and one of K&T’s mistakes…”

    What?? Trenberth made a mistake? Call the cops!!

    According to The Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, by Bohren and Clothiaux, the CO2 spectrum is about 1/3 the spectrum of water vapour in the IR spectrum. You have to take into account the logarrithmic wavelengths with that figure. CO2 absorption ranges from lows at about 1 micron and 0.1 millimeter to peaks at 2.7, 4.3 and 15 microns. Water vapour has a fairly continuous absorption spectrum between about 0.7 microns and 0.1 metre. That’s a whole lot more absorption in the IR band than CO2, although you’d never know it the way the IPCC promotes CO2 as ‘that killer gas’.

    In the book, they also talk about the window region between 8 and 10 microns, and if you look at the CO2 spectrum, there’s a large dip right in the region. I have not been able to read Michael’s paper very closely, but I think that’s what he claims as well. This is the region where IR from the surface peaks. I think Michael said water vapour is largely responsible for absorption in that region.

  60. J.Hansford March 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Cohenite said….. “Complementing MH’s thesis, if upper atmosphere, below the tropopause, concentration of water is dropping, as NOAA data suggests, then it doesn’t matter that there is a slight effect from increased line broadening because the decreased water means less interception and more window facility for outgoing radiation.”

    …… Eli Rabbet said….. “water vapor concentration goes down even faster with altitude and to zilch in the stratosphere.”

    What are you disagreeing about Eli?…. MH is saying that there is a radiative process being observed and that these observations don’t fit with the current GCM’s… He then describes a mechanism for the observed effect within his field as of spectroscopy as it would apply in the atmosphere….. which you agree wholeheartedly with in your comments, but pose them as negative in connotation?

    …. Perhaps you don’t understand the questions and the relevance?

    So revisit the lead in by Jennifer…

    ” In the following paper, using the basic laws of spectroscopy, he shows that a significant portion of energy loss from the Earth’s surface is by direction radiation to space at wavelengths not absorbed by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This is in direct contrast to the IPCC explanation that there is low radiation from the Earth’s surface to space and potentially high radiation from the atmosphere to space….”

    Is that any clearer…. Or have I missed something…. I am, after all, just a humble ex- commercial fisherman.

  61. Phil. March 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Michael has made a mistake in his reading of the CO2 spectrum from Nimbus, the temperature near the band centre is 220K not 320K, therefore it is emitted from ~tropopause not the surface as he asserts.

  62. Louis Hissink March 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    Michael Hammer,

    Excellent post but your statement “…Earth’s net energy balance is also entirely due to radiative processes since a planet in space can only gain or lose energy by this means. For these reasons, this paper is primarily concerned with an analysis based on radiative effects.” is problematical.

    Over the last 10 years, or so, NASA has started to discover Earth’s electromagnetic connection with the Sun, mainly from the THEMIS mission and the discovery of the “magnetic fluz tubes”, otherwise known as Birkeland currents. There seems to be a cascading increase in peer reviewed papers describing new discoveries of the Earth’s EM connection with the plasma of space.

    Kristian Birkeland initially proposed that the polar auroras were produced from electrically charged particles from the Sun. He has now been proven correct and we now measure electric currents in the order of millions of amperes entering and leaving the Earth’s ionosphere by satellites.

    I would suggest this EM energy source might be somewhat higher in magnitude than the that measured solely from radiation.

    I am the last person to give the climate delusionsists here ammunition, but atmospheric electric currents are a signficant source of IR radiation. (One of the problems in science is the action of unseen forces – here electric plasma operating in dark current mode).

    That you have managed to undermine the foundations of the politically nuanced climate science usurped by the IPCC on their own terms, is commendable and my comment should not in any way detract from that, but science is science, and if we now add the EM connection to the energy balance, new insights become possible.

    Well done, Sir!

  63. Louis Hissink March 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    PS: Flux tubes, error in typing as z and x are next to each other.

  64. Gordon Robertson March 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Michael Hammer re nitrogen and oxygen emissions…. “There may well be weak emissions in the microwave frequency range but my understanding is that the amount of energy involved is neglegible compared to the levels we are discussing here.

    The emissions seem to be a lot stronger than that because the MSU units on satellites pickup microwave radiation from oxygen and use that to calculate the temperature of the atmosphere. According to meteorologist Stephen Wilde, who I think contributed to this thread, nitrogen and oxygen get their heat from convection. Although N2 and O2 don’t absorb in the IR band, there doesn’t appear to be a reason why they can’t radiate in it when warmed, is there? O2 is emitting in the microwave band. Don’t forget that ozone is an isotope of oxygen.

    Although I regard your paper positively, the one thing bothering me is your focus on GHGs and radiation. IMHO, you need to broaden your views and look at the effect of convection. According to German physicists Gerlich and Tseuschner (see link below), the concept of CO2 as a blackbody radiator is more of a joke than fact, and radiation does not play much of a part in warming at all. Lindzen and Spencer seem to support them on that to a degree, both claiming the greenhouse effect theory is fairly primitive, and that convection plays a large role in the movement of heat in the atmosphere.

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161v3

    Also, try Stephen Wilde for an alternate POV:

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1487

    It’s a 4 part series, so have a look at the other parts.

    In my quick skim of your paper, you seemed to suggest that IR from the surface rose uniformly, but Lindzen points out that the tropical troposphere is opaque to radiation. G&T also point out the obvious: there simply is not enough CO2 to make much of a difference. I’d be interested in your comments.

  65. Gordon Robertson March 5, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    Michael Hammer “Nick and Jae; I dispute that i have plucked numbers out of the air”.

    We have a lot of pseudo-science types here who drop in from realclimate and deltoid. Just ignore their Gavin Schmidt-type arrogance. You, being an engineer, will know infinitely more about physics than Schmidt, a mathematician.

    The kind of comments above come from their religious ceremonies at realclimate. That’s the way Gavin talks and they think it’s cool. He once alluded that Lindzen was old school and his computer model guff was ‘ready for textbooks’.

  66. Gordon Robertson March 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    Louis “if we now add the EM connection to the energy balance, new insights become possible”.

    Trenberth’s only a climate scientist (and a Kiwi, to boot), he doesn’t understand plasma and EM fields. Mind you, he doesn’t understand hurricanes either but that doesn’t stop him equating them to global warming (ask Chris Landsea).

  67. Phillip Bratby March 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Eli Rabett:

    You can’t expect anyone to take you seriously if your contribution is to say:

    “Cripes another clown with a pencil. At least the last one knew how to do these calculations.”

    and

    “The two gapping hole in this piece of warmed over nonsense….”

    It’s so easy to make derogatory remarks. Why don’t you try a bit of constructive criticism. If you think there’s something wrong with the calculations, point out exactly what’s wrong, with references to why it’s wrong. Imagine you are a peer reviewer (as peer review used to be done in the old days, before it became OK for peer review to be just a rubber-stamp).

    If you think K&T is right and this is wrong, let us have the benefit of your wisdom.

    There is an old saying “put up or shut up”.

  68. Louis Hissink March 5, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Gordon,

    I suspect many climate scientists, (heck, there not that many) don’t understand EM and plasma physics, but the point of a university eduction was to inculcate a sense of self education.

    I recall one physics exam (before the self assessment craze) when I finished the question only to realise that the result I calculated was “wrong”. I appended a note to my exam answer to that effect, and my lecturer gave me a pass for the exam. A technocrat would have failed me. That I knew I had miscalculayed, admitted it, was enough to pass the course for that year. This is science at the coal face – not the weasel science of government scientists like Luke, (aka Ken Day).

  69. gavin March 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    A lead author with the United Nations scientific body, Kevin Trenberth, also attending the conference, said the drying of southern Australia was consistent with global warming. “One of the things with global warming is that you have this increase in greenhouse gases and they provide a blanketing effect so there is more heat available. The heat has to go somewhere. Some of the heat goes into evaporation, into the drying of the land. Where it’s not raining, things dry out quicker, droughts set in a little quicker and become more intense.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/firing-up-for-more–blaze-risk-has-gone-from-bad-to-worse-saysexpert/2009/02/09/1234027956209.html

  70. Louis Hissink March 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    Gavin

    ““One of the things with global warming is that you have this increase in greenhouse gases and they provide a blanketing effect so there is more heat available. The heat has to go somewhere. Some of the heat goes into evaporation, into the drying of the land. Where it’s not raining, things dry out quicker, droughts set in a little quicker and become more intense.”

    There is no physical basis for a gaseous blanket trapping heat on the earth’s surface.

    Happens when you are ignorant.

  71. Luke March 5, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    So when do we see the publication?

  72. Jimmock March 5, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Cohenite, Jae;
    Keep me in the T-Shirt loop. Even greater than my considerable scientific expertise is my ability to fill a t-shirt.

  73. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    Michael,
    I asked you for just one figure from K&T that you thought was wrong, and that you had a better figure (and hopefully could explain why). You’ve pointed me back to your 6.20 post, so I suppose the 169 W/m2 emitted from the atmosphere is the candidate, although you haven’t given a figure of your own for comparison.

    I had trouble understanding that post, and this really threw me:
    If we look at the Nimbus spectra, the K&T model would lead one to predict that the energy received in the atmospheric window was less than the energy at other wavelengths (250K equ black body temperature versus 262K elsewhere) so the spectrum in that area should show a dip.

    That makes no sense at all. K&T just give total fluxes, which says nothing at all about how the flux is distributed over the spectrum. It also makes no sense in terms of your revised calc wher you said that 250K (or 255) was actually the temperature that would generate 169 W/m2 if confined to the region outside the AW. With that proviso, it seems even more strange to suggest that K&T would be requiring a dip within the window.

    What happens in practice is well-known, and illustrated in the Nimbus Fig 24 that you linked. The peak CO2 absorption region shows up at about 225K (in BB radiance equivalent), indicating emission from somewhere very cold (the tropopause). The AW shows up at ground temp (if the sky is clear) – in this case 320K. The other areas, where H2O is the main emitter, is somewhere in between. None of this is inconsistent with the K&T totals.

    I think I now understand your calc for reduction of AW transmission in the presence of cloud. In effect the BB radiation from the surface is replaced by BB radiation from the top if the could which you put at 3km, and it’s colder there. OK, your calc is then not very different from K&T, who use about 24% instead of your 17%. The difference is in your base AW amount, where you get a high figure (143 W/m2) because you assume absolutely no absorption in 8-14μ. The famous figure here shows that the boundaries aren’t that clear, and there is non-zero absorption. So far, I prefer the K&T estimate of 99 W/m2. since it is based on a detailed LBL calculation (Malkus model) described in their sec 3b.

  74. gavin March 5, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    Louis; too many rocks hey

    CO2 is the only way mother Gaia can regulate conditions in our common humid crib. If you can’t see that clearly now; then you are a bigger twit than I first thought.

  75. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Phil; your comment about MH mistaking 220K for 320K; where is that? And where is the Nimbus link?

  76. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    Never mind about the Nimbus link.

    Nick; HITRAN shows a slightly different transmission graph for water from your link as Fig 6 here shows;

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf

    Fig 7 is also of relevance in respect of MH’s contention of sub-tropopause transmission and not to labour a point about the Pielke effect of regional differences in Stefan-Boltzmann based energy differences being reflected in emissions, Fig 9, From Nimbus is salient.

  77. Nick Stokes March 5, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    Cohenite:
    Fig 6 doesn’t give the combined effect, which is needed to see just how sharp is the AW. Fig 7 does, and shows that it is not totally transparent. Barrett also gives its range as 8-12.5 μ, which would reduce MH’s raw 143 W/m2 to about 110 – close to K&T.

    Interestingly, Fig 9a for the Sahara looks like MH’s Fig 24, which would explain the hot surface. Barrett’s paper is one of EE’s better publications.

  78. cohenite March 5, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    and this one, from a reputable source [ :-)] gives the window as 8-14cm-1;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmosfaerisk_spredning.gif

    As to combined effect, again, from the tropopause perspective, it is water’s emission which is relevant; at Fig 6, the spectra of water is at 45% humidity, which is much more than near and certainly in and above the tropopause, hence the window will be larger at that level.

  79. JLKrueger March 6, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    Gavin,

    CO2 is the only way mother Gaia can regulate conditions in our common humid crib. If you can’t see that clearly now; then you are a bigger twit than I first thought.

    The mighty gas CO2 makes up less than .04% of the atmosphere, yet it is given greater weight in GCMs than the sun, clouds/water vapor, PDO, ENSO, etc. in affecting global climate. I rather think there is a great deal of uncertainty in what Gaia is really up to.

  80. jae March 6, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    Comment from: Gordon Robertson March 5th, 2009 at 6:27 pm :

    “We have a lot of pseudo-science types here who drop in from realclimate and deltoid. Just ignore their Gavin Schmidt-type arrogance. You, being an engineer, will know infinitely more about physics than Schmidt, a mathematician. ”

    Some folks, like me, will get a kick out of me being associated with RC :)

    Anyway, when I referred to “plucking numbers” I was referring to the cloud number, and MH has clarified that.

    Nick: are you just arguing about the value of certain quantites, or about the whole idea behind the paper? Is there a “radiation altitude” or not?

    gavin: why can’t you just talk about the facts and stop calling people names (like twits)? Makes you look stupid :)

  81. jae March 6, 2009 at 12:30 am #

    Forgot the smiley-face at the end: :)

  82. Michael Hammer March 6, 2009 at 4:46 am #

    nick; you have repeatedly implied that you think the K&T numbers are correct so lets go right back to my starting point.

    1 We know the tropopause is colder than the atmosphere both above and below. This is not just in one region but over the whole planet
    2 We know there are no GHG in the tropopause that are not also in the troposphere below it
    3 The K&T model suggests very high emission from the atmosphere. Since this cannot albe cming from the tropopause since it is not hot enough a significantportion must be coming from lower down in the troposphere.
    4 The very concept of an equivalent radiation altitude confirms claim 3 since if there is no radiation from within the tropopause the equivalent radiation altitude has no meaning.
    5 OK given points 1 to 4 please explain how the tropopause right round the earth stays colder than the regions above and below. After all according to K&T there is all this energy streaming through the tropopause from below. If the tropopause absorbs this it would warm up and the energy would not escape to space. But if it dosn’t absorb it, that means very low absorptvity which by Kirchoffs law also means very low emissivity so it can’t radiate significant energy to cool itself down. So I repeat, how does it stay cooler, not just in one spot but right round the planet.

    If it was in one spot it could be convective overshoot but that cannot explain it being cooler right round the planet because if there was convective overshoot everywhere there would be no way for the air that was overshooting to get back down again and we would be pumping air from the troposphere into the stratosphere continuously.

    That was my starting point, the question I first asked myself. It is an indsiputable observation that requires an explanation.
    it alsoit must be coming from lower d a significant amount of which would have to be coming from within the troposphere. No

  83. Michael Hammer March 6, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    Opps the last 2 lines in the previous post should not be there – please disregard these.

  84. Michael Hammer March 6, 2009 at 5:47 am #

    David:
    you 12:09 post. Yes liquid water versus water vapour does make a difference. In liquid water the molecues are very close together and this close proximity causes massive line broadening to the point where liquid water behaves as close to a black body emitter/absorber. In the gaseous state the molecules are much further apart so there is less interaction, less line broadening and the separate lines become visible. That is why the surface of the ocean can emit right across the thermal infrared spectrum including the region between 8 and 14 microns yet the water vapour in the atmosphere is not capable of absorbing in this atmospheric window.

  85. gavin March 6, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    Michael: “please explain how the tropopause right round the earth stays colder than the regions above and below”

    It’s purely a composition thing that we can easily see out the window while cruising in a jet over say the Tasman or Bass Strait. All the action is below the trop and colour pics are available to prove it.

  86. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    Jae, I’m trying to figure out what the “whole idea behind the paper” actually is. I asked you to help. Would you, or anyone from the amen chorus, please explain just what has been proved?

    Is there a “radiation altitude”? It’s like a mean. Yes, you can get a mean of any set of numbers. Where do you go from there?

  87. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    Michael,
    K&T didn’t originate the proposition that there is energy passing as IR through the tropopause. And the Nimbus and ERBE spectra say more in detail about it than they do. I agree with your propositions 1-3. 4 doesn’t make sense; the “concept of an equivalent radiation altitude” can’t be used to prove anything about the real world. It’s just some arithmetic you do on a set of numbers.

    But the mechanism of the tropopause temperature minimum has been long known, and is not controversial. Yes, GHG’s at all levels are absorbing and radiating IR, and because of the temperature and density gradient, this leads to a nett upward flux. Because of the nature of IR, some of the emission will actually escape without heating anything further. The fraction that does this increases as you go up. The high atmosphere has a heat source from absorbed UV etc which eventually breaks the temperature downtrend. So yes, there will always be a point (tropopause) where the nett radiation to space just balances the combined equal inflows of heat flow from absorbed/emitted IR from below and UV generated heat from above.

  88. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    “The whole idea of the paper”; come on, read the 4 paragraphs of the conclusion.

  89. jae March 6, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    Nick: what cohenite says:

    “The whole idea of the paper”; come on, read the 4 paragraphs of the conclusion.”

    Can someone explain just where SH’s logic is flawed, rather than just provide an alternative theory (or in gavin’s case, just provide some completely undefined and unhelpful “composition change” crap).

  90. gavin March 6, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Jae; “composition change” is about the “trop” being completly dry. Simple stuff hey

  91. Michael Hammer March 6, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Nick; your answer about why the tropopause is so cold is not definitive. If there was no statosphere what you stated would be fine but there is a stratosphere and it is warmer than the tropopause. That means that at the tropopause the energy is being radiated upwards towards a warmer region not a colder region. Therein lies the problem. The tropopause will be receiving more energy from above than it can radiate simply because the temperature above is higher. That would suggest it could not lose energy by radiating upwards which coupled with the fact that it is colder presents a paradox. For a permanent temperature inversion to exist I claim there needs to be an abrupt composition change and that this is high water vapour at the tropopause low in the stratosphere.

    But we need to go further. The emissivity of the tropopause at the water vapour lines has to be substantial for it to keep itself cool (given that it is being heated from below at all GHG lines and from above at the non water related GHG lines). From Kirchoffs law it must have an equal absorptivity which means it will absorb a substantial amount of the energy radiated from below. Given that the water vapour concentration increases with decreasing altitude it means that all radiation from below will be absorbed by the tropopause region. This is of course no different from what happens at any other level in the atmosphere but it means that the net radiation to space ends up being controlled by the temperature of the tropopause and that is too cold to radiate 169 watts/sqM.

    It also means that there is effectively no radiation of energy from the gaseous atmosphere within the troposphere.

    All this has two implications, firstly the energy loss from the atmosphere is significantly less than K&T claim. Secondly, that the concept of a green house effect that attenuates energy radiation by a varying amount which increases as the GHG concentration increases (an analogue view to use an electrical engineering term) becomes questionable. Instead the implication is that to a very large degree the GHG either blocks or passes energy radiation to space (a digital view).

  92. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    “The whole idea of the paper”; come on, read the 4 paragraphs of the conclusion.
    Nick: what cohenite says:
    Exactly, the amen chorus! No-one has a clue what he’s actually saying, but for sure, he’s the new Miskolczi. And the choir fades, intoning the recessional.

  93. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    There is some irony in the reaction to MH’s thesis that the tropopause is colder than the stratosphere but is a net emitter to the stratosphere; this idea of a lower energy source [ie the atmosphere] radiating to a higher energy source [ie the surface] is the basis of AGW; just think little will’s and eli’s thermal blankets and Alan Siddons’s oven;

    http://www.vermonttiger.com/content/images/2008/07/25/toaster.jpg

    All this was canvassed here;

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003366.html

    with such Deltoid luminaries as Bernard et al castigating any opposition to the idea that energy would flow from low to high; now we have the roles reversed and there is objection to MH’s proof that low does flow to high [not quite but close enough]; ironic.

  94. jae March 6, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Nick:

    “Exactly, the amen chorus! No-one has a clue what he’s actually saying, but for sure, he’s the new Miskolczi. And the choir fades, intoning the recessional.”

    ?? What ARE you saying, here?? Even I can see WHAT he is saying (it seems pretty clear to me); I’m trying to figure out if it can be refuted. Let’s start with his first paragraph in the previous post. What is wrong with the reasoning? How can the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere be colder than the upper stratosphere, given the radiation it receives from above and below? Could it happen if there was only methane and CO2?

  95. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    C&J: You guys make issues when there’s nothing there. MH says, correctly:
    The tropopause is thus a cold region sandwiched between warmer regions above and below. For this situation to be stable (and it is stable), the tropopause must have a way of losing energy to a colder sink – otherwise it would warm up due to energy input from the adjacent regions. The only colder region available is space itself and the only energy transfer mechanism available is radiative loss.
    This is a perfectly ordinary and correct statement. The atmospheric window gets wider as you go up, and by the tropopause it’s pretty wide open. Most IR from GHG’s goes directly to space, without interacting with the stratosphere. That’s where cohenite goes wrong – it emits to space, not to the stratosphere.

  96. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    Michael,
    I missed your comment before replying to the others. But again, your earlier statement was correct. The tropopause is not radiating (primarily) to the stratosphere – it is radiating to space. Absorption in the stratosphere is much reduced. This statement “The tropopause will be receiving more energy from above than it can radiate simply because the temperature above is higher.” is not correct. Space is much colder than the stratosphere is warm, The nett IR flux from the t’pause is upward.

  97. Gordon Robertson March 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    jae “Anyway, when I referred to “plucking numbers” I was referring to the cloud number, and MH has clarified that”.

    I tend to shoot from the lip at times, with the full awareness that I’m being obstreperous. If I fingered you as an RC/deltoid worshipper, and that’s not the case, I do humbly apologize. Well…maybe not humbly. It’s an icky feeling.

  98. gavin March 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you Nick.

    Let’s say it again, all the the action is below tropo and space from there is a very pale blue by comparison

  99. Graeme Bird March 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    “It’s not an assumption. It’s an observation.”

    Don’t talk rubbish you idiot. In all this leftist blackballing I’ve never seen an analysis of the radiation from the sun which the extra CO2 BLOCKS!!!!!! Which of course will be disproportionately more important given that our main reservoir of heat energy is below where we live. There are three absorption windows for CO2 and at least from where I’m looking at the situation two of them look more suitable FOR BLOCKING INCOMING.

    Can someone analyse THAT side of things for a change??? Analise it in the context of the fact that the last 100 models of kettle you have seen in your lifetime had the element near the bottom of the kettle.

  100. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Very good Nick; now extrapolate; how can AGW work on the basis of back-radiation from a cooler atmosphere to the surface? In respect of the tropopause to space through the stratosphere, why does that work? Because there is a bloody great window there at water wavelengths; given that and the well-mixed spread of water and CO2 through the lower atmosphere, the only windows are in the non-GHG wavelengths, 8-14 [+]u and in the water wavelengths above the tropopause; so radiation leaves either from the surface or from the tropopause.

  101. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Cohenite,
    If your first sentence reflects the crackpottery that says the cooler atmosphere can’t radiate to the Earth, that is dealt with here, among other places. But the radiation is there, and easily measured by anyone standing outside.
    As for the rest of what you say, I can only say, so what?

  102. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    Oh, Nick, the comments following on from pliny’s sad little summation do a better job than me of dissecting his notion; here is an interesting little refutaion of backradiation;

    http://www.geocities.com/atmosco2/backrad.htm?20086

    And then there is MEP, about which IPCC, and AGW generally, is silent.

  103. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Cohenite,
    What fools like Thieme never deal with is the actual measurements of downwelling IR, easily made, and dating back well over a century.

    Anyway, coming back to the present thread, backradiation is very much part of the model Michael Hammer is analysing and I don’t see him disputing it.

  104. Gordon Robertson March 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Nick Stokes “Cohenite, if your first sentence reflects the crackpottery that says the cooler atmosphere can’t radiate to the Earth, that is dealt with here, among other places”.

    The article you link to is a load of nonsense. It is using entropy to undermine the 2nd Law of thermodynamics and here’s an example of the author’s logic:

    “When heat Q flows from temperature TA to a cooler TB, the energy available to drive a heat engine is Q*(1-TB/TA) = S*TB, where S is the entropy gain. It is said that the atmosphere is a big heat engine, and this net entropy export is the driver”.

    That is plain gobbedly-gook. Entropy is a measure of randomness in a system and is a measure of the feasability of reversing the process. In other words, if energy can flow in one direction, is it possible to reverse the energy flow by manipulating the system? Entropy and enthalpy are red-herrings in energy calculations and were introduced by scientists who like to abstract issues. The 2nd law is about heat flow and Clausius was one of the experts on that subject. He stated plainly that a cooler body cannot warm a warmer body (that warmed it) to a higher temperature than the warming body was initially.

    When applied to the present situation, the surface gets its heat from the Sun. Unless the Sun is hidden by clouds, or the surface is cooled in another manner, that temperature will remain constant and supposedly warm GHG’s in the atmosphere. They in turn are suposed to back-radiate energy to the surface and warm it beyond that constant temperature. Climate scientists like Trenberth, seem to be claiming that the back-radiated energy can be added to the incoming solar energy so as to make the surface warmer.

    When you talk about heat flow with respect to the 2nd Law, you are talking ‘within a closed system’. The atmosphere is hardly a closed system, with an external source (the Sun) providing the initial broad-spectrum energy. The closed system, if it can be called that ‘with respect to heat flow’, has to be the surface and the atmosphere. Once the Sun heats the surface, it is out of the equation, since the energy radiated by the surface is only part of the spectrum that heated the surface and the GHGs in the atmosphere interact only within specific ranges in the IR from the surface. Furthermore, GHG’s in the atmosphere are warmed by incident solar energy, the IR portion of which accounts for over 50% of its energy spectrum.

    The fact that the Sun keeps heating the surface, as it radiates and warms the atmospheric GHG’s, complicates the problem. Scientists like Stephan Ramstorf are claiming the IR energy from the atmosphere to the surface can be added to the incoming solar energy, plus heat from convection, to get a net energy balance that is positive. Gerlich and Tscheuschner claim you can’t do that because the 2nd law is about heat, not energy. Heat in a radiative sense is due to the exchange of energy between bodies, one of which is warmer. G&T claim you can add heat vertically between the surface and the atmosphere but that doesn’t work when you start adding heat from the Sun and heat from convection, which represent separate energy sources, both of which are involved in heating both the surface and the atmsophere.

    It’s obvious that this science as applied to climate science is a mess. The basics of thermodynamics have been mis-applied and you can’t have a cooler body adding heat to a warmer body so as to warm it beyond the temperature it was when it warmed the cooler body. Besides that, G&T have pointed out that CO2 in the atmosphere does not behave like a black body radiator and there simply isn’t enough of it to have more than a minimal effect. Planck made it clear that radiation from surfaces only applied when the surface was much larger than the wavelengths in question. With individual CO2 molecules in the atmosphere, that is not the case.

    Then there is the Stephan-Bolzmann equation which is liberally applied to radiative transfer. The sigma (constant) in the equation is not a universal constant, as G&T imply. It is dependent on the body in question being a blackbody radiator over which the Planck spectrum can be integrated. That means the constant has to be adjusted somehow for it to apply to the conditions in the atmosphere and on the surface. It’s hardly possible to integrate over the discrete energy bands in question. If it is so adjusted, the question arises as to how that affects the radiative calculations of Trenberth et al. It would seem that a lot of liberties have been taken.

    In his paper, Michael Hammer directly relates spectral frequencies to surface temperatures. What if Boltzmann’s constant is wrong for that application? The only studies that have been done with respect to radiation in the atmosphere are between theoretical surfaces that are perfect blackbodies. NASA and Trenberth admit their studies are largely ad hoc in that respect.

  105. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Nick, your ‘downwelling IR’ link doesn’t work; I presume you are referring to Philipona’s latest nightime, clear-sky Pyrgeometer measurements; in which case it has been done to noone’s satisfaction here;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/01/claims-of-data-manipulation-at-nasa/?cp=all

  106. Nick Stokes March 6, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Cohenite,
    No, the link was just to a Google search output for “Downwelling Infrared”. There are hundreds of papers, routinely reporting downwelling IR measurements.

    But how is it that people like Thieme argue that such a simply measured phenomenon don’t even mention observations? Anyone who really wants to refute down IR need only take a pyrgeometer out into the backyard. How come we never hear of such things?

  107. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Gordon; succinctly put; I think it is time you collated your various comments on G&T and did a general post.

    “and you can’t have a cooler body adding heat to a warmer body so as to warm it beyond the temperature it was when it warmed the cooler body.”

    Yes you can Gordon; if you believe in perpetual motion.

  108. Louis Hissink March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    The problem with downwelling IR measurements lies in the assumption of what might be the sources.

    Global warmers would only allow CO2, whereas plasma physics types would add electric currents operating in dark current plasma mode to the mix.

    The problem then becomes of how much contribution CO2 makes to the observed downwelling flux.

    And the atmosphere is layered – based on chemical differences? Or physical, and then how can a gas as a single phase, produce distinct layers? But plasma physicis might suggest that the layering are simply Double Layers between the Earth and the plasma of space it’s immersed in.

  109. Louis Hissink March 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Cohenite/Gordon,

    You have summarised the problem precisely – how can a cooler gas that had its thermal state increased then warm the gas from which it got the heat from in the first place.

    This happens when a science is based on a solid empirical foundation. It reduces to Arrhennius’s initial assertion, and no one in the AGW camp has produced a scintilla of evidence supporting it.

    Fred Hoyle summed it up decades ago when he pointed out that when a great deal money is spent on a problem, employing a large number of scientists, and the problem remains in dispute, then it is entirely likely we are using the wrong ideas in trying to understand the problem. This is the issue with AGW as it stands now.

  110. Louis Hissink March 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Gad! I erred – when a science is not based on a solid empirical foundation!

    (Must be getting old).

  111. cohenite March 6, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    “getting old'; just like good wine Louis.

  112. Jan Pompe March 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    Michael “Proves one should never write things in a rush”

    Thanks I thought something like that was at play. As for the other it hasn’t always been clear IMHO thanks for the clarification.

  113. Marcus March 6, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    Listening to some of the arguments here, one feels compelled to replace the heater with a block of ice!

  114. Jan Pompe March 7, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    Nick “Anyone who really wants to refute down IR need only take a pyrgeometer out into the backyard. How come we never hear of such things?”

    Those beasties cost >$2000 that’s why you don’t hear of it and really there is nothing to refute about back radiation. I do it fairly regularly I just don’t bleat about it very often. The issue about the down radiation is not that it doesn’t exist it’s that it can’t warm the surface beyond the temperature that the sun drives it to, because the net radiation is always upward even when the air near the surface is warmer than the surface. It needs to be considerably hotter for the back radiation to do that I’m’ sure that you’ll be able to calculate how much hotter.

  115. jae March 7, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    Surely Nick is not saying that the down-radiation from the cooler air is heating anything! I thought the party line is that it just keeps things from cooling off as fast. Am I STILL missing something?

  116. Nick Stokes March 7, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Jan,
    Well, the instruments exist, and lots of people use them. I don’t think I agree about “than the sun drives it to”, (I don’t really see what it means), but it’s certainly more in line with reality.

  117. Michael Hammer March 7, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    Hi all, I am currently sitting in an internet cafe in LA thoroughly jet lagged and trying to keep up with this blog. I see discussion heading off in many directions and maybe its time I summarise what I am saying.

    Nick, you have said several times that my model is not significantly different from what K&T claim. I disagree, specifically;

    What am I claiming about the K&T model in brief?
    I claim the K&T model significantly underestimates long wave emission from earth which is unaffected by any green house gas effects (they claim 40 from surface + 30 from clouds)
    I further claim that the K&T model significantly overestimates long wave emission from earth which is mediated by green house gas effects (they claim 169 watts/sqM)

    Why do I claim this is important?
    If a model is created based on the K&T data and this model is used to predict the impact of incremental increases in a green house gas then I thinkit is exceptionally significant if the fraction of total long wave radiation which is affected by GHG effects is significantly overestimated.

    Can I give a very simple example of what I mean?
    Yes I can. K&T claim 169 W/sqM from the atmosphere. They also claim about 78 absorbed from incoming solar energy. This means that 91 watts/sqM of the energy radiated comes originally from surface energy absorbed and reradiated probably many times. As I have discussed at considerable length this will be essentially all at water vapour lines. But the energy emitted from earths surface in the water vapour regions below 8 and about 15.5 is 220 watt/sqM. That means the atmosphere (after absorption and reradiation) is allowing 91/220 or about 40% to escape to space. In my layered calculation for an overall absorbance on N the fraction of surface energy radiating to space is 1/(N+1) which implies N would be 1.5 abs. To suggest the entire column of water vapour from this surface to space is only 1.5 abs is not credible.

    But maybe you don’t believe my layered analysis. OK think of it this way, elementary spectroscopy – a 1 abs absorber BY DEFINITION passes 10% of the incident energy and absorb 90%. This will be re-radiated half up half down so the energy escaping to space would be 45%. Oh and by the way, in this case the 10% not absorbed (22 watts/sqM) is energy escaping to space directly from earth’s surface so the number should be 62 watts/sqM not 40 watts/sqM.

    So what are the implications from this simple example?
    Have a look at my graph of energy retained versus absorbance N. The slope is greatest around abs 1. this slope is the sensitivity to an increase in the absorbance of the GHG. A model based on K&T is inherently assuming a sensitivity to water vapour of the maximum possible. On the other hand, if the real absorbance is say 10 (still far too low in my opinion) the sensitivity is reduced by a factor of about 25 times. That would mean a change in water vapour sensitivity of 25 times. That’s a long way from trivial.

    Are there other paradoxes from a total water absorbance of around 1-2 abs?
    Yes there are. As many have pointed out, water vapour concentration falls relatively quickly with increasing altitude. If the entire water column has an absorbance of 1-2 abs then the region around the tropopause will have an extremely low absorbance which also means an extremely low emissivity. In fact the emissivity would be so low that it would not be able to radiate enough to keep itself cold. Hence we are back to the problem of how the tropopause can be colder than the regions above and below it.

    The analysis I gave provides a solution to these paradoxes. I hope I have shown how what I claim is different frm the K&T mdoel and why it is likely to be important.

    cheers to all and please think about this issue, I really do believe it is fundamental

  118. barry moore March 7, 2009 at 7:55 am #

    Gordon
    I have seen this debate about a cool body increasing the temperature of a warmer body in many different blogs and in the adiabatic model of course in can not happen. However if you consider a theoretical case where you have a sphere, emissivity 1 that is generating heat inside a spherical shell internal emissivity 1. Stefans law can be applied to the model and the surface temperature of the sphere generating the heat would vary with the surface temperature of the shell so really what is happening is the shell is blocking the heat flow and acting like a resistor in and electrical circuit. The sphere of course only increases in temperature if it is generating or being supplied with heat.
    In simplistic terms the atmosphere is acting like a resistor to heat flowing away from the earth and if the resistance varies the temperature of the surface will vary. Thats why the earth is 33 deg C warmer than if there were no atmosphere.
    Of course the incomming heat is subject to the same type of variable and I agree the incomming does have a small amount of IR in the resonant ranges but I think the outgoing has a lot more, however I do not have any specific numbers to qualify this.
    In the end analysis I think all reasonable people agree that the CO2 in the atmosphere is a very small component and it is very close to its saturation point even after considering line broadening so variations in CO2 are insignificant.

  119. Jan Pompe March 7, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Nick “I don’t think I agree about “than the sun drives it to”, (I don’t really see what it means)”

    It means that that the source of the heat is the sun a bit of insulation just means that higher temperatures can be obtained from the same input from the sun. The radiant energy from the atmosphere, while quite real, originally comes from the surface and cannot heat the surface. Today in my back yard for instance the air temperature is 20 C the ground temperature 22.2 C (up radiation ~414 Wm^2) where the sun has driven it to, but if the radiation from the atmosphere had it’s way it would heat it all the way to -3 C (down radiation ~302 W/m2). That is 112 W/m^2 through the window.

  120. Nick Stokes March 7, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Michael,
    I haven’t said that your analysis shows little difference from K&T – it’s just unclear what the differences are. Your reasons for discontent seem to change – I’ll say more on this in a moment. But I wish you’d make it quantitative. You’re unhappy with the 169 W/m2 in non-AW wavelengths; well, I ask again, what do you think it should be. Is it a little bit wrong? A lot?

    On changes, you started out with a rather vague issue about clouds. You clarified that, but in a way that then seemed quite close to K&T. Then you made a point about K&T wrongly predicting a spectral dip in the AW – I couldn’t see where that came from, but you haven’t said any more about it. Then there was supposed to be a problem at the tropopause, but your original post seemed to get that right, and the later post was flirting with these ideas that the tropopause couldn’t emit because the stratosphere was warmer. On that point I might mention that all the outward IR from Earth goes through the thermosphere, which gets up to 1500C. I don’t know what your current issue is with the tropopause.

    Now you’ve come back to the layered argument. But the fallacy here is that it assumes gray radiation. It’s true that if you assumed all the IR in absorbed bands reached the top without frequency change, the resistance seems too high. But that isn’t how it happens. When energy is absorbed and reemitted at a layer, the frequencies all change. The peak absorption frequencies (say 15 μ) are the most emitted, but they don’t get far. The AW frequencies (say 11 μ) would go a long way, but are not emitted much. The upward flux is mostly carried by intermediate frequencies, which are present in modest proportion in the emission spectrum, but travel a long way before absorption. They heat the tropopause etc, so the outgoing spectrum looks like it has high representation from frequencies like 15μ, but the energy didn’t travel at those frequencies.

    Anyway, you need a proper LBL calculation to work this out – at the level of your calculation, it’s just arm-waving.

    There are a lot of errors in your sec 11 on line broadening. The most obvious is “IPCC inflates this to about 3C”. No, that is the IPCC figure for CO2 doubling. You are relating this to a 390->560 change, which is only about half a doubling (sqrt(2)). But more seriously, you’re using the bare BB sensitivity of 1/5.4 K/(W/m2). The implication is that a 1K increase would all be cleared from the Earth as BB IR. But we know that without any change in GHG, the atmosphere would heat by about 1K, and the back radiation would increase. The nett W/m2 would be much less, and the sensitivity much greater. That’s the figure you should compare with the CO2 increase.

  121. Gordon Robertson March 7, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    barry moore “…the shell is blocking the heat flow and acting like a resistor in and electrical circuit….In simplistic terms the atmosphere is acting like a resistor to heat flowing away from the earth and if the resistance varies the temperature of the surface will vary. Thats why the earth is 33 deg C warmer than if there were no atmosphere.

    Barry…that’s the problem I have with those analogies, they are far too simplistic and inaccurate. They try to explain phenomena using overly-simplified mathematical analysis rather than observing what is actually going on.

    In the first place a resistor in a circuit limits current and produces heat as a byproduct. It’s not opposing heat flow, it’s opposing the movement of electrons. The heat is obviously coming from the collisions of source electrons with atomic material in the resistor, which is taking energy away from the source current electrons and dissipating it as heat. The problem with using such an analogy, based on the theory that some layer is blocking heat, obfuscates what is really going on.

    There is no resistive mechanism in the atmosphere to heat flow as one would find to electron flow in a resistor. If anything, there is a scattering of heat photons by all atoms and molecules in the atmosphere. I think Stephen Wilde raised that analogy, but he was using it in reference to nitrogen and oxygen, the dominant scatterers in the atmosphere. I think he was suggesting a delay mechanism rather than a trap. When you look at the real science behind meteorological systems, however, you find they are far more complex than the model of heat being radiated from a surface.

    In the textbook, Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, by Bohren and Clothiaux, they discuss the blanket theory and the back-radiation theory. They don’t spend much time on the blanket theory, writing it off as nonsense. They point out the obvious, that a real blanket operates by limiting convective heat flow, not radiation. A blanket breaks the air currents down into tiny cells, limiting the escape of convective heat flow. The notion of a blanket effect in the atmosphere, that traps photons of heat, to them, is nonsense.

    They don’t give a lot of credence to the back-radiation theory either. They claim that the only analysis available is the multi-layer theory by which the surface and the atmosphere are represented by idealized surfaces. That’s exactly what Trenberth did. The problem with that, as Gerlich and Tscheuschner point out, is that heat flow cannot be represented in simple one-line drawings.

    Think about that. Trenberth et al are representing heatflow as a one-line representation, as if heat is flowing from the Earth’s surface at all points equally. That’s far from the case. The quantity they are representing in W/m.m are averaged values for the entire Earth.

    Another problem with the blanket theory is that the mechanism of trapping heat is extremely vague. Furthermore, CO2 has been given magical properties by modelers that it does not have. I am still waiting for someone to explain, on a per molecule basis, how an extremely rare gas, with a fractional component of anthropogenic content, can possibly add or block enough heat to make a difference in the release of water vapour.

    That’s the crux of the modeler’s back-radiation argument, that anthropogenic CO2 is heating the surface to a higher temperature thus producing more water vapour in a feedback loop. The blanket theory makes no sense since the mechanism of heat trapping is vague or missing. Nitrogen and oxygen make up 97% of the atmosphere and they are heated by convection. You don’t see any reference to that in AGW theory. The NOAA satellite AMSU’s are detecting the troposphere’s temperature from the heat generated as microwave energy from oxygen. Where did oxygen get the heat?

    Radiosonde readings, that use a different temperature detection mechanism, agree with the satellite data taken from oxygen emissions. That’s either a complete fluke, or it’s a definite confirmation that satellite readings are accurate, and that oxygen emissions are indicative of atmospheric temperatures. If anthropogenic CO2 is contributing so much to the atmosphere through back-radiation, why is it not showing up in tropospheric warming? The satellites are only detecting a couple of tenths of a degree C warming in the troposphere. All the fuss is coming from surface temperature readings, which are sparse, adjusted and highly-averaged.

    There is simply no evidence for appreciable warming from back-radiation or even heat trapping by GHG’s. I am not arguing that some mechanism has not warmed the atmosphere to it’s present +15 V average, I am arguing that the mechanism is unknown and even uninteresting with respect to the global warming hype. We seem to have made a mountain out of a molehill based on the musings of mathematicians and wannabee mathematicians running computer models.

  122. Gordon Robertson March 7, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Louis “Global warmers would only allow CO2, whereas plasma physics types would add electric currents operating in dark current plasma mode to the mix”.

    After reading Akasofu on solar plasma and its effects on our atmosphere, when it interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, I am ready for a revelation. We don’t know a fraction of what we think we know.

    Although I have a reasonably strong background in electronics, I would have been inclined to regard the notion of electric currents running around in the atmosphere and Earth as science-fiction had I not read Akasofu’s explanations of that phenomena. Although I’m not prepared to guess at the amount of heat generated by the interaction of those particles, it would not surprise me if the contribution was significant.

    How did we ever get so arrogant in science, or has that been the case all along? When did we get from the point of “I don’t know what’s going on but I’ll investigate it on an on-going basis”, to the point of “I know for sure what’s going on and all the rest of you are wrong”? Or, “I know for sure what’s going on and anyone disagreeing with me should be jailed or discredited”? As Feynman pointed out, no scientist anywhere understands matter at its atomic level, or can measure it’s effects, yet AGW scientist are trying to pass off that theory as if it’s old hat.

    Maybe I had simply never noticed but it seems science has suddenly become dogmatic to the point of intolerance. I think that’s my biggest beef with AGW science. I just don’t want that kind of dogmatic thinking to take over science, especially when that entails virtualizing science for the sake of it, whether it works or not. Beginning students at the university level should be made aware of all sides of the story rather than being spoon-fed a biased paradigm.

  123. Marcus March 7, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Gordon Robertson March 7th, 2009 at 11:12 am
    “Maybe I had simply never noticed but it seems science has suddenly become dogmatic to the point of intolerance. I think that’s my biggest beef with AGW science.”

    Very good point Gordon, it’s come to a stage where one is disinclined to offer an opinion.
    Glad some of us still do.

  124. cohenite March 7, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Just one quibble Gordon; N2 and O2 I would think are more likely to be heated by conduction by contact with the surface and then for that heat to transfered by convection vertically and horizontally; anyway, following on from your comment about dogmatism and intolerance, we sceptics won’t have to worry much longer since we are insane;

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25149305-20261,00.html

  125. SJT March 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    Mr Hammer

    do you believe there is such a thing as back radiation, and a greenhouse effect?

  126. jae March 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    “How did we ever get so arrogant in science, or has that been the case all along? When did we get from the point of “I don’t know what’s going on but I’ll investigate it on an on-going basis”, to the point of “I know for sure what’s going on and all the rest of you are wrong”? Or, “I know for sure what’s going on and anyone disagreeing with me should be jailed or discredited”? As Feynman pointed out, no scientist anywhere understands matter at its atomic level, or can measure it’s effects, yet AGW scientist are trying to pass off that theory as if it’s old hat.

    Maybe I had simply never noticed but it seems science has suddenly become dogmatic to the point of intolerance. I think that’s my biggest beef with AGW science. I just don’t want that kind of dogmatic thinking to take over science, especially when that entails virtualizing science for the sake of it, whether it works or not. Beginning students at the university level should be made aware of all sides of the story rather than being spoon-fed a biased paradigm.”

    I’m definitely listening to this guy!

  127. cohenite March 7, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    So am I Jae; I wish Nick would; some gems;

    “all the outward IR goes through the thermosphere”; which as we all know is where Al Gore holidays.

    “they heat the tropopause etc”; find the heating;

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

  128. cohenite March 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    How annoying; the non-heating link again;

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

  129. cohenite March 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    Doubly annoying; hell, go to AMSU and plot your own graph for 17km; it shows as much warming as Rudd got out of his stimulus package.

  130. Louis Hissink March 7, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    Gordon,

    You raise important points and one starting point might be to watch the following series of YouTube videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEbatH0ssYE&feature=related . This is a set of 5 YT presentations which need to be watched to understand things.

    Science becomes dogmatic when it becomes zombie, or pseudoscience that is based not in empirical fact, but on rhetorical sophistication. It’s ages old and a continuing battle between the empiricists and the rhetoricists.

    AGW theory is the latest example of institutionalised science.

  131. Louis Hissink March 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    Gordon,

    answering your second question, science in general, geology included, has stalled itself in a mathetical cul-de-sac in which modelling drives research. Modelling is mathematics, but all maths can do is describe something, it cannot EXPLAIN something.

    It’s basically a takeover of mainstream science by the mediocre produced by the state education systems.

  132. Jan Pompe March 7, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    Nick “The most obvious is “IPCC inflates this to about 3C”. No, that is the IPCC figure for CO2 doubling. You are relating this to a 390->560 change, which is only about half a doubling (sqrt(2)).”

    Don’t think so. Michael address the rise from 280 ppm (pre-industrial level) to 560 ppm projected level at 2070. He does it in two parts and ends up with the same value of 3.7 W/m^2 that the IPCC does for 2 x CO2. From that he derives a value of .36C.

    this Number the IPCC inflates to 3C with positive feedback.

    I don’t see a problem there.

    Just to explain the higher the cooler scheme we see around about and you like to bring up from time to time too means that 3.7 W/m^2 is the extra radiation required at the (approximately black body) surface to maintain the balance.

    So lets look at how much the temperature needs to rise to proved this extra radiation

    Stefan-Boltzmann relation is

    E = sT^4 so dE/dT = 4 s T^3 [E = emission (W/m^2); T = temperature (K); s=S-B constant = 5.67=8 ]

    Plugging in 288 we get a sensitivity of dE/dT = 5.42 W/m^2 K if we want to be pedantic we can multiply it by average surface absorptivity .96 so it will be 5.2 W/m^2K.

    so the heating we can expect from 3.7 W/m^2k is 3.7/5.2 ~ .7C which we have already had. Michael gets a value of .36K for the remainder and i I have split it up I would have got a similar figure. Given that the IPCC quote something like 1.5 – 4.2K for CO2 doubling I don’t see a particular problem with his saying the IPCC inflates the remainder to about 3C. Either way the the IPCC numbers are incoherent.

    It’s perfectly valid to use the bare BB value for surface emissivity in this case it makes a difference of .02C.

    ” The implication is that a 1K increase would all be cleared from the Earth as BB IR.”

    I don’t see that implication at all what it implies how much the surface temperature must change to maintain the energy balance when there is extra absorptivity due to CO2 doubling. This scenario though assumes a grey atmosphere not a semi-transparent one

    For others: the IPCC relationship for the C02 forcing is F = 5.338ln(C/C(0)) using Naperian logs rather than base 10 log as Michael does but the result is the same.

  133. cohenite March 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    Jan; illuminating as usual; Nick has started to double-shuffle and you are being generous to him; in respect of temperature over the 20thC and IPCC’s prediction of 3C for a doubling of the devil gas; CO2 rose [according to the official record] by ~ 30% over the 20thC; temps should have risen by ~0.8-1C; they rose by this much;

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/smooth.jpg

    This is Tamino’s plot of NASAGISS; you can’t get more official than that; now, it is clear that temps rose 0.4C; from this we have to deduct a solar forcing of 0.12C [from AR4; TAR gives a SF of 0.4C, but nevermind] and an ENSO effect of either 0.288C [Douglass and Christy] or 0.3C [McLean and Quirk]; there is no CO2 effect; it’s all been used up in the first 33C above the atmospheric free surface; and it isn’t in the pipeline;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/05/pielke-sr-no-climate-heating-in-%e2%80%9cthe-pipeline%e2%80%9d/#more-6048

    As I say MH provides another reason why AGW isn’t so, but if there is no evidence even from the official sources then what the hell is Nick talking about.

    BTW, are you guys going to join The Climate Sceptics or what?

  134. Nick Stokes March 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    Jan
    No. He says “The increase from 390 ppm to 560 ppm (2070 projection from IPCC 4th assessment report) would increase retained energy by 12.3 * log (560/390) = 1.93 watts/m2″. Thjat’s the CO2 calc, from 390 to 560. He converts that by dividing by 5.4 to get 0.36C. He then says “IPCC inflates this to about 3C by …”. That’s wrong. The IPCC says 3C is the result of CO2 doubling, not going from 390 to 560.

    But the bigger and more subtle issue is dividing by 5.4, which is the BB (to space) sensitivity at 287K. We’re not in balance as a BB radiating to space at 287K. We emit 390W/m2 IR, but 324 comes back. That backrad is also temperature dependent. So if the temp rises 1K, 5.4 W/m2 extra goes out, but about 4 W/m2 extra comes back – nett loss about 1.4 W/m2. It’s not quite that bad, because latent heat flux would also increase.

    So there’s an extra factor of about 2 on the half-doubling, and nearly 4 on the BB factor – it adds up.

  135. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    Nick I know what he said and you are just nitpicking, and while we are on the subject of nitpicking the IPCC does NOT say this
    “3C is the result of CO2 doubling” it gives a range of possibilities from 1.7 K – 4.2 K it doesn’t give us a number of three. Point is that it is not a fallacy as you claimed but and error and an inconsequential one. I’m sure he’ll see what he has done not that it has been pointed out. Go ahead use it as a distraction.

    “But the bigger and more subtle issue is dividing by 5.4, which is the BB (to space) sensitivity at 287K. ”

    Yes it is a bigger issue and one the IPCC has wrong it the surface must emit an extra 3.7 W/m^2 in order to keep the earth’s radiation in balance (at ~345 W/m^2) and the TOA, then the surface temperature need only rise .7 K to do it. The rest of whether .8 – 3.5K or 1.34 – 3.84K is claimed to be provided by positive feedback due to increasing specific humidity.

    So lets see what difference the error makes. and extra 2.3 K requires a forcing of 2.3 x 5.2 ~ 12 W/m^2. Proportional increase in water vapour required = 10 ^ 2.3/33.2 = 1.17 (17%) and m = 12 / log10(1.17) = 176. For each doubling then 176 * log10(2) = 53 W/m^2. Which makes the situation worse than Michael stated not better it means that it requires an impossible sensitivity to concentration for water vapour to provide the extra warming claimed by IPCC.

  136. jae March 8, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    Nick:

    “We emit 390W/m2 IR, but 324 comes back. ”

    I still don’t think you can add the 324 from the cold sky to the “warm” radiation from the surface to come up with that 390 watt number. If you can do that, then I should be able to melt steel with several air/propane torches, since you are saying is that all I have to do is add enough watts/m2 to get to the melting temperature. It cannot be done.

  137. Alan D. McIntire March 8, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    In reply to the March 4 post by Barry Moore,

    “A couple of observations I note that a constant adiabatic lapse rate has been assumed throughout, as a pilot of close to 40 years experience the lapse rate through clouds is assumed to be much less than the adiabatic rate possibly due to latent heat being given off during condensation, not sure if that is significant. ”

    You’re right about the moist- pseudo adiabetic being much less than the adiabetic:

    I get the following from

    Handbood of Meteorology, by Berry, Bolay, and Beers, 1945.

    After G Struve, Moist Pseudo-Adiabetic lapse rate

    (Dynamic Meters) C per 100 Gm -note that dynamic meters are about 1.02 meters, so to
    adjust for actual meters, you’d have to multiply the following lapse rates by about 0.98

    1000 Mb 700 Mb 500 Mb

    40 .315 .282 ,255
    30 .366 ,331 .287
    20 .440 .382 ,335
    15 .487 .422 .369
    10 .539 .471 .411
    0 .659 .587 .517
    – 5 .723 .653 .579
    -10 .780 .717 .650
    -20 .879 .835 .735
    -30 .941 .920 .890
    -40 .978 .968 .954

    It was astonishing to me that even at temperatures below 0C the moist lapse rate was significantly less than the dry lapse rate, which in the above units would be 1.000 C per 100 Gm,
    or 9.8C /kilometer in normal usage.

    Considering that the saturation vapor pressure increases almost exponentially with temperature,
    there would be an almost inverse exponential affect on lapse rate. It seems that this would also have a strong negative effect on global warming.

  138. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Nick; Jan is right; the 3C temp increase is the mid-range and preferred estimate for a doubling of CO2 [see AR4 p666]; the problems with this;
    1 The initial 33C increase brings any increase in CO2 concentration closer to an asymtopic level where the logarithmic decline in sensitivity is maximised.
    2 MH has calculated this as the CO2 caused temp increase from 390-560ppm as 0.36C; this is similar to his conclusions from his 2007 paper which I linked to at the top.
    3 IPCC have based their CO2 doubling effect from ~280ppm.
    4 CO2 has gone up ~30% over the 20thC.
    5 Temp has gone up ~0.4C [as per my calculations above involving SF and ENSO]
    6 Even if you allocate that ~0.4C entirely to CO2 [instead of nothing] it still should have gone up ~0.9-1C
    7 This leaves a shortfall of ~0.5-0.6C
    8 To double to 560ppm CO2 needs to go up [from the 2000 base] ~70%
    9 70% translates to a temp of ~2.1C
    10 To 2.1 we have to add the 0.5-0.6C shortfall = ~2.8
    11 A temp increase of 2.8C for a 70% increase in CO2 means that, according to the IPCC fig of 3c/3.7wm^2, the CO2 sensitivity will actually increase to ~4C/5.29wm^2
    12 How does this tally with the logarithmic decline effect of increases in CO2?

  139. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Point 10 should be, of course ~2.7 which means 3.86C/5.29wm^2.

  140. SJT March 8, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    ““all the outward IR goes through the thermosphere”; which as we all know is where Al Gore holidays.”

    When you have nothing of substance say, abuse Al Gore.

  141. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    Louis “It’s basically a takeover of mainstream science by the mediocre produced by the state education systems”.

    I think the street term for that is ‘brainwashing’. In more psychological circles it’s called conditioning. Either way you look at it, there seems to be a concerted effort to push one paradigm on students at the expense of giving them a broader education and encouraging them to think for themselves.

    I know of one young fellow here in Canada who despises the educational system pushing Al Gore-type AGW pap on him. It’s encouraging that some young people can see through the conditioning while others eat it up eagerly.

  142. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    SJT “do you believe there is such a thing as back radiation, and a greenhouse effect”?

    I’m sure part of this is aimed at me.

    What does belief have to do with science? Even you have admitted the greenhouse effect is simply a model. Even I am willing to acknowledge that back-radiation is scientifically feasible. If either of us believe those concepts, as in religious belief, we are both lunatics. I will go so far as to say that the human mind does not have the ability to understand what is true. It can only arrive at a conclusion, but that does not mean the conclusion has validity or that it is completely true. Scientists like Einstein, Feynman and Bohm recognized that and had a humility about their abilities.

    I have no issue with back-radiation per se. My argument has to do with the amount of it and the notion that back-radiation from a cooler body can warm a warmer body (that warmed it) to a higher temperature than the warming body was initially. IR meters pointed into the sky are obviously detecting something, but an IR meter, like any other meter, is an averaging device. It averages radiation from a wide range of frequencies. If someone points a handheld IR meter at the sky and gets an immediate reading of so many W/m.m, what is he seeing? Essentially nothing.

    To get a meaningful reading, a person would need a meter that detects each IR frequency and plots its intensity on a graph. Only then could a person examine the intensities and determine what IR bands are prevalent. But how is he going to separate the incoming solar IR from the back-radiated IR? How is he going to separate the natural CO2 back-radiation from the anthropogenic CO2 BR? How is he going to separate the IR from water vapour and other GHG’s from each other?

    Climate scientists obviously don’t do that. Both NASA and Trenberth have admitted there are uncertainties in radiative emissions and that much of it is ad hoc. In fact, most of it is theory based on laboratory experiments and the presumption of computer modelers.

  143. Luke March 8, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Cohers

    I just have to smile as you crash head-on in to the rock of empirical incrementalist effect summation.

    The simplest analysis I have seen of late is an PC analysis of the tow independent sea surface temperature data sets (well SST and NMAT) since 1850.

    EOF 1 is the centennial signal by a mile. EOF is the IPO and just behind at EOF3 is the AMO. ENSO doesn’t figure long term – sorry !

    So one needs to explain a warming signal since 1850. Solar alone doesn’t do it.

    So look forward to your new PUBLISHED theory of how this works. Whatever is happening you pseudo-sceptic lot will be the last to inform us.

    When are you going to give us the definitive guest post here on the “revised greenhouse theory” for us. Would help so a revision of where all the interminable debate about the GHG effect has gotten to.

    Maybe Jan might even say something of committment for once? I see Gordon has now slowly morphed (imperceptibly) into “I always knew the background radiation was there” and now modified by “but it ain’t doing anything”. Wiggle woggle …

    But anyway if MH’s thesis on GHG isn’t published – as far as the science community at large is concerned – it doesn’t exist. Publish or perish !

    BTW have to kack at Louis railing against “modelling” – when all the equations you have been discussing here are themselves models. WTF ! Louis seems to overlook the obvious. I think Louis’s notion of modern science is telling non-quantitative old boy tales about plasma marshmallows around the camp fire.

    As for brain-washing in the education system – you should worry more about the massive disinterest in science. More than what science concepts are taught. Everyone’s at the footy mate !

  144. SJT March 8, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    “I have no issue with back-radiation per se. My argument has to do with the amount of it and the notion that back-radiation from a cooler body can warm a warmer body (that warmed it) to a higher temperature than the warming body was initially.”

    No one has ever claimed that is what is happening. That is not what is happening with the earth.

  145. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    cohenite “Just one quibble Gordon; N2 and O2 I would think are more likely to be heated by conduction by contact with the surface and then for that heat to transfered by convection vertically and horizontally”

    I don’t know a whole lot about that yet, I’m only going on what Stephen Wilde wrote in his article about the ocean being a large hot water bottle. A hot water bottle makes a lot more sense to me than a greenhouse. If it is a hot water bottle, and it is warming the land, as other recent papers have implied, then it’s imperative to take into account the phenomenon of hot air rising.

    I have problems with conduction per se because I relate that to solids in direct contact. I’m not sure about gases in contact with a solid or liquid, although I’m sure there is a heat transfer involved. I think there are grounds for thinking all three forms of heat transfer may be involved near the surface. Whatever the mechanisms are for warming the near-surface air, the composition of that air is still 97% oxygen and nitrogen. One would think that the rising warm air would be made up predominantly of N2 and O2, although it’s only water vapour that is involved in precipitation.

    It’s an interesting problem I’d like to understand better, and it is the basis of the arguments of Lindzen and Spencer. Spencer talks primarily of precipitation systems and that’s what I learned in high school, that warm air rises, condenses and converts to rain or snow. There was no talk in those days of radiative equilibrium, a theory foisted on us by computer modelers. Lindzen claims the tropical atmosphere is opaque to radiative transfer and that heat in the tropics is transported to higher latitudes before it is released to space. That heat transport surely involves N2 and O2 as majority carriers of heat, although once again, it is water vapour that forms clouds.

    “anyway, following on from your comment about dogmatism and intolerance, we sceptics won’t have to worry much longer since we are insane”

    In the article you linked to, they are bringing in psychologists to check us out. That’s amusing. When I was a young buck, I was convinced psychology was the answer. In fact, I studied it for three years at the uni as a minor subject. Today, I see the role of psychologists as one of fitting people who are screwed up back into a society that is totally screwed up. They talk about ‘therapy’, but all they’re doing is re-arranging the mental furniture so it doesn’t look so out of place in a large, bizarre, living room.

    Those who have stepped outside the system have always been regarded as essentially insane. They don’t always call it that, using more politically correct terms such as oddball, weirdo, malcontent or rebel. The inference is the same, however, in that there’s something wrong with you. The people doing that kind of observation never assume there just might be a whole lot wrong with them.

    One of my favourite scientists was David Bohm. He was a theoretical physicist and a friend of Einstein. Bohm was forced to leave his native country, the United States, because he would not co-operate with the McCarthy witchhunt. He is the only scientist I know of who actually studied the human mind to see what it’s role might be in the observation of reality. The fact that more people have not thought of that, prefering to assume the mind is perfectly capable of unbiased thought, is amazing.

    There is a question as to why McCarthyists found it necessary to root out communists in the US. It’s not as if there were roving bands of communists causing mayhem in US cities or that a threat of any kind was imminent. It was a simple case of paranoia, that lead to hysteria. When I read your article, that’s the first thing that came to mind. Not only do we have a nutty journalist infering mental instability in ‘deniers’, there is actually a panel pf psychologists ready to examine them.

    There should be a clue in the use of the term ‘denier’. I can imagine the psychology panel with Lindzen in front of them. Do you deny global warming? No. Next!! They run down the list of skeptical scientists, unable to find an outright denier. What would be interesting would be to get Hansen in front of the panel, or Gore.

  146. jae March 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    Gordon:

    “A hot water bottle makes a lot more sense to me than a greenhouse.”

    Me, too. It’s all simply about the ability of the planet to store heat in the atmosphere and (especially) the oceans.

  147. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    SJT “No one has ever claimed that is what is happening. That is not what is happening with the earth”.

    The only other theory, then, and I seem to remember you claiming this, is that the GHGs in the atmosphere act as a blanket to trap heat. As I pointed out, in the textbook Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation, they claimed that theory is nonsense. Whereas ‘nonsense’ is not regarded as a scientific argument, neither is any theory that supports the trapping of heat.

    As Bohren claims in that textbook, photons of energy cannot be regarded as truant school children who are being trapped by a truant officer. The actions of photons are far more complicated, and even the concept of the photon is not clear. G&T are implying something similar, that the radiative equilibrium theories are based on bad science.

    You insist on arguing/debating with one-line replies. There’s no way of knowing what you mean in your replies since you are non-commital. If you think the trapping of heat is a valid arguement then why not expound on that theory, or point us to a paper that explains it. I don’t think you’ll find such a paper other than an Arthur Smith-type simplistic model based on mathematical manipulations.

  148. SJT March 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    “There was no talk in those days of radiative equilibrium, a theory foisted on us by computer modelers. ”

    Radiative equilibrium was not ‘foisted’ on anyone by modellers, it is one of the fundamental physical properties of the Earth energy equation, or any energy equation for that matter, and long predates the modellers.

    http://apollo.lsc.vsc.edu/classes/met130/notes/chapter2/earth_equil.html

  149. jae March 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    One problem I see with trying to discuss everything in terms of “radiative balance” is that there does not have to be such a balance. Energy is conserved, but power (radiation) is not. The whole idea of AVERAGING the amount of solar radiation received–or the amount of radiation leaving the planet doesn’t make sense to me. Because of the fourth power dependence of radiation on temperature, averages don’t make any sense at all. Extra heat is stored in the tropics and that is shared with the higher latitudes. I think it is all about energy storage, not radiation balances. That explains the presence of ENSO, AMO, etc.

  150. Luke March 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Well golly Jae – :-o

    if there is no “radiative balance” – how come we don’t heat up to 100C or freeze – to -100C – NEXT !

    And if you don’t like global averages try solving for a smaller grid box – 1km? 500m? 30m? gee maybe that’s what even happens – NEXT !

    Gordon – as soon as you write ONE physical equation – you’re modelling ! Look out !

  151. jae March 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    Luke: Judging by your judgemental and unsubstantive comments, it appears that you are not a scientist (you like that ad-hom, you little phony fella??), and you really don’t deserve an answer, given your snarling, leftist, authoritative attitude. But, what the hell, what is wrong with asking you to refute this idea? Maybe the reason El Nino’s occur is because there is no general “energy balance.” The Earth’s energy system is probably never in “balance.” It stores heat for awhile and then “dumps” it, which is exactly what an El Nino is. And that is also exactly what a thunderstorm does. Please explain to us how you come up with an “average radiation” when you are dealing with fourth power relationships (I hope you understand the question, but I doubt it).

  152. jae March 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Luke sez:

    “Gordon – as soon as you write ONE physical equation – you’re modelling ! Look out ”

    Correct. But if you present the results of that equation as DATA, without verifying it, LOOK OUT, because you are probably a “climate scientist.” Show us that the GCMs are “on target,” given the last 10 years of no warming, Luke. With references, if you can find any. Read Lucia’s blog first, then report back here.

  153. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    jae “I think it is all about energy storage, not radiation balances. That explains the presence of ENSO, AMO, etc.”

    Makes a lot more sense to me too, but beware. As cohenite points out, they’re after us.

  154. jae March 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    I would appreciate it very much if someone would respond to my comment about the propane torches. Why can’t I melt steel with 100 air/propane torches directed at the same spot? I’ve posted a similar question probably 10 times, and nobody has yet responded. Just silence. WTF?

    Someone should be able to tell me how you can add watts from ice and hot rocks to come up with a “total radiation,” from which you can use SB to calculate an “average global temperature.” Why all the silence about this question?????? Am I that insane that nobody will respond????

    I welcome being “put down.” Give me your best bender talk!

  155. Michael Hammer March 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    I am on a very slow internet facility with limited time so I will not be able to respond to everything. Anyway about 50 posts in the last day is quite a lot to respond to.

    Nick; you claim you never suggested my thesis was little different from the K&T model. With resect I disagree – read your earlier posts.

    As to suggesting that I am chainging my story all the time. Again I most strongly disagree. You say you don’t understyand what I mean so I try to find a different way to explain it to you and then you say its changing my story. I have seen this tacfic used frequecny to try and unsettle a debater . I won’t say more on that subject.

    ON this site I can’t scroll up and down readily to review everything you wrote so if I miss some points my apologies – my memory is not good enough to remember your entire text.

    The bottom line is that I think the 169 figure is too high and the 70 too low. I give my estimates in my original paper. Why to I think K&T came up with such a low fiure for radiation from earth/clouds? Because they assuem a window from 8-12 microns when it is more like 8-14 microns and they assume zero net radiation from the surface or clouds at any other wavelength. Every other paper I have read on the subject talks about a picket fence of lines with energy slipping out between the lines. It5s a very hand waving way of describing things but not my words. It does however imply gaps between the lines where energy can escape to space. K&T ignor this and take it to be zero. I thik that is an error.

    On to other things, someone asked me about whether or not I believe in down welling radiation. The best answer I can give is that you are thinkingn about things in a way that will confuse you. Any object if above absolute zero and with an emissivity above 0 will radiate . It makes no difference is the object it is radiating to is hotter or colder, how wold the radiator know the tejmperature of tyhe object it is radiating to? So yes there will be radiation directed back towards the sruface. Now how do I reconcile that with the implication that the colder object is radiating back to a hotter object? Simple, the hotter object is also radiating and because it is hotter it is radiating more than the colder one. Thus the cold object is radiating to the hotter object but it is in turn recieving more radiation from the hotter object that it emitted. Thus the net heat flow is from hotter to colder not vice versa but both are radiating. This means there IS downwelling radiation.

    I hope this makes things a bit clearer. I am running out of time so I will have to stop now. Will try to write more tomorrow – hopefully from a faster internet connection.

  156. michael hammer March 8, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    Reading through my previous psot I note there are many typos. Apologies, but on this computer I can’t scroll up or down to review at anything other than a pace which makes a sleeping snail look really speedy and I never was a good touch typist.

  157. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    luke; you are being slippery; tell me, do you and AGW assume a radiative balance for the Earth which anthropogenic influence is upsetting?

    As for EOF and no solar influence adequate to explain the warming from 1850; actually it’s from the end of the little ice age a bit before 1850; and Drew Shindell’s NASA piece which I have linked to a number of times shows the solar influence there; anyway so does any one of Bob Tisdale’s analysis’s of the various sea surface temperature acronyms; here’s one;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/05/ipcc-20th-century-simulations-get-a-boost-from-outdated-solar-forcings/#more-6046

    More to the point, here is a PR paper by Shariv which lands another solar/cosmic ray power stake through the ideology of AGW;

    http://landshape.org/enm/was-the-younger-dryas-caused-by-cosmic-ray-flux/

    This is a political argument now; in fact, it never was about the science as my paper at Jennifer’s community section points out; go and pull it to bits luke.

  158. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    SJT “Radiative equilibrium was not ‘foisted’ on anyone by modellers, it is one of the fundamental physical properties of the Earth energy equation, or any energy equation for that matter, and long predates the modellers”.

    I don’t know what you mean by ‘pre-dates’. Modeling of atmospheric and oceanic systems go back to the 1960’s. That’s when attempts were first made to encapsulate the atmosphere in a model. Dr. Joanne Simpson was using cloud models back in the ’50s or ’60’s. Besides, the link you provided points to a model. BTW…Dr. Simpson claims todays models are not reliable.

    Seriously, how do you think they studied the atmosphere initially? They had no satellites and nothing more than weather balloons. Dr. Simpson was one of the first meteorologists to fly into weather systems to observe them directly. There was nothing other than models and that’s where radiative equilibrium theory originated. When computers became available in the 1960’s, that’s when modeling theory took off, and it allowed mathematicians to encroach on physics theory.

    When I was younger, I hung around with a guy who was seriously into meteorology as a hobby. He was up all hours of the night on a short-wave radio listening to weather broadcasts and would ride his bike about 15 miles out to the local airport to schmooze with real weathermen. No one talked about radiative balance back then and it was never taught in high school science classes, although basic meteorology was taught. Climate science was not even a recognized discipline till the 1970’s or 80’s, so I can’t imagine studies about radiative equilibrium being an issue in the atmosphere till then.

    As G&T point out, there is nothing in physics theory that back up the radiative balance theory. They have this to say:

    “…from the viewpoint of theoretical physics the radiative approach, which uses physical laws such as Planck’s law and Stefan-Boltzmann’s law that only have a limited range of validity that definitely does not cover the atmospheric problem, must be highly questioned.”

    Then they add:

    “For instance in many calculations climatologists perform calculations where idealized black surfaces e.g. representing a CO2 layer and the ground, respectively, radiate against each other. In reality, we must consider a bulk problem, in which at concentrations of 300 ppmv at normal state…N ~ 8 x e6 CO2 molecules are distributed within a cube V with edge length 10 microns, a typical wavelength of the relevant infrared radiation. In this context an application of the formulas of cavity radiation is sheer nonsense”.

    They are implying that blackbody radiation calculations are nonsense under the conditions we encounter in the atmosphere from the standpoint of physics. Where then does the radiative balance theory come from? The only other source is climate science, particularly from model theory. To be more precise, the theory was highly popularized by the IPCC, which based it’s findings exclusively on computer model theory.

    The concept of replacing the Earth’s surface and atmosphere with imaginary blackbody surfaces, then applying one-line drawings to represent heat flow, is a model, plain and simple. The thing that’s so amazing is the questioning of satellite data that refutes the models. The sheer arrogance that goes into implying that a toy-like model is correct, and a directly observed temperature is wrong, borders on madness. Yet the IPCC is willing to encourage that madness.

    G&T also make this point:

    “…it is misleading to visualize a photon as a simple particle or wave packet travelling from one atom to another for example. Things are pretty much more complex and cannot be understood even in a (one-)particle-wave duality or Feynman graph picture”.

    This is exactly what Bohren says in the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation. We have been inundated with the severely simplified notion that the Earth’s warmed surface fires a photon into the atmosphere and that it is trapped by a waiting GHG atom or molecule. Then the trapped photon is back-radiated, warming the surface more. Some, like yourself, think the heat is somehow stored.

    No one knows what a photon is, and as G&T imply, the theory surrounding them is complex. Bohren and Clothiaux go to great length in their book explaining the emission, absorption and scattering of photons in the atmosphere, taking entire chapters full of complex math to explain their idealized action. In the end, they draw no conclusions while fully discrediting the heat trapping mechanism of GHG’s in the atmosphere and reducing the back-radiation theory to a hypothetical situation. And they are experts.

  159. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    cohenite “here is a PR paper by Shariv…”

    It’s tough to remember the guys name…it’s Shaviv. It’s interesting that he is a convert from the AGW theory to being a skeptic. He’s also an astrophysicist like Hansen. Where did Hansen go so wrong?

    I also noted that a comparison is being made between Shaviv’s work and Miskolczi (even harder name to remember). Keep pounding away, cohenite, we’ll get the latters work recognized yet.

  160. Nick Stokes March 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Michael,
    I realised on following up your post that K&T actually never say that 40 (or 70) W/m2 is the amount of IR that goes through to space unimpeded. They do just say that it’s the amount that goes through the atmospheric window as they’ve defined it (8-12μ). The fact that you’ve used a larger window and got a different figure is not necessarily surprising.

    I did say in my original post that the amount that goes through unimpeded is hard to pin down and not particularly important. The reason is that the fraction of the spectrum that is able to be affected by increased GHG is distributed (on the fringes of absorption bands) and can only be computed by an accurate LBL calc. The band centres are “saturated”, and the AW and its fringes do not block much at all, even with increased GHG. The intermediate redions are various shades of grey. So just a block AW calc doesn’t answer that question.

    I liked your explanation of down-welling IR.

  161. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Thanks Gordon; my only excuse is that luke’s acronyms confuse me after a while; have a look at this;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/introducting-the-climate-sceptics-a-new-political-party/#comments

  162. Gordon Robertson March 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    jae “I would appreciate it very much if someone would respond to my comment about the propane torches. Why can’t I melt steel with 100 air/propane torches directed at the same spot”?

    Never seen your question before and I’m just stabbing in the dark. Propane doesn’t burn at a high enough temperature and there’s no pure oxygen to make it burn hotter. Probably the same reason you could never burn enough matches to do the same thing. Here’s a clip of the Sun melting steel via a mirror system:

    http://www.neatorama.com/2008/11/03/melting-steel-with-the-sun/

    I have been asking the same kind of question myself, regarding the addition of heat quantities. Your question of an average global temperature is one I have been asking as well. Let me know if you get an answer.

  163. Luke March 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    Cosmic rays – hahahahahaha – oh that hurts…

    Cohenite you lot believe in everything under the Sun…. hahahahaha – the Sun get it – hahahahaha

    Cohers – EOF (Empirical Orthogonal Function) from PCA (Principal Component) analysis . Just basic stuff.
    Indeed I asked Prof Decadal about the current “stasis” in temperatures – he looked aghast and said GCM runs typically have such periods. Don’t confuse means with an individual instantiation or indeed the real world. You’d need 15 years of zero growth or cooling before you’d get even slightly excited.

    Jae still doesn’t get it – models don’t solve the radiation problem globally. The old Lubos 4th power scam eh?. LOLZ ….NEXT !

    The real action will be when Hadley gets one model from daily to decadal to climate change scale (say 1000 year integration). Indeed if they can get the resolution small enough new physics will even start to kick in.

    Hey Cohers if you lot get published (hahahahaha) you might be able to even contribute. Remember if it’s not published it’s all just noise on the wire.

  164. SJT March 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    “On to other things, someone asked me about whether or not I believe in down welling radiation. The best answer I can give is that you are thinkingn about things in a way that will confuse you. Any object if above absolute zero and with an emissivity above 0 will radiate . It makes no difference is the object it is radiating to is hotter or colder, how wold the radiator know the tejmperature of tyhe object it is radiating to? So yes there will be radiation directed back towards the sruface. Now how do I reconcile that with the implication that the colder object is radiating back to a hotter object? Simple, the hotter object is also radiating and because it is hotter it is radiating more than the colder one. Thus the cold object is radiating to the hotter object but it is in turn recieving more radiation from the hotter object that it emitted. Thus the net heat flow is from hotter to colder not vice versa but both are radiating. This means there IS downwelling radiation.”

    Many thanks, I hope other people on this website read it and learn.

  165. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    You can be a right goose sometimes luke; PCA, Mann’s backside; “you need 15 years of zero growth or cooling before you’ get even slightly excited”;

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1977/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1977

    There you go; don’t wet your knickerbockers.

  166. Marcus March 8, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    luke
    “new physics will even start to kick in.”

    You sir are off your rocker!
    The hysterical “hahahaha” just proves it beyond doubt.

  167. Phillip Bratby March 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Michael, Gordon Robertson, jae, cohenite: Thank you all for some very perceptive comments and reasoning. If only someone had the time to pull it all together into an easily understood paper.

    Please.

  168. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Nick “. The reason is that the fraction of the spectrum that is able to be affected by increased GHG is distributed (on the fringes of absorption bands) and can only be computed by an accurate LBL calc.”

    That is precisely what Ferenc Miskolczi has done using HARTCODE and come up with the comparitively simple St = Su * exp (-tau) which bears a striking resemblance to Beer-Lambert law and Michael’s derivation. It’s just the value of tau that needs to be determined accurately with an LBL. All that Miskolczi did with the LBL is verify that generally absorbed radiation (Aa) = downward emitted radiation (Ed) so that Ed is actually a good proxy for Aa and hence you can go out with a pyrgeometer and if there is no howling gale (indicating sever inequilibrium) measure upward radiation and downward radiation and the difference will be St. (St = Su – Aa).

  169. SJT March 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    “There you go; don’t wet your knickerbockers.”

    The models work on known physics and anthropogenic forcings. During that time particle pollution caused some global dimming, and current models match that event. I don’t know what your point is.

    Do you agree with Hammer on downwelling radiation?

  170. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    Little will; good to see you back and running interference; the aerosol excuse for the cooling period I graphed is a farce; if aerosols had been responsible for the cooling we would have seen a hemispheric difference in temperature since the northern hemisphere was where 99% of the aerosols were being industrially produced; but we didn’t, the 40’s-70’s cooling was evenly spread; in addition, aerosols haven’t declined in the 80’s and 90’s; the output in the tiger economies, particularly India and China have more than compensated for the Western decline; that being the case, why did we we have warming in the 80-90s?; furthermore, it is not at all well established that aerosols uniformly cool;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030380.shtml

    See also the work of Veerabhadran Ramanathan.

    I have never said that GHGs do not reemit isotropically; what I argue is that the downward emission cannot heat the warmer surface which has emitted to the atmospheric gases; Jan explains why above.

  171. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Gordon: “Never seen your question before and I’m just stabbing in the dark. Propane doesn’t burn at a high enough temperature and there’s no pure oxygen to make it burn hotter. Probably the same reason you could never burn enough matches to do the same thing. Here’s a clip of the Sun melting steel via a mirror system:”

    I think jae is specifically looking for an answer from a specific person who has ducked the same question elsewhere.

    My hobby is making jewellery and I know not to try soldering/welding platinum with anything less than a oxy-hydrogen torch (yes I have one that will burn anything from lpg to Hydrogen). The reason is the burn temperature of a propane torch is around 1300C and the melting point of Iron is 1538C in order to do work with it (like welding) you need a very much hotter temperature source in order to be able to keep the melt local. You can get higher temperature with oxygen (~1900C) still not hot enough for welding where we need more concentrated heating but it’s OK for brazing. My gaz of choice is Acetylene since both hydrogen and platinum are too expensive for a hobbyist (gold is getting that way too :-(.

    The sun is a different matter it’s surface temperature is 5688K but can’t heat objects at earths orbit to more than about 400C because of the inverse square law i.e. the energy density decreases, but some of the energy density can be regained with concentration (with mirrors and lenses) yet the limiting temperature that can be attained is 5788K.

  172. SJT March 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    “I have never said that GHGs do not reemit isotropically; what I argue is that the downward emission cannot heat the warmer surface which has emitted to the atmospheric gases; Jan explains why above.”

    Fine. Let’s move on to the next step. A photon is re-emitted from a GHG molecule, and strikes the earth. What happens to the energy from that photon?

  173. cohenite March 8, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    ED = SU [1 – TA] for all places.

    Now you quid pro quo little will;

    What the R2 correlation between CO2 and temperature?

  174. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    SJT: “What happens to the energy from that photon?”

    it is absorbed has a bit of energy added to it and re-emitted the thing is more energy is emitted from a warmer surface than it absorbs from cooler source.

  175. SJT March 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    “it is absorbed has a bit of energy added to it and re-emitted the thing is more energy is emitted from a warmer surface than it absorbs from cooler source.”

    Yes, but the process of emitting that energy to space has been effectively slowed down, has it not?

  176. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    SJT “Yes, but the process of emitting that energy to space has been effectively slowed down, has it not?”

    It has but all that does is smooth out the variations it does not out more heat into the system that remains a constant – more or less if all other things are constant.

  177. SJT March 8, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    It’s not smoothing out variations, it’s slowing up the release of heat from the surface of the earth to space in the atmosphere. If there is more energy in the atmosphere because of this physical process….

  178. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    SJT “It’s not smoothing out variations, it’s slowing up the release of heat from the surface of the earth to space in the atmosphere.”

    The heat in the system is limited by the incoming from the sun try not to confuse heat and energy they are not the same. The effect is similar to to putting a capacitor across a pulsating DC line it smooths it out and doesn’t increase the average (RMS) potential. That is there are lower peaks and higher troughs.

  179. SJT March 8, 2009 at 11:30 pm #

    I’m not confusing anything. Heat is stored energy, an energy flux is the movement of that energy.

    You always screw up those eletrical circuit analogies. The heat in the system is limited by the incoming energy, and the release of that energy. You need a resistor in their somewhere. Turn up the resistance, and the energy is released more slowly, accumulating more energy in storage.

  180. Jan Pompe March 8, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    SJT “I’m not confusing anything. Heat is stored energy, an energy flux is the movement of that energy.”

    You are horribly confused. Heat is energy transfer not stored energy.

    You could at least try google before shooting from the hip.

    “You need a resistor in their somewhere.”

    Yes indeed and that resistor is made smaller by the addition of GHG without which energy cannot leave the atmosphere or enter the atmosphere efficiently. The capacitor is the atmosphere and GHGs one of the pipelines in and the only pipeline out.

  181. jae March 8, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    Gordon:

    “jae “I would appreciate it very much if someone would respond to my comment about the propane torches. Why can’t I melt steel with 100 air/propane torches directed at the same spot”?

    Never seen your question before and I’m just stabbing in the dark. Propane doesn’t burn at a high enough temperature and there’s no pure oxygen to make it burn hotter. Probably the same reason you could never burn enough matches to do the same thing. Here’s a clip of the Sun melting steel via a mirror system:”

    Gordon, the question relates to radiation cartoons, like K&T 97, which show 390 watts leaving the surface, 325 of which come from “back-radiation.” Now, I certainly don’t disagree that there is back-radiation; however, I fail to see how you can add it to the heat coming from the surface to arrive at a “global average temperature.” 325 w would be released by a surface at about 0 C, IIRC.

    If you can add wattages like this, then I should be able to melt steel by using several air/propane torches (i.e., adding the wattages for all of them together to produce a high enough temperature). I cannot do that. Therefore, I cannot add the 325 watts to the 65 watts from the surface to get the magic 390 watts that supposedly represents the “global average surface temperature” (a concept that is also crazy, for reasons stated earlier).

    As jan noticed, at least one of the contributors seems to be refusing to address this question.

    BTW, those interested in the nature of photons should look at the U-tube presentations on Lubos Motl’s site, Cassiopeia Project: http://motls.blogspot.com/

  182. SJT March 9, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    Whoah, how much wine have I drunk tonight? Not quite enough to believe I am reading what you just wrote.

    The atmosphere gases are pretty much transparent to incoming shortwave radiation from the sun, and the GHGs are opaque to various frequencies of radiation going out. They are not ‘pipelines’ at all, but inhibit the transfer of radiation. They don’t stop the radiation, it eventually all gets out, but only after being delayed.

  183. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    SJT “The atmosphere gases are pretty much transparent to incoming shortwave radiation from the sun, and the GHGs are opaque to various frequencies of radiation going out. They are not ‘pipelines’ at all, but inhibit the transfer of radiation.”

    The do not inhibit transfer of heat from the surface to the atmosphere without GHG the atmosphere would warm more slowly without GHG the atmosphere will not cool at the tropopause. That is they assist in warming the atmosphere and are the only means of cooling.

  184. jae March 9, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    SJT: You have to consider thermalization, also, not just radiation. The GHGs absorb the IR, then collide with the N2 and O2 molecules, thereby “warming” them, also. When the molecules get warmer, they rise (convection) and spread that heat ever higher and higher in the atmosphere, until the heat gets radiated back to space. As Mike Hammer points out, a lot of the IR simply goes directly to space and GHGs have no effect on that portion.

    The backradiation from GHGs slows down the release of heat, but it does not increase the amount of heat in any way. Thus, an increase in GHGs could raise the AVERAGE temperature, by slowing down the cooling (warmer nights), but I doubt that they increase the absolute heat levels. If they could, the tropics would be a hell of a lot hotter than the deserts on a clear day; but the reverse is true.

  185. Graeme Bird March 9, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    “One problem I see with trying to discuss everything in terms of “radiative balance” is that there does not have to be such a balance. Energy is conserved, but power (radiation) is not. The whole idea of AVERAGING the amount of solar radiation received–or the amount of radiation leaving the planet doesn’t make sense to me. Because of the fourth power dependence of radiation on temperature, averages don’t make any sense at all. Extra heat is stored in the tropics and that is shared with the higher latitudes. I think it is all about energy storage, not radiation balances. That explains the presence of ENSO, AMO, etc.”

    Exactly right. Aggregation and averaging in one way only takes the climate out of climate science.

    You have to find the appropriate level of aggregation and not use the one angle all the time. We ought to be thinking far more the flow of joules and not the balance of watts.

    Or at least we ought not think in watts all the damn time. That gives us a perspective of about one second. When the problem we have at hand is the pretended prospect of CUMULATIVE catastrophic warming. And cumulative warming has to outlast a solar cycle or two. Its not something decided on a time horizon of seconds.

  186. Luke March 9, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    Hey Graeme – your fly is undone mate.

  187. spangled drongo March 9, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    If this doesn’t get published by a climate science journal it will show how pathetic they are.
    Just as Paltridge et al couldn’t get published with their paper on NCEP data on tropospheric humidity implying, contrary to GCM predictions, that long term water vapour feedback is negative, that it would reduce rather than amplify the response to atmo CO2.

    Bore it up ‘em, George Will!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/08/george-will-qa-on-his-recent-column/#more-6083

  188. SJT March 9, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    “That is they assist in warming the atmosphere and are the only means of cooling.”

    If there were no GHGs, the radiation from the surface would go straight out to space. The atmosphere would be a lot colder. At least you acknowledge that a GHG causes the atmosphere to warm. If you have more GHG in the atmosphere…….?

  189. SJT March 9, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    “As Mike Hammer points out, a lot of the IR simply goes directly to space and GHGs have no effect on that portion.”

    But we already knew that.

  190. gavin March 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    There hasn’t been much discussion on the relative heat quanties and losses relative to the surface air mass, nor is it easy to get the warming math into perspective

    For starters, I wondered about the magnitudes of temp gradient change including switches in other layers as we go out from the troposphere based on composition. Given it’s pretty thin beyond jet altitudes I claimed most of the warming is occuring below the clouds, but at what altitudes do the GHG’s cease to impact on ST? Where indeed is visible light the clue?

    Anyone else needing a physics revision and an update on the global electrical circuit or blue skies analysis can look here in this “Aviation Meteorology Guide”

    http://www.auf.asn.au/meteorology/section1a.html

  191. cohenite March 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    “If you have more GHG in the atmosphere….” nothing happens; it’s called the logarithmic effect and asymptopic negligibility. Interesting to see that the EG and the +ve feedback from water claptrap a la Dessler has got its due dessert;

    http://landshape.org/enm/are-changes-in-water-vapor-consistent-with-the-models/#comments

  192. SJT March 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    You agree then that GHGs warm the atmosphere, and downwelling radiation is a part of this effect? Could you please let some of your colleagues know? They seem a little dubious of this basic science?

    Logarithmic seems to have come to mean “nothing”. Must some kind of new maths.

  193. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    SJT” “If there were no GHGs, the radiation from the surface would go straight out to space. The atmosphere would be a lot colder.”

    You seem to think that GHGs is the only way that the atmosphere warms. If so you have it back to front it is the only way that the atmosphere can shed heat to space.

  194. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    BTW folks the G&T paper has now been published in International Journal of Modern Physics B

    http://www.worldscinet.com/journals/ijmpb/23/2303/S021797920904984X.html

  195. SJT March 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    “You seem to think that GHGs is the only way that the atmosphere warms.”

    I don’t recall saying that. Read what I said again. The atmosphere is pretty well transparent to short wave radiation. That is how it gets to the surface and heats it. The long wave length radiation from the surface, if it did not encounter GHGs, would once again travel straight out to space again.

  196. SJT March 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    “BTW folks the G&T paper has now been published in International Journal of Modern Physics B”

    That’s funny. I would love to know how they scammed that one. For one thing, the Journal has nothing to do with climate. For another, it looks like it uses an internet based public submission system. Maybe they found a back door to get it in there.

  197. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    SJT ““You seem to think that GHGs is the only way that the atmosphere warms.”

    I don’t recall saying that. Read what I said again. The atmosphere is pretty well transparent to short wave radiation. That is how it gets to the surface and heats it.”

    Looks like I got it right. You haven’t got your head around this stuff. You still seem to think that radiation transfer is the only way the atmosphere heats up but it’s the only way it cools. Contact with the surface warms the atmosphere now if there is 20W/m^2 transferred to the atmosphere and zero can leave for 4 billion years what do you think the temperature of the atmosphere would look like?

  198. SJT March 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    I say: A.
    You say: B.
    I say: I wasn’t talking about B, I was talking about A.
    Your say: Yeah, but what about B.
    I say: If you want to talk about B, fine, but I thought we were talking about A.

  199. SJT March 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    “Looks like I got it right. You haven’t got your head around this stuff. You still seem to think that radiation transfer is the only way the atmosphere heats up but it’s the only way it cools.”

    I was saying that the atmosphere is transparent to short wave radiation from the sun. If it wasn’t for GHGs, it would be transparent to radiation from the surface as well.

  200. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    SJT ” If it wasn’t for GHGs, it would be transparent to radiation from the surface as well.”

    you seem a trifle thick today. It might well be transparent to radiation but that does not address the fact that the atmosphere will warm due to it’s contact with the surface and has no means of cooling.

  201. SJT March 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Hang on, can we get over the first point, you are agreeing with me. Thank you.

    Are we now agreeing to talk about the situation where the surface has absorbed radiation. There are no GHGs, so radiation from the surface is going direct to space. There is also some conduction to the those gas molecules that are in contact with the earth. That’s going to be an incredibly small amount of heat transfer, IMHO.

  202. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    SJT “That’s going to be an incredibly small amount of heat transfer, IMHO.”

    Think a little. When driving a car in winter with the heater on it uses waste heat from the engine to warm the cold air from outside doe you honestly think it’s because of the GHG’s in the air that the air is warmed in the heat exchanger? The optical path is only a couple of millimetres.

  203. spangled drongo March 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    “BTW folks the G&T paper has now been published in International Journal of Modern Physics B”

    Jan Pompe, thanks for that. It’s a great paper [from my limited understanding] and deserved publishing.

    “That’s funny. I would love to know how they scammed that one.”

    SJT, that pathetic attitude is so typical of you AGW gory bleeders. Any factual argument against your religion cannot be given the light of day.
    Sounds like you moonlight as a peer reviewer.
    About the required level of intelligence.

  204. SJT March 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    “SJT, that pathetic attitude is so typical of you AGW gory bleeders. ”

    No, I’m serious, what scam are they running here. The publishers are a private company that allows people to submit via the internet. Is it some sort of Vanity Scientific Paper publising company?

  205. SJT March 9, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    “Think a little. When driving a car in winter with the heater on it uses waste heat from the engine to warm the cold air from outside doe you honestly think it’s because of the GHG’s in the air that the air is warmed in the heat exchanger? The optical path is only a couple of millimetres.”

    You compare forcing air very close to a very hot surface at high speed to the atmosphere more than many kilometres high? Your model doesn’t seem match what we are discussing.

  206. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    SJT “You compare forcing air very close to a very hot surface at high speed to the atmosphere more than many kilometres high?”

    I wasn’t aware that there was a gap between the atmosphere and the surface.

    I”m wondering now if you’ve noticed that fluids conform to the shape of their container.

    Another point missed is of course what the two systems have in common and that is heat transfer by conduction/convection which you will also find is the way most electronic equipment is cooled without benefit of air being forced. The transfer is significant and this you should have been able to infer from every day experience.

  207. SJT March 9, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    “I wasn’t aware that there was a gap between the atmosphere and the surface.”

    I didn’t say there was. I just saying that compared to radiation, conduction is going to come a poor second. Radiation will transmit energy to space at the speed of a photon, conduction is going to take a little longer.

  208. gavin March 9, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Gentlemen please, what is a photon compared to rub from a puf of wind?

  209. jae March 9, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    SJT:

    “I didn’t say there was. I just saying that compared to radiation, conduction is going to come a poor second. Radiation will transmit energy to space at the speed of a photon, conduction is going to take a little longer”

    Glad to see you finally got it!

  210. Jan Pompe March 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    SJT “conduction is going to take a little longer.”

    Conduction to space will take forever.

  211. SJT March 9, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    If you have a point to make, I’d love to know what it is.

  212. cohenite March 9, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    little will, you are a veritable cornucopia of rebuttable points; heat transfer in the atmosphere is dominated by convection; heat transfer by radiation is limited by the specific heat and diffusion and does not exceed several cm/s; heat transfer by convection can reach many metres per second; heated parcels of air are carried vertically to the CEL where the internal heat of the parcel is in equilibrium with the surrounding air and emission to space can occur as per MH’s thesis; extra GHG has no effect on this mechanism.

  213. sunsettommy March 9, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    “Comment from: SJT March 9th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    “BTW folks the G&T paper has now been published in International Journal of Modern Physics B”

    That’s funny. I would love to know how they scammed that one. For one thing, the Journal has nothing to do with climate. For another, it looks like it uses an internet based public submission system. Maybe they found a back door to get it in there.”

    I am impressed with your ad hominem.You put a lot of thought into it.

    Just in case you never read the paper because it is way over your head.Here is a non technical summary that was approved for the layman like you to have a chance to grasp the main points of the long paper:

    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/Falsification_of_the_Atmospheric_CO2_Greenhouse_Effects.pdf

    Cheers

  214. Jan Pompe March 10, 2009 at 12:37 am #

    SJT: “If you have a point to make, I’d love to know what it is.”

    It should be obvious : there are none so blind as those who will not see, but you won’t see this too.

  215. michael hammer March 10, 2009 at 1:49 am #

    Hello all; I am rapidly losing track of al the aspects of this conversation. Every time I look there seem to be another 50 or 60 comments going of in many different directions many not directly related to anything I wrote. If you have a comment or question specifically related to my paper it would help of you could put MICHAEL in capitals so it will stand out enough for me to see.

    Graeme Bird (and others) you mentioned we should be looking at Joules not watts. What I am trying to analyse is equilibrium heat flows and these are going to be in watts.

    Also you mention that because of the T^4 relationship from Stefans law, averages have little meaning. Superficially that might seem to be the case butone has to remember that we are talking about relatively small changes in temperature on a 288K base so the T^4 non linearity is less than one might expect. For example, the change from 288K to 250K (+14C to – 23C) changes the sensitivity in watts/degree by about 35%. Thats significant but not overwhelming and while it will reduce the accuracy of an averaging model it would not reduce it to meaninglessness. One could of course go to more detail and account for most of this non linearity but the extracomplexity would make it impossible for most people to follow the argument.

    +14C to -10

  216. jae March 10, 2009 at 3:37 am #

    MICHAEL:

    “What I am trying to analyse is equilibrium heat flows and these are going to be in watts.”

    Watts is POWER, not energy. Energy must be conserved; power does not. There really is no equilibrium, relative to radiation; the Earth is normally either sucking in extra energy (into the oceans) or blowing it away (hurricanes, t-storms, etc.). That doesn’t mean you cannot present models that use equilibrium ideas, of course, but they are not very realistic.

    I enjoy your comments and think they have merit and don’t mean to be harsh, here. :)

  217. jae March 10, 2009 at 3:40 am #

    MICHAEL:

    Nuts, I meant Watts are units of power, not HEAT.

  218. gavin March 10, 2009 at 5:59 am #

    Nuts indeed

    But are we splitting hairs here?

    Energy = watts or joules depending on your dicipline. Up in our window seat, it’s hard to tell the difference.

    The trick with all math & physics including using our instruments in practice is to maintain a proper perspective.

  219. jae March 10, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    “Energy = watts or joules depending on your dicipline. ”

    No. One is energy, the other is power, which is energy per unit time. Google the terms.

  220. gavin March 10, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    When considering small particles as energy transducers, we can also think about efficiencies with solid state at the low end of the spectrum. While servicing old 5W two way radios I managed more than once to put a finger on the RF stage or the open stub then accidentally transmitted. Believe me; the energy in joules or watts was more than a tickle.

    Before considering impacts at the light section of the energy spectrum, moving up the spectrum from radios, microwave ovens etc to x-ray machines as used in metallurgy can be a useful exercise in letting go the initial calcs.

  221. Nick Stokes March 10, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    MICHAEL
    On Mar 7 at 10.12 am, and again in discussion at 10.28 pm, I mentioned what look like two large errors in your sec 11. Do you have any comment there?

    But I’ll defend you against JAE’s silly complaint – of course it’s OK to say a heat flux should be measured in watts.

  222. jae March 10, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    Nick: You are correct. My bad. flux=flow.

  223. jae March 10, 2009 at 7:15 am #

    Nick (or someone): I’m still waiting for someone to explain why I cannot add the watts from 100 air/propane torches to get things hot enough to melt steel. And if I cannot do that, you cannot add “backradiation” to surface radiation to come up with 288 K.

  224. Jan Pompe March 10, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    Gavin “The trick with all math & physics including using our instruments in practice is to maintain a proper perspective.”

    Does that mean using your body as a volt meter?

    “While servicing old 5W two way radios I managed more than once to put a finger on the RF stage or the open stub then accidentally transmitted.” Thus?

  225. gavin March 10, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Jan: ignoring the frequency and signal for mo, what form is the energy from the RF amp that burns a finger? And for that matter, what is happening through the skin?

    Organic matter as a high frequency energy sink or source is worth considering

  226. gavin March 10, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    Jae may not be amused but I did a practical test down in my carport (a breezeway, lots of O2) with my handy companion single flame torch and a 3 mm mild steel rod supported both ends by a pair of bricks. Within a minute or two, I had its center go from blue to bright red but as much as we can do with the flame afterwards failed to make it sag.

    In fact, even with the tip of the inner blue flame concentrated on the brightest spot and note the tearing sound too, I failed to cut it. That’s about LOW PRESSURE combustion rates, but if I had one of these?

    http://www.planert-jewellery.com.au/micro_welding_torch.htm

  227. Nick Stokes March 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Jae,
    I think your propane problem is really trivial. You can add fluxes emanating from a region, or fluxes going into a region. 100 burners make a big heat flux going out from the region containing them. But only a small fraction of those fluxes enter the steel. You can add those fractions. The issue of arranging the flames so that entering fraction large enough to melt the steel is not an issue of arithmetic, it’s chemistry and engineering.

  228. jae March 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    So, gavin, add a few more of those air/propane torches and see if you can melt it. Am I correct or not, man? I am, of course, and therefore, the radiation cartoons are all junk science, just like G&T are saying. An extremely simple proof that the CO2/AGW nonsense is simply psuedoscience.

  229. jae March 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Nick:

    ?? You made this statement:

    “Jae,
    I think your propane problem is really trivial. You can add fluxes emanating from a region, or fluxes going into a region. 100 burners make a big heat flux going out from the region containing them. But only a small fraction of those fluxes enter the steel. You can add those fractions. The issue of arranging the flames so that entering fraction large enough to melt the steel is not an issue of arithmetic, it’s chemistry and engineering.”

    This makes absolutely no sense to me. Can you, or anyone else here interpret this? You are simply wrong and unable to admit it, IMHO. Just tell me how you can add “backradiation” to surface radiation to get 288 C. You cannot. Period. QED.

  230. Jan Pompe March 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    gavin “Organic matter as a high frequency energy sink or source is worth considering”

    I think the only problem worth considering is how well you’ve calibrated it.

    “but if I had one of these?”

    I do have one of those torches and even with acetylene I think you’ll find the nozzles it comes with are a bit small to do much damage.

    However with the low pressure torches the temperature at 1300C never gets high enough to melt iron no matter how many you add.

    No matter what you or whatever you think it takes to convince yourself that you can do it there is no way that you can get heat to spontaneously move from cold to hot.

  231. Jan Pompe March 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    Nick ” 100 burners make a big heat flux going out from the region containing them.”

    Here is a challenge for you build a Bessemer converter

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessemer_process

    using ethanol as a fuel. Use as much ethanol and as many burners as you like.

  232. michael hammer March 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Hi Nick; I found your entry from 7th March. Sorry I missed it earlier. I have to say i disagree with both of your points. On the first, the IPCC is telling us every day that the temperature rise from now until about 2070 or 2050 or whatever date they pick (it seems to vary a bit) is 3C. Thats also in the 4th assessment report. Yet the CO2 concentration now is 390 and the prediction is for 560 by 2070 hence I content they are saying the increase from 390 to 560 will rsult in 3C temperature rise.

    On your second point, the claim is that increased energy retention will raise the temperature of the surface. This increased energy retention can only manifest (as far as the surface in concerned) as an increase in downwelling radiation. For equilibrium, this downwelling radiation must be matched by an identical increase in upwards radiation. Thus if the downwelling radiation increases by 5.4 watts/sqM the upwards radiation must also incresae by 5.4 watts/sqM and from Stefans law at 288K that translates to a temperature increase of 1K.

  233. michael hammer March 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi jae; Sorry but I don’t agree with you comment. If a system is in thermal equilibrium it must have zero net energy flow. If there was net energy flow in it would be heating up and if there were net energy flow out it would be cooling down. Yes you are of course right that the Earth could be heating up at some times (eg: during the day) and cooling down at others (eg: during the night) but trying to evaluate second by second dynamic energy flow is completley unrealistic. The term energy flow means the energy moving in or out in unit time. Energy is measured in joules and joules per second is watts hence I contend it is correct to talk in terms of watts.

    cheers and thanks for your input and discussion.

  234. Nick Stokes March 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    MICHAEL,
    If you want to support your contention about IPCC’s 3°C, you’ll need to give a proper reference. On p 12 of the SPM they say:

    The equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the climate system response to sustained radiative forcing.
    It is not a projection but is defined as the global average surface warming following a doubling of carbon
    dioxide concentrations. It is likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very
    unlikely to be less than 1.5°C.

    . That is very explicitly 3°C for doubling. And if you look at Fig SPM5, it only reaches 3°C by 2100 at the very highest emission scenarios, and then only just.

    On the 5.4 W figure, where you are going wrong is this. You’ve calculated that the 390->560 CO2 rise would bring in 1.93 W/m2. And so, you say, this would be balanced by a 0.36C rise in surface temp, since that would increase surface BB emission by 1.93 W/m2. You’ve neglected the fact that the air would also be 0.36C warmer, and would emit an extra about 1.5W/m2 downwards. So you don’t have balance at all.

  235. Nick Stokes March 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    Jan,
    the design is easy. Build a Bessemer converter. Drink the ethanol, and sit back and watch the Bessemer convert.

    Because if you knew anything about BC’s (or read your reference) you’d know they don’t use external fuel at all. All the energy is supplied by the dissolved carbon being oxidised.

  236. Jan Pompe March 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    Nick “Because if you knew anything about BC’s (or read your reference) you’d know they don’t use external fuel at all. All the energy is supplied by the dissolved carbon being oxidised.”

    here is a picture of pig iron all we can see it doing is rusting it has plenty of carbon in it which does not seem to be oxidising (which is the purpose of the converter)

    http://www.thanglongcastiron.com/pb/wp_01d15e03/images/img19523471564042c37f.JPG

    perhaps you missed the word “molten” in the first line.

    You can drink as much metho as you like it’s not going to get pig iron molten. You can burn as much metho as you like using pressurised vapour system underneath the pig iron to melt it; do you think you can?

    However the point is taken and I should have been clearer on this point. These days it’s basic oxygen furnaces that are used you can google that for the process.

  237. Nick Stokes March 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    Jan,
    Nobody melts the pigiron. It goes straight from the blast furnace to the steel converter.

    The basic oxygen process is just the same as Bessemer, except that it uses oxygen rather than air. Still no external heat source required.

  238. Jan Pompe March 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Nick “Nobody melts the pigiron”

    Even those who import pig iron to manufacture their own steel?

    Time you got real Nick I spent a number of years in and around the Port Kembla blast furnaces I don’t think that you who have probably never been near one is going to teach m anything about it. While often the pig iron does go into the next stage directly from the blast furnace it is not universally the case. The cold pressed recycled steel also goes into the same furnaces for reprocessing and those car bodies have already had much of the carbon removed from the steel.

    Do you think you can stop your cherry picking nit pick long enough to admit that no matter how much fuel you burn and at however great rate that you can, that unless the flame temperature is higher than the melting point that you are not going to melt the iron?

  239. gavin March 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    While the battle of the old hands progresses to considering say the organic sources of the C we find in CO2 and methane casual readers be assured that I object to these Johnny come lately upstarts pinching our terms. For example; FLUX was the limestone we used in smelting iron, lead and copper. Also “backscatter” comes from minerals analysis using electron diffraction techniques. It seems “Interoperability” in common language with data etc on the other hand is not catching on here.

    http://www.dme.qld.gov.au/zone_files/QGMJ/safety_and_health_qld_exports_minerals_technology.pdf

    There is another angle Jae; try considering resonance and nuls with reflections at short wavelengths.

  240. Louis Hissink March 10, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    Nick:

    “Nobody melts the pigiron. It goes straight from the blast furnace to the steel converter”

    metallurgy 101 – F score

  241. jae March 10, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    gavin:

    “There is another angle Jae; try considering resonance and nuls with reflections at short wavelengths.”

    Don’t think so. So far, I think we have won the argument that you cannot add watts from a cooler surface (atmosphere, say) to a warmer one (surface, say) to produce a total wattage, from which you can calculate a temperature (288 K, say). :)

  242. jae March 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    BTW, Gerlich & Tscheuschner explain why I’m correct, IMHO. I guess they will be back in the blog news again.

  243. SJT March 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    “It should be obvious : there are none so blind as those who will not see, but you won’t see this too.”

    I guess that means you don’t have a point. Having conceded that there is down welling radiation, that makes the climate warmer, you decided to race off on a tangent to nowhere.

  244. SJT March 10, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    “BTW, Gerlich & Tscheuschner explain why I’m correct, IMHO. I guess they will be back in the blog news again.”

    Thanks, now I know why you are wrong.

  245. jae March 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

    SJT: I just proved that downwelling radiation cannot cause a warming. Please, if it’s possible for you, try to show where I’m wrong, instead of making innane, unsubstantive comments.

  246. jae March 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    Before some nit-picker gets his/her shorts in a knot, let me clarify that I mean downwelling IR from the atmosphere, not radiation from the Sun. Of course solar radiation causes heating, since the Sun is at about 6,000 K.

  247. jae March 11, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    MICHAEL:

    “The term energy flow means the energy moving in or out in unit time. Energy is measured in joules and joules per second is watts hence I contend it is correct to talk in terms of watts.”

    I don’t think you are correct. Watts are not conserved; joules are. But, indeed, I may be wrong.

  248. jae March 11, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    MICHAEL: See Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Sect. 3.7.5, e.g.

  249. Jan Pompe March 11, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    SJT “I guess that means you don’t have a point.”

    It’s means that you can’t see it as I pointed out.

    “Having conceded that there is down welling radiation”

    I hjave never said there wasn’t to do so would unphysical that was just your strawman argument. We can change my earlier statement to “There are none so blind as one who cannot see behind his own man of straw.

    “that makes the climate warmer”

    The claim is that it makes the surface warmer this is untrue since the back radiation is the surface in the first place.

    What raises the temperature of the surface is requirement to maintain the rate of exporting energy to space – it is a second order effect not a direct on as you seem to think it is.

  250. SJT March 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    “What raises the temperature of the surface is requirement to maintain the rate of exporting energy to space – it is a second order effect not a direct on as you seem to think it is.”

    It just gets weirder. I suppose you’re not going to explain that statement, either.

  251. JanPompe March 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    SJT “I suppose you’re not going to explain that statement, either.”

    It’s self explanatory what is your problem with it?

  252. SJT March 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    Ah, I think I know what you are referring to now, our old friends G&T. A nuttier paper would be hard to find. No, that’s not true, unfortunately.

  253. gavin March 12, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    Readers can find Arthur’s (Arthur C Smith) response to T & G under the arXiv endorsement system

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.4324

    For some nice graphs

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/just-a-few-more-molecules/

  254. Jan Pompe March 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    “A nuttier paper would be hard to find.”

    That’s not true see here
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.4324

  255. SJT March 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Jan, when you confuse science with gibberish, you have no hope at all.

  256. Jan Pompe March 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    SJT “when you confuse science with gibberish”

    It’s fairly common for people to call something they don’t understand “gibberish” the problem is really with your level of comprehension.

  257. SJT March 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    See, that’s the thing that fascinates me. How someone can actually think that gibberish makes sense to them, and they can understand it. The human mind is an amazing thing.

  258. Jan Pompe March 12, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    “The human mind is an amazing thing.”

    It is. So amazing in fact that people who are dementing are usually completely unaware of it and what might once have been straightforward becomes gibberish.

    So what is it will is it that you never learnt that material so you don’t understand it or are you dementing. You had better get it checked out if you think you once understood the basic physics.

  259. SJT March 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    “So what is it will is it that you never learnt that material so you don’t understand it or are you dementing. You had better get it checked out if you think you once understood the basic physics.”

    There is nothing to “learn” in G&T. Reading it only makes less intelligent.

  260. Jan Pompe March 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    SJT ” There is nothing to “learn” in G&T. Reading it only makes less intelligent.”

    I reckon that means that you don’t intend to be taken seriously.

  261. SJT March 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    “I reckon that means that you don’t intend to be taken seriously.”

    Yes, I should take a paper seriously that uses this as a reference.

    “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note
    merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a
    very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.”

  262. Jan Pompe March 13, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    SJT The issue is not whether you should take a paper seriously but whether you should be.

    “Yes, I should take a paper seriously that uses this as a reference.”

    You really seem unable to put together a coherent argument. Arthur Smith took the T&g paper seriously enough to mount a counter argument (one wonders if he could that published) he didn’t call it gibberish indicating he understood it but disagreed.

    That you called it gibberish tells me it went right over your head. The note of Michael Hammer is a simpler view do you understand it well enough to mount a coherent argument?

    Your question about back radiation indicates that you don’t, and your carryon as a know it all under the circumstances makes it difficult to take you seriously.

  263. SJT March 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    “Your question about back radiation indicates that you don’t, and your carryon as a know it all under the circumstances makes it difficult to take you seriously.”

    Not a know it all by a long way, I know my limitations. But even someone of my humble talents can spot a pile of nonsense. “Know enough” would be more appropriate.

    Do you really think a serious scientific paper would include the admission that they didn’t really investigate the issue at all?

  264. Jan Pompe March 13, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    SJT: “Not a know it all by a long way, I know my limitations. ”

    It’s crystal clear that this statement is untrue on both counts.

  265. SJT March 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    Do you really think a serious scientific paper would include the admission that they didn’t really investigate the issue at all?

  266. Jan Pompe March 13, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    SJT: “Do you really think a serious scientific paper would include the admission that they didn’t really investigate the issue at all?”

    I’m not interested in your changing of the subject in the interest of avoiding the question whether or not someone who calls a well written peer reviewed paper on a physical topic by a pair of physicists who probably know more physics than anyone who has ever posted on this blog, gibberish should have his comments taken seriously.

  267. TerryS March 13, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    “Thus, radiating in all directions in effect means 50% will be emitted towards space and 50% returned to the planetary surface.”

    You forget that the earth is a sphere so slightly more than 50% will be radiated to space.

    I guess that makes you a flat earther ;)

  268. SJT March 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    “I’m not interested in your changing of the subject in the interest of avoiding the question whether or not someone who calls a well written peer reviewed paper on a physical topic by a pair of physicists who probably know more physics than anyone who has ever posted on this blog, gibberish should have his comments taken seriously.”

    Do you want to call something scientific that uses a source that says it couldn’t be bothered more than a cursory investigation of an important topic?

  269. Jan Pompe March 14, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    SJT “Do you want to call something scientific that uses a source that says it couldn’t be bothered more than a cursory investigation of an important topic?”

    Well actually I see nothing wrong with including a historical (100 year old) quote in a modern scientific paper. Furthermore the red herring that your objection to it is proves that you are into distraction from the fact that you didn’t comprehend a well written peer reviewed (do you think the reviewers that passed it thought it was gibberish?) scientific paper.

  270. SJT March 14, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    I would love to see the review comments. I would also love to know how they pulled it off. It’s like someone publishing a serious investigation of Piltdown Man.

  271. SJT March 14, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    “Well actually I see nothing wrong with including a historical (100 year old) quote in a modern scientific paper.”

    They use it as an authority. That authority admits it is not at all a comprehensive investigation of a high school standard science experiment.

  272. Jan Pompe March 15, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    SJT “They use it as an authority.”

    More proof of your total lack of comprehension. They quote it as evidence that there has been awareness that greenhouses do not work by blocking IR but by preventing convection for at least a hundred years. Of course there is nothing remarkable about an experiment that was cutting edge 100 years ago is high school standard stuff today.

  273. SJT March 15, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    “More proof of your total lack of comprehension. They quote it as evidence that there has been awareness that greenhouses do not work by blocking IR but by preventing convection for at least a hundred years. Of course there is nothing remarkable about an experiment that was cutting edge 100 years ago is high school standard stuff today.”

    But no-one ever said that GHGs literally work by blocking convection.

  274. sunsettommy March 16, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    SJT:

    “But no-one ever said that GHGs literally work by blocking convection.”

    Then you can not call them “greenhouse” gases.The atmopshere is not one either.Since convection and conduction processes are prominent.

    Greenhouses warm up BECAUSE convection is blocked.CO2 does not block convection.Therefore it is not a “greenhouse” gas.

    LOL

  275. SJT March 16, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    “Then you can not call them “greenhouse” gases.The atmopshere is not one either.Since convection and conduction processes are prominent.”

    Good grief, they can be called ‘greenhouse’ gases in the sense that the cause the climate to get warmer. It’s just a name, and an old one at that. Electons really should be called positive charge, not negative, since they are the thing that actually consists of the current, and they flow from negative to postive using the existing convention. It doesn’t really matter, everything still works, it’s just an historical anomoly.

    Convection and conduction just move energy around within the earth’s atmosphere, they don’t figure so significantly in the dispersal of radiation to space.

  276. VG March 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    Re just posted falsification paper should be
    Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (physics.ao-ph) I think you should recheck origin ect

  277. Vincent Gray March 31, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    I do not accept Keihl and Trenberth, or its use in climate models. It assumes the earth is flat and fixed in relation to the sun., that the sun shines all day and night with one fourth of its maximum intensity, the temperature of the earth is constant, the energy entering equals the energy leaving, that the whole system is “balanced” and in equilibrium.

    Every one of these assumptions is ridiculous.

    The earth is not flat, it is almost spherical and it rotates on its axis and around the sun.

    The sun only shines in the daytime, and is variable then, not only with time of day, latitude and nature of the part receiving it, but also depending on the presence of clouds and aerosols.

    The temperature of the earth is highly variable in time and place. Details of these quantities are almost unknown and no relaible “average” can presently be obtained. To calculate “radiation” from temperature you have to use a non-linear equation (Stefan/Boltzmann) which would have to integrate individual observations. It could not be calculated from any “average”

    No part of the earth is ever in equilibrium and under no circumstances does any part absorb the same energy that it emits. Generally, energy is absorbed in the daytime and emitted at night and there is no reason why the two should be equal. Indeed there is ample evidence from climatology and geology for temperature fluctuations, some of which are cyclic, of any length. Some of these are connected with changes in the earth’s or sun’s orbit, some with ocean oscillations, some with volc anoes.

    Such an absurd model as Keihl/Trenberth is unlikely to be successful.. Such an oversimplified model has no use in practical weather forecasting. Also it has never successfully forecast any future weather event.

    Attempts to simulate past climate data have also been unsuccessful, even when they have involved major “adjustment” of the many uncertain parameters and “parametirizations” of the models.

    The model presented by Hammer accepts most of the Keihl/Trenberth absurdities, so is likely to be equally unsuccessful.

    Human emissions of greenhouse gases must undoubtedly have some effect on the climate,. but such an effect has yet to b e identified, so it is unlikely to be of much consequence

  278. Bob Webster April 13, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    @Vincent Gray,

    Well done exposure of the weak underbelly of the IPCC GCMs.

    Regarding: “The model presented by Hammer accepts most of the Keihl/Trenberth absurdities, so is likely to be equally unsuccessful.”

    It is my understanding that Hammer “accepts” the K/T absurdities because he is commenting on problems with the use of the IPCC’s GCM based on the K/T model. In the sense that one approaches the issue from the position, “Assuming the K/T model appropriate for the IPCC’s GCM, here are some issues that have not been properly considered.” (that is not a direct quote of anyone, merely my understanding of an avenue that led Hammer to perform his analysis as he has)

    I do not mean to speak for Hammer, I’m just responding based on my understanding of why he approached the topic as he has.

    Of course, most reasonable people recognize that IPCC’s work is rife with convenient assumptions.

    I believe Hammer is trying to make those assumptions somewhat less convenient.

    Your observations do the same, though by a different approach.

    Regards

  279. hunter September 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    Time will tell if this new idea is credible.
    But time already tells that the current AGW theories are junk.

  280. markx July 19, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Comment from: RW March 3rd, 2009 at 9:34 pm
    “…… the concentration of carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, more energy is trapped, warming the planet. This assumption is central to the GCMs and the current consensus on climate change. ….

    It’s not an assumption. It’s an observation…..”

    Well, two observations, to be precise.

    1. There has been some atmospheric warming over the last 50 years or so.
    2. Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased over that time period.

    Now, the degree to which those two observations are linked is the point of the discussion.

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