The Climatically Saturated Greenhouse Effect: A Note from Christopher Game

IN recent years, a major advance in our understanding of the physical dynamics of the climate process has come from the work of Ferenc Miskolczi. For the present note I am calling his discovery the ‘climatically saturated greenhouse effect’. I use these words to mean that the ‘saturation’ of which I speak is not the classical static saturation of an isolated system, but is ‘saturation’ in a specially extended sense for an open system in a thermodynamically-non-equilibrium dynamic steady state.

Dr Miskolczi’s discovery arose from his regular work for NASA, examining the data measured by radiosonde balloons. Studied and analyzed under the microscope of the radiative transfer computer program that he had written, the large data set turned out to be a previously only partly tapped reservoir of a wealth of physical facts. From the reservoir of numerical data, Dr Miskolczi abstracted mathematical formulae that expressed new physical understanding.

Dr Miskolczi showed that the true physical dynamics of the climate process is that the present rate of change of amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is dynamically determined, amongst other factors, largely by the present amount of greenhouse gas. A second dynamical factor is the fluctuating temperature of the atmosphere. There are also other dynamical factors that are mostly ignored in this present note.

On the other hand, for its doctrine that man-made CO2-emissions cause harmful global warming, the IPCC speaks in terms of its mathematical formalism of “radiative forcing” and “positive feedback by water vapour”. But, sad to say, this formalism is fatally flawed and cannot describe the true dynamical structure of the climate response to CO2.

The IPCC’s mathematical formalism admits just one dynamical internal state variable, the climate temperature. That formalism expresses the climate temperature as a static mathematical function (or sometimes as a dynamical effect) of the “radiative forcing”. The formalism mathematically partitions that mathematical function (or dynamical effect) into components that it calls “feedbacks”. But these “feedbacks” are not dynamically distinct from the climate temperature. The formalism expresses them simply as static mathematical functions of the climate temperature. Consequently, the dynamical factors that govern the real climate system cannot be expressed in the IPCC’s formalism because of its mathematical inappropriateness for the problem.

Miskolczi did not set out to make his discovery of the climatically saturated greenhouse effect, but it turned up as something that he accidentally noticed in the course of his regular work for NASA. In this respect his discovery is like the fundamental discovery made by Australian Garth Paltridge, who ‘accidentally’ noticed in his examination of climate data that the facts are described by a principle of maximum rate of entropy production. Along with the earlier work of plastics technologist Hans Ziegler, Professor Paltridge’s discovery was a stepping stone on the path to understanding how the second law of thermodynamics is naturally extended, from its classical form for isolated systems in thermodynamic equilibrium, to deal with thermodynamically-non-equilibrium dynamic steady states in diabatic systems. This was a radical advance at the deepest level of scientific understanding. Its present relevance has been mentioned above. (A helpful review article is listed below.)

This kind of fortuitous observation of empirical fact is at the heart of many of the historical radical advances in natural science. It is a kind of ‘accident’ that happens only to the prepared mind. Like Professor Paltridge, Dr Miskolczi had a prepared mind.

The Miskolczi discovery of the climatically saturated greenhouse effect describes a climate process that is dynamically pinned at a thermodynamically-non-equilibrium phase transition. This means that the climate is in a stable stationary dynamical régime.

The overall effect is to keep a constant ratio of solar energetic driving to long term climate temperature. We might call this the climatic response ratio, but let us here refer to it just as ‘the ratio’. The ratio is independent of CO2 emissions, which therefore cannot increase the long term climate temperature. Only increased solar energetic driving can increase the long term climate temperature. Changes in solar energetic driving can be caused only by changes in the heat radiated from the sun and by changes in the earth’s distance from the sun. Other extraterrestrial solar system external drivers of the climate process can perturb it, but not alter the long term climate temperature. Such perturbations include many various and diverse mechanisms, such as increased admission of galactic cosmic rays, and the deterministic chaotic tidal effects of gravity of the sun, the moon, and the planets.

A main dynamical effect in maintaining climate stability is non-linear cooling through the atmospheric window discovered by George Simpson in 1928. After heat has been absorbed from the sun by the earth, the infrared radiative waveband carries the heat back out to space. Water vapour is the earth’s main greenhouse gas. Its wide and strong infra-red absorption spectrum has a fair number of deep gaps. Radiation from the surface of the land and the sea escapes readily to space through these gaps, collectively called the atmospheric window. The escape is governed non-linearly by the Planck radiation law. The non-linearity means that the hotter the earth gets, the more efficient is the window at cooling the earth. Simpson also discovered another potent climate stabilizing property of water. Water can form clouds, which Simpson noted potently tend to cool the earth by reflecting some of the incoming sunlight, so that it is not even absorbed by the earth. This is called increase in albedo.

Why is the climatic response ratio constant?

It is because water dominates the climate dynamics.

Perhaps a homely analogy may help. The climate process is like a saucepan of saturated salt solution boiling on a stove. Turn up the gas on the stove and the boiling point is not affected. Add more salt and the boiling-point is not affected, because the salt solution is already saturated.

One of the greenhouse gases (water vapour) can alter its own concentration in the troposphere, so that it acts as a climatically saturated solute in the atmosphere. Amongst the many atmospheric analogues of the bubbles in the boiling saucepan, perhaps the most dramatic and vivid are the protected towers of deep tropical convection described by Professors Riehl and Malkus in 1958, that you can see  anywhere near the equator. They are the pacemaker of the tropical rains. Add some CO2 and they bubble a little faster, and make it rain a little more, but as long as the sun’s activity does not change, and water vapour remains the dominant earthly greenhouse gas, the climate temperature is not affected. The bubbles occur at a dynamical threshold, which means that like the non-linear window cooling mentioned above, the greater a warming perturbation, the more efficient the cooling response. This is the interpretation of the climatic saturation of the greenhouse effect as a process pinned at a stable thermodynamically-non-equilibrium phase transition.

The climate process is different from a boiling saucepan in one important respect. Non-equilibrium phase transitions are a little conceptually different from equilibrium ones. The phase transition at which the climate process is pinned is dynamical in character, in contrast with the phase transition of boiling water which has a static character. Consequently the physical quantity that is pinned is not the climate temperature; it is the climatic response ratio.

The ratio is stable and constant because it is governed by the principle of maximum rate of entropy production, as determined by the presence of the watery ocean and the sun’s heat radiation. At the simplest level, the general principle is that the higher the temperature, the more dynamical fluctuations are possible for the climate process. The most effective ones will, as it were, seize their opportunities to act by mere chance, and their chances are increased by temperature increase. An increase in atmospheric temperature will enable additional mechanisms of heat dissipation to space because there is nothing in space to counteract them. Miskolczi has given us more detail about how this happens.

In the context of the stabilizing properties of water through the clouds and the atmospheric window, Dr Miskolczi discovered another potent climate stabilizing property of water. It is a greenhouse gas that can alter its own concentration in the clear-sky troposphere, and it does so in a stabilizing way. It is this property that in principle cannot be represented in the IPCC’s flawed formalism. But together the cloud property and the clear-sky greenhouse gas concentration altering property stabilize the climate process. This is the reason why CO2 emissions cannot alter the long term climate temperature.

On a clear night you will see shooting stars in the sky. Many of them are meteors of frozen water that is vapourized as they enter the atmosphere. They constitute a natural external driving function that adds a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. But they do not drive the troposphere to static saturation. This is our sign that the troposphere for billions of years has been marginally drying its clear-sky water vapour content by forming low clouds and raining so as to compensate fully and completely for natural greenhouse gas addition.

The climate system has historically maintained the maximum dynamically stable amount of water vapour in the clear-sky troposphere. The reason is simple. Convective circulation inevitably moves bulk parts of the atmosphere up and down, so as to partly dry the troposphere and keep the clear-sky water vapour content much less than the classically statically defined saturation level.

How does the climatic response ratio stay constant when there is CO2 emission into the atmosphere? By increased bubbling, increased rain, increased low cloud formation, and increased upper tropospheric production of dried air.

Addition of CO2 to the system simply displaces a small amount of water vapour without altering the total effective amount of greenhouse gas present in the clear-sky troposphere, so as to very closely nullify the temperature effect of the addition. In this restricted context, one might say that one greenhouse gas is as good as another, but really some greenhouse gases (e.g. water) have additional properties that others (e.g. CO2) do not.

When CO2 is added to the air, its first effects are radiative. There is some blocking of window infra-red radiation to space, with consequent warming of the lower and middle troposphere. And there is an elevation of the altitude of the upper optical boundary layer of the troposphere; the altitude of the tropopause is elevated. Because the temperature is lower there, the infra-red radiative emission from the upper optical boundary layer of the troposphere is reduced until the lower temperature is compensated.

Then warmer wetter less dense air in the lowest troposphere is convected to the tropical ‘bubble’ zone. It ‘bubbles’ faster, with the production of more tropical low cloud and rain, increased transport aloft of the latent heat of water vapour, and the delivery of more air up to the higher altitude tropoause, where it becomes drier because of the lower temperature. These factors compensate for some of the radiative effect of the added CO2.

The circulatory cycle is completed when the greater amount of drier air is convected towards the poles and downward back to the land-sea surface, and on the way it nullifies the rest of the radiative effect of the added CO2.

Such cycles of convection of atmospheric gases are known to be universally typical of the kind of dynamic organization that develops under the governance of the principle of maximum entropy production.

The IPCC’s argumentative mathematical formalism relies on the mistaken idea that a greenhouse gas can act as a virtual pure radiative driver, but because of Miskolczi’s discovery we now understand that addition of a greenhouse gas must be treated in its own right as a greenhouse gas driver.

The above account is a mere qualitative sketch, but Dr Miskolczi’s work itself is a quantitative analysis of empirical measurements on the atmosphere.

Dr Miskolczi has thus shown us why at present a runaway greenhouse effect is physically impossible. One could add that there might have been something like a runaway greenhouse event at the time of the origins of the oceans, billions of years ago, but that it ran its course and brought us to where we are now, and has nowhere further to take us.

We have been fortunate in Australia in the past few weeks to have had a visit by Dr Miklos Zagoni, an expert on Miskolczi’s discovery, and this has been a valuable educational opportunity for us.

Even the grand master of maximum entropy theory, the mighty Edwin Thompson Jaynes himself, did not reach the principle of maximum rate of entropy production. Professor Paltridge did not quite hit the nail on the head first time. His 1975 paper did not even suggest maximum rate of entropy production. Indeed even in 2001 he doubted it. The principle of maximum rate of entropy production is still only on the path to textbook status; it is a new principle. The path is made of stepping stones.

Dr Miskolczi presented his studies of the climatically saturated greenhouse effect as an empirical analysis with theoretical consequences that he demonstrated, but his publications include also various loose analogies, and his studies need theoretical development. At present Dr Miskolczi is working further on his discovery, and we may look forward to more publications from him. I see the way forward not as hammering and cracking the stepping stones on the path, but as constructing the road itself. To predict the climate, we need to improve our understanding of physics. There is plenty more there to understand.

Christopher Game lives in Melbourne, Australia.

References

L.M. Martyushev, V.D. Seleznev (2006) Maximum entropy production principle in physics, chemistry and biology, Physics Reports 426: 1-45.

F.M. Miskolczi (2007) Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent atmospheres, Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Society 111(1): 1-40.

F.M. Miskolczi, M.G. Mlynczak (2004) The greenhouse effect and the spectral decomposition of the clear-sky terrestrial radiation, Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Society 108(4): 209-251.

G.W. Paltridge (1975) Global dynamics and climate − a system of minimum entropy exchange, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 101: 475-484.

G.W. Paltridge (1978) The steady-state format of global climate, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 104: 927-945.

G.W. Paltridge (2001) A physical basis for a maximum of thermodynamic dissipation of the climate system, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 127: 305-313.

H. Riehl, J.S. Malkus (1958) On the heat balance in the equatorial zone, Geophysica 6:503-538.

G.C. Simpson (1928) Further studies in terrestrial radiation, Memoirs of the Royal Meteorological Society, 3(21): 1-26.

H. Ziegler (1961) Zwei Extremalprinzipien der irreversiblen Thermodynamik, Ingenieur-Archiv 30: 410-416.

This is part 2 of ‘The Work of Ference Miskolczi’,  Part 1 of this series is here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/

197 Responses to The Climatically Saturated Greenhouse Effect: A Note from Christopher Game

  1. SJT May 7, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Speechless.

  2. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Christopher,
    “Dr Miskolczi showed that the true physical dynamics of the climate process is that the present rate of change of amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is dynamically determined, amongst other factors, largely by the present amount of greenhouse gas.”
    Dr M concedes that he doesn’t have a mechanism by which this could occur. But he also requires that the atmosphere adjusts itself to achieve “the most efficient cooling of the clear atmosphere”,(why clear?; a principle otherwise unknown to science. Would you care to justify it?

  3. Joel Shore May 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    So, if only solar variations and not greenhouse gas variations play a role in determining our climate, how is it that our earth was very warm in the past when the earth was receiving less insolation from the sun? (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faint_young_sun_paradox)

    Also, how does one explain the temperature of Venus in relation to that of the Earth and Mercury?

  4. CoRev May 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    CG, well done. Filled in some blanks for me on M’s theory. I see the usual crowd are first to comment/snipe.

    Joel, I believe the obvious answer to your question: ” Also, how does one explain the temperature of Venus in relation to that of the Earth and Mercury?” is different atmospheric makeup. Venus’ atmosphere has different chemical makeup and different pressures from earth. I believe a case could be made that M’s theory might work also for Venus, but the temp equilibrium point is higher and wider because of the different make up of its atmosphere. Does Mercury even have an atmosphere?

    M’s theory is a step in filling in a portion of the blank areas needed in solving the questions re: climate, and not THE solution.

  5. Hey Skipper May 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    Also, how does one explain the temperature of Venus in relation to that of the Earth and Mercury?

    What is the temperature of Venus’s atmosphere at 1000 mb?

  6. kuhnkat May 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Mr. Game,

    thankyou for taking the time to help us to a better understanding of Dr. Miskolczi’s work

    Joel Shore,

    When Venus loses 90% of the mass of its atmosphere and moves outward in orbit you MAY start to understand the difference.

    As for Mercury, what does a planet with no atmosphere have to do with Climate on planets WITH substantial atmosphere??

    SJT,

    speechless but not typeless!!

  7. SJT May 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    “The IPCC’s mathematical formalism admits just one dynamical internal state variable, the climate temperature. ”

    Rubbish. The average climate temperature is just a convenient means of stating simply what is happening, like the speedometer in a car. The models are far more complex than that.

  8. spangled drongo May 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Thanks CG.
    Now I can go back to my entropic couch in complete confidence.
    Relax, SJT.

  9. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    SJT writes:

    “Comment from: SJT May 7th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    “The IPCC’s mathematical formalism admits just one dynamical internal state variable, the climate temperature. ”

    Rubbish. The average climate temperature is just a convenient means of stating simply what is happening, like the speedometer in a car. The models are far more complex than that.”

    Yes, SJT, of course I agree with you that the models are more complex than the formalism. The formalism is the conceptual framework set out in the IPCC reports. The formalism is perhaps most clearly set out in J.P. Peixoto and A.H. Oort, ‘Physics of Climate’, American Institute of Physics, New York, 1992, on pages 26-29.

    The models do not specifically belong to the IPCC I think. There are two kinds of model, sketchy ones and large ones usually called GCMs or AOGCMs. The formalism is the IPCC’s medium of discussion of the models. As you say, the models are more complex than the formalism. I was referring to the formalism, not the models. The climate temperature is as you say, “just a convenient means of stating simply what happens”.

    But what I am pointing out, it is a mathematically inappropriate means, because it cannot express the essential feature of the physical dynamics, for the reasons I give in my note, namely that the climate temperature is not the only relevant dynamically distinct internal state variable. The other relevant dynamically distinct internal state variable is the greenhouse gas concentration. It just so happens that one (indeed the main one) of the greenhouse gases has important properties besides being a greenhouse gas. Those extra properties tie the greenhouse gas concentration to other dynamical variables like the climate temperature. But the IPCC formalism admits only one dynamically distinct internal state variable, the climate temperature. Thus the IPCC formalism rules itself out of the game.

    Christopher Game

  10. Vincent Gray May 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    The IPCC modelists are only courageous enough to simulate the upwardly biased mean global surface temperature anomaly record which enables them to justify their exaggerated figures for climate sensitivity. They dare not try to simulate the radiosonde record as it would necessitate much smaller values for climate sensistivity. This is one of the reasons Mskolscz’s treatment reduces the importance of the enhancedgreenhouse effect. But he also permits variation in relative humidity which IPCC models assume is constant which gives his “saturated” version.

    Miskolsczi’s model certainly seems to give a more realistic account of climate behaviour.

    But any model of the earth’s energy system which assumes the earth is flat, the sun shines with equal intensity, both day and night, with a constant surface temperature and a balance between input and output energy, is so unrealistic that it is unlikely to provide a satisfactory basis for future prediction. No part of the earth is ever in equilibrium, so Kirchoff’s Law, which Miskolczi introduces early in in his argument, does not apply. The rest of his assumptions are equally doubtful.

    A realistic theory, using current physics, would have to involve a three dimensional integration of representative samples of a very large number of observations over the entire atmosphere of all the parameters involved. These observations do not exist, and maybe they never will. So we will have to continue to rely on the semi-empirical methods of the meteorologists, who already know that measurements of concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are of no value in forecasting, and that future forecasting cannot be reliable beyond a week or two

  11. Luke May 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    “But the IPCC formalism admits only one dynamically distinct internal state variable, the climate temperature.”

    NO it doesn’t. How pretentious.

    “carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are of no value in forecasting, and that future forecasting cannot be reliable beyond a week or two”

    YEP and weather forecasting ain’t climate modelling

  12. SJT May 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    “But what I am pointing out, it is a mathematically inappropriate means, because it cannot express the essential feature of the physical dynamics, for the reasons I give in my note, namely that the climate temperature is not the only relevant dynamically distinct internal state variable. The other relevant dynamically distinct internal state variable is the greenhouse gas concentration.”

    It’s not meant to be mathematically appropriate, it’s supposed to be a general indicator of the state of the climate, and it’s a good one to choose for that purpose. The models, however, are far more complex than that. I would suggest you read up on how the models actually work before making your claims.

  13. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    There are things being said here about IPCC science which are, I believe, wrong, but certainly need proper referencing:

    Vincent Gray “relative humidity which IPCC models assume is constant”.
    They don’t, and can’t assume this. They solve transport equations for water vapour. The only role of relative humidity is to determine precipitation.

    Christopher Game: “The IPCC’s mathematical formalism admits just one dynamical internal state variable, the climate temperature. “
    This has already been discussed. But such statements should be properly referenced. The IPCC reports such as AR4 discuss a huge number of interactions, but do not generally set out a formalism. The nearest the AR4 comes might be Fig 2.1 of Chapter 2, which indicates a complex network of interactions. Major IPCC authors such as Held and Soden do set out the theory more formally, and clearly indicate that the relation between temperature and forcing is a partial derivative, which is appropriate in a multivariable setting.

  14. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write: “Dr M concedes that he doesn’t have a mechanism by which this could occur. But he also requires that the atmosphere adjusts itself to achieve “the most efficient cooling of the clear atmosphere”,(why clear?; a principle otherwise unknown to science. Would you care to justify it?”

    I think that the justification will ultimately rest on the principle of maximum entropy production as a criterion of stability of a stationary state in a diabatic system. I think you may have better intellectual powers and greater knowledge of the field than I to verify this thought of mine. It seems natural to me. I have not seen Dr Miskolczi himself in writing refer to this principle, as far as my failing memory works. There are other extremal principles which are equivalent to the one for the rate of entropy production. They are in terms of rates of production of various versions of free energy.

    The most important thing is that for systems of this general thermodynamic class, there is a natural tendency for them to settle into partly organized dynamical regimes. The simplest elementary example is the Benard cell system, described for example by Chandrasekhar 1961 in ‘Hydrodynamic and Hydromanetic Stability’ Oxford University Press, Chapter 2. Startling patterns of hexagonal cells form ‘spontaneously’. One sees startling patterns like this in pictures of clouds in the tropical ‘bubble’ zone, as I call it to myself. A big difference has to be that the cloud formations generate their own effective or dynamic upper surface to the cellular system, while the original Benard upper surface is set by the boundary of the medium. There must be dynamics in setting the upper surface in the case of the clouds. The protected towers of deep tropical convection of Riehl and Malkus 1958 are sometimes formed in the environment of such hexagonal cells. There is lots and lots of dynamics there.

    I agree with you that Dr Miskolczi’s argumentation is a bit cavalier. I think it needs systematic development. Perhaps you have the intellectual capacity to see how to do that. Quite a few people are writing about the principle of maximum entropy production nowadays. Perhaps one you might like to look at is U. Lucia (2007) ‘Irreversible entropy variation and the problem of the trend to equilibrium’ Physica A 376: 289-292. There are other articles that you will find. The Martyushev and Seleznev 2006 review I found very helpful. It takes some getting one’s mind around. I suppose Dr Miskolczi himself will also be investigating further, and publishing more.

    I am proud that our own Professor Garth Paltridge made a very significant contribution to getting the principle on the road. It continues to surprise me that E.T Jaynes seems, as I read him, to have entirely missed it?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  15. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Nick Stokes writes: “Christopher Game: “The IPCC’s mathematical formalism admits just one dynamical internal state variable, the climate temperature. “
    This has already been discussed. But such statements should be properly referenced. The IPCC reports such as AR4 discuss a huge number of interactions, but do not generally set out a formalism.”

    The IPCC’s general discussion does seem to rely on the formalism that is perhaps most clearly set out in J.P. Peixoto and A.H. Oort, ‘Physics of Climate’, American Institute of Physics, New York, 1992, on pages 26-29. An earlier version is in M.E. Schlesinger (1985) ‘Feedback analysis of results from energy balance and radiation-convection models’ pp. 280-319 in M.C. MacCracken ‘Projecting the climatic effects of increasing carbon dioxide’, US Department of Energy DOE/ER-0237. Bony, Colman et al. (2006) cited with approval in the 4ar seem to me to stick to the model with the climate temperature as the sole distinct dynamical variable.

    I think when you closely examine Held and Soden 2000 you will be as unhappy as I am about its formal structure as a physical model. In any case I don’t think it is quite the regular routine formalism used by the IPCC’s reports. It might be reproached against the IPCC reports that they “do not generally set out a formalism”, when surely a proper setting out is the sort of thing they should be doing?

    Christopher

  16. SJT May 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    “It might be reproached against the IPCC reports that they “do not generally set out a formalism”, when surely a proper setting out is the sort of thing they should be doing?”

    They are reports, not the research. If you want the research, it is all referenced in the report.

  17. SJT May 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    Either way, you cannot criticise their formalism, when you do not know what it is.

  18. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Christopher,
    Maximum Entropy Production is a very interesting idea. I was actually somewhat involved in the discussions in the CSIRO environment at the time Garth Paltridge wrote his first paper – my own Chief, John Philip, was a vigorous sceptic of irreversible thermodynamics, which hampered my involvement somewhat. Years later, it became a promoted topic within CSIRO, and I went to a two-day workshop organised by Graham Farquhar. So I have followed it. Its actual proponents are generally more cautious about its status than some more remote enthusiasts.

    But I cannot see that M’s invocation of most efficient cooling can be derived from maximum entropy production. It is even more of a stretch when it relates to global cooling, but with a clear sky.

    This is not a quibble. M’s whole theory of greenhouse effect stasis rests on it. And he makes almost no effort to justify it. He doesn’t link it to MEP.

  19. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Nick “But I cannot see that M’s invocation of most efficient cooling can be derived from maximum entropy production.”

    Can you write an equation for entropy exported to space and maximise that?

  20. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    Christopher,
    The section of the book by Peixoto and Oort that you refer to is an explanation of the feedback concepts in climate, and is explicitly set up as an electrical circuit analogue, as in their Fig 2.9. It is a teaching device. It is not meant to set up a formalism for climate modelling.

  21. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Jan Can you write an equation for entropy exported to space and maximise that?
    Maximise what, exactly? The time rate of export? Nett export?

    But yes, I did set out a basis for calculating export here. You can measure the rate of entropy delivered when SW radiation is thermalised at the surface, and the greater amount that leaves (partly) at the TOA, where it is colder. But you can’t really maximise the difference; it depends on those temperatures. The differential increases when the surface warms, or when TOA cools.

  22. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    “Maximise what, exactly? The time rate of export? Nett export?”

    Try time rate. It’s trivial really. We really are interested in rate of system entropy increase (i.e. time rate) and for us to approximate an isolated system we really need a rather large volume of space. however let’s just make do with earth’s contribution

    The rate of entropy increase in the combined system is then a sum of that gained by the cold space and that lost from the hot surface.

    they give an equation dSc/dt = … = Maximum.

    While you discuss entropy in that post it’s not entropy production let alone maximum entropy production. I’m not really interested in the whole system just the bit that earth exports to space.

  23. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    That worked well the paper quoted was Ozama Ohmura “Thermodynamics of a Global-Mean State of the Atmosphere—A State of
    Maximum Entropy Increase ” (AMS 1996)

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&issn=1520-0442&volume=010&issue=03&page=0441

  24. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Dear SJT,

    You write: “It’s not meant to be mathematically appropriate, it’s supposed to be a general indicator of the state of the climate, and it’s a good one to choose for that purpose. The models, however, are far more complex than that. I would suggest you read up on how the models actually work before making your claims.”

    My claims are about the formalism. I am not making claims about what you call the models. I think that is clear enough in what I have written. I am saying that the formalism is not a good one to choose for the purpose of general indication of the dynamics of the climate, because it’s not mathematically appropriate. We seem to agree that it’s not mathematically appropriate.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  25. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Dear Jan Pompe,

    You write: “While you discuss entropy in that post it’s not entropy production let alone maximum entropy production. I’m not really interested in the whole system just the bit that earth exports to space.”

    I think it is proper to define the rate of entropy production as the rate of export minus the rate of import, not just as the rate of export? What do you think about that? I think we have interest ourselves in the whole earth part of the process.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  26. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Jan,
    Eq 4 in the O&O paper is exactly what I used in my post (towards the end) and described in words above. I’ll read it more carefully, but although they write “-maximum” they don’t seem to show how to maximise it.

  27. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    “What do you think about that?”

    I like to keep it simple. We can break it down into parts so that we can actually see what it is made up of. No?

  28. SJT May 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    “My claims are about the formalism. I am not making claims about what you call the models. I think that is clear enough in what I have written. I am saying that the formalism is not a good one to choose for the purpose of general indication of the dynamics of the climate, because it’s not mathematically appropriate. We seem to agree that it’s not mathematically appropriate.”

    The models are the implementation of the mathematics. You seem to be confusing the entry level explanations of scientists, for the public at large, to explain a highly complex area of science, with the actual science. That is the same error G&T made. You only have to read a little of what the models are doing to realise that the mathematics covers many complex areas of the understanding of the components of climate. IIRC, the name GCM, or General Circulation Model, gives you a good idea there is a lot more to it than just greenhouse gases and temperature. They model the actual circulation of the atmosphere for the whole planet, as it is influenced by the many forcings that act upon it, such as the sun, the components of the atmosphere, the oceans, the land albedo.

  29. cohenite May 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    I don’t see how anyone can argue that the Earth’s climate doesn’t operate at maximum entropy;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL018363.shtml

    As to humidity, Soden and other “Major IPCC authors”; AGW requires an increase in Specific humidity because temperatures are increasing and the atmosphere can hold more water; RH is assumed to be stationary;

    http:rabett.blogspot.com/2008/10/first-principle-is-that-you-must-not.html [// excluded]

    I have linked to eli because he gives Nick a mention and has a shot at NCEP data which contradicts the models; but a paper by Minchswaner shows RH declining and Paltridge, who Nick knows, has had a dickens of a time gettting a paper published which shows upper level SH declining;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5416

    What is your take on that Nick?

  30. sod May 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    Addition of CO2 to the system simply displaces a small amount of water vapour without altering the total effective amount of greenhouse gas present in the clear-sky troposphere, so as to very closely nullify the temperature effect of the addition.

    you offer pretty little evidence for your rather wild theory. how long has this been “bubbling”?

    really some greenhouse gases (e.g. water) have additional properties that others (e.g. CO2) do not.

    like staying in the atmosphere for a prolonged time?

  31. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Coho I don’t see how anyone can argue that the Earth’s climate doesn’t operate at maximum entropy;
    As I said above, the cheer squads are far more assertive about this thatn the actual scientists – from your link:
    Energy balance models suggest that the atmospheric circulation operates close to a state of maximum entropy production.
    and suggestion is all that it is.

    And again, “RH is assumed to be stationary;”. No! What Eli said was “The study shows that not only is relative humidity in the upper troposphere remaining roughly constant…”

    About the latest Paltridge paper, I just don’t know. I’ve had plenty of frustrating experiences with reviewers. There may have been a substantive objection that we haven’t heard of, and I note that Garth didn’t resubmit it to them because he couldn’t be guaranteed a different reviewer. Well, OK, it’s hard for editors to make such promises; I suspect a resubmission would have found its way to other reviewers, but we’ll never know.

  32. Louis Hissink May 7, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    “Miskolczi did not set out to make his discovery of the climatically saturated greenhouse effect, but it turned up as something that he accidentally noticed in the course of his regular work for NASA”

    This is how science always pans out in the real world. Anyonee else would probably have dismissed the data as erroneous and contradicting the “theory”.

    In fact CO2 has nothing at all to do with weather and thus climate. If life is considered an epiphenomenon of the Earth, then it becomes somewhat difficult to work out how something could drive the physical processes which created it.

    Oh, my apologies – I refer to physical reality, not the utopian world of computerised virtual reality – perhaps calling it an SJT-Space as an additional domain to that proposed by String Theorists?

  33. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Dear Jan Pompe,

    The task of actually doing this would be a big one. One wants to get the right general strategy before starting.

    You write
    ” Comment from: Jan Pompe May 7th, 2009 at 5:28 pm
    “What do you think about that?”
    I like to keep it simple. We can break it down into parts so that we can actually see what it is made up of. No?”

    I think the maximization has to be for the whole. I think some of the parts want it one way, some of them the other, so the calculation has to be done just once, for the whole. What do you think about that?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  34. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Dear SJT,

    You write:

    “The models are the implementation of the mathematics. You seem to be confusing the entry level explanations of scientists, for the public at large, to explain a highly complex area of science, with the actual science.”

    Well, it seems to me that you would like me to be making the confusion you allege, but my wording is careful to show that I don’t make that confusion.

    Also I think it is valuable to think of physical understanding as well as mathematical calculation.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  35. SJT May 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    “Well, it seems to me that you would like me to be making the confusion you allege, but my wording is careful to show that I don’t make that confusion.”

    Your wording might be careful, but you end up stating something completely wrong. The science behind the understanding of climate is highly complex. There is a free, online, text book.

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    You will quite clearly see, your assumptions for the mathematical basis are far too simple.

  36. Louis Hissink May 7, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    “This is the resource site for my book on physics of climate, ” which is much like saying that “this is the resource site for my book on physics of statistics”, for climate, like it or not, is averaged weather over time, and hence a statistic.

  37. Louis Hissink May 7, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Whoops,

    weather averaged over time, and hence a statistic.

  38. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    Christopher,

    “I think the maximization has to be for the whole.”

    Ultimately that is right but thanks to Nick’s predecessors we have partial differential equations and their integral counterpart so we can as it were put bits of it under a microscope.

  39. SJT May 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    “for climate, like it or not, is averaged weather over time, and hence a statistic.”

    The easiest person to ignore here, or is that Birdie?

    There is a phsyical basis for climate science. RTFM.

  40. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write at May 7th, 2009 at 4:04 pm:
    “Christopher,
    Maximum Entropy Production is a very interesting idea. I was actually somewhat involved in the discussions in the CSIRO environment at the time Garth Paltridge wrote his first paper – my own Chief, John Philip, was a vigorous sceptic of irreversible thermodynamics, which hampered my involvement somewhat. Years later, it became a promoted topic within CSIRO, and I went to a two-day workshop organised by Graham Farquhar. So I have followed it. Its actual proponents are generally more cautious about its status than some more remote enthusiasts.
    But I cannot see that M’s invocation of most efficient cooling can be derived from maximum entropy production. It is even more of a stretch when it relates to global cooling, but with a clear sky.
    This is not a quibble. M’s whole theory of greenhouse effect stasis rests on it. And he makes almost no effort to justify it. He doesn’t link it to MEP.”

    Yes, the idea of maximum entropy production is not easy to grasp. I don’t think I have a very good understanding of it. I see it as a kind of stability principle, but I have plenty to do to understand these things better. As you say, the experts are very cautious. I mentioned Prof. Paltridge’s doubts.

    It is quite likely you have a better understanding of much of this than I do. I agree, and mentioned in my post, that I don’t recall Dr Miskolczi writing about or referring to this principle. It is just my reading of other writers that makes me think the principle is very relevant.

    I accept that Dr Miskolczi’s presentation, as I noted, has been a bit cavalier. I agree that what you write is not a quibble. It points to study that needs to be done.

    You write at May 7th, 2009 at 4:25 pm to Jan Pompe: “But you can’t really maximise the difference; it depends on those temperatures. The differential increases when the surface warms, or when TOA cools.”

    Well, I agree that it is not an easy thing to maximize the difference. But I think it has to be done. I think improved physical understanding is needed here. And I think you can contribute to the task.

    You have in the past found plenty that you think is wrong in Dr Miskolczi’s work; now for the future I think you have the ability to find also what is right in it. I think your special knowledge that you mention (your involvement with Professor Paltridge’s work) puts you in a position to help fill in the gaps that you found. The road to Rome won’t be built in a day.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  41. Louis Hissink May 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    SJT: ” There is a phsyical basis for climate science”.

    What physical basis? Define climate first…..

  42. Louis Hissink May 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    SJT,

    I’ll save you the effort – climate is weather statistics averaged over an arbitrary 30 year base period.

    Now, continue please….

  43. cohenite May 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    I hate to be pedantic but IPCC does rely on RH not changing [stationary, roughly constant; now that’s a fine distinction];

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter3.pdf

    page 40.

  44. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Nick “they don’t seem to show how to maximise it.”

    I can’t see it there either maybe they left it as homework for the rest of us. All I see is a bit of hand waving that vaguely resembles the Maximum Power Theorem of electrical potential dividers (I think there is similarity) and very little else in that regard.

  45. SJT May 7, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    “SJT,

    I’ll save you the effort – climate is weather statistics averaged over an arbitrary 30 year base period.

    Now, continue please….”

    I’ll point you to an excellent, free textbook that helps you to understand why climate works the way it does.

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    Ignore it at your own leisure.

    Iron makes up 5% of the earth’s crust. Therefore, if you want to mine iron ore, all you have to do is dig anywhere, and 5% of what you dig up will be iron. You’ll be out of a job, Louis.

  46. cohenite May 7, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    I hate to be pedantic but IPCC does rely on RH not changing [stationary, roughly constant; now that’s a fine distinction];

    http:www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter3.pdf [// excluded]

    page 40.

  47. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Coho, I assume you mean p 274, and are referring to the sentence “To summarise, the available data do not indicate a detectable trend in upper-tropospheric relative humidity.”
    There is a big difference between observing something and assuming or relying on it. All they are saying is that they can’t detect a trend (which isn’t even saying it’s constant). If they saw one, they’d say so, and it wouldn’t be any big deal. I’m reacting against the notion that a presumption of RH constancy has been built into the models. It hasn’t, and if you knew how the models worked, you’d know that it just couldn’t be.

  48. Lucy Skywalker May 7, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

    Christopher, thank you very much for spelling out Miskolczi’s ideas well enough for me as a lay scientist to grasp. I’ve felt for a while that Miskolczi deserved study – but unfrotunately Zagoni failed to explain it well enough for me to grasp beyond a very important early point, which is that the theory actually fits the measurements with equations and mechanical possibilities, rather than the Cinderella’s Shoe way the climate models are made to fit the facts.

    The theory is exciting because it threatens to expand our understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics; and because it feels like a living system as it is about the ability to self-regulate as and when needed. The “feelgood” factor of this theory is high but the “proof” factor is still being teased out and far from certain. A classic case where debate should NOT be suppressed.

    The story has all the classic components of current Climate Science: bits of data that are questionable but deserve further careful study – which the establishment is railing against because it would upset the current AGW understanding of water vapour as a positive feedback. In this context, the Climate Audit piece about Garth Paltridge bears quoting (GP’s own words, edited to shorten the length):

    Back in March of 2008, three of us sent off a manuscript to the Journal of Climate. It was a straightforward paper reporting the trends of humidity in the middle and upper troposphere as they (the trends) appear at face value in the NCEP monthly-average reanalysis data. The paper did two things:

    (1) [it showed that] humidities have decreased over the last 35 years at altitudes above the 850mb pressure level – that is, in the middle and upper troposphere, roughly above the top of the convective boundary layer. NCEP humidity information derives ultimately from the international network of balloon-borne radiosondes. And one must say immediately that radiosonde humidity data have more than their fair share of problems.

    (2) It made the point that water vapour feedback in the global warming story is very largely determined by the response of water vapour in the middle and upper troposphere. Total water vapour in the atmosphere may increase as the temperature of the surface rises, but if at the same time the mid- to upper-level concentration decreases, then water vapour feedback will be negative…

    Climate models tend to maintain constant relative humidity at each atmospheric level, and therefore have an increasing absolute humidity at each level as the surface and atmospheric temperatures increase. This behaviour in the upper levels of the models produces a positive feedback which more than doubles the temperature rise calculated to be the consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2.

    Our paper concluded by suggesting that, in view of the extreme significance of upper-level humidity to the climate change story, the international radiosonde data on upper-level humidity should not be ‘written off’ without a serious attempt at abstracting the best possible humidity signal from within the noise of instrumental and operational changes at each of the relevant radiosonde stations.

    The paper was knocked back, largely because of a review from someone who let slip that

    “the only object I can see for this paper is for the authors to get something in the peer-reviewed literature which the ignorant can cite as supporting lower climate sensitivity than the standard IPCC range”.

    … and more of the same ilk…

  49. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    Jan, I’ve read the O&O paper more carefully. Their Eq 4 isn’t quite the same as mine; they have used the fact that the convective and radiative flux add up to the approx constant SW, and reexpressed in terms of convective flux. And they have done a numerical minimisation – it’s just buried in the very long para following Eq 4. The results aren’t too bad, although obscured because they have calculated for a whole range of optical depth, being apparently unprepared to put a figure on it.

  50. Marcus May 7, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    sjt
    “all you have to do is dig anywhere, and 5% of what you dig up will be iron. ”

    You should have stuck with your very first comment on this thread.
    Now you opened your cake hole and confirmed what we suspected all along.

  51. cohenite May 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Yes Marcus, it is true, little will is a man of iron; he is in fact the robot!

    Nick, you aren’t by any chance a lawyer are you? The distinction between “stationary, roughly constant and do not indicate a detectable trend” is a legal one at best. Anyhow, the Minchswaner paper has some interesting things to say about RH, models and the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis;

    http://mls.jpl.nasa.gov/library/Minschwaner_2004.pdf

    P10, or to be more precise p1281, is instructive; increasing SST produces a decline in RH of 4.8% consistent with NCEP but inconsistent with models “that maintain a fixed relative humdity” [p1 or 1272]. Of course they revert to the party line by concluding that;

    “Even under the most extreme assumptions regarding these processes, however, we find that the model is unable to produce a negative feedback simulation.”

    Isn’t that quaint? Do you have any explanation as to why Spencer and Braswell are completely ignored in this matter of vapor feedback?

  52. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    ? Did the paper that was originally rejected end up here:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/?k=paltridge+arking+pook

    Christopher

  53. Brown paper bag May 7, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    One can only ponder why Mr Game has dredged up an obscure scientist who had a paper published by a Hungarian journal as far back as January 2007. Why the delay – the old hat news, and why is Dr Miskolczi currently the toast of every sceptic’s website but ignored by reputable science journals?

    Ference Miskolczi tips a bucket on NASA and has confessed to his paper being:

    “JGR: Rejected without review
    SCIENCE: Rejected without review
    Applied Optics: Withdrawn by NASA
    Astrophysical Journal: Rejected without review”

    “ This paper is more nonsense of a piece with the unpublished MS by Gerlich and Tseuschner, though with the difference that this one is published in an obscure Hungarian weather journal rather than not being published at all. The main use of this paper is as an exercise in “spot the errors” for a grad student in radiative transfer. We could comment on it, but on the whole it’s more worthwhile to spend time commenting on things that have passed review in the more major journals and don’t have such obvious flaws (even if they nonetheless have flaws).” –raypierre

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=538

    I’d say the dirt dredge is in need of a grease and oil – a complete makeover. Is Miskolczi’s obsolete paper the best Jennifer can find to publish, to dupe posters into believing that AGW is a myth?

  54. cohenite May 8, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    Christopher, the full paper is here;

    http://www.theclimatescam.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/paltridgearkingpook.pdf

    Isn’t this business about water levels muddled?

  55. Joel Shore May 8, 2009 at 12:55 am #

    cohenite says:

    Nick, you aren’t by any chance a lawyer are you? The distinction between “stationary, roughly constant and do not indicate a detectable trend” is a legal one at best.

    No, one emphasizes the issue of the detectability of the trend. Sometimes there can be trends that are hard to detect. However, the more important point that Nick makes is that the lack of detectable trend in relative humidity in the models is A RESULT of the physics that is put into them; it is not an assumption that they make.

    Anyhow, the Minchswaner paper has some interesting things to say about RH, models and the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis;

    http://mls.jpl.nasa.gov/library/Minschwaner_2004.pdf

    You have failed to note that they have a follow-up paper in which they actually look at what the climate models show and found that they don’t quite keep the relative humidity constant either and so, within the error bars of the measurements and the simulations, there is no inconsistency between the observations and the models: http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/minschwaner2006.pdf See also here where they diagnose the water vapor feedback from climate fluctuations and find “The water-vapor feedback implied by these observations is strongly positive, with an average magnitude of lq = 2.04 W/m2/K, similar to that simulated by climate models. The magnitude is similar to that obtained if the atmosphere maintained constant RH everywhere.” : http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2008b.pdf

    Of course they revert to the party line by concluding that;

    “Even under the most extreme assumptions regarding these processes, however, we find that the model is unable to produce a negative feedback simulation.”

    So, I guess this “revert back to the part line” statement is then an excuse to take from that paper what you want to take from it and ignore the parts that are inconvenient to you?

    Do you have any explanation as to why Spencer and Braswell are completely ignored in this matter of vapor feedback?

    Off the top of my head, I have two explanations: One is that it is rather difficult to reference a paper published in 2008 within a paper published in 2004 unless one has the ability to see the future. (Or, if you were referring to the IPCC ignoring it, you have a report published in 2007 that you want to reference a paper published in 2008.)

    The second is that Spencer and Braswell deals with cloud feedbacks (and, in particular, the shortwave part of the cloud feedback), not the water vapor feedback. In fact, Spencer even admits that the water vapor feedback is likely to be positive (see here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/02/what-about-the-clouds-andy/ ). This is a common theme that I see in the writing of “skeptics” and seem to be especially true of yourself: namely that you essentially embrace anything that supports your preconceptions that CO2 is basically irrelevant to climate, even if they are mutually contradictory. That is hardly a skeptical point-of-view (in the more correct use of the term).

  56. Joel Shore May 8, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    By the way, I realize upon re-reading my last post that one might think that the “common theme” refers somehow to what Spencer himself has said. I didn’t mean that but just meant the theme illustrated by cohenite’s lumping together what Spencer says in regards to clouds with a discussion about the water vapor feedback.

  57. Eli Rabett May 8, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    Maximizing export of entropy is at best a possible physical principle about which there is a great deal of controversy. It does not impose a unique mechanism. Mis’ needs a mechanism, a physical description of how increasing greenhouse gas concentrations will result in a dryer upper troposphere. Moreover, such a mechanism would impose changes on the outgoing radiation spectrum, which have not been observed.

  58. stas peterson May 8, 2009 at 2:33 am #

    The usual Warmist obfuscators are at work. Their Models of the radiative atmosphere are based on stellar atmospheres that do not resemble a planetary atmosphere like Earths and are plain mathematically wrong. The observed empirical realities are ignored as well.

    They worship the erroneous theories, as given to us by the erroneous calculations of Astrophysicist Milne in 1928, as if it was revealed Dogma,handed down from on High. Their equations produce impossible errors when used to calculate the surface temperature of the Earth, but the Warnist obfuscators believe in their erroneous OLDE TYME RELIGION and its dogmas. And defend it like the most closed minded religious zealot.

    They are closed minded, that their calculations and the computer models based on them are not the least bit accurate, or predictive. The enter obfsucatory aguments and they ignore the the fact that Miskolczi equations deduced from empirical observations, and not pure Theory fancies, calculate better, more accurate answers than their SACRED REVEALED RELIGION’s Equations.

    They post nonsense that “Kirchoff’s Law doesn’t apply” or “Virial Theorem is inappropriate” even though the empirical results are more accurate and using the observations mirror these clasical realities, call them what you will. Warmists obfuscate over a choice of words; merely a nomenclature issue, not fundamental to the discussion, at all. But they treat it as if it is some kind of proof that the new reality doesn’t include their reserved names for nomenclature, as if that was worth with a bucket of warm spit. As the Bard observed: “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

    Their only criticisms are of a Pecksniffian quality. It is like saying that a particular color is not blue. It is more like a color that is blue, but different. Big Deal.

    Warmists theorists, pontificate the that their dogma equations, included errors and all, are still correct, even if they produce wrong results. Note that not a single mathematician has disputed the correctness of Miskolczi mathematical corrections to their erroneous SACRED Milne equations, mathematicial errors and all.

  59. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    Dear Eli Rabett,

    Your post:

    “Comment from: Eli Rabett May 8th, 2009 at 1:31 am
    Maximizing export of entropy is at best a possible physical principle about which there is a great deal of controversy. It does not impose a unique mechanism. Mis’ needs a mechanism, a physical description of how increasing greenhouse gas concentrations will result in a dryer upper troposphere. Moreover, such a mechanism would impose changes on the outgoing radiation spectrum, which have not been observed.”

    My reply:

    Yes, the principle of maximum entropy production is not as easy as we might like. It is still rather new, and I at least, and I think others, do not have much intuition and facility in interpreting and using it, or even understanding just exactly when it is applicable. I think it tells about stability.

    Yes, you are right: “it does not impose a unique mechanism”. That is a great advantage. One of the great merits of the first and second laws of thermodynamics is that they can be used even when the mechanism is unknown. The second law is really about making numerically precise just how much one doesn’t know. This is the key to the E.T. Jaynes approach, pioneered by Boltzmann and Gibbs.

    Yes, we would like a mechanism, or indeed mechanisms. We can use the entropy production principle as a tool to help us recognise it (them) when we find it (them).

    Still we need seriously clued-up meteorologists to work out the mechanisms. Presumably they will be several and diverse. The principle will tell about when they get to play their parts. I have in my original post suggested that the protected towers of deep tropical convection of Riehl and Malkus 1958 (that I call the bubbles) might give a strong hint about the mechanisms.

    You write: “Moreover, such a mechanism would impose changes on the outgoing radiation spectrum, which have not been observed.”

    I think that the partition into St and Eu is indeed an imposed change on the the outgoing radiation. Simpson 1928 worked out that the story cannot be told without it. I think that the balance between St and Eu changes with circumstances and this is indeed expressed in changes in the details of the outgoing radiation spectrum. I am wondering whether somehow the distinction between St and Eu might relate to the partition of the total energy into a free energy part and another part of practically inaccessible energy.

    In the other strand
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/?cp=all
    I ask for your expansion on what you say there about how to find St. I think you seem to have some knowledge of this matter?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  60. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    When asking for info from Eli Rabett, perhaps I should have given a sharper pointer, as follows

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/?cp=19#comment-102132

    Christopher

  61. eric adler May 8, 2009 at 5:53 am #

    Christopher Game,
    As I understand it, MEP is a hypothesis that may or may not be operating in the case of the earth’s climate. Unitl it is shown that this is correct by some mechanism, it is unscientific to assume its correctness. It doesn’t have the same status as the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    Anyway, I haven’t seen a cogent explanation from anyone here on how Miskolczi’s theory relates to it.

  62. bill May 8, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    Great article …

    As to Venus, since it has no magnetic field, the solar wind has essentially blown away all the gases that are lighter, including water vapor. This leaves Venus as a scorching rock, trapped by the suns rays, and never to recover. As a planet, you lose your magnetic field, you are toast. The fact that the atmosphere is now composed of mostly CO2, heavier molecules, means nothing. It’s just the last of the atmosphere to be stripped from a dead planet.

    Mars also has no magnetic filed, is closer to the sun, and for the same reasons, most of it’s atmosphere, including the CO2, is gone.

  63. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    Dear Eric Adler,

    On the other strand, at
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/?cp=17#comment-101952
    “Comment from: Christopher Game May 7th, 2009 at 10:15 am
    Dear Eric Adler, Thank you for this. You write: “As I mentioned earlier, if the surface is ocean or other bodies of water, evaporation will reduce the surface temperature and reduce the radiation slightly .” Can you calculate how much effect the evaporation will have, say for example, on the surface of the sea, which I think is about 70% of the whole surface. Presumably the latent heat of the evaporation is then eventually convected upwards to an altitude where the temperature is lower, but the obstruction to radiative emission to space is also less because the water vapour is less because of precipitation. Can you work out the magnitude of this effect? And compare it with the slight reduction of surface radiation?
    Yours sincerely, Christopher Game”

    where I ask for your further thoughts on the point you have commented upon in that strand, I don’t seem to be able to find your reply. I would like to have your thoughts about the point.

    Now on this present strand you write
    “Comment from: eric adler May 8th, 2009 at 5:53 am
    Christopher Game, As I understand it, MEP is a hypothesis that may or may not be operating in the case of the earth’s climate. Unitl it is shown that this is correct by some mechanism, it is unscientific to assume its correctness. It doesn’t have the same status as the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Anyway, I haven’t seen a cogent explanation from anyone here on how Miskolczi’s theory relates to it.”

    I agree that the principle of maximum rate of entropy production for open or diabatic systems doesn’t have the same status as does the second law for isolated systems, and that a priori we can’t know whether it will apply to climate process. I agree that we need a cogent explanation on how it might apply to Dr Miskolczi’s analysis of the data; that’s something I am asking how to do. Perhaps you can help there.

    While Dr Miskolczi has, so far as my poor memory can recall, said nothing explicit about the principle of maximum entropy production, perhaps may turn out that his deep analysis of the empirical data will constitute new empirical evidence for the applicability of the principle to the climate. Perhaps it will not, to my surprise.

    Of course we would like to know the mechanisms of the facts that Dr Miskolczi’s analysis of the data has revealed.

    On the other hand, it is not appropriate to demand a mechanism when using the principle of maximum rate of entropy production. The point about the principle is that it is useful for cases when you don’t know the mechanism. If you know the mechanism, the principle ceases to be useful except as a check on your accuracy. The principle is basically a statement about degree of ignorance about mechanism. For an account of the principle in relation to degree of ignorance, one may consult R.C. Dewar (2005) ‘Maximum entropy production and the fluctuation theorem’ Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General 38:L371-L381 doi:10.1088/0305-4470/38/21/L01 . The important idea of maximum entropy as a measure of ignorance of mechanism in the classical static case is well presented by E.T. Jaynes in several great papers.

    For a more general account of the principle of maximum rate of entropy production, Martyushev and Seleznev 2006 (cited in my original note above) is helpful. There are several papers that claim to show that it applies to the climate system, too many to cite in detail here. Several of them are cited above in postings to this blog. cohenite cites http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL018363.shtml . Jan Pompe cites http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&issn=1520-0442&volume=010&issue=03&page=0441 .

    The following valid form of reasoning is common and important in science: “”If hypothesis A, then prediction B; previously unknown empirical observation finds B to be realized in nature; therefore hypothesis A is more likely than it was before you found empirical observation B.” For a lucid explanation of this leading and profound principle of scientific reasoning, no better source can be found, I think, than E.T. Jaynes (2003) ‘Probability Theory: The Logic of Science’, edited by L.C Bretthorst, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK. It is an education to read it. It is a valuable step forward from pure Aristotelian logic.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher Game

  64. Louis Hissink May 8, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    SJT:

    “SJT,

    I’ll save you the effort – climate is weather statistics averaged over an arbitrary 30 year base period.

    Now, continue please….”

    I’ll point you to an excellent, free textbook that helps you to understand why climate works the way it does.

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    Ignore it at your own leisure.

    Iron makes up 5% of the earth’s crust. Therefore, if you want to mine iron ore, all you have to do is dig anywhere, and 5% of what you dig up will be iron. You’ll be out of a job, Louis.”

    Little Will, you have excelled yourself in the deployment of the Non Seqitur – 10/10!

    And I wonder how long it is before you realise that when I occasionally post here, it’s to catch fish of the SJT genus. I catch one every time.

    Oh the free textbook by Pierrehumbert – He starts off waxing lyrically over plate tectonics – what, Chicago School version? If the fundamentals are wrong, the rest becomes fantasy.

    Nothing is for free little twittering Will, but we are impressed by impressed with your recitation of the AGW litany – you have been well programmed.

  65. eric adler May 8, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    Christopher Game wrote:

    For a more general account of the principle of maximum rate of entropy production, Martyushev and Seleznev 2006 (cited in my original note above) is helpful. There are several papers that claim to show that it applies to the climate system, too many to cite in detail here. Several of them are cited above in postings to this blog. cohenite cites http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL018363.shtml . Jan Pompe cites http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&issn=1520-0442&volume=010&issue=03&page=0441 .

    I don’t have access to the papers. From the abstract, it appears that they use a GCM and examine the results to see whether the climate system is evolving in accordance with the PEM.
    Here is a quote from your first reference:

    “Energy balance models suggest that the atmospheric circulation operates close to a state of maximum entropy production. Here we support this hypothesis with sensitivity simulations of an atmospheric general circulation model. A state of maximum entropy production is obtained by (i) adjusting boundary layer turbulence and (ii) using a sufficiently high model resolution which allows sufficient degrees of freedom for the atmospheric flow. The state of maximum entropy production is associated with the largest conversion of available potential energy into kinetic energy which is subsequently dissipated by boundary layer turbulence. It exhibits the largest eddy activity in the mid latitudes, resulting in the most effective transport of heat towards the poles and the least equator-pole temperature difference. These results suggest that GCMs have a fundamental tendency to underestimate the magnitude of atmospheric heat transport and, therefore, overestimate the equator-pole temperature gradient for the present-day climate, for the response to global climatic change, and for atmospheres of other planetary bodies.

    This begs the question of whether the equator – pole temperature difference is in agreement with what is observed. The papers only suggest that the PEM may apply.

    If such a constraint does apply, it provides a way to narrow the range of parameters that would be possible in a GCM. I don’t have a feel for how useful this might be. I would have to know what the parameters are, and what the ranges are, and how easy is it to derive some useful relationships between these parameters. Given the complexity of the models, my instinct tells me that invocation of PEM wouldn’t help much, but I am open to obtaining more information about this.

    Do you have any idea about what this will do to help us to produce better climate models?
    In asking this question, I am assuming you know enough about climate models to understand this and provide an explanation.

  66. cohenite May 8, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    Cripes, first Nick’s nicety of verbal distinction now I’m verballed by Joel. First of all Joel, the 2nd Minchswaner effort still results in a decline in RH; now, however, there is a gap between the models and the observations;

    [“The model mean decrease in relative humidity is -2.3% +- 1.0% K at 250mb, whereas observations indicate decreases of -4.8% +- 1.7% K near 250 mb.”] Thats a doubling, but then the paper says “these two values agree within the respective ranges of uncertainty…the current global models…reasonable accuracy.” So, 4.8 – 1.7 is in the range of 2.3 + 1 by .2%. Good one Joel.

    The main game for vapor however of whether there is an increase in upper water, SH, is confirmed by them. This is the issue because as you say and it is not something I have disagreed with, the level of upper water, both clouds and vapor is a crucial element of AGW; if there is more than AGW mechanisms are in place to cause the predicted Tropical Hot Spot [which isn’t happening].
    However, the Paltridge paper argues contrarily to this point relying on the much maligned NCEP data and the CA link explains the difficulty Paltridge had within the official circles; free and open exchange of ideas indeed.

    So to Spencer who you have selectively quoted [ in legal process this is a way of dealing with hostile witnesses]. Naturally Spencer agrees that increased vapor is a +ve feedback but the issue, as I say, is where that water is. Michael hammer’s recent paper confirms the decline in upper water found by Paltridge and this is not commented on by Spencer. But the main omission from Spencer is his comments about clouds. Most of the lower water increase is going into clouds; Dessler and IPCC regard lower clouds as a +ve feedback despite some desultory admissions of uncertainty. But Spencer, using the same CERES data which confirmed the +ve feedback of vapor has found that this data also showed that the SW feedback from low clouds and the feedback from upper low water produced a feedback “that is strongly negative.”

    Furthermore, you have also not addressed the issue raised by the Spencer and Braswell paper which is referred to in your “Andy” link to Spencer; that is causation; instead of clouds being a feedback at all from temperature and “consequent” water levels, Spencer argues, noting the prior Forster and Taylor paper, that the increase in low clouds force temperature [down] rather than +vely feedback. And guess what, Spencer is having difficulty being published, although I believe the paper has surfaced somewhere.

    A final point in feedback to eli’s usual hit and run comment about observed outgoing radiation; the recent Lindzen gerfuffle is another prime example of where considerable obfuscation and character attack has been used to blunt the source of anti-AGW information. A fine body of ‘evidence’ and dirty tactics by the AGW crowd.

  67. SJT May 8, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    “A final point in feedback to eli’s usual hit and run comment about observed outgoing radiation; the recent Lindzen gerfuffle is another prime example of where considerable obfuscation and character attack has been used to blunt the source of anti-AGW information. A fine body of ‘evidence’ and dirty tactics by the AGW crowd.”

    Is that the same Lindzen who says climate scientists are only in it for the research grants?

  68. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    Dear Eric Adler,

    AOGCMs are in my view hypotheses that are open to testing against empirical observations. But they are not the subject of the present strand.

    I have written here about the “forcings and feedbacks” formalism in terms of which the outputs of the AOGCMs are discussed, but that does not refer to the AOGCMs themselves nor to their outputs.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  69. Steve Short May 8, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    Nice to see that Christopher is keen on Maximum Entropy Production (MEP) to at least partially explain Earth climate homeostasis. So am I. This is why I tried hard to promote attention to the MEP body of literature on Niche Modeling.

    I would now commend to Christopher the idea of looking more closely at the role of the world’s photosynthetic biotic (both land and oceanic) and the role of it in the generation of biogenic aerosols and hence CCN (cloud condenation nuclei). MEO does not only have to be abiotic.

    These (humble and oft-forgotten) photosynthesizers have only been around for a mere 2.4 Gy (or more) you know. A role for biotic evolution in climate feedback anyone?

    As for ‘Miskolczi Theory’?

    Uhhh (sadly), NO.

    None of Miskolczi’s assertions have been proven anywhere in the total literature, including in M&M04 and M07 because the global all sky mean S_T has never been proven to be ~60 W/m^2. If anything, in excess of about 20 mainstream papers (K&T97 and since) show the global all sky mean S_T to be about 30 – 40 W/m^2 (e.g. the ERBE and CERES averages are around 31±10 W/m^2).

    What Miskolczi (and Zagoni) has done is to try to fool people (especially those who don’t read the literature) that data from various clear sky studies can somehow be generalized to the all sky situation.

    He/they do this by completely folding the fraction of LW IR emission (@ water emission lines) from the tops of clouds (deriving originally from surface evapotranspiration (ET) and resulting from release of latent heat) which escapes the tropopause and contributes to OLR into the (LW IR transmission to TOA) S_T term.

    For the above reason Miskolcz’s ‘stable tau’ is inadmissible simply because it is not even (just) a (LW IR) absorption tau at all. He should have called it (say) Omega and come clean with everyone.

    In the average (global all sky; cloud cover ~60%) ) this TOA LW IR emission is only ~30 W/m^2 and is about 30/80 = 0.375 of the total latent heat release – a proportion which is governed by relatively simple geometric considerations and hence remains a relatively constant fraction of the (variable) ET.

    In the clear sky situation there are no clouds, latent heat release is negligible and hence the poor neglected Miskolczi K convective term reduces from ~97 W/m^2 (17 for dry thermals + 80 for ET) to 17 W/m^2 or even less.

    There are no clouds to block IR transmission so S_T rises from ~31±10 W/m^2 (ERBE and CERES studies) to the clear sky ~61±10 W/m^2. The error bars I quote here are my approximations to the one standard deviations which may be estimated from the modern literature.

    Obviously it is possible to imagine a continuum of cloud covers from 100% through 60% (global average) to 0% (clear sky) within discrete grid squares of the planet because, hey, that is what happens! I fail to see why we should be convinced to only imagine a cloud cover range from 0% to 60% which Miskolczi would both have us do (and even fudges values of S_T near the global mean cloud cover of 60% as well)!

    In my view, at 100% cloud cover ET rises to about (100/60) x 80 = 133 W/m^2 and hence the (water lines) emissions from clouds which escape the tropopause and contributes to OLR should be about 0.375 x 133 = 50 W/m^2.

    Under these circumstances S_T should decline to ~31 – 10 – 10 = 11 W/m^2 and hence tau ~ -ln(11/396) = 3.58!

    However, in compensation for the much reduced S_T, the sum of the emission from clouds which contributes to OLR PLUS the S_T which contributes to OLR thus = 50 + 11 = 61 W/m^2 i.e. it remains constant!

    So, I now give you not Miskolczi Theory but (basic) ‘Short Theory’ which posits the following:

    (1) The LW IR tau is NOT constant (and there is no reason in the wide world why it should be) but varies from a 100% cloud cover situation value of ~ 3.58 all the way down to a 0% cloud cover situation value of ~ – ln(61/396) = 1.87;

    (2) As S_T reduces with increasing cloud cover, the fraction of ET which is emitted from the tops of clouds and escapes the tropopause (let’s call that fraction ET_U) remains relatively constant @ ~0.375 = 3/8; and hence

    (3) the sum of amount of LW IR contributing to OLR which is emitted both from the surface (S_T) and from the tops of the clouds (ET_U) remains constant @ ~61 W/m^2 and hence remains a constant ~25% of OLR.

    (4) There is no reason why A_A should = E_D but the remainder of OLR – (ET_U + S_T) = ‘the real E_U’ clearly also remains ~75% of OLR.

    We can therefore envisage something very roughly like the following (assuming constant F, S_U and OLR across all cloud covers – which is not strictly true of course):

    My assumptions:
    S_U = 396 = constant
    ET = Evapotranspiration
    ET_U = LW IR emitted to OLR by clouds (as above) = 0.375ET
    OLR – (ET_U + S_T) = ‘the real E_U’ denoted rE_U
    Old E_U = ET_U + rE-U by definition
    A_A = S_U – S_T (by definition and as per Miskolczi)
    DT = Dry Thermals ~ 17 @ 60% cloud cover
    K = ET + DT (by definition and as per Miskolczi)
    F = absorbed SW IR (as per Miskolczi)
    E_D ~ 0.625(ET + DT) + 0.5F + 0.625A_A on the grounds: (a) SW IR absorbed throughout entire atmosphere but (b) LW IR absorbed below the clouds.

    Cloud%, Tau, S_T, ET, ET_U, DT, rE_U, A_A, E_D, Old E_U
    100, 3.58, 11, 133, 50, 0, 178, 385, 362, 228
    80, 2.94, 21, 107, 40, 8, 178, 375, 345, 218
    60 2.55, 31, 80, 30, 17, 178, 365, 328, 208
    40, 2.27, 41, 53, 20, 23, 178, 355, 288, 198
    20, 2.05, 51, 27, 10, 29, 178, 345, 302, 188
    0, 1.87, 61, 0, 0, 34, 178, 335, 270, 178,

    I would suggest the major parameters above (rE_U, A_A, E_D etc) in the above spreadsheet are probably accurate to about ±10 W/m^2 at the one standard deviation level.

    Thus it is revealed that:

    (1) S_U does not = 2 x old E_U except around 40% cloud cover.

    (2) A_A does not = E_D (and this is not required).

    (3) The true LW IR Tau is not constant (and this is not required).

    LW IR homeostasis arises through constancy of sum of (ET_U + S_T) and constancy of rE_U and proportionality of OLR to incoming Fo

    This approach unifies the roles of the important K (convective) and F (SW absorption) terms (which Miskolczi identified and then essentially ignored thereafter !) into the all sky global energy balance/framework.

    It shows how and why they are critical to a concept of low CO2 sensitivity ‘homeostasis’ applying across the full range of cloud covers (which regionally oc course applies naturally), in line with Richard Lindzen’s concept of negative cloud forcing (Iris Effect).

    At least for LW IR and the role of ET and clouds, this is the core issue which IMHO Miskolczi singularly failed to address.

    IMHO Miskolczi’s so-called ‘constant tau’ (note not even a real tau at all), so-called elimination of the surface/atmosphere temperature discontinuity, and the so-called Atmospheric Kirchoff Law are all largely irrelevant (and patently invalid) distractions.

  70. cohenite May 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Great way to kill the conversation Steve :-)! One point; as I query at Niche, even though your explanation is more comprehensive than M’s because it fully includes K and F and gets rid of eqn 7 and the need for a fixed Tau, doesn’t it still require upper water [in whatever form since both vapor and high cloud has a +ve feedback and blocking role] to be declining when lower cloud is increasing?

  71. eric adler May 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    Comment from: Christopher Game May 8th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Dear Eric Adler,

    AOGCMs are in my view hypotheses that are open to testing against empirical observations. But they are not the subject of the present strand.

    I have written here about the “forcings and feedbacks” formalism in terms of which the outputs of the AOGCMs are discussed, but that does not refer to the AOGCMs themselves nor to their outputs.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

    The real science is not in what you call the “formalisms”, which seem to be a kind of whipping boy for you. The real science is in the GCM’s.

    The people who write about the PEM use GCM’s to illustrate it. Since you brought up the PEM’s , are and advocate of the PEM, and believe it is correct and imply it is somehow useful, I thought that you would know how it could be used to advantage to improve the GCM’s. That was the subject of one of the papers you recommended to me.

    I guess you can’t answer my question.

  72. Steve Short May 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Anthony

    You could well be right. I have an utterly open mind on this.

    What I have tried to show by reworking M theory (albeit crudely) is that at high % cloud cover the potential for emission of LW IR from clouds to escape TOA must naturally increase (while the potential for LW IR from the surface to escape TOA naturally decreases i.e. real tau increases).

    This is related to why Lindzen sees the maximum negative forcing from clouds to occur in the topics where the cumuli of tropical storms get very high and may even partially overshoot the tropopause. Having lost a beloved pilot son to plane engine failure inside a big convective tropical storm this issue hits very deep with me indeed.

    But in general, if convective cloud increases (due to increased GHG heat trapping in the lower troposphere) I can easily imagine that would also ensure that upper troposhere water vapor decreases, hence facilitating LW IR from tops of clouds escaping TOA.

    As part of this view (based as it is on the observed trends discussed by Paltridge etc) I strongly suspect, as you know, that at least part of this (reduced upper troposhere humidity) ‘story’ may well be that increased lower troposphere CO2 increases land plant and oceanic cyanobacterial photosynthetic biomass (the well known ‘CO2 fertilization effect’ described on CO2Science) which undoubtedly increases emissions of biogenic aerosols (DMS, isoprenes etc) which in turn increases the troposheric concentration of CCNs, thus facilitating cloud formation in the lower troposphere.

    I happen to know that the AGW orthodox scientific establishment are rather worried by this very issue for the reason that GCMs have been shown to be particularly poor at low altitude cloud formation – especially over the equatorial oceans and the gyres. The SE Pacific gyre region is particularly prone to persistent very high % cloud covers (>95% for prolonged periods). This is well known to anyone who flies over the region regularly. This has attracted a major research effort in recent years due to known poor GCM simulation performance in these grid squares. It helps to ‘keep your ear to the door’.

  73. SJT May 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    “Great way to kill the conversation Steve :-)! ”

    We are making progress.

    G&T are consigned to the dustbin.
    M is consigned to the dustbin.

    Excellent.

  74. SJT May 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    And Ferdinand has killed of Beck and his CO2 paper.

  75. Green Davey May 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Hello Christopher,
    Right off topic, but are, by any chance, a descendant of Davey Gam Esq, of Agincourt fame?

  76. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Dear Eric Adler,

    You write: “Comment from: eric adler May 8th, 2009 at 1:21 pm …
    Christopher, The real science is not in what you call the “formalisms”, which seem to be a kind of whipping boy for you.”
    I reply: The mathematical formalism which structures the politically effective reasoning of the ar4 is explicitly stated in the IPCC’s cited article by Bony et al. 2006 who cite Bode 1945. It is still hardly changed from Peixoto and Oort 1992. The political effect of the IPCC is important. How they argue is important.

    You write: “The real science is in the GCM’s.”
    I reply: I trust you mean that the real science is in the comparison of the GCMs’ predictions with empirical observations, and in the physical meaning of the formulas of the GCMs.

    You write: “The people who write about the PEM use GCM’s to illustrate it. Since you brought up the PEM’s , are and advocate of the PEM, and believe it is correct and imply it is somehow useful, I thought that you would know how it could be used to advantage to improve the GCM’s. That was the subject of one of the papers you recommended to me. I guess you can’t answer my question.”
    I reply: You are right, I know very little about the GCMs. My personal interest is in the principles of physics. The principle of maximum entropy production is not a generator of theories of mechanism such as might be put as ingredients into GCMs, but is an outcome tester. Perhaps it could be used to help test the outputs of the GCMs, and so to check their potential validity.

    On the other strand, at
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/?cp=17#comment-101952
    I wrote: “Comment from: Christopher Game May 7th, 2009 at 10:15 am
    Dear Eric Adler, Thank you for this. You write: “As I mentioned earlier, if the surface is ocean or other bodies of water, evaporation will reduce the surface temperature and reduce the radiation slightly .” Can you calculate how much effect the evaporation will have, say for example, on the surface of the sea, which I think is about 70% of the whole surface. Presumably the latent heat of the evaporation is then eventually convected upwards to an altitude where the temperature is lower, but the obstruction to radiative emission to space is also less because the water vapour is less because of precipitation. Can you work out the magnitude of this effect? And compare it with the slight reduction of surface radiation?
    Yours sincerely, Christopher Game”

    There I ask for your further thoughts on the point you have commented upon in that strand. I don’t seem to be able to find your reply. I would like to have your thoughts about the point. I think it is important.

    I would also like to know how you enjoy E.T. Jaynes’ ‘Probability Theory: The Logic of Science’. I think it is an important work.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  77. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Dear Steve Short,

    You write a “Comment from: Steve Short May 8th, 2009 at 10:21 am ”

    Thank you for your valuable and sober criticism. It has much conceptual content, too much for me to assimilate in a few minutes. I will be glad to put my slow old mind to think about your ideas. Do you have another presentation of it, perhaps in more detail, that I could read (preferably in printed form), with perhaps some pictures?

    I think Dr Miskolczi is working on the clouds question. Perhaps we will read something from him about that in due course.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  78. Jan Pompe May 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Nick no their equation 4 isn’t the same as yours and I don’t see anything particularly wrong with either (yours or theirs).

    I just used it to ensure we are on the same page wrt entropy and that we are looking for maximising the time rate of increase of entropy.

    so we might write dS/dt = 1/T dQ/dt where S is the entropy of space (or earths contribution to it) T the constant temperature of space and Q the heat or energy add to space from the earth (read OLR * A_earth) so how do we maximise it?

  79. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    Jan,
    Did you see my comment of 7/5. 9.45 pm? Yes, O&O’s formulation and mine are duals, just slightly different ways of seeing it. They do a rather rough numerical maximisation, with apparently reasonable results.

  80. Jan Pompe May 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Nick what exactly is it that mus be maximised on the RHS of the equation what are you evading?

  81. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    Jan,
    I’m not evading anything. They are maximising the LHS. It’s easy to say something should be maximised – the tricky part is defining the space of allowable functions over which you maximise. It the Earth were to vaporise in a thermonuclear explosion, the rate of entropy production would be very large, but this is presumably not allowed. O&O don’t make clear what the space of allowed functions is. It sounds like convective motions with grey radiation.

  82. Gordon Robertson May 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    LucySkywalker…re Climae Audit piece….Back in March of 2008, three of us sent off a manuscript to the Journal of Climate……The paper was knocked back, largely because of a review from someone who let slip that

    “the only object I can see for this paper is for the authors to get something in the peer-reviewed literature which the ignorant can cite as supporting lower climate sensitivity than the standard IPCC range”.

    That doesn’t surprise me in the least. Michael Mann, a geologist, is listed under ‘Editors Emeritus’ and Gavin Schmidt, a mathematician, under ‘Associate Editors’. The chief editor is Andrew Weaver, a Canadian who is among the most dyed-in-the-wool AGW advocates on the planet. He preaches the gloom and doom of Al Gore.

    IMHO, The Journal of Climate is a biased rag. Why do you need a geologist, a mathematician and an activist evaluating papers on climate science? Might as well send it to Wikipedia so William Connolley of realclimate can assess it. BTW, he’s a computer programmer who thinks he is one step ahead of Fred Singer and Richard Lindzen.

  83. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    On the other strand, Eli Rabett offers an answer to the question I asked you:
    “Comment from: Eli Rabett May 8th, 2009 at 1:19 am:
    Christopher asks [Nick]: The question remains then, how to get a good way to represent the window? That is to say, how to calculate St precisely?”
    Eli answers my question to Nick: “The answer is use HITRAN and one of the many line-by-line codes. Since the question is one of detail, the answer is also. The line-by-line codes have been validated against observation (One could also use MODTRAN, but not the UChicago interface, you would have to get down and dirty)”

    Eli seems not to have followed up when I asked for more detail.

    But I would like to know your answer.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  84. Jan Pompe May 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    Nick “It sounds like convective motions with grey radiation.”

    Oh and what pray tell does convection export to space?

  85. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Christopher,
    Hitran contains the data. But it’s a spectrum, not black and white. So there is no sharply defined window, and no real physical significance in drawing lines. At all frequencies, some photons are absorbed, and some escape, although the number may be vanishingly small. Eli is right that a line by line code gives the answers you really want, by properly describing radiative transport. The importance of the fringe areas of the spectrum, where photons travel long distances but are still sufficiently often absorbed to transfer heat to high altitudes, makes an attempt to draw a (window) line through them counterproductive.

    There is history here. Arrhenius’ original writing on the greenhouse effect and varying CO2 was quite quickly countered by Angstrom (about 1907, I think), who took a window view, and said that extra CO2 would have no effect because any IR that could be impeded by CO2 was completely blocked already. This saturation theory held sway until the 1950’s (Plass), as described by Weart. Better instruments could resolve the fringe areas around the absorption peaks, showing that these were important, and their effect was sensitive to the amount of GHG.

  86. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    Jan
    “Convective motions with grey radiation.” describes the range of effects that O&O allow to vary to maximise the rate ot nett entropy production.

  87. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    Thank you for the above: “Comment from: Nick Stokes May 8th, 2009 at 8:23 pm
    Christopher, Hitran contains the data. But it’s a spectrum, not black and white. So there is no sharply defined window, and no real physical significance in drawing lines. At all frequencies, some photons are absorbed, and some escape, although the number may be vanishingly small. Eli is right that a line by line code gives the answers you really want, by properly describing radiative transport. The importance of the fringe areas of the spectrum, where photons travel long distances but are still sufficiently often absorbed to transfer heat to high altitudes, makes an attempt to draw a (window) line through them counterproductive. There is history here. Arrhenius’ original writing on the greenhouse effect and varying CO2 was quite quickly countered by Angstrom (about 1907, I think), who took a window view, and said that extra CO2 would have no effect because any IR that could be impeded by CO2 was completely blocked already. This saturation theory held sway until the 1950’s (Plass), as described by Weart. Better instruments could resolve the fringe areas around the absorption peaks, showing that these were important, and their effect was sensitive to the amount of GHG.”

    The way I read your above answer is that you are saying that one cannot reliably and rationally and objectively calculate a distinction between window and non-window fluxes to space? Yes? No?

    If one could not reliably and rationally and objectively calculate the distinction, would this entail that St had no definite physical meaning?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  88. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    Christopher,
    You can, with an LBL code, compute the proportion of photons escaping with no absorption. This quantity is not totally unphysical – it corresponds to the application of Beer’s Law if you could ignore thermal emission, and you could notionally achieve that by emitting a brief flash of IR and measuring the results. But it doesn’t correspond well to a region on the frequency axis.

    With steady IR, as far as heat transport is concerned you can’t distinguish the effect of radiation direct from the surface and reradiated from the air. They just add.

  89. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    Thank you for this: “Comment from: Nick Stokes May 8th, 2009 at 9:33 pm
    Christopher, You can, with an LBL code, compute the proportion of photons escaping with no absorption. This quantity is not totally unphysical – it corresponds to the application of Beer’s Law if you could ignore thermal emission, and you could notionally achieve that by emitting a brief flash of IR and measuring the results. But it doesn’t correspond well to a region on the frequency axis. With steady IR, as far as heat transport is concerned you can’t distinguish the effect of radiation direct from the surface and reradiated from the air. They just add.”

    I take your point that it doesn’t correspond well to a region on the frequency axis.

    As I read you, one could assume a land-sea surface source, say for argument’s sake a perfectly black surface source with a definite temperature, and assume a definite atmospheric profile, and calculate the proportion of energy escaping by way of photons with no absorptions on their paths? Would you tell me who has done such calculations and what results they got?

    As I read you, just looking at a measured spectrum of OLR would not provide a really precise answer. That seems right to me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  90. eric adler May 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    CHristopher Game:

    On the other strand, at
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/?cp=17#comment-101952
    I wrote: “Comment from: Christopher Game May 7th, 2009 at 10:15 am
    Dear Eric Adler, Thank you for this. You write: “As I mentioned earlier, if the surface is ocean or other bodies of water, evaporation will reduce the surface temperature and reduce the radiation slightly .” Can you calculate how much effect the evaporation will have, say for example, on the surface of the sea, which I think is about 70% of the whole surface. Presumably the latent heat of the evaporation is then eventually convected upwards to an altitude where the temperature is lower, but the obstruction to radiative emission to space is also less because the water vapour is less because of precipitation. Can you work out the magnitude of this effect? And compare it with the slight reduction of surface radiation?
    Yours sincerely, Christopher Game”

    I have no way of calculating that, since I am not actively engaged in research in Climate Science, and don’t know the parameters required to do such a calculation.
    It is clearly latitude, temperature dependent, wind dependent etc..
    The data I have seen is the energy budget of Trenberth which gives the global average energy fluxes. What one would have to know is the change in each of these fluxes with an incremental change in the downward radiation from the atmosphere.

    As I pointed out the change in surface skin to bulk temperature was measured, as a function of the change in downwelling radiation. If you look at the results there is an increasing trend of skin temperature with increasing radiation, as one would expect, but with a lot of scatter. This will be dependent on wind and wave conditions.

  91. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    Christopher,
    FM has a LBL code, and quotes S_T=61 W/m2 for a clear sky. As often, he doesn’t say much about how he calculated it, but he should have done it that way, unless saying to the contrary. But his figure is a lot less than K&T get for a narrow window (99 W/m2) with clear sky, which is a puzzle.

    However, Modtran also give a transmittance figure if you ask for text output. It’s near the bottom of the file. For the USST76 atmosphere, clear sky,, it’s 0.2527, giving S_T=65 W/m2 if that is interpreting it correctly (I’m not sure).

  92. Nick Stokes May 8, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Correction – I multiplied transmittance by OLR, instead of S_U. The corrected Modtran S_T for USST76 is 91 W/m2, much closer to K&T.

  93. Jan Pompe May 8, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    Nick “. It’s near the bottom of the file. For the USST76 atmosphere, clear sky,, it’s 0.2527, giving S_T=65 W/m2 if that is interpreting it correctly (I’m not sure).”

    Cut and paste from MODTRAN the default setting:

    “INTEGRATED ABSORPTION FROM 100 TO 1500 CM-1 = 1196.21 CM-1
    AVERAGE TRANSMITTANCE =0.1456”

    Which gives a tau of 1.93 which is not too far from FM’s

    Where and how did you get .2527?

  94. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    Dear Nick and Jan,

    Responding to your just above posts. I think we are talking about clear sky estimates of St and Eu. It seems that you are proposing perhaps three candidates to give us results, Dr Miskolczi’s HARTCODE, K&T97, and MODTRAN. I would perhaps add a fourth, Trenberth Fasulto Kiehl 2009. The latter write on page 20 of their early online release: “This leaves the downward and net radiation as the final quantities to be computed as a residual.” K&T97 write on page 205: “The estimate of the amount leaving via the atmospheric window is somewhat ad hoc.” They are using an officially defined atmosphere (USST-76) as distinct from a physically measured one such as from TIGR or NOAA data-sets. As I understand this, it means that K&T97 and TFK09 are not in fact calculating St directly. K&T97 write on page 206: “The values put forward in Fig. 7 are reasonable but clearly not exact.” As I understand it, HARTCODE is an acronym for high resolution atmospheric radiation transmission code, while MODTRAN is a moderate resolution transmission code. I read two cooperative code comparison papers as not finding any problem with HARTCODE: R. Rizzi, M. Matricardi, F. Miskolczi (2002) Simulation of uplooking and downlooking high-resolution radiance spectra with two different radiative transfer models, Applied Optics 41 (6): 940-956; and D.P. Kratz, M.G. Mlyncak, C.J. Mertens, H. Brindley, L.L. Gordley, J. Martin-Torres, F.M. Miskolczi, D.D. Turner (2005) An inter-comparison of far-infrared line-by-line radiative transfer models, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer 90: 323-341. The latter is a comparison amongst six established codes including HARTCODE. I do not know anything about the calibration of MODTRAN.

    This seems to me to leave us with two candidates, MODTRAN and HARTCODE, for direct calculations of Su, St, Aa, Eu, and Ed. I am surprised to find so few candidates. Surely there must be others that we have results from? Eli Rabett seems to think we should include HITRAN in the candidate list, but he didn’t yet tell us results from it.

    Then there is the question of which atmospheric profiles we are interested in for calculating our clear-sky values. What candidates are we concerned with here?

    I am guessing that Nick and Jan may be doing their MODTRAN calculations with different settings of the inputs, that they report different values for MODTRAN’s average transmittance reported near the bottom of the file?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  95. Nick Stokes May 9, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    Jan,
    As I said. I was using USST76. The “default” that you refer to is Tropical Atmosphere. You have to change the locality setting to USST76.

  96. Nick Stokes May 9, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Christopher,
    Hitran is the database of gas spectral data that almost everyone uses. Modtran is a long standing military LBL code which draws on the Hitran data. It is something of a standard. Hartcode (LBL) is the product of a small group including FM, which I think also uses Hitran. I would expect that both Modtran and Hartcode do accurate spectral calculations.

  97. Eli Rabett May 9, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Far be it from Eli to think that Christopher is being optically dense. As Nick Stokes said, HITRAN (there is a brand new version that you can get from Larry Rothman) contains the spectral data that you need for such a calculation. Anyone who cares can find links to the HITRAN and GEISA databases, as well as publically available line by line codes on the Wikipedia. Alternatively you could use the MODTRAN interface at UChicago, which does have some ability to model the effect of clouds.

    As Nick said, the probability of radiation from the surface at any particular wavelength escaping to space is something that can be calculated, but also something that depends on details, (frequency, humidity profile, clouds, temperature profile, etc.) At any frequency it is never unity (because of Rayleigh scattering if nothing else). Christopher appears to be engaging in a strange sort of argumentation, where, having found a particular, but not very useful interpretation of a common phrase, IR window, he is insisting on an answer that meets his twist. Sorry. Eli does not plan to play that game.

  98. Eli Rabett May 9, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    Christopher Game is quite amusing in his opinion on maximizing entropy export. He does not understand it, and does not understand how it would apply to radiation transfer in the atmosphere but still believes that it will support his whatevers. That is not serious.

  99. Jan Pompe May 9, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    Nick “Modtran is a long standing military LBL code which draws on the Hitran data”

    It’s band transmission model not a LBL code.

    HARTCODE btw gives similar results USST76 (90.7W/m^2 for cloudless sky) but being a true LBL is likely to be more accurate.

  100. Jan Pompe May 9, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Christopher “I am guessing that Nick and Jan may be doing their MODTRAN calculations with different settings of the inputs,”

    It’s why I asked it did not occur to me to look for atmosphere model setting in in Locality. As you see in the post above the disagreement between the LBL code and the MODTRAN Band Transmission model isn’t a big one.

  101. kuhnkat May 9, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Eli Rabbett,

    do you work out a lot??

    You do so much arm waving you GOTTA have some big guns!!!

    Joel Shore,

    I thought about responding to an earlier post of yours, but, I haven’t figured out how to get to clouds without water vapor yet.

  102. Jan Pompe May 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    kuhnkat “I haven’t figured out how to get to clouds without water vapor yet.”

    When you let us know there’s some that want to know and more that don’t but need to know.

  103. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Dear Eli,

    “Christopher is being optically dense.” Yes Eli, I was being optically dense. Feel free to say so.

    You mentioned HITRAN plus one of the many LBL codes. Yes, HARTCODE is one of the many LBL codes that use the HITRAN data-set.

    But still I am asking for results that you know about?

    “does not understand it, and does not understand how” Yes Eli, I am seeking understanding here.

    I am referring to the entropy production of the climate process. One way of finding it, I think, is to calculate the entropy of the radiation that leaves the earth, and subtract from it the entropy of the radiation that comes to the earth. They are both potentially variable for this problem, as the earth moves closer to or further away from the sun through the year, and as the sun might at times vary its radiation. Perhaps there are other small contributions.

    Is that the right quantity to maximize?

    Until now, I think no one in this thread, myself included, has said anything about how it might be calculated. I understand that it might be calculated by a macroscopic formula involving the various relevant fluxes and temperatures, or by a microscopic formula more or less of the form sigma p ln p, using an LBL method.

    Perhaps you would be kind enough to clarify for us how it should be done? You will likely improve my understanding.

    “not very useful interpretation of a common phrase” It seems to me that we would like a way of thinking and talking about the non-blackness of the atmosphere, because as G.C. Simpson points out, the general idea is important. It seems that simply specifying certain wavelengths as ‘window’ will not do because the line widths vary as the radiation progresses on its way through different atmospheric compositions. I am floating the idea that the St / Eu partition of the OLR will do the trick. To be more explicit, I am saying that we might call St the window component of the radiation to space and Eu the non-window component.

    Perhaps you have a better way that you will tell us, and again improve my understanding?

    Perhaps you want to scrap the term ‘window’ in favour of some other more useful concept?

    I am in this to improve my understanding. I think you can help if you choose to.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  104. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Dear Nick and Jan and Eli (if he is interested),

    Nick writes: “I would expect that both Modtran and Hartcode do accurate spectral calculations.” Jan writes: “HARTCODE btw gives similar results USST76 (90.7W/m^2 for cloudless sky) but being a true LBL is likely to be more accurate.” As I understand it, HARTCODE does a full geometrical calculation as well as taking all the spectral data into account.

    It seems to me that there may not be too many problems with HARTCODE for the sake of definiteness here?

    That leaves the question of databases for atmospheric profiles? TIGR and NOAA seem to be current candidates. Any further suggestions?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  105. cohenite May 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    One suggestion Christopher is not to take eli’s barbs seriously; since he is from Mt Olympus one can understand manifestations of irritance when he is dealing with mere mortals. A more general suggestion is that anyone who thinks any radiative transfer model will present facts worth betting your house [or modern economies with ETSs] on should read this presentation on bias [ie we do not understand] in RT models;

    http://www.ecmwf.int/newsevents/meetings/workshops/2005/NWP_SAF/presentations/Saunders.pdf

    Any LBL RT model will depend on a specification of ghg distributions; since we are all in agreement about the distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere [all together boys: laugh] then I suppose its alright to compare HARTCODE and the various K&T values. Seriously, it appears that clear-sky figures are equivalent between M and K&T; the problem is the all-sky or cloudy conditions; for that we had better have another look at what Steve Short has had to offer; as I understand it an equivalent homeostasis to what M offers but by passes eqn 7 and sacrifices the constant Tau.

  106. Steve Short May 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Here is another run of the basic spreadsheet (slightly expanded to improve self-explanation) for my little model. This time I again kept S_U = 396 W/m^2, OLR = 239 W/m^2, F=78 W/m^2 again all as per the F,T&K09 review (see the cartoon therein).

    However, I also forced rE_U (real E_U) to be 169 as per F,T&K09 and I set S_T to average 40 at 60% cloud cover again as per F,T&K09 (rather than the 31±10 of the CERES and ERBE averages).

    All other assumptions were as listed previously including that again I assumed E_D~0.625(ET+DT)+0.5F+0.625A_A on the grounds I have previously explained.

    Once again I set Dry Thermals (DT; convective sensible heat) to be 17 W/m^2 at 60% cloud cover but as before scaled DT to be 0 at 100% cloud cover and 34 at 0% cloud cover. This is a conservative assumption in that it tends to force my estimate of E_D towards A_A i.e. in the direction of Miskolczi’s so-called Atmospheric Kirchoff Law. One could just as easily run this assuming DT = 17 at all cloud covers (probably unlikely physically) and the outcomes would only be trivially different.

    Here are the results:

    %Cloud, Tau, S_T, ET, ET_U, DT, rE_U, A_A, E_D, oE_U, S_U/oE_U, A_A/E_D, S_U, OLR, F
    100 2.99 20 133 50 0 169 376 357 219 1.81 1.05 396 239 78
    80 2.58 30 107 40 8 169 366 340 209 1.89 1.08 396 239 78
    60 2.29 40 80 30 17 169 356 322 199 1.99 1.11 396 239 78
    40 2.07 50 53 20 23 169 346 303 189 2.10 1.14 396 239 78
    20 1.89 60 27 10 29 169 336 284 179 2.21 1.18 396 239 78
    0 1.73 70 0 0 34 169 326 264 169 2.34 1.23 396 239 78

    It can be seen that the real (LW IR) Tau ranges from 1.73 at full clear sky to 2.99 at full 100% cloud cover being 1.89 i.e. ~1.87 only at 20% cloud cover.

    The Miskolci ‘Kirchoff Law’ test ratio A_A/E_D ranges from 1.05 at 100% cloud cover to 1.23% at clear sky

    The Miskolczi ‘Virial Rule’ test ratio S_U /oE_U (i.e. S_U /old E_U) ranges from 1.81 at 100% cloud cover to 2.34 at clear sky. It is 1.99 i.e. ~2.00 only at 60% cloud cover i.e. at the global all sky % cloud cover.

    I would be happy to send anyone if they send an email to mail@ecoengineers.coma copy of this little Excel spreadsheet so they can play around with it themselves. Your email address would not be recorded.

    You can then make up your own minds what this simple exercise tells you about:

    (1) the likely validity of the major tenets of Miskolczi Theory; and

    (2) the significance of LW IR by release of latent heat in clouds (water emission lines) which typically escapes to contribute to OLR (as a simple function of % cloud cover).

  107. Eli Rabett May 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Yeah MODTRAN was developed by the US Air Force, just as the JANAF thermo tables were developed by the US armed forces (That means Joint Army Navy Air Force). That it was means nothing particular other than they put out the money to do the job.

    And yes, MODTRAN is not a line by line code, but it was designed to be rapid and handy tool for radiation transfer calculations AND as has been pointed out to you several times, it has been validated both against observations and against line by line codes. It is not as accurate as line by line codes for clear sky conditions, but handles clouds and other such.

    Roughtly speaking the difference is outputs between the line by line codes and the band transmission models is that the former have higher resolution and the later are more versatile, which is more accurate depends on what you are looking for. For example, if you want to handle non-clear sky conditions the band transmission model may be better (different ones may actually be better for different conditions) but if you are interested in the actual IR emitted or absorbed over a very small bandwidth the line-by-line model would be better.

    For total IR at the TOF or even IR spectra with a useful resolution (say 2 cm-1) they are comparably accurate.

  108. Eli Rabett May 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    To find the entropy production in the atmosphere you have to model the radiative transport as well as the convection. Thus you are right back where you started. If you don’t accept these models, you can’t get an answer, the atmosphere does not have an entropy meter that you can read.

    WRT TIGR, which TIGR? (BTW if you look around you will find that Mis made some interesting choices on that issue).

  109. cohenite May 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Ozawa et al look at the radiative budget and radiative and convective transport and find for constant insolation that “the entropy of the Earth’s system itself should remain constant” [p10];

    http://www.knmi.nl/~laagland/cursus/presentaties_voorjaar08/Ozawa.pdf

    For a non-steady-state circumstance “a nonlinear feedback mechanism in the turbulent fluid system will adjust the transport process so as to generate the available energy [ie.; maximum possible work] at a maximum possible rate, and hence the maximum entropy production” [p11]

    Presumably they mean water. Moreover the convective flux reaches a maximum value for optical depth values similar to current conditions;

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120787940/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    It would seem we have more homeostatic options than Gore has dollars. M may have made some interesting choices but at least he is in the race. AGW didn’t make it to the starting blocks.

  110. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm #

    Dear Steve Short,

    Thank you for this. I will print it and think about it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  111. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    Dear Eli Rabett,

    Thank you for this commentary on the various codes.

    I am still asking for results. Which codes have been used to produce results? Who has done these calculations? What did they find?

    It seems to me that there are two ways of finding the rate of entropy production of the earth climate process. One is to investigate the internal sub-processes of the earth, convection, evaporation, condensation, radiation, turbulence, etc. The other is to look at the balance between the output and input of entropy, and this is simply a radiative calculation. The two would give the same answer I think? Or not?

    You say that Dr Miskolczi “made some interesting choices on that issue”. Please clarify this.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  112. Nick Stokes May 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    Coho,
    No, you’re not reading Ozawa properly. The first quote, as a full sentence, is: On the contrary, the entropy of the Earth s system itself should remain constant so long as a steady state can be assumed for the long-term mean. All they are saying is that they have expressions for the entropy in and out, and they assume it can’t build up indefinitely, which is routine.

    The second quote is just talking about a particular subsystem, turbulent dissipation, which they say is just a small part of the total. No planetary homeostasis there.

    You can’t pin your case on MEP. The scientists aren’t saying what you want them to say, and you just aren’t making the connections.

  113. cohenite May 9, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Well Nick, they also say [p11];

    “On the contrary, absorption of radiation is essentially a linear process; its rate is given by the flux of radiation multiplied by the absorptivity of the material under consideration. There can be no feedback mechanism for the strength of the flux or the absorptivity in this process. Radiation can therefore be seen to be just an energy source for the climate system.” Which is constrained by MEP. Come on Nick, have a scotch and call it quits; there are more worthwhile causes then this.

  114. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Dear cohenite,

    I must protest against your regrettable intrusion of the term ‘homeostasis’ here. It doesn’t belong here.

    Homeostasis is a word that refers to a mechanism for maintenance of constancy of internal environment of a living creature. The internal environment is a concept due to Claude Bernard. Homeostasis is due to Walter Cannon. No one ought to be saying that there is a mechanism that keeps the climate constant. Let’s not muddle ourselves unnecessarily with the word ‘homeostasis’ here, where it doesn’t fit.

    Animals that respond to moderate environmental temperature change with passive change in their own temperature do not have temperature homeostasis. They are called poikilotherms, in distinction from homeotherms, that can actively maintain a near constant body temperature when exposed to moderate environmental temperature change.

    Of course Nick is right to say “No planetary homeostasis there” but it’s a pity he was lured into using the word here at all.

    cohenite seems to be muddling the entropy of the earth with the rate of entropy production of the climate process. The entropy of the earth as a steady state system is of course not what it would perhaps eventually settle down to be if the earth were suddenly isolated and allowed to settle to equilibrium, a hardly likely thing of course. It is of course no simple thing to calculate the entropy of a diabatic system in a steady state far from thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Please mind your language, and indeed your concepts, cohenite.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  115. cohenite May 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    The word homeostasis was first used by Steve on May 8, 2009, at 10.21am; I am well aware of what it means; I think it’s acceptable given the living planet, gaia, concept; it of course has some reasonance for Steve given his work with cyanobacteria; and yes Christopher I’ve probably confused my entropies; I’ll try harder in future to minimise my potential and maximise my entropy.

    Time for that scotch.

  116. Christopher Game May 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    Dear cohenite,

    Perhaps you are now well aware of what it means, but perhaps you weren’t when you used it in your post, or were you meaning something mistaken? Naughty Steve, perhaps I should have ticked him off too; I would say he would be mistaken to think that there is climate homeostasis; but perhaps he believes in it: I don’t know. No, we are not given the living planet Gaia, not by a long shot. Again, I don’t think you should try to maximize your entropy, at least with respect to some conceivable constraints; it will be fine to keep it steady where it is. And I suppose you are already maximizing your entropy production under the constraint that you keep your weight steady or somesuch; and don’t need to try any harder at that. For myself, I need to try to reduce my entropy production, but it’s not easy.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  117. Steve Short May 9, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    Wikepedia:

    Homeostasis (from Greek: ὅμος, hómos, “similar”; and ιστημι, histēmi, “standing still”; coined by Walter Bradford Cannon) is the property of a system, either open or closed, that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition. Typically used to refer to a living organism, the concept came from that of milieu interieur that was created by Claude Bernard and published in 1865. Multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustment and regulation mechanisms make homeostasis possible.

    Christopher

    The use of the term homeostasis to describe the state of the Earth’s global climate system which, for reasons significantly unknown to us has maintained a very narrow temperature range by comparison with that possible for some 2.4 – 3.5 Gyr is perfectly legitimate.

    I note that even Lovelock used this term, albeit many years ago, when describing the property his famous simplified Earth ‘Daisyworld’.

    Indeed, the term Gaia explicitly refers to the gestalt of the Earth’s internal climate-determining systems being like a single ‘living organism’ and in that sense is still consistent with the original meaning derived of ‘milieu interieur’ of Bernard (1865).

    FYI, I was peripherally involved in the development of the SimEarth software product many years ago. We commonly used the terms ‘homeostasis’ and ‘Gaia’ in conversations amongst those involved.

    With respect, IMHO your objection to the use of the term homeostasis in this context is logically unjustified and I stand squarely against you in this matter.

    Regards
    Steve

  118. Steve Short May 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    Christopher

    I might also add that I think you need to urgently obtain a copy of the famous ‘Red Book’ i.e. Axel Kleidon and Ralph D. Lorenz (Eds) Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy. Life, Earth and Beyond. Springer Verlag, 2005 and read it very carefully from cover to cover before making such very rash statements around your understanding of the modern fields of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, Shannon entropy, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and so on. FYI, I actually earn a living using chemothermodynamics to design hydrometallurgical processes and have 3 degrees (BSc Math/Chem, MSc physical/theoret. org. chem, PhD solid/liquid interface geochem) essentially centred around thermodynamics i.e. I eat (solution phase) thermodynamics for breakfast.

  119. Christopher Game May 10, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    Dear Steve,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I do not agree with your view that the term homeostasis fits the climate process. I think there is very little chance that any amount of debate will alter my view on that. Perhaps we must agree to disagree.

    I have a copy of the famous ‘Red Book’ and have read it, surely not with as much understanding as would be good. I am only too ready to say that my understanding needs improvement here.

    I am not sure which of my statements you refer to when you call them rash. Perhaps you will clarify.

    I note your admirable qualifications and experience in the field. You way outrank me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  120. Lucy Skywalker May 10, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    Fascinating. Thank you very much, everyone here, for “bubbling” such a rich idea up to consciousness. Thanks Christopher for making the concepts comprehensible even before the details are fully workable or proven. The material sometimes makes my head burst. But I think that Miskolczi is on to something of crucial importance – a paradigm shifting GHG theory – even though the details may still need serious adjustment.

    Would I be right in thinking that the troposphere is tropos, turning, precisely because it’s the region in which heat can only escape efficiently (MEP effect) by convection up to the tropopause? that the tropopause is, effectively, the optical boundary, and that above the tropopause, radiation starts to become more efficient than convection?

  121. Christopher Game May 10, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    Dear Lucy Skywalker,

    As I understand it you are right about the troposphere and the tropopause. I have to say I don’t know what convection does in the stratosphere. I read that it is mostly horizontal.

    By upper optical boundary layer I mean a layer that is perhaps on the order of 3 km thick, with an upper surface at about the tropopause, and lower surface not really distinct from what I call the bulk of the troposphere. These terms ‘upper optical boundary layer’ and ‘bulk’ of the tropopause are my own, and I do not know what is the conventional way to refer to this, but I think my terms refer to conventional concepts.

    I think your story about the maximum entropy production principle is not quite clear. I don’t think it is quite right to speak of a maximum entropy production effect. The principle of maximum entropy production is I think saying that the stable steady state of the system will be the one in which the total entropy production of the climate process is on average the greatest out of any steady state that it can reach. Perhaps that will reduce to what you say, but it’s not obvious to me that it will. But yes, I think convection occurs so as, combined with other sub-processes, to maximize the entropy production of the whole climate process when it is in a stable statistically steady state.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  122. cohenite May 10, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Stratospheric convection is indeed horizontal and reveals a fundamental contradiction in AGW theory; this theory says that increasing CO2 increases the height at which CO2 finally emits to space; this is the THS effect; if enough CO2 builds up this release point or CEL will penetrate the stratosphere; since the emission of photons from the CO2 in itself leaves less energy in the CO2 molecule the higher stratospheric emission has a net cooling effect; this is the obstensible reason for stratospheric cooling [which is problematic anyway].

    The contradiction is this; a cooler, denser stratosphere results in an increased jet stream [the horizontal convection] strength, as well as a shift of the jet stream towards the equator. This means the combined sizes of the equatorial and temperate atmospheric circulation belts must shrink while the size of the polar circulation cells must expand; this implies global cooling and contradicts the AGW prognosis of an increase of the equatorial cells towards the poles;

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16516-drought-warning-as-the-tropics-expand.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=climate-change

    Further contradictions are that the increased jet stream strength acts as a barrier to heat transport across the interface between the temperate and polar cells so that the poles should become cooler; this contradicts the recent Steig paper. Finally a cooling stratosphere decreses the height of the tropopause [cool air sinks] thus contradicting the notion of the THS which predicts a rising tropopause.

    Heaven knows what will happen when the sun declines as it is predicted to do with the next solar cycle; that decline will mean much less high end SW flux [UV and X-rays]; since high end SW flux is preferentially absorbed in the stratosphere and is responsible for most of the heat there and in the thermosphere, with a decline in the high end one should see a further cooling.

    The contradictions in M theory are minor in comparison.

  123. suricat May 10, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Christopher.

    I like your post and I admire the stoicism and sense of purpose that you’ve shown against adversity!

    Best regards, suricat.

  124. Christopher Game May 10, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Dear cohenite,

    You write: “that decline will mean much less high end SW flux [UV and X-rays]”. I think you are mistaken there.

    No one knows with very great reliability what the sun will do in the next decade, but indeed there are likely indications that the sunspots will be few. And if this happens, it is very likely to coincide in time with a serious cooling of the weather/climate.

    But that is not to say that the flux of electromagnetic radiation reaching the earth will decline very much. It is not likely to decline enough to have a very noticeable effect. As far as my limited understanding goes, the high end SW flux is closely correlated with the visible heat flux. Perhaps I am mistaken about that?

    For the present discussion, the relevance of this is that any weather/climate change that might coincide in time with a possible decline in sunspot numbers will be only very slightly due to reduced solar heat radiation acting through what I have in my note called the climate response ratio that is implied by Dr Miskolczi’s studies. I think the high end flux will not be a main driver of weather/climate change. A change correlated with the sunspot numbers will, if it happens, be mainly an extraneously driven perturbation about the average implied in Dr Miskolczi’s studies. The climate response ratio tells about the climate response to change in solar heat impingement on earth.

    There is correlation between sunspots and weather/climate but only correlation so far as we know. The perhaps not yet fully understood associated causal link(s) might be of two kinds.

    One kind is that the correlated weather/climate change and sunspot number change would have a common cause. For example, gravitational effects of Jupiter independently on the tides of the earth and of the sun.

    The other kind is that the sunspot number change might be correlated with some change in the emanations from the sun other than its electromagnetic radiation of heat, and that change in the emanations might cause the weather/climate change. For example, charged particles in the solar wind and the sun’s magnetic field might affect how galactic cosmic rays impinge on the atmosphere, thereby affecting low cloud nucleation.

    Both of these would be extraneously driven perturbations about the mean predicted by the climatic response ratio.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  125. cohenite May 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Yes, Christopher, the sun affects the Earth in myriad ways; cosmic rays, magnetic effects, solar wind, total solar irradiation [TSI] and sunspots; however, sunspots are a fair proxy for TSI;

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/pmod/mean:12/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:12/normalise/from:1978

    Flowing from that my point simply was it looks as though we are going to receive less insolation/TSI because of the absence of sunspots; part of that insolation is the high end stuff; hence my [throw-away] comment. In respect of M’s theory, as you know, one of the criticisms levelled against the theory is that it would not allow for periods of glaciations; I hasten to add, in case you are inclined to critique me that I do not agree with this; David Stockwell has an interesting take on the M model and glaciation periods where there is no variation of insolation;

    http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/AIGnewsSC.pdf

    What are your thoughts about the M model when there is a decline in insolation/TSI?

  126. Dan White May 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    cohenite says:
    “Further contradictions are that the increased jet stream strength acts as a barrier to heat transport across the interface between the temperate and polar cells so that the poles should become cooler; this contradicts the recent Steig paper.”

    I’m a recent visitor here just trying to follow the MEP discussion with interest, and the operative word is “trying.” Anyway, the contradiction to Steig isn’t saying much. You may well be aware of the discussion at Climate Audit on this, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.

    dwhite

  127. cohenite May 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Well Dan, bear in mind I’m making most of it up as I go; in respect of Steig I think you should have more respect; after all this was the great white hope for our ABC; they’re still mentioning it with reverence after the Turner study came out showing cooling due to declining ozone levels.

  128. Christopher Game May 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Dear cohenite,

    Thank you for this comment: “What are your thoughts about the M model when there is a decline in insolation/TSI?”

    It is the simple burden of my note at the top this page that the climate temperature is directly proportional to the total solar insolation. I call the constant of proportionality ‘the ratio’ in this note.

    That proportionality is why I object to the homeostasis notion.

    Dr Miskcolczi’s studies are in terms of a strictly quantitative model, more detailed than I give in this blog note which is just a qualitative sketch. The ratio as I define it here is not a direct content of Dr Miskolczi’s studies. To be exact, I am not sure whether his precise work exactly matches my sketchy take on it. His work says that the the thing that is constant is the normalized greenhouse factor g. Whether this exactly matches my sketch I am not sure, but I am confident that it will match it to some fair and here-sufficient degree of approximation. I thought a precise treatment in terms of g would make my note too technical.

    Nevertheless, while it may be the case that there is correlation between sunspot number and total solar irradiation, the constant of proportionality of the latter correlation is small and the sunspot number is in that precise sense not at all a good proxy for the total solar irradiation. That was the point of my reply at 11:54 am this morning. The point was missed by Lord Rayleigh long ago and his missing it is the source of much confusion since. It is an important and widely influential confusion. The details have been researched.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  129. cohenite May 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Christopher; the reason I linked to the David Stockwell article is that it proposes an interpretation consistent with M theory whereby an “Altitude asymmetry” between the stratosphere and the surface and albedo variation can explain glacial/interglacial oscillation without change in insolation while maintaining a constant greenhouse effect. What is your take on that?

  130. Steve Short May 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    “But I think that Miskolczi is on to something of crucial importance – a paradigm shifting GHG theory – even though the details may still need serious adjustment.”

    “I like your post and I admire the stoicism and sense of purpose that you’ve shown against adversity!”

    “Dr Miskcolczi’s studies are in terms of a strictly quantitative model, more detailed than I give in this blog note which is just a qualitative sketch.”

    Oh good grief! Enough already!

    Come, come now dear Christopher. Though a dyed-in-the wool sceptic I may be even my poor old stomach can’t take much more of this snivelling BS. Surely you are not such a twit, to be so easily susceptible to the blandishments of air-headed syncophancy? How low on the IQ scale do you really want allow this nonsense to go?

    Just how much do you want to insult the intelligences of those decent, hard-won trained, readers/posters here (from both sides of the field) who have actually been knocking their brains out for more years than you appear to have bothered to count on the mystery that is so-called anthropogenic climate change?

    Haven’t you even figured out by now that there is really no such thing as a Miskolczi Theory ‘paradigm’? That is just a chimera of pseudo-scientific snake oil salemanship?

    I can’t take much more of this or I’ll just have to throw up and go back to the world of damn hard yakka that is actually real science.

    Therefore I issue to you a simple challenge. If you really do know anything about what the hell you are rabbiting on about, how about you solve, out in the open, the following task:

    Tell me, please how you would integrate my little spreadsheet above (which adopts an S_U of 396 W/m^2 to a very crude approximation:

    %Cloud, Tau, S_T, ET, ET_U, DT, rE_U, A_A, E_D, oE_U, S_U/oE_U, A_A/E_D, S_U, OLR, F
    100 2.99 20 133 50 0 169 376 357 219 1.81 1.05 396 239 78
    80 2.58 30 107 40 8 169 366 340 209 1.89 1.08 396 239 78
    60 2.29 40 80 30 17 169 356 322 199 1.99 1.11 396 239 78
    40 2.07 50 53 20 23 169 346 303 189 2.10 1.14 396 239 78
    20 1.89 60 27 10 29 169 336 284 179 2.21 1.18 396 239 78
    0 1.73 70 0 0 34 169 326 264 169 2.34 1.23 396 239 78?

    with this:

    TABLE 1. Global-mean (surface-area mean) temperature and energy flux components at the surface estimated by the entropy maximum condition.
    Tau, Surface Temp (K)Tg, S_U, E_D, S_T+ET_U, ET+DT, dS/dT, (ET_U+DT)(Tau)/S_U
    1 264 277 187 90 54 0.015 0.195
    2 278 337 271 66 77 0.036 0.229
    3 289 393 337 56 89 0.054 0.226
    4 298 444 396 48 96 0.068 0.216
    5 306 496 453 43 101 0.078 0.204
    Observational* 288 390 350 40 102 0.262
    * Based on Ohmura and Gilgen (1993)?

    Recognise the latter table? I’m sure you do! It is of course Table 1 (page 444) from Ozawa and Ohmura (1996) Thermodynamics of a Global-Mean State of the Atmosphere—A State of Maximum Entropy Increase.

    HINT: Integrate the information in these tables and you may win the fabulous prize of eliminating Miskolczi Theory altogether and discover that perhaps the holy grail of a source of the dreaded climate homeostasis is based fairly and squarely on MEP.

    Better work fast.

    Be warned there are at the very least two persons who frequent this blog, Jan Pompe (valiantly batting for the sceptics) and Nick Stokes (valiantly batting for the non-sceptics) who are likely to easily crack it ahead of you.

    Will they make you look like a rank amateur (albeit a very prettily spoken one) or are you in fact a knight of strong mettle (metal)? Only you can prove what you are, good sir. Fail this test and I ask you for no less than your gentle and gracious retirement from the field, hors de combat.

  131. Dan White May 11, 2009 at 12:32 am #

    SS says: “Will they make you look like a rank amateur (albeit a very prettily spoken one) or are you in fact a knight of strong mettle (metal)? Only you can prove what you are, good sir. Fail this test and I ask you for no less than your gentle and gracious retirement from the field, hors de combat.”

    Did someone just say, “Yo mamma”!?

    This has to win the award for most polite blog on God’s ever so slightly warming earth.

    (please snip if overly inappropriate)

  132. Christopher Game May 11, 2009 at 2:32 am #

    Dear Steve Short,

    I am sorry that you are distressed by my ignorance and incompetence. I am also distressed by them. That is why I am here.

    As I read your comment
    “and discover that perhaps the holy grail of a source of the dreaded climate homeostasis is based fairly and squarely on MEP”
    you are saying that the climate process when suitably described will obey the principle of maximum entropy production?

    If that is what you are saying then I might repeat to you what I wrote recently to Eli Rabett:

    ““[Christopher] does not understand it, and does not understand how” Yes Eli, I am seeking understanding here. I am referring to the entropy production of the climate process. One way of finding it, I think, is to calculate the entropy of the radiation that leaves the earth, and subtract from it the entropy of the radiation that comes to the earth. They are both potentially variable for this problem, as the earth moves closer to or further away from the sun through the year, and as the sun might at times vary its radiation. Perhaps there are other small contributions. Is that the right quantity to maximize? Until now, I think no one in this thread, myself included, has said anything about how it might be calculated. I understand that it might be calculated by a macroscopic formula involving the various relevant fluxes and temperatures, or by a microscopic formula more or less of the form sigma p ln p, using an LBL method. Perhaps you would be kind enough to clarify for us how it should be done? You will likely improve my understanding.”

    I could add to that the following:

    Besides the above radiative export-import balance method of calculating the entropy production of the climate process, I think there is another way. One could examine the details of the sub-processes internal to the earth-climate process, calculating the entropy productions of all, and compounding the answers. What worries me there is that this will depend very heavily on how you compound the answers. I think in the non-equilibrium situation, the total entropy production will not be the sum of the local entropy productions, because there is also the logic of compounding: the local entropy productions could be put geometrically next to one another in a combinatorial or factorial number of ways. I suppose each way should contribute because the local calculations would not entail matching boundary conditions. Is that enough to clarify my worry? If not, please tell me and I will try to express my worry more precisely and clearly. I have in mind something like an entropy of mixing, to use a simile that I am not sure about.

    It seems to me that the method of radiative export-import and the method of compounding local subprocess entropy productions should give the same answer. Is that right?

    Also one would like to know, of the radiative approach, whether one had agreement between
    (a) the macroscopic method with sub-total fluxes and their several temperatures, and
    (b) the microscopic method based on a sigma p ln p approach.

    Perhaps you can give a well set-out and comprehensibly expressed and systematic statement of exactly what the principle of maximum entropy production is saying about this problem? And tell us the constraints that we should apply? And even tell us how to find the extremum by the method of Lagrange multipliers?

    I judge from your qualifications you are admirably placed to tell us about these things. Perhaps my above question is already nonsensical, but perhaps you can see the vague general direction of my above inquiry, and can focus and re-formulate it into a more organized and rational form, and perhaps answer it in a way that we can grasp?

    Nick and Jan, and for that matter you too, already make me look like a rank amateur, which I am.

    I am not about to challenge Nick and Jan on your spreadsheet (as you note, they would beat me hands down anyway). For we are already busily discussing the availability of explicit accurate radiative transfer (band methods or LBL methods) results that are directly comparable with Dr Miskolczi’s, and I don’t want to distract them from that discussion. I am hoping that Eli Rabett will also offer some results for that purpose. Perhaps you also know of such results and will be kind enough to add them to our potential collection?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  133. Lucy Skywalker May 11, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    Steve

    I’ve been working hard to follow the discussion here as well as at Niche Modelling. I’m really interested in what you’ve been saying, as well as Jan, Nick, etc, maths and all though I only follow the maths in bleeps. I meant to mention you specifically in my thank-you but failed. It’s not sycophantic. It’s like this. I’ve been in contact with Zagoni but what he sent still left me completely mystified yet I was determined to crack the material. Most good science gets rejected before it’s recognized as sterling and accepted; Miskolczi still looks to me like it could be that. Reading Christopher’s piece gave me crucial understanding, so that I could go back to Miskolczi direct, and crack a bit more of the maths. Though it’s uphill and I’m struggling with basics, I am hungry for more understanding of the hard maths and related-to-Miskolczi science, to prove or disprove to my own satisfaction.

    I think you could write an excellent piece yourself, for Jennifer or WUWT or the like. Preferably with pictures as well as maths. It would help a lot of us get a better handle on the whole radiative flux science – precisely the area where people can pull the wool over too many peoples’ eyes at present. I want your numeracy but in language I can grasp. A lot of people need it, IMHO.

  134. cohenite May 11, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Steve, a clarification; in your spreadsheet, in the column for cloud cover, since the combined average global cloud-cover is ~ 30%, what weighting do you put on the cloud levels above and below this global average; for example what % of the globe has 100% cover and what % has none at any one time, and, more importantly, is there a constant gradient of effect for deviation from the average? I thought a normal distribution curve might work but intuitively [as opposed to having some statistical skills] it occurs to me that in respect of determining the other crucial parameters that some threshold effects may exist so as to prevent the normal curve.

  135. Nick Stokes May 11, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    Lucy
    “Most good science gets rejected before it’s recognized as sterling and accepted;”
    This sounds like the opening move of the Galileo Gambit. But it isn’t true. Galileo and Darwin may be cited, but their problems were with the Church. Wegener is the only real case I can think of. Sure, some new, good science is controversial at first. But I can think of very little that did not quickly attract substantial scientific support.

    Whereas FM’s theory has none, more than a year after substantial publicity. Even FM himself has gone very quiet. All we have are bloggers who concede that they don’t really understand it.

  136. cohenite May 11, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    “But I can think of very little that did not quickly attract substantial scientific support.”

    Here’s one for you Nick;

    http://www.vitabeat.com/two-australian-researchers-win-nobel-medicine-prize/v/959/

  137. Nick Stokes May 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Coho,
    No, I disagree (surprise!). Here’s from Warren’s autobiography:
    After our initial publications in 1983–84, a wealth of further studies appeared, most of them apparently just repeating our work, with similar results. No one proved we were wrong. Yet in spite of this, no one but patients and local general practitioners appeared to believe our findings.
    Their problems were with medical practice, not scientific research. Do you see a “wealth of further studies” re FM?

  138. Christopher Game May 11, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    I wrote to Steve: “For we are already busily discussing the availability of explicit accurate radiative transfer (band methods or LBL methods) results that are directly comparable with Dr Miskolczi’s, and I don’t want to distract them from that discussion. I am hoping that Eli Rabett will also offer some results for that purpose. Perhaps you also know of such results and will be kind enough to add them to our potential collection?”

    You write to Lucy: “Whereas FM’s theory has none, more than a year after substantial publicity. Even FM himself has gone very quiet.”

    Do you mean by this that there are no explicit accurate radiative transfer results available that are directly comparable with Dr Miskolczi’s?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  139. Nick Stokes May 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    Christopher,
    No, I meant that FM’s theory has no scientific support, more than a year after publication. But I doubt that there are directly comparable results. There is another bad flaw in what he has done. He has taken 228 data sets from TIGR, or pressure and temperature and gas content, and analysed them with his LBL program to produce simulated clear-sky radiative results (which some people call empirical). LBL programs, as Eli said, do not handle clouds well. But he does not say that all the datasets were clear sky, and I think it is unlikely. Further, even if the sky was clear at that time, it does not mean that the thermal profiles of the atmosphere were not influenced by previous clouds.

    So there is an inherent inconsistency in his use of data, and I doubt that anyone else has tried anything similar.

  140. Lucy Skywalker May 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Nick, I should have said “most big-paradigm-shifting science gets rejected before it’s accepted” – and the fact that you say that’s not true simply points to a difference in our fields of knowledge and interest. Perhaps you’d say that homeopathy is pseudoscience. I know quite a bit about the experimentation that’s been done there, and the disreputable areas of CSICOP. But I don’t want to open that one up, any more would be OT.

    However, I do note Miskolczi’s and Zagoni’s silence. Maybe I’ll take the direct approach, contact them myself, ask why.

  141. Christopher Game May 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    Thank you for that helpful explanation.

    Just to check that I understand you, by putting your comment into my own words, you are saying that we are not looking at results which empirically contradict Dr Miskolczi’s, because we do not know of any directly empirically comparable results? You are saying that there are interpretive faults, including inconsistency, in his work, enough to discount it without comparison with other results that might have replicated or directly empirically contradicted it?

    I am, I suppose, one of the people you refer to who call Dr Miskolczi’s results empirical. Perhaps I am using the word idiosyncratically or eccentrically, if you would like to call his data simply observational, but lacking the empirical element of the experimenter’s active manipulative control of a physical variable. I agree that the latter is a necessary part of empirical work.

    I have thought about this. For me, Galileo’s observation of the moons of Jupiter counts as empirical because he experimentally manipulated a physical variable. He pointed the telescope in a particular direction at a particular time. One might say that that was not a real experimental manipulation of a physical variable. If one did say that, then one would not accept my view that Galileo’s observation was empirical, I think?

    For me, ’empirical’, ‘experimental’, and ‘observed in an occasion of experience’ are practically synonymous for this purpose. So far as I know Dr Miskolczi did not himself release even one of the radiosonde balloons. But someone did. That’s all I mean by empirical.

    Why do I care about this fine point of language? It’s just that I want to feel comfortable in saying that all science is empirical, including for example anatomy and astronomy, which are more heavily weighted as simply observational than some other branches of science.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  142. cohenite May 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Nick; this clear-sky/all-sky ‘discrepancy’ with M seems, along with A_A = E_D and eqn 7 to be the major issues with M; Steve has proposed a different methodology to M of reaching the same climate homeostatic conclusion for variation in GHGs so I still see M as having something to contribute; a couple of things; you imply that M has somehow done something exceptional with HARTCODE in his LBL analysis; this is not right and to quote your source, eli;

    “FWIW there are about a dozen line by line codes which are all equally good and bad in different places. HARTCODE is competitive but not superior to those. Indeed it is difficult to say that any of them is the best unless you are talking about the one you wrote and since I have not written any, I won’t take sides.” [Niche, Nov 4, 2008 at 4.34am]

    M has used his LBL correctly and the label empirical cannot be impugned on that basis. As to the notion that M doesn’t consider clouds and the values that flow from this; if you assert that it would pay you to re-read p19 of M2007 where M gives a detailed estimate for global average cloud forcing of ~0.6; this is to be distinguished from global average cloud cover which is ~ 30%, which is why I put my question to Steve at 9.15am above. I also put it to you.

  143. Christopher Game May 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    Dear cohenite,

    I have proposed to disagree with Steve Short about the use of the word homeostasis here, but I have not proposed such an agreement with you. I protest again against your use of the word where you write “to M of reaching the same climate homeostatic conclusion”. Just because Steve likes to use the word in his own special way, that is no reason for others to do the same. If you think it is quick and efficient to use the word as you do here, I say more haste, less speed. I think it is wrong to use the word as you have used it here.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  144. cohenite May 11, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    I protest; why is Steve getting special privileges? Does this mean our relationship is not in homeostasis? Seriously, Christopher, if it bothers you that much suggest an alternative.

  145. Christopher Game May 11, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    Dear cohenite,

    Yes it bothers me a lot. Misuse of words at first seems innocent but if it takes hold it eventually leads to endless confusion and futile conflict, seriously evil stuff. I have told Steve I want to agree to disagree about this, and now I am telling you the same: Steve has no privilege about this now.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  146. SJT May 11, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    “For me, ‘empirical’, ‘experimental’, and ‘observed in an occasion of experience’ are practically synonymous for this purpose. So far as I know Dr Miskolczi did not himself release even one of the radiosonde balloons. But someone did. That’s all I mean by empirical.”

    I would love to know who was releasing those balloons on Mars.

  147. Eli Rabett May 12, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    Christopher, the problem is that you are claiming that something you do not understand is the something that governs the question. As for Eli, he thinks that if you eat carrots you will live forever. Everyone should now eat only carrots. . .

    That it is your naivety that is a problem can be seen from your statement

    “calculate the entropy of the radiation that leaves the earth, and subtract from it the entropy of the radiation that comes to the earth.”

    Since the entropy of the radiation that leaves the earth is pretty much matched by a 255K thermal distribution and the one that comes in by a 5000K distribution (sun). Since trivially, the heat entering the earth system and leaving is the same, call it Q, then

    DELTA S = Q(1/255-1/5000)

  148. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 6:21 am #

    Dear Eli Rabett,

    Thank you for your kind compliment. I am working hard towards complete naivety, but sad to say I have to admit I haven’t quite reached it yet. My mind is still partly clouded with orthodoxies that have unavoidably infected it.

    Though there is plenty I do not understand, there are plenty who seem to do, and they think it governs the problem. Are you one of them? You wrote: “To find the entropy production in the atmosphere you have to model the radiative transport as well as the convection.” That doesn’t tell us whether or not you think the calculation would be useful.

    I am still looking to you for results that we might compare directly with Dr Miskolczi’s. Will you help there?

    I was also hoping you might shed more detailed light on the general leads I proposed about comparing the various methods of calculating the rate of entropy production. Will you help there? (That is supposing you think it useful to do so.)

    Yes, it is nearly as you write, “the entropy of the radiation that leaves the earth is pretty much matched by a 255K thermal distribution”. But “pretty much” is not nearly as precise as is needed for this problem. Something much more precise is needed. And not quite as trivially found as your post says. For one thing, the outgoing radiation includes a large amount of albedo-reflected visible solar radiation, and variation of that contributes importantly to the variation of entropy production. Variation in cloud albedo is according to George Simpson 1928 an important part of the climate process. He was concerned with the possibility that it might cause an ice age. You mention above the possible need to consider entropy production by convection in the atmosphere. Will a purely radiative export-import calculation by-pass that possible need? Will you help there?

    You write: “Everyone should now eat only carrots. . .” Oh, dear, and just this evening I bought a whole lot of broccoli for the sake of my health!

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  149. suricat May 12, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Christopher Game.

    [quote]
    You write: “Everyone should now eat only carrots. . .” Oh, dear, and just this evening I bought a whole lot of broccoli for the sake of my health!
    [/quote]
    Oh dear Chris, you should have bought spinach, or even peas if you need iron.

    Joking aside, I admire the way you’ve coped with some of the diatribe that has been posted here, and you’re still ‘plugging away’.

    An Earth model that only permits a radiative aspect below TOA omits any interaction with mass and the ways in which mass causes a ‘lock-down’ of entropy (as enthalpy for that system) into forms other than radiative. This makes a solely radiative model incomplete and blind to an MEP relationship.

    MEP theory requires that all avenues of MEP positive forcing are used (it also means that all avenues of MEP negative forcing are also used). IOW, don’t leave any stone unturned!

    Good luck with your quest and hope I’ve made myself clear.

    Best regards, suricat.

  150. Jan Pompe May 12, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Eli “As for Eli, he thinks that if you eat carrots you will live forever. Everyone should now eat only carrots. . .”

    Actually Eli this is untrue, I know you are jesting but someone might think it a good idea to up their carrot intake, but bronze or haemolytic anaemia, resulting from overdosing, on vitamin A can be fatal

  151. cohenite May 12, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Interesting point suricat; as Christopher has kindly noted I am struggling with MEP and whether M theory is a form of MEP or not or vice-versa; CoE considerations mean that incoming energy, if retained in the system [and this has been the focus of the discussion; whether AGW successfuly traps the F component or whether extra OLR occurs by whatever method to adjust the system back to original equilibrium] cannot be destroyed; but as you say MEP means that extra energy in retained/delayed radiation may be ‘locked down’ by MEP processes; enthalpy is an obvious candidate; extra heat from extra radiation ‘trapped’ by extra CO2 and water vapor causes an increase in evaporation and storage of latent heat in clouds; in this way a temperature equivalence between 2 areas may not be a true reflection of the energy locked away in the greater amount of humidity in one of the areas.

    MEP may work in other ways; the lag between extra energy [assuming one accepts this essential aspect of AGW] and its expression may decline; for instance the pipeline effect of heat stored in the ocean and the time for its effect on temperature to occur may decline; there may be more rain, or a slight decline in the energy/temperature gradient vertically and horizontally as this paper suggests;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL018363.shtml

    The point is, even if an adjustment to the maximum greenhouse equilibrium doesn’t occur as M theory supposes and that extra radiative based energy stays in the system, it doesn’t mean that MEP processes don’t make that extra energy entropically benign through work dissipation.

  152. Steve Short May 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Hi Anthony

    You are mistaken – the global average cloud cover is around 60% not 30%. I think you may be thinking of the global albedo which is close to 0.3 (30%). With respect to cloud cover please remember that at any one time large areas of the globe are covered with 100% cloud cover and large areas are clear sky. The purpose of adjusting parameters as a function of cloud cover is simply because it is so important regionally – it is not to imply that the whole globe ranges fully between these extremes. But locally it does and that is the point.

    For any other queries about my little spreadsheet model please (anyone) email me directly off-blog (mail@ecoengineers.com) and I’m happy to reply as workload allows.

    I have modified the little spreadsheet slightly again to ensure all core parameters at 60% cloud cover fit exactly with the F,T&K09 cartoon values. Here it is. Please note again I don’t resile from its crude assumptions.

    %Cloud,Tau,S_T,ET,ET_U,DT rE_U,A_A,E_D,oE_U,S_U/oE_U,A_A/E_D,S_U,OLR,F,(ET+DT)/S_U
    100,2.72,26,133,50,7,169,370,371,219,1.81,1.00,396,245,78,0.354
    80,2.48,33,107,40,12,169,363,353,209,1.89,1.03,396,242,78,0.300
    60,2.29,40,80,30,17,169,356,335,199,1.99,1.06,396,239,78,0.245
    40,2.13,47,53,20,23,169,349,317,189,2.10,1.10,396,236,78,193
    20,1.99,54,27,10,29,169,342,300,179,2.21,1.14,396,233,78,0.141
    0,1.87,61,0,0,34,169,335,281,169,2.34,1.19,396,230,78,0.086

    Hmmm, interesting, suggests a 6 W/m^2 increase in OLR going to 100% cloud cover, a 9 W/m^2 decrease in OLR going to zero cloud cover.

    This shows a key issue to resolve is whether with increasing cloud cover the release in latent heat (in all directions) rises proportionately. Intuitively one would think so.

    After all, over large areas of cloud there is (presumably) always about (a) the same probability that about (b) the same proportion is condensing into rain?

    Remember:

    After Ozawa &Ohmura 1996 and Pauluis & Held 2002a,b this also suggests that entropy production (EP) is a function of cloud cover due to the fact that, as P&H02 suggest, moist convection accounts for an ~40 – 52%% of EP, viz:

    Pauluis, OM and Held IM (2002a) Entropy budget of an atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium. Part I: maximum work and frictional dissipation. J. Atmos. Sci. 59: 125-139

    Concludes that moist convection (ET) behaves more as an atmospheric dehumidifier than as a heat engine.

    Pauluis OM, Held IM (2002b) Entropy budget of an a atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium. Part II: Latent heat transport and moist processes. J. Atmos. Sci. 59: 140-149

    Concludes frictional dissipation of atmospheric motions accounts for ~30% of total entropy production, frictional dissipation of failing rain ~12%, phase changes and diffusion of water vapor ~40% and remaining ~20% uncertainties in the above.

  153. cohenite May 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks Steve; you’re absolutely correct; I did mistake cloud cover for albedo; happens when amateurs are let into the rose garden. I think you’ve also answered my comment to suricat about how [M]EP can ‘hide’ or ‘lock down’ any supposed increase in radiative energy due to AGW ‘trapping’. Keep up the good work.

  154. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    I mentioned above, caveat my poor memory, that I could not recall Dr Miskolczi’s explicit citation of the principle of maximum entropy production. I can now point to page 19 of the reprint of Miskolczi 2007 (F.M. Miskolczi: Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres. Idojaras – Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service, Vol. 111. No. 1. 2007.) : “We believe that the β parameter is governed by the maximum entropy principle, …” Christopher

  155. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Dear suricat,

    You write: “This makes a solely radiative model incomplete and blind to an MEP relationship.”

    Certainly a solely radiative model will be unsatisfactory. But I am asking not about the climate model, but about the method of calculating the entropy production. Can the export-import method yield the entropy production?

    You write: “MEP theory requires that all avenues of MEP positive forcing are used (it also means that all avenues of MEP negative forcing are also used).” I am distressed to see the phrase “MEP forcing”. I am much happier with the wording “don’t leave any stone unturned!”

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  156. Steve Short May 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Yeah – there is a real lot of hand-waving in Miskolczi – not to mention skeletons of revered old scientists rotating at high angular velocities in their graves.

    It also takes all sorts:

    Some really walk the walk and are too shy to talk the talk.

    Some walk the walk and thus can really talk the talk.

    Some talk the talk but wouldn’t have a clue on how to walk the walk.

    Some talk the talk and talk the talk and talk…

  157. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Dear Steve Short,

    Thank you for writing this:

    “Pauluis, OM and Held IM (2002a) Entropy budget of an atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium. Part I: maximum work and frictional dissipation. J. Atmos. Sci. 59: 125-139

    Concludes that moist convection (ET) behaves more as an atmospheric dehumidifier than as a heat engine.”

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  158. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    Following Steve’s lead I found the Chapter 9 in ‘the Red Book’ (‘Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy’, ed. A. Kleidon, R.D Lorenz, Springer, Berlin 2005) that he cited.

    On page 118, Olivier M. Pauluis writes: “When considering the atmosphere as a whole, the hydrological cycle is directly responsible for roughly half the entropy production by the atmospheric circulation.” Thank you, Steve. Christopher

  159. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    I should have posted http://miskolczi.webs.com/2007.pdf to find the reprint of Miskolczi 2007. Christopher

  160. SJT May 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    “Joking aside, I admire the way you’ve coped with some of the diatribe that has been posted here, and you’re still ‘plugging away’.”

    I am still “Plugging away” too, but I wouldn’t presume to start a topic that I then admit I don’t really understand.

  161. Christopher Game May 12, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Following a little further on Steve’s lead, I find on page 116 that Pauluis thinks that one of the conditions for a climatically saturated greenhouse effect is the presence of a large atmospheric non-greenhouse gas component. Nitrogen and oxygen realize that on earth. In addition to listing the presence of an ocean as the prerequisite for a climatically saturated greenhouse effect, I now see that obviously I ought to have listed also the presence of an atmosphere mostly of non-greenhouse gases (oxygen and nitrogen). Thank you Steve for improving my understanding there. Christopher

  162. Lucy Skywalker May 13, 2009 at 5:04 am #

    I spent a whole day studying Miskolczi, Zagoni, and Noor van Andel. I now think I DO have some feeling for that pesky Equation 7. It’s reminding me of a tug-of-war: Eq. 6 describes two quantities that have to balance each other; Eq. 7 uses the same quantities to describe total energy. I think there are potential answers to everything Nick and Steve have said here. The equations fit too well to the data to be ignored. The discontinuity issue is apparent in the stock illustration of K&T eg http://www.optocleaner.com/images/Solar-Radiation-Budget-650.jpg – Surface Rad 350; Back Rad 324 W/m^2. This is what M says has to be identical; this is one of the things that fits both maths and measurements eg http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction#the_cabauw_measurements.

    Drat! I shall end up writing a piece myself at this rate.

  163. Steve Short May 13, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Lucy

    “The equations fit too well to the data to be ignored. ”

    This is nonsense. Look really, really closely (and very, very carefully) and you’ll find its mostly actually all clear sky data (or very close to it) which Miskolczi has used.

    I suggest you carefully read F,T^K09 which is a review paper summarizing all the energy balance studies of the last decade or more. NOTE WELL has been way more work on the global energy balance since K&T97 e.g. the CERES and ERBE projects for a start.

    Miskolczi’s ‘magic tau’ of 1.87 is actually only the true value at and close to the zero cloud cover. For every situation with some cloud his so-called S_T is actually a mixture of true LW IR transmission to TOA and the LW IR emitted off the tops of clouds through release of latent heat (water lines) which escape through TOA. Thus his tau is, for most sky situation not even a real tau (in the accepted meaning of the term).

    Miskolczi Theory is a logical mess and and a mish mash of hand waving nods to inapplicable principles. I am surprised you are not actually reading anything I’m posting or in the other more hard core sceptical blogs and going away and actually checking it for yourself.

    Otherwise you wouldn’t keep making these nonsense statements.

    A lot of sceptics have been looking hard at Miskolczi Theory since 2007. Most, especially those with a background in hard science as a career have concluded it doesn’t get up. There are just a very few old diehards who still think its goer. Their capacity for self delusion, bad math and mental acrobatics simply reminds me how perverse the human species can be.

    Look, Miskolczi didn’t even get invited back to the 2nd Heartland Conference in February because most sceptics with a brain and a good math training have realised it is a crock of s**t even just since the 1st conference.

    I have lost count of the 100s of sceptical newbies who have passed through the sceptical blogs who thought they were going to rejuvenate this corpse, Frankenstein-like. You are just another in a very long line and also not going to achieve this, Lucy. I guarantee it.

    The truly scientific sceptical viewpoint is sound and the AGW hysteria bandwagon will go the way of all historically doomed movements. We simply don’t need the snake oil of Miskolczi.

  164. suricat May 13, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    Dear Christopher,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I’ll be the first to admit that my terminology relative to a debate on climate leaves something to be desired. This is probably because I’ve had an interest in climate for only a couple of years or so and my main discipline is engineering based (so don’t ask me to post any math to a science thread as engineering derivations differ, my word processor doesn’t support math functions and it’s mostly macro anyhow).

    However, engineers recognise a division within entropy per se. This division is placed at the point where energy is unusable for harness to do useful work. Where energy has the ability to do useful work (whether useful or not depends on the definition of “the work expected”) this is labelled “enthalpy”. All else is entropy.

    As an example for climate purposes, take a parcel of air that is warmed relative to its surrounding parcels of air, for the purpose of convection.

    Our parcel of air is warmed (enthalpy; the energy received does the work of expansion and causes a greater volume of occupation by the same mass, thus, reduced density).

    More macro to our parcel of air; Archimedes principle steps up to the plate and our parcel of air begins to rise due to its lower density compared to surrounding parcels of air. The motive force here is gravity and this may be interpreted as either enthalpy (a “gravity pump”, or “thermosyphon” system is often incorporated within engineered devices), or entropy (where the effect remains unharnessed and is lost to fluid friction as heat). It should be appreciated that this causes no energy loss to our “parcel of air”, as the motive force is provided by gravity per se.

    Back to our parcel of air. Our parcel of air is constantly being robed of thermal energy, both radiatively and by way of mixing with surrounding air parcels as it rises. Thus, convection, eventually, is halted because “local thermal equilibrium” is achieved with surrounding parcels of air.

    You write: “Can the export-import method yield the entropy production?”

    I’m unfamiliar with this. Can you elucidate?

    I hope this better explains my point of view and may help some.

    Best regards, suricat.

  165. Christopher Game May 13, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Dear suricat,

    You write: “You write: “Can the export-import method yield the entropy production?” I’m unfamiliar with this. Can you elucidate?”

    I mean, as noted in various previous posts here, that there are several ways in which one might plan to calculate the rate of entropy production. You can find them above if you are interested.

    By the export-import method I mean to calculate the entropy production by calculating the rate of entropy import and the rate of entropy export, and subtracting them, and calling the difference the rate of entropy production.

    The model you describe can lead to calculations of entropy production by what I call methods of internal process. There are many such calculations in the literature.

    But I should note that the hydrodynamic mechanics that you describe in your post is not right, because it does not attend to stability questions. You may want to brush up on such details.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  166. Steve Short May 13, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    It amazes me how people get an urge to read Miskolczi and Zagoni etc like ONLY yesterday (a whole day too – oh wow!) and then get a rush of blood to the head requiring them to post their newly found revelations on a blog the very next day, without ever having the patience or the wisdom to think more deeply about what is a highly complex field founded on years of hard graft and study.

    I notice we are being flooded with ‘newly born again sceptics’ at the moment right across the climate blogs and it took me a while to figure out why. I reckon it is probably due to Zagoni and that damn video clip he posted on YouTube.

    I call it ‘The Patent Medicine Man Effect’. In the 18th and 19 Centuries there were roving patent medicine salesmen taking their carts and wagons through every dirt poor village across Europe, Russia and North America.

    The local yokels would listen to these glib and plausible well-practised ‘snake oil salesmen’ and then quickly cough up all their pennies, groats, cents, centimes, etc for the bottles of miraculous dirty water laced with alcohol on sale.

    While the magic of his words lasted (and the alcohol eased the condition requiring a ‘cure’) the salesman was (of course) virtually a messiah. When it all wore off the peasants were even more dirt poor than they had been before and life went back to the normal state of a glazed-eyeball daily grind.

    Very few were any the wiser.

  167. Steve Short May 13, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    An example cross-posted from Niche Modeling (where this particular newly born again sceptic is rather more cluey than most of the new crop):

    “By the way: reading through the books, I found the following quote about Kirchhoff’s law in Goody and Yung’s Atmospheric Radiation, Theoretical Basis 2nd edition on page 3:
    “Since clouds, ground, and atmosphere do not differ greatly in temperature, it follows from Kirchhoff’s law that emission and absorption are approximately equal to each other.”
    I thought I cite that, since there are sites on the Internet and contributions that like to discredit Dr. Miskolczi and his paper on a similar quote. But this seems to me typical for the AGW discussion, always looking for small splinters in the others eye.”

    I liked the phrase: “…always looking for small splinters in the others eye.” This one has some civilized eloquence (just like Christopher). This one however, probably read Goody and Yung (the ‘Bible’ of atmospheric radiation) only yesterday as well.

    The great flaw in this argument of course is that, of the fraction of LW IR leaving at TOA which Miskolczi ‘lumps’ into his S_T which is comprised of LW IR emitted from the tops of clouds (due to release of latent heat during condensation), that fraction was never ‘absorbed’ by the clouds in the first place. That fraction came from Evapotranspiration (ET) from the surface i.e. its origin is purely non-radiative.

    The fact that Miskolczi ‘chooses’ to add that fraction of ET which is radiated upwards to TOA from the tops of the clouds to the true S_T which is transmitted from BOA to TOA (escaping absorption along the way) is purely an idiosyncrasy of Miskolczi. Presumably y’all noticed by now that Miskolczi is incapable of thinking ‘non-radiatively’?

    Whether one considers the creation of S_T as a 2-component ‘lumped parameter’ to be justified or not, the fact remains that depending upon the %cloud present a significant fraction of Miskolczi’s S_T has a a non-radiative i.e. convective origin.

    Thus ‘Kirchoff’ (or whatever)-type arguments are irrelevant to it.

  168. Steve Short May 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    In my little spreadsheet model I (initially at least) set the fraction of A_A returning to BOA which contributes to E_D, and the fraction of DT returning to BOA which contributes to E_D to be 0.625 (62.5%) by analogy with the fraction of ET for a 1st pass estimate of E_D.

    If one fits the (60% cloud cover case) for A_A and E_D as per T,F&K09 then the fraction actually works out to be 0.66 (66%) for A_A if the fraction of DT (a minor component anyway) stays at 0.625 (62.5%). To me this suggests slightly more of A_A returns to contribute to E_D than of ET but it is close. This is as to be expected because most LW IR from BOA is absorbed below the mean cloud layer level.

    What I find intriguing about this crude spreadsheet approach is that it is very hard to see how a reduction in OLR (positive forcing) can arise from the situation where %cloud is greater than the global average of ~60%.

    In this sense I see where Cohenite is coming from and tend to agree with him.

    The only possible conclusion if the recent T&F09 paper is correct is that as %cloud cover rises above ~60% the fraction of latent heat which is radiated through TOA falls off dramatically in a non-linear way.

    I haven’t got T&F09 yet but if they can’t prove that specific point then their contention won’t get up with me.

    If we stop and think about where high %cloud cover commonly exists it is in the equatorial band, over the gyres and over places like the Amazon and Congo. These are all places where highly energetic cu-nim storm lift cloud right up to the tropopause and are characterized by high precipitation rates. I have spent a fair bit of time in the Torres, PNG, New Caledonia etc and seen these storms for myself both from the surface and from the air numerous times.

    To assert that the fraction of ET which departs TOA at ET_U under such circumstances is proportionately lower than for the average cloud cover situation (temperate latitudes) is implausible to me. They are called ‘temperate’ for that very reason.

    So far, I’m with Lindzen and Spencer/Braswell/Cristy etc (and Cohenite) on this.

    All those with me so far, please step up to the plate to receive their Tenderfoot badges. All others, thank you for coming along, there is complimentary Coke and bikkies for you beside the door as you leave.

  169. Lucy Skywalker May 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    Steve
    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply so carefully. I’ve taken on board everything you’ve said – not to believe or disbelieve, but to study and ponder. Thanks. But I can only take in one step at a time.

    I still think it would be really helpful if you would present your work in a way that is accessible to the likes of WUWT readers – with the science and maths and without losing quality.

  170. Christopher Game May 14, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Dear Steve,

    You write: “Look really, really closely (and very, very carefully) and you’ll find its mostly actually all clear sky data (or very close to it) which Miskolczi has used.”

    Forgive my inferior intellect when I admit I don’t see how you reach that conclusion. I am not doubting you, just asking, please explain, in more detail in simple terms for the less intelligent like me, how you reach that conclusion.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  171. Steve Short May 14, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Christopher.

    Presumably you have read M&M04, M07, K&T97 and F,T&K09 and the two Zagoni presentations (the old one and the more recent one). All this stuff is freely available via the Internet. I also suggest you look at some of the key papers covered in the F,T&K09 REVIEW.

    You can verify for yourself that as I said a true global all sky S_T (mean cloud cover ~60%) from the body of all mainstream literature of the last 20 years (!!!!) only fits into a band of about 31±10 W/m^2 (at say the one standard deviation level). There is no way that it has a mean value around 60 – 65 W/m^2 as Miskolczi/Zagoni tediously assert (for the gullible). Indeed the slides in Zagoni’s latest presentation ‘mess around’ with S_T values as high as 92 W/m^2. Those can only be an absolutely clear sky S_T (although Zagoni never explicitly says so of course).

    No-one argues about the magnitude of S_U much – it has always been around 390 W/m^2. So now work out the range of real taus for yourself (presuming you can – so far I’ve never even seen a skerrick of basic real math from you).

    If you don’t like this reply I suggest you go across to some more technically rigorous blogs such as CA and NM and (whether you check their archives or not), see how you fare there doing the ‘Duh’ finger on the bottom lip stuff. This issue and many others associated with Miskolczi Theory have been thrashed to death in other forums for two years now.

    Beyond the above honest comments Christopher, at age 60 and after 30+ years of a hard (and still ongoing) science career I’m not going to play silly blog games with you. Too old, too busy. In fact I’d even rather be down the beach with my fishing rod and my foxy.

    You have to take personal responsibility for getting on top of the known body of climate science.

    Regards
    Steve

  172. Christopher Game May 14, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    Dear Steve,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Sometimes you seem to say that Dr Miskolczi gets his values about St = 62 W m^-2 by doing bad things to cloudy-sky data, and sometimes you seem to say he does it by using only clear-sky data. My question was because it seemed that you meant one could tell which by looking carefully at Figure 2 of M2007 to which I imagined Lucy Skywalker was referring, and that the answer was by using only clear-sky data. But then I wondered why you at other times seemed to think the answer is by doing bad things to cloudy-sky data.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  173. Steve Short May 14, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    To repeat:

    Miskolczi’s ‘magic tau’ of 1.87 is actually only the true value at, and close to, zero cloud cover.

    For every situation with some cloud his so-called S_T is actually a mixture of true LW IR transmission to TOA PLUS the LW IR emitted off the tops of clouds through release of latent heat (water lines) which escape through TOA.

    Thus his (magic) tau is, for most sky situations, not even a real tau (in the accepted meaning of the term).

    Christopher, I agree with SJT – nice fellow as you seem to be, you should have never written that article. Jennifer is too kind (to some people).

    Definitely my very last post on this thread.

  174. cohenite May 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    M007 says on p13 that ” the OLR is dependent on the surface temperature.” For a clear-sky situation [which was the intent of M007] this gives a non-variant Tau; effects of increases in CO2 are re-equilibrised by declines in RH and SH. The situation is different for clouds; on P 19 M007 says the effective cloud layer is about 2.05km with an OD of 1.47; these clouds,

    “have minimal effect on the LW energy balance, and they seem to regulate the SW absorption of the system by adjusting the effective cloud cover ,B.”

    This seems to be only 1/2 right; low clouds do reflect more SW but arguably they also have profound effect on LW energy balance. The clouds are themselves a substantial barrier to upward LW, S_U, and arguably A_A does = E_D underneath these clouds; the ‘stalemate is broken by what Steve calls real E_U and M K; the transfer of latent heat to the clouds from the surface via evapo-transpiration, ET/K, reduces the surface temperature and decreases the S_U/A_A/E_D process under the clouds [and also F reaching the surface]; the transferred real E_U consists of LW emitted from the top of the clouds plus the atmospheric emissions in the water wave-lengths above the clouds. Because the low clouds have utilised more of the vapor in the atmosphere there is less ‘interference’ to the cloud emissions and the atmospheric emissions [real E_U] above the clouds; because there is more ‘interference’ below the clouds S_T declines but is compensated for by the extra real E_U above.

    A couple of points; Tau would have to be greater than 1.87 below the clouds; logically, it would have to be less above; I assume Steve’s new figures for cloud dependent Tau reflect that. Secondly, what Steve has described is an Iris effect incorporating Spencer and Braswell’s hypothesis about low clouds being a cause of temperature moderation; they are not a [+ve] feedback. Essential empirical confirmations of this would include;
    1 A decline in high water vapor and cloud
    2 A correlating increase in low cloud
    3 An increase in OLR at TOA. In respect of this final point I note the recent gerfuffle with Lindzen and the readjusted figures for OLR. Which begs the question; how do we get reliable empirical evidence?

  175. Ken Gregory May 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    Christopher Games says
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/?cp=8#comment-100760

    “The window [K&T1997] estimate 40 W m^-2 is however physically wrong because it is calculated for an unphysical bureaucratically asserted atmosphere the USST-76, and because even then it is not calculated correctly: they say “The amount leaving the atmosphere via the atmospheric window is somewhat ad hoc.” They can say that again.”

    Ferenc Miskolczi says “When arguing about important global warming issues, nobody should use ad-hoc estimates. Accurate LBL codes are widely available for flux density computations.”

    The Kiehl and Trenberth 1997 (K&T97) energy budget appears to be a total farce due to its use of the USST-76. They also incorrectly assume the atmospheric window to be the wavelengths 8–12 μm. This is also wrong because there is significant transmitted flux density in the far infrared and medium infrared spectral regions.

    Ferenc Miskolczi has plotted the water vapour versus altitude profiles of the global average TIGR (GAT), the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA) and the USST-76 here:
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/Water_Altitude.jpg

    The horizontal axis of this chart is Log10, so the “4” represents 10,000 ppmv water vapour content.

    Note that the GAT profile almost overlays the NOAA profiles up to 300 mb altitude. These are independent determinations of the global average water vapour profiles. This should give us high confidence that these represent good estimates of water vapour content, and can be used in energy budget calculations.

    The USST-76 profile is very different, and wrong. It should not be used for an energy budget.

    Using the (wrong) USST-76 profile, the clear sky full spectrum transmitted flux St is 90.7 W/m2.
    Using the accurate GAT or NOAA profiles, the clear sky full spectrum St is 58.7 W/m2 and 60.9 W/m2, respectively.

    The USST-76 profile contains 1.26 prcm of water vapour. The GAT and NOAA profiles contains 2.61 prcm and 2.618 prcm, respectively. No wonder K&T gets too high an St when they leave out 52% of the most important greenhouse gas!

  176. Nick Stokes May 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Ken,
    It looks like there is a choice of problems here. You can calculate an accurate clear-sky figure, but we don’t have a clear sky (globally). Or you can do something “ad hoc” like K&T did – choose a window, and figure what goes through it, then make an allowance for clouds, which will always be approximate.

    Re K&T, I think they did not really give it a lot of attention, because it is not properly part of their budget. True, they have shown it as a separate stream, but the budget item is the total flux. If some outgoing IR outside the window has escaped unabsorbed, that doesn’t change the energy flux balance.

    When you cite St figures, what exactly are they? Does it aggregate the proportion of all photons at all IR frequencies that pass through with no absorption? I think that in this discussion generally there is a lot of comparing of figures that don’t represent the same thing.

  177. Christopher Game May 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    Thank you for your valuable reply post on Niche Modeling. My post had suffered massive top-and-tail truncation by technical problems. I will reply there soon, with the benefit of your reply.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  178. cohenite May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Nick, don’t you have any doubts at all? Ken has given you the heads up that K&T don’t rate with M for clear-sky figures; K&T have admitted they’re winging it for all-sky and Steve has dressed up M’s issues with clouds. Come on, admit it, you’ve backed the wrong horse:-)

  179. SJT May 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    “Nick, don’t you have any doubts at all? Ken has given you the heads up that K&T don’t rate with M for clear-sky figures; K&T have admitted they’re winging it for all-sky and Steve has dressed up M’s issues with clouds. Come on, admit it, you’ve backed the wrong horse:-)”

    How do you get that? K&T tell you where they have to make approximations, based on the best science, M goes off into the realms of sheer imagination, such as his declaration that Mars proves his theory, when there is no proof at all, he has manufactured that data for that planet. There is no comparison.

  180. Steve Short May 15, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    I have been hitting the literature hard on cloud effects. This is where I have got my little spreadsheet model to (see below).

    I have partly stuck with Miskolczi parameter terminology only because these are all very, very familiar to most of us here who have battled through Miskolczi Theory in recent years (possibly not Christopher though, haha ;-). The remaining terminology I’ve explained before and/or is self explanatory.

    Each (%cloud cover) row energy balances (I hope) and all parameters are interlinked by relatively simple and empirically justifiable algorithms.

    Most major parameter values (on at least 100%, 60% and zero cloud cover rows please note) can be found somewhere (or a value very close) within the mainstream literature – going all the way back to the mid-90s (e.g. Hartmann, 1994).

    The ‘Virial Rule ‘ does reasonably well but Kirchoff falls over.

    S_U/OLR ranges from about 1.5 (3/2; clear sky) to about 1.75 (7/4; 100% cloud) but seems to be close to 1.66 (5/3) around 60% cloud cover.

    Interestingly, the Miskolczi so-called ‘tau’ actually decreases marginally with increasing cloud! Miskolczi’s ‘tau’ (= -ln(ET_U+S_T)/S_U) has the supposedly ‘magic’ value of 1.87 only somewhere around 10±10% cloud cover i.e. it approximates clear sky (as has seemed obvious in retrospect for quite some time now) but is a useless parameter in every respect (other than the curious fact (!) it does surreptitiously include a truly non-radiative parameter: ET_U).

    I think a little spreadsheet like this has considerable value for getting our heads clear on what affects what, why and roughly by how much – particularly in respect of the all-important clouds.

    %Cloud,Albedo(A),Fo,Fo(1-A),F,rTau,S_T,ET,ET_U,DT,rE_U,A_A,E_D,oE_U,S_U/oE_U,A_A/E_D,S_U,OLR,S_U/OLR,M-Tau
    100,0.40,341,205,67,2.70,26,133,50,1,145,360,353,195,1.98,1.02,386,221,1.75,1.63
    80,0.35,341,222,72,2.47,33,107,40,9,157,358,343,197,1.98,1.04,391,230,1.70,1.68
    60,0.30,341,239,78,2.29,40,80,30,17,169,356,333,199,1.99,1.07,396,239,1.66,1.73
    40,0.25,341,255,83,2.14,47,53,20,24,181,354,322,201,2.00,1.10,401,248,1.62,1.79
    20,0.20,341,272,89,2.02,54,27,10,33,193,352,312,203,2.00,1.13,406,257,1.58,1.85
    0,0.15,341,288,94,1.91,61,0,0,41,205,349,301,205,2.00,1.16,410,266,1.91

  181. Steve Short May 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Last row should be:

    0,0.15,341,288,94,1.91,61,0,0,41,205,349,301,205,2.00,1.16,410,266,1.54,1.91

  182. Steve Short May 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Minor meaning clarification: ET_U is radiative (LW IR from tops of clouds escaping through TOA but its ORIGIN is purely non-radiative i.e. moist convection transferring latent heat from ground to (precipitating) clouds. As previously noted about 37.5% of ET (=ET_U) ends up being radiated through TOA (the remainder radiating in to the atmosphere including <50% back towards the surface to contribute to E_D).

  183. Steve Short May 18, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    It only takes a teeny, tiny bit of ‘Rithmetic’ to scare the ‘philosophers’ off…..(;-)

  184. Christopher Game May 19, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Dear Steve Short,

    I am sorry you feel so bitter about this.

    The reason as a natural philosopher I do not follow up on your spread-sheet arithmetic is that, although it seems to be very interesting to you, it does not address matters of interest to me, because it seems to me to be based on pseudo-data, not real factual data. Your general approach seems also to refer to authority rather than yourself explicitly state your case to us.

    You boss us to read the literature about things we have already read, and in some cases commented on, you flood us with arithmetic and sarcasm, but you do not give us the explicit detailed information that we ask of you, that you say you know, although you have plenty of time to write to us extensively about things that you observe triumphantly do not interest us.

    We have read and commented on some of your references, and we find them gravely lacking in relevant explicitness and gravely lacking in convincing detail.

    We ask for all your explicit details in your own words of how your sources calculated St. I mean the details of the arithmetical methods of the sources of your “data” for St. How precisely do you, in your own words, define window radiation, both in general ordinary language and physical terms and in arithmetical method? Until you answer this, we will, I think, not be interested in your spread-sheet arithmetic.

    It is admirable to see how interested you are in this important matter, and we look forward to your answers to our questions. It seems that you know far better than I do the area of literature that interests you, but I see more likely areas to read in and think about than the ones you boss me to search, about which you seem thoroughly expert, and could very easily and in explicit detail tell us all, perhaps just off the top of your head, if you chose, information that we repeatedly ask for from you in your own words. If you gave the explicit information I would check it.

    Again I admire your knowledge and expertise, but I urge you to take positive account of the interest of your readers, instead of crowing with glee when you find they are not interested in what you write to them.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher Game

  185. Steve Short May 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    Oh phooey Chris. Why don’t you just read something truly meaningful like e.g. Lindzens 1990 (!) paper: ” Some uncertainities with respect to water vapor’s role in climate sensitivity” and work your way (up) from there. As I said before, the responsibility for your basic education in climate science resides with you – it is not up to other bloggers to patiently deal it out to you bit by bit

    All this energy spent on waffle…..

    Be a man, walk the walk.

  186. Christopher Game May 20, 2009 at 6:21 am #

    Dear Steve Short,

    Your response is entirely ad hominem.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher Game

  187. suricat May 20, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Steve Short.

    This isn’t a “forum”, it’s more like a Q&A thread that answers questions posed to the “original poster’s post”!

    The “original poster” doesn’t seem to read our posts in the way that we originally intended them to be understood. Perhaps your points would be better understood in other fora (that’s where I’ve decided to go).

    Best regards, suricat.

  188. Bill Snape January 31, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Interesting forum, though spreadsheets tend only to work in the world of academia where there are clear skies and cloudy skies irrespective of whether those skies are over ocean, desert, or rainforest. Clear skies over rainforest for example do not produce the same extremes of temperature as clear skies over desert. (Indeed, rainforests do have dry seasons, for example the dry season in what remains of the West African rainforest lasts from November to March).

  189. Rafael Molina Navas November 26, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    This is for Christopher Game, relative to Dr. Spencer blog “Does CO2 drive …?”
    Dear Sir:
    I was surprised not to reveive another answer from you to my last post… I reread it and I decided to post a reply I had drafted, and I saw it´s not possible … For good? Just in case it interest you, it was as follows:
    “Reading my last post I´m afraid I didn´t express my ideas as well as I like to. I´m writting this one trying to put them clearer.
    Some language questions first.
    In Spanish the noun “heat” (calor) is not linked to the idea of transmission of heat. Perhaps the fact that in English “to heat” gives that idea is the reason why it´s preferred not to be used when there´s no transmission. In Spanish it´s linked mainly to temperature, both of solids and fluids. That´s why I´ve found the expression “thermokinetic energy” the single one best for both languages…
    In the other hand, when I use verbs such as to heat, to warm or to increase temperature – in the context of the issue that we are discussing – it´s in comparison with the same situation but without the GHG molecules hit by IR radiation beams.
    Let us imagine the energy of an IR radiation photon coming from Earth´s surface could be somehow identified even when “turned” into thermokinetic energy – although we all know the energy emitted by GHG molecule mixes with the kinetc energy of the surrounding molecules. First time I thought about this I even “invented” a name for that tiny amount of energy: energon.
    “Energons” can have many different lives. The shortest one would be only as a photon, making his way from Earth´s surface to outer space without hitting any GHG molecule, aerosol or cloud. Very unlikely as we all know.
    The longest one would be an ever lasting existence changing from photon to thermokinetic energy and viceversa, with periods within Earth´s surface (oceans included), as latent heat of evaporation, in clouds, rain, going many times up and down as a photon, going up as thermokinetic energy due to convection, etc., etc.
    Also very very “unlikely”…
    In almost 100% of the cases, it would be something intermidiate.
    The higher concentration of GHGs, the more difficult for the “energon” to get out of that kind of labyrinth and make its way to outer space.
    The longer the total time the “energon” were not a photon, the higher its contribution to the increase of mean global temperature. This even when Earth´s surface and lower atmosphere were cooling – typically in late afternoon, evening and night: it would decrease cooling rate …
    Furthermore, the higher GHG concentration, the closer to Earth´s surface that maze would mainly work, and subsequently the higher number of downward photons would reach back Earth´s surface …”
    Yours – as in the other blog,
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid
    PD: I also sent it to Dr. Spencer e-mail a few hours ago…

  190. Rafael Molina Navas January 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Dear C. Game:
    When a couple of months ago I sent previous post, I didn´t imagine this blog was already kind of standing by.
    Afterwards I read your head proposal. If you remember my arguments on mentioned R. Spencer blog, you will understand I don´t agree with your approach. But I didn´try to discuss about it here, before seeing if you continue our interrupted conversation…
    But some days ago I discovered an older blog of Dr. Spencer, the one relative to the controvesial ideas of Miskolczi, where you argue hardly with him…
    I must say I find his arguments much more in tune with what my mind finds logical, than yours. But I will not go any further…
    Apart from that, do you remember my post “The Importance of Beeing Earnest” which “triggered” our conversation? To my surprise, I´ve seen that Dr. Spencer did clearly agree with my approach at least since a couple of months before: he had used almost my same words at the other blog about Miskolczi:
    “So, contrary to what some would intuitively expect, the introduction of a cold object has made a warm object warmer than it would have otherwise been”.
    You can see this where he tells the analogy of the humanoid “Lost in the Space”.
    How on earth did the blog has the link of the dummies that tried to ridicule we defenders of that core fact of global warming science, if HE himself was one of us, at least regarding this issue?
    I do hope it is somebody from his team to blame.
    I understand now much more the very quick removal of the link.
    Yours,
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid

  191. Rafael Molina Navas January 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    “Mea culpa”. I misunderstood Dr. Spencer´s intentions with the link “Yes, Virginia…” at the bottom of its blog “Does CO2”, that motivated my “…Beeing Earnest”. As I told there, I didn´t open the link the first evening, and couldn´t open it either next morning due to the fact of having been removed…
    Thinking it was somethig of that blog, not existing independently at the web, until recently I have been believing it was an ironical dummy story trying to ridicule we people which consider heating of Earth´s surface from colder air layers is real, and something greenhouse warming effect hinges upon.
    And I tried to do, in my way, what Dr. Spencer had previously done…
    Why all that fuss after my post if Dr. Spencer had previously and clearly stated the same?
    I´m not going to go any further. In any case, I´m not sure this will be read by anybody…

  192. Rafael Molina Navas March 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    “Two totally independent techniques…”
    Please kindly consider:
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110308.html
    As Isabella Velicogna – one of the authors – said:
    “These are two totally independent techniques, so it is a major achievement that the results agree so well…”
    No further comments.

  193. Rafael Molina Navas October 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Any comments from Christopher Game relative to:

    “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its coral cover in the past 27 years, a new study shows.

    They attribute the decline to storms, a coral-feeding starfish and bleaching linked to climate change.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19800253

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