The Work of Ferenc Miskolczi (Part 1)

OUR understanding of the natural world does not progress through the straight forward accumulation of facts because most scientists tend to gravitate to the established popular consensus also known as the established paradigm.  Thomas Kuhn describes the development of scientific paradigms as comprising three stages: prescience, normal science and revolutionary science when there is a crisis in the current consensus.  When it comes to the science of climate change, we are probably already in the revolution state.  In particular there is growing concern that some of the physics underpinning the IPCC climate models may be flawed.  The work of Ferenc Miskolczi is a case in point.

Some years ago this Hungarian physicist, then working for NASA, discovered a flaw in an equation used in the current climate models  discovered a flaw in how those constructing the IPCC climate models deal with the issue of the atmosphere’s boundary conditions.  In order to progress this research Dr Miskolczi eventually resigned from NASA claiming his supervisors at NASA tried to suppress discussion and publication of his findings which have since been published in IDŐJÁRÁS, The Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service.

In essence Dr Miskolczi showed that the solution to a differential equation for the greenhouse effect developed in 1922 by Arthur Milne, and central to the current paradigm, wrongly assumed an infinitely thick atmosphere.  In re-solving this equation a new term and also a new law of physics have been proposed setting an upper limit to the greenhouse effect.   Dr Miskolczi’s theory indicates that any warming from elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide will eventually be offset by a change in atmospheric moisture content. 

The idea that water vapour is a negative rather than positive feedback is consistent with the findings of other climate scientists undertaking independent research that is also challenging the current paradigm, for example the work of Dr Roy Spencer.

The importance of the hydrological cycle including water vapour and cloud cover, and how their impacts on the global energy budget should be modelled, have been issues for other climate scientists critical of the current paradigm including Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and Henrik Svensmark  from the Danish National Space Centre.

Meanwhile another Hungarian Physicist, Miklos Zagoni, has provided the following summary of the new controversial theory:

THE findings of Dr Miskolczi can be set into two groups.

First, really for the first time in the greenhouse literature, he published a global average infrared optical depth (the exact measure of the greenhouse effect) for the Earth’s atmosphere. This calculation was a distillation of all his efforts. He published his empirical estimate for tau,  , as 1.87 (a dimensionless quantity, describing the optical thickness of the atmosphere – a technical term meaning the climatologically appropriately weighted global average number of times that a statistically typical longwave photon, emitted by the earth’s warm surface, is absorbed and re-emitted on its way through the atmosphere while escaping into outer space).

The second group of Miskolczi’s findings was two new correlations of measurements. Analyzing all of the fluxes in the atmosphere in all possible relations, he noticed that, in global average, the upward emitted atmospheric infrared radiation is nearly equal to half of the surface upward longwave radiation. And, within the clear atmosphere, he also noticed that the downward radiant emittance is about the same as the atmospheric absorbed radiant flux density upwards from the land-sea surface.

These newly discovered relations surely have their theoretical explanation. But here I do not want to entangle myself in theory, explanations and interpretations of how these relations come about. I just want to stay with the simple facts.

As it happens, these new relations supply a profound new understanding of the old, well-known set of energy balance conditions. Substituting them into the old equations, Miskolczi recognized that a new overall global energetic constraint applies to the atmosphere. This was a principled understanding of why the normalized clear-sky greenhouse factor of the Earth takes the remarkably neat value of g = 1/3 precisely. The Miskolczi relations provided an explanation of how this value represents a critical natural balance. The Earth’s greenhouse effect works dynamically to maintain the value g = 1/3 precisely. Miskolczi recognized that his relations occur in nature on any planet that has an ample ocean of water and a solar heating anywhere near that of the Earth. And, looking to the greenhouse literature, for example to the 2006 Cambridge University Press book Frontiers of Climate Modeling by Kiehl and Ramanathan, we can see that according to those authors, the earth’s clear sky normalized greenhouse factor as a strictly empirical fact is 0.334, or 1/3.

That is to say, the Earth’s atmosphere dynamically keeps its greenhouse effect right at its critical value, regardless of our continuing CO2 emissions, regardless of any change in atmospheric CO2 concentration in the past ten thousand years. Miskolczi’s dynamic constraint keeps the greenhouse effect “climatically saturated”: emitting CO2 into the air cannot increase the normalized greenhouse factor g because any impact of human addition of CO2  is dynamically countered by about 1% decrease of the main greenhouse gas, water vapor (moisture) in the atmosphere. This effect is shown in Miskolczi’s recent presentation based on the NOAA 61 year global atmospheric database.

And finally, putting together his new findings, one can have an ultimate theoretical equation for tau, (the global average infrared optical depth) value and the  numerical solution is 1.86756093941252 … .

Now recall: in 2004, by his computer calculations on the TIGR radiosonde empirical measurements, Miskolczi found an observed estimate of 1.87. In 2007, theoretically he derived 1.8676… . And in 2009, on the NOAA 61 year global average database, he found another empirical estimate   = 1.86875. According to this database, the atmosphere’s moisture content during 61 years from 1948 to 2008 in global average decreased by about 1%. This amount was the climate process’s automatic dynamic response and was enough to counter the impact of any CO2 and methane increase.

Let us be clear that these results recognise that the surface climate temperature can rise or fall. Of course it can, as it is driven by changing external radiative sources. It is driven mostly by the sun, but also in smaller measure by other natural or human energy sources such as geothermal energy from the interior of the earth or industrial heat generation.

But, remarkably and surprisingly, these results say that the ratio of the surface temperature to the sum of the incoming energies is fixed at a critical value; the ratio cannot be altered by adding a greenhouse gas such as CO2. The climate temperature is fully sensitive to real changes in the external drivers that increase the energy input. But it is not at all sensitive to addition of greenhouse gases such as CO2 to the atmosphere.

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

Notes and Links

Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres, by Ferenc M. Miskolczi.
IDŐJÁRÁS, Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service. Vol. 111, No. 1, January–March 2007, pp. 1–40. http://met.hu/doc/idojaras/vol111001_01.pdf

193 Responses to The Work of Ferenc Miskolczi (Part 1)

  1. SJT May 2, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    More Socratic Irony. Enough, already.

  2. SJT May 3, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    “That is to say, the Earth’s atmosphere dynamically keeps its greenhouse effect right at its critical value, regardless of our continuing CO2 emissions, regardless of any change in atmospheric CO2 concentration in the past ten thousand years.”

    How does this mechanism know what is required of it to keep this balance?

  3. RW May 3, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    No climate model assumes an infinitely thick atmosphere.

    No scientist quotes anything to 14 decimal places.

    Ferenc Miskolczi’s work is meaningless.

  4. Gary P May 3, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    Skeptics of AGW have four major points that cast huge doubt on the idea that CO2 is a danger.

    1. The warming that occurred at the end of the 20th century is not unusual and the Earth was warmer during the Medieval Warming Period. Michail Mann’s hockey stick has been completely discredited.
    2. The warming has stopped for the last 10 years and the Earth is now cooling.
    3. The solar modulated cosmic ray theory of Svensmark correlates much better to the climate record than CO2. This is a much better theory of the warming that does not depend of the average results of a bunch of climate models, each one of which fails to predict next years regional climate. The average of a dozen wrong solutions does not create a correct solution. Svensmark’s theory is falsifiable and will not take fifty years to say, “Oops our models were wrong. Can we have some more money to fix them?”
    4. Miskolczi’s theory is backed up by real data. The humidity at the 300mb level has dropped according to his theory. The climate models with their tropical hot spot have been falsified by the real data.

    Miskolczi has also made a very common sense argument. The worlds oceans provide and effectively infinite supply of the green house gas water vapor. If a runaway warming could happen, then it did eons ago. Some warming event would have caused warming to runaway until a negative feedback term finally stopped it at an equilibrium point. Miskolczi’s theory provides the negative feedback term.

    We are at an equilibrium point with regards to infrared absorbing gases and the water vapor concentration will change to maintain that equilibrium as CO2 changes.

    So when are the modelers going to make and test an open, well documented model that includes Svensmark’s and Miskolczi’s advances?

  5. Alan Siddons May 3, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    Outstanding essay, Jennifer. As I understand it, though, Dr Spencer’s thesis is that CO2-heating generates more water vapor, which eventuates in greater cloud albedo, i.e, negative feedback. Thus the feedback isn’t water vapor per se. Miskolczi’s position, by contrast, seems to be that a decline in water vapor leads to cooling. His position is consistent with general theory, since water vapor is held to be the principal heating gas. What’s the real truth, though? Who knows.

    My opinion, of course, is that an upsurge of water vapor necessarily leads to surface cooling, for the simple fact that water molecules store heat in a latent form, thereby reducing sensible heat, and also weaken the power of incoming sunlight.

    In any case, a down to the roots re-examination of this shaky theory is certainly called for by now. A (reported) 35% increase of a major greenhouse gas has induced no effect that can be distinguished from natural temperature variations and, what’s more, most of this gas doesn’t appear to have a human origin anyway.

    In the big picture, the presence of an atmosphere makes the earth’s surface function as an air-cooled engine, convection currents constantly removing heat and carrying it aloft. So what would be the effect of making this coolant more receptive to heat-absorption? It’s an open question.

    As to the existence of the greenhouse effect,

    1. An object’s temperature in sunlight corresponds only to the solar energy it is absorbing, not to solar plus something else, and it is generally cooler than predicted due to air currents.
    2. Because non-solar radiation doesn’t observably increase daylight temperatures, the night sky should be blazing in infrared that clearly exceeds what the surface emits. But this isn’t observed either. Since it declines as the night progresses, so-called downwelling flux appears just to be ambient air radiating in response to residual surface heat.

    — so it seems reasonable to conclude that greenhouse gases don’t heat the earth’s surface in the first place.

    Dr Nahle has much to say in this regard.
    http://www.biocab.org/Heat_Stored_by_Atmospheric_Gases.html#anchor_62

  6. RW May 3, 2009 at 3:49 am #

    “The warming that occurred at the end of the 20th century is not unusual”

    Define unusual.

    “the Earth was warmer during the Medieval Warming Period”

    According to whom?

    “Michail Mann’s hockey stick has been completely discredited.”

    Incorrect.

    “The warming has stopped for the last 10 years and the Earth is now cooling.”

    Incorrect. The last ten years have been 0.16-0.18°C warmer than the ten years before that.

    “3. The solar modulated cosmic ray theory of Svensmark correlates much better to the climate record than CO2.”

    Incorrect and trivial to investigate.

    “This is a much better theory of the warming that does not depend of the average results of a bunch of climate models, each one of which fails to predict next years regional climate.”

    It is a theory which fails all observational tests, in fact. And there is no such thing as “next years [sic] regional climate”. Climate cannot be measured in one year.

    “Svensmark’s theory is falsifiable…”

    … and falsified.

    “Miskolczi’s theory is backed up by real data”

    Except that it contradicts the observationally verified fundamental principles of the greenhouse effect.

    Gary P, your opinions are anti-science. Have you ever read an atmospheric physics text book? You might benefit from doing so.

  7. J.Hansford May 3, 2009 at 4:35 am #

    RW…. “atmospheric physics text book”???

    Physical laws are physical laws…… They apply everywhere…. not just the atmospere 🙂

  8. CoRev May 3, 2009 at 5:44 am #

    Well done, Jen! Very clear explanation of FM’s theory. I doubt it fully explains our chaotic climate, but it is a step forward in explaining the H2O effects. Far better than done and AFAIK more complete and supportable than the CO2 THEORY, especially in the catastrophic (tipping point) arena.

  9. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 6:02 am #

    Jennifer,
    Your post is wrong on so many levels. The approximate equations of Milne and Schwarzschild are not used in current climate models at all. Those models solve differential equations numerically. Milne did not have an equation for the greenhouse effect. His equation for radiation in planetary atmospheres did not assume infinite thickness; no-one has explained where it did. FM’s replacement approximation does not satisfy the boundary conditions at all.

    Miskolczi’s paper was characterised by gross elementary errors. He invoked one equation (4) based on a crude misstatement of a Kirchhoff Law. He made an incomprehensible misuse of the virial theorem. One of his equations (7) has never been explained at all. His claim that the grey gas optical density must be fixed at 1.87 is based on an invented energy optimisation principle.

    It’s crackpot stuff.

  10. Luke May 3, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Jen

    Are you going to help us on this one. I confess I’m lost.

    Lead post seems convincing. But so does Nick.

    I reckon most of us are struggling here. Are you going to through this more slowly?

    Indicative comment and indicating depth of lost is CoRev’s ….

    CoRev seems to think a chaotic climate is OK. And not having tipping points even though the climate is chaotic is also lOK. Any contradiction. Face it CoRev – you haven’t a clue what it means. But anything for the home team. “Ra ra ra”.

  11. Themistocles May 3, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    Great essay! Really excellent. I’m going to have to read it again to get an even better understanding.

    And Gary P. provided a well thought out post above. It made sense to me. But to simply dismiss it out of hand without any supporting evidence is unprofessional, which is what poster RW did. For instance, it is a fact that Michael Mann’s hockey stick chart has been thoroughly discredited. Otherwise, why would the IPCC have taken action to delete it from their subsequent reports? It certainly fit the bill for them, and they must have been reluctant to omit it.

    Poster RW dismisses out of hand, and without corroboration, one statement after another. Then says of another poster: “…your opinions are anti-science,” followed by rude and condescending insults.

    I have noticed this RW person on other sceptic sites, where he engages in the same obnoxious behavior. Steve McIntyre completely deleted without comment quite a few similar RW posts recently from Climate Audit. Anthony Watts’ site is also plagued with similar fact free RW postings.

    It’s interesting to note that alarmist sites like Open Mind, Pharyngula, RealClimate, climateprogress and others routinely censor otherwise polite comments that do not agree with their beliefs. I am not advocating that sceptics’ sites should censor anyone they disagree with. But when someone like RW becomes a site pest, IMHO they have crossed the line.
    [End rant.]

    Back to the article: There are two big problems that believers in the “co2 causes AGW hypothesis” must deal with. The first is the question of the persistence of atmospheric carbon dioxide. If the persistence is a large number, that could be an argument for taking some sort of action. Those wishing to control co2 claim its persistence is on the order of fifty years or more [I’ve read that some think it’s well over a hundred years.]

    But if the persistence is on the order of 5 – 10 years, there really isn’t any problem at all. The biosphere will respond and make use of the additional food. So the persistence of co2 is an important question.

    The other question concerns climate sensitivity, which Dr Miskolczi appears to have addressed here. If Dr Miskolczi is correct, then there is no basis whatever to be concerned about carbon dioxide levels. In fact, higher co2 levels would be very beneficial.

    No argument put forth so far has convinced me that co2 is a problem at all. Not that I can’t be convinced, I am simply sceptical. The only evidence provided seems to come from GCMs, which are notoriously inaccurate. For example, none of them predicted the severity of this past N.H. winter.

    There is little in the way of real world evidence that co2 causes any warming at all, although I’m convinced that there is probably a small warming effect. Certainly the effect must be very small at current co2 concentrations, because the planet has cooled for the past 6 – 7 years, while at the same time co2 levels have steadily increased. That means that any effect from rising co2 is very minuscule, and is easily overwhelmed by many other climate effects.

  12. groweg May 3, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    RW:

    You have put yourself in the position of an “expert” implying you have read atmospheric physics texts and responding dismissively and condescendingly to posts here. “Miskolczi’s work is meaningless” and Gary P’s opinions are “anti-science” as if you are the arbiter of what is scientific.

    I think it is safe to assume that you believe in the predictions of global warming due to CO2. Also, you clearly see yourself as an expert. Even if you are in some sense an “expert” in climate science it does not necessarily follow that your predictions and views about about future climate are somehow superior and that you should be paid obeisance.

    Those scientists who do studies on the prediction process itself have found that “expert” forecasts are worthless. Green and Armstrong (2007) have studied climate forecasts made by “experts” and have found that they have been made in ways totally contrary to the principles of making accurate forecasts. From their paper:

    “Unaided judgmental forecasts by experts have no value. This applies whether
    the opinions are expressed in words, spreadsheets, or mathematical models. It
    applies regardless of how much scientific evidence is possessed by the experts.”

    To learn why this is so read:
    http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/files/WarmAudit31.pdf

    Gary P. has investigated this topic to some apparent depth and arrived at conclusions that are unique from those in the popular media. You, on the other hand arrogate the mantle of science such that you feel you are in a position to dismiss Gary P. in a heavy-handed, rigid way as “anti-science” (whatever that is) while adhering to the conventionally-accepted “wisdom” on this topic. I do not claim to be any expert on climate science, but merely from the above considerations, I would pick Gary P.’s views as most likely correct. He’s also the one I’d rather have a beer with.

  13. Larry May 3, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    Some years ago, a hiking acquaintance named Dean raised an interesting question: Is Murphy’s Law recursive? In other words, does Murphy’s Law apply to itself? As a result of that landmark conversation, we now have the Hickerson Corollary: You can’t use Murphy’s Law to your advantage. For example, if you’re a farmer suffering through a drought, washing your car will NOT make it rain!

    We can ask a similar question about Kuhn’s Law of Scientific Paradigms. Is it a consensus platitude poised for a Kuhn-style revolution. If so, was it valid in the first place? If not, then revolutionary change may create the needed validity! 😛

  14. CoRev May 3, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    Luke M’boy, it’s been a while since I have felt the joys of being the target of your wit. I guess from your comment you believe that the climate is fully explained, but moreover, an orderly and well modeled thing. I suppose in your well ordered world the need to average many runs of multiple models is no longer necessary to make a pred… sorry almost used that bad word. I’m sure your own personal model of that well ordered and completely understood climate is far superior than any other.

    Stop the BS and do the work. Don’t ask Jen to do it for you. BTW, I think this will become an interesting thread when/if Cohenite engages.

  15. Eli Rabett May 3, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    FWIW this has been discussed to death on the climateaudit bulletin board and various other places. Nick gave you the summary. The details cover many hundreds of comments.

  16. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    Great stuff, and eli is wrong again; Miskolczi hasn’t been done to death; some salient points;
    Alan Siddons has noted a seeming contradiction between Spencer’s stochastic feedback/cause role for water which means an increase in water will cool and M’s dependence on a decline in water to maintain Tau or optical density which Professor Zagoni has defined as the greenhouse effect measure; but this need not be a contradiction if one considers what water does where; it is highly probable, depite the vast amount of computing energy used by Dessler, Soden etc that high water is declining; this increases the window as the recent Michael Hammer paper showed and which should increase OLR as has been noted by Richard Lindzen in the recent Watts controversy; low, surface water has increased and that is consistent with both pan evaporation stats and some slight SST warming during the 1976 onwards PDO with presumably increased evaporation from the ocean; the surface water has increased both cloud and global precipitation thus fulfilling Spencer’s theory requirements.

    The simple fact is that M’s clear-sky eqns are damn fine;

    http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/optical-depth-trend-1.png

    As I tried to explain to luke this series of graphs really reveals AGW to be the cockroach it is because everything is consistent with M; even a trenchant and knowledgeable critic of M such as Steve Short has noted the validity of the clear-sky eqns and their consistency with the data; the remaining problem is with the all-sky eqns, that is the effects of clouds, but as the above symmetry with Spencer shows one feels that is close as well.

  17. Christopher Game May 3, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    I agree with Gary P that Miskolczi has made a good commonsense argument, but he has done more: he has provided new and unexpected analysis of empirical observations to sustantiate it.

    Nick Stokes is right to complain about how Miskolczi has presented his studies, that his presentation is discursive and analogical. But Nick, I think you will find plenty to value if you ignore the analogies and red herrings and concentrate on the very substantial and original empirical content. You are right that equation (7) seems to be plucked out of nowhere, a deus ex machina if you like. But it is empirically very nearly correct. I think the right response is not to ridicule it, but to try to clarify its physical meaning and explanation. I think the latter lies in the principle of maximum rate of entropy production for a stable stationary state, but that of course is easier said than explicated. Yet I think you may perhaps have the intellectual capacity to do it if you choose to try. If you succeed, your name will be celebrated.

    Christopher Game

  18. CoRev May 3, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Cohenite does it again! Great job!

    I have long been confused by the idea that one minor GHG with limited IR interaction could trump the most dominant GHG with a much wider IR interaction. FM AND R Spencer seem to provide explanations that help clear up that confusion.

    I realize I’ve opened myself up to the likes of Luke, SJT and the others, but it is questions such as this that need to be adequately answered in simple terms if they are to be convincing. So far they have failed.

  19. Ian George May 3, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    RW and your riposte to Gary P (Sorry Gary, couldn’t help sticking my nose in)
    “The warming that occurred at the end of the 20th century is not unusual”

    RW says, ‘define unusual’. The earth has been up to +5.0C according to Vostok records so +0.8C is not unusual.

    ‘the Earth was warmer during the Medieval Warming Period”.

    RW says, ‘According to whom?’ Historical records and at least 12 studies have concluded that that period was warm and could well have been higher than today. In fact, the graph showing such warming was included in earlier IPCC reports.

    “Michail Mann’s hockey stick has been completely discredited.”

    There has been much doubt poured on this study due to flaws in methodology and the proxies used. The jury, although still out, may still find a guilty verdict. The latest IPCC report still refers to the graph but does not focus on it as much as before.

    “The warming has stopped for the last 10 years and the Earth is now cooling.”

    RW, your average is correct. The last ten years have been warmer than the previous decades. However, here has been no increase in warming though it depends on whose figures you use. NASA says 2005 was the hottest but Hadley Centre says 1998. If these two prominent centres can’ t even agree, what hope is there for the rest of us?
    If CO2 drives temp then we should be seeing a much higher increase than has occurred. ( By the way, NASA changed their temp ranges in the IPCC by dropping pre-1980 temps and raising post 1980 temps. Why? Hansen also wants to change the base period from 1951 – 1980 rather than the consensus and IPCC base of 1961-1990. Why?)

    The sun is the primary source of the Earth’s warmth but it doesn’t seem to come into calculation. Water vapour is the dominant GHG (90% at least) but is regarded as insignificant in this whole debate. Are these used in modelling?

    Hansen says we have only 4 years left. Others say the earth is doomed within 8 years (100 Months Project). Not long to go to find out.

  20. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Christopher Game “original empirical content”
    I hear phrases like this a lot about FM’s work. But it is based on the sloppy way he presents his results. He has done no experiments. What he has done is to take a database of radiosonde data (TIGR) which records temperature, pressure and some gas concentrations at various altitudes, at various times and places around the world. He then puts this as data into his Hartcode, which is a LBL computer code for IR transmission. There are no actual radiation measurements. The calculations are done without information about cloud etc.

    This sloppy presentation causes innumerable misconceptions. Cohenite references above an optical depth trend graph, attributed to NOAA. Now it would be remarkable if the NOAA was really presenting a time series of optical depth, which is a highly derived abstract quantity, based on a gray-body assumption. It’s not something that can be simply measured. I think that some quite different NOAA data has been plugged into some Miskolczi formula to produce this graph. But as usual, we are told nothing of this.

    Eli is right that the technical discussion has been done to death elsewhere. For present purposes, it might be useful to settle just one fairly non-technical issue. The central claim, made here, is that GCMs use Milne’s equation for radiative transmission, and that they are unreliable because of alleged deficiencies in Milne’s work. Does anyone have any information to support this claim about GCMs using Milne?

    Here is an abstract of a paper describing the radiative transfer methodology used by the GISS Molel E code. It has no relation to Milne’s 1D ode gray=body approximation.

  21. Joel Shore May 3, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    Ian George says:

    NASA says 2005 was the hottest but Hadley Centre says 1998. If these two prominent centres can’t even agree, what hope is there for the rest of us?

    Frankly, it doesn’t matter exactly which was the warmest. They are essentially tied within the statistical uncertainty.

    If CO2 drives temp then we should be seeing a much higher increase than has occurred.

    And you know this how? The fact is that we expect there to be huge variability in the trends over an ~10 year period because of the noisiness of the climate system. This is seen in previous intervals of this size and is also seen in climate model simulations with steadily-increasing levels of greenhouse gases (e.g., see here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/in )

    The sun is the primary source of the Earth’s warmth but it doesn’t seem to come into calculation.

    Ah…which climate models don’t include the sun? They may not explicitly include solar variability in the future but that is because such variability has historically been very small (in terms of radiative forcing compared to that due to the projected increases in greenhouse gases) and because there is no good way to predict the details.

    Water vapour is the dominant GHG (90% at least) but is regarded as insignificant in this whole debate.

    What? Water vapor feedback is one of the most important aspects of the climate models. And, clouds (i.e., condensed water vapor) is also important…and currently the greatest source of uncertainty.

    If you are wondering why noone is worried about human EMISSIONS of water vapor, it is because they are essentially irrelevant to the level of water vapor in the atmosphere … The physics of the situation is such that the amount of water vapor is essentially determined by the temperature, so at least for the foreseeable future the only way that we can significantly influence the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is by changing the temperature by increasing the level of the longer-lived greenhouse gases, i.e., through the aforementioned water vapor feedback.

  22. Joel Shore May 3, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Hansen says we have only 4 years left. Others say the earth is doomed within 8 years (100 Months Project).

    I meant to comment on this too. What Hansen is saying is that given the inertia in the climate system and the inertia in our society / economies etc (e.g., how quickly we can reduce emissions), he believes that we really need to get started on a new path within the next ~4 years. I am not familiar with the “100 months project” but I assume their view is similar.

    It is not a statement of imminent doom; it is a statement of imminent need to start changing the direction of a very slow-moving ship that is going to take a long time to change the course of.

  23. Jennifer Marohasy May 3, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Alan, Cohenite and others,

    I do think I am going to have to put a line through some of my paragraph 4 in the above blog post. And I remembered this note from Miklos which I was copied in on a week or so ago:

    “You are surely aware that the system has several ways to equate the impact of co2 other than humidity decrease.
    The possibilities involve modifications in the
    — vertical distribution of water vapor
    — meridional (latitudinal) distribution of water vapor
    — meridional distribution of temperature
    — average cloud cover
    — cloud heigh
    — cloude type
    — cloud thickness

    and these all together as a whole will recover the global average greenhouse equilibrium.”

  24. jennifer May 3, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    OK. Just updated the post as follows:

    DELETED:
    The idea that water vapour is a negative rather than positive feedback is consistent with the findings of other climate scientists undertaking independent research that is also challenging the current paradigm, for example the work of Dr Roy Spencer.

    ADDED
    The importance of the hydrological cycle including water vapour and cloud cover, and how their impacts on the global energy budget should be modelled, have been issues for other climate scientists critical of the current paradigm including Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and Henrik Svensmark from the Danish National Space Centre.

    And yes, Luke, it is complex and incomplete, and even the skeptics disagree on the importance of this work – whether Ferenc Miskolczi has got it right. If it makes us think a lot a harder about these issues then I see it as progress and important.

  25. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Joel, Prince Charles is the leading advocate of the 100 month till our doom scenario.

    Nick; here is the link to the NOAA calculator for the graphs I presented;

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    If you don’t like those do your own and see what you come up with; but getting back to the clear-sky numbers;

    Fo=OLR = 252
    Su= 378
    Ed= 315
    Eu= 189

    Therefore Flux definitions from M 2007, Fig 1;
    OLR = Eu + St [St = 63]
    Su = Aa + St [Aa = 315]

    Now, as you know, Steve Short has done his own appraisal of Tau based on the clear-sky numbers;

    “The K&T97 and TF&K08 reviews both imply that LW IR emitted by clouds is ~30 W/m^2. This means that both the CERES and ERBE period best estimates of all sky S_T should be about 31 W/m^2 respectively and that the clear sky (cloud free) estimates of S_T again for both these periods should not exceed about 61±10 W/m^2 i.e there is about a less than one chance in 40 (2.5%) (assuming binomial distribution) of a clear sky S_T exceeding 81 W/m^2. [It also means that both the CERES and ERBE period best estimates of S_U should be about 395 W/m^2. Thus the best estimate of clear sky mean tau should be about 1.87+0.18,-0.15 but also indicating a mean global all sky tau is hardly likely to be as low as 1.87]

    These data are consistent with the values presented in Zagon’s recent presentation, particularly where he showed slides for Miskolczi HARTCODE estimates of global clear sky S_T of 90.7 (Slide 68), 58.7 (Slide 69) and 60.9 (Slide 70) W/m^2 respectively. Miskolczi HARTCODE measurements of clear sky S_T are thus probably consistent with mainstream science values”

    Where exactly is your problem?

  26. SJT May 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    “And yes, Luke, it is complex and incomplete, and even the skeptics disagree on the importance of this work – whether Ferenc Miskolczi has got it right. If it makes us think a lot a harder about these issues then I see it as progress and important.”

    Sowing confusion and discord is the real effect. It’s straight out of the Creationist cookbook.

  27. Alan Siddons May 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    “straight out of the Creationist cookbook”

    I get it now. In reality, SJT is a supporter of Jennifer’s who is trying to make her critics look stupid.

  28. SJT May 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    What is this mechanism that magically keeps the optical depth to a specified amount? Gaia? Do you have another name for it?

  29. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    little will, there is nothing magical about it; look at Miklos’s definition of Tau or OD;

    ” tau, , as 1.87 (a dimensionless quantity, describing the optical thickness of the atmosphere – a technical term meaning the climatologically appropriately weighted global average number of times that a statistically typical longwave photon, emitted by the earth’s warm surface, is absorbed and re-emitted on its way through the atmosphere while escaping into outer space).”

    This really eats at the heart of AGW with the semi-infinite atmosphere where LW photons are absorbed and remitted a semi-infinite and increasing number of times; Nick disparages this description but I’m afraid it is the vulgar essence of AGW; from Spencer Weart;

    “What happens to infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface? As it moves up layer by layer through the atmosphere, some is stopped in each layer. To be specific: a molecule of carbon dioxide, water vapor or some other greenhouse gas absorbs a bit of energy from the radiation. The molecule may radiate the energy back out again in a random direction. Or it may transfer the energy into velocity in collisions with other air molecules, so that the layer of air where it sits gets warmer. The layer of air radiates some of the energy it has absorbed back toward the ground, and some upwards to higher layers. As you go higher, the atmosphere gets thinner and colder. Eventually the energy reaches a layer so thin that radiation can escape into space.

    What happens if we add more carbon dioxide? In the layers so high and thin that much of the heat radiation from lower down slips through, adding more greenhouse gas molecules means the layer will absorb more of the rays. So the place from which most of the heat energy finally leaves the Earth will shift to higher layers. Those are colder layers, so they do not radiate heat as well. The planet as a whole is now taking in more energy than it radiates (which is in fact our current situation). As the higher levels radiate some of the excess downwards, all the lower levels down to the surface warm up. The imbalance must continue until the high levels get hot enough to radiate as much energy back out as the planet is receiving.”

    A Tau of 1.87 means this cannot happen; a Tau of 1.87 means CO2 catches IR or Su at the surface in a parcel of air which is carried convectively to the CEL where the IR is remitted; with less water high up the increased window will mean any extra IR caught by the extra surface water will still effectively become OLR. Your way of thinking is cart first; the Tau does not create the process, the Tau is a measure of the energy constraints and equilibrising mechanisms. Basically, you are saying they don’t exist, or if they do exist they create ever higher equilibruim states. This has not been shown; M’s theory has the runs on the board.

  30. Larry May 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Interesting article. There’s one thing in particular that I’m puzzled about.

    “Miskolczi’s dynamic constraint keeps the greenhouse effect “climatically saturated”: emitting CO2 into the air cannot increase the normalized greenhouse factor g because any impact of human addition of CO2 is dynamically countered by about 1% decrease of the main greenhouse gas, water vapor (moisture) in the atmosphere.”

    Is there a proposed chemical mechanism for the dynamic equilibrium between CO2 and gas-phase H2O? I can make a guess about one possible scenario.

    Basic background info. Gas-phase, out-of-cloud H2O contributes to the greenhouse effect, but the water droplets in clouds are a mixed bag. During the day, clouds increase the reflectivity of the Earth with respect to incoming solar radiation, but at night their primary action is to reflect back some of the IR from the ground and oceans.

    Speculation. Perhaps atmospheric CO2 hastens droplet formation to a small extent. If so, and if the evaporation and precipitation rates remain constant, in the face of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, then an individual H2O molecule would spend a slightly greater proportion of its airborne life as a droplet in a cloud, thereby decreasing the gas-phase H2O concentration slightly.

  31. Luke May 3, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    OK Cohers – how about a decent discussion on this one. Where are you guys up to at Niche Modelling – are you all in agreement – if not what’s left in dispute. How about a Short (hahaha) summary.

    Eli – my main man – do we have a short summary the issues of disbelief from the AGW side?

  32. Christopher Game May 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    Jennifer, I think your comment of 12:08 pm 3 May 2009 may have conceded too much. The “positive feedback by water vapour” is not quite as simple as it seems.

    As you rightly note, water vapour is there courtesy of the celebrated hydrological cycle. Even the IPCC partly concedes this when they note that their “feedbacks” need to be totalled, and in particular they recognise that it is better to take together, as a single component for that total, the sum of the “water vapour feedback” and the “lapse rate feedback”. The latter component sum is a beginning of the right way to tackle their calculation, even though of course their method of calculation is fatally flawed in principle, as I have noted without challenge in a previous note on your blog. It would surely be proper to take, as terms in their total, only the various component sums for complete circulations of ponderable matter.

    The hydrological cycle is one such circulation. The lapse rate is set largely by the adiabatic gas law, but a variable is the water vapour content profile. A main part of the hydrological cycle is the transport of heat aloft, as notably pointed out by Bill Kininmonth. The transport of heat aloft has an effect governed by two countervailing factors: the lofty heights are cool, but they are above the water vapour’s main opacity to IR. Bill calculates, by a perhaps debatable method, that the latter factor wins out and, in the eventual sum for the cycle, even wins out over the increase in water vapour opacity for lower altitudes, so the that the sum for the cycle makes a stabilizing contribution, contrary to the IPCC’s darling beloved destabilizing contribution for the opacity-laspe sum. Garth Paltridge’s new paper points out that the radiosonde and satellite estimates of water vapour content profile disagree, and one may note that the radiosonde estimates are direct measurements while the satellite estimates are numerical solutions of a possibly ill-conditioned inverse problem. It seems likely that there is some drying in the middle and upper atmosphere that outweighs a sea-level moistening. This is referred to in your (above noted) comment of concession by the note from Miklos in the words “vertical distribution of water vapor”.

    I think overall it is most likely that your original post was right in general meaning, even though it was worded as I think it ought not to be, in terms of the flawed formalism of the IPCC. I mean that the hydrological cycle as a whole is a strongly stabilizing factor, while the IPCC has cherry picked one component of it and trumpeted it as “positive feedback by water vapour”, their flawed way of saying they think it is predominantly destabilizing. Indeed this cherry is the jewel in their pretender’s coronet. But it’s only a cherry, not a ruby.

    Christopher Game

  33. Ian George May 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    Joel,
    ‘Ah…which climate models don’t include the sun? They may not explicitly include solar variability in the future but that is because such variability has historically been very small (in terms of radiative forcing compared to that due to the projected increases in greenhouse gases) and because there is no good way to predict the details.’

    My point exactly. The climate models can only use known cycles and cannot predict what the sun will do. Did they know that sunspot activity would be as low as it has been recently and factor that in prior to its happening? Of course not. If the sun goes into a minimum, don’t you agree that would be more significant than CO2 increase? Alternatively, as what happened the last time sunspots were almost non-existent in 1913, the following year was extremely warm and a severe drought occurred (in Australia anyway).

    Re water vapour and clouds – ‘currently the greatest source of uncertainty.’ That’s why they are difficult to forecast and model.

    I totally agree that we should be spending on R & D into green, sustainable energy and the sooner the better. It will serve us well regardless of whether it is natural warming or AGW.

  34. Christopher Game May 3, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    So far as I can see, the original blog post does not refer explicitly to GCMs. I think you have read such a reference into the text where it was not intended.

    I don’t see the original post as implying that GCMs use Milne’s solution of the Schwarzschild equation. It just says that the Milne solution, with a discontinuity of temperature, long governed the thinking of the IPCC people, was their current paradigm when he published. It seems that they have now changed their thinking and admitted that there is no climatically significant discontinuity of temperature at the interface between the land-sea surface and the atmosphere, thereby agreeing with Miskolczi.

    The absence of the discontinuity has physical implications that need to be followed through. That is what is meant by a new paradigm. Particularly, the only physically actual IR radiative term at the interface is the IR radiation direct to space through the atmospheric window. The physical implications of this have been worked out by Miskolczi.

    You are right to continue to complain about the presentation. I think Miskolczi may perhaps do something about that. He needs to. You are in a position in which you too could do something about it if you chose. I think you have the intellectual ability to do so.

    I am sorry you didn’t pick up on my comment about equation (7). I would value your thoughts on that.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher Game

  35. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    SJT “How does this mechanism know what is required of it to keep this balance”?

    Feedback. Not positive feedback, just feedback. It’s how much of nature works.

  36. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    RW “Ferenc Miskolczi’s work is meaningless”.

    It’s you who is meaningless. A complete waste of space. A big, mealy puddin’.

  37. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Alan Siddon “What’s the real truth, though? Who knows”.

    Thanks, Alan. It’s nice to hear someone state the obvious once in a while.

  38. Terry Jackson May 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    “ever recorded.?” So let’s look at this. The place is 4.5 billion years old. Cycles have been defined in excess of 20,000years or more in a few areas. We have some temperature records from a few places for a few hundred years. We think we have some temperature proxies for maybe 10,000 years, if you believe Lamb. We clearly have a recent history of ice age glaciation for at least a million years. Lamb says it was warmer several times earlier and provides evidence. We have satellite records for 30 years.

    If this were the stock market we have somewhere between 2 seconds and maybe 7 minutes of hard data, considering the length of data to the length of the event being measured. Using this we are predicting what? Don’t believe I would invest based on this minimalist based prediction.

    And now the sun is quiet, with some predicting another Grand Minima and others expecting the imminent return to the 11 year cycle. The sun doesn’t care a whit about the debate, it will do what it does. And the models ignore the sun because it hasn’t varied much in the few years we have observed and measured it.

    And we have ongoing discoveries, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in 1990 in a Fisheries research project. So much for you have to be a climatologist to know anything about climatology.

    McIntire and McKittrick did a pretty thorough mathematical destruction of the hockey stick.

    And it was quite cool Alaska last year, with maybe 2 days over 70. Expect the same this year. If present ternds continue.

  39. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    RW “Gary P, your opinions are anti-science. Have you ever read an atmospheric physics text book? You might benefit from doing so”.

    You win the prize for Horse’s Ass of the Year. I doubt if you can read, never mind read a physics book.

  40. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    Nick Stokes “Miskolczi’s paper was characterised by gross elementary errors”.

    Let’s get this straight. You’re a mathematician, right? Sounds like you’re quoting Pierrehumbert, or some other rocket scientist from realclimate, where other mathematicians have mistaken computer modeling for science.

  41. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Themistocles “Otherwise, why would the IPCC have taken action to delete it from their subsequent reports”?

    They did not delete it, that would have been the honourable thing to do. They watered it down, while trying to discredit satellite data that refutes their theories. NAS told them the hockey stick could not be corroborated over a millenium, so the IPCC picked a year like 1850, and reapplied their pseudo-science. They make outlandish claims such as 9 out of the past 10 years being the warmest since 1850. Used to be the warmest years ever.

    The warmest years in the US were between 1920 and 1950. Aha, says the IPCC, but that wasn’t global. What, then, is a global temperature? No one seems to know, other than mathematicians.

  42. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    luke, as I said the clear-sky values and eqns are good; the problem seems to be with the all-sky eqns and as Christopher Game has said eqn 7. AGW theory only allows for +ve feedback from extra water; M limits the energy available to do that; if M is fine for clear-sky and provides a mechanism whereby all-sky [ie clouds] is not +ve then where does AGW go from there?

  43. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    groweg “You have put yourself in the position of an “expert” implying you have read atmospheric physics texts…”

    I have read his arguments and I think the most he has read is comic books. He’s a troll, someone who makes ludicrous claims on a blog to upset people.

  44. Gordon Robertson May 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Jennifer “The idea that water vapour is a negative rather than positive feedback is consistent with the findings of other climate scientists undertaking independent research that is also challenging the current paradigm, for example the work of Dr Roy Spencer”.

    Jennifer, there is a huge problem in climate science with regard to feedback itself, as recently admitted by Roy Spencer on his blog. Apparently climate scientists redefined the classical meaning of positive feedback, as applied in physics, to mean a feedback that is negative. Engineers have been writing to Spencer asking about that since positive feedback in physics requires amplification.

    Climate science is a subset of physics yet climate scientists are ignoring the fundamentals of physics, particularly thermodynamics. This is a problem in science, where certain disciplines completely ignore other disciplines.

    There’s a German scientist, Stefan Lanka, questioning the entire field of retrovirology. He claims a mistake was made when the field was started earlier in the 20th century. It seems the same thing has been done in climate science, where not many of them are physicists of any merit. Those who have effective training in physics, like Craig Bohren, are highly skeptical of AGW theory.

  45. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Christopher,
    My reference to usage in current GCMs was based on the sentence:“Some years ago this Hungarian physicist, then working for NASA, discovered a flaw in an equation used in the current climate models. “ I presume the Milne equation is the one referred to here.

    There has been misplaced excitement about the “discontinuity” in Milne’s solution. Milne’s simnplification is based on assumptions, among which is that the radiative flux is the whole energy flux. This works well in the upper atmosphere, where the boundary condition is applied, but fails near ground, where convection and latent heat transport are important. So there’s no reason to expect a discontinuity – the Milne approximation just doesn’t work there.

    I don’t believe that a Milne discontinuity was ever part of “IPCC” thinking – do you have a reference for that?

    Actually there is a whole theory of singular perturbations concerning situations like Milne’s, where you have a second order ode which reduces to a first order de over much of the range, but can only satisfy the boundary conditions at one end. The technique of matched asymptotic expansions allows you to get an approximation throughout the range which satisfies boundary conditions at both ends. However, that would be overkill here, because we know that the approximation fails over a longer distance.

    I don’t have any positive views on Eq 7. It looks like an attempt to apply conservation of energy, but does not specify a region. And there is none available – the model only has the atmosphere and the Earth, and conservation of energy for those entities is used in Equations 1 and 2. You can’t get any more out of it. It makes no sense anyway as cons en; two of the fluxes, E_U and E_D, are defined at opposite sides of the atmosphere, suggesting that the atmosphere is somehow the region. But if so, they are both effluxes, and should be added, not subtracted.

    Further, it leads directly to Eq 8, S_U=3OLR/2, which as Neal King pointed out, can’t possibly be true for an atmosphere with no GHG. This caused FM to say that Eq 7 only applies to certain kinds of atmosphere, which creates the puzzle of what physical principle could be involved.

  46. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Gordon “Sounds like you’re quoting Pierrehumbert, or some other rocket scientist from realclimate,”
    No, actually RC is quoting me. But Kirchhoff’s Law is public – can you see how it justifies FM’s Eq 4?

  47. Ken Gregory May 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    Any stable system that is constrained by energy is determined by an optimum energy condition. The theory used be climate models do not provide any constraint, as it does not show why the amount of water vapour in the upper troposphere is limited to its current values. Parameters are just chosen to approximately match current observations. But the strength of the greenhouse effect must be constrained to its current value by laws of physics. A theory that does not show how the amount of water vapour is limited is therefore incomplete.

    The Miskolczi theory shows the source function at the top of the atmosphere increases to a maximum then decreases with increasing optical depth. Optical depth is a measure of the effective amount of greenhouse gases, and is the negative natural logarithm of the longwave transmittance through the atmosphere. (Some energy is transmitted from surface directly to space without first being absorbed by the atmosphere.) Miskolczi has shown that the global average optical depth is just at the value which maximizes the source function, allowing the most efficient disposal of the thermal energy of the atmosphere.

    He has also shown that optical depth trend from 1948 through 2008 is essentially zero, based on the air water content radiosonde data from the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and CO2 from Mauna Loa, Hawaii. (Optical depth trend increased by 0.0018 in 61 years, average 1.867) It is recognized that earlier data may be less accurate than more recent data.

    See http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Optical%20Depth2008.jpg

    In this graph the pink line shows the increase in optical depth with increasing CO2 with water vapour held constant. All climate models assume that CO2 has no effect on water vapour content, which is a nonsense assumption. The green line shows the trend including water vapour, which eliminates most of the warming effect of CO2, confirming a large negative feedback.

    I had asked Miskolczi to run a test using the HARTCODE line-by-line radiative transfer code to determine the effect of adding an amount of water vapour in a layer near the surface and in a layer in the upper troposphere. Adding water vapour near the surface has almost no effect of the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) because the layer already has more than enough water vapour to absorb all the longwave radiation outside of the atmospheric window. But adding water vapour to the upper atmosphere reduces the OLR significantly.

    See http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/H2O_OLR.jpg

    The blue line shows the effect of adding or subtracting water vapour from a layer at 307 – 423 mb pressure. The black dot is the base case, and the blue dots on the blue line represent the result when adding or subtracting 20% and 90% of the layer’s water content. Adding 20% to this layer reduces the OLR by 0.29%, but added the same amount of water vapour to the near surface layer (0.964% of that layer) reduces the OLR by only 0.01%. If the atmosphere was in equilibrium in the base case, with the OLR equal to incoming solar radiation, the addition of water vapour causes a forcing, with incoming solar radiation greater that OLR, and the excess causing heating of the atmosphere.

    Global warming would increase the water content of the surface layer, as warmer air can hold more water vapour, and near the surface relative humidity stays approximately constant. But this has no greenhouse effect as it does not affect the OLR.

    Adding CO2 to the atmosphere replaces water vapour in the upper atmosphere because the total energy that drives the energy fluxes of the greenhouse effect is limited by the incoming radiation from the Sun. As CO2 additions uses more of the available energy, less energy is available for water vapour.

    Here is a graph of specific humidity at the 400 mb level.
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/SH400mb.jpg

    All climate models show specific humidity increasing in the upper troposphere with global warming. This shows specific humidity has declined about 14% since 1948. The upper troposphere is the only level where changes in greenhouse gases matter.

    All climate models assume relative humidity stays approximately constant at all levels of the atmosphere. This was based on observations over short time periods, seasonal changes, when CO2 levels did not change much. It is invalid to apply this observation to long time periods when CO2 levels change significantly.

    Here is a graph of relative humidity at several levels in the atmosphere.
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/GlobalRelativeHumidity300_700mb.jpg

    Note that relative humidity at 300 mb level, which is in the middle of the predicted by missing tropospheric “hot spot”, has declined from 47.5% to 38.1% from 1948 to 2008.
    The IPCC claims all these line are approximately horizontal.

    In response to some comments:
    RW says:
    “No climate model assumes an infinitely thick atmosphere.”

    True, and no climate model assumes an infinite optical depth. Miskolczi never said they do. But the derivation of the standard greenhouse equation includes an assumption of infinite optical depth.

    “No scientist quotes anything to 14 decimal places.”
    Miskolczi never did.

    Nick Stokes says:
    “He invoked one equation (4) based on a crude misstatement of a Kirchhoff Law.”

    Miskolczi says “According to the Kirchhoff law, two systems in thermal equilibrium exchange energy by absorption and emission in equal amounts,…”

    and Wikipedia says “At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity.”

    Equation 4 states that the downward radiation from the atmosphere is equal to the absorbed surface upward radiation.

    In the global and time average, the temperature of the surface must equal the temperature of the air at the surface because they are in physical contact. The Miskolczi statement assumes that the temperature of the air where most of the upward radiation is first absorbed by the atmosphere (excluding the portion that passes straight to space) is approximately at the same temperature as the ground. The mean free path of longwave radiation from the surface outside the atmospheric window is very short, only a few meters, so with a lapse rate of 6 C/km, there is no significant temperature change. This means that the atmosphere where the upward radiation is absorbed is in (almost) thermal equilibrium with the surface. So while equation 4 might not be exact, the equation it is a good approximation.

    Miskowczi shows with hundreds of radiosonde observations, and data from Mars, that the downward emittance is approximately equal to the absorbed surface upward flux.
    Please see “The new climate theory of Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi” based on an original draft by Dr. Noor van Andel for further proof that Miskolczi’s atmospheric Kirchhoff law is in effect.
    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction

    Nick Stokes says:
    “He made an incomprehensible misuse of the virial theorem.”

    Miskolczi uses thousand of radiosonde observations to show that the surface radiation (Su) is about twice the upward atmosheric radiation (Eu). He shows that these terms are “linked” to the virial theorem, but he does not claim to have rigorously applied the the theorem. This linkage suggests a likely theoretical explanation for the Su = 2 Eu result, which is shown empirically. Even the K&T energy balance agrees with this result, so this is not a problem for the Miskolczi theory.

    “His claim that the grey gas optical density must be fixed at 1.87 is based on an invented energy optimisation principle.”

    Miskolczi says “The principle of minimum energy requires the most efficient disposal of thermal energy of the atmosphere.” This principle is directly related to the Maximum Entrophy Production.
    The second law says only that entropy is maximized while the law of maximum entropy production says it is maximized (potentials minimized) at the fastest rate given the constraints.
    See http://www.entropylaw.com/thermoevolution10.html

    A principle is based on observations. Despite years of CO2 emissions, the greenhouse factor remains at 1/3. Is it just a fluke that the atmosphere decides that the amount of water vapour will always be that which maximizes the rate of cooling? The atmosphere obeys the minimum energy principle. That is why specific humidity in the upper atmosphere is falling.

    An excellent review of Miskolczi theory is here:
    http://miskolczi.webs.com/

  48. SJT May 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    “luke, as I said the clear-sky values and eqns are good; ”
    He’s made the his premise fit his data, you mean. Miscolczi is the example you want of somone taking an assumption and shoehorning his equations to fit, with his ‘magic’ constants.

  49. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Coho
    “a Tau of 1.87 means CO2 catches IR or Su at the surface in a parcel of air which is carried convectively to the CEL where the IR is remitted”

    No, that’s not part of anyone’s theory. FM’s is radiative, and Miklos explains the idea. In a grey gas, τ gives a Beer’s Law measure of how far on average a photon will get before absorption; some will not get absorbed at all. The energy absorbed is mostly transmitted by IR emission, which eventually completes the upward pathway in a finite number of steps (not a “semi-infinite number”, whatever that means).

    In reality, the air is not grey, and how far photons get depends a lot on their wavelength. Photons emitted from ground at 11 μ will mostly escape; at 15 μ they may only get a few metres. But conversely the air thermally emits strongly at 15μ and weakly at 11μ.

    Weart is describing that situation. The thermal reemission reduces closer to the tropopause, as the temperature drops. In a band with significant absorption, increasing the absorption means that the fraction that eventually escapes does so from a higher and colder altitude. You can see this very clearly in the spectra of exiting IR.

  50. Christopher Game May 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write “My reference to usage in current GCMs was based on the sentence:“Some years ago this Hungarian physicist, then working for NASA, discovered a flaw in an equation used in the current climate models. “ I presume the Milne equation is the one referred to here.” Fair enough. Yes it does seem that the original blog implies that the Milne equation is the one referred to here. The equation in question is I think the Schwarzschild equation, solved with Milne boundary conditions. I don’t know what equations they use in the GCMs. But likely you are right they do not use the Milne boundary conditions.

    I think Jennifer’s original post would have been safer to say that the discontinuity shown in the Milne solution was part of the paradigm of thinking of IPCC people, without saying that it appears in their GCMs. And the part it played in their thinking was misleading, because, as they now agree, the discontinuity wasn’t really there in nature.

    It seems that Jennifer sometimes adjusts her original posts. Perhaps she may do it for this.

    You write “I don’t believe that a Milne discontinuity was ever part of “IPCC” thinking – do you have a reference for that?” I am not a close student of IPCC thinking and right off the top of my head I don’t have a reference for it. I will try to find one for you. What I mean is that the doctrine of “back radiation”, such as appears in the K&T97 picture, requires and is based on a temperature discontinuity. That is what determines the difference between conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective heat exchange and radiative heat exchange. The real radiation from the surface is only through the window. The remaining surface exchange is conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective. The idea of ‘back-radiation’ which IPCC people like K&T97 used denies this. At least NASA no longer denies it.

    The physics is simple. Conduction of heat includes a radiative component that can no how be separated from it. One can separately measure specific radiant intensity as a function of angles, but that is not the same as a flux density measurement: it is only an ingredient in the calculation of the latter. Radiant flux density can be measured separately from conduction of heat, but that is just a feature of radiation, not of heat transport proper, which includes conduction. The conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective component has priority, but the usual thing is to forget that and just quote the radiant intensity and hope that will do. But it won’t.

    In a sense there is not a thermodynamically strictly true surface temperature because the window radiation is unbalanced and constitutes a non-equilibrium flux, which rules out strict temperature. Relaxing a little, the effective ponderable matter temperatures are continuous. For non-window wavelengths, the atmosphere is opaque and there is no separate radiative transport at the interface, and this fits with the temperature continuity. For window wavelengths, the story is different. For window wavelengths, one could reasonably say that there is a radiative temperature discontinuity, because the rarefied medium is so rarefied at window wavelengths that it effectively extends to infinite space. But temperature is usually meant to refer to ponderable matter temperature there, as distinct from wavelength specific radiative temperature uncoupled from ponderable matter temperature, as recognized by Planck.

    Yes the equation S_U = 3 OLR / 2 is specific for atmospheres with a dynamic saturation for greenhouse gas. It is empirically very nearly true. The puzzle I am setting you is to explain why. You are right, I think, to complain that Miskolczi’s paper answer is nowhere near clear enough. Perhaps he has an understanding of it, but he needs to make it clear to us. So still I think the question needs answering: why is it so? Over to you. I think you have the ability to do it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  51. SJT May 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    “Yes the equation S_U = 3 OLR / 2 is specific for atmospheres with a dynamic saturation for greenhouse gas. It is empirically very nearly true. The puzzle I am setting you is to explain why.”

    I don’t believe he can, since it makes no sense. It’s like asking someone to explain why Miscolczi thinks 1+1=3.

  52. Graeme Bird May 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    We don’t have to couch things in esoteric mathematical terms to know that water vapour is, was, and always had to be, a negative feedback. You blow on hot coffee, even if sometimes its a social faux-pas, to make it cool. Prior to refrigeration and even now in some places people create refrigeration in windy places by putting water-soaked material over the object they wish to keep cool. And this works even better out in the heat so long as it is windy. Near the Thai city of Chiang Mai, up way above sea level, on the road to San Kam Peang, my step-daughters grandfather created a roadside restaurant that is superbly well air-conditioned on the basis of water evaporating many metres overhead. The power of the refrigeration effect, extending downwards as it does, is almost unbelievable as you walk off the feet-burning road and into what is almost an outdoor restaurant.

    So we ought to have known that water vapour was a negative and not a positive feedback and particularly on a planet whose surface was majority water.

    So what stopped us from realising this?

    It was the curse of the lone paradigm. It was a paradigm which dealt with watts-per-square-metre. If we are talking about watts and not joules then our time horizon is one second. Since watts are joules per second. So the curse of the lone paradigm put the blinkers on the whole story.

    Now if Jennifer has found some maths-wizard who can lead some people out of the particular blinkered view that the lone paradigm placed on everyone, well thats all well and good. But we ought to have been able to pull out of this silliness all on our own. Because maths is NOT “the language of science”…. There is one language of science and that language of science for you and me is ENGLISH!!!!! English. I’ll say it again. The language of science is not maths but ENGLISH.

    Maths is a TOOL of science. And maths isn’t a language of anything. No matter what these Rainman types might tell you.

  53. SJT May 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    Ference says

    “The global average OLRA may be estimated from the bolometric
    planetary equilibrium temperature. From the ERBE (2004) data product we
    estimated the five year average planetary equilibrium temperature as
    tE = 253.8 K, which resulted in a global average OLRA = 235.2 W m-2. From
    the same data product the global average clear-sky OLR is 266.4 W m-2.”

    He clearly disagrees with G&T, in his use of a average planetary equilibrium temperature.

    He also models clouds in a remarkably simple way, that is, they contribute a single value to his model.

  54. SJT May 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    “According to the Kirchhoff law, two systems in thermal equilibrium exchange
    energy by absorption and emission in equal amounts, therefore, the thermal
    energy of either system can not be changed.”

    Is wrong . Kirchoff’s law does not say that, it says.

    “At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity.” Which is something completely different.

  55. Steve Schapel May 3, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    By the way, in case there are any New Zealand readers looking in, Dr Miklos Zagoni, mentioned in your lead article as a colleague of Dr Miskolczi, will be giving a talk on the subject “Greenhouse Gases Can Not Cause Global Warming”…

    Date: Tuesday 5 May
    Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
    Venue:
    Meeting Room #3
    Te Awakairangi Community Resource Centre
    cnr Myrtle St / Laings Rd
    Lower Hutt

  56. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Nick, if you read Milos’s definition of Tau you will note that it is based on a weighted average of all the various absorption and emissions that the different ghgs are subject to on their merry journey; your examples of the variety of absorptions and emissions types does not detract from that; and can we agree that semi-infinite is more than 1.87, finite and somewhat less than infinite with, and I think you miss this point, the capacity for an unlimited number of further stages; this is the point, isn’t it; extra CO2 according to AGW has the capacity to keep setting higher and higher equilibrium points, theoretically only limited by the amount of incoming; and as we have seen with that lightbulb in an enclosure with a steady incoming and no outgoing that can be a very high limit indeed; semi-infinite is obviously closer to infinite than to zero in AGW meaning.

    Well little will, technically you are correct; 253.8K is different from 255K; but I think you should re-read the 2 definitions of Kirchoff; they say the same thing; or is a singular equilibrium different from a plural equilibrium in respect of the applicability of Kirchoff?

  57. SJT May 3, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    “You don’t listen do you SJT you stupid jerk. What you are saying is all bullshit. Because its not about watts its about Joules. Watts only gives you an instantaneous perspective.”

    He can deal with what ever he wants, but he can’t say he’s using Kirchoff’s law if he’s not.

  58. SJT May 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    “Well little will, technically you are correct; ”

    I guess that makes Miskolczi technically wrong, then.

  59. Graeme Bird May 3, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    The whole back-radiation thing is laughable. Not to surmise that there might not be some small effect. But just to suppose that it will be substantial.

    Suppose we have small cubical room and the walls painted black. Its sealed off and its made of pretty good but not perfect insulating material. You go in there and you light a candle, and lie on your back holding the candle up with a gloved hand.

    Now supposing you want to test the theory of back-radiation. So you have two precisely parallel mirrors inserted. And you go through the same exercise. This time you have the back-radiation of the parallel mirror magnifying the dreaded “CANDLE EFFECT.”

    Is the room really going to get hotter than otherwise? By all that much? I mean what with all that powerful BACKRADIATION?

    These dummies are acting like its going to be some sort of STARBUST. A freaking Supernova.

    But we know this backradiation cannot be the whole story, and these alleged greenhouse gasses are being singled out for undue praise. Since if the other gasses didn’t matter and only greenhouse gasses mattered and their effect was logarithmic, then the climate between the Atherton tablelands and Cairns would have begun to converge by now.

    Its more about air pressure. As cohenite and others tipped me off to. This back-radiation is a big fat furfie and they are trying to tell us that normal air isn’t an insulator.

    We cannot let them tell us stuff like this. We cannot let them dictate to us what we ought not be able to believe. If normal air wasn’t a great insulator why would any of us wear knitted woolen jumpers and things. You know Jerseys and mittens and why would we have these tee-cosies for the teapot and when smoking the Gunja?

    We cannot let these semi-autistic rainman maths-boy-101 types dictate to us this totally unreal unreality.

  60. Graeme Bird May 3, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    When we are talking about RADIATION as a form of joules-transfer then we are talking about LIGHT or more broadly ELECTRO-MAGNETIC-RADIATION.

    There is a problem here. Because the mainstream in science doesn’t know SQUAT about light. Doesn’t even pretend to know. Don’t even think its their job to find out. We cannot let these people bullshit us on gear they know only a little bit about.

    What is light asks Bill Gaede and has a pretty good shot at telling us.

    Oh its photons say the mainstream.

    Prove that photons exist?

    crickets.

    So the whole story is just based on willful ignorance. Or at least it can be said that the knowledge that they think they have is not so good that you can work things out from the ground up independent of the negative evidence (to your theories) that is coming in. month in month out.

    We are getting colder. So the theory is refuted. You don’t need to go real real far in school to know this. All you need to have to have to know that their original theory is refuted, is a pretty good memory of what these clowns were saying before we were getting colder.

  61. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    Christopher
    “Yes the equation S_U = 3 OLR / 2 is specific for atmospheres with a dynamic saturation for greenhouse gas. It is empirically very nearly true. The puzzle I am setting you is to explain why.”
    It’s not just an issue of saturation. Venus is rich with GHG, and its S_U is huge. In fact, since OLR is basically fixed (for given planet sunlight and albedo) and S_U depends on temperature, the equation asserts that temperature is fixed if GHG varies, and I don’t believe that is true. In particular, if you introduced into the air a GHG that absorbed in the frequencies of the current atmospheric window (eg SF6), S_U would greatly increase. So no, I think the S_U/OLR ratio just expresses the behaviour of our current mix of gases, and it may well be 3/2 at present.

    “For window wavelengths, one could reasonably say that there is a radiative temperature discontinuity…”
    I really don’t understand your use of continuity here. It doesn’t apply to radiation, which can convey heat between bodies separated by a vacuum. It’s only relevant when there is a dependence on temperature gradient, as with conduction. And for that reason I don’t see how the K&T radiative heat budgetting says anything about discontinuity.

    “What I mean is that the doctrine of “back radiation”, such as appears in the K&T97 picture, requires and is based on a temperature discontinuity.”
    It’s not a doctrine – it’s a measurement. And again, I don’t see why it requires discontinuity. There is a need for a temperature difference to have a nett flow (upwards), but the basic proposition is that any warm body radiates according to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.

    “Conduction of heat includes a radiative component that can no how be separated from it. “
    I presume you mean in gases. But even there, it isn’t true. You can conduct heat through nitrogen with no emission of IR. If you’re referring to air with GHG, then it is true in an interesting way. I’ve been urging people to look at Rosseland radiation models. These express the transmission that occurs when IR is absorbed and emitted in a gas with a temperature gradient. That actually obeys an equation very like that of heat conduction, and the two are hard to separate, although you can measure the IR independently.

  62. jennifer May 3, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

    Another correction just made to the original post based on the above discussion:

    deleted:

    discovered a flaw in an equation used in the current climate models

    added:

    discovered a flaw in how those constructing the IPCC climate models deal with the issue of the atmosphere’s boundary conditions

  63. SJT May 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    “discovered a flaw in how those constructing the IPCC climate models deal with the issue of the atmosphere’s boundary conditions”

    Could you point to any one of the climate models that makes this mistake, and where it makes that mistake?

  64. Nick Stokes May 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    Jennifer,
    I agree with SJT that this correction is unhelpful. I’ve read FM’s paper thoroughly, and I can’t see any reference to such a flaw in IPCC climate models. The only issue raised is in boundary conditions for the Milne treatment of the Schwarzschild equation, and if climate models aren’t using that (they aren’t), then the boundary conditions for it don’t affect them.

  65. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    little will, read p 10 of this;

    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction

  66. SJT May 3, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    It only has one very long page.

  67. cohenite May 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    Tricked you, I mean sorry, read The Standard Theory which begins under Fig 6

  68. Joel Shore May 3, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Graeme Bird:

    There is a problem here. Because the mainstream in science doesn’t know SQUAT about light. Doesn’t even pretend to know. Don’t even think its their job to find out. We cannot let these people bullshit us on gear they know only a little bit about.

    You seem to be mistaking your own ignorance for the ignorance of others. What is amazing about these sorts of debates about climate change and similar debates about evolution is how people who are so ignorant of science are able to convince themselves that they somehow understand things and it is those who know and understand incredibly more than they ever will who are the ignorant ones. It is an interesting sociological phenomenon.

    We are getting colder. So the theory is refuted. You don’t need to go real real far in school to know this. All you need to have to have to know that their original theory is refuted, is a pretty good memory of what these clowns were saying before we were getting colder.

    This argument is silly on so many levels it is hard to know which to point out. First of all, as even Roy Spencer’s data shows (http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/uah_lt_since_19792.jpg), we are actually in the midst of an incredible warming trend, since over the last year the temperature has been rising at a rate that looks like it corresponds to about 3 C per decade! See, we can play this game of cherrypicking data over short time periods too! (Except that we do it just to illustrate how silly such games are and not because we actually think the results are significant.)

    Second of all, let’s see what the logic of your idea shows: Consider the fact that the temperature trend here in Rochester NY over the past week has been one of cooling even though here in the Northern Hemisphere the seasonal cycle predicts a warming trend (and, at our latitude, quite a strong one). Does that disprove the theory of a seasonal climate cycle?

  69. SJT May 3, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    I think the introduction sums up your problem.

    “compared to the conventional global warming theory caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases promulgated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).{refs needed}

  70. SJT May 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    Poor Dr van Dorland.

    “In the attachment, that you are free to put on your web site [blog], you find the measurements you asked for. Please note that the measurements up to 200 m height, made from the radio transmitter tower at Lopik [Cabauw] in the Netherlands, are measurements made by Dr. Rob van Dorland, published in his PhD thesis. Rob is the major atmospheric IR radiation expert in the Royal Institute of Meteorology in the Netherlands, and a fervent and active supporter of the IPCC hypothesis of man-made global warming through CO2 emission.

    I tried to maintain an e-mail discussion with him about Miskolczi’s radically different theory, but did not succeed. His emotional revulsion was so strong, that he was not able to think rationally about FM’s theory.”

    I don’t think it was his emotions that were the problem, he was not able to think rationally about the irrational.

  71. Bill Illis May 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Here is an interesting (somewhat related) question that the climate researchers cannot answer because they have never thought about it – it should be a fundamental principle in the climate models.

    “How long does it take for a photon from the Sun to escape back into space after it has entered the Earth system?”

    Answer – an average of just 18 hours.

    A few photons escape within seconds or minutes. Others make it all the way to the ground and escape back to space overnight. Others make it to the ground or get intercepted in the atmosphere and bounce around the atmosphere for a day or two before they escape to space.

    A very small fraction are trapped in a water molecule and enter the deep ocean circulation system where they can reside for hundreds of years. A very small fraction melt a little ice and enter the ocean as water and may permanently/temporarily stay on earth for periods of time just as a result of melting ice. A very small fraction might get absorbed by the ground or vegetation for a period of time before they escape to space as well.

    But on average, every photon that enters the Earth system from the Sun has been sent off toward Jupiter or the rest of galaxy or toward the Andromeda galaxy in just 18 hours.

    This 18 hours IS the greenhouse effect. The delay period is the greenhouse effect.

    Other than absorption by the oceans and ice sheets (and extremely small changes in ground temperatures or vegetation balance), there is no lags in the climate system beyond 18 hours.

    All of the extra greenhouse effect that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere will have, has already occurred in the last 18 hours. (I can’t say how this is related to Miskolczi’s “Tau” number, but it is the side of it related to “time”).

  72. SJT May 4, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    Have you ever heard of the phrase “turning an aircraft carrier around”? How long does it take the ship to change direction after the ‘wheel’ has been turned?

    Or think of this. I have a bath that has the drain unplugged. I am pouring water into it so fast, that the water level is actually half full, and not changing. I now start dripping in extra water from a new source. How long does it take the bath to fill? The water is changing over very quickly, but the change in level is what is of interest to me. Without a doubt, if you turned of the sun instantly, it would get very cold here very quickly.

  73. cohenite May 4, 2009 at 12:05 am #

    Yes little will, emotional revulsion is a common reaction amongst the choosen ones; and so we have the standard model which has no discontinuity, where the boundary is not infinite but has no ceiling, where AGW is not caused by CO2 which doesn’t follow temperature, where water doesn’t cool and where temperature increases aren’t correlated with CO2 increases consistently because natural variation can mask the inconsistent but persistent warming; very rational; time for something worthwhile which should underpin scientific enquiry;

    ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

    AGW is doggerel.

  74. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write “It’s not just an issue of saturation. Venus is rich with GHG” It’s not about being rich in GHG. It’s about dynamic saturation, that is to say saturation in a dynamic sense, over an ocean, with a marginal atmospheric drying convection effect. So far as I understand, Venus doesn’t have a liquid ocean of GHG. The equation S_U = 3 OLR / 2 makes its assertion only under specified conditions, not under all conditions. Yes, if the window were blocked things would be different. But the equation assumes that the window exists. Yes, the equation expresses the behaviour of the current mix of gases. The interesting question is why and how the current mix is what it is. That is what is meant by my term dynamic saturation. That is what I am asking you to explain, which I think you have to capacity to do if you so choose.

    You write “I really don’t understand your use of continuity here. It doesn’t apply to radiation, which can convey heat between bodies separated by a vacuum. It’s only relevant when there is a dependence on temperature gradient, as with conduction. And for that reason I don’t see how the K&T radiative heat budgetting says anything about discontinuity.”

    Yes, that’s right. Radiation works with temperature discontinuity even in a vacuum, conduction-evaporation-condensation-convection only with a medium of ponderable matter with temperature continuity. The K&T97 budget shows two large “radiative” components, 390 W m^-2 and 324 W m^-2 at the surface. These are not an actual flux density vector, but are book entries in the calculation of the latter. These really represent values of the radiative intensity function in two vertical senses, up and down, and are not ready for a place in the budget, which calls for the fully integrated flux density vector.

    The sub-entry 40 W m^-2 does refer to true window radiative flux density vector and should be shown separately in the budget, so that the relevant intensity values would be (390 – 40) = 350 W m^-2 and 324 W m^-2. The window 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. For the USST-76 a correct calculation would make the window flux density about 90 W m^-2. That would make the upward non-window component (390 – 90) = 300 W m^-2. The ‘back-radiation’ would then be greater than the upward book entry. There is no need to worry too much about this because the USST-76 is a bureaucratic fiction, which does not obey the dynamical saturation rule.

    The radiant intensity values are as you say measured directly. But they do not get into the budget until they have been integrated into the one and only flux density vector, which happens to be zero in the actual atmosphere. That’s why the ‘back-radiation’ story is not needed. In another hypothetical world, such as perhaps one that had a USST-76 atmosphere, the non-window radiative flux density being non-zero would call for a temperature discontinuity. That’s the link between the ‘back-radiation’ doctrine and the temperature-discontinuity doctrine. What I have just said is another way of saying that A_A = E_D, in addition to saying it as an empirical observation. The Kirchhoff story about this is a red herring; I think it best not to spend time on it.

    The Stefan-Boltzmann law is for ideal black bodies in thermodynamic equilibrium. Away from that, there is an effective normalized emissivity coefficient to take into account. A black body is a nearly theoretical construct, best approximated by a small hole in the wall of a large furnace at constant temperature, with the radiometer covering the hole. The concept of the ideal black body was invented by Kirchhoff.

    You write ““Conduction of heat includes a radiative component that can no how be separated from it. “ I presume you mean in gases. But even there, it isn’t true.”

    To measure steady ponderable matter conduction through nitrogen one needs a layer thick enough to make it opaque, perhaps not so easy in experimental practice. In a steady conduction through nitrogen in that condition, the gas behaves like a black body for itself and has its own radiation. You can’t get rid of the radiation and measure only the ponderable matter effect then. You are quite right to make explicit the point that the opacity condition is needed for my statement. With a thin layer that is not opaque, the true conduction is outweighed by the radiative component and therefore cannot be measured in its own right. As you note, “you can measure the IR independently”, but what you measure directly is a radiant intensity, as noted above. But you can’t measure the ponderable matter conductivity independently from the associated radiation; as you say “the two are hard to separate”, well, I would say can no how be separated.

    For window radiation in the atmosphere the opacity condition is not fulfilled, and so we do indeed need a separate radiative flux term for it. For non-window radiation in the atmosphere, the opacity condition is fulfilled. For non-window radiation, we can think in terms of (a) the upper and lower optical boundary layers that emit and absorb radiation to and from the contiguous external media, and of (b) the bulk of the gas, which as you note obeys the Fourier heat transfer law, give or take other factors like evaporation-condensation-convection.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  75. Gary P May 4, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    I’ve struggled with the Miskolszi paper and do not understand half the concepts he used but occasionally visit the web site: http://miskolczi.webs.com/ to see if I can understand more. But then I saw the humidity charts for the last 70 years:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=556

    Wow. The most important confirmation of any theory. Make a prediction and it turns out to be right. And people have commented on how the climate models assume constant humidity and require this to create an enhanced greenhouse effect. This makes the models fundamentally wrong.

    I am very interested in climate models and cannot believe the absolute drivel that is coming out of the current crop of researchers. They keep telling us that the weather is not the climate. They act like a pack of string theorists who do not want to have anything to do with reality. The weather is the climate, period. We need a bit of darwinism in the climate models. We need to kill off the failures. I only see one way to do this. Make these pampered modelers put out a one year regional climate forecast every month. Then, after a couple years kill of the failures (the models, not the modelers:). The weather is chaotic enough that next years weather is going to be due to the climate and not todays weather pattern. A model that has any skill should be able to take today’s climate input such as volcanoes, SST, cosmic ray flux, solar flux, ENSO, etc., and make a prediction one year out.

    I am getting very upset at the modelers (Medieval Warming Period Deniers) that are failing to incorporate the recent advances of Svensmark and Miskolczi into new models. Start proving your work is correct in a reasonable time frame or find a new line of work.

    Its a sad state of affairs when the modelers are more scared of making a one year prediction than “The Old Farmers Almanac”.

  76. Joel Shore May 4, 2009 at 1:03 am #

    Bill Illis says:

    Here is an interesting (somewhat related) question that the climate researchers cannot answer because they have never thought about it – it should be a fundamental principle in the climate models.

    “How long does it take for a photon from the Sun to escape back into space after it has entered the Earth system?”

    Answer – an average of just 18 hours.

    Or maybe they can’t answer it because, at least as stated, it is a non-sensical question. The correct answer is that, other than the ones that are reflected directly back into space, the rest of the photons are absorbed and never make it back out. What is emitted by the earth are lower energy, longer wavelength photons but I don’t see how you can directly associate any particular one of these photons with a particular incoming photon.

    Maybe there is a way to interpret your question and answer in a way that makes some sense, although I can’t really see it at the moment. Would you care to explain to us where you came up with this conclusion?

    Also, what do you mean by “it should be a fundamental principle in the climate models”? Are you suggesting that the accepted equations of heat transfer be replaced by this concept that you have spelled out? What is incorrect about the current equations and how do you know that your formulation is better?

  77. Ken Gregory May 4, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    Nick Stock says:
    “Further, it leads directly to Eq 8, S_U=3OLR/2, which as Neal King pointed out, can’t possibly be true for an atmosphere with no GHG.”

    This is silly. Eq 8 requires the rule Aa = Ed (absorbed upward flux = downward emitted flux) to be valid. There has to be enough greenhouse gases near the surface that the mean fee path of upward emitted photons is short, so the temperature of the air where Ed originates is near the surface temperature. If there are no GHG, there is no Ed and no Aa, so equation 8 does not apply.

  78. RW May 4, 2009 at 6:00 am #

    “But the derivation of the standard greenhouse equation includes an assumption of infinite optical depth.”

    No, it doesn’t.

  79. Nick Stokes May 4, 2009 at 6:08 am #

    Ken Gregory,
    No, it isn’t silly, it’s true! With no GHG, Ed and Aa exist; they are both zero, and Aa=Ed.
    But your next statement is true, and interesting. In the mean free path is small, then yes, Aa=Ed. And because that is true at both extremes of opacity, it is likely to be approximately true in the mid-range.
    But the short mean free path that you envisage is inconsistent with the gray-body τ=1.87, as Zagoni explains at the start of the extended quote in the post. Z says it means that radiation is absorbed and re-emitted only a couple of times on its way out to space. I don’t endorse the exactness of his description, but yes, it does require a mean free path of a few km.

  80. Ken Gregory May 4, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    SJT says:
    ” “According to the Kirchhoff law, two systems in thermal equilibrium exchange
    energy by absorption and emission in equal amounts, therefore, the thermal
    energy of either system can not be changed.”

    Is wrong . Kirchoff’s law does not say that, it says.

    “At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity.” Which is something completely different.”

    Let a = the atmosphere absorptivity
    Let e = the atmosphere emissivity
    Let the surface emissivity = 1 (almost true)
    Let σ = Stefan-Boltsmann constant
    Let ts = the surface temperature
    Let ta = the atmosphere temperature where the downward radiation originates
    Let Aa = the absorbed surface upward radiation flux
    Let Ed = the downward emittance from the atmosphere

    The surface upward radiation is σ*Ts^4

    The atmosphere absorption is the surface upward radiation times the atmosphere absorptivity.

    So Aa = aσ*Ts^4

    The downward emittance depends just on the atmosphere temperature and its emissivity.

    So Ed = eσTa^4

    The Kirchhoff law says “at thermal equilibrium”, which mean the body is at the same temperature as its surroundings, which in our case means the atmosphere a few meters above the surface is at the same temperature as the surface. So we can set Ts = Ta = T.

    The law then says with this condition “the emissivity of a body equals its absorptivity”

    So a = e

    Substituting these into the Aa and Ed we get:

    Aa = eσ*T^4
    Ed = eσ*T^4

    So Aa = Ed, and the surface and atmosphere “exchange energy by absorption and emission in equal amounts”.

    So the two statements are equivalent.

  81. Nick Stokes May 4, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    Christopher,
    “The interesting question is why and how the current mix is what it is… That is what I am asking you to explain”
    Well, you would need someone like Andrew Prentice to explain that. The gases are to be explained by planetary origins and evolution, and as one of FM’s reviewers pointed out, radiative equilibrium can be established for any mix of gases. The notion of changing the mix to suit the radiation is unusual. As a side issue, it’s not entirely true that Venus doesn’t have a liquid ocean of GHG. At the surface, CO2 constitutes a supercritical fluid, with a density of 67 kg/m3.

    I disagree with you about the “reality” of the various IR fluxes. The 390 and 324 W/m2 fluxes are not just bookkeeping; they are quite measurable. The transmitted flux TA (in FM’s terms), however, is not, which is why K&T referred to their 40 W/m2 as somewhat ad hoc. The concept of fraction absorbed might seem simple, but in fact the absorption at any level is of a mix of IR emanating from the surface and from the air.

    On your USST76 AW flux of 90 W/m2, K&T did calculate 99 W/m2. They then reduced by a factor of 0.38 to allow for cloud.

  82. Nick Stokes May 4, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    Ken Gregory
    “So the two statements are equivalent.”
    No, you have only shown this in the special circumstance where the absorption occurs so close to the surface that there is no temperature difference. As I said above, this is inconsistent with FM’s prescription of τ=1.87, and indeed, with other estimates also.
    It is the limit in which Su=Aa=Ed, which means no nett IR leaves the surface. But, although there is convection and LH transport, they aren’t enough to remove the heat generated at the surface by sunlight. So it is a limit in which the world would be very hot.

  83. cohenite May 4, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    If Nick is right and the K&T model proves there is a discontinuity between the surface and the immediate air that discontinuity would be 20-25W/m^2 or about 22C; that’s a lot; one argument is this energy powers convection and following from this with increased CO2 causing increased E_D and a bigger discontinuity then increased convection would produce more and worse climate extremes such as hurricanes; this is not occuring. Does convection require a discontinuity, could water which is increasing at the surface provide the energy? About 79W/m^2 of the convective energy of ~97W/m^2 is from latent energy, the rest is from sensible heat from dry surfaces which should be the limit of discontinuity energy needed for convection [if so what happens to the rest?]; as well, some of the latent heat, ~ 3-5W/m^2 is from condensation; however there has been considerable growth in evaporation and precipitation concurrent with the increased CO2, as well as an increasing window [if one accepts the decline in high water] so arguably water is sufficient to power convection; if S_T is increasing, [and therefore OLR as Lindzen’s latest foray into the hornet’s nest suggests], then regardless of whether A_A=E_D there will be no variation in the conditions prevailing at the boundary.

  84. Nick Stokes May 4, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    Coho,
    “If Nick is right and the K&T model proves there is a discontinuity… “
    Crumbs, I didn’t say that – I’m trying to discourage people from fruitless arguments about surface discontinuity. K&T don’t have one – they compute the upward IR on the basis that the surface is at air temperature.

  85. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Nick Stokes writes to Ken Gregory:

    “Ken Gregory,
    No, it isn’t silly, it’s true! With no GHG, Ed and Aa exist; they are both zero, and Aa=Ed.
    But your next statement is true, and interesting. In[f] the mean free path is small, then yes, Aa=Ed. And because that is true at both extremes of opacity, it is likely to be approximately true in the mid-range.
    But the short mean free path that you envisage is inconsistent with the gray-body τ=1.87, as Zagoni explains at the start of the extended quote in the post. Z says it means that radiation is absorbed and re-emitted only a couple of times on its way out to space. I don’t endorse the exactness of his description, but yes, it does require a mean free path of a few km.”

    The window doctrine is that there are two mean free paths to consider, and the total mean free path needs to be calculated taking that into account. The window doctrine means that we are looking at the mean free path not of a grey body, but of a livid body. (I don’t exactly know what the colour livid means, but then I haven’t got IR eyes.) One of the mean free paths is significantly shorter than the thickness of the atmosphere, and the other significantly longer than it. The calculation must weight the two components appropriately. For the non-window wavelengths at the lower optical boundary layer, the mean free path is on the order of 30 meters. There Aa = Ed, as Nick points out, because there is no temperature jump for non-window wavelengths. For non-window wavelengths at the upper optical boundary layer, a bit below the tropopause, the mean free path is on the order of 3 kilometers as Nick points out. And there is a temperature jump to outer space, so we don’t look for the equality there.

    Christopher Game

  86. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write

    “Christopher,
    “The interesting question is why and how the current mix is what it is… That is what I am asking you to explain”
    Well, you would need someone like Andrew Prentice to explain that. The gases are to be explained by planetary origins and evolution, and as one of FM’s reviewers pointed out, radiative equilibrium can be established for any mix of gases. The notion of changing the mix to suit the radiation is unusual.”

    Yes, Nick, it is unusual. But still worth taking very seriously. What do you think of it as an idea? Perhaps Andrew Prentice can help, and let’s hope he will, but he will need to look at the mix-changing factors that you and I are now discussing.

    You write

    “As a side issue, it’s not entirely true that Venus doesn’t have a liquid ocean of GHG. At the surface, CO2 constitutes a supercritical fluid, with a density of 67 kg/m3.”

    I defer to your knowledge of Venus. Perhaps there are consequences on Venus analogous to the situation on Earth, in which the mix seems to change to suit the radiation?

    You write

    “I disagree with you about the “reality” of the various IR fluxes. The 390 and 324 W/m2 fluxes are not just bookkeeping; they are quite measurable.”

    I noted that they are what you measure. We agree to that point. But they are measured as radiant intensities, as a function of the direction and sense in which the radiometer is pointed. For the energy budget, reality is not about the radiant intensity function; for it, reality is about the radiant energy flux vector. The two are distinct. The vector is calculated from the function, so that, for it, the function is just a book-keeping entry. And for non-window wavelengths, the vector is nearly zero. That is a signal fact.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  87. SJT May 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    “Yes, Nick, it is unusual. But still worth taking very seriously. What do you think of it as an idea? Perhaps Andrew Prentice can help, and let’s hope he will, but he will need to look at the mix-changing factors that you and I are now discussing.”

    If you are talking about a design that incorporates negative feedback to maintain a steady state, such as an audio amplifier, such a concept makes sense, but there is no designer of the climate.

  88. SJT May 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    Negative feedbacks in climate will tend to limit change, postive ones to amplify it, but no mechanism knows about any target it is aiming for. Even Lindzens “Iris” is a limiting feedback, there is no notion of it being able set a climate value and maintain it at that value.

  89. Nasif Nahle May 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Flawed science from the IPCC:

    In the last five years, we have become aware that climate sensitivity is not a constant, but evolves with time as the climate changes. For example, in a global warming scenario in which sea ice retreats, the ice albedo temperature feedback decreases as the ice retreats, and the temperature sensitivity decreases correspondingly. Thus, the climate sensitivity that one should use in making projections has to be matched to the time scale and scenario for which the projections apply.

  90. SJT May 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Cryptic.

  91. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    SJT writes

    “If you are talking about a design that incorporates negative feedback to maintain a steady state, such as an audio amplifier, such a concept makes sense, but there is no designer of the climate. … Negative feedbacks in climate will tend to limit change, postive ones to amplify it, but no mechanism knows about any target it is aiming for. Even Lindzens “Iris” is a limiting feedback, there is no notion of it being able set a climate value and maintain it at that value.”

    Christopher Game replies:

    That’s right, science does not use the concept of a designer or of designer-made designs and there is no notion of a target here.

    The notion of negative feedback has several meanings. One is the ordinary language meaning, that refers to a dynamical system, where one can linearize about a stationary point and calculate the real parts the eigenvalues of the rate constant matrix. If all the real parts are negative then the stationary point is stable. Then there is the electronic engineer’s idea of negative feedback, in which there is a nominated loop, with a definite loop gain and loop delay; I think this is perhaps the one you are referring to; one famous reference is Bode 1945. Then there is the IPCC’s caricature of “negative feedback”, with no worries about a definite loop and no worries about loop delay; it arbitrarily says that the Planck response is not to be counted as a “feedback”; in effect it is then the unacknowledged “feedforward”.

    But it is by now a well understood characteristic of diabatic and steady-state open systems in nature that they evolve so as to form circulations of ponderable matter, thereby forming structurally stable dynamic organisations.

    This is in accord with the second law of thermodynamics, an insight for which Ilya Prigogine got his Nobel Prize. The earth’s climate process is practically a diabatic system of this kind, and like others of the kind is dynamically stable, which is the ordinary language meaning of negative feedback.

    No design and no designer is needed for this naturally evolving kind of stably structured steady state. What is needed is a nearly steady sun and a nearly constant mass earth. The second law of thermodynamics sees to the rest. No notion of knowing about a target comes into this.

    Perhaps you may enjoy reading ‘Order Out of Chaos’ by I. Prigogine and I. Stengers, Bantam Books 1984, where this is explained in more detail.

  92. cohenite May 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    “And for non-window wavelengths, the vector is nearly zero. That is a signal fact.”

    Yes Christopher, and therefore A_A=E_D; I must say Nick confused me with this;

    “Crumbs, I didn’t say that – I’m trying to discourage people from fruitless arguments about surface discontinuity. K&T don’t have one – they compute the upward IR on the basis that the surface is at air temperature”

    Nick didn’t mention, and to be fair, I overlooked, the other mean path at the CEL; M’s Tau applies to the atmospheric mean path aided and abetted by low and high water. Your reply to little will’s [SJT] mantra that nature does not deliberately create such a controlling mechanism is also to the point; nature abhors a vacuum and instability is always solved by entrophy; to say the Tau is like a conscious controlling hand is to say entrophy has a job description and ongoing contract; natural processes are exactly that and the products of those processes may be described; Tau is one such description and an important one. I really can see why there has been so much hostility towards M; he is better than 1/2 right; AGW is still in the barrier.

  93. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Nick Stokes writes:

    “Coho,
    “If Nick is right and the K&T model proves there is a discontinuity… “
    Crumbs, I didn’t say that – I’m trying to discourage people from fruitless arguments about surface discontinuity. K&T don’t have one – they compute the upward IR on the basis that the surface is at air temperature.”

    cohenite has saved a bit of time by using an acronym, the usual quick and efficient way, that means I have to spend time asking what it means. What is CEL, please? The cloud emission level perhaps?

    I am not clued up on the fine details of K&T. If they have no discontinuity of temperature where the land-sea surface interfaces with the lowest troposphere, then I am happy. (It would still help if they used a real atmosphere instead of an artificial one.)

    But I think we perhaps may need to be a bit more specific. I think we have to admit that we are looking at a thermodynamically non-equilibrium situation. And at a non-grey situation, because of the window. And at a situation with both ponderable matter and radiation. We have in strict principle to admit that the classical absolute temperature is undefined here. We can, however, do next best and define several temperatures, following Planck (1914) ‘The Theory of Heat Radiation’ second edition, translated into English by M. Masius, Blackiston’s, Philadelphia, page 95, section 100.

    We will want Tpmls, the ponderable matter temperature for the land-sea surface; and Tpmlb, the ponderable matter temperature for the lower optical boundary layer of the troposphere (the lowest say 100 meters); and Trw, the radiation temperature for window radiation (that will be the same throughout the path to space because it is a property of the radiation itself); and Trn, the radiation temperature for the non-window radiation in the lower optical boundary layer of the troposphere.

    Then I think we are likely to agree that Tpmls = Tpmlb = Trn, and perhaps that these are not necessarily equal to Trw, but probably they are nearly equal to it. I think a very fine examination might argue that Trw < Tpmls by a small amount, because the window wavelength energy levels of the land-sea surface ponderable matter are being drained but not replenished radiatively, and are thus not quite at local equilibrium values?

    If this is so then it seems to me that there is no room for a concept of back-radiation at non-window wavelengths in a cloudless sky. So far as I understand, but perhaps I am out of date, there are still a few people who think there is a reasonable case for talking about back-radiation? If K&T have no temperature jump then I would expect them to have no back radiation story, but it seems they do have one?

    I only talk about stories of surface discontinuity because I think I am replying to people who believe in back-radiation in the non-window wavelengths in a clear cloudless sky. If there are no such people then I am happy to agree with Nick that we don’t need to worry about the interface temperature discontinuity because there isn’t one.

    At a steady state, if two ponderable matter surfaces, held at different temperatures by external reservoirs, face each other separated by a vacuum, the temperature versus distance graph is just a jump at each surface to a midlevel flat line at a sort of mean radiative temperature. If there is a ponderable matter medium in the gap between the surfaces, then the medium will have a temperature gradient, except that there may still be temperature discontinuities at the surfaces, especially if the medium is not opaque. The presence of the temperature discontinuities is the sign of a need for a description in terms separately of conduction and radiation, that allows talk of back-radiation.

    The situation is different if the surfaces are not held at constant temperatures by the reservoirs.

    Christopher

  94. cohenite May 4, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Sorry Christopher, the CEL is the characteristic Emission layer where the IR OD is ~ =1; it is above the boundary layer, at about 7-8km; the transition point between the two mean free paths

  95. Nick Stokes May 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    Christopher
    Just a few comments on your “livid” model – perhaps purple might be a better colour, or pied might get the idea across better. It’s natural to look to a window model as being more realistic than grey, but it has its own problems. I think your mean free path of 3 km for the window is too short; it would be about 3 km for the grey model with τ=1.87. Mostly people think of the window as close to zero absorption.

    The pied model paradox concerns the outgoing spectrum. You’d expect it to track the BB curve for ground temperature within the window, and the curve for the temperature at TOA (say 220K) outside. I analysed a spectrum in this post which does look like that. But that means that significant heat must reach and be absorbed at TOA, so how does it get there? At the window frequencies, there’s plenty of energy, but no absorption. And outside, with a mean free path of 30m, there’s very little transmission.

    In reality, this is the critical role of the fringe region – wavelengths where energy is mobile enough to reach TOA, but absorbed enough to provide energy for re-emission at the more heavily absorbed frequencies. That is why varying CO2 can make a difference, even though much of the wavelength band that does interact with CO2 is so greatly absorbed that no reduction of transport (in that band) is possible.

  96. SJT May 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    I have to say, the Mars “data” is about as dodgy as you can get. Especially when it tracks the earth data so closely.

  97. SJT May 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    “Your reply to little will’s [SJT] mantra that nature does not deliberately create such a controlling mechanism is also to the point; nature abhors a vacuum and instability is always solved by entrophy;”

    More nonsense. How do you think evolution works?

  98. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write “I think your mean free path of 3 km for the window is too short;” Yes it would be.

    I didn’t refer to the mean free path for the window there. I referred (and I see I wrote it in the same sentence) to the mean free path for the non-window in the uppermost troposphere. As an aside I think I did not state a mean free path for window wavelengths. But I would suppose it to be perhaps on the order of 300 km or perhaps 30000 km or even more, but variable depending on the greenhouse gas concentration.

    I am thinking in terms of a simple model for non-window radiation in the troposphere. The model posits three optically defined layers. The lower optical boundary layer for non-window radiation might be about 100 meters thick, about three mean free paths there right against the land-sea surface. The upper optical boundary layer for non-window radiation might be about 3 km thick, the upper 3 km of the troposphere. Between is the bulk of the troposphere, in which heat transport is by diffusion-conduction-condensation-evaporation-convection with their inseparable internal thermal radiation, but no additional separate non-window radiative heat transport. Heat transport in the lower optical boundary layer is by the same mechanisms as in the bulk, but for clarity and explicitness of description it is convenient to recognise the lower optical boundary layer.

    As I understand it, heat that is not radiated straight to space through the window is transported by diffusion-conduction-condensation-evaporation-convection from the land-sea surface to the upper optical boundary layer, whence it radiates nearly all as non-window radiation to space. As I understand it, this is my answer to your question “But that means that significant heat must reach and be absorbed at TOA, so how does it get there?” The most potent site of action here is the protected towers of deep tropical convection described by Riehl and Malkus 1958 ‘On the heat balance in the equatorial trough zone’ Geophysica 6: 503-538. They go up to about 17 km and you can easily see them out of the window of the aeroplane as you fly across the equator during the day. They are way higher than your 11 km aeroplane. There are around the world about 1500 to 5000 of them at any one time, I am told. They need the ocean surface temperature to be above about 28C, a kind of threshold for them. They are about 20 or 30 km in diameter, and it rains like fury inside them. The aeroplane pilots avoid them, because they are full of turbulence. Of course there are endless other places all over the world where things like that happen, but I think these protected towers are the most potent and dramatic. I regard these things as a sort of collective pacemaker for the atmospheric convection that carries heat aloft and polewards and dry air downwards and equatorwards. More modern details of this are given in R.H. Johnson, M. Rickenbach, S.A. Rutledge, P.E. Cielsielski, W.H. Schubert 1999 ‘Trimodal characteristics of tropical convection’ Journal of Climate 12: 2397-2418.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  99. Christopher Game May 4, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    SJT writes “More nonsense. How do you think evolution works?”

    I think evolution works more or less as described in Prigogine and Stengers 1984, at least at this level of analysis. But may I ask how do you think it works?

    Christopher

  100. cohenite May 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    Nick, I admit I’m flummoxed by your assertion that K&T and therefore AGW do not posit a surface discontinuity; your link has a difference between A_A and E_D of 33W/m^2 [356-323]; other variations of the Standard Model give ~25W/m^2 [355 – 330];

    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction see fig 9.

    This A_A is absorbed very close to the surface, typically 10-100metres and is the raison d’etre for the THS because it is supposedly carried there convectively; also supposedly due to the increase in back-radiation from increased CO2 the A_A/E_D discontinuity is the mechanism for surface warming [which also isn’t happening but that’s besides the point]; if there is no discontinuity what is powering AGW?

  101. cohenite May 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    I’m sorry, that Fig is 7 not 9.

    Little will, entrophy and evolution are entirely consistent because the evolution of new/higher lifesforms occurs as a result of expended energy and on the back of extinct/entrophised life-forms.

  102. Christopher Game May 5, 2009 at 2:48 am #

    cohenite, please what is THS?

  103. noaaprogrammer May 5, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    Regarding the value for the dimensionless constant tao, (the global average infrared optical depth) 1.86756093941252: RW asserted that “no scientist quotes anything to 14 decimal places,” and thus “Ferenc Miskolczi’s work is meaningless.” Ferenc Miskolczi’s work may be meaningless, but it is not due to him publishing 14 decimals for this theoretical dimensionless constant. RW fails to understand the difference between theory and practice. Assuming that all input values are theoretical -i.e. none involve meaured constants with inherent error, then the the solution also has no error. For example, the theoretical ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is Pi (accurate to an infinite no. of decimal places), but the ratio of any measured circumference to its diameter will reflect the accuracy of the measuring device, -e.g. 3.1416 plus/minus 0.00005

  104. Nasif Nahle May 5, 2009 at 4:30 am #

    As “Little Will” has brought the theme of evolution to this thread, I have to say that evolution sometimes is apparently chaotic. However, the mutation rates are different for each phylum of organisms and even for abiotic organic particles, virus for example. The rate of “favorable” mutations for adenovirus is considered per genome and genome replication, for single-celled organisms we study it per genome, per effective genome and per cell replication, while in mammals we consider it per genome, per effective genome, per cell division or per sexual production. The theory of evolution doesn’t walk apart from entropy because still when we consider complexity like a peripheral system of entropy, the latter never would progress in the opposite sense because it (entropy, which is not a substance) will always be different of zero in any biosystem.

  105. Nasif Nahle May 5, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    Let me talk a little about virus evolution. Viruses are the simplest forms of genetic material (not of living beings).

    As a virus acquires portions of genomes which are reassorted with the original virus’ genome, taken from other viral genomes, from reservoirs or from hosts, the virus apparently is acquiring a higher level of complexity, i.e. of lower entropy. It’s not true because as the virus becomes lesser specific, it becomes more entropic because the virus would be acquiring genomic errors into the reassorted portions of alien genomes.

    Besides, when the evolved virus is out of contact with hosts, the entropic state of the virus will invariably increase.

    When viruses are evolving, their local entropies must be transferred to other systems which are in lower entropic states than the viruses, that is, from a higher entropic state towards a lower entropic state. It implies the dispersion of the viral inner energy towards more potential microstates, which means local entropy increases in evolving viruses.

    The same criterion applies to living beings. The change occurs long before a pressure from the environment occurs and it is given by physicochemical evolution.

  106. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Thank you Nasif for your explanation; in the context of AGW evolution involves competition for resources and between species; as I see it the AGWers want humanity to stop evolving to reduce their carbon footprint; if humanity does not use the resources available to evolve then, since nature abhors a vacuum, other species will take over from humanity’s self-imposed decline; considered in this light AGW is not only working against humanity’s best interests but is ignoring fundamental natural process. How ironic.

  107. Joel Shore May 5, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    cohenite: Your statements about “AGW evolution” are just bizarre. First of all, reducing one’s carbon footprint does not mean we “stop evolving”. Actually, it means that we continue evolving by moving on to more advanced, less-carbon-intensive technologies rather than trying to continue the fossil fuel era until we run out of those resources. The question is not IF we are going to get off fossil fuels but rather whether it will happen before or after we have likely done severe and irreversible harm to our environment.

    As for “humanity’s self-imposed decline”, such a decline is way more likely to occur if those who are arrogant enough to believe that we should value short-term economic gain over long term environmental- and economic-sustainability continue to lead humanity down such a destructive path. Those of us who want to determine our future based on the best science and intelligent use of market-based economics rather than blind adherence to market fundamentalist principles are the one’s working to try to prevent humanity’s decline (as well as the decline of the whole ecosystem).

  108. SJT May 5, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    “No climate model assumes an infinitely thick atmosphere.

    No scientist quotes anything to 14 decimal places.

    Ferenc Miskolczi’s work is meaningless.”

    Bears repeating.

  109. SJT May 5, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    “Little will, entrophy and evolution are entirely consistent because the evolution of new/higher lifesforms occurs as a result of expended energy and on the back of extinct/entrophised life-forms.”

    Your claim was that entropy would always ensure there was more disorder than order, when it is quite clear that order can result from purely natural processes. My argument was that Miscolczis ‘order’ has no identified mechanism by which it is supposed to operate. Pulling entropy out of your hat doesn’t count.

  110. Nick Stokes May 5, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    Sceptic sites sometimes remind me of that old joke about a man who wanders into a group of sequestered monks, whose conversation consists of an occasional utterance of a number, whereupon everyone laughs. It is old – it’s #1 where I come from.

    It’s like that here. You can have a thread where there seems to be some attempt to have one thing follow another, until someone says “Evolution!”, or “Eugenics!”, or maybe “DDT!” or “socialism!”. Then the chorus chimes in “A mighty fraud is AGW…”, with maybe the odd cry of “Gore!” or “Hansen!”.

  111. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Joel, that spray is just junk; the greens do not want nuclear which is the most advanced fuel source and despite Jimmy Hansen’s support of it; but you give your position away when you lapse to the default button of sustainability; this is a nonsense term because, ultimately nothing is sustainable which is why I introduced entropy into the discussion; the green energy sources are not just hacking it and your argument is tautological anyway; that is, why give up good, economic energy sources which are 3rd world compatible? The answer is 2-fold; reverence for nature and an antipathy to capitalistic lifestyle; hence your cliches “severe and irreversible harm to our environment” and “blind adherence to market fundamentalist principles.”. There is simply no proof that CO2 is doing this and by concentrating on this chimera the greens via AGW are ignoring real and solvable pollution issues. Wake up to yourself and go and do some research of fast integral reactors which will provide grid power until fusion comes online; wind and solar are jokes.

  112. SJT May 5, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    My bad, I brought up evolution as an example of something that doesn’t fulfill Cohenites assumption about entropy.

  113. SJT May 5, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    “ultimately nothing is sustainable which is why I introduced entropy into the discussion; the green energy sources are not just hacking it and your argument is tautological anyway;”

    Renewable energy sources are either based on the sun as their ultimate energy source, or the earth, with tides and geothermal. Both will outlast our uranium supplies.

  114. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Nick, you’ve jumped the shark; but it’s good to see I’m not the only one who gets side-lined by little will’s distractions and non-sequiturs.

  115. SJT May 5, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    “Nick, you’ve jumped the shark; but it’s good to see I’m not the only one who gets side-lined by little will’s distractions and non-sequiturs.”

    It was in response to your claim about entropy. It was nonsense.

  116. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    Another thing; eqn 7

    SU – [Fo + Po] + E_D – E_U = OLR

    For CLEAR-SKY values;
    SU=380
    Fo=250
    E_D=320
    E_U=190
    error +/- 5Wm-2

    Eat your heart out K&T.

  117. Nick Stokes May 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    Coho Eat your heart out K&T.
    Where do you get these figures? You can’t really get global clear-sky values; the globe never has a clear sky. On my figuring,
    T&K08: SU – [Fo + Po] + E_D – E_U – OLR = 396 – 239 + 333 – 169 – 239 = 82
    or K&T97: 390 – 235 + 324 – 165 – 235 = 79
    It’s closer if you include the 30 W/m2 radiated up from clouds in E_U.

    I was puzzled by your talk of a discontinuity in K&T, since they don’t list temperatures. I see now that you think A_A-E_D nonzero means a discontinuity. But it doesn’t, for several reasons. There’s no reason to believe that the heat absorbed, A_A, will all come downwards – there is a nett flow upwards. Nor can you assume that the absorption and emission come equally from the same place. Some of the reradiated component of A_A is absorbed again before reaching the ground (as E_D).

  118. Jan Pompe May 5, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    Nick “There’s no reason to believe that the heat absorbed, A_A, will all come downwards ”

    There is if the temperatures are the same. The net flow upwards occurs because the back radiation form cooler higher altitudes is less not because the emissions aren’t isotropic.

  119. SJT May 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    “SU – [Fo + Po] + E_D – E_U = OLR

    For CLEAR-SKY values;
    SU=380
    Fo=250
    E_D=320
    E_U=190
    error +/- 5Wm-2

    Eat your heart out K&T.”

    And Miscolczi also has the radiosonde readings from Mars to back it up. 😉

  120. SJT May 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Since we are all taking back radiation for granted now, I take it we all reject G&T?

  121. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    “You can’t really get global clear-sky values”; luke will be disappointed, that puts paid to Philipona; and these good folk;

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0426(2003)020%3C1170%3AAVSPFT%3E2.0.CO%3B2#I1520-0426-20-8-1170-F06

    Seriously Nick, K&T’s figures are for all-sky, that is cloudy, conditions; if you can’t do anything it is measure the effect of cloudy conditions [unless you consider Spencer and Braswell]; M’s figures hold for non-cloudy conditions and are obtainable from any clear-sky global measurment data-base.

    As for “there is a net flow [of heat] upwards”; golly it’s good to hear that from a leading AGW supporter. If that is the case and if there is no discontinuity even if A_A-E_D > 0 then back-radiation cannot heat the surface any more than it has already been heated by the initial insolation.

  122. Nick Stokes May 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    Coho As for “there is a net flow [of heat] upwards”
    Yes, of course there is. Heat comes in – heat has to go out. About 235 W/m2.
    And there is back radiation – 320 W/m2 you said. That’s 320 Joules/sec/m2. Joules heat things.

  123. SJT May 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    “As for “there is a net flow [of heat] upwards”; golly it’s good to hear that from a leading AGW supporter. ”

    Seriously, do you even understand the base for AGW at all, if you are going to make remarks like that. All Climate scientists have always said there is a net from of heat upwards. Just look at the K&T radiation balance diagram.

  124. Jan Pompe May 5, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Joules Verne Nick: “That’s 320 Joules/sec/m2. Joules heat things.”

    Not if they are repaid with interest that’s 390 – 320 = 70 Joules/sm^2 interest

  125. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    “Joules Verne Nick”; that’s quite good Jan; you see Nick sceptics do have a sense of humour.

  126. SJT May 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    “Joules Verne Nick”; that’s quite good Jan; you see Nick sceptics do have a sense of humour.”

    Must have missed something there.

  127. SJT May 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Nick Stokes is one person who tries to play it straight, and answers anyone’s questions. The usual response from the usual crowd when they have nothing of substance to offer.

  128. Jan Pompe May 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Will “Must have missed something there.”

    Yeah this blog is selective in the html tags it allows and half truth makes the best fiction.

  129. cohenite May 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Little will, Nick told a crusty old joke at sceptics’ expense earlier; I’m sure he can stand Jan’s comeback.

  130. Joel Shore May 5, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    cohenite says:

    As for “there is a net flow [of heat] upwards”; golly it’s good to hear that from a leading AGW supporter. If that is the case and if there is no discontinuity even if A_A-E_D > 0 then back-radiation cannot heat the surface any more than it has already been heated by the initial insolation.

    This is nonsense. The big mistake that G&T made (at least to the extent that their writing is clear enough to pull out what the mistake is) and that you seem to be making is to think something like, “If the net heat flow is from the surface to the atmosphere, how can the atmosphere possibly heat the surface?” The answer is that you have to properly understand the case that you are comparing it to, which is the case where the atmosphere is transparent to IR and thus all of what the earth radiates according to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law escapes into space. So, the case of an IR-absorbing atmosphere where some portion of this radiation is returned to the earth will result in the earth being warmer relative to that other case. It is the same sort of physics that underlies heat shields…and, in fact, it is easy to come up with simple exactly-soluble radiative problems to demonstrate this basic effect.

  131. Christopher Game May 6, 2009 at 12:52 am #

    referring to the “Comment from: cohenite May 5th, 2009 at 12:11 pm”

    Please cohenite tell us also your value for OLR which does not appear on your data list but is needed for your point. Please also tell us the source of your data.

    Christopher

  132. Christopher Game May 6, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    I find no reply from you to my post of May 4th, 2009 at 11:17 pm.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  133. Christopher Game May 6, 2009 at 3:22 am #

    Ken Gregory’s comment:

    “Comment from: Ken Gregory May 4th, 2009 at 6:42 am

    SJT says:
    ” “According to the Kirchhoff law, two systems in thermal equilibrium exchange
    energy by absorption and emission in equal amounts, therefore, the thermal
    energy of either system can not be changed.”

    Is wrong . Kirchoff’s law does not say that, it says.

    “At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity.” Which is something completely different.”

    Let a = the atmosphere absorptivity
    Let e = the atmosphere emissivity
    Let the surface emissivity = 1 (almost true)
    Let σ = Stefan-Boltsmann constant
    Let ts = the surface temperature
    Let ta = the atmosphere temperature where the downward radiation originates
    Let Aa = the absorbed surface upward radiation flux
    Let Ed = the downward emittance from the atmosphere

    The surface upward radiation is σ*Ts^4

    The atmosphere absorption is the surface upward radiation times the atmosphere absorptivity.

    So Aa = aσ*Ts^4

    The downward emittance depends just on the atmosphere temperature and its emissivity.

    So Ed = eσTa^4

    The Kirchhoff law says “at thermal equilibrium”, which mean the body is at the same temperature as its surroundings, which in our case means the atmosphere a few meters above the surface is at the same temperature as the surface. So we can set Ts = Ta = T.

    The law then says with this condition “the emissivity of a body equals its absorptivity”

    So a = e

    Substituting these into the Aa and Ed we get:

    Aa = eσ*T^4
    Ed = eσ*T^4

    So Aa = Ed, and the surface and atmosphere “exchange energy by absorption and emission in equal amounts”.

    So the two statements are equivalent.”

    Dear Ken Gregory,

    Your proof is admirable in many ways. But I have some reservations.

    Your proof gives no explicit account of possible non-radiative (that is to say, for conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective) transfer of heat. But I think the latter is important and needs to be accounted for. Perhaps it cancels somehow, but a really explicit proof would show just how. I think it does not cancel.

    Your proof does not deal explicitly with the fact that the temperature in the lowest troposphere may not be uniform. The sites of radiative emission might be at temperatures different for the upwards and downwards radiations. Perhaps some kind of temperature coarse graining is needed. I think your proof needs an explicit account of this.

    It is I think essential to your proof that there be no discontinuity of temperature between the land-sea surface and the lowest troposphere. You do not deal explicitly with this requirement. I think your proof needs that.

    The temperatures are not at strict classical thermodynamic equilibrium, and so are subject to some close critical attention. Classical absolute temperatures are defined only at strict thermodynamic equilibrium. It may be that following Planck, one needs to admit the relevance of several different effective temperatures. I think a rigorous proof would attend to that.

    Generally your proof is admirable for its clarity and explicitness, and I am glad of that; but we are dealing here with an issue that is very tricky, or at least controversial, and I think it reasonable to try for something quite rigorous. For myself I find the issue not too easy to grasp in every detail. Amongst other problems is the fact that the Kirchhoff law (1858 in the original, 1860 in English) is advertised as dealing with strict thermodynamic equilibrium, and the whole point of the present work is that we do not have that here. Yes, we have a version of so-called local thermodynamic equilibrium, but that is explicitly an approximation. How good an approximation is it here? The exact range of applicablity of the Kirchhoff law away from strict thermodynamic equilibrium I think needs careful attention in this problem. I have not yet found in the literature a convincing treatment of this. The treatments I have seen seem contrived or even at times slipshod. Do you know of a convincing one?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher Game

  134. Nick Stokes May 6, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Christopher,
    Sorry about the delayed response to your post. It raised substantial questions, and I had a busy day yesterday.

    I think the mode of transport of the energy that is radiated from TOA in the non-window bands is interesting, difficult, and the key to the greenhouse effect. Let’s take 15μ as a typical blocked frequency. That doesn’t mean that such radiation is absent in the atmosphere – on the contrary, emissivity is very high. The reason that there is little transport at 15μ is that at any point in the atmosphere, below TOA, 15μ radiation comes almost equally from above and below. I think your choice of a bottom 100m layer might be based on a belief that 15μ radiation changes over that interval, and it doesn’t.

    Convection and LH transport heat, but mainly at lower altitudes. The K&T figures of about 100 W/m2 combined from the surface are justified, and the transport diminishes as you go up. Convection can look spectacular, but on average the heat transported is small compared with radiation, which is happening everywhere all the time. LH transport upwards is basically set by the rate of rainfall downwards, so again is small at high altitudes.

    The source of the heat radiated from TOA at 15μ (and similar blocked wavelengths) has to be IR, and it has to be at frequencies which are transparent enough to travel substantial distances, but absorbed enough to keep the radiating air warm. What happens in your top 3km is this gradual shift of energy from marginal to “blocked” wavelengths, as the blocked wavelengths finally lose their local isotropy and effectively radiate to space.

    I noted your remarks on equilibrium. First it should be said that LTE is a different concept to thermal equilibrium, It describes the behaviour of gas as a material, and says that the distribution of KE by molecular collisions is faster than any other process you are likely to consider. It means, for example, that all molecules have the same “temperature”, so it is meaningful to speak of a temperature of the gas. A practical consequence for gas IR is that when energy is absorbed and reradiated, you should not think of this as happening from the same GHG molecules. Absorbed IR energy is distributed among air molecules generally, and when GHG molecules emit thermally, their energy is immediately restored by collision with N2 and O2.

    It is true that many statements of Kirchhoff’s Law contain the caveat “at thermal equilibrium”. I suppose that is a sensible precaution – one might think of some severe disequilibrium that would cause an exception. But KL is actually a law about material properties, emissivity and absorptivity, and not about thermal circumstances. You can look up gas absorptivities; you won’t find separate emissivities (generally), because they are just taken to be the same. Essentially, KL applies whenever the concepts of emissivity and absorptivity are meaningful.

  135. cohenite May 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Christopher; OLR, according to K&T is ~40Wm^2; for M it is closer to 60Wm^2; this is a key point and one Nick has looked at; namely whether any other OLR is not from window frequencies or CO2 frequencies which are non-isotropic [ie at the CEL]; Mike Hammer’s recent paper considers that a decline in high cloud will enable more IR at water frequencies to become OLR; this is important for M because, while his clear-sky Tau is pretty good [and Nick that’s not just my opinion but Steve Short’s] it is not so good for all-sky values; now if high cloud is a negative feedback in respect of creating another source of OLR, or widening an already existing one, then that would enable M’s OLR value, S_T, to have a fighting chance of reaching 60Wm^2 and for his mean Tau value of 1.87 to be good for all-sky values.

    Joel; the issue with back-radiation is its asymptopic nature; at around 20 ppm CO2 does have a heating effect through E_D; this is a greenhouse effect; but this declines;

    http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/9652/logwarmingillustratedkn7.png

    On this basis extra CO2 is having negligible effect on temperature, backradiation or not.

  136. cohenite May 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Sorry Christopher, I misunderstood you and was thinking of the window OLR, S_T; those earlier eqn 7 figures were from Miklos which gives 260 for OLR.

  137. eric adler May 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    I wonder if there will be a part 2 for this topic.
    It is pretty clear that Miskolczi’s theory is quackery. There is no physical justification behind his equations and arbitrary restrictions.

  138. Joel Shore May 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    cohenite: Well, I am glad that you seem to be abandoning the crazy G&T claims. As to your latest claim and the graph that goes with it:

    (1) Everyone understands that in the regime of CO2 concentration that we are in, the dependence of radiative forcing (and the climate sensitivity) on CO2 is approximately logarithmic. That is why people talk in terms of the amount of warming you get due to a doubling rather than the amount of warming you get due to, say, a 100ppm increase.

    (2) Even assuming the graph that you linked to presents a correct calculation of climate sensitivity, I hardly think that 1.64 C per doubling is “negligible”. If we quadruple CO2 levels (and we have enough fossil fuels to do more than that, quite a bit more I believe if you include the unconventional ones like tar sands), you would get more than 3 C of warming globally…which is about half the warming that occurred between the last ice age and now.

    (3) However, that graph has a serious problem in that what the person is actually calculating by fitting to the temperature data is not the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) but rather the transient climate response (TCR), which is expected to be lower. So, it would be compatible with an equilibrium climate sensitivity of at least 2 C and perhaps even close to 3 C (depending on the time constants associated with the warming, which there is still some debate about).

    (4) Furthermore, trying to calculate either the ECS or TCR from the instrumental temperature record gives a result with very large error bars. This is because there are large uncertainties associated with some other forcings…mainly aerosols and also because there is also some internal variability. So, real studies of how the ECS is constrained by the instrumental temperature record show it is not very well constrained at all. Better constraints are derived from other evidence, such as the difference in temperature between the last glacial maximum and now and the eruption of Mt Pinatubo. And, the best constraints are derived from combining all of the evidence together (including the instrumental temperature record…although that probably only helps improve the constraint a little bit).

  139. cohenite May 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    You simply cannot want to be taken seriously eric with a comment asserting there is no physical justification for Miskolczi’s theory; Miskolczi’s theory may have some issues with the all-sky values but for clear-sky values it is sound because these values were measured by Miskolczi before he devised his theory as this shows;

    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction

    And this;

    http://miskolczi.webs.com/

  140. SJT May 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    “You simply cannot want to be taken seriously eric with a comment asserting there is no physical justification for Miskolczi’s theory; Miskolczi’s theory may have some issues with the all-sky values but for clear-sky values it is sound because these values were measured by Miskolczi before he devised his theory as this shows;”

    And where did his Mars measurements come from?

  141. cohenite May 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    Well, Joel, that is what this thread is about; whether an increase in CO2 will set a new and higher equilibrium; AGW says it will, M’s model says it will not; the key is water and this explains the difference between ECS and TCR; the idea that the TCR can mask the true ECS is a well documented aspect of AGW theory with Keenlyside et al arguing it and most recently Easterling and Wehner doing a poor job at suggesting temporary cooling still has underlying AGW. Then there is the pipeline or delayed response part of AGW. Both the masking and the pipeline are problematic with actual data contradicting both. The actual data is declining upper water and increasing surface water; both are arguably -ve feedbacks which mitigate what would otherwise be the 1.64C increase in temp for a doubling of CO2; this is what you aren’t appreciating from the graph; the graph shows the pure effect of CO2 increases; this is constrained by other dominant features of the climate system such as water and variations in insolation [and as you say volcanoes and aerosols]; when these are taken into account there does not seem to be any AGW effect at all;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/10/temperature-trends-and-carbon-dioxide-a-note-from-cohenite/

  142. Nick Stokes May 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Coho “these values were measured by Miskolczi”
    I keep saying, to no apparent effect, that Miskolczi hasn’t measured anything. He’s taken pressure and temperature data from a database, and performed calculations with his LBL code. The muddle that this induces shows on the Zagoni website, which is apparently the source of the S_u etc figures you quoted above. As you say, the are “clear-sky” values. But the Earth doesn’t have a clear sky. That means they are a mishmash of inconsistent calculated figures. S_U is computed from observed Earth ground temperatures. But these are the figures with the clouds we have. We don’t know what the ground temp would be without clouds, but it would likely be very different. Goodness knows what they have used for insolation, but it too is affected by cloud.

    We can measure the actual fluxes, and check that they imply a steady state. That’s the point of the K&T budget. We’ve no way to know whether M’s theoretical clear sky world would be at steady state, especially with a 14C ground temp.

  143. SJT May 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    “I keep saying, to no apparent effect, ”

    You are starting to understand, Grasshopper.

  144. cohenite May 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Well ok Nick; but isn’t K&T based on a cloudless/global annual average? And as you say, Su and OLR are measureable fluxes but as I understand it not Aa or the transmitted fluxes, St; since Eu and Ed can only be calculated from the transmitted fluxes it’s all a bit of guesswork. K&T guess their Su from a vantage point of clouds being a +ve feedback; that is debatable. At least M has, via HARTCODE, done a global calculation of emission and absorption of radiation in the atmosphere; he has done this on the basis that “Clouds at around 2 km altitude have minimal effect on the LW energy balance and seem to regulate the SW absorption of the system by adjusting the effective cloud cover beta” [p19]; that is, clouds are a negative feedback. Looked at in his light M’s clear-sky values are based on a -ve value for clouds; K&T’s all-sky values are based on a +ve value for clouds, hence the difference. I don’t see that M is a mishmash because of that; arguably the mishmash is on the other foot; if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor.

  145. Nick Stokes May 6, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Coho,
    K&T consistently use all sky values in their budget. This does cause problems with E_D, because they have to use modelling here, although it can be checked with ERBE satellite data. They describe a fairly elaborate model with various degrees of cloud. They concede that the low cloud effect renders that part of the E_D term “highly uncertain”. But at least they deal with a consistent set of quantities. M just mixes clear sky and observed (global all sky) data. Then the website has the cheek to say that their graphs “cast deep questions on the credibility” of K&T. They are not computing the same thing.

    S_U is in principle measurable, but in practice noone has tried to survey the earth’s surface with a low altitude IR device, so it is computed from ground temp and S-B. No guesses here involving +ve feedback. It is only M who works in a feedback assumption.

  146. eric adler May 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Your writing here displays the double standard common among certain skeptics.

    Egregious errors in physics and misrepresentations, such as made by Miskolczi and G&T, which are real howlers, are forgiven, and their basic conclusions are regarded as still valid, yet inconsequential errors made in some of the scientific literature are blown up way beyond any scientific significance that they could have, and represented as proof of deliberate fraud.
    This doesn’t seem like rational thought to me.

    Basically these guys are trying to make a name for themselves, thinking they have made some startiling discoveries, but their understanding of the basic physics is flawed beyond belief.

  147. Jan Pompe May 6, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Will ”
    “I keep saying, to no apparent effect, ”

    You are starting to understand, Grasshopper.”

    I don’t think that he has worked it out that it’s quite irrelevant just who launched the radiosondes since it was a world wide effort on the part of a number of teams. Miskolczi played a part in that effort including calibration of satellite instruments with radiosonde data.

    cohenite: “Su and OLR are measureable fluxes but as I understand it not Aa or the transmitted fluxes, St; since Eu and Ed can only be calculated from the transmitted fluxes it’s all a bit of guesswork.”

    You’re almost right Su, OLR *and Ed* are measurable with optical instruments. Breaking OLR down into St and Eu requires know what the absorbing species are doing i.e. how much they absorb and how much they emit to do that you need to do the laboratory work [HITRAN(now2008)] and to know the concentrations and do the convolution integrals emissions with the concentration and line data. That’s where LBLs come in and the proof of the pudding is in testing the results against the interferometer measured data.

    The method is well validated despite Nicks protestations.

    There is however something to be considered Zagoni in slides 9 10 and 11 here
    http://miskolczi.webs.com/ZM_v10_eng.pdf

    “shows” how well HARTCODE can replicate interferometer data. There is a problem with this the windows on the optical instruments and the sensing element do not have a flat response across the entire spectrum. IOW they do not have the same gain or give level measure of the intensity across the spectrum so they need to be calibrated not only for the non flat response but also orbital effects. They are calibrated against the results of LBLs or similar computations so it should come as no surprise that the satellite interferometers produce a nearly identical spectrum

  148. Christopher Game May 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    Please excuse my impatience to hear your reply!

    You write: “Let’s take 15μ as a typical blocked frequency. That doesn’t mean that such radiation is absent in the atmosphere – on the contrary, emissivity is very high. The reason that there is little transport at 15μ is that at any point in the atmosphere, below TOA, 15μ radiation comes almost equally from above and below. I think your choice of a bottom 100m layer might be based on a belief that 15μ radiation changes over that interval, and it doesn’t.”

    Yes I agree that at any point below the upper optical boundary layer of the troposphere, the 15μ radiation comes almost equally from above and below. This includes the lower optical boundary layer of the troposphere (let’s say the lowest 100 meters). There is most often very vigorous convective and turbulent mixing in the lower optical boundary layer. Because of that, in that lowest 100 meters, the temperature is near enough uniform with no more than a small vertical gradient. To me this means that we do not see a separate radiative transport of heat in the lower optical boundary layer nor in the bulk of the troposphere. The radiation there is black body internal to the ponderable matter medium, intense as stated by Planck’s law for those wavelengths, but so nearly equal in all directions that all heat transport there is fully described by the conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective term with its inseparable internal radiation. I agree with you that radiation at the non-winodw wavelengths is intense and not steeply varying within those layers, and in particular that it changes only extremely slightly and gradually, hardly at all because of the vigorous convective and turbulent mixing, in the lowest 100 meters. Sometimes we think of the diffusion of heat in the non-window wavelengths there. Fourier’s heat transport law comes to mind. In a word, we are in an effectively opaque medium. (It is different for window wavelength radiation.)

    You write: “Convection and LH transport heat, but mainly at lower altitudes. The K&T figures of about 100 W/m2 combined from the surface are justified, and the transport diminishes as you go up. Convection can look spectacular, but on average the heat transported is small compared with radiation, which is happening everywhere all the time. LH transport upwards is basically set by the rate of rainfall downwards, so again is small at high altitudes.”

    I agree that radiation in the non-window wavebands is happening there intensely all the time. But I see its directional near-uniformity as meaning that actual heat transport is simply diffusive, by conduction-evaporation-condensation-convection, and not by free radiation, to use the language of Mihalas and Mihalas 1984, see below. Less heat is necessary to warm the more rarefied middle and upper troposphere.

    You write: “The source of the heat radiated from TOA at 15μ (and similar blocked wavelengths) has to be IR, and it has to be at frequencies which are transparent enough to travel substantial distances, but absorbed enough to keep the radiating air warm. What happens in your top 3km is this gradual shift of energy from marginal to “blocked” wavelengths, as the blocked wavelengths finally lose their local isotropy and effectively radiate to space.”

    In the upper optical boundary layer (let’s say about 3km), there is less and less component intensity downwards because the air there is thinner and cooler, and there is practically no downwards radiation from space. This is where the convected heat is gradually converted into non-window radiation to space, the upwards emission from the atmosphere.

    You write: “But KL is actually a law about material properties, emissivity and absorptivity, and not about thermal circumstances. You can look up gas absorptivities; you won’t find separate emissivities (generally), because they are just taken to be the same. Essentially, KL applies whenever the concepts of emissivity and absorptivity are meaningful.”

    Mihalas and Mihalas (1984, pages 328-329) are cautious about this: They write “Although (72.14) is certainly satisfactory in the diffusion limit (see Para. 80) where the assumptions stated above hold, it cannot be guaranteed true, and may lead to significant errors, when free transport of radiation occurs, because the radiation field the acquires a nonlocal and/or nonequilibrium character that tends to drive the state of the material away from LTE. We shall analyze the meaning of LTE further in Para. 84; in the meantime we regard it as a computational expedient that sometimes must be used, even when of doubtful validity, to render a problem tractable (e.g., in most radiation hydrodynamics applications).”

    As I read this, for non-window radiation, we are in the diffusion limit in the lower optical boundary layer and in the bulk of the troposphere, where there is no free transport of non-window radiation. But not so in the upper optical boundary layer, because there there is free transport of non-window radiation, which is going from that layer to space, with no reply from space. (Of course it is different for window radiation.)

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  149. Christopher Game May 6, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    You write at May 6th, 2009 at 5:56 pm to cohenite: “S_U is in principle measurable, but in practice noone has tried to survey the earth’s surface with a low altitude IR device, so it is computed from ground temp and S-B.”

    I think they are right to compute it from ground temp and S-B, because there is no other way. I think that the conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective transport of heat from the land-sea surface to the lowest troposphere has to taken from the S_U. This means that S_U is in principle not directly measurable by a purely radiometric device. Perhaps one might work out a calorimetric way to measure it indirectly. In this sense I regard it as a theoretical quantity, a kind of proxy for the ground temp.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  150. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    On second thoughts I see that my just previous post is perhaps inaccurate. The conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective heat transport would affect the emissivity of the land-sea surface, I think, so that the radiation would be measured at less than S_U calculated by the surface temp and S_B with unit normalized emissivity. What do you think?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  151. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    Hello Christopher,

    “On second thoughts I see that my just previous post is perhaps inaccurate.”

    You can measure surface emission with a radiometer.

  152. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 1:25 am #

    Thank you Jan. “You can measure surface emission with a radiometer.” How much does the non-radiative (i.e. conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective) heat transfer at the interface affect the normalized emissivity? Why?

  153. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 1:56 am #

    Comment from: Christopher Game May 7th, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Thank you Jan. “You can measure surface emission with a radiometer.” How much does the non-radiative (i.e. conductive-evaporative-condensative-convective) heat transfer at the interface affect the normalized emissivity? Why?

    There is no reason why it should have any effect, outside of its effect on the surface temperature.
    To the extent that it cools the surface , it will reduce the radiative flux, which depends on temperature.

  154. jae May 7, 2009 at 4:56 am #

    I just have to ask this question once in awhile, in hopes that I someday get an answer:

    At high noon in the tropics (or even in summer at mid-latitudes), the solar insolation on a clear day is well over 1,100 w/m^2. Using the BB calcs., this is consistent with a surface temperature of about 100 C. It doesn’t get anywhere near this hot, even in the deserts, due to convection and evaporative losses. Now, the conventional hypothesis says that, in addition to this 1100 watts directly from el sol, we also have some amount of “backradiation” from the atmosphere (the “greenhouse effect”). Query: How come it doesn’t get much hotter than 30-40 C?

  155. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 5:59 am #

    Comment from: jae May 7th, 2009 at 4:56 am


    I just have to ask this question once in awhile, in hopes that I someday get an answer:

    At high noon in the tropics (or even in summer at mid-latitudes), the solar insolation on a clear day is well over 1,100 w/m^2. Using the BB calcs., this is consistent with a surface temperature of about 100 C. It doesn’t get anywhere near this hot, even in the deserts, due to convection and evaporative losses. Now, the conventional hypothesis says that, in addition to this 1100 watts directly from el sol, we also have some amount of “backradiation” from the atmosphere (the “greenhouse effect”). Query: How come it doesn’t get much hotter than 30-40 C?

    What do you mean by BB calcs? How do you arrive at 100C?

  156. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    Jae,
    OK, I get it. You get 100C if you assume that the solar radiation at noon has heated the surface to a temperature at which it would emit the 1100W/M^2.
    This is the peak radiation impinging on the surface from the sun during the day.
    This is only correct of the effective heat capacity per M2 of the surface is zero or the heat conductivity is zero.
    Since neither of these is zero, the temperature rise will have to be considerably less. The fact that the heat capacity of desert sand, and the penetration depth of the radiation and heat is low, relative to the ocean makes its surface get warmer than the ocean, and increases the range of diurnal temperature variation.
    If you dig into the desert sand during the day, the lower you go, up to a point, the cooler it gets.
    You will get to a point in depth where temperature is very even over a diurnal cycle.

    You have no means of reasonably estimating the peak surface temperature unless you know the heat conductivity and heat capacity, and look at the variation of radiation over a diurnal cycle. Of course you will also need to add in the clear air greenhouse effect, and convection as well. For the desert, the water vapor will not contribute much to the greenhouse effect.

    I hope I have answered your question. Once I understood what you meant by BB calc, the answer was quite easy and elementary. It is puzzling to me that you have asked this question many times, and not received an answer.

  157. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    Christopher

    On radiation transport, imbalance etc:

    Do you know about Modtran? There’s a Web interface here. You can set an imaginary radiometer to any height, looking up or down, under various climatic conditions, and it returns IR values. You can see the spectrum.

    I ran it for the USST-76, no clouds or rain, at heights corresponding to pressures 1030, 500 and 100 mbar. Here are the IR fluxes. I’ve padded with dots, hoping that html will preserve the spacing:

    Ht………P…….Up.IR…..Down.IR….Nett IR
    0km….1030…..361,,,,..258…….103
    6.5km…500…..289…….83…….206
    16km….100…..261…….14…….247

    What does it mean? Remember that total heat up at all levels including convection/LH (I’ll call it CLH) must balance SW going down, which is about 235 W/m2 at ground, rising slightly with altitude. So on this calc, CLH is about 132 at ground, dropping to say 35 at 500mb, and almost 0 at 100mb.

    Up IR diminishes somewhat with height. The reason is that, as you look down, for blocked wavelengths, instead of warm ground you see IR coming from the colder nearby air.

    But down IR diminishes much more, and so nett IR transport rises. The reason is just that there’s less radiating air above. It’s also colder. At highly blocking (emitting) frequencies, this doesn’t matter so much at say 500 mb, but there is a large region of intermediate wavelengths where the halving of the atmospheric mass makes a big difference.

    On things that affect surface emissivity, it is often taken to be 1. I believe in the IR range, it is indeed usually more than 0.9, so there isn’t a lot of scope for other transport to have a big effect. That said, I can’t see why, say, evaporation should affect emissivity.

  158. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Nick said,

    On things that affect surface emissivity, it is often taken to be 1. I believe in the IR range, it is indeed usually more than 0.9, so there isn’t a lot of scope for other transport to have a big effect. That said, I can’t see why, say, evaporation should affect emissivity.

    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 .

    One thing you didn’t discuss was the time of day at which this is taking place. I suspect that it is actually and average, from the figures you have given.

  159. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    Eric,
    “time of day”? Is this referring to the Modtran calc? Yes, it used USST-76 data, so it is an average.

    On evap, yes, it may cool the surface, but that doesn’t necessarily change the emissivity.

  160. JAE May 7, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    eric adler:

    “I hope I have answered your question. Once I understood what you meant by BB calc, the answer was quite easy and elementary. It is puzzling to me that you have asked this question many times, and not received an answer.”

    Thanks, but I don’t think I have an answer, yet. If you place a real double-walled glass greenhouse at the surface under the conditions I have described, you will get close to 100 C. Thus heat capacity is not an issue here. The only reason it is actually less than that (only 30-45 C) must be ascribed to convection. If you construct the greenhouse with a material which is transparent to long-wave IR, you will still get about the same temperature. So, where is the effect of this “backradiation” that we keep hearing about? If there is an effect of backradiation, shouldn’t I have surface temperatures higher than only 30-45 C. In fact, shouldn’t I have even higher temperatures in humid areas than in the deserts, given all the GHGs in the humid areas? It is actually the opposite. If I place the IR-transparent greenhouse in Guam, it still will not get as hot as the one in Phoenix, despite the fact that there is more than three times the quantity of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere in Guam. Why?

  161. Jan Pompe May 7, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Nick “Do you know about Modtran? There’s a Web interface here. You can set an imaginary radiometer to any height, looking up or down, under various climatic conditions, and it returns IR values. You can see the spectrum.”

    No Nick radiometers measure total radiation possibly limited to a band what you see on MODTRAN is is a fake interferometer.

    “I can’t see why, say, evaporation should affect emissivity.”

    The water lines that you see on MODTRAN below ~500/cm tend to broaden with higher concentration h20 that affects both absorptivity and emissivity of the atmosphere.

  162. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    Dear Nick,

    Thank you for this.

    Can you partition the IR into the part that goes straight to space, through the window, and the non-window part that is absorbed before its next adventure?

    Obviously one needs some definition of ‘window’ for such an exercise. This might be not too easy to make. In reality, every wavelength will, I suppose, have some non-zero absorption, even if very small. This absorption will manifest a variation in the width of the window wave bands as the pressure and water vapour content varies with consequent line width variation, I suppose. No simple thing to define the window, although it is a central concept according to G.C. Simpson 1927 and 1928 http://www.aos.princeton.edu/WWWPUBLIC/gkv/history/climate.html.

    On the zero order approximation that there is no downwards window component at the surface, and on the assumption that Aa=Ed, using your numbers would lead to a zero order approximation for St of
    361 – 258 = 155 W m^-2. Presumably this is too high an estimate for St because the zero order approximation is wrong. How do you get past this?

    Another way to tackle the problem might be to try to calculate the convection directly. I think that would be verging on the unfeasible?

    It worries me slightly that the land-sea surface doesn’t look black in the visible, but it is considered to be black in the IR. I mentioned that I don’t have IR eyes. It also worries me slightly that the non-equilibrium situation might somehow upset the Kirchhoff equality, since Mihalas and Mihalas 1984 say they like to have no free radiative transfer for it to be reliable, but we are postulating at least some free radiative transfer through the window. I don’t feel sure that evaporation should affect emissivity, but I can’t feel too sure that it doesn’t. Well, Kirchhoff warns that his law does not work if there is fluorescence. It seems to me that there is always fluorescence to some slight degree, just the life time of the excited state of the absorbing species being non-zero. Perhaps there is some lifetime for the current problem such that anything that happens within it is considered to happen instantaneously. Perhaps these worries are negligible.

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  163. cohenite May 7, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Well JAE the answer has to be Enthalpy; ET and the latent heat transfer of more water in the low atmosphere means that water is a -ve feedback hence Guam is not hotter than Phoenix. This real example should kill the notion of back-radiation effect but of course it won’t.

    And here is Nick muddying the waters with his clear-sky stats :-); Steve Short has an interesting take on the variation in the various radiation parameters between clear-sky and all-sky conditions;

    http://landshape.org/enm/the-value-of-tau/#disqus_thread

    Steve concludes that Tau does vary in proportion with the cloud cover; with no clouds Tau is 1.87; with 100% of cloud cover Tau is 3.58. Does that mean that greenhouse is increasing with increased water as assumed in the enhanced greenhouse notion; not according to Steve; even though S_T reduces with increased cloud cover the increase in ET [the water relevant emission lines derived from the increase in evopotranspiration caused by the increase in [low] clouds] compensates so that the OLR remains constant. Steve argues this is consistent with Lindzen’s IRIS concept and ratifies the theory that low cloud is temperature negative in proportion to increase and vice-versa with high cloud. Of course Michael Hammer put forward a some-what similar idea recently;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/radical-new-hypothesis-on-the-effect-of-greenhouse-gases/#comment-87115

    Again the key is water not CO2 and regardless as to the completness of M’s theory he is right to that extent; I believe this is the main difference between the pro-AGW and sceptic positions; the AGW position is that water is increasing and is a +ve feedback; the sceptic position is that low water is a -ve feedback while high water is a +ve feedback; if low water is increasing the question remains where does the water come from to supply the increase in high water which the pro-AGW camp is claiming is happening?

  164. Christopher Game May 7, 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

  165. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Comment from: JAE May 7th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    eric adler:

    “I hope I have answered your question. Once I understood what you meant by BB calc, the answer was quite easy and elementary. It is puzzling to me that you have asked this question many times, and not received an answer.”
    Jae wrote,

    Thanks, but I don’t think I have an answer, yet. If you place a real double-walled glass greenhouse at the surface under the conditions I have described, you will get close to 100 C.
    Thus heat capacity is not an issue here. The only reason it is actually less than that (only 30-45 C) must be ascribed to convection.

    It is known that the heat capacity and conductivity of the surface affects the surface temperature. Rock will be cooler than sand because of its heat conduction, and ocean has a much larger transparency to radiation and heat capacity than other surfaces. So there is definitely an influence there. I don’t have figures on how much this is.

    http://www2.for.nau.edu/courses/hart/for213/Self%20Study/SM_C4_Q&A.pdf

    If you construct the greenhouse with a material which is transparent to long-wave IR, you will still get about the same temperature. So, where is the effect of this “backradiation” that we keep hearing about? If there is an effect of backradiation, shouldn’t I have surface temperatures higher than only 30-45 C.
    Transparent to IR and absorbing IR should not make much of a difference. If the material absorbs it heats up and will end up emitting as much as it absorbs. Its temperature should not be too much different than the air.

    In fact, shouldn’t I have even higher temperatures in humid areas than in the deserts, given all the GHGs in the humid areas? It is actually the opposite. If I place the IR-transparent greenhouse in Guam, it still will not get as hot as the one in Phoenix, despite the fact that there is more than three times the quantity of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere in Guam. Why?
    This is a very simple question. Guam is surrounded by ocean. The sea having a high heat capacity absorbs radiation without heating up significantly. This keeps the air above the ocean much cooler than the air above the land.
    This sets up a sea breeze during the day which cools the air above the island as the hot air rises and is rapidly replaced by ocean air. The lower air temperature compensates for the increased GHG concentration.

    I don’t understand the logic of your arguments, since you don’t really have any quantitative data to show, yet you appear to be arguing that there is something wrong with the theory that radiation by greenhouse gases doesn’t make sense. It seems to be based on belief rather than real data.

    Real scientists ahve done 150 years of work on this theory. After all the detailed spectroscopy and quantitative work that has been done on it by real scientists, it would seem that if there were something as radically wrong as you claim, on the basis of your instinct, that scientists would have written about it and made it stick.

    Miskolczi and G & T have not really done that. Their work is full of mistakes and logical errors.

    Your hypothetical data and guesses about what drive it are very unconvincing, since you leave out so many effects that are known to be important.

  166. jae May 7, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    eric adler:

    “Real scientists ahve done 150 years of work on this theory. After all the detailed spectroscopy and quantitative work that has been done on it by real scientists, it would seem that if there were something as radically wrong as you claim, on the basis of your instinct, that scientists would have written about it and made it stick.

    Miskolczi and G & T have not really done that. Their work is full of mistakes and logical errors.

    Your hypothetical data and guesses about what drive it are very unconvincing, since you leave out so many effects that are known to be important.”

    ROFLAMO. Because YOU say so?? WHO are YOU? Lay out your credentials for criticizing, say, G&T, man! If you have any specialties, they must be in some type of “Armwaving.”

  167. jennifer May 7, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Part 2 now posted here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-climatically-saturated-greenhouse-effect/
    A valuable contribution from Christopher Game.

  168. Nick Stokes May 7, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Christopher,
    Yes, it is reasonably possible to partition the upgoing IR in to a window part and the rest – T_A and A_A in M-speak. The partition puts a divide into a continuum of absorbency, and is rather arbitrary. K&T choose a narrow window of 8-12μ, and a flux of 99W/m2 leaving the ground, which is then on average reduced by 62% to allow for cloud. Here there isn’t a cloud reduction. Incidentally, remember the figures I quoted don’t claim to be a global average, but they do show how typical IR streams vary with altitude.

    Re St, 361-258 is actually 103 (my last column). and doesn’t represent S_T, since I don’t agree that A_A=E_D, although it may be reasonably close.

    You don’t get fluorescence with thermal IR, because there isn’t enough energy to shift electron orbitals. Absorbed energy just changes bond oscillations and rotations, and this energy parsists for only a very short time before ebing exchanged by collision.

  169. jae May 7, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    eric-the-righteous is the perfect example of your run-of-the-mill AGW Syncophant posing as some type of expert. He commits the logical “consensus/appeal to authority” fallacy every time he/she comments. He also specializes in “leading the witness,” as in. “Real scientists have done 150 years of work on this theory. ” He should (and probably does) know full-well that there has never been a consensus on this idea. Arrhenius was put down severely by his critics, for example. He arrogantly uses the term “real scientists” as if he is entitled to judge thls. eric, I’m not impressed.

  170. Joel Shore May 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    cohenite said:

    the idea that the TCR can mask the true ECS is a well documented aspect of AGW theory with Keenlyside et al arguing it and most recently Easterling and Wehner doing a poor job at suggesting temporary cooling still has underlying AGW. Then there is the pipeline or delayed response part of AGW. Both the masking and the pipeline are problematic with actual data contradicting both. The actual data is declining upper water and increasing surface water; both are arguably -ve feedbacks which mitigate what would otherwise be the 1.64C increase in temp for a doubling of CO2; this is what you aren’t appreciating from the graph; the graph shows the pure effect of CO2 increases; this is constrained by other dominant features of the climate system such as water and variations in insolation [and as you say volcanoes and aerosols]; when these are taken into account there does not seem to be any AGW effect at all

    I have no idea what to say at this point but “Ackk!!” What does “TCR can mask the true ECS” mean? Where do you get the idea that there is declining water vapor in the upper atmosphere OR that increasing water vapor at the surface is a negative feedback? And, how can you possibly talk about the 1.64 C TCR being before feedbacks when it was explicitly determined (by a “skeptic”) by fitting to the temperature data (probably to UAH so that he would get the lowest possible value, although I am not sure about this).

  171. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    Comment from: jae May 7th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    eric-the-righteous is the perfect example of your run-of-the-mill AGW Syncophant posing as some type of expert. He commits the logical “consensus/appeal to authority” fallacy every time he/she comments. He also specializes in “leading the witness,” as in. “Real scientists have done 150 years of work on this theory. ” He should (and probably does) know full-well that there has never been a consensus on this idea. Arrhenius was put down severely by his critics, for example. He arrogantly uses the term “real scientists” as if he is entitled to judge thls. eric, I’m not impressed.
    The history of this controversy is that the spectroscopy was not well understood, and the experiment which debunked Arrhenius theory was done incorrectly. The fact is that surveys of scientists who currently do research show that they accept the AGW theory,

    Leaving that aside, your arguments about how glass greenhouses and the difference between the temperature of Phoenix and Guam, show that the Greenhouse Gas theory is not important, have no merit, because they leave out important factors. You haven’t really answered my objections to them. They leave out important factors.

    In addition, you focus on the daytime temperatures. The greenhouse effect does most of its work at night. Most of the temperature gains since the 1950’s have been a result of night time temperature increases. This shows that heat retention is the source of the temperature increase.

    http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/seminars/971105DD.html

  172. jae May 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    The bottom line that all the AGW/CO2 syncophants have to face at some point (and which is making them ever more vocal and angry) is that there has been no warming for over 12 years, now. And it’s not looking any better, with the Sun in a funk.

    There was never ANY empirical evidence for the idea that increased CO2 resulted in increased temperatures, even 12 years ago, discounting the hockey stick which now serves as an example of extremely poor science, at best. Of course, AlGore tried to fool everyone with his dishonest graph of CO2 vs. time plotted separately from the graph of temperature vs. time; but he got caught, big time, when someone put the two graphs together and noted that CO2 LAGS temperature by about 800 years.

    The only rationale for an effect by CO2 has been computer models and the flawed physical hypotheses that form the basis for the flawed computer models. Now these have been invalidated by the current cooling, the lack of the requisite “hot spot” in the tropic troposphere, and all the studies that show that water provides a NEGATIVE feedback, not a positive one.

    The models did not predict what is happening, and they are essentially invalidated. And the “believers” have no explanation for the current cooling, though they still make ridiculous remarks about how the cooling is the sign of a coming warming, or something like that. I would say that the AGW/CO2 folks are BUSTED!

  173. eric adler May 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Jae,
    When you can’t defend a scientific point, you retreat into your regular cheerleading rant.

  174. SJT May 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    “What does “TCR can mask the true ECS” mean? ”

    You have to ask?

  175. cohenite May 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    “I have no idea what to say at this point but “Ackk!!” What does “TCR can mask the true ECS” mean? Where do you get the idea that there is declining water vapor in the upper atmosphere OR that increasing water vapor at the surface is a negative feedback? And, how can you possibly talk about the 1.64 C TCR being before feedbacks when it was explicitly determined (by a “skeptic”) by fitting to the temperature data (probably to UAH so that he would get the lowest possible value, although I am not sure about this”

    What a load of tosh; this is just garbage. Read Keenlyside or Easterling; hell, read the back of little will’s head when you are mutually grooming; you guys may as well use phrenology; it makes more sense than anything else you’ve got.

  176. Christopher Game May 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Dear Nick Stokes,

    I comment about your

    “Comment from: Nick Stokes May 7th, 2009 at 11:25 am
    Christopher,
    Yes, it is reasonably possible to partition the upgoing IR in to a window part and the rest – T_A and A_A in M-speak. The partition puts a divide into a continuum of absorbency, and is rather arbitrary. K&T choose a narrow window of 8-12μ, and a flux of 99W/m2 leaving the ground, which is then on average reduced by 62% to allow for cloud. Here there isn’t a cloud reduction. Incidentally, remember the figures I quoted don’t claim to be a global average, but they do show how typical IR streams vary with altitude.”

    Yes it seems rather arbitrary to specify a particular wavelength band. But I think we would still like some good way of representing the presence of a window. The window is important in understanding the main outlines of the climate process.

    You write: “Re St, 361-258 is actually 103 (my last column). and doesn’t represent S_T, since I don’t agree that A_A=E_D, although it may be reasonably close.”

    Oops. Sorry, my mistake, I mixed the columns when I did the sum. I thought it looked a bit odd. Lucky I showed my working to trace my mistake.

    The right answer to my sum is 103 W m^-2 as you observe. That is what I would call the zero order approximation to St. This is a bit more like reality, I think.

    The question remains then, how to get a good way to represent the window? That is to say, how to calculate St precisely?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  177. jae May 7, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    eric:

    [b]In addition, you focus on the daytime temperatures. The greenhouse effect does most of its work at night. Most of the temperature gains since the 1950’s have been a result of night time temperature increases. This shows that heat retention is the source of the temperature increase.”[/b]

    Well, as noted above, that is no longer the case. It has been COOLING for many years, eric. Moreover, the deserts have warmer temperatures at night than the tropics at the same elevation and latitude. It seems to me that the GHE in the tropics should result in a greater nightly temperature.

    Being an outcast among even most skeptics, I still suggest that the “greenhouse effect” is nothing more than the storage of heat by the atmosphere and water. I’m at about 45 N. latitude, and my swimming pool temperature averages about 15 C over the year. No need for radiation diagrams to explain the average temperatures on Earth.

  178. Eli Rabett May 8, 2009 at 1:19 am #

    Christopher asks: The question remains then, how to get a good way to represent the window? That is to say, how to calculate St precisely?

    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)

  179. Christopher Game May 8, 2009 at 1:36 am #

    Dear Eli Rabett,

    You post at May 8th, 2009 at 1:19 am.

    Please expand on this. Who has done such calculations and what have they found?

    I think your post is confirming the proposition that St is a precise way of representing the window model?

    Yours sincerely,

    Christopher

  180. Joel Shore May 8, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    cohenite:

    What a load of tosh; this is just garbage. Read Keenlyside or Easterling; hell, read the back of little will’s head when you are mutually grooming; you guys may as well use phrenology; it makes more sense than anything else you’ve got.

    Well, that’s coherent! I’ve read what Keenlyside says (assuming you refer to the 2008 Nature paper) but don’t see its relevance here. Keenlyside make a prediction that many others are rather skeptical will actually come to pass and may more likely reflect issues with their model initialization. But, at any rate, their prediction is within a climate model that shows that the long term response to rising CO2 will be more warming.

    Easterling merely points out what we have been saying for a long time, which is that short-term trends are not expected to be uniformly upward in the face of steadily increasing forcings because of the natural climate variability.

    Who is Will, by the way? George Will?

  181. SJT May 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    “Who is Will, by the way? George Will?”

    William Shakespeare, I’m guessing. Not the author, the pop star from the ’70s.

  182. jae May 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    Folks, please don’t count on the funny-bunny to add light to anything; his specialty is to add doubt and darkness to any discussion that could possibly discredit the AGW/CO2 conspiracy.

  183. cohenite May 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    No little will, I prefer Shakespeare the poet and playwright; you would be Yorrick and Joel, of course, would be Ophelia.

  184. manacker June 8, 2009 at 1:55 am #

    Nick Stokes comments that the theory proposed by Miskolczi is “crackpot stuff”.

    Others defenders of the prevailing AGW paradigm have said the same about the work of Svensmark, which will soon be put to the test at CERN.

    But, hey, that’s also what they said about Alfred Wegener’s theory of “continental drift”, until many years after he died and it became the new paradigm of plate tectonics.

    Don’t write off Miskolczi as a “crackpot” yet.

    His theory may become the new paradigm.

    Max

  185. James P June 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Jae
    I still suggest that the “greenhouse effect” is nothing more than the storage of heat by the atmosphere and water.

    Interesting to hear you say that. I only discovered recently that Neils Bohr had cast doubt on the IR ‘trapping’ properties of CO2 back in 1913, and four years earlier, R W Wood (the inventor of IR photography) demonstrated experimentally that air trapped under glass became no warmer than air under a sheet of clear rock salt.

    Growers and horticulturalists will also point out that plastic poly-tunnel greenhouses get just as hot as glass ones, so it’s hard not to conclude that the GE, like the death of Mark Twain, has been somewhat exaggerated…

  186. Stephen Wilde February 14, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Dr. Miskolczi is saying that the Earth’s atmosphere is automatically regulated to
    stay at a certain optical depth such that the total of all greenhouse
    gases always remains the same and any necessary adjustment is achieved by
    a change in the quantity of water vapour.

    That suits me perfectly.

    One of my propositions is that the temperature of the troposphere is
    always being dragged towards the average global sea surface temperatures
    because the thermal inertia of the oceans is so huge.

    Thus if there were to be more CO2 in the air the water below would seek to
    remove the extra energy in the air to return the system to an equilibrium
    set by the oceans.

    The extra energy in the air cannot get into the oceans because of the
    evaporative barrier.

    So instead the hydrological cycle speeds up and if necessary the
    latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems will shift to effect
    that change in speed. The total amount of water vapour changes to maintain
    the optical depth necessary to keep the system stable with the air at the
    surface remaining in line with sea surface temperatures despite any extra
    CO2 or any other GHGs.

    That is what happens routinely to modulate the effect of warmer ocean
    surfaces but on a far larger scale than would be required to deal with a
    little CO2.

    Thus if he is right then my climate description provides the real world
    mechanism by which the outcome is achieved.

    Interesting

  187. james j kennedy June 11, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Is there a derivation of g = 1/3 using
    basic thermodynamics and agreed to
    atmospheric physics?

    As far as I understand him, Miskolczi
    does not derive g = 1/3 because of his
    apparent mis-use of the Virial Theorem.

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