the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Climate Science – A Field of Dreams

Posted by Jeff Id on August 4, 2013

Real Climate is still trying to communicate the message that climate science needs to communicate better, never realizing that the content of their message is their problem.  I mean, the first link on their page is to a Richard Alley presentation, where he flat says that there is no reason to adjust models.  He uses multiple paths like a straw man argument that critics of the models are only looking at one study.  He pulled up the example of the paleo-sensitivity plot where one recent study showed a lower climate sensitivity than the rest and complained about the amount of time he spent addressing that one.   The whole problem with his argument, which is conveniently brushed over, is that paleo-sensitivity papers are made of the least accurate and least trustworthy data and as we all know, the papers are quite often comprised of the exact same data.  Now he makes several other arguments, but the one he doesn’t make, is the one which holds the most credibility in the eyes of those of us who don’t collect government paychecks of a magnitude proportional to our climate activism —  comparisons of models to observations.

Lucia has some nice and very current work on the matter.  The chart below shows models from AR5 with their central trends and error bars in relation to GISS temperatures.  note that every single model is well above the observed GISS temp trend line and the very wide error bars still do not meet the GISS red line in most cases.   In a sane world, climate scientists should be very concerned about this, but instead we get piles of rubbish about how models are “pretty good” and a bunch of excuse making from Richard Alley’s of the world regarding ocean heat content.   But for those in the “know” there is one little detail – models are supposed to have heat content taken into account already.


Why isn’t this a mainstream concern in a field that has become so dominated and enamored by modeling the addition of global warming gases to the atmosphere?    

It certainly would cause a scientist in ANY other field to step back and take note.  A person willing to step up and say that this result across every model is somehow “reasonable” or that there isn’t a problem, would be ignored in our drummed out of our fill-in-the-blank field with trailing guffaws, yet we are faced with a bunch of activist cheerleaders pushing for ideological “change” while ignoring the values on their instruments.  In the meantime, instead of addressing the blatantly obvious problems with the modeled results, they hold an entire conference on improving communication of climate doom to the public.

It gets better though.

There are 4 highlighted presentations in the Real Climate link above.    I couldn’t listen to the fourth one because it hurt my ears but the first three can be categorized as: 1 – argue that the science is still good and don’t present data to the contrary, 2 – Risk communication, more widely known as fear mongering, and 3 – Buzzwords, which perform the functions of the first two.

It isn’t an impressive plan when written out in clear English.

But what really got me going yesterday was the numerous news reports on two recent papers, which I don’t intend to read, where the scientists concluded that recent climate change IS TEN TIMES FASTER THAN ANY TIME IN HISTORY!  

From one article:

One study, from Stanford University, suggests that climate change is happening 10 times faster than it has at any time in the past 65 million years. The other study, from the University of Texas, suggests that Antarctic permafrost is now melting 10 times faster than in 11,000 years, adding further evidence that Earth’s Antarctic is, in fact, warming just as Earth’s Arctic is.

We who read papers know that historic data is proxy based, and that for various physical reasons proxy based data has a very poor time and magnitude resolution.   We also know that recent data is instrument based, and instrument based data has excellent time and magnitude resolution.   Essentially, the scientists know full-well that instrument data captures a higher frequency component than the historic proxy data can.    If today’s warming had happened and reversed at any time in the past 11,000 years, the event would be so short that it would look like a rounded imperceptibly small bump in the proxy based result instead of the clean high frequency response provided by modern instruments.

The “scientists” are fully aware of this, yet they make claims that are not just unsubstantiated, but they are known to be unsubstantiable with proxy data.   The claims are as disingenuous as you can be.  Now it is true that the equally activist media likes to exaggerate the claims further, but there sure isn’t a lot of correcting the record visible to those of us lowly CO2 producing readers.

If you wonder why people like myself, otherwise considered reasonably intelligent, would disagree with such a huge “scientific” consensus, you need look no farther than recent media for your answer.  

Warming rate and problematic effects of climate change are mathematically lower than what is being claimed.  Note the difference between that statement and the denialist meme Real Climate would write about skeptical bloggers like myself.   If the dreamers of Climate Science, want to affect change, they need to start with the quality of their own work.

Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments »

Regulatory Creep

Posted by Jeff Id on August 3, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States is one of the largest and most draconian governmental organizations on the planet.  Under Obama, it has also become one of the most powerful.   The ability to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, being one of the chief new results of Obama’s already horrific presidency.   The problem with the EPA is that those in charge GAIN power by adding regulation.    Their funding is directly related to the ability to say NO to any citizen for whatever reason.   If you want to build a house, and the EPA has declared some feature of your property as protected, they get to say NO.   They also then need to monitor that “feature” of your property which requires funding and resources.

We have seen numerous new regulations from the government in recent years, since America already had massive environmental regulations, these new regulations seem to carry little or no benefit whatsoever, unless you are an EPA employee or better yet – boss.  A summary of some of the regulations and impacts is listed here.  In particular many of these regulations are allegedly designed to prevent emission of CO2, however, they simply add costs to the energy supply chain.   In fact, every single action the Obama admistration has taken has done nothing but add cost to business.   There has been not one single regulatory improvement for business or the quality of life put into law since he took office.   It is a credit to capitalism that the economy hasn’t collapsed a second time under his anti-common sense rule.

Yet our new EPA overlord Gina McCarthy, has set the tone for Obama’s second term of economic destruction with the following :

McCarthy signaled Tuesday that she was ready for the fight, saying that the agency would continue issuing new rules, regardless of claims by Republicans and industry groups that under Obama the EPA has been the most aggressive and overreaching since it was formed more than 40 years ago.

“Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs? Please, at least for today,” said McCarthy, referring to one of the favorite talking points of Republicans and industry groups.

As is the norm for the Obama talking heads, reality is simply ignored in favor of blatantly false statements which the media repeats as though they are reasonable and even factual.

“McCarthy said she planned to continue issuing new rules and felt President Barack Obama’s new Climate Action Plan could “fuel the complementary goals of turning America into a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.”

The educated among us know that government burden for the simple sake of burden cannot and will not create jobs.   Yes it does create the need for solutions to work around the government in order to feed ourselves, but that is a cost, not a benefit.  Unnecessary regulations do not create wealth, they create POVERTY, reduce personal freedom and individual power while increasing the wealth, power and freedom of those in charge.   The same three known results of every socialist party on the planet.  Yet add them we do, because the media sings JOBS, and that government knows best.  All the while, the fools of us who are allowed to vote move from one issue to the next, rarely noticing the increasing rate of enslavement they experience, while the truly wealthy don’t care.

We know that more is coming, because the evil people in charge have told us so:

“Climate change will not be resolved overnight,” she added. “But it will be engaged over the next three years – that I can promise you.”

Global warming as it is being sold is an exaggerated and therefore fake problem, with real solutions being used to enact a political agenda.  An immoral agenda to take your freedom and transfer it to those who would carry the party banner highest and shout its wonders the loudest.    As we watch, climate scientists produce horrifically bad quality work, yet still gain international fame and bloated salaries and awards for their unqalified support of the party banner.  Do you ever wonder when the public will notice that their own wealth has decreased on average, while government employees roll in the cash?  Will you be surprised in 20 years when CO2 emissions are doubled and warming still hasn’t caused any problems.

I wonder, but I hold little hope that people are smart enough to figure out the answer – and that is right where Obama wants us.

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments »

Time Travel

Posted by Jeff Id on July 30, 2013

Well, I’m not really interested in replacing coal plants as our eco-nazi climate science community would have us do, but there are a bunch of forms of nuclear power which are viable replacements and this one is fairly interesting to me.   A smaller modular plant produced in a factory using the latest passive cooling safety features.   The idea seems quite viable, excepting the strong anti-anything-that-actually-works stances which EPA enviro’s regularly spout.   I like it because it is a simple step forward in production relative to already existing fission technologies.   No giant leaps here, yet many of the bigger problems with running ancient 50 year old plants are addressed.    Honestly, I don’t like living next to 1950′s fission technology being deliberately held on the continual edge of a cascade failure by 1970′s electronics.  I’m not afraid of it, it just doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense that we can’t build new ones which use passive cooling and better reaction control geometries .

Modular in-factory construction gives repeatable plants:

B&W has taken the lead in the development of SMRs with its mPower design. Eighty-five feet tall and 13 feet wide, it incorporates several systems into one unit. The unit is built in a factory, instead of in the field, and then shipped to the site on a truck.

The costs seem to line up better as well:

The technology, called “small modular reactors,” will be the centerpiece of an entirely new way of thinking about nuclear power. They are much smaller than what traditionally has been built in this country — producing about one-sixth the power. They’ll also cost less — about $1 billion-2 billion apiece, compared with $10 billion-$15 billion for a large plant.

It is asstoundingly (2 ss’s) anti-science to believe that wind, biofuel, solar or gas are the long-term future of power in this world.   There isn’t enough of it available for it to be the primary energy source in 1000 years (without giving up huge land masses) and we have mountains of fossil fuels available in the short term.  Fortunately for us, if the dirt in tAV readers smallest yard were converted to energy, we would have enough power to run the entire planet for eons.

There are  9.0 × 1016 Joules of  energy in every kilogram of mass.  All mass is created equal so whatever matter you chose as fuel, it does not matter which matter is THE matter.  In our modern vernacular, the unit of choice for a kilogram of energy is a “shit-ton”.  Kiloton or Megaton of TNT are the old units.   One kiligram of mass is 21 megatons (millions of tons) of TNT.   The largest nuclear bomb ever built was made by Russia at somewhere around 56Megatons, or 2Kg of mass-to-energy conversion.   In other words, if you put the atoms of the atomic bomb back together a year later, you would be missing about 2.7 kg worth of photons!

Tsar photo11.jpg

That’s a lot but how much does Earth use each year?
From this link 143.851PWh were used in 2008, which is peta-Watt Hours or 143e15 Watt-hours.   A Watt is a joule per second and there are 3600 seconds in an hour so the total PWH consumed is equal to 5.17e20 Joules per year which is in turn equal to 5,754Kg of actual mass converted to energy each year.  That is not a hell of a lot of dirt but without human intervention, the planet would be heavier than it currently is by that amount per year.   I suppose the eco-morons in charge of our globe who still read here, are now considering the addition of “gravity loss” to the list of human sins.
It is simply anti-science to not realize that we humans will be on some form of energy which releases a higher percentage of mass conversion than chemical (solar powered) reactions.   Call it “nuclear power” in whatever form of mass conversion we find equitable.   You can’t stop capitalism, you can’t stop evolution (in whatever direction mathematically indicated) and you can’t stop energy use.  People need.  People will get. etc..  Governments will optimize to their own desires in the meantime.
We already know the future direction energy production must take.  Still, the governmental “man behind the curtain” will spend our wealth endlessly to make it appear as though they direct our energy future.   It is the much depreciated ‘GOD of Physics’ whom has Decreed to humanity that we WILL arrive to the same nuclear energy destination with or without any of the goverment’s eco-wise distractions.
If I were to guess, the change to non-chemical from the various solar energy forms will happen through cost considerations — and sooner rather than later.

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments »

Fools and Their Right to be Fools

Posted by Jeff Id on July 15, 2013

Socialist Liberalism is completely out of control in this world, and now it has infected every aspect of American governance.   Nearly every news article is biased with complete left-wing nonsense and any prospect of fair representative governance is in ruins.   There is no media check for the racial and social hatred brought by liberalism, no thoughtful balance to fake policies by the government.  Political activism and affirmative action have gone beyond their original intent and have morphed into a policy in full opposition to the stated message of compassion and equality.   A new and equally disgusting chapter of history has been opened in America and the fools which bring it, eloquently and without concern for reprisal, spout policies in opposition to racial and social justice they allege to promote.   Freedom in this country has been completely destroyed. America equates to sexual and drug freedom under the single largest set of rules and regulations of any country on the planet.  Our still powerful wealth guarantees incredible enforcement abilities, while political control of the media equally guarantees freedom of action for those in power. Efficient and uninvolved government has been replaced by wasteful, overpaid and powerful bureaucrats who make a career of collecting checks and paybacks at the highest levels for very little work.

Our “justice” department literally funded pre-trial protests against George Zimmerman with no consequence whatsoever.

Our government gave guns away to known criminals with no consequence whatsoever.

Our Ambassador was murdered in a completely predictable fashion, yet without any media to “investigate”, there was no consequence whatsoever.

Our emails are searched, and phone records taken without probable  cause, and no consequence whatsoever.

The liberally controlled IRS aggressively attacks conservative groups with no other point except to help swing an election.   Again, no consequence whatsoever.

Our government is looking for more ways to attack George Zimmerman, after firing and replacing those who wouldn’t attack him enough, again without any consequence whatsoever.

Gas prices are through the roof and the economy still stinks because of liberal policies, again without consequence whatsoever.

Anti-industrial global warming activism continues to expand without check, again no consequences whatsoever.

Student loan costs have been artificially increased by the liberals (with intent) and mindless students again failed to notice, no consequence whatsoever.

Quid pro quo is now status quo in America.  Money is being funneled through congress at an unprecedented rate to supporters and friends of the government, as you may have now guessed, without ANY consequence whatsoever.

Our wonderful policies have resulted in more people on food stamps than at any time in history, again with no consequence whatsoever.

Our FOI’s and congressional information requests are regularly circumvented, again with no consequences whatsoever.

I received this little note by email:

It’s just not sane.   Everything normal people have said would happen, has.  The uneducated poor people are being willingly enslaved by the racketeers in charge for literally pennies.  By voting, the political class steals worker’s money in piles and hand it to the undeserving with the promise of a better life, when any half-wit knows that those who receive permanent money flow –STOP WORKING.    The problem is so widespread that plenty of people aren’t even worried about educating themselves in the US anymore.   There is simply no end to the left-wing driven self immolation in sight.

When those poverty stricken voters lives end in failure, recent history teaches us exactly what consequences we should expect for the politicians who will have been handed 100% of the power by those same ignorant voters.

Posted in Uncategorized | 66 Comments »

NSA – Balancing the Risk

Posted by Jeff Id on June 13, 2013

The NSA has been tracking details of every phone call and email by every American for years.   I have no doubt that this is the case.  Yes, this is in violation of the fourth amendment which states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I know people rightfully blame both parties, although we should remember which one is in power when the “loophole” in the patriot act was taken advantage of.  There are still differences worth noting between political views.  However, despite the future blame-game the loophole isn’t specific to the patriot act and it wasn’t even really created by the patriot act.  The actual loophole is that a secret court can approve things by any convenient interpretation of nearly every applicable law is able to provide a legal basis for whatever goal a political party in power has in mind.  When you give your power away to governments, elected or not, you are guaranteed to get corruption.  People want … period.  Whether that corrupts their decisions is up to them and no “party” or person is immune.

This not-really-secret court is designed to approve search warrants by the federal government.  It operates without public review, and the approval of a warrant requires little effort for the truly overworked federal judges.  When a ruling for a search warrant is rejected, a reason must be given by the first judge which requires a lot of work.  Rejected applications then pass up the chain for review again by a panel of judges.  So the federal agents who apply, get two chances to have their motion approved.  Interestingly, the article claims that no request for a search warrant has been denied since 2002.

Basically, America has set up a false secret court, outside of the purview of even the powerful leftist media, for the explicit purpose of approving search warrants at a maximal rate.  Recently it was discovered, that the tired federal agents found their own loophole (judge) and simply issued blanket search warrants for the entire American republic.  The whole damned thing.

Why not?  It’s legal after all.  At least it is according to a certain political view and it saves money and time over the constant individual warrant approvals.

Despite Real Climate hopes, global warming politics are a symptom of the problem, not the center.  These two events have one similarity, layer after layer of expense based on exaggeration and unproven accusation.  It is flatly obvious now that giving others control over every detail your lives will result in an existence under the sole of their shoe.   It is a mathematical problem weighted against the individual and for the collective.

But there is a problem with all of my thoughts above that is worth some consideration.  I believe that this phone-search is likely one of the most effective anti-terrorist programs in the federal government.   Do you ever wonder how they find out about some of these weird bomb-plots or terrorists?   Like the FBI somehow hangs out with 100% of the bad guys to find the newly converted ones?  Basically, I believe with only tangential evidence that the programs for monitoring existed prior to the bulk warrant.   It just took more work then and the collected info wasn’t admissible in court.  How hard is it for our government to tap major land based phone lines.

This program clearly means that we have essentially become a herd of humans being hunted by NSA, FBI, CIA for the outliers.   They claim that they are only hunting the truly dangerous people today but does anyone know whether the FOX reporters phone conversations have been used to out anti-leftist informants? How about those who know or reveal the truth about Benghazi or fast and furious. If the IRS abused its power, why wouldn’t a far more secretive NSA group do the same?  Nobody is policing the police so it is unlikely that their powers aren’t regularly being abused.

Still, despite the obvious situation, gathering all phone records is a substantial component of our anti-terror defense.  Patterns in calls and emails reveal international connections, pending dangers and coordination between anti-US groups.  At the same time, we would be naive to assume that the information would not be used against the innocent for political purposes.   One thing is for certain, the United States Government is more powerful and more corrupt than any time in history.

In the balance, allowing this kind of power in their hands is more than a little foolish.  Not that being a fool ever stopped anyone from charging ahead.  As always, it isn’t up to me which way policy goes, but were it up to me, I would endeavor to create a more difficult and transparent warrant system which only allowed warrants for specific threats.   This would leave us more open to attacks by terrorists but the silent destruction of individuals lives has already been practiced by this government on a large scale for purely political purposes.  I believe the balance is worth the additional risk.

Posted in Uncategorized | 74 Comments »

My Apologies to Readers

Posted by Jeff Id on June 12, 2013

I have really let this blog go to pieces.

I will post useful stuff in the future but allowing Mr Cotton to take it over again was a mistake. It seemed reasonable to allow him to write, because the topic was PSI.   It won’t happen again, even though I am starting to think a serious discussion on back radiation is necessary because people are very confused on the matter.   Other PSI members will always be allowed to comment in the future, any time they wish, but they will be treated with an open mike reply as we all are.

Is it is my blog so I will highlight one more ridiculous Doug comment for which he will not be allowed to reply.  He will attempt to, and his answers will be deleted when I have time, so don’t bother discussion with him here in the future months.

No it won’t be pretty and it is my fault for making this happen – my apologies.

(a) How the microwave radiation appears to pass through the opaque plastic bowl, not in a straight line like normal transmission, and not having its energy converted to thermal energy, and yet coming out the other side (in random directions) but with the same frequency.

For Fuck’s sake Doug, plastic is nearly perfectly transparent to household microwaves. [self snip]

Go away. I will delete your comments later.

New posts tomorrow, sorry again folks.  I will be avoiding the blog so there will be a short time delay between deletions.

Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments »

PSI – Theory Destroyed

Posted by Jeff Id on June 5, 2013

So PSI completely surrendered discussion of a highly emotional topic like…. thermodynamics after only a few days.   It turns out that photons emitted from a cold body which then strike a warmer one, are the Kryptonite of the organization.   A group so cocksure of itself that it would throw out an entire field of science based on its own superior scientific integrity and self-described intellect.   Yet on all counts, they have failed to address any of the serious questions asked of their theory.

In  the end, a simple question, a single one unanswerable by this group of people who have been so condescending, so self righteous,  that they make Real Climate look humble and welcoming.

We have spent years listening to odd proclamations about the second law of thermodynamics.  We have endured the extreme rhetoric against climate science.   We have heard the absolute certainty of true zeal in their comments.  PSI “science” is so distorted that many readers wonder why I would engage them at all. More faith than math in my opinon.

Why give them the credibility of  a discussion here?

Because they have asked for an audience of science.   A peer review of their work.  Quite literally, I have been repeatedly asked to review their papers.  Instead of a single paper, they got a little more than they bargained for.   A chance to explain themselves, yet the group failed to understand the implications of the questions being asked here.   That failure alone is enough to dismiss any further work on their part, yet they also failed to answer any simple questions of thermodynamics.

One last chance?   Sure why not.    Let’s make sure this backradiation duck is completely dead…

Lets say we have two perfect blackbodies, one at 100K, another at 200K. What happens to a single photon emitted by the cold body that strikes the warm one?

Rest in peace…



Posted in Uncategorized | 423 Comments »

Problematic Science Incorporated

Posted by Jeff Id on June 3, 2013

Holy crap.  I have realized it isn’t practical to do a half of a blog.  Did you know that the Internet is full of crazy people.   I’ve heard rumors, read other blogs, often commented on the generally high quality of tAV readers but when I don’t blog on science for months, guess what happens.

Wierd stuff.

Anti-science stuff as far as the eye can see! So many people with a crazy, poorly understood concept of science on the planet seems to fill in the crevices of conversation.  Enough to thoroughly upset my understanding of reality.    Everyone who thinks they have solved a new form of backradiation, new thermodynamics, black body radiation, global warming or whatever asinine concept in the world seems to have a crazy opinion.   Not one lick of common sense to regulate the mess.   F-ing frustrating.

Then there is Joe Postuma, PSI “super-genius”,

who left a link explaining his new theory of zero backradiation locked up in a pile of chapter 1 thermodynamics equations. Joe has solved the problem!  As I have found typical of the PSI crowd, he is unable to explain his physics using “English” or other earth language and many are confused.

As a fellow human who lacks a universal translator yet can handle basic math, let me help explain Josephs post.  In science, certain variables are defined as dependent and others are independent.  It is a simple concept which means that some variables are representations of physical processes driven by others.   Often, you find the dependent letters on the left side of the equals sign.  Joe gets a little carried away with the concept and decides that the form of the math in his first equation dictates which variables are which, and forgets to consider the physics to see if he is correct.  Lo and behold!!,  many Internet morons on his thread agree.  —– Shocking, I know.  Thus Joe decides that the “independent” Earth temperatures dictate the “dependent” power received from the sun.  I know it is unusual but we humble observers are the idiots (or worse — undergrads) who need to open our minds!!

Vigorous rants ensue!  Global warming is proven wrong again, even though there is no evidence in the post supporting or rejecting AGW presented.

It is frustrating because I left 4 questions.  Four simple questions on the last thread for the entire PSI group and only one person attempted an answer.  Joe.

In answering, he combined my questions, failing to note that they asked for explanation of the differentiation between PSI and standard physics.  It isn’t his fault though because, as we have recently uncovered, PSI cannot tell the difference between their own theory and standard physics.

I am only partially surprised by that but that is because I have read some of their work.  Below are my four original questions from the last post.  Note that groups (1 and 3) and (2 and 4) request differentiation.  Do you wonder why I did that?

1 Define and describe the probability characteristics of Second Law of Thermodynamics as interpreted in classical physics using your own words.   Demonstrable understanding of the standard version of the second law is important so that we have common ground.

2 Describe standard physics interpretation of radiation absorption from a cold to hot body.

3 Describe the PSI interpretation of the Second law highlighting differences in energy transfer from the standard interpretations.

4 Describe the PSI interpretation of what happens to radiation from a cold to hot body, with focus on temperatures.

Joe’s, being the only PSI representative capable of attempting answers provided:

1) & 3) are related, so: A closed system tends to a state of maximum entropy. Basically this means that all energy density differentials disappear and the system becomes totally useless, unable to perform any work within itself. Energy spontaneously transfers from low probability to high probability states. Low probability is high density (hot), high probability is low density (cool). This will manifest as spontaneous heat flow from hot to cold. There is no PSI difference from the traditional laws.

2) & 4) are related: Cold radiation does not heat up hot bodies as this would be a violation of the laws of thermo as discussed. It is the hot body which transfers heat to the cold and causes the cold temperature to increase. The presence of a cold body does not mean that a hot body has to warm up – the cold body just warms up until the same energy states are shared by both the cold and hot bodies, and then energy is available to transfer to other things on the far side of the cold body if some condition exists there. The PSI position is the traditional one, whereas we routinely see GHE advocates argue that radiation from a cold body has to heat up a hotter body, or, that the cold body can heat the hot body as long as the “majority net” heating is from hot to cold, which is of course sophistry, but it sounds good. Energy can be shared both ways between hot and cold, but the cold does not cause or require the hot to become hotter – the cold is simply heated by the hot.

Regarding 1 & 3 from Joe’s answers above,  excepting the indecipherable probability statements, there isn’t much to take home from it.  Apparently PSI does recognize the second law of thermodynamics it even seems to realize the second law is a bulk property although the description left me confused.  Regarding 2 & 4 though,  it has more errors discontinuities than a first grade calculus exam.   It is impossible to begin except that Joe claims radiation from a cold body doesn’t “heat up” or in other words, it doesn’t “add heat energy” to the hot body.  Which leaves one wondering, just what the hell happened to those photons of energy?

Being a naturally curious person, I asked:

Lets say we have two perfect blackbodies, one at 100K, another at 200K. What happens to a single photon emitted by the cold body that strikes the warm one?

This seems a innocuous question, one which would deserve an answer, especially from individuals purporting to understand thermodynamics better than everyone else.  Basically, I got this for an answer, along with a bunch of silliness:

“It is the macroscopic behaviour where heat flow is observed in net, and no heating occurs from cold to hot. Cold doesn’t heat hot up in aggregate or in partiality at all.

It is a surprising answer which seems to be supported by others in the group.

And heat energy associated with the photon’s journey can only move from warm to cold (from the higher excitation state to the lower excitation state); just as water in a river only flows downhill – there is no backward journey (eg no back radiation heating).

Really!? I ask with incredulity.   Just what happened to the effing photons then (Joe or anyone else at PSI)?   Where the hell did they go?  Wormholes, reflection, tri-synchronous absorption, WHAT!???

Stupid individual photons anyway but did they reflect, reverberate, re-incarnate, recirculate, reciprocate or simply retarderate?  Since asking the obvious question about what happened to the energy in our universe, I have been told:

Discussing individual quantum events is beside the point of the 2nd Law

Jeff, surely you would agree that energy is not the same thing as heat

When photons enter a body they will not add heat if the receiver is warmer than the emitter.

The photons do generate light, which we can see, but there is not necessary any added heat.

Besides, Postma already did give the answer when he said heat flow is proportional to a temperature differential – this still doesn’t mean that photons from the cold source cause heating, it means the two objects find equilibrium, but the cold object does not heat the hotter object. What the photons from the cold source are doing is expressed in this equation: Q = s*(Th^4 – Tc^4). This does not mean that the cold source raises the temperature of the hot source.

They want us to believe gases respond to the heat radiated by the Earth’s surface and send that energy back, which makes the surface warmer.

For some strange reason you seem to want to focus on a SINGLE photon from cold to hot – when this still isn’t even what the laws of thermo are because the laws are about the whole behaviour of a large ensemble of trillions of trillions of entities and interactions etc.

Thus far not one PSI individual can answer my question.  NOBODY with wits enough to answer what any reasonably studied student of standard physics can.    So I tease on, waiting for the group to rise to the challenge, hoping for a reasoned answer to my questions.

In the meantime, the same guys who cannot provide the answer to a simple question are generating complex finite element climate models which assume the result before calculating it.   Sound familiar?

Posted in Uncategorized | 77 Comments »

A Real Challenge to PSI

Posted by Jeff Id on May 31, 2013

This is awesome, the wife is downstairs watching a movie, I’ve finished my work and have a little time for blogging.   Not a lot, but some…

There are too many pressures in my head.  Today a commenter, who is anonymous to me, left a slayer-style comment which has none of the Doug Cotton inflections about it. (new guy!)  I am truly curious about the understanding of this group because I have worked hard at it and they represent something which doesn’t make any sense to me.   We know slayers see global warming as a complete farce rather than the pseudo-science based money printing machine it has become.   I have different replies from each individual from this group and hope to gain some understanding of where they separate from basic science.

It is an interesting challenge which I think careful second-law readers here will find ironic.  — So how does one find the bulk opinion of a group of moderately independent variables?   :D


nope one more thermo-smiley


Two beers in and I’m already having fun.

Anyway, this is the comment left on the last (very old) thread:

Climate_Science_Researcher said

May 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm e

If you believe that planetary surface temperatures are all to do with radiative forcing rather than non-radiative heat transfers, then you are implicitly agreeing with IPCC authors (and Dr Roy Spencer) that a column of air in the troposphere would have been isothermal but for the assumed greenhouse effect. You are believing this because you are believing the 19th century simplification of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which said heat only transfers from hot to cold – a “law” which is indeed true for all radiation, but only strictly true in a horizontal plane for non-radiative heat transfer by conduction.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics in its modern form explains a process in which thermodynamic equilibrium “spontaneously evolves” and that thermodynamic equilibrium will be the state of greatest accessible entropy.

Now, thermodynamic equilibrium is not just about temperature, which is determined by the mean kinetic energy of molecules, and nothing else. Pressure, for example, does not control temperature. Thermodynamic equilibrium is a state in which total accessible energy (including potential energy) is homogeneous, because if it were not homogeneous, then work could be done and so entropy could still increase.

When such a state of thermodynamic equilibrium evolves in a vertical plane in any solid, liquid or gas, molecules at the top of a column will have more gravitational potential energy (PE), and so they must have less kinetic energy (KE), and so a lower temperature, than molecules at the bottom of the column. This state evolves spontaneously as molecules interchange PE and KE in free flight between collisions, and then share the adjusted KE during the next collision.

This postulate was put forward by the brilliant physicist Loschmidt in the 19th century, but has been swept under the carpet by those advocating that radiative forcing is necessary to explain the observed surface temperatures. Radiative forcing could never explain the mean temperature of the Venus surface, or that at the base of the troposphere of Uranus – or that at the surface of Earth.

The gravitationally induced temperature gradient in every planetary troposphere is fully sufficient to explain all planetary surface temperatures. All the weak attempts to disprove it, such as a thought experiment with a wire outside a cylinder of gas, are flawed, simply because they neglect the temperature gradient in the wire itself, or other similar oversights.

The gravity effect is a reality and the dispute is not an acceptable disagreement.

The issue is easy to resolve with a straight forward, correct understanding of the implications of the spontaneous process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Hence radiative forcing is not what causes the warming, and so carbon dioxide has nothing to do with what is just natural climate change.

Carrick had a very useful comment on a Lucia thread a week ago on the matter of lapse rates.

As Nick says, the g/cp = 9.86/1.006 = 9.6°C/km lapse rate is a correct theoretical result only for dry air (note the lapse rate is defined as the negative of the change in temperature with elevation, hence Nick has an extraneous minus sign). This result is satisfying in that it can be derived exactly but it really is the “spherical chicken” approximation of climate. When you include moisture, the maximum sustainable lapse rate is reduced from ~ 10 to around 6.5 °C/km. This is referred to as the “environmental lapse rate”, and can be predicted from theory fairly accurately in the troposphere using the known vertical wind-speed profile and a prescribed vertical humidity gradient.

Manabe and Strickland 1964 is the classic reference for from-first-principles calculation. It is written in a very comprehendible way for people with a physics/engineering background.

Figure 4 of their paper is especially instructive.

What you see from this is that the radiative lapse rate is even larger than the dry-air lapse rate, and hence is never physically realized in the troposphere.

I don’t think Nick is right that radiative transfer is an “underrated factor”, unless he means in the semi-lay blogosphere. I think it’s role has been well understood since Manabe’s days.

Straus’s notes may be useful.

Basically radiative transfer acts to keep the tropospheric lapse rate to be maintained near the maximum stable value (the radiative equivalent of keeping tension on a string). So it plays a critical role in atmospheric dynamics and converts a dynamic calculation into basically a static one (read simpler problem), but doesn’t play a direct major role in the vertical transfer of heat energy (see below for numbers).

If convection were impossible, the temperature at the top of the atmosphere would be the same, but the surface temperature would be about 35°C warmer than it is now (using Fig 4 of Manabe). Note that a dry atmosphere it would be about 10°C warmer.

What Fig 4 is basically saying is that a radiation-only atmosphere has a much larger greenhouse gas effect than a convective dry atmosphere, and an atmosphere with moisture acts to further reduce the greenhouse gas effect from what it would be in the radiative only model. I think these are as, now well, agreed to results.

There’s a bit additional non-controverial results, which are summarized in Ramanathan 1981.

First definition of the processes

Secondly the results.

Note that about 3/4s of the net feedback effect from GHGs is due to convective heat energy transfer in this model.

I should mention there is an important controversy relate to the tropical lapse rate & the “missing hot spot”. Probably its resolution is the violation of the assumption you can treat the atmosphere as a vertical stack of air.

I think all of this is appropriately “off topic” for a thread on “DC”. Note that in online gaming, DC also mean “Dis-Connected” which also seems like an appropriate alternative moniker for the individual in question. ;-)

There is a pile of information there so nobody  – except a couple of us – would literally check all of the links but the discussion doesn’t need to get this deep with those who don’t believe CO2 warming is a real effect.   In order to understand this phenomenon, what we need to do is find out where the standard physics and those who don’t agree with it, part ways.

So this was my reply to the individual, whom the readers here are far more likely to know the identity of than myself.

Work, heat, entropy are all bulk concepts. The second law is a law only in the bulk context. It is a law in that after twenty trillion rolls, the probability is toward the heavy side of the die.

Backradiation is a sub-process which in no way “violates” the second law. This is a common misunderstanding from those who didn’t grok the meaning of their basic physics rules. Saying it can or can’t be explained by either theory is rather amusing to me because mathematically – en bulk – they are equivalent. Where slayers here have faltered is that they don’t give a coherent message and too many members are scientifically weak.

I would be very happy to debate this issue. We have to start with fundamentals though and work our way up from there. This is necessary because I have been taught classical physics and we need to determine where our understanding bifurcates.

Why make this post?

Tis’ a good question.   Recently there was a minor kerfuffle between the slayers and Roy Spencer.   Some gauntlets were thrown challenging mathematical proofs with models.   I really failed to understand the point  of the “modeling” — mostly because of the discontinuity of the slayer argument but there was another reason.  My interpretation of the discrepency is that both standard theory and PSI theory are mathematically equivalent WRT bulk properties, yet fail on other levels.   Still, not a single PSI member has succintly explained to me the difference between standard physics and their version.  Tellingly, nobody from the group has demonstrated a basic working understanding of the main-stream principles of the second law of thermodynamics such that they could address and refute the discrepancies.  The problem is apparent enough to shut the group out entirely and ignore them but I would rather understand the discontinuity.

The other reason for this post is that when you consider the second law, the sum of the rate of energy transfer is delta temperature only.  Therefore, from my known slayer energy transfer explanations the energy transfer is the same no matter which religion you subscribe to.  They have said, electromagnetic energy stops going backward when other greater energy is coming forward, thus E = E1 – E2.  Standard physics also says E = E1-E2 .   The real challenge for slayers should be to mathematically show any difference at all for physics rather than show how one is better.  Instead we have a lot of PSI “papers”, chock full of unsupported conclusion.

I am frustrated with the whole thing.

While writing this post, the discussion continued on the previous thread.    This has to be kept short because we are here to understand not nitpick.  My very simple challenge to the slayers therefore is as follows, each of the 3 points with 300 words or less and no links:

1 Define and describe the probability characteristics of Second Law of Thermodynamics as interpreted in classical physics using your own words.   Demonstrable understanding of the standard version of the second law is important so that we have common ground.

2 Describe standard physics interpretation of radiation absorption from a cold to hot body.

3 Describe the PSI interpretation of the Second law highlighting differences in energy transfer from the standard interpretations.

4 Describe the PSI interpretation of what happens to radiation from a cold to hot body, with focus on temperatures.

The discussion below will be open to all.  300 words, no links will be strictly enforced.

Posted in Uncategorized | 117 Comments »


Posted by Jeff Id on May 21, 2013

So all you skeptics want answers to how much warming we should expect from adding CO2 to the atmosphere?   An interesting new study has been released which matches quite closely to Nic Lewis’s work.  The difference is that 14 of the authors are lead-coordinating lead authors of the pending AR5 IPCC report.  It is being hosted at Bishop Hill blog and WUWT.

New energy-budget-derived estimates of climate sensitivity and transient response in Nature Geoscience


Since Skeptical Science pooped all over Nic’s result just last month, and that result has now been replicated by 14 lead authors for the IPCC AR5, I wonder if they will take back their critiques….  Seriously though, these studies represent an important result because it seems like we are finally coming to realize the magnitude we should expect from CO2 based warming.   It also seems like the leaked AR5 draft is going to need an update for its projected warming — downward.   This is the very issue that has given most of us science-minded critics the label skeptic.  You know the label that causes people to put us on lists and declare that skeptics are dangerous, should be charged with crimes and such.   So now that a large group of IPCC authors agree with us that higher projections from models aren’t matching observed sensitivity, are they skeptics or are skeptics now climate scientists?

From Nic:

The take-home message from this study, like several other recent ones, is that the ‘very likely’ 5–95% ranges for ECS and TCR in Chapter 12 of the leaked IPCC AR5 second draft scientific report, of 1.5–6/7°C for ECS and 1–3°C for TCR, and the most likely values of near 3°C for ECS and near 1.8°C for TCR, are out of line with instrumental-period observational evidence.

In a less politicized field, there might need to be some additional time for the IPCC to absorb this information through all of its chapters. Because of our long history with the advocate crowd controlling this field, I’m sure it still means doom for us all, but at least we won’t be as hot when the world ends.  ;D


Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments »

Guess John Cook’s Title — Contest

Posted by Jeff Id on May 4, 2013

John Cook (of the inaccurately named Skeptical Science blog) sent me a link to a new survey.  The survey has been discussed around the internet for the last couple of days because John was involved in the last Lewandowsky paper which combined poor methodology with libelous remarks directed at the “subjects” being “studied” to justify the authors pre-determined conclusion personal attacksLucia’s blog has an interesting discussion on the survey.  She decided that she would not to link the new survey at all.  It is an understandable decision as we can be certain that this new survey will result in another propaganda piece attacking those of us who live in reality.

I am so certain of the pending result, that before providing the link at this blog, you will be mirandized — Skeptical Science style:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say WILL be misrepresented to your detriment in the court of public opinion.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before the survey and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, you are on your own.
  • If you decide to answer any questions now, without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
  • Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer John’s questions without an attorney present?

Survey link here:

I will not take the survey myself, because of my certainty of the authors biased motivations but it still might be fun to guess their conclusions so I think we will have a contest. Guess the title of John’s new paper! After the paper is released, I will categorize the results of our contest and we will vote on the best guesses for both creativity and closest match.   To guess right, we need to find some clues!!

First, a clue as to where the survey conclusions are going on the first page:

Please read each title and abstract then estimate the level of endorsement that is expressed in that paper for anthropogenic global warming (e.g., that human activity is causing global warming).

It is hard for me to understand how you “rate” a scientific paper based on its acknowledgment of a completely uncontested fact like CO2 based temperature change.    It seems a bit like rating a paper on its acknowledgment that the sky is blue.  Fortunately there is more detail to work with on the survey page:

Survey of Peer-Reviewed Scientific Research

Below are listed the titles and abstracts (summary) of 10 randomly selected scientific papers; mouseover each title to read the abstract (summary). Please read each title and abstract then select from the drop down to categorize each abstract. Your rating should be based on the abstract text. Your submission will be anonymous. The drop down indicates indicates the level of endorsement within the abstract for the proposition that human activity (i.e., anthropogenic greenhouse gases) is causing global warming (e.g., the increase in temperature).

Note: AGW is Anthropogenic Global Warming or human-caused global warming.

Options are:

  1. Explicit Endorsement with Quantification: abstract explicitly states that humans are causing more than half of global warming.
  2. Explicit Endorsement without Quantification: abstract explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a given fact.
  3. Implicit Endorsement: abstract implies humans are causing global warming. E.g., research assumes greenhouse gases cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause.
  4. Neutral: abstract doesn’t address or mention issue of what’s causing global warming.
  5. Implicit Rejection: abstract implies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly. E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming.
  6. Explicit Rejection without Quantification: abstract explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming.
  7. Explicit Rejection with Quantification: abstract explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming.

NOTE: These papers have been rated by the scientists who authored the papers. After submission, you may view a comparison of your ratings with the ratings by the authors of each paper.  –MY RED

In order to compose a title, we have to guess the results he will find.  A reader at Lucias noted that the abstracts the reader sees are “randomized” based on the proxy address you are using and that repeated abstracts at different proxy addresses are common.  That suggests a low pre-selected paper count which is confirmed by the additional fact that the survey answers can be compared to the authors own answers.  Of course not every author would participate in the study, they can only have a small set of abstracts. It is also possible that in order to gain cooperation, some authors were aware of the intent of the survey.  This may have been justified in John Cook’s mind, since they are oft represented by his Skeptical Science blog as unimpeachable.

So here is what I am guessing will happen.  Some skeptics will give low ratings for the papers because their obviously biased support of catastrophic warming and the pervasive poor level of science in climate change.  Those who are advocates for climate catastrophe science (including the authors) will be biased toward giving 1′s (top ratings) for their endorsement but will slide on papers which are less extremist in the abstract.  We already know that the Climate Science field is comprised nearly universally of politically left advocates, so the authors your answers are compared to will be biased in the same direction as the advocate blogging crowd.

The opening page of the survey notes a “proven consensus” paper coming out, so adding to that conclusion is unlikely to be the point.

This survey mirrors a paper, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, to be published soon in Environmental Research Letters, that analysed over 12,000 climate papers published between 1991 to 2011.

Additionally, those who link from skeptic blogs or from advocate blogs will probably be sorted by their links (I am guessing).  So with that little bit of guesswork, here are some of my predicted titles:

Skeptics Deny Science Literature

Motivated Denial of Scientific Literature

Skeptics are so stupid!  — I am formally registering the exclamation point as an integral part of the title.

Skeptics Reject Scientific Consensus

Scientific Rejection, A Manipulated Manifestation of Morons.

It is possible that those taking the survey will be unsorted, but I doubt it.  That does lead to a whole slew of other potentially winning titles!  :D




Posted in Uncategorized | 37 Comments »

Dana’s Planet

Posted by Jeff Id on April 20, 2013

UPDATE: Nic Lewis left this interesting comment down below -

Actually, in Chapter 9 of AR4 WG1, dealing with observationally-constrained estimates of climate sensitivity, the IPCC only discuss medians and modes. Not a mean in sight! And it refers to the mode as the “best estimate”. Nor does Figure 9.20 (where the estimated PDFs for climate sensitivity from Forest 2006 and other studies are shown, labelled EQUILIBRIUM climate sensitivity) mark the means. And Forest 2006 itself only reported the mode.

So I’m not being either misleading on any count, or misrepresenting anything. But Dana is both misrepresenting my study and being misleading. What a surprise.


Skeptical Science has another silly post up which attempts to pick at the edges of Nic Lewis’s climate sensitivity paper.  They titled the critique “Climate Sensitivity Single Study Syndrome, Nic Lewis Edition”  We all know that Skeptical Science is filled with those who are certain that oil money is brown and corrupts minds, while government money is green and makes scientists infallible.  I normally ignore the site but WUWT pointed me to it and sometimes SS is a bit of fun:

It’s most important not to fall into the trap of thinking that any single study will overturn a vast body of scientific evidence, derived from many different sources of data (or as Andrew Revkin calls this, single-study syndrome).

It isn’t the quote which caught my attention but Dana’s ankle-biting point here forgets much more important quotes from much smarter people.

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”– Albert Einstein

Nic’s study found a best probability climate sensitivity of 1.6C/doubling CO2, now there should be nothing inherently wrong with that number but the know-nothings at Skeptical Science realize that it falls below their preferred sky-is-falling-so-we-need-to-empower-the-UN-and-stop-capitalism goals.     In other words, 1.6C would mean that there is no immediate doom on which to base their already ridiculously self-destructive political intent on.  Shame that eh?  So we get a bunch of emotion from their crowd.

Unfortunately for Dana (and the rest of the crowd there), there is a large body of evidence which has been piling up against these high climate sensitivity models.   MMH10 for instance, showed that the mean of the primary climate models is running statistically outside of observation, Lucia has done a number of posts to that effect.   Recently Roy Spencer put up a post showing the same problem.

From Dr. Roy Spencer, experiment vs observation:


This is one of my favorite plots from MMH10, which shows the same thing as Dr. Spencer with a bit of added stats.

MMH10 also has this plot:

Then there is this one from Chad Herman that incorporates surface temperature measurements:


Although surface temperatures are closer to the models than lower troposphere, again and again, the shotgun of government funded model simulations runs high against observation.  It is only in politicized forms of science where actual observations that contradict theory are rubbed out.  You would think the models would move instead.  Chucking unloved temperature proxies out in paleoclimate is another great example of theory trumping observation.

Anyway, there is hardly only one avenue of data which supports Nic’s lower sensitivity as Dana’s article implies.   The claim is so off the wall that it leaves one wondering why they would pull the wool over their readers eyes.  What caught my attention though was just how hard Dana was working away at Nic’s ankle bone.  I’m taking the whole paragraph this time, because it is that funny:

Even though Lewis refers specifically to “equilibrium climate sensitivity,” The methodology used by Lewis is also not even necessarily an estimate of equilibrium sensitivity, but rather of effective climate sensitivity, which is a somewhat different parameter.  The two may hypothetically be the same if all energy changes in the global climate system are accounted for (and to their credit, Forest and Lewis do include estimates of ocean heat content, including for the deep oceans), and if climate feedbacks remain constant.  However, recent research by Armour et al. (2012) suggests that the latter may not be the case.

I literally laughed out loud when I read this paragraph.  So the argument becomes first, don’t trust a single paper, then if you do trust it, don’t forget that climate sensitivity may change based on unknown and unmodeled factors which SS has just spent like 5 years telling us don’t exist. I do happen to agree that climate sensitivity is not a fixed number, so does everyone else, but Nic was estimating equilibrium sensitivity on this planet ….today… How this potential change in future sensitivity refutes Nic’s work can only be understood on Dana’s planet but it sure sounded foreboding.

After this paragraph, Dana moved on to some paleo-studies demonstrating high sensitivity from proxies which only a silly person would give the same credibility as present day measured data.    To finish it all off, Dana then humorously attacked Nic’s accuracy in claiming agreement with Aldrin et al.

One significant issue in Lewis’ paper (in his abstract, in fact) is that in trying to show that his result is not an outlier, he claims that Aldrin et al. (2012) arrived at the same most likely climate sensitivity estimate of 1.6°C, calling his result “identical to those from Aldrin et al. (2012).”  However, this is simply a misrepresentation of their paper.

This is what Nic claimed in the abstract:

Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2–2.2 K for ECS are 20 then derived (mode and median 1.6 K). The mode is identical to those from Aldrin et al.  (2012) and (using the same, HadCRUT4, observational dataset) Ring et al. (2012).

Now you would think even a math novice would recognize the “mode and median” claim and realize that they must be something different.   Unfortunately Dana did not, and proceeded to stomp around and stuck his foot firmly within a dark area.  In his defense, perhaps Dana was tired and wasn’t reading as carefully as one would expect when critiquing a peer reviewed paper.  The claim WAS all the way to the bottom of the abstract after all, and advocacy is tiring work.  Tom Curtis pointed out the error in the comments last night at 4am but the post remains uncorrected.

I think the alarmist advocate crowd is in full Gaian prayer mode that temperatures will skyrocket soon.   It is the either the data or the climate models at this point, someone must move. In the meantime, it is entertaining watching the advocates squirm.

Posted in Uncategorized | 48 Comments »

The State of Paleoclimate Understanding

Posted by Jeff Id on April 9, 2013

In the huge amount of justified complaints made here about what I think of paleo-reconstructions, one detail is probably lost in the chaff.

I really wish I knew what historic temperatures were.  You can’t read that much paleoclimate information and not want to know.   Steve McIntyre clearly inspired my reading, and unfortunately the inspiration came through a wholly skeptical lens.  In time it has turned out that the skeptical perspective of the statistics and  data in paleoclimate were 100% justified.

With data so noisy, yet so full of potential revelations, scientists are also justified in their interest.  As time has passed, I’ve grown to understand that there isn’t really any known solid way to divine the history of climate.  We have enough clues to see past warmth and plenty of clues to show deep past ice ages, yet the trivial level of understanding of past temperature is quite distant from the equivocation-ridden certainty of present day scientific publications.

Ed Cook was no small player in the paleoclimate field.  His own words have a ton of meaning for those who have enough understanding of the pervasive nuance in the field:

  the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year extra-tropical NH temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).

This statement is an absolute scientific truth to my understanding.   There are multiple sentiments in it which have very solid meaning in interpreting these hockey stick plots.   First, and most interesting for those of us who actually want to know the truth, dendros seem to have discovered a way to see short term climate variation a very long time ago.   Variations on a scale of <100 years are also important because they give us some partial understanding of climate.   Unfortunately, Ed and I disagree as to the certainty of the meaning of even these short term variations.

That known correlation in itself is extremely cool. Skeptics of dendro question the linearity of these fluctuations with respect to temperature, but the short-term fluctuations themselves are highly correlated in local regions.  We can say that whatever was happening in climate to those regions, is measurable, and good plant growth years in one location were good plant growth years.  Not exactly known temperature “climate”, but growth climate is still a very cool thing.

Ed Cook knows the difference between short and long term variations, and after performing tree ring standardizations as I have, you get an understanding of why the long term signals (trends) in dendro hockeysticks are not likely represented by the data.  The math and physics simply don’t allow it.  Long term temperature trends derrived from tree rings, are necessarily quite meaningless.

Paleoclimate is noisy, and little is truly known in my opinion.   Better data is required, and despite the every-month premature conclusions from the experts, we shouldn’t lose site of the fact that once we discover the right proxy (or proxy combination), the math will not be the issue and finally we will know a true piece of our distant climate history.

Whatever we find out, that day when we finally know, will be an interesting day for me.

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments »

Happy Feet – Filtermatics

Posted by Jeff Id on March 30, 2013

Something interesting at WUWT happened today.  This isn’t a typical issue as of late and requires a bit of math skill.   A post by Willis Eschenbach brought up some old memories of days where skeptic blogs like this one, were math centric.  Fortunately the math which Willis discusses this time, is relatively lightweight stuff, and it happens to involve the fortuitous filtering activities of Mannian filter-matics.

I highlighted an email on the topic a few weeks ago here which contains a quote that I thing belongs in Willis’s article.   Michael Mann has long been interested in filtering methods which promote the “Cause”,  I have to say that Willis’s example puts a spotlight on how awkward the team has been at promoting fortuitous filters.

5 PM 10/14/2003 -0400, Michael E. Mann wrote:

Dear All,
To those I thought might be interested, I’ve provided an example for discussion of
smoothing conventions.  Its based on a simple matlab script which I’ve written (and
attached) that uses any one of 3 possible boundary constraints [minimum norm, minimum
slope, and minimum roughness] on the ‘late’ end of a time series (it uses the default
‘minimum norm’ constraint on the ‘early’ end of the series). Warming: you needs some
matlab toolboxes for this to run…
The routines uses a simple butterworth lowpass filter, and applies the 3 lowest order
constraints in the following way:
1) minimum norm: sets mean equal to zero beyond the available data (often the default
constraint in smoothing routines)
2) minimum slope: reflects the data in x (but not y) after the last available data
point. This tends to impose a local minimum or maximum at the edge of the data.
3) minimum roughness: reflects the data in both x and y (the latter w.r.t. to the y
value of the last available data point) after the last available data point. This tends
     to impose a point of inflection at the edge of the data—this is most likely to
     preserve a trend late in the series and is mathematically similar, though not identical,
     to the more ad hoc approach of padding the series with a continuation of the trend over
     the past 1/2 filter width.
The routine returns the mean square error of the smooth with respect to the raw data. It
is reasonable to argue that the minimum mse solution is the preferable one.  In the
particular example I have chosen (attached), a 40 year lowpass filtering of the CRU NH
annual mean series 1856-2003, the preference is indicated for the “minimum roughness”
solution as indicated in the plot (though the minimum slope solution is a close 2nd)…
By the way, you may notice that the smooth is effected beyond a single filter width of
the boundary. That’s because of spectral leakage, which is unavoidable (though minimized
by e.g. multiple-taper methods).
I’m hoping this provides some food for thought/discussion, esp. for purposes of IPCC

It never seems to end, and the “happy” filtering nonsense started being noticed by Willis Eschenbach some time ago.

Posted in Uncategorized | 54 Comments »

Cryosphere – Sea Ice Video

Posted by Jeff Id on March 28, 2013

I wanted to see the 2012 ice loss in the Arctic so I updated the video’s.    The first video is full length, the second is just a clip of more recent years.   I repeated the result for the Antarctic which has seen increases in sea ice.




Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments »


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