the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Kernel of Science

Posted by Jeff Id on April 16, 2010

As I see it, the battle with global warming is not where many alleged ‘skeptics’ would prefer.  Radiative physics mandates, and I mean MANDATES that CO2 makes it take more time for heat to escape from the surface of the earth to space.  Since that is the case there are a few types of skeptics whom create more damage than good.

– Global warming is a lie.

– Global warming is a scam.

While I share some of the beliefs of the people who make these misguided statements, I’m forced to realize that global warming has a central truth in that CO2 does slow heat flow from the surface of the earth to space.  That is what makes the whole war so ugly, it is a war too, a dangerous war. What it isn’t is a war FOR or AGAINST science.  For better or worse, it is a war of politics and solutions, encased for convenience sake, in a kernel of science.

Government science  is a funny thing, people need to make a living from it but they also expect truths to be described.  Global warming science is no exception, except that the political solution has very much overwhelmed the kernel.   For a naturally skeptical person who sees the politics yet has little scientific background, the temptation is to call the whole of AGW science a scam.  Certainly, I’ve felt the pressure, yet the math is the math, the physics is the physics and again I force myself to remember—- we don’t get a choice with respect to the science.

Education is a process, not an event.

So with that in mind, if CO2 based warming cannot be negated, why not simply acquiesce to the political solution-oriented onslaught presented by the IPCC scientists– it is an onslaught!!

Well there is the fact that:

— We don’t have a single clue as to how strong warming will be.  Models are nice and are a good guess, but feedback from moisture in the air drives the vast majority of the predicted warming.  The single strongest factor in the equations creates the greatest uncertainty in the predictions.  We don’t even know if moisture creates a negative feedback canceling the CO2, yet the ‘scientists’ assume it’s massively positive.  The difference is 4c vs 0.01 of warming and despite claims to the contrary, nobody knows the real answer.
— We don’t know how damaging even severe warming would be.  In fact to date, there has not been one single piece of evidence that man made global warming has done ANY environmental damage of ANY kind, ANYwhere.

— We don’t have to agree with the anti-democratic solutions to global warming.  When famous (and income sheltered)  scientists complain that democracy isn’t fast enough, we should all stop listening to their political solutions.

— Current technology cannot replace fossil fuels.  No matter how you feel about the above, there is absolutely nothing we can do which will stop or even somewhat limit the impact of CO2 warming.  — WE CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO LIMIT IT!!   Damn, think about it people,  none here can prove my claim wrong- so what does that mean!!

This war from this skeptics perspective isn’t against science or physics.  Additionally, it is not against the realities of CO2 warming.  The battle is on more subtle and nuanced lines which have equal import and more realistic rationale.  Nobody knows the magnitude of the problem, yet the scientists proposed answers are without exception, worse than the worst problems imagined by global warming.

My opinion is that we humans need to remember that we are not gods and are in fact, barely men.  Start with raking the leaves in your yard, stop pretending to be intellectually superior to the rest of us and  work up to global climate control later.  Of course, that doesn’t fit the goals (or hubris laden beliefs) of many of the democracy impatient climate scientists.

May you live in interesting times.

We live in interesting times. Enough technology exists to begin the leap to wholly new energy sources and uses. This is something many of us have dreamed about since childhood.

185 Responses to “Kernel of Science”

  1. Nathan said

    Jeff

    Here is the problem with your ‘argument’

    “Government science is a funny thing, people need to make a living from it but they also expect truths to be described. ”

    It’s not “Government science”… It’s just science.

    Your problem is with the Government, not the science. Until you resolve whatever grievance you have with the Government (and which Government? Every one in the world that subscribes to AGW?) you’ll be forever locked into this strange thought process where there’s no single clue as to the extent of the problem AGW will pose, while simultaneously expressing “…the scientists proposed answers are without exception, worse than the worst problems imagined by global warming.”

    How can you say the answers worse than the worst problems? What a ludicrous piece of hyperbole.

  2. Amber said

    My own opinion is that the controversy has little to do with science — it is a political issue and different camps want to deal with it in different ways, ranging from “do nothing” all the way up to “do lots yesterday”. It has got out of hand because too many people were trying to deal with it as a scientific issue instead of a political issue.

  3. Dagfinn said

    The distinction between “climate skeptics” and “warmists” is artificial. The only reason there are apparently two camps is that some find it useful to play power games. Apart from that, there is just a multitude of opinions on both the scientific and political issues.

  4. Actually Thoughtful said

    Jeff – I just don’t share this deep pessimism about the human race, specifically Americans, in the case of avoiding a tax!

    – Current technology cannot replace fossil fuels. No matter how you feel about the above, there is absolutely nothing we can do which will stop or even somewhat limit the impact of CO2 warming. – WE CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO LIMIT IT!! Damn, think about it people, none here can prove my claim wrong- so what does that mean!!

    I wonder if you live somewhere where solar is not viable? Bring on a carbon tax (www.capanddividend.org) and watch innovation proceed apace!

    I worry that all the arguing about whether the warming is happening, and then if it is human caused, and then if natural processes will counteract it will 1)occupy the time we could have been using to develop the necessary technology (it is obvious by inspection that it ain’t going to happen while we keep oil artificially low, or possibly even at unsubsidized levels (lets STOP subsidizing oil and find out!)) and 2)waste the fossil fuel we need to build a reduced carbon/no carbon economy on business as usual.

    Tax what you don’t want. You don’t want carbon? May I humbly suggest taxing it?

  5. Derek said

    Jeff if I may take three quotes you wrote from above.

    1) Radiative physics mandates, and I mean MANDATES that CO2 makes it take more time for heat to escape from the surface of the earth to space.

    2) Since that is the case there are a few types of skeptics whom create more damage than good.

    3) Education is a process, not an event.

    1) – Remember the events in the eventual acceptance of Darwins evolution theory, 50 years forgotten,
    much maligned, eventually with the addition of genetics mostly seemed to be on the right path towards a better understanding.
    At the present further great leaps in improving our understanding of evolution seem to be just on the horizon,
    but will this change the long held recently (mostly) accepted version of evolution, or just build off it – I ain’t a clue.
    I would not decide political policies off it now however…WITHOUT A LOT OF INBUILT FLEXIBILITY.
    Present “understandings” and “knowledge” of radiation physics does not actually mandate much at all,
    unless one “believes” it got the answer right first time, regardless of the second law of thermodynamics..

    I despare of the skeptics that take the attitude that only somethings should be questioned within “climate science” at present,
    radiation physics MANDATES…..
    You call yourself a skeptic. ?
    Have you ever really looked closely at a K/Y global energy budgets. ?

    2) – Do skeptics of all sorts create less damage than all the present consensus preachers. ?
    There is one side that relies on the scientific method, without having to twist and turn at every opportunity.
    There is also the “small” matter of which side constantly attempts to stifle debate….

    3) – Education is the indoctrination of the presently accepted / dominant paradigm.
    I won’t believe anything else untill free thinking becomes a core of teaching syllabuses.
    (but that would make marking too difficult for the “teachers” wouldn’t it…..)

  6. Confused said

    Enjoyed the post Jeff.

  7. So many points to disagree with.

    1. The “kernel of truth” is misstated. Theoretically CO2 may slow heat transfer in a closed system, but not necessarily in the Earth’s atmosphere. Radiation to space is a complex, poorly understood, and poorly measured phenomenon. It is NOT simple physics.

    2. Warming is defined to be a “problem”. That judgment is hugely flawed and quite possibly 180 degrees wrong.

    3. Hubris is not the problem either. Nor a lack of democracy. Market manipulations by powerful interests that result in wealth extractions from the non-powerful IS the major problem. We are being robbed. Economic collapse and poverty is on the increase due to carbon taxes and carbon scams. You and your children are being made poorer. Mine too. That’s the crux of the issue.

    4. “Science” is not at risk. It does not need your defense. It is not a safehaven, either. Beware of expressions of loyalty to an ephemeral concept. Such flag-waving obeisance will not protect your property from seizure by the powerful.

  8. michel said

    “CO2 does slow heat flow from the surface of the earth to space”

    Of course, no one doubts that. At least no intellectually serious person doubts that. I don’t think any serious person doubts the effect of doubling CO2 levels to about 600ppm, if nothing else changes: it would result in a rise in temperature of about 1 degree C.

    The thing that at least this observer thinks we do not know, is what other things change when a warming forcing of this order happens, so we don’t know what the final effect may be. After all, I drink my coffee, and that has a warming forcing on the body of (eg) 1C. But after five minutes I’m no warmer than before I drank it. If I go into a warm room, and sit in front of the fire, this is a continuous warming forcing. After a half hour I am still the same temperature. I put on a sweater on a cool day (a greenhouse effect?), my temperature does not change.

    Just saying that there is a warming forcing does not tell us anything about what effects it will have on global temperatures. This is the whole problem, the argument moves from basic physics, which is that CO2 absorbs IR, to arguing about what effects there will be from an increased IR absorption due to increased CO2.

    The debating tactic is always to suggest that if you doubt the certainty of the second, it must be because you are so dumb blind and ignorant to doubt the first. Not so. I doubt this particular car will get 50 mpg. But its not because I doubt the energy content of a gallon of gasoline. My doubts are about the car, not its fuel.

  9. Derek said

    michel said
    April 16, 2010 at 4:11 am
    CO2 does slow heat flow from the surface of the earth to space”

    Of course, no one doubts that. At least no intellectually serious person doubts that.

    AND,

    My doubts are about the car, not its fuel.

    Of course the abiotic origins of at least some oil have not been proven.
    Dam, they have.
    – it’s purely a matter of how much “they” will not allow to be answered at present.

    Michel do you mean intellectually serious or consensus………

  10. John Bowman said

    “Global warming” simply means increase in temperature of the Earth’s climate, but the term is not confined to that, it is an umbrella term for a mixture of scientific fact and ideological non-fact supported belief.

    The former an instrument temperature record, the second the belief that in 1975 CO2 seized exclusive control of the Earth’s climate at a concentration lower than at other times in the past when it did not, and only CO2 from Mankind can explain this.

    “Global warming” occurs in statements like, “There is clear scientific evidence of global warming, which shows that Man-made global warming is real.”

    Note how “global warming” acquires the qualifier “Man-made” (or anthropogenic) in the same breath in order to conflate two distinct things, one factual the other unsupported claim expressed with certainty, to combine one truth with one lie to become a whole new “truth”.

    This is why “global warming” is a lie and a scam.

    The main premise under the umbrella is that Mankind is a pest which threatens “The Environment” which is a quasi-personification of an imagined, but like all “gods”, undefinable perfect state.

    Like all pests, Mankind must be rigorously controlled if not exterminated.

    Proof of Man’s danger and need to control him, is the recent, and only the recent, temperature record.

    It is claimed this later record proves the pestilential nature of Mankind, as it shows faster warming than previously (unproven) which correlates to Man’s increasing fossil fuel CO2 output (true), and then that foundation of scientific proof, that correlation of two variables proves causal link, shows that Mankind is to blame. A lie of course.

    What CO2 MANDATES then, is that Mankind must forcibly, through taxation and legislation, be de-industrialised whereby a greatly reduced population will subsist in happy harmony with The Environment.

    It IS a lie and it IS a scam.

  11. Chuckles said

    ‘It IS a lie and it IS a scam.’

    And it is also Politics, much of it tired Malthusianism, and NOT Science.
    Any faint semblance of science is there purely to give a slight whiff of legitimacy to the Politics.

    From this, we can see how anything that supports the assertion, is self evidently true, to the first, second or yea even unto the third decimal place; while anything rending to disprove the assertion is obviously wrong, all that remains is to establish in what way it is wrong.

  12. Raven said

    #1 Nathan

    Government science is science driven by the priorities of governments. This means it is science primarily intended to support and expand the role of government and the institutions that fund government science.

    Corporate science is science driven by priorities of corporatation. This means it is science primarily intended to increase the profitability of the corporation.

    Neither type of science is automatically junk but there is no such thing as science that is ‘pure’ and untarnished by the priorities of those paying the bills. It is not possible to have a rational discussion about any scientific claim until one identifies the potential biases introduced by the funders of the research.

  13. mrpkw said

    Sorry Jeff, I don’t want to parse words but 99% of the skeptics I talk to, when they say “Global warming is a lie”, it’s understood that “Global Warming “ is the ALGORE doom saying version of global warming, not the naturally dynamic changing global warming that has been going on for billions of years. The same applies to “Global warming is a scam”, it’s understood that it refers to the political position of government trying to control our lives through poor science. (and lets absolute idiots like ALGORE become billionaires)

  14. hunter said

    Think of two AGW’s. The first is the science of CO2 and the atmosphere and the rest of the ocean air sun Earth system.
    The second AGW is a social movement, like others before it. Similar movements would be found well described in “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”
    http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Popular-Delusions-Madness-Crowds/dp/051788433X
    This AGW is the one where we have people claiming the world has a fever, the world is facing a dangerous tipping point, the world is going to have global crisis, all caused by CO2.
    The first is science showing interesting things. The second is an apocalyptic cult run in large degree by political hacks and people posing as scientists who are getting very rich selling ‘cures’ for the apocalypse.
    But of course the apocalypse is not happening nor is it going to happen.
    So AGW is a scam, only not the AGW you are thinking of.

  15. joshv said

    In theory CO2 slows heat flow from the surface of the Earth. In simplified models it does as well. Do not confuse this with empirical observation.

    The models mandate absolutely nothing about how the entire Earth systems behaves with respect to heat retention. Please do not forget that “physics” is just a set of mathematical models. Science is, in part, the process of comparing those models to empirical observation. Scientists find quite frequently that the real world misbehaves, refusing to follow the mandates of “physics”.

  16. David Swift said

    Jeff, there actually IS a war against science, and certain politicians are waging it before our eyes. The disgusting thing is that they have corrupted the scientific process beyond recognition. There is currently a whitewash enquiry going on in the UK which will attempt to exonerate the deviant behaviour at the University of East Anglia CRU. You have to live here to understand the very “British” nature of closing ranks for the sake of the Establishment. It stinks to high heaven. These people must be made to account for their behaviour, no matter how much vested interest they have.
    Then, and only then, allow the facts to tell their own story.

  17. Jeff Id said

    I’ve already had my say at the top of the post. It’s funny again to see some people pretending that I don’t understand the processes which temporarily capture some of the heat flux but there are always those comments when I make this point.

    #4 There is no pessimism WRT taxation, only realism. Those of a political view seem to think it’s ok to simply steal money at any whim. Tax which foods/drinks we don’t want you to have, tax your cigarettes to stop you from smoking, we’ll tax you if we don’t think you buy the right insurance, we’ll tax you if we don’t think you have the right car… where will you stop, will you tax me for my exercise program? I tell you what AT, the politicians DON’T have the same goals as you which is the main thing you people always forget. They DO have incentive to repress the population, you give the power and shoulder shrug when you see it’s not being used as expected imagining that it’s just a matter them not making the correct law. Health care is a perfect example. Taxing our energy is a tax on everything and it’s not America that will suffer first, it’s the poor of the world. Of course you think we’ll just write the correct law and that will be fixed too.

    In my opinion taxation of energy will actually end up putting more CO2 in the atmosphere in the long term while simultaneously creating great suffering around the world. IMO, You are wrong, and dangerously so.

    #15 I’m sure you agree that the earth never ignores physics, its inhabitants just don’t have the whole of the physics accurately defined.

    #13 I agree that most skeptics have the wherewithal to discern the simple physics from the massive disasters of government science. We did a pole here which showed what you say is true.

    #12 Thanks Raven

  18. Bad Andrew said

    “Radiative physics mandates, and I mean MANDATES that CO2 makes it take more time for heat to escape from the surface of the earth to space.”

    JeffID,

    Until you can demonstrate that this is true, your statement is just an assertion. This ‘mandate’ of which you speak, is entirely imaginary, unless you can show otherwise. Can you show us in some way that your claim is true?

    Andrew

  19. Andrew said

    I pretty much am in agreement, Jeff. I’ve come to the conclusion of late however that the weakest link in the AGW argument is not the sensitivity (although this link is pretty weak IMAO) but the connection of X amount of warming to Y amount of “harm”. Almost none of the “impacts” suggested by lobbying groups appear to have any foundation in reality. Even if they were correct, however, the “damages” are always tiny compared to the costs of avoiding them.

  20. Leonard Weinstein said

    Jeff,
    Well done overall. I think some get caught up in details and miss the overall points you were trying to make. However, the point that some skeptics do bad with their wrong opinions is not a good point to make. Many on both sides and the middle of the issue are either not scientists or less understanding on details, and make a variety of crazy statements. This is expected on open discussions like blogs. You have to ignore these types of comments. You can’t expect pure and reasonable comments from either side. Hopefully the facts will determine the correct position as is the usual long term method of resolving differences in positions in science. The main purpose of the skeptics and lukewarmers is to prevent short term excesses from the CAGW crowd doing real damage, and should concentrate on that.

  21. dribble said

    There is nothing in this post from Jeff with which I would disagree.

    If CO2 is a problem, it is quite clear that nothing can be done about it in the short term. The world just does not have the ability to rapidly change from a fossil fuel based energy economy to whatever is going to replace it. This is Climate Change 101.

    I’ve also been surprised at the speed with which some of the left-wing commentariat have been calling for the suspension of democracy in order to deal with the ‘overwhelming threat of climate change’, as they call it. But then I am reminded of the speed with which the right-wing commentariat similarly called for the suspension of democracy in order to deal with the ‘overwhelming threat of terrorism’ just a few short years ago.

    I’m inclined to believe that Western society, having absorbed a Hollywood view of reality from being overfed too much media, is now over inclined to dramatize its otherwise bland existence for the sake of the latest excitement. The right wing fruitcakes have their bad guy Islamic terrorists and Saddams as an excuse to shoot off their guns and missiles. The left-wing fruitcakes have now similarly created a situation of planet saving importance in which they too can see themselves in the brave new light of heroism. If you ask me the human race needs to go see a psychiatrist.

  22. Paul Linsay said

    “Radiative physics mandates, and I mean MANDATES that CO2 makes it take more time for heat to escape from the surface of the earth to space.” Yep, absolutely true, understood for close to 100 years*. In fact, it’s true for every infrared absorbing gas such as water vapor and methane. But it only matters in a purely radiative atmosphere. It’s true on one of those beautiful fall days when the air is perfectly clear and dead still, the humidity is close to zero, and there’s not a cloud in the sky. As for the other 364 days of the year when there’s convection, the wind blows, there’s clouds, snow, and rain, the humidity is high, and so on, not so much. All these processes move energy around and up and down in the atmosphere much more efficiently than radiation.

    *See for example, G.N. Plass, Infrared Radiation in the Atmosphere, American Journal of Physics, pp 303-321, Vol. 24, May 1956 for a simple calculation, though without water vapor included since its spectral lines weren’t well measured then.

  23. Sonicfrog said

    Jeff, I wrote something along the same lines yesterday. I was reflecting on the article that appeared on MSNBC that revealed yet another angle of fraud concerning the vaccine / autism link by a the so-called scientist who singlehandedly created the anti-vaccine movement. My question was:

    “If it takes twelve years to debunk science that is absolutely completely bogus, pure rubbish, then how long will it take to recognize sloppy, statistically inappropriate science that never-the-less has a valid premise, is solid, but is not “settled”?

  24. scp said

    Since that is the case there are a few types of skeptics whom create more damage than good.

    – Global warming is a lie.

    – Global warming is a scam.

    I disagree. Cancer is real, but snake-oil cures are still a scam, despite the fact that they are organized around a real disease. You go on to say…

    – We don’t have a single clue as to how strong warming will be. Models are nice and are a good guess, but feedback from moisture in the air drives the vast majority of the predicted warming. The single strongest factor in the equations creates the greatest uncertainty in the predictions. We don’t even know if moisture creates a negative feedback canceling the CO2, yet the ’scientists’ assume it’s massively positive. The difference is 4c vs 0.01 of warming and despite claims to the contrary, nobody knows the real answer.

    I agree. If we don’t know, but someone says we do, then they’re either mistaken or intentionally misleading me. Because of the Wegman report, because they have a profit/grant motive and because they steadfastly refuse to correct, or even comment on, the most glaring errors. I happen to think that many of the Team scientists (and their fellow propagandists at the IPCC) are intentionally trying to mislead me. The climategate letters certainly reinforce that perception.

    Thus, despite the fact that there is an indisputable kernel of truth at the core of the propaganda, I believe the global warming myth is still a lie and a scam and I don’t think it’s harmful to say so.

  25. mrpkw said

    #23
    “If it takes twelve years to debunk science that is absolutely completely bogus, pure rubbish, then how long will it take to recognize sloppy, statistically inappropriate science that never-the-less has a valid premise, is solid, but is not “settled”?
    =============================================
    It would take 5 minutes if the MSM would report fairly/honestly and another 5 minutes if there were a true debate between both sides !!!

  26. TA said

    I think it is misleading to say “global warming” is NOT a lie and NOT a scam. It all depends on the meaning of “global warming”.

    Definition A: “Global warming” is the capacity of CO2 to absorb heat, and thus create a primary forcing of slowing the escape of heat from the atmosphere, which may or may not be canceled out, in whole or in part, by negative feedbacks. With this definition, of course you are right. That is physics. However, I do not believe this in itself is what is generally referred to by the term “global warming”.

    Definition B: “Global warming” is the belief that CO2 will cause the planet to warm to the extent of causing a catastrophe. In this case, it could very well be a lie and a scam.

    It is only necessary for people to define their terms.

  27. j ferguson said

    Jeff,
    I thought your post an excellent, succinct, statement of a thought-through standpoint on the things we’ve been puzzling about.

    I’m quite surprised that there is so much quibbling in the comments above.

    I thought your statement the best I’d seen as a summary of where we actually are with these things.

    Thanks.

    ps, are you getting any sleep these days?

  28. JAE said

    FWIW, I agree with #7, 12, 22. The nice little radiation cartoons make sense only if the damn air molecules would hold still and if the heat was moved around ONLY by radiation. But because of convection and THERMALIZATION, that ain’t the case. The amount of warming caused by radiation from greenhouse gases is probably WAY less than most folks who understand some physics think.

  29. JAE said

    #4, AT:

    “I wonder if you live somewhere where solar is not viable? Bring on a carbon tax (www.capanddividend.org) and watch innovation proceed apace!”

    More unsupported bumper-sticker, environmentalist-dreamer bullshit. Let’s tax food, too, so we can watch innovation in food production.

  30. Chuckles said

    TA,

    You raise a very valid point. All of this edifice is built on obsessions with obscure definitions. The nice people who keep the wikipedia climate pages on message, tell us that ‘global warming’ is:

    ‘the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.’

    Perhaps not quite how you might define it?

  31. harrywr2 said

    Actually Thoughtful said
    April 16, 2010 at 2:33 am

    “I wonder if you live somewhere where solar is not viable?”

    Please explain how much energy goes into a solar panel, how many years it takes to recover that energy and what is the life expectancy of a solar panel? Then explain to me where ‘solar power’ is viable.

    And to be more specific, Solar power will never be viable where I live. Seattle has 240 overcast days per year.

  32. mrpkw said

    # 29

    SPOT ON !!!!!!!

  33. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff,

    Attacked from all sides. Guess that means you have it about right.😉

    Some warming from GHG’s is inevitable; how much is unclear; a reasonable lower limit is about 1C per doubling of CO2. The consequences (good or bad) of whatever warming takes place are even more unclear. The commonly proposed ‘solutions’ to global warming are expensive and in search of a problem, and (surprise!) they strictly conform with the left/green leanings of those who propose them. If implemented, the solutions will almost certainly have many unintended consequences (AKA new problems).

    The only way out is much better science, so that at most uncertainty can be removed. But wow, political consensus is far, far away. Where are those who could strike a compromise? I read the comments here, and I sure don’t see anybody.

  34. Derek said

    Jeff
    “attacked from all sides”

    Bulldung – it’s called open minded discussion, maybe even debate.

    – DON’T YOU RECOGNISE IT STEVE FITZPATRICK.

    BTW – Jeff, I repeat my question, you have so far ignored, (and also to Steve)
    have you EVER looked at the K/T budgets seriously, with an open mind. ?
    This might help…..
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-609.html
    (read all of the thread please.)

  35. Derek said

    AND answer this question ALL you mainstream consensus “scientists” and “skeptics” alike.

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-651.html

    Is thermal radiation all positive, or relatively absorbed. ???

  36. Current technology cannot replace fossil fuels. No matter how you feel about the above, there is absolutely nothing we can do which will stop or even somewhat limit the impact of CO2 warming. – WE CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO LIMIT IT!! Damn, think about it people, none here can prove my claim wrong- so what does that mean!!

    Considering that France already gets 90% of their electricity from non-fossil fuel sources, it seems incorrect to state that fossil fuels cannot be replaced. It is apparent that coal can be replaced by current technology, but the United States needs to change the regulations that keep the price of nuclear power artificially high. Even a lot of transportation could become decarbonized. Trains can run on electricity and ships can be nuclear powered. Those actions would eliminate most CO2 output and don’t involve new technology.

    Eliminating the rest is more difficult and does involve new technology. We need better battery technology for cars and trucks. The Lithium-Air battery is the most promising, but there are alternatives. These could improve the battery storage capacity by a factor from 5 to 10 times the current Li-Ion technology. IBM is currenting working on this with the goal of having a battery that would give a car a range of 500 miles.

    The most intractable problem is air travel, but that is only a few percent of our current CO2 output.

  37. Actually Thoughtful said

    29,31,32
    Be careful you don’t get sucked in by extreme right wing hype. The “solar uses more energy to make than it produces” claim is false for a properly installed system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_water_heating#Economics.2C_energy.2C_environment.2C_and_system_costs
    (read the bit about life cycle assessment)

    It nets out to between 3 & 5 years for a properly installed system, regardless of PV vs solar thermal. PV takes longer for the panel itself, but solar thermal has higher balance of system requirements (tanks, pumps, piping, insulation, etc.). Note that I am not an expert in PV.

    Despite what some folks here would have you believe – solar works, and it works quite well.

    Seattle poster: I haven’t looked closely at the insolation in your area. Consider a ground source pump for heating/cooling and wind/wave for electrons if solar is not a viable option in your area.

  38. Jeff,

    I’m glad you made such a clear statement on radiative physics. recently Willis has also agreed to the physics of RTE.

    Bad Andrew,

    I think the point that I would like to make is that the physics of RTE WORKS! I get tired of explaining to people that
    the trace gas” argument ( C02 cant delay the release of heat ) is just a bunch of nonsense. The issue of feedbacks and other processes ( clouds for example ) is really the next question. I think its very powerful for skeptics to openly embrace
    RTE. That takes away the charge that you dont accept science. It also focuses discussions away from some of the nonsense
    that dominates discussions. So people are just better off saying what we know to be true.

  39. Jeff Id said

    #34 Sorry, I’ve had no time today. I wrote above with the few minutes I had before work.

    All you need to figure it out is the high absorption in the long wavelengths and the low absorption in the high and a few minutes looking at a black body radiation curve. In the end we may agree anyway, the point here is not that we have the magnitude of the warming nailed down, it is that we have a known heat trapping/retarding effect.

    #36, You have a point about nukes, it’s really too bad we’re not allowed to build them. They do cost more per KWh and are therefore a load on the economy but at least they can replace some fossil fuel plants in a substantial and continuous way.

  40. Jeff Id said

    #38 I did it once before too. I’m lazy so I didn’t want to redo the basic calculations, as luck would have it Lucia had the best explanation on line that I could find. Now in the link provided, I don’t agree with the 1.2C magnitude of warming from doubling for all kinds of reasons, but it does at least show the effect.

    https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/it-is-what-it-is-and-the-god-of-physics-will-have-it-no-other-way/

    I think it’s important that skeptics start at this point b/c it really isn’t in question.

  41. Bad Andrew said

    Steven Mosher,

    I’m trying to get past the claims and get to the facts. How do you demonstrate that your claims about the physics are true in a ‘global’ context?

    Andrew

  42. STEPHEN PARKER said

    Jeff, its your blog and you can say what you like. Its just one of the small debts you owe us english, free speech and the right to say what you want. Just why do you play football with that funny shaped ball?

  43. Jeff Id said

    #42, I’m a big fan of England, Canada, Austrailia and a bunch of other countries also. A little of home and help in every one of them. I’m really sorry for what the English government is doing to the people of that country. Take heart though, we’re not far behind.

    I suppose oblongball wasn’t that catchy.

  44. Jeff Id said

    I should have written because hockey pucks are too small to kick.

  45. “We don’t have a single clue as to how strong warming will be. Models are nice and are a good guess…”
    That’s self-contradictory. We do have a clue, from models and elsewhere. Arrhenius had a clue. There’s uncertainty.
    “We don’t know how damaging even severe warming would be.”
    That’s true, but you can take it either way. Many people worry about the prospect of damage, even if it’s uncertain. Most sensible people now don’t smoke, even though in the past many smokers did not suffer major damage.
    “we should all stop listening to their political solutions”
    True, but you’re exaggerating the extent to which these are being pushed by scientists. Sure, scientists are citizens too, and have legitimate views. But you should listen to their science. Governments should decide on political solutions. And they should listen to the science too.
    “Current technology cannot replace fossil fuels.”
    Future technology is going to have to. The basic arithmetic is that we’ve burnt about 350 Gtons of C. There’s about 3000 Gtons we could burn, and then it gets very hard. The big issue is whether we should put all of those 3000 Gtons into the atmosphere.

  46. STEPHEN PARKER said

    #43. Well said jeff, its what keeps us sane!

  47. hunter said

    Steve Mosher (38),
    Exactly. CO2 does what it does. AGW is not about what CO2 does. AGW is about CO2 triggering a climate catastrophe based on a chain of consequences that do not work.
    I hope you read my apology/clarification at the blackboard irt my last post.

  48. Andrew said

    45-“Future technology is going to have to. The basic arithmetic is that we’ve burnt about 350 Gtons of C. There’s about 3000 Gtons we could burn, and then it gets very hard. The big issue is whether we should put all of those 3000 Gtons into the atmosphere.”

    Almost everything you’ve just said is so wrong it’s comical. In the first place, we’ll never ever get that far-we won’t get to a point where we have to use alternatives-we’ll reach a point where we’ll want to do so, and then we will. That will be BEFORE we’ve used up all the oil etc. So no, whether we’ll put ALL the carbon in the atmosphere is NOT “the big issue”-it’s not even an issue at all, it just won’t ever happen. At some point (probably before we’ve even used half of that carbon) it will become more economical to use the alternatives and people will switch of their own volition.

  49. don said

    Radiative physics? What about entropy? In the long run, don’t we all hit absolute zero?

  50. timetochooseagain said

    49-The key being “in the long run”.

    The long run is a LONG way off:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe#Timeframe_for_heat_death

  51. JAE said

    Time for my perpetual question:

    On a clear day at high noon in July in Atlanta there is roughly 4 times as much greenhouse gas (water vapor) in the air as there is at the same time in Phoenix, AZ. On a clear day both cities get about the same amount of solar radiation (same latitude) and both are at the same altitude. But Phoenix is MUCH hotter than Atlanta (even at night, for those folks who believe in the “cold desert night” myth). With four times as much water vapor in the air in Atlanta, shouldn’t there should be four times as much “back-radiation” from the water vapor in Atlanta? If so, why doesn’t it get hotter?

    You can blame evaporation for robbing energy from the system, but at a given instant, there should still be about 4 times as much “backradiation” in Atlanta, so that a blackbody should get much hotter. But it doesn’t What is the deal?

  52. Hunter,

    I read your clarification. I really took no offense at your comments. I rarely take offense at any comments directed at me or what I’ve written. You’ve always struck me as a person who is willing to dialog. peace out.

  53. JAE.

    go to science of doom with your question, he has a thread up that may be relevant and he can probably answer your question. He is very accomedating and civil

  54. gallopingcamel said

    Jeff @ #39,
    Where do you get the idea that electric power from nukes is more expensive? Stick around and watch India and France develop better nukes that cost less to build and produce electricity at a lower cost per kWh than coal fired plants.

    As a bonus Thorium cycle nukes are much safer than LWRs can consume some of the waste destined for Yucca mountain:

  55. TGSG said

    Radiative physics? What about entropy? In the long run, don’t we all hit absolute zero?

    and then there’s that whole dark matter and expanding universe thing to worry about 🙂

  56. Andrew,

    I’m not even AT the point of making a global claim. Maybe Jeff will chime in as Well, but as matter of fact the RTEs DO WORK.
    as a pragmatic fellow, I have to accept them has being the best explanation of the facts. If you measure downwelling IR
    at the earths surface you get confirmation that these physics are correct. Now we measure radition of the sun before it hits the atmosphere. We know exactly what it looks like. When we measure Downwelling IR we know that aint sunshine. We know that it is IR that is reflected down from the atmosphere. and the atmopshere reflects that radiation back as predicted.
    C02 aint transparent to IR. and if you increase C02 ( up to apoint) you will change things in predictable ways. we can have nice arguments about feedbacks, about how they should be modlled or estimated, but at least we can agree on the basic physics.

  57. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Derek,

    So angry. Too bad. Doesn’t encourage conversation, or even a substantive response.

  58. JAE said

    53: done. thanks.

  59. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    JAE,

    The heat builds in Phoenix because there is little exchange of air. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_latitudes

  60. Jeff Id said

    #54, I only know peripherally that the cost of nukes is subsidized and the net is higher. I’m a big fan of nukes and wish they would build them everywhere. They are safer and cleaner than any other power source. It’s pretty telling that the only workable solution to a reasonable percentage of the problem is basically ignored. Biofuels are BS, wind is BS, solar isn’t ready but where are the nukes.

    As I explain at this blog over and over, the intent of the AGW politicians is not in line with real solutions. People come here and say gee just a small tax is ok, yet how the HELL can we be taxing our money yet NOT BUILDING NUKES!!!

    Of course the tax supporters often say, well I think we should build nukes too. Yet they don’t seem to realize the politicians you just agreed to give my money too, don’t share your motivations.

  61. JAE said

    Mosh, 53: Of course you can measure the radiation from CO2 (and HOH). IR is used to identify chemicals all the time (IR spectroscopy, which even I have used many times), because molecules emit a “signature” in IR. The issue here is whether this emitted IR has anything to do with the temperature. I know that it “stands to reason” and “just makes sense” that it does, but all the physics “logic” notwithstanding, the “atmospheric greenhouse effect” has NOT been proven empirically. It is a theory, period. And no scientific theory is anywhere near proven without such evidence. Hence my question above. While I support the basic theory, I am very interested in observing it. That might make it more measurable.

  62. JAE said

    My last comment to Mosh should have referenced his comment 56, not 53.

  63. Pat Frank said

    “MANDATES”

    Radiation physics is no more a complete theory of climate than classical electrodynamics is a complete theory of electronic orbitals.

  64. JAE said

    59: Yes, that is part of why it is so hot there. But why doesn’t a black body facing upward get hotter in Atlanta, given all the IR it receives from the ghgs? A greenhouse in Atlanta (no convection situation) will not get any hotter in Atlanta than in Phoenix.

  65. Jeff Id said

    #63, it is complete enough to know that there is a capture/retardation of heat. We know the sign but the magnitude and impact are the question. What we do know is that CO2 captures/retards energy we don’t know the total magnitude of the increased capture or whether water vapor responds to cancel it or amplify it.

  66. RB said

    Rehash of old link post on some water vapor observations . Plus, this one

  67. Bad Andrew said

    Steven Mosher,

    “I’m not even AT the point of making a global claim.”

    This thread is about Global Warming, if you hadn’t noticed. JeffID states conclusively that physics make Global Warming true. Are you saying you aren’t making any Global claims based on physics?

    Are you and JeffID making different claims, the same claim or what?

    Maybe you should each state what you are claiming, and we can compare the two claims.

    Andrew

  68. Bad Andrew said

    “What we do know is that CO2 captures/retards energy we don’t know the total magnitude of the increased capture or whether water vapor responds to cancel it or amplify it.”

    JeffId,

    So in the real world water vapor may completely cancel the ‘total magnitude of the increased capture’.

    In other words, in the real world there may be no C02-driven Global Warming at all. ‘we don’t know’

    What was this topic about? A scam? A lie? A hoax?

    Andrew

  69. Jeff Id said

    Steve can speak for himself, my points are already stated.

    It’s like this too me, you are in a vehicle on the highway with the accelerator pressed and the CO2 brakes are suddenly activated a little. Does the vehicle slow down, speed up, or stay the same?

    Answer — we don’t know. We do know the brakes were applied, we don’t know whether the engine output was increased to compensate. We do know the vehicle has been slowed somewhat from what would otherwise be expected from that amount of energy throughput.

  70. Bad Andrew said

    “Answer — we don’t know”

    JeffID,

    Then is seems to me that you don’t have enough information to say anything about Global Warming in the real world. We are right back where we started: Nowhere.

    Andrew

  71. timetochooseagain said

    66-Have any of you advocate types ever actually read Spencer and Braswell (2008)? You can’t infer feedback by looking at the relationship between the radiation budget changes (or WV/cloud changes for that matter) and temperature unless you know what the non feedback changes in these factors are and remove them in the first place. How do Dessler and company know that the changes in water vapor aren’t the cause of the temperature changes, not a response to them?

    A huge amount of feedback studies have been completely bunk because they completely ignored this point!

  72. Jeff Id said

    #70, You have to read the nuance of the situation to effectively argue the points.

  73. RB said

    #71, denier types like to say that there is no evidence of water vapor feedback observations – disaggregating cloud feedback from water vapor feedback may be a better approach, IMO.

  74. Gary P said

    This was a rather disappointing post. You take two solid measured facts, the IR absorption by CO2, and CO2 has increased for 100 years and conclude there must be global warming.

    There is reason to believe that CO2 will cause only a temporary increase in temperatures. This comes from the theory of Miskolczi that predicted the measured decrease in humidity in the stratosphere that maintains a constant optical density of the atmosphere. More recently a statistical analysis of the CO2 and temperature data by Michael Beenstock1 and Yaniv Reingewertz1 concludes the the rates of change of temperatures and CO2 are of a different order and that only a change in the amount of CO2 can cause a temporary change in temperatures.

    The global circulation models have been falsified by both the lack of a tropical hot spot at mid altitudes and the failure to predict the lack of warming over the last ten years.

    So just where is the evidence for long term global warming due to CO2? And please explain the MWP, the little ice age, and the Roman warm period, the melting from the last ice age and show that the causes of those changes are not responsible for the changes during the last 50 years. I eagerly wait with bated breath for a reasoned argument backed up by data and falsifiable predictions that can be tested within 5 years.

  75. Jeff Id said

    #74, The point of the post is to clarify where the argument lies, you may find it interesting that I don’t believe my post disagrees with you at all.

    Unless you believe in chemical feedback the mechanism of feedback is based on temperature. In an operational amplifier, when the output is a little high, the system can be designed to produce a negative feedback stabilizing the net output. However, by adding a forcing to pressure the output to be higher, the feedback stabilization will be slightly higher than without the forcing. It may be immeasurably higher or it may be measurable but it will be higher.

    Main stream climate science assumes through several arguments that a subset of the the feedback is not only strong but is positive, at least to the point where stabilization occurs at a measurably increased temperature.

  76. timetochooseagain said

    73-There is no evidence! You didn’t even read what I read, or SB08! It doesn’t matter if you disaggregated the clouds first. You will overestimate the feedback if you don’t account for conflating cause and effect!

  77. Nathan said

    Raven

    “Government science is science driven by the priorities of governments.”

    This is meaningless garbage.
    Science is science, it makes no difference to the scientific outcome where the money comes from.

  78. Mark T said

    timetochooseagain said
    April 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    You can’t infer feedback by looking at the relationship between the radiation budget changes (or WV/cloud changes for that matter) and temperature unless you know what the non feedback changes in these factors are and remove them in the first place.

    This is true of any feedback system, at least, you cannot infer feedback by looking at the inputs and outputs. The first step in analyzing any feedback system is to examine the open loop behavior, i.e., disconnect the feedback path and compare the input to the output. That’s impossible with many, if not most, natural feedback systems.

    Mark

  79. Mark T said

    Nathan said
    April 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Science is science, it makes no difference to the scientific outcome where the money comes from.

    You apparently don’t understand what happens to “science” when money is involved. Yes, we would all love to believe that scientists are altruistic in their approach to how they do science, but the sad fact is that this simply is not true. Where the money comes from may not be the only bias, but it is clearly a bias.

    Mark

  80. Mark T said

    Jeff Id said
    April 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    In an operational amplifier, when the output is a little high, the system can be designed to produce a negative feedback stabilizing the net output.

    Sorry, but there’s a problem with this analogy, Jeff.

    An op-amp represents an active circuit. Besides an input and an output, there’s a separate power source, which is where the “gain” comes from. All natural systems are passive, which means there is no separate power source*, so the “feedback” is really nothing more than an increase in storage that mimics gain. It is not true gain, and once the transient response settles, you’ll see that the ratio of output to input is still less than or equal to unity.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing what you are saying about the op-amp, I just don’t think circuits based on transistors are apt analogies for what happens in the climate. It makes a huge difference in behavior when you have a current source that is pumping electrons/holes into a semiconductor.

    Mark

    * In the climate case, the sun is the input, so you’d need a plug into some proverbial wall providing power from somewhere else in order to truly amplify its effect. Should we find that power source, then we have a new demon to blame.

  81. Pat Frank said

    #65 Jeff, “capture/retard heat” is not the same as “capture/retard energy.” The second is true of atmospheric CO2, the first not necessarily. Radiation physics talks about radiant energy. Assumptions about how climate works turn the absorbed radiant energy into proposed heat. The absence of a climate model means the conversion ratio of energy into sensible heat is entirely unknown.

    William Gray has pointed out that if the added energy goes into a slightly more vigorous tropical hydrology, there will be no detectable change in atmospheric temperature.

    Lindzen has also pointed out that there are reasonable scenarios in which additional CO2 cools the climate. This actually happens in some GCM runs. Such outcomes are considered ‘unreasonable,’ i.e., do not follow accepted views. These results are typically discarded and undiscussed.

  82. Mark T said

    Oh, and I should add, the whole point of noting the passive vs. active comparison: all passive systems are less than (or equal to) unity gain (over all frequencies) by definition, and thus, are also unconditionally stable.

    Mark

  83. RB said

    The gain is an outcome of the phase relationship of the output to the input through the connecting network and is of course observed when any signal is applied. For instance, consider a network made of passive inductors and capacitors such as in a loss-less LC-tank where the only action is to dump some charge on the capacitor initially. The tank oscillates at a frequency corresponding to sqrt(1/LC), since at that particular frequency, the open-loop delay is such that there is an in-phase summation at the point where the loop is broken. Or, in other words, if you break the loop, the phase relationship at the input and output nodes of the open-loop corresponds to that produced by a sqrt(LC) delay. In the absence of any resistive losses, this oscillation is sustained and represents a positive feedback phenomenon without requiring a continuously connected power source. In practice, an external power source, at equilibrium supplies enough energy to compensate for any resistive losses as may be required to sustain oscillations. Active elements such as transistors can be used to realize any arbitrary network of R,L,C’s with or without any passive elements since active elements can themselves be configured to be equivalent R,L or C elements or in the case of an oscillator, to effectively provide an equivalent delay such as the sqrt(LC) of passive elements.

    Jeff’s analogy works for me for a model where the sun is a current source that is a pulse train driving a capacitor (earth) with a resistive decay path (the atmosphere). Voltage measured on the capacitor is equivalent to temperature. A higher value for resistance would dampen the fluctuations on the capacitor while also resulting in a higher mean voltage. Now, one could say that this resistance goes as [R0+ k/(1-f)] where f is the feedback parameter, which means that for the same current, you would realize a higher voltage (temperature) than you otherwise would if the value for f was (-infinity). As Jeff notes, you have a mean voltage of at least that corresponding to R0 alone (the no feedback or infinite negative feedback case).

  84. TA said

    #30 Yes, I should have said there are many definitions of “global warming”. I only gave two very contrasting ones. The term is often thrown around with the assumption that a whole bucket full of beliefs go along with it. Technically, “global warming” should only mean a warming condition of the globe, without CO2 being implicated, but pretty much everyone assumes that warming caused by CO2 is included in the definition.

  85. RB said

    Correction: “….corresponding to R0 alone (the infinite negative feedback case).”

  86. grzejnik said

    I agree with you to a certain extent. But the “lie” and “scam” does not so much refer to the science as the politics and the “green” solutions (ie tax, cap n trade, subsidies, funding etc…) which can be viewed negatively.

  87. szo said

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v3.pdf

    I found the above pdf interesting,

    but I’m sure some of you guys will understand more of it than I did.

  88. timetochooseagain said

    78-Would you believe with all the money and years that have been thrown at this “problem” the first and only paper to point this out was published less than two years ago?

  89. Nathan said

    Mark B

    “Yes, we would all love to believe that scientists are altruistic in their approach to how they do science, but the sad fact is that this simply is not true. Where the money comes from may not be the only bias, but it is clearly a bias.”

    No, science succeeds or fails on its merits. Doesn’t matter how much money you throw at science. Look at the Tobacco lobby. they threw heaps of money at science in an attenpt to ‘prove’ smoking was harmless. It failed, because science is judged on its merits.

    If you’re going to make big claims like this, at least back them up with evidence.

    All I see here are people so dismayed at what science says that the only way they can reconcile their own personal beliefs with the science is to declare the science biased. The science isn’t biased, you are.

  90. Raven said

    #89 Nathan

    It will take 50 years to determine who was right or wrong when it comes to climate science. In the meantime, science is accepted/rejected based on how it ensures a steady flow of grant money to the scientists. It is not a conspiracy but a collection of individuals who know where their self interest lies and will also follow that self interest unless as long as they can find a loop hole in the ambiguous and often contradictory data.

  91. Bad Andrew,

    I’m not making any claims here about global warming. I’m trying to get people to say simply and without arm waving whether they believe in the physics of RTE. You see when you ask that specific question people start waving their arms and blathering on about maybe this and maybe that and blah blah. And THAT avoidance of a simple question is very telling. very simply we can disagree about what FOLLOWS FROM those physics, we can jump ahead in the argument and talk about untested theories, we can do all that, but I like to get the basics cleared away first. If we cant agree that those physics actually work then we are most likely not going to agree on whether the sun came up this morning.

  92. Nathan said

    Raven

    “In the meantime, science is accepted/rejected based on how it ensures a steady flow of grant money to the scientists.”

    This is pure invention on your part. Grants are not assigned based on the outcome.

    “It is not a conspiracy but a collection of individuals who know where their self interest lies and will also follow that self interest unless as long as they can find a loop hole in the ambiguous and often contradictory data.”

    Rubbish. You simply are unable to accept the implications of AGW and you mind is making up stories so you can cope.

    This is the essence of being in ‘denial’ as a psychological condition.

    Look at the start of this post. In essence it is an admission by Jeff ID that the case for AGW is firm, that is CO2 is being produced by Humans and that is accumulating in the atmosphere. This is causing the Earth to warm. What the precise extent of the warming is, is of course unknown. But scientist have attempted to give a good estimate. So in essence Jeff ID (and you, I assume) are way back where Hansen was in the 80s. Trying to figure out how much warming to expect. At least you’ve now caught up to where scientists were in the 80s! Maybe now you can be serious and make your own models that try and determine the extent of warming.

    Are you that serious? Or will you simply indulge in these bizarre accusations of corruption in science.

  93. michel said

    ….denier types like to say…..

    ….This is the essence of being in ‘denial’ as a psychological condition…..

    What we know for sure, from the history of cults, is that when people who differ are accused of being ‘in denial’, what is going on is that the speaker cannot produce convincing evidence, and therefore resorts to re-asserting without further proof that his evidence is convincing. The argument is, you cannot see that this evidence is fully convincing because you have emotional, not rational, difficulties with the facts.

    The tactic was well used in the 20C in Freudian analysis, where the stronger the disbelief in a diagnosis, the more accurate it proved that diagnosis to be. You are not aware of feeling ‘penis envy’, you go on to doubt there is such a thing. This is because you have repressed your knowledge of your envy, and you have also repressed your convictin of the existence of it generally. The more you resist, the clearer it becomes to me that you have deeply felt repressed emotion on this subject. Your resistance proves it, the strength of your resistance proves their emotional charge.

    Something similar is done in Marxist theory with the concept of false consciousness. We find that the working classes do not see that the Communist movement in our country is for them and expresses their class aspirations. In fact, they resist it. Well, this is because they have false consciousness, their consciousness has been corrupted by life in a capitalist society, so they do not see where their true interests lie. We have to re-educate them, by force if need be. After all, true consciousness is the only real freedom, is it not?

    We find a similar mechanism at work in many religions. The evil is often however placed outside the subject, as when the Devil has all the good arguments. The existence of trans substantiation, or the divine origin of the Koran, are so obvious that only wickedness can explain why someone, seeing the evidence, fails to accept it, and in the last analysis this must be due to the Devil. This has to be corrected, by force most likely, since after all, the future of our immortal souls is at stake.

    When people in AGW talk about ‘denialism’ and ‘deniers’ in this way, they are simply confirming their membership of a weird cult. You never need to tell people they are in denial when you have proper convincing reasons for your assertions. How many deniers of gravity are there?

    As to the question Mosher asks, do you accept the physics of radiation transfer? Of course. I just do not think that there is any evidence that the resultant heat forcing will warm the climate much if at all, long term.

    Obviously there is really heaps of evidence, and I am in denial. Obviously, the strength of my denial will be proportional to the strength of the evidence, and will in fact be evidence for it. If the evidence were not super good plus, why would I be so convinced that it is not?

    Obvious, when you think about it.

  94. Nathan said

    Michel

    What a very long load of waffle.

    AGW isn’t a cult.
    If you read the original post by Jeff ID, you will see that all the conditions for AGW are met. Humans increasing CO2 levels, increeased CO2 levels making it warmer.

    “I just do not think that there is any evidence that the resultant heat forcing will warm the climate much if at all, long term.”

    you provide no back up for this assertion.
    If you can demonstrate AGW to be wrong or false, write the paper. Anything else is self-indulgent denial.

  95. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Nathan (#94),

    Sure, the physics of radiative forcing are correct, and GHG’s added to the atmosphere must warm it. So what? The devil is in the details. It really does matter how much warming takes place.

    And it also matters when the political inclinations of the scientists involved clearly (read the damned emails if you doubt this) make them subject to confirmation bias/expectation bias. One does not have to be a raging “denialist” to know that what people with strongly held political views say about the ‘science’ needs to be very carefully examined for veracity. Climate science is not like most scientific fields; you won’t find very strong political impacts on the study of fluid turbulence. But there is lots of evidence of an overwhelming political tilt in climate science. Those who choose to pursue careers in this field go into the field specifically because of the ‘green’ aspect… and lots of them really do want to save the world at the outset.

    I think it is at best naive, and at worst irresponsible, to not recognize that the results of climate science, and the pronouncements of climate scientists based on those results, need to be evaluated very critically.

  96. Bad Andrew said

    “I’m trying to get people to say simply and without arm waving whether they believe in the physics of RTE.”

    Steven Mosher,

    Where and how is the average person supposed to come to believe in ‘the physics of RTE’? Should they be teaching it in school?

    Andrew

  97. SamG said

    Great Jeff. Skeptics aren’t just rebellious twits, our position is quite clear. It never was a denial of warming. It was the advocacy that painted this picture.

    All this bi-partisan nonsense is a distraction from the real issues- which are numerous.

  98. Bad Andrew said

    Anyway, on the subject of this post…

    – Global warming is a lie.

    – Global warming is a scam.

    If you tell your girlfriend that out were out with your sister last night, when she asks you what you did while she was gone, your disclosure is a lie and a scam, if that’s not the whole truth.

    You may have done that, but if there is more to the story, and your statement is designed to hide and/or obscure some other activities, thou art guilty.

    That’s why declarations about Global Warming having a central truth are misleading. When you make statements about Global Warming, you have to explain what you mean, and that means disclosing all the ugly facts and exposing all the myths that go with it. That means you have to disclose that you really have no idea that Global Warming is really occurring. AHEM.

    Andrew

  99. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff ID, it is good that you continue to make the points that separate the skeptic from the denialist. The AGW policy advocates have a much bigger challenge with the skeptics arguments than those of the denialists. I think when it comes down to the uncertainty issues on the degree of AGW and its detrimental and beneficial effects there is much to discuss and puts a large spectrum of opinions/judgments into play. Attempting to frame the arguments as denailist versus extreme warmists excludes most of the spectrum and misses the central issue of uncertainty.

  100. gallopingcamel said

    Bad Andrew #98,
    A half truth is often worse than a lie.

  101. Bad Andrew said

    Gallopingcamel,

    Yes sir, an I’ve even had guys who like to ‘run around’, tell me that mixing in some truth with your stories to your gf is more effective. 😉

    Andrew

  102. >As I see it, the battle with global warming is not where many alleged ’skeptics’ would prefer. Radiative physics >mandates, and I mean MANDATES that CO2 makes it take more time for heat to escape from the surface of the earth to >space. Since that is the case there are a few types of skeptics whom create more damage than good.
    >
    >- Global warming is a lie.
    >
    >- Global warming is a scam.

    I have a couple of problems with this.

    1. Radiative physics also works with water vapor (H2O). There is a hell of a lot more water vapor in the air than there is CO2. I am not convinced that 20 – 40 PPM of CO2 increase are significant compared to the 10000 PPM of water vapor in the air.

    2. What ever global warming may or may be have occurred, the amount is smaller than thermometers can detect. Claiming to detect global warming without thermometer readings to back up your claim might not be outright lying, but it’s poor laboratory practice, and isn’t truthful.

    3. You may not call the hockey stick, “hide the decline”, and the arbitrary “corrections” in the Hadley CRU computer programs scams, but I cannot think of a more appropriate word.

  103. Raven said

    #92 Nathan

    The grants are assigned based on previous research. People who produce research that keeps the government money flowing find it a lot easier to get new grants. This is a well recognized fact and the only one in denial is you.

    I also don’t have any issue with AGW other than I know the catastrophic consequences are being systematically exagerrated because the financial incentives in the system encourage that to happen. I have a big issue with carbon control because I think it is technically impossible to do and any attempt will fail.

  104. Re 102; David Star.

    “1. Radiative physics also works with water vapor (H2O). There is a hell of a lot more water vapor in the air than there is CO2. I am not convinced that 20 – 40 PPM of CO2 increase are significant compared to the 10000 PPM of water vapor in the air.”

    This is a common enough misunderstanding and one that science of the middle part of the last century already explained.
    Let me refer you to scienceofdoom. com. or perhaps this: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    But the mistake you make is not a horrible mistake. Its the same mistake some scientists made in the last century. They like you were mesmerized by a simple number, by a representation of the atmosphere as a slab.
    When you talk about the PPM realize that you are talking about an “average”. But the distribution is not uniform and the behavior is dependent upon pressure, ( altitude)

    Some excerpts:

    “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……Didn’t the fact that water vapor thoroughly blocks infrared radiation mean that any changes in CO2 are meaningless? Again, the scientists of the day got caught in the trap of thinking of the atmosphere as a single slab. Although they knew that the higher you went, the drier the air got, they only considered the total water vapor in the column….Among other things, the new studies showed that in the frigid and rarified upper atmosphere where the crucial infrared absorption takes place, the nature of the absorption is different from what scientists had assumed from the old sea-level measurements….Measurements done for the US Air Force drew scientists’ attention to the details of the absorption, and especially at high altitudes. At low pressure the spikes become much more sharply defined, like a picket fence. There are gaps between the H2O lines where radiation can get through unless blocked by CO2 lines. Moreover, researchers had become acutely aware of how very dry the air gets at upper altitudes — indeed the stratosphere has scarcely any water vapor at all. By contrast, CO2 is well mixed all through the atmosphere, so as you look higher it becomes relatively more significant.

    NEXT:

    2. What ever global warming may or may be have occurred, the amount is smaller than thermometers can detect. Claiming to detect global warming without thermometer readings to back up your claim might not be outright lying, but it’s poor laboratory practice, and isn’t truthful.

    ” this is also a common misconception. You can prove this to yourself with some simple spreadsheet programs. The law of Large numbers is your friend. it’s estimated that thermometers used in the network have an accuracy of .2C ( 1sd) for
    a SINGLE measurement. in a monthly average there are 60 measurements. the error on monthly averages is thus smaller. This is just basic statistics. Even with the rounding that is used ( each day is rounded up or down) the monthly average
    benefits from the LLN. See lucias site for a demonstration of this and a handy spreadsheet to show you how it works.

    NEXT:

    3. You may not call the hockey stick, “hide the decline”, and the arbitrary “corrections” in the Hadley CRU computer programs scams, but I cannot think of a more appropriate word.

    I like to be precise. In my mind a scam is a DELIBERATE strategy by an individual or group of individuals to defraud
    others for monetary gain. I try to sell you a cure for cancer. I know it doesnt work. My only goal is to fool you into
    buying my cure. I want you money.

    A. the hockey stick is the result of michael mann being IGNORANT of the proper use of statistics. We have no evidence
    that he made his mistakes DELIBERATELY with the intent to deceive. but he has persisted in his mistakes, which makes
    him stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistake. He is willfully ignorant. His purpose may be to protect his reputation
    or to protect the cause he believes in. BUT HE BELIEVES. no scam artist believes in the snake oil he is selling. A scam
    artist DOES NOT BELIEVE.

    B: Hide the decline. There are several versions of hide the decline, each with a different history. NONE of them is a scam.
    None of them on the other hand is a candid forthright transparent description of the problem. They are misleading.
    They are constructed to tell a simple story when a complicated story is WHOLE TRUTH. So, I criticize these scientists
    for trying to tell simple stories, for giving a marketing message, a 30 second sound bit. If you use the word
    SCAM you are doing the same thing they are. Oversimplifying a complicated problem. You are also doing something that
    has made it HARDER for us to make the right case. You charge them with murder, when their crime is Assault. How do
    they defend themselves: they defend themselves against a crime they didnt commit. And they win. DONT charge the wrong crime.

    C: Arbitrary corrections in the computer code: This is another one of those complicated problems that people oversimplify
    on both sides. one side claiming no wrong and the other side over charging murder. The truth is in the middle.

  105. Bad Andrew:

    Where and how is the average person supposed to come to believe in ‘the physics of RTE’? Should they be teaching it in school?

    how does one come to believe? Let me put it the other way about. How did SO many skeptics come to DISBELIEVE in something that they know nothing about. Why dont they choose C02 agnosticism? When I first got exposed to the arguments I didnt know. because I didnt know i tried not to run around saying that CO2 COULD NOT cause warming based on a few blog pieces here are there. I didnt KNOW. But I se far too many skeptics claiming KNOWLEDGE that C02 cannot.
    they dont base this “knowledge” on any experiment, any physics, any scientific authority. They just make arm waving
    arguments. Anyways, looking into it I of course found my old friend MODTRAN. a program I used as an engineer. hey we just used it, it worked. We didnt need to understand all the physics behind it, it just worked. Now I have time to go into all the details. But back to your question. You dont need to come to believe. you just have to avoid DISBELIEF where it is not warrented. You can say one of three things:

    a. I believe in RTE ( for a variety of proper and improper reasons.
    b. I dont know.
    c. I disbelieve in them.

    I’m suggesting that people who take case “c” have a serious credibility problem. if they disbelieve in them then there
    are many things that work today that SHOULDNT WORK. So if you disbelieve in RTE, then you have to answer
    this: do you understand it? or do you disbelieve because of bogus arguments you heard, other people you trusted?
    is your DISBELIEF warranted? if not, then I would suggest that you switch to position “b”

  106. Actually Thoughtful said

    #104
    Wow Steven Mosher – your post is a breath of fresh air. You are so right that saying the actual truth, rather than exaggerated versions, makes it easier to know what is going on and also find common ground. Which is what I think Jeff does with the original post.

  107. curious said

    93 Michel – a good post clearly exposing the real nature of the “denial” label.

    94 Nathan – I am not convinced by the arguments of the pro AGW lobby. I doubt that there is a properly understood, formulated or quantified model of past climate which is sufficient for us to evaluate current or future climate. I have reservations about what appears to be a simplistic deterministic view of the earths climate and I’d point out Pat Frank’s post at 81. On Lucia’s blog I asked one of the posters there to give me five points of one sentence detailing the strongest evidence for the AGW case. So far “crickets”. Same at this blog when I asked Dr Steig to detail how he has arrived with certainty at the forcing associated with CO2 in the atmosphere. Please can you answer these two questions?

  108. Mark T said

    RB said
    April 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    The gain is an outcome of the phase relationship of the output to the input through the connecting network and is of course observed when any signal is applied.

    Yes, but it is always less than unity for a passive system that contains no active elements.

    Jeff’s analogy works for me for a model where the sun is a current source that is a pulse train driving a capacitor (earth) with a resistive decay path (the atmosphere).

    This is not an op-amp, however, so I’m not sure how Jeff’s analogy works for you, since you are using a different analogy. Your analogy is passive, btw, and also has an unconditionally stable result.

    Mark

  109. RB said

    Oscillation is a positive feedback phenomenon. As the loss-less LC_tank example shows, a system composed entirely of passive elements can oscillate since the gain at the frequency of oscillation is unity. You don’t need a gain greater than unity, you just need one whose gain is not less than unity at a frequency where the network connecting the output to the input produces a signal that is in-phase.
    In any case, the point really was that you don’t need active elements. Even if the LC_tank had resistive losses, you just need a current source that periodically dumps charge to compensate for the resistive losses.
    I didn’t think too hard about Jeff’s analogy except as a representative of system with feedback where if the open-loop gain is A, feedback gain is T, closed-loop gain is A/(1-AT) which is less than the open-loop gain A.
    In the analogy that I used, if feedback parameter f, was equal to 1, then the resistance becomes infinitely large.

  110. RB said

    Well, OK, in the negative feedback case, closed-loop gain is less than open-loop gain A.

  111. Brego said

    Joining this thread late, but…

    JeffId
    Mosher
    Others

    You are all making the same mistake that scientists made years ago when they failed to recognize that the troposphere contains great abundances of water in all three of it’s phases; vapor, liquid and ice. The absorption spectra of the three phases of water are very different. Liquids and solids absorb/emit energy along a continuous spectrum, not discrete spectral lines with gaps in between like water vapor.

    An examination of the spectrum for liquid water is very telling:

    Note the position of the strongest spectral peak for liquid water, right at the location where CO2 absorbs. This unfortunate coincidence has resulted in a great deal of unfortunate confusion and wild speculation.

    I was going to add the absorption spectrum for CO2 to this chart, but the absorption coefficient for CO2 at it’s spectral peak (667 wavenumber (cm^-1)) is just 10.56. It wont show up on this chart. Too tiny. The absorption by liquid water at this spectra is 300+ times more intense than is CO2.

    The absorption spectrum for water ice is also interesting:

    Note the shift of the peaks and the changes of the intensities.

    Then, of course, we should consider the relative abundance of H2O and CO2 in the atmosphere:

    On average, at the surface water is 300+ times more abundant than CO2. Even at 300 mB, H2O is 8 times more abundant than CO2. (The other day, the radiosonde report for my location revealed that H2O was 8 times more abundant than CO2 at 10mB, near the top of the stratosphere).

    These facts, taken together, should make it obvious why CO2 and those other trace gases cannot possibly have any effect on tropospheric or surface temperatures. It is because those gases don’t do anything radiatively that water isn’t already doing and doing much better.

    Water absorbs IR upwelling from the surface and warms the atmosphere near the surface via collisional excitation. The warmed air then slowly begins to rise. At various altitudes, the water condenses, freezes and sublimates and radiates away the latent energy of the phase change, cooling the troposphere at altitude. This phenomenon keeps tropospheric and surface air temps cooler than they would be otherwise.

    If this phenomenon didn’t exist, or if the troposphere was somehow transparent to IR, the troposphere would still be warmed via conduction with the surface, but it would have no way of cooling again, because no other atmospheric gas works to cool the troposphere. Tropospheric temperatures would be very warm and would stay that way year-round. There would be no difference between day and night temperatures.

    Fortunately, that is not the case. Water is the refrigerant of the troposphere.

  112. Bad Andrew said

    “how does one come to believe? Let me put it the other way about.”

    Steven Mosher

    So you avoid answering my simple question. That gives me a healthy dose of disbelief when it comes to things claimed by a guy named Steven Mosher.😉

    Andrew

  113. gallopingcamel said

    Stephen Mosher,

    As a physicist I accept the premise that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere affect the radiation balance and hence global temperatures. When one gets down to numbers things seem much less satisfactory owing to interactions with melting ice sheets, clouds, water vapor etc.

    I have seen estimates ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 degrees Centigrade per doubling of CO2. It would be folly to base public policy on such fuzzy “science”.

    If you had to pick a number what would it be? Short answer please as I am too dumb to understand most of your #104 & #105 posts.

  114. Derek said

    Brego said
    April 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm
    Joining this thread late, but…

    Brilliant and clear post. Post 111.
    It should be copied and pasted on as many forums / blogs as possible.
    Do “we” have your permission to Brego. ?
    (I’m going to anyway at GWS.)

  115. michel said

    If you can demonstrate AGW to be wrong or false, write the paper. Anything else is self-indulgent denial.

    I don’t have anything to demonstrate. People are telling me to get excited and worried about something and for me to put up large sums of money to save myself and others from impending disaster. I don’t have to write papers to demonstrate they are wrong, THEY are the ones who are selling me something. THEY are the ones who have to do the convincing. I am reporting, so far, they have persuaded me of the physics of CO2 absorption of IR. Which was pretty simple to do, I could have told them that.

    What they have not yet persuaded me of, and likely never will if they carry on like this, is that forcings of this order will lead to permanent rises in the global temperature. You can go on about how doubting it is self indulgent denial till you are blue in the face: I’m not buying. This is not a way of persuading me to buy. This is not evidence. This is not argument. This is jumping up and down and stamping your feet.

    The same sort of thing has happened in other areas of science and public policy, and notably in religion, accompanied by the same ridiculous emotional accusations and outbursts. And as I point out, the same pattern of argument has been used over and over again in modern history to attempt to bludgeon people into accepting hypotheses which they could not be argued into on the basis of real evidence. The fact was, collective farms were a productive disaster. Calling people who did not think they were working ‘wreckers’ and ‘deniers’ did nothing to persuade anyone that they were in fact working. What would have done it would have been honest production stats that did not ‘hide the decline’. There were none.

    There is no evidence that a forcing equivalent to doubling CO2 levels to 600ppm will cause any long term or permanent rise in the global average temperature. If it exists, just produce it. Don’t tell people who want to see evidence that they are ‘deniers’. They are just saying ‘show me’. You can’t. If you could, you would. The fact that you resort to abusive dismissal of the demand, shows you can’t.

  116. Brego said

    Re: #114 Derek

    You and anyone else has my permission to copy/paste my comment(s) anywhere you wish.

  117. Dave L. said

    We exist in but a blink of the eye regarding the existence of the Earth. So little of the Earth’s climatic history is known, so little is understood — a couple of inferences disguised as hypotheses, nothing more — impossible to validate. We have no science to explain the history of the Earth’s climate variations; there is no concrete data on “climate change”. If we do not understand what has transpired in the past, how are we to predict what is to come in the future?
    We are looking at a chaotic, vastly complex system from the inside, proposing to explain it with paintbrushes composed of simple physics and models, yet our understanding of basic processes is minuscule — and many of the answers require an examination from the outside. What data exists? Do we even know what to measure or how to go about measuring it?
    Sorry, but climatology doesn’t qualify as a science; at this juncture it is little more than a faith based belief, relying upon speculations pronounced by a few prophets who consult secret statistical texts. Unfortunately, the prophets are not held accountable for their prophecies, since they are under the protection and employment of the rulers.

  118. Geoff Sherrington said

    Steve Fitzpatrick said
    April 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm “Some warming from GHG’s is inevitable; how much is unclear; a reasonable lower limit is about 1C per doubling of CO2.”

    This is not entirely logical. Light passing trough CO2 produces heat (most agree); the real question is whether this heat stays around to heat the earth, or escapes from the global system without heating it.

    Do you have a view on this?

    It’s like saying that your car engine goes to 6,000 rpm, but failing to note that in different gears this will produce different top speeds, starting at 0 in neutral.

  119. twawki said

    Why attack skeptics – do they somehow dilute the purity of your convictions? We are each entitled to our views. However skeptics for the most part advocate free speech, transparent and open science and the dissemination of information. Alarmists have been quite the opposite.

    United we stand – divided we fall.

  120. […] manipulative whitewash ; Where whitewash is simply being a wolf in sheep’s clothing ; Climate skepticism – read the responses ; AKPC_IDS += […]

  121. […] A technical response from a poster over at Airvent; […]

  122. kuhnkat said

    Jeff,

    “Certainly, I’ve felt the pressure, yet the math is the math, the physics is the physics and again I force myself to remember—- we don’t get a choice with respect to the science.”

    And until your algorithm is COMPLETE, you can’t know the answer.

  123. GregO said

    #92
    “…Trying to figure out how much warming to expect. At least you’ve now caught up to where scientists were in the 80s! Maybe now you can be serious and make your own models that try and determine the extent of warming.”

    Models? 1980s? How about take a quick look at the temperature records (as flawed as they are) and conclude AGW has a real problem as a predictive conjecture. Aren’t the poles supposed to have melted by now? I am reading Jeff’s initial post and all he states is:

    “I’m forced to realize that global warming has a central truth in that CO2 does slow heat flow from the surface of the earth to space.”

    Models, to date, fail to match observation. Observation is flawed but fails to confirm catastrophic AGW; additionally, lack of predicted catastrophe in itself invalidates CAGW claims to date.

    That it stands to reason that man-made CO2 alters Earth temperature by slowing heat flow to space; delta T could be so minute as to elude our ability to measure. There could be negative feedbacks (cloud formation?) and those most likely are maddeningly difficult to quantify.

    My conclusion: 1) Get better measurements as opposed to better models 2) We don’t need more/better physics; we need more open minds and better real world numbers.

    Aside: Seems to me from reading this blog that JeffId doesn’t need to “get serious”. He’s a reasonably serious presence in this discussion.

  124. “Nobody knows the magnitude of the problem . . .”

    Not to nitpick too much (because I suspect you were using the word “problem” in the sense of the “issue”), but a critical nuance is whether there even is a “problem.” I haven’t been able to find any credible evidence to suggest that the warming (even 4C) would be a net negative.

  125. Bad Andrew said:

    “So you avoid answering my simple question. That gives me a healthy dose of disbelief when it comes to things claimed by a guy named Steven Mosher. ”

    That’s an interesting reaction. What it tells me is that you may be oppositional defiant. I won’t argue the logic of negation
    of you. But I will note this. Its been very difficult for people to answer my question with a simple yes or no. let’s take you for example:

    “I’m trying to get people to say simply and without arm waving whether they believe in the physics of RTE.”

    “Steven Mosher,

    Where and how is the average person supposed to come to believe in ‘the physics of RTE’? Should they be teaching it in school?

    Andrew”

    Now, read what I wrote: you are given a choice to say whether you believe or not. To this there are three responses:

    1. I believe.
    2. I don’t know
    3. I dont believe.

    And you answer with a question about how people are suppose to come to believe. Yet even in this, I dont question your motives, and decide NOT to believe anything else you say ( that’s quite close minded) but I respond in kind answering your question with what I think is a better question. given that the vast majority of people do not understand RTE, given that fact, how did they come to DISBELIEVE. Now, if I want to explain people’s behavior, I think the best way to proceed is to try to explain the majority. personally I would have thought the majority was agnostic about a physics they dont understand. That would be easy to explain.

    WRT your question. Should they teach it in school? Well, they do. I see no harm in that. you should note the actual point I was making. I was not saying I am trying to get people to believe in it. merely this: answer the question without arm waving. without posing questions about how one should come to believe. Just a simple answer. Saying you dont know is fine. Saying you believe in it is fine. When you say you dont, then we have some interesting further questions. like how you came to that conclusion.

  126. Twawki said

    April 17, 2010 at 11:22 pm
    Why attack skeptics – do they somehow dilute the purity of your convictions? We are each entitled to our views. However skeptics for the most part advocate free speech, transparent and open science and the dissemination of information. Alarmists have been quite the opposite.

    United we stand – divided we fall.”

    I actually think we are better off disguarding some of the more stupid arguments that people make.

    1. Many people waste their time repeating arguments that have no merit. Since time is limited this means that
    the real arguments dont get the full attention that they need.

    2. When you take silly positions the other side can caraciture you.

    3. the warmists DONT know how to argue effectively against people who say:

    A. I believe in radiative physics.
    B. it’s getting warmer but we far from understanding all the feedbacks.
    C. projecting emissions is both 1) Critical and 2) the LEAST understood part of the argument.
    D. calculating damage is even more critical and less understood.

    But generally I agree with you. I am much more confortable and more well recieved on ‘skeptic’ sites because we share a commitment to open science. Funny. I believe in AGW and skeptics and denialists of all stripes are always polite to me and willing to discuss things. But RC? or Tamino? crap, I’m banned at both places. go figure.

  127. re 113:

    “I have seen estimates ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 degrees Centigrade per doubling of CO2. It would be folly to base public policy on such fuzzy “science”.

    If you had to pick a number what would it be? Short answer please as I am too dumb to understand most of your #104 & #105 posts.”

    people always ask me this question I’d guess 1.2C. lower bound.

    Here is a nice place to start:

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/02/19/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-seven-the-boring-numbers/

  128. Confused said

    Thanks for your thoughts Steve Mosher, I can’t but agree with your approach.

    Not being a scientist my problem is this:

    I believe the science presented on pro-sites is generally better, but since there is no real debate and thus no real testing it is difficult for me to assess the merits of the claims.

    I believe the science on sceptic/anti-sites is generally worse (with notable exceptions, Mr Id and Lucia), but at least things are talked about in an open way, which gives me a chance (only a chance mind) to assess the merits of the claims. On the other hand this is made more difficult than it needs to be by the vast amount of bogus stuff being talked about (i.e. conspiracies and over-stated allegations).

    In general then, I read sceptic/anti-sites, though with growing frustration. And science of doom, which is excellent. Most often I have to read back and forth between a number of sites to get a good idea.

    Some might ask how I come to my overall assessment of the quality of science on pro and sceptic/anti-sites given that neither give me (in my view) a decent forum in which to assess the claims. The answer is that I have read around a lot, looked at how people argue and what kinds of points they make, and go from there. So there are people whose opinions I follow closely.

    In summary, in my view, on the sceptical side there is a real issue with quality control. On the pro-side, there is a real issue with critical (in the technical rather than confrontational sense) discussion.

  129. Nullius in Verba said

    “I’m not making any claims here about global warming. I’m trying to get people to say simply and without arm waving whether they believe in the physics of RTE.”

    A good question, and a good point. I believe in the physics of RTE. I also believe that the usual application of RTE to the atmosphere (as seen in this post: “I mean MANDATES that CO2 makes it take more time for heat to escape from the surface of the earth to space”) isn’t how the greenhouse effect works.

    The problem is in the step from the first to the second, which is so often treated as if it were “obvious”.

    You can (in theory) still get a greenhouse effect without any greenhouse gases, and with all radiation from the surface escaping directly to space, unimpeded. The effect doesn’t require photons to be ‘blocked’ or ‘trapped’ or ‘slowed down’ – it doesn’t work ‘like a greenhouse’, or by letting shortwave in and stopping longwave getting out. It’s not ‘like a blanket around the Earth’.

    It’s confusing, because there is a version of the greenhouse effect that does work that way, in a static, non-convecting atmosphere. It’s used as a first toy example in an atmospheric physics course. But the Earth’s atmosphere convects, which means that this version is false.

    It is vaguely annoying that whenever anyone doubts the more complicated “greenhouse effect due to trapped radiation” theory, this is taken as a refusal to accept the radiative physics of “CO2 absorbs and re-emits outgoing longwave in all directions” which is a completely different statement, and from which the former does not follow.

    It’s like changing the setting of the thermostat in your refrigerator, and when asked to explain why the inside subsequently got colder, citing the thickness of the insulating walls. “Do you doubt the physics of heat conduction through thermal insulation?! Well, then. It’s obvious, isn’t it?”

    But since you were careful to specify that you wasn’t talking about global warming, just the RTE, I thought it was a good question. Just misunderstood.

  130. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Confused, you will never get a good discussion on the subject at hand by talking in generalities. I judge that truly interested participants in the AGW debates look at specific and detailed issues and then analyze the methodologies used and the amount of stated or unstated uncertainty in the results/conclusions. A good analysis of the works or reviews of discussion participants and publishing scientists should not depend strongly on the ability of those making the arguments to articulate their cases – beyond making clear what their basic arguments are. If you do depend on articulation you would appear to be taking the validity of arguments on faith and without getting down and dirty with understanding the details, doing your own analyses and making your own judgments.

  131. Andrew_KY said

    Steven Mosher,

    Suggesting what you think are better questions in response to a simple question is not answering the question. It’s a diversion.

    If you were seriously interested in imparting some knowledge that you have that addresses the question, you would just answer the question.

    There is no scientific reason for me to believe in AGW or the physics you describe. Just like there is no scientific reason for me to believe in Unicorns. If you can point me to where I can observe Unicorns, AGW, or your pet physics theories in action, you have the opportunity to point me in that direction. If you can’t, just respond honestly and say, “I can’t”

    Andrew

  132. Bad Andrew said

    I mean, Bad Andrew. lol 😉

    Andrew

  133. Mark T said

    Confused said
    April 18, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Not being a scientist my problem is this:

    If you are not a scientist, how do you feel justified in making your next two assessments?

    I believe the science presented on pro-sites is generally better, but since there is no real debate and thus no real testing it is difficult for me to assess the merits of the claims.

    I believe the science on sceptic/anti-sites is generally worse (with notable exceptions, Mr Id and Lucia), but at least things are talked about in an open way, which gives me a chance (only a chance mind) to assess the merits of the claims.

    I think, based on the two bolded points, you need to reassess what makes science “good” or “bad.” You have it backwards, actually. With a little research, I think you will find it is the latter that is good and the former that is bad, in spite of any bells and whistles the former may use to convince you otherwise. Science is never good if it is not testable or only available to those that are “in the know,” no matter how pretty it has been dressed.

    Mark

  134. Jeff Id said

    Sorry I’ve not been around to participate. The internet at my house is down so this is from work and I have to do other things again today.

    Confused wrote — I believe the science presented on pro-sites is generally better

    While I’m not offended here in any way, your words were kind enough, I have to disagree. RC and Tamino will say anything that advocates, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Also, it doesn’t matter if it’s later shown to be true. It leaves the reader with the need to figure out for themselves everything because they are not what I would call honest brokers. They aren’t open about their motivations, political views or funding and I’ve read so much advocate science there calling the science better than a site like CA doesn’t make it for me.

    I like people who can say what they really mean and aren’t about the most effective use of propaganda. RC stuff on aerosols, hockey sticks, and all kinds of other topics has been so bogus that there isn’t much else you can say about it than propaganda.

  135. Mark T said

    One of the keys, too, Jeff, is that a site that encourages open debate will ultimately out mistakes, even from their own writings. RC, Tamino, et al., do not have that benefit and thus, there is no mechanism on their sites to uncover the truth. They edit out any contrary opinions or inconvenient facts and refuse to acknowledge even provably incorrect claims.

    Mark

  136. Re 131. Andrew:

    You might think it is a diversion. But if you read what I wrote you will see this:

    1. I said my goal was to stop arm waving. To get people to to answer the simple question about RTE.

    Your response was to DIVERT the conversation to what I thought people should do get get people to understand RTE.

    My response, to your diversion, was to ask a better question. Not your question, which was what do “I think”, but rather
    the question “why do people disbelieve, when they really know nothing”

    So: 1. I state a goal. That goal is to get people to stop arm waving and answer the question. Then, you ask a diversionary question. Then I ask a better question, which you criticize as a diversion from your diversionary question.

    Now, Onto your text:

    “There is no scientific reason for me to believe in AGW or the physics you describe. Just like there is no scientific reason for me to believe in Unicorns. If you can point me to where I can observe Unicorns, AGW, or your pet physics theories in action, you have the opportunity to point me in that direction. If you can’t, just respond honestly and say, “I can’t”

    I am not asking you to believe.

    I am not here to educate you.

    I am asking you a simple question:

    WRT the physics of RTE. Do you:

    1. believe in them? I dunno maybe you used them at work and found that they worked. They did for me.
    maybe you studied them in school and trusted your teachers. Maybe you read the papers. I dunnu. I dont care
    WHY you believe.

    2. Disbelieve in them. That is, BELIEVE THEM TO BE WRONG.

    3. Suspend judgement. You don’t know, but are OPEN to being convinced.

    Now, It’s interesting that you use the existence of unicorns as an example. But let me give a better example.

    Do you believe in the existence of X? careful thinkers will get my point.

    Here is the thing: Knowing whether you are in #2 or #3, is important. Are you in DISBELIEF, and if so, then we will look at the evidence. because I am interesting in how people come to DISBELIEVE when they dont understand what is being discussed, OR are you in doubt and saying ” I dont know what RTE is, but I am willing and able to look at it openly”

    For example. If I showed you that the fundamental principle of atmospheric sounding with meterological satillities detecting the thermal IR emission was based on the solutions to RTE, would you believe in RTE?

    If you put IR source on the ground and then put a sensor aloft, where that sensor had to look through the amosphere to see the source, what physics would you use to predict what the sensor would see? If you had physics that predicted this very well, would you believe in those physics. or would you change the subject, wave your arms, or ask about whether this should be taught in school.

    I ask the question about RTE for a very simple reason. Even the most ardent skeptics ( christy spencer ) Believe in RTE.
    they have to. they use it every day. Now, they take issue with how these physics are coupled with other physics. That’s a different question. So, is your skepticism deeper than christy’s and spencers? and lindzens?. or do you know believe in them because they do?

    maybe I was asking a trick question.

  137. Confused said

    To defend myself here I just want to say that I’m generally not inclined to make long posts or engage in extended interweb debates, so forgive my generalities. I’ll keep this one short too.

    My language can of coursed be parsed to within an inch of its life, so even if I didn’t make myself clear, and it appears that I didn’t, I don’t quite mean what people have inferred.

    I will say a couple of things though:

    130. My judgement is not made purely, or even primarily, on quality of articulation. I also take into account how other people respond to a given poster, the manner in which the ideas he or she holds are treated in the wider blogosphere, and whatever personal information I can divine. It’s not perfect but in the absence of time in which to do more it will have to be all.

    133. I’m not going to go into an extended philosophy of science. I don’t have anything backwards. I’m well aware of the role of openness and debate. Suffice to say that my understanding of science is not contained within those two highlighted sections.

    Jeff I stand by my statement. I just don’t read RC at all. I can’t stand it for the reasons you mention. As for CA, my impression is that it’s had a change of focus in recent months. It’s too discursively focussed for my interest and I can’t be bothered wading through the minutiae of who said what in what email/document/press statement etc. I don’t mind taking broad points from there though.

    I’ll sign out at this point and let my normal irrelevance reassert itself.

  138. Andrew,

    Perhaps it might help you to see how the equations are used in everyday work.

    http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-38-27-5679

    Bottom line, you can believe in RTE and still disbelieve in AGW ( for a variety of reasons ), but you really can’t disbelieve in RTE without explaining why the equations work so well. You could say you dont know. But saying you disbelieve is interesting.

    What I find is people tend to fight against this science, just on “principle” or because they fear that if they say they believe in it that somehow they have conceeded the argument. So, for me its a sign of people’s ability to reason together. When somebody fights against a science that used successfully every day, because they believe that somehow accepting that science will commit them to giving up their position on AGW, its rather telling.

    Its like this: I ask you if you believe in general relativity and because you THINK that might imply that AGW is true, you FIGHT against answering the question simply. now isnt that true. You thought accepting RTE might commit you to a belief in AGW. thats what you thought. And rather than say ” i dont know” you fought against the question. Interesting.

  139. Jeff Id said

    #137, Blogs are comment powered so please don’t think that I’m offended, not that you implied it. I tell people that blogging is great, where else can you be wrong 500 times in the same day.

    I would like to add to the discussion about radiant absorption but haven’t had access to a real keyboard. The point made here is really far more simple than many of the smart people are posting above. There are several who go into magnitudes of warming, that is entirely different from my point. What I’m saying and from what I can tell, every technical reader has said (including those who tried to disagree), is that CO2 absorbs more in the lowest frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Incoming energy comes in at a higher frequency in general and is absorbed but re-emits at a lower frequency in general. Therefore CO2 must absorb more percentage of the outgoing radiation than it lets in — greenhouse gas.

    Now, as an example, one reader points out above that water vapor has wiped out the CO2 absorption bands already, this is a fantastically clear point that can really really limit the effects of CO2 warming. I assume the climate scientists have taken this effect into account for their models but don’t really know. This may be a big assumption as I used to assume someone tried and confirmed temp proxies were actually temperature. — they don’t. However, the fact that the warming effect is severely limited or that there may be canceling feedbacks, has no bearing on the little bitty truth at the center of the debate — CO2 has a natural warming effect which cannot be reasonably denied. Therefore, reasoned arguments need to focus on the magnitude of the effect or on the result of the effect, independently of whether CO2 captures heat.

    I wish there was more time to blog but that’s all for now.

  140. Mark T said

    Confused said
    April 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    133. I’m not going to go into an extended philosophy of science.

    It’s not about the philosophy of science, it is about the definition of science.

    I don’t have anything backwards. I’m well aware of the role of openness and debate.

    Science IS about openness and debate. If it is not open, it is not science, period. That is exactly why you have it backwards. It does not matter how correct you think they are – clearly as an admitted non-scientist you must agree you aren’t really qualified to judge that anyway, it is not “science” unless it is falsifiable, and it is not falsifiable if it is kept in a closed box.

    Suffice to say that my understanding of science is not contained within those two highlighted sections.

    But those two highlighted sections are so wrong, perhaps you should reconsider our points and reevaluate your understanding of science?

    Mark

  141. Bad Andrew said

    “Bottom line, you can believe in RTE and still disbelieve in AGW ( for a variety of reasons ), but you really can’t disbelieve in RTE without explaining why the equations work so well. You could say you dont know. But saying you disbelieve is interesting.”

    I disbelieve in RTE because no one has shown me why I should believe it. I don’t believe in things by default. That would be silly. I disbelieve in things by default. Of course I don’t know anything about it, that’s why I can’t say I believe it, but I can say I disbelieve it.

    If your answer is that it’s elegant mathematics, I say great. Show me what they do with it, that it would impact reality in some way.

    Andrew

  142. Jeff i'd said

    I’ll do one more post on radiative absorption. It will be as simple as possible but I’ll aim for Monday. The absorption eqs are simple well tested and easy to grasp.

  143. Layman Lurker said

    As for CA, my impression is that it’s had a change of focus in recent months. It’s too discursively focussed for my interest and I can’t be bothered wading through the minutiae of who said what in what email/document/press statement etc.

    I think your impression is correct in seeing a change at CA. My current take on CA (rightly or wrongly) is that Steve is focused at getting “on the record” wrt to investigations CRU, PSU, climategate, etc. Someone needs to be a diligent and critical watchdog of these processes.

    Judy Curry’s recent comment is timely support for Steve (http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/04/judy-curry-on-oxburgh-report-and-ipcc.html). When inquiry “findings” omit the very scientific publications in question, the AGW blogsphere wants to declare vindication and jump all over Steve and his credibility.

    Too many people have been taking liberties with Steve’s view of the world and his motives. While doing this they conveniently leave out certain facts and spin up cynical interpretations of his many years of work.

  144. Derek said

    Does anyone else get the impression there are certain subjects / areas that are not to be discussed. ?
    “the physics of CO2”, MLO as two examples.

    Time was, not so long ago, the same applied to “the data”, and “the maths”.

    It’s a funny old “debate” int it climate science…

    Time WILL tell however.

    BTW Thank you Brego, re post 116, I hope this is OK.
    I added some emphasises where I thought appropriate.
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-655-post-4588.html#pid4588

    AND Thank you for getting “us” a little closer to our Holy Grail.

  145. gallopingcamel said

    Steve Mosher, #127

    Many thanks for the link you sent me. I am skeptical about the claims from both sides of the AGW debate so a site with no discernible bias has much to recommend it. The “Science of Doom” is now on my “favorites” list but it will take me a while to work through the archives there.

    I hope that other contributors to this blog will find it as helpful as I have, so here it is again:

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/02/19/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-seven-the-boring-numbers/

  146. Nullius in Verba said

    “CO2 has a natural warming effect which cannot be reasonably denied.”

    Over at scienceofdoom, I’ve just been reading the post/comments about stratospheric cooling caused by increased CO2. Apparently, even the Great Gavin got it wrong first time around trying to explain it.

    Perhaps you’d like a go? How does the naturally warming CO2 cause a cooling?

  147. Jeff Id said

    The altitude which experiences warming is far more complex than the simple fact that CO2 captures heat. That is the realm of models — and feedback. The stratosphere has an extreme ratification of gas in comparison to the rest of the atmosphere so there is less effect from CO2 but the same energy flux passes through so what is expected to happen by models may be more complex than predicted. I know they predict cooling, can’t remember exactly why but it’s far far more complex than CO2 captures heatflow.

  148. RE Steve Mosher’s post #104

    Re 102; David Star.

    >>“1. Radiative physics also works with water vapor (H2O). There is a hell of a lot more water vapor in the air >>than there is CO2. I am not convinced that 20 – 40 PPM of CO2 increase are significant compared to the 10000 PPM >>of water vapor in the air.”

    >This is a common enough misunderstanding and one that science of the middle part of the last century already >explained.
    >Let me refer you to scienceofdoom. com. or perhaps this: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06>/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

    OK. I read the realclimate post. This rather astonishing sentence popped up in the article.

    “The planet as a whole is now taking in more energy than it radiates (which is in fact our current situation).”

    This is not true. The earth is in equilibrium, if it were not, temperature would be rising. Planetary temperature has been reasonably stable since the last ice age. After such a blooper I become skeptical of the entire article, especially as it is posted on a notoriously pro warming web site.

    >>2. What ever global warming may or may be have occurred, the amount is smaller than thermometers can detect. >>Claiming to detect global warming without thermometer readings to back up your claim might not be outright lying, >>but it’s poor laboratory practice, and isn’t truthful.

    >” this is also a common misconception. You can prove this to yourself with some simple spreadsheet programs. The >law of Large numbers is your friend. it’s estimated that thermometers used in the network have an accuracy of .2C >( 1sd) for a SINGLE measurement. in a monthly average there are 60 measurements. the error on monthly averages is >thus smaller. This is just basic statistics. Even with the rounding that is used ( each day is rounded up or down) >the monthly average.

    Ah yes, the “averaging will cancel out all errors” theory. I’ve heard that one before. Usually from the salesmen of data acquisition systems. First of all, ordinary thermometers are only good to 1 degree C, not 0.2 degrees C. Then suppose the thermometer reads 1 degree low. Then, if I average 60 readings from the same thermometer, the average comes out 1 degree low. Averaging only reduces random errors. It does not cancel calibration errors.
    .

    NEXT:

    >>3. You may not call the hockey stick, “hide the decline”, and the arbitrary “corrections” in the Hadley CRU >>computer programs scams, but I cannot think of a more appropriate word.

    >I like to be precise. In my mind a scam is a DELIBERATE strategy by an individual or group of individuals to >defraud others for monetary gain. I try to sell you a cure for cancer. I know it doesnt work. My only goal is to >fool you into buying my cure. I want you money.

    OK. So a scam is a thought crime. It’s only a scam if you think bad thoughts while doing it. We will ignore the possibility that the “scientists” reached their scary conclusions in order to obtain more grant money.

    >A. the hockey stick is the result of michael mann being IGNORANT of the proper use of statistics. We have no >evidence that he made his mistakes DELIBERATELY with the intent to deceive. but he has persisted in his mistakes, >which makes him stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistake. He is willfully ignorant. His purpose may be to >protect his reputation or to protect the cause he believes in. BUT HE BELIEVES. no scam artist believes in the >snake oil he is selling. A scam artist DOES NOT BELIEVE.
    >
    >B: Hide the decline. There are several versions of hide the decline, each with a different history. NONE of them >is a scam. None of them on the other hand is a candid forthright transparent description of the problem. They are >misleading. They are constructed to tell a simple story when a complicated story is WHOLE TRUTH. So, I criticize >these scientists for trying to tell simple stories, for giving a marketing message, a 30 second sound bit. If you >use the word SCAM you are doing the same thing they are. Oversimplifying a complicated problem. You are also doing >something that has made it HARDER for us to make the right case. You charge them with murder, when their crime is >Assault. How do they defend themselves: they defend themselves against a crime they didnt commit. And they win. >DONT charge the wrong crime.
    >
    >C: Arbitrary corrections in the computer code: This is another one of those complicated problems that people >oversimplify on both sides. one side claiming no wrong and the other side over charging murder. The truth is in >the middle.
    >
    Programming is one of my day jobs. I looked at their code. Those corrections were arbitrary.

  149. Mark T said

    steven mosher said
    April 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    this is also a common misconception. You can prove this to yourself with some simple spreadsheet programs. The law of Large numbers is your friend. it’s estimated that thermometers used in the network have an accuracy of .2C ( 1sd) for a SINGLE measurement. in a monthly average there are 60 measurements. the error on monthly averages is thus smaller. This is just basic statistics. Even with the rounding that is used ( each day is rounded up or down) the monthly average benefits from the LLN. See lucias site for a demonstration of this and a handy spreadsheet to show you how it works.

    This is an absolutely inappropriate application of the law of large numbers. It does not apply to averaging different measurements taken in spatially distinct locations each with its own distinct error distribution. It also does not apply to averaging over long periods of time, since eash measurement likely has a different mean (LLN requires i.i.d. which is clearly not the case in averaging temperature measurements over the course of any time period). Similarly, the LLN will not “cancel” systemic biases, e.g., actual offsets in the mean of the measurement that are consistent with the measurement apparatus.

    The law of large numbers can be used, for example, in a situation in which you have a measurement device that has some random error distribution with stationary statistics. If you take multiple measurements of whatever it is, close enough in time that the conditions have not changed, or with multiple measuring devices, the law of large numbers says that the average of your measurements will approach the true mean. Nothing more, nothing less.

    This is the most common misconception out there, and touted by those I would expect to understand why it is such a misconception. You can “demonstrate” this all day, but those spreadsheet demonstrations suffer the very problems I just pointed out, or they simply don’t apply.

    Mark

  150. RB said

    On #111, perhaps what rightwing denialists may be missing is that leftist advocates are already aware that water is the dominant contributor to the greenhouse effect . Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that what we are interested in is in the effect of incremental changes, not in the quiescent conditions contributing to the greenhouse effect. And what we know is that water is not a forcing agent because of its small residence time on its own, but CO2 is.

  151. JAE said

    142: Jeff

    “I’ll do one more post on radiative absorption. It will be as simple as possible but I’ll aim for Monday. The absorption eqs are simple well tested and easy to grasp.’

    This will be fun. I am especially interested in the “well tested” part, if it relates to demonstrating the “greenhouse effect.”

  152. JAE said

    53, Mosh: Scienceofdoom is not helping. Any other ideas?

    111, Brego: I think you are correct. Virtually NOBODY wants to discuss the role of thermalization, but it is extremely important.

  153. Jeff Id said

    #152, Brego’s quote —

    Water absorbs IR upwelling from the surface and warms the atmosphere near the surface via collisional excitation. The warmed air then slowly begins to rise. At various altitudes, the water condenses, freezes and sublimates and radiates away the latent energy of the phase change, cooling the troposphere at altitude. This phenomenon keeps tropospheric and surface air temps cooler than they would be otherwise.

    If this phenomenon didn’t exist, or if the troposphere was somehow transparent to IR, the troposphere would still be warmed via conduction with the surface, but it would have no way of cooling again, because no other atmospheric gas works to cool the troposphere. Tropospheric temperatures would be very warm and would stay that way year-round. There would be no difference between day and night temperatures.

    Fortunately, that is not the case. Water is the refrigerant of the troposphere.

    Is mostly reasonable. I can’t claim to have investigated the effects of rising air in the troposphere. However there are problems with it.

    If this phenomenon didn’t exist, or if the troposphere was somehow transparent to IR, the troposphere would still be warmed via conduction with the surface, but it would have no way of cooling again, because no other atmospheric gas works to cool the troposphere.

    Of course this neglects the re-emission of absorbed energy so it would definitely and without question have a method of cooling.

    What his point does apparently correctly (again I haven’t quantified it) is to state that water absorbs a significant portion of the CO2 band. This could substantially reduce any effect that CO2 would have on warming. Well before any feedbacks were considered, however, it would not change the fact that CO2 causes warming of some non-established magnitude.

    I’ll be happy to provide the post as proof, but it is far more simple than you might be expecting.

  154. Nathan said

    Raven

    “The grants are assigned based on previous research. People who produce research that keeps the government money flowing find it a lot easier to get new grants. This is a well recognized fact and the only one in denial is you. ”

    This is simply you making stuff up.
    Where is you evidence? Show the proof that research funding is being rorted.

    But, no. You won’t because you have no proof. You have no evidence of it. You just like to keep saying it because that’s what you want to be true. What a disgraceful and shameful attempt to discredit people. Hiding here making up stories just because you can’t cope.

    It’s also irrelevant and the science stands on it’s own. If there was a problem with the science you’d have published it. If you think the science is wrong, publish. This whining on a blog is self indulgent rubbish. Stop being lazy and get to work on the science you think is wrong.

    You saw Jeff ID do it here, when he created his own global temp anomaly from the raw data. Good on Jeff for doing the work and getting a result. Wasn’t the result he wanted, but good on him.

  155. JAE said

    Jeff:

    “I’ll be happy to provide the post as proof, but it is far more simple than you might be expecting.”

    Please address thermalization in your post. It is extremely important to address this issue. It AIN’T A RADIATIVE WORLD! Good luck.

  156. Brian W said

    Jeff:

    Since radiative physics is “in the bag” so to speak, and if you understand it as you say, then how is the backradiation supposed to behave. For example is it steady during a 24 hr period? Does it vary according to the sun?
    Please enlighten me.

  157. twawki said

    126 Steve Mosher

    But generally I agree with you. I am much more confortable and more well recieved on ’skeptic’ sites because we share a commitment to open science. Funny. I believe in AGW and skeptics and denialists of all stripes are always polite to me and willing to discuss things. But RC? or Tamino? crap, I’m banned at both places. go figure.

    ……………..

    Agreed Steve. I hold a different view on AGW as you but am comfortable with that and feel I have much to learn from you. We are each on a journey we each have our reasons but being able to discuss that without ad hominen attacks is what it is all about and there is room for a lot of opinions. I know Ive said a lot of silly things over the years but part of that was my learning curve of coming to grips with the science and prob will say more. But its the virulent, nasty words (like gas yourself in your garage etc) by typically eco elites that destroy their own case and we are probably a couple amongst thousands who have been censored and banned at RC and Tamino – who despite being pushed by the green machine continue to plummet in wed rankings.

  158. michel said

    ….perhaps what rightwing denialists may be missing…..

    I always thought that what the anti-Party clique, those running dogs of right wing counter-revolutionary imperialism, right wing deviationism, capitalist roaders picked up from the rubbish bin of history, and just plain nasty people, what they may be missing is that we know all about the famines and the massacres.

    We just do not think they are important in the light of the great inevitable movement of history through the dialectic.

  159. hunter said

    RB,
    Can you at least recognize that the crisis/calamity of
    global warming/climate change/climate crisis is not apparent to the typical person?
    It takes tremendous interpretive skills to declare doom from ~1o of change over 100 years, after all.

  160. Derek said

    Jeff Id post 153 wrote.
    ” it would not change the fact that CO2 causes warming of some non-established magnitude. ”

    Just to be clear, am I correct in thinking that “we” are allowed to question the consensus numbers, but not the principles.
    These principles include the settled science of radiative physics.

    To me this smacks of, question the consensus figures but not the science. In the flat earth era not questioning the science would of been pandering to the consensus, I see no difference now.
    Infact not questioning the science but merely attempting to argue the figures will only prolong the “life” of AGW, as it would any flat earth society.

    Recently I have seen the more and more common appearance of the term “illegitimate skeptic” or skepticism being used to describe anyone who questions the physics or the greenhouse effect.
    I can not help but think this is the flat earth society protecting it’s own, and pandering to the “consensus”,
    whether they realise they ARE the flat earth society, or not.
    The danger of this approach is shown in todays post by Jeff on this very blog.
    Namely, https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/8863/

    The so called “illegitimate skepticism” is completely legitimate in my opinion, and
    the way forward out of this AGW mess we all face.

    Who is really in denial. ?
    Those that accept the so called settled science and the greenhouse effect (with no generally agreed description of how it actually works) but
    merely quibble the figures or,
    those who question both the “science” and the so called greenhouse effect.

    Not questioning the actual principles is surely being in denial.

  161. Jeff Id said

    #160, the radiative physics in question determines the color of your incandescent light bulb. You can argue with the long dead Max Planck, you may even be able to make incremental improvements in his work, but the equations are, and will always be, excellent representations of the expected color of your lightbulb. Since the equation would need to be grossly in error for the effect to not work, this part of the science is a done deal.

    F does equal ma but general relativity made an improvement on the formula such that at high relative velocities we get a different answer.

  162. Derek said

    We’ll get to the akward radiative questions soon enough Jeff.
    Try answering the main body / points of my post first please.
    ie, what use is quibbling the figures, it’s damned dangerous. It panders to the consensus, to the lie, to the scam.
    When the science is nowhere near understood, let alone settled in respect of the atmosphere.
    If it was anywhere near understood you would not be quibbling the figures would you,
    let alone writing, ” that CO2 causes warming of some non-established magnitude. ”

    Take Brego’s post earlier, you missed his central point, or one of them at least.
    If liquid water emits at the same wavelength as CO2, and climate science does not bother with the liquid water spectrum in it’s interpretation of the “measured” spectra – no wonder their answers do not make sense.
    As I have pointed out elsewhere, given that how do the dry MLO CO2 measurements match with atmospheric measurements,
    that must have liquid water in them. ?
    They can not, yet they do……..

  163. Brian W said

    Jeff

    Please respond to my post at #156. I am looking forward to some enlightenment. Better yet do another short post on radiative absorption like you said at #151. Oh and if you do, post the K&T diagram while you’re at it.

  164. Jeff Id said

    #163, The variance of the “backradiation” is irrelevant, my point is simpler than that.

  165. Brian W said

    Jeff ID

    Really! Why!

  166. Jeff Id said

    I’ll try and write a post for it tonight. I’ve explained it several times above. The amount of energy coming in to the surface of the earth is almost equal to the amount leaving the surface of the earth. It comes in at shorter wavelengths than it leaves as described by Planck’s blackbody radiation equation. The Earth is cooler than the sun. So if a gas absorbs mostly in longer wavelengths it will absorb more of the outgoing radiation than the incoming. Of course the absorbed energy is re-emitted very quickly but the whole process of absorb and re-emit delays the exit of the energy creating a warming. Therefore for the kernel which is the center of AGW to be false, CO2 would have to absorb equally or more of the incoming vs the exiting radiation. We know from these simple facts that it absorbs less incoming than outgoing.

    For that to be wrong, it would require that our understanding of gas absorption mechanisms be seriously messed up or that Planck was a complete idiot and all our lightbulbs have been tricking us. IOW, the science is settled.

    None of this means the magnitude is even measurable or that even the IPCC exaggerated warming is dangerous. These are the points which are not settled.

  167. JAE said

    BTW, air is a fluid, and so is water. Does the greenhouse effect exist in water?

  168. JAE said

    Jeff:

    “For that to be wrong, it would require that our understanding of gas absorption mechanisms be seriously messed up or that Planck was a complete idiot and all our lightbulbs have been tricking us. IOW, the science is settled”

    Of course there is no doubt about Planck’s equations and that OCO and HOH absorb and emit IR. You can even identify them by their unique spectra. However, whether or not that makes any significant difference to “warmth” or “retaining heat” remains to be proven, IMHO. Don’t forget about thermalization, which is how the 97% of the air molecules get “warm.” They can only do this by colliding with the surface OR, more importantly, by colliding with the GHGs (taking energy from them). And don’t forget convection, the lack of which explains how a real greenhouse works. I’m still not sure that CO2 really does much, except thermalize the rest of the air and emit radiation at TOA.

    The points made above about the liquid water are also intriguing.

    Maybe you are essentially saying the same thing in your last sentence?

  169. Jeff Id said

    #168 yup. I don’t disagree with anything you wrote. After the simple absorption, the rest of the story is a lot more slippery.

  170. Brian W said

    Jeff

    First off I’ve heard that explanation quite a few times thanks. If a theory has no predictive ability what good is it? For example on many days the so called backradiation varies intra day by around 80W/m2, on a few days this figure goes over 100w/m2 often dropping off within the span of about a half hour. WHY? If you understand the science then you can explain this, if not how can we meet? How long do you think the process of absorption and reemission is? Is it a second or two, milliseconds, microseconds, how about picoseconds? Also of great strangeness is the fact that even in the wee hours of the morning “backradiation” values are the same as during the day. Is there any rhyme or reason for this? C’mon I need some enlightenment. I haven’t even got started with the hard questions yet. Oh and please don’t be waving any lightbulbs at me I know more about blackbody physics than you realise.

  171. JAE said

    170, Brian: Where are you getting data on “back-radiation?” It looks like I have some of the same questions about backradiation as you do.

    However:
    “How long do you think the process of absorption and reemission is? Is it a second or two, milliseconds, microseconds, how about picoseconds?”

    I’m no physicist, but I am pretty sure that the “time” of the “process” is not a meaningful idea here. You would probably have to express it as a statistical distribution. A given GHG molecule could absorb an IR photon and be energized for a picosecond before it re-emits or collides with another molecule; or it could be energized for maybe a whole minute, perhaps, especially in the stratosphere.

  172. Jeff Id said

    #170, That’s exactly the point. After the single known detail, the rest is fuzzy. Some can be calculated mean path between absorption and re-emission, total time delay, but even that has some assumptions and is difficult. So the argument I have is, sure CO2 captures some heat, so what?

    How much heat?
    What are the feedbacks?
    What does convection do?
    How do you determine the absorption of the clouds?
    If the water vapor already wipes out the CO2 absorption bands, how much difference can it make?
    Is warming really dangerous?
    Is the little bit of warming really what caused ice melt in greenland?

    So can I skip the radiation post, there has to be more fun things to discuss?

  173. Brian W said

    Jae

    Go to the SURFRAD network. It’s NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab. Easier just to google. Considering your interest you will be like a kid in the candy store. Upwelling, downwelling you name it you can chart it.

    I only brought up time because Jeff used the words delay or slow down. Both involve time. And I completely agree with you about thermalization.

  174. Brian W said

    Jeff

    Are you kidding me! Jeff, Jeff is not radiation and the idea that the atmosphere feeds back in on itself the key reason for alarmism. The creation through amplification of a tipping point. Or that the atmosphere in and of itself can achieve a gain greater than 1. True skepticism applies to the entire paradigm not just part of it. Me I’ve used radiation for global or local communuications for 37 years on a hobby basis. This is why the radiation part of the physics interests me intensely. So Jeff NO skipping. The purpose of science is to offer explanations. I want an explanation for what I see.

  175. RB said

    Dick Lindzen seems to agree that the positive feedback component due to water vapor is is probably correct .

    As a result preliminary estimates based on simplifications have been shown to be reasonably robust, with water-vapour feedbacks increasing the warming to be expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide from 1ºC without water vapour to about 1.7ºC. Dr Lindzen agrees that for parts of the atmosphere without clouds this is probably about right.

  176. Brego said

    Re: #153

    Jeff, you said:
    “Of course this neglects the re-emission of absorbed energy so it would definitely and without question have a method of cooling.”

    Jeff, in the absence of water, what component of the troposphere do you think would do the cooling?

    You also said:
    “What his point does apparently correctly (again I haven’t quantified it) is to state that water absorbs a significant portion of the CO2 band.“

    No, I provided the absorption spectrum of liquid water that demonstrates that it absorbs across the ENTIRE spectrum where CO2 is active, even in-between CO2’s spectral lines, not just a portion, and with an absorption intensity that is 300+ times greater than CO2.

    This is the reason why adding more CO2 to the atmosphere is irrelevant. All of the upwelling IR from the surface is already fully absorbed by water. Additional CO2 cannot add an additional increment, as there is none left.

    If we could wave a magic wand, and cause CO2 and those other trace gases to disappear from the troposphere, nothing concerning the absorption of upwelling IR would change. (The affect on plant life is a different story).

  177. Brego said

    RE #170 Brian W

    I don’t where you got your information, but the phenomenon you described doesn’t happen during clear skies conditions.

    http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/surf_check?site=desr&mos=August&day=1&year=2008&p1=dpsp&p5=dpir&p6=upir&p9=rnir&p10=rn&ptype=gif

    The DIR is nearly constant when the skies are clear.

    Cloudy conditions are a different story:

    http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/surf_check?ptype=gif&site=desr&date=17-sep-2008&p1=dpsp&p10=rn&p5=dpir&p6=upir&p9=rnir

    However, the UIR is affected more strongly that the DIR is (note the sharp increase in the net IR during 1850-2000UTC when clouds reduced the downwelling solar.

    BTW, there is no emission of energy from the troposphere due to radiative decay. The atmospheric density is too great and does not allow it. The density is great enough that the rate of collisional de-excitation is more rapid than the radiative decay rate. The lower troposphere is warmed via collisional excitation by atmospheric water that has absorbed UIR and it retains that energy until at altitude atmospheric water cools the troposphere via collisional de-excitation when it condenses, freezes and sublimates and radiates away the latent energy of the phase changes. These are the energies we can measure at the surface as DIR and from space as OLR.

  178. Brego said

    Re: 172

    Jeff Id said
    “So can I skip the radiation post, there has to be more fun things to discuss?”

    No, you must explain yourself. I have a sneaking suspicion that you are confusing the radiative properties of solids and liquids with that of gases. They are not the same.

  179. Brego said

    Re: 173 Brian W

    Okay, I didn’t see this one. You are aware of the SURFRAD website.

    http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/surfrad/index.html

    Good. I have found it useful to always plot downwelling solar when examining these plots because it reveals when clouds have arrived overhead.

  180. JAE said

    176, Brego: Hmmm, I think you have the answer to my perpetual question! Do you think Miskolczi is correct?

  181. Brian W said

    Brego #177. What are you talking about? There is no reference either on the charts or the launch page as to what the sky or cloud conditions are. Are you just assuming a dip in watts due to cloud cover vs clear sky. Do this. Put in yesterdays date. Select downwelling IR only. Go back at least a month, page by page and also note the vertical scales are not the same on each chart. What do you see now? Oh and the last link you posted I already had thanks.

  182. JAE said

    How about my question in 167, anyone?

    BTW, air is a fluid, and so is water. Does the greenhouse effect exist in water?

  183. Jeff Id said

    #182, do you have the IR absorption curve for liquid water?

  184. Brego said

    Re: #183

    The absorption spectrum for liquid water was linked at #111, and is repeated here:

    and another for confirmation:

    and another:

    All data available here if you would like to graph it for yourself:

    http://omlc.ogi.edu/spectra/water/abs/

  185. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Nullius in Verba (Apr 18 17:33),

    How does the naturally warming CO2 cause a cooling?

    In the troposphere, the temperature decreases with altitude. In the stratosphere, temperature increases with altitude. The emission rate at a given wavelength increases with temperature because the proportion of molecules in an excited state increases with temperature and the Planck function, which is the limit of emission at any wavelength also increases with temperature. The reason that temperature increases in the stratosphere is because oxygen absorbs in the UV and forms ozone as a result, which absorbs even more strongly in the UV. This absorption peaks in the stratosphere.

    However, the temperature in the stratosphere is too low for oxygen or ozone to emit significantly in the UV (local thermal equilibrium starts to fail in the stratosphere but is still a good approximation). So the energy is transferred to kinetic energy by collision with other molecules. This energy can be lost by emission from molecules like CO2 and ozone in the thermal IR at 15 and 9.6 (667 and ~1000 cm-1) micrometers. There is also little or no convection in the stratosphere so all energy transfer is by radiation. The equilibrium temperature at a given altitude is that where the energy absorbed by ozone and oxygen in the UV is balanced by energy loss by emission in the IR from CO2 and ozone. As a result, the temperature increases with altitude in the stratosphere. The optical density for CO2 and ozone emission in the IR in the stratosphere is very low so essentially all radiation emitted upward escapes to space and very little radiation from below is absorbed.

    Now increase the CO2. While CO2 does absorb in the near IR, the emission at 15 micrometers is far higher. So the net result is more energy is emitted to space. That means the temperature has to go down to restore equilibrium. Reduce ozone and temperature goes down because energy absorption by ozone far outweighs its emission in the IR. The spike in the middle of the CO2 and ozone bands as observed from space is the emission from CO2 and ozone in the stratosphere. This MODTRAN calculated spectrum looking down from 70 km shows the spikes.

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