the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Snip This Real Climate

Posted by Jeff Id on July 16, 2010

No snips at tAV this year.

To my recollection, I’ve had to snip nobody this year.  No comments deleted, no thoughts removed. I think I edited a cussword, but it was from Ryan O’s guest post haha.  Perhaps I’ve just forgotten one, but considering that the Air Vent has close to 10,000 comments this year and over two million views in its under two year life, that’s pretty good stuff.   Especially so when considering the contentious nature of the discussion here.

Going forward, I hope to refocus more on science and less on scientists, of course they have to try not to release insane emails for a bit if we want that to happen (and no damned shrinking fish papers –  I can’t resist those).  Also, it would be helpful if our politicians didn’t try to pass cap and trade but today, I don’t care what they do.   Science is fun.

Think about that, I’m probably the loudest and most outspoken of the scientific climate bloggers –not to my credit but the lack of snips is due to the credit and profile of the readers.

That is very unusual in blogland.  And of all the sites on all the blogs, that is a huge rarity.

Wow…Someone calc the probability of that happening here!!

There are a variety of snips which could have been used:

The intended snip:

The voyeur snip:

The necessary snip:

The unintentional snip:

Patterned snip

And of course, the Air Vent favorite and still all time leader………………

The Self Snip

48 Responses to “Snip This Real Climate”

  1. boballab said

    Jeff you missed counting the most important snip of the year: The snip of the umbilical cord of the new Id.

    REPLY: I showed Ann this post. She doesn’t read here much but laughed out loud at your comment.

  2. Andrew said

    1-For those of us who are hemophobic, that’s a good thing!

    No offense to babies, but that part is kinda gross. Of course, that’s probably just my youthful immaturity talking. 🙂

  3. Sean Peake said

    [snip] 🙂

  4. papertiger said

    Not even on Tom Fuller vs the denizens of Deltoid?

    If I could only think of something smart enough to say to you folks – that I thought you didn’t know already – I’d hang out more.

    Then you’d be in trouble. 😉

    If I don’t get snipped about once a day, I don’t think I’m doing my job right.

  5. M. Simon said

    I’m a self snip fan myself. Nothing like taking it all off.

  6. Jeff Id said

    I don’t know, the voyeur snip cracks me up.

  7. Brian H said

    Kind of a snippy post; don’t you respect RC? (Please issue a snappily snippy response, vs. a stupidly snotty one!) 😉

  8. Brian H said

    About the umbilical cord: it’s being found now that cutting it too quickly deprives the infant of lotsa good stuff still in the placenta which is in process of being pumped thru. Hold off on that final snip!

  9. I think Anthony W and Steve M kind of set the standard on “AGW Skeptic” blogs, and – since I believe most who come here also go to the others – everyone learned early-on to behave themselves. Now its simply a given: listen quietly and say nothing unless its constructive/informative/interrogative, and keep your language civilized.

    Would that it spread more..

  10. Pat Frank said

    That self-snip is pretty unique. It’s a low Earth-orbit snip with an umbilical of its own.

  11. Cement a friend said

    Jeff, as an engineer should you not be considering technology rather than science? Engineers take science information and apply it to the real world. They need to take basic information and extend so that it can be applied with real measured data but always taking into account errors in measurement. Take the Stefan-Boltzmann equation (law) which applies to black bodies but, in the world that we live in, nothing is black. It is necessary to include an emissivity factor which may vary with temperature (eg aluminium). Because the temperature of the source and receiver is different it it necessary to include absorptivity as well as emissivity. For heat flux it is necessary to introduce the concept of projected areas and view factors. In heat exchangers temperature varies along the path length ie there is a temperature gradient. If the heat flux is a linear function of delta T then a log mean temperature difference can be introduced. Basic science is simplistic. Technology (or engineering) makes allowance for complexities but must always advance to incorporate new knowledge, better measurements and better understanding. Pseudo-scientists making pronouncements on skewed data or wishful thinking can hinder or delay the emergence of technology improvements.

  12. Cement a friend said

    Further to above (11), the comment at by Joe Olson (below) is worth noting
    “Posted by Joe Olson (forum) on Jul 16th 2010, 12:11 PM EDT
    Congratulations on your excellent research and calculations. You have provided conclusive evidence for engineers and PhD Physicists, but this will have no bearing on this debate.

    Climatologists are NOT REQUIRED TO STUDY THERMODYNAMICS and it is doubtful that even 5% can understand this arguement. In the twenty years of public funding and ‘debate’ on AGW NOT ONE PhD Climatologist has made this observation or calculation.

    Climate is a ‘heat transfer equation’ and the carbon dioxide role is statistically ZERO. The Laws of Thermodynamics that I was required to understand as an engineering student fourty years ago still apply. As any courtroom judge will tell you….”Ignorance of the Law is NO DEFENSE”.


  13. John Murphy said

    Who is that absolutely drop-dead gorgeous creature of the female persuasion in the first snip?

    I’ve fallen in love again.

  14. Steven Mosher said


    show those snips. the first cut is the cruelest.

  15. Geoff Sherrington said

    Then snip this, Jeff. My wife is in Intensive Care after an operation, so to cheer her up I bought a lottery ticket from a group “Powerball”. The draw is shown on TV, coloured, numbered spheres taken from a barrel. Buying the ticket, I said the the lady “I never win these”. She said untinkingly “Well, I hope those big lucky balls of yours come out tonight”. I asked “Would you like to rephrase that?” Snip? No. While there’s life there’s hope.

  16. pgosselin said

    “I’m probably the loudest and most outspoken of the scientific climate bloggers”

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

  17. Jeff Id said

    #16 Maybe not, I’ll keep trying.

    #15 Geoff, gawd, did that really happen? haha.

    How is your wife doing? I’ve been waiting for an update.

  18. Jeff Id said

    #12, Sorry about this. I started reading your link and found immediate errors in the equations. I was considering a post for people to find the errors but comment 7 at your link picked up the first one already. I haven’t done partial pressures in years but the equation doesn’t make sense. The value is used later in another equation which didn’t make sense either.

    In addition, this statement:

    This magnitude of total normal irradiance from the surface is 2 times higher than the total normal irradiance from the atmosphere (which is 111.5 W/m^2 sr); therefore, the concept of photon stream and induced emission prevails in this case eliminating the speculation of a down-welling radiation that hypothetically warms up the surface. Such is an idea that is absolutely opposed to the second law of thermodynamics. (Reference 4)

    I cannot confirm the numbers but the claim that irradiance cannot warm a surface because it is against the second law is incorrect. If you have a white hot batch of iron (in equilibrium due to an inductive heat source) and you shine a very weak 1W/m^2 of infrared light on it, the vat will warm further. The radiant energy transfer is still from the very dim source to the vat, even though the vat will transfer one heck of a lot more per unit area back to the dim source. The net flow is out of the vat, but that doesn’t stop the incoming from creating a warming.

    After that, I gave up on the paper and wrote this.

  19. TinyCO2 said

    Talking of self snipping and inadvertently saying something rude.

    On a university birthday pub crawl (bar hop) I managed to self snip an unintentional rude comment and spent the rest of the evening laughing to myself about it.

    My group were stumbling down some very old, very uneven steps in a snowy and unlit part of a city. One guy had a camera and was talking pictures. Each time the flash went off I could see the steps.

    ‘Keep on flashing and then we can all see.’ I was about to cry and then thought better of it. Had I been sober I’d have said it. My resultant unexplained giggles convinced the others that the birthday girl had had enough booze for one night.

  20. j ferguson said

    Hah, Mosher. I see you got the point. (and beat me to it)

  21. Beth Cooper said

    The really dangerous snippers are the censor science movement of blacklisters that rbateman on WUWT called the Neo Inquisition.

  22. David JP said

    What I really care about is the information content contained in blog posts. You know, the signal to noise ratio. So I always try to challenge myself and ignore the snark, but focus on the good stuff instead.

    This is sometimes very hard to do 🙂

    But it’s much easier to do if you care about learning more than other things. I think this is the key characteristic exhibited by tAV, CA, Blackboard, Wattsupwiththat, and others.

    Beautiful science is the kind where it doesn’t matter what biases you bring to the table. You can be convinced it’s right because the science is self promoting.

    As a general comment, I’d like to see more beautiful science.

    I’ve heard political commentary that says: “Party is more important than person”, meaning that you must choose a side and stick with it regardless of the actual person running for office.

    I don’t agree with that, because I think it is a very inefficient way to make the future better for the people on this planet. However, I think it can be said that: Science is more important than person.

  23. Joel Heinrich said

    If you have a white hot batch of iron (in equilibrium due to an inductive heat source) and you shine a very weak 1W/m^2 of infrared light on it, the vat will warm further.

    #18 Jeff, only compared to bare space at ~ 0 W/m².

    There’s something i’ve never understood, maybe you could help.

    Let’s take an object (e.g. air) in an equal sided box raditing 240 W/m² (0°F, -18°C) like a freezer. This object (in the freezer) will also radiate 240 W/m². Now, if one side radiates less then the temperature of the object will decrease and if one side radiates more, then the temperature will increase.

    Now, the surface of the earth without GHG’s (but with e.g. N_2) is supposed to have an average temperature of -18°C, or to be radiating 240 W/m². Because of conduction and convection we can assume that the sides and the bottom of a box of “air” will still be radiating ~ 240 W/m² but the “lid” will be radiating ~ 0 W/m². So the object will probably radiate at most ~ 180 W/m² (-35°C) (is this right??).

    Now we add some 1000 ppm of CO_2 and mix it all. The sun is still warming the ground to radiate 240 W/m² and by conduction and convection the sides are also radiating 240 W/m². But now the “lid” is “back-radiating” (slightly less than) 240 W/m² and thus somewhat like our freezer, which would render a temperature of the object (the “air”) of still only -18°C (0°F).

    Now the question is, how is this “back-radiation” of less than 240 W/m² supposed to warm the surface-layer of air so that it can radiate much more than 240 W/m², like the GHG-theory implies?

  24. Joel Heinrich said

    oh, I meant 200 W/m² and not 180 W/m².. as in 5/6 of 240.

  25. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Since I do not self snip and Jeff ID does not snip, I face the uneasy fate of making a fool of myself on occasion here. Perhaps that unease is what keeps those occasions to a minimum – at least in my mind.

    Jeff, I whole-heartedly second your intentions to do more science related posts as opposed to scientist related ones. The recent review of the Mann paper is a good start and I hope we can get back to it in more detail. After re-reading it I have questions about what was written and displayed in graphs. I have noticed previously that one must read these papers carefully and in detail to determine what details the authors failed to show. This failure is critical when it comes to sensitivity testing to determine “robustness”.

  26. Tom Fuller said

    Well, if you’re going to focus on WG1, who’s going to do WG2 and WG3? Are you handing out assignments?

  27. Geoff Sherrington said

    25 Kenneth Fritsch. Agree. Especially at the end, there is a big problem with errors of omission like not reporting findings negative to the hypothesis. (Hide the Decline is the famous example, but they abound).

    26 Tom Fuller. If assignments are handed out, please use extreme care in choice of instrumented temperatures in the last century or so. I’d rather see the first assignment a first principles, clean sheet reconstruction of regional, then country, then (although I dislike the concept) global temperatures. And NOT in anomaly form.

    17 Jeff Id. Yes, my son was there as a witness to the purcase of the lottery ticket. I have not yet checked if it won anything other than an original entertaining story. Most of the good ones are decades old. BTW, my wife, now 19 days in hospital and 2 operations later, is about to go from Intensive Care Unit to a ward. She has existed on several hundred mg of morphine and very little food for this time. Presently, her mind is away with the fairies, which is most distressing. Hartman’s procedure was used. No sign of big C.

  28. Cement a friend said

    Jeff (18), I am sure that Prof Nahle can defend his article. I just gave an opinion that I calculated similar emissivities for CO2 and H2O gas using a different method and at (12) above I noted the comment of another person about the article.
    It does not take much insight after noting the result of the equation to determine the form of the equation. The correction factor for overlap of CO2 and H2O radiation is shown in all books on heat transfer I know. It is presented normally in graphical form -vertical (percentage correction) vs horizontal ( ratio Co2/ Co2+H2O) the scale of the horizontal is 0 to 1. The data for this has been obtained from thousands of measurement in furnaces and heat exchangers by engineering researchers in many establishments. Prof Hoyt Hottel was Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) probably the leading Engineering University in the World (certainly from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. In many testbooks you will find graphs from Hottel of radiant heat transfer due to CO2 and H2O in the temperature range 100F to 3500F based on actual measurement.
    I personally have made measurements in furnaces. I can definitely say from measurements that flame temperatures in furnaces are not increased by radiation from surrounding walls. The flame temperature depends on the composition of the fuel, the temperature of the combustion air or oxygen and mixing of the fuel with air/oxygen. Very low temperature surrounds resulting in high heat flux from the flame (eg a boiler)will reduce flame temperatures but at low heat flux the temperature is not affected by the walls. I have measured flame temperatures using two-colour pyrometers upto 3500K and controlled a process.
    The concept of back radiation is not in accord with my experience of good combustion. Further, I accept measured data, as from Hoyt Hottel, before accepting hypothetical model values based on incomplete theory.

  29. Jeff Id said

    Wow Geoff, we’re wishing the best.

  30. Jeff Id said

    “I personally have made measurements in furnaces. I can definitely say from measurements that flame temperatures in furnaces are not increased by radiation from surrounding walls. ”

    The temperature is most certainly affected by the walls.

  31. Geoff Sherrington said

    30 Jeff

    Dynamics & statics mixing again? The effect of the walls must surely depend on whether they are a heat source from outside the furnace, like sitting in the hot sun, a heat sink from outside the furnace (like when water cooled externally), the thermal conductivity of the walls (affecting the rate of heat flow from the flame – think tiles on re-entry vehicles) and the environment outside the flame (such as transparency through glass walls allowing radiation as well as conduction.

    In one project I managed, we had a highly instrumented 3m high fluidised bed steel reactor cooled by water flow, within which we had chlorine gas at 1050 deg C. Yes, the walls affected the temperature inside, but in complex ways. Because steel burns pyrotechnically in chlorine at these temps and because we were using a ton of chlorine a day and because we were in a town of 1,500 people, we were most interested in wall effects. I suppose Wein’s Displacement Law is a starting point.

  32. Jeff Id said

    You have had some of the most unique experiences in industry. Of course, the point of the argument made in the comment referenced in my 18, was that radiative electromagnetic warming by the ‘walls’ was against the second law -because the walls are cooler, where it is obviously not true.

    If you have two equal material and 1m diameter spheres with internal sources to hold them at constant temp. The spheres are in a vacuum and 1m apart with sphere #1 at room temp and #2 100 deg warmer, the net radiation is from #2 to #1. However, increasing the temp of #1 will cause an increase in temp of sphere #2 despite the higher temp at #2 – no laws violated.

  33. Cement a friend said

    Geoff (15) & (27) I hope things are on the improve.
    Jeff (30) I said the walls can affect temperature but they can not (repeat not) increase the temperature which would occur if there was no heat flux away from the flame. If you wish to be pedantic, when the fuel is shut off and combustion air continues to be put in, the walls will transfer heat (mainly by convection but some radiation as air contains some moisture) to the air for sometime until the temperature is the same as the air temperature.

    On another subject the following from the Chiefio (EM Smith)is thought provoking
    This post is also interesting reading

    All the best

  34. Joel Heinrich said

    # 32 If you have two equal material and 1m diameter spheres with internal sources to hold them at constant temp.

    I seem to have forgotten it, but, what is the internal source of heat of near surface air holding it at constant temp such that “back-radiation” can heat it to even more then -18°C?

  35. frank said

    Inspired by Pete’s comment at CA.

    God: Great Almighty Lord, what is the truth about climate change?


    God: You want answers?

    Jeff: I think I’m entitled.

    God: You want answers?

    Jeff: I want the truth!

    God: You can’t handle the truth!


    God: There is no Communist conspiracy behind the global warming theory.

    [Jeff gives a blank look]

    God: There is no Communist conspiracy behind the global warming theory. That’s the truth.

    [Jeff continues to stare blankly]

    God: That’s the truth. I knew you can’t handle the truth!


    Jeff: You’re not God! You must be Karl Marx in disguise!

  36. kim said

    I want to know if Maurice Strong is advising the Chinese about climate and governance, or they him about his rights.

  37. Amabo said

    I’ve been trying NOT to leave a comment like ‘Bitch be snippin’ balls’ but…

    RPLY – Try harder.

  38. Geoff Sherrington said

    36 Kim,

    Maurice Strong was deceptively persuasive at the start of his campaign. He even had support from a couple of Oz mining companies until the sand fell from the eyes. Then having done business in China myself, I know precisely what you mean by “or they him about his rights”. Very nicely put. (down).

    The Chinese have a way of training you, like our pet cats do. So gradual, so quiet, so effective.


  39. Geoff Sherrington said

    37 Amabo, It’s midnight here and I have a day giving evidence in Court tomorrow. So please pardon this tired follow-on comment after yours. One lady friend laughed at the lottery story, saying she’d keep her fingers crossed for luck. I suggested it better she keep her knees crossed. We are still great friends.

  40. M. Simon said

    But now the “lid” is “back-radiating” (slightly less than) 240 W/m² and thus somewhat like our freezer, which would render a temperature of the object (the “air”) of still only -18°C (0°F). The back radiation is “over” in milliseconds. A few seconds with the very most optimistic of assumptions.

    It only makes a difference if something changes temperature.

    Short wave comes in and HEATS SOMETHING. The hot then radiates at long wave. And those waves bounce around for a short time and is gone.

    But that all ignores the solar system in the living room (cramped isn’t it?). Conduction and convection. At low temps (300K) on a water planet those are the biggies. Other than incoming, radiation is a minor heat transport mechanism.

    So how about some numbers? And there in lies the rub. The numbers are in dispute.

  41. […] Snip This Real Climate « the Air Vent […]

  42. steveta_uk said

    Someone invented a microscope attachment some time ago which included a heat sink, basically a curved mirrored bowl in which ice was placed near the ‘focus’, and claimed this allowed frozen sections to remain frozen for longer when being examined by pathologists.

    This design was poo-pooed all over the place are being absurd, as violating various laws of thermodynamics, and for assuming the somehow you could radiate “cold”.

    All the skeptics simply didn’t believe the inventor, who simply demonstrated that it worked.

  43. Steve UK:

    The routine ‘frozen section’ is not examined in a frozen state. Could you please point to a ref or website as to what you are talking about? Thanks

  44. Geoff Sherrington said

    33 cement a friend

    Re the furnace, I simply wanted to cover the main combinations of interior and exterior properties, select which was appropriate to the case and then draw deductions. One obvious deduction is that if you heat the outside wall of the furnace, it will increase internal temperature if that heat makes it to the insode of the wall. Whether this happens in operational practise is debatable (most times you seek to cool to furnace exterior), but I was covering all bases. My understanding would be that normally, heat output through the walls would far exceed heat input through the walls.

    Why do the Laws of Thermodynamics get so misunderstood? It’s almost like the Heisenberg Uncertain Principle being used by novellists of murder mysteries.

  45. Derek said

    Posts 42 and 43 – Next science piece Jeff…..

    I find it amazing how so many contort themselves, seemingly continually, and to any end to avoid any other conclusion than,
    “all radiation is positive”.

    Every single example I have ever see can be “interpretted” as either “all radiation is positive” or “radiation is relative”.
    BUT the figures are always missing…..

    It would seem to be such a simple thing to show as well.
    (Posts 11, 12, 28, and others, Cement a Friend provides some VERY inconvenient figures)

    Does a warm object cooler quicker (radiation is relative) in the presence of a cooler object,
    or does it cool slower (all radiation is positive)?
    Amazing such a simple experiment has never been conclusively done.
    The usual reply is such an experiment has been done, and done a long time ago.
    Now they are not worth going over again.
    BUT, the said “long done” and “conclusive” experiments are NEVER given…

    Well, if cool radiation can be concentrated, as per the microscope attachment above –
    that’s a BIG RASPBERRY to “all radiation is postive”…

    There are so many so called “skeptics” who are nowhere near skeptical enough of some of the “basics”.
    Indeed, they seem to unquestioningly just accept as “the truth”.
    Does it not occur to “you” that these are the basics of AGW dogma, and the now defuct “greenhouse effect” so called “theory”…..

  46. Jeff Id said

    #45, I find the ice reflector interesting in that people would consider to dispute it – I’m not saying you were disputing. What the reflector does is provide a lot of solid angle of cold-er background radiance. Of course it could be focused whether radiation is considered in a positive only sense or positive and negative. Of course if you want to consider a baseline radiation of 100Kelvin, as zero, I suspect most of the equations could be worked to accomplish that. You’d have to subtract 100 from the planck equations though.

    In my view the cold reflector doesn’t make any point toward whether radiation is positive only or not. It’s just a very understandable and predictable outcome from basic thermo – It is kind of fun to consider too.

  47. Derek said

    #46 – Jeff with the greatest of respect, I would of thought it obvious by now I am suggesting (as are many others) that radiation should be considered as relatively absorbed.
    Hence your comment,
    ” Of course it could be focused whether radiation is considered in a positive only sense or positive and negative. ”

    seems a little (unintensionally I am sure) confusing. So I thought I had better try to clarify a little.
    Not positive and negative, but relatively absorbed.
    There is no such thing as negative radiation as far as I’m aware, AND I am NOT (nor is anyone else I’m aware of) suggesting such.

    ” Of course if you want to consider a baseline radiation of 100Kelvin, as zero, I suspect most of the equations could be worked to accomplish that. You’d have to subtract 100 from the planck equations though. ”

    Yes, all radiation is positive compared to absolute zero, that is NOT the “bone of contension”.
    Radiation should (it is being suggested maybe the case) be considered as relative to the absorbing object, whether it is then relatively positive or negative, compared to the absorbing objects surface temperature / frequency of emission.

    Over at GWS I tried to explain this “difference” (and confusion) in viewpoint/s regarding whether radiation is
    “all positive” radiation, or if radiation is “relatively” absorbed.
    (All radiation IS positive when compared to absolute zero – BUT THAT’S A DIFFERENT THING ALTOGETHER)
    using an example someone else had provided. I’ll repeat here, as it may help clarify.

    Two objects, one hotter than the other. You use W/m2 emissions of the two objects of 100W/m2 and 90W/m2 so I will stick with these figures.
    IF radiation is all positive, then ,
    energy from the hotter body (100) has left that body – it therefore cools down.
    The smaller amount of energy from the cooler body (90) cannot fully replace that lost energy; it just slows the rate of cooling.
    ie, -100 +90 = net -10W/m2.
    On it’s own the hotter object would cool at a faster rate of -100 = net -100

    IF radiation is relatively absorbed then the cooler recieved radiation by the hotter object will cool the hotter body faster.
    ie, The surface of the object is 100 and it absorbs radiation at 90, so cooling it (not replacing lost energy) by a difference of -10.
    This must be added to the -100, so the object cools at -100 and -10 = net -110W/m2.
    On it’s own the hotter object would cool relatively slower to the two object example. ie, net -100

    I realise mine is a “heat flow” point of view, as if mixing bodies of water at different temperatures,
    ….in my everyday life these seem a more realistic view point.
    Hence I ask (politely) for the experiments that show this view point …. is not correct for radiation.

  48. Derek said

    To further clarify, the reason why post 42 by steveta_uk is so contraversial, AND important is that
    according to the “all radiation is positive(ly absorbed)” viewpoint, ANY radiation concentrated MUST be the sum of the radiation.
    In other words a cold source does make a hot point, if the radiation is concentrated enough.

    What if, concentrating a cold source made a cold spot (ie, microscope attachment mentioned by steveta_uk in post 42).
    Well, clouds and their “back radiation” would cool the earth’s surface, NOT WARM IT…
    Bye bye K/T budgets, bye bye greenhouse effect “theory”, bye bye AGW – FULL STOP.

    It may be worth rereading the last line of post 45 in this thread.

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