the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for August, 2010

MW10 – Some thoughts

Posted by Jeff Id on August 18, 2010

Most of you probably were wondering if I would comment on this recent paper/book.  AOAS1001-014R2A0



In my opinion it is a landmark paper in its efforts to quantify the uncertainty in the proxies.  While this paper appears to be about paleo cliamte reconstructions, the limitations of reconstructions it re-exposes so dramatically actually point directly to models. I don’t claim to have figured the whole thing out, it isn’t without its flaws.  However, the work of these authors was more than extensive with an excellent grasp of statistical prediction and quality of the raw data.  In my case, I’m very lucky to have already put in the groundwork with the Mann08 data, it made the paper very easy to read.  At the beggining of the paper the authors, in an almost blog like fashion, took time to frame the impetus behind the work.

This effort to reconstruct our planet’s climate history has become linked
to the topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). On the one hand,
this is peculiar since paleoclimatological reconstructions can provide evidence
only for the detection of AGW and even then they constitute only
one such source of evidence. The principal sources of evidence for the detection
of global warming and in particular the attribution of it to anthropogenic
factors come from basic science as well as General Circulation
Models (GCMs) that have been fit to data accumulated during the instrumental
period (IPCC, 2007). These models show that carbon dioxide, when
released into the atmosphere in sufficient concentration, can force temperature

On the other hand, the effort of world governments to pass legislation to
cut carbon to pre-industrial levels cannot proceed without the consent of
the governed and historical reconstructions from paleoclimatological models
have indeed proven persuasive and effective at winning the hearts and
minds of the populace. Consider Figure 1 which was featured prominently
in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (IPCC, 2001) in
the summary for policy makers1. The sharp upward slope of the graph in
the late 20th century is visually striking, easy to comprehend, and likely to
The IPCC report goes even further:

Uncertainties increase in more distant times and are always much larger than
in the instrumental record due to the use of relatively sparse proxy data. Nevertheless
the rate and duration of warming of the 20th century has been much
greater than in any of the previous nine centuries. Similarly, it is likely that
the 1990s have been the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the
[Emphasis added]

It’s so true,  Mann wouldn’t have become famous if the hockey stick had no meaning (as I’m sure he’s quietly wishing), or if the result weren’t so shocking in appearance. If you’re new to the discussion, when hockey sticks have been discredited, the argument by climate science™ usuall shifts to – it didn’t matter anyway because of all the other evidene.  In reality, they do matter.  They matter for model hindcasts which are the entire basis for the future projections.

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Molecular Radiation and Collisional Lifetime

Posted by Jeff Id on August 17, 2010

DeWitt Payne has kindly completed a nice post explaining how re-absorption of photons emitted by CO2 or other molecules doesn’t appreciably affect the ratio of energy transfer in the atmosphere due to IR emission vs absorption (or molecular collision).  It’s another commonly debated topic often improperly cited by critics of the warming effects of CO2. When it’s not expressed correctly, it’s a clue that the individual is less knowledgeable on the science than they may appear.  I’m sure everyone will agree that whatever your position on global warming, the basics are critical to making a sound, science based argument.

I’ve done a bit of reformatting for clarity–Jeff


Have you ever seen or heard the statement that CO2 can’t emit radiation in the atmosphere because the decay time for spontaneous emission is long compared to the collisional life?  Guess what, that’s completely wrong.  A molecule or atom in an excited state has no knowledge of its age.  The probability of decay is the same whether the excited state has existed for centuries or picoseconds.  The rate of decay of a collection of things in an excited state depends only on the number of things in the excited state, Ni, and the decay constant Kd. The decay constant has units of reciprocal seconds (s-1).





The decay constant is often expressed as the half-life or the amount of time it takes for half the initial number of things to decay.  The half-life is equal to ln(2)/Kd.

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Mann 07 Part 4 – Actual Proxy Autocorrelation

Posted by Jeff Id on August 14, 2010

I hope this is the last post for a while on Mann07 variance loss.  The difference between this post and my originals is simply the use of pseudoproxies  created from models plus noise rather than just using a single straight line.  Mann provided 100 pseudoproxy curves on his website from his 07 work, by adding noise he demonstrated that there was no significant variance loss in the CPS method.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t seem to justify an autocorrelation rho greater than 0.32, wheras I found an autocorrelation range which included values both lower and higher than his.

As we’ll see,  this does make a difference.

For this post, I created 10000 pseudoproxies with 75% noise and 25% signal.   The noise has the same autocorrelation histogram as actual proxies taken from Mann08 – shown above.  We’ve discussed CPS here so many times I’ll just present the result.

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A long time ago, in a university far far away…..

Posted by Jeff Id on August 13, 2010

A  brief history of the battle with activist science.

The Climate Wars … ending?

Check it out.

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Sea Ice Update

Posted by Jeff Id on August 12, 2010

When I read about sea ice two years ago, it was alarming.    I mean, I’m enough of a realist to know that data is data and nobody would write that the polar ice was melting unless they was a serious problem.  The sea-ice was in as much trouble as a semi-crystalline block of H2O can be.

What would it be to be young and happy like that again…?

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Id’s crazy

Posted by Jeff Id on August 11, 2010

I believe the IPCC was set up with intent to provide an exaggerated science for the unstated purpose of increased government control over the global economies, to repress capitalism, and promote socialistic ideals under the guise of environmentalism.  The creators knew that the scientists would go along with it for their own reasons and that the strongest believer scientists would necessarily be sorted to the top of the pile according to the structure of the IPCC.  I also believe the fragmented intent of the structure with dozens of subgroups was done to make the funding far more difficult to track, such that the magnitude of the expenditures was basically untrackable.

The goal of increasing global governance based on anti-capitalist thinking where the global government controls industry is massively beneficial to a very small group people in charge.   In this scenario, the largest businesses and first to go along with the new governance benefit right along with those who are taking control of their output. Those who are harmed by these policies are the poorest.  Unlike the popular euro-mantra, capitalism does not widen the gap between rich and poor, it allows private people to be rich and creates more money for the poor.  Americas poor are better off than China’s middle.

Don’t forget the golden rule – – He who has the gold, makes the rules.

So let’s hear it, what’s wrong with my statement?

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Report Card – by McKitrick

Posted by Jeff Id on August 10, 2010

In the recent weeks Ross McKitrick has been tearing through climate science™ like a wrecking ball.  He and others have been pointing out one flaw after another in ground temperatures, models, and now the alleged reviews of climategate.  Reader Don B left a link to Bishop Hill’s blog which then links to Ross’s latest report that describes the nature of the reviews.


The papers reported the committee report conclusions far more vigorously than they reported the scandal itself, there were over 3000 articles the first day on exoneration of wrongdoing, wheras climategate itself didn’t get that kind of coverage for weeks.  To my eyes, it is a frightening proof of the breadth of the government’s control over the media, and even worse the international control of information. A propagandist might claim that it’s only the media going to the ‘right’ sources, IMO the lies are just too big and transparent for that claim to be reasonable.

While this document covers all the reports the Penn State University report was the most pathetic.

They were not falsifying data;they were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called “trick” was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.

To which Ross makes this comment:

It is obviously ludicrous to claim that deleting data and making an undisclosed splice of different data in order to conceal an inconvenient pattern in the original data set is legitimate and widely accepted. It was not supported by any evidence disclosed by the committee. Even the Muir Russell report concluded that Jones’ actions in this case were “misleading.”

It’s not like you can tone the comment down any more than that.  How do you make a criticism of a patently false and ridiculous statement form Penn State “investigation” sound reasonable.

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West Caicos 1991

Posted by Jeff Id on August 9, 2010

A fun post in the comments from Phillip Mulholland.


Philip Mulholland said

August 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm e

The Carbonate Beach Factory: Memories of a Warm World.

It is a mid-June day in 1991, West Caicos, a small uninhabited tropical island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, bakes in the hot summer sun. I am on a field trip to the British West Indies organised by Dr Hal Wanless of the University of Miami, to study the modern geology and depositional environments of a natural carbonate factory. A visit that, even now, I consider to have been the best field study trip of my entire geoscience career. Located in the trade wind belt, the Turks and Caicos Islands lie at the south-eastern end of the Bahaman chain of Atlantic Ocean carbonate-platform islands. With the Tropic of Cancer passing to the north of the group, at midday the June sun is directly overhead and your shadow is as small as it possibly can be. By evening, the summer thunderstorms arrive tracking west across the ocean, passing by on their way to the Caribbean.

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Up is Down, Down is Up and Left is right

Posted by Jeff Id on August 8, 2010

BBC Apologizes for Accuracy in Reporting

Today at Bishop Hill, I learned that instead of UEA apologizing to the world for the lies, distortions, manipulations, alarmism, wasting of tax money and general malfeasance, the BBC (leftists extraordinaire), have apologized to the UEA for ——

wait for it…

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Time to Fix the thermometers

Posted by Jeff Id on August 7, 2010

I updated this article since yesterday to include Chad’s blogland work on the subject.  Climate needs to address this issue as it is central to their conclusions.


I was reading at Niche Modeling today and ran across another McKitrick, McIntyre paper on the trends vs measurements in models.  This paper also includes Chad Herman whom from the comments is probably Chad fr0m treesfortheforest who replicated and extended Santer’s paper in blogland some time ago.  This, however, is the first peer reviewed and published correction to the Santer08 paper which made the claim that models were supported by the data.  It’s published in a Atmospheric Science Letters a statistical journal and it demonstrates that model trends are well ahead of the data.

First, Steve’s previous reply to Santer was rejected by the journal it was sent to.  This is despite the fact that it used the same methods and data as the original, it just updated the data to 2009 and came to a different conclusion.  From the climategate emails, we know that criticism of models is not acceptable difficult in climate science.

The paper is not behind any paywalls and can be read here. I hate paywalls.

Anyway, models are often compared to surface level data rather than the satellite data.  The sat data measures a thickness of atmosphere without interference from ground clutter, so the comparison should actually be better.

But it’s not!  The best image of the paper is the comparison below- with Santer style confidence intervals.  This passed review in a statistics oriented journal.

Models are running 2 to 4 times higher in trend than the measured data over the same interval.

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Sea Ice Update, August 2010

Posted by Jeff Id on August 7, 2010

This is an updated sea ice video, created in R from the NSIDC gridded data.  It’s useful for looking at weather patterns and understanding the annual variability of sea ice.  The first link is a short version, the second will be added later and runs at 2X speed from 2005.  It’s still uploading.

And the longer video is below. They have a higher on line resolution than previous versions.

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Radiative Physics Simplified II

Posted by Jeff Id on August 6, 2010

Radiative physics of CO2 is a contentious issue at WUWT’s crowd but to someone like myself, this is not where the argument against AGW exists.  I’m going to take a crack at making the issue so simple, that I can actually convince someone in blogland.  This post is in reply to Tom Vonk’s recent post at WUWT which concluded that the radiative warming effect of CO2, doesn’t exist.  We already know that I won’t succeed with everyone but when skeptics of extremist warming get this wrong, it undermines the credibility of their otherwise good arguments.

My statement is – CO2 does create a warming effect in the lower atmosphere.

Before that makes you scream at the monitor, I’ve not said anything about the magnitude or danger or even measurability of the effect. I only assert that the effect is real, is provable, it’s basic physics and it does exist.

From Tom Vonk’s recent post, we have this image:

Figure 1

Short wavelength light energy from the sun comes in, is absorbed, and is re-emitted at far longer wavelengths.  Basic physics as determined by Planck, a very long time ago.  No argument here right!

Figure 2 below has several absorption curves.  On the vertical axis, 100 is high absorption.  The gas curves are verified from dozens of other links and the Planck curves are verified by my calcs here.  There shouldn’t be any disagreement here either – I hope.

Figure 2 – Absorption curves of various molecules in the atmosphere and Planck curve overlay.

What is nice about this plot though is that the unknown author has overlaid the Planck spectrums of both incoming and outgoing radiation on top of the absorption curves.  You can see by looking at the graph (or the sun) that most of the incoming curve passes through the atmosphere with little impediment.  The outgoing curve however is blocked – mostly by moisture in the air – with a little tiny sliver of CO2 (green curve) effective at absorption at about 15 micrometers wavelength (the black arrow tip on the right side is at about 15um wavelength).  From this figure we can see that CO2 has almost no absorption for incoming radiation (left curve), yet absorbs some outgoing radiation (right curve).  No disagreement with that either – I hope.   Tom Vonk’s recent post agrees with what I’ve written here.

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A simple word experiment proves radiative effects of CO2

Posted by Jeff Id on August 5, 2010

Tom Vonk wrote an interesting post at WUWT in which he describes some of the quantum mechanics of IR absorption and makes the conclusion that radiative energy delay effects of CO2 are flatly false.  Click the headline for Tom’s excellent article.

CO2 heats the atmosphere…a counter view

Guest post By Tom Vonk (Tom is a physicist and long time poster at many climate blogs. Note also I’ll have another essay coming soon supporting the role of CO2 – Anthony)

The simplistic view of CO2 heat trapping

If you search for “greenhouse effect” in Google and get 1 cent for statements like…

“CO2 absorbs the outgoing infrared energy and warms the atmosphere” – or – “CO2 traps part of the infrared radiation between ground and the upper part of the atmosphere”

…you will be millionaire .

Even Internet sites that are said to have a good scientific level like “Science of doom” publish statements similar to those quoted above . These statements are all wrong yet happen so often that I submitted this guest post to Anthony to clear this issue once for all.

Of course the Air Vent is one of those sites he claims is wrong, I left a comment explaining where he went wrong in his analysis, it seems to have vanished from the moderation queue it’s up now.

Tom really did do a good job, so I’m not disparaging his work, what it does do though is create a lot of confusion in the crowd which is something Tamino accuses every non-extremist warmer of doing.  Here is an experiment he defined as proof that the energy in equals energy out so that CO2 simply cannot cause warming.

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Blacklist – RC Claims NO Names Listed

Posted by Jeff Id on August 3, 2010

I’ve edited the text for length since initial publication below removing the section on appealing to authority.


While reading an article by Tom Fuller today, he referenced an absolutely insane post at Real Climate on defense of a paper by the late Dr. Schneider.   Schneider was a ‘scientist’ who honestly I don’t miss much.   You may have noticed that I’ve not said a single word about his death to date.  I’m sorry to his family and all but in my opinion the man was an idiotic political hack and his last paper, which intended to be a bad guy list for climatologists, was disgusting, mind-numbingly immoral, and it was trash.  The same kind of trash the Iranian government keeps for Christians.

What isn’t ok, is lying about the intent of it, and in my opinion that’s exactly what Schneider’s coauthors did today at Real Climate.  What’s more, I can prove it.

Wiki – A lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a known untruth expressed as truth.

Personally, I don’t use the word — until forced.  Not everything written in this RC post was a deception, some was just obfuscation – which gives context.

Expert Credibility in Climate Change – Responses to Comments

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Solar Power Stepping Forward

Posted by Jeff Id on August 3, 2010

I’m certain that solar power will be a functional replacement for home energy in the future.  It’s not now, but soon it will be.  We just need big generation and storage breakthroughs and we can chuck the coal out the window.  The reality is that unlike biofuel lies, solar is a real future solution.  We just need to wait a decade or two and we’ll be there.  Check out the link.


New Solar Energy Conversion Process Could Double Solar Efficiency of Solar Cells

ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2010) — A new process that simultaneously combines the light and heat of solar radiation to generate electricity could offer more than double the efficiency of existing solar cell technology, say the Stanford engineers who discovered it and proved that it works. The process, called “photon enhanced thermionic emission,” or PETE, could reduce the costs of solar energy production enough for it to compete with oil as an energy source.

“This is really a conceptual breakthrough, a new energy conversion process, not just a new material or a slightly different tweak,” said Nick Melosh, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, who led the research group. “It is actually something fundamentally different about how you can harvest energy.”

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