I found the discussion of the Rossby Radius also enlightening with respect to the idea of spatial extrapolation of temperature anomalies done in most reconstructions of global temperature from station data. He suggest that there are two difficulties with the use of this theory for surface climate data:
1. The smooth is not something that occurs uniformly with latitude, but in fact is strongest in the tropics: remember that the biggest extrapolation by GISS is over the High Arctic. There the smoothing is less prominent and I suppose one could strongly argue, not a good justification for extrapolation. Of course, the couple hundred km used by other groups, that doesn’t involve large extrapolations over the Arctic Ocean, may be more reasonable. If I am misunderstanding this point I’d appreciate anyone’s thoughts.
2. The second problem, which reminds me of a point I think that John Christy and Roger Pielke Senior have been making, is that the spatial representativeness of a point observation is much more dubious in the boundary layer, due to the influence of turbulent diffusion. They have also been pointing out that especially during the nocturnal times the boundary layer’s stability can be easily disrupted locally, causing a local strong minimum temperature trend, which is not associated with deeper atmospheric temperature change.
“The total flux consists in radiative flux, sensible heat flux, and latent heat flux. At the top of the atmosphere, the flux is exclusively radiative, while at the surface, the flux is primarily in the form of latent heat flux (ie evaporation). That evaporation at the surface must approximately follow radiative imbalance imposed at the top of the atmosphere may, at first, seem counter-intuitive. However, as noted in Lindzen, Hou and Farrell (1981), this is achieved by internal changes in the jump in relative humidity and temperature across the near surface turbulent boundary layer.”
I sincerely hope that all the people who wanted to ‘hang their hats’ on the nonsense of Miskolczi and indeed, Miskolczi himself, read this presentation (carefully).
I was also heartened to see that Lindzen has obviously taken deep notice of all the work over the last 30-odd years on Maximum Entropy Production (MEP). Dewar, Paltridge, Lorenz, Peixoto, Pauluis, Kleidon etc would all be very gratified.
I resigned from the ACS a couple of years ago, after 35+ years as a member, over their moronic take on global warming. The whole organization is a bunch of unapologetic left wing nut-cases, most of whom appear to studied journalism and Marxist philosophy instead of chemistry… and who would not recognize real science if it hit them in the forehead like a firmly swung baseball bat.
Lindzen’s presentation has not changed that (the organization is still administered by a bunch of intellectual light-weights and left-wing drones), but it is a positive sign that they invite reasoned opposing POV’s like Lindzen’s, at least once in a while. Now, if they would only get rid of the editor in chief of C&E News (the profoundly idiotic Rudy Baum) and most of his mindless sycophant editorial staff, then I might consider renewing my membership. I won’t hold my breath.
Lindzen has actually also analyzed the reasons for why the professional societies have embraced climate alarm, even when they have zero expertise to judge the science relevant to it: they embrace the statements because they have ideologues on them who either strongly believe in the “science” based on faith, or for blatantly political reasons:
“a more common form of infiltration consists in simply getting a couple of seats on the council of an organization (or on the advisory panels of government agencies). This is sufficient to veto any statements or decisions that they are opposed to. Eventually, this enables the production of statements supporting their position – if only as a quid pro quo for permitting other business to get done.”
“The influence of the environmental movement has effectively made support for global warming, not only a core element of political correctness, but also a requirement for the numerous prizes and awards given to scientists. That said, when it comes to professional societies, there is often no need at all for overt infiltration since issues like global warming have become a part of both political correctness and (in the US) partisan politics, and there will usually be council members who are committed in this manner.”
“The situation with America’s National Academy of Science is somewhat more complicated. The Academy is divided into many disciplinary sections whose primary task is the nomination of candidates for membership in the Academy. Typically, support by more than 85% of the membership of any section is needed for nomination. However, once a candidate is elected, the candidate is free to affiliate with any section. The vetting procedure is generally rigorous, but for over 20 years, there was a Temporary Nominating Group for the Global Environment to provide a back door for the election of candidates who were environmental activists, bypassing the conventional vetting procedure. Members, so elected, proceeded to join existing sections where they hold a veto power over the election of any scientists unsympathetic to their position. Moreover, they are almost immediately appointed to positions on the executive council, and other influential bodies within the Academy. One of the members elected via the Temporary Nominating Group, Ralph Cicerone, is now president of the National Academy. Prior to that, he was on the nominating committee for the presidency. It should be added that there is generally only a single candidate for president. Others elected to the NAS via this route include Paul Ehrlich, James Hansen, Steven Schneider, John Holdren and Susan Solomon.”
When one understands how the professional societies have come to be controlled by environmentalist ideologues, I find it is quite hard not to be as angry as Steve is over the politicization of his own former organization.
Jeff Id said “The problems with socialism aren’t getting easier.”
Wow – you are not wrong there!
I am 62 and live in Australia (but have lived and worked extensively in the US and Europe). Seven years ago I bought 50 acres of glorious Aussie paradise and proceeded to try to build a dwelling for my partner and my retirement years.
Some 5 years later and ~$80K in outlays on 2 x re-surveys, 2 x bushfire assessments, 2 x flora and fauna assessments, a Giant Burrowing Frog Management Plan and the numbering, actual survey and fencing off of 33 trees in the bushfire clearance zone marked by the flora and fauna consultant for preservation due to ‘habitat’ values – all paid-for by me aand endorsed by the local municipal authority, I finally got official permission to start building my dreamed-of retirement home.
Soon after laying the concrete slab down, and just as the walls were going up, a wind storm came along and slammed a 100 foot high gum tree (yes, you guessed it – one of the mandatorily preserved ‘habitats’) down onto the house site!
Understandably, the builders immediately vacated the site, pointing to 6 other trees all located even closer to the house, saying they would return when the ‘dangerous trees were removed’.
I then engaged a qualified arborist who pointed out that the tree which had fallen had dry rot in it clearly pre-dating the flora and fauna expert’s ‘preservation order’ on it! So I then approached the CEO of the ecological consultancy which had done the aforesaid 2 x flora and fauna surveys, asking if his company accepted any liability for the fallen tree, the delay to construction and the risks posed by the other 6 trees close to the house site?
He said no, it had been my responsibility to have engaged a ‘tree fall risk assessment consultant’ to have post-assessed the 7 (now 6) ~100 foot high trees which his ‘highly respected’ flora and fauna consultant had marked for preservation (and the municipal authority had adopted 100%). I hung up the ‘phone after our conversation grew ‘a little heated’.
This is the age we seemingly live in. These are the social depths to which we have seemingly sunk. Controlled and manipulated by green idiots all pretending to be ‘experts’ of one sort or other and shoved around by hordes of post-modernist eco-nazi bureaucrats whose only means of employment is to endorse and enforce said green idiocy.
Thanks for Lindzen’s “Simple” explanation. I went over all 38 slides until my head hurt. I am not going to attempt to read the published paper. The one thing that registered was that the surface evaporation measurements agree with the “Top of the Atmosphere” approach but not with the 11 CGM models cited.
Thank God that my area of expertise is the relatively straightforward Quantum Electrodynamics.
Your story makes perfect sense to me as I used to live in the UK where chopping down a tree can have awful consequences.
When I departed the British socialist Utopia in 1982 I bought a house in Holland Township in New Jersey with 4 acres of land. There was a huge oak tree that was showing signs of instability, with the potential to destroy a corner of my home. Clearly the simple answer was to remove the tree so I asked my neighbour how to go about getting a permit. He looked at me as if I was a space alien. “Why would you need a permit for that?”, he asked.
That was when I realised how much more individual freedom was enjoyed in the USA compared countries I had previously thought of as “Free”. I was determined to preserve those freedoms but sadly I have failed dismally. Today I need a permit to burn brush wood on my property which is something I could do in the UK without a permit.
I’m surprised you lasted that long. I quit the ACS when they had a C&E News cover story defending Meselson’s bee pollen theory as an explanation of yellow rain during the Vietnam War. The government’s case had some holes in it, but the bee pollen thing was worse. Obviously the US government didn’t remember how badly they screwed up that case when they tried to make the case that Iraq had WMD’s. Besides, C&E News is such a rag, it’s embarrassing being seen reading it.
It is also useful to note that over land, eliminating losses to deep storage, actual annual ET is a function of annual precipitation (= water availability within about 2 m of the surface) and the two or three major vegetation types in a specified area. e.g.
Zhang, L., Dawes, W.R., Walker, G.R., 2001. Response of mean annual evapotranspiration to vegetation changes at catchment scale. Water Resour. Res. 37, 701-708
Zhang, L., Hickel, K., Dawes, W.R., Chiew, F., Western, A., 2004. A rational function approach for estimating mean annual evapotranspiration. Water Resour. Res. 40, W02502.
so at least on land actual evaporation can be really all about lag factors too.
On the oceans, the presence of oily monolayers caused by the decay of, and predation on, algal blooms might also affect actual evaporation (given that such blooms are often easily massive enough to be imaged by satellites).
Surely the message of all this is that Gaia is one very complicated and highly sophisticated lady (really old too) – not some young, transparent, air head ‘model’.
7 Steve Short – sorry to smile at another’s misfortune but your story has started my day with a chuckle. The vision of a site meeting between a “tree fall risk consultant” and “the respected flora and fauna consultant” is too sweet – especially if you throw in a builder as a non-participant observer! Hope you get it sorted🙂
the tyranny of requiring “consensus” and of thus enabling veto powers to any faction are clear. They make sense, if ever, only when the community and its executive are people of good will and not motivated by priorities alien or inimical to the purpose of the group or society. It is clearly disastrously naive to make this assumption when Fabians are about.
If precipitation increases at 6.5%/C then a climate sensitivity of 3C/doubling is highly unlikely. OTOH, if humidity and precipitation are increasing that fast, we really should be seeing the tropical upper troposphere warming faster than the lower troposphere and the surface because the lapse rate should decrease.
End of the world predictions are a special case. Nobody really cares when they’re wrong. IIRC, the apostles expected the Second Coming in their lifetimes. The date just keeps being moved ahead. In keeping with the fundamental law of human relations: Irony Increases, the Second Coming wouldn’t happen until nobody on the planet believed it was eminent. That’s unlikely to happen any time soon.
What has got me really puzzled is that with all the evidence from:
Zhang et al., 2007
Allen & Soden, 2008
Min et al. Nature February 2011
strongly suggesting an increase in precipitation/evaporation of the order of 6.5%/deg. C of warming, this has not translated into the AGW fraternity admitting that the sensitivity to CO2 must actually be❤ deg. C/doubling (thanks DeWitt).
Instead we are still getting bombarded with BS about the shrinking of Lake Chad at the very same time as the wide spread greening of the Sahel is getting so noticeable it cannot be denied:
Jeff Id said “The problems with socialism aren’t getting easier.”
Wow – you are not wrong there!
What you are describing is not “socialism.” It is bureaucracy and CYA behaviour that characterizes governmental bodies since before Rome was an empire. Look at the trial of Socrates and consider that his approach to knowledge – asking questions – was considered to be contrary to public order, since it appeared to criticize the PTB. That took place within about as clear quill a democracy as has existed. This sort of behaviour has marred every government that ever existed. It is very likely why Jefferson considered a revolution every 20 years a good idea. The worst of tyrants are entrenched bureaucrats. For a humourous view of the problem catch some episodes of “Yes Minister.”