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Discussion > Keeping it simple

Martin A, so is the only likely source of error in the maths and physics the big fudge factor known as ECS?

When experts swear blind that a×b=c, and it clearly does not, there is a mistake somewhere. Climate Scientist have never admitted a mistake, and have proved themselves incapable of recognising any fault with their own maths and/or logic.

Cook's 97% Consensus indicates that only 3% should be retained by Trump on the US Payroll.

97% of Climate Scientists have never argued against Cook's Consensus, so it seems perfectly fair and reasonable, that those who have benefitted from scientific fraud, and not objected to it, should accept the consequences.

Mar 7, 2017 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mar 7, 2017 at 12:24 PM | Martin A

Thank you!

Mar 7, 2017 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The IR streaming from the sun warmed earths surface rises up and passes by N and O as they are not radiativly active.

These energy packets hit the occasional CO2 molecule causing a rise in temp of that molecule.If that CO2 molecule touches a N or O molecule the rise in temperature can be passed on, but the CO2 temp drops back to its original value and the increased temp of the N or O is now spread throughout the atmosphere as N is 80% O is 20% ish, but CO2 0 < 0.04. So one molecule of CO2 passes its heat to 2,500 molecules, ie the heating effect of the CO2 interaction is diluted 2,500:1

Conversely we need 2,500 molecules of N or O to warm 1 CO2 molecule.

Water vapour is different!

It responds to more frequencies (or wavelengths) and there is much much more H2O in the atmosphere the CO2.

It seems clear and unambiguous that water vapour is the main controlling factor for earths temperature.

Point of interest, if you google IR astronomy, you will find many references to earth IR telescopes installed at very high locations on earth to overcome water vapour in the atmosphere. CO2 is not mentioned once (in the dozen sites I visited today)

A water planet is a warmer planet.

Mar 7, 2017 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

gc so is the only likely source of error in the maths and physics the big fudge factor known as ECS?

I think you are assuming things that are not implied by anything I said.

I regard claims to compute ECS as completely ludicrous and a waste of time or, in the professional terms used by industrial psychologists, "a total wank". They are trying to do things that would be very difficult with a system that was understood in detail and for which large amounts of observational data over long periods was available.

The delusions involved in claiming to be able to do so for a system for which understanding of many aspects is lacking, for which attempts to model its behaviour have failed, and where only a miniscule fraction of the necessary data is available, are hard to fathom.

That has nothing to do with whether the greenhouse effect exists.

Mar 7, 2017 at 2:20 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Be that as may be, Martin A, but do bear in mind that the effects of that IR photon being absorbed can only be used ONCE in this scenario; after that, it does not matter how often this photon gets absorbed, on its way out of the atmosphere. Will the absorption of this photon have any significant effect in heating the atmosphere? I would say, “No,” as the concentration of greenhouse gases is not enough for this absorption of energy to be noticeable – the heat is being dissipated amongst so many other molecules. An analogy could be like trying to heat a bath full of water by dropping a few heated needles into it; you can heat those needles with a blowtorch until they are glowing red before dropping them into the water, then recovering and repeating, but there will be little change in the water temperature. However, if you turn your blowtorch onto the actual (ceramic) bath, itself, then heating the container will have a more obvious impact on the results. Same source of heat, different method of heating.

Mar 7, 2017 at 3:36 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Entropic Man

“You are dancing on the head of a pin, trying to define the greenhouse effect while dodging the physics.”

The science of radiative transfer is not incorrect. But the interpretation of effect as cause could be.

Conventional climate physics: back radiation heats the surface from X degC to Y degC to produce a Y-X GE when in radiative balance.

Conventional physics: solar radiation heats the surface to that temperature necessary to drive the cooling process through the atmosphere and achieve steady state.

Mar 7, 2017 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterBelle Epoque

Climate Science is like a circus with a single act, a one trick pony, except it is an ass, very stubborn, and can't do anything at all.

No wonder the public are fed up with paying for the biggest scam on earth.

Mar 7, 2017 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Will the absorption of this photon have any significant effect in heating the atmosphere? I would say, “No,”

RR that is correct. As I said in a previous comment

...*all* of the warming is done by the incoming solar radiation, notwithstanding the IR radiation bouncing around, being absorbed and re-emitted, as the energy wends its way back out to space.

Mar 7, 2017 at 6:28 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A: true. This is where the climastrologists lose it – they seem to imply that these photons bounce around, increasing the heat as they go, until they manage to get free – woo-hoo!

This is where reality diverges from theory. Theory gives the impression that the Sun is but a bit-player in this charade – it is all down to a trace gas, less than 0.04% of the atmosphere, on which the future demise of the planet predicates; if we dare to allow it to increase too much, then the Earth will burn! (Ignoring the hubristic vanity that humans can have any influence on the concentration of CO2.)

This, if course, is absurd; the principle source of all energy in the solar system has to present a greater influence on the planetary system than a trace gas. I would even go as far as to suggest that there could be variations in solar output that are too slight to be easily detectable which would have more effect on our climates than any amount of greenhouse gases. The present change in the Sun is very detectable, and its trend is downward; I fear that we will soon be seeing an undeniable cooling of the planet, and the considerably greater chaos that will create, when compared with warming.

Mar 7, 2017 at 9:48 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR we've had this discussion before. Hold your hand out flat on a cloudless night and feel it heated by those supposed ineffective photons radiated from the ground. Photons that according to some can do no work.

Mar 7, 2017 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Minty: I realised quite some time ago that there is energy flitting about all over the place; only when the temperature gets to absolute zero will that stop. Truth be told, those photons are more or less ineffective; holding my hand out on a cloudless night will give results dependent on the season/location – during the winter, I doubt I will feel any radiated heat (I phrase it like that as I DO know that there will be some energy being received, but probably not more than is being emitted by my hand, hence I will feel it cooling); during summer, I still doubt there will be any radiation noticeable. Even in the tropics, I doubt I will feel any warmth more than a few hours after sunset, no matter how close my hand is to the surface. In fact, I would even argue that, if the air is still enough, then the surface will be noticeably cooler than, perhaps, you might expect.

Mar 7, 2017 at 11:46 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Martin A, wrong thread completely, but further to previous comments ......

Mar 8, 2017 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

RR. Make sure you do the experiment after the next warm day with a clear night, then get back to me. If you can't wait, get an infrared camera or detector and look at the top and bottom of your outstretched hand.
I'm very surprised you disbelieve me, but are more than willing to accept the urban heat island effect - caused in large part by re-radiated heat absorbed by the roads and buildings. I used to have a large conservatory with one heat-absorbing brick wall. After dark this would re-radiate some of its heat keeping the area warmer than it otherwise would have been. Yet you are willing to accept views that either those photons are not emitted or have no power to do work (=warm).

Just how do you think infra-red photons escape into space? By not interacting with anything en-route? Or by causing no change to atoms or molecules in the atmosphere?

Most of your post demonstrates how weak the effects can be, not that they don't exist.

Mar 8, 2017 at 4:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


The warmth your hand is experiencing is that which arrived from the sun and thermalised completely. That warmth (temperature) is now drawn by the low temperature of space. It can do no more warming on its way out. If your detector/hand confirms the presence of that exiting heat, why surmise it to be new energy? At the precise time of its exit it will be replaced by solar radiation which when thermalised does the work of maintaining the temperature.

Mar 8, 2017 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Ssat. Who said it was NEW energy? I never did. Did you not notice that I used words like "RE-radiated"? And to claim that this re-radiated energy can do no work (as you have done in the past) is plain stupid. It's like saying photons emitted from an electric fire cannot do any work, they are instead the original energy (movement of electrons).

Furthermore your explanation is deficient. Some of the sun's energy is stored (temporarily) and only later released. At night it is not instantly replaced.

I have no wish to continue this debate about schoolroom physics. We had it before, and if I recall it resolved around the definition of "work". Re-radiated photons do little work, in the commonly employed sense of the word (unless you put your hand or a cloud in the way), but do work if the word has its strict scientific meaning.

Mar 8, 2017 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Minty: I can see where ssat is coming from. What is being said is that the energy is merely being redistributed, either to your hand, your spectrometer, the surrounding plants and buildings or (ultimately) to space. The implication you are giving is that more energy is being created by these photons doing their “work.” You may get annoyed with that interpretation, but that is how others might see your argument. Ssat argues that the photons have done their “work,” thus are unable to do any more “work.” To use an analogy (which will be flawed, as all analogies are) – the jam has been made, and it is now just being spread on the bread, a process that does not create any more jam, though your arguments do seem to imply otherwise.

Mar 8, 2017 at 9:55 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Let's try one last time. The ground is heated by high intensity sunlight. Assuming none is reflected, that energy is absorbed and downgraded to lower intensity infra red, part is re-emitted, whereas some is retained (stored) and later emitted. I have never argued that this now released energy is new (where have I even been ambiguous about this?) but maintain that this energy can still do some work. I discussed this the last time we had this discussion with my 11year old grandson, who has a scientific bent, and we devised a glass-encased turbine that would react to upwelling IR radiation. We never built it, but I believe it would demonstrate the work capability (common usage) of re-radiated heat.

Mar 8, 2017 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Read that again tomorrow, and you might see what I am referring to – you certainly are giving even trusting little me the impression that this “work” is something new. What these photons have done is to “retract” some of the “work” that they have done on the surface while the sun was shining, and redistributed it. THAT IS ALL – there is no NEW "work" being done!

BTW: those turbines do exist, you know, and are usually considered desk ornaments. There is little usable “work” that can be drawn from them. Now, eat your jam sandwich.

Mar 8, 2017 at 12:00 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR. That is simply ridiculous. Referring to my electric fire comparison, using your argument, the emitted infrared photons can do nothing. My heated brick wall in a conservatory can do nothing (I wonder why it felt warm?). An even better example is a superheated steam geothermal power plant. Superheated steam is sent through a turbine and much of its contained energy is extracted, the remainder downgraded. However, the now-cooler steam can be used in a conventional turbine and more energy and heat extracted. The now condensed, but still hot, water can be sent through a heat exchanger and further energy extracted. The energy extracted in the intermediate and final stages are not new, but they are different and can still do work. The Sun's energy is absorbed by the ground, downgrading to heat as it does so, and when emitted still is energy and this can do some work - like heating my hand, heating the air in my conservatory. I just don't see the problem, the energy is rebroadcast energy from the sun, but it is of much lower quality, but is still energy. In appropriate circumstances (putting my hand in the way) it can increase the temperature of what it strikes (my hand reabsorbs it) and thus, in scientific terminology, it does work.
I have noted that Roy Spenser uses the hand experiment to illustrate basic climate theory in his book. Perhaps you should be discussing all this with him, rather than with a retired geologist whose physics was learned half a century ago.

Mar 8, 2017 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Missed the last part of your post. If those turbines exist (l only know of those powered by a light bulb, ideally I would want the contents of the container to be a vacuum), then they demonstrate that re-emitted photons can do work, not much grant you, but work nontheless. Where is your argument that no work can be done?

Mar 8, 2017 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

The biggest cause of Manmade Global Warming seems to be the hot air generated by arguments about whether it exists.

It is helpful to view invisible 400ppm of CO2 in some proportion, as no one has seen anything different.

Mar 8, 2017 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Your steam turbine analogy is a very good one – the energy is introduced into the system in the boiler, and thence distributed throughout the system. However, no NEW energy is imparted; even the heat generated in the bearings is merely “redistributed” heat. Despite all this “work” being done, what energy there is is generally lost to the environment.

Your heated brick wall has energy gained from the Sun – in transmitting this energy, it is drawing energy from the fabric off the wall, and the wall cools (the "work" is being withdrawn). Unlike sunlight – or, as already mentioned, the heat generated by friction in the bearings of your hypothetical turbine engine – this energy is NOT new, and is not what could be considered strong enough for use as “work.”

Mar 8, 2017 at 1:43 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I think people are arguing across purposes here.

I do not think people deny that the ground radiates IR, obviously it does.

The normal argument is: does this ground originated energy warm the atmosphere then 're-radiate' back down?

It is the down dwelling that concerns most...

Mar 8, 2017 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Mr Richards: it is all part of the energy distribution. Much of the general climate alarm does seem to give the impression that the re-radiated heat (energy) is somehow “new” energy, and its presence is what is so dangerous, especially if it is from a CO2 molecule (or perhaps it is only the “man-made” CO2 molecules that perform this trick… it is all rather confusing, really).

Many seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room – clear nights tends to be cooler nights; cloudy nights tend to be warmer nights. CO2, whatever its origins, is utterly irrelevant.

Mar 8, 2017 at 2:31 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR. Look up a definition of work. Wikki's are:

Work (physics), the work done by, or energy transferred by, a force acting through a distance (ie my hand being warmed by photons radiated from the ground)

Work (thermodynamics), the energy transferred from one system to another by macroscopic forces measurable in the surroundings. ( same)

Which part of what I have written violates any part of such definitions?

You are hung up on other people's interpretations attributing them to me, an incorrect view that I was proposing the energy transfer was new energy (again where did I ever write this?) and a misunderstanding that any work has to be "substantial" to count. What I have written is entirely in accordance with what you now write, about clear nights being colder than overcast ones.

I can tell you I believe how Roy Spenser explains climate over your objections to what seems to me basic physics. I also believe my own experiences rather than your (non) explanations of them.

Mar 8, 2017 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll