Monday, March 30, 2009

Resume Stretching The Oregone Institute

Eli has been known to give awards for resume stretching. One of the anonymice has pointed out that the Cato Institute is joining in on its new petition to President Obama, awarding a dishonorary PhD. to our old friend Dipl. Phil. Richard Courtney, whose resume now stretches hither and yon

Magnus is one cold dude about this stuff

Any new bunny friends on the list? UPDATE: oooooowwww. Among the emerati, weatherfolks, fossil fuel folks and Randians* the Rabett found a live one:

James DeMeo, Ph.D, University Of Kansas (retired).
Well the Ph.D. is for real, and it is from the University of Kansas, where James got his Ph.D. in 1986, but other than that Cato is writing science fiction. DeMeo's CV says that while he was a graduate student at Kansas he was an instructor. Wanna bet he was a Teaching Assistant.

DeMeo is, well, unique. His day job is head of the Orgone Biophysical Research Lab. What is that you ask, something near Salem, OR. Close, but no, poor bunnies, a follower of William Reich, an around the bend psychiatrist from the last century. One of Freuds kookier successors. DeMeo himself could give Piers Corbyn a run for his money
DeMeo has been investigating the work of the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich since 1970, and founded OBRL in 1978. With cooperative assistance from a network of professionals and institutes supportive of Wilhelm Reich's original discoveries, OBRL has grown to become one of the world's primary centers for genuine and uncompromised research and educational programs focused upon Orgonomy, the science of orgone (life) energy functions in nature, as developed by Reich in the first half of the 20th Century.

Starting in 1977, as part of his graduate research at the University of Kansas, DeMeo undertook replication studies of Reich's biophysical research -- specifically, a systematic evaluation of the Reich cloudbuster which yielded positive results. The acceptance of DeMeo's work by the KU faculty constituted the first time any aspect of Reich's controversial biophysical research had been validated by peer-review within a mainstream academic institution. Through the organizational structure of OBRL, and with the cooperative assistance and support of many other individuals and groups dedicated to Reich's works, DeMeo has since directed field applications of the cloudbuster apparatus, successfully ending droughts across the USA and overseas as well, with applications towards reducing the energetic stagnation characteristic of wetter regions suffering from chronic air pollution and forest-death.
His list of publications reads like something from our favorite journals
Seed Sprouting Inside the Orgone Accumulator”, Journal of Orgonomy, 12:253-258, 1978.

“On the Question of a Dynamic Biological-Atmospheric-Cosmic Energy Continuum: Some Old and New Evidence”, Abstracts, 11th International Congress of Biometeorology, Purdue University, September, 1987.

“Regarding the Article: ‘A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch’ in Journal of the American Medical Association (April 1998, pp.1005-1010)”, Bridges, Magazine of the Int. Society for Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine, 9(1):16, Spring 1998.
It goes on and on. Eli has suffered enough. Anybunny interested in following the paw prints might check out one Ismail Baht, Ph.D, University Of Kashmir who does not appear to be there

* One of those gems wrote this about his joyful college years:
Debated hordes of socialist students and outright minions of the Socialist Workers Party about the war in Vietnam. Use of the draft in an undeclared war is wrong. Socialism, whether fascist or communist, is the childish product of vile envy and the enemy of the rights of the individual.
Given that the issue stirring those hordes and minions at the time where this guy was, was the draft, and he himself was dodging at the same rate given this statement, comic dissonance has once again reared its amusing head.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fred says

When the anonymice comments are better than anything the head cheese comes up with, print the comments

Memetic Disease: Greenhouse Effect Denialism


(a) The G&T meme.
(b) The Miskolczi meme.
Long Term Effects:
(a) Succeptibility to other Loonish Ideas
(b) Unrecoverable loss of credibility
(c) Enhanced risk of publication in Energy and Environment
Succeptibility: Most people are immune to infection. Those at most risk are those with
(a) Elevated levels of paranoia, or Conspiracy Syndrome.
(b) BS immune deficiency.
(c) A grasp of basic physics (just enough rope..)
(d) Blog Fever
Early Symptoms: An infected individual will often display the following symptoms within 24 hours:
(a) Frequent and fevered claims to the effect of "a cold atmosphere can't warm a hotter surface".
(b) Frequent references to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Within the first week of infection an infected individual can become highly infectious as they propagate the meme to those around them.
Treatment: Recommended treatment involves sustained application of logic to the infected individual. If symptoms still persist after 24 hours of treatment this is usually a sign that the infection is permanent and there is no known cure. Warning signs of permanent infection include rapid switching in the obfuscation cortex leading the individual to discover confusion over words such as "warms", "heats" and "net".

Known Vectors include:
(b) Watts
(c) Inhofe
(d) Marohasy
Do you know someone with GED? Denial Anonymous can help.

Friday, March 27, 2009

In closing??

(As part of Rabett Run's Gerlich and Tscheuschner project, Eli has started drafting parts of a response, which we will gift wrap in Bozo paper and send to some unsuspecting journal, but certainly arXiv. This comes again from Chris Colose Way to go Chris. The Editorial Board expresses its thanks=:> Suggestions for changes and additions are welcome. It's a nice summary of the state of climate modeling. Perhaps this would go well in the Conclusion, or should it go in the Introduction)

FW?IW the idiocy du jour is that thermal energy is not heat. Thermal energy is heat. Joule showed that about 150 years ago

GCM’s are often referred to as General Circulation Models, which replicate from first principles the statistical description of the large-scale motions of the atmosphere and ocean. In modern times, where circulation is only one component in modeling exercises, GCM’s are more broadly defined as Global Climate Models.

Climate models range in complexity from basic energy-balance models where solutions can be worked out by hand, to very sophisticated models that make use of some of the fastest and most powerful computers available. There is a broad range of physics and parameterizations included in GCM’s. Processes must conserve energy, momentum, and mass for example. Most GCM’s make use of primitive equations (USCCP 2008) which is a simplified form of the equations of motion. Use is made of the fact that the atmosphere is thin in comparison to its horizontal extent. Small terms in the momentum equations are generally neglected.

Modern GCM’s have evolved tremendously over the decades following increased computing power and our understanding of the processes relevant to global climate. Improvements include increases in atmospheric resolution, height of the model top, sea ice dynamics, representation of atmospheric chemistry, improved cloud microphysical schemes, modeling of the terrestrial biosphere and vegetation interactions with climate, among other things (Schmidt et al 2006; Randall et al 2007). Many realistic factors of global climate emerge from the fundamental physics including ocean and atmospheric “modes” and oscillations, displacement of storm tracks and jet streams, heat transport mechanisms, and climate feedbacks as a response to warming (USCCP 2008). How well a model performs depends on what climate variable you are interested in (e.g., temperature, precipitation, sea level rise, humidity patterns), the statistics (e.g., trends, extremes, variability), as well as the spatial and temporal scales of interest (Knutti 2008a). Further, various models perform better for different questions than other models. Perhaps if Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) made their model criticisms too specific, they know it would be that much easier to invalidate.

Detection involves the processes whereby a change in climate can be identified against the background noise of natural variability, and Attribution allows one to assign causes to that change with some level of confidence. The ability to hindcast the time-evolution of the 20th century climate change (e.g. Meehl et al 2004) as well as realistically past climates (e.g. the Last Glacial Maximum) with standard radiative forcing and feedback concepts gives confidence in our understanding of the essential features governing global climate (Randall et al 2007; USCCP 2008). For example, the NASA GISS climate model was used to make a prediction of the global cooling that followed the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption (Hansen et al 1992). The predicted global cooling as well as the recovery back to the ongoing global warming was well simulated. Successful climate prediction involves understanding how radiative transfer is affected with changes in the solar luminosity, planetary albedo, or changes in atmospheric chemistry. This is because the radiative balance of the planet serves to define the basic boundary conditions which constrain the global climate.

However, formal attribution involves comparing spatio-temporal patterns between observations and models, not the ability to simulate the amplitude of temperature change to a set of forcings (Knutti 2008b). There are many “fingerprints” of greenhouse-gas induced warming which include corresponding changes in the emission spectrum of longwave radiation (Harries et al 2001), stratospheric cooling, and decreases in the diurnal temperature gradient. These things have been both modeled and observed (Hegerl et al 2007). Anthropogenic causation as been detected in the world’s ocean heat content trends (Barnett et al 2001), atmospheric moisture content (Santer et al 2007), in the world’s biosphere (Rosenzweig et al 2008) and continues to provide a more consistent explanation of continental to global scale climate change than natural forcing alone. Despite their assertions, Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) have failed to show that this science is incorrect or in contradiction to known physics.

Barnett, T. P., Pierce, D. W., and Schnur, R., 2001: Detection of anthropogenic climate change in the world's oceans, Science , 292, 270-274

Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations. A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, [Kunkel, K.E., Miller, R.L, Tokmakian, R.T., Zhang, M.H., (Authors)]. U.S. Department of Energy, Washington DC, USA

Hansen, J., A. Lacis, R. Ruedy, and Mki. Sato, 1992: Potential climate impact of Mount Pinatubo eruption. Geophys. Res. Lett., 19, 215-218, doi:10.1029/91GL02788

Harries, J. E., H. E. Brindley, P. J. Sagoo, and R. J. Bantges, 2001: Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997. Nature, 410, 355-357

Hegerl, G.C., F. W. Zwiers, P. Braconnot, N.P. Gillett, Y. Luo, J.A. Marengo Orsini, N. Nicholls, J.E. Penner and P.A. Stott, 2007: Understanding and Attributing Climate Change. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA

Knutti, R., 2008: Should we believe model predictions of future climate change? Triennial Issue Earth Science of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 366, 4647-4664

Knutti, R., 2008: Why are climate models reproducing the observed global surface warming so well? Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L18704, doi:10.1029/2008GL034932

Meehl, G.A., W.M. Washington, C.M. Ammann, J.M. Arblaster, T.M.L. Wigley and C. Tebaldi, 2004: Combinations of Natural and Anthropogenic Forcings in Twentieth-Century Climate. J. Climate, 17, 3721-3727

Randall, D.A., R.A. Wood, S. Bony, R. Colman, T. Fichefet, J. Fyfe, V. Kattsov, A. Pitman, J. Shukla, J. Srinivasan, R.J. Stouffer, A. Sumi and K.E. Taylor, 2007: Climate Models and Their Evaluation. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA

Schmidt, G.A., R. Ruedy, J.E. Hansen, I. Aleinov, N. Bell, M. Bauer, S. Bauer, B. Cairns, V. Canuto, Y. Cheng, A. Del Genio, G. Faluvegi, A.D. Friend, T.M. Hall, Y. Hu, M. Kelley, N.Y. Kiang, D. Koch, A.A. Lacis, J. Lerner, K.K. Lo, R.L. Miller, L. Nazarenko, V. Oinas, Ja. Perlwitz, Ju. Perlwitz, D. Rind, A. Romanou, G.L. Rosenzweig, C., D. Karoly, M. Vicarelli, P. Neofotis, Q. Wu, G. Casassa, A. Menzel, T.L. Root, N. Estrella, B. Seguin, P. Tryjanowski, C. Liu, S. Rawlins, and A. Imeson, 2008: Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature, 453, 353-357

Russell, Mki. Sato, D.T. Shindell, P.H. Stone, S. Sun, N. Tausnev, D. Thresher, and M.-S. Yao, 2006: Present day atmospheric simulations using GISS ModelE: Comparison to in-situ, satellite and reanalysis data. J. Climate, 19, 153-192

Santer, B. D, C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, K. E. Taylor, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, T. P. Barnett, J. S. Boyle, W. Bruggemann, N. P. Gillett, S. A. Klein, G. A. Meehl, T. Nozawa, D. W. Pierce, P. A. Stott, W. M. Washington, M. F. Wehner, 2007: Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 104, 15248-15253


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Rabett is fisky

(As part of Rabett Run's Gerlich and Tscheuschner project, Eli has started drafting parts of a response, which we will gift wrap in Bozo paper and send to some unsuspecting journal, but certainly arXiv. We have spent a lot of time being serious, but for the introduction/conclusion all may enjoy a snark break. The Editorial Board expresses its thanks for your patience =:> . Some of this comes from previous posts, some from Georg Hoffmann on Prima Klima and some from somewhere. Suggestions for changes and additions are welcome.

UPDATE: Some changes to reflect Arthur's comments 3/25 11 PM EDT

Gerlich and Tscheuschner [1] have published a polemic in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, full of error, irrelevancy, and accusation. Long known from its arXiv versions and well refuted, it is difficult to understand how their work could appear in a respected journal, however, recent history has shown that such papers are occasionally published where editors and referees are not familiar with the underlying science, or themselves are outliers with respect to the field in which the paper lies. This is often the case where expertise in one area is generalized to arrogance about another. A refutation is needed lest anyone be mislead.

This comment will clearly demonstrate major errors in simple physics that Gerlich and Tscheuschner's make, invalidating their entire paper. Supplementary material deals with Gerlich and Tscheuschner's errors in detail. The first twenty or so pages of Ref. 1 are devoted to showing that the greenhouse effect has nothing in common with how a glass greenhouse works, a commonplace taught in and useful for every introductory atmospheric science course. A simple paragraph would have sufficed. Concisely, greenhouses work by restricting the outward flow of thermal energy by convection, the greenhouse effect limits the flow of thermal energy to space by radiation.

A careful, although painful, reading of the rest of the paper shows that there are only two physically based criticisms of the greenhouse effect in Ref. 1, embedded into a mass of opinion and commonplace knowledge badly stated

Gerlich and Tscheuschner assert that Clausius' statement of the second law of thermodynamics forbids transfer of heat from a colder atmosphere to a warmer surface. Their entire 90 page argument rests on this claim. As made clear below, the second law requires consideration of all heat flows in a process, so one must simultaneously include the larger transfer of thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere. Ref. 1 does not do this and thus errs. When done properly, there is no contradiction

The fundamental equations of radiative transfer have the Second Law of Thermodynamics built into them, via Kirchoff's Law, which can be derived directly from the Second Law. When solved numerically the solutions perforce obey the 2nd law. This applies equally well to simple models, and to the most elaborate line-by-line calculations. All show that the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere results in a warmer surface than in their absence.

Next, following Arthur Smith's criticism [2] of an earlier version of Ref. 1, we consider a non-uniform distribution of temperature on the surface of a planet. It is shown that when doing this, Gerlich and Tscheuschner obtain an absurd result by using a ridiculous assumption, that each part of the planet's surface immediately cools or heats to reach an equilibrium with the locally impinging solar radiation thereby neglecting the thermal inertia of the oceans, atmosphere and ground. Were this to be the case, all parts of the Earth would cool to well below 200 K (-73 C) at night. It is shown that a uniform surface temperature model provides a lower, but useful, bound on the greenhouse effect, the commonly quoted ~33 K.

These two points alone invalidate Gerlich and Tscheuschner's entire paper, and show that the radiative greenhouse effect does significantly increases the surface temperature of the Earth. Beyond this readers with basic understanding of physics and climate cannot help but be amused by the rich bounty of irrelevancies, silly errors, lack of understanding and significant omissions that Gerlich and Tscheuschner provide. Coupled with the authors' embarrassing false pride, the manuscript would pass from hand to hand labelled as a revenge of social scientists for Alan Sokol's joke, were it not for the demonstrated capacity of this paper to mislead the naive and those hungering to be mislead. It is only this that makes a reply necessary.

Section 2 below disposes of Ref. 1's arguments about the second law of thermodynamics, principally laid out in their Section 3.9. As a part of that, in Section 3, simple models are introduced and then used to demonstrate Gerlich and Tscheuschner's aphysical picture of heat flow on a rotating planet (Section 3.7).

Much of the rest of Ref. 1 is simply argumentative and irrelevant. A humorous example is the denigration of a simple net energy flow schematic for the earth because such diagrams (pp 322)

(1) cannot represent radiation intensities, the most natural interpretation of the arrows depicted in Fig. 23, as already explained in Secs. 2.1.2 and 2.1.5;

(2) cannot represent sourceless fluxes, i.e., a divergence free vector fields in three dimensions, since a vanishing three-dimensional divergence still allows that a portion of the field goes sidewards;

(3) do not fit in the framework of Feynman diagrams, which represent mathematical expressions clearly defined in quantum field theory.159

(4) do not fit in the standard language of system theory or system engineering.
It is legitimately hard to decide which of these four points is the most ridiculous. (1) and (2) might charitably be called querulous, demanding a full vector representation of all the heat/energy flows of a schematic representation. Gerlich and Tscheuschner might be pleased to know that the angular dependence of the heat flows is captured in radiative transfer and global circulation models (GCMs are commonly known today as global climate models, but originally were called global circulation models, and are built on fluid dynamics). GCMs solve the non-linear Navier-Stokes equation for fluid flow. Fig. 1 is not meant to be a GCM, but an illustration of the vertical thermal energy flow from the sun, the surface and in the atmosphere. Importantly, each of the energy flows has been linked back to experimentally measured global averages.

(3) and (4) are risible. Why should representations of a total thermal energy flow require a Feynman diagram? Worse, how would such a Feynman diagram be constructed. (4) is the engineering equivalent. Finally the authors might reconsider their standard representations of heat engine (Fig 31 and 32 in [1] and Fig. 3 below) which uses the same sort of arrows.

Less amusing are Gerlich and Tscheuschner's libelous attacks on others. Perhaps the most notable of these, is upon Stephan Bakan and Ehrhart Raschke for using Fig. 2.
Figure 13 is an obscene picture, since it is physically misleading. The obscenity will not remain in the eye of the beholder, if the latter takes a look at the obscure scaling factors already applied by Bakan and Raschke in an undocumented way in their paper on the so-called natural greenhouse effect.102 This is scientific misconduct as is the missing citation. Bakan and Raschke borrowed this figure from Ref. 103 where the scaling factors, which are of utmost importance for the whole discussion, are left unspecified. This is scientific misconduct as well
According to Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Bakan and Raschke's scientific misconduct was to scale the incoming solar and outgoing terrestrial radiation to the same size. Referring to Fig. 1, the outgoing terrestrial radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 239 W/m2 on average which is balanced by the amount of solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere and by the surface. With much hemming and hawing Ref. 1. arrives at about the same numbers. In other words, Bakan and Raschke took note of the observed energy balance to construct their figure. Gerlich and Tscheuschner are not only misleading, they are wrong on this point, and insulting to Bakan and Raschke.

We close the introduction by discussing a simple illustrative example that the two authors, trained physicists, Gerlich and Tscheuschner completely misunderstand. They discuss experiments carried out by a physics obsessed housewife
In Sec. 3.3.5, it was indicated how simple it is to falsify the atmospheric greenhouse hypotheses, namely by observing a water pot on the stove: Without water filled in, the bottom of the pot will soon become glowing red. However, with water filled in, the bottom of the pot will be substantially colder.

In particular, such an experiment can be performed on a glass-ceramic stove. The role of the Sun is played by the electrical heating coils or by infrared halogen lamps that are used as heating elements. Glass-ceramic has a very low heat conduction coefficient, but lets infrared radiation pass very well. The dihydrogen monoxide in the pot, which not only plays the role of the “greenhouse gas” but also realizes a very dense phase of such a magic substance, absorbs the infrared extremely well. Nevertheless, there is no additional “backwarming” effect of the bottom of the pot. In the opposite, the ground becomes colder.
This, of course, neglects the latent heat carried away from the pot and thus the heating element by evaporation of the water in the pot. Since it is well known that people who are physics obsessed are often forgetful, we postulate that the housewife forgets that she has put the pot on the range, and all the water boils away. At that point, when all the water has evaporated, measurements show that the heating element rises to a higher temperature than it was before the tea pot was placed on it.


Ethon extends to Snack another opportunity for horror and shock or is that shock and horror?

In an amazing display of how to handle Richard Courtney the first Dano, Raiya, C_L and others hand the dirty (coal division) old boy his head. Before slinking off the dirty old boy himself utters an accusation of genocide:

Constraining the carbon dioxide emissions at their present level would deliberately kill at least 2 billion people - mostly children – before the middle of this century. And reducing the emissions would kill more millions – possibly billions – of people. This would be genocide of a magnitude not previously possible in all human history.
Ethon eagerly awaits a declaration from the usual suspects that this is beyond the pale.

BTW, read, or skim the thread, it is a good example of where the public discussion is going and how opposing the denialists with the two pronged attack of ridicule and science works and why it is important to have publicly accessible detailed information on the science in a quotable form. All three elements are needed.

Back now to our regularly scheduled program.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chris Colose suggests

(As part of Rabett Run's Gerlich and Tscheuschner project, Eli has started drafting parts of a response, which we will gift wrap in Bozo paper and send to some unsuspecting journal, but certainly arXiv. This second part comes from Chris Colose. The Editorial Board expresses its thanks=:> [Rabett Run has an exceedingly small Editorial Board] Suggestions for changes and additions are welcome. I think this makes much the same point as Joel Schor's model, with the advantage that it is somewhat clearer how it fits in with the sun/earth system. It might be substituted for it, after which we could place the section about the rotating earth and average temperatures. - Eli)

Request: I need a solar spectrum taken from space that extends to the IR preferably 10-4 microns, again, preferably in digital format. Resolution need not be high

UPDATE: Minor corrections 11:30 PM 3/24

All objects with a temperature emit energy according to the Planck radiation law. It has been shown above how objects of differing temperatures placed near each other must continue to radiate energy towards each other, and so cooler bodies must emit energy toward hotter ones. Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) believe that this state of affair represents a contradiction to thermodynamics. Above, we have looked at perhaps the simplest example that shows them to be wrong. The same logic can be applied to a simplified atmosphere represented by a number of blackbody layers which radiate energy in all directions.

This is not too far from how real radiative transfer codes work, with the caveat that here only two "gray" layers are considered. For simplicity, we assume that the atmospheric layers are opaque to infrared radiation, absorbing all terrestrial IR radiation, and emitting like a blackbody at their temperatures. This simplified atmosphere is also fully transparent to incoming solar radiation. An atmosphere with large infrared optical depth can be approximated with two layers centered at 0.5 and 2 km altitude (Goody and Walker 1972).

In this model, the amount of radiation absorbed on the surface equals the solar flux in W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere, S, less that reflected back to space, the albedo, α, divided by 4, which accounts for the fact that the earth is spherical (for details see, for example, Insert Ref). The top layer (Layer 2) emits IR radiation that matches the solar radiation absorbed by the surface. In this simplified model, the temperature of the second layer is the effective temperature of the planet as observed from space. Below, we will consider a more complicated model for a rotating planet, again, reaching different conclusions than Gerlich and Tscheuschner, and again, will point out why their conclusions are in error. At equilibrium, each level must absorb and emit the same amount of radiation. This leads to three simple equations

(1) At the surface: S(1-α)/4 + σT14 = σTsur4

(2) At Layer 1: σT24 + σTsur4 = 2 σT14

(3) At Layer 2: σT14 = 2 σT24

Starting with the observed solar flux at the top of the atmosphere, 1364 W/m2, we can solve for

T2 = 255 K
T1 = 303 K
Tsur = 335 K

Because Tsur in Table 1 is too high, the assumption that only radiation governs the atmospheric thermal equilibrium has to be modified. In reality, evaporation of water from the surface and its condensation in the atmosphere, the latent and sensible heat fluxes, remove substantial amounts of energy from the surface. In the global, annual mean these terms equate to roughly 100 W/m2 of energy removal from the surface and put in the atmosphere (Trenberth et al., 2009). Convection also plays a role

With or without considering convection or latent heats associated with the condensation of water vapor, the clear effect of the atmosphere is to make the surface temperature much higher than the effective temperature at which it radiates to space. These layers introduce another aspect to the supply of energy at the surface, which now is not only heated by the sun, but also by the downward emission of terrestrial radiation from the atmosphere. This term is larger than the incident solar radiation at the surface by a factor of roughly two in the global mean. Most of this terrestrial radiation originates in the lower atmosphere where water vapor is very abundant. As shown by the spectrum below the down welling radiation has been measured directly, again contrary to the assertions of Ref. 1. In this spectrum, taken at the pole, one sees the influence of water vapor as the sharp lines, mostly at the left, low frequency end, CO2 between 600 and 800 cm-1, and ozone at about 1100 cm-1.

Under typical conditions, most of the outgoing longwave radiation originates in the troposphere at altitudes much colder than the surface. Again, this has been measured directly from space

When more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, energy can only radiate from higher altitudes where the inflow of energy then becomes greater than the outgoing longwave flux at the top of the atmosphere. The greenhouse warming is thus (Hansen et al. 1981),

(4) Tsur = Teff + ΓH

where Gamma (Γ) is the lapse rate and H is the height above the surface. In this way, the increased atmospheric CO2 restricts the outflow of thermal radiation, and the planetary surface temperature can only rise. This situation is illustrated in Figure 2.

Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) are correct to conclude that this greenhouse mechanism does not act in the way real greenhouse acts, whereby convection is restricted, however this is a strawman, a strawman that occupies over 20 pages in Ref 1. No serious explanation of the greenhouse effect neglect the role of radiation and how it is suppressed with increased infrared opacity. On Earth, absorption and re-radiation of infrared energy is the reason why the actual surface temperature is much higher than that of the effective temperature. Although scattering of infrared light is not a significant term for the Earth's atmosphere, it can matter in other planetary cases such as Venus or past conditions on Mars (e.g., Forget and Pierrehumbert 1997).

Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) conclude that most of the infrared absorption in the atmosphere is due to water vapor, and that because CO2 only absorbs in a small part of the total infrared spectrum, raising its partial pressure will have little effect. This claim is very misleading and especially if one does not have a working knowledge of the infrared spectrum of both molecules. There is no physical meaning in comparing CO2’s absorption to the “total infrared spectrum” since the boundaries between infrared and other areas of the electromagnetic spectrum are arbitrary. What is important is that CO2 absorbs very strongly near the peak emission at Earth-like temperatures, and renders the atmosphere completely opaque between 14 and 16 microns, and partially absorbing still some distance from those edges (Petty 2006). As CO2 builds up in the atmosphere, there will still be significant absorption away from the line center, in the wings of the absorption area. This is an area of the spectrum in which water vapor is a weak absorber, and because the atmosphere is so dry at the colder, higher altitudes where radiative balance is set, CO2 is not swamped by water vapor’s greenhouse effect.

Of the 33 K greenhouse effect, roughly 50% of the infrared opacity is due to water vapor, 25% due to clouds, 20% from CO2, and the remaining 5% from other non-condensable greenhouse gases such as ozone, methane, and nitrous oxide (Kiehl and Trenberth 1997). Although this often leads to popular statements such as “water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas,” a more complete picture is that those gases which do not precipitate from the atmosphere under Earth’s current temperature regime (including CO2, ozone, methane) provide the supporting framework for which the condensable substances (water vapor and clouds) can act. As such, if CO2 and the other non-condensable gases were to be removed from the atmosphere, the colder temperature would then result in a substantial reduction of water vapor and clouds, and a collapse of the terrestrial greenhouse effect. On the other hand, as one makes the planet warmer by adding CO2 to the atmosphere, the saturation pressure for water will increase and result in a substantial positive feedback to amplify warming (e.g., Held and Soden 2000).

Forget, F and Pierrehumbert RT 1997: Warming Early Mars with carbon dioxide clouds that scatter infrared radiation. 1273 - 1276

Goody, R.M., and J.C.G. Walker, 1972: Atmospheres. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 150 pp.

Hansen, J., D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, 1981: Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Science, 957-966

Held, M., and B. J. Soden, 2000: Water vapor feedback and global warming. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 441-475.

Kiehl, J. T., and K. E. Trenberth, 1997: Earth's annual global mean energy budget. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 78, 197-208

Petty, G, 2006: A First Course In Atmospheric Radiation 2nd Ed., Sundog Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin

Trenberth, K. E., J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, 2009: Earth's global energy budget. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi: 10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The mystical planet problem

(As part of Rabett Run's Gerlich and Tscheuschner project, Eli has started drafting parts of a response, which we will gift wrap in Bozo paper and send to some unsuspecting journal, but certainly arXiv. This second part comes from Duae Quartunciae. The Editorial Board expresses its thanks=:> [Rabett Run has an exceedingly small Editorial Board] Suggestions for changes and additions are welcome. Below is what was sent with minor formatting changes. It certainly needs a lead in that sets forth the issue and summarizes the result. The organization of the section should make clear why and how G&T are gone astray. Although this mostly covers Section 3.7 I think it should logically go after the part we just worked on which covered section 3.9 BTW, that is a good model for what I think we want. I'll come back to this tomorrow with some suggestions, but will leave it up as is for comments until then - Eli)

UPDATE: Eli has added a bit in Green) anything further

FW?IW the idiocy du jour is that thermal energy is not heat. Thermal energy is heat. Joule showed that about 150 years ago

On page 65 of their paper, Gerlich and Tscheuschner contrast two methods of calculating a temperature for a hypothetical planet, which they call Teff and Tphys.

The basis for both numbers is a consideration of solar energy reaching the globe of the planet. This is described in section 3.7.4. The sun's emission can be treated as a 5780K blackbody. Scaling for the distance between the Sun and Earth the solar insolation is 1369 W/m2 above the atmosphere.

1. Temperatures for a globe exposed to solar radiation.

Gerlich and Tscheuschner consider the amount of energy reaching each point of the Earth's sphere. This is zero on the night side, and on the day side it is scaled by a cosine to account for the angle at which light reaches different regions. The energy is also scaled by 0.7, to account for the amount of energy is reflected away rather than absorbed. (The Earth has an albedo of about 0.3.). At the surface, on average the solar flux is ~340 W/m2.

Teff is the temperature you must to give to every point on the globe in order to radiate all this energy away, again as a blackbody.

Gerlich and Tscheuschner prefer a model which assumes every point on the globe is in equilibrium with the local solar radiation at that point. This corresponds to a planet with no rotation, and with no heat transport over the surface, and uniform albedo. This model is absurd, especially because it neglects the heat capacity of the surface, the atmosphere (about which they have made a great fuss at the beginning of their paper) and most especially the oceans. All of these do not cool anwhere near night temperatures implied by a local radiative equilibrium even at the poles during their long nights.

They then take an average of the temperature for this hypothetical and unphysical planet; ironically calling it the physical average temperature, Tphys.

Teff and Tphys correspond to the two extremes of having uniform temperatures over the globe, and having temperatures at each point depending only on the instantaneous solar input.

Comparing equations 81 and 83, it can be seen that Teff = 1.25*sqrt(2)*Tphys = ((1-α)S/4/σ)0.25, where S is the solar constant (1369) and α is the albedo (0.3). Plugging in the numbers, one gets Tphys = 144K (-129C) and Teff = 255K (-18C). These values are shown by Gerlich and Tscheuschner in their table 12.

In practice, of course, the distribution of temperature over a planet will be between these two extremes. If the conventional average temperature is taken by integrating real temperatures over the globe, the value Tmean should be between Tphys and Teff.

From the first law, the energy emitted has to be the same, no matter how temperatures are distributed. It follows that the fourth power of temperature, integrated over the globe, should be an invariant, since this is proportional to energy. This is why Teff is a more useful quantity in practice than Tphys. In any case, Tphys must be less than Teff .

The effect of an atmosphere

These values can only be associated with the surface if there is no atmosphere, and no greenhouse effect, so that the surface radiation is equal to the planet's radiation. If there is an atmosphere that absorbs surface radiation, then this atmosphere will be heated from the surface, and will be cooler than the surface as shown in the previous section. Most of the radiation escaping to space will be emitted from the atmosphere, and this is what must match solar input. The surface must be warmer than the atmosphere, by the second law, because the surface is heating the atmosphere.

Tmean corresponds to a level in the upper atmosphere where most of the energy escapes into space, and the average surface temperature Tsurf must be somewhat warmer than this.

In practice, when you integrate temperatures over the surface of the Earth, you get about 15 C. This is indeed much greater than the -18 C of Teff, and this is called the greenhouse effect; the difference between surface temperatures below the atmosphere, and the effective temperature for radiation escaping into space. Arthur Smith (arXiv) has provided a more sophisticated, and thus mathematically complex, consideration of this issue, reaching the same conclusion as here.

Gerlich and Tscheuschner show how to integrate temperatures over the globe's surface, and they correctly note that the value obtained by such integration should be less than Teff to balance the solar input. They completely fail to note that if you actually do integrate over the surface, you get a value substantially greater than Teff. The reason for this difference is the greenhouse effect.

This is a bit like having a blanket on a cold night. You end up warmer than you would be without a blanket, but not because the blanket is a source of energy to heat you up. In fact, you are the source of energy heating the blanket, and this means you have to be warmer than the blanket.

Gerlich and Tscheuschner make this elementary mistake in their section 3.9, when they describe the greenhouse as a violation of the second law. In fact, the second law is what requires the surface of a planet to have a higher temperature when there is an atmosphere that is being heated from the surface.

3. The example of the Moon

The Moon is a good example to contrast with the Earth. It rotates much more slowly, and therefore has a temperature distribution that approaches what is used by Gerlich and Tscheuschner to derive their "Tphys". Each point on the Moon's surface is tolerably close to radiative balance with the solar input at that point.

The Moon has an albedo of about 0.12. It therefore absorbs more of the incoming solar energy than Earth. Using the solar constant of 1369 W/m2, the absorbed radiation for the surface facing the Sun is about 1205 W/m2. Hence Teff for the Moon is (1205/4/σ)0.25 = 270K, or -3C. This is the temperature that would radiate back the solar energy, if evenly distributed over the moon. But directly facing the Sun, the temperature will be more like (1205/σ)0.25 = 382K, or 109 C. Albedo is not uniform. In any particularly dark patches, the temperature could even get up to (1369/σ)^0.25 = 394K, or 121C. On the night side, however, temperatures will fall toward absolute zero. Bear in mind that as temperatures fall, so too does the rate of emission of energy. Hence it takes a long time to fall all the way to zero. Say rather that temperatures should fall far enough for the emission of energy to be small.

Now consider data on the Moon from

Average day temperature is 107 C. Maximum day temperature is 123 C. These are close to theoretical expectation, to within a couple of percent.

The mean night temperature is -153C. This about 120K, and radiates a bit less than 12 W/m2. That's less than 1/100 of the solar constant, so the temperature has indeed fallen close to zero, using radiated energy as the basis for comparison.

There's no average temperature given, but the mid point of mean day and mean night temperatures is in the ballpark. This is -23C. And, just as should be expected, it is somewhere between Tphys (-120C) and Teff (-3C). But it is closer to Teff, because it is the cool side of the moon that is most different, in absolute temperature, from the unphysical extreme that is the basis of Gerlich and Tscheuschner's Tphys

On Earth, fortunately, we have an atmosphere that has to be heated from the surface. By basic thermodynamics, the Earth's average surface temperature is therefore substantially warmer than our airless moon. where surface radiation escapes directly to space.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rabett stylin

A while ago Eli went to the mattress with Atmoz over blankets. It was pointed out that there are styles in science and the bunny's is to do illustrative experiments. If they carry Darwin credit, so much the better. It's not for nothing that chemistry is called stinks and bangs and physics shocks and explosions. If we wanted to play safe we would have taken up financial futures. Which, come to think of it, is what the theoreticians did in case you have any questions about why the world is in an economic mess.

Eli will rewrite this for the G&T response, and there are some refinements that have to be made (for one thing we have to measure the temperature of the upper and lower surfaces of the glass) and it has to be done in vacuum, just as gravityloss pointed out, also take a look at the blanket wars posts) but he thought some would be interested.

The lab bunnies started with a heating plate, fed at ~40 VAC through a Variac. Eli placed a couple of thin glass tubes on this and a large glass plate about the some size as the heating plate on top of that. You have to look carefully to see the plate, but you can find the greenish tinged edge. This heated up to ~166 C at equilibrium. Couple of caveats. The temperature varied ~2 C over 5-10 minutes, the thermocouple used to measure temperature is the blue wire to the left, the plate is a 2" diffusion pump heater, the glass tubes Pasteur pippets and the glass plate a large cheap lens from lord knows where. You use what you got.

Eli then grabbed the glass plate with his hands (One of the skills you pick up after forty years in the lab is a certain ability to touch hottish things. Comes in handy in restaurants) and removed it. The temperature rapidly decreased to 151 C in a minute. BTW, Eli is insensitive, but he can't pick up anything much over 70 C without illegal asbestos glass blowers gloves.

And here come the sun. . .

The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun.mp3 -

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

The Second Law and its Criminal Misuse

UPDATE: (See comments for discussion of changes below)

FW?IW the idiocy du jour is that thermal energy is not heat. Thermal energy is heat. Joule showed that about 150 years ago

Last changed 9:30 PM EST

This is probably time to move on to the next section, the mystical revolving planet

The following might be inserted into the introduction (from Robert P):

Gerlich and Tscheuschner [1] assert that Clausius' statement of the second law of thermodynamics forbids transfer of energy from a colder atmosphere to a warmer surface. As shown in Section (3.9), the second law requires consideration of all heat flows in a process, so one must also include the transfer of thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere. Ref. 1 does not consider this second part of the process and thus errs. When done properly, there is no contradiction

The fundamental equations of radiative transfer have the Second Law of Thermodynamics built into them, via Kirchoff's Law, which can be derived directly from the 2nd Law. Thus when solved numerically the solutions perforce obey the 2nd law. This applies equally well to simple models described below, and to the most elaborate line-by-line calculations. All show that the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere results in a warmer surface than in their absence.

(As part of Rabett Run's Gerlich and Tscheuschner project, Eli has started drafting parts of a response, which we will gift wrap in Bozo paper and send to some unsuspecting journal, but certainly arXiv. This first part comes almost completely from >pliny but with contributions, in no particular order Eli (it is Rabett Run and don't try and push in line), Barton, Joel, Arthur, Jochen, taavi, Robert and others who have all sharpened the arguments. Anyone who wants on or off the list should write to the comments. Admittedly most of what is below belongs to pliny, so the Kopywrong Kops will have to get in touch, but words have been changed to shelter the bunnies in the meantime. Suggestions for changes and additions are welcome)

Gerlich and Tscheuschner [1] make fundamental mistakes in their arguments about the thermodynamics of the greenhouse effect which are profoundly revealing. They invoke Clausius' classic statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, no process is possible whose result is the transfer of heat from a cooler to a hotter body, to claim that thermal radiative energy from the colder atmosphere cannot warm the hotter surface (principally section 3.9 of Ref. 1).

When following how energy moves between the sun, the Earth's surface and atmosphere, and space, the increases in entropy through every step of the process are simple and obvious, and the net energy flows are always from hotter to colder, as they must be. Estimation of the greenhouse effect contrasts cases when there is no atmosphere, or an atmosphere with no greenhouse gases to cases where there are varying amounts of greenhouse gases. The simplest calculations require significant simplifications but capture the essence of the situation. Radiative transfer models provide detailed information at the cost of complexity. In all cases surface temperatures are found to be higher for higher greenhouse gas concentrations.

It is important to understand Gerlich and Tscheuschner's objection. A clear statement can be found in Fig. 32 on page 340

Fig. 32. A machine which transfers heat from a low temperature reservoir (e.g., stratosphere) to a high temperature reservoir (e.g., atmosphere) without external work applied, cannot exist — even if it is radiatively coupled to an environment, to which it is radiatively balanced. A modern climate model is supposed to be such a variant of a perpetuum mobile of the second kind.

Their view of the second law is both clear and clearly wrong. The simplest explanation of why it wrong is that the Clausius statement refers to an entire process, not a single part of it. By isolating transfer from the colder atmosphere to the warmer surface they are neglecting heat transfer in the reverse direction. Radiative transfer is discussed below using simplified examples to appreciate how the greenhouse effect is a result of basic physics, consistent with all the laws of thermodynamics, and to show how Ref. 1 errs.

There appears to be confusion about whether the Clausius statement applies to net heat flow or simply any flows of heat. Qualitatively one can make a simple argument about interchange of thermal energy between two bodies. Consider two perfectly absorbing disks in a vacuum at temperatures TA and TB, with TA > TB. If B is isolated, it will emit thermal energy at a rate given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. If the Clausius statement referred to any flow of heat when the two disks were placed opposite each other B would have to stop radiating towards A because if it did not, heat would be transferred between a body at lower temperature to a body at higher temperature. This is obviously absurd. The ability of either disk to radiate does not depend on the presence of another disk that absorbs the emitted radiation. Further it is not necessary to restrict the heat transfer mechanism to radiation, the same argument holds when energy is transferred by molecular motion, or electrons. Thus, the Clausius statement clearly must apply only to net heat flow, and one must consider all heat flows when applying the second law and not just selected flows in isolation from the others.

Using Fig. 32 and in other places in Ref. 1., Gerlich and Tscheuschner repeatedly apply the second law to the isolated heat flow between the atmosphere and the surface and from this conclude that the greenhouse effect is impossible because it would be a perpetual motion machine of the second kind. We have shown that this is an absurd argument and thus the most basic part of their thesis fails.
One can illustrate this quantitatively in a simplified manner with an idealized example. Again we use two infinite, flat and parallel plates. In this case we will treat the two plates as infinite heat sinks. For the sake of argument Face A is at 300K, face B at 260 K, somewhat the temperatures of the surface and the level of the atmosphere at which greenhouse gases radiate to space. Using the Stefan- Boltzmann law we can calculate the thermal energy and entropy exchanges between the two plates as shown in Fig. 1 which is similar to that of Fig. 32 of Ref. 1 except that includes heat transfer in both directions, which, as was discussed above, must be the case.

Only heat is transferred, energy is conserved and, the net entropy increase of the entire system is positive as the second law requires, but equally clearly, the colder body radiates thermal energy that the hotter body absorbs. The argument of Ref. 1, which considers only part of the process is unphysical and wrong. The Clausius statement is about a complete process, not what happens to individual steps. The example makes clear that there is an interchange of heat by radiation between the colder and the warmer surface. Such an interchange occurs because the net entropy change for the process is positive.

In the idealized example the disks were considered infinite. If they were finite, they would eventually reach a common temperature, however, the argument would be essentially the same for the process with minor changes to account for the changing temperatures of the disks. The point with respect to Ref. 1 is not the details of the process, but the fact that there must be constant heat exchange from the colder to the hotter disk, as well as a larger one from the hotter to the colder.

These simplest examples can be expanded upon. Consider a spherical body whose temperature is maintained at T. Around it place two concentric shells A and B, each infinitesimally larger than the other. Surrounding all this is empty space at absolute zero . For convenience treat everything as perfect blackbodies.

First remove shell B. At equilibrium, the amount of thermal radiative energy leaving shell A will balance that impinging on it
σT4 - 2 σ TA4 = 0 so TA = T/21/4 = 0.84 T
Next insert shell B. The equilibrium conditions for both shells are
Shell A: σT4 + σTB4 -2 σTA4 = 0
Shell B:
σTA4 - 2σTB4 = 0
which can be solved to yield
TA = (2/3)1/4 T = 0.90 T
TB = (1/3)1/4 T = 0.76 T
The net energy flow from A to B is (1/3)σT4 The assumptions that the spheres are perfect blackbodies and the radii of the shells are only slightly larger than the radius of the sphere could be relaxed at the expense of making the solution more complex.

Thus, the addition of the Shell B has caused the temperature of Shell A to be higher than it would be in the absence of Shell B (~0.90 T instead of ~0.84 T), yet Shell B is at a lower temperature than Shell A. This is exactly the situation that Gerlich and Tscheuschner claim would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., that we have warmed an object (Shell A) to a higher temperature than it would have an the absence of the “back-radiation” from a cooler object (Shell B).

Of course, as one can see, the net heat flow is from Shell A to Shell B and thus the 2nd law is not in fact violated, just as is true of the earth / atmosphere case where the net flow of heat is from the earth to the atmosphere and yet the presence of the IR-absorbing atmosphere still results in the surface being warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases.

UPDATE: The next part will probably go in the final version, but I am leaving it in for now for interest. If it is to be included, it has to be made a) obvious and b) bulletproof

The entropy flux of the Earth is interesting. Suppose the Earth had no greenhouse gases. Ideally, it would, as discussed elsewhere, receive at its surface 235 W/m2 at the surface at 255K, and radiate it back as IR. The influx creates 235/255=0.92 W/m2/K entropy, but exactly the same amount is radiated out. What is not usually noted is that this allows for no creation of negative entropy on Earth except for biologically and chemically driven processes. No winds, no heat conduction. For these to happen, the Earth (which is not an isolated system) export net entropy. In other words having absorbed thermal energy from the sun, some portion of this must be transformed into free energy, capable of creating physical work to drive circulation.

Since the outflux equals the influx of radiant heat, that means that at least some of the outgoing radiation must be emitted at a temperature lower than that at which the incoming was thermalized (so Q/T is higher). Due to the greenhouse effect, this happens. A substantial part of the IR leaves from the top of the atmosphere (TOA) at a much cooler temperature. In crude terms, if the greenhouse effect raises the surface temp from 255K to 288 K, the net entropy exported is 235/255-235/288 =0.106 W/m2/K. This is the entropy created by the wind. So the greenhouse effect does more than just keep us warm. It excretes our entropy garbage.

The atmosphere can be treated as a huge heat engine, and the net entropy export is the driver.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

A burrow project?

UPDATE: Part I on the second law of thermodynamics and its criminal misuse is now available above

Gerlich and T have managed to get their paper published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (30 January 2009), 275-364. For those of you who don't have access, pretty much the same thing can be found in arXiv. Eli was dreading wading through 90 pages, when it occurred to him that the fisking had already been done and something else was needed. As a young Physicist Rabett, the bunny had often read papers with two pages of authors, examples are not hard to find, and it is daunting just to look at the As in that one

T. Aaltonen,24 J. Adelman,14 T. Akimoto,56 M. G. Albrow,18 B. Álvarez González,12 S. Amerio,44b,44a D. Amidei,35 A. Anastassov,39 A. Annovi,20 J. Antos,15 G. Apollinari,18 A. Apresyan,49 T. Arisawa,58 A. Artikov,16 W. Ashmanskas,18 A. Attal,4 A. Aurisano,54 F. Azfar,43 P. Azzurri,47d,47a
It struck Eli that we need a group paper, from Rabett Labs, published, or at the least inserted into arXiv. One of about 15-20 pages, with supplementary materials as necessary. Not a fisking but a demolition, a scientific one. To start Eli wrote a bit over the top abstract
Gerlich and Tscheuschner have published a polemic, full of error, irrelevancy, fulmination and accusation, in the International Journal of Modern Physics B. Long known from its arXiv versions, and well refuted, it is difficult to understand how their paper could appear, however, recent history has shown that such papers are occasionally published where editors and referees are not familiar with the underlying science, or themselves are outliers with respect to the field in which the paper lies. This is often the case where expertise in one area is generalized to arrogance about another. A refutation is needed lest anyone be mislead. This manuscript concentrates on the physical basis of their argument. Supplementary material deals with G&T in detail. The first forty or so pages of G&T are devoted to showing that the greenhouse effect has nothing in common with how a glass greenhouse works, a commonplace dealt with in every introductory atmospheric science course. A simple paragraph would have sufficed. Concisely, greenhouses work by restricting the outward flow of energy by convection, the greenhouse effect limits the flow of energy to space by radiation. In both cases, the system heats in order to restore the balance between the inward and outward flow of energy. etc for a bit
Lest you think this is really over the top G&Ts abstract is
The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics, such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature, it is taken for granted that such a mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper, the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33◦ is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.
Well, G&T is a good laugh. To get you started, here are G&Ts conclusions and our targets
(1) There are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effect, which explains the relevant physical phenomena. The terms “greenhouse effect” and “greenhouse gases” are deliberate misnomers.
(2) There are no calculations to determinate an average surface temperature of a planet
(a) with or without an atmosphere,
(b) with or without rotation,
(c) with or without infrared light absorbing gases. The frequently mentioned difference of 33◦C for the fictitious greenhouse effect of the atmosphere is therefore a meaningless number.
(3) Any radiation balance for the average radiant flux is completely irrelevant for the determination of the ground level air temperatures and thus for the average value as well.
(4) Average temperature values cannot be identified with the fourth root of average values of the absolute temperature’s fourth power.
(5) Radiation and heat flows do not determine the temperature distributions and their average values.
(6) Re-emission is not reflection and can, in no way, heat up the ground-level air against the actual heat flow without mechanical work.
(7) The temperature rises in the climate model computations are made plausible by a perpetuum mobile of the second kind. This is possible by setting the thermal conductivity in the atmospheric models to zero, an unphysical assumption. It would be no longer a perpetuum mobile of the second kind, if the “average” fictitious radiation balance, which has no physical justification anyway, was given up.
(8) After Schack (1972), water vapor is responsible for most of the absorption of the infrared radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere. The wavelength of the part of radiation, which is absorbed by carbon dioxide is only a small part of the full infrared spectrum and does not change considerably by raising its partial pressure.
(9) Infrared absorption does not imply “backwarming.” Rather, it may lead to a drop of the temperature of the illuminated surface.
(10) In radiation transport models with the assumption of local thermal equilibrium, it is assumed that the absorbed radiation is transformed into the thermal movement of all gas molecules. There is no increased selective re-emission of infrared radiation at the low temperatures of the Earth’s atmosphere.
(11) In climate models, planetary or astrophysical mechanisms are not accounted for properly. The time dependency of the gravity acceleration by the Moon and the Sun (high tide and low tide) and the local geographic situation, which is important for the local climate, cannot be taken into account.
(12) Detection and attribution studies, predictions from computer models in chaotic systems, and the concept of scenario analysis lie outside the framework of exact sciences, in particular, theoretical physics.
(13) The choice of an appropriate discretization method and the definition of appropriate dynamical constraints (flux control) having become a part of computer modeling is nothing but another form of data curve fitting. The mathematical physicist v. Neumann once said to his young collaborators: “If you allow me four free parameters I can build a mathematical model that describes exactly everything that an elephant can do. If you allow me a fifth free parameter, the model I build will forecast that the elephant will fly.” (cf. Ref. 185.)
(14) Higher derivative operators (e.g., the Laplacian) can never be represented on grids with wide meshes. Therefore, a description of heat conduction in global computer models is impossible. The heat conduction equation is not and cannot properly be represented on grids with wide meshes.
(15) Computer models of higher dimensional chaotic systems, best described by nonlinear partial differential equations (i.e., Navier–Stokes equations), fundamentally differ from calculations where perturbation theory is applicable andsuccessive improvements of the predictions — by raising the computing power — are possible. At best, these computer models may be regarded as a heuristic game.
(16) Climatology misinterprets unpredictability of chaos known as butterfly phenomenon as another threat to the health of the Earth.
and some previous research:

Jochen Ebel has posted the most complete refutation, line by line, in German
Arthur Smith has destroyed G&Ts argument about average temperature in arXiv
Much stuff in Rabett Run, here and here and here and here and here
Atmoz (sorely missed)
UK Weather World
Real Climate, where gavin said
It’s garbage. A ragbag of irrelevant physics strung together incoherently. For instance, apparently energy balance diagrams are wrong because they don’t look like Feynman diagrams and GCMs are wrong because they don’t solve Maxwell’s equations. Not even the most hardened contrarians are pushing this one…. - gavin
He missed on that last one.

Eli wants arguments with references, experimental data and theoretical calculations.

You too can be a published author.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nikolai Ivanovitch Lobachevsky is a lot of bunnies name

In the March 6 Science a bunch of spoilsports, Tara C. Long, Mounir Errami, Angela C. George, Zhaohui Sun, and Harold R. Garner, ran software through MEDLINE and found that there were ~ 200 duplicates with different authors

Their name in Minsk is cursed, cause they found out who published first (and second).

It's rather scary, They have identifies 212 pairs of pretty much identical papers with different authors

The average text similarity between an original article and its duplicate was 86.2%, and the average number of shared references was 73.1%. However, only 47 (22.2%) duplicates cited the original article as a reference. Further, 71.4% of the manuscript pairs shared at least one highly similar or identical table or figure. Of the 212 duplicates, 42% also contained incorrect calculations, data inconsistencies, and reproduced or manipulated photographs.
So then Long and Co wrote ~160 of the authors (first and second) and the editors and got ~145 responses. There were some beauts:

From a first published author
"I have no statement. I cannot prove that this is plagiarism. Even if it is, what can be done?"
From someone very unclear on the concept:
"I would like to offer my apology to the authors of the original paper for not seeking the permission for using some part of their paper. I was not aware of the fact I am required to take such permission."
even better, the Shakespeare's monkey defense:
"There are probably only 'x' amount of word combinations that could lead to 'y' amount of statements. … I have no idea why the pieces are similar, except that I am sure I do not have a good enough memory--and it is certainly not photographic--to have allowed me to have 'copied' his piece…. I did in fact review [the earlier article] for whatever journal it was published in."
and from an editor who published one of the copies
"Looks like [the author of the later article] did it again in 2001. This example is a bit more embarrassing because the author of the original paper is [the] editor of the journal where [the author of the later article] published the copied work. Looks like we will have to publish two retractions."

Hubbert Hearts Hansen

The Hubbert curve was introduced by, Hubbert, M. King. It predicts that production of any natural resource will follow a bell shaped curve, a reasonable idea. The background is that the yield individual exploitable deposits ranges from a little bit in very rich digs to a lot in poor ones. At first before demand has grown, the rich deposits are mined, as demand grows, the more common medium size lodes are mined, but we get better at it so the net production increases until finally only the really lean stuff is left and production falls as the cost per unit soars. The result is that production as a function of time follows a bell shaped curve. The idea took off when Hubbert predicted the peak production of oil in the US.

Richard Kerr in Science discusses Ol' King Hubbert's coal curve. The general way of estimating coal is to try and gauge the amount from exploration. Lots of holes have been dug and geologists think they have a good idea of what is underneath. If you do this, you get estimates of 100+ years of reserves and a lot of CO2 pumped into the air during combustion. These estimates have been declining sharply in recent years as the rock jocks get serious. David Rutledge has been looking at the estimates for coal reserves and finds them to be systematically overestimated. He quotes Kenneth Deffeyess

When USGS workers tried to estimate resources, they acted, well, like bureaucrats. Whenever a judgment call was made about choosing a statistical method, the USGS almost invariably tended to pick the one that gave the higher estimate.”
Rutledge estimates that 90% of coal reserves will be gone by 2070 (he says 2069, but that is engineer speak). Other groups put peak coal at 2020. In any case what is left after 2070 is gonna not be very good. You can, if you try hard enough burn dirt, which is what the Germans do with brown coal.

First the good news, if coal reserves are a factor of four or less than estimated, burning coal will bring us into a dangerous area, 3 C higher temperatures, but not necessarily a disastrous one.

The other news is, as Rutledge says, we have to start shifting energy sources right now in order to deal with the loss of fossil fuel sources as well as climate change

The bad news is tar sands and shale.

Eli is a cheery bunny, but you knew that


Really little bunnies, It's OK if you are a Denialist. Remember Mike Tobis' personal blogstorm? Well, as they say, IOKIYAAD when Art Robinson, of the 17,000 club, aka the Oregon Petition, talks at the Heartland conference about

12:00 noon - 2:00 pm Lunch and keynote speakers
Art Robinson - Nobel Prize for Death
and yes, if you sit through the video, he does say that hundreds of millions will die if Fat Al gets his way

Or, when Christopher Monckton mouths off
Now the very same soi-disant “Greens” are killing millions by starvation in a dozen of the world’s poorest regions. Their biofuel scam, a nasty by-product of their shoddy, senseless, failed, falsified, fraudulent “global warming” bugaboo, has turned millions of acres of agricultural land from growing food for humans to growing fuel for automobiles. If we let them, they will carelessly kill tens of millions more by pursuing Osamabamarama’s stated ambition of shutting down nine-tenths of the economies of the West and flinging us back to the Stone Age without even the right to light fires in our caves.
Ethon has been using a lot of mouthwash, waiting with baited breath on the Front Range, for the indignation coming out of Colorado. Wanna bet he's gonna be waiting a long time?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It gains something in translation

Our correspondent in Japan writes

Steve Bloom and Hank Roberts pointed me towards this article in The Register, which has been splashed all over the septic end of the bogusphere (I think I'll adopt that typo). I'm relieved to find that it's all a fuss about nothing. The "report" is simply the collation of one of these popular-but-pointless sceptic-vs-scientist debates, and has no official status. The various documents surrounding it are here on the JSER front page (only in Japanese), just below the headline "Global warming: What is the scientific truth?". The pdf labelled 本文 is the main report. The articles immediately under that are various documents by two of the contributors, Kiminori Itoh (伊藤) and my colleague Seita Emori (江守), who was the only climate scientist involved in the event and who tried to present the scientific case but was obviously rather outnumbered. Those documents have some pictures in so may be partially readable, even to non-Japanese readers. You may notice a citation or two for yours truly.
and then goes on to say some amusing things about some of the participants, like gone emeritus, over-promoted, etc. But dear bunnies it is hard to contain stuff like this when you have such papers as the Australian

THREE senior Japanese scientists separately engaged in climate-change research have strongly questioned the validity of the man-made global-warming model that underpins the drive by the UN and most developed-nation governments to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"I believe the anthropogenic (man-made) effect for climate change is still only one of the hypotheses to explain the variability of climate," Kanya Kusano told The Weekend Australian.

It could take 10 to 20 years more research to prove or disprove the theory of anthropogenic climate change, said Dr Kusano, a research group leader with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science's Earth Simulator project.

"Before anyone noticed, this hypothesis has been substituted for truth," writes Shunichi Akasofu, founding director of the University of Alaska's International Arctic Research Centre.

and the Marc Morano telegraph service to promote such things

Alert: '90 per cent of the participants do not believe the UN IPCC report' -
Japanese scientists challenge warming claims: (Australian Sun)
Morano, Marc (EPW) [
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 10:12 AM
Marc, of course, is Darryl Inhofe's soon to be ex-climate troll, but Inhofe, is pretty good by himself at making trouble as can be seen in this report from the El Paso Times

The inspector general for the Commerce Department is trying to force a prominent environmental group to reveal who leaked the Bush administration's plans to weaken the Endangered Species Act just weeks before President Barack Obama took office.

The investigation was triggered by Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, senior Republican on the Committee on Environment and Public Works. The case suggests that, under at least certain circumstances, the government will continue to pursue and identify federal employees who disclose sensitive documents about controversial U.S. policies—a common practice under the Bush administration.

which is all over the environmental blogs, with some not very nice things being said about Zinser, let alone Inhofe. Will someone remind Eli why he has to be a nice bunny?