Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Revenge is a Dish Best Eaten Cold

Real Climate brings word about Jens-Uwe Grooß and Rolf Müller trying to drive the silver spike into Qing Bing Lu's cosmic ray driven ozone destruction mechanism, but Eli predicts that zombies always rise. Eli had a bunch of things to say about this idea in early 2010, none very nice.

We will get on to a bit of the science in a moment, but what revenge the bunnies ask. Well, QB is at Waterloo, which also houses, and has housed a whole bunch of very good photochemists, spectroscopists and atmospheric scientists. Also, as Eli said at the time

Waterloo is the lead institution for the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) on board the Canadian SciSat, up there measuring the CFCs Lu is babbling about (and Eli is being nice).
The Rabett talked to one of the ACE participants at the time. Conversation went "You gotta be kidding". "Well yeah he is a clown, but he doesn't listen to anyone and we tried". Eli had the impression that other members of the ACE team would not have been as kind.

Grooß and Müller make considerable use of ACE data in their refutation, and at the end acknowledge some of Santa's helpers
We also thank the ACE-FTS science team for producing and providing their high-quality data sets. The ACE mission was funded by the Canadian Space Agency.
It must have given them some pleasure.

As to the substance of Grooß and Müller's put down, it starts from the observation that they made in a series of papers (see also RR links): heavily smoothed correlations without considering confounding factors is not causation. The loss of CFCs as a function of time and place does not fit Lu's mechanism, especially if you don't fiddle the data. As they say
the ACE-FTS measurements of CFC-12 and CH4 in the Antarctic stratosphere in winter and spring (Fig. 1) show no signature of a chemical loss of CFC-12 for a given CH4 mixing ratio. Figure 19 of Lu (2010a) shows a comparison of HALOE CH4 and CLAES CFC-12. Here it is important that this comparison is based on measurements of the two tracers that are observed in comparable air masses. However, these two instruments have different viewing geometries and therefore different latitudinal coverage. Moreover, the HALOE and CLAES data shown by Lu (2010a) represent different years (1992-1998 versus 1992).
This, if you watched the videos, is Pat Michaels' tactic (Michaels conveniently forgets to mention sulfate aerosol effects when discussing atmospheric warming: start @ ~ 1:30 and listen to Ben Santer @ ~3:30).

Grooß and Müller show that the concentrations of CFCs do not change in a manner consistent with Lu's predictions/mechanisms, but entirely consistent with photolytic decomposition. The mechanism is a "giant Cl- and F- enhancements in electron induced dissociation" of CFCs on ices.

OK say Grooß and Müller, let's look at the ACE data. If Lu is correct, the concentration of CFCs relative to tracers such as N2O and CH4 will decrease during winter and early spring in the Antarctic. So they look at N2O, and nope nothing there. Well says QB, in one of the 2010 papers, maybe N2O will have the same large enhancement. OK say Grooß and Müller, lets look at CH4. Nope, nothing there.

Well, what if Lu says the same thing happens for methane. Unfortunately ACE provides absolute measurements for methane and there is no large decrease in the Antarctic region for winter and early spring. In short, the CFCs are not rapidly decomposing on ice particles during the winter and spring, so Lu's mechanism is not working.

But wait, there is more. Chlorine and ClO, the guys that catalytically destroy ozone, become available in the Arctic winter when there are no ice particles in the stratosphere and early in the Antarctic winter before the ice particles form. Hmm, that is not what Lu's hypothesis would predict.

And then there are additional confusions, Lu presents a simple equation to predict ozone column concentrations, but
Also, as pointed out earlier (Müller and Grooß, 2009), the absolute value of the ozone column average is not correctly calculated by Lu (2009). This is also the case for the ozone averages reported by Lu (2010a). The “October average zonal mean total O3” over Antarctica (60-90 S) in 2006 derived from OMI data should be 211 DU, not 181 DU as stated in the first paragraph of Section 7 of Lu (2010a). Therefore, predictions of future polar total ozone values based on Eqs. 7 and 8 of Lu (2010a) cannot be considered meaningful.
Perhaps more tomorrow.


ozonegate said...

Congratualtions to Jens-Uwe Grooß and Rolf Müller! Indeed, it is a big achievement.

The following is a fantastic statement:
"the ACE-FTS measurements of CFC-12 and CH4 in the Antarctic stratosphere in winter and spring (Fig. 1) show no signature of a chemical loss of CFC-12 for a given CH4 mixing ratio. Figure 19 of Lu (2010a) shows a comparison of HALOE CH4 and CLAES CFC-12. Here it is important that this comparison is based on measurements of the two tracers that are observed in comparable air masses. However, these two instruments have different viewing geometries and therefore different latitudinal coverage. Moreover, the HALOE and CLAES data shown by Lu (2010a) represent different years (1992-1998 versus 1992)".

However, one might have a look at the ACE-FTS satellite latitude coverage at the ACE website (http://www.ace.uwaterloo.ca/mission_orbit.html) and the NASA UARS satellite (http://umpgal.gsfc.nasa.gov/www_root/homepage/uars-science.html). Then it might clear that Jens-Uwe Grooß and Rolf Müller's data in Fig. 1 of their Atmospheric Environment paper and Fig. 2 of Phys. Rev. Lett. paper were just manipulated (The ACE-FTS does not cover the South Pole most of the time)! Moreover, the UARS's HALOE and CLAES do NOT have different viewing geometries and therefore different latitudinal coverages!

Great job, Indeed!

D McC said...


One of the things that bugs me about this story is that the Waterloo press office promotes his work.

QBL's work keeps getting thoroughly debunked by Müller (it's kind of funny, he cites the debunks but never lifts a finger to try and rebut, yet his papers get published. We all know this. Waterloo should not be promoting this nonsense, for one thing it makes their school look bad.

So, Eli, if you are talking to your buds and acquaintances up there on the frozen tundra - especially the ones who are affiliated with Waterloo!!! - please mention this to them. Somebody in the press office needs to understand that his work is nonsense; promoting only lowers the school's rep.

I can dig up some press release examples...

Chip Knappenberger said...

Pat was tallying up the percentage contributions of the factors that lead to warming, not cooling...



EliRabett said...

CLAES and HALOE were tossed into space on the UARS from the shuttle in September 2003. CLEAS looked at IR emission from the atmospheric limb and could measure CFCs and CH4, etc. It only lasted 19 months till May 1993. HALOE was a filter instrument that measured absorption from solar occutations. It did not measure CFCs, but did measure HF, HCl, CH4 and ozone. ACE-FTS is an FTIR instrument that observes during solar occultations(See the links for details given below)

HALOE only measured ~ 30 times a day when the sun was rising or setting across a limb of the atmosphere. Since CLEAS measured emission, it could measure along the entire orbital track, but would never be pointed at the sun which would have swamped the detector. In addition, optical differences mean that the region of the atomsphere that was being looked would be somewhat different. That's one QB.

UARS has an orbital inclination of 57 degrees, SciSAT (which carries ACE) has a higher inclination, 75 degrees. That means that SciSAT can observe from 85 N to 85 S, while CLAES and HALOE could only observe from 80 N to 80 S (actually from 34 to 80, and ever 36 days they would yaw the satellite to observe from 80 to 34. . .). None of the satellites could actually observe over the poles, or even spend most of their times observing over the poles. In fact, CLAES could not observe the South Polar region during the one Austral winter it was working because scatter and emission from polar stratospheric clouds screwed up the detector. So we have another QB.

Thank you for dropping by.

EliRabett said...

Dear Chip,

That's like really, really weak. Temperature, or as your friend RPSr. likes to say energy content, aka internal energy, are the sum of heat flows, that warm and cool the system.

So let us look at the infamous bathtub. Yr. employer says, to measure the height of the water in the tub we only need to look at the water flowing INTO the tub, and not the amount that drain out.

OK. Whatever floats your rubber ducky.

Molazi said...

Hi D McC,

You are worrying that the Waterloo press office would promote QBL's work. Don't worry. I have sent them an email to ask for stopping the promotion of QBL's work. We are safe!

Chip Knappenberger said...


The IPCC opened the door to parsing the quantity “observed warming.” We stepped through. I laid out the logic we used in the link in my last comment. This keeps my ducky dry. Other logic could be applied as well, as I also describe in the aforementioned link, and to which you seem to subscribe. This wets my ducky.

FWIW, the IPCC’s statement that “It is likely that increases in greenhouse gas concentrations alone would have caused more warming than observed because volcanic and anthropogenic aerosols have offset some warming that would otherwise have taken place” is a much better construction than is “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in greenhouse gas concentrations” and much less contentious.


Hank Roberts said...

> Michaels conveniently forgets to mention sulfate aerosol effects
> when discussing atmospheric warming

"advocacy science"

"Santer/Schmidt/Nielsen-Gammon/Curry cried “foul!” claiming that we have committed a sin of omission by not factoring in the negative climate forcing contributed by sulfate aerosols."
-- CK at masterresource, cited above

No, CK, they didn't say "sin of omission" -- a religious notion.

The foul is not playing by the rules of science--omitting some of the numbers so your arithmetic sums to the answer you wanted to get.

"On a purely computational level, there is a rather large difference between:
Starting from evidence, and then crunching probability flows, in order to output a probable conclusion. (Writing down all the signs and portents, and then flowing forward to a probability on the bottom line which depends on those signs and portents.)
Starting from a conclusion, and then crunching probability flows, in order to output evidence apparently favoring that conclusion. (Writing down the bottom line, and then flowing backward to select signs and portents for presentation on the lines above.)"

In sworn testimony, that would be omission in law:

"omission n. 1) failure to perform an act agreed to, where there is a duty to an individual or the public to act (including omitting to take care) or is required by law. Such an omission may give rise to a lawsuit in the same way as a negligent or improper act."

As advocates, you aren't doing science.

EliRabett said...

Naw Hank, think of it as another Hanson scenario eraser gambit. Pat has form in these things.

willard said...

In that blog post, Chip links back to this thread:


Pat Michaels never replied to Vaughan Pratt.

J Bowers said...

Didn't John Nielsen-Gammon address Chip Knappenberger's questions in an exchange between them both at Climate Etc last year?

Hank Roberts said...

Wow: Vaughan Pratt says Michaels _was_ sworn in, and got it wrong.
Is that the post Michaels and Chip never responded to?

That would make sense; the advocate will ignore anything that can't be argued, and hope that question is not raised again, leaving it out of the record.

Hank Roberts said...

Back into the vicinity of the topic, student opinions vary: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=647357

Chip Knappenberger said...


Vaughn Pratt's comment that you referred to over at Climate Etc. was rather far ranging. As to the specific numbers that Pat used in his testimony, I responded that it was a simply typo in Pat's testimony. As I pointed out, Pat’s calculations are laid out in his E&E paper and confirm Vaughn Pratt's numbers. So, I wouldn't say that there wasn't a response given.


Hank Roberts said...

Ah, Chip says it was a typo.
Someone then asks, what about the several other problems raised by Vaughan Pratt:
Here is the relevant part:
> [H]is whole methodology for computing bias is flawed [.]"

Chip says people should read E'n'E for the answer.
Vaughan says Stanford doesn't subscribe.
Then the arithmetic question is dropped.

I'd suggest Chip and Michaels review Spencer on the general question of how you need both addition and subtraction to get a good answer:

"Since the temperature of an object is a function of both energy gain AND energy loss, the temperature of the plate (or anything else) can be raised in 2 basic ways: (1) increase the rate of energy gain, or (2) decrease the rate of energy loss. The temperature of everything is determined by energy flows in and out, and one needs to know both to determine whether the temperature will go up or down. This is a consequence of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics involving conservation of energy."


The energy conservation laws are not in the US Code; perhaps Congress doesn't need to reach that question. Some (not I) would argue that the US need give no deference to foreign laws in making policy decisions.

EliRabett said...

Eli calls spinach, and a tasty dish of Michaels stew it is. As has been pointed out to him numerous times, all you can measure is the temperature and the energy flows in and out of the system. If you look at the changes in temperature and want to relate it to the changes in energy flows, you can't separate them out, this little Joule from CO2 increase, and that one from solar insolation.

That he and Chip even try that game is an insult.

Chip Knappenberger said...


The IPCC started the game by claiming that “most of the observed increase in global average temperature” blah, blah, blah. Presumably, then, you can parse the “observed increase in global average temperature” into its constituent parts which contribute some percentage of the observed increase. I appreciate your desire to want to tally up all the various forcings, both positive and negative and then arrive at some net forcing value which then links to the total temperature change. The rules to that game are pretty clearly laid out in IPCC’s Table of forcing changes (e.g. AR4, Figure SPM.2). But that is not the question we are answering. The question we are answering, and which the IPCC seems to have opened for discussion, is what factors contributed what percentage to the observed temperature. If CO2 were the only positive forcing agent, and temperatures were increasing, then by definition, it would seem, CO2 contributes 100% to the increase, regardless of whether its concentration doubled, tripled, or increased by 2%. Add in all the negative forcings you want, but as long as the temperature increases, CO2 (as the only positive forcing in my example) is responsible for 100% of the increase—no matter what the quantitative value of that increase is. But, add another positive forcing agent, and the percentage of the observed temperature increase contributed by CO2 must drop below 100%.

Now, some may suggest, but not I, that this is a silly game we play and that this is of no useful scientific value. In which case I would say, well, the IPCC started it and tries to make hay from it. So, it seems fair to play along. Perhaps next time, they should think up a better wording to describe the situation (and better reflect the concept that you all propose, if indeed that is what they are trying to describe).


Hank Roberts said...

You can also add negative forcing agents; the percentage of the observed temperature increase contributed by CO2 may well be more than 100%, nowadays -- given that you understand negative numbers and what Spencer said about the First Law. Do you?

EliRabett said...

Ah yes, we pass from the Michaelsonian eraser to the if pigs were horses cows would fly school of argument. It's summertime and the parsing is excellent. As Hank and everyone else who doesn't buy what Chip is selling, has said, their is a huge difference between blather that CO2 increases predict more warming than has been observed, and that CO2 increases BY THEMSELVES predict more warming than has been observed IN THE ABSENCE of other negative forcings WHICH HAVE BEEN OBSERVED. The observed warming is consistent with the observed sum of both negative and positive forcings

Chip and Pat's is a rather dishonest attempt leaving the impression that CO2 forcings overpredict warming, the second is a fair summary of what has happened.

Anonymous said...

What the eff does Chip and Pat's exploits have to do with Lu's drivel?

Or are we talking analogies, that is: Lu's drivel = Pat and Chip's drivel? Or is that Soon's drivel = Pat and Chip's drivel?

Oh, has Pat found his error bars yet? ;) LOL.

Anonymous said...

Eli says,

"Chip and Pat's is a rather dishonest attempt...."

Stating the obvious, but always nice to hear someone call them on their sophistry and deception. I suppose Soon's fudged polar bear paper had a typo in it too ;)

Desperate times for denialists, but we are very familiar with their tricks and lies after all these years.

Chip Knappenberger said...


"Chip and Pat's is a rather dishonest attempt leaving the impression that CO2 forcings overpredict warming..."

Actually, it's a rather honest attempt.


Anonymous said...

"Actually, it's a rather honest attempt."

That would be very funny if it were not so disingenuous. I can't speak for Chip, but Pat would not know honesty if it slapped him in the face.

Keep tinkering fellas....

Anonymous said...

I've always read "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures" in the sense that if you didn't have an increase in GHGs over the past century, most of the observed warming would not have existed. Yes, this means that in some cases, several substances could individually be responsible for "most of the observed warming". Maybe it could have been worded more clearly, but this is the first time I've heard anyone raise Chip's definition as a possible interpretation. If I have a trillion dollar deficit, and I just spent a trillion dollars on wars overseas, are those wars responsible for the deficit? Or do I have to take into account that I also spend 600 billion dollars each on Medicare, Social Security, debt financing, domestic defense spending, and other discretionary spending, in which case my trillion overseas war spending is responsible for 1/4 of the deficit? But that doesn't make sense, because if I hadn't gone overseas, the debt wouldn't exist, whereas if it was responsible for 1/4 of the deficit, eliminating the wars should only eliminate 1/4 of the deficit. And yes, one could also argue that Medicare and Social Security together were responsible for the deficit, and that would also be true, because eliminating them would eliminate the deficit.

I also think John N-G very ably pointed out that Chip's interpretation just doesn't fly for another reason, because it depends on how you breakout other forcings (like whether you separate black carbon, or include it in aerosols).


Anonymous said...

Michaels & Knappenberger also ignore the fact that the very paper they point to which shows a very high BC forcing (Ramanathan & Carmichael), actually shows a _larger_ net negative forcing from all aerosols together than the IPCC shows.

dhogaza said...

"Actually, it's a rather honest attempt."

Chip's love for laywerly parsing of IPCC wording opens the door to discussion as to just how dishonest an attempt can be while meeting the standard of "rather (but not entirely) honest".

Chip can go first ...

dhogaza said...

And "laywerly" was a typo, though given that I'm not under oath, I'd say it's hardly important ...

Anonymous said...


Sometimes they flirt with the line, others they just simply jump right across it. Have the bunnies seen this latest crap/lies/distortion/misinformation from Michaels?


Lucky for the denialists like Chip and Pat, there is a sucker born every day and Forbes is now that sucker. And that smile on Pat's face in the op ed header shows that he knows that all too well.

davey said...

Forbes isn't a sucker, Forbes is an enabler.