Friday, April 24, 2015

More from Andy Lacis

Andy Lacis comments on Judith Curry's visit to the hall of mirrors at And Then There is Physics, but in the spirit of the think, allow Eli to repost.
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Let me toss on here what I posted on ClimateEtc in regard to the recent (April 15, 2015) Science, Space, and Technology Committee Congressional Hearing:

As was to be expected, Congressional hearings are more about political posturing rather than being a directed effort of objective information gathering. Naturally, there was the perfunctory public posturing of pretending to appear “fair and balanced”. But the unmistakable overall flavor was really one of there-we-g0-again legalistic tribunes where selected legal briefs are presented on behalf of well-known staked-out positions by convenient plaintiffs who get to argue the virtues of their special points of view on their favorite issues regarding global warming and global climate change.

What went missing in this Congressional climate forum was any kind of real balancing testimony from experts in the field who have spent decades to analyze this important topic of global climate change. Regrettably, there was no real discussion as to what we actually do know about the global warming problem, and why we know it.

But, looking on the brighter side, perhaps there may have been a small modicum of progress having been made in that the likes of Senator James Inhofe (R, Oklahoma) and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R, California) were not out there lambasting global warming and climate change as being the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on humanity. It appears that perhaps at this point in time, making such blatant denials of reality could be perceived as being unnecessarily clueless and ignorant.

But then there is also the contrary example of courageous conviction, and understanding of the global warming reality, exhibited by former Congressman Bob Inglis (R, South Carolina), who paid the price for being politically incorrect. One can only hope that at some point, pragmatic sanity will eventually prevail.

Even some of the staunchest of the global warming doubters have now grudgingly come around to acknowledge that CO2 does indeed absorb thermal radiation (but they want to claim that the absorption is small, that CO2 is saturated, and that water vapor actually absorbs more strongly); that while there might have been some increase in global temperature (it all has been mostly due to natural variability, and as such, it has been beneficial); and that while humans might have contributed to the rise in atmospheric CO2 (it has not been significant, and besides, the plants have benefitted from more CO2).

While there was nothing that was specifically erroneous in these Congressional Hearing presentations, it was the usual problem of half-truths, misdirection, and non-sequiturs being used to paint a picture that is not an accurate description of where we stand in our understanding of the current climate situation.

Part of the problem may also be attributable to the flexible nature of some basic definitions. What exactly is meant by this common term “global warming”? Literally, the term “global warming” would signify that the global-mean temperature is rising, and if the global-mean temperature were to be decreasing, the situation would then become “global cooling”. But this frequently used term has also acquired a more technical meaning as it is being used in climate science. As the key cause and principal component of global warming, it is the rise in atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases that act to increase the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, and induce more water vapor in the atmosphere as a feedback effect. This inevitably leads to an increase in global surface temperature. This is really what the term “global warming” represents.

But there are other factors that also affect the global temperature. These can be caused by changes in solar irradiance, volcanic aerosols, and the natural variability of the ocean. Changes in solar irradiance and volcanic aerosols are typically known accurately enough. It is the variability of the ocean that is the principal source of uncertainly, such as a strong negative branch of the PDO cycle that can keep the global temperature from rising while atmospheric CO2 continues to increase unabated.

It is important to remember that the present-day changes affecting the global climate consist of two basic components: (1) the ongoing global warming component fueled by increasing atmospheric CO2, and (2) the natural variability of the climate system that consists of random-looking fluctuations about a slowly evolving zero reference point of the climate system.

It would be a misdirection to suggest that global warming has just somehow stalled simply because there has been only a little rise in global surface temperature since the prominent peak in 1998. There was no comparable “pause” in the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase during this time period. Instead, the global energy imbalance of the Earth increased as the heat energy that would have been warming the ground surface was being diverted toward heating the ocean. This puts more unrealized global warming into the “pipeline”, from which it will be emerging as the PDO cycle shifts toward its positive phase.

The natural variability of the climate system also makes it difficult to infer climate sensitivity to the radiative forcing by atmospheric CO2. Reliable estimates of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (equivalent to about 3 K for doubled CO2) are obtained from the geological record and from climate model calculations. The transient climate sensitivity is by definition a moving target since it depends on the rate of change of heat transport into the ocean (which itself is a changing factor), and estimating the transient climate sensitivity from observational data is particularly difficult (and uncertain), because it is necessary to know all contributing forcings in order to disentangle the feedback contributions from the total climate system response. While the CO2 forcing may be known accurately, it is big uncertainty as to the “virtual” forcings due to the natural variability of the ocean that are the most difficult to determine. Thus, estimates of the transient climate sensitivity (whether high, or low), will continue to remain highly uncertain.

In view of the above, the suggestion that climate models are running “too hot” compared to observations is disingenuous. Climate models may well run “cold” while simulating El Nino events, and run “hot” while simulating the global temperature during a strong negative PDO. Both climate models and the real world exhibit a form of unforced natural variability. And in both cases, this natural variability is quasi-chaotic, with no real way to coordinate the phasing of this variability. Any short-term comparisons between climate model results and observations need to keep this in mind. To sidestep this problem, the time period for comparisons must be long enough for the natural variability contributions to average out.

Granted, the definition of “dangerous” climate change is ambiguous. And there is probably no real way to quantify just what “dangerous” actually represents. Perhaps the example of the Titanic may help.
At what point did the situation on the Titanic become dangerous? There was no perceived danger when the Titanic left Southampton for New York. Most of the passengers were still dry and alive some two hours after hitting the iceberg. Did the danger begin when the iceberg was spotted, but there was not enough time to avoid the collision? Or was the danger already brewing when Captain Smith ignored reports of icebergs and continued full steam ahead? There might be some relevant parallels to draw.

Global-mean winds, global-mean temperatures, and global-mean precipitation, compared between a doubled CO2 climate and the current climate would not appear to be consequentially different. But it is the extreme weather events that cause the damage. Whether humans get blamed, or not blamed, neither adds nor detracts from the problem. Global warming puts more heat, water vapor, and latent energy into the atmosphere. And that is the fuel that makes the extreme weather events more extreme. So, there actually is a real relationship to be had between global warming (human induced) and a growing danger of more severe weather extremes. A better studied quantification of this relationship would certainly be very useful.

It would seem more appropriate to assign “wickedness” to problems that are more specifically related to witches. The climate problem, while clearly complex and complicated, is not incomprehensible. Current climate models do a very credible job in simulating current climate variability and seasonal changes. Present-day weather models make credible weather forecasts – and there is a close relationship. Most of the cutting edge current climate modeling research is aimed at understanding the physics of ocean circulation and the natural variability of the climate system that this generates. While this may be the principal source of uncertainty in predicting regional climate change and weather extreme events, this uncertainty in modeling the climate system’s natural variability is clearly separate and unrelated to the radiative energy balance physics that characterize the global warming problem. The appropriate uncertainty that exists in one area of climate modeling doe not automatically translate to all other components of the climate system.

Besides, the persistent uncertainties regarding the natural variability of the climate system are not the real problem that we face. The real problem is the continued increase in atmospheric CO2 that is causing the ongoing global warming. And, the basic facts and physics for understanding this aspect of global warming are all well established and well understood.

There always seem to be temptations to minimize the consequences of the global warming problem, or the cost-effectiveness of proposed efforts taken or suggested to counteract the global warming problem. That is just what Steven Koonin attempted to do in a previous post, nor does it appear to be different in this Congressional hearing.

Typically, the economic costs of taking action to address the global warming problem are always cited as being unnecessarily excessive. This was true of the proposed expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the levees and shoreline in New Orleans prior to Katrina, and in New York prior to Sandy. Had this money actually been spent to make New York and New Orleans more hurricane-proof, we might never have known that hundreds of billions worth of hurricane damage might have been averted.

The economic cost of combating global warming is likely to be many hundreds of billions of dollars. But has anybody tried to calculate how many trillions of dollars it would cost to relocate Miami, New York, Washington DC, and New Orleans to higher ground? Surely, there are bound to be many other economic costs to tally up, brought on by the inaction to counteract the impending consequences that global warming is sure to bring.

Clearly, decisions will need to be made, and they will need to be made sooner rather than later. Is there anybody in Congress who is capable of making the hard decisions? It is actually important to first fully understand the problem before deciding to act, or in justifying the decision not to act.

79 comments:

Russell Seitz said...

Andy's clearly right in stating :

" The climate problem, while clearly complex and complicated, is not incomprehensible. "

But when it comes to complex dynamic systems , "not incomprehensible " amounts to a reluctant synonym for

" We are still trying to understand."

But just as

"The appropriate uncertainty that exists in one area of climate modeling doe not automatically translate to all other components of the climate system. "

neither do those uncertainties allow scientific closure --as long as models of the climate system's behavior decay into chaos on shorter time scales than human history, climate modeling will remain prey to misrepresentation by those well enough paid, or ideologically bloody minded enough to do so :

the trouble with the climate wars is that neither political side, activist or obscurantist, really gives a damn about the science, and those presuming to speak for it invite damnation by both.




Brandon R. Gates said...

Russell,

" We are still trying to understand."

Unconventional wisdom holds that 30 more years of "real data" (read: RSS/UAH) and we'll be able to figure out what's really going on.

Russell Seitz said...

No, Brandon- we are still trying to model, the better to understand.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Shorter Seitz: We don't know everything, so we know nothing.

Russell Seitz said...

Don't be a dumb bunny, Barton- nobody believes that.

Fernando Leanme said...

Weird. I used to spend a lot of time downplaying our computer model's accuracy, and the risks involved, when explaining choices to my higher ups.

I guess my approach is quite different, when a very costly undertaking or a dangerous outcome are in play I always try to make sure the products are "boilerplate". On the other hand, I got a sense that quite a few climate dudes are iready fire aim types. Including the IPCC with their cockamamie glaciers in Tibet and similar stories.

I think you got this backwards. You would get much better results lowering the tone and being less hyperbolicsesquedalimiystic about climate models.

BBD said...

The modulz are an aspect of our knowledge, not the sole source of it. See: palaeoclimate.

Incessant misrepresentation along the lines of 'modulz are iffy so no need to do anything yet' is tedious beyond belief.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Then what is your point, Dr. Seitz? Why the continual rhetorical placing of yourself between "deniers" and "activists," as if truth lay somewhere in the middle? Why keep harping on the fact that we don't understand everything about the climate system? The simple fact is that we don't HAVE to understand everything about it to know some things for sure--like adding more greenhouse gases to the air, heats the surface, and heating the surface melts ice caps, dries out continental interiors, and soaks coastlines. That much we do know.

Brandon R. Gates said...

Russell,

No, Brandon- we are still trying to model, the better to understand.

Hah! Silly warmist thinks he can determine reality from computer programs. 20 years of reality falsify your alarmist video games, Sietz. Just you wait. In 30 years I'll easily be able to show you with non-adjusted, incorruptible satellite data that everything turned out just fine!

BBD said...

We know something else about sustained releases of GHGs:

- Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction
- Triassic–Jurassic extinction
- End Permian
- Late Devonian
- Ordovician–Silurian extinction events

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

Obviously those species weren't fit to survive -- lacking our superior technology, they were not able to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Good riddance as far as I'm concerned.

andthentheresphysics said...

I was going to do this too, but you beat me to it :-) . Certainly a comment that deserved to highlighted more.

Lars Karlsson said...

BRG

"Obviously those species weren't fit to survive -- lacking our superior technology, they were not able to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Good riddance as far as I'm concerned."

And good riddance to many species today, lacking our superior technology, I presume.

Hank Roberts said...

> The economic cost of combating
> global warming is likely to be
> many hundreds of billions ...

> ... many trillions of dollars ... > to relocate Miami, New York,
> Washington DC, and New Orleans

Problems here.

-- The cities are going to be relocated, the question is how urgently, how fast, and how cleanly. Will we take the opportunity to clean these areas so they become fertile, prosperous, healthy intertidal and shallow water, nurseries for marine life and sea farming? Or grudgingly withdraw leaving lead, oil, and heavy metals in rubble so we produce centuries of toxic wildlife?

and

Cost? You always have to say whose cost, and paid when.

The greediest generations are alive today squabbling over the degraded remains of what were frontiers full of natural riches.

So: get smart and pay up now to protect the future? Like our grandparents should have done? Or go on squabbling and consuming, under the banners that read "later generations will be smarter and richer and make up for our excesses" -- eh?

In one sense this is an opportune moment. This "economy" has transferred "ownership" of more than half the world to a few people.

So: they own it; they bought the responsibility to fix it. We their tenants have to live carefully, while bothering the landlords to do necessary repairs.

Brandon R. Gates said...

Lars Karlsson,

I resent the implication you bring to this farcical charade, leftist. You and your ilk are the ones attempting to eradicate the untouchable castes in the third world by taking away affordable clean fossil fuels away from them. Go read the Manifesto again, and don't forget your thrice daily Beijing-facing prayer to Comrade Mao.

BBD said...

Clearly, decisions will need to be made, and they will need to be made sooner rather than later. Is there anybody in Congress who is capable of making the hard decisions? It is actually important to first fully understand the problem before deciding to act, or in justifying the decision not to act.

Andy Lacis' question begs another:

Is there anybody anywhere who is capable of making the hard decisions?

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

Is there anybody anywhere who is capable of making the hard decisions?

Individually I think so. Collectively ... not on my radar. Not for the first time I suggest it might be the time to attempt cutting a different deal with Faust.

PS, to Lars: just to be clear, I'm having you on.

Brian G Valentine said...

"But has anybody tried to calculate how many trillions of dollars it would cost to relocate Miami, New York, Washington DC, and New Orleans to higher ground?"

For God's sake, Eli, turn off your TV. It is killing you.

How could you let people poison you so, Eli?

You? Not YOU

BBD said...

Brandon G

Not for the first time I suggest it might be the time to attempt cutting a different deal with Faust.


IIRC Faust was the one who stuffed up the deal with Old Nick. We should box around this idiot. We aren't aerosols.

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

Here was me hoping nobody would notice that I'd buggered up that allusion. This crowd? Not a chance.

If Paris flops, and my outlook is not hopeful, this mantra goes to 11.

Russell Seitz said...

Brandon, you're making life easy for the silly coolists- I've been watching the models heuristic improvement for 40 years , and I'm still waiting for the C02 doubling sensitivity to converge, and cloud cover forecasting to get real.

Pardon my impatience with programmatic responses to the quantitatively unknown , but the precautionary principle is self referential, and the system in question does not give a damn about the political inconvenience of its complexity.



EliRabett said...

Well Brian V, Miami Beach is 1.4 m above sea level, substantial parts of NYC are also barrier islands about as low to the sea (the Rockaways, Coney Island, South Brooklyn) and NYC is in the bullseye of the northeast hot spot, where sea level rise is faster than the global rate. New Orleans, of course, is already under sea level.

Norfolk, with all those naval bases is toast, and so yeah, maybe the Mall in DC can be defended, but otherwise?

BBD said...

Russell Seitz

I've been watching the models heuristic improvement for 40 years , and I'm still waiting for the C02 doubling sensitivity to converge, and cloud cover forecasting to get real.

And then there's palaeoclimate.

Brandon R. Gates said...

Russell,

I appreciate your frustration on the lack of convergence on a value for ECS. However, I fail to see how I'm the one playing into the hands of the Ice Age Cometh (or Luckwarmer) crowd. As I see it, a corollary to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is "don't break it if it can't be fixed". That latter rule may be tough to follow when the uncertainties of the operating tolerances are wide enough to shove a city bus through sideways.

Bryson said...

Russell, sometimes risk management issues dominate the decision matrix. We don't need to know all the details to know the risks we're running are too high to ignore. Time to buy some insurance (if we're lucky it won't be too late.

nigguraths said...

Damn right Russell. It's been the same thing for >30 years, no progress. In fact there is reverse-progress.

Look at BBD - he snookers a newbie into naming a blog after one of his throwaway phrases about 'physics' and the moment you ask him a tough question about the physics he tells you 'then there's paleoclimate'.

Lacis' long comment doesn't even make sense at places. Whatever fills a weekend I guess.

Hank Roberts said...

> sensitivity to converge

I don't understand why you think it should converge -- they run the model, they run it again, they run it again -- each time something somewhat different emerges. That's not surprising, they're not modeling something precise and repetitive like clockwork. There are lots of steps in each run where one of those little demons throws a die or spins a roulette wheel to decide exactly what happens next.

It's pretty amazing how the runs end up looking all in the same ballpark, isn't it?

Look at the paleo cycles -- they end up about the same high point (well, except ours, which got there, cooled a bit and is now bobbling around).
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2010/antarctic_icecoreT.gif
But each of those paleo recoveries from the hot peak is very noisy, on the way down -- til it shoots back up again for the next warm peak. Then it starts stumbling through the downward path again.

That's climate sensitivity, more or less -- we got a few ice age cycles that have had roughly the same climate sensitivity.

Lot of evolution gone on before and during those; before our recent ice ages things were even messier.

I thank the coccolithophores for the relative stability we've had recently.

Isn't that enough convergence?

neverendingaudit said...

> Lacis' long comment doesn't even make sense at places.

Where, and how so?

BBD said...

Shub

Look at BBD - he snookers a newbie into naming a blog after one of his throwaway phrases about 'physics' and the moment you ask him a tough question about the physics he tells you 'then there's paleoclimate'.

Grow up.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell Seitz: "I've been watching the models heuristic improvement for 40 years, and I'm still waiting for the C02 doubling sensitivity to converge"

Your long wait may over, Russell. See Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing (doi:10.1038/nature12829). From the abstract:

"Here we show that differences in the simulated strength of convective mixing between the lower and middle tropical troposphere explain about half of the variance in climate sensitivity estimated by 43 climate models. The apparent mechanism is that such mixing dehydrates the low-cloud layer at a rate that increases as the climate warms, and this rate of increase depends on the initial mixing strength, linking the mixing to cloud feedback. The mixing inferred from observations appears to be sufficiently strong to imply a climate sensitivity of more than 3 degrees for a doubling of carbon dioxide. This is significantly higher than the currently accepted lower bound of 1.5 degrees, thereby constraining model projections towards relatively severe future warming."

Be careful what you wish for, Shub ;^).

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell and shub both have selective amnesia. The idea that forecasting - whether it be clouds specifically or weather/climate in general - has not improved significantly over the past 3 or 4 decades is just nonsense.

Here's a typical weather forecast from the mid-1970s:
"Weather
Today cloudy and colder with occasional snow flurries likely and highs 15 to 20. Tonight partly cloudy and colder with lows zero to 5 above. Friday partly sunny and continued cold with highs in the teens or lower 20s.
"

The actual high temperature for 'Today' referenced in the forecast was 27F, the low was 15F, the actual high temperature for 'Friday' was 27F. The lack of precision is typical of the era - as is the deviation of actual temperatures.

What has actually taken place is that forecasting has steadily improved. Failure to get today's or tomorrow's temperatures accurate to within +/- 2 degrees would be considered a poor forecast. The accuracy of today's 7-day forecast is better than 1970s 5 day forecast. Todays's 5-day is more accurate than 1970's 3-day. At every time period we have improved the accuracy of forecasting.

Increase A. Lapham would have been impressed by the state of forecasting in the 1970s. He would simply be stunned looking around today.

Look at Fig. 1.1 from Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey, 2nd Edition. By John Wallace and Peter Hobbs.

Russell Seitz said...

The metaphysical confusion of models and the systems they are supposed to represent is still going strong-


Before denouncing the progeeding sentence as polemic, try reading Oreskes 1994 paper in Science .

A decade earlier even the Russians arguing about climate science on the run-up to the SALT talks , being good materialists, had to concede the diffference between validation and verification-- between iterating model runs and finding out more about what goes into them.

BBD said...

Russell Seitz

Models aren't the main source of our knowledge about climate sensitivity.

Consider what Hank Roberts said above about Pleistocene interglacials. Do re-read Hansen & Sato (2012) and then have a look at Rohling et al. (2012.

You are an emeritus professor of physics at Harvard.

Russell Seitz said...

BBD :

Huh? I'm not eliding weather modeling and decadal forcing processes that interact with the hydrosphere -- palaeoclimate reflects everything, radiative forcing included, but it remains arguably worse understood , and hence harder to backcast than recent climate.

Brandon R. Gates said...

Russell,

I'll go with that argument. Next question: given our abject ignorance, is it therefore more or less advisable to continue changing the radiative properties of the atmosphere?

Follow on: how then am I playing into the coolists' hands appealing to the precautionary principle?

I'll spot you one for my suggestions of horse-trading, but it's the other bits of your argument I don't grok.

Russell Seitz said...

Brandon- please clarify-- which argument?

IMHO just as AGW remains no easier to predict than human history, their of plenty of people who rather fancy being in charge of things, and proponents of all sorts of ideologies, social engineering included , are tempted to turn public perceptions of science into a tool for the promotion of their agendas.

While hyping climate science to that end is their prerogative, grooming, framing, or manipulating public concern does next to nothing to advance the science ( let alone the philosophy of science) in question.



Brandon R. Gates said...

Russell,

Brandon- please clarify-- which argument?

There I was rewinding to the post wherein you replied to me, beginning with: Brandon, you're making life easy for the silly coolists- I've been watching the models heuristic improvement for 40 years , and I'm still waiting for the C02 doubling sensitivity to converge, and cloud cover forecasting to get real.

IMHO just as AGW remains no easier to predict than human history, their of plenty of people who rather fancy being in charge of things, and proponents of all sorts of ideologies, social engineering included , are tempted to turn public perceptions of science into a tool for the promotion of their agendas.

Clearly pols on both sides of the issue bend the science to suit their own purposes. My long-standing frustration with the more radical environmental lobby is that -- even to me as a mostly left liberal in the American sense of those terms -- they come across as abusive of the science supporting their main arguments. As well, they often argue policy positions in ways that I think are egregiously intransigent. As in not politically realistic -- and at times not consistent with my own perception of reality itself. Greenpeace and Union of Concerned Scientists' stance on nuclear power is probably the best example of things which stoke my particular ire. Both organizations are thoroughly entrenched in their opposition; Greenpeace perhaps more so as they've sworn to NEVER waver on it. I think that's an unconscionable position to take when:

1) One of their own other main organizational goals is to do everything reasonably possible to reduce CO2 emissions, yet
2) Nuclear power is something like three orders of magnitude less hazardous than coal on a per unit power basis right in the here and now.

Fortunately I see that attitude changing in general sentiment amongst at-large AGW consensus-holders -- James Hansen warrants special accolades in my book -- but as I see it many of the major environmental activist groups are doing the rest of us no political or environmental favours digging in their heels on fission. It pisses me off, viscerally. I've had it with what I see as their nonsensical, emotional appeals to the mortal danger of splitting atoms for electricity. They're gumming up the works, and for the love of all that is good and green, need to knock it the hell off.

While hyping climate science to that end is their prerogative, grooming, framing, or manipulating public concern does next to nothing to advance the science ( let alone the philosophy of science) in question.

No quibble there, though perhaps now you and I are talking past each other. I believe that the science is at the point, past the point, where it is clear that the prudent option is to act against market forces with policy. I don't ever wish to damage the science by so doing ... quite the opposite. We still need it, and we're going to continue to need it.

So I repeat. How do I play into the coolists' hands by invoking precautionary principle? How does invoking it necessarily damage the science itself?

BBD said...

Russell

palaeoclimate reflects everything, radiative forcing included, but it remains arguably worse understood , and hence harder to backcast than recent climate.

Stop being obtuse and RTFRs. There is much less 'uncertainty' about the most likely value for ECS than you pretend.

This grows tedious.

BBD said...

IMHO just as AGW remains no easier to predict than human history

This is just yarbles, Russell. It will get warmer. Much warmer. Quickly. And ocean pH will drop rapidly.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Plus, note that Seitz is using the range to quantify the uncertainty in ECS estimates, rather than, say, the standard deviation. It makes it look more uncertain that way.

snarkrates said...

Russell,
Again, perhaps you can assist me in understanding how an intelligent person can take solace in uncertainty, when the distribution of ECS is skewed right rather than left. Even at the low end of the ECS 90% CI, we are likely to have significant disruption, and at the high end, we're cooked. How does an intelligent person look at that and see good news?

Russell Seitz said...

BBD

Given the three order of magnitude disparity between fossil fuel and carbonate reservoirs, lists of geophysically driven CO2 excursions are far from compelling when it comes to predicting anthropocene outcomes.

Why am I less excited than you ?

1. I more agree with Mahlman than Hansen as to metamodeling my take is more bayesian, and we really haven't seen an exponential AGW signal emerge from the decadal noise .

2. Though I would not presume to dictate to posterity , I expect its response to climate change will be more, not less adept than our recent ancestors, whose most noteworthy adaption to rising temperatures and sea levels was demographic : the wholesale invasion , colonization, and urbanization of the tropics.

3. Technology happens.


By the way, the link to Hansen& Sato is broken

Mal Adapted said...

Brandon Gates: "I believe that the science is at the point, past the point, where it is clear that the prudent option is to act against market forces with policy."

Or with market forces. Science is past the point where it is clear that AGW impacts are costs of fossil-fuel production that have been kept external to the unit price of fuels. By internalizing some of that cost, for example with a tax on production at the source, government intervention can harness the market to drive the transition to a non-fossil-carbon energy economy.

OTOH, simply abolishing subsidies for fossil fuel production would be a big step in the right direction. The annual $10 billion to $52 billion in government subsidies that producers in the US enjoy shows congressional "conservatives" to be the rankest sort of hypocrites. That they keep getting elected shows how hard it will be for the US to make the transition.

BBD said...

Russell

Given the three order of magnitude disparity between fossil fuel and carbonate reservoirs, lists of geophysically driven CO2 excursions are far from compelling when it comes to predicting anthropocene outcomes.

We only need ~560ppm to get ~3C. Nobody I know thinks this won't be bad going on very bad.

Why am I less excited than you ?

I'm not 'excited'. I'm pointing out that there is plenty of evidence that points to an ECS of ~3C. You are continuing to refuse to acknowledge this, which is irritating.

1. I more agree with Mahlman than Hansen as to metamodeling my take is more bayesian, and we really haven't seen an exponential AGW signal emerge from the decadal noise .

The AGW signal emerged from the noise in the 1970s. Again, common knowledge that few would deny.

Why exponential? Total net forcing increase has not been exponential recently. And then there's variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake.

Your response is baffling and odd. And unsatisfactory.

BBD said...

Sorry about the broken link to H&S12.

Hopefully this one will work.

Brandon R. Gates said...

Mal Adapted,

Or with market forces.

How about "against popular perception of market forces"? It's not clear to me that the external cost estimates have been well-constrained by science, so once again I retreat to my default position: some things we don't want to find out empirically.

The annual $10 billion to $52 billion in government subsidies that producers in the US enjoy shows congressional "conservatives" to be the rankest sort of hypocrites.

Politics is a whore's business. This is one reason why I so often suggest that true romance may not be in the cards, especially since I note that Congressional Republicans currently outnumber their Democrat counterparts. I have some especially choice words for how I think that circumstance came to being, which I think best to not repeat in polite company. I'll say it this way; I'm not happy with politics or politicians in the US at the moment. Few are, of course, but mine is a fairly equal-opportunity loathing.

angech said...

From Rabett run ? from A Lacis
“It would seem more appropriate to assign “wickedness” to problems that are more specifically related to witches. The climate problem, while clearly complex and complicated, is not incomprehensible. Current climate models do a very credible job in simulating current climate variability and seasonal changes. Present-day weather models make credible weather forecasts – and there is a close relationship.”

I interpret this comment as a misogynist attack on Judith in the vein of Tamino et al in the past.
There is nothing directly in the term wickedness to associate with witches.
It reminds me of the witchhunt against Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Andy Lacis getting in a free kick at Judith in such a snide manner should be called to account.

sarastro posa said...

So what is to be done?

Well, Extreme Weather happens. According to the IPCC there's not more Extreme Weather over the past century nor is Extreme Weather more intense. But hurricanes and droughts are a reality of life on this planet.

So it is reasonable to built sea walls, repair dykes and levees, constrict canals to avert water shortages etc. It's also very reasonable to prohibit construction on flood prone areas and certainly not offer Federal subsidies to rebuild in vulnerable areas.

There is, however, no reliable science and data to justify imposing extreme austerity measures to prevent some hypothetical climate catastrophe a century from now. And in any case, there is no alternative at the moment to supplying reliable and cheap base load capacity with any sources other than fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

Deal with it.

Russell Seitz said...

Don't angech's thumbs prickle when he reads Judy's blog and the comments of her familiars?


BBD: You're wrong about the 70's-- Mahlman lamented the failure of an agw signal to emerge from the decadal noise at the NAS Climate Forum in 1989.

Absent an exponential temperature rise signaling forcing synergies in progress, seeing a linear trend for five decades leads to deep discounting of models that need to get to a degree per decade in order to make 2100 as hot as some have claimed over the last half century.

angech said...

angech
Why is everyone blind to the comment
"global warming has just somehow stalled simply because there has been only a little rise in global surface temperature since the prominent peak in 1998. There was no comparable “pause” in the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase during this time period. Instead, the global energy imbalance of the Earth increased as the heat energy that would have been warming the ground surface was being diverted toward heating the ocean"
Andy gives no scientific justification for the energy he imagines warming the "ground" surface being diverted toward heating the ocean.
Nor can Eli.
It doesn't just happen because there is a pause and we have to find somewhere to put the heat.
Further if the heat is put into the ocean it has to go in on top first, not straight into the depths to come out years later.
In doing so, going into the top layer of the sea, the atmosphere would have to be hotter anyway.
But it has paused.
there is no scientific excuse in making up missing heat that is only used when a pause occurs.
OK you can stick pins in my effigy if you must.
Just use some science while doing so.

BBD said...

Russell

BBD: You're wrong about the 70's-- Mahlman lamented the failure of an agw signal to emerge from the decadal noise at the NAS Climate Forum in 1989.

I think this is a minority view. The AGW signal is clear on a multi-decadal scale from the 1970s onward. I can't find anybody credible who agrees with your / Malman's position today. That may not have been the case in 1989, but it is not 1989 any more.

Absent an exponential temperature rise signaling forcing synergies in progress,

Total net forcing has *not* been exponential recently as I have already pointed out. And the rate of ocean heat uptake modulates the rate of surface warming (recently, it is slowing it). Since the surface is not the climate system as a whole, only a small part of it, inter-decadal variability in the rate of surface warming cannot be used as the basis for strong claims about climate sensitivity. This is a basic misconception addressed by Matthew England here.

seeing a linear trend for five decades leads to deep discounting of models that need to get to a degree per decade in order to make 2100 as hot as some have claimed over the last half century.

No, see above. And 'a degree per decade'?? Which models are those, Russell?

* * *

England et al. (2015) Robust warming projections despite the recent hiatus.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

sp,

The crisis is not a century off. The crisis is right now, in all the states, provinces, and entire countries suffering massive droughts. My own estimate is that civilization will collapse completely c. 2028, with error bars of perhaps six years.

And it's partly thanks to people like you who are so sure they know better than the scientists. Congratulations, you've won. To fix this problem we would have had to start twenty years ago. You've managed to delay any meaningful action until now it's too late.

Johnny Z said...

Angech - you are literally saying natural variation does not work: that the surface cannot cool during La Nina dominance and cannot warm during El Nino dominance. One is the so-called cool phase of the PDO (a pause in warming). The other the so-called warm phase (a pause in cooling). But not according to your theory.

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

And the rate of ocean heat uptake modulates the rate of surface warming (recently, it is slowing it).

It bears keeping in mind that the total rate of heat retention is higher than the long-term mean during such phases in the cycle.

Brandon R. Gates said...

angtech,

It doesn't just happen because there is a pause and we have to find somewhere to put the heat.

Yes we do, it's called "conservation of energy". Show us your evidence that it went back out and we'll have a discussion.

Further if the heat is put into the ocean it has to go in on top first, not straight into the depths to come out years later.

True, heat teleportation is not a known physical phenomenon.

In doing so, going into the top layer of the sea, the atmosphere would have to be hotter anyway.

No. Among the many ways oceans receive energy is downwelling short wave radiation from the Sun, which penetrates to depth.

But it has paused.

Surface temperatures have paused, upper ocean layer temperatures have not:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp100_global.png

Neither have they at depth:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp700_global.png

http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp2000_global.png

Not a Pause in sight. Where's the heat coming from?

OK you can stick pins in my effigy if you must. Just use some science while doing so.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n10/full/nclimate2355.html

Try reading some science before you stick pins in it in effigy.

Mal Adapted said...

Brandon R. Gates: "I have some especially choice words for how I think that circumstance came to being, which I think best to not repeat in polite company."

Aw c'mon, you're not in polite company. This is Rabett Run 8^D!

"I'll say it this way; I'm not happy with politics or politicians in the US at the moment. Few are, of course, but mine is a fairly equal-opportunity loathing. "

I know, right? All of my votes are decisions on the margin: which candidate will do the least harm?

Somehow I suspect that's what our founders, at least the Jeffersonian faction, intended. Since that government is best that governs least, ours was set up to ensure that as little as possible is accomplished. Well done, gentlemen.

angech said...

Brandon R. Gates said...

angtech,

It doesn't just happen because there is a pause and we have to find somewhere to put the heat.

Yes we do, it's called "conservation of energy". Show us your evidence that it went back out and we'll have a discussion.

That is conservation of energy, Brandon, heat in [from the sun] equals heat out. My evidence is your comment, we are saying the same thing scientifically.



Further if the heat is put into the ocean it has to go in on top first, not straight into the depths to come out years later.

True, heat teleportation is not a known physical phenomenon. agreed


In doing so, going into the top layer of the sea, the atmosphere would have to be hotter anyway.

No. Among the many ways oceans receive energy is downwelling short wave radiation from the Sun, which penetrates to depth.

A bit lost on this, you seem to be implying that the SWR penetrates to very deep depths.
We both know that it does not go down too far before being absorbed and I would still call the depth to which it goes the surface [top] layer.
ie first 100-200 meters.
I am sure the heat of the top layer in tropical waters is primarily derived from the SWR effect and that most of that energy is absorbed in the top 50 meters.

But it has paused.

Surface temperatures have paused, upper ocean layer temperatures have not: true but I and Andy are talking about surface temperatures.
We can play ping pong ie I match you record Antarctic sea ice extent.You counter with the Arctic.
I talk about Climate model mismatch from reality, on and on.
But the issue is surface temperatures, why they have paused and giving a sensible explanation,
Teleportation of heat only when a pause occurs is cargo cult science.
Please give your scientific explanation, not excuse.


http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp100_global.png

Neither have they at depth:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp700_global.png

http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp2000_global.png

Not a Pause in sight. Where's the heat coming from?

OK you can stick pins in my effigy if you must. Just use some science while doing so.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n10/full/nclimate2355.html

Try reading some science before you stick pins in it in effigy.
28/4/15 10:35 AM

Brandon R. Gates said...

Mal Adapted,

Aw c'mon, you're not in polite company. This is Rabett Run 8^D!

lol, well yes I am aware of that. However I'm also aware that my political rants directed toward the Democratic party can be quite off-putting to my fellow liberals who happen to be more partisan than I am about it (I've always registered independent). It's not my goal to piss the entire Interwebz off, only the parts of it I REALLY loathe.

But as you insist, I'll give you the dispassionate as possible nutshell version. They started losing me in 2003 when they allowed Bush to invade Iraq. Further out of my good graces when they failed to do anything meaningful about censuring him when it became abundantly clear that he took us to war under very false pretences. Fast forward to Obama's nomination over Hillary, thereby allowing someone who has since proven too inexperienced and/or inept to be effective. That might have been recoverable if Congressional Dems had circled the wagons and rallied behind him -- or taken him to a back room and beaten him with short lengths of sand-filled garden hose until he played ball. Instead they chose to publicly stab each other in the back and completely failed to capitalize on the Neo-con's phenomenal and much-welcomed meltdown.

Now we've got two houses of Congress infested with the rising power of Tea Party k00kery, poor Bohener constantly looking like he's just swallowed a golf ball over it, and a whole lot of butthurt on the part of Dems blaming the other side for their own short-sighted incompetence. Climate policy is more of the same, both sides of the aisle -- rigidly ideological winner-take-all mindset, all but certainly with campaign finance $$$ riding on it, very little I can see in the way of sensible compromise or deal-making. I mean seriously, haul out the other guy's pork barrel and start throwing wads of cash at it ... that has been known to work.

Basically, I've got little use for either party at the moment. The Dems still scare me less.

I know, right? All of my votes are decisions on the margin: which candidate will do the least harm?

That works too.

Somehow I suspect that's what our founders, at least the Jeffersonian faction, intended. Since that government is best that governs least, ours was set up to ensure that as little as possible is accomplished. Well done, gentlemen.

One way I've looked at it is that the success of the founders was finding a way to have the power and privilege they wanted in a way that the rest of us would cheerfully go along with. The illusion used to work quite well, with some real benefits for all to boot. Now it isn't. I can't tell if that's because I've just gotten older and more cynical, or if it's really true. From time to time those older and wiser than I -- and whom I trust -- have told me that I'm more or less on the mark.

Brandon R. Gates said...

angtech,

That is conservation of energy, Brandon, heat in [from the sun] equals heat out. My evidence is your comment, we are saying the same thing scientifically.

However, we apparently disagree about the direction of the energy balance.

A bit lost on this, you seem to be implying that the SWR penetrates to very deep depths.

No, only about 200 meters: http://minerva.union.edu/hollochk/kth/illustrations/ocean_light_absorption.jpg

We both know that it does not go down too far before being absorbed and I would still call the depth to which it goes the surface [top] layer.
ie first 100-200 meters.


There you go.

I am sure the heat of the top layer in tropical waters is primarily derived from the SWR effect and that most of that energy is absorbed in the top 50 meters.

Fine. Now it has to get back out. LWR only penetrates a few microns.

We can play ping pong ie I match you record Antarctic sea ice extent.You counter with the Arctic.

I've trained myself that whenever ice comes up, I talk about all ice. So yes, the Antarctic is odd-man out in terms of sea ice. Landed ice pretty much everywhere that matters, not so much.

I talk about Climate model mismatch from reality, on and on.

Kind of a silly thing to bring up if the question is about what HAS happened vs. what will happen.

Teleportation of heat only when a pause occurs is cargo cult science.

True, but that would be your invention, not mine.

Please give your scientific explanation, not excuse.

Please review the the science I've already given as the beginning of that explanation: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n10/full/nclimate2355.html

If you don't understand why that's a relevant part of the scientific explanation, please ask.

angech said...

28/4/15 8:37 PM Brandon R. Gates said...

" heat in [from the sun] equals heat out. However, we apparently disagree about the direction of the energy balance."

No We agree about the directions.



"I am sure the heat of the top layer in tropical waters is primarily derived from the SWR effect and that most of that energy is absorbed in the top 50 meters.

Fine. Now it has to get back out. LWR only penetrates a few microns."

All heated objects including the sea radiate LWR out to cool down. Back radiation does not stop this happening. LWR due to absorption and reemission from GHG still lead to net heat flow out equal
to hat comes in whether it is SW, LWR from the sun or LWR from GHG.
The micron degree of penetration of incoming radiation is a red herring, it means nothing to a body's ability to radiate out enough LWR to balance all incoming SW and LWR.

" We can play ping pong ie I match you record Antarctic sea ice extent.You counter with the Arctic.
I've trained myself that whenever ice comes up, I talk about all ice. So yes, the Antarctic is odd-man out in terms of sea ice.
Landed ice pretty much everywhere that matters, not so much."

My turn, I guess. Snow extent increasing not a concern either, because it's not land ice?


"I talk about Climate model mismatch from reality, on and on.
Kind of a silly thing to bring up if the question is about what HAS happened vs. what will happen."


How so ? surely models are what you use to predict what will happen and they are not working at the moment.

" Teleportation of heat only when a pause occurs is cargo cult science.
True, but that would be your invention, not mine."

Lacis invention not mine, he said
"Instead, the global energy imbalance of the Earth increased as the heat energy that would have been warming the ground surface was being diverted toward heating the ocean"
Do you agree with this teleportation idea of his?


" Please give your scientific explanation, not excuse.
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n10/full/nclimate2355.html
If you don't understand why that's a relevant part of the scientific explanation, please ask."

Ok the link is the one to natural variability with speeding up of the Pacific Trade Winds. It is a new study.
You ignore the fact that the previous paper said the Trade Winds had been slowing down for decades and that this was also the cause of the pause.
The cooling of the East Pacific that led to this is left unexplained.
Of course with the extra heat teleporting into the ocean it is a bit hard to see how the equatorial East Pacific could be cooling down for decades.

Incidentally thanks for the link and am happy you are making me try to explain our differences.
Sorry little ground in common apart from interest in the scientific causes.

BBD said...

angech

A bit lost on this, you seem to be implying that the SWR penetrates to very deep depths.

SW is fully absorbed in the top 100m (photic zone). Vertical mixing is driven by wind (Ekman pumping) and large-scale overturning ocean circulation which is itself driven by wind and thermohaline ocean dynamics.

That is how warm surface waters get down to depth.

If you look upthread you will see in addition to R Gates' reference my own to England et al. (2014). It is becoming apparent that the rate of surface warming is being modulated by the rate of ocean heat uptake which it substantially influenced by variability in the Trades.

* * *

The atmosphere does not heat the ocean. Atmospheric temperature at the ocean surface influences the rate at which the ocean cools.

The ocean surface skin layer is dominated by intermolecular forces. There is no convective transport of energy across it. The *only* way energy can cross the skin layer is by conduction.

The rate of conduction is modulated by the thermal gradient across the skin layer. If the atmosphere directly above it warms, then the thermal gradient is reduced and the efficacy of conduction is reduced. The rate at which energy is able to leave the ocean is reduced.

Given an approximately constant solar SW flux into the upper ocean, this causes energy to accumulate in the ocean. OHC rises.

Brandon R. Gates said...

angtech,

No We agree about the directions.

Perhaps we do, but that's not clear to me. Part of the problem may be that I garbled this: However, we apparently disagree about the direction of the energy balance.

I will restate more fully. I believe that the long-term direction of the net energy imbalance at TOA is positive, or inward. Meaning that long-term (on the order of multiple decades to a century) the planet is accumulating more Solar energy than it is dissipating. That retained energy must be going somewhere. Since it is not manifest at the surface due to the 18+year flattish trend (relative to the 1975-1999 runup) the energy must be going somewhere else. The candidates are:

1) Latent heat of fusion (melting ice)
2) Dry continental land masses
3) The oceans

Not knowing anything else but basic first physical principles and having general knowledge about the composition of the system, the most plausible largest heat sink in the system is (3). Retained heat is going to want to go to the largest sink over all others. It would be expected to do so proportionally to the sum of all physical mechanisms involved. That's the basic thesis here, the rest is about looking for logical and empirical confirmation, which I'm going through with you step by step.

If you think the net energy imbalance at TOA is negative, or outward, the present discussion is moot. All you need provide is evidence supporting that conclusion and we will then have a very different conversation indeed.

The micron degree of penetration of incoming radiation is a red herring, it means nothing to a body's ability to radiate out enough LWR to balance all incoming SW and LWR.

You're jumping ahead. The relevant context here is that we have Solar energy penetrating to depth. You call it 50 m, BBD says 100 m, the chart I provided calls it 200 m. For purposes of the discussion at present, the exact figure does not matter because even 1 m is orders of magnitude greater than a few microns. The point is that absorbed energy which got there via a radiative process at depth cannot get back out by the same mechanism.

So my explicit question for you to think about is: how then does that retained Solar energy make it back out from where it has been absorbed?

Skipping your other comments for now. I do have responses to them, but for brevity and in the interest of keeping the discussion more focused I felt it best to stop here.

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

The atmosphere does not heat the ocean. Atmospheric temperature at the ocean surface influences the rate at which the ocean cools.

Why sir, I simply cannot fathom your meaning here .....

BBD said...

Brandon G

Why sir, I simply cannot fathom your meaning here .....

I'm not sure how to explain it any better than I did above. DSW heats the upper ocean layer (I should have typed '~100m' as it is just approximate for the photic zone, which is sensitive to turbidity, latitude and season).

DLR does not heat the ocean, although lots of confused contrarians seem to think that it does.

Once energy is in the upper ocean it can move around by convection or be moved by Ekman pumping and subsurface currents,

BUT

The key point is the existence of the ocean surface skin layer and its unusual properties.

Energy can only leave the ocean by *conduction* across the skin layer. It cannot convect out and it cannot teleport out.

On average, the ocean is warmer than the atmosphere immediately above it. This sets up a thermal gradient across the surface skin layer.

The rate of conduction across the skin layer is determined by the thermal gradient. The larger the thermal gradient, the more efficiently energy conducts across from ocean to atmosphere.

But if the atmosphere warms, the thermal gradient is reduced and the rate of conduction falls. The ocean can no longer lose energy as efficiently as it did to a cooler atmosphere.

Since DSW is roughly constant
AGW causes the oceans to cool less efficiently, which is why, over time, they warm up. That's all I was trying to say.

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

Twice, twice, I Poe'd this thread! I'm banned fer shure d00de.

Why sir, I cannot fathom how you missed such a gloriously awful pun! Forsooth! Puck lives and I am he!

All is not lost. I have struggled to understand the skin layer gradient argument ... this:

The rate of conduction across the skin layer is determined by the thermal gradient. The larger the thermal gradient, the more efficiently energy conducts across from ocean to atmosphere.

RC had a thread about it a while back. IIRC, there's a 1 mm or so skin layer which does get disrupted by passing boats, waves and whatnot, but which quickly reestablishes after such a disturbance. I don't understand the physical mechanics about why the larger the thermal gradient across that layer why the higher the efficiency of energy transfer across it.

Maybe it's the efficiency clause which is throwing me. Certainly I understand that the RATE of heat transfer between two bodies increases as the temperature differential increases. But I keep thinking it's not that simple, else there would be no need to invoke the skin layer to begin with. That's where I get tripped up, and in seriousness, if you could essplain that one I'd be most grateful.

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD, PS:

I am troubled by your statements that heat only leaves the oceans by conduction. I think you mean by conduction through the skin layer, where then the heat can be transferred into the atmosphere either by evaporation, sensibly to air molecules, or by radiation.

BBD said...

Brandon

I am troubled by your statements that heat only leaves the oceans by conduction.

I'm troubled too, because that isn't what I said. Let's look again:

Energy can only leave the ocean by *conduction* across the skin layer. It cannot convect out and it cannot teleport out.

We are in complete agreement:

I think you mean by conduction through the skin layer, where then the heat can be transferred into the atmosphere either by evaporation, sensibly to air molecules, or by radiation.

* * *

I've had a poke around for some references which may help:

SkS How CO2 heats the ocean:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-Increasing-Carbon-Dioxide-Heats-The-Ocean.html

SoD Does back radiation heat the ocean?

http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/06/does-back-radiation-heat-the-ocean-part-one/

SoD

http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/01/18/the-cool-skin-of-the-ocean/

More:

http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceans/science-focus/modis/MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp.shtml

RC: Why greenhouse gasses heat the ocean

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

Brandon R. Gates said...

BBD,

Well now I'm double troubled because it appears that I've forgotten how to read properly. The links ARE helpful and I think the mechanism of the skin layer has finally started to click into place for me. I'm still hazy on the mechanics of exactly how it forms, but I provisionally accept that large scale motions which transfer heat via mass transfer don't happen, the oceans aren't boiling, and it is thicker than LWR can penetrate ... so: conductive transfer is the only way heat can get through it from below. Thus, all else being equal, anything which warms the skin layer from above, including LWR, will reduce the rate of conductive heat transfer through that layer thereby reducing the rate at which the oceans dissipate absorbed Solar energy.

The standard rebuttal is "no no no, impinging LWR MUST only affect evaporation" but, by way of the RC article you cited, we know that this is not the case empirically. Wingnuts lose again, elegant experimental protocol carries the day and I think I'm good but will keep reading. Thank you for the help.

BBD said...

Brandon G

It's surprising how many people don't know about this somewhat counter-intuitive but *vastly* important physical mechanism.

I had to confront this head-on years ago because of the barrage of contrarians arguing (after Fred Singer, I believe) that 'AGW cannot cause the oceans to warm because water is opaque to DLR'.

I knew they had to be wrong, but not why. Always a spur to learning ;-)

angech said...

Brandon R. Gates said...
"I will restate more fully. I believe that the long-term direction of the net energy imbalance at TOA is positive, or inward.
If you think the net energy imbalance at TOA is negative, or outward, the present discussion is moot. All you need provide is evidence supporting that conclusion" *

Belief is not necessarily science. Looking up the * measurement of TOA, done by satellites, there is apparently some discrepancy between your view and the reality of the satellite observations. The margins for error are extremely large, enough to accommodate your view of positive TOA balance, mine of neutral and even at times a negative balance.
Clouds unfortunately appear to be a major unknown, unfortunate in that we cannot rationally agree on there effect, as is instrument algorithms at the edges of the areas under examination.
You can make the statement but it is a belief statement not capable of being proved or disproved to mutual satisfaction.
Hence you can have your heat sink, or your could have an albedo effect as equally likely causes for the missing heat if you accept a TOA imbalance. In one case more is absorbed in the ocean [and atmosphere] In the other the heat just went back into space.

1) Latent heat of fusion (melting ice) there is more total sea ice in the world at the moment [know it is not all the ice]
2) Dry continental land masses [?]
3) The oceans
4] Changes in albedo.


Re your and BBD comments on heat loss from an ocean surface " the ocean surface skin layer and its unusual properties.Energy can only leave the ocean by *conduction* across the skin layer. It cannot convect out and it cannot teleport out.

I am fascinated and hope either of you will explain it better/further.
All bodies with heat lose heat by infrared radiation at their surfaces depending on the temperature of the surface.
I thought this was incontestable.
Whether such surface traps IR a few microns down is interesting but not a problem.
If it heats up the top surface must radiate upwards.
I feel I am missing something here on your comments re heat trapping etc and hear BBD saying counterintuitive etc but feel that we are missing the obvious in talking sideways about the unexpected.

BBD said...

angech

I am fascinated and hope either of you will explain it better/further.

If you are fascinated, then why not read the links I provided above?

Scratch your itch, Mr Sealion.

BBD said...

In the other the heat just went back into space.

And OHC increased because of magic.

Idiocy.

angech said...

BBD said...
" angech If you are fascinated, then why not read the links I provided above?"
I also said "All bodies with heat lose heat by infrared radiation at their surfaces depending on the temperature of the surface.
I thought this was incontestable."
Does this not conflict with your view expressed to Brandon. [what I was interested in]


"And OHC increased because of magic."

Not my view.

OHC increased because of one reason only, your view.

I cannot stop you thinking that, Sea level rise suggests it has increased as well . I point out the science is more complex and counter intuitive than we realise [your point I believe].
I can think of a number of reasons why measured Ocean Heat content may be increasing or seem to be increasing even when albedo due to clouds increases reducing the amount of heat to the surface. Trade winds, upwelling warmer currents, etc but not teleported [magic/Lacis] heat. Perhaps you could try to look at all possible causes, except magic.

BBD said...

angech

Does this not conflict with your view expressed to Brandon. [what I was interested in]

No.

If you read what I actually said, you will notice that I was talking about the process by which energy crosses the surface skin layer and so arrives at the ocean surface (the actual water/atmosphere interface itself).

OHC increase represents an accumulation of energy within the climate system> As we all know, energy cannot be created, only moved around. So you need a physical mechanism by which the amount of energy in the oceans can increase. GHG forcing and the interesting nature of the ocean surface skin layer provide that mechanism. You on the other hand do not. Trade winds and upwelling warmer currents might move energy around within the climate system but they cannot increase the amount of energy present.

angech said...

thanks BBD

BBD said...

Brandon G

I don't understand the physical mechanics about why the larger the thermal gradient across that layer why the higher the efficiency of energy transfer across it.

Sorry, I meant to answer this and then skipped it.

Energy makes molecules jiggle, as we know. It moves across the skin layer from more excited 'warm' to less excited 'cooler' molecules which get progressively jiggier. The steeper the thermal gradient, the more readily energy can conduct across the skin. Obvs the converse applies, so reducing the thermal gradient across the skin layer reduces the efficacy of conduction through it.

EliRabett said...

B

Heat transfer across a boundary is proportional to the temperature difference. Look up Fourier's Law for conduction and Newtonian heat transfer for convection.

Brandon R. Gates said...

Eli, BBD:

Comments rec'd with thanks for the tips.

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