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Friday round-up

Filed under: — rasmus @ 24 April 2009 - (Español)

They knew all along?
A recent story in NYT: ‘Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate‘ has caught our attention.

Update: Marc Roberts’ take:

Latest skeptical song from Singer

This week, the annual European Geophysical Union (EGU)’s general assembly was held in Vienna. Friday afternoon, I went to one of the conference’s last talks to learn about the latest news from the climate skeptics (have to keep an open mind…). It was probably the talk with the smallest audience in the whole conference (see the photo, but note there were a couple of individuals who were not captured by camera), despite an unusually long slot (30 min) allocation.

singer.jpg And not much news, I’m afraid, apart from that SEPP plans to release it’s NIPCC’09 in May. I understand it will be a thick report (800 pages?). The main messages were (a) that GHGs were unimportant – allegedlly supported by Douglass et al. (2007), and (b) solar activity was the main reason for the recent global warming and the mechanism involved galactic cosmic rays (GCR).

I asked Singer how he could explain the most recent warming when there is no trend in the GCR-flux or other indices of solar activity since 1952. He countered by saying he was glad I asked him this question, and announced that he had done his thesis exactly on the topic solar wind and GCRs.

So I had to answer that I had written a book about solar activity and climate, and I repeated my question. He could not answer in the end – other than saying that we have to look at the data. I told him that we already have looked at the data (e.g. Richardsson et al 2002; Benestad, 2005; Lockwood & Frohlich, 2007), so I recommended him to read up on RC.


301 Responses to “Friday round-up”

  1. 201
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B., Don’t be absurd. Pressure broadening can be measured in the lab. First-principles quantum mechanical calculations are difficult ut have been done. See for example:

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1742-6596/63/1/012012/jpconf7_63_012012.pdf?request-id=eb0c0991-5255-46b4-bb4c-73a5ff195144

    Just because YOU don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not understood.

  2. 202
    Rod B says:

    Hank, the toy soldier analogy wasn’t my idea.

  3. 203
    Rod B says:

    Martin V., other than in your dreams, where did I tell lies about the science and scientists?

  4. 204
    Rod B says:

    Ray, just because you’re convinced something is near absolute certainty does not make it so. I skimmed your reference and found no mention of atmospheric CO2; I’m not 100% positive but neither did I discern anything to do with infrared emission/absorption by CO2. I will admit that it seemed like a thorough study of physics and ought to offer some insight and understanding of spectral broadening of CO2 radiation and absorption, but to say it is just one example of “proof” (when it is never even mentioned) just shows your propensity to buy off hook, line, and sinker anything that resembles what you’re asserting.

  5. 205

    #192 Rod B

    So you literally could not click the link I provided in post #173?

    It is not about “MIGHT or MIGHT NOT”. It is about reasonable understanding of the evidence and what that reasonably means. You seem to be seeking absolutes and if it is not absolutely known you will throw out the baby with the bathwater. But worse than that, you generally make broad statements with not enough substance to back it.

    Your saying that climate scientists are not objective and open minded but I have seen no evidence of this? What are you talking about?

    You are saying it is “certainly O.K. to make your scientific case or rebuttal and criticize my science” but what science? You have presented no science. You are presenting opinions and perspectives that seem inconsiderate of the relevant understanding and evidence.

    I’m just a guy on the street and I can see through the lack in your argument.

    What I think you are very good at is confusing apples and oranges (my opinion).

    If you’re not 100% positive, what percentage are you positive and in which areas of evidence?

  6. 206
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B., Do you really think the physics of pressure broadening is significantly different from one molecule to the next? The physics is the same. Unfortunately, most of the references I found were not free. However, to contend that there’s anything mysterious here is laughable.

    For instance, note the date on this abstract:

    http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=JCPSA6000015000001000065000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes

    Also this–note that the broadening is well enough defined that it is used as a correction for measurement.

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20080045430_2008044312.pdf

    Don’t try to defend the indefensible–and the idea that we don’t understand absorption of radiation by gasses is not defensible.

  7. 207
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Martin V., other than in your dreams, where did I tell lies about the science and scientists?

    You’re good Rod… you’re very good. If only I could make you read science instead of troll training material (link please?) there isn’t anything you couldn’t do. I was mistaken in thinking you honest but misinformed and educable. My bad…

    For the rest of the readership, your lie was the ‘small island’ perversion of the ‘field commander’ metaphor. Translated back to climatology this means asserting that scientists as a community deny that there is any substantial quantitative uncertainty in their understanding of the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Mendacious, libelous and insulting of colleagues whose professionalism and intellectual integrity I have come to estimate highly.

    In reality if your read any professional literature — or its summary in the IPCC reports, recommended — these quantitative uncertainties are centre stage in everything climatologists do. 90% of work done goes into both assessing, as honestly as can be done, these and their effects, and in painstakingly, slowly, driving them down. That you fail to see this, tells me that either you still don’t bother to read up on the science even after years of admonition, or that you stopped caring about the truth — if you ever started.

    [edit]

  8. 208
    Rod B says:

    Martin V., pure hogwash.

    Let’s see. You say I lied somehow in your little army analogy. How is it possible to lie within an analogy? Maybe in your analogy where you directly implied that I thought something when in fact I thought just the opposite.

    Where did I ever say, imply, or hint that “…‘the scientists don’t really know anything’ (quoting you) or support those that might say that – though I don’t recall ever hearing that even from the most vicious aginer. That’s two.

    Did I imply (lie about in your terms) that (some) climate scientists are near perfect certain to the point of being dogmatic of their scientific conclusions? Gee, and with all of them running around and tripping all over themselves to show that the science is unsettled, the scientists disagree, nobody has much better than a good guess, etc., how would I ever get that idea. Actually the specific charge of mine was/is that the physics of spectral broadening is not one of the best understood parts of the science, as was asserted and supported. This is not a lie either. If you can’t come up with 6-12 parts that are better understood I might suggest that you do a little professional reading. That’s three.

    Ray, a quote from your referenced summary (which admittedly sounds like a good relevant article): ”The data are discussed in terms of the Lorentz theory of pressure broadening and are shown to confirm it. From the results obtained, it is clear that the pressure broadening effects of certain gases on one absorber cannot be reliably extrapolated to predict the effects on another absorber. Also the effects at one wave-length are not in general the same at another wave-length for the same absorber.” What is that uncertainty about?

  9. 209

    Rod B

    If you’re not 100% positive, what percentage are you positive and in which areas of evidence?

    What is relevant about the ‘marginal’, and the ‘differential’, to which you refer?

    What percentage of the global warming event do you think is human caused v. natural?

  10. 210
    Mark says:

    re 208, “Where did I ever say, imply, or hint that “…‘the scientists don’t really know anything’”

    See post 192. “The science DOES NOT KNOW with the certainty of physics”

    And why the continuing use of marginal? Marginal as we’ve gone over before is “insignificant change”. What is insignificant about 40% increase?

    Please, don’t lie and use a word that means “insignificant” and kid on you just mean “differential”. Especially when “differential” doesn’t work in there either.

    Since the change in CO2 producing a change in temperature is central, not knowing how change in CO2 affects temperature is “not knowing anything, really”.

  11. 211

    Again, I ask for help from the contributors to this site.

    I am writing a “popular” article, a short one, on “Climate Change 101″ for my paper, the Rico (Colorado) Bugle.

    I’m posting it here, and asking for comment. Have I got the science right? Have I left something out that “belongs” in such an article?

    Thanks for your help.

    John Burgeson

    —————————

    Climate Change 101

    (the fundamentals of climate change)

    1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere absorbs and reflects heat (infrared rays) from earth back to earth, and that is why it is called a “greenhouse gas.” We have known this since the 1850s; it is undisputed science. The phenomenon is something like the air in a closed automobile heating up during the summer; in that case it is the window glass, not CO2, reflecting the heat back into the automobile’s interior. The glass is transparent to the sun’s visible rays, opaque to the infrared trying to reflect back. The atmosphere (including its CO2) is likewise transparent to the sun’s visible rays; the CO2 in the atmosphere is opaque to the infrared reflecting back.
    2. The Swedish scientist Arrhenius measured atmospheric CO2 levels in 1896 and speculated that the industrial age (primarily coal burning at that time) might cause CO2 levels to rise. This, indeed, turned out to be the case. CO2 levels are rising, sharply. That, too, is undisputed science.
    3. The rising of CO2 levels is caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas. Scientist Hans Suess showed this clearly with carbon-14 studies in 1955. This, too, is undisputed science.
    4. The temperature of the planet is also rising. There is data showing this from many sources, sea surface temperature readings, land surface readings, balloon atmospheric readings, satellite measurements, earlier hatch dates for eggs of some insects, frogs and birds, earlier flowering dates for some flowers, melting glaciers, the shrinking of the northern ice cap, etc. Year to year variations occur — this is called “weather.” The general measure for climate is a 30-year period. While there are legitimate arguments about some of the data used in the above studies, there is a scientific consensus among climate scientists, and most scientific organizations, that the statement “the planet’s temperature is rising” is established science. One cannot call it “undisputed” for there are a few people who challenge it. Some of these have scientific credentials. Most do not. Many who deny the science have been found to be getting paychecks from oil and coal company companies and lobbyist groups. While that fact does not make them wrong, of course, it is also true that their writings seldom appear in the journals of peer-reviewed science.
    5. Computer models based on the science and historical records have been made. All of them indicate that this process cannot continue indefinitely; that “bad things” will happen if we don’t stop emitting tons of excess CO2 into the air. There is a much discussion on how bad things will get, and how fast it will happen. Even the mildest of these predictions are not pretty, although the human race is likely to survive. At least one of these fears a “tipping point,” at which time most life on earth will be wiped out.
    6. How is a layperson to sort out the claims and counter-claims? The answer to that is not easy. Last year I pretty much accepted the Al Gore story, as described in his book AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Challenged by a friend, however, I realized I had been taking much “on faith,” and needed to study the issues for myself. I did so, and will continue to do so. I have examined carefully the claims and arguments coming from Rush Limbaugh, The Heartland and Cato Institutes, “Lord” Moncton of Great Britain, and many others. And I have yet to find even one argument that stands up against the IPCC reports. Many of those arguments, I discovered, are flat lies; at best, twisting of the truth. Some deliberately misrepresent articles and peer-reviewed articles made by the climate scientists. While there are some which are presented honestly, none seem to seriously call in question the above.

    There are four web sites I recommend for study of these issues. I will not list anti-IPCC sites; they can be googled easily enough!

    a. Discussions of the IPCC science: http://www.realclimate.org

    b. Discussions of what can be done about the problem: http://www.climateprogress.org

    c. Discussions of anti-IPCC claims: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    d. The big picture: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/bigpicture/

    John

  12. 212
    Mark says:

    re 211: either write longer sections as chapters instead of numbered bullet points or leave them as bullet points but cut out a lot of the words.

    If you need more detail, write them out after the bullet points.

    What you have there is not going to work as a readable piece, you’ve sat your construction firmly between two stools.

    I would suggest the third option: bullet points and LATER go into longer explanations. If you like, repeat. E.g.

    1) Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere absorbs and reflects heat (infrared rays) from earth back to earth, and that is why it is called a “greenhouse gas.”
    2) ….
    ….
    ….

    HEADER +CO2 in the atmosphere+ HEADER
    Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs and reflects heat (infrared rays) from earth back to earth. +++ and so on+++
    .
    .
    .
    .

    You want your points to be no longer than an abstract in a science paper. A quarter of an A4 page tops, a third if you have plenty of space in there.

  13. 213
    Jim Bouldin says:

    John, thank you for taking such an interest in this issue and contributing like you do. It’s very encouraging to see people like you doing whatever you can to help educate.

    You will probably get many pointers, but if not I’ll jump back in with some. But for now, you might want to add to point 3 that land use change (primarily forest clearing) is also part of the CO2 rise (roughly 20-25% of total emissions now, but maybe 40-50% of total over time to date).

    Jim

  14. 214

    In re Rod B @ 166:

    Martin V., yes, I think I know what makes scientists tick. It’s not always sugar and spice and everything nice (FurryCH, et al excepted, I suppose). They’re trying to convince the world of something they think they have seen. Nothing wrong with that.

    Well, remember that I really am completely agnostic on this “AGW” thing. I mean, I care dearly, but I care a lot more dearly about getting off dino-fuels because that’s a train wreck that can’t be mitigated by moving north or buying more insulation for ones home.

    As for AGW, I’ve never denied the link between CO2 and climate. I question the percentage contribution. You can find one of my older rants here –

    http://furrycatherder.livejournal.com/66935.html

    Here’s a blurb for those of you who have a thing against your humble cat herder –

    Is this the start of a new Ice Age?

    No. This is not the death knell of Global Warming. This is part of the normal cycle — the Dalton and Maunder Minimums being the two most recent — that people such as myself have long used to argue against a CO2-only, or CO2-dominated global climate model. When the Gore Minimum ends in several cycles, global warming will resume, but this time bigger and badder than before, unless CO2 emissions are reduced. In another 178 years, unless something changes, a far warmer planet will again experience a few decades of relative cool before warming again.

    So … I’d really appreciate it if the “AGW-denialist” slander would stop. Really.

  15. 215

    #214 FurryCatHerder

    We’ve been over this ground before. You may not want to be called a denialist but you are certainly denying the facts about forcing.

    No sunspots would translate to slower warming, not no warming. Current forcing, all in, is 3.6 W/m2. -.2W/m2 gives us positive 1.6W/m2.

    You are also ignoring the positive feedbacks and possibility that the -2 might go away?

    Solar minimum reduces forcing by .2 to max .3 W/m2

    So unless you’ve go another -1.7W/m2 of negative forcing in your pocket, where are you getting the cooling from?

    Oh, and I don’t think it is fair to say it is slander. It still seems to me you are denying relevant facts in the aggregate scientific understanding.

    So, one more time: +1.8 -.2 = +1.6

    … or are you denying that?

  16. 216
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B., have you ever done quantum mechanical perturbation theory? Try it sometime, and you will understand the source of the uncertainty. Just try and solve the hydrogen molecule.

  17. 217
    Mark says:

    Rey, 216, ‘course not. And no need to either. As long as he doesn’t know, the science isn’t settled or he can listen to Gerlich who says all that stuff is the wrong way to do it.

  18. 218
    Mark says:

    FCH, 214, “that people such as myself have long used to argue against a CO2-only, or CO2-dominated global climate model.”

    Is why people label you as denialist.

    Only denialists say that the warming is CO2-only.

    None of the climate scientists do.

    So that is nothing you have to argue about, so why are you doing so???

    And CO2 domination is not true either. THIS WARMING is CO2 dominated. Guess why? Because CO2 is the dominant changing factor.

    Guess what again? The models have CO2 as a non-dominant factor in the ice ages AND THEY ARE THE SAME MODELS!!!

    That you misrepesent the models that show AGW is why you get called denialist.

    So if you want to stop being labeled that, stop lying about the models.

  19. 219
    Greg Simpson says:

    Do we really have any confidence that the solar energy we receive will go down by 0.2 W/(m*m) if the sunspots stay away? I know that’s about the drop during the minimum of the solar cycle, but if based on only that it seems like little more than a wild guess that the drop is the same during an extended quiet period.

  20. 220

    Thanks to Jim and Mark for the comments on my article. I will take them seriously. I am pleased that at least I seem to have gotten the science right.

    John Burgeson

  21. 221
    Rod B says:

    Mark, I contended I never said scientists know nothing (period, space) as you charged. Then you somehow support your charge (210) by quoting me as saying something that does not at all say ‘scientists know nothing.’ (Though you conveniently cut off my words in the middle to try to cover it up.) I’m starting to get concerned for you. If you don’t want medical attantion, at least get your head out of your butt.

    Are you still suck on that “marginal” thing? I can offer no help.

  22. 222

    #219 Greg Simpson

    To understand you need context. Maunder and Dalton minimums experienced about a .2 to .3 W/m2 drop on the surface of the earth. I believe this is largely based on paleo modeling contrasted with observational data. I just tried to locate my original references but can’t find them, sorry. When I do I will add them on the OSS site in the Solar page.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/solar

    The difference is that those .2 drops occurred when we were in natural cycle forcing. That means the natural cycle forcing on the surface may have been around 0.0 W/m2 or -0.1 W/m2

    Losing .2 from 0, on the earth surface can give you a cooling trend. Losing .2 from 1.6 can not be expected to do the same thing. Especially when you know that the Arctic ice albedo has a very good chance of not being there in 10 years or less. Even with an expected weaker than normal solar cycle 24, I still think it is reasonable to see the summer ice reach virtually 0 in the next 5-7 years.

    Natural variability happens, but it is on a new path.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability

    But there are other feedbacks and effects to consider also along with oceanic oscillations.

  23. 223
    Mark says:

    re 221, so you’re going to weasel?

    Please show where there were quote marks saying that you said “scientists know nothing” then. Without quote marks around them, nobody has said you said “scientists know nothing”. Just that you said scientists know nothing.

    Now, if you’re going to say “well, you hinted I said that”, then you hinted that scientists DO NO KNOW anything.

    If you’re going to ask for specific wording only, then we’ll ask the same.

    Where did someone quote you as saying you said “scientists know nothing (period)”? Didn’t happen. So your post of 221 is a lie again.

  24. 224

    Rob B

    You still have not answered the questions I asked in Post #209

    You ask questions, I and others answer.

    I ask a few simple questions regarding your perspective and you don’t answer.

    This is why I like it when people post their real names. As an anonymous person you can BS all day long. Make confusing statements. Ignore the science and never have any consequences in the real world.

    I can understand why you would not want to use your real name though. If I put my name on your statements, I don’t think I could ever get anyone to believe what I said either.

    Here are the questions again. And don’t be concerned about how your answers will be percieved, your not using your real name anyway, so you can only further degrade, or accentuate, your reputation in this blog.

    1. If you’re not 100% positive that this global warming event is human caused, what percentage are you positive and in which areas of evidence?

    2. What is relevant about the ‘marginal’, and the ‘differential’, to which you refer, with regard to climate science and understanding?

    3. What percentage of the global warming event do you think is human caused v. natural cycle?

  25. 225

    John,

    Your summary isn’t bad, but “reflecting” heat has nothing to do with how the greenhouse effect works. Greenhouse gases work by absorbing infrared light from the ground and radiating their own infrared light because they’re warm. Here’s a description in more detail (remove the hyphen and paste the link into a browser):

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Greenhouse101.html

  26. 226
    Rod B says:

    FCHerder (214), I in no way was saying you were/are a “denialist” of any kind. I merely implied you are a scientist.

  27. 227
    Mark says:

    Re 225, but the net effect is very little different, BPL. When drawing a picture, is it easier to draw one with “reflection from a layer” or one with “random spreading through the system with more re-spreading from the rest of the volume”?

    If John wants to go into that further then fine, but using “reflection” is a good ***analysis*** of the effect.

    “Perfect” is the enemy of “good enough”. And John is not trying to be an expert. Unless he left that bit out. John..?

  28. 228

    To Mr. Levenson. Thanks for the link. I was aware that my wording was a little less than scientifically accurate — I’m going to add a link to the web site you referenced in the article. You said “Greenhouse gases work by absorbing infrared light from the ground and radiating their own infrared light” and I understand that. How to put it in something simple so my target audience will not have their eyes glaze over is a bit challenging.

    To Mark: Yeah. This article is for “country people.” The target audience includes a postmistress, two elementary school teachers, an 80 year old retired crane operator, two physicians, a welder, a town clerk, people who own small businesses, ski instructors, etc. etc. Some of them, less perceptive than others, regard me with awe (not the docs!) because I (gasp) went to “collejj”.

    And I am definitely not an “expert” here nor do I have any pretensions to achieving that status.

    Burgy

  29. 229
    Greg Simpson says:

    Just looking at the various estimates of past temperatures in the Wikipedia graph, it is hard to see how you could get much of an estimate of the insolation from the climate effects. No more than plus or minus 2 watts, sure, but 0.2 to 0.3 watts from that is too precise for me to believe. The Maunder Minimum didn’t even start (1645, Wikipedia) until the Earth’s climate was near the bottom of the little ice age, so I don’t really see any evidence here for a cooler sun.

    While unlikely, I hope we are at the start of an extended sunspot minimum. It might not do much to offset the current warming, but we could learn a lot about the Sun.

  30. 230
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Greg Simpson says, “While unlikely, I hope we are at the start of an extended sunspot minimum. It might not do much to offset the current warming, but we could learn a lot about the Sun.”

    I’m sort of hoping the opposite. We’ve got Stereo, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Radiation Belt Storm Probe and the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission all coming up within 5 years or so. An active sun will produce more science for these birds.

  31. 231
    Rod B says:

    This ball is getting batted all over the place and I’m losing track as to who accused me of what. I’ll just say this one more last time. I have never said, hinted, implied, or sounded like that “climate scientists don’t know anything” (with or without the quote marks.) Altered quotes taken out of context not withstanding. Anyone claiming otherwise is, to use one of your all’s favorite phrase, is deliberately lying.

    What I did assert is that the physics of broadening is not one of the best understood parts of climatology. I did not say that nothing was known about it. I even said that much was known about it. Disagree with me? That’s fine, but I think you’re wrong. Accuse me of saying something different? Well, accuse away; you’re on your own.

    All of this was in support of one of my particular areas of greatest skepticism, which is the marginal increase in forcing for a marginal increase in concentration ratio (using “marginal” in the unique differential calculus sense which ought to keep Mark busy for a while). First, the current accepted formula — DF = 5.35ln(C/Co) — has some uncertainty (it wasn’t that in the 1st IPCC) because it boils down to historical curve fitting albeit supported by physics. However, I’m willing to concede that it is probably pretty accurate within the historical and measured ranges. For instance it’s likely pretty accurate for CO2 concentrations going from, say, 300ppm to 350ppm. Whether it holds for concentrations going from 500 to 550, or 800 to 850 (a marginal change of 50) is less certain because the precise physics as to how it works is significantly uncertain, in my view. And I’m talking more than simple quantum mechanics statistical uncertainty, or something stemming from a statistical projection of a mathematical trend line with confidence percentages and ranges — which is math, not physics. Nor is loud dogma (I looked at it; I’m absolutely convinced; I’m absolutely correct.) by itself convincing.

    Is it a complete unknown? Certainly not. I think the scientists are making projections (guesses in common terminology) that are reasonable, well-thought out, and with a scientific base. But significant uncertainty remains none-the-less. I’m explaining this because I was asked.

  32. 232
    Rod B says:

    John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) (224, et al), Rod W. Brick here. I’m so pleased that all of my statements are now clear, correct, accurate, and totally devoid of BS. Thanks.

    I’m 100% convinced that CO2 can absorb infrared radiative energy at certain discrete wavelengths and can “trap” (convert) such absorbed energy as thermal heat by either back radiation or molecular collisional transfer (or a little via equipartition). I’m 100% convinced that the temperature of the earth’s surface and atmosphere depends entirely and solely on the incoming solar incidence and the outgoing reflected solar or emitted infrared radiation. I’m 100% convinced that there has been more CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning the past 150 or so years than any other period of any duration in our history. Beyond that there is a plethora of sliding scale opinions, some fairly convincing, others not bad, and a few quite skeptical — though it’s hard to put an exact % number on them.

    This marginal/differential thing is getting to be a drag. In a nutshell, assume for discussion that the current accepted formula for DF is accurate when concentration goes from 310 to 320ppm. I’m not sure if that holds when going from 780 to 790ppm (marginal difference of 10 in both cases); not sure if the differential is constant.

  33. 233
    dhogaza says:

    This marginal/differential thing is getting to be a drag. In a nutshell, assume for discussion that the current accepted formula for DF is accurate when concentration goes from 310 to 320ppm. I’m not sure if that holds when going from 780 to 790ppm (marginal difference of 10 in both cases); not sure if the differential is constant.

    It’s not thought to be constant, just close enough for a few doublings.

    You seem to be making progress, maybe someday in the future you’ll accept biology and other fields of science dominated by people who know much more than you about their field?

  34. 234
    jyyh says:

    I’m presenting an image, I found through Anthony Watts’ site, in spite the questions arising from it might make me sound a bit too alarmistic…
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_track-map.html
    It appears the Beaufort Gyre has turned on it’s heels and is now rotating anticlockwise, my questions regarding this are
    Is this currently a seasonal phenomenon or irregular as it used to be? As there is the ACC (Antarctic circumpolar current), can the northerly motion of Arctic low pressures generate a similar current to the arctic basin? What are the relative strengths of North Atlantic Drift and the drift through Bering straits? Does this mean we’ll have a giant accumulation of loose ice near the north pole rotating anticlockwise during future summers (and winters, for that matter)? It also appears in the image that all ice reaching the norther tip of Greenland is swept along east coast of Greenland and subsequently melted, does this mean all multiyear ice is doomed to disappear from Arctic, specially regarding that NW passage has opened in recent years? Will Europe experience more cold surges from Greenland in future during winters (rather than Siberia)? Are arctic currents irregular in their changes like ENSO or are there some projected permanent changes? What does this mean for the Siberian shelf clathrates? Where (in the northern hemisphere) will be the future refuges for various biotopes, can this be mitigated by large scale planting of plant species in the areas projected to be suitable in the future (new word needed, ‘climatological gardening’?) ? That’s probably too much for one post but anyway… or is this something no-one likes to talk about? jyyh on quite an alarmist mood

    ReCaptCha wetting follows, and jyyh agrees, if there’s a need for cloud seeding, do it only in the evenings.

  35. 235
    Mark says:

    Why is RodB concentrating on “constant linear increases” (which seems to be now what he means by “marginal”, though such linear changes are infinite when you start at 0… hardly “marginal”. And who knows where he got that version of marginal).

    A 40% increase is not a constant linear increase.

    At 100ppm, that would be 40ppm. At 1000ppm, that same 40% would be 400ppm.

    Seems he’s been wasting time trying like hell to avoid answering questions about his topic since his original comeback has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

  36. 236
    Mark says:

    Please prove this RodB:

    “But significant uncertainty remains none-the-less. I’m explaining this because I was asked.”

    Please prove it is significant uncertainty.

    Maybe it’s “marginal” uncertainty, hmm?

  37. 237

    Mark writes:

    When drawing a picture, is it easier to draw one with “reflection from a layer” or one with “random spreading through the system with more re-spreading from the rest of the volume”?

    If John wants to go into that further then fine, but using “reflection” is a good ***analysis*** of the effect.

    Fine, Mark. Post that, and then the deniers will post, correctly, that CO2 exhibits almost zero scattering in the infrared and therefore cannot reflect infrared light.

    It’s not a question of “perfect” versus “good enough.” It’s a question of “accurate” versus “wrong.”

    Look, here’s a simple way to phrase it:

    The greenhouse effect exists because “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere absorb infrared light from the warm ground, and being warmed themselves, give off their own infrared light, some of which goes right back down to the ground.

    Is that too hard for JB’s audience to understand?

  38. 238
    Mark says:

    BPL: “Fine, Mark. Post that, and then the deniers will post, correctly, that CO2 exhibits almost zero scattering in the infrared and therefore cannot reflect infrared light.”

    And if you post something more complicated, people won’t read it and you STILL get denialists making all sorts of carp up about your posting.

    As I said, if John wants to go into more detail, he can later, but the point is to LAYER the information, just like a compressed school education: Start at the junior school level, then go back again for the Secondary School level, then do it again if you can at the degree level.

    Jumping straight in at the degree level means you kill off any interest.

    For many denialists, trying to avoid them picking on your missive is a waste of time: they’ll find SOMETHING if it doesn’t make sense, as long as it is easier to read, there will be those who don’t care and accept it.

    I suppose you could offer John a link to a more complete and accurate explanation so that either he can include the content or pass on the link for the interested. A bit like citing papers at the END of a discussion.

    And another way to say it is that greenhouse gasses slow the release of heat from the earth back into space without slowing the sun’s energy coming in. This means that the rate of energy leaving is no longer in balance with the energy rate coming in.

    But John will have to defend his piece, so he needs at the very least to understand it, correct?

  39. 239
    Hank Roberts says:

    You could say “it’s like CO2 catches and releases the heat.”

    Writing in public, it’s not smart to give wrong answers then claim your audience isn’t smart enough to understand anything clearer.
    It wastes your time, and annoys the audience.

    And even the most magnificent and universally correct among us look better when we occasionally admit some slight chance we may be wrong and say we’ll try to do better, rather than defend our first drafts.

    Remember Ozymandias.

  40. 240
    Mark says:

    “Writing in public, it’s not smart to give wrong answers then claim your audience isn’t smart enough to understand anything clearer.”

    The answer isn’t wrong, though.

    Heck, even a greenhouse doesn’t act like a “classical” explanation of a greenhouse. No conduction within the glass is modelled, IR penetration and absorbtion in the moist interior isn’t explained, etc.

  41. 241
    Hank Roberts says:

    “reflection” isn’t wrong? Paging … oh, never mind.
    Mirror, mirror ….

  42. 242
    Mark says:

    re 241.

    No it isn’t.

    Heat energy that would leave is punted back down.

    The vector of emission has a component outward and, unlike without any GG, a component backward.

    ray —|
    —|

    Reflection.

    ray —|–
    -|

    Partial reflection.

    Page thine own information, it has been lost.

  43. 243

    OT, but some here may be interested in a web article I’ve published on Fourier’s contribution to climate science (note that it is heavy on historical context and biography, lighter on the science.)

    Corrections, comments and other feedback welcome.

    Note that it is an ad-supported page (and, to my chagrin, one of the ads links to a well-known denialist scam. I’ve got no control over that, other than not to bother at all.)

    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Science-Of-Global-Warming-In-The-Age-Of-Napoleon

    I plan to continue with other “classic” GW science, though it’ll be harder to find information, and, especially, such pretty pictures for some of the topics!

  44. 244
    Hank Roberts says:

    Okay, here’s a source for arguing it makes sense to say that infrared is “reflected” by the atmosphere, — attributed to NCAR.

    The illustration contradicts its caption. Fun!

    http://www.energysustained.com/global_warming_files/Pic5b.jpg The caption: “… an illustration of how some radiation is reflected from the earth but infrared is absorbed and then reemitted. The infrared radiation is then reflected back to earth by the atmosphere. (cited to):
    1. “The Greenhouse Effect” National Centre for Atmospheric Research & UCAR/Comet http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_3_1.htm [accessed 2007, May. 19]

    Any physicist in the audience think it matters at all?

    [Response: Yes. Reflection kind of implies that it is the same energy that was going up goes back down. That's not right. Nor is 're-emitted'. GHGs absorb IR, and emit IR, just not the same IR.... Go with the blanket metaphor instead of pop-radiative transfer. - gavin]

  45. 245

    Hey guys — the issue here seems to be one of being both scientifically accurate and describing the phenomenon on a level that won’t drive “folks” away.

    I appreciate the comments you’ve made and all I can promise is to do my best. I’ll post a link to the completed paper when I finish (deadline is late this week).

    Burgy

  46. 246
    Rod B says:

    dhogaza (233), well, maybe. Though Biology has way too many long, complicated, and goofy words…

  47. 247
    Hank Roberts says:

    Thank you Gavin.

  48. 248

    Rod Brick

    Progress? Maybe i’m starting to get a clearer picture of your perspective? I’m still trying to understand some things about your perspective though. Your responses/statements still contain various degrees of ambiguity and within this context I think ambiguity is the root of all evil, as it causes so much more effort to get to a relevant point.

    When you say there is significant uncertainty, that statement needs specific context. Because there are many things it could apply to in climate sciences guessing (projections).

    Are you talking about whether the blinkers on my car will stop working on my next trip, or are you referring to the amount of positive feedback from H2O when considered with methane release from tundra while the Arctic amplification kicks in to gear?

    That is why I wanted to ask you the questions I asked. I’m trying to understand your context since you don’t always give it when you claim something.

    I would like to know your perspective on the following. Since you are having difficulty with a specific % can you speak in ranges?:

    What % range of this global warming event do you think is human caused (example 30% to 50% or 45% to 65%) This is a qualitative question but it relates to what is known about the attribution for global warming.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability/overview/image/image_view_fullscreen

    This chart indicates that while natural variation is occurring, it is on an entirely different path,

    So then, is it not reasonable to say that the path we are on is entirely, if not virtually 100%, human caused?

    I’m wondering if you are in agreement with that assessment?

    John P. Reisman

    In January, 2009 the good folks at the Citizens Climate Lobby, abandoned support for Cap & Trade, and accepted that the best direction is Dr. Hansens recommendation for a direct carbon tax. I have met with them personally and am now supporting the effort.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/economics

    Please contact them and join the effort. The plan is easy. Get introduced to the effort. Then get 10 or 15 people together and go talk to your congressman. Congress is more likely to listen to a group as opposed to an individual as that translates to votes.

    http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org/

    I believe this has significant capacity to make a difference in the immediate future.

  49. 249
    Mark says:

    re reply 244 “Yes. Reflection kind of implies that it is the same energy that was going up goes back down.”

    But reflection isn’t the same photons going up as going down and that’s the energy in IR radiation. So that can’t be the implication, can it?

    And if you go with the “blanket” then you get people telling you that the blanket reduces the thermal conductivity and the temperature difference between the body blanketed and the rest of the whatever.

    So where do you stop trying to second-guess the denialist?

    Maybe what should be done is to ready, in case there’s a return of “But it’s more complicated than that” is to have the full equations used in the radiative transfer model.

    Pass it on, and say, yes it is, here’s something that is much closer to what’s happening from first principles. Hard, innit?

  50. 250
    Mark says:

    Hank, 244, that picture isn’t really it, either, since the reradiation is isotropic, the free path isn’t. And the thermalisation of the radiation (we all spent a LOOONG time talking to a non-receptive RodB on this a while back, if you remember!) relies on frequent inelastic collisions repartitioning the energy into things other than 15um IR radiation.

    So we already have one example of someone who probably is arguing against that picture when that picture is “right enough to explain it” but not *right*.


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