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CRU Hack: More context

Filed under: — gavin @ 2 December 2009

Continuation of the older threads. Please scan those (even briefly) to see whether your point has already been dealt with. Let me know if there is something worth pulling from the comments to the main post.

In the meantime, read about why peer-review is a necessary but not sufficient condition for science to be worth looking at. Also, before you conclude that the emails have any impact on the science, read about the six easy steps that mean that CO2 (and the other greenhouse gases) are indeed likely to be a problem, and think specifically how anything in the emails affect them.

Update: The piece by Peter Kelemen at Columbia in Popular Mechanics is quite sensible, even if I don’t agree in all particulars.

Further update: Nature’s editorial.

Further, further update: Ben Santer’s mail (click on quoted text), the Mike Hulme op-ed, and Kevin Trenberth.

1,285 Responses to “CRU Hack: More context”

  1. 1101
    manacker says:

    Timothy Chase (1100)

    As you say, the explanation for the multi-decadal oscillations is not that obvious.

    CO2 certainly cannot have been the reason, as it did not oscillate.

    The overall long-term trend of 0.04degC per decade could have been caused primarily by increased CO2 and other GHGs, but it does not explain the observed oscillations.

    I would bet on the many as yet poorly understood natural variability (a.k.a. natural forcing) factors, which are now being cited as the reason for the current cooling blip.

    Increased low-level cloud cover does not necessarily have anything to do with the Clean Air Act; it could just as well have been caused by some natural forcing factor. The fact that human aerosols have a short life span and the geographical distribution does not really check very well (as you pointed out), would lead me to favor a natural cause, rather than an anthropogenic one, for the mid-century cooling half-cycle.

    The unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years) may have played a role, although changes in direct solar irradiance alone do not seem high enough to have caused major changes.

    This may have played a major role in the early 20th century warming cycle, which showed a similar increase as the late 20th century warming, which is being at least partly attributed to human GHGs.

    Timothy, I think you have to accept that there are still many more things about our climate that we do not know today. Hopefully, many of these unknowns will some day be solved.

    You apparently agree that CO2 is only a part of the equation, so we are in agreement on that point.

    But it is a fascinating subject, as long as we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we know all there is to know about what drives our climate.

    Max

  2. 1102
    Timothy Chase says:

    Hank Roberts wrote in 1063:

    Max “manacker” pretends ignorance. People have pointed out he’s faking his charts:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Arealclimate.org+manacker+six+160

    manacker responded in 1097:

    Hank Roberts

    The annual HadCRUT record, which I plotted and analyzed has 159 points from 1850 to 2008 (not 6).

    Repeating something wrong ten times does not make it come true, Hank.

    Max

    Max, perhaps I can help clear things up…

    You wrote in 868:

    The CO2/temperature correlation has been broken down to cover these multi-decadal warming/cooling cycles:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2768/4182731844_5804a17ca2_b.jpg

    jay responded in 924:

    I wanted to look at the strength of this correlation but thought it might be nice to have more data than the 6 points/periods you chose. With that in mind I had a look at your first data source:
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcru3t/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/annual

    I read this file into R, averaged the rows (anomaly for each year) and plotted versus time. I overlaid your chosen “data” points. (These are the Red “X”s).

    http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/976/crazydistortion.jpg

    This made me a bit angry, as I realized I’d wasted some time dealing with some data that had obviously been distorted or cherry picked to somehow make a point. Then I calmed down and thought that there’s probably a good explanation, so:

    Can you explain how you calculated your temperature anomaly? Can you explain why they are so far off from the time series from which you claim to have sourced your data? Seeing as so much data is available from your source, why did you winnow 160 anomaly data points down to 6?

    Now of course in 909 you responded to jay:

    As I read it the GH theory tells me that the increase in temperature due to GH warming from CO2 is directly related to the logarithm of the CO2 concentration at the end of a period divided by the CO2 concentration at the beginning of the period.

    However, the effects of carbon dioxide are not instantaneous. There is a time lag in which the earth warms up due to an imbalance between energy entering the system and energy leaving the system. In particular, the ocean has a high thermal inertia, taking a long time to heat up — with a characteristic time scale of about 30 years — if I remember correctly. And it has to warm up if the earth is to radiate energy at the same rate that energy is entering the system — given the increased opacity of the atmosphere.

    But in essence — with your six points out of 160 as Hank puts it — you assume that at the beginning of each period and at the end of each period the system has already reached Charney equilibrium. That it is already at equilibrium at the beginning of the period and therefore has no further warming to do as the result of the carbon dioxide it accumulated during the previous period, and that it is already at equilibrium at the end of the period — and has no further warming to do as the result of the carbon dioxide it accumulated during the current period.

    An instantaneous response to the carbon dioxide, an instantateous response of water vapor feedback to the carbon dioxide, an instantaneous response of the ocean to the imbalance between radiation entering the system and radiation leaving the system and thus an instantaneous response of the average global temperature to the amount of carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere — at any given moment.

    Frankly it is rather difficult to see how anyone could make such “errors” honestly — and if they were honest errors this wouldn’t speak very well of their intelligence or sanity. Not much to choose from, I’m afraid.

  3. 1103
    Rod B says:

    Scott A. Mandia & Timothy Chase, thanks, that clears up a bunch.

    TC, just as an aside, I thought the mechanism for ozone heating the stratosphere from visible and UV was different — mostly ionization and dissociation. Or is my memory confused?

  4. 1104
    Rod B says:

    Hey! Gavin (169), if you’re talking of partying one year +\- is close enough.

  5. 1105
    Rod B says:

    Timothy Chase (1092), a real nitpick but absorptivity and emissivity are equal and have no dependence on thermal equilibrium of the surrounding EM field..

  6. 1106
    Timothy Chase says:

    Rod B wrote in 1104:

    Timothy Chase (1092), a real nitpick but absorptivity and emissivity are equal and have no dependence on thermal equilibrium of the surrounding EM field…

    You’re right…

    While Kirchoff’s law is most easily derived in the context of thermodynamic equilibrium where matter and the electromagnetic field have the same temperature, it can be generalized to where matter is simply in a local thermodynamic equilibrium so long as the matter has a well-defined temperature — independently of the electromagnetic field itself. Thus matter may be in a local thermodynamic equilibrium at say 300°K while the while bathed in sunlight that has a brightness temperature of 5700°K. It only requires that matter have a well-defined temperature — which means the equipartition of thermal energy among the different rotational, vibrational and rovibrational modes where the temperatures associated with each mode will be the same as the kinetic temperature.

  7. 1107
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Rod B, you don’t even seem to read your own posts. When you’re not in equilibrium, absorption and emission do NOT have to be equal.

    How else would a body warm up if they were always and forever equal?

    You shine 10W of warming IR on a target, it releases 10W and doesn’t heat up.

    So how does IR manage to heat ANYTHING?

    Heck, how about microwave ovens? How does that manage to heat your microwave dinner? 800W in, 800W shot out. Net heating: nil.

    If you were right, anyway.

    That the microwave ovens DO work shows how wrong you are.

    Did you once say you were a scientist? Anyone remember what Rod B said about his education?

  8. 1108
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Manacker, your claim about a 60-year cycle is nothing more than seeing “pictures in the clouds.” You haven’t established it because there’s really no evidence for it.”

    Dont blame max. He’s just parroting Roy Spencer (IIRC) “discovery” that there’s a 30-60 year cycle in temperatures that *just happen* to make it about to cool any decade now. Really. No, honest, just wait. OK, maybe next decade…

    He’s not found anything, he’s REPEATING.

    He doesn’t answer because he’s not the one doing the work. He’s repeating what a static site says and that doesn’t answer your questions because the pseudoscientist who wrote it didn’t want to consider their discovery skeptically because it accorded with their views.

    As does max.

  9. 1109
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “but I prefer real data, as I pointed out to Marcus.”

    But you don’t prefer real analysis, as your posts display.

    You don’t even like using all the data as several other posts have shown. Which, though it contains real data, so does mine. Like mine, it lacks all the real data. So the set I use is as reasonable as ones you’ve used yourself before without murmur from you about “real data”.

    The analysis I did on those numbers were EXACTLY the same ones you did.

    The conclusion I came to is exactly the same one as your analysis method would describe.

    Yet the numbers unequivocally show that this conclusion is wrong.

    I can understand that you don’t like it when your analysis is shown so clearly and simple that it is utterly wrong, hence the unreasoning of your “rebuttal”, but show me where your analysis would get a different answer for that dataset and maybe your analysis is correct.

    But your analysis gets the wrong answer. Therefore either it’s inapplicable or it has limited utility and you have to prove that your analysis is correct for the data you’d like to do.

  10. 1110
    Timothy Chase says:

    Completely Fed Up at 1107 wrote:

    Rod B, you don’t even seem to read your own posts. When you’re not in equilibrium, absorption and emission do NOT have to be equal.

    How else would a body warm up if they were always and forever equal?

    You shine 10W of warming IR on a target, it releases 10W and doesn’t heat up.

    So how does IR manage to heat ANYTHING?

    We aren’t speaking of emission and absorption but emissivity and absorptivity. To arrive at the emission at a given wavelength one multiplies the spectral emissivity times the blackbody spectral emission at that wavelength. Likewise to arrive at the absorption one multiplies the blackbody absorption at that wavelength times the spectral absorptivity — i.e., the absorptivity at that wavelength.

    Rod B. has it right. Common mistake, though. I am pretty sure I was making it for a while.

  11. 1111
    JLS says:

    Steve Fish,

    on your (687)
    [You appear to be saying that CO2-greenhouse warming, described by climate
    science, is just the result of a descriptive statistical model and simple correlation. It is not. If I have misunderstood what you have said, never mind, otherwise go study.]

    Apologies, could not answer you earlier, been consumed with work. I did not mean to say majority-view AGW is reducible to simple hypotheses holding to only one or a few correlations in these trends. David’s statement points to a theory which is for now is better grounded on supportive correlations in the sparse data, than on output from simulations where temperatures are just one parametered set out of many. Causation “revealed” in scenario models yet unconfirmed by significant experiment remains weakly implied, as virtual methods by their nature can only approximate and not substantiate the entire object under study as a body of “emergent” material evidence.

    The hypotheses on recent CO2 trends OTOH has good data and refutable explanations and is conceptually supported by significant experiments and observations.

  12. 1112
    Timothy Chase says:

    Rod B wrote in 1103:

    TC, just as an aside, I thought the mechanism for ozone heating the stratosphere from visible and UV was different — mostly ionization and dissociation. Or is my memory confused?

    Not sure. Mostly what you see is mention of how O2 is split by higher energy UV and then ozone is formed by single O+O2->O3. Then O+O3->2O2.

    However, O3 has absorption bands in the lower energy 3100-3400 Angstrom UV region. The central question at that point isn’t whether this leads to photodisassociation. I know that this takes place, but rather, how the photon is absorbed in the first place.

    Is it by knocking an electron lose (ionization), knocking an to a higher orbital (i.e., an electron to a quantized state of excitation), or knocking the molecule itself to a quantized state of excitation? I see mention of stretching modes in relation to UV absorption — which would suggest the latter.

    However, so far what literature I have seen is inconclusive. They simply don’t go into it in that level of detail.

  13. 1113
    manacker says:

    Timothy Chase (1102)

    Thanks for your long, somewhat rambling 1102.

    Part of the message is just a rehash of carefully selected exchanges (which really contributes nothing meaningful to our discussion). I will ignore that part.

    I believe that the only meaningful point made is that it takes time for “equilibrium” to be reached, due primarily to the long time required to warm the ocean (30 years, as you estimate).

    Theory is wonderful, but observed facts are infinitely better, Timothy.

    As an example, the ocean has been cooling since the new Argo measurements were put into service around 2003. How does the “equilibrium” theory explain that?
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/03/24/lorne-gunter-perhaps-the-climate-change-models-are-wrong.aspx
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2006/s2704.htm

    Sure, there was apparently an attempt to “adjust” the observed data to make it fit the theory, but that approach is fairly transparent to one and all.
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/11/correcting-ocean-cooling-nasa-changes-data-to-fit-the-models/

    But, Timothy, the point here has nothing to do with reaching “equilibrium”. It has to do with lack of correlation.

    There have been observed warming and cooling cycles in the temperature record (rough 60 years per total cycle). These oscillations cannot be explained by the GH theory (or the models).

    There is no apparent correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature change during these cycles.

    Without robust correlation, the case for causation is weak.

    All the rationalizations you have brought do not change this.

    As you say, “not much to choose from, I’m afraid”.

    Max

  14. 1114
    manacker says:

    Completely Fed Up (1109)

    To my statement:

    “but I prefer real data, as I pointed out to Marcus.”

    You replied:

    you have to prove that your analysis is correct for the data you’d like to do

    Not really, CFU.

    I do not have to prove anything.

    I have just observed (as I just wrote Timothy) that there have been multi-decadal warming and cooling cycles that do not correlate in any way with atmospheric CO2.

    These cycles are well covered in many papers, including those cited by IPCC, so this is not at all something that I made up.

    I do not have to disprove a correlation; the observed record shows that the correlation is poor.

    It is up to you or Timothy to prove an observed correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature.

    Once we have this, we can start to talk about observed causation.

    Max

  15. 1115
    manacker says:

    Completely Fed Up (1108)

    You opined:

    Dont blame max. He’s just parroting Roy Spencer (IIRC) “discovery” that there’s a 30-60 year cycle in temperatures

    Not really, CFU. Neither Roy Spencer nor I “discovered” these observed cycles – all those thermometers out there (even the ones next to AC exhausts and asphalt parking lots in the middle of urban sprawl) measured and recorded them.

    These cycles are described in IPCC AR4, as I cited earlier.

    The early 20th century warming (0.53°C over the period 1910-1944) has been studied by Delworth and Knutson, as I mentioned earlier.

    IPCC acknowledges the existence of the early 20th-century warming cycle and concedes that the “modelling studies indicate more uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming than the recent warming” (AR4, Ch.9. p.691).

    Sorry to have to point out yet another error you made, CFU.

    Max

  16. 1116
    Timothy Chase says:

    David B. Benson wrote in 430:

    JLS (418) — (1) CO2 is a global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas; without it the earth would be too cold to be habitable. Check any middle school earth science text. (2) Humans have been burning lots of fossil fules; obvious. (3) CO2 in the atmosphere continues to increase; check the Keeling curve. (4) More CO2 in the atmosphere produces more warming; radiative physics.

    JLS responded four days later in 664:

    on your(430), agreed these are valid, although statement 4, atmospheric CO2 == AGW, IMHO is grounded as a correlation supporting the only available(ok) yet unfalsifiable(not ok) hypothesis. Please understand, I’m no climate expert, but the arguments of many real ones including some here lead me to accept that simulated scenarios may well be the best the models can “discover” to resolve things. Causation obviously cannot be empirically confirmed by experimentation at the required global scale.

    I can see that the data shows a recent warming trend coincident with a trend of increasing population and economic outputs. And long-term CO2 levels are of the greatest concern simply because these pose an unknown, uncontrolled, and possibly runaway risk, and therefore mitigation strategies ought be researched and readied to scale in the event outcomes do start to emerge dismally.

    Steve Fish wrote in 687<:

    You appear to be saying that CO2-greenhouse warming, described by climate science, is just the result of a descriptive statistical model and simple correlation. It is not. If I have misunderstood what you have said, never mind, otherwise go study.

    JLS responds eleven days later in 1110:

    Apologies, could not answer you earlier, been consumed with work.

    You must be kept very, very busy. A 4-day delay the first time around and now 11 days? It is a wonder that you are able to remember when you posted a comment so as to go back to that day and see if anyone responded to you then. I must compliment you on your memory if not your punctuality.
    *
    JLS responds eleven days later in 1110:

    I did not mean to say majority-view AGW is reducible to simple hypotheses holding to only one or a few correlations in these trends. David’s statement points to a theory which is for now is better grounded on supportive correlations in the sparse data, than on output from simulations where temperatures are just one parametered set out of many. Causation “revealed” in scenario models yet unconfirmed by significant experiment remains weakly implied, as virtual methods by their nature can only approximate and not substantiate the entire object under study as a body of “emergent” material evidence.

    Given the fact that you consider carbon dioxide trends separately (see below) I can only assume that by these contortions of the English language you are refering to David B. Benson’s:

    (1) CO2 is a global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas; without it the earth would be too cold to be habitable. Check any middle school earth science text.

    (4) More CO2 in the atmosphere produces more warming; radiative physics.

    IN 1824 Fourier identified the fact that simply given the distance of the earth from the sun, the radiation that it receives, the infrared radiation it emits, the earth should be too cold to support life. He hypothesized back then that the atmosphere must be partly opaque to infrared, thermal radiation, thereby keeping the earth warm enough to remain habitable.

    We have likewise known since the late 1800s that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation and thereby heats the earth’s surface — and it was hypothesized that by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere human’s might raise the temperature of the planet.

    Please see:

    Svante Arrhenius (April 1896) On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science Series 5, Volume 41, April 1896, pages 237-276
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Arrhenius.pdf

    We are able to identify the absorption spectra of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases:

    Other gases have much different absorption properties. Methane (CH4), for example, has a couple of very small wavelength regions in which it absorbs strongly and these occur at about 3.5 and 8 microns, which are in the infrared region. Nitrous oxide, N2O, having peaks at about 5 and 8 microns, absorbs in fairly narrow wavelength ranges.

    Carbon dioxide has a more complex absorption spectrum with isolated peaks at about 2.6 and 4 microns and a shoulder, or complete blockout, of infrared radiation beyond about 13 microns. From this we see that carbon dioxide is a very strong absorber of infrared radiation. The plot for water vapor shows an absorption spectrum more complex even than carbon dioxide, with numerous broad peaks in the infrared region between 0.8 and 10 microns.

    Greenhouse Gas Absorption Spectrum
    http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/spectrum.html

    We are able to fingerprint the effects of greenhouse gases on downwelling and upwelling radiation spectra.

    Please see:

    Radiation Transmitted by the Atmosphere
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission_png

    We are able to explain the absorption bands of carbon dioxide by reference to quantum mechanics and perform numerical calculations to explain its spectra.

    Please see:

    The carbon dioxide molecule is polyatomic, and as a result is capable of more complex vibrational motions than a simple diatomic molecule. Each IR active vibration has a characteristic vibrational frequency, which produce multiple transition bands on its infrared absorption spectrum. Multiple transition bands make the spectrum more complex than a spectrum for a diatomic molecule. In the computer program Igor Pro the molecular constants of CO2 were used to generate the Anharmonic oscillator and Non-rigid rotor model’s energy functions. In Igor the Bohr condition and the selection rules for rotational and vibrational quantum number the possible energy transitions were used to simulate the spectrum. The approximate intensities of the transitions were calculated using the Boltzmann equation. Intensities of transitions were plotted against allowable transition energies to create a simulated spectrum.

    E. Schmidt, N. Aslesen ( 2005) Simulating the IR Spectrum of a Polyatomic Molecule, Carbon Dioxide, and Recognizing its Complexity; J. Phys. Chem. Lab, 9, 54-63

    We are able to image the increased opacity of the atmosphere to infrared radiation due to carbon dioxide.

    Please see:

    This visualization is a time-series of the global distribution and variation of the concentration of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the NASA Aqua spacecraft. For comparison, it is overlain by a graph of the seasonal variation and interannual increase of carbon dioxide observed at the Mauna Loa, Hawaii observatory.

    Visualization of Carbon Dioxide Increase and Seasonal Variation, September 2002 through July 2008
    AIRS: Atmospheric Infrared Sounder
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/CO2_Increase_Sep2002-Jul2008/

    We are likewise able to satellite image water vapor due its absorption spectra.

    Please see:

    Water Vapor at 500 Millibars
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/maps/maps_in_motion/water_vapor/

    We are able to identify the reduction in outgoing radiation in the infrared spectra and fingerprint the greenhouse gases that are responsible for this.

    Please see for example:

    Measurements of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave radiation recorded in 1970, 1997 and 2003 are compared to determine the change in radiative forcing over that period. The changes are shown to be in agreements with that simulated by MODTRAN, a band model, using the known changes in atmospheric temperature and greenhouse gas concentrations when the effects of noise in the observed spectra are considered. The only region where the simulations are unable to reproduce the observations is in the ν4 band of methane around 1306cm−1 .

    Griggs, Jennifer A.; Harries, John E. (November 2004) Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present
    Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing XII. Edited by Strojnik, Marija. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 5543, pp. 164-174

    We are able to measure the increase in infrared radiation at the earth’s surface due to greenhouse gases.

    Please see:

    Here we present the changes and trends of radiative fluxes at the surface and their relation to greenhouse gas increases and temperature and humidity changes measured from 1995 to 2002 at eight stations of the Alpine Surface Radiation Budget (ASRB) network. ASRB stations (Table 1) are located between 370 and 3580 m a.s.l., and over an area of about 200 by 200 km square in the Alps (central Europe, latitude 46N). Surface radiation budget measurements [Marty et al., 2002] rely on accurate measurements of downward and upward shortwave and longwave radiation at the meteorological screen level height. Longwave radiation instrumentation has been largely improved in recent years [Philipona et al., 1995; Marty et al., 2003] and is now related to an absolute reference standard instrument

    Rolf Philipona et al ( 6 Feb 2004) Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, L03202

    Based upon their spectra, we are able to identify the extent to which individual greenhouse gases have been responsible for the increase in infrared radiation at the earth’s surface.

    Please see:

    Measurements of the downward radiative flux have been made for several important greenhouse gases. At mid-latitudes in summer as compared to winter, our measurements show that the downward surface flux from H2O has doubled to 200 W/m2. The water increase causes a reduction of the fluxes from the other greenhouse gases. These measurements show that the greenhouse effect from trace gases in the atmosphere is real and adds significantly to the radiative burden of the atmosphere. The greenhouse radiation has increased by approximately 3.52 W/m2 since pre-industrial times.

    WFJ Evans and E. Puckrin (30 Jan 2006) P1.7 Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate, 18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change, American Meteorological society

    For more, please see:

    How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm

    We know that for every 1°C the temperature rises the absolute humidity increases by roughly 8%, and that for every 10°C the water vapor content of the atmosphere roughly doubles. Like carbon dioxide, water vapor is a greenhouse gas — one of the gases that is playing a role in the enhanced greenhouse effect. But whereas water vapor rapidly achieves equilibrium as it gets rained out of the atmosphere every 7-10 days, 25% of the carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere will still be there 1000 years from now. Therefore in terms of the enhanced greenhouse effect carbon dioxide leads, water vapor follows.
    *
    JLS responds eleven days later in 1110:

    The hypotheses on recent CO2 trends OTOH has good data and refutable explanations and is conceptually supported by significant experiments and observations.

    Yes — we can show that it is anthropogenic. Not only is the trend in carbon dioxide going up, but the trend in the ratio of lower isotope 12C/13C in atmospheric CO2 is going up — indicating that the carbon that is being added is of geologic (read “fossil fuel”) origin. Likewise the level of oxygen is going down — at a rate that is indicative of the atmospheric carbon being the result of fossil fuel combustion. And likewise the rate at which carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere is roughly what one would expect given the consumption of fossil fuel.

    Please see:

    pg. 138, AR4-WG1 Chapter 2, Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing, available at:
    Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
    IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg1_report_the_physical_science_basis.htm

    However, as the preceding material suggests, the radiative properties of carbon dioxide and its role in an enhanced greenhouse effect that is responsible for recent global warming is likewise quite secure.

    I hope that I have helped to clarify the issues that David B. Benson originally pointed out to you.

  17. 1117
    Timothy Chase says:

    FORMAT CORRECTION

    David B. Benson wrote in 430:

    JLS (418) — (1) CO2 is a global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas; without it the earth would be too cold to be habitable. Check any middle school earth science text. (2) Humans have been burning lots of fossil fules; obvious. (3) CO2 in the atmosphere continues to increase; check the Keeling curve. (4) More CO2 in the atmosphere produces more warming; radiative physics.

    JLS responded four days later in 664:

    on your(430), agreed these are valid, although statement 4, atmospheric CO2 == AGW, IMHO is grounded as a correlation supporting the only available(ok) yet unfalsifiable(not ok) hypothesis. Please understand, I’m no climate expert, but the arguments of many real ones including some here lead me to accept that simulated scenarios may well be the best the models can “discover” to resolve things. Causation obviously cannot be empirically confirmed by experimentation at the required global scale.

    I can see that the data shows a recent warming trend coincident with a trend of increasing population and economic outputs. And long-term CO2 levels are of the greatest concern simply because these pose an unknown, uncontrolled, and possibly runaway risk, and therefore mitigation strategies ought be researched and readied to scale in the event outcomes do start to emerge dismally.

    Steve Fish wrote in 687:

    You appear to be saying that CO2-greenhouse warming, described by climate science, is just the result of a descriptive statistical model and simple correlation. It is not. If I have misunderstood what you have said, never mind, otherwise go study.

    JLS responds eleven days later in 1110:

    Apologies, could not answer you earlier, been consumed with work.

    You must be kept very, very busy. A 4-day delay the first time around and now 11 days? It is a wonder that you are able to remember when you posted a comment so as to go back to that day and see if anyone responded to you then. I must compliment you on your memory if not your punctuality.
    *
    JLS responds eleven days later in 1110:

    I did not mean to say majority-view AGW is reducible to simple hypotheses holding to only one or a few correlations in these trends. David’s statement points to a theory which is for now is better grounded on supportive correlations in the sparse data, than on output from simulations where temperatures are just one parametered set out of many. Causation “revealed” in scenario models yet unconfirmed by significant experiment remains weakly implied, as virtual methods by their nature can only approximate and not substantiate the entire object under study as a body of “emergent” material evidence.

    Given the fact that you consider carbon dioxide trends separately (see below) I can only assume that by these contortions of the English language you are refering to David B. Benson’s:

    (1) CO2 is a global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas; without it the earth would be too cold to be habitable. Check any middle school earth science text.

    (4) More CO2 in the atmosphere produces more warming; radiative physics.

    IN 1824 Fourier identified the fact that simply given the distance of the earth from the sun, the radiation that it receives, the infrared radiation it emits, the earth should be too cold to support life. He hypothesized back then that the atmosphere must be partly opaque to infrared, thermal radiation, thereby keeping the earth warm enough to remain habitable.

    We have likewise known since the late 1800s that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation and thereby heats the earth’s surface — and it was hypothesized that by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere human’s might raise the temperature of the planet.

    Please see:

    Svante Arrhenius (April 1896) On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science Series 5, Volume 41, April 1896, pages 237-276
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Arrhenius.pdf

    We are able to identify the absorption spectra of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases:

    Other gases have much different absorption properties. Methane (CH4), for example, has a couple of very small wavelength regions in which it absorbs strongly and these occur at about 3.5 and 8 microns, which are in the infrared region. Nitrous oxide, N2O, having peaks at about 5 and 8 microns, absorbs in fairly narrow wavelength ranges.

    Carbon dioxide has a more complex absorption spectrum with isolated peaks at about 2.6 and 4 microns and a shoulder, or complete blockout, of infrared radiation beyond about 13 microns. From this we see that carbon dioxide is a very strong absorber of infrared radiation. The plot for water vapor shows an absorption spectrum more complex even than carbon dioxide, with numerous broad peaks in the infrared region between 0.8 and 10 microns.

    Greenhouse Gas Absorption Spectrum
    http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/spectrum.html

    We are able to fingerprint the effects of greenhouse gases on downwelling and upwelling radiation spectra.

    Please see:

    Radiation Transmitted by the Atmosphere
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission_png

    We are able to explain the absorption bands of carbon dioxide by reference to quantum mechanics and perform numerical calculations to explain its spectra.

    Please see:

    The carbon dioxide molecule is polyatomic, and as a result is capable of more complex vibrational motions than a simple diatomic molecule. Each IR active vibration has a characteristic vibrational frequency, which produce multiple transition bands on its infrared absorption spectrum. Multiple transition bands make the spectrum more complex than a spectrum for a diatomic molecule. In the computer program Igor Pro the molecular constants of CO2 were used to generate the Anharmonic oscillator and Non-rigid rotor model’s energy functions. In Igor the Bohr condition and the selection rules for rotational and vibrational quantum number the possible energy transitions were used to simulate the spectrum. The approximate intensities of the transitions were calculated using the Boltzmann equation. Intensities of transitions were plotted against allowable transition energies to create a simulated spectrum.

    E. Schmidt, N. Aslesen ( 2005) Simulating the IR Spectrum of a Polyatomic Molecule, Carbon Dioxide, and Recognizing its Complexity; J. Phys. Chem. Lab, 9, 54-63

    We are able to image the increased opacity of the atmosphere to infrared radiation due to carbon dioxide.

    Please see:

    This visualization is a time-series of the global distribution and variation of the concentration of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the NASA Aqua spacecraft. For comparison, it is overlain by a graph of the seasonal variation and interannual increase of carbon dioxide observed at the Mauna Loa, Hawaii observatory.

    Visualization of Carbon Dioxide Increase and Seasonal Variation, September 2002 through July 2008
    AIRS: Atmospheric Infrared Sounder
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/CO2_Increase_Sep2002-Jul2008/

    We are likewise able to satellite image water vapor due its absorption spectra.

    Please see:

    Water Vapor at 500 Millibars
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/maps/maps_in_motion/water_vapor/

    We are able to identify the reduction in outgoing radiation in the infrared spectra and fingerprint the greenhouse gases that are responsible for this.

    Please see for example:

    Measurements of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave radiation recorded in 1970, 1997 and 2003 are compared to determine the change in radiative forcing over that period. The changes are shown to be in agreements with that simulated by MODTRAN, a band model, using the known changes in atmospheric temperature and greenhouse gas concentrations when the effects of noise in the observed spectra are considered. The only region where the simulations are unable to reproduce the observations is in the ν4 band of methane around 1306cm−1 .

    Griggs, Jennifer A.; Harries, John E. (November 2004) Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present
    Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing XII. Edited by Strojnik, Marija. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 5543, pp. 164-174

    We are able to measure the increase in infrared radiation at the earth’s surface due to greenhouse gases.

    Please see:

    Here we present the changes and trends of radiative fluxes at the surface and their relation to greenhouse gas increases and temperature and humidity changes measured from 1995 to 2002 at eight stations of the Alpine Surface Radiation Budget (ASRB) network. ASRB stations (Table 1) are located between 370 and 3580 m a.s.l., and over an area of about 200 by 200 km square in the Alps (central Europe, latitude 46N). Surface radiation budget measurements [Marty et al., 2002] rely on accurate measurements of downward and upward shortwave and longwave radiation at the meteorological screen level height. Longwave radiation instrumentation has been largely improved in recent years [Philipona et al., 1995; Marty et al., 2003] and is now related to an absolute reference standard instrument

    Rolf Philipona et al ( 6 Feb 2004) Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, L03202

    Based upon their spectra, we are able to identify the extent to which individual greenhouse gases have been responsible for the increase in infrared radiation at the earth’s surface.

    Please see:

    Measurements of the downward radiative flux have been made for several important greenhouse gases. At mid-latitudes in summer as compared to winter, our measurements show that the downward surface flux from H2O has doubled to 200 W/m2. The water increase causes a reduction of the fluxes from the other greenhouse gases. These measurements show that the greenhouse effect from trace gases in the atmosphere is real and adds significantly to the radiative burden of the atmosphere. The greenhouse radiation has increased by approximately 3.52 W/m2 since pre-industrial times.

    WFJ Evans and E. Puckrin (30 Jan 2006) P1.7 Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate, 18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change, American Meteorological society

    For more, please see:

    How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm

    We know that for every 1°C the temperature rises the absolute humidity increases by roughly 8%, and that for every 10°C the water vapor content of the atmosphere roughly doubles. Like carbon dioxide, water vapor is a greenhouse gas — one of the gases that is playing a role in the enhanced greenhouse effect. But whereas water vapor rapidly achieves equilibrium as it gets rained out of the atmosphere every 7-10 days, 25% of the carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere will still be there 1000 years from now. Therefore in terms of the enhanced greenhouse effect carbon dioxide leads, water vapor follows.
    *
    JLS responds eleven days later in 1110:

    The hypotheses on recent CO2 trends OTOH has good data and refutable explanations and is conceptually supported by significant experiments and observations.

    Yes — we can show that it is anthropogenic. Not only is the trend in carbon dioxide going up, but the trend in the ratio of lower isotope 12C/13C in atmospheric CO2 is going up — indicating that the carbon that is being added is of geologic (read “fossil fuel”) origin. Likewise the level of oxygen is going down — at a rate that is indicative of the atmospheric carbon being the result of fossil fuel combustion. And likewise the rate at which carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere is roughly what one would expect given the consumption of fossil fuel.

    Please see:

    pg. 138, AR4-WG1 Chapter 2, Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing, available at:
    Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
    IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg1_report_the_physical_science_basis.htm

    However, as the preceding material suggests, the radiative properties of carbon dioxide and its role in an enhanced greenhouse effect that is responsible for recent global warming is likewise very secure.

  18. 1118
    Timothy Chase says:

    In response to my 1102, manacker wrote in 1113:

    There is no apparent correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature change during these cycles.

    Without robust correlation, the case for causation is weak.

    I have identified the problems with your attempt to show that there is no correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide in 1102/a> as others had done before me.

    For example, Jay (924) plotted the six points that you based your analysis of correlation upon as well as the 160 points that existed in the data source that you cherry-picked your data from.

    Please see:

    http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/976/crazydistortion.jpg

    The 160 points show precisely what you would expect given the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature.

    Barton (856) has demonstrated that there is just such a correlation.

    Please see:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Correlation.html

    It is difficult to believe that the errors you made were innocent.

    Regardless, the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature isn’t based primarily upon correlation but upon physics.

    Absorption spectra that are explained in terms of the principles of quantum mechanics, the reduction of upwelling thermal radiation, the spectra of that radiation fingerprinting the greenhouse gases that are responsible for the reduction in upwelling thermal radiation, the increase in downwelling thermal radiation, the spectra of that radiation identifying the greenhouse gases responsible for the increase in downwelling thermal radiation and so on.

    Please see 1117.

  19. 1119
    Rod B says:

    Timothy Chase (1102) sticking my nose into your’s and Max’s discussion, why does the process leading to equilibrium seem to be non-linear? What is the mechanism that can cause that. In line with that, at a simple level (maybe too simple, I know) some aspect of the warming ought to be near instantaneous. That is a CO2 molecule absorbs some IR (that presumably cooled the earth’s surface) and immediately turns it into a higher atmospheric temperature through molecular collision. The sensors reading atmospheric temperature, assuming the process is ongoing (and bypassing the unsimple stuff like re-radiation), ought to theoretically pick up higher temperatures in the atmosphere at least within minutes/hours/days/ maybe even months — but not 30 years. There does seem to be something missing in the physics of the short term as Max is asking about, though I have no idea what it might be. And something missing in the physics can’t be answered with linear regression and such.

  20. 1120
    Rod B says:

    Completely Fed Up (1107), aim before you shoot. We were discussing absorptivity, not absorption, etc.

  21. 1121
    Rod B says:

    Timothy Chase (1112), thanks.

  22. 1122
    David B. Benson says:

    Rod B (1119) — There is a rapid response portion; the atmosphere and the top bit of the oceans. The response to volcanic sulfates demonstrates that. In addition, there is the slower response of the oceans down to the main thermocline. Here is the response of that two box model:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/not-computer-models/

  23. 1123
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Ah, Max goes cherrypicking outdated studies he likes and ignoring corrections submitted bythe original authors:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/lyman/Pdf/heat_2006.pdf

    or a popular account here:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Max, but science marches on!

  24. 1124
    manacker says:

    Timothy Chase (1118)

    At the end of your fairly long (and somewhat convoluted) post you wrote:

    Regardless, the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature isn’t based primarily upon correlation but upon physics

    By “physics” you mean the GH theory.

    I believe you have stated the problem.

    The GH theory (physics) tells us that increased CO2 should warm our atmosphere (and planet). Some of this warming (in the atmosphere) should occur almost immediately; some (warming of the ocean) should occur more slowly (until “equilibrium” is reached), as you pointed out.

    The empirical data based on physical observation show an underlying warming rate of 0.04°C per decade since the record started in 1850 (0.65°C linear warming over the entire period).

    The warming did not occur smoothly, but rather in observed and recorded multi-decadal warming and cooling oscillations with a total cycle time of around 60 years each.

    So the correlation may be based on physics, but if it is not validated by actual physical observation there is a problem.

    And the GH theory cannot explain the physically observed multi-decadal oscillations.

    The Met Office has attributed the most recent observed cooling “blip” to natural variability (a.k.a. natural forcing).

    Could it not be that the observed multi-decadal oscillations can also be (at least partially) attributed to these same natural forcing factors?

    And if not, why not?

    Max

  25. 1125
    manacker says:

    Ray Ladbury (1123)

    Yeah. I saw those reports “correcting” the Argo data, which showed the ocean had cooled since 2003 (I even cited a link).

    As Santa Claus says, “ho-ho-ho”.

    Do you believe in Santa Claus, Ray?

    Max

  26. 1126
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Timothy Chase, somebody is drawing you ever deeper into his own special world, an upside down place that only can make sense if you can understand his motivations. That data is not forthcoming, and even if it were you might very well discover reasons why you’ll never be able to reach him with logic.

    Attempting to bring this person into a state of improved understanding is entirely futile, like pouring gasoline on a fire and expecting it to extinguish. Whatever rationality you apply in your discussion will be converted into irrational fodder for narcissism, commercial interest or whatever it is that’s causing such derangement of the cortex in question.

    It’s completely against our nature to allow assaults on reason to go unanswered, but in this case experience shows you’re largely wasting your time. If you can’t resist, may I suggest that you avoid quoting the name of the person in question? If there’s a pathology in play here, avoiding that sort of positive feedback may help.

  27. 1127
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Maxie says, “Do you believe in Santa Claus, Ray?”

    No, I believe in the scientific method. You ought to try it sometime. It really works. And since you choose to engage in ad hominem attacks rather than engage on the substance of what I presented, I’ll claim that as a win. Want to make it official and call me a Nazi, too, so I can fill in my Godwin’s Law square on my Internet Crank Bingo card?

  28. 1128
    Rod B says:

    David B. Benson (1122), but aren’t the late 1800s to ~2000+ temperature-CO2 anomalies (30-60 year cycles and such) that Max is talking measuring the atmosphere, the ocean surface, and maybe some land surface?

  29. 1129
    Rod B says:

    Ray (1127), did you miss a beat? Your description fits Mr. X’s (don’t want to encourage him by using his name, as he suggests) #1126 very well; I saw no ad homs in #1125.

  30. 1130
    Timothy Chase says:

    Rod B wrote in 1128:

    David B. Benson (1122), but aren’t the late 1800s to ~2000+ temperature-CO2 anomalies (30-60 year and such) that Max is talking measuring the atmosphere, the ocean surface, and maybe some land surface?

    The atmosphere responds very quickly — at first. It has a characteristic time scale of perhaps a little over a week. But it has to interact with the land and the ocean surface. The ocean surface responds quickly — at first. It has a faily short characteristic time scale. Perhaps on the order of a year. But this is simply its short-term response. Its long-term response is determined in large part by that which it interacts with — principally the deeper ocean.

    Neither the land nor the atmosphere nor the ocean surface nor the ocean depths are isolated from one another. There is thermal radiation and most air convection between the land and atmosphere, the same between the ocean surface and the atmosphere, then convection between the surface and deeper layers of the ocean, the thermohaline circulation, waves that break and mix along the surface of the ocean as well as along the ocean floor, and there is the poleward circulation and mixing that is driven by hurricanes.

    If all we were dealing with was just the land, the atmosphere, or the ocean surface, the response would be something that could be roughly described as a form of exponential decay — where the difference between the current temperature and the final equilibrium temperature would be cut in half over a given period of time, and then cut in half again after the passage of another, equal passage of time.* But given the interaction with other components that have longer characteristic time periods the approach to equilibrium becomes more complicated — with the shorter characteristic time scales being important at first and then diminishing in importance as the short-term equilibrium associated with those time scales is approached and the system begins to approach the next characteristic time scale.

    Anyway, for a mathematical treatment that is fairly easy to understand, please see:

    Spencer’s Folly
    July 28, 2008
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/spencers-folly/

    *For even this much to be exact, the substance — whether it is land, atmosphere or ocean — would have to be a slab of uniform temperature — with changes in temperature communicated instantly throughout the slab.

  31. 1131
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Rod B., as it is commonly understood an “ad hominem attack” is a ploy intended to swerve a discussion away from a particular topic and toward the character or nature of one of the discussants. With regard to the person to whom I referred in #1126,, any particular AGW-related topic he may be pursuing no longer has a jot of interest for me, as he’s amply demonstrated that such conversation with him is entirely pointless. My remarks were directed specifically to his own nature. So, failing to rebut any of the points I made, your elliptical remark about me, “Mr. X”, is arguably an ad hominem response to the argument I was making in post 1126, while the remarks I made in 1126 were not actually ad hominem.

    I hope you feel better now. Anyway, the guy in question has no need of a wingman so I would not bother shedding any tears for him, if I were you.

  32. 1132
    Timothy Chase says:

    Rod B wrote in 1129:

    I saw no ad homs in #1125.

    The essence of an ad hominem is to deflect attention away from the substance of someone’s arguments and “attack” the person — as someone who is dishonest, stupid, prone to flights of the imagination, etc.. I would suggest that the Santa Claus comment deflected attention away from the substance of Ray’s remarks and simultaneously was used to suggest that Ray is a person whose beliefs are fanciful and thus not to be taken seriously or given any credence. The ad hominem was implicit and only thinly veiled. Interesting, though: I actually had to analyze it for a moment to make sure.

  33. 1133
    Completely Fed Up says:

    re 1128. No. How can I say? Because there are no 30-60 year cycles. such a statement is meaningless. A cycle repeats. If you can’t even see one repeat, it’s not a cycle.

    re 1129 so you believe in Santa Clause then, Rod B. I guess that fits.

  34. 1134
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “We were discussing absorptivity, not absorption, etc.”

    Rod B think before you speak.

    Your correction is immaterial since they still have the effect that they are only equal in equilibrium.

  35. 1135
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Max “Neither Roy Spencer nor I “discovered” these observed cycles –”

    yup, they don’t exist, so you can’t discover them. It would be like “discovering” santa’s grotto.

  36. 1136
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Ad Hominem: “An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument toward the person” or “argument against the person”) is an argument which links the validity of a premise to an irrelevant characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.”

    I believe that the argument by he whose name must not be spoken fits quite well under this definition–a refusal to engage based on facts, coupled with an implication of naivete on my part. Contrary to popular belief, the ad hominem argument is not a fallacy. Since the individual in question has raised few if any valid technical points, there is precious little in the way of substance one could engage. I am not one to try to engage in psychological diagnosis via the intertubes. However, one thumbing through the DSM IV would find ample fodder in Max’s posts.

  37. 1137
    JBowers says:

    No ad homs in this study published in Nature recently:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091216131747.htm

    “Earth’s Polar Ice Sheets Vulnerable to Even Moderate Global Warming; New Orleans, Much of Southern Florida, Expected to Be Permanently Submerged

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 17, 2009) — A new analysis of the geological record of the Earth’s sea level, carried out by scientists at Princeton and Harvard universities and published in the Dec. 16 issue of Nature, employs a novel statistical approach that reveals the planet’s polar ice sheets are vulnerable to large-scale melting even under moderate global warming scenarios. Such melting would lead to a large and relatively rapid rise in global sea level…..”

  38. 1138
    Rod B says:

    Timothy Chase (130), thanks for the help. I have an appreciation of how the path to total global equilibrium takes some time. But I’m still having trouble reconciling what Max has been talking, viz. the physics of the short-term (seemingly) periodic poor correlation between temperature and CO2 concentration. If I could take into account the deeper ocean and other long-term sinks that you mention, maybe; but the measurements going into the graphs under discussion do not include deep ocean or deep earth, etc.

  39. 1139
    Rod B says:

    Completely Fed Up, absorptivity and emissivity depend virtually entirely on the materials make up of the body. Whether there is an E-M field, or another warm body, or a hot plasma bath in the vicinity has nothing to do with it. Now if the body experiences absorption or emission, well, that’s another thing. Maybe you could use some more to eat.

  40. 1140
    manacker says:

    Completely Fed Up (1135)

    The observed warming/cooling cycles since are discussed in IPCC and have been studies by others, CFU.

    Saying ten times in a row that they do not exist will not make them magically disappear, even if you also stamp your feet on the ground.

    Max

  41. 1141
    David B. Benson says:

    Rod B — The correlation between ln(CO2) and global temperature is actually quite good:
    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Correlation.html
    The remainder of the variance is due to all the othr aspects. However, I see no reason to assume those wobbles around the trend are even quasi-periodic; people have a strong tendency to see patterns when actually none is present.

  42. 1142
    Timothy Chase says:

    Completely Fed Up wrote in 1134:

    “We were discussing absorptivity, not absorption, etc.”

    Rod B think before you speak.

    Your correction is immaterial since they still have the effect that they are only equal in equilibrium.

    At one point I thought something along these lines.

    Kirchoff’s law states that emissivity and absorptivity are equal under local thermodynamic equilibrium conditions. But what is a local thermodynamic equilibrium? One of the sources I found was Wolfram’s Science World.

    Wolfram states:

    At each point, a local temperature can be defined such that emission is given by Kirchoff’s law

    jυ= kυB&upsilon(T),

    where jυ is emission, kυ is absorption, and Bυ is the brightness given by the Planck law. A system is not in local thermodynamic equilibrium if the local kinetic (Maxwellian) temperature is not equal to the Planckian temperature of the radiation field.

    http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/LocalThermodynamicEquilibrium.html

    However, the following states that LTE conditions simply depend on there being a well-defined temperature (e.g., in the troposphere – perhaps 300°K at the surface) independent of the brightness temperature of incident radiation (e.g., sunlight — which is at 5700°K):

    local thermodynamic equilibrium – (Abbreviated LTE.) A condition under which matter emits radiation based on its intrinsic properties and its temperature, uninfluenced by the magnitude of any incident radiation.

    LTE occurs when the radiant energy absorbed by a molecule is distributed across other molecules by collisions before it is reradiated by emission. LTE is needed for Planck’s law and Kirchhoff’s law to apply, and is typically satisfied at atmospheric pressures higher than about 0.05 mb. Laser radiation is an example of non-LTE emission.

    Glossary of Meteorology, American Meteorological Society
    http://amsglossary.allenpress.com/glossary/search?p=1&query=local+thermodynamic+equilibrium

    Likewise, Wikipedia states:

    It is useful to distinguish between global and local thermodynamic equilibrium. In thermodynamics, exchanges within a system and between the system and the outside are controlled by intensive parameters. As an example, temperature controls heat exchanges. Global thermodynamic equilibrium (GTE) means that those intensive parameters are homogeneous throughout the whole system, while local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) means that those intensive parameters are varying in space and time, but are varying so slowly that for any point, one can assume thermodynamic equilibrium in some neighborhood about that point.

    Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium, Thermodynamic Equilibrium
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamic_equilibrium#Local_thermodynamic_equilibrium

    Wolfram requires that the Maxwellian temperature of matter and Planck temperature of the radiation field be the same for a system to be in local thermodynamic equilibrium. AMS does not. Wikipedia makes no mention of the Planck temperature of the radiation field. At one point I had gone with Wolfram, but then I discovered the actual derivation of Kirchoff’s law — which states that emissivity is equal to absorptivity — a derivation which does not require the equality of the temperature of matter of the temperature of the radiation field. I link to it at the bottom of this post. In any case, it would appear that AMS and not Wolfram is correct.

    However, in any case it might help to know what emissivity and absorptivity are.

    Regarding emissivity, the AMS glossary states:

    emissivity – The ratio of the power emitted by a body at a temperature T to the power emitted if the body obeyed Planck’s radiation law.

    Strictly, emissivity should be qualified by the frequency, direction, and even polarization state of the emitted radiation. This is recognized in qualifiers such as monochromatic (at a given frequency) as opposed to total (over a broad range of frequencies), and directional (the ratio for a particular direction) as opposed to hemispherical (the ratio for a hemisphere of directions). Contrary to a widespread misconception, the upper limit of emissivity is not 1. This upper limit is valid (approximately) only for bodies large compared with all relevant wavelengths. See also blackbody, emissive power, emittance.

    Glossary of Meteorology, American Meteorological Society
    http://amsglossary.allenpress.com/glossary/search?p=1&query=emissivity

    Likewise Wikipedia states:

    The emissivity of a material (usually written ε or e) is the relative power of its surface to emit heat by radiation. It is the ratio of energy radiated by a particular material to energy radiated by a black body at the same temperature. It is a measure of a material’s ability to radiate absorbed energy. A true black body would have an ε=1 while any real object would have ε<1. Emissivity is a dimensionless quantity, so it does not have units.

    Emissivity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissivity

    Absorptivity is given a similar definition:

    absorptivity – The fraction of incident radiation that is absorbed by matter.

    Absorptivity may be a function of wavelength and/or direction, and is related to the emissivity of the region by Kirchhoff’s law. The absorptivity is identically equal to unity for blackbodies and is independent of wavelength for gray bodies.

    Glossary of Meteorology, American Meteorological Society
    http://amsglossary.allenpress.com/glossary/search?p=1&query=absorptivity

    Wikipedia simplifies:

    Absorptivity: In physics, the word is used interchangeably with absorptance : the fraction of radiation absorbed at a given wavelength.

    Absorptivity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorptivity

    Likewise, regarding Kirchoff’s law, Wikipedia states:

    At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity.

    Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchoff's_law_of_thermal_radiation

    Now note: it specifically states that the law applies under conditions of thermodynamic equilibrium and makes no mention of either local thermodynamic equilibrium nor wavelength.

    The AMS glossary is more detailed and establishes that Kirchoff’s law applies under conditions of local thermodynamic equilibrium, and states that it applies not simply to emissivity and absorptivity, but to spectral emissivity and spectral absorptivity, that is, at any given wavelength:

    Kirchhoff’s law – A fundamental radiation law that equates the absorptivity of matter to its emissivity at the same wavelength.

    Loosely put, this important law asserts that good absorbers of radiation at a given wavelength are also good emitters at that wavelength. For Kirchhoff’s law to hold, the matter must be in local thermodynamic equilibrium, but the law is otherwise quite general, and applies to both natural and idealized surfaces or volumes. For natural surfaces it is often necessary to make the absorptivities and emissivities functions of direction and polarization state before applying the law.

    Glossary of Meteorology, American Meteorological Society
    http://amsglossary.allenpress.com/glossary/search?id=kirchhoff-s-law1

    A bit more powerful, that.

    Finally, a proof of Kirchoff’s Law equating absorptivity and emissivity under both thermodynamic equilibria and local thermodynamic equilibria conditions is given here:

    Radiative Transfer
    http://www.cv.nrao.edu/course/astr534/Radxfer.html

    In any case, it would appear that when Rod B. wrote in 1105:

    Timothy Chase (1092), a real nitpick but absorptivity and emissivity are equal and have no dependence on thermal equilibrium of the surrounding EM field.

    … Rod was correct. At the time I was simply thinking in terms of the emitted radiation field being in local thermodynamic equilibrium with the surrounding matter — but there is no need to separate the emitted radiation field from the general radiation field or to make any reference to the radiation field at all.

  43. 1143
    manacker says:

    Completely Fed Up

    Just to clear up your obvious confusion (1133/1135)

    Warming from around 1858 to around 1879 (+0.38degC linear change)
    Cooling from around 1879 to around 1910 (-0.23degC linear change)
    Warming from around 1910 to around 1944 (+0.53degC linear change)
    Cooling from around 1944 to around 1976 (-0.02degC linear change)
    Warming from around 1976 to around 2001 (+0.04degC linear change)

    Looks pretty cyclical to me CFU. Do you have trouble discerning a cyclical picture here?. If so, please explain.

    Short periods at beginning and end of time record, which may or may not be a part of a longer multi-decadal cycle:

    1850-1858 (cooling)
    2001-2009 (cooling)

    ‘Nuff said.

    Maz

  44. 1144
    tamino says:

    Manacker,

    Apparently your idea of showing that behavior is cyclic is to say, “Looks pretty cyclical to me.”

    That seems to be your general analytic approach. Looks pretty foolish to me.

  45. 1145
    Hank Roberts says:

    Let’s see if there’s any definition of “cycle” that fits these observations. Hmmmm.

    Ah, something like this then:

    “A business cycle is not a regular, predictable, or repeating phenomenon like the swing of the pendulum of a clock. Its timing is random and, to a large degress, unpredictable.”

    http://economics.about.com/cs/studentresources/f/business_cycle.htm

  46. 1146
    Completely Fed Up says:

    #1145 and those cycles do not prove that the stock market will go back to 1810 levels.

    Max: “Just to clear up your obvious confusion (1133/1135)”

    You are the confused one.

    Going up and going down isn’t a cycle. And your method of “analysing” is trivially proven incorrect. As I did before.

  47. 1147
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Tim, however, if a transmitter/absorber is in a depressed energetic state, absorption will not necessarily lead to emission.

    And with the laser cooling, the absorption isn’t equal to emission because they’re different frequencies.

  48. 1148
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Max: “The observed warming/cooling cycles since are discussed in IPCC and have been studies by others”.

    And are not your cycles.

    Your cycles are shibboleths created by your errant analysis.

    They do not exist.

    The cycles discussed in the IPCC have a phsyical reason to exist and are accounted for and STILL unable to show that we will be cooling now and it’s all safe.

    In fact, taking those cycles into consideration with the right strengths associate with the measurement of the phenomenon shows that the much-touted “recent cooling” is not cooling and still within the parameters of CO2’s effects being felt.

  49. 1149
    manacker says:

    tamino

    As I asked CFU:

    Do you have trouble discerning a cyclical picture here?. If so, please explain.

    Max

  50. 1150
    manacker says:

    Hank Roberts

    You wrote about “business cycles”

    I prefer the definition for “cycle” (without adding in the concept of “business”, which is irrelevant here):

    “an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs”

    The “interval”: somewhere around 55-60 years

    The “recurring sequence of events”: warming and cooling of the globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly, as reported by HadCRUT.

    Meets the definition quite well.

    Max


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