Please, show us your code

The reason why Gavin and I were not able to repeat Scafetta’s analysis in exact details is that his papers didn’t disclose all the necessary details. The first point he raised was that we used periodic instead of reflection boundaries. The fact that the paper referred to the expression ’1/2 A sin (2 pi t)’ to describe the temperatures or solar forcing would normally suggest that they used periodic rather than reflection boundaries. There was no information in the paper about reflection boundary. But this is no big deal, as we have subsequently repeated the analysis with reflection boundary, and that doesn’t alter our conclusions.

After further communication, we found out that Scafetta re-sampled the data in such a way that the center of the wavelet band pass filter was located exactly on the 11 and 22 year solar cycles, which were the frequencies of interest. He also informed me that a reasonable choice of the year when the reflection boudary was made should be the year 2002-3 when the sun experienced a maximum for both the 11 and 22 year cycles. This information was not provided in the papers.

I’m no psychic, so I couldn’t have guessed that all this was needed to reproduce his result. But since Scafetta has lost faith in my ability to repeat his work, I think it’s even a greater reason to disclose his code so that others can have a go.

For the record, we did not just use wavelets to filter the data – we obtained the same conclusion with an ordinary band-pass filter.

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233 comments on this post.
  1. Dappled Water:

    Scafetta must have picked up a trick or two from Ian Plimer on how to avoid answering the question.

  2. Doug Bostrom:

    Oh, naughty! Remember, you’re expected to be high-minded, aloof from the real world of human affairs, ensconced in a ivory tower without heed to brickbats thrown by detractors. Only contrarians are allowed to retreat behind secrecy when necessary. Secret finances, secret campaign coordination, secret penetrations of servers, and now secret science, apparently.

  3. Zorro:

    Their code was designed by 10 separate programmers who are bound by property rights issues…… and the various offices required the signing of confidentially agreements……. Plus they lost it.

  4. Giorgio Gilestro:

    You should write to the journal editors and let them know the authors don’t comply to release material linked to the publication they are otherwise obliged to release.

  5. Completely Fed Up:

    CLOUDgate?

    Just thinking..

  6. KeithGuy:

    If credibility in ALL aspects of climate science is to be maintained, then of course it is important that raw data and algorithms applied to data are fully disclosed. This surely applies to the work of Henrik Svensmark or to the HadCRU.

  7. Ben Lawson:

    What is good for the goose is clearly not good for the gander. Surprise!

  8. Daniel J. Andrews:

    RC…you’d be less than human if you didn’t get some slight satisfaction out of using that title for this article. :)

    I’m going to have to crack open a textbook to follow these points, but that’s ok…it’ll put my edumacashun to work.

  9. Robert:

    waaah waaah someone won’t hold your hand and show you how to do math. run along now children and play with the elves and fairies. frauds, charlatans, and now cry-babies

    [Response:"People who are paid by the public should EXPECT their work to be examined by the public. It is not just our right, it’s our obligation." - I wonder who said that? Oh yes. You. - gavin]

  10. Scott A. Mandia:

    Has Steve McIntyre requested the code?

  11. CPR:

    There’s been a lot of new data since 1991 – have they repeated their work with the data since?

  12. BillB:

    I am a “denier” that regularly reads CA, Lucia, Pielke Jr. etc. (but not WUWT) and I wholeheartedly join in your request for “the code”. If it isn’t given, then their paper should be ignored.

  13. RickA:

    While tongue in check – it seems that you do present good reasons why the code and methods should be published.

    Why not agree that it would be a good idea, for future publications, to archive the data and software source code used to produce the graphs and analysis published in the paper. Preferably on the journals public download page.

  14. gv:

    chutzpah!

  15. Jim:

    “I’m no psychic, so I couldn’t have guessed that all this was needed to reproduce his result.” This line makes it sound like once you switched to reflection boundaries and re-sampled the wavelets you were able to reproduce their results but I am guessing I am just confused.

  16. cougar_w:

    Or … you cannot replicate their results because their results cannot be replicated. Simply put, either this is a open process amenable to examination and replication by independent workers with reasonable skills … or it is faith-based. Being psychic (or even psychotic) ought not to be a requisite for verifying someone else’s work.

    But I think that must be your point, without saying nearly as much.

    cougar

  17. NS:

    tu quoque

  18. BlogReader:

    But according to this blog and over at openmind code doesn’t matter.

    [Response: Mostly it doesn't. You learn more my doing it yourself and that was what we tired first. But if the return criticism is that you didn't do it exactly right, and the published description is insufficient for you to do that, it would seem sensible to look at the code to get that out of the way. - gavin]

  19. Chris Colose:

    I wasn’t aware that their solar work was even longer taken seriously, let alone “influential.” The fact is that all attempts to argue for a significant solar forcing over the later half of the 20th century have failed miserably.

    [Response: True. But there are still some people (NIPCC, etc, etc, and I was trying to convince Fred Singer about this a couple of weeks ago) who believe that the sun is the culprit, and we have looked at the data, and argued for a while that there is little evidence of the sun causing the recent trends. We always have to be open for new ideas and new facts. Recent work suggest that solar activity can have an influence - albeit weak - causing climate fluctuations. So, it brings us back to science never being settled. -rasmus]

  20. ttt:

    i also want to see their emails from the period in question

  21. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    Yes, show us (well, not me, but those who can do the science) your code!

  22. Andrew:

    I’m not exactly sanguine about the idea that some result of wavelet filtering is particularly sensitive to the boundary conditions. One of the advantages of wavelets is that local effects can stay local. If the boundary conditions largely determine the result, then there probably really wasn’t an essential contribution from the wavelet basis. Sounds like a more careful approach would be to explicitly consider edge kernels.

  23. Sam Gralla:

    Yes, he should release his code. I hope the “skeptics” pressure him to do so as well. I also hope that the “orthodoxy” camp pressures their own to release code when the skeptics demand it.

  24. Doug Bostrom:

    RickA:

    “Why not agree that it would be a good idea, for future publications, to archive the data and software source code used to produce the graphs and analysis published in the paper. Preferably on the journals public download page.”

    Definitely, please, on a server, somewhere else! Our garage is currently home to over 80 boxes of old data on paper, moldering diskettes, hard disks from long-dead computers, etc. None of this is factored in when allocating office space. Meahwhile, I can’t change my brake calipers until I move the whole bloody heap back into the main house after finishing painting indoors, because our repair space is full of my SO’s data, waiting for resurrection for whatever reason.

    Meticulous archiving with full access is ideal but needs to be paid for, let’s remember. In our case we’d love to send the whole mess out for digitization, but who’s gonna pay? Meanwhile, NSF etc. get a great deal because their grants buy ‘em permanent storage, for free. Presumably they won’t have to pay the dumpster fees when we both croak, either…

  25. tharanga:

    Absolutely hilarious.

    Though I’m unsure that going public with the complaint will advance the matter.

  26. Didactylos:

    NS:
    It might be a fallacy if rasmus used this piece as the basis of some argument that Scafetta is a fraud because he won’t share his data. No, this is satire. It is also rhetorical, because I have no expectation that Scafetta will be forthcoming.

    Most importantly, you forget that Gavin has, possibly more than any scientist in history, made his work public, and provided all the code you could ever want.

    [Response: I guess you're right about the outcome. But I want to put the focus back on the issue of transparency and repeatability, which are two important aspects of science. Internal e-mails, however, are not very relevant - they only fuel charades and political spin because we will never know their true context and will never be able to understand their true meaning For instance, I often tell jokes and use sarcasm or irony when writing to close colleagues. Taken out of context, one would get a completely wrong impression. -rasmus]

  27. joe shea:

    Well-played.

  28. BJ_Chippindale:

    I am mindful of the cosmic level of coincidence that is required for the sun to be the culprit exactly at the same time we are dumping CO2 into the atmosphere 50 times faster than we have any notion has ever happened before and to levels unknown for 3 million years… so as to fool us about the causality.

    That sort of coincidence (especially without having any significant changes in solar recorded) beggars imagination.

    It isn’t “scientific” evidence. However, it is hard for me to expect anything but things to be worse than either the denialsphere or the IPCC allow for.

    BJ

  29. WAG:

    Yet another example of deniers’ hypocrisy. I’ve counted 30 so far (including this one) – feel free to add more:

    http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-of-hypocrisy.html

  30. Chris Crawford:

    I’d like to offer a suggestion by way of a morality tale: once upon a time, terrorists attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center, killing 3,000 Americans. Americans were outraged and terrorized by this despicable act, and took proper action invading Afghanistan and eliminating the bases from which the terrorists operated. However, they remained terrorized by the terrorists, so they overreacted by invading Iraq. It was a ghastly mistake and has cost the USA dearly.

    The moral of this story is “Never allow yourself to be terrorized by the terrorists”. And it applies, at a much smaller scale, to your problem with deniers. Some members of the academic community allowed the bastards to get under their skin, and they overreacted. Now they are paying a price for overreacting. Their reactions were entirely human and completely understandable — but then, so was the American reaction to 9/11. Understandable, yes. Prudent, no.

    Keep your chin up and your upper lip stiff. Good luck.

  31. jeff id:

    You have my support on his release of code.

    I’ve even personally emailed him to release it, to no avail. It will be quite a bit simpler than some of the other code but as you said the 11 and 22 year cycle issue is not obvious.

    The boundary issue could have been caught but the rest is not apparent and shouldn’t require you to waste your time divining an algorithm from text. As a fellow non-psychic, I hope you succeed on this front.

  32. cbp:

    Heads up for the Americans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

  33. RickA:

    Doug Bostrom #23:

    I see the problem with really old data.

    However, for new papers, you know they are working with data files and program files which are already digitized.

    So it really isn’t (or shouldn’t be) that much work to dump all the data and code to a server someplace.

  34. Nick:

    Why should they respond to people trying to critises their work?

    Oh sorry, wrong way round.

    :-)

    Nick

  35. Molnar:

    It’s a Solarist conspiracy! FOIA! FOIA! :P

  36. Mr Henderson:

    This post is perfectly reasonable, but I think there’s a danger when examining any solar-cycle warming theory that the main message for the lay public gets obscured. (I speak as a member of said public.) The message being, as I understand it, that there’s nothing in solar warming theories that disproves the fundamentals of CO2 warming – they can only modify temperature predictions for a limited period. Is that correct?

  37. Mike W:

    Not a total thread hijack, but hey, at least it’s still about radiative transfer.

    I posed this thought experiment elsewhere, so the tone may seem a bit odd, it’s not intended to presumptious or condescending in any way. It’s based on what I’ve been reading on physical chemistry, atmospheric radiation and thermal physics. Just wondering if my interpretation is on the money or if I’ve made any incorrect assumptions.

    “Time for another random thought experiment. Imagine a “balloon” filled with air, it’s not essential but we can also say its a closed system in a vacuum to make it simpler. The balloon is a spherical membrane completely transparent to infrared radiation at 4.3 microns (Sodium Chloride windows are transparent to IR correct, not saying you can build the experiment, just that it is plausible in design). Then you illuminate the “balloon” with infrared radiation at 4.3 microns.

    What happens then? Glad you asked…A CO2 molecule inside the balloon will absorb an IR photon, become vibrationally excited, undergo molecular collisions, gain a small amount energy in collisions, lose a small amount of energy in collisions, and then emit an IR photon almost identical to the one it absorbed (Kirchoff’s Law?), it’s a very small perturbation based on how much vibrational energy was gained from, or lost (transformed/exchanged) as translational energy during the collisions for this particular CO2 molecule we have been so intently following. I’m ignoring natural and doppler broadening for simplicity’s sake and because I’m mainly interested in the interaction between translational and vibrational energies.

    Based on what I’ve read I understand the vibrational energy is larger than the energy involved in collisions, and the collisions only affect the vibrational levels weakly. I’m sure the specifics of the exchange are buried deep in quantum processes that I’m probably not going to be able to undestand any time soon, I just have to take it for granted that the interaction between the translational and virbational energies is “weak”. Suffice to say that if the exited CO2 molecule can lose energy in a collision it is equally likely to gain energy in a subsequent collision, I think the Lorentzian profile of collisional spectral broadening bears this out nicely, nice symmetric broadening about the absorption peak, same amount of energy, just spread out over a wider range of wavelengths, half higher, half lower (unless there is some inequality in the equipartition I dont understand).

    On average though, over many molecules, many absorption/emission cycles and many collisions the amount of translational kinetic energy in the system stays the same, and the amount of vibrational energy stays the same. The radiation does get a little ‘messier’ (spectral broadening) but it never undergoes wholesale conversion into translational kinetic energy.

    So the average translational energy of the molecules in the gas stays the same, even when we illuminate it with infrared radiation. WARNING! I’M GOING TO USE CONCEPTS DERIVED FROM THE IDEAL GAS LAWS. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE KINETIC/MOLECULAR THEORY OF GASSES DEFINES THESE CONCEPTS DIFFERENTLY, PARTICULARLY TEMPERATURE. That’s important because average translational kinetic energy is what we’re defining when we talk about the temperature of a gas, particularly in the real world. Vibrational energy is a temporary form of internal energy that isn’t really relevant when we talk about the macroscopic properties of a gas like Temperature, pressure and Volume; those qualities are very specifically derived from average translational kinetic energy of the molecules in the gas.

    Let me clarify, I’m not suggesting you can’t get more “heat” moving through the gas when you illuminate it with IR; the thought experiment is very carefully designed to see if it will increase Volume or Pressure. I understand quite specifically that the definition of Temperature in the Ideal Gas Laws is different to that described by the Kinetic Theory of Gasses.

    SO, if we illuminate our “balloon” with infrared radiation at 4.3 microns, we would expect any increase in the average translational kinetic energy of the molecules inside the baloon to manifest itself as an increase in pressure, which we could measure as a change in the volume of the balloon (offsetting the pressure increase somewhat, I do realize) So, can the balloon expand by illuminating it with infrared at 4.3 microns? Based on what I’ve read and understand, I can’t see how.”

    Fun stuff, anyone got some extra insight to offer?

  38. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    The real “ClimateGate” is not leaked emails, but a leaked CONFIDENTIAL Internal Note by the Secretariat at the UN Climate Summit — see http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/climategate

    They have calculated that the estimated increase in warming will be 3 degrees under current commitments, and wrote that this estimated temperature rise of 3 degrees “will reduce significantly the probability to stay within a temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius.”

    Climate Interactive, however, using those same commitment figures estimates a 3.9 degree increase by 2100, with a CO2 concentration of 770. So even the leak is a sham.

  39. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    Wrong URL — ClimateGate leak at: http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/leaked-secritariat-doc-degrees-1.pdf

  40. ZZT:

    Absolutely, Scafetta should release both code and data.

    Hopefully, the upsides of the appalling climategate affair and aftermath will be that peer reviewing standards are improved (or actually enforced) and that openness with respect to codes and data are paramount.

  41. Dennis Hamilton:

    Gavin,

    Please help me understand: subtle changes in the relative percentage of CO2 gasses in our atmosphere can create an undeniable case for man-made warming yet large changes in the radiation from the veritable house furnace can be easily explained away whilst keeping the same man-made conclusion. Seems to me that the solar piece of this puzzle needs some serious attention, I assume you rest easy that the solar anomalies are properly calibrated in AGW theorem?

    Regards

  42. Pete D:

    Are you seriously suggesting that where critics are unable to replicate results without the data and code, authors should release it just to prove a point? What about IPR?

  43. John MacQueen:

    “You learn more my doing it yourself and that was what we tired first. But if the return criticism is that you didn’t do it exactly right, and the published description is insufficient for you to do that, it would seem sensible to look at the code to get that out of the way.”

    Isn’t that McIntyre’s line?

    Nevertheless while learning more doing it yourself is a good point, releasing data and code as used on publication does not preclude one from doing it for one’s self.

    I support the position he should have archived it as used and released it with publication.

    It just seems to be good practice for all, especially in a science that has so much of humanities future riding on it.

  44. Brian:

    Gavin
    Off subject, I just read tis article about a paper that you coauthored and I have a question
    http://www.physorg.com/news176058147.html
    are you saying that the warming caused by all the non-carbon dioxde GHG is equal to the warming cause by CO2?

    [Response: No, but close. Non-CO2 GHGs are about 40% of the total GHG effect. If you include black carbon and ozone, then CO2 while still the biggest single term, is slightly less than half (with some uncertainty). But note that CO2 is currently the fastest growing factor and is the only one that under BAU has the potential for really big impacts in the future. -gavin]

  45. ZT:

    At least the code and data weren’t lost in an office move…

    (mind you, if you keep asking, they might be…)

  46. Richard K:

    Here is an independent interview on the CRU data. He states he is not a sceptic and points out problems in the code. I would appreciate your take on this. Thanks

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/16/video-east-anglia-crus-below-standard-computer-modeling/

  47. Paul Farrar:

    For what it’s worth, I was able, using information in the papers, to verify the numerical results of both Friis-Christensen & Lassen (1991) and Svensmark & Friis-Christensen (1997). I don’t, of course agree with either, and I think the first one definitely shouldn’t have been published, since it’s easy to see that the curve match is just coincidence and an artifact of their processing. (Laut and Gundermann were the first to say this in print I think.) As for S&F-C (1997), my take is in Farrar (2000) in Climatic Change.

  48. John Mashey:

    1) It may be instructive to see watch Scafetta 2009 talk for EPA,
    and look at the slides, which end:

    “cooling is expected until 2030 – 2040 because of a 60 year cycle.”

    See also p.62-, in which Rhodes Fairbridge is mentioned…

    2) Recall that while Scafetta is at Duke, West is sometimes listed there, and sometimes at Army Research Office over at RTP. His Adjunct Professor Duke office contact gives an email at ARO and a phone number over there as well. This is the ARO.

    Here’s a list of Scafetta publications/.

    this 2009 paper says:
    N.S. thanks the Army Research Office for research support
    (GrantW911NF-06-1-0323).

    this 2007 paper says:
    Acknowledgments. N. Scafetta thanks the Army Research
    Office for support, grant W911NF-06-1-0323.

    and 2004 paper says:

    N.S. thanks the Army Research Office for support under
    Grant No. DAAG5598D0002.

    3) Exactly why our tax money goes to the Army to fund such research is unclear to me. I have often worked with military folks who at least seemed to be spending the money on what you’d expect, but this seems “odd”.

  49. Scott Fox:

    This is what we call circling the wagons. :)

  50. Chris Crawford:

    I will here attempt to answer the question posed in #35. This boils down to a long, complicated and overly technical sequence that doesn’t quite follow strictly at several steps. The important point is really quite simple: if you irradiate a gas with EMR that the gas is capable of absorbing, then you are putting heat energy into the gas and it will increase in temperature. The increase in temperature will create an increase in pressure. All your worrying about vibrational and translational motion seems overwrought to me. Yes, vibrational motion can translate into translational motion; imagine two vibrating rubber balls bouncing off each other. If one is expanding at the moment it collides with the other, it will impart some energy to it.

    But again, think in simple terms, not complicated terms. The IR is energy; you’re putting energy into the gas and some of that energy is absorbed by it; the energy is then dissipated through the gas; the gas heats up. If you have problems getting an intuitive grip on this concept, put some water in a microwave oven, turn it on, wait, turn it off, remove the water, and test its temperature with your finger.

  51. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    I think we have to rethink the sun-factor.

    First of all, where would we be without the sun. Some call it global warming disaster, I call it life.

    Second, according to Hansen (see pp. 5-6 of http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20091216_TemperatureOfScience.pdf ) we’ve been in a solar minimum for some years, while the world has warmed anyway. We’ll really be in hot water (maybe literally) once its irradiance starts increasing again.

    Not to mention other factors like the sun (and us) melting permafrost and hydrates, releasing gigatons of GHGs….

  52. Matthew:

    But has anybody ever seen the details of the methods used, or the data? I believe that a full disclosure of their codes and data would really boost the confidence in their work, if they were sound. So if they believe so strongly that their work is solid, why not more transparency?

    Since 1991, more and more journals have requested complete disclosure of data and code as a condition of publication. Just as you suggest. I think that has been the right course, though journals have not always enforced their own policies. Have you formally requested the data and code from those authors and been turned down? If so, have you filed FOIA requests? FWIW, I support your suggestion.

    (FWIW? OK, not worth so much. Just one statistician’s opinion.)

    [Response: My personal opinion is that FOIA requests are often used just a form of harrassement and I don't think this case rises to the level of a legal case of great import. We'll manage ok without the code, and in the event that the criticism is we still haven't got it exactly right, people will be able to draw their own conclusions. (and yes, the code was requested (and promised 'in a few days' in August). - gavin]

  53. Matthew:

    26, comment by rasmus: Internal e-mails, however, are not very relevant – they only fuel charades and political spin because we will never know their true context and will never be able to understand their true meaning For instance, I often tell jokes and use sarcasm or irony when writing to close colleagues. Taken out of context, one would get a completely wrong impression.

    “You should never write anything in email that you would not want the whole world to read.” I received that advice about 20 years ago, and I pass it along whenever I can. Possibly, where you work, the IT managers have made you sign a piece of paper whereon you pledged never to use the computer system in any unprofessional manner whatsoever, or any manner that might bring dishonor to the institution. If so, this might be a good time to review that promise. If the CRU team had adhered to this ancient advice, or their computer use agreement, there would not be a “climategate”. Lots of the emails contain straightforward technical discussions of the best way to handle problems, and those are not a problem. But “to hide the decline” and a recommendation to delete emails that the law requires be kept — that was not good.

  54. DougT:

    He should release the code and the data.

  55. Ed:

    There is value – to the authors – in sharing code. I am a software engineer who reviewed partial folders of the CRU code release and I found obvious errors. Dr. John Graham-Cumming, in the UK also found potentially significant errors and expressed a view that the software quality did not meet necessary standards for an issue as serious as climate research. Many others have also found similar problems to us.

    Here at RealClimate you have written in the past that you had minimal budget for Software Quality Assurance (I believe it was .25 FTE) and you rely on others replicating the work. In the software world we apply a body of software engineering principles and practices to design, develop, verify and test that the software correctly implements the solution. Money is not infinite (unless you are a banker who makes money out of thin air) and there should be a desire to achieve desired quality levels in a cost efficient manner.

    From reading the comments here and on other blogs, a tremendous effort has been expended to attempt to replicate others’ work – sometimes with success and sometimes not. And often when something suspicious is found, a period of accusations and defense ensues. When all of it could be resolved quickly by looking at the source code.

    The arguments for not releasing source code have become increasingly hollow. If the CRU document dump had not occurred, neither they – nor we – would have been aware of their software coding errors. Now that the dump has occurred, we realize that much of the code did not meet acceptable standards and is questionably the basis upon which to base major decisions.

    [Response: The hacked documents were not 'the CRU code' in any real sense. They are random bits and pieces of research code that had been emailed to people at various times. I wouldn't read too much into any bugs you found there given that you have no idea how old the code was or whether it was subsequently fixed (or abandoned). - gavin]

  56. Alex Harvey:

    You can add my voice to those of climate change skeptics agreeing that Scafetta et al. should release their code.

    Can I ask, does this mean that RealClimate scientists also now agree to release code? Even to Steve McIntyre? If so, this is a very happy development.

  57. AJ:

    Use the Monte Carlo for radiative transfer instead. Results will be unimpeachable. If you don’t, I will.

  58. macumazan:

    All men of goodwill must support you in your endeavour to check the code and data used.

  59. Matthew:

    After repeated requests, he told me that he doesn’t really understand why I’m not able to write my own program to reproduce the calculations (actually, I did in the paper together with Gavin, but Scafetta wouldn’t accept our analysis), and keeps insulting me by telling me to take a course on wavelet analysis. Furthermore, he stated that there “are several other and even more serious problems” in our work. I figure then that the easiest way to get to the bottom of this issue it to repeat our tests with his code.

    I am sorry. I did not notice the “More >>” button. You are correct: they ought to have honored your request for full disclosure.

  60. dhogaza:

    Can I ask, does this mean that RealClimate scientists also now agree to release code?

    What makes you think they haven’t already.

    Gavin Schmidt is a “Real Climate scientist”. After you’ve digested this source code, we can feed you links to more code.

  61. t_p_hamilton:

    Mike W asks for clarification, it looks like he is ready for http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/hafemeister.cfm
    skip through quickly to the multi-layer model. Basically, the radiation coming INTO a particular layer comes from above (fewer CO2) and below (more CO2). The net result is heating of the lower layers, and cooling of the upper layers (stratospheric cooling).

  62. Mesa:

    I think there is a reasonable standard of information and data that can be supplied in general cases to allow reproduction within reason of the essential results by skilled and informed practitioners. However, that standard of disclosure necessarily becomes much higher when the results are canonical in the field (ie on the cover of the IPCC report). Even higher standards of data, procedures, and algorithms should also apply to things like basic sets of temperature data that the entire field is based upon, and that are paid for on an ongiong basis by taxpayers.

  63. Doug Bostrom:

    Dennis Hamilton says: 17 December 2009 at 6:18 PM

    “Seems to me that the solar piece of this puzzle needs some serious attention…”

    Extensively investigated and here’s a fabulous place to review the results:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/solar.htm

  64. skeptic:

    A breathrough moment! Both sides working together to establish an atmosphere of transparency and replicability of scientific work. I sincerely hope it works out.

    Next thing you know there will be meaningful debate without name-calling. Must be the Christmas Season.

    Of course he should turn it over!

    And more importantly: all future work should adhere to the same standard.

    When I went to school, it was the standard. But that was long ago.

  65. Mike W:

    Chris, caught your response to my thought experiment (#37)at #50.

    The conversion and balance of vibrational and translational energy is not a trivial matter, and the definition of terms really is important. Here’s a small extract from the Wiki on the speed of sound, odd place to find what I was looking for, but still entirely relevant.”since vibration modes in a polyatomic gas gives the gas additional ways to store heat which do not affect temperature, and thus do not affect molecular velocity and sound velocity.” – of course here they are using temperature in the sense of its meaning for an ideal gas, still a useful meaning.

    Even in the kinetic theory of gasses the pressure is explained as the exchange of momentum with the gas molecules and the wall of the container. That’s translational energy at work not vibrational.

    You can put more “heat” in the gas with IR but it’s unlikely to effect the translational energy, unless there is some sort of asymmetry whereby a vibrationally exited CO2 molecule is more likely to lose energy than gain energy during a number of collisions.

    IR “heating” of gasses is IR heating of gasses, there’s not much else to compare it to. Microwave radiation is a lower energy than IR and effects rotational energy in molecules, rotational levels are strongly affected by molecular collisions, whereas vibrational levels are weakly affected. Furthermore, the glass of water is a liquid, not a gas, absorbs radiation very differently.

  66. Steve Fish:

    Comment by Alex Harvey — 17 December 2009 @ 8:44 PM:

    You say– “..does this mean that RealClimate scientists also now agree to release code?”

    I say– What evidence do you have that they have not already released their code and data?

    Steve

  67. Rod B:

    Mike W (37), from what I understand I think you have the basic processes down pretty well, though there are a couple of areas where it almost falls off the track. [And, disagreeing with Chris Crawford, I do think it is worth worrying over the details which many miss yet which is key in the physics. (Chris C. is none-the-less correct in his basic answer.).] Only the areas where I would demur:

    1) The absorption or emission of IR radiation to/from the vibration energy levels does not change the temperature of the gas. The temperature changes only when this energy is transferred to some other molecule’s translation energy (this molecule can be and most likely is a molecule that does not absorb IR, like O2 or N2.)

    2) The CO2 molecule absorbs, emits, or transfers all or none of the energy in a vibration (or rotation) mode — no partials.

    3) the transfer from vibration to translation is hardly restricted: a molecule’s translation energy is not quantized (for all practical purposes) and can take all and more of what the vibration wants to give it. Collisions are frequent (multi-billions/second). Once transferred via collision, the CO2 molecule has nothing to, and won’t, emit anything (other than with a totally new and different photonic sequence).

    4) the transfer from translation to vibration is less frequent but not terribly constrained, and is a completely independent process from the vib-to-trans transfer.

    5) Whether a CO2 molecule emits a photon or (to some extent) willing accepts energy from a collision is a determination of quantum mechanics. As a rule, at these temperatures it doesn’t “like” energy in a vibration mode, especially if colder. It will emit a photon if within a short period (whose length is problematic ala QM) it hasn’t spit it out through a collision. This is more likely to happen in the upper atmosphere where collisions are less frequent.

    6) an emitted photon will look exactly like the absorbed photon (ignoring doppler, etc per your post).

    7) the average overall translation energy (ala 1/2mv^2) might or might not stay the same. [It can be lost through other than the transfers described above.] Will if all is in equilibrium; might not if not — ergo the start of global warming.

    Hope this helps.

  68. MikeS:

    Hmmmmmm…. the whole finger-pointing toward solar forcing at a time when the real question is about who’s doing what to the data in the hallowed inner-circle of the IPCC… well, it just smacks of trying to change the subject and say “Johnny did it, too, Mom”. Considering the adjustment trend to the raw data that is coming out, I’d expect a little more attention to the subject at hand rather than trying to start a diversion.

  69. Eli Rabett:

    Mike W. in 37 describes a CO2 molecule absorbing a photon at 4.3 microns and then says that after collisions, etc. it will “then emit an IR photon almost identical to the one it absorbed (Kirchoff’s Law?)”

    Actually no and the reason is interesting. CO2 has four ways of vibrating. Absorbing the 4.3 micron photon excites what is called the a symmetric stretch. Hopefully this works, but that looks like

    O –>

    There is another mode, called the symmetric stretch, which looks like this

    C The C atom does not move

    These are both relatively high energy, The symmetric stretch has about 7-8 times more energy than the average thermal energy at room temperature, 295 K in science speak, but it cannot radiate. The asymmetric stretch, which can radiate (at 4.3 microns) has about 12 times the average thermal energy

    On the other hand there are two lower energy bending vibrations that look like
    (this IS gonna be tough)

    ^ ^
    | |
    | |
    O C O
    |
    |

    Nice animated pictures @
    http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/JCEWWW/articles/www0001/index.html

    The other bend in in the plane perpendicular to the screen. The energy involved in the bending vibrations is ~3.5 times thermal. What is going to happen is that the CO2 molecule that absorbs the photon is very rapidly going to lose that energy to collisions. This occurs much faster than direct radiation.

    Once that happens of course, some of the unexcited (ground state) CO2 can GAIN vibrational energy by collisions! Under most atmospheric conditions (pressure and temperature), the fraction of CO2 in the bending mode at any time according to a Boltzmann distribution will be g exp(-Evib/kT) where g is the number of vibrations at the same frequency (called the degeneracy) Evib the vibrational energy, k the Boltzmann constant and T the temperature. kT is the thermal energy, so the probability of finding a CO2 molecule vibrationally excited in one of the bending modes is 2 exp(-3.5) and in the asymmetric stretch exp(-12), or roughly 6% and 0.0006% respectively. So most of the emission from your balloon has to come from the excited bending vibration which at 17 microns.

    To get any significant emission at 4.3 microns we are talking about Venus hot and beyond, but even then more would come out at 17 microns

    Hope that helped.

    OTOH a

  70. Norman:

    John Lennon “Gimmie some Truth”

    “I’m sick to death of seeing things
    From tight-lipped, condescending, mama’s little chauvinists
    All I want is the truth
    Just gimme some truth now

    I’ve had enough of watching scenes
    Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
    All I want is the truth now
    Just gimme some truth”

  71. Eli Rabett:

    Let me post something more relevant. In this case Rasmus and Gavin have made good faith efforts to replicate Scarfetta’s calculation. The codes have to be compared to figure out where they disagree.

    The situation that this best resembles is that of the UAH and RSS codes, which disagreed, and it was only on comparison that a series of small errors were dug out (on both sides).

  72. steven mosher:

    Nicola Scafetta played this same stupid game over at CA. I think we asked him for the code as well and he ran away. Kudo’s for keeping after him. Written descriptions of algorithms rarely given enough information to implement them and this little game he plays of trying to have you read his mind isnt funny. Its a waste of your valuable time.

    [Response: Much as it pains me to disagree with you, most published descriptions do allow for replication without posting of code. This one didn't. It is a waste of our time though. - gavin]

  73. Greg Leisner:

    My son is at AGU this week (his field is Space Science). He said before going that he was going to go to some of the Climate Science panel discussions to watch the fights.

    And I thought that he was joking. But this thread “feels” like he read the pulse of the Climate Community correctly.

  74. Peter Backes:

    RE: 9

    LOL – Turnabout is fair play! Way to go RC.

    So now the question is whether or not the CRU hackers will go after Friis-Christensen and Svensmark code. I won’t hold my breath…

  75. steven mosher:

    Let me just direct people to some resources and give rasmus kudos for giving his code to Lucia.

    http://www.rrplanet.com/reproducible-research/reproducible-research.html

    http://rr.epfl.ch/17/1/VandewalleKV09.pdf

  76. Spaceman Spiff:

    I’ll add a point to post #50, which is responding to post #37 re. the absorption of IR radiation and the temperature of the gas.

    When IR radiation is absorbed by molecules, the result is not always radiative de-excitation. A collision between the excited molecule and another molecule, before the former can decay radiatively, then increases the kinetic energy of the colliding molecule — collisional de-excitation. In fact in local thermodynamic equilibrium the collision rates exceed the radiative decay rates. I don’t model energy transfer in earth’s atmosphere for a living, but I would be surprised if the above were not important over most or even all of the troposphere. I hope that helps.

  77. Elliot:

    Free data and code for all. Perhaps both sides offend on this count it seems. At least he hasn’t been caught destroying it yet.

    Note you dont actually post the responses from Scafetta so we only have your word he responded in such ways.

  78. Peter:

    @ras

    Cute.

    I agree about the need for general need for transparency in the data and methods.

    If they release the data and it shows that they took actual measurements of solar activity pumped it through a formula that itself induced a trend, mixed in disparate sets of proxies (i dunno – tanning behaviour of Germans 1940-1970, cataracts in corpses buried 1850-1910, whatever) then discarded the data that wasn’t convenient to show what ever they wanted to show then I would join in the pillory of sarcasm.

  79. Steve L:

    I find this post and thread a bit surprising, not because of the request for code (which I think is reasonable), but because there’s been little promotion of the primary literature as the best forum in which to have this scientific debate. Surely rather than criticize Rasmus, Scafetta should have criticized the approach in a peer-reviewed response. The editors/reviewers of the paper thought Rasmus and Gavin’s approach had some merit, so a clear explication in the literature would have been valuable. No?

  80. Neil Pelkey:

    R “script kiddies” can use the following to have their own look at the raw station data.
    You will need wget however.

    http://faculty.juniata.edu/pelkey/hadleystations.r

    wget is used rather than R to get data due to firewall issues.

  81. Chris Crawford:

    Dennis Hamilton in #41 calls the changes in CO2 concentration “subtle” while at the same time asserting that the sun is showing “large changes” in radiative output. Both statements are incorrect. CO2 concentrations have increased by about 30%, while secular changes in solar radiative output are less than 1%

  82. Pierre-Andre Morin:

    Just go back and publich in the same journal.
    Nothing like a study that proves that the original results can not be repeated.

    Isn’t that science, you can repeat the results?
    You could also publish all versions of code.
    This you put the burden on them to prove you wrong.

  83. Mike W:

    Thankyou guys, always exiting to be able to draw back the curtain on the world like this!

    Rod, Eli (was hoping you’d contribute, I read some great stuff of yours written in 2007 in response to a similar question) Spaceman; great answers! Will need some time to digest them and do some more reading, may have some more qualifying questions.

    Figured there would have to be an asymmetry for it to work, the message I’m taking away is that it is “easier” for vibration to “become” translational energy than it is for translational energy to become vibrational energy. I’m just reading a bit about equipartition and the ‘freezing out’ of rotational and vibrational modes….I think I see how it fits into the picture here.

    Of course, now I want to know how much of the upwelling IR is thermalised? and “wasted” as translational energy, and how much is re-radiated.

    Eli et al, how is the orignal momentum of the absorbed photon conserved? It annoys me a little that it’s rarely mentioned and often just waved away.

    Cheers, Mike W.

  84. steven mosher:

    re 77. Eliot. In august steve mc asked for his code. I did. Lucia did. and Jeffid did.
    Scafetta played a little insulting “i know more than you” game that was entirely consistent with the descriptions that Rasmus gives in his account.

  85. steven mosher:

    re 72. Gavin. We can agree to disagree on the replication thing. People have actually tested whether or not people could replicate from a written description, even their own work!. However, I overstated the case by saying “rarely”.

  86. Allen:

    Moral equivalence: “they don’t share their methods or data either, therefore our recalcitrance is not a problem.”

    Nice.

    This article is my first contact with realclimate.org, thinking to take in your views unfiltered and judge for myself. Chosen essentially at random I happen on a moral equivalence argument attempting to justify the lack of transparency that is seemingly inherent to the practice of climate “science.” To my mind you have only affirmed your critics.

  87. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Norman,

    Okay, here’s the truth. John shouldn’t have committed adultery, divorced his wife to marry his girlfriend, taken hard drugs, abandoned his childhood beliefs, or fired Pete Best. And Yoko really wasn’t that great a musician.

  88. Eukaryt:

    Good timing with this article.

    And again the media fail in researching the topic enough.

  89. Steve:

    I think the problem with most of these rogue scientists is that when
    they started, there was still enough doubt for their views to be given
    credence. Now they have been largely discredited and feel they have
    nothing left to loose, so they keep fighting their corner.

    Some are forced to take money from oil companies and book sales instead of
    research grants because the scientific community has left them behind.

    RELEASE THE CODE

  90. Completely Fed Up:

    “At least he hasn’t been caught destroying it yet.”

    Neither has anyone in CRU.

    Unless you think the CRU have a crack paramilitary team of Ninjas with magnets and a box of matches to go to foreign libraries to burn all the books with data they don’t want?

  91. Completely Fed Up:

    “And I thought that he was joking. But this thread “feels” like he read the pulse of the Climate Community correctly.”

    My daddy taught me never to start a fight, but always finish it.

    (For the folksy.)

  92. Lawrence Coleman:

    Does anyone know to what extent a further 2C warming will cause glacial retreat and to which altitudes? As far as I can see ‘any’ additional warming from the current will cause catastrophic problems to the world’s fresh water supplies. The 2C figure presumably represents the global mean temp rise indicating that the arctic/arctic regions will record a higher figure..say 2.5C and that the equatorial regions a relatively lower one.say 1.5C. Following on that..I would assume that the arctic/antarctic glaciers will retreat faster and further and at higher altitude than the himalayan glaciers? Using good ol’ common sense even with the temp rise at present the world will experience critical water shortages in say 30-50 years time. If you envisage a further 1-2C rise even with agressive global emissions targets in play there will be masse population migrations to where is is still reliable water supplies. So any further rise of temp from the current will lock in a severe water crises in the medium term..am I right?

  93. Completely Fed Up:

    “When I went to school, it was the standard. But that was long ago.”

    Rose-tinted glasses are not a reliable way to recall the truth of the past.

    Mind you, when I went to school, source code wasn’t copyrightable.

    But try and tell Oracle you have to have their source code now…

    PS NOTE: The raw data was never usually included in scientifit reports and the data that was was small enough to fit on a couple of pages in table format (with plenty of blank space to make it readable).

    Try that with a dataset of 4 trillion floating point numbers…

    Also note one interlocutor was 100% behind the idea of the raw data including the test spec and calibration results of the thermometers.

    Go and find ANY paper that produced or kept the calibration of their instruments.

    Just one.

    In the entire available history.

  94. greenJamie:

    Anyone with any support for Ian Plimer needs their head examining

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2009/12/15/2772906.htm

  95. Completely Fed Up:

    Mesa: “and that are paid for on an ongiong basis by taxpayers.”

    But you don’t PAY Russian taxes. So why should YOU get free access to THEIR paid for data?

    Pay them for the data and they’ll give it to you. But you’ll have to agree to an NDA just like you do when you enter into Microsoft’s Shared Source initiative.

    Why? Because you could give it away to others. You paid only a small cost for it, not the entire cost. And, just like P2P sharing isn’t solved by the P2Per paying the price of the tracks because they distributed the stuff for free to others, you can’t solve the loss to the taxpayers when you share for free the data the Russian taxpayers paid for by saying “I paid for it! It’s mine!”.

  96. Completely Fed Up:

    “Here is an independent interview on the CRU data. He states he is not a sceptic and points out problems in the code. I would appreciate your take on this. Thanks”

    But posts on a blogsite called “hot air”???

    But first blush: he doesn’t know the physics, so how can he tell if it is right?

    PS pay your government more taxes for science work and they’ll be able to pay programmers (who cost more than scientists of the same stature) to refactor the code. This means more taxes, but you want GOOD QUALITY code, you gotta pay for it.

  97. Scott A. Mandia:

    #20 Rasumus:

    $urely $. Fred $inger (who $hare$ the Nobel for hi$ IPCC review work) doe$ not believe “it’$ the $un” de$pite what he $ay$ and write$ about global warming.

    BTW, wouldn’t a better title for this thread be “Touche’”?

  98. Completely Fed Up:

    Oh, he’s looking at the leaked code, pointing at the COMMENTED OUT “fudge factor” line and probably going: See, this is where we see they fudged the data.

    He’s pointing to GOTOs.

    Device drivers in Linux use GOTOs. Not using GOTOs is to make code clearer. But sometimes a GOTO is necessary. “Rules are for the guildance of wise men and obedience of by fools”. Or as I prefer “Rules are there to make you think before you break them”.

    And Case statements, etc boil down to JMP instructions which are GOTOs anyway.

    He points to “I have poor programming skills”. Well this means the programmer isn’t falling into Dunning-Kruger territory. He’s a good enough programmer to know that. And this is not proof that the code is wrong.

    ALL software has bugs. You pay for Windows, yet there are bugs. “My poor programming has struck again!”. And even Dr Cumming will have made mistakes.

    Does this prove he should be sacked and made to work tables instead?

  99. MB:

    Yes, all data and programs should be available for inspection to go along with any paper that wishes to become part of the body of knowledge. If results have not been independently verified and are not independently verifiable, then they are not part of science – by definition.

    I think you would struggle to find a single arguement why not to be completely open and transparent. If you have one, I would love to hear it.

    [Response: You are over-stating the issues. Openness + Transparency is of course necessary. However, replication in general doesn't require turnkey code for every random paper. If someone says they used linear regression, you can do that yourself. If the say the used an EOF decomposition of the sea level pressure field, then you can do it yourself. I discussed these issues in a piece earlier this year. The code only becomes an issue here because, a) we tried to replicate on our own and didn't match 100%, and b) the criticism of our paper is based strongly on that single issue. We don't think it is particularly relevant (since the sensitivities to co-linearity and noise will still be there and were when we used different approaches), but rather than have a pointless argument about the exact method, we'd rather have a discussion on more interesting issues. - gavin]

  100. Ray Ladbury:

    Mike W.,
    You are ignoring the fact that the mode being excited by CO2 is vibrational and so represents kinetic energy (internal, to be sure). Thus, collisional de-excitation by a non-ghg molecule is quite probable. This HAS TO happen given equipartition, no?

  101. Dave:

    Gavin, welcome back to the scientific community. I guess this makes you a skeptic. (No, I won’t say that you are a “denier,” as that would be untrue and unprofessional.) Now maybe you can empathize with the rest of the scientific community that has been calling for this kind of transparency in other areas of climate science.

  102. green r&d mgr:

    Hold everyone to this standard.

    Nothing is worth a damn unless it reviewable and independently verifiable.

    That includes the current views, for and against.

    Be open about the error margins in the measurements, every adjustment and the calculations.

    If others starting from the raw data cannot replicate every single step, it is not robust science.

    If the final result does not include a clear and verifiable error margin that explicitly accounts for every step from initial measurement, every adjustment and any uncertainties introduced by every algorithm, then it is not robust science.

    Conclusions about trends that are within the error margins are questionable.

    I have seen both sides consistently overstate the confidence in their conclusions by leaving this information out.

    So a call for code is well justified. However, you must hold the current views to the same standards. Many of the conclusions being pushed by all sides appear to be unjustified given the size of the +/- errors in the data and the methods.

    Omiting or understating this information may help an author sell a particular point of view for a while, but it is self defeating as it delays work on more robust methods to get real answers.

  103. Steve Fitzpatrick:

    Yes, Nicola Scafetta should release his code, even if it is poorly commented, ugly spaghetti.

    My experience is that things which seem “obvious” to the writer of code will often turn out to be non-obvious to someone else, and so essentially impossible to independently replicate; the devil really does more often than not reside in the details.

  104. Hank Roberts:

    Mike W, people can go on about this at great length. Do you have a blog? Maybe you could do it in a topic actually intended for that kind of discussion? I dropped a few phrases from your postings into Google and found this is a popular question to be asking lately, elsewhere.

  105. MangoChutneyUK:

    I think you are absolutely right in demanding the code from Scarfetta, surely the publishing journal has a view on this too?

  106. Rob:

    While I am a hardcore denialist (currently enjoying the happy end of the Copenhagen circus)I second the opinion that Svensmark’s paper shall be ignored until it is entirely clear how it was created. Code, data everything must be freed. As always – ha! guys ;-)

    [Response: Scafetta, not Svensmark. - gavin]

  107. Rob:

    Gavin@52
    “My personal opinion is that FOIA requests are often used just a form of harrassement…”

    Don’t think such harassment would be effective, the law is written with the possibility to ignore obviously nonsense requests. In Sweden we have had these kinds of laws forever, never heard of any problem.

    Gavin@55
    [Response: The hacked documents were not 'the CRU code' in any real sense. They are random bits and pieces of research code that had been emailed to people at various times. I wouldn't read too much into any bugs you found there given that you have no idea how old the code was or whether it was subsequently fixed (or abandoned). - gavin]

    This is arm waving, you could just as well assume all the “Harry code” was used. That’s what I do! Why do you think otherwise, why should I think otherwise?

    [Response: Because a) the Harry document isn't code - it's a work log, and b) the dataset he was working on (CRU TS 3.0) has been released with the documented problems resolved. These documents are nothing even close to a complete and current archive of all production code. - gavin]

  108. Dennis Hamilton:

    Thanks for the Post Doug (response 61) nice article but again I think this needs more math and science help by the AGW experts. I can accept that the sun has cyclical variations that span very small timeframes in geological terms – got it (at least base on our current limited observations). Can we postulate that other natural cycles that contribute/reduce global warming forces have the same cyclical variations? we then postulate that CO2 additions by humans has a definitive ceiling (don’t care what percentage you use) and the CO2 additions by humans climb arithmetically (straight line). Let’s say for giggles that there are 100 material natural cyclical forces that influence global climate, 1 man made force – in geological time scales there would be occurrences when cyclical forces combine to produce super heating/super cooling periods (we know this true given know fossil records) and that the even with constant increase of CO2 there will be a period of super cooling. The warming we have seen is a very very very small timeframe – my concern is that (Post 81 Chris Crawford – please re-read my post) a change in 1% of a very massive number (sun radiation) can have extraordinary effects when combined with other cyclical forces contrasted with even a large change in a very small number (CO2 percentage in atmosphere) of constant force. The postulation is overly simple because we continue to discover meaningful and material natural forces (jet streams, ocean currents, the number of government AGW studies, etc…) so just saying that the certainty expressed about AGW seems to contrary to the relative uncertainty of that huge blast furnace in our sky effect on all the other cyclical forces we know or have yet to discover. So again, Gavin are you confident that the suns affects have been adequately discounted?

  109. t_p_hamilton:

    MikeW asks:”Eli et al, how is the orignal momentum of the absorbed photon conserved? It annoys me a little that it’s rarely mentioned and often just waved away.”

    There is an old spectroscopy based on this very phenomenon (for photons with much higher momenta by the way) – Mossbauer.

  110. Sycorame:

    How is this different from Steve McIntyre’s requests for code that were being denied, and people saying it is ridiculous to ask for code?

  111. Steve Fish:

    Comment by Allen — 18 December 2009 @ 3:41 AM:

    Your moral equivalence argument is vacuous. Who has denied methods and data to whom? I think that, without understanding the real issues, you just popped in here to drop your little empty moral bomb for the fun of it. Maybe not, surprise me.

    Steve

  112. Completely Fed Up:

    It’s different because Steve McIntyre is a hypocrite.

    He demands others do something he isn’t willing to do.

    When did Gavin et al ever demand source code from Steve?

    After Steve had made a huge stink over his requests being ignored (which is what you do with ignorant queries).

  113. Silk:

    “The warming we have seen is a very very very small timeframe – my concern is that (Post 81 Chris Crawford – please re-read my post) a change in 1% of a very massive number (sun radiation) can have extraordinary effects when combined with other cyclical forces contrasted with even a large change in a very small number (CO2 percentage in atmosphere) of constant force”

    Do you know what a change of 1% in solar activity does to forcing?

    Do you know what a change of 280ppm to 550ppm of CO2 does to forcing?

    Because Gavin and the rest of the climate commuity DOES KNOW (there is mountains of work on this) and the solar effect is small compared to the GHG effect.

    Read the IPCC Report. AR4, Working Group 1. It’s all in there.

  114. BlogReader:

    Gavin #98 If someone says they used linear regression, you can do that yourself. If the say the used an EOF decomposition of the sea level pressure field, then you can do it yourself.

    In that case the program could look something like this:
    data = (read from file)
    linearReg = WellKnownProgram.linearRegres(data.column(3))

    At least with Java (apache commons, maven repos) and Perl (CPAN) there’s well known libraries out there that everyone uses for free. Many eyeballs have looked them over. Probably the same with Fortran and R.

    Now what if the temperature was really in column 4 and not 3, which was the smoothed out temperature reading? No amount of saying “we used linear regression” is going to catch that error.

    [Response: Of course not, but this kind of error is pretty easy to spot in an independent replication too. For instance, the only case in which I know this happened is from Craig Loehle and was spotted without any code being posted (though the data was). - gavin]

  115. Bill DeMott:

    I’ve just now grading some undergraduate biology exams that involved calculations and interpredations and came across answers that provide insights into the reasoning of people who talk about “small, subtle changes” in atmospheric C02 over the last century or so as in #41 above.

    The results looked something like this
    Coefficient A Coefficient B
    Species 1 0.46 0.0581
    Species 2 0.40 0.0050

    Some students said that variation in Coefficient A is bigger (and more important), because (0.46 – 0.40) > (0.058 – 0.005). However, this overlooks the fact coefficient B varies over an order of magnitude (1,000 percent) while the variation in coefficient B is closer to 10%. I just took for granted that everyone would find the variation in coefficient B more significant. The notion of a coefficient of variation (Standard deviation/mean) is important here.

  116. Mark Schaffer:

    Sycorame asks: “How is this different from Steve McIntyre’s requests for code that were being denied, and people saying it is ridiculous to ask for code?”
    If you take a look at the link to the data sources right on the main page of this website, you will find that his requests constituted harassment and were not an attempt at honest debate because everything needed was always available. Did you just fall off the turnip truck and miss all the prior discussions here on this very topic?

  117. BillB:

    Lucia’s site is aflame with “deniers” joining you in your request that Scafetta send you his code.

  118. Rob:

    Gavin@107
    [Response: Because a) the Harry document isn't code - it's a work log, and b) the dataset he was working on (CRU TS 3.0) has been released with the documented problems resolved. These documents are nothing even close to a complete and current archive of all production code. - gavin]

    Harry document is a log, logging what’s going on with the code. Don’t you remember the file where this funny hard coded array were superimposed onto the measurement data, think it was called the fudge factor or similar. And to preempt, I do not mean the one where this particular code where commented out, but the other one.

    Me opinion is that the fudging in that case is so twisted, there is something behind it. One doesn’t even think such thoughts without having an intent. What could possibly make me believe otherwise? Answer, the full CRU code, the full CRU data, logs of which data where included, which were excluded, the rationale behind such decisions. (Remember what the Russinas now say, CRU did some heavy cherry-picking of data from Russia). I don’t know whats true about the Russian claim but when all these claims are put together i makes a substantial pile of no-no’s. That’s about it, not you arm waiving. No offense, but this thread is about releasing code.

    [Response: Now you are confused. The Harry log was not the code that had the 'fudge factor' comment - that code was related to the tree ring MXD calibration tests that were (in the end) never published. Not sure how this thread is relate to posting code that was never used in a publication. - gavin]

  119. Nick O.:

    Maybe if they won’t release their code they would be willing to release their e-mails?

    And maybe those e-mails could include any discussions of how they view the work of those scientists who generally support the view that human activity is contributing to global warming?

    Or is that too much to ask? After all, it was okay to release the UEA traffic, wasn’t it?

    Or maybe the people who hacked the UEA e-mails think – for balance and open discussion, of course – that they should also hack Scafetta and West’s e-mails and code? Presumably that would prove just how correct and scientifically robuts their methods and data are.

    All in the interests of free and open discussion, of course …

  120. Dean:

    #110: “How is this different from Steve McIntyre’s requests for code that were being denied, and people saying it is ridiculous to ask for code?”

    Because they made a good-faith effort to replicate the results on their own based on the descriptions that were initially provided. And because the author of the original paper criticized their methods without providing details. They didn’t start by asking for code, they asked for it when they failed to replicate the results.

  121. Gary Rissling:

    Considering that CERN is conducting the $14 million CLOUD experiment, which will – at least in part – confirm or reject Friis-Christensen & Lassen’s work, we will likely at least have empirical, unbiased, and clear empirical information about the correlation between cosmic rays/cloud formation and climate change. Should this experiment determine that cosmic rays have a greater influence over global temperatures than anthropogenic co2, will the proponents of AWG be objective enough to accept it?

    [Response: Yes, of course. Just don't hold your breath for the experiment to determine that. See our commentary on this, here.]

  122. DVG:

    RealClimate authors could do the entire climate science industry and the rest of the world a favor by publically proposing that ALL published studies involving data/code be published with the simultaneous full disclosure of the involved data/code, and that would-be ‘peers reviewers’ refuse to review — and publishers refuse to publich — if the data/code is not so disclosed.

    Persistent full disclosure, at least in the long run, creates credibility. And that’s what we need much more of.

    What about it, RealClimate authors?

  123. Doug Bostrom:

    Dennis Hamilton says: 18 December 2009 at 10:28 AM

    “Monster waves”, in a different domain. Sure, but nothing like that has so far turned up, apparently, and not for lack of trying to find it. I’m speaking from a point of view that is abysmally and truly ignorant compared to professionals in the field, but I suppose a lot of candidates could be ruled out due to insufficient power, time span of influence, etc. Using the “monster wave” analogy, they come and go rather quickly.

    Bear in mind, the article I cited is a very tight, concise but necessarily compressed synopsis of a very long and focused effort by a lot researchers bringing a lot of analysis to bear on a lot of observations. To really get a head start on the whole thing, you’ll probably need to dig into the research cited in Weart’s writeup.

  124. Martin Vermeer:

    Sycorame #110, the difference is very simple: a scientific paper should be presented in such a way that someone ‘versed in the art’ is able to replicate it results.
    Don’t you think Gavin and Rasmus qualify? They are ‘versed in the art’ yet didn’t manage to replicate, and not for not trying. That is the point at which to ask for more info.
    Steve McIntyre OTOH is not ‘versed in the art’ and not on the way to becoming. Don’t take my word for it: he failed to replicate papers where real scientists succeeded, and that’s a pattern. He demands endless hand-holding without ever producing anything of scientific interest.
    For enlightenment, read this, and links therein:
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2009/12/needy-in-almost-unnoticed-interview.html

  125. mondo:

    Re #111. CFU. You surely are being ironic?

  126. ADR:

    I have some *very* basic questions from someone who is trying to understand AGW:

    - What percentage of CO2 does the atmosphere contain in total? 0.038 percent
    - What percentage of that CO2 is natural and what percentage is man-made? The value in the 1800s was about 0.028 percent. So about 30% of the current number can be considered ‘man made’
    - By what methods is CO2 measured to know how much is being emitted by humans vs. natural?Read this
    - Are natural CO2 emissions steady? If not, how much does it vary?
    There are seasonal variations, and smaller interannual variations, all of which are completely swamped by human-caused increases. See e.g. here
    - Compared to other greenhouse gases, what percentage of total GHGs does man-made CO2 affect global warming?
    roughly half

    If these questions have been stated before somewhere that is easy to understand for the average person please post a link. Thanks.

    [Response: Answers in bold.--eric]

  127. Doc Savage Fan:

    Good point and I couldn’t agree with you more…transparency is a good thing for science. BTW, your information you linked on GCR is quite dated…any chances that you’ll address this subject in light of what’s going on at CERN with CLOUD? I saw some of the chamber calibration results and wonder what you think. It appears to be very clear that GCR does in fact modulate clouds.

  128. Dennis Hamilton:

    Silk (Post 112)

    OK – your answer is that you and those who are wise and knowledgeable (I assume that is 100% of the climatology/scientific community) have properly calibrated the effects of solar radiation and are extremely comfortable that based on known forcing elements, the solar input is relatively minor compared to that of CO2. The IPCC report discounting solar forcing using 5 pages of 234 page subgroup document is not what I call 100% certainty via scientific method (again the magic tree rings cures all proxy problems). I would expect you good sirs to spend allot more energy on this discussion. ALL energy, warmth, life starts and will eventual end with sun – I am simply asking Gavin (notice Silk has committed you on this) whether you are 100% sure that the solar radiation forcing has been accounted for and appropriately discounted given that we are not 100% sure about absorption rates and other potential cyclical factors they may have an impact by increased radiation. I remain unconvinced that the amount of solar/magnetic radiation changing by 1% does not have a huge impact on thermodynamic exchanges in the atmosphere and terra firma.

  129. SecularAnimist:

    Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, it appears that The Powers That Be are struggling to agree on a plan for emissions reductions that are already known to be insufficient to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, an increase which is already known to be too great to avoid catastrophic effects (this being self-evident given that we are already seeing catastrophic effects from the warming that has already occurred).

  130. chris:

    Doc Savage Fan

    You need to be more specific about what particular result you’re referring to. The more general point is that one can hardly use the observations of gamma ray-induced microparticle formation in a chamber with an atmospheric memetic to say very much about the ability of GCR to “modulate clouds”.

  131. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Dennis: For information on why it isn’t the sun causing the current global warming, start here:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Sun.html

  132. Ani:

    Just a remark from an old weather forecaster and solar analyst. With the understanding that forecasting the weather the main worry is 24 hours and if my knee ached in the morning it might influence a forecast for rain in the afternoon. In the 80′s when I heard about global warming I brushed it off to solar activity. When activity is high in the 11 year cycle It seemed to me that the longwave pattern would change over the U.S. my guess was the positioning of the low pressure off of Alaska. The east and west coasts would be warmer and and the midwest would be colder with possibilty of polar outbreaks in the winter. When solar activity was low (cooler) the midwest was warmer and the coasts cooler with possibility of summer winds and fire in California. If this makes sense then over the last 5-6 years the midwest should have been warmer and the coasts cooler. It seems to me that I could pick up a the 11 year cycle in temps and weather at different locations, also the farmers almanac used 5 year climactology which sometimes made them better than the government since they use 1 year. Of course throw in El Nino and then I just get confused. But anyway what I’m trying to get at is slight variations in temp seem to be able to make big differences in regional weather. What worries me is that the earth should have been slightly cooler the the last 5 years and with the increase in solar activity now we may have interesting things happening the next few years.

  133. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Doc: It appears to be very clear that GCR does in fact modulate clouds.

    BPL: It’s not clear at all. Read the asinine “The Chilling Stars” opus by Svensmark and Calder. Published in 2007. All the charts of GCR-cloud correlations cut off at 1995. Can you guess why?

  134. Ray Ladbury:

    Dennis Hamilton says “I remain unconvinced that the amount of solar/magnetic radiation changing by 1% does not have a huge impact on thermodynamic exchanges in the atmosphere and terra firma.”

    Would that be because you don’t understand the Stefan-Boltzmann Law?

  135. NoPreview NoName:

    ADR wrote:

    - Compared to other greenhouse gases, what percentage of total GHGs does man-made CO2 affect global warming?

    eric responded:

    roughly half

    Eric, I’m surprised you answered that. The question is very unclear. What global warming? The increase from preindustrial times or compared to Earth in a vacuum? What GHG? Including or excluding water? Literally the question doesn’t even make sense. Maybe he was asking about how much of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is still in the atmosphere, although I don’t think so.

    And you messed up the bolding.

  136. Ken W:

    Greg Leisner (73)

    Greg, debates (often with cursing and raised voices) is not at all uncommon at scientific meetings. That’s definitely not limited to climate science. Scientists being convinced of their own evidence and strongly defending it, is a great asset to the scientific process. The best ideas rise to the top and those that don’t hold up to careful peer scrutiny die off.

    Even after there are well established and accepted theories in a field, scientists will continue to debate intensely on relatively minor points. That’s the current state in the field of climate science. While there will always be a few contrarians (as there were in Evolution, Plate Tectonics, etc.), the climate science debates now are far removed from the nonsensical debates you see on various blogs (e.g. Is it really warming? Are humans really responsible for the increased atmospheric CO2? etc.)

  137. Alexandre:

    Great post. I´m stunned theses guys even have the nerve to keep codes away from scrutiny after all this Climategate noise.

  138. ADR:

    – Eric:
    Thanks for the response. So to clarify (correct me if I’m wrong): The atmosphere is made up of 3.8% CO2. Of that, 30% is man-made CO2. So, that translates into 1.14% of the total atmosphere is man-made CO2.

    – NoPreview NoName:
    What I was trying to ask is, how much of an *impact* does CO2 have compared to to other GHGs (as a percentage), even though the percentage of CO2 seems small. Eric said about 50%, which is a big factor.

    [Response: But don't confuse yourself here. Finding out that it's 'only 1.14%' doesn't tell you anything. If I gave you a glass of water that was 1.14% Draino, would you drink it? How about if I gave you a class of water that was 0.000000001% plutonium?-eric]

  139. Mike W:

    I would like to ask Eli, Ray, Rod and Spaceman some more questions and continue probing their juicy, juicy brains but I don’t want to keep straying off the thread topic. Is there anywhere on RC where I can throw my own questions up?

  140. ADR:

    – Eric:
    I’m not confused, I didn’t use the term “only” (you put that in there), and I understand your Draino example in that context. I just wanted to understand the basics and you provided them. Thanks.

  141. Phil. Felton:

    Mike W says:
    18 December 2009 at 1:48 AM
    Thankyou guys, always exiting to be able to draw back the curtain on the world like this!

    Rod, Eli (was hoping you’d contribute, I read some great stuff of yours written in 2007 in response to a similar question) Spaceman; great answers! Will need some time to digest them and do some more reading, may have some more qualifying questions.

    Figured there would have to be an asymmetry for it to work, the message I’m taking away is that it is “easier” for vibration to “become” translational energy than it is for translational energy to become vibrational energy. I’m just reading a bit about equipartition and the ‘freezing out’ of rotational and vibrational modes….I think I see how it fits into the picture here.

    Of course, now I want to know how much of the upwelling IR is thermalised? and “wasted” as translational energy, and how much is re-radiated.

    In the lower troposphere the mean time between collisions is orders of magnitude smaller than the radiation lifetime of the excited state (ro-vibrational), consequently virtually all the absorbed energy is given up to surrounding molecules as translational energy. It’s only higher in the atmosphere (eg stratosphere) that significant radiational exchange takes place, which is responsible for cooling by GHGs (mostly CO2, there being no H2O there).

    If you want to find some numbers look up papers on ‘CO2 lasers’. CO2 lasers rely on resonant.collisional activation of excited vibrational states by excited N2 (excited by electric discharge).

  142. dhogaza:

    Do Roy Spencer and John Christy make the source code used to create the UAH MSU temperature reconstructions public?

  143. Doug Bostrom:

    Comment by Dennis Hamilton — 18 December 2009 @ 2:28 PM

    Not any chance here that your entry question was rhetorical, disingenuous? Contrasted with your first post on the topic, you seem entirely committed to what has rapidly evolved into a posture.

    Have you actually read any of the documents referenced by Weart? If not, why are you asking Gavin for his input?

  144. RB:

    ADR #138, a useful analogy that I came across is that milk is opaque because of its fat content and skim milk has < 1% fat.

  145. Donald Oats:

    The blog article is a little picky, for Scarfetta and West do not need to release their code since they are wrong. After all, who is to say that you aren’t the correct party; and, performing both wavelet and a band-filtering method means you have corroborated your analysis by comparing two different techniques.
    Therefore, by the inverted (perverted) rules of denialism, it is you who must publish all of the code and data for S&W to pick over and go “No, it isn’t periodic, use reflecting boundaries.” etc. See? No matter what you do, you are the ones who must release code and data. Isn’t it grand :-P

    Good blog as always.

  146. Dan Hughes:

    eric @ 138

    Plutonium Toxicity:

    “Toxicity
    Isotopes and compounds of plutonium are toxic to highly toxic due to their radioactivity. Contamination by plutonium oxide (spontaneously oxidized plutonium) has resulted from a number of military nuclear accidents where nuclear weapons have burned.[66] However, based on chemical toxicity alone, the element is less dangerous than arsenic or cyanide and about the same as caffeine.[67][68]

    Plutonium is more dangerous when inhaled than when ingested. The risk of lung cancer increases once the total dose equivalent of inhaled radiation exceeds 400 mSv.[69] The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the lifetime cancer risk for inhaling 5,000 plutonium particles, each about 3 microns wide, to be 1% over the background U.S. average.[70] It is not absorbed into the body efficiently when ingested; only 0.04% of plutonium oxide is absorbed after ingestion.[26] When plutonium is absorbed into the body, it is excreted very slowly, with a biological half-life of 200 years.[71] Plutonium has a metallic taste.[72]

    The alpha radiation plutonium emits does not penetrate the skin but can irradiate internal organs when plutonium is inhaled or ingested.[26] Particularly at risk are the skeleton, where it is likely to be absorbed by the bone surface, and the liver, where it collects and becomes concentrated.[25]

    Considerably larger amounts may cause acute radiation poisoning and death if ingested or inhaled; however, no human is known to have died because of inhaling or ingesting plutonium, and many people have measurable amounts of plutonium in their bodies.[68]“

  147. Steve Fish:

    Comment by Dennis Hamilton — 18 December 2009 @ 2:28 PM:

    I understand what you are getting at, but first I caution you that no scientist worth his salt will give you 100% certainty on anything. Not even whether the sun will come up tomorrow. Our star is the source of all life and it is a very big fusion reactor nearby but it is, thankfully, very consistent. A one percent difference in the sun output would be very noticeable.

    Measuring our sun’s output is easy; all you have to do is point a measuring device at it. Relatively simple calculations show that our earth without any greenhouse gasses would be an iceball. Only 280 ppm of CO2 makes it comfortable and a very small difference in CO2 doesn’t have much of an effect, relative to winter/summer differences, but it does affect worldwide weather patterns and polar ice dramatically. The earth’s temperature is delicately balanced, such that it is just right for our current ecology, and this is the reason why there are dramatic changes in geological time that are affected by relatively subtle changes in solar energy and other forcings.

    Your misconceptions are why Doug Bostrom has suggested that you read Spencer Weart’s “Discovery of Global Warming,” found by way of the “start here” button at the top of the main Real Climate page. Look under– “Informed, but in need of more detail.” You will find it to be an interesting read. Come back to ask questions.

    Steve

  148. Ray Ladbury:

    Phil Felton says, “Figured there would have to be an asymmetry for it to work, the message I’m taking away is that it is “easier” for vibration to “become” translational energy than it is for translational energy to become vibrational energy.”

    The asymmetry is in the energies. Few gas molecules in the atmosphere (~1% or so I think) have sufficient energy to excite the vibrational mode of CO2. When such a mode is excited by an IR photon, the vibrational mode has an excess of energy compared to what would be expected via equipartition. As such it will tend to de-excite collisionally–and the long life of the vibrational state means it has plenty of time to do so.

  149. Ray Ladbury:

    Alexandre says “Great post. I´m stunned theses guys even have the nerve to keep codes away from scrutiny after all this Climategate noise.”

    Let’s not get too excited. Remember, the Internet is only a decade and a half old. Prior to that there was no way to easily share datasets. And sharing code is still something I have doubts about–it seems like an excellent way to propagate errors into formerly independent analyses.

    [Response: My emphasis –eric

  150. Spaceman Spiff:

    Mike W (post #139):

    Your best bet is to consult a textbook on atmospheric radiation and climate. You can start with David Archer’s “Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast” ( http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/index.html ). Or watch his lectures from this past Fall: http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/lectures.html . Another fine introductory book is “Global Warming: The Complete Forecast. These are science textbooks at an introductory level: how does Earth’s climate work, and what are the data pertaining to climate change?

    If after digesting one or both of these, you think you’re ready to swim in deeper waters, then you might try Grant Petty’s book, “First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” (parts of the 1st Ed. including all figures are online: http://www.sundogpublishing.com/AtmosRad/index.html ). It’s a textbook of the relevant physics of radiation transfer in Earth’s atmosphere; climate is a subordinate issue, and climate change is hardly mentioned. Topics include radiation transfer, absorption, scattering, molecular physics, opacities, etc. There may well be a better book at level intermediate between the above; this one is soon going to press, but is still available from the author’s website: http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html . This latter text is again about the physics of Earth’s climate, and climate change is largely restricted to paleoclimates.

    At that point, you might then have a first year graduate student’s knowledge in Earth’s climate. :-)

  151. Mike W:

    Ah what the hell:)

    Ok, at “room” temperatures “most” of the molecules won’t be moving fast enough to reach the threshold energies required to excite a ro-vibrational mode in a molecule during a collision. This is what we mean when we say the rotational and vibrational degrees of freedom are frozen out. That makes perfect sense if the collisions involve molecules in their ro-vib ground states, which they do for the most part at room temperature. As Ray points out, exciting a gas with IR effectively sidesteps equipartition, albeit only locally and briefly.

    Are we saying that excited CO2 molecules have to lose energy in collisions and they can’t gain energy? Fully accept that the ro-vib energy is quantized, but the collisional broadening profiles I’ve seen seem to indicate that excited CO2 molecules can gain energy during collisions just as easily as they lose it. Yet a lot of the advice I’ve had (appreciated by the way) suggests it’s largely a one-way process of de-excitation.

    It’s definitely very hard to collisionaly excite a CO2 molecule from its ground state at room temperatures, no question. But do excited CO2 molecules really only lose energy in collisions, is that what is being implied?

    At the moment, I can’t make this sit straight with what I think I know about collisional broadening (impact pressure broadening).

    Should also mention that I appreciate CO2 is going to collide with N2, O2, the works.

  152. Terry:

    I welcome the new order of transparency and providing code for others to examine. Personally when I review scientific work by others I try to obtain the result by my own alternative methods. If that fails then I ask for the code or the calculation detail. This is precisely the methodology explained by Gavin and Eric.
    [edit]
    But in this new order of rapid exchange of information with the ability of other scientifically minded persons who may or may not be in the mainstream organisations to critically review others work, it seems to me that disclosure should be the norm from now on. The days of waiting 6 to 12 months or more for review or replication in traditional peer reviewed journals are numbered and I for one think this is a good thing. The advantages are obvious. Better and more comprehensive reviews are possible by persons who have skills that are not the core expertise of the authors can provide valuable input. The skills of statisticians comes immediately to mind when dealing with earth sciences, when the principal scientist is way more interested in the science and does not appreciate the finer points of the statistical analysis he/she is using. The old phrase “publish or perish” certainly now has a new meaning. We live in interesting times and lets hope that disclosure becomes more of the norm from now on in all scientific endeavors.

  153. Silk:

    “I am simply asking Gavin (notice Silk has committed you on this) whether you are 100% sure that the solar radiation forcing has been accounted for and appropriately discounted given that we are not 100% sure about absorption rates and other potential cyclical factors they may have an impact by increased radiation.”

    Who do you think I am? Gavin’s boss?

    Who do you think /you/ are? You want answers? Read the papers, like anyone else.

    “I remain unconvinced that the amount of solar/magnetic radiation changing by 1% does not have a huge impact on thermodynamic exchanges in the atmosphere and terra firma.”

    Bully for you. Your opinions, one way or the other, have no impact on science, or reality.

    READ the IPCC report if you care about it so much. And if that doesn’t answer all your questions READ the references contained therein.

  154. Dan Hughes:

    re:149

    I’ve been sharing data and code since the early 1970s. I find the procedure to be the most simple aspect of my work.

  155. Barton Paul Levenson:

    ADR–No, it’s 0.0388% CO2. 388 parts per million by volume.

  156. Ray Ladbury:

    Mike W. says “Are we saying that excited CO2 molecules have to lose energy in collisions and they can’t gain energy?”

    Of course not! It is simply that their constituent atoms are moving a lot faster than the typical atom (remember that a vibrational energy level has both kinetic and potential energy). Most certainly you can wind up with a spread of energies as you distort the bonds of the CO2 molecule in collisions.

    The de-excitation process is quantized, but it is quantized based on the configuration of the CO2 molecule at the time of de-excitation (distorted bonds and all). You can visualize collisional de-excitation as an almost classical process, where an oxyten atom in the CO2 molecule collides with an N2 molecule and imparts its energy to the N2 moleculd–it’s just that the energy imparted is quantized.

  157. Richard Steckis:

    142
    dhogaza says:
    18 December 2009 at 6:39 PM

    “Do Roy Spencer and John Christy make the source code used to create the UAH MSU temperature reconstructions public?”

    Why don’t you ask them? I know that John Christy is very approachable. He was kind enough to reply to one of my emails.

  158. Completely Fed Up:

    Mike W, such collisions between molecules in an excited state are inelastic.

    The extra energy comes from or disappears into non-kinetic sources/sinks.

    VERY early A-level (Higher) Physics.

    Read up on Equipartition of energy and learn some physics before questioning the physics, M’kay?

  159. Phil. Felton:

    Ray Ladbury says:
    18 December 2009 at 9:07 PM
    Phil Felton says, “Figured there would have to be an asymmetry for it to work, the message I’m taking away is that it is “easier” for vibration to “become” translational energy than it is for translational energy to become vibrational energy.”

    The asymmetry is in the energies. Few gas molecules in the atmosphere (~1% or so I think) have sufficient energy to excite the vibrational mode of CO2. When such a mode is excited by an IR photon, the vibrational mode has an excess of energy compared to what would be expected via equipartition. As such it will tend to de-excite collisionally–and the long life of the vibrational state means it has plenty of time to do so.

    I agree Ray, the quote attributed to me was actually from MikeW, for some reason only the outer part of his post was italicized.

  160. Completely Fed Up:

    RS: “Why don’t you ask them?”

    So the answer is “no”, then.

    If you have to ask if they’ve even released the data and source, then it’s not being made available, is it. Else this would be possible to find out, just like the GISS ModelE code is made available which can be found with a suitable google.

    PS why didn’t you ever say that when the thousands of dittos turned up asking where the source code for these computer models were?

    If you were a little less partisan, you’d appear a little less biased against AGW.

  161. Completely Fed Up:

    “Dan Hughes says:
    19 December 2009 at 6:35 AM

    re:149

    I’ve been sharing data and code since the early 1970s.”

    I would suspect that most/many scientists from the CRU et al would prefer not to have to worry about copyrights and ownership of data too. However, they could not do that since almost every government in the world requires that any possible money that can be made by a department looking at the weather be persued.

    If any one NMO gave away their data freely they would be slapped down for wasting an opportunity to reduce costs by having a commercial center (you can go to the Met Office website for the UK Met Office and see that they have a commercial arm). And undermining that would be a SERIOUS offence.

    At least now some of the hassle of complying with copyrights and having to “monetize” all products however meanly for weather data reduces workload and if this undermines the commercial arm, they cannot be censured for it: it is the DEMAND of the Vocal Minority that this be so.

    Of course, loss of licensing revenue means taxes will have to go up, but if the Vocal Minority complain, just point them to the accusations and demands for open and freely accessible data and they (should) accede.

  162. Hank Roberts:

    Pardon the digression, but: for anything, before you drink the permitted amount, do check when that drinking water standard was set, then look for research since that date–and think for yourself. That will put you well (ahem) ahead of the regulatory process.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/us/17water.html?_r=1
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3576851

    “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.”
    More recent information is always available.

  163. J. Bob:

    #154, You are right on sharing code. It is interesting, how easy it is for others to find errors. One tends to have to much “tunnel vision” in coding, ( i.e. in part such as making sure zero’s and Oh’s are separate), programming and analysis.

    That has served me well since the early 60′s

  164. JohnV:

    I spend too much time in the “angry echo chamber” where I keep hearing that the code and data for key paleo-climatology papers has not been released. If that’s true, is there a justification? Thanks.

    [Response: It's not true, in general.--eric]

  165. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #164 JohnV

    You might enjoy digging around in here

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/data.html

  166. Completely Fed Up:

    “#154, You are right on sharing code. It is interesting, how easy it is for others to find errors. ”

    Just as people can make mistakes in filling in their tax forms.

    So, can we have your tax returns for the past 20 years?

    So someone codes up

    FLOAT a,b,c;
    .
    .
    .
    a=b/c;
    .
    .
    .

    And you point out there’s a bug there: divide by zero.

    But the person writing this code knows that this doesn’t matter in the dataset they have.

    It’s surprising how easy it is to find errors in someone’s argument, isn’t it.

  167. Completely Fed Up:

    PS Having found an error, I suppose we have to consider everything J Bob says as wrong without working out if he is.

    This, after all, is how Climategate has been handled by the rightwingnuts.

  168. dhogaza:

    I would suspect that most/many scientists from the CRU et al would prefer not to have to worry about copyrights and ownership of data too. However, they could not do that since almost every government in the world requires that any possible money that can be made by a department looking at the weather be persued.

    A key thing I think the denialists purposefully ignore is that the decision isn’t likely to be in the hands of the scientists doing the work.

    The UK Met service is charged with providing services for fees, some of which are based on models run on UK Met-owned computers. They use the same atmospheric model for generating various near-term forecasts as is used in the more complex fully-coupled climate model, for instance. One can see that the powers that be might not agree to model source being released because of the potential of undercutting the sale of such services.

    If you don’t like this situation, go after the politicians who require them to make money where possible, not the scientists who, after all, are mere employees and aren’t in charge.

  169. Edward Greisch:

    Wavelets are what I would call an “advanced” subject. I didn’t take that course yet. It could require several courses. From what I know of other transforms involving trig functions, I am not surprised that a problem could arise somewhere and be hard to find or easy to overlook. Weird things happen in that kind of process. From what I know about software, the problem could take nearly forever to find. The problem could be in the platform used rather than the code written by the scientist. Who knows? The publications mentioned never show enough steps for me to follow so I quit trying a long time ago. I wish they would all show more of the steps.
    Scafetta is apparently a wavelet analysis wizard, but my reaction is that everybody could use all the help available to check that computation. Why withhold code?

  170. lgp:

    To paraphrase Eric and his typical, aloof RC response,

    “Try reading the post again, slowly. What they did is what they said we did, plain and simple. … You are really trying hard to find fault where there isn’t any.”

  171. Rod B:

    BTW, I meant to say mulit “millions” as the number of collisions per second in my #67. Though some have estimated in the billions, and others here probably know better than I.

  172. Eli Rabett:

    Coming back to this a bit late, excited molecules can gain energy vibrational energy by collision, it is just that the probability is low, there are a lot fewer vibrationally excited molecules than unexcited ones, there are a lot fewer collisions that have the same or higher energy needed to excite a further vibrational quantum.

    Oh, and btw, a nice example of using photon momentum is cooling atoms to reach Bose-Einstein condensation (see the Wikipedia for more detail)

  173. Rod B:

    I might disagree with Ray (148) on the number of gas molecules that can excite a vibration state. But I’m not knowledgeable enough (too lazy — and he is undoubtedly close) and his basic point is valid, and is why the vibration-to-translation collisional exchange is far more plentiful than translation to vibration. One could find the number by using the gas laws and the boltzman distribution.

  174. Rod B:

    Mike W (151), CO2 can and does pick up translation energy through collisions. Whether it de-excites collisionally or through emission depends on the Q-M probabilities of maintaining the excited state compared to the probability of collision which depends mainly on the molecular density of the gas. That probability is very high at low altitudes (high pressure), not so much in the upper stratosphere.

  175. Geoff Wexler:

    Re: #69 Ely
    Are you sure about your remark about the vibrating mode with the symmetric stretch? Unless symmetry is broken somehow, I don’t see how electronic charge will be transferred. The charge will not know which way to go. In that case there will be no dipole moment and no interaction with the vibrating electric field carried by the photon, at least not in first order. Of course symmetry could be broken if the CO2 happened to be colliding with another molecule of something (pressure broadening) If this wrong , how?

    and Re: Mike W.
    (Just one more comment to this sub-thread). This is how I think about it.
    Imagine a little wall surrounding a few excited vibrating CO2 molecules and some N2 and O2. This is an artificial construct. To start with this little system would not be in statistical equilibrium. As a crude approximation , it could be considered as a mixture of air at one temperature and CO2 at a slightly higher one i.e a “hot CO2 regime”. (This is only rough terminology because by ‘hot’ I am referring to the population of the vibrational modes). As you will see this is a fiction because it is statistically highly unstable.

    According to the second law of thermodynamics the contents will share energy until the entropy is maximised. The final equilibirum condition is characterised by a single temperature which determines the relative occupation of the translational and vibrational energies of the CO2, O2 and N2 as well as the infra-red modes. It will however take a certain time to reach that equilibrium. Not very long , unless the pressure is extremely low.

    In practice you don’t usually need the wall, I only introduced it to suppress interaction with the rest of the world. This will make a small difference (assumption) but not much. This is a way that we can think about local thermodyamic equilibrium in a non equilibrium problem. Without the wall, there is no overal thermodynamic equilibrium because there is a temperature gradient and heat transfer. To be rigorous, this is now irreversible thermodynamics (another subject) because entropy is being created. If you were being really fussy you could argue that the concept of temperature was no longer valid. But usually there is no reason to be so fussy because the rate of collisions is so high (except at very low pressures). Thus the “local thermodynamic equilibrium approximation” is an excellent one and every point of the gas has a definite temperature, the same for O2,N2, CO2, the same for the vibrational and translational modes.

  176. Edward Greisch:

    Woops! Scafetta can’t show you his code if he doesn’t have any! If the sun is obviously NOT THE PROBLEM looking at the raw data, wavelets analysis can’t make it into a problem! Scafetta is bluffing. We have known for a long time that the sun is NOT the cause of the climate change that is going on now. The sun is having a quiet period, a time out. It is time to call Scafetta’s bluff. Don’t let him play a psychological game on you. You, Rasmus, are not the dummy, but you are the object of a joke. The joke ends now. Rasmus gets the last laugh.
    Here is another reason for open code: You have to write code before you can publish it. You can’t publish unwritten code.

  177. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B., feel free to check my math. It’s not really difficult–just plug the vibrational energy and temperature into the Arrhenius eqation. Nothing magic. If I made a boo-boo, I’d be happpy for you to point it out.

  178. Mike W:

    Completely Fed Up said “Read up on Equipartition of energy and learn some physics before questioning the physics, M’kay?”

    Enjoy stifling the intellectual curiosity of others? Can’t say that I’m that emotionally invested in it.

    I think you believe I’m attempting to challenge or re-invent the body of knowledge on radiative transfer, not so. I’m trying to cultivate a reasonably detailed and coherent understanding of how the radiated energy gets into the system and how its conserved and distributed, a week ago I didn’t even know the latter was called equipartition.

    In #151 I clearly consider the effects of equipartition, I go on to describe the dissonance I have with this new concept and my previous understanding. I’m not challenging it, I’m saying “why is it this way, and not another way?”.

    I am actually consulting the textbooks on Physical Chemistry and Atmospheric Radiation before I go running my mouth. Even then the textbooks come up short on answering these kinds of questions in a lucid way. RC gives me unique access to experts that I just can’t get any other way…I can’t believe they give this stuff away for free.

    FWIW, I’m now pretty comfortable with the idea that de-excitation by collision will be predominant at the low temperatures and higher pressures found near the surface. Radiative energy gets into the gas and excites a number of CO2 molecules, the gas is at that moment in (slight) disagreement with the distribution of energy predicted by equipartition (for a gas with that temperature and pressure) but the system quickly acts through collisional de-excitation to normalize the distribution of energy in a manner consistent with equipartition. By jove indeed.

    Don’t bully or belittle me, it’s unnecessary and unpleasant.

    Your loving layman, Mike W.

  179. David Weisman:

    Did Scafetta & West fail to use the most current available information in their analysis? I’ve seen that claim, though not here.

  180. Completely Fed Up:

    Geoff, #175, there IS a difference if you have a molecule with two different atoms. CO for example. The electron would spend longer at the Oxygen side than the Carbon side and increased separation would cause a dipole change: the O atom becomes more negative.

    If I’m remembering my school physics properly. We weren’t supposed to hear that but someone in class asked why O2 wasn’t affected.

  181. Hank Roberts:

    Now this begins to get interesting:
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/12/oped-on-aig-show-us-e-mail.html

  182. Garrett:

    #151 Nu-2 (bending) and Nu-3 (asymmetric stretching) modes of CO2 are EXTREMELY IR active. The dipole moment
    comes from the vibrational motion of the molecule. The following links will help deniers learn about how
    infrared absorption works.

    http://web.mit.edu/5.33/www/lec/spec5.pdf (see page 5)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotational_spectroscopy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_vibration
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rovibrational_coupling

  183. Martin Vermeer:

    Mike W, never mind CFU. I suspect it’s our old friend Mark — never mind him. Enjoy discovery!

  184. Garrett:

    And who can forget the ATMOS/ATLAS missions:
    http://www.ph.utexas.edu/~gositz/phy386_Photodetectors.pdf
    http://yly-mac.gps.caltech.edu/Reprintsyly/z_Bibliography_soozen/N102Gunson_1996.pdf

    I remember working on the ATMOS data, this instrument was so accurate that we could measure vertical
    wind speeds by measuring Doppler shifts in the CO2 absorption lines all the way up to 120 km
    and were able to measure atmospheric tides (driven by peridic heating and cooling on the lower atmosphere and stratosphere). And this was way back in 1985!
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1987GeoRL..14.1266V

  185. Jason:

    I was glad to see most of the skeptical websites join you in your call for publicly releasing the code.

    As Rasmus was no doubt aware when he wrote this post, there is a long history of skeptics attempting to replicate the work of real climate contributors, only to be told that their replication is different from the original in some subtle way, not easily discernible from the original paper.

    Although you again say that public availability of the code is not necessary for replication (and I can agree with that) can we now also agree that publicly available code is a good idea because:

    1. it makes replication simpler

    2. it provides a far more precise specification of methodology than is possible using just the original paper and their SI

    3. it enables, where replications differ, a precise understanding of the reasons behind the difference

    4. it eliminates some of the suspicion by skeptics [which, in the case of Scafetta, means rasmus and gavin] that errors or impropriety affected the results

    5. it eliminates _all_ of the suspicion by skeptics that the code is being hidden in an effort to avoid detection of errors and/or improprieties

    It is difficult for me to imagine a scenario in which the public availability of all code and data used in refereed papers would not be a change for the better.

    [Response: This is probably a good place to state unequivocally that neither Rasmus nor myself think that there are any errors or impropriety in any of the code Dr. Scafetta uses. The scientific issue we are exploring is whether his precise methodology is robust to noise and co-linearity of other forcings, not whether he has made an error in his coding. It is precisely because of this automatic presumption that a request for clarification of details is because of a lack of trust in a scientist's integrity that there is resistance to these requests. No-one will take time out of their day to deal with someone who doesn't believe a word they say. The conviction that some contrarians have, that 'errors' and 'impropriety' exist that will somehow invalidate dozens of lines of evidence, made and replicated by a multitude of groups across the world is simply a fallacy - albeit one that seems widespread. Science needs transparency and communications in order to more efficiently work out what is going on in the real world, it has nothing to do with appeasing conspiracy theorists (who will not be appeased in any case). - gavin]

  186. Geoff Wexler:

    Re :#180
    Of course; that was the point I was making to Ely. Symmetry or lack of is at the root of many or most things, and spectroscopy is an excellent example. Guess: I should imagine that HF, HCl,…. would make excellent greenhouse gases.

  187. Completely Fed Up:

    One thing to remember is that there’s a lot less energy required to make a ruler go twang than to make it stretch.

    If your stretching of CO bond requires 1eV energies, you’re not going to manage it with IR at 1meV.

    And though you may be able to make it spin along another axis, that needs more energy too.

    Therefore Triatomic molecules especially are good absorbers in IR.

    Polyatomic molecules tend to have a lot more possible ways to wobble and these are often good at absorbing microwaves.

  188. Completely Fed Up:

    “Enjoy stifling the intellectual curiosity of others?”

    Quite the opposite. I’d like you to go off and read about stuff rather than pop along to a website and get someone to tutor you for free.

    Especially when you’ve seem to be recalcitrant to take the information given so far.

  189. Completely Fed Up:

    re 173, however if you have a three-body collision vibration is entirely possible. Which extracts its energy from translational kinetic energy.

    Also somewhat true at specific energies (like a string picking up the harmonic of another string being plucked nearby).

  190. Jason:

    Re: Gavin’s comment to my #185:

    1. I agree that it is not the goal of science to appease “conspiracy theorists”.

    I hope that Real Climate can agree that there are many individuals who are skeptical of Real Climate papers who are _not_ conspiracy theorists.

    2. I certainly did not mean to imply that Gavin and Rasmus “think that there are any errors or impropriety in any of the code Dr. Scafetta uses.” I am not aware of them making any comments to that effect.

    My mentioning them specifically, was to clarify my use of the term “skeptic” as meaning those who are skeptical of the results in a particular paper (as opposed to those who are skeptical of Global Warming).

  191. Rod B:

    A short comment on part of the so-called climategate. As I, a skeptic, said before, I think the strong push for full public release of all data and its manipulation is a pipe dream for the vast majority of the folks demanding it. From a purely practical viewpoint, with a few notable exceptions, we’d be like the dog that finally caught the truck. There is nothing we could do with it other than browse for some part that looks funny (whether we understand it or not) and that might make a good show — one of the valid reasons Gavin demurred in #185. I do not go as far to believe there is nothing wrong, untoward or that impropriety does not exist. I think it very well might (though the level that indicates this is nowhere close to some “smoking gun,” IMO) — or might not. But there has to be some other way to get an independent credible assessment. I would suggest the scientists have to come up with some agreeable method because, maybe through no fault of your own, and like it or not, you all have a public relations tiger by the tail.

  192. Rod B:

    Completely Fed Up (187), a minor point, but I thought molecules absorbed IR because they have a polar moment, not because some wiggle better.

  193. Boris Tabaksplatt:

    I think it’s good that the UK Met Office has decided to release as much of the data as possible to public access. Now, many people like myself are reconstructing regional trends, and starting to understand the difficulties people at the CRU had when trying to use the same poor quality and patchy data to build up a global picture.

    It’s a shame the raw station data isn’t available yet, but once this is published the original work can then be confirmed or not and an end put to the AGW debate once and for all.

    [Response: Wanna bet? - gavin]

  194. Garrett:

    re 173, however if you have a three-body collision vibration is entirely possible. Which extracts its energy from translational kinetic energy.

    Also somewhat true at specific energies (like a string picking up the harmonic of another string being plucked nearby).

    ————

    Collisions broaden absorption lines, but do not change the peak frequencies that they occur at. If anything, they increase the frequency range that abosportion can occur at (i.e. – Lorenz aka collision broadening)

    One thing to keep in mind, and this is the key to the whole way that the CO2 influence on the greenhouse effect works, is that Water and CO2 rotational-vibrational bands do not overlap for the most part. Their absorption bands have an independent effect on the greenhouse effect. Water is basically constant while CO2 in not (growing due to pollution). In addition, H2O is primarily a tropospheric effect, as it freezes out when it gets to the stratosphere while CO2 does not. It only takes a small smidgen of CO2 increase to block entire IR transmission r3egions from the troposphere. This is what is happening.

  195. Garrett:

    W, for people who wonder who I am, I am Dr. Garrett W. Van Cleef, PhD, Ohio State 1989. I worked under John Shaw (recently deceased, God bless him) and Crofton “Barney” Farmer of JPL 20 yeas ago. At this time, I work in pprivate industry but am again getting the itch to complete my work on atmospheric tides that I left 20 years ago (so much new data :)

  196. Tim McDermott:

    Rod B says:
    20 December 2009 at 5:15 PM

    But there has to be some other way to get an independent credible assessment. I would suggest the scientists have to come up with some agreeable method because, maybe through no fault of your own, and like it or not, you all have a public relations tiger by the tail.

    Rod, It is the nature of scientists that they are, collectively, independent assessments of each other. Those who suggest that there is a conspiracy among all the scientists who are competent to perform an assessment are, IMO, delusional. The scientist who could convincingly demonstrates that AGW is not happening, or is not a serious threat to humanity, would be lionized. The reality is that scientists are motivated by the intellectual chase and by status. Debunking AGW would be the achievement of the century. Those who cry “conspiracy” seem to think that scientists are driven by money.
    Only fools go into science to make money. Except for Senior Executive Service folk, nobody at GISS can make $153,000 per year, because that is the top of the pay scale in New York City. Consider that a registered nurses with anesthetist certification can make $250,000 in Virginia. I don’t doubt that Gavin Schmidt could make between a million and ten million dollars a year as a quant on Wall Street. Science is not lucrative. Those who think there is a conspiracy need to come up with a realistic motive.

  197. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B. @191 That is an insightful comment. However I would raise a question on the following suggestion you raise:

    “But there has to be some other way to get an independent credible assessment. I would suggest the scientists have to come up with some agreeable method because, maybe through no fault of your own, and like it or not, you all have a public relations tiger by the tail.”

    To date, we have mountains of evidence, both literal and figurative, showing the climate is changing and that we are the ones doing it.

    This evidence and the methodologies of obtaining it have been assessed by the National Academy of Sciences in the US, and by National Academies all over the world. These committees included scientists whose reputations are above reproach and who work in fields outside climate science, but who possess enough knowledge to form an independent assessment. These assessments uniformly validate the results and methodologies that point toward the reality of climate change.

    The evidence and methods have been assessed by dozens of independent professional associations of physicists, chemists, meteorologists, even petroleum geologists. Not one organization dissented from the consensus.

    The results, and even the individual scientists who published them, have been investigated by hostile committees in the US House and Senate (which found bupkes to censure). The results have been scrutinized by legislative bodies, government and military bodies–even the Vatican. Not so much as a word of dissent–in fact most are urging immediate action.

    So, I’m wondering: Who is left? Who could assess the science and reach an independent validation that so-called skeptics would accept? To me, it looks as though most would not be persuaded regardless of any evidence produced or any amount of validation.

  198. Hank Roberts:

    Rod B:
    > wiggles
    wiggles, defined:
    http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1999/5/99.05.07.x.html

    “Molecular spectroscopy involves the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with the molecules of the material …
    Many things in nature wiggle back and forth. We call a wiggle in time a vibration. We call a wiggle in time and space a wave….
    Molecular Vibrations
    One of the oldest forms of spectroscopy uses the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In order to understand IR spectroscopy, we must first consider the motion of atoms in molecules.”

    Atoms in a molecule do not maintain fixed positions with respect to each other, but actually vibrate back and forth about an average value of interatomic distance with a certain frequency.”

  199. Hank Roberts:

    Rod, just to illustrate for any kid who comes along the process of checking what one thinks, I hope you don’t mind being the demonstrator.
    Demonstratee. Whatever.

    192 Rod B says: 20 December 2009 at 5:20 PM
    > … I thought molecules absorbed IR because they have a polar moment,
    > not because some wiggle better.

    It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backward. For everything else, we have search engines.

    Pick a molecule we know absorbs infrared. You can visualize some of them fairly easily. Methane is a greenhouse gas. Memory says it looked symmetrical, at least forty years ago when I formed that memory. YMMV.

    Can we check? Is it polar? And what do we mean by that?
    http://www.google.com/search?q=is+methane+polar

    Finds us this among the first page of results:
    http://teaching.shu.ac.uk/hwb/chemistry/tutorials/molspec/irspec1.htm

    “… the C-H bonds in methane are polar. However, a molecule of methane is non-polar. Specifically, the dipole moment of methane is zero…. Think of the “center of charge”, whether positive or negative, in the same way that you think of the “center of mass”…. a molecule with a dipole moment of zero is like a perectly balanced see-saw.”

    Looking for pictures, I found this:

    Animations on this page illustrate the text description:
    http://teaching.shu.ac.uk/hwb/chemistry/tutorials/molspec/irspec1.htm

    “Vibrations fall into the two main categories of stretching and bending.
    Stretching: Change in inter-atomic distance along bond axis
    Bending: Change in angle between two bonds.
    There are four types of bend:
    * Rocking
    * Scissoring
    * Wagging
    * Twisting….”

    Of course you may find better explanations. And it’s always good to ask yourself, when you find you had somehow formed a mistaken certainty, where you got the idea that misled you — did you read it on a website somewhere, or did you come to the mistaken conclusion on your own?

  200. Doug Bostrom:

    Tim McDermott says: 20 December 2009 at 8:23 PM

    “Those who think there is a conspiracy need to come up with a realistic motive.”

    Trouble is, for those inclined to buy into conspiracy theories, it’s totally plausible to believe in crypto-Marxist plots to create a world government bent on redistribution of wealth, under the guise of addressing global warming.

    “ClimateGate”* celebrants are just a few short steps along a continuum from survivalists holed up in cabins with thousands of rounds of ammo and tons of freeze-dried ice cream, eagerly waiting for the arrival of the Black Helicopters.

    (* ClimateGate. First, isn’t it time to retire the achingly tired and expired “Gate” thing, already? Second, what a reflection on the mentality of contrarians, that they imagine this rises to level of Richard Nixon and G. Gordon Liddy, or Ronald Reagan and his Iranian pals.)

  201. Rod B:

    Tim McDermott (196), I meant no disparagement of Gavin and Co. I have no idea if they are conspirators or not — though I certainly doubt it; and if they can make $153,000 plus sideline extras I think that’s great — and I’m certain they didn’t sign away their soul and ethics to earn it. I was only commenting on the “climategate” documents and the seriously negative connotation that much of the public perceives. In politics (I know — the scientists usually abhor that arena), and this is to you too, Ray (197), perception, not evidence, is reality.

  202. Rod B:

    Hank, not wrong. For a molecule to absorb IR directly into rotational bands the molecule must have a permanent polar moment. To absorb into vibration bands there must be a natural change in the polar moment, going from no moment in a quiescent state (methane) to seeing briefly a moment by virtue of the bond movement. Methane has one level of any import which is mixture of bending and stretching at 1306 cm^-1. True the absorption is allowed by virtue of the wiggling, but only so long as the wiggling produces an EM moment. For wiggling without creating a moment (N2) the IR couldn’t care less. BTW, the ones that can absorb vibration energy can also absorb rotation even though they don’t fall in the basic rule.

    It ain’t the wiggling that directly allows IR to be absorbed.

  203. Marcus:

    Hank Roberts: #199: Dipole moments are also important: in the field of fluorescent absorption, they are pretty key. Additionally, my recollection is that the _creation_ of dipole moments is an important facet of absorption by various vibrational modes – I seem to remember (and I should probably go back and review my quantum theory) that this is why diatomic molecules don’t have any absorption, because the only way they can vibrate is to stretch and contract, and that doesn’t form any dipoles.

    On the other hand, methane, which is non-polar in its typically drawn state, does form a dipole moment briefly during various stretches.

    So it is possible that Rod B was not so much completely mistaken as just having incomplete recall. Aha – and the Google tells me: “Infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy both measure the vibrational energies of molecules but these method rely only different selection rules. Recall that for a vibrational motion to be IR active, the dipole moment of the molecule must change. Therefore, the symmetric stretch in carbon dioxide is not IR active because there is not change in the dipole moment. The asymmetric stretch is IR active due to a change in dipole moment.” http://carbon.cudenver.edu/public/chemistry/classes/chem4538/raman.htm

  204. Hank Roberts:

    Marcus, that’s the point of the answers I quoted.

    Rod misremembered “dipole” as “polar” — so made a wrong statement.

    I think he’s also wrong about methane, but his ideas about radiation physics have consumed so many words on so many topics here that I’m inclined to say “well in your physics I’m sure it’s true” and leave it so.

    I found similar statements (“polar”) from confused people posting on denial sites, with unique theories about how the physics works. That’s why I emphasize looking this kind of thing up instead of relying on memory.

  205. Hank Roberts:

    > if they can make $153,000 plus sideline extras

    Note the problem with Rod’s memory of numbers and understanding of finance.

  206. Hank Roberts:

    Rod, to avoid another long digression into radiation physics that avoids the basic question, sure there are other vibrational modes and photons of higher energy can affect molecules. That’s not the greenhouse effect and it’s not what you were talking about when you made the mistake. Get clear please on the basics because you can very easily confuse yourself again.

    H20 is a polar molecule (uneven distribution of charge)
    CO2 is not a polar molecule
    CH4 is not a polar molecule

    Infrared photons are relatively low energy and affect some but not all bonds in some but not all possible ways. The greenhouse effect is this small subset of the many ways radiation interacts with molecules.

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/physical_science/chemistry/co2_molecule_vibrate_modes_big_gif_image.html
    “Vibration modes of carbon dioxide. Mode (a) is symmetric and results in no net displacement of the molecule’s “center of charge”, and is therefore not associated with the absorption of IR radiation. Modes (b) and (c) do displace the “center of charge”, creating a “dipole moment”, and therefore are modes that result from EM radiation absorption, and are thus responsible for making CO2 a greenhouse gas. — Credit: Martin C. Doege”
    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/climate/greenhouse_effect_gases.html

    “CO2 and O3 have “floppy” vibration motions whose quantum states can be excited by collisions at energies encountered in the atmosphere. For example, carbon dioxide is a linear molecule, but it has an important vibrational mode in which the molecule bends with the carbon in the middle moving one way and the oxygen atoms on the ends moving the other way, creating some charge separation, a dipole moment, and thus carbon dioxide molecules can absorb IR radiation. Collisions will immediately transfer this energy to heating the surrounding gas. On the other hand, other CO2 molecules will be vibrationally excited by collisions. Roughly 5% of CO2 molecules are vibrationally excited at room temperature and it is this 5% that radiates. A substantial part of the greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide exists because this vibration is easily excited by infrared radiation. CO2 has two other vibrational modes. The symmetric stretch does not radiate, and the asymmetric stretch is at too high a frequency to be effectively excited by atmospheric temperature collisions, although it does contribute to absorption of IR radiation.

    The vibrational modes of water are at too high energies to effectively radiate, but do absorb higher frequency IR radiation. Water vapor has a bent shape. It has a permanent dipole moment ….”

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Greenhouse_effect

    —–
    Point being you can look this stuff up, and similar words mean very different things, and it’s very easy to confuse yourself and others about how the greenhouse effect works.

    Look, here’s just one of the examples I found of some guy on a blog confusing himself and his readers about how the greenhouse effect works, starting from this misconception. You know how to find this stuff:

    “… CO2 is a polar molecule, the science behind that statement is very stale, but what that means is that the molecule is capable of absorbing infrared radiation. In a prefect world with no CO2, energy ….”

    And from there he goes on to slam Al Gore and physics etcetera. He’s a nitwit, and he could have gotten his physics right before starting to rant.

    Don’t encourage this kind of mistake by making excuses. Get it right.
    It isn’t hard to get this kind of simple statement right and make it clear.

  207. Completely Fed Up:

    “CO2 is not a polar molecule”

    Uh, I believe it is.

    the electron will spend longer at the C than the O and that uneven distribution makes a dipole. Whether this is enough to make a large contribution to IR absorption I cannot remember.

    And when excited the triatom vibrates like a V-shaped tuning fork when truck. Making another dipole.

  208. Completely Fed Up:

    “For a molecule to absorb IR directly into rotational bands the molecule must have a permanent polar moment.”

    And I don’t think that is right either.

    It needs enough mobility of the electrons to allow it to react.

    If your idea was right, then solids wouldn’t be able to absorb photons unless they were metallic…

  209. Completely Fed Up:

    #199

    Ah, that’s right. Forgot that it’s O-C-O therefore there is no permanent dipole unless strained. But one can be induced: O–C-O to O-C–O.

  210. Silk:

    “For a molecule to absorb IR directly into rotational bands the molecule must have a permanent polar moment.”

    My PhD is in this field, so I’m think I’m qualified to comment.

    Yes. Water can absorb directly into rotational modes in the far-IR. For heavier molecules, this type of absorption is in the microwave region.

    CO2 cannot absorb directly into rotational modes but can undergo ro-vibrational transitions.

    All this is well understood, easily measured (by Freshmen) and factored into climate models.

    I admit I’ve lost the thread a bit. How does this impact on the work of RealClimate?

  211. Rod B:

    Hank, well, maybe my chosen word was not precise, but one can not have a polar moment without a dipole. Some say tomäto, some say tomato. [that probably won't work.]

    I’m wrong about methane how? Or does it not matter to you?

    My memory of finances and numbers are wrong how? Or does it not matter to you?

  212. Hank Roberts:

    > How does this impact on the work of RealClimate?
    Barely (sigh). Thanks, Silk, for checking in — always better when a real scientist addresses this stuff. Did I get the distinction between “polar molecule” and dipole ok?

    I posted first just to note that beliefs can be checked. Belabored after seeing claims elsewhere that only polar molecules can be a greenhouse gases, so Al Gore is etcetera.

  213. Brian Macker:

    Yes they should provide everything as should you and every other climatologist. I’m skeptical of both.

  214. Completely Fed Up:

    “I’m skeptical of both.”

    Which can be solved (if you’re willing to change) by reading the G&T paper and reading the IPCC chapter on the science of AGW.

    G&T: Completely laughable
    IPCC: Maybe not verifiable, but not obviously wrong

    If you’re willing to learn, that will teach you what denialists will think is a good science paper.

    That should be enough for anyone who isn’t predisposed to a preconceived idea.

  215. Rod B:

    Hank (206), your criticism is perplexing. I said nothing different from anything you say in #206. So where is it that I’m wrong? I might have used “allowed” instead of “result from” in your reference quote, “….and therefore are modes that result from EM radiation absorption,” though either could work depending on how prissy one is. What is it you want me to “get right,” “basics” or otherwise?

    If your claiming I said something similar to your “nitwit” reference, I talked about a polar moment (or bipolar moment if you prefer) being created from CO2′s base configuration molecular state, which I never said was polar.

    FWIW, I don’t think this is just a “digression” away from the basic question. This aspect of radiation physics is pivotal in climate change, yet I detect a fair amount of uncertainty (if not ignorance) and a bunch of conflicting opinions. This is significant and odd.

    Sidebar: I thought Ray’s estimate of vibrationally excited CO2 was more like 1% rather than 5%.

    Completely Fed Up, In its basic configuration CO2 is not a polar molecule, in the context being discussed here. Electronic mobility has nothing to do with IR absorption. And, to repeat, “For a molecule to absorb IR directly into rotational bands the molecule must have a permanent polar moment.” The context here is gas, as in greenhouse gas; I don’t know about solids (other than I know microwaves excite the H2O molecules to transfer energy/heat to the rest of the meatloaf.) Also the key word is direct — as Silk points out.

  216. Hank Roberts:

    > talked about a polar moment (or bipolar moment if you
    > prefer) being created from CO2’s base configuration
    > molecular state

    Yeah, that’s what I called a wiggle. Not a rotation, not a stretch, but a wiggle — back and forth– after absorbing the infrared photon, as per the pictures illustrating it.

  217. t_p_hamilton:

    Rod B says:”FWIW, I don’t think this is just a “digression” away from the basic question. This aspect of radiation physics is pivotal in climate change, yet I detect a fair amount of uncertainty (if not ignorance) and a bunch of conflicting opinions. This is significant and odd.”

    How is the fact that a bunch of comments on a blog APPEAR to be conflicting significant?
    Or odd? People have different levels of expertise in particular areas.

    What is odd is people projecting lack of knowledge onto experts, and concluding that the imputed uncertainty is “significant”.

    For what it is worth, IR absorption (and emission) intensities depend on the dipole moment derivatives. Rotational absorption (and emission) depends on there being a permanent dipole moment, but is in the microwave range. Then again, a radiation physicist would just use the experimental spectra which implicitly contains these factors.

  218. Geoff Wexler:

    Re #215
    Uncertainty about radiation transfer theory?
    It is only part of the story, but I should imagine it is one of the least uncertain parts.

  219. Eli Rabett:

    t_p what you are seeing here is a bunch of different models for the same phenomenon. Some of the language is awkward, but most is useful. Errors are getting pointed out. Eli suspects most of the differences come from the place where the various posters learned about IR spectroscopy. Much of it appears to correlate with what is taught in organic/general chemistry. Dipole moment derivatives is more physical chemistry speak.

    Finally, to Geoff Wexler Eli would point out that what you are watching is a bunch of people trying to understand radiation and collisional transfer.

  220. bob:

    gavin, i’m sorry but i am confused. you have argued repeatedly on your blog against sharing code+data. now you are for it? please could you post one clear statement of what you believe to be best practices regarding reproducibility in computational science?

    [Response: On Replication - gavin]

  221. vic:

    Gavin/ Eric

    we might take you more seriously if you dispensed with editing the blog posts, as in not publishing posts that you do not like. sounds pretty much like your ilk’s approach to peer review.
    I challange you to have an open forum discussion – in public view, no editing no deletion of posts- complete transparency.
    announce it and inform MM and others to post and have a no editing policy, and let the facts and logic take us where it will.
    i fully expect this post to not get published, given you past history.

  222. vic:

    Thanks for publishing that Gavin

    For anyone interested enough to spend a couple of hours reading
    here are some links that at the very least cast some doubts
    If you have an open mind and a somewhat analytical temperament, give it a try.

    [edit - no random lists of link nonsense. If you want to discuss something specific, do so]

    Do you like green eggs and ham…..
    You do not like them
    so you say
    Try them Try them
    and you may
    Try them and you may I say!

    A response/ rebuttal- (and no straw man rebuttal) from gavin etc appreciated

  223. Silk:

    “FWIW, I don’t think this is just a “digression” away from the basic question. This aspect of radiation physics is pivotal in climate change, yet I detect a fair amount of uncertainty (if not ignorance) and a bunch of conflicting opinions. This is significant and odd.”

    It is neither odd, nor is it significant.

    It is not odd, because blogs are generally full of doo-doo.

    It is not significant, because neither Hank, nor you, nor I, are climate modellers.

  224. Completely Fed Up:

    “yet I detect a fair amount of uncertainty (if not ignorance) and a bunch of conflicting opinions. This is significant and odd.”

    Not really.

    Definitions.

    “It just got lower here”

    Does that mean (since we’re talking about climate) the temperatures got lower? Or, since ice melting has been discussed, that the ice levels have got lower? Does it mean I’m crouching down?

  225. Completely Fed Up:

    “i fully expect this post to not get published, given you past history.”

    Given you past history you is not really asking you is leading questions.

    Innit.

  226. Completely Fed Up:

    Hank:
    “> if they can make $153,000 plus sideline extras

    Note the problem with Rod’s memory of numbers and understanding of finance.”

    Yup, it’s as if he’s got sufficient research powers to find this stuff but doesn’t apply it unless the result is “AGW is wrong, m’kay?”.

  227. dhogaza:

    we might take you more seriously if you dispensed with editing the blog posts, as in not publishing posts that you do not like.

    Do you take the same attitude towards all of science, or is there something special about climatology that makes it necessary for climate scientists to run an unmoderated blog in order to validate their work?

    Do you apply the same standards to physics? Evolutionary biology? Medicine? If not, why not? If so, please name the unmoderated blog that, in your mind, validates those fields of science.

    And please explain why an unmoderated blog is more important to the doing of good science than good ‘ole fashioned peer-reviewed publication of research results.

  228. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Vic,

    I do not like green eggs and ham.
    I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

  229. Rod B:

    Completely Fed Up, your post 226 has some clever sounding wording, but makes zero sense.

  230. bob:

    gavin this is bob from #220 again. i’m sorry but now i’m even *more* confused. the long posting from february shows how you, not unlike “harry” from HARRY_READ_ME.txt, wasted hours of your life trying to reproduce something that could easily have been done in seconds had the authors released code. even more confusing is how at the end of the post you conclude that this laborious process — forensic inference — is somehow a good use of our time. so, first off I would say that i disagree with you that forensic inference is a good idea, and secondly i am now even more confused at the difference between your tone in these two posts. now that someone you clearly disagree with is not posting code, posting code becomes preferable to forensic inference? i remind you that you’re the good guys, and to act like it. having different sets of standards for how much the authors annoy you is not quite what i’d call avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

    i think your stories, along with the events of november, reveal the need for serious climate scientists such as yourself to commit explicitly to reproducible research, in a statement to that effect, which is certainly not what your feb posting amounts to. if you believe your results, don’t act like you have something to hide or that you tolerate those who do (for an example of what happens when scientists who cook their results to get the results that benefit them are exposed to the harsh light of forensic computational science, see here: http://bit.ly/8Nx3Tt

  231. Brian:

    “Gavin
    Off subject, I just read tis article about a paper that you coauthored and I have a question
    http://www.physorg.com/news176058147.html
    are you saying that the warming caused by all the non-carbon dioxde GHG is equal to the warming cause by CO2?

    [Response: No, but close. Non-CO2 GHGs are about 40% of the total GHG effect. If you include black carbon and ozone, then CO2 while still the biggest single term, is slightly less than half (with some uncertainty). But note that CO2 is currently the fastest growing factor and is the only one that under BAU has the potential for really big impacts in the future. -gavin]”

    am I understanding you right. about 50% of the warming we’ve seen because of AWG is because of co2 and the rest is becasue of non-co2 ghg, black carbon and ozone . but since co2 is the fastest growing factor, it has the most potential for temp. increase in the future?

    [Response: Yes. - gavin]

  232. Eli Rabett:

    Eli is not too sure that you want Scafetta’s code. He doesn’t even appear to know how to follow the directions on the boxtop.

  233. Sergei Rostov:

    #48

    3) Exactly why our tax money goes to the Army to fund such research is unclear to me. I have often worked with military folks who at least seemed to be spending the money on what you’d expect, but this seems “odd”.

    It has to do with how the military must think ahead: future allocation of resources, maintenance and storage of current and future equipment, what new technologies may be needed, map changes (battle strategies based on geography), predictions of where social and/or economic unrest may occur, etc. etc. etc.