JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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If carbon didn’t warm us, what did?

Graph: Svensmark reply to Lockwood and Frolich, Cosmic Rays

Svensmarks Cosmic Ray Theory. TOP: If the sun’s magnetic field is weak it allows more cosmic rays, which may seed more clouds on Earth. BOTTOM: A strong solar magnetic field blocks the same rays and could mean less clouds and clearer skies.

People have known for 200 years that there’s some link between sunspots and our climate.  In 1800, the astronomer William Herschel didn’t need a climate model, he didn’t even have a calculator — yet he could see that wheat prices rose and fell in time with the sunspot cycle. Since then, people have noticed that rainfall patterns are also linked to sunspots.

Sunspots themselves don’t make much difference to us, but they are a sign of how weak or strong the sun’s magnetic field is. This massive solar magnetic field reaches out around the Earth, and it shields us from cosmic rays. Dr Henrik Svensmark has suggested that if more cosmic rays reach further down into our atmosphere, they might ionize molecules and help “seed” more clouds.
As it happens, this year, the sun has almost no sunspots, but for much of the late 20th Century, the solar magnetic field was extremely active. If the theory is right, an active field means a warming earth with fewer clouds. A quiet sun though, means a cooler earth with more clouds.

Graph: Svensmark reply to Lockwood and Frolich, Cosmic Rays

Graph: Svensmark reply to Lockwood and Frolich, Cosmic Rays. NB: The Cosmic ray axis (right) measures the fall in rays.

AGW replies: Lochwood and Frohlich showed  the theory doesn’t fit rising temperatures after 1980.

Skeptics say: They used surface temperatures, not atmospheric ones (see the graph above). Cosmic rays correlate well with temperatures from weather-balloons. But thermometers on the surface are affected by things like car-parks, and air conditioners which are close to the sensors. All that Lockwood and Frohlich prove is that there’s no link between cosmic rays and air conditioners.

AGW replies: There’s no link with clouds and cosmic rays either.

Skeptics say: That’s only true if you look at the wrong kind of rays and the wrong kind of clouds. There’s a good correlation between high energy rays and low clouds.

The correlation between cosmic rays and temperature is much better over all time spans than that with carbon and temperature.

Sources: Reply to Lockwood and Frohlich Svensmark 2007. Falls in cosmic rays affect low clouds Svensmark 2009, see also Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development, Alexander.

Page 18


TURN THE PAGES (Links in red will become active as pages are published). You are on the page in the Red Square.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 + 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

This is Page 18 of The Skeptics Handbook II, a 20 page PDF.

Notes

In The Skeptics Handbook I, I was very careful to present a small target for critics. By the second booklet in the series, I had had a lot of requests to let people know about Svensmark’s theory. Also there are people out there who can’t let go of one idea until they have something else that could fit the bill. It’s important to let people know there are serious contenders out there that have empirical support (and it’s also just darn interesting).

This also important because it suggests a way that clouds could be a forcing in their own right, something that doesn’t sit well with the IPCC contention that clouds and water vapor are only feedbacks, and which  Roy Spencer points out repeatedly.

With clouds covering 60% of the planet roughly, and reflecting massive amounts of sunlight before it can heat the surface, it would only take a small change in cloud cover to blow away any effect greenhouse gases might have.

I’ve always been impressed by the graph above. It has turning points that match, unlike the oft repeated simple rising line of CO2 and temperature (which only correlates from 1850 onwards in any case, and even then, only loosely).

I found The Chilling Stars by Nigel Calder (former editor of New Scientist) and Henrik Svesmark, is very interesting. It’s well written, easy to read, and a compelling case… that rare combination of cutting edge science in the hands of an excellent writer who is very familiar with the work. It covers the response of the scientific establishment, as well as the theory, the evidence, and the long history of the planet’s climate.

UPDATE – REFERENCES in full

  1. Svensmark, H. and Friis-Christensen, E.: Variation of cosmic ray flux and global cloud coverage – a missing link in solar-climate relationships, J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys., 59, 1225–1232, 1997.
  2. Svensmark, H. (2007). Cosmoclimatology: a new theory emerges. Astronomy & Geophysics 48: 1.18-1.24. [PDF]
  3. Svensmark, H. 1998. Influence of cosmic rays on earth’s climate. Physical Review Letters 81: 5027-5030. [Discussion CO2Science]
  4. Svensmark, H., Bondo, T. and Svensmark, J. 2009. Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds. Geophysical Research Letters 36: 10.1029/2009GL038429. [Discussion CO2Science]
  5. Lockwood and Frohlich 2007, Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. II. Different reconstructions of the total solar irradiance variation and dependence on response time scale  Proc. R. Soc. A, doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1880,  [Abstract, PDF]
  6. Svensmark, H. and Friis-Christensen, E. (2007) Reply to Lockwood and Fröhlich – The persistent role of the Sun in climate Forcing, Danish National Space Center, Scientific Report 3/2007  [PDF]
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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
If carbon didn’t warm us, what did?, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/b9ruga6

190 comments to If carbon didn’t warm us, what did?

  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Here you go crakar, Shaviv’s paper in full in pdf form 9 pages.

    What chance it’ll make it into IPCC ar5?


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  • #
    Scott

    Speedy Mentioned

    They theorise that changes in the solar magnetic output can result in changes in cloud development, with a significant impact on climate via the change in albedo

    Can I ask a question relating to earths magnetic field and its impact on cloud cover. As you may be aware the earths magnetic field is in a state of flux such that many are tipping that it will invert.

    “http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/29dec_magneticfield.html”

    Has the been any work done on this area and its impact on climate change?

    I would be very interested comments on this. Thanks

    Thanks


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Scott:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Scott. Couple of places to start with. HERE are some maps and graphs of the earths magnetic fields along with temperature data. Plenty there.

    Also, a paper in the Geology Journal by Knudsen and Riisager, studies earths magnetic field and cloud formation. The paper is behind a pay wall ($25US) but the abstract is here.
    A short write-up on the above paper on the Discovery Channel site

    Suggest you also google Svensmark who did extensive work on the effects of the sun on cloud formation.
    G’luck


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Scott:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    You got me on a roll Scott. Here is something interesting all the way back to 2003.

    Title: Geomagnetism and climate V: general conclusions
    Authors: Mörner, N.-A.; Nevanlinna, H.; Dergachev, V.; Shumilov, O.; Raspopov, O.; Abrahamsen, N.; Pilipenko, O.; Trubikhin, V.; Gooskova, E.
    Publication: EGS – AGU – EUG Joint Assembly, Abstracts from the meeting held in Nice, France, 6 – 11 April 2003, abstract #11639
    Publication Date: 04/2003 Origin: EGU Bibliographic Code: 2003EAEJA….11639M

    Abstract
    The shielding capacity of the Earth’s geomagnetic field is a prime factor regulating the flux into the atmosphere of galactic cosmic ray (in its turn controlling the 14C and 10Be production). This shielding capacity is controlled both by the Earth’s own geomagnetic field variability and by the Solar Wind variations. The Solar Wind interaction with the magnetosphere also affects the Earth’s rate of rotation (as recorded in the correlation between LOD and Sunspot activity). This opens for three possible lines of Solar Terrestrial interaction. (1) Changes in the total irradiance (known to be very small, however, over a full sun spot cycle). (2) Changes in cosmic ray flux reaching into the Earth’s atmosphere where it has the potential of affecting airglow and cloudiness (especially the cloudiness at a height in the order of 15 km). (3) Changes in the Earth’s rate of rotation affecting the oceanic circulation redistributing ocean-stored heat and water masses. The Spörer, Maunder and Dalton sun spot minima seem all to have led to periods of rotational acceleration pulling Arctic water down the European coasts and displacing the warm Gulf Stream towards Gibraltar. The geomagnetic field as regulator of cosmic ray flux and rotational potential is likely to have played a significant role even over longer time periods. It should be noted, however, the geometry of the Earth’s geomagnetic field cannot have differed very much due to frozen plasma conditions even at excursions and reversals. If the recorded sunspot and geomagnetic cycles are extrapolated into the future they predict a new low (“Little Ice Age”) in the years 2050 2100 (i.e. a scenario very different from that presented by IPCC). Our study of the relation between geomagnetism and climate has shown that geomagnetic field changes have played an important role in modulation Earth’s climate. These changes may originate from internal planetary sources (i.e. the Earth’s own geomagnetic field) as well as from external Solar variability (i.e. heliomagnetic field and Solar Wind forces). This applies, in different ways, for the present, the last 400 years, the last millennium, the last 15,000 years and the last 1 million years. Therefore, it must also be included in estimates and predictions of future changes in climate. The full INTAS team consists of: N.-A. Mörner, H. Nevanlinna, N. Abrahamsen, V. Dergachev, O. Shumilov, O. Raspopov, A. Didenko, O. Pilipenko, Z. Charonova, V. Trubikhin, E. Gooskova, S. Vasiliev, E. Kasatkina, I. Kirtsidele.


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Scott:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    OK bit of overkill but you can never have enough knowledge ha?
    Here is a whole bunch of published paper abstracts all on the one page. Fascinating stuff.

    I promise no more lol


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  • #
    Mark D.

    Baa H. this is all great stuff! It is a bit OT though.

    Perhaps Jo would start a new thread specifically to promote more discussion about it? (because I’d like to know more)


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Mark D.:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Yeah you’re right Mark. Just that Scott asked and I had a bunch of stuff on my USB key. I did promise no more though :)


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  • #

    It is not easy to explain why there was a decrease in low cloud over 1983 – 2001 and an increase from the 1999 – 2001 low to now. But there is no doubt that this data:

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal1.html

    and Roy Spencer’s excellent 9 January presentation:

    ‘Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000′

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    clearly identify a very interesting story for the whole 1983 – 2010 period which relates to the issue of (in particular) low cloud formation and strikes a dagger into the heart of the AGW theory.

    Could we perhaps be seeing the beginning of the ‘revenge of the plants’ as plant life on the land and cyanobacteria in the oceans ramp up their growth rates and hence ET, CCN production etc. If this were due to a unique combination of the higher pCO2 and the human races’s unprecedented discharge of available nitrogen (sewage) into the coastal shelf waters, then we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Picking up on Tim Lambert’s patronising comments to Monckton, clouds don’t only JUST block (reflect) incoming SW radiation and ‘block’ (reflect) upwards LW radiation. Equally importantly, they also lead, roughly pro rata, to rain or ice (snow). This releases latent heat (LH) which has been lifted off the surface (BOA) by evaporation (E) or evapotranspiration (ET). It is very, very interesting to note that for the:

    * SW radiation absorbed in the atmosphere (call it F); and

    *Latent Heat released in the atmosphere by clouds (call it LH); and

    *Sensible Heat released in the atmosphere largely between clouds (call it SH); and

    *LW IR emitted from the surface which is absorbed in the atmosphere (call it AA just like the Miskolczi twit),

    almost exactly 62.6% (of EACH) radiates back to BOA to be absorbed by the surface and almost exactly 37.4% (of EACH) radiates through TOA.

    Thus OLR = 0.374*(F+LH+SH+AA) + transmitted LW IR from BOA

    This seems to apply for at least the range of Bond Albedos between ~0.35 and ~0.25 i.e. cloud covers between ~86% and 46%.

    Only by ‘adopting’ this assumption can one match typical published all-sky SW cloud radiative (surface) forcings and their all-important rates of variation with cloud cover (approx. -0.9 W/m^2/%) and the equivalent typical rate of LW cloud radiative forcing with cloud cover variation (approx. +0.6 W/m^2/%). Pinker has her head clear about this – Monckton not quite.

    Why? Perhaps the ratio 0.626:0.374 is, in effect a near constant geometric indication of the global average (radiatively effective) cloud height?

    Whatever, all it takes is a simple Excel spreadsheet and voila! Then, one only has to look at the variation in global average cloud cover between say 1983 and 2001 (warming) and between 2001 and 2010 (slight cooling) and suddenly all is revealed:

    It blows AGW right out of the water! IMHO Roy Spencer put his finger right on the button on 9 January. So Monckton is right, even if for partly wrong reasons – it is indeed the clouds.

    http://jump.fm/LAYSX


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Steve Short:
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    You may be right, I may be crazy and Monckton might be the lunatic you’re looking for.

    I have always criticised the IPCC for excluding clouds from their infamous models.
    Covering 65% of the planet, any small variation in cloud cover far outweighs the effects of CO2.

    Well posted Steve


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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Baa Humbug,

    It’s not only how much cloud there is that’s important; it’s where the clouds form, geographically and with altitude; and when that largely determines their nett thermodynamic effect. And then there’s rain; which is altogether a subject of almost total ignorance.

    Climate models tend to cover the globe with a uniform, fine haze. What better than a constant if you have very little idea at all about the complexity of the function? :-)

    I’m not surprised in the least that Spencer managed to find a close correlation between cloud cover and temperature.

    Having an average of variable cloud cover isn’t useless; but it’s of far less use than knowing where, when and how much. That’s the scalpel, compared to the chain-saw of the time-varying global average.


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  • #

    “It’s not only how much cloud there is that’s important;…”

    True, but its mostly about at which altitude they form as these largely dictate the balnce of the two types of forcing – positive and negative. Timing is important (day or night). Location is largely irrelevant

    “And then there’s rain; which is altogether a subject of almost total ignorance.”

    Completely untrue – the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation has been around for a long time.

    “Climate models tend to cover the globe with a uniform, fine haze.”

    Completely untrue. In fact absolute hogwash.

    “Having an average of variable cloud cover isn’t useless; but it’s of far less use than knowing where, when and how much. That’s the scalpel, compared to the chain-saw of the time-varying global average.”

    From a gadzillion scalpels (or butterflies) which do you choose, and why? Look, it just doesn’t (and can’t) work like that. Grid layout density and a certain degree of smoothing of scale is necessarily where it is at.
    This person has never done finite difference or finite element modeling (or probably real science) in their entire life.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    Steve, Could you be more harsh on the new guy?


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  • #
    Henry chance

    How do they explain 1942 being warmer than 1998? The carbon level was lower before that? How do we see the MWP ignored?


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  • #

    A lightweight ‘warming’ would have been found. “The fault is anthropogenic”(Lisa_P._Jackson/EPA). Managers are aircraft: daily barium chemtrails & aluminum.
    Unless it is controlled remotely by ï Quaïda unmanned drones?!
    Volcanoes + airplane + supertankers = global warming.


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  • #
    Alfred T Mahan

    The book Svensmark wrote in 2007 with Nigel Calder, The Chilling Stars, is a very good read. I found it pretty persuasive as well – and illuminating on hte opposition that Svensmark had encountered in trying to get his theory out into the open.


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  • #
    Richard S Courtney

    Steve Short:

    I agree with your factual comments at #4.

    However, I am disconcerted by your final paragraph. You may be (and I suspect probably are) right in your assessment, but ad hominem remarks do not help to convince anybody that their view is mistaken.

    Let us always try to disagree with courtesy and not ‘put-downs’, please.

    Richard


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Thamks Jo, a woman of her word.
    Alas it’s 4.35 am and I must be up soon. (better go sleep 1st lol)

    Hi Richard. Please take the time to have a look at the article at American Thinker The Hidden Flaw in Greenhouse Theory
    By Alan Siddons HERE

    I’d be most interested in your views. Thnks in advance.

    G’night (G’morn) all :)


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  • #
    Craig Goodrich

    More great work, Jo. Hey, if you like the up-and-down correlation above, sometime take a look at Shaviv’s correlation over the last half-billion years or so (in Svensmark’s The Chilling Stars).


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  • #

    Evidence like this has always been more plausible to me than manipulated data based on “adjusted” records and flawed computer models.

    However, it looks like the counter offensive is being launched

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7309688/Met-Office-to-look-again-at-global-warming-records.html

    The tone of the article sounds like they’ve already decided the conclusion before starting, as “it will provide a more detailed picture of global warming”, whereas we seem to be cooling, and “it will verify existing records”. Could those be the same records have have been manipulated and tortured until they have confessed, and for which the original unadjusted data sets have been “lost”?

    The cynic in me says that going back just 160 years for the start point is also a very convenient start point if you statistically want to show a warming trend as it yet again allows them to ignore the Medieval Warming period and Little Ice Age, which ended roughly 160 years ago.

    And

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7315250/Climategate-university-rejects-accusations-that-it-manipulated-research.html

    And sadly this is the same paper who has the excellent Mr. Booker on its panel of columnists.

    Regards
    Derek Cook


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  • #

    [...] If carbon dioxide didnt warm us in the late 20th century then what did? [...]


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  • #

    Thanks Richard. You are right and your point is taken. I’m normally very civil – well 99%+ (;-).

    I apologise Bernd.


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  • #
    Cameron

    In reply to Steve Short. I believe that it is drawing a long bow to suggest that because we have an understanding of the mathematics of such as the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation to estimate vapour pressure and heat of phase transitions from those vapour pressures that we know how this works in an applied sense in he atmosphere. To paraphrase your own words “This person has never done any applied science or engineering work to adapt theoretical science to real world processes in their entire life.”


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  • #

    Steve Short: Post 4 in replying to Bernd Felsche: Post 3

    “And then there’s rain; which is altogether a subject of almost total ignorance.”

    Completely untrue – the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation has been around for a long time.

    “Climate models tend to cover the globe with a uniform, fine haze.”

    Completely untrue. In fact absolute hogwash.
    End of quote.

    Steve, Clausius-Clapeyron Equation there are various reasons / problems with the equation, it is not set in stone, or undisputed in the respect you refer to it in.

    As far as I’m aware climate models use grids / blocks of varying sizes with altitude. In these clouds are represented as 35% or whatever,
    really quite close to Bernd’s description. In fact you are nearer hogwash, and as you have not explained why you were not correct although an apolgy of sorts has been given by you, I have “expanded” for you.

    More relevant to this thread’s topic I understand there are some criticisms of Svensmark’s “theory” (which I happen to like incidentally), not withstanding the CERN cloud experiment has not been done yet..
    Maybe highlighting the concerns may given “them” at CERN the courage to run the experiment,
    rather than run scared from the results (whatever they may be) as they appear to be doing at present.


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  • #

    And I agree with you too Cameron. We know in an equilibrium thermodynamic sense how, why and when rain forms. But the real world doesn’t always behave according to equilibrium thermodynamics – the issue of kinetic constraints or opportunities also may apply.

    For example, it is now well recognised that short duration rainfall exhibits close to twice the Clausius-Clapeyron (C-C) scaling for maximum rainfall (-> PMF; Probable Maximum Flood) and the 99.9 %ile rainfall whenever the temperature increase is greater than ~5 degrees over an initial temperature of 24 degrees.

    This ‘super C-C’ scaling appears to arise from a super scaling of the upwards mass-moisture flux (i.e. for constant RH, SH rising by more than the C-C limit of 7%/degree), dominated by a super C-C scaling of the vertical velocity.

    The situation is not so clear with longer durations and this is still an active area of meteorological research. In many cases C-C behaviour is not seen until durations get over about 6 – 12 hours and average exceedance probabilities get down to <99%.

    Thus is useful to note that that the state-of-the-art in meteorological research with respect to short duration high intensity rainfall, high percentile rainfalls and PMFs etc is now way ahead of the state-of-the-art in climate modeling. If e.g. that is what Bernd was implying then he is correct.

    The C-C Equation does not seem to be a fits-all-sizes solution for off the hook suits. One can point to devices like cloud chambers in nuclear physics where deviations from C-C are useful for diagnosis of incoming radiation. But those systems are closely controlled, not like in nature.

    Again, if Bernd is saying that the abundance of uncharacterised or ill-quantified perturbations in natural climate systems make them sitting ducks for the models to be wrong then again he is correct. For example, how do we explain how tropical cyclones can replenish and advance and rain for a thousand km or more over dry land, as happens fairly often in northern and western Australia?

    So, how to explain the pattern of global cloud cover 1983 – 2010? It may have something to do with this:

    Something we do know about increasingpartial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is that it has been causing increased plant growth on the land. This can only lead to increased Evapotranspiration (ET) and increased emission of biogenic Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN),principally isoprenes, all other things, especially annual rainfall, being equal. This should only lead to increased rate of formation (and op[tical thickness) of low cloud over the land.

    Similarly, over the seas an increased pCO2 must increase cyanobacterial primary productivity – especially on the continental shelves where, due to an increasing human population, the flux of nitrogeneous nutrients (sewage, treated or otherwise) is increasing. BTW, the argument about reduced equilibrium CO2 solubility with increased SST is a presently irrelevant second order effect due to the alkalinity of water and the rate of absorption of dissolved CO2 and bicarbonate (HCO3-) by cyanobacteria (in the absence of nutrient limitations).

    Increased cyanobacterial primary productivity ('algal blooms') increases marine CCN production – especially dimethyl sulfide (DMS) which converts to sulfates – powerful CCN. This is what made Lovelock famous. Incidentally it also increases sea surface albedo (due to carbonate-containing species and release of lipids after cell lysis due to predation).

    Over a year ago I showed, on the Niche Modeling blog, simply from the body of NOAA data, that atmospheric CO2 levels over the Great Southern Ocean below 40 S are slowly lagging increasingly behind the global average CO2 level i.e the mixing rate between the NH and SH is slowing down and/or oceanic uptake of CO2 is increasing in the SH. You won't find this in any literature perhaps because the AGW people are frightened of its awesome implications.

    http://landshape.org/enm/oceanic-cayanobacteria-in-the-modern-global-cycle/

    Therefore IMHO increasing CO2 can only tend, due to biotic effects to increase the generation rate of low clouds and increase their optical density (= increase their reflectivity).

    The mean global cloud cover for the period mid-1983 to mid-2008 is 66.4±1.5%. It was at maximum of about 68.9% in about 1986 – 1988 and declined to about 64.4% in about 1999 – 2001. This period was characterized by global warming. Since about 2001 global cloud cover has recovered to be close to the 27-year average. This was a period of negligible additional warming. The 2008/10 data suggests average global cloud cover has continuing to rise above the 27-year 66.4% average.

    Over the last decade from 1999-2001 to 2008-2009 mean global cloud optical thickness increased above the 27-year average of 3.9±0.3% to an annual average of about 4.4%.

    Over the same period the global mean cloud top pressure fell from the long term 27-year mean of 573±15 millibars to around 553 millibars.

    More low clouds, more dense clouds, more energetic convection, more cloud getting higher….Welcome to the well-adjusted 'AGW' world.


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  • #
    janama

    Alan Jones mentioned this morning that he’d received a letter from Lord Monckton stating that he has written a paper which proposes something to do with natural reduction in cloud cover causing temperature change – sorry I didn’t catch exactly what he said ( I was out of the room).


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  • #
    janama

    BTW – where’s Clive Hamilton’s Part 5?


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  • #
    MadJak

    Janama@20,

    Maybe Clive has converted and decided to actually go through the climategate emails and supporting documentation?

    Nah, that would be too reasonable, woundn’t it.

    I thinbk he’s been reading the comments and will try and time it so sceptics don’t get the first post again. Heheheh.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Baa Humbug: #10

    Thanks for the reference to American Thinker.

    So how does NASA go wrong? By consistently confusing light and heat …

    I have to say, I am confused.

    I learnt the difference between conduction, convection, and radiation; and the relationship between molecular excitation and electromagnetic excitation; while I was in my fifth year of college. Don’t they teach this stuff in schools any more? Deity, don’t they even teach it in universities any more?

    I also have to say that I have been assuming all this time that the climate “experts” were taking this stuff as read, and were working at a much more sophisticated level (sort of like the difference between Newtonian physics and Einsteinian (sic) physics).

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand this stuff. Which is kind of a weird statement to make about NASA, don’t you think?


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    Cameron

    Steve Short, Thanks for that mate I found it illuminating. The interaction of the bioshere with CO2 emissions has allways struck me as something which would be difficult to include in such things as climate models and a lot of these effects would come under the law of unintended consequences.

    I imagine that this would also play havoc with any attempt to model ocean acidification. The complexitiy of seawater buffering and ph changes with respect to CO2, Bicarbonate ion, Carbonate ion, total inorganic carbon, and the vast quantity of solid carbonate rocks in contact with the ocean, would be enhanced by the constantly changing removal of CO2 ect from solution by the bioshere.

    Having worked in industries that use seawater for cooling I have always found it difficult to believe that the expected increases in atmospheric CO2 would have a significant effect on ocean ph.


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  • #
    MadJak

    Baa Humbug@22

    So how does NASA go wrong? By consistently confusing light and headt …

    Well, according to one ex NASA scientist, it because it’s not about the science, it’s really about Chinas Coal driven climb to the top of the economic ladder at the expense of the U.S.

    More on that one, later….


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  • #
    MadJak

    OMG,

    Clive hamilton must have missed his medication this morning…


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    average joe

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    February 26th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand this stuff.
    Which is kind of a weird statement to make about NASA, don’t you think?”

    Dont forget that all the rocket scientists (from germany” are long gone.

    Only bean-counters left, you know.

    hehe


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    Charles Bourbaki

    Clive is in great form today. Conspiracy, conspiracy and yet more conspiracy from the deniers. Even the CSIRO has been infiltrated by a mole from the dark side. None other than its new CEO;

    The CSIRO’s new Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark (who transferred across from a senior executive position with BHP Billiton)….

    I’ve made a few comments again


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    pat

    some reading for clive hamilton:

    25 Feb: Reuters, Singapore: David Fogarty: World warming unhindered by cold spells-scientists
    The pace of global warming continues unabated, scientists said on Thursday, despite images of Europe crippled by a deep freeze and parts of the United States blasted by blizzards…
    “It’s not warming the same everywhere but it is really quite challenging to find places that haven’t warmed in the past 50 years,” veteran Australian climate scientist Neville Nicholls told an online climate science media briefing.
    “January, according to satellite (data), was the hottest January we’ve ever seen,” said Nicholls of Monash University’s School of Geography and Environmental Science in Melbourne.
    “Last November was the hottest November we’ve ever seen, November-January as a whole is the hottest November-January the world has seen,” he said of the satellite data record since 1979…
    Scientists say global warming is not uniform in all areas and that climate models predict there will likely be greater extremes of cold and heat, floods and droughts.
    “Global warming is a trend superimposed upon natural variability, variability that still exists despite global warming,” said Kevin Walsh, associate professor of meteorology at the University of Melbourne.
    “It would be much more surprising if the global average temperature just kept on going up, year after year, without some years of slightly cooler temperatures,” he said in a written reply to questions for the briefing…
    ***Nicholls said grey literature could play a key role in the climate debate and that not all valuable data or reports were published formally in journals. Such examples included reports on extreme weather events by government meteorological agencies.
    “The IPCC does not exclude the use of that sort of grey literature because it would be stupid to talk about extremes, for instance, and not include that sort of grey literature,” he said.
    The scientists said more stringent checks were needed for the next IPCC reports but that the inclusion of one or two wrong predictions didn’t undermine the whole peer-reviewed IPCC process because scientific study was always evolving.
    http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE61O02C20100225

    LOL:
    13 Feb: SMH: Warming’s icy debate
    For years, Nicholls would ”spend the first 20 minutes of every day thinking, ‘What’s a good experiment to prove the greenhouse effect is wrong’, because that would bring fame and riches. Who wouldn’t want that? And I couldn’t.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/warmings-icy-debate-20100212-nxky.html

    East Anglia Emails 1120676865.txt:
    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Neville Nicholls”
    Neville,
    Mike’s response could do with a little work, but as you say he’s got the tone
    almost dead on. I hope I don’t get a call from congress ! I’m hoping that no-one
    there realizes I have a US DoE grant and have had this (with Tom W.) for the last 25
    years.
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=545
    (it’s worth re-reading all of 1120676865.txt)

    clive hamilton: do some searches on Sky UK, Sky Australia, or the Murdoch tabloids (not to mention Channels 7, 9, 10 ABC and SBS), which is where almost everyone gets their news, and show us the anti-AGW reporting please.

    as an exercise, find interviews with Stephen McIntyre (so pivotal to an understanding of the East Anglia emails) in any of the above and post them in your next article.

    do a poll on “name recognition” for Stephen McIntyre. After all, more than 3 months after “climategate” broke, he is surely a household name! LOL.

    25 Feb: Canadian Press: Joan Bryden: Harper’s Sincerity On Global Warming Questioned After Ex-Minister Assails Climate ‘Alarmism’
    Stephen Harper’s sincerity in tackling climate change was challenged Wednesday after his former foreign affairs minister assailed what he described as alarmism over global warming.
    The Prime Minister’s Office insisted Maxime Bernier was speaking strictly for himself…
    Blogging Tories tended to see Bernier breaking with official Harper government policy and were grateful.
    “Maxime Bernier for Prime Minister!” declared one. “Finally, someone on the government side with the cajones to speak out.”
    “Somebody certainly appears to be testing the proverbial waters,” mused another.
    However, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe asserted that Bernier was “following orders” from the PMO, hoping to get back into cabinet by echoing “exactly the same” doubts about climate change that Harper himself used to openly espouse…
    In 2002, Harper referred to the Kyoto climate change accord as “a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations” and the science behind it as “tentative and contradictory.”
    In 2006, he again expressed doubts, saying, “We have difficulties in predicting the weather in one week or even tomorrow. Imagine in a few decades.”
    While Harper has for the last few years professed to believe in climate change, Duceppe said his lack of any real action on the issue speaks louder than words.
    John Bennett of the Sierra Club agreed: “The government for the last four years has done everything it can to avoid taking action on climate change. The only explanation for that . . . is that their real views are the views expressed by Mr. Bernier.”
    Liberal environment critic David McGuinty said it’s hard to believe Bernier was freelancing. He noted that Bernier is still touted as future cabinet material and even as a possible successor to Harper. ..
    http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/national/article/70944–harper-s-sincerity-on-global-warming-questioned-after-ex-minister-assails-climate-alarmism

    24 Feb: Metronews, Canada: Jim Gomez, AP: UN chief urges environment officials to reject skeptics, says climate change danger is real
    BALI, Indonesia – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged environment ministers Wednesday to reject attempts by skeptics to undermine efforts to forge a climate change deal, stressing that global warming poses “a clear and present danger.”..
    “Tell the world that you unanimously agree that climate change is a clear and present danger,” Ban said…
    ***The huge climate change aid to poor countries like Kiribati that was pledged in Copenhagen could not be disbursed in the absence of any binding agreement on greenhouse gas emission cuts, said Karl Falkenberg, the E.U. Commission’s director-general of environment…
    http://www.metronews.ca/edmonton/live/article/461151–un-chief-urges-environment-officials-to-reject-skeptics-says-climate-change-danger-is-real

    22 Feb: Reuters: Sunanda Creagh: INTERVIEW – U.N. official sees climate aid scheme within months
    (Editing by David Fogarty and Ron Popeski)
    Developing nations could be able to apply within three months for some of the $30 billion in climate aid promised by rich nations at last year’s Copenhagen talks, a top United Nations official said on Monday..
    (Head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner)..
    “I was asked a few days ago by one member state whether I could give them a telephone number for who to ring about this $30 billion because they are trying to find out, as a developing nation, ‘Who do I talk to? Who do I call in this universe?’” Steiner told Reuters.
    “If, in three months’ time, there still isn’t a phone number then I expect that part of the Accord to be in trouble, but I expect there to be one,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a major U.N. environment conference in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian island of Bali…
    Poorer nations point to years of broken promises on climate cash by rich countries, which they blame for most of mankind’s greenhouse gas pollution to date…
    Some rich nations have suggested a new international body could impose sanctions on countries failing to comply with international environmental law. This might be modelled on the WTO, but Steiner said sanctions were not a priority…
    ***He said financing promises from rich nations that were not honoured could still leave poorer countries accountable for implementing emissions curbs based on the non-existent funding.
    http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-46365320100222


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    MadJak

    Charles,

    Great stuff. I just posted a 499 word response – I’ve posted it on the sceptics handbook permeates copenhagen post, as I don’t want to interrupt the scientific discussions on this post.

    last night, the final niggling doubt was quelled which was why the science was so badly corrupted. It came from an Ex NASA scientist who says that the real motivation appears to be to try and curtail chinas coal fueled growth which has allready resulted in china becomeing the largest exporter in the world. It’s a matter of national security, apparently.

    If that was true, which I am inclined to believe, then all the peices are completely in place – i.e. the real motiviation behind the scam.


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    RCSz

    @ Steve Short

    “And I agree with you too Cameron. We know in an equilibrium thermodynamic sense how, why and when rain forms. But the real world doesn’t always behave according to equilibrium thermodynamics – the issue of kinetic constraints or opportunities also may apply.”

    At equilibrium the entropy production is zero. You surely do not believe that the entropy production of the atmosphere is zero. Considered globally, it might be considered to be in a steady state, but would anyone exposed to finite element theory actually believe that?


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    Nope, if anything, the global climate system tends to maximize entropy production, as you probably well know (Paltridge, Kleidon, Pauluis etc blah blah blah). It is of course riddled with non-equilibrium thermodynamics. If you had looked I had previously posted a simple spreadsheet model of the global system which implicitly does just that. This time around, following Richard’s gentle reminder, I’ll resist the temptation to fight sarcasm with sarcasm.


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    Baa Humbug

    Sometimes I think intellectuals and science types complicate things more than necessary.
    When I first came to Oz as a kid in 1969 from a Meditteranean climate, what struck me was that after 2 or 3 days of very warm temps, you could bet London to a brick that thunderstorms would follow. Outside of drought years this phenom almost never failed. But interestingly, the thunderstorms always happened in the late afternoon-early evening, and temps fell by about 10deg. (yes yes thats weather, but it’s also the hydro cycle in a short time frame)

    Maybe the whole climate thing, in the main, is quite simple. i.e. Less clouds = more sunshine = higher temps = more clouds = lower temps. If the suns activity does affect cloud formation (as I think it does) then the correlations in the above graphs make sense, and the thought that it’s actually the hydrological cycle that affects our climate, as opposed to GHG’s, makes even more sense.
    Does that make sense?


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    Makes perfect sense to me!

    May I make the point that if someone can’t explain climate science in reasonably clear and plain English (noting technical terms/jargon and acronyms are obviously hard to avoid) then it is probably BS.

    On the other hand, Nature is certainly not an exercise in trivialities.


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    HarryDinPT

    If you have an extra hour this summary of the state of the CLOUD experiment at CERN aslo has great Solar(GCR)/Climate info.

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/


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    crakar24

    I seem to recall the models predict high cloud to be a +ve feed back and low clouds to be a -ve feedback. The theory states that for AGW to occur there must be an increase in water vapour present in the atmosphere.

    This increase will cause the temps to go through the roof and which is why the models predict more rain/floods etc. The IPCC also predicted there will be less snow in the NH but more rain a theory all ready in the dust bin more on that in a moment.

    So if they predict more rain they therefore must predict more low cloud as this is where rain comes from so if there is more low cloud then the -ve feed back must increase, yes?

    Throw in svenmarks discredited theory by the discredtited IPCC and its bought and paid for scientists and you have a now never thought of before -ve feed back to stop run away AGW.

    Back onto NH snow, part of the fairytale espoused by the IPCC was that as the planet warms the ice and snow will melt reducing the earths albedo causing more CO2, WV and whatever else to increase in the atmosphere causing more warming.

    What we now see is that the NH snow and ice levels is at its highest in 30 years or even ever recorded, so in accordance with the AGW theory this will lead to an increase in earths albedo causing cooling once again this is another unexpected -ve feed back.


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    Mark D.

    Baa it does to me.
    I have been rolling around in my head the idea that the whole thing IS more simple than we seem to make it; Water makes up 2/3 of the global surface area (which means it is the Primary surface receiving solar radiation), evaporation pulls heat into the atmosphere and then convection lifts it to altitudes where the heat can be radiated to space. Really simple. Steam thermodynamics are I think solid (well understood) and should be translatable to the atmosphere directly: heat evaporation work condensation repeat. Power in WILL produce the work (convection lift) and once elevated, the heat is able to escape. The fact that earth is spherical means that it can’t lock heat in. The surface is always smaller in area than the upper (radiating) atmosphere therefore the warmer the surface gets the more work the Atmo-hydro cycle will do (i.e. lift more heat lose it at altitude and then bring cool back down.

    See if that makes sense?


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    Makes me wonder how Bill Gates got to be so damned rich. It obviously can’t have been all those copies of MS Excel.

    http://jump.fm/LAYSX


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    Mark D.

    It ain’t because of his good looks…..:)


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    Yer not wrong there. But to be born a little rich boy AND a geek too! Does it matter?


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    Mark D.

    No it doesn’t matter and I was agreeing “how did he get so rich” not excel, not good looks, what then?

    To be safe I should shut up because he probably does know where I am (right now)

    Good thing skeptics have a sense of humor!


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    Pete H

    O/T Jo but can someone warn the emergency services to be on call! Pen Hadow is off on his travels again!
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2010-02/25/content_9502110.htm


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    janama

    Baa Humbug:

    mate what keyboard are you using as it appears to foul the text on your ABC posts to Clive?


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    janama

    PeteH – What’s Hadlow on about?

    From Wiki:
    Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.[1] Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of −0.075).

    It’s got a long way to go before it reaches neutral 7 let alone acidic!


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    pat

    jo
    apologies if my previous post was too lengthy. please feel free to edit or ignore.


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    Baa Humbug

    janama:
    February 26th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I only have a crappy old puter. I have most of my posts “saved” on MS Word on my USB key. I usually cut and paste from there to save on typing.

    Already had one alarmist have a go at me about that yesterday Grrr


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    Louis Hissink

    Better have a read of Alan Siddons’ article on American Thinker – very pertinent to this discussion.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_hidden_flaw_in_greenhouse.html

    And then the lack of a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus, and why do so many obsess over a trace gas in air.


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    janama,

    Note the word “estimated” in your post on ocean ph.

    Not “observed” but “estimated”. No doubt from somebody’s model.

    To the ocean acidifiers: call me when you have real measured data not model outputs.


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    Bob Malloy

    Retired NASA physicist says NCDC cooking the books.

    Latest post on SPPI

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/Rate_of_Temp_Change_Raw_and_Adjusted_NCDC_Data.pdf“>

    Edward R. Long is a physicist who retired from NASA where he led NASA’s Advanced Materials Program,

    SUMMARY
    Both raw and adjusted data from the NCDC has been examined for a selected Contiguous U. S. set of rural and urban stations, 48 each or one per State. The raw data provides 0.13 and 0.79 oC/century temperature increase for the rural and urban environments. The adjusted data provides 0.64 and 0.77 oC/century respectively. The rates for the raw data appear to correspond to the historical change of rural and urban U. S. populations and indicate warming is due to urban warming. Comparison of the adjusted data for the rural set to that of the raw data shows a systematic treatment that causes the rural adjusted set’s temperature rate of increase to be 5-fold more than that of the raw data. The adjusted urban data set’s and raw urban data set’s rates of temperature increase are the same. This suggests the consequence of the NCDC’s protocol for adjusting the data is to cause historical data to take on the time-line characteristics of urban data. The consequence intended or not, is to report a false rate of temperature increase for the Contiguous U. S.


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    Posts 47 and 48 – spot on.
    I particularly like this “conundrum” for AGW believers from Alan Siddon’s latest piece,
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_hidden_flaw_in_greenhouse.html

    Excerpt / AGW “conundrum”,
    ” On one hand, then, if surface-heated nitrogen and oxygen do not radiate the thermal energy they acquire,
    they rob the earth of a means of cooling off — which makes them “greenhouse gases” by definition.

    On the other hand, though, if surface-heated nitrogen and oxygen do radiate infrared,
    then they are also “greenhouse gases,” which defeats the premise that
    only radiation from the infrared-absorbers raises the Earth’s temperature.

    Either way, therefore, the convoluted theory we’ve been going by is wrong. ”
    .
    .

    Mike Borgelt: pOST 48
    February 26th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    ” To the ocean acidifiers: call me when you have real measured data not model outputs. ”

    This question should be repeated many times over to the temperature data, the measured CO2 levels, etc, etc, etc,
    and further to ANYTHING based off these “measurements”..
    .
    .

    For example, and I am doing nothing more than illustrate a point I have made before in other forums on different works / papers,
    so this is not “having a go at Steve Short”, it is merely asking the question that has to be asked.
    .
    Steve Short, I have read through (admittedly very quickly) your piece linked to earlier, namely,
    http://landshape.org/enm/oceanic-cayanobacteria-in-the-modern-global-cycle/
    .
    There does seem to be good reason as you suggest to think along the lines you describe,
    I particularly think you have the possible and presumably somewhat localised lowering of ocean temps by plankton blooms,
    and therefore increased CO2 absorbtion by the cooler ocean.
    You may also have a point that increased nutrient supplies from our activities
    washed into the oceans / seas by rivers (etc) may be promoting plankton blooms more in the NH.
    .
    However, how reliable are the MLO (and any of the others used) CO2 “measurements”. ?
    If they are no better than say the HADcrut, or GISS temperature records,
    or the model output oceanic acidification “measurements”,
    where does that leave your piece. ?
    .
    There are good reasons to draw paralels between MLO and HADcrut for example,
    climategate in all it’s forms has illustrated the importance of
    open raw data, methods / algorithms / adjustments used.
    Particularly in the MLO case, the record does appear to BE “singing the right AGW tune”.


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    Derek

    Go here:

    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/flask/month/

    to pick up the actual (Excel importable) data, and then check out the large NOAA web site generally (just do a search on CO2).

    FYI, Mauna Loa site (MLO) is downwind (SW) of an oceanic upwelling zone. It always has more CO2 than the global average. This has been known for many, many years. There is nothing special about the MLO site per se. It is just one of over 80 world surface CO2 monitoring sites.

    FYI, I have never seen any evidence to suggest the global CO2 station data collated by NOAA from stations owned/operated by numerous nations is adjusted in any way i.e. it appears to be pure raw data. Indeed I know some of the people at some of the SH stations personally (being a former Aust. Fed. Govt. senior scientist – 11 years, Swiss Fed. Govt. 3 years). There is an absolute wealth of info on the NOAA web pages if you are prepared to look thoroughly.

    I think you really have to judge this stuff for yourself as I have no better access than is avilable to you (with a little care and effort).

    Personally I think as sceptics we should try to avoid paranoia and narrowness of spirit, especially whenever there appears to be no justification for it. After all, we are the good guys – right? We will ultimately win this god almighty shit fight on the facts – right?

    Regards
    Steve


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    Louis Hissink

    #1 Steve Short

    Clouds – I travelled by airplane from Newman to Perth this morning and observed that the clouds above me ( and below me to shut up the pedants) were, without exception, flat bottomed but had a highly variable shape for the upper surface, much like a cotton-wool effect.

    The observed fact of water clouds accumulating at a specific height above ground, at a uniform surface cannot be due to any gravitational layering within air which being a gas, is isotropic in all of its physical features; it cannot, under the existing physical conditions, show any preferential chemical layering, O2 layers, vs N2 layers, for example.

    So why do some clouds precipitate at a specific height above ground bound by a spherical 3D surface at their base, with a random topology for their upper surface?

    In terms of the Electric Universe, ( or Plasma) model, clouds form at the top of a plasma double layer under electrically quiescent conditions. The atmospheric layering, as deduced from the position of clouds above the reference surface of the Earth, aren’t due to any variation in the gravitational field, which, for a gas is a patent nonsense, but due to an “electrical layering” similar to the partitioning of the electric field between the anode and cathode in a Geissler tube. These “layers” are electrical and have no relationship to the physical layering based on Newton’s observations.

    So, when the Sun’s magnetic field increases, (explicitly an increase in the power density powering powering the Sun), and thus, per Jo’s graphic above, the Earth gets warmer.

    Conversely when the driving current powering out solar system decreases, like turning down the rheostat of your electric heater, then temperatures will drop.


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    george

    Louis

    I am not qualified to respond to the second part of your post, however (and I hope we are not talking at cross-purposes here) the simplistic answer to the first half is as follows;

    My recollection of the ultra boring theory (presented by an ultra boring instructor, invariably the first period after the lunch break, all those years ago) is that the flat lower band base you are referring to is what is known as the Convective Condensation Level, all to do with prevailing temperature, humidity, and the adiabatic temperature lapse rate on a given day. As inferred in the definition, this results in a defined base but the convection continues to some level above that base.

    This is invariably the characteristic of “fair weather cumulus”, the fluffy white stuff we see a lot of the time, commonly in the afternoon. Cumulonimbus (thunderstorm clouds) are not dissimilar in terms of base levels but the vertical range compared to normal cumulus or cumulo-stratus is much greater.

    The alto- (mid troposphere band) clouds, and cirro- (upper troposphere) also have a defined base effect, in fact a defined vertical BAND effect particularly with the cirro- brigade, but the explanation for those manifestations are beyond my recollection. I vaguely remember that upper-tropospheric jetstreams and pre-frontal activity have something to do with cirro-cumulus or cirro-stratus in that etage…but google, as always, is your friend.

    Or speak to a met freak…


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    John P.A.Knowles

    Thanks Jo for raising the issue at last. The MSM seem reluctant to deal with this one.
    My understanding is that Earth’s magnetosphere blocks or deflects incoming cosmic particles which would otherwise fry life on the surface. Having an iron core means we have a magnetic envelope but could someone explain how this field can suddenly disintegrate. NASA’s 5 THEMIS satellites measured a collapse in the magnetosphere on the daylight side of the Earth back in June 2007. How does a massive iron core suddenly reduce it’s magnetism? Is it a in response to the sun’s weakening field or is it a temporary local nullification?
    If our field periodically weakens and more cosmic particles enter the atmosphere and nucleate cloud formation, then we have a plausible process to add to our already complex climate system. I think Svensmark, Shaviv and Corbyn could be on the right track.
    Does anyone measure the CRF inside the atmosphere? Do particles actually reach the lower atmosphere where the water vapour density is greatest and the potential effect more significant?
    The idea of the CRF influencing climate has been around for decades. Does anyone know of a book on the subject beside the Calder/Svensmark one?
    Thanks.
    JPAK.


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    MattB

    Louis in 52… excuse me if I go with the weather experts’ explanation for flat clouds.
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/science/flatcloud.php?wfo=fgz


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    Svensmark’s ideas interesting. But remember — this is a highly nonlinear system. Almost certainly it would bounce around on its own absent any external forcings. What you get in such cases depends on the interaction between intrinsic variability (saddle cycles) and perturbations from without and is often far more complicated than one might imagine. And those cycle — there’s a lot of them, a countable infinity, to be precise — see here (less technical) and here (more technical).


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    John P.A.Knowles:
    February 26th, 2010 at 11:59 pm How does a massive iron core suddenly reduce it’s magnetism? Is it a in response to the sun’s weakening field or is it a temporary local nullification?

    It’s nothing unprecedented for Earth’s magnetic field to flucuate, sometimes dramatically. Sometimes the field completely flips, with the two magnetic poles changing places. That seems to happen at irregular intervals on average every 300,000 years. We just haven’t had the tools, until relatively recently, to observe the process.

    NASA has a little science paper on it from 2003.

    There is currently speculation that the planet is indeed in the process of flipping the poles. But it’s only speculation right now. We need to keep observing.

    At the moment, we are observing many things with the sun, cosmos, solar system and planet that we never had the tools to observe before. These are interesting times.


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    MattB:
    February 27th, 2010 at 12:58 am
    Louis in 52… excuse me if I go with the weather experts’ explanation for flat clouds.

    Oh good God! I have to agree with MattB for once! Someone, quick! Mark the calendar! I even gave you a thumbs up Matt! ;)


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    Roy Hogue

    Humbug @10,

    I didn’t have to be a PhD in six disciplines to notice NASA’s little (what’s appropriate to call it?) white/black lie.

    It’s always been my greatest nightmare that these people are going after our children who have no way to make any judgment about what they’re being told. Going after the defenseless is inexcusable.


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    Roy Hogue: Going after the defenseless is inexcusable.

    But that is what intellectual thugs do. They are nothing but kindergarten playground bullies grown up and haven’t stopped bullying either children or the intellectually inattentive.

    After all, they get smacked down when they bully an actual, aware and thoughtful adult. Why would they want to risk being smacked down? Besides, the “candy” they get to steal is something they cannot possibly produce for themselves. They want it and need it and therefore think they have a right to take it by whatever means necessary.

    Except for the irrelevant technicality that their intellectual bullying is not explicitly illegal, it’s criminal: as in fraud, extortion, theft by deception, slander, libel, and other such crimes against person and property.


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    Steve Short:
    February 26th, 2010 at 6:58 pm
    Derek

    FYI, I have never seen any evidence to suggest the global CO2 station data collated by NOAA from stations owned/operated by numerous nations is adjusted in any way i.e. it appears to be pure raw data.
    .
    Personally I think as sceptics we should try to avoid paranoia and narrowness of spirit, especially whenever there appears to be no justification for it. After all, we are the good guys – right? We will ultimately win this god almighty shit fight on the facts – right?

    Regards
    Steve

    Hello Steve,
    I do not mean to be rude or questioning of you, I had hoped I’d covered that with this is, not “having a go at Steve Short”.
    However I am having a go at MLO / CO2 record, put simply, and this has been gone over many, many times,
    there is NO RAW DATA for the 60 year record that is MLO.
    Yes, there are “raw hourly averages” – but being averages they are processed, so absolutely can not be raw data.
    I have delved into this at some length previously, whilst being ad homained frequently by Ferdinand Engelbeen,
    and less than helpfully “helped along” by Dr. Thone, or whatever his name is at MLO / Scripps..
    (I’ve kept copies of some of his ruder emails to me if needed…)

    The NOAA pages changed considerably, but,
    1) no raw data has ever been publicly released.
    The excuse hidden behind is that the once every ten second measurements mean there is to much data to put up.
    Balderdash.
    .
    2) The algorithms used to process these 10 sec. measurements have never been released, what they are, and if or how they have or have not changed is simply unknown.
    .
    3) The factors corrected for are merely “flagged” they are not quantified, and niether is the quantity to correct for, and amount of correction ever been described. It could change from one day to the next, we simply do not know.
    .
    4) The QA of the method and instruments has never been released. I believe there is an approved American scientific body / standard – MLO does not have it..
    .
    5) The correction for water vapour in the cold (minus 70) water trap have also not been released or described.
    .
    6) What happens when parts are replaced on the instruments used. ?
    .
    7) What happens when the instrument used is swapped from one to another, because the cold water trap becomes blocked with ice. ?
    .
    8) Does the adapted technique, sticking a damned long pipe on a machine originally designed for use in a room with little or no pipe, because of water condensation effect the CO2 levels measured. Is the technique used, in it’s adapted state, even fit for purpose. ?
    .
    8) Do measurements actually mean anything given the vast variations on CO2 levels due to so many factors it is difficult to list them. ? Much like does a global mean temperature actually mean anything.
    .
    I am aware of many other points, but these should suffice here for now.

    None of the above are minor problems, each is, to borrow a Bob Carter phrase, a torpedo in itself.
    It is very easy to plot the released MLO “data” and merely get straight lines…Nature abhors straight lines,
    especially in complex natural systems……
    So, my original query regarding your article / paper stands.

    I would hope that you would now understand that on my part there is no “narrowness of spirit” as you put it,
    infact a “narrowness of spirit” is needed to accept the 60 year MLO “record” for CO2 as is…

    yours,
    Derek.


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    If I may, I’m afraid I can’t put much credibility in this, particularly the adjusted graph which seems to show such a wonderful correlation.

    From their paper (available here) [emphasis mine]:

    FIG. 1: The solar cycle is represented here in red by
    Haleakala/Huancayo cosmic ray counts, inverted (ref. [3]). In
    The solar cycle and the negative correlation of global
    mean tropospheric temperatures with galactic cosmic rays are
    apparent in this ESA-ISAC analysis (ref. [2]). The upper
    panel shows observations of temperatures (blue) and cosmic
    rays (red). The lower panel shows the match achieved by
    removing
    El Nino, the North Atlantic Oscillation, volcanic
    aerosols, and also a linear trend (0.14 ± 0.4 K/Decade).

    So, what they did is to subtract the warming trend from the data, and when doing so their theory shows a perfect fit. To me, what they’ve basically done is to virtually prove that their theory has nothing to do with warming, because when the warming is removed (along with all of the major known players is climate variability) their theory correlates well with the regular variations in atmospheric temperatures (not surface temperatures, and not whole-system temperatures) but fails to explain the warming trend.

    The bottom line is that cosmic rays appear to be the fourth most important player in climate after El Nino, NAO and volcanic eruptions, if there were no other warming trends.

    But there is a 30 year warming trend, and they have proven that their theory does not explain it.


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    Rod Smith

    Louis Hissink in #52 and MattB in #55

    Clouds are generaly flat on the bottom, but check out mammatus clouds on NOAA or Wikipedia. Try here for starters.


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    Mark D.

    More on the cosmic ray-cloud concept here: http://landshape.org/enm/the-possible-connection-between-ionization-in-the-atmosphere-by-cosmic-rays-and-low-level-clouds-by-palle-butler-and-obrien-2004/#comments

    Sphaerica, what I see here is that when you remove the listed reasons for temperature variation then the remaining variation matches cosmic ray influence (presumably by cloud formation). Therefore it would tend to prove that clouds are a negative feedback. AGW proponents seem to believe that clouds are either Net=0 or positive.


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    Mark D,

    My understanding is that climate science is uncertain on whether or not clouds are a net positive or negative feedback. Current theories depend on whether low (reflective) or high (transparent) clouds are involved, and exactly to what degree any warming would increase each type of cloud cover, but the area is not nailed down enough to predict with any certainty. Lindzen and Spencer say the result will be net negative, and so that climate sensitivity is overstated, but they have not yet produced a substantive mechanism or evidence that this is the case, so the debate is open.

    But this paper explicitly shows that cosmic rays (and by inference clouds produced by cosmic rays) have an influence on climate that is superseded by whatever has caused the warming in the past 30 years. An excellent correlation is achieved only by removing that warming, and therefore that linear warming to date has been unaffected by cosmic rays or clouds. Given this, clouds do not seem to be a very effective negative feedback.

    If I may take it a step further… some people have argued that GHG should produce a linear warming effect (although there’s no a priori reason to assume that is true). Given this assumption, and if El Nino, NOA, volcanic aerosols and cosmic rays completely and perfectly explain everything but a linear warming trend… that shows you that the underlying warming trend was in fact linear, and the linear nature of the forcing was masked by the complexities of weather (not climate). It virtually proves the case for AGW (or some other constant, linear forcing, but one that is to date not overwhelmed by negative feedbacks).


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  • #
    Sydney Sceptic

    Actually, WUWT has a new article showing where the warming came from – it’s definitely man-made!

    A man made the homogenisation process that adjusts RURAL temperature data up, rather than URBAN temperature data down, when dealing with UHI. It’s amazing!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/26/a-new-paper-comparing-ncdc-rural-and-urban-us-surface-temperature-data/

    We need to run the same check on the Australian data.


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    Peter of Sydney

    It has reached the stage that no matter how much evidence is released showing that the AGW thesis is a hoax and a fraud, nothing will change, or at best there will be a very slow process of unraveling the truth, which may take decades by which time it will be far too late to stop the introduction of new taxes and false green technologies that will cost far more yet deliver no appreciable benefit to the climate. There is only one way to avoid all this is to charge the leaders of the AGW hoax with fraud and force them to defend themselves in the courts. Hopefully, with all the evidence that’s available they could be found guilty, with appropriate punishments allocated to them.


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    Peter of Sydney:
    February 27th, 2010 at 8:46 am
    There is only one way to avoid all this is to charge the leaders of the AGW hoax with fraud and
    force them to defend themselves in the courts.

    There is another way Peter, IF “they” knew no one would vote for anyone
    spouting the AGW cr*p, then “they” would change their tune overnight.
    Because if “they” did not, “they” would be out of a job – instantly.
    .
    If the Australian Climate Sceptics political party takes off as it should, that will be the end of the scam.
    It really is this simple. How will people vote on the issue. ?
    Science itself will take a lot more repairing, but politics and politicians are professional turn coats and liars in the main,
    so it comes naturally to them.
    .
    “We”, the people have allowed ourselves to be duped, by being too trusting of politicians and
    not seeing politicised scientists for what they are, liars.
    Sometimes “it” does not come out in the wash, too much damage has been done in between times.


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    Baa Humbug

    Hi folks
    I posted a statement once before that science types sometimes tend to complicate things too much.
    Regards whether clouds are net negative or positive feedback, I look at it from a simple observational point of view as follows.

    A-) During daylight hours, clouds stop the suns energy from entering the system. A negative feedback
    B-) During the night, clouds DELAY the escape of energy, a positive feedback BUT ONLY A DELAY of energy ALREADY IN THE SYSTEM.

    Considering the above, clouds MUST HAVE a NET NEGATIVE affect. I don’t have the expertise or the resources to measure any of this but it agrees with my common sense detectors.

    Today here in Brisbane it’s overcast and much cooler than previous clear sky days. Tonight will be warmer than previous clear sky days. If James Hansen and Phil Jones were to measure the temps in Brisbane over the last few days, they will tell us that average temps are UP. That may be true, but irrelevant to whether Brisbane is warming or not. They would have found higher temps because of the higher minimums when in fact there has been (as I observe) a lower amount of energy entering the system, hence a cooling.
    Hope that made sense, I’m in terrible pain due to toothache.


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    janama

    BaaHumbug – here’s a post i just made on WUWT

    Not far from my home is a rural airport that has a temperature record going back to 1908 and is still functioning. The airport ceased it’s daily return flights to Sydney back in 2002 and the only change since then is they’ve added a new trailer park which is still well away from the measuring station as you can see in this picture.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/casino_airport_1.jpg

    The airport is well away from the small town of Casino.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/casino_airport.jpg

    I downloaded the max mean and the min mean from BoM and created a Mean temperature chart – it says it all really.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/Casino_temp.jpg


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    Baa Humbug

    janama:
    February 27th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Was there a difference between the changes in max and min janama?


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    Louis Hissink

    George

    Thanks for that explanation – is that based on experimental data or is it basically a case of climate science using verbal virtuosity to explain it in the absence of physical experiment? They can’t model clouds at all in the GCM’s so I would suggest maybe they don’t really understand how clouds form in the first place. A good place to start would be using a laboratory cloud chamber.

    MattB: 10/10 for mindless linking.


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    Roy Hogue

    Lionell @60,

    But that is what intellectual thugs do. They are nothing but kindergarten playground bullies grown up and haven’t stopped bullying either children or the intellectually inattentive.

    True to be sure. But at least since the NEA was formed to promote world socialism every pipsqueak cause has gone after the schools. Raise up the children to believe you and pretty soon there’s no one left to oppose you. Thankfully it hasn’t worked perfectly but it’s a very serious and sinister threat.


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    Bob Malloy

    Steve Mcintyre’s submission to the UK Climate Committee posted on his sight. It doesn’t matter if they struggle reading, they just need to look at the graphs.

    http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-scitech.pdf


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    Baa Humbug,

    Considering the above, clouds MUST HAVE a NET NEGATIVE affect. I don’t have the expertise or the resources to measure any of this but it agrees with my common sense detectors.

    Almost, but your model is too simple.

    1) During the day, clouds reflect inbound sunlight AND blanket the earth, radiating some energy back down (i.e. GHG effect)
    2) At night, only the GHG effect is present

    The GHG effect is unaffected by the length of day or the latitude and season, which does impact albedo changes… angle of incidence of the sun… sharper angle, more reflection even without clouds, so less difference between clouds/no clouds).

    In addition, clouds don’t form uniformly. For instance, a lot of clouds are formed by thermals which accumulate and build during the day and so don’t really develop until late afternoon or early evening (those thunderstorms that roll in), when the sun is already low and inbound light/angle of incidence is low… they can then trap heat, but by morning those same clouds are gone.

    But none of these details really matter. What matters is the net quantitative effect of clouds on the rate of outbound radiation versus the quantitative effect of clouds on inbound radiation. That is to say, in a 24 hour cycle, if:

    X cloud cover, reflected = 1, radiation blocked = 0.5, net is -0.5 = negative feedback
    Y cloud cover, reflected = 1, radiation blocked = 1.0, net is 0.0 = no feedback
    Z cloud cover, reflected = 1, radiation blocked = 1.5, net is 0.5 = positive feedback

    So simple logic without quantities doesn’t do it. What matters is not what and how, but how much.

    As a further complicating factor, clouds formed higher up are generally made of ice that is transparent to visible light (inbound sunlight) but opaque to infrared (outbound heat). As a result, if the clouds that form are Cirrostratus (or the like) then there is only a GHG effect and no change in albedo. This is the GHG fear… that increased temperatures will increase moisture higher up and form even more of these sort of clouds, which only have a GHG effect, and so are an unmitigated positive feedback.

    Theory is weak in this area, though. No one can really say what will definitely happen (or at least to date, no one has made a convincing argument one way or the other).


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    MadJak

    FYI – The Institute of Physics hangs out the CRU to be grilled.

    Their submission to the climategate inquiry can be found here

    All of it’s pretty damning, but here is a part of it:

    2

    . The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself – most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change.

    Who thinks we sceptics should have a detailed public and sincere apology on Primetime TV from Mr “You’re a denier” Rudd, Ms “Climategate denier” Wong and every other political and scientific wonk who pubicly tried to minimise or play down this scandal?

    Also a complete public expose on why the climategate scandal has been hushed up. I want to know who, why when and where. The whole deal.

    Democracy cannot function while this sort of censorship continues….


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    Sphaerica:
    February 27th, 2010 at 1:00 pm #76
    2) At night, only the GHG effect is present

    1/2 right depending upon what you actually communicating.

    Given that water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas, if you are including that in your statement, then sort of correct. As stated, it’s misleading.

    At night, if clouds are present, the already absorbed daytime heat can’t radiate out to space. Water vapor (the most significant GHG) in the form of clouds reflects the radiated heat back to the surface. That’s why cloudy nights are warmer than clear nights.

    So to discount cloud effect at night is totally bogus. I don’t believe that there is any real disagreement between the Warmista camp and Skeptic/Realist camp on that mechanism.

    Given that the tropics are showing no net warming, but have much higher humidity than the temperate zones, it would appear that water vapor may actually be a stabilizing force and a negative feedback.

    It’s pretty safe to say that we really don’t know whether water vapor and clouds are a net positive or negative feedback. Both camps admit that cloud and water vapor effects are pooly understood. There’s a lot of work to be done in this area.

    On top of that, given the current mess in the temperature record, I’d say we are a long way from empirically proving anything.


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    Denny

    Joanne, very good post! I totally agree. The Earth is effected as much on the “outside of it’s atmosphere as much from within..I invite you all to come see my latest article: The Gate’s: When Shall I Open? Further? It’s a compling of the “Gates”. Hope you enjoy it here at:

    http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?2023.last


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    Baa Humbug:
    February 27th, 2010 at 9:29 am
    Hi folks

    Today here in Brisbane it’s overcast and much cooler than previous clear sky days. Tonight will be warmer than previous clear sky days.
    .
    If James Hansen and Phil Jones were to measure the temps in Brisbane over the last few days, they will tell us that average temps are UP.
    That may be true, but irrelevant to whether Brisbane is warming or not. They would have found higher temps because of the higher minimums when in fact there has been (as I observe) a lower amount of energy entering the system, hence a cooling.
    End of quote.

    Spot on, it is a problem with using averages. Tim Ball I think spotted this recently in the temperature record/s for Canadian localities.
    He showed it was the night time temp going up, whilst the day time temps had gone down less, so overall the average still went up..
    In short, using an average does not tell you if the upper or the lower, or the spread of the data changed,
    but merely that that the average has changed.
    It is a sneaky way to hide in plain view what the raw data may have said differently, sometimes completely differently.

    The use of averages has large short comings, anyone using averages should be aware of,
    especially if the raw data is not available to cross reference / check.
    Averages are never substitutes for the raw data, they are merely, at best, a convenient accompliment to the raw data.
    Where only averages are supplied, you do not (especially in complex natural systems) have the full story….Please see post 61.


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    Charles Bourbaki

    Madjak,

    The response at Realclimate to the IOP submission is absolutely hilarious. Their legendary man-of-science Dhogaza tells them that the “Institute of Physics sounds like a real hotbed of science”. Others are very sceptical of the whole thing – Gavin declares that “This is just not specific enough to warrant attention”. Nothing important here, move along.

    Others see a conspiracy of a small clique of scientists at the top circumventing their members and publishing their own views(*) –

    Frank O’Dwyer – An obvious question is whether these people really speak for “The Physicists” or if it is simply a guerilla effort from the usual small bunch of geezers.

    Doug Bostrom – The IOP submission will blow up into a festival of backbiting within a few days, that’s my bet.

    (*) Do you have to be born without a sense of irony to comment at RC?

    Here at about comment 290 onwards

    IMHO, the submission by a well regarded organisation like the IOP might be worth a post Jo. They contain just about all the points that Steve Mc, you and others have been making for a long time. It’s great to be a physicist.


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    MadJak

    Charles,

    What I find interesting with Franks post is something that permeated through both Clive Hamiltons rant and the warmist postings to it. I have also heard the implication elsewhere -always from the warmist camp.

    guerilla effort from the usual small bunch of geezers

    That implication is that of Ageism. There really does seem to be an implication that older people don’t care about the environment. This is a reinforcing approach too, with the bias being pushed onto the kids.

    Has anyone else picked up on that? now, I am actually in my mid 30s, but I have noticed it. Has anyone else?


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    janama

    MadJak: I’m too old to notice things like that :)


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    Baa Humbug

    Sphaerica:
    February 27th, 2010 at 1:00 pm
    Hi S, thanks for the response. As I stated, I looked at this from a laymans point of view. Even the detail you’ve posted shows the folly of the IPCC “models” which do not and cannot account for the cloud affect, rendering them useless. Kevin Trenberth stated recently that any forcings or feedbacks that they don’t know enough about are treated as constants even if they know that they are actually variables.

    Derek:
    February 27th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Hi derek. Yes that’s exactly what I had in mind when I stated that. But this toothache is really killing me Grrrrr Can’t think staright. I’m at work now and have to “smile” at all my customers. (dang customers. They interfere with important things like blogging about climate, even if they do provide my livelyhood lol)


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Absolutely, MadJak! Ageism is standard knee-jerk reaction when global warming cultists can’t/won’t argue science: Call someone an old geezer or claim their scientific arguments don’t count ’cause they’r old or retired.

    Sheesh, in this era of PC and identity politics we could probably haul them before the UN Human Rights Commission on grounds of hate speech vilifying seniors citizens! It’s probably illegal :-)


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    MadJak

    Anne-Kitt Littler,

    Would that be Age-Gate?

    *moans*


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    janama

    Baa Humbug: @72

    here’s the excel file for Casino Airport.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/Casino_Airport_1.xls


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    Louis Hissink

    As one of the old geezers I think this attitude can be traced to the basic tenets of socialistic thought in which, irrespective of age, ability, intelligence, all are deemed ‘equal’ – so that youf with its ignorance has, in the socialists viewpoint, as much to say as older people. Hence the elderly, with their experience, have nothing to contribute since their views are deemed as just another ” narrative”, or perspective that is is valid as a youf’s based on inexperience. This view has been inculcated into the younger generation via the education system for the last 30 years, or as I recall it, since 1972 when Whitlam was Prime Minister.

    Another reason why the older are criticising the pseudoscience that is climate science is because their jobs don’t rely on it, and more importantly, haven’t been brainwashed with post modernist thinking that has captured science in academia.

    So I would consider it as ageism but crass stupidity.


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    Louis Hissink

    I left a “not” out in the last sentence.


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    Albert

    My reply to the HOTTEST January ever
    http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/160556

    “Hottest January the world has ever seen” this comment was surely made by people in the Northern Hemisphere who have invested their pension funds in Carbon Trading, they will say whatever they need to save their investments.

    Australia had cyclones and floods from 22 January so for the last third of that month we had lots of cloud cover extending from the NW through central Australia to the NE, hottest January under massive persistent cloud cover associated with these low pressure systems, flooding the coast and the Outback and filling Lake Eyre, it’s NOT possible. I suggest they invest in a new Weegie(Ouija) Board. Is it possible they are recording temperatures on cloudless days only to prove their delusion? 2+2=7


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    Baa Humbug

    janama:
    February 27th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    So they reduced temps pre 1960′s to make it look like a steady rise?


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    Albert

    Anne-Kit Littler @ 85
    It’s the older people as you have agreed are the ones who have seen all the “unprecedented weather” that the younger generation has not seen, so they are easily conned by the alarmists.


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    janama

    Thanks to Bob Malloy’s post@75 McIntyre has put the “Hottest Ever Recorded” to bed finally.


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    janama

    BTW – take a look at where the southern oscillation index is.

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/climate/indicator_enso.jsp?c=soi


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    MadJak

    Janama@94,

    So, not much rain for the east coast then?


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    janama

    So, not much rain for the east coast then?

    you are kidding – we’ve been raining and drizzling for weeks. There’s a term someone used for this kind of El Nino where it acts the opposite. Lake Eyre will fill again this year, the Darling River is flowing again, Lake Alexandrina will get some water finally, and hopefully the cost of lamb will fall :)


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    MadJak

    Janama@96,

    Sounds pretty darn good to me.


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    janama

    The Todd river runs through Alice Springs – it’s typically a dry river bed.

    Every year they hold the Todd River Regatta

    http://www.ease.com/~randyj/alice8.jpg

    A man drowned there the other day.


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    Yeah and our local climate soothsayer here in Toowoomba, Dr Roger Stone said at the beginning of summer that it was going to be a long, hot dry summer due to El Nino. It has been quite cool and wet since then.

    Albert, your link quotes Neville Nicholls. I saw him on TV in the early 1990′s when there was concern about drought. He told a group of farmers that there was no such thing a a 3 month forecast – he was right then and that’s still so as far as I know. I was on BoM meteorologists course with Neville in 1971. Seems he’s bought in to the whole AGW thing. Pity.


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    Louis Hissink: Post 89
    February 27th, 2010 at 6:41 pm
    I left a “not” out in the last sentence.
    End of quote.

    Don’t worry it’s your age…. LOL.

    If we are to consider the posts title, maybe using the term “greenhouse” always implying warming is, errr,
    not helping with our view / understanding of all things climate.
    May I offer,
    .
    .

    We all spend so much time talking about the greenhouse effect “theory”,
    all the while implying (wrongly) the warming associated with greenhouses.

    As far as I can see what we are really talking about is the reduced rate of cooling, from the solar input (and geothermal inputs),
    which is then at least partially redistributed in locality and time by various means, most notably the oceans.
    The input is then lost “back” to space through the earth’s atmosphere in a manner comensurate with the physical properties of it’s constituents.

    Because a cooler thing can not warm a warmer thing (at best just slow the warmer things rate of cooling),
    then the word greenhouse is inappropriate, and physically speaking, plain and simply – wrong.
    This is because of the fact that no further warming occurs (except for geothermal inputs).
    The earth is not warmer than it would of been, in that it is NOT at a higher maximum temperature,
    yes, it may be cooling at a slower rate, so is “warmer” than it would otherwise be,
    but that is not warmer, as in a higher temperature.
    The greenhouse effect does not raise the temperature (by 33 degrees for example),
    the planet and atmosphere merely cool (and warm) at a slower rate.
    (Please see the moon {or any other planet without an atmosphere} for day and night time temperatures, maximum and minimum)

    A better wording of “the effect” would be that,
    the maximum and minimum temperatures (given enough time – a night is not long enough..)
    experienced in the earth’s atmosphere are not raised by so called “greenhouse gases”,
    (in fact the extremes of temperature are considerably reduced)
    but the rate of change of temperature is slowed by the “effect” of the atmosphere’s constituents combined overall.
    The atmosphere is above absolute zero, so all constituents of it contribute to the “effect” according to their physical properties,
    not just some of the constituents.

    There is an insolation effect within the atmosphere,
    it is not a greenhouse effect though.

    I would agree with Dr. Miskolczi that this insolation effect appears (basically) constant,
    (by many and complex means we do not understand at all well at present)
    but not that it is a rederived greenhouse effect.

    Is there a better term to use instead of the greenhouse effect, ?
    my suggestion is the insolation effect.
    - I don’t think it is a catchy enough term, although it is a simple enough term.

    I make this suggestion because the term “greenhouse” is the source of peoples confusion, in my opinion,
    it alters their view of the subject, in a detrimental manner.

    A small amount of insolation does not give rise to a higher temperature, just slower cooling (and slower warming – if heat is supplied from “outside”),
    therefore I suggest insolation effect is a more realistic view and term.
    .
    .
    NB – “insolation” was originally a typo on my part (age or dyslexia I can’t remember which….)
    but I actually quite like it, because it differenciates the term to a new meaning than insulation would of implied.
    Basically, insolation effect is where,
    solar and geothermal inputs are,
    balanced by the object (earth) radiating to space according to it’s temperature.
    A sort of in sol – rad out approach, according to the second law of thermodynamics.
    It does away with all this rediculous greenhouse implied warming, and back radiation heating nonsense.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Baa Humbug:

    At #10 you ask me:

    Hi Richard. Please take the time to have a look at the article at American Thinker The Hidden Flaw in Greenhouse Theory
    By Alan Siddons HERE

    I have skimmed through the article (that skimming is sufficient for me to make comment) but have yet to read any other responses following your request.

    My immediate resonse is as follows.

    Alan Siddons is commenting on an item from NASA. He says;

    Recently, I chanced upon an Atmospheric Science Educator Guide [PDF] published by NASA. Aimed at students in grades 5 through 8, it helps teachers explain how so-called “greenhouse gases” warm our planet Earth.

    I have not read the original source document and I assume Siddons’ quotations from it are correct and not taken out of context. This is because you asked me to comment on the article and not the NASA source document. So, I provide these comments that pertain to Siddon’s article and they are not a critique of the NASA document.

    It seems to me that there are two possible interpretations of the purpose of the NASA document.

    1.
    The NASA document is deliberately simplistic as it is intended to be an information base for children that will be corrected/clarified by subsequent learning.

    (Such oversimplification is common in science teaching. For example, children are often first introduced to Ohm’s Law as though it were correct. Then they are shown that Ohm’s Law is affected by heat losses induced by resistance, etc.).

    2.
    The NASA document is a propoganda release intended to mislead teachers into misinforming their students.

    Siddon’s article makes it clear that he assesses the NASA document is intended to be a propoganda release.

    It cannot be known if Siddons’ assessment is correct. However, he does have a point whether or not he is right in this assessment.

    The quotations that Siddons cites from the NASA document ensure the the document is very likely to act as propoganda item whether or not such an effect were intended by its providers.

    However, I think Siddons is wrong to use this NASA primer for children as justification for his conclusion that says;

    Because all gases radiate the heat they acquire, trace-gas heating theory is an untenable concept, a long-held illusion we’d be wise to abandon.

    His conclusion may be correct (indeed, I think it is) but Siddons’ argument must be very weak if it has to rely on attack of this NASA primer for children.

    I hope this answer is what you wanted.

    Richard


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    Baa Humbug

    Derek:
    February 27th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Derek. You ought to call out to Lionell Griffith regards this greenhouse word, it’s one of his pet subjects and rightly so.
    We had discussed this at length a couple of months back and Lionell suggested a more apt term for it. (wish I could remember it)


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    Baa Humbug

    Hi Richard, thanks for taking the time.

    Rather than the attack on Nasa, I was more interested in his conclusion. He is effectively saying all atmospheric gasses are GHG’s.

    Now certainly every molecule of gas in the atmosphere “carries” some heat/energy (else they wouldn’t be a gas). If for example a molecule of nitrogen or oxygen does radiate energy just like CO2 does, then they would also be GHG’s. But if their heat/energy only comes from kinetic energy that would be different wouldn’t it?

    I had this idea in my head that the sensor of a thermometre is in contact with all molecules in the air. If the thermometre measures say 25degC, that’s the temp of all the molecules. If nitrogen, oxygen and argon aren’t at 25degC then the GHG molecules would have to be 100′s of degrees for the thermometre sensor to measure the temp at 25degC.
    I hope I made sense. I’m not thinking too clearly today, been in immense pain with a toothache and dumb with pain killers :(


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    Thank you Baa Humbug Post 102.
    I would call out Lionell, if I knew how to. ?

    Err, the term wasn’t too memorable though was it. !


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    Baa Humbug

    Derek:
    February 27th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Err, the term wasn’t too memorable though was it.

    It was. It’s just that I’m in pain and drugged up at mo, can’t think straight. It’ll come to me.

    LIONELLLLLL!!!!!


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  • #
    george

    Louis, re your #73 and my #53

    I suspect GCM is something that is probably a black art when compared to accepted observational and forecasting meteorology techniques, which are more applicable to (effectively) localised areas and conditions and can be empirically verified. Convective or orographic uplift, add moisture content, clouds form at condensation levels, bla bla, are a given in terms of cause and effect.

    The analogy to the info I gave you in the previous post is to say that it is known fog will form when the temperature reaches dew point, basic meteorology 101. Or that it is known a plane will stay in the air because of the Bernoulli principle, etc, etc

    I did about 50-60 oh-so-booooooring hours of met as a subject during an aviation-related course all those years ago and I can assure you that these basic principles are relied on daily by the aviation industry. Your “physical experiment” suggestion/query by definition happens every day.

    No “tricks” or “climate science”…nothing to see here, move along, move along…except I am being genuinely serious in saying that, dude!! Now if you were able to prove otherwise you would literally stand the field of meteorology on it`s head (well in terms of cause rather than effect anyway), sorry to be a wet sponge here.

    Keep keeping the bastards honest g.


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    Baa Humbug

    Derek:
    February 27th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Well now, the pain in my jaw has dulled, I cleared my head of pain killers with 3 glasses of bundy rum so I’m thinking clearly now.

    Lionell preferred to use the term “Atmospheric Heat Exchange Effect”. The whole discussion is on the thread labelled “Confused? You might BE a psychologist” from December the 15th.


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    Roy Hogue

    All you old geezers like me keep your chin up and your powder dry. The young may be smart but people like us tend to be wise. And wisdom has that “bad” habit of trumping smart in the end, postmodernist thinking notwithstanding.

    At 70 I’ve earned the right to my gray hair and so have you (if you have any). Sooner or later we will prevail sufficiently to reduce this nonsense to fringe cult status. People are waking up, in part because of us.

    ——-

    I absolutely love Steve McIntyre’s demolition of CRU et al. Thanks to Bob Malloy for posting it.


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    Baa Humbug

    hey Roy you old fart. Speaking of S McIntyre, he’s got Jimmy (we’re all doomed) Hansen running for cover from impending law suits.

    Seems Jimmy has yet again adjusted US temp data, this time further closer to the truth (maybe)

    A New Leaderboard at the U.S. Open

    There has been some turmoil yesterday on the leaderboard of the U.S. Temperature Open and there is a new leader.

    A little unexpectedly, 1998 had a late bogey and 1934 had a late birdie. (I thought that they were both in the clubhouse since the turmoil seemed to be in the 2000s.) In any event, the new leader atop the U.S. Open is 1934.

    2006 had a couple of late bogeys and fell to 4th place, behind even 1921. I think that there’s a little air in the 2006 numbers even within GISS procedures as the other post-2000 lost about 0.15 strokes through late bogeys, while it lost only 0.10 strokes. It is faltering and it might yet fall behind 1931 into 5th place.

    Four of the top 10 are now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938 and 1939, while only 3 of the top 10 are from the last 10 years (1998, 2006, 1999). Several years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004) fell well down the leaderboard, behind even 1900.

    GISS U.S. Temperatures (deg C) in New Order
    Year Old New
    1934 1.23 1.25
    1998 1.24 1.23
    1921 1.12 1.15
    2006 1.23 1.13
    1931 1.08 1.08
    1999 0.94 0.93
    1953 0.91 0.90
    1990 0.88 0.87
    1938 0.85 0.86
    1939 0.84 0.85

    Here’s the old leaderboard.
    Year Old New
    1998 1.24 1.23
    1934 1.23 1.25
    2006 1.23 1.13
    1921 1.12 1.15
    1931 1.08 1.08
    1999 0.94 0.93
    1953 0.91 0.90
    2001 0.90 0.76
    1990 0.88 0.87
    1938 0.85 0.86

    Someones feeling the pressure.


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    Baa Humbug

    Further to my post above #109

    Notice how most of the “old” has been readjusted UP and the “recent” has been adjusted down.

    I sense fear in them thar figures lol


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    Baa Humbug:

    February 28th, 2010 at 12:24 am #109
    Seems Jimmy has yet again adjusted US temp data, this time further closer to the truth (maybe)

    A New Leaderboard at the U.S. Open

    There has been some turmoil yesterday on the leaderboard of the U.S. Temperature Open and there is a new leader.

    It’s an artifact of their bogus methodology. They are always readjusting past temps. Happens every month. Sometimes you don’t notice because it hits the “unremarkable” years. It’s usually a hundredth of a degree here or there, sometimes more.

    The GISS code is absolute spaghetti. It has routines embedded that create variables and then discards them without ever actually using them. Numerous deadend code segments. The code would not pass muster in any computer programming course. E.M. Smith has put a lot of work into trying to figure out the spaghetti. He also discusses it with some interesting tales on his main page.

    While a lot of it gets into the statistics and code, much of what he writes is comprehendable for laymen. It would be quite entertaining, if the implications of this fraud weren’t so serious.


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    Baa Humbug:
    February 27th, 2010 at 9:19 pm #105

    It was. It’s just that I’m in pain and drugged up at mo, can’t think straight. It’ll come to me.

    Was it atmospheric effect? I’m pretty sure I saw someone use that phrase, I just don’t remember if it was Lionell or not.

    Hey mate! Did I miss something? Why are you drugged and in pain? If you laugh, will it hurt? Hee Hee! Hope you’re on the mend.

    BTW I can now laugh without agony, but still can’t do pushups and such. Don’t think I’ll volunteer for any combatives (boxing, judo, etc.) soon either.


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    Roy Hogue

    Humbug,

    Look who’s calling who an old fart!

    Didn’t know that Hansen is in such a snit but glad to hear it. He’s worked hard to get there so I hope he enjoys it. A little justice may yet be dealt out.

    Dear James has been real good at adjusting temperature data, so why not one more time? Is he trying to save his skin? What odds will you give me that he’s not?

    Now please, don’t anyone get the idea that I dislike this much respected NASA scientist. It’s far beyond that. When he went before a Senate hearing and demanded that those with opinions he didn’t like be tried for crimes against humanity he sank down to despicable. Just my humble opinion of course. Mr. Hansen may disagree.


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    JM

    That’s only true if you look at the wrong kind of rays and the wrong kind of clouds.

    Next you’ll be telling us it’s the wrong kind of snow (LOL).

    (For those who miss the reference, it’s to British Rail who blamed the inability of snow ploughs purchased in 1990 to clear snow from the tracks during heavy falls in 1991 to the “wrong kind of snow”. It’s now a classic way to derisively describe ridiculous excuses.)


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    Bah Humbug,

    Apparently the term wasn’t memorable for me either. I don’t remember it.

    The important thing is that the so called “greenhouse effect” and the connected “CO2 traps heat” are package deals that mislead and confuse. There is no atmospheric greenhouse and CO2 cannot and does not trap heat. It is only the confluence of numerous rates of energy transfer that determines the temperature of the earth’s surface.

    This would be clear if we were to stop the rotation of the earth. The side facing the sun would continue to warm and the side in darkness would continue to cool. Turn the sun off, and the entire earth would cool. No heat is trapped. It is simply being delayed on its way back to the earth.

    Words ARE important. Especially since they are primarily tools of thought and secondarily tools of communication. If your words are not clear, distinct, and connected to reality, you can neither think nor communicate clearly.


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    Baa Humbug

    JLKrueger:
    February 28th, 2010 at 1:18 am

    No you bas*ard it’s my tooth. Shocking pain going all the way up to my temple. I’m ok now that I’m home and have had a few bundy’s (rum) and coke. Worse comes to worse I’ll tie a string to it, tie the other end to the door knob and slam the door shut. that will be the end of that lol.
    Glad your ribs is fine now.

    You’re right, Lionell called it the atmospheric heat exchange affect. see my post #107 you blind bat


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    Baa Humbug

    Lionell Griffith:
    February 28th, 2010 at 1:48 am

    There you are Lionell. you remind me so much of my best friend Jim, you and he would have a great time chatting in a pub. I’d enjoy listening to the both of you (and buying all the drinks of course lol)


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    Baa Humbug

    Matt Buckels where are you? Calling Matt!!!

    A few days ago you asked me for proof that the IPCC attributed warming prior to the 60′s to natural variations and post 60′s to CO2. Well here you go, read it and weep.

    IPCC Attribution to CO2

    Many in the media portray the global warming issue as “the global average temperature has increased 0.8 degrees during the 20th century”. But climate scientists do not claim that this was all due to CO2 – only since the 1970s.

    In a CRU email between Edward Cook and Michael Mann in May 2001, Cook stated: “most researchers in global change research would agree that the emergence of a clear greenhouse forcing signal has really only occurred since after 1970. I am not debating this point, although I do think that there still exists a significant uncertainty as to the relative contributions of natural and greenhouse forcing to warming during the past 20-30 years at least.” [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=228&filename=988831541.txt]

    The figure in the next link shows the global average temperature anomalies (from the Hadley Climatic Research Unit (CRU) which provides the data used by the IPCC HERE

    The figure in the next link superimposes the CRU temperature anomalies on the IPCC graph of model outputs. (IPCC 2007 AR4 Figure SPM-4 HERE) In this figure, the blue shaded bands show the result climate model simulations using only natural forcings. Red shaded bands show the result model simulations including anthropogenic CO2.

    This clearly shows that prior to about 1973, the global warming is fully explained by climate models using only natural forcings (i.e. no human CO2). The models need input of CO2 only after about the mid-1970s – prior to 1970 all warming was natural, according to the IPCC. (There is no empirical evidence relating CO2 to the post-1970s warming as a causative factor. The only evidence is the fact that the computer models require CO2 to produce warming.)

    The IPCC attributes “most” of the warming since 1970 to human-produced (anthropogenic) greenhouse gases – mainly CO2. You must keep in mind that the IPCC was formed in 1988 with the purpose of assessing “the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.” — i.e. it is based on the a priori assumption of “human-induced climate change” – there was never an attempt to evaluate the scientific evidence of the cause.


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    Baa Humbug

    Roy Hogue:
    February 28th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Old farts are allowed to call other old fart old farts lol

    In his infamous testimony to the senate, Hansen was famously sweating (because he had the air cons switched to high and all the windows shut prior to his testimony) now he is sweating for a different reason.
    I hope he gets indicted, couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.


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    Baa Humbug

    Lionell Griffith:
    February 28th, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Not to be picky but…

    No heat is trapped. It is simply being delayed on its way back to the earth.

    You mean on it’s way back to space.
    I’m allowed to be picky after a few drinks on a satday nite lol


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    JLKrueger:
    February 27th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    My statement was limited to the nature of clouds at night, i.e. the GHG effect of water in the clouds versus the effect as a reflector for sunlight.

    We are in complete agreement on most everything, except for two…

    Given that the tropics are showing no net warming, but have much higher humidity than the temperate zones, it would appear that water vapor may actually be a stabilizing force and a negative feedback.

    Both moisture and heat are clearly transported away from the equator through Hadley Cells, so I think this is a bit of misdirection. The extreme warming to the north could easily be a result of increased moisture and heat transported there from the equator. A lack of warming at the equator proves little, if anything, and I’m unsure of the claim that the equator shows little warming. I’m not saying it’s false, I’m just saying that I can find contradictory data.

    On top of that, given the current mess in the temperature record, I’d say we are a long way from empirically proving anything.

    I disagree that the temperature record is a mess, since the satellite and radiosconde readings so closely coincide with ground based readings. Even if you throw out many of the datasets, Spencer’s satellite measurements show a clear 30 year warming trend.

    But more importantly…

    Man uses two methods of reasoning, inductive and deductive, to solve problems. If you are going to limit yourself to the use of inductive reasoning only, there are many, many problems that you will fail to solve. In fact, it is deductive reasoning that separates us from lower animals. Any chimp or dog or even mouse can learn through mere repetition and reward/reinforcement.


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    Richard S Courtney

    Baa Humbug:

    You say to me at #103:

    Rather than the attack on Nasa, I was more interested in his conclusion. He is effectively saying all atmospheric gasses are GHG’s

    Now certainly every molecule of gas in the atmosphere “carries” some heat/energy (else they wouldn’t be a gas). If for example a molecule of nitrogen or oxygen does radiate energy just like CO2 does, then they would also be GHG’s. But if their heat/energy only comes from kinetic energy that would be different wouldn’t it?

    Ah! I now see where you are coming from, and I apologise for my failure to understand what you were asking me.

    The issue is important and it pertains to a comment that I made to try to help another discussion in another thread on this blog; i.e.
    GHGs cool the atmosphere (as well as warming it).

    GHGs are much, much more effective at absorbing and radiating IR than other gases. In fact, GHGs are so much more effective at the absorbtion and radiation of IR that the non-GHG gases can be ignored in most analyses of radiative effects in the atmosphere. The NASA item simplifies this to saying that only GHGs absorb heat in the air, and Siddons’ article ridicules this over-simplification as being a blatant falsehood.

    The simplification can induce a serious error, and I explain this as follows.

    The GHGs can become excited and de-excited by collisions that exchange energy (i.e. heat) with other molecules.

    If the only heating of the atmosphere is IR absorbtion by GHGs then the effect of the collisional exchange will be to transfer energy from GHGs to other gases.
    But if the other gases are strongly heated by other effects then an effect of the collisional exchange will be to transfer energy from the other gases to GHGs.

    And the other gases are heated by effects other than IR. Importantly, latent heat is released by condensation that forms clouds. Some of this heat is collisionally provided to GHGs.

    But GHGs can de-excite by emitting energy as radiation. This radiated energy is emitted in random directions so half of it goes upwards. Hence, at altitude the presence of GHGs assists the atmosphere to lose energy spaceward when that energy has been carried aloft by convection (not by radiation).

    Simply,
    1.
    non-GHG gases radiate little energy compared to GHG gases
    2.
    but all gas molecules can carry heat
    3.
    that can be conveyed to GHG molecules by collisions
    4.
    so the GHG molecules can enable increase to radiation of energy conveyed by non-GHG gases.

    Hence, not all gases are GHGs but all gases can transport heat aloft so GHGs can radiate more heat to space from high altitudes in the atmosphere.

    The common error is to assume that the effect of energy transported in non-GHG gases is negligible when considering IR emission from the atmosphere. The effect is not negligible because the energy can be provided to GHG molecules by collisions.

    I hope this is clear and addresses the point you were asking.

    Richard


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    Roy Hogue

    Humbug,

    Indictment seems a long way off if ever. His fraud is blatantly obvious but I doubt that a comprehensive and completely objective investigation will ever happen. Look at the Mann whitewash. NASA is somehow almost sacred.

    I guess we are a couple of old farts but the funny thing is this — in most organizations the senior people are those with the most experience and they’re looked to for leadership and advice. But in society being senior just means, you poor old man, you can’t afford to buy a movie ticket unless I give you a discount. How bass ackward can you get?

    Since the young know it all and we know nothing, why in the world are we wasting our hard earned money trying to educate them? Go figure!


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    JLKrueger @ 111: The GISS code is absolute spaghetti.

    That is an understatement. I followed your link. The horror described was the effect of only ONE of the tens to hundreds of thousands of lines of code. It “only” caused a small amount of pseudo warming as the result of one badly formed expression. The expression would be evaluated differently depending upon which version of the compiler was used. The question arises as to how many other such badly formed expressions are there in the code?

    The history of software development is filled with consequences of bad code and even worse documentation. Its usually caused by sloppy programmers, pushy management, irrational demands of customers, tight budgets, unrealistically tight schedules, and abysmal to non-existent planning. Even if none of these factors exist, bad code happens. The more code you have, the more likely it contains bad code. Yet the consequences of software defects are deadly serious in terms of time, money, and lives.

    For a story about what it takes to write software without errors see: They Write the Right Stuff.

    Consider these stats : the last three versions of the program — each 420,000 lines long-had just one error each. The last 11 versions of this software had a total of 17 errors. Commercial programs of equivalent complexity would have 5,000 errors.

    The code done by the climate scientists isn’t up to commercial grade let alone the quality required to guide the space shuttle. The Climate Gate Harry Read Me file demonstrates that point.

    Imagine, except for Climate Gate and the following disclosures, we would be well on our way to an unelected global government headed by the UN. They would be imposing micromanagement on every aspect of every living being on earth. They confiscating the bulk of the productive wealth and intellectual property of the developed world. All based upon pseudo science and reliance on software that likely contains hundreds of thousands of accidental and intentional coding errors. Its still not clear that they won’t get away with a large part of the scam.


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    Baa Humbug

    Richard S Courtney:
    February 28th, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Thankyou for your response, I appreciate it and yes it is much clearer to me. I had read your comment that GHG’s cool the atmosphere and this explanation makes it simpler for me to understand.

    And PLEASE, don’t apologise, it’s the case of MY FAILURE to explain myself, certainly not your failure to understand.
    Thankyou again


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    Baa Humbug

    Roy Hogue:
    February 28th, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Well said Roy.

    Around about the 80′s, “many old farts” were retired early and replaced by computer savvy pimply faced graduates. I use the following example when talking about this subject…

    In the “good old days” when a part in your gadget wore out, you’d take it to the “old man” wearing the grey dust coat at the warehouse. He’d look at it with his glasses raised up to his forehead and say “mmmm this is part number xyzjdash45″ and he’d get one for you from the back shelves.
    Now, you take the same worn out part to the warehouse, the pimply faced computer grad says..”I can’t see a part number, can’t help you.”

    I guess what I’m saying is, in the rush to retire experienced workers with cheaper computer graduates, we as a society lost alot of experience, never to be recovered. Sad really.


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    Richard S. Courtney to Baa Humbug, #122 to #103,

    Everything you say is spot on, but I think it still gives a very slightly distorted view, because many people will tend to take the statement that “GHGs assists the atmosphere to lose energy spaceward” (which is perfectly accurate) to an extreme, and then think that GHG’s cool the planet instead of warm it (and they could, if heat by convection is high enough).

    But there are also layers of the atmosphere above this that are not warmed by convection, and those (while more rarefied) also have GHGs which serve to radiate some of the energy back down again (and, yes, up into space).

    It’s all a balance of competing actions. The keys are:

    1) GHGs much more easily absorb and radiate electromagnetic energy than other gases (all objects can/do, but GHG are far more volatile in this respect).
    2) Energy is transported both up and down by both convection and radiation.
    3) It is the final, net, equilibrium balance of these processes (and inbound radiation) that establishes temperature, and that we care about understanding.

    But I’d certainly encourage everyone to study up on the physics and chemistry of thermodynamics, kinetic energy, degrees of freedom, etc. It’s a fascinating subject.

    To give Baa some more (to me very interesting) information:

    Oxygen and nitrogen, which make up most of the atmosphere, are molecules consisting of two atoms with a very firm bond. Then can move through space (translational energy) in three directions (x, y, z) and can rotate (rotational energy) in three directions, but one of those (if you picture the molecule as a dumbbell, that’s rotation around the axis in line with the dumbbell) requires so much speed to gain a noticeable amount of energy that it can be ignored. So these molecules have 5 degrees of freedom.

    GHGs like water and CO2 have more complex structures. Take water, with HOH arranged at an angle, like a boomerang. This has the same translational movement (x, y, z), and all three rotational degrees of freedom (x, y, z). It also has the ability to vibrate, in that the oxygen-hydrogen bonds are not strong enough to keep it from stretching and bending like a spring. H2O has more degrees of freedom. This is part of the magic of H2O.

    [It's actually even more complicated than this, because molecules can often vibrate in different ways and combinations, at different frequencies, and so there's a band of electromagnetic radiation that applies, rather than one specific, exact frequency that starts it vibrating.]

    Depending on the exact chemistry and qualities of the molecule, and the underlying mechanic (translational, rotational, vibrational), a photon of exactly the right energy can start a molecule moving a certain way… moving, spinning or vibrating. This is, of course, in addition to collisions between molecules, which can do the same thing in both directions (impart or remove motion, spin or vibration). At the same time, if they are already spinning/vibrating, they can emit photons of that same frequency and so lose that particular motion.

    So O2 and N2 are transparent to visible light and to low infrared radiation, because they can’t vibrate. They are really only opaque to far infrared radiation, which will cause them to spin, and so can only emit in that same band. This band has very low energy.

    CO2 and H2O are transparent to visible light, like O2 and N2, but they are opaque to various frequencies of infrared radiation, and it will start them vibrating. These bands (low infrared) are very generally common to all complex molecules (i.e. molecules with more than two atoms). This is why objects that are opaque to visible light will absorb energy, heat up, and then generally radiate it away in the low infrared.


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    JM

    Lionel: Words ARE important.

    Yes. But physical facts are more important (“I refute it thus”). Words expressed in an inexact language have huge semantic problems. I believe the study of these problems is called “philosophy” but it hasn’t added much to human knowledge since “natural philosophy” renamed itself “physics” and broke off about the time of Newton.

    You won’t refute science with mere words (unless you’re a Jesuit).

    There is no atmospheric greenhouse

    What?!?!?!?! No greenhouse? What are you breathing? Vacuum? Of course there’s a bloody greenhouse.

    and CO2 cannot and does not trap heat.

    Ok, for the sake of argument let me accept that (even though I have to reject all of atomic physics to do so.)

    Why not? Tell me. How and why can you overturn 19th and 20th century science? What will you replace it with?

    It is only the confluence of numerous rates of energy transfer that determines the temperature of the earth’s surface.

    You just contradicted yourself. This is a description of the greenhouse effect.


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    Roy Hogue

    Humbug,

    All too true! These days if the solution to something isn’t in someone’s “cookbook” of solutions you’re up the creek.

    I used to have several real hardware stores nearby and if I had some problem I could talk to someone and find the solution I needed. Now if it isn’t sold in a blister pack, too bad.

    I had to try three different places before I discovered the one where an “old guy” had the wisdom and foresight to keep a selection of not so commonly needed key blanks so I could get a key copied. Incredible!

    I suppose we shouldn’t keep on with this, but it’s so poignant in this day and age. We think much alike except that I can’t touch you for science background. In any case I’ve got to get on with my day.


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    JM

    “GHGs assists the atmosphere to lose energy spaceward” (which is perfectly accurate) to an extreme, and then think that GHG’s cool the planet instead of warm it (and they could, if heat by convection is high enough).

    What is this? Absurdity Central?

    Neither of those statements are accurate. GHC’s do *not* assist the atmosphere to lose energy spaceward?

    By definition they trap energy. That’s why they’re called greenhouse gases.

    And heat by convection? How do you transfer heat by convection into a vacuum? Space is a vacuum you know. Like old fashioned vacuum flasks that keep your coffee hot for the whole day?


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    Bah Humbug @ 120: You mean on it’s way back to space.

    What can I say but that you are right. My fingers and eyes pretended they knew more than my brain. My brain said “space” and my fingers typed “earth” and my eyes saw “space”. Then I hit send before I proofed the copy more than once.

    Thanks for catching the goof. Surprise!? I make mistakes. Most of the time they are big enough to catch before they go public. Especially, if I let the copy “cool” overnight. Oh well. Maybe next time….


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    Baa Humbug

    I came across a bunfight between worldclimatereport.com and BEN SANTER of Realclimate. It relates to the infamous paper by SANTER et al in nature 1996 which inspired the IPCC to claim in it’s SAR “a discernable human influence on global climate.”

    I posted the following at RealClimate, but I doubt it’ll get past the censors.

    Isn’t this kerfuffel all about the SANTER Wigley Jones et al nature paper? (Vol.382, 4 July 1996, p.39-46) “A Search For Human Influences On The Thermal Structure Of The Atmosphere”.

    Didn’t this paper inspire the IPCC 1995 report chap 8 to state the now infamous “a discernable Human influence on Global climate”?

    Did you not use radio sonde data from 1963 to 1987 that showed close to a 1degC of warming?

    However, when the full available time period of radio sonde data is used (Nature, vol.384, 12 Dec 96, p522) from 1958-1996, isn’t the warming shown in your paper just a product of the dates you had chosen?

    Your arrogant dishonesty is palpable.
    And I bet you’ll censor this. But that’s ok, I’ll post it at half a dozen other sites with SANTER in capitals and bolding.

    see the 2 relevant graphs HERE http://www.john-daly.com/sonde.htm


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    Richard S Courtney

    Spaerica:

    Thankyou for your contribution. Yes, I agree all you say and consider it to be helpful clarification of my point.

    Again, I appreciate your rational expostions of the ‘warmist’ viewpoint. The value of your comments is enhanced by comparison with the absurd assrtions of JM on another thread and the plain daft statements he makes at #130 where he says;

    GHC’s do *not* assist the atmosphere to lose energy spaceward?

    By definition they trap energy. That’s why they’re called greenhouse gases.

    These statements are so wrong that they only merit ridicule. How does he think radiation emitted from GHG molecules at altitude are prevented from travelling spaceward? And how does he think GHGs “trap energy” (I suspect he has never heard of vibrational and rotational excitations)?

    Richard


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    Baa Humbug

    JM:
    February 28th, 2010 at 3:41 am

    My friend I wouldn’t go there if I were you unless you have a couple of hours to spare. Check out the thread “Confused? You might BE a psychologist” from December the 15th. There you’ll read Lionells reasons why the “WORD” greenhouse should not be used.
    Hope this helps


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    JM

    Lionel: The expression would be evaluated differently depending upon which version of the compiler was used.

    Somehow I doubt that given the record of the gnu people. Could you tell me what expression you’re talking about, and which 2 versions of the compiler would evaluate it differently?


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    Baa Humbug

    Thankyou Sphaerica, not only do I find this subject interesting, I think it’s fascinating :)


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    JM @ 128:

    Me: There is no atmospheric greenhouse

    JM: What?!?!?!?! No greenhouse? What are you breathing? Vacuum? Of course there’s a bloody greenhouse.

    Where is the glass or plastic roof in the atmosphere? The use of “greenhouse” for the atmospheric energy transfer effect is a very misleading and misapplied metaphor. There is no constraint on atmospheric convection except by the fact of H2O phase change and a consequential non-linear temperature laps rate.

    Me: and CO2 cannot and does not trap heat.

    JM: Why not? Tell me. How and why can you overturn 19th and 20th century science? What will you replace it with?

    If heat is trapped, it cannot escape. Heat is escaping into space all the time by being transformed into IR photons and radiated. It is NOT trapped.

    The energy received from the sun is only delayed in its escape from earth. Turn off the source of energy (the sun) and the earth WILL cool! This last effect is to be observed every day/night cycle. The rate of loss is modified by many factors however, a glass ceiling is not one of them.

    This analysis is from 19th and 20th century science applied IN CONTEXT of the global system and not a limited, totally out of context view of a misleading metaphor of an atmospheric greenhouse.


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    JM @ 130: And heat by convection? How do you transfer heat by convection into a vacuum? Space is a vacuum you know. Like old fashioned vacuum flasks that keep your coffee hot for the whole day?

    A vacuum flask works by seriously reducing the transfer of heat by convection (the stopper), by conduction (the very limited area exposed to the atmosphere, and by radiation (a silvered vacuum chamber).

    The atmosphere has no such limitation. The area exposed to space is larger than the surface of the earth. At the top of the major portion of atmospheric convection, there is no stopper nor silvered layer to reflect IR photons. The latent heat of condensation is converted to IR photons and largely radiated into space. Clearly, the atmosphere is NOT modeled by an old fashion vacuum flask.

    If you are going to use a metaphor or analogy, use one that matches the facts in full context of realty rather than your fantasy.


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    JM @ 135: Look at the referenced link @ 111. It gives the full details.

    Having extensively used four flavors of Fortran, more than I care to count other programming languages, and have written several compilers and interpreters since the early days of computers (ca 1965), I find his discussion to be quite realistic, unsurprising, and valid. The issues he brings up will have serious impact upon any computerized process. Especially one that purports to justify the establishment of unaccountable global government and the confiscation and transfer of global wealth and intellectual property.

    I am neither your intellectual therapist nor systems engineering teacher. At least not a paid one. Hence, I expect you to make at least a minimal effort to become informed. Do your own work for a change.


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    Baa Humbug

    Radiative impacts of clouds in the tropical tropopause layer

    Qiong Yang

    Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

    Qiang Fu

    Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

    Yongxiang Hu

    NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA

    We quantify the seasonal and spatial variations of cloud radiative impacts in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) by using cloud retrievals from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO), International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and CloudSat. Over the convective regions including Western Pacific, Africa, South America, and South Asia, we find pronounced solar heating and infrared cooling in the lower part of the TTL (<∼16 km). The solar heating weakens above 16 km and nearly diminishes at 18 km, whereas the infrared cooling extends vertically throughout the TTL. The net cloud radiative forcing, which is the summation of cloud solar and infrared radiative forcing, has heating below ∼16 km and turns to mostly cooling above 17 km. The net cloud radiative heating over the convective regions is mainly contributed from solar radiation, whereas the weak net cloud radiative heating surrounding these regions is due to infrared heating. To further examine the impacts of different cloud types in the TTL, we classified TTL clouds in terms of cloud optical depths (τ) as thin cirrus (τ < 0.3), thick cirrus (0.3 ≤ τ < 3), and opaque clouds (τ ≥ 3). In the solar part, thin and thick cirrus play a relatively small role and the impact of cloud-free air above clouds is negligible. The solar heating is dominantly contributed from the solar absorption near the top of opaque clouds. In the infrared part, the thick cirrus heating is mainly confined over the convective regions in the lower part of TTL while the thin cirrus infrared heating is more prevalent both vertically and horizontally in the TTL, which is the dominant infrared heating source. The infrared cooling in cloud-free air above clouds is dominant above 17 km, whereas the infrared cooling near the top of opaque clouds is dominant below. Despite the infrared heating effects of thin and thick cirrus clouds, the infrared cooling from the opaque cloud top and cloud-free air above clouds outweighs the heating effects so that the ensemble mean cloud infrared radiative forcing is mostly cooling except outside the convective regions.


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    Roy Hogue

    For a story about what it takes to write software without errors see: They Write the Right Stuff.

    Lionell @124,

    Now we have cars running on software. Very scary! When the Prius first appeared I did some research and found that no less than 10 computers are used to run the thing. At first there were reports of engines stopping when they shouldn’t. But now its sudden acceleration the driver can’t control. I can’t tell if it’s with hybrids or not but it’s a good guess because standard engine designs don’t need electronically controlled throttles. I’ll bet anything that all that code is not subject to the rigorous standards of design and testing that the FDA requires of code running medical devices but it damn well should be. Certain failures could easily kill.

    As for FORTRAN, it’s a language that encourages spaghetti code. If there ever was a language that should be thrown out its FORTRAN.


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    Roy Hogue

    Humbug,

    You and I have at least one thing going for us, not that it’s limited to old guys. I’ll say it politely and you can read what you think I mean — we know our elbow from a hot rock!


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    Roy,
    Standard engine designs don’t NEED electronic throttles but they are very common now. They have certain advantages. For example with an automatic transmission when you are accelerating hard the upshift can be quite noticeable. With electronics the throttle is momentarily backed off as the gearbox is about to shift and the shift is very smooth.

    What these cars need is a big red dome switch that instantly cuts off the fuel to the engine. These are common in industrial machinery.


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    JM

    Lionel: “JM @ 135: Look at the referenced link @ 111. It gives the full details.”

    I did. I couldn’t find what you were talking about at @124 as the link is far too general to track down the source of your specific comment:

    The horror described was the effect of only ONE of the tens to hundreds of thousands of lines of code.

    That’s why I asked you.


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    Roy Hogue

    Mike,

    I’m surprised. I’ve driven “a few” automatic tranies and they always adjust the hydraulic pressure to suit the situation. I never feel anything out of line when they shift.

    The fuel cutoff switch is a good idea, but won’t help in the hybrid case because they can keep going on the battery. Might do a lot of damage according to Toyota if the engine was stopped at high speed though. And after studying what I could find about their Hybrid Synergy drive system (I think that’s what they call it) I can see why. Motor/generator 2 would go over speed if the engine is not running at high enough RPM.

    Needless to say, one way or the other I’m not impressed with committing my safety to so much software when I know it really doesn’t need to be there to give me a useful automobile. I’d like nothing better than to get the 50 MPG that Toyota boasts about from the latest Prius. But no way!


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    Louis Hissink

    Rereke Whaakaro: #22

    A couple of years back found me browsing in the University Cooperative Bookshop in Ultimo, Sydney and I looked at the latest physics textbooks – basically lots of pictures and very little “written” material – in complete contrast to the texts (which I still have) such as Ference, Lemon and Stephenson, etc, that were massive tomes of well written descriptions.

    The impression I get is that science has been dumbed down in schools to the lowest common denominator – and possibly the reason why it’s in trouble now. The left have had 30 years to engineer this and now we are reaping their fruits.


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    Louis Hissink

    Roy Hogue #145

    Roy, WHat about the cruise controls being accidentally switched on – unexpected acceleration suggests to me that the cruise control might have been part of the problem.

    There is the standard joke about the person who switched on the cruise control in their Winnebago, then wandered off to the back to make a cup of coffee. I suspect it has some basis in reality, so I wonder how many of the issues can be traced to this scenario. Remember lefties have an inbuilt aversion to admitting personal fault, so it’s always someone else’s fault.


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    JM

    Lionel: If you are going to use a metaphor or analogy

    My description was accurate however, yours is gibberish.

    If you’re going to redefine words like ‘convection’ to mean whatever the hell you like, don’t complain if other people don’t understand you.

    And especially don’t get pedantic about other peoples language.


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    JM,

    OK. I will hold your hand and lead you through it this one time.

    Apparently you don’t understand how to use hypertext systems. To read the entire body of work, FOLLOW the links!

    Did you follow the link: E.M. Smith? Then follow the link: GIStemp F to C convert issues?

    In it is:

    The code in question is very short:

    if(temp.gt.-99.00) itemp(m)=nint( 50.*(temp-32.)/9 )

    This is a mixed mode calculation who’s precedence of operations is not well defined between Fortran compilers. Its also very far from even good practice let alone best practice. At best it is sloppy programming done by an unthinking programmer who doesn’t understand or care that an extra bit added here or dropped there adds up after many thousands to millions of calculation cycles.

    Remember, this is from a simulation that has been used as the source of the AGW alarmists demand for UN lead totally unaccountable world government, the micromanagement of the lives of everyone alive, and the confiscation of the developed world’s wealth and intellectual property for redistribution by the UN.

    Like I said, I am not your intellectual therapist nor your software engineering teacher. Do your own work for a change!


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    JM

    No Lionel. I asked you to point me to the particular expression – ie. part of only one line of code – you were referring to when you claimed each version of the Fortran compiler would compile it differently.

    SInce there are thousands of lines and expressions in this code, you’re asking me to guess what you’re talking about.

    Could you do so please? What file, what line? Or should I conclude that you don’t really know what you’re talking about?


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    Bernd Felsche

    Lionell reminds me that there’s another thing that irks about the climate models:

    They use relative temperature scales; i.e. Celsius/Centigrade/Fahrenheit instead of converting the raw measurement data to theromodynamic absolute Kelvin at input.

    Engineering/scientific software should do all calculations in base units. Input and output in whatever scale of the base is convenient but convert (normalise) inputs to base (Kelvin, kg, metres, seconds, radians, …) before any processing. Then re-scale output if required. It is very easy to slip up and to forget that the common constants are also not usually published in base units; e.g. specific heats or expansion coefficients.

    Use of base units for calculations avoids ugly scale factors polluting the formulae, making for easier de-bugging and audits.

    Most importantly; when working with normalised quantities; one avoids inadvertantly adding factors in e.g MJ to those in kJ; which occurs when computing energy balances based on separately-computed factors.


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    JM @ 150,

    I held your hand, gave you the chain of links, quoted the specific line of code, explained why its a serious error, and still you refuse to read and understand. I have done all I am willing to do.

    Its not my purpose in life to teach you how to read nor to understand the internals of compilers and computers nor how improperly structured mixed mode expressions can go very wrong very fast. Figure it out for yourself.

    End of discussion.


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    Tel

    if(temp.gt.-99.00) itemp(m)=nint( 50.*(temp-32.)/9 )

    There’s a danger in the nint() function with FORTRAN standard being always roundoff halves away from zero. Common IEEE implementations always roundoff halves to nearest even and a given CPU may implement one or both of these at the hardware level. Compilers may take liberties with this detail depending on which optimisations are switched on, which libraries you have loaded, etc.

    If nint() operates in it’s FORTRAN standard manner there will be statistically less temperatures of 0 degrees C, but if this compiler happens to be using IEEE standard then there will be statistically less temperatures ending with odd digits.

    For what it’s worth, the C language has an even richer and more confusing set of roundoff functions.

    They use relative temperature scales; i.e. Celsius/Centigrade/Fahrenheit instead of converting the raw measurement data to theromodynamic absolute Kelvin at input.

    Using Kelvin has the advantage that there is no need to worry about the negatives being rounded in a different direction to the positives. It also has the advantage that temperatures in Kelvin are recognisable at a glance whereas
    Centigrade / Fahrenheit often look a bit similar opening the door to human errors such as double-conversion.


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    JM

    Thanks Lionel, your comment @149 crossed with mine @150

    I’ve reviewed that page and I don’t think Smith knows what he’s talking about (and I have my doubts about your views)

    Let’s start with Smith:

    He notes that there are two ways to resolve the precedence and rounding “issue” in that expression, and proposes an alternative that he thinks is better, saying of the Goddard programmer:


    The only odd bit is that there is a “factor of ten” multiplied in so that the 1/10 C place can be put in an integer with an implied decimal point. (One wonders why not just make it a high precision floating point number, but asking “why some programmer does something” too much is not good for your sanity…)

    Well speaking as a physics geek I can tell you why Goddard do it the way they do:- the conventions of physics say they can only use 1 decimal place because that is the limit of the accuracy of the observations. If you claim (or use) any more – such as by using a high-precision floating point number – you are introducing false precision and coming up with false results.

    This is a serious issue, you can easily fail high school physics if you don’t understand this.

    (Note also that the fortran nint function applies the correct rounding conversion to the result.)

    So Goddard are doing precisely the right thing. It is Smith who is doing it wrong.

    So what does he then do? He alters the code to do it his way, ie. the wrong way, and then complains that he gets different results.

    WTF? Of course he gets different results. He’s doing it differently – the wrong way.

    And then when he checks with different compilers he is using his code not Goddards.

    (Couple of Incidental points.

    i. Fortran doesn’t do “promotion” of integers to floating point. Integer promotion is not part of the Fortran standard.
    ii. Although Smith talks about “casting”, Fortran doesn’t do casting either.

    He’s getting confused with C which does both.)

    Now your point about the precedence of operators in Fortran. This is well defined by the standard, the relevant ones in this case are * and /. They have the same precedence and are evaluated left to right.

    So there’s nothing wrong with the expression:

    itemp(m)=nint( 50.*(temp-32.)/9 )

    a. temp-32. is done first (it’s inside parentheses)
    b. then the 50.* is done
    c. then the /9 is done

    So what’s wrong with what Smith does?

    ftoc = 50./9.
    ttemp(m)=nint(ftoc*(temp-32.) )

    1. He calculates 50./9. first and leaves it as floating point, which as I explained above he shouldn’t do
    2. He then rounds using the spurious precision built in by step 1

    Lastly, he claims to have used both Fortran 77 and Fortran 95. Unfortunately he doesn’t say what platform he’s using. But Goddard apparently use Fortran 90, something different.

    So in summary; Smith is taking code, altering it (incorrectly) and then whinging about getting different results. I think all he’s done is diagnose the faults in his own setup.

    In any case, all of this is a bit silly – errors of this type will be randomly distributed positively and negatively and come out even in the end.


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    JM,

    I said I am done with this “conversation”.


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    Tel

    i. Fortran doesn’t do “promotion” of integers to floating point. Integer promotion is not part of the Fortran standard.
    ii. Although Smith talks about “casting”, Fortran doesn’t do casting either.

    Those things still happen even when the language does not strictly specify them. Nearly all modern CPUs have integer ALUs and floating-point ALUs but no hybrid ALUs. Thus if you want to multiply a floating point by an integer you must either promote the integer or cast the floating point — those are the only choices the CPU can accept.

    In FORTRAN this sort of stuff is left for the compiler to worry about, in C it is explicitly described to ensure uniform compiler behaviour.

    Now your point about the precedence of operators in Fortran. This is well defined by the standard, the relevant ones in this case are * and /. They have the same precedence and are evaluated left to right.

    Except that some vendors happen to disagree. This quote is from:

    http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/languages/fortran/ct-5.html

    Compilers often have a choice between left-to-right expression evaluation,observing parentheses, and re-ordering in the hope of getting more useof multiply-add chaining, common sub-expressions, or instruction level parallelism. Sometimes these are tied in with loop renesting, which is unfortunate, particularly when it is not possible to get loop optimizations without allowing disregard of parentheses. When there is a re-ordering option, the default should observe parentheses, in this author’s opinion. A diagnostic could be issued suggesting a re-arrangement, without actually doing it, so that the programmer’s intent is not violated silently.

    This is one of a large number of optimisation options which can be toggled.

    The same source discusses the nint() operation:

    IEEE vs FORTRAN Rounding

    Modern architectures allow considerably faster execution of IEEE style rounding rather than FORTRAN style for functions such as NINT() and ANINT(). In most situations, the IEEE style is at least as useful. The primary difference is in the rounding of numbers such as +- .5, 2.5, 4.5… where FORTRAN dictates rounding away from 0. A fast implementation of ANINT() may roundX to even for X > 1/EPSILON(1d0). Ideally, a compiler will allow a selection option here which is not tied to other options. The Intel processors give an extreme example, requiring the compiler to insert rounding mode changes to implement either INT() or NINT(), at great cost in performance compared to the IEEE style rounding.

    I’ll also point out that for GNU gcc-3.4.6 the g77 documentation of nint() explicitly promises: A fractional portion exactly equal to `.5′ is rounded to the whole number that is larger in magnitude. (Also called “Fortran round”.)

    The later version GNU gcc-4.2.4 no longer makes this promise, suggesting that they made some speed vs formality trade offs there (but I have not tested those exact versions, just noticed the documentation changed).


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    JM

    Lionel: I said I am done with this “conversation”.

    That’s because you’re not interested in a conversation, or even a rational discussion. You’d rather just bake in the reflection of your own delusions, when you can find people willing to provide you with the reflection.


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    JM

    Tel: Those things still happen even when the language does not strictly specify them.

    That’s a reasonable comment, but even without strict specification the Fortran specification is quite clear on how these issues should be handled to resolve the execution “issues”. And the resolution is different from that in C.

    The fact is that Smith’s description smacks of a C perspective and I think it indicates that he doesn’t quite understand it fully.

    ALU’s have little to do with it. The compiler either compiles the source to executable code in accordance with the standard or it doesn’t. The mapping to the underlying hardware is simply a discussion about efficiency, not semantics (meaning and correctness for us unwashed) which is what Smith is alleging. The very objective of standards for compiled languages is to get rid of these sorts of “issues”. A standards compliant compiler is supposed to reduce source code to executable code that gives the same result regardless. If it doesn’t, the fault is with the compiler (it isn’t standards compliant) or perhaps the standard (it isn’t tight enough).

    I think you’re over-interpreting the comment from Ibiblio. All they’re saying is that aggressive optimizations in compilers can change the meaning of source code statements. That’s a commonplace statement of no particular interest.

    They then go on and say that if compilers offer aggressive optimizations they should not be the default but offered purely as explicit options. That’s also a commonplace.

    Lastly they insist that developers validate their code first with a test suite run with optimizations off, and only then see if they get the same results with aggressive optimization.

    That’s only good sense. And also a very common-place argument.

    Your comment regarding nint() I also agree with. (BTW- thanks for the comment regarding gcc-4.2.4. I hadn’t realized that had happened.)

    However, my description of “fortran rounding” is correct. “Fortran rounding” describes the scientific convention used in physics. One of the controversies surrounding IEEE 25 years ago when Intel started pushing it ago was this very issue.

    This is really a storm-in-a-teacup issue (or rather a slight-eddy-in-my-coffee). What Smith is alleging is that minor specification problems in Fortran when combined with his inability to port GISStemp (a feat which has been acheived by other people), amount to a major scientific scandal.

    Pfufff! I don’t think so.


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    JM

    Oh, and sorry I should make this clear. I think those “minor specification problems” are not problems with the Fortran standard but rather that Smith clearly hasn’t read it, or doesn’t understand it.


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    Roy Hogue

    Roy, WHat about the cruise controls being accidentally switched on – unexpected acceleration suggests to me that the cruise control might have been part of the problem.

    Louis,

    I suspect that it not only could happen but probably has. However cruise control would cut out on application of the break. I’m the kind of guy who wants to know what’s going on inside of things and I’ve bothered to get the shop manuals on what I drive. There have always been two failsafe systems so that if the break is applied and cruise control is active there’s a really low probability that it would not shut off.

    I’m still guessing that the problem is with hybrids — just too much software there — but who knows for sure? No one bothers to report more than the manufacturer’s name as far as I’ve seen.


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    Tel

    That’s a reasonable comment, but even without strict specification the Fortran specification is quite clear on how these issues should be handled to resolve the execution “issues”. And the resolution is different from that in C.

    As far as I’ve been able to search (although I’m not about to rush out and purchase a genuine ANSI specification) the Fortran standard only specifies that a real divided by an integer must give a real answer. This is exactly the same in C. I’ll admit that I don’t write in Fortran, only use it to compile existing libraries.

    However, the C languages specifies that the integer must be promoted to a real before the calculation (i.e. must use floating point ALU), while Fortran implies this process but opens the door to anything else the compiler might consider workable. Since mixed mode ALUs don’t exist, the Fortran compiler has only limited choices anyway, and in practice probably does it same as C for 99% of the time.

    I’ll agree that there are bigger problems with the AGW datasets than just a few roundoff errors, however there is a general sloppy approach to programming that pervades all of the leaked code we have seen from the CRU. I would argue that both mixed mode expressions and roundoff of intermediate values within a larger calculation are generally to be discouraged. Using fixed point storage formats is also to be discouraged unless there is a good reason for it (e.g. embedded CPU that is structured toward fixed point ALU, or financial accounting where keeping everything in cents is a logical storage system throughout).


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    Bernd Felsche

    JM @ 161

    Well speaking as a physics geek I can tell you why Goddard do it the way they do:- the conventions of physics say they can only use 1 decimal place because that is the limit of the accuracy of the observations. If you claim (or use) any more – such as by using a high-precision floating point number – you are introducing false precision and coming up with false results.

    There are a couple of problem with that statement, even though its spirit is correct.

    The first problem is that it’s not 1 decimal place that’s the limit of observation. On a graticule or graduated scale, the resolution of the reading is +/-one half of the division on the scale if the observer is careful to avoid parallax errors. Modern instrumentation usually offers a digital display, and the figures displayed tend to represent the resolution; but one must be careful to readthe equipment manual!

    The second issue is that once you have observed the measurement to within the equipment’s resolution, one has to deal with accuracy. Never assume that instrument’s accuracy is the same as the resolution of the reading. Never assume that the accuracy is better than the resolution; which is what one does by simply taking the reading and using that as the accurate measure.

    Instruments have, like everything in nature, non-linearities. The error in the instrument will vary with the magnitude of measurement as well as other environmental conditions. e.g. even gravitational variation over the surface of the globe are significant (IIRC) at three significant digits when measuring weight. Device calibration at the place and around the time, to a known reference is vital. And don’t rely on the reference being accurate under those consitions.

    In summary; resolution is not accuracy.

    The third point is that it is necessary to carry even low-resolution data at pretty high levels of precision throughout computer code; simply to avoid rounding errors accummulating and introducing a false signal. Always keep in mind how things were measured, so attributing greater precision to the results than was in the source data needs to be dealt with very carefully.

    Getting greater precision from computation than was available in the raw data requires statistical methods revolving around replication; repeated (independent) experiments and measurements. Lots of them for statistically-valid results in which one can have better than 99% confidence.


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    JM

    Bernd, I agree with your description of significant figures, but Goddard are dealing with input data quoted to one decimal place.

    Some of it is modern and can be quoted in units down to .1, some of it is quite old and wasn’t measured as accurately. They can’t be responsible for the source measurements, they can only deal with what they’re given and so they have code that handles 1 decimal place.

    Don’t see any problem with that. What would you have them do? Truncate their inputs?

    Tel: Using fixed point storage formats is also to be discouraged unless there is a good reason for it

    I think I’ve explained that there is a good reason for it.


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    JM

    Tel, the rest of your comment makes for a geeky discussion, but I think Smith is going overboard when he says that a Fortran compiler can’t compile x*y/z correctly.


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    Louis Hissink

    George

    Apologies for not replying to your previous comments – I’ve just discovered a neat searching tool in Google Chrome which allows me to quickly track specific commentators rather than scrolling through posts to search for my own posts for example.

    The issue of flat bottomed clouds came about from considering their appearance not so much at a particular isotherm but perhaps as an accumulation of suspended droplets at a Lamngmuire sheaf or plasma double layer boundary. There is a direct electrical connection via charge buildup resulting in lightning, but in the standard model they have the clouds forming first, then followed by the charge buildup.

    I was leading into the idea that perhaps it’s the other way round – that clouds form where they do because of a preexisting electrical boundary (invisible since we are dealing with dark current mode plasma behaviour).

    I expect the earth’s ambient electric field to increase under cloud cover from its quiescent level of 100 volts per vertical metre.

    In terms of the thread topic, the correlation of increased solar magnetic field and warmer temperatures is simply an increase in the electric current density powering the Sun and the solar system – magnetic fields are formed by electric currents. Does that mean I reject the nuclear fusion solar energy source? Yes, it’s not a process observed operating in nature, though there are ideas it might be possible to create such a process in the lab, and they have been trying for at least 50 years with no success using magnetic bottles etc. If you think of the solar system as an enormous electrical system then the observed temperature anomalies are easily explained.

    However if you ignore the electrical factor then all sorts of “unusual” explanations need to be considered, CO2 being one of them.


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    JM

    Does that mean I reject the nuclear fusion solar energy source? Yes …

    This is insane.

    Explain hydrogen bombs and neutrinos from the sun then? And BTW, don’t use old sources, the “solar neutrino problem” has been resolved. The number of neutrinos observed from the sun is exactly the correct amount.


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    For those who are interested, here is an update to year 2008 of my studies of the very interesting mean annual negative anomaly of all 12 Great Southern Ocean CO2 surface sites BELOW the overall global mean CO2 level. The annual anomalies are calculated from the 12 monthly anomalies. I have also shown the similar negative anomaly for the mean annual CO2 levels at the Easter Island site and the positive anomaly of the Mauna Loa site (MLO).

    http://jump.fm/VTMIO

    For those who are interested in the anomalies of the global distribution of surface CO2 (and why), these studies relate to my baseline April 2009 article in the Niche Modeling blog.

    http://landshape.org/enm/oceanic-cayanobacteria-in-the-modern-global-cycle/

    All the data I use can easily be found at:

    http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/cgi-bin/wdcgg/catalogue.cgi

    or at:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/

    I have been monitoring the ‘adjustments’ made over the last few years to the NOAA world global mean CO2, to the monthly and annual mean CO2 levels at Mauna Loa site (MLO) and at many other sites.

    Consequently, for the record, I cannot find any grounds whatsoever for the assertions made by Derek at post #68 and suggest they are probably mostly based on his technical unfamiliarity with gas analysis methodologies. I personally do not have the time to go into those minor issues in depth.


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    Louis Hissink

    JM #173

    So point to a working, fusion reaction process on earth that produces energy.


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    george

    Louis

    I would like to stress that I have provided input from a layman`s perspective as a retired air traffic controller (your Newman-Perth flight would have been handled by a couple of people a few consoles away from where I used to sit!) – significant met effects overview muchly required by definition due to the nature of the job but I am no meteorological research scientist.

    Your statement “…the earth`s ambient electric field to increase under cloud cover…” is possibly in conformance with the accepted “science” of thunderstorm cause-and-effect where the ultimate manifestation of extended convective cloud (ie convection-related formation of Cumulus leading to Towering Cumulus leading to Cumulonimbus) is electrical discharge observed as lightning, HOWEVER the current explanation (H2O particle collisions in all their states generating electrical charge within the cloud formation in relation to surrounding air/ground) is somewhat removed from your hypothesis of a plasma layer boundary.

    FWIW – just sayin`…

    Cheers g.


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    Tel

    So point to a working, fusion reaction process on earth that produces energy.

    What do you think drives an H-bomb ?


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    Tel

    There’s a basic outline on handling sig figs from a university physics course:

    http://www.rpi.edu/dept/phys/Courses/phys1/homework.htm

    Another area of difficulty you may encounter is accuracy lost due to premature rounding of intermediate values that you calculate on your way to the final answer. If you have a calculator that allows you to store numbers in memory, a good strategy is to keep all intermediate calculations to full precision and then round the final answer to the correct number of significant digits.


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    Louis Hissink

    Tel, #177

    OK, where can I buy one to power my house for years on end? And which in situ experiments can we look at to verify that fusion is the mechanism operating in the sun?


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    Louis Hissink

    George #176

    “HOWEVER the current explanation (H2O particle collisions in all their states generating electrical charge within the cloud formation in relation to surrounding air/ground) is somewhat removed from your hypothesis of a plasma layer boundary.”

    Any experimental evidence that this actually occurs? This statement implies that Brownian motion causes electrical charges. The plasma model inverts it, and proposes that the presence of charge separation at a DL layer causes water to coalesce.

    Appreciate your thoughts on this, and back to work :-) for me.


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    Baa Humbug

    I’ll get this image thingy right if it kills me.
    here is an interesting graph.

    If that didn’t work, LINK HERE


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    Roy Hogue

    There’s a basic outline on handling sig figs from a university physics course:

    Tel,

    Amen! It’s exactly the right practice. Some colleagues have been a little critical that I’ve calculated some constant values out to their full double precision floating point precision using the equation that generates them and plugged those values into the program rather than using a value rounded to two or 3 decimal places. But over a long string of calculations the missing precision can make a difference. If I then round to two or three decimal places for display I’m confident that I’ve not introduced any avoidable error. Having only finite precision can be a problem but at the least you should take advantage of all the precision you do have.


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    JM

    Roy: Having only finite precision can be a problem but at the least you should take advantage of all the precision you do have

    The precision is illusory. Floating point is not precise.

    Get a calculator, divide 10 by 9, and get 1.1111111……

    Now multiply that by 9, what’s the answer? Is it 10?

    No It’s 9.99999999

    That’s because 10 cannot be accurately represented in a binary register and you lost some information when the operators where applied.

    This is what happened:- you got spurious “extra” precision (aka extra bits), that were then dropped.

    Don’t use a financial calculator, use a normal or a scientific one. Some financial calculators such as my HP12C can be set up to work internally with fixed point. This is the same approach that Goddard have taken. Since they have limited precision input data, they have chosen to operate on it with no more precision than it deserves.

    And their approach preserves accuracy. Using high precision floating point throughout has its own dangers and can mess you up pretty quickly.

    Short answer:- the idea that a Fortran compiler (or even interpreted Basic for that matter) can’t handle x*y/z is risible.


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    Tel

    OK, where can I buy one to power my house for years on end? And which in situ experiments can we look at to verify that fusion is the mechanism operating in the sun?

    Sorry Louis, the military of the world are not about to let you buy a fusion device ever, under any circumstance, regardless of how well intentioned your reasons may be. This has nothing to do with Engineering or Physics, and everything to do with military paranoia.

    From an engineering standpoint, the problem with civilian fusion power is not a problem with energy delivery but a problem with containment and small scale operation. If you destroy the city you are trying to power, you are going to be up against some public relations issues right there.


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    Tel

    Get a calculator, divide 10 by 9, and get 1.1111111……

    Now multiply that by 9, what’s the answer? Is it 10?

    No It’s 9.99999999

    And the error in your result is one part per billion. The error caused by a single nint() operation in the above code will be somewhere between zero and one part in 250 (typical temp of 25 deg C), but we know that over a sufficient span of numbers it will average to about one part in 500 presuming the roundoff error has no particular bias.

    So which error is preferable, one part per billion, or one part in 500 ?

    And yes, for operations such as calculating the mean, we reduce the error again by the central limit theorem with is square root of number of samples — no chance of getting it back to one part per billion.

    #include
    #include

    int main( int argc, char *argv[])
    {
    double a, b, c;

    a = strtod( argv[ 1 ], 0 );
    b = a / 9;
    c = b * 9;
    printf( “%.20f %.20f %.20f\n”, a, b, c );
    }

    If you compile from the above and run “./a.out 10″ you get:

    10.00000000000000000000 1.11111111111111116045 10.00000000000000000000

    So even when it is not actually possible to represent the middle number correctly, the answer still comes out right. Egats, something for nothing! In i386 assembler:

    call __strtod_internal
    movl $.LC1, (%esp)
    flds .LC0
    fld %st(1)
    fdiv %st(1), %st
    fmul %st, %st(1)
    fxch %st(1)
    fstpl 20(%esp)
    fstpl 12(%esp)
    fstpl 4(%esp)
    call printf

    Note that the intermediate value “b” stays in the floating point ALU register (80 bits wide) during the multiply and divide operations, the “fstpl” includes an automatic roundoff from 80 bit ALU registers to ordinary 64 bit doubles, thus automatically fixing your 10/9 problem. Whacko the chook, something for nothing!


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    Chiefsfan73

    Excellent, but how will govts tax this. I think we need to stick with the CO2 is evil mantra, so the govts can tax the crap out of us


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    Joe Veragio

    Nope, it was carbon what done it, according to the latest report from the UK Met Office:-

    The only plausible explanation is that changes are happening as a result of human activity, including man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

    and what’s more :-

    “The science reveals a consistent picture of global change that clearly bears the fingerprint of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

    So what fingerprint could that be then ?

    “Recent advances in observational data and the way it is analysed give us a better insight into the climate system than ever before. This has allowed us to identify changes in our climate and disentangle natural variability from the results.

    Could this be anything more than a reference to Santer et als. (2008) obfuscation paper ?

    Here’s the article:-
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20100305.html

    and as reported on the BBC:-
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8550090.stm

    and elsewhere:-
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/288578#tab=comments&sc=0&contribute=&local=

    Still looking for the report itself…


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    Joe Veragio

    What is this new Wiley Forum on Climate Science ?
    Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews:
    Climate Change
    , with the esteemed Mike Hulme of Uni East Anglia as its Editor in Chief ?

    Is the UEA doing it’s own publishing now ?


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    Baa Humbug

    SPPI has published a highly detailed paper called “Climate Change and it’s Causes” by Nicola Scafetta.

    Quite comprehensive look at the various causes of CC with detailed graphs and references.

    It would make a good quick reference guide. 56 pages in pdf form.

    Link here


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    Bhazor

    On the graph
    “Removed effects of volcanos and El Nino’s etc”
    You can’t just do that! How are you measuring the effect of El Nino’s? Or changes in air and water currents? Or geoglogical activity? The first graph shows that there is little correlation between the two.
    That is dishonesty of the worst kind.


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