JoNova

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New Science 17: Solving the mystery of the missing “Hotspot”

Things are hotting up. After all the hard work of the past few posts, the payoff begins. By solving the flaws inherent in the basic conventional model we solve some of its biggest missed-predictions. And the clincher for conventional models has always been the missing hot spot. Without it, over half the projected warming just vanishes. And if it is telling the tale of a negative type of feedback instead of a positive one, then all bets are off — not three degrees, not even one degree, it’s more like “half” a degree. Go panic about that.

Here David gets into the empirical data — the radiosondes, the satellites, and shows how his model fits their results, whereas the establishment models have repeatedly been forced to deny them. Twenty eight million radiosondes get the wrong results: how many ways can we adjust them? Tweak that cold bias, blend in the wind shear, change the color-scales, homogenize the heck. Smooth, sort, shovel and grind those graphs. The fingerprint of CO2 was everywhere in 2005, though gradually became the non-unique signal of any kind of warming, but it still wasn’t there. It kept being “found”, though it was never reported missing. Wash, rinse and repeat.

It’s the thorn that won’t go away, the key to the scary predictions. Without water vapor amplification, there is only beneficial balmy warming, and the threat of bountiful crops.

Missing hot spot, Radiosondes, weather balloons, climate models, global warming, water vapor.

The models to the left of us, the measurements to the right… obviously the models expect a hot spot. Obviously, it isn’t there.

With the paradigm shift of adding separate warmings and allowing the rerouting feedback, we find that as CO2 warms the atmosphere, the air high in the troposphere just needs to dry out in the thinnest of layers and the water vapor emissions layer emits from a slightly lower altitude. The emissions are coming from a slightly warmer part of the sky, and thus more energy escapes to space. A substantial part of the effect of CO2 is neutralized.

The corollary for this is that for the first time we can start looking at the GCMs, though only through inference. But the GCMs predict the hot spot, which suggests they are treating extra warming from CO2 as if it were extra warming from the sun. They are making the mistake of applying the same feedbacks to CO2 as to solar warming. Hint hint hint…

We are not up to calculating the climate sensitivity yet, but that’s coming.

Enjoy, the pieces are starting to fall into place. I haven’t been harping on about that hot spot for seven years for nothing.

– Jo

————————————————

17. The “Hotspot”

Dr David Evans, 2 November 2015, David Evans’ Basic Climate Models Home, Intro, Previous, Next, Nomenclature.

Before applying data to the alternative model of the last post, which we shall do in the next post, we first dwell on one crucial aspect of the data.

Some notes on terminology before we begin:

  • A concept of much concern in this post is the water vapor emission layer, which is such a mouthful that we frequently use its acronym WVEL (which we pronounce so as to rhyme with “bevel”).
  • The “solar response” means the “response of the surface temperature to increased solar absorbed radiation” — that is, the response to the Sun, not the response of the Sun.
  • The “CO2 response” is the “response of the surface temperature to an increased concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide”  — the response to increasing CO2.

The solar and CO2 responses are perhaps best explained by Fig. 1 of post 13.

Overview

The “hotspot” is the informal name for a warming of the upper troposphere, caused by an ascent of the water vapor emission layer (WVEL).

  • In the conventional model (see Fig. 2 of post 3), surface warming for any reason causes a hotspot. The water vapor amplification mechanism in the solar response causes a hotspot because it thickens the water vapor layer, causing the WVEL to ascend. The conventional model applies this solar response to every climate driver (post 9).
  • In the alternative model (see Fig. 1 of post 13), the solar response causes the water vapor layer to thicken and thus the WVEL to ascend, while the CO2 response could either thicken or thin the water vapor layer, causing the WVEL to either ascend or descend (at this stage, before considering the data, we don’t know which). The water vapor responds to both responses, and both processes may be occurring simultaneously.

Given the apparent lack of a hotspot over the last few decades, coincident with a rapid rise in CO2 concentration, it would appear that (a) the CO2 response causes the WVEL to descend, which is consistent with the rerouting feedback, and (b) the descent of the WVEL due to the CO2 response outweighs the ascent of the WVEL due to the water vapor amplification caused by the increase in absorbed solar radiation (ASR) that also occurred over that time.

The Hotspot is Caused by an Ascending WVEL

The water vapor emission layer (WVEL) is effectively the upper optical boundary of the water vapor in the atmosphere, on average.  It is at about one optical depth as seen from space, on the wavelengths at which water vapor absorbs and emits. Its average height is ~8 km or ~360 hPa (post 14), which is in the upper troposphere. The most important part of the WVEL is in the tropics, where it is warmest and most of the radiation to space is occurring, and the WVEL, like the tropopause, is somewhat higher — maybe 10 km.

If the WVEL ascends, it creates the hotspot. The air above the WVEL is dry, but the air below the WVEL is moist and therefore warmer — because water vapor is condensing and releasing its latent heat. If the WVEL ascends it creates the hotspot, which is the warming of a volume that was dry and cool when just above the WVEL but which becomes moist and warmer as the WVEL ascends above it.

Conversely, a falling WVEL produce a volume of cooling (a “coolspot”?).

Because water vapor is quite dynamic in the upper troposphere, its upper boundary often moving up and down several kilometers over time at a given location, the “instantaneous WVEL” moves up and down. The (average) WVEL is the average of the instantaneous WVEL. Because of this dynamism, hotspot warming can extend for a couple of kilometers in height — as the WVEL moves up the instantaneous WVEL tends to move up, warming volumes over a couple of kilometers of vertical extent to some degree.

The traditional illustration of the hotspot comes in a diagram of atmospheric warming (color) by latitude (x-axis) and height (y-axis). If the instantaneous WVEL stayed very close to the WVEL (i.e. no dynamism), the hotspot would be a strip of strong warming in the upper troposphere somewhere around 300 to 400 hPa, and the height of the strip would be the amount by which the hotspot ascended. But the dynamism of the water vapor causes a cloud of instantaneous WVEL heights clustering around the WVEL, ensuring that the hotspot is smeared out over a couple of kilometers in height.

The hotspot is distinct from warming in the upper troposphere produced by a change in lapse rate. As the surface warms due to increased ASR, more evaporation causes a moister atmosphere and thus a lower lapse rate, which causes the atmosphere at a given height to warm. While this surface warming also causes the WVEL to ascend (next section), warming due to increased lapse rate is broadly and diffusely spread through the atmosphere with a shallow gradient, in contrast to the hotspot which is a smear of warming centered on the WVEL.

The Solar Response Causes the WVEL to Ascend

The conventional explanation for the hotspot is that surface warming causes more evaporation (70% of the surface is ocean), and the greater volume of water vapor in the atmosphere is assumed to push up the WVEL, which is the top layer of the water vapor. However, as noted by Paltridge, Arking, and Pook in 2009 [1], more water vapor in the atmosphere does not necessarily lead to more water vapor in the upper troposphere if the extra water vapor is mainly confined to a more stable lower troposphere with less overturning, as appears to be the case according to the better radiosonde data from 1973.

Note that the temperature at height h is

where Γ is the average lapse rate (about 6.5 °C per km).

Within the solar response (Fig. 1 of post 13), the surface warming due to increased ASR (that is, ΔTS,A) is about twice the increase in radiating temperature (ΔTR) because of amplification by the non-albedo solar feedbacks (Eq.s (3) and (4) of post 13). Because the radiating temperature is roughly the average of the warmings of the various emission layers, and because all the emission layers warm by about the amount of surface warming before the effects of changes to lapse rates and emission layer heights, one or more of the main non-surface emission layers must warm significantly less than the surface. The height of the CO2 emissions layer is determined by the concentration of CO2, so its height cannot change. The lapse rate changes slightly, but that works against the amplification of warming (the lapse rate feedback is negative). That leaves just the heights of the WVEL and the cloud tops, one or both of which must ascend to cooler places in the atmosphere. Clouds are not well understood, but it is generally thought that WVEL provides the bulk of the accommodation. Thus the WVEL ascends significantly in response to surface warming due to more ASR.

In the conventional model all climate drivers cause the solar response (Fig. 2 of post 3 or Fig. 2 of post 13), and all surface warming is due to the solar response, so the surface warming ΔTS is equal to the surface warming due to ASR ΔTS,A. Thus, the conventional explanation is that all warming influences cause the WVEL to ascend, thereby causing a hotspot. In the alternative model however, while extra ASR causes the WVEL to ascend as per the solar response in the conventional model (Fig. 1 of post 13), other climate drivers operating through their own responses might simultaneously cause the WVEL to descend.

The WVEL Has Not Ascended in the Last Few Decades

The only instruments with sufficient vertical resolution to measure the change in height of the WVEL over the last few decades (ΔhW) are the radiosondes. Satellites are not suitable because they aggregate information from several vertical kilometers into each data point.

Radiosonde-derived temperature and humidity data is used here. It is accepted that the latter especially must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level. Following the discussion in Paltridge, Arking, and Pook (2009), the humidity data is restricted to tropical and mid-latitude data at least ~0.5 g/kg, from 1973. While the data is not good enough to estimate changes in the average height of the WVEL, ΔhW, it is sufficient to at least distinguish the direction of movement.

Surface temperatures here are the midpoints of UAH and HadCrut4, 5-year smoothed and centered.

- Temperature Data

The temperatures measured by the radiosondes are shown in Fig. 1 below, for 1979 to 1999 (the only image as a function of height and latitude ever publicly released, apparently).

Over those two decades surface warming was ~0.120.20 °C per decade, which would have caused a similar warming at all levels of the troposphere had there been no change in the lapse rate (Eq. (1)). Lapse rate changes warm the atmosphere even more. Surface warming causes more evaporation and a damper atmosphere, and thus a lower lapse rate (our lapse rate is a positive number, about 6.5 °C per km). So, at a given height, there is warming due to the change in lapse rate (Eq. (1)). Working through the details*, at the WVEL height of ~8 km the atmosphere warmed by ~0.1627 ± 0.035 °C per decade over the period in Fig. 1, from a combination of surface warming (0.1220 °C per decade) and the attendant lapse rate change (0.047 ± 0.035 °C per decade). At 10 km, it would have warmed slightly more.

The real story in Fig. 1 is hidden between the lines. This graph is for the two decades that saw the most rapid surface warming of the last 50 years. It does not show the lowest 1.5 km, which would have been a yellow-orange color because the surface warmed by ~0.20 °C per decade. Yet it shows barely any upper tropospheric warming. The graph is putting it in the nicest possible way, but actually the numbers are devastating for the conventional models — because the warming observed around the WVEL height of 8 to 10 km is less than the warming merely due to the surface warming and lapse rate changes.

This tells us there was active cooling at work in the upper troposphere, some factor that countered the warming coming up from the ground. It’s like the dog that didn’t bark. If the structure of the troposphere stayed the same (that is, the WVEL did not move), then the surface warming and lapse rate changes would have warmed the upper troposphere at 8 km by ~0.1627 ± 0.03°C per decade.  But the observed warming was about 0.1 °C per decade, as shown in the radiosonde data of Fig. 1. Therefore there was a  slight counteracting cooling, presumably due to structural changes in the upper troposphere. This suggests the WVEL fell slightly; it is not compatible with an ascending WVEL.

In other words, if you subtract out the warming in Fig. 1 that is simply due to surface warming and attendant lapse rate changes, what is left are the temperature changes for other reasons. This reveals a slight cooling in the upper troposphere around 8 km, or 10 km in the tropics. Again, this can only mean the WVEL descended, not ascended.


Atmospheric warming 1979 to 1999, as measured by radiosondes.

Figure 1: Atmospheric warming 1979 to 1999, as measured by the radiosondes. The horizontal axis shows latitude, the vertical axis height (km on the right, hPa on the left). From the US CCSP report of 2006, Fig. 5.7E in section 5.5 on page 116 (Santer 2006, [2]), see also Singer 2011 [3].

 

Dr Roy Spencer, who pioneered microwave sounding for measuring atmospheric temperatures from satellites, recently (May 2015) used a different mix of microwave channels to specifically look for the hotspot using the satellite data — see his graph of how broad the data collected is, or conversely, how low the vertical resolution is. He concludes: “But I am increasingly convinced that the hotspot really has gone missing. … I believe the missing hotspot is indirect evidence that upper tropospheric water vapor is not increasing, and so upper tropospheric water vapor (the most important layer for water vapor feedback) is not amplifying warming from increasing CO2.”

The cooling strips above 12 km are due to ozone depletion, and are too high to be of interest here.

- Temperatures Predicted by the Conventional GCMs

As something of an aside because this series is about basic climate models, the measured data in Fig. 1 is nothing like the picture predicted by the big computerized climate models, the general circulation models (GCMs).

The GISS Climate Model E, a prototypical GCM, makes many of its outputs public. From 1979 to 1999 the CO2 concentration went from 337 ppm to 368 ppm, an increase of 9%, or 13% of a doubling (ΔL=0.13). The nearest the GISS model will publicly simulate is for a 25% increase in CO2 (ΔL=0.32) with no change to solar irradiance, shown in Fig. 2. Obviously the intensity of warming will be different because the change in CO2 is different, but the pattern or quality of the heating is of interest here. Note the prominent heating in the tropics at ~10 km (250 hPa) — this is the “hotspot”. The GISS model would show roughly the same pattern, just with not as much warming, for a CO2 increase that was only 13% of a doubling, as occurred between 1979 and 1999.

Figure 3 shows what the GISS model predicts for a 2% increase in solar irradiance, with no change in CO2. It is roughly what the model predicts for a full doubling of CO2 (Fig. 2 is only for 32% of a CO2 doubling, so the pattern is similar but the warming is not as intense as for a full doubling). Fig. 3 has the same pattern of atmospheric warming as Fig. 2, because conventional models,  following the conventional basic climate model in Fig. 2 of post 9, essentially apply the solar response to all climate forcings — roughly the same sensitivity and the same feedbacks to surface warming, but with some smaller differences such as that incoming sunlight interacts with ozone (see post 9).


Atmospheric warming when the CO2 concentration increases by 25%, by GISS model.

Figure 2: Atmospheric warming when the CO2 concentration increases by 25% (or 32% of a doubling) with no change in solar irradiance, as predicted by a typical conventional climate model (the GISS model E, 5/4 * CO2, 100 year response, Lat–Hgt). The “20”s on either end of the horizontal temperature scale are in error, so ignore them. Compare to reality in Fig. 1, but note that Fig.1 is for only a 9% increase in CO2 concentration (or 13% of a doubling). The dark red spot over the tropics at about 10 km (250 hPa, left vertical scale) is the hotspot; it amplifies the surface warming in the model, because it simulates the WVEL ascending and emitting less OLR, thereby requiring the surface to emit more OLR and thus be warmer than otherwise.

Atmospheric warming when the solar irradiance increases by 2%, by GISS model

Figure 3: Atmospheric warming when the solar irradiance increases by 2% but CO2 is held constant, as predicted by the GISS model E (1.02 * solar irrad, 100 year response, Lat–Hgt). The “20”s on either end of the horizontal temperature scale are in error, so ignore them. Compare to Fig. 2: note the similar pattern of atmospheric warming, including the prominent hotspot, because conventional models roughly apply the solar response (similar sensitivity, same feedbacks to surface warming) to all climate influences. In the GISS model, a ~2% increase in solar irradiance produces the roughly same results as a full doubling of CO2 (Fig. 2 only shows 32% of a CO2 doubling).

 

Figures 2 and 3 are clearly nothing like Fig. 1. The supporters of the conventional model explain away this clash between GCMs and empirical evidence by ignoring or disputing the radiosonde data, and substituting vague satellite data instead — even though satellites, due to inadequate vertical resolution, are the wrong tool for the job. For example, see here or here or here.

A simpler explanation, that accords with the measured data in Fig. 1, lies in the alternative model presented in this series: simply don’t apply the solar response to the influence of CO2 (see post 13). Occam’s razor.

- Humidity Data

Consider the specific humidity data from the radiosondes, shown in Fig. 4. The more reliable data only goes to 400 hPa, but above 500 hPa the trend is one of drying. This agrees with the model in Fig.s 1b, 2b, 3 and 5 of Paltridge, Arking, and Pook (2009). The same trends are shown by the earlier radiosonde data from 1948 to 1973. Like the temperature data, this suggests a descending WVEL, and is not compatible with an ascending WVEL.


The atmosphere near the average WVEL height (around 360 hPa) shows a drying trend since 1973.

Figure 4: The atmosphere near the average WVEL height (around 360 hPa) shows a drying trend since 1973.

 

- Conclusion


The WVEL has descended in the last few decades, but we cannot determine how much:

 

Conclusion: The CO2 Response Causes the WVEL to Descend

In the last few decades there was surface warming yet the WVEL did not ascend — there is no hotspot. Therefore the conventional model is incorrect.

In the alternative model, the warming influences of ASR and CO2 are both considered. The albedo data discussed in post 10 indicates a small fall in reflected solar radiation from 1984 that is larger than the smoothed changes in TSI occurring in that period, so ASR presumably increased from 1984 — which caused some surface warming and invoked the solar response, thereby causing the WVEL to ascend. Yet the WVEL was observed to descend. Therefore the WVEL descended due to the CO2 response (to the increasing CO2), which outweighed the ascent due to the solar response (to the increased ASR). Hence the CO2 response to increasing CO2 causes the WVEL to descend. This is also supporting evidence for the rerouting feedback.

In other words, the strong rise in CO2 concentration and the lack of a hotspot together suggest that the effect of the CO2 response is to cause the WVEL to descend, and that this descent was only partly offset by the ascent caused by extra ASR and the solar response.

 

*Details of the effect of lapse rate change due to surface warming on the temperature at the WVEL height: Assuming that lapse rate change was uniform at all heights, the warming it caused can be estimated from the lapse rate feedback  in AR5 (fLR, the increase in OLR per increase in surface temperature due to lapse rate change (∂R / ∂TS), whose value is -0.6 ± 0.4 W/m2 per °C  — see post 3) and the parameter g from the OLR model (the increase in OLR per increase in lapse rate (∂R / ∂Γ), whose value is  -13.5 W/m2 per °C/km — see Eq. 14 of post 15). The increase in lapse rate per  increase in surface temperature (∂Γ / ∂TS) is thus about  fLR / g, or 0.044 ± 0.03 °C/km per °C. Hence the change in lapse rate for the observed surface warming of ~0.1220 °C per decade is 0.005388 ± 0.00366 °C/km per decade. At 8 km, the warming due to the change in lapse rate is thus about 0.047 ± 0.035 °C per decade.

 

References

[1^] Paltridge, G., Arking, A., & Pook, M. (2009). Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 98:351-359.

[2^] Santer, B. D. (2006). US Climate Change Science Program 2006, Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere – Understanding and Reconciling Differences.

[3^] Singer, S. F. (2011). Lack of Consistency between Modeled and Observed Temperature Trends. Energy and Environment, Vol 22 No. 4, pp. 375 – 406.

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113 comments to New Science 17: Solving the mystery of the missing “Hotspot”

  • #
    Bulldust

    It looks like the French weatherman, Philippe Verdier, got the flick from his employer.
    —————————-

    REPLY: Off topic comments moved Thanks Bulldust – I’ve put in a thread for that.

    Comments related to Stephen Wilde’s convection theory moved to his thread.

    Let’s stay on topic in the New Science threads. Thanks – Jo

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  • #

    This is just a comment not about the Science in this actual Thread, but along the lines of a general observation.

    I’m trying like the blazes to understand all this, because the Maths here in this Series makes the resolution of complex Series and Parallel LCR vector diagrams for Voltage, Current and Power look like Kindy adding up.

    What I have found is that it is just so darned interesting, not for the fact that it might end up resolving other things, but that someone has so painstakingly put together what is euphemistically called the long game.

    Joanne mentions this:

    Enjoy, the pieces are starting to fall into place. I haven’t been harping on about that hot spot for seven years for nothing.

    I like the way that there’s no rush to reach the end result, just the careful addition of all the building blocks meeded to build this structure, and for the casual reader (me) what it has also shown is that Climate modelling is not just a case of hey presto, believe it or …… well, just believe it anyway, and 97% or people just believe it ….. flat out, without even understanding the first thing about it.

    This is a true in depth explanation , and along the way, it shoots down what those people believed to have been correct for so long.

    I apologise for generalising here, but I just wanted to say it, and to congratulate David and Joanne for putting this together.

    Tony.

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    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Me too, Tony. The maths leaves me dead. But I can follow the thrust of the slow revelations from David, beautifully preceded for dunces like me by Jo. What a journey, and the coastline and safe harbour are coming into view! Thank you to everyone who is contributing. I am absolutely riveted.

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  • #

    Once again, congratulations to David and Joanne for getting this tremendous Show on the Road. It is all startlingly new and skillfully constructed and begins to answer long unsolved mysteries like the elusive ‘Hot Spot’, which was never there. It will require an even greater effort for the Warmistas to ignore all this, but I am sure that they will be working at it already.

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  • #

    The “hot spot” would be the tell tale sign of a positive feedback (within the atmosphere), yet it is a cool spot!

    So, the feedback is a negative feedback then! Not a surprise for a natural, complex, robust and dynamic system, that to be stable, MUST BE dominated by negative feedbacks. Otherwiase it would have run away already, but it has not…..

    Kinda obvious, really………..

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  • #
    King Geo

    Like many “AGW Skeptics” David’s maths goes a long way to explain why I studied geology and not maths, physics or engineering Despite my mathematical shortcomings, I can see that David has exposed the “conventional models of AGW” as seriously flawed. It is a travesty of justice that the “flawed conventional models” are being treated as gospel at the highest levels of government and have not be subjected to any satisfactory degree of due diligence. History will show that the “Theory of AGW” to be was one of the most damaging concepts ever created by mankind.

    234

    • #
      ianl8888


      … maths goes a long way to explain why I studied geology and not maths, physics or engineering …

      Obviously, I can’t speak for the depth of maths in your geo courses but mine (2 undergrad degrees and another at Master level) included maths up to “maths 301″. Most geos I know are in a similar boat, as it were

      Of course I have to concentrate on the equations to grasp them but they are certainly not beyond my reach. The “rate of change” defined by differentiation and integration is the most powerful expression of the calculus (I know Isaac Newton was a most difficult man, but on his good days he was a genius)

      I admit to deeper problems of concept with higher statistics – I struggle mightily with that stuff :) :)

      Fortunately, David Evans expositions, so far, haven’t used much higher level stats

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      • #

        When they start using statistics to explain physical phenomena it is time to look for the crooks in the room

        173

        • #
          gai

          Speaking of statistics and geology, this blog on ‘kriging’*** is scathing.

          What’s Wrong with Geostatistics?

          …Click here and peruse how Professor Dr ***** prominent geostatistical scholar, prevaricates about spatial dependence, “classical Fischerian [sic] statistics” and degrees of freedom on the first page of his letter to….

          The Post Modern Scientists really really seem to have a lot of trouble with the concept of dependent vs independent variables don’t they?

          ***Krigging is also used in ClimAstrology with the same flaws attached.
          [SNIP, off topic. Can commenters stick to topic on the New Science threads! - Jo]

          80

      • #
        King Geo

        ianl8888 – spare a thought for myself – I only studied Maths 10 (1st year maths at UWA in the early 1970′s). Now you can see my dilemma – David’s equations are way over my head but I like his conclusions – anything that exposes the “Theory of AGW” as seriously flawed gets my tick of approval – you see the majority of geos know full well that the “Theory of AGW” is a myth which has little basis in scientific fact.

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        • #
          Peter C

          You are not trying hard enough King Geo,

          David’ equations look complex. However a matriculation level of Calculus (ie my level) is enough to decipher them with a bit of effort.

          80

          • #
            gai

            Not everyone has a grounding in calculus or any of the higher maths. My state has adopted Common Core and the math includes:
            [SNIP quote O/t ]

            Trying to find out what is actually being taught is impossible because it is hidden from the parents. Notice there is no trig or second level algebra needed as prerequisites of Calc. Also do not forget that half the voters have an IQ below 100.

            All that said Dr. Evans and Jo Nova do a great job of walking people through the concepts on two levels so anyone with an interest can follow the thinking. That is an amazing feat.

            [Please stick to topic - Jo]

            30

  • #
    Robk

    Thanks David and Jo,
    I got though that ok although it looks like it took a three hour lunch break to do it. It has made some rusty cogs tick over while digesting this along with the lunch.
    For the novice, the bit I had to get my head around to get the picture clearly so it made sense, was to understand “specific humidity” (i.e.I take it means volume/volume) as opposed to the common garden variety “relative humidity” which is the % of saturation. Highlighting that may help the odd young player/beginner.
    Very clearly set out. Intuitively correct. I’m still struggling to understand how the old models stood as they have faced with contradictory empirical evidence.
    Congratulations.

    80

    • #

      The specific humidity chart is quite useless unless the actual
      specific humidity in the 1973 reference is explicitly given for each pressure altitude! Percentage change of each? or some unspecified aggregate? Such a chart can only mean a cover up of something; important or no! Besides there can be correlation of humidity,temperature, or any other variable at any pressure altitude and any other altitude, including the surface with absolutely no correlation to the cause of the variable or change in the variable whatsoever. The specific humidity at altitude may very well track surface temperature. As David correctively points out neither (high lever tropical tropospheric) temperature nor specific humidity tracks atmospheric CO2 level in the basic or any other model! High time to flush ALL models!

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      • #

        Will, I don’t see how giving the actual specific humidities in the 1973 reference matters, but for what is is worth they are (in g/kg, 5 year smoothed and centered, 50N to 50S):
        300 hPa: 0.43 (data suspect because too small, and confined to 20N to 20S because midlat readings are too small (about 0.2 – 0.3))
        400 hPa: 0.69
        500 hPa: 1.39
        600 hPa: 2.34
        700 hPa: 3.71
        850 hPa: 6.77
        925 hPa: 9.19
        1000 hPa: 12.11
        The graphs are then of the percentage changes of the 5-year smoothed specific humidities of later years compared to the 1973 base.

        60

        • #

          Thank you David!
          Are not the Hi tropospheric Hot Spots to be close to the equator?
          All the best! -will-

          10

          • #

            Will, Fig.s 2 and 3 indicates the tropospheric hotspot is about 30S to 30N. The humidity data comes in 20N to 20S and 50 N to 50S, but the drying trend for 20N to 20S at 400 hPa and 500 hPa are even sharper than the 50N to 50S figures graphed — about 10% and 8% drier by 2013 respectively, from eyeballing the smoothed unsmoothed figures.

            50

            • #

              Good God that #3 must be from the toilet not a model! The tropopause is much higher than indicated sunside an lower nightside. to about 15° Latitude summer, that is the high mechanical convection point, carrying almost 12 cm column water to 16km sunside after condensing everything to condensate and leaving behind 1cm of precipitation. this is where the trade winds go straight up with up to 100 MPH 47m/s velocity a 4km altitude. Still at N,S 30° the Hadley comes back down with no water or WV at all. Sahel Sahara. The only altitude at high temperature ‘is’ the surface. How can any Hot Spot be predicted? Does any of you data have the numbers for column water with altitude, in addition to specific WV? that stuff is ice (microsnow) at 16 km. No limit to mass. Merrily floating in the sky, helping keep the big turbo bypass engines cool as that goes to vapor and out the back.

              56

            • #
              gai

              Dr. Evans, I do not know if these graphs and info from climate4you will help. It might be nice to actually show these graphs and the definitions to help people understand this critical point if they are of help.

              It is interesting to note that by all three different types of measurement the water vapor in the upper troposphere has gone down as has the total amount of water in the atmosphere. This really shoots down the positive water vapor feedback that the catastrophic part of CAGW depends on since a positive water vapor feedback would double or triple the warming effect of CO2 depending on the source.
              For example:

              NASA 11.17.08

              Andrew Dessler and colleagues from Texas A&M University in College Station confirmed that the heat-amplifying effect of water vapor is potent enough to double the climate warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

              ….Dessler said. “So the real question is, how much warming?”

              The answer can be found by estimating the magnitude of water vapor feedback. Increasing water vapor leads to warmer temperatures, which causes more water vapor to be absorbed into the air. Warming and water absorption increase in a spiraling cycle. [fear mongering a bit aren't we there?]

              (wwwDOT)nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

              GRAPH: Variations in the total column water vapour

              http://www.climate4you.com/images/TotalColumnWaterVapourDifferentAltitudesObservationsSince1983.gif

              Variations in the total column water vapour in the atmosphere since July 1983. The upper graph (blue) shows the total amount of water in the atmosphere. The green graph shows the amount of water in the lower troposphere between 1000 and 680 mb, corresponding to altitudes up to about 3 km. The lower red graph shows the amount of water between 680 and 310 mb, corresponding to altitudes from about 3 to 6 km above sea level. The marked annual variation presumably reflects the asymmetrical distribution of land and ocean on planet Earth, with most land areas located in the northern hemisphere. The annual peak in atmospheric water vapour content occur usually around August-September, when northern hemisphere vegetation is at maximum transpiration. The annual moisture peak occurs simultaneously at different levels in the atmosphere, which suggests an efficient transport of water vapour from the planet surface up into the troposphere. The time labels indicate day/month/year. Data source: The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP). There is a possibility that the step-like change shown 1998-1999 to some degree may be related to changes in the analysis procedure used for producing the data set, according to information from ISCCP. Last data: December 2009. Last figure update: 4 September 2011.

              vs a Graph of Relative Humidity:

              http://www.climate4you.com/images/NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericRelativeHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

              Relative atmospheric humidity (%) at three different altitudes in the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) since January 1948 (Kalnay et al. 1996). The thin blue lines shows monthly values, while the thick blue lines show the running 37 month average (about 3 years). Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA). Pre-1973 data from the United States is not homogeneous according to Elliot and Gaffen (1991). See also data description by Kalnay et al. (1996). Last month shown: September 2015. Last diagram update: 7 October 2015.

              vs Specific atmospheric humidity (g/kg)

              http://www.climate4you.com/images/NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericSpecificHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

              Specific atmospheric humidity (g/kg) at three different altitudes in the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) since January 1948 (Kalnay et al. 1996). The thin blue lines shows monthly values, while the thick blue lines show the running 37 month average (about 3 years). Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA). Pre-1973 data from the United States is not homogeneous according to Elliot and Gaffen (1991). See also data description by Kalnay et al. (1996). Last month shown: September 2015. Last diagram update: 7 October 2015.

              ALL from (wwwDOT)climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm#Clouds and atmospheric water vapour

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                gai

                A bit more on water feedback from our old friend and constant contributor at WUWT and Judith Curry’s Climate Etc., Zeke Hausfather. This article makes it clear why Dr. Evans climate model negating a CO2 forcing of a water feedback is so important.

                Yale Climate Connections Analysis — The Water Vapor Feedback

                Water vapor and clouds account for 66 to 85 percent of the greenhouse effect, compared to a range of 9 to 26 percent for CO2. So why all the attention on carbon dioxide and its ilk? Is water vapor the real culprit causing global warming?

                The answer is that water vapor is indeed responsible for a major portion of Earth’s warming over the past century and for projected future warming. However, water vapor is not the cause of this warming. This is a critical, if subtle, distinction between the role of greenhouse gases as either forcings or feedbacks. In this case, anthropogenic emissions of CO2, methane, and other gases are warming the Earth. This rising average temperature increases evaporation rates and atmospheric water vapor concentrations. Those, in turn, result in additional warming….

                Unlike water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are long-lived greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for about 100 years[Actually it is more like 5 years]

                These long-lived greenhouse gases produce sustained warming, which drives the water vapor feedback. If concentrations of greenhouse gases are reduced, the planet will cool and the water vapor feedback will work the opposite way: lower temperatures lead to lower atmospheric water vapor concentrations, further cooling the Earth. The short residence time and relatively constant magnitude of evaporation as a function of temperature mean that water vapor will always follow, not lead, changes in long-lived greenhouse gases.

                Climate scientists can quantify the effect of the water vapor feedback on the climate system, as shown by frequently modeled effects of doubling CO2. In the absence of a water vapor feedback, doubled CO2 would increase global temperatures by around 1 to 1.2 degrees C (1.8 to 2.2 degrees F). However, the additional water vapor in the atmosphere triggered by this initial warming will result in roughly 1.6 degrees C (2.9 degrees F) more warming, and positive feedbacks caused by changes in cloud formation add around 0.7 degrees C more (1.3 degrees F). This cloud feedback varies significantly between models, ranging from 0.3 to 1.1 degrees C (0.5 to 2 degrees F). See the IPCC AR4 WG1 chapter 8.6.3 (pdf) for a more detailed discussion on uncertainties regarding cloud forcings….

                So according to Zeke
                CO2 doubled = 1 to 1.2 degrees C
                plus water vapor = 1.6 degrees C
                plus clouds = 0.3 to 1.1 degrees C

                or the water/cloud feedback would be an additional 1.9 to 2.7 degrees C for a doubling of CO2. Therefore the feedback doubles or almost triples the amount of warming depending on the model.

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                Please be careful; there can be distinctions between column water and column water. Column water is always higher as it includes H2O in condensate form, that must be present with saturated WV, else the WV could not be/stay saturated. There can be much airborne invisible ice near the tropopause but low WV content,no latent heat, that cannot be in the gas form. To some this is a particulate aerosol like insects, and not considered atmosphere for some nefarious reason. ;-)

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                Gai, while those are useful graphs and support the proposition that the upper troposphere is drying and the WVEL is not ascending, they appear to just be restatements of the radiosonde humidity data.

                Unfortunately climate4you.com does not say what the data source is for the first graph (variations in the total column water vapor) other than to point to the ISCCP website, which is vague and I cannot find the specific dataset (can anyone help?). The data is from 1983 which gives me hope it is satellite data, but I do not know.

                The next two graphs are certainly radiosonde data, although again climate4you does not specify. They start in 1973 (when radiosonde data became more reliable) and climate4you says the data comes from Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA) — which is also the best source for the radiosonde data:
                NCEP Reanalysis Dataset, from Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) at NOAA
                http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

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                Gai, your comment about Zeke Hausfather presents the traditional skeptic argument, which just ends up in head butting match between:

                – Establishment types who say the water vapor feedback must exist because it is just based on well-known properties of moist air, and therefore empirical results that suggest it is not happening are somehow wrong.

                – Skeptics who point to radiosonde data etc. as above in the post, which shows it is not happening, and then claim that the water vapor feedback does not exist.

                This has been going on for years, with no sigh of progress or resolution.

                I’m arguing here that they are both wrong, and have resolved the issue:

                ** The water vapor feedback does indeed exist, raising the water vapor emissions layer (WVEL), but only as part of the solar response — i.e. in response to surface warming, as per more absorbed solar radiation (ASR).

                ** The CO2 response causes the rerouting feedback which lowers the WVEL, the opposite of the water vapor feedback. It is in response to increasing CO2. It causes the rerouting feedback.

                ** The CO2 response has been stronger than the solar response in recent decades (increasing CO2 strong, extra ASR weak), so overall the WVEL has descended slightly, which agrees with the empirical observations.

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                Ted Soares

                David, the ISCCP data sets on water vapor used by climate4you.com can be found via the plot making utility at the bottom of the webpage:
                http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/products/browseatmos.html

                Although the plot utility only plots the “deviations and anomalies” from the total period mean, the data files also contains the mean values for each date. Temperatures and water vapor data at altitude is available for global as well as varied individual geographic areas. After choosing your variable and region of interest and clicking on “View Plot,” the data file name is at the bottom of the plot and the data file can then be found and downloaded from their index of data files:
                http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/pub/data/D2ATMOSCLIM/

                The data sets on water vapor used by climate4you.com:

                Total Column Water Vapor (cm):
                http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/pub/data/D2ATMOSCLIM/B128B129glbp.dat.gz
                Mean Precipitable Water for 1000-680mb:
                http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/pub/data/D2ATMOSCLIM/B128glbp.dat.gz
                Mean Precipitable Water for 680-310mb:
                http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/pub/data/D2ATMOSCLIM/B129glbp.dat.gz

                To graph in Excel: Rename unzipped .dat file extension to .csv, open in Excel, and convert text to columns (space delimited). climate4you.com graphed the first column (dates on horizontal axis) and third column (PHYS_MON_AVG on the vertical axis) of the above data files. (I graphed the data and the result appears identical to the graph by climate4you.com).

                The data appears to originate from satellite observations:
                “The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) was established as the first project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCP-2) to collect and analyze satellite radiance measurements to infer the global distribution of cloud radiative properties and their diurnal and seasonal variations. Data was collected from July 1983 through December 2009.” https://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/isccp

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                Thank you Ted, that’s pretty comprehensive.

                Ok, looks like the total column water vapor graph linked to by Gai is from satellite data, not radiosondes.

                It’s red line shows the same drying trend in the upper troposphere as the radiosonde data I graphed in the post. Interesting that it’s mainly a step change around the ’98 El Nino — which echoes the UAH temperatures.

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                jim2

                DE says:Establishment types who say the water vapor feedback must exist because it is just based on well-known properties of moist air, and therefore empirical results that suggest it is not happening are somehow wrong.

                Well, obviously they are holding all else constant while the moist air ascends. :)

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    Peter C

    the missing hot spot. Without it, over half the projected warming just vanishes. And if it is telling the tale of a negative type of feedback instead of a positive one, then all bets are off — not three degrees, not even one degree, it’s more like “half” a degree

    How about minus something!

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    Martin Mason

    Can I ask another question please?

    If GHG’s emit photons at a given wave length regardless of temperature, why does the temperature at the ERL matter?

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      Martin, the number of photons emitted by a population of water vapor molecules increases with the temperature of that population.

      (Note that individual molecules do not have a temperature property, but a sufficiently large and dense population of molecules has a temperature.)

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        Martin Mason

        Thanks David, I’m interested in understanding the physics better. There are so many different views from so many smart people about what happens but the main thing that shines through is that the mainstream AGW view isn’t correct.

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        Bobl

        David,
        That is only true where the source of the energy is heat (IE collisions). It is NOT true where the source of the energy is IR. In that case the rate of emission MUST equal the the rate of absorbtion !

        Martin,
        Physically in order to emit IR (electromagnetic waves) the molecule must be in an excited state. That is, one of the electrons must be moved into a higher energy band. Each energy band is quantized, that is states differ by a precise and specific amount of energy – a quantum

        Below a certain temperature the energy of motion of a colliding molecule (O2 or N2) increasingly does not have sufficient energy to pass that quantum to the CO2. The CO2 cannot then reach the quantum state needed to emit thus cold CO2 emits less because the average energy is lower and statistically fewer of the collisions that occur are energetic enough.

        Radiatively however things ARE different.

        When a photon hits a molecule, the photon must be at the exact energy of the quantum gap between the energy states to be absorbed. If it is at exact the right energy and gets absorbed then it must be re-emitted in a random direction, or it can be lost in a collision with another molecule, and that quantum is turned into heat. Slightly less than 50% of IR received this way is directed to the ground, the so-called back radiation. Once the molecule is in the excited state it cannot absorb another photon of this energy until it has left the excited state by emitting a photon. It can however enter even higher quantum states by absorbing a second photon but this is at a different quantum gap. That is the wavelength needed to transition from base state to E1 is different to that needed to get to state E2. There is a limit to this, given enough energy the electron is liberated completely from the molecule. This is called ionization.

        However in a region supplied only by radiation (absent of collisions), the outgoing radiation cannot be temperature dependent, conservation of energy dictates that it must be dependent only on the rate it receives the photons.

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          Bob,
          I have no idea where you got the idea that “any” if what you claim is true! It seems like you believe that thermodynamics has been replaced by quantum mechanics! All mass has a very low thermal work function. Converting ‘absorbed’ EMR flux into sensible heat. Also having sensible heat powering EMR emissions, no such specific excited microstate is required unless the EMR exitance is above that provided by Planck’s equation for spontaneous thermal emission at any particular frequency/wavelength. Such other emissions for example are the 9.6 µ From a CO2 laser.
          Such emissions are not powered by thermal motion of the molecular structure but from other source capable of exciting the CO2 microstates needed for such emission. The selective 15 µ thermal emission from CO2 gas needs no input EMR to generate 15 µ output flux. The wavelength is very sensitive as the CO2 molecule is very resonant at that wavelength. CO2 exitance to space from the tropopause only requires that the tropopause be at a higher temperature than space (higher radiance at 15 µ) As the temperature of the tropopause goes up so does the CO2 emission to space! No absorption of 15 µ radiative flux is required for such exitance to space.
          All the best! -will-

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      Peter C

      All 4 one.

      Thanks KK. Just to save anyone else for following the reference.

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      It’s been almost 50 years so go easy;
      KinkyKeith
      November 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      KK——WJ It’s an atmosphere! Cp,Cv don’t work lapse does!
      0.500—0.3571
      0.250—0.1786
      0.125—0.0893
      Distance to food says the spyder: d ≤ h+w+l ≥ √(h²+w²+l²)
      Go now shortest? Wait a while? Always questions! Yum food!

      This is why no parcels or adiabatic atmosphere! Molecules that don’t like the altitude/attitude just leave with all massless,that convected, heat or stinky!

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    Martin Mason

    [Snip about snipped admin - Jo]

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      Peter C

      [Snip about snip]

      By the way, if you click on reply under the name of the respondent, as here: Martin Mason
      November 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm · Reply
      Then it appears as a response.

      If you click on reply otherwise it comes out as a new response to the blog

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    bill

    Have I got this right? Water vapour increase due to warming. But wvel decreasing despite this. That this has been caused by inference by CO2 is not sufficient explanation. The explanation put forward in responses is reduced convection due to decreased lapse rate and would thus result in uneven mixed gas scenario I find a bit fanciful although interesting.

    Is there evidence(facts not models) that the WVel is decreased to support this.

    [Bill, see Comment 11.3 - DE]

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      bill said:

      “reduced convection due to decreased lapse rate and would thus result in uneven mixed gas scenario I find a bit fanciful although interesting.”

      Consider temperature inversions such as occur beneath high pressure cells.

      Warmer air aloft prevents convection so as to allow humidity to build up towards the surface. That is why you see hot humid weather during anticyclonic (high pressure) weather.Eventually it breaks down into thundery conditions with vigorous convection when colder air moves in aloft.

      The same principle applies for any reduction of the lapse rate slope to less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate.

      David said this above:

      “- Conclusion

      The WVEL has descended in the last few decades, but we cannot determine how much:”

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        “Consider temperature inversions such as occur beneath high pressure cells.”

        Are you claiming that the inversion reduces EMR exit flux for some reason?

        “The same principle applies for any reduction of the lapse rate slope to less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate.”

        Again that always reduces local surface temperature and increases local upper tropospheric temperature.

        Both issues are but local fluff having no bearing on long term effects. Does atmospheric CO2 ever have a global effect on the thermal lapse of this atmosphere? How does it possibly do that?
        [SNIP - tone]

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          Greg Cavanagh

          Will; I’ve about had enough of your rude reply comments. Sometimes you seem to know the maths and physics, while other times you talk asinine nonsense.

          Could you please provide your background and/or carrier so that I can better evaluate whether I read your comments in the future at all. Thanks in advance.

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          Greg Cavanagh

          I gave you a day and a half, zero answer. You have no credentials, just obfuscation, innuendo and a ruddy attitude. Good luck with that.

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            I have no background or carrier (whatever that may mean)! I represent no one but myself, my learning, my experience, my opinion, it’s free. I am not selling anything. You Greg Cavanagh do not even have that for this topic.

            “I’ve about had enough of your rude reply comments.”

            Why the return? Have you no personal integrity?

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            KinkyKeith

            Greg

            I’ve tried to understand but even his numbers don’t work.

            I think I give up.

            KK

            http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/new-science-17-solving-the-mystery-of-the-missing-hotspot/#comment-1762179

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              Keith,
              No, I am not Konrad and I do make errors, often!
              Looks now like I got the density thing upside down!! Cp/Cv = gamma (chemistry) = kappa (engineering) = 7/5! Also in Engineering Pressure/rho = RsT, with rho the density of gas with mass, and Rs the specific gas constant for that gas with mass! Checking the measurements of this atmosphere, density ‘decreases’ less with increasing altitude than does pressure. Is P/rho not 7/5, is it instead 5/7? Does moving part of the atmosphere up and down in the atmosphere change the energy of anything? What kind of energy changes? With an atmosphere the only constant in the gas law is the gas constant. You have 4 terms left that are all partial derivitives with respect to altitude.
              I am still trying to get my head around this claim from meteorology that ascending atmosphere does “work” on the surrounding atmosphere, then more “work” is done on the descending atmosphere by the surround. Yet it takes no “work” (force x distance) to move (change location) of any part of the atmosphere, as long as it is not constrained to a particular fixed volume!
              All the best! -will-

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                KinkyKeith

                Will

                A starting point for your analysis would be to take a cubic metre (1.225 kg) of air at STP ; ground level and heat it in a solid walled container to say 20 deg C or 293 K.

                Pressure goes up. Volume held constant by container.

                Then if we allow the walls of the container to expand to bring internal and external pressure to equilibrium ie. 1 atm there will be a larger volume for the gas at the new temp.

                Now if we lock in the container walls (weightless) and look at what we have, we see a larger volume at higher temp and a lower density than surrounding air.

                If let loose, that 1 cubic metre of air now bigger at V2 will float up (buoyancy effect).

                During the rise imagine that the gas is able to avoid changes in T or P internally.

                At altitude release the container walls to allow the contained gas to equilibrate wrt T and P with surrounding air.

                The only work that seems to have been done is to add heat at the start to increase the T and create a larger vol.

                In fact if you consider an unconstrained parcel of air rising up through the local atmosphere then you can imagine that it will need to push aside that air and so do work; friction.

                Lot to think about there Will

                KK

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                KK

                If the unconstrained parcel is reducing its own T&P at the same rate as the T&P of the surroundings is reducing would it need to do any pushing aside ?

                That is the tricky point about adiabatic uplift that so many have difficulty getting their heads around.

                If a rising parcel is expanding into a region of lower pressure then no pushing aside is needed. Pushing aside is only necessary if it is expanding into a region of the same or higher pressure.

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                KinkyKeith

                Hi Stephen

                Only the outer parts of a rising cell interact with surrounding air during rise.

                If the whole parcel adjusted immediately to T & P there would be no rise.

                This energy loss must be accounted for.

                KK

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                KK,

                There is no energy loss, merely KE becoming PE. The proof that no energy is lost is that KE is regained from PE in the next descent.

                The only time there is an interaction between the outer parts of a rising cell and the air molecules surrounding it is before the moment of uplift and that is a diabatic process.

                Once lift off occurs both the rising parcel and the surroundings change their T&P at the same rate so there is no longer any interaction between the molecules inside and outside the parcel The process is then adiabatic and the T&P differential between the rising parcel and its surroundings stays the same throughout continuing uplift until an inversion layer or the top of the atmosphere are reached.

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      gai

      Depends on whether or not you are talking about models or actual evidence.

      See my comment above on the decrease not increase in water vapor.

      As the following graph shows it is the higher wavelengths of solar energy that penetrate and warm the oceans. CO2 ‘back radiation’ can not actually warm the oceans without mixing via waves.

      http://www.john-daly.com/sverdrup.gif

      See THE DEEP BLUE SEA by John L. Daly for the rest.
      (wwwDOT)john-daly.com/deepsea.htm

      Also you are looking at the amount of energy. This is an energy vs wavelength chart. When you are talking CO2 IR you are talking wimpy. The EUV/UV wavelengths photons are strong enough to break chemical bonds and cause mutations. CO2 is in the MIR range (15 μm)
      SEE: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Light_spectrum.svg/2000px-Light_spectrum.svg.png

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      Bill, to summarize what is happening:

      1. Water vapor feedback as described by the establishment does exist. It raises the water vapor emissions layer (WVEL), but only in response to surface warming (such as due to more absorbed solar radiation (ASR), as part of the solar response).

      2. The rerouting feedback to increasing CO2 lowers the WVEL. It is in response to increasing CO2.

      3. The CO2 response has been stronger than the solar response in recent decades, so overall the WVEL has descended slightly, which agrees with the empirical observations.

      This resolves the long-standing dispute between the establishment (who insist the water vapor feedback exists because it is based on well-known properties of moist air, and therefore empirical observations that suggest it is missing are somehow wrong) and skeptics (who have say the water vapor feedback does not exist because the empirical observations fairly unambiguously show it is not happening).

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    Andrew McRae

    ASR presumably increased from 1984 — which caused some surface warming and invoked the solar response, thereby causing the WVEL to ascend. Yet the WVEL was observed to descend. Therefore the WVEL descended due to the CO2 response (to the increasing CO2), which outweighed the ascent due to the solar response (to the increased ASR).

    Okay that is really the crux of the whole thing. The tweet we talked about last time. I accept you have established the WVEL lowered according to radiosondes. It’s the causality that is a bit iffy.

    Given the apparent lack of a hotspot over the last few decades, coincident with a rapid rise in CO2 concentration, it would appear that (a) the CO2 response causes the WVEL to descend, which is consistent with the rerouting feedback,

    Co-incidence isn’t causation. The price of a postage stamp also went up over this period, so… postage price increases lower the WVEL too? The argument is still relying on this inductive hypothesis of increasing CO2 lowering the WVEL. Last time I asked about this, way back in Part 7, your answer was basically:

    Thus CO2 removes less heat as OLR from the upper troposphere; thus there is local warming in the upper troposphere.
    The idea of the rerouting feedback is that this local warming could induce more OLR from water vapor. [...]
    Furthermore, the water vapor emission layer would descend on average if the lapse rate was constant — to emit more OLR the average WVEL height would have to be a little warmer and thus to descend.

    All other factors being constant, when a radiative gas increases in concentration the effective height of TOA OLR emission increases at those spectra, regardless of chemical species. It applies to H2O and CO2.

    You want H2O to offset the CO2 “local warming”, so you have hypothesised the re-routing which relies on a WVEL lowering – despite the initial warming which should have increased the water vapour also. To get the increased OLR re-routing you have to prevent H2O from upwelling into the warmer region created by the CO2.
    What is the mechanism for CO2 to prevent the upwelling of more H2O into the upper troposphere?

    Is that the idea that CO2 “dries out” the troposphere somehow? Because that idea has been floating around WUWT for years.
    Is this a case of thermal energy being partitioned amongst available species, so adding more CO2 leaves less energy for H2O, so less H2O can be supported in the air?

    If the re-routing feedback isn’t happening we are still left with no explanation for the observed fact of a WVEL decrease. It would be nice if you were right, but it is sufficient to show the IPCC was wrong.

    Perhaps this post was more valuable for pointing out that the Paltridge et al 2009 paper on water vapour trends shows a lowering of the WVEL which is the opposite of consensus global warming theory.

    [See Comment 13.4 - DE]

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      Andrew said:

      “What is the mechanism for CO2 to prevent the upwelling of more H2O into the upper troposphere?”

      It is well established in meteorology that a less steep lapse rate slope will inhibit convection.

      Slower convection allows more water vapour to accumulsate in the lower layers.

      An extreme example is an inversion where warm air aloft blocks convection completely.

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        Stephen Wilde November 3, 2015 at 3:28 am

        (Andrew said: “What is the mechanism for CO2 to prevent the upwelling of more H2O into the upper troposphere?”)

        “It is well established in meteorology that a less steep lapse rate slope will inhibit convection.”

        Is that a well established fantasy or has such been verified at some place and time? Where? When? If mass convection is based on a difference in density (WV) concentration and a gravitationally induced density lapse, why would a lesser temperature lapse affect the upward acceleration at all?

        “Slower convection allows more water vapour to accumulsate in the lower layers.”

        Why? Why would WV accumulate above saturation?

        “An extreme example is an inversion where warm air aloft blocks convection completely.”

        Is there any documented evidence of such occurring? Warm are aloft must be even less dense at the same pressure.

        How is this anything but an OT Wilde fantasy?

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          The prime example is the tropopause where the lapse rate reverses and prevents further convection.

          Other examples are inversions within high pressure cells where descending air warms adiabatically and inhibits convection from the surface beneath.

          Another is advection of warmer air at a higher level from other regions which supprsses convection from the surface beneath.

          It is a common observable phenomenon.

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            Bobl

            Stephen,

            Can’t see it. A lower lapse rate occurs where the temperature difference between the surface and sky is smaller compared with the gravitationally induced 9.8 deg per km. In order to warm the sky to closer to ground temperature (reduce the lapse), one has to get MORE energy into the sky to overcome the losses to space and tilt the equilibrium in a warming direction If that energy is sourced from the surface, then this implies that the energy coming from the ground is INCREASED compared with the constant cooling to space. How can that be done if convective overturning is lower?

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      Rud Istvan

      Andrew, two part reply. First, AR4 took as gospel that upper troposhere relative humidity remains roughly constant. WG1 black box 8.1 is the clearest example. Partridge showedthis not so, and was savaged. The selection bias shown by AR4 on this matter is extensively discussed (with footnotes) in climate chapter of my ebook The Arts of Truth.
      Second, there is a physical mechanism for the ‘rerouting’ that Dr. Evans descibes generally in his alternative model, that was ‘discredited’-not. For details see my post following. Another example of consensus misrepresentation coming back to haunt them.

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      “All other factors being constant, when a radiative gas increases in concentration the effective height of TOA OLR emission increases at those spectra, regardless of chemical species. It applies to H2O and CO2.”

      This is not necessarily true! CO2 14-16 µ emission height stays constant at the tropopause (zero lapse) at concentrations above 200 ppmv. With H2O it depends on what is maintaining temperature, EMR exitance or some other like convection! No surface EMR exitance is ‘required’ for this atmosphere! H2O can do it all!
      All the best! -will-

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      Andrew “What is the mechanism for CO2 to prevent the upwelling of more H2O into the upper troposphere?” I don’t know, but it is observed to happen. Likewise I do not know the mechanism by which the rerouting feedback lowers the WVEL — but it must, otherwise the WVEL would not emit more. Likewise, I do not know the mechanism whereby the decrease in OLR from CO2 molecules high in the atmosphere due to increasing CO2 causes the surface to warm — but it must, logically. I imagine that all three mechanisms might have a lot in common.

      “Is that the idea that CO2 “dries out” the troposphere somehow? Because that idea has been floating around WUWT for years.” The empirical data for that has been around for years.

      What is new here is the resolution of the long-standing dispute between the establishment (who insist the water vapor feedback exists because it is based on well-known properties of moist air, and therefore empirical observations that suggest it is missing are somehow wrong) and traditional skeptics (who have say the water vapor feedback does not exist because the empirical observations fairly unambiguously show it is not happening). Viz:

      1. Water vapor feedback as described by the establishment does exist. It raises the water vapor emissions layer (WVEL), but only in response to surface warming (such as due to more absorbed solar radiation (ASR), as part of the solar response).

      2. The rerouting feedback to increasing CO2 lowers the WVEL. It is in response to increasing CO2.

      3. The CO2 response has been stronger than the solar response in recent decades, so overall the WVEL has descended slightly, which agrees with the empirical observations.

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    Rud Istvan

    The radiosonde data need to be carefully calibrated because of dry humidity biases in the various sensor families that have been used. This has been done, and the results agree with estimates from GPS occultaion (but which new method does not give a sufficient history).

    One physical mechanism by which CO2 induced warming in the tropics lowers upper troposphere specific humidity is almost certainly Lindzens adaptive infrared iris ‘plus’ (BAMS 2001). More aggressive Tstorm convection, more rainout, less water vapor detrainment. Lindzen’s evidence focused on detrainment and relative cirrus. He did not consider precipitation and the impact on UTrH; GCMs produce about half the tropical precipitation of what is observed (Wentz, Science 2007). This negative physical feedback is not in the GCMs. When added, it significantly lowers sensitivity. See Mauritsen and Stevens 2015 Nature Geoscience, and my and Judith Curry’s recent complementary posts on this new paper at Climate Etc.

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    Roy Hogue

    … not even one degree, it’s more like “half” a degree. Go panic about that.

    No, I don’t think so. But they’ve expected us to panic over record temperatures that turn out to be a record by a couple of tenths of a degree, maximum. So someone panics over half a degree I think — at least panics over trying to figure out how to get the world to believe half a degree is so dangerous.

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    Alexander

    It has become impossible for me to restrain my dismay and embarrassment at those respondents who are undermining this conversation:

    • The petulant narcissists promoting their own pet perspectives and ego-props;
    • The infantile pedants quibbling about trivial and often largely irrelevant content;
    • The posturing would-be “authorities” who claim some proprietary power over the subject-matter;
    • The “prove-it” taunters and nihilists who cower in the fog of all that we don’t (and even can’t) know, and devalue what we do know, however imperfect and approximate it might be, losing sight of the fact that we can in fact know that some things simply are not true even if we aren’t certain what is true.

    These persons appear unable to recognize and honor, or are willfully disregarding, the strategy of these posts — to subvert and supersede the false (and perhaps even fraudulent) scientific basis of the CAGW political manipulation from within its own narrative. These are a different population from the trolls and cultists who aren’t even pretending to support a skeptical narrative — they haven’t shown up in force yet, but who needs them when we have all these saboteurs and poseurs within?

    I won’t name names, but we can tell who they are (although they seem entirely clueless or corruptly hypocritical). I invite them to grow up, fight their way out of the wet paper bag of their own petty selves, and join the adults in playing a larger game.

    And I nominate David and Jo for some sainthood honors for their patient forebearance and toleration of the nattering, and for modeling for us a mature focus on the larger context and the main prize for us all — a substantive contribution to understanding both the planetary and the political processes.

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    I found the hot spot.

    No need to continue this series.

    It was in the back of a closet where my cat sleeps.

    But seriously now, these comments seem to be getting somewhat hostile, and/or affected by adult beverages.

    As a proud “Skeptical Denier” I’d like to remind folks that hostility discourages free speech.

    I would have no problem with a moderator deleting sentences that are hostile … this should be a friendly website.

    It’s supposed to be the leftists who are always hostile to different opinions.

    In my opinion, the climate is most affected by the sun, clouds and water vapor.
    I have no idea exactly how, nor do I care, because I consider the climate today BETTER than it has been in at least 500 years — slightly warmer, which people love, and more CO2, which plants love.

    My interest in the climate is only because climate scaremongering has affected the rate of economic growth, which had been based on cheap, high density sources of energy — not expensive, low density, intermittent solar and wind power.

    OT:
    I know very little about Australia beyond what I saw one of my favorite movies: “On The Beach” … but

    Last month I was studying global home price valuations at http://www.economist.com, and saw that the average Australian home price was very expensive relative to rents, so it might be a good time to take profits. Just my opinion, and I have been wrong before.

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      KinkyKeith

      So Richard,

      while agreeing with your comments I can’t help but ask:

      is the “hot spot” in fact, our local real estate market?

      KK

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        No! It is “in the back of a closet where my cat sleeps.” ;-)

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          KinkyKeith

          Will I still can’t get the answer.

          Tried using the universal gas equation PV= nRT and got something too large.

          0.5 atm should be about 253 K

          I got 0.5776 moles

          You got 0.3571

          ???

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            KinkyKeith November 3, 2015 at 9:07 pm

            “Will I still can’t get the answer.”

            That is because there is a real kick in the pants for an atmosphere. Also why the term adiabatic is nonsense! Meteorologists never know how many molecules they even are spouting about!

            “Tried using the universal gas equation PV= nRT and got something too large.”

            That is the only way! now use also the gravitational lapse 9.8 whatever,doesn’t matter if no work for an atmosphere!

            Rearranging PV/n = RT.
            n/V is molar density rho (ρ)
            Since both P and ρ are logarithmic and
            T is linear with altitude the ratio of the two log functions must be a constant.
            In engineering the expression is:
            P/ρ = RT = isentropic exponent (κ)
            This is also called gamma (γ) in chemistry and for a diatomic gas is 7/5 1.4.
            This means that in an atmosphere as the pressure goes down some molecules just leave the volume and density is 5/7 of what you first got. The reverse happens an aggregation of molecules as the pressure goes up. All is spontaneous for this compressible fluid in this gravitational field. Not sure, but it looks like the temperature lapse is enforced by gravity, not by convection or EMR. Wouldn’t that be a hoot for the CCC. This is highly significant for moving parts of the atmosphere around as the only work is the acceleration of the atmospheric mass. Look out for going round in circles though!
            All the best! -will-

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              KinkyKeith

              Thanks Will

              I can see how you got your numbers but I assume that this gamma (γ) of 7/5 1.4 doesn’t work at STP.

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                KinkyKeith November 4, 2015 at 11:29 am

                “Thanks Will,
                I can see how you got your numbers but I assume that this gamma (γ) of 7/5 1.4 doesn’t work at STP.”

                Oh it does work at all atmospheric locations. STP was just where I started with to 1 mole because that is where that volume is measured.
                If I put the 1 mole into a fixed ‘closed’ volume, Your second answer is correct a constant 1 mole. this is the very basic assumption for any adiabatic, a fixed mass/number of molecules. This is what makes the meteorology claim of “air parcel” moving ‘adiabatically’ vertical in the atmosphere so very unscientific, a fantasy. The atmosphere will not allow such, as has no such fixed ‘volume’ anywhere. A specific heat like Cv or Cp simply does not exist for an atmosphere. I mention this in this thread only because SW still keeps messing with David’s work. For more on the details, ask over on the SW thread as Joanne requested.
                All the best! -will-

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                KinkyKeith

                Thanks

                I do remember seeing Cp and Cv in either a physics or chem lecture back in about 1968.

                I swore when I started blogging here that I would not revise ANY of the past work I had done.

                I was determined that anything I didn’t recall could be left and that my general understanding would be enough.

                Unfortunately as a metallurgist my work did not do much in the area of atmospherics so I have no real conceptual understanding there apart from the basic physics represented by PV = nRT

                The mysteries of the real world atmosphere still escape me.

                :) kk

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                KinkyKeith Nov 4, 2015 at 6:25 pm

                “Thanks, I have no real conceptual understanding there apart from the basic physics represented by PV = nRT. The mysteries of the real world atmosphere still escape me. :) kk”

                Well,if you than perhaps others also. — Joanne, if this is OT then just delete, please.

                If you put a fixed amount of ‘air’ in a fixed volume insulated container; and you add energy say 100 Joules,in the form of heat a electrical resistor dissipating 1 Watt for 100 seconds = 100 Joules the temperature increases by 8.321 J/(mol·K) The Cv for air.
                For that 22.4 liter fixed volume (one mole) STP the temperature increase would be 100/8.321 for a 12°C increase in temperature.
                But along with that heating the pressure also went up! (exercise for students, how much?), does not matter here. If however the opening of the 22.4 liter cup had a limp insulated balloon capturing any escaping air. We would have to power that 1 Watt resistor for 140 seconds, 140 Joules for the temperature of that air to be increased by the same 12°C.
                If you measure carefully That 22.4 liters has become 31.4 liters of volume, 9 liters in what was the limp balloon! all at the same standard pressure but 12°C higher temperature.
                Now here is the kicker Meteorology and post modern physics will both claim that the extra 40 Joules went into WORK expanding the enclosed air against the standard air pressure. Just what ‘work’ force x distance went into expanding a limp balloon with exactly the same internal and external pressure? Some here can figure out what is going on, and why it has been going on for the past 200 years. If more help is requested, I must ask our hostess Joanne, to tell me to post here #17 or over on the S.W. mess!
                All the best! -will-

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                KinkyKeith

                Will

                I decided to work through the numbers but on a second look the point you are trying to make is there anyhow;

                The only work done in the system you describe is to add 100 joules to the given parcel of air.

                The fact that the parcel has used that energy to expand the volume represents the higher energy level of the parcel.

                At this point NO energy has left the system.

                I suspect that your point is this; If energy is then removed from the system say by exposing it to a heat sink (at Std Temp) then pressure would revert to STP (1 atm or starting point)

                All energy accounted for?

                KK

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                KinkyKeith

                I tried.

                Will gives example

                “If you put a fixed amount of ‘air’ in a fixed volume insulated container; and you add energy say 100 Joules,in the form of heat a electrical resistor dissipating 1 Watt for 100 seconds = 100 Joules the temperature increases by 8.321 J/(mol·K) The Cv for air.
                For that 22.4 liter fixed volume (one mole) STP the temperature increase would be 100/8.321 for a 12°C increase in temperature.
                But along with that heating the pressure also went up! (exercise for students, how much?), does not matter here. If however the opening of the 22.4 liter cup had a limp insulated balloon capturing any escaping air. We would have to power that 1 Watt resistor for 140 seconds, 140 Joules for the temperature of that air to be increased by the same 12°C.
                If you measure carefully That 22.4 liters has become 31.4 liters of volume, 9 liters in what was the limp balloon! all at the same standard pressure but 12°C higher temperature.”

                Will the extra of 9 litres is NOT possible.

                Maybe 0.9 l but not 9 for a 12 C deg increase.

                Konrad suggested you knew what you were doing.

                Are YOU Konrad ?????

                Put “word salad” into google.

                KK

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                “Will the extra of 9 litres is NOT possible.
                Maybe 0.9 l but not 9 for a 12 C deg increase.”

                If the volume is fixed will the 100 Joules
                increase the temperature by 12°C?
                If allowed to expand into the baggie how much would the one mole expand into the baggie? What would the increase in temperature be? Does this somehow “need” the use of absolute temperature rather than a delta temperature? Why not expand to from 22.4 to 31.4 litres with 140 Joules added heat energy, at the same pressure?? What temperature increase did you get?

                “Konrad suggested you knew what you were doing. Are YOU Konrad ?????”

                No! Sometimes I remember some from my measurements of EMR propagation through this Earth’s atmosphere.
                Expansion of atmosphere within the atmosphere by adding heat energy at different altitudes is way different. It is not something I have measured! Has anyone “measured” what meteorologists claim of this atmosphere? A temperature lapse with altitude is easy to measure! An atmospheric adiabatic lapse with increasing altitude seems absolute fantasy!
                All the best! -will-

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        The price of an average Australian home is very overvalued relative to renting.

        I imagine certain big cities would be most overvalued, and mining towns would be undervalued, but The Economist only had overall data.

        Considering the economic slowdown in China, and low commodity prices (another sign of slow overall world economic growth), it would seem like a good time to sell a house in Australia, and a bad time to buy one.

        I can live with the name Keith, as my middle name is Keith.
        But what’s with your moniker “Kinky”?
        Or is that your name?
        We have a Kinky Friedman here in the US.

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    RexR

    David,

    i was enjoying reading your work up until this point. But I’m afraid with your introduction on your old “Missing Hotspot” theory, you’ve now dented your credibility in my view.

    You have been on about this missing hot spot ffor years and years now, and importantly you always refer back to a set of graphs in the old Sherwood and Santer paper – namely these two.

    But I ask myself David, why are you referring to graphs that are from measurements taken more than 15 years ago now? Why are you continuing to rely on such old data? I ask myself hasn’t there been any radiosondes sent up to measure the atmosphere since 1999?

    Well, you and Jo both know there have indeed been radiosondes set up since then, And in fact Sherwood published a paper earlier this year , that contains the updated data set and importantly the updated graphs.

    Furthermore in fact Sherwood published a graph (See figure 1 in the linked paper) that certainly depicts a likely hotspot. (Its that red blob right in the middle at Latitude 0).

    Now I know that Jo has previously pooh-pooed this latest graph of Sherwood’s, but the thing is it contains radiosonde data right up to 2013. It’s much more up-to-date than the graph’s that you are choosing for your argument.

    Yeah sure I get it that you and Jo disagree with the interpretation that Sherwood has made of the more recent measurement data, and the calculations involving wind shear. I get that. But that fact is David it’s a bad look for you to be ignoring the last 15 years of radiosonde measurement data – which is what you are doing when you keep referring back to the “No Hotspot” graph (Figure1) that you have in this piece.

    The fact that you have introduced this argument of the “Missing hotspot” again, and have re-iterated again how significant it is to your overall position, yet you have deliberately chosen to ignore the last 15 years of temperature measurements – well – It just doesn’t help your credibility in my view.

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      RexR, this is bone simple. There’s been no global warming in the last 15 years. So there should be no hot spot, and there was no hot spot. Case closed. Any data from the last 15 years is irrelevant.

      That Sherwood found a hot spot by adding in pointless data from this period only shows how pathetic and uninsightful his work is. Since I have already explained that in the post you linked to, perhaps you ought just read that before commenting?

      We’re giving the last 15 years of data all the attention it deserves.

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        RexR

        Jo that really is quite a defensive and emotive response. I would have hoped for better. As you well know Sherwood has added the last 15 years of data onto the earlier data set so that the dataset he uses now spans from 1960 to 2012. It’s just completely wrong to just tell me that “any data from the last 15 years is irrelevant”. ALL data is relevant Jo – Not just data that you prefer to quote.

        You can quibble about Sherwood’s treatment of the data, that’s fine I don’t have a problem with that. But don’t tell me that we can ignore real data that has been added to the datasets in the last 15 years on the spurious and totally self serving grounds that “there’s been no global warming in the last 15 years” when your whole raison d’être is about proving that there is not global warming. You’re not doing yourself any favours by treating my perfectly reasonable observation with such obvious contempt.

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          Rex, the emotive words were yours. You were the one with the over the top accusations talking of how it “dented your crediblity”, “been on about the hot spot”,”deliberately chosen to ignore” etc, you implied we know the new data shows the opposite of what we say, that my complete logical dismissal of Sherwood (which you appeared unaware of despite linking to it) was paradoxically “ignoring” him, and was “pooh poohing” it. Given your false and emotionally loaded accusations, my reply was polite and informative.

          Your comment pretty much ticked all the boxes of a classic “concern troll”. Someone who posts their first comment with the aim of looking like they “support” the site or author, but uses most of their comment in a weak attempt to dismiss their credibility. The faulty email didn’t help your credibility. The test for a concern troll is whether they are interested in finding the truth out, or whether their aim is an ad hom. Feel free to show you are genuine.

          People who are sincerely interested in the series with an open mind would be more likely to just ask “why do you focus on 1979-1999″ and not 2000 – 2015. And they would find out that that period provides the only graph that’s useful and the only one provided by the establishment that can be compared to directly with model projections. They would also acknowledge that this was the most rapid period for warming (which was said in this post) and therefore the “hot spot” you see in that graph is as big and significant as it is ever going to get.

          You repeat here that we are ignoring the data when clearly we’re not. What can I say? Bizarre.

          Your statement that “all data is relevant” is false. It depends on the question. Since we’re talking about the “hot spot” — the periods before and after 1979-1999 are irrelevant. Adding them in to any search for the hot spot is diluting useful data with unhelpful data.

          Your observations were not reasonable, and my contempt was directed at Sherwood.

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        steve

        The only problem I have with all this hard work (besides not understanding the math) is how you are going to change the world. There is an industry out there that disappears if you are right, so there will be no convincing the pigs at the trough.

        (The sky is red, dammitt, I know you have photographs of it showing it is blue, but they do not change my mind because my grants will disappear if it is not red.)

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          Steve, got to start somewhere.

          Previously skeptics have quibbled with the parameter values in the basic model, and pointed to empirical evidence tat disagreed with the CO2 theory. But, as pointed out in the introductory post, the reason most climate scientists believe the CO2 theory even in the face of contrary empirical evidence is because of the conventional basic climate model — they are certain the “basic physics” supports them, so they assume contradictory evidence is wrong.

          This series is the first to show that the architecture of the conventional basic climate model is fundamentally wrong, AFAIK. This post, showing how the new architecture resolves the problem over the missing hotspot, is empirical support for the alternative architecture.

          Getting the skeptics to pay attention and pull in the same direction will be a major achievement — see Alexander’s Comment 15.

          So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell other skeptics that the ideas in this series are worth paying attention to.

          Then, when the word eventually spreads to establishment climate scientists, their faith in the conventional basic climate model will wane, alternatives will be considered, and progress in climate science will become possible again. At the moment, all establishment types and many skeptics are barking up the wrong trees, frankly.

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            steve

            Thanks for replying David, I wish you luck.

            My point is that I am of the opinion that the science community is full of people that chase the dollar rather than the truth. I hope I am wrong.

            Your answer suggests that they will change their minds when they get a convincing rebuttal for the incorrect science that they have been fed. I am skeptical. Do you really think that there is much integrity left in climate science? or politics for that matter?

            There are ulterior motives everywhere.

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              Agreed Steve, and I am not all that hopeful of much response. Except that suddenly in a few years “everyone will know” that the models had a faulty architecture (among other problems), even though no one ever paid any attention or credited this work in the meantime. Maybe.

              The current situation in cliamte science is particularly dastardly, because the honest ones with more integrity get their careers wrecked — so those who thrive tend to be less than ideal. I’ve seen that up close, though I am sure there are honorable exceptions.

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      RexR, Joanne and I have been “on about this missing hot spot for years” because it is at the center of the establishment theory on CO2 — the hotspot is the sign that the water vapor amplification that produces more than half the predicted warming exists, or not. Relevant, no?

      All those conversations and commenters who talk about climate change who don’t mention water vapor amplification and the missing hotspot — are they hiding something? Ignorant? Don’t care about where the warming is coming from?

      “why are you referring to graphs that are from measurements taken more than 15 years ago now”. Because* there has been no surface warming for the last 15 years (the pause), and thus no water vapor amplification (according to the establishment, it is a feedback response to surface warming). Therefore, any data in the last 15 years is irrelevant to the issue of whether the hotspot exists (in the pre-resolution form of the argument). Which makes Sherwood’s recent “discovery” of the hotspot in the last few years of data even more remarkable — and non-credible.

      You were enjoying reading this series until now but the missing hotspot spoils it for you? “..it’s a bad look” for me. Oh what “concern” you show. Shame you didn’t understand that water vapor amplification is a response to surface warming — makes you appear like you haven’t been reading the series or even the post above. Oh well. Here, I’ll summarize the post for you:

      There has been a long-standing dispute between the establishment (who insist the water vapor feedback exists because it is based on well-known properties of moist air, and therefore empirical observations that suggest it is missing are somehow wrong) and skeptics (who have say the water vapor feedback does not exist because the empirical observations fairly unambiguously show it is not happening). This post resolves that argument:

      1. Water vapor feedback as described by the establishment does exist. It raises the water vapor emissions layer (WVEL), but only in response to surface warming (such as due to more absorbed solar radiation (ASR), as part of the solar response).

      2. The rerouting feedback to increasing CO2 lowers the WVEL. It is in response to increasing CO2.

      3. The CO2 response has been stronger than the solar response in recent decades, so overall the WVEL has descended slightly, which agrees with the empirical observations.

      * And also because the establishment has never released the actual data for any other period AFAIK. Got to wonder why ;)

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        ianl8888


        … The CO2 response has been stronger than the solar response in recent decades …

        I could easily have missed it, but is there empirical evidence for that statement, please ?

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          ian, the solar response pushes the the WVEL up, while the CO2 response pulls it down. The empirical evidence says the WVEL has been descending slightly in recent decades (see the post above). Thus the CO2 response is “stronger” than the solar response.

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            ianl8888

            Ok, so it’s straight deduction from empirical measurements of WVEL movement

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              • #

                Is this not another claim the increasing atmospheric CO2 is responsible, (the cause) of something, anything? The negative complex-conjugate abounds! ;-)

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                ianl8888

                The first diagram, at the very top, of:

                http://joannenova.com.au/page/2/

                (Science 15 post)

                I haven’t made up my own mind yet, although it’s quite easy to see that attempted criticisms (like Janoschka here, Bishop Hill site, LB’s site) persistently veer off into other, inconclusive, areas. This tells me that uncertainty abounds

                One can see why simpler minds cling to the Precautionary Principle – such a smug beacon of weak torchlight it is, indeed

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        RexR

        Thanks for the summary. Maybe I overreacted – But when I see this old data, and discover with a quick google search that there is more recent data – I start to ask myself why you are only showing me this old data.

        I take it though, your position is this: The last 15 years of data represents a period with minimal likelihood of a hotspot (according to the conventional theory), therefore it is reasonable to ignore the more recent data – since ignoring it should in theory be even better for the conventional AGW position, as ignoring it should display the evidence of the hotspot that the theory predicts.

        I think it’s a shame that we can’t see the last 15 years of data though. Has anyone actually asked for it?

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          Rex, apologies for overreacting myself.

          Yes, the hotspot should appear when there is surface warming, according to conventional theory. This alternative theory agrees with that, but adds that increasing CO2 produces a counteracting cool spot which can hide/outweigh the hotspot.

          I don’t know who looks after the radiosonde data and produced the 1979-99 warming diagram, and I don’t know if anyone has asked. But given the centrality of the issue and the interest in it from Sherwood and others, it is odd. Sherwood obviously has access to all the radiosonde data and produces such graphs, so maybe someone should ask him.

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      Pseudo-adiabatic warming (increasing temperature) with increasing altitude still logarithmically decreasing pressure and density? Give me a break!! Who oh who is claiming a isentropic exponent less than one? The world has gone mad! This can no longer be considered incompetence! :-(

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    This has been an enthralling series. Thanks so much to both of you- for David’s prodigious piece of work and Jo’s most helpful precis.

    I haven’t been qualified to comment through all this as the math has left me far behind. I’m just about okay when you’re walking me through it, but come next instalment and I’ve forgotten it all! So that level of understanding leaves me without any way of evaluating just how right or wrong this all is.

    But now we are getting into slightly more familiar territory and the overview I’m getting certainly makes a whole lot of sense. One thing that has always troubled me about the claimed ‘water vapour feedback’is that, in the warmist narrative – and, I understand, in the models – the increased WV results from the CO2 greenhouse via its warming effect, and not from any direct effect of CO2. Therefore the question has always been – why can’t the warming from increased water vapour potentiate itself, even in the absence of CO2? Well, it’s true that CO2 has a general, mixed distribution in the atmosphere, and water vapour does not, so an explanation from the warmists MIGHT be possible, but whenever I have posted this question, no real answer has been forthcoming. Most people have ignored the question. If David’s analysis is right, I don’t need to look for one.

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    the threading is all hosed Can we start over.
    The confusion over who claimed what, why such a claim was made, and who else correctly or incorrectly interpreted the meaning of such claim. is mounting by the minute. Some confusion I think is deliberate misdirection by SW !

    bill November 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm @#11 prev.

    “Have I got this right? Water vapour increase due to warming. But wvel decreasing despite this. That this has been caused by inference by CO2 is not sufficient explanation.

    “The explanation put forward in responses is reduced convection due to decreased lapse rate and would thus result in uneven mixed gas scenario I find a bit fanciful although interesting.”

    “Is there evidence(facts not models) that the WVel is decreased to support this?”

    [Bill, see Comment 14.3 - DE]

    David Evans Nov. 3, 2015 at 1:07 pm @#11.3 prev-14.3

    Bill, to summarize what is happening:

    “1. Water vapor feedback as described by the establishment does exist. It raises the water vapor emissions layer (WVEL), but only in response to surface warming (such as due to more absorbed solar radiation (ASR), as part of the solar response).”

    The establishment does not use the term WVEL! This is a DE term that has something to do with ‘part’ of DE’s OLR. This WVEL decreases in temperature (with the term ‘raises’) due to atmospheric thermal lapse, thus decreasing that part of DE’s OLR!
    Where does the establishment say this? What terms do they use? ‘Water vapor feedback as described by the establishment’ DE claims is caused by increasing surface temperature! Where and why does the establishment claim increasing surface temperature increases or decreases atmospheric WV (the gas, not condensate)? Where is the establishment claim that this decreases DE’s OLR. Any high tropospheric Hot Spot could only increase the CCC’s or DE’s OLR by some unknown amount!

    “2. The rerouting feedback to increasing CO2 lowers the WVEL. It is in response to increasing CO2.”

    Just what is increasing CO2 doing to anything, as claimed by the CCC or DE? Where is this claim? How does an ill-defined claim get re-routed?

    “3. The CO2 response has been stronger than the solar response in recent decades, so overall the WVEL has descended slightly, which agrees with the empirical observations.”

    Response of what nature, A temperature somewhere? An altitude? The writing of a variable temperature altitude, as though that has some meaning, can have meaning only to the inventor of such fantasy. Different frequencies of OLR exitance to space can and do have various gas specie origination AND different location origination. Each must be identified until understanding rather than confusion/deceit prevail.

    “This resolves the long-standing dispute between the establishment (who insist the water vapor feedback exists because it is based on well-known properties of moist air, and therefore empirical observations that suggest it is missing are somehow wrong) and skeptics (who have say the water vapor feedback does not exist because the empirical observations fairly unambiguously show it is not happening).”

    Even the term “moist air” is generally deceitful! Does such mean atmosphere with given levels of WV (the gas) ,in what terms; WV saturated atmosphere, that may feel “moist” because of inability to perspire; or atmosphere with actual airborne water condensate (not a gas, that has little latent heat). All of these H2O conditions can and do effect both lapse rate and OLR exitance. Mostly in an unknown manner!
    All the best! -will-

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    From #17 for your consideration! My POV still likely wrong!

    “If the WVEL ascends, it creates the hotspot. The air above the WVEL is dry, but the air below the WVEL is moist and therefore warmer — because water vapor is condensing and releasing its latent heat. If the WVEL ascends it creates the hotspot, which is the warming of a volume that was dry and cool when just above the WVEL but which becomes moist and warmer as the WVEL ascends above it.”

    but the air below the WVEL is moist and therefore warmer — because water vapor is condensing and releasing its latent heat.
    No! The atmosphere below is at both a slightly higher pressure, density, and temperature! If that atmosphere below is at 100% RH and “any sensible heat is lost”, condensation must begin.
    The condensation process will only maintain temperature. Latent heat converts to sensible heat of the condensate that collects at the lowest level of the cloud via gravity. This yet lower level is also at; then further goes to more; slightly higher pressure, density, and temperature because of the higher density/temperature condensate! This is not precipitation, it is the re-establishment of the higher lapse at a lower, not higher altitude, but with more condensate. This also increases pressure, density,and temperature, all the way to the surface, resulting in a very nice 288K and 101.3kPa surface. At anything you can ‘call a WVEL’ there is no more sensible heat going upward and outward. Only EMR exitance, that you call OLR goes upward and outward! There is no generation of a higher altitude higher temperature that you call a Hot Spot! The outgoing EMR flux can and does maintain the pre-existing upper lapse with no further absorption (conversion to sensible heat). ;-) The Earth’s example of Gus Kirchhoff’s radiative equilibrium. All should be aware of this physical LAW.
    All the best! -will-

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    Andrew McRae

    O/T, almost.

    Jo, more pre-Paris psychological operations deployed by CSIRO. Survey of meaningless term “climate change”, etc

    Dr Leviston stressed opinions on climate change were more closely related to deep-seated world views rather than political allegiances.

    Those who believed in human-induced climate change were more likely to trust scientific research, while those who thought climate change was not happening said their views were based more on common sense.

    Whatever happened to the Royal Society’s old motto “Nullius in Verba”. Scientific research is supposed to be reproduceable so that we don’t have to trust what scientists say. Not trusting scientists is what scientists do.

    Read the sorry saga here.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-04/majority-of-australians-believe-in-climate-change-csiro-report/6909940
    The survey report is embedded on ABC, not hosted at CSIRO as far as I can tell.

    The headline should read “Survey shows for the umpteenth time Governments fail to accept their culpability for politicising climate science”.

    Based on figure 7, one might also conclude the believers are more likely to ignore history.

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    The only instruments with sufficient vertical resolution to measure the change in height of the WVEL over the last few decades (ΔhW) are the radiosondes.

    Have not got my head around it well yet but there may be more clues in the Schumann resonance.
    “We have now also now found that lightning activity around the globe is closely linked to the amount of water vapor in the upper atmosphere.”
    http://www.tau.ac.il/~colin/research/Atmos-Elec/atmos.html

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    [...] positive feedback that can turn a mild warming into a dangerous one just is not there. There is no tropical troposphere hot-spot. Ice cores unambiguously show that temperature can fall while carbon dioxide stays high. Estimates [...]

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    Richard Barnett

    The new science 17 post explains much about the warmists climate change FARC. After reviewing figure 1 and figure 4 who would or could believe the current models are working?

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    DR

    It appears Paul Sherwood has managed to get his wind proxy nonsense published again. I wonder if it cites Christy et al 2010 which debunked his last attempt. If not, it’s another “pal review” pass.

    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-climate-scientists-elusive-tropospheric-hot.html

    which was refuted by Christy et al in 2010
    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/9/2148/pdf

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