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Midweek Unthreaded

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Midweek Unthreaded, 8.6 out of 10 based on 23 ratings

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177 comments to Midweek Unthreaded

  • #
    Reed Coray

    This comment is directed to Peter Fitzroy.

    As part of a discussion of CO2’s role as a greenhouse gas, on a previous thread of this blog you submitted the following comment (see comment #19.2.3.1 at URL http://joannenova.com.au/2019/04/facebook-finds-truth-by-groupthink-may-the-deepest-pockets-win-the-info-war/):

    Yep – the problem is not the quantity, nor the source, it is the mechanics of action. I’m happy to accept the CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and accept the manner in which it works. The problem is that if you deny that, you have to have a scientifically based explanation, I’ve not seen anything to counter the established fact that it is a greenhouse gas, nor the mechanics in how it operates.

    Using the comment feature of this blog, I would like to try to provide a scientifically based explanation of why “the mechanics of how it [greenhouse gases interact with electromagnetic radiation] operates” does not guarantee an increase in earth surface temperature.

    Before entering into such an explanation, you should have some awareness of my overall understanding of the AGW debate. I believe the AGW community is trying to ween as rapidly as possible western civilizations off fossil fuel energy generation. Based on the above (your) comment and other comments you have submitted to this blog, I infer that although you may not agree that we should abandon fossil fuel energy generation altogether, you do support the position that mankind’s use of fossil fuels is adding greenhouse gases (in particular, CO2) to the earth’s atmosphere and those greenhouse gases are warming the planet in a harmful manner. Because terminating the use of fossil fuels for energy generation will have a significant impact on western societies, I believe to justify such action an almost ironclad case must be made that fossil fuel energy generation does now, or in the near future will, have severe adverse effects on primarily mankind but possibly to a lesser degree on the environment in general.

    My understanding of the AGW argument against fossil fuel energy generation is as follows. (1) Burning fossil fuels increases the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases. (2) An increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels will produce increases in (i) the temperature of the surface of the earth and (ii) the atmosphere temperature near the earth’s surface. (3) These direct greenhouse-gas-induced temperature increases will initiate a positive feedback (indirect effect) resulting in additional increases in (i) the temperature of the surface of the earth and (ii) the atmosphere temperature near the earth’s surface. And (4) the combined temperature increases (direct and indirect) will produce enough harm to offset the good that results from fossil fuel based energy generation.

    In my opinion, for the AGW argument as stated above to have any merit, all four conditions must be true. If any condition is not true, then the AGW argument for terminating fossil fuel energy generation fails. I’m offering to engage you in a discussion limited to item (2) above: An increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels will produce increases in (i) the temperature of the surface of the earth and (ii) the atmosphere near the earth’s surface. As part of that discussion, I will try to provide a scientifically based explanation of why “the mechanics of how it [greenhouse gases interact with electromagnetic radiation] operates” does not guarantee an increase in earth surface temperature. Note: It is entirely reasonable for you to decline to take me up on my offer. You have a life outside the AGW issue; and I believe your entering into such a discussion will consume a non-trivial amount of your time—as it will mine. If you read this comment and decide to pass on my offer, I would appreciate a response to that effect—in part so that if someone else decides to engage in such a discussion, I won’t feel I have been discourteous to you if I take him/her up on that offer.

    You may disagree with my statement of the AGW argument for terminating fossil fuel energy generation. If so and if you decide to engage in a discussion, please enumerate your disagreements. From my perspective, however, item (2) above is a critical point in any AGW fossil fuel termination argument. If you disagree [i.e., if you believe either (a) an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases won’t produce a rise in the temperature of the surface of the earth and the atmosphere near the earth’s surface , or (b) an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases will produce a rise in the temperature of the surface of the earth and the atmosphere near the earth’s surface but such a temperature increase plays a minor or negligible role in the AGW argument to restrict fossil fuel use], then a simple statement by you to that effect will render the issue moot and terminate the discussion before it even gets started.

    Now to the specifics of any discussion we might have. In your comment (see above) you referenced “the manner in which it [a greenhouse gas] works,” which I infer to mean the manner by which a greenhouse gas interacts with electromagnetic radiation to produce a warmer earth surface. If your understanding of that “manner” follows the commonly presented reasoning [i.e., (i) solar radiation, which in large measure is at frequencies above the absorption frequency bands of greenhouse gases, passes through the atmosphere and encounters the earth’s surface; (ii) the earth’s surface absorbs the incoming solar radiation thereby increasing the earth surface temperature; (iii) the heated earth surface radiates energy, which in large measure is at frequencies that overlap the greenhouse gas frequency absorption bands; (iv) atmospheric greenhouse gases absorb some of the “outgoing” earth surface radiation, which is then radiated by the atmospheric greenhouse gases in all directions resulting in additional radiation impinging on the earth’s surface, and as a consequence further increases the earth surface temperature], I would like to provide a scientific description of why atmospheric greenhouse gases don’t necessarily have to produce an increase in earth surface temperature. But before presenting that explanation, I need to understand your position—i.e., I would like to hear your description of “the manner in which it works.”

    Should you decide to enter into a discussion, I want to minimize potential misunderstandings. In particular, in any scientific discussion I believe words, terms, and phrases must be unambiguously defined. To start with, we need a definition of the term “greenhouse gas.” To that end I did a quick internet search for the definition of the term “greenhouse gas.” Below are the results of that search. Of course, as part of your understanding of the “manner” in which atmospheric greenhouse gases work, you are free to reject any of these definitions and supply your own definition. However, for us to even start a scientific discussion, you must clearly delineate the necessary and sufficient conditions a gas must possess to be called a “greenhouse gas.”

    Note: of the nine definitions given below, I prefer definition (4) because:

    (a) The name “greenhouse gas” originated by comparing the electromagnetic absorptive behavior of glass in a greenhouse to the purported electromagnetic radiative/absorptive behavior of some gases in the earth’s atmosphere. Specifically, the glass in a greenhouse permits to a large degree the passage of solar radiant energy, which in large measure exists in the visible light band, but hinders the passage of earth-based radiant energy, which in large measure exists in the IR band. Since (i) the interiors of greenhouses are almost always warmer (higher temperature) than their immediate surroundings, and (ii) people advocating AGW wanted to convey the impression that atmospheric greenhouse gases will result in a hotter earth, the name “greenhouse gas” was ideal–albeit somewhat misleading in that I believe (i) the main reason the glass in a greenhouse results in a warmer greenhouse interior is the fact that the glass inhibits heat loss by limiting thermal convection, and (ii) atmospheric greenhouse gases do not inhibit thermal convection.

    (b) The definition is simple, straight-forward, and for each and every gas can be established by laboratory experiment.

    (c) The definition avoids the possibility of a circular argument such as might arise if one uses say definition (5) [a greenhouse gas is] “any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect;” and then subsequently argues the “greenhouse effect” is an effect that occurs when greenhouse gases exist in the atmosphere.

    (d) In any discussion of earth surface warming via atmospheric greenhouse gas interaction with electromagnetic energy, I believe the properties of absorption/radiation of electromagnetic radiation in sub-bands of the IR band will arise as is evident by the fact that (i) the first seven of the nine definitions include such wording in part or in whole, and (ii) the definitions that don’t explicitly include such wording do so indirectly by referencing the “greenhouse effect,” whose definition includes comparable wording (see the four definitions of the “greenhouse effect” that follow the nine definitions of a “greenhouse gas”). As such, if we go forward I recommend that at a minimum we include the properties of IR absorption and emission as part of the definition of a greenhouse.

    As noted above, however, you are free to define the term “greenhouse gas” in any way you see fit; but you must supply an unambiguous definition so that a meaningful discussion can take place regarding the impacts atmospheric greenhouse gases will have on earth surface temperatures.

    Greenhouse Gas Definitions:

    Following are nine URLs containing definitions of the term “greenhouse gas.” For ease of inclusion as a “comment” to this blog, I have reformatted the URL entries but have left the wording intact.

    (1) https://www.bing.com/search?q=%22definition+of+a+greenhouse+gas%22+&form=EDGSPH&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=4d8adfcc369340cc8d75db76b0904b3a&sp=-1&pq=%22definition+of+a+greenhouse+gas%22+&sc=1-33&qs=n&sk=&cvid=4d8adfcc369340cc8d75db76b0904b3a
    green·house gas, NOUN,
    greenhouse gases (plural noun)
    a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, e.g., carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

    (2) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greenhouse%20gas
    green·house gas, NOUN,
    Definition of greenhouse gas:
    any of various gaseous compounds (such as carbon dioxide or methane) that absorb infrared radiation, trap heat in the atmosphere, and contribute to the greenhouse effect

    (3) https://www.dictionary.com/browse/greenhouse-gas
    greenhouse gas
    noun
    any of the gases whose absorption of solar radiation is responsible for the greenhouse effect, including carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and the fluorocarbons.

    (4) https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/greenhouse-gas
    greenhouse gas
    A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs infrared radiation (IR) and radiates heat in all directions.

    (5) http://definition.org/define/greenhouse%20gas/
    Definition of “greenhouse gas”
    Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. (noun)

    (6) https://www.thefreedictionary.com/greenhouse+gas
    greenhouse gas
    n.
    Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    greenhouse gas
    n
    any gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    green′house gas`
    n.
    any of the gases whose absorption of solar radiation is responsible for the greenhouse effect, including carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and the fluorocarbons.
    [1980–85]
    Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

    greenhouse gas
    Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide.
    The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    (7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
    A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range.

    (8) https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-greenhouse-gas-definition-causes-effects.html
    So in essence, a greenhouse gas is simply any atmospheric gas that traps heat within the atmosphere. This trapped heat creates the greenhouse effect, which in turn, contributes to climate change.

    (9) https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/greenhouse-gas
    greenhouse gas
    Word forms: greenhouse gases
    variable noun
    Greenhouse gases are the gases which are responsible for causing the greenhouse effect. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide.
    OBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

    greenhouse gas in British
    noun
    any gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect
    Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

    Greenhouse Effect Definitions:

    Following are four URLs containing definitions of the term “greenhouse effect.” For ease of inclusion as a “comment” to this blog, I have reformatted the URL entries but have left the wording intact.

    (1) https://www.bing.com/search?q=greenhouse+effect+definition&form=EDGSPH&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=a4edbbbf3d01442dbd2190544c0f3dc3&sp=1&qs=LS&pq=%22greenhouse+effect%22+definition&sc=8-30&cvid=a4edbbbf3d01442dbd2190544c0f3dc3&cc=US&setlang=en-US
    green·house ef·fect
    NOUN
    the trapping of the sun’s warmth in a planet’s lower atmosphere, due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet’s surface.

    (2) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greenhouse%20effect
    greenhouse effect
    noun
    Definition of greenhouse effect:
    warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of a planet (such as Earth or Venus) that is caused by conversion of solar radiation into heat in a process involving selective transmission of short wave solar radiation by the atmosphere, its absorption by the planet’s surface, and reradiation as infrared which is absorbed and partly reradiated back to the surface by atmospheric gases

    (3) https://www.yourdictionary.com/greenhouse-effect As of April 19, 2019
    greenhouse effect
    noun
    The greenhouse effect is defined as when the Earth’s atmosphere becomes thick with gases and substances which trap the sun’s radiation, making the Earth warmer.
    An example of the greenhouse effect is global warming.
    YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2018 by LoveToKnow Corp

    greenhouse effect
    the warming of a planet’s surface and lower atmosphere caused by trapped solar radiation: solar shortwave radiation penetrates to the planet’s surface and is reradiated into the atmosphere as infrared waves that are then absorbed by carbon dioxide, water vapor, etc.
    Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    greenhouse effect
    noun
    A phenomenon in which the atmosphere of a planet traps radiation emitted by its sun, caused by gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but retain heat radiated back from the planet’s surface.

    greenhouse effect
    Energy radiated by the sun converts to heat when it reaches the earth. Some heat is reflected back through the atmosphere, while some is absorbed by atmospheric gases and radiated back to the earth.
    THE AMERICAN HERITAGE® DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, FIFTH EDITION by the Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. Copyright © 2016, 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
    ________________________________________
    The retention of part of the Sun’s energy in the Earth’s atmosphere in the form of heat as a result of the presence of greenhouse gases. Solar energy, mostly in the form of short-wavelength visible radiation, penetrates the atmosphere and is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. The heated surface then radiates some of that energy into the atmosphere in the form of longer-wavelength infrared radiation. Although some of this radiation escapes into space, much of it is absorbed by greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere, which in turn re-radiate a portion back to the Earth’s surface. The atmosphere thus acts in a manner roughly analagous to the glass in a greenhouse, which allows sunlight to penetrate and warm the plants and soil but which traps most of the resulting heat energy inside. The greenhouse effect is essential to life on Earth; however, the intensification of its effect due to increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is considered to be the main contributing factor to global warming.

    (plural greenhouse effects)

    (ecology) (with the) The process by which a planet is warmed by its atmosphere.
    The greenhouse effect could lead to global warming or, at least, climate change.
    English Wiktionary. Available under CC-BY-SA license.

    (4) https://www.thefreedictionary.com/greenhouse+effect
    greenhouse effect
    n.
    A phenomenon in which the atmosphere of a planet traps radiation emitted by its sun, caused by gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but retain heat radiated back from the planet’s surface.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    greenhouse effect
    n
    1. (General Physics) an effect occurring in greenhouses, etc, in which radiant heat from the sun passes through the glass warming the contents, the radiant heat from inside being trapped by the glass
    2. (Physical Geography) the application of this effect to a planet’s atmosphere; carbon dioxide and some other gases in the planet’s atmosphere can absorb the infrared radiation emitted by the planet’s surface as a result of exposure to solar radiation, thus increasing the mean temperature of the planet
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    green′house effect
    n.
    heating of the atmosphere resulting from the absorption by certain gases of solar energy that has been captured and reradiated by the earth’s surface.
    Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

    green·house effect
    (grēn′hous′)
    The trapping of the sun’s radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere due to the presence of greenhouse gases.
    The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    greenhouse effect
    1. The term given to the heating of the Earth’s surface caused by infrared radiation trapped in the atmosphere.
    2. Alleged human-made atmospheric warming by accumulating gases trapping solar heat below them rather like a greenhouse roof. See greenhouse gases.
    Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited

    ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

    Noun 1. greenhouse effect – warming that results when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere; caused by atmospheric gases that allow sunshine to pass through but absorb heat that is radiated back from the warmed surface of the earth
    Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

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    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Now youve started it..
      “(i) the main reason the glass in a greenhouse results in a warmer greenhouse interior is the fact that the glass inhibits heat loss by limiting thermal convection, ” This part is TRUE. There is NO radiation trapping.
      There is NO greenhouse gas PERIOD. There is NO back-radiation, which as a priori requirement of the so called RGHG theory. Planets that have 97% that is MOSTLY CO2 and METHANE have been proved to have NO RGHG warming or cooling. Therefore the theory has been disproved QED.

      163

      • #
        theRealUniverse

        “The term given to the heating of the Earth’s surface caused by infrared radiation trapped in the atmosphere.” radiation is defined as electromagnetic radiation, i.e. emission of photons. They are emitted with an energy E = Planck constant x frequency. There are re-emitted at a LOWER energy level, after absorption in compliance with thermodynamics. This is not trapping.

        92

      • #
        Reed Coray

        theRealUniverse, I agree–there is no “heat trapping.” My goal is to have Peter (a) define his terms, and (b) using those definitions make his case for “atmospheric greenhouse gas” warming. I would like to then analyze his reasoning point-by-point and discuss my analysis with him. After all, isn’t that the proper way to have a scientific discussion?

        FYI I know my initial comment was long (maybe way too long), but I wanted to set the ground rules for any discussion Peter and I might have. Terms such as “trap heat” and “heat trapping” (which are commonly used to argue that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will increase the earth’s surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of those greenhouse gases) need definition. If (a) Peter takes me up on my offer and (b) uses the term “traps heat” or any variation thereof, I will ask him to define exactly what is meant and to give examples. To demonstrate that precise and unambiguous definitions of terms are important, I deliberately included multiple internet definitions of greenhouse that are not the same.

        Your claim “There is NO greenhouse gas PERIOD.” is too all encompassing. If I define a “greenhouse gas” using definition (4) in my original comment (“i.e., A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs infrared radiation (IR) and radiates heat [more accurately "emits radiation"] in all directions“) then I believe greenhouse gases exist. But using this definition, one must prove (either by experiment or by the correct application of physical laws as we understand them) that a gas that (i) “absorbs infrared radiation “and (ii) “emits radiation in all directions” will, if it exists in the atmosphere, increase the earth surface temperature.

        91

        • #
          theRealUniverse

          The problem is that the ‘backradiation’ requires the so called gasses to heat the surface, i.e. cooler gas heats a warmer surface. That heat engine cant exist. The whole atmosphere is a very complex system totally controlled by the solar output (NOT just IR radiation but proton flux, geomagnetic influences) The heat is transferred by convection and adiabatic heat transfer, due to condensation and evaporation of water, oceans surfaces and clouds. Some like the cosmic ray theory of cloud formation, some dont there will be some input from that BUT CO2 does nothing.
          Also ‘either by experiment or by the correct application of physical laws as we understand them’ there have been papers published at xarv that falsify the GHG effect. NONE have proved the reverse. Several scientists have put a challenge to the IPCC to prove CO2 causes dangerous warming but …no reply . com..was the answer..

          81

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        The expression Greenhouse Atmosphere seems to date back to Fournier in the 1820′s who pointed out that an atmosphere kept the Earth warmer than it would be without one. He also pointed out that a real Greenhouse in the atmosphere could only happen if a section of the atmosphere suddenly solidified WITHOUT change in its optical properties.

        Robert Wood ran an experiment in 1909 with a glass ‘greenhouse’ and one with a Halite (salt) window which was expected to be transparent to IR. The first run gave the unexpected result of the Halite unit getting warmer, which was explained as the Halite allowing more IR in, while the greenhouse structure inhibited its loss. A second run, with a large pane of glass between both greenhouses and the incoming sun’s rays resulted in both ‘greenhouses’ reaching the same (slightly lower) temperature. Thus showing the effect was from a solid barrier, not on the capture of IR.
        Years later this was ‘debunked’ and subsequently confirmed. Details in

        https://principia-scientific.org/the-famous-wood-s-experiment-fully-explained/

        80

      • #
        tom0mason

        theRealUniverse
        I find it strange that the ‘radiation trapping’ that does occur is so poorly accounted for and expressed.
        The largest agency that traps solar radiation is life itself.
        On this planet’s surface life at every level sequesters solar radiation, converting solar energy to chemical bonds allowing life to proliferate on this planet. Changing the elemental chemicals to structures for life takes energy — lots of it. This energy is stored away sometimes for a short time often for many centuries.

        40

    • #
      Serp

      It’s such a relief to see the plural of gas spelt correctly.

      As to the Peter Fitzroy character being up to presenting a sensible response we’ll just have to wait and see.

      51

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      This is a great way to start a conversation Reed.
      Definition 4 is fine by me.
      So by definition, a greenhouse gas is absorbing and emitting infrared radiation at the infrared-active vibrational frequencies. The emission process is omnidirectional.
      I’m assuming now that we both agree on the definition of radiative forcing as being the difference between insolation absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space.
      Lastly, although small, we should also include anthropomorphic heat as part of this discussion, although its contribution could be included in the radiative forcing definition. The only reason I include it is that this heat source has only been around for 150 years give or take, and therefore will not count in historical reconstructions.

      63

      • #
        theRealUniverse

        You must believe Arhenius was correct, even after he was disproved by several others.

        61

        • #
          sophocles

          Arrhenius has been disproved by something like 70 + papers, over the years. Obviously, that’s not enough for the scammers. It’s just “ a few others.

          51

      • #
        Peter C

        Here we Go!

        I am hoping for a great debate.

        50

      • #
        AndyG55

        but retain heat radiated back from the planet’s surface

        NO EVIDENCE of retained heat.

        None, Nada, ZIP !

        In Fact quite the opposite, there is strong EVIDENCE that it is NOT happening

        Looking at this chart of CERES v ERBS, there is no difference in trend. If anything, OLR trend is slightly steeper.

        There’s no sign whatsoever in the ToA radiation flux data of any “GHE” strengthening over the last 34 years:

        If such hypothetical strengthening had in fact occurred and been the cause of observed warming over this time period (1985-2018), the orange OLR curve would be seen to trend significantly downwards relative to the black TLT curve, gradually and systematically all the way from the start. It clearly and obviously doesn’t.

        Rather it tracks it tightly.

        As always, Fitz, you mindlessly and irrationally “believe” in something that JUST ISN’T TRUE.

        73

      • #
        AndyG55

        “The emission process is omnidirectional.”

        Except the collisional loss of energy is a couple of magnitudes faster.

        CO2 does not get a chance to re-emit much below about 11km elevation, where its acts more as a stratospheric coolant..

        63

        • #
          theRealUniverse

          And there dam all CO2 above that altitude anyway as CO2 is heavier., lets face it AndyG55, the non accepters will always carry on like usual like straw men.

          44

      • #
        Reed Coray

        Peter, First, thank you for accepting my offer. Second, at the present time I have some initial perceptions of “radiative forcing” and “insolation;” but I’d like to give these concepts more thought. When I have completed my thought process, I’ll get back to you–probably with issues that require clarification. As I said in the comment that started our discussion, we’re both going to spend some time thinking about what the other person writes. I live in California. I don’t know where you reside; but if you live in Australia, we’re going to encounter time differences that will lengthen our response times.

        Note: It looks like other people want to make comments regarding what we say. If those comments are directed towards you, feel free to respond as you see fit. I will do the same. I would, however, like to treat our responses to comments by others as “outside” our discussion. If I (you) feel someone makes a point that supports my (your) position, I (you) may ask you (me) about that point. Your (my) answer becomes a part of our discussion, if and only if you (I) respond directly to my (your) question. I believe such a procedure will help keep our discussion from wandering off into time consuming secondary issues. What say you?

        70

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Peter,

        As I have said before, nothing stays around longer than a bad idea.

        40

      • #
        Reed Coray

        Peter, sorry for the delay in responding to your comment, but my daughter and grandson are visiting me and I’m taking time to interact with them.

        (a) The word “omnidirectional” has at least two connotations: (i) in all directions, and (ii) equally in all directions. When I say “omnidirectional” I am using the first connotation. This is a minor point, but in the future we may talk about radiation from a surface (solid or liquid) rather than radiation from a volume (gas). Consider the difference between radiation from a small (differential) spherical volume of a greenhouse gas and radiation from a small (circular) planar differential area of a solid/liquid surface. With one exception, they both radiate energy in all directions; but I believe radiation from the sphere is “equal in all directions,” whereas radiation from the circle is not “equal in all directions.” Specifically, the amount of radiation from a differential planar area in a specific direction is proportional to the cosine of the angle between the direction of the radiation and the normal to the plane. (For a spherical volume, there is no equivalent to the normal to a plane.) The one exception I previously mentioned occurs when the angle between the direction of radiation and the normal to the plane is 90 degrees. The cosine of 90 degrees is zero—which means there is no radiation from a planar differential area in any direction that lies in the plane. So using connotation (i), radiation from a plane is not rigorously “omnidirectional,” but as a practical matter it is. If in the future we discuss radiation from a plane and the issue of radiation in the direction of the plane arises, we’ll deal with the issue at that time.

        (b) Electromagnetic radiation is a form of energy. Conservation of energy requires that radiation incident on an object will in varying fractions that sum to one do one of three things: (i) pass through the object, (ii) be reflected by the object, or (iii) be absorbed by the object. In that sense, absorption of radiation by an object can be defined as the difference between (a) the radiation incident on the object and (b) the sum of (i) the incident radiation that is reflected from and (ii) the incident radiation that passes through the object.

        Like the term “greenhouse gas,” I did an internet search for the word “insolation.” One URL (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/insolation) not only defined insolation as the “solar radiation received at the earth’s surface,” but also gave the origin of the word: (IN)coming (SOL)ar radi(ATION). This brings up a question—does “solar radiation received at the surface of an object” imply (i) the solar radiation that is absorbed by the object, or (ii) the solar radiation that is incident on the object independent of whether that energy is absorbed by, reflected by or passed through the object? I have a slight preference for the former because the object will have no interaction with incident radiation that passes through or is reflected by the object; and as such the distribution of temperatures within the object will not be affected by reflected and/or pass-through radiation. As far as an energy analysis of the object is concerned, reflected/pass-through energy doesn’t even exist.

        Now let’s discuss where insolation and “energy radiated back to space” are measured.

        First, energy radiated back to space.

        I believe we should define a virtual closed surface in space such that (i) the surface surrounds but does not intersect the earth/earth-atmosphere system, (ii) the sun is entirely external to the enclosed space, and (iii) radiation that originates from objects within the earth/earth-atmosphere system and “escapes” to space will pass through the surface once and only once. Since for all practical purposes “space” is a vacuum (and therefore thermal energy cannot cross the surface via thermal conduction or convection), monitoring the outgoing radiation that passes across this surface is equivalent to monitoring all energy that (i) originates within the earth/earth-atmosphere system and (ii) via radiation escapes to space. Bottom line, using the virtual surface construct, we can obtain a measure of the earth/earth-atmosphere-system-generated energy that leaves the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        Second, insolation

        If we measure insolation at the surface of the earth and define “radiative forcing” to be the difference between insolation and the outgoing radiation that crosses our virtual surface, then “radiative forcing” is not a measure of the difference between the solar radiation that is absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system and the energy that leaves the earth/earth-atmosphere system. As such, the use of “radiative forcing” in an examination of earth/earth-atmosphere system temperatures will become quite complex. Thus, I prefer we define insolation as “solar energy absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system” and not as “solar energy absorbed by the surface of the earth.”

        With these clarifications, I’m okay with defining “radiative forcing” to be the difference between (a) insolation, and (b) radiation that (i) originates from within the earth/earth-atmosphere system, and (ii) crosses the virtual surface as defined above.

        (c) You mentioned that we might benefit by considering “anthropomorphic heat” in our discussion.

        I assume by “anthropomorphic heat” you mean the conversion of chemical energy into thermal energy via the burning of materials that would not have burned if mankind didn’t exist. For example, when we burn fossil fuels to create energy for our use, chemical energy is converted to thermal energy and that thermal energy should be a general part of our energy analysis and a specific part of mankind’s contribution to a hotter earth. I have no objection to doing this–primarily because I believe the rate of this kind of energy generation is swamped by the rate of insolation.

        Since you brought up the subject of another form of anthropomorphic heat, I mention that there are undoubtedly numerous other forms of heat generation–both anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic—within the earth/earth-atmosphere system. An example of non-anthropomorphic heat generation is the conversion of mass to thermal energy by radioactive decay of elements within the earth/earth-atmosphere system. Another example is the heat generated by friction when the tidal motion of sea water washes over the beach. In my opinion, we can and should ignore these heat sources provided they are negligible when compared with insolation. If it can be shown that such forms of energy generation, anthropomorphic or non-anthropomorphic, are non-negligible relative to insolation, then we should include them in our energy analysis.

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        Reed Coray

        Peter Fitzroy,

        This comment is an addendum to my comment 1.3.7 dated April 25, 2019 at 2:45 pm, which was a response to your comment 1.3 dated April 24, 2019 at 11:56 am.

        I’ll start this comment with a few thoughts not directly related to your comment 1.3. First, I prefer that we use the meter-kilogram-second (MKS) system of units. In the MKS system, the units of energy are joules, the units of power are watts (joules per second), and the units of power density are watts per square meter, etc. Is this okay with you?

        Second, the difference between “transient” temperatures and “energy-rate-equilibrium” temperatures. A system is said to be in ERE if the rate energy enters the system (and any designated part thereof) is equal to the rate energy leaves the system (or the designated part). Thus, for a system in ERE, although the temperatures of the various parts of the system may differ, the temperature of each and every part does not change with time. I bring this issue up because I believe that when the AGW community argues that changing the levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases will change the earth surface temperature, they mean in the sense of a temperature change between two ERE states—and not in the sense of transient temperature changes going from one ERE state to another ERE state. I believe almost no one would argue that if you change the amount or distribution of greenhouse gases within the atmosphere, for a period of time the temperatures at various places on the surface of the earth might change. The issue isn’t, however, transient temperature changes during such time periods; but rather temperature changes after all transients have died out. Do you agree that the temperature changes of interest are not transient temperature changes, but temperature changes between two ERE states?

        Third, almost all numerical characterizations of the effects atmospheric greenhouse gases have on the temperature of the earth’s surface or the earth’s atmosphere use numbers that pertain to “averages.” For example, when talking about earth surface temperature, the average earth surface temperature is usually implied. The average earth surface temperature is obtained by employing some kind of weighting procedure—i.e., as a function of location (polar regions, equatorial regions, etc.) and time (day/night, year, etc.) assigning different weights to various surface temperatures and averaging those weighted surface temperatures over location and time. I have no problem with this—in fact I believe that if we don’t do this or something similar, the problem of characterizing the temperature effects of atmospheric greenhouse gases will be unmanageable within the “comment” feature of this blog.

        In particular, I would like to treat the time nature of energy entering the earth/earth-atmosphere system as being uniform. That is, for an earth/earth-atmosphere system with a fixed amount of greenhouse gas, I want to assume that the rate energy enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system does not change with time. Note that in energy-rate-equilibrium (ERE) if the rate energy enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system does not change with time, the rate energy leaves the earth/earth-atmosphere will also not change with time.

        In addition, I would like to treat both (a) the spatial characteristics of earth/earth-atmosphere system energy absorption and (b) the spatial characteristics of earth/earth-atmosphere system energy loss as being spherically symmetric about the center of the earth. By spherically symmetric I mean that whatever is being characterized may vary as a function of distance from the center of the earth, but is constant with respect to polar and/or azimuthal angle.

        Fourth, I suggest the following definitions for a few of the words, terms, and phrases commonly used in any discussion of global warming.

        Radiation is a catchall word for electromagnetic waves or photons (whichever you prefer). The “units” of Radiation depend on the context of its usage. For example, in one context radiation might imply energy (joules) and in another context radiation might imply power per unit area (joules per second per square meter).

        “X Radiation” is radiation that (a) originates in or from the surface of object “X” (and as such is meaningless without a designation of object “X”), and (b) is independent of what happens to that radiation. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the units of “X radiation” are power (watts or equivalently joules per second). For example, (a) “solar radiation” is radiation that originates from within or on the surface of the sun; (b) “earth surface radiation” is radiation that originates from the surface of the earth, and (c) “earth/earth-atmosphere radiation” is radiation that originates from any part of the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        “X incoming radiation” is radiation that encounters object “X” (and as such is meaningless without a designation of object “X”) but (a) does NOT originate from object “X,” and (b) is independent of whether the radiation is absorbed by, reflected from or passed through object “X”. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the units of “X incoming radiation” are watts. For example, (a) “earth surface incoming radiation” is (i) radiation from any source other than the earth’s surface that encounters the earth’s surface and (ii) is independent of whether that radiation is absorbed by, reflected from or passed through the earth’s surface; and (b) “earth/earth-atmosphere incoming radiation” is radiation from any source other than the earth/earth-atmosphere system that (i) encounters the earth/earth-atmosphere system and (ii) is independent of whether that radiation is absorbed by, reflected from or passed through the earth/earth-atmosphere system. If you want to denote that “X incoming radiation” is absorbed by “X” you must explicitly so designate. For example, absorbed earth surface incoming radiation” is “earth surface incoming radiation” that is absorbed by the earth’s surface.

        “X outgoing radiation” is radiation that originates from and leaves (i.e., is not absorbed by any part) of object “X,” and as such is meaningless without a designation of object “X”. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the units of “X outgoing radiation” are watts. For example, (a) “earth surface outgoing radiation” is radiation originating from the earth’s surface that is not absorbed by the earth’s surface; and (b) “earth/earth-atmosphere outgoing radiation” is radiation originating from the earth/earth-atmosphere system that is not absorbed by any part of the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        I’ll end this comment with a few thoughts directly related to your comment 1.3. Your definition of radiative forcing is “the difference between insolation absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space.” The definition of radiative forcing that I would to use (see comment 1.3.7) is the difference between (a) insolation and (b) radiation that escapes to space—where radiation that escapes to space is radiation that (i) originates from the earth/earth-atmosphere system, and (ii) crosses the virtual surface define in comment 1.3.7.

        As of 5pm California time 29 April 2019, we have not agreed on a definition of radiative forcing; and by the rules I established for our discussion, you get to make the final choice.

        Setting aside for a moment that your definition of “insolation absorbed by the earth” doesn’t specify what you mean by “the earth” (e.g., does “the earth” in your definition denote the surface of the earth or does it denote the entire earth/earth-atmosphere system?), we have a problem with both your and my definitions. Specifically, in the MKS system, the units of insolation are watts (i.e., joules per second) per square meter, and the units of energy are joules. Thus, for both your and my definitions, radiative forcing is the difference between two quantities that have different units, which is nonsensical. This issue needs to be addressed.

        When discussing electromagnetic radiation, the term “watts per square meter” denotes the rate electromagnetic energy crosses one square meter of surface area. The unit for energy rate is watts, where “watts” is a scalar (as opposed to a vector) quantity. However, in the context of radiation, surface area is a vector quantity—i.e., has a magnitude and direction. Thus in the context of electromagnetic radiation, surface area is a vector with two components: magnitude and direction. The magnitude of a surface area is the size of the area, and the direction of a surface area is the normal to the plane of the surface area. (Note: In three-dimensional space, “direction” is itself a three-dimensional vector so that in this sense “surface area” is really a four-dimensional vector.) To illustrate why the “direction” of a surface area is important, consider a planar circular surface of area one square meter. If the normal to the planar surface is parallel to the direction of solar radiation, then the solar radiation measured in energy per unit time that crosses the surface is a positive value equal to the product of (i) the solar power density at the location of the planar circular surface and (ii) the magnitude of the area of the planar circular surface; but if the normal to the planar circular surface is perpendicular to the direction of solar radiation, then the solar radiation measured in energy per unit time that crosses the planar circular surface is zero.

        So what exactly does solar insolation mean? First a few words about solar radiation. When determining solar energy rates in space, the sun is often treated as a spherical blackbody radiator having (a) a radius of approximately 6.955×10^8 meters, and (b) a uniform surface temperature of 5,778 degrees Kelvin. For the purposes of our discussion, I have no problem with treating (in fact would prefer to treat) the sun as just such a blackbody. Using that paradigm, the Stefan-Boltzmann equation can be used to compute the total power radiated by the sun.

        Specifically, the total power radiated by the sun is the product of (a) the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, 5.67×10^(-8) watts per square meter per degree Kelvin to the fourth power; (b) the fourth power of the temperature (5,778 degrees Kelvin) of the sun’s surface; and (c) the surface area of the sun. That result is approximately 3.84×10^26 watts.

        For a spherically symmetric radiation pattern, which I assume is true for solar radiation, the rate per square meter that solar energy crosses the surface of a sphere of radius R (greater than the radius of the sun) centered on the sun is the total solar radiated power divided by the surface area of the sphere. Thus, the rate solar energy crosses each square meter of the surface of a sphere of radius 1.5×10^11 meters centered on the sun is approximately 1,359 watts. Although the distance between the center of the sun and the center of the earth varies as the earth orbits the sun, the average sun-earth distance is approximately 1.5×10^11 meters. Thus, the average solar power density at the earth is 1,359 watts per square meter.

        In addition to the variation in sun-earth distance, several other problems arise when computing the rate that the earth/earth-atmosphere system absorbs solar energy. For example, (i) all parts of the earth/earth-atmosphere system are not the same distance from the sun, and (ii) since the earth/earth-atmosphere system is often treated as a sphere, the angle the incoming solar radiation makes with the surface of that sphere is not constant. In many, if not most, discussions of the rate the earth/earth-atmosphere system absorbs solar energy several simplifying assumptions are made. Two of which are (a) the earth/earth-atmosphere system is treated as a circle of radius R approximately 6.371×10^6 meters whose normal is parallel to the direction of the solar radiation, and (b) the solar radiation that impinges on the earth/earth-atmosphere system is assumed to be traveling in a single direction (a plane wave or all photons are travelling in the same direction) with a power density of approximately 1,359 watts per square meter. Using these assumptions, the total rate solar radiation impinges on the earth/earth-atmosphere system is the product of the solar radiation power density at the circle and the area of the circle. The approximate value of this product is 1.73×10^17 watts. A small fraction of this power passes through the earth/earth-atmosphere system. [The small fraction of solar power that passes through the earth/earth-atmosphere system arises because some of the solar energy that impinges on the earth/earth-atmosphere system does not encounter the earth’s surface but only encounters the earth’s atmosphere. Call this region of the earth’s atmosphere the “halo” in that the circle of radius R has a center region that corresponds to the earth’s surface radius and a “halo” or annulus region that surrounds this circle.] The remainder of the solar power that impinges on the earth/earth-atmosphere system is either (a) reflected by the earth/earth-atmosphere system, or (b) absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system. It is commonly accepted that the absorbed fraction of the total solar power incident on the earth/earth-atmosphere system is approximately 70%. Using this fraction, the earth/earth-atmosphere system absorbs solar radiation at a rate equal to approximately 1.211×10^17 watts.

        Note: As the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases increase, the rate energy is absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system increases, but the rate energy is absorbed by the surface of the earth decreases. The reason is that as the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gas increases, the atmosphere absorbs a larger fraction of the solar energy incident on the earth/earth-atmosphere system at the expense of earth-surface absorption of the energy.

        [Note: For a blackbody at temperature 5,778 degrees Kelvin, (a) the percentage of the total radiated power that is radiated in the IR band (3x10^11 Hz to 4.3x10^14 Hz—see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared) is 51.4%, and (b) the percentage of the total radiated power that is radiated in the visible band (4.3x10^14 Hz to 7.7x10^14 Hz—see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_spectrum) is 37.6%. Thus, more solar energy is radiated in the IR band than is radiated in the visible band. In fact, more than one half of all solar energy is radiated in the IR band. Since by definition, greenhouse gases absorb radiation in the IR band, less radiation from the black body will reach and be absorbed by the earth’s surface, but more radiation from the black body will be absorbed by the atmospheric greenhouse gases.]

        Thus, additional greenhouse gases decrease the rate solar energy reaches the earth’s surface, but increase the rate energy is absorbed by the greenhouse gases themselves including the “halo.” On balance I believe, but have not shown, that for increased atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, the decrease in the solar radiation reaching and absorbed by the earth’s surface is greater than the increase in solar radiation that is absorbed by the “halo.”

        Not all of the solar energy absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system becomes thermal energy. For example, some of that energy goes into chemical energy via photosynthesis, some of it goes into potential energy as water vapor rises in the atmosphere and as trees grow tall, etc. However, I believe the overwhelming majority of the solar energy absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system eventually becomes thermal energy. For our discussion, I’d like to treat all energy absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system as thermal energy. Is that okay with you?

        Using the definitions I recommend above, “absorbed earth/earth-atmosphere incoming radiation” is radiation that is generated external to the earth/earth-atmosphere system and is absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system. Some of the “absorbed earth/earth-atmosphere incoming radiation” comes from sources other than the sun (e.g., the stars and the moon); but I believe the overwhelming portion of this energy originates from the sun. I would like to ignore all “absorbed earth/earth-atmosphere incoming radiation” that doesn’t originate from the sun. Is that okay with you?

        In addition to “absorbed earth/earth-atmosphere incoming radiation,” the earth/earth-atmosphere system has internal sources of thermal energy. Two such examples are (a) the release of thermal energy via the burning of fossil fuels, and (b) thermal energy that is generated by friction—for example, friction between water and land as tidal motion washes water over beaches.

        Given the above, I would like to define (a) “external thermal energy (heat)” to be any and all energy (radiation, meteors/comets that enter the earth/earth-atmosphere system, etc.) whose origin is outside the earth/earth-atmosphere system and enters (is absorbed by) the earth/earth-atmosphere system as thermal energy, and (b) “internal thermal energy (heat) to be all energy (other than radiation generated within the earth/earth-atmosphere system and absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system) that enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system as thermal energy.” Note: Radiation that both (a) originates within the earth/earth-atmosphere system and (b) is absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system is neither “external thermal energy” nor “internal thermal energy”. Much like moving water in a tank, which has no effect on the amount of water in the tank, radiation that both (a) originates within the earth/earth-atmosphere system and (b) is absorbed by the earth/earth-atmosphere system as thermal energy has no effect on the amount of thermal energy in the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        Summarizing all of the above.

        (1) I would like to treat the sun as a blackbody spherical radiator of radius approximately 6.955×10^8 meters, surface temperature approximately 5,778 degrees Kelvin, whose center is a distance approximately 1.5×10^11 meters from the center of the earth. Furthermore, I would like to assume that as it approaches the earth/earth-atmosphere system, all radiation from that blackbody is traveling in a single direction—specifically, the direction from the sun’s center to the earth’s center.

        (2) I would like to treat the earth/earth-atmosphere system as consisting of two parts: (a) a solid spherical center with a radius of approximately 6.3×10^11 meters, and (b) a spherically symmetric atmosphere that surrounds the solid spherical earth to an altitude of approximately 71,000 meters.

        (3) I would like to segment the thermal energy that enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system into two mutually exclusive parts: external thermal energy and internal thermal energy, where external thermal energy comes solely from the sun, and internal thermal energy comes from processes (burning fossil fuel, friction, etc.) within the earth/earth-atmosphere system. Furthermore, I would like (a) the rate of external thermal energy to be constant with time, (b) the rate of internal energy to be constant with time, (c) the spatial distribution of the external energy to be spherically symmetric over the earth/earth-atmosphere system, and (d) the spatial distribution of the internal energy to be spherically symmetric over the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        (4) I would like to treat the temperature of the earth’s surface as being everywhere the same.

        (5) I would like to treat the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere as being spherically symmetric—the temperature may vary as distance from the earth’s surface, but does not vary with latitude and longitude.

        (6) I would like the temperature effects of atmospheric greenhouse gases to correspond to changes in the ERE temperatures of the earth/earth-atmosphere system, and not to transient changes that might occur in transitioning from one ERE state to another ERE state.

        In the future, I may come up with more “likes,” but these will do for now. What say you?

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          Reed Coray

          Correction. I wrote: “I believe almost no one would argue that if you change the amount or distribution of greenhouse gases within the atmosphere, for a period of time the temperatures at various places on the surface of the earth might change.

          I got wrapped around the axle writing this sentence such that the meaning is the opposite of what I meant to say. The sentence should read: “I believe almost everyone would argue that if you change the amount or distribution of greenhouse gases within the atmosphere, for a period of time the temperatures at various places on the surface of the earth will likely change.

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          Reed Coray

          Correction. At one place in my comment I wrote: I would like to treat the earth/earth-atmosphere system as consisting of two parts: (a) a solid spherical center with a radius of approximately 6.3×10^11 meters, and (b) a spherically symmetric atmosphere that surrounds the solid spherical earth to an altitude of approximately 71,000 meters.

          The value of “6.3×10^11 meters” is an error. The correct value is “6.3×10^6 meters

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          Peter Fitzroy

          Reed, that is a very good way of defining the problem.
          For omnidirectional, the first definition will be used
          For the summary I accept all 6 points
          For Anthropomorphic heat, I agree that it is a tiny component of the total heat budget, but it’s fingerprint might be traceable, and it might serve as a proxy for changes in the forcings which we would next be defining, which would be my next step.

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            AndyG55

            ” but it’s fingerprint might be traceable”

            But its NOT.

            You have presented no evidence that there is any fingerprint of warming by atmospheric CO2.

            “Might” is a fantasy word.

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      James Poulos

      A green house provides the environment for CO2 – CO2 does not provide the environment for a greenhouse…

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      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day Reed,
      Particular thanks for the work on definitions of “greenhouse gas”. I’m usually fairly pedantic about definitions and usage of our language, but had completely missed the ambiguity in usage and the circularity of some of the definitions.
      The one you and Peter F have agreed on sounds reasonable to me (not that my opinion has value in this argument).

      And I think I’ve invalidly accepted that water is a greenhouse gas, by any valid definition. That it is more significant in affecting atmospheric temperatures than CO2, for multiple reasons is my proposition. Add to that, that the IPCC models ignore many, if not most of these influences.

      To me water is a fascinating substance and in its 3 states and many forms has a significant impact on both weather and climate. But a “greenhouse gas”? I think not.
      Cheers
      Dave B

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      Mr. Coray
      I’d like to thank you for posting what is essentially a long article about greenhouse gases, as a comment — I don’t believe I’ve ever read such a long, detailed comment before, although some people may see my comments as long-winded sleep inducers.

      I happened to have posted a two much simpler articles about the greenhouse effect, earlier today, that may be useful for people who can’t understand everything you have written.

      My article will say no one knows the actual effect of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, in the atmosphere.

      And closed system laboratory experiments only hint at the effect — they are not proof.

      The global warming caused by CO2 is an assumption, not a fact.

      The warming since 1975 could have had 100% natural causes.

      We are not going to solve the mystery today.

      But I love global warming, and want more (I live in relatively cold Michigan, USA).

      I also love the fact that our planet is greening from more CO2 in the air.

      Therefore, I support a lot more CO2 in the air, like greenhouse owners do with their CO2 enrichment systems, and if more CO2 brings more warming, that’s even better news.

      The demonization of CO2 is the biggest science fraud in recorded history.

      My greenhouse effect articles posted today:
      http://elonionbloggle.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-greenhouse-effect-of-co2-and-water.html

      https://elonionbloggle.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-ipcc-uses-science-fraud-to-define.html

      Home page for my climate science blog:
      http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

      Closed system

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        Reed Coray

        Richard Greene, thank you for your response and the URLs to your articles–I will read them with interest. However, as noted in one of my comments, to prevent the discussion between Peter and myself from getting out of hand, Peter and I have agreed to limit our “official” discussion to comments directed solely to each other. We are free to respond to other comments as we see fit; but those responses do not become a part of our (Peter’s and mine) official discussion unless Peter or myself explicitly state that such a comment is a part of our discussion.

        You made several statements. I am going to repeat those statements with a brief description of my level of agreement/disagreement.

        My article will say no one knows the actual effect of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, in the atmosphere.” Agree 100%.

        And closed system laboratory experiments only hint at the effect — they are not proof.” Agree 100%.

        The global warming caused by CO2 is an assumption, not a fact.” Agree 100%.

        The warming since 1975 could have had 100% natural causes.” Agree 100%.

        We are not going to solve the mystery today.” Agree 100%.

        But I love global warming, and want more (I live in relatively cold Michigan, USA).” Agree 80%–I live in sunny California.

        I also love the fact that our planet is greening from more CO2 in the air.” If increasing atmospheric CO2 is the main cause of the greening, then I agree Agree 100%. I’m reluctant to make this claim because (a) I don’t know enough about the subject, and (b) since correlation does not prove causation (a valid argument that skeptics use all the time), I don’t want to behave in a manner similar to those who argue the correlation between CO2 levels and earth temperature (if such a correlation exists–which at this time, I’m not convinced) proves CO2 is warming the earth.

        Therefore, I support a lot more CO2 in the air, like greenhouse owners do with their CO2 enrichment systems, and if more CO2 brings more warming, that’s even better news.” Agree 90%.

        The demonization of CO2 is the biggest science fraud in recorded history.” I wouldn’t call the demonization of CO2 a “fraud.” However I would call (i) the demonization of CO2 by itself and (ii) the demonization of CO2 coupled with the societal demands made by those who demonize CO2 as both being “flat wrong;” but they only rise to the level of fraud if the demonizers know or strongly suspect they are wrong and still persist. With that caveat, I agree 100%.

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        Reed Coray

        Richard Greene, I read your two referenced articles; and my initial (quick) reaction is that “you’re correct.” I disagree with the 33 degree centigrade surface temperature difference for an earth atmosphere devoid of “greenhouse gases,” and for an earth atmosphere with “greenhouse gases.” The main, but not only, reason for my disagreement is the manner in which that surface difference is computed. The 33 degree centigrade number is derived (at least the only derivation I’ve ever seen) by differencing (a) “an average of measured temperatures at places on the earth’s surface” and (b) a “model temperature of the average earth surface temperature in the absence of greenhouse gases“. It is my opinion that the algorithm that generates the model temperature of the average earth surface temperature in the absence of greenhouse gases is internally inconsistent in that the algorithm uses a value for the rate solar energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface that applies to an atmosphere with greenhouse gases, but does not apply to an atmosphere devoid of greenhouse gases. If you’re trying to “model” the earth surface temperature in the absence of greenhouse gases, the model should use an earth surface insolation value that represents an earth atmosphere devoid of greenhouse gases, not that represents an earth atmosphere with greenhouse gases.

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          Reed wrote:
          “I disagree with the 33 degree centigrade surface temperature difference for an earth atmosphere devoid of “greenhouse gases,”

          I agree, you are correct.

          That last sentence of my article was not even needed.
          and is now deleted, thank you.

          I have cut and pasted your comments together
          to form a full article on greenhouse gases,
          that I will save.

          Thanks for contributing so much to this website !

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      Peter Fitzroy

      Reed Coray,
      I think it is now time to start thinking about the axioms which allow us to describe the earth energy system.

      The first of these would be
      There is a balance point between energy transmitted into the earth (using our previously agreed definitions) and the energy leaving the earth. This can be measured, and will change if the inputs change. It will also change if the outputs change.

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        AndyG55

        There has been no change in the balance.

        CERES and ERBS track UAH lower atmospheric temperature.

        If there was a change in balance the trends would diverge, and they don’t.

        CO2 is NOT an energy input.

        Only input that changed is the Solar maximum during the latter half of last century.

        And with ocean buffering and cycles has been the cause of the only warming in the last 40 years as is evident from the zero warming between El Nino events.

        Thank you for helping show that CO2 warming IS A MYTH.

        Well Done Fitz. :-)

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        Reed Coray

        Peter, what follows was written before I read this, your latest comment. I believe what follows in part addresses the “axioms” that allow us to describe the earth energy system.

        On a separate thread (http://joannenova.com.au/2019/05/weekend-unthreaded-258/#comment-2134829) you (Peter F.) wrote: “I’ve replied to your posts, and apologies for not revisiting that page earlier, but I’ve bookmarked it now. We probably need to agree on the equilibrium temperature concept and how that varies. Anyway – it is now your turn I think.

        I believe that the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system is orders-of-magnitude too complex to analyze comprehensively in its entirety. To overcome this problem we are going to have to agree on a “simplified model” of the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system that we both feel is adequate for our purposes—i.e., that will allow us to discuss the physics of “greenhouse-gas-induced temperature changes and make the ‘points’ we think are relevant.” I take your comment “ Anyway – it is now your turn I think ” to mean you’re asking me to make an initial cut at that “simplified model.” Okay, here goes.

        First, The concept of “equilibrium.”

        In my mind the phrase “equilibrium temperature” implies a single temperature. As such, I believe “equilibrium temperature” is a poor way to characterize the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system—even a simplified model of the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system. In particular, assuming that time/spatial averaging allows us to treat all parameters associated with the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system as being time invariant and spherically symmetric about the center of the earth [a system is spherically symmetric if the numerical value of any system parameter may be a function of distance from the center of the sphere, but will not be a function of the polar and/or azimuthal angles], because I believe it may be necessary to consider atmospheric temperatures as a function of distance above the surface of the earth, the atmosphere in the simplified model of the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system will not be at a single temperature.

        As described immediately below, when discussing temperatures and temperature changes, I like to use the phrase “Energy-Rate-Equilibrium (ERE).” [A system is in ERE if the rate energy enters the system (or any designated part thereof) is equal to the rate energy leaves the system (or the designated part).] ERE does not imply a system is everywhere at the same temperature. ERE only implies that for any part of the system (including the whole system), the rate energy enters that part of the system equals the rate energy leaves that part of the system.

        Second, The meaning of a radiative-forcing-induced temperature change.

        A common greenhouse-gas/earth-surface-temperature argument goes as follows. A change in the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases will induce a positive change in “radiative forcing.” A positive change in “radiative forcing” will induce a positive earth surface temperature change. I treat the meaning of the phrase “earth surface temperature change” to be a stabilized temperature difference after all transient temperature fluctuations have died out. Here are my arguments for that interpretation of an “earth surface temperature change.”

        If the earth surface temperature is changing with time, then a “radiative-forcing-induced” earth surface temperature change is meaningless without an associated “time” after the radiative forcing event. Furthermore, if the earth surface temperature never stops changing, then any positive “radiative forcing” event will induce an ever increasing earth surface temperature. The ever increasing earth surface temperature may approach an asymptotic limit, but the temperature will never stop increasing.

        One way out of this quandary is (a) for a finite radiative forcing event to induce a temperature change in the earth’s surface that eventually ceases changing with time, and (b) the “earth surface temperature change” associated with that finite radiative forcing event is the difference between (a) the stabilized earth surface temperature after the radiative forcing event and (b) the stabilized earth surface temperature prior to the radiative forcing event. [Note: If as a function of time the temperature asymptotically approaches a limit but never actually stops changing, then I’m okay with using the asymptotic value as one term in the radiative-forcing-induced earth surface temperature change.] I believe ERE fits well with this usage of the phrase “radiative-forcing-induced earth surface temperature change.” Specifically, before the radiative forcing event, the earth/earth-atmosphere system is in ERE. The first (of two) term in the “radiative-forcing-induced earth surface temperature change” is the earth surface temperature in the pre-radiative forcing event ERE state. After the radiative forcing event the earth/earth-atmosphere system arrives at a new ERE state. The second term in the “radiative-forcing-induced earth surface temperature change” is the earth surface temperature in the post-radiative forcing event ERE state.

        Bottom line, in response to a change in greenhouse gas levels, I would like the earth surface temperature change to correspond to the ERE earth surface temperature after the change in greenhouse gas level …minus… the ERE earth surface temperature before the change in greenhouse gas level.

        Third, my initial simplified model of the sun/earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        (1) The sun is a blackbody spherical radiator of radius approximately 6.955×10^8 meters, surface temperature approximately 5,778 degrees Kelvin, whose center is a distance approximately 1.5×10^11 meters from the center of the earth. [These conditions produce a solar power spectral density of approximately 1,359 watts per square meter at a distance of 1.5x10^11 meters from the sun’s center.]

        (2) All radiation from the sun that approaches the earth/earth-atmosphere system is traveling in a single direction—specifically, the direction from the sun’s center to the earth’s center.

        (3) The earth/earth-atmosphere system consists of two parts: (a) a solid blackbody spherical center with a radius of approximately 6.3×10^6 meters, and (b) a spherically symmetric atmosphere that surrounds the solid spherical earth to an altitude of approximately 70,000 meters.

        (4) Thermal energy that enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system comes from two mutually exclusive sources: (i) an external source that is overwhelmingly dominated by radiation from the sun, and (ii) one or more internal sources from processes such as heat release during the burning of fossil fuel, friction of objects in contact moving past one another, radioactive decay of earth/earth/atmosphere elements, etc. The rate of external thermal energy is orders of magnitude larger than the rate of internal thermal energy.

        (5) All earth/earth-atmosphere system temperature changes of interest correspond to (i) time and spatial averages, and (ii) the earth/earth-atmosphere system in two different states of ERE—one ERE state corresponding to one level of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the other ERE state corresponding to a different level of atmospheric greenhouse gases. We are not interested in temperature changes during the time period when the earth/earth-atmosphere system is transitioning from one ERE state to another ERE state.

        (6) External thermal energy that enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system possesses the following properties: (a) the energy rate is time invariant at approximately 1.189×10^17 watts [(i) 1,359 watts per square meter times (ii) 1.25x10^14 square meters (the area of the earth surface intercepting the earth/earth-atmosphere system), times (iii) 0.7 (70% of the incoming solar radiation is reflected and does not enter the earth/earth-atmosphere system)], (b) the entering energy is symmetrically distributed (spherically)—i.e., although solar radiation approaches the earth/earth-atmosphere system from a single direction, time and spatial averaging allows us to treat the incoming solar radiation as arriving from all directions with equal magnitude, and (c) the energy rate is independent of the level of atmospheric greenhouse gas.

        (7) Internal thermal energy that enters the earth/earth-atmosphere system can be said to possess the following properties: (a) the energy rate is time invariant, (b) the entering energy is symmetrically distributed (spherically) within the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

        (8) All thermal energy that leaves the earth/earth-atmosphere system does so in a spherically symmetric manner.

        (9) Taken together, items (3), (6), (7) and (8) imply we can treat (i) all energy entering the earth/earth-atmosphere system doing so in a spherically symmetric manner, and (ii) all energy leaving the earth/earth-atmosphere system doing so in a spherically symmetric manner. Spherical symmetry implies (i) the earth surface temperature is everywhere the same, and (ii) although the atmosphere temperature may vary with altitude (distance from the surface of the earth), the atmosphere’s temperature at a fixed altitude is everywhere the same.

        (10) Radiative Forcing is defined to be the difference between (a) the rate radiative energy from any source (the sun, atmospheric greenhouse gases, atmospheric non-greenhouse gases) is incident on and absorbed by the earth’s surface …and… (b) the rate energy leaves the earth/earth-atmosphere system. The units of radiative forcing are watts. [Note: Since the earth’s surface is a sphere, all radiation originating from the earth’s surface will either (i) leave the earth/earth-atmosphere system, or (ii) be absorbed by atmospheric gases—i.e., no radiation emanating from the earth’s surface will be absorbed by the earth’s surface.]

        (11) If (a) the only change to the earth/earth-atmosphere system is the addition of greenhouse gases, (b) the rate of earth/earth-atmosphere system external and internal thermal energy input remain unchanged, and (c) the added greenhouse gases increase the radiative forcing, then we are interested in changes to the earth surface temperature.

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    el gordo

    The Oz is running a story with Peter Ridd and Folau.

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        AndyG55

        Because its NEWS.

        And its REAL.

        And it shows up the AGW scammers for what they are, a bunch of bullies.

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        yarpos

        Yes why? I mean its wrongspeak after all, such topics do not reinforce the hivemind and should not be discussed.

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        el gordo

        The Murdocracy is trying to frame the Ridd saga with a football star so that the average punter can better understand political correctness gone mad.

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        Gee aye

        Let me elaborate.

        el gordo, please elaborate.

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          AndyG55

          “Let me elaborate.”

          Why bother !

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          el gordo

          The ABC cannot remain mute with the Murdocracy out for a fight.

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-04-23/peter-ridd-reef-science-climate-change/11026540

          Its biased news, slanted to discredit Ridd.

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            OriginalSteve

            Well yes, over in the USA, the Left *still * cant accept the Russia probe was a blatant witch hunt, and now the loopy Dems are going to run their own “investigation” to try and take down a legally elected President.

            At what point does the USA start locking up openly seditious politicians?

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              Kinky Keith

              Good point.

              It’s amazing how blind to reality a population can become when immersed up to the neck in 24 hours a day of News-speak.

              They can no longer see that their country was built on Laws and Guidelines and due process;
              not Hurt Feelings.

              KK

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              RicDre

              “Well yes, over in the USA, the Left *still * cant accept the Russia probe was a blatant witch hunt”

              I disagree, the left in the USA always knew it was a blatant witch hunt, its just not politically expedient to admit it. Their real problem is that the Russian probe didn’t find any witches, so plan B is to accuse President Trump of trying to obstruct the blatant witch hunt.

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            Peter C

            Is the Murdoch Press out for a Fight?

            I have seen some attempts at balance in the Australian and the Herald Sun.

            It falls short of a full blown Herald Sun media campaign (in fact not even recognisable!).

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              el gordo

              First and foremost the Murdocracy is a commercial operation and that cannot be jeopardised.

              They are reasonably fair and balanced, but the organisation’s real power is in mentioning Ridd and highlighting the court case.

              The ABC would probably not be running the story at all if not for the Murdicracy, the sin of omission being the purest form of propaganda.

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          el gordo

          One further observation, doing a straw poll, there are a lot of people out there who think Sky News is “far right”. There is little point of arguing with them on this matter because they have already made up their minds.

          Aunty has moved to the centre left and the mindless electorate think this is the new centre. Which makes Sky appear far right instead of centre right.

          This is dangerous for democracy.

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    RicDre

    “Ocasio-Cortez impersonator, 8, takes on Green New Deal, socialism in adorable Twitter video”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ocasio-cortez-impersonator-green-new-deal-socialism-twitter-video

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    Peter C

    Pre poll Voting starts in less than 1 week!

    Clive Palmer has been making a real splash with his TV ads. I think they are quite effective at exposing the failures of Liberals and Labor.

    Unfortunately Clive has some history especially his deal with Al Gore.

    Pauline Hanson has a good bill board on a main road near me. She says; “I have the courage to say what you are thinking.”

    Australian Conservatives still struggling for visibility and recognition.
    We have good candidates and good policies. The aim is to elect a senator in each state. That should be enough to keep the new government reined in.

    Australian Conservatives website: https://www.conservatives.org.au/

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      AndyG55

      I will be voting ACP in the Senate (NSW)

      No ACP candidate in my electorate, so not sure what I will do, not wanting to give my vote to Liberal or Labor or Greens or PUP or AJP.

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        Peter C

        My House of Reps. vote will start with the party that goes last ie the Greens! Second last any similar Marxist/socialists (AJP) etc. Libs go just above Labor.
        I am tossing up between Family fist and DLP for the top spot. I will have to check on the candidates.

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          Gee aye

          If that is the case, you are voting Liberal

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            Peter C

            The preferential voting system means your vote ultimately goes to the least worst candidate.

            In my case that likely means the Liberal candidate. However a primary vote for some one else is noticed by the major parties (I hope).

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          Hanrahan

          You’re overanalysing Peter. In the great majority of lower house seats it only matters what order you put lib/nat and labor. Everything else is irrelevant.

          The senate is different. Careful thought is required to vote below the line.

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          • #

            Preferential votes matter in both houses.

            In the lower house your first pref gets funding and recognition. So if you are fed up with major party junk policies, let them know. They sure do care, as it hurts financially, and small parties need a certain number of votes to get over the bar and get any funding at all. And if small parties become kingmakers by choosing where to direct preferences it means the big parties don’t want to offend them and will swing policies accordingly.

            Plus if a small party gets a lot of first preference votes it makes it harder for the ABC to keep ignoring them.

            We need to shake up the two party duopoly. Don’t miss that chance!

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              Destroyer D69

              With respect to the counting of senate votes BELOW the line I cannot find any direction in Sec 273 of the Act”The Scrutiny” as to the method of the counting and recording of below the line votes.in contrast to the treatment of ABOVE the line votes where there are very specific directions as to their counting and recording.A question to the AEC has so far not been answered.

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        PeterS

        If no ACP candidate is available then the only choice is to vote LNP in spite of them going off the rails. The ALP+Greens were never on the rails to start with.

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    yarpos

    Below is an extract from a very interesting read over at The Occidental Observer. I was reading an article about the regular failed predictions of doom from Earth Day events since the 1970s. This passage on how people keep making them (AOC being the latest) and believing them even when nothing happens was worth repeating here I think.

    ******

    In the 1950s, psychologist Leon Festinger became intrigued with a news story about a doomsday cult led by Dorothy Martin, a suburban housewife who claimed she’d received messages about the impending flooding of the Earth. Festinger was already developing his theory of cognitive dissonance and recognized the situation as a unique laboratory to study what would happen when a deeply-held belief was disconfirmed. He saw this as a case that would lead to the arousal of dissonance when the prophecy inevitably failed. He thought that altering or denying the original belief would be very difficult, as Martin and her group were fiercely committed to it. For an excellent application of cognitive dissonance theory to the liberal mind, see here.

    Thus began a unique observational study of this small apocalyptic cult that laid the foundation for one of the most influential psychological theories in the history of the field. Martin claimed to have received messages from “the Guardians,” a group of superior beings from another planet, who said a flood would destroy the world on December 21, 1954. Three psychologists and several more assistants joined the cult and observed proceedings firsthand for months before and after the predicted apocalypse. Many of the group members quit their jobs and disposed of their possessions in preparation for the apocalypse. When doomsday came and went, Martin claimed that the world had been spared because of the “force of good and light” that the group members had spread throughout the world. Rather than abandoning their discredited beliefs, group members adhered to them even more strongly and began proselytizing with fervor.

    Festinger had predicted exactly this reaction. He argued that proselytizing provided a way for them to gain more social support and thus lessen the dissonance of disconfirmation. As Festinger wrote, “If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must after all be correct.” As he wrote in his classic book about the case, When Prophecy Fails, the group’s belief system did not just remain intact, it became even stronger.

    This has close parallels with today’s climate alarmists who have been forecasting the end of the world as we know it in ten years and renewing that prophecy with more fervor with each passing decade since 1970. The pervasive cultural and institutional power held by the Democrat media (film, the talk show universe (whether morning, noon or late-night), TV news broadcasts, major newspapers and magazines, etc.) represent a particularly powerful form of social support. After all, if you are in a position of tremendous institutional or political power, then not only are you hugely confirmed by the colleagues who share your beliefs, but questioning them would threaten everything you hold dear: job, reputation, future career and social standing. Festinger paid special attention to this role the society plays in keeping dissonance at bay: “The more people who hold a belief in common with you, the greater the amount of consonance that is built up and the less dissonance that is encountered when there is a disagreement.”

    The doomsday paradigm initiated by true believers on Earth Day in 1970 and echoed by multiple generations of Democrat leaders from Gore to Obama to the current “Green New Deal” continues to develop widening cracks as the ratrio of contradiction to reality increases. The cognitive dissonance caused by being on such intellectually shaky ground insures that this doomsday belief system will remain intact for the foreseeable future, producing more denial and dysfunctional thinking, more hysterical calls and campaigns for the moral exclusion of “climate deniers”, and more desperate measures against them.

    https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/

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      PeterS

      I knew that months ago. He’s a fake. Still I rather have him as PM than Shorten any day. I still can’t understand why aynone with even some thought processes in operation would ever want the ALP+Greens to rule the nation even for one week let alone 3 years. The election results will be very revealing as to the level of sanity of the voters.

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        el gordo

        I agree Peter, my trust in politicians has reached a low ebb.

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          PeterS

          I warn you it will only get lower, much lower. It’s just the way it is unfortunately. Reality bites.

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            Graeme No.3

            PeterS:

            Unfortunately yes, reality works that way. With the huge debt accumulated from Labor and its policies (and a complete lack of interest from Turnbull) the debt is way higher than when Labor got power in 2013, but they have yet to realise this. They still think that they can spend without limit, and avoid too many tax increases that cause adverse feedback and loss of votes.
            The reality is that borrowing from foreigners is going to be limited and higher interest rates will be demanded. That, and other Labor policies, will reduce the economy into a recession or even a depression. Since just about everyone (native born) under 40 doesn’t know what a recession is, the shock will be extremely strong. More importantly, the financial troubles will force Labor into either slashing expenditure or letting inflation rise. Given their preset ideas they will try to overcome the recession with ever increasing inflation.
            All those inner city millennials will find that, even if still employed by the Governments, that their hope of a ‘suitable’ habitation has gone for ever. And the inheritance they counted on has wilted away. They may have to go to the outer suburbs (horror!) or even worse to the country. Can you imagine their dismay when they find that the little country town doesn’t have a vegan coffee shop selling milk-free lattes?

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      philthegeek

      Morrison lacks a backbone.

      He could look around for Malcolm’s if its still lying around somewhere unused?

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        el gordo

        Talcum is a bitter tweeter without a backbone, what your lot would refer to as a party rat.

        “In fact the NEG had the support of the entire Cabinet, including and especially the current PM and Treasurer. It was approved by the Party Room on several occasions.”

        “It had the support of the business community and energy sector in a way that no previous energy policy had. However a right wing minority in the Party Room refused to accept the majority position and threatened to cross the floor and defeat their own government”.

        “That is the only reason it has been abandoned by the Government. The consequence is no integration of energy and climate policy, uncertainty continues to discourage investment with the consequence, as I have often warned, of both higher emissions and higher electricity prices.”

        ABC

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      GD

      Morrison is the best chance we’ve got at the moment. A strong conservative presence in the Senate and a Liberal government are the best chance for survival.

      Shorten’s Labor government would be Rudd/Gillard x 10.

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        el gordo

        If the guvmint fails to mention continental high speed rail or new coal fired power stations, then I’ll be voting informally.

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          FarmerDoug2

          “Continental high speed rail” not good. The distances and use density make for too expensive.
          Coal fired power good.
          Doug

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            el gordo

            I hear you Doug and you’re probably right that HSR will fail due diligence. Anyway its only political speculation and the best we can hope for from the $100 billion infrastructure spend is a new public toilet in the local park.

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    pat

    in existence for about 5 months, with PR provided by The Guardian, BBC and more FakeNewsMSM, XR rules:

    23 Apr: UK Express: Extinction Rebellion protests have WORKED as MPs succumb to calls for change
    CLIMATE protesters who caused chaos in London last week have succeeded in getting leading MPs onboard with their demands.
    By Emily Ferguson
    After just one week of protests led by the Extinction Rebellion group, top MP’s have began taking the campaign seriously by calling for tougher action on climate change. William Hague, Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband are just a few leading MP’s who have called on the UK to “step up” it’s commitment to dealing with climate change…

    In an article for the Daily Telegraph, former Tory leader William Hague said: “It is time to recognise that these young activists are indeed focused on the right issues…

    Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has also spoken out on the issue, calling on the Government to “step up” and declare a “climate emergency” in the UK.
    He said: “The truth is the planet is warming far faster than we are acting… it will get far worse if we do not act with much greater urgency.
    “In these circumstances it is no wonder people are disrupting the traffic and school children are striking… the only credible answer of democratic politics in response to these protests is to admit that we need to raise our game and show that we can act.”
    Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has also spoken out on the issue, calling on the Government to “step up” and declare a “climate emergency” in the UK…

    Mr Gove and Mr Miliband both met with 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in the House of Commons today, alongside several other high-profile politicians.
    John Bercow, Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas and others welcomed the Nobel Peace Prize nominee to Parliament, where she made a speech about climate change and got a rapturous round of applause…
    Mr Gove responded to the schoolgirl’s speech, and assured her that she had been heard.
    He admitted: “We have not done nearly enough”…
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1117913/extinction-rebellion-news-latest-london-protests-climate-change-mps-succumb-demands

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      pat

      behind paywall:

      22 Apr: UK Telegraph: The time for denial is over. Conservatives have to take the climate crisis seriously
      by William Hague
      No-one sits up to listen more than I do when a 16 year old activist takes the stage, in this case the climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg speaking on Sunday to Extinction Rebellion protestors in London. After all, I was that age when, 42 years ago, I caused a stir by telling the Conservative conference to roll back socialism. In my case, many of my contemporaries at school would have disagreed with me, and most would not have cared. In her case, huge numbers of young people support her message, and the issues she raises have become the prime political concern of activists of her generation.

      While I was concerned that left wing ideas were destroying opportunity, she and many more are motivated by the growing awareness that the whole of humanity is starting to devastate the planet. It is time to recognise that these young activists are indeed focused on the right issue. The solutions presented by protestors in London or by Green parties around the world may be ill thought-out, but the analysis is now hard to gainsay.

      The film presented by Sir David Attenborough last week was compelling in its argument that there is perhaps only a decade left to avert the greatest threat Earth has faced in thousands of years…
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/04/22/time-denial-conservatives-have-take-climate-crisis-seriously/

      2012: Guardian: PM under pressure from own cabinet to boost green energy investment
      Two Tory ministers write to Cameron to warn that boosting low carbon energy is economic as well as environmental imperative
      by Juliette Jowit
      The latest intervention comes after the foreign secretary, William Hague, urged David Cameron to provide more support to help green industries boost the economy, stop the UK falling behind international rivals, and avoid losing its global leadership on the environment…
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jun/24/green-energy-investment-conservatives-cameron

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        Serp

        It’s disappointing how responsive the UK politicians are to the antics of a handful of mentally unbalanced climate justice zealots particularly when across the channel they have Macron’s resistive example after nigh on six months of actually justified gilets jaunes agitation.

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    pat

    ***TWEET: Stephen King, Author, Grave New World… Senior Economic Adviser, HSBC. Columnist, Evening Standard.
    Emma Thompson, the tragedy of the commons and why low borrowing costs provide an opportunity to create an effective renewables infrastructure. Me in @thetimes…
    23 Apr 2019
    https://twitter.com/KingEconomist/status/1120590236160069632

    23 Apr: UK Times: Now is the time to switch to renewable power and put a tragedy behind us
    by ***Stephen King
    Dame Emma Thompson perfectly encapsulates the challenges associated with man-made climate change. She doubtless cares enormously about the future of our planet, yet appears to enjoy a lifestyle that, at times, is not entirely consistent with our planet’s long-term health. Jetting in from Los Angeles to join the Extinction Rebellion protest — and admitting that she was “far too old” to travel economy — might seem like a strange act of rebellion.

    Her problem is a version of the tragedy of the commons. The original “tragedy” was overuse of common grazing land. It cost the individual herder nothing to add a couple more cows to the pastureland and, if no one else emulated his “free rider” behaviour, no real harm would be done. If everyone, however, was a free rider, the pastureland would be destroyed and eventually all the cows would die. Similarly, while our individual flights do little damage to the environment, our collective actions may be rather more threatening.

    Today, renewables account for less than 4 per cent of global energy consumption. Replacing oil with, say, solar, however, is only the beginning. Our transport systems need to be electrified, a process that will happen only if grid capacity is massively expanded. And batteries have to become much more commonly used, not only in phones and laptops but also in homes, such that renewable energy can be stored to be employed when and where it is most needed. Doing all that requires imagination, leadership, international co-ordination and, yes, money. And with borrowing costs at absurdly low levels, the opportunity to act is right here, right now…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/83531656-6512-11e9-adc2-05e1b87efaea

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      yarpos

      Yes Emma, thats what the world needs right now , more debt. Better yet a massive uptick in debt piled on the present massive debt levels. Glad we have actors around to steer the world economy.

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    theRealUniverse

    Talk of stirring…
    Just posted something on iceagenow
    Yep, AND diesel and gasoline (petrol to us empire types ) are NOT repeat NOT fossil fuels. OIL is produced in the deep mantle by complex chemical processes which the Russian chemists have shown. It is IMPOSSIBLE for decaying biota to produce complex high order alkanes which the requirement for any decaying plants or squashed fish to do, as they are contain only lower order hydrocarbons. Oil is also too deep for fossils, being found at lower that 40000′ below any fossil sediments. It is obvious that the mother earth makes oil in plentiful supply. How handy..dont tell a greenie!
    Info
    https://principia-scientific.org/swedish-scientists-geologists-fossil-fuel-theory-busted/
    In that…” Col Fletcher Prouty, former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy. explains how oil was falsely classified a “fossil fuel” in 1892.”
    It was declared a fossil fuel not found to be one!!!

    My prediction..oil will be found on Mars one day, possibly admitted after the green nonsense has been sent to the dustbowl of history.
    Methane has already been found (Mars) but the news was buried very fast…

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    Another Ian

    Levin “I’m using plain English so even Joe Scarborough and Jake Tapper can understand this.”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2019/04/23/april-23-2019-reader-tips/#comment-1201681

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    pat

    23 Apr: The National, Scotland: Unions take renewables contracts fears to MSPs
    By Kirsteen Paterson
    SCOTTISH jobs are “on the brink of being lost” as renewables contracts are awarded to overseas bidders, union leaders claim.
    Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee will today hear evidence from industry and union leaders after GMB and Unite urged MSPs to investigate the cost to the domestic engineering sector of losing windfarm work to foreign competitors.

    Gary Smith of GMB Scotland and Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty wrote to committee convener Gordon Lindhurst last month urging the cross-party panel to consider “the future of BiFab”…
    However, it recently lost out on two contracts for work on offshore wind projects. These include the fabrication of five platforms for a Kincardine development, which went to Spanish state shipbuilders Navantia, and a deal to make 100 turbine jackets for the Moray East scheme.
    That job was won by operators in Belgium and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    In their letter, Smith and Rafferty say DF Barnes had “done everything possible” to win the work, but is not able to compete on a “level playing field”…
    “Billions of pounds worth of contracts and thousands of direct and indirect jobs are now on the brink of being lost to state sponsored companies and companies who hold an unfair commercial advantage or to economies which do not necessarily apply labour standards that we would recognise.” …

    “We are deeply concerned that the we are about to see a repeat of the failure to build an industrial supply-chain for offshore wind, just as was the case for onshore wind, and we believe that there is significant public interest in both exposing this and examining what could be done to turn the situation around.”
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/17590241.unions-take-renewables-contracts-fears-to-msps/

    30

  • #
    pat

    22 Apr: Oil Price: India Looks To Add 12 New Nuclear Power Stations
    By Julianne Geiger
    India will add 12 nuclear power stations to its lineup to shore up its power supply situation, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said on Monday, according to The Times of India.
    The “irreplaceable source of clean, pollution-free energy” is expected to be a significant and essential part of India’s energy needs, KN Vyas, DAE secretary said at an industry event in Russia, adding that there is no substitute for nuclear energy as it is particularly reliable.
    Vyas highlighted its Kaiga Nuclear Power station which, according to him, has had a streak of 962 uninterrupted days of runtime.

    As of 2018, six nuclear reactors were being constructed in India to meet the growing needs of the country. Its nuclear capacity was expected to triple by 2031…
    Plans to be the world’s greatest solar energy success has fallen flat. It is largely dependent—perhaps too much so—on thermal and hydropower plants, both which require water. Nuclear power could add another layer of security for India.
    “The founder of Indian nuclear programme, Homi J Bhabha had envisaged that nuclear technology is going to be very essential and not just in the power sector but for other societal uses intended for betterment of life,” Vyas said.
    https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/India-Looks-To-Add-12-New-Nuclear-Power-Stations.html

    40

  • #
    pat

    Uodated 23 Apr: Bloomberg: New Coal Plants Are Just Too Expensive in China, Analysis Says
    by Bloomberg News; With assistance by Feifei Shen, Jing Yang, and Dan Murtaugh
    New investments will be in renewable energy, analysts say
    More than 10 regions can resume building new coal projects
    China’s green light to build more coal-fired power plants probably won’t usher in a flurry of new construction as most policies and investments in the top energy user will tilt toward renewable sources.
    More than 10 regions will be freed of their overcapacity tag in 2022, clearing a hurdle for them to resume building coal-fired plants…

    Businesses and governments are tracking China’s efforts to transform its energy mix as its massive scale could shape global trends and spur a faster transition toward renewable energy…Yet it’s still pumping money at home and abroad into coal-fired generation, and it’s forecast by the International Energy Agency to continue to consume about half the world’s coal through 2023…
    Areas freed up for new coal power plant construction include Hebei, Qinghai, Chongqing, Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou and Henan, according to NEA…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-22/china-s-green-light-on-coal-power-won-t-trigger-new-plant-boom

    reminder:

    28 Mar: GreenpeaceUnearthed: China’s power industry calls for hundreds of new coal power plants by 2030
    Under the proposal, the country could add a large coal power plant every 2 weeks for the next 12 years
    by Lauri Myllyvirta
    The largest power producers in China have asked the government to allow for the development of between 300 and 500 new coal power plants by 2030 in a move that ***could single-handedly jeopardise global climate change targets…

    In its review of the government’s five-year-plan, China Electricity Council (CEC) – the influential industry body representing China’s power industry – recommended adopting a ‘cap’ for coal power capacity by 2030 — but the 1300GW limit proposed is 290GW higher than current capacity. The target is for the country’s coal-fired capacity to continue to grow until peaking in 2030.
    The cap would enable China to build 2 large coal power stations a month for the next 12 years, and grow the country’s capacity by an amount nearly twice the size of Europe’s total coal capacity…

    130GW is currently under construction in China, with an additional 30-40GW of projects that already started construction but were suspended or delayed due to Beijing’s various overcapacity policies…
    The capacity target proposed by the CEC would mean not only completing all of this capacity, it would see the start of as-of-yet unplanned projects amounting to another 160-300GW.
    For context, the total German coal/lignite plant capacity is less than 50GW, while in Poland it is below 30 GW.

    The gigantic increase in coal-fired capacity is also reflected in the CEC’s targets for power generation: in 2035, the industry proposal would see power generation from fossil fuels up by almost 30% from current levels, while the emission reduction scenarios foresee a reduction of 30-50%…

    Under the industry proposal, around 400GW of new capacity would be added in 2020s, meaning that this capacity will be much less than a decade old in 2030, making rapid retirement less palatable…
    https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2019/03/28/china-new-coal-plants-2030-climate/

    20

    • #
      pat

      Bloomberg before coming up with the 23 April update posted above, with analysts trying to downplay the facts:

      19 Apr: Bloomberg: China’s Far From Done With Coal as Regulator Eases New Plant Ban
      by Bloomberg News; With assistance by Feifei Shen, and Dan Murtaugh
      11 provinces and regions allowed to build coal plants again
      The decision underscores how dependent on coal the world’s second-largest economy still is…
      While coal’s share of China’s total energy consumption fell to 59 percent last year, the growth in the country’s total energy consumption meant burning of the dirty fossil fuel actually increased by 1 percent.

      Shares of Chinese coal miners jumped on Friday’s news. Datong Coal Industry Co. rose as much as 10 percent, the most in 21 months. Shanxi Xishan Coal & Electricity Power Co. gained as much as 9 percent, the biggest intraday advance since December 2017…
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-19/china-s-far-from-done-with-coal-as-regulator-eases-new-plant-ban

      30

  • #
    Another Ian

    “My recipe for climate change believers; Don’t talk to us about it until YOU, the believer, have done the following:
    a) stop driving. Take a bus, ride a bike, or walk instead.
    b) stop flying. Vacation in your local area instead. To get to there follow step a.
    c) set your house heating to 68F, no warmer
    d) set your air conditioning to 80F, no cooler,
    e) live in a house, or apartment, that is 1000 sq. ft. or smaller
    f) no buying carbon credits. YOU have to cut back.

    Ask any climate change believer if they are prepared to do all of these personal steps. You get interesting reactions. ”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2019/04/23/april-23-2019-reader-tips/#comment-1201708

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Seems I fall into all but two of those categories

      a) sorry, not going to stop driving.
      b) only fly when I have to visit the parents or to conferences. Holiday in local area.
      c) only use a fan heater if a good jumper is not enough, only use in one room at a time.
      d) Only use air-con in study on the hottest of days
      e) House about 900 sq ft
      f) Cut back on carbon dioxide footprint.. as if !

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    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      so are you saying that if you are not a “climate change believer’ you should do the opposite? Leaving aside the passive house movement, I would suggest that for the deniers you should also
      g) detune you car to use as much fuel as possible
      h) air-condition your patio in summer
      i) leave all your windows open in winter, buy extra heating instead.
      j) never walk anywhere

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      • #
        yarpos

        What a contribution. Even started with a “so you are saying….” Classic.

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        • #
          Yonniestone

          Not to mention for a passive house movement that was a very aggressive response.

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          • #
            yarpos

            i seriously doubt its a “movement” any more than there is a EV movement in Australia or a real transition to renewable energy.

            My wife and I have rented what she now calls “passive agressive solar” houses while in NZ. Frankly they were a joke. Couldnt comfotably regulate weather on hot days and each room had an electric column oil heater in it, so I am guessing it wasnt real flash in the cold either. Another triumph of virtue signalling over function.

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      • #
        theRealUniverse

        OK PF here is EXACTLY how NOAA corrupts the US and global temperature records (for geopolitical purposes) by Tony Heller
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=294&v=6kUAtt2pXlc
        Please explain why they would do that…something on their mind?

        73

      • #
        AndyG55

        What mindless irrational thought-bubble lies behind your wonky logical fallacy, Fitz?

        96

      • #
        AndyG55

        What a logical person would do is get on with their life without a single care or thought about their “carbon footprint”.

        You know, like Al Gore, DiCaprio, and numerous other AGW wannabee starlets do.

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        We all believe in climate change as far as I can tell , it’s just what causes it that we’re arguing about .
        In the absence of evidence I’m saying natural and cyclic so nothing to see here which is easy I don’t need any evidence other than the last million years to back it up but you on the other hand place faith in the scientists (getup) told you so .

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        • #
          AndyG55

          Actually, “the climate” has barely changed at all for the last 100 or so years.

          A couple of minor ups and down in the so-called global temperature is about all.

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          • #
            Kinky Keith

            And sea levels have fallen anywhere between 5 to 6 metres in the last 8,000 years with a commensurate buildup of Glaciers.

            Messing about with micro climate variations of the last 200 years has been very profitable for the chosen few.

            KK

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            • #
              Graeme No.3

              I was looking at the rise of Sumer in the Bronze age recently and it was stated that it was surrounded by sea water channels from the Persian Gulf that was a 2-3 metres higher sea level then.

              50

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      NO no, you left out the main one, stop using ANY plastic product, including your mobile, it comes from OIL the BIG bad Wolf!

      100

  • #
    pat

    23 Apr: BBC: Major wildfire threatens Moray wind farm
    Firefighters have worked through the night tackling a large wildfire near a wind farm in Moray.
    The alarm was raised just before 15:00 on Monday when flames were spotted near Paul’s Hill wind farm at Knockando, south west of Elgin.
    About 30 firefighters were at the scene of the blaze but at its height more than 50 people were involved.
    The blaze covers an area of six miles by two miles…
    The Paul’s Hill wind farm, consisting of 28 turbines, is run by Fred Olsen Renewables…
    There was a large grass fire in the same area last weekend…
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-48017104

    update, mentions 2 wind farms, only names the one mentioned above:

    23 Apr: BBC: Major wildfire in Moray ‘will take days’ to put out
    About 70 firefighters have spent a second day tackling the blaze which is close to two wind farms…
    The alarm was raised shortly before 15:00 on Monday after flames were spotted near Paul’s Hill wind farm at Knockando, south west of Elgin.
    Fire chiefs called it a “significant, fast-moving fire”…

    Scottish Fire and Rescue Area manager Bruce Farquharson said up to 100 people were now involved in fighting the fire.
    Police, ambulance and local estate staff joined the efforts, along with Forestry Commission staff and local windfarm workers…

    ***”It has passed through one windfarm and is impinging on a second…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-48030091

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  • #
    pat

    top tweet at SFRS:

    TWEET: Scottish Fire & Rescue Service:

    00

    • #
      pat

      somehow didn’t get posted:

      TWEET: Scottish Fire & Rescue Service:

      00

      • #
        pat

        trying one more time:

        TWEET: Scottish Fire & Rescue Service:
        We attend 10k+ fires involving refuse and rubbish every year
        Around 90% are set deliberately
        Average cost of £2,000 for every attendance
        Deliberate fire-raising is unacceptable, costly, and puts lives at risk.
        Help us #StampItOut LINK FirstScotland.gov.uk “Deliberate Fires”
        10 Mar 2019
        https://twitter.com/fire_scot/status/1104699686928158720

        Yorkshire:

        23 Apr: Guardian: Huge area of Yorkshire moorland destroyed by fire
        by Josh Halliday North of England correspondent
        National Trust says blaze above village of Marsden was started by a barbecue
        The National Trust said the blaze was started by a barbecue at Eastergate, a popular picnic spot…
        The fire, which occurred 24 hours after a smaller blaze on Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, prompted renewed warnings about the dangers of starting barbecues on tinder-dry moorlands…
        He said the group whose barbecue started the blaze called the fire service when they were unable to put out the flames on Sunday evening. Some of the group waited for the firefighters to arrive and were “quite distressed” as the flames took hold, Best said.
        “This needs to be a bit of a warning for people that something as simple as a £2 barbecue can cause such an extensive fire. It really doesn’t take long for a barbecue in dry vegetation to catch light. If you’ve got a slight breeze, before you know it that fire is spread up the hill,” he said…

        ***Meanwhile, three men aged 19, 23 and 24 have been arrested in connection with the Ilkley Moor blaze. Police have not said whether it was believed to have been started deliberately.
        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/22/huge-area-of-yorkshire-moorland-destroyed-by-fire-barbecue

        23 Apr: YorkshireEveningPost: Man charged with arson after Ilkley Moor fire
        by Joe Cooper
        Three men, aged 19, 23 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of arson on Sunday in relation to the smaller fire of the two.
        One man has now been charged with arson, but it is unclear whether this is in relation to the smaller or bigger fire – or whether the two are fires are linked.
        Two men have been released under investigation…

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    23 Apr: UK Times: It’s not hysterical to face up to reality of climate change
    by ***Ben Cooke
    At first glance, Extinction Rebellion look hysterical. They implore the government to do everything it can to make the country carbon-neutral by 2025, an effort that would involve a mobilisation of people and resources larger than any since the Second World War. It would require the state to ration air travel, replace every gas boiler in the land, and borrow vast sums to invest in wind and solar power as well as technologies to capture what remaining carbon we would produce.

    It seems hysterical because it is totally out of whack with the tenor of our national debate on climate change. It is a demand of the sort that would be merited by an immediate and existential threat — Nazi invasion, say — but not by a threat so distant and …

    According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world has only 11 years to cut emissions nearly in half if we are to avoid irreversible changes, such as the release of methane from melting permafrost. With that in mind, Extinction Rebellion’s demands look less hysterical and more like a rational, if desperate, effort to save us…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/08db9748-6537-11e9-877f-447086620e98

    ***re the writer, Ben Cooke:

    Aug 2016: NewsUK: Murdoch Scholar’s ‘pretty cool’ experience
    Part of an endowment made in 1990 by News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch sees Oxford University English degree students interested in journalism receive summer work experience two-week placements on our titles.
    Mr Murdoch was a PPE graduate from Oxford’s Worcester College…

    ***Ben Cooke, 21, who has just completed his English degree at Balliol College, embarked this week on a Times’ placement with the foreign and home desks.
    Ben, from Pontefract in West Yorkshire, said: “Already, I’ve seen just how quick the pace of it is on a national daily paper.” He hopes to get a job in foreign or arts journalism.
    https://www.news.co.uk/2016/08/murdoch-scholars-pretty-cool-experience/

    20

  • #
    Peter C

    GET UP SHOOTS ITSELF IN FOOT!

    Despicable ad Defames Tony Abbott.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/getup-pulls-ad-depicting-tony-abbott-refusing-to-help-drowning-swimmer

    I don’t know how to save it but others might be able to help.

    Zali Steggall probably won’t be pleased since Get Up are supporting her campaign.

    51

    • #
      Graeme#4

      GetUp have just pulled the ad after it was heavily criticised, especially by the Lifesaving Association, who pointed out how insensitive it was after the recent drownings of two lifesavers. Totally despicable, low and tasteless and shows the depths to which GetUp will go. So far Zali hasn’t commented.

      100

    • #
      Yonniestone

      We should expect nothing less from them, the upside is the longer their wishes are not granted the further the mask slips for all to see.

      81

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Ironic that with all that extreme left funding they make an ad that makes Tony look good and bolsters his support base , well done lil Bill and your mini me getup .

        61

    • #
      philthegeek

      About on a level with Capt Getup rubbing his but and goolies all over a picture of Stegalls face.

      40

  • #
    pat

    24 Apr: ABC: Lake Eyre could get to its fullest since 1974 but Murray-Darling Basin is missing out
    ABC Weather By Kate Doyle
    It doesn’t rain but it pours … and pours … and pours.
    The cold front that brought the earliest snow on record for Western Australia on Good Friday, has helped trigger widespread heavy rainfall for drought-stricken western Queensland and north-west New South Wales in recent days.
    There’s been some pretty impressive totals — Wilcannia has recorded more than 70mm, Burrawantie homestead near Bourke (59mm), and Cunnamulla (47mm) — with more forecast today.
    But while the rain is the latest in a soggy start to 2019 for western Queensland, Paul Lainio, a hydro-meteorologist (water and weather expert) at the Bureau of Meteorology, said there was mixed news on where all the water was flowing and what it meant for the drought…
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-24/lake-eyre-filling-up-after-rain-but-murray-darling-missing-out/11035718

    23 Apr: ABC: Downpour fills dams, soaks paddocks in drought-hardened far western NSW over Easter
    ABC Western Plains By Jessie Davies

    headline on ABC “Just In” page “Barnaby Joyce wants to redirect floodwater to the desert. Here’s what the experts say”.

    actual headline (AND THE PREDICTIBLE RESPONSES):

    24 Apr: ABC: Barnaby Joyce said building the Bradfield Scheme to redirect water is the one thing Australia can do to reduce the effects of drought. Is he correct?
    Principal researcher: Christina Arampatzi (RMIT/ABC Fact Check)
    Updated about 2 hours ago
    Verdict: pie in the sky.
    “[It] wouldn’t deliver; wouldn’t repay the cost,” said Professor Richard Kingsford, director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science at the University of NSW.
    “A mad idea for both economic and ecological reasons.”…

    Earlier this century, another expert group reviewed the scheme, with its findings published in the Australian Meteorological Magazine in 2004.
    The paper, co-authored by scientists from the Bureau of Meteorology Research Institute and CSIRO, and with the benefit of longer term data and sophisticated climate models, also considered whether flooding inland Australia could lead to climate amelioration…
    Dr Neville Nicholls, co-author of the paper and currently emeritus professor at Monash University, told Fact Check that even if large evaporation could be avoided, there would not be substantial changes to the climate.
    “We found no evidence that the scheme would help avoid droughts by increasing inland rainfall or decreasing temperature, except very close to the water body,” he said…

    University of NSW Professor Richard Kingsford told Fact Check that while the cost of implementing the Bradfield Scheme today was estimated to be in the billions of dollars, the main consideration was whether the resultant productivity gains would be enough to justify the cost of diverting the water.
    “[It] wouldn’t deliver; wouldn’t repay the cost,” he said.
    Dr Daniel Connell, a research fellow at the Australian National University, agreed that the scheme would only be possible with “massive government subsidies which far exceed the value of what would be produced”.
    “It’s much cheaper to desalinate water, the cost of which now makes that option feasible for a wealthy city, but still far above what is needed to make agriculture financially viable,” he said.

    Experts told Fact Check that alternative models and schemes could be easier — and cheaper — to implement than Bradfield’s, but the extent of any potential agricultural productivity was likely to be fiercely contested…
    The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO were unable to provide any more recent research on John Bradfield’s ambitious infrastructure plan.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-24/fact-check-bradfield-scheme-barnaby-joyce-drought/11029284

    10

  • #
    pat

    what a good CAGW bank:

    17 Apr: BBC: Nordea boss says climate protests are ‘just the beginning’
    By Alexia O’Connor & Mark Syred, BBC Radio 5 Live
    Climate change protests will become much more commonplace, according to the head of one of Europe’s biggest ethical investment funds…
    Nordea Bank’s Sasja Beslik told the BBC the protests were “just the beginning”.
    People who were worried about climate change did not feel that had many other “tools” at their disposal, he said…
    Mr Beslik is in charge of sustainable finance at Nordea, one of the biggest banks in Europe, and the third largest corporation in the Nordic region of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

    The fund Mr Beslik manages stopped investing in VW after the emissions scandal and no longer authorises the buying of Facebook stock because of concerns over how the company has been addressing its data privacy issues.

    Speaking to 5 Live’s Wake up to Money, he said: “I think this [this week's wave of protests] is just the beginning. If we talk about the number of millennials in Europe and in countries all over the world, they are very concerned about the situation and I don’t think they feel that they have too many other tools in their hands to approach this.”

    He said the key to forcing companies to change lay not just with grassroots protest, but in the boardroom, because the world’s financial sector was “the biggest global tool at the table”.
    “I think it is fairly obvious that the actions taken by politicians and businesses around the world are not enough,” he said, adding: “87% of all the capital in the world is not managed in a way that takes into account climate issues… If we want to employ the big muscles in the world when it comes to changing the industries… you need to deploy financial capital.”…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/47967764

    not so fast, BBC:

    Wikipedia: Nordea
    Panama document leak
    The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) has pointed out that there are “serious deficiencies” in how Nordea monitors money laundering, and has given the bank two warnings. In 2015, Nordea had to pay the largest possible fine – over 5 million EUR…
    Other Swedish banks are mentioned in the documents, but mention of Nordea occurs 10,902 times and the second-most mentioned bank has 764 matches…
    Tax evasion and the Paradise Papers
    Nordea bank loaned billions of euros to shipping companies that own vessels in secrecy jurisdictions such as Bermuda, Cyprus, Panama, BVI, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man. In the Paradise Papers, Nordea was shown to have lent a significant amount of money to customers based in tax havens…
    Drug money laundering
    Nordea was involved in the laundering of drug money in Denmark, by allowing withdrawal of 500 euro note bills despite the Danish police advising against this. Nordea has admitted its involvement in the money laundering, and has claimed it has stopped these activities…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordea

    5 Mar: Bloomberg: Nordea Gets Drawn Deeper Into Nordic Dirty Money Scandal
    By Kati Pohjanpalo and Frances Schwartzkopff
    Nordea Bank Abp allegedly handled about 700 million euros ($793 million) in questionable funds, some of which are linked to the death of Sergei Magnitsky, who ended his days in a Russian prison after revealing wide-spread corruption…

    A picture is forming of Nordic banks that, often via their Baltic units, became hubs for Russian criminals eager to channel their funds into the West…
    In an interview with YLE, Nordea Chief Executive Officer Casper von Koskull said his industry has been “naive” in its approach to dealing with money laundering…
    Nordea, which moved its headquarters to Finland from Sweden for regulatory reasons last year, has already been fined in the past by Swedish authorities for failing to live up to anti-money laundering rules…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-04/nordea-reportedly-handled-almost-800-million-in-dirty-funds

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Lake Eyre could get to its fullest since 1974 but Murray-Darling Basin is missing out

    “The cold front that brought the earliest snow on record for Western Australia on Good Friday, has helped trigger widespread heavy rainfall for drought-stricken western Queensland and north-west New South Wales in recent days.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-24/lake-eyre-filling-up-after-rain-but-murray-darling-missing-out/11035718

    Q. Where did the BoM predict this?

    A. It didn’t.

    Many failed BoM predictions. Here is one…

    BoM summer outlook, 29 nov 2018:

    “In summer, this includes drier weather in parts of northern Australia, and warmer summer days.”

    https://theconversation.com/summer-forecast-scorching-heat-and-heightened-bushfire-risk-107893

    4 February 2019, Townsville floods 2019: in photos

    https://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/story/5885114/townsville-floods-in-photos/

    40

    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      Who remembers the BoM drought vortex of 2003?

      Not the BoM …

      “Is a mysterious new weather system causing the drought in southern Australia?

      Climatologists are desperately trying to explain the mystery of where southern Australia’s winter rainfall is going.

      They’ve known the rain is being pulled south by an unexplained force.

      Now they’ve devised a revolutionary new theory to explain why.”

      DROUGHT VORTEX
      http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s948858.htm

      40

      • #
        Bill in Oz

        Travis, that is a Catalyst program from 2003.

        How then does this old theory explain the wetter years of 2011-14 & 2016 ?

        Yes the Southern Polar Vortex has a huge impact on weather in all the Southern hemisphere.

        That’s a fact.

        But did the SPV slow down in the wet years ?

        And if so why ?

        Surely with CO2 rising above 400 ppm,

        it should have caused more droughts in those wet years.

        But it didn’t mate.

        Black swan !

        Theory disproved by the weather itself !

        QED

        32

        • #
          Peter C

          I like the conclusion Bill.
          :-)

          But I am not sure that I can follow the reasoning.

          50

          • #
            Bill in Oz

            Look at what the theory in this Catalyst program proposed in 2003

            In the years from 2003 -2019 does this theory explain what happened ?

            No it doesn’t

            The theory predicts droughts supposedly..

            But we had wet wet years in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016 at least here i . the Adelaide Hills.

            QED

            41

  • #
    pat

    talk about FakeNewsMSM:

    19 Apr: BBC: David Attenborough climate change TV show a ‘call to arms’
    Sir David Attenborough’s new BBC documentary on climate change has been praised by TV critics.
    Climate Change – The Facts, shown on BBC One on Thursday, was a “rousing call to arms”, said the Guardian.
    Sir David, 92, has called global warming “our greatest threat in thousands of years”.

    In its review, The Arts Desk said: “Devastating footage of last year’s climactic upheavals makes surreal viewing…

    In a four-star review, the Times said the veteran presenter “took a sterner tone… as though his patience was nearly spent”…

    In a glowing review, the Telegraph called the title of the documentary “robust” and praised the use of Sir David in the central role.
    “At a time when public debate seems to be getting ever more hysterical,” it said, “it’s good to be presented with something you can trust. And we all trust Attenborough.”

    “Sir David Attenborough might as well be narrating a horror film,” wrote the FT.
    “A panoply of profs line up to explain that the science on climate change is now unequivocal, never mind the brief clip of Donald Trump prating: ‘It’s a hoax, it’s a hoax, OK’.”…

    The programme – which is now available on the BBC iPlayer – was broadcast as Extinction Rebellion protesters continues to cause disruption in parts of central London.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-47988337

    linked in above:

    19 Apr: TheArtsDesk: Climate Change: The Facts, BBC One review – how much reality can humankind bear?
    by Katherine Waters
    https://theartsdesk.com/tv/climate-change-facts-bbc-one-review-how-much-reality-can-humankind-bear

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    • #
      pat

      18 Apr: BBC: Climate change: Sir David Attenborough warns of ‘catastrophe’
      By Matt McGrath
      Sir David said we face “irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies”…
      “There are dips and troughs and there are some years that are not as warm as other years,” said Dr Peter Stott from the Met Office.
      “But what we have seen is the steady and unremitting temperature trend. Twenty of the warmest years on record have all occurred in the last 22 years.”…
      Scientists say that the dry conditions that make wildfires so deadly are increasing as the planet heats up…
      The programme said that rapid progress is being made in renewable energy, with wind now as cheap as fossil fuels in many cases…

      But politicians will need to act decisively and rapidly.
      “This is the brave political decision that needs to be taken,” said Chris Stark from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change…

      The programme also highlights the rising generation of young people who are deeply concerned about what’s happening to the planet…
      https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47976184

      18 Apr: BBC: Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help
      By Nassos Stylianou, Clara Guibourg, Daniel Dunford and Lucy Rodgers
      2. The year 2018 set all sorts of records
      The concern is that such hot and cold weather fronts are being blocked – stuck over regions for long periods – more frequently because of climate change, leading to more extreme weather events…

      (UHI? UHI? UHI?)
      5. Urban areas are particularly under threat
      And it’s the faster-growing cities that are most at risk, including megacities like Lagos in Nigeria and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
      Some 84 of the world’s 100 fastest-growing cities face “extreme” risks from rising temperatures and extreme weather brought on by climate change…
      https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46384067

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    Another Ian

    “NASA Gavin Schmidt: Personal Climate Change Sacrifices “doesn’t actually change very much” ”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/04/23/nasa-gavin-schmidt-personal-climate-change-sacrifices-doesnt-actually-change-very-much/

    Be news for the greenery!

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    Big Oil’s $5tn investment is incompatible with Paris deal
    Financial Times-22 Apr 2019

    presumably it is this story:

    22 Apr: Global Witness: Big oil is set to spend $5 trillion on fossil fuels we can’t afford to burn
    Our analysis found that all production from new oil and gas fields – beyond those already in production or development – is incompatible with reaching the world’s climate goals. Yet the oil and gas industry is set to spend $4.9 trillion (yes, trillion) over the next ten years on exploration and extraction in new fields. That’s an eye-watering amount of money to spend on fossil fuels we need to leave in the ground…

    Right now, the industry is forecast to pump more oil and gas for decades to come. Our analysis shows not only that production from new fields is incompatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C, but also that production from existing fields is already more than enough.

    If this vast investment in new fields goes ahead, it will push us further and further towards the most dangerous and unpredictable impacts of warming: more wildfires, more droughts, more flooding, more hurricanes, more species loss. And while this would likely leave no one untouched, it is the world’s poorest people who would be hit hardest…
    Find out more – read our new report Overexposed (LINK).
    https://www.globalwitness.org/en/blog/big-oil-set-to-spend-5-trillion/

    10

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Yet the oil and gas industry is set to spend $4.9 trillion (yes, trillion) over the next ten years on exploration and extraction in new fields.
      Excellent news!!

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    Another Ian

    The global warming crowd getting more desperate and crazy by the day:

    https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-254590-11-.htm#254590

    And thanks for your help with the poll at the above link!”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2019/04/24/april-24-2019-reader-tips/#comment-1201927

    Have at it – it accepted my vote!

    50

  • #
    el gordo

    Barnaby revives the Bradfield Scheme.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-24/fact-check-bradfield-scheme-barnaby-joyce-drought/11029284

    The ABC pours cold water on the idea.

    60

    • #
      Peter C

      ABC cans it,

      But is it any more complex than the Snowy Scheme?

      Water from the Eastern side of the North Queensland dividing range at Tully, gets diverted over the range into the headwaters of the Diamantina. No shortage of water at Tully.

      Sounds ok on the face of it. Lake Eyre becomes a permanent inland lake surrounded by farming land. Australia becomes more like the USA.

      71

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        It’d be interesting to to do a re-costing of the idea on one hand, and a re-evaluation of the planned routes, including use of modern technology. e.g. use of D8s v 15hp tractors, (or even horse drawn buckets)??
        But the ABC has spoken, and they are always right… True?
        Cheers
        Dave B

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        • #
          RickWill

          Not true – In fact the ABC does not claim to be right; rather they claim to provide unbiased news and opinions.

          From ABC policy:

          Aiming to equip audiences to make up their own minds is consistent with the public service character of the ABC. A democratic society depends on diverse sources of reliable information and contending opinions. A broadcaster operating under statute with public funds is legitimately expected to contribute in ways that may differ from commercial media, which are free to be partial to private interests.

          It would be interesting to compare the number of stories on CAGW versus natural variation.

          Similarly it would be interesting to compare the number of stories praising the Trump administration versus those being disrespectful of the POTUS.

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    pat

    fast becoming the FakeNewsMSM’s story of the day:

    23 Apr: NationalGeographicAustralia: A warming Arctic could cost the world trillions of dollars
    By Stephen Leahy
    New science warns that melting ice and permafrost could set off feedback loops that make climate change worse.
    These climate-change-driven feedbacks in the Arctic are accelerating warming even faster and may add nearly $70 trillion to the overall costs of climate change—even if the world meets the Paris Agreement climate targets, a new study says…

    However, if efforts can be made to keep climate change limited to 1.5 degrees Celcius, the extra cost of Arctic warming drops to $25 trillion, new research published in Nature Communications (LINK) reports. A trillion is a thousand billion. For comparison, the global GDP in 2016 was around US$76 trillion…

    “Massive changes are underway in the Arctic. Permafrost and loss of sea ice and snow are two known tipping elements in the climate system,” said lead author Dmitry Yumashev of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University in the United Kingdom…

    The $25 to $70 trillion cost of Arctic warming adds four to six percent to the total cost of climate change—which is estimated to reach $1,390 trillion by the year 2300 if emissions cuts are not better than the Paris Agreement. However, the costs of the current business-as-usual path could be more than $2,000 trillion…
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/nature/a-warming-arctic-could-cost-the-world-trillions-of-dollars.aspx

    20

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Seems as though the new independent for Indi see Labor as a threat , their flyer is wall to wall anti Labor scare .
    This once blue ribbon Liberal seat was ruined by the most hated politician in Sophie Panopoulas and I would have thought the Libs or the Nats would have been worth a mention in the flyer but no just Labor .
    Personally I think the Nats are in with a chance .

    10

  • #
    pat

    23 Apr: TheAtlantic: Greenland Is Falling Apart
    Since 1972, the giant island’s ice sheet has lost 11 quadrillion pounds of water.
    by Robinson Meyer
    A new study finds that the Greenland Ice Sheet added a quarter inch of water to global sea levels in just the past eight years. The research, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (LINK), covers nearly 20 years previously not included in our detailed understanding of the troubled Greenland Ice Sheet. It finds that climate change has already bled trillions of tons of ice from the island reservoir, with more loss than expected coming from its unstable northern half…

    “The glaciers are still being pushed out of balance,” Eric Rignot, a senior scientist at NASA and an author of the paper, told me. “Even though the ice sheet has [sometimes] been extremely cold and had low surface melt in the last year, the glaciers are still speeding up, and the ice sheet is still losing mass.”…

    (NEAR THE END)
    Brad Lipovsky, a glaciologist at Harvard who was not connected to the research, said in an email that the results “seem plausible at first glance,” but that scientists would need to carefully check some of the team’s methodology…
    https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/587431/

    30

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    Another Ian

    “Absurdity: The absurdity of using wind and solar for base-load electricity in Germany is exposed by German journalist Holger Douglas, translated by GWPF.

    “The guaranteed output of PV is nevertheless 0%; for onshore wind it is only 1% and for offshore wind it’s 2%. In plain language, the 120 GW of renewables that we have built up over the last 15 years make almost no contribution to the secured output. We will never build a secure power supply with wind and PV alone. Ten years ago, we had around 100 GW of power from secure energy sources at our disposal – coal, gas, nuclear, biomass and hydroelectric plants.”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/04/24/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-357/

    30

    • #
      Serp

      It’s all unrelieved absurdity again reminding me of P T Barnum’s words “nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the general public” and what an armchair ride to riches the renewables money men are enjoying on the gullibility of that general public.

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  • #
    Robert Swan

    Worthy of mention — long dormant, there have been new top postings at Bishop Hill lately. Worth a visit.

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  • #
    Reed Coray

    This extremely long comment is a continuation of the discussion Peter Fitzroy and I are having. I have wanted for a long time to commit my thoughts to paper and to place them on the internet in a forum that might be read by a few people. Joanne’s blog and Peter Fitzroy’s willingness to enter into a discussion have provided me with both. For that I am thankful to both Joanne and Peter.

    In this comment, I argue that increasing the “radiative forcing” by adding inert material (i.e., material devoid of an internal source of thermal energy) to the earth/earth-atmosphere system, may or may not cause an increase in the energy-rate-equilibrium (ERE) temperature of the earth’s surface.

    A system is in ERE if the rate energy enters the system (or any designated part thereof) is equal to the rate energy leaves the system (or the designated part). ERE does not imply a system is everywhere at the same temperature. ERE only implies that for any part of the system (including the whole system), the rate energy enters that part of the system equals the rate energy leaves that part of the system.

    By “radiative forcing” I mean “the difference between (a) the rate radiated energy from any source (the sun, the stars, atmospheric gases, etc.) except the surface of the earth is absorbed by the surface of the earth, and (b) the rate radiation that originates from any surface/volume of the earth/earth-atmosphere system leaves the earth/earth-atmosphere system—i.e., “escapes” to space. [Note: The surface of the earth is such that regions of the earth’s surface have unobstructed line-of-sight visibility to other regions of the earth’s surface—e.g., valleys to mountains and vice versa. Radiation absorbed by the earth’s surface of this nature does not enter into the calculation of “radiative forcing.”]

    Applying rules/laws of physics, I now describe a single-object system and four modifications to the single-object system where the modifications are limited to the addition of inert material. The modified systems will increase or leave unchanged the “radiative forcing,” and in some cases increase and in some cases decrease the single-object-system’s surface temperature. As such, increasing “radiative forcing” by adding inert material to a system does not, by itself, guarantee an increase in the system’s surface temperature. Factors other than increased “radiative forcing” play a role in the system’s surface temperature and must be considered. After analyzing the modified systems, I will discuss how the single-object system and the modified systems relate to atmospheric greenhouse gases and global warming.

    Consider a solid blackbody sphere (radius RSP=0.1 meters) with a constant-rate source (HSP=60 watts) of internal thermal energy. Assume the internal thermal energy is uniformly generated just below the surface of the sphere. [Radioactive material uniformly distributed just below the surface of a sphere is an example of such an internal thermal energy source.] The uniform distribution of internal thermal energy ensures that the temperature of the surface of the sphere will everywhere be the same. [Note: unlike the earth, the curvature of a spherical surface is such that none of the radiation emitted from a sphere’s surface will be incident on any other region of the sphere—i.e., all radiation emitted from the surface of the sphere “escapes the sphere;” and to the degree that “escape” implies reaching space, will affect the amount of “radiative forcing.”]

    Isolate the sphere—i.e., place the sphere in the vacuum of cold space (0 Kelvin) far removed from all other matter. Call this isolated sphere the isolated-sphere-system. If the isolated-sphere-system is in ERE, the rate that energy enters the sphere must equal the rate energy leaves the sphere. Since (a) energy can leave the isolated-sphere-system only via radiation from the surface of the sphere, and (b) none of the radiation emitted from the sphere’s surface returns to any part of the isolated-sphere-system, the Stefan-Boltzmann law can be used to compute the rate energy leaves (i.e., escapes to space) the isolated-sphere-system. The Stefan-Boltzmann law states that for a blackbody planar differential surface of area, dA, at a temperature T Kelvin, the rate energy is radiated from one side of dA is the product of (a) sigma [the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, approximately 5.670373x10^(-8) watts per square meter per Kelvin to the fourth power], (b) dA, and (c) T^4. Since all differential areas on the surface of the sphere radiate energy away from the sphere and every differential area on the surface of the sphere is at temperature T, applying the Stefan-Boltzmann law to the isolated-sphere-system implies that the rate energy is radiated away from the isolated-sphere-system is

    4 * pi * sigma * RSP^2 * T^4.

    For the isolated-sphere-system no radiative energy is incident on or absorbed by the surface of the sphere. In ERE the rate energy is radiated away from the isolated-sphere-system must equal the rate (60 watts) that energy enters the isolated-sphere-system. Thus for the isolated-sphere-system, (a) the surface temperature, TSPisol, of the sphere is given by

    TSPisol = [ 60 watts / (4 * pi * sigma * RSP^2) ]^(1/4) = 302.923 Kelvin

    and (b) the amount of radiative forcing, RFisol, is -60 watts [zero watts (the rate radiative energy from all sources other than the surface of the sphere is absorbed by the surface of the sphere) minus 60 watts (the rate energy originating from the sphere escapes to space)].

    Now surround the sphere with a solid, concentric, inert, blackbody spherical shell having (a) thermal conductivity kSH, (b) outer radius RSH_outer=0.2 meters, and (c) inner radius, RSH_inner, somewhere between 0.1 meters and 0.2 meters. Assign names to the systems where RSH_inner approaches 0.1 meters and where RSH_inner approaches 0.2 meters. Specifically, as RSH_inner approaches 0.1 meters, call the configuration of objects the sphere/thick-shell-system; and as RSH_inner approaches 0.2 meters, call the configuration of objects the sphere/thin-shell-system. Note that for the sphere/thick-shell-system and, provided the RSH_inner is not equal to RSP, for the sphere/thin-shell-system there is a concentric annular vacuum region (spherical) between the sphere and the inner surface of the shell. As such, for both “shell systems” thermal energy can pass between the sphere and the shell only via radiation. In addition, for both “shell systems” the only way energy can leave the systems (i.e., escape to space) is via radiation from the outer surface of the shell. Radiation emitted from all surfaces other than the outer surface of the shell will be absorbed by either the sphere or the shell.

    Since the material of the shell is inert, the only source of internal thermal energy for both “shell systems” is the sphere’s internal energy at a 60 watt rate. This implies that in ERE the rate energy “escapes to space” for both “shell systems” is 60 watts. Because both the sphere and the shell are spherically symmetric about a common center and the internal heat source is spherically symmetric about the same center, the ERE surface temperature, TSH_outer, of the shell’s outer surface will everywhere be the same. Applying the Stefan-Boltzmann law, TSH_outer=214.199 Kelvin.

    The temperature of the inner surface of the shell is determined by applying the physical rule for heat conduction through a “spherical wall”—[see http://www.engineeringenotes.com/thermal-engineering/heat-conduction/conduction-of-heat-through-a-sphere-thermal-engineering/30154. Specifically, for a spherical wall of (i) inner radius RSH_inner, (ii) outer radius RSH_outer, (iii) inner wall temperature everywhere TSH_inner, (iv) outer wall temperature everywhere TSH_outer (less than TSH_inner), and (v) thermal conductivity everywhere kSH, the heat current, Q, through the shell (from the inner surface to the outer surface) is

    Q = 4 * pi * kSH * RSH_inner * RSH_outer * (TSH_inner – TSH_outer) / (RSH_outer – RSH_inner)

    Solving for TSH_inner gives:

    TSH_inner = TSH_outer + Q * (RSH_outer – RSH_inner) / (4 * pi * kSH * RSH_inner * RSH_outer)

    For the sphere/thick-shell-system in ERE, TSH_outer=214.199 Kelvin, Q=60 watts, RSH_outer=0.2 meters, and RSH_inner=0.1 meters. Expressing kSH in units of watts per meter per Kelvin and substituting these values into the above equation, the temperature (in Kelvin) of TSH_inner is:

    TSH_inner = 214.199 + 23.873/kSH

    It is of passing interest to compute the value of kSH that will produce a temperature for the inner surface of the shell that equals the ERE surface temperature of the sphere in isolation. That value is kSH=0.269073 watts per meter per Kelvin. Larger values of kSH produce lower shell inner surface temperatures and smaller values of kSH produce higher shell inner surface temperatures.

    Since for the sphere/thin-shell-system (RSH_outer – RSH_inner) approaches zero, the temperature, TSH_inner, of the inner surface of the shell is independent of the shell’s thermal conductivity and is given by TSH_inner=TSH_outer=214.199 Kelvin.

    For both shell systems, I now compute the surface temperature of the sphere. [Note: For both shell systems, in addition to energy entering the sphere via its internal energy source, energy also enters the sphere via radiation from the shell’s inner surface. Because the area, proximity to the sphere, and temperature of the shell’s inner surface are different for the two “shell systems,” both (a) the amount of radiation from the inner surface of the shell, and (b) the temperature of the inner surface of the shell will be different for the two systems.] To compute (a) immediately above, and in particular to compute the fraction of (a) that enters the sphere, I take a slight diversion. Specifically, consider a differential area, dAshell_inner, on the inner surface of the shell. The following properties apply to that differential area.

    (1) The normal (perpendicular) to dAshell_inner passes through the center of the sphere.

    (2) The distance from dAshell_inner to the center of the sphere is RSH_inner.

    (3) A fraction, RSP^2 / RSH_inner^2, of the radiation emitted from dAshell_inner is directed towards and absorbed by the sphere; and the remaining fraction, 1 – RSP^2 / RSH_inner^2, of the radiation emitted from dAshell_inner is directed away from the sphere.

    [Note: Because the logic used to generate the above fractions employs features (pictures and equations) not easily formatted using the “comment features/capabilities” of this blog, I elected to omit a derivation of those ratios. However, if anyone is interested, that derivation can be provided in other formats.]

    All of the radiation in the “remaining fraction” will encounter and be absorbed by the inner surface of the shell. Thus for the sphere/thin-shell-system (RSH_inner=0.2 meters), one quarter of the radiation emitted from dAshell_inner is directed towards and absorbed by the sphere, and three quarters of the radiation emitted from dAshell_inner is directed towards and absorbed by the inner surface of the shell. For the sphere/thick-shell-system (RSH_inner=0.1 meters), the fraction of the radiation emitted from dAshell_inner that is directed towards and absorbed by the sphere approaches 1, and the fraction of the radiation emitted from dAshell_inner that is directed towards and absorbed by the inner surface of the shell approaches 0.

    (4) The above arguments apply to each and every differential surface area on the inner surface of the shell. As such, for the sphere/thin-shell-system, the fraction of the radiation emitted from the shell’s inner surface that is directed towards and absorbed by the sphere is RSP^2 / RSH_inner^2=1/4; and the fraction of the radiation emitted from the shell’s inner surface that is directed towards and absorbed by the shell’s inner surface is 1 – RSP^2 / RSH_inner^2=3/4. Similarly, for the sphere/thick-shell-system, the fraction of the radiation emitted from the shell’s inner surface that is directed towards and absorbed by the sphere approaches 1; and the fraction of the radiation emitted from the shell’s inner surface that is directed towards and absorbed by the shell’s inner surface approaches 0.

    Returning to the computation of the temperature of the sphere for both the sphere/thin-shell-system and the sphere/thick-shell-system.

    First, the sphere/thin-shell-system. In ERE the rate energy enters the sphere must equal the rate energy leaves the sphere. For the sphere/thin-shell-system, (a) the area of the inner surface of the shell is 0.502655 square meters, and (b) the temperature of the inner surface of the shell is everywhere 214.199 Kelvin. From the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the rate energy is radiated from the inner surface of the shell is 60 watts. From the above discussion of the fractions of the shell’s inner surface radiation absorbed by the sphere and by the shell’s inner surface, for the sphere/thin-shell-system radiated energy from the inner surface of the shell is absorbed by the sphere at a rate of is 15 watts. In total then, for the sphere/thin-shell-system, energy at a rate of 75 watts (60 watts internally, 15 watts via radiation from the shell) enters the sphere. For the sphere to be in ERE, the surface of the sphere must radiate energy at a rate of 75 watts. The surface temperature, TSPthin, of the sphere that corresponds to a radiation rate of 75 watts is 320.302 Kelvin.

    [Note: For any two objects, A and B, the rate heat is transferred by radiation from object A to object B is the (i) the rate radiative energy from object A is absorbed by object B …minus… (ii) the rate radiative energy from object B is absorbed by object A. For the sphere at a surface temperature of 320.302 Kelvin, the rate energy is radiated from the sphere is 75 watts. All of the energy radiated from the sphere is absorbed by the shell. The rate energy is radiated from the inner surface of the shell at a temperature of 214.199 Kelvin is 60 watts. One quarter, or 15 watts, of this radiated energy is absorbed by the sphere—the remainder (45 watts) is directed towards and absorbed by the inner surface of the shell. Thus, the rate heat is transferred by radiation from the sphere to the shell is 60 watts.]

    Finally, the “radiative forcing” value for the sphere/thin-shell-system is -45 watts [15 watts (the rate radiation from all sources other than the surface of the sphere is absorbed by the surface of the sphere) …minus… 60 watts (the rate radiation from the system escapes to space)]. Note that the “radiative forcing” value of the sphere/thin-shell-system is 15 watts greater than the “radiative forcing” value of the isolated-sphere-system (-60 watts). Also note that the surface temperature of the sphere for the sphere/thin-shell-system (320.302 Kelvin) is greater than the surface temperature of the sphere for the isolated-sphere-system (302.923 Kelvin). Thus, the sphere/thin-shell-system represents an example where both the “radiative forcing” and the sphere surface temperature increase.

    Second, the sphere/thick-shell-system. In ERE the rate energy enters the sphere must equal the rate energy leaves the sphere. For the sphere/thick-shell-system, (a) the area of the inner surface of the shell is 0.125664 square meters, and (b) the temperature of the inner surface of the shell is everywhere 214.199 + 23.873/kSH Kelvin. From the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the rate energy is radiated from the inner surface of the shell is

    sigma * 0.125664 * (214.199 + 23.873/kSH)^4.

    From the above discussion of the fractions of shell inner surface radiation absorbed by the sphere and by the shell’s inner surface, for the sphere/thick-shell-system the rate, HSHthick_inner, energy is radiated from the shell’s inner surface and absorbed by the sphere is

    HSHthick_inner = sigma * 0.125664 * (214.199 + 23.873/kSH)^2.

    For kSH=400 watts per meter per Kelvin (the thermal conductivity of copper), HSHthick_inner=15.017 watts. In total then, for the sphere/thick-shell-system, energy at a rate of HSHthick_inner + 60 watts enters the sphere. For the sphere to be in ERE, the surface of the sphere must radiate energy at a rate of HSHthick_inner + 60 watts. When radiating energy at a rate of HSHthick_inner + 60 watts, the temperature, TSPthick, of a blackbody sphere of radius RSP is given by:

    TSPthick = [ (HSHthick_inner + 60 watts) / (4 * pi * sigma * RSP^2 ]^(1/4)

    Which gives a value of TSPthick=320.320 Kelvin.

    [Note that since TSPisol = 60 watts / (4 * pi * sigma * RSP^2 ]^(1/4), TSPthick is always greater than TSPisol.]

    Finally, the “radiative forcing” value for the sphere/thick-shell-system is HSHthick_inner …minus… 60 watts. Thus the “radiative forcing” value of the sphere/thick-shell-system is greater than the “radiative forcing” value (-60 watts) of the isolated-sphere-system. Also note that the surface temperature, TSPthick=320.320 Kelvin of the sphere in the sphere/thick-shell-system is greater than the surface temperature of the sphere, TSPisol=302.923 Kelvin, for the isolated-sphere-system. Bottom line, the sphere/thick-shell-system represents another example of an increase in both “radiative forcing” and sphere surface temperature.

    I now “generalize” the foregoing. In particular, if (a) you have an object (i) with a constant-rate source of internal energy, (ii) with a blackbody surface, (iii) that can lose energy only via radiation, and (iv) that receives no radiation from sources external to the object, and (b) in the vicinity of that object you place inert material that (i) has no effect on the constant-rate source of internal energy, (ii) affects neither the blackbody nature nor the size of the object’s surface, (iii) does not change the condition that the object can lose energy only via radiation, and (iv) radiates energy in the direction of the object, then the ERE surface temperature of the object will always be higher in the presence of the inert material than in the absence of the inert material.

    The above two sphere/shell-system examples satisfy the “generalized” criteria and as expected do result in an increased object surface temperature. In particular, the object is a blackbody sphere with a constant-rate source of internal energy and receives no external radiation because the object is isolated in the vacuum of space. The added material, the shell, is inert and (i) does not change the rate of the object’s internal source of energy, (ii) does not affect the blackbody nature or size of the object’s surface area, (iii) does not change the restriction that the object loses energy only via radiation, and (iv) radiates energy in the direction of the object.

    Three ancillary but related comments are in order at this time.

    First, since the surface temperature of an isolated object with a constant-rate source of internal energy will always increase when inert material warmer than the ambient background but colder than the object is placed next to the object and radiation is the only way for energy to leave the object, if you want to convince the general public that the world is overheating, it makes sense to use a phrase such as “radiative forcing,” which emphasizes radiative heat transfer over conductive and/or convective heat transfer. Since all objects above 0 Kelvin radiate, the concept of “back radiation”—i.e., radiation from a colder object to a warmer object—has some justification. The fact that “back radiation” does not imply “back heat flow” is beyond the ability of most of the general public to understand. Imagine how far the phrases “back conduction” and “conductive forcing” would get you in your quest to convince the general public that the world is overheating. It is for this reason that I believe whenever possible the AGW community uses the phrase “radiative forcing.”

    Second, some people argue that a colder object cannot heat a warmer object; and since the earth’s atmosphere is for the most part colder than the earth’s surface, the earth’s atmosphere cannot heat the earth’s surface. If in that argument the verb heat means that heat (as a noun) cannot flow from a colder object to a warmer object, I agree. However, if the verb heat means that placing a colder object in the vicinity of a warmer object will never result in an increased temperature of the warmer object, I disagree. The sphere/shell systems described above are examples where a colder object (the shell) is placed in the vicinity of a warmer object (the sphere) and the temperature of the warmer object is increased. Heat doesn’t flow from the colder object to the warmer object. The source of the energy that increases the temperature of the sphere doesn’t come from the shell, but rather comes from the sphere’s internal heat source. What is going on is the adjustment of object temperatures to establish ERE. If the sphere’s internal source of energy is removed, then in ERE both the sphere and the shell will reach the temperature of cold space, which I have explicitly stated to be zero. As such, I reject the argument that because atmospheric greenhouse gases are colder than the earth’s surface, presence of atmospheric greenhouse gases cannot result in an increase the temperature of the earth’s surface.

    Third, in the two examples analyzed above, both the “radiative forcing” and the “surface temperature of the sphere” increase in the presence of a colder shell. It’s therefore fair to ask: “If anything, don’t these two examples support, not contradict, the contention that an increase in ‘radiative forcing’ will be accompanied by an increase in ‘surface temperature’?” The answer is: Yes, the two examples above do support that contention. However, I am now going to analyze two additional systems where the opposite is true—i.e., the “radiative forcing” either increases or stays the same and the sphere’s “surface temperature” decreases. If my analyses are valid, the only conclusion that can be drawn regarding the relationship between a change in “radiative forcing” and any accompanying change in “surface temperature” is that the changes sometimes have the same sign and sometimes have opposite signs. Thus, by itself, one cannot conclude that a positive change in “radiative forcing” will result in a positive change in “surface temperature.”

    Modify both the sphere/thin-shell-system and the sphere/thick-shell-system such that inert thermally conducting material connects the sphere’s surface to the shell’s inner surface. For the sphere/thick-shell-system, the thermally conducting material is the shell itself. That is, let the radius of the inner surface of the shell equal the radius of the sphere. Call this configuration of objects the sphere/contact-shell-system. [Note that for the sphere/contact-shell-system, no energy is radiated towards or absorbed by the surface of the sphere.]

    For the sphere/thin-shell-system, the thermally connecting material is a number of identical, radially-oriented, cylindrical rods having (i) total cross-sectional area (all rods) of ARODS=0.000125664 square meters (0.1% of the sphere’s surface area), and (ii) thermal conductivity of k=400 watts per meter per Kelvin. Call this configuration of objects the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system.

    For the sphere/contact-shell-system, there is no vacuum region between the sphere and the shell’s inner surface. As such, in ERE the temperature, TSPcontact, of the surface of the sphere and the temperature, TSH_inner_contact, of the inner surface of the shell are the same and equal to TSH_inner in the limit as RSH_inner approaches RSP. That is,

    TSPcontact = TSH_inner_contact = TSH_outer + Q * (RSH_outer – RSP) / (4 * pi * kSH * RSP * RSH_outer)

    where Q=60 watts, the thermal conduction current through the shell. The fact that the shell’s inner surface makes contact with the surface of the sphere does not change the temperature, TSH_outer, of the outer surface of the shell because for the sphere/contact-shell-system, to be in ERE the outer surface of the shell must radiate heat at a rate of 60 watts. Substituting the values of TSH_outer=214.199 Kelvin, RSH_outer=0.2 meters, and RSP=0.1 meters into the above equation gives:

    TSPcontact = 214.199 + 23.873 / kSH

    For a value of kSH=400 watts per meter per Kelvin, (a) the temperature of the surface of the sphere in contact with the shell is 214.259 Kelvin, which is 88.664 Kelvin less than the surface temperature of the sphere in isolation (302.923 Kelvin); and (b) the “radiative forcing” is -60 watts, which is the same as the “radiative forcing” of the isolated-sphere-system. Thus, the sphere/contact-shell-system is an example where doing nothing more than adding inert material to an isolated sphere with a constant-rate internal source of thermal energy results in no change to the “radiative forcing” and a negative change to the sphere temperature.

    For the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system a vacuum region exists between the sphere and the shell’s inner surface. This vacuum region is slightly smaller than the vacuum region without connecting rods; but for radially-oriented cylindrical connecting rods having a total cross section area much smaller (by a factor of 0.001) than the surface area of the sphere, the reduction in volume is small.

    [Note: The heat current, QWALL through a wall of uniform cross sectional area AREA and uniform thermal conductivity, k, is

    QWALL = k * AREA * (T1 – T2) / L

    where (i) T1 is the temperature of the “hot side” of the wall, (ii) T2 is the temperature of the “cold side” of the wall, and (iii) L is the thickness of the wall—see https://www.engineersedge.com/heat_transfer/heat_loss_through_wall_13862.htm ].

    The connecting rods can, however, affect the rates of radiation (i) away from the sphere and (ii) absorbed by the surface of the sphere. The rate energy is radiated away from the sphere is affected in part because the surface area of the sphere available for radiation is reduced by the total cross-sectional area of the connecting rods. The rate radiation is absorbed by the sphere is affected in three ways. First, the surface area of the sphere that can absorb radiation is reduced. Second, the area of the inner surface of the shell that radiates energy is reduced. Third, the curved portions of the connecting rods will radiate energy—some of which will be directed towards and absorbed by the sphere. For cylindrical connecting rods having total cross-sectional area much smaller than both the surface of the sphere (factor 0.001) and the inner surface of the shell (factor 0.00025), these differences will have at most a small effect on the surface-area-component of (i) the rate energy is radiated away from the sphere, and (ii) the rate radiation is absorbed by the surface of the sphere. Thus, for the remainder of the analysis of the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system, (i) the rate energy is radiated from the sphere’s surface and (ii) the rate energy radiated from the shell’s inner surface is absorbed by the sphere will be computed as if the connecting rods didn’t exist. In addition, for the remainder of the analysis of the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system, radiation from the connecting rods to the sphere will be ignored.

    Finally, the presence of the connecting rods destroys the spherically symmetric nature of the temperatures of all surfaces. This means that a single surface temperature cannot be used to compute the rate radiation is emitted from any surface. However, by distributing the connecting rods in a spherically-symmetric pattern, the impact on the uniform distribution of surface temperature over each surface (sphere, shell inner, and shell outer) can be minimized. For the remainder of the analysis of the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system, spherically-symmetric temperature distributions over each spherical surface are assumed.

    For these conditions, I generate an equation for the ERE surface temperature of the sphere, TSPshell_rod, in the presence of the shell and the thermally conducting rods. As for all previous systems, if the sphere is in ERE the rate energy enters the sphere must equal the rate energy leaves the sphere. Energy enters the sphere in two ways: (1) internally at a rate of 60 watts, and (2) externally via radiation from the shell’s inner surface at a rate of 15 watts—for a total rate of 75 watts. Energy leaves the sphere in two ways: (1) radiation from the sphere’s surface, and (2) conduction through the connecting rods. For a sphere surface temperature of TSPshell_rod, (a) energy is radiated from the sphere’s surface at a rate

    4 * pi * sigma * RSP^2 * TSPshell_rod^4

    and (b) energy is conducted through the connecting rods at a rate

    k * ARODS * (TSPshell_rod – TSH_outer) / (RSH_inner – RSP)

    Thus, the ERE equation for the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system is:

    4 * pi * sigma * RSP^2 * TSPshell_rod^4 + k * ARODS * (TSPshell_rod – TSH_outer) / (RSH_inner – RSP) = 75 watts

    Substituting the values RSP=0.1 meters, k=400 watts per meter per Kelvin, ARODS=0.000125664 square meters, TSH_outer=214.199 Kelvin, and RSH_inner=0.2 meters into the above equation gives a value of 278.331 Kelvin for the temperature, TSPshell_rod, of the surface of the sphere.

    Summarizing the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system, (a) the temperature of the surface of the sphere is 278.331 Kelvin, which is 24.592 Kelvin less than the surface temperature of the sphere in isolation (302.923 Kelvin); and (b) the “radiative forcing” is -45 watts, which is 15 watts greater than the “radiative forcing” (-60 watts) of the isolated-sphere-system. Thus, the sphere/thin-shell-rod-system is an example where doing nothing more than adding inert material to an isolated sphere with a constant-rate internal source of thermal energy results in a positive change to the “radiative forcing” and a negative change to the sphere temperature.

    Summarizing everything to this point, I have examined four systems: sphere/thin-shell-system, sphere/thick-shell-system, sphere/contact-shell-system, and sphere/thin-shell-rod-system. In two of these systems (sphere/thin-shell-system, sphere/thick-shell-rod-system), both the “radiative forcing” and the sphere surface temperature undergo a positive change. In one of these systems (sphere/contact-shell-system), the “radiative forcing” does not change and the sphere surface temperature undergoes a negative change. And in one of these systems sphere/thin-shell-rod-system) the “radiative forcing” undergoes a positive change and the sphere surface temperature undergoes a negative change.

    This completes the proof that “radiative forcing” changes which arise from the addition of inert material to a system do not necessarily lead to increased surface temperatures of that system. I next discuss (a) the similarities/differences between the systems analyzed above and the earth/earth-atmosphere system, and (b) how these similarities/differences relate to the changes in the earth’s surface temperature.

    Similarities. Both atmospheric greenhouse gases and the shell (a) are inert material, (b) absorb radiation in the IR band (in fact, the shell absorbs all radiation which includes radiation the IR band), and (c) radiate heat in all directions. Thus although the shell cannot be called a “greenhouse gas,” the only condition not met is the fact that the shell is a solid, not a gas. If in the expression “greenhouse gas” the word “greenhouse” implies the absorption of IR radiation and the radiation of heat in all directions, and the word “gas” refers to the state of the material, then the shell in the foregoing examples could be called a “greenhouse solid.”

    Differences. The dimensions of objects in the sphere/shell systems are on the order of one meter. The dimensions of objects in the earth/earth-atmosphere system are on the order of millions of meters.

    The radius of the outer surface of the shells is twice the radius of the sphere. The radius of the outermost layer of the atmosphere is a small fraction of the earth’s radius.

    The shells are solid objects with surfaces, which permits the use of the Stefan-Boltzmann law to compute radiation rates from objects. Greenhouse gases occupy volumes, and as such, have no “defined surface,” which precludes the use of the Stefan-Boltzmann law to compute radiation rates.

    The thermal conductivities of the earth’s atmosphere are much less than 400 watts per meter per Kelvin. Thus, the thermal conductivity properties of the sphere/shell systems are not representative of the thermal conductivity properties of the earth/earth-atmosphere.

    Because the sphere/shell systems consist solely of immovable solid objects, heat transfer via convection is impossible. Gases in the earth/earth-atmosphere system permit the transfer of heat via convection.

    The source of energy for the sphere/shell systems discussed above is solely internal at a constant rate. The source of energy for the earth/earth-atmosphere system is predominately external and can possibly change with time. The time varying nature of the rate of the external source of energy plays no role in the argument that increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels cause increases in earth surface temperature. However, it’s easy to see how an external source of energy may play a role. For example, atmospheric greenhouse gases do reduce the amount of “direct” solar energy being absorbed by the surface of the earth, in effect reducing the rate of “internal” energy. The standard response to this issue is that solar radiation is predominately at frequencies outside the absorption bands of greenhouse gases; and as such has negligible effect on the rate the earth’s surface directly absorbs solar energy. In my opinion, this response is weak. It’s true that compared to earth outgoing radiation, a much smaller fraction of incoming solar radiation is in the IR band where it can be absorbed by greenhouse gases; but it’s also true that for a blackbody radiator at a temperature near 5780 Kelvin (the approximate temperature of the sun’s “surface”), more than 50% of the radiation from that blackbody is in the IR band. Imagine what the effect would be on the rate solar radiation is absorbed by the earth’s surface if half-way between the sun and the earth someone put a large “screen” that absorbed a significant fraction of the solar energy in the IR band. Even if the screen emitted heat in all directions, only a small fraction of the screen-emitted heat would be directed towards the earth. The net result would be that the earth would receive solar energy at a significantly reduced rate. It’s difficult for me to see how such a “screen” could result in higher earth surface temperatures.

    Given these differences and given the fact that in some cases adding inert material to a system does result in increased surface temperatures, I cannot say with certainty that increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas levels won’t result in increased earth surface temperatures. I can say, however, that the properties of atmosphere greenhouse gases to (a) absorb radiated energy in the IR band and (b) radiate heat in all directions are, by themselves, insufficient to conclude that an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels must lead to an increase in earth surface temperature.

    Okay, what would it take to convince me that atmospheric greenhouse gases do behave in this manner? One of two things would convince me: (1) a comprehensive and viable theoretical treatment of all heat flow in the earth/earth-atmosphere system with the theoretical result being an increase in earth surface temperature; and (2) a similar result for an experiment involving an earth/earth-atmosphere system identical to the actual earth/earth-atmosphere system but for which the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases can be controlled. Since the latter is impossible and the former is in my opinion beyond man’s current capabilities, I guess you have to say it would be next to impossible to prove to me that increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels must produce increases in earth surface temperature; and even more difficult to prove to me that changes to the level of a trace atmospheric gas are going to cause significant earth surface warming.

    Barring a comprehensive and viable theoretical treatment of all heat flow in the earth/earth-atmosphere system, if someone provides a comprehensive and viable theoretical treatment of the heat flow in a much simpler greenhouse gas system and the result of that theoretical treatment is an increase in surface temperature, it would move me along the path of becoming a believer. The much simpler system I have in mind is an isolated (far removed from all other matter), stationary (i.e., non-rotating) earth-like object (same size, same mass) with an internal source of thermal energy (comparable to the rate the earth/earth-atmosphere system absorbs solar energy) and an atmosphere with various amounts of gas, both greenhouse and non-greenhouse. In lieu of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation for blackbody radiation from a surface and in lieu of treating surfaces as blackbodies (i.e., absorbing all incoming radiation), I would like to see a theoretical treatment that employs (a) valid theoretical equations similar to the Stefan-Boltzmann law but applicable to radiation from volumetric differential regions with different distributions of gases, and (b) valid theoretical equations for the fraction of radiated energy absorbed by volumetric regions of the atmosphere as radiation at various frequencies passes through the volumetric region. If those theoretical equations existed, one would at least be able to start a theoretical analysis of the simplified system.

    At one point I started down the path of performing just such a theoretical analysis. However, I was stopped before I even got started because although some theory exists for the rate gases absorb radiation as the radiation passes through the gases, I couldn’t find a formula that specified the rate radiation is omitted from a differential volume containing of a mixture of gases. If someone is aware of such a formula, I’d appreciate hearing from you. Without such a formula, I don’t see how anyone can perform a comprehensive theoretical treatment of heat transfer between an atmosphere, a solid, and the vacuum of space. My inability to envision such a treatment doesn’t mean such a treatment doesn’t exist; it does mean, however, that the development of such a treatment will take me a long time to review and understand.

    This completes the scientific discussion of why I believe the properties of (i) absorbing IR radiation and (ii) radiating heat in all directions are not by themselves sufficient to conclude that greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere will increase the temperature of the earth’s surface. I now address a second line of reasoning commonly used to argue that increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases will increase the earth’s surface temperature. Specifically, the argument is often made that “greenhouse gases are ‘heat-trapping gases;’ and if something in the atmosphere traps heat, it follows that the temperature of the atmospheric and the temperature of anything surrounded by the atmosphere must increase.” Below are my thoughts regarding this argument.

    As with “greenhouse gas,” the phrase “trap heat” (or “heat trapping”) means different things to different people; and as such at a minimum requires clarification. I can think of at least six common connotations of the phrase “trap heat.” Undoubtedly there are more, but for now I’m going to limit my analyses of the relationship between “heat trapping” and temperature increases to these six connotations.

    (1) Heat-trapping in an “IR radiation blocking” sense.

    In an “IR radiation blocking” sense, a substance is said to trap heat if the substance possesses the property that when the substance is in contact with or near an object at a non-zero Kelvin temperature, the substance “blocks” (i.e., prevents) some or all of the IR radiation originating from the object from leaving the object/substance system.

    Using our agreed upon definition of a greenhouse gas, a greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere will absorb some of the IR radiation emitted from the earth’s surface and thus prevent that radiation from leaving the earth/earth-atmosphere system. Thus using this connotation, a greenhouse gas is a heat-trapping gas. Note, however, that since the greenhouse gas itself radiates heat in all directions, atmospheric greenhouse gases do not prevent heat (some of which will be IR radiation) from escaping the earth/earth-atmosphere system; they only prevent a portion of the IR radiation originating from the earth’s surface (and to a lesser degree, a portion of the IR radiation originating from greenhouse gases at various altitudes above the earth’s surface) from escaping the earth/earth-atmosphere system. As shown previously, prevention of all radiation (not just IR radiation that originates from the surface of an object) from leaving an object/substance system does not guarantee a temperature increase of the object—in fact as shown previously, situations exist where a substance that prevents all radiation originating from an object from leaving the object/substance system result in a decreased object temperature.

    Summary:
    (1a) Is it possible for a gas to exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (1)? Yes.
    (1b) Might a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (1)? Yes.
    (1c) Must a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (1)? Yes.
    (1d) If a gas exhibits heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (1), all else being equal does it follow that when the gas surrounds an object with a constant-rate source of thermal energy, the ERE temperature of the object will be higher in the presence of the gas than in the absence of the gas? No.

    (2) Heat trapping in a “heat capacity” sense.

    “Heat capacity” corresponds to the concept that a change in the temperature of material having a fixed composition of elements and a fixed mass will be accompanied by a change in the thermal energy (heat) stored in that material. In this sense, (a) for a fixed-mass/fixed-composition substance (i) as the temperature of the substance changes, the thermal energy stored in the substance will change, and (ii) with the exception of changes of state (e.g., changing from a liquid to a solid), as the thermal energy stored in the substance changes, the temperature of the substance will change; and (b) for a substance at a fixed temperature, as the mass of the substance changes the thermal energy stored in the substance changes. Thus, provided the temperature of the atmosphere does not decrease, it can be argued that everything else being equal adding heat-trapping gases to the earth’s atmosphere will increase the amount of thermal energy stored in the atmosphere.

    Two points are worth noting regarding this connotation of “heat trapping.” First, increased thermal energy can be trapped in a substance without increasing the temperature of the substance simply by increasing the mass of the substance. Second, greenhouse gases are not unique (non-greenhouse gases behave in the same manner). The former means that adding greenhouse gas mass to the earth’s atmosphere may result in additional “heat being trapped;” but that trapping of heat is not necessarily accompanied by an increase in temperature. The latter means that even if greenhouse gases are heat-trapping gases, they are not special. Whatever temperature effects greenhouse gases have on the atmosphere, non-greenhouse gases will have the same effects.

    Summary:
    (2a) Is it possible for a gas to exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (2)? Yes.
    (2b) Might a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (2)? Yes.
    (2c) Must a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (2)? Yes.
    (2d) If a gas exhibits heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (2), all else being equal does it follow that when additional gas is added to a gas that surrounds an object with a constant-rate source of thermal energy, the ERE temperature of the object will be higher in the presence of the additional gas than in the absence of the additional gas? No.

    (3) Heat trapping in the sense that a heat-trapping substance that surrounds an object that (i) possesses an internal source of thermal energy, and (ii) is in a state of ERE will result in additional thermal energy being stored (trapped) in the object.

    If atmospheric greenhouse gases behaved in a manner consistent with this connotation, it would be logical to conclude that increasing the levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases will result in an increase of the earth’s ERE temperature. The problem is greenhouse gases don’t always behave in this manner. I previously argued that a greenhouse solid surrounding an object in ERE with an internal source of energy may result in both (i) a decreased amount of thermal energy stored in the object, and (ii) a decreased object surface temperature.

    If solid materials possess the same radiative properties possessed by gaseous materials and solid materials can produce a decrease in temperature, gaseous materials can also produce a temperature decrease. For example, consider a vacuum thermos bottle. A thermos bottle consists of a chamber (into which a heated or cooled liquid is placed) surrounded by an outer structure. In a vacuum thermos bottle, the outer structure contains of a volume devoid of all matter (i.e., a vacuum) bounded by (i) an inner surface and (ii) an outer surface. The goal of a thermos bottle is to keep, for as long as possible, the temperature of the heated/cooled liquid in the chamber from reaching the ambient background temperature. If a greenhouse gas “traps heat” in the connotation of (3), for a thermos bottle containing a heated liquid, the thermos bottle performance should improve when the vacuum space is filled with a greenhouse gas.

    [Note: Connotation (3) is worded for an object in ERE with an internal source of thermal energy. The thermos bottle example does not represent an object with an internal source of thermal energy or an object in ERE; but rather represents an object that is (i) devoid of an internal source of thermal energy and (ii) losing thermal energy. However, it seems logical, but beyond the scope of this comment to show, that if the ERE temperature of an object with an internal source of thermal energy increases when surrounded by a heat-trapping substance, then when the source of internal thermal energy is removed, the temperature of the object will decrease more slowly when surrounded by the same heat-trapping substance.]

    Peter C, a frequent commenter on this blog, performed just such an experiment—see http://joannenova.com.au/2015/03/weekend-unloaded/#comments. In particular, Peter put a liquid in a vacuum thermos bottle, put the thermos bottle in a room at a fixed temperature lower than the temperature of the liquid, and monitored the temperature of the liquid as a function of time. Peter then (a) filled the vacuum region of the thermos bottle with CO2 gas (a greenhouse gas by our mutually agreed upon definition), (b) filled the thermos bottle with an equal amount of equally heated liquid, (c) placed the thermos bottle in a room at the same fixed temperature as the previous room, and (d) monitored the temperature of the liquid as a function of time. The result was the temperature of the liquid decreased more rapidly for the “CO2 thermos bottle” than for the vacuum thermos bottle. Thus, far from reducing the rate of temperature decrease, which one would expect for a heat-trapping gas, the presence of the heat-trapping gas increased the rate of temperature decrease.

    Summary:
    (3a) Is it possible for a gas to exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (3)? Yes.
    (3b) Might a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (3)? Yes.
    (3c) Must a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (3)? No.
    (3d) If a gas exhibits heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (3), all else being equal does it follow that when the gas surrounds an object with a constant-rate source of thermal energy, the ERE temperature of the object will be higher in the presence of the gas than in the absence of the gas? No.

    (4) Heat trapping in the sense that heat cannot leave an object surrounded by a heat-trapping substance.

    All objects above zero degrees Kelvin contain thermal energy. The general concept here is that when an object above zero degrees Kelvin is completely surrounded by a heat-trapping substance, the heat-trapping substance prevents the thermal energy within the object from leaving the object. Such a substance acts as an adiabatic wall. The specific concept here is that atmospheric greenhouse gases can act like an adiabatic wall.

    [From https://www.bing.com/search?q=do+adiabatic+walls+exist+in+the+real+world&qs=NM&pq=%22does+an+adiabatic+wall+&sc=8-24&cvid=FF9A4090EFAE41C9A2481695AE741D3B&FORM=QBRE&sp=1: “In thermodynamics an adiabatic wall is a wall that does not allow the transfer of heat from one side to another. An adiabatic wall does not let out or enter any heat. Adiabatic walls are theoretical concepts because if in case tehey (sic) would exist they would be a perfect thermal insulation”. [bold emphasis mine]

    No substance known to man, including greenhouse gases, can prevent the transfer of heat from an object at one temperature to an object at another (lower) temperature. Thus, in the sense of connotation (4) a heat-trapping substance does not exist.

    Summary:
    (4a) Is it possible for a gas to exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (4)? No.
    (4b) Might a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (4)? No.
    (4c) Must a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (4)? No.
    (4d) A gas can’t exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (4), thus discussions of the gas’s ability to increase the ERE temperature when surrounding an object with a constant-rate source of thermal energy are meaningless.

    (5) Heat trapping in the sense that when an object with an internal source of thermal energy is surrounded by a heat-trapping substance, some or all of the thermal energy continuously being created by the heat source will be prevented from leaving the object.

    In connotation (4), heat trapping implies thermal energy (heat) cannot cross a barrier (wall) that separates two objects at different temperatures. As noted in (4) above, such a barrier does not exist in the real world. In connotation (5), heat trapping doesn’t prohibit heat from being transferred between objects at different temperatures. Rather connotation (5) implies that if a source of heat is present in object “A” but not present in a surrounding object “B,” a fraction of the heat being generated in object “A” will be prevented from being transferred to object “B;” and as such the amount of thermal energy in object “A” will with time accumulate without bound. As with connotation (4), no real-world substance can perform in a manner consistent with connotation (5). If such a substance existed, the thermal energy accumulating in object “A” would, for an object with finite mass, imply an ever increasing object “A” temperature. Applied to the scenario of “earth atmosphere greenhouse gas heat-trapping,” if the atmosphere contained enough greenhouse gases to reach a “heat-trapping state,” when reached the “heat-trapping state” would result in a runaway earth surface temperature.

    Summary:
    (5a) Is it possible for a gas to exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (5)? No.
    (5b) Might a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (5)? No.
    (5c) Must a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (5)? No.
    (5d) A gas can’t exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (5), thus discussions of the gas’s ability to increase the ERE temperature when surrounding an object with a constant-rate source of thermal energy are meaningless.

    (6) Heat trapping in a “self-fulfilling, circular sense”

    One way to ensure that a “heat-trapping gas” in the earth’s atmosphere will produce an increase in earth surface temperature is to define a “heat-trapping gas” to be a gas possessing that property. Of course, if you define a heat-trapping gas in this manner, then it’s a circular argument, and therefore meritless, to use that definition to “prove” that a heat-trapping gas will increase the earth surface temperature. Using this connotation, gases like CO2 may in fact be heat-trapping gases; but to establish such behavior as “fact,” one must show by experiment and/or by valid theoretical treatment that such a gas in the earth’s atmosphere will increase earth surface temperature. The property that a gas absorbs IR radiation and emits heat in all directions does not, by itself, ensure that the gas possesses this heat-trapping property.

    Direct experimental verification that, all else being equal, a gas that absorbs IR radiation and emits heat in all directions will possess this connotation of what is meant by heat trapping is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Laboratory experiments do not constitute direct experimental verification. Direct experimental verification requires a controlled environment identical to the earth/earth-atmosphere system in all ways except for the composition of its atmosphere and for which the level of the candidate greenhouse gas in that atmosphere can be controlled—in essence a duplicate earth/earth-atmosphere system with a means of adjusting atmospheric levels of the candidate greenhouse gas. Such a duplicate system is clearly impossible.

    Laboratory experimental results may be a part of a valid theoretical “proof;” but the earth/earth-atmosphere system is so complex, it’s hard to conceive of any theoretical treatment, even one that uses laboratory experimental results, that will properly take into account all aspects of the earth/earth-atmosphere system.

    Since (a) using our mutually agreed upon definition of a greenhouse gas, and (b) the heat-trapping connotation of (6) it is next to impossible to theoretically establish that a candidate greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere is a heat-trapping gas, someone may attempt to theoretically establish a greenhouse gas is a heat-trapping gas under much simpler conditions. For example, someone might model an earth-like solid sphere surrounded by an atmosphere devoid of all weather phenomena, and use this model to theoretically show that a candidate greenhouse gas will increase the surface temperature of the earth-like sphere.

    I believe such a simplified theoretical treatment will also be extremely difficult. In particular, for a differential (i.e., small) planar opening in a cavity whose inner walls are at a uniform temperature, Max Planck generated an equation for the rate, directionality and spectral properties of electromagnetic radiation emanating from the opening. In my opinion, any theoretical radiative treatment of gases in the earth’s atmosphere will at a minimum require a similar equation for electromagnetic radiation emanating from a differential volume containing a mixture of gases at a uniform temperature. Lacking such an equation, I don’t see how it will be possible to perform a comprehensive theoretical treatment of radiative behavior in a volume of gas even assuming the simplified conditions.

    Summary:
    (6a) Is it possible for a gas to exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (6)? Yes.
    (6c) Might a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (6)? Yes.
    (6b) Must a greenhouse gas exhibit heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (6)? No, that behavior must be explicitly demonstrated for each greenhouse gas.
    (6d) If a gas exhibits heat-trapping behavior in the sense of connotation (6), all else being equal does it follow that when the gas surrounds an object with a constant-rate source of thermal energy, the ERE temperature of the object will be higher in the presence of the gas than in the absence of the gas? Yes.

    Summarizing the strengths and weakness of the six “heat trapping” connotations

    Connotation (4) and possibly connotation (5) are the only two connotations that use the phrase “trap heat” in an “every man’s” sense—i.e., prevent heat from leaving. Since no substance known to man can prevent heat from leaving an object, connotations (4) and (5) don’t apply to the real world, and as such should not be ascribed to real-world systems.

    Connotation (1) uses “heat trapping” in the sense of blocking IR radiation. However, since (a) greenhouse gases both absorb and emit IR radiation, and (b) heat can be transferred via conduction and convection as well as radiation, it can be argued that greenhouse gases do not even block IR radiation much less “trap heat.”

    Connotations (2) and (3) are more representative of “heat storing” than “heat trapping” in that they refer to the ability of matter to retain, not trap, heat. In the sense of connotations (2) and (3), matter that “traps heat” doesn’t prevent heat stored in the matter from leaving—as is easily demonstrated simply by placing material at a temperature colder than the matter “trapping the heat” in contact with the matter and watching the heat drain away.

    Connotation (6) uses the phrase “heat trapping” in a self-serving sense—at least self-serving to the AGW community. By that I mean “heat trapping” is defined in a way such that if a material “traps heat,” by definition the temperature of the earth’s surface must increase if the material exists in the earth’s atmosphere. The weakness of this definition is that to establish that a gas, say CO2, is a heat-trapping gas, it must be shown, not assumed or stipulated, that CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere raises the earth’s surface temperature. The fact that CO2 absorbs IR radiation and emits heat in all directions does NOT guarantee CO2’s presence in the earth’s atmosphere will result in an increased earth surface temperature. The appeal of this connotation to the AGW community is that for whatever reason most people accept the statement that CO2 is a heat-trapping gas; and once accepted, connotation (6) implies CO2 gas in the earth’s atmosphere will increase the earth’s surface temperature.

    I don’t know whether or not the AGW community coined the phrases “heat trapping,” “back radiation,” and “radiative forcing.” However, it is my opinion that the AGW community takes full advantage of these phrases and uses them more to persuade than to educate or inform.


    Political and personal comments.

    In the foregoing scientific discussion of the nature of greenhouse-gas-based global warming, I made a conscious effort to employ a dispassionate collegial tone. Whether or not I succeeded, is left to the reader.

    Given that CO2 is such a small part of the earth’s atmosphere, it is my scientific opinion that increasing the level of atmospheric CO2 by a factor of 10 or less will have negligible effect on the earth’s surface temperature, but I don’t rule out the possibility that other gases (which for lack of a better name are called greenhouse gases) in the earth’s atmosphere might have a measurable effect on earth surface temperature. I guess this means that I’m not a hardline scientific skeptic but more akin to a scientific “lukewarmer”—albeit a “lukewarmer” at the cooler end of the spectrum.

    My political position is a different matter altogether—politically I am solidly in the “skeptic camp.” If “greenhouse-gas-based global warming” is true, in my opinion such warming (i) is negligible, (ii) even if it is non-negligible, it will not have a net negative effect on mankind and/or the environment—much less a catastrophic negative effect, (iii) might even be beneficial, and (iv) even if we can do something to fix the “problem,” the cure is likely to be worse than the disease. In my opinion people who advocate for the immediate termination of fossil fuel energy generation, and especially those who demand an immediate government mandated termination of fossil fuel use, run the gamut of misinformed but possibly well-meaning zealots to unscrupulous opportunists bent on using “climate change” as a scare tactic to achieve their own personal “ends.” At this time, do I believe mankind has sufficient scientific knowledge to justify a crash program of transitioning from fossil fuel energy generation to “renewable” energy generation? Not only no, but Hell no! We’re not even close to having that level of scientific knowledge. Or as Nero Wolfe, the fictional private detective, might respond to the AGW community’s renewable energy position: “Pfui.”

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