Friday, August 8, 2014

A Scientific Examination of AGW




A Scientific
Examination of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)
Fact: The Earth’s
temperature has been flat (or declined slightly) for the last 17-plus years in
spite of CO2 rising from 363.71 ppmv in 1997 to over 400 today.
Fact: From ice core
reconstructions, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere lags
temperature rise from 200 to 1000 years (800 is often used as an accepted
figure).
These two facts alone suggest that CO2 is not a
major factor in global warming, let alone AGW, however there is more to the
picture.
In 1981 James Hansen of NASA fame stated that there was a
greenhouse effect that raised the earth’s temperature by 33°C from -18° C to
the accepted surface temperature of +15°C.
The earth’s black body radiation temperature is -18°C and the commonly
accepted surface temperature value is 15°C, so where’s the problem? Well, black body radiation is a vector
quantity and surface temperature is a scalar quantity so the two can’t be
subtracted from each other. Thus the “greenhouse
effect” was created from a mathematical sin!
How do we resolve this?
At approximately 5 km about the earth’s surface the air temperature is
-18° C and using the4 ideal gas law, the accepted adiabatic lapse rate of -6.5°
K/km times 5 km yields roughly -32.5° K for a surface temperature of 288° K or
15° C at the surface. BTW, it is
interesting to note that using the adiabatic lapse rate of -10.68° K from an
altitude of 50 km on Venus where the atmospheric pressure is essentially the
same as earth’s , and the temperature is about 0° K yields the Venusian surface
temperature of about 500° C. So, it
seems there is no “runaway greenhouse effect” on Venus.
According to climate scientists, the global warming resulting
from increasing CO2 (and other greenhouse gases – GHGs) in our
atmosphere depends on “back radiation” where part of the absorbed IR emissions
from the earth’s surface are radiated back to the surface increasing the earth’s
surface temperature. Such a warming if
it occurred would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that
you can’t transfer heat from an object, a CO2 molecule, to a warmer
object, the earth’s surface. If this
were possible you could heat your warm coffee to hot coffee by placing it in a
thermos which has a much more efficient reflection system.
Given the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere
of 400 ppmv, it seems logical that a CO2 molecule which increased its
temperature by absorbing IR radiation would most likely shed its added heat by “rubbing
elbows” so to speak with its 2500 gaseous neighbors that are not GHGs in the
atmosphere. It isn’t clear to me whether
convection or pumping out a photon is a “preferred” method for a CO22
molecule to rid itself of heat gained by absorbing IR radiation from the earth’s
surface.
In 1909, R. W Wood performed experiments to determine how
greenhouses function. His results showed
that the function of the glass (or other transparent covering) is to prevent
convection of the heated interior gas from mixing with the external cooler gas,
thus greenhouses work by isolating the interior from a convective exterior. There is no such layer in the earth’s
atmosphere, so using the term, “greenhouse effect,” is a misapplication of how
greenhouses actually work.
Climate scientists have claimed for years that the sun’s
effect on earth’s climate is too small to measure, yet they seem to be changing
their view of late. It is curious that
we have just come out of a sunspot minimum, and the Maunder Minimum and the
Dalton Minimum both occerred during the Little Ice Age.
Lastly, none of the climate models incorporate the oceans
effect on temperature and climate, yet it is well known in the southwest US where
I live that El Nino cycles are good for increased moisture and temperature
reduction, while La Nina cycles which (I hope and pray) we are just exiting
cause extreme temperatures and drought.
These cycles have existed for centuries and are totally independent of
the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
The ocean as a heat reservoir is over 2600 times the atmosphere,
surrounding the planet, yet it is not even included in the climate modeling.
For these reasons, I conclude that AGW is an artifact of man’s
imagination and misapplication of science.



Response:

Mr. King failed with his first statement:
Fact: The Earth’s
temperature has been flat (or declined slightly) for the last 17-plus years in
spite of CO2 rising from 363.71 ppmv in 1997 to over 400 today.
Contrarians get this claim by cherry-picking specific starting and ending points in the surface temperature. But, if you don't cherry-pick you get a very different result. But, more importantly, global warming includes the entire globe, not just the surface, and 93% of the warming is taking place in the oceans. Look at this graph:
Global Ocean Heat Content 1955-present 0-700 m
Source: NOAA

Mr. King then states, referring to two previous claims,
These two facts alone suggest that CO2 is not a major factor in global warming, let alone AGW, however there is more to the picture.
We already saw one of those 'facts' wasn't anything close to being a fact, so that is enough to invalidate this claim. But, that isn't necessary. Mr. King provides nothing in the way of logic or science to even suggest that this is a true statement. As it turns out, it is a completely false one, as is discussed here.CO2 is, in reality, the principle driver in global warming.

Mr. King then goes on to say,
Well, black body radiation is a vector quantity and surface temperature is a scalar quantity so the two can’t be subtracted from each other. Thus the “greenhouse effect” was created from a mathematical sin!
I wonder what textbook he used to come to the conclusion that black-body radiation is a vector. My textbooks on modern physics all make it clear that black-body radiation is a scalar. This line of thought (or, lack thereof) is invalid.

Mr. King then gets into a circular argument. He states,
At approximately 5 km about the earth’s surface the air temperature is -18° C and using the4 ideal gas law, the accepted adiabatic lapse rate of -6.5° K/km times 5 km yields roughly -32.5° K for a surface temperature of 288° K or15° C at the surface.
The reason the temperature at 5 km is -18 degrees C and there is a lapse rate of -6.5 degrees C/km is because the surface temperature at the surface is 288 K, not the other way around. He is trying to say the reason the stove is hot is because of the temperature at some distance above it will increase as we get closer to the stove. No. The air is hot because it is being heated by the stove. In the case of Earth's atmosphere, the stove is the surface which is heated by the Sun.

Continuing,
According to climate scientists, the global warming resulting from increasing CO2 (and other greenhouse gases – GHGs) in our atmosphere depends on “back radiation” where part of the absorbed IR emissions from the earth’s surface are radiated back to the surface increasing the earth’s surface temperature. Such a warming if it occurred would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that you can’t transfer heat from an object, a CO2 molecule, to a warmer object, the earth’s surface. If this were possible you could heat your warm coffee to hot coffee by placing it in a thermos which has a much more efficient reflection system.
No! NO! NO!

What is happening is the surface is emitting heat in the form of IR radiation. If no atmosphere was present, this radiation would go off into space. But, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb IR radiation and then reemit it in a random direction. As a result, some is going up and some is going down. If the downward radiation reaches the surface (instead of being absorbed by another molecule) then the surface will absorb the IR photon and this will keep it from cooling down as quickly as it would without the atmosphere.

The air is cooler than the surface and is not heating up the surface, it is insulating it. And, this is not a violation of the second law. The air is not a body and neither is the surface. If Mr. King's logic was correct then it would be impossible to keep warm with a coat or a blanket on the bed.

He is almost correct about the thermos. If you put warm coffee in a thermos with a more efficient reflecting surface it won't get hotter, but it will stay warm longer. Does he really need someone to tell him this? Why do we have ice chests and thermoses if not to keep the temperature steady?

He returns to the realm of physics with the statement,
Given the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere of 400 ppmv, it seems logical that a CO2 molecule which increased its temperature by absorbing IR radiation would most likely shed its added heat by “rubbing elbows” so to speak with its 2500 gaseous neighbors that are not GHGs in the atmosphere. It isn’t clear to me whether convection or pumping out a photon is a “preferred” method for a CO22 molecule to rid itself of heat gained by absorbing IR radiation from the earth’s surface.
Yes! This is actually the principle way the oxygen and nitrogen molecules get heated because those molecules are too small to absorb IR radiation. The 'preferred' method depends on the density of the gases. When a molecule absorbs and reemits a photon, it happens very quickly (millionth's of a second, or less). If two molecules bump into each other before that happens they will transfer energy via the collision. This is more likely to happen as the gas gets more dense. Molecules near the surface, where the atmosphere is denser, are more likely to transfer energy this way than molecules high up (where the air is less dense). But, remember, it is a two-way street. Once a nitrogen or oxygen molecule gets this extra energy it can give it back via another collision.

It is true the term 'greenhouse effect' is a misnomer. The reason is because it was thought greenhouses worked by allowing light in, having it heat the interior and then trapping the IR radiation from leaving because it couldn't pass through the glass. This is a true statement and is part of the heating process of greenhouses, but keep in mind that conversation above about collisions. Most of the heating in the greenhouse is going to be transferred to O2 and N2 molecules by collisions. There are much more of them than CO2, so a high percentage of the heat ends up there and would then be dissipated by the wind if the greenhouse did not keep it in place.

Despite the misnomer, the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere is very real. And, yes, we do have a constraining top due to gravity.

Climate scientists have claimed for years that the sun’s effect on earth’s climate is too small to measure, yet they seem to be changing their view of late.
I am not aware of even a single scientists of any variety that claims this. The reason we have climate is because energy is coming in from the Sun. No Sun, no energy, no climate, no weather. Pure and simple.

Lastly, none of the climate models incorporate the oceans effect on temperature and climate,
Where in the world did he get this idea? Not only are oceans included in the models, but they are the most important component after sunlight. How bizarre! Did he really think climate scientists were going to read this and say, 'Doh! I knew we forgot something all this time!'?

Then, he just couldn't resist one more false statement,
These cycles have existed for centuries and are totally independent of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
No, this is not true. Read my post on the subject here.

You did not prove man made global warming is not real.





21 comments:

  1. You only responded (poorly) to one of my three queries.
    "The universe is static ... there is overwhelming consensus and evidence of such". That statement was accepted by most (even Mr. Einstein) not long ago ... the "big bang" was a derogetory phrase that was subsequently embraced ... Poor Mr. Hubble was chastised by people like you, for a long time.
    The reason that you CAN'T lose IS the time frame associated with the challenge. Your above response is more closely associated with a reason that you LIKELY wouldn't lose - if there was a reasonable test period.
    I am still curious as to your honest responses to Query #1 & #2.
    Thanks....

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  2. Mr Keating,
    I didn't see it before ... what did you mean by "you are finally right" ... was I "wrong" by just asking questions? WOW.
    It seems that you did indirectly respond to my first Query.

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  3. By Query #1 and #2, I am supposing you mean your statements about sea ice and the definition of man made global warming.



    Well, first, you stated the prediction is of an ice-free Arctic by the end of the 21st century and then said it was proven wrong. How is that? There is still 86 years to go. But, I addressed it. The ice all over the world is shrinking with the one exception of Antarctic sea ice. Of course, you have to ignore the decrease in Antarctic land ice in order to discuss the sea ice decrease as evidence.


    I also specifically addressed the issue of man made global warming.



    So, what you are saying is that you just don't like way I addressed it. And, that is the problem with contrarians, isn't it? You just don't like the science.

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  4. I meant that as long as people like you keep rejecting science in favor of your pseudoscience, religious beliefs, I cannot fail. The requirement is that you had to use science and there is no science to support your position. You are just one more example of how that is correct.

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  5. I can't help but laugh!!!

    Your blinders have kept you from seeing that I am not the person that submitted the above (seems that your emotional response has pushed your perception in a certain specific direction).

    I haven't said anything about sea ice. I DIDN'T ADVOCATE FOR OR AGAINST the AGW concept or theory, AND I STILL DON'T.

    In your response to "Anonymous", you asked if he ignored all the papers that were right (your 7th paragraph). My first question was ... By "right" do you mean correct, or do you mean "right" in terms of your subjective analysis of right and wrong?

    My second question "Can you provide citations to papers that have made correct and verifiable predictions, based on C02 warming theory?" was in response to your statement that there are papers that are "right". It was also in response to you blowing off the the verifiable incorrect (portions of the ) theory as simple predictions. Can YOU show the current proven and tested AGW theory that you will not, in the future, say was simply a prediction gone wrong?
    My third (sarcastic) question was "You can't lose, can you?" was intended to show how disingenuous the "challenge" is.

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  6. My apologies. You commented on a post about someone else's submission and your comment was vague and meaningless. I did the best I could with what I was given.

    As for the models, see my post on models here:

    http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.com/2014/08/lets-talk-about-climate-models.html


    You will certainly ignore everything in there because it shows how incorrect you are, but I can at least try to help you.


    It is not the challenge that is disingenuous, it is the people that are claiming they can prove AGW is not real that are disingenuous. And, you are right, as long as I stick to the science, I cannot lose because the science is overwhelming and contrarians have no science to back them up. People like you prove that every day.



    Your comments are totally meaningless and have no science to them. And, yet, you proclaim them with such authority. Tell you what, and this goes back to the challenge, I've put my scientific claims out there and provided the references and scientific proof. Why don't you do the same? You talk big, but you don't produce. Just like a denier!

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  7. I have no doubt that Watts tells people to post his stuff here. He wouldn't do it himself. It's just part of the character.
    I was quite surprised to see Soon had posted a challenge.

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  8. What challenge is that? Do you have a link?

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  9. The "Rejected by the Evidence" submission? It lists Willie Soon as a co-author.

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  10. That is very interesting. I did a little research on him. He is listed as one of the 'experts' for the Heartland Institute and has reportedly received over $1 million in funding from the fossil fuel industry.

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  11. Tony's submission did not prove man made global warming is not real, but I found it mildly amusing.

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  12. This was a kind of amusing. I would like to hear this guy talk about his ideas - at least for a little while.

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  13. Yeah, I heard of him in this article- http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/las-vegas-climate-change-denial-brendan-montague-101


    He "spoke" at the "conference."

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  14. It is nice of you to apologize, but you miss a very important point. You moved forward with incorrect assumptions about me and you still hold to those assumptions with any

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  15. I think Willie Soon was involved in that congressional hearing debate with Michael Mann - He gets a mention in Mann's book. Considering he is a scientist, I cannot understand why his challenge submission missed the whole point of the challenge.

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  16. Sir, I do have an issue with your statement on cherry picking data. You seem to have a moving metric on what period of data would show that there people have negligible if not non-existent impact on global climate in general. At first it was five years I think. When five years approached, it became seven, then 10 and then 15. Then it had to become seventeen, because we reached the 15 year mark of no statistically significant change (All the data resides in the noise floor). In fact, if you put 1998 on this chart, it shows that the average temperature is in a downward trend. The global warming crowd put a date on how much time there would have to be no change to disprove their claims. The time period set forth to make the claim falsifiable....keeps changing because it has been reached more than once. This is not science, because it is not falsifiable.

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  17. Climate scientists typically use a 20- or 30- year moving averages. Usually, it is contrarians that use the shorter averages. Short averages allow short trends and even single years to have a great affect on the outcome. Roy Spencer is famous for doing this, then picking his starting points on top of that. Longer averages will smooth out the noise and allow the long-term trend to come out. If you make them too long, then even long-term trends will be averaged out.



    And, you are wrong about no significant change. This is a common claim by contrarians and it is a false one. I have covered it many times and it is well debunked by climate scientists.

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  18. I went back and refreshed my memory about him. I had forgotten the name, but I remember his work. He was involved in the Oregon Petition's effort to make their views appear as if they were endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences. He was also a coauthor on the paper (with Baliunas) that they conspired to get past reviewers and published. The chief editor and six assistant editors all resigned in the wake of that scandal.

    I wish I had recognized his name at the time. I would have included that information in my response.

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  19. I did not say there was no significant change, I said there was "no statistically significant" change. The amount of change is too small to be measured. My biggest concern is that there is a lot of underhanded business going on. (With more than $3 trillion at stake, there should be no surprise.)


    There is data that shows that the earth may be cooling. 3$ trillion plus may kind of push such things under the carpet. The problem is that if it is actually true, we have major problems beyond that of global warming. Starvation will not be that big an issue in a world of global warming, with more land becoming available for food, but with global cooling... there will be less food. Nothing is being done about such possibilities, other than trying to squelch those who present such possibilities and evidence. (Such as Amazon refusing to sell books that present evidence to the contrary, apparently due to political expediency. *note: political correctness*.) I guess a number like $3 trillion+ can make people do all kinds of things.

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  20. The change is statistically significant.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-13719510

    I am not sure where you get your "$3 trillion at stake" figure, but the study I have seen says AGW is costing the global economy over $1.2 trillion per year.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/26/climate-change-damaging-global-economy

    There is no scientific evidence that shows the globe is cooling:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/02/05/global-warming-has-stopped-how-to-fool-people-using-cherry-picked-climate-data/

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/global-warming-has-not-stopped/21199576

    I have no idea why you claim Amazon doesn't sell contrarian books. Take a look here at the listing for a book by Roy Spencer. He is one of the biggest contrarians out there:

    http://www.amazon.com/Climate-Confusion-Pandering-Politicians-Misguided/dp/1594033455


    There are several others by him that are also listed.


    You are wrong to suppose that starvation will not be a problem with global warming. Just take a look at California right now to get a sample of what is to come. Farmers there have lost $2 billion this year. Climate change is likely to mean less food and the food we do get will be less nutritious.

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  21. There has been a slight misunderstanding. When I wrote about Amazon, I was thinking specifically about one book, and I am not sure the title. If I remember correctly (my memory isn't the greatest), it was the book "The Neglected Sun: Why the Sun precludes Climate Catastrophy" by Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Luning. (two dots over the letter "u") It was available at other stores, but was not being sold by Amazon. They had a page for it, but it was unavailable. (It is available now as a kindle book, but when I checked it back then (I think it was about a year ago, but I could be mistaken), Amazon was not selling it at all. It was available at Barnes and Nobel.)


    The carbon trade market (carbon credits) was (not sure about now) worth well north of $3 trillion I believe. Certain high up individuals (Al Gore and others) have a fairly high stake in this market. Would you want to lose a huge chunk of $3 trillion?


    What happens in California shows us absolutely NOTHING. If this were true, why is the dustbowl not a dustbowl anymore? It was pretty hot in the 1930's. Apparently it was not a portent of things to come, but showed that there are cycles in nature. Why is it that the models cannot present an outcome that matches actual historic data? Can we trust models that cannot even explain what occurred in the past to tell us what will happen in the future?


    Until someone can give an exact forecast of what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone next week, month, winter or summer, the science is FAR from settled, and there is absolutely no proof that man has any impact on climate, let alone weather. Volcanoes on the other hand...

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