Monday, December 26, 2011

Continuing Vain Climate Debates

The blogosphere continues to waste time on vain, incompetent climate debate on the part of non-experts, due to the failure of "expert" climate science, most recently on the WUWT site. The three most pernicious and most basic misunderstandings that plague such debates, especially among the consensus "experts", as brought to light by my Venus/Earth comparison, are:

1) Equating the "greenhouse effect" with the atmospheric absorption of infrared radiation. The latter is a physical reality, but the former is an hypothesis. When believers (and that is the only proper term for them, "believers") in the greenhouse effect go through their calculation that purports to prove that the "greenhouse effect" is responsible for warming the surface by 33°C, above what it would otherwise be, they are really (and rather obviously) arguing that the PRESENCE OF AN ATMOSPHERE is responsible for that added surface warming. But the real question is, and always has been, how is the atmosphere warmed, not how is the surface warmed by the Sun and THEN how does the surface warm the atmosphere? The unquestioned assumption of the latter question is what drives the nearly universal belief that planetary albedo affects the atmospheric temperature, which greenhouse believers use to incompetently dismiss my definitive factual findings.

2) Believing (again that word) that the atmosphere is warmed by heat from a warmed planetary surface, rather than by direct absorption of radiation from the Sun. This, in spite of the fact that even among consensus climate scientists, it is generally understood that at least 15% of the incident solar radiation is directly absorbed by the atmosphere. So, when pressed, they will admit that the atmosphere is partly warmed by direct absorption of solar radiation, and partly by heat from the surface (by both surface-emitted radiation and by convection and conduction). And so the complications begin to multiply for them, and for anyone trying to follow their explanations. The only reason they believe that the surface warms the atmosphere is because it is warmer than the atmosphere, so heat must flow upward from the surface and they cannot imagine that upward heat flow does not further warm the atmosphere. And they are right, in a limited sense: Heat from the surface can and does warm a part of the atmosphere -- but only transiently and locally (as within a temporary, rising column of warm air, or within a few meters of a "hot spot" surface, such as a fire or urban pavement). They fail to keep in mind that the general atmospheric temperature gradient, from surface to top of troposphere, is well explained by the vertical pressure distribution due to the weight of the atmosphere itself (in the governing hydrostatic condition of the atmosphere, the pressure at a given altitude is due to the weight of the atmosphere above that altitude, and the temperature necessarily increases with the pressure). There is no need to hypothesize a general atmospheric warming by surface heating, but it is an ingrained, unquestioned belief today among most scientists, and thus among their followers. And of course, my Venus/Earth comparison now makes it obvious that the atmosphere is fundamentally warmed ONLY by DIRECT absorption of incident solar radiation, specifically a portion of the infrared solar radiation (and the same portion, for both Earth and Venus). Since the visible portion of the Sun's radiation is not responsible for warming the atmosphere, the fact that Venus reflects 70% of the visible light from the Sun while Earth reflects only 30%, makes no difference in the warming of their atmospheres, and thus there is no albedo effect in the observed Venus/Earth temperature ratio, in my simple comparison.

3) Believing that the surface of the Earth is a blackbody. In the words of (for example) Raymond Pierrrehumbert, "The ground below the atmosphere emits as an ideal blackbody, characterized by the Planck function B." This belief underpins the radiative transfer theory and those who interpret the spectra of radiation emitted upwards from the top of the tropopause as "proof" of the greenhouse effect. The fact is, those spectra merely show the PRESENCE of water vapor, carbon dioxide and the other infrared-active gases in the atmosphere, and measured variations of those spectra over time can show the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere -- but they do NOT show increased atmospheric warming due to the increase in carbon dioxide, that is merely an unsupported assumption (particularly during the periods, such as 1940-1970 and the last decade or so, when the carbon dioxide has increased substantially, but the global average surface temperature has not increased at all, or even gone down, so that the assumption is not just unsupported, but positively invalidated). The question everyone should ask themselves is, is there any reason to believe that upward heat transport (including by absorption and emission of "upwelling" infrared radiation), along a temperature gradient governed solely by the hydrostatic distribution of pressure, will actually further heat the atmosphere; currently, in the present childish "scientific" debates, almost everyone laughs and says, "of course", but the real, factual answer, again provided by my Venus/Earth comparison, is "NO". In the absence of a change in the intensity of incident solar radiation, the temperatures at the top and bottom of the troposphere are held constant (as indicated by the empirically-determined Standard Atmosphere, which is confirmed by my Venus/Earth analysis), and increasing carbon dioxide or water vapor can only increase the efficiency, or speed, with which local temperature variations are dissipated by heat transfer, both vertically and around the planet (the temperature on Venus's dark side is just as hot as on the sunlit side, due, I claim, to the nearly pure carbon dioxide atmosphere there).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christopher Monckton: Incompetent Skeptics

Recently, my earlier post, "Blackbody: The Key Error in Climate Science", was attacked by Christopher Monckton (a widely-known "lukewarm" believer in the consensus greenhouse effect), on Jo Nova's site. I became aware of this about a day later, but since I had not been contacted by anyone (in particular, either Jo Nova or Monckton) to participate, and no one had submitted any comments about it to my "Blackbody..." page, I did not, and will not now, go there to respond. I generally only answer comments made directly to the relevant posts on my own site, or e-mailed to me at I will just say here that Monckton's points (which I came across during a casual internet browsing session just now, some four days after their posting) are scientifically and logically empty, merely consensus dogma sprayed forth without even noting that my blackbody claims are confirmed by my earlier Venus/Earth analysis, which used my understanding of the proper use of the blackbody equation. His detailed attack (which I, rather obviously, consider simply wrong in its basic blackbody assertions, and wrong-headed in its use of consensus theory) adds up merely to saying that my factual finding -- that the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures (particularly outside of the thick cloud layer on Venus), is precisely and solely explained by the ratio of the two planets' distances from the Sun (and nothing else) -- is only an amazing coincidence. This is of course pathetic, on the part of a supposed "expert". Mr. Monckton, you have not explained my (yes, amazing) results with your irrelevant theoretical cant; you are miseducated, and incompetent in neglecting the factual results of my Venus/Earth analysis (you merely misdirected attention from them -- even Jo Nova had just enough integrity to quote from my blackbody article, "This of course was confirmed in my previous Venus/Earth analysis..."). In your attack upon me, you accomplished nothing real; you merely pontificated before an audience that accepts everything you say as gospel. There is no greenhouse effect as promulgated by you and the consensus, and your supposed expert knowledge about using the blackbody equation is worth precisely nothing, against the facts I have brought forward in my Venus/Earth analysis. Your loyal followers are ill-served by your dogmatic defense of the greenhouse effect, against those definitive facts.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How To Save Science

The "Climate Etc." blog of Dr. Judith Curry has a post on the fundamental problems with peer review. Instead of adding a comment there, I offer the following:

Scientific fundamentals like peer review are broken because science has not been self-correcting, but figuratively adding epicycles to planetary circles, for a long time, so that incompetence proliferates instead of the expertise that is advertised and expected. Materialistic scientism (dogmatically opposed to religion and, by false logical extension, to a higher meaningful reality than the merely physical) is leading science on a dead-end street; the "undirected evolution" paradigm is a failure, but that is largely unknown, especially among self-proud, cloistered academics. I am already showing the way to correct science--by identifying and focusing upon the definitive evidence that disproves key scientific errors of understanding. All scientists have to do is be willing to have even their favorite theories and supposed understanding undone, when the definitive facts say so. Science should be organized learning, first , last and always, not memorized, ritualized explanation.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recent Responses to Consensus Defenders

Followers may be interested in recent comments I have fielded from climate consensus, or greenhouse effect, defenders.

Here is my latest response on my "Venus: No Greenhouse Effect" page.

Here you can find my response to another inane critic, on Climate Etc (although you will have to look for my name).

You can see those dismissing me are clearly incompetent, obviously because they refuse to take any fundamental criticism of the consensus seriously. If they are competent otherwise, they cannot be trying very hard to make sense on this subject.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Incompetent Climate Consensus Defenders

I came across a blog in which someone had made a comment referring to my "Venus: No Greenhouse Effect" post (Nov. 22, 2010), and the blog author and others made a series of disparaging comments about it, all quite scientifically incompetent. I submitted a long comment of my own to clear up the science, but I checked back later to find my comment had been ignored, and despite someone coming to my defense, the disparagement continued. The site had 82 comments when I last looked (my comment would have been 81 if it had been accepted). For followers of my position on the greenhouse effect hypothesis, the following is the comment I submitted there (you may want to find the earlier comments, in Swedish, to which I was trying to reply--I used google translate to understand them myself):

"1) I am not an engineer, I am a physicist. I don't call myself a genius, only a competent physical scientist. This is a most important point (see point 7 below).

2) The greenhouse effect is not a warming of the planetary surface due to carbon dioxide or other "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere. It is an INCREASE in the atmospheric temperature due to an INCREASE in atmospheric carbon dioxide or other IR-active gases (water, methane, etc.). It is explained by consensus climate scientists as due to absorption of infrared radiation from the surface, with subsequent backradiation back to the surface, thus slowing heat loss. The consensus is incompetent, however, and their greenhouse effect does not exist, as my Venus/Earth comparison definitively shows.

3) I have not ignored albedo; instead, I have shown that there is no albedo effect, because the atmosphere is fundamentally warmed by direct absorption of incident solar infrared radiation, not by a previously warmed planetary surface. Specifically,

4) The Venus atmospheric temperature, at any given pressure over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, is just 17% higher than the Earth atmospheric temperature at the same pressure. Outside of the thick cloud layer on Venus, the ratio of temperatures, Venus/Earth, is very precisely 1.176, and this is due, again precisely, to the ratio of the two planets' distances from the Sun, and nothing else. This is because the 1.176 temperature ratio corresponds to a 1.91 power ratio in the solar radiation received by the two planets (1.176 = fourth-root of 1.91), which is just the actual power ratio incident on the two planets. Thus, even though the clouds of Venus reflect much of the visible solar radiation, Venus's atmosphere is still warmed by 1.91 times the power per unit area as is Earth's atmosphere. This of course means (to a competent physicist like myself), that the atmospheres of Earth and Venus are not warmed by the visible portion of the solar spectrum--in the troposphere, the atmosphere is warmed by infrared absorption. Since the actual Venus/Earth temperature ratio is due solely to the ratio of their distances from the Sun, both atmospheres must absorb the SAME PORTION of the Sun's infrared radiation. That is a definitive finding for the correction of climate science: Even with its much higher albedo, Venus's atmosphere is still warmed by the 1.91 greater power expected solely from its closer distance from the Sun.

5) There is no albedo effect upon the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, precisely because the atmospheres are warmed by incident solar infrared radiation, not from the ground as most scientists believe.

6) I recommend people read not just my article, "Venus: No Greenhouse Effect", but the comments following it, which go into the above points, and more.

7) Those who refuse to study and understand my article, or having gone through it, dismiss it on any physical grounds, especially a supposed albedo effect, are, in contrast to myself, incompetent as physical scientists. It is, as I have written in my article, both a student-level analysis and the definitive correction of the incompetent consensus. This includes Judith Curry, Jo Nova, and the other so-called "lukewarm" believers in the consensus greenhouse effect, as well as the alarmist climate scientists and their defenders. My Venus/Earth analysis separates the competent physical scientists from the incompetent ones, on the subject of the greenhouse effect. I do not say that haughtily, I say that as a scientist who knows what he is talking about. My analysis should have been done by James Hansen and others back in October 1991, when the Venus data was obtained by the Magellan spacecraft, and the greenhouse effect dropped as wrong back then. That is how incompetent the climate consensus really is."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blackbody: The Key Error in Climate Science

Update 10 March 2012: I have realized the error in my blackbody understanding, and why that error does not affect my Venus/Earth comparison or my physical conclusions about atmospheric warming. I have posted on this at "My Own Blackbody Error". The article below should no longer be taken to be my scientific position. [Note added 6 June 2013: I see a few visitors continuing to come here, obviously concerned about theory, while I want to remain focused upon the definitive facts. For my view of the proper use of the Stefan-Boltzmann formula, see here. The error in the original post below is that I neglected to say the power per unit area involved in the formula is not the INCIDENT, but the ABSORBED power.]

The climate consensus in science is founded upon the greenhouse effect as imagined by the IPCC-sponsored scientists, which my last post simply disproved. Their greenhouse effect is, in turn, founded upon one key scientific error, that competent students of my generation cannot make: Misusing the "blackbody" equation, otherwise known as the Stefan-Boltzmann equation.

A blackbody is defined as a body (or system of bodies in thermal contact) which absorbs all of the radiation incident upon it. A blackbody necessarily has an albedo (reflection coefficient) of zero. If you can define your body (or system) so that only radiation is passing into and out of it, then you can -- indeed you must -- define all the radiation passing into it as "incident", and you can replace the system with a blackbody, and use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, with that incident radiation, to calculate a mean temperature for the body or system (it's "effective blackbody temperature" or "radiating temperature"). That's it, that's all there is to it.

So how do current "expert scientists" go wrong? Because they define their "effective blackbody" system as inside the solid Earth, bounded by the Earth's surface -- and it should be obvious there is more than just radiation passing through that surface (there is conduction through the surface, and convection away from it). To use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation properly, they must define the boundary of the Earth system as outside of its atmosphere -- beyond all conduction and convection -- and use the mean incident solar irradiation only, not the "incident minus reflected" as they do.

You cannot "correct for albedo" to use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation at the Earth's surface, because a blackbody by definition has no albedo to "correct" for. This of course was confirmed in my previous Venus/Earth analysis, which showed there is simply no room for an albedo effect upon the long-term mean temperatures in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth.

All of the billions of words wasted upon "explaining" the climate consensus are founded upon this elementary error of understanding, that a student in his/her first physics class could see is wrong (providing he/she were taught in that basic class the definition of a blackbody, and how it must be applied to solve appropriate problems -- and apparently they are not being so taught, for the last 20 years or more).

The climate consensus, and physicists who defend it, utterly fail to understand how to use the concept of the blackbody properly. I charge them all with scientific incompetence of the first order. No one who writes authoritatively in defense of the climate consensus is, in my professional scientific judgment, worthy of calling him/herself a scientist, although I usually just use the qualifier "competent" or "incompetent".