Friday, March 18, 2016

Why I Don't Believe In Milankovitch Theory I: The Earth's Obliquity

The wuwt site Wednesday had a post on "fractal patterns" purportedly seen, in "millions of years" of climate variations, by Peter Ditlevsen, Associate Professor of Climate Physics at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, and Zhi-Gang Shao from South China University, Guangzhou in Kina. Along the way, Prof. Ditlevsen wrote:

"The astronomical factors that affect the Earth’s climate are that the other planets in the solar system pull on the Earth because of their gravity. This affects the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which varies from being almost circular to being more elliptical and this affects solar radiation on Earth. The gravity of the other planets also affects the Earth’s rotation on its axis. The Earth’s axis fluctuates between having a tilt of 22 degrees and 24 degrees and when the tilt is 24 degrees, there is a larger difference between summer and winter and this has an influence on the violent shifts in climate between ice ages and interglacial periods."

Ditlevsen was talking about the Milankovitch theory, not observed reality. I don't believe in that theory, and the following is my response to the above statement:

Modern science is choked with the weeds of false assumptions and unsupported speculations, based upon long-nurtured false dogma. The Milankovitch theory is just one such worthless field, widely admired and widely quoted today, but quite false nevertheless. My unprecedented research has uncovered the single, objective source of all of the ancient mysteries in the history of man on Earth--a design of the Earth itself, and the solar system, meant to be read and understood when man's knowledge grew enough to recognize all of its parts and encompass the whole. The Great Design is based upon an essentially unvarying tilt to the Earth's spin axis with respect to its orbital axis (the latter being the normal, or perpendicular, to the ecliptic). In that design, the Earth itself is set up like a leaning, spinning top in space, and like the top always maintaining nearly the same tilt. That setup of the world in space, I have found, is not just at the heart of every mythological tradition in the world, indeed of every ancient sacred obsession, superstition or "ancient mystery" in the world--it IS the heart of it all, first and foremost as a proclamation, by the "gods" who made it, that it WAS DESIGNED, by them. Simply put, all the ancient mysteries are based upon the north pole of the spin axis CIRCLING the north pole of the ecliptic, which means it is always separated from it by the same angle, about 23.5 degrees, on the celestial sphere. I will say more about the clear, observational evidence (independent of any consideration of design) for an essentially constant tilt below.

Even without recourse to that design, as a physicist I would seriously question any theory that claimed that a change of only 2 degrees in the tilt (between 22 and 24 degrees, as claimed by Ditlevsen, or more accurately 23.1 +/- 1.3 degrees in the Milankovitch theory) would necessarily and substantially alter the global mean temperature, certainly not by so much as the 9F°, or 5C°, we are told by today's miseducated scientists means the difference between a global "ice age" and a warm "interglacial" (in quotes, because I no longer believe in either, since my host of discoveries pertaining to the design). I certainly have experienced no substantial difference (in my past travels and living around the United States) in temperatures at most places that are separated by only 2 degrees latitude. And I think that it is unreasonable, even foolish, to think that our current "interglacial", with a mean temperature of 59°F, would turn into a global ice age if the mean temperature went down to 50°F.

Now, let us look at the historical evidence concerning the tilt of the Earth. Both Ptolemy in his "Almagest" (c. 139 AD), and Copernicus in "On The Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres" (c.1525 AD) gave data on earlier observations of the tilt of the Earth, and modern sources tell us the precise value today, and how it is varying over time (it is decreasing very slowly, about 0.00013 degrees per year). Below is a graph I made of these historical observations and discussed in an appendix to my book, "The End of the Mystery".

Ptolemy (139 AD) gave the axial tilt (formally called the obliquity) as 23°51'20", or 23.856 degrees (to the nearest .001°), and he claimed the same value for Hipparchus (c. 125 BC), Aristarchus (c. 260 BC) and Timocharus (c. 281 BC) before him. Copernicus gave values for his own time (23°28.5' in 1525 AD), for Prophatius (23°32' in 1299), for Arzachel (23°34' in 1069), and for al-Battani (23°35' in 879). Strangely, his own 1525 value is the only one that is not in line with the modern established linear variation (the -0.00013°/yr. already mentioned). In 2000, it was 23.43928°. The axial tilt has been observed to be within .1° of 23.5° for over 1100 years, and that is the value that is usually quoted in popular works. (I suggested a value of 23.55646° as the most likely designed value, and which I noted on the graph, based upon my research, for reasons discussed in my book and which I won't go into here.)

From the precise star positions Ptolemy gave for some 18 stars (in ecliptic coordinates), and the positions he claimed his predecessors Hipparchus, Aristarchus and Timocharis gave for those same stars, I found his claim of 23°51'20" did not fit that data, and that a slightly smaller tilt was indicated by those given star positions. The errors in those star positions--compared to the extremely precise modern observations of them--are such that it is not surprising that the values of the tilt I calculated from them do not fit the linear trend of the data since 879 AD. Nevertheless, they are substantially closer to that line than is his claimed value (which is entirely inconsistent with that trend line), and they in fact follow that trend line by bracketing it, albeit roughly. However, the main point to be taken from Ptolemy's work (other than that his star data don't fit the axial tilt he claimed to observe) is that, since the design calls for a constant tilt of about 23.5° (or 23.556°), and Ptolemy's claimed 23.856° is just 0.3° above the "designed" value, and was touted unchanged for at least 400 years (from Timocharis to Ptolemy), it is likely that 23°51'20" in fact represents the peak in a periodically varying tilt, with 0.3° the maximum variation from the mean value. That variation is much smaller than the Milankovitch value of +/- 1.3 degrees, a maximum variation of only about 1.27%, only one-fourth of the Milankovitch claimed variation of over 5.5%.

It is natural that ancient observers would have for centuries thought the Earth's tilt to be a constant, as, again, that is what the design itself indicates, and what would have been taught based upon the sacred traditions, all of them deriving from that all-encompassing world design, which dealt only in circles (hence also the long-held belief in perfectly circular planetary orbits). In judging the modern Milankovitch theory, it is enough to have shown that the historically observed variation, and the 0.3°maximum variation as indicated by Ptolemy's claim of 23°51'20", is much smaller than what the modern theory claims. As I doubt the Milankovitch claimed variation of +/- 1.3 degrees could substantially affect the global temperature, so much more do I doubt that the far more likely +/- 0.3 degrees could do so.

Modern science needs to at least do better than Ptolemy and Copernicus, to impress me, and of course it cannot do so without confronting and accepting the Great Design, and the honest work of much earlier, even ancient, observers.

Science also needs to ask: If the Earth's orbit really varies from "nearly circular" to substantially more elliptical, why are we just now, and since well before the time of Kepler, in that nearly-perfectly circular orbit, rather than in a more elliptical phase? There simply is no observational evidence the Earth is ever in a more elliptical orbit, nor that, once in an elliptical orbit, it could be coaxed by the planets into such stable near-circularity as Kepler and all subsequent scientists have found it.

Science needs to laugh at all such theories, and say "Back to the drawing board, fellows!". Your obsessive seeking and finding of supposedly shared periodicities in your presumed causes and effects, in the "paleoclimate" data, especially in deep ice cores--which is all you seem willing or able to do with all of those theories--are all failing both hard (i.e., accurate and precise) observation and the common-sense physical insight expected of a good (i.e., competent, and honest) physical scientist.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Bottom Line About "Climate Science" and "Global Warming"

The war of words over "climate change" and "global warming" continues to be a fragmented one, with a wide diversity of opinions and little focus overall. Most writers on the subject are set in their views now, as the consensus authorities--alarmist propagandists all--have been all along, in the interest of their own favored positions and of the political power these radical activists see now being wielded by an insane Left under President Obama. Another example of set opinion is Dr. Roy Spencer, who puts out a satellite-based global temperature record and is a harsh skeptic of the alarmist "consensus", but he is a "lukewarm" believer in the "consensus" science and therefore just as miseducated as the alarmists. He has, just this past weekend, decided to close all comments on his web page, simply to deny any further attention to those who, like me, deny the very existence of a measurable CO2 "greenhouse effect".

It is a complex situation for any layperson to try to learn the truth from. That is why my approach to the climate debate has been to present only simple, definitive evidence, all of which I have found to be against the consensus climate science. I can present my view in one clear and simple illustration.

The following image is my version of one presented to the public, on USAToday, in October 2010). It embodies, for me, the central truth about "global warming" and the "climate science" behind it, that everyone (particularly any "expert" who defends it, and any politician--like President Obama or his Attorney General--or dogmatic ideologue who demands obedience to it) needs to know and accept:

The original image purported to show that the "global temperature" (more correctly, the global mean surface temperature, or GMST) has increased with the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, since 1880.

Note, in the graph, that the temperature is shown as apparently closely tracking (to the eyes of the unwary, non-scientific layperson) the rise in CO2, from about 1975 on (to the end of the graph, about 2008). I say the temperature "apparently" tracks the CO2, because the scales of the two superimposed graphs have been selected to show just that (again, to "make it clear" to the non-scientist reader). The trouble is that the temperature data is very noisy, making that "jittery" appearance in the temperature graph, and it doesn't really follow the smooth CO2 curve all that well, particularly from 2000 on.

Now, honest scientists can legitimately argue over just how well or how bad the temperature tracks the CO2 from 1975 on, based solely upon this illustration as presented to the public by leading climate scientists. What cannot be honestly argued about, however, is that the temperatures BEFORE 1975 do NOT track the rising CO2; they vary, both positively and negatively, independently of the ever-rising CO2. That is the first simple, and devastating, point to be remembered by everyone, even those who are uninterested, or uneducated, in the debate.

This was so apparent to me, when I first came upon this image, that I posted the following comment:

"The graph shown here arbitrarily puts the CO2 curve on top of the temperature record so that the two curves rise together after 1979--but only after 1979, note. As an independent scientist, I do not hesitate to call this what it is: fraudulent science. This is very ugly, raw political propaganda in the name of science. All scientists should be repulsed, and ashamed, by the breadth and depth of the incompetence in their midst, and the foisting of that incompetence upon the public."

Since the public debate was not about the science, but was and is in fact a political war, my small voice for real science was ignored, as it has been by most ever since.


In November 2010, just a month after seeing that fraudulent graph, I performed my Venus/Earth temperature-vs-pressure comparison that, in my view, definitively proved to any competent scientist that there WAS NO "global warming greenhouse effect" due to CO2. That Venus/Earth comparison precisely confirmed the Standard Atmosphere model of Earth's troposphere, which has been well-known for over a century. The Standard Atmosphere defines an utterly stable mean surface temperature, and is based upon both many years of temperature measurements throughout the atmospheres as well as on a very simple understanding of the physics behind the vertical temperature gradient in the troposphere. Simply put, that temperature gradient (a simple decrease in temperature of 6.5°C for each kilometer of height above sea level) is widely known as the "lapse rate", and while all of the "experts" have been taught that it is "the adiabatic lapse rate", in fact it is fundamentally and properly called "the hydrostatic lapse rate", physically due only to the very simple hydrostatic condition, that the atmospheric pressure at any height in the troposphere is just the weight of the atmosphere above that height.

Again, my Venus/Earth comparison precisely confirms the Standard Atmosphere (as of 1991, when the Venus data was taken by the Magellan spacecraft), over the full range of tropospheric pressures. And here is the second utterly simple and fundamental point for everyone to understand: The mean surface temperature, in the Standard Atmosphere, is 288K (15°C, or 59°F), and it has been so FOR A CENTURY OR MORE. Look again at the above illustration, where I have added that fact into the graph. Simply, according to the precisely confirmed Standard Atmosphere and its simple physics of the hydrostatic atmosphere, the surface temperature of the Earth is 288K, and not only has it been so throughout the modern temperature record, despite what the official global temperature calculations claim, but it is HIGHER than the supposed mean surface temperature today, despite a century of "global warming", according to the climate scientists themselves (the above is THEIR graph; I am only contrasting their claims with the precisely verified, and utterly stable, Standard Atmosphere).

The leading climate scientists ignore this utter failure of their science. "Lukewarm" scientists like Roy Spencer vehemently reject it also, refuse to even have it heard on their web sites. And radical activists have used this epidemic of incompetent stupidity (actually dogmatic adherence to failed theory) on the part of the scientists to push for ruinous legislation, to make "war on coal" for example, now a full-fledged war on any and all fossil fuel use, despite the utter dependency of our civilization upon that energy. The free peoples of the world are being warred upon, literally, using clearly false science.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ben Is Glory, Glory Is Ben

I read a comment on the jonova site that referred to "the gravitational warming theory". My response:

There is no "gravitational warming", per se. There is instead gravitational distribution of atmospheric pressure (the pressure at any level is just the weight of the atmosphere above that level), which imposes a vertical temperature distribution (the "lapse rate" structure). Whatever energy is contained in the atmosphere, it has to be vertically distributed according to that elementary physics. This is entirely independent of HOW the atmosphere is warmed. In particular it is independent of any heating by the absorption of infrared radiation by CO2 or any other so-called "greenhouse gas" in the atmosphere; the only effect such absorption can have is to increase the radiation pathway for heat transfer in the atmosphere, compared to the pathways for conduction and convection (the other two processes by which heat can be transported). As radiation travels faster than convection or conduction, IR absorption can only increase the SPEED at which heat is transported (over a short distance), but it can do no more than re-attain the governing lapse rate structure more quickly than would be the case without "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere; it cannot change the lapse rate, nor the temperature (at the surface or at any other pressure level in the atmosphere).

My Venus/Earth temperatures comparison precisely confirms this (it confirms the Standard Atmosphere model of the Earth's troposphere, which is based upon the above physics), and shows that the Earth's troposphere is warmed by direct absorption of incident solar radiation, not by heat from the planetary surface as everyone has been taught. And of course it utterly disproves the "global warming greenhouse effect", since Venus's atmosphere has over 2400 times the concentration of CO2 as Earth's, without any effect upon the temperature.

But not many listen, or seem capable of understanding. I just happen to have the TV on now, and it is showing a rerun of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", where they are fighting the "god" Glory. Glory is limited by the fact that she turns into the harmless Ben at awkward moments, but even when people see this transformation take place right in front of them, they can't seem to remember it after a brief moment. The climate debate is like this, where no one seems able to retain knowledge of the simple physics of the Standard Atmosphere. So just remember, "Ben is Glory; Glory is Ben" and "there IS NO greenhouse effect".