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Eliminating all Man-Made CO2 -- Earth gets Warmer?

Bob Ashworth's picture
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Mr. Ashworth is a chemical engineer and has presented over 50 technical papers on fuels and fuel related subjects. Relating to the subject of global warming, he has written two papers, "CFC...

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  • Feb 2, 2010 12:00 pm GMT

Do you realize that CO2 emissions created by man's activities, combustion of fuels, etc. (called anthropogenic emissions) is miniscule compared to the emissions of CO2 from nature? Table 1 was developed by the IPCC. It shows annual CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from both nature and man and how much of the CO2 emitted is re-absorbed by nature.

Using the table above in combination with a total concentration of 385 ppmv of CO2 seen in the atmosphere in January 2008, one sees that the increase in CO2 caused by all of man's activities amounted to only 11.5 ppmv. The amount of CO2 from man is a mouse milk quantity compared to nature's emissions. If we eliminated all anthropogenic CO2 emissions, we would go back to the level we had in January 2003. Oh yes, when it was warmer then than it is now. Isn't this the first thing one would look at when evaluating the effect of man-made CO2; that is if they had any common sense? It is clear that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has nothing to do with the earth temperature. If there is an effect it is so small it is not worthy of discussion.

Global warming advocates say that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere over a 50 to 250 year period, but this is not true. Figure 1 below shows that the CO2 concentration oscillates based on the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. The ratio of land to ocean in the Northern Hemisphere is about 1 to 1.5 and in the Southern Hemisphere is 1 to 4. Therefore, the Northern Hemisphere with much more land mass has a growing season that dominates the Southern Hemisphere growing season with respect to absorption of CO2.

Does a correlation exist between the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature? No! Does an increase in CO2 cause the earth's temperature to increase? No! Figure 1 below was developed by Joseph D'Aleo, certified meteorologist. Even a non-scientist can see there is absolutely no correlation between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature. If there were a correlation, they both would rise and fall together. The CO2 has been on a continuous upward trend - not true for the earth's temperature.

In Figure 1, each year around April, increased CO2 absorption by plants in the Northern Hemisphere starts reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere and the reduction continues until around mid to late August when plants start to go dormant. The cycles occur on a regular yearly basis and the swing in CO2 concentration is in the 5 to 8 ppmv range. If CO2 stayed in the atmosphere for long periods before being consumed, the season to season cyclic effect would not be seen. It is clear that nature reacts very fast in its consumption of carbon dioxide.

The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Two sets of temperature measurements are shown, one set by NASA's Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) for the troposphere and the other by the UK's Hadley Climate Research Unit for the land and sea. Both show declining temperatures over time even as CO2 has increased from 366 ppmv in January 1998 to 385 ppmv by January 2008. Note that the land-sea and lower troposphere temperatures in January 2008 were some 0.7 Degrees C cooler than in January 1998.

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Stanton Hadley's picture
Stanton Hadley on Feb 10, 2010
I haven't read all of the comments above so this might have been covered, but when I read the article one thing struck me. The math is wrong in his statement: Using the table above in combination with a total concentration of 385 ppmv of CO2 seen in the atmosphere in January 2008, one sees that the increase in CO2 caused by all of man's activities amounted to only 11.5 ppmv.

The table shows annual amounts, not cumulative. If in year X nature outs in 770,000 million tons, man puts in 23,100, and nature absorbs 781,400, then the net increase that year is 11.4. Then next year is another 11.4 (plus or minus) and so forth and so on. This causes the gradual build-up where CO2 levels rise from ~280 ppm to today's 385 ppm. So I don't see where he can say that "all of man's activities amounted to only 11.5 ppmv." He simply multiplied the cumulative concentration of 385 ppm by the annual percentage of emissions 2.9%.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Feb 10, 2010
Jim and Stanton: You would not see the dramatic cycling effect of CO2 in the atmosphere from summer to winter as I show in the figure if CO2 stayed in the atmosphere a long time. The increase in CO2 from 1998 to 2008 was only around 2 ppmv per year.

I could be wrong here but I think part of that increase is because Siberian permafrost has thawed (researchers have found that) and released stored methane that slowly converts to CO2 in the atmosphere. The reason they thawed is because the CFC effect is greater near the Polar Regions. The Polar Regions warmed some 1.2C from 1966 to 1998 and the earth averaged a 0.48C rise. Also the gradual warming of the oceans as we are coming out of a Little Ice Age is another effect that would increase CO2 in the atmosphere as shown by the Vostok ice core data. As you know, contrary to Gore's prestidigitation, a warming spike from the sun comes first followed by an increase of CO2 as the oceans warm and the solubility of CO2 in the water decreases.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 10, 2010

I don't know why you are so confused about the amount of time CO2 stays in the atmosphere. Every year, some CO2 is deposited into the atmosphere by natural and man-made processes. And every years, some of it is drawn out, but not enough to make up for the deposition, so the overall amount increases. I don't see what point you are trying to make. Since the (temporary) draw down is about 8 ppm per year, each year a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere has about an 8/385 or 2% chance of being withdrawn. From that, you could calculate the average lifetime of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere (if you wanted to). But the point remains, why is this important? The main issue is that the overall level keeps rising.

Let's say you are correct and a "warming spike from the sun" causes an increase in CO2 as oceans warm and methane escapes from polar regions. What then causes the cascading temperature rise after this initial event? Assuming there is not a staccato of warming spikes, then perhaps the increased CO2 levels drive the temperature rise further past the initial spike. This is what scientists believe and this is their explanation of the "CO2 follows temp" argument from the skeptics.

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 10, 2010
Len and Jim, I don't believe in fairies nor infinitely energetic particles. I think there is a serious lack of understanding of basic physics here.

Adrian, Carbon 14 CO2 was part of the nuclear fallout from above ground testing and was monitored extensively. My father worked for the Atomic Energy Commission at the time and was part of the team responsible for moving the testing underground. There are literally hundreds of papers available on the subject. It is quite easy to discriminate between the naturally produced C(14)O2 and that produced by a nuclear blast. Other isotopes were likewise produced and were likewise monitored.

In fact to belabor the human body analogy, when we want to know what is going on inside, we use radioactive tracers.

Tying these simple concepts together, I theorized that someone else should have undertaken this study for the atmosphere and in seconds found this

As I surmised the unadulterated facts show that CO2 naturally remains in the atmosphere for 5-6 yrs. But of course you are welcome to ignore the evidence to your heart's content. Something tells me the good doctor won't be invited to the next gropehagen confab in Mexico since he isn't singing the party line.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 10, 2010
Why don't you guys (Jeff and B Ashworth) just read these articles until you understand Airborne Fraction, then c'mon back. It'll give us a nice long break from nonsense.

Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks

Josep G. Canadella,b, Corinne Le Que´ re´ c,d, Michael R. Raupacha, Christopher B. Fielde, Erik T. Buitenhuisc, Philippe Ciaisf, Thomas J. Conwayg, Nathan P. Gillettc, R. A. Houghtonh, and Gregg Marlandi,j

Time Series for Airborne Fraction (AF).

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 11, 2010
Jeff said:

"Len and Jim, I don't believe in fairies nor infinitely energetic particles. I think there is a serious lack of understanding of basic physics here."

I don't believe in fairies or infinitely energetic particles either. Never said I did. I DO believe that the inverse square law only applies to point sources, and the Earth is NOT a point source for the distances in consideration (60,000 feet).

And I DO agree that there is a serious lack of understanding of basic physics here as well!!!

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 12, 2010
Fred, to disprove global warming, look out your window at the record snow and cold. They have a saying in DC right now. It is going to keep on snowing there until Gore cries "Uncle!".

Jim and Len, the point source is only one element of the inverse square law. The other of course is that the ENERGY of the wave proportionally diminishes as the square of the distance. Or I could just point you to Maxwell's equations, but I fear they would be far too much for you. So, light makes it all the way to earth from the sun, losing energy all the way, but it had a LOT to begin with. By the time it hits the earth, saying goodbye to the relative vacuum of space, it loses even more. The IPCC pretends it hits the planet like hitting a mirror, converts magically to IR and then heats the entire atmosphere as it escapes. Many physicists who were NOT invited to participate in the IPCC process have said things like, "The energy is largely gone within the first 30 meters".

Bottom line, the IPCC needs a better theory. Just because I say they do, by NO MEANS requires me to come up with one FOR them. They are the ones crying "The sky is falling" and attempting to wreak havoc on the economy of the planet, so it behooves them to do a LOT better job than they have, and that includes NOT cooking the numbers with statistical games as the emails proved they did, NOT hiding the data as the emails proved they did, NOT suborning the peer review process as the emails proved they did, I could go on, but you've already stopped reading, at least Len did, once he read "Maxwell's equations" his eyes glazed over and he had a flashback to unfortunate anxiety in calculus class, that is if he ever made it that far. ;)

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on Feb 13, 2010

This discussion appears to have degenerated into a "weather is not climate, unless the weather is warmer" argument; not unique, but unfortunate nonetheless. :-(


"And the snow pack on Mt. Hood is about 2-3 feet below normal."

Your use of "normal" suggests that the snow pack has varied in the past, both above and below what you term "normal".

The snow pack in Washington, DC is 2-3 feet above normal.

We are relying on more irrigation, GMO and herbicides because we are growing more food for a larger population; and, choosing to do it in places otherwise unsuitable for growing certain of the crops. We are also growing a lot of corn which does not appear on anyone's table, but rather in their vehicle fuel tanks.

I would guess that the migratory habits of birds and fish have been changing in the current direction since about 1650, the trough of the Little Ice Age. I suspect many of the glaciers which are receeding have been doing so over the same period.

There is an interesting piece here today: This piece suggests, rather effectively, that the IPCC is "all sound and fury, signifying nothing". Perhaps even anthropogenic global urban heat island climate change remains unproven.

The following piece suggests that even Phil Jones may have encountered and perhaps even adopted some humility:


Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on Feb 13, 2010

Humans from the northern tier of the US (snowbirds) have been migratory for decades. Perhaps, as the climate of the northern tier becomes more temperate, some of them will participate in a reverse migration.

Corn consumption for ethanol production is incremental. Corn enters the ethanol process; ethanol and byproducts leave the process. Corn does not leave the process for later use. DDGS is a partial replacement for field corn as animal feed.



Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 13, 2010

More bluster on your part. Now you are trying to change the argument. You were using your "inverse square law" to explain away heat emission FROM THE EARTH, not to it. Remember your explanation of re-radiation by bouncing the ball in a hallway? (09/17/09, Bob A's paper on CFC's)

"For some reason you want to argue about re-radiation. Yes it occurs, but since you don't understand the inverse square law, you don't understand why the effect has spatial and energy limitations. " -Jeff

But when we found out you were full of beans, you decide to change the argument and talk about radiation from the sun. Pretty lame on your part. But anything to win the argument, right Jeff? Including LYING, apparently.

Captured in 30 meters??? And the energy is "gone"? Where would it go? Basic heat transfer would indicate otherwise.

I know enough about Maxwell's equations to understand flux, and when a body can and cannot be considered a point source. That is more than you, Jeff. (Their presentation as quarternions is particularly intriguing -- but I guess that never caught on.)

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 13, 2010
Jim, are you being purposely obtuse? I was NOT talking about energy getting TOO the earth but indeed radiating OUT from it, that was why it was LARGELY absorbed in the first 30 meters AWAY from the earth. Or are you swilling whatever it is Linn is drinking there in Oregon and chose to misinterpret my rather clear statement. Do I have to draw you a picture? ALL radiation attenuates as it propagates PERIOD. The picture that Bob had in his previous article wherein the IPCC showed a planet earth with energy coming and and leaving and a "balancing" force of back radiation making up what they didn't understand was just plain wrong. Even IF their theory held water, there is no way clouds at ANY height could be "generating" energy down to the earth, period. What those clouds are doing is INSULATING the surface slowing down the cooling process, which is why it is warmer for a day or two when there is cloud cover, but then gets colder because the clouds themselves are keeping the solar radiation from reaching the surface. Just like insulation always does, it works both ways, not letting the heat out , but not letting it in either. </>

Here is the fundamental problem. IPCC authors who are not nearly as good at physics as they think are using physics such as Stephan Boltzmann to explain earth's atmosphere as if it is a simple black-body exercise. Obviously it is not, and even when they try to apply SB to our neighbors, such as Venus and Mars their formulas don't work either. But this is pointless to argue, I may as well be speaking Greek, if you don't have the background to understand the concepts there is too much of a hole to fill to make it worth the effort.

Don Hirschberg's picture
Don Hirschberg on Feb 13, 2010
Humans can indeed eat field or dent corn.

Corn as a table vegetable ls best if it is boiled and eaten within hours of picking. So farmers’ roadside stands do sell corn literally hand picked within the last hour or so. It’s always sweet corn, and the produce departments of super markets generally sell corn the came day. There is no system for hand picking field corn, it’s harvested whole fields at a time. So it is simply not available, even if you wanted to eat it as a fresh vegetable.

Those who have vegetable garden near fields of dent corn might actually harvest something quite like field corn.

While only a minuscule portion of the corn crop is eaten as a table vegetable or a breakfast cereal if you look at the ingredient list on packaged or processed foods you will usually find corn produces.

All the corns we raise today are man-made - and quite recently, and cannot survive without man. The Pre-Columbian maize ear was about as big as a large thumb.

Don Hirschberg's picture
Don Hirschberg on Feb 14, 2010
Len, I don’t think you understand how dire is our situation. You throw out all kinds of solutions. You call for all kinds of “We need to do this ...” and “We need to that...”. We? How then , not by “we” but by some omnipotent God?

Is this the same God who encouraged us to reproduce ourselves into our dilemma – no reason, just because it feels good. The same God who similarly causes bacteria to reproduce themselves exponentially until the agar –agar is gone and the colony dies?

Today CO2 emissions are increasing every day. Every day more coal is being mined. Every day water tables are receding. Every day population is increasing. Every day there are more people malnourished and living without electricity. Every day we face the consequences of Peak Oil. Every day perhaps 20,000 children die from diarrhea because of bad water – when a few drops of laundry bleach would have prevented these deaths.

Population is THE problem – and only recently. Any plan that does not address population is doomed to failure. If you would save the world first tell me how to reduce world population.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 14, 2010
Don: I would also point out that any solution which might be proposed must also include the means to maintain whatever reduction in population may be achieved. As far as I know, the only means to acomplish that is to educate people, assure them reasonable life security in their old age, and ensure relative equality for all including women. Since providing those conditions is a pre-requisite, and providing them is also the only acceptable means of implementing the reduction in the first place, then the answer is quite straightforward.

Jeff: - "the ENERGY of the wave proportionally diminishes as the square of the distance. Or I could just point you to Maxwell's equations, but I fear they would be far too much for you. So, light makes it all the way to earth from the sun, losing energy all the way," - That's a very confused statement, even IF you may be discussing IR energy travelling in earth's atmosphere rather than in a vacuum, though that wasn't the impression your statement gave. The energy of a photon packet is entirely dependent on its frequency / wavelength, and that does not change over intra-galactic dimensions throughout the life of the photon. Possibly you may be thinking of the net intensity of photon arrivals at a measuring device, though it is difficult to concieve of the relevance of discussions of "waves" in that context. Try again.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 15, 2010

If you were talking about radiation FROM the earth, then why were you spouting off about the inverse square law, which would not apply in this case? How could I NOT become confused?

"ALL radiation attenuates as it propagates PERIOD." -Jeff.

Absolutely false. Depends on if it is parallel (light from a laser) or diffusing from a point source (like the sun from a long ways away). When I was in college I added a lens to an ordinary flashlight so that it still kept a small beam even 500 feet away. Not even a laser. Some attenuation will occur with light in any non-vacuum, assuming the particles they hit can absorb the frequency of the light going through them, but this is often a minor issue compared with diffusion due to a point source.

I don't see what the problem is. Light from the sun (6500K black body) passes through clouds pretty well and hits the earth. Heat from the earth (290K black body, much more infrared) radiates upward (largely PARALLEL for the distances involved) and gets absorbed by the cooler clouds floating in the 5,000 - 20,000 foot range. The clouds heat up. Some of the heat radiates back down if the earth below it becomes cooler (such as at night). Insulating is nothing more than re-radiation. It can't be any other way. The presence or absence of clouds doesn't make the earth 'stop' radiating. Rather, two bodies of the same temperature radiate energy to/from each other at the same rate, such that the temperature doesn't change.

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 15, 2010
Jim Len, I stand by my statements and suggest you bury your heads in some textbooks. A lens, lasers? Ok, now you have a coherent beam, what does that have to do with attenuation? All you did was focus the beam instead of letting it go in every direction, but it STILL gets weaker every meter it travels. I'm sorry I cannot be more clear here, when I have to dummy down my statements to something I think you can grasp, a lot gets lost. Insulation is re-radiation? Cmon. Insulation merely slows heat transfer by very well-known and understood physical properties. Kirchoff came up with black-bodies as an idealized theoretical metaphor, which helped us get to quantum physics. We shouldn't think of them as garden variety objects, any more than Schrodinger's cat. No "real" body will behave like the theoretical "ideal" black body, any more than that cat will be both alive and dead.

Let's look at this another way. I've got a pen IR pointer laser on my desk. It is powered by three 1.2 v lithium batteries. In my basement I have an IR cutting laser, powered by 10,000 watts. Which one has more energy Len, since the "frequency / wavelength" are identical? Maybe you think that the higher the frequency gets, the greater the energy "automagically" rises? Now you see why it is so frustrating to talk with you, you spout off as if you know something but clearly you don't. Isn't this why you're no longer on the physorg website? These are trivial and basic concepts to me, but I suspect neither of you even get them.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 15, 2010

A photon does not attenuate in a vacuum. What mechanism would cause a photon to stop/attenuate, other than striking something? If there is nothing for it to hit, it won't attenuate. Well, at least you've given up on the inverse-square nonsense for IR emitted from the earth to the atmosphere.

If the wavelengths are identical, the pen pointer and the cutting laser emit photons of the same energy. The cutting laser just emits a lot more of those photons. The energy of a photon is defined by its frequency (E = hv) and nothing else.

Heat transfer is based on just a few simple concepts. One of which is radiative transfer is proportional to the temperature difference between the two objects to the 4th power. As the cloud heats up, less (NET) transfer occurs between the earth and the cloud. That's re-radiation/insulation.

Only way that a photon could attenuate on its own would be when it is red-shifted due to the expansion of the space it is in. It's left as an exercise to the reader as to where THAT energy might have gone. ;)

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 15, 2010
Fred: "The Canadian Tar Sands are strip mined from a similar environment. The damage will remain from this for thousands of years. " -- I think you err in your claim, Fred. The Oil Sands Mines are in a boreal forest setting well below the tree line in Northern Canada. Vegetation there grows at a very similar pace to that near the farm where I grew up, which means it is essentially water / rainfall limited. Granted, the seasonality is also a significant factor, but they're significantly south of the latitude where "tundra" will exist.

Jeff: see Jim above. Pick up a physics text. You're talking about thinks you know very little.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 15, 2010
Jeff also said:

Many physicists who were NOT invited to participate in the IPCC process have said things like, "The energy is largely gone within the first 30 meters".

Hmm, if that were true, then the entire field of IR imaging would be limited to only objects that are 30 meters away, as the energy lost would also result in the loss of IR signatures (they would no longer be coherent). Since this isn't the case, I'm going to have to side with the IPCC people on this one.

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 15, 2010
Len, Nope I am not. There is NO pure vacuum, even in space, and there IS attenuation. And YOUR (non) infinitely energetic particle taking a brownian walk through 60K feet has long since lost ALL its energy it isn't even "there". It has been a very long time since I took physics, but I haven't forgotten enough for "thinks you know very little." Freudian slip for you perhaps?

Jim, you over simplify every step you take, this is why you are led to false assumptions, just like the IPCC. Point source is far closer to the truth than you can imagine. You believe every particle that strikes the earth returns precisely orthogonal to the impact no? Hits earth no matter the angle and returns at precisely the right angle to space, free at last except for those 350 per million CO2 molecules that might eat it up like a Pac Man game no? That is what the models assume and worse of course, and further simplifications on simplifications based on theoretical underpinnings for which there is no legitimate relevance. I'm not talking electron volts here, who cares if the earth is hit by a particle with 1 billion Ev, that isn't going to power anyone's lightbulb is it? If you're going to model something as complex as weather let alone climate, you'd better have a firm model that firmly has a grip on reality, not a squishy model based on idealized metaphors.

Don Hirschberg's picture
Don Hirschberg on Feb 15, 2010
I don’t think WE (man) have ever set about to solve a PROBLEM, much less ever actually solved one. This was my point in suggesting (rhetorically) that such would require an omnipotent power – and I see no evidence that such a power exists. If WE could solve problems we would not have gross overpopulation and wouldn’t still be having more wars, genocides and more and worse antisocial activities than ever before in history. (I think we have about as many people in jail in the US today as there were people in the US when Europeans arrived.)

Alas, it’s been immer schlimmer (relic of my high school Deutsch) over all man’s history. You might say we have solved the problem of keeping lots of people alive at the same time but this can’t be called a concerted effort and has probably created more suffering than benefits.

Education is often cited as a move toward solving problems. Germany and Japan had better literacy rates than we in 1939. (Those unbelievably cruel Japanese soldiers of the Bataan Death March were quite literate. As were those who efficiently managed the Holocaust. Quite similarly to the Persians of yore.)

To solve a real problem requires starting with the present situation. There will be no Re-deals. The present situation is dreadful, much worse than decades ago, and getting worse by the day. While I am pleased and impressed to see Stefan-Bolzman n and black bodies discussed, who has a word about population reduction?

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on Feb 16, 2010
If any problems are going to be solved: the problems must be clearly and concisely defined; the cause(s) identified and verified; the potential solution(s) identified and tested; and, the proven solution(s) implemented.

If there are multiple, independent problems with potential solutions requiring massive effort or investment, the problems must be prioritized to assure that the most important problem(s) receive sufficient effort and investment to actually solve them. (Lomborg has been pilloried for daring to state this obvious conclusion.)

Teddy Roosevelt was not extolling the importance on Don Quixote de la Mancha in the quote above.

What are the problems, in rank order? What are the potential solutions to be tested? How shall they be tested and who will conduct, supervise and evaluate the tests?

Don seems focused on population as problem number one. However, it may involve the most difficult and least palatable potential solutions to test and implement.

In the case of carbon emissions, it does not seem to me that we have even prioritized sub-goals. Is it more critical to: halt the increase in global annual emissions, reduce some annual emissions while allowing others to keep rising; or, pay reparations to low carbon economies for potential future harm? Are we attempting to achieve lower carbon emissions or some form of global equity?

"A goal without a plan is just a wish.", Antoine de St. Exupery

"A plan without a goal is insanity.", Ed Reid

"Insanity is continuing to do the same things and expecting different results.", Albert Einstein

I guess we just wish we weren't insane.


Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 16, 2010
Jeff: It seems quite certain to me that you are being deliberately obtuse in an attempt to snare in any who lack the basic physics to understand eg. the dual nature of electromagnetic radiation, a beam of which is comprised of myriad tiny packets of energy (photons) which must either completely exist or be completely anihilated and cannot individually "be attenuated" when travelling between bodies at relatively similar velocities eg. sun, earth and near-space. It is difficult for me to imagine you could be so familiar with the language of science and actually so unaware of the science itself, therefore I conclude deliberate intent.

Fred: Rooseveltt forgot to address those who are "in the arena" but with intent to do no good, apparently a significant proportion of current political leadership everywhere.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 16, 2010

Another comment like that and I will invoke the mercy rule. Like Len said, a photon cannot be attenuated. It exists until it is annihilated. Think of a photon's path as a path in space-time with a beginning (emission) and an end (detection or capture or annihilation). To the photon, no time passes during its 'lifetime'. It is simply 'there' throughout it's entire path.

A 5900K photon from the sun can reflect off the earth and many obviously do. But it can't 'change' into a 288K photon. Instead, it is absorbed by some object, the object heats up, and then emit photons in the spectrum appropriate to its temperature in a Lambertian (uniform) pattern.

So, it looks like the AGW skeptics seem to willfully ignore a basic understanding of E-M radiation that has been in place for hundreds of years (long before any AGW conspiracy could be in place).

1. "The energy is largely gone within the first 30 meters" (from the ground). Absolutely wrong. If this were so, Thermal Imaging would not be possible. But it is.

2. "IR emissions from the earth disperses with the inverse-square law". True, but not at the distances in question. At 100 km (62 miles) below which 99.99% of the atmosphere lies, the diffusion of IR emissions due to the inverse square law would be less than 2-3%. At far distances (1-2 earth radii) the inverse-square starts to kick in. This is due to the emitting surface being several thousand miles from the point source center (the center of the earth).

3. "Re-radiation doesn't exist". Absolutely wrong. Two bodies of similar temperature both emit radiation at each other. There is no NET change in temperature, but emissions are occuring nonetheless. The idea of clouds 'insulating' the earth (which skeptics seem to be much more comfortable with) is merely re-radiation occurring. The atmosphere doesn't insulate both ways (up and down) equally because the photons coming in from emitted from a 5900K Black Body (the sun) and the photons coming up from the earth are being emitted from a 288K black body.

4. "Earth re-radiates at the angle of photon capture". Wrong. They are different photons! These reflect the a different body and a different temperature. So the spectrum of emission (black bodies emit photons of different energies according to a spectrum based on the temperature) is different and the emission is Lambertian (basically equal emissions from all surfaces of the body).

5. "The Earth is not a perfect black body, so none of this would apply anyway." True, as some energy from the sun is reflected away. But it is notable that it's black body temperature would be several degrees lower if it was a true black body. Instead it is higher (due to its atmosphere).

One should be reminded of the wisdom of Roger Arnold here. One shouldn't lightly question scientists on this sort of stuff. Yes, mistakes DO occur, and one could argue the procedural mistakes at CRU (not releasing data) are serious. But one should be very careful in questioning basic scientific theory of E-M propagation and heating. Like the image posted above that Both Jeff and Bob A. had so much trouble with. Instead of simply assuming a chart drawn up by a number of scientists (and viewed by hundreds of others) is WRONG, one might examine why you think it is wrong first. Everyone would like to be in on the big 'scoop' that shows these scientists are idiots. But that's the point. Since everyone would like to do this, then many people before you have TRIED and not found anything. It's unlikely (though not impossible) that there are any major gaffes lying around.

If I was to question the AGW, I wouldn't be digging here. The issue with data from stations, accuracy of base station measurements, etc. All much more valid points. Trying to re-write E-M theory though; not so good.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 16, 2010
(Oops, missed a end ref there....)

Don, Fred, and Ed,

Not sure where to start either, but a couple comments.

Any population control needs to be an integrated effort. If one or more groups comply, but others don't; it just won't work. Note how much of Europe is limiting child birth, but this is not being followed by their Moslem immigrant populations. So now France is 30% Islamic. Perhaps not what was intended.

So any comprehensive population control would mean dealing with religion. Maybe start be eliminating it's tax-free status?

Since capitalism is based on continuous growth, it is somewhat at odds with population control, at least in its present form. So that's a problem too.

Hmm, eliminating religion and capitalism. I'm sounding like a Commie.... That's not the case. More like altering them in some way. Anyway, there's some pretty tall orders here. The arena awaits...

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 16, 2010
TR updated:

"....if he fails, contact your spin doctors, and make it into a success! For while the modern world does not tolerate failure, we now have the tools to cover them up. So the politician need really not do anything at all, providing his spin machine outputs the vague but ineffectual success that satiates his constituents."

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on Feb 16, 2010

Point taken.

However, population is measurable. Forest cover is measurable from space. Land used for agriculture is also measurable from space.

Carbon emissions are either measurable or calculable. Processes which consume coal, oil and gasoline, natural gas and propane through combustion produce easily calculated quantities of carbon. Processes which might be fitted with CCS can be monitored to determine actual carbon emissions. Processes which use coal or hydrocarbons as feedstocks can also be monitored for emissions. However, it must be acknowledged that governments of countries which both produce and consume coal and/or hydrocarbons would be in a position to "game" such monitoring and reporting systems.

Methane emissions from animal husbandry can also be calculated with reasonable accuracy from animal population information.

If the world's governments commited to GHG emissions reductions, monitoring and enforcement would be achievable. However, that is several steps down the road from determining who must reduce emissions by what percentage over what period of time.

However, all of that is downstream of determining the "ideal" global average temperature and the "ideal" atmospheric carbon concentration, neither of which has yet occurred.


Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 16, 2010
Jim, Len, I am sorry, I assumed context where there was apparently none in your minds. This to me was a continuation of previous discussions, and I even gave you the link to Bob's previous article. However, you instead opted to only pay attention to what was said HERE and ignore the context that was established THERE. My mistake for assuming you could follow along clearly. I'm sure you think I have nothing better to do than reiterate ALL the points I previously made THERE and post them again HERE so you can follow, but I in fact DO have better things to do, so there is no point. And remember in that other discussion we were looking at a peer-reviewed paper (Modern Physics) that was written by German physicists who themselves were questioning virtually every premise of the IPCC scientists.

Since you couldn't follow the Miskolczi paper, here's the reader's digest condensed version.

By the way, both Zagoni and Miskolczi were part of the AGW camp, Zagoni vehemently so. I've seen nit picking of Miskolczi's papers, but his predictions are vastly superior to the IPCC's, so it is curious that the nit pickers aren't out in force against IPCC, as they should be in a fair world. But we all know the world isn't fair.

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on Feb 16, 2010

As I wrote above: "Point taken."

I am neither a scientist nor a philosopher. I am an engineer (RDD&D), market developer and marketer (retired) and a part time energy "conslutant". (Yes, I spelled that correctly.)

I am talking about what I know. I am talking about logical, technical approaches to problem solving. I am talking about "what you measure is what you get".

The solution to environmental issues will not be advanced by having Christo wrap the issue in miles of white cloth. I don't see fields of wind turbines as art. However, they can be an impressive display of technology when they are all operating together to produce power. I also don't see acres of dual axis concentrating solar mirrors as art, though they can also be an impressive display of technology as they focus the energy of the sun on a receiver.

I think in terms of problem definition, solution definition, path to solution, timeline, technology availability and economic impact. I realize that ain't prosaic. It is, however, a series of necessary steps in the process of getting from our current situation to the desired/required solution. However, the whole process must necessarily begin with an accurate definition of the current situation and the problem, both of which are currently absent in the instant discussion. But then, the solution is also ill-defined.


Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Feb 16, 2010
Fred: You wrote: Bob----it seems to me that if you want to disprove global warming----disprove that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation that is converted to heat.

CO2, water vapor and particulate all absorb and radiate infrared radiation. The only source of heat that hits earth, excluding heat from the earth's core, comes from the sun. So the radiant energy coming toward the earth will be absorbed and reflected just as radiant energy being emitted from the earth. The incoming energy will always be greater than the reflected energy. As an atmosphere becomes more dense, the days will be a little cooler and the nights will be warmer. For instance, Mars with a less dense atmosphere varies between -125°C to 25°C, delta 150 °C. The earth with a denser atmosphere varies between -89 °C to 57.7 °C delta 146.7 °C. However, the difference between them (3.3 °C) is not much regarding temperature swing so the atmosphere has a very minimal affect. Mars has a very thin atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide. The surface pressure on Mars is only about 0.7% of the average surface pressure at sea level on Earth. So this again shows how miniscule the atmosphere affect is on a planet's temperature.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 16, 2010
Bob A: As usual, you invoke a lot of sort-of-impressive-sounding scientific terms in order to draw your own pre-established concluding statement which is NOT supported by the prior. What would Mar's temperature(s) be without the supposed "miniscule" effect of its atmosphere? Without bothering to investigate myself I'd be prepared to postulate that since its atmosphere's CO2 content is approximately equal to that of earth (?) its surface temperatures might be significantly higher than would an atmosphere-free body at the same orbit as mars.

This item from Stanford seems fairly authoritative (answer approx. 6 degC) -- ,a href="">Greenhouse Effect

"It is estimated that the Greenhouse effect on Mars warms the atmosphere at the surface by less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit."

I hereby nominate approx. 6 degC to be "significantly higher".

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 16, 2010
Sorry, that link is Greenhouse Effect
Don Hirschberg's picture
Don Hirschberg on Feb 16, 2010
“Well, if any problems are going to get solved, there has to be a start. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not us, then who?”

(Fred, I clearly remember hearing Stephenson saying this (or essentially the same words.) Campaigning against Eisenhower. As for the quote of Teddy Roosevelt I’d much rather NOT have his hero for a platoon leader or leading a research team.)

AES’s questions are cogent.

When I asked for population as being THE problem not one Pulser would say they agreed.

When I asked for suggestions to reduce world population only a few make brave but futile attempts.

But none voiced any ideas as to who should propose how world population reduction should be addressed.

None suggested a proposing sponsoring organization. A council, as many convened by Popes? By Alexander? the Roman Senate?, the Arab league?, theLeague of Nations>, Nato? The UN?

Would you trust the UN with a bag of dead cats? Who does, who would?

If a democratic county got unfavorable instructions from an international body what would the electorate do? No question, throw the bastards out. What does the international body do?

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 17, 2010
Don: - "Would you trust the UN with a bag of dead cats? Who does, who would? " -- Think on that statement. You're essentially saying "I got mine so screw the rest of you". Your problem with the UN is it MIGHT ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT even ONE OR TWO of the equalizing measures which are the necessary only means possible short of genocide to limit world population...

You've just lost your cred. You're not thinking straight. You must at least admit that in any proposed orderly scenario to limit / reduce world population transnational equalization is a must. BUT you're so stuck on maintaining your absolutely necessary four-airconditioned-bathrooms-and-three-SUV-per-family lifestyle (which agreed is NOT possible for the entire world) that you will NEVER ALLOW the necessary steps to happen.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 17, 2010
Again, as I see it, the choices to limit / reduce world population are equalization or genocide. Do you know of a third option?
Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 17, 2010
Debate Tactic #4325: When you position is untenable, shift the venue!

Whatever Jeff. Here's what Steve Short had to say about Miskolczi:


This is nonsense. Look really, really closely (and very, very carefully) and you’ll find its mostly actually all clear sky data (or very close to it) which Miskolczi has used.

I suggest you carefully read F,T^K09 which is a review paper summarizing all the energy balance studies of the last decade or more. NOTE WELL has been way more work on the global energy balance since K&T97 e.g. the CERES and ERBE projects for a start.

Miskolczi’s ‘magic tau’ of 1.87 is actually only the true value at and close to the zero cloud cover. For every situation with some cloud his so-called S_T is actually a mixture of true LW IR transmission to TOA and the LW IR emitted off the tops of clouds through release of latent heat (water lines) which escape through TOA. Thus his tau is, for most sky situation not even a real tau (in the accepted meaning of the term).

Miskolczi Theory is a logical mess and and a mish mash of hand waving nods to inapplicable principles. I am surprised you are not actually reading anything I’m posting or in the other more hard core sceptical blogs and going away and actually checking it for yourself.

Otherwise you wouldn’t keep making these nonsense statements.

A lot of skeptics have been looking hard at Miskolczi Theory since 2007. Most, especially those with a background in hard science as a career have concluded it doesn’t get up. There are just a very few old diehards who still think its goer. Their capacity for self delusion, bad math and mental acrobatics simply reminds me how perverse the human species can be.

Look, Miskolczi didn’t even get invited back to the 2nd Heartland Conference in February because most skeptics with a brain and a good math training have realized it is a crock of s**t even just since the 1st conference.

I have lost count of the 100s of skeptical newbies who have passed through the skeptical blogs who thought they were going to rejuvenate this corpse, Frankenstein-like. You are just another in a very long line and also not going to achieve this, Lucy. I guarantee it.

The truly scientific skeptical viewpoint is sound and the AGW hysteria bandwagon will go the way of all historically doomed movements. We simply don’t need the snake oil of Miskolczi.

End Quote.

Note (obviously) that this critic is himself an AGW skeptic, so I don't think he has a particular axe to grind in that regard. Far from it. And if even the skeptics don't want to hear about him (Heartland Institute) then that says something, doesn't it?

Reading the condensed version, I did find a few problems. There are others, including how he applies the Virial theorem to the atmosphere. I think the main problem with Miskolczi is that he is not clear with what he is saying. If there's a pony here, then someone needs to clarify it. On the other hand, if no one can do so....

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 17, 2010

Interesting comments about Mars and Venus. However, it's not quite appropriate to cite temperature ranges and a metric for indicating atmospheric insulation. For one, the +25C that you can feel on Mars only happens at the bottom of its very deep Valles Marineris, the giant canyon system 10 times longer than the Grand canyon. More importantly, however, the canyon is more than 4 miles deep, so there is a measurably denser atmosphere at the bottom of it, which can support higher temps.

Mars also has a much more eccentric orbit that Earth, so its winters will be colder and its summers warmer. (It has the most eccentric orbit of all the planets, except for Mercury and Pluto, if you still consider Pluto a planet. I'm old enough to do that....)

Rather than using Mars, I think it would make more sense to use the delta temps of the moon, as it is the same distance from the Sun and has the same eccentricity, etc. as the Earth. The delta T on the moon goes from -153C to +107C. In one night!



To be fair, I've just started reading 'America Alone', which seems to be pretty (intellectually) light fare dealing with population demographics. Most of the Western countries are already reproducing at less than sustainable rates. I'm not saying the population is not still rising (it is) and I'm not saying the current population is sustainable (I don't think it is, at least the way things are going now), but I am thinking that population demographics might be more complicated than they appear.

To re-iterate some points made before:

1. If you embark on population control as a nation, then you need to control your borders. Many countries with low birth rates actually encourage immigration, as it is the only way to keep their numbers up.

2. You can't have a steady (let alone a decreasing) population as a society unless your social structure can handle this reality. Mark Steyn (America Alone) makes a valid point that the European style of 6-week vacations, free health care, free education, etc. is not sustainable when no one is having kids. There's no one to pay for all that down the line. I think Steyn is mixed up on several points, but it seems like no economic system known today is fully sustainable over the long run. That has to be worked out.

3. I respectfully disagree with Len about lifestyle choices for future humanity. Maybe not 3 SUVs per family, but it should be possible to live quite well sustainably. I don't think assuming a diminished future lifestyle is necessarily accurate or productive.

4. Since other countries may not agree to population controls, a nation needs to be able to accomplish this alone, to protect their own way of life if nothing else. (The atmosphere may become fouled and the oceans depleted, but you can't force other people not to make bad choices.) In addition to protecting borders, you need to have some independence as a nation from other nations. In this case, I'm mostly thinking about energy supply.

5. (This one is pretty strange.) I think a long-term need for humanity IS expansion. And the only way to do that without filling up the earth would be to expand beyond earth. We need to become a space-faring civilization.

6. Along the way, something needs to be done about religion. Much of what is proposed regarding population control is in conflict with many religious beliefs. At this point, I'm ready to take off the kid gloves and stop being quite so polite to these folks. I'm all up for debate, but that can be problematic when every point can be countered with "But that is in conflict with the word of God!".

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 17, 2010
Fred: Not clear if you're addressing me or not, but I don;t think so. Still, i'd like to reply to your "What exactly ... to do with the UN?" question. I think, everything. NOT the UN as we now know it, I am aware that is a seriously flawed design. What I'm thinking about is the ideal world governing body which we should develop (over a period of decades at least) to replace it. Face it. There are a few questions on which everyone needs to take a stand.

1) Should corporations be allowed to ship goods (and services) from regions of severely sub-standard labour law regions to compete directly with the production of decent standard labour law regions?

2) Should banks be allowed to hide deposits from inspection, even those gotten criminally by eg. Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti from legal pursuit by the persons stolen from (eg. Switzerland recently ruling that the govt. of Haiti had no claim on the multi-millions Duvalier has had hidden in numbered accounts. Pinochet in Chile. etc.)

3) Should perps (organizers, financiers, bagmen etc) of anti-democratic revolution be free from legal sanction? eg. Chicago School types in Chile, Shah of Iran, etc. etc.

Many more.

I have the one-word answers to above, but not the solutions. It is clear however, that EITHER the US will need to help develop a much more systematic system of world management of issues OR build some of the fences discussed above. Do you really want your navy to sink in deep water every vessel loaded with refugees which WILL arrive at your shore if nothing is done about population and our rate of consumption of earth's resources? Would you trigger the gun which sinks them?

Two children per family as an ideal would be a good start, though 1 or 0 per family would be better for at least some time.

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 17, 2010
Jim, Where do I begin? First you tell me that there's no such thing as attenuation, then you point out that magically the energy from the sun has somehow diminished from the 5900K when it left. Where did that energy go? How many watts per sq meter make it to the earth? The moon? Mars? You act all cocky but you leave a thousand holes. Then you quote Dr. Short, but he's an ocean chemist, not a physicist. Furthermore Miskolczi IS a physicist who worked for NASA trying to resolve the temperature discrepancies between the surface and atmosphere, the famous "missing signature". Also next time please give the link, I strongly suspect I would have found refutation directly in your source, refutation YOU found and didn't want me to see. Then you talk about the depth of a canyon on mars and attribute locally denser air to the greater temperatures there. But did you realize you were quoting Miskolczi theory? THAT is what HE says! From Dr. Morohasy: In essence Dr Miskolczi showed that the solution to a differential equation for the greenhouse effect developed in 1922 by Arthur Milne, and central to the current paradigm, wrongly assumed an infinitely thick atmosphere. In re-solving this equation a new term and also a new law of physics have been proposed setting an upper limit to the greenhouse effect. Dr Miskolczi’s theory indicates that any warming from elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide will eventually be offset by a change in atmospheric moisture content. …

I suggest you read this link before you jump to your usual technique of googling for anyone who has disputed one of the papers I point to without reading a word of the paper yourself. As I told you before, you are no better than those Soviet apparatchiks who never read the source novel itself but were only allowed to read the reviews written by terribly biased functionaries in their government. But since you have no problem with only 1450 weather stations telling us the average temperature of the entire globe instead of using 20K or more, you certainly have no problem only reading movie reviews to wax eloquent about the merits of same rather than spending a single minute watching them.

Meanwhile to educate yourselves from actual physicists' discussions I point you to this link which was supposedly the ultimate refutation of the OTHER link I gave you previously, the two German physicists. The discussion below covers exactly the same warming and deltas that you are concerned with above, but has all the equations as well. Even though AGW lovers point to the atmoz site as some kind of silver bullet refutation, since it isn't censored like RealClimate and Soviet regimes, it unfortunately misses the mark, even with vigorous after the fact editing. Bottom line, the physicists win. REAL scientists want to know why REAL data doesn't match up to theory. Climate scientists don't want to know, they just HIDE the data, DELETE the data, MASSAGE the data or IGNORE the data that doesn't fit their theory. THAT is why I will have nothing to do with them and will fight them every step of the way, they are criminals stealing tax dollars to perpetuate a fraud.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 17, 2010

5900K represents the spectrum of photons that leave the sun, as it is a good approximation of a black body of that temperature. The 5900K temperature means that the photons emitted range in wavelengths of about 250 nm to 2500 nm. There is no temperature associated with an individual photon. It merely has a frequency.

Since the sun is pretty far from the earth (about 100 or so solar diameters) then its radiation is diffused due to the inverse square law, down to about 1350 Watts/meter when reaching the earth's atmosphere. About the same reaches the moon, and around 700 Watts/meter reaches Mars.

I don't have the time or inclination or (frankly) skill to go through Miskolczi's work. Maybe that's a failing on my part. Who knows? Maybe someday. I don't think it's encouraging that even the Heartland Institute doesn't want him back, and they are all skeptics. The condensed version had at least one error in that if there was no CO2 at all, the earth could well freeze up completely, or at least have a risk of doing so, as frozen water (snow,ice) has a significantly higher albedo than open ocean. Enough to make a difference.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 17, 2010
Jeff: "REAL scientists want to know why REAL data doesn't match up to theory. Climate scientists don't want to know, they just HIDE the data, DELETE the data, MASSAGE the data or IGNORE the data that doesn't fit their theory. " -- Really, where do you get this stuff? So now your theory is that simply studying climateology makes a person automatically corrupt?

I don't know where you get the face to continue such discussion after having poeple point out to you such obvious disqualifications as not even understanding electromagnetic radiation. You're clearly WAY out of your depth.

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 17, 2010
Let me get this straight. You criticize me for invoking the inverse square law, then use it yourself? We could have a whole discussion on photons, back when I had 40 EE's under me working on fiber optic communications chips I knew quite a bit about them, AND 1/r^2. Ask me about avalanche photo diodes, pin photo diodes, chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion, bragg grating, forward error correction and the rest sometime. Been there, done that, have even given presentations on same to rooms full of Phd's at SPIE. I admit that here in this forum I do a lot of "handwaving" as my colleagues would say because I'm too lazy to apply the rigorous effort to document all my terms in a formal manner. In other words I resort to shorthand sometimes with questionable results. Burying you in obfuscations and formulas isn't my intent either, as you know from private communications I endeavor to dummy things down for a wide audience, sometimes I succeed and often I fail.

Here's the (shorthand) problem with the IPCC AGW theory. They invoke Stephan Boltzman to come up with a temperature for the earth. That temp is wrong. They then theorize a mechanism that resolves that discrepancy something like so, "The SB number is wrong, therefore there is a magic gas, let's call it CO2, that automagically resolves this discrepancy. The proof is quite simple, the Earth isn't at the temperature that SB says it is, therefore our magic gas has solved the equation. QED". If you want to buy that kind of circular logic then be my guest.

Modern Physics was attacked vehemently the first time they published Gerlich and Tscheuschner's paper. EVERY technique outlined in the CRU emails were used against them. They have responded by RE-PUBLISHING the paper and giving it even higher prominence than the first time. Physicists are not to be trifled with. If the climate community continues to pick on them, they will have their arses handed to them, they cannot challenge the math, they cannot even UNDERSTAND the math.

As to why or why not Miskolczi didn't appear at the Heartland confab, it is purely speculation on your part and Short's. For all we know he had a conflict or wanted a higher per diem then they were willing to pay. Also even though the math showed him the CO2 couldn't cause the temp increase the IPCC wants to claim (along with a LOT of other people reaching the identical conclusion through other means, see Christy et al,) Miskolczi WAS an AGW proponent for most of his professional career. The truth didn't set him free however, the truth set him unemployed.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 17, 2010

You were using inverse square to explain radiation attenuation from the earth to the atmosphere. In that case it wouldn't apply as it is too near to cause attenuation by more than a few percent. Look at it this way; the cover of a golf ball is only a tiny bit larger than the golf ball core itself. The skin of an apple on the other hand, is much larger than the skin of one of its seeds. Note that inverse square does not attenuate any particular photon, it merely reduces the number of photons per unit area as they disperse because they all can be sourced to a point origin. Yep, photons are weird. They are outside TIME, fer crissake. Can't get much weirder than that.

If I'm understanding your S-B argument, you are saying that the Earth "should" have a blackbody temp of about 279K, but that's not the case. If you try to account for the reflective properties of some parts of the earth, that would take the number down to 255K, but that's not the case either. Since the actual temperature is more like 288K, scientists have determined that the atmosphere plays some role in elevating this temperature.

I don't think most AGW skeptics would question this train of thought. If the atmosphere played no role, then we'd share similar temperature characteristics with the moon, but that's clearly not the case. The moon is about 270K, accounting for some albedo.

At this point, I'm not sure what your complaint is. Are you saying they are measuring the earth temp wrong, so S-B is correct and no "magic gas" is needed? I'm not convinced they are measuring the temps that badly. Further, the temps of Mars and Venus (esp. Venus) both can be accounted using both their distance from the sun and their atmospheres (Venus has a very thick one; Mars a very thin one).

I find it very hard to believe that the atmosphere plays no role at all in determining the planet's temperature. The details involved with that are very complicated and not well-understood at this point. Enough problems to raise skeptical inquiry into the details of the "greenhouse effect" as it were. But to state (if that's what you are doing) that it doesn't exist AT ALL and the scientists are wrong about this at such a basic level seems very hard to swallow.

Again, maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 17, 2010
Believe me Jeff. I'm not just poking you for sport, but this is an extremely important topic.

"invoke Stephan Boltzman to come up with a temperature for the earth. That temp is wrong." -- Do you mean that the scientists are wrong because they don't understand radiative energy transfer, or that SB simply doesn't explain everything going on and everyone well knows it? I might buy the second phrasing.

Given your regular difficulties even with your "shorthand" phrasing discussing this topic I find it very strange that you claim academic qualification in physics..... or then again did you? Wasn't it project management? That might explain. In my specialty i can't recall ever working for a project manager who was technically qualified to do the job. S'why I contract consult rather than bothering to climb corp ladder.

It appears from your second-last paragraph that you are now distinguishing between "the Climate Community" and "physicists" ? If by "the climate community" you mean the amateur and political types who propose scenarios like that stupid movie where a GW-caused tidal wave swamps NY city, or greenpeace et al, then on THAT I can agree with you whole-heartedly. (give me credit here, I'm trying :<)

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 17, 2010
OK, this is really bad. From page 74 (or thereabouts) of the G&T paper: (This is Gerlich & Tscheuschner disproving the greenhouse effect)

(Quote) 3.8.3 In the kitchen: Physics-obsessed housewife versus IPCC

In Section 3.3.5 it was indicated how simple it is to falsify the atmospheric greenhouse hypotheses, namely by observing a water pot on the stove: Without water filled in, the bottom of the pot will soon become glowing red. However, with water filled in, the bottom of the pot will be substantially colder.

In particular, such an experiment can be performed on a glass-ceramic stove. The role of the Sun is played by the electrical heating coils or by infrared halogen lamps that are used as heating elements. Glass-ceramic has a very low heat conduction coefficient, but lets infrared radiation pass very well. The dihydrogen monoxide in the pot, which not only plays the role of the "greenhouse gas" but also realizes a very dense phase of such a magic substance, absorbs the infrared extremely well. Nevertheless, there is no additional "backwarming" effect of the bottom of the pot. In the opposite, the ground becomes colder. (end of quote)

This isn't analgous to the atmosphere at all! The pot with water in it stays relatively cool because the water MUST remain at 212 F before it boils off. When additional heat is added, the water does just that, in the form of steam. The water forms a heat reservoir that must stay at 212 F, which therefore keeps the pot at 212 F as well. Additional heat is released (compared with an empty pot) by the energetic water molecules leaving the system as steam. Until the water has boiled off, then the pot would get hot again as well. Our atmosphere can not "boil off" to eliminate heat -- it's a completely false analogy.

If the G & T paper has been what's been causing all this fuss with the Ashworth papers and Jeff's comments about the greenhouse effect not being real -- well, I'm sorry, but G & T are completely mistaken. At best this has NOTHING to do with how carbon dioxide and water vapor retains heat on the planet.

I don't care if you don't believe me, but please don't believe that "backwarming" (re-radiation) does not exist because G & T say so. These guys are IDIOTS!!!!

John K. Sutherland's picture
John K. Sutherland on Feb 18, 2010
So I guess the science is NOT settled then? I can feel Len and Jim B twisting in the wind as they shout louder, and try to pee higher than everyone else. However, when Jim accuses others of 'changing the subject' to avoid addressing the science, I just about died laughing.
Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on Feb 18, 2010
Have you read this article and comment set John? I can't believe you support the positions of Mr Ashworth and his supporters. Where's your physics?
Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on Feb 18, 2010

Truthfully, I think I AM peeing higher here. Hate to rain on your parade.....

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on Feb 18, 2010
We have above both the accusation of a "peeing contest" and a claim of victory in that contest.

Progress happens!

Ed :-)

Jeff Presley's picture
Jeff Presley on Feb 18, 2010
Jim, Len, here is the problem. By your own admission you can't follow the math in the scientific papers. Unfortunately when someone like G&T attempt to dumb it down for you, you immediately jump on the metaphor as if THAT were the problem, rather than the substance. Attack the substance if you will and leave the straw horses alone, and you will quickly fail. For me, I cannot dummy it down sufficiently for you and can't count on you being smart enough to understand it another way. HAD you gone to the link I sent before, and reiterate here, AND read the conversation that follows, you might begin to have a glimmer of understanding. But then again, I suspect understanding isn't what you're after. You hold to your "faith" very well, even if it is a holey one. ;)

Your discussion about inverse squared law is specious at best. Do you believe the CENTER OF THE EARTH is where the photons go or come from? That is what you are implying. From the perspective of a photon, an atom or molecule may as well be a solar system to a satellite. On the other hand photon annihilation is a very real event and bound to occur sooner rather than later when the target density is sufficient. Now if you want to discuss eigenvalues of the charge conjugation multiplicative operator c and their relation to photons and antiphotons, I think that discussion can occur elsewhere. But ask yourself this, where does EM radiation go to "die"? What is its "afterlife"? How you answer that will tell me how you TRULY understand physics.


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