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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. Art Vandelay at 10:43 AM on 28 July 2016
    These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    Technically, any gas that occupies less than 1% volume of the Earth's atmosphere is a trace gas. The statement itself is correct but irrelevant in the context of climate change.

  2. More CO2 won’t help northern forests or stave off climate change

    I think it was Ken Caldeira who modelled the effect on forcing due to increasing boreal forest growth and he found it was actually a positive feedback due to the decreased albedo of greener (=darker) causing more radiation to be absorbed.

  3. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    BBHY @5 & others.

    As you all point out, the "CO2 is a trace gas" myth is entirely purile. Spencer is supposedly a grown-up scientist and, although suffering from deep delusions, he is fully signed up to CO2 as a GHG and the forcing resulting from a doubling of CO2. More, he is also signed up to the temperature rise resulting from such a forcing prior to the operation of feedback mechanisms.

    So why does Spencer's 'white paper' expend 10% of its waffle on this childish nonsense proclaiming "CO2 is a trace gas"? I don't believe Spencer has resorted to this specific argument before. Indeed, the question being addressed "Does an increasing CO2 level mean there will be higher global temperatures?" is not even answered but left with a "suffice it to say" comment which makes this section of the White Paper entirely propagandist in nature. Thus I brand it anti-scientific. Such a blatant level of disregard for science appears to me as a new departure for Spencer, assuming Spencer is the true author.

    (Unlike some other phrases in the White Paper, that "suffice it to say" phrase is encouraging for Spencer-as-the-author in that the phrase is a Spencerism eg. as per this following Spencer quote describing the temperature of the Earth with zero GHGs, of which "trace gas" CO2 is the major not-so-temperature-dependent GHG. Note this quote also stands to demonstrate how far away this White Paper is from Spencer's usual blather. "If the atmosphere could not intercept (absorb) any of that surface-emitted IR energy, ...Suffice it to say the Earth would probably be too cold for most life as we know it to survive." )

  4. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    Indeed, I once encountered someone on line who boasted about an AGW denying high school science teacher they knew who demonstrated to his students how little CO2 there is in the atmosphere by having them calculate how small a volume 400 ppmv of the school swimming pool was. I countered by suggesting that he next have his students add 400 ppmv of India ink to the school pool and report back. My suggestion didn't sit too well when I added that his students would then have learned something insightful.

  5. There's no empirical evidence

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer my question, I really appreciate it! 

  6. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    BBYH @5, as demonstrated here:


  7. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    Trace gas: 400 ppm of black ink will turn a 50 gallon aquarium tank of clear water dark.

    I think this is an excellent example to contradict the "trace gas" meme. Pure water is transparent to visible light, and ink turns it dark, causing it to absorb visible light. It only takes a tiny bit of ink.

    In much the same way the air, mostly nitrogen and oxygen, is transparent to infrared heat energy, but adding CO2 turns it dark to infrared, causing it to absorb infrared heat energy. It only takes a tiny bit of CO2.

    This is a very familiar effect to just about eveyone, like adding chocolate syrup to milk to make chocolate milk, or adding coloring to white paint, or dyeing Easter eggs, etc. It's just very easy to understand, adding something dark to something light makes the light thing dark.

  8. More CO2 won’t help northern forests or stave off climate change


    I've noticed the same issue. It's a typo.

    The very next sentence "with more CO2, the leaves' pores will absorb the gas more efficiently and in the process lose less water", and the later discussion that carbon uptake due to CO2 fertilisation and water retention are directly linked, clarify the confusion around this typo.

  9. 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #30

    The comment counter in the Home page is completely busted.

    The article immediately preceding this one: "Study links heatwave deaths in London and Paris to climate change" has "-1 comments".

    the following article "These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really." has "7 comments", where in fact when you open it, you find only 4 comments therein.

    It'd be nice for an admin (preferably Bob) to look and fix this software glitch.

  10. More CO2 won’t help northern forests or stave off climate change

    In the paragraph after the second picture, the second sentence states "as we fertilize the plants with carbon in the air, this directly decreases the amount of water the plants are able to retain". Shouldn't 'decreases' be 'increases'?

  11. Glenn Tamblyn at 10:12 AM on 27 July 2016
    Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Mike Hillis

    You might also be interested in this chapter by Crisp & Titov about the development of the understanding of thermal balance and radiative trannsfer in the Venusian atmosphere. The book was published in 1997 so more has happened since.

    There are a number of extra factors that need to be consered.

    • Obviously pressure and temperature broadening of the existing absorption lines/bands.
    • Also Collision Induced Absorption. This is where molecules that may not otherwise be absorbers, or wavelengths where absorption may not normally occur at all become able to absorb during the transient time when a collision is occurring. For example, Nitrogen (N2) is the major GH gas on Titan due to CIA and Nitrogen/Hydrogen (N2/H2) collisions may have been a contributor to the GH Effect in the Early Earth atmosphere.
    • Scattering, which is negligible in the IR in Earth's atmosphere needs to be included when dealing with the much denser Venusian atmosphere.
    • Continuum Absorption is another mode of absorption that can occurr where a molecule absorbs over a continuus spectrum. H2O continuum absorption needs to be included when considering H2O vapour on Earth. CO2 also exhibits continuum absorption on Venus. At the time of writing of this book, the understanding of continuum absorption was still developing. It is better understood today.
    • Spectral data from the HiTran spectroscopic database doesn't apply for Venus, what is used is the HiTemp database of data for higher temperatures.

    Consider Mike. Gases absorb in lines/bands but solids and liquids absorb/emit with continuous spectra. Venus has an atmospheric density nearly 100 times that of Earth. That means it has a density nearly 10% of liquid water. Is the lower Venusian atmosphere a thick gas or a thin liquid? At what density does the transition from discrete band/line absorption to continuous whole-of-spectra absorption occur?

  12. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    I note that the Regina Leader Post has given Ross McKitrick right of reply to the excellent Michael Mann op ed linked above (McKitrick op ed published on Jul:25 - check the LP website).  Needs another reply from someone who is on top of the details, methinks.

  13. Rob Painting at 19:27 PM on 26 July 2016
    Corals are resilient to bleaching

    As predicted, coral bleaching is now starting to manifest in the reefs of the western tropical Pacific:

    And the outlook for the next few months is grim:

  14. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    Jim Steele @25:

    1)  "There has been virtually no warming on the GBR"

    On the contrary, there clearly has been warming on the Great Barrier Reef:


    The resort to a limited time span (1982-2014) when more extensive data is easilly available, or to July temperatures (when the bleaching occurred over the Feb-April interval) clearly represents cherry picking.  

    What is more, the area of most bleaching experienced record SST over that period:


    2)  Hendy et al (2003) in addition to showing coral die of events in 1782-5 and 1817 also shows LIA GBR temperatures elevated to end 20th century values (figure 2, bottom panel).  The LIA was a period of depressed global mean surface temperatures which need not have been represented by depressed temperatures everywhere and were not in the GBR.  Including the missing evidence about LIA SST in the GBR shows the evidence that purportedly shows no temperature dependence in fact shows a relationship between die backs and elevated temperatures.

    3)  It is true that some reefs have recovered rapidly from die backs, but others have not, and some have recovered but only with a massive loss of biodiversity.  One of the key factors in rapid recovery is the presence of nearby reefs with appropriate species to recolonize the site of the die back.  In mass coral bleachings, the great extent of the bleaching makes that less likely.  The greater the extent, therefore, the greater the long term loss in coral viability.

    That leaves aside the obvious point that these mass bleachings are occuring at current temperaures.  If the target for restraining global warming is met, we can expect an additional 1 C increase in global Mean Surface Temperatures relative to 2015.  If not, it will be much more than that.  The likely consequence is that we will experience mass coral bleachings not every decade or so, but every few years - meaning the bleachings will occure of reefs not yet recovered from the last bleaching.  The consequence will be a long term loss of vitality for coral reefs - and that is considering only the effects of temperature based mass bleachings.

  15. Daniel Bailey at 09:59 AM on 26 July 2016
    Corals are resilient to bleaching

    "There has been virtually no warming on the GBR"

    Pity that your linked dodgy diagram scrupulously omits the most recent record warmth of 2015 and 2016.

    No accident, that.

  16. Daniel Bailey at 09:56 AM on 26 July 2016
    Corals are resilient to bleaching

    "please provide a link to Hendy 2003"

    Likely this one:

    Hendy et al 2003

    Openly available copy, here.

    Very dated and taken out of context.  Typical denier protocol and MO.

  17. Daniel Bailey at 09:48 AM on 26 July 2016
    Corals are resilient to bleaching

    "what is the source of that linked graphic"

    Tineye traces it to Reddit, and from there to denier nee compulsive liar John McLean's cesspit:

  18. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    A very short way into reading 'A Guide to UnderstandingGlobal Temperature Data' by Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. I start to question whether Roy Warren Spencer, Ph.D. is truly the author. I know the second page has a paragraph titled "About the Author" which provides a biog for Roy Spencer but, thinks, the rest of this booklet is so well packed with dubious nonsense, should we not ask whether the authorship it ascribes to itself is also dubious nonsense.

    My actual reason for questioning the authorship is based simply on a quick reading of a couple of the sections. As such my conclusion is prelimenary. My initial take on this booklet is that, as I have read a lot of drivel from Spencer in the past, the content of this booklet, the narrative, its structure, its argumentation, its vocabulary - it does not read like the same Roy Spencer!!

    Anybody else having similar thoughts?

  19. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    Jim, what is the source of that linked graphic? Is it from actual sea stations in the bleached area or just noaa gridded data over whole GBR.

  20. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    Thanks for an interesting article. Clearly Spencers case is without substance, and all those arguments have been debunked.

    Spencer has made a mish mash of multiple arguments, including some very silly arguments. This just weakens his case, and makes it look as though he has no one point he really believes in, and is just throwing everything at the issues hoping something will stick, or the sheer volume will create doubt. Therefore his presentation has no credibility to me. It certainly totally fails to get us any nearer the truth about anything.

    The only sceptical point that deserves consideration is climate sensitivity, as we are not 100% sure. However the weight of evidence suggests it is moderate to high and the paleo climate evidence is compelling.

    The small number of studies suggesting it is low are based on the slower period of warming from roughly 2002 - 2014 and are arguing that this slow rise shows climate sensitivity is low as either the greenhouse effect is not a strong as thought, or is overwhelmed by natural variation.

    However this doesn't bear scrutiny. Obviously its dangerous to use a single short time frame, but the argument also falls down because recent science suggests the "pause" was largely because heat has been directed into the oceans, and this is because human aerosols have changed wind patterns. This means the pause is a temporary human caused event, unlikely to repeat, so cannot possibly be used as a basis to argue low climate sensitivity!

    Even if climate sensitivity is lower than thought, and global temperatures increase more in the 2-3 degree range rather than 6 degrees, I have an instinct that weather patterns “themselves” and ice sheet stability may be more sensitive to low rates of temperature change than thought.

    Consider that we have seen about 1 degree C of temperature increase since 1900, and ice sheets seem to be destabilising faster than early IPCC predictions and heatwaves are also ahead of predictions.


  21. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    The trouble with blaming global warming and bleaching  for reef mortaliti

    1. There has been virtually no warming on the GBR

    2. Paleo studies such as Hendy 2003 foudn warmer temperatures durng te LIA

    3. Coral bleaching from and El Nino ismuch like a devastating forest fire from a dry La NIna spell. There is a natural recovery and coral often recover from natural  bleaching faster than a forest recovers from a nautarl fire.

    Northwest Australia's Scott Reef, the upper 3 meters lost 80 to 90% of its living coral and the disappearance of half of the coral genera. Yet researchers observed, “within 12 years coral cover, recruitment, generic diversity, and community structure were again similar to the pre-bleaching years.” A similar long-term study in the Maldives observed a dramatic loss of coral during the 1998 El Nino but by 2013 the reefs also had returned to “pre-bleaching values”. Although a reef’s recovery sometime requires re-colonization by larvae from other reefs, a process known as re-sheeting or Phoenix effect can facilitate a reef’s speedy recovery. Often a small percentage of living “cryptic” polyps with a more resilient symbiotic partnership were embedded within a “dead” colony and survive extreme bleaching. They then multiply and rapidly “re-sheet” the colony’s skeletal remains.

    Moderator Response:

    [GT] Link connected. Please use the link tool on the editing menu to create links. Please provide more than a link to an image. It is unclear from the link what the source of the data is, who generated it etc.

    Also please provide a link to Hendy 2003

  22. These are the best arguments from the 3% of climate scientist 'skeptics.' Really.

    Gavin, thank you again for a cogent summary of a tremendous body of work by thousands of scientists.  

    Now I only fear the most damaging, it is a yet un-numbered myth:  That we can ignore this, or somehow, temporarily disregard facing the problem.   

    Temporary denial, is still denial - and as psychotherapist Betty Merton said, "Of all the ways to deal with a problem, denial is the least effective."

    Like going to the dentist, or seeing a doctor because of a pain that will not go away  - now we are in the acting mode.  We have the information and we are feeling the pain.   Time to alleviate and mitigate. 

    We have all changed our lightbulbs, now the smallest task is to vote and/or support a candidate who is aware of the problem.  Most politicans are sinfully unaware, or misinformed.  (just my survey of a few state legislators, someone needs to do a study of this)  And we have to tell them to face it.  We must exhort everyone - especially leaders and manager - to face the facts and engage with the battle directly. 

  23. 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #30

    I love the Science vs Pseudoscience poster!  Thank you, thank you.  Tim

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] You're welcome.

  24. 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #30

    Unfortunately, US Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) typifies this cartoon all too well. According to thinkprogress dot org, in 2012, the former head of the Senate Environment Committee told Rachel Maddow 

    “I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

  25. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    The biggest problem is high temperatures combined with high humidity, as the inability for sweat to evaporate means its harder to cool down. I think this creates high risk for heat stroke.

    And guess what? We are creating a world with both higher temperatures and more atmospheric moisture. It wont be very nice, particularly in subtropical zones.

  26. Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    Just as an afterthought, one of the peculiarities of fake realities arguments is the insistence that the standard account of mean global insolation is that it represents a model with four cool suns because the formula for global mean insolation, TSI x (1- albedo)/4, contains a division by four. As he states @116:

    "The reason is that you use an average flux density that is wrongly calculated by using TOA irradiation/m^2 and divide by four. That gives a surface flux equivalent to 4 small weak suns which heats a m^2 with an intensity of 259W, when the surface cools with a flux of 390W."

    The division by four is fully explained as the ratio between the area of a cross section of the Earth defined by the terminators, and the area of the Earth's surface.  It requires no further physical explanation ... something so obvious as to not normally require stating.

    The peculiar thing, and the reason for this tardy note is that fake realities model requires a division of insolation by two.  By his own reasoning, therefore, he is invoking two hot suns in his explanation of insolation.  Not only is he glaringly wrong, but also outragiously inconsistent in his reasoning. 

  27. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Mike Hillis.

    In your posts @143 and @147 you seem to agree with me that adiabatic processes can’t increase the average temperature of an atmosphere, but merely redistribute it.
    If the average temperature is determined by absorbed insolation only, one would expect the Venusian atmosphere with its very high albedo to be colder than the Earth’s, right?
    So, how do you explain this temperature/pressure profile?

    Height (km)Temp (C)Pressure (atm.)

    Source: Wikipedia

    As you see, about 50% of Venus’ atmosphere (by mass) is hotter than 385oC, nearly 90% is hotter than 222oC and nearly 99.9% is warmer than the average of the terrestrial atmosphere (about -20oC).
    If you calculate a "mass-weighted" average temperature based on this table the result is about 350oC. This is obviously much, much hotter than can be explained by any redistribution of heat. Something else must be going on!
    The graph below gives a clear indication of what this "something" is.

    IR radiation from Venus

    Only a very tiny fraction (~1 %) of the nearly 16,000 watts/m2 of IR radiation from the surface escapes to space. The lower and middle atmosphere is almost completely opaque to IR, so virtually all the heat loss to space happens from the very thin and cold upper layers that are more or less transparent. This raising of the effective emission altitude to colder, less emitting layers of the atmosphere is the very core of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. The lapse rate engine is not an alternative to this, but a crucial part of it, as Glenn Tamblyn has explained.
    An isothermal atmosphere (same temperature at all altitudes) full of greenhouse gases couldn’t raise the surface temperature because the effective emission altitude wouldn’t matter for the heat loss to space. And an atmosphere with normal lapse rate but no greenhouse gases would be transparent to IR and thus let the surface radiate directly to space as if the atmosphere wasn’t there at all.

  28. Glenn Tamblyn at 17:44 PM on 24 July 2016
    There's no empirical evidence


    An important point to consider. Changes in CO2 concentration are expected to produce an accumulation of heat. But where the heat is likely to go is the issue. All parts of the system will need to warm - atmosphere, oceans, land surface and Cryosphere (via ice melting). However it takes very different amounts of heat to produce the same temperature change - air is easy, water in the oceans is the big one. So we would expect most of the excess heat to go into the oceans, still only producing a small temperature change.

    Which is what we are seeing. Around 93% of the heat being added to the system is appearing in the oceans. The rest is divided roughly between heating land, air and ice. So when you only look at what is happening to surface air temperatures you are looking at a very small part of the system. The tail rather than the dog. And since energy can also flow between the various parts of the system, changes in the energy flows between the air and oceans can have sigificant impacts on air temperatures while only impacting the ocean slightly.

    So the air temperature record is looking at a small part of the system, thermodynamically, and a rather noisy part.

    One site showing changes in ocean heat content is NODC here. The most relevant graph is panel 2 in the animation, 0-2000 meters.

    Moderator Response:

    [Rob P] Image embedded.

  29. There's no empirical evidence

    It was a simple question from an interested layman, not critique. From this you extrapolated a non-existing disdain for all climate scientists. I was apparently not humble enough in my question. Anyway, thanks for your reply, it answered my question, kind of.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Jobel, you make a fair complaint, and Tom, I think your response was overly, and unnecessarily, aggressive. Sadly, SkS sees far too many fake skeptics, would-be Galileo's and other idiots. Frequent responders are inclined to assume the worst. I would ask everyone to be careful with tone.

  30. Glenn Tamblyn at 16:21 PM on 24 July 2016
    The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers


    Steve Sherwood & Matthew Huber had a paper on this several years ago here.

    And the limit is 35, although those in poor health may struggle at lower temperatures.

  31. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    Here it is.  Apparently it is 35 degrees wet bulb.

    "Heat stress reduces labor capacity under climate warming". Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Bibcode:2013NatCC...3..563D. doi:10.1038/nclimate1827

    Moderator Response:

    Link fixed [GT]

  32. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    Was it above wet bulb 33 or was it 35 degrees C that humans can't survive without some artificial cooling.  We lived in the desert for many years but there, despite 40 degrees every day, the wet bulb temperature was down around 20 due to the dryness of the air.  How much of the earth is going to become uninhabitable.

  33. There's no empirical evidence

    jobel @310:

    "... hope that someone can explain this in layman's terms"

    In layman's terms the explanation is simple.  Your purported facts are fictions.  

    The temperature series has not increased in a linear fashion except since shortly after 1960.  And over the period 1960-2013 population also increased in a linear fashion (trend: 80.4 million per annum; Standard Deviation: 0.36 million; r squard: 0.999; correlation:0.999).  Overall the correlation of population to Global Mean Surface Temperature from 1880-2013 was 0.900  From 1850-2013 it was 0.897, not as good as the 0.902 correlation between CO2 and GMST, but very impressive all the same.

    You write that "If the heating of the planet was caused by human action then the smoking gun would be a correlation between number of people and global temperature but there is none."  The key problem for you, however, is that there is a correlation - a high correlation - between population and temperature.  That means when you asserted the contrary you simply made up a "fact" to suite your argument.  It also means that if you actually believed that "If the heating of the planet was caused by human action then the smoking gun would be a correlation between number of people and global temperature", you would not accept that the global warming in the 20th century was anthropogenic.

    Of course, by reverting to population rather than CO2 concentration, you are moving further away from the theory you purport to criticize.  The warming is not a direct function of human population - but of increased greenhouse gas forcing.  And while human population growth has contributed to the growth in emissions, and hence to the growth in temperatures; they do not have a linear relationship.  Indeed, per capita emissions have grown approximately quadratically:


    Temperature, in the mean time, grows with the forcing, ie the log of concentration.  Combined the two effects mean that temperatures will grow at slightly below a linear rate relative to population.  To determine the actual rate, however, we would need to compare the growth of all forcings vs population.  That becomes a complicated and obscure way to check a theory which stands up to far more obvious and direct tests.

    Finally, when you say a theory is refuted "looking at it from a pure logical viewpoint" you are saying the adherents to that view have made fundamental errors of reasoning that are easilly exposed.  You are saying of the climate scientists who developed that view that they are either incompetent or dishonest.   That hardly seems like a friendly approach to me.  If you want friendly, try being a little less arrogant and begin with the assumption that the scientists are competent so that if you think you have a knock down argument against them, you are probably wrong.  By all means then ask us to identify where the error lies - but don't assume that the thousands of scientists are wrong because of your bee coaster argument that you have not bothered fact checking.

  34. After 6 years of working on climate at Harvard, I implore it to show the courage to divest

    Divestment. Waste of time. You sell it, someone else buys it.

    BTW How do you "fix" climate change? The climate is constantly changig. Always has and always will. There's nothing there for you to fix. You might as well try and fix a bowl of soup.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Sloganeering is prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  35. There's no empirical evidence

    Thanks Tom for your answer. No need to be unfriendly, I am just curious. I thought it was obvious from my post that I am a layman, I am looking at it from a pure logical viewpoint. That said, I realize that I did a major error in my first post. I wrote about correlation between CO2 and temperature, but I meant number of people and global temperature levels. Very sorry about that!

    So here is the third argument rephrased correctly:

    “The planet is accumulating heat”: yes, the diagram clearly shows a drastic increase. But the time period starts 1960, if you instead look from 1880 you get a slightly different picture: the temperature has increased during the 20 century but in more of a linear fashion. If the heating of the planet was caused by human action then the smoking gun would be a correlation between number of people and global temperature but there is none. the number of people are increasing exponentially, global temperature increasing linearly.

    Sorry for the error, hope that someone can explain this in layman's terms

  36. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    Chriskoz at 5

    The article made many points. I just posted it to see what people thought. I'm not too sure about pointing a fan at the window, but will experiment to see.

    Cold baths are a great idea, but tedious to do all night. This is when the heat really gets to me as I'm a light sleeper at the best of times.

    I agree air conditioning has partly got us into the high emissions problem, but we could ideally use solar powered fans and AC,  with battery storage at night. Fans and small AC units dont draw much electricity. 

  37. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    Read the article again, guys. It says that "full body immersion" is the best method in an emergency, but not always available.

    No, it is always available in virtualy every modern house: a bathtub. Mine usualy holds cold water in summer (which comes from my rain tank therefore costs nothing) so that I can dunk for a moment as needed - usually every hour of so in record heatwave days. Less water usage and more effective than shower, truely zero-emmision method, unlike fan, or dreadfully emmsion-heavy AC. By overusing AC, the civilisation increased the heatwaves and now people are trying to crank AC more to escape from heatwaves? Where does this nonsense ends?

  38. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Mike Hills @210.

    You still fail to describe the workings of your proposed Lapse Rate Heat Engine. We can see from Glenn Tamblyn's comments @211/212 were he stands on the matter and that it is incompatable with your comments @208/210. Yet #208/210 does not give "any reader who argues for a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus" the slightest inkling of what you propose. In truth, anyone familiar with your input into this comment thread would still struggle, unable to glean whether you still incorporate any or all of the various fallacies you presented variously down this thread. The Unified Theory of Climate from denialists Nikolov & Zeller whose work you cited @121? A katabatic-type mechanism as you proposed @132, which is strangely a mechanism that does the exact opposite of what you appear to propose? The vertical-means-down fallacy you use at, for instance, @158? Or your fallacy that the surface of Venus would require more direct solar heating than it does so as to be hotter than the insulating atmosphere above it, as described say @208? How many of these fallacies do you still use to support your proposed Lapse Rate Heat Engine?

    Simply, nobody else truly knows what it is your trying to say. Can you give it your best shot?

  39. Glenn Tamblyn at 19:24 PM on 23 July 2016
    Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Mike Hillis.

    First I need to correct a basic mistake you have made wrt albedo. The figure you have cited of 0.65 is the simple albedo for Venus. The simple average of albedo's across a range of wavelengths. However if we were to use this to calculate how much energy is reflected we would get it wrong because energy isn't constant across all wavelengths obviously, it follows the Planck curve. So if for example albedo was higher at wavelengths that have high energy, near the peak of the Planck curve, this would reflect more energy. So we need to take an average that is weighted by energy density. This is called the Bond Albedo.

    For Venus the Bond Albedo is 0.9.

    Next, the graph you link to isn't what you think it is.

    This is data for the Earth, not Venus!The site you have taken it from is here. As you will note, they don't dispute the role of the GH effect on Venus. However, they credit another site as the source, but do not give all the detail. The original source is here. And this is their discussion of that graph.

    "There are two ways that Venus’ atmosphere could be responsible for keeping the surface hot, either individually or in combination. First, Venus’ atmosphere is very dense, and there is a physical relationship known as the ideal gas law that indicates that gases under pressure tend to be hotter. Second, robotic probes have measured Venus’ atmosphere to be about 97% CO2, and we can see from the image above (click for a larger version) that the absorption spectrum for CO2 (AT EARTH TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE – VENUSIAN TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE INCREASES THE WIDTH OF THE ABSORPTION BANDS, MAKING CO2 A STRONGER ABSORBER IN VENUS' ATMOSPHERE THAN IN EARTH'S) strongly overlaps the peak emission spectrum of Venus’ surface. The overlap in the spectra suggests that the greenhouse effect of so much CO2 is the cause" (my emphasis)

    The graph you show is what CO2 does in Earth's atmosphere, not Venus!

    What you are missing in this is referred to in the comment above about temperature and pressure increasing the width of the absorption bands. This factor is profoundly important.

    The actual absorption properties of CO2 (and other GH gases) are that they have a large number (10's of 1000's) if distinct spectral absorption lines, spread over what we call bands. In principle each absorption line would be infinitely narrow, they would by exact wavelengths. However quantum mechanics imposes a minimum width restriction, based on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. But this minimum width for each line is still extremely, extremely narrow.

    A single molecule, at rest, not colliding with anything else would exhibit such idealised narrow absorption lines.

    But two other factors produce what is known as 'line broadening'. This smears each line out, potentially till they overlap and possibly overlap over wider ranges of wavelengths.

    Temperature Broadening is due to Doppler shift. Molecules aren't at rest, and their velocity distribution means that a proportion of molecules absorb at somewhat differing wavelengths from the primary wavelength of each line since the molecule is moving realtive to the photon it absorbs.

    Pressure Broadening is due to the fact that absorption events for a single molecule may occur while that molecule is colliding or in close proximity to another molecule, again shifting the wavelength that the absorption occurs at.

    At sea levle pressures hear on Earth Pressure broadening is already significant, as well as Temperature broadening.

    When we move to Venus, with much higher temperatures,  and pressures vastly higher than Earth, with also hugely higher CO2 proportions, broadening essentially smears absorption across the entire spectrum.

    Mike, I think the mistake you are making is projecting what you know about IR absorption from an Earth context and assuming it is similar on Venus.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] I inadvertently deleted a second response by Glenn Tamblyn. Here is the complete text of it.

    Next Mike, I didn't 'recant' about the Lapse Rate Engine. It is central to understanding what is going on.

    It sems here you haven't fully understood previous comments. You seem to think that the Lapse Rate is a process to be considered instead of the GH Effect.

    As I have said before, the Lapse Rate is a part of the GH effect.

    Let me reiterate.
    The GH effect arises as a result of 3 mechanisms.

    1. Radiative Balance requires that the effective emission altitude (EEA), the altitude at which radiation to space, on average, originates from must tend towards the temperature required for the planet to be in radiative balance.
    2. GH Gases determine the radiative properties of the atmosphere. They determine whatthe effective emission altitude will be.

      These two process tend to drive the EEA to the required emission temperature. On Earth this tends to drive the 5 km level towards a temperature of -18 C. And for Venus this tends to drive the 50+ km level to a temperature between -80 and -90 C.
    3. The Lapse Rate Engine then drives other layers above and below the EEA to matching temperatures.

    So for example, on Earth Radiative Balance and GH Gases drive the 5 km layer towards -18C. The Lapse Rate engine then drives the surface towards + 15 C and the 10km level towards -41C.

    On Venus Radiative Balance and GH Gases drive the 50+ km layer towards -80 - -90 C, and the Lapse Rate drives the surface towards 500 C warmer than this.

    The Lapse Rate is a part of the GH Effect!

    And your comment about incoming solar radiation being absorbed by the atmosphere. So what.

    1/3rd of solar energy absorbed on Earth is absorbed in the atmosphere. It doesn't matter whether absorption happens at the surface or in the atmosphere. The air circulation behind the Lapse Rate redistributes energy within the atmosphere, irrespective of whether it was originally absorbed at the surface or in the atmosphere, to produce a temperature gradient, and allow the EEA to tend towards the needed balance temperature.

  40. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    My post was addressed to any reader who argues for a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus, and yes, the lapse rate heat engine I described was affirmed by Glenn Tamblyn @168, though he recanted later.

    Now for some more evidence. Venus spectrum and CO2 bands

    Venus is much hotter than Earth, and radiates a Planck curve with much shorter wavelengths. It appears to peak around 3 or 4 microns with the bulk between 2 and 10 microns. The 15 micron band is barely on the chart. The CO2 absorption bands within this Planck curve are very thin, so I ask again, how can you (we, or anybody) call this scenario a greenhouse effect, especially since most of the sun's radiation which Venus absorbs is absorbed by it's atmosphere on the way in?

  41. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    Tom Curtis at 3

    You could well be right. I haven't tried anything in the artcle yet, but thought it was worth posting as something to at least experiment with.

    I respond more like your wife, so it might work for me. We all have different metabolisms.

    You might end up in separate bedrooms to your wife on those extremely hot nights. Better solution, buy an air conditioner!

  42. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    nigelj @2, I note that there is a contradiction between the advise on the proper use of a fan, and the proper employment of windows.

    In my experience there are at least two human physiological approaches to cooling.  I, for example, will sweat copiously at even slightly above normal temperatures or levels of excertion.  Provided I am bathed in an air stream of relatively dry air I remain cool at temperatures up to 40 C and even with high levels of excertion.  Lacking that air stream, or if the air is humid, I swelter.  (I have noticed this pattern in other people who, like me, have grown up in hot arid areas with plenty of drinking water.)  In contrast my wife sweats little unless it is very hot.  The result is that, unlike me, in typical Brisbane summer weather she does not become drenched (or dehydrated) and her skin continues to cool; but she cannot cope with very hot dry air.

    It seems probable to me that the advise from the NZ herald (keep overall room temperature down) would be good for my wife and people like her.  For me, however, there is no substitute for a high volume air flow over the skin, so I am best of sitting directly in the air stream from a fan turned to high.  Likewise I often benefit more from increased natural air flows from open windows, even if the air is hotter than the still, inside air (within limits).

  43. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    The following article describes the best way to use a fan. Basically it advises don't just blow air at the sofa or bed. It says point a fan at the open window at night,  to blow hot air out of the room, and let the outside air which is sometimes cooler enter the room. Haven't tested the idea as yet.

    The article also says turn rooms into "chilly bins".  So keep everything like windows and curtains closed during the day, to conserve cool air from the night before.

  44. The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers

    When I went through 117 degree Fahrenheit heat a few years ago, I had no airconditioner in my apartment (The electrical wiring couldn't allow for it with all the appliances running.). Fans did not work above 100F even with frozen water bottles in front of them.

    It was that temperature outside and inside my apartment. Other than walking naked around the house I decided to improvise. I put a small bucket of water into a freezer overnight and the next morning I removed it. It was not frozen except for a thin crust of ice on top. The water was ice cold though.

    I dunked a tight fitting T-shirt into the water; wrung out the excess water; then I put the T-shirt on.

    I shivered from the cold for less than 3 seconds and immediately after that I felt an intense sense of relief. I was still naked from the waist down but there was no one to notice.

    At night, with the temperature no lower than the mid 90s F I dunked a bed sheet into that same water and had a small fan blowing besides my bed. That's the only time that a fan can provide relief.

    I would also suggest keeping your hair short and have a beanie for your head also soaked in ice water.

  45. Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    Tom @153:
    Your numbers seem to agree pretty well with the energy flow chart in @137.

    My reason for focusing on the IR part of the spectrum is the fact that an IR emissivity lower than 1 reduces the heat loss to space in a way that resembles the greenhouse effect. In a discussion on another blog (I don’t remember where) someone suggested that the 33 K warming of Earth was caused by a surface emissivity of about 0.61-0.62. If that was true, a surface temp of 288 K would be needed to emit 240 w/m2.
    But of course, measurements of many types of terrain show that the IR emissivity in general is > 0.95, so that doesn’t contribute much to the 33 K warming of Earth.

  46. Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    Fake Reality Man @150.

    You must forgive me but I still find your abilities to comprehend the reality of climate as laughable as the turtle & elephants supporting your fat Earth. Okay, I am sure that engaging with you is something that will be entirely unfruitful but, hey-ho, I enjoy a good laugh.

    I shall ignore the nonsense you spout @148, although that said, you do not make demarkation of nonsense entirely easy.

    @149 there is in some respects more definition in your assertions You tell us "that 1000W is the density that has to irradiate 1m^2, 1/2 the sphere. To get 288K surface mean temperature?"  This appears to be your obsession. I agree that a thing with a temperature of X degrees Kelvin indeed does require heating by an energy flux of Y from "somewhere" that will allow it to emit the black body emissions (or roughly that amount) commenserate with the thing's temperature of X degrees Kelvin. The problem is that you are very very selective about the "somewhere". You seem to be unable to consider certain alternative "somewheres" such that you proclaim that the only source of heat for the surface of planet Earth has to be the sun. Yet, thinks you, if I put on an overcoat, I do not in any way don an energy source. It is nothing but inert cloth yet I am evidently warmer for the coat. The reason for my feeling less frosty is of course due to insulation. It is a concept you and your fake reality seem unable to grasp.

    @149 you insist "that 1000W is the density that has to irradiate 1m^2, 1/2 the sphere. To get 288K surface mean temperature?" Assuming my abacus has not lost too many beads, a thing with a temperature of 288K, would be radiating 390Wm^-2. Further, I appreciate you see temperature & external heating as being the definng physics but, as I say, you are being very selective in what you consider to be allowable external heating sources for the surface of planet Earth.

    And when you state @150m that 1,000W/m^-2 has to be the peak value, I have to ask "Why?" What are you saying? The average has to be roughly  (from all sources) 390Wm^-2. That could be 3,900Wm^-2 for 10% of the time, couldn't it? What is this obsession with 1,000Wm^-2?

    You say "We never heat anything up with a colder gas."  Indeed. But if the gas is still cool (hey, Fonz gas!!) but warmer than it was, what then is the result? It is no longer a "colder gas!!!!" Even the elephants & turtle know it!! It is warmer."It us a hotter gas!!!!!" 

    The only one here left denying that such cool gas is "hotter" is our chum fake reality. So chum, defend your position. I look forward to you reply. As I said, I enjoy a good laugh.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Note that, being unable to adhere to the Comments Policy, "fake reality" has recused themselves from further participation in this venue.

    Doubtless the physics of the Naetherworld will be more pliable for them.

  47. Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    HK @144, the surface emissivity shown is for IR wavelengths, whereas most of the incoming solar energy is in visible wavelengths.  Based on Stephens et al (2015), all sky albedo is 0.293.  From the listed flux values, clear sky albedo is 0.154 and clear sky albedo - atmospheric contribution is 0.059.  Because of potential overlaps, that means the mean absorptivity of the Earth's surface, weighted for solar energy is between 0.846 and 0.941.  0.9 would be a reasonable approximate estimate.   Overall the surface is better at reflecting visible radiation than IR radiation.


    false reality's position clearly commits him to the view that the Earth absorbs more energy from the Sun than would be absorbed by a disc perendicular to the Sun placed very near the Earth such that the umbra of the disc at 1 AU equaled the Earth's radius (ie, the Earth was in the full shadow of the disc, and the full shadow of the disc and the full shadow of the Earth coincided).  That view clearly contradicts conservation of energy.  As false reality refuses to even entertain that fact, there is no more point in discussing the issue with him then there would be in discussing philosophy with a rattlesnake.

  48. fake reality at 07:24 AM on 21 July 2016
    Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    Checking if I am banned yet, last post dissappeared without a trace

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] If you were banned, you would not be able to post the above comment.

  49. fake reality at 07:05 AM on 21 July 2016
    Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    @144 HK

    Why is it so hard to understand the following implications of the points above?
    1 + 2: Each square metre of Earth receives 1361 / 4 ≈ 340 w/m2 of solar radiation before the albedo is accounted for.

    It´s not. But that is the wrong question. The right question is: 

    What is wrong with your model if it doesn´t replicate reality?

    You are assuming that your model is right and reality does something that we can´t describe with radiation laws, so you fill out the gap with stuff you find in the atmosphere, like water, co2, photons etc.

    Not one of them is known to have an intensifying effect on a body of higher temperature, but that is exactly what you use it for.

    It´s not only your sun with intensity of 240W that is a problem, although it´s really funny, it´s the combination of darkness and stuff that we know as cooling elements in relation to hotter bodies, that is absolutely hilarious. I think you could not make a model that is more dysfunctional, it must be unique as leading theory, in it´s total lack of accuracy.

    What you should ask is also: how can anyone buy into that when we know that a sun that doesn´t shine, at ~240K=240W, is not in any way a correct model of reality. 

    3. When albedo is accounted for, this number drops to 340 x (1-0.3) ≈ 240 w/m2. That radiation flux is what you get from a blackbody at 255 K, or 33 K colder than the real Earth.

    Why not try to build another model that is more correct. Am Iright in that the number 340 is K?

    If so, I think you need to use εσ340^4, where ε=0.7

    When you average before albedo(which can be ignored at this stage), you change the outcome pretty much. There is a very big difference between 1370W and 340W but not temperature K.

    When we know that we need 1000W/m^2 to get 288K, why not use it?

    Because you know better than earth, that radiates at the wrong temperature, and it must be the icecold atmosphere that heats the surface, the sun cannot be enough?

    Stupid drunk earth, radiating all wrong so we have to fix it with icecold gas.

    4. Even though the Earth is not a blackbody in the IR part of the spectrum, it’s sufficiently close to make the impact from emissivity very minor. An average surface emissivity of 0.96 would only raise the temperature by about 2.5 K on an airless Earth with evenly distributed insolation. The cooling impact from the uneven insolation is probably somewhat larger than that (it’s about 70 K at the Moon’s equator!), so there is at least 33 K of warming that has to be explained in other ways than by insolation, albedo or emissivity.

    But insulation has certain features that must be in place. One that is very important is som boundary surface or surfacelike structure opposing the warm body, placed at the outer limit of the insulated area, and works by conduction, so that it has to get heated and radiate at it´s own temperature. The gradient between the boundary and body should be as small as possible to get good insulation. Like the opposite of earth´s steep gradients that makes sure that all altitudes above surface is colder, much colder.

    Nope, thats not insulation. No blanket, no sleeping bag and no sweater. Just cold air and 3K-vacuum of space.

    The 33C is entirely a number that is the ugly child of your model with darkness and cold when the sun heats earth at 260W/m^2

  50. fake reality at 06:25 AM on 21 July 2016
    Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    @ 137 MA Rodger

    The concept of "4 weak suns" was introduced by fake reality @116 and he has since often restated it but entirely failed to explain it. I would suggest that the "4 weak suns" (which as KR points out @133 is conceptually a bit of a dog's breakfast if taken literally) is probably better described as a "quarter strength sun" and is being applied to, for instance, the usual account of the planet's energy balance, as per IPCC AR5 fig 2-11.

    I think I have answered how you get the model with 4 suns. Do you still wonder how?

    I´ll tell you again, because this is the funniest part in GH-theory.

    Whenever you divide something in 4 parts you get equal parts of the initial number if you do it like you do.

    Only way to get rid of those fractions is to multiply by four. That your result is written like W/m^2 doesn´t mean that the other 3 parts dissapeared. Pay attention to the fact that you are trying to describe reality correct. If you divide the sun by 4, then you have 4 suns. They irradiate 4m^2.

    The waveform of the radiated intensity has a peak value, a probable maximum, that corresponds to peak intensity/wavelength. I say that everything points at 1000W being the right value for maximum intensity/wavelength for mainly two reasons.

    First, it is what is needed for mean 288K. Second, it is a commonly observed number all over the earth. That is enough to use it until something better shows up. Your 4 suns @240W is not what I define as "better". On top of that, the fudge you apply is the most contradicting set of functions that is the opposite of observations.

    We never heat anything up with a colder gas. We never use water in large amounts when we describe what heats a gas like air. Never do we pour water at something hot expecting it to get hotter.

    All of greenhouse-functions cannot be confirmed in experimental trials. There is no information that shows co2 as a heating agent in any system in heat transfer. It only gets heated and never gets hot enough to heat something.

    You are showing spectral distribution of intensity from the atmosphere that has the clear sign of co2 acting in IR-wavelengths around 15micrometer and claiming that it shows how much it´s heating.

    But the spectrum shows that co2 lowers spectral  intensity efficiently in peak wavelengths OLR. That is nothing but a sign of lower temperature and since it radiates equal in all directions, we know that radiation downwards must be at the same intensity.

    In the midst of all that you use emissivity as a tool for explaining an increase in temperature, when the definition of emissivity is that it equals absorption and always is <1.

    No matter what the explanation is, using emissivity as the thing that increase intensity is the opposite of what kirchoff´s law is about.

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