Archive for January, 2012

By Roy Martin, 31 Jan, 2012

It appears that the conclusions of this experiment are incorrect, that it has not proved that the higher temperature reached in a container at a constant higher pressure, relative to an identical container at a lower constant pressure, is in fact simply due to the higher pressure. Such a result would be contrary to the Gas Laws, which have been successfully applied by physicists and engineers for a very long time. After musing on the details of this experimental set-up for some days I have come to the conclusion that the humble hot water bottle is the culprit.



A large amount of cloud formation and much of the dynamic behaviour of the atmosphere depends upon vertical movements of air. The tendency of air masses to move up or down is termed its stability. Unstable air masses are prone to vertical movements, while stable air resists vertical motion. The stability of air is a function of its buoyancy with respect to the surrounding air, which is in turn dependent on their relative densities. In Lecture 2 we saw that density is related to both pressure and temperature: for constant temperature, density increases along with pressure; and for constant pressure density decreases with increasing temperature. In other words, warm air will tend to expand and become less dense, making it more buoyant than cooler, denser air, and causing it to rise. Conversely, cool air will tend to contract and become more dense, decreasing its buoyancy and causing it to sink. A huge amount of atmospheric behaviour follows from these simple relations.


Pioneer photo of Venus in the UV

OK, I think we have more clarity on the difference between N&Z and Harry Dale Huffman’s interpretation of Venus and Earth data.

> On 1/29/2012 12:34 PM, Rog Tallbloke wrote:
> Hi Ned,
> I think I’ve managed to get Harry Dale Huffman to state what
> the key point he has at issue is:
> “I deduced nothing about the “proportion” or “amount” of solar
>energy absorbed by the atmosphere. I deduced something about
>the fraction of solar energy absorbed by the atmospheres of both
>Venus and Earth: They absorb the same fraction, and it is in the infrared. The amount they absorb is different,
>as the definitive fact is, Venus absorbs 1.91  times as much solar power as the earth (so its atmospheric
>temperature  is 1.176 times that in Earth’s atmosphere, at a given tropospheric  pressure), because it is closer to
>the Sun (and not for any other  reason).
> I am waiting to see that fact acknowledged as such by all, in all the debates.”
> Harry Dale Huffman
> Is this something you would agree with him on? If so, we can tell him that, and move forward together.
> Thanks for your time.
> Rog


From El Reg

The Independent Printing Press

H/T Tim Channon.

The ongoing world protests against SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA have helped inspire a revolt among scientists over the role of academic publisher Elsevier and its business practices.

British mathematician Tim Gowers kicked-started the campaign with a scorching blog post outlining numerous complaints against the publisher, which sells over 2,000 academic journals such as The Lancet and Cell. Gowers claims that Elsevier charges unacceptably high prices and forces libraries to subscribe to bundles of publications en masse – some of which have little, if any, scientific credibility.

He also noted the company’s involvement in lobbying for SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act (RWA) currently going through the US Congress, which would introduce charges to access publicly funded scientific research.

I am not only going to refuse to have anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on, but I am saying so publicly. I am by no means the first person to do this, but the more of us there are, the more socially acceptable it becomes, and that is my main reason for writing this post.



Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Named for the Roman god of the sea, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus, which is 15 times the mass of Earth but not as dense.[12] On average, Neptune orbits the Sun at a distance of 30.1 AU, approximately 30 times the Earth–Sun distance.



Another X-class solar flare cycle 24

Posted: January 28, 2012 by tchannon in Solar physics


Hat tip to Vuk.

We’ve not had a solar activity thread recently so when Vuk points at spitzundsparken it seems a good idea.


Richard M

Where have we claimed that we replace the greenhouse effect with gravity?

What we state is that the GH effect, when measured as a dimensionless number (Ts/Tgb), i.e. the relative thermal enhancement, is completely explainable by pressure. Is pressure a gravity? No! Pressure is a FORCE resulting from the atmospheric mass per unit area AND gravity! What is the kinetic energy of a gas that determines its temperature? It is a product of Pressure and Gas Volume (PV), i.e. FORCE x Distance = Joules. In other words, you cannot have kinetic energy and temperature of a gas without a FORCE. On a planetary scale the force of pressure is INDEPENDENT of solar heating, atmospheric volume, or temperature, because we have on average an isobaric thermodynamic process at the surface. So, changing the mass of the atmosphere will change the FORCE generated by gravity at the surface, therefore, changing the temperature. Our non-dimensional NTE factor (the relative thermal enhancement) is a manifestation of that physical characteristic of pressure called FORCE … How is that for a physical explanation? We elaborate more on this in our Reply Part 2 …

The key to grasping our theory is understanding the actual physical meaning of different parameters such as pressure, irradiance, temperature, and energy and the best way to do that is to properly deciphering the units …

Let’s see if we can help Ned get the message across in terms everyone can understand. We’ll start with a potted history of the gas laws in this post.


Internet freedoms under attack again: Act now!

Posted: January 27, 2012 by tallbloke in government

Most EU states sign away internet rights, ratify ACTA treaty
European Parliament observer resigns in protest

By Iain Thomson in San FranciscoGet more from this author

Posted in Government

Representatives of 21 of the EU’s member states, including the UK, have signed off on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – the European version of the US SOPA and PIPA rolled into one and cranked up to 11.

Only Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands have held off on signing the treaty, which will give authorities even more power to enforce copyright than was contained in aforementioned online-piracy legislation currently on hold in the US.


Gavin Schmidt: Climate Homeopathy

Posted: January 27, 2012 by tallbloke in Energy, Incompetence

Visit Cartoons by Josh

With our renewed understanding of the omnipresent force of gravity, and its profound effect on the heat distribution in planetary atmospheres via the pressure gradient it causes we can start to appreciate the numbers involved. If there was no gravity and we wanted to change the pressure of our atmosphere from its mid altitude value of 500Hpa to the near surface value of ~1000Hpa for the lowest kilometre, the force we would have to exert is vast. Our power stations churfing out enormous volumes of carbon dioxide 24/7 to power the compressors required would soon deplete all our fossil fuel reserves to hardly begin keeping up with the task.


Thinking about the logical outcomes of Nikolov and Zeller’s ‘Unified Theory of Climate‘, a couple of ideas emerge which turn conventional climate science ‘wisdom’ on its head. It has long been believed that ‘greenhouse gases’ cause warming of the planet’s surface. While this may be true at the local level near the surface at certain times of day, I think I agree with Markus that the overall effect of ‘greenhouse gases’ is to cool planets. Here’s why:

Nikolov and Zeller have shown that by far the greatest influences on the surface temperature of a planet with an atmosphere are their distance from the Sun, and the pressure generated  at the surface by gravity acting on atmospheric mass. Planets with more GHG’s relative to their surface pressure, like Mars, are cold relative to their distance from the Sun. Planets with less GHG’s relative to surface pressure like Earth and Venus are warm.


Well! After a week which started with a bit of a laugh over something funny Gavin Schmidt said (more on that soon), things went rapidly downhill, with Wyatt Erp Willis Eschenbach getting “a bit gruffy” about my decision to prevent Joel the AGW phantasy phixated physicist from making the threads here “a bit ragged and Shore worn”. What this self proclaimed “climate heretic” wants with the sheriff’s job is beyond me. Who ever heard of heretics getting into law enforcement? Is it a case of  “If you can’t beat em, join ’em, and beat someone else up”?

The following day, the “reformed cowboy” let fly with another blast against Nikolov and Zeller, the two scientists who have wandered casually into the climate blogosphere with their interesting and promising  ‘Unified Theory of Climate‘ first published here at the end of last year. They thought they would get a welcoming reception from the sceptical side of the climate community because their theory shows that ‘greenhouse gases’ don’t have a whole lot to do with warming planetary surfaces up. They didn’t expect that some of the most prominent lukewarmers guest posters on the world’s biggest climate site would completely misrepresent what they were saying and try to strangle the newborn babe and bury it pronto. Why would this be? they wondered. Don’t we all?


An Alternative Derivation of the Static Dry Adiabatic

Temperature Lapse Rate

Hans Jelbring

BSc, meteorologist, Stockholm University, Civil engineer, electronics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, PhD, institution of Paleogeophysics & geodynamics, Stockholm University


The ”static” dry adiabatic temperature lapse rate is derived for a hypothetical energetically isolated model atmosphere lacking advection and convection. The method of derivation is to investigate the energetic situation for two small equal atmospheric air masses at different altitudes in a vertical column of air. The difference of total energy between these masses is calculated. The ideal gas law is assumed to be valid. This derivation is just one version of several others but might be easier to understand for laymen. The adequate theory needed should have been learnt at high school in natural sciences.


Joel Shore;
You are still not getting it. How is it possible to have 150 W/m^2 leaving the surface as radiation than leaving the TOA unless some of that radiation is getting absorbed (or reflected), i.e., unless there is a greenhouse effect?>>>

It isn’t and it doesn’t. You keep averaging things that should not be averaged and then drawing false conclusions from them. Here is the ERBE image of net radiance of the earth:

Note that the tropics are net absorbers of energy, and hence radiating at a temperature well below their SB Law equilibrium temperature for the amount of radiance they receive.

Note that the high latitudes are net losers of energy, and hence radiating at a temperature well above their SB Law equilibrium temperature for the amount of radiance they receive.


Apologies for the language mash-up. If I can find a better way to scrape the translation without getting the original Russian too, I’ll update it. This looks interesting, and relevant to recent discussions on the Jelbring and Nikolov and Zeller theories. Good luck. H/T’s Lucy Skywalker and Yankov

Temporary, added English translation PDF via Lucy’s doc/odt files sorokhtin.pdf[ –Tim
[UPDATE} better formatting now in place – Thanks a million Tim!

Academician (RANS) OG Sorokhtin,
Institute of Oceanology. Shirshov Sciences
The adiabatic theory of greenhouse effect

The idea of ??heating the earth’s atmosphere by greenhouse gases was first expressed in the late XIX century, the famous Swedish scientist Arrhenius S. [1] and since the obvious is taken for granted, with little or no verification [2-5]. This view is now completely dominates the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Greenpeace, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as the withdrawal of Russian environmental and scientific organizations. The same view was fully supported by the decisions of international environmental conventions, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992 and in Kyoto (Japan) in 1997 is projected proponents of these ideas, by 2100, warming could reach 2.5 -5 ° C and cause sea level rise of 0.6 m -1, which already may be a problem for densely populated areas of the continental coasts, as well as for gas and oil production in lowland areas and most of the coasts of northern Russia. Projected, and other harmful consequences for the nature of global warming (the expansion of deserts, the disappearance of permafrost, soil erosion, etc.).

Fears of similar catastrophic events, the pressure of environmental organizations, and often simply speculation on this subject makes governments of developed countries to allocate huge resources to fight the effects of global warming, allegedly linked to anthropogenic emissions to the atmosphere of “greenhouse gases”. And how justified are these costs? Not if we’re fighting “quixotic”?

On closer acquaintance with this problem it turned out that the theory of greenhouse effect as such until the 90s. the last century did not exist, and all calculations of the effect of CO 2 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s climate was carried out on different intuitive models with the introduction of numerous and not always stable parameters [4]. In this case the uncertainties in the estimates of various parameters of the model adopted (and they number at least 30) actually make the solution of the problem incorrectly. We decided to use a synergistic approach [6, 7] and an analysis of the most common positions, representing the Earth’s atmosphere as an open dissipative (scattering power) system described by nonlinear equations of mathematical physics.


From ‘The Telegraph’

H/T the Daily Bayonet

In the first of its kind, the American space agency has built the 12-tonne “Extreme Environment Test Chamber” to simulate the burning temperatures and intense pressure experience on the planet’s surface.

Scientists hope the new state-of-the-art chemical chamber, which includes two “Sapphire glass windows”, will recreate the toxic, probe-destroying atmosphere of Earth’s closest neighbouring planet.

In turn, they hope it will lead to better understanding of climate change on Earth based on experiments of a planet baked of its water and suffocated by greenhouse gases and sulphuric clouds.


Many thanks for allowing me to present the results of my basic empirical experiment into the Nikolov and Zeller hypothesis at the Talkshop.


The Nikolov and Zeller hypothesis has generated thousands of comments across several climate sites, but sadly little in the way of empirical evidence. After the first few hundred comments I decided to check the basic concept with a physical experiment as the web discussion seemed to be making little progress.

The basic idea of the experiment was to expose two transparent test chambers to the same amount of shortwave radiation. Inside each chamber would be identically sized black surfaces and a probe thermometer shielded from the incoming light. The only difference between the chambers would be that one would be at standard atmospheric pressure, while the other would be held at an elevated internal pressure. If Nikolov and Zeller were correct, if both chambers started at the same temperature before illumination, then the chamber with the higher pressure should rise to a higher internal temperature when exposed to the shortwave radiation.


Burgess translation 1837 of Fourier 1827 and 1824. My boldiing on pages 4 & 5

Art. I.—General Remarks on the Temperature of the Terrestrial Globe and the Planetary Spaces; by Baron Fourier.

Translated from the French, by Mr. Ebenezer Burgess, of Amherst College.

The question of terrestrial temperature, one of the most remarkable and difficult in natural philosophy, involves very different elements which require to be considered in a general light. I have thought it would be useful to have condensed in a single essay, all the results of this theory. The analytical details here admitted, are found in works which I have already published. I was specially desirous of presenting to philosophers, in a concise table, a complete view of the phenomena and the mathematical relations which exist between them.

The heat of the earth is derived from three sources, which should first be distinctly mentioned.


OK you lot, sit up and pay attention. It may look like a dull title, but the conclusion, if correct, is groundbreaking. My head is too stuffed full of adiabats and Gibb’s energies to tell, so help me out.  My thanks to Greg Elliot for a nicely presented piece of work, and good luck to him in comments!


In the late ‘60’s the world was gripped by a seemingly unsolvable puzzle.  “Instant Insanity” was similar to the better known Rubik’s cube, but with a difference.  Unlike Rubik’s, there were multiple versions of “Insanity” shipped.  The solution to one set of cubes only worked on a sub-set of cubes.  Countless hours were devoted to finding a solution.

The solution to the problem emerged in graph-theory and representational-theory.  Powerful yet often overlooked branches of mathematics.  With publication of the solution interest in “Insanity” quickly waned  until it was lost to history.

A decade later the world was gripped by another seemingly unsolvable puzzle.  Software complexity was increasing exponentially as computers grew in capacity.  “Spaghetti code” was an all too often end result of massive development efforts.  If trends continued everyone in the world would soon be programmers.

What emerged was the concept of Data Flow Diagrams (DFD) as part of “Structured Programming”.  DFD’s are strikingly similar to the solution to “Instant Insanity”.  DFD’s abstract and encapsulate complexity in a representational form that is easily understood through the use of graphical notation.  This allows us to take complex, seemingly unsolvable problems and reduce them to simple, easily understood solutions.

Flow diagrams are found in many practical applications outside of puzzles and computer science.  The examples presented here are intended by way of introduction; to the concept of flow diagrams as a means to reduce complexity and increase understanding.

This paper examines the use of flow diagrams in understanding the planetary energy balance.


My Thanks to Ned Nikolov, who has just sent the first part of the ‘Response to comments on the Unified Theory of Climate’ to us.

Part 1: Magnitude of the Natural ‘Greenhouse’ Effect
Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. and Karl Zeller, Ph.D.

January 17, 2012

We’ve decided to split our expanded explanation into two parts, so that we do not overwhelm people. From what we’ve seen on the blogs so far, there appear to be 2 main areas of confusion: 1) the size of the GH effect. Most people have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact the atmosphere boosts the surface temperature by well over 100K; and 2) the physical nature of the pressure-controlled thermal enhancement. Although, this follows seamlessly from the gas law, most people (including PhD scientists) appear to be totally confused as to how precisely the effect of pressure works or is even possible. So, this will be topic of our reply Part 2.


Montford gets Norfolk police response

Posted: January 17, 2012 by tchannon in Politics

UPDATE 23-1-12
WUWT has now got a bigger story surrounding this item.


Until the season of glad tidings the matter of Norfolk police, UEA and so on were of little direct interest at Tallbloke’s but it has now become a matter of curiosity.

This is an alert that Andrew Montford of the Bishop Hill site has posted he has won his FOIA appeal about emails to do with the security company who dealt with one of the CRU backup servers.