The Massacre at Cowboy Corral – a bad day for science

Posted: January 15, 2012 by tallbloke in atmosphere, Blog, Energy, flames, Incompetence, Philosophy

The worlds most viewed and commented on climate oriented website had a hiccup yesterday. Guest Author Willis Eschenbach, who describes himself as “a reformed cowboy” decided that moderating his own thread on a contentious issue which he has strong views on was a good idea. Bad idea Willis – no cookies.

The purpose of the thread was manifold. Willis wanted to propagate his own view of the ‘greenhouse effect’ – the higher surface temperature of Earth than that calculated by an misapplication of the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation equation – which he believes is due to ‘greenhouse gases’ and their radiative properties. He also wanted to disprove the theses of Nikolov and Zeller, and Hans Jelbring, that this elevation in surface temperature is due principally to the gravitational compression of the near surface atmosphere. He attempted to do this with an argument by contradiction, which I contended failed due to it’s inapplicability to Jelbring’s argument.

Willis deleted my reply.

Before he did so, some other comments had already picked up on my rebuttal and supported it.

Willis deleted chunks of them too.

Then he started wholesale snipping of any replies disagreeing with him, replacing what people had written with the generic moderation note:

[SNIP: read the instructions. Elevator speeches and disproofs only. -w.]

Many of the snipped comments were copied onto this thread as the carnage continued, so claim your dead and repost at WUWT if you can.

At the Cowboy Corral, Willis gets to crap on at any length he likes, regaling people with insult and sneering derision, but they only get to meekly hand over a short list of on topic bullet points in return.

By 2.30am UK time, around 6.30 WUWT time, some level of sanity had returned, and Willis said that if he had overstepped the line, then he was sorry. The problem with this sort of apology of course, is that he clearly believes he didn’t. The snipping has resumed this morning. Willis remains unrepentant about censoring people’s views.

This is ironic, because the third major plank in Willis’ post was a blast directed at me, and the way I run the Talkshop. He was righteously angrified by the fact that I had decided to deny comment access to Joel Shore, a person well known in the climate blogosphere for his insistent and disruptive tactics in promoting his own views on ‘global warming’. My given reason at the time is documented here, along with all Joel’s comments backstage here at the Talkshop.

So as you can see, although I decided to prevent Joel disrupting the very productive gravity threads, I did try to offer compensation to him in the form of an offer of a guest post. Not good enough for Willis, who banned himself from further comment here in protest at my act of ‘censorship’. But in fact I haven’t censored anything by Joel or Willis, all their words are here for all to see.

This is very different to the situation at WUWT, where Willis cheerfully censors dissenting views.

My decision to prevent Joel Shore from commenting here was vindicated in a wry comment by Anthony Watts himself.

Anthony Watts says:

I’ve closed the other two threads on this subject since they were getting a bit ragged and Shore-worn, and directed everyone here to this thread.

——————————————-

So here’s the deal. If you want to say something about the interesting and as yet not fully assessed theories of Hans Jelbring or Nikolov and Zeller, then you are welcome to do so here, as long as you are not Joel Shore, or any of the other disruptive types who twist other peoples words in order to start a ruckus which overwhelms proper courteous scientific discourse. If you want to say anything about these interesting theories on WUWT, you’ll have to try to get it past Willis ‘Elevator speeches and disproofs only‘ Eschenbach. If you attempt that, be sure to save a copy of your comment so you can repost  it here if the censor’s scissors get snippy. In fact leave a copy here on this thread for the record anyway, because I don’t censor courteously presented ideas or viewpoints from people who don’t act like three year olds who scream until people give in to them or leave.

Comments
  1. tallbloke says:

    Wise words in an apposite quote posted by Gabriel:

    GabrielHBay says:
    January 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    On the wisdom or otherwise of an “elevator speech”:

    Ok, I refreshed my memory. From the foreword of Aldous Huxley’s Brave new world: This is what was lurking in my mind:

    “The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situation. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and sim­plification help us to understand — but help us, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our compre­hension may be only of the abbreviator’s neatly formu­lated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted.”

    Gabriel van den Bergh

  2. tallbloke says:

    I have Given Willis a further opportunity to take the first step onto the path of redemption:

    tallbloke says:
    January 15, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Willis sez:
    a “gedanken” experiment in German, they were a great favorite of Albert Einstein for the same reason that I use them—to simplify complex questions so that they can be understood.

    There is utility in gedanken experiments, and also danger. Things can be simplified to the point of meaninglessness wrt the real world you hope to gain insights into via the thought experiment. Another danger is that having appeared to prove something via such an experiment, insights of real value in longer than elevator speech length tracts may mistakenly get rejected a priori and without proper consideration.

    As Hans Jelbring pointed out to Willis above, there is no elevator version of his peer reviewed 2003 paper. It isn’t overly long, but clearly longer than Willis is prepared to countenance. If Willis had read it carefully in 2003, he wouldn’t have made the error of thinking that his own gedanken experiment falsifies it.

    Willis said to me above:
    [Tallbloke, every post can be claimed to have scientific content, including yours. I said that I would snip things that were off-topic, which your post most assuredly was. If you (or anyone else) think your post contained actual science that has been deleted incorrectly, then post the scientific part again and we can discuss it. -w.]

    Thank you. It’s a disproof of your assertion that Hans Jelbring’s paper is falsified by your argument that:

    “The proof is by contradiction. This is a proof where you assume that the theorem is right, and then show that if it is right it leads to an impossible situation, so it cannot possibly be right.

    So let us assume that we have the airless perfectly evenly heated blackbody planet that I spoke of above, evenly surrounded by a sphere of mini-suns. The temperature of this theoretical planet is, of course, the theoretical S-B temperature.

    Now suppose we add an atmosphere to the planet, a transparent GHG-free atmosphere. If the theories of N&K and Jelbring are correct, the temperature of the planet will rise.

    But when the temperature of a perfect blackbody planet rises … the surface radiation of that planet must rise as well.

    And because the atmosphere is transparent, this means that the planet is radiating to space more energy than it receives. This is an obvious violation of conservation of energy, so any theories proposing such a warming must be incorrect.

    Q.E.D.”

    But in Hans Jelbring’s paper, the model planet by definition does not radiate to space. At the beginning of section 2.1 in his paper he states:

    “A simplified model of Earth will be considered. The model planet does not rotate. It
    neither receives solar radiation nor emits infrared radiation into space.”

    Your ‘disproof’ of Hans Jelbring’s 2003 paper therefore fails.

    QED

    Now, Willis, somewhere in the foregoing mess of comments and deletions, you asserted that my argument is incorrect, but you did not in any way shape or form say anything to back up that assertion. So let’s have the discussion you offer above, and you can start by enlarging on your rejection of my argument.

    Cheers

    TB.

  3. tallbloke says:

    And here is Willis’ reply, freshly posted (He’s up late!)

    As I understand it, Jelbrings hypothetical is just like mine, but without the ring of suns. It still has the non-GHG atmosphere and the blackbody planet. He still claims the planet will be above the theoretical S-B temperature. So the same considerations all apply, but with an incoming wattage of zero W/m^2.

    Now, my understanding may be wrong, and my proof may not apply to Jelbring. But since not one person has stepped forwards to say that they understand and can explain Jelbrings hypothesis, we don’t know, do we?

    You seem to be talking as though you understand it, and if so, you are the only one who says they do … so where’s the elevator speech? And spare me the claim that it’s all too complicated to explain simply. That’s Jelbring’s laughable assertion to avoid having to explain his own dang theory in clear, concise, simple terms. I don’t buy it. Almost any theory can be explained in an elevator speech, and Jelbring’s is no exception. Remember, you don’t have to justify or prove it, just explain how the flippin’ thing is supposed to work.

    Alternatively, if you don’t understand it (as is certainly suggested by your unwillingness to explain it clearly and cogently ), then we don’t know if what you say about it is right or not.

    Still waiting for the explanation of either theory, TB. If you refuse to explain a theory in simple terms, either you don’t understand it, or you are hiding something about it. You are in the first category. Hans Jelbring is in the second. I explained the greenhouse effect in simple terms. It’s your turn, put up or admit defeat.

    w.

  4. tallbloke says:

    My Reply:
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2012 at 3:17 am
    Now, my understanding may be wrong, and my proof may not apply to Jelbring. But since not one person has stepped forwards to say that they understand and can explain Jelbrings hypothesis, we don’t know, do we?

    Willis, thank you for your more fully fleshed out thoughts on my contention, and your recognition that you could be wrong. I will email your full comment to Hans Jelbring and together we will offer a considered reply in due course.

  5. Joe's World says:

    TB,

    One day someone will actually do measurements and use physical evidence…don’t see that some time soon with the current consensus.
    Temperatures…an actual physical form???

  6. wayne says:

    “… abbreviator’s neatly formu­lated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted.”

    Now why do I see JS et al when I read that? He is so craftily articulate in his deceptions he really should quit physics, get a sales job, and make his fortune, seriously. But if he should act on that heaven forbid, buyer beware!

  7. bananabender says:

    Willis is busy censoring everyone who disagrees with him over at WUWT. One commenter who argued that water is turned into vapour by heat was snipped for introducing “greenhouse gases” into his argument.

    I have read all of Willis articles at WUWT. IMHO they are total crap.

  8. Eilert says:

    On WUT:
    Stephen Wilde says:
    January 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm
    Well said, TB.
    My post appears on your blog too but I refined it slightly, above.
    I want to hear Wilis’s reply and if he can show that my formulation is incorrect then c’est la vie 🙂
    Mind you, I do entirely agree with Willis’s fine ‘Thermostat’ idea but still think he should have extended it globally as I have done.
    Stephen do you refer to your post at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/13/a-matter-of-some-gravity/#comment-864058 it has been snipped and so are many of Wayne’s.

    I have an idea of what you said, but maybe you can repeat it here.

    The way Willis behaves seems to me, a bit of a mystery. His Thermostat theory actually requires many of the physics, he (and many others) so studiously ignore with the greenhouse theory.
    He complains that the theories of Jelbring, Ned and others do not conserve energy, but that is exactly the problem what the greenhouse theory has.
    It absolutely requires that radiation be returned to the surface, where it originated from in the first place, so that it can warm that same surface more. Where does the extra energy come from? It is like claiming that a roller-coaster cart can achieve a higher elevation, then the height it took off from, without any extra work.. (There is the possibility that this (back) radiation may delay the other radiation off the surface, thus creating some kind of damming effect, but the Woods experiment, repeated recently here: http://www.biocab.org/Wood_Experiment_Repeated.html or the PDF: http://www.biocab.org/Experiment_on_Greenhouses__Effect.pdf, shows this to be possibly not measureable)

    The radiation, which leaves the surface of the earth, is actually the left over energy (left over cooling) which is not needed to keep all the thermodynamic and other processes in the atmosphere going. These processes have been established over a very long time (millions or even billions of years) and quasi-equilibrium has been established. Only the energy losses need to be replenished. This radiation is not stuck in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases, as some proponents of the greenhouse theory seem to think, but is actually only delayed on its way to space.

  9. Anthony Watts says:

    The issue is contentious, no doubt. So many want to believe Nikolov and Zeller, and Hans Jelbring to be true.

    My reply to Robert Brown might be helpful

    @Robert Brown http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/13/a-matter-of-some-gravity/#comment-865087

    My reply:
    ==========================================================================

    What’s missing from the whole scenario is “work”.

    This Wikipedia entry from thermodynamics sums it well:

    In thermodynamics, work performed by a system is the energy transferred to another system that is measured by the external generalized mechanical constraints on the system. As such, thermodynamic work is a generalization of the concept of mechanical work in mechanics. Thermodynamic work encompasses mechanical work plus many other types of work, such as electrical or chemical. It does not include energy transferred between systems by heat, as heat is modeled distinctly in thermodynamics. Therefore, all energy changes in a system not a result of heat transfer into or out of the system are thermodynamic work.

    In the case of our model planet, the atmosphere gravitationally attracted to the spherical mass would be a static system unless perturbed by an energy input of some kind. The atmosphere would essentially be like a layer of paint on the sphere, static and unmoving.

    Add external energy (our solar light source for example), and the surface warms, and the atmosphere roils, parcels of atmosphere are lifted and returned to the surface as they cool.

    Think lava lamp.

    Work is being done in the lifting, and in the lifting the adiabatic lapse rate applies. Rising (expanding) air cools, sinking (compressing) air warms. That’s a product of work due to the external energy input.

    Shut off the energy, and the model planet goes back to steady state equilibrium with the atmosphere clinging like paint again.

    Like you, I can’t see any way “that gravity is providing heat and that PV = NkT is somehow relevant to the process”.

    ============================================================================

    I allowed the Nikolov and Zeller post initially, knowing full well it had fatal flaws, but I was hoping people would learn something from it with open discussion. I had previously dealt with a similar analogy by Steve Goddard on WUWT which was also wrong. Ira Glickstien also had a raucous discussion.

    The only “work” being done in this theory is by people madly typing away trying to prove/disprove it.

    I agree that Willis has gotten a bit gruffy, I can also understand it. I’m getting gruffy too over the insistence that work is being performed by gravity. If it were, the atmosphere would continue to heat.

    As far as I’m concerned, the idea that gravity provides energy input (beyond the one time initial compression during attraction and capture) is simply a misinterpretation.

    I think I’m pretty much done with the issue.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Hi Anthony and thanks for visiting. Your comment raises both scientific and social issues, I’ll take the science first.

    I’m think there is a gravito-thermal effect but I’m still undecided about the magnitude. I think the important thing to do is allow sufficient space and time for the ideas to be fully considered through polite discourse, rather then strangling the baby at birth as Willis, Joel and Ira are trying to do.

    Now to the social aspect. Sure, people want it to be true, because they are sick to death of having an equally implausible AGW theory rammed down their gullets. Does this tend to introduce confirmation bias? Yes. Just as the confirmation bias of those who prefer the AGW theory leads them to dismiss it with half baked arguments and overly simplistic models. Could the truth be that several effects add together to keep the Earth warmer than it would be without water vapour plus other itty bitty trace gases contained in its atmosphere? Sure.

    What we both try to provide is a reasonable place for discussion where those less informed as to the technical arguments can become better informed through interaction with those who have important facts or better strung together narratives to bring to the party.

    But this needs to be a conversation between people who are all treated with equal respect. Willis has failed spectacularly there. Don’t forget a lot of the commenters who have had their comments snipped, deleted or adorned with Willis’ abuse also comment on other subjects on your blog.

    Allowing volatile and abusive cowboys to moderate their own threads involving their own passionately held beliefs is a recipe for disaster. My own case is milder, because I suspend judgement and allow ideas to develop at a reasonable pace, and I’m naturally usually reasonably polite. Even so I excluded Joel because he sets my teeth on edge with his accusations that I am blinded by ideology, and I can’t trust myself both to reply to him, and moderate his responses.

    Willis has that problem X100

    Take the scissors off him Anthony; the scientific issue might be decided in your mind, but the social issue is a barn-fire started in Cowboy Corral which is threatening your home.

  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The real problem is people doing mind games about idealized conditions that can not exist.

    An atmosphere is fluid and must behave as a fluid and not a solid. A non heated fluid will stratify with the more energetic molecules on top and the less on the bottom. This caused by gravity acting on molecules that take up more or less space because they contain more or less energy and are lighter or heavier in their space.

    To create very complex solutions to engineering problems, I must break them down to simple units, solve and then integrate. But I can not ignore the whole as I solve the part. pg

  12. colliemum says:

    Tallbloke, you’re right to split this into two issues – the science and the social one.
    One aspect of the social issue is language.
    It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Willis that English is not Hans Jelbring’s native language. So how could he make an ‘elevator speech’ of his paper in the first place?
    I defy anyone, even willis, to give an elevator speech in, say, French or German, may they be ever so good in their colloquial use of such second language!

    In a scientific debate, most of us who have only a smattering of knowledge, will keep quiet and take up messages from the give-and-take of the debate of the more knowledgeable. If the debaters harass each other with language usually heard in the schoolyard, nobody learns because nobody ‘teaches’.
    And that’s a loss to all of us, especially when there are new theoretical ideas being introduced which surely deserve to be looked at and criticised in a civil manner rather than being shredded with endless vituperations bandied about.

    I look forward to seeing the N & Z paper MkII here!

  13. gnomish says:

    Mr. Watts: on another occasion, when i complained about it, willis’ stated his belief that trolling his own threads will save wuwt from becoming the most boring place on the planet.
    he’s got guru syndrome and now he’s afugue with self loathing.
    you, Mr. Watts, are professional.
    have some powder.milk biscuits.

  14. tchannon says:

    Anthony,
    No-one is suggesting gravity is doing work as in magical energy appearing.

  15. Anything is possible says:

    Uplifted from the WUWT site :

    “Unreliable*
    Skeptical Science – John Cook
    * Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting.”

    I love irony…

  16. Stephen Wilde says:

    A Watts said:

    “As far as I’m concerned, the idea that gravity provides energy input (beyond the one time initial compression during attraction and capture) is simply a misinterpretation.”

    I’m amazed that so many modern scientists have that idea.

    I learned decades ago that gravity is a constant force all pervasive and always acting.

    The only reason we don’t all fall to the centre of the Earth is that the ground is denser than our bodies.

    But for gravity every molecule of the planet right down to the core would float off into space.

    At every moment our every movement and every movement of every atom molecule or elementary particle is being opposed by the constant gravitational field

    It is not akin to a single pressurisation. It is akin to continuously renewed pressurisation and every time anything moves or is prevented from moving by a denser object work is being done and heat energy produced.

    The Laws of Thermodynamics are preserved because the heat energy is produced from the change in momentum of molecules caused by movement within the gravitational field.

    Heat isn’t produced by gravity itself but by the changes that the gravitational field imposes on matter moving through it.

    A Watts said:

    “Shut off the energy, and the model planet goes back to steady state equilibrium with the atmosphere clinging like paint again.”

    Maybe so but a force is still being applied constantly drawing the ‘paint’ towards the centre of the Earth. That movement is blocked by the density of the ground beneath but the gravitational attraction is still present and to the extent that the ground restrains the paint from falling further an imperceptible amount of energy is being constantly produced.

    Is that really a surprise to everyone but me ?

  17. Bebben says:

    Tallbloke, I found the gunfight at WUWT absolutely unbelievable with all the snipping and ad-homs, to the point that any scientific content in the “debate” was lost to me, and replaced with words like “idiot” and hysterical snipping of dissenting views. To me it seemed like Willis had “lost it” and that there was no point in trying to keep track of the actual points. So, much like colliemum, who puts it so nicely, I come here to try to follow a civil debate, because it’s interesting and I could actually learn something.

    I come unarmed :-); I just became follower #95.

    Keep up the good work! And with a little distance, I think the shoot-out at WUWT will look increasingly funny.

    Best regards from Bergen, Norway.

  18. markus says:

    “Stephen Wilde says:
    January 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Maybe so but a force is still being applied constantly drawing the ‘paint’ towards the centre of the Earth. That movement is blocked by the density of the ground beneath but the gravitational attraction is still present and to the extent that the ground restrains the paint from falling further an imperceptible amount of energy is being constantly produced”.

    I’ll mull over the effects of gravity between two entities in a joint gravitational field and come back latter. I do question;

    Is it not that force of gravity is applied to both the ground and the paint?
    Is it not, as the force of gravity is applied equally then there is no conflict with force (no work) between them? What entropy, therefor, is between them?

    Probably, I’ll go and sit under a apple tree and discover if the paint or a rock falls to the ground first.

  19. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Is it not, as the force of gravity is applied equally then there is no conflict with force (no work) between them?”

    On a strict technicality of little practical significance the surface oif the ground being closer to the centre of the gravitational field will feel a stronger gravitational pull than the paint lying upon it.

    So there will be some work but not much.

    If you drop paint and an apple from the same height they will fall at the same speed subject to differing air resistances.

    Drop them from different heights and there will be an ever so slight difference.

  20. Stephen Wilde says:

    I just noticed the point of confusion about the gravitational effect.

    It isn’t the process of compression that generates the heat.

    It is the increase in atmospheric density at the surface caused by the gravitational compression that generates more collisional activity.That is what N & Z are referring to in their paper so any assertions that they are wrong on the basis of compression not being the cause are missing the point.

  21. plazaeme says:

    Allowing …/… to moderate their own threads …

    Quite so. Big error. You can’t challenge people to shoot your thought experiment down and pretend to be the referee at the same time. Feeling like God? Much less so at WUWT, with all their “labour” force.

    An interesting idea has become a mess. Doesn’t matter I agree with Willis. That’s no manners.

  22. plazaeme says:

    By “agreeing with Willis” I mean his experiment is correct. I don’t know whether he is addressing other’s ideas or not

  23. tallbloke says:

    Bebben: welcome, and thanks for the vote of confidence. We do our best to maintain a good site which people feel happy to contribute to.

    plazaeme: That’s why I didn’t try to go into the science of this particular issue much on this thread. There is an equally important principle at stake which is too often overshadowed by the substance of the debate.

  24. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Stephen Wilde says:
    January 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm
    AH, So, grasshopper! Temperature of a molecule and temperature of a detector immersed in those molecules is not the same thing. Individual molecules have independent energy levels.

    A thermometer measures the average energy level of all the molecules that contact it.

    When we design a solar water heater system we send the Solar panel heated water into the center of a tall storage tank. The water stratifies in a few hours. 120F water in and 180F water out the top, as some molecules are energized to over 212F and others in the flow are still at ambient temperature. Those with a low energy level sink to the bottom and are recycled into the panel. Convection not conduction or radiation of energy, in a fluid.

    In the high stratosphere we have molecules with hundreds of degreesF of energy and an ambient real temperature of -60F. Fire and Ice at the same time!

    Applied science is a lot more fun then theoretical physics, 😎 pg

  25. Michael Hart says:

    I agree with timchannon in that I think imprecise use of language may have allowed misconceptions and misunderstandings to creep in [especially regarding the thermodynamics of a temperature gradient within a gravity gradient].

    Willis seems to me like a smart guy, but we all get bees in our bonnets (ask J. Hansen).
    Sceptics should get angry with each other now and again. That’s how science works.

    Relax. Listen instead to the excellent Charney Lecture given by Graeme L. Stevens at the AGU [as posted on Judith Curry’s blog]. Remember, 97% of that audience [allegedly] believe that humanity is on the brink of a cataclysm as a result of atmospheric carbon dioxide. They look quite calm about it though, don’t they?
    [If you listen all the way through, you will laugh when he describes ‘the Scandinavian problem’.]

    http://sites.agu.org/fallmeeting/scientific-program/lectures/bowie-and-named-lectures/6dec/

  26. u.k.(us) says:

    It is a sad state of affairs 😦
    My question would be, what is driving it ?
    I suppose it might be the quest for answers ?

    Of course, in truth, it is the fact that no one has asked the right question.

  27. kuhnkat says:

    TallBloke,

    from Willis reply: “Now suppose we add an atmosphere to the planet, a transparent GHG-free atmosphere. If the theories of N&K and Jelbring are correct, the temperature of the planet will rise.

    But when the temperature of a perfect blackbody planet rises … the surface radiation of that planet must rise as well.”

    Excuuuuuuuuuse me all to heck!! This is exactly the issue with GreenHouse!!!!!!! GHG’s don’t produce energy, they alledgedly delay it. A transparent atmosphere would do the same through conduction. Our existing atmosphere does the same. Without GHG’s there would be no way to quickly cool or warm the mass of the atmosphere!!

    For warming to happen there has to be a period when energy is being absorbed and distributed through the MASS of the planet and atmosphere during which the temp is below equilibrium and so is the amount of outgoing radiation!!

    Willis already has a huge problem in that he believes the BS about our atmosphere sending back about 340w/m2 due to GHG’s. I have two objections. One, SB is based on a hemispheric emission. In the atmosphere GHG’s radiate in a sphere. Do we then divide the amount of energy going down by 2?? The second objection is that they generally use over .9 for the emissivity. Measure from a probe on its way to Mars the earth has an emissivity of about .75. This is a rather large difference. Then we have to remember that some of this emissivity will be due to radiation from the surface itself meaning that the actual atmosphere is LESS than that!! Their numbers are junk. Their theories are junk. Willis is buying into this surperficial junk.

    http://www.xylenepower.com/Emissivity.htm

  28. kuhnkat says:

    Stephen Wilde,

    “It is the increase in atmospheric density at the surface caused by the gravitational compression that generates more collisional activity.That is what N & Z are referring to in their paper so any assertions that they are wrong on the basis of compression not being the cause are missing the point.”

    YES!!!!!! The actual temp depends on the input and output modified by the differing conditions.

  29. markus says:

    “Stephen Wilde says:
    January 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I just noticed the point of confusion about the gravitational effect.

    It isn’t the process of compression that generates the heat.

    It is the increase in atmospheric density at the surface caused by the gravitational compression that generates more collisional activity.That is what N & Z are referring to in their paper so any assertions that they are wrong on the basis of compression not being the cause are missing the point.”

    E=Mc2 Stephen, E=Mc2.

    I’ve returned from the apple tree. Seems if we want to redefine that simple equation we could only do so by knowing the absolute relationship of gravity and mass and energy. We could end up with something like.

    E=Mc2Ga3

    There is unfathomable treasures awaiting you if you do work it out, because in it is the answer to black holes and the function of time relative to the new paradigm E=Mc2Ga3.

  30. Jim says:

    If you turn on an air compressor and let the tank fill, the tank gets hot. This compression is no different from compression due to gravity. But if you wait a while, the tank cools off. The air pressure is somewhat less after cooling, but still considerably higher than one atmosphere. If one allowed air to accumulate on an airless Earth in, say, the period of a week; the air at the bottom would likewise get hot. But like the compressor tank, it would radiate away the heat, cooling in the process.

    [ We know this Jim and is the “transient case” argument, often a first reaction when someone first reads, perfectly correct under those circumstances. A critical point is the overall pressure matter is about huge timescales and different planets, not day to day, see Figure 10 of the N&Z paper a few posts back. What goes on day to day is more about an explanation for why that happens.
    The actual system is very different from a quick compress cool, is not static (earth has day and night for a start) and this is where a lot of discussion and argument is going on.
    Best bet is try and keep an open mind, see if you can figure out the truth in all that is said. There are serious people around. –Tim co-moderator]

  31. OzWizard says:

    Cross-posted from WUWT:

    Since Tallbloke first published the “Unified Theory of Climate” by N & Z, and reminded everyone about Hans Jellbring’s hypothesis, I have watched the melting of the inimitable Willis Eschenbach’s mind in fascination. I feel I must attempt to put out the fire in his head before it consumes him completely. I have enjoyed most of his earlier perspicacious writings and do not want to lose him.

    I believe Willis’ approach to this theory is revealing: (a) it makes his head hurt; (b) he wants someone else to explain where his thinking is wrong.

    Well, I would hate to see him self-destruct due “excess heat” build-up in his head so I offer the following (including my “elevator speech”) as an antidote to his dilemma. Be honest with yourself, Willis. The fact this alternative theory makes your head hurt is a sign of “impending change”; your paradigm is being altered and that is making you uncomfortable.

    The biggest trouble with thought experiments, Willis, is that if you are not extremely careful, you can end up believing that things like M C Escher’s impossible “ascending-descending” stairway is physically possible. The main problem is that there is no “reality check” built into a thought experiment. That is why Einstein’s relativity theory led to the TWIN PARADOX.

    You should be able to agree that paradoxes do not exist in REALITY, but only in the mind, generally as a result of false premises in the logical process which generates them as a part of their “logical conclusion”.

    For me, the Greenhouse Gas Theory is in the same class as the Escher stairway (or the Twin Paradox of Relativity, or the Wave-Particle Duality of Planck and others). If you believe any one of these things is possible, and are prepared to defend it as “a reality”, you have already “lost the plot”. You have effectively surrendered your intellect to a smooth-talking con-man.

    The false premise in the ‘GG theory’ is the postulated existence of the effect of ‘back radiation’ from a cold atmospheric trace gas, namely, that such a ‘cool’ gas can cause a ‘warmer’ surface to be raised to a higher temperature than it would otherwise be, without the presence of the ‘cool’ gas. If this does not seem to you to be the quintessential recipe for a perpetual motion device, then you have lost the essential critical faculty which defines a scientific mind.

    As for the Atmospheric Temperature Enhancement (ATE; NTE) postulated by N & Z, here is my elevator speech:

    ·1. The existence of a dimensionless Thermal Expansion Coefficient of steel does not imply that “gravity cause steel to expand”.
    ·2. Likewise, the existence of a dimensionless ATE ‘factor’ does not imply that “gravity causes heating of the lower atmosphere”, in defiance of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    ·3. In both cases, the dimensionless ratio in question enables us to calculate easily what the effect of “heat input” will be on, in the first case, a bar of steel and, in the second case, a planetary atmosphere subjected to gravitational compression.

    I hope that did not strain your attention span, Willis. From that point on, you should be able follow the logic. I’ll leave the pleasure of that process of discovery for you to enjoy at your own pace.

  32. Stephen Wilde says:

    To summarise the story so far:

    1) Willis accepts that his non GHG atmosphere will produce a dry adiabatic lapse rate with the warmest temperatures at the surface.

    2) The warmth at the surface is NOT due to gravitational compression but gravity is responsible for placing the maximum density of non GHG molecules at the base of the atmospheric column.

    3) That maximimum density causes the greatest number of molecular collisions to occur just above the surface.

    4) Such collisions transfer energy by conduction and not radiation. Their effect is to convert incoming solar shortwave radiative energy into kinetic energy and to retain it longer until it can be released upward as outgoing longwave IR.

    5) It is that delay that increases the surface temperature.

    6) That delay is caused by gravity concentrating the maximum density of atmospheric molecules at the surface and the greater the density, the longer the delay and the higher the equilibrium temperature must become.

  33. tchannon says:

    SW,

    Add, convection transferring heat away from the surface, otherwise you end up with an aphysical lapse rate, specifically it is _not_ the conductive lapse rate.

  34. Jim says:

    [ We know this Jim and is the “transient case” argument, often a first reaction when someone first reads, perfectly correct under those circumstances. A critical point is the overall pressure matter is about huge timescales and different planets, not day to day, see Figure 10 of the N&Z paper a few posts back. What goes on day to day is more about an explanation for why that happens.
    The actual system is very different from a quick compress cool, is not static (earth has day and night for a start) and this is where a lot of discussion and argument is going on.
    Best bet is try and keep an open mind, see if you can figure out the truth in all that is said. There are serious people around. –Tim co-moderator]

    I see what you are saying, but the molecules in the compressor will be hitting each other more frequently also. Yet, the compressor and the higher pressure air in it are the same temperature as the air outside the compressor.

  35. Jim says:

    Also, the air in the compressor is more dense than the air outside it.

  36. suricat says:

    TB.

    I’ve been away for a while and I’m not ‘up to speed’ on the subject of this thread, but it’s good to remember that the *only* ‘mechanical work done’ to a *warmed* ‘dry parcel of air’ is that of ‘expansion’ (or ‘compression’ where the volume is confined).

    This property has repercussions in that, it ‘transcends the attractors’ of ‘thermal expansion’ and ‘density’ WRT ‘gravitational attraction’, and invokes a ‘gravitational potential’ that differentiates the degree of gravitational attraction for the ‘media’.

    IOW, ‘gravity’ provides the energy responsible for any ‘separation/stratification’ of media, and the ‘local’ temperature is an indicator of ‘thermal activity’ (in a dry environment [no phase change]). Thus, ‘gravity’ has a ‘say’ in the way that things ‘interact’ with one-another, but what is the extent/limit of this ‘interaction’? That’ll probably amount to ‘convection’!

    Best regards, Ray.

  37. AusieDan says:

    We all know that heavier than air machines such as Boing 767’s cannot fly.
    That is we know that if we still live in the nineteenth century.
    Established scientific theory told us so.

    I’m with Stephen Wild here – there seems to be something in the N&Z theory.
    It may just be wishful thinking, but then again, it may not.

    I have spent days and days replicating N&Z’s calcualtions in their table 1.
    And charting their data, backwards and forwards again.
    Sometimes in novel ways that they have not presented so far.

    I have suggested to Willis that he do the same.
    I have then suggested that he explain why the data fits together so very well.
    Oh and why CO2 looks laughable in comparison.

    I suspect that my helpful suggestions got snipped along with the rest.
    I haven’t got back so far to check and perhaps I won’t bother either.
    Oh well!

  38. Stephen Wilde says:

    tchannon,

    I was taking the convection as read otherwise there wouldn’t be a dry adiabatic lapse rate and Willis has already conceded that.

  39. Bob Fernley-Jones says:

    Tallbloke, In your lead article you wrote in part:

    My decision to prevent Joel Shore from commenting here was vindicated in a wry comment by Anthony Watts himself.

    Anthony Watts says: January 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    I’ve closed the other two threads on this subject since they were getting a bit ragged and Shore-worn, and directed everyone here to [Willis’ new thread].

    Here follows another recent example of Joel Shore’s elitist arrogance, and Anthony’s stretched patience with him, where Joel commented on a small part of something I wrote, and Anthony then spat the dummy by adding a rather explicit comment for Joel’s benefit:

    QUOTE:
    Joel Shore says: January 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Bob Fernley-Jones says: BTW, I think this here [blog] debate is the best form of “peer review”

    [Joel]: No…It is evidence of how, outside of the scientific community, people can endlessly debate things that inside the scientific community would quickly and rightly be dismissed as nonsense. The fact that this is still being debated despite the best attempts by some of us to inject correct science into the debate shows how many people seem unable to distinguish actual science from nonsense. This is particularly true when the nonsense aligns more with what they want to believe than the science does.

    [Anthony Watt’s] REPLY: And this Joel, is where you fail miserably. The point of this is education. To learn people must make mistakes. The problem with the “scientific community” is that they poo poo and denigrate people like myself and those who frequent this blog for going through the learning process discussing things they consider off limits. The fact is though, that anyone who maintains a closed mind to re-evaluating anything is a lost soul, capable only of self affirmatiom and confirmation bias.
    I could have prevented this post, knowing full well at the outset that it had serious problems, but then, nobody would have learned anything. Unlike you and the team, I prefer to allow such open debate, even if the debate shows just how wrong the idea can be. The real value is in the journey. I refer everyone to the conclusion of this discussion in Willis Eschenbach’s thread A Matter of Some Gravity.
    You’ve spent hours dominating this thread and the original, and many have learned something from it, some have not. But in honor of your pig-headedness displayed here, I’m closing the thread. The conversation can continue on the Willis essay linked above. Take a 24 hour time out before you try to take command of that thread too. – Anthony

  40. Geoff Cruickshank says:

    Bad enough that comments were snipped- but willis out taminoing tamino was spectacularly unedifying.
    Watts-Up loses me as a semi regular skimmer, not much loss since there is quite a lot of junk over there.

  41. gnomish says:

    my ir thermometer tells me the color temperature of NaCl
    NaCl is a cubic xtal and is transparent to ir.
    NaCl radiates ir.
    my ir thermometer says so, anyway.

    i can hold a piece of space shuttle tile at 1000C – it has little thermal mass and won’t burn my fingers even as it incandesces.
    i can scorch my burger with an iron plate at 400F because it does have thermal mass.
    temperature is not heat
    density is not temperature

    if gravity is static, then so is specific gravity.
    so, unless gravity changes, it can have no dynamic effect on a density gradient or a lapse rate.
    if there is an observed change, something else is the cause.

  42. gnomish says:

    if i heat one end of a bar of metal, a thermal gradient is produced with consequent density gradient according to its thermal coefficient of expansion.
    how is that different than a lapse rate?
    does a lapse rate require convection?

  43. gnomish says:

    water, when it changes from a teaspoon of liquid to a liter of the lightest gas on the planet – is at the same temperature as its surroundings.
    it rises because of low density not because of temperature.
    it sets the lapse rate wherever it wants.

  44. tallbloke says:

    Willis has written a long rambling revisionist self justifying editorial on the massacred thread at WUWT.

    Someone ought to snip it and leave a message, like:

    [SNIP: read the instructions. Elevator speeches and disproofs only.] 🙂

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/13/a-matter-of-some-gravity/#comment-865800

  45. tallbloke says:

    OzWizard: Welcome and apologies for the late moderation of your comment – sleepy time here in the UK. Everyone should read his comment.

  46. malagaview says:

    OzWizard says: January 16, 2012 at 1:54 am
    Wonderful… Thank you.

    tallbloke says: January 16, 2012 at 7:32 am
    OzWizard: Everyone should read his comment.
    Good suggestion…
    Unfortunately the comment fell on deaf ears over in Legoland.

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm
    OzWizard says:
    January 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Since Tallbloke first published the “Unified Theory of Climate” by N & Z, and reminded everyone about Hans Jellbring’s hypothesis, I have watched the melting of the inimitable Willis Eschenbach’s mind in fascination. I feel I must attempt to put out the fire in his head before it consumes him completely.
    I have enjoyed most of his earlier perspicacious writings and do not want to lose him.

    Gosh, Ozwizard, you sure know how to make an entrance. Start by abusing and patronizing the guy who wrote the post. Claim omniscience about what is going on. Insult me in a variety of manners. Does your momma know you enter a group like that?

    I believe Willis’ approach to this theory is revealing: (a) it makes his head hurt; (b) he wants someone else to explain where his thinking is wrong.

    Well, I would hate to see him self-destruct due “excess heat” build-up in his head so I offer the following (including my “elevator speech”) as an antidote to his dilemma.

    So, more patronizing, more self-aggrandizement, more insults. Nothing scientific yet.

    Be honest with yourself, Willis. The fact this alternative theory makes your head hurt is a sign of “impending change”; your paradigm is being altered and that is making you uncomfortable.

    Honestly? What makes my head hurt are random internet “experts” like yourself who spend the first half of your very first post in this thread insulting me.

    As a result, OzWizard, no, I’m not going to discuss your genius thoughts. I’m not going to engage with your massive intellect. I’m going to go no further.

    If you would like to get some traction, Wiz, first, start over. Second, lose the farkin’ attitude, you are a random anonymous internet poster just entering the thread who has done nothing to earn it. Third, boil your elevator speech down to about half whatever you think you can do. Then start over and shoot to explain it in half the sentences.

    Come back with that and we’ll talk. Or not. Up to you.

    w.

  47. Wayne Job says:

    Well anyone using imaginary gases and unworldly processes to to come to terms with real world processes, is always going to have a hard time, as the results will be unreal.

    Willis some time ago did a rather good summery of the self regulating heat input thermostat of the tropics. I asked him to continue in this endeavour to find the other thermostats in the temperate and arctic zones, to no avail. He is wasting his capacity doing hypertheticals.

    The operation of a green house is simplicity, take a glass house filled with your bog standard atmosphere add sunshine and watch the temperature rise. The molecules get all puffed up angry and bashing in to one another. They have no escape, they are not used to confinement they roil and boil and warm the plants, which grow so much better in warm. The kind attendant of said green house, then pumps in CO2 in huge quantities and the plants rejoice for oxygen to them is excreta.

    CO2 is plant food and IR warming the planet is expletive deleted. When needing to cool a green house one opens a panel and the angry molecules escape upwards to cool their bums. This is the real world and an engineering marvel of a sealed roof over the planet will be needed if we want a green house.

  48. […] Comments Wayne Job on The Massacre at Cowboy Corral …malagaview on The Massacre at Cowboy Corral …tallbloke on The Massacre at Cowboy Corral […]

  49. This is all beyond ridicule…

    I guess climate science is that thing that can get the worst out of people.

  50. OzWizard says:

    Cross-post of my reply to Willis on WUWT:

    Apologies for my “long-windedness”, Willis. Thanks for reading the ‘uninteresting’ part of my comment. Let me take your advice to be brief (Well, as brief as a 68 year old engineer metrologist can be).

    Re my atttitude (in one sentence): I like what you have done in the past – have enjoyed almost every one of your previous posts – but the above post is one of your worst (IMO).

    My objective: I want to help ease the pain of your “hurting head”.

    My “elevator speech” re the Near-surface Atmospheric Temperature Enhancement (ATE, or NTE) postulated by N & Z (at p.6 of “Unified Theory of Climate”):

    • The existence of a dimensionless Thermal Expansion Coefficient of steel does not imply that “gravity cause steel to expand”.
    • Likewise, the existence of a dimensionless ATE ‘factor’ does not imply that “gravity causes heating of the lower atmosphere”, in defiance of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    • These dimensionless ratios enable simple calculation of what the effect of “heat input” will be: in the first case, on a bar of steel; in the second case, on a planetary atmosphere subjected to gravitational compression.
    • Don’t overstretch this simile (or is it an analogy?) – it is only a guide to how to read N & Z without causing “head pain”.

    From that point on, you should be able follow their logic. I’ll leave the pleasure of that process of discovery for you to enjoy at your own pace (unless you think I can help further).

    My (unasked-for) advice: Be very, very wary (dare I say, skeptical) of “thought experiments”!!! They are not a reliable substitute for REALITY.

  51. Has anybody tried to count the number of words written about this? It’s already too many here, at WUWT the 1,000-comment make can’t be far. For what purpose? Who’s learnt anything new about science?who’s changed their mind?

  52. tallbloke says:

    Well Maurizio, when cultures clash, is it better that words or arrows fly?

    Somewhere on that mess of a thread is an admission I wrung from Willis that he might be wrong. This is progress and makes the word expenditure worthwhile.

    Unless he later decided to snip it of course. Who knows?

  53. tallbloke says:

    OzWizard says:
    My (unasked-for) advice: Be very, very wary (dare I say, skeptical) of “thought experiments”!!! They are not a reliable substitute for REALITY.

    Elevator speeches fall in the same category too. See the quote from Aldous Huxley at the top of the comments.

    Which planet Willis is personally in orbit around I’m not sure. There’s no shortage of hot air there though. 🙂

  54. David Socrates says:

    Stephen Wilde says, January 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm; 10:17 pm; 10:21 pm

    8:31 pm: A Watts said: “As far as I’m concerned, the idea that gravity provides energy input (beyond the one time initial compression during attraction and capture) is simply a misinterpretation.” I’m amazed that so many modern scientists have that idea.

    Yes! Anthony Watts, in his characteristicly clear way, has encapsulated the issue correctly and succinctly. Your amazement is unfounded. Real scientists don’t think otherwise. Only very ignorant pseudo-scientists (whether skeptics or warmists) think that way.

    A Watts said: ““Shut off the energy, and the model planet goes back to steady state equilibrium with the atmosphere clinging like paint again.” Maybe so but a force is still being applied constantly drawing the ‘paint’ towards the centre of the Earth. That movement is blocked by the density of the ground beneath but the gravitational attraction is still present and to the extent that the ground restrains the paint from falling further an imperceptible amount of energy is being constantly produced. Is that really a surprise to everyone but me ?

    Stephen, it’s certainly a great surprise to me. Claiming that “an imperceptible amount of energy is being constantly produced” is just pseudo-science. It is a completely wrong notion. No work is being done to produce that energy.

    10:17 pm: [Markus at 9:23 pm said] “Is it not, as the force of gravity is applied equally, [that] there is no conflict with force (no work) between them?” On a strict technicality of little practical significance the surface of the ground being closer to the centre of the gravitational field will feel a stronger gravitational pull than the paint lying upon it. So there will be some work but not much.

    Stephen, your technicality is not of ‘little practical significance’, it is just completely wrong. Even though the gravitational force on the paint is notionally higher than on the ground to which it adheres, this fact does not result in any work being done. ‘Work being done’ is the product of force and distance, not just force alone. In the example discussed, the work was all done when the paint was laid down. No ‘work is being done’ while it is simply sitting there.

    Pseudo-science again…

    10:21 pm: I just noticed the point of confusion about the gravitational effect. It isn’t the process of compression that generates the heat. It is the increase in atmospheric density at the surface caused by the gravitational compression that generates more collisional activity. That is what N & Z are referring to in their paper so any assertions that they are wrong on the basis of compression not being the cause are missing the point.

    You just noticed…? After all these days of frantic bloggery since N&Z? Well, horray! Back to real science again. Your credibility is redeemed.

  55. markus says:

    “Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    January 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Has anybody tried to count the number of words written about this? It’s already too many here, at WUWT the 1,000-comment make can’t be far. For what purpose? Who’s learnt anything new about science?who’s changed their mind?”

    Look down into my telescope Maurizo and you’ll observe amongst these comments the scientific method in motion.

  56. Roger Longstaff says:

    Would it help to simply state that a gravitational field is conservative, and that no net work can be extracted from it ? (otherwise, perpetual motion machines would be possible).

    From wiki: “A conservative force is a force with the property that the work done in moving a particle between two points is independent of the path taken. Equivalently, if a particle travels in a closed loop, the net work done (the sum of the force acting along the path multiplied by the distance travelled) by a conservative force is zero.”

    With reluctance, I have now given up with WUWT, although I may return (a lot later) to see if thinhgs have calmed down. There is absolutely no need for nastiness and insults.

  57. markus says:

    Curiously, is it the relationship of mass and gravity that define energy, or the relationship of energy and mass that define gravity, or is it the energy of gravity that defines mass?

    Just asking.

  58. Markus – I don’t think anybody knows why the “m” that appears in E=m*(c squared) is the same “m” that is used in gravity computations.

    As for this whole brouhaha having anything to do with the scientific method, I think you’re not using a telescope, rather a distorting mirror 😎

  59. Roger Longstaff says, January 16, 2012 at 11:34 am: With reluctance, I have now given up with WUWT, although I may return (a lot later) to see if things have calmed down. There is absolutely no need for nastiness and insults.

    Roger, I agree wholeheartedly. Over the years Willis Eschenbach built up a really good track record for clarity and common sense. I was long a fan. In just a few days he has completely trashed his credibility. I am shocked, as I believe many others are.

    The supreme irony is that he has behaved in a way that is grossly out of line compared with what he (incorrectly and unfairly ) accuses Tallbloke of doing in “banning” Joel Shore.

    Surely anybody who runs a private website is perfectly entitled to ban anybody from commenting – just as anybody has the right to choose the guests who visit their home. Of course when such a banning occurs, others can draw their own conclusions as to whether the banning was fair. But what is grossly out of line is to shout and scream at the guests already in your home when they express views that you disagree with.

    What Willis has done is to be incredibly rude to a lot of innocent people, many of whom are very confused about the esoteric subject at hand and are not necessarily expert scientists, nor used to being over-regimented in staying as ‘on topic’ as he would wish.

    In my opinion, all of the above stands true even in the unlikely event that, at the end of the day, Willis and Joel (what a combination!) both turn out to be right. After all, that is what science is all about.

    But another important rule when doing science is always to maintain civility. This Eschenbach has failed lamentably to do.

  60. A. C. Osborn says:

    Willis has been “ranting” more and more over the last few months when he has authored posts at WUWT, anybody who disagrees is quite often insulted, either directly or by inuendo.
    After being banned Steve Goddard has gone on to do some brilliant work on finding Archived data that directly contradicts stupid or exagerrated claims by so called Scientists, Academics, Mass media and politicians.

  61. colliemum says:

    @ Maurizio Morabito (omnologos), January 16, 2012 at 10:01 am:
    Has anybody tried to count the number of words written about this? It’s already too many here, at WUWT the 1,000-comment make can’t be far. For what purpose? Who’s learnt anything new about science?who’s changed their mind?

    Well, I’ve learned something new, not about science but about (some) scientists: defend one’s own thought models tooth and claw, and in no way admit that new proposals are worth thinking about if they seemingly threaten orthodox thinking. It doesn’t matter what label that orthodoxy has.

    Has it changed my mind? No – those who regard themselves as ‘authority’, regardless of which side of the fence they’re on, behave in identical fashion, label those who bring questions in identical fashion, and generally forget that there are a lot of scientists listening, with expertise in other subjects, and who are aghast when proponents behave like teachers of an unruly primary class.

    Regarding the actual subject of that thread – I’ve learned nothing, and haven’t changed my mind because I think it is at least unwise, if not unfair, not to wait for the promised reply by N & Z, as well as for the ‘elevator speech’ tallbloke and Hans Jebring are working on.

  62. markus says:

    “Roger Longstaff says:
    January 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Would it help to simply state that a gravitational field is conservative, and that no net work can be extracted from it ? (otherwise, perpetual motion machines would be possible)”.

    If one considers the solar system as a gravitational field, then I don’t agree. As it is less then conservative if the energy it produces is able to draw other bodies of energy towards it, through a vacuum.

    If one considers the solar system as a mechanism performing work then is that work perpetual? And what is the equilibrium that mechanism is driven too. Black holes? Big bangs?

  63. Talking in-topic for once, I find every discussion that involves the ground radiating back to the atmosphere less than interesting, because the adiabat exists in places such as Jupiter where obviously there is no ground radiating back anything at all.

    If I were the Dictator of Climate Change Research I’d mandate studies of the tropopause, in particular (a) why it exists (b) what it actually is (c) why it is where it is (d) what makes it move around.

    Everything else is a corollary, wrt temperature changes two meters above ground.

    ps actually I would also mandate every comment to be less than 300 words 8-D

  64. And my gut-feeling answers are:

    (a) a characteristic of every atmosphere above a certain average density. Some kind of “phase switch height”.

    (b) a limit below which conduction and convection dominate over radiation

    (c) it depends on the mass of the atmosphere and the size of the planet. In first approx it doesn’t depend on the gases making up the atmosphere

    (d) changes in the stratosphere (the part of the atmosphere above it where radiation dominates and density is still non-negligible)

  65. dlb says:

    I think it is time Willis started his own blog, he then could snip and rant as much as he wants. Although I agree with his science his manner in that post has much to be desired. I hate to say it but he reminded me of one of the contrbutors at John Cook’s blog.

  66. Roger Longstaff says:

    Marcus,

    I think that the statement about a single gravitational field being conservative is correct, and undisputed. However, the solar system is comprised of the fields of the sun, multiple planets and anything else with mass (asteroids, etc). All rotate about the common centre of mass (barycentre) and all have individual angular momentum. All of this has to be computed by numerical integtarion, as there is not even an analytical solution to a three body problem.

    All of this is from memory, and I am perfectly happy for anyone to contradict it, if they think that it is wrong.

  67. Paul-in-UK says:

    I had my comment on WUWT snipped.

    I’m just learning and trying to make sense of both sides of the argument. My interpretation below needs someone with a bit of knowledge of absorption and emission spectra of atoms, molecules and minerals to go over it and point out errors:

    Radiation from the Sun is not all at infra red wavelength but contains higher energy shorter wave ultra violet, visible light, etc. This radiation hits the Earths surface and gets converted to heat. Any gas in contact with the surface, be it Nitrogen, Water Vapour, CO2, O2 gains heat by conduction. The rate of heat loss by conduction is likely to be proportional to the density of the gas at the surface. Gravity ensures that most of the mass of a gas is initially at the bottom of the atmosphere. Convection carries some of the gas up distributing the heat but not losing any of the energy in total.

    Now the only way these gases can lose that energy to outer space is by radiation, as conduction and convection won’t work there at the boundary. This radiation loss must occur else the gas temperature would rise to infinity. Some of that radiation goes up into space and some of it goes down and manages to reaches the surface and gets converted to heat, just like the Suns’ radiation. Therefore the radiation reaching the surface gets additional radiation, from the energy lost by the atmosphere.

    The atmosphere on Venus is very dense at the surface so conduction is high and heat loss by conduction into the atmosphere very high. The main component is CO2 but if the atmosphere were 100% nitrogen, i.e. a non GHG, the conduction effect is still valid.

    The Earths’ surface, or Venus’s, can also lose heat by infra red radiation: infra red heat radiated by the surface is absorbed by greenhouse gases (mainly water vapour on Earth; mainly CO2 on Venus) and some of that radiation is radiated back to Earth and some out into space.

    So the radiation reaching the surface is the sum of the Suns’ radiation PLUS conduction of heat into the Atmosphere and heat loss by radiation PLUS the GHG radiation. To maintain a balance the amount of radiation leaving the surface must equal the incoming radiation so the surface temperature must rise according to the Stephan Boltzman equation.

    Therefore, take away greenhouse gases and the surface still receives more radiation than a planet without an atmosphere and gets to a higher temperature. With the GHG’s it gets to an even higher temperature still but not the 33c claimed.

    It would be nice if somebody could do the experiment to see if the above is true.

  68. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Paul, and welcome. Have a look and see what others are saying on this thread and others in the gravity series. Use the links in the various thread tables to the left. It’s all up for discussion so don’t worry if no-one spends time critiquing your particular reasoning. Just join in where something grabs your attention and swim along with us,

    Cheers

    Rog

  69. Martin A says:

    Willis Eschenbach seems to have been getting a bit frayed around the edges by the end of the comments…

    *** Louise, a commenter WUWT, commented (WUWT January 15, 2012 at 4:48 am)

    “And if you believe a man like Tallbloke, who censors scientific opinion that he disagrees with, you are an idiot. -w.”
    Have we not witnessed Willis doing exactly that over and over on this thread?
    How many comments like mine didn’t even make it past moderation?

    *** W.E. replied (WUWT January 15, 2012 at 11:19 am)
    My dear, there are no comments like yours, so the answer is none.
    w.

    *** I commented on W.E.’s reply (WUWT January 16, 2012 at 12:34 am)
    Am I alone in finding this reply sexist, condescending and unworthy of W.E. ?

    ***W.E. replied (WUWT January 16, 2012 at 1:22 am)
    You obviously assume that because she is a woman Louise cannot speak for herself if she is offended. Am I alone in finding your assumption patronizing, sexist, condescending, and unworthy of Martin A?
    Martin, who appointed you the sexism policeman? And more to the point, do they give you a cool uniform? Do you get one of those kind of phony cop badges the security guys wear? Are you issued a Taser in case some sexist starts getting obstreperous? Instead of “Police Constable”, does the “PC” on your funny hat mean “Politically Correct”?
    w.
    PS—Louise, if my remark did offended you, it was certainly not my intention and you have my apologies. It was intended a bit of harmless levity, which seems to be frowned upon by some.

    =======================

    It is the standard response of a bully when challenged on their bullying to reply:

    – It was just a joke.
    – The person raised no objection, so what is it to you?
    – *If* what I said caused offense, *then you have my apologies*

    A *real* apology is more along the lines of “I am sorry; I should not have said that.”

  70. Paul Dennis says:

    I found WE’s thought experiment very informative and it provoked me to go and look at some of the physics in more detail especially with regard to lapse rate and the behaviour of an adiabatic gas column in a gravitational field. As a result I’m certain that Willis’ thermal distribution in his GHG atmosphere is incorrect and his understanding of the lapse rate incomplete. He was gracious enough to detail the steps that lead to his understanding, which I still think is incomplete and erroneous. I don’t think, though, that this invalidates his conclusions.

    However,reading the thread I’ve become somewhat disenchanted with the manner of many of the put downs etc. on that particular thread and have decided that WUWT is no longer worth wasting my time on.

    I’m fortunate that I am a professional scientist. I view the various blogs as a way in which to engage with others (amateurs and professionals, beginners to advanced). Courtesy doesn’t cost anything, except maybe some time. We shouldn’t expect everyone to have an advanced and detailed understanding of radiation physics, kinetic theory, thermodynamics etc. Rather than put downs, sniping and snipping it would be much better to engage constructively.

    I did start a blog myself (Harmonic Oscillator) after the Guardian outed me as a UEA scientist who has a different view on global warming and much of the palaeo evidence. However, with work load etc. I soon found it virtually impossible to keep up. I think Nir Shaviv’s ‘Science bits’ is an excellent example of what I would like to have achieved and maybe I will go back to it sometime.

    In the meantime I’m going to try and pull together some bits and pieces relating to gravity, lapse rate, Loschmidt effect etc. and present them as 101 notes to (a) help clarify the issues in my own mind, (b) provide a context for the discussion of some of the papers and ideas that are proposing a strong gravity component to the so-called GHE. It will take me a few weeks to get the material together but perhaps Roger will allow it to be posted here as a discussion document?

    Best wishes to all.

  71. tallbloke says:

    Paul: Thank you. I will be honoured and delighted to host the discussion of your notes when you have them ready. We will imminently be hosting the ‘response to comments’ from Nikolov and Zeller so please check back while you are in process to see what they have to say.

  72. AusieDan says, January 16, 2012 at 3:16 am: I have spent days and days replicating N&Z’s calculations in their table 1. And charting their data, backwards and forwards again. Sometimes in novel ways that they have not presented so far. I have suggested to Willis that he do the same. I have then suggested that he explain why the data fits together so very well. Oh and why CO2 looks laughable in comparison. I suspect that my helpful suggestions got snipped along with the rest. I haven’t got back so far to check and perhaps I won’t bother either. Oh well!

    AusieDan, you have grasped the nub of the problem exactly. I have observed that, when presented with new evidence (i.e. data or facts) about any phenomenon under investigation, people who don’t like the implications of the evidence plunge into an intense (and usually impenetrable) debate about the theory behind the phenomenon. They will talk about absolutely anything except the empirical evidence presented.

    This is exactly what has happened to Harry Hoffman’s work. He has been subjected to a barrage of mind-numbingly incomprehensible theoretical objections ever since November 2010, when he published his amazing empirical discovery about the almost identical atmospheric temperature profiles of Earth and Venus (when measured over the same Earth Tropospheric pressure range – 1bar to 0.2bar – and after factoring in the relative distances of the two planets from the Sun). But, astonishingly, the empirical facts he brought to prominance have simply been dismissed as ‘just coincidence’.

    Yet pause a moment to think what a remarkable discovery he has made. Of all the planets in the solar system on which to test out a theory, he couldn’t have chosen a better test case than Venus and Earth. The surface pressure at Earth’s surface is 1bar; on Venus it is 93bars. Earth’s atmosphere contains 0.4% carbon dioxide; Venus atmosphere contains 96%. Earth’s albedo is 0.3; Venus albedo is 0.75.

    Yet despite these huge planetary differences, the fact is that, at any given pressure in Earth’s atmosphere, its temperature turns out to be within 2% of the temperature found at the same pressure level in the Venus atmosphere. In other words it appears that atmospheric temperature is related only to two variables: (i) atmospheric pressure and (ii) distance from the Sun. It is not related to the abundance of CO2, differing by a factor of 28 in the two cases. It is not related to the surface pressure, differing by a factor of 90. It is not related to the difference in plantary albedo, differing by a factor of 2.5. As the lawyers might say, at the very least his discovery should have provided a prima facie case for vigourous investigation.

    Fast forward to N&Z and we find exactly the same thing going on. Many commentators have either ignored or rubbished N&Z’s Table 1. Yet this table contains astonishing data. Using readily available empirical planetary data they have determined the ratio of surface pressure to ‘atmosphere-less grey body’ pressure (the ‘enhancement factor’) for each of 8 very different planetary bodies (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, Europa, Titan, Triton). They have then used this data in turn to derive an empirical formula that contains only a single variable: planetary surface pressure . The formula defines accurately the surface temperatures of each of the 8 planets.

    The formula doesn’t require any of the other usual variables that warmist-inclined people think might be important: solar irradiance, bond albedo, mean acceleration due to gravity, atmospheric mass, mean surface pressure, mean surface air density, molecular mass of the atmosphere, and last but not least atmospheric composition (i.e. lots of GHGs, versus trace amounts of GHGs). Wow!

    All the adverse commentators can find to say is that it has been an exercise in ‘curve fitting’ and now move on, please. Yet, as N&Z say, the curve that the formula describes is not arbitrary: it bears an uncanny similarly to the Poisson formula derived from the Ideal Gas Laws.

    Another ‘case to answer’ methinks.

  73. malagaview says:

    David Socrates says: January 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm
    Fast forward to N&Z and we find exactly the same thing going on.
    Many commentators have either ignored or rubbished N&Z’s Table 1.
    Yet this table contains astonishing data.

    Totally agree…
    Many commentators are actually hiding from the real world
    They put their fingers in their ears and say: I can’t hear you…
    They close their eyes and say: I can’t see you…
    If you comment they say: To are talking rubbish…
    If you persist then you are SNIPPED.
    Hence the shoot-out with Wild Man Will over at Legoland.

  74. Brian H says:

    P.G. Sharrow says:
    January 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The real problem is people doing mind games about idealized conditions that can not exist.

    An atmosphere is fluid and must behave as a fluid and not a solid. A non heated fluid will stratify with the more energetic molecules on top and the less on the bottom. This caused by gravity acting on molecules that take up more or less space because they contain more or less energy and are lighter or heavier in their space.

    An atmosphere is neither, at least as most of us think of a fluid (non- or only slightly compressible). It is a gas, with potential densities ranging over immense orders of magnitude. Compressibility means there’s more than convection and conduction going on. Compression takes work, and a compressed gas “stores” energy. Air tools exploit this (Rather noisily. Think jackhammers.).

    As for the “energy” of individual molecules in the gas, the PE of a high molecule is equivalent to, and exchangeable with, the KE of a low molecule. To use W.’s own analogy (example), a bullet fired vertically at, say, 2 kps will slow to a stop just before it begins to fall back. At the bottom of the trajectory, it’s very “energetic”, and would produce significant heat if it, e.g., runs into and lodges in a nearby chunk of soft copper or gold. But not so at the top. ALL that same energy is still there*, but it’s positional, entirely expressed in distancing from the COG of the system it is part of.

    Deal (with it).

    *(Assume airless no-friction transit of the bullet, to avoid that (minor) complication.)

  75. markus says:

    “Just join in where something grabs your attention and swim along with us,

    Cheers, Rog”

    Problem is Rog, youse are champion swimmers.

  76. Brian H says:

    Just to get a bit more specific about the critical difference between a liquid and gas, if I tug on a molecule in the liquid, there will be considerable tendency for some others next to it to follow because they are somewhat “attached”(though not as much as in a solid). In a gas, there is very little such force or attachment; the only following would be the ballistic motion of molecules crossing the vacated location/space/volume. (Plasmas are different again. In many, many, respects, as they are powerfully shaped electrostatically. Note that much of the thermosphere is actually ionized — i.e., plasma.)

  77. Brian H says:

    Anent nothing in particular, a version of the bar classic comes to mind:

    Two CO2 molecules meet in a bar. One says to the other, “You took one of my electrons!”
    “Bah! How can you say that?”
    “Don’t deny it, I’m absolutely positive!”

  78. tallbloke says:

    Willis has a new thread up.

    I got the first two replies in. One was the Aldous Huxley quote this thread comment section opens with. the other is this:

    tallbloke says:
    January 17, 2012 at 1:07 am

    There are so many mis-statements of fact in this post I don’t know where to start, so I won’t bother.

    I’m seriously thinking of posting the email conversation Willis and I had offline as an easy and time saving rebuttal to the narrative he has woven here, though I won’t act in haste, or without thinking the consequences through first, an approach Willis would be wise to consider in future in my opinion.

    In that email chain, there are at least two ‘elevator speeches’ that I offered to Willis (neither of them satisfactory so I didn’t try on his last thread), a simple rebuttal of his ‘proof’ (Which he deleted twice before finally half-answering), some explanation of my problem with Joel plus a lot of pretty unpleasant retorts from Willis.

  79. You didn’t get the first two replies in…it’s just that the moderators have only allowed your replies. At least so far.

  80. David Socrates says:

    Tallbloke,
    With all due humility as a newcomer to this site (and refugee from WUWT) can I please offer a word of advice?

    Willis is an excellent wordsmith and, on occasions, a good thinker. But at the moment he is spoiling for a fight and is boiling mad. He is probably also very embarrassed by the considerable adverse comment on his recent behaviour.

    You have a much better approach. You are less aggressive and have a technical background. I also hope you are too smart to rise to an obvious bait. Your site has grown into a valuable resource, quite different in style from WUWT. That is what attracts people (and now me) here.

    For all the above reasons, my recommendation would be absolute radio silence from you (and preferably everyone else) on the matter. That will be the most eloquent and effective response to a very troubled man.

    Let us all simply get on with the real job of analysing N&Z, Jelbring, Huffman and the rest and see where it leads us. That’s science.

    Cheers.
    D

  81. suricat says, January 16, 2012 at 2:57 am: ‘gravity’ provides the energy responsible for any ‘separation/stratification’ of media

    Sorry, Ray, I disagree. Gravity does not provide energy. Gravity is a force. A force is not energy. Energy is generated by work. Work is force x distance. The only relevant energy source is the Sun. The flow of this energy through the atmosphere it what sets the temperature profile in the atmosphere. If there were no Sun the temperature profile in the Earth’s atmoshere would be…zilch!

    You may think this is nitpicking because it is true that gravity stratifies the pressure of the atmosphere (the so called lapse rate) and as result there is a temperature profile as energy from the Sun flows through it. But to think of gravity as providing some kind of additional energy, over and above the Sun, is nonsense.

    Unfortunately, this view is currently permeating discussions all over the internet as people struggle to understand the N&Z proposition. And N&Z did themselves no favours by saying in their paper:

    “…the Nte factor gives rise to extra kinetic energy in the lower atmosphere beyond the amount supplied by the Sun. This additional energy is responsible for keeping the Earth surface 133K warmer than it would be in the absence of atmosphere…hence the atmosphere…is in and of itself a source of extra energy through pressure.” [their italics, not mine]

    I don’t believe for one moment that N&K really mean that but, ouch! With sloppy wording from friends like that, we sceptics really don’t need warmist opposition.

    Hopefully N&K will revise their wording in their forthcoming considered response. If not I shall be the first to criticise them.

  82. […] has responded here and here. The end result has been that WUWT has apparently transmogrified into Climate Progress, […]

  83. Brian H says, January 17, 2012 at 7:49 am: As for the “energy” of individual molecules in the gas, the PE of a high molecule is equivalent to, and exchangeable with, the KE of a low molecule. To use W.’s own analogy (example), a bullet fired vertically at, say, 2 kps will slow to a stop just before it begins to fall back. At the bottom of the trajectory, it’s very “energetic”, and would produce significant heat if it, e.g., runs into and lodges in a nearby chunk of soft copper or gold. But not so at the top. ALL that same energy is still there*, but it’s positional, entirely expressed in distancing from the COG of the system it is part of.

    Yes, absolutely agreed 100%. And this is why it is so dangerous to imply, as many here and elsewhere do (and even N&Z appeared to do in the case of the atmosphere) that gravity is itself a form of additional energy over and above the real source of energy (which, in the example you have given, is simply the kinetic energy imparted to the bullet in the first place).

    Yes, the bottom line is: The potential energy that the bullet acquires at the top of its trajectory belongs to the bullet not to gravity.

    Likewise, in the case of an atmosphere, the thermal (kinetic) energy of a packet of rising air is converted to potential energy as it rises against gravity and cools. Once again, gravity is the countervaling force – not a source of energy. It doesn’t provide any additional energy. It is the original energy that warmed the packet in the first place that is converted to another form.

    You, me and others should strive relentlessly to get this agreed by everyone. Otherwise we really can’t move on.

  84. Brian H says:

    “Justified vanity” is a kind of oxymoron, but it describes the situation for a lot of people who have been significantly more attractive, or effective, or athletic, or intelligent, than those around them or whom they encounter. It leads to a kind of casual arrogance which “comes a cropper” when they start bumping into (even a few of) their equals or superiors, of course, but aside from that it causes significant blindness to and/or discounting of the strengths of others in areas where they are not advantaged.

    For example, bright, clear, swift comprehension of concepts and facility in finding discrepancies between observations and abstractions is a capability which vanity employs very selectively against concepts originated by others, and especially those which disrupt or discount one’s own conclusions and preferred generalizations. However vigourous these responses, they act as a kind of mental laziness. Thousands of precedents in personal experience wherein one’s own apperceptions (in which “The … perceived qualities of an object are related to past experience”) proved correct, or victorious in debate, make it almost super-humanly difficult to take input from others on its merits.

    But the premier problem and indicator and much of the source of problems is the strength of response to ‘put-downs’ or perceived slurs or assertions of one’s intellectual inferiority to someone (anyone) else. They quickly can take over one’s mental resources, and in the nature of things the odds are excellent that they will ultimately lock one into one or several very ego-intensive defenses of the indefensible.

    [The above may sound like so much “pop psychologizing”, but it was the field I studied and took degrees in … and applied directly to myself for much of my youth. Even when I entered the University of Toronto MBA program, the dean took me aside and said I had achieved the highest GMAT score they’d ever seen in an applicant, and they expected great things from me. Despite my awareness that in the big pond I was actually a smallish fish, that was a very unfortunate bit of input. I relapsed for many years, and in the end left the program and field for “brighter pastures”.] I have since then intensified my efforts to make a point of (at least internally) acknowledging superior ability and achievement to mine wherever I find it. Which is particularly hard and easy on the internet, if you know what I mean!]

    One fairly good indicator that the above may apply to you (general ‘you’) is your response to the phrase, “You’re wrong,” and conversely the frequency with which you use it (or synonyms). The idealized scientist is supposed to say, given even moderately good evidence that this might be so, “Oh, good! Something new to explore and try to make discoveries about!” Even a tinge of “justified vanity” (not to mention the unjustified variety) makes that very hard to do. In roaring, rampant cases like that of the Mann for All Seasons (and Climates), it would be as hard as putting a steel cable through the eye of a petit-point needle. And in that case, it is almost cartoonishly clear that the defense of “rightness” has taken over all else. Believing earned plaudits is dangerous enough; believing unearned ones is morally and intellectually fatal. Beware!

  85. Paul Dennis says:

    David Socrates:

    I think your description of the lapse rate is flawed. There are a lot of people who are saying the lapse rate comes about because an air mass rises ‘against’ gravity and therefore kinetic energy is converted to potential energy and the air mass cools. This is not the reason the air mass cools. It cools because it adiabatically expands as it rises. The gravity term comes into the relationship because of the barometric formula for air pressure with altitude. It doesn’t come into it as a result of the conversion of kinetic to potential energy.

    In fact if you take a column of air in which there is no convection and it is adiabatically bounded then the equilibrium state is isothermal with no gradient in temperature along the direction of the field. The error people are making is in the statement that as the molecules rise they lose kinetic energy and therefore the temperature drops.

    The temperature is given by the Maxwell distribution of molecular speeds. As you go higher in the air column this distribution does not change. The reason for this is that not all molecules have enough velocity to reach higher altitude levels. So whilst the average molecular kinetic energy drops, so does the number of molecules. However, the Maxwell distribution remains constant and so temperature remains constant.

    I’ve told Roger that I’ll try to put all this together in a posting that explains and separates out these effects.

    The upshot is that air movement is required to establish the lapse rate. If there is no air movement (unlikely in any real situation but useful in some models) then thermal conduction will result in a homogeneous temperature distribution at thermal equilibrium in a gas column.

  86. Brian H says:

    David;
    In the absence of the Sun, the other potential energy sources (fission decay, the Cosmic background, etc.) would have to be taken into account, of course. But in any case there’s likely going to be little atmosphere to be concerned with; it’s likely to be liquified and/or solidified — i.e., part of the crust. Except for — hydrogen and helium. They happen to like very low energy input atmospheres, and hence can concentrate into ‘gas giants’ like Jupiter and the other 3 biggies out there. In the process of ‘coming together’, of course, a great deal of positional PE is turned back into KE (AKA heat), so their cores and mid- to lower-level ‘atmospheres’ get very hot. In a sense, the COG geometric point around which they collected is a matter of happenstance. A few alterations in the ‘gravity wave’ tweaks of the starting environment (before the molecules started falling in towards each other) would have perhaps selected some other point, or none at all. In which case the particular slice of PPE (Potential Potential Energy) that now has potentiated their warming up would have remained purely hypothetical.

    [The PE the whole Earth has wrt the Sun, or Jupiter, or Sag-A (galactic core), is huge, and best left unrealized. It presently shows up in the motion x mass vector in some direction incompatible with arriving at those COGs. Let us give thanks …]

  87. Paul,

    Thanks very much for your response. I am always happy to be corrected. The purpose, above all, is to move forward and I will await your more expert contribution on the subject of the lapse rate with great interest.

    In the meanwhile, here’s a further consideration that you might like to address: I am always uncomfortanble with phrases like ‘air mass’ and ‘parcels of air’ because clearly they are abstractions. There are no such things in reality, only individual molecules whizzing about. So bringing it down to the molecular level, as you have done, is probably the better way of explaining what is really going on. The problem with using terms like ‘adiabatic’ and ‘maxwell distribution’ is that most people don’t know what they mean. The terms are themselves abstractions (as is common in science) so they need careful explanation. I hope thefore you will take that into account when you write your piece.

    Best regards.
    D

  88. Paul Dennis says:

    David Socrates:

    I’ll explain everything from first principles so that the scientific terms become understandable…at least that’s my hope. Best wishes, Paul

  89. Brian H says, January 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Brian, Thanks for your comment. My point about what would happen in the absence of the Sun was of course just a shorthand way of pointing out that gravity is not in any way a contributor of energy to the atmosphere and would clearly not be doing so in the extreme situation where we switched off the Sun.

    Of course I am aware there are practical limitations to this rather flip concept, not least of which is that we would all be dead. There’s probably an anthropic argument hiding somewhere in here, but lets not go there but instead stick to practical science!

    Cheers
    D

  90. colliemum says:

    Hoping that this is still the place where to post a contribution to Willis’ effusions (this time to his new post at WUWT), here goes:

    “Censorship in science is certainly to be condemned.

    A blog owner not allowing someone to post is something else entirely. Blog owner’s rules and all that, no?

    The person not allowed to post has, after all, lots of other venues where to post, he’s not being gagged and disallowed to ever raise his voice anywhere.

    It would be good if the one – censorship – were differentiated from the other.

    As for this and the previous thread – well, good for all those who recognised that as a set-up.
    A lot of us non-physicists were actually hoping to learn something, but a thread environment where the unsuspecting must have felt like being back in primary school, being whacked for not being clever enough to get what teacher wanted, is not conducive to learning.

    Finally, this whole thing reminds me powerfully of the behaviour of certain dogs, where the one sniffs and marks, the other sniffs and marks on top of that immediately, and the first dog going back straightaway to sniff and mark over the second dog’s marks. Ad infinitum if the owner doesn’t put his foot down.

    IAW – get a grip and move on!”

    Btw, @ Brian H, January 17, 2012 at 11:13 am:

    Great and insightful post!

  91. tallbloke says:

    David said:

    For all the above reasons, my recommendation would be absolute radio silence from you (and preferably everyone else) on the matter. That will be the most eloquent and effective response to a very troubled man.

    Let us all simply get on with the real job of analysing N&Z, Jelbring, Huffman and the rest and see where it leads us. That’s science.

    Cheers.
    D

    David, you’re right. I couldn’t resist trying to defend myself against Willis’ misrepresentations. OK, no more. Back to the science. Apologies for interrupting the flow, I hadn’t realized this thread was turning into another good scientific debate at the talkshop despite it’s original subject matter. That speaks volumes!

  92. Roger Longstaff says:

    Tallbloke – “OK, no more” – I totally agree that radio silence is the correct course to take. Well done, and say no more.

    Brian H – excellent analysis, IMHO.

  93. tallbloke says:

    Another nice Aldous Huxley quote:

    “experience is not a matter of actually catching a fish, or watching sunsets, or seeing swallows winging home, or fish chasing prey. It is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing the significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and coordinating. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

  94. Bruce says:

    Least said, soonest mended Roger. As one who was completely neutral – hadn’t even heard of you until your recent libel issues – I think you’ve come out of this with credit. You’re not squeeky clean (Mother Theresa would have risen to Willis’s bait) but you’re not covered in stinky stuff like Willis either.

  95. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Wisdom is what a man does with his experience. pg

  96. PaulID says:

    I just posted this at WUWT I hope this can be resolved amicably.

    Willis and Tallbloke though I am an unimportant person in the scheme of things I feel I have a small insight here. To Tallbloke RE the banning of Joel Shore yes in my opinion Joel is an arrogant egomaniac with delusions of grandeur. He regularly says many things that expose him as being a high-priest of the church of AGW and therefore blind to the simple truth that others can see instinctively but he has made statements that sounded so stupid that I had to investigate them and when I did I learned far more on the subject than he could because I went in looking to learn in short his stupid statements caused me to learn more so I think you are doing those readers of yours a disservice by banning him as he is the best argument for finding out for yourself about scientific ideas so I would consider reinstating him not because of what Willis has done but because he can be an excellent foil to teach the truth to others with.

    To Willis I respect you although admittedly somewhat less than a week ago, you handled this very poorly this could have been done in other ways, none as easy maybe but certainly less damaging to you and Tallbloke and Anthony. On your proof that makes MY head hurt, your proof doesn’t feel right in my head, yes I am uneducated in things scientific but I have read a lot and when something feels right I have found that it is generally right, now there may be some small error or something but it will generally be right, that is one of the reasons I can’t buy into AGW because it feels wrong not because I can prove the numbers wrong although after reading this sight for a very long time I get some of the numbers. it is wrong to my conscious and sub-conscious mind and that is the feeling I get with your proof I am sorry if I lack the education needed to break it down and really see where it is wrong but I have learned to trust that feeling when something is wrong it has given me insight and on more than one occasion it has stopped me from doing or saying something stupid. I hope you and Tallbloke can get past this because you two can do much more on the same side without the petty things getting in the way, and as a learned bard once said “don’t sweat the petty things…….and don’t pet the sweaty things” George Carlin.

  97. fenbeagleblog says:

    This is a very stormy tea cup Tallbloke.

  98. gnomish says:

    in case of snippage at wuwt: (i was provoked to defy his delusion and didn’t resist much)
    gnomish says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    January 17, 2012 at 9:46 am
    willis has a beautiful mind. it was part of his plan. just ask parcher.
    diagnostic stuff, willis.
    what terrifying impotence provokes desperately deluded fantasies of being puppet master?
    i’m leaving this behind with a sneer, there being no tenderness in my heart for the psychotic.

  99. Garethman says:

    I suppose while Willis is doing untold damage to WUWT, I have a sneaking suspicion that Willis will indirectly raise the profile of this site and do it a power of good.

  100. tallbloke says:

    Fen,

    Indeed. I didn’t realise I needed clearance from The Dubbya to make decisions about who posts here.

    Mea maxima culpa. 🙂

  101. colliemum says:

    It’s more like a gale is blowing in that teacup, fen.
    Time to abandon that cup and brew another one.

    Tallbloke – it’s your blog, thus your rules. Nobody who has visited blogs these last few years can be unaware of that.

    The public parading of one’s self-proclaimed ‘martyrdom’, like the Dubbya is doing, is unappetising.

  102. tallbloke said: January 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm: I hadn’t realized this thread was turning into another good scientific debate at the talkshop despite it’s original subject matter. That speaks volumes!

    And what a good evocative title under which to carry on the debate – reminding us all of the need to be always polite whilst never pulling any punches.

  103. Bob Fernley-Jones says:

    Tallbloke,
    I’m wondering if “Eschenbark’s” (pun/insult intended) alleged outrage at the way you want to run YOUR blog WRT Joel Shore’s attitude problem, is merely another element of his grossly inflated blind ego. Hey! he shouts, look at me with my great moral principles, supporting Joel! (that same Joel having severely stretched Anthony Watts’ patience more than once).

    I think it is really weird that on his thread; A Matter of Some Gravity, that Willis disparately introduces his alleged sense of outrage. Furthermore, his keynote so-called proof against N&Z, is based on an impossible planet with uniform surrounding stellar heating, (and thus uniform surface temperature), and all the parameters that would contest his “proof” are conveniently removed. (But, when these awkwardness’s are raised, he yells; if I can paraphrase; follow my bizarre model you imbecile)

    I think he has produced some good scientific hypotheses in the past, but has also produced some serious crap, only some of which he has admitted to be wrong.

    I could go-on but is that enough for now?

  104. dp says:

    If this theory is correct that higher pressure gas at the bottom of the atmosphere is suffering more collisions (it is – it is what causes a balloon to expand) than at the top, and that this increased rate of collisions creates heat, why is a cylinder of gas pressurized to hundreds or thousands of PSI stabilize at the same temperature as a cylinder holding 1 atmosphere (0 PSI) of gas?

  105. David Socrates says:

    Dp, the answer to your gas cylinder question is simply that the temperature of the gases in the cylinders will equilibrate with the ambient temperature at ground level – just as any other darned object would when placed there. Simple as that…!

    Perhaps you were thinking that the Ideal Gas Law equation, PV=nRT, would make the temperatures different simply because the pressures are different (the volumes of the cylinders having remained constant)? If so you have forgotten that there is a fourth variable, n, in the equation, which stands for the number of molecules (technically for the molar mass).

    If, for the sake of example, P2 is 100 times P1 then, n2 will be exactly 1/100th of n1. That makes sense when you think about it. What do you have to do to Increase the pressure in a cylinder whose contents is at a given pressure so that it has exactly 100 times that pressure? Why, you pump additional gas molecules into it until there are exactly 100 times as many molecules inside the cylinder!

    By the way, you say “…this increased rate of collisions creates heat.” No that’s wrong. Actually the collisions don’t create heat. It’s the other way round: heat causes the collisions. And what causes the heat? Well, heat is just kinetic energy in the gas molecules. It is there because radiation is constantly flowing in from the Sun, being absorbed, directly or indirectly, by the gas molecules which thereby gain additional kinetic energy. The kinetic energy is then exchanged with other gas molecules via collisions, and is eventually lost from the gas molecules near the top of the atmosphere by radiation to space.

    It’s as simple as that!

  106. Oops! Sorry, dp, that should of course have read:

    “If, for the sake of example, P2 is 100 times P1 then n2 will be exactly 100 times n1.”

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