Roy Clark: Where it all went wrong with climate science

Posted: March 21, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in atmosphere, climate, Energy, Incompetence, Politics, weather

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Roy Clark left this as a comment on Bishop Hill:

Most people, including many scientists, have been fooled by the pseudoscience that is hidden in the climate models. Every single result produced by the use of radiative forcing is invalid. The results from all of the models that use the empirical radiative forcing constants given by the IPCC are fraudulent.

The full explanation is little involved, but here goes:

In order to understand the issues it is necessary to go back to the beginning and look at the original 1967 paper by Manabe and Wetherald [J. Atmos. Sci. 24 241-249 (1967), ‘Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity’. This can be found at http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/sm6701.pdf
The assumptions made in the derivations are clearly stated on the second page.

The Earth’s climate is stable, which means that there is an approximate energy balance between the incoming solar radiation and the outgoing LWIR flux somewhere ‘at the top of the atmosphere’. This is simply a statement of the First Law of Thermodynamics. The energy is conserved – more or less. However, this does not justify the assumption that an ‘average climate equilibrium state’ exists in which the solar flux is exactly balanced by the LWIR flux.

This ignores the time dependence of the energy transfer and avoids the application Second Law of Thermodynamics to the surface temperature flux. It assumes that the sun is shining all the time with a single average flux. All of the subsequent mathematical derivations of the equilibrium flux equations and the use of perturbation theory have no basis in physical reality. There are no forcings or feedbacks because there is no equilibrium in the real climate.

Assumption 5 in Manabe and Wetherald is that ‘The heat capacity of the Earth’s surface is zero’. It is assumed that the Earth’s surface temperature is set by black body equilibrium, which is most definitely not the case. There is a significant lag between the peak solar flux and the peak surface temperatures that is characteristic of a classic thermal storage oscillator. The daily surface temperature lags by up to ~2 hours and the seasonal surface temperature lags by a couple of months. . Latent heat and wind driven evaporation are also fundamental in setting the surface temperature, especially over the oceans. The heat capacity of the ground is somewhere around 1.5 MJ.m-3 and that of water is ~4 MJ.m-3.

It is also important to understand that the ‘equilibrium average surface temperature’ calculated by radiative forcing is not a measurable climate variable. It has no existence outside of the ‘equilibrium Earth’ that resides only in the universe of computerized climate fiction found inside these radiative forcing models. .

If we use a reverse argument, an increase of 1 K in a black body surface at 288 K will produce an increase in black body flux of 5.5 W.m-2. This is similar to the increase in downward LWIR flux that would be produced by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration (to 580 ppm). Reliable atmospheric radiative transfer calculations using HITRAN, untainted by climate science give an increase in flux of about 4 W.m-2. However, there is simply no connection between either of these two numbers and the real surface temperature. The whole radiative forcing argument is nothing more than climate theology.

During the middle of the day, under full summer sun conditions, the peak solar flux is ~1000 W.m-2. The corresponding surface temperature is at least 50 C for dry ground. The increase in LWIR flux for a black body going from 288 to 338 K (+30 C) is about 227 W.m-2. Most of the solar heat is dissipated by convection. Heat is also stored below the surface and released later in the day. It is just impossible for a small change in LWIR flux from CO2 to have any effect on surface temperature when it added correctly to the surface flux balance. At night, convection more or less stops and the surface cools mainly by LWIR emission. The downward LWIR flux from the first 2 km layer of the atmosphere slows the night time surface cooling, but the atmospheric heating process is controlled by convection, not LWIR radiation. Furthermore, this is not an equilibrium process. The troposphere acts as two independent thermal reservoirs. The upper reservoir radiates to space all the time, mainly from the water bands near 5 km. The lower reservoir acts as a night time ‘thermal blanket’. The atmosphere is an open cycle convective heat engine with a radiatively cooled cold reservoir.

Manabe and Wetherald were quite honest about what they were doing. They simply produced an invalid hypothesis that should have been superseded. Later workers just allowed themselves to be seduced by the mathematics of the flux equations and never bothered to validate the models or investigate the real physics. The result is the global warming dogma that we still have today. And the associated corruption.

Now we get to the fraudulent part. Manabe and Wetherald were quite clear that they were calculating a surface temperature, however it was defined. This means the temperature on the ground that we feel with our bare feet. However, there is no long term record of the surface temperature. Instead, the meteorological surface air temperature (MSAT) was substituted for the surface temperature. This is the ‘weather temperature’ that is the air temperature measured in a ventilated enclosure placed at eye level, 1.5 to 2 m above the ground. It is simply impossible for there to be any observable change in MSAT caused by a small change in LWIR flux at the surface below the weather station enclosure.

The MSAT or weather recorded has been treated as a mathematical number series to be manipulated to ‘prove’ that global warming exists. The correct interpretation of the record is that the minimum MSAT is, approximately, with caveats, a measure of the heat content (lapse rate) of the air mass of the weather system as it passes through. This is usually an indicator of the ocean surface temperatures in the region of origin of the weather system. The maximum MSAT is a measure of the daily surface convection at the MSAT thermometer produce by the solar heating of the ground. This convetive heating is added to the minimum MSAT.

The US continental MSAT record shows a clear peak in the 1930s and 1940s from the dust bowl drought and a second peak from the recent modern maximum. These peaks can be explained using variations in ocean surface temperatures, particularly the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The observed global warming signal is nothing more that the warming phase of these ocean oscillations with some urban heat island effects and plain old data fiddling added. This has been explained by Joe D’Aleo and others. The oceans and the Earth’s climate have been cooling for over 10 years.

The climate models have been rigged using empirical pseudoscience as follows:

It has been assumed, a-priori that the observed increase in the MSAT record, the mutilated ‘average global temperature anomaly’ has been caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. In particular it is assumed, without any justification whatsoever, that an increase in the downward LWIR flux from CO2 of 1 W.m-2 has produced an increase in the ‘average global temperature anomaly’ of 2/3 C. This allows the increase in LWIR flux from an increase in concentration of any ‘greenhouse gas’ to be converted to an increase in surface temperature. However, the real climate fluctuates and is now cooling, so ‘aerosol cooling’ has been added to compensate for the over warming produced by just the LWIR flux from the greenhouse gases. Sulfate aerosols are used for basic cooling and volcanic aerosols are used for ‘fine tuning’. The hindcast is just an empirical fit and the models have no predictive skill whatsoever. The climate models are pure pseudoscience. They are nothing more than the hockey stick propagating itself with aerosol adjustments. This is all ‘climate astrology’, not climate science.

However, it is not sufficient to say what is wrong with the climate models, it is necessary to propose a viable replacement, or the global warming acrimony will continue ad nauseam.

Radiative forcing has to be replaced with a dynamic energy transfer model. There is no climate equilibrium and the time dependence of the energy transfer must be explicitly included. Once this is done, CO2 induced global warming disappears. The minimum description requires four thermal reservoirs and six energy transfer process. This is discussed in the book ‘The Dynamic Greenhouse Effect and the Climate Averaging Paradox’. It is available on Amazon. There is also further discussion at http://www.venturaphotonics.com

There has to be a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we describe climate and climate change. There is no climate equilibrium on any time scale and all of the energy transfer processes are dynamic, not static. The sun only shines during the day. Sun wind and water need no help from CO2 to set the Earth’s climate.

Sol Invicto Comiti

Comments
  1. tallbloke says:

    “The climate models are pure pseudoscience. They are nothing more than the hockey stick propagating itself with aerosol adjustments. This is all ‘climate astrology’, not climate science.”

    Now that’s a gross insult to astrology. :)

  2. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The correct interpretation of the record is that the minimum MSAT is, approximately, with caveats, a measure of the heat content (lapse rate) of the air mass of the weather system as it passes through. This is usually an indicator of the ocean surface temperatures in the region of origin of the weather system. The maximum MSAT is a measure of the daily surface convection at the MSAT thermometer produce by the solar heating of the ground. This convetive heating is added to the minimum MSAT.”

    Agreed.

    I think I referred to it as the temperature of the air passing across the sensor as it transfers energy from surface to space.

    On that basis an increase in the speed of the wind flow or a change in the prevailing direction can give an apparent temperature increase at a point a couple of metres above the surface without any need for the average global surface temperature to increase and without any need for a higher equilibrium temperature for the system as a whole.

    A return to the established meteorological principles of a few decades ago before the radiative theory elbowed it all out of the way.

  3. Hans says:

    “Radiative forcing has to be replaced with a dynamic energy transfer model. There is no climate equilibrium and the time dependence of the energy transfer must be explicitly included. Once this is done, CO2 induced global warming disappears. The minimum description requires four thermal reservoirs and six energy transfer process. This is discussed in the book ‘The Dynamic Greenhouse Effect and the Climate Averaging Paradox’. It is available on Amazon. There is also further discussion at http://www.venturaphotonics.com

    First I agree with TB about astrology in the sense that planets do affect climate on earth and probably also life expressions. The number of people taken to hospitals for dog bites (NY US) was synchronized with full moons. The observational skill of people has always existed and seem to have been better in old times about climate change variations. People whose existence depends on changes in climate tend to become observant.

    IMO physical processes in the atmosphere, in the oceans and the connections with other celestial bodies have to be properly identified and from there it is possible to build up an understanding of the system that decide climate change on earth, Mars, sun or whatever planet. A full understanding of climate change has to include extraterrestrial influencies (processes) or it will be inadequate and quite worthless for climate prediction purposes. Consider my statement to be a prediction at this point.

  4. Tenuc says:

    “…During the middle of the day, under full summer sun conditions, the peak solar flux is ~1000 W.m-2. The corresponding surface temperature is at least 50 C</b? for dry ground…

    Great post, Roy Clark – thank you. It manges to pull together many points with great clarity in a just a few paragraphs. Every politician should read it and realise that once reality to climatology (& this is already happening) they will be pilloried and out of a job.

    Confirmation of the 50+ C comes from El Azizia, Libya where on 13 September 1922, where the highest ever temperature of 57.8°C was recorded. We live on a revolving rotisserie and this spreads the energy from the sun via non-linear processes to ensure maximum entropy is produced. Climate is only a quasi-stable system and not in equilibrium, thermal or otherwise.

  5. mkelly says:

    If any of these folks lived in north country they would know that the frost line in the ground moves up and down with the season. Here in northern Michigan you must put your footers 4 feet down to avoid frost heave of you home. The 4ft depth is warmed during the spring/summer so lots of heat is moving to the soil. Having only a surface temperature with no depth is a fallacy for earth.

  6. Tenuc says:

    For those who want more bones over and above Roy’s excellent gloss posted above, please have a look here…

    http://www.venturaphotonics.com/GlobalWarming.html

    Sad that the IPCC has wasted $trillions, fostering a badly constructed and falsified theory just to progress a globalist political agenda… :-(

  7. Phil says:

    Exactly. Smoking gun is the 1.6W/m^2 DLWR increase can warm ground/ocean surface temps.

    Ocean surface: No effect, if anything evap/cloud cover is increased, reducing the energy budget.

    Land Surface: slight effect at night via slowing of surface cooling…net effect is very small and potentially offset by increase in H2O.

  8. Phil says:

    Typo, ‘How Much’ 1.6W/m^2 DLWR can impact surface/ocean temps.

  9. donald penman says:

    wonder if the enhanced surface temperature of Venus could be explained by suppressed convection caused by the denser atmosphere of Venus, the surface needs to get hotter to warm the atmosphere above the surface enough to rise because more energy is required to heat up all the extra molecules.I think that convection must start from the surface and the surface must be able to get hotter through backradiation or internal heat.

  10. Chris M says:

    Thank you Roy Clark for articulating so well what I was naively searching for in my recent comments about heat reservoirs. It is frustrating to have some intuition but not the scientific wherewithal to express it properly! An ability to clearly communicate science to the educated public is key to ensuring that policy-makers’ decisions are rational. Ned Nikolov is another very impressive science communicator. Eventually the weight of sheer logic will win through, although not without profound sadness at the wasted time and vast amounts of money that should have been directed towards genuine human progress.

  11. Hans K says:

    “The energy is conserved – more or less. However, this does not justify the assumption that an ‘average climate equilibrium state’ exists in which the solar flux is exactly balanced by the LWIR flux.”

    Right on Roy.

    The earth system doesn’t care about maintaining a mean temperature. From the point of energy conservation it has no problem building energy up to reach the same temperature as the sun. It is the Second Law that gives directions to thermodynamic processes, and that means the only goal of the system is to disperse energy mainly by generating heat (in the atmosphere), turning liquid into vapour and degenerating radiation into lower frequencies.
    It does this by using all it’s coupled processes like evaporation, conduction, convection and radiation and the result will be the lowest temperature the system can achieve at that moment (at any given location).
    If a restriction in the output of radiation should occur, this would provide the driving force (gradient) for thermodynamic, mechanical, chemical and biological subsystems to counteract the imposed change and establish a new equilibrium. Probably thousands of coupled subsystems form a multi-faceted negative feedback, but all of them work at different speeds and influence each other. Trying to deduct something by measuring radiation at TOA is useless.

    Let’s look at Le Chatelier’s principle “if a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature, volume, or partial pressure, then the equilibrium shifts to counteract the imposed change and a new equilibrium is established” or in general ” Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.”

    This is not just some chemical principle it is thermodynamics, it’s all about the Second Law. The origin is the same as the in physics known principle of least action (first by Maupertuis) that comes down to the fact that nature desires a state of minimal energy (maximal dispersion, maximum entropy).

    It is the basis for many other known principles or laws like for instance Henry’s law, that can be used to look at the balance between CO2 in the ocean and in the atmosphere. Another one of the many different balances in the Earth System ruled by the Second Law, all working for the same goal: energy dispersion to maximize entropy.

    The IPCC clan invented the non-physical concept of ‘most action principles’ and named them positive feedbacks, they don’t create opposing actions but amplifying actions. A case of bad physics.
    The First Law energy balance stuff must look like solid evidence for the laymen, but it does not exist. Temperature gradients tell energy what to do, and that way the systems will establish an equilibrium temperature and not an energy equilibrium.

  12. David Springer says:

    The author flip flops on wha he means by convection. He claims it’s a major way that absorbed solar energy is removed from the surface and in that context he’s talking about latent heat which is referring to convection of water vapor which accounts for well over 50% of surface cooling. However, he then says that convection stops at night. That is sensible convection (thermals, conductively heated air like what you see shimmering in the distance in a desert) and it is not a major way that absorbed solar energy is removed from the surface. Conduction at the surface/atmosphere interface is very inefficient compared to radiative and latent means of giving up energy coming in at less than 10% of the total. Where water is available for evaporation it rules the roost for cooling which is why sweating is our body’s primary means of cooling instead of radiator fins. ;-)

    [mod: Heard of wind? Blown air cooling, scouring, mixing. Then beware of the stops at night because this has major implications. All rather complicated. --Tim]

  13. Mydogsgotnonose says:

    Climate science has an humongous scientific error. The key belief is ‘back radiation’, taken as proof of GHG warming. The instrument they use, a pyrgeometer, really measures ‘Prevost Exchange Energy’ from the atmosphere to a black body at the temperature of the instrument. This is a measure of air temperature and emissivity. It can do no thermodynamic work.

    The claim that it measures IR emitted from the atmosphere to be absorbed in the Earth’s surface is total bunkum as is the assertion that the surface emits according to a black body at 16°C unto a vacuum. Yet this is what they use to calibrate heat flows in the rest of the modelling.

    In reality, the heat transfer from the earth’s surface is coupled convection and radiation. Experiment shows you need ~100°C before radiative heat transfer exceeds natural convection from a horizontal surface so there is no way the radiation can ever reach black body emission levels. This error artificially increases the IR energy absorbed in the atmosphere by a factor of ~4.3 thus the claimed amplification of GHG warming by positive feedback is false.

    Climate science is, in Roy Spencer’s words, a cargo cult, fake dogma used to facilitate the worship of an imaginary threat which can only be countered by making windmills and PV panels the major source of power.

  14. hengistmcstone says:

    Why is Roy Clark publishing this on blogs, surely a peer reviewed journal would be far more appropriate ?

    [Reply] Same reason you’re commenting here Hengist. A lot of people actually will read it. For the record, I chose to publish it, Roy placed it as a comment on Bishop Hill. Perhaps he can’t be bothered wasting his time writing a rigorous paper for the wise monkeys to ignore. Speculations on a postcard to the usual address.

  15. hengistmcstone says:

    We can’t know it’s a “rigorous paper” unless it’s been peer reviewed though

  16. edcaryl says:

    Hengist, we ARE peer reviewing. There are many peers here, and some even do some science.

  17. Nabil Swedan says:

    “The lower reservoir acts as a night time ‘thermal blanket’”

    Have you calculated the R value of this proposed thermal blanket? If so, how much?