Reply to Willis: The Earth is a Sultry Sea Queen

Posted: March 29, 2012 by tallbloke in atmosphere, climate, general circulation, Gravity, Incompetence, methodology, Ocean dynamics, weather

Back in January, hot on the heels of revelations regarding the Moon’s temperature made by Ned Nikolov on the WUWT thread discussing their ‘Unified Theory of Climate’, Willis Eschenbach published an article at WUWT entitled “The Moon is a Cold Mistress”.

He used as his primary data source this NASA publication, in which the authors had developed a model using the old Apollo in situ data collected by thermocouples set in the regolith – the pulverised rock the Moon’s surface is covered in. The author’s did a pretty good job, their average surface T for the  measurement location as stated by Willis is -77C, or 196K, which matches the latest DIVINER data very well for the Moon’s global average, a nice coincidence, partly caused by the choice of a temperate location for the Apollo mission to land in.

The first section of the article Willis raises some issues around understanding the relationship between incident solar irradiance and average surface temperature. Willis stated that various factors come into play which affect this relationship, including day/night swings, albedo, heat retention in the surface regolith, and speed of rotation.

Willis tells us that:

Like the Earth, averaged over its whole surface the moon receives about 342 watts per square metre (W/m2) of solar energy. We’re the same average distance from the sun, after all. The Earth reflects 30% of that back into space (albedo of 0.30), leaving about 240 W/m2. The moon, with a lower albedo, reflects less and absorbs more energy, about 304 W/m2.

So far so good. The second part of the article then compared the lunar situation with Earth’s. This is where things start to go wrong with Willis’ analysis.

He says:

I wanted to consider what the temperature swings of the Earth might be like without an atmosphere. Basic calculations show that with the current albedo, the Earth with no atmosphere would be at a blackbody temperature of 240 W/m2 ≈ -18°C.

Whoooah there!

  • How could the Earth with no atmosphere have the current albedo? Earth with no atmosphere loses its ocean too, and looks a bit like the Moon – albedo ~0.12
  • How could its surface be receiving ~60W/m2 less sunlight than the Moon with no atmosphere and therefore no cloud albedo, when it’s at the same distance from the Sun?
  • How could anything at Earth’s current albedo have a ‘black-body’ temperature anyway?

Well, OK, it’s Willis’ article and he wants to use an imaginary albedo that’s his affair, but we’ll watch the pea carefully from here on as Willis shuffles the concept and quantity cups around the table.

He breezes onwards:

So … for a back of the envelope calculation, we might estimate that the Earth would cool at about the lunar rate of 4°C per hour for 12 hours. During that time, it would drop by about 50°C (90°F). During the day, it might warm about the same above the average. So, we might figure that the temperature swings on the Earth without an atmosphere might be on the order of ± 50°C. (As we would expect, actual temperature swings on Earth are much smaller, with a maximum of about ± 20-25 °C, usually in the desert regions.)

How much would this ±50° swing with no atmosphere cool the planet?

Thanks to a bit of nice math from Dr. Robert Brown, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/06/what-we-dont-know-about-energy-flow/ we know that if dT is the size of the swing in temperature above and below the average, and T is the temperature of the center of the swing, the radiation varies by 1 + 6 * (dT/T)^2. With some more math (see the appendix), this would indicate that if the amount of solar energy hitting the planet is 240 W/m2 (≈ -18°C) and the swings were ± 50°C, the average temperature would be – 33°C. Some of the warming from that chilly temperature is from the atmosphere itself, and some is from the greenhouse effect.

No, no and a thousand times no. Where did we suddenly reacquire the atmosphere from? Three sentences above, Willis says there’s no atmosphere, then *Shazaam*, there it is. There are other issues. Firstly, Willis tells us that to work out how exactly he got to his -33C, we need to “See the apendix”. Well maybe Willis has had his appendix removed sometime in the last ten weeks, because there is no appendix to see. Not appended to his article, nor to Robert Brown’s. I can’t be bothered to investigate further at this point, because the 240W/m2 is wrong for a grey-body Earth anyway. We must never throw the baby out with the bathwater, and the issue of Earth’s faster rotation does need to be considered in my opinion. However, the magnitude of any effect it may have is nothing like what Willis thinks it is because in order to lose energy at the fast rate it does when the Sun sets, the Moon has to spend two weeks baking in the full glare of old sol. Earth only gets 12 hours, and would absorb less energy into the land surface (which is all there would be: no atmosphere=no ocean either).

Then we get this:

But overall, one of the big effects of the greenhouse radiation is that it greatly reduces the temperature swings because it provides extra energy in the times and places where the solar energy is not present or is greatly reduced. This means that the greenhouse effect warms the earth in two ways—directly, and also indirectly by reducing the temperature swings. That’s news to me

It’s news to me too. When did the second law of thermodynamics go on holiday Willis? Time and again it has been explained to you that radiation from a colder source is not going to warm an already warmer object. Especially not the object which emitted the radiation in the first place, thereby cooling itself. Slow its rate of cooling if it’s land surface – yes, warm it, no. You even agree this point (when pushed), yet here you are, spreading warmist dogma again from your pulpit. When as you put it “solar energy is not present” the ocean and land is going to keep right on cooling, except in extremely limited circumstances in the polar regions when clouds waft in during polar night. The totaled energies involved are so small they are not going to make a tinker’s fart of difference to global means because LW IR doesn’t penetrate water but promotes evaporation. It doesn’t take much energy to raise a cold land surface several degrees at the poles, whereas in the tropics, raising the ground temperature would take far more energy. You even say it yourself right afterwards:

Finally, as the planetary system warms, each additional degree of warming comes at a greater and greater cost in terms of the energy needed to warm the planet that one degree.

Part of this effect is because the cooling radiation is rising as the fourth power of the temperature.

Exactly.

Unfortunately, due to his earlier error in claiming a 0.3 albedo for an Earth with no atmosphere for the cloud albedo to exist in, the pea has gained an eye to its left and two seas to its right when it finally emerges from under the cup:

As a result, while the greenhouse effect has done the heavy lifting to get the planet up to its current temperature…

“while the greenhouse effect has done the heavy lifting to get the planet up to its current temperature” Willis?

What happened to the earlier observation about temperature swings being reduced by heat retention and overnight release by the absorbing surface? Where is the point made about the atmosphere spreading heat round to the night-side (not so much in reality). Oh right, Willis thinks they get us from -33 to -18C. But why doesn’t Willis ever mention that the pressure that the atmospheric mass places on the ocean surface limits its ability to freely evaporate? (as it surely would if there really were no atmosphere, leaving the Earth in a similar ‘grey-body’ state to the moon). This surface pressure forces the ocean to absorb solar radiation until its temperature rises to the point where it can equilibriate the influx of energy with its output. Why does Willis refer to people who discuss that issue as “pressure-heads”, but fail to debate the issue properly, or even at all?

Better a ‘pressure-head’ than an ‘air-head’ in my opinion Willis.

What happened here is that through some adroit cup shuffling, Willis changed the magnitude of the temperature difference between an Earth with no atmosphere and the lovely blue sky-with-fluffy-clouds planet we are lucky enough to inhabit from the ~90-96K it is currently estimated at to the 15K he gives to reduced temperature swings and axial roundabouts, plus the 33K the IPCC claim for the (radiative) greenhouse effect. A neatly confused diminution/exaggeration we can discuss in comments.

The “heavy lifting” is being done by the ocean balancing against evaporative limitation induced by gravity acting on the mass of the atmosphere to create high surface pressure, air density and therefore, temperature, as the solar energy pours through it. It is then re-emitted, eventually all becoming long wave radiation for the radiatively active gases and clouds to shed energy to space with from the cold heavens on high. The downward component has to fight convection all the way to the surface as it gets re-absorbed, converted to sensible heat by collisions and lifted again by convection as it goes.

Final thought:

We now have a new estimate for the temperature difference between a grey-body Earth and the one we enjoy of 90-96K. The troposphere is around an average of 10km high, and the dry adiabatic lapse rate is 9.8K/km. Do the math, it’s starting to add up at long last. However, the issue of temperature swing reduction due to speed of rotation hasn’t been recognised or factored into that estimate by Ned and Karl, so we might expect the true figure to be somewhat lower, though not by much. I predict it’s going to be settled somewhere between the dry lapse rate at the upper bound, and the average environmental lapse rate at the lower bound. A pretty easy win.

The Earth isn’t your lukewarm lover Willis, She’s my sultry sceptical Sea Queen.

Comments
  1. Stephen Wilde says:

    “the pressure that the atmospheric mass places on the ocean surface limits its ability to freely evaporate? (as it surely would if there really were no atmosphere, leaving the Earth in a similar ‘grey-body’ state to the moon, with an albedo of somewhere around 0.12). This surface pressure forces the ocean to absorb solar radiation until its temperature rises to the point where it can equilibriate the influx of energy with its output.”

    Quite, as explained in much detail here:

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/stephen-wilde-the-setting-and-maintaining-of-earth%e2%80%99s-equilibrium-temperature/

  2. Well demolished Tallbloke!

    When I read the Willis article back in February I couldn’t make head or tail of it and, I suspect, neither could anybody else.

    For some bizarre reason, Willis is an apologist for the Classic theoretical formula for determining the mean surface temperature of a gray body planet despite the fact that N&Z have convincingly demonstrated that it is wrong in principle.

    Now that we have the more accurate N&Z formula, based on solid physics and correct mathematics, that calculates a theoretical mean surface temperature for the Moon much nearer the measured temperature, you would think a climate skeptic like Willis would be…er…over the Moon.

    But no, he just rambles on trying to justify the hugely embarrasing discrepancy between the Classic formula and the Diviner Project’s measured results.

    I guess even skeptics can become institutionalised. Very sad.

  3. tallbloke says:

    Hi David, well, yes. But to be fair to Willis, the empirical estimate from the Diviner team is newer than his article, and Ned and Karl’s calcs have to accomodate the gap, so we’ll wait to see if his tune changes, as they have already said theirs will.

    Stephen, just so. Your formulation is longer developed and more detailed than mine. Brevity has its own virtue though. 🙂

  4. Malaga View says:

    watch the pea carefully from here on as Willis shuffles the concept and quantity cups around the table.

    After “watching the pea” and “reading the abuse” I quit the Willis & WUWT habit.

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    Would not such a “Cold Mistress” attract some IR radiation from her admirers on the Earth, I mean every time “She” affects them by her passionate tides?

  6. tallbloke says:

    Have you been hitting the moonshine Adolfo? That tends to make you radiate a bit. 🙂

  7. JCrew says:

    If selective hearing continues it will be evident by lack of greybody focus.

    The error in the SB calculated greybody needs to be corrected.

  8. Stephen Wilde says:

    It would be interesting to ascertain the mathematical relationship between the ATE and the Hot Water Bottle Effect of the oceans (Oceanic Thermal Enhancement ?).

    Both appear to be pressure and density related but the water density being so much higher than the air density it is the water surface temperature that dominates.

    Furthermore the highest water temperature is at the top of the oceans whereas the highest air temperature is at the bottom of the atmosphere.

  9. mkelly says:

    “…provides extra energy…”

    I have seen this phrase or ones similar used a fair number of times. There is no extra energy. There is only what the sun has sent to us.

  10. tallbloke says:

    mkelly: right. That’s how Ned and Karl fell foul of Anthony originally too. Sloppy formulation of good concepts have caused many an important theory trouble.

  11. With Willis I’d far rather just start all over again. Nikolov and Zeller is all nicely and simply explained on my wiki page and anyone who would like to read that please email me because I cannot yet make it public.

    As regards what albedo to use, I am on Willis’ side. Yet curiously, the albedo / emissivity issue doesn’t make any difference to the mathematical disproof of current IPCC grey-body equations. Whatever albedo one uses, it is outstandingly clear that the IPCC equations yield a grey-body temperature for Earth that is wildly adrift from Moon’s actual mean temperature – whereas N&Z’s figures are fitting better and better.

    For me, the most important and interesting issue arising is the fact that a part of the sacrosanct Second Law of Thermodynamics, upheld by the giants of science Maxwell and Boltzmann, is being challenged. This is what made Anthony doubt N&Z. Ned and Karl do not address this challenge directly but Graeff does, and at Nobel-prize standard. What folks haven’t yet connected is the fact that Maxwell’s incomplete grasp of the Second Law lamed Climate Science right from the beginning, long before Arrhenius. I strongly suspect it’s this Oedipus identity that has made Climate Science so vulnerable to abuse from the warmists and misunderstanding from the skeptics.

    This is big. One cannot challenge Maxwell’s shortcomings without first gaining deep appreciation of his stupendous achievements which I suspect are second only to Newton, Tesla, and Einstein. My sympathies are with Willis, Rob and Anthony.

  12. tallbloke says:

    Ok lucy, lets discuss this first before we move to your other points. Why do you think a hypothetical, grey-body, Earth-with-no-atmosphere should use the same albedo as Earth-with-atmosphere when calculating the grey-body temperature?

  13. Doug proctor says:

    Tallbloke & Lucy –

    You two are clearly well-versed on the effect of the Earth’s albedo in heat regulation. Could you explain to me why using a value of 0.30 is adequate, when one of 0.298 or 0.302 gives an absorption difference of 1.38 W/m2, or twice what Trenberth et al worry about being “missing”? I haven’t seen data that accurately and precisely measures the Earth’s albedo to a level that does not give error bars greater than the “missing” energy.

    Also, the timing of the albedo differences clearly count, as the perihelion and aphelion TOA TSI vary by 23.2 W/m2, with a 0.30 albedo difference of 7.0 W/m2. We also know from weather patterns (not climate) that large-scale regional differences over extended periods of time change the specific cloud and vegetative cover, with their respective albedo differences. This includes, of course, sea-ice extent in the Arctic. We also know that the TOA TSI changes within solar cycles.

    My point is this: there appears, to me, to be a time and location variable to surface insolation on Earth that is easily averaged out over the longer term, but is obviously not averaged out on the shorter term. The variations in TSI due to orbital and output changes can be calculated with extreme accuracy and precision, but the albedos along that time line even on a planetary scale, as I see it, cannot. It is only an assumption that the albedo of the Earth does not vary by less than 3.3% over extended times that allows a 0.5 W/m2 precision. I say “less than” because the timing of the variation, and where it occurs, is significant (especially the “when”).

    At least that is how I see it.

    I’m stuck on the “limits to knowledge”, as I call it, a problem I face in my geological/geophysical endeavours. Having more information after a point does not improve the picture, it just reinforces the picture we already have. Working hard, faster, with more computing power does not advance knowledge, just comfort.

    (In case you are wondering, while correct, this argument does not stop management from wanting another expensive rework of seismic data, 3-D or otherwise, before they will recommend an oil or gas drilling location. Comfort, not knowledge, is the end determinant of action. Sound familiar in CAGW?)

  14. tallbloke says:

    Doug, absolutely. TOA radiation levels are known to within an error of something like 8W/m^2. This is 5 times the alleged signal of 1.7W/m^2.

    However, I’m just interested to know Lucy’s thoughts on the question I asked anyway, from a theoretical point of view. She’s right that N&Z’s theory sees albedo as a product, not a cause of surface temperature, but N&Z’s equations calculate from a constant grey-body value which is 0.12 for terrestrial rocky planets, and 0.3 is a long way from that.

  15. Stephen Wilde says:

    Solar input (insolation) determines the height and therefore the volume of the atmosphere. That is primarily a function of distance from the sun.

    Albedo affects insolation reaching the surface but not that reaching the top of the atmosphere so:

    i) Higher albedo reduces insolation to the surface so the atmosphere contracts but because pressure at the surface remains the same the molecular density at the surface increases to strengthen ATE and offset the thermal effect of the reduced insolation.

    ii) Lower albedo increases insolation to the surface so the atmosphere expands but because pressure at the surface remains the same the molecular density decreases to weaken ATE and offset the thermal effect of the increased insolation.

    I suggested the same process in response to more GHGs in the air.

    The outcome is different if one increases TSI because that changes the total amount of energy available to the system and so will both expand the atmosphere AND warm the surface.

    Albedo and compositional changes cannot do that because they just redistribute the available energy between surface and top of atmosphere rather than changing the total amount of energy arriving at the top of the atmosphere.

  16. TB this is my reasoning re Earth albedo:

    What matters to me is that we are looking at the Earth as a whole, seen from outside, regarding albedo and emissivity, when looking for its grey-body component. For component of its current state it is, not a fictitious non-physical entity. But to imagine this grey-body component, imagine the whole atmosphere shrunk flat into a solid surface that has the same albedo and emissivity. If you look at the mesopause temperature (~180K), it is very plausible by N&Z’s grey-body mean temperature calculations.

    But the interesting thing is, even if instead of using Moon albedo a=0.11; emissivity e=0.955, you use Earth as-is, a=0.296, e=0.612, you only get a few degrees difference. N&Z stands either way. That’s my calculations. Check me. Logic: if radiation won’t emit at visible wavelengths, it will eventually emit at IR. Lose albedo, gain emissivity.

    I also said this because imho it’s always good to concede as much as possible to those one challenges 🙂

  17. adolfogiurfa says:

    There is no life on the moon, so there are not those fatty acids eaters and heat irradiators who when in big quantities produce such a phenomenon called UHI, and who commonly are called “humans”. So it is not far from reality the “anthropogenic warming” and the need of such geo engineering policy defined as the “fight against obesity” 🙂

  18. Steven Mosher says:

    TB
    “Back in January, hot on the heels of revalations regarding the Moon’s temperature made by Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller here at the talkshop, Willis Eschenbach published an article at WUWT entitled “The Moon is a Cold Mistress”.

    you got the dates wrong. You know michael mann open his book by getting the date of climategate wrong.

    You are in good company there

    [Reply] Thanks for the attention to detail Mosh, you spotted I’d linked N&Z’s reply part 1 paper instead of the original paper, published here Dec 28th, a day before it was reposted on WUWT and 11 days before Willis’ post. https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/unified-theory-of-climate-nikolov-and-zeller/ The reply part 1 focuses on the Moon data and theory. That’s why I linked it for the extra detail in preference to the original paper.

  19. tallbloke says:

    Lucy, thanks for the reply. There is wisdom in your final point. I’ll be unwise for s bit.

    I think the albedo issue is important not so much for the difference it makes to the calculation, but that it is used as a constant for the eight celestial bodies. Judging from his replies to me in his ‘mystery of equation 8’ ugly ad hominem attack plus multiple maths errors thread, he incorrectly stated that albedo as used in their theory was a ‘free variable’.

    Being charitable, we might assume Willis hadn’t read N&Z’s work closely enough to realise they use the same grey-body albedo as a constant throughout the table of results. I think it more likely he knew full well but misrepresented their work. It’s all part of his ‘science is a blood sport and anything goes’ schtick.

  20. mkelly says:

    OT did you get removed from WUWT as a linked sceptical site? I could not find you there a few minutes ago. Curious.

  21. davidmhoffer says:

    tallbloke;
    I think it more likely he knew full well but misrepresented their work. It’s all part of his ‘science is a blood sport and anything goes’ schtick.>>>>

    This is the same guy who substituted an equation back into the equation that it was derived from, and announced with glee that it resolved to Ts=Ts as if that proved there was something wrong.

    Do not attribute to malice what can be explained by rank incompetence.

  22. Anthony Watts says:

    You might want to correct your opening paragraph, obviously you missed the dates on the links

    Willis http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/08/the-moon-is-a-cold-mistress/

    N&Z https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/nikolov-and-zeller-reply-to-comments-on-the-utc-part-1/

    Hot on the heels, yes N&Z were, but you have it backwards.

    BTW, TBT is still linked from WUWT.

  23. tallbloke says:

    Hi Anthony, please see my response to Mosh above. All the lunar data was in the first paper originally published here Dec 28th. I linked the ‘reply part 1’ paper because it focuses on the issue in more detail.

    It was discussed by Willis on your site on Dec 29th too….

  24. Anthony Watts says:

    Yes but the reference you used have in fact dates in the links that are backwards to your claims.

  25. Anthony Watts says:

    And you say in the leading words: “Back in January…”

    Seems pretty clear that you weren’t referring to December.

  26. tallbloke says:

    Hi Anthony

    “Back in January” refers to Willis’ post, “Hot on the heels of” refers to the fact Ned and Karl were there first. On Dec 28 2011

    Anyway, I’ve changed the link to go to the original paper, which also has the same lunar data in it. I hope that makes everyone happier.

  27. Anthony Watts says:

    Hi Roger,

    Being happy isn’t a concern, but thanks for your consideration.

  28. tallbloke says:

    Cool. Any chance of reinstating the link now?

    Thanks for your consideration also.

  29. Chris M says:

    Tallbloke’s Talkshop is now linked at WUWT under ‘Transcendent Rant’, whatever that means. Many of us have a problem with Willis’s style of engaging with others and with the science, which is why I post here and not at WUWT. I have successfully avoided reading WE’s posts since he started slagging off at N&Z. However I feel uncomfortable with the recurrent focus on his mistakes here. While I understand and empathize, tallbloke, with your taking offense at the way he behaves, I believe that the best way to deal with him is to ignore him; by highlighting his mistakes so prominently you are by the same token according to him an importance he does not warrant.

    You see, I have seen his like before in my own profession. A cliquey set of enthusiasts decided they knew more than the recognized specialists, and set off on a quixotic quest to achieve official recognition (and funding) for their field (sub-field really) of endeavour. In their own minds they were at the top of the tree, at the forefront of knowledge, bestriding the field like colossi. Meanwhile in the real world, after some past success in obtaining government funding, they are dwindling, growing old, and have still not achieved official status, nor I believe ever will. Willis seems to crave prominence and official recognition in climate science, which might explain his tendency to
    “orthodoxy”. But in my view he is not important in the wider scheme of things, and is best left alone.

  30. wayne says:

    Lucy: “But the interesting thing is, even if instead of using Moon albedo a=0.11; emissivity e=0.955, you use Earth as-is, a=0.296, e=0.612, you only get a few degrees difference. N&Z stands either way. That’s my calculations. Check me. Logic: if radiation won’t emit at visible wavelengths, it will eventually emit at IR. Lose albedo, gain emissivity.”

    Lucy, can’t help but stop on your comment. You’re close but I want you to look a bit deeper into the global mean emissivity. I keep coming up with figures centered around 0.75, not 0.61, but I do see from where you are getting that figure. Look at: http://www.xylenepower.com/Temperature%20of%20Ideal%20Body.htm. There is a per frequency breakdown of NASA TES mission and the spectrums produced. It comes up with an emissivity of 0.7566. I have come up with 0.755.

    Now take your satement and instead an emissivity of 0.612, plug in 0.756 for the assumed global mean emissivity of Earth (from Nov. 1996 mission), you get a=0.296, e=0.756 and the ratio is (1-0.296)/0.756 or 0.931. Now look at what N&Z are coming up with the moon. The moon is a=0.11, e=0.955 and the ratio is (1-0.11)/ 0.955 or 0.932.

    The Earth = 0.931
    The Moon = 0.932

    Now that is what I call pretty close!

    This is why that ratio, (1-a)/e is important and I just realized today that the author of the xylenepower analysis is also using that ratio within his calculations. That ratio is of prime importance in planetary climate and it is amazing that no one ever raises it’s use explicitly.

  31. wayne says:

    Darn Lucy, sorry…. wrong link, it should have been to http://www.xylenepower.com/Emissivity.htm .

  32. davidmhoffer says:

    Wayne;
    The Earth = 0.931
    The Moon = 0.932

    Now that is what I call pretty close!
    >>>>>

    Yes it is.

    1. Is there a logical explanation? Or is this just an observation?
    2. does this ratio hold for any other planetary bodies? Or do we not have the data to calculate same in the first place?

  33. as usual, Mosher says something substantive and interesting, instead of mere random snark…. :))

  34. tallbloke says:

    Wayne: “That ratio is of prime importance in planetary climate and it is amazing that no one ever raises it’s use explicitly.”

    So might this be the numerical linkage to the description Stephen gave at
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/reply-to-willis-the-earth-is-a-sultry-sea-queen/#comment-21421

    Which attempts to explain why albedo is effectively an outcome of surface temperature rather than a driver of it?

  35. tallbloke says:

    Chris says:
    “Tallbloke’s Talkshop is now linked at WUWT under ‘Transcendent Rant’, whatever that means.”

    I think it means blogs ‘he-who-must-not-be-criticised’ likes to work up a faux outrage on and have a spittle filled rant about. 🙂

    “Willis seems to crave prominence and official recognition in climate science, which might explain his tendency to “orthodoxy”. But in my view he is not important in the wider scheme of things, and is best left alone.”

    There’s an element of that certainly. Hence the placing of the blog on the blacklist now that I’ve challenged the lukewarmer stance. There’s a curious similarity between the way Willis’ article ends with the nod to the standard greenhouse theory and so many papers we’ve seen do the same to get past the gatekeepers.

    I’ll wear my sceptics badge with pride.

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/smile-if-you-are-a-climate-sceptic/

  36. Tenuk says:

    There is a BIG elephant in the room – Harry Huffman can get a good approximation of the temperature of Venus without including any albedo adjustments…

    “…There is no sign whatever of a greenhouse effect on either planet. The fact that the temperature ratios are so close to that predicted solely by their relative distances from the Sun tells us that both atmospheres must be warmed, overall, essentially in the same way, by direct IR solar irradiation from above, not by surface emissions from below. Keeping it simple, the atmospheres must be like sponges, or empty bowls, with the same structure (hydrostatic lapse rate), filled with energy by the incident solar radiation to their capacity to hold that energy.

    There is no greenhouse effect on Venus with 96.5% carbon dioxide, and none on the Earth with just a trace of carbon dioxide.”

    Link to his updated thread here…

    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

    It is my view that because Earth and Venus have reasonably dense atmospheres, with lots of heat transfer processes which display spatio-turbulent chaos. This means that they can and do reconfigure the planetary system energy balance to ensure maximum entropy production.

    Trying to use statistical average temperature or SB equations for dynamic, real world climates, leads to results which are at best misleading, and at worst, downright dishonest.

  37. Harriet Harridan says:

    Chris M says: “I believe that the best way to deal with him is to ignore him; by highlighting his mistakes so prominently you are by the same token according to him an importance he does not warrant. ”

    Willis needs taking down a peg or five, this blog is doing a public service.

  38. wayne says:

    TB: “Which attempts to explain why albedo is effectively an outcome of surface temperature rather than a driver of it?”

    Sure, I see what Stephen is saying though when you say “albedo is effectively an outcome of surface temperature” I’m not sure he was saying that. That albedo might curiously be the reason ATE occurs in Earth’s case, that I do see. The overlying reason for all of this the surface pressure, I see that. I, for one, want to dig and find the relationships that explain how this can occur on ALL planets and satellite bodies, water or not, land or not. So I do very much see what Stephen is describing. If there were no ocean then wind velocity would be the differential that would redistribute the equatorial energy to the poles. It is such processes, by physics differentials, that rule the weather redistribution of the energy. I still think co2’s hand is next to zip, and on the global long term scale, and also, even the larger water vapor effect even though on a local short term scale we all know it’s effect can be massive.

    PS: Sorry Anthony has taken this stand. Sad. In some words he has ‘killed the golden goose’ that helped him build WattsUpWithThat though I don’t think he realizes it yet, lead astray by Willis and some selective other top-posters it seems. WUWT has move to be a political site anyway. I just got tired of their “know-it-all”, pompous and later even abusive attitudes even though what THEY were saying was incorrect. Inquisitive minds in science will go on talking science… from each article here I get either something out of it, or, things I shouldn’t allow myself to get at all, but there is some good in all of them. In my forty years studying science I learn more by learning what is wrong, even though on some levels it seems right. Has always worked for me so keep the science flowing Roger, good or bad, I’ll sort out ‘the good’ just fine as most here do.

  39. Wayne, thanks. Fascinating that 0.931. It suggests there’s a proof somewhere that albedo doesn’t matter. I’ve amended my wiki page accordingly. If you want to see it drop me an email. I can’t yet release it publicly.

  40. Doug proctor says:

    Tallbloke, Lucy –

    Thanks for your reply on a question that was o/t to the “natural” temperature of the Earth. A lack of certainty of 8 W/m2 on the absorbed SI (at any given time) is certainly a problem for energy balancing. I’m dumbfounded that you can get away with papers on the current state of the Earth vis-a-vis energy balance if you can’t get within half of the 1.7 W/m2 we are supposed to be worried about. As a model or theoretical exercise, sure. But not as a close-to-truth fact.

    Isn’t this a little like saying we can get 70% of our power from renewables without actually having workable renewables to begin with?

    Hey, the WUWT change: it is on the edge of ideas that progress comes, not the centre. That being said, WUWT has positioned itself as the “rational” alternative to RealClimate (as opposed to Climate Depot, the political alternative to Gore), and would want to step away from any group that might give the warmists ammunition for being unworldly (i.e., still talking about things).

    It’s a good move for all, like putting The Daily Bayonet into Satire/Humour.

  41. TB

    I also think that you’ve gone OTT re Willis here. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Too bad Anthony seems to have responded in kind. Or Willis? Shame since everyone lost their rags in January when the most important climate science piece yet came out here.

    Why don’t you stand tall, fess up, rewrite the top piece (iut would be a shame to lose the lot here) and ask Anthony what else you need to do to have his shameful label removed?

    It would be a shame to let this get in the way of Nikolov and Zeller’s important work getting properly understood, appreciated and developed. It would be a shame for the whole climate skeptics community.

  42. wayne says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    March 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm
    Wayne;
    The Earth = 0.931
    The Moon = 0.932
    Now that is what I call pretty close!
    >>>>>
    Yes it is.
    1. Is there a logical explanation? Or is this just an observation?
    2. does this ratio hold for any other planetary bodies? Or do we not have the data to calculate same in the first place?

    Hi David. You may have missed my comment on the previous thread related to this… https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/empirical-results-from-diviner-confirm-s-b-law-was-misapplied-to-moon/#comment-21347 . You might think I am homing in on the specific numbers and I am more speaking of the concept and its relation to N&Z’s theory equation 2. Those two numbers are only as good as the data from whence they came but it seems good. Do take the time to read though (and please, calculate) what is within that linked comment and, as Lucy, it should all become clear. Of course it the TSI of each body will vary with distance to the sun but this is basically saying that just because the moon and Earth’s albedo are quite different, that means nothing having to do with the mean temperatures. Just because the moon and Earth’s emissivities are quite different, that means nothing in that light. Separate from under the radical and put them together along with the well known 2/5th, SB, TSI + CMB + starlight at the fourth root, all basically constants for each SS bodies, and you have something, and, they are all seem basically the same ratios or very close for the rocky planets and moons, yes, even with water and cloud covered Earth. When I get time I am going to try this on Venus’s case if I can find some trustworthy data on its global mean emissivity from actual spectrums.

  43. davidmhoffer says:

    wayne;
    Hi David. You may have missed my comment on the previous thread related to this… >>>

    I no longer follow the debate at the level of detail I once did, only the odd thread. Yes I missed it.

    wayne;
    When I get time I am going to try this on Venus’s case if I can find some trustworthy data on its global mean emissivity from actual spectrums.>>>

    That would be most interesting. Two bodies with the same ratio could be a coincidence, though unlikely. Three, and particularly three as different as earth, venus and the moon all with the same ratio could also be a coincidence.

    But someone will still call it curve fitting…

  44. davidmhoffer says:

    That would be most interesting. Two bodies with the same ratio could be a coincidence, though unlikely. Three, and particularly three as different as earth, venus and the moon all with the same ratio could also be a coincidence….

    I could have sworn I said astronomical coincidence….
    Well, never mind what I said, pay attention to what I meant….

  45. gallopingcamel says:

    Chris M says, March 29, 2012, 8:50 pm
    Thanks for alerting me to the fact that Anthony Watts now rates TBT as a “Transcendental Rant”.

    That sounded bad so I checked the other blogs under that heading. Joe Romm’s “Climate Progress” was one. Ouch, that stung a little!.

    Climate Realists” turned out to be a bunch of farmers in New Zealand. I checked their site but could not find much “ranting”. What did they do to upset Anthony?

    There is one lower category at WUWT, namely “Unreliable”. Only one blog has been granted that lowly status, John Cook’s execrable “Skeptical Science”.

    Tallbloke, please stop twitting the thin skinned and arrogant Willis. He seems to have some malign influence over the Great One (Anthony Watts). Keep it up and you will be listed with SKS and I will have to wear a bag over my head when accessing your fine blog.

    Usually, Anthony reports the theory’s without much editorialising, leaving his readers to offer their own opinions. In the case of recent papers by N&K and Nikola Scafetta he wore his heart on his sleeve and that hurt the reputation of his blog. Let’s hope he leaves the bloviating to Mark Morano and all this nonsense will soon blow over.

  46. Steven Mosher says:

    No TB that wont do. the orginal paper has nothing about SB and the moon’s temp

    face it, you tried to create a narrative where is there is none.

    [Reply] My bad, The earlier DIVINER estimate is in their Table 1 of the paper, but the source wasn’t referenced. I’ve rewritten the intro to reflect that. Thanks for helping the Talkshop to keep it real. 😉

  47. Anything is possible says:

    Mosh.

    FWIW, Ned Nikolov first raised the issue of the Moon’s temperature, as measured by the Lunar diviner programme, in a reply on the original “United Theory of Climate” thread on WUWT on January 5th. @ 12:55pm.

    Willis posted his “The Moon is a cold mistress” thread on January 8th.

    On January 9th. @ 7:43pm a poster (OK, I cannot tell a lie, it was me) alerted Willis to the data on lunar temperatures as measured by the diviner programme.

    In his reply @ 9:22pm, Willis gave an excellent impersonation of somebody who was previously unaware of the existence of the Lunar diviner programme, and expressed his regret at not knowing about it when he wrote his post.

    All lovingly preserved, in writing, on the WUWT site.

    Hope this helps clear up any confusion…….

    [Reply] Thanks AiP, it does. The first relevant comment from Ned is actually at January 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm. I’ve linked it in the article.

  48. davidmhoffer says:

    Anything is possible says:
    March 30, 2012 at 4:28 am
    >>>>>>>>>>

    That was my recollection also. But I was too lazy to go look it up and at my age my memory could be at fault, anything is possible.

    😉

  49. Stephen Wilde says:

    There have been some articles here that ‘push the envelope’ as regards strictly scientific merit but they are useful nonetheless and all seem to circle around concepts that might prove to be relevant when more data becomes available.

    The comments about Willis are all reasonable and in context and hardly amount to ‘rants’ whether transcendental or otherwise. In fact the description ‘rant’ applies far more accurately to Willis’s output and it is a shame that Anthony’s site has descended to Willis’s level.

    In contrast, this site is far more civilised,technically sound, focused and open minded.

    I think the lukewarmist position is losing ground, not because the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist but because the radiative features of GHGs are completely negated by other system characteristics providing a negative response with the real greenhouse effect being pressure related and nothing to do with radiative phenomena.

    Narrowing the most important issues down as is being successfully achieved here is pulling the rug from underneath the warmist and lukewarmist positions with predictable emotional responses from both of those camps.

    I don’t go along with the ‘no greenhouse effect’ position of the so called ‘Slayers’. They seem to me to raise a straw man and then attack that.

    With a bit more data support for the contentions being set out here a lot of people with an emotional committment to their positions are going to have little left to occupy themselves.

  50. tallbloke says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    March 30, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I also think that you’ve gone OTT re Willis here. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    What do you think OTT in the article? Calling Willis an airhead in response to him calling me a pressure head? You should see what he calls me in email. In fact, since he sent his latest rant to 15 other people at the same time, I’ll forward you a copy.

    Or is it the reference to peas under cups? Handwaving statements like “With some more math,see the (non-existent) appendix” get Willis hopping and hooting when other people make them without providing the exact url for the data. Why should he be exempt?

    Too bad Anthony seems to have responded in kind. Or Willis?

    Dunno.

    Shame since everyone lost their rags in January when the most important climate science piece yet came out here.

    The discussion here was fine and no rags were lost. Here’s part of Willis’ initial response to the N&Z theory on WUWT:

    =========================================================
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    December 30, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Pressure by itself is not a source of energy! Instead, it enhances (amplifies) the energy supplied by an external source such as the Sun through density-dependent rates of molecular collision. This relative enhancement only manifests as an actual energy in the presence of external heating.

    I defy anyone to tell me what that means. It’s not energy, just a “relative enhancement” but it “manifests itself as an actual energy in the presence of external heating”.

    Say what? Do people just swallow that content-free doubletalk in one big gulp, or is it easier to keep from gagging if you down it a word at a time?

    I was quite depressed to see the Nikolov claims published on WUWT, but I didn’t comment on that thread. Like I said, it makes my head hurt to read this kind of handwaving. Very bad science, no cookies.

    Thanks, Ira,
    ================================================

    Now, it’s true Ned could have expressed himself more clearly (although many had no trouble understanding him at the time), and he and I worked on a reformulation later on, but is this any kind of way to respond to anyone about anything?

    Willis himself takes about “extra energy” in the very article I’m critiquing here. DId you see me offering that kind of abuse in return?

    Willis goaded, and insulted and ranted at Ned until Ned snapped and said something intemperate. Then He ran to Anthony and cried “look what the nasty Nikolov has said”. Anthony then refused to publish further work from Ned and Karl because Ned said a few things about Willis in Their EQ8 reply. This is the modus operandi, and it’s exactly what you see being repeated here right now.

    Why don’t you stand tall, fess up, rewrite the top piece (iut would be a shame to lose the lot here) and ask Anthony what else you need to do to have his shameful label removed?

    I’ll probably be asking for the link to my blog to be removed from his shameful labelling.

    It would be a shame to let this get in the way of Nikolov and Zeller’s important work getting properly understood, appreciated and developed. It would be a shame for the whole climate skeptics community.

    WUWT has been very determined to make sure discussion of Nikolov and Zeller’s important work is misinterpreted, misrepresented and finally, silenced from the get go. I hardly think my critique of Willis’ article makes much difference to what is in effect a fait accompli.

    I anticipate that in due course Willis will publish an article explaining how the DIVINER data shows the ‘Greenhouse effect’ is more due to other factors than it is to radiation without crediting N&Z or this blog for it’s trailblazing work done in the teeth of his own opposition. Pretty much as he did with his article under discussion here.

  51. tallbloke says:

    Stephen said:
    “I think the lukewarmist position is losing ground, not because the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist but because the radiative features of GHGs are completely negated by other system characteristics providing a negative response with the real greenhouse effect being pressure related and nothing to do with radiative phenomena.”

    Thanks Stephen. I’d put it slightly differently. The radiative greenhouse effect is part of the system and can perhaps have important local effects for humans as Hans Jelbring showed with his meteo obs post last week. When you are living in a -30 arctic circle environment, a lift in air temp due to cloud cover of 9C makes a big difference to comfort levels outdoors. However since in energy trms it’s a small bean hill due to the difference in heat capacity of air and ocean, and if N&Z are correct, then radiative effects can’t affect Earth’s energy balance overall, because in the big picture, they are negated by other system internal adjustments as you say.

    I think the other reason the Lukewarmist position is losing ground, is because it has become as intolerant of, and as unresponsive to, rational opposing argument as the full-on warmist position. All the usual tactics of labelling people as cranks, ignoring the substantive issues and expressing faux outrage about minor issues as an excuse to avoid engagement with the meat of the main scientific arguments are on display.

  52. tallbloke says:

    gallopingcamel says:
    March 30, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Chris M says, March 29, 2012, 8:50 pm
    Thanks for alerting me to the fact that Anthony Watts now rates TBT as a “Transcendental Rant”.

    That sounded bad so I checked the other blogs under that heading. Joe Romm’s “Climate Progress” was one. Ouch, that stung a little!.

    Yeah. I hope a sense of proportion and reasonableness will prevail after the dust has settled.

  53. tallbloke says:

    Ned Nikolov says:
    January 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Reply to Robert Murphy (January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm)

    Robert,

    I did not expect that I have to spell out everything for you. Apparently, you do not know what a diurnally average temperature is, nor do you understand the meaning of a MAXIMUM mean temperature. So, let me try to clarify this for you one more time:

    1) A diurnal mean temperature is an AVERAGE between the daytime mean temperature and the nighttime mean temperatures. The 380K quoted on the Diviner webpage is VERY close to the ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM temperatures measured on the moon, see these papers

    http://diviner.ucla.edu/docs/fulltext.pdf
    http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/~shaopeng/Huang07ASR.pdf
    and
    http://diviner.ucla.edu/docs/paige_2010.pdf

    The diurnal temperature amplitude (i.e. the difference between daily max and daily min temp) on the Moon is VERY large. On the lunar equator, this amplitude is about 290K and declines to about 70-80K at the poles. Also, the daily max temperature on the Moon is only maintained (lasts) over a short period of the lunar day (which, by the way, equals 27.3 Earth days). At any given location on the Moon, the temperature drops quickly as one moves away from the a noon point. By sunset, the temperature is already around 120K for most latitudes (outside the polar regions), and continues to drop during the lunar night reaching about 75-80K just before sunrise.

    In addition, the polar regions have temperature about 150K during daytime and 40-50K during nighttime. Taking into account this pattern of temperature change and considering the fact that a lunar night nearly equals in length a lunar day, one can calculate the AVERAGE DIURNAL temperature at the lunar equator and at the poles using the information presented in the above papers. The result is about 210K mean diurnal temperature at the lunar equator, and 90-100K mean diurnal temperature at the poles. The actual mean temperature for the entire Moon surface falls between those two limits (210K and 95K), and given the purely radiative nature of the heating on the Moon, the final mean is very likely close to the average of the arithmetic extremes, i.e. (210 + 95)/2 = 152.2. So, there you have it! … I encourage you to study carefully the above references.

  54. Harriet Harridan says:

    “Tallbloke’s Talkshop is now linked at WUWT under ‘Transcendent Rant’, whatever that means.”

    It means we are rebels – and therefore at least 283% cooler than the rest of the population. Rock on!

  55. tallbloke says:

    Harriet, being a true sceptic, I demand you show us the math. 🙂

  56. Thanks TB for that carefully considered response. I have to agree with most of it.

    I think what concerned me was the sense you were baiting Willis. Getting involved with Willis again, at all. It seemed unnecessary and distracting from N&Z – though funny, too! Using language that was not measuring up to Steve McIntyre’s sense of the gentleman. Sure, Steve himself has used some wild language and imagery – when we all felt it was appropriate. Sure, Willis’ bahaviour did lower the tone at WUWT. And sure, the new sidebar reference lowers the tone further.

    But I still prefer to relate to people for what they are good at, as far as humanly possible – without being unaware of people’s shortcomings. So I think you pitch your estimate of Willis too low. I don’t think he’s just on an ego trip – even if that, as well as serious rudeness, does come into the picture. And I still value WUWT and Anthony’s passion to return integrity to science – even though I well know that Anthony has limited perception when it comes to the most important paradigm-shifting science.

    Anthony did stick on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, re Nikolov and Zeller. As did others at WUWT. The upside of this is, I’ve been researching the history and zeitgeist around its formulation. It’s fascinating. And one reason I’m visiting Scotland shortly is to study Maxwell and Kelvin more closely, to get a better sense of meeting them across the centuries.

  57. archonix says:

    To wax philosophical for a moment, the issue is one of prestige, or the belief that, having staked out a position, anything that challenges that position must be fought off, lest prestige and then influence be lost.

    The reason why the media and co keep battling on with the whole AGW meme is because they’ve staked their reputations on it. If they admit they’re wrong, they lose influence and consequently lose prestige. Likewise, Willis has staked his entire career, in effect, on the premise that AGW isn’t catastrophic but that the physics behind the radiative theory are still sound. When those physical theorem are challenged, his prestige and position are challenged in the process.

    Thus the revolutionary always becomes the old guard.

  58. Hans says:

    Tenuk says: March 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    “There is no greenhouse effect on Venus with 96.5% carbon dioxide, and none on the Earth with just a trace of carbon dioxide.”
    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

    Tenuc: “It is my view that because Earth and Venus have reasonably dense atmospheres, with lots of heat transfer processes which display spatio-turbulent chaos. This means that they can and do reconfigure the planetary system energy balance to ensure maximum entropy production.”

    Correct. Several physical processes are working to establish the maximum entropy in any planetary atmosphere and some others are upseting that to happen more or less. The more atmospheric mass/area the more entropy (equal energy per mass unit in a gravity field) will develope. It is of great importance to realise that the bulk IR emission will (average) be sent to space from an altitude. Observational evidence point to this altitude being at a realtively small pressure range around 0.2 bar. Check Earth, Venus, Titan, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptun and Uranus. This is the reason why Venus has the biggest known Greenhouse Effect of all planets at +400K. It is possible to caclulate the surface pressure by using the DALR from top down (especially well on Venus)

    Definition of GE = Observed average surface temperature minus observed average IR temperature of an atmosphere seen from space which is about 33 K for earth´s atmosphere. The NASA way of calculating GE is a fair approximation for earth´s atmosphere but should absolute not be applied to moon as it is.
    See moon fact sheet which claims a black body temperature of the lunar surface equal to 270.7 K
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/moonfact.html. This is just outrageus. The proper way to calculate it is as N&K has done and that should be common sense. The existence of an atmosphere is the major difference and has to be taken into account as well as the physical processes that do exist in an atmosphere and do not exist on moon.

  59. David Cosserat says:

    Lucy Skywalker says – March 30, 2012 at 1:05 am :
    It would be a shame to let this get in the way of Nikolov and Zeller’s important work getting properly understood, appreciated and developed. It would be a shame for the whole climate skeptics community.

    Lucy, it won’t. In science the truth will out. Always. If anything, this controversy will attract attention. Decently motivated people will get behind the ranting, the obfuscation, the nitpicking, and all the other diversions that seem inevitably to inhabit blog response trails, even on Tallbloke’s fine site.

    The fact is Willis wrote a rubbish article on an important subject and TB is quite right to take him to task for it. How else is science to proceed?

    N&Z have a theory. What people tend to miss is that the theory includes an important discovery that nobody has yet challenged effectively: that the Classic formula for calculating the grey body surface temperature of an airless planet, used for the last 30 years by almost all warmists and most skeptics, is mathematically flawed. N&Z are good mathematicians so they corrected it. Instead of being congratulated for their perceptiveness thay have been widely villified.

    In normal science, these results would be cause for grave head scratching and a thorough examination of the 30 year-old Classic formula which N&Z mathematically and Diviner empirically have both shown to be embarrassingly wrong. But instead the blogosphere simply went ablaze with largely irrelevant and ill-considered objections issued from all points on the warmist-skeptical spectrum.

    So let’s set out the score so far for an airless planet Earth:

    N&Z theoretical formula: 154K
    Diviner empirical data: 190K
    Classic theoretical formula(albedo=0.3) 255K
    Classic theoretical formula(albedo=0.1) 270K

    The mean surface temperature of the actual Earth today is 288K. So the above four predictions imply that the Earth’s atmosphere must be the cause one of the following boosts to its mean surface temperature:

    N&Z formula: 134K boost
    Diviner empirical: 98K boost
    Classic (albedo=0.3) 33K boost
    Classic (albedo=0.1) 18K boost

    N&Z’s formula gives the largest boost but doesn’t include the effect of regolith heat retention which is still under investigation. So let’s bend over backwards and assume that the Diviner provisional data is nearest to the truth.

    Around 100K boost due to atmosphere is a long way off the 18K – 33K previously assumed and surely should give us all significant pause for thought.

    Ah! But this is climate science…

  60. tallbloke says:

    David: nice clear summary, thanks. I’d just add a couple of bolded words to part of your statement if you’ll permit me.

    The mean surface temperature of the actual Earth today is 288K. So the above four predictions imply that the Earth’s coupled atmosphere/ocean must be the cause one of the following boosts to its mean surface temperature:

    N&Z formula: 134K boost
    Diviner empirical: 98K boost
    Classic (albedo=0.3) 33K boost
    Classic (albedo=0.1) 18K boost

    N&Z’s formula gives the largest boost but doesn’t include the effect of regolith heat retention or rotation speed which is still under investigation. So let’s bend over backwards and assume that the Diviner provisional data is nearest to the truth.

    —————————-

    Now, as I said in the head post, rotation speed won’t make much difference, but I think it’s important to investigate it so the regolith retention factor contains a term for it if required as it could affect other planets/moons too. Mercury could be a good test for the theory, because of its slow rotation and proximity to the Sun.

    Due credit to Willis for mentioning rotation rate in his article

  61. tallbloke says:

    Hans says:

    Observational evidence point to this altitude being at a realtively small pressure range around 0.2 bar. Check Earth, Venus, Titan, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptun and Uranus. This is the reason why Venus has the biggest known Greenhouse Effect of all planets at +400K. It is possible to calculate the surface pressure by using the DALR from top down (especially well on Venus)

    Absolutely crucial point Hans. And if the current DIVINER estimate is good, and the derived estimate for Earth is good, then we get a 90-96K boost to Earth’s surface temperature with a ~10km troposphere and a 9.8K/km DALR (dry adiabatic lapse rate).

    The maths works, as I said at the end of my article. This potentially supports your work, as well as that of N&Z and Huffman.

    High fives all round. 🙂

  62. Hans says:

    tallbloke says: March 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Rog,
    “WUWT has been very determined to make sure discussion of Nikolov and Zeller’s important work is misinterpreted, misrepresented and finally, silenced from the get go. I hardly think my critique of Willis’ article makes much difference to what is in effect a fait accompli.”

    I wrote a letter to Anthony Watts about Willis ad hominem about my E&E article and made him responsible to Willis improper behaviour to me and others in the infamous N&Z thread. In that letter I called Willis a clown in the disguise of a scientist if I remeber correctly. I haven´t got any answer from Anthony yet.

    Thanks for exposing the scientific incompetence of Willis. It is important since he has (had) much influence at WUWT. I am also disappointed at the direction Anthony seems to lead WUWT which is one reason I seldom visit it. It seems that also Anthony has reached a critical limit of (scientific) competence.

    Your way of leading your blog is excellent even if it might never be the leader in volume since it requires (too much for many) effort to follow your links in a serious way. The first N&Z article and the N&Z responses deserves a strict and qualified examination. Your efforts is leading the way to reqognise what is fact or fiction in the realm of complex systems, not only dealing with the N&Z article. Keep it up Rog!

  63. Roger Longstaff says:

    A very interesting discussion – this and the previous thread.

    For what it is worth, I really think that Wayne is onto something by examining the relationship between albedo and emissivity for a planet that can form clouds, and that this could add value to the work of N&Z, Huffman and others – keep up the good work!

    I would add a note of caution to those who question the scond law of thermodynamics. This, to me, is akin to proposing superluminal neutrinos to explain an experimental anomaly in an experiment at CERN – it brings the whole of physics crashing down in flames, to the extent that nothing makes sense any more.

    Personal opinions, for what they are worth.

  64. Stephen Wilde says:

    I see that my original ‘home’ of Climate Realists also appears in the Transcendental section at WUWT along with TB and Joe Romm.

    Looks like Anthony is no longer enamoured of my contributions but as far as I know none of my work has ever been a ‘rant’ though some do seem to think it is ‘way out there’ despite fitting observations and long established (pre radiative dominance) science.

  65. tallbloke says:

    Roger L: The question about the second law is no longer a deal busting issue for our rapidly developing, empirically supported theory of climate here, because the near surface air is warmer than that at altitude for reasons other (density and sunlight) than those diectly hanging on the second law, and the oceans lift the grey body temperature most of the way without worrying about the near surface T too much anyway, because they are so much more thermally massive than the air is.

    However, it would be the icing on the cake if some accredited physics lab would show some cojones and replicate Graeff’s experiments, and get a positive result.

    Then we might see some effort towards the resolution of the Loschmidt paradox which the Physics community has managed to live with (by ignoring it) for the last 120 years, without crashing down.

    On Loschmidt’s gravito-thermal effect side we have Lagrange, Laplace, Jelbring and some other theoretical prominents.
    On the other side we have Maxwell, Boltzmann, Brown and some other theoretical prominents.

    On the side of empirical experimentation rather than theoretical posturing we have Graeff, a gifted amateur who is dismissed as a crank because Maxwell and Boltzmann are currently in favour.

    Time will tell.

  66. Ninderthana says:

    Anthony no longer has the “scientific balls” needed to publish innovative and
    ground breaking scientific research on the topics of solar activity and climate science.
    His success has gone to his head. He is too frightened to stand too far out from
    his admiring crowd. This will come back to haunt him.

  67. tallbloke says:

    Ian, I think that needs finessing. Anthony has become resistant to publishing theoretical science not as yet published in the recognised journals which conflicts with his pragmatically conservative intuition.

    That’s a reasonable position to take IMO, especially in his position as the owner of the site the warmists love to attack on the least pretext.

    However I agree with an earlier comment that if he does publish someone like Scafetta or N&Z, he shouldn’t pre-bias the discussion by editorialising his own view. It opens him to criticism.

    A climate blog owners lot is not an easy one when the eyes of the climate world are upon you.

  68. David Springer says:

    “Like the Earth, averaged over its whole surface the moon receives about 342 watts per square metre (W/m2) of solar energy. We’re the same average distance from the sun, after all. The Earth reflects 30% of that back into space (albedo of 0.30), leaving about 240 W/m2. The moon, with a lower albedo, reflects less and absorbs more energy, about 304 W/m2.”

    This deserves closer examination. Albedo and emissivity are not the same thing. Albedo is typically a measure of visible light reflection. Sunlight has a lot more than just visible light in it. Does regolith reflect near infrared at the same rate as visible light? How about ultraviolet? Then there are charged particles which the sun emits that aren’t light at all and which are deflected away from the earth’s magnetic field but aren’t deflected away from the moon which has no magnetic field.

    Willis isn’t really worth arguing with. He will never admit to being wrong and he’s wrong quite often. I’m sure he’s a passably good carpenter but he’s no physicist. No one except a coterie of similarly unlettered nincompoops at WUWT takes him seriously.

    [Reply] In the interests of fairness and balance, he says pretty much the same about the Talkshop. 🙂

  69. David Springer says:

    “•How could the Earth with no atmosphere have the current albedo? Earth with no atmosphere loses its ocean too, and looks a bit like the Moon – albedo ~0.12”

    Correct. They construct a straw man that has no analog in the real world.

    Try to get a climate boffin to tell you what the earth would be like without a global ocean but with all its greenhouse gases intact. It would be a snowball. With no effective means of evening out diurnal and seasonal temperature variation the first time water freezes out of the atmosphere it become snow with an albedo of some 90% which limits daytime heating drastically and the earth would freeze up probably in the first full year if not sooner.

  70. David Springer says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    March 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    “Furthermore the highest water temperature is at the top of the oceans whereas the highest air temperature is at the bottom of the atmosphere.”

    No, the highest temperatures are in the thermosphere which is why it’s called the thermosphere. But that’s only because really high energy light from the sun which doesn’t penetrate very far heats the upper atmosphere to thousands of degrees. Luckily the air is so thin that it doesn’t have enough heat capacity to warm anything of substance that comes in contact with it which is pretty darn fortunate for the ISS which orbits inside the thermosphere.

  71. Hans says:

    David Cosserat says: March 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

    David,

    What we are talking about deals with treating observational evidence, hypotheses, models and theories in an attempt to find out what is false and what is true. Unfortunately the world “science” is misused in the concept “Climate Science” which is all about politics.
    Let´s investigate your interesting list of temperature “boosts” and identify on reason for the large difference which does not seem to get much attention. Imagine that you put all solar radiation reaching moon (the same power) into a laser beam covering the same spot (10 square kilometer) at some point at the lunar equator. The average equatorial temperature would be quite low even if the lunar surface would melt at the area the laser beam hits.
    The situation is similar when sun is hitting just one side of the moon and the other one is in darkness and there is no atmosphere at hand to redistribute the received solar energy to the dark part of the surface.

    To go one step further let us put the sunshine to the lunar surface by four suns that together deliver the same power as sun does today. Let the moon rotate as it does today and let the four suns remain in the same position at 90 degrees from each other.
    We also accept the Deviner temperature curve as correct. We notice that the emission coefficient at maximum irradiation is about 0.95 and that the average equatorial temperature is 213 K.
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/empirical-results-from-diviner-confirm-s-b-law-was-misapplied-to-moon/

    In our thought experiment each sun will deliver 1367/4 W^2 to the surface of the moon to maintain the same total solar power reaching its surface. The maximum temperature will then according to the SB formula t^4 0.95 sigma = 342 be:
    T(max) = 282 K.

    Observe the way the Diviner temperature curve goes down to the bottom line. The new temperature curve will never reach the old bottom line but interfere with the irradiation from the next sun. An approximate temperature decrease will be about 10% of the maximum kelvin value
    (a fair approximation). This is about 30 K in our case. For simplicity the average temperature using 4 suns will be about (282+252)/2 = 267 K 0r -6 C. This temperature should be compared with the equatorial temperature given at the link above.

    Suddenly we have increased the mean lunar equatorial temperature by 267-213 = 54 K just by rearranging the energy source direction but not the total power reaching moon. The effect of having a continuous power output over the whole surface of earth is one dominating reason Why N&Z get such a big temperature boost as you call it. I will stop here but there is much more to say.

    Hans

  72. David Springer says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    March 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    “Furthermore the highest water temperature is at the top of the oceans whereas the highest air temperature is at the bottom of the atmosphere.”

    Keep in mind that a non-convecting atmosphere in equilibrum is isothermal. The key to understanding how an atmosphere can simultaneously be isothermal and have a lapse rate hinges on the difference between thermal energy and sensible heat. The lapse rate is sensible heat while the definition for thermal energy includes both sensible heat and gravitational potential energy. So for every joule of sensible heat in the lower atmosphere there’s a joule of gravitational potential energy in the upper atmosphere. This balances the books perfectly and makes sense when you think about it. There’s a Boltzman distribution of kinetic energy in individual molecules of air. Gravity is trying to pull them down but their motion resists being pulled together. Some that happen to get bumped upwards harder than another rise upwards losing kinetic energy (sensible heat) but gain gravitational potential energy as they rise which perfectly balances the energy books. So a pound of air at the surface has exactly the same energy content as a pound of air in the stratosphere when gravitational potential energy is added to the sum of kinetic energy. When you think about it you should quickly realize there’s no other possible way to explain a lapse rate. Of course this was thought through and realized a couple hundred years ago when classicial physics was being formulated. We just don’t think much about thermal energy being inclusive of gravitational potential because in our everyday experience we usually deal with gases confined by closed vessels not open ended vessels confined by gravity.

    Where the so-called pressure go wrong, mostly, is they misapply the gas law like the atmosphere is a closed vessel with a fixed volume. In that situation temperature is the free variable. In the atmosphere volume is the free variable. In the closed vessel when pressure increases volume remains the same and temperature rises. In gravitational confinement when pressure increases temperature remains the same and volume increases. It’s not complicated but it may very difficult to understand for the non-engineering mind.

  73. tallbloke says:

    “the highest temperatures are in the thermosphere”

    It may have been Ned who said here recently that we need to be careful comparing thermosphere temps with troposphere temps, because the values given for the thermosphere are those of individual molecules, whereas the tropospheric temps are those of the bulk gas (which includes the ’empty space’ between molecules).

  74. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Albedo is typically a measure of visible light reflection. Sunlight has a lot more than just visible light in it.”

    That is a good point which helps to put the albedo issue into a better perspective.

    Reflectivity may not be much of an issue in view of the low energy content and relatively narrow bandwidth of visible light.

    I suggested above that albedo involves a redistribution of energy within the atmosphere but on further consideration it isn’t just a matter of albedo. The materials in the atmosphere such as clouds and aerosols (and GHGs) that affect optical depth and reflect visible light back out also prevent a much larger quantity of solar incoming energy from reaching the surface by absorbing and re emitting within the atmosphere.

    That energy then is mostly prevented from irradiating the surface and just engages in multiple energy exchanges within the atmosphere before being sent back out to space again without ever reaching the surface.

    The energy content of the atmosphere can then increase at the expense of surface warming and that will make the atmosphere expand to reduce molecular density at the surface and weaken ATE at the surface.

    Far from downward radiation slowing down the cooling of the surface the atmosphere and all its constituents make the irradiated surface cooler than it would be without an atmosphere even whilst the atmosphere heats up.

    We can then reconsider the case of Venus where the insolation reaching the surface is virtually zero due to the thickness of the atmosphere. On that basis most heat energy has to be conducted downward to the surface rather than radiated down because the bulk of the radiating events are between the constituents of that dense atmosphere and never reach the ground at all.

    That brings us to Harry Huffmans contention that solar energy is directly absorbed by atmospheres rather than the atmospheres being heated by conduction from the ground. I forget the evidence he adduces for that but if he reads this perhaps he could remind me.

    I think the answer is that in any atmosphere with clouds and particulates in any quantity (pretty much every planet) there will be enough direct absorption and re emission (and conduction) of solar incoming energy within the atmosphere to heat the atmosphere without much need for upward conduction from an irradiated surface.

    Any atmosphere that warms directly in such a manner is permanently denying that incoming solar energy to the ground and any downward radiation would only be a fraction of what would have reached the ground in the absence of direct solar absorption within the atmosphere.

    Albedo is thus reduced to a very minor factor as compared to direct absorption and re emission within the atmosphere.

    Downward radiation is also put in its proper place as but a tiny fraction of residue left over after the bulk of the atmosphere has done what it can in obstructing the flow of incoming solar irradiation. It will always be dwarfed by the solar incoming that is prevented from reaching as far as the surface.

  75. David Springer says:

    There’s a problem here in “mean” temperature of the moon. A strawman is created when one presumes that the sum of instant temperatures divided by the number of instants should be equal to that obtained by the S-B temperature for the average of the insolation.

    That works well enough when there is only a small difference in minimum and maximum temperatures but it falls apart when the differences are large because the larger the temperature differential between hot & cold objects the faster the former will lose heat.

    The cold object is the cosmic background of 3K. The hot object is the lunar surface. The background never changes in temperature. The lunar surface changes hundreds of degrees K. So when the sun is waning the rate of temperature decline is larger the hotter the surface. This disparity skews the mean temperature downward from what it would be with constant mean solar flux.

    On the earth there is very little of this disparity driving the mean temperture below what would be obtained by constant mean radiation. This is mostly because of our ocean where there’s almost zero diurnal temperature variation and next due to our atmosphere where high humidity acts to limit diurnal variation to 10K or less. In a low salt desert, which is the closest thing the earth has to the moon’s surface, we see diurnal variation of 20K or more but that STILL pales to the moon’s dirunal variation at the equator of 300K.

  76. Stephen Wilde says:

    David Springer said:

    “Where the so-called pressure go wrong, mostly, is they misapply the gas law like the atmosphere is a closed vessel with a fixed volume. In that situation temperature is the free variable. In the atmosphere volume is the free variable. ”

    Well I’ve been pointing out that volume being the free variable a change in such volume will affect the ATE in such a way as to negate warming of the air by a corresponding cooling of the surface and negate cooling of the air by a warming of the surface thus maintaining system equilibrium temperature set by pressure and insolation.

    So I think we here are applying the gas law correctly.

  77. tallbloke says:

    Stephen, just so. I think part of the communication problem is that there are those who have been saying that we are saying what Dave has been led to believe we are saying.

    I was astonished at how quickly the disinformation campaign swung into operation. A sure sign that the warmista recognise the theory that Ned and Karl announced, and we are further expounding and developing here as a real threat IMO.

  78. Stephen Wilde says:

    Rog,

    also the persistent misinformation that ATE is somehow a result of creating heat from gravity or adding extra heat from some unspecified source.

    I keep pointing out that gravity only facilitates the accumulation of heat at the surface by placing more molecules per unit volume at the surface

    and that the processs only occurs when there is continuing external irradiation

    but the misinformation continues.

    It is also entirely consistent with the Ideal Gas Law, the Standard Atmosphere, observations and the generally acepted physics of 30 years ago.

    Where we have moved it on is in linking that old science to the climate changes of the past 50 years by pointing out that all the observed climate changes can be accommodated by natural solar and ocean induced changes in atmospheric heights and latitudinally shifting climate zones.

    There is no climate change known to me that cannot fit such a scenario.

  79. tallbloke says:

    Comment on the WUWT thread:

    Bryan says:
    January 9, 2012 at 1:15 am

    The SB equation is misused by IPCC style Climate Science.
    The Moon is a perfect example of this.

    1. why after 14 Earth days does the dark side never reach absolute zero but stays some 90K above?
    2.why after 14 Earth days does the Sunlit side never reach its predicted radiative max but stays well below it.
    The guilty little secret of IPCC Moon Science is that to get anywhere near realistic temperature figures they have to include a substantial contribution from a GROUND HEAT FLUX in addition to the radiative fluxes.
    The guilty little secret of IPCC Earth Science is that they refuse to include a ANY contribution from a GROUND HEAT FLUX in addition to the radiative fluxes.
    If they did so they would find little use for the so called greenhouse effect.

  80. TB,

    Pet hate; the addition of “pre” to everything these days. “he shouldn’t pre-bias the discussion”. A bias is always there first; Defn: “A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgement.” Pre-bias is tautology, just like pre-warn, pre-advise, pre-book and just about every other pre-xxxx that has recently been invented, a great one the other day was pre-drafted!
    (End of [transcendent] rant)

  81. David Springer says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    March 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    You will probably be interested in this:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-science-of-the-glory

    I subscribe so I got the whole article in the dead tree edition this year.

    It describes, among other things, how clouds are modeled in GCMs. They use a small number of water droplet sizes and calculate reflectivity from that. But there’s a reflection phenomenon from clouds that has never been satisfactorily explained. If the sun is at your back and you cast a shadow onto a cloud below you see a rainbow of colors like a halo surrounding your shadow hence the name “glory”. It was first observed and documented hundreds of years ago. The rainbow cannot be observed by others much outside your 180 degree viewing angle. They just see a shadow.

    The difficulty in explaining this is that 180 degrees is well outside the angle of refraction in a water droplet. The author of the article explains the effect through quantum tunneling. Quantum tunneling of light is a known phenomenon that is employed in some high tech gadgets so that’s not controversial. In effect when a photon from the sun passes within a wavelength of a water droplet it can tunnel into the water drop then tunnel out the opposite side moving in exactly the opposite direction. So the GCM cloud model is incomplete and clouds are reflecting more solar energy than is accounted for in the model. IMO it’s probably enough energy to change the sign of the feedback from slightly positive to slightly negative. A slightly negative feedback from clouds changes catastrophic global warming into beneficial global warming. Not good for the CAGW weenies or the polticians who tried to leverage the panic into a much greater concentration of power in poltical hands.

  82. David Springer says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    “1. why after 14 Earth days does the dark side never reach absolute zero but stays some 90K above?”

    Excellent question. It was one of the first questions I had to ask myself. The moon is basically the same rocks as the earth except that it has a greater surface area/volume ratio and no atmosphere which combine to leak internal heat of formation and radioactive decay faster than the earth. The result after billions of years is that the earth still has a molten core and the moon is solid. But that doesn’t mean the moon has reached equilibrium with the CMBR at 3K. It still has internal radioactive heat source and still has some heat of formation too. Regolith is a lousy conductor of heat but it’s not a perfect insulator so some of this heat leaks to the surface. As I said in earlier comments temperature decline is greater as the difference in temperature between source and sink rises. At approximately 100K the rate of heat loss to empty space (driven by a 97K delta-T) becomes equal to how much internal heat is leaking out. So at that point the surface temperature goes pretty close to flatline.

    Equilibrium is one of those ideals that never quite happens in the real world. This is illustrated in primary school physical sciences courses by the classic example of someone who is walking toward a goal but each step he takes is exactly half the length of the last step. You will come infinitely close to reaching the goal but never quite make it. It works the same way when moving towards thermal equilibrium.

  83. David Springer says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    ” 2.why after 14 Earth days does the Sunlit side never reach its predicted radiative max but stays well below it.”

    This is just plain wrong. When the regolith is sunlit it is in almost constant equilibrium with the rising and falling solar flux as determined by the S-B equation. If anything daily high temperature at the equator goes above the calculated maximum for a 1366W/m2 solar constant with an emissivity of 0.88. I have so far not been able to reconcile the higher than expected temperature. I suspect it’s because the emissivity isn’t really 0.88 across all frequencies that’s only for visible light and the emissivity number is higher for near infrared. Less likely is that the solar constant isn’t really 1366W/m2 at moon and something is attenuating it by the time it makes to top of atmosphere on earth. This disparity appears quite significant with an implication that true solar constant is 1450-1500W/m2. There’s 100-150W/m2 in question which also happens to be amount of “forcing” that climate boffins attribute to atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    Almost everywhere you look closely into the GHG narrative there are things that don’t add up. This is just one more of them.

  84. tallbloke says:

    One of Willis’ plaudits on his thread:

    R. Gates says:
    January 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Nice general analysis Willis, and for the most part I think you’ve pinned down the importance of the greenhouse atmosphere of Earth in terms of keeping it far warmer than it would be otherwise. Thank god you didn’t say it was gravity and the ideal gas law!

    🙂

  85. David Springer says:

    @tallbloke

    Internal heat. You are not taking into account that emitted (or absorbed) energy rises as the fourth root of temperature. Go here:

    http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

    At 100K emitted energy is 6W/m2

    At 200K emitted energy is 91W/m2

    At 300K emitted energy is 459W/m2

    At 400K emitted energy is 1452W/m2

    If you do not internalize this non-linear relationship between temperature and energy nothing will seem to make sense. Once it becomes part of your thinking you won’t need to wonder why the moon’s low temp goes flat at 100K with little variation no matter the latitude and you’ll also understand why internal heat is usually ignored. It’s ignored because with a mean solar input of 342W/m2 six Watts is only 2% of the total and at noon on the lunar equator it’s only 0.4% of it.

    There’s a reason why we ignore internal heat in first and second approximations and it’s a very good reason. Given that total anthropogenic “forcing” is given at around 5W/m2 or less we should be ignoring that too in first and second approximations. It gets even worse for energy imbalance at TOA which (although it has such a high margin of error to make giving it almost meaningless) satellite measurements put it at 0.5W/m2 which is enough to raise the temperature of the global ocean a few tenths of a degree per century, far short of CAGW model predictions. Hence the search for the “missing” heat. The problem is that what’s missing is within the margin of measurement error. At this point I’m pretty much of the conclusion that the missing heat has been found and it’s 180 degree refraction of sunlight by cloud water droplets via quantum tunneling of photons passing within a wavelength of a water droplet. Current cloud models do not account for this. The effect will be much greater when, for the same amount of water, the droplet size is smaller. Perhaps when the droplets are uber-small such as those that might form around the uber-small particles that increase in number when solar magnetic activity declines (Svensmark).

    It’s still all about water. Rocks and dry air can be ignored in first approximation once you’ve accounted for atmospheric pressure. The atmosphere could be pure nitrogen in other words and so long as there was still a water cycle including clouds there would be very little change in climate.

  86. tallbloke says:

    Dave, you may find this of interest re cloud optics

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cms/wcollins/papers/cess.pdf

    I doubt the solar constant is much different from the standard 1366.5 or whatever it currently is reckoned as. Within a couple of watts anyway.

  87. David Springer says:

    Rereading my last comment (actually reading it for the first time since I don’t proof read) I wonder if the commonly cited energy imbalance at TOA includes internal heat from the earth. I presume internal heat for the earth is around a tenth of a watt for no particular reason other than I read it somewhere. But just now I’m wondering what the margin of error for THAT number is. I presume it’s one of those numbers that in models is, like albedo and number of volcanoes, a constant. What if it isn’t a constant. What if that number can jump up from a tenth of a watt to a watt and stay there for a hundred or a thousand years. Or exactly how accurate a tenth of a watt really is. A tenth of a watt is not a lot different than a half of a watt and if TOA energy imbalance is really a half watt then a simple error in assumption that earth’s internal heat loss and/or generation rate is constant across any given amount of time.

  88. David Springer says:

    March 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Dave, you may find this of interest re cloud optics

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cms/wcollins/papers/cess.pdf

    I doubt the solar constant is much different from the standard 1366.5 or whatever it currently is reckoned as. Within a couple of watts anyway.

    ——————————————————————–

    Don’t be so sure. It was just recently revised from 1366 downward to 1361. Keep in mind it’s a lot easier to measure radiation coming in from the sun that it is to measure radiation leaving the earth. Giving an energy imbalance of 0.5W seems like, so close to zero, the polarity of it isn’t reliable.

    My emphasis:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight

    “The “solar constant” includes all types of solar radiation, not just the visible light. Its average value was thought to be approximately 1.366 kW/m²,[7] varying slightly with solar activity, but recent recalibrations of the relevant satellite observations indicate a value closer to 1.361 kW/m² is more realistic.[8]”

    This is nothing short of comical. Realistic to *what*? I’ll tell ya what they mean. The lower number is that much more copacetic with global warming. You see, if they revise the solar constant downward by 6W/m2 without revising the earth’s average temperature down commensurately that amplifies the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. That’s why it’s a more “realistic” number. It’s also why I’m looking at maximum temperature on the moon at noon on the equator. It needs to be reconciled with some solar constant and it sure as hell doesn’t look like it can be lowered from 1366W/m2 it appears in need of being revised in the higher direction.

  89. David Springer says:

    tallbloke says:

    March 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    One of Willis’ plaudits on his thread:

    R. Gates says:
    January 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

    “Nice general analysis Willis, and for the most part I think you’ve pinned down the importance of the greenhouse atmosphere of Earth in terms of keeping it far warmer than it would be otherwise. Thank god you didn’t say it was gravity and the ideal gas law!”

    I’m not sure if it warrants thanking God but I’d be willing to thank dog. Willis is right (but for the wrong reason) about what he terms pressure heads. Willis is living proof that even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn.

    Gravity only causes a tradeoff between sensible temperature and gravitational potential energy with altitude. It cannot and does not cause the sensible temperature at the surface to rise as the surface is always the point where gravitational energy is 0% of the thermal energy and sensible heat is 100% of it. You can’t go higher than 100% in either category as the sum of both must always be 100%.

    [Reply] I’ve pointed out to you once before that gravitational potential energy doesn’t fall to zero at the surface, because the surface is some thousands of kilometers above the centre of gravity. Please acknowledge you have read it this time.
    In any case, you have missed the point that the surface pressure limits the evaporation rate, and that forces the ocean to warm until its surface can get rid of energy as fast as it arrives from the Sun into the top 100m of the ocean. I said it twice in the article and I’m saying it again now. Are you listening and understanding?

  90. tallbloke says:

    Dave, the downward revision is for the change in the design of the aperture the sun comes though onto the sensor. Earlier designs were reflecting extra sunlight into the instrument and skewing the reading. That’s why there’s no big change in the Earth outgoing estimate, or the TSI figures.

    Whether this change hides a bigger drop in real TSI than is officially given is another question. I think that given all the issues around sensor degradation, calibration, the ACRIM gap data choices etc, we can’t rely to heavily on tiny trends in TSI to tell us anything definitive.

    After all, the LIA to now increase in temp is maybe 1.5C
    That’s ~0.5% in absolute temperature terms.
    Solar output definitely trended up over most of the C20th, but by how much? Leif keeps putting the data on his ironing board and flattening it some more.
    The sun changes around 0.5 – 1W/m^2 over the 11 year cycle. If it trended up 1W/m^2 over the C20th, that’s maybe around 0.15 – 0.25C without accounting for effects of extra UV on the upper atmosphere ozone or surface biology, or the effect on cloud albedo, which might amplify the warming.
    http://sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  91. David Springer says:
    March 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-science-of-the-glory

    Thanks for that. That effect has always intrigued me – tonight’s reading sorted!

  92. tallbloke says:

    Dave S;

    I’ve pointed out to you once before that gravitational potential energy doesn’t fall to zero at the surface, because the surface is some thousands of kilometers above the centre of gravity. Please acknowledge you have read it this time.

    In any case, you have missed the point that the surface pressure limits the evaporation rate, and that forces the ocean to warm until its surface can get rid of energy as fast as it arrives from the Sun into the top 100m of the ocean. I said it twice in the article and I’m saying it again now. Are you listening and understanding?

  93. David Cosserat says:
    … In science the truth will out. Always. If anything, this controversy will attract attention…

    The fact is Willis wrote a rubbish article on an important subject and TB is quite right to take him to task for it. How else is science to proceed?

    Agreed, I saw some of this even as I wrote my comment!

    Tallbloke says:
    … The question about the second law is no longer a deal busting issue…

    …On the side of empirical experimentation rather than theoretical posturing we have Graeff, a gifted amateur who is dismissed as a crank because Maxwell and Boltzmann are currently in favour.

    I think the second law is important, here is what I see:

    The whole greenhouse gas effect, so-called, is supposed to cause 33 degrees warmth from 255K to 288K. But you reach 255K at ~3500m altitude. It’s a nonphysical nonsense to think you can get cooler than the Earth’s grey-body temperature, as you supposedly do at the tropopause, some 70 degrees cooler than sea level.

    The altitude / temperature effect is staring everyone in the face. So why has it not been seriously considered? Because Maxwell and Boltzmann believed that the Second Law meant that a vertical column of air has to be the same temperature top and bottom. Nothing wrong with the basic Second Law. But Maxwell and Boltzmann were wrong on this detail. Because they are rightly respected for other work, a disconnect arose for lesser mortals in Climate Science, that failed to see, in adiabatic lapse rate, the fundamental evidence of what warms the planet.

    Attention needs to be drawn to this issue.

    It needs highlighting because it’s unconsciously tripped up Climate Science right from the start, and thus IMHO left it vulnerable to corruption. It needs highlighting because both warmists and skeptics fall down over N&Z at this point, and are unaware of the work Graeff did to validate the altitude exception to the Second Law as currently stated.

    Graeff has done all the work for us. He is more than just a gifted amateur. He ran his own engineering company, he is a PhD, he has lots of patents to his name. He developed a whole mathematical prediction for exactly the temperature gradient a vertical column of water and of air should have, when convection is impeded. He tested his hypothesis with excellent engineering, methodology, and use of statistics, and got results remarkably close to his predictions. He wrote the amendment the Second Law needs.

  94. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Tallbloke: Congratulations! all the “alumni” back to “Castalia” (Magister Ludi´s seminar)

  95. gallopingcamel says:

    Lucy Skywalker says, March 30, 2012 at 9:08 am,
    Great to hear that you are going to Scotland to study Maxwell & Kelvin.

    William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) made his fortune thanks to his success as a consultant to C.J.Varley who was the chief engineer of Cyrus Field’s 1868 telegraph cable that spanned the Atlantic.

    Thompson attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, a truly world class school (then and now) that was founded in 1805. If RBAI was in the USA we would call it a “Charter School”.

    Sadly, my contacts at RBAI have all retired so I can’t arrange a grand guided tour or even afternoon tea. Nevertheless, I hope that you will find time to visit RBAI and maybe the Queens University of Belfast.

  96. Ninderthana says:

    Tallbloke,

    I repeat:

    “Anthony no longer has the “scientific balls” needed to publish innovative and
    ground breaking scientific research on the topics of solar activity and climate science.
    His success has gone to his head. He is too frightened to stand too far out from
    his admiring crowd. This will come back to haunt him.”

    My last sentence was chosen for very precise reasons. If you were in possession
    of the material I have seen and which I know is about to come out in peer-reviewed
    research you would consider the last sentence to be a profound understatement.

    I can say no more.

  97. Tenuk says:

    Ninderthana says:
    March 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm…My last sentence was chosen for very precise reasons. If you were in possession of the material I have seen and which I know is about to come out in peer-reviewed
    research you would consider the last sentence to be a profound understatement.

    I can say no more.

    Intriguing, Ninderthana, and I hope it’s based on experiment. Too many unsubstantiated and un-falsifiable conjectures backed by obscure maths and computer models are flying around at the moment in both climatology and physics.

    Time to get back to real science where experimentation, observation came before the theory and the maths – heuristics can be useful, but we need solid ground to foster progress to wisdom about our world.

    Meanwhile, the trunk on the elephant has started twitching… 🙂

  98. Ninderthana, I don’t think either fear or swollen head are Anthony’s issues. I think TB nailed him as having a “conservative intuition”. Anthony never set out to be THE paradigm-shifter for science, only to draw attention to things that interested him and concerned him as an ordinary but honest hardworking weather man – and then Climate Science appeared with stinking corruption all around us. He can’t cope with the Electric Universe material which is very scientifically coherent at its best. He can’t cope with abiotic oil material. He hasn’t the time, patience or understanding to sort the pink fluff and pingpong-to-the-death matches, or to think through fringe-y aficionados rabbitting on in rabbit-speak with discernment. That, and the brusque way he handles TB’s kind of material, are the downside of his phenomenal hard work, the equal of which I’ve never seen. He’s a soldier rather than a paradigm-shifting scientist.

    I look forward to what you mention is coming out. But even peer-reviewed lit still misses much of the really interesting, ground-breaking stuff. I will say no more or I’ll be wandering into controversial areas that even this blog is not set up to handle.

  99. mkelly says:

    “As Wigner had warned, even results from state-of-the-art supercomputers, if employed without physical insight, can be untrustworthy.”

    The above is from the linked article on what a glory is. Computers don’t know it all. You thunk it.

    I have over 5000 hours of flight time in several ASW aircraft and have seen glories many times. Because the windows in the aircraft are hemispherical I always thought that the curvature of the window may have had something to do with them. Finding out what the true cause was does not detractfrom the beauty of them at all.

  100. tallbloke says:

    mkelly: I have witnessed glories on mountain ridges, with nothing between my eyeballs and the mist. A transcendent experience.

  101. wayne says:

    David Springer (March 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm), I’m very much in agreement with your thoughts. That is exactly what I am concentrating on right now. Here’s an expanded table of the DIFFERENTIALS at various temperatures.

    At 100K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 0.23 W/m2
    At 150K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 0.77 W/m2
    At 200K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 1.83 W/m2
    At 250K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 3.57 W/m2
    At 300K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 6.15 W/m2
    At 350K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 9.77 W/m2
    At 400K, 1K delta of emitted energy is 14.57 W/m2
    Above assuming an emissivity of one.

    Not only does the tropics temperature due to the small zenith angle cause input to be around the 350K level but the tropic latitude bands have a huge amount of area compared to the 80-90 degree arctic latitude area. What that means is you have to multiply the two effects. That make the difference even bigger, huge in fact.

    Take the tropics at 350K directly under the sun times ‘one’ for area equals 9.77 W/m2 to the arctic with 250K times it’s area of ~1.5% of the area equaling 3.57*0.015 or 0.053 W/m2. The differential is huge. View the earth from high above the north pole, the map looks like a dartboard. The southerly winds in the NH that do not need to carry much energy north to account for the warming IN TEMPERATURE. Not co2!, it is temperature difference TIMES area difference. That is enough to account for the 154.7K –> 288 K ATE. It is in the spherical geometry effects of both the fourth power AND concentric area reduction simultaneously at the poles and high latitudes. Did I word that good enough for you to see why I agree with of what you are saying?

    I just read that Facebook is building their new world’s biggest multi-mega-watt data center… get this… right at the Arctic Circle. Neat. Going to make it warmer for there is little solar warming up there by that differential W/m2 table above. The same is happening in Alaska, Siberia, Canada, and Scandinavian countries, more power, more artificial warming. Will that slow the southerly winds and currents, like the Gulf Stream, over time, to compensate for the decrease in the temperature between the latitudes that mankind is actually causing. I think so, but mother nature at these scales takes decades to notice. This is one area where I do see us humans are making a difference, but I don’t think it matters squat, mother nature will compensate.

  102. Stephen Wilde says:

    “but the tropic latitude bands have a huge amount of area compared to the 80-90 degree arctic latitude area.”

    Quite right.

    That keys into my previous assertions elsewhere that it is that geometry effect which helps to increase total cloudiness and albedo when the climate zones and the cloud filled jetstreams shift towards the equator.

    The lines of air mass mixing with associated cloud formation become very much longer the more equatorward they become.

    Hence the decreasing cloudiness in the late 20th and increasing cloudiness now. Doesn’t leave much need for the Svensmark hypothesis unless cosmic rays can shift the climate zones. I prefer atmospheric chemistry involving ozone as a more likely possibility.

  103. wayne says:

    TB: [Reply] I’ve pointed out to you once before that gravitational potential energy doesn’t fall to zero at the surface, because the surface is some thousands of kilometers above the centre of gravity.

    Careful tallbloke, that is not strictly correct. The zero point of potential energy can be set anywhere where you like. Astrophysics sets it usually at infinity. Mechanics at the point you are calling zero gravitational height. So you can set it here on Earth at Earth’s center. The key is consistency. Just don’t mix-match potential energy when discussing without asking or stating what is zero height. Honestly, I never realized that until I got knee-deep in studying gravity about a decade ago, just had never stopped to think about it, so if you didn’t either, join the crowd!

  104. Ninderthana says:

    Tallbloke said:

    “I think the other reason the Lukewarmist position is losing ground, is because it has become as intolerant of, and as unresponsive to, rational opposing argument as the full-on warmist position. All the usual tactics of labelling people as cranks, ignoring the substantive issues and expressing faux outrage about minor issues as an excuse to avoid engagement with the meat of the main scientific arguments are on display.”

    My explanation was much cruder: Anthony doesn’t have the “scientific balls”…

    but it essentially agrees with what you have said.

    There needs to a forum for rigorous on-line debate. Much of what will be discussed on that forum will be half-baked, semi-informed and just plain out-right wrong [and I include my own contributions here] but there needs to be a place that uses the rigors of logic and reason to get to the heart the issues.

    Anthony’s site has become a he said, she said… site for political commentary that tries to niggle and annoy the alarmists by exposing their open perniciousness and hypocrisy. Indeed, Anthony’s great success has come from the fact that he has chosen such an easy target to lampoon.

    Every now and then, Anthony will throw a bone to genuine online scientific debate. However, he always unleashes his attack dogs, Willis Eschenbach and Leif Svalgaard to make sure that no-one strays too far off the plantation of dogmatism. In addition, he is very careful to use a disclaimer to preface any discussion that he feels does not fit his own very specific biases.

    Yes, it is very true that we owe Anthony Watts a great deal for his incredible hard work and tenacity in putting forth the anti-alarmist case. For that, the world will be eternally grateful. However, that does not mean that we should not point out that Anthony is human like every one else. It does not detract from Anthony’s achievements to point out that he is turning into a petty gate-keeper of the debate who is using his limitations, prejudices and fears to stifle potentially creative thoughts and ideas.

  105. gregole says:

    Tallbloke,

    You have a great website and I enjoy lurking here and picking up on your assortments of interesting contributors and ideas – it was here I first heard about T Landscheidt and subsequently got his book. Fascinating.

    I am a (hard-headed) engineer by lifelong trade – I have had to make myself a living. But I remember well at the conclusion of my physics and maths asking my senior adviser professor what was next. That was a long time ago and I was young and only about halfway through undergrad and somehow was sure there was an explanation for gravity, electromagnetism, etc, and I really didn’t know that we don’t know everything…My professor was a certain Dr. Saleh, a saintly man, a genius and a great compassionate teacher who had done important work on the three-body problem.

    He fixed his gaze on me and said “GregO these things we don’t know. You can specialize in areas of physics, get advanced degrees and study them the rest of your life. We may never know. You, you should stick to engineering.” I followed his stern and sage advice, as I am no genius or visionary.

    Throughout my career, starting in the late ’70s, I have quietly noticed that there are problems we face in engineering and science that have no clear answer; and have had chances to explore things in detail with testing and modeling and have always been pretty good at getting the physical world to cooperate; but there are things that defy our understanding – I call them the imponderables. I mostly keep them to myself, as sharing them with professionals can get you quickly into a discussion mired in pedantry and the physical argument mired in sophistry. By my personal credo, this is to be avoided – the truth is the truth, period.

    Anyhow, I greatly admire WUWT due primarily to the atmosphere of challenging Climate Science orthodoxy and Anthony’s great respect for measurement and error reckoning. This is one of the great unsung and essential causes so few pay sufficient attention to and Anthony is the gold-standard here IMHO with honorable mention to tAV, WMBriggs, the Blackboard, and others. He also IMHO is a good to great showman and impresario (he has a background as a media professional and it shows…) and Willis is one of his stars. (God I hope I don’t regret saying this; but this is really what I think.) Willis is a fun writer and I personally enjoy his unfettered style. I don’t take it too seriously.

    Incidentally, I think it is totally cool you are in the new category. I think it highlights your fine blog and I wouldn’t worry about your company in this category; anyone logging on to the sites would figure out what was going down post haste.

    Sorry for the relatively content-free and wordy post, but I just wanted you to know there are a lot of free thinkers out there; and personally I love all you guys. The Warmista not so much.

  106. tallbloke says:

    Hi GregO and welcome, thanks for your thoughts and comment. I too started out as an apprentice engineer in the late ’70’s, and I too discovered that there are many physical phenomena we can’t account for with the standard model. So when I was invalided out of the profession at a young age (25) I used up the free grant before it was about to become a loan and got a place to do a degree in the history and philosophy of science. I’d been reading lots of interesting books by Capra, Weinberger, Bohm, Feyerabend and others beside my CNC machines as they whizzed through their cycles.

    It was a real eye opener, covering a lot of ground in Astronomy, astrophysics, medicine, theoretical physics and the search for a unified theory, the enlightenment, Kuhn, Popper, Latour, Lakatos, Einstein, Maxwell and others.

    I learned that the social environment in which those great scientists were immersed subtly affected their theoretical thinking. But rather than adopt a strong cultural relativism, I stayed focused on how well their theories explained the phenomena, and what divisions arose between disciplines due to their various emphases on attempting to solve different ‘imponderables’, and ending up with incompatible narratives or overarching paradigms.

    So we end up with the kinds of mismatches Miles Mathis pointed out in the heat of the Earth thread: Accretion theory and cosmological formation theory.

    Something similar is happening now with the new paradigm we are formulating for climate theory. Computer based theory latched onto radiation as the key variable because it is the most calculable. They mistook facility for causality. Radiation in the atmosphere is a symptom of the state of the system, but not it’s necessary cause. N&Z realised this when they made their logical deductions concerning planetary atmospheres, and the empirical Moon data is strong evidence they are correct.

    How long it will take to sink in to those more fettered by dogma than the denizens of this forum, is a question we can only answer by looking to developing our own ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Although the antagonism this post seems to have produced might look like a step back, I think the jolt it has caused might shake loose a few of the fetters on the minds of those bound to their long held belief going forward.

    Time will tell.

  107. Hans says:

    Anthony Watts says: March 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Anthony,

    “Being happy isn’t a concern, but thanks for your consideration.”

    So what is your concern then, letting Willis downgrading the scientific standard of your blog
    and using smear and ad hominem in an unlimited way?

    By the way, I sent you a mail which I know you have read but not answered. I am still waiting for that answer. You can send it to Roger for further delivery to me. Thanks.

  108. tallbloke says:

    Comment left on the WUWT weekend open thread:

    tallbloke says:
    March 31, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Ric Werme says:
    March 31, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Open Thread days are good days for everyone to review the top and right navigation bars. Even us longterm denizens can benefit from a refresher.

    My favorite link is a bit selfish (but I do use it!). I think the overall favorite is the Sea Ice Reference page.

    What’s yours?

    I really like the new “Transendental rants and far out theories” section. A couple of good site links there. I’m thinking of adding a “lukewarm junkscience” section on the Talkshop. 😉

  109. Steve Fox says:

    Super thread, thanks to all who’ve contributed, sent me off on several tangents.

    TB, I think mountain ridges must be the main way of seeing glories. So difficult to get the necessary conditions anywhere else. I last saw one on Wetherlam, I think. Before that Snowdon summit ridge. It’s an experience that is still dazzling even if you can ‘explain’ it, like your own personal rainbow.

  110. tallbloke says:
    March 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    hahahahaha

  111. Wayne

    Earlier you found this interesting 0.931 ratio of albedo and emissivity. when Ned Nikolov said the Wikipedia albedo I was using was “engineered” to give the results the warmists wanted, I checked your website ref for emissivity and found (a) it’s a warmist site (b) the emissivity figure is a simple unweighted average of a lot of wavelengths and this lack of weighting simply won’t do AFAICT and (c) Nikolov has a different figure anyway.

    We all learn.