Interesting thoughts at Klimaforskning

Posted: December 31, 2012 by tchannon in Uncategorized


Talkshop contributor Jostemikk linked in Suggestions to Klimaforskning (a Simple Machines based Forum) where astute work is being done on climate problems.

Several of the recent threads there very properly look at the complex regime of climate data, cause and effect with their lead/lag, the way to sort out chicken or egg.

Real-world climatic significance of ’the enhanced greenhouse effect’ – a straightforward test toward potential falsification.

There is more there in a similar vein.


  1. Jostemikk says:

    Thanks Tim. Okulars thoughts about this deserves broader attention than what can be accomplished from Klimaforskning.

  2. tckev says:

    Thanks for the link – very interesting.

  3. Martin Clark says:

    Indeed – very interesting. Particularly (for me) the tantalising WPWP ellipses flagged “Nevermind those for now”.

  4. My first thought seeing the word “Klima” was that it was a German site but looking at some other words (especially the little o above the a (presume similar to an umlat ) makes it another language close to German but not Dutch. Is it Danish?
    Anyway, I do not think from my experience that the NASA diagram, shown, is correct. In my experience from measurements of heat loss from a pipe or flat plate that at 40-50C natural convection is about equal to radiation. If there is a wind (ie induced air movement) which results in forced convection than the total convection exceeds radiation. Consider the “radiator” on a car. This actually does not radiate but losses all its heat by convection. If with the engine is running and the car is motionless the heat loss by natural convection is not sufficient so a fan must operate to increase the convective heat loss. If the car has some speed it is possible that the radiator fan can stop to save some fuel.
    Maybe in European countries the sun’s incoming power is not sufficient to note heat hazes. Heat hazes and mirages are due to the movement of air from natural convection. In heat hazes it is possible to see small whirl winds which can grow to Willi Willis (Australia) or Tornados (USA, Mexico). These have been photographed to occur on Mars.
    It has been suggested that all surface heat loss actually occurs by evaporation and convection. From my experience certainly evaporation occurs before any heat loss by radiation and I believe that forced convection (when air is moved) also far exceeds radiation. In the diagram I would increase the convection by three times and reduce radiation to compensate.

  5. michael hart says:

    They neglect to discuss work.

  6. Stephen Wilde says:

    Insert my concept of the adiabatic loop and it all comes together.

    It is atmospheric density that matters most.

    If the Venusian atmosphere were to expand (reducing density) whilst leaving total mass the same then the surface would become cooler but if it were to contract (increasing density)whilst leaving total mass the same it would become hotter.

    A dense atmosphere returns more KE to the surface via the adiabatic loop whereas a less dense atmosphere returns less.

    The heat of the Venusian surface is thus a result of atmospheric density which is a consequence of mass and gravity subjected to insolation. The mechanism is ultimately the conversion of KE to PE and back again within the adiabatic loop. The longer KE stays in PE form and the more there is in PE form the hotter the surface temperature becomes because more KE then gets returned to the surface by descending air whichthen needs to be added to any solar energy or DWIR reaching the surface. The primary factor is density and not radiative characteristics.

    Expansion and contraction can then affect the amount of KE getting back to the surface for any given level of mass, gravity and insolation because the expansion and contraction alters the amount of energy that can leak out to space from the less dense or more dense atmosphere.

    I believed the density issue to have been settled science over 30 years ago before the radiative gas theory came to the fore.

    Observations of the planetary gas giants are adequate empirical evidence. All the explanations for their internal temperatures relate to mass and gravity with no consideration given to the radiative characteristics of the constituent gases.

    Where my suggestions are novel is to show why radiative characteristics alone cannot change the surface temperature set by mass, gravity and insolation.

    Quite simply, radiatively active gases expand the atmosphere making it less dense so that more KE leaks to space and less is returned to the surface through the adiabatic loop.

    The reduction in KE returning to the surface through the adiabatic loop offsets the thermal effect of any extra DWIR in the air which would otherwise have increased the insulating properties of the atmosphere to warm the surface.

    GHGs might hold more energy but in the process they reduce the insulating properties of the atmosphere to an equal extent.

  7. Joe's World {Progressive Evolution} says:


    It is still FAR more complex than you have been able to grasp.
    The pollution on your mind is the modelling concept based on using a spreadsheet and averaging to generate an overall number to play with.

    Gases can change density with heat of cold.
    Rotational velocity is quite varied and expansive and yet NEVER reproduced in a laboratory setting or used in modelling.
    Water and gases are extremely different on the planet as water is vastly more dense and reacts far slower than gases.
    LOD is in place instead of the differences in solar penetration on planetary tilting.
    Were is this in modelling?

    We are mostly made of water and yet walk in the atmosphere and measure pressure that exerts on water and NOT the actual layering it has.

  8. oldbrew says:

    klimaforskning says:
    ‘As one can see, there are two strictly separate thermodynamic mechanisms at hand to explain surface warming.’ [sun / atmosphere]

    But are they ‘strictly separate’? Not according to this diagram.

  9. Kristian says:

    I hope people realize the ramifications of this test being valid. If the total global heat loss did in fact increase from the late 70s to the 00s, then that means the atmosphere couldn’t have done the warming – the Sun did. There is no way around it. The warmists’ claim that most of the warming during the last few decades is caused by us strengthening the ‘radiative greenhouse’ effect by making the atmosphere more opaque to thermal radiation, is simply and once and for all falsified. They will of course still assert that the effect is somehow there, embedded (hidden) within the larger solar signal. That is what the two posts on ‘The evolution of global SSTA since 1981/82’ on that same thread (based on Bob Tisdale’s work) is for. No sign whatsoever of any specific AGW/CO2 warming. There will hopefully in due time also be a Part 3 (and 4) …

    Note the ERA Interim results (how the global latent heat transfer is doing most of the work to close the heat gap – how large the change is in that particular heat transfer process compared to the change in net IR). Also how (according to ICOADS) the temperature gradient between the surface and the air layer just above it is observed to INcrease, directly contradicting the radiative-convective AGW model, where the mean emission height is supposedly raised with more GHGs in the atmosphere, allegedly lifting the tropospheric temperature profile in the process and thus the mean surface temperature off the ground.

  10. Kristian says:

    Thanks for posting this, BTW 🙂

  11. donald penman says:

    A general belief of agw is that the earth must be in equilibrium with the radiation given out by the sun but there is no mechanism which would force this relationship, if there was a planet which orbited inside the orbit of our earth and at every point in its orbit eclipsed the sun from our view point on the earth then we would receive no energy from the sun and we would only have an equilibrium with outer space which is about 3k. The Earths surface must be in equilibrium with the Earths atmosphere because there is a kinetic mechanism which ensures that must be true.This logic is turned on its head with AGW and because the Earths surface must be in equilibrium with suns output at equilibrium then the equilibrium between the Earths surface and the Earths atmosphere must adjust so that Earths atmosphere is warming the Earths surface, in reality the Earths surface remains in equilibrium with the Earths atmosphere and the back radiation from the earths atmosphere never raises the temperature of the earths surface higher than its original temperature before evaporation and convection took energy away from the earths surface and put it into the atmosphere, it would seem to me that this is an observable fact on the Earth .

  12. oldbrew says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    ‘The heat of the Venusian surface is thus a result of atmospheric density which is a consequence of mass and gravity subjected to insolation’

    A very recent paper in effect support this.

    ‘Averaged over the planet, about 17 W/m² are absorbed at the ground (some 2.5% of the total solar energy incident on the planet)’

    How could the intense surface heat be due to 17 Watts per square metre? Clive Best has explained why it can’t be due to so-called ‘back radiation’.

  13. tchannon says:

    I’ve concluded the extreme Venus surface temperature is a result of the very low heat loss from the core, a direct effect of the thick atmospheric blanket, so only considering the sun won’t produce good answers.

    Consider the planets more generally.
    Earth has a hot core but cool skin, the moon a hot core, Mars a hot core… then note the claims of measured excess heat emission from Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune where we have no knowledge whatsoever on the inner conditions. Are any of those plain cold core?

    We have little data on the core radioactivities, hence that particular continuing heat source in addition to heat from heat at formation/collapse.

    What known information contradicts this posit, ie. is it possible?

  14. tallbloke says:

    Interesting thought Tim.
    Earth’s surface (and 40km or so of subsurface) is water cooled, as Tim Cullen showed us in his recent article on geothermal.

    A while back I got a lot of stick for publishing miles Mathis’ thoughts on the radioactivity issue. His solution may or may not be right, but that distracted people from thinking about his posing of the problem.

    The problem is that geophysicists and astrophysicists have two completely incompatible models, which don’t stack up for the history of radiation half life…

    Or maybe it helps explain the constantly warm Earth and the faint young Sun paradox??

  15. Stephen Wilde says:

    “I’ve concluded the extreme Venus surface temperature is a result of the very low heat loss from the core, a direct effect of the thick atmospheric blanket, so only considering the sun won’t produce good answers.”

    Venus and all other planets started off hot from compression of gases plus collisions so one doesn’t really need heat from the core or solar input to explain the energy currently retained below and within the atmosphere.

    Instead, that energy became locked into the adiabatic loop from inception and has been retained there ever since by atmospheric mass under gravity.

    It just gets continually cycled up and down through the atmosphere indefinitely within the adiabatic loop until atmospheric mass, the strength of the gravitational field or top of atmosphere insolation changes.

    It has been accepted that the net energy value of the adiabatic loop is zero which means one cannot get energy out or put more energy in from radiative characteristics of component molecules.

    The only variable left is the speed or vigour of the loop and that is where the answer lies.

    Radiative characteristics have no effect whatever due to the negative system responses.

  16. Stephen Wilde says:

    Rog and Tim.

    Solar input and geothermal energy would be the original sources for the energy tied up in the adiabatic loop.

    One could propose that geothermal was the primary source in the early days when the solids were much hotter than today.

    After all, the gas giants still generate more energy from within than is suppled by the sun.

    It is just that todays geothermal energy adds no more to the adiabatic loop than does a constant solar input because mass gravity and the resulting pressure fix the amount of energy that the adiabatic zero sum loop can retain.

    It is the amount of energy within that adiabatic zero sum loop that dictates the maximum temperature that a planet beneath an atmosphere can reach because that reflects the delay time from arrival of solar input to departure of longwave IR.

    The length of the delay time (fixed by mass and gravity) at a given level of insolation sets the maximum energy content of the system.

  17. oldbrew says:

    Not forgetting the other factor on earth…

    ‘In total, ocean currents transfer about 25% of the global heat budget.’

  18. Stephen Wilde says:


    Yes, I regard the oceans as part of the atmosphere for energy retention and release purposes and so they affect the speed of the adiabatic loop in much the same way as the sun does, or GHGs do or any other forcing element could.

    In the end, whatever the forcing element it is the variable speed of the adiabatic loop that ensures radiative balance at the appropriate height to effect equilibrium.

  19. Oldbrew says: How could the intense surface heat be due to 17 Watts per square metre?

    It is interesting how often people ask that question. The way to understand how is to imagine an extreme situation. For example, assume only 1 watt per square metre pouring in from the Sun. Or 0.1 watt per square metre if you like. Or 0.01 watt per square metre. Whatever number you choose, however small, the planet’s surface and atmosphere, however massive, could still heat up to an enormous temperature, providing the planet was well enough insulated against energy loss to space.

    The physics says that the planet will heat up until the temperature difference between it and its ‘heat sink’ is sufficient to enable the rate of outflow to space to rise to the point where it exactly matches the inflow from the Sun. So (in a thought experiment only!) 0.01 watt per square metre could support a planetary surface at a million degrees if the ‘insulation’ was good enough!

    In reality of course we are not talking about such extremes being remotely possible. But the thought experiment does serve to remind us that the rate of flow of energy through a system at equilibrium actually tells us nothing at all about the quantity of kinetic energy (sensible heat) stored within it. This is because we also need another vital parameter: how easy it is for that kinetic energy to flow through and out of the system. How well insulated is it against energy loss?

    If, like the Moon, the earth had no atmosphere, it would be very easy for energy to flow through and out of the system. This is because the earth’s surface is an excellent radiator. The surface temperature would be correspondingly cool. As an empirical indicator that this is true, the Moon’s average temperature has now been measured by orbiting satellite at around 200K. But with an atmosphere, the rate of escape of energy to space is reduced, so the temperature of the surface is higher.

    This is where Steven Wilde’s insight of the ‘atmospheric adiabatic loop’ comes in. It acts like a huge flywheel impeding the rate of kinetic energy through-flow. In the case of the earth, of course, we know that this adiabatic loop revolves just fast enough to retain exactly enough kinetic energy to keep the earth’s surface at 288K. (Anthropic principle: we are here, that’s what we have observed.)

    The big question is: if we increase the concentration of GHGs, does the ‘atmospheric adiabatic loop’ slow down, thus causing a compensating surface temperature rise? I believe definitely not. In the bulk of the atmosphere, GHGs radiate all the time, simply as a consequence (note, not the cause!) of its retained kinetic energy and hence of its temperature. But they also absorb radiation all the time at an equal rate. This huge fund of LW radiation, seething about randomly within the atmosphere, is therefore eternally fixed in quantity. So it cannot reduce (or increase) the huge fixed fund of kinetic energy also contained within the atmosphere.

    And if increasing the concentration of GHGs cannot alter the huge fixed fund of kinetic energy, they cannot alter the temperature. Because temperature is simply a measure of kinetic energy.

    Paradoxically, GHGs are an absolutely essential component for absorbing an important fraction of the Sun’s incoming SW radiation (net of reflections) directly into the atmosphere. An often-forgotten 33% is absorbed this way, the other 67% being absorbed by the earth’s surface. It also plays an essential role in converting kinetic energy at the top of the atmosphere to radiation that is lost to space. This is the real job of the GHGs – to act as an essential ‘lubricant’, facilitating the flow of energy into, and the flow of energy out of, the earth system. But not in any way can GHGs influence the earth’s fund of kinetic energy. Hence they cannot influence its internal temperature.

  20. wayne says:

    David S.. here’s an oldie but goodie and much discussed under this thread agrees with what you are speaking of TOA: (good story for a frigid night too)

    You shoud enjoy it. Even noticed Tim Folkerts is right in there and Mosher too.

  21. oldbrew says:

    David Socrates says:
    ‘The big question is: if we increase the concentration of GHGs, does the ‘atmospheric adiabatic loop’ slow down, thus causing a compensating surface temperature rise?’

    There’s a question within that. Human input is only directly adding to the ‘non-water vapour’ portion of GHGs (i.e. a small fraction of the total), so the extra question might be: does the system still output the same level of natural GHGs as before when a man-made source of them is present?

    Put another way: if water vapour output is a system response, wouldn’t the response automatically change if the conditions changed (e.g. as a result of GHGs from another source)? If not, why not?

  22. Stephen Wilde says:


    Very well put. You have intuitively grasped the importance of the adiabatic loop.

    There is much confusion about the effect of GHGs on the speed of energy flow from the surface.

    As you say it cannot possibly be the case that more GHGs within the system slow down thermodynamic processes such as convection and conduction and the water cycle yet that is what AGW theory proposes in its giant Ponzi scheme.

    On the face of it GHGs should either impede energy flow to space by holding on to more energy (the AGW position) or accelerate energy loss to space by providing a radiative window that non GHGs do not provide (my position).

    But it doesn’t matter either way because whichever it is the response of the adiabatic loop is negative and apparently complete.

    If GHGs have a net warming effect the adiabatic loop speeds up to negate it.

    If GHGs have a net cooling effect the adiabatic loop slows down to negate it.

    The critical insight for me was to realise that the term:

    KE + PE = constant

    does not simply mean that PE and KE are interchangeable within a gravitational field though that is true.

    It also means that the constant itself is fixed by atmospheric mass, gravity and energy available from sources external to the atmosphere.

    I have explained in another post that the original source of that energy would have been from the heat of the gases and hot solids at the time of the planet’s formation.

    That fits with the established science relating to gas clouds in space, planetary gas giants, suns and even rocky planets with atmospheres.

    That science contains no term for the thermal effects of radiative characteristics because they make no difference.

    Showing that radiative characteristics make no difference to planetary temperatures really is game over and the concept of an oppositely signed variable response in the speed of the adiabatic loop shows just that.

    After all, the adiabatic loop is simply an idealised portrait of the whereabouts and behaviour of the fixed amount of energy that gets locked into the system and constantly recycled around the atmosphere as a result of the interaction of atmospheric mass, gravity and available energy

    To achieve the desired regulatory effect there is no need to change the amount of energy in that loop. All that is necessary is to speed it up or slow it down to offset all forcing elements other than from mass, gravity or available energy from from sources external to the atmosphere.

    The speeding up and slowing down visibly manifests itself as shifting climate zones and jet stream tracks.

    Too small to quantify in relation to our emissions.

  23. Stephen Wilde says:


    That question involves the entire carbon cycle so is a bit off topic.

    I would just say that there is some indication that an accelerated vegetation response near human emissions may well neutralise our emissions in any event.

    Going by recent satellite observations there appears to be no excess CO2 downwind of dense human populations yet there is excess CO2 downwind of solar warmed ocean surfaces.

    See here:

    “Evidence that Oceans not Man control CO2 emissions “

  24. Greg says:

    [moderator: very good, reluctantly snipped wit, fine in private, not internationally, sorry –Tim]

    More struggling attempts to contort the 2nd Law. More confused thinking

    Is the Earth “in thermal contact” with the Sun? Oouch!

    I’m sure they mean well and are trying ot tackle a real problem objectively which is bonus anywhere these days but too sloppy to be worth taking apart in detail.

    Not worth the time of day IMHO.

  25. oldbrew says:

    SW: thanks for the reply, interesting point about location of excess CO2. No doubt discussion of the location of Mauna Loa Observatory would also be off-topic 🙂

    To return to the article, the authors say:

    ‘Evaporation from the ocean surface is a NEGATIVE feedback to ocean warming, not a POSITIVE feedback to tropospheric warming. In fact, the evaporation upon condensation is what CAUSES the warming of the troposphere in the first place – as a direct response to the original surface heating.’

    Sounds like yet another description of the greenhouse effect, but in this one extra CO2 can only be an effect not a cause.

  26. tchannon says:

    The earth is within the solar “atmosphere” as well as magnetically coupled. Whether this is of any significance is not known, although plenty seem concerned if the magnetic shield is breached, so this depends on what “contact” means.

    Personally I think contact ought to mean a bidirectional energy flow is present.

  27. Kristian says:

    Greg says: “More struggling attempts to contort the 2nd Law. More confused thinking. Is the Earth “in thermal contact” with the Sun? Oouch! I’m sure they mean well and are trying to tackle a real problem objectively which is bonus anywhere these days but too sloppy to be worth taking apart in detail. Not worth the time of day IMHO.”

    Classic warmist response. No substance at all. When they are unable to counter (‘take apart’) a skeptical argument, they rather try to give the impression they so easily could have … if they could only have been bothered to take the time.

    Come on, Greg. How does the atmosphere make the Earth’s surface warmer by allowing its total heat loss to increase (both in the long-term)?

  28. Greg Goodman says:

    Kristian says: “Classic warmist response. ”

    That may be the case, I don’t have time to argue whether it is since such a correlation is irrelevant.

    Equally, detailed rebuttal of these foolish attempts to redefine the 2nd law get a bit tiring.

    2nd law specifically refers to _heat_ flow NOT any form of energy, and “in thermal contact”. Now if anyone wishes to generalise that to any form of energy between bodies NOT in thermal contact , fine. Once you have rewritten the 2nd law and got it established we can have another look.

    In the meantime let’s try to restrict ourselves to established physicals laws.

    There is no way I can think of that a photon of any wavelength can check the temp of the eventual target body before deciding which direction it wants to be emitted.

    Heat is molecular vibration and is a global statistical quantity. This can not and should not be confused with individual quantum emissions.

    A warm body radiates in all directions as does the cooler one. Neither needs or does “know” about the other in doing so.

    There is a flux in BOTH directions and a net flux from the warmer to the cooler. To suggest one is not radiating in a particular direction because it’s not “allowed” to , is frankly a bit silly.

    tchannon says:
    January 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    “The earth is within the solar “atmosphere” as well as magnetically coupled. Whether this is of any significance is not known, although plenty seem concerned if the magnetic shield is breached, so this depends on what “contact” means.

    Personally I think contact ought to mean a bidirectional energy flow is present.”

    I have no problem with Vuk’s magnetic coupling, it think the match is not that close but close enough to be taken seriously as a significant possibility of a link.

    As for solar atmosphere, fine, if you want to calculate the thermal conduction through that medium I’d be interested to see the magnitude of the effect. That has nothing to do with radiation which is not heat.

    Absorption of IR causes heating but IR is not heat , it is EM radiation.

  29. tchannon says:

    Don’t think we are far apart.

    Time causes loads of bother when ignored. No time travel allowed therefore no knowledge of the future, which is another way of putting the situation.

    IR? Thermal flux is just that, a flow of energy. This too seems to cause bothers.
    Maybe worst is when domain conversions are done instead of sticking to one domain; the information for decent conversion is missing.

    An additional oddity is whether near constant magnetic is actually part of EM but we are so close to the sun it all goes odd.

    My position on coupling is don’t know, leave the door open.

  30. Kristian says:

    Greg Goodman says:
    January 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Greg, have you read this link at all? One has to wonder, because everything you say here makes it seem you haven’t. All you’re doing is building a giant strawman and tearing it down.

    Among other silly accusations, you say: “There is a flux in BOTH directions and a net flux from the warmer to the cooler. To suggest one is not radiating in a particular direction because it’s not “allowed” to, is frankly a bit silly.”

    Nowhere is it suggested that ‘one is not radiating in a particular direction because it’s not “allowed” to’, Greg. The argument is specifically BASED on the premise that it DOES. This is HOW the cooler object can limit the radiative heat loss (you know, the net flux) from the warmer.

    Please at least do us the courtesy of actually reading a link before you start disparaging it. But since you have apparently already made up your mind, before having read it, that reading it would be a waste of your time, I guess there’s not much hope …