Just one fact

Albert Einstein

To defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.

Albert Einstein.

This statement is not true because Einstein made it — it’s true because it accords with reason. Theory must always bow to observation.

… or just one paper

Unfortunately, in CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) we have a theory which is undefined in a peer-reviewed paper, which means it’s almost impossible to refute. This is deliberate. Sceptical questions provoke the inevitable challenge to “produce a better theory” — as though their opponents’ failure to do so proves the half-baked theory correct, which it cannot.

Any evidence contrary to part of the theory is answered by talking about some other part. “Heads we win, tails you lose.”

Any change in the climate, especially any violent weather event which injures us or damages our property, “proves” climate change, which, by a mere trick of linguistic association, “proves” global warming. That, in turn, is our fault. After all, so many people wouldn’t be talking about how to prevent it if it didn’t exist, right?

Well, no, actually. Many people are by now keen for the CAGW effect to be true, for their several different reasons. Journalists want to sell the drama of it, scientists want funds to study their topic and will bend things any way they need to go to show a connection with global warming, a few environmentalists want leverage over us to safeguard the environment, most environmentalists really want a world government, international aid agencies recognise the power in all of these factors to persuade us to part with our money, politicians are always looking for more avenues of taxation, only a world government could interfere strongly enough in our lives to control the bureaucracy of taxing “carbon” use (which suits the UN) and decent people everywhere are still persuaded by the ancient, deeply embedded puritanical principle that, by merely enjoying ourselves and certainly by being prosperous, we must be harming the Earth and ought to atone for it.

Warmists unconsciously collude

That explains the attraction of trading in “indulgences” — or carbon credits — which let you have your sin and get away with it as well.

By using the vicious epithet “deniers” all these warmists, who came to their warmistry by distinctly separate and unconnected routes, unconsciously collude to foster the twin false impressions that their opponents are unscientific ignoramuses who don’t even care about the environment.

CAGW believers sit comfortably behind these cleverly-constructed near-impregnable walls. However, the walls look impregnable not because of their substance but only because they’re shape-shifting illusions.

Their opponents must contend with an amorphous grey lump of loosely-related concepts that assumes different shapes depending on the current argument.

Remaining undefined, the theory remains also unfalsifiable, which, following our beloved Popper, renders the theory by definition unscientific.

Challenge for the RS, NIWA, NASA, NAS, CRU & others

The warmists beat the peer review drum loudly and often, yet the one peer-reviewed paper you would expect was taken care of a long time ago is still missing, the one peer-reviewed paper the rest of the story relies upon is still missing. The most-often cited reason the warmists give for not answering scientific sceptical arguments is the claim that “there’s no peer-reviewed paper on that” (even when there is). Yet the most important peer-reviewed paper of all is still missing.

What, precisely, is the “anthropogenic global warming” theory? To which we should add “catastrophic” or “dangerous”, otherwise there’s no point in worrying about it.

Why is there no scientist anywhere prepared to describe the CAGW theory in a peer-reviewed paper — nor has there ever been?

If I’m wrong, cite me the paper. If I’m right, write one.

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Einstein’s famous quote does actually appear early on in IPCC AR4


There is a bit of stuff about falsifiability, Popper, and null hypotheses.
The subsequent pages are quite a good backgound to the greenhouse theory.

Yes, it is good. Thanks for this, Andy. For a minute I thought my carefully-crafted article was on the wrong track, but now I don’t think it is. For there’s still no seminal paper accepted as a definition of the CAGW theory, and I wonder why not?

It’s strange that the scientific process considered most important for the survival of the environment and the reconstruction of the global economic system has no strict definition.

Mike Palin


There is no definition of “CAGW theory” in the peer-reviewed scientific literature because there is no theory of CAGW. It is a term invented by the quixotic “skeptics” of climate science which, as near as iI can tell, translates as “windmill”.


James Hansen is telling us that this is the last decade to save the planet.

Presumably he believes that AGW will be “catastrophic”, and has some idea of its definition?

Mike Palin

I would not presume to speak for James Hansen and neither should you.

I would have thought that the lack of any reference to a “CAGW theory” in the peer-reviewed scientific literature would tell you immediately that no such theory exists, but it’s a different world over here.


OK, Mike, we can probably phrase it thus (IPCC Summary for Policymakers, AR4)


“Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

It is extremely unlikely (<5%) that the global pattern of warming during the past half century can be explained without external forcing (i.e., it is inconsistent with being the result of internal variability), and very unlikely that it is due to known natural external causes alone. The warming occurred in both the ocean and the atmosphere and took place at a time when natural external forcing factors would likely have produced cooling


There may well be no individual scientist that has made such a statement. However, this is the IPCC view, and that which drives public policy decisions.

Mike Palin

I don’t see any reference to the “C” word in the IPCC statement.

I agree with our host that, “in CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) we have a theory which is undefined in a peer-reviewed paper.” The reason is that no such theory or hypothesis exists in climate science or anywhere except in the minds of climate change “skeptics”.

Richard C (NZ)


Climate change
Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods’. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes. See also Climate variability; Detection and Attribution.

Richard C (NZ)

If by “C” word you mean catastrophe, if there’s no impending catastrophe – great!

Repeal the ETS now, crisis averted, the catastrophe was only in the minds of sceptics.

You’ve saved the country millions Mike P, you’re a hero, but why have you waited all this time to step forward with this vital piece of information?

Mike Palin

Richard C,
You are too kind.

But before you send my reward, I must make clear that I do consider there is a catastrophe looming for society related to AGW. It is the legacy of the current campaign of hate being perpetuated against science and scientists by climate change “skeptics”. Like their ideological brethren of past ages, whether religious or patriotic, such “skeptics” employ any slur and misconstrue any statement or action to support their position. One only need look at the current state of political discourse in the USA to see the consequence of years of unrelenting attacks on science. A new dark age is on the horizon. Congratulations!

Richard C (NZ)

Mike P, this comment speaks volumes of your (rather paranoid) mindset in this debate “..,,,the current campaign of hate being perpetuated against science and scientists by climate change “skeptics” There’s no “campaign of hate”, mirth maybe against AGW scientists, scrutiny and questioning certainly, but not hate. “Like their ideological brethren of past ages, whether religious or patriotic, such “skeptics” employ any slur and misconstrue any statement or action to support their position” What a load of rubbish. What sceptics use to support their position is fully functioning BS detectors and propaganda filters backed up by thorough investigative analysis of the thesis put forward for AGW by climate science. That analysis has recourse to a wealth of knowledge gained by the much wider disciplines outside of the narrow confines of climate science. What you are miffed about (and oddly characterise as “hate”) is that sceptics have not only been able to ascribe a null to the thesis but are now well on the way to an anti-thesis. If you move now to the post “Just One Fact” and this comment you will see what I mean:- https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/08/just-one-fact/#comment-64413 A thesis that purports to be a… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

I should add that we have the benefit of the Climategate emails – very insightful they are.

Mike Palin

Richard C,
Yet I am to believe that academies of science around the world (NAS, Royal Society, RSNZ, etc.) that represent all sciences, not just climate science, have been fooled into position statements of the kind I noted for the APS and AGU. Isn’t that a bit, well, kooky?


I don’t see any reference to the “C” word in the IPCC statement.

Mike, you raise an interesting point. The IPCC word their statements in a relatively conservative way, yet the politicians, activists, and media routinely phrase this subject in terms of doom and gloom. (Sean Plunket used the term “catastrophe” in his interview on TV3’s The Nation yesterday, for example)

The oft-cited figure of 2 degrees beyond which climate change is considered dangerous, comes from where, exactly?

Similarly, the figure of 350 ppm for CO2 “safe” levels probably appears nowhere in any IPCC report. Does it?

Richard C (NZ)

Mike P, your question:-

Yet I am to believe that academies of science around the world (NAS, Royal Society, RSNZ, etc.) that represent all sciences, not just climate science, have been fooled into position statements of the kind I noted for the APS and AGU. Isn’t that a bit, well, kooky?

No. Governments have been fooled, whole sectors of society have been fooled, but not everyone has been fooled (you can fool some of the people some of the time but……..)

Now at least one of those academies that has been fooled (National Academy of Sciences of the United States) is scratching their heads stating:-

“It has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008”.

Similarly, national institutions (UK Met Office, NZ MftE CC) are now grasping the “natural variation” fall-back to save face. Isn’t that a bit, well, kooky?

Windmill! Heh, heh! I like that.

But the lack of a theorem bothers me, Mike. If it cannot be falsified, how can it be taken as an object of scientific study? For what is it that’s being studied? You must know that sceptics have falsified many of the component parts of “AGW” but the thing keeps bouncing back. Now it drives much international traffic in goods, money and talk. Yet what is it?


Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change 2.2.4 Risk of catastrophic or abrupt change The possibility of abrupt climate change and/or abrupt changes in the earth system triggered by climate change, with potentially catastrophic consequences, cannot be ruled out (Meehl et al., 2007). Disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (See Meehl et al., 2007), if it occurred, could raise sea level by 4-6 metres over several centuries. A shutdown of the North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation (See Meehl et al., 2007) could have far-reaching, adverse ecological and agricultural consequences (See IPCC, 2007b, Chapter 17), although some studies raise the possibility that the isolated, economic costs of this event might not be as high as assumed (See Meehl et al., 2007). Increases in the frequency of droughts (Salinger, 2005) or a higher intensity of tropical cyclones (See Meehl et al., 2007) could occur. Positive feedback from warming may cause the release of carbon or methane from the terrestrial biosphere and oceans (See Meehl et al., 2007), which would add to the mitigation required. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch2s2-2-4.html So it looks like I was wrong. They do use the C word in AR4, and probably… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Catastrophe potential is predicated on abrupt change only.

No abrupt change – no catastrophe.

“I wonder why not?” I found everyone using the numbers in Kiehl and Trenberth, “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget”, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78, 197-208 (1997), and the now-infamous energy budget diagram presented therein, available at http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/KiehlTrenbBAMS97.pdf It has certainly been treated as the seminal paper accepted as a definition of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect hypothesis is that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes an increase in atmospheric temperature, particularly at the Earth’s surface. I have given the very simple and definitive evidence that denies that hypothesis in my article “Venus: No Greenhouse Effect”, at http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html and taken the Kiehl and Trenberth energy budget diagram to task, for violating the conservation of energy, at http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com/2010/10/runaway-global-warming-is-scientific.html The beauty and simplicity of the Venus/Earth comparison, properly done, by a non-climate scientist (me), fully 19 years after the Venus data was obtained by the Magellan spacecraft, is an indictment of the entire climate science community, and all of the physicists, and scientific institutions, who have been suborned to an hypothesis that should have been recognized as patently false a generation ago. No one in academia or any position of power or authority wants to face… Read more »


Agreed Harry. A total lack of understanding of physics by the so called climate experts has resulted in this. Its great that it takes astrophysics to prove climate science wrong. Just wish theyd drop the so called terms “forcings’ and ‘feedbacks’ feedback applies to electrical circuits.!
What they refer to as ‘forcings’ is just radiation from photons imparting incident energy E = hv. simple just call it that!


Mike Palin, can you confirm you are, really, a card carrying member of the Flat Earth Society. Offensive ? Yes. But look at your windmill statement. And you posted that AFTER that by Harry Dale Huffman. So, as a simple man, I say to you Mike Palin, “open your eyes – and your brain”. Anyway, for a meanigful summary of the whole sorry mess, please go read Will Alexander’s “Memo 05/11 Global Conflicts ahead” . Will is to be found at; alexwjr@iafrica.com Here is his “Grand summary”: GRAND SUMMARY 1. Early in the latter half of the last century several influential scientists expressed their concerns that the increasing discharges of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels (principally from coal burning power stations, transport and heavy industries) would create a greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. This in turn would cause global temperatures to rise (global warming). These could have a number of serious environmental, humanitarian and hydrological consequences (increases in floods and droughts). 2. There are two international bodies that deal with this issue. These are the UNFCCC (policy aspects) and the IPCC (scientific aspects). The… Read more »

Mike Palin

An excellent history of climate science has been compiled by Spencer Weart and is available at:

Links to the official position statements of the American Physical Society and American Geophysical Union are also provided at the bottom of that webpage. The APS statement includes the following, “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

Mike, organisations like the APS have been taken over by activists and members in many of them are moving to take them back. So the authority these statements seem to have is diluted by all the dissenting members whose views were not polled.

Anyway, consider the statement itself. What is it saying? Who could disagree? In fact, find me a single person who disagrees (notice that no period of warming is stated). Since it mentions nothing of a human cause for the warming, we need take no action.

It’s a weasel statement that takes no responsibility for the furious actions it is intended to trigger. In the event of no future warming the authors can truthfully say: “we never said the warming would get dangerous.”

It’s a statement of alarm with no substance.

Mike Palin

So the APS has been taken over by climate change activists who have made a statement that nobody can disagree with? Some real Einsteins, eh?

The full APS statement does mention a human cause for the observed warming and makes a strong recommendation for a course of action, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Richard C (NZ)

“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

True, and it was occurring prior to human attribution. How so?

Update: “Global warming was occurring but now Natural variability has taken over. We are of the opinion that the warming hiatus is only temporary and we expect warming to resume some time in the near future”.

Mike Jowsey

We apologise for this break in transmission……. Global warming is expected to resume shortly.

Richard C (NZ)

Latest proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States grudgingly conceding, “It has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008”.


Mike Palin AGW is a contrived scam ..provable!


So, Mr Palin, produce the evidence (not esoteric , edited, BS) and let’s have done with it. Science is wonderful. But politics will, in the end, count.

One can also say “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global cooling is occurring.” … I agree both cooling, warming and climate change is always happening…

yet man’s insignificant output of C02 has nothing to do with it however…

man doesn’t even “control” C02 at all – see “Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans” at JoNova http://joannenova.com.au/2011/08/blockbuster-planetary-temperature-controls-co2-levels-not-humans/


Richard C (NZ)

Carefully crafted article it is Richard T. I’ve already in past comments trotted out G&Ts difficulty in finding a documented proposition to address so wont bore everyone with it again. Interesting though that Harry DF suggests that K&T has “been treated as the seminal paper accepted as a definition of the greenhouse effect”. Good, let’s use that. On other O/T matters, I see this at Climate Depot:- —————————————————————————————————————————- Finally, warmist UK Met office admits ocean warming has stopped! ‘Pause in upper ocean warming explained’ (Will they blame lack of ocean warming on Chinese coal as well!?) UK Met Office: ‘There has been a pause in this warming during the period from 2003 to 2010…natural climate variability can temporarily mask longer-term trends in upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature’ Climate Depot Response: Funny how a lack of warming is attributed to ‘natural variability’ but warming always seems to attributed to mankind’ http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/ocean-warming ————————————————————————————————————————– Apparently natural variability is a “temporary mask”. I see this as the beginning of a trend for national institutions to adopt a fall-back position (face saving exercise) in the face of undeniable and unequivocal reality – there’s a warming… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

OK, here’s “the seminal paper accepted as a definition of the greenhouse effect” that Harry DF points to that we can address:-

Earth’s annual global mean energy budget

Kiehl and Trenberth 1997


Followed by the update:-

Earth’s global energy budget

Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl 2009


TF&K Figure 1 talking points:-

#1 It’s always daytime in TF&Ks world

#2 Their atm molecules are perfectly flat and oriented horizontally

#3 The upwelling radiation figure is dopey in comparison to incoming solar (396 vs 361).

#4 Apparently 36 year old science (Hale & Querry 1973) had not reached the attention of cutting edge climate science even by 2009 (333 backradiation absorbed by the surface vs 161 solar absorbed by the surface) i.e. LWIR is not “absorbed” by water (70% of the Earth’s surface) and we need a breakdown of land-based materials that absorb at that wavelength.to check the validity of “333”.

#5 The net absorbed 0.9 W.m2 is stuff that TF&K made up (why not use measurements?).

Any more?

Next to address the rest of the 2 papers.

Richard C (NZ)

Re #1 – #4 talking points

MUST READ: Joseph E. Postma: Junk Greenhouse Gas Theory Numbers Turned Earth into a Star by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists

Powerful new physics paper shows how climate modellers treated Earth like a star ignoring night and day temperature differences. Fudged equations exposed.

Astrophysicist, Joe Postma’s new paper, ‘The Model Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect’ (July 22, 2011) is touted by skeptics as the definitive debunk of the faux science that props up the man-made global warming scare industry.

The paper highlights and then dissects the “night & day flaw” in standard greenhouse gas effect (GHE) equations plus the spurious concept of “back radiation heating” that is increasingly dismissed by experts as unphysical.



‘The Model Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect’, Postma, July 2011



Understanding the Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect
Joseph E. Postma
(M.Sc. Astrophysics, Honours B.Sc. Astronomy)
March, 2011


Richard C (NZ)

#6 The heating effect of backradiation is grossly overestimated Result of Debate on Fiction of Backradiation http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/08/result-of-debate-on-fiction-of.html After 6 months and 2000 comments on Judy Curry’s blog about my refutation of the basic postulate of CO2 climate alarmism of backradiation, I can make the following sum up: 1. My new derivation of Planck’s radiation law has stood the test. Nobody has shown that it is incorrect. 2. In my version of Planck’s law there is no radiative transfer of heat from one blackbody to a warmer blackbody, only from a warmer to a colder. In other words, there is no backradiation. 3. The reason is that such a process would be unstable and real physics cannot operate with unstable processes. Backradiation thus is fiction without reality. 4. Backradiation is not described in the physics literature. 5. Backradiation has been invented out of the blue to serve CO2 alarmism by supplying gross two-way radiative transfer of heat energy back and forth between the Earth surface and the atmosphere, and the instability of this exchange is the root of the alarmism. 6. CO2 alarmism based on a fiction of backradiation is fiction. I ask Judy… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Climate science is probably deaf and blind to the Skin Cancer Foundation too i.e. solar radiation has varying penetration and heating effect depending on the wavelength (UVA, UVB).

Understanding UVA and UVB


W.m2 don’t mean nothin unless there’s an actual heating effect taking place and even when it is it’s complex as in UVA and UVB heating.

Richard C (NZ)

Doctoral Thesis. Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface and during cloudless and overcast conditions. Measurements and modelling Viudez-Mora 2011 http://tesisenred.net/bitstream/handle/10803/31841/tavm.pdf?sequence=3 ————————————————————————————————————————— So what did he measure? See Figure 1.1 page 24, Figure 3.6 page 50. DLR band >4000 nm (4 microns) – <16000nm (16 microns) Compare to:- UVB 290nm – 320nm (0.29 microns – 0,32 microns) UVA 320nm – 400nm (0.32 microns – 0.40 microns) See Electromagnetic-Spectrum http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Electromagnetic-Spectrum.png What will that DLR reflect and absorb? I don't know about the 4 – 16 micron thermal IR spectrum but see the 0.4 – 2.5 micron thermal IR spectrum:- http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~jeff/115a/remote_sensing/cir_fig6_6spectralresponse.jpg @ 2.5 microns (ask yourself: to what depth and how much is temperature raised?) Red Basalt____ absorbs 20%, reflects 80% Clouds_______ absorbs 45%, reflects 55% Granite_______ absorbs 58%, reflects 42% Grey Basalt___ absorbs 73%, reflects 27% Snow________ absorbs 100%, reflects 0% (does it melt it? don't know, suspect not – not much snow melt at night) But to what depth is the DLR absorbed? (don't know) And what does it do to the temperature of the substance? (don't know, suspect b***** all) Optical Absorption of Water Compendium http://omlc.ogi.edu/spectra/water/abs/index.html 1973 Hale and Querry (gif) Optical… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

The DLR (333 W.m2) in TF&Ks earth energy budget would be best described using an electrical analogy I’m thinking i.e. it’s apparent power – not real power. Climate science doesn’t do heating effect (search for it in TF&K or K&T, nothing comes up) but engineering science and medical science does. Electrical engineers know all about power factor correction (Robin Pittman are you reading this?) and so do mechanical engineers and I’m sure both will be able to relate to the analogy. Medical physics and radiology have a different terminology than climate science when it comes to radiation (and a vastly better understanding of it I’m sure). They are concerned with ionizing radiation whereas solar SW (UV) and DLR (LWIR) is non-ionizing but the principles are the same when it comes to heating effect. The medical science term for UV and LWIR is: “low” linear energy transfer (LET) radiation. See this medical physics ppt dealing with the interaction of ionizing radiation with matter on a molecular level. I’m reasonably sure that LWIR (DLR) is a “lower” form of LET than UV (solar SW) i.e that (using the analogy) LWIR has a lessor “power factor”… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

I note these snippets from K&T:-

b. Longwave radiation

“We must rely on model calculations to determine the surface radiative fluxes.”

“Emission from the surface is assumed to follow Planck’s function, assuming a surface emissivity of 1. Globally, variations in surface emissivity can lead to variations in the net longwave flux of less than 5 W m-2 (Briegleb 1992).”

I can’t work out how they came up with their DLR figure though.

I’ll have to look at TF&K to see what the updates were and I think these fluxes (upwelling sfc LWIR and atm DLR) and the above assumptions could do with intense scrutiny.

Richard C (NZ)

I note too that Miskolczi limits the long wave upward radiation from the surface to 1.5 times the short wave downward radiation from the Sun (contrary to TF&Ks 2.46 times)

Also, here’s a NASA budget without backradiation (very sensible):-



Earth Energy Budgets without ‘Greenhouse Gases’ or ‘Back Radiation’


Richard C (NZ)

This is crazy, NASA and Goody, “Principles of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry” both limit the long wave upward radiation from the surface to around 0.4 times the short wave downward radiation from the Sun (Miskolczi 1.5, TF&K 2.46).

Richard C (NZ)

Analysis of Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) Soil Data to Predict Reflectance Response Janet E. Simms, Ernest S. Berney IV, Danny W. Harrelson, Maureen K. Corcoran, and Ray M. Castellane. 2009 Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center 3909 Halls Ferry Road Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199 Abstract: The spectral response of quartz is a phenomenon of interest to countermine technologies because of suspected disruption in spectral signature from disturbed soil during emplacement of landmines in the subsurface. The research was divided into two: data analysis using spectral information from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflec- tion (ASTER) spectral library and a laboratory study using a Fourier trans- form infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. Spectral and mineralogical data for five major soil orders (Alfisols, Aridisols, Entisols, Mollisols, and Inceptisols) were acquired from the spectral library. Using these data, the relationship of the percentage of reflectance around the 8.2-m quartz peak to the percentage of quartz in a soil was used to develop a linear regression model. The equations from this model predict the expected quartz peak reflectance for a soil of given quartz percentage. The predictive equations determined from the ASTER database can… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Dr John Nicol on heating effect of radiation and energy transfer from a perspective outside of climate science:- “While some of the ‘pictures’ painted in this discussion may seem at odds with expectations, none of the apparently extreme circumstances described will appear as unusual to anyone with even modest experience in optical spectroscopy. We refer for instance to the very rapid absorption of radiation as it enters the atmosphere from ground level which has been referred to before by experienced scientists suggesting that the radiation is absorbed in the first few metres. This is often disputed by others without reason. However, anyone with experience in studying absorption of visible radiation by metal vapours, where the density of atoms is miniscule compared to the density of atmospheric CO2, is familiar with the need to “reduce the temperature of the oven” to allow the laser beam being used in the measurements to get through even the first few millimeters of the atoms of the metal vapour. The transfer of significant energy by collisions between molecules is also perhaps conceptually difficult until one realizes that the most common of all lasers, the He-Ne laser, which radiates… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Wires crossed again, I’ve used “solar SW (UV)” up-thread (got confused by my Cancer Society reading). Should be solar SWIR (and NIR) and any other references to “UV” should be read as IR as in this solar spectrum:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png Solar NIR is 0.75-1.4 µm, SWIR is 1.4-3 µm (solar “heat”) DLR MWIR is 3-8 µm, LWIR is 8–15 µm (GHG “backradiation”) See:- Infrared http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared I note TF&K omit “diffuse” radiation from the Earth Energy Budget. They show 161 W.m2 direct radiation striking the earth and 79 W.m2 absorbed by the atmosphere but the atmosphere (sky) will re-radiate and some energy will be directed down to earth. This is diffuse radiation and is equivalent to direct solar in terms of real power except that it is less intense and usually expressed (in Engineering Science) as a percentage (say 20%) of the solar incidence. Diffuse radiation is not to be confused with DLR. Looking at TF&Ks Figure 3, diffuse radiation would be a vector down to earth from “78 Absorbed by Atmosphere”. Direct, Diffuse and Reflected Radiation (and with respect to solar power technology) http://www.ftexploring.com/solar-energy/direct-and-diffuse-radiation.htm I’ve been reading “Applied Heat” by Roger Kinskey (getting back… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Starting to get a handle on diffuse radiation (the search for information has been agonizing). It’s also known as:- Sky radiation Diffuse sky radiation (or irradiance) Primary diffuse radiation (secondary diffuse is DLR or GHG backradiation – see below)) Diffuse insolation Skylight Diffuse skylight A simple graphic from ArcGIS Resource Centre (Geographic Information System) can be seen here:- “Modeling solar radiation” http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//009z000000t9000000.htm Next a very detailed diagram of the solar energy budget from “The Sun’s Energy”:- Figure 2.9 Nominal range of clear sky absorption and scattering of incident solar energy http://www.powerfromthesun.net/Book/chapter02/chapter02.html Next a schematic showing direct beam, primary diffuse and secondary diffuse (which turns out to be DLR) from “A Model of Diffuse Broadband Solar Irradiance for a Cloudless Sky” Figure 3 Schematic of main features of the model. Incoming solar radiation, Q, at the top of the atmosphere may undergo absorption, scattering within the atmosphere or reflection from the ground. Once scattered or reflected, light may undergo subsequent scattering. http://www.graceresearch.com/Model%20of%20Diffuse%20Broadband%20Solar%20Radiation%20under%20Clear%20Sky%20Conditions%20for%20Web%20Long.html “Earth’s radiation balance” from Wikipedia provides this:- Earth’s radiation balance is the equation of the incoming and outgoing thermal radiation. The incoming solar radiation is short wave, therefore the equation below is… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

I’m wrong about secondary diffuse being DLR. The sequence is: reflected solar SW radiation from the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere and re-emitted in all directions with a proportion (<1/2) being directed back down to the surface.

Since reflected radiation retains the properties of the incident radiation (solar SW), the secondary diffuse will have the same properties as primary i.e.spectral range 0.3 – about 1 µm, not the 3 -16 µm DLR range.

On TF&K Figure 3 it would be a vector back down from the upwards "23 Reflected by Surface". It would only be 1/2 of 20% of that (80% escapes to space) so 23 x 0.2 x 0.5 = approx 4 W.m2. Not much but real heating power nevertheless.

Now back to whether DLR heats geologic materials on land (soil, clay, rock) via it's 333 W.m2 "power" (according to TF&K) in the 3 -16 µm spectral range

Richard C (NZ)

Some DLR perspective:- Downwelling Longwave Radiation “The Down-welling Long-wave Radiation (DLR) flux (W.m-2) is defined as the thermal irradiance reaching the surface in the thermal infrared spectrum (4 – 100 µm). It is determined by the radiation that originates from a shallow layer close to the surface, about one third being emitted by the lowest 10 meters and 80% by the 500-meter layer.” http://postel.mediasfrance.org/en/BIOGEOPHYSICAL-PRODUCTS/Downwelling-Longwave-Radiation/ Compare this to upwelling LWIR from the surface and it’s rapid absorption. See this instructive article:- Climate Change (A Fundamental Analysis of the Greenhouse Effect) An article by Dr John Nicol, 2008 (president of the Australian Climate Science Coalition. “Figure 6. This diagram shows the power absorbed by carbon dioxide within a sequence of 10 m thick layers up to a height of 50 metres in the troposphere. The five curves represent the level of absorption for concentrations of CO2 equal to 100%, 200% and 300% of the reported current value of 380 ppm. As can be seen, the magnitude of absorption for the different concentrations are largest close to the ground and the curves cross over at heights between 3 and 4 metres, reflecting the fact that for… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Richard C (NZ)

The TF&K Figure 1 diagram gives the impression that DLR originates mostly from what looks to be the upper troposphere – not so. 80% originates BELOW 500m altitude (33% originates below 10m altitude) from Nicol 08.


This begs some questions, see this article:-

Carbon Dioxide

“The Mauna Loa data for the Keeling curve is obtained at an altitude of 3.4 km. Aircraft approaching and leaving Hawaii fly at altitudes greater than 3.4 km.

State of Hawaii Department of Transportation air traffic statistics for the calendar years 1994 through 2005 show that Hilo International Airport alone had 108,462 takeoffs and landings in 2005 compared to 86,292 takeoffs and landings in 1994. This is a 25% increase over ten years. Graphs of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations measured at Mauna Loa Observatory also show an increase over this same time period.”


Richard C (NZ)

Downwelling long-wave infrared (LWIR) radiation (DLR) is supposed to increase evaporation and evapotranspiration according to AGW due to increasing GHG effect from CO2 levels. DLR penetrates 10 microns into the ocean so to find out if it causes evaporation (and it’s increasing) a study of night-time ocean evaporation would be required, has anyone come across such a study?

The significance of NH land (greater landmass vs SH) evapotranspiration can be seen in the following link where column water vapour levels are highest when NH rates are highest:-

http://climate4you.com/ (click “Greenhouse Gasses)

But does DLR play any part in evapotranspiration (or ocean evaporation)?


“Nighttime, Wet Canopy Evaporation Rates and the Water Balance of an Evergreen Mixed Forest”

Pearce FRI, Christchurch, NZ, Rowe, FRI,

Christchurch, NZ, Stewart, Inst of Hydrology,

Oxon, UK.

“The similarity of daytime and nighttime evaporation rates indicates that evaporation from the wet canopy is driven by advected energy not by radiation”



“Night-time evaporation from a short-rotation willow stand”

Iritz and Landroth,

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

“Night-time evaporation was controlled mainly by vapour pressure deficit and ventilation whereas net radiation had only a minor influence.”


I.e. DLR from GHGs (or any other radiation) was not the evapotranspiration driver.

AGW takes a big hit here.

Richard C (NZ)

Post at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc dealing with backradiation (DLR). As usual, neglects heating effect.

Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon. Part IV
Posted on August 13, 2011 by curryja| 888 Comments

by Vaughan Pratt


Richard C (NZ)

Post at WUWT dealing with DLR by Willis Eschenbach http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/ Gets a round of applause from Roy Spencer in comments but I see this in his very first argument:- “Argument 1. People claim that because the DLR is absorbed in the first mm of water, it can’t heat the mass of the ocean……….” Fergoodnesssakes! Yes Willlis it is absorbed in the first mm. It’s even absorbed within the first 0.1 mm. But to be a little more precise, it’s absorbed within the first 10 microns (0.01 mm or 10/1000th of a mm or 10/1000,000 of a metre or 0.00001 metres). Meanwhile 161 W.m2 solar SW penetrates about 100 metres but lets say 1 metre effectively so the penetration depth (track length) of DLR relative to solar (a power factor) is 0.00001/1 = 0.00001. Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl estimate DLR at 333 W.m2 so applying the power factor we get a quick and dirty effective heating power of DLR to the ocean relative to solar:- 333 * 0.00001 = 0.00333 W.m2 equivalent solar heating Yeah that should do some heating. Fortunately some understanding in comments but will restrict to some salient points (intensity, IR… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Little details make all the difference. I spotted this plot that turns up in Wikipedia and Google Images:- Black Body Emission Curves of the Sun and Earth http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/slides/climate/blackbody.gif It leaves the casual observer with the impression that the radiative flux of the sun is about 3 or 4 times that of the earth but closer examination reveals that the sun’s flux is scaled by a factor of 10^-6. Peak fluxes: Sun ______80,000,000 W/m2 @ 0.5 µm Earth____________25 W/m2 @ 11.0 µm There’s an unscaled plot Figure 6f-2: Spectrum of the Sun and Figure 6f-3: Spectrum of the Earth here:- http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6f.html The sun’s flux falls to the average 1366 W/m2 (solar constant) value by the time it reaches earth. The earth’s flux would be imperceptible at the sun and at the longer wavelength than the sun’s flux. I think this example illustrates the divide between those that subscribe to the conventional “warm heats cool” (myself) vs those that subscribe (including luke-warmers Eschenbach and Spencer) to the AGW “cool makes warm warmer than if cool was not there” schools of physics. Using the “cool makes warm warmer” reasoning in the sun vs earth example, the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Basically, TF&K’s solar 161 W.m2 flux and GHG 333 W.m2 flux are apples and oranges when it comes to heating effectiveness.

My hunch is that for GHG DLR to heat granite at night say, above the energy threshold that daytime solar raises it to (and then it cools gradually at night), it would have to be focussed (tuned) to the spectral absorbing characteristics of the material and at a far greater intensity than is naturally occurring (>333 W.m2)..

This seems to be how infrared lamps, infrared saunas and infrared food heating etc are effective.

Now all I have to do is prove my hunch and AGW’s “GHGs heat the earth” has no basis. I could be wrong of course (perish the thought).

Richard C (NZ)

Have found a paper that goes a long way towards proving my hunch that the heating effect of GHG DLR does not raise the night-time temperature of rock say, above the temperature that the rock cools to at night having been solar heated by day. Will look at that paper in the following comment but meantime here’s some spectroscopy background. USGS Spectroscopy Lab Homepage http://speclab.cr.usgs.gov/ Linked from that page:- Spectroscopy of Rocks and Minerals, and Principles of Spectroscopy by Roger N. Clark U.S. Geological Survey http://speclab.cr.usgs.gov/PAPERS.refl-mrs/refl4.html Not much on heating effect but there is this:- 3.1 Electronic Processes. Isolated atoms and ions have discrete energy states. Absorption of photons of a specific wavelength causes a change from one energy state to a higher one. Emission of a photon occurs as a result of a change in an energy state to a lower one. When a photon is absorbed it is usually not emitted at the same wavelength. For example, it can cause heating of the material, resulting in grey-body emission at longer wavelengths. And this:- 3.2 Vibrational Processes. The bonds in a molecule or crystal lattice are like springs with attached weights: the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

The following dissertation contains 6 papers (Publications 1 – 6) that help answer the question: does GHG DLR “heat the earth”? Mountain Permafrost: Transient Spatial Modelling, Model Verification and the Use of Remote Sensing. Dissertation by Stephan Gruber, Zürich, 2005 The papers study rock temperature in the Swiss Alps in response to a spate of rockfalls during a hot summer in 2003. From the Summary:- Permafrost research has a practical relevance for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure as well as for the assessment or prevention of natural hazards in cold-mountain areas. The occurrence and temperature of permafrost are largely controlled by climatic conditions and, therefore, atmospheric warming leads to corresponding warming or thawing of permafrost in most cases Part A: Scientific setting 2 Characteristics of mountain permafrost and its response to a changing climate 2.1 Factors and processes that influence ground temperatures 2.2 The influence of topography Figure 3 Energy fluxes at and below the surface for steep rock and coarse debris covers. 4 Validation of spatial surface energy-balance models in complex terrain 5 Rock wall temperatures 6 Sub-surface temperatures in complex topography 7 Spatial input data derived by remote sensing 8… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Duplicated from WUWT in reply to these comments from Myrrh:- http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/06/hot-off-the-press-desslers-record-turnaround-time-grl-rebuttal-paper-to-spencer-and-braswell/#comment-739960 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/06/hot-off-the-press-desslers-record-turnaround-time-grl-rebuttal-paper-to-spencer-and-braswell/#comment-740358 —————————————————————————————————————————- @ Myrrh, Lazy Teenager There’s 2 parts to this response to Myrrh, Part 1 addresses heat/light and Part 2 addresses diffuse solar radiation and heating effect on geologic material and atmospheric gasses in the context of Dessler 2011 and Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s Earth’s Energy Budget Figure 1. ————————————————————————————————————————— Part 1 Myrrh, you say:- This is how […] our bodies are warmed up internally. This is different from UV, which does not warm us up because it doesn’t have the mechanism to do this, it is a light energy working on the electron level, not on the resonance vibrational I agree that IR-A and IR-B in the band 0.74 μm – 3 μm (IR is conventionally 0.74 μm – 300 μm) warms our bodies internally but how do you account for my anecdote previously that UVB seriously burns (heats) the upper layers of my skin and UVA will burn a little deeper but IR is relatively benign? Are you saying I’m not getting burnt? That the Skin Cancer Foundation is wrong? You say:- Heat and Light. “Sunlight” actually should refer… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Part 2 duplicated from WUWT in reply to comments from Myrrh ————————————————————————————————————————– Part 2 Myrrh, good idea linking to Transparency and translucency, more on that in relation to Dessler 2011 below. I draw your attention to this article Artificial Lighting and the Blue Light Hazard:- What is Light? Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. The human eye responds to only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The Blue Light Hazard According to the CVRL Color & Vision database, light waves measuring approximately 470nm to 400nm in length are seen as the color blue Note though that blue dominates 0.4 – 0.47 μm, peaks at approx 0.445 μm (445nm or 445 microns) but the range is approx 0.38 – 0.63 μm (use the database Plot function with Energy (linear)). In terms of solar heating, where does blue light fit in? See ASTM G197 – 08 Standard Table for Reference Solar Spectral Distributions: Direct and Diffuse on 20° Tilted and Vertical Surfaces:- 1. Scope 1.1 This table provides terrestrial solar spectral irradiance distributions that may be employed as weighting functions to (1) calculate the broadband solar or light… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Oops, should read:-

“Note though that blue dominates 0.4 – 0.47 μm, peaks at approx 0.445 μm (445nm or [0.445] microns) “

Richard C (NZ)

Duplicated from WUWT in reply to this comment from Myrrh:- http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/06/hot-off-the-press-desslers-record-turnaround-time-grl-rebuttal-paper-to-spencer-and-braswell/#comment-740490 —————————————————————————————————————————- @ Myrrh says: September 11, 2011 at 4:21 am [Myrrh’s reply to my September 11, 2011 at 6:40 am comment came in at WUWT before my comment was cleared because my comment was duplicated at CCG (Myrrh read it there) and it cleared moderation faster there. The comment and reply sequence is reversed at WUWT in this case] Part A (Part B follows) Myrrh, we agree on a great deal and I appreciate your 4:21 am response so please don’t take offense when I attack specific portions of it in Part B. We are getting to the bottom of what I believe is the fundamental flaw in AGW and also a concept that is understood in medical physics and radiology also heat engineering, Emag/microwave/RF sector etc but not well understood in climate science (AGW proponents and sceptics alike). That concept being the heating effect on matter by radiated energy which is explored here in Part A. Two examples from climate science:- 1) This Columbia University lecture “Solar Radiation and the Earth’s Energy Balance”:- The physics of radiative heat transfer. * The… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Oops, Part A should read:-

5000 mW/cm2 ([50] kW.m2) Cooking commences [in microwave ovens]

Richard C (NZ)

Climate scientists discover magical unlimited power source: The Greenhouse Effect

To hell with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics: 1 plus 0 equals 2. Climate scientists have made the remarkable discovery that the greenhouse effect is an unlimited source of free and perpetual energy, as shown in this powerpoint presentation The role of satellite data in estimating the impact of anthropogenic activity on climate change, by Jean-Louis Dufresne, Director of Research at CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research) in France.

email from Alan Siddons:

Speaking of “heat from nowhere,” here’s a charming energy budget that tries to show that there’s no funny business going on with the greenhouse effect.

[See diagram]

See? Half goes out to space but half goes down to earth. Then half of that and half of that and so on. It’s 50/50 all the way. What could be wrong in that? Problem is, when you extrapolate this process and add up all the OUT values and the DOWN values you get this:

[See table]

In other words, a DOUBLING of energy has occurred.


But they haven’t harnessed it, why not?

Richard C (NZ)

“it” may not even be DLR.

Thermometer Manufacturer Destroys Greenhouse Gas Warming Myth

An independent climate science think tank produces evidence from a leading infrared thermometer manufacturer proving that climatologists were mistakenly taking incorrect readings of atmospheric temperatures. Latest findings are set to trigger a paradigm shift in climate science.

Researchers from Canada, USA, Mexico and Britain this week announce a startling discovery that destroys 20 years’ of thinking among government climatologists.

Climate scientists had long believed infrared thermometers measured thermal radiation from the atmosphere and assumed it was ‘proof’ of the greenhouse gas effect (GHE). Their assumption was that infrared thermometers (IRT’s) were measuring ‘back radiated’ heat from greenhouse gases (including water vapor and carbon dioxide). But damning new evidence proves IRT’s do no such thing.

Now a world-leading manufacturer of these high-tech instruments, Mikron Instrument Company Inc., has confirmed that IRT’s are deliberately set to AVOID registering any feedback from greenhouse gases. Thus climate scientists were measuring everything but the energy emitted by carbon dioxide and water vapor.


Richard C (NZ)

Professor Nasif Nahle Publishes New Paper Discrediting Basis of Theory of Man-Made Global Warming

The fundamental basis of the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming is the notion that colder ‘greenhouse’ gases like CO2 ‘back-radiate’ infrared capable of heating the hotter Earth surface. Professor Nasif Nahle has a new paper out explaining why this notion is false and unphysical.

Abstract: Through a series of real time measurements of thermal radiation from the atmosphere and surface materials during nighttime and daytime, I demonstrate that warming backradiation emitted from Earth’s atmosphere back toward the earth’s surface and the idea that a cooler system can warm a warmer system are unphysical concepts.


Richard C (NZ)

Does the Trenberth et al “Earth’s Energy Budget Diagram” Contain a Paradox? Guest post by Bob Fernley-Jones by Bob Fernley-Jones AKA Bob_FJ The unusual aspect of this diagram is that instead of directly showing radiative Heat Transfer from the surface, it gives their depiction of the greenhouse effect in terms of radiation flux or Electro-Magnetic Radiation, (AKA; EMR and a number of other descriptions of conflict between applied scientists and physicists). EMR is a form of energy that is sometimes confused with HEAT. It will be explained later, that the 396 W/m^2 surface radiation depicted above has very different behaviour to HEAT. Furthermore, temperature change in matter can only take place when there is a HEAT transfer, regardless of how much EMR is whizzing around in the atmosphere. […] DISCUSSION; So what to make of this? The initial isotropic S-B surface emission, (Trenberth’s global 396 W/m2), would largely be absorbed by the greenhouse gases instantaneously near the surface. (ignoring some escaping directly to space through the so-called “atmospheric window”). However, a large proportion of the initial S-B 396 surface emission would be continuously lateral, at the Trenberth imposed constant conditions, without any heat… Read more »


Here is another angle on this question.

Roger Pielke Jr, in his book “The Climate Fix”, points out that not even the UN can agree on a definition of “climate change”

He states (page 143) that the IPCC defines “climate change” as “any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity”

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, on the other hand, defines “climate change” as “a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”.

If the UNFCCC and the IPCC cannot even agree between them on what “climate change” means, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Richard C (NZ)

Darn, I’ve already put this in another thread but it should have gone here —————————————————————————————————————————- IPCC AR4 SYR Annex II Glossary Climate change Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods’. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes. See also Climate variability; Detection and Attribution. ————————————————————————————————————————— So “climate change” is due to:- IPCC Natural internal processes or external forcings Persistent… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

An alternative theory of global temperature dynamics Accumulation Theory of Solar Influence The physical structure of the oceans and atmosphere entails very long equilibrium dynamics due the slow accumulation of heat in the land and ocean. An ARMA analysis evaluates the potential of accumulation of solar anomaly to explain the global temperature changes over glacial/interglacial and recent time-frames. [See image] Click image above for animation of the accumulation model for the 1950-2011 period. [Wow!] http://landshape.org/enm/accumulation-theory-of-solar-influence/ ————————————————————————————————————————— On the Dynamics of Global Temperature Authors: David R.B. Stockwell In this alternative theory of global temperature dynamics over the annual to the glacial time scales, the accumulation of variations in solar irradiance dominates the dynamics of global temperature change. A straightforward recurrence matrix representation of the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system, models temperature changes by (1) the size of a forcing, (2) its duration (due to accumulation of heat), and (3) the depth of forcing in the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system (due to increasing mixing losses and increasing intrinsic gain with depth). The model can explain most of the rise in temperature since 1950, and more than 70\% of the variance with correct phase shift of the 11-year solar… Read more »

Mike P @ Aug 6, 7:14 pm, So the APS has been taken over by climate change activists who have made a statement that nobody can disagree with? Some real Einsteins, eh? The full APS statement does mention a human cause for the observed warming and makes a strong recommendation for a course of action. I responded to your actual quote and didn’t go back to their original statement, so you crept up on me there. But, yes, activists are in control, that’s obvious, because many of their members have disagreed with the statement, and what other evidence do you need to show that members of a particular bias have crafted the position statement? But look a little deeper. It says “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.” These leading scientists cannot bring themselves to say our emissions affect the Earth’s climate, much less to specify how and by how much. Then: “significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems … are likely to occur.” Oh! I tell you, a six-year-old can see through this. These statements shout loudly that the… Read more »

Mike Palin


If you were a voluntary dues-paying member of a group which made position statements that you believed were seriously in error, what would you do? Quit? Maybe send a letter to the leadership in protest? Well, that’s exactly what a few dozen of the 47,947 members (as of Jan 2010) of the APS have done since the position statement was released in Nov 2007 and updated in Apr 2010 (re-affirmed after the CRU emails had been hacked).

But hey, according to you, six-year olds can see what the nearly 48,000 scientists who chose to remain members of the APS haven’t.

Mike, You’ve turned to me, not what I said. Someone else observed you’ve regularly raised further questions and not answered the ones asked of you. You’re more credible and certainly less irritating when you address the substance. This “If you were a voluntary… etc., etc.” diversion from you is useless. I stand by what I said about the substance of the APS position statement and all the speculation in the world about their membership won’t change that statement. If you have time, I’d be grateful to hear, as a beginning, what evidence you have that dangerous anthropogenic global warming is occurring. If I were to make that query personal, I might ask: “what persuades you that it’s true?” That’s what I’m curious to hear. That’s what, if true, needs to be promulgated. I know you’re becoming frustrated, but please try to keep the conversation on an even keel and ignore others when they try to tilt it. We all try to, we all fail occasionally, and we all try again. Because we do, this is becoming a world-class site. The traffic is tremendous. Already this month: 100,000 hits, 34,000 pages served, nearly 9000… Read more »

Mike Palin

Richard, The overwhelming consensus of my scientific colleagues is that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing warming of Earth’s surface and acidification of the oceans. I understand the physical basis of these processes and I accept the measurements reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. As atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase, the warming will continue and is likely to trigger positive feedbacks that will result in ice sheet melting and rapid sea level rise. Again, this is what I read in all of the peer-reviewed scientific literature on the subject in top journals such as Science and Nature. All national science academies and professional societies agree. As a geologist, I am familiar with these kinds of large scale changes over Earth history. The evidence in the rock record is certainly real enough. I also appreciate that the rate of change that is observed today is much greater than in the past (geochronology is my particular field of expertise). I trust my fellow scientists in these matters because I know how they obtained their expertise and how they practice their craft. I know what it takes to master the knowledge base in a field of science and… Read more »


Thanks. Your reply is thoughtful. I’ll take some time to consider it, but I get the feeling we’re pretty close on many of the points you mention.

I’m sorry, but I can’t help asking: billions and billions served worldwide?

What do you mean?

Mike Palin

Any progress?

The “served” comment was a lame allusion to the motto of a popular global fast-food chain.


Mike Palin says:
August 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

“Nuclear power is a pipe dream”

Nuclear power is providing most of France’s energy needs, and presumably will also be providing a good chunk of the UK’s when it runs out of its own sources.

Would you not agree that the current offerings of renewables – i.e solar and wind – are not really viable for producing sufficient baseload electricity at this point in time?

Germany has decided to opt out of nuclear, and is now ramping up coal-fired generation as a result. This doesn’t seem particularly smart for a country that is supposedly serious about CO2 emissions.

Personally, I think Thorium looks the most promising new technology, if it can be made to work on an industrial scale. It has the promise of safe, clean nuclear power.

My concern is that the “Deep Greens” (watermelons, etc) are not actually that interested in clean nuclear because it doesn’t fit with their anti-capitalist agenda.

Mike Palin

Andy, nuclear has an important place, but it also has important limitations and is hugely expensive. France has made it work. Australia would be one place where it could expand and work beautifully. But I agree, it should be part of the mix to prevent coal from being used.


Mike Palin says:
August 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

“Nuclear power is a pipe dream”

Mike Palin says:
August 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Andy, nuclear has an important place, but it also has important limitations and is hugely expensive.

Mike, it looks like we might have found some common ground.
Personally, I accept that fossil fuels will run out and we need to find alternatives. My view is that we should pursue this aim without crippling our economies with punitive legislation.
When Bjorn Lomborg suggested this, he was compared to Adolf Hitler by Rajendra Pauchari.

Why is this so difficult?



The APS has its job to do – and it is not the job of researching physics.

Have a look at the Society’s mission statement:

… the advancement of physics;
Provide effective programs in support of the physics community…
Collaborate … for the advancement of ..the science community;
…to promote physics, to support physicists worldwide..
… support the activities of its units and members.

So, it’s clearly a sort of promotional collective (bit like a trade union) whose role in life is to maximise the status and funding of physical scientists. And nobody’s arguing that CAGW is the best thing that’s ever happened to the profession. If it didn’t throw maximum support behind the golden goose, its board would be thrown out tomorrow.

But all this doesn’t tell us a damn thing about the true level of carbon sensitivity.


It’s also worth noting that the UK Royal Society has had a break of ranks over the climate issue, which was reported last year

Rebel scientists force Royal Society to accept climate change scepticism


Mike Palin

So the leadership does represent the 48,000 members?


Yes they do, within their own very limited remit. They are a lobby whose job is to PROMOTE physics on behalf of 48,000 members, and they probably do well what they are paid to do. Their expertise lies in PR and politics, not in science.

Surely, Mike, even you don’t believe the collective is an authoritative source of RESEARCH into the complexities of physical science. That would be like asking the Law Society for a legal opinion, or the Medical Association for a diagnosis.

Mike Palin

I agree that the statement accurately reflects the research-informed position of the membership on an issue of public interest.

The Law Society and Medical Association often give policy advice on the basis of the expertise of their members.


The American Association for Pediatrics also has a “position statement ” on Global Warming

Direct health impacts from global warming include injury and death from more frequent extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and tornados. For children, this can mean post-traumatic stress, loss of caregivers, disrupted education and displacement. Increased climate-sensitive infectious diseases, air pollution-related illness, and heat-related illness and fatalities also are expected.

As the climate changes, the earth’s geography also will change, leading to a host of health risks for kids. Disruptions in the availability of food and water and the displacement of coastal populations can cause malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and waterborne illness, the statement said.


Mike Palin

Almost sounds dangerous doesn’t it?


Sounds dangerous? Yes it does, but surely the biggest danger to children is poverty?
We are spending, or proposing to spend, so much money on mitigating “climate change” that is money not spent on trying to eliminate world poverty.

This was one of the points made in Monckton’s talk, and has been made by others too.


Mike – At the very heart of the “overwhelming consensus” you mention is this key sentence, upon which everything else is built: “As atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase, the warming will continue and is likely to trigger positive feedbacks that will result in ice sheet melting and rapid sea level rise.” I agree that increased CO2 concentrations will increase warming to some (probably tiny) extent – remember the effect is logarithmic. When concentration reaches 560ppm, we will theoretically reach 1°C above 1750 levels, of which 0.7°C has already occurred. So far, this is mere bagatelle. Let’s assume doubling occurs about 2050, and the remaining 0.3°C of warming occurs. Whether this is ho-hum or “dangerous” depends largely on whether positive feedbacks are actually triggered to increase this figure to about 1.0°C. I don’t think this will happen. You do. Why? As far as I am aware, the inclusion of positive feedback in the models is only an assumption, and has no empirical basis. I have three reasons for doubting that assumption: 1. The null hypothesis is that what has happened in the past will continue in the future. 2. Most natural systems are self-correcting rather… Read more »

Mike Palin

“I don’t think this will happen. You do. Why?'”

I explained above at August 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm.

“Most natural systems are self-correcting rather than cumulative. If there had been positive feedbacks in every past warming, instability would have resulted.”

Warming is the natural self-corrective response to an increased atmospheric CO2 concentration in order to restore radiative energy balance. There is a period of instability that is transient. The geologic record provides evidence for both phenomena.


Mike Palin:
YAWN. [Bob: It’s good to have you join the conversation, but please give reasons for your criticism. Your comment does not meet our standards.]


Just one fact – the arguments pro and con are all based on a science fiction world which has no real physical basis in our reality. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/06/hot-off-the-press-desslers-record-turnaround-time-grl-rebuttal-paper-to-spencer-and-braswell/#comment-739960 Richard, I’ve linked here my reply to you on wuwt, from which: What I am fixated about is the fact that AGWScience Fiction Inc, as my mnemonic for this phenomenon, is deliberately, and I think with malice aforethought, teaching that Light is Heat, as per KT97. This has two immediate effects, it is dumbing the education of the masses and it is keeping anti AGW’s caught in false arguments, because, it appears, no one else has noticed this change, this manipulation, of basic standard traditional, well-known, tried and tested, real world physics… My discovery of this has been spread over several discussions, and now complicated to summerise. I think, the confusions are deliberately manufactured, by taking laws out of context, changing properties and processes and so on. The basic problem here, and what I am fixated about, is that thermal infrared, Heat, from the Sun has been taken out of the ‘energy budget’ as the ‘mechanism’ for heating the Earth’s land and oceans, and replaced by… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Hi Myrrh, my reply to your comment here and the previous one at WUWT is posted up-thread here:-


Part 2 is awaiting moderation at comment time. The boss blogger here, Richard Treadgold, is most probably asleep at 2am NZ time so you will have to wait a few hours to see it here but it should come out of mods at WUWT soon where I’ve duplicated there.


Richard C (NZ)

Duplicated from WUWT in response to Brian H’s comment ——————————————————————– @ Brian, thanks for your response. You say:- …..you’d have to overwhelm its heat-transport capacity to begin the “cooking” process. Right, so it’s just a case of increasing the intensity of the source of UV (if it were possible) as in IR and MW cooking except that UV is an inefficient cooking agent because it doesn’t penetrate beyond the outer layer and wouldn’t go much further at higher intensities when it would just overcook the track length it did penetrate anyway. There’s a similar problem with laser penetration of gasses in experiments where the gasses contain metallic vapour (I think). A similar problem also exists with IR cooking but to a much lessor degree but at high intensity (5000 mW/cm2, 50 kW.m2) MW is an efficient cooking agent. Melanin’s “tuned” to absorb UV to protect DNA. Note the reflected color: brown, which is really darkened red. So it absorbs all the high frequencies and bounces away some of the low stuff. Probably including much of the IR, by the way. Yes, this is very important I think to the question of TF&K’s 333… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Put this plea to Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame (TRF) under his “Why is there energy and what it isn’t” post. Turns out his blog doesn’t accept HTML so its a mess but maybe the message will get through. ————————————————————————————————————————— Lubos, most of this is way above my level but I do have a question in regard to energy and climate science that may be worthwhile answering in a separate post. From your post:- “….energy 2 times 3.5 TeV pumped by electromagnetic fields into fast protons” Climate science, in Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) 2009 “Earth’s Global Energy Budget” Figure 1 ascribe 333 W.m2 to DLR vs 161 W.m2 to incoming solar and goes to great lengths to measure DLR (Dr Roy Spencer included, see – Help! Back Radiation has Invaded my Backyard) because in AGW parlance it “warms the earth”. NASA says this on their Clouds and Radiation page:- “High, thin clouds primarily transmit incoming solar radiation; at the same time, they trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and radiate it back downward, thereby warming the surface of the Earth”. I cannot see how DLR can… Read more »


Richard, in case you haven’t checked back to wuwt, I’ve now been able, somewhat, to reply to you. I’m leaving this discussion for a while, other pressing committments, I hope what I’ve posted has at least made you stop and think about the actual premises these argument are based on, I was really shocked by the complicity of NASA in this. If the premises hold no physical reality in our world, then any figures and measurements produced can hardly be referring without confusion to what we see around us.

Good luck with your work.

Richard C (NZ)

Myrrh, my reply to you at WUWT duplicated here:- —————————————————————————————————————————- @ Myrrh You make 2 fundamental errors that give us the clue as to why you have gone off at a tangent but first note that we understand that radiation and matter must be “tuned” for heating to occur i.e. we understand that blue light (or visible light) is not the agent that heats the ocean and that the energy for that comes from UV, IR-A, IR-B and a small part of MWIR, IR-C (see Infrared and Electromagnetic spectrum) in the SOLAR spectral range 200-4000nm. This article “New Paper: Solar UV activity increased almost 50% over past 400 years” shows why UV is much more important than IR in respect to ocean heating:- This is highly significant because the UV portion of the solar spectrum is the most important for heating of the oceans due to the greatest penetration beyond the surface and highest energy levels. Solar UV is capable of penetrating the ocean to depths of several meters to cause ocean heating. whereas long wave infrared emission from “greenhouse gases” or the sun is only capable of penetrating the ocean surface a… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Refer to the bottom of my previous comment to make sense of why this is posted here ——————————————————————– Lubos, most of this is way above my level but I do have a question in regard to energy and climate science that may be worthwhile answering in a separate post. From your post:- “….energy 2 times 3.5 TeV pumped by electromagnetic fields into fast protons” Climate science, in Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) 2009 “Earth’s Global Energy Budget” Figure 1 ascribe 333 W.m2 to DLR vs 161 W.m2 to incoming solar and goes to great lengths to measure DLR (Dr Roy Spencer included, see – Help! Back Radiation has Invaded my Backyard) because in AGW parlance it “warms the earth”. NASA says this on their Clouds and Radiation page:- “High, thin clouds primarily transmit incoming solar radiation; at the same time, they trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and radiate it back downward, thereby warming the surface of the Earth”. I cannot see how DLR can do work (heat) geologic material (we know it doesn’t heat the ocean in bulk) anywhere near what solar already does due to the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

The link to the WUWT thread with the 2 previous comments in it is here

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