Quote of the Week

Propaganda works!

what a thing to say

“44% think food and drink would be safer if it had no carbon or CO2 in it.”

 

 

 

Let us pause for a moment and recognise the deep ignorance of our beloved brethren and sistren around the world. Please remember all those wonderful people force-fed the illogical propaganda of their green masters and who now believe the following seven impossible things before breakfast.

Of the Australian public, and no doubt our own “public”

  • 93% think CO2 constitutes more than 1% of the atmosphere
  • 53% believe climate change causes tsunamis
  • 47% think CO2 is ‘pollution’
  • 44% think food and drink would be safer if it had no carbon or CO2 in it
  • 40% believe climate change causes earthquakes
  • 37% believe climate change causes volcanic eruptions
  • 37% think we should try to reduce carbon in the body

Nothing I might say could make it sound any better. But those people need your help…

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Andy
Guest
Andy

Wikipedia names CO2 as “air pollution”.

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

Carbon dioxide (CO2) – a colourless, odorless, non-toxic greenhouse gas associated with ocean acidification, emitted from sources such as combustion, cement production, and respiration

Funny I didn’t see “global warming” mentioned there. Maybe Ocean Acidification is the new Bad.
However, the inclusion of “respiration” is interesting.

CO2, as a “colourless, odorless, non-toxic greenhouse gas” is considered “pollution”, and is “emitted from … respiration.

Do we conclude that breathing constitutes “pollution”?

Maybe we should all have government health warnings tatooed on our heads after we’ve finished applying “poison” labels to all foodstuffs because they contain “carbon”.

We’re doomed, I tell you, all doomed!

Nick
Guest
Nick

Why should something not be considered pollution just because it comes from respiration? I can think of many substances that come from our biological processes that are unquestionably polluting.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Are you suggesting that breathing out CO2 is pollution Nick?

Nick
Guest
Nick

Sure, why not?

Andy
Guest
Andy

I think any reasonable definition of “pollution” is one that involves substances that degrade the environment, such as heavy metals, sulphur dioxide, etc.

Another form of pollution could consist of “natural” contaminants that may degrade the environment, due to excessive build-up in a small confined area. An example here might be run-off from dairy cattle. The Astronauts on Apollo 13 may also have described CO2 from breathing as “pollution” in that it was degrading their ability to breath, although one could also argue that it was the lack of oxygen that was the problem. Similarly, if a group of people gather in a small confined building, then the building gets “stuffy” which can be attributed to oxygen depletion and CO2 buildup. In this respect, CO2 could be described as “pollution”

However, in the broader sense, I find it difficult to describe breathing out CO2 as “pollution”. Without CO2 on the planet, life would cease to exist.

We can survive without heavy metals and dairy run-off contaminating our waterways. We cannot survive without CO2.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Just because we can’t survive without something does not mean it is not pollution. Ozone is essential for life on earth but it is considered pollution.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Ozone is considered pollution?
Do you have some references?

I thought one of the last great scares was all about the ozone hole and how we were all going to fry to a crisp because of the lack of ozone.

Of course, for the terminally cynical of us, declaring something as “pollution” gives bureaucrats a reason to exist and to regulate and tax us.

Perhaps you’d like to see breathing regulated by government, Nick?

Andy
Guest
Andy

To partly answer Nick’s question for him (on Ozone) the Wikipedia page provides some insight.

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

Low level ozone (or tropospheric ozone) is an atmospheric pollutant.[17] It is not emitted directly by car engines or by industrial operations, but formed by the reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that react to form ozone directly at the source of the pollution or many kilometers down wind.

Conversely, high level ozone is beneficial as it blocks harmful UV.

So is there an analogy for CO2? Is CO2 “pollution” if it is in the wrong place?
CO2 is plant food. It is generally assumed that “problems” with CO2 are related to the buildup of CO2 due to the burning of fossil fuels which causes a radiative imbalance and changes in ocean pH.

I am assuming that Nick is actually just trolling and knows all this anyway.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

I agree with your reasoning, not least because every single substance with which we “pollute”, “despoil” or “ruin” the earth, water or air came from that earth, water or air. Some of it we transformed in ways Nature might not or rarely does, but nothing we put in the environment came from anywhere else — nothing is truly foreign.

There is no known substance the Earth’s systems cannot absorb. Which is no reason for despoiling an estuary with a crude oil spill without cleaning it up, I don’t mean we shouldn’t take every reasonable care, and some things take a very long time to be absorbed.

What is your reasoning for declaring CO2 a pollutant?

Nick
Guest
Nick

Andy your own definition of pollution something “that may degrade the environment, due to excessive build-up in a small confined area” Why is excessive build up in a small confined area pollution but excessive build up in the atmosphere not pollution?

Andy
Guest
Andy

…presumably because plants absorb the CO2 and convert it back into oxygen…

Nick, you seem to have answered your own question in your next comment

and have no effect on the net CO2 balance in the atmosphere

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nick, you have the logic back-to-front, old chap. After declaring CO2 a pollutant, it’s encumbent on you to explain why, rather than expect Andy to explain why it’s not.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Why is CO2 pollution? Because excessive build up degrades the environment

Andy
Guest
Andy

Nick, in case you misunderstood my original statement, I was claiming that CO2 from breathing cannot be considered pollution.

I was not trying to argue whether or not CO2 in general (fossil fuels etc) would cause degradation of the environment.

My argument is, as you correctly point out, is that respiration is probably cancelled out by intake from plant life and does not change the net amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (to a first approximation)

Therefore, CO2 from breathing alone cannot be considered as a polluting activity.

I hope you are not a lawyer. I could start to feel depressed.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Actually Andy I thought your point in the first post was that if breathing is not polluting and foods containing carbon are not poisons then CO2 can’t be a pollutant. which is obviously a straw man. Perhaps I was mislead by your sarcasm but I’m glad we have it straightened out.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Hmm. Nick, I wonder if you consider CO2 to be excessively high right now? Atmospheric levels of CO2 are currently the lowest they’ve been in about 270 million years. 170 million years ago we had about 2500 ppmv, everything was rosy and it’s all been downhill since then. Plants are starving.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Richard are you deliberately neglecting the fact that the sun was dimmer back then or are you genuinely unaware of this?

Nick
Guest
Nick

And no I don’t propose any regulations on breathing because it would be unfair, unenforceable and have no effect on the net CO2 balance in the atmosphere. I’m surprised you would even suggest it.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nobody else seems to be proposing such a thing either, however we shouldn’t be naive about the vigour with which some people are attacking our “personal carbon footprints” by introducing the concept of a Personal Carbon Allowance (PCA). It’s aimed at the goods and services we buy, but it is very personal. Norfolk Island are trialling or have trialled a scheme.

How they think the piddling quantities of CO2 involved might match what is emitted by iron foundries, cement works or all the cars, ships and aircraft of the world is a mystery. But people apparently don’t ask for evidence of need before rushing to save the world.

Andy
Guest
Andy

And no I don’t propose any regulations on breathing cow’s farting because it would be unfair, unenforceable and have no effect on the net CO2CH4 balance in the atmosphere. I’m surprised you would even suggest it.

Welcome to our ETS….

Richard Treadgold
Guest

LOL
And who suggested it, but the government?

Nick
Guest
Nick

Why do you think that less flatulent cows wouldn’t reduce methane in the atmosphere? They don’t do any thing to take it out.

Andy
Guest
Andy


Why do you think that less flatulent cows wouldn’t reduce methane in the atmosphere? They don’t do any thing to take it out.

Neither do humans reduce CO2. Plants do.
Methane degrades to CO2 in around a decade. it is part of the natural carbon cycle.

The only argument in favour is that methane has a higher “global warming potential” than CO2, which is based on one equation used by the IPCC, that a number of us have looked at.

Methane levels are not increasing globally (at least at the time of AR4 publication) and there is very little evidence that cows are a major player in global methane generation.

In fact, termites are the biggest biogenic emitter of methane.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nick,

The sun was dimmer? Only 170 million years ago? Give me a reference, please.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Dana 2005, can you supply evidence that everything was rosy 170 million years ago? Because http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=170+million+years shows that sea levels were 78 meters higher.

Andy
Guest
Andy

How is this proof that the sun was dimmer?

What is “dana 2005”?

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nick, I can’t find a paper with that, though I’ve found that one S. Dana could be an astronomer. Do you have the title of the paper?

Nick
Guest
Nick

Sorry I didn’t reference that properly at all. Try http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf

Andy
Guest
Andy

Back the “CO2 is a pollutant” topic…

EPA Declares Human Breath (CO2) a Pollutant
http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/1022


How does the EPA go about declaring carbon dioxide — a common and healthy gas needed for plant life on Earth — a dangerous “pollutant”? They redefine “pollutant” thusly:

“To clarify the distinction between air pollution and air pollutant, the air pollution is the atmospheric concentrations and can be thought of as the total, cumulative stock problem of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The air pollutants, on the other hand, are the emissions of greenhouse gases and can be thought of as the flow that changes the size of the total stock.

Translated from bureaucratese, it means that carbon dioxide, methane and other alleged “pollutants” aren’t dangerous and are in fact natural elements. But the fact that human activities such as breathing and car exhaust add to the global amount of carbon dioxide means that CO2 emissions should be regulated, according to the EPA.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Andy the article you link repeats the exact same straw man that you presented earlier. Why is the clearly ridiculous idea of taxing human breath repeated so often by so called skeptics? This isn’t skepticism, it is propaganda with the agenda of scaring people into denial.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Andy the article you link repeats the exact same straw man that you presented earlier. Why is the clearly ridiculous idea of taxing human breath repeated so often by so called skeptics? This isn’t skepticism, it is propaganda with the agenda of scaring people into denial.

..The “strawman” I quoted from Wikipedia, as I recall. Comment #1 in this thread

secondly, you may recall this exchange:

Andy says:
September 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Are you suggesting that breathing out CO2 is pollution Nick?
Reply

Nick says:
September 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

Sure, why not?

Of course, I am being rhetorical suggesting that we tax breathing, but if both you, the EPA and Wikipedia agree that breathing is “pollution”, then why is this “propaganda that will scare people into denial”?

Denial of what exactly Nick?

Commonsense?

Nick
Guest
Nick

So it is your position that CO2 from breathing is definitely not a pollutant but CO2 from fossil fuels might be (depending on your position on global warming)? I had not really considered the idea that the same substance may or may not be a pollutant depending on where it comes from. But it is an interesting concept.

I don’t think either I, Wikipedia or the EPA proposed a tax on breathing so why exactly did you bring it up? Is it your contention that anything labeled as pollution will be taxed?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Is it your contention that anything labeled as pollution will be taxed?

Potentially, yes

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

“problem of greenhouse gases” ?

I think of greenhouse gasses as a comfort – not a problem.

And more of them would be better – especially in winter, not being a ski bunny ‘n all.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion but the people who depend on snow and ice for their survival would probably disagree.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

US CO2 regulation on hold indefinitely

The Environmental Protection Agency is again delaying a plan to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, saying it needs more time to propose the rule. The move comes amid intense pushback from business groups and Republican lawmakers who complain a recent slate of EPA proposals are chilling business investment and hindering the economic recovery.

http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2011/09/us-co2-regulation-on-hold-indefinitely/

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Crikey, Andy, I’m glad they’ve cleared that one up!
So we have to regulate emissions of CO2 not because CO2 is dangerous, but because the emissions of CO2 are adding to the stock of natural, non-dangerous gases.
Right.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Andy, the more people there are the more plants are grown to feed them so increasing the number of people does not increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from respiration.

Increasing numbers of (or more flatulent) livestock does not increase the rate at which methane is converted back to CO2 so the level of methane in the atmosphere will increase as the numbers of livestock increases. Do you follow this or do you disagree with some part of it?

Lets get clear on these points before we argue about whether controlling emissions from livestock or from termites is more practical.

Richard, I don’t see where the EPA have claimed that CO2 is non-dangerous, have you got a link to where they state that or is it your own opinion?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Increasing numbers of (or more flatulent) livestock does not increase the rate at which methane is converted back to CO2 so the level of methane in the atmosphere will increase as the numbers of livestock increases. Do you follow this or do you disagree with some part of it?

The livestock need grass to feed on. By the same arguments you use to show that human CO2 emissions are balanced by plant growth, can’t we say the same of livestock? There is possibly a short term increase in methane when stock levels increase, but this soon reaches equilibrium as the methane breaks down at one end of the cycle compared with being added at the other end.

The suggested increase in methane levels is not matched by empirical observations though.

Nick
Guest
Nick

OK so you agree that if we add more livestock then methane levels increase and a new, higher equilibrium is reached because the rate at which methane is removed from the atmosphere is constant while the rate at which it is emitter has increased?

Over what period are you claiming that methane levels are not rising and do you have a link to support your claim. NOAA data seems to show that it has been rising fairly steadily for the last few decades.

Andy
Guest
Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

“37% think we should try to reduce carbon in the body”

Think this group would be better to INCREASE carbon in the body.

A few carbon-rich meals and some of it might reach the cranial region.

Perhaps that would help to start their synapses firing again.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Andy doesn’t the ipcc report you link to show 20 years of increasing methane levels in the atmosphere?

Andy
Guest
Andy

The graph shows an increasing level of CH4 over 20 years that is tending asymptotically to zero increase

Nick
Guest
Nick

Really? How do you know this is the case rather than a temporary leveling off? Do you agree that the levels of CH4 in the atmosphere correlate well with emissions?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Really? How do you know this is the case rather than a temporary leveling off?

I don’t know anything. I am describing the shape of the graph in mathematical terms.

Do you agree that the levels of CH4 in the atmosphere correlate well with emissions?

No, because I don’t have any data to support that assertion.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Why do you choose that particular mathematical model to describe the data?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Why do you choose that particular mathematical model to describe the data?

Sorry Nick, the threading got a bit messed up.
Which mathematical model are you referring to?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Sorry, I assume that you are referring to the comment “The graph shows an increasing level of CH4 over 20 years that is tending asymptotically to zero increase”.

This is not a mathematical model. it is a description of the shape of the graph within the given time frame.

Of course, it tells us nothing about the underlying geophysical and geochemical processes.We know, for example, that the OH radical is responsible for the conversion of CH4 to CO2 and H2O. The science behind these processes would appear to be in its infancy.

It seems a little premature to me to introduce policy decisions around ruminant methane when the science is little understood.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Just because you don’t understand the science doesn’t mean no one does. Do you seriously think that reducing the emissions of CH4 will not reduce it’s level in the atmosphere? Can you explain how this might work?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Just because you don’t understand the science doesn’t mean no one does

Actually, I was referring to the general state of scientific knowledge in this area, rather than my own personal level of understanding.

If we reduce emissions, then the level may decrease. The question, of course, is by how much, since we know that NZ is a tiny part of the global methane production, and that cows are a tiny part of that.

So it comes down to a cost/benefit thing. is it worth taxing farmers to reduce CH4 emissions, which they can’t anyway as there are no immediate practical methods to do so other than reduce stock numbers?

Personally, I think we’d be better off looking at issues around water quality. I see a lot of unfenced properties in NZ where cows are free to pollute the waterways, where a simple fence would suffice.

But then, when it comes to climate and government, common sense is a long way off.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Nick must have chosen the five minute argument.

You can pay extra for a course of 10 🙂

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nick,

Richard are you deliberately neglecting the fact that the sun was dimmer back then or are you genuinely unaware of this?

There was no neglect, I was unaware of it.

The reference you supplied (thank you) does not change my mind. From Royer’s Fig. 2 on p 5668 I calculate roughly that by 170 mya solar luminosity was no less than about 99% of present-day values, following Royer’s assumption of a linear increase — although I can find no citation by Royer to support either his assumption that “solar luminosity is assumed to linearly increase,” or his use of “94.5% present-day values” as a starting point. But nonetheless, no large change from today is evident at 170 mya.

So I’m puzzled as to why you cite this paper. How does it affect what I said?

Cheers.

Mike Jowsey
Guest
Mike Jowsey

http://solarb.msfc.nasa.gov/science/timeline/

900 million years – Length of day is now 18 hours long.
750 million years – Large ice packs cover earth nearly to equator
543 million years – Cambrian Explosion of complex organisms.
500 million years – Solar luminosity only 6% less than today.
320 million years – First ancestors to mammals appear
300 million years – Solar luminosity only 3% less than today.
250 million years – Permian Mass extinction
100 million years -Earth’s magnetic field 3x stronger than today
65 million years – Cretaceous Dinosaur Extinction
60 million years – Primitive primates appear
55 million years – Major global warming episode
27 million years – Primitive apes emerge
6 million years – Great Apes and Hominids ‘split’ genetically
2 million years – Tool-making humanoid ancestors emerge
750,000 years – End of last magnetic reversal
500,000 years – First evidence of fire usage

Nick
Guest
Nick

Well the sun was dimmer but not by as much as I imagined. I Knew it was a big deal in the ordovician but I got my era a bit confused 🙂

I wonder what 1% less solar luminosity equals in W/m^2 or doubling of CO2…

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Or you could wonder what an 8.5 W/m2 increase of solar energy at the Mid-European earth surface over the 25 year period 1973 and 1998 compares to a doubling of CO2.

The IPCC claims a doubling of CO2 levels results in 3.7 W/m2 additional forcing. CO2 increased from 330 to 366 ppm (11%) during that period, and 11% of 3.7 is 0.41 W/m2 in claimed CO2 forcing. Thus, the change in solar radiation impacting the Mid-European earth surface during that 25 year period of global warming is about 21 times greater than the alleged effect of CO2

https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/climate-science/solar/#comment-67729

Nick
Guest
Nick

Hi Richard, thanks for the link, but how is it relevant to what we are discussing? A model of a single region during the 20th century hardly tells us if CO2 is a pollutant or if everything was rosy 170 million years ago.

How did you get the calculation of <1% difference in solar luminosity? When I take a linear interpolation of 94.5% from 500mya at 170mya I get 98.2%. 1.8% less luminosity is about 6W/m^2 or over 1.5 doublings of CO2 (by the IPCCs estimated climate sensitivity) so hardly insignificant. Still a long way off the CO2 levels at the time but then maybe that is why the sea level was so high. I'm still struggling to understand what you meant be everything being rosy, can you please clarify?

Andy, do you have a good working definition of pollutant that we could use? I think a lot of the disagreement here is due to differences in definitions.

Andy
Guest
Andy

No I don;t have a good definition of pollution.
However, this video shows the effect of doubling CO2 on tree growth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB29Mfw-HcU

Is this pollution?

Andy
Guest
Andy

This is the NZ Ministry for Environment webpage for Air Pollution

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/air/breathe/

It doesn’t list CO2 as pollution, though it does mention Ozone and Carbon Monoxide.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Since Nick is looking for a definition of pollution, Wikipedia is a start

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere.

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

Nick
Guest
Nick

Thanks Andy, I agree with the definition from wikipedia but since it doesn’t differentiate between different sources I wouldn’t have expected you to agree with it.

By this definition CO2 is pollution no matter what the source. I think we can agree though that breathing is not polluting as it doesn’t increase the levels in the atmosphere.

Is it possible for something to be pollution but it’s emission from a specific source not polluting? I think so but it is a bit subtle…

So to go back to my original comment, breathing out CO2 is pollution but not polluting (when part of wider global system). Which I think covers your point about CO2 in confined spaces as well. What do you think?

As for the old CO2 is plant food chestnut how well do you think the trees would grow under 78m of salt water? No need to answer it is a rhetorical question 🙂

Andy
Guest
Andy

Nick says:
September 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Thanks Andy, I agree with the definition from wikipedia but since it doesn’t differentiate between different sources I wouldn’t have expected you to agree with it.

By this definition CO2 is pollution no matter what the source.

Tell me how you jump from the Wikipedia definition to your last sentence.

i.e “that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms,”.

CO2 causes plants to grow. The video I posted showed that more CO2 makes plants grow better. So please explain to me how CO2 is “pollution”.

Maybe extra CO2 causes some extra warming of the planet. You’d have to demonstrate that warming is harmful to the environment also.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nick, Sorry about the delay, I’ve been busy. Hi Richard, thanks for the link, I don’t think I gave you one. Perhaps it came from Richard C? You gave me a reference to Royer’s paper on “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” because it shows reduced solar radiation. but how is it relevant to what we are discussing? Actually, I wondered why you cited the paper and I asked: “How does it affect what I said?” You turned this question back on me unskilfully. How did you get the calculation of <1% difference in solar luminosity? I got the 1% by eye. I don’t know how to interpolate that linear trend properly (maybe someone will remind me). Considering the lack of justification for assuming a linear reduction in the first place and the million-year time scales, I consider your “98.2%” result to be equivalent to my 99% and ask again “what effect does the reduced insolation have?” Everything was rosy, because everything was growing. It was the middle of the Jurassic — lots of lovely, thriving dinosaurs and plenty of food for them all. The higher sea level was neither here nor there… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I’ll try to make this simple Nick (I appreciate Mondays can be difficult).

1973 and 1998 (25 years)

Increase of solar energy = 8.5 W/m2 (in line with observations note)

Claimed 2xCO2 forcing = 0.41 W/m2

Apparently the sun is a massive polluter in Mid-Europe if indeed CO2 is.

Anthropogenic Global Warming
Guest
Anthropogenic Global Warming

Not only is it a rhetorical question, it’s an incredibly stupid one too.

Andy
Guest
Andy

It’s no more stupid than taxing people for flatulence, which is only one step beyond NZ’s agricultural ETS.

Andy
Guest
Andy

CO2 is also essential for human life, over and above the photosynthesis of plants.
A condition known as Hypocapnia describes a condition that occurs when blood CO2 levels are reduced. This can cause transient dizziness, visual disturbances, and anxiety.

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

There is a corresponding condition – hypercapnia – that occurs when you have too much CO2 in your bloodstream.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Richard T, looks like you missed it but here it is again. “Why is CO2 pollution? Because excessive build up degrades the environment”. When I say environment I mean the environment that human civilisation considers normal. Returning to conditions similar to those in the Jurassic would be extremely detrimental to human civilisation so I consider this degradation. Reduced insolation means that higher levels of CO2 could give similar (temperature) conditions to what we have today although the Jurassic was certainly far hotter. By the way do you have any idea why it was so much hotter 170mya?

Richard C, since energy is not a substance it is a bit of a stretch to claim that it is pollution and that is certainly not my position.

Andy, are you claiming that something that is essential for human life can’t be pollution? Are you also claiming that warming will not cause sea levels to rise?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Andy, are you claiming that something that is essential for human life can’t be pollution?

No of course not Nick.

If I held your head underwater for 10 minutes, you would probably agree that water would qualify as “pollution” by your definition.

I am sure we could find a way of defining everything as “pollution” It all depends on the context in which the substance is found.

The point of this discussion is what, exactly? I seem to have missed it along the way.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Just to remind oneselves how stupid this issue has become (not Nick, I am talking government policy here)

We have an ETS that penalises us for composting green waste at landfills, (methane = pollution, OK?).
The price of CO2e is too high here, so it is cheaper for emitters to buy credits from overseas suppliers. This includes manufacturers of HFC-23, a powerful GHG that is worth 70 times the production cost in carbon credits. So some entrepreneurial Chinese businessmen are manufacturing HFC-23 for the sole purpose of destroying it.

So the general public are paying a premium of being good citizens and composting their waste by enabling scam artists to pull this one.

But…

it’s good for our “clean green image”… yeah right.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Andy,
Regarding the methane from landfills, I hadn’t considered that particular issue but hopefully it encourages the operators to put a boiler on top of the landfill and convert the methane to CO2 and generate some energy. This would reduce the net GHG emissions and hopefully produce some revenue from a resource which would otherwise be wasted.

HFC-23 is certainly an issue but does not kill the whole ETS. Europe is considering excluding HFC-23 to prevent the fraud you mention and I guess NZ could well do the same.

Richard C,
Could we stick to peer reviewed literature please? I’m sure you will agree that there are a lot of cranks online who will quite happily distort and mislead for their own purposes.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Richard C,
Could we stick to peer reviewed literature please?

Nick. I note a lack of peer-reviewed references backing up your claim that “CO2 is a pollutant”.

We look forward to reading these.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, you say:- “Could we stick to peer reviewed literature please?” I wish we we could but It is YOU Nick that cannot produce the peer-reviewed science. Where is that peer-reviewed paper proving conclusively that GHG DLR “warms the earth” (the earth being geologic material including ocean)? If YOU can’t put up, I suggest that you shut up (as Helen Clark would put it). And as much as you would like the issue of GHG DLR to go away and stoop to ad hominem instead of actually addressing the issue (you seem to prefer the superficial instead of hard physics), the issue is not going away and will only escalate from now on so get used to it. You say:- “:I’m sure you will agree that there are a lot of cranks online who will quite happily distort and mislead for their own purposes.” Ah yes, no science or physics from YOU here Nick, just implied ad hominem. I do NOT include Alan Siddons or Nasif Nahle in the online “crank” category although I agree the likes of Joe Romm and John Cook are out there (I challenge YOU to debate Nasif Nahle… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

The link for “this entire thread

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

“……the issue is not going away and will only escalate from now on so get used to it” Case in point:- Weird science: EPA Inspector General calls greenhouse-gas regulatory process flawed Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/28/weird-science-epas-own-inspector-general-calls-green-house-gas-science-flawed/#ixzz1ZKMMAWOo Quoting:- In a report released Wednesday (at Sen. Inhofe’s request, dating back to April) the inspector general found that the EPA failed to follow the Data Quality Act and its own peer review process when it issued the determination that greenhouse gases cause harm to “public health and welfare.” “I appreciate the inspector general conducting a thorough investigation into the Obama-EPA’s handling of the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases,” Inhofe said. “This report confirms that the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama’s job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed. It calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding.” Inhofe lambasted the EPA for its failure to adhere to its own rules, outsourcing the science to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — and refusing to conduct its own analysis of the science — in the period leading up to its final endangerment finding. “The endangerment… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, you say:-

“….since energy is not a substance it is a bit of a stretch to claim that it is pollution”

I agree 100%.

That’s the whole point of AGW that you (unknowingly it seems) concede yourself:-

“Why is CO2 pollution? Because excessive build up degrades the environment”.

The AGW sequence is (supposedly): “excessive build up degrades the environment” by way of retained energy causing heating of GHG molecules and subsequently radiation from those warmed GHGs “warms the earth” (global warming).

However, the “warms the earth” bit is looking more and more unlikely in view of this:-

Thermometer Manufacturer Destroys Greenhouse Gas Warming Myth

http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=8401&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimaterealistsNewsBlog+%28ClimateRealists+News+Blog%29

And this:-

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

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/09/professor-nasif-nahle-publishes-new.html

Richard Treadgold
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Nick, Richard C makes good sense in the previous comment and I want to go down a slightly different road. You explain why carbon dioxide is a pollutant: Because excessive build-up degrades the environment. Thanks, I saw that, but it’s not helpful until you describe what you mean by “degrade”. Reading between your following lines, I guess you mean that a “build-up” causes “extra” warmth and that is an environmental degradation. Have I got that right? Unfortunately, you are ambivalent on whether that happened in the Jurassic. You hint at the possibility that a cooler sun could make the earth hotter, just because of higher levels of CO2 (which sounds daft to me). But you immediately acknowledge that wasn’t the case, and still the Jurassic was much hotter than now, as though the higher temperature was caused by something else. My purpose in referring to the Jurassic was to ask whether you consider present levels of CO2 to be high; you haven’t answered that question, though you’ve asked a lot. You comment on your thinking about “degrade”: Returning to conditions similar to those in the Jurassic would be extremely detrimental to human civilisation… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

Richard T, here is a summary of my position, and answers to your questions in pretty much random order. CO2 is pollution, breathing is not polluting, energy is not pollution. It does not follow that every effect of increasing pollution is also pollution. Just because I don’t consider energy to be pollution does not mean that CO2 can’t be either. Coughing is not pollution (although it is certainly unpleasant) but is can be caused by smoke which is certainly pollution. Do you see my meaning or do you need me to clarify further? The only reason I don’t regard energy as pollution is because it is not a substance. As Andy points out, you have to draw the line somewhere otherwise anything could be pollution. In fact I could easily be convinced that energy is pollution if it is increased excessively, it is really just a matter of definition. Do you consider energy to be pollution? As for degrading the environment: as well as build up of heat I also consider ocean acidification to be a problem. Do I consider the present levels of CO2 to be high? They are the highest they… Read more »

Andy
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Andy

The only reason I don’t regard energy as pollution is because it is not a substance

Nick – e = mc squared, therefore I beg to differ.

However…

Possibly time to move on from this argument. i am not really interested in whether substance x is pollution or not. What I wish for is that we can create a sensible environmental policy based on commonsense and reason, that takes all aspects of an argument into account.

Unfortunately, the nature of bureaucracy is that, once substance x is labelled as “pollution”, I fear they will enforce it to the letter, and any amount of reason goes out of the window.

Nick
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Nick

Hi Andy,
Leaving aside your gross misinterpretation of Einstein’s law (I presume you are joking) is it your position that we cannot label CO2 as pollution because if we did they the government would tax breathing?

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

“….gross misinterpretation of Einstein’s law”? I don’t think so. Why is there energy and what it isn’t Quoting:- Before relativity was discovered, people thought that there were separate conservation laws, one for mass and one for energy. However, in proper physics, conservation laws are linked to symmetries and there’s only one symmetry group that could give you a law independent of any directions in space: the translations in time. So it gives you just one conservation law and it is the energy/mass conservation law. What we used to call the mass, like a few pounds of uranium, may be converted to energy (e.g. one needed to destroy a city), and vice versa: energy 2 times 3.5 TeV pumped by electromagnetic fields into fast protons may be converted to the mass of dozens of new protons and pions that are created during the collision of two protons at the LHC. Only the total energy including the latent energy of the mass is conserved. In other words, only the total mass m that is appropriately increased if the object is moving – so it is not the rest mass m0 – is conserved. The rest… Read more »

Andy
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Andy

How is a statement of the equation e = mc2 a “gross misinterpretation”?

I merely stated the equation, which is a statement that matter and energy are different forms of the same thing. Matter can be turned into energy, and energy into matter.

Leaving that aside, pollution is a subjective term, it has no objective scientific meaning, in most cases.

For example, “noise pollution” is in essence a form of “pollution” that is pure energy. There is no “substance” involved. I can describe the sound of loud music outside my bedroom at 3am as “noise pollution”, but I would not describe all loud music as “pollution”

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Nick, from the summary of your position I read this: “build up of heat”.

OK where is it?

Is this “build up” (heat being measured in Joules, J):-

a) In the ocean? (none since 2003 and what is there is solar sourced)

b) In the land? (considered so inconsequential that ocean heat is used as a proxy for the entire earth’s surface and so far you haven’t produced any literature anyway).

c) In the atmosphere? (if so, are you alluding to the tropospheric hotspot or where in the atmosphere exactly is the “build up of heat” being measured?)

d) Some combination of a), b) and c)?

You will have to quantify this “build up of heat” wherever you identify it to demonstrate that the monotonic rise of CO2 levels is responsible for it (and please provide the physics in the form of peer-reviewed literature to support your case – IPCC reports are NOT peer-reviewed remember).

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Just so we’re sure that you know what you’re talking about. Heat vs Temperature In studying energy changes in systems we need to make a clear distinction between the terms heat and temperature. Heat: Heat is the thermal energy (kinetic energy) that is transferred from one body to another. It is measured in metric unit termed Joules (symbol J). As mentioned above heat is transferred spontaneously from objects of higher temperature to ones of lower temperature (warmer to colder bodies). Temperature: Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles that make up the substance. http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/chem30/modules/module3/lesson2/heattemp.htm Heat Calculation formula Q = ( m ) * ( c ) * ( delta T ) Where:- Heat (Q): is measured in Joules (note that the units below multiply to give you Joules) Joules is a metric unit of measurement. Mass (m): measured in grams Specific Heat Capacity (c): measured in J/ g * oC Temperature change (T): measured in oC Example : How much heat, in joules is absorbed by 300 grams of water, if the temperature change the water undergoes is 15 oC ? (The specific heat capacity of water is… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Nick, from the summary of your position I also read this: “I also consider ocean acidification to be a problem” Timely post at JoNova:- Ocean Acidification — a little bit less alkalinity could be a good thing http://joannenova.com.au/2011/09/ocean-acidification-a-little-bit-less-alkalinity-could-be-a-good-thing/ Includes:- Alarming fears about unrealistic ocean pH’s Marine life, quite happy about a bit more CO2? And just for you Nick:- 1103 studies on acidification say there’s no need to panic CO2 science has an extraordinary data base of 1103 studies of the effects of “acidification” on marine life. They reason that any change beyond 0.5 pH units is “far far beyond the realms of reality” even if you are concerned about coral reefs in the year 2300 (see Tans 2009). Even the IPCC’s highest end “scenario A2″ estimate predicts a peak change in the range of 0.6 units by 2300. Many of the headlines forecasting “Death to Reefs” come from studies of ocean water at extreme pH’s that will never occur globally, and that are beyond even what the IPCC is forecasting. Some headlines come from studies of hydrothermal vents where CO2 bubbles up from the ocean floor. Not surprisingly they find changes to… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

Hi Richard C, please accept my apologies I did not intend to make an ad hominem attack and I sincerely regret any offence caused. My point was merely that once we stray from the peer reviewed science then any number of sources become acceptable many of which (from both sides of the debate) are questionable. I’m happy to commit to sticking to the peer review and not dragging John Cook et al into it. To provide peer reviewed evidence that DLR warms the earth have a look at W. Kohsiek (2007). Behind a pay wall I’m afraid but there are some extracts available. Or you could have a look at http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/surfrad/pick.html select Downwelling, upwelling and net infrared and see exactly how much heat is being absorbed from DLR at several sites around the world. Addressing one of the points you make you say: “TF&K ascrribe 161 W.m2 to incoming solar at the surface and 333 W.m2 to GHG DLR. Can YOU see Nick, how idiotic this is? They are saying the GHG DLR power flux is TWICE the original solar power flux, this is daft.” I’m afraid can’t see what the problem is… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

OK, progress. 1) W. Kohsiek (2007) doesn’t address the heating effect of GHG DLR on geologic material. All they do is measure fluxes and try to estimate of heat storage in the plant canopy i.e. nothing conclusive. In response to your attempt, here’s TWO papers showing that DLR from GHGs (or any other radiation) is not the evapotranspiration driver:- “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” http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1980/WR016i005p00955.shtml And: “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.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022169494901074 AGW takes a big hit from these two papers alone. In addition here’s another 6 paper series that studies the heating effect of radiation on direct solar irradiated mountain sides vs the indirect side. The indirect side will receive diffuse solar (that they neglect to identify… Read more »

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Nick, you explained that CO2 is not a pollutant because it raises the temperature, so I asked again “what [do] you believe man-made carbon dioxide is responsible for?” In answer to that you say: CO2 is pollution … Just because I don’t consider energy to be pollution does not mean that CO2 can’t be either. … Do you see my meaning or do you need me to clarify further? Your meaning is out of sight, Nick. Your meaning has not surfaced. It is submerged, Nick, undeclared and undescribed. It is unborn, nascent, incipient and embryonic. Your meaning has never been seen, therefore it does not exist for me. For you, after making such a monumentally indecipherable statement, to ask me if I “need” clarification displays a sense of timing worthy of Billy Connolly. Are you joking? I’m not really keen to know all the things that might be considered pollution, nor do I think it important to give you my list of pollutants. I just want to know what harm CO2 does to the environment. I don’t even care whether you call it pollution, just tell me the harm it does — please… Read more »

Andy
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Andy

Bishop Hill has a relevant post
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/9/29/aint-no-science-at-the-rse.html

The winning poster from the school competition suggests that the kids are “on message”

Ron
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Ron
Nick
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Nick

Andy, Richard C

From Wikipedia “Mass–energy equivalence does not imply that mass may be “converted” to energy, and indeed implies the opposite. Modern theory holds that neither mass nor energy may be destroyed, but only moved from one location to another. Mass and energy are both conserved separately in special relativity, and neither may be created nor destroyed.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass%E2%80%93energy_equivalence

Andy
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Andy

Sure, so a positron and an electron can annihilate and form a photon.
Under classical quantum mechanics, a photon is a particle, and has mass and energy, and Einstein’s theory is maintained.
Not sure how this relates to the CO2 is a pollutant theory though

Nick
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Nick

Richard C, Addressing post September 30, 2011 at 8:59 am 1) I don’t think the first two papers you quote actually take back radiation into account. They compare night time evaporation rates with daytime rates and since the evaporation rates do not change they conclude that radiation is not the primary driver. However since DLR is relatively constant over day and night I don’t believe we can rule out DLR as a driver of evaporation. As far as I can tell from Gruber et al. you are just saying that it is warmer in the sun than out of it. Nothing that proves that DLR is not heating the surfaces. I don’t think either of these papers prove that DLR does not heat the earth. 2) Do you have a link to the “Siddons Investigation” you may have already provided this and if I have missed it I apologise. 3) To clarify are you saying that DLR flux (W/m^2) can’t be greater than incoming solar (at the surface)? Or are you saying that the DLR wavelength is so long that it can’t deliver the energy attributed to it? A link to peer reviewed… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

First of all, the onus is on you to prove the AGW hypothesis – not me to disprove it, I hold the null. I’m going beyond what I have to do in this case. 1) The total radiative flux (solar + DLR) will be greater during the day than at night given a relatively constant DLR so your argument fails. Neither paper points to radiation as the evaporation driver so WHERE’S YOUR PROOF THAT DLR IS THE DRIVER OF EVAPORATION? You’ve got nothing to back up your case, just some hand waving and the onus of proof is on you. I agree – nothing in Gruber or the evaporation papers that proves DLR is not heating the earth but much to indicate that it doesn’t (as you seem to agree – “warmer in the sun than out of it” but don’t forget diffuse solar out of the direct sun). So WHERE IS YOUR PROOF THAT DLR “HEATS THE EARTH”? Again, you’ve got nothing so far just a lot of hand waving and again, the onus of proof is on you. 2) Siddons and Nahle links here:- https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/09/quote-of-the-week-3/#comment-67913 BTW, if you followed thread etiquette… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Re my response to 1) On reflection, there is the possibility that a relatively constant source of radiation (backradiation in this case) is driving evaporation in foliage and forest canopies but you have some work to do to prove that because:- A) You will have to demonstrate the IR-C in the 4000nm – 15,000nm EM spectral range drives evaporation. You will have to provide the science for this (no hand waving). B) The annual peak in atmospheric water vapour content occurs usually around August-September, when northern hemisphere vegetation is at maximum transpiration. The marked annual variation presumably reflects the asymmetrical distribution of land and ocean on planet Earth, with most land areas located in the northern hemisphere. This points to evapotranspiration drivers other than DLR and also takes the ocean out of contention to explain the peaks. See Climate4you (click Greenhouse Gasses): http://climate4you.com/ DLR (backradiation) in the IR-C range does not seem to be a recognized evapotranspiration driver e.g. from Wikipedia:- “Factors that affect evapotranspiration include the plant’s growth stage or level of maturity, percentage of soil cover, solar radiation, humidity, temperature, and wind.” And, “Potential evapotranspiration (PET) is higher in the summer,… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Re my response to 1) On reflection, there is the possibility that a relatively constant source of radiation (backradiation in this case) is driving evaporation in foliage and forest canopies but you have some work to do to prove that because:- A) You will have to demonstrate the IR-C in the 4000nm – 15,000nm EM spectral range drives evaporation. You will have to provide the science for this (no hand waving). B) The annual peak in atmospheric water vapour content occurs usually around August-September, when northern hemisphere vegetation is at maximum transpiration. The marked annual variation presumably reflects the asymmetrical distribution of land and ocean on planet Earth, with most land areas located in the northern hemisphere. This points to evapotranspiration drivers other than DLR and also takes the ocean out of contention to explain the peaks. See Climate4you (click Greenhouse Gasses): http://climate4you.com/ DLR (backradiation) in the IR-C range does not seem to be a recognized evapotranspiration driver e.g. from Wikipedia:- “Factors that affect evapotranspiration include the plant’s growth stage or level of maturity, percentage of soil cover, solar radiation, humidity, temperature, and wind.” And, “Potential evapotranspiration (PET) is higher in the summer,… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

Richard C, can we just address point 3 for now. I would be happy to come back to your other points once I have a clear understanding of this.

I think you are saying that the energy per photon is so low in the IR spectrum that the W/m^2 attributed to DLR is not achievable. What I don’t follow is why can’t there just be more photons to make up this difference?

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

You say:-

“What I don’t follow is why can’t there just be more photons to make up this difference?”

There can be if there is sufficient intensity of flux e.g. microwave cooking. The problem I see is that the energy intensity of measured GHG DLR (if that is actually being measured) just does not deliver “more photons” i.e density.

Take a look at this Doctoral Thesis: “Atmospheric downwelling longwave radiation at the surface during cloudless and overcast conditions. Measurements and modeling” A Viúdez-Mora – 2011

http://www.tesisenred.net/bitstream/handle/10803/31841/tavm.pdf?sequence=3

Figure 1..1 page 24 is calculated (not measured in this case) but typical. The SW and LW fluxes look similar in comparison until you see the magic words in the caption “note the different scales”. Using the different scales shows that the LW flux is about 100 times less than the SW.

Nick
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Nick

Ok thanks Richard I look forward to reading the paper more carefully.

I see your point about the peak spectral irradiation being much lower for longwave but surely this is overcome because the spectra across which it is distributed is much higher?

Shortwave is between 0.3 and 2.5um while the longwave is between 5 and 30um approximately.

I suspect when you integrate the area under the curves the W/m^2 would be in line with measurements. In fact Fig 4.6 shows fairly good correlation of measured and modeled LW. So I don’t see anything here to suggest that the measured radiative flux density is incorrect.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Here’s plot’s in eV units of the solar spectrum, see Figure 1: Solar spectral photon flux densities (PFDs) at the top of Earth’s atmosphere and at the surface. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/kiang_01/ The irradiance units are photons/m2/s/μm and the solar spectrum peaks at about 4E+21. The area under the graph corresponds to the power flux so you (or I) will have to dig up a similar plot of the 4μm – 15μm band in units of photons/m2/s/μm. You say: “Shortwave is between 0.3 and 2.5um while the longwave is between 5 and 30um approximately”. This is incorrect, the standard solar spectrum is here:- http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/spectra/am1.5/ASTMG173.JPG Conventionally the solar/DLR division is 4um but in reality there’s an overlap so that IR-C starts at 3um. At the other end anything beyond about 20 um is not measured because: “the IR detectors currently available to industry are not sensitive enough to detect the very small amounts of energy available at wavelengths beyond 20 microns” according to IR thermometer manufacturer Mikron. Don’t forget that energy-per-photon is much less in the 4μm – 15μm band than in the 0.2μm – 4μm solar band, see Electromagnetic Spectrum:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum 1μm – 1.24 eV 10μm… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Should have included a link to an Infrared reference:-

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

Short-wavelength infrared (SWIR, IR-B DIN): 1.4-3 µm

Mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR, IR-C DIN) also called intermediate infrared (IIR): 3-8 µm

Long-wavelength infrared (LWIR, IR-C DIN): 8–15 µm.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Here’s two DLR emission spectra measured at Nauru, Pacific and Barrow, Alaska:- http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/gw-petty-fig-8-1.jpg Taken from the post “Visualizing the “Greenhouse Effect” – Emission Spectra” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/ Nauru peaks at 150 mW.m2 (0.15 W) and 17um Barrow peaks at 75 mW.m2 (0.075 W) and 16um Compare that to the solar reference spectrum that peaks at 1.3 W.m2 and 0.5um http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/spectra/am1.5/ASTMG173.JPG There’s no way the area under the DLR curves comes anywhere near the area under the solar curve so it’s impossible to be 10x greater to yield the same energy in energy-per-photon terms. What I need is plot’s in eV units or photons/m2/s/μm of the DLR spectral photon flux densities (PFDs) for locations like Nauru and Barrow or a typical plot. I’ve looked and can’t find anything so far and I suspect that none exist because the energy is negligible and the reason why DLR energy is not harnessed. If you can prove Nick, that real power in energy units of photons/m2/s/μm (like the solar example) exists in the 4 – 15 µm DLR range you will have discovered an amazing new energy source available day and night and let me be the first to… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Just realized that I’m not comparing like with like and I’ll have to go over this again.

The Nauru and Barrow DLR plots from the Petty text book (WUWT link) are in units (that don’t make sense to me):

mW / m2 / sr cm (centimeter, but I’m not sure about the “sr”)

The solar Reference Spectrum plot is in units:

W / m2 / nm (nanometer)

The Viudez Mora Figure 1.1.plots (solar and DLR):are in units:

W / m2 / μm (micrometer)

There’s soooo many fish-hooks in these units for the unwary

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

“sr” is steradian (angular) units so I will have to discard the Nauru and Barrow plots and try to find DLR plots in units the same as the solar reference spectrum and Viudez Mora in order to do like-for-like comparisons. Meantime, here’s blackbody (BB) radiation curves for -10’C (263K) and +10’C (283K) from scienceofdoom:- http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/planck-283-263.png From the post: “The Amazing Case of “Back Radiation” – Part Three” http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/31/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation-part-three/ The units are W / m2 – μm which is the same as Viudez Mora Fig 1.1 (VM 1.1) so can be compared directly without conversion, the nm units of the solar reference spectrum have to be converted to μm to make that comparison. BB 10C DLR peaks at 23 W / m2 – μm VM 1.1 DLR peaks at 20 W / m2 – μm but is hollow in the middle (2 tailed) VM 1.1 Solar peaks at 1800 W / m2 – μm Solar Ref Sp peaks at 1500 W / m2 – μm Not looking good for DLR, I’ll work out the photon flux densities next using the Photon Flux – Power Density Calculator and The Energy of a Photon From: “The… Read more »

Nick
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Nick

Richard C, I like your rigor, this is certainly improving my knowledge of this topic! You might find this link useful for determining theoretical radiation.

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

Andy
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Andy

Richard/Nick,
This recent post at Lucia’s Blackboard seems relevant to this discussion

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/monckton-planck-parameter-no-better-than-pulling-numbers-out-of-a-hat/

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Worth keeping an eye on Andy (takes a bit of grasping in my case) but peripheral to what I’m pursuing with Nick. Nick says CO2 is “pollution” because it “degrades the environment” presumably in turn because it “heats the earth” (as per Nick) or “warms the earth” (as per NASA). So 4 issues develop as I see but I’m focussing on 2), 3) and 4):- 1) Atmospheric warming by increased GHG levels (heat retention, tropospheric hotspot etc) 2) DLR heating effect on geo material (ocean and land) i.e. is DLR an effective heating agent? 3) Comparison of surface heating effect – solar vs DLR i.e. how does DLR rate comparatively? 4) Is DLR an evaporation driver for ocean and/or land (the key plank of AGW)? We’ve explored 1) previously on this blog with input from Huub B and Bob D. The key there I think is that the TOA is free to expand and has done about 150 – 200m in the industrial era from what I can gather but atm warming is insignificant in terms of overall global warming (the ocean being the big player). I haven’t managed to draw out Nick… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Yes Nick there’s 2 approaches – 1 comparing observed spectra and 2 comparing the corresponding theoretical black body spectra (and that’s a handy calculator but I was aware of it, thanks anyway). The thought did cross my mind that it would be a lot easier comparing BB spectra because there’s plenty of plots available and ways to generate the data. I think though that it is better to stick to observed spectra and become expert in that I’ve tripped myself up by not being as conversant as I should be with units as you can see up-thread. Picking up the photon flux density comparison, I showed up-thread that to get equivalent power density of 298 W.m2 the average photon fluxes have to be:- DLR @ 0.124 eV = 15E21 m-2s-1 Solar @ 1.24 eV = 1.5E21 m-2s-1 We now have a comparison of the peak power (not at all representative of each total flux and too high) of observed solar and DLR irradiance so we can compare photon flux density at the peaks (a 1 μm spectral line in each case):- VM 1.1 DLR peaks at 20 W / m2 – μm but… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

What puzzles me is that the long-term average DLR fluxes are typically between about 240 W/m2 and 410 W/m2 (global ave 333 as per TF&K) e.g. as these plots on this page at scienceofdoom:-

http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/24/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation-part-two/

And yet VM 1.1 DLR peaks at 20 W/m2. Therefore, to achieve a total flux of 240 W/m2 the curve has to be a rectangle 20 x 12 = 240.

The DLR EM spectral range is 4 μm – 16 μm giving 12 spectral lines (1 μm per line). Clearly though, the VM 1.1 DLR curve is nothing like that rectangle so the total flux will be much less than 240 W/m2 (more like 40 or 60 I think).

I cannot see how the “snapshot” DLR spectra translate to the typical total average fluxes seen in the link above. I really have to get hold of some more DLR plots in units of μm or nm.because the Viudez Mora 1.1.plot just does not translate to 240+ W/m2.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Trenberth at ScepticalScience:-

Energy and Climate

http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=4&t=212&&n=865

Seen in comments re OLR plots:-

152 Tom Curtis at 10:15 AM on 13 August, 2011

It is not often appreciated by deniers and “skeptics”, but these observations are absolute proof that green house gases warm the Earth.

Really? What about heating effect? And why doesn’t someone harness the energy?

Andy
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Andy

In response to Richard C in regard to the SkS link:
Wow, the arrogance of the moderators comments on this thread is outstanding. Is this the (in)famous Dana who has been making his mark recently on Bishop Hill?

e.g


[DB] Alright, now that you’ve had your say Mr. Cotton, you have no purpose here. You are not here to learn: others have already pointed out the numerous fallacies and errors you have made thus far. Indeed, the mistakes and gaffes you commit are legion in this comment alone. So learning on your part is not your goal here. Please take your litanyous Gish Gallop elsewhere.

If you wish to have a rational dialogue and actually begin to learn a bit about climate science, this is the place. Thousands of posts exists with attendant comment threads, all with links to the primary literature. You would do well to read at least some of it before you attempt to teach those who already have.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I’m pretty sure the reason that no one has harnessed the energy from DLR is that the entropy of infrared is relatively high. So although there is a lot of energy there it is not available to do work.

Having a lot of heat is not enough to do work, you need a gradient from hot to cold for the energy to down flow before it can be harnessed.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, I’ve replied to your October 6, 2011 8:57 pm comment at a new thread header here:-

https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/09/quote-of-the-week-3/#comment-68365

Andy
Guest
Andy

Looks like the New Scientist is now trying to link Earthquakes to global warming. (so I guess they are part of the “40% believe climate change causes earthquakes”)

Climatequake: Will global warming rock the planet?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128321.600-climatequake-will-global-warming-rock-the-planet.html

FEW things are more likely to prompt instant ridicule from climate sceptics than the idea that there might be a link between global warming and geological disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. “Earthquakes are caused by tectonic plate movements – they are not caused by Bubba driving his SUV down the highway,” is typical of the responses found in the denialist blogosphere.

Yes, the Earth moves all by itself, but it is becoming increasingly clear that climate plays a role in when and how often. What happens on the surface can suppress quakes and eruptions – and trigger them. There are already signs of such effects in the world’s northern regions, which are warming fastest.

So seriously is the issue being taken that an upcoming special report on extreme events and disasters related to climate change, commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, …

Bit of a shame. New Scientist used to be a vaguely readable science rag.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Response to Nick’s comment October 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm Nick you’ve gone a step too far by ascribing entrophy to radiation. Infrared is radiation – not heat (see more on this below). Both are forms of energy. So although what you say here is incorrect:- “…the entropy of infrared is relatively high” You’re a little closer here:- “So although there is a lot of energy there it is not available to do work” The ability of infrared radiation to do work and convert energy to heat (in terms of the earth) is dependent upon both radiation and material being “tuned” to each other. Heat will not be generated by radiation unless there is matter present. I’ve already gone over this with Myrrh (and others) at WUWT in much detail and you can skim through that at this blog (CCG) here or at WUWT here (the discussion is cross-linked and duplicated in parts). Suffice to say here that the temperature of space (minimal matter) is 3°K but the temperature of bare metal on a spacecraft can reach 533°K. So to illustrate the “tuning”, UV heats the ocean because radiation and matter are tuned.… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Here’s a perfect example that shorter wavelengths deliver high energy radiation (HET) in the ionizing range (gamma) next along from the ultraviolet (UV), visible (VR) and infrared (IR) non-ionizing low linear energy transmission (LET) range. Note that in the article energy is measured in GeV (and possibly TeV) but the solar spectrum is in eV and DLR in millielectronvolts. meV
*******************************************************************************************************
Crab Pulsar’s high-energy beam surprises astronomers

Astronomers have spotted gamma ray emissions coming from the Crab Pulsar at far higher energies than expected.

[…]

They found emissions at more than 100 gigaelectronvolts [GeV] – 100 billion times more energetic than visible light.

[…]

They spotted gamma rays with energies of far more than 100 GeV, and there were further hints that there may be teraelectronvolt rays [TeV]; that puts them nearly on a par with particle energies at the Large Hadron Collider.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15203788
*******************************************************************************************************
i.e. Solar radiation is low LET, but DLR is really low LET.

Medical physics routinely deals with the heating effect on the human body by ionizing HET radiation. I suggest that they know an awful lot more about heating effect than climate science does.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, now that you’ve got a handle (hopefully) on how solar radiation heats the ocean and land and then that heat is transferred to the atmosphere at the ocean/atmosphere and land/atmosphere interfaces, you might like to consider how silly it is that climate science uses atmospheric temperature as its primary global warming diagnostic. Also that heat waves are just temporary absences of wind turbulence more like a real greenhouses so that heat accumulates instead of being dispersed. And the relative stability of ocean and land heat compared to air illustrated by coastal “sea breezes”. Land warms and cools much faster than ocean so that in the morning solar heated land warms up the air above it which rises and draws in air from above the ocean creating the “sea breeze”. So air temperature fluctuates wildly depending on turbulence, pressure, rising heat by convection and evaporation etc; land temperature fluctuates daily (diurnally) but presents a stable sine-wave-like fluctuation annually; ocean temperature is like land but with lessor annual amplitude and not as cyclical or stable as land. So does climate science use the stable annual land temperatures or even ocean temperature as their primary… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Zhang et al 2007, “ENSO Amplitude Change in Observation and Coupled Models” says:-

During the past 50 years, the warming rate of SST is generally over 1±C (100 yr)-1 in the tropics; it reaches 1.5±C (100 yr)-1 in the eastern equatorial Pacific. This big surface warming, however, does not appear to penetrate downward into the thermocline, where a cooling trend occurs. The cooling rate in the western Pacific reaches as much as -2±C (100 yr)-1

http://www.corp-pku.cn/subpage/people/faculty/yanghj.files/253zq.pdf

Makes NIWA’s speculation a little problematic doesn’t it?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

New Article Highlights Deficiencies In The Global Climate Models – Luo Et Al 2011 Jing-Jia Luo, 2011: Ocean dynamics not required? Jing-Jia includes the text [highlight added] “However, on decadal and longer timescales, ocean dynamics seem to be less important than was thought: the magnitude of the variance in SST in the climate mode observed by Clement et al.2 in their ocean-slab models is comparable to that observed in reality. When the authors coupled full ocean dynamics to the atmosphere in their models, this actually weakened the decadal and multidecadal variability by constraining the variance of tropical climate to interannual timescales.” “One limitation of the authors’s findings is that many of their climate models are severely flawed when simulating the period and magnitude of ENSO. The misrepresentation of ENSO dynamics in such models may preclude an accurate separation of dynamic and thermodynamic coupling effects. Moreover, most climate models erroneously predict the existence of an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) — a band near the Equator where the trade winds from the two hemispheres converge — in the South Pacific, in addition to the real one observed north of the Equator. This problem is known… Read more »

Nick
Guest
Nick

Richard C, food for thought indeed and I look forward to discussing specific points with you. For now I would like to return to the question of how much energy is available for DLR to deliver.

As you say the atmosphere can’t be approximated by a black body. However a grey body gives a good fit as shown in the Nauru and Barrow links you presented. So if you put sensible values into http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php (say 14C, emissivity 0.83) then you will find that the peak spectral radiance is 6.7 W/m2/sr/µm (21W/m2/µm) which is similar to what we expect from the Mora paper. This gives a radiant emmittance of 323.796 W/m2 which is what is what you would expect from mainstream literature and certainly not out by a scale of magnitude as you suggest.

Much of this energy is outside of the band the you say DLR should fall into but I suspect that these limits are arbitrary and do not reflect any particular physical limit.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Interesting exercise but there’s a number of problems with it so I’ll take them point-by-point. 1) Re: “the question of how much energy is available for DLR to deliver”, you say:- Much of this energy is outside of the band the you say DLR should fall into but I suspect that these limits are arbitrary and do not reflect any particular physical limit. Wrong. The lower physical limit is around 3µm but because of the 3µm – 4µm overlap with the solar spectrum the solar/DLR division is conventionally 4µm. Viudez Mora shows the overlap in the inset in Figure 1 (how many times do I have to explain this division?). The upper 15µm limit is not so much physical but sensible. This is easily demonstrated just by inserting 15 in the upper limit of the BB calculator and calculating, then 16, 20, 50 and so on. You will see that it makes no difference to the Radiant emmittance i.e. the energy just is not there beyond about 15µm. 2) If you think that the fluxes (area under the curves) in the Barrow-Nauru plots are anywhere near the corresponding BB or GB curves, then… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I’ll answer 3) myself using this Free Downloadable Blackbody Calculator in MS Excel format http://www.irapps.com/irt/free-downloadable-blackbody-calculator/ http://www.irblackbody.com/ It provides 2 plots with 2 curves each: watts/cm2/µm – watts/cm2/µm/sr (plot 1) and photon flux density – photon sterance (plot 2). Using the following parameters:- 14C, 14C, 0.83, 4, 15, 1 cm2 and 10 µm Plot 1, Peak radiance (multiplied by 10,000 to get m2):- 20 watts/m2/µm 6.64 watts/m2/µm/sr So yes DLR radiance using steradium units is a lot less than linear but its actually 2 different curves. I learned a lot here – thanks. The spreadsheet generates a whole lot of extra data in the blue box too but doesn’t give total power that I can see unfortunately. Plot 2, shows photon flux density and photon sterance with the curves skewed toward the upper limit. Problem being that energy-per-photon declines rapidly as wavelength increases so the power drops off in plot 1. This still doesn’t justify the use of BB curves as an approximation of real-world curves that exhibit far less total energy reaching the surface. OK so far but then it all goes pear shaped when I look at power in the solar spectrum… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Using the online BB calculator with values:-

5497C, 0.46, 0.1, 4, and 0.5 µm (solar spectrum)

Results:-

Peak spectral radiance: 1.20513e+07 W/m2/sr/µm

Even more crazy. 12,051,300 W/m2/sr/µm is out of the park compared to the 3,740,000 watts/m2/µm peak I got with the Excel.BB calculator and ridiculous compared to conventional 1800 watts/m2/µm BB peak and 1600 watts/m2/µm Obs peak solar values.

Something very dodgy going on with these BB calculators.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I think I’ve cracked it, conventional effective solar band radiance is 1 KW/m2 (1000 W/m2). Divided by Pi (3.142) gives 318 W/m2/sr So the effect of the sun at the surface is a GB (e 0.46) of T 170.5 C. This was arrived at iteratively by entering T values into the online BB calculator until I got band radiance 318 W/m2/sr. Solar GB T: 170.5 C = 1000 W/m2 (318 W/m2/sr) DLR GB T: 14 C = 307 W/m2 (98 W/m2/sr) So now I can enter T 170.5 (e 0.46) in the Excel BB calculator (e 0.46) because I’ve realized that total fluxes are given in the blue boxes; the black band in the RH blue box has radiant exitance (flux density) and radiance totals (along with photon totals). Solar GB T: 170.5 C = 0.101 W/cm2 x 10,000 = 1010 W/m2 (0.0322 W/cm2/sr = 322 W/m2/sr) DLR GB T: 14 C = 0.032 W/cm2 x 10,000 = 320 W/m2 (0.0102 W/cm/2/sr = 102 W/m2/sr) The solar values are in terms of real-world effective day-time (standardized) observations even though they are GB values with e 0.46 but the DLR values are not –… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Now I’ve cracked it. From Nasif Nahle’s “Observations on “Backradiation” during Nighttime and Daytime”:- “Insolation is the amount of solar power impinging on a given surface area of a planet. It is ~1000 W/m2 on Earth. Over real situations and locations, the energy absorbed and reflected by the atmosphere, and the amount of energy reflected by the surface are discounted from the total solar irradiance impinging on top of the atmosphere. It gives a theoretical value of 668.85 W/m^2. However, this value fluctuates due to the incident solar angle; therefore, a real measurement could be higher or lower than 668.85 W/m^2. From 668.85 W/m^2, only 535.1 W/m^2 is thermal radiation absorbed by the surface. 56% is stored by surface and subsurface materials, i.e. 309.43 W/m2, which causes a surface temperature of 24 °C.” This makes much more sense. So I should start with 309.43 W/m2, divided by Pi (3.142) gives 98 W/m2/sr. This is already discounted by mitigation of the atmosphere and reflection so there is no need to include an e factor in BB calculation i.e. find the effective BB T with e 1 that returns band radiance 98 W/m2/sr. Iteratively 21… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Postma gets a solar input at the surface equivalent to T 30 C in “The Model Atmosphere” http://principia-scientific.org/publications/The_Model_Atmosphere.pdf pg 10 pdf If we wish to determine the physically instantaneous solar input energy density (Wattage per square meter) and corresponding heating temperature, via the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, we must use the correct actually- physical geometry. Thus, with a day-light hemisphere of half the surface area of an entire sphere, we must write the hemispherical equilibrium equation as: Equations 21, 22 = +30 C And, We hold that the average solar radiative input heating is only over one hemisphere of the Earth, has a temperature equivalent value of +30 C, with a zenith maximum of +87.5 C, and that this is not in any physically justifiable manner equivalent to an instantaneous average global heating input of -18 C. And, Given that the average physical solar input on the day-lit hemisphere is equivalent to +30 C, with a maximum input of +87.50C, and the day-lit hemisphere does not actually achieve this temperature, but we know it must absorb that equivalent amount energy, we must ask: to where does the energy go if it does not show up… Read more »

Nick
Guest
Nick

Richard C, in response to your points:
1) If you change the band the radiant emmittance does not change because this is the emmittance for the whole spectrum. The band radiance (at the bottom, next to the band settings) on the other hand does change fairly significantly for the various settings you suggest.

2) Can you clarify the difference you see between the grey body plot and the Barrow-Nauru plots? I want to make sure we are discussing the same thing

3) W/m2/sr/µm x pi = W/m2/µm. There are 4pi sr in a sphere so there is pi sr in half a sphere (including cosθ reduction from Lambert’s cosine law). That is the bare bones and assumes some understanding of what a sr is (covered in your links). Let me know if you need further clarification.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, replying. 1) If you change the band the radiant emmittance does not change because this is the emmittance for the whole spectrum. The band radiance (at the bottom, next to the band settings) on the other hand does change fairly significantly for the various settings you suggest. Ah yes, I see. But the band to make Radiance equal to Band Radiance (101.856 W/m2/sr) has to be 2 – 1074 µm but then the plot is ridiculous (try it) – it’s just not sensible. This is BB theoretical – not real world measurable stuff. 2) Can you clarify the difference you see between the grey body plot and the Barrow-Nauru plots? I want to make sure we are discussing the same thing The difference I see is that the area under the curves (Obs vs GB) are nowhere near equal. Barrow & Nauru both have considerably less total area than GB. 3) W/m2/sr/µm x pi = W/m2/µm. There are 4pi sr in a sphere so there is pi sr in half a sphere (including cosθ reduction from Lambert’s cosine law). That is the bare bones and assumes some understanding of what a sr… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

In addition ,see my “What puzzles me” comment here:-

https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/09/quote-of-the-week-3/#comment-68325

Comparing VM 1.1. to long-term average DLR fluxes, VM 1.1 would have to be a 20 x 12 rectangle to equal 240 W/m2 but the VM 1.1 DLR curve is nothing like that rectangle.

Just guessing, the area under the VM 1.1 DLR curve looks to be less than 100 W/m2. How do “snapshot” DLR spectra translate to the typical long-term average fluxes?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I will concede that theoretically in BB terms, there is DLR energy in the range say 15 – 50 µm that makes up the total flux but if measurement technology doesn’t detect it sensibly in the real world (and manufacturers don’t bother supplying instruments), how can it heat anything?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Worthwhile reading TF&K09 re the global average 333 W/m2 DLR estimate (enter pg 319 pdf) —————————————————————————————————————————- This leaves the downward and net LW radiation as the final quantities to be computed as a residual. […] However, after the adjustments noted above for LH and better accounting for the aerosols and water vapor in the absorbed solar radiation, our revision estimates are 333 and 63 W m−2 for the downward and net LW. […] Several other estimates of downward LW radiation are in the vicinity of 340 W m−2 (e.g., see ERA-40 in Table 1b) and Wild et al. (2001) have proposed that 344 W m−2 is a best estimate. These and other calculations are improved when performed with validated RRTM LW radiation codes (Wild and Roeckner 2006). However, Wild et al. (2001) note that considerable uncertainties exist, and especially that there were problems in accurate simulation of thermal emission from a cold, dry, cloud-free atmosphere, and a dependence on water vapor content. The latter may relate to the formulation of the water vapor continuum. It has been argued that downward LW radiation is more likely to be underestimated owing to the view from… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Re 2)

I should have said above “Barrow & Nauru both have considerably less GB total area than BB”

The Nauru curve shows a BB curve (dotted line) at 300K = 27 C. The observed spectra is the GB curve but as I see it, the reduction in power, observed GB vs BB is much less than a factor of 0.83 corresponding to the assumed e value of 0.83 in the 14 C example and found theoretically here:-

http://www.vcrlter.virginia.edu/~bph/AW_Book_Spring_96/AW_Book_21.html

I estimate the reduction in power to be 40% at least, corresponding to a BB curve with e 0.6 at most i.e. 72% of the theoretical e 0.83.

Similarly, the Barrow curve shows a BB curve (dotted line) at 245 K = -28 C. The reduction in power, observed GB vs BB looks to be around 60%. This would correspond to a BB curve with e 0.40. This is nowhere near 0.83 as I see the plot.

I’m trying to convert the units returned by the Excel BB calculator into the same terms as the Petty Barrow-Nauru plot for comparisons of peak etc but I haven’t cracked it so far.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Even at theoretical e 0.83, water vapour makes up 0.66 of that value (see link last comment),. Therefore, WV makes up 80% of the DLR power flux (whatever it is), clouds and the other GHGs make up the rest. Problem being for AGW, DLR doesn’t seem to be increasing and may even be decreasing. “A study published online yesterday in The Journal of Climate, however, finds that contrary to the global warming theory, infrared ‘back-radiation’ from greenhouse gases has declined over the past 14 years in the US Southern Great Plains in winter, summer, and autumn. If the anthropogenic global warming theory was correct, the infrared ‘back-radiation’ should have instead increased year-round over the past 14 years along with the steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide”……”A trend analysis was applied to a 14-year time series of downwelling spectral infrared radiance observations from the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI)…The AERI data record demonstrates that the downwelling infrared radiance is decreasing over this 14-year time period in the winter, summer, and autumn seasons but is increasing in the spring; these trends are statistically significant and are primarily due to long-term change in the cloudiness above… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Heating and cooling at the air-ocean interface is shown by Dr Roy Clark (an optics expert) here:- Figure 4, Energy Transfer at the Air-Ocean Interface http://venturaphotonics.com/GlobalWarming.html The Air-Ocean Interface Water is almost transparent to visible radiation and sunlight can penetrate down through clear ocean waters to depths of ~100 meters [Hale & Querry, 1973]. The light is absorbed mainly by the rather weak overtones of the water infrared vibrations and converted into heat. The oceans cool through a combination of evaporation and long wave infrared (LWIR) emission from the surface [Yu et al, 2008]. The First Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy) does not require that the local solar and cooling fluxes balance on any time scale. Any flux difference is converted into a change in ocean temperature. Over most of the LWIR spectral region, the ocean surface exchanges radiation with the atmosphere. On average, there is a slight exchange heating of the atmosphere by the ocean. This net heat transfer depends on the thermal gradient or air -ocean temperature difference as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. LWIR emissive cooling occurs within a relatively small spectral emission window in the 8… Read more »

Bob D
Guest
Bob D

All of the above is why it is pretty hopeless trying to work out anything from first principles using fluxes – there are too many unknowns and assumptions.

This is why Hansen (2005), Trenberth (2009), Willis (2006), Knox & Douglass (2010), and Pielke Snr. (2005) agree that OHC is the only sensible measure of global warming, since it is a net effect.

Which is why the ARGO network was deployed in the first place.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

NOW you tell us! 🙂

Bob D
Guest
Bob D

🙂

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

There’s an addition (but a variation) to Bob D’s list:-

Nir J. Shaviv (2008); Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113

Shaviv uses OHC, SST and SSL.

Links and article at WUWT “The oceans as a calorimeter and solar amplification”

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/15/the-oceans-as-a-calorimeter/

“Evidently, the TSI cannot explain the observed flux going into the ocean. An amplification mechanism, such as that of CRF modulation of the low altitude cloud cover is required.

So what does it mean?

First, it means that the IPCC cannot ignore anymore the fact that the sun has a large climatic effect on climate. Of course, there was plenty of evidence before, so I don’t expect this result to make any difference!

Second, given the consistency between the energy going into the oceans and the estimated forcing by the solar cycle synchronized cloud cover variations, it is unlikely that the solar forcing is not associated with the cloud cover variation.”

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, Andy (or anyone), some maths (Andy?). Prof Grant Petty, author of “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” that is the provenance of the Barrow-Nauru DLR plots under discussion, is being taken to task by Claes Johnson. Referring to communication with Petty, Johnson states:- In previous posts, in particular in How to Fool Yourself with a Pyrgeometer [linked] I have given evidence that Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR), which serves an important role in CO2 climate alarmism, is a fictitious phenomenon without physical reality. So what is the truth? Is DLR reality or fiction? Is CO2 alarm reality or fiction? Let us scrutinize the evidence put forward for the reality of DLR with an illustration from recent communication with Prof Grant W. Petty, who states: 1. We routinely MEASURE it using any of a variety of commercially available instruments (do a search on ‘Eppley pyrgeometer’, for example; 2. We routinely and accurately PREDICT its magnitude based solely on knowledge of the temperature, humidity, and cloud structure of the atmospheric column (as exemplified, for example, by a class project I and 15 other students had to complete as first-year graduate students, in which our fairly… Read more »

Bob D
Guest
Bob D

Quite correct, Richard. However, I believe the equation by Prof Petty originates from a special condition of two parallel surfaces, which (it could be argued) represents the Earth’s surface and atmosphere in the case of two simplified shells at T and T_b respectively, one inside the other.

Whether or not this simplification applies to the real world is another topic.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Bob, thanks for the input. Postma addresses the plane-parallel and P/4 issues in the body of “The Model Atmosphere”. From the summary:- To finish the summary, allow the author to paraphrase an email conversation while questions were generated from those who were reviewing this document. The author received a question regarding how the plane-parallel solar model explains the problem with what has been come to be known as the “P/4” (p-over-four) issue – this is the misapplication of mathematics to physics by which the standard model greenhouse denies the existence of day & night, and assumes that solar energy instantaneously impinges the entire surface area of the Earth at once, rather than just the daylit hemisphere. The author responded…….. http://principia-scientific.org/publications/The_Model_Atmosphere.pdf Postma presents The Realistic Terrestrial System Model in The Model Atmosphere that surely must be a better representation than what consensus science (i.e. all the Universities – Postma links to 70 uses) adheres to. There is now a continuation and conclusion of the Johnson/Petty confrontation at Claes Johnson’s blog:- Petty on DLR 2 http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/petty-on-dlr-2.html Petty on DLR 3: Incorrect Science Exposed http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/petty-on-dlr-3-incorrect-science.html Johnson says in 3:- What to say? Well, Prof Petty shows… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Johnsons latest:-

Climate Alarmism Based on False Stefan-Boltzmann Law

http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/climate-alarmism-based-on-false-stefan.html

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

I’m in the process of reading word-for-word Nasif Nahles “Observations on “Backradiation” during Nighttime and Daytime” linked here:- http://principia-scientific.org/publications/New_Concise_Experiment_on_Backradiation.pdf It is not easy because it’s not the best essay and I see a couple of questionable statements that seem to me to be outright errors, nevertheless finally someone is investigating climate sciences’ assumed heating effect of DLR on the earths surface and it is instructive. He comprehensively dismembers Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K09) “Earth’s Global Energy budget”. In particular: the estimated solar flux at the earth’s surface; the non-existent surface heating effect of DLR; and, found in respect to IR thermometers and radiometers that what is really measured when the devices are pointed towards a clear sky is radiation emitted by globules of air at high altitudes. Through a series of real time measurements of thermal radiation from the atmosphere and surface materials during nighttime and daytime, he demonstrates that DLR backradiation from a cooler atmosphere warming up a warmer surface is a myth that is 100% discredited by correct unbiased experimentation Required reading IMO. ****************************************************************************************************** Also see my comment up-thread (linked below) with the conclusion to a series of comments that:- “DLR… Read more »

Bob D
Guest
Bob D
Bob D
Guest
Bob D

Did you hear the one …

An Irishman, an Englishman and a South African walk into a
bar. It’s the airport departure lounge …

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Heh, heh. Love it.

Bob D
Guest
Bob D

My apologies, back to our scheduled programming.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Yes, yes, quite. Brr-hem, brr-hem. Terribly OT, Bob, old chap. Mustn’t lose control, what? Yes, now, on with the motley.

Andy
Guest
Andy

This is the 146th comment on this thread. Is this a record?

Bob D
Guest
Bob D

Nope. This is.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Bob – to iterate is human, to recurse, devine.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

Well done, you all — another new record!

Oops.

See Open threads as promised, which itself got 153 comments and mentions World of sceptical questions unfolds…, which got 161 comments, which seems to be the record. Although I haven’t made a proper search, so who knows? It might be a WordPress mystery.

Bob D
Guest
Bob D

Andy: IT humour, surely the bottom of the barrel! 🙂

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Nick, you say up-thread:- However a grey body gives a good fit as shown in the Nauru and Barrow links you presented. So if you put sensible values into http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php (say 14C, emissivity 0.83) then you will find that the peak spectral radiance is 6.7 W/m2/sr/µm (21W/m2/µm) which is similar to what we expect from the Mora paper. This gives a radiant emmittance of 323.796 W/m2 which is what you would expect from mainstream literature I expect the peaks to be similar but I disagree entirely that the observed radiance impinging on the earth’s surface is similar to the GB approximation. Sure, TF&K calculate a 333 W/m2 residual and the GB figure is similar but we can see from Barrow, Nauru and Viudez Mora that the observed flux is considerably less than the dotted BB curves and way less than what e 0.83 returns.. In addition, A) That 323.796 W/m2 is not the actual heating effect that results in energy stored by surface and subsurface materials, ocean in particular. B) In view of A), we have to arrive at a discount factor to apply to 323.796 W/m2 (or the actual flux) to get… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Lobbed a bomb into comments at JoNova under the “There is a Greenhouse Effect on Venus” post.

I’ve provoked discussion on the same topic (heating effect) as is being pursued here, see:-

Comment #80

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/there-is-a-greenhouse-effect-on-venus/#comment-592914

Comment #14.3

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/there-is-a-greenhouse-effect-on-venus/#comment-593417

I’ve linked back to this post at CCG.

Negotiations are continuing.

BTW all. As you can see after Jo has changed her blog settings, we can now x-link directly to comments using the date-time bar at the top of the comment (as we can here at CCG). Very powerful and much improved.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Have contacted Prof Nahle via Biology Cabinet for clarification re problems in his paper discussed in #80, 4.1.3 and 4.1.3.1

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/there-is-a-greenhouse-effect-on-venus/#comment-595082

Have asked him to reply there but don’t know when of if he will pick up the email.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Nasif Nahle has replied at JoNova:- ******************************************************************************************************** Author: Nasif Nahle Comment: Dear Richard, Effectively, I used averages of solar constant and insolation to calculate the amount of power absorbed by the surface applying the fundamental mathematical procedure used in astrophysics. I didn’t touch the problem of efficiency because it was not the purpose of the introduction to the experiment, but it is also essential to the theoretical issue. According to the concept, solar constant is an average of total solar irradiance received on each square meter at TOA. As the solar constant includes the whole spectrum of radiation emitted by the Sun, I calculated the amount of thermal radiation alone. Then again, as such amount of thermal radiation enters the atmosphere, I calculated the mitigation by the atmosphere, which includes radiation reflected and absorbed by the atmosphere before it impinge on the surface. The total is almost the same as dividing the solar constant by four because it is 0.51 of thermal radiation and 0.50 of mitigation by the atmosphere: (1365 W/m^2 * 0.51)* 0.5 = 348.075 W/m^2. These and the following numbers could change a bit, according to the value taken as… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Picked this up at the JoNova Venus thread:-

The Diurnal Bulge and the fallacies of the “Greenhouse Effect” – W. R. Pratt

http://www.spinonthat.com/CO2_files/The_Diurnal_Bulge_and_the_Fallacies_of_the_Greenhouse_Effect.html

Goes into top down heating of the atmosphere being greater in his case (some merit and some problems) than bottom up and that O2 and N2 being “IR inactive” is bogus because any substance above 0 K is emitting IR.

He shreds Kiehl and Trenberth’s 1997 Earth’s Global Energy Budget (the original) and says the 324 W/m2 (now 333) DLR backradiation is actually “the incoming electromagnetic energy which is absorbed and diffused by the last 30 km of the atmosphere and is energy which goes into heating the atmosphere” i.e. diffuse solar.

One problem with that is: diffuse solar occurs in the solar range – not the DLR range, but there’s indications from other cases (Siddons) that DLR is not solely from GHGs and clouds and must include a contribution from heated air (which may be the major contribution).The strongest being that Petty’s Nauru DLR plot shows radiation at 11µm but there’s no GHG absorption at that wavelength so no emission..

Very thought provoking article.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Determination of the Total Emissivity of a Mixture of Gases Containing 5% of Water Vapor and 0.039% of Carbon Dioxide at Overlapping Absorption Bands.

By Nasif S. Nahle
Scientist, University Professor and Director of Scientific Research Division at Biology Cabinet Mexico

Abstract
This assessment is a review of the common AGW argument on the carbon dioxide increasing the potential of the water vapor for absorbing and emitting IR radiation as a consequence of the overlapping absorption/emission spectral bands. I have determined the total emissivity of a mixture of gases containing 5% of water vapor and 0.039% of carbon dioxide in all spectral bands where their absorptivities/emissivities overlap. The result of these calculations is that the carbon dioxide attenuates the total absorptivity/emissivity of the water vapor, working like a coolant, not a warmer of the atmosphere and the surface

http://www.biocab.org/Mean_Free_Path.pdf

Doug Cotton
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I have updated http://climate-change-theory.com to feature Prof Nahle’s new experiment which debunks the hypothesis that radiation from a cooler atmsophere can add further thermal energy to a warmer surface.
http://principia-scientific.org/publications/New_Concise_Experiment_on_Backradiation.pdf

This at last provides a repeatable experiment, supported by sound argument based on recognised physics, which debunks the greenhouse effect hypothesis.

PS There is also a serious problem measuring back radiation as explained here http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/118-thermometer-manufacturer-destroys-greenhouse-gas-warming-myth

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