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…

161 Thoughts on “Quote of the Week

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Are you suggesting that breathing out CO2 is pollution Nick?

  4. Sure, why not?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. …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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

  19. Nick,

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

  20. 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….

  21. 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.

  22. LOL
    And who suggested it, but the government?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.


  25. 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.

  26. How is this proof that the sun was dimmer?

    What is “dana 2005”?

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

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

  31. 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?

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. Richard C (NZ) on September 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm said:

    “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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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?

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

  39. Richard C (NZ) on September 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm said:

    “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.

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

    Potentially, yes

  41. Richard C (NZ) on September 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm said:

    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/

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

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

  44. 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?

  45. 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.

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

  47. 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?

  48. 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.

  49. 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?

  50. 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.

  51. Nick must have chosen the five minute argument.

    You can pay extra for a course of 10 🙂

  52. 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.

  53. Mike Jowsey on September 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm said:

    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

  54. 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…

  55. Richard C (NZ) on September 25, 2011 at 8:24 am said:

    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

  56. 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.

  57. 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?

  58. 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.

  59. 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

  60. 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 🙂

  61. Anthropogenic Global Warming on September 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm said:

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

  62. 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.

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

  64. 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 — the planet didn’t care. Looks like it was pretty balmy, maybe 10°C above current temps for most of the period.

    Finally, I note that after being asked at least three times you still haven’t explained why you declare CO2 a pollutant. You first suggested it about 60 comments back. Or did I miss your explanation?

  65. Richard C (NZ) on September 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm said:

    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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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?

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. Richard C (NZ) on September 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm said:

    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

  71. 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 so I consider this degradation.

    I would agree, but nobody suggested either a return or that higher levels of CO2 might cause a return. That is a ridiculous digression, as is your next question.

    By the way do you have any idea why it was so much hotter 170mya?

    No. Nor am I interested, unless you start claiming it was caused by the greenhouse effect of a single trace gas. What a shame we don’t know much about cloud cover during the Jurassic. A small decrease, and the temperature can soar.

    I was interested to hear you tell Richard C (very next paragraph): “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.”

    However, I understand you’re saying that the pollution caused by an “excessive build-up” of carbon dioxide comes about through the radiative energy the gas is responsible for.

    So those two statements are at odds.

    In effect, you have explained that carbon dioxide is not pollution, since it causes an increase in radiative energy (or environmental heat), which cannot be pollution. I would agree, adding only that the magnitude of the heating effect from CO2 is very small.

    Is there anything else you would like to agree with?

    I’m still mystified as to why you quoted the Royer paper and now, considering your self-contradictory statements, what on earth you believe man-made carbon dioxide is responsible for.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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 have been in 15 million years which easily covers all of human history so from a human perspective (which frankly is the only one that matters, my environmental tendencies are mostly genetic self interest) they are very high.

    I don’t know what made the Jurassic hotter, I was hoping you might have a theory. I certainly don’t consider a dimmer sun to be the reason. Sorry if I gave you that impression.

    I quoted the Royer paper because it had a description of how the energy from the sun increased linearly over time which you said you were unaware of. If you have a better model (from peer reviewed literature) I would be happy to hear it.

    Sorry if you think I have asked a lot of questions but answered very few. If I have missed anything please let me know and I will address it, I certainly don’t want to take advantage of you good will.

  75. Richard C (NZ) on September 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm said:

    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 at Climate Etc – .he’d chew you up and spit you out especially if YOU called him a “crank” without supporting your case). I suggest that the Team are the most guilty of distorting and misleading for their own purposes too, Siddons and Nahle are way ahead of climate science (including Dr Roy Spencer) in the issues they raise i.e. climate science has made a gigantic mistake out of ignorance

    Anyone with at least introductory thermodynamics knows that Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K) “Earth’s Global Energy Budget” is nonsensical Just look at the electromagnetic spectrum. Though some of what is considered DLR from GHGs (and clouds) occurs in the NIR (IR-A) and SWIR (IR-B) range (< 4000nm, the limit of the solar spectrum, note there's a solar-DLR overlap from 3000nm – 4000nm), the bulk occurs in the MWIR (IR-C) and LWIR (IR-C) range 4000nm – 16,000nm spectral range.

    Solar collector calcs add direct and diffuse solar (on a very cloudy day, solar power is 100% diffuse) to arrive at the useful power flux – DLR is NOT added. The reason DLR is not added becomes obvious just by looking at the delivery of energy in the electro-magnetic spectrum. Energy-per-photon (in electron volts, eV) decreases as wavelength increases, so at 1000nm energy is 124 eV, but at 10,000nm it’s 1.24 meV.

    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. Where a comparison is made between a measured solar power flus and the DLR power flux at the same location, the DLR flux can be about 100 times less then the solar flux (makes TF&K look silly doesn’t it?). Given Siddons and Nahle’s investigations, it may not even be GHG DLR that’s been measured. I’ve suspected something similar for a while and although I haven’t investigated the instruments myself I have looked at the use of them here and suspected that there’s no proof of the heating effect of GHG DLR in this entire thread. and laid down a challenge (no takers) in this comment at WUWT here.

    So here’s the challenge Nick, debate the physics of AGW. Bring your peer-reviewed papers and I know a few myself that I can present. But if YOU can’t produce then ALL you’ve got is hollow, vacuous, baseless, superficial, hand-waving bluff.

    I’m calling your bluff Nick, put up or shut up.

  76. 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.

  77. Richard C (NZ) on September 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm said:

    The link for “this entire thread

  78. Richard C (NZ) on September 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm said:

    “……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 finding is no small matter: Global warming regulations imposed by the Obama-EPA under the Clean Air Act will cost American consumers $300 to $400 billion a year, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is not to mention the ‘absurd result’ that EPA will need to hire 230,000 additional employees and spend an additional $21 billion to implement its [green house gas] regime. And all of this economic pain is for nothing: As EPA Administrator [Lisa] Jackson also admitted before the Environmental and Public Works] committee, these regulations will have no affect on the climate.”

  79. 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 here, can you please expand on this so I can see where TF&K have gone wrong?

  80. 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?

  81. Richard C (NZ) on September 30, 2011 at 8:59 am said:

    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 separately in Fig 3 Part A: Scientific setting) and DLR. So this is a direct comparison between the heating effect of direct solar vs diffuse solar + DLR:-

    Mountain Permafrost: Transient Spatial Modelling,
    Model Verification and the Use of Remote Sensing.

    Gruber et al 2005

    You can see in Figure 5 Publication 2 that Days 5, 11, 12, 14, 19, 22, 26 and 30 would appear to be cloudy so that both north and south facing receive similar diffuse solar and on days 11, 12, 14 and 19 the curves come closest to each other but diffuse solar would surely be the heating agent – not air or GHG DLR. On most days of the month, the non-direct solar side is around 10 C colder than the direct solar side.

    So much for GHG DLR “warming the earth”

    2) Re SURFRAD. Every man and his dog is MEASURING radiation (there’s also the GEWEX Baseline Surface Radiation Network BSRN) including Dr Roy Spencer, see Help! Back Radiation has Invaded my Backyard!. The Siddons investigation is about WHAT ACTUALLY is being measured when fluxes are attributed to GHG DLR. Siddons is saying they are measuring everything BUT backradiation from carbon dioxide and water vapour.

    3) You say:-

    I’m afraid can’t see what the problem is here, can you please expand on this so I can see where TF&K have gone wrong?

    I have already expanded on this up-thread in the comment you were reading, see here:-

    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/09/quote-of-the-week-3/#comment-67952

    Note that it is not just TF&K. Both sides of the AGW climate science divide just do not understand heating effect the way for example medical physics, heat engineering, microwave specialists etc do.

    In essence, to “warm the earth” GHG DLR must be carrying sufficient energy to do so but in the 4000nm to 16,000nm spectral range (where the bulk of backradiation occurs – supposedly) at the intensity of the power fluxes being actually measured (yes I have another paper on that but it’s a doctoral thesis – not a peer-reviewed paper) there’s not sufficient energy being delivered as I have already expanded upon.

    So far you’ve got nothing Nick.

  82. Richard C (NZ) on September 30, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

    “….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 mass is not conserved.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-is-there-energy-and-what-it-isnt.html

    So which is the pollution in terms of “degrading the environment” Nick? The carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere? The energy/mass emitted by them via radiation? The heat retained by them? The heating effect (global warming) on geologic material by the radiation (radiation requires matter to manifest as heat)?

    What?

  83. 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 go beyond vague descriptions like “degrade”.

    I quoted the Royer paper because it had a description of how the energy from the sun increased linearly over time which you said you were unaware of. If you have a better model (from peer reviewed literature) I would be happy to hear it.

    I must disagree with you on this. There’s no such description in that paper, only an assumption that the increase is linear (unsupported by a citation — not rigorously scientific, is it?). The paper is not concerned with the ancient sun so much as CO2 forcing.

    But you misrepresent what I said. I had not told you I was unaware of a linear increase in solar strength, but of the existence of a weak sun only 170 mya. It turns out I was correct. You had said: “Richard are you deliberately neglecting the fact that the sun was dimmer back then or are you genuinely unaware of this?” implying thereby that I had made a significant mistake in my comments. But I think you made a mistake with the period, because the sun then was weaker by only about 1%. Why did you mention it?

    The main point to make now is that, despite your frequent protestations that you’re keen to explain your assertions and answer questions, you still leave undescribed your most important assertion, that carbon dioxide harms the environment.

    Tell us how it does that.

  84. Richard C (NZ) on September 30, 2011 at 11:13 am said:

    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).

  85. 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”

  86. 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”

  87. Richard C (NZ) on October 1, 2011 at 11:36 am said:

    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 marine life near the vents, but then, the pH of these areas ranges right down to 2.8. They are an extreme environment, nothing like what we might expect to convert the worlds oceans

    Turns out the “problem” with “ocean acidification” is that its not a problem.

  88. Richard C (NZ) on October 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm said:

    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 4.19 J/g* oC.)

    http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/chem30/modules/module3/lesson2/calcheat.htm

    Is this the “heat” you’re talking about Nick?

  89. 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

  90. 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 science for either of these claims would be helpful or at least some calculations to back them up.

  91. Richard C (NZ) on October 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm said:

    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 you wouldn’t get lost. Why do you insist on breaking up the discussion? You’re all over the place.

    3) You say:-

    “To clarify are you saying that DLR flux (W/m^2) can’t be greater than incoming solar (at the surface)?”

    No because that will depend on the time of day and obviously peak solar power flux (direct + diffuse) is far greater than peak DLR flux but at night DLR is obviously greater than non-existent solar

    Then you say:-

    “Or are you saying that the DLR wavelength is so long that it can’t deliver the energy attributed to it?

    Yes to a degree. What has been attributed is power in W.m2. I’ve shown that energy-per-photon delivery (eV) in the DLR band is so low that the power attributed to DLR is highly suspect. I’ve also shown that measured energy delivery (eV) is about 100 times less for DLR than solar in a typical comparison. The power attribution does not tally with the measured DLR energy delivery but the measured energy tally’s with negligible heating effect e.g. Gruber et al. If DLR is actually delivering real power at 333 W.m2 (annual ave 409 at Darwin), why isn’t that power being harnessed?

    Energy can be delivered at wavelengths longer than DLR e.g.microwave ovens but the power flux has to be massive in comparison to atmospheric DLR – 50 kW.m2 in that case.

    The other problem being that DLR fluxes from GHGs (WV and CO2 etc) may not have been measured as researchers think they’ve measured it anyway (Siddons – Nahle).

    You say:-

    “A link to peer reviewed science for either of these claims would be helpful or at least some calculations to back them up”

    Nothing much to do with peer reviewed science Nick and climate science just assumes DLR heating effect on geologic material but never proves it anyway. I’ve had to look outside climate science for the physics of radiative heating effect (including in recognized educational text books). This is more about understanding that physics and the EM spectrum . I’ve already provided all the links you need to find resources (e.g. EM spectrum), papers and calcs up-thread, if you can’t follow thread etiquette and get lost that’s your problem.

    It’s all there up-thread(s) Nick, you’ll have to do your own legwork and I’ve given you enough pointers but I suggest you start here at the top of my investigation under the “Just One Fact” post (as linked previously):-

    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/08/just-one-fact/#comment-64413.

    Also a discussion I had with Myrrh at WUWT along the same lines (radiative heating effect) under the “Just One Fact” post with links to the WUWT thread:-

    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/08/just-one-fact/#comment-66912

  92. 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

  93. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 7:42 am said:

    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, on less cloudy days, and closer to the equator, because of the higher levels of solar radiation that provides the energy for evaporation. PET is also higher on windy days because the evaporated moisture can be quickly moved from the ground or plant surface, allowing more evaporation to fill its place.”

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

    This is consistent with Iritz and Landroth’s “Night-time evaporation was controlled mainly by vapour pressure deficit and ventilation whereas net radiation had only a minor influence.”

  94. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 7:46 am said:

    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, on less cloudy days, and closer to the equator, because of the higher levels of solar radiation that provides the energy for evaporation. PET is also higher on windy days because the evaporated moisture can be quickly moved from the ground or plant surface, allowing more evaporation to fill its place.”

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

    This is consistent with Iritz and Landroth’s “Night-time evaporation was controlled mainly by vapour pressure deficit and ventilation whereas net radiation had only a minor influence.”

  95. 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?

  96. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

    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.

  97. 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.

  98. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm said:

    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 – 124 meV

    So integrating identical curves in each band, solar vs DLR will yield less energy in the DLR range (that includes cloud radiation BTW – it’s not just WV and CO2 etc). The area of the DLR curve will have to be greater than the solar area.

    You can use this Photon Flux – Power Density Calculator:-

    http://pveducation.org/pvcdrom/properties-of-sunlight/photon-flux

    So 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

    This is rough-as-guts but you can see that the average DLR photon flux has to be 10 times greater in area than the solar flux in the GISS plot at the top of this comment.

    I have severe doubts that DLR photon fluxes deliver 15E21 m-2s-1 on average.but you are welcome to prove me wrong.

  99. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm said:

    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.

  100. 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.

  101. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm said:

    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 congratulate you (TF&K say it’s 2x solar – 333 W.m2 vs 161 W.m2 on global average).

  102. Richard C (NZ) on October 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm said:

    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

  103. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2011 at 10:17 am said:

    “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 Amazing Case of “Back Radiation” – Part Three”

    The energy of a photon, E:

    E = hν = hc/λ

    where ν = frequency, λ = wavelength, c = speed of light, h = 6.6 ×10−34 J.s (Planck’s constant).

    So, for example, the energy of a 10μm photon = 2 x 10−20 J.

    Photon – Physical properties (E calculation) here also:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon#Physical_properties

  104. 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

  105. 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/

  106. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm said:

    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 on whether DLR warms the ocean in bulk (it doesn’t) but have gone a little way on evaporation and the land warming (or not) and solar vs DLR issues.

    The quest at the moment is to get a handle on the respective energies of observed solar fluxes and DLR fluxes (they’re considerably less than theoretical black body spectra) and to get some examples on hand for comparisons. Once that’s clear we can investigate if and how those fluxes transmit energy to the different surface materials and whether DLR is an effective heating agent. This is the really difficult part I’ve found because climate science stops short so it’s a hunt around other disciplines to find some answers.

  107. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm said:

    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 is hollow in the middle (2 tailed)

    VM 1.1 Solar peaks at 1800 W / m2 – μm

    Both are consistent with BB and Reference Spectrum respectively (and all in the same units). The approximate photon flux densities (PFDs) are (using the Photon Flux – Power Density Calculator):-

    VM 1.1 DLR at 21.8537 W / m2 – μm @ 0.124 eV = 11E20 m-2s-1

    VM 1.1 Solar at 1788.0289 W / m2 – μm @ 1.24 eV = 9E21 m-2s-1

    The photon energies (0.124 and 1.24) are not correct for the spectral line of each peak, I’ve just used typical values. Actual values are calculated using E = hc/λ.

    The DLR PFD is about one simple order of magnitude (factor of 10?) less than the solar PFD (correct me if I’m wrong anyone, I’m not sure about this).

    The total PFD curves below the peaks would be in similar proportion I would have thought, what do you think Nick? You were of the opinion that the wider range of DLR makes up for lack of significant peak i.e. the integrated area under the DLR curve over its 12 μm range is comparatively large compared to the solar curve over its 3.8 μm range even though the PFD is so much less.

    I very much doubt that given the shape of the DLR curve and the lessor PFD.

  108. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm said:

    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.

  109. Richard C (NZ) on October 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm said:

    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?

  110. 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.

  111. 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.

  112. Richard C (NZ) on October 7, 2011 at 11:24 am said:

    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. Visible light does not heat the ocean because radiation and matter are not tuned.

    So you are correct to say:-

    “So although there is a lot of energy there it is not available to do work”

    But then you say incorrectly:-

    “Having a lot of heat is not enough to do work”

    Heat (in our case) is a byproduct of the work done by solar radiation (see entropy)- it has not done the work in the first instance because it did not exist until solar radiation intercepted matter and then it was generated.

    You go on to say:-

    “….you need a gradient from hot to cold for the energy to down flow before it can be harnessed”

    Wrong. There is no “hot to cold” gradient in the space between sun and earth (its all around 3°K) and yet solar energy is harnessed.

    ***************************
    More now on the greenhouse effect and the distinction between infrared in the solar EM range and infrared in the DLR EM range

    I despair reading e.g. the Tom Curtis quote, “that green house gases warm the Earth”. I also despair at the endless discussions around the blogosphere (on both sides of the AGW divide) of radiative balance and budget without recourse to heating effect but now and then someone like Tallbloke or Stephen Wilde will chip on ocean heating and then the discussion immediately reverts back to radiation – the bit player, and here’s why:

    In the primary instance, solar radiation heats the earth.

    Everything else is secondary, but then other mechanisms of energy transfer between materials (more effective than radiation) kick in i.e. heat (its been generated by the solar heating effect) transfer by conduction, convection and latent heat of evaporation. This is easily demonstrated:-

    Example 1): Stand in front of a one bar electric radiant heater and feel the heating effect – but it’s only on the side of your body facing the reflector. Lean over the top of the element and feel the convected heat but this time the side of your body away from the element receives warmth because the warm air mass envelops your body. Be silly enough to grasp the element and you will discover the effectiveness of conductive heat transfer.

    Example 2): Get a copper (good conductor) bottomed pot with a few centimetres of water simmering on a stove element (conduction). Lift the pot a millimetre or two above the element (convection and radiation). The water ceases simmering almost immediately. Place the pot back down on the element and the water resumes simmering almost immediately – conduction dominates.

    The planetary analogies of the pot/element interface are the ocean/air and land/air interfaces. The ocean and land, both having been heated by solar radiation, become heat sources and sinks and cooling occurs at night until warming again in the morning. The ocean and land having vastly different thermal properties (‘nuther story) cool at different rates so that the same dominant mechanisms that promote warming of the cooler material now promote cooling of the warmer material.

    This is why I cited Gruber et al 2005 (the intricacies of that paper being lost on you so far Nick). Gruber says that heat on the direct-solar heated side is controlled by solar insolation but the non-direct side is controlled by air temperature. So this is an ideal opportunity to observe the nigh-time cooling and whether DLR actually has a warming effect. Paper 2, Figure 5 illustrates perfectly I think that diffuse solar radiation and air temperature dominate and control but DLR has minimal effect. Gruber does not account for diffuse solar heating and says only air temp controls on the non-direct side.

    The “Greenhouse Effect” is a complete misnomer, the atmosphere and a greenhouse could not be more different. A greenhouse is enclosed to maintain a stable environment but the atmosphere is turbulent. The effect is more an insulation effect dominated by conduction and convection, radiation is merely a bit player. The other dominant player is water vapour, without humidity there’s no effective insulation. This is easily demonstrated by comparison of mid-latitude locations e.g. dry Sahara (cold nights), moist Singapore (warm nights). At this time of year humidity will start to rise in Auckland where the blogger here (Richard Treadgold) lives. He will not be getting a good nights sleep when humidity rises to say 97% like it did last year. Meanwhile down in dryer Christchurch where Andy Scrase lives, Andy will get a reasonable nights sleep (except for intermittent shaking episodes) – water vapour dominates, CO2 has minimal effect and neither “warm the earth”

    Back to infrared. IR-A and IR-B are in the solar spectral range. It is only IR-C that is in the DLR spectral range (except for the 3μm – 4μm overlap). UV is the major ocean heating agent because radiation and matter are tuned and IR-A and IR-B also contribute because again radiation and matter are tuned and there is sufficient energy (in energy-per-photon terms) across the IR-A to IR-B EM range. IR-C (DLR) does not contribute to ocean heating because a) radiation and matter are not tuned, and b) there is not sufficient energy in the IR-C EM range (in energy-per-photon terms). IR-C is only effective to about 10μm and doesn’t penetrate beyond about 100μm i.e. radiation and matter are not tuned.

    Food for thought Nick?

  113. Richard C (NZ) on October 7, 2011 at 11:28 am said:

    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

  114. Richard C (NZ) on October 8, 2011 at 8:50 am said:

    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.

  115. Richard C (NZ) on October 8, 2011 at 11:03 am said:

    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 global warming diagnostic? Of course not – they prefer wildly fluctuating air temperature.

    To extend the argument, temperature is the wrong metric anyway because they are diagnosing global warming which is heat content and all they are doing is measuring the temperature at ONE sample point of a very small local air mass and averaging those when all about there are air masses at much different temperatures. Summer temperatures at Tauranga where I live are taken at the airport (next to the UHIE of a growing industrial area) and might be say, a balmy 27 C. Meanwhile just 5 kms away at the CBD or beach, temperatures can be 40 – 45 C.

    In view of the above, what should be the primary global warming diagnostic if temperature and atmospheric temperature in particular is inappropriate? Ocean is the planet’s greatest heat sink and all the atmospheric heat that could be accommodated in the atmosphere could be accommodated in the top 2m of the ocean so atmospheric heat is insignificant. Thanks to the ARGO network, ocean heat is now calculated reasonably reliably since 2003. There’s no comparable land heat measurement network that I’m aware of so that rules out land heat content and in addition, land heat is neglected in earth heat content calculations and ocean becomes the proxy due to the superior specific heat of sea water.

    Global Ocean Heat Content has been flat since 2003 but NIWA are now saying that:-

    The seas surrounding New Zealand could warm by up to 4oC in the coming century.

    Given the case that the ocean is the most appropriate indicator for global warming and that solar radiation heats it, how exactly will the ocean warm this century if astrophysicists are predicting a solar grand minimum for the next 70 years or so?

    If the source of energy that warms the earth (the sun as I’ve shown) is “most likely going into hibernation”, where’s the global warming coming from this century Nick?

  116. Richard C (NZ) on October 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm said:

    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?

  117. 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.

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