State of the science

Many of us want to know the science behind global warming.

It would be reasonable to assume that the international experts would tell us what we need to know. Problem is that, strangely, they don’t make it easy for honest seekers after truth.

The UNFCCC has a page on their web site called “The Science”. But stupidly for a page with such a title, there’s not a single statement that tells us how greenhouse gases warm the earth.

This is the governing body of the IPCC, yet it can’t tell us how global warming works.

The IPCC takes a different approach: it simply swamps us with documentation without saying what we’ll find in it. It has no link to anything resembling “the science simplified” or even “science”.

Of course, it’s all science, but who wants to wade through hundreds of pages of an Assessment Report for a summary of the greenhouse effect?

They’re either really thick or they’re not the slightest bit interested in helping us.

Or perhaps they’re hiding something?

267 Thoughts on “State of the science

  1. Andy on May 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm said:

    My extract from the IPCC faq on cloud feedback doesn’t suggest settled science to me

    https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2012/05/state-of-the-science/#comment-92992

  2. Richard C (NZ) on May 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm said:

    “……am very interested in the science, as researched and explained by practising climate scientists”

    So am I Rob, although these days the explanations are not forthcoming e.g. why the models in their current configuration are overshooting both atm temperatures (as plot supplied by AGC) and OHC?

    You cannot escape the fact that a) neither the IPCC nor greater climate science has a physical explanation for anthropogenic oceanic heating, and b) climate science is in a tizzy trying to explain the models vs observations divergence.

    My personal favourite is Hansen’s “‘Recent slowdown of ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum”.

    Great to see attribution to natural cause (“deep prolonged solar minimum” – brace yourself for more of that) but “delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols” ?

  3. Richard C (NZ) on May 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm said:

    b) climate science is in a tizzy trying to explain the models vs observations divergence.

    Meanwhile Scafetta’s empirical model is tracking along quite satisfactorily. How do”practising climate scientists” explain that Rob?

    From Wiki:-

    Nicola Scafetta is a research scientist at Duke University Physics Department. His research interests are in theoretical and applied statistics and nonlinear models of complex processes. He has published peer-reviewed papers in journals covering a wide variety of disciplines, including astronomy, biology, climatology, economics, medicine, physics and sociology.

  4. Rob,

    On the other (“warmist”) side of the climate science mainstream, we have Hansen, who has been vindicated time and again, and still leads the pack.

    Vindicated if you say so, but in my lay opinion his scientific credibility has declined disastrously along with that of Lucy Lawless with each of his adventures in activism and being arrested. No other scientist is acting like this in their field of study. Anyway, his degrees qualified him as an astrophysicist. I understand he is no climate scientist.

    Hansen is responsible for supplying the figure of a maximum of 350 ppmv for atmospheric CO2, in his 2008 paper Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim?, which revised his earlier estimate from only the year before from 450 ppm down to 350 ppm and leaves the door open for further reductions. The paper had 10 authors and only 20 pages, which doesn’t assign much writing to each author. The Summary reads like social activism, not the academic language one might expect. Like this (emphasis added):

    We suggest an initial objective of reducing atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm, with the target to be adjusted as scientific understanding and empirical evidence of climate effects accumulate. Although a case already could be made that the eventual target probably needs to be lower, the 350 ppm target is sufficient to qualitatively change the discussion and drive fundamental changes in energy policy.

    I haven’t studied the paper well, but someone who has might comment. It’s certainly a stretch of imagination to expect the far past to “determine” climate sensitivity when we can’t even tell which, of temperature and CO2, led the other. Their approach transfers all the difficulties with current climate models into the high past, but adds further uncertainties and unknowns, which cannot lead to any better understanding of past climate processes than we have of today’s. In fact, it must produce a worse understanding than ever before.

    On the 350.org web site Hansen is quoted as saying:

    “that means we need to stop burning so much coal… and eventually CO2 concentrations will return to a safe level. …the longer we remain in the danger zone—above 350—the more likely that we will see disastrous and irreversible climate impacts.”

    There are many people prepared to take this “analysis” (much of it mere speculation) as a reason for far-reaching changes in society. I’m not yet one of them.

    Cheers.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on May 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm said:

    From SMH the Climate Commission’s latest report ‘The Critical Decade: NSW Impacts and Opportunities’

    Federal climate commissioner Lesley Hughes:-

    “All the climate models show that that variability will keep increasing.

    “What we expect in the future is more intense droughts, more intense rains”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/nsw-is-getting-hotter-20120514-1ylj5.html#ixzz1uowvpAzh

    I assume that’s not simultaneously.

  6. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm said:

    Clearly, the weight of the evidence is against Lindzen’s hypothesis that clouds provide a major negative feedback mechanism.

    There are two distinct issues here:
    1) water vapour feedback
    2) clouds

    To date I have only been concentrating on 1). Based on the lack of a hot spot, the water vapour feedback mechanism isn’t positive. It may be negative, we don’t know yet.

    Clouds are a whole new complexity. Svensmark’s theory looks interesting at this point, and there is ongoing research to investigate it. Lindzen may or may not be right, but this is how science progresses, rather than trying to silence critics.

    Simplistically, an increase in cloud cover reduces incoming solar radiation, which of course cools the planet. If Svensmark is correct, then not only is the recent warming in the late 20th century explained, but so potentially are the ice ages.

    And a reference from an obviously biased journalist from the NY Times? C’mon.

  7. Bob D,

    a reduction in cloud cover reduces incoming solar radiation

    Do you mean an increase in cloud cover?

  8. rob taylor on May 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm said:

    Richards, your tribal chants, nit-picking and word games are deeply unimpressive. Got any science?

    That was the point of this thread, wasn’t it?

  9. Richard C,

    Sorry, I overlooked confirming this. Yes, there are no verbal arguments. Mr Perrott could become very despondent.

  10. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm said:

    Do you mean an increase in cloud cover?

    Oops, sorry yes. One can’t get anything past someone so well versed in wordsmithing. 🙂

    [Further ad hominem remarks will be deleted. – RT]

  11. Bob D on May 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm said:

    On the contrary, Bob, am very interested in the science, as researched and explained by practising climate scientists.

    That’s probably the difference between us. I like to understand the science myself, rather than have someone serve it up on a plate.

  12. rob taylor,

    My remarks on Hansen were hardly scientific, they were in fact entirely political. I wouldn’t vote for him because he’s incredible.

    Please explain what you mean by “tribal chants, nit-picking and word games”. I think I’m all right with “deeply unimpressive”.

    Science? Have you anything to say about my unanswered questions? Or perhaps an opinion about the global temperature facts I presented earlier? Any comments on Dengue fever, Ross River virus or malaria (even sub-polar)? You went quiet after those revelations, almost as though you were encountering information that contradicted something you thought you knew.

    Don’t feel awkward about it, I understand what you’re going through. It happened to me when, encountering real climate facts, I was forced to confront (after so many years!) my belief that we were causing global warming. It’s a shock!

  13. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 6:16 am said:

    Richard, you and your coterie of true believers are profoundly deluded. As has been amply demonstrated, you have little understanding of the science, and no appreciation of the enormous changes we have set in motion.

    As a straw in the wind (bad pun), yesterday’s NZ Herald provided instructions how best to shelter from tornadoes. In 60 years, I have never seen such a warning before, despite growing up on what is now dubbed NZ’s “tornado coast”.

    Wake up, man!

  14. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 7:03 am said:

    We have little understanding of the science. We are True Believers.

    Interesting thesis.

  15. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 7:23 am said:

    Rob, if you think tornadoes are a new phenomenon to NZ (or you came down in the last shower), I suggest you check out the Frankton tornado of 1948.

    Quote:-

    “Three people were killed, many more were injured and up to 150 houses were damaged or totally destroyed in the 10 minutes it took for the tornado to pass through Frankton.”

    Also in the Waikato I have witnessed the aftermath of a tornado that cut a swath through high standing hedgerows on the farm I was brought up on and twisters were common, at times two, three and more at a time in action. Just because you have never seen a warning before does not mean there has never been the threat before as you concede yourself.

    I suggest that it is you that needs to not so much “wake up” but to activate the long-term memory that must have atrophied over those 60 years i.e. use it or lose it.

  16. Rob, you said:

    “Got any science?”

    I reminded you of my previous remarks and THIS is your reply? You got any science?

    Deluded we may be, but if this is your version of helping, God help us all. If we take stories of alarming events in the NZ Herald as our whole reality we deserve everything that happens to us. It’s like being surprised that foxes go after chickens.

    Previously I asked you: “Now would you care to say why NIWA’s data showing 10.5 years of no NZ warming in the face of rapidly rising CO2 concentrations is intellectually bankrupt?” That’s perhaps not strictly a matter of science, but you could ignore the intellectual bankruptcy if you tried very hard.

    You say I have “little understanding of the science” but that is precisely why I discuss climate change with you and others.

    Finally, are you seriously asserting now that tornadoes are caused by global warming? I’m aghast, but do you have a reference for that? More importantly, would you describe a plausible mechanism?

  17. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 8:05 am said:

    Bill at Hot Topic would be astonished at this (he’s expressed considerable mirth at my belief in the exiistence of undersea volcanoes and hydrovents, hitherto ignored by climate science):-

    Rise and fall of underwater volcano revealed

    [See Flash animation]

    The violent rise and collapse of an underwater volcano in the Pacific Ocean is captured in startling clarity for the first time.

    Researchers studying the Monowai volcano, near Tonga, recorded huge changes in height in just two weeks.

    The images, gathered by sonar from a research ship, shed new light on the turbulent fate of submarine mountains.

    Published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the findings were made during a seabed survey last year.

    Lead author Tony Watts of Oxford University told the BBC that the revelation was “a wake-up call that the sea-floor may be more dynamic than we previously thought.”

    “I’ve spent my career studying the seabed and have generally thought it pretty stable so it’s stunning to see so much change in such a short space of time.”

    As many as 32,000 underwater mountains have been identified around the world and the majority are believed to be volcanic in origin. Several thousand of these may be active but a combination of ocean depth and remoteness means that very few have been studied.

    >>>>>>>>

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18040658

  18. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 8:26 am said:

    I think the general theory is that more energy in the system (via CO2 “forcing”) results in more extreme weather events, such as tornadoes.

    In order to establish this, we have to take measurements over a period of time and establish whether there is a trend or not.

    In Pielke Jr’s book “The Climate Fix”, he asserts that no such trend has been found

  19. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 10:39 am said:

    Straw man, RC2.

    No one disputes the existence of undersea volcanoes and hydrovents, but your actual claim was that they are responsible for the excess ocean heating of recent decades, which is risible.

  20. rob,

    How kind of you to take the trouble to explain that. But again you ignore my questions. You exhorted me to “wake up” because of the tornado advice in the Herald, yet fail to acknowledge that the Herald lives by both news of alarm and alarming news. It’s not a scientific peer-reviewed publication, sad to say, and you’re quite incautious to cite that straw (as you call it) right after demanding “science” from us.

    If you’re serious about discussing the science, perhaps you could explain how the minuscule IR radiation from the anthropogenic portion of a minor atmospheric gas could dangerously heat the ocean. Because I’m fascinated by that.

  21. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 11:24 am said:

    Evidently, the insurance industry understands the link between AGW and extreme weather events, according to that bastion of “alarmism”, the Wall Street Journal:

    http://articles.marketwatch.com/2011-09-09/commentary/30750008_1_climate-change-climate-research-community-global-warming

  22. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 11:53 am said:

    RC2, you could begin your education in climate science here:

    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/lectures.html

    [You’re polluting the atmosphere, and anyway you’re a layman – you’re not qualified to give lessons in climate science. Your insolent bombast is tiresome. Cease your arrogant remarks or I’ll silence you. – RT]

  23. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm said:

    Evidently, the insurance industry understands the link between AGW and extreme weather events

    So it’s got nothing to do with the fact that (a) the insurance companies have a vested interest in hiking premiums and (b) there is more property of higher value that needs insurance than in previous decades?

  24. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm said:

    I’d be interested to know not how CO2 causes “dangerous” warming in the deep oceans, but how it causes any warming in the deep oceans, without apparently heating the shallow oceans in the process.

    Furthermore, I’d like to know why the currently detected warming is different from anything observed in previous decades, and where the measurements are to back that up.

  25. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm said:

    Given your stated interest in science, RT, I am puzzled why you take offence at a link to courses taught by a highly-regarded climate scientist, David Archer?

    I recognise that the clause “highly-regarded climate scientist” may appear oxymoronic to you, but that is your problem…

    [Clever. I’m counting to three. You have two left. Talk about the science, man! – RT]

  26. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm said:

    Then here it is again, Andy – research courtesy of NZ’s own vessel, NIWA’s “Tangaroa”:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-Increasing-Carbon-Dioxide-Heats-The-Ocean.html

  27. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm said:

    It’s a nice looking boat with dynamic positioning etc, but it doesn’t explain to me how they have found a baseline to compare against with previous decades.

    Oh well, I expect it’s all in SkS..

  28. It’s hard to disagree with the fact of slight surface warming. The article imagines a “cool skin” developing which forms an actual barrier to the thermal energy exiting the ocean. But it is incredible that the outgoing heat might be held back by a 0.1 mm – 1mm skin of cooler water. Does a boiled kettle cool down much more slowly in a hot room? It’s like imagining volleys of six-inch naval shells being troubled by incoming clouds of dandelion seeds. The heat energy emerging from the ocean is indomitable. Notice the only quantification in the article is of alleged atmospheric longevity of CO2. But if the thermal energies of the anthropogenic CO2 (about 0.0000011 of the atmosphere (0.00039 × 0.003)) and the top (say) 300 m of the ocean could be compared, the ocean would overwhelm the anthropogenic CO2. Come to that, it would overwhelm the atmosphere’s total quantity of CO2.

  29. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm said:

    Anyone notice how Rob Taylor has sidetracked the failure of the AGW hypothesis due to the lack of hot spot? Now it’s insurance and the deep ocean.

    Where’s the hot spot Rob, and what evidence of positive feedback from atmospheric water vapour is there without it?

    Without evidence of atmospheric water vapour amplifying the minuscule effects of CO2, how can the AGW hypothesis deliver the heat predicted in the models?

  30. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm said:

    In that case, Richard, you can either:

    A. Email Prof. Minnett to inform him that you have uncovered basic errors in his work on first reading, and provide a few helpful tips as to how he might do better in future; I’m sure he will welcome your assistance.

    B. Study hard and seek to understand the concepts therein. No one said climate science has to be easy…

    http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/personal/pminnett/Recent_Publications/recent_publications.html

  31. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm said:

    AGC, please provide citations to peer-reviewed papers that support your contention that the “AGW hypothesis” has “failed” due to the lack of some “hot spot’.

    While you are about it, do you,or any of the [ad hom removed. – RT] have a coherent alternative theory to AGW?

    Is it the sun, cosmic rays, undersea volcanoes, [ad hom removed. – RT] or all of the above?

    If its not GHG, then what is your alternative theory of radiative physics to explain 150 years of experimental results?

    [rant removed. – RT]

  32. Rob,

    A. Ease off, mate. Minnett? You didn’t cite him and neither did Skeptical Science. The link to his publications is nice. Is there a particular one that covers the skin effect?

    B. That’s two. See, what happens on “three” is that you never comment on this site again without some abject apology.

  33. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm said:

    I think Bob decided to stop replying to Rob, and the rest of us might as well too, because we are not going to get anywhere.

  34. I tend to agree. But the door’s still open for the dear man just a crack.

  35. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm said:

    “……but your actual claim was that they are responsible for the excess ocean heating of recent decades, which is risible”

    There you go again Rob. Would you care to quote me? Or is it your reply that is risible?

    My contention (as with the geo science) is that although the background flux of geo fission (0.087 W.m2) is accounted for, the energy introduced from sea floor by undersea volcanoes and hydrovents particularly in climate-critical zones e.g. tropical East Pacific, is not. These two minor forms of energy (the former fixed the latter variable) along with the major form of solar radiation (variable) are the only oceanic heat sources and it is the variations of same that result in OHC variations.

    In lieu of an anthropogenic oceanic heating mechanism from climate science, this is the most credible explanation don’t you think Rob?

    And as the article points out, the undersea activity is not understood, this is the state of the science.

  36. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm said:

    So I should embrace the doctrine of “highly-regarded climate scientist, David Archer” unquestionably Rob?

    No heresy allowed?

  37. Andy on May 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm said:

    David Archer plays a mean blues number too
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3LZxsF9WQc

    Well, I’ll leave you to judge the musical talent

  38. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm said:

    Rob you have failed to engage in previous discussion of the weakness in Minnet’s opinion piece at Real Climate (regurgitated at SkS) because I can only assume you were unable to grasp the intricacy of cool-skin warm-layer physics so I don’t expect you to be able to now.

    Neither did you address the 3 internal contradictions I identified in his posited mechanism.

    If you think it’s so a credible why don’t you inform the IPCC? I’m sure they would be interested.

  39. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm said:

    The SkS article prattles on about “downward heat radiation” from clouds?

    Since when do clouds radiate sensible heat down? Heat rises.

    If they used the right terminology i.e. DLR we might be able do get somewhere.

    No cognizance either of the miniscule penetration and absorbancy of DLR in the 4 – 16 micron WL.

  40. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm said:

    A. There are indeed links to contributions by Peter Minnett in the article I cited to Andy, but you have to read it to find them.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-Increasing-Carbon-Dioxide-Heats-The-Ocean.html
    [Less useless than the list of papers you gave me. But I’m familiar with it anyway; it’s unconvincing. – RT]

    B. Horrors, RT, do you, of all people, not welcome scepticism? [I do. It’s the self-conceited “advice” I object to. – RT]

    How sad. Oh well, at least I was able to learn that malaria’s range extends to Siberia.

    TTFN

  41. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm said:

    RT the definitive treatment is ‘Cool-skin and warm-layer effects on sea surface temperatures’, Fairall et al 1996.

    Unfortunately (for Rob) Minnet’s mechanism is a bit player.

  42. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm said:

    Heat rises, you say, RC2?

    Someone had better tell the borehole researchers…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_%28climate%29#Boreholes

  43. Mike Jowsey on May 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm said:

    From the article to which you link, “the effect of rising heat from inside the Earth…”

    Uh…duh.

  44. Richard C (NZ) on May 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm said:

    I think they already understand Rob “….the effect of rising heat from inside the Earth”

  45. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm said:

    Uh…Mike J. and Richard C., do you really not understand that the surface temperature signal propagates INTO the earth, which is why it has to be adjusted for the background temperature which increases with depth?

    Here it is again – try harder his time:

    “Borehole temperatures can be used as temperature proxies. Since heat transfer through the ground is slow, temperature measurements at a series of different depths down the borehole, adjusted for the effect of rising heat from inside the Earth, can be “inverted” (a mathematical formula to solve matrix equations) to produce a non-unique series of surface temperature values.”

  46. rob taylor on May 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm said:

    Minnett’s paper is unconvincing to whom, Richard?

    If to yourself, then kindly share with us the extent and depth of your expertise in this field; if to peers of Prof. Minnett, then kindly provide a citation or two.

    Otherwise, you run the risk of appearing to be absurdly pretentious.

  47. Mike Jowsey on May 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm said:

    Uh…Rob, ok I will try harder this time. Where in the quote you cite does it say that the surface temperature signal propagates INTO the earth? Clearly, it does not. What it does say is that the temperature measurements down the borehole have to be adjusted with depth because of the rising heat from inside the earth.

  48. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 7:16 am said:

    Chew on this (again) Rob:-

    The posited AGW cool-skin effect (could be real in the right conditions but negligible) from increasing LWIR leads to at least 3 internal contradictions that I can see when viewed in conjunction with ‘Cool-skin warm-layer effects on sea surface temperature’, Fairall et al 1996:-

    Contradiction #1: The contention that reduced conduction within the cool-skin INCREASES ocean warming contradicts the core tenet of AGW that evaporation will increase which therefore DECREASES ocean warming.

    Contradiction #2: Fairall Table 5 values contradict the contention that conduction (Hs) is significant when clearly evaporation (Hl) and radiation (Rnl) are the significant factors.

    Contradiction #3: Over land, Gero and Turner did not find conclusive evidence of an LWIR increase but instead found a decrease as described here:-

    “A study published online yesterday in The Journal of Climate, however, finds that contrary to the global warming theory, infrared ‘back-radiation’ from greenhouse gases has declined over the past 14 years in the US Southern Great Plains in winter, summer, and autumn. If the anthropogenic global warming theory was correct, the infrared ‘back-radiation’ should have instead increased year-round over the past 14 years along with the steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide”……”A trend analysis was applied to a 14-year time series of downwelling spectral infrared radiance observations from the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI)…The AERI data record demonstrates that the downwelling infrared radiance is decreasing over this 14-year time period in the winter, summer, and autumn seasons but is increasing in the spring; these trends are statistically significant and are primarily due to long-term change in the cloudiness above the site.” [P. Jonathan Gero and David D. Turner 2011: Journal of Climate]

    Over sea, the following paper contradicts the contention that the downwelling flux has increased the required 6.1 W/m2 in heat flux from the Sun and ‘greenhouse gases’ to the oceans to maintain a linear trend in annual SST. Instead finding the heat flux from those sources decreased -3 W/m2.

    Journal of Climate 2012 ; e-View
    doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00148.1

    On the Observed Trends and Changes in Global Sea Surface Temperature and Air-Sea Heat Fluxes (1984-2006)

    W. G. Large* and S. G. Yeager

    National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

    From the abstract:-

    Slab Ocean Models (SOMs) assume that ocean heating processes do not change from year to year, so that a constant annual heat flux would maintain a linear trend in annual SST. However, the necessary 6.1 W/m2 increase is not found in the downwelling longwave and shortwave fluxes, which combined show a -3 W/m2 decrease.

    They rule out anthropogenic forcing as the dominate heat flux in their conclusion:

    A conclusion is that natural variability, rather than long term climate change, dominates the SST and heat flux changes over this 23 year period.

    In short, AGW (if it exists and it hasn’t for the last decade or so)) is an atmosphere-only phenomenon that might melt a teensy bit more ice than normal allowing a few drops of water to trickle into the ocean – not something to produce a post 2100 6m SLR that Gareth Renowden is fretting about. The way sea level rise is decelerating, even a 0.6m rise looks remote. 0.06m might be realistic thoug

    And to highlight the lax reporting at SkS, this subtitle from the article ‘How Increasing Carbon Dioxide Heats The Ocean’:-

    The ever-present effect of the cool skin layer

    Fairall page 4 para 2 describes the conditions when the cool-skin is NOT present.

  49. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 7:24 am said:

    This might take a while Mike. Hopefully for your sake before the next cherry season.

  50. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 7:42 am said:

    Rob, the value of the globally averaged flux from core geo fission used in the models is 0.087 W.m2 (they neglect other energy loss mechanisms) . What does this suggest to you?

    Here’s a clue, the energy transfer sequence is: core => mantle (conduction/convection), mantle => ocean (conduction/convection), mantle => atm (conduction/radiation/evaporation/convection), ocean => atm (radiation/evaporation/conduction/convectionj), ocean => space (radiation), mantle => space (radiation), atm => space (radiation).

    Where => is the direction from earth’s core to space, generally regarded as UP and RISING.

    I hope this clue is not too vague for you.

  51. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 16, 2012 at 7:54 am said:

    The hot spot has been shown to be missing Rob, and your reply is another attempt to side track the debate. Sorry Rob, the ball’s in your court. Now answer the questions below please:

    Where’s the hot spot Rob, and what evidence of positive feedback from atmospheric water vapour is there without it?

    Without evidence of atmospheric water vapour amplifying the minuscule effects of CO2, how can the AGW hypothesis deliver the heat predicted in the models?

    The questions are perfectly reasonable. As far as offering an alternative theory, that’s not the point, my job, or my responsibility. Although I will say that the temperature measurements from the surface, ocean, & upper troposphere aren’t what the models predicted, which also backs up the lack of positive feedback.

  52. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 7:57 am said:

    Any propagation downward is a near-surface only diurnal solar effect in the case of land and ocean. Due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is not possible for heat to flow from a colder body [mantle] to a warmer body [core] without any work having been done to accomplish this flow. Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object.

    Similarly, the ocean is on average about 3 C warmer than the atmosphere so energy transfer is ocean => atm. Minnet’s anthro mechanism therefore is an INSULATION effect, NOT a heating effect.

  53. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 10:31 am said:

    Read the article again, Mike, and try to understand what the words actually mean: heat travels into the earth, which is why surface temperatures can be recovered from the depths of boreholes, once the background temperature gradient is compensated for.

    if you cannot understand this simple concept, then it is no wonder you fail to grasp the basics of climate science!

  54. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 10:41 am said:

    At last, Richard C, we agree on something, even if only basic thermodynamics.

    You also appear to finally understand the AGW cool skin effect that retains solar heat in the ocean, thereby causing it to warm.

    Please can you now explain it again to Richard T, who yesterday found it all too “unconvincing”….

  55. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 11:58 am said:

    I like this quote from the Wiki page:

    Central Greenland borehole temperatures show “a warming over the last 150 years of approximately 1°C ± 0.2°C preceded by a few centuries of cool conditions. Preceding this was a warm period centered around A.D. 1000, which was warmer than the late 20th century by approximately 1°C.” A borehole in the Antarctica icecap shows that the “temperature at A.D. 1 [was] approximately 1°C warmer than the late 20th century”

    Hmm, so two periods in the last 2,000 years that were substantially warmer than now, confirming what we already knew from historical records. Yet CO2 levels were 30% lower. I wonder how that happened?

  56. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm said:

    heat travels into the earth, which is why surface temperatures can be recovered from the depths of boreholes, once the background temperature gradient is compensated for.

    This is of course nonsense. q = -Mg, where q is the heat flux, M is the thermal conductivity, and g is the thermal gradient. In the case of the earth, the thermal gradient is positive (about 20°C/km) with increasing depth. The heat flux is opposite in direction to the gradient, in other words points upwards. In this case heat flows from the centre of the earth to the surface.

    The borehole measurements are all about tiny changes in the gradient, caused by flux changes brought about by surface temperature changes. The surface change (delta-T) causes a local sub-surface gradient change. This gradient change changes the underlying layers, which change the next lower layers, etc. Meanwhile, the surface temperature could have changed again, and another gradient ‘blip’ is generated.
    But because the thermal conductivity of rock is so low, each local gradient change takes a long time to propagate down through the layers, and each layer doesn’t yet know about the next ‘blip’ it’ll see coming down.

    You could think of it as small variations in heat flux, that propagate gently downwards. The heat flow is nevertheless always upwards.

    The “heat rising” issue is something quite different – fluid flows and convection currents don’t really apply in solids. If the centre of the earth was “cold”, rather than hot, the heat flux would be the other way.

  57. Mike Jowsey on May 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm said:

    “Read the article again, Mike, and try to understand what the words actually mean: heat travels into the earth, which is why surface temperatures can be recovered from the depths of boreholes, once the background temperature gradient is compensated for.

    if you cannot understand this simple concept, then it is no wonder you fail to grasp the basics of climate science!”

    Read your comment again Rob and note the unsolicited haughtiness with which you deliver your message. We are all learning – myself included, and I am no geophysicist. However, I can follow logic. The logic of your post eluded me however because whereas you were initially challenging Richard C’s contention that heat travels upwards by showing that boreholes can measure a signal going downwards, you failed to show that the signal is the same as the heat Richard was talking about. Is the signal the same as heat?

    Thank you very much Bob for explaining the concept – it was most helpful to my understanding. So, Bob, would it be fair to say that the rising heat from the core would proceed at a slow but predictable rate, but when the surface temperature varies over, say a couple of centuries, that predictable rate is affected (flux) and therefore the surface temperature of that ancient time can be calculated with reasonable certainty?

  58. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm said:

    Mike:

    So, Bob, would it be fair to say that the rising heat from the core would proceed at a slow but predictable rate, but when the surface temperature varies over, say a couple of centuries, that predictable rate is affected (flux) and therefore the surface temperature of that ancient time can be calculated with reasonable certainty?

    Yes, but I believe the resolution is even better than century-level. It seems decadal level is possible, near the surface (I’m no expert, though, it’s just what I read).
    However, as one would expect, the variations weaken with time (and therefore depth), so the amplitude of the oscillations decreases with depth, until they become enveloped in the noise.

  59. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm said:

    Mike:

    Is the signal the same as heat?

    No, which is why I pulled him up on his statement that heat was travelling into the earth. If it was, the core would presumably have exploded by now. 😉

  60. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm said:

    Rob the insulation effect is so minor as to be negligible. Look at Fairall Table 5 (THE SCIENCE), Hs is the bit player.

    Doesn’t it strike you intuitively if nothing else, that it is just a little bizarre that RC/Minnet and SkS/Painting ( NO PEER-REVIEWED PAPER) are asking us to believe that 10/1000’s of a millimetre of unproven (actually THE SCIENCE shows otherwise) supposedly increasing LWIR the penetration of which (much of same is from clouds) of minimal absorbancy is the anthopogenic mechanism that effectively insulates the surface of the ocean from heat loss?

    You wonder why RT finds this unconvincing but consider a wind-whipped sea surface, Or the complete absence of the cool-skin in the tropics around noon when solar SW is overwhelming.

    When climate science can prove experimentally and document the results in a report or paper that over the last 60 odd years the ocean has been effectively insulated, you will fail to concince any but the most gullible believers.

    Then you have the little problem of post ARGO cessation of upper ocean heat gain to explain (good luck with that BTW).

  61. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm said:

    “……fluid flows and convection currents don’t really apply in solids”

    Magma falls into the fluid category (just) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magma Roger Dewhurst could help here.

    From what I can gather there are very long-term currents similar to the atmosphere and ocean, hence the disagreement between geo science and climate science as to what drives what.

    Trenberth is of the opinion (I have it from him on email record) that the atmosphere drives seismicity (pressure creating friction on the earth’s surface apparently). Geo science on the other hand has papers out concluding seismicity modulates ENSO for example.

  62. Mike Jowsey on May 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm said:

    Am currently pruning the pretty little darlings, RC. Which means I have plenty of time as I work my way through the orchard, to contemplate the nature of the universe. And on rainy days, once basic machinery maintenance is done, I have plenty of time to politely and calmly ask logical questions of the likes of Rob Taylor, in the midst of his whirling haughtiness.

    So, maybe by next cherry harvest he and I will have reached a different level of understanding of both the science and the adversary. One hopes that the adversarial aspect will have disappeared altogether by then. If not, as the wise man said, “if I’m not back in 10 minutes, wait longer.”

    BTW, (in fact mostly OT), being sponsored by Big Cherry as I am, I have a keen interest in the growth habits of these particular trees. Therefore, some of the comments at WUWT regarding Steve McIntyre’s demolition of Briffa’s Yamal methodology, particularly the more biological ones, align with my layman observations over 20-something years of orcharding. Trees respond to a wide range of environmental variables, and take months or years to do so. Temperature is one bit player in the mix. The thought that they can be reliable thermometres for 1000 years ago just runs against all my logic and experience.

  63. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm said:

    Delicious irony Bob. Rob’s own Wiki citing refutes Mann’s hockey stick.

    He (Rob) must hate it when that happens.

  64. Richard C (NZ) on May 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm said:

    I’m currently in the pay of Big Kiwi at the countries largest packhouse (all freaking night unfortunately). Three graders, lot’s of automation, robotic stackers, automated strappers etc and about 100 people per line plus another 100 overall.

    These guys are KPI obsessed, being the profit driven enterprise that they are, squeezing out taxes (in spite of Psa) so that NZ climate science can squander $132m over the last few years according to NZ Climate Change’s digging. Couple of dozen KPI’s per line per shift per day. Each team, about 4 per grader, also has their own KPI’s. In the 5 packhouses I have worked in this is the first time I’ve come across this.

    I tried to persuade NZ Ministry for the Environment Climate Change Office to implement 7 key climate metrics for accountability – too hard apparently.

  65. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm said:

    RC and Bob, I suggest you return to first principles to better understand the physics of heat transfer. Put simply, heat = kinetic energy of molecules and is parametrised by the RMS of the molecular velocity, a.k.a. temperature.

    Consider a conducting bar with a heat source at both ends – one large and constant (A), the other smaller and variable (B).

    if you measure the temperature of the bar near source B, it will be that resulting from both energy fluxes; the variable signal will modulate the constant signal. Further along the bar, the signal from B will diffuse and be lost in the noise.

    Note that the heat flux near B goes in both directions – think of a stream of people entering a mall as a crowd comes out. as you will have experienced, the smaller group can make progress for a short distance.

    At the Earth’s surface, RC, the solar flux ~ 340 W/m2, whereas the geothermal flux (on land) ~ 55 mW/m 2.

    Thus, seasonal solar heating and cooling on the surface, under the right conditions, modulates the geothermal gradient for up to a kilometre or more, which is how climate change can be measured from bore holes.

    For reference, try “Borehole Climatology: a new method how to reconstruct Climate”, Bodri & Cermak, 2007.

    “Under suitable conditions the geological factors affecting the
    geothermal gradient can be taken into account, so the climate history can be inferred from small temperature anomalies along the depth of borehole. While part of the subsurface temperature field corresponding to the internal processes is steady state, the response to the surface conditions represents a transient perturbation that appears as a disturbance to the background temperature field…

    It is the heat conduction that helps to preserve the recollection on the past climate change at depth. The deeper we go, the more remote past history can be studied, even if both the amplitude attenuation and the time delay of the surface event increase with depth. As a simple rule, temperature–depth profiles to depth of 200–300 m record surface temperature trends (climate) over the last two centuries or so; deeper holes may reveal climate history farther back but with sharply decreasing resolution. Under favorable conditions all Holocene climate can be evaluated if the precise temperature log is available to the depth of 1 to 2km.

    Although high-frequency components of GST changes are suppressed by the heat diffusion, calculated temperature–depth profile contains a robust signal of more than three century long climatic history. Negative temperature anomalies and positive gradient in the depth range 50–300 m indicate generally cold conditions in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, while the noticeable curvature in the uppermost part of the calculated
    temperature–depth profile and negative gradients correspond to the rapid warming of the twentieth century.

    The temperature disturbances propagate downward and slowly fade away.”

  66. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm said:

    Ahem… you have forgotten about the Sun again, Richard.

    What does that suggest to you?

  67. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm said:

    Uh, thanks Rob. In summary: exactly what I said.

  68. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm said:

    Borehole reconstructions appear to be quite interesting.
    Huang and Pollack (1997) studied the last 20,000 years using the largest global dataset, and showed that the MWP was global and at least 0.5°C warmer than present. The LIA was also found to be global and about 0.7°C colder.

    Dahl-Jensen et al. (1998) looked at just Greenland over 50,000 years, and found that the Holocene Maximum between 4,000 and 7,000 years ago was about 2.5°C warmer than now, while the MWP was about 1°C warmer. The LIA was between 0.5 and 0.7°C colder. After the LIA, temperatures peaked at around 1930, and have declined since.

    Demezhko et al. (2001) examined a 5km deep borehole in the Urals to determine an 80,000 year temperature record, and found a clear MWP and LIA.

    So the boreholes tell a familiar story: the MWP was warmer than now, while CO2 was low. How did that happen, considering that solar TSI varied by only 0.1%?

    Also, the Little Ice Age existed, and was global, averaging about 0.7°C less than now. We have simply been recovering from this low point for a while, and we haven’t yet even reached the purely natural (but unexplained) peak of the MWP. Of course, we also know the MWP peak was lower than the Roman Warm Period, which in turn was lower than the Minoan Warm Period.

    All this means that the “unprecedented” recent warming is somewhat weaker than some people would like to believe.

  69. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm said:

    No, Bob, you ignored the strong insolation at the surface, which led you to unphysical nonsense such as:

    Bob D says:
    May 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    This is of course nonsense…. The heat flow is nevertheless always upwards.”

    and

    Bob D says:
    May 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Mike:

    Is the signal the same as heat?

    No, which is why I pulled him up on his statement that heat was travelling into the earth. If it was, the core would presumably have exploded by now. 😉

    For the benefit of general readers, consider a frozen August landscape that, 6 months later, is baking under the February sun – Central Otago, perhaps.

    Question 1: Is the ground warmer in February than in it was in August?

    Question 2; Why?

    Now, Bob, Mike and RC2 – can you really say, with a straight face, that the answer is “heat from the Earth’s core”?

  70. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm said:

    You give only half the story, Bob; Here’s the rest (emphasis mine):

    Since 1850 A.D. the climate is dominated by a clear steady warming trend, which has become known as global warming. Figure 4 shows that the twentieth century SAT has increased by 0.7K, with about half of that increase occurring since 1978.

    This warming is particularly noteworthy because the rate of temperature increase is enormously high.

    p. 6, “Borehole Climatology: a new method how to reconstruct Climate”, Bodri & Cermak, 2007.

  71. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm said:

    But wait, there’s more:

    “Another important question is how abrupt the future changes will be. Abrupt climate change generally refers to a large shift of climate that takes place so rapidly and unexpectedly (sometimes in the mere span of a decade) that human and/or natural ecosystems have difficulty to adapt…

    The shifts from dominantly glacial to interglacial conditions were the most distinct abrupt change over the past half million years. These sudden transitions support the hypothesis that the relatively minor changes in climatic forcing may lead to dramatic
    response of climate systems.

    Studying the climate evolution over the last 100 000 years the researchers have discovered repeated examples of abrupt changes like, e.g. the Younger Dryas – the fast slide into and jump out of the last ice age. The termination of the Younger Dryas cold event, for example, is manifested in ice core records from Central Greenland as a near doubling of snow accumulation rate and a temperature shift of approximately 10 K occurring within a decade (Alley, 2000).

    One of the more recent abrupt climate changes was the Dust Bowl drought, windblown dust, and agricultural decline of the 1930s that displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the American Great Plains.

    Numerous sudden changes over widespread areas are
    preserved in paleoclimatic archives and therefore could happen again in future”.

    Get the picture, guys?

  72. rob taylor on May 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm said:

    Yes, Bob, boreholes are very interesting indeed:

    “Globally averaged borehole data have indicated a climate warming in the Northern Hemisphere of about 1 K over the past five centuries, half of which has occurred in the twentieth century alone.

    Results obtained by various research teams using slightly different techniques of
    the GST reconstruction show general agreement. Detected warming coincides well also
    with the climatic trend established by various proxies and in its last section by the instrumental
    record.”

    p. 306, “Borehole Climatology: a new method how to reconstruct Climate”, Bodri & Cermak, 2007.

    Hey, that’s the Hockey Stick they’re talking about… quick, get out the silver crosses and garlic necklaces, guys!

  73. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm said:

    1 K over the past five centuries

    Note that this is 1K from the bottom of the LIA. Our current temps are less than the MWP peak. So this result is entirely consistent with what we know from archeological, historical and proxy records.

  74. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm said:

    “enormously high”, eh? Don’t make us laugh. The rate of warming was the same as the periods at the beginning of the 20th century and midway through, as confirmed by Phil Jones.

  75. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm said:

    relatively minor changes in climatic forcing may lead to dramatic
    response

    Numerous sudden changes over widespread areas are
    preserved in paleoclimatic archives and therefore could happen again in future

    Oh well, then. That’s compelling evidence.

    But then again, if severe swings have happened in the past, and could happen again in the future, isn’t that just climate-as-usual? Where’s the climate change?

    By the way, you still haven’t answered our questions about the hot spot. They’re simple questions, and you’re spending a lot of time chasing down borehole arguments and anything else that crops up. So what about it, what’s your answer to the lack of hot spot? Simple physics will do, since we’re all a bit slow.

  76. Bob D on May 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm said:

    No, Bob, you ignored the strong insolation at the surface, which led you to unphysical nonsense such as:

    There’s little point in arguing with you Rob, you’re just trying to pretend that your example to show heat sinks by referring us to boreholes is not stupid.

    It is stupid, for two reasons: first, heat does not “sink” down the borehole, the heat flux is upwards, and second, we were discussing fluid motion and convection currents in air and water, not heat transfer in solids. It’s just a red herring, and proves nothing either way.

    By the way Rob, what about that hot spot question?

  77. Richard C (NZ) on May 17, 2012 at 7:42 am said:

    “Ahem… you have forgotten about the Sun again, Richard.

    What does that suggest to you?”

    This upthread https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2012/05/state-of-the-science/#comment-94146

  78. Richard C (NZ) on May 17, 2012 at 8:11 am said:

    “At the Earth’s surface, RC, the solar flux ~ 340 W/m2”

    At night?

    “….whereas the geothermal flux (on land) ~ 55 mW/m 2”

    Great to see your concession Rob. This is what I’ve been getting at for yonks both here and at HT, the globally averaged geo flux is misleading i.e. the geo flux is far greater where the mantle is exposed e.g. mid Atlantic ridge. Similarly, superheated water at 350+ C being pumped into the ocean from hydrovents originating from up to 5km below the sea surface and energy density about 3.3×10^6 more intense than solar radiation (someone’s rough calc), 83 MW energy producible from one hydrovent (nuther rough calc), see:-

    Mining Hydrothermal Vents For Renewable Electricity

    http://cleantechnica.com/2009/09/04/mining-hydrothermal-vents-for-renewable-electricity-drinking-water-valuable-minerals/

    People are thinking about this obviously, problem being they (the vents) are in the wrong place.

    Also note that the solar effect is overwhelmed by geo energy in these situations many times over (think Hawaii, Iceland, Japan (monkeys love it in winter), Rotorua/Taupo).

  79. Richard C (NZ) on May 17, 2012 at 8:26 am said:

    Not only get the picture but there’s even more.

    Abrupt climate change (climate shift) is a two way street. It is just as likely that the shift from 90s regime to warmer 00s regime will be repeated in reverse in the near future depending on what ENSO does. A triple-dip La Nina (Hansen and Renowden’s worst nightmare) would do it.

    Add to that the astrophysics prediction of cooling recently brought forward to circa 2013 and you have the makings of an abrupt climate shift but not for the warmer unfortunately.

    Don’t sell your coat Rob.

  80. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 9:26 am said:

    Don’t be ingenuous, Bob, the comparison is to the entire paleoclimate record.

    Even the PETM temperature spike was at least an order of magnitude slower, or haven’t you heard of that?

  81. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 9:54 am said:

    So, Bob, if the near-surface “heat flux is upwards,” how then does permafrost thaw?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327093121.htm

  82. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 9:55 am said:

    Don’t be ridiculous, Rob. You’re talking about a 20 year increase from 1978 to 1998. Does the entire paleoclimate record have a resolution down to 20 years? These are short-term transient blips.

    And of course, just this century we have two other examples of twenty year increases of the same magnitude. Check with your mate Phil Jones, even he had to admit that.

    Therefore the increase is by no means unprecedented.

  83. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 10:01 am said:

    Yet again, Bob, you seem blithely unaware of the rigour of scientific discourse – only the ignorant and the devious profess complete certainty.

    For example, John Banks was certain he barely knew Kim Dotcom…

  84. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 10:04 am said:

    I doubt that no previous era has ever had a higher rate.

    For example, I wrote this further up:

    During “meltwater pulse 1B”, between 11,500-11,000 BC, the sea level jumped up by an estimated 28m! That’s 56mm/year. Several thousand years previously “meltwater pulse 1A” was responsible for a 16-24m rise over a thousand years, at over ten times our current rate. Ref: Fairbanks (1989)

    To achieve a sea level rise ten times our current rate would require some substantial sustained warming.

  85. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 10:05 am said:

    “Our current temps are less than the MWP peak.”

    Bob, please provide scientific citations for this claim.

    Sorry, the failed meteorologist at WUWT doesn’t count…

  86. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 10:12 am said:

    Bob, the quote clearly refers to the temperature increase from 1850 to present day.

    You are just trying to hide in the short-term noise – a mediocre ploy, as I doubt you are unaware that the standard climatological period is 30 years.

  87. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 10:18 am said:

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, Rob. Nobody said the near-surface heat flux can’t vary! I even stated it several times, as did Richard C. Can you not understand complexity? Everything is not just black-and-white. The point is that it can’t vary very far, unless it’s sustained for years, or decades. You raised the issue of boreholes. We’re talking about boreholes, OK?

    Once again, the local variations in the thermal gradient are caused by local near-surface variations at the surface. These variations propagate very slowly down into the earth (about 5cm/year, by a rough calc), and become superimposed on the steady-state geothermal gradient. None of this is difficult.

    You’re arguing with yourself, everybody else understands how it works. You’ll still never convince anyone that heat flows the wrong way up a thermal gradient. Give it up.

  88. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

    Richard C (NZ) says:
    May 17, 2012 at 8:11 am
    “At the Earth’s surface, RC, the solar flux ~ 340 W/m2″
    At night?
    “….whereas the geothermal flux (on land) ~ 55 mW/m 2″

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Richard, but do you really not know what the little “m” in mW means? Its “milli”, Richard….

    And yes, the average solar flux at the surface over a 24-hour period is 340 W/m2, being the solar constant divided by 4.

    “Climate Change and Subsurface Temperature

    the thermal regime at the Earth’s surface and in the near-surface shallow depths is controlled entirely by the solar radiation, and the resultant mean surface temperature depends on the longterm budget of the incoming and reflecting radiation.

    The average energy density of solar radiation just above the Earth’s atmosphere, in a plane perpendicular to the rays, is about 1367W/m2, a value called the solar constant (although it fluctuates by a few parts per thousand from day to day).

    The Earth receives a total amount of radiation determined by its cross-section (R2), but as the planet rotates this energy is distributed across the entire surface area (4R2). Hence, the average incoming solar radiation (known as “insolation”) is 1/4th the solar constant or 342W/m2. At any given location and time, the amount received at the surface depends primarily on the state of the atmosphere and the latitude.”

    op. cit, p.42

  89. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 10:39 am said:

    Ah, so the man-made climate forcing has been active from 1850? Well, you’d better write a paper contradicting James Hansen then. He states quite clearly in Hansen (2005) that man-made emissions could only have had an effect from the 1960s onwards. The temperatures dropped from the 1960s to 1978.

    Of course, that means that at least half that increase from 1850 was purely natural. Including the periods I mentioned previously – they both occurred prior to 1960.

    So let’s recap: since 1850 we have had a slow increase. This increase of about 0.7°C/century was purely natural, and was simply a recovery from the LIA. During this slow recovery, there were three periods of multi-decadal steeper warming, all at roughly the same rate.

    One of these periods has now been singled out as being indicative of man-made influence, but no good reason has been given to justify why it differs from the previous, natural periods, which were, after all, at the same rate, and were naturally-driven.

  90. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 10:57 am said:

    Look above, I provided several, just from borehole papers.

  91. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 am said:

    Rob:

    Yet again, Bob, you seem blithely unaware of the rigour of scientific discourse – only the ignorant and the devious profess complete certainty.

    You mean like this:

    As anthro GHG warm the atmosphere, so, of course, the H2O content increases as a feedback, leading to higher rates of precipitation, flooding, etc.

    All this is well documented, based on measurement and experiment, which is something you denialists never do

    Now, about that water vapour feedback, Rob. Did you know that if water vapour feedback is positive, you will get a large hot spot over the tropics, and its magnitude will be at least twice that of the surface warming? The IPCC told us that in AR4.

    And did you know, Rob, that it isn’t there?

  92. Andy on May 17, 2012 at 11:21 am said:

    Is this the argument clinic? I’d like a 5 minute argument please.

  93. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm said:

    Rob is still unaware of the difference between steady state and transient thermal effects.

    Imagine the earth was a perfect insulator, beneath a thin layer of sand (say 5cm thick). The sand would be heated daily by the sun, and cool at night. Anyone who has slept out in the open in a desert at night knows that the rocks and sand that were too hot to touch in the daytime are freezing cold by dawn.

    This would go on year after year, and if you measured the sand temperature you would find it cycling around a mean value. In the middle of the day the top layer would be hot, the lower layers close to the mean. Which is why burying your feet in the sand at Muriwai beach stops them burning.

    As a check, the heat flux through the insulator is what? Zero. The heat flux vertically through the sand? It depends on how deep you look. At the very surface, it will vary greatly, positive to negative, on a daily basis. Lower down, not so much. At the bottom (5cm down), not at all – it will be zero.

    Now change the thermal properties of the insulator. Set the initial temperature to be the sand mean temperature, and increase the thermal conductivity until it’s the same as the current earth conductivity, and set the temperature 5km down to be 100°C higher than the mean temperature of the sand. Over time, the “insulator” will achieve a linear thermal gradient, from 100°C at the bottom to roughly the sand’s mean temperature at the top.

    This is the steady state condiftion of the earth. Heat flows very gradually upwards, at a flux measured in milliWatts per metre squared. Assuming nothing changes in the solar daily cycle, what’s happening now at the top of the “insulator”, 5cm below the surface? Not much, it will have increased its heat flux from zero to the milliWatt-level flux coming from below. At the surface? Same thing, a little increase in mean temperature perhaps, but nothing dramatic.

    This new state is the steady state condition. Now if the daily solar cycle changes, for example in summer, then the sub-surface layers will slowly increase their local temperatures, because the local pre-existing steady-state gradient has been disturbed. The temperature of the layer above has increased slightly, so the thermal gradient reduces slightly. This affects the layer below (very slowly though). And so on, layer by layer.

    If the new warmer solar cycle remained for all time, then the geothermal gradient would slowly reduce over 100,000 years or so to a new linear gradient. But summer doesn’t last forever.

    When the daily solar cycle returns to its original state (say, autumn), the deep layers don’t know about it yet, nor will they for some time. They remain slightly warmer, and continue to affect the local gradients lower down. But the near surface layers return to the mean temperature, and affect the local gradients just below them – they increase again. This new “signal” travels slowly downwards.

    Note that the strong daily solar cycle has not directly affected the deeper layers – its flux through the atmosphere is irrelevant to the flux through the solid earth, it can only cycle the near-surface temperatures about a mean value. The mean value is the “fixed” upper temperature that determines the geothermal gradient, together with the “fixed” lower temperature 5km down. As long as the mean upper temperature is lower than the mean lower temperature, heat flows upwards over the 5km.

    In the very thin “skin” right at the surface, of course the heat flux varies greatly day-to-day and season to season. Deep down, it only gets an “echo” of what happened on the surface a long time ago. The echo dies away gradually the deeper it travels.

  94. Yes, you’re right. Sorry, but you’ll get no argument out of me until you’ve paid the £1 fee.

  95. rob taylor on May 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm said:

    “Bob D says:
    May 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm.

    This is of course nonsense….The heat flow is nevertheless always upwards.”

    This is, of course, nonsense, Bob, as your frantic revisionism shows.

    Frankly, I’m disappointed – you trot out the same old hackneyed denialist memes with a “thin skin” of scientific phraseology, but I’m willing to give you one more chance:

    If AGW is not happening, Bob, why are nightime and winter temperatures rising faster than the corresponding daytime and summer temperatures?

    I am genuinely interested in your explanation – provided it conforms to known physics, which somehow I doubt it will…

  96. Andy on May 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm said:

    So we’ve now turned another corner. We’ve dropped the hotspot, the boreholes, and now we are on night/daytime temperatures.

    Is there some data to back up your claims Rob?

  97. Rob,

    You depart from science to assert the heat flow is NOT upwards. You must provide evidence for this alarming claim.

    You say of Bob D:

    you trot out the same old hackneyed denialist memes

    Enumerate and name them.

  98. Rob,

    If AGW is not happening, Bob, why are nightime and winter temperatures rising faster than the corresponding daytime and summer temperatures?

    See – you must have forgotten – in science, you provide an explanation then let everyone pull it to bits. What’s yours?

  99. Richard C (NZ) on May 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm said:

    Rob, how do you reconcile the milliwatts you quote with the megawatts available?

    From Wiki Geothermal power in New Zealand:-

    “Geothermal power in New Zealand is a small but significant part of the energy generation capacity of the country, providing approximately 10% of the country’s electricity[1] with installed capacity of over 700 MW.[2],”

    Sure there are vast areas of land and ocean floor where the 0.087 W.m2 (or 87 mW/m 2 if you prefer) global average background geo flux used in the models is appropriate.

    But where the crust is thin and even non-existent it’s a different story. At Omokoroa here in the BOP entrepreneurs are growing normally tropical vanilla commercially thanks to heat exchanged from geothermal source (and not milliwatts either) i.e. it has required the 24/7 availability of geothermal heat to provide the conditions because solar power in NZ is inadequate for the purpose.

  100. Mike Jowsey on May 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm said:

    lol Andy – thanks for reminding me of this skit. Bloody funny. Now my mental picture of Rob Taylor is firebranded into my subconscious as John Cleese saying “No it isn’t”.

  101. Richard C (NZ) on May 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm said:

    Rob you are labouring under the AGW delusiion that “cool things make warm things warmer than they would otherwise be without the cool thing there”.

    By your logic, the earth makes the sun warmer than it would be if the earth was not here. This is the upside down physics of AGW.

    Now we have the equally nutcase notion from climate science that the atmosphere (via CO2) drives seismicity. Trenberth subscribes to this (yes I have email proof of that from him).

    I refer you to your favourite scientific source (and one I resort to often I have to admit) Wikipediea:-

    Geothermal gradient

    Heat flow

    Heat flows constantly from its sources within the Earth to the surface. Total heat loss from the earth is 44.2 TW (4.42 × 1013 watts).[12] Mean heat flow is 65 mW/m2 over continental crust and 101 mW/m2 over oceanic crust.[12] This is approximately 1/10 watt/square meter on average, (about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation,) but is much more concentrated in areas where thermal energy is transported toward the crust by convection such as along mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes.[13] The Earth’s crust effectively acts as a thick insulating blanket which must be pierced by fluid conduits (of magma, water or other) in order to release the heat underneath. More of the heat in the Earth is lost through plate tectonics, by mantle upwelling associated with mid-ocean ridges. The final major mode of heat loss is by conduction through the lithosphere, the majority of which occurs in the oceans due to the crust there being much thinner and younger than under the continents.[12][14]

    The heat of the earth is replenished by radioactive decay at a rate of 30 TW.[15] The global geothermal flow rates are more than twice the rate of human energy consumption from all primary sources.

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

    If geo energy was only available “on average” there would be no geothermal energy sector.

  102. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm said:

    “…as your frantic revisionism shows.”
    Sigh. Yes Rob, you're right. I'm frantically revising my position.

    Heat flows into the earth against the geothermal gradient, from the surface all the way down. I don't know what I was thinking…
    /sarc

  103. Rob,

    Perhaps John Cook might give you a hand with this?

  104. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm said:

    …but I’m willing to give you one more chance

    Thank you, you’re a wonderful human being.

  105. Bob D on May 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm said:

    If AGW is not happening, Bob, why are nightime and winter temperatures rising faster than the corresponding daytime and summer temperatures?

    Let’s start with the night/day temperatures. Are we discussing a non-event?

    IPCC AR4 (WG1):

    The global average DTR [diurnal temperature range] has stopped decreasing. A decrease in DTR of approximately 0.1°C per decade was reported in the TAR for the period 1950 to 1993. Updated observations reveal that DTR has not changed from 1979 to 2004 as both day- and night time temperature have risen at about the same rate.

    So during Hansen’s man-made warming period, DTR hasn’t decreased. Hmm.

    Now you face a problem, Rob. Do you argue this, against the IPCC, or accept that you were wrong after all?

    I am genuinely interested in your explanation – provided it conforms to known physics, which somehow I doubt it will…

    Does the IPCC use known physics, or not? Such a tricky choice…

  106. Rob,

    The IPCC used to agree. See the FAR, page 202, where Figure 7.1 shows the MWP significantly warmer than present temperatures. This was, of course, before the invention of the Hockey Stick. Oh – are the IPCC reports actually accepted as being peer-reviewed?

  107. Rob,

    You said:

    Minnett’s paper is unconvincing to whom, Richard?

    If to yourself, then kindly share with us the extent and depth of your expertise in this field; if to peers of Prof. Minnett, then kindly provide a citation or two.

    Otherwise, you run the risk of appearing to be absurdly pretentious.

    You’re confused. I didn’t mention Minnett’s paper, I was commenting on the Sceptical Science article which you cited.

  108. Anthropogenic Global Cooling on May 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm said:

    While you’re answering those questions Rob, perhaps you’d like to answer some of the other ones you failed to answer. After all, the evidence is supposed to be ‘overwhelming’ apparently:

    Where’s the hot spot, and what evidence of positive feedback from atmospheric water vapour is there without it?

    Without evidence of atmospheric water vapour amplifying the minuscule effects of CO2, how can the AGW hypothesis deliver the heat predicted in the models?

  109. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 10:12 am said:

    Stick to the topic, Richard, which is climate change involving average temps across the earth, not point sources such as geothermal fields. You really have a thing about geothermal, don’t you?

  110. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 10:34 am said:

    Stuff are reporting that Australasia is the hottest for 1000 years

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/6945133/Australasia-at-its-hottest-in-1000-years-report

    The comments on the article are entirely negative so far

  111. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 10:36 am said:

    As any child or gardener knows, but you seem unable to grasp, the sun’s heat penetrates the the earth – see my example re Central Otago in winter and summer above, or the melting of permafrost.

    Temperature parametrises heat; borehole temperatures are modulated by the slow flux of heat into the earth for some tens to hundreds of metres, depending on subsurface conditions.

    Forget the gibberish from Bob, he’s clearly out of his depth, in more ways than one!

  112. Rob,

    It’s mightily hypocritical of you to chastise him by saying “stick to the subject” because you keep changing it.

    You ignore the missing hotspot.

  113. Bob D on May 18, 2012 at 10:44 am said:

    I’ve already dealt with this. Read carefully what I said.

  114. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 10:46 am said:

    As I clearly state, Richard, the evidence is that AGW is the cause of this phenomenon, but I would be interested in any alternative physical theories you can come up with.

  115. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 10:50 am said:

    Cast your eyes upward to the post above yours, Bob, and you will see RC quoting Wikipedia;

    Mean heat flow is 65 mW/m2 over continental crust and 101 mW/m2 over oceanic crust.[12] This is approximately 1/10 watt/square meter on average, ( about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation )

    Has the penny dropped yet?

  116. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 10:54 am said:

    “Miniscule effects of CO2”, AGC?

    Clearly, you are ignorant of such major events as snowball Earth and the PETM. I suggest you educate yourself, if you can.

  117. Andy on May 18, 2012 at 10:56 am said:

    You haven’t actually explained what the theory is and how it is supposed to work, so how can we hope to understand it?

  118. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 10:58 am said:

    “The comments on the article are entirely negative so far”

    Doh! Those pesky climate scientist got it wrong again, ‘cos Joe Sixpack says so!

    Andy, you claim to have had an education – why not put it to some use, after all these years?

  119. rob taylor on May 18, 2012 at 11:02 am said:

    No, Bob, it can’t flow all the way down, as you well know.

    We are talking shallow effects here – perhaps even as shallow as your understanding of climate science…

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