The Myth of Climate Tipping Points

Written by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Tipping is fine but “climate tipping points” are nonsense. I’m talking about climate models that have predicted such “points of no return.” You could view them as the terminal (maximum) speed in a free fall, only to come to a sudden stop when you hit the solid ground.

For example, the disgraced chairman of the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), R. Pachauri, declared in 2007 that the world had only about four years to save itself. The perceived danger: a runaway (tipping point exceedance) global warming that he claimed to result from carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels. The following year, 2008, one of Germany’s high priests of climate doom, Prof. S. Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) produced a graph showing the then observed decline of sea-ice in the Arctic’s summer (Fig. 1).

klaus fig 1

Then, in 2011, Rahmstorf publicly mused about more ice loss in the Arctic and “Two types of tipping points.” (The IPCC defines tipping point “as athreshold for abrupt and irreversible change”). To explain his theory, he showed a conceptual graph where, initially an increasing decline of Arctic minimum sea-ice that reaches a point of inflection after which the decline will be slower but still lead to a near ice-free situation not much later, reproduced here in Fig. 2.

klaus fig 2

Just to make sure that the readers got the message he wished to convey, he claimed “[translated]: There is no reason for any “all-clear signal” [with respect to sea-ice in the Arctic].”

Then, in 2012, in another lecture, low and behold the ice had declined even further compared to 2008 and he expanded on it (see the red line in Fig. 3). The decline appeared to be rapid and unstoppable. Surely, the point of inflection in the models (black line) had well been past. Rahmstorf again made certain that the audience took home his message by emphasizing it with statements like [translated] „Last month, the [Arctic] ice cover was only approximately half the size of that in 1979” and “the actual development shows that the ice melt is much faster than the models predicted” and “unfortunately the problem [of Arctic ice melt] has in the past been strongly under-estimated; and it keeps thinning.” The entire lecture is available athttps://vimeo.com/56007848 . 

klaus fig 3

Now to the Real World

In the following, I’d like to look at a few examples of that tipping point theory and what became of it.

1. Global Warming & Arctic Sea-Ice

Ten years ago or so, the IPCC and many “climate modellers” were all in rage: They claimed that the world was in a run-away overheating situation. They also claimed to know why: rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere. 

Despite steadily rising CO2 levels since then, the warming trend has stalled for 18+ years now. Obviously, nature missed to learn from Rahmstorf’s lecture and the IPCC predictions or we all would be fried by now.

This “climate tipping point” was (according to PIK’s models) to be particularly apparent in “the most sensitive” area for that, namely the Arctic. If you compare Rahmstorf’s 2008 graph (Fig. 1) with his updated version shown in 2012 (Fig. 3), you really might have fallen for that theory. In fact, Rahmstorf even stated that “the ice extent is declining much more rapidly than predicted by the (then current) computer models. To top off the finger-wagging, he added “and it is getting thinner.” If that statement was not give the message of being past a tipping point already, I don’t know what it was meant to convey.

Once again, nature did not listen. In recent winters and summers, the northern sea-ice extent returned to normal (Fig 4). 

klaus fig 4

Perhaps then, we ought to look further south in “the Arctic,” like the North American or Laurentian Great Lakes (GLs) to get a better picture.

2. Laurentian Great Lakes (GLs)

Now, personally I don’t think that the freshwater Great Lakes are part of the Arctic though it can be quite cold around their shores in winter (and, sometimes, even in summer). However, considering the definition for Arctic sea-ice, the latitude of the upper GLs (Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan) are certainly within the latitudinal bounds of Arctic sea-ice measurements.

Anyway, the water levels of the GLs have been recorded for over 150 years and such records are widely available. 

Beginning with 1980 or so, the level in Lakes Huron and Michigan (LHM, which is identical because of the wide gap at the Straights of Mackinac), was getting higher and higher to reach a new 150-year record in 1986 (Fig. 5). Many lake shore property owners then feared a “tipping point” breach and clamoured for the government(s) “to do something.”

klaus fig 5

Of course, governments need a while to respond to new situations, so, for a number of years they didn’t do anything to curb the rise. But they didn’t need to do anything after all; nature changed her mind and decided to lower the water level all by her little self. By the year 2000, the water level in LHM had declined sharply, nearly two meters below the 1986 level and it stayed there for a dozen or so years. In fact, a new all-time (150-year) record low level was reached in 2012. 

Needless to say, all the people who wanted the government to “do something” about the perceived “for-ever-rise” in the mid-1980’s changed their tune and were then clamouring for the opposite government action, namely to “stop the drop.”  Large “Stop the Drop” banners could be seen at all kinds of places around the lake. Had we reached or even surpassed yet another “tipping point?” It looked that way to many.

Just when everyone was convinced that the lake levels of the 1970s were never to be seen again, Mother Nature changed her mind, once again. Between 2013 and 2015 (this year), LHM levels shot up by 1 m (3.5 ft) and are currently 1.2 m above the 2012 record low. In fact, they are now again much closer to the record high of 1986 than to the record low of 2012 (Fig. 6).

klaus fig 6
Fig. 6. Lake Huron water level in 2015, once again well above the long-term mean.

All nature needed to provide was a regular amount of rain and snow, and a couple of cold winters in a row with little wind. If you wonder how those determine the water levels in LHM, see below in section (3), if not, you can jump right to section (4).

3. Your Ice Cubes

Your ice-cubes-to-be in the fridge freeze from the outside, not the inside. The air in the freezer needs to be colder than the freezing point of the water (0 C) for that to happen. With lakes, it’s the same. When the air is colder than that, they tend to freeze over – unless the warmer (4 C) bottom water mixes with the 0 C surface water and keeps it from freezing. With deep lakes like L. Superior and L. Huron (maximum depths 406 m and 229 m, respectively), there is an enormous amount of latent heat energy stored in that relatively warm (4 C) but nevertheless quite cold water. Just a little breeze will do to create the wave action necessary to stir things up sufficiently for the surface not to freeze over. 

However, when it’s calm AND cold, the surface will develop a layer of ice over night. A few more days and nights of the same will do the trick. The entire lake surface freezes over and may stay that way for the next few weeks or months. Without any strong wind action or ship traffic to break it up (like it happens in the Arctic summer, see my previous post on Breaking Ice in the Arctic), that layer of ice reduces the evaporation rate to a fraction of the normal. 

The reason is the large difference between vapour pressure of water molecules on the surface of (unfrozen) water and cold ice. In winter, the moisture content of air is very low. For that reason people need to humidify their houses in order to keep at least happy if not healthy. Without humidification, you are nature’s target for getting zapped by a high voltage discharge at every step or so; it can be annoying. 

Now back to the water and ice. In order to evaporate H2O (water) molecules from any surface, the evaporation energy needs to be supplied. That is easily obtained on an open water surface (at 0 C) by the warmer water below. In contrast, a poor heat conductor like ice can only take it from the ice immediately below the surface and only with a considerable delay from the water below the ice. Together with the much lower vapour pressure of cold ice, it results in much less evaporation from the lake in a cold winter with ice cover. The magnitude of that difference can be astounding, up to 0.5 m (1.5+ ft) of lake level drop in a “warm” winter (without ice cover) and next to no drop in a cold winter with full ice cover.

I quite agree, this is a bit counter-intuitive but true nonetheless. Of course, people who model nature’s escapades from a cozy “climate office” may find it difficult to explain that to their super computer; perhaps, a (permanent) move to the real Arctic would teach the right lesson.

4. Tipping Point Theory—and Practice

The gurus who have warned of climate tipping points and predicted a runaway-warming, melting ice, rising sea levels and so forth invoking the tipping point idea were all quite coy about exactly what numerical value(s) they considered as the tipping point(s) in this or that measurement. In fact, I suspect they had no idea themselves – and for good reason – as there are no tipping points in such things as temperature, ice extent, etc. They are physical measurements that are observed on earth over a wide range and can vary tremendously at any given location and in short time. There are no points of no return in such natural variations many of which can exhibit large amplitudes and lengthy cycles. 

For example, at the same time of year (late-August) at a friend’s place up north, the conditions have varied over the years from near freezing to 30+ C, from dead calm to violent storms, from lush green plant cover to the severe droughts with the maple trees shedding their leaves for lack of water and oak leaves just shriveling on the stem up while still green, and a 2 m lake water level change first to a 150-year record high and then back to a 150-year low. In all those extremes over several decades, I have not noticed any tipping point from which there was no return to longer-term normal levels or even the opposite extremes.  

How quickly nature can reverse course was also seen in Australia not long ago. After years of below-normal precipitation the Great Artesian Basinaquifer had lost much of its water. Then, in 2011 and 2012, so much rain fell that it replenished the reservoir for many years to come. Of course that water was evaporated from the ocean and it was claimed to have lowered the ocean level by 7 mm or 1/3 inch. You can also look at more historic events, for example the decades-long droughts in the southwest of the U.S. that forced many of the pueblo cultures to abandon their long-held settlements. Since that time the areas have undergone more recovery and drought cycles.

In other words, the entire climate tipping point theory is pure bunk.

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser — Bio and Archives

Comments (31)

  • Avatar

    carlallen

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    Just for the record, my approach to testing the veracity of scientific hypotheses is the scientific method in which a hypothesis is tested against empirical reality. For example, the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis asserts that the presence of water vapor in the atmosphere causes >20 °C of surface level warming. In 2011 I collected a number of data sets that defined the relationship between ground level humidity and ground level temperatures. I observed that as water vapor moves into a climate system causing the humidity to rise the mean ground level temperature drops rather than rises as is asserted by the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis. I published the results of that study in 2012 in the YouTube video previously referenced. Since this empirical observation is out of sync with the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis I find the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis to be false; it is false now; it has always been false and will always be false.

    Shortly after doing that study I noticed some Internet activity surrounding another scientific hypothesis—the “gravito-thermal effect”. The “gravito-thermal effect” hypothesis asserts that an inverse temperature lapse rate evolves spontaneously within a large body of matter that lies within a gravitational field. I therefore gathered data that defined the vertical temperature profile of three large bodies of matter that lie within the Earth’s gravitational field—the oceans, the troposphere and the stratosphere. I observed that an inverse temperature lapse rate, i.e., the temperature increases as the altitude decreases, only exists within the troposphere. The temperature lapse rates within both the oceans and the stratosphere are not inverse as asserted by the “gravito-thermal effect” hypothesis. In both of these bodies of matter the temperature decreases as the altitude decreases. Since the laws of physics are not selective–that is they don’t first skip the stratosphere come into operation in the troposphere and then skip the oceans–this empirical observation is out of sync with the “gravito-thermal effect” hypothesis. I therefore find the “gravito-thermal effect” hypothesis to be false; it is false now; it has always been false and will always be false.

    The personal consequence of applying the scientific method to both of these hypotheses has been to become the target of vitriol from both camps. That is, true believers in both the “greenhouse effect” and the “gravito-thermal effect” have called me various derogatory names–ignorant, stupid, deluded, confused, uneducated, malicious, etc. But here’s the thing. Calling me names doesn’t change the empirical observations that falsify both the “greenhouse effect” and the “gravito-thermal effect” hypotheses. Water vapor has always been a lower atmospheric coolant. The oceans have always been cooler at the bottom than at the top and the temperature of the stratosphere has always increased with altitude.

    Carl

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      Greg House

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      [quote name=”carlallen”]In 2011 I collected a number of data sets that defined the relationship between ground level humidity and ground level temperatures. I observed that as water vapor moves into a climate system causing the humidity to rise the mean ground level temperature drops rather than rises as is asserted by the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis. I published the results of that study in 2012 in the YouTube video previously referenced. Since this empirical observation is out of sync with the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis I find the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis to be false;[/quote]

      Hey Carl, let me tell you again, maybe it will work this time: you can have the same ground level humidity and different ground level temperatures at different times. Equally, you can have a higher ground level humidity and lower ground level temperatures and the other way round. Because there are other factors that influence temperature. This makes your conclusion, worthless, not based on reality or simply unscientific. Even if you thought you applied the scientific method. If you refer to weather station data and “mean temperatures” based on that data, it is even worse, because you can not prove that your sample is representative, the same problem the climate (pseudo-) scientists face with their “global temperature”.

      You can still be right by coincidence, but it is not what you mean, I guess. On the other hand, there is no “greenhouse effect” indeed, Carl, but for a different reason, and you know that. Maybe it is time to stop playing scientist and instead to focus on the fatal error of the “greenhouse effect” which is violation of the conservation of energy.

      • Avatar

        Mack

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        Well said Carl
        I hadn’t thought of the oceans getting colder, rather than hotter, with increasing pressure with increasing depth….thus, in addition to the upper atmosphere, disobeying Doug’s gravito- thermal quackery.
        Meanwhile, you’ve got this obtuse, nitpicking, perverse, pedantic prat, Greg House, telling you that your conclusions are worthless…”not based on reality or simply unscientific”. His main contention (arguement)seems to be an outright dismissal of such a thing as an average global temperature.
        Well hell, Greg,..if we haven’t got an average global temperature, we haven’t got anything to talk about here at all..have we. It’s called Global Warming..as in global temperature. You’re a scientist so you’ve got to come up with a number for this.

      • Avatar

        carlallen

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        [i]“you can have the same ground level humidity and different ground level temperatures at different times. Equally, you can have a higher ground level humidity and lower ground level temperatures and the other way round.”[/i]

        The particular scientific data that I was studying was the yearly average temperature along with the yearly average absolute humidity in gm/kgm of ground level air in an arid climate juxtaposed against the same data in a humid climate along the same latitude. The fact that there exists within that time frame outliers where there is high humidity along with high temperature as well as low humidity along with low temperature does not disprove the rule that on average the ground level temperatures in humid climate systems along the same latitude are typically cooler than their arid counterparts.

        This is empirical data that falsifies the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis that asserts that the presence of water vapor in the atmosphere causes the average ground level to increase significantly.

        [i]“You can still be right by coincidence”[/i]

        I gather from this that you believe that the observed correlation between high average humidity and low average temperature is simply coincidental, but consider the ways in which the presence of water within a climate system cause ground level cooling. I say “presence of water” within a climate system because humidity does not exist in isolation.

        1) Thermal energy is drawn out of the surface when water is evaporated into water vapor.

        2) The increased humidity in the air increases its emissivity. This enhances its up-going net radiation heat loss rate. As a result humid air cools more efficiently via the emission of IR radiation than does arid air.

        3) Humidity condenses into cloud cover which shades the ground and increases the Earth’s albedo. Sunlight that is reflected out into space doesn’t warm anything.

        4) Clouds for the most part dwell at an altitude that is significantly cooler than the ground. So, when it rains the cool rain absorbs even more thermal energy out of the ground and the cycle starts over. It is not uncommon for a rainstorm to cause ground level temperatures to drop 20-30 °F in a matter of minutes.

        In climates where the humidity is high there is more evaporation, the air is more emissive, there are more clouds and there is more rain. Ergo, it is not just coincidental that climate systems that have high humidity are [b]on average [/b]cooler than their arid counter parts.

        Again, the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis asserts that an increase in humidity will cause a significant increase in average ground level temperatures. The above empirical observation disproves that hypothesis and affirms your assertion that there is no “greenhouse effect”. Your approach to the question is theoretical while my approach is empirical and we both came to the same conclusion.

        Carl

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          Greg House

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          Too late, Carl. I am not going to re-read the discussion from a month ago. Next time, when you write another masterpiece.

    • Avatar

      Pat Obar

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      Carl Allen Bremmer,
      You are correct and always have been. The lapse rate for any atmosphere is a gravitational one. It is also in compliance with the proper interpretation of statistical mechanics and the gas laws. Never the sloppy ones brainwashed into so many. For any atmosphere, compressible fluid contained only by a gravitational field, special consideration of the Newtonian word word ‘kinetic’ need apply. The linear first derivative of momentum with respect to time yields (mv^2)/2. For random motion of gas at constant temperature, That temperature is still proportional to the first derivative of momentum with respect to time, but not linear acceleration but angular change in momentum with respect to time. The rate of elastic banging into other molecules or walls of some fixed volume. For a gas, and especially for the tropospheric atmosphere, temperature is not proportional to sensible heat energy, but to sensible heat energy plus PV energy, of gas with pressure in addition to velocity. Consider IGL PV = NRT This can be expressed as PV per molecule equals kT as per Luddy Boltzmann’s constant (k). For Cp or Cv the PV term is absent. However for an atmosphere neither P nor V is constant only P/rho is proportional to temperature. Conversely temperature is proportional to energy density, not energy itself. This is what makes lapse rate linear with altitude. The gas law, and statistical mechanics, must be interpreted this way for any compressible fluid completely contained by gravity. Your critique of this concept is sincerely appreciated! Thank you!

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        Pat Obar

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        Carl Allen Brehmer,
        sorry!

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        Doug C o t t o n

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        Yes Pat – as I have said all along. But you have not explained the required energy flows, whereas I have.

        [b]You think the Sun’s direct radiation to the surface explains its temperature, but, if so, why is it cooler with more water vapor?[/b]

        The temperature plot in the troposphere rotates about a pivoting altitude, leading to lower supporting temperatures at the base of the troposphere, and thus lower surface temperatures as the level of water vapor increases. It’s all in my 2013 study in that paper PSI rejected, but which contained the correct physics explaining the observed temperatures for all planets, and the required energy flows – all based on entropy maximization as per the Second Law.

        [b]One day you’ll all wake up to the fact that I have been right all along.[/b]

      • Avatar

        Doug C o t t o n

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        According to Kinetic Theory, from which the Ideal Gas Law is easily derived, and which Einstein used successfully, [b]the absolute (K) temperature is proportional to the mean molecular kinetic energy.[/b]

        Molecular gravitational potential energy is altogether different, but, for unbalanced energy potentials in the state of maximum entropy (which is “thermodynamic equilibrium” by definition) there must be a homogeneous sum of mean molecular (PE + KE) and, since PE varies with altitude, we have KE also varying, and thus a temperature gradient that is an equilibrium state that has nothing to do with hydrostatic equilibrium as climatologists think.

        Footnote: I have no idea what you mean by “sensible heat energy” because “heat” refers to energy in transit.

    • Avatar

      Doug C o t t o n

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      Yes my study of 30 years of data from 15 inland tropical locations clearly showed water vapor cools, and the correct physics I present explains why. So you won’t qualify for the reward, because your study does not show the opposite of mine.

      [b]To all readers:[/b]

      [b]I am increasing my offer to AU $10,000 for the first in the world to prove the physics in my website, linked paper, book and video to be substantially wrong, and to produce a similar study that shows opposite results regarding water vapor.[/b]

      Email your study of real world temperature and precipitation correlation, plus your attempted refutation of the physics (involving entropy maximization) in what I have published at http://climate-change-theory.com (and in linked papers and the video) to the email address on the website.

      • Avatar

        Pat Obar

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        [quote name=”Doug C o t t o n”]

        [b]I am increasing my offer to AU $10,000 for the first in the world to prove the physics in my website, linked paper, book and video to be substantially wrong, and to produce a similar study that shows opposite results regarding water vapor.[/b] [/quote]

        Won’t work Smelly Cotton Socks!

        No one is interested in proving anything about that which has no meaning whatsoever Just like your forlorn papers at PSI! :-*

  • Avatar

    Dr Alex H

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    There can be no tipping point because it is all based on an incorrect assumption that water vapor has a positive feedback. That cannot be the case because an increase in water vapor causes a reduction in the lapse rate.

    Nowhere on this PSI website can I find any explanation as to why the mean temperature of Earth’s surface is about 288K. The only explanation that fits with the physics I teach was in a book I reviewed last year and it is based on the work of Josef Loschmidt, a respected 19th century physicist who recognized that a force field induces a temperature gradient. We physicists now know this to be a fact, proven with centrifugal force experiments and observed in the tropospheres of planets.

    • Avatar

      Mack

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      “Nowhere on this PSI website can I find any explanation as to why the mean temperature of Earth’s surface is about 288K”
      Yes you can Duggie. You’ve found the explanation right here, now. Let’s just round things down a little and insert 340w/sq.m. into the S-B calculator
      emissivity…0.82
      area…1sq.m.
      temp…x
      flux..340w/sq.m.
      Answer x.. is 292K
      Pretty close enough to your 288K?
      Are you satisfied with that Duggie?
      292K translates to 18.8degrees C .I would say that about 18.8 C would be the GAT average for Earth, wouldn’t you?

      • Avatar

        Doug C o t t o n

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        Mackie boy forgot to note that the emissivity of polished silver is 0.02 to 0.03 [[url=http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html]source[/url]]

        So we get, by S-B: Input 340W/m^2
        Emissivity: 0.03
        Output (temperature): 668.641996953924K according to Mackie boy who doesn’t realize that physicists know how to use S-B but he obviously doesn’t, and wants to use the energy that’s reflected as well as that which is absorbed.

        That’s your polished silver spoon being heated to 395°C by your totally incorrect understanding of black bodies, Mackie.

        And a mean of 340W/m^2 (albeit it wrong) would be nowhere near enough to raise the Earth’s surface to a mean of 15°C because, for starters the surface is not a black body, and so Stefan Boltzmann calculations are inapplicable. The surface is losing over 100W/m^2 by conduction, convection and evaporative cooling, but you forgot, Mackie boy, that the Sun would also have to supply that extra 100W/m^2 that is being lost simultaneously. And the radiation is very variable, and so it can’t be anywhere near as effective as steady flux with the same mean.

        You also “forgot” to work out the four temperatures for the above four variable fluxes (in my comment at 10:27 above) that have your mean of 340W/m^2. So go back and answer my questions, Mackie boy.

        And then explain the surface temperature on Venus, my friend, with your S-B calculations. Solar radiation to its surface was measured by the Russians as less than 20W/m^2.

        The solar constant for Earth is indeed about 1360W/m^2. That’s why, as I explained in a comment above, your 340W/m^2 is about double reality and is not a measured mean at all. You can’t link me to any peer-reviewed document supporting your incorrect claim wherein you are imagining that the energy delivered by the Sun each second is somehow doubled, or perhaps you forgot that the world has half its surface in darkness, or perhaps you forgot the school-boy geometry about the surface area of a sphere. What is it, Mack?

        Silent readers must be laughing with me about your lack of understanding that the surface area of a sphere is four times the area of a circle with the same diameter. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten that about half the solar radiation is either absorbed or reflected before in can penetrate the depths of the oceans and perhaps warm the regions that are rather cold down in the thermocline.

        [b]We divide by 8 Mackie boy because a half of a quarter is an eighth.[/b]

        It’s pretty elementary “sums” Mack that you should have learnt in Elementary School.

        You contribute nothing of value here, Mack, because of your obvious lack of understanding of radiation and entropy.

        • Avatar

          Mack

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          That’s strange Duggie, you’ve just posted up the same big incoherant load of bollocks that you posted up in your comment just previously, including silver spoons, black bodies, Earth ,Sun, S-B, thermoclines,Venus,Russians, and Elementary Schools.
          I don’t know how to re-post the same comment over and over again. Please give me some instruction on how to do this, to at least give me a level playing field in my futile attempt to ascertain if there is a single ounce of sense in your head.

          site

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            “Mackie boy who doesn’t realise that physicists know how to use S-B but he obviously doesn’t, and wants to use the energy that’s reflected as well as that which is absorbed” says Duggie.
            The energy that’s reflected off a surface,is an amount of energy,(measured). The energy that’s absorbed into a surface,is an amount of energy,(measured).
            The emissivity of a surface is just a number, which has for that surface a mirror image called absorptivity. They are one and the same…and strictly should be used together. But for descriptive purposes in physics, we only deal with one thing at a time, hence only the word emissivity of a surface is required.
            You’re getting confused between absorption and absorptivity…..emission and emissivity…Duggie
            Time to pack it in, years of this physics going round and round in your head is giving you severe brain-fag.

  • Avatar

    carlallen

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    Observing the “catastrophic anthropogenic climate change” debate over the years it became obvious that the “tipping point” hypothesis was introduced because there wasn’t enough fear being generated to induce people living around the globe to commit economic suicide as the haters of hydrocarbon energy say we must “for the sake of the planet.”

    At first it was asserted that over the next century or so the gradual build up of carbon dioxide from the burning of hydrocarbons will cause “catastrophic global warming”. When they observed that the prospect of gradual global warming over the course of centuries induced very little fear in the people living today who are occupied with just trying to get by, they needed something scarier to promote. “Run-away global warming” from positive water vapor feedback seemed to fit the bill. The problem is water vapor feedback is negative against rising temperatures and if it were going to happen it already would have.

    The current “tipping point” hypothesis being promoted is the release of methane from melting permafrost in the arctic.

    [i]”Arctic scientists discover new global warming threat as melting permafrost releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.”[/i] The Independent, September 23, 2008 Of course this assumes that a “greenhouse effect” actually exists and increased levels of methane would cause an increase in ground level air temperatures.

    The objective of both tipping point theories–positive water vapor feedback or methane release from melting permafrost–is the same: the induction of fear, because fear makes people politically malleable and easier to enslave.

    Based on empirical scientific evidence we point out that there is nothing to fear from rising levels of carbon dioxide, water vapor and even methane (which is measured in ppb–parts per [b]billion[/b]). They therefore hate us because we are disrupting their ability to monger fear.

    Carl

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      Doug.  C o t t o n  

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      Empirical evidence (comparing moist regions with similar but drier regions) proves with statistical significance that the more moist regions are cooler. The study was in my 2013 paper that PSI members made the mistake of never taking the trouble to read and understand while it sat for 6 months in the PROM menu. See [url]http://climate-change-theory.com[/url] where there’s a link to the paper.

      Correct physics also enables us to understand [i]why[/i] increasing water vapor and carbon dioxide lowers the surface temperature. If you can’t understand the physics in the paper, then I suggest watching the linked videos.

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        Doug.  C o t t o n  

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        PS: Over 11,600 have visited the website in the last eight months. Word is getting around that Josef Loschmidt and PSI member Dr Hans Jelbring were right about gravity inducing the temperature gradient that is obvious in every planetary troposphere. I have extended their work, explaining how the required thermal energy actually gets to where it needs to be in order to maintain that temperature gradient, in much the same way that gravity spreads out new rain water that fell on a part of a lake until the level surface is once again attained in calm, dry conditions.

      • Avatar

        carlallen

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        [quote name=”Doug.  C o t t o n  “]Empirical evidence (comparing moist regions with similar but drier regions) proves with statistical significance that the more moist regions are cooler. The study was in my 2013 paper . . . [/quote]

        On this we agree. I made this same observation in 2012 and published it in this YouTube video:
        [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2K1uHvfaek[/url]

        Carl

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      Mack

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      “Yes, that’s correct Carl, and my hypothesis explains why”
      Yes, and your hypothesis also explains why pigs fly too ..eh Duggie?

      • Avatar

        Mack

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        I can do all those things that you ask of Carl, for you, Duggie boy. You’ve been leading me up the garden path for a bit here,now eh?. I asked you to do, for me, a Stefan Boltzmann calculation using 340w/sq.m instead of your incorrect 168w/sq.m and you provided me with an answer of 5degrees C for the Earth temp. using this Stefan Boltzmann equation.
        But in this last little interrogation of Carl you’ve provided this online S-B calculator..
        http://calculator.tutorvista.com/stefan-boltzmann-law-calculator.html
        So with a little bit of initiative on my part, I decided to insert these numbers into the calculator..
        0.82….emissivity
        1 sq.m. …area
        x….temperature
        342w/sq.m….Radiation energy.
        the answer came up with x…292.86degree K.
        292.86degrees K is about 19.7 degrees
        C . The average global temperature we have.!
        http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/temperature/kelvin-to-celsius.htm
        Wow.! I can’t believe it!
        There you go Duggie. you can now go away…a simple mistake in the incoming solar radiation explains the Earth’s global temps. Science explains it with the valid S-B equation. No need for any more of your crackpot Gravito-thermal crap,Duggie.
        Away you go….Aaahahahahahaha…nooo, that’s an impossibility.

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          Doug C o t t o n

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          [b]Wrong on three counts, Mackie boy and this should demonstrate to John O’Sullivan and others just how little physics you understand.
          [/b]

          (1) If the atmosphere absorbs and reflects about half, then you are in effect claiming a mean of 684W/m^2 over the whole globe that has area four times that of the circle through which solar radiation striking the surface passes. So you are in effect using a solar constant of 2736W/m^2 which is more like what reaches TOA of Venus. But the Venus atmosphere absorbs over 95% so you’d be totally stuck explaining 460°C surface temperature there.

          (2) Nothing gets hotter than a blackbody. If you use emissivity 0.82 you are assuming 18% reflection by the surface, and in fact it’s more like 6% and that’s already been deducted. Try your calculations for a polished silver spoon (emissivity about 0.02) and see what a fictitious result you get applying your “fissics” my friend.

          (3) You have completely overlooked the fact that the flux is very variable and thus [i]must[/i] produce a lower mean temperature than would uniform flux with the same mean, because of the T^4 relationship in S-B.

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            Doug C o t t o n

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            Try dividing the surface into four equal regions. Even using your wrong 342 figure Say they receive …

            (1) 884W/m^2
            (2) 484W/m^2
            (3) 0
            (4) 0

            Mean = 342W/m^2

            Temperatures? Well you work out the mean of the four temperatures as it’s nearly 12:30am here.

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            Mack

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            The difference between you and me Duggie, is that I live totally in the real world (reality)and agreeing entirely with empirical measurement , whereas you live in a confusing mish-mash of models of atmosphere-no atmosphere, drawn on the blackboard, which is then tried to be reconciled with reality like a square peg being belted into a round hole. It doesn’t work, and you wind up with nonsense like “heat creep” and “greenhouse” effects.
            The emissivity of the Earth’s surface is real and measured. It’s 0.82 and that’s what you put in the Stefan Boltzmann equation. The Earth is essentially the blue planet. Water has the colour blue. The Earth is a blue body radiator…full-stop, rule-off, amen.
            I’ve told you until I’m blue in the face that the incoming solar radiation at the TOA is 1360w/sq.m. and this attenuates down to 340w/sq.m at the Earth’s surface. Both are averages, real, and measured. There are no ifs or buts…it’s reality.
            These 2 figures of flux and emissivity are put in the S-B equation and the Earth’s temp is arrived at..end of story.

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            Doug C o t t o n

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            Mackie boy forgot to note that the emissivity of polished silver is 0.02 to 0.03 [[url=http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html]source[/url]]

            So we get, by S-B: Input 340W/m^2
            Emissivity: 0.03
            Output (temperature): 668.641996953924K according to Mackie boy who doesn’t realize that physicists know how to use S-B but he obviously doesn’t, and wants to use the energy that’s reflected as well as that which is absorbed.

            That’s your polished silver spoon being heated to 395°C by your totally incorrect understanding of black bodies, Mackie.

            And a mean of 340W/m^2 (albeit it wrong) would be nowhere near enough to raise the Earth’s surface to a mean of 15°C because, for starters the surface is not a black body, and so Stefan Boltzmann calculations are inapplicable. The surface is losing over 100W/m^2 by conduction, convection and evaporative cooling, but you forgot, Mackie boy, that the Sun would also have to supply that extra 100W/m^2 that is being lost simultaneously. And the radiation is very variable, and so it can’t be anywhere near as effective as steady flux with the same mean.

            You also “forgot” to work out the four temperatures for the above four variable fluxes (in my comment at 10:27 above) that have your mean of 340W/m^2. So go back and answer my questions, Mackie boy.

            And then explain the surface temperature on Venus, my friend, with your S-B calculations. Solar radiation to its surface was measured by the Russians as less than 20W/m^2.

            The solar constant for Earth is indeed about 1360W/m^2. That’s why, as I explained in a comment above, your 340W/m^2 is about double reality and is not a measured mean at all. You can’t link me to any peer-reviewed document supporting your incorrect claim wherein you are imagining that the energy delivered by the Sun each second is somehow doubled, or perhaps you forgot that the world has half its surface in darkness, or perhaps you forgot the school-boy geometry about the surface area of a sphere. What is it, Mack?

            Silent readers must be laughing with me about your lack of understanding that the surface area of a sphere is four times the area of a circle with the same diameter. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten that about half the solar radiation is either absorbed or reflected before in can penetrate the depths of the oceans and perhaps warm the regions that are rather cold down in the thermocline.

            [b]We divide by 8 Mackie boy because a half of a quarter is an eighth.[/b]

            It’s pretty elementary “sums” Mack that you should have learnt in Elementary School.

            You contribute nothing of value here, Mack, because of your obvious lack of understanding of radiation and entropy.

            [b]I am increasing my offer to AU $10,000 for the first in the world to prove the physics in my website, linked paper, book and video to be substantially wrong, and to produce a similar study that shows opposite results regarding water vapor.[/b]

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            Mack

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            “….so Stefan Boltzmann calculations are inapplicable” says Duggie
            Then why were you pestering Carl to provide you with some numbers to put into the online S-B calculator, that you even gave him a link to,so that you could find out the GATemp.for Earth?
            “Mackie boy who doesn’t realise that physicists know how to use S-B….”
            How do physicists use the S-B any differently than inserting numbers in a S-B calculator Doug? Sorry, but giving me that online S-B calculator has just turned me into an armchair physicist, Duggie. But answer the, how “differently” the physicists use the S-B, and we’ll all batten down for another unintelligible bout of the Cotton fuzzy fizzicks.

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            Doug C o t t o n

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            Why? To show that even if the Earth’s surface were a black body (roughly as if the whole globe, including oceans, were covered in black asphalt) the Sun’s direct radiation reaching the surface would still be nowhere near sufficient to explain observed temperatures.

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            Mack

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            The observed temperatures are explained by the fact that the Earth is not covered in black asphalt, and that the Sun’s direct radiation reaching the surface, of an average of 340w/sq.m., is perfectly sufficient to explain them.

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    elkcub

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    Again, a very informative article by Dr. Kaiser. I like it. 😮

  • Avatar

    Doug.  C o t t o n  

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    My “forecast” as below was archived 22 August 2011 …

    “From 2003 the effect of El Niño had passed and a slightly declining trend has been observed. This is the net effect of the 60-year cycle starting to decline whilst the 934 year cycle is still rising.”

    Both cycles were going up until about 1998-2003. Now the 60 year one is declining until at least 2028, but the ~1,000 year one will still rise for up to about 100 years, maybe peaking in the 2030’s though.

    Carbon dioxide has absolutely nothing to do with it. Greenhouse gases (mostly water vapor and a dash of CO2) water down the temperature gradient (making it less steep) and they do this by way of inter-molecular radiation which, as every engineer knows, has a temperature leveling effect. That effect works against the gravitationally induced temperature gradient. The latter is a direct result of the force of gravity acting upon molecules moving between collisions. The Second Law tells us entropy will tend towards a maximum – it does not say anything about temperature, because entropy is far more embracing of all kinds of internal energy, including gravitational potential energy, whereas temperature is proportional to molecular kinetic energy, nothing else.

    Modern day experiments with centrifugal force have proved that Josef Loschmidt was right about a force field like gravity producing a temperature gradient. Robert Brown tried to help Anthony refute this with a pathetic article that I have refuted on the “WUWT errors” page of my website climate-change-theory dot com and Brown is clearly proven wrong by the experiments and evidence in all planetary tropospheres, with or without surfaces at their base.

    So the “lapse rate” is not formed by rising “parcels” of air molecules. Indeed, such “parcels” (and all the Stephen Wilde nonsense) are complete figments of the imagination with nothing to stop molecules moving outside their imaginary boundaries. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient is the reason why air is cooler at higher altitudes in the troposphere. The tropopause and stratosphere do not refute this, because they are in hydrostatic equilibrium (not thermodynamic equilibrium) due to the excessive absorption of solar energy some of which makes its way downwards from the stratosphere to the troposphere through the “temperature valley” of the tropopause.

    Until you all come to grips with what the Second Law entropy maximization tells us, you will understand nothing about planetary temperatures.

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