Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html en-gb 30 Wed 04 Mar 2015 16:57:31 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=99#comment213 @poitsplace #213"hard time"And I have a hard time understanding how you think latent heat and convection can possibly throttle further increases in the greenhouse without throttling the lapse rate first. And the lapse rate looks pretty healthy to me."The earth is more like the heater's coil"Strictly speaking I could have said that the heater's coil was analogous to the ground level of the Earth heated by the Sun, and that the electricity was analogous to the energy from the Sun.It doesn't make any difference to my basic illustration and I wanted to keep things simple. But the added layer does allow you to address changes to fan speed."increasing the speed of the fan must cool the coil"thereby reducing the gradient between the fan and the thermometer. OK, minor tweak to fan heater analogy. Make the fan heater "clever" so that its total power consumption is constant - faster fan speeds doubly cool the coil by 1. diverting power from the coil and 2. extra air flow cooling the coil more.Now I've already compared the temperature gradient between fan and window to the lapse rate. So your example of increased fan speed would be a component of the negative lapse rate feedback. This applies even for the double cooling effect I've described above. And I have pointed out the negative lapse rate feedback is accounted for. It is significant but too small to throttle the lapse rate.Heater analogy intact."Where the heck do you think convection and latent heat get their energy from??? If a 1.2C increase in is enough to balance out even the supposed 3.7watts of forcing through radiative means...where the heck is the 6 watt increase to convection and latent heat that MUST occur going to come?"This isn't an energy accounting problem. It's a de facto thermostat problem. In my example closing the window more retains sufficient extra energy to do the extra work to dry the laundry (latent heat of drying laundry analogous to latent heat of evaporation from oceans). There is a similar situation with your more fiddly fan speed example. And in the Earth's atmosphere extra energy is trapped by the greenhouse. Sat 24 Apr 2010 11:31:20 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=99#comment212 @JaneBasingstokeI have a hard time understanding how you can miss that CO2 CAN'T slow energy in proportion to its absorption...when latent heat and convection increase their share of tropospheric energy transfer exponentially. The latent heat increases mean heat that CANNOT be realized on the ground and must instead be felt higher in the atmosphere. This is because ALL energy that goes into evaporation goes into latent heat instead of increasing temperatures. That's why water just boils faster instead of getting hotter when you turn up the heat.The increasing transport through latent heat and convection is in direct and increasingly powerful opposition to GHG forcing. It opposes ALL warming and even the supposed powerful positive feedbacks would be fought by latent heat and convection.Your heater analogy is flawed. The earth is more like the heater's coil...and increasing the speed of the fan must cool the coil. Where the heck do you think convection and latent heat get their energy from??? If a 1.2C increase in is enough to balance out even the supposed 3.7watts of forcing through radiative means...where the heck is the 6 watt increase to convection and latent heat that MUST occur going to come? Sat 24 Apr 2010 08:36:10 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=98#comment211 @Peter317To clarify.My #211 post saidSome of the disagreements in the conversation are down to misunderstanding each other's posts. Other of the disagreements are down to mistakes with the science.It should have saidSome of the disagreements in the conversation are down to misunderstanding each other's posts. Other of the disagreements are down to our (poitsplace's and mine) mistakes with the science.We (poitsplace and I) are vanishingly unlikely to uncover anything genuinely new in our conversation. Just expose our personal ignorance. Fri 23 Apr 2010 15:53:39 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=98#comment210 @Peter317 #208Peter, I do need to point out that my current conversation with poitsplace is a cul-de-sac. Our topic is the very basic mechanism of the greenhouse, rather than aspects relating to climate sensitivity. The sceptics amongst the scientists don't challenge the very basic mechanism, instead they challenge climate sensitivity. Poitsplace claims to accept the very basic mechanism, but has a different concept of what that mechanism is to me. So this conversation is us going over ground that has already been dealt with by the professionals and the well informed amateurs on both sides, but has been badly communicated to the public. Some of the disagreements in the conversation are down to misunderstanding each other's posts. Other of the disagreements are down to mistakes with the science.Back to your #208. I don't think you understand the mechanisms involved. So I am going to provide some real world examples with similar mechanisms.Firstly you need to look at where the extra energy comes from.OK. Cold winter's day. (Cold analogous to the cold of deep space.)You've got a fan heater on constant. (Fan heater on constant is analogous to the Sun.) You've got a window. (Window analogous to "window" through the Earth's atmosphere for infra red radiation.) And you've got a thermometer which you are using as a thermostatic control for the window. (Thermometer/thermostat temperature analogous to the black body temperature of the Earth.)There is a crude temperature gradient between the fan heater (hot) and the window (cold). (This is analogous to the lapse rate in the bottom layer of the atmosphere, where temperature is cooler the higher up you go.)You put the thermometer close to the fan heater so that it is quite close to the heat. You open and close the window to keep the thermometer at 20 degrees centigrade (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The window is open a lot to help cool the thermometer. And the room itself is therefore cool.You move the thermometer closer to the window. Again you open and close the window to keep the thermometer at 20 degrees centigrade (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The window is closed a lot to help keep the thermometer warm. The room warms up.I hope you see that having the window closed more traps extra energy until a new equilibrium is reached, and that the equilibrium is based on temperature. As for the diversion of energy for more energetic weather in a greenhouse warmed world. No it does not cancel the greenhouse. A warmer temperature based equilibrium is still reached regardless of whether or not some of the extra heat gets diverted to do work. Imagine there is wet laundry in the same room. The laundry dries faster when the room is warmer, the extra heat is doing work. This gives the laundry more of a cooling effect in a warmer room. But the cooling effect of the wet laundry gets offset by the window being closed even more to keep the room warm. Fri 23 Apr 2010 15:11:29 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=97#comment209 @poitsplace"Venus is different ... different ... we don't understand ... don't understand."Is this a joke?Both Venus and Earth have distinct lapse rates. Both Venus and Earth have greenhouse gases.If I am used to petrol (gasoline) fuelled cars, and I am suddenly presented with a diesel car to drive instead, I don't say, "oh, diesel is different from petrol so it won't get me to the shops". Nor do I say, "oh, I don't understand the details of the internal combustion engine so I'm going to ignore the simple fact that burning fossil fuels can do useful work".Lapse rate feedbackThese "new" negative feedbacks you identify are well known and accounted for. They are nowhere near as strong as you seem to imagine. Take a look at the calculated hot spot, look at its effect on the lapse rate. It is so small that graphs of the hot spot have to be shown as changes to the lapse rate. It is so small that it is difficult to distinguish from other variability. If they showed the lapse rate with the hot spot you would have problems identifying the hot spot. Lapse rate feedback is significant enough to get covered by the IPCC. But as negative feedbacks go, (and it is only negative in tropical latitudes,) this is not one to clobber the greenhouse.http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/tropical-tropopshere-ii/ Fri 23 Apr 2010 14:51:06 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=97#comment208 And the increase in convection and evaporation for that 1.2C increase is about 6 watts (just using absolute humidity to rough that out). I can't imagine any way for feedbacks to be strongly positive overall...for warming...once the world is already warm. The arid, high albedo conditions of the glacial period are what provides powerful positive feedback capability during those times. That's the reason temperatures can crash even as CO2 levels remain relatively high (something that repeatedly happens during the glacial periods). Fri 23 Apr 2010 00:50:08 GMT+1 Peter317 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=96#comment207 JaneBasingstoke @306:"And as far as Earth is concerned my only reference to convection based weather and latent heat is that they help mix in energy, like the fan in a fan heater."It's more than just mixing in the energy, as you put it.Poitsplace made a very pertinent (to me) comment in an earlier post.The radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2 is usually quoted as being 3.7W/m^2, and also that this would lead to a 1.2C warming at the surface. However, if the surface was 1.2C warmer, it would radiate 3.7W/m^2 more.BUT, evaporation and convection have to increase if the surface is warmer - so where does the energy for this come from? If the surface is receiving 3.7W/m^2 more and radiating 3.7W/m^2 more, then it HAS to cool because of the extra energy lost due to evaporation and convection - which means it cannot warm by as much as 1.2C at equilibrium.Or am I missing something? Thu 22 Apr 2010 17:51:09 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=96#comment206 @JaneBasingstokeFirst off, thanks for the correction."However there is still a lot of convection based weather on Venus. Water vapour may be important to the Earth's weather. But its comparative absence does not impede Venus's convection based weather."There is indeed a lot of convection on venus. In fact, that's about the ONLY way energy can move up through the 50 miles or more of sulfuric acid fog, clouds and CO2. Unfortunately, relative to the water-enhanced convection (and obviously the latent heat) on earth...sulfuric acid likely makes things WORSE.On earth there is essentially a limitless (for the range of conditions that are possible) supply of water. The water vapor readily evaporates at quite low temperatures and as it does so increases the buoyancy of the local air by as much as 100%. Then as it condenses it falls...all the way to the ground...reaching the ground at a lower temperature (bet you didn't think about that (admittedly less important) part ;)On venus things aren't quite so friendly towards energy transfer. Sulfuric acid has a much lower vapor pressure...and doesn't even boil until around 300C (and the surface temperature surpasses that). Sulfuric acid vapor is actually more dense than the rest of the atmosphere. The vapor never manages to make it to the ground. Also, its latent heat is a lot lower...about 1/4 that of water. Also, the sulfuric acid forms a haze then clouds for 50 miles or so...and it absorbs IR as well.Basically the difference between venus and earth is that the water vapor makes earth's troposphere act like a heat pipe ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe ) While venus is restricted to plain old convection.With respect to Venus' atmospheric superrotation...the problem is that they can't actually model that properly. Every way they manage to get it to work...breaks something else. In the end they just force it through parametrization (isn't that a great way to solve the problem...make the physics work by decree)With respect to the tropospheric gradient and the lapse rate...my point is this. The tropospheric gradient can vary...to a point. However, the absolute maximum on the GHG forcing side...is in almost all imaginable cases...very close to the adiabatic lapse rate. The climate scientists are claiming its going to increase the gradient in direct opposition to the adiabatic lapse rate. You and I both seem to understand that this would force the climate system to respond with unimaginably powerful, exponentially increasing negative feedback.By the way that behavior exhibited as some "forcing" tries to push the gradient BEYOND the adiabatic lapse rate (especially one that involves increasing ground temperatures)...would be logarithmic. It makes no difference what the forcing is, the response by the atmosphere is to begin PHYSICALLY shoving vast amounts more energy up into the troposphere...eventually moving so much energy that it would completely bypass any "forcing". This is that second "logarithmic" effect I was speaking of earlier. CO2's input "forcing" is logarithmic...but the impact of that "forcing" is also logarithmic. (or at least, as close to it as you can get in a chaotic system like the climate)The hypothesis of substantial, dangerous, anthropogenic global warming has some serious flaws. It works great if you deal only with our horribly incomplete knowledge of the climate system and try to model it. BUT...if you look out a window every once in a while or get out into the field, you find the climate system simply cannot work QUITE that way.Read up on the troposphere...it DOES NOT exhibit a behavior that shows CO2 concentration setting its maximum altitude. The temperature and water vapor content of the air does that. The altitude of the troposphere varies by enough that CO2 concentration varies by +/- 50%. Again, this all makes perfect sense when you consider that water vapor is responsible for most energy movement through the troposphere...and that its share of that increases far faster than CO2's absorption.There have been small changes in the statospheric temperature but conditions make things very ambiguous with respect to AGW. The temperature dropped (as suggested by AGW) BUT...the sun's heating of the troposphere has been decreasing over the last decade anyway (more so recently) and in opposition to the main hypothesis of how methane interacts...the stratospheric moisture levels have actually fallen. Thu 22 Apr 2010 12:52:32 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=95#comment205 @poitsplace"Without getting the core principles right how can your explanation of the Earth's response to greenhouse gases be correct?" (my #194)Now I get to answer my own question about my own mistakes with convection.Well as far as Venus was concerned I have answered it in my #203. Whatever makes up Venus's atmosphere there is convection and weather going on. The lack of Earth style water clouds isn't interfering with it.And as far as Earth is concerned my only reference to convection based weather and latent heat is that they help mix in energy, like the fan in a fan heater. This remains true. Thu 22 Apr 2010 01:41:37 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=95#comment204 @simon-swede(@poitsplace)You may be confused by my #202, and want to know how to reconcile it with my previous statements about convection.My previous posts were correct for basic convection, but this only applies without (or before) cloud formation, such as the start up of a thermal over a hot roof on a sunny day. My comments about the effect of the density of water vapour in an unchanging mix of gases were also correct. My comments about the different water vapour content of Venus's atmosphere not interfering with convection in Venus's weather were also correct. My comments about weather being driven by the Sun are correct, but this is a subtly different meaning of "drive": all weather is ultimately powered by the Sun.However my posts ignored the effect of cloud formation on convection.Convection associated with cloud formation is very different to convection without cloud formation. Convection with cloud formation is driven by that cloud formation - driven in the sense that the condensation of water does most of the work, powered by the latent heat of condensation. Thu 22 Apr 2010 01:40:52 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=94#comment203 @poitsplace #201"I am not the one claiming that the gradient is going to change to something significantly different than the lapse rate."This depends what you mean by "significant".The lapse rate is still mainly down to gravitational potential. The troposphere hot spot in tropical latitudes is a difficult to measure tweak rather than a dramatic difference. And although it provides a negative feedback, other latitudes have a tweak to their lapse rates giving a positive feedback. Wed 21 Apr 2010 23:46:50 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=94#comment202 @poitsplace #201However there is still a lot of convection based weather on Venus. Water vapour may be important to the Earth's weather. But its comparative absence does not impede Venus's convection based weather. There are many things we don't know about Venus. But I am not aware of any serious scientist challenging the idea that convection contributes to Venus's weather.Meanwhile a comment about Venus's rotation. You do know that Venus rotates very slowly, don't you? Wed 21 Apr 2010 23:11:14 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=93#comment201 @poitsplace #201(@simon-swede)"Water vapor DOES directly drive convection. Its just not the ONLY thing that does."OK, apologies. I have been told off by a meteorologist. Sorry, that should not have been necessary, I should have paid more attention to you.You are right about water vapour and latent heat driving convection in Earth's weather. The energy of condensation powers the convection. Wed 21 Apr 2010 23:05:27 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=93#comment200 Water vapor DOES directly drive convection. Its just not the ONLY thing that does.My point about venus is that the "moist" adiabatic lapse rate is different because the substance responsible for it being "moist" is different. It also has some other impacts that greatly reduce radiative transfer. But of course venus has other problems...like the fact that we're not entirely sure how its atmosphere rotates around the planet at nearly ten times the speed of the planet's rotation. Our understanding of the behavior of atmospheric systems...is a bit shy of complete.As for the lapse rate verses gradient (which is where a lot of this confusion lies)...I am not the one claiming that the gradient is going to change to something significantly different than the lapse rate...that would be climate scientists with their stratospheric cooling and tropospheric hot spot. Without the gradient change the enhancement of the greenhouse effect is greatly reduced (as 3-5C down here would translate to 2-3C up there...partly offsetting the increased absorption)...since the observations DO NOT support the idea that the altitude of the restricting layers being set by CO2 concentration. Wed 21 Apr 2010 04:03:34 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=92#comment199 @poitsplace Your #166 appears to be saying that the lapse rate on Venus is in some way fundamentally different to that on Earth due to the different relative densities of H2SO4 vapour to Venus's CO2 atmosphere, and H2O vapour to Earth's N2/O2 atmosphere. Your #166 also strongly hints at this being due to convection.However the laws of gravity are the same on Venus, so the mechanism of a gravity based lapse rate would also be the same.Your #173 says "Water vapor directly drives convection." I am struggling to see how the wording of your #173 allows for expansion of air due to heating even contributing to convection, let alone driving it.Meanwhile your debunk for a continuing greenhouse effect seemed to be based on the greenhouse clashing with your conception of a convection / latent heat based lapse rate. The lapse rate is based on gravity so it cannot clash with the greenhouse in the way you describe. Tue 20 Apr 2010 13:09:42 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=92#comment198 #197 Charles wrote:"humans in general are incapable of seeing disaster until it looms over them like a Tsunami"What an entirely different view from my own. I see one silly panic after another, nearly all of which turn out to be grossly exaggerated. Tue 20 Apr 2010 09:14:09 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=92#comment197 Again, I never said water vapor was required for convection, only that it increases convection. And...you haven't addressed my point. If you consider addressing what I was actually talking about is "strict", so be it. Tue 20 Apr 2010 02:28:08 GMT+1 Charles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=91#comment196 All politicians live and work in a world of words, where what is put in paper become so.Unfortunately, this is not the real world, and in fact only barely infringes upon reality.Obviously to such people the rapid and accurate solution to a problem takes second place to their wrangling for individual short-term benefits.In large part this is because humans in general are incapable of seeing disaster until it looms over them like a Tsunami...and then it's usually far to late to do more than try and run.Climate (and weather!) does change. And it can change very rapidly...this is one lesson we learned in the past 200 years of geology.Weather is complex and difficult to predict...yet it is vital that we try simply because our lives depend upon weather.So long as the threat is perceived to be decades away, few people will look beyond their personal short-term benefits.At the moment, the most pessimistic projections accepted are that we can expect 1 metre of sea level rise by 2060.But is this realistic?Natural events are overwhelmingly non-linear, often exponential.This means that in many cases the time between the first noticeable effects of an event and the unstoppable disaster is very, very short.Most people, and scientists are people first, scientists second, have limits built into their ability to accept data and predictions as "reasonable." Such "unreasonable" data is often discarded as extraneous or false, not because there is reason to believe that it is erroneous, but merely because it is unbelievable.But the universe is far stranger than we can usually imagine, and one thing we have discovered over the past few hundred years is that things can and do happen far faster and with far greater magnitude than we commonly can believe.However, so long as the consequences of the decisions of politicians are perceived to be too far away to matter personally, jockeying for short-term advantages will persist to drive the process.My own feeling is this:We know that climate changes.We know that it can happen much faster than we used to think possible.We have good reason to believe that it is currently changing, and as usual the change is not in our benefit.Generally, experience has shown that being prepared for disaster is cheaper than being unprepared--and the extra costs are not excessive if spread over time. After all, eventually SOME disaster inevitably occurs, and preparation is similar for all disasters.The implication is that we should prepare for disasters rather than not prepare.There is incontrovertible proof that humans can change climate. We have created deserts and grasslands from forests, huge monocultural areas where diversity once ruled, dried up huge lakes and rivers, torn down mountains and created gardens in deserts.Much of this change has not been intentional.Knowing that we can and do have such effects, and that such effects are seldom purely beneficial to us, much less other life, it makes sense that we attempt to predict such change, monitor for changes we haven't predicted and in general walk softly.I expect that as time goes on, and our data collection, analysis and modelling improve, that we will see both the predicted magnitude and rate of change accelerate even faster than they have over the past decades. I do not expect this to be a problem form our descendants to deal with, but a very real and direct threat to most of those currently alive today.This is NOT an intellectual argument! Millions of lives depend upon how we react to this situation. It is, perhaps, already too late for many hundreds of millions.I do not believe we have 100 years, or even 50 years before things get critical, I believe that we have at least until 2013, but no longer than 2029.Of course, many things can change.The volcano in Iceland might spew enough gas and dust to cool the world into an ice age or just cool us off for a decade or two.A large meteorite could drastically alter our weather patterns.These events are unpredictable at present, and thus we have to rely upon the trends which we see, and those trends tell a story of an accelerating change in climate.We can, after all, barely predict next week's weather--just how good do you suppose our predictions are for ten years from today? Tue 20 Apr 2010 00:15:26 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=91#comment195 @poitsplace #195Gravity gives the lapse rate gradient. But your #179 has convection doing this instead.And don't quote your #184 at me like that. Your #184 only came after my #180 demonstrated that an influx of water vapour was not essential to convection.Meanwhile your debate rules seem a bit strict. You seem to want to confine the debate to your proposed greenhouse mechanism, and you don't adjust it when I show problems with its core components. Mon 19 Apr 2010 19:33:25 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=90#comment194 Your gravity comment is an answer to a misunderstanding on your part...of my attempt to get you to properly combine two concepts (instead of having it just drop out of your head). It failed. Your comment is meaningless to what I'm talking about since its all about earth and therefore constant.I have not said that water vapor is entirely responsible for convection. This is your inability to hold the concepts. Back in #184 for a quick example I said in reference to water vapor..."It doesn't just increase convection..." This implies convection exists in the absence of water vapor but that water vapor increases it...which is true.You're just not putting it together into a coherent system and because of that you don't see what I'm talking about. We've obviously hit a dead end on this discussion. Mon 19 Apr 2010 16:46:23 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=90#comment193 @poitsplace #193Which of your lapse rate posts shows that gravitational potential energy is the most important factor in the lapse rate?Which of your convection posts shows that the drop in density is the most important thing rather than just the low density of water vapour? Which of your convection posts even acknowledges convection without an increase in the proportion of water vapour? Which of your convection posts acknowledges that much of the convection in the Earth's weather systems is driven mainly by the expansion of gases when heated?These are core principles. Without getting the core principles right how can your explanation of the Earth's response to greenhouse gases be correct? Mon 19 Apr 2010 11:02:08 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=89#comment192 Again, working memory. I have not failed to show that I understand the core principles. You have simply been unable to put together anything but a subset of what I'm talking about. I say A+B+C=D, but you've answered in various posts that No, A+B is not equal to D. (nor is A+C or B+C). You haven't been criticizing what I'm talking about...just your incorrect perception of it. Such is life. Mon 19 Apr 2010 06:53:08 GMT+1 simon-swede http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=89#comment191 Jane at a whoel series of preeceding posts.I'm impressed. Also I learned some things. Thank you! Mon 19 Apr 2010 06:51:14 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=88#comment190 @poitsplace #189Expansion of air when heated is a core component of convection, and it works without any input of extra water vapour.The gravitational potential gradient is the main component of the lapse rate. There would be an almost identical lapse rate if energy was mixed in by diffusion instead of weather processes. (Obviously diffusion is rather slower than weather.)Your posts failed to show that you understood either of these core principles before I pointed them out. If you don't start with core principles, how do you do science? Sun 18 Apr 2010 10:25:13 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=88#comment189 Well, try as I might...you haven't actually managed to understand the relationship once. You keep falling back to a smaller subset of data. Congratulations, you've maxed out your working memory. Sun 18 Apr 2010 09:41:53 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=87#comment188 @poitsplace #188"without the ability to emit radiation (which is caused primarily by greenhouse gases) the atmosphere would eventually reach equilibrium with the surface temperatures and be the same temperature as the surface all the way through"No it wouldn't. And I made this mistake too.The lapse rate gradient reflects gravitational potential energy. Thermal energy + gravitational potential energy = near constant.You remember gravitational potential energy from school, don't you? For small differences in height, gravitational potential energy is mgh, where m = mass, g = acceleration due to gravity, and h = height above your chosen reference point. Sun 18 Apr 2010 08:59:40 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=87#comment187 But the greenhouse effect DOES require the gradient...its own gradient...to work at all. Remember, without the ability to emit radiation (which is caused primarily by greenhouse gases) the atmosphere would eventually reach equilibrium with the surface temperatures and be the same temperature as the surface all the way through. Again, this would be a magical, non-radiating atmosphere.If an equally magical atmosphere had CO2 BUT through strange forces somehow managed to remain at the same temperature as the ground...the absorption by CO2 would be equal to its emissions. There would be no observable absorption spectrum and there would be no greenhouse effect.The greenhouse effect occurs because CO2 is radiating energy into space from the atmosphere. As the atmosphere loses energy, it cools. As it cools a skew develops between its ability to emit (based on concentration AND temperature) and its ability to absorb (based on concentration alone). This skew slows the tranfer of energy and creates the greenhouse effect.BUT...as the gradient becomes greater and greater, the atmosphere eventually reaches an unstable configuration and convection/latent heat begin moving energy. This is the key here. While CO2's absorption increases logarithmically...the actual greenhouse effect it can cause has a theoretical maximum.One way the theoretical maximum is hit is for the gradient to cause convection/latent heat to take over 100% of the energy transfer within the atmosphere. At that point the skew between absorption and emissions by CO2 or any greenhouse gas are no longer relevant...the energy being radiated is simply dropped off physically. You will note that this behavior is its self logarithmic, but an entirely new logarithmic aspect that you have not considered before. Sun 18 Apr 2010 04:18:44 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=86#comment186 @poitsplace #186"This is like claiming that convection and water evaporating have no impact on surface temperatures."No. It's like saying the fan in a fan heater doesn't stop the heater from heating the room. Sun 18 Apr 2010 00:04:25 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=86#comment185 @JaneBasingstoke #185 who wrote..."Like I said. Weather based mixing does not interfere with the greenhouse."Well now you're being silly. This is like claiming that convection and water evaporating have no impact on surface temperatures. That is an absurd proposal. More importantly, the whole of the greenhouse potential resides ENTIRELY WITHIN the regions that involve convection and latent heat transfer...which as I have pointed out over and over again...is more powerful. Latent heat and convection are just extremely powerful negative feedbacks. They have a negative response to warming in general and they have a negative response to changes in the gradient of the type supposedly caused by CO2. Sat 17 Apr 2010 16:29:36 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=85#comment184 @poitsplace #183But it's the infra red that escapes to space that determines the greenhouse effect.I never said that CO2 was a major contributor to the lapse rate gradient. I said that CO2 affected whereabouts on that gradient the infra red escaped from.And no, I wouldn't expect CO2 or the greenhouse to be covered in detail in articles about the troposphere unless and except the articles are covering the effect of the lapse rate and troposphere on the greenhouse. Greenhouses are a tweak on the troposphere, not the other way round.And yes, the greenhouse effect does get weaker with increasing CO2 because the effect is logarithmic. This is why climate sensitivity is expressed in terms of doubling of CO2.Meanwhile your posts seem to rule out any mechanism for the minimal greenhouse that you do admit.@poitsplace #184Like I said. Weather based mixing does not interfere with the greenhouse. Sat 17 Apr 2010 09:52:23 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=85#comment183 @JaneBasingstoke #180 who wrote..."Yeah, you're still giving the impression that water vapour is an essential component of convection in Earth's weather."It doesn't just increase convection, it greatly increases the amount of energy transported through convection. Sat 17 Apr 2010 04:31:48 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=85#comment182 @JaneBasingstoke who wrote..."But the greenhouse forcing does not seriously clash with this. Its main effect is to move the average position from whereabouts in the gradient the infra red radiation escapes to space."You can say that all you want...but the fact remains that the altitude of the tropopause (the limiting layer) is set by the temperature and water vapor content of the region beneath. You will generally find that CO2 is at most a footnote in any article dealing with the troposphere/tropopause...and is often left out entirely. They cite several reasons for the lapse rate being what it is...and CO2 just ain't one of them. Above the troposphere/tropopause is the inversion of the stratosphere, heated primarily from above (oxygen/UV interaction).It is in fact the modern hypothesis of powerful CO2 forcing that is "psuedo-scientific gibberish". The entire problem stems from dodgy "science" based on inductive reasoning. It has persisted for the entire history of the hypothesis. Yes...greenhouse gas forcing DOES occur. But it grows steadily weaker as convection and latent heat take over. Its all a huge misunderstanding caused by the idiotic assumption that CO2 absorption is more or less directly proportional to the CURRENT greenhouse effect (which is currently VERY muted by convection/water vapor).More CO2 will enhance the greenhouse effect...just not by much. This is why they have the problem with the "missing heat". Something should be warmer if this pop-science nonsense is correct...but there just isn't enough heat in the system for CO2 to be working. The energy is somehow getting out anyway. This SHOULD have been expected since GHG forcing doesn't even deal with half the energy of the atmosphere in its current state...but somehow this terrible science prevails. Sat 17 Apr 2010 03:32:28 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=84#comment181 @poitsplace #179As to your problem with changes to UV, again there is a timing issue. If you were correct the observed stratospheric cooling would be timed in sync with changes in the Sun's UV. I would also expect the stratospheric cooling to be at a different location within the stratosphere according to which mechanism caused it.In other words I think they would have spotted it. But they haven't. Sat 17 Apr 2010 01:05:59 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=84#comment180 @poitsplace #179"Greenhouse forcing favors one gradient. Latent heat favors another."Actually I thought that gravity gave the underlying gradient, with gravitational potential energy balancing thermal energy. Latent heat contributes - which is why there is a different lapse rate for air that is saturated.But the greenhouse forcing does not seriously clash with this. Its main effect is to move the average position from whereabouts in the gradient the infra red radiation escapes to space. Sat 17 Apr 2010 00:45:30 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=83#comment179 @poitsplace #179Yeah, you're still giving the impression that water vapour is an essential component of convection in Earth's weather.Water vapour isn't the only thing lighter than air. Hot air is lighter than air as well. Boyle's law.Do us a favour. Go out on a hot sunny day and look for thermals. You'll find them over any surface that is getting more heat from the Sun than its surroundings. Birds circle up the thermals without flapping their wings using them as lifts (elevators). And sometimes at the top you can see a little fluffy cloud forming, because the air at the bottom wasn't 100% dry, and the air at the top has cooled to the dew point.Take a look at that hot surface at the bottom of the thermal. If water vapour was essential for driving convection then there'd be a source of it at the bottom of the thermal, a wet surface. But often there isn't, the surface can easily be completely dry rock or roofing. Sat 17 Apr 2010 00:38:40 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=83#comment178 @JaneBasingstoke who wrote..."You are giving the impression that water vapour is essential for convection in the Earths atmosphere... ...Basic convection is best demonstrated in a pure gas or pure liquid so that differing gas densities don't confuse matters. So the fact that water vapour is less dense than nitrogen is irrelevant, convection happens anyway."Ummmm...no. Convection begins when the gradient of the atmosphere surpasses the adiabatic lapse rate...otherwise the air has no reason to move around. As you can see, water vapor causes an enormous change in that rate.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:795px-Emagram.gif======================="The convection processes involved in weather and latent heat between liquid water and water vapour in weather do move a lot of heat around. But in doing this they keep energy well mixed in. This does not clash with the greenhouse, instead it contributes by reaching equilibrium faster... ...But how does the latent heat of water affect the carbon dioxide forcing?"Greenhouse forcing favors one gradient. Latent heat favors another. As a result the temperature at the tropopause is different than it would be if GHG forcing alone were responsible. The gradient is the key factor in the greenhouse effect and latent heat/convection now dominate the gradient.======================="Meanwhile before your #173 I was not aware of anyone raising changes to the Sun's black body curve as a problem with current AGW science. Perhaps the scientists already have it in hand to the satisfaction of most of the scientists on your side of the debate."Well for a start, it muddies the water quite a bit. One of the other supposed, tell-tale signs of GHG forcing would be stratospheric cooling. Unfortunately the sun's magnetic field has been weakening for the last couple of cycles. As the field weakens...so does the sun's UV output. This impacts the stratosphere quite a bit. The changes in UV energy output are actually greater than the differences in total solar irradiance. Fri 16 Apr 2010 20:14:42 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=82#comment177 @poitsplace #173Any effect on global temperatures involving changes to the solar wind or changes the Earth's magnetic field would be exotic, even if the phenomena themselves aren't. This would be because their relationship to temperature would not be straightforward. Such effects would be as well as effects caused by changes in the power from the Sun, they would best be dealt with separately.Meanwhile before your #173 I was not aware of anyone raising changes to the Sun's black body curve as a problem with current AGW science. Perhaps the scientists already have it in hand to the satisfaction of most of the scientists on your side of the debate. Fri 16 Apr 2010 17:55:26 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=82#comment176 @infinity #169You are preaching to the choir. It would be more helpful to show why you think poitsplace's comments are incorrect and allow others to make their own minds up. Fri 16 Apr 2010 17:07:04 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=81#comment175 @poitsplace #173The wording of your earlier post (#166) was confusing. I thought you were referring to the temperature inversion weather phenomenon that sometimes affects small areas within the troposphere, as it fitted your "short circuit" description better than the stratospheric temperature inversion.The temperature inversion within the stratosphere is irrelevant. Most of the relevant IR emissions are from the troposphere.I can understand that the latent heat of water is involved in climate sensitivity and in weather based mixing of the atmosphere. But how does the latent heat of water affect the carbon dioxide forcing? Fri 16 Apr 2010 17:05:10 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=81#comment174 @poitsplace #173Right. Easy one first.You are giving the impression that water vapour is essential for convection in the Earths atmosphere. You also appear to be downplaying the role of the Sun. Your earlier post (#166) even made it sound as if water vapour had some sort of power source independent from the Sun (hence "perpetual motion").Basic convection is best demonstrated in a pure gas or pure liquid so that differing gas densities don't confuse matters. So the fact that water vapour is less dense than nitrogen is irrelevant, convection happens anyway.Meanwhile most descriptions of the convection in Earth based weather describe convection (and other weather processes) as being driven by the Sun. The convection processes involved in weather and latent heat between liquid water and water vapour in weather do move a lot of heat around. But in doing this they keep energy well mixed in. This does not clash with the greenhouse, instead it contributes by reaching equilibrium faster. Fri 16 Apr 2010 16:21:45 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=80#comment173 @infinity #169 who wrote..."This is psuedo-scientific gibberish. A lot of scientific terms thrown together in incorrect ways."No, this is an accurate description of the modern hypothesis of substantial anthropogenic global warming though. Fri 16 Apr 2010 14:27:00 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=80#comment172 @JaneBasingstoke #168 who wrote"Naughty scientists. Using the First Law of Thermodynamics for working out the forcing from the Sun"Really, you know the net impact of all of the sun's interactions, do you? Do you think the sun's black body curve remains the same between different parts of the cycle? Do the magnetic interactions disproportionately impact the poles or other parts of the planet? None of this is "exotic", it's the normal sun. ========================="logarithmic" Yes, this is why climate sensitivity is expressed in terms of doubling of CO2. (sigh)......Oh, you mean a temperature inversion. Get those anyway. They get fixed by, what's the word. Oh yes, that's it. "Weather".No, the inversion is in the stratosphere. And indeed "weather" is what sets the level of the tropopause...the colder region between the troposphere and stratosphere that sets the theoretical maximum amount of absorption. Most of the energy transfer in the tropopause however...is through convection and latent heat. These forces increase far faster than even the theoretical maximum forcing from CO2.While simple radiative forcing models say a doubling of CO2 should result in about 3.7 watts of forcing and 1.2C of warming...the increase in convection and latent heat for 1.2C of warming is around 6 watts. Since over half of the energy passing through the atmosphere moves through convection and latent heat...and because convection/latent heat take over increasingly large portions of the energy transfer, there's no reason to suspect CO2 has even half the forcing suggested by the raw absorption math.=========================="Incidentally why "additional"? So what if water vapour is lighter than air, that just means that another part of the water cycle needs an energy input. Unless you have some sort of perpetual motion in mind."Water vapor directly drives convection. It has only about 60% the mass of air. That's why water vapor rises. It carries massive amounts of energy with it. At this point 20% of earth's entire energy budget passes through water vapor as latent heat. The energy always comes out of earth's total energy budget. Your "perpetual motion" comment comes from a fundamental misunderstanding.Latent heat and convection are currently the dominant mode of energy transfer through the troposphere, the only part of the atmosphere that matters with respect to GHG forcing. They increase by 5%-6% for every degree the temperature goes up on the ground. While many toss around the 3.7 watts per square meter figure and say it would lead to a 1.2C increase in surface temperatures...that 1.2C figure is only enough to offset the (supposed) radiative forcing. There would need to be at least another 6 watts per square meter of forcing on average to offset the massive increases in convection/latent heat that would also be caused by a 1.2C increase. This is why I say that feedbacks cannot currently be strongly positive and are most likely negative. Fri 16 Apr 2010 14:20:45 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=79#comment171 @simon-swede #165Thanks for that. @sensiblegrannie@John_from_Hendon@rossglory Actually I heard some planes going overhead yesterday afternoon. However I am not near a major passenger airport and these appeared to be relatively low flying military planes (they were in close formation, and Basingstoke sees a certain amount of RAF and Army aircraft) (or feels in the case of Chinooks). The ash is apparently at its worst at twenty thousand feet, so maybe it is less of a problem for aircraft flying lower.Nice satellite pic here.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/8623301.stmLast night I could barely see the crescent new moon through the murk. I presume that was the ash. In the continuing absence of the Beeb's own compilation, here're some sunset photos from the Graunhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2010/apr/16/natural-disasters-iceland@Kamboshigh #138We have had warming since 1985, and it is statistically significant. 1995, ten years later, was a cherry pick to catch the longest period (15 years) for which to-date warming isn't statistically significant.I would also remind you that one of the issues with statistical significance is other well acknowledged variability including the eleven year sunspot cycle and the El Niño - La Niña oscillation.I would agree with you that the dramatic slowdown in warming in very recent years is interesting, but the timing does not match the effects looked at by Lockwood or discussed by Goddard.There is plenty of stuff about AGW that is debate worthy, and plenty of contributions from sceptic scientists that have integrity. Please don't try and defend stuff that doesn't. Fri 16 Apr 2010 12:36:54 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=79#comment170 #167 JaneBasingstoke wrote:"Well b***** the dictionary then."Sometimes, yes. The dictionary tells us how words are actually used. If their actual use embodies or invites confusion, it is better to use them more carefully than the dictionary prescribes.For example, consider "anatiferous" wood. Fri 16 Apr 2010 12:11:52 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=78#comment169 #167 JaneBasingstoke wrote:"Personally I think that "purpose" (noun) (your #132) is at least as teleological as "design" (noun) but far sneakier in hiding ideas about what constitutes the design process."To avoid that, I did mention a "purely causal story about how it came about and what it does", which as far as I can tell does successfully avoid teleology. How would teleology enter the picture if all we mean when we say the "purpose of the heart is to pump blood" is that that is what it normally does, and it evolved because it did that successfully?I take your point seriously though, because I think it is vital to avoid teleology, in this context anyway when looking at "the planet". There are people who say the planet has been "raped" or "trashed" as if something very valuable has lost its value. Why do they say this? I would insist that all value depends on agents regarding something as valuable -- "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and so on. So pollution is bad, sure, but no one is making it for fun -- it's the by-product of something we humans value greatly (cheap energy, or whatever). Usually, the value of what is made is greater than the damage done to make it. So although we should make every reasonable effort to minimize pollution, the overall benefit tends to be greater than the cost.Thus it seems to me that claims we have "raped the planet" depend on teleology: forests have a preordained purpose which is subverted when they are burned for firewood; wolves have a preordained purpose which is subverted when they are killed to protect livestock; and so on.If you agree that all value is in the eye of the valuer, then there is nothing wrong with changing the planet in various ways, and we can and often do change it for the better. In a sense, there's no such thing as "natural", let alone "natural" being worth preserving for its own sake. Fri 16 Apr 2010 12:08:57 GMT+1 infiniti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=78#comment168 "GHG forcing is almost certainly weakened at higher and higher levels, not simply because of its logarithmic absorption curve but because the very tropospheric temperature gradient it creates short circuits and could in extreme examples almost entirely replace radiative transfer through the troposphere."This is psuedo-scientific gibberish. A lot of scientific terms thrown together in incorrect ways. Fri 16 Apr 2010 11:58:14 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=78#comment167 @poitsplace #166"assuming instead that TSI [Total Solar Irradiance] is the absolute measure of forcing"Naughty scientists. Using the First Law of Thermodynamics for working out the forcing from the Sun. Total energy in a closed system remains constant. Bad bad bad scientists. No beans on toast for you.Er, except what should they use instead? Any exotic effects from the solar wind would complement rather than replace the contribution from the varying power of the Sun. These exotic effects are still under investigation. And remember, they are believed to work by affecting cloud cover, which mainstream climate scientists already acknowledge is one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in climate science.More to the point solar wind exotica don't appear to be covered by Goddard's article either."logarithmic"Yes, this is why climate sensitivity is expressed in terms of doubling of CO2. (sigh)"the very tropospheric temperature gradient it creates short circuits and could in extreme examples almost entirely replace radiative transfer through the troposphere"Oh, you mean a temperature inversion. Get those anyway. They get fixed by, what's the word. Oh yes, that's it. "Weather"."Also, as I've mentioned before, Venus is a bad example of GHG forcing as it applies to earth since the phase changing liquid in its atmosphere does not pool at the surface, has a MUCH higher boiling point and does not its self drive additional convection (water vapor is lighter than air...venus' sulfuric acid vapor is heavier than the rest of the atmosphere)"Venus is actually a better example than Earth because some of the processes are simpler. No cloud seeding by dimethyl sulphide (CH3-S-CH3) from plankton for instance. And there is plenty of convection in Venus's atmosphere. (Incidentally why "additional"? So what if water vapour is lighter than air, that just means that another part of the water cycle needs an energy input. Unless you have some sort of perpetual motion in mind.) Fri 16 Apr 2010 11:18:15 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=77#comment166 @bowmanthebard #148"probability"Well b***** the dictionary then.:-p"algorithm"Hey, it wasn't me who simplified the scientific method to something that looked like an algorithm."design" (noun)Personally I think that "purpose" (noun) (your #132) is at least as teleological as "design" (noun) but far sneakier in hiding ideas about what constitutes the design process.I also resent little homilies based on an assumption that I am using definition X of a word when I have made it clear that I am using definition Y. Fri 16 Apr 2010 10:04:37 GMT+1 lburt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=77#comment165 @JaneBasingstoke #162 who wrote..."And if that someone new skipped over the abstract of the Lockwood paper they might also miss that Lockwood's paper was about a regional effect. This misleading lack of clarity does not help the debate."Well in a way they have. The mainstream climate scientists have essentially written off almost all long term impacts of solar activity, assuming instead that TSI is the absolute measure of forcing and that the impact a normal solar minimum has on climate was close to the maximum forcing.They have also used this assumption in an attempt to work out the feedbacks of earth. They have built assumption on assumption. Total Solar Irradiance may not represent the sum total of the solar variability's net forcing...and there may be longer term aspects we are unaware of. Similarly, the initial forcing of CO2 has its self NEVER been worked out.It is entirely likely that the sun has additional impacts ...although its fluctuations are obviously not the single greatest influence on earth's climate fluctuations.GHG forcing is almost certainly weakened at higher and higher levels, not simply because of its logarithmic absorption curve but because the very tropospheric temperature gradient it creates short circuits and could in extreme examples almost entirely replace radiative transfer through the troposphere.Also, as I've mentioned before, Venus is a bad example of GHG forcing as it applies to earth since the phase changing liquid in its atmosphere does not pool at the surface, has a MUCH higher boiling point and does not its self drive additional convection (water vapor is lighter than air...venus' sulfuric acid vapor is heavier than the rest of the atmosphere)"Little" errors here and there eventually lead to a whopping great failure of a hypothesis. Fri 16 Apr 2010 09:00:34 GMT+1 simon-swede http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=76#comment164 Jane at #162In the same edition of Environmental Research Letters as the paper by Lockwood et al, there is also a "Perspective" piece by Rasmus E Benestad.This concludes with the following: "The results of Lockwood et al (2010) fit in with earlier work (Barriopedro et al 2008) and provide further evidence to support the current thinking on solar-terrestrial links. Thus, it is an example of incremental scientific progress rather than a breakthrough or a paradigm shift." Fri 16 Apr 2010 05:35:47 GMT+1 simon-swede http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=76#comment163 Bowman at #148Seems to me that you focus too much on scales you assume are covering others eyes and fail to realise that you have a massive blindfold covering your own. Fri 16 Apr 2010 05:19:28 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=75#comment162 @John_from_Hendon #134Twice in a lifetime, surely.http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg17523553.600-jets-blanket-the-earth.html Thu 15 Apr 2010 23:05:46 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=75#comment161 @Peter317 #159The contribution to global climate from the changing power output of the Sun is one of the most straightforward components of climate. Its position as an important component of mainstream climate science predates the IPCC, and is unchanged.Mike Lockwood's work is new. It applies to a regional effect and it is partly based on new evidence. Because it covers a regional effect it does not affect the mainstream position on solar activity on climate.None of this is clear from Goddard's own text in the article. Nor is it clear that Goddard has actually registered it.Someone new to the subject could come away with the impression that mainstream scientists had been ignoring variations in the Sun's power output and had suddenly discovered it. Which is wrong. And if that someone new skipped over the abstract of the Lockwood paper they might also miss that Lockwood's paper was about a regional effect.This misleading lack of clarity does not help the debate. Thu 15 Apr 2010 22:50:13 GMT+1 Peter317 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=74#comment160 rossglory @160:"they definitely imply"So that's a given then?sorry, couldn't resist ;-) Thu 15 Apr 2010 20:36:21 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=74#comment159 #157 Peter317apologies if i misinterpreted your post. however with respect to a warming world i can only speak about the papers i read during my studies and they definitely imply significant issues from warming and changes in precipitation (note that's not necessarily less precipitation). Thu 15 Apr 2010 20:22:23 GMT+1 Peter317 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=73#comment158 JaneBasingstole @130:"It looks as if Goddard believes that AGW scientists only believe in the greenhouse contribution to climate. This is plain wrong"I think Goddard's point is that they seem to attach a greater or lesser importance to natural variability, depending on how it suits them. Thu 15 Apr 2010 19:32:34 GMT+1 Peter317 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=73#comment157 rossglory @115:"firstly, there are options that many economists believe will not cause economic collapse (e.g. stern)."Excuse me for being a tad cynical about people like Stern - whose report was quietly altered after being released. Thu 15 Apr 2010 19:17:13 GMT+1 Peter317 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=72#comment156 rossglory @117:"If things change, so will civilisation - with probably no great hardship." - do you really believe that, even with double digit warming?? surely the reality is that even a fairly small fluctuation in food prices can cause great hardship."Firstly, my comment about double-digits and the one about human hardship were not meant to be in the same context - sorry if it appeared that way.Secondly, why should a warmer world not lead to an overall increase in food production? A cooler world is an entirely different story though. Thu 15 Apr 2010 19:03:30 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=72#comment155 #155 rossglory wrote:"generally, with a little help, impoverished parts of the world are able to feed themselves by using very little mostly free energy."I agree with you that gliding is a magnificent experience. However, protein is not a thermal. Impoverished parts of the world need cheap energy. Their children will die if they do not get cheap energy. Thu 15 Apr 2010 19:03:19 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=71#comment154 #152 bowmanthebard"If you don't like the word 'belief', you're not interested in truth." you strike me as someone 'inebriated by the exuberence of their own verbosity' :o)#154 bowmanthebard (again)i like cheap energy but i love free energy. now please try to follow, i was making a point about western intensive farming. generally, with a little help, impoverished parts of the world are able to feed themselves by using very little mostly free energy. it's only when we insist they turn over most of their agriculture to producing our food or even worse, buy up their best land for ourselves, do they really start to suffer (there's a lesson to be learnt from the indian famines under british rule which had nothing to do with cheap energy). Thu 15 Apr 2010 18:44:25 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=71#comment153 bowmanthebard: "Cheap food depends on cheap energy"#151 rossglory: "intensive farming depends on cheap energy, unhealthy and gluttonous eating habits depend on cheap energy, being able to throw away half your food depends on cheap energy."Exactly. Now add low infant mortality, and low death rate by diseases of malnutrition in impoverished parts of the world. Lots of fat, protein and carbohydrate may do us fat Westerners little good, but they are life as opposed to death in less fat places.We leave "fat balls" out for birds in the winter to save lives. We would probably call the human equivalent "junk food". It isn't "junk" to those whose lives have been saved by it.Do you really want to condemn impoverished people to death because you don't like cheap energy? Thu 15 Apr 2010 18:12:49 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=71#comment152 "A bird does not sing because it has an answer It sings because it has a song."Birds sing for much the same reasons as teenage boys (used to) do the "Stairway to Heaven" guitar solo: it's difficult, and if you can do it well it shows you've got one helluva talent. And then you're a "babe magnet". Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:56:58 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=70#comment151 #145 rossglory wrote:"but you can use 'belief' as much as you like (although everyone else will accuse you of religiosity)"The word 'belief' is the standard term for thinking something is true -- in other words being committed to its truth, or in other words accepting it as true. If you don't like the word 'belief', you're not interested in truth. Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:51:56 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=70#comment150 #127 bowmanthebard"Cheap food depends on cheap energy" - intensive farming depends on cheap energy, unhealthy and gluttonous eating habits depend on cheap energy, being able to throw away half your food depends on cheap energy. you need to engage your 'free thinking' brain bowman. Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:32:36 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=69#comment149 #134 John from Hendon"And peace and quiet that has not been known for 80 odd years. Glorious!" - this is something we can agree on Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:27:32 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=69#comment148 #137 John from Hendonif you had checked my previous posts (which i never expected you to do but if you claimed to i would expect you to do it properly) you would have found several that showed just how sceptical i am of climate sceince. but i am far, far, far more sceptical of those that have opposed climate science to date and even more sceptical of posters on here you would also find posts that indicated that i don;t believe 'scepticism' is an attrubte but an approach. i applied my scepticism over the years (i mourn the countless hours following links to 'sceptical' websites full of nonsense) and came to the conclusion that the science from places like nasa, uea, woods hole etc is superior to anything that opposes them (monckton, pielke, spencer, soon, singer, m&m etc). just objecting to what is the current scientific view is not scepticism. in fact the closest i've seen to a true 'free thinking sceptic' is james lovelock, a genius who knows the subject well is anti-authority but accepts the agw theory (should he be more sceptical). so if i've offended you with my views that's a shame, but i find it very, very odd that you criticise me for not being sceptical of climate scientists and their thousands of peer reviewed papers but lambast me for being sceptical of your views posted anonymously on the bbc website. Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:25:47 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=68#comment147 #140 JaneBasingstoke wrote:"Ho hum. Another word to add to the growing list of words with some of their definitions banned by bowmanthebard."I think you're being a bit unfair. I'm not trying to ban any things, just trying to be clear about how we use words, because I agree with Wittgenstein that language "bewitches out intelligence". People who aren't aware of how much their intelligence is bewitched by language are still under the spell!"probability"I'm just trying to be clear about the difference between statistics ("7 out of 10 cats prefer Whiskas") and credibility ("it is probable that the US manned space program will continue"). By all means use the word 'probability' all you like for credibility, but be aware it is out of place when used in statistics.Far from wanting to ban things, I'm trying to liberate minds! If that scientific "expert" Sir Roy Meadow had grasped the difference, poor old Sally Clark might still be alive."algorithm"Computers and beginner cooks are great with algorithms. But science is more like art in that it involves creativity and imagination. What's wrong with that? -- It's said by a true lover of science."design" (noun)Once you really see that there is no design in nature, the scales will fall from your eyes about all sorts of things, such as the stability of various biological equilibria. Then you can sit back and enjoy the ride of constant global climate variation!Far from wanting to ban things, I'm trying to get everyone to enjoy themselves a bit more. Enjoy the sunshine instead of worrying about the warmth, for goodness' sake! Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:20:19 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=68#comment146 #138 kamboshigh"However, as the Lord Oxburgh 8 page report points out quite clear the statistical method used at CRU was not to a profesional standard."i couldn't find that in the report. i did find this:"Although there are certainly different ways of handling the data, some of which might be superior, as far as we can judge the methods which CRU has employed are fair and satisfactory."i also found this regarding the critics of prof jones:"but it seems that some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU."that's as close as you'll get to a mauling in these types of reports. Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:06:38 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=67#comment145 #141 Chris LondonOf ocurse you can have an opinion on this (who am i to deny that). however, whether that opinion is scientifically credible is what really matters. so accusing very talented and hard working scientists of 'discredit(ing) any evidence that questions their superstitions' without anything that appears to be evidence that years of published research is just 'superstition' just didn't seem to be the words of an 'undecided' fence sitter.also i think it's very important to understand the origin of some of the 'alternatives' to agw such as 'solar' (john mashey is an excellent source). Thu 15 Apr 2010 17:00:45 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=67#comment144 #140 janebasingstokebut you can use 'belief' as much as you like (although everyone else will accuse you of religiosity) Thu 15 Apr 2010 16:50:56 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=66#comment143 To Ghostofsichuan #101:"A bird does not sing because it has an answer It sings because it has a song." (Ghost)--------------I like it Ghost - thank you!We have a western country singer over here, Emmy Lou Harris, and she sings that:"It's a hard life wherever you go."I think this is true. It seems a very human thing (Livy) to look back in hopes of finding a time when this was not so. I am guilty of this at times.Perhaps it is more revealing to look back simply to gain perspective?Apparently, we are Ice Age hunters in mind and body, and today we find ourselves in different circumstances.My hope is that the proven strengths which we have built into us for adapting to changing times will again reassert themselves, for I do think that affluence is debilitating, both mentally and physically.We seem to thrive, or perhaps to work at full capacity, only when we are confronted by hardship and danger. What could be more natural? In between, we rest.It also seems that Ice Age hunters are very collective, at the same time that they are indivduals. Both propensities are useful at various times - circumstance dependent.The West has been promoting, and perhaps being, overly indivualistic these last decades. Perhaps it is time now to assert our more tribal propensities - for example, Bolivia and the World Democratic Conference upcoming.I searched three newspapers this morning here in Calgary - a national paper and two local papers.Not one single word or reference did I find regarding one of the most unique events in my memory at least - one in which two billion people are expected to participate in a global referendum.This lack of coverage cannot be attributed to ignorance, or perhaps anything other than that it contravenes business as usual in a potentially very serious and meaningful way.I suppose one cannot change the world after all, but yin and yang appear to be the essential elements in producing the energy of life.It remains only to choose sides.All the best from here,Manysummits Thu 15 Apr 2010 16:50:15 GMT+1 sensiblegrannie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=66#comment142 Many years ago I watched an open university program about plumes of smoke. Smoke has to come down at some point, usually in a cone area away from the source. So who is going to get the volcano fallout and what can they expect? Thu 15 Apr 2010 16:12:20 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=65#comment141 @sensibleoldgrannie #133Yes, I've been looking at the sky this afternoon as well.The thing is, unlike December 2005, photographs of this ash cloud appear to show it as much more cloud coloured. December 2005http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4517962.stmApril 2010http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/8622055.stmPerhaps it might affect tonight's sunset. Thu 15 Apr 2010 16:03:58 GMT+1 Chris London http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=65#comment140 125. At 12:30pm on 15 Apr 2010, rossglory wrote:#122 Chris London"As an undecided..I find it very worrying that they either try to discredit any evidence that questions their superstitions.." - you don;t strike me as an undecidedI am afraid but I am very undecided. It is just when anyone does not respect any other points of view I find it disturbing. This often happens in religion, you either believe or you are a non believer. You are not allowed to have a different opinion. Thu 15 Apr 2010 15:54:46 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=64#comment139 Ho hum. Another word to add to the growing list of words with some of their definitions banned by bowmanthebard."probability""algorithm""design" (noun)(sigh) Thu 15 Apr 2010 15:50:49 GMT+1 SheffTim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=64#comment138 #130. From Lockwood’s et al abstract: “We stress that this is a regional and seasonal effect relating to European winters and not a global effect… the results presented here indicate that, despite hemispheric warming, the UK and Europe could experience more cold winters than during recent decades.”I think much will depend on the NAO and AO. Both were unusually negative this winter. (The El Nino also pushed warmer air up into high latitudes and contributed to the high pressure area over Greenland this winter.)The only winter months with a lower NAO index were February 1978 (-2.20) and January 1963 (-2.12).January 1963 was one of the coldest in the both United Kingdom and the eastern USA. Low NAO index’s are associated with blocking highs and weaker jet streams bringing Polar air southwards.Strong and weak jet streams tend to cluster in groups: a series of mild and stormy winters, followed by three or four cold and snowy ones. Cold clusters in the past half-century were 1962-65, 1968-70, 1978-82, 1985-87 and 1994-97. If the NAO and AO are negative during the next few winters then we might see a short series of colder winters, but any relationship with solar activity still looks tenuous to me. The NAO has its own cycle. --------------------------------“It looks as if Goddard believes that AGW scientists only believe in the greenhouse contribution to climate. This is plain wrong.”It seems to be a standard ploy to pretend that the IPCC don’t take natural climate variability into account; regardless of the true fact that they do.Canadian sceptic Tim Ball ran into serious difficulties attempting to pretend that climate models only consider human contributions to climate at a recent meeting in Canada’s Victoria University. The University has a climate modelling dept (one of Canada’s best) and students from it were in the audience.Ball: “It’s [Milankovitch Cycles] not even included. The models they’re doing here on campus. They’re not in there. Sorry."Student: "We do include it, though. I am with the UVic climate lab and we do include it in our models. It’s a standard parameter."It carried on like that for around two hours.http://www.desmogblog.com/tim-ball-concert-battered-facts Thu 15 Apr 2010 15:40:51 GMT+1 Kamboshigh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=64#comment137 Ah Jane but we have had global cooling since 1985, well not quite, Phil Jones stated on the BBC that "there had be no statistical warming in the last 15 years"However, as the Lord Oxburgh 8 page report points out quite clear the statistical method used at CRU was not to a profesional standard.What I found very funny was "hid the decline" in which the report puts the blame for this on the IPCC. In true climate science farce, Lord Oxburgh use a lovely trick in that "hiding the decline" is an IPCC problem with the chapter authors, when the chapter authors are from CRU. You couldn't make it up if you tried. Thu 15 Apr 2010 15:18:08 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=63#comment136 #118. rossglory wrote:"however, i'm not an expert on climate science and neither, i can say with almost certainty, are you."It is so sad that you scientific education has not caused you to question that which you are told.I thank god I am not a 'climate scientist', but a proper one!Neither am I as arrogant as you - I would not expect such baseless rudeness from any on my post doctoral students and again it causes me to be amazed that you actually gained an Open University degree an institution I have known and respected from its inception, indeed some of my undergraduate physics lecturers helped start up the OU.If you are not sceptical you are not any kind of scientist. If a theory does not fit the facts it is wrong or incomplete and you should revert to the drawing board not fiddle the data to fit the theoretical model! Learn this one thing and you may one day make a scientist, but not yet! Thu 15 Apr 2010 15:12:21 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=63#comment135 Volcanic Ash and Climate Change.This cloud contains considerable quantities of sulphur. And sulphur in the upper atmosphere quite rapidly undoes warming (from whatever cause) so this 'experiment' may be of considerable value! Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:58:48 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=62#comment134 LarryKealey #104It is a proverb. it is to have a meaning or lesson. For you: To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish” Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:57:15 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=62#comment133 Icelandic Ash = No aircraft pollution and no com trails - a once in a lifetime opportunity to investigate the clouds free from man made aircraft water vapour.And peace and quiet that has not been known for 80 odd years. Glorious!I immediately noticed the loss of the persistent low level hum inside my well soundproofed home - I had never realised just how bad it had become. It raises one's spirits to be free from the noise of aircraft (and I do not normally notice aircraft and I am not under a flight path). It is as if a burden has been removed from one's head. My guess is that the sound I feel unburdened from is infra-sound below the normal hearing threshold.Please gather together stories about this for your blog. Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:56:32 GMT+1 sensiblegrannie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=61#comment132 JaneofBasingstoke at post 128I glad you liked the custard pies:-)I am a keen observer of what is happening all around me and I noticed a marked drop in sound transmission at precisely 2.52pm followed by a further drop in sound at 2.56pm. The sun was shining brightly this morning and it was sufficiently warm to wear lighter clothing. Popping outside to why the sound quality seemed different, I noticed a drop in temperature, a strong breeze and the start of clouds. We have an airport near by and it might have been that going quiet due to air traffic being grounded. I almost expected the Internet to be down due to the (expected) high altitude dust cloud from the volcano coming overhead. The clouds look normal enough at the moment, all big and fluffy with patches of blue in between. If I see any big ominous cloud that look like volcano spew I will let you know. Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:31:13 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=61#comment131 #128 JaneBasingstoke wrote:"No room for Dawkins' "blind watchmaker" metaphor then?"The watch metaphor was Williams Paley's, so we were sort of stuck with it already... and Dawkins only added "blind" to the metaphor in order to dispel it. When he wrote that book he was tired and irritated with what many people had done with his own supposed metaphor "selfish" (Dawkins himself explicitly denied that it was a metaphor).Metaphors seem to be necessary when a theory is in its infancy (uh oh -- a metaphor) but as a theory develops metaphors have to be cashed (uh oh -- another metaphor) into literal terms. If not, they feed (uh oh -- yet another metaphor) bad habits of thought. Few habits of thought are worse than that of thinking there is design in nature (except in the limited places where there really is design, of course)."Personally I see design all over nature"No you don't. You think you see design, but mostly all you see are bodily organs having a "usual purpose", such as the heart having the purpose of pumping the blood. (In symbiosis, two or three organisms in effect act like organs of a single organism.) Talk of "purpose" in that context is really shorthand for purely a causal (i.e. non-teleological) story of how it came about and what it does. But once we leave the context of organs inside an organism and move on to organisms in an ecosystem, talk of design is misleading poison. It gives people the mistaken impression that there are "delicate balances" in an ecosystem the way there are delicate balances in an organism. Just think how common that idea is. Much of the anxiety over climate change is anxiety that these "delicate balances" will be "knocked out of kilter", and that as a result the Earth's ecosystem (as if there were just one!) will completely "unravel" in some vague but definitely catastrophic way.But life just doesn't work like that. The balances are settled on by nature itself, and they are nearly all in stable rather than unstable equilibrium. When something changes, a new balance is settled on rather than "the whole thing unravels in a catastrophic chain reaction", which is what metaphors of design lead us to assume, and wrongly assume. Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:24:52 GMT+1 Smiffie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=60#comment130 The west is terrified that compliant regimes in the middle-east could, at any time, be replaced by fundamentalist ones who would use oil as a weapon against countries who resist Islamic law & customs, weapon of mass conversion. This is the real reason for the push for bio-fuels, CO2 is just a pretext. We can grow fuel at home and we can buy vegetable oils from anywhere in the world, it is therefore inevitable that food and energy will soon become two forms of the same product. Prices will equalise causing even bigger food inflation than we have already seen, this will be inconvenient for us in the west but a disaster for the third world. In the years ahead the world will have to face up to population control, possibly population control will be have to be a condition of aid. Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:10:59 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=60#comment129 @Barry Woods #120(@SheffTim)I am not impressed by Steven Goddard's take on Mike Lockwood's work.Firstly he appears to ignore Lockwood's "We stress that this is a regional and seasonal effect relating to European winters and not a global effect.".Secondly he ignores an obvious implication of a 1985 maximum (after taking account of the 11 year sunspot cycle the Sun's output has been declining since 1985). If the Sun's output had been driving recent global temperatures we would have had global cooling since 1985.Finally his comment about modern science catching up with Hershel is grossly unfair to AGW scientists who take solar activity into account precisely because of Hershel's work. Basic solar output is one of the easiest contributions to the Earth's climate to understand. It looks as if Goddard believes that AGW scientists only believe in the greenhouse contribution to climate. This is plain wrong. Thu 15 Apr 2010 14:04:20 GMT+1 SheffTim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=59#comment128 #120. Low solar activity link to cold UK winters I’m unconvinced. This has been claimed many times before, but then breaks down for lack of uniform effect (see below) or a mechanism for causing such blocking highs.I don't deny that minimums and maximums have some effect on temps, but they are thought to produce no more than 0.1 degreeC (0.18 degree F) of cooling or warming. I doubt you'd even notice that difference outdoors. Nor is there any clearly identified mechanism of how they might otherwise affect changes to weather. Any direct connection between solar minimums and lower temperatures is vague at best.The current solar Minimum started in March 2006. (There’ll be a solar Maximum around 2012.)http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/06mar_solarminimum.htmlYet 2007 was a warm year in the UK2007 was the hottest April ever @ 11.2 C = some 3.3 degrees higher than the average Central English Temperature.http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cet_info_mean2007.htmlWinter 06/07 also saw above average temps.Nov. 2006 was 1.5 above ave CETDec. 2006 was 1.8 above ave CETJan. 2007 was 3.2 above ave CET Feb. 2007 was 2.6 above ave CETMar. 2007 was 1.6 above ave CETThe current solar minimum was at its lowest in 2008; yet the recent 09/10 winter was much colder in the UK than that of 08/09. Correlation between solar cycles, weather and temperature is very poor.2008/2009 was generally cooler – but because of a strong La Nina in the Pacific. (See below.)http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article2517868.ecehttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7574603.stmhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114085128.htmLooking at the winter we’ve just had:February 2010 was the coldest for the continental USA since February 1979.http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100310_cooler.htmlYet Canada had its warmest winter on record:http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/ccrm/bulletin/national_e.cfmOur Easter earlier this month was cool; cold & snowy over Scotland. Yet, over continental USA many places had excellent Easter weather.'Nearly 500 record high temperatures (and another 172 record high minimum temperatures) have been broken in the Midwest & Northeast USA this April'.Temperatures were up into the 90s (F) in places.http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/weathermatrix/story/27070/heat-wave-500-record-highs-90s-40-above-norm.aspToronto in Canada (43 degrees N): has just broken (April 2nd 2010) a 40 year record for warmth at this time of year with 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 degrees F).http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100402/to_wx_100402/20100402?hub=TorontoMarch 2010 Now Officially India's Warmest March on Record. 08/04/10"As if the unusually high temperatures of March were not enough, April, too, is likely to be warmer than usual over the country."http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100409/main7.htmI'm not seeing any clear connection between a quieter sun and colder than average weather.Ocean/atmosphere interactions are the main driver behind major weather variability. It's what's happening to and over the oceans we should be paying much more attention to.El Nino/La Nina events involve only changes in temperatures of a few degrees, yet have major worldwide impacts. (They could also be good analogs for changes to climate, if ocean temperatures change on a long long-term basis.)Why was the past 2009-2010 winter so different, particularly over the USA?The answer is we experienced the effects of a rare combination of an El Nino plus an Arctic Oscillation in its most negative phase in 60 years of record keeping. Negative AOs are also connected with blocking highs. (Interestingly Prof. Lockwood doesn’t even mention El Nino, despite noticing warmer than average global temp’s this winter.)If you've not seen it I've been running a web-page on this winter, impacts and causes. I've now updated it to the end of March, due to the recent historic flooding in parts of the USA, followed by a heatwave - whilst the drought in S. China & SE Asia is - in some parts - now the worst in 60 years.http://sites.google.com/site/whythe2009winterissocold/Its possible that the answer may lie with the Indian Ocean dipole and whether any solar activity affects that. See below.One explanation for the blocking highs forming in 09/10 is this: "What caused the cold outbreak was a stratospheric warming event during late Nov / early Dec. This caused the polar vortex to slow...split in two...and reverse direction...creating an anti-cyclonic (clock-wise) circulation aloft. The reversal took 3 weeks to propagate to the surface...creating HIGH pressure over the pole....which in turn created favourable conditions for arctic outbreaks and high-latitude blocking...such as the one currently observed.These reversal events occur preferentially during years (such as this one) where an east wind is observed in the tropical stratosphere...the quasi-biennial oscillation - QBO...and solar activity (sunspots) is low. Above normal snowfall in eastern Eurasia this fall played a significant role in initiating the stratospheric warming event."‘Improved Skill of Northern Hemisphere Winter Surface Temperature Predictions Based on Land–Atmosphere Fall Anomalies.’ Cohen & Fletcher. Journal of Climate. 2007.There may be a link between that and research suggesting that an autumn positive (warmer) phase of the Indian Ocean dipole can also induce heavy snow over eastern Eurasia - e.g. Mongolia, Korea and Japan - during the following winter and spring seasons. Delayed influence of the Indian Ocean Dipole mode on the East Asia-West Pacific monsoon. Kripalani et al. International journal of climatology. 2010.http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=22338278This appears to have happened during the winter of 2009 - 2010, adding to the heavy snow-falls over Northern China, Korea and Mongolia.Interestingly, 11 yr solar cycles may be linked to changes to El Nino/La Ninahttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716113358.htmSo it’s possible; if there is some (as yet unknown) connection with the Indian Ocean dipole. Thu 15 Apr 2010 13:12:47 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=59#comment127 @bowmanthebard #121(@davblo)(@simon-swede)(@sensibleoldgrannie)"No one can believe in design in nature without at the same time believing in a designer."No room for Dawkins' "blind watchmaker" metaphor then? Personally I see design all over nature, frequently combined with the sort of design flaws that no god like designer would have introduced, flaws that are frequently strongly suggestive of the evolutionary pathway of that design by natural selection. The vertebrate eye is designed for seeing but it has a blind spot because the blood vessels are on the "wrong" side of the retina. The mitochondrion is designed to give eukaryotic cells access to aerobic respiration, but, due to its evolutionary history as a symbiote, it contains some of its own DNA, which makes that DNA more susceptible to oxidative damage. The vertebrate heart is designed for pumping blood, but again the design process was natural selection.Do you really need the rider "as selected for by the process of natural selection" when referring to the heart being designed to pump blood round the body?Meanwhile there does seem to be an element of "projection" in your accusations of religion. Time and time again people here seem to have to clarify their posts to show that they don't contain hidden religious assumptions. There are people here that are overtly religious. There may be people here that have attitudes towards nature that might be described as crypto-religious. But I can't remember the last time you exposed a genuine hidden religious assumption in an argument.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection@sensibleoldgrannie #112"custard pies":-) Thu 15 Apr 2010 12:57:19 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=58#comment126 @ #124 rossglory:"Cheap food depends on cheap energy" is such a broad brushstroke it's more a matter of common sense than economic theory. Just think of all the ways in which fossil fuels are used in agriculture, and to process, store and transport food, and to manufacture and transport the materials needed to grow food."The population has risen hugely because of cheap food" is a matter of basic evolutionary theory.So if food gets more expensive, the "ceiling" has to come down a bit. That means death, unless we're very careful.By contrast, the claim that a bit more heat and CO2 would lead to economic collapse is much more speculative and "theoretical", as it depends on the abstract and abstruse reasonings of economists, and the ignorant quasi-religious claims of climate science, whose stupid inductivist methods were discredited long ago. Thu 15 Apr 2010 12:26:48 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=58#comment125 #120 Barry WoodsI think you may have missed this part:"But they added that the phenomenon only affected a limited region and would not alter the overall global warming trend."otherwise it makes it look as if you're suggesting this conflicts with the agw theory Thu 15 Apr 2010 12:18:30 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=57#comment124 #122 Chris London"As an undecided..I find it very worrying that they either try to discredit any evidence that questions their superstitions.." - you don;t strike me as an undecided Thu 15 Apr 2010 11:30:41 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=57#comment123 #119 bowman"Few economists take Stern seriously, because they know he has a mighty climate change axe to grind. And economics remains a pretty "dismal" science, so it is probably a mistake to put too much trust in any but the "broadest brushstroke" economic principles."but that is exactly what you did when you claimed that 'the dangers come from economic collapse'. i agree totally with the inability of economics to make predictions but to claim economic collapse is on a par with climate change assumes that: 1. economic collapse has at least as much impact (which as i said before, it doesn't) 2. policies to combat climate change will lead to economic collapse (which you've just said is impossible to predict...and your broad brushstroke rider doesn;t really wash because i could say the same about stern) so once again i'm at a bit of a loss as to what your point is :o( Thu 15 Apr 2010 11:25:43 GMT+1 simon-swede http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=57#comment122 Bowman at #121I don't believe in design in nature.I don't consider that you have religious beliefs simply because you use the word 'divine'. That would be daft.However I do consider that you are obsessed by religion and you wrongly imagine that other people are 'falsely denying' their own beliefs - what I have called your religious pop-psychology crusade. Thu 15 Apr 2010 10:24:09 GMT+1 Chris London http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=56#comment121 As an undecided I just find the way the climate change professionals just state everything as facts. They are not facts they are theories, they may be correct but they can not be totally supported. I find it very worrying that they either try to discredit any evidence that questions their superstitions. I also get confused by the fact that cold winters can be down to solar activity but warming must be down to us. Now let me say that I do believe that we do not use our resources thoughtfully and we do not respect our planet or nature. However I do not know what is causing climate change. I was always taught that a scientist would question all evidence. It does appear that money sways views. Also the language used in the leaked e-mails was not that of a true professional and does raise questions about their ethics. Let us get back to being true scientists being questioning and inquisitive while staying impartial until something is proved unequivocally. Remember we can be asked to respect the planet without the scare mongering. Thu 15 Apr 2010 10:17:35 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=56#comment120 #112 sensibleoldgrannie wrote:"I truly believe in the divine omnipresence of God and you can throw custard pies all you want, 'cause it won't change my mind one bit."I have absolutely no objection at all to anyone who honestly and authentically believes in God. Most of the people I admire most are religious believers.What I find contemptible is the intellectual dishonesty and inauthenticity of claiming to not believe in God, -- i.e. claiming to reject religion -- at the same time as believing in "design" in nature. No one can believe in design in nature without at the same time believing in a designer.You're fine -- it's the unreflective hypocrites I'm objecting to. Thu 15 Apr 2010 10:04:06 GMT+1 Barry Woods http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=55#comment119 Lockwood demonstrates link between low sun and low temps (Prof. Mike Lockwood, IPCC author"The BBC reported Wednesday that Mike Lockwood at the University of Reading has established a statistical link between cold weather and low solar activity.The UK and continental Europe could be gripped by more frequent cold winters in the future as a result of low solar activity, say researchers.“By recent standards, we have just had what could be called a very cold winter and I wanted to see if this was just another coincidence or statistically robust,” said lead author Mike Lockwood, professor of space environment physics at the University of Reading,"http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/14/lockwood-demonstrates-link-between-low-sun-and-low-temps/now, this logic would imply, high sun high temps as well? Thu 15 Apr 2010 10:02:39 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=55#comment118 #115 rossglory wrote:"firstly, there are options that many economists believe will not cause economic collapse (e.g. stern)."Few economists take Stern seriously, because they know he has a mighty climate change axe to grind. And economics remains a pretty "dismal" science, so it is probably a mistake to put too much trust in any but the "broadest brushstroke" economic principles.Prices fluctuate, but there are two main reasons why food has been cheaper than ever before in the last few hundred years: (1) technology and (2) cheap energy. We can be confident that technology will keep advancing, but over-reliance on "green" energy will definitely push food prices up. A lot of cheap food involves energy-demanding processes. If these processes cost more, or even become prohibitively expensive, then food prices will start to climb. Once they start to go up, they can spiral out of control under market forces. There is real danger here.Many people assume humans are "naturally sensible" reproducers whose minds have been corrupted by "modern society". They think the recent population explosion is the result of "modern society" (or something vaguely like it). In fact it's just the result of cheaper food. When food gets more expensive as a result of reliance on expensive "green" energy, the forces that kept the population down before will re-establish themselves. Just consider at the famine in Ireland that followed its population explosion. It is folly not to learn this important lesson from history. Thu 15 Apr 2010 09:58:52 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=54#comment117 #103 John_from_hendon"My contributions were the result of attending a number of climate seminars over the last decade and carefully considering the data and the science, several degrees in physical sciences and many decades of professional scientific endeavour."i've debated this with larrykealey and others. i've completed a degree in environmental science (larry calls it a baby degree) with the open university, including lots of seminars and talking to many people working in climate science. i was following the science back in the 80s and have read numerous papers. i have a background in computing and statistics and have done some modelling. however, i'm not an expert on climate science and neither, i can say with almost certainty, are you.so i say once again, i totally disagree....and you can disagree with me etc, etc, etc. and that is why i don't try to argue the science here. there is a minute chance one of the 'amateur climate scientists' (and that's not meant to be derogatory, i am one myself) here will pick up on something significant but from what i've seen neither you nor anyone else has.and going back to authority, there is no reason why your arguments (many of which have been addressed in the literature) should hold sway over those that have dedicated their lives to climate science and put together a pretty convincing message.....imho Thu 15 Apr 2010 09:24:09 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=54#comment116 #95 Peter317"If things change, so will civilisation - with probably no great hardship." - do you really believe that, even with double digit warming?? surely the reality is that even a fairly small fluctuation in food prices can cause great hardship. Thu 15 Apr 2010 09:08:25 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=53#comment115 #bowmanbtw has it ever occurred to you that it's not everyone else?? :o) Thu 15 Apr 2010 09:03:07 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/04/en_route_from_the_un.html?page=53#comment114 # bowman"But you're missing something vitally important here. BOTH sides want to err on the side of caution. Most AGW-ers think the danger comes from climate change, whereas most sceptics think the danger comes from economic collapse."i think you're being especially specious here. firstly, there are options that many economists believe will not cause economic collapse (e.g. stern).secondly economies collapse regularly....i vaguely recall something happening a couple of years ago.....and we go on (apparently without learning lessons).thirdly, if the worse-case scenario occurs (say 4.5 degrees) then the impact will be orders of magnitude more damaging than any econimic collapse and will last for many, many generations.once again reminds me of gore's inconcenient truth and the scales with lots of yummy money on one side and the entire planet on the other. Thu 15 Apr 2010 09:01:26 GMT+1