Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Norfolk Constabulary Made the Wrong Charges

A few months ago the Norfolk UK police raided the home of Roger "Tallbloke" Tattersall. They found no evidence he was involved in the Climategate theft, but they should not have dropped the case, because he's guilty -- of counterfeiting.

Specifically, science counterfeiting. Alas, such an infraction does not appear in the legal code, though perhaps it should. In any case, Tattersall isn't very good at it.

An endless stream of scientific drivel pours out of his blog, all in the name of denying the science of climate change. But Tattersall isn't interested in quibbling about Arctic ice trends or the urban heat island effect. He and his contributors are busy constructing their own scientific reality.

Not surprisingly, their world does not agree with the data scientists actually measure, but that doesn't seem to matter to them -- they always finds ways of bending the theory and/or the data so it seems to, while simultaneously finding a way -- any way -- to claim that canonical science fails.

There are many examples I could point to, but the best is his marketing of the ideas of Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller. N&Z, as they're known, claim that radiative physics has been misapplied to the Earth and that its basic greenhouse effect is not the commonly claimed 30 C or so, but would be several times higher -- or something. And so, they say, there is no greenhouse effect, but that atmospheric pressure accounts for the enhanced Earth's surface temperature. (Even Roy Spencer disagrees.)

Alas, N&Z are confused about the physics, and Tattersall is even more confused in his defense of them. (He doesn't like it when people point this out, and routinely bans people who insist on pointing out his errors. Deniers often resort to this tactic when obfuscation has failed.)

This gets a little technical, and sorting it all out can take some time, but the basics are fairly clear: N&Z adopt an unrealistic picture for a planetary body, and so their calculation gives the wrong answer.

Standard climate science says the Earth's average temperature, to first approximation, is 255 K, calculated according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law:

TE = [S(1-α)/4σ]1/4

where S is the Earth's solar constant (1367 W/m2), α its albedo (0.3), and σ is the Stefan Boltzmann constant. (The factor of 4 comes from a large-scale average.) Since the Earth's annual average temperature is about about 286 K, climate scientists say the greenhouse effect is approximately the difference, about 30 K.

To be sure, there are assumptions made in this calculation, the major ones being that the our Sun's light strikes the Earth as parallel rays, and that the planet's temperature is uniform over its entire surface. The latter is not such a bad approximation: the Earth's global annual mean temperature is 286 K, the equatorial annual mean is 4% above this, the north pole 10% below and the south pole 21% below.

N&Z say this is incorrect, because the radiation laws have been misapplied to a gray body. (A gray body is a blackbody with an emissivity less than one -- it does not radiate like a perfect blackbody.) They claim one must first calculate the temperature at each point on the gray body, and then average the temperature over the sphere. So they write the temperature function of a spherical gray body as



T(θ,φ) = S(1-α)cos(θ)/εσ


where θ is the zenith angle of sunlight (see their Figure 1 here). They then integrate this over the body's sphere:

where μ = cos(θ). Consequently they get a factor of 2/5 where the standard application above gives the fourth root of 1/4. So applying this to a planet's dayside (the nightside gets no solar radiation and so has T=0) they find (page 4 here) an average T of 234 K. They write:
"The take-home lesson from the above example is that calculating the actual
mean temperature of an airless planet requires explicit integration of the SB law
over the planet surface. This implies first taking the 4th root of the absorbed
radiative flux at each point on the surface and then averaging the resulting
temperature field rather than trying to calculate a mean temperature from a spatially averaged flux as done in Eq. (3)."
But think about this: their picture of an airless planetary body is one that has T=0 at certain points on its surface -- the points where the radiation comes in perpendicular to the surface, or on its nightside.

Does that sound like the planetary body you're living on? It doesn't even sound like the moon (where the nightside temperature is about 95 K) or Mercury (about 120 K).

They try to save their result by ad hoc adding radiation from the cosmic microwave background -- that's the cs term in the above equation.

The CMB has a temperature of 2.72 K, so its radiation contributes 3.1 μW/m2. Does that sound like the planet you're living on, for any point on its surface? No, it does not.

It's not even the moon, where heat is conducted through the lunar regolith, which is why its nightside temperature is so high compared to the CMB. (Vasavada et al modeled it in this 1999 paper.)

Tattersall is trying to claim that a measurement of the moon's equatorial temperature "confirms" N&Z's claim that the Stefan Boltzmann law has been misapplied to gray bodies. It does not.

Here is the data. N&Z's result for the average temperature is 39 K too low -- some confirmation!

Meanwhile, standard radiative physics gives exactly the right value for the average, and for the shape of the curve as well. Standard physics says (this is from Pierrehumbert's textbook, Chapter 3, pgs 152-153) that, on a body like the moon, with essentially no atmosphere, there is no large scale equilibrium, so the temperature on the dayside is due to its radiation at that point. Now, along the equator the solar radiation has a factor of a cosine due to its obliquity to the normal, and when calculating the average you have to average its fourth power. Radiative considerations alone can’t fix the nightside temperature — thermal conductance of the regolith must be included, so I'll just take that as a constant Tn. Then

average equatorial T = (2.7/2π)B +Tn/2 = 212 K

where B=[S(1-α)/σ]1/4, S is the Earth’s solar constant, and Tn is the nightside temperature of about 95 K (as measured by Diviner). The number 2.7 comes from the cosine integral.

Not only is this the right average, but this method also predicts that the peak for the lunar equatorial temperature will be B. The moon's albedo is 0.11, so this gives 382 K -- an exact agreement with the data. And it says the temperature along the equator should drop off as the 1/4th power of the longitude -- also in agreement with the measued curve.

But Tattersall's need to deny the greenhouse effect is so large that this isn't good enough, so he's sticking with N&Z, even though they're incorrect.

N&Z's real error (as physicist Joel Shore tried repeatedly to point out to Tattersall, which resulted (of course) in his getting banned) is the assumption that the temperature at each point on the surface is determined only by the balance of incoming radiation and emitted radiation. In effect, they assume (as Shore put it to me) "a body with no thermal inertia or thermal transport. For body with significant inertia and thermal transport (and especially rotation), these assumptions will be poor."

--

Saul Bellow wrote, "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."

Here is a perfect demonstration of Bellow's sagacity.

26 comments:

NnN said...

The way I see it G&T and this shit is like fly paper for idiots.

They do us a service by keeping the idiots at bay yapping over silly theories instead of spreading lies and smears and harassing scientists.

And they enjoy themselves too.

Win win all round.

Joel said...

Actually, I don't even think this issue of the average temperature is the worst of N&Z's problems. N&Z's calculation of the average temperature is at least more-or-less correct for some approximation that is probably not very realistic even for most airless bodies. Frankly, I think this whole argument about the temperature of the moon is mainly a distraction from the more significant scientific issues.

Three worse problems with their work are:

(1) They use this to make the claim that the actual temperature enhancement that has to be explained is ~133 K rather than ~ 33 K. But, in fact, there is no mystery there that needs to be explained except for the mathematically-inept. There are many temperature distributions with many different average temperatures that are all compatible with a blackbody emitting 240 W/m^2 (which is what the Earth has to emit as seen from space to be in radiative balance). Which one is actually realized depends on details like the body's thermal inertia, thermal transport, etc. However, none of these temperatures is higher than 255 K, which is what a body with a perfectly uniform temperature distribution has to have to emit 240 W/m^2. Nobody has successfully explained how one can satisfy conservation of energy if a planet is at an average temperature of ~288 K, emitting about 395 W/m^2, while the planet (including atmosphere) is only absorbing ~240 W/m^2 from the sun unless you invoke a radiative greenhouse effect. And, it is a fool's errand to try to do so because it is impossible.

(2) In their paper, N&Z purport to show that the radiative greenhouse effect disappears from a simple model when one puts in convection. However, they have put convection in incorrectly: They have put it in so that it drives the temperature to be equal between the surface and the emitting level in the atmosphere. However, in reality, convection only drives the temperature difference down as far as the adiabatic lapse rate. It is no surprise that a difference in temperature between the surface and the emitting level is necessary to have a radiative greenhouse effect. For example, in Ray Pierrehumbert's textbook, he states on p. 148, "The key insight taken from this discussion is that the greenhouse effect only works to the extent that the atmosphere is colder at the radiating level than it is at the ground." You would think that N&Z would admit this error or at least try to defend what they did (impossible although that would be). Instead, they just continue to repeat the falsehood that putting convection into the models correctly causes the radiative greenhouse effect to go away.

(3) They expect people to think it a "miracle" that they can get a good 4-parameter fit to 8 pieces of data, some of which are fairly trivial. (And, people who have looked at this more closely than I think that the goodness of fit may even be due to a certain amount of fitting the data to the model since there is significant argument about temperatures [and perhaps even pressures] of virtually airless planets and N&Z have never explained how they arrived at their data values.)

Neil Bates said...

Note also, I don't know how relevant to all this: bodies really aren't even "gray bodies" either, they have varying absorptivity (equals emissivity) over the spectrum. The radiation is based *per each little band of the spectrum.* (not widely disseminated.) Hence, an extreme example: a body that could stay purple when very hot, would glow green at 5500 K etc. because it would be darkest in the green.

Instead, most things look about "typical" for BB when hot, but only because their absorption is rather uniform, altho metallurgists talk of interesting purplish shades in molten gold etc.

Hence the coolest roof would be white all between say 300-1500 nm but be dark for longer than that. In any case re this particular debate, shouldn't such the details be included or approximated? Anyone know how much they matter? tx

Joel said...

Neil,

Most terrestrial materials have emissivities pretty close to 1 in the relevant range (mid- to far-infrared) that the earth emits significantly in, so it is not a critical issue.

Also, I see how one could read David's post as saying that the main objection that N&Z had is that it is too simplistic to think of the Earth as a blackbody. However, I think a better statement is that they just argued that one can't determine the average temperature from the S&B law using the average insolation received but must use the local insolation to get the local temperature and then take the average over the surface to get the average temperature.

So, these are two opposite extremes: One assumes a totally uniform surface temperature and the other assumes as non-uniform a temperature as one could imagine having given the distribution of insolation on the surface.

What N&Z are missing is that nobody ever claimed that the method that they were critiquing is an accurate method to get an average surface temperature on nearly airless bodies with significant variations in surface temperature. The 255 K value calculated using the average insolation is just an expression of what the maximum surface temperature can possibly be if the surface is restricted to emit the same amount of energy as the planet absorbs from the sun. For a planet with a significant atmosphere and significant thermal transport and thermal inertia, the temperature distribution is uniform enough that the calculation done using the average insolation is actually pretty close (within a few degrees) of what you'd get for the average taking the non-uniformity into account.

bahamamamma said...

N&Z say that you can calculate planetary surface temperatures if you know the surface pressure and TSI.

This is gob smacking. They imply that you can ignore Radiative Transfer Equations, gas composition, albedo, emissivity, the presence of vapors, ice caps, ocean currents and much more.

It sounds totally crazy until you start comparing the N&Z theory with observations:
http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/unified-theory-of-climate/

You will note that N&Zs work has been dismissed by some as "curve fitting". If curve fitting is so easy, why can't the IPCC do it?

The IPCC (AR4) predictions of global temperature are about six standard deviations above UAH observations. If I was a gambling momma I would bet that the deviation will be >8 sigma by the time the AR5 is published in September 2013.

bahamamamma said...

Recently, the folks at Tallbloke are trying to model the measurements of our moon's surface temperature made by the DIVINER project.

Some awesome ingenuity is on display. Who would have thought that you could use circuit analysis software to mimic lunar surface temperature?
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/a-model-of-lunar-temperature/

It is wonderful to see amateurs trying to match theory to observation and sometimes doing better than the paid professionals.

Lighten up and smell the roses!

bahamamamma said...

"But Tattersall's need to deny the greenhouse effect...."

David, enough of the straw man nonsense. Everyone agrees that adding an atmosphere to a planet or moon will raise the surface temperature. You can call that a "Greenhouse Effect" if you wish even though it is a misleading analogy.

You appear to be one of the people drawn to the delusion that CO2 has a major influence on planetary surface whereas the evidence indicates that temperature drives CO2 concentration (at least on Earth).

The delusion that CO2 drives climate grew out of James Hansen's belief that the high surface temperature of Venus is due to a "Runaway Greenhouse Effect". This theory is nonsense for Venus and even more ridiculous when applied to planet Earth.

For a rational explanation of the surface temperature of Venus you should take a look at Carl Sagan's 1967 paper:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1967ApJ...149..731S

Nikolov & Zeller have come up with a variant of Sagan's analysis using the surface radiation balance rather than the "Top of the Atmosphere" used by Sagan. As both approaches are based on sound physics you should not be surprised that they are in close agreement.

Joel said...

bahamamamma says: " If curve fitting is so easy, why can't the IPCC do it?"

They could if they wanted to but they don't want to because they prefer science to pseudoscience. They would prefer to use physically-based models instead of empirical fits.

"The IPCC (AR4) predictions of global temperature are about six standard deviations above UAH observations."

This is just a falsehood you read on WUWT. it just shows that the person who wrote it is completely ignorant of statistics and you, who gullibly believed him, are no different!

Joel said...

Just so we are all on the same page to see where fake-skeptics like bahamamamma get the nonsense that they peddle, here is where he got his 6 sigma figure: http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=3303

This argument is so beyond stupid that it is a wonder how anyone with a modicum of common sense, even without statistical understanding, could believe it. But then, fake skeptics are remarkable for their lack of real skepticism.

By Clive's argument, if we can measure the temperature to a precision of 1 F here in Rochester then a day where the temperature is 5 F above the normal for the date would correspond to a 5 sigma event and has a probability of occurring less than 1 time in a million!

Dano said...

Joel, even worse it is almost direct parroting (plagiarism) of denialist "arguments" from the early 2000s. What rock did they find this moldy talking point under?

Sheesh. It should be embarrassing if these DKE-sorts were capable of being embarrassed.

Best,

D

bahamamamma said...

Joel and Dano,

Instead of arguing the science you resort to name calling. This could be a teachable moment if you will take the time to look at some links. Personally, I like to form my opinion based on data that is available to the public and that is why I support David Appell's efforts to lift the IPCC's veil of secrecy.

In the IPCC's AR4, the temperature forecast is in the "Summary for Policymakers" figure SPM.5 with the most likely scenarios being B1 or A1B.

If you compare these predictions to the UAH global temperature average you will see the variance I was talking about earlier:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2012.png

You may think I am being unfair given that the AR4 is already five years old. If you want to know what the AR5 due to be published in September 2013 is likely to say you can start right here:
http://www.davidappell.com/AR5/

The file you need is chapter 9. It may try your patience given that it has 137 pages. This time the appropriate model will be known as "rcp85" although it won't make much difference over the next 30 years if you focus on "rcp60".

There is a fine website that will help you discover what these models show both in back casting and forecasting:
http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_cmip5.cgi?id=rtisdale@snet.net

I am still slogging though an analysis of AR5 so anything you can contribute will be appreciated.

thefordprefect said...

bahamamamma said...
"...
Some awesome ingenuity is on display. Who would have thought that you could use circuit analysis software to mimic lunar surface temperature?"

It's standard practive in electronic engineering. I have seen simulations of motor and drive system thermally modelled with the result used to predict how long maximum drive can be used.
Many thermal timeconstants, many heat sources, many heat sinks - no problem if you know what you are doing!

Dano said...

It's not name calling (I really ought to patent that response, it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo predictable), it is pointing out your tactic.

See, the argument has been refuted over and over and over and over again, and denialists parrot it over and over and over and it was refuted but still gullibly parroted and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again vand gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again and gullibly parroted again and refuted again soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many times that "arguing the science" is completely, utterly unnecessary.

Reality: don't take it personally!

Best,

D

Joel said...

"If you compare these predictions to the UAH global temperature average you will see the variance I was talking about earlier:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2012.png "

I see no such thing. All I see by way of explanation for your claim is Clive Best's post, which is frankly a freakin' embarrassment!

Doug Henderson said...

"To be sure, there are assumptions made in this calculation, the major one" being that there would be an isothermal atmosphere, all at 255K. This is totally impossible because it assumes that, every time a molecule in its free path motion between impacts, retains the same kinetic energy, even though its potential energy changes. So those molecules which diffuse upwards would be creating energy. Your "model" completely disregards what is now proven physics, namely that a thermal gradient is autonomously generated in a still gas under the influence of a gravitational field. Evidence is cited in my "Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms." The gradient thus calculated using the assumption of isentropic conditions (which do not violate the extended form of The Second Law of Thermodynamics) is -g/Cp where Cp is mean specific heat. Thus it would lead to a higher surface temperature except for the fact that water vapour decreases the gradient.

Doug Cotton said...

"To be sure, there are assumptions made in this calculation, the major one" being that there would be an isothermal atmosphere, all at 255K. This is totally impossible because it assumes that, every time a molecule in its free path motion between impacts, retains the same kinetic energy, even though its potential energy changes. So those molecules which diffuse upwards would be creating energy. Your "model" completely disregards what is now proven physics, namely that a thermal gradient is autonomously generated in a still gas under the influence of a gravitational field. Evidence is cited in my "Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms." The gradient thus calculated using the assumption of isentropic conditions (which do not violate the extended form of The Second Law of Thermodynamics) is -g/Cp where Cp is mean specific heat. Thus it would lead to a higher surface temperature except for the fact that water vapour decreases the gradient.

David Appell said...

Doug, I know you like to pretend that your manuscripts are "proven" physics, but I consider them just vanity publications.

Get them published somewhere real, then let me know.

Doug Henderson said...

Typical, typical. Appeal to "authority" the issue being whether being reviewed by scientists who understand atmospheric physics (like those who have reviewed mine) or being rubber stamped by those who outright deny basic physics and, in so doing, very obviously imply the First Law of Thermodynamics can be violated, even though it has been proven that it can't be. If I had it I would offer a million dollars to anyone who could prove that a thermal gradient does not develop autonomously in still air in a gravitational field. You can't do that. So, instead of discussing the fact that you have posted incorrect physics, you appeal to authority to claim your pseudo physics to be true (and that energy can thus be created) and you will forever claim you are right, when over 800 experiments this century have proven you wrong. You have not a single experiment to back you up. Not a single one. I rest my case.

David Appell said...

It's not an appeal to authority, it's respect for the scientific process, for the methods science has used to get this far. I don't see any from you, just ridiculous claims that everyone but you is wrong (a classic sign of a crank). Until you take the risk of submitting your work in the real arena of science, and not a pretend corner you have set up in order to boast about your work, it isn't worth taking seriously. Bluster is not a substitute for standards.

David Appell said...

The other thing is, it's not up to me to prove your ideas wrong, it's up to you to prove them right. What experiment or observation gives a result that you predict but which standard climate science does not (or predicts incorrectly)?

Doug Henderson said...

I have clearly demonstrated where the assumptions made by the IPCC & Co violate the laws of physics. This is now supported by 21st century empirical evidence. Hence their GHE conjecture is debunked with new evidence, as any "re-trial" would agree. So, no, it's not up to you to conduct the trial. But, it should be up to anyone who propagates what is now clearly shown to be false, to investigate the counter evidence and refrain from promoting pseudo science, even pending that re-trial for which the evidence already clearly indicates the outcome. there is, in fact, sufficient evidence to keep the "prisoner" incarcerated, pending trial. It is not appropriate to grant bail or act as if no new evidence has been forthcoming. So, as someone who promulgates what is now clearly false pseudo science, I suggest you need to consider your stance and the effects on developing countries whose humanitarian aid will be re-directed to carbon dioxide aid. Meanwhile you may be assured that I'm working on having a paper published in a journals which may surprise you, as well as further articles which will be read by tens of thousands. It's only a matter of time. The truth will prevail.


Doug Cotton said...

Furthermore, the assumption that there would have been an isothermal atmosphere in the absence of GHG was initially made as an assertive statement without any proof. There was neither a theoretical explanation as to how and why an entropy gradient would develop, rather than a thermal gradient, and there was no empirical evidence of isothermal conditions.

In fact, Loschmidt had said a thermal gradient would develop back in the 19th century, because it is in fact very easy to demonstrate the reason as to why molecules gain or lose kinetic energy as they fall or rise in a gravitational field. It is very elementary Newtonian physics, completely overlooked by all those "peers" who rubber stamped the concept.

It is actually they who should be put on trial for scientific fraud. Michael Mann could not produce any evidence in court, so we do in fact already have the courts ruling against the GHE.

It's only a matter of time, Keep watching!

PS I did not "form" Principia Scientific International. It was well underway before I joined as a member, and now has about 200 members who all realise that carbon dioxide has no effect on climate. You can easily see some of their biographies on the website under "About" / "Why is PSI a private assoc?".

Doug Cotton
(sorry about the accidental use of old Henderson Google account)

Doug Cotton said...

I predict that there will in due course be class action against the IPCC, which might well extend to websites like SkS, SoD and maybe yours, David. You tread risky ground. You may do well to remember that PSI has a lawyer as CEO and a Chairman, Dr Tim Ball who won the recent court cases against Micael Mann et al.

If you can't use the concept of an isothermal atmosphere to explain the Venus pole temperatures, or find anyone who can (perhaps one of your readers here) then you need to consider the consequences.

David Appell said...

Doug: Are you using two different last names?

Nothing is "proven" just because you say so. There are a lot of climate scientists who are very, very good at physics and have been doing it for a long time, looking at all the ideas and evidence.

You offer bluster instead of evidence, which is the opposite of how science is done.

You write, "This is now supported by 21st century empirical evidence." So give me one specific prediction that your theory makes, that the standard theory does not, that agrees with observational evidence. One.

David Appell said...

Legal threats, really Doug? That's hardly scientific.... I have every right to call you a crank and your so-called journal a vanity press.

David Appell said...

Doug, hasn't John O'Sullivan admitted he is, in fact, not licensed to practice law?

http://www.desmogblog.com/affidavits-michael-mann-libel-suit-reveal-astonishing-facts-about-tim-ball-associate-john-o-sullivan