Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warming?

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:47 pm UTC

chenille wrote:The atmosphere exchanges radiation with the surface in a dynamic equilibrium. You keep assuming radiation only happens as part of a net transfer of heat, and that is completely wrong; the existence of blackbody radiation only depends on the emitter, not the recipient. So even if both the atmosphere and surface receive most of their energy from the sun, or convection, or wherever, they will still be interchanging radiation. Not appreciating that is a critical failure here, since the idea of global warming is entirely based on what happens when radiation isn't balanced.

Again, edits for clarity.

No, I didn't assume it only happens as part of a net transfer of heat, sorry if I gave that impression.

The idea of global warming is based on the idea that radiation has more of an effect on the atmosphere than convection, and that most of the atmosphere doesn't absorb or emit infrared.

It's also based on the idea that the surface heats the atmosphere almost exclusively.

sam_i_am wrote:You also have to believe that those findings move you toward a greater understanding of the universe, rather than away. IE, you have to believe that knowing more about a thing leads to better modeling a thing. IE, that we do not live in a universe designed in such a way that more knowledge about it reduces our understanding about it.

You have to accept, on blind faith, that the universe is not pulling a fast one on us. This only 'seems' reasonable because it's so absurdly intuitive, but there's no evidence we can produce to demonstrate that it is so. If we live in a universe arranged in such a fashion as to deceive scientific inquiry, everything is pretty much fucked. So we take it on faith that we don't.

Well, no, I can dismiss that as being a useless assumption. There is nothing to gain from the idea that the universe is deceiving us, there is no beneficial results leading from that, it can be dismissed arbitrarily.

I disbelieve most things, I believe very few, as few as I can manage in fact.
Then don't reject science.

Who is rejecting science?

Why does finding issues with a hypothesis equate to rejecting science?

Listen. I don't care if you understand the model better than every single poster in this thread. That would not make you any less wrong. Because, unless there's an actual climatologist present--someone familiar with the research, the formulas, the models, why they're built the way they are--you're a non-expert arguing with non-experts.

Yes, this is why I'm trying to avoid going into deep discussions over model construction, and keeping it to things that non-experts will have no problem with.

So far I have failed spectacularly.

Pretend you're some guy who doesn't understand math arguing with other people who don't understand math. Say you're arguing that 1 does not 0.999... No matter how many clever charts, cute gimmicks, or silly metaphors you pop out of your hat, 1 still equals 0.999.... Even if every other person in the room can't rebuke your claims, you are still wrong. Because the problem ain't that the mathematicians don't know math. The problem is you and your fellow debaters don't.

Why would I pretend that?

I understand many things, I understand enough about basic physics to know that any object raised above absolute zero will absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation.

I understand enough about gases to know that they convect, and I even understand various mechanisms behind this process.


A deep knowledge here isn't needed to see that there is something wrong with the idea that only CO2 absorbs IR enough to matter, and that convection doesn't really matter.

People have been patiently trying to explain the problem to you on the off-chance that your sin isn't willful ignorance, but simple misunderstanding. But you're making it harder and harder to assume that you aren't actually just rejecting the science. So let me put what you are really arguing in the simplest, most clear, most straightforward terms possible:

You are arguing that every climate scientist who argues for climate change--who believes in global warming--is either a shitty scientist or a liar. Since the majority of climate scientists now seem to support some form of global warming, you are arguing that the majority of climate science is filled with either shitty scientists, liars, or some combination thereof. To accept your premise, I must assume that we are either victims of an enormous conspiracy or an enormous fraud.

The majority of climate scientists support the idea that the planet has warmed since the 1850's and that humans are increasing CO2 emissions.

There is nothing wrong with that.

There are a few very vocal individuals who are indeed perpetrating a fraud, anyone who has ever told you that the atmosphere is transparent to IR except for GHG's, anyone who has ever told you that you can ignore convection, anyone who has ever told you that a greenhouse warms up because glass is opaque to infrared, they are all lying or ignorant.

This can be demonstrated, there's a relevant quote by a man who was far smarter than us:

Richard Feynman wrote: It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.


I am trying very strongly to get you to back away from this edge. Because that's what you're standing on. Do you know those nutters who argue that 0.999 != 1? Or that evolution is impossible because of math? Or that, hey, they did the math and our entire model of physics is based on a lie? That is the precipice you are currently teetering on.

Please, try and understand me here. I do not think you are an idiot. I am taking it on good faith that you are interested in the science, and interested in understanding the universe, and producing the best models possible. But you are on the threshold of launching yourself into a nonsensical pseudo-scientific conspiracy-laden black hole from which there is absolutely no escape. You are on the threshold of going steve_waterman on our asses, here. The next step is for you to go form your own web-page full of half-cocked climate science you don't understand, debunking a bunch of models you have the 'gist' of with your own mastery of a field that doesn't even really apply.

Yeah, not quite, remember, I'm as anti-crankery as you. There's a reason I'm hard on steve, and it's the same reason I'm hard on anyone who pushes ideas like IR-transparent gases.

When I tell you that science demands humility, this is why. Because unless you are humble--unless you are willing to accept that other people might actually understand what's going on much better than you do--unless you are willing to trust the experts when they say "No, you're wrong"--unless you stop assuming that all knowledge begins and ends with what you can acquire with your own two hands--you are lost in a pit of your own ignorance from which there is absolutely no fucking escape.

Oh, I know that people understand many things better than I do.

So far I haven't seen experts address these issues and say I'm wrong, I've seen lots of non-experts insist that I must be wrong, that I must be uneducated, that I must be anti-science, and so forth.

Again, another relevant quote, and a belief which I possess:

Richard Feynman wrote:Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.


Curious that you would use the fact that we're all non-experts arguing with non-experts and attempt to make some sort of point based upon that.

Not quite trying to use that point in that manner, I didn't bring that up, I actually tend to assume others know more than I do, which often leads to mistakes, but I would rather err on the side of you being smarter than I am instead of dumber than I am. It seems like it might be insulting otherwise, but I'm not good at the social stuff.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby oxoiron » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:51 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:1) Object A emits a photon, lowering object A's energy.
2) Object B absorbs the photon, raising object B's energy.
3) Object B emits a photon of the same energy, returning object B's energy to its starting point.
4) Object A absorbs the photon, returning object A's energy to its starting point.
5) GOTO 1

Substitute Costa Rica for Object A and a CO2 molecule for Object B. If you don't understand this, perhaps we can find a different way to approach the concept. If you understand and don't accept this, then there is no point in further discussion, because you are being willfully ignorant and I've given up arguing with people who refuse to accept facts because they don't like them (or for any other reason).

If you understand and accept this, it is trivial to conclude that increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations lead to increased retention of IR energy. It doesn't mean CO2 is solely responsible for global warming, but I can't see how you can argue it isn't contributing.
Max™ wrote:Slow your roll, hombre, just because I've been fighting against a tide of willful ignorance and am thus covered in it, that doesn't mean it's all mine.

You do seem to have a better understanding of this, and actually sound like you have an education in the sciences.

Do Oxygen and Nitrogen have infrared absorption properties?

Is it possible for there to be non-IR interacting gases?

I expect you to see this, and to see the problem with that IPCC list of gases, now that it's been pointed out.
I didn't accuse you of being willfully ignorant, I asked you if you understand a physical fact, a question to which I note you have not responded. I'll refresh your memory (see the list above) and allow the question to stand. The reason I ask is because the majority of your argument seems to stem from a misunderstanding of basic spectroscopic physics. Until you answer that question, it is impossible for anyone arguing with you to know if you just don't understand the process or are deliberately ignoring facts. I'm not trying to insult you, I genuinely want to know which is the case.

I appreciate that you suspect I have an education in the sciences (I'm glad all those years in the lab are good for something), but I think you will find I am only one of several physical sciences PhD holders arguing with you. In addition, whether you or I or any of the others arguing with you have any formal education is irrelevant, because cogent points are cogent points, regardless of the education level of the point maker.

To answer your first question -- yes, strictly speaking, O2 and N2 absorb in the IR. If you are trying to imply that this means they cause global warming in the same fashion as CO2, you are correct. However, they do not absorb at any meaningful level of intensity, so the effect is negligible. The same is not true of CO2. It has very intense IR absorption bands. If you collect an atmospheric blank with an IR spectrometer, you will clearly see the intense CO2 and water absorption signals. Despite the fact that N2 and O2 are present in far greater quantities, you will not see their signals. This has to do with symmetry considerations and unless you are already familiar with chemical applications of group theory, you will just have to accept my word for it or educate yourself. I routinely teach a class on that subject, but physical inorganic chemistry is not something I wish to try elucidating in an online forum.

To answer your second question -- in an absolute sense, no. In a practical sense, yes. For example, helium at atmospheric conditions is so close to being IR transparent that it effectively is.

Finally, I don't see how this has anything to do with the IPCC list of gases I showed you. What are you trying to get at?
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Max™ wrote:Yes, that's a great experiment, and it takes a few seconds for it to cool off more than a reduced CO2 experiment.

The atmosphere is not a closed container heated with a visible light source aimed into a high CO2 environment.


The atmosphere, for all intents and purposes, can be treated like a closed one. Atmospheric escape from earth is remarkably trivial.

As for a visible light source...we have the sun.

As for high CO2 environment...we're making that. That's the point. It allows us to predict the same thing happening on a larger scale. It's a nice, distinct, easy test to clearly demonstrate an effect that's happening on a much broader scale, vastly more slowly, and thus, in a very hard to observe fashion.

400 ppm is not a "high CO2 environment"... and the sun also emits infrared which heats the atmosphere.

The atmosphere can NOT be treated like a closed container, who told you that?


It is a higher CO2 environment. If you're stuck on the degree, it would be fairly easy to design a couple variants with measured quantities of CO2 to determine that the effect is linear(or any other function. It isn't strictly linear, but the same premise holds true).

And yes, we have an atmosphere. The earth loses very, very small quantities of it to space(what, like a trillion years at our current rate to boil 100% of it off?). Therefore, it's utility as a heat sink is ridiculously marginal. It's also pretty constant over the long term, and can be mostly ignored. You're also not going to lose any appreciable amount of CO2 this way...it's almost wholly hydrogen and helium anyway, so it's not going to touch the ppm.

End result is, the atmosphere is damned big. A coupla kg of hydrogen and a few grams of helium/second escape isn't even a drop in the bucket. It's just not worth focusing on, because it's just not a very big effect.

*rubs his eyes*

Ok, I've been assuming that certain things are basic knowledge here.

The tropospheric warming phenomenon attributed to CO2 increases refers to the troposphere; the troposphere is the part of the atmosphere closest to the ground and is the only part where heat transfer is dominated by convection, above the point where convection is no longer effective at transferring heat is a region of the atmosphere which we in part define as no longer being dominated by convection.

You're treating my point about convection as though I'm saying gas needs to be lifted to space, when the entire AGW claim is based on tropospheric heat exchange being dominated by radiative transfer from the top of the troposphere.

Can gas be convected to the top of the troposphere?

Here's what you missed: one container will have more CO2+ water vapor, one will have more water vapor, one will have roughly the same levels as the atmosphere where the experiment is performed, and one will have the same levels + convection.


But the experiment doesn't replicate the earth with and without more CO2 at all.

That's what we're talking about, not about "earth with water" and "earth without water".

And if the experiment doesn't measure the thing we're discussing, it's pointless.

The experiment is an attempt to control for various variables.

I don't have access to dry ice right now, if I can get some then I will run the experiment as mentioned above, and run it again with dry ice instead of mineral water as a CO2 source.

By using the same amount of water as mineral water I can at least test the effect of CO2+ water vs water alone.

I can also compare against the effect of the atmosphere at the experiment site with convection against that without + the effects of CO2+water vs water vs normal air without convection.


Can you really not see what the point of that experiment is?
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Richard Feynman wrote: It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
Richard Feynman wrote:Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
The Great Hippo wrote:No matter how many clever charts, cute gimmicks, or silly metaphors you pop out of your hat, 1 still equals 0.999....
Add 'pithy-sounding quotes' to that list.

If it's Feynman's take you're interested in, go back and actually listen to what Feynman has to say on this subject. Imagine, instead of 'magnets', he's being asked the question you're asking: "Why are our current climate models built like this?"

His response, in case you don't bother to watch: 'I can't explain it to you unless you actually understand the science involved.'
Max™ wrote:There are a few very vocal individuals who are indeed perpetrating a fraud, anyone who has ever told you that the atmosphere is transparent to IR except for GHG's, anyone who has ever told you that you can ignore convection, anyone who has ever told you that a greenhouse warms up because glass is opaque to infrared, they are all lying or ignorant.
Okay. So it's your premise that there's a conspiracy among a certain group of climate scientists to sell us on 'global warming', and the way you can identify this conspiracy is by their belief in global warming.

So, nevermind what I said about you being on a precipice: You've already fallen in. There's no escape. Nothing anyone can say to you will ever convince you otherwise. Because you've stopped asking the question--"Is global warming happening?"--and replaced it with the assertion--"Global warming is a fraud".

You have rejected the science and embraced the faith. May the Gods of Ignorance have mercy on your soul.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:08 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:
oxoiron wrote:1) Object A emits a photon, lowering object A's energy.
2) Object B absorbs the photon, raising object B's energy.
3) Object B emits a photon of the same energy, returning object B's energy to its starting point.
4) Object A absorbs the photon, returning object A's energy to its starting point.
5) GOTO 1

Substitute Costa Rica for Object A and a CO2 molecule for Object B. If you don't understand this, perhaps we can find a different way to approach the concept. If you understand and don't accept this, then there is no point in further discussion, because you are being willfully ignorant and I've given up arguing with people who refuse to accept facts because they don't like them (or for any other reason).

If you understand and accept this, it is trivial to conclude that increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations lead to increased retention of IR energy. It doesn't mean CO2 is solely responsible for global warming, but I can't see how you can argue it isn't contributing.
Max™ wrote:Slow your roll, hombre, just because I've been fighting against a tide of willful ignorance and am thus covered in it, that doesn't mean it's all mine.

You do seem to have a better understanding of this, and actually sound like you have an education in the sciences.

Do Oxygen and Nitrogen have infrared absorption properties?

Is it possible for there to be non-IR interacting gases?

I expect you to see this, and to see the problem with that IPCC list of gases, now that it's been pointed out.
I didn't accuse you of being willfully ignorant, I asked you if you understand a physical fact, a question to which I note you have not responded. I'll refresh your memory (see the list above) and allow the question to stand. The reason I ask is because the majority of your argument seems to stem from a misunderstanding of basic spectroscopic physics. Until you answer that question, it is impossible for anyone arguing with you to know if you just don't understand the process or are deliberately ignoring facts. I'm not trying to insult you, I genuinely want to know which is the case.

Yes I see what you asked, and no I don't have a problem with the radiation emission and absorption as you presented it, sorry if it seemed I was ignoring it, kind of trying to keep track of numerous threads here.

I appreciate that you suspect I have an education in the sciences (I'm glad all those years in the lab are good for something), but I think you will find I am only one of several physical sciences PhD holders arguing with you. In addition, whether you or I or any of the others arguing with you have any formal education is irrelevant, because cogent points are cogent points, regardless of the education level of the point maker.

Ah good, didn't offend you I hope, I do respect the effort gone into obtaining an education, I assume the "all those years in the lab" indicates you were amused by my question.
To answer your first question -- yes, strictly speaking, O2 and N2 absorb in the IR. If you are trying to imply that this means they cause global warming in the same fashion as CO2, you are correct. However, they do not absorb at any meaningful level of intensity, so the effect is negligible. The same is not true of CO2. It has very intense IR absorption bands. If you collect an atmospheric blank with an IR spectrometer, you will clearly see the intense CO2 and water absorption signals. Despite the fact that N2 and O2 are present in far greater quantities, you will not see their signals. This has to do with symmetry considerations and unless you are already familiar with chemical applications of group theory, you will just have to accept my word for it or educate yourself. I routinely teach a class on that subject, but physical inorganic chemistry is not something I wish to try elucidating in an online forum.

To answer your second question -- in an absolute sense, no. In a practical sense, yes. For example, helium at atmospheric conditions is so close to being IR transparent that it effectively is.

Finally, I don't see how this has anything to do with the IPCC list of gases I showed you. What are you trying to get at?

Ok, if other gases do absorb and emit IR, is there anything which could be heating the atmosphere besides the surface emissions?

Oh yeah, I have a question you can help with, Nitrogen is involved in absorbing UV in the upper atmosphere isn't it? Doesn't UV transmit energy too?

I generally get what you're saying about the symmetry considerations, but my grasp of chemistry is not nearly the same as my understanding of physics, so I defer to your expertise here. Though I do agree that helium is an interesting bugger, bosonic atoms and whatnot are fascinatingly weird.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Richard Feynman wrote: It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
Richard Feynman wrote:Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
The Great Hippo wrote:No matter how many clever charts, cute gimmicks, or silly metaphors you pop out of your hat, 1 still equals 0.999....
Add 'pithy-sounding quotes' to that list.

If it's Feynman's take you're interested in, go back and actually listen to what Feynman has to say on this subject. Imagine, instead of 'magnets', he's being asked the question you're asking: "Why are our current climate models built like this?"

Seen it, read the books, etc.

Why would I say I love Feynman and consider him my hero and not have fawned over his stuff?

His response, in case you don't bother to watch: 'I can't explain it to you unless you actually understand the science involved.'

Indeed.
Max™ wrote:There are a few very vocal individuals who are indeed perpetrating a fraud, anyone who has ever told you that the atmosphere is transparent to IR except for GHG's, anyone who has ever told you that you can ignore convection, anyone who has ever told you that a greenhouse warms up because glass is opaque to infrared, they are all lying or ignorant.
Okay. So it's your premise that there's a conspiracy among a certain group of climate scientists to sell us on 'global warming', and the way you can identify this conspiracy is by their belief in global warming.

A conspiracy involves it being secretive, it's not a secret, and the people pushing this idea are engaging in politics.

So, nevermind what I said about you being on a precipice: You've already fallen in. There's no escape. Nothing anyone can say to you will ever convince you otherwise. Because you've stopped asking the question--"Is global warming happening?"--and replaced it with the assertion--"Global warming is a fraud".

You have rejected the science and embraced the faith. May the Gods of Ignorance have mercy on your soul.

Tsk tsk, I wasn't asking "is global warming happening" I was asking "is the hypothesis that CO2 drives the climate and causes global warming sound" in the first place. I'm rejecting the idea that politics is science.

The planet has warmed and cooled naturally at rates similar to the ones said to be "unprecedented and due to rising CO2 concentrations", I've gone over various parts of this and get accused of changing the subject, so I tried to get straight to the point, and got accused of changing the subject.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:34 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:A conspiracy involves it being secretive, it's not a secret, and the people pushing this idea are engaging in politics.
A conspiracy involves multiple parties engaging in an act--usually criminal, almost always fraudulent. What you are saying is that there are a number of climate scientists engaged in fraud. IE, a conspiracy.

I'm not beyond thinking that climatology has gotten political. Everything's political. And I'm certainly open to the notion that climate research pointing in the direction of global warming is incentivized over climate research pointing away from global warming. The scientific community is not immune to political pressure. But let's be clear here: That's a very reasonable claim. It's also not yours.

What you are claiming is that any climate scientist who believes in global warming is engaged in fraud--or they're terrible scientists who have been duped by the fraud. Your evidence is that you've discovered a hole in their model, a hole they can't possibly fix. Except... have you actually gone and talked to a climate scientist about it? Have you emailed someone in the field and politely asked them--in 'Hey, I just wanna know about X' terms--and found out what they think? Have you read any climate science literature on attempts to 'address' the hole you're talking about? Have you talked to a climate scientist at your respective college? Or have you just spent your time arguing on the internet with a bunch of not-actually-climate-scientists about how you've discovered the one thing that blows the global warming model out of the water? You know this is true, because you did a bunch of experiments yourself, and Lord knows our best science is done by independent experimenters and not by communities of scientists working together to overcome each other's blindspots and biases.

Do you know what the number one difference between a conspiracy theorist and a scientist is? Conspiracy theorists argue about things on the internet. Scientists argue about things in the journals, in the schools, in the labs.

Go. Study. Climate. Science.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby chenille » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:40 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:The idea of global warming is based on the idea that radiation has more of an effect on the atmosphere than convection, and that most of the atmosphere doesn't absorb or emit infrared.

Not, just that it doesn't absorb much, nothing to do with emission or convection. Let me go through the basic argument I made before one more time, and please tell me where you think it's broken.

    1. Any energy that enters or leaves the planet-atmosphere system has to be in the form of radiation.
    2. Higher temperatures always release more blackbody radiation, and for a given configuration of the planet-atmosphere system, the only way to emit more radiation is if some part has higher temperatures. So a warmer system will be reflected by a higher value of the total radiation Rt being emitted within it.
    3. Radiation being emitted is either absorbed or escapes into space. So if Pout is the rate at which energy leaves and A is the proportion of radiation that is absorbed, then Pout = (1 - A) Rt.
    4. If we assume the total energy in the planet-atmosphere system is stable, the rate it enters has to be the same as the rate it leaves, i.e. Pin = Pout. This was your assumption from earlier.
    5. Combining these equations, we get Rt = Pin / (1 - A).
    6. Pin should be constant if we ignore differences in over-all albedo, which is what you have been doing comparing the earth and moon and should be reasonable when considering small changes to the gases.
    7. Therefore Rt only goes up with the value of A, i.e. the temperature of the planet-atmosphere system is determined by the proportion of radiation being re-absorbed.
    8. At planetary temperatures most of this radiation will be infrared, so gases that are relatively opaque to it will cause the largest changes in A, and thus in the over-all temperature.
You will notice this doesn't make any assumptions about how the atmosphere is heated, which gases are emitting, how much convection happens, or so on. They only concern the balance of energy with space, and they're what results in the conclusion that greenhouse gases should be the ones with the largest influence on temperature. If we disagree on that, everything else is a sidetrack. So what part of this reasoning are you objecting to? So far, you haven't said.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:50 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Max™ wrote:A conspiracy involves it being secretive, it's not a secret, and the people pushing this idea are engaging in politics.
A conspiracy involves multiple parties engaging in an act--usually criminal, almost always fraudulent. What you are saying is that there are a number of climate scientists engaged in fraud. IE, a conspiracy.

I'm not beyond thinking that climatology has gotten political. Everything's political. And I'm certainly open to the notion that climate research pointing in the direction of global warming is incentivized over climate research pointing away from global warming. The scientific community is not immune to political pressure. But let's be clear here: That's a very reasonable claim. It's also not yours.

Uh, are you sure that's not my claim?

What you are claiming is that any climate scientist who believes in global warming is engaged in fraud--or they're terrible scientists who have been duped by the fraud. Your evidence is that you've discovered a hole in their model, a hole they can't possibly fix. Except... have you actually gone and talked to a climate scientist about it? Have you emailed someone in the field and politely asked them--in 'Hey, I just wanna know about X' terms--and found out what they think? Have you read any climate science literature on attempts to 'address' the hole you're talking about? Have you talked to a climate scientist at your respective college? Or have you just spent your time arguing on the internet with a bunch of not-actually-climate-scientists about how you've discovered the one thing that blows the global warming model out of the water? You know this is true, because you did a bunch of experiments yourself, and Lord knows our best science is done by independent experimenters and not by communities of scientists working together to overcome each other's blindspots and biases.

No, I'm doing experiments myself because I have a class where I need to do an experiment, I get to choose which one and then do a write up on the process, etc, and I'm also using it as a tie in to a social sciences examination I'm doing, but that is beside the point that I would do the experiment just because I was curious about it.

Do you know what the number one difference between a conspiracy theorist and a scientist is? Conspiracy theorists argue about things on the internet. Scientists argue about things in the journals, in the schools, in the labs.

Go. Study. Climate. Science.

I'm in school, studying things, I study all the time, if your point is that you don't want to discuss this anymore, fine, but do try not to leave on a note like "you're a conspiracy theorist and don't know what you're saying because I don't think you know what you're saying, so that's that", I think it might be a bit rude, not sure though.

See, this thread was asking if it's possible to have a rational debate, so far I've been told that I'm ignorant, when I attempt to show that I understand what I'm saying I've been told I'm evading, when I attempt to explain otherwise I'm told I'm changing the subject, and when I state my reasons for thinking people pushing AGW are doing so for political reasons I get told I'm a conspiracy theorist.

It doesn't seem it is possible to have a rational debate on this subject with people who are strongly invested in the idea, though oxoiron does seem a counterexample, but to be fair he's used to teaching, and thus prefers to see what someone knows before assuming ignorance. I should also note that chenille has been very patient and rational, though both say I am incorrect for various reasons, they are doing so without being insulting at all.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:01 pm UTC

chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:The idea of global warming is based on the idea that radiation has more of an effect on the atmosphere than convection, and that most of the atmosphere doesn't absorb or emit infrared.

Not, just that it doesn't absorb much, nothing to do with emission or convection. Let me go through the basic argument I made before one more time, and please tell me where you think it's broken.

    1. Any energy that enters or leaves the planet-atmosphere system has to be in the form of radiation. *check*
    2. Higher temperatures always release more blackbody radiation, and for a given configuration of the planet-atmosphere system, the only way to emit more radiation is if some part has higher temperatures. So a warmer system will be reflected by a higher value of the total radiation Rt being emitted within it.*check*
    3. Radiation being emitted is either absorbed or escapes into space. So if Pout is the rate at which energy leaves and A is the proportion of radiation that is absorbed, then Pout = (1 - A) Rt.*Ehhh, only partial agreement here, see 4*
    4. If we assume the total energy in the planet-atmosphere system is stable, the rate it enters has to be the same as the rate it leaves, i.e. Pin = Pout. This was your assumption from earlier.*I did not intend to say it was stable nor that the the rate in/out is rather than the amount, the atmosphere changes the rate of energy transfer within the system, mea culpa*
    5. Combining these equations, we get Rt = Pin / (1 - A).*see 4*
    6. Pin should be constant if we ignore differences in over-all albedo, which is what you have been doing comparing the earth and moon and should be reasonable when considering small changes to the gases.*again, I meant to say that the amount of energy in the system is determined by the input, the output can be derived from the physical properties and the solar insolation, with the atmospheric properties determining the rate at which energy is transported through the system and returns to space*
    7. Therefore Rt only goes up with the value of A, i.e. the temperature of the planet-atmosphere system is determined by the proportion of radiation being re-absorbed.*see 4 and 6*
    8. At planetary temperatures most of this radiation will be infrared, so gases that are relatively opaque to it will cause the largest changes in A, and thus in the over-all temperature.*see 4 and 6*
You will notice this doesn't make any assumptions about how the atmosphere is heated, which gases are emitting, how much convection happens, or so on. They only concern the balance of energy with space, and they're what results in the conclusion that greenhouse gases should be the ones with the largest influence on temperature. If we disagree on that, everything else is a sidetrack. So what part of this reasoning are you objecting to? So far, you haven't said.

Sorry, as I said to oxoiron, trying to track multiple threads, though I should thank you two for being the most reasonable and not insulting.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby morriswalters » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Now, you want a mechanism to keep the climate in the sweet spot? Here's a hint without getting too in depth that I get accused of changing the subject: the oceans are MASSIVE and have a huge heat content, and the atmosphere itself is an ocean of gas at the lower layers, rather effectively transporting heat around, and limiting the swings from thermal maximum to thermal minimum.

Remember: without an atmosphere the temperature would range from 390 K to 100 K, just like it does on the moon.

And I am interested in talking about one specific thing. The process by which earth moderates its climate. Others can speak for themselves.

So oceans and the atmosphere are the keys to you. Okay. I'm pretty familiar with water and its properties. Water has interesting property around the phase change point and it's dense. The Gulf Stream moderates the climate of Europe. It certainly it drives weather. Lots of energy there. I don't see a feedback mechanism there though. When I see a stable system I look for a driver. What about water and the atmosphere drives it to be stable, what property? We are getting to hot, what makes it cool off or if we are getting too cool what makes it warm up. And I'm not talking about weather. If discussing it in public is too confusing you can PM me. Or you can ignore me.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby chenille » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:15 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:3. Radiation being emitted is either absorbed or escapes into space. So if Pout is the rate at which energy leaves and A is the proportion of radiation that is absorbed, then Pout = (1 - A) Rt.*Ehhh, only partial agreement here, see 4*

I'm confused by some of these. All this equation says is that the energy that escapes is the radiation that isn't re-absorbed: Rt = ARt + Pout. I don't see what your other comments have to do with that.

Max™ wrote:4. If we assume the total energy in the planet-atmosphere system is stable, the rate it enters has to be the same as the rate it leaves, i.e. Pin = Pout. This was your assumption from earlier.*I did not intend to say it was stable nor that the the rate in/out is rather than the amount, the atmosphere changes the rate of energy transfer within the system, mea culpa*

Ok, that's fine. But notice the rate of energy transfer within the planet-atmosphere system isn't part of the issue here, only the rate at which it enters and leaves. So long as Pin > Pout, the total amount of energy in the system is going to have to increase. That could easily happen though things like convection first, but ultimately it will keep accumulating energy until you reach a temperature where Pin = Pout, right?

Max™ wrote:6. Pin should be constant if we ignore differences in over-all albedo, which is what you have been doing comparing the earth and moon and should be reasonable when considering small changes to the gases.*again, I meant to say that the amount of energy in the system is determined by the input, the output can be derived from the physical properties and the solar insolation, with the atmospheric properties determining the rate at which energy is transported through the system and returns to space*

Well, sort of, but one of the key properties that's going to determine the outward radiation is temperature. Since we're ultimately considering how temperature is affected by other changes, we can't calculate other variables in terms of it, we have to calculate it from them.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:26 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Uh, are you sure that's not my claim?
If that's your claim, the correct way to word it would be "Global warming may be overstated", not "Global warming is fraudulent". Because if the incentive is toward overstatement, that doesn't explain how the model generated sufficient momentum to create incentives for overstatement.

It's like the whole neighborhood telling me my house is engulfed in an enormous inferno. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's just the upper floor that's on fire. But in order for us to get to 'your house is currently inhabiting a firestorm roughly the size of Chicago', we have to start somewhere. Like 'your house is on fire'. Which is actually a totally true statement.

If global warming is "your house is on fire", then it isn't fraudulent, even if the models are overestimating the degree.
No, I'm doing experiments myself because I have a class where I need to do an experiment, I get to choose which one and then do a write up on the process, etc, and I'm also using it as a tie in to a social sciences examination I'm doing, but that is beside the point that I would do the experiment just because I was curious about it.
I made zero claims about why you are doing the experiment. I said because you did the experiment, you believed X.
Max wrote:I'm in school, studying things, I study all the time, if your point is that you don't want to discuss this anymore, fine, but do try not to leave on a note like "you're a conspiracy theorist and don't know what you're saying because I don't think you know what you're saying, so that's that", I think it might be a bit rude, not sure though.

See, this thread was asking if it's possible to have a rational debate, so far I've been told that I'm ignorant, when I attempt to show that I understand what I'm saying I've been told I'm evading, when I attempt to explain otherwise I'm told I'm changing the subject, and when I state my reasons for thinking people pushing AGW are doing so for political reasons I get told I'm a conspiracy theorist.

It doesn't seem it is possible to have a rational debate on this subject with people who are strongly invested in the idea, though oxoiron does seem a counterexample, but to be fair he's used to teaching, and thus prefers to see what someone knows before assuming ignorance.
I think the only reason everyone isn't telling you to fuck off is because there are some people here who still think you might be sincerely interested in the right answer--rather than just the answer that confirms your own identity. For my part, I no longer believe that. I sincerely believe you have rejected the science in exchange for your own vanity--that your barrier to comprehension is not ignorance, but arrogance--that you have fallen prey to the same trap so many other intelligent, reasonable conspiracy theorists have fallen prey to. That because you can do some math--because you can do an experiment--because you know a thing or two about science--it's on everyone else to prove you wrong.

I suspect you imagine yourself a teensy bit in Galileo's shoes--oh, you wouldn't claim any sort of direct link--but you might see yourself as rightly defiant, standing in defense of science and truth against a cloud of blind acceptance, tradition, and resistance to change. Because Galileo was right, wasn't he? And everyone else was wrong. History validated him. He did the math--he did the experiments. And hey! So did you!

Except you don't get it. None of you ever do. People like Galileo were up against organizations like the Church. A bunch of red-robed busy-bodies who's job description could be summed up by 'Collect Tithes, Roll In Money, Stop People From Thinking About Death'. Educated, certainly; even interested in science! But science wasn't their thing. It wasn't their life. It was a hobby--not their passion.

The Church ain't who you're up against. You are standing up against the Scien-fucking-tific Community. Like any community, it has flaws--emotions get heated. People want to sound right, rather than be right. But unlike any other community, this is one that has streamlined the business of doing science. You did an experiment? Yeah, they've done about eighty bazillion. You did some math? Yeah, they invented, like, five new ones yesterday. You think you found a hole? They noticed it ten years ago and in patching it up discovered twenty others (all of which are currently being addressed by people working on their PhDs). It is not an infallible institution, but it is an institution that levies all of its power, all of its passion, all of its love and all of its time toward one single, fundamental, comprehensive, never-ending goal: Figure. Out. How. Shit. Works.

THAT is your opponent. THAT'S what you're up against. So when you pop up on the internet and say 'I found a hole in climate science!' and the response is 'Are you a climate scientist?'--and your response is 'No'--pardon me if my response is a little like Gozer the Gozerian's:

"THEN DIE."


(*lightning noises*)

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:08 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Max™ wrote:Uh, are you sure that's not my claim?
If that's your claim, the correct way to word it would be "Global warming may be overstated", not "Global warming is fraudulent". Because if the incentive is toward overstatement, that doesn't explain how the model generated sufficient momentum to create incentives for overstatement.

Like I said, my statement is "CO2 causing global warming is fraudulent".
I think the only reason everyone isn't telling you to fuck off is because there are some people here who still think you might be sincerely interested in the right answer--rather than just the answer that confirms your own identity. For my part, I no longer believe that. I sincerely believe you have rejected the science in exchange for your own vanity--that your barrier to comprehension is not ignorance, but arrogance--that you have fallen prey to the same trap so many other intelligent, reasonable conspiracy theorists have fallen prey to. That because you can do some math--because you can do an experiment--because you know a thing or two about science--it's on everyone else to prove you wrong.

Ah, well, you're incorrect there.

chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:3. Radiation being emitted is either absorbed or escapes into space. So if Pout is the rate at which energy leaves and A is the proportion of radiation that is absorbed, then Pout = (1 - A) Rt.*Ehhh, only partial agreement here, see 4*

I'm confused by some of these. All this equation says is that the energy that escapes is the radiation that isn't re-absorbed: Rt = ARt + Pout. I don't see what your other comments have to do with that.

I know, it's because we're sort of talking past each other because of various issues which I tried to bring up like the transparency of the atmosphere to IR, convection, and so on.

Ultimately the issue here is that AGW is based on the troposphere heating up, and energy exchange between the surface and tropopause is not the same as energy exchanged between the sun, earth, and space.

I did remember another source of energy imbalance though, life, plants and such hold on to energy from the sun, but ultimately a statement I made is being interpreted to mean far more than I meant.

All I meant was: the Earth does not radiate more energy than it receives from the Sun, the amount of energy in the system is determined by the energy it receives from the Sun.

This is why I made the small note that I'm sure radioactivity and the energy inside the planet contribute somewhat, but not significantly compared to solar radiation.

Max™ wrote:4. If we assume the total energy in the planet-atmosphere system is stable, the rate it enters has to be the same as the rate it leaves, i.e. Pin = Pout. This was your assumption from earlier.*I did not intend to say it was stable nor that the the rate in/out is rather than the amount, the atmosphere changes the rate of energy transfer within the system, mea culpa*

Ok, that's fine. But notice the rate of energy transfer within the planet-atmosphere system isn't part of the issue here, only the rate at which it enters and leaves. So long as Pin > Pout, the total amount of energy in the system is going to have to increase. That could easily happen though things like convection first, but ultimately it will keep accumulating energy until you reach a temperature where Pin = Pout, right?

No, the issue here is the energy transfer within the troposphere and from the troposphere to the rest of the atmosphere.

I mistakenly let it be presented that I was not arguing this, this is why I said my bad, this was my error and I am at fault for not specifying this more clearly.

Max™ wrote:6. Pin should be constant if we ignore differences in over-all albedo, which is what you have been doing comparing the earth and moon and should be reasonable when considering small changes to the gases.*again, I meant to say that the amount of energy in the system is determined by the input, the output can be derived from the physical properties and the solar insolation, with the atmospheric properties determining the rate at which energy is transported through the system and returns to space*

Well, sort of, but one of the key properties that's going to determine the outward radiation is temperature. Since we're ultimately considering how temperature is affected by other changes, we can't calculate other variables in terms of it, we have to calculate it from them.

Yeah, but the temperature is calculated from... the received radiation, and the rate of energy exchange within the system.
morriswalters wrote:
Max™ wrote:Now, you want a mechanism to keep the climate in the sweet spot? Here's a hint without getting too in depth that I get accused of changing the subject: the oceans are MASSIVE and have a huge heat content, and the atmosphere itself is an ocean of gas at the lower layers, rather effectively transporting heat around, and limiting the swings from thermal maximum to thermal minimum.

Remember: without an atmosphere the temperature would range from 390 K to 100 K, just like it does on the moon.

And I am interested in talking about one specific thing. The process by which earth moderates its climate. Others can speak for themselves.

So oceans and the atmosphere are the keys to you. Okay. I'm pretty familiar with water and its properties. Water has interesting property around the phase change point and it's dense. The Gulf Stream moderates the climate of Europe. It certainly it drives weather. Lots of energy there. I don't see a feedback mechanism there though. When I see a stable system I look for a driver. What about water and the atmosphere drives it to be stable, what property? We are getting to hot, what makes it cool off or if we are getting too cool what makes it warm up. And I'm not talking about weather. If discussing it in public is too confusing you can PM me. Or you can ignore me.

The surface of the water tends to cool the atmosphere through conduction, but it also transports a lot of energy due to it's mass.

The circulation of water from the regions warmed the most by direct sunlight overhead (near the equator) drive changes like the ENSO, which drives much of the climate in response. La Nina and El Nino (pardon the lack of tilde, forgot the code for it) are cooling and warming events, and I would think that would be a significant part of keeping the climate within a certain range over short time periods like a decade or two.

I could be wrong, but as I recall climate models don't accurately represent ENSO fluctuations for shit, but that's another subject entirely.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:49 am UTC

Max™ wrote:The circulation of water from the regions warmed the most by direct sunlight overhead (near the equator) drive changes like the ENSO, which drives much of the climate in response. La Nina and El Nino (pardon the lack of tilde, forgot the code for it) are cooling and warming events, and I would think that would be a significant part of keeping the climate within a certain range over short time periods like a decade or two.
That's certainly fine but why does the system trend to equilibrium? You said the system has been stable within a range for millions of years. What about those mechanisms creates that point? The range you quoted was 25degrees Celsius. The inputs would tend to drive the system all over the place. What process drives it back. With CO2 the carbon cycle might do it. For instance in glacial maximums as carbon intakes are reduced, then CO2 levels could rise and warm things. And when it warms up plants and other natural processes might scrub the CO2 out. All things being equal this would be self limiting as long as the CO2 could be taken out fast enough. What process would you propose to accomplish that.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:21 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Max™ wrote:The circulation of water from the regions warmed the most by direct sunlight overhead (near the equator) drive changes like the ENSO, which drives much of the climate in response. La Nina and El Nino (pardon the lack of tilde, forgot the code for it) are cooling and warming events, and I would think that would be a significant part of keeping the climate within a certain range over short time periods like a decade or two.
That's certainly fine but why does the system trend to equilibrium? You said the system has been stable within a range for millions of years. What about those mechanisms creates that point? The range you quoted was 25degrees Celsius. The inputs would tend to drive the system all over the place. What process drives it back. With CO2 the carbon cycle might do it. For instance in glacial maximums as carbon intakes are reduced, then CO2 levels could rise and warm things. And when it warms up plants and other natural processes might scrub the CO2 out. All things being equal this would be self limiting as long as the CO2 could be taken out fast enough. What process would you propose to accomplish that.

Oh, that's a way more complex process than I thought you were asking about.

I'd say the simplest answer is tied to the mass of the atmosphere/ocean system, the amount of heat that can be exchanged throughout the system at a given rate, and the energy input which are all relatively stable quantities.

The energy from the sun varies pretty significantly between milankovitch and solar cycles, but broadly those variations aren't large compared to the overall energy coming from the sun.

The mass of the atmosphere doesn't vary significantly, neither does the mass of the ocean, though the amount of water locked up in ice caps varies, and there are albedo effects tied to that, none of those processes can cause the system to lose heat faster than a certain amount limited by, of course, the input and mass of the atmosphere/oceans.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:18 am UTC

Max™ wrote:
Go. Study. Climate. Science.
I'm in school, studying things, I study all the time
Fantastic. Is one of those things climate science? If not, your response has zero relevance to TGH's.

Max™ wrote:Ultimately the issue here is that AGW is based on the troposphere heating up, and energy exchange between the surface and tropopause is not the same as energy exchanged between the sun, earth, and space.
No, the issue here is that if there's an increase in something that absorbs IR, there will be a corresponding increase in the amount of energy that stays in the Earth+atmosphere system. For some reason you keep trying to obfuscate or evade that fact with wild and irrelevant claims, such as that anyone is claiming CO2 is the only GHG, or that anyone is claiming convection doesn't happen, or that anyone is claiming non-GHGs are completely transparent to IR, or whateverthefuck else you keep going on about.

Do you or do you not believe that increasing the amount of radiation that gets absorbed by Earth or the atmosphere will increase the amount of energy held in Earth and the atmosphere?

Do you or do you not believe that CO2 has really noticeable spikes in the IR range of its absorption spectrum?

Do you or do you not understand how those two facts are related to each other?

If so, and if you don't want to be the one in this thread who most firmly answers the OP's question in the negative, then please for the love of all things good and true in the world will you just fucking say so explicitly so that we can move on from there. Because the minutiae of your arguments seem to be delving into far greater detail than the basic thermodynamic properties of CO2, and yet you keep using those minutiae to argue your central claim which is about the basic thermodynamic properties of CO2 as its used in climate models. But the two are completely and totally unconnected.

The absorption spectrum of CO2 has exactly fuck-all to do with the absorption spectra of other atmospheric gases or the extent to which convection moves heat around the atmosphere or how it gets parametrized in climate models or everything else you keep bringing up. And the absorption spectrum of CO2 *alone* is such that we should expect, ceteris paribus, a higher concentration of CO2 to correspond to a higher temperature.

If you agree with this but just think the precise extent to which CO2 will increase the average temperature is overstated by climate models, then please just say that (instead of alleging fraud on the part of the modelers) and explain your evidence for this claim. Note that I said evidence, not reasoning or logic. You don't really understand climate science any better than I do, so I don't trust your reasoning any farther than I could throw it. Which is zero distance at all because reasoning is immaterial and I can't throw immaterial things. So you'll have to actually point out the bad predictions made by current models, and you'll have to actually justify that the reason for those bad predictions is that they don't adequately account for convection or other gases' IR spectra or whatever other specific details you take issue with.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:09 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Go. Study. Climate. Science.
I'm in school, studying things, I study all the time
Fantastic. Is one of those things climate science? If not, your response has zero relevance to TGH's.

No I am not in school for climate science, it's been covered as part of general science courses to a lesser extent, but that is why I said "I study all the time", because I don't just study for this course or that, hell, that's actually been a problem for me with a few papers, start researching, laying out information, then get distracted by something I didn't know yet, go off on a bender reading about it, then realize I was so busy learning other things I forgot to finish the one I'm actually being graded for... whoops.

This was particularly irritating during a class on nations and political entities, I started reading up on the EU and realized I didn't know a lot of that history, wound up reading about the history of 18th and 19th century Russia at one point and was like "wow, I'm kinda waay off topic huh".
Max™ wrote:Ultimately the issue here is that AGW is based on the troposphere heating up, and energy exchange between the surface and tropopause is not the same as energy exchanged between the sun, earth, and space.
No, the issue here is that if there's an increase in something that absorbs IR, there will be a corresponding increase in the amount of energy that stays in the Earth+atmosphere system. For some reason you keep trying to obfuscate or evade that fact with wild and irrelevant claims, such as that anyone is claiming CO2 is the only GHG, or that anyone is claiming convection doesn't happen, or that anyone is claiming non-GHGs are completely transparent to IR, or whateverthefuck else you keep going on about.

Do you or do you not believe that increasing the amount of radiation that gets absorbed by Earth or the atmosphere will increase the amount of energy held in Earth and the atmosphere?

Do you or do you not believe that CO2 has really noticeable spikes in the IR range of its absorption spectrum?

Do you or do you not understand how those two facts are related to each other?]If so, and if you don't want to be the one in this thread who most firmly answers the OP's question in the negative, then please for the love of all things good and true in the world will you just fucking say so explicitly so that we can move on from there. Because the minutiae of your arguments seem to be delving into far greater detail than the basic thermodynamic properties of CO2, and yet you keep using those minutiae to argue your central claim which is about the basic thermodynamic properties of CO2 as its used in climate models. But the two are completely and totally unconnected.

I keep trying to avoid making any statements which imply that "heat can be trapped", this is why I am not eager to answer what seems like a simple question which I wouldn't otherwise have a problem with, because said answers wind up being taken as agreement that "heat is trapped in the atmosphere".

I have tried to explain this, because I can't honestly agree with any claim that is used to support the argument that heat can be trapped.


CO2 absorbs IR across a broad spectrum.
Adding CO2 to the atmosphere will result in more IR absorption and raise the temperature of the CO2 molecules.
Raising the temperature of CO2 will then raise the temperature of other molecules in the air mostly through convection.

The absorption spectrum of CO2 has exactly fuck-all to do with the absorption spectra of other atmospheric gases or the extent to which convection moves heat around the atmosphere or how it gets parametrized in climate models or everything else you keep bringing up. And the absorption spectrum of CO2 *alone* is such that we should expect, ceteris paribus, a higher concentration of CO2 to correspond to a higher temperature.

How much of a higher temperature could be shown to correspond to a given increase of CO2 is important as well, but like I've said, that is a secondary point.

If you agree with this but just think the precise extent to which CO2 will increase the average temperature is overstated by climate models, then please just say that (instead of alleging fraud on the part of the modelers) and explain your evidence for this claim. Note that I said evidence, not reasoning or logic. You don't really understand climate science any better than I do, so I don't trust your reasoning any farther than I could throw it. Which is zero distance at all because reasoning is immaterial and I can't throw immaterial things. So you'll have to actually point out the bad predictions made by current models, and you'll have to actually justify that the reason for those bad predictions is that they don't adequately account for convection or other gases' IR spectra or whatever other specific details you take issue with.

I was trying to avoid going into a "let's pick on outdated climate model projections" argument, as it is fairly tired, and not fair because no computer models are going to simulate something as complex as the climate very well. If you do want though, note that there has been steadily rising CO2 levels and there hasn't been significant warming since what, the 97 El Nino? Oh, that's another one, climate models fail at predicting ENSO effects.

My evidence that CO2 as a radiative forcing is overstated is kind of why I brought up the fact that the rest of the atmosphere also absorbs IR, can also be heated by the sun (rather than only/mostly from below), and so on.

It is a fact that climate models don't "do" convection well, they state this, it's why they use parametrizations, that is why I brought that up.

It is a fact that energy transfer in the troposphere is dominated by convection, this is why I brought that up.

It is a fact that climate models represent changes in CO2 in terms of "radiative forcing", and I shared the definition of the term used there.

It is a fact that climate models project temperature rises with CO2 rises as a result of the radiative forcing attributed to CO2 by models.


I claim that the radiative forcing simplification is not an accurate representation of tropospheric energy flows, and I suspect--though haven't yet shown conclusively--that treating the values for tropospheric energy transfer as due to radiative forcing causes effects which should be rightfully due to convection to be attributed to CO2 almost exclusively, VASTLY overstating the effects of rising CO2 concentrations in said model runs.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:58 am UTC

Max™ wrote:Oh, that's another one, climate models fail at predicting ENSO effects.


We cannot even forecast ENSO events. Our ability to predict ENSO events is limited to observing initial precursors of when an ENSO event has already started. Its also not relevant to a GCM.

Max™ wrote:If you do want though, note that there has been steadily rising CO2 levels and there hasn't been significant warming since what, the 97 El Nino?


Complete nonsense.

It is a fact that climate models don't "do" convection well, they state this, it's why they use parametrizations, that is why I brought that up.


The only reason convection is paramatarised is because it occurs at scales much less than the grid size. Convection can and has been modelled explicitly. Its far to computationally heavy to be included in a GCM.


Because something is parameterized, it does not immediately follow its not handled well. Turbulence is regularly parameterized in computational fluid dynamics modeling, but we still use those models to design and optimize the highest performance aircraft and motor vehicles that human kind has ever produced. I did this in my undergrad. (Not designing high performance vehicles, but using turbulence parameterization schemes.)

Max™ wrote:I claim that the radiative forcing simplification is not an accurate representation of tropospheric energy flows.


This just shows how badly you are missing the plot. The goal is not to model tropospheric energy flows, its to model the energy balance of the entire planet and its entire atmosphere and its oceans. Your obsession with the troposphere and energy flows therein only serves to obfuscate the actual energy balance.

#########################################
On Energy Balance and Convection
#########################################

Numerous people have already spent considerable effort in trying to explain to you how, convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Let me be clear. Convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Only radiation can transport heat into and out of the heat system.

The entire concept of global warming is that the energy content of the Earth System is increasing. Convection CANNOT play a role in this.


EDIT:
No one tell Max that hurricanes also aren't included in GCMs, or we'll spend the next few years arguing about energy flows in the troposphere because of hurricanes and how that means the temperature of the planet is puppies, chocolate and rainbows.

EDITEDIT:
Is it about time that we can conclude that the answer to the OP, in its entirety is no, lock the thread and be done with it.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:15 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Numerous people have already spent considerable effort in trying to explain to you how, convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Let me be clear. Convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Only radiation can transport heat into and out of the heat system.

The entire concept of global warming is that the energy content of the Earth System is increasing. Convection CANNOT play a role in this.


http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_dat ... 9-2-2.html

Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, cooling in the stratosphere, and, for transient simulations, somewhat more warming near the surface in the NH due to its larger land fraction, which has a shorter surface response time to the warming than do ocean regions (Figure 9.1c).


Hmmm... it seems you're the one missing my point, AT NO TIME DID I EVER SUGGEST CONVECTION TRANSPORTS HEAT OUT OF THE TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE, did you see it that time?

I said convection dominates the troposphere, where GHG RF is "expected to produce warming", while it is also expected to cool the stratosphere.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby chenille » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:41 am UTC

Max™ wrote:
chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:3. Radiation being emitted is either absorbed or escapes into space. So if Pout is the rate at which energy leaves and A is the proportion of radiation that is absorbed, then Pout = (1 - A) Rt.*Ehhh, only partial agreement here, see 4*

I'm confused by some of these. All this equation says is that the energy that escapes is the radiation that isn't re-absorbed: Rt = ARt + Pout. I don't see what your other comments have to do with that.

I know, it's because we're sort of talking past each other because of various issues which I tried to bring up like the transparency of the atmosphere to IR, convection, and so on.

Ultimately the issue here is that AGW is based on the troposphere heating up, and energy exchange between the surface and tropopause is not the same as energy exchanged between the sun, earth, and space.

I did remember another source of energy imbalance though, life, plants and such hold on to energy from the sun, but ultimately a statement I made is being interpreted to mean far more than I meant.

All I meant was: the Earth does not radiate more energy than it receives from the Sun, the amount of energy in the system is determined by the energy it receives from the Sun.

It isn't, though. I am happy to follow you in neglecting contribution from sources other than the sun - this was sort of implicit in calling Pin radiation - but that's only the rate at which energy enters the system. Before I compared the total amount present to water in a channel: even with the same input, there will be more if it swirls around longer, in this case including both re-absorption of radiation and convection (though the latter also converts some of the energy into a form that doesn't show up as temperature).

I agree with you that in the absence of residual warmth, Pout ≤ Pin. But if there is any re-absorption, you need to have Rt > Pout; that's just saying that more radiation is produced than escapes. If there is lots of re-absorption, it will have to be much bigger, and so if Pout is close to Pin it follows that Rt > Pin; there is more radiation in the energy recirculation than comes in.

So, I'm still confused by your objection to this point. Is there some case where you think Rt = ARt + Pout shouldn't apply? Because again, it seems like a very straightforward statement to me: radiation from the planet-atmosphere system is either absorbed or escapes.

Max™ wrote:
chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:4. If we assume the total energy in the planet-atmosphere system is stable, the rate it enters has to be the same as the rate it leaves, i.e. Pin = Pout. This was your assumption from earlier.*I did not intend to say it was stable nor that the the rate in/out is rather than the amount, the atmosphere changes the rate of energy transfer within the system, mea culpa*

Ok, that's fine. But notice the rate of energy transfer within the planet-atmosphere system isn't part of the issue here, only the rate at which it enters and leaves. So long as Pin > Pout, the total amount of energy in the system is going to have to increase. That could easily happen though things like convection first, but ultimately it will keep accumulating energy until you reach a temperature where Pin = Pout, right?

No, the issue here is the energy transfer within the troposphere and from the troposphere to the rest of the atmosphere.

But I haven't done anything to talk about the different parts of the atmosphere yet, I'm only talking about the planet-atmosphere system as a whole. The only assumption I want to make about the distribution of energy, which I will now state explicitly, is that whatever radiation is emitted, some portion of it passes through the atmosphere and so could be absorbed - that's necessary for A > 0.

Otherwise, this line of reasoning shouldn't need to know anything more about energy transfer in the atmosphere. It's meant to show that you get the same basic result, that warming depends most on gases that are more opaque to infrared, regardless of those more difficult particulars.

At any rate, we can consider cases where Pin > Pout if you like. But since that means the total energy in the planet-atmosphere system is increasing in that case, and we know it won't increase without bound forever, it seems just as illustrative to me to stick with the limit where Pin = Pout. I'll leave it up to you whether that's fair.

Max™ wrote:
chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:6. Pin should be constant if we ignore differences in over-all albedo, which is what you have been doing comparing the earth and moon and should be reasonable when considering small changes to the gases.*again, I meant to say that the amount of energy in the system is determined by the input, the output can be derived from the physical properties and the solar insolation, with the atmospheric properties determining the rate at which energy is transported through the system and returns to space*

Well, sort of, but one of the key properties that's going to determine the outward radiation is temperature. Since we're ultimately considering how temperature is affected by other changes, we can't calculate other variables in terms of it, we have to calculate it from them.

Yeah, but the temperature is calculated from... the received radiation, and the rate of energy exchange within the system.

Ultimately, yeah, but then I would have to model all the details to work out the values. In this case that's a bad idea, because it requires a ton of details, and I'm trying the show what basic principles you can get that don't depend on those. That there is another way to calculate something doesn't mean any of these premises are wrong, after all.

Anyway, you are now talking about Pout, and point 6 was really just meant to treat Pin as constant, separate from the variations in A we are considering. Will you agree to that for this simple comparison? I'm sure we all agree that an increase in solar radiation or drop in radiation would cause warming; the point is to see how gases affect things on top of that. And note this is for the system as a whole; I'm not worrying about how much solar radiation is picked up by the atmosphere if the ground absorbs the rest.

So that's points #3, 4, and 6, if you will grant me to consider planet-atmosphere systems that are not increasing in total energy and hold solar radiation and albedo constant, or even treat these variations as small compared to the changes we make in A. Is there anywhere else you think those 8 simple points are false? To keep things focused, you only need to say where you think a premise is not true; I understand that would mean you disagree with its implications.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:54 am UTC

chenille wrote:It isn't, though. I am happy to follow you in neglecting contribution from sources other than the sun - this was sort of implicit in calling Pin radiation - but that's only the rate at which energy enters the system. Before I compared the total amount present to water in a channel: even with the same input, there will be more if it swirls around longer, in this case including both re-absorption of radiation and convection (though the latter also converts some of the energy into a form that doesn't show up as temperature).

So, I'm still confused by your objection to this point. Is there some case where you think Rt = ARt + Pout shouldn't apply? Because again, it seems like a very straightforward statement to me: radiation from the planet-atmosphere system is either absorbed or escapes.

Let's look at that water in a channel example, why not, is there a maximum amount of water that can be in it?

Is there a way that flow could be reduced without really changing the amount going in, by inserting something to reduce the rate water moves through the system?

That is where the warmer temperatures come in, it's not "trapping" energy, just changing the distribution and rate at which it travels through the system.

But I haven't done anything to talk about the different parts of the atmosphere yet, I'm only talking about the planet-atmosphere system as a whole. The only assumption I want to make about the distribution of energy, which I will now state explicitly, is that whatever radiation is emitted, some portion of it passes through the atmosphere and so could be absorbed - that's necessary for A > 0.

Otherwise, this line of reasoning shouldn't need to know anything more about energy transfer in the atmosphere. It's meant to show that you get the same basic result, that warming depends most on gases that are more opaque to infrared, regardless of those more difficult particulars.

Well, you need the time it takes for energy to go through, THAT I think we can agree is a variable in this situation which can be changed and produce warmer temperatures, yes?

Ultimately, yeah, but then I would have to model all the details to work out the values. In this case that's a bad idea, because it requires a ton of details, and I'm trying the show what basic principles you can get that don't depend on those.

Anyway, you are now talking about Pout, and point 6 was really just meant to treat Pin as constant, separate from the variations in A we are considering. Will you agree to that for this simple comparison? I'm sure we all agree that an increase in solar radiation or drop in radiation would cause warming; the point is to see how gases affect things on top of that. And note this is for the system as a whole; I'm not worrying about how much solar radiation is picked up by the atmosphere if the ground absorbs the rest.

So that's points #3, 4, and 6, if you will grant me to consider planet-atmosphere systems that are not increasing in total energy and hold solar radiation and albedo constant, or even treat these variations as small compared to the changes we make in A. Is there anywhere else you disagree with those 8 simple points? To keep things focused, you only need to say where you disagree with premises or reasoning; I understand that would mean you disagree with conclusions.

I would ask the caveat be added that the rate of energy transfer be noted, any time Pout drops below Pin the planet would accumulate energy to balance this out, as you said, but that would not be an immediate effect, and would depend on the rate at which energy moves through the system.

This is why I dislike treating everything in terms of IR and RF, because that is pretty much the maximum rate which energy could move through the system, while convection actually occurs at a slower overall rate, and doesn't present the idea that there is IR energy "trapped" in the system as opposed to energy simply not traveling through the system at the speed of light on average.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:04 am UTC

Max™ wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Numerous people have already spent considerable effort in trying to explain to you how, convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Let me be clear. Convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Only radiation can transport heat into and out of the heat system.

The entire concept of global warming is that the energy content of the Earth System is increasing. Convection CANNOT play a role in this.


http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_dat ... 9-2-2.html

Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, cooling in the stratosphere, and, for transient simulations, somewhat more warming near the surface in the NH due to its larger land fraction, which has a shorter surface response time to the warming than do ocean regions (Figure 9.1c).


Hmmm... it seems you're the one missing my point, AT NO TIME DID I EVER SUGGEST CONVECTION TRANSPORTS HEAT OUT OF THE TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE, did you see it that time?

I said convection dominates the troposphere, where GHG RF is "expected to produce warming", while it is also expected to cool the stratosphere.


Nothing in that IPCC link you posted conflicts or contradicts what I am trying to tell you. In fact its perfectly coherent and actually supportive to what I am trying to tell you.

Okay, so if you accept that convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth System. Then you must surely accept that only radiation can transport heat into and out of the Earth System?

Then if there is an imbalance between incoming and outgoing radiation, then the heat content of the Earth System must change. Do you get this far?

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:17 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Max™ wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Numerous people have already spent considerable effort in trying to explain to you how, convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Let me be clear. Convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth system.

Only radiation can transport heat into and out of the heat system.

The entire concept of global warming is that the energy content of the Earth System is increasing. Convection CANNOT play a role in this.


http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_dat ... 9-2-2.html

Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere, cooling in the stratosphere, and, for transient simulations, somewhat more warming near the surface in the NH due to its larger land fraction, which has a shorter surface response time to the warming than do ocean regions (Figure 9.1c).


Hmmm... it seems you're the one missing my point, AT NO TIME DID I EVER SUGGEST CONVECTION TRANSPORTS HEAT OUT OF THE TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE, did you see it that time?

I said convection dominates the troposphere, where GHG RF is "expected to produce warming", while it is also expected to cool the stratosphere.


Nothing in that IPCC link you posted conflicts or contradicts what I am trying to tell you. In fact its perfectly coherent and actually supportive to what I am trying to tell you.

Okay, so if you accept that convection cannot transport heat out of the Earth System. Then you must surely accept that only radiation can transport heat into and out of the Earth System?

Then if there is an imbalance between incoming and outgoing radiation, then the heat content of the Earth System must change. Do you get this far?

Indeed, and the heat content can change in ways besides just IR emitted by CO2, as I mentioned to chenille, the rate at which energy flows through the system is probably an important piece of the puzzle, wouldn't you say?
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:20 am UTC

Max™ wrote:Indeed, and the heat content can change in ways besides just IR emitted by CO2, as I mentioned to chenille, the rate at which energy flows through the system is probably an important piece of the puzzle, wouldn't you say?


You are obfuscating.

Fundamentally the only thing that matters for changes in the heat content of the Earth System is the difference incoming radiation and out going radiation. Do you accept this?

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:28 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Max™ wrote:Indeed, and the heat content can change in ways besides just IR emitted by CO2, as I mentioned to chenille, the rate at which energy flows through the system is probably an important piece of the puzzle, wouldn't you say?


You are obfuscating.

Fundamentally the only thing that matters for changes in the heat content of the Earth System is the difference incoming radiation and out going radiation. Do you accept this?

No I am not obfuscating, here is what I am saying:

All of the energy entering the climate system arrives at light speed from the sun.

All of the energy which makes it out of the climate system leaves at light speed by radiation.

Not all of the energy in the climate system travels at light speed, obviously.

If that is so, then there is energy arriving which will immediately be radiated back into space, and there is energy which arrives and will be convected upwards to the stratosphere before being emitted, and there is energy which will be emitted after a short period of convection, etc.

If it all left as soon as it arrived, the Earth would have roughly the same temperature as the Moon, very hot at the subsolar point, very cold on the dark side.

As it is there is energy moving through the system and being distributed from the subsolar point to the rest of the system, some of which leaves spontaneously, and some of which takes far longer before leaving the system.

This is why the Earth has a stable average temperature between day and night, right?
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:36 am UTC

You are making this sound a great deal more complicated than it really is.

If you cannot accept this incredibly basic and true premise, then there is absolutely no point in continuing.

Premise: The heat content of the Earth System can only change if there is a difference between incoming and outgoing radiation.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby chenille » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:49 am UTC

Max™ wrote:Let's look at that water in a channel example, why not, is there a maximum amount of water that can be in it?

Is there a way that flow could be reduced without really changing the amount going in, by inserting something to reduce the rate water moves through the system?

Sure. This is what happens when we dam rivers; the flow of water coming in and out is the same, but now there is going to be more water in that portion of the river. This is a static example, but you would get the same thing by building a pump to suck out large amounts of water and release them further upstream.

This is what people actually mean when they say the energy is getting trapped: not that it is caught forever, but that it ends up circulating through the system longer and so the total energy present at any given time goes up. It's a dynamic trap. From what you've just said, I'm taking it you agree this is what happens, you were just thrown off by the word choice.

Max™ wrote:Well, you need the time it takes for energy to go through, THAT I think we can agree is a variable in this situation which can be changed and produce warmer temperatures, yes?

That's the ideal to look at, but it doesn't make a very easy variable by itself. First, it's not particularly well-defined since energy can take lots of different paths through the system, although one could agree on something like Etotal / Pin as a general measure. But second, it doesn't depend on other things in a straightforward way. For instance more convection would increase it - as well as decreasing the proportion of energy that contributes to temperature - but then that depends on where there are temperature differences within the system.

On the other hand, we can definitely say the time goes up when A is higher: the journey of energy through the system ends when it escapes into space, and so more absorption means less of the the radiated energy is actually finished. So unless there is some reason other types of gas should change how much time is involved in things like convection, you should still get that GHGs have the most pronounced effect. But let me come back to this...

Max™ wrote:I would ask the caveat be added that the rate of energy transfer be noted, any time Pout drops below Pin the planet would accumulate energy to balance this out, as you said, but that would not be an immediate effect, and would depend on the rate at which energy moves through the system.

This is why I dislike treating everything in terms of IR and RF, because that is pretty much the maximum rate which energy could move through the system, while convection actually occurs at a slower overall rate, and doesn't present the idea that there is IR energy "trapped" in the system as opposed to energy simply not traveling through the system at the speed of light on average.

...because now we're looking at two different things. The first is how much difference in temperature would ultimately come about based on different gases. Here I think it makes sense to consider the limiting state where Pin = Pout and the eight points I gave should be valid, with the key result that the final temperature depends more on gases that absorb more infrared. I would appreciate knowing if you agree with this before worrying about the second thing, how fast temperature might increase, where your caveat absolutely needs to be taken into account.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:19 am UTC

chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:Let's look at that water in a channel example, why not, is there a maximum amount of water that can be in it?

Is there a way that flow could be reduced without really changing the amount going in, by inserting something to reduce the rate water moves through the system?

Sure. This is what happens when we dam rivers; the flow of water coming in and out is the same, but now there is going to be more water in that portion of the river. This is a static example, but you would get the same thing by building a pump to suck out large amounts of water and release them further upstream.

This is what people actually mean when they say the energy is getting trapped: not that it is caught forever, but that it ends up circulating through the system longer and so the total energy present at any given time goes up. It's a dynamic trap. From what you've just said, I'm taking it you agree this is what happens, you were just thrown off by the word choice.

Yes, the language used set off big warning signs and flashing lights in my head.

Though you could more accurately say "the heat content varies dynamically" and get away from the use of the trapping idea entirely.

Max™ wrote:Well, you need the time it takes for energy to go through, THAT I think we can agree is a variable in this situation which can be changed and produce warmer temperatures, yes?

That's the ideal to look at, but it doesn't make a very easy variable by itself. First, it's not particularly well-defined since energy can take lots of different paths through the system, although one could agree on something like Etotal / Pin as a general measure. But second, it doesn't depend on other things in a straightforward way. For instance more convection would increase it - as well as decreasing the proportion of energy that contributes to temperature - but then that depends on where there are temperature differences within the system.

On the other hand, we can definitely say the time goes up when A is higher: the journey of energy through the system ends when it escapes into space, and so more absorption means less of the the radiated energy is actually finished. So unless there is some reason other types of gas should change how much time is involved in things like convection, you should still get that GHGs have the most pronounced effect. But let me come back to this...

Indeed it is a very difficult variable, very complex, but it is also hard to argue that it isn't important.

Max™ wrote:I would ask the caveat be added that the rate of energy transfer be noted, any time Pout drops below Pin the planet would accumulate energy to balance this out, as you said, but that would not be an immediate effect, and would depend on the rate at which energy moves through the system.

This is why I dislike treating everything in terms of IR and RF, because that is pretty much the maximum rate which energy could move through the system, while convection actually occurs at a slower overall rate, and doesn't present the idea that there is IR energy "trapped" in the system as opposed to energy simply not traveling through the system at the speed of light on average.

...because now we're looking at two different things. The first is how much difference in temperature would ultimately come about based on different gases. Here I think it makes sense to consider the limiting state where Pin = Pout and the eight points I gave should be valid, with the key result that the final temperature depends more on gases that absorb more infrared. I would appreciate knowing if you agree with this before worrying about the second thing, how fast temperature might increase, where your caveat absolutely needs to be taken into account.

Eh, you're kinda jumping ahead with the result that the temperature depends more on gases that absorb more infrared.

I'm with you right up to that last leap, I agree that there is a component which depends entirely on the presence of GHG's, but I can't justify extending that to say that the final temperature depends more on the gases which absorb more IR than anything else.

In fact I'd say the reduced infrared absorption/emission of other gases would have a governing effect as the energy content of those gases generally takes longer to leave the system.

A gas which allows a lot of energy to exit shortly after arriving by absorbing and re-emitting radiation would tend to speed up that energy exchange rate, wouldn't it?
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby VannA » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:29 am UTC

Nooo. It would bounce it around inside the subsystem that gas itself consists of.
If you treat all CO2 as an amorphous blob, then I might agree.

But it isn't. It's a system of many smaller system, and if you increase the amount of those subsystems, things take longer to go through them. The longer they take, the more other components absorb, the more it is held inside the overall system.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:43 am UTC

VannA wrote:Nooo. It would bounce it around inside the subsystem that gas itself consists of.
If you treat all CO2 as an amorphous blob, then I might agree.

But it isn't. It's a system of many smaller system, and if you increase the amount of those subsystems, things take longer to go through them. The longer they take, the more other components absorb, the more it is held inside the overall system.

Ok, would it help bounce energy around just the subsystem of that gas, or would it help transfer it to the rest of the atmosphere?
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:43 am UTC

Max™ wrote:Oh, that's a way more complex process than I thought you were asking about.

I'd say the simplest answer is tied to the mass of the atmosphere/ocean system, the amount of heat that can be exchanged throughout the system at a given rate, and the energy input which are all relatively stable quantities.

The energy from the sun varies pretty significantly between milankovitch and solar cycles, but broadly those variations aren't large compared to the overall energy coming from the sun.

The mass of the atmosphere doesn't vary significantly, neither does the mass of the ocean, though the amount of water locked up in ice caps varies, and there are albedo effects tied to that, none of those processes can cause the system to lose heat faster than a certain amount limited by, of course, the input and mass of the atmosphere/oceans.
Water is a heat sink, yeah. But it's not active. It will warm up or freeze depending on the applied energy. It could dampen swings but not limit them. And the atmosphere is less massive than the ocean. But again it's passive. It will interact with the ocean, so as the ocean goes so eventually the atmosphere. Can you describe the equilibrium process in those two.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:18 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Max™ wrote:Oh, that's a way more complex process than I thought you were asking about.

I'd say the simplest answer is tied to the mass of the atmosphere/ocean system, the amount of heat that can be exchanged throughout the system at a given rate, and the energy input which are all relatively stable quantities.

The energy from the sun varies pretty significantly between milankovitch and solar cycles, but broadly those variations aren't large compared to the overall energy coming from the sun.

The mass of the atmosphere doesn't vary significantly, neither does the mass of the ocean, though the amount of water locked up in ice caps varies, and there are albedo effects tied to that, none of those processes can cause the system to lose heat faster than a certain amount limited by, of course, the input and mass of the atmosphere/oceans.
Water is a heat sink, yeah. But it's not active. It will warm up or freeze depending on the applied energy. It could dampen swings but not limit them. And the atmosphere is less massive than the ocean. But again it's passive. It will interact with the ocean, so as the ocean goes so eventually the atmosphere. Can you describe the equilibrium process in those two.

I'll need to get back to this, though I wouldn't mind a bit more clarification on your request regarding equilibrium to make sure I get the right meaning and don't start down a path due to a mistake on my part.

Gonna go crash for a bit.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:29 am UTC

Ok. What you want is a stable system. And you want that system at a specific point. A range in fact. But a fairly tight range. I believe you offered 25 degrees Celsius. It's not enough that the system has inertia. It has to actively pull the system back to this narrow band. If the inputs vary a lot or if the band is too broad the system will hunt or vary a lot. While the Universe probably doesn't care about that, life does. I gave you and example of a simple feedback machine. A Pressure Reducing Valve. The spring in the valve provides an active mechanism to maintain the pressure. Once the valve is set then it will always try to keep the system downstream at a constant pressure . Where is the spring in your system?

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:End result is, the atmosphere is damned big. A coupla kg of hydrogen and a few grams of helium/second escape isn't even a drop in the bucket. It's just not worth focusing on, because it's just not a very big effect.

*rubs his eyes*

Ok, I've been assuming that certain things are basic knowledge here.

The tropospheric warming phenomenon attributed to CO2 increases refers to the troposphere; the troposphere is the part of the atmosphere closest to the ground and is the only part where heat transfer is dominated by convection, above the point where convection is no longer effective at transferring heat is a region of the atmosphere which we in part define as no longer being dominated by convection.

You're treating my point about convection as though I'm saying gas needs to be lifted to space, when the entire AGW claim is based on tropospheric heat exchange being dominated by radiative transfer from the top of the troposphere.

Can gas be convected to the top of the troposphere?


Yes. So? The whole system is becoming more energetic anyways. This really only affects things like how long of a delay before we see effects, not if warming is occurring. If the energy isn't being lost to space, it's still in the system.

This is why, incidentally, I object to the part of your test where a jar is open.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:40 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:I keep trying to avoid making any statements which imply that "heat can be trapped", this is why I am not eager to answer what seems like a simple question which I wouldn't otherwise have a problem with, because said answers wind up being taken as agreement that "heat is trapped in the atmosphere".
Well of course it's not trapped in the atmosphere in the sense that it can never leave the atmosphere. There is energy flow through the system, so none of it stays "trapped" there, but the point is how much energy does that system have at any given time. Which will be higher if more radiation is absorbed.

Raising the temperature of CO2 will then raise the temperature of other molecules in the air mostly through convection.
Right, and no one is denying that convection proceeds to move heat around within the atmosphere, or that said heat eventually does make it back into space via radiation. But in the mean time it raises the temperature of the atmosphere.

note that there has been steadily rising CO2 levels and there hasn't been significant warming since what, the 97 El Nino?
Utter bullshit. All those record highs we had this summer were not, in fact, any warmer than any summers before them? Am I mistaken about what "record" means?

In any case, I feel like this is relevant to the "no warming since 19XX" nonsense:
Image

Oh, that's another one, climate models fail at predicting ENSO effects.
They can't tell you whether it will rain tomorrow in Denver, either. That's not what they're for.

My evidence that CO2 as a radiative forcing is overstated is kind of why I brought up the fact that the rest of the atmosphere also absorbs IR, can also be heated by the sun (rather than only/mostly from below), and so on.
Yes, but carbon dioxide absorbs it *more* than other gases, and thus has a *greater* effect on warming.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby chenille » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Eh, you're kinda jumping ahead with the result that the temperature depends more on gases that absorb more infrared.

I'm with you right up to that last leap, I agree that there is a component which depends entirely on the presence of GHG's, but I can't justify extending that to say that the final temperature depends more on the gases which absorb more IR than anything else.

In fact I'd say the reduced infrared absorption/emission of other gases would have a governing effect as the energy content of those gases generally takes longer to leave the system.

Not sure why that would be so in general, but that would affect the rate things happen, which is different from the equilibrium. You can see an analogous difference very plainly with chemical reactions: the kinetics depends on the mechanism of the reaction, but the equilibrium only depends on the over-all relationship between the reactants and products. When we're talking about how much difference in temperature the gases result in, we're just looking to balance the rate of energy in and out.

And that follows straight from the eight points I gave. The total energy in the system will keep increasing until you have a temperature for which Rt = Pin / (1 - A), because that's where the two are balanced. So if Pin doesn't change much it will depend directly on A, the portion of radiation from the system that gets re-absorbed. Since that radiation is mostly infrared, the gases that absorb infrared will have the largest effect on the final temperature.

Max™ wrote:A gas which allows a lot of energy to exit shortly after arriving by absorbing and re-emitting radiation would tend to speed up that energy exchange rate, wouldn't it?

If you're absorbing energy that would otherwise escape, no, it should only make energy take longer going through the system.

For the kinetics I'm not sure how to set up such straightforward math, so maybe you'll let me start with an analogy instead. Let's say you and I are playing one of those race-to-the-finish board games. You have been having bad luck on most of your rolls, and I have been having very good luck, so have been moving much faster than you. There's only one catch: right before I get to the end square, you have to pick up a chance card, and mine sent me back someplace near the start of the game. Now even though I've been doing better nearly the whole game, you suddenly stand a much better chance of winning - unless you happen to pick up that same card, right?

This is the role re-absorption of radiation is going to play in the atmosphere. You're absolutely right that for most of its path, the rate at which energy is moving around is going to depend mainly on things like convection, how long it takes for gases to emit radiation, and so on. But even if radiation is a very small portion of that, it's the only way the energy can actually finish, and each time that happens there is a chance it will be re-absorbed and go back in the system - essentially, have to play through the game again. In fact, now whatever processes slowed it down before might get to do again, so the re-absorption rate is not just adding to their effects but multiplying them.

Multipliers are a big deal. They definitely won't be the only thing that effects the rate energy passes through the system, but it's not hard to see that small changes to them will affect it a lot. Even if there were a bit faster turn-over on absorption and emission by greenhouse gases, it wouldn't make nearly so much difference as making more of the energy go through everything several times.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:You also have to believe that those findings move you toward a greater understanding of the universe, rather than away. IE, you have to believe that knowing more about a thing leads to better modeling a thing. IE, that we do not live in a universe designed in such a way that more knowledge about it reduces our understanding about it.

You have to accept, on blind faith, that the universe is not pulling a fast one on us. This only 'seems' reasonable because it's so absurdly intuitive, but there's no evidence we can produce to demonstrate that it is so. If we live in a universe arranged in such a fashion as to deceive scientific inquiry, everything is pretty much fucked. So we take it on faith that we don't.

Well, no, I can dismiss that as being a useless assumption. There is nothing to gain from the idea that the universe is deceiving us, there is no beneficial results leading from that, it can be dismissed arbitrarily.

I disbelieve most things, I believe very few, as few as I can manage in fact.


Fixed that for you
Last edited by sam_i_am on Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:43 pm UTC

Good catch, sam_i_am, removed the wrong quote tag apparently.
morriswalters wrote:Ok. What you want is a stable system. And you want that system at a specific point. A range in fact. But a fairly tight range. I believe you offered 25 degrees Celsius. It's not enough that the system has inertia. It has to actively pull the system back to this narrow band. If the inputs vary a lot or if the band is too broad the system will hunt or vary a lot. While the Universe probably doesn't care about that, life does. I gave you and example of a simple feedback machine. A Pressure Reducing Valve. The spring in the valve provides an active mechanism to maintain the pressure. Once the valve is set then it will always try to keep the system downstream at a constant pressure . Where is the spring in your system?

Ah, I'd imagine that things like reducing upper tropospheric water vapor from warmer temperatures (which raises emission of radiation to space as well as cloud albedo reducing incident radiation on the ground) and similar effects would be involved at the upper end of the range, while ice albedo and insolation would help control the lower end.
gmalivuk wrote:
Max™ wrote:I keep trying to avoid making any statements which imply that "heat can be trapped", this is why I am not eager to answer what seems like a simple question which I wouldn't otherwise have a problem with, because said answers wind up being taken as agreement that "heat is trapped in the atmosphere".
Well of course it's not trapped in the atmosphere in the sense that it can never leave the atmosphere. There is energy flow through the system, so none of it stays "trapped" there, but the point is how much energy does that system have at any given time. Which will be higher if more radiation is absorbed.

Why is the amount of energy at a given time more relevant than the time it takes energy to leave the system?

Raising the temperature of CO2 will then raise the temperature of other molecules in the air mostly through convection.
Right, and no one is denying that convection proceeds to move heat around within the atmosphere, or that said heat eventually does make it back into space via radiation. But in the mean time it raises the temperature of the atmosphere.

Yeah, but all of the heat circulating through the atmosphere does that, and CO2 is in no way unique in having a temperature or transferring heat around through convection/advection/circulation/diffusion, is it?

note that there has been steadily rising CO2 levels and there hasn't been significant warming since what, the 97 El Nino?
Utter bullshit. All those record highs we had this summer were not, in fact, any warmer than any summers before them? Am I mistaken about what "record" means?

<.<

Record highs here in the US is not the same thing as record highs worldwide, is it?

In any case, I feel like this is relevant to the "no warming since 19XX" nonsense:
[img]http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/SkepticsvRealistsv3.gif[img]

>.>

You cited a skepticalscience chart which shows temperature anomalies, and doesn't appear to show the spike in 1997. Sks isn't really credible anymore after a lot of the shit they've done, I actually used to pull data from the site for people myself since I figured it would be trustworthy.

Oh, that's another one, climate models fail at predicting ENSO effects.
They can't tell you whether it will rain tomorrow in Denver, either. That's not what they're for.

ENSO and weather are not really the same, ENSO is a climactic phenomenon.

Also, why exactly can't a climate model which is being trusted to make 100 year projections not produce daily or weekly projections to test their skill against?

My evidence that CO2 as a radiative forcing is overstated is kind of why I brought up the fact that the rest of the atmosphere also absorbs IR, can also be heated by the sun (rather than only/mostly from below), and so on.
Yes, but carbon dioxide absorbs it *more* than other gases, and thus has a *greater* effect on warming.

More than the rest of the atmosphere?

Individually you are right, but overall it is a very small effect, and like I've said, can only be made to appear as a large effect if it is given credit for other processes.

Tyndmyr wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:End result is, the atmosphere is damned big. A coupla kg of hydrogen and a few grams of helium/second escape isn't even a drop in the bucket. It's just not worth focusing on, because it's just not a very big effect.

*rubs his eyes*

Ok, I've been assuming that certain things are basic knowledge here.

The tropospheric warming phenomenon attributed to CO2 increases refers to the troposphere; the troposphere is the part of the atmosphere closest to the ground and is the only part where heat transfer is dominated by convection, above the point where convection is no longer effective at transferring heat is a region of the atmosphere which we in part define as no longer being dominated by convection.

You're treating my point about convection as though I'm saying gas needs to be lifted to space, when the entire AGW claim is based on tropospheric heat exchange being dominated by radiative transfer from the top of the troposphere.

Can gas be convected to the top of the troposphere?


Yes. So? The whole system is becoming more energetic anyways. This really only affects things like how long of a delay before we see effects, not if warming is occurring. If the energy isn't being lost to space, it's still in the system.

This is why, incidentally, I object to the part of your test where a jar is open.


Ah, but the test was against tropospheric temperatures in the presence and lack of convection, so your objection is noted, but not really appropriate.

chenille wrote:
Max™ wrote:Eh, you're kinda jumping ahead with the result that the temperature depends more on gases that absorb more infrared.

I'm with you right up to that last leap, I agree that there is a component which depends entirely on the presence of GHG's, but I can't justify extending that to say that the final temperature depends more on the gases which absorb more IR than anything else.

In fact I'd say the reduced infrared absorption/emission of other gases would have a governing effect as the energy content of those gases generally takes longer to leave the system.

Not sure why that would be so in general, but that would affect the rate things happen, which is different from the equilibrium. You can see an analogous difference very plainly with chemical reactions: the kinetics depends on the mechanism of the reaction, but the equilibrium only depends on the over-all relationship between the reactants and products. When we're talking about how much difference in temperature the gases result in, we're just looking to balance the rate of energy in and out.

Ah, but the difference in temperature should be closely related to the rate at which energy circulates through the system, not just the balance of in and out.

And that follows straight from the eight points I gave. The total energy in the system will keep increasing until you have a temperature for which Rt = Pin / (1 - A), because that's where the two are balanced. So if Pin doesn't change much it will depend directly on A, the portion of radiation from the system that gets re-absorbed. Since that radiation is mostly infrared, the gases that absorb infrared will have the largest effect on the final temperature.

Yes, but that temperature increase doesn't happen instantly, and gases which convect take longer to warm to the given temperature, thus making the rate of energy flow through the system important, right?

Max™ wrote:A gas which allows a lot of energy to exit shortly after arriving by absorbing and re-emitting radiation would tend to speed up that energy exchange rate, wouldn't it?

If you're absorbing energy that would otherwise escape, no, it should only make energy take longer going through the system.

For the kinetics I'm not sure how to set up such straightforward math, so maybe you'll let me start with an analogy instead. Let's say you and I are playing one of those race-to-the-finish board games. You have been having bad luck on most of your rolls, and I have been having very good luck, so have been moving much faster than you. There's only one catch: right before I get to the end square, you have to pick up a chance card, and mine sent me back someplace near the start of the game. Now even though I've been doing better nearly the whole game, you suddenly stand a much better chance of winning - unless you happen to pick up that same card, right?

This is the role re-absorption of radiation is going to play in the atmosphere. You're absolutely right that for most of its path, the rate at which energy is moving around is going to depend mainly on things like convection, how long it takes for gases to emit radiation, and so on. But even if radiation is a very small portion of that, it's the only way the energy can actually finish, and each time that happens there is a chance it will be re-absorbed and go back in the system - essentially, have to play through the game again. In fact, now whatever processes slowed it down before might get to do again, so the re-absorption rate is not just adding to their effects but multiplying them.

Yeah, that was just a hunch, but I'm not sure it was very accurate as VannA pointed out about CO2 not being an amorphous blob, though I'm not sure the multiplication effect is quite the right way to describe it.

Multipliers are a big deal. They definitely won't be the only thing that effects the rate energy passes through the system, but it's not hard to see that small changes to them will affect it a lot. Even if there were a bit faster turn-over on absorption and emission by greenhouse gases, it wouldn't make nearly so much difference as making more of the energy go through everything several times.

Something being heated to a given temperature by CO2 rather than direct incident radiation from the sun or convection from the rest of the atmosphere, isn't really changing the total amount of energy much, and the influence of radiation absorption/emission of a single gas in comparison to the overall amount of energy moving through isn't very much.
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Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Why is the amount of energy at a given time more relevant than the time it takes energy to leave the system?
Wait one fucking second here.

Is this the fundamental problem you're having? The notion that all energy leaves the system eventually? So when they say things like 'CO2 traps energy in the system', you have a problem with that--because in actuality, that energy isn't being trapped--just delayed?


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