The latest fad to keep the denial crowd busy for a week

Just one more to accompany Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Miskolczi, and other strange pieces on how an atmospheric greenhouse effect is supposed to operate.

Once again, like evolution, thermodynamics throws science out the window. Theories that don’t exist are refuted, and mysterious “natural variability” is thrown in the mix.

The first 6 pages of this paper involve some elementary calculus steps to find the temperature of the Earth, with an albedo factor of 30%. For a quick summary (jumping over some steps), the power radiated over the sunlit side of the Earth (expressed as an integral) becomes,

1/A S cos α dA

where A is the area of the Earth, 4πR2

Then,

S/2 0π/2 cos α sin α dα = S/4
.
.
.
after we take albedo into account, equating input to output
(S/r2)π R2 (1-a) = σ T4 (4 πR2)

where r is the distance from the Earth to the sun in astronomical units. Assuming that is 1,

σ T4 = S/4 (1-a)

With a solar constant of about 1370 W/m2, we get a mean global temperature of ~ 255 K. The actual temperature of the Earth is around 288 K, making a 33 K gap which is accounted for by the existence of an atmosphere which is partially opaque to outgoing infrared radiation. There is nothing new to this.

I suppose there are three main points in this new piece-

1) A greenhouse effect violates thermodynamics since a colder body (the atmosphere) cannot heat a warmer body (the surface).
2) Since gases are not good reflectors, they cannot be responsible for the warming of the surface– the author concludes this is due to cloud reflection instead
3) We are in a “great summer” (what this actually means is still a bit obscure to me), in part of as “Great Season Climatic Oscillation” with a periodicity of ~800-1000 years.

Points 1 and 2 immediately destory the credibility of this article, as anyone with a “wikipedia-only” knowledge of the greenhouse effect or thermodynamics should know. The net heat transfer is indeed from the warmer surface to the colder atmosphere, so nothing is violated. Of course, based on this idea refrigerators and heat engines also violate thermodynamics. Really, what a refrigerator does is move heat out of a cold region but at the expense of work (but I suppose no external source of energy for the Earth has ever been found?). Increasing greenhouse gases creates a net energy influx, thereby increasing the amount of energy received by the surface, which in turn raises the surface temperature until equilibrium can be established. You can say that the rate of cooling decreases, and since the planet is taking in the same amount of energy but getting rid of less, the temperature must rise until the outgoing radiation sufficiently increases.

Secondly, their point on greenhouse gases being terrible reflectors is a straw man: the greenhouse effect does not work by *reflecting* radiation, so this is nothing new. If the author does not know the difference between this and absorption/re-radiation, he should consider learning, since it’s an important distinction…especially if you are going to go publishing on atmospheric thermodynamics. The greenhouse effect does not work by re-directing more IR energy downward. Clouds have a net cooling effect on the planet, so it is not possible for them to be responsible for an actual temperature greater than the effective temperature.

The rest of the work had a very Gaia-like tone to it…and a degree of anthropocentrism, like “The atmosphere, the oceans, the seas, the mountains … are here to make the earth an ideal place for the man and its environment.”
The “cyclicity” described in this paper is not a true periodicity (A clock keeps time, with a true periodicity of its ticking. A cat strolls by the old disheroo and has a bite to eat with a preferred spacing—after a big meal, it will be hours rather than minutes before the next one, but you can’t set your clock by it.)

This conclusion is based on reference [10] (by the same author, in a non peer-reviewed reference) who bases the existence of great seasonal cycle on

“Without having all data necessary to the exact determination of the period of these
climatic oscillations generating the great seasons, and while basing on historic
observations I estimate this period to eight centuries (T = 800 years). The length of a
great season is two centuries (200 years).”

And similarly in the latest reference, “With the lack of all necessary data to exactly determine this climatic oscillation period generating great seasons, assuming the variation to be sinusoidal, and based on the thermohaline circulation period and on historical observations, we estimate this period to be equal to eight to ten centuries: T = 800 to 1000 years.”

He then argues that understanding this is the key for predictions of global macro-climate over the long-term. This is little more than extrapolating into the far into the past and into the future simply by looking at how the transition from the Little Ice Age to present went, without mentioning causes such as changes in solar irradiance or volcanoes. I could just as well say that the next billion years will fluctuate up and down by a few degrees by looking at the LGM to Holocene transition and saying that this pattern will continue forever due to some “great seasonal cycle” without mentioning how the sun will brighten, how continents will shift, or explaining how the LGM to Holocene transition took place in the first place.

Just on the off-chance this is supposed to be serious, one would like an explanation for the reason glaciers are retreating, which seems to be a confusion of cause and effect for his mechanism. A hypothesis for the “1500 year periodicity” during glacial times involve the very weak signal/stochastic-resonance idea, which involve noise being superimposed on a probably externally-forced signal.

A reduction of the THC is expected to reduce poleward heat transport, leading to cooling over various areas in the Northern Hemisphere. It is far from clear why this reduced heat transport is responsible for polar amplification, as well as a global-wide trend. It is not clear why Europe is warming when Europe should be cooling since the THC is slowing, and apparently greenhouse gases have no effect.

This is just one more on the nonsense pile to show how little debate there actually is in the physics behind the greenhouse effect and AGW, and how sloppy “the other side” can really get to try and confuse the general public. Atmoz is taking bets on which skeptic will be the first to cite this. I’m pretty confident Inhofe will have this on his page soon.

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7 responses to “The latest fad to keep the denial crowd busy for a week

  1. So why is it getting colder?

    Response– Trying to determine a climate trend from 5 years of data is pointless. Try looking at the overall trend over the last century.– chris

  2. Ya know, when you look at the blog link behind the name, why bother answering these guys? All they want is attention, not information.

    Response– It never ends. Probably for the potentially confused third-party readership, but if I figure it out, I’ll gt back to you– chris

  3. Having worked in TV for 30 years I have a collection of these type “papers” My all time favourite was a mathematical proof that thunderstorms talked to each other with thunder. (Apparently we humans cannot translate it). This one’s the best I have seen in quite some time. Thanks for a decent chuckle!

  4. When you have 4 BILLION YEARS worth of data to evaluate and to work with, then come crying about global warming. Until then, the SPEC of population that you all have for your data is worthless.

  5. You didn’t understand anything

  6. Maybe this screwed up his calculations: “σ…=5.670410^-8″

    Yeah, that’s all it was…

  7. boucenna mohamed lazhar

    i like create big organisation of all the lovers of the earth (the warriors of the earth)

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