Ignore The Day At Your Peril

One of the things that has regularly nagged at me is the simple way the world is seen by the Warmers.

Climate Model Factors

Climate Model Factors

Original Image

Look at that model image.
See the “negative space”.
What is NOT in that image?

There is no sun and there is no day / night cycle. That vision is “static scored”.

(In reality, some of the climate models do have a more dynamic “day”, but they still suffer some of the same issues due to their construction in a way that reduces the impact of the daily cycle. The mind set is “static scored”. Also, as you make the ‘time step’ minutes instead of days or weeks and as you make the surface grid size small enough to capture individual convective processes, the model becomes too slow to run. We limit our understanding to what our computers are able to compute.)

The Earth is seen as having these very long duration trends, but the daily changes all just get averaged out. We have an average earth with an average insolation with an average area at an average temperature. Seasons don’t matter. Days don’t matter. Day night cycling of temperatures and convection don’t matter. The differences between oceans and land don’t matter. Mountains, lakes, and rivers don’t matter. Trees and grass don’t matter.

It’s all just a large smiling Disk Of Earth getting a constant average solar flux day in and day out year after year with only CO2 as the gatekeeper.

In a world where everything but CO2 is held constant (or even just regularly wiggled inside fixed bounds) the only free axis, CO2, must by definition carry the full burden of any changes.

But the real world is not like that.

Climate Map 1901 to 1925 using actual data

Climate Map 1901 to 1925 using actual data

The real world has seasons. It has oceans and land each with different behaviours. Desert, such as the Sahara, can heat dramatically. Then that 4th power increase in radiant energy with temperature can really kick in. The oceans on the other hand barely change their temperatures at all in comparison; yet they can evaporate vast quantities of water that falls again as rain. All these things happening inside a single day.

GEOS IR View of North America 28 Dec 2010

GEOS IR View of North America 28 Dec 2010

GEOS IR Color Legend

GEOS IR Color Legend

Original Source http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/globalir.html

This is very easy to observe at night when the desert becomes very cold. All that heat radiating away through the clear DRY air. During the day, it warms dramatically. On the ocean the temperatures are much more constant. Sure, the sun can warm your skin, but let a cloud get in the way and the non-irradiated surface temperature rapidly moderates toward the temperature of that body of water.

So why does this matter?

Because the daily cycle of warming and cooling, and of evaporation and rain, is far greater than any change of CO2.

Convection, Rain, and IR Heat Transfer

There are two dominant issues here.

One is the direct example of the Stefan–Boltzmann law giving a 4th power function driving heat off the planet via radiation (such that a small increase in temperatures result in a gigantic increase in radiated energy, that is, cooling). If you make it a little harder to radiate the heat away, we’ll still dump it out just by taking a trivial bit longer during the hottest part of the day.

The second is the simple fact of convection and it’s variation, over time and over space. These are gigantic processes in comparison to CO2 impacts on surface temperatures. Attempt to raise the surface temperature by a couple of percent and you will simply evaporate a nearly indetectable bit more water, that convects toward space to dump its heat, then falls with all the OTHER rain as a near zero change in the total.

Convection is a dominant part of our system dynamics

Convection is a dominant part of our system dynamics

Even NOAA knows this as this is their image

These two processes ‘give the lie’ to the dominance of CO2.

There are many articles on convection. But we can see it ourselves. Look at any thunderstorm. Massive convection moving tons of water from the land surface, up to altitude, condensing that water to rain, hail, and snow; then returning that water to the surface to complete another heat transfer cycle. Even in dry air there is convection. Watch vultures and eagles floating on rising columns of air. Go to a Glider School and learn how they spot the rising bits of air to ride. These are called “Thermals” for a reason. Add heat, more hot air rises (to cool at altitude and fall again as cold air somewhere else, repeating that cooling cycle).

Stages of Thunderstorm Creation

Stages of Thunderstorm Creation

Original Image

There are great bands of convection all around the planet. We would be very hard pressed to even detect the increase in rate of flow or of total rainfall. Most of the rain falls in the oceans where we do not monitor. Much of what’s left falls in a very few geographies.

Global Precipitation Pattern

Global Precipitation Pattern

Original Image

Notice how much of global rainfall, those dark blue parts, falls where there is little or no effective measurement. Central Africa, the equatorial ocean band, center of the Amazon basin. Most of the rain falls out at sea. Would we even know if it increased? Even our land measurements are crude. The increase would be well inside our error band of measuring.

Thermals

The land based thermals form a bit after sunrise, as the heat begins to be applied, and they die out in the evening as the heat engine driving them runs out of power. They run on a daily cycle. Not based on decades, years, months, or even weeks. The heating is over and done in a day and the heat is dumped in the same day. When the night comes, temperatures drop until that Stefan–Boltzmann law cuts the other way. Output being reduced by a 4th power as the surfaces cool. The cooling takes the fuel away from the convective processes and the still quiet cool air of night settles in.

Even kids know this. I’ve bolded a few bits.

From:

http://www.rc-airplane-world.com/thermal-soaring.html

Thermal soaring

The principles of thermal soaring with an rc glider are very simple, and most medium/large size gliders are capable of ‘riding the thermals’.

Thermals are columns of air that are warmer than the air surrounding them. Warm air is less dense than cool air, and so it rises up – rather like a helium filled balloon does. The rate of rise depends on the temperature of air; the higher the temperature, the less dense the air and so the faster and higher it will rise.

Thermals appear because the sun warms different surfaces at different rates; for example, water absorbs the sun’s rays so thermals won’t be present over the water, but the roof of a house, or a road, will be warmed by the sun quickly and so strong thermals will be generated over these types of surface.

Finding the thermals with an RC glider

For successful thermal soaring, the day needs to be warm and without too much wind, and you should be flying in an open, flat area.

Thermals are of course invisible, but a strong heat haze rising from a surface, or circling birds, can indicate the presence of thermals. It’s really a case of trial-and-error for the first few flights, but once you’ve launched your glider to a good altitude, then you should be able to fly it around and pick out the thermals to keep it aloft.

Once you’ve found a strong thermal, the technique is to keep circling the glider over the thermal to gain altitude – as soon as the glider flies back into the cooler air then it will naturally start to sink as gravity takes the place of the warm rising air.

Heck, even Wiki knows this (and it hasn’t been erased by the AGW Mind Control Police … yet…)

Thermal under a cloud

Thermal under a cloud

Original Image

From this Wiki article about thermals

A thermal column (or thermal) is a column of rising air in the lower altitudes of the Earth’s atmosphere. Thermals are created by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface from solar radiation, and an example of convection. The sun warms the ground, which in turn warms the air directly above it.[1] Dark earth, urban areas and roadways are good sources of thermals.

The warmer air expands, becoming less dense than the surrounding air mass. The mass of lighter air rises, and as it does, it cools due to its expansion at lower high-altitude pressures. It stops rising when it has cooled to the same temperature as the surrounding air. Associated with a thermal is a downward flow surrounding the thermal column. The downward moving exterior is caused by colder air being displaced at the top of the thermal.

The size and strength of thermals are influenced by the properties of the lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Generally, when the air is cold, bubbles of warm air are formed by the ground heating the air above it and can rise like a hot air balloon. The air is then said to be unstable. If there is a warm layer of air higher up, an inversion can prevent thermals from rising high and the air is said to be stable.

Thermals are often indicated by the presence of visible cumulus clouds at the apex of the thermal. When a steady wind is present thermals and their respective cumulus clouds can align in rows oriented with wind direction, sometimes referred to as “cloud streets” by soaring and glider pilots. Cumulus clouds are formed by the rising air in a thermal as it ascends and cools, until the water vapor in the air begins to condense into visible droplets. The condensing water releases latent heat energy allowing the air to rise higher. Very unstable air can reach the level of free convection (LFC) and thus rise to great heights condensing large quantities of water and so forming showers or even thunderstorms.

Thermals are one of the many sources of lift used by soaring birds and gliders to soar.

Yes, there can be storms at night, and convection. Typically this is driven by large heat sinks like the Gulf Of Mexico where a great deal of heat can be stored in the upper layers of water over weeks, then released as a major storm comes through. Churning the water and letting the heat out. Some of the hot wet air lifted during the day can continue to cool and drop rain or snow on into the evening. It all depends on how much water was lifted how far. But the driver of this convective engine stays the same. Heat, at the surface. And that heat at the surface has a very large daily cycle, with a very large 4th power function moving it around. That heat is also moved by gigantic quantities of water. Some storms will drop feet of water as rain. The heat of vaporization of that much water is staggering.

Time Scale

And it all happens on the time scale of hours and days. Not months, years, and decades. Weather dominates climate.

The “Time Scale” of radiation heat loss and convective heat loss is not decadal. It’s not even annual (the annual changes are driven by the tilt of our rotational axis of the planet and orbit of the sun). They are very fast processes.

So what happens to a system with 2 fast methods of letting heat out when one of them is reduced?

The other one picks up speed and does the job instead.

At this point the issue of “night” is important and the issue of daily cycles is important. The argument will be put forward that plugging up one leak will cause heat to build up as the other one simply can’t carry it all. Yet we know that every day the vast excess of heat from the daytime is all ‘leaked away’ by fairly early in the evening. That 4th power starts to bite quickly and convection drops off rapidly as things cool, then we asymptotically approach a minimum set by things like our orbital position and the annual snows; the movement of air masses from the polar regions (where the daily cycle stops as the “day” can last for months) can cool us even more.

It is the existence of this “daily cycle” that tells us that a couple of percent plugging of the IR window would just make more convection. That at most the convection would pick up a couple of percent and perhaps run a tiny bit longer into the evening. In the end, we would end up back at roughly the same stabilization temperature as the process runs down. It is the fact that the process does run down and does so each day that says so. It runs until the temperature drops enough to stop it from running. And that takes hours, not days. Then the “added” heat of the day is gone, just like the “added” heat from CO2 would be gone.

Supposedly, we’ve got about 2 Watts / m^2 of added warming from CO2 and related gasses:

The IPCC view of impacts on energy gain / loss

The IPCC view of impacts on energy gain / loss

Original Image

(Calling this “forcing” is a political statement, not one of physics. There is no physics for thermal “force”. There is only energy flows and those are measured in things like watts and joules. The very use of the word “forcing” grates on the ears of folks who expect to deal in the real world with properly defined physics units. But “it’s what they do” in their odd little world… So we have about 2 out of 1000 Watts / m^2 change during the peak of the day.)

Mr. Boltzmann tells us that an increase of 2/1000 in energy to be radiated would take an increase of 0.14 C to take it all away as radiation during the daytime. Yet the “day to night” temperature cycles more than that. Often as much as 10 C (and Phoenix is closer to 15 C). So if we have a 14 C daily range and need 0.14 C to ‘dump’ the hypothetical extra, would that not suggest that we hold our high for just a tiny bit longer (not higher, just longer) and once the profile is back on track, drop back to our 14C colder night-time equilibrium point?

Phoenix Airport One Year History

Phoenix Airport One Year History

Original Image from Wunderground.com

Note the “average” range lines. Plenty of room for a bit more range per day to carry away any change of heat flow in the IR band. Now lets look at a single day in August. What is the range inside a given day?

Phoenix Arizona 28 August 2010 daily temperature range

Phoenix Arizona 28 August 2010 daily temperature range

Original from Wunderground

Clearly there is plenty of opportunity to dump that heat. We WERE at the high temperature at the peak of the heating. A 4th power is a hard master to beat… and once we’ve dumped it, we’re back on track to our equilibrium where energy balances again.

We have available 100 times the temperature range needed to “dump the heat” even if there were no convection.

But there is convection… and evaporation, and condensation, and rain and snow and hurricanes and massive snows. Each and every one of which represents heat transfer off the planet.

Some Numbers

How much? At noon in the sunnier parts of the world the sun delivers about 1,300 Watts / square meter. The common figure used for solar heating in more northern areas is around 1,000 Watts. The “CO2 forcing” is closer to 2 W/m^2 (though some of us assert it’s nearer to nothing). Those are the numbers used in the above estimate of heat loss. ( I also assumed a 280 K base temperature and did a trivial estimate of the 4th power delta needed. Hope I got it right ;-)

So answer me this: If we, daily, dump over a Kilowatt of radiative energy per hour of sunlight and do so in very short order after sundown, exactly how much will 2 W matter? For a 10 hour day we would have about 10,000 kW-hr of heat to dump. Add 2 x 10 or 20 W-hrs to that, you get 10,020 kW-hr to dump. That is pretty much gone by 10 hours later in either case. The 4th power function will dump most of it in the first few hours and you will rapidly approach an identical end point as you asymptotically approach DAILY equilibrium. The heat doesn’t “build up”.

Basically, the CO2 effect is lost in the noise of convection and clouds.

The Warmers are a couple of orders of magnitude out of touch with the TIME SCALE of the processes involved.

A bit of cloud can easily block several hundred Watts of energy inbound. Folks using solar for energy know this. From this article:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Effects-of-Clouds-on-a-Solar-Panel&id=533893

Will Clouds Affect My Solar Panels?

Clouds do affect solar panels. The amount of power your solar panels can produce is directly dependent on the level of light they receive.

In full, bright sunlight, solar panels receive maximum levels of light. During those “peak” sunlight hours, your solar panels will produce power at their maximum capacity.

When clouds cover the sun, light levels are reduced. This does not shut down power production, however. If there is enough light to cast a shadow, in spite of the clouds, your solar panels should operate at about half of their full capacity. Thicker cloud cover will reduce operations further. Eventually, with heavy cloud cover, solar panels will produce very little useful power.

The Warmers are about an order of magnitude out of touch with the SCALE OF CLOUD impacts involved.

A kiloWatt-hr can boil about 1.6 kg of water, so that 20 W-hrs would take roughly 20/1000 or 2/100 * 1600 gm or 32 GRAMS of water, per square meter, of added evaporation / rainfall. Would folks in Florida in a summer rain storm even be able to MEASURE 32 grams more per square meter? To even detect it? A square meter is 100 cm on a side or 10,000 square centimeters. At 2.54 cm to the inch, an inch of rain would be 25,400 grams or 2.54 kilograms of water. We’re in the 4th digit of precision on that and it would be lost in the noise.

Nope. The Warmers are an order of magnitude or so out of touch with the SCALE OF WATER processes involved.

In Conclusion

So every day we have tons of air convecting and tons of water evaporating rising, dumping heat, and falling again. We have kilowatt scale impacts from changes of cloud cover. And all of it drops off each night as it finishes it’s job of dumping the 1,300 kW/m^2 of added heat back to space. And in that milieu CO2 counts for nothing. It does nothing.

Put at it’s most basic: The decision to use a DAILY AVERAGE temperature hides the actual processes involved in dumping heat. Using a MONTHLY AVERAGE simply assures that all the interesting processes are completely hidden and their effects sterilized.

From the very first step, the creation of a “monthly average temperature” for each place in the temperature data set, the “Climate Science” of “Global Warming” is broken and un-physical. They have their “time scale” all wrong.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW Science and Background and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Ignore The Day At Your Peril

  1. xyzlatin says:

    A very good analysis and what I have been saying for a long time. Taken from this, you could also take temperatures down to their minute by minute variability level. Also in every part of the earth, temperatures vary every few inches of ground.
    The concept of world temperature is meaningless unless there is an ice age when the world temperatures go down to freezing.
    AGW theory is a politically made up problem used to justify world domination by socialists.
    Queensland Australia is having its worst flooding in 150 years and the summer generally so far has been quite cool.
    The Earth is dumping huge quantities of heat everywhere.

  2. Ruhroh says:

    The Martian example is a simpler version of the same issue.

    Minimal clouds, minimal albedo change, no oceans, no AGW, no vulcanism, no UHI, etc…

    With more total OCO than Earth, Mars purportedly has 5 degrees of ‘greenhouse warming’.

    The sticky wicket is that the thermometers on the surface don’t show the ‘excess warmth’.
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
    With energetic searching, one can eventually find ‘violent convection’ during the martian day.

    The obliteration of the distinction between Day and Night seems to be a pivotal step shared by all of the GCMs.

    Thanks for hammering on this nail.
    RR

  3. Ruhroh says:

    Hey Cheif;
    You might want to recheck that 1/8 gram calculation. maybe ~ 1 oz?

    RR

  4. tckev says:

    Thanks for a very fine clarification of how the AGW crowd are corrupting the basic understanding of climatology and calling it science.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    2 W of added per m^2 times 10 hours in a day of sunlight ( I suppose they might mean for all 24 hours of the day as it’s a “blanket” all night too, but with a 4th power function on the absolute temperature those daytime temps are going to dominate by a mile…) makes it 20 W-hrs of additional “heat retained per day” per m^2.

    1000 W-hrs evaporates 1600 grams of water

    10 W-hrs evaporates 16 grams of water.

    so 20 W hours evaporates 32 grams of water. A bit over the 28 grams in an ounce. Right you are…

    Ah, blew it on the last fraction multiply. Did a ‘reduce and divide’ instead when it ought to have been a straight reduce and multiply. Thanks! I’ve fixed the posting.

    It’s still nothing, though. About the 4th digit of what you get in a storm in Texas or Florida.

  6. Scott Finegan says:

    Nice post.

    My question about any of these models, and discussions, produced by anyone is:

    What hard evidence is there that the planets high core temperature is not a factor in warming of the surface air, or contributing heat to the oceans, or causing ice in Antarctica and Greenland to accelerate its trip to the ocean?

    While the answer may be unknown at this time, it should be acknowledged as such, but not ignored.

  7. Peter Offenhartz says:

    Some corrections: (a) 1000 W/m2 is a better basis than 1300 because most of that extra 300 is in the uv and trapped by the ozone layer. (b) the heat absorbed by the “ground” is negligible compared to the heat absorbed by the air. The (generally well-mixed) lowest 1000 meters of the atmosphere has a heat capacity (per deg C) of about 100 J/cm2, so, at a heating rate of 0.1 watts/cm2 (i.e., 1000 watts/m2), it takes 1000 seconds (half an hour) of direct solar radiation to heat the air just 1 C. So the following quote

    “So answer me this: If we, daily, dump over a Kilowatt of radiative energy per hour of sunlight and do so in very short order after sundown, exactly how much will 2 W matter?”

    has a mistaken premise.

    The point is simple: The atmosphere has a LOT of heat capacity. And the oceans have a lot more (roughly the top 100 m of the oceans are “well-mixed”). So averaging over a 24-hour cycle is not nearly as mindless as you make it appear

    [ Some comments from the Moderator: "Some Corrections" ... my my, a legend in your own mind? Let's call that "Some hand waving" instead. The 1300 is the total number. I use it so folks will know it. Note that further down I talk about 1 kW at the surface in places like California deserts in the summer. That is a commonly used number among solar power folks in the Mojave (I'm a solar power fan and have seen that 'rule of thumb' used for at least 30 years). Learn to read more fully and more carefully before jumping off a cliff of conclusions. Please.

    The 300 that goes into "the ozone layer" is still here, and still gets radiated away and still drives processes. I'd dispute that it's actually 300 Watts. The power curves I've seen shows UV quite low; then again, they are after the sun as taken a nap. In fact, I'd go so far as to assert that the ozone layer is terribly critical to our present plunge into cold. As the sun cut UV way back, and put more into visible light, the atmosphere squashed down and convection increased. Yes, the sun does in fact drive things, not CO2. But that which reaches the ground still does matter (even if the UV in the air has impact too) so it's important to note the 1300 total, but swap to 1000 for convection and evaporation usage near the ground, as I did.

    Per your point "b". So you would have 300 watts be more important that the 1 kW that hits the ground. Interesting. But lucky for us we have solar panels that tell us that, when clouds are out of the way, it is in fact roughly a kW that is absorbed. Oh, it eventually gets into the air (that's how the convection happens), but it starts when it hits a non-transparent object. Like a cloud or dirt. Sadly, for your point, the air IS transparent to sunlight. But eventually the air near the ground gets warmed (either by contact or by the re-radiated IR being absorbed) and rises. That's the whole point.

    Next you think that 1000 m or roughly 3300 feet of air is "well mixed". Har de har har... Never looked down on the L.A. basin from the Grapevine top, eh? Never looked down at the earth from a 4000 foot plane as you prepared to jump? Never been at 6700 foot base camp of the ski lodge then plunge down the mountain (via car) to 3500 where it's now rain instead of snow? Golly, such a narrow view of life. Just look at any little summer cloud drifting by and you can see that it's not "well mixed".

    Just for grins some day, visit a precision competition at a balloon meet. You will find experienced pilots who will, by careful selection of air layers, move their balloon in various directions. I've seen folks have 180 degree winds just a few hundred feet apart. Oh, and don't forget inversion layers and thermoclines. I've seen crackerjack pilots balance the balloon on a thermocline. Heck, the thermals of a parking lot are headed up "right quick" while just 100 yards away it will be 'dead air' over a pond. Well mixed? Sorry Charley, not on this planet. Well MIXING, maybe, but driven by strong external forces and always out of equilibrium. Again, that's the whole point.

    Down below I quote the wiki on thermoclines in the ocean. Here is a bit of what they say about atmospheric thermoclines:

    However atmospheric thermoclines, or inversions, can occur, e.g. as nighttime cooling of the Earth's surface produces cold, dense, often calm air adjacent to the ground. The coldest air is next to the ground, with air temperature increasing with height. At the top of this nighttime boundary layer (which may be only a hundred meters) the normal adiabatic temperature profile of the troposphere (i.e. temperature decreasing with altitude) is again observed. The thermocline or inversion layer occurs where the temperature profile changes from positive to negative with increasing height. The stability of the night time inversion is usually destroyed soon after sunrise, as the sun's energy warms the ground, which warms the air in the inversion layer. The warmer, less dense, air then rises, destroying the stability that characterizes the nightly inversion.

    So, about that "well mixed" stable atmosphere of yours that doesn't need all those complicated things like daily warming / cooling and convection...
    I think you will find it rare in the real world.

    Per your "mistaken premise" line: Let me spell it out. It's 10 C at 4 AM. The Sun Rises. We add 1 kW-hr for about 10 hours during the time when the sun is significantly above the horizon. The "additional" hit from GHG per the IPCC is 20 W-hr. That night at 4 AM it's back to 10 C. We dumped it all. It's gone. If we can dump 10000 W-hr in 24 hrs, that 20 W-hr is just not even an issue. The convecting air moves a touch faster (I'd guess about 1/500 th) or goes a bit higher or does it for 1/500 th longer. Doesn't really matter which or how much of all. Taking a look at the daily temperature range SHOWS that we return back to the low point on a daily basis. Apply the 4th power to that 10 C range from high to low and it's bloody obvious. Thinking this has anything to do with even absorption into a static 3000 m thick layer of air is what is a "mistaken premise".

    Finally, per the oceans being "well mixed" to 100 m ( 300 feet ) I take it you have never been scuba diving. I was in the Gulf of Mexico a couple of months back. Several degrees difference in temperature between the surface and the bottom. In 5 feet of water. A year or two before, it was nearly 90 F at the top, about 85 F at the bottom 10 feet down and further out got cooler. I've hit thermoclines at about 30 feet that made me shiver and head back up where it was warmer. Ask any fisherman about it, if you want trout, you have to drop your bait into the cold layers of the lake. Ask any sub sonar guy about hiding under thermoclines. Furthermore, take a look at the Tropics. Water is about 85 F. California? 40 F (Yes, it is. I've swum in it to the point of being hypothermic). It's not "well mixed" by latitude.

    Now, just so it's clear, let me quote the Wiki per thermoclines... I'm presuming that since the Warmers have totally scoured the Wiki of anything that they remotely don't like, you will find it an acceptable source:

    A thermocline (sometimes metalimnion) is a thin but distinct layer in a large body of fluid (e.g. water, such as an ocean or lake, or air, such as an atmosphere), in which temperature changes more rapidly with depth than it does in the layers above or below. In the ocean, the thermocline may be thought of as an invisible blanket which separates the upper mixed layer from the calm deep water below. Depending largely on season, latitude and turbulent mixing by wind, thermoclines may be a semi-permanent feature of the body of water in which they occur, or they may form temporarily in response to phenomena such as the radiative heating/cooling of surface water during the day/night. Factors that affect the depth and thickness of a thermocline include seasonal weather variations, latitude, and local environmental conditions, such as tides and currents.

    Oceans

    Most of the heat energy of sunlight is absorbed in the first few centimeters at the ocean's surface, which heats up during the day, and cools at night (as heat energy is lost to space by radiation).


    Notice that while they have a nice picture of what looks to me like a tropical thermocline at 100-200 m, the text describes the common state of the surface being highly variable and the layer BELOW the thermocline being stable. It also describes how thermoclines are variable by location and with weather. There isn't much weather 100 m down...

    Waves mix the water near the surface layer and distribute heat to deeper water, such that the temperature may be relatively uniform for up to 100 m (300 ft), depending on wave strength and the existence of surface turbulence caused by currents.


    Note the use of the conditional "MAY". As in: "it often isn't" but it could happen. And it all "depends"... They then go on to talk about a "mixed layer" that would more properly be called a 'turbulent and sometimes mixING layer'. "Well mixED" it ain't.

    Below this mixed layer, however, the temperature remains relatively stable over day/night cycles. The temperature of the deep ocean drops gradually with depth. As saline water does not freeze until it reaches −2.3 °C (colder as depth and pressure increase) the temperature well below the surface is usually not far from zero degrees.


    So here we find that all those places with 'above zero' ocean temperatures are in the layer that is NOT "relatively stable over day / night cycles" as that is a deeper layer well removed from the surface (where they have already said it it warm up in the day and cools down at night).


    The thermocline varies in depth.
    It is semi-permanent in the tropics, variable in temperate regions (often deepest during the summer), and shallow to nonexistent in the polar regions, where the water column is cold from the surface to the bottom. A layer of sea ice will act as an insulation blanket.

    In the open ocean, the thermocline is characterized by a negative sound speed gradient, making the thermocline important in submarine warfare, because it can reflect active sonar and other acoustic signals. Technically, this effect stems from a discontinuity in the acoustic impedance of water created by the sudden change in density.

    When scuba diving, a thermocline where water drops in temperature by a few degrees Celsius quite suddenly can sometimes be observed between two bodies of water, for example where colder upwelling water runs into a surface layer of warmer water. It gives the water an appearance of wrinkled glass that is often used to obscure bathroom windows, and is caused by the altered refractive index of the cold or warm water column; these same schlieren can be observed when hot air rises off the tarmac at airports or desert roads and is the cause of mirages.


    Just so you know, to dive below about 200 feet takes special training and equipment. Most divers stay above 100 feet as your air lasts much longer and you are less likely to have a problem with the bends or nitrogen narcosis. Having a 5 minute dive to 200 feet then needing to find some extra air at 30 feet to decompress as you run out of air does not make for a good day... So these things they are talking about are above your 300 foot zone.

    Now just to make it extra clear: Go sailing in the tropics. WATCH as the surface heats, the water evaporates making thunderstorms. Watch them bloom in the late afternoon (Florida is nice for this. Pretty much all the time in warm months you get a nice afternoon thunderstorm) and deliver that hot surface layer of ocean water way up in the sky, dump the heat, and return the water to the earth cooler. All in about 3 hours. The locals love these afternoon thunder boomers as they cool everything off with the (now) cooler water.

    Yes, the surface temp of the ocean down a couple of feet doesn't change much from one midnight to the next. But that's the whole point. The "added heat" is long gone back to space by then. Now visit Alaska in the winter. NO solar heat. Watch the waters cool and form ice, giving up their heat that radiates off into space. Watch the more saline non-frozen part sink to the bottom (to surface 500 or more years later out in the middle of the tropics). If you wait for summer, you can watch the ice melt, absorbing heat. All the while staying at 0 C. At the poles, the heat / cool cycle works over a 1 year period. It's here that we find the force that drives the "overturning current" in the oceans. Not in the Tropics nor in the Temperate zones. Those places don't have the long time periods needed to get any momentum going.

    So yes, it is mindless to average over a 24 hour period. At the lower latitudes the whole thing is done and gone in hours. At the poles, it takes months. In neither case does a 24 hour average tell you what is happening. It just obscures things.

    So please try again to open your mind just a little bit, and see what truth there is in front of you. It won't hurt much...
    -Moderator ]

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Scott Finegan

    Nice post.

    Glad you liked it. I was just sitting watching the (seemingly endless) rains fall and decided this needed some focus…


    What hard evidence is there that the planets high core temperature is not a factor in warming of the surface air, or contributing heat to the oceans, or causing ice in Antarctica and Greenland to accelerate its trip to the ocean?

    There is the ASSUMPTION that heat out is constant. It isn’t, but that’s what is assumed. The reality is that we really don’t know how much it changes.

    They found sub glacial volcanoes were part of the warming of the Antarctic Peninsula and some of the melting on the main part of the continent. They found an unknown undersea volcano chain making hot water in the Arctic. The mid ocean ridges may, or may not, vary in heat output. We only discovered they existed an eye blink ago in geologic time and they’ve only been visited at all a handfull of times. We’re basically clueless.

    While the answer may be unknown at this time, it should be acknowledged as such, but not ignored.

    You are absolutely correct. But that’s not how the “Climate Science” guys do things. If they don’t know something they ignore it and assume all impacts are due to CO2, then look for something that might justify that conclusion.

    “Given these conclusions what assumptions can we draw?”

    I wish it wasn’t so, but that’s what they do…

    FWIW, you might like this graph. It shows the tendency for the earth to dump a lot of extra heat via volcanic activity “picking up” ever time we go into a cyclical climate minima… like we’re starting to enter now…. (I note in passing that the last 60 years or so have been particularly quite on the volcano front, but a bunch of them have started “clearing their throats” lately…)

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/of-quakes-and-climate/

  9. Brian H says:

    Chiefio!
    You just reminded me (“In a world where everything but CO2 is held constant (or even just regularly wiggled inside fixed bounds) the only free axis, CO2, must by definition carry the full burden of any changes.”) of another great example of a mindset error based on this kind of measurement artificiality:

    In WWII, a study of the performance of the body and various clothing in very cold weather included one situation where subjects were well-insulated and covered, except for the head. It was calculated that those people dumped 25% of their excess body heat through their scalps and faces.

    From this someone (I don’t believe the original study authors) concluded that the head (and therefore brain) consumed 25% of the body’s energy, and thus that the 3-lb brain used ¼ of the body’s sugar supply and energy input.

    To this day, that figure is quoted. It is, of course, completely bogus. If they’d had the soldier-subjects wear hats, but stand with pants lowered at the back to expose their butts, they would have lost about as much there. We would now be wisely convinced that everyone’s glutes used 25% of the body’s total energy. Etc.

    Suggests another version of the “ASS-U-ME” saying …

  10. Brian H says:

    Hmm … I wonder if I can work “the only free asskiss” into it …
    ;)

  11. Brian H says:

    I notice that the Phoenix barometric pressure graph for a day has a disconnect at midnight; it doesn’t end where it starts — there’s a significant jump (about 3 hPa) off-stage…

    It’s not the direct purpose or point of your article, of course, but it certainly highlights the question of what DOES drive annual/millennial and longer temperature and regime changes. Your observation that it’s orbital and solar factors does seem to be about the only man standing …

    In honor of this posting, I think you should change the name of your blog to WattsUpDoc. You’d then be positioned to take on WUWT head-to-head!

    :)

  12. Brian H says:

    Ruhroh
    The Martian example is a simpler version of the same issue.

    thermometers on the surface don’t show the ‘excess warmth’.
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
    With energetic searching, one can eventually find ‘violent convection’ during the martian day.

    Yah, SOMETHING is driving those frequent planet-wide dust storms! I wonder what the heat-dumping budget of those things looks like.

  13. Malaga View says:

    A simply glorious posting…. thank you!

    And in that milieu CO2 counts for nothing. It does nothing.
    TOTALLY AGREE

    the “Climate Science” of “Global Warming” is broken and un-physical. They have their “time scale” all wrong.
    TOTALLY AGREE

    it is mindless to average over a 24 hour period.
    TOTALLY AGREE

    At the lower latitudes the whole thing is done and gone in hours. At the poles, it takes months.
    TOTALLY AGREE

    In neither case does a 24 hour average tell you what is happening. It just obscures things.
    TOTALLY AGREE

  14. Malaga View says:

    Weather dominates climate
    Convection is a dominant part of our system dynamics.

    It all builds from the sun… the sun powers the weather… the weather drives the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells which drive the associated jet streams and ocean currents.

    Allow for seasonal variations in insolation and you can define the characteristics and locations of the our various Climate Zones.

    So basically:

    Weather is Climate and the Sun drives the weather through daily, seasonal, solar and Milankovitch cycles.

    Which means:

    Climate Science as practised by The Team is an oxymoron… there is real Weather Science and there is real Solar Science… but the Team’s Climate Science is just a figment of their imagination… it is just another false belief system.

  15. R. de Haan says:

    “as soon as the glider flies back into the cooler air then it will naturally start to sink as gravity takes the place of the warm rising air”

    The explanation above states that warm rising air eliminates gravity.
    That’s nonsense of course.

    Gravity always effects the glider and it’s angle of descent at a certain speed is always the same.

    The only difference that makes a glider stay a loft is the upward movement of the air currents.

    As long as the the sinking speed of the glider is compensated by a higher upward speed of the rising air
    the glider will stay a loft and even gain altitude.

  16. Pascvaks says:

    Ref: “CO2 Is the Root of all Evil Global Warming”
    When a Hypothesis has a hole in it as big as a Hippopotimus it’s time get in your Hummv and move on.

    There was a day, a day not too long ago, when the students tried to prove the professors wrong and pass them in the turns as well as the straightaways. We seem to have entered a new age and there are no exceptional students, nor unfortunately are there any exceptional professors. Have we lowered our standards? Are we infected with some unknown virus? Perhaps it is all the food additives? Regardless, science is hibernating. Nothing is moving. We are frozen in time. Perhaps it’s all that CO2? Perhaps it not climate change but too little oxygen in the biological arena that…

    Ref: “CO2 Is the Root of all Human Stupidity”
    When you get an idea that seems to have merit it’s time to get out of the Hummv and develope a new Hypothesis and start looking for those damn Hippos all over again.

  17. EdeF says:

    Chief,

    What a coincidence, I did your 2/10,000 calculations last night but using total energy used per day/total solar energy hitting the earth per day. Either CO2 or human generated heat is orders of magnitude smaller than that coming from the sun. Its just noise, decimal points. Thanks for the calculations.

  18. Peter Offenhartz says:

    Sir:

    Let me assure you that I am not as uninformed as you appear to believe, My summer home is powered entirely by solar panels; I have been skiing, ballooning, and scuba diving.

    I have neither the time nor the energy to correct all your errors. However, it remains true despite your protests that MOST of the atmosphere is well-mixed below 500-1000 m (due to convection); this is especially true in the tropics and over the oceans. Using the LA basin as a counter example is to confuse the exceptional with the ordinary. Likewise, most of the DEEP ocean is well-mixed to 50 or 100 m; scuba diving in shallow waters is not a proper counter-example.

    I will refrain from further commentary — I think you have closed your mind such that it is useless arguing with you. I am personally interested in learning about global climate; I am not convinced the climate scientists have got it right. The observed effects of carbon dioxide on global warming seem smaller than they expect; I want to know why. You have provided some useful leads that have helped my understanding. But you seem to have a problem admitting error, even minor error. And you seem to feel that people who disagree with you are fools.

    ["Correct all your errors"... So, I give you references, cite papers showing daily scale instablitities up to the base of the stratosphere with displacement of temperature from the surface to the top of the troposphere in hours, and generally provide a boat load of evidence... and you wish to 'corect' my errors with a bald assertion. Look, you clearly went into this with a belief in a stable atmosphere. I had no position until I'd run into the papers saying ~"they looked, and it's not". (I had done that prior to your rant). Though while reading those papers I was reminded of my flying experience and weather school and realized I'd been sitting in the instabilities all the time and was well aware of them, just that I'd seen them as low level phenomenon.

    It's not my ability to make an error that bothers me ( I make dozens every day. Put too much sugar in the coffee this morning, didn't tell the waitress I really WANTED the soup I ordered last night and just accepted the salad she brought instead.) It's when folks can't see the evidence in front of their nose. Can't learn from observation. THAT bothers me.

    I hope to be dead wrong about a dozen things today and have someone enlighten me; as that is when I gain new understandings. BUT, it is also very important to perserve what has been hard won understanding against a flood of, frankly, crap. I call it "Keeping a tidy mind" and it is hard work. Far too much time in school is spent on showing kids how to load crap into their brains and far to little is spent on teaching them how to be discriminating consumers of information, checking and cross checking what they think they know, and only THEN letting it settle in to "a tidy mind". I was blessed early on with a couple of Very Good Teachers who did just that. They would let you run with an error... right up until they put that brick wall in front of you. Experience is a very good teacher... So yes, I have a habit of keeping a tidy mind. If you wish to "change it" it will take more than taunts and bald assertions.

    So, for example, I note that you talk about the "DEEP ocean" and call it 50 to 100 m. Son, that isn't DEEP. It's barely out of the shallows as far as the ocean is concerned. Now a nice big rosy flag is raised over any assertion you may make... as you fail to "keep a tidy mind" and it shows. (But even there the really deep ocean is not well mixed. If it were, we'd have no global thermohaline circulation...)

    It's simple, really, I go where the evidence in front of me leads. If the ocean citations had said "It's dead calm to 300 feet down" I'd have condeded (my experience of thermoclines when diving would have been written off as too small a sample) but the citations said that the thermocline layer starts deeper in the tropics and ends up at nearly the surface as you appoach the poles, that there can be various kinds of verticle displacements from salinity gradients and the world oceans are full of currents driven by inhomogeneities. (Just to remind you, at the center of each ocean is a mid ocean spreading zone full of 'black smokers' where 600 F water jets into 32 F water. That is what's called an inhomogeneity, not what's called 'well mixed'...)

    In the prior response I left out the bit about the S. Pole having a salinity gradient along with a thermal gradient driving the currents outward as I didn't want to be too over the top. But, FYI, you ought to look into the great currents of the world. They, too, indicate the ocean at all levels is not "well mixed".

    1. Surface Currents
    Surface waters make up about 10% of all the water in the ocean.

    2. Deep Water Currents

    Deep waters make up the other 90% of the ocean. They move around the ocean basins by density driven forces and gravity. The density difference is a function of different temperatures and salinity. These deep waters sink into the deep ocean basins at high latitudes where the temperatures are cold enough to cause the density to increase.

    Here is a graph of the temperature vs salinity profile in Drakes Passage:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Drake-Passage_profile_hg.png

    So "good luck with that 'well mixed' meme" as all the physical evidence points toward consistent and persistent UN-mixed states attempting to reach equilibrium and never making it.

    For the atmosphere, just look at Florida. Loads of weather going on below 3000 ft. Every day, tons of water falling, then evaporating. One minute it's 90 F, then it's 80 F in the rain, then it's back to 90 F but much more humid a bit later. Mornings and evenings much cooler and dryer. So your "well mixed" state has about 10 minutes lifetime at dawn (on SOME days) before the daily weather cycle plays havock with it.

    The tropics are just loaded with vertical air movement. Take a look at the graphs who's links I gave you. The vertical rise in the tropics is stunning. Then it comes down again about the latitude of the Sahara where we get the desert winds. Then up again, to decend in the polar zones as fridged air. mixING but not mixED as the daily cycle is constantly disrupting the state. There is never an equilibrium state on the surface of the planet.

    Your restraint from further commentary is probably well advised... and it's not MY mind that is closed. Mine is well open, and I'm happy to change it's state, but "Only as the facts and evidence warrant". And yes, no amount of "arguing" ever changes it. "Arguing" is a poor driver for "a tidy mind". That's what all of science was about. To replace the 'arguments' of Aristotle and Plato with evidence and method. So, I'm glad I could be of help to you in your quest for more understanding. And no, I don't think those that do not agree with me are fools. Most of them are just innocently mislead by a flood of disinformation from the "warmers" side that has flooded into a mind not accustomed to "keeping tidy" by pitching it out. I will happily spend time with anyone who would like guidance about what is, and is not, correct including citiation of how I arrived at that understanding.

    It is only folks who will not learn from the evidence, ignore the evidence and can not see what's in front of them, and refuse to critically evaluate their beliefs in the light of evidence then spout that as God's Own Truth that I consider fools.
    -E.M.Smith]

  19. Adrian Camp says:

    Anybody know how finely they describe each area cell? Land or water? Or Desert/mountains/tundra/forest/tropical forest/temperate cultivated/city/ shallow sea/deep ocean/shallow lake/deep lake and so on. Do ocean currents result from what they model, or are they an input? Are there starting temperature/moisture conditions, or are they an output too?

    Mind you, I wouldn’t trust the models no matter how well-detailed, but if they don’t actually describe the earth properly in the beginning they cannot ever be right.

    I share a distaste for averaging too soon. This average/anomaly thing is very misleading.

    Oh, and one more question for any modellers who might be present, do they show all the results, or are they run by a ‘quality’ check and all ‘outliers’ or results that are ‘just plain wrong’ removed before we see the output?

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @R de Haan:

    I just took it to be slightly sloppy wording for “gravity takes the place of rising air as the dominant force“…

    I’m pretty sure they knew that gravity was not shut off by the rising air.

    But yeah, it’s worded poorly. Nobody is perfect. But please keep in mind that this is a remote controlled glider page aimed at kids. They are not in the buisness of peer reviewed publications. Things get truncated or they don’t get read. So it’s a valid description of what happens to the glider (rising in hot air as it dominates gravity, sinking as gravity dominates air in cold).

    @Pascvaks:

    IMHO it’s the “media generation”. We decided after W.W.II that eveyone needed a college degree. By definition that means a lot of sub-median folks off to college. Standards were lowered apace. At the same time, college pay didn’t keep up with industrial pay. My professor of Education Theory (when getting my teaching credential in about 1980) was making half what I was making as an electronics industry techy.

    When I was a kid, lab time was more fun than B&W TV reruns of Gunsmoke or Bonanza. (So I turned my bedroom into a ‘lab’ of sorts… all kinds of interesting chemistry and electronics projects… drove my Dad a bit nuts… Even made a dimmer for a full sized fluorescent tube fixture I put on the wall. Endlessly enjoyed making a low power plasma inside it and watching the whisp of it wander around inside the tube..)

    About the ’80s most of those folks wanted to spend most spare time watching MTV or going to parties. Now it’s plug in the iPod and watch YouTube or Hulu. In “the old days” it was “what can I do in the lab that would be interesting”.

    Between ‘new entertainment’ keeping the bright ones interested without “lab time”, regulations that make lab time an exercize in red tape and politburos (my parents would now be arrested for “child endangerment”), and colleges stuffed with “about average” minds, well, the result is pretty predictable.

    So, take my son: Very bright. Honors calculus and sciences. Top tier SAT scores. Scholorship. Honors societies on graduation. My advice to him? “Don’t do science as it’s a waste of your time. Chase the money and get a business degree.” He’s now making good money in marketing. Oh, and loves his iPod…

    IFF it were like it was in 1960, I’d have told him “Push for a double major, Engineering and Physics or Engineering and Biology” or perhaps even “You can be the best researcher out there, go for a Ph.D. in the hard science of your choice”.

    But, given that it was pretty clear we were not going to manufacture much here, the Engineering is kind of pointless. India and China are stamping them out “a dime a dozen”. Besides, it’s hard work and you need less iPod time and more book time…. Easier to just get that Honors Biz Degree and manage the “A.B. Human Studies” major who’s job is to make the packaging for the products made in China using Indian Engineers….

    Further, to get an Indian Ph.D. last I looked you just had to pass the multiple choice test… (Not quite that easy, but it’s a ‘test out’ system). They, too, are a dime a dozen (or maybe a quarter a dozen). I’ve interviewed a Ph.D. Computer Science and he couldn’t even configure a Cisco router. Kind of remembered some of the theory, but had never actually SEEN one. Explained to me that it was only a small part of the “Exam to get the Ph.D.”…

    So colleges are loading up on folks you can’t understand (partly from an un-intelligible accent and partly from a poor grasp of the material) and packing the classes with middle of the road kids and the result is a poor quality product.

    But everyone gets a degree…

    Perhaps a simpler way to look at it:

    When 5-8% of the population got IN to UC and maybe 0.1% of THEM got a Ph.D you had decent work done to get that thesis written. When you are cranking out millions of Ph.Ds instead, well, that thesis material is going to be a lot more ‘thin’ and the whole process becomes more of a paper mill and less of a QA / selection process.

    @Adrian Vance:

    I’ve not done much with the models themselves. AFAIK it’s about an 8K to 16k grid size like the temperature codes. Some are higher I THINK. But even at a 100,000 grid size it would be too crude.

    As I understand the ‘running’; They get a wide set of results, prune the most ‘un-physical’ (i.e. obviously broken) and call the rest a set of reasonable scenarios. But it likely varies by which folks are running what model.

    I’ve not seen anything to say they model, for example, convective cells and cloud formation at the cloud level (or even at the cloud band level). I once had cloud models running on “my Cray”. It took about 12 hours of run time to model ONE isolated cloud forming in clear air. It took a few weeks to run it a couple of dozen times and see the range of possible outcomes from the initial starting conditions. That was in about 1990.

    While you could probably get that down to about 1 hour on a PC now, even a 2000 core machine would not have enough computes to model a modest storm front development for more than a few hours. That’s why weather forcasting by computer doesn’t work very long into the future (that, and the chaotic divergence problem…). So IF someone said they modeled clouds, I’d take that as a Red Flag that they really had a simplified “plug number” based parameterized clouds and not actual cloud development modeling.

    Most of the major drivers (like major ocean currents and land form heating in the sun) are parameters, not results, as I understand it. (Again, this is from ‘reading the reviews’ not actually looking inside the box… and I could easily be wrong.) The whole “game” of modeling is to start with the bare minimum (that you know will be very wrong) then use it to “inform our ignorance” and put ‘enhancements’ into the model as each “Ah Shit” is discovered. The falicy is to think we’ve reach the end of the “Ah Shit” phase.

    So, many modelers are working to close the loop on things like currents and solar variation et. al. Adding code and turning fixed parameters into ‘starting conditions’ that then change during the run as a result of ‘feedbacks’. It’s an unfinished symphony that will likely take 100 more years to get right. (The computes needed make even Moores Law look whimpy…) For the condition today, you would need to consult the codes (they are published) or ask a modeler directly. I’ve talked with one guy who has run one of the the codes and he assured me it was a ‘piece of work’ (to paraphrase) and that if you didn’t work with it for a year or two you would have no idea how to set it up and get it to run (as there was a lot of ‘tweeking’ it took).

    Finally. Which model? There are a bunch of them and each one has it’s own approach to things. Leaving out this, putting in that. Most leave out anything intersting about clouds (due to the compute load). I’d expect ocean currents to be largely parameterized too. For most folks, it’s an “air thing”. For some, the ocean currents are “their thing” so they will be modeled. But with something else held static. Occasionally you will read about folks from two camps working to mate their models. So the water guys and the air guys bolt the two together and see what happens. Usually followed by silence or press releases about “interesting advances” (that means they were surprised at the results…)

    At any rate, enough half informed hypothesis from me, better if someone who has ‘looked inside the box’ comments.

  21. Peter Offenhartz says:

    Sir:

    I forgot to mention a pilot’s license and a glider pilot’s license. I have a rather personal understanding of updrafts and turbulence.

    [Which makes it all the more pointed that you think the air is 'well mixed' yet ride the thermals that indicate it is NOT well mixed. (Though in the process of trying). As the title says, ignore the facts "at your peril". -E.M.Smith]

  22. 1-26er says:

    Long time sailplane pilot here. Liked your post. Regarding your discussion on convection, water vapor condensation is the first major release of latent heat in storms but not to be ignored is the conversion of liquid to solid above the freezing level; another release of latent heat much higher in the atmosphere. Seems this might be more important in the release of heat to space since it occurs much higher in the atmosphere.

  23. Brian H says:

    About the “bolting together”; I believe what you get is the uncertainties and chaotic excursions squared. What’s a variable in one is a parameter in the other, and the coefficients are all over the place. Guaranteed mayhem.

  24. Ken McMurtrie says:

    Great analysis EM!
    Our Australian CSIRO is still on the media band wagon claiming the current cold phase is due to normal cyclic weather variations and in the same sentence adds that CO2 is still producing an increase in long term global temperature.
    Some science????

  25. Duster says:

    Actually, climate is INFERRED from weather history. If you consider the major data sets USHCN, GHCN etc., temperature is measured daily – that is weather is observed. Same for precipitation and wind. Daily observations are aggregated and an inference is made about how the weather is behaving over a longer span. A regional climate is a longish-term “average” of the region’s weather, and presumably “global climate” would be a long term average of global weather. Arizona’s dry climate was recommended for “consumptives” 200 years ago. California’s relatively stable climate pattern with marked wet and dry seasons was sold as ideal for agriculture during the same period. Climate, folks, is purely inferential. We don’t like it when the reality doesn’t meet our expectations and then we talk about how “things are changing.” So, yes, climate isn’t weather. It’s imaginary.

  26. Keith Hill says:

    Ah Shit Chiefio, you crack me up! I’ve put your instructive post straight into my “Favourites” to re-read over and over again. Must admit I almost felt sorry for Peter Offenfartz – pardon, typo – Offenhartz. Still, he did walk into it with eyes wide open even if his mind wasn’t.

    Speaking of closed minds, one of Australia’s own pet IPCC Lead Authors David Karoly was again being interviewed yesterday on “our” fair and impartial (sarc) ABC, shamelessly still spreading his usual doom and gloom message.

    After the usual diatribe our unbiased(?) but earnest female reporter asked “But what do you say to climate change deniers”?. (The use of that unwarranted derogatory and divisive term on our “our” ABC always makes my blood boil)!!

    The all-seeing, all-knowing expert on everything Professor Karoly assured her he had personally looked into all possible natural causes including the effects of solar energy and cosmic radiation and “nothing else but the rising levels of man-made greenhouse gases could explain the changes seen over the last 100 years”.

    FR:- “Is there anything we can do to stop this warming”?
    DK:-”We already know how to stop it and what we must do – reduce manmade emissions of greenhouse gases” blah blah blah! Sheesh! Their hubris and sheer “front” never cease to amaze me!

    If I haven’t done so before, I wish you E.M, and all who frequent and enjoy this great blog, a very happy, prosperous and AGW-free New Year from way “down under”.

  27. tallbloke says:

    E.M.
    Seems to me the main question here is how much of Earth, how much of the year finishes dumping all the heat it’s going to dump before daybreak.

    For sure in deserts the night-time temperature drop has levelled out well before daybreak, but some places don’t. These are the areas where an enhanced greenhouse effect might hypothetically raise surface temperature on a longer timescale. A look at the country by country graphs in the released CRU archive might help determine how important this might be relative to other possible factors such as Vukcevic’s geomagnetic effects.

    Great post, very thought provoking.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith Hill:

    Thanks for your support!

    FWIW, I’d been holding back two comments from Mr. Offenhartz as I’d not wanted to “pile on” but also was unwilling to let the assertions in them just stand. I’ve let them “out the moderation gate” and added some commentary. So up about here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/ignore-the-day-at-your-peril/#comment-10568

    you will see some bold bits.

    Oh, and do please try to refrain from personally directed insults (even if amusing).

    Your experience with “The News” is unfortunately common in other places as well…

    @Tallbloke:

    Your point about some places reaching stability and some not (on a daily basis) is an interesting one… Long duration weather events, like hurricanes, show some places are “In the process of becoming” for a long time.

    I suspect starting with a catalog of weather events and giving their typical lifetimes would be a good place to start. The simple fact is that the instabilities in the heat flow show up as weather. When that weather is gone, so is that driver. Air events (like land heating in the area of the paper cited) are over the same day. Ocean events in places like the Gulf of Mexico are over in weeks (as hurricanes suck the heat out) to months. Polar events take 6 months plus (like the ice cap cycling) as that’s what the sun does there.

    So as a first speculation, I’d suggest a map of cyclical weather events with the expectation of daily cycles over land at the equator and annual cycles over the poles, with oceans in between.

    Then you would get to layer on the cyclical ocean patterns and try to figure out where the 60 year and longer patterns come from. Sun & Stars? Or just naturual harmonics of the periodic drivers?

    @Duster:

    An interesting insight…. Though I tend to subscribe to the point of view that climate is a product of: Latitude, altitude, distance from water, terrain (i.e. rain shadows behind mountains), and not much else.

    It’s the attempt to turn weather into an explanation for what is driven by those things (LADwT) that just confounds things, IMHO.

    I’d go so far as to assert that even the 1500 year cycles are just “weather cycles” not climate changes. The Alps are still Alpine and the Mediterranean is still mediterranean, even after 7000 years of such changes…

    @1-26er and BrianH:

    Good observations!

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I think the Aussies will need to invite some Kiwi friends over for lunch to find out how they got their house cleaned…

  29. Keith Hill says:

    Point taken E.M., fully expected and duly chastened. Already felt badly as soon as I’d hit the “Post Comment”. Genuine apology to you, Peter and anyone else offended. Very un-Keith-like and it won’t happen again. Perhaps I am “over the Hill” as some people have told me in other endeavours!

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith Hill:

    No worries… it really was a small thing.

    Per “Over the hill”… I once, no, make that 3 times ;-) did the “forbidden thing” of inviting the three groups of folks you typically keep separated all to the same party.

    Folks from work, including my boss. Friends, from ALL my freind groups including the jazz musicians and geeks. Family, including my Mom ….

    I had a “Going over the hill” party for my 30th birthday.
    I had a “Gone over the hill” party for my 40th birthday.
    I had a “Anyone remember where that hill is?” party for my 50th birthday.

    For the last one, I had no “boss” as I was self employed, and Mom had passed on. But it was still a mix of folks.

    Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and there were not too many stories told at my expense… at least, that I can remember ;-)

    The first one was up at Tahoe City and you litterally had to “drive over the hill” of the Sierra Nevada ridge to get to it. Reserved a “hall” upstairs at a restaurant. Gambling at the Nevada size was about 20 minutes way. As I’m a January kid, there was snow and skiing too… 40th was in about the same place.

    For the 50th, we stayed down here in the valley and folks got to tell stories about driving 4 hours in the snow to go to the last one ;-)

    So, it’s not a bad thing to be “going over the hill”… as long as your friends are with you 8-)

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