Spherical Heat Pipe Earth

A Heat Pipe is an interesting gadget. It moves heat by evaporating a working fluid at the hot end and condensing it at the cold end. In between, you can transport the liquid back to the hot end with capillary action or with gravity and precipitation.

Heat pipes are used to keep the permafrost frozen where the hot oil of The Trans-Alaska Pipeline warms the soil:

Heat pipes on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

Heat pipes on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

The heat pipe proper is the red metal tube, the fins on top are to more efficiently couple the “cold end” to the air.

Original Image

From the wiki:

A heat pipe or heat pin is a heat-transfer device that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces.
At the hot interface within a heat pipe, which is typically at a very low pressure, a liquid in contact with a thermally conductive solid surface turns into a vapor by absorbing heat from that surface. The vapor condenses back into a liquid at the cold interface, releasing the latent heat. The liquid then returns to the hot interface through either capillary action or gravity action where it evaporates once more and repeats the cycle. In addition, the internal pressure of the heat pipe can be set or adjusted to facilitate the phase change depending on the demands of the working conditions of the thermally managed system.

Yes, the “solid surfaces” bit is something of a stretch, but the surface of the earth is a solid, and the frozen water that forms at altitude as hail and snow is also a solid, so I’m willing to make that “poetic license” stretch…

But look at the rest of the description. Liquid is evaporated, absorbing heat. It moves to the cold interface where it condenses and liberates heat. Just as water at the surface evaporates at temperatures such as 10 – 40 C and rises to altitude (where, on the flight to Florida, the indicated temperature was -40 C ) where it condenses and even freezes. The definition goes on to “capillary action or gravity” returns the working fluid to the hot surface to repeat the process.

That is EXACTLY what happens in the daily storms here in Florida. It gets hot (about 90 F ) water evaporates, rises to altitude. Each afternoon, a thunder-storm forms. Cool rain falls (the rain that hit me in the pool today was about 70 F per my skin) and we are left with significantly cooler air and surface temperatures. This repeats each day taking massive quantities of heat to altitude. IR has no noticeable role in the process…

This image gives an idea of the structure of a capillary based heat pipe. A gravity based one does not need the wick. Condensation at the (higher) cold end just drops back to the bottom as precipitation.

Heat Pipe Mechanism

Heat Pipe Mechanism

Original Image

To focus on infrared and ignore Heatpipe Earth is to be wrong. Simply, utterly, and dramatically wrong.

A tropical rains storm can drop an inch or two of rain, even up to a foot. (Call it 5 cm to 25 cm ). That represents a gigantic quantity of heat transported by our Spherical Heatpipe in that one location. A one meter square, 10 cm in depth of rain, has 100 x 100 x 10 cm = 100,000 cc or 100 kg of water. That 100 kg has had about 40 C to 80 C of temperature change plus at least one and possibly two phase changes. (Vapor to liquid, liquid to solid) as it lost the heat of fusion and heat of vaporization at altitude). The total heat transported just makes IR a bad joke in any explanation of surface temperatures.

Exactly how much depends on things we do not know. Actual temperatures, actual mass flow rates. (Though with vertical wind speeds measured at a couple of thousand feet per minute there is plenty of mass flow and vertical speed to work with). The wiki gives an idea of the limit case in highly engineered cases. In nature, even tiny fraction of that amount dwarfs the IR attribution of a couple of Watts/m^2

The advantage of heat pipes over many other heat-dissipation mechanisms is their great efficiency in transferring heat. They are a fundamentally better heat conductor than an equivalent cross-section of solid copper (a heat sink alone, though simpler in design and construction, does not take advantage of the principle of matter phase transition). Some heat pipes have demonstrated a heat flux of more than 230 MW/m².

But what's a couple of orders of magnitude among friends …

Florida Example

This is the chart for this afternoon in Kissimmee, Florida (near where I am). We just had a thunderstorm (that sent us out of the pool as the thunder started).

Kissimmee, Florida 10 July 2011

Kissimmee, Florida 10 July 2011

Notice that at about 4 pm the barometric pressure starts to drop, then the temperatures plunge from over 90 F to near 80 F. That was the thunderstorm arriving. Now realize it was not just the air that cooled, but there were a few inches of cold water deposited into the surface. That is one heck of a lot of “cool” dumped by Heat Pipe Earth onto Tropical Florida all while a July Tropical Sun was still high in the sky.

This happens most days. Fairly reliably each afternoon.

On the monthly view, you can see an even larger storm a couple of days ago:

Kissimmee, Florida, July 2011

Kissimmee, Florida, July 2011

That is the Lesson Of The Thunderstorm. That is the vision of the globe from Florida.

Thor rules, IR drools…

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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...
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28 Responses to Spherical Heat Pipe Earth

  1. R. de Haan says:

    Yet another great article that should open the eyes of any AGW proponent.
    Unfortunately these people are all brainwashed and beyond savior.

  2. I like the idea of a spherical heat-pipe. :) BUT… a heat pipe just transfers heat – it is neither created nor destroyed.
    I would have thought the heat would just get moved from equatorial oceans (evaporation) and transferred to to other places where it would be released when water vapour condenses as rain or snow. This, surely, must be in the climate models. The Greenhouse effect (in theory) traps heat thereby preventing it from leaving the planet and so increases temperatures.
    The Australian government has announced its new Carbon Tax (groan). Despite a categorical statement prior to the recent election that “there would be no carbon tax”. This statement probably swung the election towards the current government. One feels that such lies should be contestable in court!

  3. John F. Hultquist says:

    Sandy says “the heat would just get moved from equatorial oceans (evaporation) and transferred to to other places . . .

    Actually, most of the time the equatorial storms do not carry moisture very far. Take a look at a global satellite view; this one will do (I think)


    Updates every 3 hours and with the red triangles (arrows) you can select a view. The air becomes warm and buoyant as water is evaporated or transpired and the air rises, cools, and the vapor then condenses – clouds and rain may then follow.

    That air is then moved pole ward and much comes down in what are called the subtropical high pressure zones (STHP). On land these areas are deserts or nearly so. Oceans have warm dry air (descending and adiabatically warming) over them in these regions, and often haze because there is very little wind. Sometimes these are labeled as the “Horse Latitudes.” [An interesting term usually associated with Spanish ships dumping horses over the side to preserve drinking water. More likely a British term associated with a celebration of “paying off the dead horse” and the singing of shanties.
    http://www.jsward.com/shanty/dead_horse/index.html ]

    Pole ward of the STHP zones there are areas of Westerlies (winds coming from the west) and these might bring warm air, say, from the Hawaiian Islands to the Oregon/Washington coast. Along the way evaporation adds water vapor to the atmosphere and the mountains cause a lifting, cooling, and rain or snow event that can be significant.

    A better way of thinking of GHGs (instead of trapping heat) is that they help a tiny bit in warming the atmosphere and making it more buoyant. Thus, they increase the upward convection in the troposphere (promoting more cooling), and do not act as a blanket to slow or shut it down. So the “blanket” analogy is a very poor concept.

  4. Ian W says:

    @Sandy McClintock

    If you look at
    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html and

    You can actually see the ‘heatpipe’ output as infra red at the cloud tops. In the dry areas of the atmosphere no peaks of infrared.

    The problem is that the AGW proponents always resort to quoting Stefan Boltzmann’s equations that show radiation increasing with temperature. Therefore they are totally unable to understand the radiation of ‘latent’ heat as water vapor changes phase to water then to ice in extremely cold levels of the atmosphere as they confuse ‘heat’ with ‘temperature’. .

    In the tropics the convective updrafts in thunderstorms can reach vertical speeds of over 100kts with liquid water carried to 30,000 feet or more before it freezes.releasing large quantities of heat just below the tropopause where the atmospheric density is very low and the ‘green house effect’ (sic) is close to zero.

    A typical hurricane rain production in one day uses energy “equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity ”
    The same hurricane in terms of kinetic energy in one day uses the “equivalent to about half the world-wide electrical generating capacity”

    See http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html

    The large weather systems thousands of miles across also carry huge amounts of energy up to the tropopause where it is released. This is how convection carries far more energy to the tropopause than radiation.

  5. Larry Geiger says:

    The thunderheads spread tremendous amounts of water vapor and ice crystals thousands of feet into the atmosphere. Each morning you can see the tops of these storms spread across the sky. Without contrails, the Florida sky is the prettiest of any that I have ever seen. I love summer.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sandy McClintock:

    The transfer of heat is to the altitude where the condensation happens, which can be up to 50,000 or so feet. Well above the bulk of the atmosphere and well above the bulk of the CO2. Basically, to the Stratosphere, where we have an even lower understanding of what happens… and where that Solar UV variation had a large impact on total atmospheric height and very high altitude temperatures…. The sun modulates the heat flow from the top of the heat pipe out to space, in essence.

    @R. de Haan:

    Thanks! Glad you liked it.

    @John F. Hultquist and Ian W.:

    Nice contributions. IMHO, the Weathermen of the world have it right about how the system works, weather structure is a critical part of how climate forms, and he IR guys have a theory that “markets well” with a simplistic explanation of things that just happens to be quite wrong…

    BTW, I think you are being a bit modest on potential height:



    There are several factors that will determine how tall a thunderstorm will get. This essay will look at several of these factors.

    Height of tropopause: The tropopause acts as a giant cap to convection. This stable layer will slow the updraft and the updraft momentum will eventually halt and the upper level winds will fan out the storm top. The height of the tropopause is different depending on the weather situation. In the summer the tropopause is at a higher elevation. This is because warm air is less dense and occupies a larger volume the thus the troposphere will be taller. The summer and warm season storms will build to a higher altitude since the tropopause cap is at a higher elevation.

    Instability release: Instability release determines how fast the updraft is moving. A stronger updraft will allow the storm to build higher into the troposphere. CAPE and LI values are used to assess the updraft strength potential. For example, a storm developing in an environment will CAPE of 3,000 J/kg and an LI of -7 will have a very significant updraft speed. If the updraft speed is intense it will take longer for the updraft to slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause. These “overshooting tops” can be seen on satellite imagery.

    Slanting of updraft: If the updraft can rise at somewhat of a slant it will tend to build to a higher elevation. This slanting of the storm is caused by wind shear. The wind shear allows the updraft and downdraft to separate. When this happens the updraft can sustain itself longer and will not be impeded by the downdraft. It also allows some of the weight of water and ice to be removed from the updraft as it rising high into the troposphere. With less weight the updraft can sustain a higher speed and momentum.

    Whether a thunderstorm builds to a modest 40,000 feet or to a significant height of 70,000 feet is going to depend on the factors discussed. It is the warm season severe thunderstorms that have the highest cloud tops since the tropopause is at a high elevation, instability is high and wind shear is significant.

    So the warmer it gets at the surface, the more effectively massive quantities of heat are dumped at altitudes up to 70,000 feet. Not a lot of air left up that high.

    I think that matters…

    @Larry Geiger:

    Yup! Very pretty indeed…

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, while thunderstorms are more regular and more dramatic in the tropics, they are not limited to the tropics… This same effect happens in many places on the sphere of Earth:


    Reap, Ronald M., 1991: Climatological Characteristics and Objective Prediction of Thunderstorms over Alaska. Wea. Forecasting, 6, 309–319.
    doi: 10.1175/1520-0434(1991)0062.0.CO;2

    Climatological Characteristics and Objective Prediction of Thunderstorms over Alaska

    Ronald M. Reap
    Techniques Development Laboratory, Office of Systems Development, National Weather Service, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland

    Archived lightning data from the Bureau of Land Management automated network of direction-finding stations in Alaska were examined to determine the seasonal, diurnal, and spatial distributions of cloud-to-ground lightning, including the effects of the underlying topography on the timing, location, and magnitude of the lightning activity. The interior of Alaska was found to exhibit a continental type climate with a pronounced afternoon maximum in lightning activity and no significant nocturnal activity. Over 90% of the strikes were found to occur during June and July, the time of maximum solar insulation. A relatively high incidence of positive flashes was found during all phases of thunderstorm occurrence. High flash accumulations over mountainous regions clearly revealed the affinity of lightning activity for elevated terrain. Maximum activity was found to occur earliest in the higher elevations, moving to lower elevations later in the day.

    Linear screening regression analysis and the Model Output Statistics approach were used to statistically relate lightning data to Nested Grid Model forecast fields. Operational equations were derived to provide objective thunderstorm probabilities for use as guidance by forecasters in estimating the potential hazard of wildfire initiation in Alaska. The primary prerequisite for the formation of thunderstorms over Alaska was found to be large-scale static instability followed by secondary contributions from local convergence in the wind and moisture fields. Low-level moisture convergence was also found to be very important to the production of high flash accumulations on any given day.

    Received: December 12, 1990; Accepted: March 25, 1991

    So even in Alaska, when the surface gets warmer the Spherical Heat Pipe gets to work…

  8. Ian W says:


    “The summer and warm season storms will build to a higher altitude since the tropopause cap is at a higher elevation. “


    ” If the updraft speed is intense it will take longer for the updraft to slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause.”

    Show a misunderstanding of what the ‘tropopause’ is. The tropopause is the boundary in the atmosphere between air that is moving (tropo) due to convection and air that is unaffected by convection. Therefore, the tropopause does not ‘cap’ convection it is where convection stops due to lapse rates balancing out and momentum of an updraft being lost..

    The tropopause (the top of convection) in the tropics is at 60,000 feet or more because the convection is so much more powerful due to the more direct insolation of the Sun’s heat. Whereas at the poles the tropopause can be below 30,000 feet as there is less convective weather but there is less powerful frontal uplift as there is less heat energy.

    Rather like putting a large pan of water half onto a small burner and watching the water boiling up over the burner while the water surface away from the heat is lower,

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    Ian W @ 2:14

    E.M. was quoting a meteorologist on the “tropopause cap” comment — a person that should try to get the right words to go along with the concept. This is an issue I find frustrating. As you indicate, words matter. The “green house” notion is one of the worst. A lot more focus on convection and the “Spherical Heat Pipe Earth”, and a lot less on green house anything, would be useful.

    Where I now live we don’t get many thunderstorms of any size but previous locations included Cincinnati, Iowa City, and Atlanta. Some of the planes used back then on shorter (and lower) flights were great for viewing mid-west storms.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W.:

    I’m willing to accept that some folks are not as fully precise as I’d like and that some ambiguities do not mean a failure to understand, just a failure to present only one possible interpretation.

    So “slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause” can just as easily be read as “slow down to a hale when it becomes the tropopause”. Yes, it is sloppy to use “to enter” without a sense of distance and duration, yet one enters into matrimony at a point and being a bachelor comes to a halt then… so the usage of “to enter” meaning “to become” is acceptable, if lumpy…

    Similarly, “slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause” as an analog of “slow down to a halt when it becomes the tropopause” (much as bachelor party time comes to a halt when one enters holy matrimony…)

    To me, it looks like the guy does know his stuff, just uses the language in a bit strained, but valid, way…

    The bit I cared about was the 70,000 ft number… Not a lot of CO2 above that point…

  11. George says:

    I am currently sitting in the middle of Arkansas. It’s hot. Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot. No relief in sight. It rained in Grand Canyon for two days and was actually quite comfortable. It rained at Meteor Crater. It rained hard in Winslow. By the time we got to Amarillo, it was dry as can be. They have not had rain there in four months and I saw some pretty bad looking stock grazing on what was there to graze on. A lot of “skin and bone” cattle.

    Currently in Little Rock it is 89 degrees (at 10:48 PM local) and humidity to match. Looking at the national radar, nothing but clear skies all the way to the East Coast. Say, where are all those hurricanes we were supposed to have this year?

  12. Steven Mosher says:

    C02 is more important in the stratosphere because the strat is dry. The energy that enters the earth system via radiation leaves the earth via radiation. The altitude at which the energy radiates to space is a function of the opacity of the atmosphere. Adding C02 ( especially in the strat) raises the effective height at which the radiation leaves. Raising that height does one thing: it delays the cooling. That delay of cooling ( or warming if you like) is a direct consequence of the opacity of the atmosphere. That opacity is a function of what gases are present at what altitudes in what concentrations. The dry strat and the important of C02 ( even small amounts) there were discovered back in the 40s. The discovery was the result of airforce studies. We studied this because we needed to know how to hide our aircraft from sensors (like ir sensors) on the ground. Anyone, like me, who worked in the area of hiding planes can tell you how important that work was to protecting our aircrews:

    here is a nice piece on it

    “The breakthroughs that finally set the field back on the right track came from research during the 1940s. Military officers lavishly funded research on the high layers of the air where their bombers operated, layers traversed by the infrared radiation they might use to detect enemies. Theoretical analysis of absorption leaped forward, with results confirmed by laboratory studies using techniques orders of magnitude better than Ångström could deploy. The resulting developments stimulated new and clearer thinking about atmospheric radiation.

    Among other things, the new studies showed that in the frigid and rarified upper atmosphere where the crucial infrared absorption takes place, the nature of the absorption is different from what scientists had assumed from the old sea-level measurements. Take a single molecule of CO2 or H2O. It will absorb light only in a set of specific wavelengths, which show up as thin dark lines in a spectrum. In a gas at sea-level temperature and pressure, the countless molecules colliding with one another at different velocities each absorb at slightly different wavelengths, so the lines are broadened and overlap to a considerable extent. Even at sea level pressure, the absorption is concentrated into discrete spikes, but the gaps between the spikes are fairly narrow and the “valleys” between the spikes are not terribly deep. (see Part II) None of this was known a century ago. With the primitive infrared instruments available in the early 20th century, scientists saw the absorption smeared out into wide bands. And they had no theory to suggest anything different.

    Measurements done for the US Air Force drew scientists’ attention to the details of the absorption, and especially at high altitudes. At low pressure the spikes become much more sharply defined, like a picket fence. There are gaps between the H2O lines where radiation can get through unless blocked by CO2 lines. Moreover, researchers had become acutely aware of how very dry the air gets at upper altitudes — indeed the stratosphere has scarcely any water vapor at all. By contrast, CO2 is well mixed all through the atmosphere, so as you look higher it becomes relatively more significant.

  13. Interesting Connections says:

    It’s hot and humid in Indiana as well.

    With respect to CO2, the higher in the atmosphere you get the closer to the point were the energy absorbed by CO2 molecules does not thermalize because the mean free path becomes longer than the mean time to re-radiate the energy.

    How about that new paper on the effect of volcanoes being underestimated?

  14. Sera says:

    Here in Atlanta, it is clear sky mornings with afternoon thunderboomers. High today, tuesday, should rise to 96ºF. The humidity makes it unbearable, and we have each chugged at least a gallon of tea/Gatorade by the end of the round (golf). It’s just like living in Miami again. Definitely a ‘heat pipe’ over here.

  15. kuhnkat says:


    you just wrote an excuse not an explanation, no figures and no theory. Try giving us an excuse for why there is no heat buildup in the upper troposphere like the models and all you lukewarmers tell us will happen.

    IPCC theory, and, I am told, basic physics says exactly what you have repeated. Hearing it one million times with all the calls to authority of our wasteful USAF research does not improve it or make it one whit more useful. WHY ISN’T IT HAPPENING!!!!

    Here, I will repeat it again, as we add co2 it warms the atmosphere raising the tropopause. As this rise happens it raises the average emissions altitude. As the average emissions altitude is raised the average emission is reduced due to the cooler emissions temperature. This reduction in emissions temp backs up the heat rasiing the temps even more. yadayadayada.

    Now, I will ask this question once again. Are you telling me that something happens to the lapse rate?? If the temperature at ground level rises and the lapse rate stays the same then the temps in the raised tropopause also rises so we have higher temps at higher altitude. Higher altitude means more VOLUME at higher temp and more CO2 (and more H2O) emitting at higher altitude at the same temperature!!! Is this why the IPCC canard isn’t happening??? Natural feedback improves cooling as temps increase???

  16. kuhnkat says:

    Oh, and Mosh, how can CO2 be well mixed if the Strat has little Co2?? Well mixed is another canard that doesn’t translate well to reality. It is very relative. Are you becoming a playback device for IPCC twaddle??

  17. Hugo M says:

    kuhnkat: […] Natural feedback improves cooling as temps increase???

    Certainly an interesting technical idea: an inflatable radiator, with the radiating surface area driven by the heat flow rate through the device. Much along the lines of Willis Eschenbach’s thermostat hypothesis.

  18. cementafriend says:

    Experimented with heat pipes long long ago and forgot the details and so have not made the connection.Thanks EM.
    The thunderstorm concept has been around see the papers here from Willis and the late Dr Van Andel http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/EE_21-4_paradigm_shift_output_limited_3_Mb.pdf
    Also consider the update of the theory from Van Andel here http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/CO2_and_climate_v7.pdf
    I understand that a team of researchers in the Nederlands is updating and refining Van Andel’s work for publishing in a major peer reviewed journal. That could be the knockout blow for the AGW alarmists.

  19. Hugo M says:

    In context of E.M.’s heat pipe analogy (or else convective heat transfer by thunderstorms), the Van Andel article referenced above by “cementafriend” (nice idea that) contains a very interesting diagram, which is showing the IR absorption as a function of altitude. I’m just quoting the caption:

    Fig. 7 shows that at above 11 km the global average atmosphere is essentially transparent in the infrared region. The optical depth is nearly a linear function of height because the density of IR active gases decreases exponentially with height. We can conclude that for the relevant region, around 20 g/kg specific humidity, or 15 km convective cloud top, the atmosphere is transparent. The influence of H2O or CO2 on outgoing radiation is zero at this altitude.

    Hence Steven Mosher’s reference to WWII military research above has it upside down in context of this thread. The question if the influence of CO2 compared to water vapor becomes relatively more “significant” with altitude isn’t of much interest if the combined absorption of both gases approaches zero above 11 km. Besides that, using statistical terms out of context is really a bad habit.

  20. Curt says:

    A couple of comments:

    Most notebook computers these days use heat pipes to cool the processor. It’s fun if you get the chance to take one apart. In these versions, the condensed liquid wicks back to the processor.

    You may be interested in Willis Eschenbach’s “Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis”, published here:


    Free essay version here:


  21. kuhnkat says:

    I want to apologize for my phrasing. I have been rather frustrated lately and it came out. I am not technical enough to KNOW whether any of this is fact. I can only look at the observations compared to what is projected and say HUH??? I get really tired of having the same studies and bits of reality repeated as if it will mean more this time than last. It is obvious that there are missing pieces from the consensus view and repeating the same old canards does NOT help.

    Just delete me or laugh me down if I become too irritating or boring.


    not my idea. There are a number of quite intelligent people on the web who write about climate and appear to have a much better handle on what is probably happening than the consensus. I specifically liked Stephen Wilde’s hot water bottle effect:


    I agree what I wrote is similar to Willis’ ideas which I enjoy reading. He is very good. It most resembles the IPCC official model view though, except, for some reason they think that the emissions height will rise but the temperature of the gasses will not increase fast enough to keep things balanced. Except they can’t point to anywhere except in the models where it actually happens. It simply seems more physical for the temps to increase also as CO2 increases and the warming raises the tropopause. Unless they can break the lapse rate the temps HAVE TO INCREASE to the tropopause and after the tropopause the radiation is gone!! The best I have been told is that the increase in emissions altitude is faster than the increase in temperature. Again, it doesn’t seem physical due to the increased volume as the tropopause rises. If they can push more co2 into the atmosphere without heating that wouldn’t raise the tropopause. Of course, without heating who cares. The claim is that this is what the math says will happen. Sorry, it isn’t just math and I believe it is too complex to actually compute outside of a model, which hasn’t been able to project anything useable!!! They simply laid a bare claim out there and expect us to swallow it.

    Erl Hap and Carl Wok also have some interesting views of how things interact:


    I don’t hink any of them have the whole picture, even added together, but, do get closer than the consensus.

    The smart guys are still trying to figure out how lift really works and the best way to model it and the IPCC types think they can model the atmosphere!!!!


    Claes has some very interesting papers on his site so look around a little!! He is part of the Slaying the Sky Dragon Team. Don’t know if they are right, but, couldn’t be more wrong than the IPCC!!


  22. have you looked at the 5 segments starting with this?

    Some bits are a bit painfully slow but there are some astounding messages.

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    Just delete me or laugh me down if I become too irritating or boring.”

    I didn’t see any issue. You were speaking to the facts, not slandering a person. “The facts just are. -E.M.Smith”. A subtile distinction I make: It’s OK to feel strongly about the facts, even though ‘they just are’, but tossing emotion at another PERSON causes an emotional escalator to start running… so needs to be dampened.

    So, for example, I will say “That is a brain dead policy” but not “He is brain dead as he believes that policy is valid”. One is an insult “to the person”, the other may be a statement of fact, or a statement of personal evaluation of the facts, but not an insult… (I would be likely to then ask “WHY do you think that policy is brain dead? i.e. ‘defend your evaluation of the facts’).

    So I’m “not laughing” (down or otherwise), have no irritation (how can one be irritated at a fact?), certainly not bored, and see no reason to delete anything.

    “Carry On!”

    @Sandy McClintock:

    Not seen it yet (and probably not until later today). Thanks, and I’ll look at it when time permits. (Yesterday was consumed with a dead battery in the car… Darned thing up and died after only 5 or 6 years ;-) but This Time For Sure! I’m sure the car is “all better now’… And Today is “catch up” and prep for “round 2 interview” tomorrow…)

  24. Roger Sowell says:

    E.M. – very interesting topic, this heat-pipe analogy. It got me to thinking about how much overall heat is “piped” away and never has a chance to be absorbed by CO2 in the lower atmosphere. I dug up a paper that shows, on average, the Earth receives 2.61 mm (millimeters) of precipitation per day. More precipitation falls in the tropics, less in the temperate latitudes, and even less near the poles.

    If the IPCC is correct, that each square meter of Earth receives, on average, 240 watts of radiant energy from the Sun, then that 2.61 mm of rain requires a bit more than half of the 240 watts to evaporate the water then let it fall as rain/snow.

    If this is correct, and I invite critical (but polite!) confirmation or refutation, then it is no mystery why the IPCC models do not include clouds, rain, snow, and the like. Instead of 240 watts/sq meter, the CO2 heating effect is actually working with about 105 watts/sq meter. The evaporation/rain cycle is transporting 135 watts/sq meter up to the condensation height, where the water vapor returns to a liquid state or ice state. The heat at that altitude is then radiated into space where there are very, very few CO2 molecules present to absorb and re-radiate the energy.

    source: http://cics.umd.edu/~yin/GPCP//ASSESSMENT/assessment.html

    refer to Table 3.1 “mean rainfall over land and ocean 1988 – 2003”

  25. Hugo M says:

    Figure 9 of Noor van Andel’s draft (linked by “cementafriend” above) shows that the temperature anomalies from 1958-2008 had been of opposite sign below and above the tropopause, with the stratospheric part cooling. His figure 10 shows the trend line, with satellite and radiosonde data being mostly in line with each other. One can see that the tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures are slowly wandering in opposite directions ever since 1960, resulting in an almost linearily increasing delta T between surface and lower stratosphere. Therefore, heat-pipe like devices piercing through the zone which contains 90% of atmospheric mass (the blanket that is troposphere) must have become more efficient over time. Maybe this resolves the paradox that the frequency of hurricanes actually did not increase with warmer sea surface temperatures? However, the most interesting question concerns the mechanism which cooled the the tropopause region at the same time.

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    @Hugo M & Cementafriend:

    I find those trends of opposite sign just fascinating… It speaks very strongly to some ill-defined process that is the real driving event. While I’d suspect a good “Dig Here!” to be the solar UV modulation of atmospheric height and Ozone content; who knows what is actually doing the deed…

    It clearly makes the IR / CO2 hypothesis a bit, er, “challenged” ;-)

  27. Hugo M says:

    At least partly. I really wonder what the reason could be. Especially the step change after 1993, when the Pinatubo interference faded out (and solar cylce 22 almost ended). If the cooling would be the result of reduced solar UV flux, then this process must have already started in 1960 without a marked relation to the solar cycle. Also considering the difficulty to relate the radiometer data stemming from the various TSI missions to each other, is it reasonable to assume that a slowly and slightly declining UV flux could have slipped through undetected so far?

    That seems actually to be the case:

    […] There are two important findings from SORCE. First, the high accurate TIM (Total Irradiance Monitor) on SORCE reveals a much lower TSI of ~1361 W/m2 as compared to ~1366 W/m2 from earlier observations [Kopp et al., 2005]. The difference in global average is about the same as the relative radiative forcing of CO2 since the industrial revolution. Second, the SIM (Spectral Irradiance Monitor) observed SSI does not vary all in-phase with solar activity as compared to the in-phase variations as we have understood from proxy reconstructions [Harder et al., 2009]. The first discovery is critical in examining the energy budget of the planet Earth and isolating the climate change due to human activities. The second finding is crucial in understanding the physical mechanisms of the impact of solar variation on Earth’s climate. Based on SIM observations Cahalan et al. [2010] demonstrate remarkable different climate responses (stratosphere, troposphere, ocean mixed layer) to SORCE-based and proxy-based SSI variations. The out-of-phase SSI variations also have implications to re-examine the connection of the Sun and stratosphere, troposphere, biosphere, ocean, and Earth’s climate […]


  28. Hugo M says:

    @E.M. Smith,

    via WUWT’s new temperature reference page, I’ve seen that Ryan N Maue has a graph on accumulated cyclone energy, here:

    While there seems to be an increased variability over time there is no recognizable long term trend in regarding energy May be the increasing delta T (about 1.5 K) is small when compared to a difference of around 70 K between surface and lower stratosphere. The cyclone frequency is even declining over the decades. However, visually, I’m inclined to reckon an anti-correlation between cyclone energy and solar cycle.

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