Static vs Dynamic scored air

Willis has a couple of good postings over at WUWT which look at the flow of energy in the atmosphere, ocean and the planet generally:

When you look at the Story told by the AGW folks, it’s a generally static model story. The air does not move. Its infrared radiation that moves, not the air and the water.

I think that is a critical difference and a potential fatal flaw.

In particular, the radiative model is all about all that CO2 (and methane and…) “trapping heat” via IR opacity. “down welling” radiation hits the ground, then can not escape again. (We’ll ignore for the moment the question of how “down welling” IR can go down through the air then the “up welling” IR can’t go back up…) There are all sorts of calculations done on the PPM of CO2, the increasing opacity, the amount of CO2 blocking IR from seeing space. Etc. This all ignores what really happens in the air.

In this thread on WUWT, I had a bit of a rant about folks doing a stupid Water World model of a planet, then saying that falsified the established explanation for monsoons on our planet that is 1/3 land, has oceans blocked by continents, and lunar tides.

E.M.Smith says:
January 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

So we have Yet Another Non-Realistic Model that has some behavior, that is then reputed to apply to a completely different case. The fantasy Water World is supposed to tell us what happens on a world with continents, blocked ocean paths, mountains, iced over poles, etc. etc.

Just nutty.

BTW, I have no beef with the CONCEPT of models as useful. For over 7 years I ran a Cray Supercomputer site that had as its major purpose running codes to do plastic flow modeling. Most of the cases for Apple computers during those years were modeled on our computer and the dies cut “right first time”. But I also know the limitations. That was ONE fluid, at KNOWN temperatures and with KNOWN exact physical properties in a very constrained environment. It took 10 hours per run… Even then about 10% of the molds needed some “fixing up” – weld lines or scorch spots or voids or… Modeling a single cloud is orders of magnitude harder and has less good results. I know as we donated time to a Ph.D. student at Stanford who was doing cloud modeling… The notion that ANY model can come close to the actual earth dynamics with several fluids of poorly characterized properties with lousy temperature sampling and very unclear processes and mechanisms is just Crazy Talk. Having a completely different imaginary world of all water tells you even less…

So OK, they have a new toy to play with and think it means something…

FWIW, IMHO, until they include the lunar tidal cycles ( monthly, 9 year, 18 year, 54 year, and so on up to the 1200-1800 year ones) and have an atmosphere and oceans moving in step with that influence, they have no clue what will really happen. Until they include a Drake Passage and variations in water flow through it and up the spine of South America and have a Circumpolar Wave of several years duration their results are at best a hint, not an answer. And until they have a variable star with energy sliding from the UV to the IR over the cycle, and thus depositing variably into the Stratosphere vs lower troposphere and surface of the ocean to cause evaporation vs deep in the ocean to warm the depths, they have a very un-physical phantasy.

Oh, and they need to have a Polar Night Jet that moves between one pole and the other each year… along with variable sized and velocity polar vortex formation.

Leave any of that out, you are not talking about this world…

E.M.Smith says:
January 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Looking at comments, I see the Radiation Is All folks are making the same old tired pitch.

Sorry, but the very existence of the troposphere and topopause means that infrared trapping is irrelevant. By Definition: the troposphere is convective due to the lack of radiative cooling. The tropopause is where radiative effects can start to matter. Oh, and the tropopause is NOT at a constant nor stable height. It’s a highly dynamic thing that moves all over the place based on how much heat needs to be dumped from the troposphere.

At the top of the troposphere the tropopause is NOT a nice static lid on all that heat. It’s a Hurricane Cat 2 force wind layer moving sideways toward the poles. During the winter at a pole, even more so. (That’s when the Polar Night Jet forms and howls…) So WHY a monsoon? Well, all those GW of heat move massive amounts of air and water, as the bulk of the air flow shifts from a N. Night Jet to a S. Night Jet and back, the other air flows have to shift too. At the right time, the excess heat and water heads to the deficit area in a hurry and the monsoon starts. The whole atmosphere is wobbling back and forth with the lunar tidal forcing, the solar cycling (and all the stuff S. Wilde lays out). Once the trigger levels are reached, the monsoon goes. Once the heat and water have moved, it stops.

CO2 and IR driven “forcing” are irrelevant. It’s a troposphere process and that’s a convective space.

(Oddly enough, CO2 and IR does play a role; but that role is in the Stratosphere and as a net heat radiative gas out to space… I’ve posted the link to the paper here many times before.)

In short: The very existence of a troposphere makes the whole CO2 driven radiative IR model daft. All that tropospheric CO2 can only close an already closed radiative window in the troposphere and contribute to the convection that is already dominant. BTW, in deep winter with a strong polar vortex, the tropopause can reach ground level near the poles (especially the South Pole). In that context, then, it can enhance the radiative heat dump to space. But warming? In any mid-latitudes especially? Not a chance.

Ignore the gasses and IR / radiative story telling. Look at the convection, mass flow, tides and ocean cold water mixing, along with solar UV shifts and how the atmosphere moves around if you would hope to know what really happens.

Arguing over CO2 and “down welling” IR is just arguing about how many Angels fit on pinheads.

That troposphere link is:

Stratosphere radiation by species

Stratosphere radiation by species

Below the tropopause, it is a convective world. Radiative effects are by definition not working and energy is moved by convection, evaporation, precipitation, etc. The only place where IR takes heat energy off the planet is above the tropopause. In that area, CO2 is a net radiator. Below that level, it is irrelevant as (again, by definition) the troposphere is a convective heat engine. More heat can move you from a clear day, to overcast, to cloudy, to thunderstorms (as Willis has described it, including squall lines of organized thunderstorms) and eventually leading to monsoons and hurricanes to move even more heat.

Structure of a tropical cyclone.

The end game of increasing heat pumping to the stratosphere. The tropical cyclone.

At the topopause, a Cat 2 wind hauls the air (and entrained thermal energy) toward the poles. There, in the polar night, heat radiates off to space, as the air returns to the surface in the polar vortex. It’s a very dynamic world. NOT a static scored radiative one.

At the end of the day, that looks to me like the fundamental “issue”. “Warmers” think in a static scored air model. It sits still, in constant height layers, and only radiation moves thermal energy in, and out, of the air. In the real world, it’s a highly dynamic scored air mass, both vertical and horizontal. Water moving by the kiloton and falling as snow and rain.

You can’t get a correct dynamic answer from a static model.

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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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19 Responses to Static vs Dynamic scored air

  1. Adrian Vance says:

    Methane is not a “greenhouse gas” three ways: (1) It is a very poor absorber of IR, virtually transparent to it, see the AMS charts; (2) There is very little of it, 18 ppm, and (3) it auto oxidizes in sunlight, very little and will do it at twilight in the bogs and swamps. I have seen it in Wisconsin.

    CO2 is a “trace gas” in air, insignificant by definition. It absorbs 1/7th as much IR, heat energy, from sunlight as water vapor which has 188 times as many molecules capturing 1200 times as much heat making 99.9% of all “global warming.” CO2 does only 0.1% of it. For this we should destroy our economy?

    The Medieval Warming from 800 AD to 1300 AD Micheal Mann erased to make his “hockey stick” was several degrees warmer than anything “global warmers” fear. It was 500 years of great abundance for the world.

    The Vostock Ice Core data analysis show CO2 increases follow temperature increases by 800 years 19 times in 450,000 years. That makes temperature change cause and CO2 change effect; not the other way around.

    Carbon combustion generates 80% of our energy. Control and taxing of carbon would give the elected ruling class more power and money than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD.

    Most scientists and science educators work for tax supported institutions eager to help government raise more money for them. And, they love being seen as “saving the planet.”

    Google “Two Minute Conservative,” and When you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  2. pyromancer76 says:

    Good to read some feet-on-the ground reality about our home planet and its changing ways. So good to have you “back”, E.M., even if on a once-a-month basis, more or less. Your company is fortunate you are in a leadership position; they better reward you well. Your readers will wait patiently for good common sense written from intelligence and respect for the scientific method. Happy New Year to you and your family and thanks for the wisdom in this post.

  3. R. de Haan says:

    Thanks E.M. nice article again and very to the point.
    As we have concluded before, the effect of human kind on our climate is just a fly on a donkey’s ass. So is the infra red heat exchange and the “greenhouse effect”. We should ignore it.

    As for the models I love your conclusion:
    You can’t predict a dynamic system with static models.

    From a scientific point of view the AGW scare is dead in the water.

    From a political view however the train is still on the rails and accelerating.
    We should focus on the political side of the AGW scare and tear it apart.

    If we don’t stop it we will be smoking a heavy pipe for not taking the effort.

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    I hope to keep increasing the “participation”… and hope that many of the disruptive bits are done now… (No more car issues, no more 3000 mile at a crack weekend warrior events, no more “where will I be living this week?”, no more… ) We’ll see. What’s quite clear is that I’m not giving up.

    The only real “issue” hanging out there at this point is that I’m on a contract, so in about 12 months, I’m either hired or tossed out the door (thanks to lawyers, a Microsoft lawsuit, and some stupid IRS rules that make it nearly criminal to have a contract longer than 18 months… as though contract law has a timer on it…)

    Oh Well… That’s a year away.

    Glad you liked the posting. It’s sort of a “fundamental process overview” sort.

    @R. de Haan:

    I do think it is a very fundamental point that needs to be hammered: The very existence of the troposphere is because IR is irrelevant to heat transfer from those parts of the atmosphere due to complete blocking of that heat transfer path.

    If IR was doing it, then convection would not be needed.

    Just ask the question: WHY is there a convective troposphere layer? The answer is “Because IR is not able to remove the heat, that then builds up, and causes convection and evaporation to move the heat.” Once that is realized, then the effect of more IR blocking in an IR blocked layer is…. oh, yeah, nothing of interest…. That, then, leads to the question of “Then where IS the IR of interest?”; and that ends up being that Stratospheric radiative zone where CO2 is the orange / yellow / red diamond in that blue air graph.

    Below the dotted line (in the troposphere) CO2 is a light blue ZERO. Water vapor is a nice red splotch (at the tops of thunderstorms ;-) and is important. CO2 not so much., What is really needed is a water driven convective troposphere model and a CO2 radiative stratosphere model, coupled, at a dynamic an high mass flow (sideways toward the poles) tropopause. In that model, more CO2 does nothing in the troposphere. More energy input (like more sun) just drives the water cycle faster in the troposphere. More CO2 just makes the radiation go faster from the stratosphere. At most you can make the disparity between stratosphere and troposphere larger ;-)

    On the political side:

    Yup. Saw a Talking Points Head on Fox last night (forgot to notice which program). Some ?Dr. Wells? or some such. Just parroting the same old stupid talking points. 97% of climate scientists agree… Last year one of 4th warmest… etc. etc. All the same old appeal to authority and emotion crap.

    “They” are not going to just give up and admit being entirely wrong and working from a political agenda, not a scientific one. The need to oppose the AGW Meme-sters is still strong. My work isn’t done yet…

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; Pleased to hear you have things gathered into a manageable herd for now, even if for only a year or so. Few people would willingly make the major changes to their lives that you have. Must be a Celt thing!
    “My work isn’t done yet…” Poking holes in the AGW religion is an unfinished project for many of us. This will be a war of a thousand cuts to kill this huge pig. They are terrorized of our “well organized” and “heavily funded” drive to discredit them. ;-) I wonder if they realize just how incompetent they actually are? and are desperate that people will find them out. I saw the Fox interview, Lew Dobbs was in disbelief of this guys “proof” of AGW.
    97% of “Climate Scientists” agree in “Peer reviewed” papers, therefor it must be true!

    It occurred to me last month that there is a good indicator of the earths’ surface energy balance over long periods All ice on the surface of the planet. Increases and decreases in the tonnage of ice would be a good indicator as frozen water is a great indicator of changes in real energy in a storage bank. The phase change energy amount is large enough to swamp out all other temperature indicated changes. Small problem! how does one measure the amount “tonnage” of ice, as extents of coverage is way too sloppy to work.

  6. R. de Haan says:

    @ E.M.Smith says:
    4 January 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I agree with your assessment, thanks.

    As for the political part I think the time has come to make the AGW proponents, our political establishment and their propaganda machinery something very clear.

    1. We know what’s going on and what the consequences of their policies will be (roll out agenda 21 etc.).

    2. This isn’t the first time in history that a centralized coup based on fantasy arguments has been undertaken.

    History is full of examples and none of them ended well.

    3. My assessment of what is going on IMO leads to a confrontation and we better have this confrontation sooner than later.

    The confrontation IMO is in a plain text where we tell the political establishment what their options are. One can think of a white paper that contains an explanation and a number of clear demands.

    As I see it they there are two options:
    1. a total role back of all AGW related rules, regulations and policies
    2. As 1 but with some expert help if you know what I mean.

    Too many people regard the AGW scam as a side show but the reality is that this scam already has developed into a doctrine that is directly threatening the very basis of our existence.

    This is nothing less but a war directed at the masses and the middle class with the aim to transform society into a model that is absolutely unacceptable to us.

    We must resist.

    Political correctness and the AGW scam have to be addressed head on ASAP and we must prepare for this.

    IMO we have no choice.

    Better to prepare, plan and organize than carried on by the wave of events that are upon us.

  7. R. de Haan says:

    Some people already think much more ahead than I did but if Zero Hedge comes with articles like this, we know we are not the only people who think we are at the end of the line:

    Violence in the face of tyranny is often necessary:

  8. R. de Haan says:

    And just for the record, I am absolutely not a proponent of any violent approach, let that be absolutely clear. I only think (know) that violence will be used to suppress any opposition in the future. We can see for ourselves that our governments are preparing for this.

    We need a platform and a plan.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    WUWT got linked by Drudge with an article about the US Coastguard sending the Polar Star to rescue the two ships currently stuck in the Antarctic ice.

    Drudge Headers:
    ‘Thousands of trees will have to be planted to offset carbon footprint’…

    The headlines of course are in contrast with the Obama, Kerry and EPA policy to regulate and tax carbon and sink the US economy.

    So I thought it would be a nice stun to send them the energy bills for the cold period.

    Maybe that wakes them up and change their mind about the insane Green Government Scam.

  10. All the Warmist, and most of the ”Skeptics” work on atmosphere without oxygen & nitrogen; as if the atmosphere is made from CO2 & methane only, that’s where the biggest mistake is, ignoring the O2&N2, which are 998999ppm of the atmosphere:

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    I’m of mixed opinion on violence. Generally I despise it. Yet I’ve been forced to learn that there are times it is the most effective and essential method. Oddly, that seems to be what ALL nation states have as policy. Somehow “violence” is evil when done by clear thinking individuals but it is “Fine Policy” when done by muddle headed political machine animals… as long as more political animals have voted to say they agree that they get a cut of the action too….

    Things that make an Aspe brain squirm….

    So on AGW: Do I think it will come to that? Hope springs eternal, and I hope that the present down plunge in global heating will result in the general populace guffawing so much that it dies of its own stupidity…

    Yet, looking at the Club Of Rome and an agenda that has persisted since the ’70s (with The Limits To Growth by Meadows et. al.) to date shaped on the same deception and Power Of Stupid being mislead by computer model “projections”; even blossoming into a multi $Billion rip off fraud with Agenda 21 leverage: It is very clear that this will not end of its own stupidity and immorality.

    Will reason and rational discourse end it? It hasn’t yet, and we’re near a 1/3 century now.

    Will violence end it? Well, that hasn’t happened yet either.

    I really do fear that the folks who have created this Plausible Fraud have a better handle on how to herd people into the pen; and that the call of freedom, liberty, and individual self reliance is ever more lost on the farmed animals of modern humanity… Is there really no room left for morality and individualism?

    Oh Well. We are all just riders on this turn of the wheel. Be it a violent one or one of slavery or one of liberty and peace. Only the elaboration of the system in the fullness of time will reveal.

    At the end of it all, I think I’m happy to accept that when it gets bad enough, the Average Joe will do what’s right. We have ample evidence that, eventually, that happens. From the Boston Tea Party, to the “French Haircut” of the French Revolution, to??… I’m likely too old to do much but watch what happens and take notes. So that’s likely what I’ll do… Perhaps with a certain amount of cheering on…

    FWIW, while plans are nice to have, I put more store in a sound mind reacting with spontaneity to whatever happens. The power of the Emergent System is greater than that of the Central Authority; even if there is a tendency to having Central Authority work for a few decades before it collapses…

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t forget 03 and H20. At the end of the day, IMHO, they are clearly far more important than CO2 and methane.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @R de Haan:

    I really ought to add that it creeps me out that all the AGW folks act either very crazy reckless with the truth, OR, they know they have complete “top cover”. If the latter, we’re just screwed…

  14. SMITH,
    O&N are 998999ppm of the atmosphere, they dwarf everything else – horizontal winds cool the land and the water – vertical winds cool the planet (winds made from oxygen &nitrogen). For ANY reason it gets warmer -> O&N expand instantly and enlarge the troposphere; which is the earth’s radiator.

    if for any reason gets colder than normal, those two gases shrink more than normal and preserve the heat, until equalizes. Cheers, happy new year!

  15. Ian W says:

    A simple experiment modeled on Arrhenius. Take a volume of two gases N2 and O2 in 75%, 25% proportion in a sealed chamber with infrared transparent windows. Heat the gases by use of a warm plate at the bottom of the cylinder until the gas temperatures are stable. There will be no infrared from the transparent windows as both N2 and O2 are non-radiative gases. Now inject CO2 into the gas mixture to make it 400ppm of the volume. Infrared will now start radiating through the transparent windows as CO2 is a radiative gas.

    The action of CO2 in the troposphere to radiate the atmospheric heat is never discussed in all the AGW literature or shown in Trenberth’s Mickey Mouse diagrams it is only shown as trapping infrared and passing on the energy by collision or re-emitting it to the surface.

  16. philjourdan says:

    Sidebar on your note to Pyromancer. That contract crap really gets a large employer in this area – Capital One. They ONLY hire contractors (virtually), so in a year, they do let most go (this is in IT). Those that remain become regular employees. fortunately the State (or Commonwealth more accurately) was not limited by the Microsoft law, so I remained a “Contractor” for 13 years. Very good years I might add.

  17. Adrian Vance says:

    Water vapor is seven times better at absorbing heat energy than CO2, see the absorption charts at the American Meteorological Society and analyze in terms of E = (h x c)/w where E is energy, h is Planck’s Constant, c is the speed of light and w is wavelength for wavelengths in the manner of the infinitesimal Calculus. Water has from 88 to 188 times as many molecules in air as CO2 depending on location and is thus responsible for 99.8% to 99.9% of all atmospheric heating. CO2 is a trace gas in air in every way and attributing anything to it is a fraud.

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