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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.