Monday, June 16, 2014

Modelling a Negative, Or the Easy Proliferation of Hypotheses in Science Today

Jo Nova has a series of posts on the apparent discovery of a "notch filter" mechanism in the Earth's climate system, that doesn't do anything positive, but only negates, quite improbably, an "expected" dependence of the global mean surface temperature on the total solar irradiation (TSI). I submitted the following:

It is just too pat (i.e., characterized by a highly improbable "coincidence"): You find the temperature doesn't follow the 11-year solar cycle of TSI; now you find that something (apparently, the Sun's magnetic field) is cancelling that "expected" following--with an improbable, 11-year delay, just the same period as the solar cycle--so there is no 11-year cycle in the (global mean surface) temperature (GMST). Considered logically, without regard for any existing theories or common assumptions, by far the simplest, and therefore most probable reason for this "dog that doesn't bark" is that the expectation of a GMST dependence upon TSI is wrong (the dog doesn't bark because there is no dog, or nothing for the dog to bark at, after all).

Everybody wants to ignore the definitive Venus/Earth temperatures comparison I performed in late 2010, and what it indicates for the correction of climate science. Above all, in the present context, it indicates that the troposphere is fundamentally warmed--globally(!)--to the Standard Atmosphere profile (which represents the real, equilibrium vertical profile of the atmosphere, as the Venus/Earth comparison quantitatively and precisely demonstrates), by direct absorption of incident solar radiation, not by heat from the separately warmed surface. But of course that does not mean the TSI, which includes the major portion that warms the surface; it means just that incident portion (obviously in the infrared) which is directly absorbed by the troposphere! Climate and other atmospheric scientists need to identify that portion; I expect it will be found that it simply does not vary according to the 11-year solar cycle.


  1. Hi, a long time ago you came to my site and commented on something that became called the "sceptic view".

    You asserted that venus and other planets are warmer for various reasons to do with the atmosphere.

    I think the main reason for that was an integration of the heating from pressurising the gas.

    Where do I find this in a simple form?

  2. Good Morning, scottishsceptic,

    "Heating from pressurizing the gas" is what occurs to a gas in a confined space, either by forcing more gas into the same space or by forcibly reducing the volume confining the gas. That is not what happens in the atmosphere, which is not confined to a specific volume, but only subject to the pull of gravity from the Earth. That gravitational pull gives the air molecules weight. What happens is that the pressure increases the farther down towards the planetary surface you go. This is basically due to the weight of the atmosphere itself; that is, the pressure at a given level is due to the weight of the atmosphere above that level, pressing down on that level--this is called the hydrostatic condition of the atmosphere, which governs the lower atmosphere, called the troposphere (the "weather" sphere). It is the variation in pressure with altitude that governs the distribution of heat energy within the atmosphere: Whatever energy is available to heat the atmosphere, has to be distributed in accordance with the vertical pressure distribution (called the pressure profile of the atmosphere), which then enforces a vertical temperature distribution, or temperature profile. That temperature profile is independent of how energy is absorbed into the atmosphere; this is most easily seen by considering an equilibrium state, in which the calorimetric change in temperature of a given small mass of air (mcΔT, from elementary physics), in going from a mass at one level to the same mass just below it, must be equal to the change in gravitational potential energy (-mgΔh, with h the height, or altitude, above the surface). This shows the temperature profile must be linear with altitude (a constant slope), as ΔT/Δh = -g/c, and we can see it depends only upon the gravitational constant g and the effective specific heat of the air, c, and nothing else.