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There is a real climategate out there

Emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit have once again been hacked and released on the internet. The timing is similar to the “climategate” scandal of 2009, with emails published…

The scandal isn’t the emails, it’s the hacking. UN Climate Change

Emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit have once again been hacked and released on the internet. The timing is similar to the “climategate” scandal of 2009, with emails published just before an important UN climate conference. Does this mean the science is in doubt? Quite the opposite, says Stephan Lewandowsky.

An ambulance pulls up behind you. You know it’s an ambulance because you can read AMBULANCE in your rear view mirror. But you can also read it when you look at the vehicle directly; because the human visual system has the ability to quickly correct complete inversions or left-right reversals of letters. In fact, a complete inversion is easier to read than letters that are rotated only partially.

This human ability to process complete inversions more quickly than just partial distortions, alas, lends itself to exploitation by ruthless propagandists who seek to create a chimerical world in which up is down, left is right, and good is smeared as evil.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the netherworld of attacks on climate scientists.

Remember “climategate”? The illegal hack of personal emails released just before the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 that some columnists pronounced to be the (approximately 132nd) “final nail in the coffin” of global warming?

Remember the “errors” in the IPCC’s 2007 report? “Amazongate”, “Himalayagate”, and so on?

What has happened to “climategate”?

What’s happened is this.

First, the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee exonerated the scientist at the centre of the tempest, Professor Phil Jones, finding he has “no case to answer” and that his reputation “remains intact.”

Then Lord Oxburgh (former chairman of Shell-UK) and his panel likewise exonerated the researchers, finding their “work has been carried out with integrity, and that allegations of deliberate misrepresentation” are “not valid.”

Another enquiry, chaired by Sir Muir Russell, found the scientists’ “rigour and honesty” to be beyond doubt.

Two enquiries by his university also cleared Professor Michael Mann – who presented the first of now innumerable “hockey stick” graphs – of all allegations.

Ultimately the (conservative) UK Government concluded “the information contained in the illegally-disclosed emails does not provide any evidence to discredit … anthropogenic climate change.”

Not one, not two, but by now nine vindications.

This comes as no surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the distinction between private chat and public actions.

And what has happened to the IPCC “Whatevergates”?

What’s happened is this.

First, the Sunday Times apologised and retracted its “Amazongate” story. There is no “Amazongate”; there is only the Amazon rainforest threatened by climate change.

Then the Dutch government accepted responsibility for erroneously informing the IPCC that 55% of the Netherlands are below sea level. In fact only 26% are at risk of flooding because they are below sea level, whereas the other 29% are, err, at risk of flooding from rivers.

And about a year after “climategate” broke, the BBC finally apologised to the University of East Anglia for its misleading coverage of the “climategate” pseudo-scandal.

All that’s left of the “Whatevergates”, therefore, is red-faced apologies and one indubitable IPCC error: the incorrect projection of the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers to 2035, as opposed to the more likely 2350. This error was drawn to the public’s attention by, wait for it, an IPCC author.

Can we now forget about “gate” in connection with “climate”?

No.

Because there are too many real climategates that must not escape attention.

First, there was another batch of private emails posted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a “think” tank notorious even by American standards. Those emails — yes, a second hack — revealed the real climategate by being truthful, with one scientist stating: “Those who deny the biophysical facts of the world would deny … gravity” and “we’re not in a gentlepersons' debate, we’re in a street fight against … merciless enemies. Colleagues … are getting threatened with prosecution by … [US Senator James M.] Inhofe.”

That is the second real climategate: the McCarthyite attempts by Senator Inhofe to criminalise climate scientists — attempts to criminalise those who, 35 years ago, predicted the temperature rise by century’s end to within 1/10th of a degree.

This is no isolated incident: Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has launched several frivolous lawsuits — despite losing an earlier one — against the University of Virginia in what the Washington Post called a “war on the freedom of academic inquiry"“. And Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman evoked Pastor Niemoeller’s cry against the erosion of humanity under the Nazis: “First, they came for the climate scientists…”.

The real climategate involves active censorship within NASA by Bush appointees, which the agency’s Inspector General later found to have “reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science".

The real climategate involves Bush White House staff replacing assessments of the National Academy of Sciences with a discredited paper by two individuals with no expertise in climatology. This paper, funded by the American Petroleum Institute, was so flawed its appearance in a peer-reviewed journal led to the resignation in protest by three editors and the publisher’s unprecedented acknowledgement of mishandling.

Those are not merely historical episodes because the real climategate encompasses the ongoing complicity of some media organs.

In Canada, the real media climategate involves the ongoing list of defamatory articles by the “National Post.” The tabloid is finally being sued by Professor Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria.

In Australia, the real media climategate involves the national daily newspaper, whose misrepresentations of science are legendary and, sadly ongoing.

Those real climategates are the tip of an iceberg of venality enveloping anti-science interests and their enablers.

And just a few hours ago, another illegal release of personal emails among scientists was dumped on to the world in the lead-up to the next climate conference in Durban. First Copenhagen, now Durban. When the science is so rock solid that it can no longer be reasonably doubted, all that is left is to steal private correspondence in a desperate attempt to disparage those who are trying to protect the world from the risks it is facing.

Joseph Welch famously brought down Joe McCarthy with a simple question: “Have you no sense of decency?”

This year has already witnessed multiple events that break climate records: the drought in East Africa, the worst drought in Texas' recorded history, and record breaking storms and floods in the US south. Those events, anticipated by climatologists decades ago, should remind us that those who persecute and harass scientists, or mendaciously misrepresent their actions and findings, have no sense of decency.

That is the real climategate.

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329 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. Tim Scanlon

    Author and Scientist

    Thanks Steve. I actually took the time to read some of the hacked emails and it was painfully obvious that a group of dedicated professionals were discussing work and becoming increasingly frustrated with the lies being leveled at them.

    I agree that the real climategate is the misinformation campaign that has been led by certain interest groups and prominent spokespeople (e.g. Monckton and Andrew Bolt). The more people know about how they have been deceived, the less likely they are to put up with the unscientific viewpoints.

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  2. Dan Moutal

    logged in via Twitter

    One thing worth mentioning is that even the investigation set up by Inhofe (though the department of commerce Investigator General) turned up nothing.

    I would imagine that Inhofe picked the venue most likely to be sympathetic to his (wrong) opinions, so the fact that even they found nothing is quite telling.

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  3. Mark Harrigan

    PhD Physicist

    Thanks Stephan, if people "want" a scandal. here's a real one

    In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

    The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201012150004

    Hmm - media balance??

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    1. Tim Scanlon

      Author and Scientist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Exactly the sort of misinformation campaign I was alluding to above Mark. The sad thing is Bill still has his job.

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    2. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

      lol, yes scandalous for journalists not to be advocates. The reason why they avoided taking sides is because they wished to be viewed as impartial. Maybe that's a strange concept in other parts of the world, but in the U.S. it is suppose to be a journalism standard. But, while we're on the subject, is it misinformation to point out that the earth hasn't warmed in the last decade or so in spite of exponentially increasing atmospheric CO2?

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    3. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Shane Perryman

      lol, that's a hoot! But Mr. Cook never did know much about skepticism.... so we can forgive his errant portrayal. So, am I to assume you believe it is misinformation to state facts? You know, most of us skeptics understand that we should see some long term general warming coming out of the LIA. I'm wondering if the alarmists have such a realistic view of such things? It it yours or John's position that we shouldn't see some long term warming or perhaps we shouldn't have come out of the LIA? Or is it that you may take a Mannian approach and simply disappear the LIA?

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    4. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Shane Perryman

      Whoops! Speaking of your 9 whitewashes, we can all recall the House of Commons inquiry into well, the inquiries. Muir Russell was asked why he never asked Jones if he had deleted e-mails. "That would have been asking did you commit a crime, which would have taken the inquiry to completely different territory," Russell said, including having to ask the questions under caution.

      But Acton said he had asked Jones, and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, if they had inappropriately deleted emails. "They said they had never deleted emails deliberately," Acton said.

      That's fine, but then how does one explain this quote from one of the e-mails.... "I wasted a part of a day deleting numerous emails and exchanges with almost all the skeptics. So I have virtually nothing. I even deleted the email that I inadvertently sent," wrote Phil Jones

      So, that's 9 whitewashes and no real inquiries. Do I have that about right?

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Sexton

      No, you have it completely wrong - like most of your comments it shows total confirmation bias. You see what you want to see. No inquiry will satisfy you and you have no idea of the science.

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    6. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Sexton

      Here is what Lawrence Torcello has to say about true skepticism. Not the pesudo skepicism and making a virtue out of doubt that you practice.
      (Lawrence Torcello is a prominent ethicist and holder of the Ezra A Hale Chair in Applied Ethics at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York)

      Torcello is particularly concerned with what he amusingly — and, again, rightly — calls “pseudoskepticism.” This is the abuse of the word skepticism to describe the activity engaged in by people who deny climate…

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    7. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I have it completely wrong? Acton states Jones and Briffa said they never deleted any emails. Yet, in one of the emails, Jones complains about the time he's spent deleting emails. Of course, as they say in the infomercials, "And that's not all!" From another email....

      "Dear all,
      After the recent problems with ClimateAudit, Phil has asked for all
      unnecessary files to be purged from the FTP server. You have a directory in /cru/ftp1/people. Please could you take a look to see what files need to remain there?
      If you would like assistance with this, let me know. Please confirm by email when you’ve done it, so I can cross you off the list.
      thanks
      Mike"

      Mark, I don't have anything wrong. A satisfactory inquiry would be one that included some simple fact checking. None of them bothered to do so. As to my grasp of the science, that is the easy part. The Luddite advocacy that forces people to lie, mislead, and obfuscate is something I can't get my head around.

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    8. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Please point out my ignorance. You don't see critical thinking on my part, yet, you believe people should acquiesce the first item on the list? What the heck does scientific consensus, decisive for public policy and legislation mean? Because a bunch of like-minded ideologues got together and voted themselves a position statement, I should be morally condemned because I see errors in their thinking?

      Mark, you should understand that I don't engage because I think this is fun. It isn't. I'd…

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    9. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Sexton

      You have failed to point out any errors in the science. You have also missed my point anout the whole climategate saga.

      What matters is not whether or not scientists have been badly behaved at times (the inquiries and the evidence suggested they have). What matters is whether or not ANY of the outcomes of climategate in any way overturns the science of AGW.

      The inquiries have found they did not. I haven't seen any evidence they have. The "worst" issue is the famous "hide the decline" issue…

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    10. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I do love the damage control coming into play. The problem is that the context of many of these emails are known mostly by the skeptics and very few alarmists. As I've stated before, for proper context, you need to be familiar with the back and forth that occurred years ago. For many of the emails that I've read.... well, most aren't all that noteworthy, but many are. Go to ClimateAudit and start reading from the beginning. That will give you context for much of the emails of note.

      So far…

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    11. James Sexton

      Network administrator

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark, splicing different data sets together is wrong. Most of us were taught that in the 7th grade or so. I've posted on my blog 3 emails directly relevant. I highly recommend you visit and read them. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/its-official-consensus-achieved/ It was the 1870s and prior they threw out. I'm not really interested in arguing this form of phrenology. Its laughable. Mark, do stick with the science, even the alarmists are distancing themselves from the stick. Tree ring data was never reliable. There are too many factors effecting tree ring growth to extract a temp signal from. But, then, we don't have reliable temp records in the locations of the tree rings to make such comparisons to begin with.

      Mark as I've stated earlier, its been fun..... Happy Thanksgiving!

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    12. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Sexton

      James - I can see by your "blog" site that you are yet another of those evidence immune pseudo skeptics - ready and willing to embrace anything that suits your view but unwilling to use actual data and evidence.

      They did not throw out 1870's and prior - your post shows you simply either don't know what you are talking about or choose to mispresent it.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

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    13. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark Harrigan commented:

      "Anyone who claims that GHGs can cause cooling doesn't use physics"

      Physics says:

      1. Just like any gas molecules, GHG molecules can acquire thermal energy by diffusion

      2. The molecules from which they acquire thermal energy (eg oxygen and nitrogen) lose an equivalent amount of thermal energy.

      3. Losing thermal energy equates to cooling.

      4. Unlike oxygen and nitrogen molecules, GHG molecules can radiate thermal energy

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    14. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      This is like arguing that having more of something that increases the retention of another quanity will, in fact, bring about less of that other quantity - it is just plain nonsense.

      Again Mr Cotton fails to address the evidence. Satellite data clearly showing that since GHGs started rising above their historical average levels - it has been MEASURED that less thermal radiation is escaping into space. Less themral energy escaping into space means more thermal energy is retained on the planet which…

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    15. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Your first paragraph is not an appropriate argument. Carbon dioxide has both a warming effect and a cooling effect which roughly cancel out. Carbon dioxide both ...

      (a) captures photons radiated from the surface and
      (b) absorbs thermal energy by colliding with oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

      Oxygen and nitrogen molecules can get warmed by diffusion from the surface and by absorbing incoming high energy solar radiation.

      So, when carbon dioxide collects energy both from IR radiated photons…

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    16. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton is, as usual

      Talking
      Rubbish
      Or
      Logically
      Lazy

      The satellite evidence clearly shows less thermal IR escaping into space between 1970 and the present - associated with the increasing levels of CO2

      Of course he is free to publish his conclusions which disagree with every credible climate sciece, including one he likes to quote very often Roy Spencer here http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

      But he won't. He should be ignored.

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    17. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      PS I have written the above brief summary because several other posts have been deleted. I consider this quite relevant to the topic of Climategate which was throwing into question whether carbon dioxide has a warming effect. Anyway, a screen capture of the above post has now been added at the foot of my Home page at http://www.climate-change-theory.com

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    18. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Your words "associated with the increasing levels of CO2" are not proven anywhere. Before you say that TOA spectral information proves it, my answer to that is at http://climate-change-theory.com

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    19. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Levels of CO2 are increasing. The satellite data shows reduced thermal energy leaving the planet at the wavelengths at which CO2 absorbs them. That is proof.

      I do not visit sites created by Those Relying On Leightweight Logical Silliness

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    20. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Dr Harrigan: I really don't care if it's Gilbert Plass, Gavin Fialkowski or yourself who says carbon dioxide slows down the rate of escape of thermal energy, I simply don't agree, so we will have to agree to disagree.

      As you well know, radiation occurs at the speed of light, so time delays are infinitesimal. On the other hand, the physical rising of warm air by convection does take a finite time.

      Furthermore, Gilbert Plass and all of those involved in advising the IPCC have completely overlooked the role of GHG molecules in absorbing diffused thermal energy from oxygen and nitrogen molecules which cannot cool themselves by radiating at atmospheric temperatures.

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    21. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "I really don't care if it's Gilbert Plass, .. who says carbon dioxide slows down the rate of escape of thermal energy, I simply don't agree"

      I simply accept the results of a physicist who has published extensively in scientific journals on this very subject rather than someone who doesn't even understand the definition of radiative forcing in relation to carbon dioxide.

      "As you well know, radiation occurs at the speed of light, so time delays are infinitesimal. On the other hand…

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    22. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris - Doug Cotton will not accept anything that conflicts with his pre-disposed world view. He's already dismissed the work on the Greenhouse effect by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, a professor of Physics at Chicago
      http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

      He's been referred to the site by Nasa and the site by the American Physical Society on the subject

      He's also rejected the words of Dr Roy Spencer (a climate science refusenik who also believes in intelligent design but at…

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    23. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Well it sounds like we're agreeing to disagree on whether quantum mechanics & thermodynamics are valid, which I think spells the end of the science discussion for me (as I said before, I'm less patient than Mark!) It's been fun, thanks everyone.

      In the public debate you can't make headway arguing science anyway, unless your goal is to confuse the issue. So I'll go back to Matthew Bailes again for my favourite argument, from http://theconversation.edu.au/selling-science-the-lure-of-the-dark-side-4090

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    24. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      There is already such a peer-reviewed paper by nine authors which demonstrates major and significant errors in the models upon which the IPCC base their faith in AGW. And even before this paper* was published in 2010, there was enough concern being whispered around in those Climategate emails.

      Now it's out in the open: the lower troposphere is not warming 1.4 times faster than sea surface, as anyone can see from openly available NASA data. But those faulty models said it should be - forever presumably - wow, will we ever boil one day when we fly in those open ultra light aircraft!

      But of course few realise how important this paper really is, because they are simply too conditioned to their beliefs.

      * http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/9/2148/pdf

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  4. Ben Heard

    Director, ThinkClimate Consulting

    Thanks Steve. Maintain the rage.

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  5. John Chapman

    At large

    Stephan - thank you very much.

    Plain speaking is needed.

    I'll be interested to see if the Australian Academy of Science and others can speak with such clarity in the public arena.

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  6. James Doogue

    logged in via email @doogue.net

    It was fairly predictable that ideological believers would dismiss these latest leaked emails as insignificant. As one of the climate scare cheerleaders Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, who like Tim Flannery has found Climate Science a much more rewarding area than his own area of expertise, could be relied upon to be one of the first to dismiss the emails.

    While I agree that there is no email which on it's own turns the entire IPCC report on it's head, it is pretty hard to dismiss comments…

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    1. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to James Doogue

      Never was a truer word spoken. Try dismissing this as idle gossip ...

      "I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
      which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run."

      Thorne: 3066

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Dismissed. You are repeating personal opinion without any knowledge of content or direct knowledge of circumstance

      Gossip is defined as "a conversation involving malicious chatter or rumours about other people " - which is what you are spreading.

      A true skeptic would ask - what do these emails mean? in what contect were they made? what is the motivation of the people publicising them? and then await the full picture before rushing to judgement.

      You should look up ethics and skepticism and Lawrence Torcello to learn a few things perhaps

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    3. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      It is backed up by physics. NASA diagrams show 23% of incoming high energy solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere. We can assume at least 98% of this absorbed energy goes into oxygen and nitrogen molecules. If it had not been absorbed, the Earth would have warmed more. But oxygen and nitrogen cannot radiate that energy out again. Either they collide with the surface (if they are low enough) or with other O2 and N2 (which merely redistributes the energy) or they eventually collide with a cooler GHG molecule. Only after such a collision can the energy be radiated as IR by that GHG molecule. Roughly half (ie over 11% of total incoming radiation) is thus radiated back to space without ever getting to Earth or remaining to warm the atmosphere. If that isn't a cooling effect (in which carbon dioxide plays a significant role - probably ~46%) then what is?

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    4. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Cooling is when more radiation escapes the planet than is absorbed by it.

      The satellite evidence shows the opposite is happening.

      Your posts are Technically Relying On Logical Lacunae

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  7. James Doogue

    logged in via email @doogue.net

    If there really are any readers at 'The Conversation' who are interested in the truth about the IPCC reports and how they lack scientific rigour, I suggest you read a new paper out today "Reform Or Abandon The IPCC'. The 49 page document should not be beyond most readers and is available here: http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/mckitrick-ipcc_reforms.pdf

    It is most instructive to look at some of the case studies tendered in the document.

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Doogue

      What a joke - this isn't a "paper" . It's a propaganda piece. It starts out with John Howard declaring his "agnosticism" - as if somehow the ceicen is a matter of reliegious faith tyhat you either have or do not - and not a matter of the evdience.

      It's published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. A UK-based climate change denial think-tankset up as a charitable organisation by former UK Conservative finance minister Lord Nigel Lawson (an avowed climate science denier)

      It has been caught numerous times making serious misrepresentations on climate policy which go against the guidelines of the UK's charity regulator.

      It's funding is from dubious sources, It claims Cardinal Pell as a member who has many times misrepresented the current state of Climate Science (as noted here http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/11/16/3367852.htm)

      Read more here http://www.desmogblog.com/lord-lawson-s-global-warming-policy-foundation-mistaken-actual-facts

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    2. James Doogue

      logged in via email @doogue.net

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark,

      1. I doubt anyone else thought Mr Howard was using agnostic in the sense you claim it was used. He was simply saying it didn't matter what he thought on the matter, his policy approach was that he supported an ETS provided it was part of a global scheme, not if it involved Australia putting itself at a disadvantage to it's major trading competitors.

      2. There has been many years of debate over various aspects of claims made about climate change. Over those years there have developed blog sites…

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    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Doogue

      James - a lot to deal with - but the end of point 6 is easy. Rosenzweig et al (2008). "Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change"
      Nature 453, 353-357.
      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2008/2008_Rosenzweig_etal_1.pdf

      "Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone."

      On…

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    4. James Doogue

      logged in via email @doogue.net

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      A valiant attempt Mark but:

      1. Regarding Howard you are criticising him for not being a believer when in fact there are plenty of climate scientists who do not accept that human induced CO2 will cause catastrophic climate change, including many of those shown up by the release of the emails. Just because you believe there is sufficient evidence to accept that human induced CO2 is sufficient to cause catastrophic climate change and that we therefore need to drastically reduce human CO2 emissions…

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Doogue

      You asked for the science that established that the current warming increases are not natural - I gave it to you. Now you are shifting your ground.

      Clearly you have not understood the significant of either that paper or the paper establising the importance of lentgth of measurement trend in order to distinguish signal from noice.

      Your point about Howard is rubbish. Scientists who do not accept the reality or import of global warming (of which there are actaully VERY few who know what they are…

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to James Doogue

      Thanks for this very informative item, James Doogue. It's odd that you should mention thegwpf.org (aka the Global Warming Policy Foundation), because it was only yesterday evening that I read about [UK Energy Secretary] "Chris Huhne blasts Lord Lawson's climate sceptic thinktank" Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/22/chris-huhne-lawson-think-tank).

      The Guardian article begins "The energy secretary, Chris Huhne, has attacked Lord Lawson's influential climate sceptic thinktank…

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    7. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to James Doogue

      Mr Doogue asks for the science that shows that the current warming is not natural.

      1. Atmospheric [CO2] is a major determinant of "average" global temperature (see, for example, Lacis et al, "Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature", 'Science', v 330, 15 Oct 2010)

      2. Historic fossil fuel use and cement production data (Oak Ridge National (US) Laboratory Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center) shows sufficient industrial CO2 emission from 1800 to 2007 to raise atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 430 ppm. Dissolution of CO2 in oceans has limited atmospheric CO2 to about 390 ppm, and decreased ocean pH.

      I hope this helps.

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    8. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to James Doogue

      James - I am seriously questioning McKritick's motivations and credentials

      1) He's an economist, not a climate scientist - which he hasn't a clue about how is science is actually done

      2) McKitrick is an endorser of “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” which was created by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Those who sign the declaration
      “We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant…

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    9. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris: Your calculations re surface radiation in the absence of GHG were not correct. There would be no clouds, so no reflection. There would be no radiation from the atmosphere itself, so the radiation from the surface would have to be similar to total incoming radiation of about 340 W/m^2. This is about double what you calculated and is in fact not very different from what the models show for the real world. But I dispute their estimates of upward radiation from the surface anyway, as there is more diffusion.

      May I remind you that blackbody calculations should only be applied to the complete system, surface and atmosphere as viewed from space.

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    10. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Neither are you a climate scientist, Dr Harrigan. And "climate scientists" are not the best people to analyse the physics of heat transfer, radiation and quantum mechanics in the atmosphere.

      That is why you still fall gullibly for the incorrect assumptions made by climate scientists based on the facts that ...

      (a) there has been net positive radiative flux at TOA while the Earth has been warming, and

      (b) that the spectral analysis at TOA proves that carbon dioxide is increasing and blocking more and more upward IR radiation.

      Nothing could be truer than these scientifically proven facts in peer-reviewed published papers, and I'm sure you realise I fully acknowledge this data in my websites.

      I just see the fallacy in the conclusions draw, but you as yet don't.

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    11. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      I have never calimed to be a climate scientist. You are certainly not one.

      I'm a physicist - you claim to be one but I question your ability to understand the science.

      You have the freedom to publish your claims, which dont agree with anyone else's conclusions (not even the most rampant deniers like Dr Roy Spencer who clearly understands the Green House effect at least) - but you lack the courage to do so.

      You should try
      Try Reasoning on Logical Lines
      rather than
      Tendentious Reversal Of Limited Lucidity

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    12. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Hi Mark H - Mr Cotton has an undergrad physics degree from 50 years ago or so i believe. He once gave me a link to a site that explains how gravity can cause heat, literally rewrites the 2nd law of thermodynamics (i kid you not) and sells a book that tells you how to build a gravity machine. I wish i had bookmarked that link - its great for a laugh.

      it was his attempt at explaining how the gravitational pull of the planets causes 60 and 900 year cycles in global warming/cooling.

      Anyhow - I pulled Douglas up on that and he weasled his way out of it, so i ceased bothering to continue arguing with him at that point. If you are having fun though, why stop, im enjoying reading this thread.

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    13. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Hi Gavin - yes I am familiar with some of the more, shall we say, "extravagant" claims Mr Cotton makes under the guise of science. I have encontered his posts often.

      Because this issue is so important it dismays me that some practice the sort of pseudo-skepticism that pretends a virtue out of doubting well established climate science, but at the same time haven't the willingness to subject their claims "to understand the science better than the entire field" to proper scrutiny by submitting them to publication in a proper journal.

      So, when I encounter such posts offering a Turgid Rabelais Obscuranting Lucid Logic, (alas without the humour) I endeavour to coax the posters out from under the bridge (so to speak) and challenge them to submit their Tabula Rasa Of Lateral Lacunae posts to proper scrutiny. Of course Mr Cotton always refuses, prefering to clog the threads of the conversation.

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    14. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      I have never attempted to sell any such book. Any link was purely to provide empirical evidence that thermal energy and potential energy are interchangeable when molecules rise or fall in a gravitational field.

      That is why it is so farcical that climatologists refer to Ocean Heat Content because there is no such thing as fixed heat content. The units of heat are not units of energy!

      The fact that I am nearly 66 means I have probably had more time on this planet than some of you in which to engage in private study of post-graduate physics, climatology, nutrition, natural medicine and mathematical statistics.

      You will notice that Dr Harrigan seems quite unable to address the actual points that I make which are based on standard physics for which I could easily quote references. You might like to try yourself to answer my 11/11/11 challenge at http://climate-change-theory.com which, so far, absolutely no one has been able to disprove with standard physics.

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    15. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Sure Mr Cotton. We believe you. After all you ar so credible!

      Trying Refutation Or Luminous Logic on you is Like Levitation Or Religious Theology disputation in reverse

      It is, after all, quiTe haRd tO refute nonsense to the LogicaLly immune.

      But again - I invite you to publish???? Or perhaps you should send your web page to Dr Roy Spencer (seeing as how you liberally quote him on it) and explain to him why he is wrong? http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

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    16. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Maybe you should actually read what Dr Roy Spencer says on his website: http://drroyspencer.com "Climate change — it happens, with or without our help."

      In a bit more detail I quote ...

      "The ‘consensus’ of opinion is that the Earth’s climate sensitivity is quite high, and so warming of about 0.25 deg. C to 0.5 deg. C (about 0.5 deg. F to 0.9 deg. F) every 10 years can be expected for as long as mankind continues to use fossil fuels as our primary source of energy. NASA’s James Hansen claims that…

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    17. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      and a bit more ...

      "The latest release (Climategate 2.0) not only reveals bias, but also some private doubts among the core scientist faithful about the scientific basis for the IPCC’s policy goals. Yet, the IPCC’s “cause” (Michael Mann’s term) appears to trump all else.

      So, when the science doesn’t support The Cause, the faithful turn toward discussions of how to craft a story which minimizes doubt about the IPCC’s findings. After considerable reflection, I’m going to avoid using the term ‘conspiracy…

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    18. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Fine - well I'm saying much the same as Dr Roy Spencer, namely

      "Climate change --- it happens with or without our help."

      "As a result of that confusion, they have the mistaken belief that climate sensitivity is high, when in fact the satellite evidence suggests climate sensitivity is low."

      So go argue with him.

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    19. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Here is a direct quote from the link published by Dr Spencer

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

      "The greenhouse effect is supported by laboratory measurements of the radiative absorption properties of different gases, which when put into a radiative transfer model that conserves energy, and combined with convective overturning of the atmosphere in response to solar heating, results in a vertical temperature profile that looks very much like the one we observe in nature.

      So, until someone comes along with another quantitative model that uses different physics to get as good a simulation of the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere, I consider objections to the existence of the ‘greenhouse effect’ to be little more than hand waving."

      It's at the bottom of the page - I invite anyone to check it.

      Mr Cotton's Taradiddles Revisited Obfirm Logical Laziness

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    20. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      The paper you quoted was April 2009. Since then Dr Spencer participated in the research conducted by those nine authors in 2010 - and probably read a few Climategate emails. I'm sure you can confirm that what I cut and pasted is actually on his website.

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    21. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Mr Cotton apparently annot distinguish between a published paper and a current web site. Perhaps this should come as no surprise.

      The link to Dr Spencer's comments is live and represents his views on the validity of the Greenhouse Effect - something which Mr Cotton believes he has overturned.

      he is Thus Revealing Only Laughable Logic in support of his unfounded claims

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    22. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I can understand that, when Dr Spencer carried out research in 2010 which concluded

      "This result indicates the majority of AR4 simulations tend to portray significantly greater warming in the troposphere relative to the surface than is found in observations."

      that is, that the majority of the models used for simulations in AR4 are wrong, then he might change his stand a little - can't you understand, Dr Harrigan?

      I have no trouble understanding that climate sensitivity is greatly overstated (as Dr Spencer says) when I realise that basic physics dictates a compensating "reflective" cooling effect which may well wipe out most or all of the "greenhouse" warming effect.

      Do you place your knowledge and expertise in climatology above that of Dr Spencer and his eight colleagues, Dr Harrigan?

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    23. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Douglas, I see your definition of empirical evidence is a little different to mine then.

      I take it you are yet to successfully conduct a laboratory experiment that shows this this energy interchangeability between potential kinetic energy and thermal energy, or have you?

      Are there any physicists (alive today) that support this theory?

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    24. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      In a peer-reviewed published paper Dr Spencer and eight other authors demonstrated direct from published data that the sensivity is quite low, this being a direct consequence of the fact that the ratio was 0.8, not 1.4 as the models use.

      You still don't get it do you Dr Harrigan? It's pointless trying to show you as you are blinded to the truth.

      I'm quite happy to go along with Dr Spencer's private views. I have NOT said there is no greenhouse effect - just that it is mostly (if not entirely) offset by a cooling effect so the sensitivity is very low.

      The reasons the calculations are wrong is that they attribute all of about 35 deg.C to GHG, whereas most of that is due to the natural temperatue gradient in the atmosphere which results from the fact that it takes a finite time for warm air to rise by convection.

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    25. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Maybe you'd like to explain the satellite data proving your contentions wrong?

      Oops, Oh no - I forgot - you are evidence immune. Data doesn't count.

      Instead you prefer to be a Travesty Reviser Of Limited Lepidity

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    26. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Dr Harrigan: The plain fact is, when you take a 60 year trend (from exactly 60 years ago until the present) the gradient is close to 0.10 deg.C per decade, which extrapolates to an extra 0.9 deg.C by 2100, not 3 degrees or more as the models predict. So sensitivity is not as high as assumed. I suggest 60 years is a good compromise because it takes you back to a time when CO2 was starting to increase, and it also compensates for the 60 year cycles which I claim are apparent. So hopefully it suits both you and me - agreed?

      Look closely at the plot and there is no visual evidence of an INCREASE in gradient due to increasing CO2 levels. So there are no empirical grounds for extrapolating any other way at this stage. This does not mean that significant cooling will not start in 50 years - just that the plot does not show it.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1951.8/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1951.8/trend

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    27. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      A debate about Climate Sensitivity is indeed a proper one. What is the net result of insolation, modified by albedo (natural and mad made) plus GHG forcing (to name the most important factors)?

      However it should be carried out by trained climate scientists who use actual data and subject their findings to peer review and publish and re publish.

      Dr Spencer is a valid contributor to that debate (although his adherence to intelligent design does lead me to question his ability to really be an objective…

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    28. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      You know so little physics that you refer to "heat content." What are the units of heat, Dr Harrigan? Are they the same as energy?

      You seem to lose sight of the fact that Dr Spencer and eight colleagues used published data. You or anyone could go back to that data and get the same result.

      Just like you could look at the last 60 years of sea surface temperature data and observe that the rate of warming was 0.10 deg.C per decade and that there is no evidence of any exponentially increasing trend - if anything, the opposite.

      And that extrapolates to 0.9 deg.C by 2100 and there is absolutely no way any valid trend, curved or linear could possible add 3 degrees by 2100.

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    29. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Ooh - a revision. Doug Cotton now doesn;t say that the GHG "cools"?

      But wait he said this" On another thread you will find a very detailed explanation as to how and why carbon dioxide can have a compensating cooling effect which greatly diminishes, if not eliminates, any warming effect." on this thread "http://theconversation.edu.au/critically-important-the-need-for-self-criticism-in-science-4160";

      Wow - what a discovery! GHGs may have no net impact at all!

      Tedious Rubbish of Limited Lucidity speaks yet again

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    30. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Even if they take the last 60 years, the linear trend is 0.10 deg.C per decade which extrapolates to an extra 0.9 degrees C by the year 2100. There is no evidence of any increasing gradient in that period, yet it corresponds with when CO2 started to increase significantly after 1951.

      Hence there is no valid way of extrapolating that trend, curved or linear, to get anywhere near 3 degrees extra by 2100.

      Hence "sensitivity" is much lower than models predict, which is proven anyway by those 9 authors…

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    31. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      It's called "conservation of energy" - you will have seen PE interchange with KE if you've ever watched a pendulum. Grow up and learn big boy physics which you should have learnt in High School.

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    32. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Yep - which is why the temperature plot for the last 60 years is not curving upwards with any exponential growth. Oh, but that's random noise, isn't it Michael and Dr H? Random noise just happens to balance out the increase which CO2 was meant to cause - and it just keeps on balancing it out more and more each year. And even more yet since 2002. Wow! Super noise!

      And in regard to wavelengths, Dr H - the answer is:

      "the same wavelengths which carbon dioxide, water vapour and other GHG molecules…

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    33. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      No response on the Ocean issue I see, no offer to publish either?

      The increased heat content (change in enthalpy) of a system (in this case the planet - largely the oceans) is equal to (ignoring pressure and volume changes) the energy added through heat. In this case the extra heat (transfer of energy) brought about through the net increase in downward reflected thermal IR from increased GHGs (less any changes in insolation brought about by fluctuations in solar irradiance and albedo/aerosol effects…

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    34. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Tendentious Rubbish Of Laughable Lunacy by Mr Cotton again

      The satellite and observational data DOES NOT SHOW what he suggests - it shows the opposite!!

      See here
      Spectrum looking down (from 20km - above TOA)
      and up http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/infrared_spectrum.jpg

      It shows less NET radiation leaving the planet at exactly the wavelengths where CO2 absrobs the radiation and looking up it shows more radiation being reflected back than would be the case without GHGs.

      Doug Cotton is talking complete rubbish totally refuted by the evidence. Anyone who does that does not deserve to be considered a scientist.

      Total Rubbish of Laughable Lunacy again

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    35. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      ive got a pendulum clock right in front of me Doug, but its not producing any heat??

      Can you just explain it in laymans terms for me.

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    36. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Of course "It shows less NET radiation leaving the planet at exactly the wavelengths where CO2 absrobs the radiation and looking up it shows more radiation being reflected back than would be the case without GHGs."

      I couldn't agree more. Do you seriously think I am not fully aware of what is shown in such measurements? All these measurements are exactly what I would expect while the world is warming at around 0.1 deg.C per decade in the long-run - perhaps for another 50 years, and GHG molecules are up there capturing IR radiation (along with other thermal energy absorbed by diffusion from other air molecules) and then radiating such energy in all directions - some space-bound and some Earth-bound.

      There really is no need for any more of your school boy "lessons" Dr H. We big boys can all read for ourselves you know.

      If there's one thing you show ignorance of Dr H, it is what I already know.

      Good bye

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    37. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      I'm pleased to accept Doug Cotton's total backdown and reversal then of his claim, which you he ackowledges is totally unsupported by the evidence, that "carbon dioxide has both a warming effect and a cooling effect which roughly cancel out."

      The evidence for him making that claim is here
      ----
      From: The Conversation [no-reply@theconversation.edu.au]
      Sent: Monday, 28 November 2011 12:20 PM
      To:
      Subject: Doug Cotton commented on "There is a real climategate out there"

      Doug Cotton commented:
      "Your…

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    38. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      If you can't observe the potential energy converting to kinetic energy and then back again and if you can't understand the connection between kinetic energy and thermal energy then indeed I can understand why you can't understand any of my explanations on http://climate-change-theory.com

      Go back to university - I charge $110 per hour for private tertiary physics tuition and am not feeling generous with my time at the moment.

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    39. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      I can understand potential energy becoming thermal energy - friction, but eventually all that potential energy gets used up.

      So how does the thermal energy turn back into potential energy to keep things in equilibrium. You are yet to explain this process Doug.

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    40. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      You left out the words "would be" ie "I would be pleased .."

      Sorry - but I haven't backed down at all. My website has not been altered one iota in that regard.

      It is only your misunderstanding and incorrect inference of causality which makes you think these statement incongruous.

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    41. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Interesting

      So, when everyone else looks at this data http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/infrared_spectrum.jpg

      THEY see a REDUCTION in the blackbody thermal radiation leaving the planet at precisely the wavelengths expected for CO2 absorption and they see an INCREASE in thermal IR being reflected back to the planet's surface. They therefore conclude that CO2 increases warming. That's everyone including Doug Cotton's latest here Dr Roy Spencer.

      BUT when Doug Cotton looks at the data he sees NO increase in thermal radiation leaving the planet and so argues that CO2 helps to cool the planet by exactly the amount that it warms the planet, having a net zero effect.

      WOW! I've heard of Confirmational and Attentional Bias but this certainly takes the cake!

      Only a Tiresome Regurgitator Of Logical Lemmings would be capable of such an interpretation

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    42. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Dr H needs to take a course in comprehension. The above post reads ...

      Of course "It shows less NET radiation leaving the planet at exactly the wavelengths where CO2 absrobs (sic) the radiation and looking up it shows more radiation being reflected back than would be the case without GHGs."

      I couldn't agree more. Do you seriously think I am not fully aware of what is shown in such measurements? All these measurements are exactly what I would expect while the world is warming at around 0.1 deg.C per decade in the long-run

      Then, in complete contradiction of what I have said, Dr H writes ...

      "Doug Cotton looks at the data he sees NO increase in thermal radiation leaving the planet"

      Of course there was a net downward radiative flux when measured over the last few decades when the world was warming. How else would it warm? i have never said or believed anything to the contrary in relation to that period.

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    43. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      The energy which is absorbed by CO2 is then re-emitted. That which warms the surface then exits as thermal energy which either rises by convection or radiation of different frequencies. Hence the energy can escape to space at another wavelength.

      This has been explained numerous times and yet never specifically addressed by Dr H or anyone.

      While the Earth is warming there will be net downward radiative flux at TOA.

      While the Earth is cooling (such as between about 1940 and 1970 ) there is net…

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    44. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Gday Doug, over at "And what if nothing happens at Durban?", I posted the following comment in response to a question posed by James Sexton. Your query regarding global average temperature decrease between 1940 and 1970 is addressed in particular by my point 3 below. What you may not know is that sulfate aerosols, formed from such sources as uncontrolled high-sulfur fossil fuels and volcanic eruptions, reflect sunlight for a while before being washed out of the atmosphere as acid rain.

      "James…

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    45. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton is now stating in black and white such patently and demonstrably silly things in his desperate conniptions to avoid cognitive dissonance at being proven wrong it is laughable

      He states " there was plenty of CO2 in the 50's and 60's" and " The earth was cooling between 1940 and 1970."

      here is a plot of CO2 levels versus temperature since 1900

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/co2_temp_1900_2008.gif

      Period from 1940 to 1970 - the temperature was broadly stable (as were CO2 levels…

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    46. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Transparent Revisionism Of Listed Letters

      You have stated on the record that ". Carbon dioxide has both a warming effect
      and a cooling effect which roughly cancel out."

      It is demonstably false.

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    47. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      This is the biggest joke of all - so far anyway.

      Dr Harrigan has just confirmed that, while the temperatures stayed about level for 30 years from 1940 to 1970 and there was thus no warming and thus no net positive radiative flux at TOA, - even though all this must have been the case, there was a nice level amount of CO2 at least 75% of what we have today and all that carbon dioxide was having absolutely no warming effect whatsoever, thus the greenhouse effect was turned off for 30 years - just like that!

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    48. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I think you are going to need all the help you can get to answer this one using proper physics Dr Harrigan, so I'll call in Michael, David Arthur who thinks acid rain did the trick for exactly those 30 years and not the nexty 30 years and ANYONE ELSE.

      Calling all - Dr Harrigan really needs help here.

      We want to know exactly why a level of 75% of current CO2 levels

      (1) had no warming effect,
      (2) caused no net positive radiative flux at TOA and
      (3) somehow turned off any greenhouse effect for 30 years from 1940 to 1970 - as demonstrated in plots on SkS.

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    49. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton says "even though all this must have been the case, there was a nice level amount of CO2 at least 75% of what we have today and all that carbon dioxide was having absolutely no warming effect whatsoever, thus the greenhouse effect was turned off for 30 years "

      In doing so he continues to demonstrate his complete misunderstanding of climate science.

      Climate responds to whatever is forcing it

      If no other forcing changes, GHG levels keep the planet warmer than it might otherwise be without…

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    50. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, the tone of your aside "... David Arthur who thinks acid rain did the trick for exactly those 30 years and not the next 30 years ...", in which you attempt to ascribe greater precision to my approximate description than is reasonable is, if anything, sullenly infantile.

      Please do not attempt to ascribe any views to me, since you lack the ability to correctly comprehend that which is set out for you.

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    51. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Regarding your point 3, S levels do not correlate with ...

      30 years of cooling after about 1880,
      30 years of warming after about 1910,
      30 years of cooling after about 1940,
      29 years of warming after about 1970,
      13 years of cooling after about 1999

      And where are your peer-reviewed published papers and computer models which take both CO2 and S into account and produce trends as listed above ???

      It's all garbage, my friend, and in no way is it quantified accurately by any valid models.

      The plain fact is that 60 year natural cycles caused all the climate change - not CO2 and not S.

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    52. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Push a kid on a swing and the KE adds to PE at the top of the arc, then PE converts to KE as it comes down again. KE is measured as temperature in molecules.

      Consider where the extra PE comes from when a molecule moves up higher above the Earth. It must lose vibrational and/or rotational KE. I know the magnitude of the variation is minute because the mass of the molecule is also, but it is finite.

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    53. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Wow - adamantine inability to comprehend what is being put before him!

      But I will persist

      (1) They DID warm the planet - without the level of GHGs the planet would ahve ausrface temp of roughly -18 degrees C. That level of CO2 present (around 300ppm +/) helped maintain the planet in the goldilocks zone we have enjoyed for centuries
      (2) They DID - see above - what matters is the change in radiative flux at TOA - which the data I have pointed to shows less escaping the planet due to INCREASING GHGs - hence warming (moderated by other focings/feedback)
      (3) See aove - it wasn't "turned off". The issue Mr Cotton is that we have been TURNING UP THE PLANETARY THERMOSTAT.

      As I have posted above - this level of avoidance of cognitive dissonance is worthy of the Gish Gallop on creationism - better maybe. Prof Lewandowsky could write a textbook case study on it

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    54. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      PS There is evidence that the molecular KE is lower at a higher point because the pressure is lower. Pressure is actually a measure of the force applied by molecules hitting a surface. For any given number of molecules, pressure will be related to mean KE in the molecules - ie to temperature. You know a car tyre builds up pressure when it gets hot and the molecules have greater KE which they acquired mostly from the rotation of the tyre on the road.

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    55. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I have apologised about this referebce to "climate consultant" elsewhere. I did confuse your occupation with that of Ben Heard

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    56. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      If "CO2 currently contributes about 1.7 Joules/s/m2 of that forcing" then, with at least 75% as much in the period 1940 to 1970 it should have contributed about 1.3 Joules/m^2.

      But that contribution back then caused no warming and thus no net positive radiative flux at TOA for 30 years- much like what is now the case since 2003.

      So what happened to the greenhouse effect between 1940 and 1970 Dr Harrigan? Please answer with peer-reviewed published science as you always do.

      We have already seen that the SkS article was off track and seemed to think level CO2 means level temperatures - as you also claimed - because you don't think for yourself. My students who do best learn from me that they will understand and remember better those things which they think out for themselves. That may be why I have been such a successful part-time secondary and tertiary maths and physics private tutor since 1965.

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    57. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      At higher altitude, there are fewer molecules per unit volume. Even if they had the same KE distribution (ie same temperature) as a gas sample at lower altitude, the pressure would be lower because there are fewer molecules.

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    58. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Thanks Doug. Here's how humans are facilitating climate change.

      Earth is warmed by absorbtion of short wave sunlight. Because of this, Earth's temperature can remain unchanged by returning the same amount of energy to space. That is, solar shortwave energy is balanced by the earth re-radiating to space as a 'black body' radiator with a characteristic temperature of ~255K; that is, from space the earth's spectrum is roughly that of a radiating body with an optical surface temperature of around…

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    59. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      30 years of cooling after about 1880, CO2 + Krakatoa

      30 years of warming after about 1910, CO2

      30 years of cooling after about 1940, CO2 + SO2 + PbO (from leaded petrol),

      X years of warming after about 1970, rising CO2 starting to dominate other factors,

      (29 - X) years of warming after about (1970 + X) rising CO2 really dominating thanks to removal of Pb from petrol, and desulfurisation due to ETS + collapse of Soviet industrial output)

      13 years of relatively low rate of temperature rise after about 1999 (2010 and 2005 hotter than 1998, according to most comprehensive data sets) still increasing CO2 + SO2 due to Chinese industrial takeoff + solar minimum.

      Your comments seem to indicate a child-like need to be spoon-fed every little detail, as well as a child-like need to believe that your world is sfe and secure and will never change in a way for which you might be psychologically unprepared. It would be touching if you were three years old.

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    60. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      I have replied to your post in detail elsewhere. I await your detailed response thereto.

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    61. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      "A child-like need" - Not at all - but it would be interesting to see peer-reviewed papers backing your theory quantitatively.

      Meanwhile, in answer to your post "spoon feeding" me the usual spiel about the GH effect (as if in thousands of hours of study I might never have come across such) my response (written 15 August) is at http://earth-climate.com/CaseAgainst.html

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    62. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur's post describing AGW is simultaneously concise, accurate and wonderfully information packed with detail. Congratulations.

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    63. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      There really is no evidence to support what you say somewhat laconically in this reply.

      Strange that these other events just happened to occur for periods of 30 years each. Maybe we should go back to using leaded petrol to cool the world.

      Elsewhere you said quite rightly that oxygen and nitrogen do not get involved in radiation in the atmosphere, and then you seemed to disagree when I said oxygen and nitrogen don't radiate energy themselves at atmospheric temperatures. Anyway, quantum mechanics…

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    64. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      By the way, one or two years like 2005 or 2010 do not establish a trend. NASA sea surface data shows 2011 will be cooler than 2003 for example, but the trend is better indicated by Trenberth's Trend which had a maximum in 2005 or 2006 and is now declining. It is at the top of my home page http://climate-change-theory.com
      - direct from Trenberth's article at SkS which is linked.

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    65. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Thanks Doug. The standard of your comments in this forum suffice to show that it would be a frustrating waste of time to follow the link you suggest.

      Meanwhile, I have set out how and why we know AGW remains problematic, irrespective of any and all misunderstandings on your part.

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    66. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Sigh - which part of NET in radiative forcing does Doug Cotton (who purports to know more about climate science than the world's climate scientists and to have found "gaps" in their science) not understand?

      All he continues to do by his posts is demonstrate the tragi-comic truth of the statement by Matthew Bailes on another conversation article http://theconversation.edu.au/selling-science-the-lure-of-the-dark-side-4090 where he says " The idea that non-specialists, like retired engineers or lawyers…

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    67. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      I have changed my mind.

      I think the real climate gate scandal is people like Doug Cotton, Phillip Haddad, Tim Curtin, Anthony Cox and others who think that....

      (to paraphrase Matthew Bailes from another excellent conversation article http://theconversation.edu.au/selling-science-the-lure-of-the-dark-side-4090)

      ...as non-specialists( like retired engineers, lawyers, economists or those who did their undergraduate physics training almost 50 years ago) with little or no training (and apparently…

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    68. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Dr Harrigan. it is YOU who have now proposed a new theory (which I have never seen in any peer-reviewed paper) that when carbon dioxide levels remain constant (eg for 30 years from 1940 to 1970) then the greenhouse effect leads to no net radiative flux at TOA (not 1.3W/m^2 for example) and thus warming stops.

      I am genuinely interested in seeing a link to peer-reviewed papers which explain this aberration of basic physics.

      And I will not discuss any other matter with you unless and until you produce same, or have your own paper published with this new theory accepted.

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    69. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Now David Arthur, YOU have proposed a new theory in physics that blackbody radiation theory can be applied to an internal interface such as at the surface of the ocean and the atmosphere (perhaps to the interface of the floor of the ocean and the deep waters also - perhaps to the base of a rock sitting on the sand?) rather than to the whole system, including the atmosphere, as seen from space.

      I am genuinely interested in seeing a link to peer-reviewed papers which explain this aberration of basic physics.

      And I will not discuss any other matter with you unless and until you produce same, or have your own paper published with this new theory accepted.

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    70. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Oh and by the way, you'd better get together with Dr Harrigan who also has a new theory that negates the whole of your explanation of how there should be net positive radiative flux at TOA (and thus warming) in circumstances when the level of carbon dioxide stops rising such as from 1940 to 1970, even though it was then at levels more than 75% of current levels. Then, as soon as it started to increase one or two percent - whoomph!

      So Dr Harrigan's new theory is that the flux at TOA is a function of the DERIVATIVE of the level of carbon dioxide, not the level itself. Is that in accord with your theory? Please discuss such with him.

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    71. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Now I note Dr Harrigan that, since you new theory effectively says the net radiative flux at TOA is a function of the DERIVATIVE of the level of carbon dioxide, then it follows, doesn't it, that we should NOT expect an exponentially increasing trend in temperatures - just a linear one.

      Hence there is all the more reason to extrapolate the LINEAR trend for the last 60 years (when carbon dioxide levels were at least 75% of current levels) when trying to predict 2100 temperatures.

      You can see for yourself at Wood For Trees that the trend line for sea surface temperatures from November 1951 goes up no more than 0.61 degrees C in those 60 years, so that, when it is extrapolated, we could expect about 0.9 degrees for the next 89 years until 2100.

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    72. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Loving your persistence Mark, great stuff. Good luck finding ancient peer-reviewed articles on the basics of thermal equilibrium... do you think textbooks count?

      That one by Matthew Bailes is a great article. For me his most telling comment is

      "If there was some glaring error or conspiracy in temperature measurements, climate models and CO2 levels, there is ample opportunity for glory by revealing it in peer-reviewed journals."

      Do the deniers believe that scientists in this field have no desire for recognition?
      A genuine proof that AGW is all a big mistake would be a fantastic achievement and a relief to everyone, while incidentally making somebody a big star. I for one would be thrilled if it happened tomorrow. But only if it was peer reviewed, and not by the peers that comment on blogs...

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    73. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug - try reading my post again. I have proposed nothing new. I have simply pointed out to you that you do not understand the definition used by the IPCC (and climate science generally) in determining the baseline for calculating radiative forcing due to CO2 emssions.

      I'll try and dumb it down for you since apparently that's what you need.

      CO2 levels of approximately 280ppm are regarded as the "natural" baseline for climate.

      At that level the thermal equilibrium of the planet was stable and…

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    74. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Ground shifting trolling to avoid cognitive dissonance doesn't count as an argument.

      Doug - I have comprehesnively smashed your ridiculous contentions. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about as anyone can see. Give it up. It's farcical

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    75. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Well show me the calculations as to how net radiative flux comes out at zero between 1940 and 1970. And show me why the "base line" amount of 280ppm also comes out at zero.

      Why no difference Dr Harrigan?. Is the formula y = mx - b (where b is your base line level of 280ppm) or one involving dy/dx as your post very clearly implied.

      If current levels stay constant for the next few years will temperatures do likewise? Yes or No Dr Harrigan? If CO2 levels start to fall a little, will it cool? Yes or No?

      Show me the theory that says the net radiative flux would be zero if current levels stay constant for a few years.

      Please back up your posts with peer-reviewed papers.

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    76. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      None of the standard "explanations" of the greenhouse effect (such as David Arthur's which you liked so much) stipulate that warming happens if and only if the level of carbon dioxide is actually increasing, now do they?

      That's why yours is a new theory Dr Harrigan. Now publish it or withdraw it.

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    77. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      Agree completely Jeremy - I'd be thrilled too. I have genione concernes for the future of my children.

      in fact the only "get out of jail" card might relate to albedo - it amazes me that the denialist crown (Lindzen, Spencer, Christy etc) don't focus on it.

      But if you read the papers from most of the "dissenting" scientists it is so patently obvious they have a predisposition to reject the notion that we could actually be impacting the planet that they blind themselves to any real evidence. Human…

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    78. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Laughable rubbish from Mr Cotton- no new theory - just explaining to him that he doesn't understand the basis of net anthroprogenic radiative forcing calculations done by the IPCC relate to a pre industrial 280ppm baseline of CO2.

      Alas his intellectual capacity to grasp this basic element is totally discombobulated by the cognitive dissoneance such an apprehension would cause.

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    79. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      None of the standard explanations of the greenhouse effect explain to the public that actually none of the warming effect we have just been talking about and none of the net radiative flux at TOA we have just been talking about actually happens when the total level of carbon dioxide is only 280ppm. It is only extra carbon dioxide that really does this. Oh no, actually that's not correct either. It is only when there is extra carbon dioxide and the amount of that extra carbon dioxide is increasing that we get net positive radiative flux. Oh, and by the way, we are not going to tell you that if that extra carbon dioxide is actually declining we would expect net negative radiative flux at TOA because the calculations actually involve the derivative rather than the level of carbon dioxide.

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    80. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Mr Cotton - perhaps you do not understand what the word Anthropogenic means?

      Try reading this post slowly.

      The net Anthropogenic radiative forcing from CO2 is zero at 280ppm by defnition. That's what I posted and that's how the IPCC defines it. It's because around 280ppm of CO2 was the level before humans started to add it. Simple really.

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    81. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      So, if Dr Harrigan is right, all that blocked radiation at TOA due to absorption of carbon dioxide really has nothing to do with the level of carbon dioxide. No matter how much carbon dioxide there is, just so long as the level stops increasing (as between 1940 and 1970) then it somehow stops blocking the upwelling radiation of those wavelengths because we now observe that there is no net positive radiation at TOA which is the reason for there being no warming.

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    82. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug - try, as hard as you can, to apprehend the difference between "warming" - meaning something that will steadily increase the temperature - and "keeping warm" - meaning something that maintains the temperature.

      Honestly Doug I suggest you stop posting - you are making yourself look even more foolish than usual (if that's possible?).

      Have a little think about how you use your (lets say gas) Heater inside on a cold day.

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    83. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Correction: that should of course read: "absorption by carbon dioxide"

      WIf there was no warming (1940-1970) then there must have been equilibrium and that means there must have been no net positive or negative radiation at TOA. (If there had been any net positive radiation at TOA then energy would have been fed into the system year after year which means temperatures would have increased.)

      Now, if there was no net flux at TOA when CO2 levels were around 300ppm, what happened to the radiation which even that amount of CO2 would definitely have absorbed and which would definitely have shown as missing wavelengths at TOA? Why did this not cause net positive radiative flux Dr Harrigan, even ar 300ppm?

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    84. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      No. You have not used any maths or physics in any of your responses and so such responses have absolutely no veracity as far as I'm concerned.

      All your abusive, rude and emphatic language (eg "smashed," "ridiculous," "no idea," "farcical" etc etc) might impress others but has no effect on myself.

      Those who actually think through what I am saying will see you for what you are.

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    85. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Simple really? A level of 280ppm is not sufficient to absorb any radiation or block any wavelengths or cause any "gaping holes" in the spectral analysis at TOA?

      A level of 280ppm does not cause any net radiative imbalance at TOA?

      Nothing could be truer than the last statement actually. Neither does a level of 380ppm.

      Unless of course that level is actually increasing - according to the new (as yet unpublished) theory of Dr Harrigan who is going to win the Nobel Prize for discovering a "fact" not yet published in any peer-reviewed paper that he can point us to with a simple link.

      Where's the paper that says the level must be increasing in order to cause warming - as you quite unambiguously "explained" in a recent post, Dr Harrigan?

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    86. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Yes "simple really" indeed. So we now have a linear equation do we ...

      Net Positive Radiative Flux at TOA = constant x (level of CO2 - 280)

      So, if "level of CO2" was greater than 280 in 1940 to 1970 then how come the LHS = 0 Dr Harrigan?

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    87. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Net Radiative Forcing (due to all causes) was indeed close to zero between 1940 and 1970.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/IPCC_Radiative_Forcing.gif

      It is from Chapter 2, IPCC report page 208.

      Another lesson in actually attempting to study and understand the topic on which Mr Cotton is so ready to pontificate and presume he has some insight that overturns the established science.

      Has Mr Cotton figured out yet how his home gas heater works? That on a cold day he must still keep it turned "on" to maintain a comfortable thermal equilibrium?

      That around 280-300ppm CO2 is the gas level to mainatain our planet at a comfortable thermal equilibirum but at 390ppm and increasing by around 20ppm every decade (our current addition rate) means the planet will keep getting warmer and warmer

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    88. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      The temperature is maintained by virtue of the fact that no net energy escapes to space. Have you ever used a Thermos flask Dr Harrigan? It is an approximation I admit because some energy escapes, but if you could stop that then the temperature would be maintained indefinitely.

      It does not require additional energy to be fed into the Earth system, that is, it does not require net positive radiative flux to "maintain" any given temperature. Any such net positive flux will lead to an accumulation of thermal energy (mostly in the oceans - not in the carbon dioxide molecules as Jeremy seems to think) which, sooner or later, will be reflected in increased temperatures.

      Go and "explain" your undocumented guess to any physicist. Even Michael Brown I suggest would have a better understanding of conservation of energy than you or Jeremy have. I'm really not into providing you with free physics tuition here.

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    89. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug you are almost there. Thermal equilibrium is indeed maintained by virtue of the fact that the thermal energy escaping into space is in balance with the solar radiation coming in.

      That thermal equilibrium point is higher (by about 32 or so degrees C) with 280ppm of CO2 - all else being equal. But it gets higher as you add more CO2 - just like your house is warmer with the heater on than it would be with it off - but gets warmer still if you turn the heater up.

      Adding CO2 is like turning the heater up.

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    90. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug

      Obviously you know that earth's incoming energy has to equal outgoing energy. Regardless of how the energy gets hear (suns rays, jupiters gravitational pull, fairies or whatever) the outgoing energy has to be equal to incoming or earth would boil over.

      If we increase the volume of gasses in the air that have the ability to slow down the escape of earth's energy into space, then it naturally leads to the earth getting a bit warmer until that equilibrium is reached again.

      Im not sure how anyone can argue against this principle?

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    91. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug

      Yes we are surrounded by a vacuum - but we are not surrounded by metal foil of any kind to keep in electro magnetic radiation. Therefore the thermos analogy is quite wrong.

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    92. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Gavin. It is indeed good to see someone trying to apply some physics. So you agree that at equilibrium there is no net flux at TOA. That's what I've been saying all along: the missing spectral lines which Dr H keeps stressing do not prove thermal energy is being trapped anywhere as it's all getting out to space at equilibrium anyway. And it's certainly not trapped in the carbon dioxide molecules as Jeremy seems to think.

      Good, so we agree that at equilibrium there is no thermal energy being…

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    93. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "If "CO2 currently contributes about 1.7 Joules/s/m2 of that forcing" then, with at least 75% as much in the period 1940 to 1970 it should have contributed about 1.3 Joules/m^2."

      Complete garbage. 1.7 W/m^2 forcing means the forcing from present CO2 (390 ppm) relative to the forcing from pre-industrial CO2 (280 ppm). The forcing in 1940 with its CO2 level of 310 ppmm (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/lawdome.combined.dat) would have been 0.5 W/m^2. Doug Cotton's claim, like his website, is scientific gibberish.

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    94. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      PS Why I say you cannot prove otherwise from any empirical data is this:

      (a) You cannot prove that there have not been periods of 60 years in the past when temperatures rose (for natural reasons) at rates close to 0.1 deg.C per decade. (Consider 1910-1940, 1850-1880 or (unknown) periods leading up to the MWP for example.)

      (b) Even if natural causes were respnsible for, say, only two thirds of the rise, it is highly probable that other anthropogenic factors could cause such. Yes they may all seem small, but in total they add up. Urban sprawl is one - more dark roads and dark rooves absorbing solar radiation. The burning of any fuels - including all transport applications for example, from aeroplanes right down to the friction in your car. Extra methane, deforestation etc etc - the list goes on.

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    95. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      You are indeed nearly there Doug - zero net radiation flux does mean total energy is maintained, and a positive net flux does cause an increase in total energy.

      The final connection: since increasing CO2 reduces the outflow of energy, it causes a net positive flux, and an increase in energy.

      (I didn't suggest anything about where the energy ends up or what effect it has on atmospheric and ocean temperatures - that's a different, more complex question.)

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    96. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Dear me, Gavin. It should have been obvious that I was talking about two situations in which there was no NET inflow or outflow of energy. For the Earth the incoming radiation balances the outgoing radiation at equilibrium as you yourself say in a post below.

      This amounts to an identical situation in which all energy is kept within the flask ...

      No net inflow or outflow = no net inflow or outflow.

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    97. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      Well it's interesting to see you disagreeing with Dr H.

      You say: "- zero net radiation flux does mean total energy is maintained"

      He says we need a bit of (steady) positive net radiative flux to maintain steady temperatures.

      But as you know I disagree with your assumption that "CO2 reduces the outflow of energy" because, the very fact that an equilibrium situation can occur (as is probably the case right now in 2011) shows that all the radiation can escape to space, and of course it does so at the speed of light - not much of a delay I suggest.

      Anyway, you have no empirical proof that CO2 caused all the warming, reasons for which I have explained at the bottom of this page..

      So we should all just agree to disagree and wait to see what happens in the future.

      Bye

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    98. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Well your wonderful Jeremy has just told you " zero net radiation flux does mean total energy is maintained" which contradicts your theory that we need some constant net positive radiation just to maintain constant temperatures.

      Go argue with him - and keep looking for any empirical evidence that really does prove all warming was due to CO2 and none whatever to natural causes or other anthropogenic causes including energy consumption, deforestation, urban sprawl etc etc.

      And try your hardest to bend that 60 year temperature plot upwards towards 3 degrees by 2100 so you can scare your children.

      Bye to you too.

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    99. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Jeremy and Gavin have explained it for you. They have not come to your defence because they know you are wrong. I have invited any physicist to support you in posts on four threads - but none will.

      At equilibrium when there is no net positive or negative radiative flux at TOA (pretty much what has happened in 2011 I suspect) we have steady temperatures automatically maintained simply because no net energy is escaping - like a perfect vacuum flask, if such existed.

      Your analogy with a heater in a room which is not perfectly insulated is a joke.

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    100. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      When you increase the amount of ghg's in the atmosphere by, what is it 40%? that slows down the rate of IR radiation esacping into the atmosphere. So the average global temperature at which equilibrium is reach is nudged slightly higher.

      Its that simple

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    101. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I repeat: "Where's the paper that says the level must be increasing in order to cause warming - as you quite unambiguously "explained" in a recent post, Dr Harrigan?"

      If it's not a new theory, (ie that levels of CO2 must be increasing to cause warming, and that no warming occurs when they are constant) then where is it already published?

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    102. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "And "climate scientists" are not the best people to analyse the physics of heat transfer, radiation and quantum mechanics in the atmosphere."

      No doubt Doug Cotton thinks he's a better person than former physicist Gilbert Plass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_Plass) to analyze the physics of heat transfer, radiation and quantum mechanics in the atmosphere. In particular, I'm sure he has a better idea of how to integrate the radiative-transfer equation than Plass had: http://journals.ametsoc.org%2Fdoi%2Fpdf%2F10.1175%2F1520-0469(1955)012%253C0191%253AAMFTIO%253E2.0.CO%253B2&ei=BsvVTtCrJ82RiQfrhNSbDw&usg=AFQjCNGqMdXLqWRSZRPEL3AsQDnAdSX3sQ&cad=rja

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    103. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, I agree with Mark 100%

      His analogy about a heater in a room not perfectly insulated is exactly right. We have constant heat sources coming in (the sun being a biggie) and GHG's slowing the esacpe of heat (in the form of IR radiation)

      A poorly insulated house has a lower average temperature than a more highly insulated house. very simple indeed.

      Check this cool you tube video out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot5n9m4whaw&noredirect=1 and see what happens to IR rays when you put a jar of co2 in its path.

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    104. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      I really don't care if it's Gilbert Plass or Gavin Fialkowski who says carbon dioxide slows down the rate of escape of thermal energy, I simply don't agree, so we will have to agree to disagree.

      As you well know, radiation occurs at the speed of light, so time delays are infinitesimal. On the other hand, the physical rising of warm air by convection does take a finite time.

      Furthermore, Gilbert Plass and all of those involved in advising the IPCC have completely overlooked the role of GHG molecules in absorbing diffused thermal energy from oxygen and nitrogen molecules which cannot cool themselves by radiating at atmospheric temperatures.

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    105. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "13 years of cooling after about 1999"

      Doug Cotton likes to believe there has been cooling for 13 years based partly on his ocean heat content data cherrypicks. He likes to ignore the most extensive ocean heat content record of all which is global mean steric sea level.

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    106. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Finally, Gavin, somewhere you wrote "1.7 W/m^2 forcing means the forcing from present CO2 (390 ppm) relative to the forcing from pre-industrial CO2 (280 ppm). "

      Anything which is a measure "relative to" I would expect to be expressed as a ratio without units, so my misunderstanding was understandable.

      If what you really mean is that it is the additional forcing over and above that caused by the base level 280ppm then fine. If we got 1.7 W/m^2 from the extra 100ppm, then how much base forcing do…

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    107. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Yes Gavin, Gilbert Plass did completely overlook the role of GHG molecules in absorbing diffused thermal energy from oxygen and nitrogen molecules which cannot cool themselves by radiating at atmospheric temperatures."

      It would be a "good one" if you quoted what you think he did say on the very specific topic I have stated. I am not interested in proof that he merely discussed in general terms "heat transfer between molecules" as you misquoted me.

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    108. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton repeating: "I really don't care if it's Gilbert Plass, .. who says carbon dioxide slows down the rate of escape of thermal energy, I simply don't agree"

      I simply accept the results of a physicist who has published extensively in scientific journals on this very subject rather than someone who doesn't even understand the definition of radiative forcing in relation to carbon dioxide.

      "As you well know, radiation occurs at the speed of light, so time delays are infinitesimal. On the other…

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    109. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, nitrogen and oxygen are quite capable of emitting thermal energy. How else do you think isolated samples of nitrogen and oxygen cool?

      No wonder you don't understand the relevance of Kinetic theory of gases. Again, I suggest you review your Year 11 chemistry.

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    110. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "You cannot prove that there have not been periods of 60 years in the past when temperatures rose (for natural reasons) at rates close to 0.1 deg.C per decade."

      Strawman.

      "Even if natural causes were respnsible for, say, only two thirds of the rise,"

      What's with the "only"?

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    111. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      "... one or two years like 2005 or 2010 do not establish a trend."

      Inconvenient, aren't they?

      Even if you exclude 2005 and 2010, global average temperature records show no evidence of decline post-1998. The trendline for global average temperatures 1998-2010 has positive slope, so your case depends on fabricating a case that 1998 was THE Year Zero for climate, that nothing before then matters.

      Between that, and your curious belief that oxygen and nitrogen are unable to emit thermal radiation, it seems you have little of value to add to this conversation beyond giving us a glimpse into the Mind of the Denialist.

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    112. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      It only "gets higher" on paper if you incorrect apply blackbody radiation theory to an internal interface and you also ignore the compensating cooling effect which I have explained and no one has disproved.

      You are begging the question because you are implicitly assuming carbon dioxide slows the rate of escape of thermal energy - which is the very point I am disputing.

      So you will just have to agree to disagree with me.

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    113. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Let your “Conversation” communications possess a clarified conciseness, a compacted comprehensibility, a coalescent consistency and a concatenated cogency, and your extemporaneous descanting and unpremeditated expiations have intelligibility and veracious veracity without rodomontade or polysyllabic profundity.

      Bye

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    114. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Ooh - that's quite nice. I do like it, really.

      unfortunately Mr Cotton apparently has no understanding of the meaning of the word "veracity"

      But alas Those Repeating Only Laugable Lunacy Designated Especially Needlessly In Excessively Recapitulatory Sentences do not apprecaite that truth matters

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    115. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Mr Cotton claims 'so my misunderstanding was understandable".

      At least this amounts to an admission that he did NOT understand what he was talking about.

      But is it understandable! NO! The fact that the accepted measure of net Anthropogenic radiative forcing (defined by the IPCC and used universally by climate science) is based on pre industrial levels of CO2 is a freely available piece of information easily able to be discovered in minutes by anyone who actually wishes to base their thinking on this subject on the evidence.

      For someone who has the arrogance to asume they understand the physics of climate change and the Green House effect/GHGs better than the entire field and who devotes hundreds of posts loudly disclaiming same (and their own web site which they unashamedly self promote) it would seem to be an OBLIGATION to be informed.

      This is climate science denialism at its most offensive.

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    116. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Study the evidence you dolt Mr Cotton!

      Here's why http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/IPCC_Radiative_Forcing.gif - the data from the IPCC report Chapter 2, p208
      (lord knows I've posted this link to you many times but you haven;t addressed it - too much cognitive dissonance for you old boy?)

      The increase in radiative forcing from anthropogenic factors between 1940 and 1970 was broadly negated by natural factors like cload albedo.

      That's what the evidence says - which bit don't you understand?

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    117. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      As they have posted - they AGREE with me doug - not becuase I say it because it is what the evidence and the science says.

      It is not a matter of agreeing to disagree. You have the unmitgated arrogance to post here and on your own web science vigorous and unsunstanctiated denials of the established climate science.

      You have been shown to be totally wrong on more than one occasion but haven't the wit or honesty to admit it. It is a disgrace. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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    118. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      What is on Doug Cottons web site is unsubtantiated non-sience rubbish. I am astounded he could point to his web site and simultaneously link to the Radiation model at tamu and yet so comprehensively fail to understand that model makes a mockery of his "conjectures"

      Correction - I am not astounded. I should say that this is just the sort of stupid inconsistent "reasoning" that passes for logic from Doug Cotton.

      GHG's do NOT act as channel for cooling. They stop thermal IR leaving the planet establishing…

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    119. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "Gavin, somewhere you wrote "1.7 W/m^2 forcing means the forcing from present CO2 (390 ppm) relative to the forcing from pre-industrial CO2 (280 ppm). "

      That was me by the way but I expect you to not pay attention.

      "Anything which is a measure "relative to" I would expect to be expressed as a ratio without units, so my misunderstanding was understandable."

      Amazing, someone who purportedly tutors high school maths thought "relative" measures didn't normally have units. I can only hope he doesn't tutor relative velocity.

      " then how much base forcing do we get from the 280ppm?

      Whatever the answer, it is not zero, and so Dr H is incorrect in assuming that we should not have expected any warming from CO2 in the period 1940-1970."

      He still has no idea. Whatever the base forcing was with 280 ppm, it was the CO2 forcing that was associated with roughly steady pre-industrial temperatures.

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    120. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "Yes Gavin, Gilbert Plass did completely overlook the role of GHG molecules in absorbing diffused thermal energy from oxygen and nitrogen molecules which cannot cool themselves by radiating at atmospheric temperatures."

      To calculate longwave radiation in the atmosphere, Plass used the radiative transfer equation for which I linked a tutorial earlier. This equation contains the "source function" which is the ratio of emission to absorption coefficients and depends on the temperature…

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    121. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton says "Anything which is a measure "relative to" I would expect to be expressed as a ratio without units, so my misunderstanding was understandable."

      Clearly he has no understanding of basic physical measurements like temperature, which can be commonly expressed in degrees celcius. Which is a measure "relative to" the freezing and boiling points of water at standard pressure. Strangely enough it is a measure which has units.

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    122. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton asks - "Where's the paper that says the level must be increasing in order to cause warming - as you quite unambiguously "explained" in a recent post, Dr Harrigan?" If it's not a new theory, (ie that levels of CO2 must be increasing to cause warming, and that no warming occurs when they are constant) then where is it already published?"

      Er, well, it's in every single paper on the topic available and every credible science site that offers an explanation on the Greenhouse effect.

      For…

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    123. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      This really must be my last post as I do have work to catch up on ...

      Chris, your statement "all the different gases near a point in the atmosphere have the same temperature" is only true on a macro scale. Individual molecules can (and are) at different temperatures and that is why there is continual transfer of energy as they collide. In such collisions the energy averages out, but there will always be different temperatures among the actual molecules.

      For anyone who doesn't know, quantum…

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    124. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark - this particular case is climate science denialism combined with pseudo science at its very best.

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    125. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Indeed Gavin - and a classic textbook case of avoidance of Cognitive dissonance. Mr Cotton has avoided responding to many of the posts here that have demonstrated his cliams to be rubbish - because he cannot. To do so would just cause too much cognitive dissonance for him becuase he really does believe he understands the physics.

      He has taken a parting shot below to repeat all his mumbo jumbo to Chris.

      If he doesn't post here again I have no doubt he will turn up on another thread associated…

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    126. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I have googled "Cognitive Dissonance" and agree 100%. It happens to me regularly after buying something on impulse.

      It must be immensely frustrating for denialists to see the world picking up momentum towards reducing carbon emissions in all sorts of ways. A few decades too late mind you, but the momentum is building nonetheless.

      I personally think a lot of the average joe blow denialists will just shut up and go with the flow once we have an el nino and we have significantly hotter year than 98. That will then take the wind out of the sails of the hard core denialists/pseudo scientists, and really stretch the limitations of their cognitive dissonance!

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    127. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Gavin - agree we have momentum building.

      We may not even need an el nino to spark it becoming more widespread - just an end to the current la nina which, unless it is very extended, should happen in 2012 - and of course we can expect el nino "hot" on it's heel so to speak as part of the ENSO cycle. Unless some large volcanic eruption comes to our rescue (hopefully in a remote location) to reduce insolation then I am concerned 2012-2015 will be very warm indeed.

      But, like you, I would be very happy to be proven wrong. If there is as yet some totally unanticipated mechanism that none in the mainstream climate science have seen or predict, it nwould be nice. Alas I am not sanguine.

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    128. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "all the different gases near a point in the atmosphere have the same temperature" is only true on a macro scale."

      That's what temperature is. It's proportional to the average energy per individual degree of freedom. So your point is..

      "Individual molecules can (and are) at different temperatures"

      No, temperature is proportional to the average energy. Individual molecules can have different energies.

      "and that is why there is continual transfer of energy as they collide."

      No, different…

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    129. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      OK Gavin - be precise about where you think my physics or statistics is wrong. Here's a brief summary ...

      The last 60 years have seen an increase of 0.6 degrees, which extrapolates to another 0.9 deg.C by 2100. This is nothing like the IPCC projections. http://theconversation.homestead.com/60years.jpg

      Furthermore, a closer look at the more accurate NASA satellite measurements in the lower troposphere since 1979 reveal a curved trend which is now starting to look like a decline http://theconversation.homestead.com/latest.jpg

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    130. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton asks where his physics and statistics are wrong.

      "... the more accurate NASA satellite measurements in the lower troposphere since 1979 reveal a curved trend which is now starting to look like a decline ... models used by the IPCC all depend on the lower troposphere warming at a rate of 1.4 times that of the sea surface ..."
      It may not be your stats and physics, Doug, but lower troposphere warming at 1.4 times rate of ocean surface obviously cannot continue indefinitely, since Q/A…

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    131. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug - you are wrong. Oxygen and nitrogen cannot absorb IR but they can certainly emit it.

      Its not even a matter of scientific debate.

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  8. James Sexton

    Network administrator

    Sorry, it doesn't matter how many times people attempt to sweep the dirt under the carpet, the dirt still remains.... 9 whitewashes doesn't mean there's nothing wrong. But, to a more humorous aspect of this article, .... we know the Bush govt. silenced Hansen, because Hansen was literally giving interviews about his being silenced. And, then you guys have the audacity to repeat that nonsense? That's a riot! No Amazongate? lol, so which is it? Is the forest in peril because of the climate wetdry…

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  9. Geoff Russell

    Computer Programmer, Author

    Great piece Stephan ... why isn't this on the front page of every Australian newspaper today? It damn well should be.

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  10. Stephen Mugford

    Sociologist

    Thank you for a useful overview, Stephan. The deniers can't get beyond "do not adjust your mind, reality is at fault." In such a complex area no one can ever be 100% accruate in their analysis and predictions--so nit pickers can always find some trivial detail to hang their conspiracy on--but the overhwleming evidence from climate data AND related phenomena (flowers blooming earlier, birds migrating differently, ice fields shrinking, etc) all point the same way. I get sick of economists and others trying to be 'experts' on this. in fact, that group esp. might benefit from trying to get their own field in order.

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  11. Warwick Brown

    Retired

    I am glad that Professor Lewandowsky has this forum to publish his thoughts and analysis. Far better than stopping comment in a free society, we must encourage it. That said, in spite of his comments about the enquiries which supposedly "cleared' the UEA people, I dont think the Conversation has room for an analysis of the possible problems with each of those enquiries (members, funding, selection of papers to study, was the 'science' studied at all etc) but that debate, necessary or not, is reduced…

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    1. Mark Duffett

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Warwick Brown

      "These new emails are, however, yet another great example of the need for more information being available and not less."

      So, for discussion of scientific issues to be conducted in the public domain, it is desirable or even necessary for everyone to able to read private correspondence between scientists? Do you not see what is wrong with this picture? You are effectively saying that any practitioner of science that might impinge on public policy (i.e. most scientists) must forgo any right to privacy. Unacceptable.

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    2. Warwick Brown

      Retired

      In reply to Mark Duffett

      Stop this "private correspondence" diversion will you? As if it's just private chat between friendly colleagues!

      There could be (and is) some good material which deserves to be in the public domain as new information of the extent (and timeline) of an obsession with FOI dealings is concerned. When one of the 'enquiries' relied on Phil Jones' statement that he did not delete emails to cover one of the original Climategate charges against him and others, these new emails show doubt that this is correct. In fact, if they are accurate it shows that he regularly deleted emails and other things to cover a documentary trail and was, for years, conscious of the possibility of falling under FOI control. Witness the emails with the UEA FOI contact, Palmer.

      This is not mere 'private correspondence'.

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    3. Warwick Brown

      Retired

      In reply to Mark Duffett

      That is not all which could be meritorious from the release, of course. With 5,000 emails and another 20,000 locked up, who is to say how much IS just gossip and jealousies between colleagues, friendly and otherwise. However to dismiss them out of hand is wrong.

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    4. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Duffett

      No - th point is that, if they hold the views and doubts about warming which were expressed in the private emails, then they should have publicised such doubts in appropriate papers and had the guts to say they were wrong and why.

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  12. Adrian Moten

    logged in via Facebook

    Thanks Stephan, your spot on mate. I particularly liked the ambulance reference in the intro. It certainly explains why people who latch onto the propoganda assert arguments about free thinking and informed opinions which would be better aimed at the mirror.

    Keep up the good work. There is still hope for us yet.

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  13. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    Stephan ends: “When the science is so rock solid that it can no longer be reasonably doubted, all that is left is to steal private correspondence in a desperate attempt to disparage those who are trying to protect the world from the risks it is facing”.

    Actually the new cache of emails was unlikely to have been stolen rather than released by a UEA faculty member concerned at the all too evident scheming by the CRU team and its associates to cover up the manifold weaknesses of their “science”. If…

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    1. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Well said, Tim. I guess you've noticed that an official request has now been lodged for release of some of the concealed data under the Freedom of Information Act. It is only a matter of time before heads roll.

      Perhaps the biggest irony is that the energy diagrams all show thermal energy entering the atmosphere (at the surface) due to "thermals" (conduction or diffusion) and evaporation (latent heat.) They also show incoming UV radiation being absorbed by the atmosphere and then they show very significant quantities of radiation going to space from the atmosphere. There is no attempt to explain how that energy which entered (as above) then ends up being radiated. Obviously, to do so would be admitting that GHG molecules act as "conduit" for this energy as they are the only ones which can radiate the energy away, leaving oxygen and nitrogen molecules cooler. Just another huge cover up.

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  14. Daryl Deal

    retired

    I Think Steve's comment on "Wattsupwiththat"(the worlds most misinformed science blog on the NET!) as follows sums it up neatly:-

    “If these emails are so “spectacular” why has it been two years since the original release of stolen emails before these surfaced, conveniently well after the inquiry on climategate concluded.
    I have seen nothing yet that I call spectacular, just the same old clipped out of context stuff as the first set of email back in Nov. 09.”

    Dr Barry Bickmore, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences Brigham Young University, Provo Utah. " How to avoid the truth about Climate Change" Youtube Video(40m) :-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNXuX6D60U

    Skeptical Science : "Climategate 2.0: Denialists Serve Up Two-Year-Old Turkey" link:- http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-Skeptics-serve-up-two-year-old-turkey.html

    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." Winston Churchill

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  15. Ben Heard

    Director, ThinkClimate Consulting

    This will be my second attempt to put this message across. The first time it was removed for being against policy. Hopefully this one gets through it

    In at least the case of Doug Cotton, who seems to be a very durable climate denier presence at The Conversation, there really is nil reason to engage in scientific discussion, though he may seek to paint himself as some kind of expert.

    I am not a scientific expert but I am well versed in Dealing with Denialism, a topic I presented on with Ian Musgrave…

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    1. Ben Heard

      Director, ThinkClimate Consulting

      In reply to Stephan Lewandowsky

      Thank you Stephen. Nice to know I am not alone in that thinking. I will check that thread out. With permission I will send you my "Dealing with Denialism" presentation, you may get something from it.

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Ben Heard

      Well said sir - I have not forgotten you either and really will come over to you blog soon because I am looing forward to a constructive debate about solutions to AGW.

      The only comment I would make about people like Doug Cotton is this.

      1) I know I will never convince him - he is evidence immune and will continue to obfuscate and shift his positions in order to avoid confronting his errors - and I understand why that is the case, but

      2) I think it is a mistake to allow posts like his to remain…

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    3. Stephan Lewandowsky

      Chair of Cognitive Psychology at University of Bristol

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I am glad you choose not to stand idly by. The pro and con arguments about engagement are at http://theconversation.edu.au/way-off-balance-science-and-the-mainstream-media-4080.

      My intent is to expose but not engage--there is no point in engaging individuals who recycle zombie arguments that have been debunked approximately 3.28x10^15 times. But yes, it's a very tricky issue because very occasionally the confusion is real and the ignorance not programmatic or propagandistic but genuine.

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    4. Ben Heard

      Director, ThinkClimate Consulting

      In reply to Stephan Lewandowsky

      Very tricky, and Mark you are a legend in my book, truly the likes of you, Ian and Stephan are the science brains I wish I possessed to match my strategic brain which is not too bad. I just hope you don't burn out on these people. We clearly need you in shape!!!

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    5. Ben Heard

      Director, ThinkClimate Consulting

      In reply to Stephan Lewandowsky

      You email not readily listed, please drop me a line when you have a moment and I will reply with the presentation.

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    6. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Ben Heard

      The thread is instructive Ben - I have just read it, made a couple of posts (including to our mutual "friend" who seems to find ways to insert his virus like meme into evey thread on the conversation). I'd like to see your presentation too - will make contact through your blog :)

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    7. Ben Heard

      Director, ThinkClimate Consulting

      In reply to Ben Heard

      Hey, Stephan, you were actually my prized quote in that piece I have just linked! Fancy that. I had forgotten though your name had a familiar ring. Love your work , clearly.

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    8. Stephan Lewandowsky

      Chair of Cognitive Psychology at University of Bristol

      In reply to Ben Heard

      and i liked your post -- you make the point well that there is no point.

      the australian isn't doing what it's doing "for fun" or because they don't know better. they know. but they have an agenda.

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    9. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Ben Heard

      Ben, I need to correct you regarding your assumptions of my motives. My interest in climate change was first sparked by an article I read about the long and short term cycles (900 year and 60 year) and the apparent correlation with planetary orbits. (That was what my first website http://earth-climate.com was mostly discussing.)

      Then I started to realise there were gaps in the logic presented in the typical IPCC explanations of the greenhouse effect. The most obvious to me were ...

      (a) When…

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  16. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    Gday Prof Lewandowsky, thanks for this article.

    At risk of being seen to be pedantic, I feel I should point out two small points to you.

    Firstly, my understanding is that this latest tranche of 5,000 hacked emails all predate the 2009 Copenhagen conference; that is, according to the news reports I've seen, it is likely that these emails were part of the original hack. This suggests that CRU's email system was only hacked into on one occasion, and that this latest release is simply "Instalment…

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  17. Jeremy Hall

    PhD student

    Great article, and the comment section is even more instructive.

    One thing I think every science person should keep in mind:
    From the point of view of anyone without university level physics (99%+ of the population, probably), judging who's right in a pseudo-science vs science debate like the one above is not that easy.

    I don't know much of the science - the main reason I know that Doug Cotton et al are talking rubbish is because I know that if their conclusions were right, they'd be published…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      Jeremy, it's a nice idea. But people like Doug Cotton have been challenged to publish.

      He uses the excuse that he "doesn't have the time" (amazing since he has time all day to post dozens of comments per day on the conversation and constantly promote his own little pet web site full of his <ahem> "Theories").

      He has also stated that he thinks peer review is corrupt (but apparently that corruption doesn't apply yo any paper which he thinks might vaguelty support his interesting views.

      I would…

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    2. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I'll admit that I understand the greenhouse effect and thermal equilibrium, so I know very well how crazy Doug Cotton's arguments are, and that your bathtub is a good analogy.

      But some of his stuff appears sensible on the surface - I suspect that if I came in with an open mind and no training, it would take an effort to decide which of you was talking sense - probably more effort than I'd be willing to go to.

      That's the situation I'm in with more current questions like 'how accurate are climate…

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    3. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      oops ...but I think a more productive method is to explain why the lack of peer-reviewed literature is an easy way to tell it's wrong. (it doesn't matter what excuses he has, if it were right someone would publish it!)

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    4. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      Jeremy, if you read Climategate emails you'll see the establishment has set up an environment wherein it is far from easy for anyone with a paper expressing contrary views to get peer review and acceptance.

      That said, some do and I have linked several from my websites by various academics including Knox & Douglas, Spencer, Lindzen and Nahle, as well as others named in this particularly important paper ...

      What Do Observational Datasets Say about Modeled Tropospheric Temperature Trends since 1979…

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Let's See, Spencre is an advocate of Intelligent design, Lindesn is in the pay of big oil and is proud to be call himself deiner, Nahle is biologist, not a climate scientist and Christy has made more crocks than them all put together.

      Christy can't even make up his mind what he thinks - here is a history of his "evolving" understanding of what the climate is doing http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=6946

      Not very convicning really.

      It is easy to find a few, very vocal dissenters. No problem with their dissent either - it's just inappropriate to give their conclusions equal weight when (a) it's not supported by the data and (b) some of their motives are suspect

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    6. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Jeremy Hall

      Indeed Jeremy - that is the problem - to the untrained eye Dougs waffle and scientific mumbo jumbo appears convincing. It's only when you hold the candle to all his various outlandish statements that his lunacy becomes apparent - not so obvious to anew reader.

      He has maintained in the past that Climate Change has been caused over many years by tidal forces from Jupiter - the fact that such an inluence is too small to matter and lord knows where the heat has been hiding all this time seems to not…

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    7. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      "the establishment has set up an environment wherein it is far from easy for anyone with a paper expressing contrary views to get peer review and acceptance."

      That's your key point as far as I'm concerned. I'd agree if you replaced "contrary" with "incorrect". The reason (in my opinion) why contrary views don't get published is because they are demonstrably incorrect.

      I feel no need to do the demonstrating. That's the job of the climate science community, and I don't believe they're all so corrupt as to reject good science. Apparently you disagree, which is fine. But I hope most people can be convinced that such a vast conspiracy is not very likely.

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    8. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      So Cotton has linked papers from Roy Spencer to his web site.

      He must have missed

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-the-greenhouse-effect/

      which blows Doug's crank ideas about GHG out of the water.

      Spencer may be a climate change denier but he does have a scientific reputation to protect unlike Cotton who just makes stuff up.

      Mark - I admire your attempts to deal with Cotton but I guarantee he can make stuff up faster than you can rebut it. The technique is called the "Gish Gallop" after infamous creationist Duane Gish.

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    9. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Agreed Mike - non-science should be challenged and Mark does a good job. But it's impossible to properly rebut it in simple language because the real science is not simple, not if you want the full story.

      Which is why I say focus on asking 'why isn't it published?'

      "Not all climate peer-reviewers are corrupt" is a statement which, if true, completely destroys the climate-sceptic argument (given the consensus in the literature).

      It's a less complex statement to defend than "your conclusion violates the second law of thermodynamics" which I suspect is what most of the physics arguments boil down to.

      (I just saw author's post pointing out the comments on http://theconversation.edu.au/way-off-balance-science-and-the-mainstream-media-4080 where they've discussed the futility of engaging in that kind of stuff)

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    10. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Thanks MIke, and probably true. But I have the time and the inclination at the moment and it actually is teaching me a lot about climate science which I am enjoying.

      And I am always willing to be flexible in my approach. Perhaps a new twist over the weekend :)

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  18. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    It might help in any discussion of Climategate 1 & 2 emails to make use of this search engine http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php - for example, enter "delete" and you'll see all Climategate emails with the word "delete."

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  19. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    In response to this paper ...http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/9/2148/pdf
    we see this Climategate email

    #5212

    2. Surface warming yet lower troposphere not warming as much. A US
    report (CCSP) Kevin can tell about will help here, but our likely conclusion
    that this issue is resolved will likely come in for lots of flak. Explaining
    why we think we're right will be the biggest issue - making sense of
    diverse datasets and saying why we think some are right and some
    have problems.

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  20. Mark Harrigan

    PhD Physicist

    Don't know if this will be acceptable to the policy here but I hope it is taken in a humorous light
    It is intended as a Parody
    ----------------------------

    Tovarich!

    I, Kram Nagirrah, Agent 86, have just received vital news!

    It appears those running dog capitalist evil coal mongering big energy anti-environment one percenters have placed spies in our midst!

    These spies threaten to derail our secret plans to achieve total word dominance through our (stealth) takeover of the world's governments…

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  21. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    Doug: I must apologise, but somehow there's a post attributed to me here which includes the text of one by Mark that I do not agree with concerning you. The whole of that post is very odd, as only the quote from Smith is from me. Either I have been hacked, or more likely, I screwed up cutting and pasting!

    Mark: I may be wrong re Chen & co as you assert, but if so their poor drafting is to blame.

    1. They say (at end): "Changing spectral signatures in CH4, CO2, and H2O are observed, with the difference…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Tim - I had no idea you were from Holland. A wonderful country!

      In response to your criticisms of the Chen paper
      I think you are wrong (again) on the basic physics. I will try to be clear and give you some insight (as best I can) into the physics.

      One of things I could wish for on the Conversation is the ability to insert graphs but best I can do is post links.

      Nevertheless I believe in focusing on the evidence so I will try to explain what is a moderately complex matter as best I can

      I can't…

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  22. Nathan Stewart

    Mr

    Hi Stephan, great article as usual.

    Would I be correct in saying that 97% of climate scientists eagerly await a good el nino to help set a new global temperature record? Give or take a couple of percent...

    I think that would shut up a lot of people surely.

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  23. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    Dear all,

    As my main posts here have been deleted, I see no point in replying to Mark's responses there to. Evidently those like Lewandowsky that support the climategate teams' abuse of de Freitas et al can't take replies in kind, and apart from the odd gibe at them, my posts were all substantive, as Mark could confirm if he wished.

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Tim Curtin's claims - attacking the evidence from satellite data on CO2 absorption were without substance - or at least without science, logic or evidence.

      They were full of personal insults which, I suspect, is why they were deleted.

      He should attempt more Tenable Responsables Of Less Libellous nature

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    2. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      The issue of satellite data regarding carbon dioxide is irrelevant because the thermal energy escapes by another gate, that is at another wavelength. For example, after back radiation warms the ground, then the ground warms the oxygen or nitrogen, which then warms some water vapour which then radiates the energy to space.

      Even if you take the last 60 years, the linear trend is 0.10 deg.C per decade which extrapolates to an extra 0.9 degrees C by the year 2100. There is no evidence of any increasing…

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    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      The use of data is irrelevant? That's a first. By what wavelength - EXACTLY does this mysterious radiation escape under? And what is the radiative mechanism.

      And then how you explain THESE measurements http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/infrared_spectrum.jpg which show nothing of the sort.

      IF you cannot name the wavelength, AND provide evidence of this escaping radiation, it is positive proof you are speaking BS (but then, we all knew that anyway)

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  24. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    Mark Harrigan: name and quote a single libellous comment I ever made here, unlike your own directed at me, which have been defamatory enough for me to have sued you were you not so worthless. Meanwhile you have here just now defamed Ross McKitrick who if he knew of it could well sue you.

    The real issue here is that Stephan Lewandowsky has, as he has threatened here repeatedly, persuaded TC to "moderate" all posts that deviate from his party line.

    Meantime, here is my last post here, so shocking…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Mr Curtin I have on file the emails where you called me worthless and accused me of being intoxicated. You also labelled the prestigious magazine Nature a "haven for medieval theologists" - likened it to the Koran and by implication denigrated those who practice Islam - in clear violation of the code on here.

      When I pointed out that your posts were equally likely to contain typographical errors (apparently the source of your accusation about my state of intoxication) your tone changed to be somewhat…

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  25. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    Dr Roy Spencer says of Climategate 2.0 ( at http://drroyspencer.com ) ...

    "The latest release (Climategate 2.0) not only reveals bias, but also some private doubts among the core scientist faithful about the scientific basis for the IPCC’s policy goals. Yet, the IPCC’s “cause” (Michael Mann’s term) appears to trump all else.

    So, when the science doesn’t support The Cause, the faithful turn toward discussions of how to craft a story which minimizes doubt about the IPCC’s findings. After considerable…

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  26. Timothy Curtin

    Economic adviser

    <Mark: You say- "I have on file the emails where you called me worthless and accused me of being intoxicated. You also labelled the prestigious magazine Nature a "haven for medieval theologists" - likened it to the Koran and by implication denigrated those who practice Islam - in clear violation of the code on here.."

    Well, I don't have ANY such Posts on my own database.Could you kindly forward them to me at my email address:

    (tcurtin<at>bigblue.net.au)

    As fort Lindzen, you are yet again defaming him.He is employed by MIT or whatever, and did once attend some Exxon event. I myself once attended a seminar prgram at Shell in London in 1969, but all expenses were paid by my University or me. So that means everything I say is funded by Shell? If only! I would be rich enough to be doing better than wasting my time here.

    Actually Ross McKitrick is a rather brilliant economist, with a track record that makes your own MIA record look really pathetic.

    Tim

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      I have no intention in engaging in private correspondence with someone who is consistently verbally abusive. I make no statements about Ross McKitricks competency as an economist - as I am not qualified to do so. I merely point out he is not a climate scientists, or even a physicist or scientist - as I note, neither is Tim Curtin.

      I could easily post copies of the abusive emails Tim Curtin posted into here but will refrain from doing so as the moderators here saw fit to delete them and I have…

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  27. John Chapman

    At large

    Just as a very necessary break people - here is news hot from Africa:

    'After apartheid, Tutu aims at 'huge enemy' climate change'
    by Staff Writers
    Durban (AFP) Nov 27, 2011

    Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Sunday branded climate change a "huge, huge enemy" that threatened the common home of humanity, imperilling rich and poor alike.

    At a rally on the eve of the 12-day UN climate talks in Durban, Tutu said that after the battle to crush apartheid, mankind must now unite in the goal of conquering…

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  28. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    Dr Harrigan wrote (somewhere on this thread) "Period from 1940 to 1970 - the temperature was broadly stable (as were CO2 levels between about 300 and 310ppm) "

    So now Dr H's theory is that, all is OK when the CO2 levels stay level we should expect level temperatures (no matter how high the steady level of CO2.)

    So, when we had ar least 75% as much CO2 in 1940-1970 all that CO2 had no effect on temperatures. So what happened to the greenhouse effect then Dr H?

    Dr H loses sight of the fact that the "theory" of AGW says the GRADIENT of the temperature plot should be related to the LEVEL of carbon dioxide, NOT the gradient of the plot of the level of CO2. Use a bit of basic calculus Dr H.

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Climate Science says no such thing - Doug Cotton only reveals his lack of understanding of it.

      Stable GHG levels result (after lags) in stable temperatures, if no other forcing or feedback is present.

      The greenhouse effect has been in effect since time immemorial - which part does he not understand? - otherwise the planet would be a ball of ice. What matters is INCREASING GHGs leading to increasing thermal energy being retained, creating a higher thermal equilibrium and hence higher temperatures.

      It is truly inspiring to see the sort effects on logic and thinking that avoidance of Cognitive Dissonance produces in a man who claims to have recieved a teriary education in physics. No wonder Professor Lewandowsky writes so interesting about these matters. Doug Cotton is a textbook case.

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    2. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Anyone with a bit of physics to their name would see the fallacy in this statement ...

      "What matters is INCREASING GHGs leading to increasing thermal energy being retained, creating a higher thermal equilibrium and hence higher temperatures."

      It's rather like saying that if your electric jug applies a constant 2400 watts to a quantity of water it won't boil. Apparently Dr Harrigan does not think that retaining a fixed amount of thermal energy each month or whatever will cause warming. I wonder where that accumulated thermal energy ends up, Dr Harrigan?

      I'm sure others can see that Dr Harrigan's posts are little but platitudinous ponderosity and thrasonical bombast.

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    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug if you are going to use grandiloquent language that you barely understand you could at least Try Results Of Logical Legibility that say something.

      I can see you have failed to understand the analogy of the gas heater warming a house - even though everyone else gets it.

      Your analogy of the kettle is flawed. 2400 watts in a kettle will indeed boil a litre or so of water. In fact it takes about 430Kj to raise a litre of water from zero degrees to boiling point - so your kettle would do the…

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  29. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    Dr Harrigan really needs support now as he has made a claim which he has not supported with peer-reviewed published papers. He has said

    "GHG levels keep the planet warmer than it might otherwise be without them - establishing a higher thermal equilibrium once lags are taken into account. The more or less stable levels of GHGs prior to mid last century are associated with more or less stable temperatures."

    Now we saw that CO2 was 75% as much as today in 1940-1970. He showed current levels caused…

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  30. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    I need read no further than the third line of David's "explanation" where he says "from space the earth's spectrum is roughly that of a radiating body with an optical surface temperature of around 255K"

    That little word "surface" needs examination. If he means the interface of the surfaces of the oceans and land surfaces with the atmosphere it is important to understand this is merely an internal surface, just like the floor of the ocean. When applying blackbody calculations from space one needs…

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  31. Doug Cotton

    IT Manager

    There can be little wonder that concern was expressed in the Climategate emails about the slow rate of warming. As there appears to be some pattern of 30 years of natural cooling followed by 30 years of natural warming which appears to repeat roughly every 60 years, it is appropriate to take a trend over the last 60 years from November 1951. This should be long enough to satisfy most I would suggest, even if you don't agree about any pattern.

    I also suggest that sea surface temperatures are…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      It isn't cooling - quite the opposite

      http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1129/Climate-change-2011-temperatures-the-hottest-ever-during-La-Nina

      According to the WMO - "Global temperatures in 2011 are currently the tenth highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Nina event, which has a relative cooling influence,"

      However Doug Cotton is simply psychologically incapable of accepting that humans can have such an influence. hence his complete inability to understand concepts like the green house effect, anthroprogenic forcing etc.

      Once the current La Nina subsides (very soon) we are likely to see temperature rises accelerate :(

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    2. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      1. When a temperature is "maintained" there is overall equilibrium because no additional thermal energy is entering the planet. All of whatever energy comes in also goes back out to space, so there is neither warming or cooling. Right, Dr Harrigan? If not, explain why this point (1) is wrong.

      2. So when we have such a situation we have no net positive or negative radiative flux at TOA. Right, Dr Harrigan? If not, explain why this point (2) is wrong.

      3. So we have no "trapping" of extra…

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    3. Jeremy Hall

      PhD student

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, your questions are getting simpler so you might be close to getting it I have nowhere near Mark's patience, but I feel like trying one science post in the hope that you're open to it.

      Thermal equilibrium, applied to Earth:

      Coming in: Sun's radiation
      Going out: [Earth's emission] minus [whatever's absorbed by CO2]

      Left to itself (ie with constant CO2 levels), the system will reach equilibrium. That is, the Earth's overall temperature (and hence it's emission) will change until energy…

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    4. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Jeremy has explained it well Doug. Perhaps you might like to reflect why it is that everyone else can see it but you cannot?

      If there was zero ppm of CO2 the thermal equilibrium (thermal radiative flux out = solar radiation in) would have the temp at about -18 celsius. 280ppm CO2 (plus other natural GHGs and other natural feedbacks/forcings assuming a roughly constant solar input) maintains a higher thermal equilibrium and a "nice" climate - about +14 celsius.

      Add CO2 - get more thermal IR reflected…

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  32. Mark Harrigan

    PhD Physicist

    WARNING!

    Doug Cotton, James Doogue, James Sexton, Anthony Cox and others who have been so ready to seize on so-called "Climate gate 2"

    DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO!

    It will possibly cause so much cognitive dissonance for you that your hearing will fail, you will be blinded and your head will explode!

    Others, who practice genuine skepticism, might find it informative.

    It's a thorough analysis of the latest batch of emails and what they mean when placed in context

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4OB2prBtVFo

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  33. Nick Kermode

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    Thanks for an informative article again Stephan, although may I suggest changing your name to Kyle Sandilands and incorporating some vulgar abuse into your articles. At least then they might get the widespread exposure they actually deserve.

    To Doug Cotton et al.......For clarification;

    *We humans emit CO2 in our energy production and use (known fact)

    *We humans are increasing those emissions (known fact)

    *CO2 levels in our atmosphere are increasing (known fact)

    *CO2 traps heat (known fact…

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    1. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Nick Kermode

      Good point Nick,

      However, i think it is important to take it up to these cranks at least for a bit, not simply for the goal for trying to convert an uncovertable, but for the many others who may read these posts but not comment. It can be very educational when crank X says something which at first glance may make sense, but then the Mark H's of this world refute them with actual science.

      Ive learnt a lot and am far more certain of global warming and the science behind since discovering The Conversation, reading and occassionally participating in such discussions.

      its a good bit of brain exercise and a fantastic way to procrastinate during the average working day!

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Nick Kermode

      Nick - I understand that Mr Cotton will never be convinced.

      But, as I have posted elsewhere, his pseudo-science gibberish can take some people in and needs to be countered. I don't do it in the hope of convincing him, but to ensure anyone else reading these threads is not bamboozled.

      And, as Gavin says, it can be instructive - I teach myself a lot of the actual climate science details in doing the research to rebut him (it really doesn;t take long).

      In any event I have the time as I work on-line a good portion of the time and am active in other areas on a more pro-active/positive basis. I see the posts come through and bang out a reply (hence the frequent typos). So, am I insane too? No - just a bit science geeky with an obsessive streak :)

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    3. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I have to admit that it frustrates me when people like Chris twist my words and totally overlook or fail to understand the key point, so Chris's reply warrants a brief response.

      1. I accept that referring to "temperature" of individual molecules was terminology better suited for "lay" readers. It should have been obvious that I was talking about energy. My whole discussion centred on the individual molecules, so "average temperatures" of the gases are just a red herring.

      2. I was clearly…

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    4. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Brief response?? Complete piffle.

      There is NO radiation peak at 15 microns (or anywhere else) in the blackbody spectrum of thermally radiated IR coming FROM the planet.

      There are only yawning reductions in the normal blackbody curve at the wavelenghs associated with absortion by GHG's - and you can see the corresponding influx of IR at the surface looking up (and the Sun doesn't produce IR) showing that backreflect thermal IR which contributed to maintaining a higher surface temperature than there…

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "people like Chris twist my words and totally overlook or fail to understand the key point"

      You would say that wouldn't you?

      "I accept that referring to "temperature" of individual molecules was terminology better suited for "lay" readers."

      You mean you assert that it is. I'd say it's more confusing than better suited.

      "It should have been obvious that I was talking about energy. My whole discussion centred on the individual molecules, so "average temperatures" of the gases are just…

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    6. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Once again you confuse what CO2 absorbs and what it emits. I totally agree with your statement "There is NO radiation peak at 15 microns (or anywhere else) in the blackbody spectrum of thermally radiated IR coming FROM the planet. There are only yawning reductions in the normal blackbody curve at the wavelenghs associated with absortion (sic) by GHG's" and I have stated that GHG molecules probably absorb nearly all the radiation from the surface.

      Do you really think that, after a CO2 molecule captures…

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    7. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Go and teach your new theories to those who write for Wikipedia ....

      "Heat conduction, also called diffusion, is the direct microscopic exchange of kinetic energy of particles through the stationary boundary between two systems. Heat conduction occurs between stationary masses where there is no movement to carry heat away. Heat transfer through the stationary air layer immediately adjacent to, say one millimeter or so from an interior wall, or from a warm pot placed on a counter, are examples of…

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    8. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Actually, I wrote your reply for you on my website on 15th August ...

      What they will tell you is quite true up to a point ....

      They will explain in detail how carbon dioxide molecules "trap" radiated photons from the surface and get warmed. They may not mention that they cool again (sometime less than they warmed, but not always) when they emit another photon a very small fraction of a second later. Nor may they mention that about as many of these new photons go up to space as return down to…

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    9. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Once again Doug Cotton is making stuff up that is complete rubbish.

      For all his blather about pohotons going up and down the data meaasures the TOTAL thermal radiation up and down.

      He simply canot come to grips with this evidence

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/infrared_spectrum.jpg

      CO2 absorbs some of what is emitted from the planet and prevents it escaping from the planet re-radiating it down toward the surface which is then absorbed by the planet establishing a higher thermal equilibrium…

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    10. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Yes, yes, and some natural process has cancelled out all the "warming" by CO2 since 2003. http://earth-climate.com/2003-2011.jpg

      Maybe it is what is shown on those energy diagrams ... "thermals" and evaporation (latent heat) feeding thermal energy into the atmosphere, which is then radiated by the atmosphere out to space.

      After all, we both agree the energy diagrams are correct, Dr Harrigan.

      Note carefully that small print (if you can read it) at the top, Dr Harrigan

      "59% Thermal radiation from the atmosphere."

      http://earth-climate.com/calculations.jpg

      Maybe you'd like to tell me just exactly which gases produce the above 59% thermal radiation from the atmosphere. There must be evidence in those spectral charts.

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    11. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      You are indeed getting close to understanding the transfer of thermal energy between molecules, Dr Harrigan. But all the collisions between O2 and N2 do absolutely nothing to bring about cooling. Every CO2 molecule has a very high probability of colliding with an O2 or N2 molecule, so they are kept pretty busy collecting and radiating energy. There are huge numbers of collisions, so even with probabilities low each time, there certainly is a high chance that each O2 and N2 molecule will collide…

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    12. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "Go and teach your new theories to those who write for Wikipedia"

      And where, pray tell, does what I say conflict with what is in wikipedia?

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    13. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "Yes, yes, and some natural process has cancelled out all the "warming" by CO2 since 2003."

      You're a compulsive cherry-picker aren't you? In the unlikely event that you decide cherry-picking is a bad idea, you might like to consider why sea level is higher than it was in 2003: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

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    14. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Tiresome Repetitions Of Loose Logic.

      Doug Cotton keeps on repeating the same discredited mumbo jumbo.

      I have always understood the mechanism he proposes quite well. It's just rubbish in terms of actually producing cooling.

      He also makes a number of mistakes in relation to earth's energy budget and apparently can't tell the difference between the atmosphere and the planet.

      For the 2000 - 2004 period the rough energy budget balance is as follows:
      (source - Amercian meteorological society)

      About…

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    15. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Laughable idiocy. 2011 was the 10th warmest on record and the warmest EVER during a La Nina (known for it's cooling effects). The 17 year moving average temperature data (and the science says a minimum of 17 years is required to remove the "noise" from natural varaitions due to effects from la Nina ) shows unabted warming.

      Doug Cotton has no scientific basis for his silly statements

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    16. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      You "there is no heat transfer between gases"

      Wikipedia: "At any one instant, half the collisions are – to a varying extent – inelastic (the pair possesses less kinetic energy after the collision than before), and half could be described as “super-elastic” (possessing more kinetic energy after the collision than before)."

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    17. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      You: "motionless gas"

      Wikipedia: "the molecules' translational motion"

      You: "or as you call it, diffusion"

      Wikipedia: "Heat conduction, also called diffusion, ..Heat transfer through the stationary air layer immediately adjacent to, say one millimeter or so from an interior wall,

      The "interior wall" can be the land or ocean surface.

      Now, you answer one question ...

      Given (a) the amount of thermal energy which typical energy diagrams show transferred to the atmosphere from the surface in ways other than radiation + (b) that energy which is shown as absorbed by the atmosphere direct from incoming solar radiation, and given (c) the amount of radiation to space that is from the atmosphere, then how does the energy from (a)+(b) get radiated as (c) ?

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    18. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "They may not mention that they (CO2 molecules) cool again (sometime less than they warmed, but not always) when they emit another photon a very small fraction of a second later."

      So how do you know it's a very small fraction of a second later and how do you know that this energy is not usually transferred to other molecules/degrees of freedom before another photon is emitted?

      "if the atmosphere were comprised of nothing but nitrogen and oxygen there might be a continual build up of…

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    19. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      "Any why can't they conduct their heat back to the surface" Of course they will - that is implied. Thermal energy is being trapped. It will build up mostly in the oceans (~90%) land surfaces (~6%) and only 4% in atmosphere, roughly as at present - maybe a bit more in the atmosphere as it will be fairly uniform temperature to the top.

      There will be close thermal equilibrium between ocean and land surfaces and the first millimetre of the atmosphere due to diffusion (as per Wikipedia "Heat Transfer") and this will restrict most of the radiation from the surface. Clearly there would be significant net positive radiative flux at TOA until the atmosphere reached a point where nitrogen started to radiate, as it would before oxygen.

      Now, introduce GHG molecules and it all cools down back to the present situation.

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    20. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Correction: Actually, without any water vapour it would be a waterless world, so most energy would build up in the crust and eventually penetrate deep underground.

      Introduce water (but not CO2) and the cooling may be reasonably effective, but it would be more so with carbon dioxide helping to radiate the energy from the oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

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    21. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      "there is no heat transfer between gases"

      If you understood what I was saying you would have realized this meant net heat transfer. In fact, I wrote "no net transfer" two sentences earlier. You're not very good at paying attention. I'll write the whole piece again to help you understand.

      At any level in the atmosphere, all the different gases are at the same temperature so there is no net transfer between them. This can be proven by supposing we have an atmosphere with a GHG with a certain temperature…

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    22. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      There can be no such thing as "heat content" - this terminology used by "climate scientists" shows a lack of understanding of very basic physics.

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    23. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      And it is curious that SkS have not updated this article for about two years now, namely the period in which sea levels started to fall (after 2008) due primarily to contraction due to cooling - not the floods in Australia.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/cooling-oceans.htm

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    24. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Here is the actual sea level data (latest)

      http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/fileadmin/images/news/indic/msl/MSL_Serie_MERGED_Global_IB_RWT_GIA_Adjust.png

      Anyone who can see a drop since 2008 has poor eyesight. The increase is 3.2 +/- 0.6 mm per year.

      There is also NO cooling of the planet - a misrepresentation Mr Cotton continually makes. 2011 is the 10th hottest year on record and the warmest La Nina year EVER, despite La Nina normally lowering temperatures.

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    25. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      "78 is absorbed by the atmosphere .. It gives that up as 17 in thermals and 80 in evaporation to the atmosphere"

      78 + 17 + 80 = 175

      Add absorption from IR radiation and the 50% that then goes to space is, as you say,

      "about 199 into space"

      So about half of that 175 contributes to the 199 going to space.

      How does it get to space, Dr Harrigan? After all, about 98% of it was in oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

      When you answer questions, rather than beating around the bush, your credibility will rise if the answers are valid. Nothing else impresses in the least, I'm afraid.
      .

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    26. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Yes there is no net transfer - except for the energy that's being radiated away. You're not thinking too clearly Chris. The water in the bath tub has uniform temperature, but some is going out the plug hole, never to return.

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    27. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Well how's your eyesight - does it look like this plot of lower troposphere temperatures is increasing at a rate of 1.4 times the rate of increase of sea surface temperatures?
      http://theconversation.homestead.com/latest.jpg

      The models used by the IPCC all depend on the lower troposhere warming at a rate of 1.4 times that of the sea surface as explained in the paper below. This is not happening, thus casting even more doubt on the validity of the models.
      http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/9/2148/pdf

      If you don't see the LT warming faster than sea surface, then you don't have any effect from carbon dioxide. Fullstop.

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    28. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris - you write "The energy from these goes into the temperature in the atmosphere"

      In other words, the energy warms mostly oxygen and nitrogen molecules, which would keep getting warmer and warmer until they collide with cooler molecules and "share" that energy.

      Looking at all oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere, it is unlikely to fall to the surface by convection, so it has to cool by such collisions, some of which will be with GHG molecules including water vapour which averages about…

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    29. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I'd be selling my shares if they broke the trend like sea level data has.

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    30. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      The above plot of lower troposphere showed ~0.28 deg in 33 years which is about 0.085 deg.C per decade, whereas the sea surface plot showed about 0.10 deg.C per decade. So the ratio (0.85) is close to what those 9 authors deduced, namely 0.8 +/- 0.3 but clearly nowhere near the 1.4 which the models require.

      I hope Dr Harrigan and others realise the importance and significance of this difference which completely debunks the models.

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    31. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "Yes there is no net transfer - except for the energy that's being radiated away."

      You're not thinking clearly. Energy that's being radiated away is equal to energy being received by radiation.

      I note that you're not claiming that oxygen and nitrogen transport a substantial amount of heat through the Stratosphere where most of the Greenhouse Effect occurs AFAIK.

      "Just like some of the radiated energy from the surface is turned back down, and some continues upward"

      In CO2's absorption bands (where it is optically thick), only a tiny fraction of the surface radiation, if any, escapes into space. Where there are no absorption bands, the vast majority of surface radiation escapes to space. Your hypothesis about CO2 radiating to space defies reality because on the wavelengths where it is most capable of radiating, there is virtually no radiation into space. You say CO2 is radiating into space. Where is this radiation? Nothing significant that any satellite can detect.

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    32. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      At least Doug is not denying that his eyesight is no good for looking at sea level graphs like http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

      Doug Cotton: "If you don't see the LT warming faster than sea surface, then you don't have any effect from carbon dioxide."

      It's just as logical to say if you don't see the LT warming faster than sea surface, then you don't have any warming at all. You might have a problem with models but they produce more LT warming with ANY source of warming. So since you don't like CO2, what, pray tell, is your source of warming?

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    33. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris, you really miss the point. You need to study the paper by those nine authors and see the plots of the ratios for various models.

      By the way, rising sea levels are not necessarily an indication of warming, because ice will melt at any temperature above zero, thus adding to sea levels.

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    34. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Chris. All the energy diagrams show plenty of radiation to space coming from the atmosphere. About 175 W/m^2 enters the atmosphere by (a) absorption of incoming solar radiation and (b) from the surface by means other than radiation. Roughly half of this (~87 W/m^2) is radiated space-bound and half Earth-bound. The total radiated from the atmosphere (including that IR from the surface which is absorbed and re-emitted space-bound) amounts to about 199 W/m^2 space-bound from the atmosphere, as the diagrams show, this including the above 87 W/m^2 much of which was originally from inbound solar radiation.

      If CO2 can radiate down then it can also radiate up. And don't forget, water vapour radiates even more than all the CO2.

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    35. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      What is my source of warming? Long term the Sun and core heat have of course warmed the surface and lower atmosphere to the temperatures we can survive in. The whole Earth system (including the atmosphere) radiates as a blackbody (seen from space) at a mean temperature a few degrees below freezing point This is a weighted mean found somewhere in the troposphere, as data indicates.

      Now, because thermal energy takes a finite time to rise by convection, a temperature gradient is inevitable, meaning…

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    36. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      People may be interested to know that Doug Cotton's real name is Roger.

      He can be seen being interviewed here about his amazing breakthroughs on Climate Science

      http://undsci.berkeley.edu/images/us101/balance.gif

      He has shaved off the beard since this interview though.

      His persistent Taradiddles Revisited Obfirming Logical Laziness Invoking Nauseous Gases would be amusing were it not so mind numbingly repetitive.

      In Doug Cotton's world warming is cooling, rising is falling, black is white, he is never wrong and the rest of the world has no idea.

      He is certainly evidence immune, impenetrable to reasoned argument and a Tireless Regurgitator of Lateral Lacunae

      You might think he lives in a parallel universe. We could certainly wish he would go back under his bridge and stop polluting these threads with his pseudo science.
      Alas we are lumbered with him. :)

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    37. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Moderator: Dr Harrigan's comments do not respond to the points made in the post he is supposedly replying to, and are starting to border on slander. That is why I have reported such as abuse.

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    38. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "All the energy diagrams show plenty of radiation to space coming from the atmosphere."

      Where did I say they didn't? You're completely missing the point. Little of this radiation to space comes from CO2. The vast majority of radiation to space passes through the GHG windows.

      "If CO2 can radiate down then it can also radiate up."

      You're using a zero-dimensional model (or a corrupt version of one) that conflicts with the fact that there is little radiation going out the top of the atmosphere AT THE WAVELENGTHS THAT CO2 CAN GENERATE. If you look at a spectrum of that radiation: http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/Projects/modtran.html then you will see that there are gaps where CO2 is capable of radiating.

      I'll ask you again, where and what wavelengths is this radiation at the top of the atmosphere that CO2 is generating?

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    39. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Doug Cotton: "you really miss the point. You need to study the paper by those nine authors and see the plots of the ratios for various models."

      No, you really miss the point. That paper (which you strangely cite with the term "those nine authors", whatever is wrong with Christy et al) just points out that the observed trend ratio disagrees with the ratio produced by the average of models. It says absolutely nothing about carbon dioxide not having any effect. By the way, variation between models…

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    40. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton: "I'd be selling my shares if they broke the trend like sea level data has."

      And where, pray tell, are you claiming the trend has been broken on this graph? http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ apart from the La Nina floods beginning at the end of 2010, that is.

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    41. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Many have tried to respond to Mr Cottons pseudo science points. He doesn't understand these responses, is unable to comprehend evidence when it is placed before him and continues to post unsubstantiated fantasy claims such as - Warming is caused by Jupiter, Warming is caused by Nuclear tests releasing the earths core energy, there isn't any warming its cooling anyway and GHGs both cool and warm the planet (completely failing to understand the existence of GHGs at a stable pre-industrial level make…

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  34. John Chapman

    At large

    David.

    Thanks for that one.

    And Ive reproduced your comment here, as I couldnt find it on the thread despite 10 minutes searching !

    John

    David Arthur commented:

    "Doug Cotton asks where his physics and statistics are wrong. "... the more accurate NASA satellite measurements in the lower troposphere since 1979 reveal a curved trend which is now starting to look like a decline ... models used by the IPCC all depend on the lower troposphere warming at a rate of 1.4 times that of the sea surface…

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    1. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to John Chapman

      Well, David, show me documentation of how oxygen and nitrogen can supposedly radiate in the IR range at atmospheric temperatures, even though it is a part of every "explanation" of the greenhouse effect that oxygen and nitrogen do not absorb IR radiation - only GHG molecules do so. I agree they might emit SW when they are struck by lightning, but that's about all.

      Your comment about cooling is incorrect, because I have only ever maintained that the cooling effect comes close to neutralising most if not all of the warming effect. I have not said there is a net cooling effect.

      Regarding the ratio of 1.4 - well read the whole paper and you will see that some models even predict somewhat higher ratios. I tend to agree such could not go on for ever, which just makes the models all the more absurd.

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    2. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to John Chapman

      PS The narrow selective approach of statistical mechanics has yet to produce a general theory of compromise between mechanics and equilibrium thermodynamics.

      Maybe you should read up on Quantum Thermodynamics, David.

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    3. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug asks me to show him documentation of how N2 and O2 can radiate in the IR range. Here's the explanation given by "darkslide3000" to a similar question ("what is the mechanism of thermal radiation?") at http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/jvjon/what_is_the_mechanism_for_thermal_radiation/

      "Radiation from emission lines and thermal radiation are two different things: the first one occurs when an electron falls from a discrete energy level to a lower one - it loses potential energy which…

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    4. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Garbage. "Thermal radiation depends on various properties of the surface it is emanating from ..." Where is the "surface?" Will carbon dioxide capture your thermal radiation coming from oxygen and nitrogen anyway - some of which was warmed by incoming radiation which the oxygen and nitrogen stopped from warming the Earth?

      You really don't know what your are talking about. Oxygen and nitrogen only emit photons in the nm range and even then only at far higher temperatures than found in the atmosphere, except when struck by lightning.

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    5. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      What a joke anyway that you quote someone's answer to a question (on askscience) about radiation from the Sun (slightly higher temperature than Earth's atmosphere I would suggest) rather than any peer-reviewed paper. Maybe you should read the second "answer" which is totally different from the first one and much closer to the mark.

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    6. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Wow - all you can quote is the first answer by someone to a question about radiation from the Sun. Maybe you should read the second answer which paints a totally different picture.

      It seems the first writer wants to invent his own version of quantum mechanics if he is really talking about oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere, rather than somewhat hotter H and He atoms in the Sun.

      Where's your peer-reviewed documentation, David. And what education do you have in quantum mechanics and quantum thermodynamics?

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    7. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      PS When a molecule of oxygen collides with another molecule it shares its translational kinetic energy, just like when two snooker balls collide. There is no additional energy available for the type of very high energy photons which are the only ones which oxygen can emit in the nm range.

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    8. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      I accept that a relatively very small amount of SW radiation occurs in the "night glow" of the atmosphere which is due to excited states of oxygen, but it is obvious that such night glow is very weak compared with daytime solar radiation and could not possibly be releasing all the energy which oxygen absorbs. http://www.sri.com/psd/physics/pubs/energox.pdf

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    9. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      "What a joke anyway that you quote someone's answer to a question (on askscience) about radiation from the Sun (slightly higher temperature than Earth's atmosphere I would suggest) rather than any peer-reviewed paper."

      Obviously Doug thinks his hypotheses are a joke considering that they don't come from any peer-reviewed paper.

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    10. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      All you do is quote the first answer you read at askscience regarding a question about the Sun, not the Earth's atmosphere! Try the second answer ...

      "Discrete energy levels only occur for sufficiently "cold" atoms. In the case of H and He in the sun, their electrons are sufficiently hot that they're excited beyond any given energy level for these atoms. Since they don't have to fall into specific energies, they're free to have a statistical distribution of velocities, and so, emit a continuous spectrum. That's a bit of a hand waving explanation, but it's the general mechanism, basically, electrons no longer attached to nuclei."

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    11. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Gday Doug, FYI, that first answer at "askscience" is a sufficiently succinct summary of the description I recall hearing in either First or Second Year Chemistry lectures.

      Rather pathetically, you attempt to claim that this perfectly adequate general description only applies to solar radiation, not to earth's thermal radiation. Your argument remains on a hiding to nothing.

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    12. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      oxygen can only emit in the nm range?

      if that is the case, characteristic temperature of O2 can not be lower than

      T ~ hc/(wk), where w is wavelength, say 400 nm
      = (6.6 x 10^-34 x 3 x 10^8) / (400 x 10^-9 x 1.38 x 10^-23)
      = 36,231 K

      That is, according to Doug Cotton, molecular oxygen cannot exist at temperatures less than 36000K. Wow, that's hotter than the surface of the sun, Doug.

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    13. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Now you have really convinced me that you know next to nothing about physics. You cannot apply blackbody radiation theory to individual molecules.

      Go read the second answer to the question about radiation from the Sun on "askscience" which you linked as you only evidence.

      Then read some real physics on links on my website such as

      http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1dC9l0q67SYC&pg=PA216&lpg=PA216&dq=%22levels+can+be+important+for+the+de-excitation%22&source=bl&ots=O7Liu-ShvH&sig=bPitYR1iOAGiHVsIrR8RslpTi6A&hl=en&ei=jxTcTqfuJaWuiAeDhcTODQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22levels%20can%20be%20important%20for%20the%20de-excitation%22&f=false

      .. where you'll read about radiation from oxygen in certain UV bands not being detected and how, when oxygen does get excited then "The exchange of vibrational energy between O2 and the CO2 levels can be important for the de-excitation of O2."

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    14. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug, I may not know much about quantum thermodynamics and all the other big words you use, but I already have an adequate working knowledge of climate to expose your fallacies.

      Not long after I first moved to my present home, I was visited several times by one of those door-to-door prosetylisers for some Circus of God Church or another. He carried on with similar language as you, but eventually gave up trying his nonsense on. I guess that means he was less deluded.

      You keep rabbiting on about molecular bands in the UV. That's fine, that's where the chemical bond energies are to be found. However, for earth's thermal radiation, we're talking about gas MOLECULES. We're talking about gas molecules moving around, with kinetic energy of translation, rotation and the suchlike. Chemical bond excitations are irrelevant to these whole-of-molecule modes.

      You seem to not understand the difference.

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    15. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Did I ever mention "chemical bonds?" If you really have read the standard stuff on climate change, then you would have read about carbon dioxide molecules being in an excited state when they absorb IR low energy radiation. Well, guess what, oxygen molecules also have excited states which may occur when they absorb solar (high energy) radiation. Then, as you read in my link, collisions with carbon dioxide molecules lower them to their "unexcited: state. In the process the carbon dioxide molecules…

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    16. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      PS - I forgot to mention ... seeing that you say 17 years is enough to establish a trend ...

      The gradient of the trend for the 17 years ending November 2011 is very significantly different from the gradient of the trend for the 17 years ending 1998, or indeed other earlier 17 year periods after the early 1970's. However, the gradients of the level of carbon dioxide for the same 17 year periods are not significantly different. You can check this for yourselves.

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    17. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton asks: "Did I ever mention chemical bonds?"

      Doug, you implicitly mentioned chemical bonds by talking about O2 only being active in the UV.

      You clearly do not understand that ALL gas molecules have translational and rotational modes at much lower energies, because that is how it is possible for gases to exist at temperatures as low as 255K (the typical temperature at the altitude from which molecules radiate to space), or even around 300K (the temperature on a pleasant spring day around my home).

      If you stop posting garbage, we'll take as implying that you're off reading, learning and thinking.

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    18. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      So the molecules which are radiating (as you say) "as low as 255K" (somewhere around 10,000 feet) are all oxygen and nitrogen and, in particular, the oxygen radiation is in the UV or perhaps the visible spectrum as shown here http://astro.u-strasbg.fr/~koppen/discharge/oxygen.html

      Well, well,,well And when are you going to show us all the spectral analysis at TOA that proves this new theory of yours? I'm sure all other readers will rush to your aid here.

      Bye
      .

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    19. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug: "So the molecules which are radiating (as you say) "as low as 255K" (somewhere around 10,000 feet) are all oxygen and nitrogen and, in particular, the oxygen radiation is in the UV ..."

      You really don't get it, do you? ALL molecular and atomic species in the atmosphere participate in exchange of thermal radiation courtesy of molecular movement (kinetic theory), not just O2 and N2. At high enough altitude, molecular density is low enough for photons emitted as part of this exchange to escape…

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    20. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      "Obviously Doug thinks his hypotheses are a joke considering that they don't come from any peer-reviewed paper."

      Jokes such as that CO2 radiates substantially to space.

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    21. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      http://earth-climate/com/CaseAgainst.html

      Yes, that web page does has a few jokes in it, for example:

      "carbon dioxide can actually work as a scavenger, gathering heat by collisions with other air molecules and then radiating it out of the atmosphere."

      Of course, carbon dioxide does very little radiation out of the atmosphere at its absorption/emission wavelengths as we can see in the graph of radiation versus wavenumber: http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/Projects/modtran.html

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    22. Nathan Stewart

      Mr

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Thankyou Chris, and Mark and David in your persistent replies to Doug. I've learned a lot more about the real science behind global warming. The whole N2 O2 Ir emittance thing which i just took for granted - i actually know something about now.

      I notice it was really just Doug in this article conversation doing his thing happily disregarding well founded scientific principles - maybe you three heavy hitters scared the other deniers away? Good work anyway.

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    23. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Read the second answer more carefully. It's all about temperatures at which radiation occurs. Oxygen and nitrogen do NOT radiate significantly at atmospheric temperatures and you have no proof whatsoever that this well known fact is false.

      Come on over and discuss how carbon dioxide levels are correlated with Manchester United's FA cup appearances. http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/FACompetitions/TheFACup/History/CupFinalResults

      And how the lower atmosphere is warming - oops! http://theconversation.homestead.com/14000.jpg

      and the upper atmosphere cooling - well supposedly but not lately http://theconversation.homestead.com/135000.jpg

      and the ocean heat content rising ??? http://earth-climate.com/oceanheat.jpg

      and sea levels, errrr ... http://theconversation.homestead.com/sealevels.gif

      and temperatures going up by 3 degrees a century ...

      http://theconversation.homestead.com/latest.jpg

      http://theconversation.homestead.com/60years.jpg

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    24. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug implores me to read the second answer on the ask science page I cite more carefully. With respect, Doug, I couldn't be bothered - you'll note that the first answer (which I returned to you) was given full marks, whereas the second answer you like was scored with a failing grade.

      You claim the second answer is all about temperatures at which radiation occurs. Well, guess what? If you are interpreting the author's intent correctly, then it is WRONG. Like it or not, Doug, RADIATION OCCURS…

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    25. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Earlier I wrote:

      "In the unlikely event that Doug Cotton decides cherry-picking is a bad idea".

      I was certainly right about the likelihood of Doug Cotton deciding cherry-picking is a bad idea.

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    26. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Nathan Stewart

      Thanks Gavin. Chris and David are posting some really useful stuff which is adding to my knowledge base too.

      At the end of the day though - despite the deliberate Gish Galloping obscurantism practiced by Doug Cotton, it really is very simple. GHGs keep the planet more than it would otherwise be. Humans adding GHGs have a high risk of increasing the temperature to a point where climate shifts and collateral consequences will have a very severe impact on all of humanity - put especially the poor…

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    27. Doug Cotton

      IT Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      If you wish to "learn" your physics from the most popular answers on websites like that, good luck to you, David. I wonder what rating Einstein would have scored.

      I did think you might have learnt that the oxygen and nitrogen at atmospheric temperatures are transparent to IR radiation, and that what a gas does not absorb it does not radiate. We'd have a bit of trouble with blackbody radiation theory if that were not so.

      Anyway, all others on here know that oxygen and nitrogen do not radiate at atmospheric temperatures because it has been discussed many times in the last six months. That's why no one is supporting you on this issue.

      I really will stick to "Health and Medicine" threads now, but my final posts are on Michael's new thread about how carbon dioxide levels correlate with Manchester United's FA cup appearances.

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    28. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      Doug Cotton says "I really will stick to "Health and Medicine" threads now"

      Promise??

      Hallelujeah!

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    29. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Doug Cotton

      I didn't "learn" that physics from the most popular answer, it jogged my recall of my Chemistry lectures.

      ALL molecules in a gas exchange photons representative of the gas's kinetic energy distribution (temperature). It's what gas molecules DO, it's described by Kinetic Theory. Noting that you're sticking to Health and Medicine threads hereafter, it's what I've been explaining to you, ad nauseum.

      Whether or not other comment-posters "support" what I write, it is correct to the best of my ability. Of course, it is entirely up to the reader to choose whether or not they learn from what they read, and you are exercising your choice.

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