If we want to understand the climate system we need to be concerned with both the input and the output side of the energy flows. The singular focus on the output side of the energy equation and the constant promotion of ‘greenhouse theory’ is the result of unidimensional thinking that is realms away from the real world.
GREENHOUSE THEORY AND ATMSOPHERIC REALITY
Greenhouse theory is based on a thesis that, in our quieter more rational moments we know to be unphysical.
- Cloud mediates the amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the Earth directly modulating surface temperature.
- Air that is free to move is rapidly displaced upwards as soon as it warms. Uplift beings cooler air that enables relatively warm objects to become cool. We call this a wind chill effect and over the bulk of the Earth that is cooler than is comfortable we calculate a ‘misery index’ based on the temperature of the air, its humidity and the rate at which it is moving.
- Only when the air is warmer than the object that it envelopes can it be a source of warming. A house that is well sealed can keep warm while a house that is not well sealed is draughty and cold. A fridge that is poorly sealed or lacking efficient insulation (still air is a good insulator, moving air is not) wastes energy.
- The atmosphere cools strongly with elevation so that the warmest air is always at the surface, but only briefly so. The temperature of the air at the surface varies with the temperature of the surface that warms it, not the temperature of the cooler air aloft. The lapse rate of temperature with elevation is limited by the release of latent heat and reversed in the presence of sufficient ozone. The temperature of the air aloft is governed in the main by it’s ozone content and the amount of long wave energy issuing from the Earth itself.
- Cold dense air moves laterally or descends to replace warm less dense air and the process continues until the temperature differential between warm and cool objects at the surface entirely disappears.
Points 2-5 above relate to the movement of the air that determines the sort of air that is contact with a warm object. Movement is associated with cooling and it continues until the temperature differential disappears. Only if the amount of energy entering the system increases and the system can store the energy accruing can the temperature of the system increase. The ocean stores energy but the atmosphere can not do this. As a gas, it very quickly dissipates energy via transport and radiation. Any back radiation effect is countered by increase in vertical transport unless the air can be stabilized. That is what insulation is all about. There is no stabilizing insulating medium in the atmosphere. If there were, we would soon know about it.
THE SINGLE GLOBAL STATISTIC IS NONSENSE
A global statistic for the temperature of the Earth as a whole is useless in discerning cause and effect. It transpires that when we look at temperature change by the decade some months exhibit warming, others warming at a lesser rate while yet other months exhibit either little change or actual cooling. This is not a scenario that can be produced under a regime of energy accrual that is steady, remorseless and uniform across space and time.
In the Antarctic we see warming in winter that is strongest in August and September and actual cooling in summer. The fact of cooling indicates that there is some other factor that is obviously far more influential in changing surface temperature than the greenhouse idea.
The high latitudes of the southern hemisphere are now cooler in the height of summer between November and February than they were seven decades ago. The mid winter months that were coolest have become the warmest. This warming has occurred at a time when the region sees no sunshine at all during which outgoing radiation to heat the atmosphere is at a seasonal minimum. In fact the temperature of the atmosphere over the pole in winter depends upon atmospheric dynamics.
In winter, the temperature of the surface in Antarctica falls from -5° C to -20°C but the temperature of the atmosphere at 50hPa falls from -45°C to -80°C and remains at about that temperature as the surface warms in spring. Extreme cooling that is unrelated to surface conditions or radiation from the sun is due to the descent of mesospheric air in winter, the degree and duration of the cooling process greater in the Antarctic than the Arctic. Apart from being very cold mesospheric air has little ozone and possesses trace amounts of NOx that, when introduced into the stratosphere actively destroys ozone. The flood of mesospheric air into the southern hemisphere is responsible for generally depleted levels of ozone in that hemisphere.
We need to be sensible about this question of climate change. Surely the inflation of the global temperature statistic via the inclusion of Antarctic data where surface temperatures are abominably and inhospitably cold is nonsense. Indeed the bulk of the globe is unfavourably cold in winter. Warming in winter in cold climates beneficially extends the growing season. If we were genuinely interested in the danger to humanity from excessive heat we should be focusing on summer temperatures in daylight hours in those latitudes where extra warmth might be disadvantageous. The lack of interest in diagnosing where and when temperature has increased and the inclusion of those parts of the globe that although warming remain dangerously cold simply serves to inflate the global temperature statistic. It indicates a focus on propaganda and an apparent lack of any real interest in diagnosis and problem solving. There is no attempt to accurately define the phenomenon, describe its nature with any precision and work out whether it represents a real problem or not. We respect science that is analytical, accurate, precise and therefore meaningful. The global warming hysteria meets none of these criteria. It appears to be based on a rising of the spleen, an antipathy to the notion of industrialization and the romanticizing of the idea of a return to a simpler, agrarian, vegan, and vegetarian hippy existence. California is the hotbed of these ideas. Antithetically, it is also the home of Silicon Valley.
FIVE DECADES OF COOLING IN THE ARCTIC
It is instructive to examine the flux in surface temperature in the Arctic. See the figure below. The Arctic cooled in most months until 1997-2006. It is the winter from October through to March that see the greatest warming and this is the season that needs to warm in order to make high latitudes more habitable.
Logically, for cooling to manifest in winter over five decades, from 1948 through to 1987 some other factor is at work that overwhelms any tendency for temperature to increase due to greenhouse gases of anthropogenic origin. If cooling can occur due to ‘another factor’ then its quite possible that warming can also occur due to the influence of that ‘other factor’. If we cannot identify and quantify the response to the factor responsible for the cooling and the warming we make a basic error in logic when we suggest that the warming is due to the influence of man. People who have a genuine interest in cause and effect don’t make that sort of error.
All attempts at problem solving should begin with close observation of all parts of the system on both short and long time scales. The variability that we observe in the change in surface temperature according to hemisphere, latitude and time of the year is indicative of a source of change that is inconsistent with the greenhouse hypothesis. In the absence of an understanding of the origin of that process we are in the dark. Predictions are not possible. We should have no confidence in those who asset that they can tell us what will happen over time. They are plainly charlatans.
In the chapters to come we will see that change in cloud albedo is a process driven by high latitude atmospheric dynamics in the winter hemisphere and from Antarctica in particular. This mode of causation is consistent with the nature of the change that we observe. Temperature change is seasonal and it affects high latitudes more than low latitudes because high latitudes are close to the field of activity at the time of the year when activity occurs. We will see that temperature change at the surface is related to change in the temperature of that part of the atmosphere that contains ozone. Ozone drives atmospheric pressure. Change in surface pressure changes the planetary winds. Structure is a product of process.
The scare campaign about ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ is not based on science. Science demands observation and logic. There is a ‘disconnect’ between observed change and the hypothesis put forward to explain that observation. The constant focus on an aggregated global statistic represents a propaganda exercise rather than a measured attempt at providing meaningful advice. Reason and integrity has gone out the window. The failure of those we trust as scientists is at the most elementary level.
A WARNING IGNORED
The reader is urged to read an essay by JM Wallace, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and a pioneer in the field who believed, unlike this author, that the increase in carbon dioxide results in surface warming. Back in 1998 Wallace implores his colleagues to be circumspect in the predictions and the advice that they offer. His essay can be accessed here: http://www.cimms.ou.edu/~doswell/Wallace_Greenhouse.html
The behaviour of those members of the climate science community that concerned Wallace back in 1998, at a time when global temperatures had very recently risen to values not exceeded in the succeeding 18 years , has continued unabated. Wallace’s essay is a circumspect evaluation of the state of climate science, reveals a man who is wise in the ways of mankind, the political system, the place of science in society and the scope for the whole to be subverted by activists who understand little and believe that ‘the end justifies the means’ in pursuing an objective that they see as desirable.
Wallace makes these points:
In the years ahead, scientific understanding can play a valuable role in shaping public opinion and guiding national and international policy on greenhouse gas emissions, but only to the extent that:
- the research community is able to demonstrate continuing progress in narrowing the range of uncertainty inherent in the predictions of global climate change and,
- the majority of individual scientists are able to maintain the independence from the various political constituencies with interests in this issue, and
- the public retains its confidence in the integrity of the scientific enterprise.
Climate scientists have demonstrably failed in all three areas. But the march goes on regardless
Entire industries and the people that work in them are now being affected by misplaced zealotry. Coal mines are being shut down as humanity turns to more expensive intermittent sources of energy that have to be fully backed up with utilities that have to lie idle in reserve. In recent years the price of the fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas has collapsed making these fuels more affordable. However, underdeveloped societies that are energy poor are being denied access to the cheapest sources of energy and urged to install windmills and solar panels that are subsidised from the taxpayers purse. Whole towns and districts are being laid waste. This is ridiculous. I can’t laugh. I cry. Society has gone mad. Mankind is consuming itself in pursuit of an idea that has no substance.