Satellite global temperature trends; still much less warming than Jones and GISS

There is a tendency around to claim that satellite Lower Troposphere (LT) T trends now agree with Jones et al (land & sea) and GISS land based trends. 
But this is not so.
Trend differences of circa 0.047 C per decade are huge when viewed against the claims by Jones et al / IPCC of only 0.05 C UHI contamination over the century plus surface record.  For graphic and details.  

The trends for the graphic below for the 27 year period Dec 1978 through Nov 2005 are 0.12516 per decade for MSU and 0.17256 per decade for Jones. A difference of 0.0474 degrees C per decade which when pro-rated suggests circa 0.4 degrees C per century. A figure that is far from insignificant when considered alongside the IPCC / Jones et al claim that their data only includes only 0.05 degrees UHI contamination over the course of the record. The GISS trend is 0.185 per decade.

Global T trends
In addition to the above both Jones /CRU and GISS late in 2005 made news with claims raising the possibility that 2005 could be the warmest year yet, topping 1998.
However with both groups now quoting data through November 2005 claims have been wound back slightly.
On the CRU front page under News, they say;
WMO/CRU/Met. Office press release on Global Temperature for 2005: second warmest year on record.
That means warmer than 2002 but not topping 1998.

GISS are a little more confident and their homepage states;
The global surface temperature for the 2005 meteorological year is probably the hottest on record. Although 2005 tied 1998 within the margin of error, the 2005 mark is particularly noteworthy because no El Niño contributed to this year’s heating.  (Dec. ’05)

Dr John Christy at University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) quoting the the MSU data finds less warming than GISS or CRU and says 2005 has been the equal second warmest year in the 27 year satellite record, equal with 2002 and clearly cooler than 1998.

We will present more trend comparisons as data come to hand.

100 comments to Satellite global temperature trends; still much less warming than Jones and GISS

  • Louis Hissink

    Ender,

    If I don’t like the entries in Wikipeida I should edit them? Not science son.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Ender, the heat from the equatorial regions is transferred to the polar regions by ocean currents and wind flows.

  • Steve Bloom

    Louis, let me get this straight: You accused me of having no “scientific credibility” based on your failure to read where I noted to scroll down to see the new NCDC figure, and then not only failed to admit your error but underlined it by repeating the canard against me. You’re a troll, Louis. I’m sorry you have nothing better to do with your life.

  • Steve Bloom

    Doug, I should have been more specific: What I question is your conclusion that greenhouse heat trapped over the oceans ends up being largely emitted to space. This sounds like a slightly controversial assertion. It also sounds like a fine subject for a paper, which is why I asked you for a peer-reviewed reference. I hesitate to take you at your word on this because of your unreferenced assertion in a prior comment on this thread that land use changes must have a substantial net global (as contrasted to regional) forcing. This assertion seems to conflict with the views of everyone who actually studies land use changes. While we’re on the the subject, is there a peer-reviewed reference to back up your idea about the clouds parting to create the ocean warming?

  • Douglas Hoyt

    I notice that on Pielke’s blog that the paper by John Christy, William Norris, Kelly Redmond and Kevin Gallo, in press with the Journal of Climate, entitled “Methodology and Results of Calculating Central California Surface Temperature Trends: Evidence of a Human-Induced Climate Change” is one you disagree with even though it is peer reviewed. So I don’t think digging up peer reviewed papers that support every one of my points would convince you. Furthermore you seem think papers like the one by Park et al in 2005 in the JGR called “Export efficiency of black carbon aerosol in continental outflow: Global implications” which provides evidence that the surface albedo has been reduced by the anthropogenic input of black carbon and its deposition on arctic snow are not believable since they report a land use change that probably affects global climate and glacial melting. Hansen had an earlier paper saying soot on ice and snow accounted for 25% of the global warming. I guess you don’t believe that paper either. There are other papers saying land use changes have large effects on global climate (papers you will disagree with) and yet other papers that say land use has no global impact (papers you will agree with). So it is quite useless to cite papers since you will agree or disagree with them based upon Green Party politics rather than the physics behind the papers. From your responses I gather you have not followed a single link that I provided.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    I should add that I have discussed these ideas with some physicist friends of mine and they agree that I am correct. I have also been told that these ideas were sent in a Letter to the editor of Science, Donald Kennedy, who rejected it without even allowing any reviewers see it. So you see there is a great instituional barrier to even suggesting something could be wrong with climate science and obviously Kennedy doesn’t want reviewers to get ideas. I am sending an account to a climate modeler to see what happens. Perhaps he will go ballistic, unlike physicists who can’t see anything wrong with the physics. By the way the same Kennedy rejected another Letter to Science from yet a different physicist friend who had measurements to show that towns of 5 to 10 people cause measureable temperature increases. Again, the letter never got to the reviewers. Most people don’t realize what is happening in the background and how any results that may harm the global warming idea are summarily dismissed. They are not even allowed to be peer reviewed.

  • Douglas – "Ender, the heat from the equatorial regions is transferred to the polar regions by ocean currents and wind flows." So there must be a mechanism to transfer the heat from the ocean to the air and from the air to the ocean. This is what you said "Thermal radiation from greenhouse gases can only penetrate the top one millimeter of the ocean. It cannot be the cause of the observed ocean warming." You dismissed the Eocene warming of the ocean as happening many millions of years ago – fair enough. However as there is a mechanism happening now that warms the ocean transporting heat from the tropics to the poles then it stands to reason that if the atmosphere warms then there would be more heating of the ocean leading to the observed sea surface temperature rises. So obviously thermal radiation can indirectly cause heating of the ocean. Louis "Ender, answer the question – “have you any background in science”. Please. " I have no background in science.

  • Louis Hissink

    Ender, thank you.

  • Louis Hissink

    Steve Bloom, Yes I have scrolled down your link and could not easily locate precisely your pointing to 2005 being the hottest by a nose. In horse racing winning by a nose involves the Race Steward asking for a photo of the race finish to microscopically determine the magnitude of the win of the winning nose. Scrolling a web page is essentially a macroscopic exercise. Noses tend to be missed.

  • Steve Bloom

    Doug, I do read your links. While starting to gird my loins to search out the detailed information I need to respond to your stuff rather than just engage in a rhetorical dodge as you seem to like to do, this interesting and on-point new paper came out: www.bbso.njit.edu/~epb/reprints/Palle_etal_EOS_2006.pdf; see also www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-01/njio-nsp012306.php. The fact that it was published in EOS speaks for itself. Now I’m wondering if Lindzen was right, but just got the sign wrong. :)

    P.S.: In fact, I read your stuff even when you haven’t even given me a link: meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Hoyt/why_warming_is_observed.html. I’ll look forward to the amended version.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Steve, you are confused yet again. It is global dimming to 1985, global brightening to 2000, and global dimming since then if Palle is correct. None of my earlier posts were concerned with post-2000 data, so why bring up Palle? It is not clear if Palle is correct since his results are based on one location. He really needs a network of stations for his monitoring. If I remember correctly, satellite observations indicate continued global brightening since 2000, so it is not clear what is happening.

    It seems to me that in recent years we have warming of the air over land caused by darkening vegetation, soot on ice and snow, and the failure to fully remove UHI effects. So some of the warming is real and some of it is spurious measurements (probably mostly spurious).

    Over oceans, the air is not warming much at all. The water is warming and where it is warming is the same region where cloud cover is decreasing. It is curious that you linked to Willis’s paper and then later on a different blog admitted that you had not looked at the paper. It seems like you are just engaged in rhetoric and linking to stuff you don’t understand. That is why I wondered if you looked at any links.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Just a couple of added thoughts concerning the last post.

    Palle measures earthshine on the moon from one location on the Earth. Thus, he is always measuring earthshine from the same half of the Earth. He is not measuring earthshine from regions on the opposite side of the Earth. That is why I say he really needs several locations to measure from so he samples earthshine from all over the world. He is getting a large regional measure of Earth albedo changes.

    Looking at ISCCP agin, it appears that cloudiness is again increasing from 2000 to 2004, so that confirms Palle and there is no differences in the directions of the trends that I can see. So, perhaps Palle is lucky and one station is working.

    The problem for climate models with these large cloud cover changes are many: 1) They are not predicted by the models. 2) They are not correlated with temperature changes. 3) The changes in radiation flux are ten times larger than the flux changes claimed for greenhouse gases. It implies that very large changes in radiative flux have little or no effect on temperatures. If the Earth is really this insensitive to flux changes that are much larger than a flux change due to a doubling of carbon dioxide, then it implies such a doubling will have little effect on temperatures.

    All in all, it suggests the climate models are in deep trouble.

  • Douglas – “The water is warming and where it is warming is the same region where cloud cover is decreasing”

    How is the water warming? “The emitted radiation will closely follow a blackbody emission curve whereas the incident flux from carbon dioxide is confined to a band centered at 15 microns. The implication of this is that much of the radiation emitted will escape directly to space through the IR windows, so it is a negative feedback”

    According to you the incident radiation is reflected off into space – so how does the warming of the ocean occur?

  • Louis Hissink

    Ender,

    The warming of the ocean seems to be affected by tectonics as this paper suggests

    www.geostreamconsulting.com/papers/Leybourne_Oceans_Fin.pdf

    The earth as a source of heat is ignored in climate modelling.

    From what I learnt anecdotally, a research proposal to study the linkage between tectonics and climate was knocked back by Melbourne Uni meteorologists because they refused to accept any link between short term geophysical phenomena and climate.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Ender, You are confusing solar radiation and thermal infrared radiation. Solar radiation goes from 0.3 to 4 microns and peaks at about 0.55 microns. When clouds decrease more of this radiation enters the oceans and heats it. Thermal infrared radiation goes from 4 microns to 30 or so microns and peaks at about 10 microns. The increase in infrared radiation due to carbon dioxide occurs at 15 microns. It cannot penetrate the ocean. The incident narrowband thermal radiation heats a thin skin of the ocean surface which then remits the radiation over the entire IR band and that radiation escapes to space. It cannot heat the ocean as already explained.

  • JohnMcCall

    Douglas Hoyt- Isn’t is also correct to contrast CO2 (and other GHG) shallow IR penetration warming of

  • JohnMcCall

    Douglas Hoyt- Isn’t it also correct to contrast CO2 (and other GHG) shallow IR penetration warming of less than 1mm at the ocean surface, with the 10 to 200m of penetration mixed-layer warming by solar radiation (depending on clarity)?

  • Douglas – According to this reference the air heats the ocean by conduction. Therefore if the atmosphere is warmer then there will be more warming of the ocean.

    www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/dees/ees/climate/lectures/o_atm.html

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Ender, the central point of my posts is that the CO2 radiation in the 15 micron band is absorbed in a very thin surface layer and then re-emitted mostly to space. Consequently, there is much less additional heat from CO2 to heat the air which, in turn, might heat the ocean. The heat is not there to heat the air in the first place. The whole process is short-circuited and no one has noticed it. In the climate modeling community, detailed line-by-line calculations are used to calculate the radiative forcing. The results of these models are put in broadband parameterizations of the radiation fluxes and these broadband models have no spectral resolution. These models would not detect or calculate the negative feedback I have described. In short, the modelers parameterized their codes too early.

    John, I have already pointed out the difference in absorption depths for solar and IR at
    www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html (see the figure near the end).

  • Douglas – “Thermal radiation from greenhouse gases can only penetrate the top one millimeter of the ocean. It cannot be the cause of the observed ocean warming. The ISCCP data shows that clouds have decreased where ocean warming is observed. It is the resulting increased solar radiation that is warming the oceans.”

    So lets go back to that statement that you use to try and justify your use of the satellite data to infer temperatures over the oceans rather that using the direct measurements of ocean temperature.

    You now say that:
    “Ender, the central point of my posts is that the CO2 radiation in the 15 micron band is absorbed in a very thin surface layer and then re-emitted mostly to space”

    This emitted radiation would then be re-emitted at a longer wavelength than 15 microns as e=hv and some energy would be lost in the re-emission. The atmosphere is opaque to radiation longer than about 13 microns:

    ” Carbon dioxide has a more complex absorption spectrum with isolated peaks at about 2.6 and 4 microns and a shoulder, or complete blockout, of infrared radiation beyond about 13 microns. From this we see that carbon dioxide is a very strong absorber of infrared radiation. The plot for water vapor shows an absorption spectrum more complex even than carbon dioxide, with numerous broad peaks in the infrared region between 0.8 and 10 microns.”
    from www.meteor.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/forcing_lecture_new.html.

    Given that then is stands to reason that this emitted radiation would be absorbed by the atmosphere which would increase in temperature. This increased temperature would increase the temperature gradient in the air-ocean boundary and lead to more heat being transferred to the oceans by conduction. This would fully account for tropical waters heating up and being able to transfer heat to the polar regions. It would also explain the Eocene heating of the ocean depths during the dramatic heating of the atmosphere that occured then. It would also account for the observed increases in the ocean temperature as CO2 levels rise as if there is more CO2 then there would be more radiation trapped and more heating.

    This also fits with my previous reference:
    ” The ocean transmits electromagnetic radiation into the atmosphere in proportion to the fourth power of the sea surface temperature (°K). This radiation is at much longer wave lengths (greater than 10 micros, in the infrared range) than that of the sun, because the ocean surface is far cooler that the sun’s surface. The net long wave radiation from the ocean surface is surprisingly uniform over the global. Why? The infrared radiation emitted from the ocean is quickly absorbed and re-emitted by water vapor and carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases residing in the lower atmosphere. Much of the radiation from the atmospheric gases, also in the infra red range, is transmitted back to the ocean, reducing the net long wave radiation heat loss of the ocean. The warmer the ocean the warmer and more humid is the air, increasing its greenhouse abilities. Thus it is very difficult for the ocean to transmit heat by long wave radiation into the atmosphere, it just gets kicked back by the greenhouse gases, notably water vapor whose maximum concentration is proportional to the air temperature. Net back radiation cools the ocean, on a global average by 66 watts per square meter.”

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Here is a picture of the infrared windows that you think don’t exist www.atmos.umd.edu/~owen/CHPI/IMAGES/emisss.html

  • Paul Linsay

    Ender, CO2 does little to trap infrared radiation. This is obvious if you’ve ever spent time in a desert like the Mojave. It gets quite cold at night with daily swings of 50 F from day to night common. There is very little water vapor in the air but the CO2 concentration should be the same as it is everywhere else since CO2 is a well mixed gas.

    Check it out, today’s high and low were 74 F and 26 F. www.met.utah.edu/cgi-bin/roman/meso_base.cgi?stn=MRSC1

  • Douglas – The diagram that you posted will include infra-red that is reflected off the top of the atmosphere. The atmosphere is opaque both ways to infra-red. This is the diagram of the absorbtion of infra-red emitted by the earth and radiated toward space.

    www.meteor.iastate.edu/gccourse/forcing/images/image7.gif

    As you can see after 13 microns the infra-red is almost completely absorbed.

    Paul – the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contribute about 33 degrees of warming. If the nighttime temperature gets down to 0 degreesC then if there was no greenhouse warming the temperature would be -33 degreesC and then go to +40 or so degreesC in the day. I am sure that even the Mojave does not experience these temperature extremes. Also even in the desert air there is still water vapour and it is a very potent greenhouse gas.

  • Louis Hissink

    There is a world of difference between absorption and trapping – greenhouse gases are supposed to trap heat – but can’t – their thermal states are quickly equilibrated with the rest of the atmosphere which is continously losing energy to space.

    Absorbed but not trapped.

    As for the 33 deg C greenhouse effect, that is from calculation, not measurement. I wonder if it has ever been physically verified?

  • Louis – Not sure – you can have a look at the moon with a temperature range of -171° C to 111° C.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Ender, the temperature of the radiation in the windows is about 290 K (as shown in www.atmos.umd.edu/~owen/CHPI/IMAGES/emisss.html ) indicating it is coming from the surface and escaping to space, just as I have been saying.

    The greenhouse effect is increased absorption in the 15 micron band. The anti-greenhouse effect is increased emission in the infrared windows. The increased emission can come from increased temperature or from moist surfaces re-distributing the increased 15 micron band radiation to wavelengths from 4 to 100 microns. The anti-greenhouse effect is ignored in the models.

    Louis is right when he says initial absorption and ultimate trapping are not the same.

  • Paul Linsay

    Also even in the desert air there is still water vapour and it is a very potent greenhouse gas.

    Exactly my point. The humidity at the site dropped to 6% overnight.

    You now say that:
    “Ender, the central point of my posts is that the CO2 radiation in the 15 micron band is absorbed in a very thin surface layer and then re-emitted mostly to space”

    This emitted radiation would then be re-emitted at a longer wavelength than 15 microns as e=hv and some energy would be lost in the re-emission. The atmosphere is opaque to radiation longer than about 13 microns:

    This last statement is just wrong. Suppose I boil a cup of water over a gas flame. It is heated by a broadband thermal source with a peak in the blue, about 0.5 microns. Now boil a cup of water in a microwave oven. This time it is being heated by a very narrowband source at 2.45 GHz = 12.2 centimeters. If I measure the radiation spectra from the two cups they will be identical and approximate a 373 K( = 100 C) blackbody spectrum. There is no way that you could tell which source heated which cup. Internal molecular collisions quickly redistribute the incoming energy into a thermal distribution regardless of the heat source. The same goes for heating the ocean surface with 15 micron radiation, it will be thermalized and the water will reradiate the energy over the full blackbody spectrum. At 293 K (= 20 C) it extends from about 4 to 30 microns and peaks at 10 microns.

  • David

    >Vincent Gray provides a way to do this at www.warwickhughes.com/gray04/nzct44.htm. The Northern Hemisphere is 0.292 land and is warming at 0.196 C/decade for 1979 to 2005. The Southern Hemisphere is 0.152 land and is warming at 0.057 C/decade. Thus, we get the following two equations: 0.196 = 0.491 * Land warming + 0.509 Ocean warming 0.057 = 0.152 * Land warming + 0.848 Ocean warming Solving them we get: Land warming = 0.490 C/decade Ocean warming = -0.006 C/decade.

    Vincent Gray’s analyses are wrong. He has 4 unknowns in two equations (trend over ocean northern hemisphere, trend over ocean southern hemisphere, trend over land northern hemisphere, and trend over land southern hemisphere). He introduced two false assumptions into the equation to allow it to be solved, that is trend ocean northern hemisphere = trend over ocean southern hemisphere and trend over land northern hemisphere = trend over land southern hemisphere.

    David

  • Douglas Hoyt

    It turns out that trends of warming over land and ocean are given at www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    MSU trend over land is 0.15 C/decade. Over oceans it is 0.11 C/decade.

  • Douglas – you lost me there. Without going into all that you are saying here as it is a bit of side issue you really haven’t accounted satisfactoraly for the air heating of the oceans. You said intially that the oceans were only heated by:
    “Thermal radiation from greenhouse gases can only penetrate the top one millimeter of the ocean. It cannot be the cause of the observed ocean warming. The ISCCP data shows that clouds have decreased where ocean warming is observed. It is the resulting increased solar radiation that is warming the oceans.”

    wheres in reality increased air temperature can heat the ocean as evidenced by the transport of heat from the tropics to the poles and the inferred heating of the ocean during the Eocene Thermal Event. As the sea does not experience land clearing and is rising in temperature then land clearing cannot be the sole source of the observed warming.

  • Louis Hissink

    I might describe a natural localised body of water east of the WA township of Leonora, Malcolm Dam.

    In the middle of summer the first 6 feet are warmed during the day by the sun. Underneath this layer of warm water is water close to freezing.

    No one dives into this body of water – the last one who did, penetrated the warm thermal layer, hit the icy cold water, and was never seen again. Police never dared to dive into the hole too.

    One would have thought that all the water would have been warmed by the sun.

    So extrapolate that to an ocean and one can see what Douglas is on about.

  • Louis Hissink

    Oh, I might add that after a while the body reappeared on the surface for the usual biological reasons.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Ender, the best way to explain the ocean heating in depth is for the solar radiation to change and decreasing clouds, as measured by ISCCP, indicate increasing solar radiation is occurring right where the ocean heating is reported to be occurring. The Willis paper does not even mention the ISCCP data that has a similar geographic distribution to the water warming. Simply put, where clouds decrease in amount, the water warms. It has nothing to do with carbon dioxide. A handy plot of the ISCCP results can be found as Figure 3 at www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/01/11/jumping-to-conclusions-frogs-global-warming-and-nature/ where clouds are shown to decrease for 1987-2000. In the Willis paper, Figure 4b, covering 1992-2003, is the one that should be compared to Figure 3. Although the dates do not exactly overlap, the spatial patterns are very similar. There is a need to plot both variables over the exact same time interval, but it is unlikely it would change the major conclusions presented here. Clouds have large natural variations going up and down entirely independent of any greenhouse effect. The climate models do not predict these variations and apparently Willis and others are unaware of these variations.

    You really need to put the two figures mentioned above side by side and you will see they are very similar.

    Ender, in the Eocene, what were clouds doing? Does anyone know?

  • Paul Linsay

    Ender

    wheres in reality increased air temperature can heat the ocean

    This is true but heating by conduction is very slow. Suppose the air temperature increases by 1 C. Let’s estimate its effect on the water temperatrue. The thermal diffusivity of water is about 1.5e-7 m^2/sec. After one year, 3 e7 sec, the temperature will have risen by 1/3 C at a depth of sqrt (1.5e-7 * 3 e7) = 2 m and 1/9 C at 4 m. It would take four years for the temperature to rise by 1/3 C at 4 m. Compare this to the penetration depth of visible light which is roughly 100 m (see the figure referenced in Douglas Hoyt, February 6th, 2006 at 8:35 am) Visible light is able to deposit it’s energy over much greater depths of water. This would make increased sunlight a much better candidate for heating the ocean in depth than a simple rise in air temperature.

  • Paul Linsay

    That should be “…the penetration depth of visible light which is roughly 10 m …”

  • Louis – “natural localised body of water ” – I think that you answered your own question.

    Paul and Douglas – so my swimming pool which is covered by a thermal blanket would take 1 year to heat? Usually the top 20 or 30 cm is warm from the suns heat after 1 day. The sun warms the solar blanket that then heats the water. No light radiation gets in as the blanket is opaque and not much escapes becuase of the thermal properties of the blanket. Also the difference in temperatures can be much higher that 1 degree as air heats up much faster than the ocean and land leading to strong sea breezes such as the Fremantle Doctor that us Perth residents know and love.

  • Louis Hissink

    Ender,

    as I did not ask a question, your reply is odd.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    Ender, you still don’t know the difference between solar radiation and thermal radiation. Paul Linsay was talking about thermal radiation and is correct that it cannot heat water except extremely slowly. On the other hand, solar radiation can heat water quickly as you point out for a swimming pool. I doubt that your blanket is opaque.

  • Douglas – I am pretty sure that I do. The solar blanket is not totally opaque as you say however I would hazard a guess that it blocks 90% if incident solar radiation into the pool. However as you did not point the weakness in my argument I will. It is very obvious that the cover is heated by incident solar radiation and heats up. This then heats the top 10 or 20 cm of water in a lot less than a year usually in a morning. Because the heat cannot escape, because of the physical barrier, the top layer stays warm.

    In some ways the solar pool cover acts as a model for the ocean. The incident solar radiation and thermal energy from the atmosphere that cannot escape is transferred to the ocean warming it. Either of these 2 mechanisms if they increase or decrease can affect the water temperature. So reduced cload cover will reduce the incident solar radiation however if greenhouse gases trap more heat then this will also be applied to the ocean.

    If conduction is such a poor heater of water how come my pool can heat in a morning with little or no incident solar radiation?

  • Steve Sadlov

    I am having one of those “a-ha” moments. Looking over the posts by Enders (an environmentalist, not a scientist) and Steve Bloom (apparently some sort of scientist or at least, a “climate scientist”) it has struck me that most of those who cling to the Global Warming (Disaster) Scenario either elect to ignore well known principles of quantum physics, or, they simply never properly learnt them. Even I, I must admit, have always assumed that “climate scientists” has worked out the physics and that the debate was largely about various esoteric nuances – statistical considerations, difficult to quantify things, etc. But I see here, even at the fundamental level of understanding basic aspects of what sorts of mechanisms realistically impart energy to tropical waters, or understanding the vast differences in transmission of energy between solar radiation and molecular radiation, are, amazingly, considered to be up for debate. I will therefore write something fairly extreme. At least a plurality of “climate scientists” are not much different from Luddites, anti-scientific religious extremists, or other sorts of folks who seem to want to go back to a time when Man, in a pre-rational, pre-scientific social state, worshipped rocks, sun gods, and the forces of Nature he did not yet have methodologies for understanding. What I describe is a primativism, possibly encapsulated in New Age beliefs or Gaia worship. Science is in grave danger. Mankind is in grave danger of slipping into a Dark Age. Those who desire such an age have already gained power and currency with the public. I am seriously frightened.

  • JohnMcCall

    That ought to stir things up a bit … Mr Linsay — re: 100 or 10m penetration from Dr Hoyt’s plot reference, it looks like visible light penetration is 100m at the blue-violet end? I’m reminded of one of my worst sunburns — snorkeling/free diving as a kid once in Turtle Bay, Maui. The crystal clear water was cool and refreshing compared to air temps. Yet the U-V cooked my shoulders, back and especially my legs and calves which were always well under the IR heated ~.1-1cm of surface seawater. Aah — physics wins again!

  • Steve Sadlov – "Even I, I must admit, have always assumed that “climate scientists” has worked out the physics and that the debate was largely about various esoteric nuances – statistical considerations, difficult to quantify things, etc. But I see here, even at the fundamental level of understanding basic aspects of what sorts of mechanisms realistically impart energy to tropical waters, or understanding the vast differences in transmission of energy between solar radiation and molecular radiation, are, amazingly, considered to be up for debate." OK then from your lofty postion of a total understanding of energy and quantum effects then perhaps you could explain why to top 30cm of my pool heats in about a day.

  • Steve Sadlov

    RE: Feb 23rd, 2006 at 10:27PM Because sufficient solar radiation has been incident on your pool to excite the water molecules. And your solar blanket helps to slow the loss of heat once that has happened. There, I think I’ve covered analogies to both cosmic energy source and atmopheric insulative effects, in one fell swoop. We agree then! (?)

  • Paul Linsay

    John McCall: Good story! That’s why kid’s sun screen is water proof. The absorption coefficient is changing very steeply in the visible, I chose the peak of the solar output which is yellow.

  • JohnMcCall

    Yes Mr. Linsay — I presumed and included as much in my submitted post; but I used the mathematical symbol for “greater than” in that post That part of the post was of course parced incompletely as an HTML string tag delimeter; and my leading penetration comments on the “red end ” of approximately 1m and “yellow-green” band at approximately 10m, were truncated. This is the 2nd time I’ve done this on this blog, though this time the post retained enough meaning with the blue-voilet penetration part of comment parsed & formatted intact — I got lucky.

    Re: that nasty sunburn — was some time ago. Sunblock and waterproof product improvements have come a long way since then. As we both know, the physics remains the same — it just the list of those who ignore the physics that changes/grow longer every year(including a disturbing level of readers/posters at realclimate, for example). Ironic as AGW Pastor Pierrehumbert recently preaches to his flock, the absurd generalization linking the ID movement with AGW skepticism — should we now generalize the AGW crowd to those extremists who jumped to the AGW causes Tsunamis conclusion?

  • JohnMcCall

    My apologies — “pastor” is denominational and its use in this context is patently offensive to the Christian faith. Perhaps “cleric” would be less offensive, yet still capture the spirit of the insult and lack of science put forth in RC’s Darwin Birthday thread? Better yet, skip it all — way off topic to this thread.

  • JohnMcCall

    Whoops — t’was the “less than” symbol that truncated the 100m message.

  • Steve – “Because sufficient solar radiation has been incident on your pool to excite the water molecules. And your solar blanket helps to slow the loss of heat once that has happened.”

    OK so the solar radiation heats the blanket that then heats the water and the action of the solar blanket stops the heat escaping. The point is that the heat travels by conduction much more quickly than what was calculated.

    So therefore this is almost an exact model of what happens in the ocean. The incident radiation is absorbed and then re-radiated to the air as longer wave radiation that is a prevented from leaviing because of the greenhouse gases, like the solar blanket. This warmer air, in contact with the water, heats it leading to warmer water.

  • Douglas Hoyt

    A swimming pool with a solar blanket on it is nothing like an ocean without a blanket on it. You can’t draw any conclusions about the ocean from your swimming pool. Solar radiation will penetrate through your blanket and to a considerable depth in the water, heating it. There is no need for conduction to explain the heating.

  • Steve Sadlov

    RE: "OK so the solar radiation heats the blanket that then heats the water". No. Your solar blanket has so little mass (and therefore, so little thermal inertia) that what little heat its thermal inertia can contain, would do very little to heat the pool. The trick of your thermal blanket it that it is a filter, one that passes certain frequencies (higher) and blocks others (lower). The higher (blue to UV) frequencies pass through your blanket and heat the water. The water then wants to reradiate that heat as IR. The blanket then partially blocks that IR and helps to keep the pool warm. Hey wasn’t there a comment by the poolside in the movie "The Graduate" something about there being a future in plastics? ;)

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