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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

The sun's energy has decreased since the 1980s but the Earth keeps warming faster than before.

Climate Myth...

It's the sun

"Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer." (BBC)

Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a cooling trend. However global temperatures continue to increase. If the sun's energy is decreasing while the Earth is warming, then the sun can't be the main control of the temperature.

Figure 1 shows the trend in global temperature compared to changes in the amount of solar energy that hits the Earth. The sun's energy fluctuates on a cycle that's about 11 years long. The energy changes by about 0.1% on each cycle. If the Earth's temperature was controlled mainly by the sun, then it should have cooled between 2000 and 2008. 

TSI vs. T
Figure 1: Annual global temperature change (thin light red) with 11 year moving average of temperature (thick dark red). Temperature from NASA GISS. Annual Total Solar Irradiance (thin light blue) with 11 year moving average of TSI (thick dark blue). TSI from 1880 to 1978 from Krivova et al 2007. TSI from 1979 to 2015 from the World Radiation Center (see their PMOD index page for data updates). Plots of the most recent solar irradiance can be found at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics LISIRD site.

 

The solar fluctuations since 1870 have contributed a maximum of 0.1 °C to temperature changes. In recent times the biggest solar fluctuation happened around 1960. But the fastest global warming started in 1980.

Figure 2 shows how much different factors have contributed recent warming. It compares the contributions from the sun, volcanoes, El Niño and greenhouse gases. The sun adds 0.02 to 0.1 °C. Volcanoes cool the Earth by 0.1-0.2 °C. Natural variability (like El Niño) heats or cools by about 0.1-0.2 °C. Greenhouse gases have heated the climate by over 0.8 °C.

Contribution to T, AR5 FigFAQ5.1

Figure 2 Global surface temperature anomalies from 1870 to 2010, and the natural (solar, volcanic, and internal) and anthropogenic factors that influence them. (a) Global surface temperature record (1870–2010) relative to the average global surface temperature for 1961–1990 (black line). A model of global surface temperature change (a: red line) produced using the sum of the impacts on temperature of natural (b, c, d) and anthropogenic factors (e). (b) Estimated temperature response to solar forcing. (c) Estimated temperature response to volcanic eruptions. (d) Estimated temperature variability due to internal variability, here related to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. (e) Estimated temperature response to anthropogenic forcing, consisting of a warming component from greenhouse gases, and a cooling component from most aerosols. (IPCC AR5, Chap 5)

Some people try to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures by cherry picking the data. They only show data from periods when sun and climate data track together. They draw a false conclusion by ignoring the last few decades when the data shows the opposite result.

 

Basic rebuttal written by Larry M, updated by Sarah


Update July 2015:

Here is a related lecture-video from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

 

This rebuttal was updated by Kyle Pressler in 2021 to replace broken links. The updates are a result of our call for help published in May 2021.

Last updated on 2 April 2017 by Sarah. View Archives

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Further viewing

Related video from Peter Sinclair's "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" series:

Further viewing

This video created by Andy Redwood in May 2020 is an interesting and creative interpretation of this rebuttal:

Myth Deconstruction

Related resource: Myth Deconstruction as animated GIF

MD Sun

Please check the related blog post for background information about this graphics resource.

Comments

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Comments 401 to 425 out of 1288:

  1. Dan - there is much more certainty about what CO2 does than about what the non-TSI solar effects do. It doesn't generally make sense to assume that an unknown is the explanation for something when there is already a known explanation. (I'm not saying non-TSI solar effects have zero importance; I am saying there is reason to think they are not so large based on the known forcings and the response observed.) thingadonta - "With regards to your comment, I would say it is a leap of faith to argue that human affairs and a trace gas is driving global warming to catastrophic global climate change, when human and geological history shows otherwise." See previous portion of this comment. And: 1. modern climatology theories are not rooted in middle age European social and religeous traditions; in fact, the idea of significant human effect on the climate was for a time considered unlikely partly just because 'the Earth is so big and we are so small' (and they initially misunderstood radiative energy transfer, and thought the oceans would just absorb any extra CO2 we put out - partially correct, but 100% wrong in that the remaining change in atmospheric CO2 level is sizable). But that was a belief that people liked because it gave order to their world. And recently, continuing belief in such things and some other disagreements with scientific findings have provided comfort to the fossil fuel industry, giving it a sense of order, the order that they can keep doing what they've been doing. 2. Just because a person believes something - even if it makes their world make sense to them - does not make it wrong. Sure, my own understanding of global warming helps make the world make sense to me, but so does my 'belief' that water is made of molecules that each have two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxgen, bound chemically via electromagnetism, shaped by the quantum mechanical properties of electrons. And so it is for my 'belief' that the moon landings were not faked, my 'belief' that humans descended from other primates, which descended from other mammals, etc, my 'belief' that a rainbow is the result of the way sunlight is refracted and reflected by rain drops, my 'belief' that the Earth is approximately an oblate spheroid that, along with the moon orbiting it, orbits the sun (or some center of gravity between the sun and the Earth-moon system, with perturbations from the other planets), my 'beliefs' that the Earth is a bit over 4.5 billion years old, that North America and Europe used to be adjacent, that there is convection in the mantle, that diamond is the hardest mineral, that stone-age people painted on some cave walls, that dolphins are mammals, that genetics and environment combine to shape an organism's phenotype, that the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of WWII, ... Should I assume that all of these must be wrong just because the world would then make less sense to me?
  2. "Both descriptions produce "free energy" (created energy) " I hope you realize that whereever I used the term 'free energy', I was refering to the energy available to do work - in a heat flow from hot to cold, some of the energy in the hot object is free energy - it could be converted to work by a heat engine; if it is just allowed to flow to the cold object as heat, then free energy is destroyed while entropy is increased, but energy is not destroyed - entropy just 'imprisons' the formerly free energy.
  3. Greenhouse Effect Summary Ultimately, ALL "greenhouse effect" literature and ALL calculations wind up VIOLATING the Law of Conservation of Energy. They ALL CONCLUDE that the Earth Radiates MORE ENERGY than the Earth receives from the SUN....THE ONLY ENERGY SOURCE THAT THE AGW'ERS USE. A PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY and VERY COMICAL.
  4. Speaking about "comical", here is what one AGW'er recently posted: "...free energy is destroyed while entropy is increased, but energy is not destroyed - entropy just 'imprisons' the formerly free energy." I was laughing so hard, it brought tears to my eyes.
  5. Patrick027 and others: In the middle ages, every other weather/climate incident was blamed on God's wrath/favour on what we humans were doing/not doing. Other cultures blamed the sun; these cultures were actually closer to the truth, because they got this tradition through centuries of correlation, rather than bureaucratic expediency. (However, in both cultutes humans were sacrificed/murdered, by the prevailing bureacrats). My point is, the blame for climate/weather change today now goes to a new God- "climate change due to human C02", which is in the same old tradition- that it is something to do with humans being bad and the wrath of the heavens, rather than something which has got nothing to do with us (eg the sun). It is bureacratic expediency to say this, associated with deep seated needs to control others. And the same sort of bureaucrats are now trying to control society using a variation on this same old theme, 'the heavens are angry because we humans have sinned', just the way they did in the past. Moreover, when people first started noticing that the weather was warming in the 20th century, do you think that the first thing that occurred to them was that it was the sun, or something easier to measure/monitor-eg earth climate? The sun was originally just, if not more, as likely a candidate, however green lobbyists jumped on the oppourtunity to promote their cause by blaming it on humans (the same way old religious leaders did). But as data/effects of the sun, which is more difficult to measure, grows, the shift will gradually go back to the sun. A few other, more scientific points (as this middle age argument is getting old). You only need to reduce cloud cover by ~1% to explain the rise in temperature since 1980, when the sun activity-temperature correlation decouples. It is important to note that cloud cover has not been measured over a long enough time to correlate with temperature changes. If the theory that cosmic rays form more clouds is correct, this would explain the rise in temperature since 1980, when the sun-temperature correlation breaks down, as solar activity has remained flat and strong (but has not increased), thereby diffusing incoming cosmic rays, reducing cloud cover and warming the earth. This effect is not immediate, but occurs over time (ie decades), and it would also be expected that land temperatures would rise faster than the oceans, which is observed, whereas with a warming atmosphere due to C02-the atmosphere itself has not warmed in patterns consistent with C02 effects, but it has (?) in regard to reduced cloud cover. You can see the effect of cloud cover on temperature on any normal sunny/cloudy day. 1998 was aparrently, a year of very low cloud cover. Moreover UV has remained strong since 1980. Other points: C02 has been much higher (well over 2000ppm) for long periods in past geological history, right in the middle of widespread ice ages, including a snowball earth in the Pre Cambrian. The geological record indicates that C02 effect on earth temperatures is very minor, and pales in comparison to changes in solar activity. The 20-21st century is likely to be no different. Climatologists however, don't bother to consult the longer geological record. As far as I know, not one (?) paleontogist contributed to the IPCC reports (but I could be wrong). To take one example, every palaeontologist knows that sea level rises create diversity and thriving corals, whereas sea level falls create extinction. The climate modellers and the IPCC, who don't bother to consult the long geological record, say the opposite. Every palaeontologist knows that warm periods and high C02 tend to correspond to biological diversity and not extinction (eg the Carboniferous period), the IPCC climate modellers, who don't bother to consult the geological record, say the opposite. There is barely any reference to the longer geological record in the IPCC report. Rather than look at computer projections, wouldnt it be wiser to actually look at what has actually happened under such scenarios??? No acidicification of oceans occurs with high C02 in geological history, corals and marine life thrive. The IPCC says the oppposite. The geological record shows that warm periods correspond with lower global desertification, the IPCC, which doesn't bother to consult the geological record, projects the opposite. Antarctica has been completely free of ice in much the same position it is in now, and the world didn't end. Seal levels rose, animals moved inland, and coral reefs thrived. No mass extinctions occurred. The IPCC completely ignores this data. I could go on, but i guess i am boring people. My feeling is that the sun will eventually be seen to cause most/all global warming, but not without some bureaucrats trying to force the old religion of 'heavens wrath on sinful humans' on us.
  6. ""...free energy is destroyed while entropy is increased, but energy is not destroyed - entropy just 'imprisons' the formerly free energy." "I was laughing so hard, it brought tears to my eyes." Good, because it was a clever analogy. And also dead-on accurate. (Or maybe I should have said the free energy is lost in that the freedom is destroyed, rather than saying that the free energy is destroyed.) (Maybe free energy is referred to as 'available energy' or 'available work' or with the adjective 'availability' in the context of mechanical engineering; in chemistry the term 'Gibbs free energy' is used.)
  7. thingadonta - "Moreover, when people first started noticing that the weather was warming in the 20th century, do you think that the first thing that occurred to them was that it was the sun, or something easier to measure/monitor-eg earth climate? The sun was originally just, if not more, as likely a candidate, however green lobbyists jumped on the oppourtunity to promote their cause by blaming it on humans (the same way old religious leaders did)." And we shouldn't blame some fraction of lung cancer cases on smoking because that's just the instinct of the anti-tobacco lobbyists? Two words: Svante Arhenius (may have mispelled last name). But there were others involved; the point being that scientists were able to anticipate that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would cause a temperature change, before any robust trend was observed. And people did think of the sun as well, at least in climatology in general. People tried to find correlations between sunspots and economic conditions. But also, scientists have looked into the effects of the Milankovitch cycles (not changes in the sun itself, but in the way the Earth recieves solar energy). "But as data/effects of the sun, which is more difficult to measure, grows, the shift will gradually go back to the sun." How do you know that without the data? What about the CO2 data (including laboratory studies of optical properties, etc.)? "A few other, more scientific points (as this middle age argument is getting old)." Thank you. "You only need to reduce cloud cover by ~1% to explain the rise in temperature since 1980," You also only need to have the changes in the known forcings that have actually occured, plus an oceanic heating rate comparable to what has been observed, plus a climate sensitivity close to what it is expected to be based on models and paleoclimatic studies. "It is important to note that cloud cover has not been measured over a long enough time to correlate with temperature changes." But what we do know is that CO2 has continued to increase, this decreases the escape of heat to space from the surface and troposphere, etc... "If the theory that cosmic rays form more clouds is correct, this would explain the rise in temperature since 1980," Sounds like you don't know if it is true or not. "and it would also be expected that land temperatures would rise faster than the oceans, which is observed," That's a general expectation applicable to any global warming. " whereas with a warming atmosphere due to C02-the atmosphere itself has not warmed in patterns consistent with C02 effects, but it has (?) in regard to reduced cloud cover." If you don't know how cloud cover has changed, you can't conclude that the pattern is consistent with cloud cover changes. But I'm not sure how much is actually known about cloud changes offhand. But the observed changes are consistent with the known forcings - CO2, etc, in their known proportions. The greenhouse forcing in particular tends to cool the stratosphere, which has been observed. Of course, ozone depletion in the stratosphere will tend to do the same thing, though not with the same spatial pattern, I think - and anyway, the total changes can be compared to the combined expected changes from all factors. "C02 has been much higher (well over 2000ppm) for long periods in past geological history," Yes, and it has been warmer too. But to be accurate, you must also keep in mind that the sun has been getting gradually brighter over 100s of millions of years, so a constant temperature over time would require decreasing CO2, or some combination of other changes. " right in the middle of widespread ice ages, including a snowball earth in the Pre Cambrian." Yes/No. Once the Earth is in a snowball state, CO2 has to reach very high levels in order to start the thaw, because the albedo is so high. As for the Ordivician ice age(s?), recent studies suggest that the formation of the Appalacian mountains would have drawn down atmospheric CO2 levels at that time. "The geological record indicates that C02 effect on earth temperatures is very minor, and pales in comparison to changes in solar activity. The 20-21st century is likely to be no different. Climatologists however, don't bother to consult the longer geological record." Wrong, wrong, and WRONG! "As far as I know, not one (?) paleontogist contributed to the IPCC reports (but I could be wrong). To take one example, every palaeontologist knows that sea level rises create diversity and thriving corals, whereas sea level falls create extinction. The climate modellers and the IPCC, who don't bother to consult the long geological record, say the opposite."..."Every palaeontologist knows that warm periods and high C02 tend to correspond to biological diversity and not extinction (eg the Carboniferous period), the IPCC climate modellers, who don't bother to consult the geological record, say the opposite."..."There is barely any reference to the longer geological record in the IPCC report. Rather than look at computer projections, wouldnt it be wiser to actually look at what has actually happened under such scenarios???" They do consult the long geologic record. See in particular chapter 6 of IPCC's AR4 WGI. But I could also suggest looking at the textbooks on paleoclimate, such as "Earth's Climate - Past and Future" by William F. Ruddiman, or a chapter in "Global Physical Climatology" by Dennis L. Hartmann, or look at mentions of climate in a geology-focussed book, such as "Evolution of the Earth" by Dott and Prothero. Any sufficiently rapid sustained change into relatively unfamiliar conditions (as judged by how long ago they last occured) can stress ecosystems to the point of mass extinction. Coral and/or other sea life can die off or be harmed from temperatures that are too high and also from acidification. "No acidicification of oceans occurs with high C02 in geological history, corals and marine life thrive. The IPCC says the oppposite." The pH change caused by a slow rise in CO2 can be buffered by the dissolution of carbonate minerals (including older coral reefs?) and over long periods, the weathering of silicate minerals to wash Ca and Mg (and Na and K) ions into the sea. These processes take time; a sudden injection of CO2 into the water causes a pH reduction because the concentrations of other ions cannot generally turn on a dime. "The geological record shows that warm periods correspond with lower global desertification, the IPCC, which doesn't bother to consult the geological record, projects the opposite." Warming is expected to cause drying on the subtropical edges of the midlatitude storm tracks in general (regional variations may/will occur), but increased precipitation at high latitudes in general, and increased precipitation globally. The spatial variance in the temperature response, along with an increase in water vapor and the resulting changes in convection, will drive changes in atmospheric circulation patterns; regional and seasonal climate patterns will shift or reorganize. It is conceivable that some modes of internal variability may be altered in shape, amplitude, frequency, or existence. There will still be Hadley cells, monsoons, midlatitude storm tracks and jet streams, but they will shift and be altered. Regions and seasons of precipitation will shift. A greater fraction of precipiation will come in high intensity events. Both floods and droughts may/will increase - it depends on where and when. Midlatitude continent winters may get wetter but the summers may get dryer. The problem is that a rapid change can exceed the ability for species to migrate and/or adapt or stress ecosystems when different species do so in different ways or degrees (as in if pollinating birds or insects start missing the timing of flowers). Trees and soil in particular are not known to travel rapidly, and species with long life cycles cannot evolve rapidly. And then there are farmland, buildings, cities, etc. Of course, we can invest in updates to our buildings, are irrigation and aquaducts, etc... but that costs money. I have an idea for who should pay... "Antarctica has been completely free of ice in much the same position it is in now, and the world didn't end. Seal levels rose, animals moved inland, and coral reefs thrived. No mass extinctions occurred. The IPCC completely ignores this data." See above. Seal levels ? :) "My feeling is that the sun will eventually be seen to cause most/all global warming," Why should we pay more attention to your feelings than the scientific knowledge thus far gained? "but not without some bureaucrats trying to force the old religion of 'heavens wrath on sinful humans' on us." Like we shouldn't care about spending more money than we have, or eating too much, because warnings of debt and obesity are just an old religion of a vengeful math and physics?
  8. thingadonta - (is this a double post?) "Moreover, when people first started noticing that the weather was warming in the 20th century, do you think that the first thing that occurred to them was that it was the sun, or something easier to measure/monitor-eg earth climate? The sun was originally just, if not more, as likely a candidate, however green lobbyists jumped on the oppourtunity to promote their cause by blaming it on humans (the same way old religious leaders did)." And we shouldn't blame some fraction of lung cancer cases on smoking because that's just the instinct of the anti-tobacco lobbyists? Two words: Svante Arhenius (may have mispelled last name). But there were others involved; the point being that scientists were able to anticipate that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would cause a temperature change, before any robust trend was observed. And people did think of the sun as well, at least in climatology in general. People tried to find correlations between sunspots and economic conditions. But also, scientists have looked into the effects of the Milankovitch cycles (not changes in the sun itself, but in the way the Earth recieves solar energy). "But as data/effects of the sun, which is more difficult to measure, grows, the shift will gradually go back to the sun." How do you know that without the data? What about the CO2 data (including laboratory studies of optical properties, etc.)? "A few other, more scientific points (as this middle age argument is getting old)." Thank you. "You only need to reduce cloud cover by ~1% to explain the rise in temperature since 1980," You also only need to have the changes in the known forcings that have actually occured, plus an oceanic heating rate comparable to what has been observed, plus a climate sensitivity close to what it is expected to be based on models and paleoclimatic studies. "It is important to note that cloud cover has not been measured over a long enough time to correlate with temperature changes." But what we do know is that CO2 has continued to increase, this decreases the escape of heat to space from the surface and troposphere, etc... "If the theory that cosmic rays form more clouds is correct, this would explain the rise in temperature since 1980," Sounds like you don't know if it is true or not. "and it would also be expected that land temperatures would rise faster than the oceans, which is observed," That's a general expectation applicable to any global warming. " whereas with a warming atmosphere due to C02-the atmosphere itself has not warmed in patterns consistent with C02 effects, but it has (?) in regard to reduced cloud cover." If you don't know how cloud cover has changed, you can't conclude that the pattern is consistent with cloud cover changes. But I'm not sure how much is actually known about cloud changes offhand. But the observed changes are consistent with the known forcings - CO2, etc, in their known proportions. The greenhouse forcing in particular tends to cool the stratosphere, which has been observed. Of course, ozone depletion in the stratosphere will tend to do the same thing, though not with the same spatial pattern, I think - and anyway, the total changes can be compared to the combined expected changes from all factors. "C02 has been much higher (well over 2000ppm) for long periods in past geological history," Yes, and it has been warmer too. But to be accurate, you must also keep in mind that the sun has been getting gradually brighter over 100s of millions of years, so a constant temperature over time would require decreasing CO2, or some combination of other changes. " right in the middle of widespread ice ages, including a snowball earth in the Pre Cambrian." Yes/No. Once the Earth is in a snowball state, CO2 has to reach very high levels in order to start the thaw, because the albedo is so high. As for the Ordivician ice age(s?), recent studies suggest that the formation of the Appalacian mountains would have drawn down atmospheric CO2 levels at that time. "The geological record indicates that C02 effect on earth temperatures is very minor, and pales in comparison to changes in solar activity. The 20-21st century is likely to be no different. Climatologists however, don't bother to consult the longer geological record." Wrong, wrong, and WRONG! "As far as I know, not one (?) paleontogist contributed to the IPCC reports (but I could be wrong). To take one example, every palaeontologist knows that sea level rises create diversity and thriving corals, whereas sea level falls create extinction. The climate modellers and the IPCC, who don't bother to consult the long geological record, say the opposite."..."Every palaeontologist knows that warm periods and high C02 tend to correspond to biological diversity and not extinction (eg the Carboniferous period), the IPCC climate modellers, who don't bother to consult the geological record, say the opposite."..."There is barely any reference to the longer geological record in the IPCC report. Rather than look at computer projections, wouldnt it be wiser to actually look at what has actually happened under such scenarios???" They do consult the long geologic record. See in particular chapter 6 of IPCC's AR4 WGI. But I could also suggest looking at the textbooks on paleoclimate, such as "Earth's Climate - Past and Future" by William F. Ruddiman, or a chapter in "Global Physical Climatology" by Dennis L. Hartmann, or look at mentions of climate in a geology-focussed book, such as "Evolution of the Earth" by Dott and Prothero. Any sufficiently rapid sustained change into relatively unfamiliar conditions (as judged by how long ago they last occured) can stress ecosystems to the point of mass extinction. Coral and/or other sea life can die off or be harmed from temperatures that are too high and also from acidification. "No acidicification of oceans occurs with high C02 in geological history, corals and marine life thrive. The IPCC says the oppposite." The pH change caused by a slow rise in CO2 can be buffered by the dissolution of carbonate minerals (including older coral reefs?) and over long periods, the weathering of silicate minerals to wash Ca and Mg (and Na and K) ions into the sea. These processes take time; a sudden injection of CO2 into the water causes a pH reduction because the concentrations of other ions cannot generally turn on a dime. "The geological record shows that warm periods correspond with lower global desertification, the IPCC, which doesn't bother to consult the geological record, projects the opposite." Warming is expected to cause drying on the subtropical edges of the midlatitude storm tracks in general (regional variations may/will occur), but increased precipitation at high latitudes in general, and increased precipitation globally. The spatial variance in the temperature response, along with an increase in water vapor and the resulting changes in convection, will drive changes in atmospheric circulation patterns; regional and seasonal climate patterns will shift or reorganize. It is conceivable that some modes of internal variability may be altered in shape, amplitude, frequency, or existence. There will still be Hadley cells, monsoons, midlatitude storm tracks and jet streams, but they will shift and be altered. Regions and seasons of precipitation will shift. A greater fraction of precipiation will come in high intensity events. Both floods and droughts may/will increase - it depends on where and when. Midlatitude continent winters may get wetter but the summers may get dryer. The problem is that a rapid change can exceed the ability for species to migrate and/or adapt or stress ecosystems when different species do so in different ways or degrees (as in if pollinating birds or insects start missing the timing of flowers). Trees and soil in particular are not known to travel rapidly, and species with long life cycles cannot evolve rapidly. And then there are farmland, buildings, cities, etc. Of course, we can invest in updates to our buildings, are irrigation and aquaducts, etc... but that costs money. I have an idea for who should pay... "Antarctica has been completely free of ice in much the same position it is in now, and the world didn't end. Seal levels rose, animals moved inland, and coral reefs thrived. No mass extinctions occurred. The IPCC completely ignores this data." See above. Seal levels ? :) "My feeling is that the sun will eventually be seen to cause most/all global warming," Why should we pay more attention to your feelings than the scientific knowledge thus far gained? "but not without some bureaucrats trying to force the old religion of 'heavens wrath on sinful humans' on us." Like we shouldn't care about spending more money than we have, or eating too much, because warnings of debt and obesity are just an old religion of a vengeful math and physics?
  9. "adjective 'availability' " Sorry - adjective: available noun: availability
  10. The website quotation provided by Gord: "Absorption of longwave radiation by the atmosphere causes additional heat energy to be added to the Earth's atmospheric system." which is more than what left the atmosphere in the same time period if the greenhouse effect was just 'turned on', or if a brighter sun has raised the temperature of the surface. If the description is meant to a apply to a steady state climate, describing what happens to a package of energy, then all temperatures remain constant as each transfer of energy is balanced by transfers of other packages of energy, so it is confusing to say that 'additional heat' has been added anywhere. "The now warmer atmospheric greenhouse gas molecules begin radiating longwave energy in all directions." That is inconsistent with the steady state version, but is okay if it describes a change in which the atmospheric temperature has increased. "Over 90% of this emission of longwave energy is directed back to the Earth's surface where it once again is absorbed by the surface." The proportionality given is incorrect, but it is over 50%. The proportionality could vary if the system is reacting to a change. The phrase 'once again' suggests that this is meant to describe the process of a single package of energy as its flow splits, with a portion escaping to space in each cycle between the Earth and atmosphere. (PS if this is meant to follow a single package of energy, then this is also a highly simplified picture that glosses over radiative energy exchanges from air to air, although in the end some portion reaches space and some portion is emitted to Earth, and in infinite time, none would be left in the atmosphere of the original package of energy. Some of these details are more easily glossed over (they can be described as a 'subroutine' in the 'program' that for introductory purposes the student programmer can take for granted) if one is not trying to follow a package of energy but simply trying to look at flows of energy.) "The heating of the ground by the longwave radiation causes the ground surface to once again radiate, repeating the cycle described above, again and again, until no more longwave is available for absorption." 'once again', 'repeatedly', and 'again and again, until no more...' make it seem as if this is meant to describe what happens to a single package of energy, in which case, that package of energy is not the cause of its emission from anything; it is emitted because of the temperature, which is either maintained or changed by the totality of fluxes.
  11. "Ultimately, ALL "greenhouse effect" literature and ALL calculations wind up VIOLATING the Law of Conservation of Energy." You haven't been looking at high quality literature. See what I've written here and at RealClimate (and what some others have written there)(start at this comment and continue: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/03/olympian-efforts-to-control-pollution/langswitch_lang/fa#comment-115180 ), etc. See Kiehl and Trenberth. See the IPCC. Or see this online textbook: http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html (from http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/our-books/ )
  12. Patrick - Gee Patrick, looks like you didn't want to post the most significant parts of my previous post: I will re-post it for you: Greenhouse Effect Summary Ultimately, ALL "greenhouse effect" literature and ALL calculations wind up VIOLATING the Law of Conservation of Energy. (This is the part you missed) They ALL CONCLUDE that the Earth Radiates MORE ENERGY than the Earth receives from the SUN....THE ONLY ENERGY SOURCE THAT THE AGW'ERS USE. A PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY and VERY COMICAL. --------------- Ever consider "Comedy" as a career?
  13. That cartoon you referenced, Gord: http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/ipcc_oven.html is one of the most idiotic things I've ever seen. Replace James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt with people like Patrick Michaels, Richard Lindzen, and Fred Singer, and rewrite: " No [________], this is EXACTLY what the UN IPCC dogma wants you to believe. See The Greenhouse Effect Poppycock for more details." As: " No [________], this is EXACTLY what Gord wants you to believe. See Gord's comments at http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm for more details." and then it would make a lot more sense. Because, Gord, most people would assume, correctly, that thermal radiation emitted by a hot piece of chicken would be reflected back at the chicken if surrounded by mirrors, and would also assume, correctly, that the process doesn't create energy - but that if the chicken is recieving heat from some other source, partly surrounding the chicken with mirrors will reduce the portion of the chicken's radiation that escapes to a cooler environment, so the chicken's temperature will rise until it can radiate enough radiation for the portion that escapes balances the heat input (plus any radiation from the cooler environment, but let's say the environment is absolute zero so we don't have to deal with that issue). Switching from reflection to absorption and emission - Seriously, Gord, what do YOU think would happen if you wrapped some object (with nonzero albedo in solar wavelengths) in a material that is transparent to solar radiation but has some nonzero absorptivity in the wavelengths that are emitted by the object? Even if the material is porous and some convection occurs through it, the rate of convection depends on a temperature gradient - same with conduction; do you not think the temperature of the object would get higher with such a covering material than if it were exposed? So we disagree on whether sets of electromagnetic waves with opposing group velocities can be considered to have their own energy fluxes - which is important to the microscopic processes regarding thermal radiation - but the mathematics for what I call the net energy flux - what you call THE energy flux - is the same, so for Pete's sake, just take the fluxes from Kiehl and Trenberth and subtract opposing fluxes to find the fluxes you would consider to be real, and you wouldn't have a problem - (well you might, since you should really take solar radiation and terrestrial radiation together if their could only be one electromagnetic wave energy flux at a given place and time, in which case you'd find that the surface is being heated by radiation, but it is less than the total heating of the surface by the sun, so maybe you wouldn't have a problem - I don't care because your understanding of this area of physics is absurd, but anyway... - if you lump convection in with radiation, you'd find zero energy fluxes). Do you not feel warmer outside on a cold day if you put a coat on - even though the temperature of the coat never gets exactly as warm as your skin? Or would you rather freeze to death than find out?
  14. Patrick - You missed the POINT again! Free Energy Oven http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/ipcc_oven.html The POINT is the very real similarity of the Greenhouse Effect description AND Free Energy Oven description of the physics used in both descriptions! (see my post #418) I did not even mention James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt (although they probably agree with the Greenhouse Effect description)! I consider James Hansen, Mike Mann, Gavin Schmidt and other AGW'ers that run and and post on the Real Climate website to be "science deniers". Real Climate should be called Real Comedy. The "greenhouse effect" link, obviously, describes a perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop. This is....Real Comedy.
  15. Without a "greenhouse effect" the AGW'ers use this logic to determine the Earth's temperature. Average Temperature of Earth = 255K or -18 deg C (240 w/m^2) due to the Sun and Earth's albedo = 0.3 However, if the albedo were set to zero the 240 w/m^2 would jump to 342 w/m^2 and the average temp of the Earth would jump to 279K or +6 deg C! And, at the equator the w/m^2 would be the Solar Constant of 1367 w/m^2 and would produce an Equator Earth temp of 394 K or 121 deg C! With the liquid oceans storing energy and transfering energy between the Equator and Poles the average temp of the Earth would increase above +6 deg C. ----- In fact, during the Ice Ages the Earth average temp was as much as 10 deg C colder than now or +5 deg C! ----- Who needs a "greenhouse effect" to explain the warming of the Earth?....it can easily be explained that all the warming came from the SUN....the ONLY energy source!
  16. Gord - You do realize that 1367 W/m2 (setting aside the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit) is the absorbed solar flux if there is no albedo only when the sun is directly overhead. Even at the equator at an equinox, you must divide by pi to find the daily average: 435 W/m2, which corresponds to a temperature of 296 K, or 23 deg C.
  17. ... Let S = insolation at the top of the atmosphere (incident solar radiation), S0 = 'solar constant' So S = S0 when the sun is directly overhead and when the Earth is on the minor axis of its orbit. (for small ecc = eccentricity values, S directly facing the sun goes from about (1+2*ecc)*S0 at perihelion to (1-2*ecc)*S0 at aphelion. Currently ecc is less than 0.02. Annual average direct normal S is affected very little by eccentricity (for the range of values for Earth's orbit). Aside from the effects of eccentricity, S=S0 is only experienced once a day at one particular latitude that shifts between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn over the year. At the equator, the highest daily average S occurs at the equinoxes. Interesting fact: the tilt (obliquity) of the Earth's axis is sufficient for the highest daily average S at any time of year to actually occur at the polar regions at their summer solstices (the sun angle is low but there is 24-hour daylight). ----- I think there are sizable portions of the low-latitude oceans with surface temepratures warmer than 23 deg C year-round (so eccentricity doesn't account for it). How could that be if, with zero albedo, the highest daily average temperature one can get is 23 deg C? More to the point: 1. Who are you to deny that the Earth has nonzero albedo? Did you think those pictures of the Earth from space were fakes? Those white things are called clouds, snow, and ice. 2. On a related point, it is also true the the emissivity of the surface in the LW part of the spectrum is not perfectly 1. Suppose it is 0.96 - in that case, the equilibrium temperature will be about 1% higher than that of a perfect blackbody emitting the same radiant flux - about 3 K or 3 deg C for Earthly conditions. (The effect is less when the 0.04 LW albedo is reflecting atmospheric radiation back to the atmosphere and the atmosphere's own opacity partly hides the 0.04 surface LW albedo from space...) (PS I'm not quite sure if that is the actual LW emissivity, but... LW albedo is most definitely less than SW (solar wavelengths) albedo.) 3. Heat capacity and heat transport are very real - otherwise, night time and polar winters would be close to absolute zero. 4. You can't just pick one point on Earth where solar heating could raise it above the global average temperature and say that accounts for all warmth (unless the entire rest of the Earth is hidden from space - a greenhouse effect, perhaps? - you could wrap it in aluminum foil, leaving a hole facing the sun). What happens where the sun doesn't shine so much? Heat is stored from when it is recieved (tending to delay and reduce the maximum and minimum temperatures) and is transported from where it is recieved. The entire night side of the Earth is in the dark; the dayside average S is half of S0. 3. But let's suppose we don't know how readily the heat is distributed in time and space. There is some variation of surface temperature over space and time. But spectrum-integrated blackbody emission varies with the fourth power of the temperature. This means that variations in temperature raise the global time average emitted flux for a given global time average temperature. If we introduce temperature variations T' from the global time average, their weighted sum (by area and time interval) must be zero to keep the same average T. But, weighting by area and time interval, the positive T' values add more to the emitted radiant flux than the negative T' values subtract, so their is a net global time average increase in emmitted radiant flux due to the temperature variations for a given average temperature. In conclusion, the HIGHEST global time average temperature you can get that is in equilibrium with solar heating is that which occurs when the temperature is the same over the globe over time. And thus, the highest global time average temperature you can get would be that which is in radiative equilibrium with S0/4 * (1-albedo), with some adjustment for the surface's nonzero LW albedo. (PS and for wavelength-dependent emmissivity? Well, the same logic applies to emission at any one wavelength, because at any one wavelength, blackbody radiant flux increases more for a given change in temperature at higher temperature - although I think it may approach (but not quite reach) a linear proportionality at long wavelengths and/or high temperatures.)
  18. "the HIGHEST global time average temperature you can get" ... without a greenhouse effect, that is!
  19. Patrick - First, this calculation is the one the AGW'ers use for an Earth without a "Greenhouse Effect", ie. no atmosphere: "Average Temperature of Earth = 255K or -18 deg C (240 w/m^2) due to the Sun and Earth's albedo = 0.3" --- Second, this calculation is the "Earth Equator Temp" (as I stated) and is without an atmosphere: "... at the equator the w/m^2 would be the Solar Constant of 1367 w/m^2 and would produce an Equator Earth temp of 394 K or 121 deg C!" Even, with an atmosphere, this quantity is presently measured as 1000 w/m^2. Basics of Solar Energy "Collection of Solar Energy Amount of captured solar energy depends critically on orientation of collector with respect to the angle of the Sun. Under optimum conditions, one can achieve fluxes as high as 1000 Watts per sq. meter" http://zebu.uoregon.edu/1998/ph162/l4.html (see my post#244 for more info) 1367 w/m^2 is not an average and I did not identify it as such. It does represent a maximum heating of Earth (at the equator) due to Solar Energy and will affect the average temperature by heat transfer (conduction and convection) by the liquid Oceans. --- Third, this calculation, is the Average temp of the Earth, , exactly as I stated, without an atmosphere, and assumes an albedo of zero: "However, if the albedo were set to zero the 240 w/m^2 would jump to 342 w/m^2 and the average temp of the Earth would jump to 279K or +6 deg C!" You should recognize this number (342 w/m^2) from Trenberth's Energy Budget, it is the in-coming solar radiation above the atmosphere. --- Further, like I said, the albedo in my calculation is set to zero rather than 0.3, and this assumes no atmosphere for both values of albedo. The AGW'ers have assumed the Earth, without an atmosphere, has an albedo of 0.3, exactly what they assume the Earth's albedo is with an atmosphere. There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere, so my assumption of zero albedo is just as valid. ------ Summary: - My calculations of the average temp of the Earth without an atmosphere would be +6 deg C, uses exactly the same method as the AGW'ers have used. - My assumption of a zero albedo is just as valid as the AGW'ers assumption of albedo = 0.3 for an Earth without an atmosphere. - My assumption that the 1367 w/m^2 would produce additional average warming (above the +6 deg C) is valid because the oceans would already be in liquid form and capable of heat storage and heat transfer by conduction and convection to the polar regions. - The calculation takes the Earth temperature to a level above some of the known Ice Age temperature's when an atmosphere was clearly present. Like I said: Who needs a "greenhouse effect" to explain the warming of the Earth?....it can easily be explained that all the warming came from the SUN....the ONLY energy source! And I will add that: - The "greenhouse effect" is clearly a perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop....an IMPOSSIBLE occurance. - The other energy source available (the Earth's molten core) and subsequent Earth warming due to Volcanic activity and heat vents would also contribute to the Earth's warming. (This was ignored in my analysis because the AGW'ers have also, wrongly, ignored this energy source in their "faulty" analysis) ------------------- The conclusion is obvious: The SUN and the Earth's Molten Core (the ONLY energy sources) are responsible for the Earth's temperature not some "perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop".
  20. Patrick 027, 401 “It doesn't seem like Control Theory has anything additional to add to climate science…” Control Theory, with paleo temperature data shows that there is no net positive feedback from temperature. Climatologists believe that temperature increase causes global warming to be enhanced. Control Theory shows that this perception is a mistake. “…since climate scientists are fully aware of feedback loops and how they work.” Climate Scientists appear to be unaware of Control Theory (which is understandable since it is not in their curriculum) and their perception of feedback is not directly applicable to Control Theory. The calculations that you presented are not directly applicable to Control Theory except that zero net feedback has the same effect in both. The Climate Scientist’s use of their definition of feedback allows introduction of feedback factors that may express incorrect amplitude or failure to incorporate feedback factors that would significantly alter the results. Also, their use allows that feedbacks can have different time constants so that the value of net feedback can vary with time. None of this is applicable to the definition of feedback as used in Control Theory. Chris 402 “…we can address your confusion.” Failure to understand Control Theory can apparently lead to the misperception that a discussion by someone who does is ‘confused’. “Here’s what the data show.” Instead of all the words that followed it would have been more enlightening to just look at the data which is graphed in the pdf file linked to http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true . The sources of the data, all credible, are listed. “…even smaller variations.” Since atmospheric carbon dioxide level lagged temperature change, what initiated the changes? And don’t say Milankovitch because the trends as identified at 414 and others are way too short to couple significantly with even the shortest Milankovitch cycle of about 23,000 years. However, you did concede that “These [trends] seem to occur independently of Milankovitch cycles.” With knowledge of dynamic systems analysis it is immediately obvious that these cyclic entities with substantially different frequencies will not have significant coupling. Then you switched to talking about Dansgaard-Oeschger events, prominent in Greenland ice cores, but, as you correctly imply, barely detectable in the Antarctic ice core data (see a comparison at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dansgaard-Oeschger_event)/ . The temperature trends, as archived in the Antarctic ice cores (with or without the questionable DO tickle in Antarctica) are part of the basis for the discovery that added carbon dioxide has no significant effect on average global temperature. Paragraph 8 in 402 is an interesting exercise in creative rationalization. Be cautious of being influenced by the writings of people whose future paychecks depend on continuation of the AGW mistake. Gord 403 I think I get it. The clumsy description of the greenhouse effect in http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7h.html is bogus (I agree). The cartoon at http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/ipcc_oven.html ridicules this description. The graphic produced by Kiehl and Trenberth which has been updated as shown at http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/ is still misleading. The graphic shows the 356 W m-2 going all the way to the clouds and from the clouds 333 W m-2 all the way back to the ground. Contrary to what the graphic depicts, since GHGs absorb the IR, the intensity has to decline along the way. Barrett calculates 72.9% is absorbed within 100 meters, http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf using the HITRAN database. K&T also assume an emissivity of one which would be correct if earth was a perfect black body. It is close but noticeably different (14 W m-2 less) at a more realistic emissivity of 0.98. Energy balance is achieved with 59 W m-2 of the 382 W m-2 being thermalized, 40 going out through the ‘window’ (as K&T show) and 283 being radiated back to the surface from the atmosphere. For yuks, 283/382 = 74% radiated back. Only about 35 W m-2 gets all the way to the ground through the ‘window’. In the thermodynamic sense, one must attend to where the system boundary is drawn. Patrick 027 405 I don’t doubt that Climate Scientists are sure about “what CO2 does”. However, the science that they are unaware of shows that they are wrong. What they perceive as “already a known explanation” results from incomplete understanding. What is called scientific findings are ‘findings’ by Climate Scientists whose paycheck depends on finding them. The missing science, Control Theory, shows that they have made a mistake. thingadonta 409 I share your insight as to human nature and the instinct to control others that exists in varying degrees in different individuals.
  21. Should say about 35 w/meter sq gets all the way to the ground FROM THE CLOUDS through the 'window'.
  22. SIZE OF THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT "Incoming solar energy amounts to 342 Watts per square metre (W m–2) of which 107 W m–2 are reflected by the atmosphere or the surface. Thus, 235 W m–2 contribute to the warming of the Earth. On a long-term basis, the Earth is in radiative equilibrium, i.e., it loses the same amount of radiation to space as it receives." "The emitted radiation has an intensity given by the product of the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (5.67 ´ 10–8 W m–2 K–4) and the fourth power of the temperature of the blackbody. Taking the Earth’s emission as approximately blackbody radiation, the output of 235 Wm–2 is equivalent to a temperature of 253.7 K. The Earth’s surface temperature is generally agreed to be 288 K, thus the resultant global warming due to the effects of the GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc., is 288 – 253.7 = 34.3 K." http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf Here is the fundamental problem with all these papers: The SUN is the ONLY energy source (used in this paper and others) and it can only provide 342 w/m^2 and only 235 w/m^2 is attributed to actually heating the Earth. The Earth temperature is identified as being 288K and would have to radiate about 390 w/m^2. Question: How can a body that only absorbes 235 w/m^2 radiate 390 w/m^2? In fact, the 390 w/m^2 exceeds the entire amount Solar energy entering the atmosphere (342 w/m^2)! Instead of, rationally, questioning if their average Earth temperature is correct or if they have under-estimated the energy provided by the ONLY energy source (the SUN), they immediately assume this difference in energy is due to the effects of the GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc. Are GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc. energy sources? No, they are NOT energy sources since their temperatures would rapidly decrease to near absolute zero if the Sun's energy were removed. ---- The inference that GHGs etc can somehow "create" energy is not only an obviously wrong assumption...it violates the Law of Conservation of Energy. Further, the assumption that the cooler atmosphere can transfer heat energy to a warmer Earth is a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Actual measurements conclusively show that the back-radiation cannot reach and heat the Earth. (see my post #246). In fact, all the back-radiation measurements done by the AGW'ers use instruments that comply with the 2nd Law: 1. Direct measurements require the detector to be cooled below the atmospheric temp. 2. Indirect measurements measure the loss of energy (eg.Thermistor) to the cooler atmosphere. You would think that these "scientists" would be aware that the operation of their measuring instruments contradict the theory they are trying to prove! They seem oblivious to the fact that if back-radiation energy actually reached the Earth's surface our energy problems would be over. All Solar Ovens (Parabolic Mirrors that concentrate Solar and IR energy at a focal point), including the major Mega-Watt installations, would produce energy at NIGHT! In fact, they would produce MORE energy at NIGHT than they do during the DAY.....because the Back-Radiation (324 w/m^2) EXCEEDS the Solar Energy reaching the Earth (235 w/m^2)!
  23. Now, if the Earth's average temperature really is +15 deg C, then maybe time could be much better spent looking for evidence that the Sun and the Earth's molten core (the only energy sources) can account for the +15 deg C temperature. Here is one source of evidence: Sea surface temp http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/geology/hh1996/ocean.html Look at the graph showing Sea Surface Temperature (Mean) vs. Latitude. (It's the first graph in the second row) If you take the area under the curve (which I have done using Autocad) you will find an average-mean Sea Surface temperature of +18.69 deg C = 292 deg K. This average Sea Surface temperature corresponds to about a +40 deg latitude. In watts/m^2 this means that the Average-Mean watts/m^2 is (292)^4 X (5.67 X 10^-8) = 412 watts/m^2 at a +40 deg latitude. The Max-Mean Sea Surface temperature is +29 deg C = 302K at a Latitude of 0 deg (the Equator). And the Max-Mean watts/m^2 is (302)^4 X (5.67 X 10^-8) = 471 watts/m^2 at the equator. Further, the Sea Surface Temperature (Mean) vs. Latitude. shows that a +15 deg temp occurs at about a 48 deg latitude and, obviously, the sea surface temp never drops below zero deg C at any latitude. --- Here is another source of evidence: Basics of Solar Energy "Under optimum conditions, one can achieve fluxes as high as 1000 Watts per sq. meter" "8 hour summer day, 40 degree latitude, 600 Watts per sq. meter" http://zebu.uoregon.edu/1998/ph162/l4.html --- The average Ocean temp (covering about 70% of the Earth's surface) is +18.69 deg C, at a 40 deg Latitude and this corresponds to 412 w/m^2 of Solar energy (which is within the 600 w/m^2 range of land measurements taken at a 40 deg Latitude). I would say that this is strong evidence that the average Solar energy warming the Earth has been vastly under-estimated by the AGW'ers (they claim an average of about 168 w/m^2!). --- I think this type of evidence and more research done on the effect of under-sea volcanos and heat vents (a largely unknown quantity) should be investigated instead of producing the countless papers that continually violate basic Laws of Science and actual measurements.
  24. Part of the problem is that the flux model does not relect reality. Solar heating of the earth is cyclical and only during a portion of the 24hrs does incoming energy exceed outgoing ( that includes GG effects). Ground surface Tmin just before dawn and Tmax at solar noon. Very roughly some 20 degrees after dawn (angle1) incoming radiation begins to exceed outgoing; at around 35 degrees after noon the situation is reversed.(angle2)If Tmin rises the difference between A1 and A2 decreases in compliance with BB radiation laws. So there is no average flux; even in clear sky conditions it varies continuously. There is nothing like a few direct measurements..... Lat 65N Lon 0(the place so beloved by climatologists) TOA max in June 10.6kw/msq Average daily flux at surface 4.99kw/msq/20hrs =average 399w/msq Lat 37N Lon 0 TOA max in June 11.5kw/msq ADF at surface 8.49kw/msq/13.5hrs =average 628w/msq I guess this is what drives atmospheric/oceanic circulation which of course is impossible using averages.
  25. "The Climate Scientist’s use of their definition of feedback allows introduction of feedback factors that may express incorrect amplitude or failure to incorporate feedback factors that would significantly alter the results." Presumably the application of feedback factors is consistent with the definition used. I haven't seen anything to the contrary. "Also, their use allows that feedbacks can have different time constants so that the value of net feedback can vary with time. None of this is applicable to the definition of feedback as used in Control Theory." In that case, Control Theory is not applicable to climate. So what's your point.

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