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Waste heat vs greenhouse warming

Posted on 27 July 2010 by John Cook

A vigorous discussion has erupted on the waste heat page. Problem is, there's not meant to be a waste heat page! As I encounter new skeptic arguments, I add them to the to-do list and gradually (very gradually) research the peer-reviewed literature then write an explanation of what the science says, usually in order of popularity. I hadn't got around to looking into the issue of waste heat. Nevertheless, one intrepid Skeptical Science user found the empty page waiting to be populated and began a discussion there (j'accuse Doug Bostrom). So let's look at waste heat...

Firstly, what is waste heat? When humans use energy, it gives off heat. Whenever we burn fossil fuels, heat is emitted. This heat doesn't just disappear - it dissipates into our environment. How much does waste heat contribute to global warming? This has been calculated in Flanner 2009 (if you want to read the full paper, access details are posted here). Flanner contributes that the contribution of waste heat to the global climate is 0.028 W/m2. In contrast, the contribution from human greenhouse gases is 2.9 W/m2 (IPCC AR4 Section 2.1). Waste heat is about 1% of greenhouse warming.

Radiative forcing from waste heat vs anthropogenic greenhouse gas radiative forcing

What do these numbers mean? They refer to radiative forcing, the change in energy flux at the top of the atmosphere. Or putting it in plain English, the amount of heat being added to our climate. Greenhouse warming is currently adding about 100 times more heat to our climate than waste heat.

UPDATE 27 July: there is some confusion about the term 'waste heat'. Here, what I'm talking about is all the heat generated by energy use. When humans generate energy, much of it is immediately dissipated as heat. The rest is converted to electricity or energy of some sort (eg - mechanical, chemical, etc). But even this energy eventually dissipates as heat into the environment. So yes, 'waste heat' is not an ideal term. Flanner uses the term "anthropogenic heat flux".

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Comments 201 to 250 out of 431:

  1. RSVP - slow distribution vs. fast distribution? Nah, not an issue. You put 0.028 W/m^2 out via AHF. Perhaps it takes a while to get into the environment - a long slow pipe via a river to the ocean and finally heating the atmosphere. Perhaps it goes out quickly - a short pipe directly via convection in a radiator, which only later heats the ocean by conduction/convection. But you have 0.028 W/m^2 going into the 'pipe' - and you have 0.028 W/m^2 coming out of the pipe. You still have 0.028 joules/sec/m^2 added to the environment. The length of the 'pipe' doesn't matter one bit - the rate of energy deposited in the Earth/air/water system does. On your two-barrel analogy - that would have been better put as looking at a single barrel with alternative filters. The 2 barrels really sounded like your previous arguments that there were two different heat stores, which is simply not the case. Keep in mind, though, that it's a very large barrel, and never gets empty, the Earth won't reach absolute zero.
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  2. KR 200 "You put 0.028 W/m^2 out via AHF. Perhaps it takes a while to get into the environment" A cars engine "warms up" around 90 C. With the car not moving, the air temperature around the radiator begins to approach this same temperature, and it gets there in no time. With the car moving, air cooling the engine does not get so hot, but instead there is more air affected. In either case, the point is the atmosphere takes up this energy instantaneously. Then problem after that is how long it takes to leave the environment. AGW is based on the idea that non GHG have almost zero emissivity. Divide CO2 emissivity by nearly zero and multiply by .028 and you get global warming for real. "Nah, not an issue" ????????????
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  4. doug_bostrom 202 If you think I am beating a dead horse, thirteen days (July 27 to Aug 8) is nothing. In 1976, I did a paper in High School about whether the Earth was warming or going into an ice age. (I remember including things about CO2 monitoring in Hawaii, and questions about the Earth's albedo changing, and if I am not mistaken the question of cooling or warming was still open. I had never heard the name Al Gore.)
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  5. Well, that certainly confirms my impressions RSVP. Thanks for the additional insight.
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  6. doug_bostrom 204 In order to teach an old dog new tricks, they need to be worth learning. Back in this thread, the significance of waste heat was played down by stating numerous times that non-GHGs transfer energy to GHG in the mixture, and that GHG in turn radiate this energy (up and down). In this way, even though non-GHG have very low emissivity, they cool via radiation through GHGs. AGW, on the other hand, attributes global warming to this same process, but in reverse. It is very hard for me (old dog) to see how this waste heat is therefore released if the net flow is supposedly in the opposite direction. How can GHG have a net warming and cooling effect simultaneously? This makes no sense. As a compromise and way to answer this question, I proposed the idea of vector cancellation in favor of overall heating due to AGW, assuming the GHG vector was much larger than the waste heat vector. This leads to the weird idea that the more waste heat, the less effect GHG have in heating. But for saying this, a lot of chaff was raised.
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  7. While I been reading in this tread I don’t like the attitude some people here has toward RSVP understanding of physics. Some people here think they know what they are talking about when they make statement about things they – or anyone else for that matter - knows nothing about, namely about the unobservable universe. Loosely put, according to the quantum mechanical description of the world there exists no photons unless there is an "observer" to observe the photons (photons are interpretation of events in certain experiments), nor does it exists any electromagnetic waves (which is interpretations of event in certain other experiments). What exists according to the theory of quantum mechanic is observable events and non-observable events. The observable events has for every event (i.e. an observation in an experiment) connected a abstract space filled with a flux of probability for the observable event to occur. Every single point in this abstract space, at any instance of time, has a well defined probability value for this event. However this is not the same thing as there actually would exist an equal thing such as a photon (or a wave or whatever else event that may be generated) somewhere in the real space. What exist is observed events and the non-observable. What the non-observable is we don’t known, can not know. However we know what it is not – it is not a photon nor a electromagnetic wave! Photons does not exist, photons is only interpretations of experimental result (events) setup in certain ways to generate these events labled "photons", or as RSVP put so colorfull put it, there exist no orphan photons, which he poetically described as there would be no starlight in the universe if the universe only contained one single star – that is if there is no observer then there exists nothing to observe (this is basically the orthodox Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum mechanical model). The quantum mechanical description of the universe does not make any claims about where a "photon" has been, what is has done, where it is going, or even how it came to be in the place where it emerge (read: heat transfer!!!) Any question of such nature are namely forbidden to ask in the quantum mechanical universe because these are question about the non-observable things in the universe. To make statements about truth as to what happens with non-observable things are meaningless! To claim there was a non-observed photon emitted from the radiator and that this non-observed photon in some way "existed" in the empty microwave as some non-observed electromagnetic field with some amount of non-observed energy and then was absorbed back by the emitter is therefore a statement that is utterly gibberish and that is not, and can not be, supported by any experimental evidence. In the same way the claim that the emitter never emitted an electromagnetic field and just was heated up by the current is also not supported by any experimental evidence. Both description are just that – descriptions. Which one is true we don’t know. The only thing we can know (observe) for certain is the heated up emitter – but how it was heated up we don’t know. Not both suggestion can be true, but both need not to be false, however it is not possible to determined which, if any, is actual true because they are both statement about the non-observed. The only way to know if a photons exist inside the microwave is to prepare it with an observer, something like - right! - water. Then and only then any heat transfer can be detected from the emitter – but to claim that heat actually is transferred around inside the macro wave when no observer is present (i.e. no experiment to detect that heat transfer was set up) has no support in experimental physics whatsoever. Since we can not determine which description is true, then both are equal good to use. However Occam’s razor tells us to use the most simple explanation. The description RSVP suggest is the most simplified, and therefore preferred one as it does not involve radiation and re-absorption of energy. I therefore give my fully support to RSVP standpoint that no energy is being radiated in an empty microwave. Finally, judging by the comments about RSVP’s grasp of physics, the Dunning-Kreuger effect seams to have a muhc more wider spread than many people her is willing to acknowledge.
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  8. Batsvensson passes a hail mary coming up short. To claim there was a non-observed photon emitted from the radiator and that this non-observed photon in some way "existed" in the empty microwave as some non-observed electromagnetic field with some amount of non-observed energy and then was absorbed back by the emitter is therefore a statement that is utterly gibberish and that is not, and can not be, supported by any experimental evidence. Burnt-out magnetron tubes disagree with you.
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  9. doug_bostrom, your are confusing the map with the terrain.
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  10. batsvensson at 19:25 PM on 9 August, 2010 RSVP Category errors abounding here unfortunately. RSVP's sealed mirrored box with a lamp (an old chestnut that has sadly disappeared from the thread into the aether!) doesn't have the effect he supposes radiative theory should impose since in reality mirrors are only mostly reflective and in fact absorb a bit of energy at each of the millions of "bounces" of photons per second - if the box were to be opened, the opener might find it to have warmed a tiny amount; there certainly wouldn't be the expectation of a burst of photons of visible frequencies/energies/wavelengths. False premises don't advance arguments productively. Likewise bat's apparent negation of the possibility of knowledge of events involving electromagnetic radiation due to the "unknowability" inherent in quantum mechanics. We certainly don't know what a photon looks or smells like, or even whether one might have blue or brown eyes. However we have very functional models of photons (and electrons and atoms) and these manifest as macroscopic properties (absorption, emission, energy transfer, diffraction, excitation, relaxation and so on) that are extremely knowable. It is the macroscopic knowable elements of the electromagnetic spectrum that are of interest when we discuss rather basic (and also well understood) elements of radiative transfer in relation to the greenhouse effect. That's the bottom line, although one could develop this further. However it seems to me a very elemental indication of the knowability of macroscopic manifestations of microscopic quantum properties, that one can take very high energy photons (of X-ray energies; are these little chaps particles or waves or what??), blast them at crystallised proteins where they are diffracted by electrons (and the location of these chaps themselves can only be defined in probabilistic terms), to yield 3 dimensional atomic resolution structures that are sufficiently accurate that molecules can be designed by modelling, that bind to these proteins....and which themselves (the molecules) can be used to halt the progression of AIDS in fortunate recipients [*]. Clearly we know rather a lot about these supposedly unknowable manifestations of the EM radiation. What are the essential inputs to these advances? I'd say they're knowledge an impulse to understand difficult phenomena and to apply this knowledge and understanding productively. Even though we might not know whether a photon brushes it's teeth before going to bed at night, we can construct wonderfully effective models of its properties that have great explanatory power. [*] Of course if one was unfortunate enough to live in a country at a time when the scientific knowledge of HIV and AIDS was systematically misrepresented (e.g. South Africa under Mbeki), then the astonishing advances in antiretroviral therapies might have been of sadly little personal import. The misrepresentation of scientific knowledge tends to have victims, and one wonders at the impulse of those that go out of their way to do this, even at the lesser level...
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  11. Bat, could you sort me out re your concept of map versus terrain? Earlier, if I understood you correctly, you remarked that the notion of energy being emitted by a magnetron and then being reabsorbed by the same magnetron is "gibberish" and cannot be supported by any experimental evidence. Yet we are confronted with the phenomenon of magnetrons prematurely failing when their RF emissions are not absorbed and converted to heat by something other than the magnetron that is also sympathetic to the magnetron operating frequency, w/the net effect of overheating the magnetron filament and thus prematurely shortening its normal useful lifespan as a thermionic emission source. If the same magnetron RF emissions are allowed to disperse in free space we do not see the phenomenon of shortened filament life we see in the case of their being confined to a fairly efficient reflective cavity having no exit but the magnetron waveguide itself. This result can reliably be reproduced in the case of having no observers. I think I understand something of what you're driving at w/regard to quantum mechanics yet here on the scale where we live we must explain failed magnetrons. What's the deal w/maps and terrain? How is it relevant to our scale?
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  12. Chris "I'd say they're knowledge an impulse to understand difficult phenomena and to apply this knowledge and understanding productively. " The application of science has its impact on products that in the end must work. In many cases, customer satisfaction is a reliable indicator that proves the science out. Global warming, the size of the ozone layer hole, whether they went to the Moon or not,... these are not "products" passing the scrutiny of society at large. It is applied science yes, but not the same. Going to the Moon could be a product, and the day it is, very little skepticism on this issue will remain. You could still however question whether Apollo was for real, but how relevant will it be? On the other hand, the more time that goes by and there is no commercial voyage to the moon, the more reason to question the science.
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  13. Chris Similarly, with global warming, whether it is caused by men, women or nature, there will be no way to proove it, even if people take action and a detected warming trend goes away. I have tried here to help, but cannot afford to spend time writing things that get deleted. So this is my very last post. I salute you and wish you all the best.
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  14. RSVP at 18:47 PM on 10 August, 2010 I'd say that they are products RSVP, and we should be careful not to over-categorise the outcomes of scientific advance. We might say that in the broadest sense the aims of science is enhancement of human wellbeing (even if in reality scientists are more focussed on rather specific outcomes, many of which may have commercial motivations). For "products" in the commercial sense this might relate to direct benefits of things (like cars and flights and duvet covers), and the slightly less direct benefits in relation to profits and employment, and then the overall benefits to societies from economic wellbeing. Publically-funded research is less likely to result in products in the sense of discrete things (although a lot of this does do just that in relation to technology transfer of publically-funded research outcomes to industry). But the science that underpins the development of vaccines or cancer therapies or antimicrobials can be considered to yield "products" that have enormously positive contribution to human wellbeing. I would consider that the scientific outcomes on CFC catalytic destruction of stratospheric ozone is a "product" in this sense, if rather less directly so, since it leads to understanding that informs productive economic and political decisions which enhance human wellbeing. Apollo is an interesting example. I certainly wouldn't say that the future realities of whether or not there might be commercial voyages to the moon, is any reason to question the science, for at least two reasons. First, it might be a reason for questioning the motivation underpinning the scientific effort. Much of this was political, and one could argue that the "product" (enormous prestige and enhancement of personal satisfaction in the American population during the 1960's) had huge value. More generally, the science stands on its own merits. One can't predict necessary outcomes of scientific research, but Apollo was an important step on the path for development of technologies in rocket science, computers, satellite remote sensing and various elements of materials science, and understanding of human physiology.
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    Moderator Response: I think this conversation has gone far outside the topic of waste heat. Please, everybody get back on topic.
  15. @ doug_bostrom at 12:16 PM on 10 August, 2010 Doug, I love to, but a) the topic is OT, and b) I did address that question in another post but that post was deleted by the moderators, and c) it is not only pointless, but also a waste of my time and energy to try to establish any what so ever fruitful communication here as about half of my comments I post gets deleted by the moderator team. The only recommendation I can give, is to check the references I gave in an earlier post, but for your convenience that post was deleted as well.
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  16. Referring to the SkepticalScience section... http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm It contains a link to Wang 2009 http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JD011800.shtml That includes the following in the abstract... "We found that daily L d increased at an average rate of 2.2 W m−2 per decade from 1973 to 2008. The rising trend results from increases in air temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and CO2 concentration. " ...The value 2.2 W/m2 is per decade, which means dividing 2.2 by ten, and only making the comparison with waste heat ten times more rather than 100 as has been touted throughout this discussion. Furthermore, the article itself attributes this downward radiation to temperature and water vapor, with CO2 appearing last. If temperature is already associated with waste heat, the downward radiation is actually sourced by waste heat, such that the factor is now less than ten, and could ultimately prove to be the only significant source of downward IR.
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  17. RSVP at 16:54 PM on 15 August, 2010 You are mistaking the rate at which a value is increasing with the value itself. The difference between waste heat and greenhouse warming is still a factor of 100. CO2 does appear in the sentence last. One could interpret in increasing, decreasing or of no order in importance. If a writer gives no order I assume the last of the three. If they wish to stress an order they do so.
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  18. RSVP, Is this impression of your argument correct: the CO2 warming effect cancel itself out and the warming we see is an accumulated effect mistaken to be a GHG effect. By stating the GHG effect exist as counter argument those argument effectively shoots at the side of the target.
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  19. batsvensson 217 When you see a plane way out on the horizon, it is hard to tell if is coming towards you or going away. Steady observation however reveals the direction over time. If it should be approaching for instance, you know for sure which way it is going. You still may not know how fast. Does the velocity matter, if all you wanted to say was whether it was coming or going? By the same token, it doesnt necessarily take measurements and data to unravel AGW; given the fact that graybodies emit IR as much as they absorb IR, the more GHG, the more overall absorption and the more emission, therefore the more global cooling. This does not exclude the possibility of a localized GHG effect, but overall (i.e. globally), the net result must be more cooling. Another way to look at this whole thing. H20, CO2 and energy are a product of combustion. As a byproduct of combustion, it just turns out you get some gasses that help cool the atmosphere. Imagine if this were not the case,,, over millenium all the brush and forest fires would eventually leave the Earth uninhabitable. It's almost as if it were "designed" perfectly, and yet, we are looking at this completely backwards.
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  20. RSVP - I can't let the statement "the more GHG, the more overall absorption and the more emission, therefore the more global cooling" slide by. That statement is completely, absolutely incorrect! You are, for some reason, ignoring the word "absorption", the input side of the equation. Additional GHG's increase the ability of the atmosphere to heat, and yes to cool, via IR. The global and atmospheric effect, however, is that IR on it's way to space is intercepted, re-radiated spherically distributed, causing half of it to go back down, thus reducing the IR to space, and therefore warming the global system. And in the process warming the atmosphere. All three (earth/air/water) are warmer due to GHG's. Not cooler! Increased GHG's raise the ability of air to cool via IR - but at the cost of raising its ability to heat via IR, with a net effect of heating the atmosphere and everything under it.
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  21. KR 219 If surface radiation was the only source of atmospheric heating, you might be correct. However, the atmosphere derives heat from other places as well... surface convective cooling, incoming light and IR scattering directly from the Sun, and other sources such as human waste heat, geothermal, brush fires, etc. If air warmed by these sources cools via so called GHGs in the upper atmosphere, it stands to reason that the more to be found, the cooler it will be (overall).
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  22. Sorry, I left out one more detail. All this assumes no reason for surface radiation to increase. If anything, it should be lower in fact if GHG are trapping more heat coming in from the Sun. For this factor, I will definitely concede a "green house effect" affecting daytime peak temperatures, however, these same gases will work the other way around accelerating cooling at night. This thread has to do with energy accumulation.. and waste heat, etc.
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  23. A single number for you, RSVP - 33°C. That's the difference between the temperature of the earth with and without the greenhouse effect. It's 33°C warmer - not cooler. Note that relative nighttime warming, more than daytime warming, is one of the classic indicators of an increasing greenhouse effect - and that is exactly what is observed. Contrary to your last posting. You've presented arguments by analogy, RSVP - the numbers, however, prove you incorrect. Look at the energy budget - 80% of energy coming from the temperature of the Earth leaves as IR, only 20% as convection/evaporation. Only 1% of the energy present comes from anthropogenic heat flux. You are incorrect. What's I'm seeing (IMO) is the unfortunately common "Common Sense" logical error. Many people discussing science try to project their personal, local experiences upon large scale or unfamiliar systems - quantum mechanics, climate change, electromagnetics, etc. The problem is that local personal experiences do not map 1-1 with other, complex systems, and hence "common sense" will lead you astray. If you don't try to understand the complex systems as they exist, rather than projecting your daily experiences onto them, you will quite simply be wrong. As above...
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  24. Here's a meta-question. RSVP-- taken as a contraction, what do the letters mean?
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  25. KR 222 single number for you, KR +125 C. Surface temperature of on the Moon. Explain how it gets so hot without GHGs.? That aside, I just happen to have "experienced" 25 years in engineering labs. Hands-on. doug_bostrom To answer your question, you can respond if you please.
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  26. RSVP - the moon at the equator ranges from 100K at night to 390K peak daytime temperatures, mean of 220K (-53 °C), with the large range due to the 28 day rotation, leading to two weeks each of heating and cooling. Temps at 85 degrees N are 70K, 230K, mean 130K. The Earth temperature ranges from 184K to 331K, mean of 287.2K (14 °C). The Earth has a higher albedo than the moon - without the greenhouse effect it would be much colder. Given the diurnal differences between the Earth and Moon, comparing max temps is a red herring. Mean temps are what's relevant in comparing energy flows - I would have thought that rather obvious. As to experience - many of your postings pose extremely simple analogies that don't incorporate the actual numerical relationships in the climate; relative amounts of AHF to insolation, amounts of IR versus convection/evaporation, trying to compare heating a house to the entire atmospheric column, your rather non-physical 'flavored joules' that don't behave like other joules, etc. Those missing pieces make your analogies false comparisons, essentially Straw Men - they are confusing at best, misleading/misdirecting at worst, and don't add to the discussion. They simply don't reflect experience with the math and relationships relevant to climate change. I would encourage you to look at the actual relationships (insofar as they are understood), and consider/discuss what you might see as issues with those, rather than generating yet another ill-fitting analogy.
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  27. KR I invite you to take a look at this webpage... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_collector Note the graph found halfway down that shows temp vs. minutes and how quickly temperature rises and drops (and how peak values coincide with those on the Moon). Whereas in 225 you attribute the higher temperatures found on the Moon as having to do with how long the Lunar day is, as you can see from the graph, response times are in the order of minutes such that your argument is illbound. As far as what you say about albedo... albedo refers to the planet as a whole. If you were standing on a sand dune in the Sahara on a sunny day as compared to the Moons Sea of Tranquility, albedo also has nothing to do with this difference in temperature. So referring to my question in 224, I cant say I am satisfied with your answer.
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  28. That's a radiometer being graphed there, RSVP, if you're looking at the green line. Not temperature. The line jumps up and down swiftly because the sun is being intermittently occluded by clouds.
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  29. A meta-comment on analogies, and common logical errors related to them: An analogy is a wonderful way to explain aspects of complex systems. If you can map interrelationships of the complex system into something the listener is more familiar with, the analogy can show the listener something about how the complex system works. This is a "Forward Mapping" (my term) of some aspect(s) of the complex system into a simpler or more familiar system. Note that this is NOT a 1 to 1 mapping; some portions of the complex system are inevitably not mapped to the analogy system, and the simple analogy system will have aspects that don't match the complex one. A particular logical error that often seems to come up on the climate change topic is "Bad Analogy" - arguing from some aspect of the explanatory analogy system that there are issues with the complex system it's drawn from. This is a "Backward Mapping". It's easy to do, tempting, even, but it is wrong. For example: "Minds, like rivers, can be broad. The broader the river, the shallower it is. Therefore, the broader the mind, the shallower it is." As another example, I recently made an analogy of total energy/temperature and energy inputs, outputs, in the Earth system to a water tank, with input and output pipes. I thought that it might be a useful way to explain some aspects of the total energy budget. Arguing back from the water tank to the Earth, however, is invalid - water evaporates and freezes, joules do not. Leaves blocking a pipe might rot, CO2 instead gets absorbed by weathering/ocean. A backwards mapping from analogy might, in some instances, provide a starting point to examine the complex system. But it has zero value in terms of validating or invalidating a hypothesis - that has to be done in the arena of the complex system, not the analogy. The analogous system simply isn't the complex system; the fact that some of it is "like" the complex system just doesn't support critiquing the complex system based on the analogy. To claim problems in a complex system from an analogy is simply a "Bad Analogy".
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  30. doug_bostrom 227 I respect you taking the time to inspect the graph closely, but as per your reply, it does plot against temperature. Something physical is responding to temperature at that rate. Obviously, for the other curves, if energy is being extracted through a circuit, you arent going to see these excursions. KR Even experts who believe in AGW may use inproper analogies and mental models, and you can be sure that most people (out there) accept the theory even if they cant explain it well themselves. They get the applause for parroting what they have been told, but they dont even really understand the thing themselves. I am afraid the human mind has no other way to deal with "the unseen" sides of science without resorting in some degree to familiar household concepts. I agree that analogies always fall short of what they are actually trying to describe, with no exception in this context. What I find hypocritical among experts is the eloboration of a mathematical model that denies having its basis on some initial assumptions (which is ultimately someone's clumsy mental model). I dont have a problem with the process, especially if it leads to predictable results. This is does not mean however it is the final truth and cannot be subjected to scrutiny. Plus, it is generally uncommon that the first idea is the best idea. People assumed apparently that heavier objects fell faster than lighter objects. It took many years until someone proved that this is not the case. ETC.
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  31. RSVP - I looked at your link, and doug_bostrom is entirely correct. If you read the figure caption it states "Green line = solar irradiation". Shame on whoever put up the wiki - it should have a separate scale for irradiation in W/m^2, and it doesn't.
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  32. Anybody who has actually worked closely w/a solar thermal collector apparatus will recognize the green line as radiometer output. The graph is probably a casualty of being authored by somebody a little too close to the subject to remember not everybody's up to speed on the topic. RSVP, I've got flat plate collectors on my roof. They've got quite a bit of "thermal inertia" to them and act sort of like integrators w/regard to temperature measurements. On a sunny day, if a cloud occludes the sun radiometer response tracks occlusion instantaneously. Meanwhile, the collector temperature will track insolation in a highly damped fashion; a cloud passing overhead produces a valley on a temperature graph with gently sloped sides compared to radiometer output. If the cloud passes quickly the dip will be barely be noticeable even though the radiometer output drops precipitously as you see on the graph you referenced.
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  33. The original source of the wiki graph reveals that "A Apogee SP-110 precision Pyranometer was used to measure the solar radiation levels, but these have not been calibrated to give absolute values, but are displayed as a scaled value for reference only. " BTW Any chance of returning to the topic of Waste Heat vs Greenhouse Warming any time soon is there?
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  34. The whole point was to refute the length of the lunar day as being an issue to explain that the Moons surface temperature saturates quickly. I should have looked for this before... http://www.gps.caltech.edu/classes/ge151/references/vasavada_et_al_1999.pdf Figure 2 in this report is a plot of a computer model of the Moons surface temperature which maxs out after five hours only. Case rested.
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  35. If you read the last paragraph of section A of the link you posted you will see that figure 2 is in local time and the moon graph represents a lunar diurnal period (lunar day) of 29.5 (earth) days i.e 5 'hours' is just over 6 days.
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  36. MichaelIM 234 You are correct, "Hours" in the caption refers to Moon hours which means 29.5 hours per notch. Things dont warm so fast apparently so it looks like I am wrong. In any event, Fig 2 is still very intersting as it shows heating has a nearly infinite slope coming out of the Lunar "night", without the presence of GHGs. :) Obviously on an expanded time scale, it would be seen to leaning, but it is intersting to see this is no sine wave and that it can only get so cold. (cold enough for me) Is there an explanation for why the high doesnt flatten out like the low on both Mercury and the Moon? As a hard core skeptic, its hard to believe the rotational cycle just happens to coincide to give perfect dome shaped profiles. Dont worry, if you arent sure, I will read the article in my spare time.
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  37. The slope doesn't flatten out as the slope changes with the height of the sun in the sky i.e. the amount of energy a plate on the lunar surface receives is directly proportional to the angle of the sun. The graph in fig 2 is that dome shape, with the initial near-infinite slope, because it is at the equator. As you move north or south the shape changes away from a dome towards a flatter sine wave as the sun rises more gently above the horizon. This image shows the paths of the sun at a latitude of roughly 50deg north (actually from Bristol in the UK) over a period of months. The closer to the poles the flatter the slopes, the limit being the axis not being perpendicular to the sun.
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  38. Over here RSVP suggested that waste heat from Northern hemisphere industrialized nations was responsible for the decline of Arctic sea ice. The 'evidence' for this is that Antarctica is not melting at the same rate as the Arctic sea ice and there are fewer industrial nations in the southern hemisphere. If this concept of 'geographically localized waste heat' were not completely ludicrous (hint: it is) we would of course see the greatest temperature increases at the most heavily industrialized sites. Thus, the area in and around New York City should show tremendous temperature anomalies with decreasing amounts radiating out from there and other industrial centers. The Arctic ocean, having virtually no industry, should of course only show comparatively minor warming from those distant industrial sites. This, of course, is not at all the case. The Arctic has warmed far more than New York City or any other industrial center. Because it has nothing to do with waste heat within a geographic region.
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  39. CBDunkerson "the area in and around New York City should show tremendous temperature anomalies with decreasing amounts radiating out from there and other industrial centers" Here is a link I recommend you visit... http://www.epa.gov/heatisld/ In North America winds predominate from the west in a continuous fashion with the notorious "jet stream" where the flow is most accentuated. So instead of the effect you describe, as seen from a map, there is typically a large smudge or plume that emerges around an urban center that tapers eastward... heat that is gradually dispersed but never lost, as per RSVPs theory, which I will describe once more in my next post.
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  40. RSVP #238: "So instead of the effect you describe, as seen from a map, there is typically a large smudge or plume that emerges around an urban center that tapers eastward... heat that is gradually dispersed but never lost" Great. Show me such a map. I had always been under the impression that UHI effects were extremely localized, hence the term 'island', and disappeared within just a few miles outside the city limits. It will be fascinating to see the long trails of increased temperatures stretching out from urban centers. Of course, that still wouldn't explain your claims about the Arctic... where there are no major cities. Do all the 'heat trails' (in the map you are going to show any time now) collect in the Arctic for some reason?
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  41. This is especially dedicated to doug_bostrom. In the thread... Monday, 18 October, 2010 Throwing Stones at the Greenhouse Effect Some ...I have been directed to continue with any remarks I might have about "anthropogenic waste heat" here. 238 posts apparently hasnt been enough, but there is a lingering question, which comes from the following idea... Let us consider the history of the Earth's temperature over the last 2000 years or so, and for the sake of this argument, ignore for one moment any natural fluctuations such as those produced by volcanos or any observed "little ice ages" etc., and assume going backwards before the start of the Industrial Revolution you have a perfectly flat line where the average global temperature is constant. I understand this is not real, but let's for one moment consider the "perfect" hockey stick with a perfectly flat handle and an exponential puck striker rearing its ugly head starting around 1850 or so. The perfectly flat line represents perfect thermal equilibrium due to perfect radiative equilibrium. Putting unitless numbers on this, if, for example I have on the average 100 coming in, and 100 going out ("forever"), I end up with zero overall. So on the average nothing ever changes. Now I come along and every year add 0.1, a very small and "irrelevant" number by comparison to the summings up and down of a value like 100. But as small as this may be, on the average, and over the course of 200 years or so, this itty-bitty, annoying, but very real undeniable positive energy flux can only be accumulating, as it has absolutely no where to go (in terms of pure accounting... remember, 100 - 100 = 0, and of course .1 x 200 = 20). And 20 may be significant next to 100. The theory of course only holds if all other things were equal in terms of the overall radiative balance for this period, or if for the effects of CO2, heat was having even more difficulty escaping as touted by AGW supporters. Furthermore, the central meaning of comparing avearge temperatures to a hockey stick is to point out that temperature was in relative equilibrium up to the modern era. (Aside... it may well be that things have not been equal during this period due to other forms of pollution, and that aerosol's were "helping" things at some point. But we will ignore this for the sake of examining the merits of this theory. Please.) Given reactions expressed on this website for seriously considering the significance of anthropogenic waste heat (AWH), I can only surmise it comes out of a fear in losing inertia for dealing with the problem of CO2 as an environmental pollutant, given that whatever heat could be attributed to AWH, is that much heat that must be subtracted from the effects of AGW, (understanding AGW as the radiative imbalance setup by excess CO2), and vise versa. So it all comes down to the following questions. If AWH is not the main cause of global warming, where exactly is this energy supposedly going? And how is it possibly not accumulating somewhere on planet Earth? Implied in my comment in the other thread, "Throwing Stones at the Greenhouse Effect", once you admit to the significance of AWH, there is the daunting problem about how to deal with it. That is, how to get rid of this heat now that it is here, and that it isnt only a matter of cutting back on CO2 emissions.
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  42. RSVP #240: As has been explained to you MANY times the statement that AWH "can only be accumulating" is simply false. If I light a match the energy released by that action does NOT remain present in the climate system for the next 50 years. Indeed, it won't even last the day. The same principle applies to all heat generated by human industry. This is evident in ACTUAL maps of UHI effects (as opposed to your fictitious 'long tail' versions). It is evident in the fact that if your theory of heat not escaping the atmosphere were correct then the planet would have been baked to a crisp by sunlight long before life ever had a chance to evolve. Again, it defies the laws of physics and simple logic to insist that heat originating from human industry must behave differently than all other heat in the climate system. If heat generated by sunlight and back radiation from greenhouse gases leaves the planet efficiently then heat generated by human industry leaves the planet at exactly the same efficiency level... and since those other two sources of energy are orders of magnitude larger than heat from human industry there is no possible way that AWH is causing a significant (or even measurable) fraction of the warming attributed to AGW. It's just nonsense. Still waiting on those maps BTW.
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  43. RSVP - You do understand that the AWH is 1% of the forcings from greenhouse gases; at least, that has been pointed out repeatedly both in the topic post and in many replies made to your theories. It's way too small to be the driver of global warming. But you seem unconvinced. I'd like you to consider the following theorized causes and their effects: (1) Your theory; global warming is due to accumulated anthropogenic heat flux. Energy over and above the equilibrium solar input is being added at the bottom of the atmosphere. Results: temperatures rise, and top of atmosphere (TOA) radiation increases since we're now warmer than solar equilibrium. (2) Greenhouse gases accumulate, decreasing the emissive spectra of the Earth. This produces an imbalance at TOA; more solar energy enters than thermal energy leaves. Results: temperatures rise, and TOA radiation decreases until a new equilibrium is reached. Now what does the evidence show? Take a look at 10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change, point 6, in particular Evans 2006. TOA radiation from the Earth has decreased, clearly fingerprinting a greenhouse gas change, and contradicting the waste heat theory.
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  44. Thanks but no thanks, RSVP. I can't join you in your little sphere, there's not enough room to squeeze in beside the wrongness. Presuming that the database used for maintaining this site is using the generic MySQL integer for the comment count, you've got most of 2147483648 spaces available for continued reverberation of your intransigence. Do carry on here, but without me.
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  45. @RSVP: I too am waiting for that map showing how UHI effects "trail away" from cities. Also, I'd like to know why you've come back on your word: "I have tried here to help, but cannot afford to spend time writing things that get deleted. So this is my very last post." Why are you still posting?
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  46. RSVP - Sorry, my link to TOA radiative decreases should be Harries 2001; I had snagged the wrong reference. This is further confirmed as on Is the CO2 effect saturated; namely Griggs 2004 and Chen 2007. It's not waste heat.
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  47. CBDunkerson 241 "If I light a match the energy released by that action does NOT remain present in the climate system for the next 50 years. Indeed, it won't even last the day." I was taught that you cant destroy energy, neither with words or wishful thinking. There are two kinds of people. Those that think and those that point to a committee signing off agreement on papers they never read. Hopefully someday, a paper will be passed around with my idea so you can come into the constructive "fold".
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  48. KR #242 "You do understand that the AWH is 1% of the forcings from greenhouse gases" I dare not say, "et tu Brut?" but here we are again. As I asked CBDunkerson. How do you rationale the destruction of this .01 value integrated over 200 years? Multiply 200 by .01, and you get 2.
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  49. RSVP, Are you intentionally trying to be obtuse? The energy does not remain present in the planetary climate. It radiates out from the planet into space.
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  50. @RSVP: yes, it *is* consistent. I'm not saying you should stop posting, I'm simply wondering why you said you'd stop posting, and then continued. Since you are so obviously continuing, then I would like a link to that map. @Bibliovermis: yes, he is being obtuse. That's his schtick.
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