Monday, May 24, 2010

CO2 as a radiation valve contravenes the laws of thermodynamics

I want to emphasize a point Bob Ashworth has raised, that it's not only the Second Law (heat always flows to a cooler zone) which invalidates trace gas heating theory but the First Law as well (energy can neither be created nor destroyed).

"Heat-trapping gases," you hear, and "Radiation goes in but can’t get out." Well then, what is every explanation of the greenhouse effect pointing at but a radiation valve? Since heat rays are prevented from exiting to space, it is claimed, they have nowhere else to go but back to the earth which, by absorbing them, becomes warmer.

The notion of a radiation valve snaps these concepts into focus: Without such a valve, it is imagined, infrared rays from the earth's solar-heated surface will pass freely into space. For every unit of sunlight going in, therefore, one unit of infrared goes out. Ergo, 1 - 1 = 0, zero referring to the heat gain. But with a proper valve in place no infrared is lost and the trapped rays are absorbed by the emitting surface, so the process goes thusly:

As you see, if the tenets of this theory are valid there can be no outcome other than a doubling of surface energy (a doubling at minimum, that is, since there's no reason to suppose that radiation from the now-warmer surface would not continue to be back-radiated, absorbed, and amplified in a "runaway" heating cascade).

As a real world application, such a valve could be approximated by common window glass or a dichroic filter. The irradiated surface could be anything similar to a blackbody, an ideal absorber-emitter, and a radiative heat gain of something above 0 would be observed. A working model of the greenhouse effect couldn't be made any simpler.

Simple as it is, though, no scientist in the world is able to construct a model that exhibits any radiative gain because the theory's tenets (called "the basic science") are not valid. On a theoretical basis alone, conservation of energy (the First Law) forbids a model like this from working. You can't obtain more energy than you put in. On an empirical basis too, however, as demonstrated by laboratory blackbodies, confined radiation only induces temperatures close to a theoretical blackbody limit, not a degree hotter. (The premise of greenhouse theory, remember, is that radiative confinement raises the earth's temperature above a blackbody limit, yet a laboratory blackbody --which is little more than a light trap -- exemplifies radiative confinement! The premise is self-contradictory.)

I urge you to notice that the valve's efficiency doesn't actually matter, either, because physical laws are violated even in a modest case. In some sense, in fact, the crimes get worse. For instance, let's install a 20% valve, so that 80% of the infrared escapes and 20% back-radiates.

In this case, 0.8 exits while 0.2 is "retained" by the surface. But 0.2 also radiates back to the surface, so it gains 0.4 in total (again, as a minimum: further back-radiation effects must arbitrarily be halted). In other words, even when the oft-mentioned "net flow" favors the outward movement of thermal energy (a modeling effort to satisfy the Second Law), the alleged heating effect still contradicts the First Law because you're getting more energy than you put in. Any furnace manufacturer would eagerly exploit such a loophole in the law if it existed.

But the problems don't stop there. Since the valve allows 80 percent of the infrared to escape, the same applies to the 40 percent that's been gained. So sum up the amount of radiation getting past the valve: 1.12 units -- more energy than is going in!

The whole model is nonsense. Here are two corollaries I can think of.

• Just like temperature, radiant energy flows do not add. Lumping two 70° balls of clay together doesn't result in a single ball that's 140°, nor do 70 watts per square meter beaming back onto a body that's radiating 70 raise it to 140. Frankly, it is stupid to think otherwise.

• Back-radiation cannot be absorbed by the emitter or else the conservation of energy law is meaningless. As I've noted before, the output of a weak battery can't be used as an input to recharge it.

Email from Alan Siddons [], a former radiochemist

The Week That Was 2010-05-22 (May 22, 2010)

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Fourth International Conference on Climate Change held by the Heartland Institute ended Tuesday. The conference featured 74 speakers on a diversity of topics relating to climate change. Perhaps Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT summed up the results of the conference best. He said we should no longer be called skeptics. Skepticism implies an existence of a plausible scientific position. Global warming alarmism is no longer plausible.

Not everyone agrees as to the causes of the recent warming, which is as developing science should be. However, over the four conferences there seems to be a direction of convergence in ideas. One, the IPCC’s assumptions that increasing water vapor will amplify carbon dioxide-caused warming is wrong. The temperature change from a doubling of carbon dioxide is likely to be no more than 1 degree Celsius. Two, the IPCC models likely have causation as related to clouds backwards – lack of clouds causes warming not the other way around. Three, natural variations of the climate system that are ignored by the IPCC are important to climate change. An example is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Also, natural variations may be influenced by changes external to the earth, such as solar activity and cosmic radiation. Not everyone agrees as to the extent of external influences.

Also coming from different directions, the work of Lindzen, Spencer, and others indicates that the climate system has a negative feedback mechanism -- a dampening effect on carbon dioxide-caused warming rather than suggest are suggesting that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce a warming of no more than 0.5 degrees Celsius, well within natural variation.

The work of a number of scientists, such as Don Easterbrook, suggests we are entering into a cold period. If so, there is significant reason to be concerned. The work of climate pioneer HH Lamb demonstrated that cold periods are harmful to mankind and warm periods are generally beneficial.

There is much to be learned, such as what causes El Niños similar to the one that now appears to be ending? The El Niño caused the global temperatures of the first part of the year, as measured from satellites, to be significantly warmer than normal. Of course, alarmists will claim that this warming is “proof” of human-caused global warming. However, the IPCC rejects the idea that El Niños cause warming; thus such claims by alarmists contradict the IPCC. Ian Plimer speculates that El Niños may be caused by undersea volcanoes, which certainly is intriguing.

If governments would only get away from the egocentric view that humans are the cause of climate change, we may begin to understand the actual causes and be able to adapt to changes as Lamb so hoped.

The proceedings of the full conference are being posted on the web site of the Heartland Institute, It is well worth a visit or several visits to listen to illuminating lectures on issues relating to climate change.


MalariaGate now infects More Global Warming Conspirators

by John O'Sullivan

Controversial climate scientist, Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann is still up to his old tricks; he’s now alleged to have assisted a university colleague in obtaining a cool two million dollars for discredited research into malaria.

Ace skeptic investigator, Barry Woods has unearthed another useful lead in the corrupt and immoral world of climate science-this time linking the breaking Malaria-gate scandal with Penn. State University bad boys, Michael Mann and Matthew Thomas.

We all know the stink of Michael Mann but who is Thomas? He’s Penn. State's Professor of Entomology and like Mann has been doing overtime trying to salvage the remnants of the discredited man-made global warming theory.

No Link Whatsoever between Malaria and Climate

Thomas is under the spotlight because he's just been discredited as an expert in the field due to the recent publication of ground-breaking research on malaria in Nature (Gething et al. (2010)). The new study proves there is no link whatsoever between malaria and climate. In fact, Gething’s data shows the mortality rates from malaria are actually in decline-a body blow to the hype of doomsaying establishment junk scientists.

The Nature study is a gamechanger on climate issues involving malaria so that politicized alarmist advocates like Thomas will soon be classed as ‘sub-prime’ experts in this field. Thomas had steadily built a lucrative business for himself as Professor of Entomology, at Penn State's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. He boasts a published exploration of the ecology and evolution of "enemy-victim" interactions (malaria).

IPCC Had Blown Up Worry about Malaria

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ,in Chapter 8 of their 2007 Report, displayed a prominent graphic on malaria (Table 8.1) that makes worrisome reading, especially for the peoples of India, Australia, Portugal and Bolivia. The UN organization had boldly foretold that the worldwide geographical range of malaria “will expand” with a level of confidence that it proclaimed to be “very high.”

Such regions were predicted to be blighted most by malaria; all such alarmist claims are now proven to be bogus by Gething’s findings.

In 2009 Thomas had enjoyed some success in further helping the IPCC to whip up climate concern with the questionable paper; 'Understanding the link between malaria risk and climate.' Paaijmans, KP, Read, AF & Thomas, MB(2009).Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:13844-13849.

Junk Climate Scientist scooped Cool $2Million

Until Gething came along to spoil the party, Thomas was merrily awash with cash from a very large grant given to him last year, as records show; “2009-2013 Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)]. $1,884,991"

Thomas makes a lame defense of his position in the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Michael Mann in yet another Conspiracy to Defraud?

But as we can see, the “investigator” who helped Thomas scoop the two million bucks is none other than his Penn. State University hockey team buddy, Michael E. Mann. Mann is currently under investigation for fraud by Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli.

Many of us fellow critics of the climate scam will no doubt endorse Barry Woods’ point that $1,884,991 is a lot of money to investigate the influence of environmental temperature on malaria when such influence has now been shown to be of little consequence. It’s also worth noting that you could buy a lot medicine and nets with $1.8 million.

Is anyone now going to ask Thomas to give taxpayers their funding back?


Gething, P. W. & D. L. Smith et al. ‘Climate change and the global malaria recession’ NatureVolume:, 465,Pages: 342–345Date published:, (20 May 2010)


Lambert the sheepish lion bleats again

by Don Easterbrook

As some of you may know, my recent paper at the Heartland global climate conference has been attacked by Gareth Renowden and posted by Tim Lambert on his blog. Although I don't normally even read this kind of garbage, I responded to an inquiry by Andy Revkin with the attached:

"When you are losing an argument on the basis of facts and evidence, the oldest trick in the world is to invent some outrageous lie, the more outrageous the better, and while people are reacting to the lie, attention is diverted from the real issue. It is a sure sign of desperation in distracting attention from facts and data. The outrageous charge of fraud made by a self professed "photographer and truffle grower" (Gareth Renowden) is not worthy of response, but because the charge is so easily refuted, I will do so......

According to Mr. Renowden (the "truffle grower), "Looking through Easterbrook's slides, it seems he has taken a graph of Holocene temperature variations prepared by Global Warming Art (used at Wikipedia), and altered it to fraudulently bolster his case. ... Easterbrook has quite deliberately altered the graph to reduce "current temperatures" by 0.75ºC and make the curve fit his storyline.

The data in my paper comes from oxygen isotope analyses of ice cores in Greenland made by Dr. Minze Stuiver and Dr. Peter Grootes, long recognized as the world standard for accurate paleotemperatures over thousands of years and used by thousands of scientists all over the world. This data is readily available for anyone to use so my graphs can be reproduced by anyone.

The charge by 'the truffle grower' that I used a graph "prepared by Global Warming Art" and that I "altered it to fraudulently bolster his case" is an outright, contemptible lie. I have the entire Greenland oxygen isotope data in my computer and use it extensively to plot data, so why would I use anything else?

The data I use has never been altered in any way. According to the 'truffle grower,' "The original suggests that current temperatures are comparable to, perhaps higher than the warmest period of the Holocene, the post-glacial climatic optimum 8000 years ago. Easterbrook's version gives the impression that for most of the last 10,000 years temperature has been warmer than today."

This is totally false--below is the Greenland data for the past 10,000 years (Holocene) from the published paper by Cuffy and Clow (1997), two distinguished US scientists. Note that temperatures for almost all of the past 10,000 years have been warmer than present. Oh, and while you're looking at the data, also note all of the temperature ups and downs that occurred thousands of years before modern increase in CO2, most of which were of greater intensity than recent warming. Perhaps the 'truffle grower' should learn to read a graph...."

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Are Americans Addicted to Oil?

Or is it simply cheap and useful?

The American political elite tell us we are addicted to oil. Whether it’s from former President George W. Bush or the present administration, Americans for years have been admonished to break the oil habit and use alternative fuels that meet Washington’s approval.

An online dictionary defines “addiction” as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.”

Many commentators see oil usage in our economy in the same manner. Jim Wallis, who runs the leftist religious site Sojourners, writes:
"[O]ur oil addiction is making things not work. The list of consequences is long — from critical climate changes, to the loss of jobs, to supplying money for terrorists, to sacrificing the lives of our young people in wars over oil, to watching an oil spill that nobody seems to know how to stop pour hundreds of thousands of gallons each day into the Gulf of Mexico.

At a deep level, what’s not working in the U.S. is our lifestyle — particularly the consumerist energy habits we showcase to the rest of the world. Moving toward a “clean energy economy” will require more than just a re-wiring of the energy grid; it will also take a re-wiring of ourselves — a conversion, really, of our habits of the heart. We must adjust our expectations, demands, and values.

Are we addicted to oil, or is oil a vital resource that helps advance civilization? I believe it is the latter. Furthermore, is “addiction” an appropriate way to describe the use of petroleum-based products?

It is one thing to engage in such rhetoric, but another to examine Wallis’s message: It is immoral to use petroleum-based fuels and other products. Furthermore, his “solution” of expanded State power to force us to use alternative energy forms provides a sort of “salvation” for all of us.

Much of the harm Wallis claims results from using oil (his publication Sojourners also devotes part of the current issue to the “evils” of coal) is speculative. However, I don’t believe it is a given that oil use is “changing the climate” (and always for the worse, according to Wallis), nor does he explain just how oil use leads to a “loss of jobs.” He just makes the statement, and we are supposed to accept it at face value.

However, we do know that rising standards of living also lead to longer life spans and a higher quality of life. Wallis is forever going on about poverty in the Third World (for which he blames Americans, of course), yet we forget that before entrepreneurs harnessed the power of oil and coal, Americans and Europeans were very poor.

Entrepreneurs found ways to use these resources to create products that consumers willingly purchased. From the advent of kerosene, which allowed ordinary people to have artificial light in their homes, to the development of the internal combustion engine, which helped provide the means of large-scale transportation, oil- and coal-based fuels have changed the lives of individuals.

Unfortunately, the same people who decry poverty elsewhere want the government to make us poorer. Yes, there are some side-effects to extracting and using these fuels, but consumers have made it clear they want to continue using them and are willing to pay for their continued production, for they do not want to be forced into lifestyles they find undesirable.

Markets themselves are neither moral nor immoral. Rather, they reflect our own choices and priorities. One can claim, for example, that we are addicted to food and make the same set of arguments that critics make against oil. Moreover, alternative forms of energy also have their own problems. For example, the “food for fuels” movement drives up the cost of food, which means poor people go hungry.

The critics cannot have it both ways. If they wish to reduce poverty, then oil and coal are an important part of that equation. If they want everyone to be poorer, then they have to admit that poverty has consequences.


Water Sanity For Central California

A federal judge has struck a blow for California's water-deprived Central Valley, ruling that draconian federal water cutbacks violate human rights because — surprise! — people also belong in the ecosystem.

Next time a concept like, say "death panels" from the federal government seems far-fetched, consider the ordeal California's Central Valley has endured for the past two years. Based on a judicial ruling, some of the most prized and productive agricultural land in the country was turned into a wasteland after its water was shut off.

The ruling was derived from an 800-page "biological opinion" put out by regulators enforcing the National Environmental Policy Act, ostensibly to protect a finger-sized fish called the delta smelt and some other wildlife. Regulators complained that smelt were getting ground up in pumping stations that brought river water from California's north to its south, so the water had to stop.

Even the judge was appalled at being forced into the ruling but had no choice, given the law, and tried to cushion the impact. Tuesday, that same judge, District Judge Oliver Wanger declared to federal regulators that they must consider the impact of their "draconian" actions on human communities, something they've never done up until now. "Federal defendants completely abdicated their responsibility to consider alternative remedies," Wanger wrote.

He also ripped into the environmental regulators for their junk science "guesstimates," stating that their shut-off "lacked factual and scientific justification, while effectively ignoring the irreparable harm (their regulations) have inflicted on humans and the human environment," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It's a landmark ruling that makes a superb use of checks and balances on power, given that up until now, these bureaucrats have never been held accountable for their actions.

It also has a nice symmetry with current laws, given that businesses must examine at great cost the environmental impact of their actions on even the smallest changes to their businesses for the sake of regulators. Now environmentalists are on notice that they'd better start looking at what they do to communities next time they insist on protecting a fly or a fish.

It can't happen too soon. The water shut-off has been a nightmare for California. Huge farms growing the world's finest grapes, peaches, almonds, pistachios, plums and walnuts — as well as cotton, carrots, cantaloupe and the other lush truck crops that come out of California's temperate weather and rich soil — have gone fallow.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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