Sunday, April 10, 2016

Meltdown: More Rain, Less Snow as the World Warms

One of the great tricks of chartmanship ("How to lie with graphs") is to choose carefully your starting and end points for any trend. And that appears to have been done here. Why start at 1950?  Surely precipitation records go a long way further back than that.

And I think I know why they chose 1950. We know that there were more extreme weather events in the first half of C20 so the trends before and after 1950 were probably different -- thus obliterating their trend for the century as a whole.

And the end point is interesting too.  With all the admissions by Warmists themselves that C21 has seen a "hiatus" in warming, why were C20 and C21 results all lumped in together and presented as a single  continuous trend?  There WAS some slight warming in C20 so it is entirely open for us to conclude that the trends they observed were entirely located in the C20 data and there were no trends in our present century.  Most unimpressive work

As the world warms, the meaning of winter is changing. In the U.S., a greater percentage of winter precipitation is falling as rain, with potentially severe consequences in western states where industries and cities depend on snowpack for water, and across the country wherever there is a winter sports economy.

A Climate Central analysis of 65 years of winter precipitation data from more than 2,000 weather stations in 42 states, found a decrease in the percent of precipitation falling as snow in winter months for every region of the country. Winter months were defined as the snow season for each station, from the month with the first consistently significant snow, to the last.

In western states where snowpack is critical, we found decreases in the percent of winter precipitation falling as snow at elevations between sea level and 5,000 feet.  Above 5,000 feet there is clear regional variation.  In California, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico there was either no trend toward rain or a slight trend toward more snow at elevations 5,000 feet and higher. In stark contrast, between 5,000 to 8,000 feet in Montana, Idaho, and Arizona, from 75 to 78 percent of all stations report an increase in rain as a percentage of total winter precipitation. Oregon has only one station above 5,000 feet, but it too reported a strong increase in rain vs snow as winter precipitation. Washington has no stations at this elevation.

These very different results at elevations above 5,000 feet may stem from the different underlying climate and weather patterns in the two regions that has delayed the shift toward more rain above 5,000 feet in Rocky Mountain states, but accelerated it in the Northwest.

In virtually all states with stations below 2,000 feet, the data show a trend toward a higher percentage of rain during the winter precipitation season.


Hidden cost of climate change is unwanted carb boost in food

I am no botanist, though it was my favorite High School subject, but I know enough to suspect some very dubious botany below. I have already pointed out the flaw in the story about plant stomata and I can't help laughing about the alleged perils to food plants of a slightly raised level of atmospheric CO2.

Why?  Because if it really were a hazard we should all be dead.  And why is that?  Because a lot of our vegetables these days are grown in greenhouses.  And what is the first thing a greenhouse owner does to boost his crops?  He pumps the CO2 level in them up to around 1,000 ppm, more than double what is in the outside air.  Yet somehow our health seems to have survived that awful "threat"!  Warmists do talk an incredible amount of shit.  It gets very wearing after a while

And for decades we were told by the health freaks that carbs were good and fats were bad.  The balance of opinion now seems to be the exact opposite of that but who knows the truth of it?  The various instances of people living happily on very limited diets suggest that the human body is very flexible and forgiving in what it needs to maintain health

And I am not even happy with the first sentence below.  The increase in CO2 levels halted completely last year.  Did all our factories close down for the year or is the increase in CO2 mostly natural?  Proxy studies into the remote past certainly show great natural variations in CO2 levels and even today CO2 emissions vary seasonally

Is that enough skepticism for now?

UPDATE:  My suspicions about bad botany were right. We read here that "Low protein in cereal grains is indicative of poor nitrogen supply to the grain during the grain fill period".  CO2 is not even mentioned.  Did I mention that Warmists talk an incredible amount of shit?

WE ARE undoubtedly pumping ever more carbon dioxide into the air. But did you know that this also silently adds unwanted carbs to bread, cereals and salad and cuts vital protein and mineral content?

This nutritional blow is now worrying the world’s most powerful nation. For the first time it forms a key finding in an official report on the health impacts of climate change in the US, drawn up by the Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and unveiled by the White House this week.

Why would more CO2 mean poorer food? Photosynthetic organisms, such as plants, are the carbohydrate factories of the world. They convert CO2 and water into gigatonnes of starch and sugars every year. And every year since the industrial age began, we have steadily fed them more CO2.

Plants respond by building more carbohydrates but less protein into tissues. This means a higher ratio of carbs to protein in plants, including key crops such as wheat, rice and potato. This is a double whammy: protein deficiency afflicts the developing world, while excess carbohydrate consumption is a worry in the obesity-riven developed world.

This is not the only nutritional impact. To capture CO2, plants open pores in their leaves. These stomata let in CO2 but allow water out: plants compensate by sucking moisture from the soil. Transpiration, as this process is called, is a major hydrological force. It moves minerals essential for life closer to the roots, nourishing plants and ultimately us. But plants respond to high CO2 by partially closing stomata and losing less water. This reduces the flow of nutrients to roots and into plants. Less minerals but more carbs creates a higher carbs-to-minerals ratio in crops and food.

In an elevated CO2 world, every serving of bread, pasta, fruits and vegetables delivers more starch and sugar but less calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and other vital nutrients. Over a lifetime, this change can contribute to weight gain.

Hidden hunger – the result of diets rich in calories but poor in vital nutrients – was mainly a developing world problem. But in 2002, New Scientist predicted that “elevated CO2 levels threaten to bring the… problem to Europe and North America”. Scepticism made it difficult to secure funding for testing this prediction and slowed progress by a decade.

However, the conclusion is now unequivocal: rising CO2 depletes protein and minerals in most food that underpins human nutrition across the world.

Sceptics like to claim that rising CO2 is a boon because it boosts crop yields. But as US Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska put it “elevated CO2 could be junk food” for some plant species.

There really is no such thing as a free lunch with climate change.


Global warming could be WORSE than experts think: Study says researchers have underestimated heating effect of clouds on climate change by 'at least a degree'

Nice to see a claim that all the previous climate models were wrong.  I could have told them that.  But what prices this new model being correct?  Not a good bet considering all the past failures, I would say

Most computer simulations of climate change are underestimating by at least one degree how warm the world will get this century, a new study suggests.

It all comes down to clouds and how much heat they are trapping.

According to the study published Thursday in the journal Science, computer model simulations say there is more ice and less liquid water in clouds than a decade of satellite observations show.

'We saw that all of the models started with far too much ice,' said co-author Trude Storelvmo, a Yale atmospheric scientist.

'When we ran our own simulations, which were designed to better match what we found in satellite observations, we came up with more warming.'

Storelvmo's lab at Yale has spent several years studying climate feedback mechanisms associated with clouds.

Little has been known about such mechanisms until fairly recently, she explained, which is why earlier models were not more precise.

'The overestimate of ice in mixed-phase clouds relative to the observations is something that many climate modelers are starting to realize,' Tan said.

The more water and less ice in clouds, the more heat is trapped and less the light is reflected, said the study.

She said even though it tens of degrees below freezing, the clouds still have lots of liquid water because they don't have enough particles that helps the water turn to ice crystals.

Because as the climate changes, there will be more clouds with far more liquid, and global warming will be higher than previously thought, Storelvmo said.

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure used to estimate how Earth's surface temperature ultimately responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

Specifically, it reflects how much the Earth's average surface temperature would rise if CO2 doubled its preindustrial level.

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated climate sensitivity to be within a range of 2 to 4.7 degrees Celsius.

The Yale team's estimate is much higher: between 5 and 5.3 degrees Celsius.

Such an increase could have dramatic implications for climate change worldwide, note the scientists.

'It goes to everything from sea level rise to more frequent and extreme droughts and floods,' said Ivy Tan, a Yale graduate student and lead author of the study.

How much warming is predicted for the next 80 or so years depends a lot on if society cuts back on carbon dioxide emissions.

In the worst case scenario, with no carbon reduction, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sees temperatures rising by about 6.7 degrees by the end of the century and Storelvmo said the liquid cloud factor would add another degree or more on top of that.

While the study is 'well-reasoned' and 'sobering,' there are uncertainties with the satellite observations that raise questions for Chris Bretherton at the University of Washington, who wasn't part of the study.

He said if the Yale team is right and there's a bigger cloud feedback, why hasn't warming so far been even higher?

A record number of more than 130 countries will sign the landmark agreement to tackle climate change at a ceremony at U.N. headquarters on April 22, the United Nations said Thursday.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the signing ceremony on the first day that the agreement reached in Paris in December opens for signature.

The U.N. chief, French President Francois Hollande and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, who is in charge of global climate negotiations, have invited leaders from all 193 U.N. member states to the event.

The U.N. said signatures from over 130 countries, including more than 60 heads of state and government, would surpass the previous record of 119 signatures on the opening day for signing an international agreement. That record is held by the opening day signing of the Law of the Sea treaty in 1994.

The U.N. stressed that the signing ceremony is the first step in ensuring that the agreement enters into force as soon as possible.

It will take effect 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the secretary-general.

The agreement sets a collective goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

It requires all countries to submit plans for climate action and to update them every five years, though such plans are not legally binding.

That's a legitimate question, Storelvmo said, but computer simulations may also be underestimating the cooling effect of aerosols that mask the warming but are diminishing in the atmosphere.

This is just the latest in a series of studies that have found that mainstream science may be too conservative in estimating the pace and effects of warming, including melting ice sheets in Antarctica.

'None of this is good news,' Storelvmo said. 'You always hope that climate isn't as sensitive to carbon dioxide as we fear, same with the ice sheets, but we're calling it as we see it. Several studies have come out and show that we've been too conservative up until now.'

Uncertainties in mainstream climate science are more 'on the bad side' than on the side of less harm, said climate and glacier scientist Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University, who wasn't part of the study.

'Climate science thus is probably more open to criticism of being too conservative than being too alarmist.'


We Finally Know Why the North Pole Is Moving East

The  melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets is the probable cause but both seem due to vulcanism, not CO2 emissions

Something strange is happening to our planet. Around the year 2000, the North rotational pole started migrating eastward at a vigorous clip. Now, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have figured out what’s going on — and you’ll be shocked to learn that humans are behind it.

The rotational axis of any planet, including our own, is in constant flux. That’s because planets aren’t perfect spheres, but bumpy, pitted things whose mass is always on the move. “If you take a chunk of material from some area, you are breaking the symmetry, and the spin axis starts moving,” Surendra Adhikari of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Gizmodo.

Through careful observations and mathematical models, Adhikari has discovered that our planet’s recent polar wanderlust has two causes: the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, and changes in the global distribution of water stored on land. Both of these are related to a single underlying phenomenon.

“The bottom line is that climate change is driving the motion of the polar axis,” Adhikari said. His findings are published in Science Advances today.

Scientists have taken careful measurements of Earth’s spin axis since 1899. Prior to the 21st century, the pole wandered toward Hudson Bay, Canada, moving at a rate of about seven centimetres a year. This long-term migration is believed to be related to the loss of the Laurentide ice sheet, which blanketed Canada and much of the northern United States during the last ice age.

But around the turn of the century, our spin axis charted a new course. The planet’s north rotational pole is now heading east, along the Greenwich Meridian, and it’s moving twice as fast as it was before. “Scientists believed that this must be related to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet,” Adhikari said. “That’s been the general understanding.”


The White House launches a scary campaign about deadly heat. Guess what: Cold kills more people

BJORN LOMBORG sets it all out below.  I have already said similar things about the "report" he discusses but he says it better

The Obama administration released a new report this week that paints a stark picture of how climate change will affect human health. Higher temperatures, we’re told, will be deadly—killing “thousands to tens of thousands” of Americans. The report is subtitled “A Scientific Assessment,” presumably to underscore its reliability. But the report reads as a political sledgehammer that hypes the bad and skips over the good.

It also ignores inconvenient evidence—like the fact that cold kills many more people than heat.

Climate change is a genuine problem that will eventually be a net detriment to society. Gradually rising temperatures across decades will increase the number of hot days and heat waves. If humans make no attempts whatsoever to adapt—a curious assumption that the report inexplicably relies on almost throughout—the total number of heat-related deaths will rise. But correspondingly, climate change will also reduce the number of cold days and cold spells. That will cut the total number of cold-related deaths.

Consider a rigorous study published last year in the journal Lancet that examined temperature-related mortality around the globe. The researchers looked at data on more than 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 areas: cold countries like Canada and Sweden, temperate nations like Spain, South Korea and Australia, and subtropical and tropical ones like Brazil and Thailand.

The Lancet researchers found that about 0.5%—half a percent—of all deaths are associated with heat, not only from acute problems like heat stroke, but also increased mortality from cardiac events and dehydration. But more than 7% of deaths are related to cold—counting hypothermia, as well as increased blood pressure and risk of heart attack that results when the body restricts blood flow in response to frigid temperatures. In the U.S. about 9,000 people die from heat each year but 144,000 die from cold.

The administration’s new report refers to this study—it would be difficult to ignore, since it is the world’s largest—but only in trivial ways, such as to establish the relationship between temperature and mortality. Not once does this “scientific assessment” acknowledge that cold deaths significantly outweigh heat deaths.

The report confidently claims that when temperatures rise, “the reduction in premature deaths from cold are expected to be smaller than the increase in deaths from heat in the United States.” Six footnotes are attached to that statement. But one of the cited papers doesn’t even estimate cold deaths; another flat-out disagrees with this assertion, projecting that cold deaths will fall more than heat deaths will rise.

Further, the figure that made it into news reports, those “tens of thousands” of additional deaths, is wrong. The main model that the administration’s report relies on to estimate temperature-related mortality finds, in a worst-case scenario, 17,680 fewer cold deaths in 2100, but 27,312 more heat deaths—a net increase of 9,632.

Moreover, the model considers cold deaths only from October to March, focusing on those caused by extreme temperatures in winter. Most cold deaths actually occur during moderate temperatures, as the Lancet study shows. In the U.S., about 12,000 people die from extreme cold each year but 132,000 die from moderate cold. In London, more than 70% of all cold-related deaths occur on days warmer than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Although extreme temperatures are more deadly, they occur only a few days or weeks a year, whereas moderate cold comes frequently.

Thus, one of the central findings in the administration’s new report is contradicted by a large number of scientific studies from around the globe. A 2009 paper from the European Union expects that the reduction in cold deaths will definitely outweigh extra heat deaths in the 2020s. Even near the end of the century, in the 2080s, the EU study projects an increase in heat deaths of “between 60,000 and 165,000” and a decrease of cold deaths of “between 60,000 and 250,000.” In other words, the effects will probably balance each other out, but warming could save as many as 85,000 lives each year.

An academic paper published two years ago in Environmental Health Perspectives similarly shows that global warming will lead to a net reduction in deaths in both the U.K. and Australia. In England and Wales today, the authors write, statistics show that heat kills 1,500 people and cold kills 32,000. In the 2080s, they calculate that increased heat will kill an additional 3,500. But they find that cold deaths will drop by 10,000. In Australia the projections suggest 700 more heat deaths but 1,600 fewer cold deaths.

Globally, one estimate of the health effects of climate change, published in 2006 by Ecological Economics, shows 400,000 more respiratory deaths (mostly from heat) by midcentury, but 1.8 million fewer cardiovascular deaths (mostly from cold).

In pushing too hard for the case that global warming is universally bad for everything, the administration’s report undermines the reasonable case for climate action. Focusing on only the bad side of the ledger destroys academic and political credibility.

Although there is a robust intellectual debate on heat and cold deaths, there is a much simpler way to gauge whether people in the U.S. consider higher temperatures preferable: Consider where they move. Migration patterns show people heading for warm states like Texas and Florida, not snowy Minnesota and Michigan.

That’s the smart move. A 2009 paper in the Review of Economics and Statistics estimates that because people seek out warmth, slightly more die from the heat, but many fewer die from the cold. In total, the actions of these sun-seekers avert 4,600 deaths in the U.S. each year. You won’t be surprised to learn that the study wasn’t mentioned in the administration’s half-baked report.


The Hydro Flask Challenge to Anthropogenic Climate Change

If you’ve ever used a Hydro Flask, you are probably as enamored with this product as I am.  Hydro Flask makes the claim that their containers will keep your chilled beverage cold for up to 24 hours and your heated beverage warm for 6-12 hours.  By my experience, this is not an exaggeration.  Imagine the pleasure of indulging in 40 ounces of ice cold beer at the end of a six hour hike into desert wilderness.  In fact, don’t imagine it, do it!  So good!


In this paper, I am going to reveal the secret of the Hydro Flask.  In order to do so, I must subject you to a fair bit of science.

To understand what it takes to keep things hot for 6-12 hours compared to keeping things cold for 24 hours requires a basic understanding of thermodynamics.  Sadly, much of this may be new to you.  This knowledge will also serve you well in understanding the natural forces which really do affect our climate.

Heat can only flow in one direction, from warmer to cooler.  It’s never the other way around. To do otherwise would violate the Laws of Thermodynamics. There are four methods by which heat can flow and each method has its own efficiency and hierarchy which is dependent on the environment in which it operates.  These four methods are evaporation/condensation, conduction, convection and radiation.

Evaporation is far and away the most efficient means of removing heat from a warm body.  Our bodies engage in this technique constantly as we sweat to maintain our desired body temperature. This is also the primary method by which the Earth cools its surface, be it land or water.  Condensation is just the inverse of evaporation or evaporation in reverse.

Evaporation is so incredibly efficient at cooling because it involves phase change, namely a liquid material converting to the gaseous form of that same material.  In the cases of our bodies and the Earth’s surface, we are talking about evaporating water.

For water, which gets my vote as being the most miraculous substance in the universe, we can witness one aspect of this miracle every time we boil water.  You have a pretty good idea how much heat you need to add to freezing water to increase its temperature to the boiling point, from 32 F to 212 F, a temperature increase of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once the water hits the boiling point, it then takes over five times that amount of heat to convert all of that water to steam (water vapor) with essentially no temperature rise at all.

Another miracle of water is that it doesn’t have to boil to evaporate.  But it still takes that same amount of energy per unit volume to make the transition from liquid to vapor.  Your sweat is a case in point and the same thing happens with soil moisture and the water in our lakes, streams and oceans.  It is the evaporative process that carries most solar heating away from the earth’s surface.  It’s very efficient. Nature loves it.

Conduction, the second choice of Nature, occurs when a warm body is in thermal contact with another body.  This technique is used regardless of the phase state of the material.  It may be solid to solid, solid to liquid, solid to gas or any combination of the three states of material common to planet Earth.  The heat flow is always from warmer material to cooler material regardless of the phase states.

If the material receiving the heat from the other material is liquid or gas, thermal conduction usually results in convection.  When added to conduction, convection greatly increases the efficiency of heat transfer. If you have a convection oven and have compared the preheating and cooking times to that of a conventional oven, you know just what this means. Before diving into the subject of convection and how it relates to Earth’s climate, we need to know a bit about air, the stuff that makes up our atmosphere.

Because water vapor has the unique ability to change phases within our atmosphere it is found in extremely variable amounts from nearly zero to over 4% by volume.  For this reason it is standard procedure when discussing the composition of air to characterize it as being dry air with no water vapor.  Dry air is composed of 78% Nitrogen, 20.9% Oxygen, and 1% Argon.  CO2 and methane, both so called greenhouse gases, are also present in trace amounts at 0.04% and 0.0002% respectively.  Again, water vapor content in the atmosphere varies dramatically ranging from very nearly zero in arid regions to more than 4% being present in powerful hurricanes and typhoons. Atmospheric water content also varies greatly with altitude as the air within the troposphere (the portion of our atmosphere from surface to around 40,000 feet) becomes cooler with height and water vapor condenses out to form clouds and precipitation.

It is important to note here that all matter has the capacity to store thermal energy, even our atmosphere.  This concept of heat capacity is a fundamental property of all matter.  Nitrogen for instance has a specific heat capacity of 0.25 btu/lb 0F at sea level pressure.  As you may remember from science class, a btu is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of liquid water 1 degree Fahrenheit. At one quarter of this value, four pounds of nitrogen in our atmosphere can store the same amount of heat as one pound of liquid water. The total mass of our atmosphere is estimated at around 5.5 quadrillion tons. This is a lot of heat storage.

Water vapor has a specific heat capacity of 0.36 btu/lb 0F at sea level pressure, so 2.8 pounds has the same heat storage capacity as 1 pound of liquid water.  With water though we should never forget that in making the change in phase state from liquid to gas, each pound of water vapor is storing an additional hidden 970 btu of thermal energy that is not evidenced by temperature.  This energy storage associated with phase change is called Latent Heat. This latent heat can be released should the water vapor condense to form clouds or precipitation as it does typically high up in the atmosphere.

Let’s now take a look at how much heat on a percent basis is contained within the constituents of our atmosphere.

Average water vapor content in the troposphere is somewhere between 1% and 2%.  If we assume 1% water vapor and we take the specific heat capacities, the latent heat in water vapor and the proportional makeup of the atmosphere, we wind up with the following distribution of heat storage in the troposphere, ranked first to last: Nitrogen:   72%; Oxygen: 17%; Water Vapor: 10.5% ; Argon: 0.5%; CO2: 0.04%; Methane: 0.000%.

So in air containing 1% water vapor, Nitrogen contains 72% of the heat, oxygen is second with 17%, water vapor is third with 10.5% and so on.  CO2 and Methane are insignificant.  Forget them.  They are of no consequence in influencing atmospheric temperatures within the troposphere where life resides.  This basic physical fact may be contrary to what you have been told.  You have likely been told that CO2, methane and other so called greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere.  This is not possible. Given that each CO2 molecule is surrounded by 1,950 nitrogen molecules and 522 oxygen molecules (based on air containing 78% nitrogen and 20.9% oxygen) which are in thermal contact with the CO2 molecule, CO2 has no ability to trap heat beyond the proportions previously listed.  Thermal contact requires that should they somehow be heated independent of their neighbors, they must instantly begin sharing that heat with the neighbors.  This in turn would induce convection which moves heat away from the Earth’s surface toward space.  It can be no other way.

On dry areas of the Earth’s surface, evaporation is absent due to the lack of moisture.  Nature’s second favorite means of heat transfer is active here. The air at the surface is in thermal contact with the ground and once the ground is heated relative to the air, the heat must flow to the air as nature always strives to equalize the temperature of adjacent matter.

Warming the air causes it to expand and it becomes less dense relative to the cooler air above it.  Like a hot air balloon, the warmer air becomes buoyant and rises above the surface thus being replaced with cooler air that in turn accepts heat from the warmer ground.  This process of rising warm surface air with replenishment by cooler air is called convection. Conductive heat transfer from the solid or liquid surface to the air layer with which it makes thermal contact initiates this convection. So long as the sun is shining, the solar radiation impinging the ground will continue to keep the ground warmer than the air above it and the conduction/convection heat transfer process will keep the air circulating with the temperature gradient moving heat away from the surface.  At night the convection process will eventually equalize surface and air temperatures and the air will become calm as convection grinds to a halt.

It is important that you understand that greenhouses work by allowing light rays to enter the inside of the greenhouse where the electromagnetic energy from the sun is converted to thermal energy within the molecular composition of the surfaces and air within the greenhouse.  The walls and roof of a greenhouse present a barrier to convection, just like your car with the windows closed, and this restriction allows the greenhouse temperature to rapidly rise to the point where thermal conduction between the glass and outside air equalize the energy flows and stop the temperature rise.  Even at greenhouse temperatures over 100 0F, radiant heat loss is not significant.  Because our atmosphere is completely open to convection within the troposphere, the term “Greenhouse Effect” is a complete misnomer.  The term is not just inaccurate, it is deceptive.

Radiation is the least efficient method of heat transfer and generally requires a very high temperature for the radiating source.  Radiation is of utmost importance in terms of getting heat to transfer across a vacuum.  The sun and light bulbs are good examples of high temperature radiating sources. Light bulbs are vacuum tubes and since the sun is surrounded by the vacuum of space, you may view it as a naturally occurring vacuum tube.  It is the fact that the presence of the vacuum precludes more efficient methods of heat transfer that allows the light bulb filament to achieve the high temperatures necessary to emit bright visible light.

Since as described earlier, the Earth’s surface is in thermal contact with the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth is not at a high temperature as compared to the sun or a light bulb, radiation can be ignored in terms of cooling the Earth’s surface.  Radiation is nature’s last resort when it comes to equilibrating temperatures. It is far, far less efficient than the other forms of heat transfer.

Now back to the Hydro Flask.


The Hydro Flask container is constructed of two stainless steel containers, one inside the other with the only point of contact being at the upper rim where they are connected.  The space between the two containers is filled with nothing meaning that a vacuum has been pulled on this space such that almost no air molecules are present.  As with the vacuum of space, there is no temperature present in this cavity between the inner and outer containers. Temperature requires matter.  No matter, no temperature.  This space is neither cold nor hot.  This is a mysterious concept because you can’t measure the absence of temperature. To do so would require the insertion of some instrument, but since a vacuum is defined as the absence of matter, inserting something into a vacuum renders it no longer a vacuum. It’s a mind bender.  You must use your imagination.  Nonetheless the heat transfer properties of a vacuum are very special.

As described, the Hydro Flask’s only thermal contact point is at the upper rim and of course the hollow stopper which is made of plastic with poor thermal conductivity.  This design, with the stopper in place and firmly sealed, eliminates evaporation and greatly reduces conduction / convection. At the temperatures desired for hot and cold beverages, radiant heat transfer is nearly non-existent.

With hot coffee inside the Hydro Flask at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and with room temperature at 70 degrees, the heat wants to get out and bring the coffee to room temperature.  The sides of the inner container are also at 140 degrees, but because of the vacuum next to the outside surface of the inner container, conduction is impossible and 140 degrees is too low for significant radiation of heat.  The only way for conduction to work is to pass through the contact points at the rim and stopper of the Hydro Flask.  The smallness of this area of thermal contact at the rim combined with the insulative properties of the stopper greatly limit conductive heat transfer.  The temperature of the coffee is sufficient to allow some heat to traverse the rim and stopper, but it is a slow and inefficient process taking 6-12 hours.  As the coffee cools, the rate of heat transfer slows as the temperature differential between the coffee and outside air diminishes. The power of a vacuum to stop conductive heat transfer is truly amazing.

With a chilled IPA at 40 degrees inside the Hydro Flask and outdoor temperatures at 100 degrees, the desert heat would love to warm up your beer.  As with the coffee example, conductive heat transfer is pretty much limited to the top of the flask.  Now the interesting question here is why the beer stay cold does for 24 hours but the coffee only stays hot for 6-12 hours?

Liquids are less dense at higher temperatures, so with coffee, the hottest coffee is at the top. As the coffee cools from heat conduction at the top of the flask, this cooling effect causes the top layer of coffee to become denser, so it moves toward the bottom of the flask.  Convection has been induced in the coffee.  As described previously, this convection enhances the heat transfer efficiency dramatically by always keeping the hottest coffee at the top.

With the cold beer, the warmest part of the beer is at the top as with the coffee, but the “warm” beer is becoming warmer, so it doesn’t sink and initiate convection. The warmest part of the beer stays put and doesn’t enhance cooling of the beer. Thus the beer stays cold much longer than the coffee stays hot.

The implication here is that if you turn your coffee flask upside down, so that the hottest least dense coffee is at the top, which is now the bottom of the flask next to the vacuum, the coffee should stay hot for much longer because you have stopped convection in its tracks.  Using this technique, you may get many more hours of hot coffee available to you.  The physics says this will work. Try it and see!

Now that you have a better understanding of the thermodynamics of heat transfer than 99% of the people on the planet, let’s conduct a brief examination of the radiative greenhouse effect (RGHE).

The Powers That Be (TPTB) want you to live in fear that catastrophic human induced climate change is at your doorstep.  Excessive burning of fossil fuels has been vociferously identified as the culprit.  We are all guilty, especially Americans, and we must change our evil ways.  Since this is a global problem, we will have to give up our national sovereignty and work together with all other humans on planet Earth.  No holdouts allowed!

The case for carbon based climate change, previously known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW), has at its foundation the Radiative Greenhouse Effect.  Every school child knows that the greenhouse effect is what allows the Earth to maintain the moderate temperatures which allows for life as we know it.  All of the fear mongering government agencies and university science departments whose funding is dependent on this climate of fear will give you their particular version of the greenhouse effect.  Let’s start with the agency with the forked tongue on their logo.


NASA says:

“When they absorb the energy radiating from Earth’s surface, microscopic water or greenhouse gas molecules turn into tiny heaters— like the bricks in a fireplace, they radiate heat even after the fire goes out. They radiate in all directions. The energy that radiates back toward Earth heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface, enhancing the heating they get from direct sunlight.

This absorption and radiation of heat by the atmosphere—the natural greenhouse effect—is beneficial for life on Earth. If there were no greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average surface temperature would be a very chilly -18°C (0°F) instead of the comfortable 15°C (59°F) that it is today.”

There you have it.  The sun heats the Earth’s surface, the surface radiates to the atmosphere and the “bricks” which compose 0.04% of our atmosphere radiate back to the surface adding more heat than the sun did initially.  This is the radiative greenhouse effect and every purveyor of climate alarm uses some variant of this deception.  The deception as you now can see works by substituting radiant heating for evaporation and conduction / convection.  Back heating of the Earth’s surface is clearly impossible with evaporation and conduction / convection, but somehow “climate scientists” are able to make the case that back-radiative heating doesn’t violate the Laws of Thermodynamics. It does, but it’s not as obvious as with the other heat transfer methods.  It fools most of the people all of the time.  And yes, this makes those people FOOLS.

Now you may ask the question: “Why isn’t Hydro Flask smart enough to make a new and improved version of the Hydro Flask coffee mug that fills the vacuum space with carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor or even better, sulfur hexafluoride which has, as reported by EPA, a global warming potential on the order of 12,000 times that of CO2.  Surely it would keep the coffee hot for at least a year.  In fact, if we can back-radiate more heat than we started with, as the radiative GHE implies, we should be able to heat the coffee to boiling.  In fact, if you think this out logically, you should be able to warm yourself in front of a mirror just using your radiative body heat.  How’s that for NASA science?

Now that you know real thermodynamics and you are smarter than all of the astrophysicists at NASA, you understand that the Earth is surrounded by an atmosphere which has both mass and large thermal storage capacity.  This fact alone completely explains the moderate temperatures found on planet Earth. Not only is a greenhouse effect not necessary, but it is impossible given the extent of thermal contact within the troposphere and nature’s preferred methods of heat transfer.

So where does radiant heating or cooling become important in moderating temperatures on planet Earth?  Only in the upper reaches of the atmosphere where the vacuum of space abuts the thinness of our outer atmosphere.  This is the area where thermal molecular contact is lost and the only option for planetary cooling is radiant emissions.  Theoretically, greenhouse gases which are more radiatively active than nitrogen and oxygen, could enhance this cooling, but that would first require additional heat to get to this part of the atmosphere and that amount of heat is set by the mass and composition of the troposphere.  Additional greenhouse gases cannot upset the balance of heat flow from the Earth’s surface to space.  More CO2 means more plant food and that is a wonderful thing.

Within the troposphere, evaporation/condensation, conduction and convection rule our climate, and no greenhouse effect is remotely possible or needed. That’s Real Science!

The secret of the Hydro Flask reveals the deception hidden within the Anthropogenic Global Climate Change scam.  The truth is out!



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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