Freitag, Juli 18, 2008

And The Physicists Disagree With The Climatologists...

Go and pop the popcorn.

This is the shot across the bows of the anthropogenic global warming industry.

In extremely stark contrast to the AGW folks, who we have seen have refused many times to release their data and models, the APS article linked to shows the math and defines the models and methodologies: they take the scientific method seriously, it seems.

Here is where it gets interesting:

The fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing is a distinctive "hot-spot" in the tropical mid-troposphere.

This is the claim of the AGW community.

The APS query points out this:

...the projected fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas warming in the tropical mid-troposphere is not observed in reality.

In other words, the models do not fit reality. Really? Which reality?

None of the temperature datasets for the tropical surface and mid-troposphere shows the strong differential warming rate predicted by the IPCC's models. Thorne et al. (2007) suggested that the absence of the mid-tropospheric warming might be attributable to uncertainties in the observed record: however, Douglass et al. (2007) responded with a detailed statistical analysis demonstrating that the absence of the projected degree of warming is significant in all observational datasets.

That reality. Absence is significant in ALL observational datasets. All of them.

What went wrong?

There are two principal reasons why the models appear to be misrepresenting the tropical atmosphere so starkly. First, the concentration of water vapor in the tropical lower troposphere is already so great that there is little scope for additional greenhouse-gas forcing. Secondly, though the models assume that the concentration of water vapor will increase in the tropical mid-troposphere as the space occupied by the atmosphere warms, advection transports much of the additional water vapor poleward from the tropics at that altitude.

In other words, the models were designed to double-count, counting on a infinite scaling in a saturated environment, which, of course, is a serious error.

Serious error can be forgiven: contradicting the laws of thermodynamics is not something that can be forgiven:

With these assumptions, κ is shown to be less, and perhaps considerably less, than the value implicit in IPCC (2007). The method of finding κ shown in Eqn. (24), which yields a value very close to that of IPCC (2007), is such that progressively smaller forcing increments would deliver progressively larger temperature increases at all levels of the atmosphere, contrary to the laws of thermodynamics and to the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation (Eqn. 18), which mandate the opposite.

In other words, the models were designed in such a way that they could only function by contradicting the laws of thermodynamics. As inputs increased slightly, temperatures increased at a greater rate of increase: entropy reversed. That only occurs in living organisms and over a very moderate time period: entropy cannot be reversed otherwise.

In other words, the AGW climatologists did not do their physics homework.

What does this mean?

The IPCC's methodology relies unduly � indeed, almost exclusively � upon numerical analysis, even where the outputs of the models upon which it so heavily relies are manifestly and significantly at variance with theory or observation or both. Modeled projections such as those upon which the IPCC's entire case rests have long been proven impossible when applied to mathematically-chaotic objects, such as the climate, whose initial state can never be determined to a sufficient precision. For a similar reason, those of the IPCC's conclusions that are founded on probability distributions in the chaotic climate object are unsafe.

Not merely inaccurate: unsafe.

And I will close with this:

In short, we must get the science right, or we shall get the policy wrong.

Nothing more needs to be said: the policy to curb AGW is clearly wrong.

This is how science is done: see if you can poke holes in methodology, poke holes in the data, and poke holes in the logic that glues it all together.

Consider those holes poked.


After perusing the edition of Physics and Society, where the article I just linked to was posted, I see that it is a scientific article, but not the position of the APS as such: in the interest of clarity, let that be established. There is another article in that same journal that discusses the physics behind warming, but that article is not a redress or rebuttal to the one I linked to, but should be seen as a useful article that lays out the equations.

But doesn't change the fundamental discussion presented here.

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