How Heat Flows and Why It Matters
Via Azimuth comes a very detailed and sourced post on basic physics of climate change. Well worth the time to view or review, especially before commenting.
1. How Heat Flows and Why It Matters
Is there something missing in the recent climate temperature record?
Heat is most often experienced as energy density, related to temperature. While technically temperature is only meaningful for a body in thermal equilibrium, temperature is the operational definition of heat content, both in daily life and as a scientific measurement, whether at a point or averaged. For the present discussion, it is taken as given that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide trap and re-radiate Earth blackbody radiation to its surface, resulting in a higher mean blackbody equilibration temperature for the planet, via radiative forcing [Ca2014a, Pi2012, Pi2011, Pe2006].
The question is, how does a given joule of energy travel? Once on Earth, does it remain in atmosphere? Warm the surface? Go into the oceans? And, especially,if it does go into the oceans, what is its residence time before released to atmosphere? These are important questions [Le2012a, Le2012b]. Because of the miscibility of energy, questions of residence time are very difficult to answer. A joule of energy can’t be tagged with a radioisotope like matter sometimes can. In practice, energy content is estimated as a constant plus the time integral of energy flux across a well-defined boundary using a baseline moment.
Variability is a key aspect of natural systems, whether biological or large scale geophysical systems such as Earth’s climate [Sm2009]. Variability is also a feature of statistical models used to describe behavior of natural systems, whether they be straightforward empirical models or models based upon ab initio physical calculations.
The entire article can be found at Azimuth.
Very quiet in here.
We can thank physics for that.
Ooh, ooh I know the answer: conduction, convection and radiation.
After skimming the article I’m not sure Jan has answered the “why it matters” question.
Jan is also correct in that much of Climate Science is based upon statistical evaluation of data. Most of this data is extremely noisy and incomplete making analysis difficult. Accordingly most graphs should have error bars accounting for the data problems.
quiet here because i don’t want to get into a fight with Galkowski who doesn’t really know what he is talking about, but he’s learning. And throws all the big words he can think of to make sure no one else understands it either.
kind of like CoRev, but from the other side of the fence.
Why doesn’t he know what he is talking about, Cob?
Hey Co Rev,
Does this graph of yours have error bars?
Or this one of mine?
Or this one of mine?
EM, no they do not! That’s why I made the comment re: error bars.
What kind of scientist does not use error bars?
“The hype surrounding a new paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell is impressive (see for instance Fox News); unfortunately the paper itself is not. News releases and blogs on climate denier web sites have publicized the claim from the paper’s news release that “Climate models get energy balance wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming”. The paper has been published in a journal called Remote sensing which is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should not have been published.
The paper’s title “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” is provocative and should have raised red flags with the editors. The basic material in the paper has very basic shortcomings because no statistical significance of results, error bars or uncertainties are given either in the figures or discussed in the text.”
– See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/#sthash.JvGPf3kM.dpuf
i said “doesn’t REALLY know…” Galkowski is not a fraud. Read carefully what he says. “He is learning.”
From prior exposure to Galkowski I think he means well and “sort of” understands the science.
I disagreed with him on previous exposure about the exact mechanism of heat transfer in the atmosphere… and i don’t “really” know all that much..
but my point here was, and is, that his language is not helpful, seems pretentious… reaching for the big word or the obscure “science”.
Perhaps he doesn’t mean to sound like this. He reminds me of too many philosophers who, i suppose, can’t talk any other way. And some local “experts” who talk that way, as it seems to me, because they like to be one who knows arcane secrets.
So I wish if Galkowski is going to talk about global warming he’d find a way to do it more clearly. A freshman physics book does it more clearly. And if he wants to throw around the big words and arcane concepts he should save it for “peer reviewed”
and explain it to us proles in words we can understand.
EM, what is this supposed to prove? “What kind of scientist does not use error bars?” I did not see any error bars in the RC article, and am not even sure whether the graphs were from Spencer and Braswell or Trenberth and Fasullo.
Dale admits he didn’t understand the article: “and explain it to us proles in words we can understand.” and defining his description as arcane __”known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric” Or well above Coberly’s comprehension.
You should look again.
Real scientists always use error bars.
Spencer and his partner in crime, you, and me(since I just took your ah graph and changed the years) do not.
Same way that real climate scientist do not draw conclusions from short periods of time based on a small part of the climate.
But you know that.
Which just makes it sadder.
EM, I don’t think you know what you are looking at. Your article explains the graph: “The dashed lines are the span of the regressions for specific 10 year periods in the model (so that the variance is comparable to the 10 years of the CERES data). The three panels show results for a) a model with poor ENSO variability, b) a model with reasonable ENSO variability, and c) all models.
And Wiki saysan error bar shows: “Error bars are a graphical representation of the variability of data and are used on graphs to indicate the error, or uncertainty in a reported measurement. They give a general idea of how accurate a measurement is, or conversely, how far from the reported value the true (error free) value might be. Error bars often represent one standard deviation of uncertainty, one standard error, or a certain confidence interval (e.g., a 95% interval). These quantities are not the same and so the measure selected should be stated explicitly in the graph or supporting text.
Error bars can be used to compare visually two quantities if various other conditions hold. This can determine whether differences are statistically significant. Error bars can also suggest goodness of fit of a given function, i.e., how well the function describes the data. Scientific papers in the experimental sciences are expected to include error bars on all graphs, though the practice differs somewhat between sciences, and each journal will have its own house style.”
Note the complete absence of any error description of the satellite measurements. Also note that the RC article then compares the S&B paper that studied models against: ” “Climate models get ENERGY BALANCE wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming”” but then compare it against models that better and not forecast ENSO. Immediately they admit that they cherry picked the best model using ENSO as the selection criteria. ENSO is only just being recognized as a MAJOR climate driver, and few climate models handle it well as evidenced by their contrived selsection
Worse, RC did not even use the same dataset to compare. And, compounding that basic science replication issue (prove or disprove quality of the observation in the paper) they go off and replicate something different and the make a case for the difference. A scientific DUHHH moment.
You then go and make a comment about climatologists using short term data and claim: ” based on a small part of the climate.” I think you meant dataset, otherwise you just agreed that RC using ENSO (a small part of climate) was valid when comparing the end climate result (PR — energy balance/paper’s title — Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance)
If you meant data/dataset in you short term reference then you are missing the point that 10 years (the short term) was actually the total satellite data set. Comparing that 10 year period against the total of 10 rear periods from the 100 years models dataset and then (maybe) picking the best 10 year fit is disingenuous.
These are only a few of the obvious problems with your RC reference. Sadly you are incapable of understanding how these reports purporting to dispute a paper actually do nothing of the sort.
I understand lots of things, including when an “explanation” does not explain.
But you wouldn’t understand that.
Dale, sure you do? But, you did not understand this article and especially my response to EM.