Sunday, November 1, 2015

Part 4 - Debating ClimateDepot fan re GHG physics and models

This is the forth in a series debating Will H. who I met at ClimateDepot.  Here I look at the closing sentence of his comment featured in part 3 of our dialogue.

I admit that in a way this is all rhetorical - l'll inform him of these 2 blogposts, but I don't know, nor do I care much if Will shows up again, as he did for my first post.  His comments would be welcome and I'll post them and respond, if he chooses to submit any.  

However, I'm actually writing this for me and folks like me who are trying to figure out the mind-scape of contrarians types and their faith-based certitude.  This is my exploration and sharing of ideas, hoping to find a few receptive minds interested in thinking about these matters.

Will Haas  at 5:00 PM, Oct 26, 2015

Will H writes:  ... (first portion of this comment can be found in the previous post)  "There is no real evidence that the additional CO2 adds to the warming and the models that they generated do not provide that evidence."  

After my lecture, I list resources that provide the information proving how wrong that belief is.

It's a ludicrous statement on every level.  But, just the sort of disconnected nonsense we've come to expect from the Republican/libertarian crowd.

The supporting evidence that scientists do indeed have a thorough understanding of the physics of greenhouse gases begins with pioneering Air Force atmospheric studies during the 1940s/50s/60s.  Not just the United States Air Force but also the Australian, and Russian (though the Reds weren't sharing their information.).  Without an accurate understanding, air to air heat seeking missiles would be impossible.  

The point being it's unassailable physics that we better learn to live with - not pretend we can wish away.   

As for folks and their armchair insights, attacking and rejected the established scientific understanding because of personal convictions, that's a bit over the top and worth looking at.

You/we/me need to devote serious time to studying climate fundamentals in order to intellectually understand our global heat and moisture distribution engine and its various components along with the cascading consequences of altering those components.  

Taking it one step further than understanding, if you want to judge climate science, you'd better be willing to devote hundreds of hours and do it for years on end.  

Will H, reading a few popular articles, books, learning a bit of math, doing a bit of independent 'research' (so long as our fervor lasts) qualifies no one to judge accomplished scientists on the work they have done!  Well OK, I know we are human and make our own judgement calls despite ourselves.  

Still when it comes to second-guessing the work of experts, at least we shouldn't take our contrary judgement-calls too seriously.  Remember self-skepticism is a necessity for the serious student, as well as scientist.  

I myself like sitting back and waiting for the experts to figure it out and am happy when my intuition is occasionally correct.  Given I've been at this since the early 1970s, I've watched mistakes and frauds and the self-correcting process of science in action.  I've listened to a lot of scientists talking about their craft - I appreciate that healthy-skepticism and internal scientific cross-checks are working just fine, astoundingly well when compared with the Republican sphere of responsibility and what we're witnessing there.

As for who's to judge the experts, be serious, that's left to the community of other experts who are fluent in that particular topic.  Exactly like it happens in every other serious human arena.   

Will H, stop pretending regular citizens can judge the details of what experts have learned.  Grow up, there is a reason we have knowledgeable experts.  Not liking their information, or having hurt feelings because your pet idea turns out to be bunk, doesn't make their superior level of understanding any less valid!

As for evidence that CO2 causes global warming:

First Direct Evidence that Rising CO2 is Heating Up the Earth 
Jenna Iacurci February 26, 2015

"... We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there's more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation," Daniel Feldman, a scientist in the Berkeley Lab and the study's lead author, said in a news release.

"Numerous studies show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect," he added. ..."
CO2 & the Atmosphere 

Published on Apr 9, 2012 by Earth: The Operators' Manual
Air Force research on missiles and the story of Ice Ages both reveal the effects of carbon dioxide.

Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?

Observing the greenhouse effect in action

The simplest direct observation of the greenhouse effect at work is atmospheric backradiation. Any substance that absorbs thermal radiation will also emit thermal radiation; this is a consequence of Kirchoff's law. The atmosphere absorbs thermal radiation because of the trace greenhouse gases, and also emits thermal radiation, in all directions. This thermal emission can be measured from the surface and also from space. The surface of the Earth actually receives in total more radiation from the atmosphere than it does from the Sun.

The net flow of radiant heat is still upwards from the surface to the atmosphere, because the upwards thermal emission is greater than the downwards atmospheric backradiation. This is a simple consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. The magnitude of the net flow of heat is the difference between the radiant energy flowing in each direction. Because of the backradiation, the surface temperature and the upwards thermal radiation is much larger than if there was no greenhouse effect.

Atmospheric backradiation has been directly measured for over fifty years. The effects of greenhouse gases stand out clearly in modern measurements, which are able to show a complete spectrum. ...

And it boggles my mind how people can ignore the simple down to Earth realities we are witnessing these days.

27 -- The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC

Published on May 9, 2013 by potholer54

Regarding "the models" - true to contrarian form Will is vague about his dismissal of climate models, but it's clear he doesn't trust them.   

Thing is, if you don't take the time to understand what climate models are all about, and what the scientists are learning from them, then your opinion is worthless.  Here again, it takes hours of serious reading and thinking to get a grasp of the outlines.

Here's some, what I like to call, authoritative information because it comes from actual experts in the field:

Climate Models, Climate Forcing and Climate Change: 

Uploaded on Feb 17, 2010 by Auburn University
Feb 8, 2010 - Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center - 
Society of American Foresters Meeting 

Dr. Gavin Schmidt is a climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and is interested in modeling past, present and future climate. He works on developing and improving coupled climate models and, in particular, is interested in how their results can be compared to paleoclimatic proxy data. He has worked on assessing the climate response to multiple forcings, such as solar irradiance, atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and greenhouse gases. 

He received a BA (Hons) in Mathematics from Oxford University, a PhD in Applied Mathematics from University College London and was a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Climate and was cited by Scientific American as one of the 50 Research Leaders of 2004. He has worked on education and outreach with the American Museum of Natural History, the College de France and the New York Academy of Sciences. Additionally, he has appeared on both the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the David Letterman Show. He is the co-author of a new book "Climate Change: Picturing the Science" (W. W. Norton, 2009).

From the experts: Climate models - 


Ken Caldeira on What Climate Models Have Told Us -

Published on Feb 4, 2015 by greenman3610
We often hear from climate deniers that the science of global warming is based on computer models. This is untrue.  
Models are used to help better understand our global system, but the science itself is merely textbook physics, and observations of the 4 billion year history of the earth itself. 
Still, there are very telling "fingerprints" of human caused warming that models showed us long before they were actually observed in the wild. Now we are living in the world that those models revealed to us decades ago.
There's much more valuable information out there, but I'm out of time, and you just gotta poke around.   

Happy constructive learning,


citizenschallenge said...

Well Will,
visitation remains strong for this post.
But it seems you've decided to step away from this dialogue.
No surprise there, once you phonies shot off your load of nonsense
there's nothing left beyond repeating yourself, so hiding makes sense.

I do hope that perhaps in your quiet moments you might reflect and
reconsider the sanity, or lack there of,
of denying scientific reality.

In any event thanks for being a sport and allowing my examination.

citizenschallenge said...

Oh, and no, I haven't forgotten about that final comment that I kept in moderation at Part 1.
That post is still in the works - as usual real life is keeping me away the computer.

citizenschallenge said...

FYI - the collection:
Part 1 - Debating ClimateDepot fan re greenhouse physics
Part 2 - Debating ClimateDepot fan re greenhouse physics
Part 3 - Debating ClimateDepot fan re greenhouse physics
Part 4 - Debating ClimateDepot fan re GHG physics and models
Part 5a - Debating ClimateDepot fan: Myth of the noble climate science opposition
Part 5b - Debating ClimateDepot fan: of politics and environmentalism
Part 5c - Debating ClimateDepot fan: final thoughts