Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Non-Expert Problem - Why We Can Be Sure of CO2 Science.

A List of CO2 Science Dependent Modern Marvels proving climate scientists know what they are talking about.

Recently I got sucked back into my real passion, defending serious climate science against the cynical malicious lie dependent attacks it's been under for decades, by an odd exposition by Dilbert's Scott Adams aptly titled, "The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science."  Adams launches into a truly delusional attack on the validity of serious scientists and their work.  It wasn't a great surprise to find that Adams seems to be a Trump supporter, thus it explains his easy disconnect from objective evidence and facts when they doesn't suit his paranoid outlook. (repair edit 1219/16)

Besides writing my own review, "Profiles in Self-delusion - Dilbert's Scott Adams," I also participated in the discussion over there and was again amazed at how many people can in total seriousness claim that there's no valid evidence that CO2 causes our current global warming.

As one of the climate science non-experts, (although with pretty near 50 years of interest and active learning under my belt, I like to think I understand it better than your average bear), still how do I know that I haven't been lied to for the past fifty years?  How do I, a man who is incapable of comprehending their formulas or the details of their climate models, be so certain that what they are telling me is true?

Well it comes down to acknowledging reality.  On two levels, for one, having listened to easily over a hundred scientists giving talks about their work, I know that they are full-spectrum skeptics.  They put themselves under as sharp a microscope as they do others.  It is a huge active community of intelligent competing individuals always checking and cross checking each other's work.  It is the best humans are capable of, sure beats basing one's beliefs on personal Faith and then bending all facts to fit those personal beliefs.

The second level is the physical reality of being able to master one's numbers and understanding to practical purposes.  I believe it is tragic how many citizens don't have the first clue that our precise CO2 science was acquired by Air Force scientists, working independently from many countries, foremost USA, Australia, Russia and others.  Everyone came up with the same results - that ought to tell a skeptic something!

Of course, there is also the physical reality of what we are observing throughout our planet.

Even more telling is that fundamental understanding out of which all other Climate Science flows, has been transformed into an incredible number of modern marvels that would be utterly impossible if the scientists were bluffing it.  Here, let me show you with a reprint of something I put together a while back.

This post is an interesting sort of one way collaborative effort.  
You see, over the years I've communicated with a number of scientists and grads.  
Asking straight forward questions and often receiving informative replies.  I try not to over do my welcome, after all these are very busy people with more important things to do.

But for this post I sent out a grand shout to a number of my correspondence pals and received more responses than I expected including some informative surprises for me. 

I have taken great liberty slicing and dicing their responses. Rewriting some, leaving other quotes untouched and giving all of it some order.

I mention this because I want to be clear the following List of "CO2 science dependent" modern marvels is not my own cleverness and I want to send out a big Thank You! to my informed anonymous heroes!  

Also see: February 21, 2016
Archive, Hanscom AFB Atmospheric Studies, 
Cambridge Research Lab

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The increase in atmospheric concentration of CO2 since preindustrial times is a given. Understand that the radiative physics of greenhouse gases are very well-understood.

Consider heat seeking missiles flying through different altitudes searching for a heat source who's signature is changing with altitude.  In order to program the computer, the programmer must know how to accurately compensate for the changing signature.  It requires a complete knowledge of the radiative properties of all the gases in the atmosphere, or all that hardware is for naught.

{Incidentally, there is not one contrarian "theory" or challenge to the physics that hasn't been looked at by informed individuals.  You just have to poke around, you'll find that contrarian errors, omissions, and falsifications have been clearly explained.
The list:
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* Weather satellites that can image heat and moisture and wind's effects into comprehensible images.
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* Precipitable water. Contrast brightness temperatures measured via oxygen emissions and via H2O emissions to back calculate how much water is present.
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* Heat seeking air to air missiles, they would not function if those guidence computers didn't have a complete description of how heat moves through the atmosphere.
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* Early-Warning satellites.  How are they going to distinguish between a missile launch from lightning, over Siberia?  Better look at IR in DETAIL!

Spectroscopic Databases such as HiTran and Geisa have military origins. Going back to WWII and the desire to do Night Bombing better. Then this continued during research programs in the 50's & 60's, with a lot of it through the Cambridge Research Laboratory.

The program ModTran that is an example of a narrow band Radiative Transfer Code, for calculating radiative transfer. Half the patents for this are held by the Pentagon. The company that develops it - Spectral Sciences Inc - does so under license to the United States Air Force.

For 20 years developments to ModTran were signed off by the Commandant of the USAF GeoPhysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, Ma. These days it is the responsibility of the Commandant, the USAF Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM.
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*  Lasers wouldn't work if we had radiative physics wrong.
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*  The detection of specific chemicals in the atmospheres of exoplanets: 
By modeling the gases at high pressures, you can produce an expected absorption for infrared from the planet and compare the model to the spectra recorded by the Spitzer space telescope
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*Spectroscopy includes measurement of absorption of IR wavelengths
eg measurement of CO2 levels in the atmosphere and ice cores relies on IR absorption. (that would make using ice core records to "prove" GHE doesn't exists amusing)
"Each sample has a volume of 4~6 cm3. CO2 concentration was measured with IR tunable diode laser spectroscopy, scanning a single vibrational-rotational absorption line."
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*  And it's not just physics of the standard GH gases.
  • Microwave emissions of oxygen molecules gives us satellite temperature sensing of the atmosphere.
  • Nitrogen - Nitrogen collisions form part of the basis of the GH effect on places like Saturn's moon Titan.
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*  Getting out of the IR range, but the Dobson spectrophotometer designed in 1924 to measure ozone (and the standard instrument for doing so, for many years) is based on the application of Beers Law. Using two close wavelengths that differ mainly in their O3 absorption coefficients, total column O3 is determined by the difference in transmission (sun view).
Careful selection of wavelengths allows measurement of many atmospheric gases.
IR instruments for CO2 and H2O are off-the-shelf items.
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But wait, there's more . . .
Check out this power point for a complete review of what scientists understand, it's first class - perhaps the best summation for nonscientists I've seen:

Greenhouse Gas and Climate Science Measurements
The SIM Metrology School October 28 – November 1, 2013

James Whetstone
Special Assistant to the Director for Greenhouse Gas Measurements
National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA

• The Sun and The Earth
–Protection Mechanisms for Life on the Surface
• Properties of Earth’s Atmosphere
–Earth’s energy budget and greenhouse mechanisms – Greenhouses
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The Atmospheric Propagation and Effect department focuses on laser applications in the open atmosphere. Main topics are the use of laser radiation over long distances, such as optical energy transmission (laser power beaming, laser-based air defence) and the remote detection of pollutants and hazardous substances.

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Liebowitz, Ruth P.   |   Hanscom Air Force Base Geophysics Laboratory. 
Bedford, Massachusetts

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The Rise and Fall of Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories.
Edward E. Altshuler  |  January 2, 2013. 
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History of Australian research into Airborne Laser weapons systems
Australian Aviation & Defense Review
by Carlo Kopp, December, 1981

1 comment:

citizenschallenge said...


What I have here is a good list of gadgets and a collection of notes.
Take it and work it into something of genuine substance and education for the uninformed.

Put in the work, retire me to one of the anonymous seed contributors, make it yours and make it a success.
This is important information that all too few are familiar with.

Cheers, CC