Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quantum Mechanics and Climate: Strange Bugs In the Head

The tallbloke site has a post highlighting the introduction of quantum mechanics into the physics of atmospheric warming, by none other than Richard Feynman, who everyone rightly respects as a physicist. As it seems a popular idea now (the tallbloke post is a spin-off from the original on Hockeyschtick yesterday), here is my response:

I almost submitted a comment to the Hockeyschtick post yesterday, but decided who was I to keep others from stumbling their own way to the truth, when all I had was definitive evidence against the consensus theories and somewhat better physical insight than just about anybody with a "climate theory" (and much better than anybody, or any government, with a "climate policy"). Perhaps I was wrong to refrain as I did (but the audiences on these blogs are small, and there's the rub).

I read the referenced Feynman lecture, or the parts that were at all interesting or relevant to the climate science debates. To put it bluntly, Feynman was a poor physics instructor, overall; while his lectures were filled with golden nuggets of solid information, he wandered all over the map to get where he was going, or to get not much of anywhere at all. (I see now he was a hippie in his teaching, and his popularity probably was responsible for all those later "Physics For Poets (and other non-scientists)" courses that were offered to non-physics majors (at least in the '70s, when I taught one).

There is not the slightest evidence, in the above graph or in Feynman's lecture, that quantum mechanics is responsible, or in any way needed, for the "anomalous specific heats" (as Roger Clague calls them above -- I don't remember what words Feynman used in the lecture to describe them). Note particularly, the graph does not present the quantum mechanical prediction for the specific heats, it presents "reality" vs. the supposed "classic" ("classical"?) physics predictions. Feynman highlighted TWO "classic physics" predictions, however, for the same diatomic ideal gas -- 1.4 and 1.286. He did this by counting the number of degrees of freedom in two different ways, and applying what is known as the equipartition theorem that says each degree of freedom provides 1/2 kT in energy to the molecule. What he failed to say, or even hint at, is that you don't have to bring in quantum mechanics to do that (nor did he show that evoking the name "quantum mechanics", as he did, provided for any, much less all, of the actual points on the "reality" curves in the graph -- or as I wrote above, the graph does not present any quantum mechanical predictions). His appeal to quantum mechanics was gratuitous and fact-free, purely speculative, and I'm sure he regrets it now, as he can look down and see how you all have glommed onto it as if it were sacred writ.

Strangely, I addressed the subject, of the specific heat of the atmosphere, in my most recent blog post, "Convection Is Instability, and Does Not Rule", and it is almost like hockeyschtick ignored me (that's a joke, alright? everyone ignores me--and everybody else with different ideas--as much as they can) when I hinted at the real problem in the climate science debates: "Why is the effective specific heat of the tropospheric atmosphere so precisely just 1.5 times that of a diatomic ideal gas?" (I disagree that it is due to the accidental concentration of any "greenhouse gas", particularly either carbon dioxide or water vapor, or to convection, or "convective cooling", and I reject, for now, the very idea of a "wet" versus "dry", so-called "adiabatic lapse rate" (because, again, the difference would depend upon the amount of "wet" involved, wouldn't it, and that would vary with altitude, and thus give an unreal, non-constant lapse rate, wouldn't it?); it is the hydrostatic lapse rate, period, and the only question is why, in the formula for it (-g/c), is the specific heat c exactly 50% higher than that for a diatomic ideal gas? (Or equivalently, why is the lapse rate -6.5 K/km instead of -9.8 K/km?)

I, for one, don't believe the answer is to be found in quantum mechanics (any more than I am prepared to accept the "wet adiabatic" theory). I expect it is to be found in the proper enumeration of the degrees of freedom actually involved, in the molecules of the atmosphere, and I do not think I am making only a formal distinction with quantum mechanics--or the "wet adiabatic" crowd, for that matter--when I say that. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Convection Is Instability and Does Not Rule

Believers in the global-warming "greenhouse effect" (of increasing temperature with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, CO2) keep coming back to the idea that convection rules in the troposphere, and provides for the "adiabatic" lapse rate that really controls the global mean surface temperature. A commenter at wuwt wrote yesterday that "It is a fact that greenhouse gases increase convection cooling which reduces the lapse rate. Hot air rises which causes colder higher air to fall. That is convection cooling." My response:

So-called "convective cooling" does not take place over the full range of the troposphere at once (it comes under the general heading of "localized, transient weather"), so it cannot change the lapse rate over that full range (which means it cannot do it at all)--in fact, it can only act, insofar as it is able, which is not much, to destabilize (destroy) the lapse rate structure; but my 2010 Venus/Earth temperatures comparison shows that there is no such destabilization--and no global warming "greenhouse effect" due to increasing atmospheric CO2--all the way from 0.04% CO2 (Earth) to 96.5% (Venus). The empirically determined Standard Atmosphere, which the Venus/Earth comparison precisely confirms, indicates the specific heat (Cp) obtaining in the troposphere (=10.5 R/2, from the defining pressure vs. temperature equation ln (P/P0) = 5.2559 ln (T/T0), with 5.2559 = Cp/R) is just 50% higher than the specific heat at constant pressure of a diatomic ideal gas (7 R/2). This is too precise and simple a relationship to be a coincidence, which is what blaming it upon the accidental concentrations of "greenhouse gases" or even just water/water vapor changes (as consensus "experts", who call it the "adiabatic lapse rate" instead of the correct "hydrostatic lapse rate", do) amounts to. Why is the effective specific heat of the tropospheric atmosphere so precisely just 1.5 times that of a diatomic ideal gas? That is the question that the many upholders of the idea that "convection rules in the troposphere" probably need to confront--so that they can finally drop that idea, because it simply is not true on the global scale (represented by the global mean surface temperature). I know this is beyond the imaginations (not to mention expertise) of anyone but really good physicists (whose thinking takes no heed of a consensus, or ruling academic theory, in the presence of definitive contrary evidence)--and I have been surprised to find none even of such physicists, since becoming aware of the global warming debate 5 and 1/2 years ago--but the Venus/Earth comparison simply demands a general rethinking of the supposedly settled physics everyone keeps spouting, without the slightest thought that they could be wrong (yet they ARE wrong, as the Venus/Earth comparison clearly shows). The sad state of the official global temperature records--which includes outright fraud on the part of the "expert authorities" behind those records--underlines the general incompetence and underlying dogmatic intransigence of all the academic theorists, that makes all the debates insufficient to uncover the true physics involved.

It's interesting, too, that Venus, with 2400 times the concentration of CO2 in its atmosphere as Earth's, has a larger lapse rate, not a "reduced" one compared to Earth's, contrary to the above commenter's claim.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Lord of the Climate Flies

Climateconversation has a post on the religiously-deluded (in fact insane) idea that climate skeptics have something wrong with their minds. A commenter mentioned the "latest GISS temperatures", which the alarmist cult claims debunks the "myth" of a "warming pause" over the last 20 years or so (I would claim there is no proof of any global warming over the last century--contrary to all the temperature data sets used in climate science--since my Venus/Earth temperatures comparison precisely confirms the Standard Atmosphere model, known for that century and more, and it allows for no global warming and shows a higher global mean surface temperature, for that century, higher than that admitted today in climate "science", in addition to the fact that the Venus/Earth temperature ratio shows there is NO global-warming "greenhouse effect" at all, even though Venus's atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide compared to Earth's 0.04%). My response to the continuing (and now entirely politically-correct) blindness to the hard truth about all of climate science:

The latest revisions to the GISS temperature data are bilge, based as they are on a hurried official acceptance of the incompetent paper by Karl (2015) et al., which deliberately tried to authoritatively (and condescendingly) erase the lack of warming over the last 20 years by subordinating good data with uncertain data (from an uncertain source unintended for such use). The scientific community should be up in arms over the whole sordid mess that is "consensus" climate science, and you shouldn't give an inch to any of those "experts" who have made it or any who now smugly promulgate it. I reject the GISS temperatures, and all others simiilarly suborned; I reject all of the adjustments that have been made solely in order to give the false indication of significant global warming. I reject the pronouncements of any and all climate scientists, who I know to be incompetent based upon the overwhelming evidence I have uncovered and brought forward myself, in my own way (and peer-review can go to the devil; it has been a monstrous lie, unfulfilling of its purpose and highest responsibility, that got climate science into this mess--the system, of self-correction in science, is broken). Shame on today's "leading" scientists, and all the leading voices that follow them. They are all nothing more than bratty children, recapitulating "The Lord of the Flies" (I suggest you all read that story, especially how it ends).