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Greenhouse Gas Equation Wrong

  1. Mar 9, 2008 #1
    Hungarian scientist Ferenc Miskolczi has discovered the greenhouse gas equation Arthur Milne developed in 1922 contains a serious flaw. Milne mistakenly solved the differential equation involved by assuming an infinitely thick atmosphere. Miskolczi was working for NASA at the time and NASA suppressed his report which contradicted NASA's claims.

    Miskolczi resigned in protest, stating in his resignation letter, "Unfortunately my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results."

    http://www.dailytech.com/Researcher Basic Greenhouse Equations Totally Wrong/article10973.htm

    Miskolczi rewrote the equations and the modified equations don't indicate a runaway greenhouse effect. His equations indicate a limit to any greenhouse effect. Thus even if there is a greenhouse effect it cannot do what the Rev. Al Gore claims it will do.


    Research by Stephen Schwartz also challenges claims of a runaway greenhouse effect.


    I haven't studied differential equations for a few decades, but I do remember that guessing at values for variables is sometimes used to solve differential equations because of their complexity. However, there are two values that should never be used, infinity and zero. These two numbers have special mathematical properties that make them unsuitable for this purpose. For example, you may remember learning that division by zero is impossible. However, there is one special case in which division by zero is possible, zero divided by zero. The test to determine if division is correct is multiplication. Zero multiplied by any other number is zero so zero divided by zero can be any number.

    In the real world it might be possible to a zero amount of any commodity, but not an infinite amount. An infinitely thick atmosphere would also be infinitely massive, i.e. a super black hole. In an infinitely thick atmosphere it wouldn't make any difference what the gases were because the gravitational attraction would be so high that radiation could not escape.

    In fairness to Milne, his research dealt with stellar atmospheres rather than planetary atmospheres. Milne unsuccessfully attempted to develop a competing theory to Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2008 #2
  4. Mar 10, 2008 #3
    Anyway, a good moment perhaps to recap the old physics on greenhouse forcing. The IPCC assessment reports really don't have demonstrated how to get a sound 'greenhouse warming' quantification for doubling CO2. The Third assessment report mentions Myhre et al 1998 with quantifies forcing of well mixed Greenhouse gasses. Hans Erren demonstrates here how this leads to about one degree celsius global temperature increase per doubling. He has also payed close attention to my threads with modtran demonstrations which support that order of magnitude.

    So why does the IPCC insist that doubling CO2 would increase global temperatures to something like 1.5 - 4.5 degrees C? The answer is positive feedback. From the plethora of paleo climatal records, but mostly from their interpretation, the idea has rooted deeply that we are looking at positive feedback. For instance warmer temperatures melt more ice, gives less reflection of sunlight, gives more warming. Warming sea water releases more CO2 from the ocean, leading to more greenhouse effect, leading to more warming while the increased evaporation leads to more water vapor, an even stronger greenhouse gas leading to more warming. All positive feedback factors.

    There is also negative feedback, sunlight warming causes atmospheric convection, the forming clouds (mostly cumulus) increase the reflectivity and decrease the solar radiation, causing cooling, negative feedback.

    So the question is; can we assess which feedback is indeed dominant? positive or negative?

    The answer of Olavi Kärner:


    I'll explain tomorrow
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  5. Mar 11, 2008 #4
    Curiously enough Vanesh explains about feedback in relation with climate.

    However in our atmospheric feedback processes there is no desired output. the chaotic movements are not controlled. There are only forcings (sun, ocean, etc) that may or may not be affected by feedbacks but always with a certain delay, since these processes take time. These feedbacks act on the rate of change in the process, negative feedback would counter it, positive feedback would enhance it.

    So we could make a chaotic random model with a random walk and put various feedbacks on that to see how it changes the original chaotic signal. That is done here,

    The green signal in the middle is a plain one dimensional random walk. Each next step being at random between +0.5 and -0.5. For the blue graphs the indicated fraction of the former step is subtracted from the next step, simulating negative feedback with one step delay. For the warm colors, orange - red - brown graphs, the indicated fraction of the former step is added to the next step to simulate positive feedback.

    As expected the blue negative feedbacks resist steps away from the starting position while the reddish positive feedbacks 'amplify' it.

    But there is more. The positive feedback graphs are smoother than the original green signal while the negative feedbacks show an increasingly strong ripple or noise. Obviously the positive feedback opposes direction up/down changes, simply because if the signal changes direction, for instance, from plus to minus, the feedback of the former step is still in the plus mode, attempting to continue in the plus direction (persistent). This results in less direction changes than the original signal. In contrast the negative feedback was already going to resist the positive former stap with a negative factor, so the direction change is assisted and amplified, therefore the negative feedback comes up with more direction changes than the original signal (anti-persistent).

    This effect is what Kärner uses in his publications, he analysis the various records on persistency, to see how the changes in heading are. Apparantly these were frequent enough to suggest negative feedback.

    The uploaded zipfile contains the excel worksheet that produced the graph. It's on manually calculating, to produce all kind of artistic results. It also calculates the number of heading reversals to see that no feedback is around 50(%) Strong positive around 20-30% and strong negative around 80-90%

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  6. Mar 12, 2008 #5
    Incompetent scientists are at risk of being fired. And only incompetent scientists are capable of seriously doubting the consensus on global waming. Hence the correlation between dissent and the firings. Now, the fact that correlation does not imply causation is well known to the skeptics, isn't it? :rofl:
  7. Mar 12, 2008 #6
    After deleting the fallacies, I wonder what you try to say. I don't see any correlation/causation mix ups, do you?
  8. Mar 13, 2008 #7


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    We had a speaker from the IPCC come and give a talk recently and he showed us the recent extremes that have taken place in the temperatures and how the ice coverage (mostly around the Northern pole) drives the temperatures.

    University of Illinois has a webpage for keeping track of the cryosphere through satellite imagery:
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  9. Mar 13, 2008 #8
    The thread is tending to head into a GW discussion, while it was only on GHG effect. To show the explaination for the lack of enouh GWG effect I got the positive feedback in and showed why Kärner cannot find that positive feedback. Good link, I found these seasonal ice cover data there and decided to investigate it for persistency.

    After all, the ice cover is assumed to be subject to positive feedback as well. When there is much ice in winter time, the higher reflectivity would delay melting in the summer and vice versa. Less ice in winter, less reflectivity, better warming by the sun, ice melts quicker and it gets warmer. This positive feedback effect should be visible in the number of reversals of the detrended data set.

    So I subtracted the seasonal averages of all the values and aligned them to investigate how many noise steps would be in the same direction (persistant - positive feedback) and how many reversals there would be (anti persistant). The result was 47,6% persistent, 52,4% anti persistent. So if there was feedback on the seasonal fluctuations, it would rather be negative, but slightly and it's only statistical. So, it looks like there is no strong positive feedback acting on the seasonal fluctuations of the sea ice cover.

    For the annual numbers the anti-persistency is 62,5% which sort of suggests negative feedback.

    But who knows the explanation for the sudden decline in sea ice after ~1970

    See uploaded excel sheet

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  10. Mar 15, 2008 #9
    Getting back to Miskolczi. I don't really see the problem with assuming an infinite atmosphere. Since the pressure becomes exponentiallly smaller the higher you come, the contribution to the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere above 30 km or so isn't important, so using a model that goes to infinity and one that stops at 30 km will make almost no difference.
    Current climate models will solve the equation numerically anyway, dividing the atmosphere in a finite number of layers that won't go out to infinity.
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