- analog finite precision computation (reality)
- modeled by digital finite precision computation (virtual reality).
torsdag 27 januari 2011
Power of Language: "Refrigerator Effect" vs "Greenhouse Effect"
The Refrigerator Effect:
Lord Monckton, Judy Curry and Roy Spencer are critical to the critique in the new book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory of the "greenhouse effect" underlying CO2 climate alarmism. My arguments that the standard conception of the "greenhouse effect" represents a scientific dead end, are summarized in my contributions to the book:
By double negation (critique of critique) Monckton, Curry and Spencer effectively come out as supporters of the claimed consensus of (alarming) global warming by a "greenhouse effect".
M, C and S claim that they do not have the time required to enter into the mathematics of the criticism in the articles, but nevertheless remain critical to the critique referring to a strong belief that the greenhouse gas theory with its "greenhouse effect" cannot be killed because it is strong, healthy and very much alive. A seemingly invincible Sky Dragon...
It is natural to ask how it is possible to be so sure about the existence of a "greenhouse effect",
which in fact is not well described in the scientific literature? The meaning of the term ranges
from the total effect of the atmosphere as an "atmosphere effect" to the absorption spectrum of the "greenhouse gas" CO2 with unknown warming effect.
Is it simply due to the folklore description of the "greenhouse effect" acting like a "blanket" or "sheet of glass" helping us to stay warm in a chilly Universe at 3 K? Even if the atmosphere does not act like a blanket or sheet of glass at all?
Is the power of language so strong that the "greenhouse effect" from a "blanket in the sky" is
so seducing for the soul that the body becomes convinced? Maybe.
Suppose then that we change vocabulary and describe the effect of the atmosphere as the
"refrigerator effect", which is in fact more logical than the "greenhouse effect", because what
the atmosphere does is to transport heat (from insolation) away from the Earth surface to the top of the atmosphere for radiation to outer space. In the same way as the cooling system
of a refrigerator transports heat from the inside of the refrigerator to the outside.
OK, so everybody can now understand the "refrigerator effect" and with this understanding comes the immediate threat of a too strong effect of global cooling. Like with alchohol the risk is a too strong effect, not a too small effect (unless you are completely addicted).
So, with a "greenhouse effect" the imminent risk is too much of the effect into global warming. While with the "refrigerator effect" the threat is instead global cooling.
We see that semantics can twist our brains into firm beliefs which may lack scientific rationale. Of course we are all too familiar with this phenomenon in politics.
So how would the debate change if "greenhouse effect" was changed to "refrigerator effect?
Such a change could get quick acceptance this winter.
Judy now signals that she is ready to initiate a discussion on her blog starting from the two
articles listed above. I look forward to this discussion. Science without discussion is dead immobile science, while science with discussion is live science which can move forward.
PS1 If you want to get to understand thermodynamics for the first time in your life, download the draft of my upcoming book Computational Thermodynamics and explore physics with confusing statistics replaced by
The idea of finite precision computation also underlies the new analysis of blackbody radiation
PS2 Comparing the thermodynamics of global climate with that of a refrigerator should be done understanding the following important difference: The atmosphere transports heat from the Earth surface to a top of the atmosphere at lower temperature, while the cooling system of a refrigerator transports heat from the inside of the refrigerator to the outside at higher temperature. More precisely:
To transport heat in a system from a cold part to a warmer part (without chemistry) requires compression consuming external energy (driving the compressor in a refrigerator), while transport of heat from a warm part to a colder can be performed without external input of energy. The compression in a standard compressor refrigerator cycle is needed because expansion is used to create the temperature drop required to absorb heat from the interior of refrigerator to the circulating medium. In the atmosphere ascending air expands and cools and descending air warms as potential energy is exchanged to heat energy, without net input of energy, if turbulent dissipation is neglected.
PS3 As concerns Planck, his radiation law and his heroic (resultless) struggle to derive it mathematically from electrodynamics, and his final surrender in an "act of despair" to statistics, see Planck: The Reluctant Revolutionary.