Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post on Dot Earth 11/1/12 - Adaptation

Dr Norman Page Houston.

You ( Andy Revkin) say

"Pursuing wise policies on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and on boosting resilience to extreme events both make sense,"

This is not true.It is now likely that for the next 30 years at least the earth will be in a cooling trend. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have a hardly measurable effect on global climate compared with natural variability. Check my various posts on to see the empirical basis for this viewpoint.

The IPCC now says

"“Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”.

Unless we get the science right we will make the wrong decisions.Cooling would bring e.g.more east coast hurricanes with some accompanying blizzards,more violent and frequent tornadoes and corn belt droughts and western forest fires . Warming e.g would bring more equable weather with better crop yields but with more category 4 Gulf Coast hurricanes.

We must identify the threats from either cooling or warming correctly and make the necessary infrastructue investments based on empirical cost - benefit analysis.

Even if the climate were to warm, curbing CO2 would make little difference at enormous economic cost - especially to the worlds poor , especially if ethanol and biofuel use continue to be mandated.

Adaptation is the only sensible policy in either case .


  1. It is all natural cycles ... consider these home experiments ...

    Home experiment No.1

    A plastic bowl in a 750 watt microwave oven is not heated by the high intensity radiation (photons if you like) whereas the same bowl in front of a 750 watt electric radiator is heated by a similar intensity of radiation. So the bowl "detects" the frequency difference. Many seem to think that would not be possible and that all photons are the same and all cause warming. The frequency of the microwaves is less than that of the spontaneous radiation emitted by the bowl itself at room temperature. But the frequency of the radiation from the electric radiator is greater. That's all that matters. That is a simple demonstration of how a surface "pseudo scatters" radiation which has lower frequency than its own emissions, and is not warmed by such radiation. This is the whole point of Prof Claes Johnson's "Computational Blackbody Radiation" paper. So I have provided at least one example of empirical evidence which is not in conflict with what he has said. There has never been any empirical evidence to disprove what he said, and never will be. I have explained more in the first five sections of my paper "Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics"

    Doug Cotton

    Home experiment No.2

    Check the outside temperature just before, and then soon after low clouds roll in. Why is it warmer when there are low clouds? Water vapour radiates with many more spectral lines than carbon dioxide, so its radiation is more effective per molecule in slowing the rate of radiative cooling of the Earth's surface. It is also much more prolific in the atmosphere, so its overall effect on this slowing is probably of the order of at least 100 times the effect of carbon dioxide. Hence it is not at all surprising that low cloud cover slows radiative cooling quite noticeably and, while it is present in that particular location, the rate of cooling by non-radiative processes cannot accelerate fast enough to compensate. But that is a local weather event, not climate. Over the whole Earth and over a lengthy period there will be compensation. In any event, what is being compensated for is almost entirely due to water vapour, with carbon dioxide having less than 1% of the effect on that mere 14% of all heat transferred from the surface which enters the atmosphere by way of radiation.

  2. If anyone wishes to ask questions about my paper, or if you believe you have an alternative explanation for the Venus surface temperature, please post your question or response below this post as I wish to keep all discussion on the one thread. There is also discussion there regarding today's article on PSI which I did not write myself, by the way.