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Basic global warming equations "totally wrong"
Posted by: McQ on Friday, March 07, 2008

Or so some researchers say:
Miklós Zágoni isn't just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was.

That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Ames Research Center.

After studying it, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists. The data fit extremely well. "I fell in love," he stated at the International Climate Change Conference this week.

"Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," Miskolczi states. Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.
So what's the story? How did they get the basic equations wrong?
They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution.

Miskolczi's story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution — originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today — ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always.

So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.
Result?
His theory was eventually published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in his home country of Hungary.

The conclusions are supported by research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research last year from Steven Schwartz of Brookhaven National Labs, who gave statistical evidence that the Earth's response to carbon dioxide was grossly overstated. It also helps to explain why current global climate models continually predict more warming than actually measured.

The equations also answer thorny problems raised by current theory, which doesn't explain why "runaway" greenhouse warming hasn't happened in the Earth's past. The new theory predicts that greenhouse gas increases should result in small, but very rapid temperature spikes, followed by much longer, slower periods of cooling — exactly what the paleoclimatic record demonstrates.
So - peer reviewed, supported by other research, much better matches and explains historical records - but bucks the present scientific "consensus" driving the politics today.

Bottom line: It will most likely be ignored.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Am I to understand we’re driving current equations of warming based on the understanding of the atmosphere of guys in the 1920’s?





 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Of COURSE it’ll be ignored.

Refresher: The model is, if it makes Leftists look good, it gets front page. If it doesn’t it gets ignored. This stuff doesn’t fit the model.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
but bucks the present scientific "consensus" driving the politics today.
The "driving" goes both ways.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
He is also a global warming activist and Hungary’s most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol.
... a brilliant man, a pillar of the scientific community, a real...
Or was.

... hack, paid shill, horse’s arse...
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
differential equations ......... explained by McQ....

I’ll rest easier tonight

thank you
 
Written By: darohu
URL: http://
Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution — originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today — ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere.

Thank you, McQ, for allowing me to end this week with a wonderfully hearty laugh. Knowing that the brilliant "scientists" at the IPCC spent all this time building these models without bothering to go back and actually look at the data, it’s too much. Not ONE of them bothered to say "hey, y’know, we got computers now. Why not use the exact solution instead?"??? It’s hilarious, I tell you.

This is yet more proof of how absolutely horrible the marriage of politics and science is for science. Scientists know to check their sources. No one did. Scientists know to distrust models that seem to go against nature and common sense. Negative feedback is EVERYWHERE in the universe, yet no one bothered to wonder why it wasn’t present? Scientists learn to reject their models when not supported by the data. No one did.

This isn’t to say that all the climatalogists are evil or corrupt or incompetent. But when all the money is flowing for one conclusion, it’s hard not to turn a blind eye. When peer pressure is so great against opposing views, it’s easy to swallow one’s doubts. And when your so convinced of the importance and rightness of your results, you often fail to check your assumptions. The end result is, inevitably, sloppy science.

It’s funny that the Left roars about creationists, or how plenty of atheists still love to cackle about the Church’s role in the Galileo affair. Al Gore, the United Nations, and the media have done far more to destroy science than religion could ever hope to accomplish.

Not noticing the boundary conditions... I still can’t stop laughing!

By the way, I doubt this will get completely ignored by the AGW crowd. It’ll just be dismissed as irrelevent. The thought of a permanently changed climate was just never the issue. Even with these new models, the destructive efforts of man are still horrific enough to warrant all this danger. The polar bears will still drown and the hurricanes will still come. This changes nothing. By the way, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
 
Written By: Mariner
URL: http://
differential equations ......... explained by McQ....

I’ll rest easier tonight
I don’t know what you’ve been smoking (but I imagine there are those who’d be pissed because it upped your carbon footprint), but it was Miklós Zágoni explaining them, not me.

If you have a problem with his conclusions, lay ’em out.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I don’t know what you’ve been smoking (but I imagine there are those who’d be pissed because it upped your carbon footprint), but it was Miklós Zágoni explaining them, not me.

Actually it wasn’t........ it was you telling us how one person declared they were used improperly......... can you really state that with assurance without understanding the nature of differential equations......

Oh I know......... PI=3.14........ after all we passed a law


This is yet more proof of how absolutely horrible the marriage of politics and science is for science

The point is............. there are many problems with the conclusions.
Both the ones you support and the ones you have problems with.
Nothing new here.......... The fact that you can find a scientist who has "come over from the other side" is not ...... IS NOT, ipso facto.... that other scientist are not being "scientific"..
The problem of evaluating global warming is a very complex one......
We are faced with different points of view.......... many of them truly scientific.

It just astounds me that someone not a scientist feels it proper to validate or disavow the scientific work of someone’s work because it does not coincide with your personal beliefs.
To me this simply smacks of hubris. As does you pretense of understanding differential equations


 
Written By: darohu
URL: http://
Actually it wasn’t........ it was you telling us how one person declared they were used improperly......... can you really state that with assurance without understanding the nature of differential equations......
Are you telling us that no one can even cite a news story without understanding the math behind it? That’s quite a standard to hold everyone to.

And I’m pretty sure Al Gore doesn’t understand D.E.s, but keeps touting scientific conclusions based on them.

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
It just astounds me that someone not a scientist feels it proper to validate or disavow the scientific work of someone’s work because it does not coincide with your personal beliefs.
To me this simply smacks of hubris. As does you pretense of understanding differential equations
If you have evidence that the term Arthur Milne dropped by assuming an infinitely thick atmosphere doesn’t have a substantial effect on the models, feel free to present it.

By the way, Diff. Eqs. is a junior level college course. It doesn’t take a PhD to know that assumptions are made in the use of ODEs and PDEs in order to simplify their use as an approximation.
 
Written By: meh
URL: http://
Actually it wasn’t........ it was you telling us how one person declared they were used improperly......... can you really state that with assurance without understanding the nature of differential equations......
Did I attempt too?

Instead I stated precisely what I was sure of:
...peer reviewed, supported by other research, much better matches and explains historical records...
You float in with a false riff about me explaining differential equations and little else.
It just astounds me that someone not a scientist feels it proper to validate or disavow the scientific work of someone’s work because it does not coincide with your personal beliefs.
"Validate" or present it as a possible alternative to the "consensus"?

"Validate", of course.

No hubris there.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
And I’m pretty sure Al Gore doesn’t understand D.E.s, but keeps touting scientific conclusions based on them.

That’s the point............ science is......... Gore, McQ.... aren’t

it’s not a mater of what we prefer...........damn........

Again let’s just say pi equals 3.14 and be done with it
 
Written By: darohu
URL: http://
Not ONE of them bothered to say "hey, y’know, we got computers now. Why not use the exact solution instead?"??? It’s hilarious, I tell you.
While not trying to pick a fight on this, I have to respond that the differential equations, when properly done, actually provide a more accurate/precise/exact solution.

Typically, a computer only performs an approximation of differential equations using numerical methods. While these are often quite accurate, they are only an approximation.

It is funny that the error, in this case, goes back some 70 years.
If this study holds up, in terms of the missing term alone, there are going to be plenty of PhDs with red faces for taking this at (red) face value.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
There’s a difference (no pun intended) between the approximations from numerical methods for differential equations and approximations in the differential equations themselves.

In many numerical methods those approximations can be minimized by increasing the number of iterations involved and you can achieve any level of precision with enough calculations.

The approximations in the differential equations themselves come from shortcuts and/or assumptions in order to make the differential equations more manageable.

And without a computer in 1922 you are either going for a closed form solution which is not possible with complex equations. Or, getting out the slide rule and adding machine and performing a numerical solution by hand which is also more difficult with complex equations. So in 1922, you would be looking to simplify.

Usually when you make those assumption, you tend to limit the range where the math adequately represents real life.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Again let’s just say pi equals 3.14 and be done with it...
Heh ... you were pretty much "done with it" after your first comment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
well the half a degree C drop in average temps in 2007 didn’t get any major coverage so i doubt this will either.
 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
If this study holds up, in terms of the missing term alone, there are going to be plenty of PhDs with red faces for taking this at (red) face value.
This is true. IMHO, this is a good reason to be skeptical about this report. It’s worth following up on, but I want more evidence.

I have a hard time believing that nobody would notice this. I completely believe that the vast bulk of them might accept this, but some climate scientists will be programming the simulations, or working hand-in-hand with other mathematicians to program the simulations. It seems likely that somebody would have noticed by now.

However.... we’ve seen worse. This is at least marginally plausible.

(When I say "skeptical", I mean in the original "open-minded look at the evidence" sense. This is an extraordinary claim and will take some more evidence to sell it to me, but it’s not an impossible bar to meet.)
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
I have a hard time believing that nobody would notice this.
With 5 Billion dollars of funding and careers on the line, I think it is more of a case that they hope this all goes away.

History is replete with stories like this. Take Planck for example. Look at how hard it was for him to publish his theories (that are the basis for 90% of our current technology).

People are full of beliefs and prejudices no matter how educated they are. As well, much of the debate is being driven by non scientific activists who absolutely don’t want this to be true. How can they change the fundamental nature (and these are huge expensive economy shattering changes) of our society when they isn’t a crisis to drive it?
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I have a hard time believing that nobody would notice this. I completely believe that the vast bulk of them might accept this, but some climate scientists will be programming the simulations, or working hand-in-hand with other mathematicians to program the simulations. It seems likely that somebody would have noticed by now.
I can believe this would go unnoticed. With all the work that scientists, mathematicians and modelers have to undertake, it would not surprise me that they would accept equations that have been used for 80 years. Much of scientific progress functions by accepting previous developments as limited resources discourage "reinventing the wheel".
Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution — originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today — ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere...So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.
I too would like to see some follow-up but it shouldn’t require much actual evidence. Either Milne dropped a term by assuming away atmospheric thickness or he didn’t. Either his original equations are still used or they aren’t. Either the new term (assuming it isn’t been used) functions as Miskloczi functions as a negative feedback or it doesn’t.
 
Written By: meh
URL: http://
"you can achieve any level of precision with enough calculations."

Not necessarily.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Jeremy has trouble swallowing that few (or no) researchers double-check basic assumptions.

I imagine he would be surprised to find out that we still aren’t sure how AIDS is caused. Apparently the assumption that HiV is involved is exactly that...
 
Written By: Casey Tompkins
URL: http://www.thegantry.net/blog
Saw the comment that DifEQ is a junior level college course and just had to respond. I think that might have been the case 30 years ago. Back then I took it as a sophomore, but both my eldest daughters took it as 16 year old seniors in high school - that may be the exception but I don’t think they were 4 full years ahead. I have to think that most physical science and engineering students start college with calculus under their belt. That makes DifEQ a freshman level class for many if not most students who take it - worst case they take it their sophomore year.

Anyone studying chemistry or physics (for a BS degree or higher) and most areas of engineering has to complete DifEQ. At the same time I seriously doubt that most of the climate change researchers got that far in math. I took climatology classes at the undergrad and grad level 30 years ago - good classes but certainly no difEQ required. On the other hand a good class in planetary physics taught in the physics department used exactly the 80 year old (well not quite that old at the time) equations that are discussed by these researchers. Given the lack of computers at the time it is no surprise that the equations were simplified - we were taught that in basic calc based physics - used to frustrate the heck out of me.

Now that we have computing power the only explanation that can exist for this oversight during the last 20 years of research is that the climatology researchers did not have the basic math and physics background to understand what they were programming (or more likely directing the programmers) to put in the models. What does that suggest about the quality of the rest of the models???

PS - And anyone care to guess how many climatologists have taken a rigorous engineering college class in fluid mechanics? You simply can’t get fluid mechanics in most physics departments - much less whatever department climatology is now taught out of. You generally have to go the the mechanical engineering department and take a two semester class in fluids - semester one is statics, two is dynamics. And yes, difEQ is an important prereq if you really want to understand where the equations come from.
 
Written By: DG
URL: http:///
much less whatever department climatology is now taught out of.
Isn’t it a poli-sci course now?? Heh...

The inaccuracies of the models have been the biggest stumbling block for me (a 20 year vet in the computer programming industry.)

I’ve said, and will continue to say, there is no need to panic, but, we ought to be increasing efficiency, decreasing pollution, and finding alternative sources. There are good economic reasons for doing all three of those things.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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