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NCAR Report: Thou Shalt NOT Bullshit the Citizens

Posted by feww on April 16, 2010

Submitted by a member

Half the Energy Entering Earth System is Missing [sic]

What Happened to Basic Physics: A Bullshit Report by National Center for Atmospheric Research

Really? Could you permanently trap heat, as if by black magic? Is this trick cumulative too?

If this is good science, there is just one thing  left for the National Center for Atmospheric Research to do! Only one guess allowed.

This satellite map shows the amount of solar radiation (watts per square meter) reflected during September 2008. Along the equator, clouds reflected a large proportion of sunlight, while the pale sands of the Sahara caused the high reflectiveness in North Africa. Neither pole is receiving much incoming sunlight at this time of year, so they reflect little energy even though both are ice-covered. (NASA map by Robert Simmon, based on CERES data.)

How much is the sum total of the missing energy?

“The gap between what’s entering the climate system and what’s leaving is about 37 times the heat energy produced by all human activities, from driving cars and running power plants to burning wood,” Reuters reported the report co-author  John Fasullo of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research as saying.

Absorbed sunlight is balanced by heat radiated from Earth’s surface and atmosphere. This satellite map shows the distribution of thermal infrared radiation emitted by Earth in September 2008. Most heat escaped from areas just north and south of the equator, where the surface was warm, but there were few clouds. Along the equator, persistent clouds prevented heat from escaping. Likewise, the cold poles radiated little heat. (NASA map by Robert Simmon, based on CERES data.)

Energy lurking deep in the ocean?

Are the oceans evaporating? Is the air temperature rising by 20 degrees Celsius each month? Are there any signs that the heat is taking time off at a popular holiday resort in the Caribbeans? So, where’s the heck is this missing energy? Is this a spoof?

“It might lurk in deep ocean waters in areas sensors don’t reach. Some of it could be the result of imprecise measurement or processing of satellite or sensor data. But the greenhouse-caused heat gap is definitely there,” Reuters reported the authors as saying.

Half of the energy gap is unaccounted for, Fasullo and his co-author Kevin Trenberth said. “It hasn’t left the climate system but it hasn’t been detected with satellites, ocean sensors or other technology,” Reuters reported them as saying.

Try recalibrating your instruments instead of playing “silly buggers” with fundamental physics!

The surface absorbs about 48% of incoming sunlight. Three processes remove an equivalent amount of energy from the Earth’s surface: evaporation (25%), convection (5%), and thermal infrared radiation, or heat (net 17%). (NASA illustration by Robert Simmon. Photograph ©2006 Cyron.)

How much energy are we taking about?

Well, things started getting out of hand around late 1970s to early 1980s. So the authors are probably talking about a 30-year period where half of the energy arriving, stayed behind. Here’s some basic calculation:

  • Total rate of solar energy received by the planet: ~ 180 prtawatts, PW [one PW is 10^15]
  • [NOTE: about half of that energy, 90PW, reaches the Earth's surface]
  • 180 ÷ 2 = 90 PW retained by Earth system [according to the report authors]
  • 90PW x 25 years x 31,556,926 seconds=  7.1 Exp10 PJ [71 yottajoules, or 71Exp24]  is the total rate of energy lurking in the oceans  [according to the report authors]
  • Volume of water on earth:  1.3 billion cubic kilometers of water [1.3Exp21 liter]
  • Definition of Mean Calorie [4.19J]:  The amount of energy required to warm one gram of air-free water by 1°C under standard atmospheric pressure.
  • Energy required to raise the temperature of 1kg [~1 liter] of ocean water by one degree: ~ 4.2 kJ.
  • The average rise in the ocean temperatures, if what the authors are saying were remotely plausible: ~ 13 degrees°C

On average, 340 watts per square meter of solar energy arrives at the top of the atmosphere. Earth returns an equal amount of energy back to space by reflecting some incoming light and by radiating heat (thermal infrared energy). Most solar energy is absorbed at the surface, while most heat is radiated back to space by the atmosphere. Earth’s average surface temperature is maintained by two large, opposing energy fluxes between the atmosphere and the ground (right)—the greenhouse effect. NASA illustration by Robert Simmon, adapted from Trenberth et al. 2009, using CERES flux estimates provided by Norman Loeb.)

How do we removed the last vestiges of credibility from the impact of GHG on Earth

Blame the ghost energy on the rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Then come up with dumb statement like “half of the energy coming into Earth’s climate system  is missing, but it could eventually reappear as another sign of climate change.”

The net effect of the above would work magic on rubbishing everything associated with GHG cause of climate change.

“The heat will come back to haunt us [like a ghost] sooner or later [as all nasty ghosts do,]” Trenberth said. “It is critical to track the build-up of energy in our climate system so we can understand what is happening and predict our future climate.”

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