Who’d Have Believed It? A Natural Process Dominated By Negative Feedback!

Frequent readers will know that I have often criticized climate scientists for assuming, without strong evidence, that climate is dominated by positive feedback.  Such an assumption about a long-term stable system implies that climate is relatively unique among natural processes, and is a real head scratcher when advocated by folks like Michael Mann, who simultaneously claim that past temerpatures are stable within very narrow ranges  (Stability and positive feedback are two great tastes that do not go great together).

Well, it seems that those of use who were offended by the notion of a long-term stable natural process being dominated by positive feedback may have been right after all (via Tom Nelson):

Cirrus clouds are performing a disappearing act which is taking scientists by surprise.

In the global warming debate, it is assumed that temperature rises will lead to more rainfall, which in turn will see an increase in high-altitude cloud cover that will trap infrared heat.

But research on tropical climate systems has found the opposite is happening, with cirrus clouds thinning as the air warms, leading to rapid cooling as infrared heat escapes from the atmosphere to outer space.

  • Kit

    Old news. That was from a paper written by Roy Spencer last year. The “consensus” climatologists still need to discover it for themselves before it will be accepted as fact. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Scientist

    As always, you simply cannot properly grasp the concept of feedback in the context of climate. Scientists do not ‘assume, without strong evidence’. There is ample evidence of positive feedbacks. And you repeatedly describe the climate as ‘long-term stable’. This is a staggeringly stupid thing to say. Have you heard of ice ages?

  • Jeff

    “Scientist”: There is ample evidence of positive feedbacks.

    PPOR. In case you’re as up to speed on usenet slang as you appear to be on science, it means “Post Proof Or Retract”. Let’s see some evidence.

  • “Have you heard of ice ages?”

    You’re aware that the ice ages ended, aren’t you? Ah, I get it, “stable” means never changing. As opposed to “stable”, as viewed by people without an alarmist agenda, which means that fluctuations correct back towards a mean rather than become a divergent, runaway effect. The severity of those ice ages pales in comparison to the catastrophic warming you and other pseudoscientist religionists are praying for actual evidence of.

    All the evidence of positive feedbacks amounts to: “look, my model has positive feedback built into it, right there, see?” To greenies, an assumption of positive feedback is it’s own evidence. It’s like when congress a few years ago was investigating somebody or other who they wanted to bring down. They admitted there was no evidence to even warrant an investigation, but asserted that the “seriousness of the charges” was sufficient. So the charges themselves were used as evidence for the charges.

    It’s amazing what can be accomplished with circular logic. You get all kinds of wacky ideas “proven” by it: the 9/11 conspiracy, the faked moon landing, string theory, global warming.

  • Scientist

    Jeff and Kyle Bennett – do you dispute the existence of ice ages? I presume not. So then, please explain how small changes in the Earth’s orbital configuration can lead to very rapid changes in the Earth’s climate, in the absence of positive feedback effects.

  • Luis Dias

    in a related topic:

    Link

    “Has global warming research misinterpreted cloud behavior?”

    “Spencer and his co-author, principal research scientist William (Danny) Braswell, used a simple climate model to demonstrate that something as seemingly innocuous as daily random variations in cloud cover can cause year-to-year variation in ocean temperature that looks like — but isn’t — “positive cloud feedback,” a warmth-magnifying process that exists in all major climate models.

    “Our paper is an important step toward validating a gut instinct that many meteorologists like myself have had over the years,” said Spencer, “that the climate system is dominated by stabilizing processes, rather than destabilizing processes — that is, negative feedback rather than positive feedback.”

  • morganovich

    that’s a straw man argument.

    who says that the changes in milankovich cycles are “small”?

    and you really ought to read spencer’s interesting piece in the AMS journal on why it is easy to mistakenly assume positive feedback in models if you mistake cause for effect.

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-pdf&file=10.1175_2008JCLI2253.1.pdf&ct=1

    why is it you find it so difficult to accept that temperature on earth has strong tendencies toward stability?

    global temperature has varied less in a billion years that many places vary day to night. if that is not due to negative feedback being predominant, i’d love to hear your explanation.

  • “please explain how small changes in the Earth’s orbital configuration can lead to very rapid changes in the Earth’s climate, in the absence of positive feedback effects.”

    I guess you don’t understand what feedback is. Does the change in climate then cause a further perturbation in the orbital configuration? Sorry, is “perturbation” too big a word for you?

    Your question makes no sense whatsoever. There doesn’t need to be any feedback at all for the effect, a change in irradiance leads to a change in temperature. If the temperature changes by more or less than the change in irradiance would directly imply, then that’s evidence of feedback.

    The earth’s “termperature” is a function of heat flux, incoming and outgoing. Without negative feedback, they’d have to be perfectly balanced to have any stability at all, else the earth would continuously cool or warm. The fact that changes in one or the other lead to temperature changes that attenuate over time is evidence of *negative* feedbacks.

    Oh, and: “small changes in the Earth’s orbital configuration can lead to very rapid changes in the Earth’s climate”. Can I save this and quote you on it later? Because I’m sure you’ll be arguing just the opposite any day now.

  • Scientist

    why is it you find it so difficult to accept that temperature on earth has strong tendencies toward stability? – you’re talking about the climate system which whipsaws between two states in the blink of a geological eye, yes? In what sense is that a strong tendency towards stability?

    If the temperature changes by more or less than the change in irradiance would directly imply, then that’s evidence of feedback. – yes, well done! And that’s exactly the point – the earth’s climate record shows that temperature changes are much greater than changes in irradiance would imply.

  • Rob

    I think Scientist has a good grasp on what feedback is and isn’t. However, like Morganovich has said, the Earth’s climate has been pretty stable and even recovered after big pushes (i.e. asteroids wiping out the dinosaurs which heated the planet significantly). I think Scientist has said before that positive feedback doesn’t mean there has to be a runaway process.

    So, even if mankind is giving the climate a push toward warming, big deal right? The climate will eventually rebound, if not for anything else, enough of mankind will die and stop polluting! šŸ™‚

  • Scientist

    Rob – yep, the elimination of mankind due to mankind’s effect on climate would definitely be a negative feedback šŸ™‚

    I do not think you can say that the Earth’s climate is stable. Certainly on long timescales it is wildly unstable. I would not say it ‘recovers’, really, either. A modern example of the kind of thing I think you’re talking about is the Pinatubo eruption of 1991, which superimposed a substantial drop in northern hemisphere temperatures onto the longer term warming trend. This drop lasted a couple of years. The ‘recovery’ was not due to innate processes in the climate system but due to the removal from the atmosphere of the aerosols causing the cooling. The magnitude of the dip shows that strong feedbacks operate on short timescales (Soden et al. 2002).

  • “And that’s exactly the point – the earth’s climate record shows that temperature changes are much greater than changes in irradiance would imply.”

    Wrong. It shows less. Without negative feedback, any net negative or positive heat flux would mean *continuous* warming or cooling, at least until the external influence changes independently – as in not through feedback.

    “you’re talking about the climate system which whipsaws between two states in the blink of a geological eye, yes? In what sense is that a strong tendency towards stability?”

    You’re kidding, right? Here’s a hint, “whipsaws”. That means goes back and forth, as in extreme deviations are counteracted by some influence that is either completely new or is greater in magnitude than it was before it failed to prevent the deviation from happening in the first place. Again, you’re argument only makes sense if by “stable” you really mean “static”. If the deviations magnified on each cycle, you might have an argument for instability, but again, we wouldn’t be here to discuss it if that were the case.

    And if you want to say that fluctuations in solar irradiance are solely determinant, then feel free to apply that in the logically appropriate manner to the anthropogenic theory.

  • Scientist

    Kyle, you’ve completely misunderstood feedback in the context of the climate system if you think that the temperature changes less than changes in irradiance would imply. Where on earth did you get this idea from?

    as in extreme deviations are counteracted by some influence that is either completely new or is greater in magnitude than it was before it failed to prevent the deviation from happening in the first place – what a horrific misunderstanding. The warming at the end of an ice age is halted, not by some new influence, but simply by the atmosphere reaching a state of equilibrium.

    I’ll try and explain it very very simply for you: imagine a forcing x. In the absence of feedbacks, the temperature change between the pre-forcing and post-forcing equilibria would be y. Because of feedbacks, let’s say it’s 3y. In neither case does the forcing lead to ‘continuous warming’, and in neither case do you need to invoke some ‘new influence’ to bring the atmosphere into an equilibrium state.

  • “the temperature change between the pre-forcing and post-forcing equilibria”

    And how is an equilibrium reached? If either the input or the outgo of a balanced flux is changed, the other has to change as well in order for there to be a new equilibrium. If it can only change independently, any new equilibrium is purely by very remote chance. If it changes as a consequence of the other changing, it’s feedback. If it is positive feedback, it pushes the system further out of equilibrium. A new equilibrium is *proof* of net negative feedback, barring pure blind luck.

  • Stew

    TO: Kit

    He did not describe the climate as “long-term stable”, Michael Mann did. Did you actually read the post? Secondly, I am sure that there are instances of postivive feed back, it is a complicated system with a number of feedbacks occurring regularly. My argument, as is many peoples, is that it is hard to think that you can assume from not very ample evidence, in the big picture at least, that the positive feedback DOMINATES. I would bet my life that negative feedback dominates. If I am wrong then I die anyways according to this Dooms Day theory.

  • morganovich

    i use the term stable to mean “stays within a range”. climate on earth has never “run away”. something always stops the change. this HAS to be negative feedback. (or divine intervention) it also stays quite stable in specific states. co2 began rising 800 years or so after the last glaciation began to subside. yet, somehow, these higher levels have not fed a runaway process. if it was positive feedback based, it should have been accelerating since then. but it’s not. in fact, it decelerated massively.

    all the data on clouds coming from the NASA AQUA satellite shows that the GCM’s have the wrong sign on cloud feedback. it amazes me that “scientists” are trying to claim the data is bad rather than the models (which keep failing to predict climate).

    in any event, we are already in the warm mode of the current glaciation/degalciation cycle. (but not at the top end by any stretch) the next likely step is DOWN. on very long timeframes, we are in the coldest decile of climate in 500 million years. and you are seriously worried about run away heat driven by CO2?

    why in the presence of all this positive feedback did climate not run away when there was 20 times as much CO2 in the atmosphere as there is now?

    the only data you have for positive feedback for water vapor comes from models. all the actual observations contradict them.

    the world did well during the roman and medieval optimums. less in known about the 3000 year holocene climate optimum which was much warmer then either, but, given that pretty much all species currently on earth lived through it, it’s hard to argue that will wipe us all out either.

    a drop in temperatures to glaciation levels will be orders of magnitude harder on us and the rest of the biosphere than a return to the holocene optimum.

  • Scientist

    And how is an equilibrium reached? If either the input or the outgo of a balanced flux is changed, the other has to change as well in order for there to be a new equilibrium. If it can only change independently, any new equilibrium is purely by very remote chance – again, horrific misunderstanding. More CO2 = less outgoing flux than incoming. The effect is that the atmosphere heats up. The effect of that is that the outgoing flux increases. The effect of that is that a new equilibrium is reached, at a higher temperature. It is amazing how you can fail so badly to get the simple concepts like this.

    climate on earth has never “run away”. something always stops the change. this HAS to be negative feedback – no. You fundamentally misunderstand. See the paragraph above.

    why in the presence of all this positive feedback did climate not run away when there was 20 times as much CO2 in the atmosphere as there is now? – a) because ‘positive feedback’ does not equal ‘runaway warming’ any more than turning up the volume on your television set leads to runaway noise. And b) because the Sun was fainter when CO2 was 20 times higher.

    the only data you have for positive feedback for water vapor comes from models. all the actual observations contradict them. – no. Do you bother with reading any science? Follow the link to Soden et al that I gave earlier.

  • “More CO2 = less outgoing flux than incoming. The effect is that the atmosphere heats up. The effect of that is that the outgoing flux increases.”

    Ahh, I see. You did say earlier something about understanding feedback “in the context of climate science” So now I do understand. In the context of climate science, feedback is not feedback unless it is positive. If it’s negative, like the feedback effect you just described, it’s “simply finding a new equilibrium”. So voila! All feedbacks are positive!!!

    My only horrific misunderstanding is assuming you have any more intelligence and honesty than a casaba melon.

  • Kit

    TO: Stew

    I think you shot the wrong man šŸ˜‰

  • morganovich

    no “scientist”, it is you who fundamentally misunderstand. raising an input to a higher level still requires some sort of negative feedback to stop resultant heating.

    put a pot of water on the stove. turn on the heat. do you think you need to keep turning it up to make it boil?

    the heat capacity of the oceans is vast. what stops heat accumulation? negative feedback in the system.

    if “positive feedback” stops, it’s either not positive feedback after all or it’s swamped by negative feedback.

    might there be some small positive feedbacks in a climate system, yes. but it is DOMINATED by negative feedback. thus the statement “climate is dominated by negative feedback”.

    you have no empirical evidence of positive feedback dominating the climate system. none. the water vapor feedback claimed by the IPCC has now been repeatedly shown to be negative. this postulated feedback comprises most of predicted warming in the GCM’s.

    you can keep claiming climate works that way, but you don’t have a shred of evidence. just a pile of expensive models that fail to conform to reality.

  • Luis Dias

    Nice sequence of ping pong.

    Morganovich shows strength.

    But scientist is persistent!

    Who will win?

    Most surely, time.

  • Scientist

    morganovich, you are an idiot. To take your stove analogy, you think the water will boil eventually, no matter how low the heat? what stops heat accumulation? negative feedback in the system. – no, what stops heat accumulation is a new radiative equilibrium being reached.

    you have no empirical evidence of positive feedback dominating the climate system – as I’ve said already, read the Soden et al. paper that I linked to earlier. What does it show?

    I always find it amusing when people are so utterly wrong and yet have no hesitation about proclaiming their ignorance loudly and persistently.

  • morganovich

    actually, yes. the water will biol eventually even at very low heat so long s there is no negative effect offsetting it. as you heat water above room temperature, it begins to dissipate heat as well as take heat in. the further above room temperature you raise the water, the more heat disappates (even before boiling). this is a NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. without it, heat would eventually build up and water would boil. are there heat levels where radiative output and heat input balance without boiling? of course, but that does not mean there is no feedback.

    have you ever even taken a science class? you have absolutely no idea how this works.

    as o told you last time, the soden, wetherald et al. piece is just models. it has no empirical data. predictions devoid of facts aren’t going to convince me. you might want to try the IPCC. they seem to go for that. you do not have a shred of evidence for net positive feedbacks.

    spencer has HARD DATA from the NASA satellite. it shows that water vapor/clouds provide net negative feedback to warming.

    you have nothing to refute it with but models that fail to conform to reality.

  • “are there heat levels where radiative output and heat input balance without boiling? of course, but that does not mean there is no feedback.”

    Actually, it’s because, and only because, there is negative feedback.

  • Scientist

    actually, yes. the water will biol eventually even at very low heat – ha ha ha ha ha! Well, that absolutely takes the biscuit. My work here is done.

  • morganovich

    right. your work of reading the first half of a sentence and failing to see the rest. nice try wiggling out of having just been shown to be utterly wrong by attempting to over-simplify and mis-state the opposing argument, but it’s not going to work you charlatan.

    the rest of the claim was :”so long as there is no negative effect offsetting it”

    you think heat just magically stops going up if you keep adding energy to a system even at a steady state? this is just not so, it needs to be offset by something to reach an equilibrium. otherwise, the water would keep increasing in temperature until it either reached the temperature of the heat source or boiled.

    you prove once more that your name is a fraud.

    no one who passed junior high school science and reading comprehension could make the claims you do.

    so you tell me: if you put a pot of water on low heat and it warms to some level beneath boiling and equilibrates to a constant temperature which it then maintains, why did it stop warming? energy is still going in to the system. why no warming?

    i notice you still have not provided any empirical evidence for your claims…

  • Scientist

    i notice you still have not provided any empirical evidence for your claims… – apart from not having a fucking clue what feedback means, you can’t even fucking read. What the fuck do you think paleoclimatology is all about? What the fuck do you think Soden’s paper was about? Fucking moron.

  • Matt

    Scientist I see that you are following the proper format for an AGW supporter. If you don’t like the message attack the messenger. So childish.

  • Scientist

    Message? You think that the confused ramblings of morganovich et al are a message?

  • Adirian

    Isn’t he great, folks? Give him a hand!

    – with apologies to Bill Watterson, as the character in question there was considerably more honest.

  • Well gosh what do you expect from an AGW believer?

    I have boiled a lot of hot dogs in my time.Just that simple experience indicates that Morganovish has it right.

    “so you tell me: if you put a pot of water on low heat and it warms to some level beneath boiling and equilibrates to a constant temperature which it then maintains, why did it stop warming? energy is still going in to the system. why no warming?”

    “scientist”,

    Why can’t you answer the obvious questions?

  • Scientist

    Now that really is a logical classic. Because you’ve boiled hot dogs, the climate system is dominated by negative feedbacks? Brilliant!! The chewbacca defence is nothing compared to this.

    To avoid making a yet greater fool of yourself, you need to learn some basic thermodynamics from somewhere else. This is not the place to learn about what setting you need to put your cooker on to get some water to boil.

  • Luis Dias

    People, this analogy is not worthy of such moronic discussion. Analogies are what they are, that is, they never are a good substitute for the real thing, and this is just such case.

    Why? Because in this case, a pot of water with infinitesimal heat would boil the water without “negative feedback”, yes, that is correct, but then you would have to say that heat dissipation of the Earth’s atmosphere is “negative feedback”, and that without it, we would have reached millions of degrees. So, does “heat dissipation” really counts on this discussion? I think not. So it’s a stupid analogy, and boiling water doesn’t have “feedbacks”.

    There is no need to turn to bad language. Simple explanations suffice.

    When GW theory speaks of negative or positive feedbacks, it speaks of the changing nature that an increased temperature has on the equilibrium of radiative heat from the sun and heat dissipation to space. That means that a different temperature can affect by itself the components that create this equilibrium, and therefore will decrease or increase the temperature by itself. It’s the exact consequence of a non-linear system, and it is expected to be so.

    The only thing advocated here is that negative feedbacks are more often than positive ones. This is done by the simplistic notion that nature is governed by negative feedbacks, which is a dogmatic truth, and nowhere to be proved. I mean, in the long run, it may be true, but in the short run, it may not, and it may lead us to a very dangerous path. For what GW positive feedback means is not a runaway system, but a simple multiplier effect of a doubling of CO2 into the atmosphere. A runaway system would imply an exponential effect, which is not defended by anyone in the climate science, AFAIK. The problem of positive feedbacks is that they multiply a faint growth in temperature by doubling of CO2 to a dangerous level for us earthling humans.

  • Matt

    I would hardly describe a .7 degree warming in a hundred years a dangerous temperature increase that threatens my future. This coupled with the lack of any warming for the last ten years despite an increase in CO2 leaves me confident of my continued existence. Let’s say we drop all of this Dangerous Global Warming crap and get on with cleaning up the real environmental threats like pollution in it’s various forms. We can start with all of those nasty byproducts from solar cell and CFL production. Let CO2 return to being a minor atmospheric trace gas doing it’s job making our planet green.

  • Scientist

    the lack of any warming for the last ten years despite an increase in CO2 – warming over the last ten years has been similar to the warming seen in the ten years before that, and the ten years before that. From where did you get your mistaken belief that this is not so?

  • Matt

    Sorry I don’t trust the IPCC or GISS figures they both have a vested interest in finding it warmer. Shut down your modeling software and take a look at the real world and you will see it yourself. if you are afraid of the outdoors you can even find some evidence on the TV. For an example watch a reality show called The Deadliest Catch and you will notice the people on the ships complaining about the amount of ice and frigid temperatures hampering their ability to get to their fishing grounds in the Bearing sea. It certainly doesn’t look like an ice free arctic to me. Or what about the disastrous seal hunt on the Labrador coast where the hunters couldn’t even get to shore due to the huge amount of ice blocking the shore. Those are two examples and I bet if you are capable of looking around the real world without any preconceived bias you will find your own .

  • Scientist

    What is the vested interest? Do HadCRUT, RSS and UAH all have the same vested interest?

    If you derive your information about global climate from a reality TV programme, it is no surprise that you are wildly, embarrassingly, preposterously wrong.

  • morganovich

    scientroll, it is you who require some basic instruction in thermodynamics.

    i would explain this all to you yet again, but you can go back and read earlier posts on other threads wherein you have already lost this argument several times.

    you are either being a deliberate time waster or are truly ignorant of basic physics. in either case, there does not seem to be much incentive to try to educate you.

    you honestly have no idea why water might stop warming while energy is still being added to the system or what governs this phenomenon.

    if you cannot grasp this exceedingly basic concept, it is small wonder that you are so easily misled on AGW.

    you have never, to my recollection, furnished your “scientist” credentials. so, despite my serious doubts that you either are a scientist or will answer the question i’ll try one more time. what kind of scientist do you claim to be?

    the only case i can imagine in which you are actually a scientist of any even basic skill is of you are a psychologist studying the effects of repeated rudeness and ludicrous attestation on participants in the blogoshpere. if that is indeed the case, well played sir. if not, then i’m dying to hear what the real answer is.

    ps. as i said above, the soden piece lacks empirical data. it’s just modeling claims. that is not data.

  • Scientist

    Oh dear oh dear. How easily distracted you are by all this talk of boiling water. How desperately poor your understanding of basic physics, and worse than that, basic terminology. And how you betray your poor educational standards by not even knowing how to write in an adult way. Learning how to use capital letters would at least make your enormous mistakes look less like the scribblings of a twelve year old.

    And how obvious that you have no idea what the Soden paper is about. What do you think ‘Pinatubo’ is, the name for a bit of code or something?

  • morganovich

    as ever you decline to present credentials and nitpick over spelling and or capitalization in an attempt to mask your failure to comprehend basic physics.

    i know what the soden paper is about, but i doubt you do. it’s a stack of questionable claims about feedbacks in models that are much too complex to be reduced to a single variable. they assume that they have all the other inputs correct (like aerosol impact) and then use circular logic to claim they have demonstrated something about water vapor. if you allow me that much leeway to set assumptions, i could “prove” damn near anything.

    inductive logic based on unproven assumptions is not science.

    further, his claims have been repeatedly disproven by the much more accurate measurements from the NASA AQUA satellite which is looking at a much larger portion of the water vapor system than that addressed by soden.

  • Adirian

    “The only thing advocated here is that negative feedbacks are more often than positive ones. This is done by the simplistic notion that nature is governed by negative feedbacks, which is a dogmatic truth, and nowhere to be proved. I mean, in the long run, it may be true, but in the short run, it may not, and it may lead us to a very dangerous path. For what GW positive feedback means is not a runaway system, but a simple multiplier effect of a doubling of CO2 into the atmosphere. A runaway system would imply an exponential effect, which is not defended by anyone in the climate science, AFAIK. The problem of positive feedbacks is that they multiply a faint growth in temperature by doubling of CO2 to a dangerous level for us earthling humans.”

    – Dogmatic? Actually, it’s the only possible situation, as a result of the same process which gives rise to the “law” of entropy (which fails to function at an atomic – in the original sense of the word, which is to say, the quantum – level) – energy systems will always settle in the midst of the strongest negative feedbacks which exist within their norm of deviation. In the absence of any strong negative feedbacks, the energy system will deviate until it encounters one.

    This is proven a trillion times a trillion times over in the universe – every planet, every star, every solar system, every universe, is evidence of this principle in action. It’s true in the short run precisely because it is true in the long run; to say otherwise as evidence for AGW is to say otherwise as evidence for N-AGW. (That is, if you say it doesn’t apply in the short run, you’ve effectively made the claim that natural variance is sufficient explanation for everything that has been seen.)

    And what constitutes “dangerous levels” of heat for humans, anyways? That’s hardly a well-defined word.

  • bbeeman

    Actually, Scientist is a middle-school science teacher, and she has pms right now.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Just a pause, Iā€™m finding this highly amusing:

    it is no surprise that you are wildly, embarrassingly, preposterously wrong.
    Posted by: Scientist

    Such irony… Or is it tragic comedy?

    [morganovich with some unbelievably insightful and clutch posting above, well done!]

  • LOL,

    Apparently my hotdog line was too hard for the PHD troll to decode.

    From the troll:

    “Now that really is a logical classic. Because you’ve boiled hot dogs, the climate system is dominated by negative feedbacks? Brilliant!! The chewbacca defence is nothing compared to this.

    To avoid making a yet greater fool of yourself, you need to learn some basic thermodynamics from somewhere else. This is not the place to learn about what setting you need to put your cooker on to get some water to boil.”

    Have you ever considered the possibility that you can boil hotdogs at a LOWER stove temperature setting with a tightfitting lid on the pot?

    Than to boil hotdogs without such a lid?

    I doubt you know how to cook hotdogs at all.

  • Luis Dias

    Adirian,

    “Actually, it’s the only possible situation, as a result of the same process which gives rise to the “law” of entropy”

    In a closed system, you’d be right. But the Earth is not a closed system, which gives rise to phenomenons otherwise impossible to happen, like life. So there goes your rationale to the bucket.

    “This is proven a trillion times a trillion times over in the universe”

    Where did you ever see it “proven”? I’d like to see the paper you refer to that proves for once and for all that negative feedbacks rule macro and micro open systems. Hint, they don’t.

    What a simple example? Can you spell “Atom Bomb”?

    sunsettommy, scientist et al, please read my post. Your discussing is turning to flame bait.

  • Adirian

    “In a closed system, you’d be right. But the Earth is not a closed system, which gives rise to phenomenons otherwise impossible to happen, like life. So there goes your rationale to the bucket.”

    – Incorrect. In any system. Locality is the key word there – pay attention to it, it’s relevant.

    “Where did you ever see it “proven”? I’d like to see the paper you refer to that proves for once and for all that negative feedbacks rule macro and micro open systems. Hint, they don’t.

    What a simple example? Can you spell “Atom Bomb”?”

    – Every gravity well, every energy-extruding sun, every black hole, is evidence for this concept. And yes, the atom bomb is too – it demonstrates exactly what happens when a positive feedback is introduced; the system is shoved violently into the first negative feedback powerful enough to catch it. In the case of Earth, we’re already in an immensely deep feedback well, which is why a dozen nuclear bombs would only rock planetary climate before it settled again.

    And as for a proof – if you’re actually interested in one, check out Ronald Fisher’s work. Fisher’s Inequality, one of the foundational theorems of statistics, is commonly used in Entropy work, and insofar as it has been proven, proves the point of feedback convergence fairly conclusively. It’s not coincidence that entropic and evolutionary statistics are to a great extent dependent upon the same proof – they’re all specific cases of the problem of proving convergence towards the most stable local point in a system containing variable feedback and input. I don’t believe a formal proof as yet exists outside of Bayesian reasoning – that is, it can be proven to be true for some high percentage of cases in any given system, but it is possible (just extremely unlikely) for a system to exist in a state of defiance.

  • Samuel Pickwick

    There was a nice example of negative feedback mentioned on TV at the weekend.
    Typhoons can cause deep ocean circulation that bring plankton up to the surface, leading to a plankton bloom that eats up carbon dioxide.

  • stas peterson

    Cirrus clouds disappearing is predicted by observation. And observed empirically and then reasoned out by Dr Lindzen of MIT. Its widespread use was confirmed by Dr. Spenser of UAH, was without a foundation for the so-called IRIS effect.

    It is also predicted by a corrected and extended mathematical Theory of the atmosphere.

    If your theory is the complete, mathematical treatment of our atmosphere, as developed by Dr. Ferenc Mikolczi. His publication describing that mathematical treatment, is the most referenced scientific paper of the year, despite being peer reviewed and published in a foreign journal.

    In case you missed it, he shows that not using math simplification models that are no longer necessary, the Earth agrees with many of his extended Theory’s predictions.

    Including this one of disappearing or “IRISed” Cirrus clouds. Water vapor rises or falls to regulate GHG effects; and constrains them to a “saturated state” of GHG warming. In effect it is pegged by the oceans of H20, now in actual contact with the atmosphere and not separated by a discontinuity, as the old model postulated for simplification reasons.

    For conservation of energy reasons, radiation balance, continuity forcing temperature convergence between the Earths’ surface and the air immediately above it, the virtually infinite pool of H20 in the oceans, the global warming model changes, when it is complete.

    It generates outputs that differ from the partial, simplified mathematical model the world has been using since Milne offered it in 1928.

    Energy changes from whatever reason: hotter/cooler sun, more or less volcanoes, orbiting closer/farther to the sun, increased/decreased cosmic rays, more or less cloudiness,land use albedo changes, more or less of CO2, or any other GHG, for whatever reason, the GHG warming of the collective atmospheric GHGs are pegged by the Oceans and held almost constant, at a saturated state, on the Earth.

    If CO2 goes up, H20 comes down. If CH4 goes down, H20 goes up, to compensate, et cetera. Rising CO2 can’t force a runaway warming.

    Funny the real world seems to agree with his theory. But then his model of the Earth and atmosphere more resembles what the real world looks like.

    He, like Einstein before him, did not meekly accept the atmospheric model from long ago. He rejected some mathematical simplifications that had to be made in the 1920s when the present mathematical model of the atmosphere was worked out.

    Back then mathematical simplifications had to be made to solve the partial differential equations. Back when math tools were more primitive; and numeric methods like the computer enables, weren’t even conceived. And more important, confirming or disproving observations were nowhere as complete. Miskolczi turned to actual observations to deduce some effects and then determined the appropriate mathematical boundary conditions.

    In 1928, Milne who was a astro-physicist and not a great mathematician, made inappropriate mathematical simplifications. Unbelievably, we have unquestioningly used them ever since.

    The old model that has an Infinite atmosphere than extends forever. Sound realistic? An atmosphere that doesn’t actually touch the Earths’ surface. Mathematically the old model has a vacuum and discontinuity between the Earth’s surface, for computational convenience. Sound reasonable? The old model is not gravitationally bound. So a chunk of hot air with water vapor, when heated, doesn’t evaporate and rise. There is no way to get up there to form clouds and then fall back to the Earth as rain.
    Clouds never form? Rain never falls? Hot air balloons are only imaginary? Sound realistic?

    Contrast that with the mathematical model that Mikolczi creates and solves. It has a finite, not infinite atmosphere of about 100km in extent. Sound more realistic, already? It has a gravitationally bound atmosphere, denser at the surface that when heated the air rises, moves energy via convection, then can condense into clouds, and fall to Earth. Rain can actually fall in his corrected model. Does that sound somewhat comparable to our Atmosphere?

    The Atmosphere in his corrected version, actually touches the Earth’s surface and for continuity reasons the temperature of Earth and air converge at the surface boundary. The Oceans covering 70% of the surface, effect being much more massive, can control the atmosphere, that it now touches. Are you surprised? Sound more realistic?

    The old model says that if you shine a flashlight into a foggy night, you can see farther than shining that flashlight into a clear night. Sound realistic?

    Isn’t that model more realistic overall, than the simplified mathematical model we have used for almost 100 years?
    Is it any wonder that the old simplified model doesn’t match certain observations of the real world, very well?