Where Did I Put That Energy?

Where Did I Put That Energy? More Christmas Guest pudding. Willis Eschenbach is always good for a snort, but before I even caught up to this post he’d admitted a factor of 10 calculation error…

Willis is trying once more to misrepresent Kevin Trenberth’s “travesty“‘ statement that “we can not account for what is happening in the climate system” (he was talking about simple data collection issues, not that the evidence disproved Global Warming). This time he tries to include the oceans in his argument. Why not, eh? They do cover 71% of the Earth’s surface.

Willis’ complicated equation for solving the puzzle is ∆Q (change in energy added) = ∆U (change in energy lost) + ∆Ocean (change in energy in/out of ocean). He substitutes surface temperature “T” divided by the climate sensitivity “S” (conventionally estimated as 0.8) to get this: ∆Q = ∆T / 0.8  + ∆Ocean  (Joules/year). Nuanced, isn’t it?

As always, Willis’ only path to enlightenment is through crappy Excel charts. He theorizes (let’s be generous for a moment) that:

because energy cannot be created or destroyed. If we add extra energy to the system, it has to either leave the system via increased radiation or get stored in the ocean. There is no “lag” or “in the pipeline” possible.

This lets him assert that any discrepancy is proof that the mainstream climatologists are wrong. Handy that, although it doesn’t show any awareness of what Trenberth’s real concern was: that there were areas of the ocean that are inadequately monitored, with potentially unaccounted energy flows.

Still, Willis races on to his profound insight:

I make no hard claims about any of this, as I don’t know where the missing energy really is. I don’t even know if this is the missing energy that Trenberth was talking about. My theory is that the energy is not missing, but that Equation 2 is wrong. My hypothesis is that the earth responds to volcanoes and other forcing losses by cutting back on clouds and thunderstorms.

Sorry dude, a climate hypothesis isn’t something pulled out of your ass, it’s something that uses a real physical mechanism to accurately explain measured values. Changing thermodynamics to suit your interests doesn’t pass muster.

1 thought on “Where Did I Put That Energy?

  1. Hang on, hold the bus, please!

    Since when did Willis become a member of the Gaia club? The earth *decides* to cut back on clouds and thunderstorms – when it feels / calculates / knows that something is wrong?

    Gaia roolz!

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