Monday, June 15, 2015

Recent email exchange with Joe Postma and John O'Sullivan -- some nasty bad false physics

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Denis Rancourt <>
Date: 13 June 2015 at 10:37
Subject: Re: on the mechanism of a planetary greenhouse effect
To: John OSullivan <>
Cc: joe postma

One more comment can be made:

Joe's statements that establishment-science calculations use only an average (I/4) irradiance approach is factually wrong.

Only the ultrasimple models (reviewed in the physical-process introductions/reviews of IPCC reports) that seek only the average global temperature use this approach, such as in my calculation:

Otherwise, in fact, contrary to Joe's baseless assertions, global circulation models (GCMs) use a grid and different local solar irradiance values on the grid points AND they include the diurnal variation of solar irradiation. So, Joe's great discovery that these radiation effects must be included has already been done in hundreds of GCM calculations since the early 1980s.

Here is just one of many many early (here 1984) examples (see page 400):

The point is, the GCMs and the ultrasimple calculations give the SAME answer for the AVERAGE global temperature, as one expects for locally linear responses. So Joe's main concern about a necessary systematic error from taking an average irradiance in order to calculate an average surface temperature does not hold up. It is fiction.

Joe's belief that GCMs don't include spacial and temporal (diurnal) variations in solar irradiation is also complete fiction.

What else can I say? Joe needs to consider a reality check in terms of his misconceptions about these physics calculations. At this stage, it's purely a psychological-barrier problem.


On 9 June 2015 at 16:54, Denis Rancourt <> wrote:

    Hi John,

    I am familiar with these arguments and read the link also, and found these and many more egregious errors in the Slayers book.

    This is a sad and pathetic situation.

    Joe is correct about the simple calculation taking the average rather than doing kinetics of all the variations that occur with a spinning Earth. However, he has not demonstrated that this will give an incorrect average global surface temperature, or even considered under which physical conditions the calculation would be valid versus invalid to obtain the average global temperature.

    Joe also has demonstrated near-zero understanding of the physical mechanism of resonant absorption of infrared followed by isotropic elastic re-emission (greenhouse molecular mechanism in a gas atmosphere). My sense is that he has no idea what all that means. His 2^n glass-panes statements are pure nonsense -- a gas layer is NOT like a glass filter because the gas re-emits isotropically.

    Clearly, Joe is not about to drop his unusual vision of physics.

    Sorry, Joe's stuff is gibberish. Pure and simple. It does a disservice to the community that is critical of the warmist agenda, but a much greater disservice to himself and to those who repeat his stuff.

    You now have my multiply-considered opinion. Do as you will.


    On 9 June 2015 at 15:59, John OSullivan <> wrote:

        Hi Denis,
        I passed your comments onto Joe Postma. He recommends you consider his article, shown in the link below.
        Kind regards,

        John O'Sullivan
        CEO: Principia Scientific International

[Removed privacy error notice.]

        ---------- Forwarded message ----------
        From: Joe Postma <>
        Date: 7 June 2015 at 22:11
        Subject: RE: on the mechanism of a planetary greenhouse effect
        To: John OSullivan <>

        Sure, send him this:

        From: John OSullivan [] Sent: June-07-15 11:19 AMTo: JoePostmaSubject: Fwd: on the mechanism of a planetary greenhouse effect

        Hi Joe,

        Would you like to reply directly to Dr Rancourt on his statements against your post?


        John O'Sullivan

        CEO: Principia Scientific International

[Removed privacy error notice]
        ---------- Forwarded message ----------
        From: Denis Rancourt <>
        Date: 6 June 2015 at 23:11
        Subject: on the mechanism of a planetary greenhouse effect
        To: John OSullivan <>

        Hi John,

        In this article

        you state:
        "A climate sensitivity (CS) close to zero flies in the face of not only the alarmist movement, but the generally accepted theory underlying CO2 climate alarm as well – the radiative greenhouse effect."

        Your statement is incorrect. There is BOTH near-zero CO2 sensitivity AND a large net planetary-greenhouse effect on earth. There is no contradiction whatsoever in these two co-existing facts.

        In addition, the view that there cannot be a greenhouse effect in planetary atmospheres is incorrect. Completely incorrect. This false invention does harmful disservice to the denier position.

        Here is how I responded to one such claim recently:

        The whole proposition of an absence of a planetary greenhouse mechanism is gibberish.

        Of course CO2 cools a hot surface by thermal conduction. Of course atmospheric convection cools the surface and thus largely causes the low-altitude lapse rate. These facts do nothing to remove the radiation balance that occurs and that includes the phenomenon of resonant absorption and re-emission of infrared by thus active gases (greenhouse effect).

        Likewise, of course a real greenhouse traps the heated air within the "house", etc. But none of these differences are relevant regarding whether or not resonant absorption and (isotropic) re-emission of infrared plays an important (dominant!) role in increasing mean surface temperature beyond the no-atmosphere value.

        I wanted to tell you my position on that particular claim, which I find extraordinary and unjustified.


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