Monckton – Years later and still no wiser

When faced with scientific questions that are beyond my knowledge, I think it better to seek the answer from people with years of knowledge on the subject. Mainstream peer-reviewed science is far more reliable than “web-blogger science” performed by some guy on the internet.

This time Joanne Nova, in search of answers to Venus’ climate has turned to a couple of bloggers and the self-contradicting Monckton.

Jo has a couple of posts from web-bloggers that disagree with each other about whether or not Venus has a “greenhouse effect”. That is, does the high CO2 levels on Venus contribute to the high Temperature of Venus, or can the temperature be explained purely by the distance from the sun.

I pity anyone trying to understand science from “bloggers”. The science on this topic has had a long history and I suggest anyone serious about the topic read what the peer-reviewed science has to say rather than try and work out which bloke on the internet might be right.

“Skeptic” vs “Skeptic”

Jo gushes over the fact Monckton replies, therefore we can assume she swallows everything he says on the matter.

Did she realise that Monckton is disagreeing with the other climate skeptic Huffman? Did this really go as planned for Nova?

Stefan–Boltzmann law & Albedo

The “skeptic” stooges have differing opinions about how the Stefan-Boltzmann law can be used with regards to albedo.

Huffman says:

You cannot “correct for albedo” to use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation at the Earth’s surface, because a blackbody by definition has no albedo to “correct” for.

Monckton says:

The posting begins by making the common error of assuming that a blackbody cannot have an albedo. Of course it can. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation accounts for albedo in the simplest possible way: by simply taking it that the fraction of incident radiation that is reflected away by the albedo of the Earth plays no part in the radiative transfer at the characteristic-emission surface.

Nova admits she’s well out of her depth and states:

It doesn’t gel with my experience of a white car vs black car parked in the baking sun.

Oh my!

So what’s the answer. Well both Huffman & Monckton are partly right and partly wrong. Nova’s comment is simply amusing on a number of levels.

The definition of a Black body says “A black body is an idealized physical body that absorbs all incident electromagnetic radiation.“.

The Stefan-Boltzmann law states “The Stefan–Boltzmann law, also known as Stefan’s law, states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body per unit time“, but it also goes on to state … “A more general case is of a grey body, the one that doesn’t absorb or emit the full amount of radiative flux. Instead, it radiates a portion of it, characterized by its emissivity\epsilon:“.

Huffman’s right for saying a blackbody has no albedo, but wrong for saying the Stefan-Boltzmann law can’t account for it; it can when using the general form with emissivity.

Monckton on the other hand is wrong for saying a black body can have an albedo; that goes against the definition of a black body.

Monckton Forgets Feedbacks

To be fair, Monckton doesn’t usually forget many numbers, that’s why in person he can sound so convincing (even when he is contradicting himself). But this isn’t the first time Monckton has tried his hand at calculating climate sensitivity.

Five years has passed since Monckton forgot to include feedbacks in his original calculation and he continues that mistake today.

Lesson Learned?

1. There’s a wealth of peer-reviewed science in far greater depth regarding Venus and its climate – why bother with “some blogger guy on the internet”?

2. Nova’s contribution to climate science – a black car gets hotter in the sun than a white car.

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5 Responses to “Monckton – Years later and still no wiser”

  1. Daveo Says:

    Monckton is a madman!! That video of Monckton vs Monckton is classic!!! I’m not sure who is dumber, Monckton himself, or the people that believe the things he says without bothering to verify.

  2. Joseph Says:

    This web site seems strangely familiar. It it one of those that exists to guide its following on how to interpret things they may see, and might otherwise be midguided by, if they were to think for themselves?

  3. Harry Dale Huffman Says:

    You are miseducated by the consensus arguments you have read:

    The infamous Kiehl-Trenberth atmospheric “Energy Budget” diagram, and all the radiative heat transfer theorists, identify the amount of infrared radiation emitted upward by the Earth’s surface as 390 W/m^2. This is just the radiation emitted by a blackbody (not a “gray body”, with non-zero emissivity) at the temperature of the Earth’s surface, not the actual radiation emitted by the surface (as many consensus defenders nevertheless insist). As the above link shows, it also violates the conservation of energy, since 390 W/m^2 is larger than the average 342 W/m^2 provided by the Sun (the atmosphere’s sole heat source, as the consensus agrees). The radiative “experts” also interpret the upward infrared radiation, as actually measured at the top of the tropopause, in accordance with the same Earth’s-surface-is-a-blackbody assumption (again, no emissivity correction), and identify the difference between the tropopause-measured radiation, and that from a blackbody at the Earth’s surface temperature, as the “greenhouse effect”. Again, they are really just assuming the Earth’s surface is a blackbody. The concept of a “gray body” apparently is enough to satisfy the radiative transfer theory, but that theor fails to capture the true thermodynamics of the atmospheres of both Earth and Venus (despite their great physical differences, both atmospheres share precisely the same thermodynamics). My Venus/Earth temperature comparison will emerge as the definitive correction to the incompetent climate science consensus, demonstrating the FACT that the Venus/Earth atmospheric temperature ratio, over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, is precisely explained by the ratio of the two planet’s distances from the Sun, nothing else (there is no room for either a “greenhouse effect” or an albedo effect upon those temperatures, and I give the physical reason for this — the atmosphere is warmed by direct absorption of an infrared portion of the incident solar radiation, not by heat from the Earth’s surface — in the above-linked Venus article). I have also posted my response to Monckton.

  4. Mike Says:

    So Harry, seems you’ve self published a bunch of ebooks and file downloads. Some free, good for you!, also a paperback.

    Seeing as you are offering critique of peer reviewed science, I wonder if you could possibly point us to any peer reviewed research you have had published?

    You say you are an independant research physical scientist and discoverer of the astounding world design behind all the ancient mysteries, but you don’t mention your qualifications? Your lulu page adds applied maths to your credentials but also neglects to mention your qualifications. Please enlighten us.



  5. Mike Says:

    Seems our Harry is at war with generally accepted science. For $5 you can download his “A Simple Disproof of Plate Tectonics”

    “Generations of earth scientists have utterly failed to note an anciently famous, mathematically precise and altogether simple symmetry of the landmasses on the Earth that precludes chance continental “drift” and any undirected physical process such as “plate tectonics.” ”

    179kB PDF.

    I guess its no surprise he doesn’t agree on global warming then…


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