Petro Engineers in Climatology Pt. 3
TURN YOUR ATTENTION TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE ELEPHANT
When it comes to the global warming debate, let’s forget the red herrings and minutiae and focus on the elephant in the room — temperature data and mean averages. Earth does not have just one temperature. It is not in global thermodynamic equilibrium, neither within itself nor its surroundings.
Just because we can compute something analogous to a ‘‘global temperature’’ does not mean that it is meaningful. Individual telephone numbers are both meaningful and useful, while averages of telephone numbers in a directory have no meaning.
Thermodynamic variables come in two varieties: extensive and intensive. Extensive variables (volume, mass, energy and entropy) are proportional to the size of the system and are additive. Intensive variables (temperature, pressure) are independent of system size and represent a quality of the system. Combining two systems will not yield an overall intensive quantity equal to the sum of its components.
Temperature alone tells us nothing about the average heat content of Earth’s surface. A hot day in Arizona may be 110 F with five per cent relative humidity, but a hot day in Florida could be 78 F with 50 per cent relative humidity. The temperature difference is 32 F but the two air samples have exactly the same total heat content (enthalpy). [Sure, but what about the T differences in each location over the years?]
Temperature field averages are not useful in certain specific roles in which they have been cited, such as indicating the quantity/severity of storms, rainfall trends and glacier melt. No physically precise reasoning for the connection between the averages and the dynamic process has been proposed. Absolute intensities do not drive climate dynamics (gradients do); consequently, there is no reason to expect that averages over them will.
No physical arguments have been made for using a statistic as an index for climate driving force [by who?]. Not even a statistical cor- relation has been offered for such a connection. The burden to demonstrate the utility of a statistic as an index resides with those who propose it as one. This has not been done.
ISO standards for measuring and calculating a global tem- perature index were promised after the Johannesburg climate meeting (2002), but ISO has not followed through.
Sums or averages over individual temperatures in the field are not temperatures, and nor are they proxies for internal energy [has anybody claimed this?]. Different spatial averaging rules over temperatures can have contrary trends – some increase while others decrease in time. No physical or pragmatic ground has been provided for choosing any one such set of statistics over the rest as the one proper index for global climate.
There are dozens of averaging “means” used in climatology [used by who?]. Use one and you would conclude that warming is taking place. Use another and you would conclude the opposite [what?].
The proponents of an index have not advised why they chose their statistical measure and not some other extract with poten- tially opposite behaviour. Nor have they justified or demonstrated the physical usefulness of a statistic extracted from the tempera- ture field.
Furthermore, this index is not a proxy for internal energy, since temperature and energy are not equivalent. While heat is a form of energy, temperature is, fundamentally, a measure of how energy is spread over quantum states.
For thermodynamic intensities there is no preferred coordinate system. The sum has little physical meaning, so all transformations are in play. Averages of the Earth’s temperature field are thus devoid of a physical context that would indicate how they are to be interpreted. Since temperature is an intensive variable, the total temperature is meaningless in terms of the system being measured, and hence has no necessary meaning either.
RICK WAUGH, P.ENG. Santa Clarita, Calif.
Schweinsgruber says: Since there is no ‘global temperature’, there cannot be an increase of it - hence there is no global warming or global cooling. This proves Norm Kalmanovitch and the Friends of Science wrong, according to which the earth has been cooling since 2002. It also proves the satellite measurements wrong, according to which CO2 retains heat. Oh, and the oceans are likely totally ignored by the IPCC when it comes to heat content. But in my opinion, Rick Waugh demonstrates that there can be simultaneous global warming and global cooling, proven by his inconsistencies. He also shows impressively that it does not take atmospheric physicists to do atmospheric physics, and no peer-reviewed journals for publishing