Posted 11 December 2010

New Zealand Climate Science Coaliton founbding member, Dr Vincent Gray, rebuts the notion of an "average global temperature", and questions the validity of such averages as ap;plied to smaller areas of the Earth. 

[Download](essexmc k.pdf) pdf of 2007 paper by Essex, McKitrick and Andresen to which Dr Gray refers 


By Dr Vincent Gray

I continue to point out that all the  assumptions made by climate models are absurd and in disagreement with climate behaviour on the earth.

They assume

*The earth is flat. This is necessary because all the energy parameters are perpendicular to the surface.

*The sun shines all day and all night with one quarter of its peak intensity. This is in contrast to reality where there are two quite different regimes. daytime, where sunshine starts at zero, rises to a maximum and declines to zero, and night time when there is no sun at all

  • Radiation from the earth is constant. Actually, by day it increases and then falls overnight

  • Albedo is constant. Actually every surface is different

  • The temperature is constant. Actually temperature at the earth's surface is highly variable

    +Energy is "balanced". Energy entering equals energy leaving. The earth is in equilibrium. But no part of earth is ever in equilibrium and known past and current changes show that it is never in equilibrium as a whole.

    Despite these obvious deficiencies, climate models based on these assumptions have been widely accepted, not only by scientists (even "sceptrical" scientists) and by the general public.

    So plausible and pervasive are these models that  I have myself been persuaded and even mesmerized by them. I have confined my criticism to complaints that the parameters in the model are really averages, and that these are unknown, and impossible to measure.

    I have only quite recently come to realize that I have been wrong. The models assume thermodynamic equilibrium, otherwise their calculations, which use the mathematical equations of thermodynamics, cannot be made,

    This means that the parameters in the model cannot be averages. They are all constants. In particular, the temperature is a constant,  is intensive and applies to the entire surface of the earth.

    I have been greatly assisted in this realization by my recent correspondence with Christopher Essex whose paper with Ross McKitrick and Bjarne Andresen  ""Does a Global Temperature Exist" I attach .

    The title of this paper asks a question, presumably because the Journal might not publish if the conclusion of the paper, that a "Global Temperature does not Exist" were stated openly, or the evident corollary that global figures for any of the parameters in the computer models do not exist.

    The temperature in an equilibrium situation is an intensive property. That is to say that it is considered to be a property of the entire system. Computer models thus assume that the temperature of the entire surface of the earth is identical everywhere.

    I have tried to argue that in a non equilibrium situation, such as everywhere on the earth, temperature is always different, and is therefore extensive. My physicist friends do not like this, as they argue that there is always a small part of every system where the intensive property can be approximated, where thermodynamics may apply. The attempt by meteorologists to measure temperature in a ventilated screen at a uniform height might represent a system where the temperature in the inside of the screen  follows thermodynamic laws.

    Despite the impossibility of defining a global temperature the climate scientists do actually use averages instead, and most of these are either mere guesses, or are the results of undisclosed mathematical manipulations.

    But they try to pretend that they are constants, or the whole system collapses. For example, the "Mean Global Surface Temperature Anomaly"  has been shown by many people including myself  to be extremely inaccurate, as it is based on unrepresentative and continually changing samples of merely maximum and minimum temperatures, subjected to multiple averaging. Yet it is always referred to as "THE Global Temperature", never as any "average", without any uncertainty figures.

    What is more, the output of each model is always constant. The different models might give different answers, so efforts are made to make them agree by"intercomparison" exercises. But no uncertainty figures are permitted, otherwise the calculations, based on  equilibrium, are no longer valid.

    Instead of properly derived uncertainty levels they give a :"range" of the different model results, and try to claim that all models are equally valid.

    Extreme measures are taken to conceal variability. Recently I wrote to the NASA people concerned with measuring the infra red radiation from the earth. I asked them how much does it vary over different time periods, At first I got a real scientist who tried to fob me off, He then clammed up as he told me I was obviously "a denier" and I dud not get my answer

    For the climate models the "solar constant" which everybody knows is not a constant, suddenly becomes one.

    The most extreme example of trying to pretend constancy is with greenhouse gases. The chief greenhouse gas, water vapour, is so variable that  the only way they can conceal this fact is by making it a "feedback" to climate models, which is a subtle way of saying that it is constant. Then all the other gases are said to be "well mixed" but they go to extreme lengths to prevent people from finding out that this is not true.. They have suppressed entirely the 40,000 or so published measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration carried out by well qualified scientists (some Nobel Prizewinners)  and published in peer reviewed Journals sine 1850; which show that the concentration is variable. Then they manipulate  current measurements so that they can only be measured  when the concentration is approximately constant. This involves preventing people from measuring it over land.

    I have not said much about Thermodynamics as I am aware that most people, even scientists, regard  the subject as incomprehensible.

    In 1959 C P Snow, the novelist delivered a speech and published a book describing the "Two Cultures" that have emerged, those who understand science and those who do not.

    Snow particularly mentioned the ignorance of thermodynamics as an illustration.

    Since then, matters have got steadily worse. Science teaching in the schools and universities has been eroded by the Pseudo science of environmentalism. If this had not happened the climate modelists would never have got away with such a fundamental breach of accepted physical laws

    For those of you able to take it,  I recommend Wikipedia at

    let me summarize thermodynamics, with a great effort to leave out the mathematics.

    Thermodynamics is concerned with the problems of changes between different forms of energy. It arose when it became clear that heat and work were just different forms of the same quantity, which today are measured by the same units. All of the equations assume equilibrium

    The First Law of Thermodynamics actually follows this discovery. It is that Energy, in whatever form, is conserved, ..

    The Second Law may be considered difficult to follow, but it was a result of the discovery that heat energy cannot be completely converted to mechanical energy, It led to the concept of Entropy, which is a measure of the heat that has to remain. It is inversely proportional to the temperature difference between the heat source and the condenser, It is a quantity that inevitably increases throughout the universe.

    One form of the Second Law is the statement that heat can only flow from a warmer to a cooler body.

    This situation arises from the nature of heat, which is the energy of vibration of the molecules. Extra vibration can only move one way

    This form of the Second Law has led some of my sceptic acquaintances to argue that  heat cannot pass from the cooler atmosphere back to the warmer earth, an essential assumption of all climate models. This arises from their lack of realisation  that radiation is a different form of energy from heat.

    Radiation is a wave motion or (if you prefer) a transport of particles called "photons", which is emitted by all substances above the absolute zero of temperature according to the mathematical relationship developed by Planck. It consists essentially of alternating electric and magnetic fields. It contains energy, measured by the Stefan/Boltzmann Law whose quantity depends on the fourth power of the temperature of the emitter. and the distribution of wavelengths depends on the temperature of the emitter.  It travels at the speed of light through a vacuum and can be absorbed completely or partially to give heat. It can therefore transfer energy from a hot body to a cold body, but not in the form of heat,

    The relationships of thermodynamics assume equilibrium and constant parameters but many practical situations have to deal with systems that are not in equilibrium (such as the climate)  so the usefulness of classical thermodynamics is restricted. This has led to the development  of "Non equilibrium thermodynamics" which is described in the Wikipedia article at

    It makes the point that the extension of classical thermodynamics to the study of non equilibrium situations requires "very stringent demands" which are certainly not met by climate models


    Vincent Gray
    75 Silverstream Road
    Crofton Downs
    Wellington 6035
    Phone/Fax 064 4 9735939

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