Let’s Ask Dr. Spencer

JunkScience detectives can always benefit from satellite man, the wise and well informed Dr. Roy Spencer.

Here’s the link to his site, and his latest graph of real satellite temp–no sampling or siting problems with the Spencer sources, since they be lookin’ down and measuring temp at a little altitude, as I understand it–avoiding local effects.

Such a professional and well mannered man. I wanna be like Spencer when I grow up.

While you’re visiting on his very nice web site, you might read his excellency’s nice little lesson on Comet Ison, a recent newsmaker, and Spencer takes a litle time to teach about the opposing liquid effects/gravitation effects on particles. I feel better about myself for reading what he had to say–I feel smarter until the short term memory slide takes it away.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/

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22 responses to “Let’s Ask Dr. Spencer

  1. While I really like what Spencer and Christy do with their satellite data and science in general, bare in mind that Spencer is also the guy that believes that cold things can make warmer things warmer still. He knows little about fundamental physics and lesser still about the laws of thermodynamics. With all due respect, and I do respect him for many things that he does do well, physics just isn’t one of those things.

    • Squid 2112

      Well damn, I thought roy would impress you with his explanations of liquid v gravitational effects on small particles, and the forces that keep things in suspension as opposed to settling from gravitational effects.

      Which is certainly more difficult than understanding heat/energy transfers and losses under the laws of thermodynamics.

      hell, I be a stupid emergency physician and I know how heat stays, goes, transfers, and how energy equilibrates and deteriorates, however when roy was splaining how small versus big particles are impacted by gravity and fluid suspension physical laws, I was surprised by my ignorance. Just never thought about it.

      and I know roy spencer and he is a genuine brain, so I think you have a disagreement that must be born of some misunderstanding.

      not being a beat around the bush guy, I say, tell Roy where he disappointed you on the laws of thermodynamics and see if he can fix it.

      I have no idea how smart you are or what your education or professional activities are, but I do know that Roy is gentleman and will do his best to prove he knows the laws of thermodynamics to your satisfaction.

      I know that things stay the same or equilibrate, and deteriorate or transfer energy from higher to lower states. After that I get kinda glassy eyed since I am not really a hard scientist. Biology be soft.

      John Dale Dunn MD JD Consultant Emergency Services/Peer Review Civilian Faculty, Emergency Medicine Residency Carl R. Darnall Army Med Center Fort Hood, Texas Medical Officer, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs Brown County, Texas 325 784 6697 (h) 642 5073 (c)

    • Actually colder bodies in very specific cirumstances can make warmer bodies warmer. You are not going to see the effect with one body at 0degC and the other at 1000degC. But it works to a small degree. It has to do with more massive objects radiating more than less massive objects.

      You mmight want to open that mind a bit.

      • “… I say, tell Roy where he disappointed you on the laws of thermodynamics and see if he can fix it.”

        Been there, done that…

      • “Actually colder bodies in very specific cirumstances can make warmer bodies warmer.”

        BS … in NO circumstances can a colder anything make a warmer anything warmer still … not in this universe …

        • 30K years ago, they tell me, that much of North America was under an ice sheet. The weather must have been hotter’n Hell then.

    • I think he has the radiation part correct. However, if you don’t believe so, this is a great place to refute it.

  2. Scott Scarborough

    squid2112 | December 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Reply

    While I really like what Spencer and Christy do with their satellite data and science in general, bare in mind that Spencer is also the guy that believes that cold things can make warmer things warmer still. He knows little about fundamental physics and lesser still about the laws of thermodynamics. With all due respect, and I do respect him for many things that he does do well, physics just isn’t one of those things.
    _________________________________________________________

    The only way a colder thing can make a warmer thing warmer is if the warmer thing has a continuous addition of heat that must be dissipated. Like you. You have a metabolism that continually generates heat. therefore, a blanket, which is colder than you, can keep you warm because, even though it is colder than you, it interferes with the dissipation of heat from your body to your surroundings. Of course, the earth has the sun which supplies a continuous addition of heat. That heat must be dissipated to outer space to maintain a constant temperature. Anything which can interfere with that dissipation of heat without interfering with the sun’s addition of heat, will cause a net warming.

    • Scott insulation will reduce the rate of heat loss, but a blanket will not raise your body temperature from 98.6 F to 105.9 F. A reduction in rate of loss is not an increase in starting temperature.

      • Scott Scarborough

        Yes it will! if the blanket insulates well enough. And since you are a mamal you will begin to sweat because you must maintain 98.6F (a little more complcated than the earth. The earth does not have to maintain any particular temperatue). If the blanket insulates so well that you cannot keep to 98.6 F by sweating you will DIE!

        • That’s insulation not radiation. The usual discussion concerns radiation not insulation. So no a cold thing will not radiate to a hotter thing and make it warmer. The blanket insulates and that not radiation causing you to feel warmer.

          • Scott Scarborough

            All objects made of matter that are above absolute zero emitt radiation in all directions, always. A colder object in the prescence of a warmer object will always receive more radiation from the warmer object than it will transmitt to the warmer object (but it will transmitt radiation to the warmer object, for certain! How could it not? It does not know that there is a warmer object there, it just emitts radiation in all directions because that is what all objects do that are above absolute zero). How could the presence of the colder object cause the warmer object to be warmer? If what is behind the colder object is colder still, then the absence of the above hypothesized colder object will cause even less radiation to be returned to the warmer object thus making it cooler (like taking your blanket off in bed). Thus the warmer object is kept warmer yet by the cooler object. Of course this only works for a warmer object that has a heat source so it must radiate energy to maintian a constant temperature (that is what is required to make it analogous to earth and GHGs). Thus, heat transfere by conduction, convection, and radiation although obeying different rules (equations) in specific, all obey the basic rules of thermodynamics.

            • The cooler object CANNOT make the warmer object even warmer than it was. This is a CLEAR violation of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics. It is not possible, not ever. period.

  3. It was shameful how Dr. Spencer was treated by the AGW zealots a couple of years ago. Typical Leftist tactics to make personal attacks when they cannot make cogent arguments.

    • Agreed. Dr. Spencer is indeed a “brainiac”, a very intelligent man and very good at what he does well. But again, as it pertains to thermodynamics, and the fact that a cold thing cannot make a warmer thing warmer still, he is demonstrably wrong. Not just a little wrong, but absolutely and unequivocally so. In conversation about this specific subject in excruciating detail (see “Yes, Virginia, Cooler Objects Can Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still”, to which he got his ass handed to him repeatedly .. pounded into oblivion I might add), I lost all respect for Dr. Spencer within the context of the laws of thermodynamics and specifically as it pertains to the FACT that a cooler object, under NO circumstance, can make a warmer object even warmer still.

      But, with all that said, Spencer and his side-kick Christy do a fabulous job with the Aqua satellite and the resulting temperature records produced – UAH (among other things). For these things I hold a great deal of respect for each of these individuals.

  4. Scott Scarborough

    squid2112 | December 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

    The cooler object CANNOT make the warmer object even warmer than it was. This is a CLEAR violation of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics. It is not possible, not ever. period.
    _____________________________________

    You have to learn that saying something, even emphatically, does not make it so!

    • Much of the “heat makes cold” crap comes from our first experience as a child when we first learned about refrigeration.
      The compressor gets hot and the evaporator gets cold. This is simple heat transfer and nothing more.
      Let’s face it, guys, Scott is right.

    • @Scott,

      Show me how a cooler object can make a warmer object warmer still.

      I was not simply “saying something emphatically”, I was stating FACT. The FACT is, a cooler object CANNOT, under ANY circumstances, in and of itself, make ANY warmer object warmer still. This is empirical FACT. You clearly need to learn a little about physics, radiation, and the Laws of Thermodynamics.

      And to Jerry,

      No, Scott is NOT right. Scott is demonstrably wrong. Your example of a refrigerator is performed through work. In your example, a cooler object did NOT make a warmer object warmer still. Please go study on how a refrigerator (or heat pump) works.

  5. PeterB in Indianapolis

    Squid2112 is having his usual problems again… interpreting the “LAWS” of thermodynamics as a Newtonian would, not as Einstein would, or Plank would, or Heisenberg would. Squid needs to take some physics classes apparently.

    Newton was right, on the MACRO scale. Einstein, Plank, and Heisenberg all showed that although the Newtonian way of looking at things is true IN GENERAL, it isn’t true always under all circumstances.

    Squid, any time you think ANYTHING in science is “settled” you aren’t doing science anymore, you are being a zealot.

  6. PeterB in Indianapolis

    Squid2112, I am not trying to pick on you, but you really do need to get this physical FACT through your head and into your brain:

    Radiation is emitted by both “hot” objects and “cold” objects. The radiation emitted FROM a cold object CAN INDEED BE ABSORBED by a hotter object, which, in theory AND IN PRACTICE can increase the temperature of the “hotter” object.

    Now, EN MASSE, the “hotter” object emits radiation MUCH MORE FREQUENTLY than the colder object, and the colder object will absorb radiation more quickly and “warm up” until the system reaches equilibrium, at which point both objects will be emitting radiation at the same rate.

    EVEN WHEN the system has reached equilibrium, both objects will still be emitting and absorbing radiation, causing minute temperature changes in both objects, making object 1 sometimes just slightly hotter than object 2 (or the other way around).

    There are NO LAWS in physics which PREVENT a warmer object from absorbing radiation emitted by a cooler object. Prevention of absorbtion of radiation due to temperature differential WOULD violate the laws of physics AND thermodynamics.

    I despair that you may never understand how the thermal equilibrium process ACTUALLY works, but I hope my explanation helps a little (though you will probably just say that everything I just said is physically impossible because it violates your interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics). Well, at any rate, I tried.

  7. Stop using colder and warmer as describing the system and it will begin to make sense. A massive object at a lower energy state (temperature) will radiate more energy than a much less massive object at a higher energy state. Both objects radiate but both objects also receive the radiated energy, therefore the massive object can provide more energy to the smaller object which can result in a net energy gain. This does not violate any of the laws of thermodynamics. Objects by themselves always tend to go from higher to lower energy levels in an isolated system but that system is hypothetical as there is no such thing. It is the many interactions where things get complicated and seemingly counter-intuitive.

  8. Scott Scarborough

    For the life of me I can’t understand people who can’t see this point. Do they deny that all objects above absolute zero emit radiation? If so, how do they explain how a non-contact thermal gun works? Any high school book in physics will explain this principle to them! If this principle is accepted, the conclusion that a colder object can make a warmer object still warmer (a warmer object that has to dissipate heat to maintain it’s temperature) is just a simple logical extrapolation.
    Is it that they get confused about objects that are maintained at a constant temperature by the continued addition of heat? It is true that if there is no addition of heat to the Warmer object it can do nothing but cool, the cooling rate being modified by the distribution of colder objects around it. In that case, all a colder object can do is modify the rate at which the warmer object cools. The earth being warmed by the sun whose energy, because of its frequency, goes right through the atmosphere and warms the surface (ignoring clouds) is mechanically more difficult to understand than the pot of water on a stove but with as much thought that apparently these people give to the subject one would think that this would be understood.

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