Monday, December 17, 2012

"It's the Sun, Stupid!" ~ {#C} further conversations with Dan Pangburn

Dan, I've got a friend who happens to be studying this stuff.  He's working toward his "Earth Systems Science and Engineering" degree, with a special interest in Climate Science.  

He has actually taken the time to study and recreate your formulas.   Considering he is in a better position to comment than I'll ever hope to be, I want to share his thoughts regarding the four points you made in your previous comment at

{I have added highlights, paragraph breaks and links.}

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December 14, 2012 5:30 AM  Dan Pangburn said...
DP writes - A) The Maunder Minimum lasted from about 1645 to about 1715. I started at 1700 because that is the earliest that I found numerical data on the web for sunspot numbers. I made the hypothesis that the integral of sunspot numbers was related to energy added to the planet and, using conservation of energy, reduced this by the integral of energy leaving the planet. 
The equation accounts for this, the effect of ocean oscillations and the influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide and allows the determination of the contribution of each to average global temperature. That is, I included an influence from sunspots and allowed the math to determine how much influence sunspots have. The pdf made public 11/24/11 has more detail and includes a theory of how sunspots through their influence on average cloud altitude (temperature) act as a proxy for average global temperature.
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A) If Dan wants the Maunder Minimum sunspot data he can find that here (here is actually the dataset I used, the previous seems more comprehensive).  NOAA's more detailed page is here.
The point of the Maunder Minimum is that it provides a validation check against the model.  I don't need an explanation on how the model works, since I was quite clearly able to recreate what he made.  Instead, Dan is the one who needs to understand what his model is doing: it is an energy balance equation with a non-energy component.  
Since sunspots do not scale linearly with incoming radiation, as Dan assumes they do with his simple linear scaling factor X, his model will wrongly predict temperatures in extreme cases of sunspot activity, such as predicting a constantly cooling Earth throughout the Maunder Minimum.  This temperature change was, of course, never observed, and thus his model is falsified from comparison to observations.
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DP writes - B) Of course predicting close to absolute zero would be absurd. With no sunspots, and assuming no influence from ocean oscillation or CO2, the equation predicts a steady decline of about 0.1C/decade from the starting temperature.
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B) Which is unphysical.

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DP writes - C) “Does he think the Sun extinguishes if there are no sunspots?” Since I am the person who discovered what actually drives average global temperature, you figure that out.

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C) No,   I falsified his model, he has not discovered anything.  

He is curve-fitting, ignoring physics while playing around with arbitrary constants for factors he can think of.  

My question, though, about his beliefs on sunspot activity and solar output, would stand whether or not he really did demonstrate something.  It is an entirely valid question, whether or not he thinks the Sun extinguishes when there are no sunspots.  Any solar physicist will of course tell you no, because any solar physicist will know how main sequence stars operate at especially such a rudimentary level, and heck even lay-people could tell you that the Sun has not extinguished.  

Dan appears to believe it does - that's what his model shows it does.  So, I want him to either admit he thinks that, admit his model is wrong, or admit that he doesn't know what he's talking about (the last not being in any sense exclusive to the prior ones).

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DP writes - D) The 110 meter figure for effective thermal capacitance came from this
I have not yet attempted to improve on this. The assumption that some heat gets to a lot lower depth has no influence on effective thermal capacitance.

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D) Except Dan did not use an effective 110m thermal capacitance anywhere in his model.   

Especially with the solar component, the effective thermal capacitance of 110m of water is 110 times what he used (so, not 3886, but 110*3886), at least.   

And of course the thermal capacitance of the top 110m stays the same no matter where the heat goes. 

But the observation of heat accumulation in the deep ocean (there is no assumption about this, it's been published, see Levitus et al 2012 most recently) means that his model is leaving out a very crucial heat transfer component.   

If he wants to accurately model surface temperatures and response to outgoing and incoming energy, he needs to take that into account.  The implication is, of course, that there is far too much heat accumulating that can ever be accounted for by solar activity (I already gave those numbers, and they can be found from Nuccitelli et al 2012), but that conclusion is inconvenient for Dan and as such he sticks to his falsified, unphysical model.

This reply to a recent comment by Dan Pangburg sums up my feeling towards his attitude and approach 
so I figure I'll share it up front.

CC wrote:   "You've got some creative calculations there, but they are one dimensional and in essence science fiction"
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By that I mean, you've isolated your work by steadfastly talking right past the complaints and flaws knowledgeable people have pointed out to you.  Rather than looking at the substance of other's complaints you shrug 'em off with an air of uppity contempt.  

Real science isn't done like it, it requires a certain humility in the face of incoming information.  Along with a desire to digest as much information as possible to build one's learning on.

But, your pdf's and the way you present your comments... well, evasiveness and defensiveness does not breed trust.  Neither does, your isolated position, a position starved of the intellectual nourishment the full community of scientists have to offer.

Far as I've been able to tell, your work hasn't been echoed in any but that extreme conspiratorial thinking portion of the echo-chamber.  No real climatologists, nor grad students, are taking up your discovery and investigating it further. Yet, rather than engaging with explanations, you write off serious critiques with a shrug... as your long train of web comments shows.... makes me wonder how much of your science is emotion based?   

All this begs the question: why should I/we/anyone take your claims seriously?  



Dan Pangburn said...

I hope your pal is a better friend than engineer. He flunked this course.

I'm done.

Peter said...

Works for me,
since your comments have tended to be uninteresting and lacking in any genuine effort to inform or engage.
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although... FYI, once I get done with a work project I do plan to get back to a review of your
"Summary: Verification of Natural Climate Change"
which has been on hold for well over a week now. (So much to do and so little time)

PS. Merry Christmas