Thursday, December 29, 2011


date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 14:16:54 +0000
from: "Clint Witchalls" <>
subject: RE: Fwd: Urgent press inquiry: Global temperature -- politics or

OK, thanks Phil. I'll ignore this one.

>From: Phil Jones <>
>To: "Clint Witchalls" <>
>Subject: Fwd: Urgent press inquiry: Global temperature -- politics or
>Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 13:52:37 +0000
>> Dear Clint,
> The Neils Bohr Institute may be reputable, but they have been taken in
> hook, line and sinker on this one. The first two authors are well know
> climate skeptics, against Kyoto and all other initiatives to try to
> greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere. I would expect the 3rd
> one is as well.
> The IPCC concluded in its Feb 2 SPM (for WG1) that the warming
> was unequivocal. We now seem to be in the backlash period, where
> the skeptics are going hammer and tongues at a number of issues to
> try and discredit the science.
> I would ignore it completely and don't give it any publicity
> There is no politics at all in what we do. We have been measuring the
> global temperature in CRU since about 1980. At the time, we thought
> it was a good thing to do. It had been done earlier, even back in the
> 19th century.
> I could go on and on, but don't have the time.
> Cheers
> Phil
>>>From: "Clint Witchalls" <>
>>>Subject: Urgent press inquiry: Global temperature -- politics or science?
>>>Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 15:19:07 +0000
>>>Dear Professor Hulme
>>>I just received the press release (below) from the Niels Bohr Institute
>>>which questions the validity of an average global temperature (if I'm
>>>reading their argument correctly, that is). The press release sounds
>>>quite controversial, and I would have ignored it, only it does come from
>>>a very august institute. Can you give me your views on the argument put
>>>forward in this press release?
>>>I'm looking to put a pitch together for Newsweek.
>>>I write for Newsweek, the Economist, the Guardian, the Observer, the
>>>Times and the Independent. I'm not a mathematician or a meteorologist,
>>>so I would really appreciate your help on this one.
>>>--start of press release--
>>>Global temperature -- politics or science?
>>>The entire debate about global warming is a mirage. The concept of
>>>'global temperature' is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an
>>>impossibility, says professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of
>>>Copenhagen, Bjarne Andresen who has analyzed this hot topic in
>>>collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of
>>>Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, both
>>>Ontario, Canada.
>>>It is generally assumed that the atmosphere and the oceans have grown
>>>warmer during the recent 50 years. The reason for this point of view is
>>>an upward trend in the curve of measurements of the so-called 'global
>>>temperature'. This is the temperature obtained by collecting measurements
>>>of air temperatures at a large number of measuring stations around the
>>>Globe, weighing them according to the area they represent, and then
>>>calculating the yearly average according to the usual method of adding
>>>all values and dividing by the number of points.
>>>Average without meaning
>>>"It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as
>>>complicated as the climate of Earth", Bjarne Andresen says, an an expert
>>>of thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous
>>>system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature.
>>>Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the
>>>storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate".
>>>He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistically
>>>locally, it is meaningless to talk about a a global temperature for
>>>Earth. The Globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot
>>>just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average
>>>phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless. Or talking about
>>>economics, it does make sense to compare the currency exchange rate of
>>>two countries, whereas there is no point in talking about an average
>>>'global exchange rate'.
>>>If temperature decreases at one point and it increases at another, the
>>>average will remain the same as before, but it will give rise to an
>>>entirely different thermodynamics and thus a different climate. If, e.g.
>>>it is 10 degrees at one point and 40 degrees at another, the average is
>>>25 degrees. But if instead there is 25 degrees both places, the average
>>>is still 25 degrees. These two cases would give rise to two entirely
>>>different types of climate, because in the former case one would have
>>>pressure differences and strong winds, while in the latter there would be
>>>no wind.
>>>Many averages
>>>A further problem with the extensive use of 'the global temperature' is
>>>that there are many ways of calculating average temperatures.
>>>Example 1: Take two equally large glasses of water. The water in one
>>>glass is 0 degrees, in the other it is 100 degrees. Adding these two
>>>numbers and dividing by two yields an average temperature of 50 degrees.
>>>That is called the arithmetic average.
>>>Example 2: Take the same two glasses of water at 0 degrees and 100
>>>degrees, respectively. Now multiply those two numbers and take the square
>>>root, and you will arrive at an average temperature of 46 degrees. This
>>>is called the geometric average. (The calculation is done in degrees
>>>Kelvin which are then converted back to degrees Celsius.)
>>>The difference of 4 degrees is the energy which drives all the
>>>thermodynamic processes which create storms, thunder, sea currents, etc.
>>>More politics than science
>>>These are but two examples of ways to calculate averages. They are all
>>>equally correct, but one needs a solid physical reason to choose one
>>>above another. Depending on the averaging method used, the same set of
>>>measured data can simultaneously show an upward trend and a downward
>>>trend in average temperature. Thus claims of disaster may be a
>>>consequence of which averaging method has been used, the researchers
>>>point out.
>>>What Bjarne Andresen and his coworkers emphasize is that physical
>>>arguments are needed to decide whether one averaging method or another is
>>>needed to calculate an average which is relevant to describe the state of
>>>Earth, not tradition.
>>>The currently used method and the consequences drawn from it therefore is
>>>more politics than science, they explain.
>>>C. Essex, R. McKitrick, B. Andresen: Does a Global Temperature Exist?; J.
>>>Non-Equil. Thermod. vol. 32, p. 1-27 (2007). [= Journal of
>>>Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics]
>>>--end of press release--
>>>Clint Witchalls
>>>tel. 0208 674 9126
>>>Get Hotmail, News, Sport and Entertainment from MSN on your mobile.
>Prof. Phil Jones
>Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
>School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
>University of East Anglia
>Norwich Email
>NR4 7TJ

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