The following is a guest post by Marcel Severijnen. For a past post by Marcel and his credentials please see
In memory of Noor van Andel – his contribution to the climate debate
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 Noor van Andel sadly passed away. Physicist and inventor, with interesting developments in the field of new improved energy-saving systems. In the Dutch climate community he has become known by his own approach to address the issue of global warming. Van Andel’s approach is not based on models, but relies on some basic physical and thermodynamic concepts and observations. He is one of the few to understand the theory of the Hungarian Miskolczi and made that concept accessible for a wider audience. In September 2010 he presented his insights during a meeting at KNMI, the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, after which he received a commitment for help from the KNMI to further develop his ideas. A sign of growing and greater openness of the established bodies in the Netherlands for other views in the climate debate.
His latest contribution is contained in:
It is a rather rough piece, a list of the various issues involved in the climate debate, focused on the temperature development.
A summary in broad terms. For details, graphics and references, see the original article. Van Andel builds his vision as follows:
1. The average temperature anomaly over the last century is well approximated by the measured temperature anomoly in the tropics. The atmospheric processes from the tropical waters largely determine the circulation of air masses. Warm, moist air rises in this zone to very high altitudes, and it cools down – so heating up the troposphere. This is simply convection, as we know from heat sources.
2. From thermodynamic rules follows a convection maximum height of about 15 km, which is strongly dependent on the specific humidity above the surface.
3. Wind ensures cooling through evaporation of ocean waters in the tropical zone. Measurements show that the evaporation rate depends on wind speed and temperature at surface (SST). Research from the fifties translated to tropical zone conditions indicates a required heat flux of 20 W/m2 per degree increase in SST.
4. Another cooling mechanism is the direct radiation from the water surface into space through an infrared window. Miskolczi calculated the absorption of infrared radiation as a function of height. Above 15 km the infrared window is open, and there is no CO2 or water available and no longer infrared absorption. The air masses spread here and cool off by radiation into space until they are cool enough to return to the earth. Higher SST cause higher humidity and wind speeds, which in turn lead to greater convection heights.
5. Does this involve CO2? A doubling of CO2 concentration according to IPCC, leads to a rise in temperature by several degrees. The doubling would mean a heat input of 3.7 W/m2, which should either be compensated by a higher SST or more convection. This 3,7 W/m2 input can be compared with the 20 W/m2 per degree temperature rise by convection, which makes convection more important. Thus reasoning, doubling the CO2 concentration results in a temperature rise of 0.2 degrees, which is a lot lower than the models allow, somewhere between 1.5 and 6 degrees.
6. Climate models predict a larger increase in the temperature of the troposphere than actually is found. From radiosonde measurements is known that the temperature is above 12 km decreases over the past forty years. At 15 km altitude, the trend in the decline is as large as the increase in the surface and higher up the negative trend is even greater. Volcanic eruptions have a greater, be it shorter, influence in the stratosphere than in the lower parts of the troposphere. Fine particles stay longer in the stratosphere, in the troposphere they will rain out quickly. The particles reflect the heat radiation, so that the surface is not reached. This leads with a small delay each time to a small reduction in the SST. Van Andel cites atmospheric temperatures as a function of latitude and altitude (in hPa) above Earth’s surface for two periods, 1958-2009 (which includes a cooler time) and the warm period 1979-2009 (data from Hadley Centre). At altitudes between 500 and 800hPa a clear cooling trend in the tropics is visible, and that goes everywhere above the 200 hPa. That contradicts a premise of the models for global warming, that global warming is caused by the reflection from the atmosphere, and caused by increased CO2 concentrations. This leads to a difficult relationship of modelers with the measured data, because they don’t like to adapt models to the reality, a reality that simply corresponds to physical principles. Modelers have similar problems with the actual rainfall trend in the rising and falling air masses in the tropical zone, which are significantly underestimated in models.
7. Van Andel searches for other causes of global warming in addition to the small contribution of CO2. One of them is to be found in the ocean currents in the tropical zones, the alternating El Nino and La Nina, summarized in the ENSO index. The SST anomaly in the tropical zone follows the index completely, both in the cooler periods between 1950 and 1975, and in the period of warming with dominating El Nino’s between 1975 and 1999. ENSO cycles explain the relatively short climatic fluctuations.
8. The long-term climate changes must have other causes. In this context, van Andel highlights the influence of magnetic radiation from the sun, reducing the continuous galactic cosmic rays from space. The cosmic radiation is the driving force behind the formation of particles in the atmosphere, which act as nuclei for cloud formation. At CERN in Geneva experimental research on this mechanism is now done in the CLOUD project,. The first results seem to confirm this effect. More solar activity leads to fewer clouds with larger drops, less white clouds and less coverage, increasing the temperature. A 1% decrease in cloud formation and of itself leads to a temperature increase of 0.5 degrees.
9. The presence of beryllium isotope 10Be in ice cores is an indicator of galactic cosmic rays. Because 10Be content in ice can be measured in ice parts from many centuries, 10Be content can be compared to other temperature proxies. Van Andel does so for the temperatures of Central England, available from 1720. A very good correlation of the temperature with inversed levels of 10Be was found. A comparison to the minimum and maximum levels of 10Be and the relative prices of wheat between 1600-1700 shows a good agreement too.
Van Andel’s concludes:
Climate change are only marginally affected by greenhouse gases. The main heat transfer process is convection, which strongly increases with the temperature at the surface. Climate change is caused by changing ocean currents, and in the long run by changes in galactic cosmic rays.