Convection In Stars

Examination of the ‘irrefutable settled science’ underpinning the greenhouse effect theory shows that it is little more than an assumption backed up by a mixture of thought habit and academic hubris.

The temperature distribution in the troposphere of planets is readily explained by application of the First Law of Thermodynamics, without reference to the so-called greenhouse effect.

This has largely be confirmed by the dimensional analysis work of Nikolov and Zeller, which has allegedly been ‘debunked’.

Unfortunately, if the debunker’s argument were correct and gravitational compression did not determine the temperature distribution in planetary atmospheres, it would be impossible for stars to start shining.

OnTheIgnition OfStars

The Emperor’s New Climate

To challenge the science underpinning the greenhouse effect is widely perceived as an attack on motherhood and apple pie.  But if the science presented is garbage, what other option is there?

We test the hypothesis that greenhouse gases cause the observed atmospheric temperature distribution by examining the null hypothesis; that the temperature distribution can be explained without reference to the greenhouse effect.

The null hypothesis is upheld, ergo the greenhouse effect theory is superfluous, and by Occam’s razor is discounted.

Help yourself to a copy.


Welcome to Laputa

I have lost count of the number of times the technically ignorant, who cannot understand the actual science, deride my work because it isn’t ‘peer reviewed’. The fact that I am merely presenting ideas for discussion, and not as the dogma to which they are accustomed, is overlooked. Nowhere do I claim authority, but merely present arguments, based on fundamental established science which is taught in every university and high school. This work is intended to stimulate discussion, nothing more.

It is a pity that so many, usually non-participants, imagine that knowledge is just a matter of rote learning. The idea that reasoned argument, based on sound principles, should supersede the proclamations of gurus and sophists, is alien to such people. Lawyers and journalists can only refer to the word of ‘authorities’, because unlike scientists, they cannot appeal to Nature herself for corroboration, or preferably refutation, of existing wisdom. Unfortunately, it is journalists and politicians (usually lawyers) who quickly hi-jack the narrative, and apply their own anti-scientific criteria to the scientific discussion.

Actually, I should like to see the mathematical proof, or even the empirical evidence, that peer reviewed papers have the monopoly of wisdom or knowledge. There are thousands of counter-examples in the history of science. Indeed, every major advance has been a consequence of challenging established wisdom, so to base the selection criterion on what amounts to little more than a mixture of cronyism and intellectual snobbery is hardly supported by the scientific method.

Academic science tends to evolve initially as an area of study attached to a long established discipline. A case which comes to mind is control engineering. This started with the work of Bode and Nyquist as a branch of electrical engineering, and people like Bairstow in aeronautical engineering. These established pretty well all that is of practical use for the design of real control systems. Eventually, it became a recognised subject in its own right. It then merely became a talking shop, generating ever more obscure solutions to problems that rarely, if ever, are confronted in practice.

By the time the subject has its own chair at the university, it is for all intents, dead. The protagonists degenerate from scientists to sophists. We see this in their hostility to new ideas, which encroach on their ostensible monopoly of wisdom, arising from people outside their field, and hence mere interfering amateurs. Rather than seeking new ideas, the academic spends his/her time tinkering with old ones. In other words; flogging dead horses.

A classic example of this antagonism was between astronomy and the newly emerging study of space science, which occurred back in the infancy of this upstart new area of research. The most eminent astronomers of the time confidently proclaimed the impossibilty of interplanetary flight, and the absurdity of putting human beings in space. A few still even hung on to the popular myth that rockets wouldn’t work in a vacuum, because they had ‘nothing to push against’. Sophists, if allowed to breed, eventually become obstructive to real progress.

The degeneration of science to sophistry is an inevitable consequence of the way the academy is constructed and organised, based as it is on the ideas of Ancient Greece. That is, an organisation which pre-dates modern science by at least 1500 years. There was a hope that the American Universities, founded as they were in the Age of Reason, would follow a different paradigm, but even here it appears the perpetuation of human hubris takes priority over the search for truth, and year after year churn out a new crop of prigs.

We see this degeneration most clearly in the new ‘science’ of ‘climate science’. As long as study of the climate was an aspect of geology or meteorology, useful work was done. Now that it has become a subject in its own right and formed an unholy alliance with the quasi-science of ecology, any resemblance to true science has long since vanished. What other area of academic study, let alone science, demands that its detractors be silenced, even imprisoned? This isn’t even sophistry, it is barbarism.

Scientist or Sophist?

After demonstrating that the greenhouse effect has neither a valid theoretical basis nor support from the available empirical evidence, I often receive the question ‘then what is causing the temperature rise?’

The absence of logic in this objection is staggering, but the idea that that the refutation of a theory is ttself somehow refuted by a failure to supply an alternative explanation seems widespread in the climate science community. I suppose this reflects the intellectual standard we are dealing with.

The difference between a scientist and a sophist is the former begins with the premise of ignorance. The scientist admits he doesn’t know. It is awareness of our ignorance which is the beginning of knowledge. The truly ignorant are those who really think they know everything.

That has become known as the Donning Kruger effect, but it has actually been known since biblical times. You will find in the Book of Proverbs words to the effect that the fool is always right in his own mind.

We owe the popular perception of the scientist mainly to the likes of Hollywood. The all-knowing wise alumnus of the world’s most prestigious institutions who invents the super weapon to destroy whatever is threatening mankind in whatever science fiction B movie they are depicted. That is not a scientist, that is a sophist. Provided we are aware that we are dealing with fiction and not fact, this portrayal ought to be harmless enough.

Unlike a scientist, a sophist cannot admit ignorance, and to critics who originate from non-scientific disciplines such as law or journalism, the honest phrase ‘we don’t know’ is considered a sign of weakness or incompetence, because scientific enquiry or even scholarship, has never had much influence on those disciplines. This has encouraged a migration away from science to sophistry.

Another confusion among the non-scientific community is the criterion for valid science. This ought to be based on what is said; that is the validity of the data and the soundness of the argument. Science does not care where the ideas originate, all that matters is their intrinsic soundness. It could come from the canteen manager or the car park attendant, for all the world of legitimate science could care. Who says it doesn’t matter. It is what is said which is of interest.

However, the criteria adopted by the non-scientifically trained consists of such metrics as number of papers produced and cited, and level of academic qualification. Thus the search for scientific publications is itself based on specious pseudo-science.

A mere Sturmbannfuhrer may not call into question the word of an Obergruppenfuher. And that is fine for those who imagine that the Waffen SS forms a sound paradigm for the unbiased seeking after truth. Perhaps this is where the tendency to suppress opposing views, rather than debate them, comes from.

This massive paper-chase is itself obstructive to science. It is heavily biased against original work and novelty, but emphasises the recycling of old ideas with minimal and largely pointless incfemental changes. It allows the pompous self-important to rest on their laurels, by forcing their PhD students to cite their work, whether relevant or not.

Every PhD student quickly discovers that 99.9% of everything is crud. It becomes ever more difficult to find what is actually worth knowing. The usual search criteriia turn up nothing which hasn’t been repeated a million times. The probability of anything vaguely resembling a breakthrough is practically zero.

Sadly, with sophistry displacing science, this is the paradigm which in recent years has come to characterise the academy. It is actually promoted as the way things ought to be done, with the scientific method taking a back seat, particularly when it generates conclusions the paymasters don’t like.

Despite the vast increase in the professor population, we see very little in the way of novelty or original work. The three pillars of academia have become nepotism, cronyism and plagiarism, which is inevitable considering the quality standards imposed by the non-participants who actually rule the roost.

Scientists are becoming a rare breed indeed, and students expecting a career in legitimate science when met with obstructive bigotry and priggish arrogance, where free enquiry, integrity and honesty should be the norm, rapidly become disillusioned and transfer to other courses, not withstanding the intellectual standard required weeds out most of the population to begin with.

Apart from the intellectual snobbery imported from the innmerate world, there is the problem of specialisation. Whoever imagined productive teams could be made up of individuals whose outlook is so blinkered as to render meaningful communication between them impossible must have been on some serious drug.

A team leader needs to put aside their own area of expertise and learn sufficient about his subordinates skills to be able to communicate with each of them effectively. Instead, they are sent off on management courses to become specialsts in management as such. More likely, the job is handed over to an archetypal example of the Donning Kruger effect, who was effective in some unrelated management role. Thus we end up with those who know nothing about everything managing those who know everything about nothing, and fondly imagine productive work will emerge. Dream on.

The polymath who would have been well fitted to the job wont fit into any of human resources’ pigeon holes, so would never be employed.

I personally write for those with a basic scientific training, and those who could be bothered to pick up a textbook. I use only what is to be found in standard textbooks, most of which are well known amongst my readership. For this reason I do not expect a large following, I am not interested in popular opinion, merely in doing my bit to try and save the academy from the regressive and destructive route it is currently following in propping up the pet theories of politicians in order to ensure their continued funding.

Debunking the Debunkers

The alleged debunk of the empirical work by Nikolov and Zeller has served to illustrate what utter garbage is being promulgated in the name of ‘climate science’. Of course, the faithful merely wish to know that this heresy has been quashed, and are not remotely interested in the underpinning science. Wiser minds immediately see the flaws in the argument.

The original paper is presented here:

The reader can make up his/her own mind.

The ‘debunk’ does not address the facts or the methodology, but merely why it is incompatible with current dogma. In summary, it is claimed that the pressure in a static column of gas cannot affect its temperature. The error in this reasoning lies in the simple fact that gases in the troposphere are not static, nor can they be in the presence of a negative temperature gradient. The temperature gradient results from the exchange of enthalpy and gravitational potential energy in the resulting circulation.

The Nikolov and Zeller paper is derived entirely from established planetary atmospheric measurements, using a technique which has been employed in aeronautics for well over a century. The theoretical basis for their empirical discovery is summarised here:

Nikolov and Zeller are the Copernicus and Kepler of the age, facing the hysterical and irrational abuse from the protagonists of the modern counterpart to the geocentric universe – the greenhouse effect.

Gehrlich and Tscheuschner – Enfants Terribles

The paper these guys wrote is allegedly ‘debunked’. More precisely, the argument from the Second Law of Thermodynamics (accounting for a single paragraph of a 112 page document) has been shown to be false. Thus, according to the idiot alarmists, the whole thing can be dismissed, which is one way of avoiding the other embarrassing points that are made in the paper. The community may breathe a sigh of relief that it has overcome this challenge to its sacred doctrines.

I am always wary of alarmists declaring work ‘debunked’, because invariably the debunking is worse garbage than the work it allegedly ‘debunks’. The ‘debunking’ of Nikolov and Zeller was pathetic, and if true, would mean the Sun would not shine.

The emotional need to attack anything which challenges the sacred cow of the greenhouse effect precludes the possibility of the conjecture and speculation which is all that prevents science from degenerating into rigid sophistry and dogma. A ‘debunk’ is not a balanced assessment, it is an attempt to discredit work, generally with malicious intent. It is not a word used by scientists who calmly point out where the errors lie, and consider the valid statements on their merits.

Several important valid points are made, and these are worth considering. For this reason I include the original paper in this post, so that the readers may make up their own minds. Mindless zombies, readily swallowing dogma, needn’t bother looking at it, just let others do your thinking for you.


They make the legitimate point that emissivity is confused with reflectivity in the greenhouse effect theory, and that is the fundamental reason why it is utter garbage. Yet they persist with failing to represent convection beyond demonstrating that explicit solution of the Navier Stokes Equations is beyond the capability of current computers, and the correct interaction of convection and radiation requires the even worse magnetohydrodynamic equations.

The atmosphere model used reflects a failure to grasp very basic thermodynamic principles, but that is par for the course when dealing with climate science. I get the impression of equations passing from lecturer’s blackboard to student’s notebook without passing through the brains of either. Internal energy is recognised, but flow processes are characterised by enthalpy, which is conspicuous by its absence. The same criticism can be levelled at the orthodox theory.

The model is based on radiation and thermal conductivity alone. That is nonsense.

The assumption that thermal conductivity is relevant to the bulk of the atmosphere is nonsense. With a temperature gradient of zero in the tropopause, and only 6.5 K per kilometre in the troposphere, the amount of heat potentially transported by conduction is vanishingly small.

Heat is transported by a combination of radiation and convection.

The point is made that even the basic conduction/radiation model is insoluble for even a rudimentary representation of the Earth’s geometry. Convection is orders of magnitude more difficult to deal with. The relevant section merely shows that the model results are necessarily nonsense, so this observation does not detract from the robustness of the conclusion.

The impossibility of relating measurements to ‘average’ temperatures is a very important point that is made. In principle, no climate theory is fully verifiable.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics argument presented is flawed, as the alarmist loonies have gleefully pointed out, with a refutation which was even less sound than the original. Radiative equlibrium of the cold stratosphere with the warm surface does not contravene the Second Law because there is no net heat addition or loss from the troposphere gas. The process is adiabatic, with no net additional heat addition.

Yet the greenhouse effect theory requires the addition of heat to spuriously account for the temperature gradient in the troposphere. That DOES contravene the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  The temperature gradient is due to atmospheric circulation and is described by the First Law of Thermodynamics.  Radiative heat addition plays no part.

The confusion is of temperature with heat. As troposphere gases circulate, enthalpy is exchanged with gravitational potential energy. It gets hot as it descends and cool as it rises, but there is no actual heat transferred. The layers of the atmosphere radiate such that the total radiation from the troposphere gases balances that from the tropopause.

Explicit solution of the fundamental equations is impractical, modellers are basically charlatans. The best we can do is a thermodynamic approach to equilibrium conditions, but we do not know how far from equilibrium the actual atmosphere will be at any time.

Ideas About the Stratosphere

The greenhouse effect myth has not only been the potential cause of economic and political disruption, but is proving itself a positive obstruction to the advancement of science, much as the adherence to the ‘irrefutable’ geocentric universe did in the past.


I notice large numbers of people simply download my stuff.  Well, you are welcome to it, but my purpose in presenting it is to invite discussion.  I am by no means some kind of guru, merely a searcher after truth.  Rather than simply parroting dogma, I go back to first principles, and in so doing discover that the foundations on which the global warming scare is based are seriously shaky.

None of my stuff has been submitted for publication, because frankly I really couldn’t be bothered.  I am retired and have no need to try and advance a career.  I write primarily to amuse myself.

If anybody wishes to publish my stuff under their own name, I will not consider it plagiarism,  None of it carries a copyright.  Indeed, getting any of it past the phoney, crony, baloney pal review of people whose reputations were built on the current dogma will involve far more intellectual effort, perseverance and application than I ever put into writing my various articles.  Steal the material with my blessing.