Skip to comments.Global Average Temperature an Impossibility
Posted on 01/12/2013 1:14:47 PM PST by kathsua
The following is a news release from the University of Copenhagen in March, 2007. I've decided not to put it in my own words because I agree with Professor Andresen, and want the article to reflect his views rather than mine. He is the professor not me.
Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who has analyzed this topic in collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, 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, for example, 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.
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.
Claims of disaster?
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.
We've had temp difference of 10 degrees, 25 miles away....You would need a , gazallion, bazillion points for every second of every day to compute some kind of world average. And the problem still remains in the historic averages...which are concocted from here and there when they felt like it.
Exactly. Most cars show outside temperature readings in them these days. Drive 10 miles and watch how many times that reading changes. These days, the “global average temperature” depends on what your politics are and how many grants you are getting.
Have some fun with this;
We have plenty of data that shows temperatures have been far lower and far higher than they are today. Before we destroy liberty and prosperity in an attempt to stop the climate from changing, maybe we ought to decide what the ideal climate should be. I don’t recall seeing any information on that discussion.
In fact global humidity could slightly decrease on average and that alone would cause an increase in solar driven atmospheric temperature (atmosphere is less dense and warms quicker). Theoretically you could have an atmospheric situation where temperature increased but total atmospheric energy decreased. Getting the average progressive retard to understand this unfortunately requires comprehension of physics. A topic most progressive ignore.
As a card carrying meteorologist with several now worthless degrees let me just say this:
1. It doesn’t matter if it gets warmer or colder. There is nothing we humans can do about it. Anybody that thinks they can be the earth’s thermostat is just trying to take some of you liberty away.
2. Given a choice between warmer or colder, and its going to be one or the other,I choose warmer. I don’t want to live a mile of ice. Crops like it warmer.
3. I agree with the article. Normalizing this, squaring that, adding selected tree rings, so on and so forth only provides jobs for data manipulators which have already been exposed. Criminal that these people actually get paid to do this meaningless activity.
4. The only way to measure global temperature is from space by measuring the earths black body radiation. We can do that now but what do you compare it to? No way to do that 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, million? 100 million? Guess we could ask the aliens.
For example, this from the Vostok Station:
Indeed. NOAA says that our temperature here is the same as at the airport in Akron. It is frequently off by 10° from our weather station.
Stick one foot in a bucket of ice water and the other foot in a bucket of boiling water. On average, it is a nice bath temperature.
I first read about the weather station siting problems on Watt’s Up With That years ago and used that argument against several global warmists in the past. They never changed their minds. It’s a religion with a strong faith base.