Catlin Advances Arctic Knowledge : Discovers That The Arctic Is Cold

People used to understand that before the age of global warming enlightenment.

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13 Responses to Catlin Advances Arctic Knowledge : Discovers That The Arctic Is Cold

  1. Jimbo says:

    Small quibble:
    Your image capture has the minus sign above the 35c. The site shows it parallel.

  2. Jimbo says:

    It is not colder in the Arctic. It is a different cold. Not malicious but lethal for the unwary. Do not think in terms of degrees. Imagine that the cold here is not a temperature but an animal or ice spirit, a polar djinn if you will, trying to find a way in, trying to find a weakness, biting, clawing, burning.

    • pwl says:

      Animal spirits? Ice spirits? Polar djinn? So much for their commitment to the objective scientific method. What they are describing as “the cold here is not a temperature but an animal or ice spirit, a polar djinn if you will, trying to find a way in, trying to find a weakness, biting, clawing, burning” is simply the practical observation of The Second Law of Thermodynamics, “Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder location to a hotter location” (, and that Nature Is A Harsh And Lethal Mistress Indeed ™.

      “In simplest terms, the Laws of Thermodynamics dictate the specifics for the movement of heat and work. Basically, the First Law of Thermodynamics is a statement of the conservation of energy – the Second Law is a statement about the direction of that conservation – and the Third Law is a statement about reaching Absolute Zero (0° K).”

      Let’s see in northern cities kids are taught to dress in multiple layers and wear a hat and scarf to avoid too much heat leaving their bodies through their head or exposed skin.

      Not a temperature? Yes, not just a temperature indeed, if the Catlin folks actually listened to themselves talk and applied the scientific method for a change they might actually learn something. First dress warmer to trap the heat with insulating layers and put on their hat and mittens. Second, they could learn some science.

      “What Does Moist Enthalpy Tell Us?

      In our blog of July 11, we introduced the concept of moist enthalpy (see also Pielke, R.A. Sr., C. Davey, and J. Morgan, 2004: Assessing “global warming” with surface heat content. Eos, 85, No. 21, 210-211. ). This is an important climate change metric, since it illustrates why surface air temperature alone is inadequate to monitor trends of surface heating and cooling. Heat is measured in units of Joules. Degrees Celsius is an incomplete metric of heat.

      Surface air moist enthalpy does capture the proper measure of heat. It is defined as CpT + Lq where Cp is the heat capacity of air at constant pressure, T is air temperature, L is the latent heat of phase change of water vapor, and q is the specific humidity of air. T is what we measure with a thermometer, while q is derived by measuring the wet bulb temperature (or, alternatively, dewpoint temperature).

      To illustrate how important it is to use moist enthalpy, we can refer to the current heat wave in the southwest United States. The temperatures in Yuma, Arizona, for example, have reached 110°F (43.3°C), but with dewpoint temperatures around 32°F (0°C). In terms of moist enthalpy, if the temperature falls to 95°F (35°C) but the dewpoint temperature rises to 48°F, the moist enthalpy is the same. Temperature by itself, of course, is critically important for many applications. However, when we want to quantify heat in the surface air in its proper units in physics, we must use moist enthalpy.

      In terms of assessing trends in globally-averaged surface air temperature as a metric to diagnose the radiative equilibrium of the Earth, the neglect of using moist enthalpy, therefore, necessarily produces an inaccurate metric, since the water vapor content of the surface air will generally have different temporal variability and trends than the air temperature.” – Roger Pielke Sr.

      “Enthalpy is a measure of the total energy of a thermodynamic system. It includes the internal energy, which is the energy required to create a system, and the amount of energy required to make room for it by displacing its environment and establishing its volume and pressure.

      Enthalpy is a thermodynamic potential. It is a state function and an extensive quantity. The unit of measurement for enthalpy in the International System of Units (SI) is the joule, but other historical, conventional units are still in use, such as the British thermal unit and the calorie.

      The enthalpy is the preferred expression of system energy changes in many chemical, biological, and physical measurements, because it simplifies certain descriptions of energy transfer. This is because a change in enthalpy takes account of energy transferred to the environment through the expansion of the system under study.

      The total enthalpy, H, of a system cannot be measured directly. Thus, change in enthalpy, ?H, is a more useful quantity than its absolute value. The change ?H is positive in endothermic reactions, and negative in exothermic processes. ?H of a system is equal to the sum of non-mechanical work done on it and the heat supplied to it.

      For quasistatic processes under constant pressure, ?H is equal to the change in the internal energy of the system, plus the work that the system has done on its surroundings.[1] This means that the change in enthalpy under such conditions is the heat absorbed (or released) by a chemical reaction.”

      “The enthalpy of moist and humid air consist of sensible heat and latent heat – enthalpy is used to calculate cooling and heating processes.

      Moist air is a mixture of dry air and water vapor. In atmospheric air, water vapor content varies from 0 to 3% by mass. The enthalpy of moist and humid air includes the

      enthalpy of the dry air – the sensible heat – and
      the enthalpy of the evaporated water – the latent heat

      Specific enthalpy – h – (J/kg, Btu/lb) of moist air is defined as the total enthalpy (J, Btu) of the dry air and the water vapor mixture – per unit mass (kg, lb) of moist air.”

      The lesson? The Second Law of Thermodynamics, “Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder location to a hotter location”, applies to our atmosphere and that Nature Is A Harsh And Lethal Mistress Indeed ™ so wear insulating layers and keep a heat source available when in the cold. The second lesson? It’s not just temperature, it’s Moist Enthalpy as measured in Joules of Energy. Time that cliamte scientists learned that one.

    • John A says:

      At least Catlin have shown the level of dispassionate scientific analysis thar is required.

    • Al Gored says:

      Flakes on ice.

  3. Jimbo says:

    I hope we don’t have a tragedy this year.

  4. pwl says:

    How cold is -35c? Any fool in many parts of Canada can tell you that! Heck growing up in Edmonton, Alberta during the 1970’s I experienced a temperature range of -46c to +35c, a range of 80c from darn frigging cold to quite nicely hot! Many winters hovered around -20c to -35c for weeks at a time. Cars need to be plugged in so the engine blocks don’t freeze. Oh, this isn’t counting the highly dangerous wind chill effects which can subtract a considerable amount with even small winds.

    No need to send people to the arctic to find out what -35c feels like. Many people around the world live in these conditions every year. Fortunately I don’t any more as I’m sane. If all the Catlin, ahem, researchers get is stories of how cold it was they sure as heck wasted the money of whomever paid for their trip.

    • Al Gored says:

      If these British flakes were in Edmonton then they probably would have just trekked through the mega-mall there.

  5. Latitude says:

    APRIL 7, 2011
    MORE ON Obama’s scoffing at high gas prices’ impact on Americans. “Obama fills the role of clueless aristocrat by telling a man who explains that he can’t afford to fill his gas tank at current prices that he should instead buy a new car.” If the press reported it, the retort would prove rather embarrassing — which may be why the Associated Press scrubbed it from their coverage of the event

  6. DERise says:

    I thought I was being funny when I suggested that they discovered it was cold.

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