(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is likely no life learning experience as instructive as a Near Death Experience. Especially when the NDE involves an uncommon encounter with the unseen power of a common, everyday occurrence, CLOUDS. Seen from afar, cumulus clouds are benign giant puffs of cotton balls floating across the sky. While you can notice slight changes in shape, you have no real understanding of the real forces at work within.
For several years, I have been joined by the world’s top scientists in an effort to expose Carbon Climate Forcing as the worst science in history. We have employed the full range of scientific arguments, and yet the myth persists, that Carbon Dioxide and it’s accomplice, water vapor, WARM the Earth. There is nothing like first-hand experience to dispel a myth.
Just released in the Journal of Geophysical Research is an article on the “ground breaking report on clouds causing cooling” . After arguing just this point in dozens of articles over the last several years, it is time to share my personal anecdote on the behavior of water vapor INSIDE of a cloud.
I started flight training in Feb of 1976 on a lark. Growing up with plastic Revelle and flying balsa Thimbledrone model aircraft, it was easy to dream of being a pilot. By June I had thirteen hours of instruction and seven hours of solo in my log book. The next training was the ‘cross country solo’. I left the Laport, Texas airport early on a Saturday morning en route to Brownsville with a fuel stop in Corpus Christi.
Skies were 25% broken cumulus with 2500 ft ceiling, meeting Visual Flight Rules. The cloud tops were at 7500 ft, where you got better radio navigation signals and the air was also much cooler. The Corpus stop was routine as was the first hour headed south. What I did not notice was that the clouds were becoming less and less broken…and I was in for a permanent life lesson.
Airport radar and radio signals work on line of sight and are therefore a function of altitude….although help from the Harlingen or Brownsville airports at this point would be useless. As I approached the cloud tops at 7500 ft I noticed the surface was in constant turmoil with puffs swirling out and disappearing. The next thing I noticed was that these things were HUGE…and now only 50% broken I could not possible bank and turn my way between these cotton puff giants.
What happened next is rare, dangerous and prohibited for VFR pilots and non IFR aircraft. I banked between the first two clouds only to make a bull’s eye approach at 7300 ft into the next cloud. Perhaps you’ve noticed some ‘turbulence’ in a 120,000 lb passenger plane traveling 400 mph as you flew through a cloud. I was in a 1600 lb aircraft with a maximum speed of 110 mph.
Entering the cloud felt like hitting a wall. Suddenly everything was white, it was raining from every direction and the wind was howling. Most aircraft instruments operate using a static port on the side of the plane or a pitot tube which faces forward. There were massive vertical wind shears that rendered the instruments useless. The altitude, air speed, rate of climb and artificial horizon gauges were all bouncing peg to peg.
“Flying by the seat of your pants” quickly becomes the over-riding instinct. You are now in vertigo and your butt thinks it knows where the Earth is. You are fooled by the changing gravity of the rapid up and down wind shear. You are surrounded by glowing white light and cannot see further than ten feet in any direction. The wings are shaking at beyond maximum design loading and the LAST thing you want is your BUTT flying the plane.
The propeller is used to 110 mph wind from the nose, but is disturbed by the 200 mph up and down winds. Throttle back to avoid over revving, then concentrate on the only two instruments that are still functioning, the magnetic compass and the curved glass tube with a ball in glycerin. Inside a cloud, where everything is rapidly changing, the Earth’s magnetic field and gravity are the only constants. After the longest minute of my life, I popped out of the cloud into blue skies above, altitude 7000 ft and my next white giant straight ahead.
Inside-Out, Version 2.0
[The V 1.0 was a hurried response to the “breaking news….cloud cool” story as a web place holder, Version 2.0 additions are shown in purple.]
It took about 20 seconds for the static pressure and pitot tube to stabilize and the instruments to become functional again. The cumulus giants were checker-board spaced, a mile wide and a mile apart. I had maybe 40 second until next impact and a critical decision to make, abort and climb through the tops of at least one, most likely two clouds, turn back and hope for a clear skies landing behind….or….set the controls, pray and pilot through the giant ahead.
Any speed above flight minimums meant subjecting the Cessna to additional loading in the vertical wind shears to come. I chose 300 ft per minute descent. The single blade propeller had acute problems during the vertical wind shear events. Depending on the up or down air column movement the blade hit this air mass in the horizontal position, bringing the engine RPMs down. In the vertical position, this load disappeared, causing violent swings in this loaded-unloaded condition on the engine.
Set throttle for 60% power, air speed at 75 mph, about midway between peak and stall speeds and enter cloud number two. Liquid gasoline does the same thing as water vapor does when it evaporates, it COOLS. Under part throttle, there is only partial air flow. Inside a cloud there is 100% relative humidity and carburetor icing issues, add carb heat.
Inside cloud two some conditions had changed, it was now a darker white and the raindrops were larger. Again, downdraft rain pounded the top of the plane, with alternating updraft rain pounding the bottom. These up-down drafts were parallel, but not perpendicular to my travel. Sometimes I would cross over a boundary hitting the nose down, and at the same time, lifting the tail. Sometimes the rocking was one wing tip up and the other side down.
Breaking out of cloud two I was now confidence that with these control settings, I stood a good chance of surviving this ordeal. Each succeeding cloud and elevation drop brought less light and larger rain drops, until I finally broke through the bottom layer. Skimming along now in the cool, dark shadow of the cloud bottom, it was easy to see the raindrops, almost bouncing off of an invisible surface and disappearing back into the clouds. [slight redundancy returning to V 1.0, with afternotes to follow]
Repeating this process another ten or twelve times brought me to the bottom of the cloud formations. There you could easily see the rain falling to the warm bottom and rapidly evaporating, then rising back to the top. During the perilous decent I had lost my visual flight references (highways) and was now below radio and radar signal altitude.
Since nothing below looked like South Texas, my position must be Northern Mexico. I turned northeast, spotted the Gulf and turned up the Rio Grande on my way to the airport, which I could now contact by radio.
“Brownsville Tower to Cessna 22163, you are cleared to land on runway 35, when you
do your roll out, taxi over to the control tower, we want to have a chat”.
The “chat” included a tour of the control tower, review of the Notice to Airmen on the Harlingen VOR (radio nav) and Brownsville radar equipment being down for service that weekend, along with some friendly advice on my future air adventures. (FAA was kind to novice pilots back then)
Notice to Clima-clownologists
WATER VAPOR IS NOT A GREENHOUSE GAS AND CLOUDS DO NOT WARM THE EARTH. If you still have trouble understanding the simple empirical truth of clouds, then get a telescope, and with the Sun at your back, look at a cloud. You will see the rapid vaporization of the visible water droplets all along the sides and bottom.
This now invisible, heated water vapor rises RAPIDLY to the cloud top, where it cools, condenses and the falls again. The average cumulus cloud weights 800 tons. Any mass between you and a heat source will slow heat transfer and therefore be a cooling agent.
During the day, clouds absorb heat at low altitudes, release heat at high altitudes and COOL the Earth. At night, this same process SLOWS cooling, but does not heat the Earth. Maybe it takes a “New Paper Finds Clouds Act as Negative Feedback” to challenge your false GHG orthodoxy, or maybe you just need to LOOK at a few clouds.
I was able to make these direct observations due to a fortunate combination of life experiences. I had built and flown model airplanes, repaired lawn mowers, motorcycles and automobiles as a teen, so I had knowledge of flight theory and mechanics. My engineering education provided the Physics and Thermodynamics to make a statistical judgment and resolve an appropriate course of action.
Climatology is an entirely government funded faux science with no basis in physical reality for their operating thesis. Selected narrow bands of Outgoing Longwave Radiation do sometimes strike a receptive Carbon Dioxide or water molecule, causing a momentary vibration. This energy is almost immediately released as a lower energy, longer wavelength photon with no further absorption capability.
This billionth of a second vibration is then transferred to adjoining Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon molecules, which vibrate briefly and then send the vibration wave upward. This energy flow is ALWAYS away from gravity, or to an area of lower temperature. Vast amounts of convective energy leave the Earth constantly by three methods.
There is direct convection as air, heated by the surface rises. There is the convective transfer during water phase changes of evaporation or solidification. This can occur at the surface, or within clouds. Finally there is the minor convection of the ‘captured’ OLR vibrations. Again, all these currents are moving upward [or towards cold].
Another life experience only added to my knowledge of strange cloud behavior. One day I was talking with a client on the phone as a line of thunderstorms crossed my area. My clients said, “Oh my God, it is hailing here and a Canadian goose with a broken wing just fell in the parking lot !”
I replied, “It’s starting to hail here, OH MY GOD, a Canadian goose just fell in my back yard !” I covered my head and ran out to retrieve my goose. I was surprised that the bird looked like it had beaten with a bat, half plucked and it was frozen solid. It takes a powerful updraft to keep soft ball sized hail in the air, or lift geese to flash freeze altitudes.
The amount of energy that leaves the Earth as OLR is virtually unaffected by trace level changes in a human produced, natural, trace level gas. Vast amounts of energy constantly leaves the Earth as convective currents. These are sent as upward vibrational waves in the lower atmosphere.
At the Thermosphere there are so few molecules, that the vibration is hard to transfer and instead manifests as vertical acceleration. This is change from kinetic energy transfer between molecules, to potential energy of individual molecules. This is soon dissipated as the excited molecule cools with altitude and falls.
These very few high velocity molecules strike a traditional thermometer with a disproportionate ‘energy’ and indicate a false ‘high’ temperature. You would freeze to death watching your thermometer at this altitude. The convective behavior of energy and the dynamics of water vapor are incorrectly presented in climatology. A chaotic system is by definition, never in ‘balance’, but is only moving towards equilibrium. Radiative ‘balance’ is therefore a non sequitur.
We have a relatively new branch of science that has not obeyed the traditional scientific methods or established laws. These scientists have admittedly altered, and then destroyed the original recordings of decades of direct field measurements. These scientists have admittedly used incorrect methods, hidden data and obstructed their opponents. These scientists have yet to publically review, rebuke or sanction their own misbehavior. These scientists do not deserve to be called scientists.