1 metre by 1 metre by 1 metre concrete block floating in outer space.
The block is insulated on four sides, a perfect insulator, no heat at all is lost from the four insulated sides.
the emissivity “epsilon” and absorptivity across the spectrum are both 0.95.
the thermal conductivity “k” of the concrete is equal to 0.8 watts per metre per kelvin (0.8 W/m K^-1)
it gets full-time sunshine on the front side at a rate of 1360 watts per square metre (W/m2).
what will be the temperature T_hot of the hot side and the temperature T_cold of the opposite cold side?

At a 1 molecule thinness the temperature on both sides would be equal hence half as hot as expected if the back surface was also insulated. 65.67C
At a million metres the back surface would be at a very low temperature just above 62 K.
This would be enough to drain the minute amount of energy that makes it across the block.
Th surface of the block receiving radiation has to heat up to a higher temperature to force heat across the concrete gradient. The maximum it can heat to is double the energy it absorbs.
The soldering iron I think someone referred to it as.

129.77 C or 512.92K is the Temp of the hot side.
Similar range to the surface of the moon different albedo.

The cold side is more difficult. The bulk of the thermal mass built up by absorption of energy is at the heated end which radiates most of the radiation back out.
The small amount that “conducts” 0.8 watts per metre per kelvin finally gives that level to the other side which immediately radiates it into space giving it a temp of -210.4 C or 62.75 K


This is an article on Mosaic, a yearlong mission starting in September 2019  described as the largest-scale Arctic research expedition of all time: In September 2019, the German research icebreaker Polarstern departed from Tromsø (Norway) and, once it had reached its destination, will spend the next year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in the ice. A total of 600 people, who will be supplied by other icebreakers and aircraft, will participate in the expedition – and several times that number of researchers will subsequently use the data gathered to take climate and ecosystem research to the next level. More than 70 research institutions from 20 countries are involved in the expedition. The mission is spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).

I thought it would be interesting to WUWT readers on two levels, one as an active, thought out scientific set of experiments of interest to most readers and the other as an example of what happens when motivation overcomes commonsense.

From the expedition website.

Mission-   MOSAiC aims at a breakthrough in understanding the Arctic climate system and in its representation in global climate models. MOSAiC will provide a more robust scientific basis for policy decisions on climate change mitigation and adaptation and for setting up a framework for managing Arctic development sustainably.  The Arctic is the key area of global climate change, with warming rates exceeding twice the global average  and warming during winter even larger.

The backbone of MOSAiC is the year-round operation of RV Polarstern, drifting with the sea ice across the central Arctic during the years 2019 to 2020. During the set-up phase, RV Polarstern entered the Siberian sector of the Arctic in the thin sea ice conditions of late summer.

A distributed regional network of observational sites has been set up on the sea ice in an area of up to ~40 km distance from RV Polarstern. The ship and the surrounding network are now drifting with the natural ice drift across the polar cap towards the Atlantic, while the sea ice thickens during winter (red dotted line in Figure 1).Large scale research facilities addressing key aspects of the coupled Arctic climate system have been set up on board of RV Polarstern and on the sea ice next to it, in the so-called ice camp.The distributed regional network further around the central observatory is comprised of autonomous and remotely-operated sensors, characterizing the heterogeneity of key processes in an area representing a typical grid box of modern climate models and providing invaluable data for the development of parametrizations for sub-grid-scale processes in climate models.

It all started off  promisingly.  Mooring a purpose designed vessel to an Ice Floe large enough to deploy instruments and a base camp on and sit in the dark for 6 months while winter came and went.
A fully equipped bar, 200 plus elite scientists swapping every 2-3 months, Movies and icecapades.

What could possibly go wrong?
Well, everything.  Too much Arctic ice for starters. Polar bears, Arctic foxes. Keeping people restricted to the ship early on  in the middle of nowhere. [hint, I hope   Susanne Croxford checks this out].
Intrepid explorers falling into the frozen waters as leads developed and getting frost bite. Leads opening up and stretching and breaking so that distant sites lost communications. Hurricanes and a severe build up of ice and overlapping ice ledges.
Communication problems , equipment problems and broken equipment.
Poorly designed recording systems for the radar . The ship has to run on diesel engines and keep enough lights on to help detect the bears. The lights and heating and bar chew up a lot of diesel each day, prevent the nocturnal instruments from working close to the ship and cover the surrounding ice with a layer of ash and soot that prevents the ice from freezing as it should.
Instruments have frozen over and stopped working. Buoys have stopped working.

A supply vessel ,the Kapitan Dranitsin was supposed to resupply  3 weeks ago but the current rapid build up of Arctic ice [10th lowest] has caused it to run low on fuel and be 3 weeks late. It might need a relief icebreaker for the icebreaker to bring it enough fuel to get back.

Update  “Yesterday morning we had flight weather conditions and took the
chance to fly over to Kapitan Dranitsyn as she was less than 50
miles away. Our helicopter picked up the chief scientist of leg 3
Torsten Kanzow and nautical officer Igor Hering. They are replacing
our leg 2 co-chief scientist Benjamin Rabe and nautical officer Lutz
Peine now. Unfortunately, visibility decreased after that flight and
we had to cancel the exchange of additional people to allow them
to prepare their measurements. But in the meantime, Kapitan
Dranitsyn makes good progress towards the Polarstern and was
only twelve miles away this morning. We hope that they will arrive
at their designated mooring position one kilometer east of the
Polarstern by tomorrow and allow us to start the cargo operations
and handover.”

I wrote an acerbic description due to past episodes of scientists miscalculating the amount of variability in Arctic and Antarctic ice,. Hubris has certainly struck.
I admire the dedication of the scientists but it seems like many of them in planning this expedition forgot to look away from their computer screens  and out of the  window at the real world.

Sea Ice extent has been very variable but hit a new high for this year at 14.3 million Sq Km.  Much more than initially expected. It may well drop off again as it has done twice recently. Wait and don’t comment is good advice.



500 is a game of bidding to win, bidding to stop others winning and bidding to lose.

It has a unique feature that most other card games do not.
It lets people with a poor hand have a chance to win as well as the strong hand.
The risks are much greater as are the rewards.
This bid is called Misere and at a higher level, open misere.
Misere hands do not have any strong cards. The joker is a poison card, the first one to be thrown away if picked up in kitty.
The aim of misere is to successfully lose all 10 tricks.

Failure to do so could result in a loss of 250 points [normal misere] or 500 points [Open misere].

How to bid it.
Misere cannot be bid until a bid is made at the 7 level. Misere cannot be bid with a passed hand. This is why a very weak hand in first position can make a bid of 6 spades. If left in it does not lose very much , 40 points. If over called by a 7 bid or a 6 bid is raised by the opposition to the 7 level a bid of either misere can be made. It is over called by any 8 bid, even 8 spades which is worth slightly less.

When to bid it.
It is best bid when you have the lowest or near lowest cards , red 4’s black 5’s and a run of low supporting cards.
It should be bid to be made , but can also be used to stop an opponent going out
at a cost.
Some people get addicted to it which can be annoying to other players with good hands.  I would recommend restrictions, even with friends, such a only 1 successful bid per round per person, but it is an essential and fun part of the game that everyone should use and know how to counter.

When playing the person who called misere must lead a card first. Usually this will be in an unbeatable or near unbeatable suit.
If it is high, like a 10 try to get under it. If you cannot get under it play the highest card you have, including the joker, then lead a low card in another suit hoping partner has a low one as well. Keep playing low card in suits the bidder has until he loses by putting a high card on.

Note the bidders partner takes no part on the game. In open misere the player has to put his hand down on the table after leading which helps the opposition see where the weak points are to attack.

Opener tactic, discards. Here it is OK to keep high cards A,K if you have enough small cards to keep safe. Build up weakness in length. Discard any high cards on their own picked up in kitty. You should not bid Misere if you have 3 loose high cards, Kitty is much less of a help in Misere than in trying to make a game.





Welcome everyone to a series of playing 500 with a little bit of review for those who know how to play and a little bit of advice for those wishing to learn. 500 is played around the world by family and friends and has a basic set of rules.

House rules or local rules are prevalent, often different and should be discussed and made clear when attempting new games. We will be sticking to the printed rules as closely as possible to start but I am happy to modify them if enough people wish.

The basic game is for 4 people playing as pairs. It can range from 3 to 6.
The cards are shuffled and dealt.
The cards are dealt * 3 to each player, 1 to the kitty: 4 to each player and 1 to the kitty then 3 to each player and 1 to the kitty.
Everyone has 10 cards with 3 unknown in the kitty.

The 43 cards are red suits from the 3 to the Ace.
Black suits from the 4 to the Ace.
There are three special cards if playing in a suit [trumps], they are the top card, the Joker, the jack of the suit is the second highest card  called the right bower. The jack of the other suit of the same colour becomes the third highest card [left bower] in the suit called even though it did not belong to that suit originally.

There are 13 cards [trumps] in a red suit: Joker, 2 bowers [jacks] and 4-10 plus Queen, King and Ace of the suit
There are 12 cards [trumps] in a black suit: Joker, 2 bowers [jacks] and 5-10 plus Queen, King and Ace of the suit.

To start the player to the left of the dealer is the first to bid which can be a suit or a No trump starting at the 6 level going to the 10 level. Suits are called from the lowest ranking up, Spades, clubs diamonds and hearts. Higher again is no trumps where no suit is named as a trump suit.

The object is to win the stated number of tricks, or more, with your partner. The highest card wins and trumps are higher than all other cards but can only be payed if out of a suit or playing in the Trump suit.

Opponents get 10 points for each trick taken. Each increase of a level is worth a 100 points. The first team to bid to a score of 500 or more wins, If negative 500  you lose.

Today we will separate into newcomers and more experienced and play mostly 4 handed games  though if numbers are uneven we can try a table with 5 or 3 players. Pick a partner and find a table or we can just pair up alphabetically to start. Rounds will last 40 minutes and then pairs will exchange tables North south sitting still, East west going to the right

A few words on basic play.

You need two top cards, aces , Joker or bower and at least 4 cards in a suit, preferably 5 [counting left bower of the other suit and the joker as being in that suit] to bid 6 of a suit. You hope to pick up one more in Kitty.  6 small cards is always worth a bid due to the length. Kitty and your partner will provide the rest.
If you can see that you can win 6 tricks on your own you should bid 7. If you can win 7 you should bid 8.

500 is not a game for the faint hearted so there is one special rule in the  first few weeks. The opening bidder must make a 6 spade call even if they have no points and no spades*. This  is called a holding bid. The reason for this will become clear in following weeks when we learn and use misiere.

*There will be some disasters.
*Remember if you have no points and no-one else bids you only lose 40 points and they miss out on hundreds. Anyone who is the partner of a 6 spade bidder must realise that they have no support from their partner at all.

Always lead a trump when playing trumps. If you have the highest Trumps lead them. If only one of the top trumps lead a low trump and hope you have a special partner.

Raise partner 1 level with good support and 3 winners. 2 levels if you have good support and 4 winners. Remember she was counting on you and Kitty in the first place for 3 tricks.



“In the context of climate change, external factors that can lead to warming are typically called forcings. This would be things like changes to the solar flux, volcanic eruptions, and our release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Feedbacks are then responses to this externally driven warming that either act to amplify, or suppress, the warming. Some of these are fast, such as water vapour and clouds, while others are slower, such as changes to vegetation or ice sheets. Some are also negative and quite strong (such as the Planck response). This means that even though the overall effect of these feedbacks is to amplify the externally-driven warming, it is limited (the negative feedbacks eventually balance the the effect of the change in forcing and the resulting positive feedbacks). For example, if we were to double atmospheric CO2, we’d expect to eventually warm by about 3oC.

A runaway, on the other hand, typically refers to what happened on Venus. Essentially, virtually all of the CO2 was released into the atmosphere, the warming was so substantial that any liquid water evaporated and was eventually lost to space, most atmospheric molecules lighter than CO2 were also lost to space, and the surface warmed by many 100s of oC. On the Earth, such a runaway is simply not possible, because most of the carbon, that can then form CO2, is locked up in the lithosphere. We can’t emit enough CO2, either through anthropogenic influences or naturally, to undergo a runaway.”

A few comments.
“This would be things like changes to the solar flux,”
This happens on a simple yearly basis due to the elliptical orbit
volcanic eruptions,
Clouds deserve a mention. Both reduce the flux.
“and our release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere”
The crux of the matter and also any concerns re possible runaway climates.

“A runaway, on the other hand, typically refers to what happened on Venus”
A description often mooted but not strictly correct on 2 grounds.
Venus’ atmosphere and temperature is due to its size, composition and distance from the sun [orbit]
No runaway involved.
Second the runaway scenario involves an unrealistic approach to the actual scientific effects that can happen.
“Feedbacks generally cannot be negatively greater than the initiating force” Lucia.
Now I understand that some things appear to.
Super balls would be a good example.
The atmospheric temperature and surface temperature of the Earth and Venus.
The problem with free energy problems is that they cannot actually exist.
If the earth, atmosphere or not, continued to grab and build up energy from the sun, not releasing all of it back to space. It would eventually become hotter than the sun but unable to radiate this heat.
Runaway models and ideas are based on this unrealistic approach.

Note nowhere is this a denial of atmospheres heating up in response to GHG. Just the misapplication of the idea of retained heat constantly building up forever.


Ramanathan is much brighter than I will ever be.
Energy flows are very complex
What I am trying to say is that the 390 emitted at the surface is being double counted.
It is being double counted because you cannot make energy out of nothing.
There is only, repeat only 237 coming in all the time.
There is only 237 going out, all the time.
You and he know that

Take a step back.
Where is this 390 being emitted From the surface come from in the first place?
Not a new source.
Only partly from the 169 of shortwave energy that Directly hits the ground.

Note that even that 169 does not leave as infrared energy 22, is sensible heat and and 76 is latent heat.
That leaves 71 Mw only to radiate back the atmosphere as IR.
(Of which 10 % goes straight through to the TOA without touching the sides)

How do we turn 64 MW into 390?

The answer is the Greenhouse effect, using a combination of the actual energy, latent energy sensible energy In the system = 169, plus IR components absorbed in the atmosphere already.
10 strat, 58 troposphere, obviously 237*.
( note some not contributing to GHG as goes direct back to space)

We have 237* in the atmosphere causing back radiation of 319 to add to the 71 giving a total of 390 being emitted as radiation. 498 total energy reaching the ground when you consider latent and sensible heat losses.
This back radiation of 319 is not new energy.
It is just fairly instantaneous heating up of the surface to the right heat level to radiate enough heat to keep it at that level.
It is not 150 MW being permanently trapped in the system.
It is a description of the energy transfers from atmosphere to ground and ground to atmosphere as the 237 works its way Down through the atmosphere and back out.
You could even describe it as a delay in the energy getting to the real surface rather than as a buildup of energy in the system, and a delay getting back out again.


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”    ? Oscar Wilde

 To thine own self be true.
Brevity is the soul of wit.‘       (Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2) William Shakespeare.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”   ? Albert Einstein

  “So many books, so little time.”     ?  Frank Zappa

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  ? Friedrich Nietzsche

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”    ? Mae West

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”     ? Mahatma Gandhi [Rotary theme

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”   ? Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”  ? Mark Twain

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”   ?   J.K. Rowling

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  ? douglas adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ? Oscar Wilde, 

“They’re all dead. Everybody’s dead, Dave.”   Holly: Red Dwarf TV

Football quotes

“he’s a good ordinary footballer”           jack dyer on peter bosustow

“The ox is slow but the earth is patient” Mick Malthouse
the line  is an ancient Buddhist proverb, made up for the 1983 Tom Selleck movie High Road to China.

“footballers are like sausages … you can fry them, grill them, bake them … they’re still sausages”        – yabby jeans

yogi bera

No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.



A young man was an earnest seeker after the meaning of life.

He decided to consult the wisest person on the earth and traveled to Tibet to see the Dalai Lama. After a long and arduous journey through the snow fighting off Yeti’s he found the wise man in a temple.

I see you are a  true  seeker , my son , he said but I am afraid that  we have not yet found the answer. I can help you in your search by directing you to someone else who may know. The great Aztec priest in Machu Picchu.

He  set  off again across the oceans and climbed the Andes fighting off hordes of angry Llamas until he reached the priest of the holy temple. “We too have not found the answer despite the centuries”  he said. “There is one wiser though. Someone who gave me the direction I was seeking when I was a young man too. A hermit who lives in a cave  in the middle of Antarctica.”

1. Cheered up by this prospect the young man set off for Antarctica. Battling his way through hordes of polar bears he at last came to an icy cave with a hermit inside and asked his question.

The Direction is south , young man. The meaning of life is to have a working compass.  This is the North pole.

2  Cheered up by this prospect the young man set off for Antarctica. Battling his way through hordes of penguins he at last came to the  icy cave with the  hermit inside and asked his question.

The Hermit looked at him, shook his head and said the direction you seek is  North.


500 club

500 Card Game Course
A brief introduction.
500 is a card game suitable for 3, 4 or 5 players. It has been around for over a hundred years because it is easy to play and very enjoyable after one learns the basic rules.
It has elements of Bridge and Euchre in it but is unique in having a kitty that allows imagination and bluffing as well as card skill to dictate outcomes.
It is fun to play with unpredictable outcomes and surprises and an ability to choose to win or lose tricks.
The course will be over 12 weeks.
Each teaching session will be brief, 15 minutes, and to the point.
The first lesson will cover the basic rules and two practice hands.
Every session will then have an hour of actual play with supervision as required.
Small points to note.
The teacher is always right unless she/he is wrong.
There are many local rule variations and these can be adapted or adopted if desired.
I hope that there will be experienced players as well as beginners.
People who know how to play should encourage and assist those who are learning.
Remember outcomes in this game can be due to both good luck and skill.
The course will run for 12 weeks on Tuesday afternoons.
There may hopefully be some cross pollination with dedicated card players.
At the end of the course I would hope that a core of players might be happy to continue on a fortnightly basis or form a club if they so desire.
Alternatively we may just run monthly sessions for the rest of the year if requested. 500 is a game that does not need a club once you have established how to play. It is ideal for quiet times with friends on holiday, friends at home and in families, as well as a club setting.
The rules are available on the internet and in packs of 500 cards. Generally the best game of 500 is with a standard deck of cards which does not include the rules. Tactics are a different dimension. Bidding has certain formalities. Misere is a special subclass of 500 play.
So come along and learn the rules, play some games and develop a new life skill as well as interacting with other U3A members in a friendly setting that you might otherwise not have met.
H Lee. ex member Monash University 500 Club 1970.




ATTP wipeouts

angech says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
December 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm

“we tend to focus more on what we think will probably happen and not enough on what might happen. Even though what will probably happen could be pretty severe, the low-probability, high-impact outcomes carry the greatest risk. So, I do think we should be talking more about the potential worst-case scenarios.
A lot of what is suggested about tipping points is quite speculative; it’s very difficult to quantify the actual likelihood of them being triggered. Also some (like ice sheet retreat) might still be quite slow and may not even be truly irreversible.”

Perhaps if we compare what we do with diagnosing patients and what scientists do with diagnosing climate science it might offer another perspective.
The first comment is that looking for low probability high risk diagnoses is definitely not the way things are done.
Talking about them is interesting but practically they are of little value.
Concentrating on them, worst case scenarios is bad for two reasons.
Missing the obvious diagnosis and treatment is one.
Second is that it can be very upsetting to the patient and their family to be scared about things that are very unlikely to happen.
Medico legally we can see this when you sign a consent to an operation.
Worst case scenarios have to be brought to the attention of the patient.
When done in a one size fits all manner people can become so scared that they do not go through with an operation they desperately need.
angech says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
December 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Tipping points and turning points, what is so hard? Apart from watching people turn themselves into pretzels being politically correct.
A tipping point is when one condition suddenly changes into another.
Importantly it does not have to be irreversible.
IPCC describes it as an event “The tipping point event may be irreversible.”
The best example would be actually tipping a glass of water onto the floor or breaking an egg.
The trouble with using analogies is that the are not actually the object under discussion and it may behave quite differently in other ways than the example.
Droughts, Floods, Racing and the Stockmarket.
“Its simple. sometimes we know things by modelling.”
Same problem.
The tipping points are “quite speculative”.
We do know after the event but are generally clueless before, despite having a lot of information.




angech says:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Willard says:
Let me put forward one single challenge:
1) Define just WTF you are talking about.
Don’t come back before you do-

No fair,
On three grounds.
You let Willis comment first without preconditions.
You then let people attack him ad hom incessantly.
Then you arbitrarily ban him for asking you, first, to 1) Define just WTF you are talking about.

While them that make the rules, enforces them, it leaves a lot of commentators on this site feeling slightly disgusted.


“and a pity that we’re relying on school children, rather than stepping forward ourselves”
Always a problem with playing this card.
Usually means rational argument has failed.

“I partly agree with the general suggestions that climate scientists shouldn’t be seen as having the superior expertise”.
It is the nexus between the scientist and his expertise versus the committed activist who may well be a scientist, but in seeking activism damages his cause.
This is not a comment against taking action and being committed to it, It is a comment against taking action without questioning the facts along the way.
There is a big difference, a gap in credibility and the public see this.

There is a difference between a message,
” the real message that climate crisis cannot be taken lightly,”
and scaring people to death
” and is urgently and ultimately a most horrifying question of life and death.”

We live in a world of scams and fake news. Every headline exaggerates and scares people. The scarier it is the less likely it is to be true. Angech’s law, though I am sure it is a lot older than today.
Urgently, ultimately, a matter of life and death and my favourite, unprecedented. When Joe Public sees this attitude and these words he knows he is being taken for a ride.

As I see it, no disrespect intended, nearly everyone who comments here is an activist first, even if only by a whisker and a scientist second.
Does anyone value stepping back a little and taking a more measured approach to the issues?
Bringing out their inner scientist.
“Looking at the Sun” is the title of a book by an American Psychologist describing our hidden fears of death. Perhaps a read of it would give some insight into why motivating people through fear is a bad though powerful argument,