The secrets behind money:
The secrets behind the euro:
The secrets behind democracies:
The secrets behind the war in Iraq:
The secrets behind the war in Afghanistan:
The secrets behind the accusations against Iran:
Farewell to growth:
Facts and lies about the climate:
Do you want to know who publishes the fool's articles?
11 Septiembre 2001
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Zé Povinho no século XXI
Since 2006 the sites here above have published one or more of the court fool's articles. Some seem to be out of reach today, either because these websites or pages do not exist anymore, or because of other causes. To compliment them, I have chosen to keep them in the list.
Rudo de Ruijter
Special thanks to:
Christine, Corinne, Francisco, Evelyne, Françoise, Gaël, Peter, Ingrid, Ivan, Krister, Jorge, Marie Carmen, Ruurd, Sabine, Lisa, Sarah, Valérie & Anonymous...
Acknowledgements for translations:
Come Don Chisciotte
Ermanno di Miceli
Manuel Valente Lopes
Traducteur sans frontière
Do you want to translate too?
Information stops at the linguistic borders. All translations on this site have been made by volunteers. If you speak more than one language, please consider translating an article too. Thank you in advance in the name of the thousands of people who will be able to read your translation.
Rudo de Ruijter
Facts and lies about the climate (2)
by Rudo de Ruijter,
With special thanks to climatologist Professor Patrick Tyson
part 2. The activity of the Sun
Variations of the Sun's activity
In 1843 Samuel Heinrich Schwabe discovered a cycle of approximately eleven years in the Sun’s activity. The number of sunspots is a proxy of this activity. The more spots on its surface, the more active the Sun is. Since 1978 the activity is measured by satellites. From the first forty years of these measurements we know, among others, that the average energy at the top of the atmosphere is 1366 Watt per m2, and rises and lowers by 0.5 Watt over the course of this eleven years cycle. 
The observation of sunspots only started after the invention of the telescope in 1605. In 1611, Galileo and others have drawn precise charts of sunspots at specific moments. A daily observation started in 1849.  In 1894 it stroke Edward Maunder, that the charts from the era of Galileo hardly had sunspots, compared to his own observations. It would last until 1976, before the work of Maunder got better known. The conclusion was drawn, that a decrease in the Sun’s activity had provoked the Little Ice Age. This is the period between 1430 and 1850, during which a decrease of the average temperatures had been noted. Between 1600 and 1700 mean temperatures were 2 degrees below normal. That may not be as cold as the name Little Ice age suggests. 
Since 1979 the history of solar activity can be traced back by counting cosmogenic isotopes, like Carbon-14, Beryllium-10 and Chlorine-36. These isotopes are produced in the upper atmosphere, when cosmic rays collide with atmospheric molecules. The produced number varies with solar activity. By counting them in sediments, organic material and ice cores, scientists reconstruct the history of solar activity. Today, scientists have a record back to about 9,000 BC.
Transformation into heat
The radiation we discussed so far is the radiation from the Sun on the Earth’ atmosphere. This radiation, in fact, can be considered as a collective noun for energy that moves in different wavelengths.
The hotter the point of origin, the more radiation is concentrated in shorter wavelengths. The colder the point of origin, the more radiation is concentrated in longer wavelengths. 
The Sun emits most radiation in the wavelengths around the visible light. (0.38 – 0.75 micrometer) with a peek in the green-yellow part. 
[illustration from ockhams-axe.com, 2010]
However, the total spectrum of wavelengths is a lot larger, than the graphic of the peek radiation suggests. From short to long, we can group them in Gamma rays (Y), Röntgen rays (X), ultra-violet rays (UV), visible light, infrared, microwaves, and radio waves. In particular the very short waves of less than 320 nanometers (0.000320 millimeter) are dangerous. That is to say, a part of the UV-rays, and all the X and Y rays. 
These extreme short wave rays have so much energy, that when they are absorbed by molecules of oxygen (O2), the latter separate into two atoms (O).
At the top of the atmosphere, above 200 km, there is so much extreme short wave radiation, that entire oxygen molecules can hardly be found.  Here the radiation causes the isolated oxygen atoms to ionize.  The atom absorbs radiation and emits one or more electrons. The increase in kinetic energy is measured as an increase in temperature.
The closer to the Earth, the more
positive and negative ions meet and form oxygen molecules again. At each
collision dangerous radiation is absorbed. By the higher concentration of atoms
and molecules closer to the Earth, this process repeats quicker all the time,
until, at about 80 km above the surface, the radiation with the shortest
wavelength has nearly disappeared. 
Then, there is still short wave radiation, in particular in the ultra violet part, for instance between 220 and 330 nanometers , with sufficient energy to strike oxygen molecules in two. The oxygen molecules (O2) then split up into two oxygen atoms (O). When such free atoms bump into oxygen molecules, they form a new molecule, ozone (O3). Ozone is very unstable and as soon as another free oxygen atom collides with it, it doesn’t form O4, but two ordinary oxygen molecules (O2) again. So, ozone is broken down as easily as it is created. 
The forming of ozone takes place, in particular, below a height of 80 km. Between 20 and 30 km altitude the density of the air is that high, that we can find an increased concentration of ozone. We call it the ozone layer. Don’t imagine too much about it: the average concentration of ozone in the atmosphere is only 3 molecules on 1 million molecules of air  and in the ozone layer this is 9 molecules on 1 million. 
Nevertheless, if you would superpose all the ozone molecules in the atmosphere, you get a layer of a few millimeters thick.  That is just enough to protect us from the UV-rays with wavelengths between 240 and 320 nanometers.  About rays with wavelengths between 290 and 320 nanometers we know they cause skin cancer. 
The importance of the ozone layer is publicly known only since 1971, in connection with a project to build a fleet of supersonic planes. They would fly much closer to the ozone layer, where the air resistance is lower. According to scientists the emission of hydroxide would cause the destruction of the ozone layer. In 1974 knowledge came about chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). They were used increasingly massively during the last century in refrigerators, air conditioners, spray containers and industrial cleaning. The CFC turned out to be broken down by UV-radiation. From this arise chlorine atoms, which are powerful catalysts. One single chlorine atom can break down tens of thousands of ozone molecules in sequence. 
The project for the supersonic planes was halted and CFCs were banned.  This ban only started in 1987. Because of the interests of the industries it came into effect very slowly. Some replacements turned out to break down ozone too.  Still nowadays the interdiction has a lot of exceptions. 
Since 1956 measurements of ozone have been made from the ground in Antarctica. Since the mid 60ties continued measurements are made on several places around the world. Since 1978 they have also been executed by satellite. 
Ozone appears to be scarce above Antarctica. Here in 1981 a temporary hole appeared, an area with a strongly reduced concentration of ozone.  This phenomenon repeats each year between August and December. Three years later, the little hole had grown to the size of the entire Antarctic continent. 
Since 1985 publications appear about it and it gets world wide attention.  In 1998 the hole had increased to twice the size of Antarctica. In 2008, after some ups and downs, the size was back as it was in 1998.  Between 1970 and 1995 the concentration of chlorine in the atmosphere has tripled. Since then, it has stabilized on this level. 
According to scientists of the British Antarctic Survey, the hole appears above Antarctica, because during the polar night, the temperatures in the stratosphere above (that is to say, between 10 and 80 km altitude) descend to -80o Celsius. At these temperatures ice crystals speed up the chemical reactions. 
At some volcanic eruptions very fine ashes are pushed as high as 20 km, like at El Chichòn in Mexico in 1982 and the Pinatubo on the Philippines in 1991.  These ashes reflect part of the incoming Sun radiation, but are also warmed up by the longer wave radiation, as well as from the Earth’ surface as from the atmosphere and the Sun. This leads to a warming of the stratosphere (+ 4o C). The CFCs react chemically with the sulphurous ashes, speeding up the breaking down of ozone.
Because, after a few years, the ashes have disappeared from the stratosphere, the influence of such volcano eruptions is considered to be temporary. 
It will take a long time, before the chlorine and other chemical compounds will have disappeared from the stratosphere. There is no rain there that would bring them back to the Earth’ surface again.
The ozone hole now regularly covers Australia and New Zealand. Here we find the highest percentage of skin cancer in the world.  Above the rest of the world, the thickness of the ozone layer is changing. Europe too, often has dangerous UV-radiation. On the Belgian TV, in the weather forecast, they warn when UV-radiation is high. In the Netherlands they never or hardly never tell. In the mid 90ties I once asked why this was so. Off the record they told me, they were not allowed. Apparently there are interests, which are higher than the health of the public.
Maybe it is useful to dwell on the fact, that the ozone is about the protection against a tiny little bit of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum.  Each year, we produce millions of tons of chemicals and most of them lead to a change in the composition of our atmosphere. New chemicals are invented all the time. The commercial interests are high and, nowadays, most scientists are paid by enterprises. Already since 40 years, we don't hear that much anymore about the dangers of chemicals in the atmosphere.
Radiation that doesn't reach the surface
From measurements, on one hand from satellites, on the other hand from the Earth’ surface, it appears that important parts of the radiation spectrum are stopped by our atmosphere.
1 m = 1.000 millimeters = 1.000.000 micrometers = 1.000.000.000 nanometers 
This also keeps a lot of heat outside. In particular at hundreds of kilometers of height, where extreme short waves collide with molecules and atoms, temperatures can be as high as 1500o Celsius.  Closer to the Earth’ surface, there are layers of air with much less activity, like at between 11 and 20 km altitude, where temperatures are -40o Celsius most of the time. 
The lower 10 kilometers (33,000 ft)
Most of the air is concentrated in the lower 10 km, the troposphere. Here we find our well known weather conditions with wind, clouds and precipitation. The 10 km mark is simply a very rough average. The troposphere rises to about 17 km in the tropics, and sinks to 7 km or less at the poles. Cirrus clouds are often found above 10 km and the top of cumulonimbus clouds can reach an altitude of 20 km or even higher. 
Regularly more than half of the Earth is covered by clouds. Clouds reflect a part of the radiation, absorb a part and let through a part. In general, the thicker the cloud, the more it reflects.
In theory clouds should absorb at the maximum 20% of the radiation from above. Practically, it turns out it can be double. The difference comes from tiny little parts of dust in the clouds. 
Clouds absorb both shortwave and longwave radiation from the Sun and longwave radiation from the Earth. This radiant energy is transformed into kinetic energy and results in an increase in cloud temperatures. Clouds radiate longwave energy in their turn.
Of the radiation, that reaches the troposphere, in average about half reaches the Earth’ surface. According to the type of surface, more or less of it is reflected. On fresh snow this is 90%, on water it varies from 8 to 100% depending if the Sun is straight above it or is near the horizon.  Dry desert sand reflects about 37%, while the tropical rainforest reflects 13%. Asphalt reflects the less: about 4%. In average about 30% of all radiation on the Earth’ surface would be reflected. 
Not all reflected radiation disappears in space again. Here too goes, that water droplets, water vapor and other molecules partly absorb these rays and transform them into warmth. Most of the heat would be produced in the air. Clouds normally have a moderating effect on the heat production, because of the reflection. They also have a moderating effect on the heat transfer to space. When it is cloudy at night, the Earth’s surface loses less (net) heat.
Average radiation 340 Watt/m2
Earlier, I mentioned that the radiation at the top of the atmosphere is 1366 kilowatts per square meter. This is measured in the cross section of the beam.
At the surface, this radiation is spread on a sphere. The formula to calculate the surface of the section is Pi*r2. The formula for the surface of a sphere is 4* Pi*r2. So the energy that comes through the cross section of the beam is spread, during the day, over a surface which is four times as big. This means, the average incoming radiation at the surface is ¼ of 1366 kW/m2. Most often this is rounded to 340 kW/m2.
Although these 1366 kW/m2 are often mentioned as a constant, this number varies with the distance of the Earth to the Sun and the mentioned solar activity. We have also seen, that, for instance by reflection on clouds, not all incoming radiation makes its way to the Earth’ surface. The theoretical average is never reached.
The intensity of the direct radiation strongly depends on the angle between the Sun and the Earth’ surface. When the Sun is straight above the equator, the intensity is the highest there. Then, at 60o latitude a same beam strikes a surface that is twice as large. The intensity is only half.
At the poles, when the Sun is at the horizon, the intensity on the surface is very slight.
The maximum quantity of radiation per day varies with the length of the days and the location between the equator and the poles. 
In the graphic you may notice that at the North Pole, around June 21, more radiation strikes the surface in 24 hours than at the equator.
Diffuse radiation or squattering
By water droplets, ice crystals, pollen, dust, smoke and other particles, part of the radiation is diffused. The amount of diffusion depends on the distance that the beam travels through the atmosphere and the quantity of dust, particles and water droplets in the air. So, the total radiance that reaches a particular location consists in part of direct radiation (with forming of shadows), and in part of diffuse radiation. 
Albedo (literally “whiteness”) is the degree to which a surface reflects sunlight. The whiter and more polished a surface, the more it reflects. Snow and ice reflect nearly all sunlight, and that is why it doesn’t get warm easily at the poles. This way, the ice cap on Greenland is over 12,000 years old. 
The albedo of most surfaces varies with wavelengths. That is why they have colour (wavelengths of reflected light), when they reflect visible light. Although we cannot see it, it also happens with infrared rays.
The word albedo is also used for the average reflection of an object. Sometimes it is expressed as a percentage compared to a surface with ideal reflection (geometric albedo) and at other times as a percentage compared to the incoming radiation (bond albedo). According to Kaufmann the Earth has a geometric albedo of 39%. According to de Pater & Lissauer the geometric albedo is 36.7% and the bond albedo 29%.  This reflection strongly depends on cloud cover and can vary as much as 5% daily. 
[illustration courtesy Wiki-commons]
Because albedo plays a big role in today’s theories about climate change, I will come back to it in the third part of this study: "CO2 scare, claims and fraud".
Absorption and emission
The radiation that is left over finally warms up the Earth’ surface (land and sea). Three quarters of the Earth’ surface consists of seas or is wet. And of all energy, taken up by the atmosphere, 68% is taken up by water in one of its phases (ice, liquid water, water vapor.)
Water is an excellent medium for heat absorption. When the Sun is straight above the surface, sea water only reflects 2%. To heat up 1 gram of water by 1o Celsius 1 calorie (4.1813 Joule) of heat is required. That is several times more heat than for other substances. For instance five times as much as for sand, concrete, asphalt, glass or granite.  To put it otherwise, at a raise in temperature of 1o, water takes up much more heat than another substance.
Further more, most water is very transparent and beams can penetrate deeply. Extremely clear water, like the “Black Current” near Japan, lets still penetrate 10% of the sun light at a depth of 90 meters. On the contrary, seas in coastal areas are often troubled and can stop the light within two meters.  In that case, the sunlight is transformed into heat very close to the surface.
All substances have their own absorption spectrum. These are the wavelengths of radiation they can absorb. Beams that are not of the correct wavelength pass along or go through these substances. (Like radio waves go through us.) Absorbed radiation is transformed into vibrations, which can be measured as an increase in temperature. Each substance emits heat. The quantity of heat emitted (per unit of time and unit of surface) depends on the temperature and increases by the 4th power of the temperature, when you express it in degrees Kelvin. (0o Kelvin = -273.15o Celsius.) This means, for instance, that a surface at 30o Celsius emits 42% more heat than at 0o Celsius. The emission takes place in the infrared range. In general it goes, that the lower the temperature, the longer the wavelength.
Most heat is produced where the Sun is straight above the surface. So, this is always somewhere between 23,5o Northern Latitude en 23,5o Southern Latitude. By air and water currents a lot of this heat is spread over the Earth. According to the Max Planck Institute 50% of this heat transfer is by ocean currents.  According to UCAR, an institution in the US, most heat is transported by air. On the Northern hemisphere it accounts for 78% of it and on the Southern hemisphere for 92%. The total amount of transported heat is comparable with the production of five million power stations of a 1000 Megawatt each. 
The principle of the displacement of air is based on the fact, that air, when heated, expands and thus becomes lighter. At the ground we measure a lower pressure then. When, from elsewhere, colder air can flow in, it will flow along the surface towards the lower pressure and the lighter air will rise. Higher up, the rising air is compressed. Finally it will flow away over less heated air.
In an often presented idealized scheme, there are three zones on each hemisphere. Along the surface, air flows from 30 degrees latitude towards the equator and also from 30 degrees towards 60 degrees latitude. Another flow goes from the poles to 60 degrees. High in the troposphere the air flows back to the latitude where it came from. While air flows from one latitude to another, the Earth beneath it is turning. For an observer on the ground the wind seems to deviate. This is called the Coriolis effect.
The above is just an old theoretical model that might have fit for a nice polished globe with the same type of surface everywhere. Of course, the reality is much different. There are hills and mountains that deviate the winds. There are differences in heating above water, deserts, forests and cities. There are numerous winds, that occur in specific circumstances, like the Chinook in the Rocky Mountains, the Zonda in the Argentinian Andes, the Gibli in Lybia, the Mistral and Tramontane in the South of France, and the still mysterious El Niño in the Pacific.
Today we have satellite images and computers, fed with data from weather stations around the world. From past weather conditions we can calculate averages and draw much more realistic models. 
Vaporization and condensation
Air currents are not only transporters of heat, but also of all the fresh water, that enables life on Earth. Fresh water comes about above oceans and seas, when water vaporizes, leaving behind most of the salt.
Vaporization is the process in which water changes into a gas, water vapor. At sea level 1 litre water expands into more than 1,300 litre of water vapor. So, an extra volume comes about. Water vapor is lighter than air. Air mixed with water vapor rises when in contact with dry air. The warmer the air, the more vapor it can contain. At 0o Celsius this is less than 1%, at 22o it is 2% and at 30o the percentage increases to 3%. In tropical forests it can increase to 10%. The cleaner the air, the higher the percentages can get. The reason of this is that, to condensate again, water vapor is very sensible to the presence of small particles in the atmosphere to fix itself on. The dirtier the air, the easier water vapor can condensate. (In the industrial Ruhr area in Germany, you have the best chances for rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday the air is clean again, and that is good for “schönes Wetter”.) At the condensation the extra volume disappears again. When clouds form, and water vapor change into tiny droplets and ice crystals, large currents of air develop towards the basis of the cloud.
In the atmosphere water exists in all its phases, as invisible water vapor, as droplets and ice crystals. In the air, most of the time, these phases exist next to each other and water continually goes from one phase into another. A tiny droplet generally exists only a few minutes, before it reverts to water vapor again.
Transitions from ice to liquid and from liquid to vapor demand energy to go from a more solid to a looser structure. This is many times more energy, than for ordinary heating.
1 gram of ice of -10o Celsius demands 2.05 Joule to get 1o warmer.
1 gram of ice of 0o Celsius demands 334 Joule to change into water of 0o Celsius.
1 gram of water of 25o Celsius demands 4.18 Joule to get 1o warmer.
1 gram of water of 100o Celsius demands 2260 Joule to change into water vapor of 100o Celsius.
Next to these processes there is also vaporization from ice and from water of any temperature.
Before, the energy needed for the phase change, for instance from water into water vapor, was called latent heat. In fact it was a chimera that implied that the water vapor would have absorbed this energy, although it could not be measured. This chimera was necessary, because otherwise, the law of the conservation of energy would not fit anymore. Energy would have gone lost.
According to today’s views the energy is spent on making the bonds between the molecules looser. The reciprocal attraction force has to be overcome. Molecules collide billions of times per second and in each volume there are many different speeds in play. Only the molecules with the highest speed can succeed to evade from the water surface. Consequently the average temperature of the molecules that remain behind becomes lower.
At the inverse process, condensation, the coldest molecules (with the least energy) are caught by the attraction force of a particle or water droplet. The molecules with more energy remain in the air, and as the colder molecules fall off the average temperature of the remaining water vapor rises. 
As said, vaporization and condensation are the processes that enable life on Earth. Our fresh water falls from heaven. According to some publications the total quantity of water droplets, ice crystals and water vapor would equal a layer of 2.5 cm at the surface. We have, in average, about one meter of precipitation. So this would mean a recycling factor of 40 times a year. At each cycle water vaporizes from the surface, rises as vapor, often to high altitudes, and is transported until it finally condensates at a location, where the temperature is much cooler. It is a permanent heat pump. At a rough estimation this contributes in the heat transport for about 3 watt per square meter. 
According to measurements the rainfall has increased by more than 2% between 1900 and 1980, above land a bit more than above sea. Although these measurements have not been sufficient to be sure, that it was this way everywhere on Earth, we still can see it as a tendency. Irrigation in agriculture has tremendously increased during the last two centuries, causing an increase in vaporization. The increase of water vapor in the atmosphere might well have a much bigger impact on global warming, than the increase in CO2. There is more than 25 times more water vapor than CO2!  We will come back to it in the article "CO2, scare, claims and fraud..."
Currents in the oceans transport heat from the equator to higher latitudes. The warm currents are near the surface, while cooled water flows back to the equator in deeper currents.
If you would search for pictures of “ocean currents” on Google, you would soon notice, that there is very little agreement among the world maps that show these currents. The warm currents are not embedded like rivers and change course regularly (and probably permanently.) The under currents are sometimes referred to as submarine rivers. They may be more or less bound to the relief of the sea bottom. Research with robots has started only recently.
The Conveyor Belt
One of the best known currents, and for Europe the most important, is the Conveyor Belt, also called the Warm Gulf Stream. This is a current of about 90 km wide, with a speed of 2 m/sec, which brings heat from the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Florida across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Subsequently, the warming up of the air above it and the Westerly winds, spread this heat over Western Europe.
The sea ice, at the Northern extremity of the Atlantic Ocean, is the pump that keeps the Conveyor Belt going. This pump is based on the principle, that water is the heaviest at 4o Celsius. Because ocean water cools against the icebergs, water sinks to the bottom, making room for other water from the South. Without the cooling effect of the sea ice, it would take a very long time before the water descends to the sea bottom. Indeed, for this process the temperature should sink below that of the colder layers underneath it. The current would stagnate. Western Europe would cool down, while more hot water would stay around the equator.
Much of the ice in the Arctic Ocean develops in the relatively shallow part of the Bering Street, where water flows to the North Pole. The cold winds that blow over Alaska make the surface freeze and subsequently it blows the ice into the Arctic Ocean. 
Since 1953 the surface of this sea ice is monitored. Since 1969 there is a decreasing trend of 11.2 percent per decade. The refrigerator at the Bering Street makes less ice than melts. This 10-years trend hides important variations. In September 2007, suddenly, there was 1.29 million km2 (23%) less ice than the year before. In 2009 there was an increase again of 1.08 million km2. 
Of course, the surface doesn’t say everything, for the growth of the ice in 2009 consisted of thin ice of one season. Measurements of the total ice volume would be much more meaningful. For this, there are only rough estimates over many years that say that the ice under water has decreased by 1.30 meter, between the 1950s and the 90s. 
The melting of the ice has dramatical consequences for the pump. In 2005 scientists discovered that the speed of the Conveyor Belt, compared to the last measurement 12 years before, had decreased by 30%. 
The slowing down of the Conveyor Belt not only has consequences for the climate, but also for the quantity of oxygen rich water, that is conveyed to the bottom of the ocean. It greatly determines the biological equilibrium and the fish stock.
Sources & references:
 http://science.jrank.org/pages/3679/ Ion-Ionization.html#ixzz0ht7uPuaW , see photo ionization
 http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/ selectMap? lang=e&type1=du&day1=24& month1=09&year1=1982& howmany1=1& interval1=1&intervalunit1=d& hem1=s& type2=no&day2=12& month2=03&year2=2010& howmany2=1& interval2=1& intervalunit2=d& hem2=n& mapsize=50
[*] With special thanks to climatologist Professor Patrick Tyson, who has taken the time to explain all the key issues to me.
This study contains 3 parts:
part 2: The activity of the Sun
part 3: CO2 scare, claims and fraud...
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