Slaying the Slayers with the Alabama Two-Step

March 14th, 2012 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

last edited for clarity 11:05 CDT 3/14/2012

A recent article by S. Fred Singer in American Thinker entitled Climate Deniers are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name has caused a resurgence of attacks against those of us who believe that the Earth does indeed have a “greenhouse effect” which makes the Earth’s surface warmer than it would otherwise be.

As a result of Fred’s article, angry E-mails have been flying like arrows, and belligerent blog posts have littered the landscape. (Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I enjoyed writing it.)

In the American Thinker article, Fred has taken the tack that the “denier” label (which left-leaning folk seem to love calling us) should be applied to those who deny the so-called greenhouse effect (which states that infrared absorbing gases in the atmosphere perform a surface-warming function) and should not be applied to those of us who are skeptical of how much humans have warmed the climate system by slightly enhancing the natural greenhouse effect with more carbon dioxide from burning of carbon based fuels. The anti-greenhouse crowd’s bible seems to be the book, Slaying the Sky Dragon – Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.

The arguments between us and the anti-greenhouse advocates often become technical and devolve into disputes over the 1st or 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, whether photons really exist, whether a carbon dioxide molecule which absorbs IR energy immediately releases it again, whether outer space is an ‘insulator’, etc. Lay people quickly become overwhelmed, and even some of us technical types end up feeling ill-equipped to argue outside our areas of expertise.

I believe the fact that infrared-absorbing gases warm the surface and lower atmosphere can be easily demonstrated with 2 simple steps. The first step is in the realm of everyone’s daily experience. The second step is based upon satellite measurements of the Earth giving off infrared energy, measurements which were first made over 40 years ago.

The Alabama Two-Step

STEP 1:
Temperature is determined by rates of energy gain and energy loss. It does not matter whether we are talking about the human body, a car engine, a pot of water on the stove, or the climate system. The temperature (and whether it is rising or falling) is determined by the rates of energy gain and energy loss. In the case of the climate system, the Earth receives energy from the sun (primarily at visible wavelengths of light), and loses energy to outer space (primarily at infrared wavelengths). A temperature rise can occur either from (1) increasing the rate of energy gain, or (2) decreasing the rate of energy loss. The greenhouse effect has to do with the 2nd of these possibilities.

STEP 2:
Infrared absorbing gases reduce the rate at which the Earth loses infrared energy to space. Satellite measurements of the rate at which the Earth loses infrared energy to space have been made as early as the 1970′s, from the NASA Nimbus 4 spacecraft. The following plot shows the IR intensity (vertical axis) as a function of IR wavelength (horizontal axis). The area under the jagged curve is proportional to the rate of energy loss to space. Note that at the wavelengths where water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone absorb and emit IR energy, the rate of energy loss by the Earth is reduced.

Now, lets take Steps 1 and 2 together: If you add more of these “greenhouse gases” and nothing else changes then the rate at which the Earth, as a whole, loses energy to space is reduced. This must lead to a warming tendency, at least at the surface and lower atmosphere (the upper atmosphere will actually experience a cooling effect).

If your head is already exploding at this point, let’s use the (admittedly imperfect) analogy of a thermal IR image of a house at night, which shows how the windows and poorly insulated parts of a house are points of greater IR energy loss:

When you add insulation to your house, you reduce the rate of energy loss in the winter, which will raise the temperature inside the house (all other things being the same), while at the same time reducing the temperature of the exterior of the house. Similarly, greenhouse gases provide “radiative insulation” to the climate system, raising the temperature of the surface and lower atmosphere, while lowering the temperature of the middle and upper atmosphere.

The above analysis is, I believe, consistent with the views of MIT’s Dick Lindzen. It clearly demonstrates that IR absorbing gases (greenhouse gases) reduce the Earth’s ability to cool to outer space. No amount of obfuscation or strawman arguments in the comments section, below, will be able to get around this fact.

But HOW MUCH Warming?

The question of how much warming will result from adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is what we skeptics are skeptical of. The climate system is amazingly complex, and the IPCC position that elements within the climate system (especially clouds) will change in ways which amplify the resulting small warming tendency is highly questionable, to say the least. If the climate system instead acts to reduce the warming, then anthropogenic global warming (AGW) becomes for all practical purposes a non-issue.

This represents what I believe to be the simplest description of how greenhouse gases cause warming of the surface. It bypasses all of the esoteric discussions and instead deals only with observations, which I believe cannot be easily explained any other way:

FIRST, warming can be caused by a decrease in the rate of energy loss by the climate system (or any other system, for that matter).

SECOND, IR absorbing gases are observed from satellites to reduce the rate of energy loss to space.

THEREFORE, adding more IR absorbing gases will cause a warming tendency.

QED.

Again I emphasize, however, the above simple argument is necessarily true only to the extent that all other elements of the climate system remain the same, which they will not. These other changes are called ‘feedbacks’, and they can either make or break theories of global warming and associated climate change.

Regarding the Inevitable Questions…

1. Yes, the CO2 absorption bands are already mostly saturated…but the wings of those bands are not, as is evident in the above graph of satellite measurements. This saturation effect partly explains why the approximate 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since pre-industrial times has resulted in only a 1% decrease in the rate of IR loss by the Earth to space (theoretically calculated). This is already accounted for in the climate models used by the IPCC.

2. Yes, convection is indeed a major mechanism of heat loss from the Earth’s surface. It greatly reduces the surface temperature of the Earth (and, by energy conservation, greatly increases the temperature of the middle and upper troposphere). And my view is that convective effects are what will cause feedbacks to minimize surface warming from CO2 increases. Climate models already contain convection…if they didn’t the modeled surface temperature of the Earth would average around 140 deg. F.

The global warming narrative advanced by the IPCC involves a chain of physical processes which must all be true in order for their conclusions to be true. The existence of the greenhouse effect is, in my view, one of the stronger links in the chain. Feedbacks are the weakest link.


650 Responses to “Slaying the Slayers with the Alabama Two-Step”

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  1. Denis Rus says:

    Dr. Spencer

    In addition to the energy containment effect of CO2 in the lower atmosphere, does it not also intercept a portion of the incoming solar radiation and “reflect” some back to space – before it gets to the surface? If so, would that not lead to some sort of balance between energy rejection in the upper atmosphere and energy containment in the lower as CO2 increases?

    Care to comment?

    • yes, a portion of the incoming solar is in the infrared, a small portion of which is absorbed by CO2. This effect is small, and is (as I understand) included in some climate models, but not in others.

    • Frank says:

      Denis: The easiest way to avoid the problem you describe is to define a GHG as a molecule that interferes more with outgoing LWR than it does with incoming SWR. You might say that oxygen is an “anti-GHG” because it absorbs more incoming SWR (mostly in the stratosphere) and very little outgoing LWR.

  2. Mac says:

    “…angry E-mails have been flying like arrows, and belligerent blog posts have littered the landscape.”

    “No amount of obfuscation or strawman arguments in the comments section, below, will be able to get around this fact.”

    Doc, you’re beautiful, we love ya.

  3. Mark Buehner says:

    Always interesting to see people try to explain away the existence of something that clearly exists- ie, a greenhouse (so its not just an arbitrary name!). That being said, most skeptics have spent a lot of time and ink explaining that the term ‘denier’ is so loaded it should not be tossed about in polite company (at least without reaching a holocaust level threshold of moral importance). Its idiotic to then turn it to- ‘stop calling us deniers, its a repugnant term designed to polarize and stigmatize and ultimately delegitimize the conversation. Besides its these guys over here that are the deniers.’

    • yes, I agree, Mark. I would not have called the Slayers deniers, that was Fred’s choice.

      Although I do indeed “deny” some of what the IPCC maintains to be true. So, maybe we are all deniers. ;)

  4. Denis

    CO2 has an ability to absorb and re-emit certain frequencies mainly in the infrared band.

    Most downwelling solar radiation is in the visible light part of the spectrum (called short wave radiation or SWR), and CO2 is essentially transparent to this downwelling SWR.

    So that radiation, unimpeded, hits the surface of the Earth, warming the surface, which in turn causes upwelling infrared radiation (long wave radiation), some of which _is_ trapped by CO2, (as well as water vapor and other greenhouse gases).

    There is therefore an asymmetry in how CO2 impacts upwelling infrared radiation versus downwelling solar radiation.

  5. I’m under the impression that in the troposphere convection is so overwhelming, radiative effects become irrelevant at least in first approximation. That’s why a partially overcast sky doesn’t become an oven. Situation is obviously radically different if we take the atmosphere as a whole instead.

    Could Dr Roy or anybody else comment on this matter please.

    • Frank says:

      Maurizio: An overcast sky can’t warm the surface of the earth via IR radiation, if the clouds are colder than the surface. Even though there is two-way flux of radiation, the net flux is always from hot to cold. With the temperature of the atmosphere falling at an average of 6.5 degK/km of altitude, there is little chance that clouds on a partially sunny day will be warmer than the surface. Remember both the clear sky and clouds are emitting DLR towards the surface of the earth. There is so much water vapor and carbon dioxide in the lower troposphere, that most of the DLR photons originate within 1 km of the surface. So the clear sky is a relatively warm source of DLR. (Clouds do have a higher emissivity than the atmosphere, so clouds emit more photons than the atmosphere when they are at the same temperature.)

  6. I agree, in considerable detail, with all of Dr. Spencer’s comments above, and have been advancing a very similar point of view on WUWT. It is (in my fairly well-educated opinion) silly to “deny” that the GHE exists and is a proximate cause for the Earth’s mean temperature being higher than the theoretical greybody temperature for its given insolation. The top of atmosphere IR spectroscopy is for all intents and purposes a direct photograph of the GHE in action, and seeing is, or should be, believing. It is difficult to imagine more direct evidence for the phenomena than the direct observation of reduced radiation (radiation from colder temperature GHGs in the upper atmosphere) in certain spectral bands.

    I have also had the chance to look at the physics of many of the “alternative” theories that are posted to account for the warming, and most of them are sheer nonsense, in violation of things like the second law or zeroth law of thermodynamics. I am always happy to look at alternative explanations for anything, but in the end those explanations need to be physically plausible, not in direct contradiction of well-known laws of nature, and supported by empirical evidence direct and indirect. So far there simply isn’t any credible alternative explanation for most of the warming observed aside from the directly observable GHE.

    Where the CAGW “warmists” get it wrong — or at least are far from having proven that they have it right — is in the feedbacks and the modulation of feedbacks via external drivers (e.g. the state of the Sun) and internal non-Markovian state (e.g. the phases of major decadal oscillations). Specifically, they neglect the former altogether in spite of considerable empirical evidence that it is the most important contribution to the climate thermal anomalies observed compared to some imagined “ideal temperature”, and fail to recognize that the latter also contributes to long term oscillatory trends that can heterodyne and hence be amplified to (again) cause considerable natural variation of global temperatures quite independent of atmospheric CO_2.

    rgb

  7. Ken Coffman says:

    I think Dr. Spencer is a national resource and is certainly entitled to his opinion. He’s right about many things, but not everything. The real greenhouse gases are Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon. These atmospheric gases (let’s call them 1,000,000 PPM, close enough, right?) which have a temperature, don’t radiate much at IR wavelengths. However, they couple their energy to water vapor and CO2, which resonate and radiate at certain IR wavelengths.
    Up to a certain altitude, convection dominates the energy flow. Would an added CO2 molecule enhance convection or retard it? And, guess what? At the altitudes where radiation dominates energy flow over convection, then who cares? The air is cold and thin and can’t do much…except in the mind of an academic climatologist who thinks radiation from cold, thin substances can work warming miracles at the Earth’s surface.
    Radiation can be a tough thing to grasp, but the operation is easy to visualize. Conduction, convection and radiation always work in the same direction. If you’re puzzled by an overall effect, then imagine a thermally conductive channel between point A and point B. Whatever conduction does, that’s what radiation will do. Much more weakly and more slowly, sure, but always in the same direction. Don’t believe it? That’s fine with me.

    • Ken Coffman says:

      It’s fun to think about the 33C average that “greenhouse” gases supposedly contribute to the Earth’s surface temperature. Since its an average, then it must have a range and a distribution. What is the range? Plus or minus 10%, 20% or 100%? What is the distribution? Is it Gaussian? Does it depend on latitude? Is it the same at the poles and the equator?
      To simplify this, I have a policy: if a thing can’t be measured, then it does not exist. This saves a lot of time when it comes to evaluating the claims of astrologers, people who bend spoons with mind power and academic climatologists. You don’t need it, but you have my permission to disagree.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Radition is dominant mode of land surface heat loss. Over 90% in a desert where there’s very little evaporation. Evaporationis the dominant form of heat loss for the ocean. In both cases conduction is the least effective which is some other means is greater. I think you’re confusing conduction between two highly conductive bits of matter at different temperatures. Rocks aren’t particularly good conductors but air is a very poor one and the conductive transfer is limited by the poorer conductor just like flow through a pipe is limited by the narrowest part or a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

      This is also why GHGs don’t raise the equilibrium temperatyure of the ocean significantly. Evaporation is the dominant form of heat loss over the ocean. Restricting radiative heat loss simply results in more evaporative loss because that is the path of least resistance to start with. Over dry land it can’t evaporate faster in response to restriction of radiative heat loss. Equilibrium temperature instead rises in response which raises the rate of both conductive and radiative heat loss through increasing the temperature differential between the heat sink and the heat source.

      It’s really fairly simple physics but simple starts with understanding the laws of thermodynamics which the gravity GHE pundits fail to do and that failing is that thermal energy strictly includes gravitational energy so if you are measuring for thermal equilibrium in an isothermal atomosphere you’re going to need two instruments to do it – a thermometer AND an altimeter.

  8. Mac says:

    ……. but is the atmosphere trapping heat and the oceans storing it according to the AGW hypothesis? The answer to both is “No!”, we seem to have a lot of missing heat.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the planet has warmed, the physics is bang on, the instruments have all been calibrated, but on a planetary scale we can’t determine the scale or magnitude of AGW.

    In Summary:

    GW – is real.

    AGW – we are still stuck in the lab on this one.

    cAGW – seems implausible.

  9. Ric Werme says:

    > Lay people quickly become overwhelmed, and even some of us
    > technical types end up feeling ill-equipped to argue outside
    > our areas of expertise.

    Whew. I got into a discussion about all this at WUWT and came away pretty certain I was right in my claim that, well, let’s not go there. After that I discovered the tie-in to the slayers and their book, and that some of the authors are people I respect.

    I’m a software engineer, not a climate scientist. (William Connelley claims I don’t understand basic physics, I never realized IR absorption spectra should have been covered in my first physics class in high school.) However, I do wear my “Jack of all trades, master of none” badge proudly and point to it as a reason intelligent lay people are worthy of sharing the table. I get the sense that the masters may have a lesser understanding of some things where my understanding is inadequate. At least, that’s the only way I can fit the slayers book into my world view.

    And I still think a photon emitted by a cool object can be absorbed by a warmer object but the greater flux in the opposite direction means that the warm object heats the cool object anyway. But I wasn’t going to go there.

  10. Pat Frank says:

    Roy, the rate of outgoing energy must equal the rate of incoming energy. The rate of incoming energy, i.e., from the sun, doesn’t change with increasing GHG’s on Earth. Therefore, the rate of outgoing energy doesn’t change with GHG’s either.

    When GHG’s are increased in the atmosphere, the energy content of the atmosphere increases. That’s because the GHG’s absorb IR radiation, and specifically absorb the IR upwelling from the surface that would previously have directly radiated away to space.

    More GHGs means absorption of more upwelling radiant energy. That radiant energy goes into vibrational modes of CO2, methane, etc., and converts to kinetic energy by collisional processes. More GHGs = more absorption = more energetic molecules = more collisions = more radiation converted to thermal (kinetic) energy = increased thermal content in the atmosphere = higher temperature (but no one knows the feedback response of the total climate to increased atmospheric energy so the thermal magnitudes are unkown).

    One might say, then, that GHG’s increase the length of the path upwelling IR photons must take through the atmosphere before they escape to space. But they escape to space at the same rate as before — the rate that energy incomes from the sun. It’s just that the atmosphere has become more densely crowded with photons; their rate going through the TOA door remains constant.

    Here’s an analogy: you have a bathtub with water flowing in from the tap. The bathtub fills to overflowing. The rate of overflow equals the rate of inflow.

    Then you raise the height of the tub walls. The inflow rate remains constant. The tub fills to the new height of the walls, and commences again to overflow at the same rate as before, which equals the constant inflow rate. But the water pressure at the bottom of the tub has increased.

    So it is with GHGs. They increase the wall height of the thermal tub that is the atmosphere. The incoming radiation remains constant. The outflow rate remains constant. But with increased GHGs the thermal walls have become higher, and the thermal pressure at the bottom of the tub increases, because the energy content of the atmosphere has increased.

    How large that temperature increase is, is the central question at issue. My own feeling is that it’s tiny to the point of indistinguishable from noise; principally because of efficient negative hydrological feedback.

  11. Richard111 says:

    This layman is much bothered by the fact that greenhouse gases must work when the sun is shining thus will tend to shield the surface from incoming longwave radiation as the total radiant energy from the sun is ~49% IR. I read on the net that CO2 absorbs well in the NIR band of 1.9 microns as well as at 2.7 microns and 4.3 microns. Are there any calculations for day/night effect of greenhouse gases?

    Why is there no apparent change in the atmospheric lapse rate as total greenhouse gases change from as low as 0.1% to above 4% as long as RH permits “clear sky”?

    As far as I know the lapse rate only changes when water vapour, H2O, changes state from gas to liquid and becomes visible in the form of fog or cloud. Liquid water in the atmosphere, heavy low cloud, is very effective at controlling day or night temperatures of the surface but I have never heard of clouds increasing the surface temperature.

    • Ric Werme says:

      The lapse rate is merely the change in temperature as the pressure changes as you move a “handful” of air up and down. The ambient temperature has some effect, as that helps set the density, and that’s what determines the pressure change with height. During a breezy day, the atmosphere follows the lapse rate pretty well. Frontal activity can mess that up (e.g. a warm front brings warm air at height well ahead of the ground feature), clouds force things to the “wet adiabatic lapse rate” (but you specified clear air), and nighttime brings air inversions wiht cold air on the bottom.

      In short, greenhouse gases don’t have much impact on the lapse rate.

  12. Daedalus says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer,

    Kudos to you for maintaining the motivation to educate people on the real issues inside of the climate debate as opposed to pseudo-scientific garbage that one reads with regularity on the internet (including the comments of your site). I agree with Robert G. Brown above that most of the “alternative” theories are nonsense.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think your persistence will pay off in changing many minds. As evidence, you can read the comments from last month on the same topic. I tried to make a similar point as you are making now, namely, that if you put forward an alternative theory to GHE, your theory must explain observations (or at least be consistent with them). I used, as one example, the spectral signature your plot shows thinking that it might cause a certain “alternative thinker” (S.W.) to reflect on the shortcomings of his theory. It seemed to have no effect whatsoever, so I gave up.

    It is just pure speculation, but it could be that once one allow themselves to “deny” the tenets of the IPCC, then without the necessary scientific background, it becomes too easy to start denying anything else. For example, it becomes easy to leap from

    “there are other unknown factors causing temperatures to rise besides the warming of C02″

    to

    “there are other unknown factors causing gaps in the radiation spectrum observed by satellites”.

    In order to know when a leap of (non)-faith is scientifically justified, you need to educate yourself in the field. If your course of education is to read only Singer, Watts,Johnson, Monckton, Wilde, etc., then you become free to believe almost anything.

  13. jaypan says:

    Having no position in that struggle, I am asking nevertheless if the vast storage capacity of earth (landmass, sea, atmosphere) may not completely confuse the relationship of incoming and outgoing energy measured. We do not know what amount of incoming energy has been strored for centuries and released whenever for whatever reason during a timeframe we know nothing about.
    Being an engineer, measuring in and out, but not considering these 3 elephants in the room seems odd to me.

  14. Ian Schumacher says:

    First let me say I believe there is a greenhouse effect. What has always puzzled me though is the idea that the greenhouse effect can cause the temperature to be higher than that of a blackbody. That doesn’t seem possible to me.

    The error that most people make (I think) is that whatever restrictions you put on heat escaping is also a restriction you put on heat entering.

    Imagine a spherical shell with a small hole in it. Light goes in, gets trapped, heat comes out. That’s an approximation of a black body. No matter what kinds of reflectors, filters, surface material you have inside, it doesn’t matter. The temperature coming out is the same.

    In the case of the Earth the ‘hole’ is a hole in wavelength. A small area where energy can come in, bounce around, change wavelength many times and go back out. Just as energy will eventually be at the right angle to be travel out the small hole of the cavity in a sphere, energy will eventually be converted to the right wavelength to travel through the wavelength hole in the atmosphere.

    This is why (in my opinion) both Woods experiment [ 1909, vol 17, p319-320. Cambridge UL shelfmark p340.1.c.95] and simple CO2 heating demonstrations are both correct. In Woods experiment he was approximating a blackbody, while other simple demonstrations of CO2 heating effect, are not (done in transparent vessels).

    Anyways something to think about. If we fill our spherical cavity with a small hole in it with CO2 will the internal temperature be higher than that of a theoretical black body? No, I don’t think so.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Ian

      I’m an engineer as well. I recently arrived at the same conclusion that the earth has a maximum possible average temperature based upon 350W/m2 at top of atmosphere (1366W/m2 solar constant projected on a sphere). That works out to 286K. The inescapable conclusion presuming that the measurement of earth’s average temperature is 14C (287K) is that earth is currently in a saturated greenhouse effect.

      I wrote to a physicist at Duke University asking for an explanation of the physics since I can’t find anything wrong with it. Kirchoff’s Law is what it is. Absorptivity and emissivity at all wavelengths must be equal at equilibrium and by conservation of energy it’s not possible at equilibrium to emit more than is absorbed.

      You may be interested in another hypothesis that has had some attention in recent years. Google “saturated greenhouse effect” to find it. This is based upon measurements of absolute humidity in 50 years of radiosonde data wherein as CO2 has risen absolute humidity falls in such a way that greenhouse “forcing” remains constant.

  15. Richard S Courtney says:

    Roy:

    This is a very good article. It is clear, concise and comprehensible to anyone of reasonable intelligence.

    Will it slay the dragon slayers? No, nothing will.

    But, hopefully, it will make others aware of the main-stream sceptical position.

    Thankyou.

    Richard

  16. Alec Rawls says:

    Roy’s 2-step is pretty much what I have always thought about the objection that “a cooler body can’t warm a warmer body.” Even if this were correct (cooler bodies can’t emit radiation?) it wouldn’t mean that a cooler body couldn’t slow down the rate of cooling of a warmer body, and that is the issue. The planet is always being hit with solar shortwave and needs to emit equivalent long and shortwave to keep from warming. A winter jacket is not warmer than your body but that doesn’t keep it from slowing the rate at which your body loses the heat that its biological processes produce.

    What I find novel here is Roy’s contention that the main effect of additional CO2 beyond the point of saturation (or complete IR absorption in the bands CO2 absorbs) is in the “wings” of the absorption band. I had come to think of the over-saturation effect in terms of the altitude at which absorption was accomplished. The more CO2 the closer to the ground the heat trapping occurs. Is this a significant consideration, or does convection make the altitude of heat trapping insignificant?

    • yes, it is a significant consideration. The effect is called “pressure broadening”…as you go lower in the atmosphere, IR absorption lines are broadened to cover a wider range of wavelengths. It has been measured and understood for many decades.

  17. gale combs says:

    Thank you for the clearest explanation I have ever read on this subject. Over the past several years I have tried to wrap my head around several different explanations of varying technical levels.

    You put it very well when you stated:

    “Lay people quickly become overwhelmed, and even some of us technical types end up feeling ill-equipped to argue outside our areas of expertise.”

    One can understand why so many people get very confused on this particular point. Thermodynamics is a college course taught only to few and fewer still can really understand it if my class at Purdue University grade point spread was any indication. (2 in the 90th percentile and the rest of us with averages clustered around 25 out of 100 pts)

  18. J. Seifert says:

    @Roy:
    The question: “How much heating will result
    by ADDING greenhouse gas…

    The word ADDING is the mistake…if you add, this would
    make the atmosphere larger in volume….. you can add
    any gaseous volume of whatever kind and just add its
    whatever minuscule effect in the heat balance proving
    AGW ….but the atmosphere
    can’t be bloated in volume because of high atmospheric
    mass losses at the top of the atmosphere….

    Therefore: No asking wrong questions!
    The correct question would
    be: “How much heating will result by SUBSTITUTING
    X volume of existing atmosphere by the same X volume of
    whatsoever gases….

    Warmists produce their wrong calculations by ADDING and
    keeping silent on SUBTRACTING…..in order to bloat
    their numbers and the effect….
    One can bloat with ANY gas/ or volume if you do not
    subtract the
    equal volume of N2/O2 in calculations….

    …. Example for a Warmist calculation: “Lets assume, a
    frozen solid huge CO2-Ice-meteorite (“Dry Ice”)
    would fall upon Earth and would the CO2-ice would
    dissolve and go right into the atmosphere bloating
    the atmosphere by 5 miles in vertical hight….
    The Warmist solution would be 1.Existing atm. +
    5 miles of CO2 would be ADDED, non SUBTRACTED …
    resulting in a tremendous HEAT on Earth like on
    Venus, where there is plenty of CO2…..

    ….. Example for a Skeptics calculation: “we SUBSTITUTE
    the equal volumes CO2 aggregated with air mass losses
    at the top of the atmosphere and…..result: This would
    make the Earth colder, since CO2+SO2 do not heat as well
    as lighter air…

    To Roy: Please invite a Warmist to do his [of course BS]
    calculations for this example….
    Cheers JS

  19. Graham says:

    The remarkable stability of the earth’s climate suggests that the complex mechanism’s that make up that climate are creating states and possibly even emergent behavior both of which are typical of chaotic systems with drivers/attractors. Applying linear models and applying some feedback parameters to determine average global temperature increase is utterly meaningless approach to analysis of chaotic behavior as opposed to random behavior. Often tipping points are at play where one state becomes unstable and jumps into another (like an ice age or a Medieval Warm Period for instance) but those assuming that a linear increase in one parameter may trigger that tip, without even understanding the total system dynamics, is in denial of the chaotic systems that occur in nature. We shouldn’t be looking at global temperatures we should be looking at global state transitions and the condition of the oscillations (like sun and ocean) and the impact of random drivers (like volcanos, asteroids and man). No effort to model the climate will create realistic results until the denial of chaos theory is removed. And so we see where the true deniers are.

    • Ian Schumacher says:

      Regarding stability. If one looks at temperature swings into and out of ice-ages. They ‘should’ be struck by the sudden stop in temperature increase. The easiest mechanism to explain such a sudden stop (instead of the otherwise expected overshoot and oscillation) is that saturation has been reached. It’s the only think that makes sense in my opinion

  20. John Eggert says:

    Dr. Spencer.

    My argument in support of CO2 as a ‘greenhouse gas’ is as follows:

    One must use the exact same science to balance the heat in a blast furnace. If CO2 does NOT absorb IR and retain heat in the melt, the amount of coke would be different (you would need more). Calculating the heat loss from a melt is a standard exam question in metallurgy and requires an understanding of absorption of long wave EMR. Climate is not the only area where this effect is known, quantified and essential to a complete heat balance. Indeed, in metallurgy, the levels of CO2 absorption are sometimes higher than in climate (not often as the distances are so much shorter that many % CO2 in a blast furnace is equivalent to a few hundred ppm in the atmosphere).

    In short, if one doubts CO2 absorption, one must be able to provide an alternate explanation for the quantified relation between CO2 concentration and heat retention in a blast furnace calculation.

    Cheers

    JE

    • I would have never guessed that such an effect would be calculated for blast furnaces. Of course, at such high temperatures the IR loss must be considerable. I’m just surprised that it has become that much of a science.

  21. Stephen Wilde says:

    Does An Atmosphere Warm Or Cool a Planetary Surface ?

    It is clear that a planet without an atmosphere shows extremes of heat and cold with the coming and going of solar input to the surface as the planet rotates. When there is no atmosphere the solar energy goes straight in and straight out via radiation alone giving extreme highs and extreme lows of temperature but little energy storage in or on the planet.

    The average temperature will be between the two extremes and the question is whether adding an atmosphere makes the average temperature higher or lower than it would be without an atmosphere.

    An atmosphere does two things:

    i) It diffuses energy across the surface and around the planet and ALL mass in the atmosphere participates, not just GHGs. That must be so because all the non GHGs are at the same ambient temperature as the GHGs at every level in the atmosphere. The non GHGs acquire their energy via conduction from the solar heated surface assisted by convection causing an air circulation plus conduction from each other and from GHGs in the atmosphere.

    ii) It introduces a time delay between energy arriving at the surface and that energy subsequently leaving to space from the top of the atmosphere.

    In view of that time delay the planet will be warmer than the average of the extremes for a planet without an atmosphere.

    An atmosphere WARMS a planetary surface and the composition of the atmosphere is irrelevant. Only the mass of the atmosphere is relevant because maximum warmth is at the surface from where conduction and convection can involve every atmospheric molecule whether GHGs or not.

  22. Aon says:

    We all agree that with any matter based physics system transfer of energy happens, I contend that the source of the biggest energy governs absolutely over time all other systems within its reach. So the finger print of SUN’s driving all subsystems within its reach it the driving factor in climate of all planets.

  23. Stephen Wilde says:

    “One must use the exact same science to balance the heat in a blast furnace.”

    Not correct because a blast furnace is an enclosed space.

    An atmosphere can alter height (volume) as necessary to maintain equilibrium temperature by adjusting the throughput of energy so as to maintain the pressure induced lapse rate.

    The presence of the water cycle and the huge energy transfers involved in the phase changes of water make it a whole lot easier.

    • so, Stephen, I suppose you would be willing to stand right next to a blast furnace, since all of it’s heat energy is enclosed and unable to escape?

      • Truthseeker says:

        Dr Spencer, I have stood next two and walked on a furnace used to fire bricks while it was operating. The walls are very good insulators and do in fact stop the heat escaping. That is what they are designed to do.

  24. Perry says:

    Great article.Thank you. CO2 rocks; well, calcium carbonate does.

  25. A physicist says:

    Roy Spencer asserts: “The global warming narrative advanced by the IPCC involves a chain of physical processes which must all be true in order for their conclusions to be true.”

    Hmmm … his claim is prima facie wrong with respect to IPCC climate models, and more generally, it’s wrong with respect to any engineering model of any physical system.

    A better maxim is George Box’s

    “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”

    For sure, IPCC models include mistaken assumptions; but are these models useful none-the-less?

  26. Nullius in Verba says:

    There’s another explanation that doesn’t require any arguments about backradiation or thermodynamics.
    I gave a good summary here:
    http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/#comment-16901

    I’m happy to do it again or go into more detail if anyone is interested.

    It’s been standard physics since the 1960s. Here’s a paper calculating the surface temperature of Venus by the same method. Note, no mention of backradiation.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1967ApJ…149..731S
    You may recognise the author’s name. :-)

    I’ve got a few more references too, if anyone’s interested. Other adherents include Lindzen, Soden, Held, Ramanathan, Manabe, Wetherald, and Strickler.

    It’s also possible to show that the backradiation argument is the wrong explanation by considering the physics of sunlight in a pond of water, where there’s lots of backradiation but no warming. The standard explanation I give is able to explain it easily, though. Again, I’m happy to expand.

    Why we keep going round and round in this circle I have no idea. The explanation is straightforward, bypasses the main ‘Slayer’ controversies, explains the observations, and matches the way it is actually calculated. That the Slayers ignore/reject it is understandable, but why everyone else does is more of a mystery.

    Oh, well.

    • Ian Schumacher says:

      Agreed. The ‘logic’ of global warming would also apply to a pool of water. The water lets in visible light, but absorbs and blocks infrared radiation. It’s as close to perfect GH setup one can get. And yet the water does spontaneously boil away. Those the believe in the impossible one-way mirror of GH gases need to explain a simple pool of water first.

    • to say you can explain temperature without thermodynamics is nonsense. The atmospheric lapse rate does NOT describe what the temperature at some altitude will be…it describes how temperature will CHANGE when a parcel of air is raised or lowered. It must have a ‘starting temperature’, which is determined from energy budget considerations.

  27. Paul Maynard says:

    The debate over whether it’s the “greenhouse” effect or gravity/pressure has become more ahem heated. But surely this is the correct debate for the sceptics to have and have it out in the open and rely on observations and not Playstation models.

    My physics not good enough to decide but I just observe that despite the increase in CO2

    1 No meaningful increase in global average temp (whatever that means) since the satellite record began

    2 it was as warm at the Arctic in the 1930s as it is today.

    3 There are plenty of rural long record weather stations that show very little warming despite the supposed global nature of CO2 warming

    4 The variations since the RWP/MWP/LIA have been independent of CO2

    Of course all this could mean is that there is greenhouse effect as Roy says, it’s just trivial and drowned out by everything else.

    Cheers

    Paul

  28. Rob says:

    Very nicely summarized. Although I would go so far as to say cAGW is a political creation (aka scam).

  29. Bryan says:

    “John Eggert says:

    My argument in support of CO2 as a ‘greenhouse gas’ is as follows:

    One must use the exact same science to balance the heat in a blast furnace. If CO2 does NOT absorb IR and retain heat in the melt”

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner point out that Schack (an expert in CO2 and blast furnaces) did not believe in the greenhouse effect.
    His opinion was that although CO2 is a significant factor at furnace temperatures, however at atmospheric temperatures its effects are negligible.

    “Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner; International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) pages 275-364.
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

  30. capt dallas says:

    The slayer are difficult to slay, hopefully, your post will help. The largest point is that CO2`does not create energy, just redirects the flow of energy in its spectrum, like a photon traffic cop. In order to have a net surface warming effect there has to be an equal net cooling effect some where else. The simple up/down radiant models don’t do the atmospheric effects much justice though. With all the weather noise, the observations don’t help much either.

    The MSU data though has some interesting information if properly interpreted.

    From 1979 to 1993, the northern extent warmed due to the Tyndal gas effect and the Antarctic cooled since radiant surface warming must cause tropopause cooling. The Antarctic cools as the tropopause cools. With Pinatubu, volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere cause general tropospheric cooling, so both the northern extent and the South Pole cooled slightly. In 1998, the super El Nino was a Tyndal warming event, producing an Antarctic cooling response. Since roughly 2000, the rate of increase in Tyndal warming has decreased, so the rate of Antarctic cooling has decreased.

    The satellite data seems to be much more informative than the surface station data :) I guess that is why you are a skeptic and not a denier.

  31. Laurence Crossen says:

    It is generally agreed that not more than 5% of the increase in CO2 is anthropogenic. Therefore, even if all the 0.6 C warming of the twentieth century were CO2 caused, only 0.03C would be anthropogenic. One cannot very well change the proportions.

    • Daedalus says:

      Laurence Crossen:

      Did you mean 99.5%?

      Who is it that “generally agree” 5% is anthropogenic? Certainly not scientists.

      There are dozens of articles addressing this question in the recent literature, and many clever ways of estimating the origins of the roughly 100ppm increase in concentration in 200 years. The majority is from burning fossil fuels and de-forestation.

      You should definitely change the proportions

      • Laurence Crossen says:

        You missed the one established major source from the oceans! Warming of the environment releases CO2 from the oceans.

        • Laurence Crossen says:

          Yes, highly qualified scientists. Some of the most qualified.

          • Laurence Crossen says:

            Especially geologists. As Professor Tom V Segalstad points out, the IPCC continues to make fundamental errors about CO2 due to disregard for geology [The Deniers page 80]. Segalstad says that to double atmospheric CO2 the oceans would have to absorb 50 times more CO2 to keep in their known equilibrium with the atmosphere as they now contain 50 times that of the atmosphere [ibid page 84]. It is warming of the ocean that releases this one largest and most readily available source of CO2. Robert Carter compares the “possible human input of up to 7 Gt C/yr” with “an ocean reservoir that contains 39,000 Gt C [Climate: The Counter Consensus page 109].

          • Daedalus says:

            No, I didn’t forget the oceans. The meme that the oceans have outgassed to increase C02 has been thoroughly debunked in the literature. The truth is that the oceans have absorbed about 50% of the man made C02 emissions. That is one reason why there is “acidification” (yes, I know that the ocean is technically a base). As I mentioned, multiple studies have confirmed the chemical signature of the increase of C02 in the atmosphere and shown it can’t be from the oceans.

            You are blindly repeating a thoroughly debunked theory.

            Even WUWT ran articles discussing that the oceans are a net C02 sink.

            Denying that humans have increased the C02 level is even more head in the sand than denying the green house effect. The direct evidence is easier to measure and clearer to explain.

  32. mkelly says:

    John Eggert says:
    March 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I am not sure how many folks say CO2 does not absorb IR. That would be folly. But at the same time comparing a blast furnace to the atmosphere, you must recognize the emissivity of CO2 is near zero at 1 atm and 288 K. Yes it goes up with temperature and pressure but under normal atmospheric conditions my Hottel chart shows about .2 for an emissivity. The chart is small so I could be off some. But the point is the same.

  33. Olavi says:

    From radiations wievpoint, land, oceans and athmosphere are one piece, not three separate things.

  34. Joe Bastardi says:

    No one is denying the greenhouse effect. However it is a misnomer as this is nothing like a greenhouse, it is a flimsy sheet that is wonderfully designed to make life livable on the planet. Co2s relationship to the earths temp is coincidental, and one can simply watch temperatures rapidly vary with the ups and downs of oceanic cycles, which in turn will have an effect on THE GREENHOUSE GAS OF CONCERN HERE, WATER VAPOR! But even water vapor has a point where it probably has a natural equilibrium In short, there is nothing new under the sun

    Getting bogged down on co2 and its role in temperatures means we are like theologians arguing over how many angels we can stick on a head of a needle. You can not have the continued climb of co2 and the leveling of temperature and now since the pdo shift, the cooling if co2 is a driver. It is obvious that the big natural drivers are in control.

    In my opinion, co2′s role in life on the planet has virtually nothing to do with temperatures and more having to do with the biological aspects of life on the planet ( hence the reason for the study of organic chemistry) Water vapor is another matter, but then again our opponents are not yet bold enough to try to ban that.

    In 2008, after the Iowa floods, I appeared on the O’reilly factor with the triple crown of cooling and was promptly hammered by the left for suggesting that the big natural drivers of the cycles of the ocean, the sun and the wild card, seismic activity, were the drivers of the planets climate I gave co2 its due, that perhaps it was a player, but the hammering I took from the left let me know I had hit a target they did not want to be hit. Since summer, I have become bolder in arguing in public that co2 can not have an effect on the earths climate.. it is simply too small and its properties are such that would render it powerless in this matter. It is .04% of the atmosphere, and as far as greenhouse gasses water vapor, which is much lighter is 400 times the amount of co2.

    My main message is that I do not believe co2 is a player worthy of consideration in overall climate of the planet. I think its real value: plant food. This was not arrived at overnight, but after years of watching this. The data, from the cyclical response, to the lack of warming in the troposphere (recent amsu temps at the IPCC trapping levels blew away 10 year records) to the divergence of the co2 and global temp ( and by the way another problem is by allowing the co2 argument, they simply can change the data as they continue to do and then blame co2) support the theory co2 is a non player
    Once again comments on this have people hammering me again, yet the earths temps are responding to the large natural drivers, and the DATA supports the disconnect and the theory, among open minded individuals that co2 is not a player in the climate game WORTHY OF THE ATTENTION IT GETS!, And while it is a so called green house gas, its role is way overblown. And while we arguiE over something that is probably a smoke screen, the lifeblood of our nation continues to get choked off.

    Do you understand what is at stake here. We are arguing over what an increasing amount of people in this debate are opening their mind up too, that co2 is a non factor, ( lets put it this way, it is to the climate what the amount of contribution of turbines is to the total energy generating picture. next to nothing) In the meantime, we have people that are willing to twist data, spend billions to prove something they cant, and crash the economygetting their way. While Rome burned, Nero fiddled

    The bottom line remains a forecast I made in 2008. By 2030, as measured by objective satellite data, the earths temps will fall back to where they were at the end of the last cold pdo, 1978, when satellites allowed us to measure this more objectively

    If that idea is correct, then how can one argue that co2 is involved since by then it would have been a 40 year disconnect. And in the meantime, all the nonsense about tipping points and points of no return would have simply yielded a crushed nation over a gas that had precious little to do with climate, but did the job the people who are using climate as a weapon to advance their agenda wanted it to do

  35. Kim Allen says:

    Dr Spencer,

    How has the Nimbus-4 IRIS infrared graph changed from launch till now? Isn’t that the question? Have the watts radiated at about 960 and 1600nm decreased? Have the watts radiated at other wavelengths increased? What’s been the overall change in radiated watts over that time period?
    -thanks

  36. Deadweight says:

    Joe Bastardi:

    What a bizarre rant. But you made one very interesting analogy:

    ” lets put it this way, it is to the climate what the amount of contribution of turbines is to the total energy generating picture. next to nothing”

    I suppose you meant that both the proportion of electricity from wind turbines and CO2 contribution to climate are growing exponentially and have important consequences to the global environment and energy industry.

    By your estimate CO2 will contribute about 3 percent to the global climate next year and is predicted to account for up to 8 percent by 2018. In Europe, CO2 already contributes more than that to climate. And the contribution from C02 to climate has been doubling world wide every 2 years.

    It is a very strange estimate, but hey, I have heard (from you) that you are always right.

  37. commieBob says:

    Consider the vacuum flask. http://home.howstuffworks.com/thermos2.htm

    It is a good demonstration that outer space, being a vacuum, is an insulator. The ONLY way the planet can lose heat is to radiate it. Anyone who disputes that has to explain to me why my coffee stays warm.

    Now, consider the mirrored coating in the thermos. It is there to reflect heat back to the interior. Reflect radiation. Back radiation. Hmmm.

    • Ian Schumacher says:

      Consider the vacuum flask, as you say. Imagine it starts off cold. How do you get the heat into the flask. We need a small hole. At equilibrium the heat escaping through the small hole will be that same as the heat coming in. The internal temperature inside the flask can not reach higher than that of a blackbody that (the flask with a small hole is a good model for a blackbody. In the case of the Earth, the small hole is a hole in wavelength through which visible light enters.

      So, like the flask, CO2 increases the absorption of heat. It makes Earth more like a blackbody. But like a blackbody, it has a limit. The sudden stop in warming coming out of ice-ages (with no overshoot and oscillation) means it’s likely that we are the peak of warmth (saturation). We are at a limit.

    • Ken Coffman says:

      The mirror coating does not reflect heat back into the flask. It slows the cooling rate by reducing outgoing radiation. If you want more energy in the flask, you have to add it from an external source or extract it from an exothermic chemical reaction or something.
      Atmospheric CO2 can delay the rate of outgoing radiation, perhaps by a long time…like a few milliseconds. If you want a long thermal delay, then you need a large thermal mass and a long thermal time constant. Only academic climatologists think 390PPM of CO2 has a large thermal mass and a long thermal time constant. Ever seen a group delay distribution that describes how long it takes energy to leave our system? I didn’t think so.

      • commieBob says:

        “The mirror coating does not reflect heat back into the flask. It slows the cooling rate by reducing outgoing radiation.”

        Why does it have to be a mirror.

  38. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    If I insulate a block of ice will it melt quicker?

    If I measure the solar spectrum at the Earths surface is it the same as the spectrum radiated by the Earth to space?

    • Ian Schumacher says:

      The key over and over I believe is that people using insulation ‘models’ don’t consider that the more you insulate heat from escaping, the more you insulate heat from entering also. You can trap heat, to a limit. The limit being a blackbody. You can’t go beyond that.

  39. Ed, 'Mr' Jones says:

    This piece would have been more enlightening if it touched on:

    1. What are the other GHG’s, concentrations.

    2. What other mechanisms REDUCE THE RATE OF ENERGY LOSS, and to what extent and effect in relation to Co2 and other GHG’s?

    What is sad is that the Whole Field has been dominated by a conversation that revolves around the assertion that ‘The Needle in The (climate) Haystack’ was found moments after the search commenced, and it was “Co2″ – it just not plausible.

    Thank you Sir.

    • I agree that there are probably more significant climate drivers than CO2, which is a totally different subject. The point of my post was that denying the greenhouse effect is futile. Fred Singer thinks such denial gives skeptics a bad name.

  40. Readers of Roy’s and Fred’s insightful and accurate discussion on this subject, might also like to read these three posts on Climate Science regarding the subject of the importance of CO2 as a radiative forcing:

    “The Greenhouse Effect” by Ben Herman and Roger Pielke Sr.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/the-greenhouse-effect-by-ben-herman-and-roger-pielke-sr/

    “The Greenhouse Effect – Part II” by Ben Herman and Roger Pielke Sr. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/%e2%80%9cthe-greenhouse-effect-part-ii%e2%80%9d-by-ben-herman-and-roger-pielke-sr/

    Comments On The Greenhouse Effect By Herman and Pielke Part III http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/comments-on-the-greenhouse-effect-by-herman-and-pielke-part-iii/

  41. Dol says:

    Somebody seems to show a big flaw in the Claes Johnson theory. It’s down in the comments in

    http://claesjohnsonmathscience.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/interaction-light-matter-trivial-and-nontrivial/

  42. Myrrh says:

    The Greenhouse Effect is pure bunkum. Your comic cartoon warmist physics has taken out the energy budget the Water Cycle which cools the Earth from the 67°C it would be without water – think deserts – thereby bringing temps down 52°C to 15°C.

    Your cartoon world of fictional fisics has no convection because you have no real world physical properties – you’re stuck in endless, mindless, repetitive arguments about radiation because you have an imaginary atmosphere of empty space with the imaginary construct ideal gas molecules zipping about at great speeds bouncing off each other with no gravity to keep them in; because they have no volume, no weight, no attraction, they are not real gases, they are imaginary. Your clouds appear by magic in this empty space atmosphere of ideal gas, your imaginary gases are not buoyant in air..

    ..you have no air.

    All told, your physics is fiction and you should all get a grip on what the real world of real properties and processes looks like. You might then be able to grasp what the 2nd Law means.

  43. AndyG55 says:

    Even if there is a tiny increase of this so-called back-radiation, that warms the Earth’s surface slightly, the ideal gas laws imply that there would be a tiny increase in convection/conduction to balance this warming.
    The ideal gas laws are independant of the constituent gases.

    The Earth’s atmosphere is a energy regulator, it removes excess surface heat to the upper atmosphere where it can be radiated away.

  44. don penman says:

    I agree that there is a greenhouse effect but the molecular density of the atmosphere must make that effect quite small.The atmosphere is transparent probably because it is mostly empty although clouds absorb and emit more radiation.I think that much of the ir radiation from near the surface will pass through the upper atmosphere as if there was nothing there some will be absorbed by greenhouse gas and emitted again.If the density of the atmosphere was large enough we would have a radiative equilibrium between the surface and the atmosphere rather then convection and the atmosphere would not be transparent.
    I do not think that the laws of thermodynamics are ultimate truths which can never be otherwise if the universe had a beginning then energy must have been created and if it has an end then it will be destroyed,the laws of thermodynamics might only apply to this part of the history of the .

  45. KingOchaos says:

    @ Maurizio Morabito
    March 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Convection dominates energy transport in the lower troposphere, because it is unable to be moved via radiation. So you get energy build up in a parcel of air, til its buoyant enough to rise and expand yada yada(im sure you are aware how that works) So its driven by an energy imbalance.

    Ok so as it rises and expands(so its performing work, so adiabatic cooling as well) the density decreases. So the distance between emission and absorption increases. With more and more energy being moved via radiation, and convection becomes less dominate. Until you hit the tropopause, where convection ceases. This is because the atmosphere is at a point where it is basically transparent to upcoming radiation.

    It is however still relatively opaque to UV, which is why the inversion exists above the tropopause, so its(stratosphere) heated via UV absorption, but cooled through co2 radiation( because its so transparent in the 15 micron, co2 at these densities, is radiating twice what it absorbs. So an increase in co2 should increase stratospheric cooling. Thats the little spike in the middle of the graph in the above article in the middle of the 15micron (between 600-700 cm-1) range. Its being radiated from a warmer T than the bulk from the tropopause.(use the brightness T to tell altitude that radiation is originating from)

    Ok, so by adding opaque gases(co2, h2o ch4 etc) It makes the atmosphere more opaque, so the altitude that radiation becomes dominate at energy movement rises, so the height that convection moves energy to also rises…

    So looking at it from the top down, the new altitude of effective radiation(where its transparent enough to effectively transmit energy) must heat enough that its radiating away the up coming energy(T^4 n all that) So each layer below must heat so it can transport the energy up… all the way down to the surface, because convection, is driven by an energy imbalance.

    It gets more complicated than that off course, as you can see in the emission graph, the atmosphere becomes transparent to different wave lengths at different altitudes.

  46. coldlynx says:

    IPCC:
    Sun heat earth surface and atmosphere reduce outgoing radiation from earth surface to space. Radiation to space are mostly from earth surface.
    Reality:
    Sun heat earth surface and atmosphere. Energy flow from earth surface to atmosphere are mainly transferred by convection. System earth is cooled mainly by radiation from the atmosphere to space. Not mainly from earth surface direct.
    Radiation from earth surface to atmosphere is very low since the temperature difference is generally to low for a efficient heat transfer by radiation. Backradiation is a proof of this. Hardly no net radiative heat transfer between surface and atmosphere.

    Earth greenhouse effect is depending how efficient the atmosphere radiate IR. And that capacity is rather low.

    In short: radiative net transfer of IR energy is not so much about heating the atmosphere, it is more about cooling the atmosphere.

    • You seem to be missing a central point: IR absorbers/emitters change the vertical distribution of IR loss, and temperature can be increased by decreasing the rate of loss.

      Adding CO2 indeed causes the mass-averaged temperature of the atmosphere to decrease, but in the process it causes a temperature increase at the surface and in the lowest couple of km of atmosphere.

  47. bill hunter says:

    If incoming absorption is a small portion where can we see it being calculated?

    I have heard that incoming solar radiation is 50% longwave. I also am aware that the 1366w/m2 solar radiation is divided by 4 to represent average insolation.

    However, a budding passive solar designer learns first to orient their solar panels towards the sun instead of laying them flat on the ground at higher latitudes.

    The gases in the atmosphere experience proper orientation at all times being elevated into a 3 dimensional form where more absorption in the atmosphere occurs near sunrise and sunset than when the sun is overhead. The average absorption lines in the atmosphere are more than twice as long as perpendicular to the surface.

    NASA radiation budget figures show 65watts/m2 being absorbed in incoming and only 51watts/m2 absorbed on outgoing. It seems improbable that a lot is being absorbed in the thin upper stratosphere by ozone but I have been unable to find a reference to what makes up the 65watts incoming absorption.

    Clearly its shading the surface more than outgoing absorption is retaining heat in the atmosphere. Which species of gas is doing the absorbing is crucial to understanding.

    The point being here is simply that accounting for outgoing attenuation only is insufficient before getting to the feedback question.

    Doing the radiation calculation in that manner is identical to what Enron did when it reported winners and hid losers. Unfortunately there either the professionals did not do their job properly or management was shifty enough to fool them. So this hole definitely deserves more than an arm wave.

    • there are many papers in scientific journals over the years addressing the absorption characteristics of various atmospheric constituents and at various wavelengths. You will not find them by reading blog posts.

  48. Mike says:

    Useful yes but not useful enough to justify the trillions of $’s of waste and economic devastation.

    I am reminded of a description of insanity: it is normal to build fantasy castles in your mind, it is insanity when you try to live in one of them.

  49. Mike says:

    Sorry that was supposed to be a reply to “A physicist”

  50. Rosco says:

    Can someone please explain to me why the same solar radiation can heat the Moon’s surface to over 109 degrees C whilst only achieving about half on Earth ? Moreover, why can this obviously powerful radiation only heat the Earth to minus 18 degrees C ?

    Surely this proves that the atmosphere and oceans actually act to reduce the heating effect of the solar radiation ?

    I appreciate the long lunar day allows more time for the radiant heating.

    BUT, I also note the Moon starts from an extremely cold surface temperature approaching minus 173 degrees C – and this is again some evidence to suggest radiative cooling of a planet to the vacuum of space is a slow process.

    If the Earth had no atmosphere wouldn’t the 24 hour period dictate that :-

    1. Although in the first 12 hours the surface temperature would not reach the theoretical “blackbody” temperature for the solar constant it would rapidly heat more than if an atmosphere were present – reduced albedo, no clouds or “extinction” and,

    2. Because radiation from a relatively cool body in the vacuum of space would not cool the Earth down to anything like the Moon does (in ~29 days) in 12 hours the next dawn would be warmer that the previous until the average rapidly approached the maximum ?

    So the solar radiation alone raises the Moon’s surface temperature over 300 K.

    From information I have seen this is achieved fairly rapidly.

    From evidence I have seen on Earth the Solar radiation can heat surfaces very quickly – eg asphalt can increase from cool to blisteringly hot in a few hours from dawn – at least here in south east Queensland Australia.

    Doesn’t this suggest the atmosphere and oceans act to reduce the surface heating power of the same solar radiation which is clearly capable of heating the Moon by over 300 K ?

    As I said, I would really like someone to clearly demonstrate why this isn’t significant – for example is ther evidence that shows it takes almost all the lunar day to heat the surface from minus ~173 to ~123 ?

    This to me is the biggest paradox of all this theoretical postulating – why is it reasonable to say the Earth would be minus 18 degrees C without greenhouse gases when the solar radiation can clearly heat the Moon’s surface to what the Stefan-Boltzmann equation predicts for the solar constant and accepted albedo ?

    I remain unconvinced that convective transport of air and water vapour heated by contact with the heated surfaces of the Earth are not the major methods of energy transport in an atmosphere and I am unconvinced that this does not actually reduce the temperatures on Earth rather than trace gas radiation increasing the heating.

    Again – Moon ~123 Earth less thanhalf – similar solar radiation except Earht’s atmosphere is responsible for the higher albedo.

    • This post is a good example of how some people have polluted the minds of others with pseudo-science.

      Radiative calculations alone can indeed explain the temperatures on the moon (taking into account the heat capacity of the surface as well).

      Yes, convection does indeed cool the Earth’s surface well below what radiative effects alone would dictate…I alluded to this in my blog post.

      Your comments are (as I predicted) full of strawmen, and imply I have claimed things which I have not claimed.

  51. Truthseeker says:

    I am not a physist, but I have been reading enough of the arguments on all sides to see that the basic error in this “Alabama Two Step” is that you are equating radiation with heat.

    This is where the disconnect is occurring in this discussion. What is happening in a radiative sense does not determine what is happening in a thermal sense.

    The atmosphere retains heat because it has mass. The greater the mass (measured by pressure) the greater the heat it can hold. Water vapour is suspended droplets of liquid in the atmosphere (which is why it is called vapour) and have a much greater specific mass than the gas around it which is why it has such a larger effect on the temperature profile of the atmosphere. This is true of the cloud layers on Earth and on Venus (clearly not water vapour on Venus but a vapour none the less).

    The atmosphere is a blanket which both diffuses the incoming energy from the Sun and delays the loss of heat from the surface. The composition of the gas in the atmosphere is effectively irrelevant, but the proportion of vapour is significant because it adds to the “thickness” of the blanket.

    • radiation is part of the heat budget of the atmosphere, and it is the heat budget (energy budget) which determines temperature. The mass involved (actually, the specific heat capacity) affects *how long* it takes for the temperature to change in response to an energy imbalance. This is all taken into account in models.

      • Truthseeker says:

        Dr Spencer, after re-reading your article and the comments it has generated, I think I can say there is actually a lot of agreement on the outcomes if not the processes. The emphasis for the greenhouse nay-sayers is the effect of CO2 and I will say that I do not see any observational evidence of its effect on anything other than the growth of plants.

        The elephant in the room is of course water vapour and yes having it in our atmosphere means a higher average temperature where it occurs. It is not distributed uniformly around the planet or the atmosphere so the flow of energy, either as heat via convection and/or conduction or as radiation (at various wavelengths) will be affected by its presence or lack of it. However such effects on energy flows are necessarily short term and therefore affect the weather we actually get (but cannot predict).

        The ambient temperature of a planetary body with an atmosphere over time (climate if you will) is a different beast and can be shown not to be determined by atmospheric composition. However no living creature is actually affected by climate, but all are impacted by the weather (called ocean currents for deep sea creatures) and neither weather or climate is within our control.

  52. DocMartyn says:

    The absorbance of IR at 15 and 9.5 micron are not classical absorbance spectra of CO2. The uptick in the two troughs, appears to me at least, to be the sum of two different absorbance and emission spectra.
    CO2 has a broad absorbance at high temp and high pressure, and the peak tightens up when cold.
    The absorbance/emission chain from hot/high pressure to cold/low pressure CO2 seems to give over emission at the two CO2 peaks.
    I have never seen a good radiance transfer model that includes the temperature/density of the various layers of the atmosphere.

    • ALL radiative transfer models (actually, it is the radiative codes within radiative transfer models) I am aware of do exactly that. They take into account how the absorption spectrum changes as a function of temperature and pressure.

      Again, you must peruse the journal literature to find these things. They are not posted on blogs.

  53. Edward Bancroft says:

    You do not state how your IR intensity vs wavelength graph was derived. Is this an average over a day, or some other period of time? As this is an important part of your article it would help if this key factor was explained.

    A graph for midday would look like the one depicted, but a graph for midnight would be different, with a peak at the main IR active range instead of a trough, due to IR emission of energy into space.

    • IR emission occurs continuously, day and night. The spectra would look almost identical.

      • Edward Bancroft says:

        In the cooler night the energy distribution would surely shift to the longer wavelength end of the spectrum.

        Are you also saying that the chart for the humid tropics looks the same as one for the Polar region in their very dry winter?

  54. Rosco says:

    I hadn’t read the whole article before my other post because I really would like a considered answer to my question.

    But I can now comment on some other points.

    Insulation is equally effective because it reduces convective heat loss, it reduces conductive heat loss and adds thermal mass. I am unsure how significant radiative heat loss is in the example you use of a house.

    A blanket is effective because it traps air warmed by our bodies denying convective and conductive cooling – I am reasonably certain reducing radiation has little to do with the warming effect as the “whole” system – person and blanket – will radiate nonetheless.

    A similar effect is caused by our body hair and certainly for animals. Body hair in an animal such as a polar bear reducing convection is the reason they survive.

    I have seen claims that humidity feels “uncomfortable” – and let me tell you it does as I live in a very humid summer climate – is because it is the extra radiation from the water vapour.

    I cannot prove or disprove that assertion BUT I can say without equivocation our bodies require the ability to maintain core temperatures within a narrow range.

    I can also say without equivocation the method of heat loss in mammals involves evaporation of water – it is without doubt the principal mechanism of heat control in mammal bodies – ie sweating.

    High humidity results in a significant reduction in efficiency of this mechanism and hence we feel less comfortable.

    Further, turn on a fan which enhances convection and you feel more comfortable immediately.

    If increased radiation were really the reason humidity feels uncomfortable the effect ought to be measurable.

    Finally I believe it has been well demonstarted over years that convection and conduction energy transfer dominate in an atmosphere.

    Vehicle radiators don’t “radiate” – they conduct via water and convect via the finned radiator.

    Electrical heat sinks convect – and require fan forcing in high heat circuits.

    I could go on but there is no denying the best insulator per cubic millimetre is a vacuum and I think this says a lot about why planets with an atmosphere maintain warmth and why the Moon cools so much versus Earth – ie a lonnng linarnight versus 12 hours.

    Anyway – that’s my 2 cents worth – I could be completely wrong but the arguments to demonstrate this to me need to explain the Moon !

    • there are so many misconceptions here I simply don’t have time to address them all.

      Let me just ask: in the case of the thermal image of the house losing IR, you do understand that by losing IR, the house cools, correct?

      Also, I’m sure you are aware of space blankets, which when used in space only act radiatively (since there is no air to conduct heat).

      BTW, conduction in the atmosphere is very weak. Air is an excellent insulator, which is why Styrofoam works so well.

      • capt dallas says:

        Weak but not zero. For there to be convection, heat has to be transferred. The coefficient of thermal conductivity at the thermal boundary layers is one of the limits on the rate of heat transfer. CO2 improves the conductive transfer of heat in the lower atmosphere which increases convection and improves the radiant transfer in the upper atmosphere CO2 molecules can gain energy by collision and emit radiation in its spectrum. One of the didn’t remain equal issues is the rate of convection is increasing faster than modeled.

        Some of the new and improved energy budgets have sensible heat loss in the 17 to 21 Wm-2 range with latent heat loss in the 78 to 88 Wm-2 range and solar absorption in the 71 to 82 Wm-2 range. With 166 to 191 Wm-2 of the energy in the atmosphere from sources other than OLR, the DWLR radiation due to GHG return is in the range of 208 to 234Wm-2.

        http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/stevensbjorn/Documents/StevensSchwartz2012.pdf

        You have probably seen this, if not, it has some interesting observations.

  55. Rosco says:

    What if the IR absorption of gases provides an extra energy transport mechanism and instead enhances radiative cooling of the surface and actually provides an enhanceed cooling effect at higher concentrations ? What if the Sun was the driver of warming observed since the little ice age ?

    There is little doubt surely that water vapour acts to transport energy around the globe and ultimately to space through precipitation ??

    In this scenario CO2 would really be a problem as if it enhanced Earth’s cooling “ability” by providing an extra mechanism for energy transport then serious consequences could follow – ie potential glaciation.

    I do not know about the many arguements over ice cores – does squeezing CO2 gas by pressure at depth in the ice artificially reduce concentrations seen in older ice cores by forcing the gas to the surface – who knows ?

    But one thing seems to emerge from ice cores that is consistent with known factual measurements – “settled science” if you will and that is that atmospheric CO2 increases seem to follow temperature increases and we all know warm water outgasses CO2 more than cold water.

    If CO2 actually causes global cooling it is indeed a serious problem – and that is one possible interpretation of ice core temperature proxies.

  56. mkelly says:

    commieBob says: March 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM
    Back radiation.

    The contents of the flask don’t get hotter than when they were put in.

    • commieBob says:

      The contents try to lose heat by radiation. The mirror reflects the radiation back and prevents the contents from getting cooler (as quickly).

  57. Colin Davidson says:

    I have a number of difficulties with the EGH hypothesis:

    1. In the spectrum shown, the emissions from CO2 in the 630-710 band, on average, come from ABOVE the Tropopause:
    DeWitt Payne, who I believe is a radiation modeller, states: “Using MODTRAN and averaging transmittance over the range 630-710, at 280 ppmv CO2 the OD is 1.0 at about 16.6 km. Doubling the CO2 to 560 raises the altitude to 18.8 km.” (comment on http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/09/02/radiative-forcing-and-the-surface-energy-balance/ at 1102, 4th December 2011. This statement is confirmed by spectra from thunderclouds and by calculation by me at WN650). This would put the altitude at about 17.2km for present concentrations of CO2 (390ppmv). At all latitudes there is a COOLING influence of about 1W/m^2 from this band when CO2 is increased to 560ppm. (concentration increased by 1.4, density decreased by .8, temperature either increased (tropics) or the same (elsewhere).

    The blue label on the diagram is wrong. And I do not at present think that the weak lines outside the main band could contribute a net HEATING influence.

    2. The key to understanding surface temperatures is the SURFACE. It is easy to show that an increased temperature of 1DegC at the surface requires about 7-10W/m^2 of downward forcing. This is greater than the SB rate, due to evaporation.

    Put another way, it takes about double the forcing to maintain an increased surface temperature than one might expexct using SB calculations.

    RADIATIVE FORCING translated directly to the surface has a very minor effect. Positive feedback needs to be invoked to get more than a small temperature increase.

    3. How does RADIATIVE FORCING (manifested in the upper atmosphere as a hotter bit of gas) translate to the surface? I cannot find any evidence for this mechanism in the sonde records http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html and there should be a mechanism ( see IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapter 2, Fig 2.2) in spades – we have 35DegC of Warming, we should see the postulated mechanism, but we don’t. Look at the plots for Inuvik, Canada from 8th to 9th April 2011 – no evidence of FORCING due to increased upper atmosphere temperature.

    Nor is there a hot spot, shown in the cited IPCC diagram, evident in any part of the globe – if we already have 35DeGC of warming we should see this feature – it would be very silly to have to have a brand new feature to explain what is going to happen in the last 3DegC of warming.

  58. Thanks Dr. Spencer.
    An excellent article!

    I liked specially your reference to convection, it has fueled interesting comments.

    AV

  59. Doug Cotton says:

    Roy and others

    You are quite correct in saying A temperature rise can occur either from (1) increasing the rate of energy gain, or (2) decreasing the rate of energy loss. The greenhouse effect has to do with the 2nd of these possibilities.

    Many people make the mistake of assuming that the IPCC means (1) and their energy diagrams seem to imply such. That is why, in my paper at http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf I firstly clear up this matter, pointing out that if the IPCC meant (1) then there would indeed be a violation of the Second Law.

    However, (2) is talking about the known effect that radiation from a cooler body can in fact slow the rate of radiative cooling of a warmer body. This is explained in Section 5 of my paper. The radiation from the cooler body undergoes what I call “resonant scattering” and it leaves no energy behind, just as if it had been reflected, at least as far as energy goes.

    But it does occupy one of the “resonators” to which Prof Claes Johnson refers (Ref [3]), so this prevents the warmer body emitting some of its own energy, thus slowing its radiative cooling process.

    However, only the radiative process is slowed. There is no effect on the rate of cooling by evaporation or diffusion (conduction-like) processes. These other processes can speed up and thus compensate for any slower radiation.

    In the Introduction (Section 1 of my paper) I briefly dismiss the “old” GH concept of any physical transfer of thermal energy to the surface from energy “trapped” high up in the atmosphere by any process other than radiation. However, the “newer” IPCC explanation is based on “backradiation” slowing the cooling process in some way which they do not explain in detail. It could mean (and is usually assumed to mean) that the radiation is first converted to thermal energy in the surface.

    In reality, I show that this cannot happen without violating the Second Law. If it did happen, that new thermal energy would be free to exit by other means such as evaporation or diffusion (conduction-like) processes, at any time, sooner or later. You cannot assume that there would be immediate compensating re-radiation excusing any violation of the Second Law. That is why I discuss whether or not backradiation from a cooler layer of the atmosphere penetrates any small distance below the surface of warmer water and warms a sub-surface layer even more. It can’t and it doesn’t. Such has never been observed in any physical experiment, as best I can determine. Tell me if I’m wrong. Instead, it undergoes resonant scattering right at the surface.

    Now the focus turns to carbon dioxide and thus whether there is any validity in the AGW conjecture. Carbon dioxide obviously only radiates in a limited number of frequencies compared with a true blackbody. So, when radiation which last left a carbon dioxide molecule strikes the surface it does not resonate with many of the potential frequencies which the surface can emit. Hence it has very little effect on the rate of cooling of the surface compared with the effect that a blackbody at the same temperature would have. Water vapour will have a somewhat greater effect per molecule, because it has more frequencies, and that is why we can just detect warmer temperatures when the relative humidity is high at night. This does not mean that carbon dioxide will have an equivalent effect.

    Furthermore, whatever effect there is only relates to the rate of cooling by radiation. If that slows then there will probably be compensating increases in the rate of cooling for evaporation and diffusion. This could well be the case because of the stabilising effect of the very constant temperatures not far under the surface. This mechanism is discussed in Q.3 in the Appendix.

    The last nail in the AGW coffin comes when we realise that there are cooling effects due to both water vapour and carbon dioxide as they radiate to space energy rising from the surface and also some of the Sun’s radiation which is in the IR band and which they do absorb – a fact conveniently overlooked by the IPCC.

    Also in the Appendix Q.1 is a discussion about whether there is any indication of additional non-natural warming in recent times, and in Q.2 a discussion of the proverbial 255K temperature and that 33 degree difference supposedly due to a greenhouse effect. Other FAQ’s are answered in the Appendix as well, so please look there for answers before raising such questions here.

    May I encourage those who have made comments contrary to any of this to please read the paper and get back if they find fault in the logic. The paper is about to be subjected to “open peer-review” by potentially dozens of members of PSI. Don’t get me wrong – I do want to hear of any valid objections to what the paper actually says.

  60. “It is warming of the ocean that releases this one largest and most readily available source of CO2.”

    This applied in the distant past, but since 1750, man has caused CO2 to go up from 280 ppm to 390 ppm or 39%. But the important thing is that this increase has not had a huge affect on the global temperatures. For proof that oceans are not responsible for today’s increase in CO2, see the graph below. Since 1997, the ocean surface temperatures have not increased, but CO2 due to man has increased. See:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.08/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise

  61. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Roy,
    Wow, you never seem to tire of provoking those who’s understanding of the basics is, well, ‘challenged’. I don’t know how much progress you will ever make with the more disconnected, but more power to ya!

  62. gnomish says:

    start a blog, mr wilde.
    so i can read what you write and forget the political gamesmanship, talking points and compromises.
    you have it right and in perspective.
    i’ve read you before observing that our 3phase atmosphere is a refrigerant.
    the fact that anything absorbs heat from the surface must cool the surface. can i haz a qed so i look spiffy like the leetz with mad modelling skillz?

  63. YOGI says:

    Greenhouse gasses raise the altitude at which emission occurs so reduce the temperature of emission. So water vapour, the main GHG, warms up, rises, and takes the warmth to a higher altitude, where it has to cool due to the lapse rate, and radiates the energy at a lower temperature than it would have lower down. Thereby cooling the surface at the expense of lowering the lapse rate. With the altitudes that CO2 is taken to by convection, surely it would be just along for the ride with what the water vapour is doing, i.e. dumping heat further up away from the surface, to radiate away to space more easily. GHG`s do reduce IR lost to space DIRECTLY FROM THE SURFACE, by moving surface heat to a higher altitude by convection where it will have to radiate at a lower temperature.

  64. Alex Heyworth says:

    “the rate of outgoing energy must equal the rate of incoming energy.”

    Not if the Earth is getting warmer.

    • Alex Heyworth says:

      Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to Pat Frank’s comment.

      • Pat Frank says:

        The atmosphere can warm or cool without any change in energy flux, Alex. That’s what rgb meant by heterodyning oscillations. The climate, including the atmosphere, is a system of coupled oscillators.

        • Alex Heyworth says:

          I said nothing about the atmosphere, Pat. I agree the atmosphere could be warming or cooling with no change in the flux. However, if the Earth as whole is warming then the incoming and outgoing energy will almost certainly be different. Energy is conserved. The only reason for their to be no difference between incoming and outgoing energy while the Earth as a whole was warming would be if the energy came from another energy form – for example, chemical or mechanical energy being converted to heat. I’m not aware of anyone seriously suggesting either of these happening on a sufficient scale.

  65. Peter Champness says:

    Very good discussion here, and I admit I have not read all of it yet. I am familiar with the arguments of the skyslayers. I do not think that they should be dismissed out of hand. Is the Green House Effect based on experimental results or just theory?

    Al Gore purported to conduct an experiment, in which glass jars containing a model earth were heated with heat lamps. The jar containg CO2 appeared to heat rapidly to a much higher temperature than the one containing air. The experiment was shown to have been falsified by Anthony Watts,

    Dr John Pearson, Noosa QLD, conducted an experiment in which styrofoam boxes, covered in plastic and painted black ojn the inside, were exposed to the sun. He found no difference in temperature between the box containg air and the one containg CO2.

    I have conducted a more general experiment, in which a black body (tin painted black) and encased in a plastic bottle to minimse convective loss was heated by the sun. I found no difference in temperature, when the black body radiation from the sides of the tin was reflected back on itself by wrapping a layer of aluminium foil around.

    I do not regard these experiments as definitive, but so far they do not confirm any Green House Effect. Does anyone have any other experimental proof?

    • As I recall when I ran some calculations based upon the IR absorption effects of CO2, even a 1 meter deep box, highly insulated and exposed to sunlight with an IR-transparent cover, with pure CO2 would produce only a few hundredths of a deg. C warming over one with ambient air. This effect would probably not be observable since you would not be able to construct two boxes identical enough to make the CO2 effect stand out.

  66. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer, with respect;

    Again with the DC (direct current) analysis of what is inherently an AC (Alternating Current) system.

    First, You wrote;

    “When you add insulation to your house, you reduce the rate of energy loss in the winter,” NO, the insulation reduces the speed at which the energy travels through the walls/attic. Rate is how much energy is emitted from a surface per unit time. Speed is how fast it travels (through space, or through the insulation).

    And then you wrote;

    “which will raise the temperature inside the house (all other things being the same),”

    NO, NO and again NO. The insulation does not raise the temperature inside your house, the furnace does. The insulation makes your furnaces job easier. No furnace, no rise in temperature regardless of the amount of insulation. The furnace is a SOURCE of THERMAL ENERGY entering the system. Try the IR camera picture of a ROCK sometime with/without insulation.

    Ignoring volcanoes for a moment, the EARTH IS NOT a SOURCE of THERMAL ENERGY entering the system. The Earth’s surface is NOT the EQUIVALENT of the FURNACE inside the fancy house in your IR picture, it is simply a re-radiator of energy from the Sun, this has important implications for properly performing a correct energy budget analysis of the system.

    Second, regarding the satellite measured spectral emissions, Yes I understand that information completely. And I do not dispute it in any way. However, it measures the rate of emissions across the spectrum. It does NOT measure the speed of energy flow. See the prior explanation about the clear difference between RATE and SPEED in this context. These words do have different meanings when applied to the analysis of energy flowing through a system. They are probably interchangeable when talking about the forward progress of your bicycle.

    The satellite measurements ARE not measuring the insulation effectiveness of the atmosphere.

    QED NOT, sorry.

    There are two close equivalents to the GHE that can teach us something. One is natural, and one man made.

    One simple analogy is the simple echo sound from a nearby canyon wall, the sound leaves its source and returns diminished after a delay, and may do so several times. This is a delay in the propagation caused by multiple trips through the system. The speed of sound is not changed. The delay through the system changes as the echo effect (i.e. an equivalent to the GHE) increases. But the strength of the sound at its original location is never stronger (i.e. a higher equilibrium temperature) than when it first left.

    A second man made analogy is the Multiple Layer Interference Filter applied to optical surfaces (i.e. camera lenses). This works by having a thin layer of material that reflects radiation back towards the surface. Just like the GHG remits IR energy back towards the surface. These filters reduce the reflection of energy away from the surface and DO INDEED cause the lens to transmit (and also absorb) more of the energy. So such a filter will cause the lens to heat up more than a lens with the filter. HOWEVER for this to occur destructive interference must occur inside the layers of the filter. Despite the poorly chosen name destructive interference of light does not destroy light energy. For every location where destructive interference causes no energy to be present there is a location one half wavelength away where there is twice as much energy present. Two locations, two units of energy, no energy gain/loss. Due to a number of technical considerations (coherence length for one) I seriously doubt that the GHE acts as a Multilayer Interference Filter. But I am open to a demonstration of such an effect.

    The GHE itself does not violate the laws of thermodynamics, it is the climate science communities erroneous analysis that violates both the First and Second Laws.

    Good luck super insulating your house so you can throw the
    furnace and AC away.

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Kevin, it’s hard to get past your first assertion, in which you dispute something I did not even say (read your own words).

      You follow up with some pseudo-scientific babble about constructive or destructive interference. Huh?

      Finally, I never claimed, or even implied, you could superinsulate a house and throw away the furnace. How in the world did you ever come to such a conclusion? Maybe you can just throw the insulation away in YOUR house, since apparently you believe it has no effect on the temperature inside.

  67. Joseph Postma says:

    Despite the attempt to resurrect the despicable and thoroughly moronic “denier ” label, there really is a very rational, calm, scientifically valid, interesting problem to discuss at the heart of climate theory: the so-called greenhouse effect (GHE).

    Climate science and the GHE bases all of its science on a model of the Earth which is flat. You probably didn’t know that, or you did but don’t appreciate the problem there is implicit in that. Yes, they literally treat the Earth as if it is flat, from the simple models used to teach the theory, to the advanced computer programs which calculate atmospheric currents. They treat the Earth as flat. It is literally flat Earth science.

    But does it make a difference?

    Well, can you bounce a pancake? Are we in the dark ages?

    Yes it does make a difference. Mathematically, in order to treat the Earth as flat, you have to reduce the power of sunlight – this is how it works out mathematically. If you want to treat the Earth as a flat disk instead of a spherical ball in order to make the math easier via that approximation, then mathematically it works out that you have to reduce the power of sunlight…to MINUS 18 degrees Celsius. And it is also isotropic in that approximation: -18C worth of sunlight over the entire Earth at once.

    “BUT WAIT”, goes the standard theory based on this approximation, “it feels warmer than -18C!”. So then they invent the Greenhouse Effect, and alarmingly scare you and tell you it’s going to kill you if it increases in power by a negligible percentage. In their alarmist theory, their supposed greenhouse effect, which would allow all life to exist on the planet – a good thing, because it would keep the planet from freezing – is now suddenly going to destroy the planet and all life. Delusional psychotic paranoia? Yes.

    Of course, the truth is, the Earth is NOT flat, and Sunshine is NOT cold. The Earth IS round and Sunshine IS hot. Sunshine is actually +121C worth of hot. Wow hey? I bet climate science never told you that!

    And obviously that really does make a difference: -18C worth sunlight can’t melt ice.

    Can’t…melt…ice.

    How do you explain liquid water when sunshine has nowhere near the power to melt ice? But they ignore that. Wow…so I guess the greenhouse effect is what gives me sunburns, and what sustains the entire oceans from freezing. It is implicit in the way GHE theory is developed, that the relatively negligible mass of the atmosphere melts the gargantuan mass of ocean water and keeps it from freezing. It is patently ridiculous.

    And this changes everything. With an acknowledgement of reality, if we MIGHT be so brave, sunlight CAN melt ice all by itself and sustain a liquid water planet. And then given the various thermodynamic properties of water when it undergoes phase-changes, the planet develops a temperature plateau (0C) below which it is very difficult to ever drop below again, due to the simple gargantuan mass of ocean water and its high heat capacity, and the fact that sunshine never stops. Especially when you consider that said ocean water is heated with the REAL power of sunlight of around 100C, rather than the wrongly-approximated flat-earth-model power of -18C which could NEVER melt ice.

    This link will lead you to my latest paper briefly explaining this problem in a way which is easy to understand:

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Copernicus_Meets_the_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

    It is called “Copernicus Meets the Greenhouse Effect”. Within that paper is a link to my previous much more technical and lengthy paper called “The Model Atmosphere”.

    Another paper is coming which I hope will finalize the creation of a new real-time mathematical/physical model which uses the REAL value of hot sun-shine falling on a spherical Earth water planet with variable thermal capacity and latent heat storage.

    This model is shown as a diagram in the papers I mentioned above. You can think of the diagram as a “mind-object” which, by its necessity of representing what actually physically exists (i.e. NOT a flat Earth and cold Sun, but a round rotating Earth and hot Sun), queues the physicist’s mind into a mathematical paradigm which will correspond with reality. A flat-earth model can’t do that, by definition.

    The GHE which comes from the flat-earth, cold-sun model is also fiction, by definition. It is really quite simple and we needn’t fight over this so much – the Earth isn’t flat and any model that approximates sunshine as -18C simply can NOT tell you anything useful about the real system, other than a potential simple approximation of total energy balance. But even that hope isn’t a good one to expect since we already know that other planets are well able to emit more energy than they receive from the Sun. The GHE is created from a model which approximates the Earth as flat and the Sun as cold: by DEFINITION, this can not correspond with reality in any meaningful way.

    Often times, the best science comes out of questioning what we believe are the most basic facts. This is such an example. -18C sunlight is a well-held assumption but it is also an approximation, and you will see that it is actually a faulty one which has led to belief in an awful fiction – such that modern environmentalist is almost, if not outright, genocidal in its intent. Genocidal alarmist climate science environmentalism is what the GHE has created. Nice huh?

    As far as CO2 – there’s never been any evidence it causes warming in any case. The ice-core records show that CO2 is driven by temperature with no indication of feedback, and the modern record shows that temperature increased by itself at the end of the little ice-age with anthropogenic CO2 being insignificant until 100 years after that already started. CO2 is plant food, and the most reasonable scientific conclusion on its presence in the atmosphere is that we need MORE of it.

  68. KevinK says:

    Darn, in the paragraph about multiple layer interference filters the fifth sentence should be;

    “So such a filter will cause the lens to heat up more than a lens withOUT the filter.”

    In summary, I fully understand Dr. Spencer’s explanation, I just respectfully (I do try) disagree.

    Cheers, Kevin (a denier, not my choice of terms to frame those involved in a long overdue debate, but so be it)

  69. PhilC says:

    @Ian Schumacher
    “What has always puzzled me though is the idea that the greenhouse effect can cause the temperature to be higher than that of a blackbody. That doesn’t seem possible to me.”

    This is wrong. A “blackbody” can have any temperature. The Sun is an excellent black body radiator. It’s only yellow because it’s hot, because you can see electromagnetic radiation in the visible range, not in the infra-red.

    • Ian Schumacher says:

      It can? The radiation emitted by a blackbody is proportional the the fourth power of temperature (Stefan-Boltzmann law). So the temperature of a blackbody is known. You can not create a passive body that will have a higher temperature than a blackbody. Pretty sure anyways.

  70. It’s silly to rebut a 1500 word article in the comment section. Earth sicnece is complicated, that’s why the Slayers wrote a 350 page science text and have peer reviewed and posted over 500 pages of additional material. But this subject is not unapproachable and we encourage laymen to visit the Principia-Scientific.org site. If you are bummed out because you didn’t get the Climatology Magic Decoder Ring, then we offer a quiver full of AGW arrows to pop the Warmist and Luke balloon. And Roy, I always send you a H/T when i post articles on YOUR work….really !

  71. Myrrh says:

    bill hunter says:
    March 14, 2012 at 4:11 PM
    If incoming absorption is a small portion where can we see it being calculated?

    I have heard that incoming solar radiation is 50% longwave. I also am aware that the 1366w/m2 solar radiation is divided by 4 to represent average insolation.

    ================

    The comic cartoon energy of the warmists not only has the water cycle missing, it has shortwave in longwave out only. It says that shortwaves, visible, uv and nr infrared, i.e. Light in classic trad physics, heat the land and oceans and that thermal infrared direct from the Sun doesn’t reach the surface and so plays no part in heating land and ocean.

    Thermal infrared direct from the Sun is heat, the Sun’s thermal energy on the move to us – what we feel as heat. We can’t feel visible light at all, nor uv nor near infrared, these are Light not Heat.

    How is the real heat direct from the Sun accounted for in the warmist energy budget? It isn’t, it’s simply ignored because they want to pretend it doesn’t exist because, like the water cycle, it spoils their fictional fisics.

  72. Doug Cotton says:

    Roy and others

    Regarding your second point about evidence of absorption by carbon dioxide in TOA spectroscopy, I have already covered that in the FAQ appendix to my paper which is now being discussed on tallbloke http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#more-5303

    You may read in the Appendix …

    Q.6 What happens to the radiation which is absorbed by carbon dioxide?

    When spectrometers near the top of the atmosphere (TOA) are pointed at a source of radiation on the surface they will detect rays which get straight through, but the rays with frequencies which can be absorbed by carbon dioxide are mostly missing, indicating that they have been absorbed by carbon dioxide molecules. When this happens some of the surplus radiated energy will be converted to thermal energy. This energy might or might not be shared with, for example, water vapour molecules. Whatever happens, subsequent spontaneous emission is more likely (because of the warming) but the new ray is highly unlikely to strike the spectrometer. If the new radiation heads towards warmer regions in the atmosphere, or to the surface itself, it will undergo resonant scattering. But if it heads upwards to cooler regions it will either get through to space or strike another molecule further up, where the process starts over again. One way or another, the energy gets out to space by another gate.

  73. Alan Wilkinson says:

    The simplest non-technical analogy seems to me to be the fire hose version. The earth’s surface needs to squirt low frequency radiation back to space to balance the incoming high frequency radiation. Greenhouse gases interfere with the flow so the earth’s surface has to raise the pressure of the fire hose to get through that barrier. That pressure is the surface temperature so the temperature has to rise.

    Alternatively, natural feedbacks may act to block more of the incoming high frequency radiation, eg via clouds or aerosols.

  74. KevinK says:

    Dr. Brown wrote;

    “I have also had the chance to look at the physics of many of the “alternative” theories that are posted to account for the warming, and most of them are sheer nonsense”

    With all due respect, I have never attempted to “account” for the warming. Having watched the weather (that’s what we get, climate is what we expect) for quite a few decades I have yet to see this “mythical” warming that I am causing by driving to work every day in my SUV.

    With all due respect there is a reason we in the engineering community do not allow Physics Professors design anything, they tend to miss all those little details that make a design successful.

    No disrespect, I learned quite a bit from my Physics Professors back in College, but when something has to work in the Lab the last person we call is a physics professor.

    So in summary we have a “Settled Science” that;

    1) Has failed dramatically in matching observations with theory after 2 or 3 decades (in the absence of careful culling of data). Even Dr. Spencer is asking “Why aren’t we seeing the results of the GHE”, seems that if the believers in “It should cause warming” are asking WHERE’S THE WARMING maybe the hypothesis has a flaw or two ?

    2) Nobody else has applied the “Effect” to solve any real world problem (i.e like the Peltier effect, once you show that the GHE does anything useful everybody will jump on your ship and solve and SELL this “effect” to make money.

    Just a hint here but search the US Patent Database for “Energy Amplifiers”, admittedly this is not a perfect database and includes some things that ”stretch” the laws of physics, but it is in fact a good database on what “works”.

    3) Nobody else does “energy budget” analyses the way it is done on the climate science community. If we did (i.e. interchanging units of mW/m^2 for energy) every Earth orbiting satellite would have quit working within a few weeks of launch.

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Truthseeker says:

      Kevin, as you rightly point out, anything that an engineer cannot use to build something that works in the real world is pure speculation.

      Keep on keeping it real …

  75. Joseph Postma says:

    Doug Cotton:

    Consider that CO2 molecules are already vibrating in all frequency bands due to collisions with other molecules, which is more frequent than photon interactions.

    The notch in the spectrometer scan when looking down is because those frequencies of resonant wavelengths coming up from the ground were scattered in the first place, not absorbed.

    That the notch is so wide without actually going down to zero flux (saturation) tells you that those frequencies are being mostly scattered.

    If they were being absorbed, to saturation, the notch would go to zero, then start widening in the wings.

    As it is, the notch is just very wide, but not actually saturated down to zero flux.

    The collisions are more frequent than the photon rate, and so the molecule is vibrating at a much wider range of oscillations than photon resonance by itself would induce. Still centered on 15um, this widens the CO2 resonance band with the photons passing by, causing a wider wavelength range of them to scatter.

    It is mostly always scattering…a photon would need to find a CO2 molecule just in between one of its collisions with another molecule, and just after a collision which randomly left the CO2 molecule perfectly still, to be able to induce molecular oscillation via resonance with the photon, and actually be said to deposit energy into the molecule.

  76. ghl says:

    Can anybody provide a link to filtered IR photographs from orbit.Some should look like Venus and show an effective radiating height, some show clouds bright, some show clouds dark. I’d love to see them.

  77. Doug Cotton says:

    Kevin and Alan

    Kevin, I do actually agree that some deniers also don’t have any better an idea of what’s going on than most warmists, even our Dr Spencer here, I have to say, with respect of course.

    Alan’s firehose analogy is of course way off the mark. If the surface had to pump out more energy because it somehow knew there was a traffic jam somewhere up in the atmosphere, then it would cool faster. What are we concerned about – surface temperatures where we live, or the atmosphere being -35 deg.C instead of -36 deg.C at some level? In any event, there is no traffic jam because any temporary warming just leads to more radiation.

    And energy in the radiation from the cooler atmosphere which strikes the surface cannot be converted to thermal energy in the surface, and thus can have no effect on the rate of thermal energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere by evaporation and diffusion. It can have a slight effect on the radiative rate of cooling, though carbon dioxide will have very little effect because of its limited range of frequencies, compared with a blackbody or even water vapour.

    And then we note that carbon dioxide and water vapour can actually “backradiate” some of the Sun’s radiation up into space, thus cooling. It’s all in my new paper being discuss on tallbloke’s talkshop … http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/radiated_energy.pdf

  78. _Jim says:

    First understand the molecule, then understand the characteristics that come into ‘play’ in the environment of the atmosphere under the influence and ‘exposure’ of LWIR and SWIR EM radiation from both the earth and the sun.

    Anybody here know how a half wavelength EM dipole antenna element works?

    Dipole antenna – “A resonant, conductive structure capable of receiving, transmitting and temporarily storing EM (Electro-Magnetic) energy.”

    THAT’S the basis for the CO2 or H2O GHG effect (and satellite imagery e.g. the IR imagers or the WV imagers) – those molecules are ‘mechanically’ resonant at various IR frequencies much like a tuning fork, a dipole antenna or an LC tuned circuit are resonant … and they can absorb and re-emit (like the dipole antenna) at particular resonant frequencies.

    Pretty straight forward I would say, when understood in that context.
    .

  79. Martin Mason says:

    I disagree that there is a separate denier category amongst sceptics. There are just people who have a different view to Dr Roy. Heating of the surface by downwelling IR from GHGs is a theory, Dr Roy makes the mistake of quoting it as fact.

    • TLM says:

      Heating of the surface by downwelling IR from GHGs is a theory, Dr Roy makes the mistake of quoting it as fact.

      No, it is a fact easily and often proven by experiment.

      Point an IR thermometer at a clear, moonless, night sky. At worst, at mid-latitudes (where I am in the UK), it will show a temperature around 240K (-33C). That is rather warmer than outer space where if you did the same thing it would read 3K (-270C).

      QED

      Where do you think all this IR radiation is coming from?
      There is no Sun, Moon or clouds between you and space, only the atmosphere (nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane etc). So it must be coming from those gases.

      The IR thermometer is detecting IR radiation coming down from the atmosphere, that is “downwelling” Infra-red radiation. If it were not for that downwelling IR the surface of the Earth would be a lot cooler.

      Whether you call this effect “reduced cooling” or “heating” I will leave to your own definition of the words. Suffice it to say that the temperature of the surface of the Earth is higher than it would be without this downwelling radiation.

      I really don’t understand why so many of you cannot get your heads round this!

  80. Alan Wilkinson says:

    Doug, the pump has to work harder to get the same amount of radiation through the hose because the greenhouse gas is partially blocking it. And until it gets the same amount of radiation through the hose the surface will automatically heat up, increasing the pressure.

    Nothing difficult to understand there. I don’t know why you are choking on it.

  81. Doug Cotton says:

    Joseph:

    Yes that’s interesting – your last post regarding CO2 absorption and why Roy’s second point is not relevant.

    I had realised there was a lot of dispute over just whether much energy is actually absorbed by carbon dioxide, and whether, whatever (perhaps small) amount is absorbed can then be diffused to other air molecules, including water vapour.

    Hence I used rather general terms in my paper: When this happens some of the surplus radiated energy will be converted to thermal energy. This energy might or might not be shared with, for example, water vapour molecules. Whatever happens,

    That’s also a good post of yours above about the flat Earth “science” which all should read. Others might like to read similar in the Appendix of my paper http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

  82. Doug Cotton says:

    Alan – for goodness sake, there’s no hose in the atmosphere. Just exactly what feedback mechanism do you imagine tells the surface to pump harder?

    Maybe you’d like to read my peer-reviewed paper on all this and much more .. It’s currently first on the list at http://webcommentary.com/

    • Alan Wilkinson says:

      Doug, there’s no need for any “feedback”. When the hose pipe chokes up with GHG the surface overheats from radiation imbalance raising the temperature until the extra pressure overcomes the obstruction and corrects the imbalance.

      If you want to counter that analogy you’ll have to argue that the GHG does not create an obstruction to outgoing radiation, but it clearly does as per Roy’s Step 2.

  83. Bart says:

    Dr. Spencer says: “Again I emphasize, however, the above simple argument is necessarily true only to the extent that all other elements of the climate system remain the same, which they will not.”

    This is important to keep in mind. Denying that IR gases have warming potential is simply wrong. But, looking into countervailing effects could bear fruit.

    Personally, I believe that the model is too simple, because it focuses on the effect of only one gas at a time, and it is the total sum of atmospheric re-radiation which determines the quasi-equilibrium temperature of the planet.

    The gases in the atmosphere act as a positive feedback to surface temperature. They increase the gain of the system in the same way the IPCC claims water vapor release from CO2 induced heating acting as a positive feedback increases the gain due to CO2 forcing. But, the effective feedback gain very much depends on the actual mix of gases in the atmosphere.

    Consider, for example, the feeback

    F = a*(T-T1) + b*(T-T2)

    where a, b, T1 and T2 are constants. Let us assume that the temperature T stabilizes where F = 0. Then, in equilibrium, T = (a*T1+b*T2)/(a+b). The partial derivative of T with respect to a is

    dT/da = b*(T1-T2)/(a+b)^2

    Now, suppose a represents the CO2 concentration and T1 its warming potential, and b represents CH4 and T2 its warming potential. If T2 is greater than T1, then an increase in a will actually decrease the temperature.

    Of course, this is a very simplified illustration but, hopefully the point is made. For the Earth, you would have to determine the actual warming potentials due to the overlap of the Planck distribution of surface radiation with the radiating potentials of the gases, and these would be nonlinear functions of surface temperature. I would be willing to bet quite a lot that, for particular GHG quantities in a multi-layer atmosphere, it is quite possible to get cooling from increasing concentration of particular component gases. Has the IPCC made such a quantification? I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt that they have. Have they done it right? There, based on the quality of work I have seen, I am not inclined to be so generous.

  84. Dr. Spencer:

    The first and second premises of your argument are true. However, your conclusion that “adding more IR absorbing gases will cause a warming tendency” does not follow from these premises.

    To prove this conclusion you’d have to define what you mean by a “warming tendence and show how to measure it,” then provide observational data showing that a “warming tendency” invariably follows adding more IR absorbing gases.

    The definition of the “warming tendency” that climatologists have favored in the past makes it a rise in the equilibrium temperature at Earth’s surface. However, if this is the “warming tendency” that you have in mind, it meets the objection that the equilibrium temperature is not an observable.

  85. Doug Cotton says:

    In summary: Joseph Postma, in his comment at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/slaying-the-slayers-with-the-alabama-two-step/#comment-38281 has pointed out that very little IR surface radiation is actually absorbed by carbon dioxide. Instead it is just scattered and thus does not go directly to the spectrometer at the top of the atmosphere.

    Once scattered, some of it may well be absorbed by water vapour and then emitted with typical WV wavelengths. Some will get through to space and some will go back to the surface, but its energy cannot be converted to thermal energy therein, as my paper explains, and Roy also seems to agree.

    The radiation which does go back to the surface undergoes resonant scattering there (without leaving any energy in the surface) and it just continues back into the atmosphere zig zagging between various molecules until it breaks through to space.

    However, as I state in my paper, there can theoretically be an effect slowing the radiative cooling of the surface. But, not only is this effect very small for radiation from CO2, because of its limited frequency range, but it also only slows radiative cooling, not other processes such as evaporative cooling and diffusion which involves molecular collisions at the interface of the surface and atmosphere. These other processes can speed up and thus compensate for “slower” radiation.

    Furthermore, there are cooling effects in which upward backradiation (from solar IR) goes back to space. These almost certainly outweigh any slight warming effect.

    Finally, as outlined in the Appendix of my peer-reviewed paper, there is absolutely no evidence of any warming which cannot be explained by natural climate cycles which are beyond the control of humans.

    There are several more detailed posts of mine starting here . . http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-19755

  86. Bill Hunter says:

    Martin Mason says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    “I disagree that there is a separate denier category amongst sceptics. There are just people who have a different view to Dr Roy. Heating of the surface by downwelling IR from GHGs is a theory, Dr Roy makes the mistake of quoting it as fact.”

    You are right of course. Roy convinced himself that cloud bottoms were “emitting” the IR he measured in his backyard experiment. However, it is possibly the case that clouds reflect IR since they reflect all sorts of other light. So Roy may have been measuring his own reflection instead of cold cloud emissions.

    In 1872, James Clerk Maxwell published this:

    “Again, when a substance at a given temperature absorbs certain kinds of radiation and transmits others, it emits at that temperature only those kinds of radiation which it absorbs. A very remarkable instance of this is observed in the vapour of sodium. This substance when heated emits rays of two definite kinds, whose wave lengths are 0.00059053 and .00058989 millimeter respectively. These rays are visible, and may be seen in the form of two bright lines by directing a spectroscope upon a flame in which any compound of sodium is present.
    Now if the light emitted from an intensely heated solid body, such as a piece of lime in the oxyhydrogen light, be transmitted through sodium-vapor at the temperature lower than that of the lime, and then analyzed by the spectroscope, two dark lines are seen, corresponding to the two bright ones formerly observed, showing that sodium-vapour absorbs the same definite kinds of light which it radiates.
    If the temperature of the sodium-vapour is raised, say by using a Bunsen’s burner instead of a spirit-lamp to produce it, or if the temperature of the lime is lowered till it is the same as that of the vapour, the dark lines disappear, because the sodium-vapour now radiates exactly as much light as it absorbs from the light of the of the lime-ball at the same temperature.
    If the sodium-flame is hotter than the lime-ball the lines appear bright.”

    Hmmmmmmmmm! The attenuation of light disappears when the gas is the same temperature as the lime-ball!!

    Doesn’t at all sound like the greenhouse theory we have heard about in these parts!

    One might presume the attenuated light when the gas is colder is being devoted to warming the gas but the gas does not stay in the beam of light between the lime-ball and the spectroscope but instead rises by convection out of the line of light. Eventually the convection runs out of steam (literally) and what heat that was not absorbed by the steam is radiated to space by CO2 at colder temperatures.

  87. Tor says:

    Doug Cotton.

    I see that you refer to Claes Johnson’s theory.

    I asked him to comment the following considering his use of the Abraham-Lorentz force and got a nonsense response.

    Maybe you can manage to see the implications for his theory since the following estimation shows that he is more then 9 orders of magnitudes off from where the Abraham-Lorentz force starts to become negligible.

    *************************************************************************
    From the Larmor formula (the formula gives the power radiated so we need to multiply with time duration) we see that the energy radiated is approximately

    E ~ q^2*a^2*T / (6*pi*epsilon_0*c^3)

    q is the electric charge, a is acceleration, T is the time duration.

    If f is the mechanical frequency of the oscillation and l the length scale (amplitude) we have

    E_osc ~ mf^2*l^2

    If the mechanical energy is much larger then the radiated energy the Abraham-Lorentz force is negligible so we take

    E << E_osc

    as a criteria.

    The acceleration a for an oscillator fullfils

    a ~ l*f^2

    This gives

    q^2*(l*f^2)^2*T / (6*pi*epsilon_0*c^3) << mf^2*l^2

    Using that T ~ 1/f gives

    (q^2/6*pi*epsilon_0*c^3*m)*f << 1

    Introducing

    t = (q^2/6*pi*epsilon_0*c^3*m)

    as a timescale we get the criteria

    ******************
    t << 1/f
    ******************

    as the criteria for when the Abraham-Lorentz force is negligible.

    For an electron this gives a timescale

    t_electron ~ 10^-24s.

    This corresponds to frequencies of 10^24 Hz.

    Hence the force is only important for radiation wavelengths shorter then

    lambda ~c/f ~ 10^-16m
    *************************************************************************

  88. mitch says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I study in this field on a regular basis, and though I would never deny the existance of our GHE [especially at night], I am now experiencing a conflict of thought but maybe you could help me out…? Without the existance of H2O [the majority of the GHE], there would be no cloud cover at all…so is there a difference between dry convection on it’s own, versus (in Earth’s case) the impact of resulting cloud cover/snowcover/albedo on the total radiative energy budget?…this seems to be [indirectly] overlooked because clouds are poorly understood. The GHE is [indirectly] the very mechanism that reflects ~ 30% of SW out to space in the visible spectrum.

    I’m NOT saying the ‘GHE = cloud abledo increase’ thing means anything in of itself, relative to the supposed 33C surface-deviation from the S-B constant, assumed to be induced by the GHE…but what actually causes that 33C deviation seems to be attributed to the ‘GHE’ without any quantitative basis!?

    There is no physical basis to claim that the 33C surface-deviation from the S-B constant has anything to do with the GHE…and that it could not happen without a GHE…I believe it is nonsense.

    Because Nitrogen and Oxygen (N2 & O2) are largely transparent to IR, the energy gain via conduction from the surface during the day would NOT be completely lost overnight, and especially when you hypothetically assume the oceans into the picture, but hypothetically remove their evaporative properties. No given point in the Earth’s lower atmosphere or surface EVER warms to the peak SW [vector direction/height] around 12PM noon, [the vector matters] but rather equilibrium is usually met in the mid afternoon around 2-4PM.

    The rate of energy gain & loss of the surface/ocean/atmosphere system between day/night, in the large scale, are NOT the same, and would not be the same even if there were no GHE…no? The Earth’s surface is warmer than the atmosphere above it under most circumstances, and that would be true whether or not the GHE were present, no? The surface and atmosphere can attain a temperature CLOSER to equilibrium with the SW vector the next day, without losing all of the energies from one day to the next.

    So the point I am trying to make, is that the 33C surface-deviation from the S-B constant, on a global scale, gives absolutely no credence to the notion that it is attained via the GHE…because whether or not the GHE were to exist, that deviation at the surface would likely still exist.

    And I think there are other problems too, relating to gravity, potential energy, kinetic energy, and the relationship there. While it is not completely known what gravity truly is, one assumes that it turns potential energy into kinetic energy…but the question arises whether or not averting gravity, and inducing + maintaining a perturbation cycle acting with/against gravity (convective overturning/atmospheric circulation) requires a certain load of energy from the climate system (sourced from the Sun), and whether or not the kinetic budget of the Earth system should be included in/next to the calculation of the processes in the radiative load?

    Atmospheric circulation has been observed to change, reverse, re-configure, etc, and NOT ONLY does this have potentially DIRECT consequences on the radiative budget itself (via re-configuration of global cloud cover…(((you don’t need to change the total global low-level cloud anomaly or base height to change global temperature, force variations in the wind budget that coincide to ENSO, the PDO/AMO, etc))), but also a larger question arises in if it takes a specific energy load from the system to re-configure/reverse the system’s circulation, and if so how much energy does it take to constantly alter the flow of kinetic energy, and how it is done. If you’d like to, subtracting the difference between the North Annular Mode and the South Annular Mode reveals something very interesting ;-)

    So while I cannot disagree with the basic fact that the GHE exists, (perfect example is the nighttime hours, a cloud deck moves over, and the temp of the atmosphere between the warmer surface and the cooler upper atmosphere warms since IR loss is being slowed, hence more radiation from the warmer surface can remain in the cooler atmosphere above), I question the significance (if any) it actually poses on the net global thermal energy budget, once everything is considered…

    I believe that the net effect of GHGes is probably near zero at the surface at best, reducing day/night extremes…the hottest temps occur in the desert, the largest swings occur in the driest locations, but the net value in (K) is often not descernable between them.

    Changing the global (Kelvin) value is not necessary to change the global (Celcius) value, either.

  89. ausiedan says:

    There is an elephant in the room here that nobody has mentioned.

    Nikolov & Zeller have demonstrated that the average temperature of solar bodies is dependent on two factors.
    The first is their distance from the sun, which in turn determines the strength of the incoming solar irradiance.

    The second factor is the atmospheric pressure at the surface.
    (Where there is no atmosphere as with the moon, than the solar irradiance is sufficient).

    It matters not whether the atmosphere is almost 100% CO2 or zero%. Venus and Mars are both almost 100% CO2, but their temperatures are very different, because of their differing atmospheric pressures.

    Fluctating greenhouse gas levels, I’m talking about water vapour here, impact the local temperature from place to place and from time to time, not globally.

    Please get out your calculators and do the work yourself.
    you will find that it is very hard to argue against solar irradiance and atmospheric pressure as the predominant determinants of equilibrium average planetary temperature.

    Please, stop aruing theory and get out and calculate!
    There’s far to much (incomplete) theory be used and misused in climate science

  90. JaneHM says:

    Dr Spencer

    I’m puzzled by the wavelengths on the IR graph as plotted. By Wien’s law the peak from a 290K blackbody should be at about 10 microns.

  91. Gary Mount says:

    When you say: “…while lowering the temperature of the middle and upper atmosphere.” (in regard to adding radiative insulation), do you mean until equilibration has taken place?

  92. kenneth says:

    Well, CO2′s part of all this is so small that you can hardly buy any thermometer that can measure it, anyway.

    Nomatter slaying it, or not.

    Water wapour, on the other hand, that is another story.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/03/water-vapor-not-co2-controls-climate.html

  93. I agree CO2 acts as a blanket to slow IR radiation originating from ground. But I understand, that IPCC claims CO2 backradiates this “captured” IR and thus warms up the ground. This seems me
    to violate thermo two? Can really a radiation from colder source warm up the warmer body? Is there any test we can confirm this IR which radiates from the sky, is the feedback from ground? Can it as well be the radiation CO2 has captured
    from Sun and releases then towards the Earth´surface,thus it could have higher colourtemperature than IR which Earth radiates and thermo two is not violated?

  94. JoNova says:

    (Apologies if this is the second submission.)

    Roy, since this is a science debate (or it’s supposed to be) the term “denier” means denying the science. That’s what the name-calling commentators want to imply.

    So I don’t buy into that at all — if they call us deniers, they need to name the scientific paper we deny. They never can.

    They claim we are calling them names — “alarmist”. But they can’t get around the fact that they want to alarm us. It’s an accurate descriptive term.

    Given the huge PR campaign around the term “denier” I rarely use the word.

    As for the Slayers, they are the slayers of sky dragons. I’m cool with that and it’s linguistic accuracy.

    PS: Thanks for the post. I’m with you.

  95. Dr. Strangelove says:

    @cotton

    “The radiation which does go back to the surface undergoes resonant scattering there (without leaving any energy in the surface) and it just continues back into the atmosphere zig zagging between various molecules until it breaks through to space.”

    Of course the photons will eventually escape to space. You should calculate how long it takes for a single photon to do that. The more greenhouse gas molecules in the atmosphere, the longer it will take for the photon to escape because more collisions, absorptions and emissions. That will increase the average temperature of air because more photons in the air at a given time. Each photon has energy converted to heat and reconverted to kinetic energy billions of times as it zig zag in the atmosphere until it reach space.

  96. Brian H says:

    IMO both the analogy to the IR leakage from a house and the discussion of the ‘notches’ as seen by satellite are flawed.

    The “insulation” provided by CO2 and H2O is the inhibition of emission of a couple of the (false) colours in the IR photo, such as a slice of deep orange and a slice of orangish-yellow. Both the house and the planet have plenty of other colours to rely on.

    The “area under the curve”, therefore, is not increased when a little energy emission is squeezed to either side. And if there’s anything the planet is not short of, it’s mechanisms for diluting and concentrating heat energy!!

  97. Mike Borgelt says:

    OK I don’t have any trouble with the CO2 absorbing long wave radiation from the Earth’s surface. We’re told the CO2 molecule goes in to a higher energy state as a result and it collides with oxygen and nitrogen molecules and gives up that extra energy which then appears as higher kinetic energy of those molecules and we call this “higher temperature”. So the CO2 molecule is at its original energy state after the collision.

    Could somebody please tell me then *what* exactly is radiating back to Earth as we’re told oxygen and nitrogen are very poor radiators at these wavelengths?

  98. Peter Stroud says:

    I find the uncertainty of the value and even sign of feedback parameters sensible in every respect. So find it sensible to be sceptical of the IPCC view that it must always be positive. What I find most strange, as a retired experimental physicist, is that any scientist can consistently accept positive feedback as the only show in town, without any independent empirical confirmation. It is clear that direct experimental verification of climate sensitivity is extremely difficult. But, for example, the complete failure to detect the upper atmosphere tropical hot spot should ring warning bells for any open minded scientist. Yet this just does not happen.

    Furthermore, we read many quotes by CAGW scientists that include such expressions as: ‘working for the cause.’ I have never, over a period of decades, heard a colleague use such a term when describing his work. And why do these people call us deniers? We all know why the word denier is nasty in the extreme. If the IPCC supported scientists are so sure that they are correct: why stoop to such emotive language? All very odd.

  99. anotherskeptic says:

    Roy,

    Here’s a thought exercise for you.

    I have two plates at -5C with another placed between them also at -5C. According to your back radiation theory the one in the middle warms relative to the others as it is receiving the IR from the two other plates as well as it’s own back radiation. Do you really believe that will happen?!

  100. coturnix says:

    May I be excused for an extremely dumb question, but how do we know that the co2, emitting apparently from -58 C level, is emitted from tropopause, and not from mesosphere?

  101. Richard S Courtney says:

    A Physicist:

    You ask;
    “For sure, IPCC models include mistaken assumptions; but are these models useful none-the-less?”

    Well, that demands an answer to the question, “useful for what?”
    They are certainly not useful as indicators of climate change in response to altered conditions (e.g. altered atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration).

    Each model adjusts its output by an assumed amount of aerosol cooling so it hindcasts past global temperature. A model that emulated the climate system would emulate the spatial distribution of temperature across the surface of the Earth and the average of these surface temperatures would be the mean global temperature. But no model emulates the spatial distribution of temperature across the surface of the Earth (in the ‘jargon’, the models are poor at representing regional climates).

    So,
    1.
    each model is adjusted by an amount of assumed aerosol cooling (which is different for each model) so its output matches mean global temperature
    but
    2.
    no model’s output represents spatial distribution of temperature over the Earth
    and this proves that
    3.
    none of the models is emulating the climate system of the real Earth.

    A model which is NOT emulating reality is very unlikely to emulate effects of changes to reality.

    Richard

  102. James Sexton says:

    No doubt…. this is all a rather unnecessary discussion. GHGs shouldn’t be lumped together as if they have the same properties. H2O is nothing like CO2. Singer and Spencer lump them together as if they have nearly the same absorption spectra. They don’t. The only possible relevant bands CO2 has is 14-16um and a very narrow 4.1um.

    14-16 range in completely overwhelmed by H2O leaving the narrow 4.1um to make any real contribution to the energy budget. By Roy’s own graph, we see the energy leaving the earth isn’t in that band.

    It’s like trying to warm your house with a laser pen with the windows wide open.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/slaying-slayering-slayers/

  103. Alberta Slim says:

    I’m with Stephen Wilde, Myrrh et al.

    The “house ” analogy of Dr. Spencer; the GHE, the thermos, and the furnace; all are different than the atmosphere.
    They are solid bodies and do not expand [very much], so trap heat.
    The atmosphere expands to absorb the extra heat but the temperature stays about the same.
    The Slayers have my vote.
    Pure, simple logic and science.
    The IPCC GHG theory is wrong, IMO, so the amount of CO2 and all the discussion is moot.

  104. Doug Cotton says:

    Tor Tell me first exactly what his response was.

    Mitch Yes, you are right. See Appendix of my paper*

    AusiedanYou’re quite correct, fellow Aussie – see Appendix Q.2 in my paper *

    kenneth & James: True – water vapour has a much greater effect per molecule than carbon dioxide when it slows the radiative transfer from the surface. This is because it has a wider range of frequencies causing resonance. (See my paper.)

    Hannu Yes, it would violate SLoT. However there can be a slight slowing of the radiative cooling, but not evaporative cooling or diffusion. See my paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics *

    Dr Strangelove I would ask you to read my paper* to understand other factors involved. A warmer atmosphere does not imply a warmer surface anyway, but there are also cooling effects and many other issues covered in this comprehensive 6,600 word review.

    Mike There will be some radiation mostly from water vapour – but it has very little effect – see my paper.*

    Peter Yes, the models are nowhere near accurate enough to even predict the sign. TOA balance is useless and is not measured sufficiently well all over the globe. In any event, temperature trends more or less tell us what to expect. As there is a natural long term trend of about 0.05 deg.C/decade for another 50 to 200 years (before a maximum) we would expect slight imbalance at TOA anyway. It tells us nothing more than what we know from temperature data anyway. You may find my paper interesting.

    * http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#more-5303

  105. Roger Clague says:

    Mike Borgelt says:
    March 15, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    “CO2 molecule goes in to a higher energy state as a result and it collides with oxygen and nitrogen molecules and gives up that extra energy which then appears as higher kinetic energy of those molecules and we call this “higher temperature”.

    I agree. Any extra energy that CO2 gets it goes to the K.E. of N2 and O2. It does not go to the warm earth surface.

  106. Alberta Slim says:

    KevinK says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Right on Kevin.
    Great comment.

  107. Roger Clague says:

    Roy Spencer says

    “The temperature (and whether it is rising or falling) is determined by the rates of energy gain and energy loss.”.

    Temperature depends on total kinetic energy content not rates of gain and loss of other forms of energy such as radiation

  108. First, I shall put my cards on the table: “I have found no evidence, either in the literature or by “the simplest of all experiments” to support the idea that CO2, or any other so called “Greenhouse gas” (GHG) can increase the temperature of the Earth by regulating “energy gain – or loss”. – I can therefore be classed as a ‘Denier; or ‘Disbeliever’ of the various “warming by CO2 theories”

    “The Alabama Two-Step

    STEP 1:

    Temperature is determined by rates of energy gain and energy loss.”

    =============

    In my view; – Not quite right – “Temperature” is determined by the rate of energy use, or conversion. In fossil fuels there is “stored or potential energy” – this is often referred to as the “Calorific Value” – which goes for all fossil & other fuels – including the food we eat. – So, until energy is used or converted into – at least – two other forms i.e. heat and motion there can be no “temperature increase” taking place.. – In our case, – if we eat too many “calories” we do not necessarily get more “energetic”, nor do we catch a fever, we just get fatter. – It is, IMHO, quite obvious that heat (or an increase thereof) is a product of energy use and that therefore “Heat- or Thermal Energy” is a misnomer.

    Does or does air convection from the “Surface” stop during the night, Roy? – You should know as, as far as I know, that’s your branch -. If the answer is that air-convection from the surface cannot happen from any place where energy is not absorbed, then I suggest you have got one very good thread there to hang on to if you wish to know how the real GHE comes about. – If you add to that the advection (winds that follow the contours of the Earth) which at the same time as helping with the planet’s heat-distribution also helps slow down, or restrict convection, just like the glass roof in a real greenhouse does.

    If you think I am talking “rubbish” then please give a clear definition of what is mend by the expression “Thermal Energy”

  109. Bryan says:

    I think Mike Borgelt (above) makes good point here.
    The upwelling IR is largely absorbed by CO2 and H2O.
    This is mostly thermalised by collision with N2 and O2 hence increasing local temperature.
    This aids convection carrying this thermal energy up and away .
    Some CO2 photons may spontaneously re-emit or radiate back to the surface.
    But the radiation “back” must be a fraction of the radiation up.
    This would explain the “bite” in the diagram above.
    Who can explain the magnitude of the “backradiation”?
    KT 2009 diagram and IPCC theory show backradiation having almost the same magnitude as the upwelling radiation!
    A volume of air with a tiny fraction of IR active gasses is claimed to produce almost the same radiative flux as the solid and liquid Earth surface!
    Roy believes in the GHE but the “bite” proves nothing about backradiation.

  110. Sorry it should say at the end: If you think I am talking “rubbish” then please give a clear definition of what is meant by the expression “Thermal Energy”

  111. John in France says:

    Re Maxwell: How refreshing to see close observation of actual materials and objects compared with present-day models and their mathematical extrapolations.

  112. John in France says:

    The Maxwell comment was meant to be a reply to “Martin Mason says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM”. Couldn’t get the reply button to work.

  113. Joe Bastardi says:

    By the way

    Roy

    You are still and always will be one of my heroes.. To spare you , I wont sing the song wind beneath my wings.. though I still dont think any mixing of co2 causes any affect on climate.. ha ha
    blessings
    JB

  114. Dave Springer says:

    Actually what greenhouse gases do is effectively reduce albedo in the their frequency absorption bands. In other words if everything else remained equal the greenhouse gas causes a receptive surface to absorb more of the available insolation. It should be noted however that no greenhouse effect can cause a surface temperature to be higher than that of an ideal black body. When albedo reaches zero you’re done and nothing but an increased amount of energy can raise the black body temperature higher. The earth at the equator has a black body temperature of about 60C. There’s a lovely black body calculator here:

    http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

    where you can verify. TOA insolation is about 1360W/m2. Because the earth is a rotating sphere the average daily insolation at the equator can be no more than 680W/m2 in a perfectly transparent atmosphere. In actuality it averages about 500W/m2. 500W/m2 gives a black body temperature of about 35C which, not surprisingly, is the highest ocean surface temperature ever reported by an ARGO buoy and even more interestingly is about equal to the highest mean annual temperature anywhere in the world.

    The highest mean annual temperature anywhere in the world, the Guiness Book of Records holder, is Dullal, Ethiopia and was set in the years 1960-1966. That temperature was 34.4C. Dullal is an equatorial desert with average annual rainfall of just 2 inches.

    This of course raises two important questions that perhaps the blog host can answer.

    Q1. Given that water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas why was the highest mean annual temperature ever recorded in a bone dry equatorial desert?

    Q2. Given that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and concentration in the atmosphere today is much more than it was 50 years ago why was the record for highest mean annual temperature set in 1960?

    My tentative answers are that water vapor doesn’t exist in a vacuum and the combined effect of the water cycle – evaporation, convection, condensation – has a small net cooling effect which is precisely why the mean annual high temperature record was set in the driest equatorial region rather than the wettest. For the second question the reason the record was set 50 years ago is that there was a drought in 1960-1966 in Dullal, Ethiopia and the dearth of cooling water vapor back then had a greater effect than the higher level of CO2 does today.

  115. In my previous post, please strike

    “warming tendency and show how to measure it,”

    and replace it with

    “warming tendency” and show how to measure it,

  116. Dave Springer says:

    Olav H Dahlsveen says:
    March 15, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    “Sorry it should say at the end: If you think I am talking “rubbish” then please give a clear definition of what is meant by the expression “Thermal Energy””

    In the atmosphere it’s the sum of kinetic and gravitational potential energy. Thus a non-convecting (stable) atmosphere is isothermal. This leads to some confusion because we all know that temperature falls with altitude so how can it be “isothermal”? The answer is that kinetic energy is exchanged joule for joule with gravitational potential energy as you move farther above the surface. Thermometers don’t measure gravitational potential energy but mother nature does so molecule for molecule, a molecule of air in the stratosphere has the same thermal energy as a molecule at the surface. The key is knowing that the definition of thermal energy includes gravitational potential energy.

  117. Roger Clague says:

    Roy Spencer says

    “A temperature rise can occur either from (1) increasing the rate of energy gain, or (2) decreasing the rate of energy loss. The greenhouse effect has to do with the 2nd of these possibilities.”

    Laws of radiation energy gain and loss gives us a temperature at the TOA. The GHE is within the atmosphere and has a different cause.It is gravity acting on the mass of the atmosphere.

  118. Dave Springer says:

    There are two great fallacies in the AGW narrative.

    1. Water vapor amplification

    This is a myth. In order to have water vapor there must go with it evaporation and condensation. With condensation you have clouds and with clouds you have a high albedo. The combination of all of these results a small cooling effect. There is no such thing as a net water vapor amplification.

    2. Greenhouse gases raise ocean equilibrium temperature

    This is not physically possible to any significant extent. Longwave infrared is totally absorbed in the first several micrometers of water surface. This raises the evaporation rate of the water not the temperature. Thus we have what is known as “the cool skin layer” which is an approximate 1 millimeter deep surface layer of the ocean that is roughly 1C cooler than the water immediately beneath it. This cool surface layer, even when mechanically mixed with the warmer water below by breaking waves (it has to be a *breaking* wave) reforms within 10 seconds of the break.

    So what the above predicts is that we should find that land surface temperatures rise more than water due to CO2 increases and that the rise will in no case be greater than 1.1C per doubling of CO2. Observations are, not surprisingly to me, in perfect agreement with the predictions.

  119. Dave Springer says:

    There is an article in the January 2012 Scientific American titled “The Science of the Glory”. It’s all about clouds and effect first observed hundreds of years ago called “The Glory” because it was observed as a rainbow-like halo surrounding the shadow of mountain climbers on a cloud below. The halo can only be seen by the person casting the shadow. It can also be observed in the shadow of an aircraft on a cloud below it.

    Until now no one has explained it because the reflected light is coming back at 180 degrees which is a greater angle than what a water droplet can produce.

    The answer it turns out is quantum tunneling of light when it comes within a wavelength of a suitable media. It tunnels into one side of nearby water droplet and tunnels out the other side at a 180 degree angle to the original wave.

    Thus clouds reflect more sunlight than the physics programmed into GCMs account for because they only model light that physically intercepts the droplet and they do not refract it 180 degrees. This is why the models are wrong and why water vapor amplification is a fallacy.

  120. TLM says:

    Martin Mason says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Heating of the surface by downwelling IR from GHGs is a theory, Dr Roy makes the mistake of quoting it as fact.

    No, it is a fact easily and often proven by experiment.

    Point an IR thermometer at a clear, moonless, night sky. At worst, at mid-latitudes (where I am in the UK), it will show a temperature around 240K (-33C). That is rather warmer than outer space where if you did the same thing it would read 3K (-270C).

    QED

    Where do you think all this IR radiation is coming from?
    There is no Sun, Moon or clouds between you and space, only the atmosphere (nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane etc). So it must be coming from those gases.

    The IR thermometer is detecting IR radiation coming down from the atmosphere towards the surface of the Earth, that is “downwelling” Infra-red radiation. If it were not for that downwelling IR the surface of the Earth would be a lot cooler.

    Whether you call this effect “reduced cooling” or “heating” I will leave to your own definition of the words. Suffice it to say that the temperature of the surface of the Earth is higher than it would be without this downwelling radiation.

    I really don’t understand why so many of you cannot get your heads round this!

  121. Dave Springer says:

    Roger Clague says:
    March 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    “Laws of radiation energy gain and loss gives us a temperature at the TOA. The GHE is within the atmosphere and has a different cause.It is gravity acting on the mass of the atmosphere.”

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT! Wrong.

    Thermal energy is defined as the sum of kinetic and gravitaional potential energy. A stable non-convecting atmosphere is isothermal. Thermometers do not meausure gravitational potential energy but if they did you would find no lapse rate.

  122. JaneHM says:

    Found at least part of the reason for the error in the wavelength axis on the IR graph as plotted above. The wavenumber is defined by wavenumber = 2 pi / wavelength. Whoever generated the wavelength axis appears to have forgotten about the 2 pi. The wavenumber axis itself though seems to be off by a factor of 10 in that plot. I hope this isn’t in the textbook!

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Jane,

      1) There are two common definitions of wavenumber — one includes the 2 pi and the other doesn’t. It is confusing, but you have to live with it.

      2) The location of the peak depends on whether you plot as a function of wavelength or a function of wavenumber. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck%27s_law for a discussion of this topic.

  123. Dave Springer says:

    re; isothermal atmosphere

    In a stable atmosphere a pound of dry air at sea level has exactly the same amount of thermal energy as a pound of air at twenty thousand feet. Graviational potential energy can be no more ignored in an atmosphere than it can in a piano coming out of an upper story window directly over your head.

    It took me quite a while and no small amount of email bickering with a Duke professor of physics to figure out the flaw in the gravity GHE hypothesis. Duke boy kept asserting that a non-convecting atmosphere is isothermal and there’s no way around that without violating first and second laws of thermodynamics. I couldn’t argue against that but neither could argue that the temperature at the top of Mt. Everest is lower than at the base where everything but altitude is otherwise equal. The answer it turns out is in the strict defintion of “thermal” energy. It includes gravitational potential energy. Since we normally don’t deal with open ended containers of gravitationally compressed gases in practical engineering matters this detail about the definition of thermal energy gets lost in the shuffle.

    • capt dallas says:

      It is kind of ironic that gravity does have an impact, just not the impact that many think. The black body temperature of Venus is 184K degrees because of its gravity and the impact of that gravity on the properties of CO2. CO2 is a condensable gas and has a triple point at 216K and roughly 520kPa. If Venus was five times as massive, CO2 could solidify making neat dry ice snow.

      Since the mass of Venus is about the same as Earth, the condensing point of CO2 is approximately -89C @ about 0.3 atmospheres. Because of the higher surface temperature of Venus and gravity, it has a strong greenhouse effect and isothermal lower atmosphere. I disagree with Hansen though, if it wasn’t for geothermal energy at the surface to maintain the heat flow, the CO2 would freeze at the poles.

      Deep convective clouds on Earth approach -89C as well. Gravity has an impact on the thermal properties of CO2.

      At the surface, the freezing point of CO2 is -78.5C @ 1 Atmosphere. As CO2 approaches its freezing points, its radiant properties change from gas to solid.

      So it is funny to me that the simplified CO2 forcing equation only considers the change in concentration when there is also a pressure and temperature relationship involved. Ideal gas laws are great for ideal gases, real gas laws are needed for real gases.

  124. John Whitman says:

    Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. said, “”"Now, let’s take Steps 1 and 2 together: If you add more of these “greenhouse gases” and nothing else changes then the rate at which the Earth, as a whole, loses energy to space is reduced. This must lead to a warming tendency, at least at the surface and lower atmosphere (the upper atmosphere will actually experience a cooling effect).”"”

    NOTE: I do not disagree with the substantive physics of irradiative energy transfer between molecules; whether CO2 or other molecules.

    A CO2 effect (forget the word Greenhouse) confirmed in both the laboratory and in corroborating scientific theories is of small relevance to a discussion of a net CO2 effect in the real observed ‘Earth-atmospheric system’ over time. Logically, there seems little to gain in this discussion unless there is an inclusion of all “Earth-atmospheric system’ dynamics that are coexisting before, during and after (on all time scales) the addition of more CO2 in the ‘Earth-atmospheric system’. I find that any statement which includes a phrase like ” and nothing else changes then” seems hardly relevant to the main discussion. Where are the formally scientific sets of independent unambiguous observations which show there has been either a negative, zero or positive net CO2 effect on the complete ‘Earth-atmospheric system’ when all the dynamics of the complete ‘Earth-atmospheric system’ are included?

    John

  125. Dave Springer says:

    TLM says:
    March 15, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    “Point an IR thermometer at a clear, moonless, night sky. At worst, at mid-latitudes (where I am in the UK), it will show a temperature around 240K (-33C). That is rather warmer than outer space where if you did the same thing it would read 3K (-270C).”

    You’re right but for the wrong reason. The IR thermometer has a limited range. -33C is beyond the range of many of them and most do not range below -60.

    The way to conduct this experiment with inexpensive, ubiqitous non-contact thermometers is to point it upwards on clear nights where the only thing different from one night to another is humidity. You should get a higher reading on the humid night proving the back-radiation truthiness of water vapor although due to the limitations of inexpensive IR thermometers I wouldn’t guarantee that result.

    Better is to just read about the theory of operation underlying infrared CO2 sensors. There are a zillion of them controlling ventilation fans in high occupancy buildings around the world. If CO2 didn’t absorb thermal radiation and backscatter a portion of it these devices would not function properly. Now THAT is a QED moment.

    • TLM says:

      I use an IR thermometer occasionally in my job and have done this in an idle moment. The device has a range down to -60C and I got measurements on successive nights of between -20 and -30. Like you say, the difference would be down to the different humidity on each night.

      I presumed the thermometer was being accurate, so I am not sure what you mean by “right for the wrong reason”. Which bit of my experiment is invalid?

  126. Dave Springer says:

    All the observations of concern are pretty easily explained and a greenhouse effect of 1.1C per CO2 doubling over land in ideal conditions fits well.

    As with other things local conditions determine how much or how little of that potential will be realized. For instance the sweet spot of CO2 thermal absorption band is -50C. So the colder the surface up to and including Antarctic winters makes CO2 efficacy as a greenhouse gas improve. Likewise, water vapor absorption overlaps the shoulder of CO2 sweet spot so as water vapor increases the CO2 makes less difference in the outcome.

    So the greatest natural laboratory in the world for isolating and measuring the GHG effect is Antartica which is the coldest dryest place on the earth with the least interference from water vapor and best surface temperature for optimal CO2 absorption and backscatter.

    At any rate the local differences in CO2 efficacy predict we should see any effect from anthropogenic CO2 more pronounced over higher latitudes than lower because the higher you go the closer surface temperature gets to CO2 sweet spot. In fact this is what we observe.

    It all makes perfect sense to me. No need to indict temperature records or dispute thermodynamic principles discovered and verified in the 19th century. I will certainly grant an exception for indicting the record with regard to things like tree ring temperature proxies invented by CAGW zealots.

  127. What a bunch of BS, this is. CO2 BS.

    A waste of time, does nothing to address the abrupt climatic changes earth’s has had many times in the past. That is where the answer lies as to where our climate will be going ,(what causes these abrupt changes) not this ridiculous CO2 nonsence.

    Again I maintain it is a phasing in of the items that control earth’s climate, and CO2 is NOT one of them.

    Again I state if solar activity as measured by the solar flux maintains a reading of 90 or less for the balance of this decade that wiLl set the stage for the other items that control earth’s climate, to phase into a cold mode thus lowering the temperatures.

    How low temperatures might go, will depend on the duration and degree of magnitude of the phase in of the itmes that control earth’s climate.

    They are: SOLAR ACTIVITY

    VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

    ESNO

    AO/AAO/NAO ETC

    EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD STRENGTH

    PDO/AMO

    If all the above phase into a cold mode ,no amount of CO2 is going to stop the global temperatures from going lower.

    We will see who is correct and who is wrong.

    Dr. Spencer, is focused on the wrong area ,when it comes to climate change.

  128. Dave Springer says:

    Roy Spencer says

    “A temperature rise can occur either from (1) increasing the rate of energy gain, or (2) decreasing the rate of energy loss. The greenhouse effect has to do with the 2nd of these possibilities.”

    This probably needs to be conditioned with but in no case can an insulator such as CO2 raise equilibrium temperature above that of an ideal black body. All it can do is raise the equilibrium temperature of a gray body by effectively making it less gray. It can’t do more than make it perfectly black.

    This has practical implications in solar energy capture. It limits how hot you can heat water without concentrating the sunlight. The best you can do on a clear day at the equator is an evacuated glass tube with a black absorber. You cannot heat the water to boiling because the 1000W/m2 sunlight you are getting has an equivalent blackbody temperature less than 100C. Too bad. It would be nice to able to easily solar heat water to say 500C but the best you can do without mirrors or lenses in a good location with lots of sunlight is short of boiling at sea level.

  129. MikeB says:

    This is an attempt to answer JaneHM’s questions at 12:00AM and 9:42AM. 15 March. I cannot get the reply function to work.

    Jane, the ‘wavenumber’ used in Roy’s graph is simply the reciprocal of wavelength. This is the normal definition in this field. There are other definitions involving 2pi, but that does not apply here. The wavenumber is not off by a factor of 10, it is correct. Remember, one micron is one millionth of a metre and so 1 divided by 15micron, for example, gives 66,666 metre^-1. Convert this to cm^-1 and you get 666 – which is the relationship shown on the graph.

    Your earlier question, “I’m puzzled by the wavelengths on the IR graph as plotted. By Wien’s law the peak from a 290K blackbody should be at about 10 microns”, is one which confuses a lot of people. It is very difficult to explain unless someone is willing to understand. So, assuming that you don’t come from the Claes Johnson Sky Dragon school of wilful ignorance then I will try – but this needs some effort on your part because it is very confusing at first sight..

    Jane, there are two versions of Wien’s Law, one for wavelength and one for frequency. They do not give the same answer (even when the peak frequency is converted to wavelength).
    The shape of the Planck distribution is not the same in the frequency domain as it is in the wavelength domain.
    The graph in Roy’s article is plotted against ‘wavenumber’. If you look at the scale on the vertical axis you see it is in units of W/m^2 sr cm^-1. That is, it is in terms of wavenumber. If it had been in terms of wavelength then the vertical axis would have had units of, say, W/sq.m/sr/micron (or W/sq.m/sr/metre — SI units). In that eventuality you would be right, the peak spectral radiance would be around 10 micron. Wien’s Law says that the peak wavelength (in microns) is 2897/T, where T is the absolute temperature in kelvin. So for a blackbody at 289.7K the peak wavelength, as you say, will be at 10 microns.
    The confusion arises because the conversion between wavelength and frequency ( or wavenumber which is simply the reciprocal of wavelength) is not linear.
    If you look at the top horizontal axis, it is in terms of wavelength. Although this maybe useful because it suggests an easy conversion between the wavenumber and wavelength, it is also misleading because it implies that a graph calculated on a wavelength basis would look the same as the one shown – it would not! Notice that the top axis (wavelength) is not linear. The bottom axis (wavenumber) is. So for a given spread of wavenumber, say between 600 and 700 or between 1000 and 1100 (in each case a spread of 100) , the corresponding spreads on the wavelength scale are not equal, being between 14.2 and 16.7 microns in the first case (a spread of 2.5 micron) and between 9.1 and 10 micron in the second case ( a spread of 0.9 micron). So there are many more ‘micron’s worth of energy’ compressed between 600 and 700 micron than there are between 1000 and 1100. So the peak emission is biased toward the 600 to 700 wavenumber region with respect to the wavelength plot. Are you totally lost yet or just lost? It takes time to assimilate. But that is the explanation.

  130. Tim Folkerts says:

    “In a stable atmosphere a pound of dry air at sea level has exactly the same amount of thermal energy as a pound of air at twenty thousand feet. ”
    This is (approximately) true for a *dynamically stable” atmosphere with *strong adiabatic convection*.

    “.. the temperature at the top of Mt. Everest is lower than at the base where everything but altitude is otherwise equal. ”
    No, everyting else is NOT equal at the top and bottom. Specifically, at the top of the atmosphere, there is cooling (via IR radiation to space), while at the bottom there is heating (by contact with the warm ground/ocean). The atmosphere is NEVER even close to equilibrium because there is a continuous (average) upward flow of energy (via conduction, convection, radiation, and evaporation/condensation).

    “The answer it turns out is in the strict defintion of “thermal” energy. It includes gravitational potential energy.”
    True enough. But the 0th law of thermodynamics states the TEMPERATURE should be the same at equilibrium, NOT the THERMAL ENERGY.

    * in an ideal isolated, equilibrated atmosphere, the atmosphere would be isothermal (which is NOTHING like the earth’s atmosphere).
    * in a realistic atmosphere that is alwasy FAR from equilibrium, then we often approach an “iso-energetic” situaion.

  131. Dave Springer says:

    Robert G. Brown says:

    March 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    “I agree, in considerable detail, with all of Dr. Spencer’s comments above, and have been advancing a very similar point of view on WUWT. It is (in my fairly well-educated opinion) silly to “deny” that the GHE exists and is a proximate cause for the Earth’s mean temperature being higher than the theoretical greybody temperature for its given insolation. The top of atmosphere IR spectroscopy is for all intents and purposes a direct photograph of the GHE in action, and seeing is, or should be, believing. It is difficult to imagine more direct evidence for the phenomena than the direct observation of reduced radiation (radiation from colder temperature GHGs in the upper atmosphere) in certain spectral bands.”

    Duke boy!

    Greenhouse gases effectively make the planet darker you just can’t see it because the modus operandi includes the calorific ray region or as you youngsters call it the far infrared region. They effectively cause the surface (land mostly because it can’t evaporate) to retain more of the incident radiation. They cannot cause it to absorb more than incident radiation. So it’s very misleading, pedagogic faux pas if you ask me, to say that greenhouse gases raise temperature above gray body temperature when what they actually do is equivalent to making the surface darker with the same limitation that you can’t get blacker than perfectly black.

    I also wish you’d clarify to people that a stable atmosphere is isothermal but still has a lapse rate because the definition of thermal energy includes gravitational potential energy. A thermometer doesn’t measure gravitational energy so there is a lapse by that measure.

    And no perpetuum mobile of the second kind is made possible by that unless you can show me a heat engine with no parasitic losses and if you could then within the limits of Carnot efficiency you could put the cold side in outer space at 3K, the hot side on earth’s surface at 288K, and convert thermal energy to work at Carnot efficiency until the end of time. I say the end of time because the earth would never exactly reach 3K but would get infinitely close to it! The atmosphere would of course collapse to ice long before nearing 3K so we couldn’t really call it an atmosphere at that point. So long as there’s any temperature difference at all though, our perfect heat engine will continue to turn at some infinitely small RPM.

  132. Dave Springer says:

    Tim Folkerts says:

    March 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    “In a stable atmosphere a pound of dry air at sea level has exactly the same amount of thermal energy as a pound of air at twenty thousand feet. ”
    This is (approximately) true for a *dynamically stable” atmosphere with *strong adiabatic convection*.

    No Tim. This is true for a non-convecting atmosphere at equilibrium. Indisputably.

  133. Pat Frank says:

    My post was obviously about the atmosphere, Alex. E.g., “When GHG’s are increased in the atmosphere…” Your reply in terms of “Earth as a whole” is a non-sequitur and irrelevant.

    In any case, “Earth as a whole” includes the crust, mantle, and core. One presumes you meant something other than that.

  134. Dave Springer says:

    Tim Folkerts re; 0th law,

    If two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third system, they must be in thermal equilibrium with each other.

    It states thermal equilibrium not temperature equilibrium. Much as you’d like to ignore gravitational potential energy it’s as real in a ton of air as it is in a ton of airplane at the same altitude. You’ll just look ignorant ignoring it in air but you’ll look like flaming hamburger ignoring in in an aircraft.

  135. Nullius in Verba says:

    “to say you can explain temperature without thermodynamics is nonsense.”

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. The explanation – as you can see if you look – does not involve the particular thermodynamic issues that the Slayers object to. It does of course involve thermodynamic concepts.

    “The atmospheric lapse rate does NOT describe what the temperature at some altitude will be…it describes how temperature will CHANGE when a parcel of air is raised or lowered. It must have a ’starting temperature’, which is determined from energy budget considerations.”

    I agree. That’s what I said, if you read it carefully.

    That’s part of the mystery I mentioned – people appear to skim the explanation briefly, see that it isn’t quite the orthodox version, and then by some strange optical illusion read the rest of it as whatever crank argument they were expecting. They go on to object to things I didn’t say, refute arguments I’m not making, and generally miss the point by a country mile.

    The surface temperature is the effective radiative temperature plus the lapse rate times the average altitude of emission to space. There are two other terms in there defining the surface temperature, so why on Earth did you think I was saying it was lapse rate alone?

    The argument may be summarised briefly. A heated object in a vacuum approaches that temperature that allows it to radiate all the heat it absorbs. For an IR-opaque atmosphere, the relevant radiating surface is above the solid surface. For a convective atmosphere, the lapse rate keeps the solid surface warmer than this, by an amount equal to the lapse rate times the difference in heights.

    The idea of radiation coming from an IR-’visible’ surface is intuitive, and the lapse rate is widely accepted. We don’t have to talk about backradiation. We don’t have to talk about heat going from cold objects to warm ones. We don’t have to worry about saturation and pressure broadening – only what goes on radiatively at the top of the atmosphere matters. We don’t have to worry about the length of time it takes photons to diffuse out. We don’t have to worry about whether ‘cold’ photons can be absorbed by warm surfaces. None of it is relevant.

    All that matters is that if you had eyes that saw in the IR spectrum, the Earth would appear to have a fuzzy opaque atmosphere. The surface you could see, the surface that was radiating to space and therefore settling at the appropriate temperature for the amount of sunlight absorbed, is above the ground. That and there’s a lapse rate.

    Taking this approach would bypass all the silly arguments. I still find it strange that people don’t find that idea attractive; that they’re so wedded to the one particular way of explaining it that they’ll keep on using it even when it causes them such trouble.

  136. Dave Springer says:

    Pat Frank says:
    March 14, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    “Roy, the rate of outgoing energy must equal the rate of incoming energy. The rate of incoming energy, i.e., from the sun, doesn’t change with increasing GHG’s on Earth. Therefore, the rate of outgoing energy doesn’t change with GHG’s either.”

    That’s true only in a system in equilibrium. If you have a gray body with some thermal inertia and you make the surface darker then for a time there will be less outgoing energy than incoming until the system regains equilibrium. An ideal gray body has no thermal inertia.

    If you employ the perspective of greenhouse gas increase effectively acting to darken the gray body then that might help clear up some of the objections. So long as the earth’s albedo is greater than zero there is room for it to get warmer. Greenhouse gases simply make the effective albedo closer to zero. There’s a lot of wiggle room as the earth’s average albedo is in the 35% range +-3% as near as anyone can determine.

  137. JaneHM says:

    Tim Folkerts and MikeB

    Thanks for the replies. Yes I agree that the difference between the Wien’s Law peak in frequency space and that in wavelength space is lambda(nu_max) = 1.8 lambda_max. That raises the question when do you use one rather than the other. Obviously if it’s energy-related one wants the frequency space analysis (because photon energy = h nu) but if one’s looking at absorption length then the wavelength space? I’d be interested in comments. (I mean this as a basic inquiry – I’m not getting into the ‘Is there a greenhouse effect’ debate)

  138. RW says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    “The radiation which does go back to the surface undergoes resonant scattering there (without leaving any energy in the surface) and it just continues back into the atmosphere zig zagging between various molecules until it breaks through to space.”

    What are you basing this on? Do individual photons have tags on them that designate what temperature they were emitted from so the surface ‘knows’ to reject the colder one and accept the warmer ones?

    • RW says:

      Meaning does each photon have a tag that says “I was emitted from ‘x’ temperature at ‘x’ wavelength? And subsequently, then does the surface have an instantaneous reading system for the photon tags, where those photons that were last emitted from a colder temperature are rejected and those that were last emitted from a warmer temperature are accepted?

  139. Bill Hunter says:

    Robert G. Brown says:

    March 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    “I agree, in considerable detail, with all of Dr. Spencer’s comments above, and have been advancing a very similar point of view on WUWT. It is (in my fairly well-educated opinion) silly to “deny” that the GHE exists and is a proximate cause for the Earth’s mean temperature being higher than the theoretical greybody temperature for its given insolation.”

    Thats a real strawman. The issue is not if there is a GHE. The issue is the cause of the GHE and how it is mitigated naturally. Is it greenhouse gases? or is it greybody emissivity with net radiation spread and modified by conduction from a variable input source that varies from 1366watts/m2 to 0watts/m2? Or is it something else?

    What is clear and this goes for Dr Spencer as well, and I greatly respect Dr. Spencer’s efforts at what he does here and and on the Discovery site, is that for a greenhouse effect to actually be important one has to do more than hypothesize a change in cooling rate.

    Instead it needs to be demonstrated that equilibrium will be changed.

    A slower cooling surface will have a negative feedback from on the warming cycle using radiative transfer equations alone. One needs to add to that an honest quantification of both existing attenuation of light shining on the surface from incoming insolation and the changes to that.

    Its the net unmitigated effect that is the only important effect and nobody seems to want to talk about that in detail.

    A warmer surface according to radiation transfer theory means less warming going into the planet’s big heat sinks meaning there will be less heat to shed.

    Bottom line what has to change is the equilibrium not just the rate of cooling. One cannot reasonably argue for an equilibrium change while completely ignoring all knock on effects of the changes of the cooling cycle to the warming cycle.

    Maxwell’s experiment in 1872 suggests that attenuation of light by an absorbing gas disappears at equilibrium. Huh?

    Does that mean equilibrium changed? or does it mean just the cooling half of the cycle played itself out and next we get to see it be reversed as temperatures oscillate around the same equilibrium?

    Alternative theories are dismissed out of hand on the thinnest of premises and the mainstream belief in a radiative GHE is based upon literally a half-assed analysis, at least from the point of view of the public.

    So unfortunately this thread seems to more closely resemble 2 arms waving in Alabama than anything else.

    Perchance can anybody answer even the first question in this comments section with something else beyond an arm wave? Calculations similar to what are given for outgoing with a breakdown by specie of gas would be helpful, presumably if it can be done on outgoing from a satellite it should be doable from the ground as well on incoming.

    Doing it from the unique perspective that each morning and each afternoon one who is not standing in a hole or living in a cubicle there is one heckuva lot of attenuation of light coming in through the atmosphere so that the sky changes colors. There are a lot of different dynamics going on that have nothing to do with the fact that sunlight is only about 50% longwave.

  140. Tenuc says:

    Dave Springer says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:50 AM
    …The highest mean annual temperature anywhere in the world, the Guiness Book of Records holder, is Dullal, Ethiopia and was set in the years 1960-1966. That temperature was 34.4C…

    Unfortunately, David, your back of a fag packet calcs and the explanation fail, should have found a better source for the temperature record… :-)

    The highest temperature ever recorded was 57.8°C on 13 September 1922 at El Azizia, Libya. Note the date which is well before CO2 started its rapid rise in concentration.

    • Dave Springer says:

      I specifically stated mean annual temperature not maximum afternoon temperature. Duh.

  141. Tenuc says:

    Dave Springer says:
    March 15, 2012 at 9:37 AM
    …The answer it turns out is quantum tunneling of light when it comes within a wavelength of a suitable media. It tunnels into one side of nearby water droplet and tunnels out the other side at a 180 degree angle to the original wave…

    Oh dear Dave, what rubbish you read! I expect you also believe that the photons that make up that light have no real mass, size or spin? – what’s your view on the Easter Bunny??? :-)

  142. Hans Puxbaum says:

    There is another observation which supports the IR absorption effect of CO2: The instrument for measuring CO2 is using the so called non-disperive IR-technique, invented in the 30ies by a German engineer Lufft (I think a series of meteorological instruments is still engineered in Germany under this name.). The NDIR apparatus uses a cell, where a chopped (e.g. some 100 hz i.e. a music tone) polychromatic IR beam (from a Nernst type IR-source)is passed through. The sensor is a void filled with CO2. The expansion of the cell when hit by the IR beam is detected by either a microphone or a micro flow sensor in a tube connected to an equalising reservoir. The concentrations in the cell measured by this instrument can be in the region of the atmospheric occurrence. This means that 380 ppm or so give a fine signal by difference between the undistrubed (zreo) signal and the signal reduced by the CO2 in the mmeasurement cell in the x00 ppm region. The effect is striking, if you use the microphone technique it creates a tone, where the pitch is defined by the frequency of the chopper and the intensity of the tone is the signal. If you plot the signal in high resolution, there is no sign of a very short lived exitation effect, the signal stays constant as long as the IR beam is on. The effect is also called the “photoacoustic effect” in IR spectroscopy and is also used to investigate surface layers on solids, or determining concentrations of other gases and even black carbon. Prof. Niessner of TU Munich has developed such an instrument used for determining on line the exhaust emission of black carbon from cars.
    I am convinced, that the photoacoustic effect of IR acticve gases proofs the warming potential of GHG.
    kind regards, Hans Puxbaum, TU Vienna

  143. Colin Davidson says:

    Dr Spencer kindly replied to my post at 1735, 14Mar12. I hope I have not annoyed him, I am not sure which of my points is wrong.

    Taking just my first point.
    The radiation to space in the region WN630-710 (the deep pit in the Spectrum) is coming from high in the atmosphere. None of it is coming from ground level (all these frequencies are opaque).
    This is confirmed by several seperate lines of evidence:
    1. DeWitt Payne’s calculation that the average optical depth is about 17.2km, and will be 18.8km at 560ppmv CO2.
    2. My calculations for WN650.
    3. This portion of the spectrum, unlike the rest, is not affected by clouds, even very high clouds.
    4. This portion of the spectrum, unlike the rest, has a higher level above temperate latitudes than tropical latitudes.

    The calculated increase in radiation to Space from this band at 560ppmvCO2 is 1W/m^2. This is present at all times, unlike the wing-frequency effects which are greatly affected by clouds etc.

    The effect of increased CO2 on this area of the spectrum will be:
    a. A widening of the pit – more U-shaped, less V-shaped
    b. A raising of the floor of the pit, most markedly in the spike at WN670 and in the pimple at WN650.

    Hope this helps. (I tried to add it under the original comment but finger-troubled my way into losing my post… this is my second attempt…)

  144. Doug Cotton says:

    Last night I decided to repeat my earlier experiment, but this time with water rather than soil. I have two identical wide necked vacuum flasks, a digital meat thermometer (measuring to 0.1 C degree accuracy only) ,a sheet of plate glass (off a small coffee table) and a (folded) car windscreen shield (reflective silver.) The glass is mounted on 4 bricks standing on end and in each corner, and the shield is on top of the glass with two extra paver bricks on top. The glass should absorb most radiation from the surface without reflecting much onto the shielded flask. The glass is at a slight slope – about 10 degrees, because my back lawn is sloped. This allows for air to escape by convection.

    I started with water at the same temperature that had been in an open container outside for over two hours. I observed the following temperatures in degrees C: ..

    Time, Covered, Uncovered, Ambient, Cloud cover

    10.55pm 21.7 21.7 21.1 some at about 45 degrees – none overhead

    11.55pm 21.5 21.5 21.5 light cloud – full cover overhead

    12.55am 21.4 21.1 19.6 some at about 60 degrees – none overhead

    1.54am 21.1 20.8 18.0 – no cloud

    5.08am 20.3 19.5 19.0 – some at about 45 degrees – none overhead

    Conclusions

    (1) It is noted that, although the air temperature (about 15cm above a grass lawn) rose when clouds came over, the water continued to cool. It is generally accepted that the moist adiabatic lapse rate is less than the dry rate. We can probably assume that the wind which moves the clouds also brings moist air that moves between the clouds and the surface. There would be a lower lapse rate in this body of air and that would tend to reduce the usual small step down between the surface and the air. For example, at 11.55pm with full cloud cover there was no step down at all, but by 1.54am under clear skies this step was 2.8 C degrees

    (2) The water exposed to “backradiation” actually cooled faster than the shielded water. The glass cover collected moisture due to condensation, and both the glass and the drops of water would have radiated onto the water in the flask and, as would be expected, slowed its rate of radiative cooling. The glass and water drops would also have reflected some upwelling radiation.

    (3) Even though the energy diagrams show only a little more upwelling radiation from the surface than downwelling “backradiation” (about 7% more usually) it is clear that the effect of upwelling radiation and convection on the glass was far greater than the effect of all the downwelling radiation. This is to be expected from my hypothesis, because the effect on the rate of cooling depends on two aspects of the radiation – the temperature of the source and the number of frequency bands under the Planck curve for the source. The Earth surface has virtually all the expected frequency bands, compared with carbon dioxide having very few. And both the surface and the glass were of course much warmer than the mean temperature of the various sources of radiation in the atmosphere.

    (4) So not all radiative flux is “equal” when it comes to any affect on temperatures, this being in keeping with the hypothesis. There was no indication that downwelling radiation from the cold atmosphere was significantly affecting the rate of cooling of the exposed water, but radiation from the wet underside of the much warmer glass cover clearly had a significant effect on the rate of cooling of the water shielded from most backradiation .

    Photos: http://climate-change-theory.com/expt_photos.jpg

    My paper: (Click Radiated Energy … ” at http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  145. Myles Weber says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I’ve read a good deal about climate science, but I am not a scientist, and certain aspects of the so-called greenhouse effect escape my understanding. The most puzzling thing to me in your article above is the assertion that the mid- and upper atmosphere will cool as the troposphere and surface warm from increased greenhouse gasses. Wouldn’t everthing warm? It is my understanding that the greenhouse metaphor and the phrase “heat trapping gasses” are greatly misleading. The roof of a conventional greenhouse does in fact trap heat by blocking convection and forcing heat to pass through the glass by conduction; the space above the greenhouse roof would therefore become cooler as you expand the width of the greenhouse roof and impede conduction further. But I don’t see how extra C02 can “trap” more heat in this manner; I don’t understand how it can impede heat transfer the way a solid roof does. Your example involving the house seems just as misleading to me as the greenhouse metaphor (and other metaphors you have used, such as an extra blanket thrown on a bed). Can you explain for a non-specialist how C02 and other greenhouse gasses actually “trap” heat like a solid roof does, thereby making the space above it cooler? It doesn’t seem possible to me. Many thanks.

  146. Girma says:

    Roy

    You wrote a temperature rise can occur from decreasing the rate of energy loss.

    I believe this is inaccurate.

    Decrease in rate of energy loss only decreases the cooling rate. However, it does not result in increase in the initial temperature.

    Regards
    Girma

    • Alan Wilkinson says:

      Unless the excess energy from the radiation imbalance is stored other than as heat a decrease in the cooling rate will increase the temperature of the irradiated surface.

    • Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

      This sentence is the core of the issue::
      “Decrease in rate of energy loss only decreases the cooling rate. However, it does not result in increase in the initial temperature”.
      What increases due just to that is “mean” temperatures over time, compared to same scenario but WITHOUT what is causing the decrease in rate of energy loss … (GHGs).
      Though instant temperature could also increase – more than without the causing agent-, typically in a sunny morning, but for that it is necessary the added energy from the sun, as Dr. Spencer has explained several times.

  147. Doug Cotton says:

    Alan and others Radiation from the atmosphere only slows the radiative cooling process, not evaporation and diffusion which can (and do) both increase to compensate. See my paper and experiment above.

    Some have asked about the peer-review process for my paper so I quote from http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

    “What is unique here is that the pioneering “peer review in open media” (PROM) requires authors to be responsive to real time criticisms and suggestions from fellow scientists who, as reviewers, share notes and suggest improvements while third parties can watch as it happens.

    “”Cotton’s paper was put online and discussed among a panel of reviewers from various diverse disciplines for several weeks. This is the key to PSI’s more robust assessment. “It’s far better when outside experts add their voice to the review process, as was recommended by the Oxburgh Report (2010).” For those who don’t recall, the British government commissioned a panel of experts to evaluate evidence of misconduct by climatologists after the “Climategate” scandal. The Oxburgh Report recommended more reviews by outside experts.

    “The PROM system addresses that need and encourages a real-time dialog between author and reviewers ensuring that feedback is heeded and acted upon. “This is the way more science should be done in this age of instant high-speed document transfer,” adds O’Sullivan. “The author got invaluable input from his reviewers and he acted upon the feedback he got, plus the reviewers were able to satisfy themselves of the validity of Cotton’s research because they saw precisely how the author collated his evidence and substantiated his findings.”

    “In a series of email exchanges the four reviewers, Dr. Matthias Kleespies (environmental scientist), Alan Siddons (radiochemist), Hans Schreuder (analytical chemist, ret.) and Professor Claes Johnson (applied mathematics) ensured that expertize from various scientific disciplines was applied constructively and thoroughly, unusual for the assessment of climate science papers.”

  148. Frank says:

    Dr. Spencer:

    Only about 1 of 10 photons observed by the NIMBUS satellite were emitted from the surface of the earth. The other 9 out of 10 were emitted from high in the troposphere. If we add more GHGs to the atmosphere, we certainly will reduce heat loss from the surface a tiny bit (the absorbed energy will remain in the atmosphere), but we will reduce heat loss from the upper atmosphere a lot more. Warming in the upper atmosphere doesn’t necessarily imply warming at the surface until you say something definitive about the lapse rate.

    Unfortunately, the IPCC doesn’t define the greenhouse effect in terms of the change in outgoing radiation. The IPCC’s definition is even more problematic. See FAQ 1.3 in AR4 WG1:

    “Much of this thermal radiation emitted by the land and ocean is absorbed by the atmosphere, including clouds, and reradiated back to Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect.”

    So, the IPCC defines the greenhouse effect in terms of increasing DLR. Unfortunately, increasing DLR will not appreciably warm the surface of the earth if it is accompanied by an increase in convection – which is certainly possible on a planet with a marginally unstable lapse rate. More energy is already leaving the earth’s surface by convection than by NET IR cooling.

    From a surface energy balance point of view, the amount of surface warming (the only relevant warming) depends on what fraction of increasing DLR is used to warm the surface (so more energy can be lost by radiation) and what fraction is lost by increasing convection. We certainly can’t count on GCMs predict how the ratio of surface warming to convection will change as GHGs increase.

    In your above IR photo of a house, you can put all the insulation you want in the walls of a house, but if there is a big hole in the roof, the insulation may not produce much warming. In the case of our planet, the “big hole in the roof” is the ITCZ.

  149. Dr. Strangelove says:

    @cotton

    “A warmer atmosphere does not imply a warmer surface anyway, but there are also cooling effects ”

    So you admit that the atmosphere (air) can warm through the physical mechanism I described? BTW land weather stations measure air temperature but they call it “surface temperature.” This is not the temperature of solid earth but the temperature of the lower atmosphere (the air above the ground). So when climatologists say greenhouse gases warm the surface temperature, they are correct but not very precise.

    A warmer air can lead to a warmer surface precisely because of the cooling effect of air on the surface (solid ground). The surface is cooled by convection following Newton’s law of cooling. The rate of cooling is proportionate to the temperature difference between the surface and air. When the air warms up, the temperature differential decreases and rate of cooling slows down. So for a given time say after one hour, the temperature of the surface is warmer compared to if the air above it was cold.

  150. Girma says:

    Roy
    Another issue is that the earth surface is not a constant. It is maximum in the day but minimum at night.

    You only could have increased GHG warming if we had constant warming from the sun day and night. The whole of night, the earth surface is only losing heat energy and gaining no solar energy.

    • Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

      Please kindly have a look to my reply to your previous post.
      You say now:
      “You only could have increased GHG warming if we had constant warming from the sun day and night. The whole of night, the earth surface is only losing heat energy and gaining no solar energy.”
      This is NONSENSE.
      If during the night you have an “insulating” agent (CO2, water vapour … whatever), with exactly the same rest of scenario, early in the morning will be MUCH WARMER – NOT THAN THE PREVIOUS EVENING, OF COURSE, BUT THAN EARLY IN THE MORNING BUT WITHOUT THE “INSULATING” AGENT.
      It really surprises me that so many people, scientists included, confuse this very basic point, after so many years discussing global warming …

  151. Girma says:

    Roy
    You wrote:
    “FIRST, warming can be caused by a decrease in the rate of energy loss by the climate system (or any other system, for that matter).”

    There is a BIG condition that must be satisfied for the above statement to be valid. This condition is that the input energy into the system is constant. This is not the case for our earth as there is no solar heating of the surface during the night.

    • Alan Wilkinson says:

      No, the only requirement is that the same pattern and magnitudes of incoming radiation persists. You forget that the surface continues to emit radiation during the night. The temperature pattern is the result of the total radiation received less that emitted over the 24 hours.

  152. Doug Cotton says:

    Addendum to experiment

    In order to check that the apparatus did indeed shield atmospheric radiation successfully, I took further readings at 1:53pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time) on March 16, 2012. It is a clear day with hardly any cloud, none directly overhead. The ambient Temperature in open shade was 31.9 deg.C and the air under the shield was 32.3 deg.C. The water in the flask exposed to sunlight was 29.1 deg.C and that in the shielded flask was 20.5 deg.C, being only 0.2 deg.C above the 5:08am reading taken before sunrise.

    I would comment that, considering the energy diagrams show comparable radiation leaving the surface to that from the Sun reaching the surface, then, allowing for the Sun only shining a bit more than half the time at this time of the year in Sydney, then why would not the backradiation have demonstrated something like half the extra 9.6 C degrees which the Sun has warmed the exposed water in a similar time? Clearly the backradiation is not doing what the IPCC claim it does.

    One has to ask, why didn’t the IPCC arrange such simple experiments before hoisting their conjecture upon the world?

  153. Doug Cotton says:

    No Roy, the cooling effects due to CO2 and water vapour are significant. They are due to …

    (a) Radiating most of the thermal energy in the whole atmosphere, some to space, and some to the surface where it has insignificant effect in slowing only the radiative component of cooling – as my paper and experiment shows.

    (b) Capturing and re-radiating (some direct to space) the much higher energy solar SW-IR. You can easily confirm how much less energy is in each photon emitted by the surface, compared with those from the Sun in the IR bands which spectroscopy shows H2O and CO2 do in fact absorb.

    I have seen calculations that the assumed warming effect is only 13% of the cooling effect in (b). And even the assumed warming does not exist because evaporation and diffusion compensate for reasons explained in my peer-reviewed paper.

  154. Tim Folkerts says:

    Dave,

    “Thermal equilibrium is a theoretical physical concept, used especially in theoretical texts, that means that all temperatures of interest are unchanging in time and uniform in space.” (Wikipedia)

    Note that it says TEMPERATURE is uniform, not THERMAL ENERGY.

    Here is a very simple example to show your interpretation is wrong. Diatomic gas molecules have a much higher specific heat than monatomic gases. So take a container of N2 and a container of Ar. Put them in thermal contact until they are at equilibrium. I will guarantee they will reach the same TEMPERATURE (with vastly different thermal energies), rather than the same thermal energy (with vastly different temperatures).

  155. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Cotton,

    CO2 and water vapor have warming effect not cooling because solar radiation peaks at 0.5 micron while terrestrial radiation peaks at 10 microns. This means solar has more visible light while terrestrial has more infrared. Greenhouse gases absorb infrared but not much light. This favors warming so net effect is warming.

    I cannot understand your experiment. Do you simulate “backradiation” with radiation from glass? This is not comparable to greenhouse effect since the atmosphere and glass are different materials. Their absorption and emission of elecromagnetic waves will differ.

  156. Tim Folkerts says:

    Its like a hydra — you cut off one head and two more appear! :-)

    For what its worth, I agree with the original post. The “bites” out of the thermal IR spectrum as seen from space are clear evidence that CO2 can and will affect the temperature of the earth’s surface.

    The one thing I would add is that the “Inevitable Question” about saturation ALSO includes the effect of moving the effective radiating surface higher, where the air is cooler and radiates less effectively.

  157. Doug Cotton says:

    Tim

    The “bites” out of the thermal IR spectrum as seen from space are clear evidence that CO2 can and will affect the temperature of the earth’s surface.
    _______________________

    This is absolutely incorrect as explained in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy …”

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  158. Doug Cotton says:

    Dr Strangelove

    Regarding the experiment, the main point is that the water exposed to backradiation still cools every bit as fast as we would expect it to do, bearing in mind the ambient temperature. If backradiation delivers about half as much “w/m^2″ at night as the Sun at noon, why didn’t the water perhaps even warm a little, when you consider that the Sun raised it 9.6 C degrees? The answer is in my peer-reviewed paper which you would learn from, I suggest.

    For example, you say most solar radiation is in the visible spectrum. But that is not true, because less than 50% is. You will see an indication of how much is absorbed by H2O and CO2 in my paper. Furthermore, there is far more energy per photon in such SW-IR radiation than in the LW-IR which makes up almost all of the surface radiation, excluding reflection of solar radiation of course.

    And so what if CO2 absorbs LW-IR radiation. It can re-radiate it and, if it comes from a cooler part of the atmosphere than the surface it strikes, no thermal energy can be transferred as a result. That is what the paper is all about.

  159. Doug Cotton says:

    Tor

    I really don’t want to get into lengthy discussion of non-reduced Compton wavelength and all that. Also, radiation pressure is insignificant when we are talking about typical atmospheric temperatures and emission from the atmosphere.

    The “big picture” remains the same: such radiation from a cooler atmosphere is not converted to thermal energy in the surface. Hence it cannot affect rates of transfer by evaporation or diffusion. It can only slow the rate of radiative transfer of thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere. The other transfer processes can, and do, “step up” to compensate, so there is no net total effect on the overall rate of cooling.

    In particular, carbon dioxide, with its limited range of frequencies, has very little impact on the rate of radiative cooling, compared with water vapour.

    • Tor says:

      Your reply raises doubts that you understand the objection. The estimate is about the jerk-term in eq (17) in you ref [3].

      Further there is a research paper named Exergy of undiluted thermal radiation, that you should read.

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038092X03002263

      That should sort out your misconception about the relation between thermal radiation and the second law.

      And I also have one question for you. How do you define heat?

    • Tor says:

      One more question. Why do you mention the Compton wavelength?

  160. Frank says:

    Roy:

    A simple question: When a single GHG molecule in a colder atmosphere emits a photon that is absorbed by a molecule on the warmer surface of the earth, why is there no violation of the 2nd Law?

    A simple answer: A single molecule in the atmosphere or on the surface doesn’t have a well-defined temperature. Single molecules can’t be hot or cold.

    A large collection of molecules near the emitting and absorbing molecules do have a well defined temperature (proportional to their mean kinetic energy), but the individual emitting molecules have a range of possible kinetic energies given by the Boltzman distribution. For all we know, the emitting molecule in the colder atmosphere could – by chance – have twice the kinetic energy as its average neighbors and the absorbing molecule could have half the average.

    It’s absurd to discuss heat flowing from cold to hot when one photon transfers energy from one molecule to another. Individual molecules can be faster- or slower-moving, but not hotter or colder. When we deal with groups of molecules large enough to have a well-defined temperature, millions of photons are being exchanged and the NET flux will be from hot to cold.

  161. Doug Cotton says:

    Frank

    Yes, well explained. Even Wikipedia spells it out … In classical thermodynamics, the second law is a basic postulate applicable to any system involving measurable heat transfer

    But there is no physical entity corresponding to “net” flux. Radiation with different wavelengths and directions is not compounded into “net” radiation. Thermal energy can of course be compounded, but it does not travel each way. If there were any process transferring it from cold to hot then the Second Law would be violated, even if there were some other process transferring more thermal energy the other way. Remember, the other process could be something other than radiation anyway, like evaporation or diffusion. Each process must obey the Law in its own right between the two “bodies” involved and, of course, on a macro (measurable) scale.

    This is explained in more detail in my peer-reviewed Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/radiated_energy.pdf

    • Frank says:

      Doug: Try reading the main article on thermodynamics in Wikipedia on the difference between classical and statistical thermodynamics:

      Classical thermodynamics
      Classical thermodynamics is the description of the states (especially equilibrium states) and processes of thermodynamical systems, using MACROSCOPIC, empirical properties directly measurable in the laboratory. It is used to model exchanges of energy, work, heat, and matter, based on the laws of thermodynamics. The qualifier classical reflects the fact that it represents the descriptive level in terms of MACROSCOPIC empirical parameters that can be measured in the laboratory, that was the first level of understanding in the 19th century. A microscopic interpretation of these concepts was provided by the development of statistical thermodynamics.

      [edit]Statistical thermodynamics
      Statistical thermodynamics, also called statistical mechanics, emerged with the development of atomic and molecular theories in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century, supplementing thermodynamics with an interpretation of the microscopic interactions between individual particles or quantum-mechanical states. This field relates the microscopic properties of individual atoms and molecules to the macroscopic, bulk properties of materials that can be observed on the human scale, thereby EXPLAINING THERMODYNAMICS as a natural result of statistics, classical mechanics, and quantum theory at the MICROSCOPIC level.

      You say: But there is no physical entity corresponding to “net” flux.” Net flux is the heat transferred seen in the macroscopic world. The only thing one can measure with a thermometer is the net result from millions of collisions and photons. For things here on earth that are radiating about 400 W/m2

      You say: “Thermal energy can of course be compounded, but it does not travel each way. If there were any process transferring it from cold to hot then the Second Law would be violated, even if there were some other process transferring more thermal energy the other way.”

      The terms hot and cold are not defined in the microscopic world, we can only say faster- or slower-moving or more or less kinetic energy. Temperature is proportional to the MEAN kinetic energy and therefore applies only to a group of molecules. A slower-moving molecule can and does hit a faster-moving molecule from the side and increase the kinetic energy of the faster moving molecule. This explains why some molecules have much more kinetic energy than others (Boltzman distribution). A slower-moving molecule can also emit a photon that is absorbed by a faster-moving molecule. Statistical mechanics (statistical thermodynamics) explains how this can happen and still have the 2LoT obeyed in the macroscopic world!

      Here on earth, many objects are radiating 400 W/m2 (J/s/m2) of energy at a typical wavelength of 10 um. So we have 6.6E-21 J/photon (E = hv) and 6E+22 photons emitted per m2. Molecules are roughly about 1 nanometer is size (gases are a little smaller), giving 60,000 photons emitted per square nanometer of surface per second. Assuming my calculations are correct, hundreds of photons travel passed each surface molecule of a solid or liquid every millisecond. (Most are emitted from or absorbed by molecules below the actual surface.) Everything we can measure is the NET result of this massive exchange of photons. (Collisions between molecules are even more frequent.) Thermodynamics describes the net behavior produced by all of these microscopic event. Statistical mechanics explains how it happens.

  162. Tony says:

    Roy: I only have a very basic grasp of things meteorological, so excuse my naivete. Can’t remember who posted it the other day, but they made the comment that there is a simple proof of the greenhouse effect in action: night time inhibited cooling for humid conditions compared to low humidity conditions. Sounds good, but there is an issue that I can’t seem to resolve in my head. H2O vapor being a greenhouse gas, I accept the warmer conditions at the surface at night during a humid atmosphere. If this is an example of the greenhouse effect, why then does a humid day inhibit heat buildup compared to a low huid day. That is, the diurnal temperature variations of a desert are much higher than an area with high humidity. This would tend to indicate that the greenhouse effect as described inhibits temperature buildup during periods of sunshine. Can anybody comment?

    • Eli Rabett says:

      Tony
      ———————–
      That is, the diurnal temperature variations of a desert are much higher than an area with high humidity. This would tend to indicate that the greenhouse effect as described inhibits temperature buildup during periods of sunshine. Can anybody comment?
      ———————

      Diurnal variations are higher in the desert because deserts cool radiatively faster at night and humid places cool more by evaporation during the day.

      You can actually freeze open water in the desert at night simply by leaving it out in a shallow pan. You can’t do this in AL which is why Roy’s Box surprised Eli.

  163. Alan Wilkinson says:

    “Radiation from the atmosphere only slows the radiative cooling process, not evaporation and diffusion which can (and do) both increase to compensate.”

    Extremely unlikely that the compensation could be exactly equivalent so this would merely mitigate the impact, not negate it. You are still left with a GHE.

  164. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Quit quoting your own paper. It’s not the authority. Who peer-reviewed it? What scientific journal was it published?

    Your experiment is not comparable to greenhouse effect. But to satisfy your curiosity, measure the temp. of the glass. If it’s almost equal to temp. of water, the effect you’re measuring is negligible. Glass and water are at radiative equilibrium. Convection is the dominant mode of heat transfer.

    Yes solar radiation is about 50% IR but terrestrial radiation is 100% IR. Exactly my point. More IR in terrestrial.

    Absorption of IR by CO2 slows down IR escape to space. More IR in atmosphere, higher temp. Basic Stefan-Boltzmann law. How can IR flux be higher if temp. is not higher? I suggest you study atmospheric physics. Read the Science of Doom website to learn more about the subject.

  165. Doug Cotton says:

    Alan: There are reasons explained in my paper, especially the Appendix, as to why they will tend to compensate in the long term. Please understand that I do not have time to type it all out again here.

    Dr Strangelove: Note the Addendum to my experiment above showing that, although the air under the glass warmed to 32.3 deg.C in daylight hours today, the water only warmed 0.2 deg.C, indicating very little effect caused by the glass above or even the surrounding air. In contrast, the water exposed to the Sun rose 9.6 C degrees. Backradiation at night is “supposed” to have about half the effect of Solar radiation during the day. There is no way it affected the temperature of the exposed water by anything like half that 9.6 C when it was cooling last night.

    You also asked about who peer-reviewed my paper, and I would mention that it is now available for open review. I can best answer your question and explain the “open review” process by referring you here:

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

    • Dave Springer says:

      “Backradiation at night is “supposed” to have about half the effect of Solar radiation during the day.”

      Who supposed that? Looks like a straw man to me. Thermal radiation from the surface is “supposed” to happen 24 hours per day with a continuous black body spectrum characteristic of its temperature. All matter is “supposed” to do that all the time.

      According to “them” (by them I mean what they’d teach you in oceanagraphy class in good universities) the average surface heat budget is as follows. I linked to chapter and verse in an oceanography text below.

      radiative loss 66W
      evaporative loss 78W
      conductive loss 24W
      insolation gain 168W

      Evaporation is “supposed” to play the largest role not radiation. And this is global average. Over the ocean where there’s an infinite supply of water to evaporate, if you go down to the global breakdown charts figure 5.8 you’ll find that radiation plays a very small role in the tropical oceans which are free to evaporate and have plenty of energy to do some big time evaporating.

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

  166. Eric Anderson says:

    Dr. Spencer:

    First of all, thank you for the interesting post and all you do to advance our understanding. It is much appreciated.

    I don’t dispute the concept of GHG’s generally or radiative bands and so on. I do, however, wonder about your house example. I have yet to see a good everyday analogy to the climate system. It seems like every time someone tries to explain how “simple” the ‘greenhouse’ effect is the analogy doesn’t quite work because, frankly, the effect in the real world really isn’t that simple.

    In this case, I note that several of the exposed windows in the IR image are almost black, while others are glowing brightly. It appears, just from looking at the picture, that the bright glow just happens to come from those rooms where the light is on. Hmmm . . .

    More importantly, convection plays a massive role in real-world temperatures. In the house example, or in lab experiments (that are supposed to have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt the baseline effect of GHG’s), convection plays essentially no role.

    One way to approach this is of course to say that “all things being equal” increasing GHG’s by x% will increase temperature by y%. Yet, by definition, we know that all things are not equal. Thus the statement is not useful in real-world application. Further, we know for a fact that the temperature curve over the last century has not followed the CO2 curve. Yes, yes, it could be that something else is “masking” the warming; or it could be that the warming is waiting in the “pipeline” a la Jones; or it could be that feedbacks are negative (which I understand is your position, and I think is a reasonable position); or it could be that some other forcing is overwhelming the CO2 forcing.

    In any case, additional CO2 most definitely does not necessarily lead to warming, despite simple house examples or lab demonstrations. Indeed, until we can pin down everything else that is going on it doesn’t seem that we are justified in saying that it even would lead to warming in a chaotic, uncontained atmosphere that includes massive scale convection.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Yeah, the IR image of the house is a very bad example. Far more interesting and doesn’t require an IR camera is the flat roof over my daylight basement which I look out on from an overhead perch. It’s the first thing anywhere in the vicinity to get frost on it. If the night sky is clear and dry I’ve seen frost form on that roof when the air temperature a few feet above it never dipped below 40F. The next thing to get frost on it is the roof of a black car parked where there’s a clear view of the night sky. Horizontal surfaces with high emissivity and low mass demonstrate the power of a clear dry sky to suck the heat out of them faster than a higher air temperature can replace it through conduction.

      In the frost I can see the outlines of rafters and other places where the insulation is thin or missing. The 2×10″ rafters conduct heat from below (which is maintained at about 72F year round) better than the 10 inches of fiberglass insulation filling the space between them so there is slightly less frost along those lines. In a few small places there is no insulation at all and in those spots there is no frost. The level of detail of the structure beneath revealed in the frost is surprising.

    • Dave Springer says:

      “In any case, additional CO2 most definitely does not necessarily lead to warming, despite simple house examples or lab demonstrations.”

      Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah. A congressional hearing.

      In any case, cigarette smoking most definitely does not necessarily lead to cancer, despite simple mouse examples or lab demonstrations.

  167. -hv says:

    I think that to understand GHG and temperature rise, one helpful analogy is to think about water and a water container. There are two similar pipes for water, one leading in trough the top and the other out trough the bottom of the container. If the water would just unchanged run trough the container, the amount of the water in the container would stay at the prefilled stage. But if the water would turn into porridge inside the container, the level of the porridge-water would rise in the container higher, because thicker porridge couldn’t run out as fast as the water…
    Now just think that the visible light energy is the water, porridge is the visible light turned into infrared, the container is the earth. The temperature of the earth is the level of the porridge-water in the container.

  168. Doug Cotton says:

    Eric You can read the physics as to why carbon dioxide has no net warming effect here in my paper which has undergone peer-review and is now subjected to “open peer-review” by potentially dozens of people, as explained here http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  169. Nullius in Verba says:

    Myles Weber,
    “The most puzzling thing to me in your article above is the assertion that the mid- and upper atmosphere will cool as the troposphere and surface warm from increased greenhouse gasses. Wouldn’t everthing warm?”

    The vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere has a V shape. If you push a V slightly to the right, the temperature rises along the downward slope, and falls along the upward slope, so the lower atmosphere where temperature is falling with altitude warms, and the upper atmosphere where temperature rises with altitude cools.

    Imagine you can see the Earth with infra-red eyes. The water vapour in the air makes it milky-opaque; the planetary surface you can see floats above the actual solid surface. The top of this milky layer defines the tip of the V. Below it, convection (needed to transport the heat away since it can’t radiate through the murk) stirs the atmosphere up and temperature rises with depth. Above it, convection stops, ozone can build up in the dry stratified air, absorbs ultraviolet sunlight and temperature rises with height.

    When you add more greenhouse gases, the milky layer gets thicker, the top of it gets higher, and everything moves upwards. Including the temperatures. The V shape shifts to the right.

  170. John Marshall says:

    Your claim that increased amounts of GH gasses in the atmosphere will reduce the radiated energy to space, thus increasing warming, has been thrashed- satellite measured radiated energy has remained fairly constant since 1979 when measurements began, to today despite rising atmospheric CO2 content. So where is this missing heat? ( I sound like Trenberth). I think that it is lost within the energy reactions if the water vapour and CO2 molecules as they exchange energy with non GHG’s, which must happen to comply with the 2nd law. This energy will be lost to space at a different frequency to that expected from the two main GHG’s. This energy loss may even be enough to lower frequencies to microwave levels of which there is a lot leaving our planet.

    You seem to have rewritten the GHG theory to remove the reradiated IR from the high troposphere levels, with temperatures below -30C. I cannot believe that heat can be radiated from here to a surface at +20C due to 2nd law violations. But the lowest 30m of the atmosphere, which you now mention, has much mixing due to surface turbulance so temperatures will equalize between GH and non GH gasses but this heat energy is solar. No energy increases can happen to comply with 1st law. This lowest level has the highest density so will increase the mixing/temperature equalizing chances. There is a good chance that the extra heat above that of the BB radiated temperature will be from adiabatic compression. This works on Jupiter and Saturn but it seems that it cannot work on Earth which I find very strange.

  171. Turnedoutnice says:

    Climate science has some serious problems in its understanding. Instrumental scientists tend to be technicians and fail to do the science bit, which is to identify exactly what an experiment proves.

    Once case in point is your TOA IR spectrum. What this measures is the radiation falling within the view angle of the detector. This correctly shows the attenuation in the IR absorbing bands over the absorption depth. However, the ‘missing energy’ isn’t missing.

    The conventional GHG theory is that it is directly thermalised in dribs and drabs to increase the kinetic energy of the N2 and O2. This can’t happen because the IR energy is quantised by resonance and can only be transferred as a whole. Instead, another excited GHG molecule emits the same energy quantum in a random direction restoring Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium.

    The reason is that thermalisation takes a long time so a new emission is preferred kinetically. Climate science has forgotten the most basic theorem of statistical thermodynamics, indistinguishability, [see the 'Gibbs Paradox'].

    I have written more on this in a recent Tallbloke post but in essence, molecules have no memory. The pseudo-scattering means the atmosphere acts as a heat transfer medium with most thermalisation probably at heterogeneous interfaces: cloud droplets and bare aerosols.

    This converts GHG-specific IR energies into non-specific thermal emission [clouds tend to be grey bodies]. Thus the IR spectrum you show is part of a much bigger picture.

    Of course, my suggestion that the whole of climate science is wrong and I am right might be considered controversial. However, go the the text books and you will see climate science has been extraordinarily naive in its treatment of the IR issues. Will Happer pointed this out in 1993.

    I believe the energy in an IR photon absorbed near the earth’s surface appears at an interface or heads to space at near the speed of light with the intermediate process being controlled by the statistical thermodynamics of the assembly, the whole atmosphere even over the horizon. The TOA spectrum is a measure of the few 10s of km in the final path and the real detail is in the non-GHG region from ‘energy transmutation’ you can’t get from direct thermalisation!

    • Eli Rabett says:

      i>The conventional GHG theory is that it is directly thermalised in dribs and drabs to increase the kinetic energy of the N2 and O2. This can’t happen because the IR energy is quantised by resonance and can only be transferred as a whole. Instead, another excited GHG molecule emits the same energy quantum in a random direction restoring Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium.

      Not so. First of all, there are several types of motion, vibrational, rotational and translational. The energy has to be conserved among these three, but not in any particular one. Thus if we go from a vibrationally excited molecule to an unexcited one not only can the relative translational energy of the two colliding molecules change, but so will their rotational energies. There is plenty of slop there.

      Yet, even if we freeze rotational energies, and the collision transfers all of the energy in one lump, the two collision partners are now moving at very high speed, BUT THEY WILL COLLISIONALLY TRANSFER THEIR TRANSLATIONAL ENERGY to other molecules.

      At atmospheric pressure and temperature the mean time between collision is a few tenth of a nanosecond. As a rule of thumb it takes a couple of microseconds (1000 ns, or 10,000 collisions) to vibrationally de-excite the CO2 but, only a few tens of collisions to cool the translationally hot molecules to the bath temperature. The net effect is that after several microseconds, the vibrational energy has been thermalized into the bath.

      Detailed modeling and measurements of these processes have been done. Nobel prizes have been won.

  172. Doug Cotton says:

    Tournedoutnice

    Well said. You’re very welcome on my tallbloke thread.

  173. Nullius in Verba says:

    John Marshall,
    “Your claim that increased amounts of GH gasses in the atmosphere will reduce the radiated energy to space, thus increasing warming, has been thrashed”

    It’s a problem with the usual way of explaining things. They do it by making the change in one factor but holding everything else the same, and then explain why tensions would arise that push everything else in the appropriate direction.

    The thing is it doesn’t happen that way. Everything else responds along with the change, at the same time, so such tensions and imbalances never build up.

    Rather than explaining why things move, it’s better to explain why things end up where they do.

    If you calculate the power in watts corresponding to a 1 C/century temperature rise, you’ll find it’s a remarkably small number. It takes 420 MJ/m^2 to warm the top 100 m of the ocean by 1 C. Divide that by 100*365*24*60*60 seconds in a century, you get about 0.1 W/m^2. Consider the top 10 m instead, since the ocean doesn’t act as a slab, and it’s about 0.01 W/m^2. The numbers for land are even smaller.

    The actual energy imbalance involved in global warming is undetectably small. The ‘forcing’ values you keep seeing quoted are only the imbalances that *would* arise if the atmosphere didn’t respond. They don’t actually exist.

    If I push a metal box a foot across the floor and want to know why it moved, it would be like calculating what the elastic force would have to be if my hand pushed a foot into the metal and the box didn’t move. Clearly it explains why the box cannot stay where it is when you push it, but it doesn’t really help the intuition.

  174. Doug Cotton says:

    Roy and others

    You would probably say “The transfer of energy from a cooler body to a hotter one is compensated by the transfer of energy from the hotter body to the cooler one.
    ____________________________

    With respect. the whole point of my paper is to prove the above statement must be incorrect. If, for example, IR from a cooler atmosphere is converted to thermal energy, (say going from A to B) then there is absolutely no physical reason why there has to be a “compensating” or greater transfer at that time or between those points, ie back from B to A. (It might go, for example, from B to C in the surface, then from C to D in the atmosphere.)

    Physics down through the ages has never said this could happen. Each movement of thermal energy has to stand alone and satisfy the Second Law of Thermodynamics in its own right. Movement of radiation does not necessarily mean movement of thermal energy between the same two points.

    This is vital in consideration of atmospheric physics for the following reasons …

    (1) It eliminates the possibility of any particular “parcel” of thermal energy going from a cold atmosphere to a warmer surface and then back out by evaporation or diffusion.

    (2) It restricts the effect to one of slowing the rate of radiative cooling, but not the other rates of cooling by evaporation and diffusion followed by convection.

    (3) Furthermore, when the physical process is understood (as is explained in the paper) then it is obvious that carbon dioxide can have far less effect per molecule because it emits far fewer separate frequencies (wavelengths.) All the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must have less than 1% of the effect of all water vapour. So, just because it gets warmer on a humid night, does not mean carbon dioxide can create the same effect.

    • Tor says:

      Doug Cotton,

      You wrote

      “IR from a cooler atmosphere is converted to thermal energy, (say going from A to B) then there is absolutely no physical reason why there has to be a “compensating” or greater transfer at that time or between those points, ie back from B to A. ”

      “Physics down through the ages has never said this could happen.”

      This is not true. Planck showed in his The Theory of Heat Radiation that an absorption must necessarily mean a compensating emission otherwise the 2nd law is violated. Emission without absorption does not violate the 2nd law on the other hand.

      If you want a more modern treatment that shows the same thing look into Exergy of undiluted thermal radiation (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038092X03002263)

      My suggestion is that you start examining radiation processes in more idealized situations, like two plates in a vacuum (or a setting in air with small Peclet number) that exchange electromagnetic radiation, before thinking about multi-mode transfer like in the atmosphere.

    • Dave Springer says:

      No Doug it’s not “compensated”. There’s no fair exchange going on. It happens because it must happen.

      All matter with a temperature above absolute zero radiates. There’s no stopping it. It’s a consequence of charged particles in motion, you know, like an electron spinning around a proton. Radiation doesn’t stop until motion stops. Anything with a temperature above absolute zero is in notion. Temperature is a measure of motion.

      The reason why matter doesn’t spontaneously stop moving from continual radiation is that they continually absorb radiation as well.

      The net of radiation and absorption determines whether the object is becoming warmer, colder, or staying the same.

      Thus when we leave a rock outdoors at night if there’s a dry clear sky it will lose heat faster than if there’s a cloudy sky. The reason is that in the dry clear sky there is little radiation coming in from above because you have a clear view through a largely transparent atmosphere of the inky black cold of the cosmos which is just 3 Kelvins above above absolute zero. If the sky is cloudy then instead of inky black space there’s a warm cloud which is radiating much more than empty space. The rock doesn’t change the speed it is radiating due to the cloud. It keeps right on trucking at a rate determined by its own temperature. What changes is the rock is now absorbing radiation from a cloud which might be quite cool but is still hundreds of Kelvins warmer than outer space.

      Denying this won’t get you anywhere but utterly confused.

  175. Nullius in Verba says:

    Doug,

    “If, for example, IR from a cooler atmosphere is converted to thermal energy, (say going from A to B) then there is absolutely no physical reason why there has to be a “compensating” or greater transfer at that time or between those points, ie back from B to A.”

    Yes there is. The reason is that B is warmer than A, and is radiating too.

    A radiates in proportion to T_A^4, B radiates in proportion to T_B^4, and the net transfer from A to B is proportional to (T_A^4 – T_B^4), which is always in the direction of warmer to colder.

    And it’s still totally irrelevant, since the explanation of the greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere doesn’t involve backradiation.

  176. Turnedoutnice says:

    Reply to Eli Rabett:

    Thank you for your reply. However, I am just a simple experimentalist so I look at IR thermalisation from the viewpoint of a practical guy.

    How do you distinguish between direct thermalisation and thermalisation by absorption at the vessel walls made more probable by increased pseudo-scattering?

    Nahle has reportedly done experiments with Mylar balloons to reduce the heterogeneous warming and appears to have found no warming in this effectively constant pressure experiment.

    Remember: all that it requires for LTE to be restored is for an assembly of molecules to be emitting significantly more IR quanta of a particular energy from the existing thermal activation than are being absorbed from an external source of energy. In that case LTE is restored so no direct thermalisation, just pseudo-scattering.

  177. Myrrh says:

    Sigh, isn’t there any warmist with the nous to see their arguments come from a fisics totally unrelated to this world?

    Why is convection missing?

    Because they don’t have a real atmosphere, they have instead empty space with no volume, no gravity therefore no weight, no attraction.

    Instead of the heavy, voluminous fluid gas ocean weighing down on us a ton on our shoulders, they have empty space with ideal gas dots without volume, weight or attraction, not subject to gravity because they have no properties. This imaginary ideal gas molecules which they confusing call by the names of real molecules, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide, zip at great speeds through their empty space atmosphere, thoroughly mixing unable to be separated out. Their gases are not buoyant in air – because they have no air!

    How do their clouds appear in their empty space ideal gas atmosphere? Who knows? They don’t. Clouds just appear magically!

    This, sigh, sigh and sigh again, is nonsense fisics, through the looking glass with Alice where impossible things can be imagined – it has nothing to do with our real Sun or our real Earth.

    That’s why they mangle the 2nd Law, because it has no context in their imaginary fisics.

    They have no sound…

    ..which is possibly why they can’t hear any arguments from real physics..

  178. mkelly says:

    Willis Eschenbach “A Matter of Some Gravity” says:
    The poorly-named “greenhouse effect” works as follows:

    • The surface of the earth emits energy in the form of thermal longwave radiation.

    • Some of that energy is absorbed by greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.

    • In turn, some of that absorbed energy is radiated by the atmosphere back to the surface.

    • As a result of absorbing that energy from the atmosphere, the surface is warmer than it would be in the absence of the GHGs.

    Dr. Spencer says:
    STEP 1:
    Temperature is determined by rates of energy gain and energy loss.
    STEP 2:
    Infrared absorbing gases reduce the rate at which the Earth loses infrared energy to space.

    Sir does your two step process include the 3rd and 4th bullit points from Willis E’s four step process? ie the surface absorbing IR and warming because of the absorbtion.

    If so could you please write a radiative heat transfer equation showing how this takes place?

  179. Nullius in Verba says:

    mkelly,

    I think Dr Spencer’s two-step is aimed at proving the existence of a greenhouse effect, not explaining its mechanism. So it’s sufficient to show that not all the heat radiated from the surface gets to space. If the atmosphere slows the rate of cooling, the temperature must rise.

    Eschenbach’s four steps are a fairly conventional explanation of the mechanism. The trouble is, the last step is incorrect. This is how it would work in a *non-convective* atmosphere, but convection is not simply a minor correction to be applied on the end of the radiative physics. In a convective atmosphere, convection takes over completely, and backradiation – while it exists and is thermally absorbed by the surface – has no *net* effect.

    We can illustrate the concept with a sunlit pond of water. Let’s suppose we can ignore convection and conduction, and the sunlight hitting the bottom of the pond adds heat which can only escape by radiation. We divide the water into layers, each one just thick enough to be totally opaque to thermal IR. The sunlight adds X units of heat, all of which must escape from the top surface of the pond. It radiates X units up, and X units down into the layer below. It’s losing 2X units of heat in total, which have to be balanced by input from somewhere, and the only place it can come from is the layer below. So the layer below has to be hotter, and radiates 2X units up and 2X units down into the third layer. The second layer is now losing 4X units, and only receiving X units from above, so must receive 3X units coming up from the layer below. And so on. The 3rd layer emits 3X, the 4th layer emits 4X, and generally the power emitted is proportional to the optical depth. The temperature rises with the 4th root of optical depth.

    Since the minimally opaque layers in a pond are about 20 microns thick, the pond water provides an imensely strong ‘greenhouse’ resistance to the escape of heat, and would boil within a few centimetres of the surface. Liquid water constitutes a “super-greenhouse gas”.

    Obviously, it doesn’t happen like that. This is because in water convection dominates. As soon as the slightest difference in temperature occurs, the water starts moving and erases it. You cannot get greenhouse warming in a pond, because it is convective. You still get backradiation though. Even with every layer at the same temperature, every 20 micron layer is still emitting X units up and X units down, constituting a huge amount of radiation in every cubic metre. But the net effect of almost all of it is cancelled by the radiation going in the opposite direction. Only radiation from the surface is not cancelled. This is what allows us to generally ignore the radiation going on inside a body, and treat it as if only the outer surfaces emitted.

    The fundamental equation for the greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere is
    T_surf = T_eff + LR * AARTS
    The surface temperature is the effective radiative temperature plus the lapse rate times the average altitude of emission to space.

    For a pond of water, the lapse rate is effectively zero, so you get no greenhouse warming. For the stratosphere, the lapse rate is negative, so you get greenhouse cooling. For the planet Venus, the average altitude of emission to space is about 70 km, so the greenhouse warming is huge. For the planet Mars it’s about 1 km so the effect is tiny. They all fit in to the same basic pattern.

    And incidentally, if you suppress convection in a pond of water by setting up a salt-water density gradient, the bottom of the pond can warm to 90 C within a metre or so of the surface. This is not as strong an effect as it would be if radiation was the only heat transport mechanism, but it is in a sense an *actual* example of a radiative greenhouse effect.

  180. Doug Cotton says:

    No. It is nowhere near as simple as that. All the radiation gets to space sooner or later. Carbon dioxide just scatters it on its way so you don’t see radiation in those bandwidths at TOA. The energy still gets out, and you have no proof that it doesn’t.

    In the hemisphere that is cooling at night there is far more getting out, whereas in the hemisphere in the sunlight there is far more coming in. This is obvious.

    When I placed a wide necked vacuum flask filled with water in the sun yesterday (with the lid off) the temperature of the water rose from 19.5 deg.C at 5:08am to 29.1 deg.C at 1:53pm while the air around it rose from 19.0 to 31.9 deg.C.

    What did the backradiation do at night? Well from 9:15pm till 12:05am the water cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 23.4 deg.C while the air cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 22.7 deg.C.

    According to those energy diagrams the backradiation, even at night, is about half the solar radiation during the day. Well, maybe it is, but it does not have anything like half the effect on the temperature as you can confirm in your own backyard.

    This is because, when radiation from a cooler atmosphere strikes a warmer surface it undergoes “resonant scattering” (sometimes called pseudo-scattering) and this means its energy is not converted to thermal energy. This is the reason that heat does not transfer from cold to hot. If it did the universe would go crazy.

    When opposing radiation is scattered, its own energy replaces energy which the warmer body would have radiated from its own thermal energy supply. You can imagine it as if you are just about to pay for something at a shop when a friend offers you cash for the right amount. It’s quicker and easier for you to just pay with the cash, rather than going through the longer process of using a credit card to pay from your own account. So it is with radiation. The warmer body cools more slowly as a result because a ready source of energy from incident radiation is quicker to just “reflect” back into the atmosphere, rather than have to convert its own thermal energy to radiated energy.

    The ramifications are this:

    Not all radiation from the atmosphere is the same. That from cooler regions has less effect. Also, that with fewer frequencies under its Planck curve has less effect again. Each carbon dioxide molecule thus has far less effect than each water vapour molecule because the latter can radiate with more frequencies which “oppose” the frequencies being emitted by the surface, especially the oceans.

    Furthermore, it is only the radiative cooling process of the surface which is slowed down. There are other processes like evaporative cooling and diffusion followed by convection which cannot be affected by backradiation, and which will tend to compensate for any slowing of the radiation.

    This is why, at night, the water in the flask cools nearly as fast as the air around it. The net effect on the rate of cooling is totally negligible. The backradiation does not affect temperatures anywhere near as much as solar radiation, even though its “W/m^2″ is probably about half as much.

    And there are other reasons also why it all balances out and climate follows natural cycles without any anthropogenic effect. This is explained in detail in my peer-reviewed publication now being further reviewed by dozens of scientists.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#more-5303

  181. Nullius in Verba says:

    Doug,
    You’re not making much sense to me. Yes of course all the energy gets to space sooner or later, yes of course the net flow is outward at night and inward during the day. Your yard experiment doesn’t show backradiation has no effect – if you exposed water to surroundings at absolute zero so there was no backradiation, it would get colder an awful lot faster. And the bit about “resonant scattering” is just made up nonsense. The radiation gets absorbed, and the second law only regulates *net* heat transfer.

    And it’s still an entirely pointless exercise, since the greenhouse effect on Earth does not depend on backradiation.

    It’s very simple. An object in a vacuum settles at a temperature such that it radiates exactly as much as it absorbs. With an IR-opaque atmosphere, it radiates from a level 5 km up, and so the air 5 km up settles at this temperature. And the ground being 5 km below that is 6.5 C/km * 5 km = 33 C warmer, because of adiabatic compression in a convective atmosphere.

    Arguing about backradiation or making up magic physics to stop radiation being absorbed does not achieve anything. Do you want to achieve anything real here? Or are you just entertaining yourself?

  182. RW says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Unless emitted photons have ‘tags’ on them that identify from what temperature they were emitted from, there is no violation of the 2nd Law with the GHE. I mean I can even agree the net effect from incrased CO2 may even be zero or a wash, but not because of any 2nd law violation. This is just silly.

    If there is any law that’s broken by the ‘consensus’ climate science, it’s the 1st law – not the 2nd law.

    Or that a watts of GHG ‘forcing’ can do more work and have a far greater ability to warm the surface than watts forcing the system from the Sun.

  183. Colin Davidson says:

    “And the ground being 5 km below that is 6.5 C/km * 5 km = 33 C warmer, because of adiabatic compression in a convective atmosphere.”

    I wonder if Nullius in Verba (1708, 16MAR12) has attempted to create a Kiehl-Trenberth energy balance diagram for a uniformly 1DegC warmer atmosphere and surface, assuming no feedback (the consensus view of virtually all climate scientists.)

    Were he to do so, he would find:
    a. The conductive term is unchanged, as the temperature difference between the surface and atmosphere is unchanged.
    b. The Surface radiation increases more than the back-radiation, as 1) it is hotter, and 2)it is a more perfect (much much more perfect!) blackbody.
    c. Evaporation increases by between 2%(modellers) and 5% (measured) and 6.5% (theoretical).
    d. Therefore the surface is completely energy unbalanced – the additional back radiation from the 1 degree hotter atmosphere is sufficient to MAINTAIN the surface at most half a degree warmer, not 1 degree.

    So for the cited claim to be true, it seems to me that there is a hidden assumption of either:
    a. An unbalanced Surface, which maintains its new temperature by magic, or,
    b. A drop in the rate of conduction, due to the atmosphere magically becoming less accepting of surface heat, or,
    c. A drop in the evaporation rate, due to a magical change in the way water behaves, or,
    d. Positive feedback – but this violates the assumption used at the start.

    In other words, unless it can be shown that none of the above 4 mechanisms are being employed, and that the Surface remains balanced, then the cited statement is incorrect.

  184. Jinan Cao says:

    Dr Spencer, an alternative interpretation for discussion:

    The spectrum clearly demonstrates CO2 absorption over the band centering at around 667 cm-1 (15?m). The area size represents the amount how much CO2 has absorbed.

    However CO2 emits radiation as well 24/7 as long as its temperature is > 0 K. The amount of IR absorption shown on the spectrum is only enough for emission by CO2 at -78?C, above which CO2 emits more energy than that it absorbs. CO2 gains this extra energy by molecular collisions with O2 N2 that cools O2 and N2. Therefore CO2 is a cooling agent for the atmosphere. If there are O2 and N2 only in the atmosphere, one should expect a very different lapse rate – because warm air rises and there is no any mechanism for heat dissipation.

    CO2 emits radiation in all the directions. The portion of down-welling radiation should be absorbed by the earth ground surface, resulting in a temperature rise for the earth ground surface, so that the returning energy is sent out in the wavelength bands other than the CO2 absorption/emission bands. Therefore the same amount of outgoing radiation energy is lost to space. For the earth ground surface, CO2 functions as a half-mirror hanging on the sky.

    The temperature rise for the earth ground surface has been calculated to be 0.64?C when doubling CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm.

    The earth ground surface passes the temperature anomaly to its closest air layer of the atmosphere by convection. The temperature anomaly for the air layer would not be greater than 0.64?C, and decays with increasing altitude. Apart from a layer of air nearest to the earth ground surface, rest of the atmosphere will be cooler if CO2 concentration is doubled.

    In respect of the IR photo of a house, “radiative insulator” is white bodies. If the house is literally painted white, an IR camera will not see it. Industrial boilers are often painted silver to reserve heat; computer cases are usually designed black for better heat dissipation to prevent overheating. N2 and O2 are “white” (transparent) bodies that play a role of heat reservation for the atmosphere; H2O and CO2 are “black” bodies that function as a cooling agent to dissipate heat for the atmosphere.

  185. Doug Cotton says:

    To those like RW who don’t believe or understand what I’m saying, it’s all in my peer-reviewed publication at

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

    Jinan, you make some good points and the process by which carbon dioxide and water vapour radiate thermal energy to space, and thus cool, is discussed in my paper.

    But it is not correct to refer to down-welling radiation … absorbed by the earth ground surface, resulting in a temperature rise for the earth ground surface as is explained in my paper.

  186. Doug Cotton says:

    Nullius and others:

    I’m quite aware of the fact that the adiabatic lapse rates (dry and moist) determine the temperature gradient. This is explained in my paper, though I dispute the actual calculation of that 255K figure – see the Appendix.

    For the very reason that this is the case, the temperature at the base of the atmosphere is “set” in the very long term (millions of years) by the lapse rate which is a function of g..

    Because of this, diffusion processes take over and prevent the surface and atmosphere radiating away all its energy.

    I also used a “control” flask shielded from the sky by a shield with minimal reflective properties. Yes it would have sent back some of the upwelling radiation itself, but it had very little effect. For example, even when the air and the shield were up to 9 deg.C hotter in the sun, the water under the shield only warmed 0.2 deg C in over six hours, while that which was unshielded rose 9.6 deg.C.

    But, when cooling at night, the unshielded one cooled faster than the shielded one which was receiving very little radiation from the surface. That very little reflected radiation had more effect in slowing the cooling rate than the whole sky.

    But you wouldn’t expect such an effect from a little bit of reflected surface radiation to be more than what is supposed to be about half the intensity of solar radiation in the backradiation from the sky – unless you understand what I say in my paper.

    I am not saying backradiation doesn’t exist, but it has less effect on slowing the cooling rate than would a blackbody, because the radiation from water vapour has limited frequencies, and that from carbon dioxide has even more limited frequencies. This is why it has less effect than a much smaller bit of reflected radiation from the much fuller spectrum radiated by the surface.

    All the carbon dioxide has far less than 1% of the effect of all the water vapour. Such effects only relate to radiative cooling, and other cooling processes such as evaporation and diffusion actually increase their rates in order to compensate. That’s what’s happening and it’s all explained in my paper.

  187. RW says:

    Doug Cotton,

    “To those like RW who don’t believe or understand what I’m saying, it’s all in my peer-reviewed publication at…”

    I don’t see anywhere in your paper where the +150 W/m^2 of incoming power at the surface boundary is coming from. You have to be able to explain how about 240 W/m^2 enters and leaves at the TOA while surface receives about a net of 390 W/m^2.

    If you believe in the 1st law and that the Sun is the only significant source of energy in the system, that doesn’t give you a lot of options…..

  188. Doug Cotton says:

    If you understood my paper you would realise that measurements or calculations of net radiative flux into the surface bear no relationship to the effect on temperature of the surface, because some of that is not converted to thermal energy. However, you should study FAQ 2.

    Regarding TOA differences, no one has any proof of any such long-term differences, because there would need to be simultaneous measurements (day and night) all over the world and for an extended time of at least 60 years or more. And even if there were, it would not establish whether the surface had warmed or cooled, because it might just have raised the temperature of the upper troposphere (or higher still) which has no bearing on what we call climate.

  189. Doug Cotton says:

    RW

    If you are not prepared to read the whole 6,000 odd words in my paper, then I suggest you will continue to misunderstand. You will easily find the answer to your question about “tags” for example. You might also look up Ref [2] and read about the second law and how it applies to measurable temperature, not atoms, molecules or photons.

    Maybe you can boil water with an ice cube, but I can’t.

  190. Nullius in Verba says:

    Colin Davidson,
    “I wonder if Nullius in Verba (1708, 16MAR12) has attempted to create a Kiehl-Trenberth energy balance diagram for a uniformly 1DegC warmer atmosphere and surface,”

    Kiehl-Trenberth diagrams are misleading for this sort of thing, because they only tell you what the energy flows are now, they don’t tell you how they’ll change if you change the conditions. They don’t capture the causal relations.

    In a convective atmosphere, convection increases or decreases to whatever is required to achieve the constant gradient while maintaining heat balance. It’s like a thermostat.

    Yes, if you warm things up, the surface will radiate more up, and the sky will radiate more down. Since both change by the same amount, but radiated power is proportional to the fourth power of temperature, the radiation from the surface will increase more than the backradiation from the sky, and slightly less convection will be needed to balance the difference. Any change in the radiation balance between air and surface will be cancelled by an exactly matching change in convective heat transport.

    It’s like a pot of boiling water on the stove – the water is at 100 C. You can turn the gas up or down, you can put the pot lid on or take it off, you can change the colour of the pan, or the temperature of the room. Each of these will change the Kiehl-Trenberth-style energy flow diagram. But whatever you do (within broad limits), the temperature of the water will still be 100 C, because the rate of boiling will increase or decrease as required to ensure that this temperature is not exceeded.

    Because convection is driven by temperature *differences*, it maintains a maximum *gradient*, rather than a maximum temperature. But otherwise it’s the same sort of thermostatic control as the boiling of water.

    • Dave Springer says:

      “Kiehl-Trenberth diagrams are misleading for this sort of thing, because they only tell you what the energy flows are now, they don’t tell you how they’ll change if you change the conditions. They don’t capture the causal relations.”

      True. Global distribution diagrams like those below capture the causal relations. These are what follow on the heels of Kiehls in textbooks which explore the subject a bit deeper.

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

  191. Doug Cotton says:

    “Net” Second Law considerations?”

    Some climatologists seem to think that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not violated if the net effect of several processes is such that there is a net heat transfer from hot to cold. They dispute my statement (and Wikipedia’s) that it must apply to each process.

    So they say that if we have,for example, three processes:

    (1) 7 units of thermal energy from a cold atmosphere to a warm surface

    (2) 5 units transferred between two locations on the surface

    (3) 10 units sent back from the surface to the atmosphere

    then all is OK. Or is it?

    Well, suppose you have two small containers of water at 98 deg.C.

    (1) Put 10 ice cubes in container one,

    and simultaneously …

    (2) boil the water with 7 ice cubes in container 2.

    All must be OK because more energy has gone into 10 ice cubes than has come out of 7 ice cubes in order to boil the water.

    It’s not a silly example. The atmosphere is mostly colder than the ice cubes, and the tropopause and mesopause can be close to 100 deg.C colder than some surface areas on hot days.

    Do you still believe that “net” transfers excuse violation of the Second Law?

  192. Nullius in Verba says:

    Doug,
    Take four thermal masses, two of them hot, two of them cold. Use one hot/cold pair to drive a heat engine to generate electricity, which is connected to a refrigerator system between the other hot/cold pair, to drive heat from the cold one to the hot one. Isolate the whole system.

    In this system, which once set up operates spontaneously – no external work is supplied – the refrigerator driving heat from cold to hot is decreasing entropy locally, but this local decrease cannot exceed the entropy increase involved in the equalisation of temperatures between the other two masses driving the heat engine. The second law requires the *net* entropy of the whole system to increase, but does not at all mind local decreases when linked (by work) to a larger increase elsewhere.

    If the second law wasn’t ‘net’, refrigerators couldn’t work.

    A refrigerator is just a fluid driven round a cycle in which it is repeatedly compressed and allowed to expand, exchanging heat with its surroundings after each stage. Doesn’t that sound rather like a Hadley cell?

  193. Turnedoutnice says:

    Mydogsgotnonose on Tallbloke: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/hans-jelbring-back-radiation-and-observational-meteorologial-evidence/#comment-20149

    The Trenberth Kiehl diagram of 1997 shows that climate science has made the most amazing scientific mistake in History by artificially fixing IR emission from the Earth’s surface at the level in a vacuum for the average surface temperature of ~15°C. Any process engineer, and I am one, knows this is impossible [radiation exceeds convection for such emissivities at >100°C only and can never reach black body levels.

    The claimed emission of 390 W/m^2 is really ~26 W/m^2. There is no back radiation. There is is no hotspot. GHG warming is much, much less than claimed.

    Exactly why this humongous mistake was made is a moot point but I suspect the basic IR measurements have confused heating at the container walls with volumetric heating by direct thermalisation, which Nahle’s recent experiments with very thin Mylar containers indicates might be very much smaller than claimed.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Trenberth-Kiel is the first diagram following the first paragraph of the chapter on ocean heat budget in Oceanography 101. Following that are lovely colored global maps breaking out all kinds of details like net radiation in short and long wave, conduction (dry convection), and latent (evaporation).

      Everyone needs to know at least the first things about earth’s heat budget beyond the Trenberth cartoon fercrisakes. Least of which would be breakdowns by region. Trenberth’s cartoon isn’t the only one used. Note that back-radiation isn’t one of those things broken down by region. That’s because it’s irrelevent. We know that CO2 reflects EMR in certain parts of the spectrum as well as we know the ionosphere reflects radio waves fercrisakes. It’s all EMR and we have instruments that measure it at just about any wavelength you want. You don’t need a theory of gravity to measure it. We don’t need a theory of back-radiation to measure it either. But we actually do have the theory for back-radiation and are still working on a theory of gravity.

      • Dave Springer says:

        Introduction to Physical Oceanography

        Robert H. Stewart
        Department of Oceanography
        Texas A&M University

        You can download it as a PDF or use the html version.

        http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/contents.html

        Chapter 5 – The Oceanic Heat Budget

        Section 5.6 Geographic Distribution of Terms in the Heat Budget

        http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

        Sensible, latent, and radiative numbers broken out for different regions of the world. Back-radiation is never mentioned in this text it’s a detail in the Trenberth cartoon at the very top and appears nowhere else. It can be completely ignored because only net radiation matters. Many of these cartoons no longer include the Trenberth back-radiation bit it’s a confusing waste of space. Back-radiation is as irrelevent in atmospheric physics as hypothetical gravitons are in orbital mechanics.

        Net radiation ranges from hundreds of watts in a desert to tens of watts over tropical oceans. Evaporation (latent) is the opposite. Conduction can be safely ignored in first approximation over the ocean. Air really sucks as a conductor and because evaporation is so efficient you can almost not include radiative cooling of the ocean in the first approximation especially in the tropics. All the greenhouse gases do over the ocean is produce more latent heat loss so you get an unchanged surface temperature, more rain, a smaller lapse rate below the clouds, and larger rate above them. The water cycle goes a wee bit faster in other words over the ocean where it’s already wet all the time anyway.

  194. MikeB says:

    This seems to the problem nowadays, that when someone makes a point about Global Warming it attracts a host of scientifically illiterate responses. As a consequence, a site like this ( or WUWT) which could be an ideal forum for learning and developing ideas is inundated with nonsense instead.
    Doug Cotton wants someone to read what he calls his ‘paper’ but from what I’ve already seen of his comments so far this is obviously a waste of everyone’s time. He does however, unintentionally, make a very good case for proper peer-review. Although peer review was hijacked by the University of East Anglia ‘scientists’ to become a form of pal-review, the comments here show the necessity for having such a system.
    I think it was Andy Lacis who said, “Actually, the Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Claes Johnson, and Miskolczi papers are a good test to evaluate one’s understanding of radiative transfer. If you looked through these papers and did not immediately realize that they were nonsense, then it is very likely that you are simply not up to speed.”

    It is a shame that those new to this field, who would like to improve their understanding, have no way of distinguishing fact from the overwhelming amount of utter nonsense.

  195. Nullius in Verba says:

    MikeB,
    I disagree. This sort of discussion is scientifically valuable, because it enables those who do understand to refine their explanations and test their understanding, and it enables those who don’t to learn.

    Science relies on a constant re-examination of its foundations. Scientists constantly invent new ways of explaining the theory, new insights and deep connections and ways of looking at it, by trying to provide explanations so simple and clear that they cannot be misunderstood. When people don’t understand, it’s interesting to dissect exactly why, because it’s usually because of some gap in the explanation that the lecturer skipped over without noticing, and sometimes exploring such gaps have led to more significant insights and discoveries. The gap can turn out to be real.

    But this process relies on the people who do understand taking the time to teach and learn from their teaching, and not simply dismiss it with a hand-wavey “I’m an expert, take my word for it.” And it relies on those making the objections to listen, and think about the arguments, and themselves try to come up with the most simple and clear explanations to show that they must be right, rather than simply dismissing any opposition thoughtlessly. In a thread like this, devoted to the question, I’ve got no objection to people putting forward their ‘nonsense’ theories. It’s only annoying when they spam every other thread with off-topic links to it.

    The problem with the “Trust me I’m an expert” dismissal is that it shields scientists from having to come up with clear explanations, which can allow misunderstandings and nonsense to creep in to their own expert judgements. As I’ve explained, the ‘backradiation’ argument that a number of high-powered climate scientists have used is itself nonsense, but none of them will listen because any disagreement is automatically assumed to be amateur crank stuff and ignorable. Argument from authority is lethal to good science.

    And it allows the misunderstandings to persist and propagate, and the failure to provide proper explanations is seen – correctly – as a corruption of science, a failure to be properly scientific. If you rely on authority to induce belief, different authorities can induce different beliefs.

    Science is about survival of the fittest theories. Science doesn’t work because scientists are clever, or expert, or it’s based on experiments. Science provides the best explanations because they have met and defeated all challengers, and any explanation that couldn’t has been dropped. The strongest science arises from the strongest and broadest attacks. Shield science from criticism, exclude certain viewpoints from the debate, and it will go the way of the Dodo.

    • Dave Springer says:

      “Science is about survival of the fittest theories”

      Yes but there must be competition to weed out the less fit and even then being the best explanation is not confined to truthiness but in the real world an explanation’s fitness also includes subjective measures. One might look at eugenics for example. If an inherited genetic disease is identified and the carrier is not allowed to reproduce that will reduce the frequency of the disease-causing allele in the population and if done well enough will eliminate the disease so no persons in future will suffer it. That’s the science and there’s nothing wrong with it. So why did it lose the competition for things that go into basic science textbooks?

  196. Turnedoutnice says:

    Mike B: on Tallbloke [URL above] I have given an engineer’s view of why ‘back radiation’ cannot do any thermodynamic work. It does not exist and climate science appears to be bereft of anyone willing to do the reality checks to show this. It is an artefact of the measurement method.

    The Prevost exchange energy connecting the IR densities of states on/in the two bodies in radiative line of sight is a standing wave, a mess of solitons in the ether moving randomly. Some physicists refer to it as photons reversing when they impact an already-filled IR state.

    The act of placing an IR detector pointing upwards also shields the Prevost exchange energy in the 180° from the earth’s surface. So, ‘back radiation’ is the Prevost energy flux from colder to hotter and until the shielding was put in place it did not exist as a net energy flow.

    This is the most stupendous scientific error in history, a basic professional failure. The rest of science and engineering is aghast that this totally false scientific claim is allowed to continue.

    Using 1997 T-K data, IR from the earth’s surface absorbed by the atmosphere falls from 350 W/m^2 to 26 W/m^2. To persist in the claim that it’s the former is tantamount to a fraudulent claim for research funds.

  197. Nullius in Verba says:

    “So, ‘back radiation’ is the Prevost energy flux from colder to hotter and until the shielding was put in place it did not exist as a net energy flow.”

    Yes. Agreed. Nobody is claiming otherwise.
    The component of the radiation from colder to hotter is not a *net* energy flow.

    However, it’s not a standing wave because it’s not coherent. If you shine two incoherent beams of light at right angles to one another through the same volume of space, the electromagnetic field in the intersection region is not a nice simple plane wave. It’s a mess. But the result of it is that two separate beams of light emerge out of the other sides that are. The wave equation is such that its solutions can be written as a linear sum of arbitrary waves travelling in all directions.

    The radiation flux is a scalar function in a seven-dimensional space: three of position, one of time, two of angular direction, and one of frequency. The phase difference between electric and magnetic components encodes the rate of change, and the components of the wave headed in each direction is mathematically separarable.

    So it’s a perfectly valid viewpoint, albeit not the only one, to say light is headed in *both* directions through the intervening space at the same time. Each component carries energy, but the *net* energy flow is expressed by a sum over all directions – the divergence of the Poynting vector.

    As you say, the back-radiation only becomes a *net* energy flow when the flow the other way is blocked. But that’s just what the standard explanation says. The decomposition into components is merely an aid to explanation.

    In a non-convective, non-conducting atmosphere, the orthodox explanation would be correct. It’s only because the atmosphere is convective that it isn’t valid.

    • Dave Springer says:

      “As you say, the back-radiation only becomes a *net* energy flow when the flow the other way is blocked.”

      That’s nonsense. There can be no back-radiation without forward-radiation. I can’t catch a baseball that was not first thrown.

  198. MikeB says:

    Nullius in Verba
    Your opinions are amongst the few here that I respect. From posts you have made elsewhere you seem very well informed on this topic Although personally I refer to describe the Greenhouse Effect in terms ‘back radiation’ I thought that your post on Judith Curry’s site (that you referenced earlier) was very good.
    I think my frustration arises from the impression that the majority of those who put forward these nonsensical ideas are not willing to learn. Although they sometimes pose their views as questions, they are not really seeking answers. They really hope that no one has an answer and so, by some sort of default, their own crackpot theory must be right [ I don’t mean you, Jane]. It does not matter how well you explain their minds are closed, they don’t want to hear.

    I totally agree with you about arguments from Authority, “Truth is the daughter of Time. not authority”. “ The acceptance of Consensus is the death of Science, it is stagnation, the end of progress” – the growth of knowledge depends upon disagreement.

    My concern regarding these nonsensical theories is that they confuse those genuinely trying to learn. How can they distinguish fact from fiction? Rather like disruptive children in the classroom, they prevent those willing to learn from learning. That is my objection – plus the fact that they give sceptics like me a bad name.

  199. Turnedoutnice says:

    I agree: not coherent so not a standing wave, hence my comment that it’s the random mess of solitons that Planck called photons, the basic energy quanta, connecting the IR density of states.

    However, I stand by my point that the concept of ‘back radiation’ is a basic error in climate science born out of a failure to understand that the act of placing the back-shielded IR detector pointing upwards creates the imaginary net energy flux.

    The people who picked this up first were process-engineer trained, like me, because we are taught always to do radiation calculations by S-B 1 – S- B 2. Arrhenius forgot that.

    However, I have met professors of physics who accept the argument, people trained in the past 20 years. This is dangerous because science is being replaced by alchemy.

    If they had actually measured what was happening [I have done this with experts and we even made our own detectors and sold pyrometers to replace the old Land instruments which were contact devices], they would know that even for a black body, you cannot have S-B emission in air equal to the vacuum level.

    T-K then add convection energy to make 26% more energy than a black body! In may days, if you said such a statement, you would be asked to prove it by experiment. But in climate science, clearly the experiments are done with the models.

    • Dave Springer says:

      If you are an engineer I suggest you google theory of operation for infrared CO2 detectors. There are millions of these devices in operation and they would not work if your conceptualization of radiative physics and CO2 were correct.

  200. Doug Cotton says:

    Nullius

    Use one hot/cold pair to drive a heat engine to generate electricity …
    _____________________________

    You are connecting two systems and making them one with your heat engine.

    I have given an example of two systems which are not connected when I described the ice cubes in hot water. The connection makes all the difference. This is why I use the word “points” in my paper, albeit a bit colloquial I know, because the “point” must be large enough to have a measurable temperature, as required by the Second Law which does not, and never was implied to work at the molecular level.

  201. Doug Cotton says:

    MikeB

    You are of course welcome to write a peer-reviewed rebuttal of my 6,600 word document which was subjected to the process described here http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf
    Expect a well publicised contra-rebuttal.

    Whatever you might say with hand waving comments about Claes and myself, we are not the only ones talking about resonant (or pseudo) scattering. It happens, and it only requires the logical deduction process described in my paper to deduce that it must happen.

    If you are so astute, why didn’t you pick up on the obvious errors in physics made by ….

    Nullius

    Your refrigerator must include the motor and electrical input for it to be a closed system as is required. Likewise, if you warm a room with an electric heater, you must include the electrical energy input. Surely this is obvious and rather basic physics.

    Torned out nice It’s not all backradiation anyway. It’s just radiation from the atmosphere, some of which may have come from energy carried up by convection and then diffused to water vapour. Prof Nasif Nahle, whom you mention, is a fellow author of mine on Principia Scientific International and his Sept 2011 paper also showed that the atmosphere cools faster at night than the surface, with obvious ramifications. What we all agree on is that the effect of radiation from the atmosphere is only one of slowing the radiative cooling rate, not the rates of evaporation and diffusion followed by convection. Furthermore, the effect on the rate of radiative cooling is not that of a full spectrum blackbody. Instead, it is watered down because of the limited range of frequencies which leave many “gaps” under the Planck curve. So each CO2 molecule has somewhat less effect that each H2O molecule.

  202. Nullius in Verba says:

    MikeB,

    I agree, it can be frustrating. But the grace and speed of the gazelle is the result of the constant presence and persistance of the lions. No matter how swift the gazelle gets, the lions keep on trying. They don’t ever appreciate the gazelle’s elegance enough to give up. If they ever did, gazelles would quickly cease to be so fast and agile.

    Yes, it’s annoying, but if you want science to run like a gazelle the lions are necessary.

    And the way people trying to learn distinguish between the two is by learning the skills for evaluating arguments. There is no other safe and reliable way. One good way of doing so is to practice on easy cases, where the error is fairly obvious, and work up gradually to the more subtle difficulties. If the expert is doing it *right*, the problem will not be that the oddball theories are *confusing*, but that they are too *obviously* wrong to learn from. If things are confusing to the onlooker, it is a clear sign that the expert’s explanation is not sufficiently clear yet.

    Not that I’m claiming to be an expert. I’m still learning how best to understand/explain it myself.

    Turnedoutnice,

    Yes, the concept of backradiation is more subtle and difficult than the usual explanations would suggest. But I think the problem is not that the theory is *wrong* (or at least, not wrong for that reason), but that it is *badly explained*. There’s a difference.

    Doug,

    All systems, with the possible exception of elementary particles, are composed of sub-systems. The second law has to apply to *every* way of grouping them into bits big enough for the statistical limit theorems to apply.

    If a system is isolated, the total entropy must not decrease. If a system is not isolated, but is a component of a bigger system, entropy can only decrease through work being done externally on the system.

    If your two glasses of ice cubes can be separated into components so that each sub-system is isolated, then the non-decrease of entropy must apply to each individually. Since the second law must apply to *any* way of grouping the parts, it must apply to this one too. But if sub-systems are *not* isolated, then only the *net* entropy is constrained not to decrease.

    It’s not an easy subject, thermodynamics.

    • Dave Springer says:

      “Yes, the concept of backradiation is more subtle and difficult than the usual explanations would suggest. But I think the problem is not that the theory is *wrong* (or at least, not wrong for that reason), but that it is *badly explained*. There’s a difference.”

      No, you’re just trying to explain it to people who refuse to accept it and you believe if only you could explain it better they would understand. That’s where you’re wrong. Back radiation is dead simple and obvious. To avoid it you’d have to invent some kind of mutual annihilation of photons in the space between two radiating objects and/or refuse to acknowledge that all matter with a temperature above absolute zero gives off thermal radiation as a consequence of charged particles in relative motion. If one acknowledges that all matter radiates then one has to account for the energy in the photons a cooler object radiates towards a warmer object. That energy must go somewhere lest the physics denier violates conservation of energy law.

  203. Nullius in Verba says:

    Doug,

    “Your refrigerator must include the motor and electrical input for it to be a closed system as is required.”

    Yes. It did.

    The system consists of all four thermal masses, the heat engine, the refrigerator, and the electrical connection between them.

  204. Turnedoutnice says:

    Nullius: the ‘back radiation’ argument would be superficially similar to the correct IR impedance explanation except for the fact, apparent from the Trenberth-Kiehl diagram, of the arbitrary claim that the radiation part of the IR emission from the Earth’s surface is the black body output at the average temperature 15°C. Also that experimentally-verified convection is added to this arbitrary assumption at the level of 26%.

    Tell it to the Marines: this is junk science.

    I got into this because I saw that the cooling by polluted clouds supposed to hide the 3-5 times reality [assuming most modern warming is GHG-AGW] was based on incorrect physics. You can easily prove this by direct observation of clouds, also the satellite data, which incidentally are also in error because the algorithms used to convert albedo to derived data are wrong too.

    The World is now cooling, experimental evidence that the CAGW claim based on imaginary back radiation is wrong.

  205. Doug Cotton says:

    Nullius

    You are just introducing red herrings with your refrigerator. Your expression refrigerator driving heat from cold to hot does not even make sense physically. You need to discuss thermal energy (not “heat”) and remember that entropy is also affected by phase change which occurs as follows …

    HFC turns into a liquid when it is cooled to -15.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-26.6 degrees Celsius).

    A motor and compressor squeezes the HFC. When it is compressed, a gas heats up as it is pressurized. When you pass the compressed gas through the coils on the back or bottom of a modern refrigerator, the warmer gas can lose its heat to the air in the room.

    As it cools, the HFC can change into a liquid because it is under a high pressure.

    The liquid flows through what’s called an expansion valve, a tiny small hole that the liquid has to squeeze through. Between the valve and the compressor, there is a low-pressure area because the compressor is pulling the ammonia gas out of that side.

    When the liquid HFC hits a low pressure area it boils and changes into a gas. This is called vaporizing.

    The coils then go through the freezer and regular part of the refrigerator where the colder liquid in the coil pulls the heat out of the compartments. This makes the inside of the freezer and entire refrigerator cold.

    The compressor sucks up the cold gas, and the gas goes back through the same process over and over.

    The issue of the atmosphere slowing the radiative rate of cooling of the surface does not involve these processes. You will find my explanation in Sections 1 to 5 and I’m not going to try to abbreviate it all here – besides it 1:00am here in Sydney.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Doug, the difference between thermal energy and heat is that thermal energy includes gravitational potential energy. You need to stop conflating thermal energy with heat. It’s leading you to the bizzare conclusion that gravity creates a greenhouse effect.

  206. Dave Springer says:

    Turnedoutnice says:
    March 17, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    “Mike B: on Tallbloke [URL above] I have given an engineer’s view of why ‘back radiation’ cannot do any thermodynamic work”

    It could if you had somewhere colder to put the cold side of your heat engine or thermo-electric device. So long as the downwelling is less than the upwelling then the downwelling side is your cold side. That hardly seems to demand an “engineer’s view” in my opinion. That’s basic physical science taught in grade school not grad school!

  207. PB says:

    These threads on radiation always leave me dissatisfied. They normally get hijacked by a small group of people with an agenda without ever answering the fundamentals I would enjoy understanding. The fundamentals get hand waved out of existence in order to make way for the favored theory embedded in the agenda.

    The most basic question for me is what happens to radiation whose source is relatively cool when it lands on a surface of relative warmth. The agenda seems to favor; nothing. Nothing happens because it would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. To that I would ask this question by way of a thought exercise…..

    Life itself could be said to violate the 2nd law (under this reasoning) as a lifetime (of anything) exhibits a decrease in entropy, right? Well I would say it is no violation at all because, over that lifetime and with proper boundaries set, I can demonstrate enormous energy consumption and an inheritance of great piles of heaping ash left behind as my own life’s entropy INCREASE.

    I mention this to observe that the second law says nothing about time and indeed most statements of it include a clause that the SOLE result of energy exchanges can’t be decreased entropy. My conclusion is that it is no violation of the second law for my life to decrease entropy for such time as I’m here to do so as long as I give up the decrease in the totality of my passing.

    I would then extend that to claim that it is no violation of 2nd law to increase A SINGLE molecule’s excitation with low level energy so long as such machinations don’t permanently increase the energy level of the bazillion molecules around the newly energized one.

    This leads me to another observation. Temperature is nothing more than a proxy that we use to demonstrate the level of COLLECTIVE kinetic energy in a body. It does not mean that every molecule of the thing I’m measuring is at that energy level. I offer as evidence of that the Planck DISTRIBUTION which shows us that bodies emit a spectrum of IR which has to mean that the body surface has molecules at many energies extending away from a peak that we call its temperature.

    From that observation I challenge the statement that there is a frequency, below which a body will reject incoming radiation.

    If a body is emitting IR it means that quantum energy bands are ‘collapsing’ thereby giving up energy. So there must be times when energetic molecules lose dramatic amounts of energy, else there would be no IR to radiate in the first place.

    My view of things is that the surface of a solid body represents a narrow zone with energy delivered one side by conduction and shedding it on the other by radiating. The molecules in the zone demonstrate the Planck distribution of energies. In order to obey the second law they furiously throw off radiation and in doing so they are bouncing between high and low energy states with a peak distribution that we can measure as its temperature.

    At any given instant in time there are those molecules that are momentarily low enough in energy to be susceptible to incoming ‘low’ energy radiation. These then, ‘accept’ a photon, jump to a higher energy band, and are then indistinguishable from their neighbors who have been bumped up by conduction.

    The incoming photon has not ‘heated’ the surface. It has only served to decrease entropy, momentarily to a single ‘life’ that will ultimately ‘die’, thereby satisfying its obligations to entropy fulfillment. That photon participates as only one actor and as it is not the sole actor it will not decrease the entropy of the entire surface. No law is violated.

    This is not a snark post. I would just like to know if this is a bogus train of thought.

    I would also throw out this challenge to those who claim there is a ‘rejection’ frequency. If I have two bodies, one at a higher temperature than the other, we can all agree that both radiate, correct?

    By the reasoning that claims there is a cutoff frequency, this must lead to a conclusion of a natural discontinuity, something nature abhors. Here’s what must happen under this reasoning…..

    The ‘cooler’ radiation is rejected completely by the warmer body. If I then slowly raise the temperature of the cooler body by some third energy source, the rejection at the hot body goes on and on and on and on, then at the exact point in time where the two bodies are at equal temps, the formerly hot body will begin to accept radiation from its neighbor.

    This describes a temperature dependent albedo machine doesn’t it. Albedo switches, discontinuously, from 1 to 0 at the moment the two bodies equilibrate. Wouldn’t that be extremely bizarre?

  208. Turnedoutnice says:

    Dave Springer:

    This is not a heat engine until the energy is converted to heat and the physics by which radiation is absorbed then converted to heat prevents a cooler body transferring any heat energy to a warmer body with which it is in equilibrium radiative interchange.

    This is one of the most basic laws of physics and climate science is the ONLY discipline which claims it can be bypassed…….

    • Dave Springer says:

      You’re raving. A heat engine can operate on latent heat any change in temperature. If you don’t believe me fill a beer can with steam at 212F then close it and watch what happens as the steam turns into water 212F. You can drive a piston with that change in pressure. The change in pressure is approximately 14.7psi if your steam is pure.

  209. Turnedoutnice says:

    PB: is there any experimental evidence of your premise?

  210. PB says:

    Which premise would that be?

  211. RW says:

    Doug Cotton,

    “If you understood my paper you would realise that measurements or calculations of net radiative flux into the surface bear no relationship to the effect on temperature of the surface, because some of that is not converted to thermal energy. However, you should study FAQ 2.”

    Sorry, but I do not see the answer to my question there.

    BTW, the surface temperature is determined by the net flux of energy entering the surface boundary (about 390 W/m^2 required to sustain 288K from S-B). This is of course a chaotic combination of both radiative and non-radiative power. The only significant source of energy is from the Sun (about 240 W/m^2 post albedo) and this is all in the form of radiation, so in the steady-state, only 240 W/m^2 of radiative power enters and leaves the system at the TOA boundary. This leaves a deficit of about 150 W/m^2 at the surface, which can only ultimately be accounted for by downward re-emitted radiative effects occurring in between the boundary of the surface and the TOA. To the extent that other non-radiative forms of power enter and leave the surface (convection, latent heat, etc.) and greatly contribute to why the net at the surface is about 390 W/m^2, these fluxes can only occur in between the surface and the TOA, and thus must be conserved.

    The key you seem to missing is the +150 W/m^2 entering the surface boundary is non necessarily +150 W/m^2 of direct radiative flux from the atmosphere to the surface, but rather just +150 W/m^2 of net power flux (radiative and non-radiative) resulting from downwared re-emitted radiative effects.

    • Dave Springer says:

      The key you seem to be missing is that if the mean surface temperature is 288K then mean insolation at TOA must be at least 390W/m2. It is physically impossible for the surface to receive more energy than enters the system. A temperature higher than S-B is impossible. An atmosphere may only lower it by raising albedo. It cannot make the surface blacker than black which is exactly what you are saying.

  212. PB says:

    Actually, I’d like to see the experimental evidence for a cutoff frequency.

    Here’s another thought experiment….

    All the IR in our earth-atmosphere system has been created by the system, right, i.e. it emanates from either the surface or the atmosphere. It does so with a ‘signature’ frequency that tells where it came from in an energy sense.

    In order for it to then be rejected if it subsequently hits something in that very same system, would it not then be justified to say that the system is comprised of one way mirrors?

    I know that’s a snarky question but, really, a cutoff frequency demands one way mirrors doesn’t it?

  213. Turnedoutnice says:

    PB: that when a photon [really a soliton in the ether] from a cooler body fills an available energy state in a hotter body, it is a ‘sole actor’.

    By that I mean that the act of absorption is not reflected in a change, communicated at the speed of light, of the density of ‘activated states’ at the colder emitter!

  214. PB says:

    It’s a sole actor for that molecule but can you claim it is a sole actor for the entire surface under investigation? I think you can’t claim that anymore than you can claim I’m a sole actor on the planet that violates the 2nd law.

    Of course I would personally like to violate the 2nd law. Just don’t think I can avoid it forever.

    The surface is a war zone! The molecules in it are of course always attempting to individually obey the 2nd law but they are being assaulted on two sides.

    As quickly they get ‘legal’ one army or the other throws energy on them and it is simply a race to see which, conduction or incoming LWIR, will capture their fancy. You might even postulate that the closer you are to the surface, the more likely it is that you will be overwhelmed by the LWIR and the less likely you will take on conduction related energy.

  215. Turnedoutnice says:

    PB: 10:1 am.

    The key issue is that in any system is equilibrium radiative interchange, the two emitter/absorber densities of states are in continuous communication at the speed of light by Prevost Exchange.

    There are no one-way mirrors in any such system….:o)

  216. Turnedoutnice says:

    PB 10.24:

    The principle of indistinguishability which underpins all statistical thermodynamics means it’s purely a numbers’ game.

    So, it’s all about the number of available acceptors/emitters in any frequency range and the number that are occupied either by energy transfer from the interior or energy from external radiation.

    The difference defines the energy flux and its direction.

    The cut off frequency may have an effect too in that those quantum states can’t be filled by radiant energy from the cooler body. However, if the cooler body can’t accept those photons, there may be no effect!

    • PB says:

      So is there a cutoff frequency or not. And, if there is, do we not have an albedo machine?

      It sounds like you are saying there MAY be one. Or not. And if there is it might not have an effect, unless it does.

  217. Tor says:

    For anybody interested.

    I submitted the most urgent critique concerning Doug Cotton’s text in a series of comments starting at

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-20169

  218. Doug Cotton says:

    To all:

    Firstly, by definition, “heat” is not identical to thermal energy or the thermal component of thermal energy – ie excluding potential energy etc. See Section 1.

    Also, radiated energy is not necessarily converted to thermal energy when it strikes a target. In fact all such energy is never converted to thermal energy unless the target was at 0 deg.K. There is always a component which “travels on” after “resonant” (or “pseudo”) scattering. What is converted corresponds to the area between the Planck curves iff the source was warmer.

    There is all in Sections 1 to 5 of my paper.

    Secondly, in the very first paragraph of the Abstract, I make it clear that I am discussing both temperature and the Second Law in the macro context. My use of the word “point” thus also relates to macro, let’s say a cluster of at least a million molecules for example.

    Thirdly, the effect of IR radiative flux from the atmosphere to the surface is not related to its power, but to the properties of the gas (the range of frequencies it emits) and the temperature of the source, such information being contained in the frequency distribution. Such radiation affects only the radiative component of transfer of thermal energy from the surface, not rates of evaporation or diffusion followed by convection, these rates increasing to compensate.

    I am not going to become involved in discussion where the commenter has not read the paper and is just arguing that the above, or some of it, is wrong. My response would be in the paper.

    There is evidence for gases (using spectroscopy) that warmer gas does not absorb radiation from a cooler emitter, and there is further empirical evidence soon to be published on Principia Scientif International which now has dozens of member scientists, far more than the ‘Slayers’ group.

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  219. SBVOR says:

    1) No doubt, there is a reasonable theoretical basis for assuming man made CO2 should — to one degree or another — increase global temperatures.

    2) But, I can also (quite easily) account for all the temperature fluctuations over the last century without ever taking CO2 into account:

    http://sbvor.blogspot.com/2011/10/amo-driving-best-climate-change.html

    So, in the words of Dr. Judith Curry (quoted in the above link):

    “Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2″

  220. Colin Davidson says:

    Dave Springer (1334, 17MAR12) gave a helpful link to a site which shows the regional energy surface balance.

    For each location at any instant of time, it would be possible to derive a Kiehl-Trenberth style diagram.

    The point of these diagrams is not the actual numbers, but the principles:
    1. There needs to be energy balance at ALL levels, not just TOA.
    2. Evaporated water is the main energy transport from the Surface to the atmosphere – about 3 fifths, radiation and convection about one fifth each. The sum of these three is equal to the solar energy absorbed by the surface.

    What is being hypothesised is that a change (a reduction) in the radiative term (brought about by an increase in temperature of the atmosphere) will cause the surface to heat up. Indeed it will, as the energy balance is disturbed. The temperature stops increasing when the surface is back in balance.

    If you calculate the amount of change, you will find that it is between 0.1 and 0.15 DegC/W/m^2.

    Nullius in Verba(1708, 16MAR12) implied that a temperaure change high in the atmosphere would directly translate to an equal temperature change at the surface. In response (2009, 16MAR12) I stated that the surface cannot heat up to the same extent as the air, as otherwise the surface will not be in balance. I suggested that anyone who claims that it would is hiding an assumption (decreased conduction, decreased evaporation, unbalanced surface, positive feedback).

    Nullius in Verba kindly responded to this(0303,17MAR12)in part:
    “In a convective atmosphere, convection increases or decreases to whatever is required to achieve the constant gradient while maintaining heat balance. It’s like a thermostat.
    Yes, if you warm things up, the surface will radiate more up, and the sky will radiate more down. Since both change by the same amount, but radiated power is proportional to the fourth power of temperature, the radiation from the surface will increase more than the backradiation from the sky, and slightly less convection will be needed to balance the difference. Any change in the radiation balance between air and surface will be cancelled by an exactly matching change in convective heat transport.”

    I don’t understand this at all.
    The process is initiated by a change in the radiative term – a decrease in the amount of energy being exported. The surface must rebalance, and it does so by warming up until balance is achieved. This means an increase in evaporation, not a decrease.

    The fact remains that IF the process of heating the lower atmosphere from above because of an invariant lapse rate is true (a big if, not supported by radiosonde measurements), and the atmosphere warms uniformly by 1DegC, the surface CANNOT follow to the same extent – it will warm by less than that, about half a degree at most.

    I think that this implicit decoupling of the Surface (and the boundary layer air) from the air above it (which is governed by the lapse rate) is what we see in the radiosonde measurements. We also see another decoupling at the Tropopause (which is also a highly variable beastie).

  221. Nullius in Verba says:

    Colin Davidson,

    “I don’t understand this at all.
    The process is initiated by a change in the radiative term – a decrease in the amount of energy being exported. The surface must rebalance, and it does so by warming up until balance is achieved. This means an increase in evaporation, not a decrease.”

    Evaporation is not the same thing as convection. Evaporation will increase. Convection will decrease.

    “The fact remains that IF the process of heating the lower atmosphere from above because of an invariant lapse rate is true (a big if, not supported by radiosonde measurements), and the atmosphere warms uniformly by 1DegC, the surface CANNOT follow to the same extent – it will warm by less than that, about half a degree at most.”

    Which would reduce the lapse rate below the adiabatic limit, which would cause convection to stop. Stopping convection significantly reduces the upward heat flow from the surface, although the sun is still providing as much input as it was. This would cause the temperature of the surface to rise until the adiabatic limit is met again and convection starts up. Convection then cools the surface until the gradient drops and it stops again. With convection stopping and starting like that, the total amount of convection is reduced.

    Convection occurs whenever the vertical temperature gradient exceeds a certain limit, and cools the surface so efficiently when it does that no other sources of heat can match it. Conversely, when it stops the drop in heat flow is so big that with virtually any input from the sun the temperature is bound to rise. Without convection, the surface temperature would be around 60 C instead of 15 C. Its effect is huge.

    I don’t know why you think radiosonde measurements don’t support an adiabatic lapse rate. I agree things are a little more complicated in reality, but it’s a pretty good approximation generally. It’s even called the Standard Atmosphere.

  222. Eli Rabett says:

    Now Eli is just a simple bunny, but let us count the house. Your first guess that there was no way of rapidly (a few microseconds) of transferring vibrational energy from a CO2 molecule (one quanta is equivalent to about 900 K in energy) to thermal energy was flat out wrong. The Rabett will now look at the conclusion you drew from this wrong assumption

    ——————–

    I have written more on this in a recent Tallbloke post but in essence, molecules have no memory. The pseudo-scattering means the atmosphere acts as a heat transfer medium with most thermalisation probably at heterogeneous interfaces: cloud droplets and bare aerosols.

    This converts GHG-specific IR energies into non-specific thermal emission [clouds tend to be grey bodies]. Thus the IR spectrum you show is part of a much bigger picture.
    ——————–

    Not that this is very clear but the greenhouse effect appears to be quite effective in cloudless skies as viewed from above and below plus which it also works above cloud levels, and then we get the true bafflegab

    ——————–
    I believe the energy in an IR photon absorbed near the earth’s surface appears at an interface or heads to space at near the speed of light with the intermediate process being controlled by the statistical thermodynamics of the assembly, the whole atmosphere even over the horizon. The TOA spectrum is a measure of the few 10s of km in the final path and the real detail is in the non-GHG region from ‘energy transmutation’ you can’t get from direct thermalisation!
    ——————–

    Superluminal photons appear majically! and yes, you can get those photons from collisional thermalization of greenhouse gases.

  223. PB says:

    Douglas:

    Do you really mean this….

    “Also, radiated energy is not necessarily converted to thermal energy when it strikes a target. In fact all such energy is never converted to thermal energy unless the target was at 0 deg.K.”

    This implies that the sun’s radiant energy cannot heat anything unless it is 0K. So if something starts at 0K and reaches 1K does it stop heating in the presence of sunlight?

    And then your resonant scattering thingy has me puzzled because in your paper you state that this is the process whereby a molecule is excited to a higher energy state at the peak of an incoming wave and subsequently releasing a photon by collapsing in the trough. Yet, for the life of me I don’t see how this is different than a molecule excited by conduction (or a pretty thing walking by) and then later releasing a photon as the electron ‘collapses’ to a lower energy state.

    Your excited resonating molecule does the exact same thing as a molecule which is excited by a photon in a process of thermalization, except yours manages to magically avoid any thermal consequence.

    “There is always a component which “travels on” after “resonant” (or “pseudo”) scattering. What is converted corresponds to the area between the Planck curves iff the source was warmer.”

    You make the argument that your special theory allows photons to navigate inside a body like zombies doing everything the ‘other’ photons do without leaving a trace.

    This makes no sense to me. I’m willing to keep listening but so far, at least, you haven’t convinced me.

  224. IAmDigitap says:

    When they start telling you interstitial saturation before radiation is a ‘probability’ you know it’s over.

    Left and right I’ve seen warmers deny it, now here.

    Interstice saturation preceding radiation is the physical reality which stops lower energy color from back-driving warmer objects.

    Inter-atom conduction, is so much easier to do than radiation, that every single surface interstice will fill before any radiation of a color of a higher energy level will occur.

    It’s claimed by fake physicists this is a ‘quantum probability’ but it’s that principle that makes directional communications through the atmosphere using electromagnetic energy possible. Yagi and similar antennas rely on it and function.

    People who tell you it’s possible to drive lower color energy into a higher color object, are trying to tell you they don’t believe in color spectrometry. They don’t believe, an element gives off a color only when energy levels reach an absolute and invariant level.

    They’ll also try to tell you that ‘you don’t need to check up on this’ and handwave you into saying what they tell you to say: that the very gases that they claim warm the earth were there when the original wavelengths those gases trap, tried to get in; and that it’s all a ‘big symantic athletic event’ on YOUR part to simply discuss matters WITHOUT INVERSION: in other words truthfully: while THEY, in order for THEIR fake physics to work, have to invert language and pure reality: the very gases Roy Spencer claims contribute to warming the planet,

    cooled it by blocking enormous energy coming in before the discussion ever started.

    Why – why is it – that only in the field of climate science, is simply refusing to speak truthfully, a common trait? Why the symantical, grammatical, intellectual acrobatics, finished up by handwaving?

    Because the straight truth hammers their entire premise into shards of worthless crockery no one would try to make hold water. It’s too easy to force them to tell the truth if you don’t let them lie
    about the absolutes,
    they already know,
    they can’t afford to discuss with you.

  225. IAmDigitap says:

    Ah well there are grammatical errors above because I typed this at the pizza place, sorry. But indeed it’s blogland and nothing much is going to get hashed out.

    Everyone can see where the grammatical errors are above; the matter of fact is, those gases stopped energy from getting in, in the first place. So the amount of cooling is what’s at stake.

    If it’s just a grammatical athletic event to insist on the truth being discussed by inverting light to dark, why not just TELL the truth, in TRUTHFUL terms?

    Why mysterious reliance on the – it’s laughable – ‘quantum differences’ between some suggested probability – just a suggested one – not even a real one or you could measure the difference – don’t tell me there’s not enough instrumentation to tell if Magic Gassers are lying after the way we all saw the entire electron age ushered in by men experimenting -

    why the constant hand waving about ‘ignore the lack of tropospheric hotspot’ and ‘ignore the lack of rising atmospheric infrared in earth-generated spectra’ and ‘ignore the obvious lack of energy in the system as these Magic Gases proliforate nearly exponentially’?

    Why?
    Because everybody knows, that if the Gatekeeping gets out of hand, the money train, and as importantly the personal gravy (money/fame/celebrity/power to get things done) train will need a different crew.

    And no one wants to get locked out of that intellectual prostitution ring.

    Look at the number of people who have reminded all Magic Warmers, of the nearly limitless ways to check whether they’re telling the full truth without varnish.

    What do you hear from them? “Just ignore the sillies who disagree with me below; they’re so silly and frivolous.”

    What?

    The very people insisting that the full truth about what’s known of radiation from a surface: interstice saturation before radiation as mandatory to energy mechanics- that’s a f.r.i.v.o.l. to them.

    Lack of a hotspot? Youre f.r.i.v.o.l.i.n.g.

    Yeah. It’s frivoling alright, it’s how the communications field – electronic wireless communications relies on interstice saturation before radiation as a functional premise before a RADIO will even work: a WIRELESS RADIO – it’s how they even exist,

    but when you point out to a warmer the entire wireless field relies on the 2nd law’s interstice saturation before radiation function, to even make a modern phone call –

    you’re ‘f.r.i.v.o.l.i.n.g.’ and ‘s.i.l.l.y.’

    this from the people who model a spherical earth as a flat earth.

    this from the people who feel, as a ‘consensus’ that ‘you shouldn’t be allowed to point out the very claim they make of blockage of heat out, must have happened as that very energy tried to get in, is a cooling function.

    When you point out to them that in the past 100 years, if atmospheric heat indeed was building along with Magic Gas levels, atmospheric scintillation: the twinkling of the stars, over their heads, would be able to be charted by simply reviewing astronomical photographs through the decades, you’re ‘frivoling’ with them.

    To point out that the stars over their heads mock their Magic Gas Conjecture it’s you who are silly. Not them.

    There’s just too much money and too much political power associated with telling this brothel of intellectual prostitutes to stop plying their trade for now.

    It’s a shame, but a fact of life we all know well. Flat earth derived physics, Magic Gases that only allow heat to travel where they say they want it to, religious-level denial of the second law for goodness’ sake – welcome to the wh*res’ ball, check your morality at the door.

    This isn’t about truth, it’s about ‘consensus’ that ‘we don’t talk about things this way, because absolutely truthful conversation, blocks the progress of absolutely truthful conversation. Pass the Grants & Perks plate, please, and hold the gritty truth. I’m trying to cut back.”

  226. Colin Davidson says:

    Nullius in Verba and I have been discussing the surface energy balance.

    In his latest post (1752, 17MAR12) Nullius in Verba states:
    “Convection occurs whenever the vertical temperature gradient exceeds a certain limit, and cools the surface so efficiently when it does that no other sources of heat can match it.”
    I do not think that is correct.
    Convection is an energy transport mechanism purely within the body of a fluid. It has no presence in a solid, nor in the earth/atmosphere or sea/atmosphere interfaces. It cannot transport energy from the surface. The only mechanisms available across the surface/ atmosphere boundary are:
    Radiation (Kiehl & Trenberth have this as one fifth)
    Conduction (KT have this as “thermals”, one fifth)
    Evaporated Water (KT have this as three fifths).

    There is no doubt that convection is a transport mechanism within the atmosphere, but it plays no part in transporting energy out of the surface.

    My point stands: A uniformly warmer atmosphere cannot force the Surface to the same increase in temperature, unless hidden assumptions are made. These assumptions could include: An unbalanced surface; positive feedback; reduced conduction; reduced evaporation.

  227. Colin Davidson says:

    Nullius in Verba and I have been discussing how the upper atmosphere warms the lower atmosphere. In his latest post (1752, 17MAR12) Nullius in Verba states:

    “I don’t know why you think radiosonde measurements don’t support an adiabatic lapse rate.”

    This is a misunderstanding of what I was (obviously unsuccessfully) trying to say. The hypothesis is that somehow an energy imbalance in the upper atmosphere, manifested as a warmer upper atmosphere, translates to a warmer lower atmosphere. I looked at the diagram at IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 2 Figure 2.2. This shows the alleged process.

    Fortunately the real world is not static, and does not behave like the “Standard Atmosphere”. It carries out natural experiments of this sort all the time. So I looked at about 50 sonde measurements. You can easily get these from http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html .

    Above Inuvik, 64N in the 12 hours from 0000Z to 1200Z on 8APR12, the atmosphere from 8km to 14km heated up, the Tropopause at 10km dropping to 8km, and the 10km area heating by 20DegC. In all nearly 30% of the atmosphere heated by more than 1 DegC.

    Now this should be a really good source for Radiatively forcing the air beneath, shouldn’t it? After all we are not talking about slow mechanisms, but radiation – speed of light stuff. So what do we see over the next 2 days? Cooling of the atmosphere below the event.

    Absolutely no evidence of any forcing of heating, even with a 20DegC change.

    And since this sort of event seems to happen a lot, I looked at several other instances. Same outcome. No evidence of a downward spread of heating. Nothing.

    Any thoughts anyone on how an energy imbalance at the Tropopause translates to the surface?

  228. Doug_Cotton says:

    Everyone

    No, Tor, my paper does not present any different quantitative result than standard physics (using S-B2 – S-B1) regarding the thermal energy transferred. This is because the difference in the areas under the two Planck curves (which is what S-B determines by integration) is the area under the larger curve minus the area under the smaller one. So no one is going to “do the calculation” and prove me wrong on that point.

    And, no, B_Happy, I am not inventing “new physics” about “molecular energy levels.”

    And no, PB, I am not saying the Sun does not heat cooler water in a swimming pool, though I am saying that radiation from a yet cooler atmosphere does nothing but slow the pool’s radiative cooling rate – not its rate of evaporative cooling which would increase to compensate. The Sun warmed the water in my vacuum flask by 9.6 C by 1:53pm DST. This is an elementary example of a “process” between the Sun and the pool, such process taking about 8 minutes due to c.. When I say “at any particular time” I am referring to the fact that the Second Law applies to a “process” and that process of course takes a time which depends on the speed of light in the case of radiation.

    There is a huge difference between …

    (1) a photon being re-emitted when it resonates with the frequency of the wave motion in the radiation, and

    (2) its radiated energy being converted to thermal energy, which can then have an effect on other molecules.

    This is because, once it is converted to thermal energy, and the process repeated in millions of molecules until it can be measured as temperature, then, if the energy from a cooler source caused extra thermal energy to be deposited in the warmer target (thus increasing the observable temperature) then you would have a violation of the Second Law. Hence this does not happen.

    Although mathematically it is possible to compound two or more rays of radiation, it requires seven (7) dimensions to do so. Such 7D has no physical reality in 3D. So only thermal energy can be compounded in the real world. But this does not happen in two-way radiation situations, because any conversion of the cold to hot radiation would be a stand alone process in a closed system which would violate the Second Law. Such new thermal energy in the surface could stay there for six months, for example, between summer and winter. When does the “process” begin or end?

    Which reminds me, someone said energy has to balance at all interfaces. But that does not have to take place immediately. There are also interfaces at the floor of the ocean, for example, where energy can be transmitted each way and hang around in the crust for decades or more.

    Imagine the target having lots of resonators (see Claes Johnson’s Computational Blackbody Radiation) these resonators being like small catapults. Then imagine photons (like stones) arriving at just the right frequency to resonate with a particular catapult. The stone has just the right energy to extend the catapult to full stretch, and the catapult then fires it out again and captures another stone on the next backswing, repeating the process. Other resonators handle other frequencies in the incident radiation. While they are doing so, they are occupied scattering the energy in the radiation and so not needing to use the other energy in the surface. Thus the process slows the rate of radiative cooling. The target “knows the temperature of the source” by the range of frequencies and the Planck distribution of these, simply because they are what resonates.

    Every blackbody sends out its full spectrum under its Planck curve, but the emitted radiation uses some of the incoming radiation. However, iff the source was warmer, then that radiation from the source which corresponds to the area under the cooler target’s Planck curve can and will resonate and be scattered, and only that energy corresponding to the extra area between the Planck curves gets converted to thermal energy, because there is no catapult available to re-emit it.

    Now, according to NASA energy diagrams showing net radiation (excluding backradiation) the radiation from the surface is just over 40% and the evaporation and diffusion (conduction as they call it) is just under 60%.

    In the paper I explain why that 60% will increase its rate of transfer to compensate for any reduction in the radiative rate. Hence the net effect will be zero. Even if you don’t accept this point, the effect of each CO2 molecule is far less than the effect of each H2O molecule because CO2 has fewer frequencies under its Planck curve. Its effect falls far short of the effect of a blackbody as it is rather like a picket fence with many pickets missing, standing up against a full blast from the surface with all frequencies, some of which we know get through the atmospheric window. The fact that this happens, proves that not even H2O and all other gases in the atmosphere can block what is about 29% of the radiation.

    Water vapour molecules outnumber CO2 molecules (say, 20 to 50 times) and the effect of each molecule in slowing just the (40%) radiative component of surface cooling is far greater than the effect of each carbon dioxide molecule. And even then, the other 60% of the cooling processes is not affected and probably increases its rate so as to compensate for any slower radiative rate. So carbon dioxide’s effect is as good as zero. In fact, it probably has a net cooling effect shielding us from some Solar IR.

    The paper is linked here: http://climate-change-theory.com

    The energy diagram used is on this page: http://earth-climate.com

  229. Doug_Cotton says:

    PB

    It should be clear from my paper that I meant that radiated energy is not completely converted to thermal energy unless the target is at 0 deg.K.

    That radiation from the warmer body which is represented by the area between the Planck curves is converted, whilst the rest (corresponding to that under the smaller Planck curve) continues, after scattering, until it meets the next target. If that target is warmer than the first (such as the Earth surface) the radiation is all scattered, but if the second target is cooler than the first, then a similar splitting of the energy occurs. The process is repeated many times, perhaps, until it gets to space and meets, maybe years later, a target much cooler again. It probably never finds a target at 0 deg.K, this explaining why there is a lot of radiation in space corresponding to a low temperature just above 0K.

  230. Frank says:

    Doug: Absorption and emission are linked to each other at every wavelength. Absorption: dI/ds = -I*n*o. Emission: dI/ds = n*o*B(lamda,T) where is the density of GHG molecules per unit volume, o is the absorption cross-section and the same constant is found in the emission term, I is radiation intensity, B(lamda,T) is Planck’s function, and dI/ds is the infinitessimal change in intensity as the radiation travels an infinitesimal distance ds. Combined, these make the schwartzschild eqn. Since the cross-section for both emission and absorption is the same, there will always be two way exchange of photons. If a warmer earth is capable of absorbing a photon from a colder atmosphere, it must also be emitting (more) photons that the colder atmosphere can absorb.

    Absorption and emission are fundamentally the same process, with time reversed. At all wavelengths, you can’t have one without the other.

  231. Doug_Cotton says:

    Colin and Nullius (and others)

    Firstly, if you follow what I have said above and in my paper, there can be no significant radiative forcing of warmer layers of the lower troposphere by cooler layers above. It is the adiabatic lapse rate that sets the temperatures, and the radiation is scattered without adding thermal energy. It will have a small effect slowing the radiative cooling, mostly in times of high Relative Humidity, but diffusion and convection can compensate.

    Over 4 billion years or so there has been established a continuous temperature plot from the core (~5700 K) through the surface and up to the tropopause. As you no doubt know, the temperature then increases with altitude to the stratopause, then goes to the lowest temperature (~180 K) at the mesopause. Then the thermosphere can be well above 400 K.) So there is a “trough” at the tropopause, and the plot in the troposphere can rise (in a parallel way) against that upward trend in the stratosphere, thus raising the temperature and altitude of the tropopause.

    The gradient in the troposphere is established by the mass of the atmosphere, the relative humidity and the acceleration due to gravity. The dry adiabatic lapse rate is about 50% greater (ie steeper) then the moist one. When RH is high the base of the atmosphere tends to be very close (often <0.5 C deg.) below the surface temperature, but when RH is low, that step down can be up to about 4 deg.C in calm conditions, and more in windy conditions. Occasionally warm winds could bring warmer air from land surfaces to areas above cooler oceans – but that's weather, not climate.

    In the very long run, in order to establish radiative equilibrium, the whole temperature plot must have adjusted its level by moving up or down in parallel trends which retained the same gradient, that being determined by a weighted mean of dry and moist adiabatic lapse rates.

    Now, the point is, that the underground temperature plot from the core to the surface would also have had to adjust at the surface end, and it would have done this in accord with well known physics. However a lot of energy is required to fill in the gap under that curve if a new warmer equilibrium were to ever be established at the surface. Such would require greater average solar radiation, and that is only really likely to be significant when the Earth's orbit returns to being close to a perfect circle, so the mean distance to the Sun is less. Jupiter influences the eccentricity, and I understand the cycle is about 100,000 years. So it's not as if it will be a problem for your great, great, great grandchildren.

    There's more on this here http://climate-change-theory.com/explanation.html

    and in my paper Appendix FAQ.3

  232. Doug_Cotton says:

    Frank

    You must know I would disagree. The Earth’s surface is not a perfect blackbody. It absorbs only SW radiation from the Sun, converts it to thermal energy and radiates only about 40% of it to the atmosphere in the LW spectrum. The other 60% exits the surface mostly by evaporative cooling and diffusion which is followed by convection. This 60% is subsequently radiated to space by the atmosphere, together with about 71% of the other 40%. The remaining 29% of the 40% that is radiated by the surface gets straight through the window to space.

    Furthermore, it does not happen simultaneously because we have day and night, summer and winter.

    Then you said If a warmer earth is capable of absorbing a photon from a colder atmosphere …

    If your word “absorbed” means to you that it is converted to thermal energy in the surface, then no, it’s not capable, for reasons explained in my paper, which has now been published on at least four sites

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/radiated_energy.pdf

  233. Doug_Cotton says:

    Everyone:

    Frank’s comment demonstrates how people have abused physics by grabbing equations like S-B and using them without understanding the prerequisites that are required, by physics, for them to apply.

    Read the conditions for Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation, for example, and remember it is for blackbodies …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchhoff's_law_of_thermal_radiation

    Say it slowly:

    The Earth’s surface absorbs only SW radiation from the Sun and then converts the Sun’s radiated energy to thermal energy. Then the surface radiates only 40% of the absorbed energy towards the atmosphere and space in a totally different LW infra-red spectrum.

  234. Myrrh says:

    Say it slowly:

    The Earth’s surface absorbs only SW radiation from the Sun and then converts the Sun’s radiated energy to thermal energy. Then the surface radiates only 40% of the absorbed energy towards the atmosphere and space in a totally different LW infra-red spectrum.

    And various presentations of this claim that shortwave converts to thermal energy heating land and oceans.

    You’re all, quite frankly, and I’m sorry to have to say this, totally ignorant of the difference between light and heat.

    I’m not going to elaborate more at the moment, what I want from all you who claim this is real world physics is, proof. Show me exactly how visible light converts to thermal energy and heats land and oceans.

    Don’t give me *?!#*^ lasers as an example. Visible light direct from the Sun as per this nonsense comic cartoon energy budget y’all work from.

  235. Doug_Cotton says:

    Myrrh

    See the graphic depicting the Solar Radiation Spectrum in Section 6 of my peer-reviewed paper* and note the relatively small portion (certainly < 50%) that is in the visible spectrum. Suppose light penetrates to the bottom of a shallow lake where you can see it lighting up the yellow sand. The infra-red portion (nearly half) will have warmed just below the surface of the water because that is as far as it penetrates. But it is solar radiation that is warming water. The UV component will certainly do so, which I hope you would agree with if you've ever been sunburnt by UV light.

    But the yellow sand reflects primarily yellowish colours. What happens to the radiation for the other colours? We know it got down to the bottom of the lake. Where is its energy? It has been converted to thermal energy.

    I really don’t see that it matters, for we know virtually all thermal energy absorbed by the surface comes from the Sun’s radiation. The Sun does the warming.

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

    *

  236. Doug_Cotton says:

    P.S. Myrrh

    Technically SW radiation is pretty much defined as the whole solar spectrum. This spectrum basically does not overlap the LW spectrum emitted by the surface. So if you agree that the Sun heats anything, then you agree with my statement about SW radiation. I did not restrict it to radiation in the visible spectrum which you refer to (incorrectly) as “light.”

    The Sun heated water in a vacuum flask by 9.6 C degrees in my simple experiment, but, guess what, the water cooled at night, even though it was receiving about half as much IR (yes, infra-red) backradiation.

    This is explained in more detail in Section 1, Introduction and terminology.

  237. Bryan says:

    Doug_Cotton

    “Technically SW radiation is pretty much defined as the whole solar spectrum.”

    Myrrh says

    “I’m sorry to have to say this, totally ignorant of the difference between light and heat.”

    Infrared (IR) light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres (µm), and extending conventionally to 300 µm. These wavelengths correspond to a frequency range of approximately 1 to 400 THz,[1] and include most of the thermal radiation emitted by objects near room temperature. Microscopically, IR light is typically emitted or absorbed by molecules when they change their rotational-vibrational movements.

    Infrared light is used in industrial, scientific, and medical applications. Night-vision devices using infrared illumination allow people or animals to be observed without the observer being detected. In astronomy, imaging at infrared wavelengths allows observation of objects obscured by interstellar dust. Infrared imaging cameras are used to detect heat loss in insulated systems, observe changing blood flow in the skin, and overheating of electrical apparatus.

    Much of the energy from the Sun arrives on Earth in the form of infrared radiation. Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.[2] The balance between absorbed and emitted infrared radiation has a critical effect on the Earth’s climate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared

  238. Doug_Cotton says:

    Bryan

    You said, correctly Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation though I would appreciate ref [2]

    But then you said The balance between absorbed and emitted infrared radiation has a critical effect on the Earth’s climate.
    ______________________________________________

    Firstly, thank you for confirming to Myrrh that the SW infra-red portion of solar radiation is about half. This is why water vapour and carbon dioxide have a cooling effect as they each absorb some of the Sun’s high energy SW-IR radiation – see Section 6 of my paper.

    But where does the 47% of solar radiation that is not (short wave) infra-red come into the calculations? Just nit-picking – I’m sure you meant to say absorbed SW radiation which, as I said, includes all the solar radiation (by definition) including the SW infra-red which has much more energy per photon than the LW infra-red which the surface emits.

    You might care to think about this. Suppose the mean solar flux increases when the Earth’s orbit becomes more circular (ie lower eccentricity) and the Sun’s mean distance reduces. We could still have zero net radiative flux at TOA but the climate would be warmer than present situation when there is no net flux at TOA – as for the period 2003 to the present, I would suggest. Sure, as the solar flux is increasing we would see net positive flux. But which is the cart and which the horse?

    Net flux at TOA is a result of natural climate cycles, not a cause.

  239. Bryan says:

    Doug_Cotton

    Part of the trouble here is that climate science has been isolated from that other sciences and has developed its own definitions of ‘short wave ‘longwave’ and ‘heat’.
    You should stick to the well known physics definitions such as infra red, visible (or light,) ultra violet and so on.
    EM radiations of frequency greater than blue visible are not included in the thermal range.
    Photon – electron transitions here are orbital their absorption can produce photochemical change such as photosynthesis.
    In the end Kelvin says all radiation will be thermal but that is like saying in the end we are all dead.
    Any energy storage > 12 hours can have a dramatic effect on the surface temperature, as the diurnal effect resets the climate system
    The great missing link in climate science is the storage capacity of the Earth system.
    All storage according to the IPCC is attributable to the greenhouse effect.
    This approach ignores several other known processes.

  240. richard says:

    The moon( no atmos gases) and Mercury( very very little Atmosophere) very hot in the daytime , freezing at night

    Earth (atmos gases) much cooler in the daytime, so obviously a cooling effect, even NASA say average effect of clouds is cooling and as we know there are a few more cooling effects,

    Earth – Night time ( apart from the desert, low moisture- rapid cooling) a slow cooling,

    does cooling in the daytime and slowing of cooling represent a greenhouse effect.

    My greenhouse , heats from the top down and keeps me hotter than outside.

  241. richard says:

    Green houses owners increase their Co2 ppm up to a 1000ppm( Johnson CO2 generator), will someone go and ask them whether they see any increase in temps compared to the greenhouses where they do not increase the Co2 .

  242. Doug_Cotton says:

    Bryan says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    The great missing link in climate science is the storage capacity of the Earth system.
    _______________________

    Yes I discuss this in Appendix FAQ.2 and FAQ.3

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

    I feel that, when the paper is primarily addressed to climatologists, it makes reasonable sense to split the IR into SW-IR from the Sun and LW-IR from the surface, these bands meeting (without overlapping) at the equivalent actual BB temperature of the surface.

    I’m signing out for the night now, being 12:10am here in Sydney.

  243. Edim says:

    STEP 1:
    Temperature is determined by rates of energy gain and energy loss.

    A small correction: Internal energy is determined by energy gain/loss, not necessarily the temperature.

    STEP 2:
    Infrared absorbing gases reduce the rate at which the Earth loses infrared energy to space.

    Maybe if there was a vacuum layer between Earth and the atmosphere, so that the surface was exclusively cooled by radiation. However the surface is in direct contact with the atmosphere and is free to cool by evaporation/convection. The multimodal heat transfer at the surface needs to be solved properly.

    Furthermore, the atmosphere is cooled exclusively by radiation and infrared emitting gases enhance the rate at which the atmosphere loses energy to space.

  244. RW says:

    Dave Springer,

    You say:

    “The key you seem to be missing is that if the mean surface temperature is 288K then mean insolation at TOA must be at least 390W/m2. It is physically impossible for the surface to receive more energy than enters the system. A temperature higher than S-B is impossible.”

    Then you have to explain where and from what physical process the increased power incident on the surface boundary is coming from.

    If 240 W/m^2 of EM radiation from the Sun is the only significant source of Energy in the system, then where is the +150 W/m^2 incident on the surface coming from?

  245. richard says:

    what is far more interesting is how the earth keeps itself cooler in the daytime than the moon-250F, with no atmos gases.

    Especially with only an average one degree warming over the last 100 years or so,

    now that is precision.

  246. richard says:

    no atmos gases being the moon!!

  247. Questions says:

    When you leave a piece of metal (car, bicycle, etc.) in the open sunlight it gets much hotter than the surrounding air temperature. The same thing even happens to the blacktop or the grayish even white sidewalk. If you stand outside in the path of the Sun you feel much warmer than the outside air temperature. – Even if the outside air temperature is well below ZERO. (assuming there is no wind or just a gentle breeze.)

    WHY then does all it take is for an airplane or one, single, small cloud to pass between you and the Sun and you immediately feel the loss of the this radiation.

    Why does just one sheet of Low-E glass or a piece of IR film held above the object prevent the object from getting as hot (actually much cooler than) the one in direct line of the Sun?

    (Don’t answer too quickly because various manufactures claim that these windows do not block “Visible” light waves and are essentially transparent to a wide spectrum of visible and ultra violet light, therefore they are present to provide the heating that you claim is caused by them. There are numerous WebPages documenting this fact on the internet – find your own – I do not want to be chastised for providing one you do not like.)

    I have read claims that “Backscattered Radiation” is providing this “energy.” My studies in thermodynamics tell me that CO2 molecules or whatever you claim is providing this Backscattered Radiation will be at a temperature close to that of the observed atmospheric temperature.

    How is this “Backscattered Radiation” which cannot be at a temperature much higher than the atmosphere, make the road, auto, etc., hot enough to fry an egg? Hotter than the CO2 is?

    How is this “Backscattered Radiation” being stopped by, and only in, the shadow of the small cloud/airplane? If it was truly “Backscattered Radiation” then it would be coming from 360 degrees around me from the CO2 (whatever) in the atmosphere providing this “Backscattered Radiation” AND I would not feel any decrease in the warmth coming from the Sun/”Backscattered Radiation” with an object blocking only the Sun.

    Since none of the Suns IR energy reaches the Earth and is blocked by the atmosphere, as shown in your charts: Then why is the sunny side of a house the warmest? Why do the rooms with windows get much warmer than the other rooms? Why does the Low-E windows and the IR reflecting film prevent that IR energy from entering the house? Since the Visible light is getting in, why doesn’t it heat up my house? (Note above fact about these windows not blocking visible & UV light.)

  248. Myrrh says:

    Bryan says: In the end Kelvin says all radiation will be thermal but that is like saying in the end we are all dead.

    Succinctly put!

    It’s all part of the nonsense misdirection to take away from the fact that they have given the properties and processes of the invisible thermal infrared, heat, thermal energy direct from the Sun, to shortwave lightwaves. They claim that shortwave is thermal in its power to heat matter. Moreover, they claim that the real heat radiating from the Sun doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface and plays no part in heating it!

    They say their Sun’s heat, which we feel as real heat from the Sun the invisible thermal infrared, that’s why it’s called thermal, somehow magically doesn’t get to us.. No explanation of how this magic trick happens, because it’s magic. So the only thermal infrared which is heat that they have in their comic cartoon energy budget, is that which light creates by heating up land and oceans..

    Visible light is light, not heat, it works on an electronic transition level as you note, and, water is a transparent medium for it which means it is not even absorbed by the electrons of the molecules of water – they say blue visible light travelling deeper in the ocean means that it heats it even deeper than than the other colours.. How, when visible light is transmitted through without being absorbed?

    The problem is narrowed down to the fact that they don’t know the difference between light and heat, they have been told that all electromagnetic energy is the same and they all create heat, which is why they have interminable arguments about heat/thermal energy – but when I ask them to show how and how much blue visible light heats the oceans I consistently fail to get a reply, lots of distractions, but no direct answer in support of any part of their claim that visible and the non-thermal either side are the actual energies heating the matter at the surface which then is hot enough to produce the amount of thermal infrared they claim upwelling.

    Until such time as they can produce this, all shortwave non-thermal infrared must come out of their energy budget because the claim is falsified in real physics; light energies direct from the Sun cannot move the molecules of water into vibrational resonance, that is, move the molecules so heating them.

    Conversely, they claim that the atmosphere is transparent to visible light and isn’t absorbed so doesn’t heat anything until it reaches the surface to heat land and oceans, their greenhouse scenario, but, since visible light is absorbed by the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen they are fibbing, again. So of course the question arises, how much is visible light heating the atmosphere if ‘all absorption means heating’..?

    I keep hoping that there might be be one or two who investigate for themselves, and in doing so will understand the basic difference between heat and light. But it seems their version of the electromagnetic spectrum, as idiosyncratic as their version of the atmosphere, is so deeply ingrained by this fisics brainwashing that they are practically incapable of appreciating differences in properties and processes.

    So we have in the comic cartoon shortwave in longwave out and PhD’s confidentally telling me that the visible light I see from an incandescent light bulb is what I feel as heat!

    [In the real world, 95% of the energy radiated from an incandescent bulb is heat, that is, the invisible thermal infrared, and 5% visible - we cannot feel visible, just as we cannot feel uv and near infrared, we do not feel these as hot because they are not thermal, they can't heat us up.]

    I really don’t know what it would take to get these people to come back to real world basic physics.

    So brainwashed that they could never design a light for say, hydroponics, as they have zero perception of light’s properties and processes and therefore effects on matter. I have to say, I was appalled to find that NASA was now teaching this fictional fisics – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/28/spencer-and-braswell-on-slashdot/#comment-711614

    It is very much confirmed there is still a concerted effort to dumb down basic physics in support of AGW and this has huge repercussions from being introduced into the education system. The gains in knowledge we’ve made in science, much so very recently in our history, is being denied to the general oiks who now can’t think outside of the comic cartoon fictional world.

  249. Edim says:

    Regarding the “back-radiation”, and the way it’s used, it’s misleading. It’s simply atmospheric radiation, which is dependent on atmospheric temperature. The atmosphere is gaining energy by directly absorbed solar, solar absorbed by clouds (from outside), and by evaporative heating, radiation and convection (from the surface). The energy loss is exclusively by the atmospheric radiation (a part of outgoing energy is radiated directly from the surface (the window).

    Again, only the net (overall) radiative fluxes count in energy budgets. Multi-modal heat transfer at the surface needs to be solved properly. It shouldn’t be that controversial.

  250. PB says:

    Re: Low E glass.

    Claims that the glass is transparent to a wide range of visible light can be correct. What isn’t being said in such statements is that visible light is a very, very, narrow part of the energy spectrum.

    What you want in a low E glass is transparency for visible light and opaqueness for IR which is far lower in frequency. This traps the heat in your house where you want it.

    RE: Your hot wrench.

    Don’t forget that the insolation numbers you read about are almost always averages. At the hottest part of the day in mid latitudes the insolation is much higher, 3 or 4 times I believe. Most of the time you experience this on a surface that is well connected, thermally, to an enormous heat sink, earth.

    Your wrench is not well connected. Dry soil (try sand at the beach) is not well connected. The soil under a road (very dry) is not connected. In these cases the wrench, or your foot, or whatever is experiencing a surface that can’t shed energy except by radiation, especially if there is low wind. Radiation sucks at removing heat relative to a nice wet soil so the temperature of the surface (or your wrench) has to get very hot to shed energy, relative to something like wet dirt, in order to maintain a radiation balance. Put your wrench in a puddle and it will be nice and cool.

  251. PB says:

    There are two misconceptions that are being conflated by the folks who think the earth energy budget can’t by influenced by incoming IR energy from a ‘cold’ source. It usually goes something like this….

    I’m paraphrasing here,

    1. “If the earth accepts this energy from a cold source it is a violation of the second law because you’ve decreased entropy (increased energy content); aka perpetual motion.”

    This is closely followed, once you believe this, by something like,

    2. “a hot object can’t accept energy from a colder object.”

    Statement two is necessary if your belief system is statement 1 because once you believe 1 you have to have a ready explanation for the observed behaviors that conflict with 1.

    So then we get all manner of theories about how energy enters the earth, catapulting around without doing anything until it finally exits. I call this a reflection but, hey, once you’ve invented the wandering around thing you might as well go ahead and invent a new term for reflection too.

    Here are the two misconceptions (my opinion at least)….

    1. People are thinking statically, i.e. energy in must increase the energy of the target. This is a fallacy and here’s why…

    Think of a swimming pool with a 100 liter per minute leak. If I pour water into that pool at the rate of 50 liters per minute, will I increase the level of water in the pool? Let’s see; after one minute the pool has lost 100 liters and gained 50. It’s down by 50 liters. Let’s cut the time to a millisecond and look again. I’ve lost 0.1 liters and gained .05. It’s down by .05 liters. Keep cutting the time as far as you like and you will never see more water in the pool than you started with. If water were energy you could observe by this example that the 2nd law was never violated, not even for a picosecond.

    It’s a dynamic, rate driven process, not a static one.

    2. Regarding the rejection of ‘cold’ energy; I call total BS on this. here’s why….

    Molecules don’t have a temperature. They have energy. It’s only when you get a lot of molecules that you can talk of temperature and then it is necessary to realize that it is a proxy used to indicate the relative PEAK energy value of a distribution of energies. The Planck distribution does not have discontinuous tails where magic happens. At any instant in time a surface will contain molecules with a host of energies, the most common being the one we measure as some ‘temperature’.

    There is nothing I know of in the literature that says I can’t find a low energy molecule in the midst of lots of high energy ones. So a surface bathed in IR has lots of willing molecules, anxious to take up the incoming fire. Actually, I think a surface would be the most likely place to find such beasts anyway because these are the very molecules periodically creating IR by letting go of their energy.

    You can’t do a static experiment with a flask of water in your garden on a dynamic process looking for energy increases where there should be none. And you can’t claim there is a magic cutoff frequency where the characteristics of the albedo of a material magically change unless you can write an equation that demonstrates this discontinuous behavior.

    I haven’t seen one in here but I’d love to be pointed to one.

  252. MikeB says:

    Answers to ‘Questions’

    You ask a lot of questions but you ask them in a manner which suggests that you won’t be receptive to any answers. However, since you have not yet formally entered the competition between Doug Cotton, Myrrh, IamDigitap and Bryan to see who can say the stupidest things, here goes.

    “When you leave a piece of metal (car, bicycle, etc.) in the open sunlight it gets much hotter than the surrounding air temperature.”
    Yes, the metal, blacktop and sidewalk absorb the incident radiation and warm up. The air is mostly transparent to the incoming radiation and therefore doesn’t absorb it and therefore doesn’t get heated by it. The air is only warmed indirectly by conduction from the the ground and convection raises it out of the way, to higher altitudes. If you could contain the air (like in a greenhouse) it would warm up too. Remember also, that air does not have the conductivity of a metal and so if both were at the same high temperature (higher than your body) the hot metal would feel hotter because it would conduct heat into your body quicker (which is why, on a cold day, water feels colder).

    “WHY then does all it take is for an airplane or one, single, small cloud to pass between you and the Sun and you immediately feel the loss of the this radiation”
    Err…is this not obvious or is it just badly phrased? The passing cloud temporarily blocks the incoming radiation which was being absorbed by your skin.

    “Why does just one sheet of Low-E glass or a piece of IR film held above the object prevent the object from getting as hot”
    I don’t know the particular materials you refer to. Do they look slightly darker than plain glass or are they perfectly transparent? I can only surmise that it functions by attenuating the incoming radiation at some wavelengths (obviously). Most ordinary glass will block IR quite effectively on its own.

    “Backscattered Radiation will be at a temperature close to that of the observed atmospheric temperature.”
    Back-radiation will be coming from a source at a temperature close to that of the observed atmospheric temperature. Correct.

    “How is this ‘ Backscattered Radiation’ make the road, auto, etc., hot enough to fry an egg?”
    It doesn’t. The direct sunlight does that. Note: backscattered radiation is not quite the correct term.

    “How is this “Backscattered Radiation” being stopped by, and only in, the shadow of the small cloud/airplane?”
    It isn’t.

    “I would not feel any decrease in the warmth coming from the Sun/”Backscattered Radiation” with an object blocking only the Sun”
    No, you wouldn’t – that’s why you don’t.

    “Since none of the Suns IR energy reaches the Earth and is blocked by the atmosphere, as shown in your charts”
    Which chart is that my friend. The only chart in Roy’s article is one of OUTGOING radiation measured from space.

    “Then why is the sunny side of a house the warmest?
    Err…because the Sun shines on it. But right, I see your problem, evident also in your previous question. ALL electromagnetic radiation conveys energy. Not just IR. In fact the shorter the wavelength (like light with respect to IR) the more energy it carries. When sunlight passes through your window, or through a greenhouse, it carries with it energy. When the light is absorbed it manifests itself as heat. I do not know the properties of the particular material you refer to but it obviously works by cutting out a part of the spectrum. However, if you can see light getting in, then there will also be some heating effect.

  253. Doug_Cotton says:

    The following points are made in my peer-reviewed paper now published on at least four sites and linked from my site http://climate-change-theory.com

    (1) Radiation from cooler parts of the atmosphere to warmer parts of the surface cannot transfer thermal energy, but can slow just the radiative component of surface cooling, which is less than half the cooling, probably about a third.

    (2) When radiative cooling is slowed, the rates of evaporative cooling and diffusion (conduction) followed by convection will increase for reasons explained in my paper.

    (3) The energy in each photon is proportional to the frequency of the associated radiation.

    (4) Short wave (high frequency) infra-red radiation (making up about half of the total solar radiation) thus has far more energy per photon than does long wave (low frequency) infra-red radiation from the atmosphere, which is mostly well below freezing point.

    (5) The effect which radiation from the atmosphere has on radiative cooling of the surface depends upon both the temperature of the region from which it originated and the density of frequencies in that radiation.

    (6) Carbon dioxide radiates far fewer frequencies than water vapour, and each radiates fewer than a blackbody.

    (7) Hence each carbon dioxide molecule has far less effect on the radiative rate of cooling than each water vapour molecule, of which there are usually about 20 to 50 times as many.

    (8) So carbon dioxide is like a picket fence with most of its pickets missing, standing up against full blast radiation from the surface.

    (9) Any warming effect of carbon dioxide is cancelled because of the reasons in (2) and, because of those in (4) there is a significant cooling effect as it sends back to space at least half of the high energy photons it captures from solar radiation.

    (10) Hence carbon dioxide has a net cooling effect, but such is absolutely minimal compared with the effect of water vapour which also has radiative cooling effects, but possibly some warming effects also about which we can do nothing.

  254. RW says:

    Doug,

    You have to be able explain how the surface receives an extra 150 W/m^2 of incoming power in order to sustain a temperature of about 288K.

    Since the only source of energy in the system is EM radiation from the Sun, this additional power can only come from radiative effects in the atmosphere.

  255. PB says:

    Doug this is from your abstract….

    “So, additional radiation
    supposedly transferring further thermal energy from the cooler atmosphere to the
    warmer surface would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

    This is from your last reply….

    “(1) Radiation from cooler parts of the atmosphere to warmer parts of the surface cannot transfer thermal energy, but can slow just the radiative component of surface cooling, which is less than half the cooling, probably about a third.”

    I’m confused again. If transfer of thermal energy from cooler to warmer violates the second law (per your abstract) then how do you reconcile this with your reply?

    How exactly is the radiation “slowed” and does this slowing do anything to the temperature of the object undergoing the slowing?

    • Dave Springer says:

      Perfect. Caught Douggie boy contradicting himself. I’d love to see him bluff his way out of that brain fart.

  256. Bryan says:

    The ‘genius’ MikeB takes several paragraphs to say…..

    “However, if you can see light getting in, then there will also be some heating effect.”

    He cannot explain how EM radiation with shorter wavelength than visible blue can cause a direct thermal effect.

    Watch him squirm as he tries to explain the impossible.

    Folk like Mike with a smattering of science learned by blogging are exposed by having to answer a simple question.

    Watch…..

    • Dave Springer says:

      Bryan says:
      March 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      “He cannot explain how EM radiation with shorter wavelength than visible blue can cause a direct thermal effect.”

      Whether he explains it or not it’s something that is observed. Ultra-violet lasers are employed for cutting of things that for one reason or another are not well suited to cutting by visible or infrared lasers. Infrared suffers from lack of precision due to longer wavelength and some materials are transparent to visible light. For those applications we have U-V lasers.

      http://www.rp-photonics.com/ultraviolet_lasers.html

  257. Eli Rabett says:

    So much wrong

    4) Short wave (high frequency) infra-red radiation (making up about half of the total solar radiation) thus has far more energy per photon than does long wave (low frequency) infra-red radiation from the atmosphere, which is mostly well below freezing point.
    ————————-

    The frequencies emitted by CO2 are equivalent to 2 e 13 Hz, in energy units this is ~1.4 e-20 J per photon. E= h v where v is the frequency and h Planck’s constant

    Thermal energy at 300 K is equivalent to about 4 e-21 J. E = kT where k is Boltzmann’s constant

    If you want to equate this to a temperature that is about 1100K, but of course, when we are talking about a thermal distribution of energy at a temperature T a fraction of the collisions will have enough energy to excite the CO2 molecules to the first level of the vibrational bend.

  258. Eli Rabett says:

    So much wrong

    (1) Radiation from cooler parts of the atmosphere to warmer parts of the surface cannot transfer thermal energy, but can slow just the radiative component of surface cooling, which is less than half the cooling, probably about a third.
    —————————

    The radiative cooling of the surface is not directly coupled to the transfer of energy by backradiation because there is no set of little tags on the energy which the surface absorbs. There are no little demons that tell the surface, hey, that bunch of energy came from the sun, that from the IR radiation from clouds, and by the way here is a packet of CO2 photons which have been transformed into heat. Your little model requires that the intelligent surface track everything. It don;t

    Once the absorbed energy is transformed to heat it is all spinach.

  259. D_Cotton says:

    My paper has been comprehensively peer-reviewed by Prof Claes Johnson (who commented on the new thread linked below) and three other scientists over a busy three week period prior to the launch last week. I have posted this 10 point summary …

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comment-39100

    Anyone is welcome to publish a peer-reviewed rebuttal, but they would be wise to make an effort to understand what the paper is saying, and not to misquote me. I suggest they would also be hard pressed, in view of my climate analysis, to prove me wrong in saying that there is no evidence of additional anthropogenic warming above the obvious natural cycles which I discuss in the Appendix.

    And later this year you will see compelling empirical evidence that warm gases do not absorb spontaneous BB emission from cooler emitters – demonstrated over a wide range of temperatures. If it’s true for gases, I suggest it’s true for solids and liquids too.

    Gases like carbon dioxide do not emit like blackbodies – their radiation has fewer frequencies but is still limited by the Planck curve – it’s like a picket fence under the Planck curve, but with lots of pickets missing. So it does not have much effect in slowing radiative cooling of the surface which radiates a much fuller range of frequencies because of its wider range of virtually all elements.

    Whatever little effect carbon dioxide does have in slowing radiative cooling is more than compensated for by increased evaporation and diffusion, as well as by cooling effects resulting from its sending “backradiation” from much higher energy Solar SW-IR back into space.

    I am not going to argue here. It’s all in 6,600 words in the paper. Is that fair enough?

  260. D_Cotton says:

    Eli no set of little tags on the energy which the surface absorbs.”/i>

    My response is in Sections 1 to 5 in the paper linked from my site.

  261. D_Cotton says:

    The absorption of solar SW-IR by water vapour and carbon dioxide is proven by spectroscopy such as in the graphic in Section 6 of my paper linked from my site.

  262. D_Cotton says:

    PB

    How exactly is the radiation “slowed” and does this slowing do anything to the temperature of the object undergoing the slowing?

    Have you never read about what happens when two parallel metal plates at different temperatures radiate towards each other? The radiation from the cooler one slows the radiative component of cooling of the warmer plate. This is well known physics which is discussed in great detail in Sections 2 to 5 of Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. After all, that’s what the paper is about.

    You should read it sometime.

    And also my 10 point summary …

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comment-39100

  263. D_Cotton says:

    RW

    You have to be able explain how the surface receives an extra 150 W/m^2 of incoming power in order to sustain a temperature of about 288K.

    There is ample explanation in my paper. Start with FAQ #2 in the Appendix. FAQ #1 and #3 are also relevant.

  264. PB says:

    Douglas:

    You mistake me for a dope, methinks. Of course the radiation emission is slowed. I’ve been saying that for days.

    The point is this; What is the mechanism by which it is slowed?

    You are riding on the fence with this. At times you claim a ‘cutoff’ frequency that prevents energy exchange from the cold to the warm. At times you claim the incoming radiation runs around inside the target. Catapulting is the term I believe you use. Energy runs around doing nothing until it exits untouched. Then you switch from solids to gasses. When all else fails you invoke the obvious complicating factors of water cycle, convection, etc.

    You are seriously avoiding the questions I’ve put forth regarding the absorbtion (or not) by the surface of a solid from a ‘colder’ source.

    I’ve stated that the incoming radiation is thermalized and subsequently becomes part of the energy budget in the target.

    Do you agree with this or not?

    Also when someone is criticizing something you yourself have written in a paper you don’t get to cite the thing being criticized as the proof of what you are being criticized for. That’s like a bank robber proclaiming his innocence by showing the cops the money in his bag isn’t it?

  265. Fred Staples says:

    This looks like an endorsement of the “higher is colder” theory of AGW, Dr Spencer.

    The equilibrium temperature of a bare earth planet is 255K, the temperature at which outgoing radiation equals incoming solar radiation.

    Add an atmosphere opaque in certain wavelengths, and the radiation to space will be partly from the atmosphere, and partly from the surface in the wavelengths where the atmosphere is transparent.

    The effective emission temperature at the effective emission elevation must remain at 255K, to retain the incoming and outgoing balance. So, the surface temperature will be higher than the bare earth case by the difference in temperature between the effective (average) emission height and the surface. The lapse rate (a function of gravity and specific heat) sets this at about 6.5 degrees C per kilometre.

    You can see this in the Nimbus 4 IRIS diagram. For the strongly absorbing wavelengths around 15 micro-meters, the radiation temperature is a low 220K, about 70 degree K cooler than the surface, an altitude of about 11 kilometers.

    But, to the right of the absorbing region the atmosphere is transparent, and radiation is from close to the surface, at a temperature of about 295K.

    On the average, the temperature difference is 33K, and the emission height about 5 kilometers.

    If more absorbing gas is added to the atmosphere, the opacity will increase, and the average emission level will move up. The temperature will fall with the lapse rate, incoming and outgoing energy will be out of balance, and the whole system, including the surface, will warm until balance is restored. This is an upper atmosphere effect; whatever the impact on the surface, it must start high in the troposphere.

    By how much will the temperature increase if CO2 is doubled? Will the increase be catastrophic or virtually impossible to detect? Bear in mind that only the opaque wavelengths can be affected, and that CO2 absorption is negligible compared with H2O. Across all wavelengths, outgoing radiation is the area under the full IRIS plot. CO2 has increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, mostly in the second half of the last century. How much difference has it made to the size of the absorption area, relative to the total? Has the upper atmosphere temperature changed significantly?

    Your own upper troposphere record show no significant increase since 1978, and at 11kms altitude the radio-sonde record shows no significant increase for 50 years.

    • Dave Springer says:

      It is physically impossible to attain a higher temperature than an ideal black body for any fixed level of incoming radiation. This is the ideal. You can only make it cooler than that temperature by changing the effective albedo from zero to something higher.

      The earth is a gray body not a black body. Greenhouse gases effectively lower its albedo at the surface cause more of the incoming radiation to be absorbed and converted to thermal energy. In no case can a greenhouse gas make a surface blacker than black.

      This has ramifications for engineers such as trying to design the most cost-effective solar-thermal collector. The best we can do without using mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight onto our receiver (and at the same time depriving areas outside of our receiver of sunlight) a black tube inside an evacuated glass tube. Even at noon at the equator there is nothing we can do to raise the temperature of our collector above the S-B temperature for the amount of energy it has falling on it.

      Greenhouse proponents who believe that greenhouse gases can raise temperature above the S-B temperature are sadly mistaken. This would be a source of perpetual motion of the first kind. Greenhouse gases can ONLY make a gray body less gray. They cannot make a black body blacker than black.

    • Dave Springer says:

      To all those throwing about the 255K number this is the gray body temperature of the earth not the black body temperature.

      The earth receives 1366W/m2 at top of atmosphere. If the earth were a flat plate with a transparent atmosphere perpendicular to the sun this is what the surface would receive. The ratio of the surface area of a sphere to the surface area of a circle of same radius is 3.91. Thus the earth’s surface would receive 350W/m2 through a perfectly transparent atmosphere. This is equivalent to a black body temperature of 286K.

      Given that the measured average temperature of the earth is pretty darn close to 286K it would appear that the greenhouse effect is saturated. In fact there is a theory called “The Saturated Greenhouse Effect” by Hungarian physicist Ferenc Miskolczi.

      http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=f&oq=saturated+greenhouse+theory&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=saturated+greenhouse+theory&gs_upl=0l0l0l5017lllllllllll0

      • Dave Springer says:

        3.91 ratio of spherical surface to area of a circle is approximate for the earth. The actual number for perfect circles and spheres is 4. I used the area of a circle with radius 4000 miles and divided that into a published number for square miles of the earth’s surface. So your mileage may vary a bit. The point remains that the measured average temperature of the earth corresponds very closely to that of an ideal black body which in and of itself lends independent support to the saturated greenhouse hypothesis.

  266. D_Cotton says:

    Bryan

    He cannot explain how EM radiation with shorter wavelength than visible blue can cause a direct thermal effect

    It doesn’t have to be “direct.” Its energy may hang around as extra chemical potential energy for a long time in the ozone layer, for example.

    But let me ask you – if we are to have energy balance at the very top (above the thermosphere) then what happens to the original energy that was in the UV? It does not get re-emitted in the UV range (except for a little relection) so it must be converted to thermal energy and then emitted as LW-IR from the surface or atmosphere.

    Besides, plenty of UV gets to the surface in summer when the UV index is high. What causes sunburn? Why do you use UV creams?

    If the point you are trying to make is that it is the 53% of solar radiation that is in the near infra-red that does most heating I would not argue. After all, 53% is most. But I would then point out what is discussed in Section 6 about absorption of SW-IR by water vapour (at around 1100, 1300 and 1900 nm) and carbon dioxide at just over 2,000 nm.

  267. D_Cotton says:

    And Bryan, not much of the solar radiation which is in the visible spectrum penetrates all the way to the deep depths of the oceans which make up nearly 70% of the Earth’s surface. Yes, from space we do see some of it reflected, because we can see the ocean, but we know some also penetrates water and lights up the sand in a shallow lake. But if there’s no sand at that depth in an ocean, it just keeps going deeper, being attenuated as it goes and, guess what, it’s radiated energy is converted to thermal energy, not light.

    On a warm sunny day you soon learnt as a kid in bare feet that it was cooler to walk on the near white concrete gutter rather than the black asphalt road. White is white because it reflects all the visible spectrum. Black is black because it hardly reflects any, but does convert the radiation in the visible spectrum to thermal energy. Hence we have “urban crawl” affecting land temperature records.

    Radiated energy is neither “light” nor “heat” until it strikes a target which will (usually) reflect some of it, scatter some of it and absorb some of it.

    See the Introduction in my paper.

    • Dave Springer says:

      With an as yet undetermined appendage Doug Cotton writes:

      Radiated energy is neither “light” nor “heat” until it strikes a target which will (usually) reflect some of it, scatter some of it and absorb some of it.

      That’s a bold statement. Boldly stupid and precisely wrong. EMR (electro-magnetic radiation) propagates through a vacuum quite well without striking a damn thing. It’s always “light” and never “heat”. You appear to be a physics illiterate Doug and the ultimate disposition of your “paper” will reflect your ignorance.

  268. D_Cotton says:

    PB The “mechanism” is explained in detail in my paper in Sections 2 to 5.

    • PB says:

      Actually Douglas I can’t make any sense out of those sections and they are the very sections I am saying don’t make sense.

      You can’t use the sections I’m poking at to prove they are correct. This is circular reasoning with gibberish.

      Just answer the question….. does down welling IR get absorbed? Yes or no?

      Please don’t bring up offsetting mechanisms. That’s smoke and I’m perfectly aware that the ultimate effect of the absorpotion may be null. But you can’t wave away the science just because it gets cancelled by other things.

      “No officer, can’t you see I wasn’t speeding because now I’ve stopped.”

  269. Brian G Valentine says:

    If I could have a rational explanation why, if molecular conduction of heat is possible through the tropopause, and if the stratosphere cools in response to the atmospheric Greenhouse effect, and the troposphere warms, then how is it possible NOT to conclude that “heat was transferred from the stratosphere to cool it, simultaneously warming the troposphere without expending work.”

    Note that the rates of warming and cooling are comparable to that of heat conduction alone (sans convection or diffusivity of heat in a convective medium) – even at the lower values of the putative “climate sensitivity to the doubling …” blah blah blah.

    The important point here is that the stratosphere cools, right along with the lower atmosphere warming. And conduction in the atmosphere to account for that heat transfer rate is present.

    I’ll stop being a greenhouse effect warms the lower atmosphere denier when I have a rational explanation here. I haven’t heard that yet, but questioning things can’t hurt any truth there is.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Brian G Valentine says:
      March 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      “If I could have a rational explanation why, if molecular conduction of heat is possible through the tropopause, and if the stratosphere cools in response to the atmospheric Greenhouse effect, and the troposphere warms, then how is it possible NOT to conclude that “heat was transferred from the stratosphere to cool it, simultaneously warming the troposphere without expending work.”

      Fair question. The answer is that heat isn’t transferred from the stratosphere without expending work. It’s excluded from the stratosphere without expending work.

      The first thing you need to learn is the big picture. In the first approximation (the big picture) the sun heats the ocean and the ocean heats the atmosphere.

      Thus the source of heat for the stratosphere in the first approximation is the ocean not the sun. Greenhouse gases act as insulators and exclude heat from the stratosphere. Insulation does not violate any thermodynamic laws.

  270. D_Cotton says:

    “There is little radiation flux (in terms of W/m²) to the Earth’s surface below 0.2?m or above 3.0?m, although photon flux remains significant as far as 6.0?m, compared to shorter wavelength fluxes.

    UV-C radiation spans from 0.1?m to .28?m,

    UV-B from 0.28?m to 0.315?m,

    UV-A from 0.315?m to 0.4?m,

    the visible spectrum from 0.4?m to 0.7?m,

    and NIR arguably from 0.7?m to 5.0?m, beyond which the infrared is thermal.[1]

    “Shortwave radiation is distinguished from longwave radiation.”

    (from Wikipedia “Short wave radiation”)
    _______________________________________

    You can see a graphic of this in Section 6 of my paper. The scale there is in nm so, for example 0.7?m = 700 nm.

  271. Questions says:

    I have seen no answers that explain how the IR radiation that NASA and Wikipedia claim is not reaching the Earth is reaching the earth, making me warm, heating my house, shining through clear glass, not passing through IR blocking glass or coming from this mysterious “ether” that they call back radiation, is heated to a temperature that is high enough to radiate through a pane of glass.

    The laws of thermodynamics require that the temperature of the object be higher than the object impinged upon to heat it up. For IR to be radiated through the double pane from the atmosphere (CO2 or whatever), the atmosphere MUST be hotter than the room on the other side of the window (outside). A greenhouse can get to hot to stay in even when it is below ZERO outside.

    It is obvious that IR is coming from somewhere, and every day I see examples that show and prove to me that it is coming from the Sun. Every test I perform tells me it is coming from the sun. But NASA and Wikepedia claim that the IR from the Sun does not reach the ground (see links at end). If it as they claim – “Back-Radiation” – then it would surround you as if you were submersed in a pool of water. When there was an object between you and the SUN you would still feel the IR “warmth.” I have NEVER experienced this effect. Has anyone ever experienced a sensation of “warmth” coming from the surronding atmosphere while standing outside, on a cold, calm, windless day, when there are only a few clouds and one cloud is shading the sunlight from you, but the rest of the atmosphere in your sight is being heated by the Sun. This seems impossible to me. If, as they claim, the visible light, RF radiation, UV light, (fill in the blank radiation) is heating the atmosphere and the atmosphere is creating this magical “Back-Radiation,” backscattered radiation or whatever you want to call it then someone has had to have had this experience. I never have. But it must be there as NASA tells me that the Suns IR energy does not reach me.

    Someone please explain to me where is this back radiation getting hot enough to heat the green house if, as they claim it is coming from CO2, whatever, heated by Visible light, RF radiation, UV light. It can’t be coming from the SUN because both the NASA and the Wikipedia web pages on Global warming tell me that NONE of the Suns IR energy reaches the earth. See these:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission.png

    • Dave Springer says:

      There are two categories of infrared, near and far. The sun emits near infrared. The earth emits far infrared. The absorptive properties of materials differ for near and far infrared. Write that down.

  272. Brian G Valentine says:

    Flush Wikipedia right down the toilet along with the atmospheric Greenhouse effect.

    Toss in some windmill and solar panel energy plans along with it.

  273. jae says:

    “Now, lets take Steps 1 and 2 together: If you add more of these “greenhouse gases” and nothing else changes then the rate at which the Earth, as a whole, loses energy to space is reduced. ”

    LOL. Same old Leap of Faith! Taking those two steps together does NOT lead to any such “conclusion.”

    The atmosphere could perhaps be compared to a steel rod that extends 25 km into the sky. It, too, has energy flowing in both directions, but it is not a special greenhouse effect!

    You and Singer are just WRONG, and I hope you someday realize that fact.

  274. Colin Davidson says:

    Edim, 0721 and 1228, 18MAR12.

    I agree with almost all that Edim has said. One quibble: the Surface cannot lose energy by convection. This is only operative within the atmosphere (and as a completely separate system, the sea). Energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere has to take place first – and the only mechanisms available are (net) radiation, evaporation, and conduction.

    The Kiehl-Trenberth 1997 diagram (first diagram in IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 1) is slightly misleading here. The wiggly dotted flow labelled “Thermals” is not convection, but conduction.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Sorry about a later comment where I thought you’d written something technically incorrect regarding convection. It’s all good here where you note that convection only occurs in ocean and atmosphere as separate systems. Nice touch on the Trenberth cartoon saying the thermals are actually conduction. The generally accepted technical term in this context however is not conduction but “sensible heat flux”.

  275. jae says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    March 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM
    Now Eli is just a simple bunny,

    AGREED!

  276. D_Cotton says:

    Study the graphic on this page http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/why-i-am-global-warming-skeptic

    There you will see just how much of the solar radiation is absorbed by water vapour compared with how much less terrestrial radiation is absorbed by it.

    You will also see the carbon dioxide absorption of Solar near IR (as on the graphic in my Section 6) at just over 2?m.

    Note that carbon dioxide does not absorb much of the majority of the surface radiation in the 7.5 to 11?m range, only that which in the 16?m range which is equivalent to about -90 deg.C – colder than anywhere in the troposphere or the surface.

    So you would only get significant radiation from carbon dioxide up near the mesopause at the top of the mesosphere (above the stratosphere) where temperatures just about get down to -100 deg.C. And what it absorbs up there would be minimal.

    Furthermore, photons emitted at -90 deg.C (183 K) each have only about 13% of the energy of those at 2?m which are radiated by parts of the Sun that are about 1450 K.

    So, when carbon dioxide does most of its capturing and emitting at about 16?m (and -90 deg.C – way above the stratosphere) each photon captured has only 13% of the energy of each of the photons it captured from the Sun, at least half of which it radiated back to space, thus preventing that energy reaching the surface, and so having a cooling effect. How much of the radiation from layers at -90 deg.C do you suppose gets back to the surface?

    This information has always been readily available, and there is no excuse for the “cover up” of absorbed solar IR and the focus on terrestrial emission only.

  277. jae says:

    BTW, Roy: why is the empirical evidence over the past 15 or so years NOT supporting your nonsense? It sure ain’t volcanoes. According to all the nut-case warmers it could not possibly be the sun. What, oh soothsayer?

  278. Brian G Valentine says:

    “Deniers” are supposed to just “shut up because you don’t know what you’re talking about and besides you’re making ‘skeptics’ look bad”

    Well, I’m real sorry if I make people look bad. Truly sorry.

  279. jae says:

    One more comment before I go back into my frustrated silence:

    It’s OK with me if I’m called a skeptic, false-skeptic, bad skeptic, stuuupid skeptic, moron, whatever. BUT the word DENIER should not be used. BY anyone who claims (s)he is a SCIENTIST! ESPECIALLY!!! anyone who knows history!

    For crying out loud….sick….

  280. Edim says:

    Colin Davidson says:
    March 18, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    “One quibble: the Surface cannot lose energy by convection.”

    Maybe it’s just a question of semantics, but in Engineering the conduction (diffusion) at a surface is combined with the heat transfer by bulk fluid flow and together they’re called convection.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_transfer

    Convection

    “Convective heat transfer, or convection, is the transfer of heat from one place to another by the movement of fluids, a process that is essentially transfer of heat via mass transfer. (In physics, the term fluid means any substance that deforms under shear stress; it includes liquids, gases, plasmas, and some plastic solids.) Bulk motion of fluid enhances heat transfer in many physical situations, such as (for example) between a solid surface and the fluid.[8] Convection is usually the dominant form of heat transfer in liquids and gases. Although sometimes discussed as a third method of heat transfer, convection is usually used to describe the combined effects of heat conduction within the fluid (diffusion) and heat transference by bulk fluid flow streaming.[9] The process of transport by fluid streaming is known as advection, but pure advection is a term that is generally associated only with mass transport in fluids, such as advection of pebbles in a river. In the case of heat transfer in fluids, where transport by advection in a fluid is always also accompanied by transport via heat diffusion (also known as heat conduction) the process of heat convection is understood to refer to the sum of heat transport by advection and diffusion/conduction.”

    • Dave Springer says:

      Colin and Edin are right and wrong. The “surface” is either water or rocks. Rocks don’t flow or diffuse much so it isn’t convection. Rocks heat the air through conduction and the air then convects. But still not much as sensible heat loss is less than 10% of the total. The ocean actually does convect but it doesn’t convect into the atmosphere unless one conflates evaporation with convection. The ocean convects upward, downward, and sideways but not upward beyond the air/water interface.

  281. Colin Davidson says:

    I would like to thank Edim for this clarification, but would also point out that in the quoted passage the author makes clear that he means convection/diffusion is WITHIN the fluid.

    Be that as it may, Edim’s point is correct:
    “The multimodal heat transfer at the surface needs to be solved properly.”

    It is not possible for an atmosphere with uniformly increased temperature to force heating of the surface to the same increase of temperature, without invoking positive feedback, a decrease in conduction, a decrease in evaporation, or an unbalanced surface.

  282. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Cotton,

    There are at least two flaws in your paper.

    1) Atmospheric CO2 has a net heating effect because terrestrial radiation is 100% IR ranging from 3 to 50 microns while solar radiation is about half IR and half visible light ranging from 0.15 to 4 microns. The total IR of terrestrial is greater than total IR solar. The flux of terrestrial IR is about 350 W/m^2 and solar IR is 120 W/m^2.

    2) Absorption and emission of IR does not depend on the temperatures of the source and target. It depends on the material’s emissivity and absorptivity. Kirchhoff’s law states that at thermodynamic equilibrium, emissivity and absorptivity are equal. Two radiating bodies, cool and warm, are not in thermodynamic equilibrium. There is a net heat transfer. The warm body is cooling. The cool body is warming. Hence, emissivity and absorptivity are not equal for each body.

    But it doesn’t mean the warm body is not absorbing radiation (heat) from the cool body. It does even though there is no increase in temperature (since it is cooling). The rate of cooling is slowing down. Therefore, without the cool body, the warm body will cool faster at a given time (say one hour). In that sense, the cool body can “warm” the hot body because after one hour the temperature of the hot body is higher than if you remove the cool body. There is no violation of the laws of thermodynamics.

    Reflection and scattering of electromagnetic waves are excluded in the energy calculation in Kirchhoff’s law and Stefan-Boltzmann law. Hence, an increase in radiation flux is always accompanied by increase in temperature since the non-thermal component of radiation has already been excluded.

  283. Doug Cotton says:

    Dr Strangelove

    As both Prof Claes Johnson and I say (in total agreement, he being one of the four reviewers of my paper) it’s not about W/m2 – for a start, the photons backradiated by CO2 with WL around 2 microns each have 5 times the energy of those emitted by the surface at around 10 microns.

    But even that has nothing to do with it, because it is all about the effect of carbon dioxide with its limited range of frequencies having little effect on radiative cooling, which is offset by gains in other transfer processes between the surface and atmosphere.

    Once energy is up in the atmosphere (even latent heat) it cannot return to the surface or that lower layer of the atmosphere which determines what we call climate by any physical process other than perhaps an insignificant amount of precipitation that’s actually warmer than the surface. Please read the paper more carefully, because all this is therein.

    In your second point you show no indication of having read what I have written in the paper on these very points, explaining why the conjectures you state are not valid.

    Again I ask you to either read the paper carefully in full, or refrain from making comments which clearly indicate you have disregarded the whole basis of the arguments therein.

    You might also note the temperature analysis in the Appendix which confirms that carbon dioxide has had zero warming effect any time in the last 2000 years or more, at least – not even pre-industrial levels.

  284. Edim says:

    Colin, we agree basically. The reason for putting together convection and diffusion (conduction) and calling it convection is that the diffusion in fluids is neglible for most purposes – still air is a VERY good insulator. Only convection needs to be calculated/estimated and it can be very complicated (fluid velocity, deltaT, boundary layers, dimensionless numbers, turbulence…). Conduction in air is neglible and basically “included” in calculation of convection.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Convection of dry air is a small term as well. In surface heat budgets the strong convective component is called “latent” because virtually all the energy is in latent heat of vaporization. Dry air convection and diffusion and conduction is called “sensible” and it’s generally less than 10% of the heat budget. Radiation and latent heat loss dominate the show over land and water respectively.

  285. PB says:

    Douglas:

    I don’t know what it will take for you to GET IT.

    Your paper is FLAWED in a fundamental way. That does not mean your conclusion with respect to the net effects is wrong. It means you are getting to what (arguably) is correct by logic which is (unarguably) wrong. That makes it a bad paper.

    You continually invoke your conclusion to justify how you got there. Can’t you see how this is not an argument? You can’t say to people who say your paper has problems, “Go read the thing you are complaining about. The answers are all in there.My conclusion is correct therefore the whole thing is a masterpiece.”

    There is no there there!

    It’s like when my wife comes home all happy about how much she saved by buying a $500 dress on sale for $250. I’m happy about the $250 savings but I’d be a lot happier if she had stayed home, right?

  286. PB says:

    One more thing…..

    You can’t get a proper peer review solely from people who agree with you. This is precisely what is going on with the CAGW folks and we beat hell out of them for it.

  287. mkelly says:

    Dr. Strangelove says:
    March 19, 2012 at 12:03 AM
    “There is a net heat transfer.”

    Would you be so kind as to define what you mean by “net heat transfer”?

  288. Bryan says:

    Dave Springer says:
    March 19, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Bryan says:
    March 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    “He cannot explain how EM radiation with shorter wavelength than visible blue can cause a direct thermal effect.”

    Whether he explains it or not it’s something that is observed. Ultra-violet lasers are employed for cutting of things that for one reason or another are not well suited to cutting by visible or infrared lasers.

    We are discussing equilibrium thermodynamics not a forced situation caused by a machine like a laser.

    Does the fact that it will not occur without a machine being involved not tell you something?

  289. Brian G Valentine says:

    “Thus the source of heat for the stratosphere in the first approximation is the ocean not the sun. Greenhouse gases act as insulators and exclude heat from the stratosphere. Insulation does not violate any thermodynamic laws.”

    Hunh? The stratosphere warms in excess of the “adiabatic lapse” with altitude as a result of the photochemical dissociation of molecular oxygen to form ozone.

    Greenhouse gases are molecules and they conduct heat like anything else composed of molecules.

    Everybody’s talking past each other here, I can readily identify with the apparent source of Singer’s and Spencer’s exasperation: “Nobody’s listening to me.”

    I think everybody typing on this web page is experiencing the same frustration, and so be it.

    This issue generates as much passion as religion does with some people, some could conclude that it would be better to avoid the topic entirely.

    • Dave Springer says:

      You’re not capable of listening at this level. You need to be able to at least get a passing grade in high school physical science and it’s clear you cannot. Whether you ever could is a separate question but you cannot now.

      If you want to make yourself feel better by saying everyone is talking past each other then be my guest. In your case some of us are talking over your head not around it.

  290. KR says:

    Dave Springer – “A temperature higher than S-B is impossible. An atmosphere may only lower it by raising albedo. It cannot make the surface blacker than black which is exactly what you are saying.”

    That would be incorrect. A blackbody emission represents the _lowest_ temperature that can emit a particular amount of energy, as the theoretic blackbody is the most efficient thermal radiator possible.

    Any body that has an emissivity lower than 1.0 is a _less_ efficient radiator, and must be HOTTER than a blackbody emitting the same energy. Hence any decrease in surface emissivity to space (such as by increases in GHG’s raising the effective altitude of emission to colder portions of the atmosphere, and hence radiating less energy) lowers the energy emitted to space – and hence causes warming by simple conservation of energy.

    You simply have the relationship of emissivity and energy radiated at any particular temperature _backwards_.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Sorry KR but you’re wrong. The ideal black body is a perfect absorber and a perfect emitter. It is also a perfect conductor and has no mass so it responds instantly. Good absorbers are good emitters. You CAN NOT raise surface temperature higher than an ideal black body for a given energy input. That represents an upper limit not a lower one. This is an engineering reality and whether you acknowledge it or not it remains true. It’s also a reality that you cannot concentrate sunlight and raise the temperature of something higher than the sun. That’s another engineering reality.

    • Dave Springer says:

      http://www.ht.energy.lth.se/fileadmin/ht/Kurser/MVK160/Project_08/Fabio.pdf

      KR, flat plate solar collectors have a maximum possible temperature of 80C. This is S-B law in practical application. Don’t get a job designing solar collectors until you understand what the limitations are.

      80C corresponds to 880W/m2. 1000W/m2 is as much as you can get on the ground at high noon at the equator. Parasitic losses reduce the maximum temperature to something below the S-B temperature for 1000W/m2.

      Have you hugged an engineer today?

    • Dave Springer says:

      It’s pretty hard to believe that this is misunderstood.

      Emission cannot exceed absorption continuously without creating energy from nothing which violates conservation of energy. If the surface of the earth absorbs 200W/m2 on average then it cannot emit more than 200W/m2 on average without being a perpetuum mobile of the first kind.

      If the atmosphere were totally transparent the earth’s surface would receive 350W/m2. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE for the surface to emit more than 350W/m2. 350W/m2 corresponds to a black body temperature of 286K.

      Feel free to tell me how it can possibly emit more energy than the sun provides.

      The lack of practical knowledge of physics here which limits what we can design and build in the real world is breath-taking. This ignorance is then used as a license to interpret the laws of physics to suit whatever preconceived notions you have about global warming. Amazing.

  291. Bryan says:

    D_Cotton says:
    March 18, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Bryan said

    “He cannot explain how EM radiation with shorter wavelength than visible blue can cause a direct thermal effect”

    D_Cotton says:
    It doesn’t have to be “direct.” Its energy may hang around as extra chemical potential energy for a long time in the ozone layer, for example.

    This is the point I am making!

    IPCC science says all solar radiation reaching the Earth surface is rapidly thermalised.
    They then claim all storage of energy in the Earth is attributable to the greenhouse effect!

    Doug you are in danger of shooting yourself in the foot.

  292. Brian G Valentine says:

    This is all so complicated, maybe we could get Daryl Hannah or Rosie O’Donnell or somebody like that to straighten this out for us.

  293. Colin Davidson says:

    Dave Springer 0813, 19MAR12 said:
    “Convection of dry air is a small term as well. In surface heat budgets the strong convective component is called “latent” because virtually all the energy is in latent heat of vaporization. Dry air convection and diffusion and conduction is called “sensible” and it’s generally less than 10% of the heat budget. Radiation and latent heat loss dominate the show over land and water respectively.”

    Once again, we have to be careful. Atmospheric convection plays no part in the Surface energy budget. Conduction into the air does.

    According the Kiehl &Trenberth, Radiation and conduction (“thermals”) are approximately equal, each about 20% of the energy transfer into the atmosphere. Evaporated water is the other 60%.

    A second point. Dry air convection will also transport net surface radiation converted to heat. This will be small near the surface (air temp nearly equals surface temp) and more higher up, probably around the cloud levels.

    But the original message still stands. The surface loses energy not only by radiation, but also by evaporation and conduction. If the only power source for further heating the surface is a uniformly hotter atmosphere, then that cannot force the surface to rise in temperature by the same amount.

    Any argument that a higher temperature at the Tropopause is translated to the Surface due to a constant lapse rate therefore fails.

  294. Colin Davidson says:

    Dave Springer said (0813, 19MAR12);
    “Convection of dry air is a small term as well. In surface heat budgets the strong convective component is called “latent” because virtually all the energy is in latent heat of vaporization. Dry air convection and diffusion and conduction is called “sensible” and it’s generally less than 10% of the heat budget. Radiation and latent heat loss dominate the show over land and water respectively.”

    We have to be careful. Convection plays no part in the Surface energy budget. It only transports energy within the atmosphere. It is incorrect to talk of dry air convection and diffusion when discussing the surface.

    Kiehl & Trenberth 1997 (copied by IPCC in AR4) have the proportions for surface energy into the atmosphere at 20% (conduction), 20% (Radiation), 60% (Evaporation).

    [Dry air convection will also transport the radiation when it is converted into kinetic energy. This probably happens higher up, as the air near the surface is almost the same temperature as the surface.]

    But the main point stands. The surface gets rid of some energy by radiation, but the majority goes in conduction and evaporation.

    This means that it is impossible for an atmosphere which is uniformly hotter to warm the surface by the same amount. So any argument involving translation of a temperature increase at the tropopause to the surface because of a constant lapse rate, fails. And fails on energy terms.

  295. Gordon Robertson says:

    Roy “Infrared absorbing gases reduce the rate at which the Earth loses infrared ….”

    With regard to your infrared photographs of a house losing heat, you suggest that you can reduce the loss of heat using insulation. All greenhouse gases account for 1% of atmospheric gases. If you insulated 1% of the walls and roofs of your home using insulation, how much heat would it retain?

    A fellow meteorologist, Craig Bohren, has already labeled the heat trapping theory as plain silly. The argument about the 2nd law was aimed at AGW not the greenhouse effect. Fred Singer is making the same mistake. The AGW theory is not about trapping energy, it is about back-radiation. The AGW crowd have somehow theorized that the energy back-radiated by GHGs can raise the surface temperature through positive feedback. They think it can be added to solar energy to do that.

    As a person who works in electronics, I am intimate with positive feedback theory. It cannot work without amplification. You play guitar. Turn up the pickup controls on an electric guitar then turn the amp up till a struck note sustains for a long period of time. That is positive feedback. Now turn the amp off, and the PF will stop immediately.

    It is plain that the atmospheric positive feedback does not come from trapping IR, but from a misunderstanding of how pf works. You keep talking about energy transfer when you should be talking about heat flow. IR energy is not heat till it contacts a body and causes the energy of its atoms to increase. If you talk about heat flow, you must consider the limitations set by the 2nd law and you cannot get around it by talking about IR energy levels.

    I wish you’d drop the beliefs and thought experiments, Roy, and give us actual numbers. The Nimbus graph you supplied is measured using milliwatts per m^2. Exactly how much energy is being trapped?

    It is very obvious that CO2, with a density of 0.04% of atmospheric gases is not going to trap anything significant. That’s for NATURAL CO2, and the IPCC admits in AR4 that anthropogenic CO2 is a SMALL fraction of natural CO2. It’s actually about 4% if you work it out from the accompanying graph.

    Still, you cannot dismiss the 2nd law by talking about a vague net energy flow. If you are implying that the surface can warm GHGs at a lower temperature, then claim those GHGs can give it back so as to raise the surface temperature, you don’t understand thermodynamics or the 2nd law.

    Clausius was plain with his meaning of the 2nd law and he applied it to radiation as well. It is simply not possible to transfer enough heat from a cooler body to a warmer body that warmed it, resulting in the warming body rising in temperature.

    The heat trapping theory makes absolutely no sense based on the rarity of CO2 alone. One might be able to justify such an argument using water vapour, or the water content of clouds, but to claim it based on ACO2, which is about 1/1000 of 1% of atmospheric gases, based on a 390 ppmv density is ridiculous.

  296. Gordon Robertson says:

    from the Sun does not reach the ground (see links at end)”.

    NASA are seriously confused. They awarded Roy and John Christy medals for excellence for their satellite data sets, then completely ignored the data sets. Same with NOAA. It’s their satellites and they completely ignore what the sat data is saying.

    The notion of back-radiation completely ignores the physics of what is going on. When atoms absorb energy, not just GHGs, but any atoms, they vibrate harder and their temperatures increase. Conversely, when they vibrate harder, they give off more energy.

    The satellite telemetry measures microwave vibrations in O2 molecules. How do the O2 molecules get the energy to raise their temperatures and vibrate harder? Now…please don’t tell me the 1% of GHGs are transferring their energy to N2 and O2.

    In this article, Roy refers to hot air rising. Air is 98% N2 and O2. How does that work? Where does it get the energy to cause it to heat up and rise?

    I think there is something seriously missing in a theory that ignores N2 and O2 while focusing on a gas that is a tiny fraction of 1% of atmospheric gases.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Gordon Robertson says:
      March 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM

      “The notion of back-radiation completely ignores the physics of what is going on. When atoms absorb energy, not just GHGs, but any atoms, they vibrate harder and their temperatures increase.”

      Sorry, but that’s wrong. Many other things can happen. For instance it takes 1 BTU to raise the temperature of a pound of water 1F. It takes 1000 BTU to turn a pound of water at 212F into a pound of steam at 212F.

      This is very fundamental physical science. A fifth grader should know it. Yet you do not. That’s sad. What on earth are you doing writing on a science blog?

      • Myrrh says:

        “Sorry, but that’s wrong. Many other things can happen. For instance it takes 1 BTU to raise the temperature of a pound of water 1F. It takes 1000 BTU to turn a pound of water at 212F into a pound of steam at 212F.”

        That’s not what Gordon Robertson is talking about here – he is simply giving the process of absorption of energy on an atomic (and molecular) scale of oxygen and nitrogen, air, the absorbed energy moves these into vibration (which is what it takes to heat matter up) and the temperature goes up as the average of the kinetic energy – the more rapidly they are moving the higher the temperature. You are talking about phase change from a liquid to a gas.

        Heat capacity is related and water with its high heat capacity can absorb a lot of thermal energy, heat, before its temperature goes up – this is what creates inshore and offshore breezes from the temperature differences between ocean and land.

        For example, even though they have both been receiving equal amounts of the Sun’s heat during the day, the invisible thermal infrared, the ocean will be cooler than the land because the land heats up more quickly and therefore the air above it heats up more quickly and rises, as it rises the higher density (pressure) colder air over the ocean sweeps in under the less dense heated air rising above the ground.

        Oxygen and nitrogen have a much lower heat capacity than water, they will heat up more quickly and loses heat more quickly, so at night the situation is reversed, the air over the land cools and becomes denser and colder than the air over the ocean which is still warmer retaining its thermal energy and the air above it warmer and rising, the denser colder air over land will get pulled underneath.

        Hot air rises. The molecules of oxygen and nitrogen above the ground are heated up, this, as described, is by them absorbing energy, it takes energy to move the molecules to heat them up. If you rub your hands together that is mechanical energy moving the molecules in your skin and heating them up and the faster you rub the more mechanical energy you are putting into moving them, kinetic energy, and the faster they move the hotter they get.

        I’m not sure what a 5th grader is being taught now with all this AGW support fictional fisics in the mix.. I didn’t realise just how much respect I had for NASA until I found it had changed to push the fictional AGW fisics, I was appalled yes, but more, it hurt. That they could go from teaching kids the truth that the heat we feel from the Sun is thermal infrared and that near infrared isn’t hot, that we can’t even feel it, to teaching the fiction that shortwaves heat the land and oceans and the real thermal energy of the Sun doesn’t reach us.. A year ago before I discovered this I asked a friend’s child, then eight, what she’d like to do when she grew up, she replied without hesitation, “I want to work for NASA” – I was so delighted at her interest..

  297. Gordon Robertson says:

    Sorry…that previous post lost its header…it was from Question asks: and talks about NASA claiming IR from the Sun does not reach the ground.

  298. Doug Cotton says:

    PB: I believe I have given cogent reasons why any and every objection you have expressed has been flawed. However, I respect your right to an opinion and your belief in the authority of early scientists and perhaps your lecturers or textbooks. I’d be interested in your description of the mechanism by which radiative cooling is in fact slowed down by other radiation. Yes, my explanation is in the paper, but no doubt you have a better one that does not have to assume the Second Law is violated. Is there some reason why I should believe you rather than the four scientists who worked with me on the paper during the review process? Oh yes, of course, you have greater authority.

  299. Doug Cotton says:

    Bryan Does the fact that we have UV creams to prevent sunburn tell you anything? What happens to the radiated energy in UV radiation that reaches the Earth system? How does it get radiated back to space as IR?

    And when radiation in the visible spectrum strikes a pure yellow object and reflects yellow, what happens to the energy in the red and blue that get absorbed? Why is black ashphalt road hotter in the sun than the (near) white concrete gutter?

  300. Doug Cotton says:

    PB You can’t get a proper peer review solely from people who agree with you. This is precisely what is going on with the CAGW folks and we beat hell out of them for it.
    ________________________________

    Actually, they didn’t at first.

    But tell IPCC what your views are on this and maybe they will consider all their “proof” as not properly reviewed.

  301. Doug Cotton says:

    Excellent posts Gordon All should read.

    The only thing that radiation from carbon dioxide can do is have a very slight effect in slowing the rate of radiative cooling of the surface.

    However, if you understand the mechanism in my paper explaining how this process probably occurs, then you will realise that the small number of frequencies in radiation from CO2 in the troposphere will mean that CO2 has far less effect per molecule than water vapour. Most of CO2′s “guns” are radiated at temperatures found only in the upper mesosphere – namely around -92 deg.C.

    There are cogent reasons in my paper that, even though the radiative component of cooling is slowed, the other 60% of cooling by evaporation and diffusion followed by convection will speed up to compensate, so there is no net slowing at all.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

  302. Myrrh says:

    “IR energy is not heat till it contacts a body and causes the energy of its atoms to increase.”

    Very much with you on the it’s the heat we should be talking about, but I see that, as you’ve phrased it, a ‘half step’ in a mis-direction created by the AGWSF meme producing department which claims ‘all electromagnetic energy is the same’ and, ‘all creates heat’ and ‘it doesn’t become whatever until it meets matter’; which of course begs the question, what is the mechanism in matter which converts ‘all the same energy’ to visible blue or uv or radio waves, and so on.

    Heat is thermal energy and it’s thermal energy on the move and it’s thermal infrared – that we can feel it is because as you say, but it is that whether we feel it or not, whether or not something is affected by it, some materials for example are not good absorbers of heat.

    AGWSF has taken out the properties of the electromagnetic waves and so those arguing according to this cartoon energy budget have no concept of real heat, thermal infrared, or visible light as distinct in their properties and processes.

    Visible light is visible light, it isn’t some undifferentiated ‘electromagnetic energy’ which only becomes visible light on meeting matter. It is because of its distinct properties and processes that it is incapable of being the claimed ‘thermal energy input’ heating land and oceans. Works on electronic transition level, converting to chemical energy for example in photosynthesis, not to heat, and water is a transparent medium for it so not absorbed but transmitted through. It doesn’t have the physical capability of moving water molecules into vibration. It is absorbed by the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, which then send same back out, called reflection/scattering. There’s a wiki page on translucency which gives the four possible outcomes.

    Heat is heat. When we turn on an electric or oil fired oven and open the door, there is no visible light, there is heat, and this flow of heat is the invisible thermal infrared. That’s exactly, exactly, the same heat we feel from the Sun. And it only takes around 8 minutes for it to get to us here on Earth.

    This ‘half step’ is mis-direction as it generates endless arguments about ‘what is heat’ etc., to detract from the fact that the cartoon energy budget is comic. Because, lots of reasons, but here, it claims that shortwave is thermal, it gives the actual properties of thermal infrared which is heat to visible light and the shortwaves either side, which working on electronic transition levels are incapable of heating up matter by moving the molecules into vibration. Further, it takes out direct heat from the Sun reaching Earth altogether! It’s nuts, but people believe this who have been educated to believe it.

    Those who still understand that the heat we feel from the Sun is the invisible thermal infrared which is physically is capable of heating us up, can only sigh..

    Clausius was plain with his meaning of the 2nd law and he applied it to radiation as well. It is simply not possible to transfer enough heat from a cooler body to a warmer body that warmed it, resulting in the warming body rising in temperature.

    Quite so.. But, the AGWSF meme producing department has been busy here too, it claims that ‘on a micro level’ this doesn’t apply, and refers back to the 2nd law by statistics. However, the statistical is merely making the assumption that ‘there’s a random micro state’ which then comes out in ‘net’ flow from hotter to colder as per 2nd law. In other words the statistical has taken the 2nd law as its premise and then created a scenario for it on the micro level, without ever having shown that this is what actually happens on a micro level. Nor, without ever giving a mechanism which stops the colder from heating the warmer to give the 2nd law as outcome.

    What AGWSF have done here is argue as if that assumed micro state actually exists, and so have come up with this idea of a ‘backradiation’ of actually the colder heating the warmer, as in the Yes Virginia article.

    The ‘undifferentiated electromagnetic energy which creates heat’ are the photons of energy they describe and regardless whether in reality they are heat or light they claim these can further heat the hotter source of them, that they are all thermal.

    They have lost all sense of the reality of physical matter here, the different properties and processes differentiated, just as they have when they take the literal description of the basic ideal gas and actually think the atmosphere is the empty space described with hard dots of molecules travelling at great speed unemcumbered by volume or weight, gravity or attraction, merely bouncing off each other to ‘thoroughly mix’. Ideal gas is a purely imaginary construct, much like average, useful in context, but no real gas, and these are the actual terms used, ideal and real, no real gas obeys ideal gas law.

    Put the two together and you have no convection only radiation in a vacuum, and, you have no way for clouds to form…

    ..even though they try to side-step the problem by saying that water vapour isn’t ideal gas, still doesn’t solve their problem of how clouds form..

    So, you can talk about IR energy as heat if it is heat, that is, the actual invisible thermal infrared, which is the thermal energy of the Sun radiating out, and it is this which “causes the energy of its atoms to increase” on contacting a body, which visible light can’t do.

    They continually tie themselves up in knots about all this, and tie people up arguing at cross-purposes, so it’s useful to know where their ideas of the ‘fisics’ of this comes from. It’s a fiction. And as a fiction they don’t have any necessity for internal coherence, so that’s where you get the idea of ‘heat trapping’. It is an argument used regardless that the heat capacity of carbon dioxide is practically zilch – they no more care about the reality here than they care about the scale of trace in their ‘thermal blanket’ which is practically 100% holes..

    When all their claims and fisics is put together, the KT97 and ilk deconstructed, it is an extraordinary work of the imagination – but someone has carefully constructed these ‘fisics facts’ to support it by tweaking real physics, by swapping properties around, by taking laws out of context, by missing stuff out altogether as heat direct from the Sun and the water cycle not included, and so on.

    I wish you’d drop the beliefs and thought experiments, Roy, and give us actual numbers.

    He doesn’t have any. We all ask in vain for the production of proof and method to back up any of these claims. It’s never forthcoming because it doesn’t exist. Where can you find any figures for visible light as from the Sun heating water? Where can you find the heat trapping numbers for carbon dioxide with its real heat capacity?

    All they can do is produce illusory ‘experiments’ which prove nothing of what they claim such as the Beeb’s flask of carbon dioxide v flask of air heated – so the carbon dioxide heats up quicker, of course it does, low heat capacity gases will heat up quicker – but they will also cool down quicker. But they don’t show you that. Neither do they give you an analysis of the ‘air’ in the other flask – how much water vapour in it? Water has a very high heat capacity, it can ‘trap’ heat, taking much longer to heat up and correspondingly taking longer to cool down. Why not simply add double the ‘atmospheric’ carbon dioxide to one flask to compare?

    All sleight of hand, including thought experiments based on fictional properties and processes.

  303. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    “As both Prof Claes Johnson and I say (in total agreement, he being one of the four reviewers of my paper) it’s not about W/m2 – for a start, the photons backradiated by CO2 with WL around 2 microns each have 5 times the energy of those emitted by the surface at around 10 microns.”

    You and Johnson do not understand atmospheric physics. He is professor of mathematics not of meteorology. It’s all about radiation flux (W/m^2). That’s how you compute total energy of radiation. Integrate the electromagnetic spectrum curve. The area under the curve is your radiation flux. That is mathematically equivalent to counting each IR photon times the energy of each photon. I’m sure Johnson understands the math but he’s confused about the science.

    “But even that has nothing to do with it, because it is all about the effect of carbon dioxide with its limited range of frequencies having little effect on radiative cooling, which is offset by gains in other transfer processes between the surface and atmosphere.”

    No. CO2 has warming effect not cooling. Only radiative heat transfer can change the average temperature of the earth system. I already explained this to you in another post.

    “Once energy is up in the atmosphere (even latent heat) it cannot return to the surface or that lower layer of the atmosphere which determines what we call climate by any physical process other than perhaps an insignificant amount of precipitation that’s actually warmer than the surface.”

    So where does the heat go once in the upper atmosphere? It radiates into space. Since CO2 slows down this outgoing radiation, that’s how CO2 warms the atmosphere.

    “You might also note the temperature analysis in the Appendix which confirms that carbon dioxide has had zero warming effect any time in the last 2000 years or more, at least – not even pre-industrial levels.”

    It’s just a temperature chart of last century. You cannot infer CO2 causation or lack of it from that chart. You need to demonstrate that from the laws of physics and mathematical modeling of feedbacks.

  304. Doug Cotton says:

    Dr Strangelove

    Regarding your second paragraph, my response is in Section 2 to 5.

    Why do you feel you need to “teach” me something that I already have in the paper? I have learnt something whilst studying and tutoring physics for over 50 years. You might be surprised just how applicable physics and applied mathematics are to heat transfer theory and radiative transfer theory. The only trouble is Boltzmann got it wrong when he assumed heat transfers in opposite directions. But you can trust in his authority if you so choose, and we shall have to agree to disagree.

    You cannot infer CO2 causation or lack of it from that chart

    Yes I can in conjunction with the linked articles about 1,000 year and 60 year cycles, plus about 1,000 hours of study I’ve put into studying atmospheric physics and climate science.

  305. Doug Cotton says:

    It’s all about radiation flux (W/m^2). That’s how you compute total energy of radiation.

    Indeed it is how you compute total energy of radiation Dr Strangelove.

    But unfortunately total energy of radiation is not always total thermal energy transferred, unless the target happens to be at 0 deg.K which it may be close to iff it is in space.

    When radiation leaves a source it “drops off” some of its thermal energy only when a target is cooler. Most of the energy in the radiation that is not used for warming continues onwards in scattered radiation until it meets the next target. No energy is dropped off if a target is warmer than the previous one. The Earth’s surface is just one of maybe millions of targets which it zig zags between until it eventually escapes to space (as all of it will) and starts finding targets there. Eventually it gets down to being equivalent to BB radiation at the background space temperature a couple of degrees or so above absolute zero.

  306. Doug Cotton says:

    Dr Strangeloev

    No. CO2 has warming effect not cooling. Only radiative heat transfer can change the average temperature of the earth system.

    I was talking about a “warming effect” – namely the slight warming effect due to the well known fact that incident radiation reduces the radiative rate of cooling of an object. You must know this from basic physics.

    What does not cause warming of the surface is the assumed “radiative heat transfer” of thermal energy from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface, as physics dictates that this is just as impossible as water running uphill in a creek bed. My paper explains this in great detail in Sections 1 to 5, so please don’t post some standard IPCC conjectures here about that – I’ve read them all and know why they are wrong. Gordon Robertson agrees above.

    And by the way, heat transfer within a system could not “change the average temperature” – that’s mathematical.

  307. Doug Cotton says:

    I wonder where Roy is?

    Oh I remember, he answered all the inevitable questions mentioned in these 400 posts in advance, and went off dancing the two step.

  308. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    “heat transfer within a system could not “change the average temperature” – that’s mathematical”

    This is really a good statement because this is exactly my argument against your claim that evaporation, conduction and convection will offset any warming effect of CO2. So you agree with me? These heat transfers are within the earth system and cannot change the average temperature. CO2 can slow down radiation to space and change the ave. temp.

    BTW Boltzmann got it right. It’s you who couldn’t understand or accept the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

    I challenge you to do a simple experiment to determine if a warm body can absorb and convert to thermal energy the radiation from a cool body. You claim this is impossible.

    Get three mercury thermometers. Heat the two to 50C. Keep one at room temperature at 25C. Get a block of clay and stick the thermometers 1 cm into the clay to hold them vertically. Their mercury bulbs on top.

    Roll a black art paper into hollow tube, 2 cm in diameter and 50 cm long. The black color is the inside wall of the tube. Insert one thermometer at 50C into the paper tube. The mercury bulb must be deep inside the tube. The thermometer must not touch the tube (to avoid heat conduction).

    Thermometer A is at 25C, Thermometer B at 50C, Thermometer C at 50C inside the tube. The paper tube is a black body radiator at room temp. of 25C. If your claim is true, Themometer C will not thermalize the radiation of the tube because it is cooler. No effect on temperature of C. B and C will have same temperature.

    Time until B cools to A at 25C. Then check the reading of C. If you are correct, C = B = A = 25C. I predict B 25C. The cool tube will warm the hot thermometer.

    Let’s settle this once and for all. Do the experiment and tell us the result.

  309. Dr. Strangelove says:

    The symbols didn’t show up right. Let me say that again. I predict Thermometer C will be hotter than Thermometer B or greater than 25C. The cool tube will warm the hot Thermometer C. What do you say Cotton?

  310. Doug Cotton says:

    Dr Strangelove

    The only warming effect of CO2 is to slow the rate of radiative cooling of the surface a tiny bit.

    So if other cooling effects (evaporation, diffusion) compensate by increasing their rates of cooling, then they negate the decrease in the rate of radiative cooling caused by carbon dioxide. There’s nothing else CO2 can do.

    It’s all in my paper, so you can see I’m being consistent in what I say.

    Now what else have you written, let’s read that now …

    Boltzmann got the right answer mathematically, but the concept of physical two-way heat transfer violates the Second Law, just as would water flowing up a small hill and down a bigger one on the other side.

    Oh we have an experiment that’s going to “settle it once and for all.” Let’s see what you’re talking about here …

    My theory, in line with standard phsics, would say that the radiative rate of cooling of C inside the black tube would be slower than that of B because

    (1) there is a more dense frequency distribution from the black surface opposing the radiation from C compared with that from the rest of the room opposing B’s radiation, assuming the walls of the rest of the room are not black. So the transfer of thermal energy out of C by radiation will be slower. That’s about half of the cooling process.

    (2) A solid in contact with air will diffuse its energy into the air – see my lamp holder experiment at http://earth-climate.com and also the second paragraph on “Heat Transfer” at Wikipedia. Hence the air in the tube will warm and have an additional effect slowing the rate of both radiation and diffusion because of the reduced temperature difference.

    (3) The air warmed in the tube would warm faster than that adjacent to B because convection and diffusion in the air is more restricted in the tube.

    I have no idea why you think I would have thought C would cool as fast as B. But it shows me you haven’t understood my paper or the points I have made in posts here, or even basic heat transfer theory.

    You have only to read my paper in full to understand my points. What I have said in all these posts is in the paper in more detail with graphics where needed and links.

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  311. Bryan says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    “Bryan Does the fact that we have UV creams to prevent sunburn tell you anything? What happens to the radiated energy in UV radiation that reaches the Earth system?”

    Sunburn is caused by UV light causing a chemical effect on the skin!

    Do you know the difference between a thermal and a chemical effect?

    Doug asks

    “How does it(UV) get radiated back to space as IR?”

    Kelvin pointed out that all radiation will eventually be thermal after several billion years.
    For instance the fossil fuels are examples the effects of trapped EM radiation released after 400 million years or so.
    Burning them will produce some of the IR you refer to.

    Once again EM radiation shorter than visible blue will not spontaneously cause an instantaneous thermal effect.
    Despite what IPCC science says.

    Please read this article from your favorite source to get your facts right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet

  312. MikeB says:

    Colin Davidson

    For some you reason you keep repeating incorrect figures for what you call Radiation, Conduction and Evaporation. These are not the figures given by Kiehl and Trenberth as you claim. You have made a mistake somewhere. According to Kiehl and Trenberth(1997) the greatest heat loss from the surface of the Earth, by far, is due to radiation. Radiation losses account for 80% of all heat lost from the surface.
    http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/26/do-trenberth-and-kiehl-understand-the-first-law-of-thermodynamics/

    • Dave Springer says:

      “According to Kiehl and Trenberth(1997) the greatest heat loss from the surface of the Earth, by far, is due to radiation. Radiation losses account for 80% of all heat lost from the surface.”

      Absolutely not.

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

      Trenberth et all numbers in diagram at top of page.

      Surface absorbs 168W/m2

      thermal (conductive) loss 24
      latent (evaporation) loss 78
      radiative loss 66

      radiative loss is 66/168 = 39%

      write that down

  313. Doug Cotton says:

    Bryan

    I’m not normally one to defend the IPCC, but it is appropriate that their energy diagrams do show all energy processes, even if some are delayed. It might take a hundred years for the chemical energy due to sunburn to exit your decaying body, but there are other bodies that have already been in the ground for 100 years and are now shedding their stored energy from UV.

    Fiurthermore, as you can see from the graphic in Section 6 of my paper (linked from my site) well over half of all solar UV radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere.

    You still haven’t addressed the issue of what happens to visible light which penetrates deep into the ocean but does not reach the floor of the ocean, nor exit the ocean as visible light. And that is about 70% of all such radiation reaching the earth’s surface. And what happens to the colours which are not reflected because the radiation does not happen to strike a white target?

    The major shortcoming of the IPCC is not mentioning the absorption by water vapour (and some CO2) of some incident solar IR radiation which would have warmed the surface, thus adding to the cooling effect of water vapour.

  314. Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    FOR GIRMA.
    Two replies of mine are posted above, after relevant posts of GIRMA dated 15th. To make the last more visible:
    “Please kindly have a look to my reply to your previous post.
    You say now:
    “You only could have increased GHG warming if we had constant warming from the sun day and night. The whole of night, the earth surface is only losing heat energy and gaining no solar energy.”
    This is NONSENSE.
    If during the night you have an “insulating” agent (CO2, water vapour … whatever), with exactly the same rest of scenario, early in the morning will be MUCH WARMER – NOT THAN THE PREVIOUS EVENING, OF COURSE, BUT THAN EARLY IN THE MORNING BUT WITHOUT THE “INSULATING” AGENT.
    It really surprises me that so many people, scientists included, confuse this very basic point, after so many years discussing global warming …”

  315. PB says:

    Douglas:

    I’ve not appealed to authority in my position. I’ve appealed to the simple observation that hundreds and hundreds of engineering applications have successfully used the physics in standard texts regarding this topic of radiative energy exchange.

    You, on the other hand, have serially appealed to ‘the paper’ as an unquestionable authority on the subject. This, bolstered with your panel of experts who have collaborated with you, seems to be your authority.

    Well I’ve gone off and read their stuff. The Claes Johnson paper is 2/3 rant. His math is impressive. I’d expect no less. I’m no mathematical giant, just a simple engineer but I know enough about math to know that if I’m the one setting the boundaries and asking the questions I can prove any thing I want. The fact that his rant is so all consuming makes my suspicious that his skills at math may be his own self serving appeal to authority. Math alone proves nothing. Since he is postulating a complete overturn of a hundred years or so of physics, his math MUST be put to the test by real world experimentation to prove he’s right.

    I know you claim this was done by Berthold Klein. Well I nearly peed myself laughing at this experiment. This is the one where gas filled balloons are floated over a black mat lying on the ground while measuring the mat temperature. He could have peed on the mat without seeing a temperature change. This experiment reminded of something your grandchild does while ‘playing scientist’ in the back yard. It’s laughable.

    Here’s what I would have you consider. 100 years of physics has shown that thermal radiation with a body obeys reciprocity, i.e. if a body is emmissive at some frequency it is equally absorptive at that frequency. The peak temp of its spectrum has nothing to do with it.

    Now considering your ‘Claes’ theory, a body that only absorbs above some magic cutoff. If this were true it could not absorb anything below that cutoff from any mechanism at all. This implies that it would have no ability to emit below that cutoff because it could never obtain such energy to begin with. You would have a Planck distribution with a discontinuous, infinite slope at Tpeak.

    I have no clue why matter behaves as it does; not my field. But I do know that the people who have gone before me have figured a set of maths that work and are in agreement with the measured objective realities of same. I’ll be sticking with them until something provable trashes it.

    You are the one overturning this established working set. The way it works is that the over-turner needs to explain what’s happening. You haven’t done it, nor has Claes or Berthold.

  316. Doug Cotton says:

    MikeB

    Take a look at a net energy budget such as this ..
    http://earth-climate.com/energybudget.jpg

    Trenberth and the IPCC double count because, when radiation from the cooler atmosphere happens to strike the surface it is not absorbed and converted to thermal energy. If you do count it, then it is equivalent (energy wise) to diffuse reflection and should not be included in the calculations of thermal energy leaving the surface, because it never was such and never had the opportunity to exit by the other processes such as evaporation and diffusion.

    Solar energy warms the surface and the energy exits once, no more than about 40% by radiation (probably less) and the rest by other processes which cannot be affected by carbon dioxide as explained in my paper.

  317. Anne Debeil says:

    Dear Dr Spencer,
    I would like to react to the following §

    “Yes, the CO2 absorption bands are already mostly saturated…but the wings of those bands are not, as is evident in the above graph of satellite measurements. This saturation effect partly explains why the approximate 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since pre-industrial times has resulted in only a 1% decrease in the rate of IR loss by the Earth to space (theoretically calculated). This is already accounted for in the climate models used by the IPCC.”

    Could you be more precise on this “wing effect” of the 13-15 micron LWR. I understand that it means that, with increasing CO2 concentration, the wings would open more, so that the bucket would become wider. The 1 % IR decrease is theoretically calculated. On what basis? On the basis of absorption spectra?
    The wings of the bucket have also to do with the water content and the IR absorption by water molecules ( in the arctic, on a cloudless day the wings are very steep). So it is not easy to interpret and distinguish CO2 from water.
    Can somebody show an observational proof and calculation of the amount of energy that can be attributed to this wing effect, for an increase of CO2 ( we now have satellit data already from 1979)??
    Another question is also, how can we distinguish the CO2 molecules radiating to space, being excited by LWR from the earth, from those excited ( trough various mecanisms) by the sun?
    Best regards, and thank you very much for this interesting discussion

  318. Doug Cotton says:

    PB

    if a body is emmissive at some frequency it is equally absorptive at that frequency
    _______________________________________

    Well it does not apply for gases when they are warmer than the emitting source, for the reasons Claes and I have explained. They don’t absorb anything in such a situation, but do when you warm the source above their own temperature. And this applies regardless of the temperature or the expected emission spectrum. It’s easy to demonstrate with spectroscopy. So Claes was right on that one.

    Now let’s see, if what you say is correct then the Earth’s surface absorbs high frequency SW radiation from a hot Sun and emits just as much at the same frequencies does it? /sarc

    I thought you said you read Computational Blackbody radiation.

    Oh, but it was wrong and you were right. /sarc

  319. PB says:

    RE:

    “Well it does not apply for gases when they are warmer than the emitting source, for the reasons Claes and I have explained.”

    We’re talking about solids, not gasses. I call foul on moving the goal posts.

    RE:

    “Now let’s see, if what you say is correct then the Earth’s surface absorbs high frequency SW radiation from a hot Sun and emits just as much at the same frequencies does it?”

    Welcome aboard. Once KE is in a solid it is fungible. It spreads out exploiting every available energy nich, making everything vibrate with a spectrum of frequencies we call the Planck distribution. Even vigorously vibrating bonds can be made more vigorous or change a mode by bumping them with incremental energy.

    If your Smart Car collides with my Dodge 3500 pickup we’ll both get dented. Yours will be bigger.

  320. Bryan says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    “Bryan I’m not normally one to defend the IPCC, but it is appropriate that their energy diagrams do show all energy processes, even if some are delayed. It might take a hundred years for the chemical energy due to sunburn to exit your decaying body, but there are other bodies that have already been in the ground for 100 years and are now shedding their stored energy from UV.”

    Well we seem to be making some progress.
    You now concede that blue light and shorter EM radiations do not instantly thermalise.
    Now lets see if you can use your new found knowledge to answer your next question

    “You still haven’t addressed the issue of what happens to visible light which penetrates deep into the ocean but does not reach the floor of the ocean, nor exit the ocean as visible light.”

    Have you noticed the sea weed and plankton in the sea.
    All part of the photosphere.
    Where do they get their energy from I wonder?
    Have you noticed that the sea is a slightly blue colour.
    Perhaps some of the blue light is scattered by the same mechanism that gives us blue skies, Rayleigh scattering.

    Instead of ignoring the energy storage capacity of photochemistry you should be advocating its storage ability to even out the climate swings.
    The energy release delay caused by photochemistry does not need to be long.
    The climate system resets itself every 24 hours.
    Remember IPCC science says the only mechanism for energy storage in the Earth climate system is the greenhouse effect.

  321. KR says:

    Dave Springer – “You CAN NOT raise surface temperature higher than an ideal black body for a given energy input.”

    Incorrect. You are conflating incoming energy (visible light) with outgoing energy (IR), without accounting for differences in how the atmosphere affects them.

    In a practical thermodynamic system, with energy incoming and outgoing, the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) leads to steady state situations where incoming energy equals outgoing energy.

    In the Earth climate the incoming energy is visible light – affected primarily by visible light albedo from the surface and clouds. Given that less than 1% of sunlight is IR, greenhouse gases have _no significant effect_ on sunlight. So for the purpose of discussing GHG effects input is unchanged.

    Outgoing energy is covered by the S-B relationship:

    Power = Area * SB constant * emissivity * Temperature ^4

    A blackbody has an emissivity of 1.0. Any object with an IR emissivity _lower_ than 1.0 must have a higher temperature to radiate the same power. Hence a perfect blackbody will have the _lowest_ temperature possible for any radiated power. If you get any other result, you’re doing your math wrong.

    Satellite observations, and the IR spectra to space, indicate an effective emissivity of 0.612 to space (all those notches below the blackbody spectra). Hence the Earth is ~33C warmer than it would be without those greenhouse gases reducing the outgoing IR.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Kirchoff’s Law – at equilibrium absorptivity and emissivity are equal at all frequencies. It is what it is. An object at equilibrium cannot emit more energy than it absorbs. That violates conservation of energy. If a surface at equilibrium is 286K it is emitting 350W/m2 and it is absorbing 350W/m2. No way around that. I’m very sorry there’s no way around it because we wouldn’t need fossil fuel if there was.

  322. Bryan says:

    KR says

    “Given that less than 1% of sunlight is IR”

    No, nearly 50% of sunlight is infra red radiation.

  323. MikeB says:

    Dave Springer
    You are not one of the stupid people who have posted here. However, on some points you are plainly wrong.
    For example, following your own link to the Kiehl and Trenberth diagram you can see that
    thermal loss = 24
    Evaporation loss = 78
    radiative loss = 390

    This is the loss from the surface – 390W/sq.m NOT 66. Which makes radiation the biggest loss from the surface.

    Anything coming back is not LOSS from the surface. This goes on the ‘incoming’ side of the ledger and does not effect the ‘outgoing’ side.

    Also, I didn’t comment on it before but….
    “You CAN NOT raise surface temperature higher than an ideal black body for a given energy input.”
    This is nonsense, as KR points out. If you can apply sufficient insolation to prevent heat escaping and still have an energy input then there is no limit to what temperature you can attain.

    Now, if you are not too angry perhaps you can help me. How do you get the ‘Reply’ function to work?

  324. Brian G Valentine says:

    Dave, you have you have done everything except answer my question.

    Insults to me don’t cover your nitwit responses, you’re not the first to apply this approach.

    • Dave Springer says:

      I’m sure you’re right about me not being the first person to insult you. You like wear a sign on your back asking for it.

  325. Bryan says:

    MikeB says

    “This is nonsense, as KR points out.”

    And KR should know all about nonsense.
    He thinks that Sunlight contains only 1% Infra Red instead of the nearly 50% it actually contains.

    Your a pile of a nonsense yourself as you have still to show how EM radiation of shorter wavelength than visible blue can be spontaneously instantly thermalised!

  326. To all:

    Firstly, you don’t need to “teach” me about any of the physics which you have quite correctly quoted. I have been “teaching” it myself to students ever since the late 1960′s.

    But I am going to keep to the matters explained in my Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics paper (published on four sites, including tallbloke, webcommentary and PSI) which is relevant to this thread because Prof Claes Johnson, who first proposed the resonance discussed in my paper, did so in the Slayers book. I am pointing out why Claes is correct and thus Roy is incorrect in his attempt to slay the Slayers.

    You will not yet find reference to “resonant scattering” or, as some are starting to call it, “pseudo scattering” because it has not yet got into the textbooks. It is certainly not the same as Rayleigh scattering. It is what Claes Johnson, professor of applied mathematics (very similar to physics) postulated and which I find, from extensive research, to be the most plausible explanation.

    I have always totally agreed with the standard equations which Tor originally reproduced in the post in question, My paper confirms that such equations give the correct result – see Section 4.

    The whole point of the paper is to discuss the fact that there can be totally distinct ways in which physical processes can be postulated which each give the same mathematical result, No one who has studied the paper could possibly miss this point, which I suggest some here have missed. The area between the Planck curves = the difference in the areas under the Planck curves – an elementary fact, but the reason why the results are the same. Hence, the fact that the result is confirmed empirically, does not differentiate between the two possible processes (two-way or one-way heat transfer) which lead to the same mathematical result.

    A siphon sucking water out of my swimming pool (a hose which goes further down into the bush) does so in a single process but if I put a hole in the hose at the top (or cut it in half if you like) there are then two separate processes. The water that had already got past the top continues to run down into the bush, but the water on the pool side drains back into the pool. It can no longer go upwards as it could when the two processes were one and net entropy did in fact increase because the hose in the bush went lower than the bottom of the pool.

    There is a direct analogy with absorption which leads to conversion to thermal energy. When this happens there are two processes involved. The first gets us to the point where we have radiated energy now appearing as thermal energy. But the second process, which can transfer that thermal energy by various means (including radiation, but also including conduction, convection etc,) is an independent process which is not linked to the first. It is not “dictated” that it must lead to reverse radiation. The hose has been cut. The water coming up no longer has to go down into the bush.

    Resonant scattering, whatever it is physically, must exist and, like diffuse reflection, it does not involve conversion of radiated energy to thermal energy, just like reflection, energy-wise. But, unlike reflection, it does affect the rate of cooling by the target.

    We have to accept that there must be such a process, even if science cannot yet explain it physically. We know its properties, even if we don’t know its exact mechanism, though that mechanism must affect the rate at which the target uses up its own energy to emit what it can.

    I do believe that I have explained this clearly enough in the paper, because those who have read and understood what I am saying (like the original reviewers) have not found any valid reason to disagree.

    In that this paper is closely related to the subject of this thread, I would ask once again that Roy and commenters consider reading what is actually said therein rather than reiterate the physics which I am saying is incorrect and has never been proven empirically, because another explanation (which does not disagree with other physics, namely the SLoT) is much more plausible than the original process of two-way heat flow proposed by the early scientists, the latter violating SLoT.

  327. Pierre R Latour says:

    Conclusion. Dr Roy Spencer’s Alabama Two Step essay, after my No Virginia chemical engineering rebuttal of his Yes Virginia essay, confirms he and his followers really do believe the basic GHG Theory assumption that down-welling back-radiation from cold CO2 molecules is actually absorbed by Earth’s oceans, deserts and jungles. The same way moonshine, reflected Sunshine, is absorbed night and day. The same way moonshine, reflected Earthshine during lunar eclipses, is absorbed night and day.

    You convinced me; I am finally willing to concede you believe all this.

    Are you willing to concede I don’t, because I believe it constitutes a Perpetual Motion Machine?

    http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/185-no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still

  328. Colin Davidson says:

    MikeB (1317, 20MAR12) said:
    “For example, following your own link to the Kiehl and Trenberth diagram you can see that
    thermal loss = 24
    Evaporation loss = 78
    radiative loss = 390

    This is the loss from the surface – 390W/sq.m NOT 66. Which makes radiation the biggest loss from the surface.

    Anything coming back is not LOSS from the surface. This goes on the ‘incoming’ side of the ledger and does not effect the ‘outgoing’ side.”

    This is not the only way to look at the numbers. The Surface Balance is:

    Absorbed_Sunlight = Net_LW_Radiation + Latent_Heat_In_Evaporated_Water + Conduction

    In other words, the Surface gets rid of the energy provided by the Sun using the mechanisms of Radiation, Evaporation and Conduction. Of these, Evaporation is the largest term. Furthermore if we look at the transfer from the Surface into the atmosphere, we see the proportions are (according to K&T) one fifth, three fifths and one fifth respectively.

    And we can also see what happens if the whole system heats up uniformly:
    Conduction stays the same (same T difference between Surface and air in contact with it)
    Evaporation increases (hotter surface therefore more water vapour)
    Therefore Net Radiation decreases by the same amount. This is tantamount to saying that Back Radiation increases by a greater amount than forward Surface radiation.

    In a nutshell, that is a big problem. Uniform heating cannot occur without an unbalanced surface, less evaporation, less conduction, or positive feedback. Claims that a temperature change at the Tropopause is uniformly translated to the Surface via a constant lapse rate fail without assuming one of these.

    Since the other 3 options are definitely invalid,the Greenhouse Hypothesis REQUIRES positive feedback as an initial assumption, not as a consequence or add-on.

  329. There’s a discussion of the energy balance in the Appendix under Q.7 in my publication Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is linked from my site.

  330. It is not my postulated mechanism that “says” two-way energy transfer violates the Second Law. It is the fact that two separate heat transfer processes are involved, one of which violates the SLoT. The siphon is one process but, when I cut the hose at the top I have two separate processes very analogous to assumed two-way heat transfer. We don’t have two way water transfer (up and down) in two separate processes, only in a single process in a siphon. Two-way heat transfer between the atmosphere and surface is never a single process. And the SLot requires a single process, which, frankly, is very obvious in real life. Surely I have made this very clear to Roy and others by now.

    So climatology has to go back to square one and admit it was wrong to assume radiation from a cooler atmosphere transfers thermal energy to a warmer surface.

    In fact, some climatologists now recognise this, so we have had three broad AGW theories ….

    (1) Assumed heat gets trapped in atmosphere and slows convection

    (2) Assumed heat gets radiated back to the surface

    (3) Assumes both the above are not correct, but radiation from atmosphere slows the rate of radiative cooling by the surface without transferring heat.

    Of these, only (3) is correct. They have “graduated” to this, but it still does not lead to AGW, because other heat transfer mechanisms (accounting for 60% of transfer from surface to atmosphere) merely speed up to compensate for any slowing down of radiation.

    They never investigated this possibility of evaporation and diffusion speeding up.

    Nor did they investigate the cooling effect of water vapour and CO2 when they absorb incoming IR solar radiation.

    It’s all in my publication linked from my site.

  331. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton,

    Your answers are full of contradictions.

    “So if other cooling effects (evaporation, diffusion) compensate by increasing their rates of cooling, then they negate the decrease in the rate of radiative cooling caused by carbon dioxide. There’s nothing else CO2 can do.”

    This contradicts your earlier claim that heat transfers within a system cannot change the average temperature. Since CO2 can change the ave. temp. but evaporation and diffusion can cancel that warming, therefore internal heat transfers can change the ave. temp.

    “Boltzmann got the right answer mathematically, but the concept of physical two-way heat transfer violates the Second Law, just as would water flowing up a small hill and down a bigger one on the other side.”

    Wrong analogy. Gravity is not heat transfer. They are governed by different physical laws. You are confusing gravitational force and heat flow.

    “My theory, in line with standard phsics, would say that the radiative rate of cooling of C inside the black tube would be slower than that of B… So the transfer of thermal energy out of C by radiation will be slower… the air in the tube will warm and have an additional effect slowing the rate of both radiation and diffusion because of the reduced temperature difference… I have no idea why you think I would have thought C would cool as fast as B.”

    You are so confused. I predicted C will be hotter than B. And you contradict yourself again. Now you claim your theory predicts a cool tube will warm a hot thermometer. But you just said “two-way heat transfer violates the 2nd Law.” The cool tube and hot thermometer interaction is a two-way radiative heat transfer. So now you agree with me?

    I won’t waste my time anymore. Make up your mind on what your theory is supposed to predict. Study first basic atmospheric physics before making a grandiose claim that your theory overturned the established laws of physics. It’s so crackpotish.

  332. Douglas J Cotton says:

    Dr Strangelove

    Have you read my publication yet? If so, then you have completely misunderstood my points. If not, you need to.

    I have not contradicted myself. You seem to think that the effect of radiation slowing the radiative rate of cooling of a warmer body has something to do with a transfer of thermal energy. My paper* explains that it is nothing of the kind. A transfer of thermal energy from a cold source to a hot target would always be an isolated, completed process which would thus violate the Second Law.

    My siphon is a correct analogy. Gravitational potential energy affects entropy every bit as much as thermal energy. Why do you think the Second Law is all about the impossibility of entropy decreasing?

    Is there anything in my explanation of your “experiment” which describes any warming process caused by a cooler surface. Absolutely not.

    Go and construct a perpetual motion machine and make a fortune, because physics says if you could construct a machine based on a process which spontaneously decreases entropy, then you could indeed use that process to produce endless energy.

    Down through the ages mankind has dreamt up ideas for perpetual motion machines, but all have failed for the very reason that such would cause entropy to decrease and thus violate the (general form of) the Second Law.

    * http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  333. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    Do we have to continue this farce? It’s becoming more absurd.

    “You seem to think that the effect of radiation slowing the radiative rate of cooling of a warmer body has something to do with a transfer of thermal energy. My paper* explains that it is nothing of the kind”

    What else could it be? Thermal means heat. If it’s not heat, what the heck is transfering that’s changing the temperature of a body? Magic?

    “Gravitational potential energy affects entropy every bit as much as thermal energy”

    Entropy is differential heat energy per unit temperature. Where are the heat and temperature in gravity?

    “Is there anything in my explanation of your “experiment” which describes any warming process caused by a cooler surface. Absolutely not.”

    So why would it be hotter? You admit the effect but deny the cause.

    “all have failed for the very reason that such would cause entropy to decrease and thus violate the (general form of) the Second Law”

    Your claim of the impossibility of “back radiation” has nothing to do with the 2nd Law as you imagine. Read my comment to Johnson.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comments

  334. Dr Strangelove

    What else could it be?
    _____________________________

    You’ll find out when you read my publication and make an effort to understand what I am actually saying, as did the reviewers.

    And no, I don’t deny the cause, I explain more than one cause, because in 50 years of helping students with physics I’ve come to think like a physicist.

    When you have a spare half hour, click my name at the top of this post and then it’s just one click away.

  335. MikeB says:

    Colin Davidson

    Colin, you seem very confused.
    There is not an option of how you look at the figures. An immediate problem arises if you try to look at them the way you suggest, and it is this:
    If you consider that the only energy input to the Earth’s surface is ‘absorbed sunlight’ , then this amounts to 168 W/sq.m. (according to the Kiehl-Tenberth source you cite yourself). Now 168W/sq.m produces an equivalent temperature of only 233K (Stefan-Boltzmann Law). This means that the mean global temperature of the Earth would be about –40 deg.C. We know, however, that in reality it is much warmer than this, closer to say +15 Deg.C. Your interpretation of the figures offers no way to explain this discrepancy.

    The only way to explain the difference, without resorting to crackpot theories, is the greenhouse effect which some people fail to understand (or refuse to believe). That is the point of the Kiehl-Tenberth diagram. It shows that the back-radiation is an ‘additional’ heating flux on the surface.

    The greenhouse effect does not depend on positive feedback, if that is what you are claiming. Maybe you confuse ‘back-radiation’ with feedback?
    Predictions of climate catastrophe do depend on a feedback effect :
    Adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will increase the temperature slightly. According to the IPCC a doubling of CO2 concentration from 400 parts per million (ppm) to 800 ppm will produce additional warming of about one degree. This of itself will not be catastrophic, may even be beneficial. At the present rate of CO2 increase (2ppm per year) it will take centuries to achieve this doubling, in which time the oil and gas will run out and the problem solves itself. That is all without ‘feedback’. The positive feedback narrative goes like this: A slight increase in temperature resulting from additional CO2 causes the oceans to outgas even more CO2 (because the cold oceans can hold more CO2 than warm oceans). More evaporation occurs at the surface (your own argument) and methane is released from the permafrost etc. All these effects add more greenhouse gases which in turn cause the temperature to increase a bit more and then the whole cycle repeats. Thus , the world gets warmer and warmer because of this positive feedback.
    The positive feedback effect however is not within the ‘settled science’. It remains conjecture. The world climate over the past century of rising CO2 levels has been remarkably stable. Mean global temperatures are within a fraction of a degree of what they were in 1880. This leads many of us to suggest that if any feedback exists, it is probably negative feedback acting to maintain temperatures stable.

  336. More evidence of natural cycles

    Today we have seen peer-reviewed published evidence of natural cycles, mostly relating to the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn – just as I explained in the Appendix of my paper.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/nicola-scafetta-major-new-paper-on-solar-planetary-theory/

  337. Gordon Robertson says:

    Doug Cotton…thanks for support. Read through your paper and you make some interesting points.

    One point, and I’m not sure if it’s yours, or whether you are commenting on an IPCC argument is as follows:

    “What happens if we then “add” radiation from the cooler atmosphere into the surface? This process is clearly independent of the solar radiation and other transfers of thermal energy out of the surface”.

    This is where the misunderstanding seems to come into the debate. The radiation from the cooler atmosphere is NOT independent of solar radiation, it gets its heat either directly from solar radiation or from it via the surface.

    If the cooler atmosphere is warmed by the surface, then the surface is expending energy which it got from the Sun. Sending SOME (some goes up and sideways, and only a small portion is absorbed) of that energy back to the surface wont even make up for those losses, especially when the returning energy is in the discrete and narrow wavelengths represented by CO2.

    The losses are made up by solar energy, and if it was left to GHGs to make up those losses, we’d have iced over eons ago.

    One might argue that the GHGs absorb incoming solar energy, but even that cannot be re-added to solar energy as an independent source.

    With respect to your argument about radiation from a cooler surface warming a warmer surface that warmed it, I think it is vital to consider why the warmer surface is radiating in the first place. Something has raised the quiescent energy in the atoms from their normal state, which might be room temperature if the warming surface is in a room.

    You mentioned discrete atomic energy levels which I think are equally important. You cannot raise the atoms to a higher state of agitation by adding energy of a lower intensity. The energy would have to be of a higher intensity than the energy that raised them to the level they were at when they warmed the cooler surface.

    You raise a very interesting point which Myrrh alluded to as well. It seems that climate scientists playing with Planck’s and Boltzmann’s Laws are unaware of the stipulations of those laws.

    Planck made it clear that his laws applied only to surfaces that had much larger dimensions than the wavelength of the radiation. Atmospheric CO2 does not qualify in such a case. Boltzmann was talking about a theoretical cavity resonator, and his equations are normally applied to blackbodies with temperatures in the range of stellar temperatures (5000 K), not to those at 270 K.

    When climate scientists apply those laws without considering the 2nd law, especially to rare gases, they had better be careful. As Gerlich and Tscheuschner implied in their paper about the greenhouse effect, you cannot simply add energies and claim that satisfies the 2nd law.

    I respect Roy and Fred Singer and it frustrates me to see them support that pseudo-science, especially when they cannot explain it with real data.

  338. Gordon Robertson says:

    Myrrh…thanks for support. I could not understand what the fellow was criticizing me about till you explained it. I was pretty sure that I had made it past grade 5.

    I may have been wrong, but I picked you up as talking about quantum theorists at one point. I have lost respect for quantum theory. Feynman claimed that it works, but that no one knows why. Physicist David Bohm dismissed the parts of quantum theory that were based simply on equations.

    It seems to me that someone fluked on an equation (the wave equation, it seems) that happened to explain certain atomic phenomena. Planck did the same when he discovered discrete quanta but he was quick to explain the mathematical fluke and also claim that he had no idea if there was real phenomena that could be explained by it. It turns out there was some.

    Some 100 years later, we are getting astounding claims in physics based on nothing more than mathematical conjecture. I think the AGW radiative theory in climate science is rife with it. There is no hard data to support it, and although Roy and John Christy have supplied hard satellite data to discount it, Roy continues to argue on behalf of the math of radiative theory.

    Have you read the paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner? I have never seen an intelligent rebuttal to the paper, those I have seen coming from a physicist who works as a librarian. The other comes from a physicist who teaches chemistry, and who posts on the Net under a pseudonym, whose team features the same physicist.

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    • Myrrh says:

      Do you mean what I said here in post 217? :http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/dr-david-evans-the-skeptics-case/#comment-1019258

      This quantum thing is interesting, it begins with something and gets a conclusion which is isn’t then seen and then everyone piles in with solutions to explain why it isn’t seen and hence quanta is born, and no one ever goes back to examine the original claim which is that ‘physics predicts a black box heated will give infinite ultra violet’… :)

      What is the physics which he used to predict that in the first place? I haven’t been able to find it.

      As far as using ‘quantum’ as a reason to prove ‘backradiation of heat flowing from colder to hotter’, it’s another example of how in AGW laws are taken out of context and misapplied.

      Perhaps we need to collate all of these and present them together, and together with what if they were true the world would look like, which is what I found really weird when I discovered their take on molecules.

      Gosh, that was quick – I’ve just tried calling up the page I linked to in that post, and it’s gone…

      http://www.pbs.org/transistor/science/info/quantum.htm

      • Myrrh says:

        I’ve had a look at the Gerlich and Tscheuschner and there’s rather a lot in it, but they also don’t quite pick up on a problem which I simplify it to, as I’ve given in the difference between light and heat, but note that Dr Strangelove has given a couple of rebuttals, one of which is useful to get me going in that direction again…. I’ll post a reply to you in his post to you.

        Meanwhile, back to quantum. This is what the missing PBS page said:

        “An Act of Desperation”
        In 1900, Max Planck was a physicist in Berlin studying something called the “ultraviolet catastrophe.” The problem was the laws of physics predicted that if you heat up a box in such a way that no light can get out (known as a “black box”), it should produce an infinite amount of ultraviolet radiation. In real life no such thing happened: the box radiated different colors, red, blue, white, just as heated metal does, but there was no infinite amount of anything. It didn’t make sense. These were laws of physics that perfectly described how light behaved outside of the box — why didn’t they accurately describe this black box scenario?
        Planck tried a mathematical trick. He presumed that the light wasn’t really a continuous wave as everyone assumed, but perhaps could exist with only specific amounts, or “quanta,” of energy. Planck didn’t really believe this was true about light, in fact he later referred to this math gimmick as “an act of desperation.” But with this adjustment, the equations worked, accurately describing the box’s radiation.
        It took awhile for everyone to agree on what this meant, but eventually Albert Einstein interpreted Planck’s equations to mean that light can be thought of as discrete particles, just like electrons or protons. In 1926, Berkeley physicist Gilbert Lewis named them photons.
        Quanta, quanta everywhere
        This idea that particles could only contain lumps of energy in certain sizes moved into other areas of physics as well. Over the next decade, Niels Bohr pulled it into his description of how an atom worked. He said that electrons traveling around a nucleus couldn’t have arbitrarily small or arbitrarily large amounts of energy, they could only have multiples of a standard “quantum” of energy.”

        As you said – they got a bit distracted by the fluke..

        I’d really like to know what “These were laws of physics that perfectly described how light behaved outside of the box — why didn’t they accurately describe this black box scenario?”

  339. Gordon Robertson says:

    MikeB “The positive feedback narrative goes like this: A slight increase in temperature resulting from additional CO2 causes the oceans to outgas even more CO2….”

    I agree with your overall comments and understand that the statement above is only your description of AGW theory. There are other problems with the theory, however.

    The positive feedback is deemed to come from an injection of more water vapour into the atmosphere, which is THE major GHG. That relies totally on the surface increasing in temperature beyond what it is warmed by solar energy. The 2nd law says that can’t happen, and as you have pointed out, the atmosphere has been stable for a long time, which supports the 2nd law.

    The thing I find interesting about your statement above is that the current high levels of CO2 MAY have been caused by outgassing from the ocean due to a warming ocean. There is evidence for that in the past, which the IPCC has chosen to ignore.

    Ernst Beck collated evidence from 176 papers between the early 1800s and the mid 1900s. One of the papers by Kreutz interests me. He was a German chemist and he did at least 25,000 tests, being very attentive to details that might skew the readings. He measured levels of CO2 in excess of 400 ppmv in the 1930′s.

    It just so happens that the warmest year in US history was 1934. I don’t think it takes too much of a leap of faith to guess that the oceans were warmer in that decade, and might just have outgassed enough CO2 to raise atmospheric levels even higher than today.

    Don’t forget that the only evidence we have for pre Industrial levels of CO2, at 273 ppmv, are ice core proxies. The IPCC ignored other levels in ice cores that were much higher, and cherry picked the 273 ppmv. That comes from ice core expert Jaworowski.

    He explained that CO2 bubbles trapped in ice are converted to solids, called clathrates, at extreme pressure. Who can say how those bubbles are distributed in ice as bubbles in snow are converted to ice, then to clathrates at immense pressure.

    When the process is reversed as the ice cores are extracted, Jaworowski has claimed that water introduced by the drilling process can affect the density. Who is to say that as the clathrates convert back to CO2 bubbles, as the pressure decreases, that some does not escape, reducing the density?

    Jaworowski thinks the 273 ppmv level could be 30 to 50% higher. The studies covered by Beck claim they could be higher still. I think the AGW theory is built on a house of cards.

  340. Gordon

    Re your quote from my publication:

    The paragraph before the one you quoted reads …

    When the Sun is warming the surface on a clear morning at, say, 11.00am we know that there is a net energy inflow into the surface, simply because it is getting hotter. This heat transfer is calculated even after deducting the outflow, which may be a mixture of radiation, evaporative cooling, chemical processes, conduction or diffusion followed by convection. [5]

    Then the paragraph you quoted …

    “What happens if we then “add” radiation from the cooler atmosphere into the surface? This process is clearly independent of the solar radiation and other transfers of thermal energy out of the surface”.
    _______________________

    The next paragraph reads …

    The models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assume this happens 24 hours a day, and that it either increases the warming rate in the morning, for example, or decreases the cooling rate later in the 24 hour cycle. But, when the surface is already warming and there is a net inward flow of energy, then clearly such radiation from the cooler atmosphere cannot transfer thermal energy to the warmer surface, for to do so would amount to heat flow from cool to warm, which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
    ________________

    The postulated process of resonant (or pseudo) scattering is the whole basis of the paper, and it explains how and why all radiated energy in radiation from a cooler atmosphere (no matter where it got its energy) cannot be converted to thermal energy in a warmer surface.

    Instead, it can only slow one component of the cooling rate of the surface, namely the radiative component which, as we agree, is less than 40% – maybe much less. The other cooling processes – mostly evaporative cooling and diffusion (followed by convection) will speed up to compensate – for reasons explained in the body of the paper and in more detail in FAQ 3 in the Appendix.

  341. Dave Springer says:

    “Instead, it can only slow one component of the cooling rate of the surface, namely the radiative component which,”

    Correct.

    “as we agree, is less than 40% – maybe much less.”

    I agree with 40% or less.

    “The other cooling processes – mostly evaporative cooling”

    Yes, provided there is water available to evaporate and relative humidity will allow it. Over the ocean these conditions are well met most of the time. Over land not so much.

    “and diffusion (followed by convection) will speed up to compensate”

    Yes.

    You’ll sound more informed if you call that “sensible” which is what textbooks discussing surface heat budgets call it. You’ll have a greater understanding if you call it conductive.

    For there to be an increase in conductive (or whatever you want to call it, a rose by any other name…) heat loss there must be an increase in the temperature difference at the surface/atmosphere interface. This temperature increase is the consequence of radiation being restricted by GHGs (which you admit above) i.e. if the surface can’t cool as quickly it will remain warmer for longer. The warmer for longer part raises the rate of conductive heat loss and consequently by being warmer for longer also raises the average temperature.

    This is largely a land-only effect because where there’s water there’s little to no sensible increase in temperature that accompanies a higher evaporation rate due to the manner in which water absorbs longwave infrared in the cool skin layer. In that case it’s an increase in latent heat loss not sensible heat loss.

    • Dave Springer says:

      In the end Spencer is right. The problem with GCMs is they model clouds with a positive feedback and in reality all the evidence points to clouds having a slightly negative feedback.

      I believe the source of the error in cloud modeling was recently discovered and involves quantum tunneling of light which passes within a wavelength of a water droplet. This tunneling refracts the light a perfect 180 degrees through a single droplet. This effect was heretofore unknown but explains a phenomenon called “the glory” which was first observed hundreds of years ago by mountain climbers looking down upon their own shadows cast upon a cloud. The climber sees a multicolored rainbow-like halo surrounding his shadow. A climber cannot see halos around other shadows only around his own shadow. This is because the refracted light comes back at a perfect 180 degrees so anything outside that angle cannot see it.

      So we have a mechanism whereby clouds reflect more light than had been previously assumed, an effect not modeled in GCMs, and which changes the feedback of clouds from positive to negative.

      Neat. The work on cloud reflectance by light tunneling explaining the glory and its potential consequences for climate modeling is published. It should just be a matter of time before the climate boffins must correct their models to reflect the newly discovered phenomenon.

  342. Dave Springer says:

    “for to do so would amount to heat flow from cool to warm, which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

    No Doug. Only a NET heat flow from cool to warm would violate 2LoT. The NET flow is warm to cool and the second law thus retains its virginity.

  343. Dave

    Thanks for your support and discussion. There is a further mechanism that helps stabilise temperatures (and thus increase the rate of sensible heat loss) which I go through in detail in FAQ.3 in the Appendix to Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is linked from my site.

    I rather like the second paragraph of Wikipedia “Heat Transfer” Heat conduction, also called diffusion, is the direct microscopic exchange of kinetic energy of particles through the boundary between two systems. for I feel there is a need to distinguish between conduction within a solid and diffusion at the interface of a solid and gas. I cited this reference in the paper.

    I am of course aware of the use of “sensible” but, bearing in mind the likely readership by members of the public, I decided to avoid the term, even though it meant more words of explanation. These are just personal preferences, though I would like to see the word diffusion used more for the interface of solids and gases, partly because a lot of people don’t seem to even realise it happens. Thus my “lamp holder” experiment on my original climate site http://earth-climate.com to make this point. For example, in my discussion above with Dr Strangelove he ignored diffusion in his suggested experiment.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Douglas, if you’re trying to explain this stuff to people who don’t know the difference between latent and sensible heat then you might as well be trying to explain rocketry to a rock. Most of the time I feel that way about you. The vexing thing is you’re probably right but almost certainly for the wrong reasons and you seem either incapable or unwilling to discover why you’re acting like the rock.

  344. Dave

    Only a NET heat flow from cool to warm would violate 2LoT. The NET flow is warm to cool and the second law thus retains its virgin
    _________________________

    Please don’t start me on that one again. Please study my paper which is all about this.

    It’s all there. You are mistaken – what you say is just not reality in the real world.

    Once the radiated energy is converted to thermal energy in the surface it does not even have to go back as radiated energy. The process is completed. The energy could even stay in the surface for months. How can the first process (cold to hot) “know” what will happen to its energy? Be sure to read Sections 1 to 8 and Appendix Q.1 and Q.3.

    As I say, please read what I have explained in great detail in my peer-reviewed paper now published on at least four sites. This very issue is discussed in depth in the posts on my thread on tallbloke which nearly 3,000 have visited.

    Sorry, but I’m signing out now as it’s 12:45am in Sydney.

  345. PB says:

    Douglas:

    Your premise seems to be that adding energy from a low energy source to a higher energy receptor is what violates the 2nd Law. I propose that we look at this from a purely classical view.

    Classically, and in simplest language the law means that all energy potentials will equilibrate over time. If you are building a perpetual motion machine, the law, stated a bit differently (and again very simply) says that an energy exchange in a system will always result in waste heat. The bottom line from either of these statements is that energy exchange processes cannot be perfectly reversible. You cannot create a perpetual motion machine.

    Taking that very simple wording, let’s build a perpetual motion radiation machine and see where the wheels fall off. We’ll put ourselves in the way back machine and pretend we know nothing about molecules or quantum physics, OK?

    The first goal in our machine is to transfer every single bit of radiation from a hot body to a cooler one. Later on we’ll go the other way.

    First we have to ensure that ALL the energy emitted from the hot body will arrive at the target. This is easily accomplished by enclosing the hot body with a spherical, cold body target and evacuating all the gas from the sphere. Woo hoo, half way there. In fact this part of my ‘cycle’ is perfect, no losses at all.

    Next, if we want perpetual motion, we have to get ALL that energy we just put into our sphere, turned around and headed back the other way. This is where the wheels begin to fall off. Let’s assume our machine has some sort of periodicity (two half cycles, hot->cold and cold->hot)and that we investigate our system, firstly, as just the first half cycle where we are delivering hot to cold.

    Even here, we’ve got serious problems with the second law because even though we made all the hot energy ARRIVE at the target, perfectly, the target will radiate energy in an isotropic manner (into and out of the system) through the entire first half cycle, i.e. it will have losses. When I begin my second half cycle I’ve already been witness to the hard reality of the 2nd law.

    Note here that I’ve already failed in my quest for perpetual radiation exchange. Importantly though, you CAN’T say I’ve violated the 2nd law. What you CAN say is that in order to meet my goal I WILL have to violate the law. But, the fact remains that the loss in energy is nothing more than the sad reality of the 2nd law at work, crushing my project at birth.

    Now if I turn this scenario around, putting the cold body in the hot sphere and assume the ‘cold’ energy will all be absorbed by the ‘hot’ target (and I realize this is not an assumption you would agree with but stay with me for a bit); once again all the emitted cold energy arrives at the target. Unfortunately for me the hot sphere loses energy isotropically too, I can’t stop it from doing so and I fail on this arrangement as well.

    In both of these scenarios, the attempted cycles failed to produce the prerequistes for perpetual motion. But and this is huge…. Experiencing the hard reality of the 2nd law is not a failure of the second law. It is simply an acknowledgement of it.

    In the real world you could say the ‘system’ for our perpetual motion machine is the hot body – earth- enclosed by the cold body –atmosphere- and my first half cycle has the same disturbing result; the hot body emission all arrives at the cold body, woo hoo, but unfortunately the cold body experiences losses to space so all the energy emitted will not be available for my next half cycle.

    The next half cycle is the one we’ve been discussing. In this cycle, cold energy is delivered to the hot target and if you make my assumption again (I know you hate it but go on) it all gets absorbed; woo hoo this half cycle is perfect so far. Now a strange thing happens. All that absorbed cold energy will be available for the next half cycle, won’t it? There’s no way to lose it except by reradiating it into the enclosing spherical shell. It seems we have a perfect half cycle.

    This is where you are pushing hard on the second law, claiming this is a violation. I would have you consider that perhaps you are defining your system constraint in a way which supports your claim but that such a constraint is ill considered, i.e. you are only looking at a half cycle of the (possible)perpetual motion machine with alarm because you have not considered the second half of the cycle. As a (failed) perpetual motion machine, over the full cycle of the system, there are losses as the law requires, and that is all that it requires.

    In particular, every formulation of the law states something about ‘sole results’. I hold that this formulation of ‘sole result’ means you must look at the entirety of the ‘machine’s’ cycle(s) to determine results and that it is no violation to discover you have a perfect half cycle.

    The simple point of all the above is that you can’t determine a 2nd law violation by isolating parts of a system. You must define the system boundary with precision and then consider all the energy exchanges of the system to determine whether or not you are in compliance with the law. I define the system boundary as the outer limits of the atmosphere and conclude that the radiant energy exchange between atmosphere and earth has losses. No 2nd law violation. It is composed of one loss-less half cycle and one lossy half cycle.

    Now the corollary to this is that you are stating that there is some kind of energy threshold imposed by the second law; that you cannot impart energy to a high energy object from a lower energy one, or if you prefer lower heat to higher heat environment. Remember we are still talking classically so here is an example.

    Let’s say we have a billiard ball traveling north at 100 m/s and we strike it with one moving east at 10 m/s. You must agree that the original ball is now vectored off in a new direction with increased energy received from a lower energy ball.

    We might even conjecture that this is a 2nd law violation as the new energy was ‘perfectly’ obtained. But, you can only conclude that, if you ignore the energy it took to get both balls moving in the first place and as long as that total energy budget has a loss (somewhere) there is no violation.

    When you say you can’t move energy ‘up hill’ without violating the second law, it’s like saying I can’t lift a weight off the ground because I’ve increased its energy, violating the 2nd law. Well, of course, it’s not a violation because I had to do work on it and you must define the moving weight system as including the person who lifted it. Then it’s plain to see there is no violation.

    Finally, as to the intricacies of the quantum aspects of what you propose, I’m not at all qualified to consider. I would only say that the totality of your theory will have to honor both the classical and the quantum approaches and if you leave the station with an ill considered treatment of the classical then you make your train very hard to ride in.

  346. Bryan says:

    Some continue to use the term NET HEAT for a two way radiative exchange.

    This is wrong but understandable as climate science is in a muddle about what exactly the difference is between heat energy and radiation.

    There is no heat flow from colder to hotter object!

    However;

    1. There is a two way radiative exchange
    2. There is a two way energy exchange
    3. But there is only a one way heat transfer.

    Carnot and Clausius were practical men who thought about the most efficient way to extract work from a heat engine.
    They found that work (such as a moving piston output) can only be obtained with a high temperature source and a low temperature sink.

    Use this as the test to see if an energy transfer qualifies as being HEAT.

    1. For a complete cycle extract energy at a higher temperature source do work then dump unused energy to lower temperature sink.
    This is a HEAT TRANFER and happens all the time!

    2. From colder to hotter object, spontaneously extract energy do work and dump unused energy to higher temperature sink NEVER HAPPENS.
    So this energy transfer CANNOT be called HEAT.

    So if HEAT can only BE transferred spontaneously in one direction why do some still insist in calling it NET?

    • Dave Springer says:

      If I call it EMR about 3/4 of the people here wouldn’t know WTF I was talking about. That’s why I call it heat most of the time. Tyndall and peers called it calorific rays. A rose by any other name propagates through a vacuum…

    • Dave Springer says:

      Gordon Robertson says:

      March 21, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      “Heat is a measure of the degree to which atoms deviate in their vibrations.”

      Really? I always wondered why Tyndall titled his 1870 book “Heat: A Mode of Motion”.

      Not.

      Pedant.

  347. Gordon Robertson says:

    Bryan “So if HEAT can only BE transferred spontaneously in one direction why do some still insist in calling it NET?”

    I was stumped by that too until another poster gave me a hint. They are using blackbody equations to calculate the energy in either direction. They are completely ignoring the 2nd law and claiming it does not matter because the net energy is positive between the bodies.

    In essence, they are claiming that heat can flow from a cooler body to a warmer body as long as the BB equations are satisfied. It is sheer nonsense and demonstrates total ignorance of thermodynamics and what heat is.

    People are confusing heat and radiant energy. Heat is a measure of the degree to which atoms deviate in their vibrations. When they receive energy of sufficient intensity to vibrate harder, their heat content rises to a degree, depending on other factors. Clausius explains that in his mechanical description of heat. In fact, he defined entropy based on that deviation.

    As you say, and as Clausius has confirmed, there is an energy flow both ways, but no heat transfer from cold to hot, unless an external device is supplied to enable it, like in a heat pump. I think it is plain that atoms vibrating at a certain level will not respond to energy of a lower level, which is the case with the energy from a cooler body to a warmer body.

    • Dave Springer says:

      No Gordon. The second law of thermodynamics is classical physics. It emerges in bulk ensembles of matter. It doesn’t apply at the quantum scale where energy moves in both directions. So-called back-radiation is quantum not classical physics. Classical physics ignores it and only concerns itself with the net flow of energy. It’s only the average energy flow that obeys 2LoT. This is why there is endless debate over Maxwell’s Demon. Clearly the demon is impossible according to the second law of classical thermodynamics but it gets debatable at the quantum level and as a result we then see these contrived explanations like the energy it takes to calculate whether the gate should be opened or closed equals the potential work in the temperature gradient across the gate created by its opportunistic openings and closings.

  348. PB says:

    Gordon check out for more .

  349. PB:

    How about you just read what I have actually written in my paper instead of assuming what I have not.

    You appear to be confusing the First and Second Laws. The Second Law is not about conserving energy, it is about entropy increasing in every process. Furthermore, thermal energy is not automatically transferred everywhere radiation travels. It is not transferred by radiation going from cold to hot objects in any process (as per SLoT) as my paper and Prof Johnson’s linked paper both explain in much detail.

    If you write again, please start by saying that you have studied what I have said in 6,600 words which I am not going to type out here again. The paper is linked here …

    http://climate-change-thoery.com

  350. PB:

    Sorry typo – http://climate-change-theory.com

    Brian and Gordon

    The issue you are discussing is also resolved in my paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics which has also been published on tallbloke’s talkshop and also linked from my site and published on PSI and WEBcommentary and another site or two.

  351. Dave Springer says:

    Worth reading. What Schumacher describes is what I found without first reading his essay.

    http://www.ianschumacher.com/maximum_temperature.html

    On WattsUpWithThat Ian writes:

    Ian Schumacher says:
    March 30, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    The fact that always seems to be bypassed in descriptions of the green house effect is that the effect has an upper limit. The greenhouse effect is due to a ‘hole’ in frequency spectrum letting in high frequency light and absorbing outgoing low frequency light. This is similar to if you had only a small hole in a spherical cavity that was the only place light could enter (i.e. a black body). The greenhouse effect essentially increases the equivalent absorptivity of earth (makes it more like a black body). However, the effect is limited. The earth can only reach an ‘equivalent’ absorptivity of 1. The earth can not absorb more light than a black body would. If you look at what the temperature of a theoretical black body would be in the position of the earth, you will see that the earth is already very close to the limit. It is already quite close to a black body and therefore very close to the maximum temperature limit it can achieve.

    The first thought one might have about this (what should be obvious concept) is ‘what about Venus’? Venus temperature can not be due to greenhouse effect and must be due to something else. There are a lot of things that are unknown about Venus (such as that it has no magnetic field yet has an atmosphere, that it rotates very slowy backwards). However the concept of a runaway greenhouse effect ramping temperatures up way beyond that of an equivalent black body is false. Such a ‘one-way’ mirror effect is impossible. If it wasn’t they you would have the ability to extract energy from background heat, which you can not.

    We do have runaway greenhouse effect all the time when we come out of an ice age? Isn’t it curious how temperature increase very quickly and then suddenly stop at essential the same value every time? This isn’t strange at all when one realizes that this is simple because we have hit saturation.

    (see)

    http://www.ianschumacher.com/maximum_temperature.html

  352. Colin Davidson says:

    At 1648, 20MAR12 I wrote:
    “The Surface Balance is:

    Absorbed_Sunlight = Net_LW_Radiation + Latent_Heat_In_Evaporated_Water + Conduction”

    Mike B at 0421, 21MAR12 responded:
    “Colin, you seem very confused.
    There is not an option of how you look at the figures. An immediate problem arises if you try to look at them the way you suggest, and it is this:
    If you consider that the only energy input to the Earth’s surface is ‘absorbed sunlight’ , then this amounts to 168 W/sq.m. (according to the Kiehl-Tenberth source you cite yourself). Now 168W/sq.m produces an equivalent temperature of only 233K (Stefan-Boltzmann Law). This means that the mean global temperature of the Earth would be about –40 deg.C. We know, however, that in reality it is much warmer than this, closer to say +15 Deg.C. Your interpretation of the figures offers no way to explain this discrepancy.’

    I disagree with MikeB. The K&T diagram, from which the equation above is derived, in my view is broadly correct. It seems that MikeB and others do not think that NET radiation is the important quantity.

    Here is what all climate scientists are saying: An increase in resistance to the export of energy from the surface causes a temperature rise at the surface. I agree with them.

    That resistance is manifested in a REDUCTION in NET radiation (ie an increase in Back Radiation), which forces the surface to increase its temperature. I agree.

    Where I disagree, is that a change in temperature at the Tropopause can force the same increase in temperature at the Surface, invoking the magic ladder of a constant lapse rate as the sole explanation. That either violates the First Law of Thermodynamics, or implies a hidden assumption of strong positive feedback, or the equally unphysical reduction in evaporation or conduction rates.

    Put simply, a doubling of CO2 in a no-feedback world cannot result in an increase in Surface temperature of greater than 0.4-0.6 degC. I know this is lower than the consensus, but there is no energy available AT THE SURFACE for a higher increase.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Colin Davidson says:
      March 21, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      “Here is what all climate scientists are saying: An increase in resistance to the export of energy from the surface causes a temperature rise at the surface. I agree with them.”

      Incomplete. There are two kinds of heat, sensible and latent. Restricting radiative heat loss can result in either or both of sensible and latent heat loss. An increase in surface temperature is sensible. It is not a necessary consequence if there is a free path for latent heat loss. Over the ocean there is almost always a free path for latent heat loss due to a practically infinite supply of water to evaporate and a practically infinite supply of air in contact with it with relative humidity below 100%. Over land it’s a different story. There may be no surface water readily available for evaporation. In that case a restricted radiative path results in a higher temperature which in turn drives a higher sensible loss rate. The $64,000 question is how often evaporation is restricted so much that uber-inefficient conduction between surface and air is forced to rise instead. That amount appears to be quite small in the grand scheme of things and certainly far removed from the maximum potential of 1.1C per doubling in an arid environment.

  353. Colin

    The whole discussion involving application of S-B to the Earth’s surface is absurd. The surface is not insulated from losses by conduction etc – a basic requirement for the S-B Law to apply. Furthermore, the calculations you quoted are flat-Earth calculations, and just as mistaken.

    For the rest of my response continue reading Appendix Q.2 in my peer-reviewed publication …

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

  354. Dave Springer says:

    Douglas J Cotton says:

    March 21, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    Dave

    Only a NET heat flow from cool to warm would violate 2LoT. The NET flow is warm to cool and the second law thus retains its virgin
    _________________________

    Please don’t start me on that one again. Please study my paper which is all about this.

    Please go audit the 9th grade physical science course at your nearest high school.

  355. Dave Springer says:

    Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life here.

  356. Dave

    It’s not in textbooks yet, because it’s new.

  357. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    Let’s examine each of your causes as to why Thermometer C will be hotter than B:

    (1) “there is a more dense frequency distribution from the black surface opposing the radiation from C compared with that from the rest of the room opposing B’s radiation, assuming the walls of the rest of the room are not black. So the transfer of thermal energy out of C by radiation will be slower. That’s about half of the cooling process.”

    This already contradicts your main theory that “two-way heat transfer violates the 2nd Law.” You have such poor understanding of physics you don’t even realize it. Why would thermal energy out of C by radiation be slower? Think about it.

    The temp. of C is equal to B at 50C. According to Stefan-Boltmann law, both are radiating at the same rate. The obvious answer is “back radiation” or “two-way radiative heat transfer” from the tube. You are denying back radiation exists yet it has a measureable effect on temperature.

    (2) “A solid in contact with air will diffuse its energy into the air. Hence the air in the tube will warm and have an additional effect slowing the rate of both radiation and diffusion because of the reduced temperature difference.”

    Warm air slowing the rate of radiation is wrong. The rate of radiation of C is dependent on its temperature, which is 50C. Warm air will keep C hot and keep the rate of radiation. On the contrary, cold air will cool C and slow down rate of radiation.

    Rate of heat conduction between thermometer and air is the same for C and B because they have equal temp. of 50C and 25C for air. Hence, C and B should cool at the same rate and have equal temperature.

    (3) “The air warmed in the tube would warm faster than that adjacent to B because convection and diffusion in the air is more restricted in the tube.”

    This is wrong. On the contrary, air inside the tube will be cooler than the air around Thermometer B because the tube is made of paper. The thermal conductivity and specific heat of paper are 2 times higher and 1,200 times higher than air. The paper will draw out heat faster and absorb more heat. The paper will cool the air inside the tube.

    Therefore, of your three causes, only (1) is correct. You intuitively know that Thermometer C will be hotter without understanding why. The radiation from the cool tube is warming the hot thermometer overcoming the cooling effect of paper. Those damn “back radiation” must be violating the 2nd Law.

    So do you admit you’re wrong or you will do the experiment to confirm you’re wrong?

  358. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Robertson,

    Here is an intelligent rebuttal to Gerlich and Tscheuschner in two parts. They have been debunked convincingly.

    http://scienceofdoom.com/roadmap/gerlich-tscheuschner/

  359. Bryan says:

    Dr. Strangelove says:

    “Here is an intelligent rebuttal to Gerlich and Tscheuschner”

    Yet right away I find G&T point out that many in climate sciece are confused about the extent of solar infrared.
    G&T put the figure at 45.6%.

    SoD makes some point or other about G&Ts IR claim.

    “Many uninformed people who have become miseducated are certain that much solar radiation is >4?m – possibly due to confusing infrared with longwave.”

    Here in this post above we have a comment by KR who usually opines at skeptical science.

    KR puts the figure for solar IR at 1%

    So is correct?
    SoD and KR or GT
    Who misdirrects the uninformed?
    SoD and KR or GT
    I think you will find the rest of SoDs post to be of a similar quality.

  360. Myrrh says:

    Dave Springer says:

    March 21, 2012 at 7:16 AM
    “for to do so would amount to heat flow from cool to warm, which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

    No Doug. Only a NET heat flow from cool to warm would violate 2LoT. The NET flow is warm to cool and the second law thus retains its virginity.

    ===============

    This “net” business has no rational explanation – unless you can show what mechanism is in place to give the claimed “net” from hotter to colder when you include colder to hotter. I haven’t got any reply to this question when I’ve asked before. I’ve asked lots of times.

    A
    Dave Springer says:
    March 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM
    Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life here.

    Before you go, please give me the mechanism.

    • Dave Springer says:

      “This “net” business has no rational explanation – unless you can show what mechanism is in place to give the claimed “net” from hotter to colder when you include colder to hotter. I haven’t got any reply to this question when I’ve asked before. I’ve asked lots of times.”

      There’s an old saying in science, Myrrh. Hypothesss need to be rational. Facts don’t.

      I can’t give you a rational explanation for the law of entropy anymore than I can give you a rational explanation for the acceleration of gravity. It doesn’t really matter because both are facts not hypotheses. Net flow of energy goes from hotter to colder. This is a fact of classical mechanics that emerges in bulk matter. At the quantum scale energy moves in both directions but on average in large ensembles of matter it moves in only one direction.

      Do you deny things like Boltzman distributions of kinetic energy too? In large ensembles like a cup of coffee there is a distinct temperature. But if you peel off individual atoms you’ll find a huge range of temperatures distributed in a law-like fashion over a curve described by Boltzman. Get a clue.

  361. Dr Strangelove

    Why would thermal energy out of C by radiation be slower? Think about it.

    I have thought about it very extensively, read and studied the literature for over 1,000 hours and come to the conclusion that the only possible way is what Claes has said – resonating radiation whose energy is not converted to thermal energy but takes the place of energy which would otherwise have been supplied by the warmer body (the surface) thus slowing its rate of radiative cooling.

    You could, of course, have read this in my paper.

  362. Dr Strangelove (continued)

    cold air will cool C

    Nothing ever “cools” another body. Thermal energy transfers from hot to cold. The hot body loses its thermal energy. The cold body does not “cool” the hot one. In the very early days of physics it was thought there was “cold” -a kind of opposite of “heat” – you’re a bit out of date it seems.

    If you were one of the many hundreds of physics students I’ve helped in the last 50 years, I’d have taught you better than to make statements such as these. Such statements of yours (and there have been several) have been telling me all along the state of your understanding of physics. That’s not meant as an insult. We can’t all know everything or study every subject.

    It’s a one way process: thermal energy goes from hot to cold only, and it happens with every thermodynamic process, even within a short time span during a long process.

    You cannot mathematically combine two independent thermodynamic processes and excuse a violation of SLoT on the basis of a net result which is nothing more than a mathematical calculation of two independent energy transfers, one of which doesn’t happen anyway, and the other of which is overstated by the amount of the first. (You can say you have 2 units, or you have 5 – 3 units.)

    If there is any physicist reading this who believes I am wrong, now is the time to speak.

    Have you ever seen two cups of coffee, one getting hotter because the other got colder faster? It’s just as crazy to say a ray of backradiation from point A in the cold atmosphere to point B on the warm surface can warm the surface all the more just because there is some evaporative cooling or conduction or even other radiation transferring more energy from point C on the surface to point D in the atmosphere.

    Do you understand the Second Law yet?

    Once again, you could have learnt this from my Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  363. Dave and Myrrh

    Please read the post above to Dr Strangelove (cont’d), Dave because Myrrh, as usual, is right.

    If it helps you and Dr S., the issue of independence is critical and is best understood with a siphon.

    Water can move upwards in a siphon which uses a hose to “suck” water out of a swimming pool and down a cliff. (Actually pressure “pushes” water up.)

    There must always be a greater mass of water on the lower side where it flows downwards, and that end must be lower than the end near the bottom of the pool.

    The upward movement is only the first part of a complete process, so it does not violate the SL for entropy. The upward and downward sections are not independent. If you cut the hose at the top the siphon stops working because you have split it into two independent processes, the hose from the pool being unable to violate the SL – just as backradiation is unable to transfer thermal energy to the warmer surface, but is instead scattered as is, without depositing any energy.

  364. PB says:

    Just checking in Doug. Hope it’s not clutter but I’ve restated the 2nd law for you. You should use this whenever you get into these off topic discussions….

    Cotton’s Law:

    “No process is possible whose partial result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower temperature to a body of higher temperature unless the heat knows where it is going.”

  365. Whilst the “Slayers” are not the same, there is indeed a growing body of about 40 qualified and experienced scientists in a wide range of disciplines (climatology, physics, applied mathematics, chemistry, astrophysics etc) who have now grouped together under the banner of Principia Scientific International whose motivation stems from a realisation that the AGW conjecture is false. PSI has a comprehensive peer-review system involving firstly about four of their members, and then many more, if not most of their members. It is thus not easy to publish there, and I am honored that mine is only the sixth paper to appear on their site. PSI is far from being slayed.

    There is clearly a lot of misunderstanding of what Claes Johnson and I are saying as can be seen in the comments above. The only heat transfer between hot and cold bodies is represented by the area between the Planck curves, which is of course mathematically the same as scientists, engineers etc have been calculating by subtracting the two S-B calculations in order to get so-called “net” flux, and from that to quantify “net” heat flow.

    But the reality is that there is not, for example, a flow of 5 units of “heat” from hot to cold and 3 units from cold to hot, but rather there is in the real world only a flow of 2 units from hot to cold. Radiated energy flows both ways, but not all of it is converted to thermal energy. The extra radiation from the hot body carries on (after being scattered by the first cold body) and, when it strikes an even cooler body (maybe in space) its energy is again split so that some goes into warming and some carries on to the next body. Eventually all radiation ends up in space where most of it “cools” to about 2K to 3K, or whatever the background space radiation is.

    The huge difference in all this is explained in the paper, and you should also note Appendix Q7. The effect that a cooler body has on the radiative rate of cooling of a warmer body depends upon the density of the frequencies in its radiation. Its radiated energy, which is not converted to thermal energy in the warmer target, is used by the target instead of it having to convert its own thermal energy to radiation. So all bodies radiate up to the maximum indicated by the Planck curve in each frequency that they can. But if a body receives any other radiation, some of it may resonate and supply energy which is not converted to thermal energy, but which is used instead of the body’s own thermal energy which it would otherwise have used for its quota of radiation. Obviously a true blackbody has a full range of frequencies. But carbon dioxide has very few. In fact its most prolific frequencies would be radiated if it were about -92 deg.C near the top of the mesosphere.

    So carbon dioxide molecules have far less effect than water vapour molecules when it comes to slowing the rate of radiative cooling of Earth’s surface. And, in any event, other cooling processes involving “sensible heat” simply speed up in order to compensate.

    All of this has of course been in my paper all along. It would have been far better if people had read it first and then discussed particular sections or paragraphs. In no way would my paper have passed the rigorous three-week peer-review system (and been published on five sites) if it contained obvious errors relating to entropy or energy.

    Please understand that I cannot reproduce the whole 6,600 word paper in posts like this complete with the graphics. There has been a link to the paper at the top of this thread, but here* it is again. Please confirm in any future posts that you have read it and at least understood what I am saying, even if you still agree with the early scientists who, in my opinion, made a serious error in assuming heat flows both ways and that we thus had to stretch the Second Law to say it only applies to “net” heat transfer. This is a mistaken view (as is easily demonstrated in simple experiments and every day experience) which I hope at least some of you will realise to be the case. So, this is my response to all today’s posts – your answer is in the paper.

    Future discussion will be only on my dedicated thread at tallbloke’s talkshop.

    * http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/radiated_energy.pdf

    • Dave Springer says:

      Principia Scientific International is a private web page hosted by an obscure ISP in Provo, Utah. It was created barely a year ago.

      You’re about a hair’s breadth away from being an outright liar, Cotton. The insistence that your POS self-published paper is comprenhensively peer-reviewed is nauseating. What a self-inflated boob you are.!

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  366. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    I can’t keep up with your absurdities.

    “resonating radiation whose energy is not converted to thermal energy but takes the place of energy which would otherwise have been supplied by the warmer body (the surface) thus slowing its rate of radiative cooling.”

    Amazing how you can put a physical contradiction in a single sentence. You want us to believe the radiation is not converted to thermal energy (heat) but at the same time it supplies some mysterious kind of energy (not heat) that slows cooling resulting to higher temperature. Wow this is voodoo science!

    “Nothing ever “cools” another body.”

    Your philosophical argument is nonsense. I can also argue philosophically that if a cold body cannot cool a hot body, then the hot body cannot warm the cold body. You should teach philosophy not science. Ask your students, they can educate you on physics.

    “If there is any physicist reading this who believes I am wrong, now is the time to speak”

    Did you see all those thermodynamics textbooks in the SoD website? They all dismiss your imaginary 2nd law of thermodynamics. Even your students know you’re wrong.

    “Have you ever seen two cups of coffee, one getting hotter because the other got colder faster?”

    Cup A is coffee at 100C. Cup B is coffee at 50C. Pour them in a big bowl. Measure the temperature. It’s between 100C and 50C. The warm coffee got hotter and the hot coffee got cooler. Basic calorimetry.

    Impossible you say? If you really teach high school physics, the school should fire you.

  367. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Bryan

    SoD is correct. The 1% solar IR refers wavelengths to > 4 microns. This means that 99% of solar IR is < 4 microns. If you add both these longwave and shortwave solar IR, they make up 45% of the solar radiation spectrum, which inludes IR, visible light and UV.

    The quality of science in SoD is far better than G&T. SoD is neither a warmer nor a denier.

  368. Dr Strangelove

    Yes, that’s what must happen. The radiated energy in the incident radiation remains as radiated energy in the emitted radiation. This means the warmer target does not have to dig into its own supply of thermal energy and convert some of it to radiated energy, which is of course quite a different form of energy. And that’s why the target loses thermal energy at a slower rate, even though it keeps radiating as per its Planck distribution. All this is as observed and in accord with standard equations. That was why I did not need to add any of my own equations. The standard ones work.

    So I’ll stick by my statement, even though you don’t believe it. You actually cannot prove me wrong. All you can do is say some scientists like Planck & Co dreamed up a different mechanism last century or before, because they didn’t know enough about quantum mechanics at the time, and you believe them, rather than myself and the team at PSI.

    And, by the way, my paper went through a comprehensive peer-review process prior to publication by those listed in the Acknowledgements at the back. Now it is on open review by dozens of others and no sign of any disagreement in the internal emails I can assure you. You surely would not expect me to have to name members of the AGW propaganda team as reviewers, now would you? I wouldn’t be seen dead with my name associated with any of them, not even Roy.

    The hot coffee does not get hotter spontaneously, but it seems you believe that, even when the surface outside your window is warming on a sunny morning with net radiation coming into it from the Sun (because much less is going out) then you can introduce radiation from the cold atmosphere (let’s say -25 deg.C on average) and that radiation will warm the surface at an even greater rate. Why not keep your coffee warm with back radiation at night? I tried it with water in wide necked vacuum flasks, and the unshielded one receiving all the backradiation cooled a little faster than the shielded one which was receiving a very small fraction of surface radiation reflected back on it. Try it yourself.

    As for the “nothing ever cools anything” I haven’t yet seen a physicist saying here that was wrong. On the IPCC’s flat earth maybe, but not on my type of Earth.

    And that’s where I must leave you on a flat earth, Dr Strangelove (sorry about the previous typo in your name – not deliberate) as my paper is published on five sites now and I’ll be busy with associated threads to respond to on some of them.

  369. DrO says:

    1) Wow, has everybody forgotten what “energy balance” means?

    in – out + sink/source = d/dt of contents (i.e. accumulation)

    … just like your bank balance (in – out + interest – fees = d/dt of contents (i.e. the balance).

    if in = out, but there are sinks/sources, then there can be heating/cooling. For example, if the several trillion tons of molten metal/molten rock a few km bellow our feet are transferring heat up to the surface (which they are), or if the magnetic field that whirling molten mass generates has an impact (which it does) etc etc etc.

    Alternatively, if incoming heat/light is used to evaporate water (or melt ice, or create sugars from CO2 and H2O, bigger hurricanes, etc.), with an increasing level of humidity (or whatever), then in can be > out, and no (appreciable) temperature rise is a possible state.

    Moreover, since the latent heat of evaporation is about 1000 time greater compared to changing water’s temperature by 1C (which is about 1000 time greater compared to changing the temperature of air 1C), the amount of “heat” that can be stored in various “latent” forms is very considerable.

    That is, you can’t (ok, shouldn’t) do an energy balance purely on the basis of in flow vs. out flow across the atmosphere.

    … and as many have recognised, if it were as simple as: sun in, CO2 keeps it in, etc, then temperatures would have increased exponentially in a self accelerating manner off to some singularity, with the planet “maximising its entropy”.

    … also in vs. out may be “other things”, such as the “implication” of CERN’s study suggesting cosmic radiation “in” may be a factor etc.

    2) Photons can certainly travel from cooler to warmer (in a sense) … can astronauts see the Earth from the Moon? Can you see Mars? etc etc. The point is, the photons/EMR are leaving the planet for the 3K of deep dark space, but happen to collide with warmer bodies on the way. So no laws of thermodynamics are broken. The planet does not exist in isolation, it interacts with the universe.

    3) The notion that the planet (only) looses heat by first heating the atmosphere, which then convects to higher altitudes, and then radiates seems suspect … particularly given the context above suggesting that T**4 is happening “more” “up there” compared to “down here”. At 60 km up, the temp is about -50C compared to about +15C at sea level, so T**4 should be much stronger from the surface (keeping in mind that T**4 is calculated in K or any other suitable “absolute”).

    Anybody who believes that first there must be convection should turn on the lights and touch a light bulb (i.e. the (incandescent) bulb is a (near) vacuum but seems to transfer that heat pretty well (almost) purely by radiation).

    4) Atmospheric density about 30k up is about 1/10, and 60k up is about 1/100 of what it is at sea level. So what ever increase occurs up there is tiny by comparison to what is happening at the surface (since there is very little up there). Thus, the suggestion that “more” CO2 is moved higher etc has “truth”, but the impact is tiny.

    5) The planet is a complex system. Any attempt to model it as a “blast furnace” or as a “Thermos” is doomed to material imperfections.

    6) There seems to be some confusion regarding man’s contribution to the CO2 content of the atmosphere. I think some of the contributors were comparing “apples to oranges”. The data seems to be 5% man made as “flow”, but perhaps 30% as an accumulation since the industrial age (though those seem to be rather “heroic” calculations with many assumptions).

    7) It seems a near certainty that CO2 is a GHG, and as Roy correctly pointed out, the real question is not whether there is global warming (of course there is), nor whether CO2 is a GHG (of course it is), but rather:

    … is it a good thing, or a bad thing? and if its a bad thing, then how much of it is man-made, etc? … and what, if anything, can be done?

    … for example, man also puts particulate pollutants into the atmosphere, which cause cooling … so a reduction in “industrial” activity may reduce CO2, but would also reduce particulates … what happens then (assuming man-made CO2 is the “GW culprit”)?

    8) ALL CLIMATE MODELS (CM’s) ARE RUBBISH. This is not an opinion. It is a fact of life. The climate is a chaotic system (in the non-linear dynamics sense); attempts to model it with deterministic methods are wanting. Climate models can no more predict the climate then you or the CM’s could predict what a “blob” would do inside a lava-lamp a few minutes from now (never mind 100 years from now). This is a property of dynamical systems that fall in the “fundamentally unstable phenomenon” category (also lava-lamps, Hele-Shaw cells, wars, the financial markets, etc).

    However, you do not need to know anything about differential equations, and need only grade school physics to prove that the IPCC’s armies of modelling groups have produced rubbish. Look at “FAQ 8.1 Figure 1″ in Chapter 8 (page 600) of the IPCC report (the chapter on modelling). Those models produced those (apparently) amazing “good” agreements to the real data ONLY by MANUAL INTERFERENCE (i.e. cheating). The only way for the models to “know” when and how big (those four) volcanic events are is by manual intervention (not even the IPCC dare claim they can predict volcanoes). If you remove the manual intervention, then their models would have predicted approx 1.5 C higher (than actual) ave global temp at the end of the 70 year or so of the data history use for benchmarking (i.e. a massive error, AKA rubbish).

    Put differently, if they put in volcanoes for their “100 year forecasts” with which they frighten the public, the result would not be 4 C warmer (as they claim), may be not even 1C warmer.

    They can’t even predict next week’s weather, but they seem to be “oh so certain” about what will happen 100 years from now.

    If you can’t forecast, then you can’t set policy. So whether there is AGW or not, it is impossible to predict what will happen, or what to do about it.

    9) Finally, a useful question is this: “if CO2 is so controversial, then why did “they” focus on it”?

    IMHO, the CO2 connection has little to do with science, and everything to do with politics, ideology, and most importantly, money. The entire global warming matter became “big” due to many years of the UN’s (and UN fringe groups, eg. Maurice Strong et al) trying to get more money from rich countries (and in Strong’s case, other “objectives” as well). In the 1970′s little was known about CO2 output from China, India, and Africa, and it seemed “plausible” for the UN to associate CO2 with industrial development … AKA the rich countries. Then, if the UN could “vilify the west”, perhaps it could get more money on the pretext that since the rich countries have ruined the planet for the poor counties, the rich should pay restitution (e.g. “model forecast” 6 meter rise in sea levels etc.). As I understand it, the UN would like (an additional) USD 1 to 2 Trillion/year.

    Of course, since then, it has been established that (roughly speaking) China, India, and Africa each produce about the same CO2/GHG output as the US (particularly when cows/methane, etc etc are counted). However, the UN wouldn’t dare admit it was wrong (in fact they fire/sack their senior climate scientists who have the audacity to ask “questions”).

    … I am have nothing against the poor and starving getting help, but this is not the way to go about it.

    I, and I have heard others, have the opinion that much of the “absurdity” and “confrontational” stance taken by the “climate fanatics” may be driven by the recognition that they are interested in ideological goals, but their “science” is now being questioned. So they must move to increasingly bizarre “methods” to “support” their position. For example, Gore stated that if you even dare to ask a question, c.f. accepting his doctrine in silent obedience, then you are a racist (he didn’t use the word racist, but a simile to the 1950′s/60′s southern states and the troubles of segregation). Another of their brethren actually compared sceptics to NAZI’s.

    … at the end of the day, and Roy and others had sussed this long ago, those who are ideologically tied to an outcome (as opposed to a proper scientific derivation), will never change their minds.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Yes CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The question is whether there’s any possible greenhouse effect left for it to engender. It’s not possible for the earth’s average output power to exceed its input power. That would violate conservation of energy law. We know the input power is ~350W/m2 hence the output power is limited to the same value. 350W/m2 equates to a temperature of 286K which is within the margin of error for the actual measured average temperature of the earth. Therefore one might reasonably suppose that the greenhouse effect is already saturated and because of that saturation more CO2 will have no effect. Wouldn’t it be ironic if both the physicists and the GHG deniers are both right?

      I suspect this will ultimately be found to be true. During each interglacial period we see the earth’s temperature shoot up several degrees like a rocket in a very brief span of time where it then hits a brick wall and the rise stops. Perhaps a glass ceiling is a better analogy than a brick wall. In any case it appears there is indeed a tipping point where a runaway greenhouse effect occurs but Hansen just has the timing wrong. The earth reached that tipping point at the beginning of the Holocene Interglacial, ran away, then the runaway greenhouse reached the limitation imposed by the maximum available power from the sun.

    • Dave Springer says:

      DrO says:
      March 23, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      “… and as many have recognised, if it were as simple as: sun in, CO2 keeps it in, etc, then temperatures would have increased exponentially in a self accelerating manner off to some singularity, with the planet “maximising its entropy”.”

      There is a limit to the greenhouse effect. It cannot possibly cause something to emit more energy than it absorbs. The earth as a whole gets 342W/m2 mean input from the sun. This cannot possibly cause any surface below it to have a mean emittance greater than 342W/m2 at equilibrium. That caps the earth’s mean temperature at 279K no matter how much greenhouse gas is present. A higher temperature would violate conservation of energy law.

      You mention earth’s internal heat and that’s the only possible thing that could cause a mean surface temperature higher than 279K. However internal heat from the earth were it to leak out any faster than about 100 milliWatts/m2 over geologic time would have the earth like the moon and Mars with a solid core. You have to somehow justify over two orders of magnitude more than the estimated 100mW/m2 to begin to account for what is presumed to be greenhouse effect. Moreover the earth’s crust is thinnest where the ocean is the deepest so we’d expect the deep ocean to be warmer than it is. It’s interesting and must certainly be considered but it would appear by every metric we have that internal heat leaking out of the earth’s core isn’t more than a pimple on the butt of solar energy coming in from above.

  370. Gordon Robertson says:

    Dr. Strangelove “Here is an intelligent rebuttal to Gerlich and Tscheuschner in two parts. They have been debunked convincingly”.

    It may be intelligent to you, but I regard it as a cynical attack, not a rebuttal. It is laden with ad homs and asks as many questions as it tries to answer.

    I have read the scienceofdoom nonsense before. It begin by chastising G&T for not understanding the climate science they are rebutting. They are not addressing climate science and they are careful not to get into that. They are merely testing the greenhouse effect theory against what is known in physics, particularly thermodynamics, for which they have expertise.

    The biggest criticism I had with the SOD attack was their attempt to explain how radiation can flow from a cooler body to a warmer body. They complicated the problem by describing an independent heat source rather than a dependent heat source like GHGs in the atmosphere.

    G&T said nothing about radiation or the ability of radiation to flow from a cooler body to a warmer body. In fact, that was one of the major blunders in the Halpern et al rebuttal which assumed G&T were claiming in a two body system, that one of the bodies was not radiating.

    That is a major hangup up for people trying to understand the 2nd law. It is not about infrared radiation, it is about transfer of heat between bodies. Obviously, in a solid body that is a good thermal conductor, it is easy to understand. I doubt that anyone would argue that heat would flow from the cool end of a solid metal bar to a hotter end being heated by an acetylene torch.

    They certainly would not claim that such heat would raise the temperature of the hotter end, yet that’s what is being implied in the atmosphere. They are confusing radiative energy flow with heat. With radiation, infrared energy is radiated to space when atoms in a substance have their energy levels raised.

    When that radiative energy contact a gas like a GHG, it is absorbed, raising the temperature of the gas. Now we have two surface at different temperatures with one being dependent on the other. The gas radiates energy as it warms, and if that energy can flow to the warming object. However, it cannot raise the temperature of the warmer object. That’s what the 2nd law states.

    You have two bodies with different heat contents and the net heat flow (not net energy flow) must be from the warmer to the cooler.

    That’s where the scienceofdoom paper messed up badly.

  371. Bryan says:

    Dr Strangelove

    KR above said solar IR is 1%

    SoD waffled about G&Ts comment that solar IR was nearly 50%
    G&T also said that many climate scientists are unaware of the true extent of solar IR.

    KR is not unintelligent but he is so buried in the greenhouse alarm paradigm that he can make a claim that is total nonsense.
    I also have found that several other greenhouse advocates fail on this point.

    G&T were quite correct in reminding a physics audience of the true value of solar IR and also remarking that many climate scientists seem unaware of this fact.

    Here is a source that you will trust

    “Much of the energy from the Sun arrives on Earth in the form of infrared radiation. Sunlight at zenith provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.[2]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared

    • Dave Springer says:

      The electromagnetic spectrum typically has two delineations in the infrared – near and far. Near infrared is what the sun emits in abundance. Far infrared is what the earth emits in abundance. None of the non-condensing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have absorption bands in the near infrared. Conflating near and far infrared in the context of atmospheric physics is a sign of either ignorance or deceit.

  372. Bryan says:

    This is what KR posted

    ” In the Earth climate the incoming energy is visible light – affected primarily by visible light albedo from the surface and clouds. Given that less than 1% of sunlight is IR.”

    Dave Springer

    “Conflating near and far infrared in the context of atmospheric physics is a sign of either ignorance or deceit.”

    I think that is a bit harsh KR is not the first climate scientist to fail to get the extent of the IR band.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Actually KR was right in the context that matters. Less than 1% of solar energy is in the far infrared. Somewhere north of 40% is in the near infrared but non-condensing greenhouse gases are transparent in the near infrared so in the context of CO2 it makes no difference.

      What I’m currently struggling to comprehend is how 342W/m2 mean power at top of atmosphere can possibly cause the surface to emit 390W/m2 mean power. That can be done in the short term by different absorption/emission coefficients at different frequencies but Kirchoff’s Law clearly states that at equilibrium absorption equals emission across all frequencies. But you only need to know the conservation of energy law not Kirchoff’s Law to appreciate that an object without an internal power source cannot possibly continuously emit more energy than it receives.

      The average temperature of the global ocean is given at 3.9C from top to bottom. This equates a temperature of 277K which equates to 333W/m2 emitted power. This is VERY close to the theoretical maximum of 342W/m2 which is what the sun provides at top of atmosphere (1366W/m2 solar constant projected onto a sphere). It would appear that the greenhouse effect, which can only operate increasing effective absorptivity from ~0.7 in the visible bands to something greater over the total spectrum. In no case can the greenhouse effect raise effective absorption above 1.0. So the greenhouse effect is pretty near maxed out which handily explains why there’s a devil of a time measuring any increase from higher CO2.

      The “average” temperature of the earth bandied about at 288K is very clearly wrong as it simply isn’t possible for the sun to get the mean temperature that high with a 1366W/m2 solar constant. It can get it to 279K and no more.

  373. Dr O.

    You display very little knowledge of atmospheric physics, I’m sorry to say.

    Yes photons from a cold atmosphere hit the surface, but you cannot prove that their radiated energy is converted to thermal energy.

    Yes there can be an energy imbalance at TOA, but the models are not accurate enough to prove it, and nor are empirical measurements.

    But the energy imbalance, positive or negative (as it may be so far this century) is caused by natural climate cycles which account for all climate change.

    Read my peer-reviewed publication …

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/15186/Radiated-Energy-and-the-Second-Law-of-Thermodynamics-Carbon-dioxide-in-atmosphere-plays-an-insignificant-role-in-resonating-against-a-small-percentage-of-the-total-surface-emission

    • PB says:

      Douglas, you do yourself a disservice with the rudeness on display in this response. Instead of essentially calling Dr O ignorant on the subject, something appalling for a teacher to do, you would be much better received if you pointed out where he is wrong.

      Your constant appeal to the authority of your paper, wherein you trash a hundred years of physics without a single equation or objective experimental result is, to say the least, annoying. Your assertion that it is peer reviewed is ludicrous. When one reads your paper it is clear that it is based on its own appeal to the authority of another paper that also trashes 100 years of physics with no objective experimental results. It is two thirds rant and it would seem you have adopted a similar style in your own paper.

      Where are the reviews? Who are the reviewers? Where are the citations to complimentary/supporting evidence?

      You have built a house of cards and placed yourself atop it as the trump card and instead of having a discourse about what is in the pile you proclaim all dissenters stupid.

      Can you see why people push back on you?

    • Dave Springer says:

      “Yes photons from a cold atmosphere hit the surface, but you cannot prove that their radiated energy is converted to thermal energy.”

      What you’re struggling to say is electromagnetic energy converted to kinetic energy. Let’s at least get the terms right.

      The electromagnetic energy has to go somewhere. It can’t just disappear. Conservation of energy prohibits that. It is either reflected or absorbed. If it is absorbed by a dry surface it adds to the total energy in the surface which raises its temperature and by consequence this raises the rate of conductive heat loss. Conductive loss cannot increase without a concommitant rise in surface temperature as the rate of conduction depends on the magnitude of delta T.

      You have made an extraordinary claim that the laws of physics are somehow wrong and that the land surface is somehow reflecting or otherwise rejecting downwelling IR rather than absorbing it. This flies in the face of everything we know about the physical properties of common land surfaces. The misapplication of physical law you have created on paper is not going to receive any serious attention. It’s crank science pure and simple.

  374. Dave Springer says:

    Wow. More inconsistencies in sanity checks.

    The maximum measured temperature of the moon is 123C. Blackbody emission at that temperature requires 1394W/m2. The emissivity of the moon is measured at 0.88 which makes the empirically derived solar constant on the moon a whopping 1584W/m2 assuming the sun is at zenith long enough for regolith to reach equilibrium temperature.

    That would make the mean solar power for the earth 396W/m2 which translates to maximum possible mean surface temperature of (surprise, surprise) 287K or 15C. That’s almost exactly what the reported average temperature of the earth is. So if we have a saturated greenhouse and a solar constant of 1584W/m2 we get a 15C average surface temperature on the earth.

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. The moon’s maximum recorded temperature is hardly likely to be off by more than a hundredth of a degree and there’s no atmosphere and its albedo is easy to measure so it really, really looks like the solar constant of 1366W/m2 at TOA is bullshat.

    • Mike Blackadder says:

      Interesting. I wonder if anyone has an alternative explanation for why the moon can reach a maximum of 123C?

      The only thing you haven’t taken into account is the Earth’s albedo. But still it would be interesting if it were the case that the atmosphere had an overall null effect on average surface temperature.

  375. Doug Cotton says:

    Dave & PB

    Firstly, I am not a school teacher. The peer-review process of my paper was extensive (over three weeks) and comprehensive by the four scientists listed in the Acknowledgements. There is also ongoing open peer-review by dozens of scientists from a wide range of disciplines (including meteorology, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, astrophysics and more) who are members of the ever-expanding Principia Scientific International whose website you would do well to visit.

    I don’t need to re-iterate the standard equations for radiative heat transfer in my paper. Nor do my results require anything different, so I suggest it is quite sufficient to refer to them, rather than copy the well known equations for SBL, for example. There is no need for any new mathematics to support my argument. If you judge papers by the number of equations, then Claes Johnson, a professor of applied mathematics (very similar to physics) has plenty in his paper because that’s what his Computational Blackbody Radiation is about.

    Dave, you can treat the “resonant scattering” in Section 5 as if it were diffuse reflection in so far as its energy is concerned. That looks after the energy balance which I have not overlooked as you seem to think. However, the process is neither the same as reflection, nor the same as absorption leading to thermalisation. The need for the existence of such a process is deduced logically from consideration of the SLoT.

    You won’t understand what I am saying unless you are prepared to study the full 6,600 word paper for half an hour or so.

    Yes, Claes and I are saying that the early scientists were mistaken in assuming there is a two way heat transfer between bodies of different temperatures.

    And Dave, you may wish to read Appendix Q.2 regarding use of S-B for calculating surface temperatures. The Earth’s surface does not act like a blackbody because, for a start, it is not insulated and looses more than half its thermal energy by evaporative cooling and other sensible heat transfer.

    I use the term “thermal energy” (as defined in Wikipedia, for example) because it is more embracing and includes PE, not just KE, this distinction being necessary in the discussion of adiabatic lapse rates.

    ____________________

    You may wish to read this post copied below …

    Gordon Robertson says:

    March 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Watchman…”Peer reviewed? Isn’t this “paper” in Principia Scientific? Are you suggesting this is a “peer reviewed” scientific journal?”

    Where in the scientific method does it require a paper to be peer reviewed? Peer review began as a means of preventing laymen from flooding journals with inane science. Today it is a method of preventing people who don’t support the official consensus from being published. That is, peer review is now censorship, and top IPCC official are participating in it (Climategate).

    I have just spent a couple of interesting hours reading through material at PSI that is soundly based in science. I would never get such information from peer reviewed mind control.

    • Dave Springer says:

      You are in denial, Doug and your inflated claims about Principia Scientific and peer review speak to you being deceitful. Principia Scientific is a friggin’ web page created about a year ago. It is not a scientific journal by any stretch of the imagination. I checked its provenance, dude. Yer busted.

  376. Bryan says:

    Dave Springer says:

    “Actually KR was right in the context that matters. Less than 1% of solar energy is in the far infrared.”

    KR did not say far infrared!

    This is what he wrote;

    “Given that less than 1% of sunlight is IR.”

    How do you know he did not mean exactly that?
    He is not a child who one has to make allowances for!

    This slap dash approach in climate science where others make allowances for gross misuse of already defined language is all to common.
    Pass with a shove, “I know what he meant to say”, already tolerates statements like “heat can move spontaneously from a colder to a hotter surface”.
    This leaves everyone confused and arguing past one another.

    What next, is a statement like ‘A whale is a fish’ acceptable from;

    1. A three year old child
    2. A biology textbook

    KR’s statement above can at best can be described as sloppy rubbish and anyone who accepts it is just as ignorant.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Brian,

      You ask how I know that KR meant less than 1% of solar is *far* infrared.

      I knew that because I happen to know that very little insolation is from wavelengths beyond 3 micrometers which is the cutoff between near and far infrared. So I just assumed he was talking about far infrared.

      If you didn’t know what he was referring to that speaks to your knowledge level on this subject not his or mine. Sorry.

  377. Doug Cotton says:

    Dave

    A comparison of the Moon and Earth temperatures does indeed demonstrate how much cooler the atmosphere keeps us in daylight hours. Water vapour absorbs some incident solar radiation in several IR bands, and even carbon dioxide absorbs some solar IR around 2 microns and then sends some of the energy back to space, thus having a cooling effect in this process. The solar IR has about five times as much energy per photon as does the terrestrial IR radiation. (See Section 6.)

    The reason for the difference between your 1584 W/m^2 and the official figure of 1366 W/m^2 at TOA is that the official TOA is nothing of the kind. There is more atmosphere higher up in the stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. There is obviously absorption in the thermosphere which gets to temperatures well over 400K.

    All of which shows just how much the atmosphere keeps our days far cooler than the Moon’s.

    (See Appendix Q.2)

    • Dave Springer says:

      Doug, it’s not the atmosphere that keeps our temperature extremes far different than the moon. It’s our ocean. Our atmosphere has a trivial thermal mass, dude. Write that down.

    • Mike Blackadder says:

      Doug, I think that the more moderate temperature swings on Earth is due to the higher heat capacity. Other mechanisms like the atmosphere and oceans are also significant, but the higher heat capacity mostly explains why our days are cooler than on the moon, and why r nights are warmer. We observe this effect on a desert where heat capacity is relatively low.

      • Mike Blackadder says:

        Note: when I referred to atmosphere and oceans as other mechanisms I’m referring to how they distribute heat more evenly. I recognize that the ocean surface has relatively high heat capacity and is direct cause of more moderate temperature swings.

  378. PB says:

    Douglas:

    You’ve posted over and over again that you are a tutor. Are tutors teachers?

    Certainly the number of equations a paper utilizes is not relevant to the quality of a paper. But you are overturning the work of many renowned scientists with nothing more than hand waving.

    It simply won’t pass the test of time to attempt such a thing.

  379. Dave Springer says:

    Actually it’s worse than I thought.

    More evidence of conspiracy.

    Google “the temperature at the lunar equator”

    https://www.google.com/search?q=%22the+temperature+at+the+lunar+equator%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    You’ll find lots of references to 127 degrees C (260F). This is what NASA had on its website in the past. Many of the sources explicitely state this temperature comes from nasa.gov website. However, you can’t find that on nasa.gov anymore. It has been “disappeared”.

    Why would NASA disappear this bit of data you might ask. Well it’s because if you enter 127C into the S-B formula for black bodies you’ll find that equates to a solar constant of 1452W/m2.

    That temperature would be for a perfectly black surface which of course doesn’t exist in nature. So the real solar constant at the lunar equator must be something higher than 1452W/m2.

    http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

    We are being lied to about the solar constant being 1366W/m2. That lower solar constant number is needed to make a whole huge raft of numerical claims about the greenhouse effect. If the number is actually 100+ watts higher the so-called greenhouse effect falls apart on a mathematical basis.

  380. Dave Springer says:

    I read the paper

    No, Virginia, Cooler Objects Cannot Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still (Updated)

    Written by Pierre R Latour, PE, PhD, guest post | 06 November 2011

    at Slaying the Sky Dragons

    The guy is off the deep end. I have a satellite dish that according to this nutball couldn’t possibly absorb microwave radiation because the dish is far, far warmer than microwaves.

    He’s raving and misinformed. A crank in other words.

    QED

  381. Toby says:

    Dear Dr Spencer,

    You and I disagree on most climate topics, but this is not one of them.

    I find your exposition to be little short of super-excellent. Congratulations.

    At least, if two sides can agree on the basics, it is a start.

  382. Bryan says:

    Dave Springer says of this passage from KR

    “Given that less than 1% of sunlight is IR”

    Dave says

    “So I just assumed he was talking about far infrared.”

    Can you not READ!!!!

    Nearly 50% of sunlight is IR radiation.

    How wrong and stupid does it have to be before you will accept facts like;

    1. nearly 50% of sunlight is in the IR spectrum
    2. heat only moves spontaneously from higher to lower temperature objects.
    3. the CO2 driven greenhouse effect is nothing more than an unproven conjecture.

  383. Doug Cotton says:

    Dave

    PSI is an organisation with well over 30 member scientists from a wide range of disciplines who all agree that carbon dioxide has no effect on climate. You can read in the “About” pages about who is involved. Of course they have a website, which was the first of five to publish my paper because four of their members reviewed my paper prior to publication and Hans in particular spent a lot of time in making suggestions etc. You will see more experiments this year from Nasif Nahle, a professor of physics and one of our members, showing why the AGW conjecture is a hoax.

    Our oceans have a trivial thermal mass compared with the whole Earth – crust, mantle and core. The Earth has far more energy down there than the Moon. See Appendix Q.3. This “thermal inertia”, as well as that in the oceans (about 15 times the land surfaces) stabilise climate, but the adiabatic lapse rate in the atmosphere also plays a part, as does the absorptivity and albedo of the atmosphere which keeps land surfaces far cooler during the day than they would be without a shielding atmosphere, clouds etc. You can’t simplify it all down to just the oceans.

    The 255K figure, based on a flat Earth, is wrong for many reasons, as outlined in Appendix Q.2. The solar radiation spectrum in in Section 6. Previously I pointed out that TOA is not in fact the real top of the atmosphere, or even the mesopause or thermopause – rather it is the tropopause which is ridiculous. You should heed Bryan.

    I am stating that the early scientists who thought that there is two-way heat transfer when radiation occurs between two bodies were mistaken. Prof Claes Johnson has said this before me, and proved the theory. The Second Law of Thermodynamics also proves that two way heat transfer is impossible. Physics progresses, yes. It is their absurd assumption which is not passing the test of time, and physicists the world over are realising AGW is a travesty of physics because its key assumption regarding backradiation warming the surface violates the SLoT. You cannot possibly prove otherwise. Certainly my experiments confirm what I am saying, as do Prof Nasif Nahle’s.

    Dr Latour is saying what all the other members of PSI are saying, myself included. You are one voice against them, but what you (and the IPCC & Co) are claiming would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Everything in the six published papers on the PSI site is correct physics, and, with your knowledge of physics, you would not have a hope of proving anything there to be incorrect.

    The issues regarding microwaves are explained in the Appendix. The very fact that radio waves are not absorbed by the surface supports the hypothesis.

    PB

    I said I am not a school teacher. I do part time private tutoring in university physics and mathematics (ever since the 1960′s), plus (unpaid) part time research into climate change. I also develop and support medical and dental software systems, as well as one of the most widely used mathematics software pacjages for all school levels.

  384. Doug Cotton says:

    PB & Dave Sorry I accidently responded to PB’s comment about early scientists in the 4th paragraph to Dave. You may both wish to read all the above post anyway.

  385. PB says:

    Dave:

    In case you haven’t read about the experiments Douglas refers to you should do so.

    One is about filling balloons with GHG and hanging them above a black mat laid on the surface of the ground to demonstrate that the balloons don’t heat the mat.

    The other has flasks of water set out in a garden with various tin foil reflectors or something, proving beyond doubt that the atmosphere can’t boil your tea.

    Worth the read to get some much needed context.

  386. PB says:

    Actually Douglas:

    “The issues regarding microwaves are explained in the Appendix. The very fact that radio waves are not absorbed by the surface supports the hypothesis.”

    Is not true. Microwaves for example, are readily absorbed and converted to heat by many materials. Carbon is one, ceramics another. Ever hear of the stealth fighter plane?

  387. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer, yes indeed, my comment about super insulating anybodys house was unnecessarily snarky. I offer my sincere apology; it was unnecessary on my part.

    However, in my defense I do suggest that use of the term “DENIER” does raise my hackles a bit; after all I am still human, even if the persons that label me a “DENIER” don’t quite see it that way.

    Moving forward in this debate, I strongly recommend that you checkout a textbook that discusses Multi-layer Interference Filters from your local library. The similarities between the science behind these filters and the “GHE” are quite remarkable.

    These filters are widely commercially available;

    For your convenience check out;

    US Patent #4,747,666

    And also;

    http://www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/filters/interference/index.html

    And also;

    http://www.nitto-optical.co.jp/english/products/optical_coating/index.html

    And there are lots of others, just do that search engine thing on “multi-layer interference filter” to find somebody that will gladly sell you one today.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  388. Doug Cotton says:

    PB:

    Show me your evidence regarding any spontaneously emitted microwaves (or any low frequency waves from a cooler source) supposedly being absorbed and thus transferring thermal energy to a warmer body. If you can find any example of anything that violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics then publish your peer-reviewed paper which will cause quite a stir among physicists.

    Maybe you are confusing how a microwave oven heats food with spontaneous blackbody emission, which is altogether different, because there are no standing waves (as in a microwave oven) which have fixed nodes and which are able to vibrate water molecules in food which then warm and cook the food which contains such water. Some fats and sugars can also be warmed, but not most composite bodies that have no water molecules.

  389. Doug Cotton says:

    Others please note that there is a summary of my paper in this post on a tallbloke’s talkshop thread dedicated to the paper. On that thread you will also find prolific comments by our friend PB (whoever he/she is) where every conjecture by PB on that thread has been completely and thoroughly rebutted both in comments and often in my paper as well, unless it was way off topic.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21097

  390. Doug Cotton says:

    More on microwave ovens

    Such ovens do of course have an electric energy supply. The radiation causes water molecules to flip around through 180 degrees (each half wavelength) and in so doing they generate thermal energy by friction, not by actual absorption of the radiation. The energy for the friction effectively comes from the electric energy provided. Obviously you would not normally observe such intensity in spontaneous emission in nature.

    Molecules in ice are often not free to move enough, so you can get frozen spots if you just put frozen food straight in the microwave oven without using the defrost option. This defrosting turns the radiation off and on, so it heats some water molecules which then have time to transfer thermal energy to the ice by conduction. So the ice can be melted by warmer water, not directly by the microwaves. So, the microwave oven does not disprove the process described in my paper. The microwaves do not even melt ice directly.

    Experiment Empty a tray of small ice cubes from your frig into a microwave container which does not get warm itself in a microwave oven. Refill the ice tray and empty the equivalent amount of water into another such microwave container. Put both in the microwave oven for about a minute. The water will boil but none of the ice will melt. Then (outside the oven) pour the boiling water onto the ice and it will melt in less than a minute, demonstrating the above explanation that the heat comes from friction in the water (where molecules are free to move) rather than absorption which would have melted the ice.

  391. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    .

    Well, Roy, it does not appear that the Slayers have been slayed.

    Or, more precisely, that anything in the papers published on the PSI site has been successfully refuted.

    http://principia-scientific.org/

    Instead, I would suggest that your own “two steps” have been soundly rebutted.

    STEP 1 Natural climate cycles (~1,000 year, 60 year etc) are the cause of radiative imbalance, not carbon dioxide which, as my paper shows, does not slow the overall rate of cooling of the surface.

    STEP 2 So, yes, “from the early 1970′s” (nicely cherry picked) there was warming until 1998 because both the 1,000 year and the 60 year natural cycles were on the increase simultaneously. But since 1999 the 60 year cycle has been turning downwards for 30 years, being offset a little by the 0.05 deg.C / decade upward trend in the 1,000 year cycle for another 50 to 200 years at the most. (See Appendix Q.1 in my Radiated Energy … “ at PSI.)

    Cheers

    Doug

    .

    .

  392. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    STEP 3 – (I’m waltzing)

    Roy’s claim that carbon dioxide slows cooling of the surface is soundly rebutted with physics in my paper.

    The effect of carbon dioxide on the radiative cooling rate of the surface is minuscule because of its limited frequencies, especially at atmospheric temperatures.

    Carbon dioxide is like a picket fence with most of its pickets missing, standing up against the full blast radiation from the surface which has nearly a fully filled in Planck distribution of frequencies.

    And even if the radiative cooling rate is slowed down a bit, it is less than 40% of total cooling. Furthermore, the other 60% of cooling processes – evaporative cooling and sensible heat loss will accelerate to compensate, so there is no overall slowing of the cooling process, because of reasons explained in my paper, notably in Appendix Q.3.

    .

  393. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    So, when the IPCC, climatologists and SkS says
    “Greenhouse gases slow down the rate of heat-loss from the surface of the Earth, like a blanket that slows down the rate at which your body loses heat.” they are making a fictitious, over-simplified conjecture which they cannot prove empirically or theoretically with sound physics that takes into account what really happens between the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere.

    They are wrong, Roy. Stop listening to false speculation and, instead, read in just half an hour what really does happen here on Earth.

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

    .

    .

  394. Doug Cotton says:

    So what happens, Roy, to the fairly high intensity, but low frequency microwave radiation which strikes the ice cubes in a microwave oven but does not melt them?

    If not much is reflected off water, why would much be reflected off ice? We know ice melts in front of an electric radiator. So the difference is in the frequency distribution as Claes and I have been saying.

    It is neither reflected much nor absorbed at all. Yet, being a solid, not much would be transmitted, especially when we know the same microwaves had an effect on water.

    So it must be scattered in the way I describe in my paper, and the absorptivity of ice for such low frequency radiation must be zero, because the ice does not melt. The reasons are in my paper, and this is why IPCC models are wrong in assuming absorptivity > 0 for backradiation.

    WHich is more intense? Radiation in a microwave oven or backradiation from above the poles? Both types of radiation have lower frequencies than the radiation emitted by the ice itself.

    If high intensity LW radiation in a microwave oven cannot melt ice, what chance does low intensity LW backradiation have of melting (or warming) all the ice and snow-covered areas of the globe? How then can backradiation affect sea levels?

  395. PB says:

    Douglas:

    Try stealth fighter planes which are coated with radar absorbent materials that absorb and convert to heat, the incident radar signal in the range 1 to 16 GHz.

    I’m not a spy but I’m told it even works on the engine.

    Toodles….

    BTW not really appreciative of you putting words in my mouth. How are you coming with those energy diagrams?

    If you would like a citation, Google it. There are more papers on it on the internet than there are shoddy physics theories.

  396. Doug Cotton says:

    PB absorb and convert to heat, the incident radar signal in the range 1 to 16 GHz.

    No they don’t. The radar undergoes resonant scattering, just like microwaves when they strike ice. Microwave ovens were developed based on experience with radar.

    See Section 5 of my paper if you are interested in the facts rather than trying to propagate the hoax at the expense of people’s lives that could be saved with the misdirected $100,000,000,000 each year allocated to “green” energy conversion in developing countries. Try melting ice in your microwave oven – then put it in front of an electric radiator of similar power.

    The energy diagrams? The ones that kid that the backradiation which had absolutely no effect in my experiment has more power than the Sun? The ones that kid carbon dioxide radiates over 100 times the limit which the Planck curve and S-B law permits? The energy diagrams that perpetuate the biggest hoax in the history of mankind. What else would you like to know about those energy diagrams that violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics by assuming backradiation is absorbed by the warmer surface.

  397. Myrrh says:

    Bryan says:
    March 25, 2012 at 4:42 AM
    Dave Springer says:

    “Actually KR was right in the context that matters. Less than 1% of solar energy is in the far infrared.”

    KR did not say far infrared!

    This is what he wrote;

    “Given that less than 1% of sunlight is IR.”

    How do you know he did not mean exactly that?
    He is not a child who one has to make allowances for!

    ….
    KR’s statement above can at best can be described as sloppy rubbish and anyone who accepts it is just as ignorant.

    ===================

    This comes from the AGWScience Fiction comic cartoon energy budget – which has only shortwaves heating the Earth, claiming that the Sun’s heat, thermal infrared, doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface and so plays no part in heating land and oceans.

    This cartoon has 1% IR, what they call shortwave, of the mainly Visible and the two shortwaves of near ir and uv either side.

    They have given the properties of thermal infrared, heat, to light. Light cannot heat land and oceans.

    The cartoon fisics is physical nonsense in the real world.

  398. Doug Cotton says:

    PB

    It is yourself who needs to read more. waves induce molecular oscillations from the alternating magnetic field in this paint, which leads to conversion of the radar energy into heat.

    In other words, it is the same technology which also works via molecular friction in a microwave oven when it heats water molecules, all of which is explained in the above post “More on microwave ovens.” As I said, “microwave ovens were developed based on experience with radar.”

    This is not the same as normal absorption. Subject closed as this is yet another red herring from you PB.

  399. Doug Cotton says:

    Myrrh & Bryan

    “Shortwave” generally includes all solar insolation, or at least up to 3 microns in the near IR. Usually the convention seems to be to take the boundary between SW and LW as corresponding to the maximum WL from the Sun and minimum WL emitted by the surface, these being close because there is virtually no overlap.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave_radiation

    There is a graphic in Section 6 of my paper, linked from my site, showing absorption of SW-IR by H2O and CO2, the latter around 2 microns. This absorption has a cooling effect.

  400. Bryan says:

    Doug Cotton says

    “Shortwave” generally includes all solar insolation”

    Doug, nobodies talking about shortwave!

    We are discussing the extent of infra red radiation as part of the solar spectrum.

    Is it 1% as KR has posted or is it nearly 50% as all physicists contend.

    Please read what other posters are writing before rushing to post irrelevant material of your own.

  401. Doug Cotton says:

    Bryan & Myrrh – some say around 47% – others 53% of solar insolation is shortwave infra-red, also called near infra-red. This can be seen on the plot I mentioned above – see Section 6 -

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

    Light cannot heat land and oceans.

    This is not strictly correct – solar radiation in the visible spectrum penetrates deep into oceans, being attenuated as it goes and its radiated energy converted to thermal energy. So it ends up very dark 11Km down in the deepest ocean – as you may have just seen on the news.

  402. Bryan says:

    Doug, nobodies talking about shortwave!

    We are discussing the extent of infra red radiation as part of the solar spectrum.

    Is it 1% as KR has posted, or is it nearly 50% as all physicists contend.

    Doug

    I think you fail to understand that Infra Red is the total spectrum from just outside visible red to radio waves.

    Your tendency to make pedantic pronouncements are an embarrassment.

    Your “peer reviewed” paper says nothing new.

    Compare your effort against Joseph Postmas three papers.
    As far as I know JosephPostma does not claim peer review yet they contain much well thought through material.
    He advanced the sceptics case and his papers are worth referring to, unlike yours.

  403. Doug Cotton says:

    Bryan

    The infra red within the solar spectrum (approximately half of it) is also deemed to be shortwave.

    All solar radiation is shortwave by the definition of shortwave. – see the link in Wikipedia which defines shortwave as being at least up to 3 microns, some say up to 5 microns.

    So the infra-red spectrum is divided between shortwave infra-red (in the solar spectrum) and longwave infra-red coming from the earth’s surface.

    These matters as easily confirmed if you doubt me.

    Your hand-waving comment about my paper also says nothing that is substantiated, and more than likely, indicates that you just don’t understand what I am saying. Maybe the next post (below) will help. The reviewers, named in the Acknowledgements, thought otherwise.

  404. Doug Cotton says:

    Microwaves not melting ice provide an example of what I deduce in the paper, namely that there must be another process apart from reflection, transmission and absorption resulting in thermalisation. There is at least some LW radiation entering the ice which is not reflected, not transmitted and not being thermalised. Indeed, I did read papers which referred to scattered radiation observed coming from ice. Whatever you call the process, “resonant scattering” or “pseudo scattering” it does exist and explains why radiation does not always have to be thermalised in a solid. The SLoT is obeyed because this process “selects” when it occurs by the temperature differences between source and target.

    In practice, it is just a matter of corresponding frequencies resonating when they find their match. So you can visualise the two Planck curves like picket fences (with the shape of the curves) facing each other. Carbon dioxide only has a few pickets compared with the surface whose pickets are so close there are virtually no gaps. The “fence” for a cooler source will always be fully contained within that for a warmer one – see Section 3. This is the process whereby radiation from one body has an effect on the radiative cooling rate of another body.

    The Earth’s surface, as it sheds energy to the atmosphere, uses up some of its radiating capacity handling the resonant scattering in which it is easier and faster to use the energy in the incident radiation (rather than its own supply of thermal energy) for the new radiation which exactly matches that component of the incident radiation which is also under its Planck curve. If the source was cooler, all such incident radiation will have a distribution that is under its own curve. Only if the source were warmer would there be a surplus (between the Planck curves) that does some warming. So heat transfer by radiation can only be from hot to cold (as we knew by SLoT) and this mechanism which is described in more detail in the paper appears to be what happens.

  405. Bryan says:

    Doug Cotton

    You are delusional!

  406. Doug Cotton says:

    Well, if that’s the full extent of any physics you can contribute to the discussion, so be it. When I said in my first response “47% … 53%” it seems to me I was confirming that IR in the solar spectrum is about half of it. After all, that’s what I said in my paper when explaining how the absorption of such solar IR by H2O and CO2 results in a cooling effect.

  407. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    No Virginia, microwaves and LW radiation from carbon dioxide do not melt ice anywhere on Earth, just like the Slayers have been saying all along.

    Microwaves do not even excite anything in water, let alone ice. If you do the calculations they have far too little energy per photon.

    In water they cause 180 degree flipping of water molecules in synchronisation with the wave motion of the radiation. As the molecules flip they create friction with other flipping molecules, and that is what causes generation of thermal energy, not the normal process which happens when solar radiation strikes water – totally different. The microwaves even have to be such that standing waves are created in order to achieve the flipping. But in ice there is no room for the flipping. And such is the case in nature when low energy LW radiation from a cooler source strikes a warmer surface – there is no generation of thermal energy (ie no heat transfer from cold to hot) which the IPCC energy diagrams wrongly imply happens.

    .

  408. Mike Blackadder says:

    Doug, I have a question about your theory. You suggest in your paper that a cooler body cannot transfer heat to a warmer body, or rather that a warmer body will not convert radiation from a cooler body into heat, but that to explain what we actually observe in terms of net heat transfer that not all of the radiation from the warmer body is converted to heat in the cooler body. In essence it is negotiated such that the correct net heat is transferred.

    This seems like an elaborate explanation which involves intelligent negotiation between bodies – perhaps not a particularly elegant theory. However, my question is whether your description of the interaction has any bearing on the outcome. For example do you not admit according to your own theory that in the interaction between a warm body and a cooler body that the amount of energy actually transferred to the cooler body is a function of the temperature differential and therefore is a function of the temperature of the cooler body? Is it not true then that by raising the temperature of the cooler body that you diminish the rate of heat loss from the warmer body to the cooler one? If the surface of the earth is under constant solar irradiance and at equilibrium temperature and then the atmosphere becomes warmer does this not reduce the rate of transfer of heat from the surface to atmosphere(according to your own theory) which therefore results in higher surface temperature?

  409. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    Mike

    Both are good questions which I anticipated and answered in the paper. For the first question you really need to read at least Sections 3,4 & 5 but preferably from the beginning. For the second question see Appendix Q.7.

    Very briefly, but not really as a substitute for the paper:

    Re question 1: Please see the above post ..
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/slaying-the-slayers-with-the-alabama-two-step/#comment-41358

    The splitting of the energy is, I suggest, an “elegant” hypothesis because it is based on matching frequencies resonating for the intensities represented by the area under the Planck curve for the cooler body. Consider when the two bodies are at the same temperature. Then the Planck curves match, so equal energy is radiated each way and none is converted to thermal energy in either body. Now, the Planck curve for any body which is cooler than another will always be fully contained within that for the warmer body. Wien’s Displacement Law ensures this is the case, so when plotted against frequency (as in Section 3) the relationship regarding the mode being proportional to the temperature is more easily seen.

    Now, as one body starts to get warmer than the other, its Planck curve starts to rise above the mutually resonating radiation between the two bodies represented by the area under the Planck curve for the cooler one, this area being common to both. I am suggesting that (in accord with well known mathematical results using S-B that agree with empirical observations) the energy which does get converted is represented by the area that is now starting to be created between the Planck curves.

    Re Question 2: The difference is two fold …

    (a) We realise the significance of the fact that the limited frequencies of CO2 are not filling in all the area under its Planck curve, so it has far less effect than a blackbody at the same temperature.

    (b) Only the radiative rate of cooling can be affected if there is no conversion to thermal energy. Such radiative cooling is less than 40% of all cooling. Evaporative cooling and diffusion (due to molecular collisions) account for at least 60%. These rates will increase, or simply continue longer into the night until the surface temperature falls to a base temperature which itself is stabilised by underground temperatures. To understand why, please read Appendix Q.3. So, even if the radiative component is slowed down, the other components of surface cooling will compensate, so there is no net effect at all on the rate of surface cooling.

    .

    • Mike Blackadder says:

      Concerning your last point: it sounds like you accept that the CO2 on its own would decrease the rate of cooling of the surface, but you argue that surface temperature is automatically regulated by other factors (I haven’t explored these arguments but seems like a separate issue to the discussion about a cooler body being able to cause higher equilibrium temperature of a warmer body). Although you describe a more complicated mechanism between the surface and the atmosphere the outcome where the atmosphere reduces the rate of cooling of the surface is consistent with theory of the greenhouse effect, and so I’m not sure that you actually refute the greenhouse effect at all.

  410. Doug Cotton says:

    In case anyone has read Pete Ridley’s attempt to rebutt my microwave experiment, I responded …

    Firstly, the flipping action (in synch with the wave motion) is illustrated here – see the next two pages also
    http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/microwaves/water_rotates3.html

    Pete has used plastic bowls which probably got warmed a bit themselves. I used special microwave bowls made of special material that does not get warmed at all in a microwave oven.

    My whole point was to demonstrate that there was ample energy in the first minute (maybe 90 seconds if volumes are greater) to boil an equivalent volume of water from, say, 5 deg.C, but not melt the ice. I demonstrate that there is ample energy in the water to then melt the ice within the same time frame when I poured the boiling water onto the ice.

    So clearly virtually all the energy went into the water and hardly any into the ice, even when they were there together at the same time and for the same length of time. There was ample energy to melt the ice and warm the water quite a few degrees and achieve the end result after mixing. But that did not happen.

    Obviously, if you extend the period you will eventually warm the container (especially a normal plastic container such as Pete probably used) and the container will warm and melt the outer layer of the ice, and the water so formed will start to melt the ice. But the ice is melting by conduction from warmed water. If the microwaves were melting it there would be melting throughout the ice cubes, not just at the surface. This is why defrosting mode turns power on and off, in order to allow time for conduction from heated water to melt the ice in frozen food.

    Even the fact that many materials do not warm much in microwave ovens shows that the heating is mainly achieved by radiation at just the right frequency to flip the H2O molecules through 180 degrees and heat them by friction between molecules. The molecules in ice are too close to flip, as the above linked website explains. This is not thermal absorption, because the frequencies are too low, just as they are for radiation from a cooler atmosphere which also will not transfer thermal energy to all the ice and snow covered land surfaces.

    And this makes an absolute farce of the IPCC claim that the most warming on the whole globe will occur at the North Pole – even up to 6 or 8 degress by 2100, so they say.

    So we know the radiation enters water, but there is no quantum excitation involved which brings about conversion of radiated energy to thermal energy in the same way that solar radiation warms water. We have demonstrated that the frequency makes a difference, and the fact that ice and other materials are not warmed, proves that it is as described, with heating being by friction only.

    Sorry, Pete, but once again you are not right.

  411. PB says:

    Oh the irony….

    You bought SPECIAL microwave bowls that DO NOT absorb microwave energy in order to demonstrate that ice doesn’t absorb microwave energy as a proof that nothing absorbs microwave energy.

    • Dave Springer says:

      PB

      Microwave ovens heat stuff by dielectric heating. This is common knowledge. Google it. There is also what’s called inductive heating where electrical eddy currents are set up in metals. Neither of these is applicable to absorption of far infrared.

      Cotton admits that “all” backradiation can do is restrict radiative cooling of the surface. That is correct and no one with any decent understanding of physics argues with it. If Cotton has some bizzare notion of how the restriction takes place that’s a different question. If he thought they were red and blue armies and the blue army (from the blue sky of course) destroy the invading red army guys with light sabers it doesn’t make any difference so long as he acknowledges the the outcome is the same, which he does.

      He goes on from there to say that a restricted radiative channel produes a higher flow through other channels. He’s right there too. That’s how thermodynamics works. The question then becomes what are those other channels and how do they respond. Where there is water there is an increased evaporation rate. Everyone including Cotton acknowledges this. The problem is mostly this wholesale invention of water vapor amplification. Increased CO2 among other things raises the evaporation rate if there’s water available and air that can hold more. Given 71% of thge surface IS water with an average depth of 12,000 feet it’s safe to say we should consider what happens there first.

      Cotton the correctly states that only 40% of heat loss is radiative. He’s right again. That’s a global average. Radiative loss is over 90% in deserts and about 30% over the ocean. Clearly when there is water available to evaporate this is the path of least resistance for heat to escape the surface. When there is no water to evaporate the radiative path is the big winner. That’s because conduction, the third and final path, is piss poor. Air is a horrible conductor of thermal energy.

      What I haven’t seen Cotton explicitely say is that when there is not water to evaporate and the radiative channel is restricted that surface temperature will rise which then increases the efficiency of conductive coupling between surface and atmosphere. If he does that then I have nothing left to disagree with him about except irrelevant quantum mechanics about how, precisely, downwelling far IR slows the rate of surface cooling. If the downwelling isn’t absorbed and thermalized the end result is precisely the same.

  412. Dave Springer says:

    Cotton

    “(b) Only the radiative rate of cooling can be affected if there is no conversion to thermal energy. Such radiative cooling is less than 40% of all cooling. Evaporative cooling and diffusion (due to molecular collisions) account for at least 60%. These rates will increase, or simply continue longer into the night until the surface temperature falls to a base temperature which itself is stabilised by underground temperatures. To understand why, please read Appendix Q.3. So, even if the radiative component is slowed down, the other components of surface cooling will compensate, so there is no net effect at all on the rate of surface cooling.”

    Correct. The only thing you’re missing is that a surface that loses less energy at night is a little warmer in the morning than usual and thus the sun has a bit of a head start and will reach a higher afternoon high than it would otherwise. The other thing you’re missing is that the effect of CO2 doesn’t go away when the sun is shining. The far IR path from ground to space remains restricted by the same amount 24/7 with the possible exception of surface temperature changing enough to throw the peak far IR frequency closer to or further away from CO2 sweet spot at 12 microns. Colder surface is closer to sweet spot than warmer surface everywhere except possibly the dead of winter at the south pole.

    So over perfectly dry land we can calculate with engineering-level certainty that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will raise the surface temperature 1.1C which is precisely enough to raise the rate of conductive heat loss enough to compensate for the extra restriction the doubling creates in the radiative channel.

    If there’s water to evaporate all bets are off. This is where the real debate lies. AGW climate boffins believe correctly that CO2 will add water vapor to the atmosphere. The incorrectly believe that this further warms the surface. There is no empirical evidence that additional water vapor results in higher mean temperatures. The place in the world with the highest mean annual temperature is an equatorial desert that sits at sea level not an equatorial ocean. This is empirical proof AFAIC that the water cycle as a whole exerts a cooling effect not a warming one. Water vapor amplification is bullshit. So where there’s water available to evaporate CO2′s surface warming effect is negated.

  413. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    The aim with microwave oven experiments is to prove that there are things which don’t get heated by the LW radiation in microwave ovens. What happens to all those photons? IPCC assumes photons transfer thermal energy to solids and liquids (like the land surfaces and oceans) regardless of the frequency of the radiation. They don’t if they come from colder regions of the atmosphere, which is nearly always the case. Microwave ovens demonstrate that at least some LW radiation doesn’t warm some things.

    The black metal plate in my microwave oven does not get warmed by the oven’s LW radiation, whereas the same metal plate does get warmed in front of an electric bar radiator also emitting LW radiation with intensity of the same order of magnitude. The difference is in the frequency.

    And this is the whole point of what we are discussing. Radiation with lower peak frequency than that for the emission which the target is emitting, will not transfer thermal energy to such a warmer target.

    The computational proof is in Ref [3] of my paper – linked from http://climate-change-theory.com – which is why I don’t need to include computations therein. Furthermore, the quantification of the process I describe has the same mathematics as is well known and well documented for calculating heat transfer between hot and cold bodies, so I also don’t need to repeat those computations in my paper. A simple explanation that the difference in the areas under the Planck curves is obviously the area between those curves is sufficient, knowing that the smaller curve is (at all frequencies) below the larger curve for the warmer body.

    As I have said several times, people will not understand my argument until they read and study the whole paper. It would be preferable if commenters would indicate that they have read the paper and then quote Section or FAQ numbers and paragraph numbers to which they are referring.

    There are other topics in the Appendix, including the temperature analysis which shows carbon dioxide has had absolutely no effect on climate. Do I assume that, since no one has argued about that point (which I first raised days ago) that you all agree with it? That point alone is sufficient to overturn the AGW conjecture, I suggest, and it is empirical evidence in my paper supporting the theory. So why do some of you keep saying there is no empirical evidence in my paper, or no computations when I have explained why such are not required?

    .

  414. Doug Cotton says:

    Dave

    There is a huge difference in the consequences resulting from just slowing radiative cooling rates, versus actual transfer of thermal energy which, if it could happen from cold to hot, would then be able to escape by evaporation or diffusion as well as radiation. I explain in the paper why it can’t happen without violating SLoT. See also Appendix Q.7.

    The mechanism (and the need for such) is explained in Sections 2 to 5 and also in Ref [3}.

    There is considerable diffusion between solid Earth surfaces and adjoining air due to molecular collisions. Even the energy diagrams show a world wide average, which is obviously higher over land. Try my simple lamp holder experiment at http://earth-climate.com This is not the same as the low conduction rates then observed in the air itself, because there are obviously many more molecules in the solid surface, and even the water surfaces as well.

    People will not understand my argument until they read my Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics in full – it is linked from http://climate-change-theory.com and also published on four other sites, with more detailed discussion on a dedicated thread at tallbloke’s talkshop.

  415. Doug Cotton says:

    Mike

    … outcome where the atmosphere reduces the rate of cooling of the surface is consistent with theory of the greenhouse effect, and so I’m not sure that you actually refute the greenhouse effect at all.
    _______________________________

    No, the atmosphere does not reduce the overall rate of cooling of the surface. The outcome is zero effect, because the minuscule slowing of radiative cooling by CO2 is cancelled out by other increased and/or prolonged mechanisms. See the explanation of stabilising effects in Appendix Q.3.

    All the atmosphere does is provide an adiabatic lapse rate which is a function of the acceleration due to gravity.

    The atmosphere keeps the surface cooler in daylight hours and warmer at night. Extra carbon dioxide has no effect.
    Greenhouse conjectures have no part in it.

  416. Doug Cotton says:

    Mike I should have said “Radiation from the atmosphere does not reduce the overall rate of cooling of the surface … ” The adiabatic lapse rate in the atmosphere, in conjunction with solar insolation, core and mantle generated energy and sub-surface conduction rates have, over 4 billion years, established an (approximate) equilibrium at the surface/atmosphere interface. This is merely an internal interface on a continuous temperature plot all the way from the core (at about 5700K) to TOA.

  417. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    PB and others

    Virtually nothing at room temperature converts the low frequency radiation in a microwave oven to thermal energy by absorption which causes quantum energy changes.

    It is not because the objects are transparent. The black metal plate certainly isn’t. Why would ice be transparent and water opaque?

    The process involves friction as explained above
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/slaying-the-slayers-with-the-alabama-two-step/#comment-41441

    The reason ice is not warmed is explained on the third page on the linked site in the above linked comment.

    Why should low frequency radiation from the cold atmosphere be all that different when it strikes a warmer surface?

    What empirical ground do the IPCC have for their implicit assumption that all photons will warm the land and ocean surfaces?

    .

  418. Doug Cotton says:

    Dave

    The only thing you’re missing is that a surface that loses less energy at night is a little warmer in the morning than usual
    ___________________

    I understand why you think this way, but firstly, the effect of CO2 is minuscule because of its limited frequencies, very few of which are at the peak of the Planck curve at most atmospheric temperatures.

    For any reasonable number of CO2 molecules, the same number of water vapour molecules will have many more frequencies and thus a much greater effect on the radiative rate of cooling. Then, if there are usually between about 20 and 50 times as many WV molecules, we can deduce that any effect of all the CO2 is probably less than 1% the effect of all the water vapour molecules.

    Secondly, the cooling process doesn’t necessarily keep going until sunrise. It stops at a base temperature which is explained in Appendix Q.3. This is because, except perhaps in the middle of summer, there is usually on average less than 12 hours of direct sunlight during the day because of clouds. Energy goes into the surface for a shorter time than it has to come out again, at least on average over a full year.

    By the way, the calculation of 1.1 deg.C comes from a totally incorrect 33 deg.C figure derived from a totally incorrcet 255 K figure which, in the Slayers book, is shown really should be about 95 degrees cooler again. This very point has just been “discovered” on tallbloke’s talkshop today, even though Slayers knew it in May 2009. See

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/empirical-results-from-diviner-confirm-s-b-law-was-misapplied-to-moon/

    .

  419. Myrrh says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM
    Bryan

    The infra red within the solar spectrum (approximately half of it) is also deemed to be shortwave.

    All solar radiation is shortwave by the definition of shortwave. – see the link in Wikipedia which defines shortwave as being at least up to 3 microns, some say up to 5 microns.

    So the infra-red spectrum is divided between shortwave infra-red (in the solar spectrum) and longwave infra-red coming from the earth’s surface.

    These matters as easily confirmed if you doubt me.

    Up to the 3microns in the standard comic cartoon energy budget produced by the AGWScience Fiction meme producing departement.

    They have taken out completely the actual HEAT direct from the Sun, the actual long wave beam infrared. Which is yet another reason the comic AGW energy budget is fictional.

    Heat direct from the Sun is the Sun’s thermal energy on the move to us, it is direct invisible longwave infrared, thermal infrared, it is WHAT WE FEEL AS HEAT. That’s why it’s called thermal. Because it is HEAT.

    It takes thermal energy to heat something up. Visible light, UV, Near Infrared, cannot do this, they are not heat, they are not hot, they are LIGHT.

    These are standard, traditional physics, tried and tested, well understood and used in countless real world applications, FACTS.

    LIGHT, the “Shortwave Solar in” of the cartoon energy budget cannot heat the Earth’s land and oceans.

    Thermal energy is HEAT, is the Sun’s thermal energy radiating out as the invisible thermal infrared. An energy budget that has completely missed out this is, quite frankly, stupid.

    An energy budget that says Light has the properties of Heat, that Visible Light is thermal is, quite frankly, stupid.

    This comic cartoon energy budget is just so ridiculous in so many ways that any taking it seriously are living in ga ga land.

    Not only has it taken out the real direct heat from the Sun saying it doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface, it has taken out the whole of the Water Cycle!

    Which cools the Earth down to 15°C from the 67°C temp the Earth would get with our ocean of fluid gas atmosphere but without water.

    And, it calls this actual fluid gas, this voluminous heavy subject to gravity full of real molecules with attraction atmosphere in the real world – empty space.

    All these ridiculous claims about the atmosphere from AGW/CAGWs are based on an IMAGINARY world with an atmosphere of empty space! Empty space!

    Where the molecules are ideal gas without volume, weight (gravity) or attraction – they are all zipping around at great speeds in the empty space within the greenhouse container walls in elastic collisions, the hard dots of ideal gas description.

    That’s why there’s only ‘radiation’ and no real convection! They don’t have anything capable of convection in their empty space ideal gas dots!

    This comic cartoon energy budget is based on molecules which don’t exist in the real world, so the atmosphere it describes doesn’t exist in the real world.

    Reapeat the above sentence until it sinks in..

    That’s why they have no sound! You cannot have sound in the empty space atmosphere of the CAGW/AGW comic cartoon energy budget!

    That’s why there is no way that clouds can form! In their empty space molecules without weight or attraction or volume, just hard dots, zipping through at great speeds in empty space container!

    Without weight, without gravity, without volume, their hard dots of ideal carbon dioxide diffuse through the atmosphere spontaneously at these great speeds thoroughly mixing! They don’t defy gravity – because they have no gravity! They stay up for hundreds and thousands of years never coming down to Earth because they’re not heavier than air as in the real world, where heavier than air gases displace oxygen to sink to earth and lighter than air rise. Their imaginary dots of carbon dioxide never join with water to form rain as carbonic acid because there is no attraction in their ideal gas world – they just bounce off other molecules!

    Imaginary fisics for an imaginary fictional world created out of imaginary ideal gas molecules. Totally and utterly, stupid.

    This is all such total nonsense in the real world. A fictional world created through the looking glass with Alice where any number of impossible things can be thought before breakfast, their impossible in the real world fisics.

    My theory, is that this has been deliberately created to support CAGW/AGW to dumb down the population.

    Real physics is tweaked to create this fictional fisics of the CAGW/AGW comic cartoon energy budget, laws taken out of context, properties of one thing given to another, heat and water taken out completely; all smoke and mirrors, all sleight of hand. Someone had to know real physics very well indeed to created this fictional world.

  420. Doug Cotton says:

    Myrrh said Heat direct from the Sun is … longwave infrared ..
    _____________________________________

    Radiated energy in Solar insolation is not itself “heat” because it first has to be converted back to thermal energy in the target. Some will be converted to light.

    Nor is any significant amount of solar insolation in the longwave spectrum. The definition of shortwave radiation is based on what the Sun radiates. You can’t argue about a definition.

    Maybe the Introduction in Section 1 of my paper will help. What comes from the Sun is clearly shown in the graphic in my paper. It is not long-wave. That’s what comes from the surface, by the definition of shortwave and longwave which you could easily look up. If you disagree, include some links in support of what you say, rather than just making assertive statements. I have given you links in previous posts.

    Despite what you think, most of the Sun’s radiation in the visible range also gets converted to thermal energy. Why does a black road get hot? It doesn’t reflect much of the visible spectrum, so the radiated energy (in the visible spectrum) gets converted to thermal energy instead of light. If it hit a white surface, most would have been converted to light. What happens to solar radiation entering the oceans? It is very dark 11Km down, so it has been converted to thermal energy, and has thus warmed the oceans. This is all basic physics.

    Look, Myrrh, I don’t disagree that the energy budgets are wrong, but they are wrong because they imply that the energy in radiation from a cooler atmosphere is converted to thermal energy when it strikes a warmer target. That is not correct, for it can only be converted when the target is cooler. The net energy budgets are a reasonable representation, give or take a few percent. See
    http://earth-climate.com/energybudget.jpg

    You cannot prove your 67°C figure by any known correct physics, so I suggest you stop quoting it in the absence of such proof. The temperature gradient in the atmosphere (adiabatic lapse rate) is a function of the acceleration due to gravity and the relative humidity. Water vapour probably does have a net cooling effect (negative feedback) but not for the reasons you postulate, but rather to do with absorbing incident IR solar radiation in several bands, as shown in the graphic in my paper.

    The reasons why carbon dioxide has no affect on climate are not what you think. You know where to look for the rest of my response.

  421. Myrrh says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 29, 2012 at 6:38 AM
    Myrrh said Heat direct from the Sun is … longwave infrared ..
    _____________________________________

    Radiated energy in Solar insolation is not itself “heat” because it first has to be converted back to thermal energy in the target. Some will be converted to light.

    You’ve bought into the fictional fisics meme created by the AGWSFInc.

    Thermal energy is HEAT. It is the Sun’s thermal energy being radiated out and reaching us directly, straight lines.

    This idea that ‘electromagnetic energy’ doesn’t become something until it is converted is simply absurd. So a radio wave doesn’t become a radio wave until it hits matter? So how does matter turn this ‘undifferentiated electromagnetic energy’ into radio waves? What mechanism have you got in your ears that does this?

    What mechanism that you claim visible is capable of by converting matter to heat, does the ear take in visible and create radio waves?

    You have taken out all the properties of electromagnetic waves.

    Just as AGWSF takes out all the properties and so the processes of molecules. All reduced to nothing in actual existance, based on descriptions of ‘ideal’ gas, which is an imaginary construct!

    Just like your visible light heating water and all the variations promoted from that.

    Ridiculous doesn’t begin to describe how stupid this imaginary fisics..

    ..you don’t have to buy into it.

  422. Tim Folkerts says:

    There is really no point arguing about the word “heat”. “Heat” is used, even by practicing scientists, in a variety of ways. If you want to get specific about something, then give a mathematical/physical definition of what you mean.

    For example, I could define “heat” = “Q” using
    Delta(U) = Q + W
    This is a very standard definition, and now you could discuss what “Q” is, if if different things count as “Q”. I could then define “U” as “thermal energy” and W as “work”.

    So for example, “Thermal energy is HEAT” then becomes false on the face of it, because Q Delta(U). (I suppose you could call “U” = “heat”, but then the statement is correct by definition, and the discusion simply moves to arguing about the definitions of other words).

    Quit discussing words, and argue the ideas in terms of operational definitions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operational_definition). As long people stick to vague, undefined terms, there will only be arguments about semantics.

  423. Myrrh says:

    Rubbish Tim, there’s only a problem with the word heat because of the AGWSF meme producing department deliberately confusing this. As you continue to do. So the AGW meme “shortwave in longwave out” to push that visible and shortwave light either side are the ones heating the Earth’s land and oceans – total and utter codswallop, as you well know.

    And the real heat from the Sun, the Sun’s real Heat, the Sun’s thermal energy which is heat, which is the invisible thermal infrared which is the Sun’s direct thermal energy on the move to us which is heat which we feel as heat, well, you’re quite happy to junk that just as you junk the whole of the Water Cycle..

    So we have the idiocy of those saying ‘visible light heats land and oceans’ and even that ‘visible is the heat we feel from the Sun’, and claiming that the real heat from the Sun, which is the invisible thermal infrared, ‘doesn’t reach the surface’!

    Pathetic. But, the only people who buy into that are those who don’t know the real properties of light and heat and those stooges working for the AGWSF agenda trying to stop those who don’t know finding out they’ve been duped.

    The first have my sympathy.

    NASA: “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.

    Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.”

    We cannot feel light! The shortwave of the comic cartoon are not thermal energies, they cannot heat up matter, they cannot move atoms and molecules into vibration to heat them up.

    http://thermalenergy.org/

    “What is thermal energy ?
    Thermal Energy: A specialized term that refers to the part of the internal energy of a system which is the total present kinetic energy resulting from the random movements of atoms and molecules.
    The ultimate source of thermal energy available to mankind is the sun, the huge thermo-nuclear furnace that supplies the earth with the heat and light that are essential to life. The nuclear fusion in the sun increases the sun’s thermal energy. Once the thermal energy leaves the sun (in the form of radiation) it is called heat. Heat is thermal energy in transfer. Thermal energy is part of the overall internal energy of a system.
    At a more basic level, thermal energy comes from the movement of atoms and molecules in matter. It is a form of kinetic energy produced from the random movements of those molecules. Thermal energy of a system can be increased or decreased.
    When you put your hand over a hot stove you can feel the heat. You are feeling thermal energy in transfer. The atoms and molecules in the metal of the burner are moving very rapidly because the electrical energy from the wall outlet has increased the thermal energy in the burner. We all know what happens when we rub our hands together. Our mechanical energy increases the thermal energy content of the atoms in our hands and skin. We then feel the consequence of this – heat. [link to Laws of Thermodynamics]”

    Italics in the original and my bold.

    The heat is in transfer whether you can feel it or not. It doesn’t come into existence because you feel it.., you’re not creating it ‘out of electromagnetic energy’, it already exists – it is the Sun’s thermal energy on the move.

    It is thermal energy in transfer, thermal infrared is heat on the move. Light is not heat. The Sun produces both light and heat, they are not the same thing.

    http://thermalenergy.org/heattransfer.php

    “Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing. Heat is always the thermal energy of some system. Using the word heat helps physicists to make a distinction relative to the system they are talking about.”

    Thermal energy and heat are synonymous. It is the Sun’s heat which radiates out and reaches us on the Earth’s surface that we feel as heat, and it has the power to warm us up, that is the invisible thermal infrared. It is not any of the other wavelengths, and it certainly isn’t visible light..

    The Sun produces heat, light, gamma rays, radio waves – these are not interchangeable. They are distinctly different from each other, they have their own properties and processes.

    The AGWScienceFiction comic cartoon energy budget is a joke.

  424. Doug Cotton says:

    Myrrh

    Well you had better correct Wikipedia which says …

    Thermal energy is distinct from heat. In the strict use in physics, heat is a characteristic only of a process, i.e., it is absorbed or produced as an energy exchange, but it is not a static property of matter. Matter does not contain heat, but thermal energy. Heat is thermal energy in the process of transfer or conversion across a boundary of one region of matter to another.

    Fourth paragraph at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_energy

    The above is what is in line with what I have been explaining to university students ever since the 1960′s.

  425. Doug Cotton says:

    Myrrh

    Your hand-waving “experiments” in which you feel “heat” are nothing more than an observation that the radiated energy is converted to thermal energy in your skin. UV light could cause sunburn in your skin also. Radiated energy in the visible range will mostly be converted to light when it strikes your hand, but not if it plunges into the depths of the oceans which cover 70% of Earth’s surface. You don’t see light on its way to an object, and nor can “heat” be observed unless there is a warming effect in a target.

    All the radiated energy in the solar insolation eventually has to be radiated back to space. It does happen and is measured. Before it can be radiated back it has to be either reflected or converted to thermal energy which then produces radiated energy in new radiation back to space.

  426. Doug Cotton says:

    A camera proves you wrong Myrrh

    Anyone who has noted the exposure determined by a camera’s light meter knows that a black object filling the image reflects less sunlight than a similar white one.

    So where does the extra EM energy in the visible spectrum go when it strikes the black one and doesn’t get reflected, Myrrh?

    It is absorbed and converted to thermal energy, adding to that which was converted from the non-visible spectra.

    Get two identical thermometers and paint the bulb of one black. The black one will register higher in the Sun.

  427. Tim Folkerts says:

    Thanks for exactly confirming my point, Myrrh. Your use of “thermal energy” and “heat” is inconsistent, showing there is indeed confusion over the use of these words.

    You equate “thermal energy” = “heat” = “thermal IR”. But then you quote a source saying that thermal energy is “kinetic energy resulting from the random movements of atoms and molecules.“. Clearly IR cannot be thermal energy since photons are not atoms or molecules. Don’t tell me I don’t understand because I am EXACTLY quoting your sources and exactly applying them.

    In other words, even the sources you quote provide contradictory definitions, some of which contradict your statements.

    Once again, until you precisely define “thermal energy” and “heat”, the discussion cannot move forward.

    * There is a quantity measuring the total random kinetic energy (including rotation and vibration) within ONE object.
    * There is a distinct quantity that measures the transfer of energy between TWO objects due to temperature differences.
    * There is yet another quantity measuring net EM energy transfer between two objects.
    * There yet another quantity measuring 4 um – 100 um EM energy transferred from one object to another object.

    Which (if any) of these would you equate with “thermal energy” or “heat”? Don’t worry about what misconceptions Doug or I might have — tell us all precisely what YOU mean by these terms.

  428. Tim Folkerts says:

    PS. The need for definitions was not specifically aimed at Myrrh. Skimming through this discussion, I see lots of places where people talk past each other. Many of these are related to less-than-precise use of “heat”, but there are other examples as well.

  429. Doug Cotton says:

    Jeff Condon attempted to rebut my paper, then deleted my response of which I have kept a screen capture. This is typical of the suppression which is common among those battling to support the AGW conjecture.

    Author’s response to rebuttal

    There is absolutely no need to present equations …

    (a) because the document Reference [3] approaches the topic of one-way heat transfer with ample computations

    (b) because I have clearly explained in words the very obvious fact that the area between the two Planck curves is the difference in the areas under the curves, because Wien’s Displacement Law confirms that the curve for the cooler body is fully contained within that for the warmer body. This is supported with a graphic and link regarding WDL.

    Hence I am obviously saying that the standard equations for radiation between two plates (and similar) still apply. Thus the standard equations for heat transfer also apply. I state that such equations give the correct result in Section 4 which is about quantification in such instances. There is absolutely no need to reiterate standard equation of physics here, but I do never-the-less provide a link (Ref [4]) to an article containing such computations involving the difference of the two Stefan-Boltzmann calculations for the two temperatures involved. This is ample coverage of all the computations that are relevant.

    The statement “Thus radiation from a cooler atmosphere cannot transfer thermal energy to a warmer surface” is doing nothing more nor less than applying the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Any contrary statement, or implied error, is in fact, in itself, contradicting standard physics.

    Engineering applications neither prove nor disprove either hypothesis (one way or two way heat transfer) for the very reason that the mathematical computations give the same result for each hypothesis. (I remind you, the area between the curves = the difference in the areas under the curves.) So, yes, science has already “empirically verified” what is in my hypothesis, just as much as it has in the conjecture made by the early physicists over a hundred years ago, that there “must” be a two-way heat transfer. This was their best guess at the time, perhaps because they had no concept of the resonating and scattering process proven computationally by Claes Johnson, a professor of applied mathematics which is a discipline closely related to physics.

    In no way have I undermined “the foundation of literally millions of functioning devices” because I have not come up with anything different in terms of computational results relating to heat transfer, either in quantity or direction.

    “How often a photon is absorbed by a solar cell is very well quantified and is based on the material in question”

    Well, yes it may be “very well quantified” but, because there has been a philosophy that absorption is a fixed proportion, regardless of the temperature of either source or target, all measurements have been carried out with incident solar radiation or some other light source equivalent to a warmer source of spontaneous radiation. Once again, a reference [10] is provided which explains the methodology. Furthermore, my reading on this particular issue has subsequently confirmed that absorptivity does in fact vary even by a full order of magnitude at different temperatures. More experiments are planned which are expected to confirm these facts.

    It would seem that the reviewer has read little more than half the paper, as no comment is made on the content of the Appendix.

    If he finds no counter argument to items such as Q.1, Q.2, Q.3 and Q.7 then he would appear to be accepting the conclusions of the body of the paper, regardless of his criticism thereof. For example, in Q.1, I demonstrate that there is no evidence of any anthropogenic effect showing in the temperature records. In Q.3 I discuss the stabilising effect of the “thermal inertia” in the massive quantity of sub-surface thermal energy, right down to the Earth’s core. The conclusion is spelled out at the end of Q.7 namely “This leaves nothing but the resonant scattering hypothesis to explain reality and such a hypothesis negates a key assumption which is fundamental for there to be any validity in the Anthropogenic Global Warming conjecture”

    The reviewer has criticised me for not quoting what are standard equations anyway, but he has not addressed nearly half the paper, nor quoted even one sentence therein which he has been able to specifically refute using standard physics.

    His hand-waving comments bear no substance, display complete misunderstanding and are lacking in any supportive evidence, either documented as theory, or as empirical evidence, that is contrary to any statement in the paper.

  430. Myrrh says:

    Tim – the confusion is deliberate. Thermal energy is heat. Thermal energy on the move is heat. The Sun’s heat radiating out direct to us is the like the fire’s heat radiating out to us, what we feel is heat and that is the invisible thermal infrared, and what we feel as this warms us up is heat, by penetrating into us and moving the water in us into vibration, kinetic, heat raising our temperature. Wiki is here playing the AGWSF game in support of it.

    Doug – I can’t get back to your individual points until the weekend, meanwhile, it might help to see the bigger picture to avoid getting trapped into arguing about the tweaks to real physics which this created fictional fisics has deliberately put in to confuse and distract. I’ve just posted what can be seen as glaringly obvious manipulation when these tweaks are gathered together – here: http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/20/psuedoscience/#comment-188874

  431. Rich says:

    My, my, 568 posts! Admittedly, I don’t know huge amounts about physics, but I would think, intuitively, that the atmospheric greenhouse can and does increase the mean surface temperature. “Increase” would be the wrong word. Nevertheless, for real-world proof one only has to observe the tropics and compare the night-time temperature with that of the Sahara desert. The biggest environmental difference between these two places is the amount of water vapour, The tropics has lots and the Sahara desert has hardly any. Because the Sahara desert does not have much water vapour, its night-time temperature is considerably lower than in the tropics. This is a real-world example. So to my mind, the argument that the atmospheric greenhouse cannot allow the temperature of the Earth to be warmer than it otherwise would be without one, is obvious.

    • Dave Springer says:

      Well Rick this is going to blow your mind.

      The highest mean annual temperature ever recorded was in an equatorial desert.

      It was set in 1960-1966 in Dullal, Ethiopia which is a salt desert near the equator 100 feet below sea level. Dullal has annual average rainfall of 1-3 inches.

      Kind of interesting that the overall hottest place in the world has the least amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. You’d think with water vapor being such a potent greenhouse gas and all it would be an equatorial swamp or something like that, huh? The other interesting thing is the record was set 50 years ago when Dullal had a lot less CO2 in the air above it.

  432. Dave Springer says:

    @Cotton

    “Well, yes it may be “very well quantified” but, because there has been a philosophy that absorption is a fixed proportion,”

    Whose philosophy? Link to it in physics text.

    I smell a strawman.

  433. Dave Springer says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    March 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Dave

    The only thing you’re missing is that a surface that loses less energy at night is a little warmer in the morning than usual
    ___________________

    I understand why you think this way,

    ————————–

    I don’t think you do understand, Doug. I think that way because it’s an empirical fact. If I warm two rocks in the sun and throw a blanket over one of them at night the blanketed rock will be warmer than the other in the morning. I wonder about your sanity.

  434. Dave Springer says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 28, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    “All the atmosphere does is provide an adiabatic lapse rate which is a function of the acceleration due to gravity.”

    That’s not all it does. It reflects (don’t get pedantic over ‘reflect’) a portion of upwelling longwave radiation from the surface back towards the surface. This in effect provides a measure of insulation. What happens due to the restriction in the radiation path is a different question but if you don’t acknowledge that the surface is heated by shortwave light and near infrared where CO2 is transparent and then restricts the longwave infrared return path from the surface they you’re just plain wrong.

  435. Pete Ridley says:

    Doug Cotton is very proud to have had his blog article “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics “ accepted by that pseudo-science publishing company formed by the “Slayers” and given the pretentious name Principia Scientific International. He insists on referring to it as a paper and claiming that it has been peer-reviewed, trying to give the impression that it has been properly reviewed by those who are competent in the relevant physics when in fact it has only been reviewed by “Slayers” or and by Professor Claes Johnson.

    It should not be overlooked that Doug Cotton is no more a physicist than I am, despite his claims to the contrary.

    Doug’s comment of March 28 at 5:26 AM (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/slaying-the-slayers-with-the-alabama-two-step/#comment-41441) was a response to my comment on Roger (Tallbloke) Tattersall’s thread (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21284). Doug has been spamming his response on several other blogs.

    This is my response to Doug which I tried to post on the original thread but Roger refused to post it because I called Douglas Jeffrey Cotton (dougcotton@live.com.au) Dougy. I’m puzzled as to why but it’s Roger’s blog so who am I to complain.

    Dougy described his demonstration (it is not really worthy of being referred to as an “experiment, any more than his blog article is worthy of being referred to as a peer-reviewed paper) as follows “ .. Empty a tray of small ice cubes from your frig into a microwave container which does not get warm itself in a microwave oven. Refill the ice tray and empty the equivalent amount of water into another such microwave container. Put both in the microwave oven for about a minute. The water will boil but none of the ice will melt. Then (outside the oven) pour the boiling water onto the ice and it will melt in less than a minute, demonstrating the above explanation that the heat comes from friction in the water (where molecules are free to move) rather than absorption which would have melted the ice .. ” (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21110).

    He now says “ .. . My whole point was to demonstrate that there was ample energy in the first minute (maybe 90 seconds if volumes are greater) to boil an equivalent volume of water from, say, 5 deg.C, but not melt the ice. I demonstrate that there is ample energy in the water to then melt the ice within the same time frame when I poured the boiling water onto the ice. So clearly virtually all the energy went into the water and hardly any into the ice, even when they were there together at the same time and for the same length of time. .. ” (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21110).

    I say “flipping nonsense Dougy”. Your demonstration is flawed (just like Professor Iain Stewart’s was (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-133756 Para. 9) and did nothing of the sort. What you demonstrated was that, depending upon how cold your ice and water were at the start of heating, after “about a minute” your ice had absorbed sufficient energy to not only bring it up to near melting point but had actually melted some of the ice inside. (try heating the ice again and smashing it to pieces with a hammer – you’ll get plenty water then, just as I did). Since a significant amount of the ice was already melted (absorbing all of that latent heat of fusion – 40 times that required to raise its – and water’s – temperature through 1C) there was sufficient energy in the boiling water to melt the remaining ice.

    No need for the “flipping” magic that Dougy has hypothesised.

    Dougy speculates above that:

    - “ .. Pete has used plastic bowls which probably got warmed a bit themselves .. ” – no, the temperature of my dry bowl in the microwave for 5 minutes heats hardly at all (although the oven plate beneath was darned hot) and the heat in it made little impact upon a fresh block of ice straight from the freezer.

    - “ .. Pete may have left some water in his the second time .. ” – again no, I used not the same but an identical bowl, bone-dry from the cupboard. Of course the heat from my hand may have had a small but insignificant impact on the result, just like the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere through our use of fossil fuels etc. has on the different global climates.

    (I notice that Dougy took his ice cubes from his “frig” and it would be interesting to know what his “frig” temperature is, but I doubt if he bothered to check that as part of his demonstration. As all scientists should be aware, all such details are the essence of a properly conducted experiment.)

    He also declared “ .. defrosting mode turns power on and off, in order to allow time for conduction from heated water to melt the ice in frozen food .. ” – wrong again, it’s to prevent the water from boiling and possible causing the defrosting food from exploding due to steam pressure.

    Of course, I am no more a physicist than Dougy is so, like he, I could be totally wrong about all of this stuff to do with latent heats and thingies like that. Unlike Dougy, I am eager to learn from those who have more knowledgeable than he or I have, so please enlighten me.

    Getting back to the topic of this thread, the “Slayers”, Roy said “ .. The anti-greenhouse crowd’s bible seems to be the book, Slaying the Sky Dragon – Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory .. ”. I disagree about that being a “bible” or a “book”. It is simply a hodge-podge collection of previously published blog articles plus a Chapter (21) by lead-Slayer John O’Sullivan outlining his original ludicrous plan to use PSI to take legal action against powerful government agencies like NOAA. I also disagree about there being a “crowd”. In Jan 2011 John was claiming “ .. a group of 36 respected international scientists and related professionals .. ” (http://www.gofundme.com/1v39s&aff=GFMse). 14 months on he has raised £450 of his targeted £15,000 (including that first £350 donation from a family member) and a few days ago Doug was claiming that PSI membership had reached the staggering figure of 40 (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comment-39184). “Crowd” – no! “insignificant gaggle” – yes!

    As for the “Slayers” and their publishing company PSI, well, that’s a fascinating tale dating back to 2003 when John O’Sullivan’s 20-year teaching career came to an abrupt end. I still have a fair bit of research to do in order to fill in all of the details before I am ready to publish my own “factional” novel, filling in the gaps between John’s two novels “Vanilla Girl” and “Summit Shock” (http://www.myspace.com/mrdarrk/blog , http://cupboard55summitshock.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/and-what-is-cupboard-55_31.html and http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/summit-shock-american-court-corruption).

    Trust me, it’s fascinating. You can get a preview on Professor Judith Curry’s “Letter to the dragon slayers” thread, starting with US investigative journalist Andrew Skolnick’s comment of October 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-122654) – Enjoy.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley.

  436. Tim Folkerts says:

    I’m not going to belabor the point too much more, but once again, Myrrh, you gave contradictory defintions — one immediately following the other!

    “Thermal energy is heat. Thermal energy on the move is heat.”

    This is equivalent to saying “savings account balances are the same as savings accounts transfers”. One is money; one is money on the move. Clearly they are RELATED, but just as clearly they are not the same thing. In standard usage in thermodynamics, “thermal energy” is the “savings account balance”, while “heat” is the “savings account transfer”. (And “work” is a different sort of transfer.)

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  438. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    A better explanation regarding microwave ovens and lasers

    Until you study my paper at http://climate-change-theory.com right through to Appendix Q.7 (which answers the issue of “what’s the difference” between one-way and two-way heat transfer) you won’t really understand how it works and why I have deduced that it can’t happen any other way.

    The Second Law specifically states that it applies to an adiabatic process. So …

    (1) there must be no energy added – which rules out microwave ovens, lasers, radar, radio etc.

    (2) there must be only one process – this has to be an independent process.

    I explain how (spontaneous) radiation which matches radiation from the other body will resonate (as Claes Johnson explains) and not transfer any thermal energy to the other body, but appear to be scattered as new radiation takes its place and uses up equivalent radiating capacity, but not any energy from the target – only energy from the incident radiation.

    Now, this matched two-way radiation is that which corresponds to the area under the Planck curve for the cooler body. This is the same as the S-B calculation for the cool one, because the S-B equation is merely the integral of the Planck function – ie the area under the Planck curve.

    Now if one body gets warmer the extra radiation (corresponding to the area between the Planck curves) does all the warming as it, and only it, is absorbed in the cooler body. Remember that the Planck curve for the cooler body is always fully contained by that for the warmer body, so there will always be resonating capacity in the warmer body for all the radiation from the cooler body.

    In artificially created radiation in a microwave oven or laser, the intensity is greatly increased well above natural levels. Hence, we no longer have a Planck shaped curve at all. The peak frequency of such radiation may well be that of a cooler body, but the distribution of its radiation would now be a narrow curve rising well above the height of the peak of the warmer body. So there is a surplus which the warmer body cannot resonate with, just as if the source had been much warmer than itself. Hence it is not at all surprising that artificially generated radiation can heat water and cut steel with a laser. Such situations do not violate the Second Law (or my hypothesis) because both the Law and the hypothesis were only ever intended to apply for (natural) adiabatic processes.

    I’m sorry that I didn’t explain it perhaps quite as clearly as this before. However, the concept is set out in the paper and this seems a fairly straight forward extension of the idea. I do discuss lasers and microwave ovens in the Appendix, but may expand a bit there (as a result of this discussion) if I ever do a revision of the paper. So please let me know if you consider the above to be a better explanation that hopeful you can all understand now.

    .

  439. Myrrh says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 29, 2012 at 6:00 PM
    Myrrh

    Well you had better correct Wikipedia which says …

    Thermal energy is distinct from heat. In the strict use in physics, heat is a characteristic only of a process, i.e., it is absorbed or produced as an energy exchange, but it is not a static property of matter. Matter does not contain heat, but thermal energy. Heat is thermal energy in the process of transfer or conversion across a boundary of one region of matter to another.

    Fourth paragraph at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_energy

    The above is what is in line with what I have been explaining to university students ever since the 1960’s.

    Wiki follows the AGW meme on this.

    Thermal energy is heat. Thermal energy on the move as radiating out from the Sun to us, is heat. That’s what we feel as heat, because it is heat.

    Thermal means, guess what?

    “Thermal energy and heat are often confused. Rightly so because they are physically the same thing.”

    That you use them differently in specific engineering speak to differentiate between that of the source and that travelling radiated or by conduction or convection, does not make these different. Heat is Thermal Energy, Thermal Energy is Heat.

    The thermal energy of the Sun is radiated out as thermal energy. This is thermal infrared. It is the Sun’s thermal energy, heat, on the move, The Sun’s heat on the move.

  440. Myrrh says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM
    Myrrh

    Your hand-waving “experiments” in which you feel “heat” are nothing more than an observation that the radiated energy is converted to thermal energy in your skin. UV light could cause sunburn in your skin also.

    Doug, I really don’t know what else to say to you, I’ve answered this before. You don’t know the difference between heat and light, you don’t know the difference between uv and thermal infrared. You don’t know the different scales they operate on. You don’t understand the different effects they have on matter.

    UV does not heat our skin, it does not cause the atoms and molecules to vibrate heating them up, it works on a DNA level, on the electronic transition level, it ‘burns’ the skin by damaging the dna in the skin cells – and you show here that you haven’t taken any of that on board. It shows that you still don’t understand how something becomes heated. So what the heck have you been teaching all these years?

    Thermal infrared is heat, heat heats by moving the whole atoms and molecules into vibration. Rub your hands together, that is mechanical energy causing the molecules in your skin to vibrate, this is heat. This is what thermal infrared direct from the Sun does, also, it penetrates into our bodies several inches and heats the water in us, warming us up.

    We cannot feel UV, it is not hot, it is not thermal, it ‘burns’ by damaging the skin on a DNA level, because that is the level this tiny energetic wave works. Even tinier than visible.. AGWSF has taken out all sense of scale as well as all sense of differences in properties. That’s why it’s nonsense.

    http://www.sunsmart.org.uk/advice-and-prevention/sunburn/

    What is sunburn?
    “A sunburn is a clear sign that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds has damaged the genetic material in your skin cells – their DNA.

    Damaged DNA can cause cells to start growing out of control. This can lead to skin cancer. Getting a painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

    Your body’s attempt to repair this damage is what causes the painful symptoms of a sunburn.

    Check out our sunburn animation below for an illustration of what happens to your skin when you get sunburnt.

    Why do sunburns peel?
    Sometimes, the sun damages skin cells so severely that they must be destroyed. Peeling after sunburn is your body’s way of getting rid of these damaged cells. This is necessary because cells damaged by the sun are at risk of becoming cancerous.

    Although skin peels and new skin layers form, some damage may remain. This can increase your risk of skin cancer. So it is important to try to avoid burning in the first place.

    Are sunburns like burns you get from touching something hot?
    No, sunburns are caused by ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun, which does not feel warm. The heat in the sun comes from infrared rays, which do not burn your skin. This is why people can still burn on cool days.

    When you touch a hot object, your skin may also become red, swollen and painful. But the DNA inside your skin cells is not damaged. Both heat burns and sunburns will fade, but only sunburns can cause lasting damage to the DNA in your skin cells. Check out our sunburn animation for more information on this.

    Why are sunburns red, hot or painful?When UV radiation damages DNA, your body tries to repair the damage. The blood vessels in the local area swell, allowing blood to rush into it. This is why sunburn looks red.

    Blood inside your body is also hot, which is why it feels like sunburns give off heat – actually, they are usually no hotter than your core body temperature.

    The wider blood vessels allow the cells of your immune system to travel to the site of the damage. They also release chemicals which trigger inflammation – this is why bad sunburns are swollen and painful.

    UV in the comic cartoon energy budget is not heating up land and oceans in the real world.

    If you’re going to keep claiming it does, then damn well provide show and tell how, instead of this nonsense ‘it burns the skin’..

    Radiated energy in the visible range will mostly be converted to light when it strikes your hand, but not if it plunges into the depths of the oceans which cover 70% of Earth’s surface. You don’t see light on its way to an object, and nor can “heat” be observed unless there is a warming effect in a target.

    In the real world water is a transparent medium for visible light. I’ve given that to you before. See Optics, refraction. Water transmits visible light through, it does not absorb it, not on molecular level nor on the electron level.

    However, the electrons of the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen do absorb it in our atmosphere – the real atmosphere is not transparent to visible as is claimed in the comic cartoon. In the real atmosphere the electrons bounce the visible light back out, called reflection/scattering.

    See Optics.
    http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/light_refraction.htm

    Visible light is reflected back from our bodies, as near infrared is which is how near infrared cameras pick up it up, just as ordinary cameras pick up the visible light reflected back from a body, as we see the world.

    See Optics, reflection/scattering

    Visible light from the Sun cannot heat water.

    If you continue to claim it can, then as before, show and tell how.

    Remember,

    -the AGW comic cartoon energy budget claims that the Sun’s heat, the Sun’s thermal energy on the move, longwave thermal infrared, doesn’t even reach the Earth’s surface..

    -the AGW comic cartoon energy budget claims that shortwave from the Sun heats land and oceans. This is a huge claim. It completely overturns normal world physics which says it is the Sun’s heat, longwave thermal infrared, which heats land and oceans.

    Show and tell. Show and tell. Show and tel…

    And you Tim – show and tell. How does visible blue light as from the Sun heat water? Is that coffee ready yet?

  441. Pierre R Latour says:

    Roy, Your first step in Alabama was good. Your second step stumbled in Texas(1).

    First, I assume we agree there is no heat transfer by conduction to outer space because Fourier’s Law is Qc = kA(Ta – Tos) and thermal conductivity of almost zero density outer space is k = 0. Earth’s atmosphere energy conservation balance adjusts its radiant emission rate to space to match its energy inputs. It does not work like a blanket where Qc > 0; a blanket decreases k and increases Ta. I disagree with your answer to your Q2 about the large magnitude of conduction from Earth’s surface to low thermal conductivity air at temperatures not much cooler at the interface. Fourier law says it is not large for both reasons. If it were large as you say, where pray tell does it go?

    Notches in molecular absorption spectra (you show big one 600-700 cm-1), do not indicate molecules block or trap radiation, only that they do not absorb those wavelengths. They therefore scatter them, in all directions. They emit what they absorb, at longer wavelengths than those absorbed. Your answer to your Q1 confirms this. In general matter does not absorb radiation less intense and colder than it is already emitting hotter, and thereby emit even hotter still.

    O2 molecules exchanged for CO2 molecules by fossil fuel combustion modify the atmosphere’s composition and emission spectrum slightly, but not its total emission intensity because Earth emits to balance what it absorbs. So CO2 cannot affect the corresponding average Boltzmann radiating temperature of the Earth, -18C.

    Your IRR house photo is excellent proof. Given the furnace firing at a fixed rate, the radiation from house surfaces is fixed, with a corresponding Boltzmann radiating temperature, Tr. Now if you close one window, its surface will radiate less intently and cool as the interior radiation is diverted, scattered and redistributed throughout the rest of the house, where other outer surfaces radiate slightly more intensely, with higher corresponding T. But the overall radiating intensity and temperature remains the same, Tr, because the radiating energy rate from all the house surfaces is unchanged.

    Thus no house warming. Ergo, no global warming from CO2. This should please all logical people.

    So your assertion: “Infrared absorbing gases reduce the rate at which the Earth loses infrared energy to space.” is proven FALSE.

    The above analysis clearly demonstrates that IR absorbing gases do not reduce the Earth’s ability to cool to outer space. No amount of obfuscation or straw-man arguments will be able to get around this fact. I will not speak for eminent Prof Richard Lindzen, our fellow AGW skeptic, on this issue.

    Remember I am the folk who explained to you and Virginia why back-radiation from cold CO2 is not absorbed by Earth’s surface since it would violate the laws of thermo and constitute a PMM12. I doubt you would endorse such a scheme.
    http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/185-no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still

    I also showed Hanson’s 1981 declaration of the 33C greenhouse gas effect is really a Whatchamacallit.
    http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/home/9799-that-bogus-greenhouse-gas-whatchamacallit-effect

    Fossil fuel combustion does provide a heat input to the atmosphere. The standard enthalpy of formation of CO2 from pure carbon is -393.5 kJ/mole. When combustion increases, Earth’s radiant emission and corresponding Boltzmann radiating Tr = -18C would increase a bit. Of course increased photosynthesis would consume more CO2 and sunshine, cooling things a different bit, because the rate of photosynthesis is first order in [CO2] and increases with thermal temperature. The net effect of combustion and photosynthesis is the only way I have found for fossil fuel combustion to affect Earth’s temperature; CO2 is merely an innocent bystander in the cycle of life biology.

    CO2 has higher molar heat capacity, Cp, than O2. This only affects dT/dt, not steady-state Tss, when inputs or outputs change. At -18C with 400 ppmv CO2, atmosphere Cp = 6.94338; with 500 ppmv CO2, Cp = 7.09092; so increase is 0.14754 cal/degC – mol air or 2.125%. This means response time to a step in combustion increases by 2.125%. New Tss when dT/dt = 0 again is not affected by [CO2]. This comes directly from the dynamic energy balance ODE of the atmosphere.

    The climate system is not so amazingly complex once you understand the basic physics involved1. I advise you to confer with registered professional people trained to analyze chemical process systems like Earth’s atmosphere, chemical engineers, before two stepping into Texas(1).

    1. Mother, My, “Nature”, -14.7*109

  442. Tim Folkerts says:

    Pierre R Latour says:
    March 31, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    “Notches in molecular absorption spectra (you show big one 600-700 cm-1), do not indicate molecules block or trap radiation, only that they do not absorb those wavelengths. They therefore scatter them, in all directions.”

    This would be easy to test with an IR laser. Shine it into a tube of some GHG which interacts at the laser wvelength. If you are right, there would be no heating of the gas, but instead some really bright “scattered” light. I strongly suspect the gas would warm up, indicating that it is indeed absorbing the photons.

    Besides, engineers use the ABSORPTION properties of IR gases to designe furnaces, etc. Scientists measure the _emissivity_ of CO2 (which implies IR absorption).

    “Thus no house warming. “
    Really? Closing a window in the winter won’t make the house warmer on the inside??? The “average temperature” of the exterior of the house might be the same in both cases, but the interior will be much warmer with the window closed.

  443. Pierre R Latour says:

    Change my last line reference to
    1. Mother, My, “Nature”, -14.7*10**9

  444. Pierre R Latour says:

    To Tim Folkerts,

    Chemical engineers do indeed use absorption and emission spectra to design, operate and maintain radiant furnaces.

    When I imagined closing the window of Roy spencer’s house above, I was doing the thought experiment to shutter the hot window, blocking some IR. IR finds another way out as I explained.

  445. Tim Folkerts says:

    “IR finds another way out as I explained.”

    But ONLY by raising the temperature of the rest of the walls & windows a little bit. They need to be warmer to radiate that little bit extra heat that is no longer escaping elsewhere. And that only happens if the rest of the house warms on the inside as well. So this analogy suggests the world WILL warm from the CO2 blocking some IR.

  446. Doug Cotton says:

    Tim

    You cannot disprove what Pierre is saying regarding the SLoT by referring to heating by lasers. Any such heating is not an adiabatic process, and thus the SLoT is irrelevant to such a process – see my post March 30, 5:58pm

    Everyone/b>

    The straight-forward logical argument in Sections 2 to 5 in my paper (linked from my site) points to the necessity of there being some such process. Whether it is technically resonating, scattering or even reflection, its effect is such that …

    (a) Identical radiation is re-emitted.

    (b) the overall radiation from the target, if a (near) blackbody, is still limited by the Planck curve

    (c) There is a reduced rate of loss of thermal energy from the target, because the incident radiation must occupy equivalent radiating capacity in the target and supply the energy, thus avoiding the need for the target to use up some of its own stored thermal energy.

    Note also that the postulate that the radiation which resonates is equivalent to that under the Planck curve for the cooler body would appear the most elegant and logical. But if you disagree, please suggest any other possibility except two-way heat flow, as the latter most certainly would violate the SLoT.

    So, can you suggest any other process having these characteristics (a) to (c) above, or (having read what I’ve said in the paper) can you explain how nature ensures that the SLoT is not violated by spontaneous radiation in an adiabatic independent process?

    Not only does the mechanism I have postulated (which is different is some aspects from Claes Johnson’s) explain the observed heat transfer, but it also explains how and why the intensity of artificially produced radiation (such as in a microwave oven) can heat water, fat and sugar molecules without violating the SLoT.

  447. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    Summary of Key Points

    My “model” is in the paper. It does not depend critically upon Claes Johnson’s computations which approach it all a little differently by assuming “strongly attenuated” Planck curves and thus considering it sufficient to work with the frequency modes therein. That is the reason br1 (on another site) is uncomfortable with the calculations, but the end result is the same, namely that heat transfer is always from hot to cold.

    If you think about it, there has to be only one-way heat transfer, so nature has to “know” somehow when to reverse the direction when one body that was cooler is then warmed above the other’s temperature.

    I don’t care if you call the process resonance, scattering, resonant scattering or (as some are starting to call it) pseudo scattering. Here “pseudo” is not implying that it doesn’t exist – rather it is acknowledging that it is new radiation exactly equivalent in frequency and intensity to the radiation that “matches” in either body, viz that represented by the area under the cooler Planck curve.

    The main point about the Second Law which AGW proponents gloss over is the fact that it applies to a (single) process (between two specific objects) and that process is independent. It even applies between the start and end of any short (measurable) time slot within that process. For example, if your coffee is cooling over, say, 10 minutes, then you can look at any intermediate time slot of, say, 30 seconds, and it will still be cooling.

    But, on the subject of independence, this is where they go wrong in assuming that two-way heat flow just has a net effect and all is OK if that “net” effect is from hot to cold. However, there are always two independent processes involved here. And this can be seen quite clearly in the real world. For example, if backradiation were to warm an already warmer layer of water just millimetres below the surface, then there is no dependence between that (invalid) heat transfer and any subsequent “opposite” heat flow (usually back to some other location) such as convection to the surface of the water followed by evaporative cooling.

    Dependence between two opposite transfers of potential energy can occur in, for example, a siphon. The upward flow of water happens iff there is a greater mass of water falling on the other side of the siphon. So the up and down flows of water are not independent processes, but rather just one process in which entropy does in fact increase. But if you cut the hose at the top, you then have two independent processes, so the water no longer flows in an upward direction. There is an exact analogy with heat flow, and the “hose” is cut with any atmospheric processes. So there can be no heat transfer from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.

    The above is an outline of my opening argument in Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There must then be a process of one way heat transfer which accounts for all such heat transfer from hot to cold. We know the end result can be calculated from radiative flux represented by the area between the Planck curves for the two bodies.

    I have suggested (building on Claes resonance concept) that two-way radiated energy, corresponding to the area under the Planck curve for the cooler body, all just resonates (gets scattered) when going each way between the two bodies. But as one body gets warmer (and its Planck curve always includes all the area under that curve for the cooler body) then just the extra radiation represented by the area between the curves transfers from hot to cold, in agreement with well known results.

    But we also have to acknowledge that the radiation from the cooler body does slow the radiative component of cooling of the warmer target. This is known physics, but it is not because of two-way heat flow. Instead the radiation from the cooler body supplies energy to the target which takes the place of energy it would otherwise have converted to EM energy from its own supply of thermal energy. It cannot, and does not radiate more than S-B allows, and the scattered radiation is included in that quota. Hence the target cools more slowly, but still radiates just as much as per S-B adjusted for emissivity of course. Note that absorptivity must be a function of temperatures of both source and target, being zero when the source is cooler.

    The other processes of heat transfer from surface to atmosphere will compensate for any slowing of the radiative component, so there is no net effect because the total Earth system still radiates the same to space. This statement is further supported in the Appendix Q.3.

    .

  448. Pete Ridley says:

    Douglas Jeffrey Cotton’s arrogance is beyond belief. On the thread that Roger Tattersall dedicated to his nonsense (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics) he has had detailed explanations from contributors of the flaws in his understanding (based upon Professor Claes Johnson’s simplistic model), particularly from individuals using the false names Tor and br1. Despite their efforts, on this A p r i l F o o l’s day Doug declares “ .. Every relevant equation in “standard physics” is based on a false assumption .. don’t tell me yet again that I need to read physics textbooks. I have been helping university students learn their physics ever since I majored in it .. I know what the books say, but such is in error because the early scientists were mistaken .. they were obviously wrong .. You cannot argue successfully against this point, but it is not in textbooks yet.
    .. So please don’t respond yet again with “standard physics” which is the very thing I am refuting .. ”.

    (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21719 and #comment-21733 #comment-21734)

    Although he has been trying very hard recently to prove otherwise, Doug is not a complete idiot. He does at least now “ .. acknowledge that the radiation from the cooler body does slow the radiative component of cooling of the warmer target .. ”. Hallelujah, he accepts that the “greenhouse effect” is real. Now all that he needs to acknowledge is that with that constant source of energy coming from the Sun there has to be a compensating increase in the temperature of the Earth until balance is restored – ignoring the many other processes that also contribute to the distribution of energy within the global system of atmo/aqua/cryo/litho/bio/spheres.

    Finding that he was taking a pounding over his blog article posted on the blog of the virtually unknown science-fiction publisher Principia Scientific International started by John O’Sullivan and his “Slayers” it seems that Doug has had to call up reinforcements – Professor Claes Johnson has come to his aid (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21742). Strange that he chose to enter the fray there on A p r i l F o o ls’ Day. Maybe he’s getting worried that Doug will be awarded that Nobel Prize for Physics instead of himself.

    It should be interesting following the responses to his comment.

    Back in October Professor Johnson declared “ .. I am not a member of any group subject to group thinking,
    in particular not the slayers group .. ” (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-122522) but I wonder if he has rejoined the “Slayers” gaggle as a member of PSI.

    Best regards,
    Pete Ridley

  449. PB says:

    Douglas:

    You say….

    “But we also have to acknowledge that the radiation from the cooler body does slow the radiative component of cooling of the warmer target. This is known physics, but it is not because of two-way heat flow. Instead the radiation from the cooler body supplies energy to the target which takes the place of energy it would otherwise have converted to EM energy from its own supply of thermal energy. It cannot, and does not radiate more than S-B allows, and the scattered radiation is included in that quota. Hence the target cools more slowly, but still radiates just as much as per S-B adjusted for emissivity of course. Note that absorptivity must be a function of temperatures of both source and target, being zero when the source is cooler.”

    Do you see a problem in this paragraph?

    Sorry for the rhetorical question but you have written, in one paragraph, everything that is wrong with your paper.

    “radiation from the cooler body supplies energy to the target”

    followed by

    “that absorptivity must be a function of temperatures of both source and target, being zero when the source is cooler”

    You are desperately trying to explain unicorns.

  450. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    In case I have still not made myself abundantly clear to PB and Ridley …

    All this is in the last paragraph of Section 5.

    (1) Rate of radiative cooling (<40%) of surface decreases by a minuscule amount due to very ineffective radiation from CO2

    (2) Simultaneously, rates of evaporative cooling and diffusion (molecular collision) followed by convection increase by a compensating amount *.

    TOTAL EFFECT of (1) + (2) = ZERO

    * Appendix Q.3

    See also http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/slaying-the-slayers-with-the-alabama-two-step/#comment-42208

    .

  451. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    PB

    You too would do well to wait for a reply from myself to any question you have on one blog site (eg tallbloke’s) before making an April fool of yourself by copying your question on other sites. So I will copy my answer below, but note that I’m signing out now, being 11:38 Sunday night in Sydney. So here’s my cut and paste of my reply on tallbloke’s thread where he published my paper …

    You also need to read and at least try to understand the paper. I cannot give a full explanation in posts here of what takes over 6,000 words in the paper to do. There is no contradiction such as you imply. Supplying radiated electromagnetic energy for the sole purpose of re-radiating such does not imply that there has been any conversion of such energy to thermal energy by way of absorption. This point is made very clearly in the paper. Read all other recent comments above when you have read and understood the paper.

  452. PB says:

    So you don’t see a conflict in your claim that radiation from the cooler body “supplies energy to the target” when the ‘absorbtivity’ (what ever that is) is zero because the “source is cooler”?

    You are supplying energy to something that can not absorb it. Are you daft or don’t you now how to read your own words?

  453. Tim Folkerts says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    “You cannot disprove what Pierre is saying regarding the SLoT by referring to heating by lasers. Any such heating is not an adiabatic process, and thus the SLoT is irrelevant to such a process”

    My goodness. Do you know what “adiabatic” means? It means no heat in or out. So if the word “heat” comes up in the discussion, then “adiabatic” does not apply. Since this WHOLE discussion is about heat flows, then “adiabatic” does not in general apply (although it .

    Also, could you provide a reference that says the 2nd Law only applies in adiabatic situations? If the warm surface of the earth interacts with the cool atmosphere, the 2nd Law says the net energy transfer will be from the surface to the atmosphere. This is INDEPENDENT of any other energy to the system (eg photons from the hot sun) or any other energy lost (eg photons lost to outer space).

    Neither the surface nor the atmosphere (nor the system consisting of both) is adiabatic, but the 2nd Law is still very clear about the direction of the heat between warm surface and cool atmosphere.

    Finally, the comment you are objecting to had nothing specifically to do with the 2nd Law. It was simply about absorption/reflection of photons by a gas in a tube. It was an attempt to experimentally determine if CO2 simply scatters photons (without absorbing them, leaving the gas at its original temperature) or if CO2 actually absorbs photons (which would added energy to the CO2, which would then add thermal energy to the surrounding molecules).

    Now it is time to leave this discussion that is increasingly silly and increasingly less grounded in physics .

  454. Doug Cotton says:

    The intensity of the radiation from carbon dioxide cannot at any point exceed the limit of the Planck function. The gaseous atmosphere cannot radiate as much as the solid surface, and carbon dioxide cannot radiate more than 1/2500 of what the atmosphere could radiate. The radiation from all oxygen and nitrogen molecules (due to acceleration of electrons during collisions) must make up the rest of the observed and necessary atmospheric radiation, because water vapour, CO2 and its colleagues have to be limited by their Planck curves.

    Then, because of the limited frequencies within carbon dioxide’s Planck distribution at atmospheric temperatures, the effect of all carbon dioxide on the radiative rate of cooling of the surface is absolutely minuscule – far less than 1% of the effect of all water vapour.

    Then, as explained in my paper, (supported by empirical proof and further explanation in Appendix Q.1 and Q.3) there is absolutely no overall net effect on the rate of cooling of the surface because other cooling processes compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling.

    The rate of cooling of the Earth’s surface is not affected in any way whatsoever by carbon dioxide. The sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide levels is not positive, but could be negative due to backradiation of solar radiation to space.

    Before you write again on this thread, all further discussion for my part will be on the tallbloke’s thread which is dedicated to my paper and far better moderated.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21762

  455. Doug Cotton says:

    Tim

    “Adiabatic” has a more general application relating to entropy, just as does the Second Law. But I don’t care whether you consider that some machine such as a laser or microwave oven is adding radiated energy or thermal energy to a system.

    The Second Law can be expressed in the form that says entropy cannot decrease without external work being performed on the system. Thus …

    Adiabatic processes cannot decrease entropy.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/5898/adiabatic-process

    Spontaneously, heat cannot flow from cold regions to hot regions without external work being performed on the system, which is evident from ordinary experience of refrigeration, for example. In a refrigerator, heat flows from cold to hot, but only when forced by an external agent, a compressor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics

      

  456. Doug Cotton says:

    PB

    No I’m not daft. You just don’t know enough physics to understand the difference between radiated electromagnetic energy and thermal energy. The former has to go through a process of being converted to the latter, as my paper would have explained to you.

    I am not going to waste more of my time in future explaining things to people like yourself who refuse to spend a half hour or so reading and understanding what I have written as a result of over 1,000 hours of my time spent in research. Is that fair enough?

    The Introduction to my paper will help you understand the terminology of physics, but it seems you haven’t got that far with the paper.

    Please note my posts above, and that further discussion will be limited to tallbloke’s site where he published my paper and several thousand views have been recorded on the thread dedicated to it. Claes Johnson has also made comments thereon. People are asked to read the paper before commenting, for otherwise their comments are likely to be off topic.

     

  457. Doug Cotton says:

    Tim

    Neither CO2 nor any gas will absorb and convert to thermal energy the electromagnetic energy in radiation emitted spontaneously from a source which was cooler than the gas. This fact is well known by those working in spectrometry.

  458. Doug Cotton says:

     

    Tim

    You said But ONLY by raising the temperature of the rest of the walls

    But the atmosphere is not a house with a roof and walls. Warm air rises to cooler regions where it then has a greater propensity to cool off itself by radiating. Who cares whether the radiation takes place at -35 deg.C or -36 deg.C? Neither can transfer thermal energy to the surface, or “block” thermal energy being released from the surface by other processes such as evaporation and diffusion (molecular collision between solid and gas – see Wiki “Heat Transfer.”) Once the thermal energy has been transferred to the atmosphere it can then lead to warm air rising (convection) or additional radiation from the atmosphere.

     

  459. Tim Folkerts says:

    I’ll have to finish my own explanatory webpage to give a coherent description of the GHE. Otherwise answering all these individual questions is a very slow, ineffectively form of putting out fires.

    But a quick answer to “Who cares whether the radiation takes place at -35 deg.C or -36 deg.C? ”

    If the atmosphere radiates at -36 instead of -35, then it is radiating less energy to space. But the earth as a whole is still receiving the same amt from the sun. So by simple conservation of energy, the earth as a whole must loose more from somewhere else (or change albedo, or warm up). The easiest way to radiate more is for the surface to warm a little to emit more to space. Oh Wow! That would be the GHE!

  460. Doug Cotton says:

     

    Tim and others

    You can’t change the temperature gradient in the atmosphere by raising the plot at the surface end and lowering it at TOA because, assuming no change in relative humidity, you would be changing the adiabatic lapse rate, which is then a function only of the acceleration due to gravity. You would also be changing the temperature gradient and thus the raising the temperature plot all the way from the core to the surface if you raised the surface temperature, and that would require massive energy – see Appendix Q.3.

    In any event, my “who cares” statement was not intended to reflect any reality. I have explained over and over that there is absolutely no overall change in the rate of cooling of the surface which is due to carbon dioxide. Nor can any additional thermal energy in the atmosphere (if there were such, which there won’t be in the long-term) be transferred (as thermal energy) back to the surface.

    Now, please read the paper if you wish to make any more comments on what I am saying. Having studied all this for well over 1,000 hours I can assure you that I am perfectly aware of all the (often different) “explanations” of the conjectured greenhouse effect. Don’t waste your time reiterating one of them for my benefit. Most are based on energy diagrams which show radiation from the atmosphere to the surface which is assumed to be transferring heat from the cold atmosphere to the warmer surface.

     

    Everyone

    If you wish to contact me more on this you can either email me at enquiries@douglascotton.com or comment on the tallbloke thread which is dedicated to discussion of my paper. Start here or earlier in the comments if you have time, but please read the paper before commenting on that thread.

     

  461. Doug Cotton says:

     

    Tim

    Just a little more detail. You say, in the event of the atmosphere cooling, the easiest way to radiate more is for the surface to warm a little to emit more to space.

    That’s not easy at all. About 70% of the radiative heat transfer from the surface goes into the atmosphere, and only about 30% through the “atmospheric window” to space.

    Net energy diagrams like this explain it better.

    If the atmosphere were, say, one degree cooler, then the surface would automatically radiate more due to the increased temperature gap. There is no need for it to be hotter. It would also lose thermal energy faster by evaporation and diffusion which is followed by convection.

    So the atmosphere would warm up again, back to where the adiabatic lapse rate says it should be. Likewise, if it got temporarily even warmer, then heat transfer from the surface would slow down so the atmosphere would cool back to the temperature trend dictated by the adiabatic lapse rate and the mean Solar radiation.

    In a simple linear representation y = mx + b the adiabatic lapse rate determines m and the Solar radiation determines b whilst carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it, and there is no greenhouse effect.

    The atmosphere keeps the surface cooler in daylight hours and warmer at night because of the adiabatic lapse rate.

    As I explained in the previous post, and in Appendix Q.3 which you still appear not to have read, it takes a massive amount of energy (probably over tens of thousands of years) to make a significant change of a few degrees in surface temperature, and if that happened everything would be out of balance anyway with solar radiation, so it can’t happen.

     

    Say it slowly …
     

    Carbon dioxide can neither slow the overall rate of cooling of the surface, nor cause any heat transfer to the surface from a cooler atmosphere.

     
     

  462. Myrrh says:

    Doug – I’m approaching this from a particular angle, that AGWScience Fiction has tweaked real physics to create an impossible world. The ‘climate science’ writings and arguments are full of these tweaked physics, as memes repeated and repeated until ‘everyone’ thinks there is real physics explanation for them. While some may well see the tweaks for what they are in their own disciplines, they do not always appreciate it in that of others.

    The big tweak meme here from AGWSF is that ‘all energy/radiation is the same and all creates heat’. This is patently false in the real world, as I have explained re visible and UV and photsynthesis (visible converting to chemical energy, sugars). I don’t know what else to say here, but this is the way AGWSF has created confusion in these arguments. Their claim that ‘heat flows from colder to hotter’ is seen for what it is when the ‘all radiation is the same’ meme is deconstructed.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/20/psuedoscience/#comment-189606

    And unless it is deconstructed, we’ll keep getting such nonsense taught by “PhD’s”, claiming their superior education means they are right, as the example that the heat we feel from an incandescent light bulb comes from the visible. An incandescent light bulb emits 95% heat, thermal infrared, to 5% visible light. But in ‘climate science’ this nonsense is believed.

    It is believed because people don’t understand that electromagnetic waves/photons are different from each other.

    The claimed shortwave heating the Earth’s land and oceans is fiction, it is the fisics of the comic cartoon energy budget, which has a world with empty space for an atmosphere where molecules have no form, no weight or volume or attraction, are not subject to gravity, etc. etc.

  463. Tim Folkerts says:

    Doug says “It would also lose thermal energy faster by evaporation and diffusion which is followed by convection.”

    That one sentence indicated you have no idea what you are talking about. The cooling the atmosphere means the earth AS A WHOLE (ground + oceans + atmosphere) is losing less energy. To compensate, the earth AS A WHOLE must find a way to lose more energy. Evaporation, conduction & convection simply move the energy around WITHIN the system.

    For the surface to radiate more, the surface has to get warmer – the Stephan Boltzmann law depends on T, not Delta(T). But you don’t believe this well-known law, so there is really no farther we can go with this discussion.

  464. Tim Folkerts says:

    Doug says “You can’t change the temperature gradient in the atmosphere by raising the plot at the surface end and lowering it at TOA”

    Now there is something i can (99%) agree with. Fortunately, there is no need to change the adiabatic lapse rate. Adding more CO2 will RAISE the TOA, by raising the altitude from which the “top” layer of CO2 radiates. If this layer raises 100 m, then the lapse rate will force the surface to be about 0.06 K warmer. (Actually, the top will cool a bit and the bottom will warm bit, but the bottom will have to warm. So the surface will raise by some amount between 0 K and 0.06 K)

  465. Doug Cotton says:

    Myrrh

    Yes indeed. You’ll find similar comments in the Introduction in my paper linked from
    http://climate-change-theory.com

    I presume you meant “longwave” in the last paragraph. Shortwave is what the Sun emits.

  466. Doug Cotton says:

     

    Tim

    The Stefan-Boltzmann law cannot be applied to the Earth’s surface, as my paper explains. The surface is not insulated. It is you who probably has no idea why this is relevant.

    Of course I believe the SBL – and also the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which most climatologists seem not to believe.

    Furthermore, with over 50 years’ experience since I majored in Physics, I know the prerequisites and conditions under which such laws apply or don’t.

    Climatologists pull out their first year physics textbooks, grab an equation and apply it indiscriminately, assuming they get the “right” results.

    And in regard to your lapse rate forcing the surface to be hotter, what a wonderful thing this lapse rate must be to tell the Sun to shine brighter because the Earth is now hotter and we need to keep radiation in balance. /sarc

    Come back to me when you’ve studied my peer-reviewed paper on all this – now published on seven sites.

    Then maybe you’ll understand that the surface won’t get hotter because there is no effect on the overall rate of cooling thereof.

     

  467. Doug Cotton says:

     

    Oh dear Tim – it’s just not working out for you

    Seeing that you mentioned TOA, I thought I’d just check the latest NASA data (at a fixed altitude somewhere near there) so, if you click here you’ll see that, at this time of year, 2012 has been the coldest year since 2002 up there.

     

  468. Doug Cotton says:

     

    This is where climatologists go wrong …

    When hot and cold bodies are radiating towards each other it’s not the numbers of “photons” gpoing each way that does the trick ensuring that the “net” effect does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Rather, it all has to do with the intensities of the radiation at various frequencies as per the Planck distributions for the hot and cold bodies radiating towards each other and, most importantly, which frequencies resonate. See Sections 1 to 5 of my paper. http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

    Photons don’t cancel each other out in mid air. The early physicists could only explain it all by assuming their EM energy was first converted to thermal energy in each body. This seemed OK energy wise, because thermal energy can indeed be compounded. So more seems to leave the hot body than it receives, and more is received by the cool one than it emits.

    But, the processes each way are independent. In the surface/atmosphere case, more than half the energy from the surface transfers to the atmosphere by evaporative cooling and sensible heat transfer, so where are the photons for that energy?

    Because the processes are thus clearly independent, the cold to hot process would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Hence, the assumption of two-way heat transfer is wrong, the early physicists were wrong and we need another explanation.

    It is just such an explanation which Prof Claes Johnson and I have been talking about in our papers.

     

  469. Tim Folkerts says:

    It’s been fun, Doug, but I have no more time for someone who claims that basic physics is wrong, based on what is basically a self-published internet article. (And yes, I have glanced at it and found it no more comprehensible that your postings here). You clearly know a bit about the situation, but you just as clearly are completely off-track on several key ideas. I have tried to point out a couple of those, but you seem to keep ignoring those points.

    Let me make one last point. You say
    “I explain how (spontaneous) radiation which matches radiation from the other body will resonate (as Claes Johnson explains) and not transfer any thermal energy to the other body, but appear to be scattered as new radiation takes its place and uses up equivalent radiating capacity, but not any energy from the target – only energy from the incident radiation.”

    This would be easy (in principle) to test. Get columns of CO2 at various temperatures above an IR source. If you are correct, then two things should be observed.
    1) the gas in the tube will not warm from the IR radiation because you claim no thermal energy is transferred.
    2) emission from the cool gas will be the same, independent of the temperature of the gas, since that gas is only “resonating”, and not emitting anything based on the “energy of the target”.

    I am sure both of these will be wrong.

  470. Doug Cotton says:

    Tim

    (1) is true assuming the IR source is emitting spontaneously, not artificially, which you did not mention. This is well known in spectrometry circles and you cannot prove otherwise. Ask any physicist involved or Google spectrometry “cooler gas”. However, its rate of radiative cooling will be affected by the cooler gas, but its overall rate of cooling would depend on other issues relating to insulation, which you have not described, as is the case with rates of cooling of the Earth’s surface. The overall rate of cooling of the Earth’s surface is not affected because of inevitable compensating effects by evaporative cooling and sensible heat transfer to the atmosphere.

    (2) No my hypothesis does not imply what you have said, and, if you understand it, then you cannot show that it does. Resonating does not stop it emitting whatever its emissivity and Planck function permit. It just us