How Can Home Insulation Keep Your House Warmer, When It Cools Your House?!

April 24th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


<sarc> There is an obvious conspiracy from the HVAC and home repair industry, who for years have been telling us to add more insulation to our homes to keep them warmer in winter.

But we all know, from basic thermodynamics, that since insulation conducts heat from the warm interior to the cold outside, it actually COOLS the house.

So, how in the world are we expected to believe that adding MORE insulation, which we know acts to cool the house by conduction, is somehow going to WARM the inside of the house?

After all, how can cooler insulation further heat the inside of the house? Does heat flow from cold insulation to warmer temperatures? No!

I think I’ll start a new organization to reveal this scam. Maybe I’ll call it Principia Domus International. </sarc>

FOR THOSE NOT IN ON THE JOKE: The sky dragon slayers (people who think the greenhouse effect does not exist) claim greenhouse gases cannot make the Earth’s surface warmer because those gases, distributed up through the atmosphere, are at a colder temperature than the surface. I am demonstrating a thermodynamic point which is true, no matter whether infrared radiation (in the case of the atmosphere) or insulation (in the case of the house) are involved in the energy loss. The point is this: The temperature of anything that is heated is partly governed by the nature of its cooler surroundings, because those cooler surroundings affect the rate of heat loss by the warmer object. As long as there is an energy source (the Sun), the surface temperature of the Earth can be INCREASED by reducing the rate of net energy loss by the surface.


303 Responses to “How Can Home Insulation Keep Your House Warmer, When It Cools Your House?!”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Brad says:

    Oh boy…

  2. Johan says:

    Yes, and the manufacturers of blankets are part of the conspiracy too!
    Dr. Spencer, you have a mean streak inside you 🙂

    • Rosco says:

      I think this whole argument is silly and one dimensional.

      I also think you mislead the less intelligent even if unintentional.

      Blankets and clothing keep us warm by reducing the convective loss of the warm air trapped. Radiation plays only a minimal role in this. Even so called “radiation” blankets trap warm air in the enclosure they surround.

      The air is warmed by our body temperature in the case of our clothing or by central heating or similar in the case of a home.

      That this fact is undeniably true can be tested by noting such things as wind chill.

      Terrestrial mammals have only one mechanism to preserve their body warmth – outside of hiding from the weather that is – and that is by the mechanism of their fur or feathers preventing convective heat loss of the air warmed by their body temperature. Obviously there is no radiative barrier.

      Non mammals have no mechanism and are subject to the vagaries of the climate, sunshine or – like snakes at night – seeking some warm surface such as asphalt heated during the day.

      Obviously marine mammals have different mechanisms involving reducing conduction to the water – these seem to be pretty effective nevertheless !

      Only you made the claim about cooler insulation heating ? I know that was sarcasm but it is ridiculous and leads people to ridiculous conclusions because they have a one dimensional impression of a very complicated subject.

      Everyone should understand insulation is about reducing energy loss in order that you can reduce your heating bill -the insulation provides zero heat – period.

      Everyone should understand that a hot object with a heating energy input exposed to the atmosphere is always losing energy to the free atmosphere and cannot realise the temperature it is otherwise theoretically capable of.

      The claim that the atmosphere reduces this is wrong !

      This object will never reach the full heating potential, in terms of temperature, of the magnitude of the energy input because of this loss of energy by conduction and convection in the free atmosphere.

      Put some sort of insulation on it and its temperature increases – we know this is fact and it is obviously due to reduced convection of the warmed air which otherwise takes away energy.

      Proof – covered pots boil quicker !

      Your statements lead people to make ridiculous claims such as that this proves that backradiation increases the temperature of this object !

      They conduct experiments, measure temperatures and claim proof of backradiation.

      You see silly statements like this on many blogs about climate and these people have been led astray.

      Everyone should know all that is really occuring is that the reduction in the cooling effect that is conduction and convection in the free atmosphere allows the energy input to result in increased temperature rather than simply replacing the lost energy. Reducing radiation plays little part in this as the lid on the pot soon heats and radiates -conclusively demonstrating that conduction and radiation are far less significant than convection in energy transport in an atmosphere or a liquid.

      This hot object will never achieve the full heating potential of its energy input because there is no perfect insulation – a fact of life – sad but true.

      Finally I find this statement amazing –

      “As long as there is an energy source (the Sun), the surface temperature of the Earth can be INCREASED by reducing the rate of net energy loss by the surface.”

      – because it completely disagrees with your argument a couple of years ago about the period of rotation having no effect on a planet’s temperature.

      If you have “x” rate of energy loss over “y” hours resulting in “x.y” total energy loss then surely reducing “y” will reduce total – “x.y” – energy loss ?

      Perhaps this explains why the Moon plunges to ~100 K in 14.5 days of night while most of the Earth doesn’t in 0.5 day night while the poles, receiving minimal direct solar radiation, plunge to around 220 K during their months of night ?

      And don’t the IPCC authors claim that the insolation is one quarter of the solar constant adjusted for albedo.

      Stefan-Boltzmann says this 170 W/sq m heating the Earth’s surfaces results in a temperature of 234 K.

      Do you think this is an OK expression of science ?

      • Sean says:

        I agree with this point that you the blankets and clothing keep us warm by reducing the convective loss of the warm air trapped. Radiation plays only a minimal role in this. Even so called “radiation” blankets trap warm air in the enclosure they surround.

  3. Very funny, Roy. But you can’t pull the (glass) wool over MY eyes so easily. Everbody knows that cold objects can never heat warm objects, and warm objects can’t change their own temperature, no matter how much heat you add to them, because it would violate the Postma statement of the second law of thermodynamics, which is “Cold objects can never ever make warm objects change their temperature in any way, regardless of what else is going on.” Or maybe it is due to Siddon’s Theorem — Anything that might permit one to argue that the Greenhouse Effect doesn’t violate SOME law of nature is wrong.

    As a result, I never wear a jacket or hat any more no matter what the weather and have gone ahead and don’t buy silvered thermos flasks or radiant space heaters with a shiny reflector either. Both a waste of time.

    On the good side, I no longer worry about setting my house on fire with a birthday cake covered with candles.

    rgb

  4. Stephen Wilde says:

    Insulation of a house enables the house to stay warmer than it otherwise would be by reducing conduction from the house to the surrounding air.

    CO2 appears to both induce more convection and evaporation and add an additional radiative window to space that is absent in a non GHG atmosphere.

  5. Roy,
    Many thanks for coming out all guns blazing on this. It should be greatly entertaining as well as informative to all who follow this issue. What PSI finds amusing is how you have tripped yourself up by your blatant contradictions. e.g. You say:

    “One of the first things you discover when putting numbers to the problem is the overriding importance of infrared radiative absorption and emission to explaining the atmospheric temperature profile. These IR flows would not occur without the presence of “greenhouse gases”, which simply means gases which absorb and emit IR radiation. Without those gases, there would be no way for the atmosphere to cool to outer space in the presence of continuous convective heat transport from the surface.

    Indeed, it is the “greenhouse effect” which destabilizes the atmosphere, leading to convective overturning. Without it, there would not be weather as we know it. The net effect of greenhouse gases is to warm the lowest layers, and to cool the upper layers.

    The greenhouse effect thus continuously “tries” to produce a lapse rate much steeper than the adiabatic lapse rate, but convective overturning occurs before that can happen, cooling the lower troposphere and warming the upper troposphere through a net convective transport of heat from lower layers to upper layers.”
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/12/why-atmospheric-pressure-cannot-explain-the-elevated-surface-temperature-of-the-earth/
    So, Roy, what you’re claiming is that the enormous heat from GHGs leads to convective heat-mixing, which makes the lapse rate shallow. But the RADIATIVE GHE would make the lapse very steep.

    Good lord. That’s just awful. You are saying that without GHG’s, the atmosphere wouldn’t be able to cool???!!!! Don’t you mean it would be HOTTER without GHG’s??

    Convection occurs automatically because warm air is less dense…duh! It gets heated and then rises. GHG’s don’t cause convection…how could 0.04% force the rest? So backwards.

    And then why is the lapse rate for dry air SIMPLY what it is if you calculate it using U = gh + CpT. Where’s the GHG effect? How come when you factor in condensation heat release to the equation, then you just get exactly the wet rate? You are referring to an effect on the lapse rate that is non-existent.
    (I would post this over on WUWT but I’m banned due to the sudden anti-science, anti-open debate policy of Mr Watts)

    • Without greenhouse gases, the UPPER atmosphere would indeed be much warmer, but the LOWER atmosphere would be much cooler.

      Quit confusing the two, like you did with your recent misinterpretation of the NASA upper-atmosphere study. It’s been almost 50 years since Manabe and Strickler (1964) showed how the upper atmosphere is cooled by CO2, which is PART OF the greenhouse effect. Nothing new there.

      Adding more insulation to your house makes the outside of your house cooler, and the inside warmer (in winter). Greenhouse gases (thermodynamically like insulation in your house) reduce the rate at which heat flows from higher temperatures to lower temperatures, thus making the warm side warmer, and the cool side cooler.

      • Reed Coray says:

        Dr. Spencer,

        In a comment to your guest post on WUWT you made an identical statement, to wit

        “Greenhouse gases (thermodynamically like insulation in your house) reduce the rate at which heat flows from higher temperatures to lower temperatures, thus making the warm side warmer, and the cool side cooler.”

        At WUWT I responded to your comment. Maybe you didn’t see my response, or maybe you simply ignored it. I said”

        “I disagree with the above statement. I am going to apply what you wrote to a vacuum thermos bottle. Place coffee in a thermos bottle and place the thermos bottle in a heat sink at a fixed temperature lower than the temperature of the coffee. The thermos bottle has a “warm side” (the wall of the chamber that holds the coffee–i.e., the inside wall) and a “cool side” (the wall in contact with the heat sink–i.e., the outside wall). In a vacuum thermos bottle, the volume between these two “walls” is empty–i.e., is a vacuum. According to what you wrote, relative to a vacuum thermos bottle inserting a greenhouse gas into the vacuum space will “reduce the rate at which heat flows from the higher temperature to the lower temperature.” If true, the performance of the thermos bottle (i.e., the time required for the temperature of the coffee to reach the temperature of the heat sink) is enhanced (lengthened) by the presence of the GHG. I don’t believe it. If this were true, then why does anyone manufacture vacuum thermos bottles? Wouldn’t CO2 (a greenhouse gas) thermos bottles be preferred?”

        If you have the time, I’d appreciate hearing your response to my comment. Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, why?

        Thank you for your time,

        Reed Coray

      • David Springer says:

        With all due respect Dr. Spencer putting more insulation in your attic doesn’t add further restrict radiative heat loss. It restricts conductive heat loss. CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t work that way and you know that. This post should be beneath you and the fact that is isn’t doesn’t reflect well on your character.

    • Joel Shore says:

      Actually, some of us have been arguing that Watts’ site has been anti-science for a long time. It is, however, not so cartoonishly anti-science as to endorse the non-sense of the Sky Dragon Slayers.

    • Christopher Game says:

      Sad to say, the well-motivated John Sullivan is muddled in his response to Dr Spencer’s post.

      John quotes a nice summary of the situation that Dr Spencer has posted specifically for the benefit of PSI people, and then John asks a rhetorical question instead of finding fault in Dr Spencer’s summary. John’s question tries to lead Dr Spencer into saying something that he didn’t say and didn’t mean. Then John asks another question, about one simple element of the problem, mistakenly supposing that that one simple element provides sufficient information to solve it. John goes on to ask more rhetorical questions, again failing to point to any fault with Dr Spencer’s post.

      While it is good that John and the PSI people are motivated by scepticism of the CAGW dogma of the IPCC, it is sad that John does not understand the physics that Dr Spencer has neatly explained in summary for him. With friends like John, the sceptical viewpoint does not need enemies.

      John then observes that he has been banned from WUWT. I suppose that is because WUWT has found John, like some other blog-responders from PSI, unresponsive to reason. The wonder is that Dr Spencer is so tolerant as to allow PSI to continue to rattle on here with its mistaken argumentation. To repair his current misunderstanding, John could carefully and patiently follow a chain of causality of some process of the earth’s climate system.

  6. Insulation in your house prevents draft leakage and convective loss to the outside, by trapping material molecules. This simply makes it easier for the furnace to hold temperature. A gas, CO2, doesn’t trap itself. It doesn’t prevent its own convection and drafting etc. And, such insulation doesn’t raise the temperature above the temperature of the input, of the furnace.

    So then the analogy is created that trapping photons, via CO2, has s a similar heat trapping effect, even though trapping photons does occur in a real greenhouse but actually has nothing to do with the temperature inside a real greenhouse, because the temperature inside a real greenhouse is caused by preventing convective cooling when the input is sunshine at, say, +80C at noon. The analogy is then further extended to say that trapped photons can cause a -18C input (the incorrect and absurd flat earth assumption for the solar input), to become +15C, even though this doesn’t actually occur inside a real greenhouse nor with the insulation in your home. In fact, trapped radiation inside a cavity simply produces a blackbody spectrum of the temperature of the source, and this is of course the origin of quantum mechanics; trapped radiation doesn’t raise the temperature of its own source in any case. Photons are bosons and can pile on top of each other without noticing, other than equal amounts of constructive and destructive interference which results in no net change. This is markedly different behaviour from molecules which, when packed on top of each other, can not simply pass through but must find smaller and smaller volumes of space in which to situate themselves, thus increasing pressure and temperature. Shine two flashlight directly into each other and seal them perfectly, and they will not explode or even shine any brighter, unlike what would happen if you were compressing more and more gas into the sealed chamber.

    You’re being lied to by these sophists. Either you understand it or you don’t. That being said, it is quite difficult to understand, but within that difficulty is where the sophists create their garbage. 50% (and more) increase of CO2 over the last few decades and no increase in temperature above 1930′s values, or above the warm periods before that, or above the first entire half (or more) of this whole interglacial; ice core records which show that the Earth enters an ice-age when CO2 level is high(!). You’re being lied to by sophists.

    • I figured someone would invoke this. You telling me even for a house without any drafts, adding more insulation would not change the inside temperature? C’mon, Joe, quit avoiding the central point.

      • I referred to the central points specifically.

        As to your question, if you have a house which is perfectly sealed already, then you’re at the limit. There is no such thing as preventing more drafts when there are already zero drafts. The question doesn’t make sense.

        • If things behaved this way, if trapping heat could raise the temperature above the temperature creating the heat, then ALL of thermodynamic research in the 1800’s would have revolved around exploiting this and today we would have devices which could create an internal extremely high temperature (to use for doing useful work with) with only a minuscule, tiny input; say, a AAA battery and tiny resistor could be used to generate 5000K inside a shell, and then you could smelt some steel or something with a AAA battery. Instead they created steam engines powered by coal and developed things like the Carnot Cycle. They never ever developed anything about trapping heat to create higher temperature than the input. What they found when they tried to do so, was what was eventually codified into the Laws of Thermodynamics.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Roy, your post was a gem. Joe’s replies are almost more humorous (except for the fact that he has managed to sway a lot of gullible, scientifically illiterate people with his message).

            “If things behaved this way, if trapping heat could raise the temperature above the temperature creating the heat .. ”
            Joe never seems to understand that the “temperature creating the heat” is the sun (~6000 C) or the flame of the furnace (~1200 C). So insulation will never allow the furnace to raise the house’s temperature above 1200 C, nor can GHGs ever allow the sun to warm the earth above 6000 C. THAT is the limit set by the 2nd Law.

            “… a AAA battery and tiny resistor could be used to generate 5000K …”
            Apparently Joe has never seen the marvelous invention called a “light bulb”. (Granted, they are usually only ~3000K, but that is only a matter engineering, not a matter of principle.)

          • “Apparently Joe has never seen the marvelous invention called a “light bulb”. (Granted, they are usually only ~3000K, but that is only a matter engineering, not a matter of principle.”

            Ahh and there’s the sophistry and changing reference frames from a very expected source. lol

          • “Joe never seems to understand that the “temperature creating the heat” is the sun (~6000 C) or the flame of the furnace (~1200 C). So insulation will never allow the furnace to raise the house’s temperature above 1200 C, nor can GHGs ever allow the sun to warm the earth above 6000 C. THAT is the limit set by the 2nd Law.”

            Actually I’ve referred to that repeatedly. You seem to be disagreeing with the basic GHE tenet that sunshine is only -18C, and that GHG’s can raise the input of -18C to 15C.

            Of course you’er chaning things around a bit and referring to the spectral temperature of sunlight; however, you can only make sunlight 6000K again by re-condensing the incoming sunlight spectrum, with a magnifying glass. That is the only way to create 6000K with sunlight. GHG’s do not re-condense the incoming sunlight, hence they can not create 6000K. You argument is yet more sophistry.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Joe Says: “You seem to be disagreeing with the basic GHE tenet that sunshine is only -18C”

            That is NOT a “basic GHE tenet”. I can’t let you foist yet another strawman of bad physics on the world.

            Sunlight is ~ 6050 C. For example, with a lens, you can burn wood using only sunlight. Thermodynamics says that the temperature of the focused spot of sunlight can never get above 6050 C because then you WOULD be raising the temperature of the heated object above the temperature of the source.

            The temperature of an object when hit by that very hot sunlight depends on the geometry.
            * A black surface with 6050 C sunlight coming from all directions will reach 6050 C.
            * A black surface (flat, facing straight toward the sun, insulated on the other side) with 6050 C sunlight coming from very limited directions (and 2.7 K background radiation coming from the other directions) because it is 1 AU from the sun will reach ~ 121 C.
            * A spherical black surface will reach ~ 6 C (with sufficiently high thermal conductivity and/or sufficiently rapid rotation)
            * A spherical gray surface will reach ~ -18 C.

            Albedo and geometry lead to the -18 C temperature. The sunlight itself is not “-18 C”.

            To use Roy’s analogy, GHGs would then be akin to blowing 0 C air against the outside of your house when the temperature outdoors is -20 C and the temperature inside the house is 20 C. The presence of the COLD air (O C) will result in the interior of the house warming up (perhaps from 20 C to 25 C). Note that the furnace is still doing the heating. Note that adding 0 C air “warms” the warmer interior because it replaces even COLDER air.

            ********************

            GHG’s replace the even COLDER -270 C radiation with merely COLD radiation, allowing the sun to warm the surface well above the -18 C that would be reached without the assist from the GHGs.

          • You’re still lying Tim, and now obfuscating all over. GHG’s do not re-condense sunlight, thus your supposition was wrong that they can produce temperatures as high as 6000K because of the Sunshine input etc. The geometry only means the output flux is 240 W/m2 or -18C, which it is. It does not mean that this is the input and therefore an additional mechanism needs to be invented to create more heating. Of course, the atmosphere isn’t a source of heat and so all the arguments created to try to make it a source of heat are ridiculous. The atmosphere is also always colder than the surface and so indeed it can never be a source or cause of heating for the surface, by any method. The solar heating is +49C. The actual temperature of the planet is less than this due to the geometry (spherical). The near surface temperature at 1.5m AGL is only one of the warmer parts of the whole ensemble, and is not representative of the whole system. Of course, +15C at the surface is still lower in temperature than the input, which is +49C.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Absolute nonsense Tim. You are not allowing for the reduction in intensity of the Solar radiation on its way from the Sun to Earth. You have only to consider the Moon to see that the Solar radiation could not heat an unprotected Earth (without an atmosphere) to much more than 100C, as happens in the Moon’s daytime.

            Luckily we have an atmosphere and clouds absorbing 19% of incident Solar radiation, (thus keeping us cooler by day) and then 15% on its way back up from the surface, keeping us warmer by night. And most of that insulation is by ordinary nitrogen and oxygen molecules which absorb energy by non-radiative processes and, believe it or not, can in fact also radiate energy away even at atmospheric temperatures. They do so because a very small percentage of them in the troposphere absorb incident Solar radiation in the UV and visible (as they do in the thermosphere also) and re-emit with the same frequencies. Because there are so few, we don’t notice the extreme temperatures such molecules reach in the process. However, we can measure the fact that the emissivity of the atmosphere does not approach zero as the level of water vapour approaches zero, but instead the emissivity approaches a much higher value, indicating the other molecules are radiating significantly.

        • No, Joe you are NOT at the limit if there are no drafts/air ecchanges. There is CONDUCTION through the walls. What planet do you live on, anyway?

          • You referred to drafts, so now you are changing goal posts. But the sentiment is similar in any case with conduction. Of course, conduction can’t be stopped, it happens automatically. So then lets say you have really really thick walls, 100 feet, so there’s quite a distance to conduct through. If you add another 100 feet then the heat will just have to go conduct into that. This doesn’t cause a rise in temperature at the source.

          • Roy Spencer says: “yes you probably CAN design a system for generating 5,000K temperatures using just a AAA battery”

            Then please make it so. “Saying that you can probably” doesn’t count for much. And of course, the scenario has to be in the context of trapping heat from a tiny current in a resistor. Not some plasma discharge from blowing the battery up – I do know how GHE supporters like to obfuscate on particulars such as this.

          • Mike Crow says:

            Joe,
            If your resistor got to 5000 degrees with a AAA battery, and stayed at 5000 degrees long enough to raise the temp of the container to 5000 degrees, you could melt steel with it.
            But we know it will do none of those things.

          • Hi Mike. It wasn’t about a AAA battery lighting a flashlight filament to 5000K. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is about the resistor (lets use the filament) becoming even hotter still if you shine the flashlight at a mirror. This does not increase the brightness (temperature) of the filament. Trapping the radiation does not increase the temperature of the filament.

      • Stephen Wilde says:

        But is CO2 an insulator ?

        It is supposed to block outward longwave from the surface but in doing so increases convection, evaporation and radiation to space.

        Evaporation has a net cooling effect of 5 to 1 (enthalpy of vaporisation) and so is a hugely powerful negative system response.

        I am not yet convinced that CO2 has any net insulating effect at all once the negative system responses have been accounted for.

        Note that I do not deny the thermal characterisatics of GHGs, merely do I question the sign and power of the system response.

        The insulated house analogy is entirely inappropriate because one is simply interposing a less effective conductor between the air inside the house and the air outside the house.

        • Well a free gas isn’t an insulator – any free gas will cause convective cooling. So it then goes back to the analogies which are attempted which I discussed above, and which are wrong.

          Actually when double-pane window manufacturers were looking for gases to put between the windows to improve insulation, CO2 was found to have a negative effect. I believe that radiatively inert gases were found to be the best, since, with low or zero emissivity, they can’t lose their heat radiatively at all, while CO2 does do so.

          • Glass is almost totally opaque to IR, and the path lengths involved between window panes is too small to involve substantial IR effects. Different gases, however, DO have different THERMAL CONDUCTIVITIES.

          • Ken Coffman says:

            Joe, it’s viscosity the window designers look for to restrict convection currents which couple inside to outside. Thick gases are helpful to increase the insulating effect.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Roy, the double pane window acts like this. If the space is filled with carbon dioxide (or has a high level of water vapour) then energy passes by conduction through the first pane of glass, then by conduction into molecules that collide with the inside of the glass. Now, if those molecules don’t radiate, then the energy can only pass across the gap by the relatively slow non-radiative process of diffusion of kinetic energy as molecules collide. If, however the molecules can radiate, then the energy leap frogs across the gap to some molecules which are about to collide with the outside pane of glass. That’s why dry air works better as an insulator, and a vacuum even better still of course. Add your radiating molecules and insulation is far worse.

            Much the same happens in the atmosphere, which is why inter-molecular radiation between water molecules has a temperature levelling effect, working against the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient. In fact, we can show with real world evidence that water vapour cools the surface from a mean of about 20C back to about 15C. If water vapour actually raised temperatures by a mean of 30 degrees, then, because of the widely varying percentage of water vapour in different regions, we would expect far higher temperatures in moist regions and far lower in dry regions, now wouldn’t we? Do you see such? The evidence is that the opposite is the case.

      • Rosco says:

        Turn off the heat and see how long it stays warm inside – especially in a cold winter – good insulation will slow the heat loss but never stop it !

        Insulation is absolutely useless in tropical climates – take it from someone who has lived in this scenario.

        Great insulation in the tropics keeps the heat out till about midday but it gets in anyway. At 1am in the morning when uninsulated homes have cooled to below 25 C and your still over 30 C you are wishing you could get up and rip it out – instead you reach for the air conditioner remote.

  7. Ken Coffman says:

    I’m pleased that you eminent scholars are having so much fun. I know radiation is a slippery topic–hence the absurdity bandied about. Air is a poor thermal conductor, so the main effect derived from insulation is holding trapped air in place to restrict conduction. Convection is also limited a bit (that’s why some windows have dense gases between the panes: restrict the circulating flow and you restrict the rate of heat loss). Radiation is also limited a bit due to silvered liner materials. You can reflect, disperse, refract, diffuse and scatter radiation which, after all, has no problem traveling effortlessly through the vacuum of space. There is no mechanism for restricting or blocking or trapping radiation to increase the Earth’s average temperature by 33C. The idea is 100% nonsense. Show me a lab experiment where adding a CO2 molecule that was not present before increases the average temperature of anything. Good luck with that. More likely you’ll see CO2 as an agent of convection, and therefore an agent of cooling. All who assert heating effects of CO2 are clinging to an idea for which there is no evidence. None! Why do you believe this? Because people you trust told you and you believe it? You have put your faith in phony experts who believe in theory over observation. Think!

    • So, Ken, when I point my IR thermometer up at the clear sky and it reads around 250 to 280 K (depending on season), it is actually seeing 3K (the cosmic background temperature)? C’mon, Ken. You have put your faith in phony experts who believe in theory over observation. Think!

      • Stephen Wilde says:

        It is actually seeing the temperature at the height at which the optical depth of the atmosphere allows it to ‘find’ a surface to measure.

        If the atmosphere were completely opaque it would show the temperature at the height of the thermometer.

        If the atmosphere were perfectly transparent then it would show the temperature of space.

      • Ken Coffman says:

        Roy, you are not measuring anything capable of increasing the Earth’s average temperature by 10% (33C). The air has a temperature, so what? I know your brain shuts down when you think about radiation, but I’ll make this easy for you. Radiation always works in the same direction as conduction. If you’re puzzled by what radiation can do between points A and B, then imagine a perfect thermally conductive path between A and B. The effectiveness of the coupling and the rate of the work being done will be different, but the direction of heat flow and the dissipative “urge” of Mother Nature is the same (that’s barring an exothermic chemical or nuclear reaction, of course).

        Passive IR is wimpy stuff. It can be blocked by a piece of paper and the paper will still have the same temperature as the surrounding air. It will not burst into flame. Whatever you think you’re measuring, it is not capable of doing any measurable work and it cannot do anything highly useful like increasing the average temperature of something by 10%. Don’t you think your furnace manufacturer would love to have a thermal engine made from cold, thin air that would heat your house by 33C? Or, let’s reverse or block this effect and cool your house by 33C. Why are you withholding this engine from the world? Billions of lives would be improved with this wonderful heater/cooler. If it existed, of course, which it doesn’t.

      • Nabil Swedan says:

        Dr. Spencer, Every time you are caught in a bind, you change subject:IR thermometer readings, to wall insulation, to boiling water in a kettle, etc. Please admit that there is no evidence of greenhouse gas effect!

      • Rosco says:

        I thought the space above our atmosphere was irradiated to the tune of 1367 W/sq metre.

        What does deep space radiation levels have to do with Earth ?

    • David L. Hagen says:

      Ken
      OK. I am thinking about Absorption/emission by atmospheric gases. Solar, IR and microwave spectra of main atmospheric gases and the CO2 absorption spectra that I studied in physical chemistry.
      I am also thinking of Kirchoff’s law of radiative absorption.

      For a body of any arbitrary material, emitting and absorbing thermal electromagnetic radiation at every wavelength in thermodynamic equilibrium, the ratio of its emissive power to its dimensionless coefficient of absorption is equal to a universal function only of radiative wavelength and temperature, the perfect black-body emissive power.

      I am further thinking of the atmospheric lapse rate .
      I speak as a researcher who starts with facts and sees hypotheses and theories built on those facts.
      May I suggest that you also try to think. Identify the facts. What evidence is there for/against hypothesis.

  8. Steven Mosher says:

    I think the thermos guys and space blanket manufacturers are also in on the conspiracy roy.

    • Scott says:

      Don’t forget about everyone in the known history of mankind that has worn clothes. I don’t like the word conspiracy for this, but considering how the comments section here seems to have been taken over by people who make claims that would invalidate basic insulation approaches (something extremely easily validated by experiment), maybe it’s an okay word to use.

      -Scott

  9. David L. Hagen says:

    The windows are obviously redder yet standing next to them in winter I feel much cooler. Has the thermography manufacturer inverted the temperature scale to show sections hotter when they feel colder?

  10. David L. Hagen says:

    What happened to my sarc and /sarc notations? Thermographic malware?

  11. RW says:

    The point is the added insulation by itself will not make the house warmer without an internal heat supply (i.e. eneryg supply), which as it relates to the GHE is the equivalent of the Sun. If you add extra insulation to a house with no internal energy supply, it won’t make the house warmer.

    • RW says:

      All other things being equal.

      • squid2112 says:

        Forgive me Roy, but am I getting this right? You are now telling me that CO2 acts like an insulator? It doesn’t reflect (back radiation) back down the the surface and heat the surface?

        I am confused. On the one hand I am told that the GHE is an effect produced by “back radiation” from IR re-emitted from CO2 molecules, which then that IR hits the surface and makes it warmer.

        Now you are demonstrating to me that CO2 is actually an insulator and acts as a blanket to warm the atmosphere?

        What gives? Which one is it? Both? Neither? Sounds to me like someone really needs to get the story straight. You mention your IR meter measuring what I am assuming you to mean “back radiation”, implying that IR is coming back to the surface to warm it some more, but your example above, and indeed more of your comments specifically indicate a “blanket” effect.

        I am having a very difficult time believing in the GHE when the GHE proponents can’t seem to keep the same story line, continually introduce new faulty, and consistently contradictory “thought experiments” to try to explain the GHE hypothesis.

        This post, and many of the resulting comments seem to be adding more dirt to the water (mud).

        • David L. Hagen says:

          squid
          Some CO2 and/or H2O absorbs radiation and then reradiates it in all directions. (It does not “reflect” radiation.) On the average, some radiation returns towards earth compared to the situation of no CO2 or H2O where earth’s radiation would go directly out to space.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          Squid2112, well said. There is no greenhouse gas effect. Had it existed, there would be no infrared astronomy. This IR astronomy is based on detecting minute infrared radiations from the universe. In the presence of the alleged greenhouse gas or back-radiations, infrared astronomy would not have exist. Either infrared astronomy is fiction or greenhouse gas effect is fiction. They simply cannot coexist.

        • Rosco says:

          CO 2 has a low thermal conductivity 0.0146 versus 0.024 for “air”.

          The thermal conductivity of CO2 is significantly lower than common used insulation materials – for example sheeps wool 0.039.

          So yes CO2 is a very effective insulator.

          Also it has a lower specific heat of 0.844 verusu 1.01 for air.

          So for a given heat input CO2 will warm more than air and will cool slower – a pretty efficient insulator.

          If CO2 emits back radiation capable of heating the Earth’s surfaces I do not see that capability in these figures – ordinary air appears to release accumulated heat much more rapidlt than CO2.

          These properties are determined experimentally so include any radiative effect – it is not possible that scientists start off by – “Allright guys, today we’re determining Thermal Conductivity so NO RADIATING – OK !”

          If CO2 could truly trap heat hot air balloons – which are really hot CO2 balloons as the combustion of the gas drives out the air during inflation – could be built to stay afloat forever.

  12. This infrared thermography clearly shows the natural heat flow away for the hotter Earth towards the cooler outer space. The stratification within the house creates greater heat flow paths at the top of windows and roof areas. Home improvement contractors do NOT install Carbon Dioxide radiative barriers at these thermal hot spots. A thermos [vacuum] bottle has two modes of insulation. There is no matter in a vacuum to allow convective flow and a silver or stainless steel lining provides a radiative barrier. A free roaming, three atom gas molecule in the atmosphere presents NO barrier to radiative flow. The convective flow is based on mass, for CO2 in the atmosphere that is 400 PPM and the Specific Heat. With standard air assigned value of 1.0, the derived value for CO2 is 0.8, meaning it absorbs and RELEASES heat faster than air, i.e., it is a cooling agent.

    Dr Roy did not spend enough time in English Lit class to grasp ‘satire’. For those who do appreciate this seldom perfected form of comment, visit the “Satire” tab at the Faux Science Slayer website. You might want to start with “Amazing! New! Wrongco Proxy Crock”. Enjoy !

    • OK, Mr. Smartypants, I’ll see your 20% reduction in the specific heat of CO2 compared to air, and raise you a 39% decrease in thermal conductivity, which makes CO2 worse at conducting heat:

      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

      • Smartypants Replies:

        Thermal Conductivity of CO2 is 0.0146 and of standard air is 0.0240, which are both lousy, making a 39% difference of the 0.04% of the atmosphere that is CO2 meaningless….and the 3% of that which is of human origin even MORE meaningless. Plain truth….if CO2 possessed any of the claimed magic properties then, vacuum bottles would be CO2 bottles, and home improvement contractor would install CO2 radiative barriers.

        A remote read IR thermometer sends out an IR signal and measures the difference in the reflected signal….not the energy radiated. Radiant energy drops as a function of the square of the distance….but your remote read temp of hot backyard barbie says the same temperature, but NOT the same radiation energy from different distances. We’ve had this same impasse since your “Yes Virginia, Cold Makes Hot” and my “Rocket Scientist Need NOT Apply” reply at Canada Free Press, July 2010.

        Thanks for the thermography…which clearly convective stratification at work. Now work on why having a hot ceiling above you does not warm your feet….unless you are standing on your head.

        • “A remote read IR thermometer sends out an IR signal and measures the difference in the reflected signal….not the energy radiated.”

          This is incorrect. An IR thermometer is a purely passive device that responds to IR wavelengths, typically from around 5 to 15 microns. An IR thermometer pointed at the clear zenith sky provides a practical method to measure the total column water vapor. Google to find my paper on this.

  13. Kasuha says:

    I had a good laugh 😀
    Thank you.
    I wish you a lot of patience with your comments section contents 😉

  14. John Zulauf says:

    Dr. Spencer… you have far more patience than I for people that don’t know that each of conduction, convection, and radiation function to transfer heat, and that cool object (while they cannot *heat* warm objects) certainly *can* alter the net heat flows from them.

    Simple experiment. Boil water in a pot with and without a lid. Time it. Compare. Learn.

    Harder experiment. Create three black body source A at T1, B at .5T1 and C at .1T1. (all temperatures at a time 0, fully insulated with a single aperature). For each experiment, heat the blackbodies the target tempature, put them in each other “view” (i.e. point the holes at each other), and measure the temperature over time. Compare the T vs. time curves for the case when A can “see” B, and when A can “see” C. Note that A cools more slowly when it sees B than when it sees C. Thus a cooler object can impact the net heat flow from A.

    To the guy that claims that without drafts there is not heat loss.. conduction, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law (Fourier’s in fact)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conduction_(heat)#Differential_form

    One of many useful tidbits I learned in my engineering

    • Ken Coffman says:

      Think of any cyclic system (where the heat source is applied and removed) and the many ways you can increase the average temperature of a gallon of water by an average of 10%. Now, tell which of these mechanisms is at work in our atmosphere. Good luck. Assume the heat source is ON for 8 hours and OFF for 16 (I won’t quibble if you want to say ON and OFF for 12 hours). There are some fundamental things about the loop response that must be true along with some specific character of the energy storage and transport. I don’t care what method you choose, it will have nothing to do with CO2.

      • David L. Hagen says:

        Ken
        Can you recognize that H2O and CO2 (among other gases) absorb radiation and then reradiate it equally in all directions?
        TO understand the issues, you first need to grasp that foundational fact.

        Earth acts as a heat engine receiving heat from the sun and dissipating it via fluid circulation to the poles and radiation out to space. e.g.

        How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet? Axel Kleidon*
        Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2012 March 13; 370(1962): 1012–1040. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0316 PMCID: PMC3261436

        • Ken Coffman says:

          Yes, I understand full well the claims of “back radiating” atmospheric molecules and the wondrous increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature by 33C and how we’d be freezing without the amazing GHE. It must be nice to live in an academic bubble where physical effects can be plucked from cold, thin air to create a huge heater out of nothing. There are theories galore and supercomputer models built from these theories, but there is no evidence. Zero! There are weak, cherry-picked correlations, but what is the physical mechanism? There is none. Take a gallon of water. Put it in your front yard and let it heat during the day and cool during the night. Now, increase its average temperature by 5C (pick a number, hell, I don’t care, increase its average temperature by 1C) using the same heat engine that increases the Earth’s average temperature by 33C. What are you going to use? Insulation? A focusing lens tuned to IR wavelengths? Spray a bunch of CO2 at it? Increase the humidity? Do what you want, but no cheating by restricting convection, of course. Let me know how that comes out for you. Yet, I’m the buffoon–the target of your mockery–and you guys are the thoughtful, reasoned academics with all this figured out.

    • Ken Coffman says:

      I like your simple experiment, John. Why would a covered pot heat more quickly? Because of the restricted convection, I’m sure we agree. Here’s where we might disagree. Add a bunch of CO2 to the column of air above the pot. Does that decrease convection and cause faster heating? No, CO2 is an agent of convection–a cooling agent. Add more of it and you increase the rate of cooling.

  15. Max™ says:

    You have a pot of water that is being boiled (~373 K) and a block of ice (~273 K) radiating towards each other.

    Correct: P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴)

    Incorrect: P = εσATh⁴ – P = εσATc⁴

    Doing it the right way gives 782.63~ W/m^2 from the pot to the ice block.

    Doing it the wrong way gives 1097.59 W/m^2 from the pot to the ice, and 314.96 W/m^2 from the ice to the pot, so now the pot is receiving input+314.96 W/m^2, and we then equate the output to the input to say the pot is receiving 1097.59+314.96=1412.55 W/m^2!

    So now we claim it has to emit 1412.55 W/m^2 which equates to a temperature of 397.28 K!

    So just by putting a block of ice next to a pot of boiling water we raised the temperature of the boiling water by 24 K!

    ____________

    Roy, your example is excessively silly, no one claims objects stop emitting towards warmer objects, only that those colder emissions should be subtracted from the emissions of the warmer body.

    It is the difference between this:

    P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴)

    and this:

    P = εσA(Th⁴ + Tc⁴)

    • “Roy, your example is excessively silly, no one claims objects stop emitting towards warmer objects..”

      Oh, yes they do! I do agree with your first equation, as do you. They claim the cooler atmosphere (your Tc) does not emit radiation toward the warmer surface (your Th).

      • Max™ says:

        Hmmm, I have seen statements that colder objects can’t add to the energy of warmer objects, and accordingly that any heating effect attributed to back or re-radiation is unphysical.

      • Ken Coffman says:

        You are wrong, Roy. I don’t know anyone who says an object with mass and temperature does not radiate. Of course, there is radiation everywhere going all over the place. The question is, what can be done to increase an object’s average temperature by 33C? Take the dead body others have mentioned. Insulate it however you like, it will not increase its average temperature by 10%. Now, add an external heat source that is on during the day and off at night. This heat source can be intense enough to increase the body’s average temperature by 33C, but only if its warmer and adding energy. Passive radiation from the cold, thin atmosphere contributes radiant energy, but will not increase the average temperature. Anyone who claims it can has left the realm of science and physics and entered the realm of nonsense.

    • Nabil Swedan says:

      Back-radiations from cold to hot, -εσA Tc⁴exists only in the mathematical formula; it does not exist in reality, because it would suggest radiation of cold and cold cannot be radiated. It is the same thing in the laws of ohm, fick, pneumatics, or hydraulics. Back flows or currents do not exist in the real world, they only exist in in the formulas to calculate fluxes from high potentials to low potentials. There is absolutely no backflow from low potentials to high potentials, as all of practical applications or experiments demonstrates.

  16. Joe says:

    You know, one of the worst things about being a CAGW sceptic is knowing that all those people who continue to deny the fact of a “greenhouse effect” from CO2 are batting the same wicket and that they’re the ones the other side will hold up as “typical” of your team. With such easy pickings for the alarmists, no wonder it’s hard to get the MSM to take scepticism seriously!

    Of course CO2 can warm the planet. The effect may be badly named but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and it certainly doesn’t mean it breaks any physical laws.

    Take a light bulb, a light meter and a partially silvered mirror. If you illuminate an object with the light and take a reading with the meter you’ll get a certain light intensity.

    Now place the partially silvered mirror on the opposite side of the object and take another reading. The illumination of the object will be brighter because some of the photons that were “leaving the area” are now being sent back to your object.

    It doesn’t matter that the light bulb is brighter than the mirror, the mirror still adds to the total illumination in the space between.

    Similarly, if you sit in front of a radiant heater, then turn a lower powered heater on behind you, you will still get warmer even though the second heater is cooler than the first. In fact, you don’t need a second heater – a simple mirror to reflect the heat that’s gone past you will do the same!

    So it is with GHGs. The earth radiates heat in the form of photons. Without the gasses all those photons would shoot off through the atmosphere intop space. But the GHG molecules absorb some and then radiate some of the ones they absorb back towards the earth. It doesn’t matter if they’re cooler than the air beneath, they will still radiate photons (and, therefore, energy) downwards as well as upwards.

    All the other effects such as increased convection, evaporation and so on may well be true but they don’t alter the basic radiative situation. In IPCC terms they are simply feedbacks which complicate the basic radiative model.

    It’s quite possible that the “consensus science” fails to account for them adequately (or even at all) but that doesn’t mean they invalidate the fundamental radiative principle, only that they modify the nett effect. Even if they modify it to almost zero, they are still separate processes acting against it rather than an invalidation of the ratiative theory itself!

  17. A C Osborn says:

    Dr Spencer, you said “yes exactly” to RW says:
    April 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM “If you add extra insulation to a house with no internal energy supply, it won’t make the house warmer.”

    Does the extra insulation also make the House slower to heat by external heat sources, ie the Sun?

    If you use a “Conducting material” instead of insulation does it keep the house warmer than an air gap?

    • Your first question is a little ambiguous. The house would be slower to heat if that heat was applied to its outside, it would warm quicker if it the source of heat was inside. In the case of the climate system, most sunlight is absorbed at the surface, so it is “heated from within”.

      House insulation is actually pretty close to an air gap: both fiberglass and Styrofoam are mostly air, which is an excellent thermal insulator. What they provide is a way to reduce convective air currents from forming and transporting heat, which (for example) happens in the air space between windows. So insulation ends up being better than an air gap.

  18. pochas says:

    I guess there’s no point in trying to understand the physics. Just keep flying those satellites, Roy. They provide a saving dose of reality.

    • I find it hysterical that Roy is deemed to be a climate “expert” because he “flies satellites.” I suggest you take a look at who at Principia Scientific International not only “flies satellites” but also designs, builds and runs them. (e,g, Dr. Habibullo Abdussamotov, Head of the Russian section of the International Space Station is one of many world class space scientists among the 200+ members at PSI who says Roy is plain wrong). When are you people going to realize that climatology is populated by second and third rate scientists?

      • Steve Reynolds says:

        So how about using the scientific method here.
        Rather than either side arguing from authority, how about the Slayers propose an experiment that they predict will have an outcome different than the conventional radiation theory (as understood by most of the rest of the commenters here)?

        • Rosco says:

          They have – it is called The absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect.

          You can read it and analyze it your self if you choose to.

  19. Greg House says:

    Roy W. Spencer said: “As long as there is an energy source (the Sun), the surface temperature of the Earth can be INCREASED by reducing the rate of net energy loss by the surface.”
    ======================================================

    Roy, this is self-evident. But the problem of the “greenhouse effect” assertion (as presented by the IPCC) is that the so called “greenhouse gases” do not reduce the rate of net energy loss by the surface. This is physically impossible. Just focus on this point.

    Back radiation from anything can not affect the temperature of the source of the radiation. Back radiation is there, and it can warm something else, but not the source. This is physically impossible.

    All favorite examples like blankets, house insulation etc. that allegedly illustrate that this is possible do not prove it. If you look at it carefully there is always suppressed convection/conduction there. “Thought experiments” do not count either, because they are only a product of imagination. A multilayer blanket used in vacuum is designed to prevent overheating by the sun, not to keep warm.

    To test warming by back radiation I suggest you stay in front of a mirror and enjoy the reflected heat. Must be like 33C difference or more, right?

    Even on the theoretical level it is easy to demonstrate that it is physically impossible that back radiation affects the temperature of the source: if the source has been kept initially at a constant temperature, then “back radiation warming” will inevitably lead to an endless mutual warming of the source of radiation and the thing that provides back radiation, without an additional input of energy, which is physically absurd.

    Please, forget the “back radiation warming” and come back to real science.

    • GHG’s reduce the rate of net energy transfer from the surface to outer space because they emit IR downward toward the surface.

      Yes, you could increase the temperature of your skin if you stood in front of an IR mirror, which would reflect your skin temperature back toward you, rather than emit at the mirror’s cooler temperature. The effect would be small, but measurable.

      No, there is no endless mutual warming, because the system is not closed, and it has other ways to lose energy when the temperature increases…in the case of the atmosphere, a warmer surface and lower atmosphere then lose more IR to outer space.

      • Max™ says:

        What I say happens: P = εσA(T_body⁴ – T_mirror⁴)

        What you described: P = εσA(T_body⁴) + εσA(T_mirror⁴)

        I think the ultimate result if the mirror was radiating with the same power as I was would be P = 0 W/m^2, as it would reduce the power I was able to emit.

      • Perfekt says:

        “Back radiation is there, and it can warm something else, but not the source. This is physically impossible.”

        How is that?
        Do photons have a memory from their distant predecessors who originated from the hot object, and is there a physical law thet prevents them from being absorbed by the hot object?

        If they aren´t absorbed, what happens to them? Are they reflected?

        This is really new and fascinating science to me!

      • Rosco says:

        The IPCC claim 83 % of the energy radiated to space is from GHGs and clouds (liquid GHGs).

        The IPCC also claim 99 % of the atmosphere – nitrogen, oxygen and argon – play no part in this radiative loss as they are essentially transparent to IR and therefore emit no IR.

        There is absolutely no doubt that these gases exist at ambient temperature presumably being warmed by contact with the heated surface of the Earth and the warmth spread by convection.

        So if 99 % of the atmosphere is at ambient temperatures and cannot emit IR to space, only 17% of the energy loss is directly from the surface with 83 % caused by GHGs radiating to space how exactly do you figure GHGs slow energy loss ?

        Surely it is non-GHGs – the 99% of the atmosphere that neither absorb nor emit IR – that clearly slow the rate of energy loss.

        Surely Wood hit the nail squarely on the head when he said

        “The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing
        the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.” ??

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Greg, think carefully about what you said …
      “Back radiation from anything can not affect the temperature of the source of the radiation.”

      So “back-radiation” from one “chunk of atmosphere” cannot warm that same chunk of atmosphere (which was the source). But that chunk of atmosphere can warm some OTHER chunk of air, or the surface of the earth (since they are not the source of the IR radiation).

      Greg also says: “To test warming by back radiation I suggest you stay in front of a mirror and enjoy the reflected heat. Must be like 33C difference or more, right?”

      Greg, remember that you are compare this case to the alternate case where you are standing in front of a wall at -270 C. Independent of the air temperature, you will feel warmer in the room with warm walls than a room with cold walls. So it might not be specifically 33 C warmer here, but it will be warmer.

      (DISCLAIMER: I won’t get into the semantics of “to warm” verses “to slow the cooling of” or other such phrasing. The air does not “heat” the earth in the strict thermodynamic sense, but it does affect the temperate.)

  20. Jim S says:

    My understanding is that when you “add” insulation to a wall cavity, it’s the billion pockets of isolated, trapped air (gasses) that slow down the convection of heat from one side of the wall to the other. The insulating material actually serves as a “thermal bridge” that allows “higher” conductive heat-loss across the cavity – but the conductive heat-loss is more than off-set by the reduction in convective heat-loss.

    The presence of the solid, insulation material actually speeds up heat-loss.

  21. Greg House says:

    I’d like to add something about the misleading analogies like warming blankets etc., just to help some people out of the trap.

    The statement like “a blanket keeps you warm” is false.

    A blanket will keep you warm only if the air temperature outside the blanket is lower than your body temperature. Then the blanket would prevent your skin from being cooled by the colder outside air, and under the blanket the air will get warmer because you warm it by the energy your body produces. So, under the blanket your body will not have contact with the colder air.

    If the air temperature is higher than your body temperature, let us imagine 70C, then there will be no warming effect provided by the blanket. The effect would be in fact the opposite: the blanket would keep you “cold” for some time by isolating your body from the hot air outside.

    Hope this would help.

    • Scott says:

      So if I put a blanket on when it’s 100 F outside I’ll stay cooler than I would otherwise? Why aren’t people wearing sweaters and such during very hot days in Phoenix, AZ then? This is an experiment that is easily testable/verifiable, so we should have someone run the experiment. Considering that your body is generating energy, I’m guessing your presumed result is wrong for a 100 F day. Sure, it’s right for 70 C, but I don’t think Roy would argue otherwise. Nor is the 70 C scenario analogous to the Earth in space.

      A blanket DOES keep one warm in a cold environment, just like it keeps you cooler in a very warm environment.

      -Scott

      • squid2112 says:

        Scott, you missed what he said. It will keep you cooler for “a period of time”

        Do it this way. On a 100F day, walk out of your cool house onto your deck and time how long it takes for you to get hot. Now, go back in the house and cool down again. Then, wrap yourself in a blanket and walk back out onto your deck. I suspect that this time it will take longer for your temperature to rise to the same level. It will rise of course, because your body is adding energy as well, which is being insulated by the blanket too.

        • Scott says:

          Fair enough, but what’s the temperature of space from a radiative perspective? Much cooler than the surface of the earth, so the “blanket” only works in the “keeping one warm” way.

          -Scott

  22. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    There are very big commercial greenhouses now that have 1000ppm CO2 to increase plant growth. I haven’t seen any reports that they require less heating to maintain the optimum temperature for plant growth.

    • Perfekt says:

      How high is a greenhouse? How high is the atmosphere?

      The answer to these questions will help you figure out why greenhouses don´t warm because of CO2.

      • Kelvin Vaughan says:

        But the higher you go the less the chance of the radiation reflecting back to the ground it will be reflected back up before it reaches the ground!

  23. Greg House says:

    Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says (April 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM): “GHG’s reduce the rate of net energy transfer from the surface to outer space because they emit IR downward toward the surface.”
    ====================================================

    Yes, they emit IR downward toward the surface, and generally in some cases IR does warm, but in some other cases IR does not warm nor reduces the cooling rate. The “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC is an example of the latter kind: no effect on the temperature on the source is physically possible.

    Since you apparently did not understand my argumentation about endless mutual warming by radiation/back radiation, let me make it more clear. Please, forget the atmosphere, climate etc. for a while.

    So, you have initially a body kept at a certain temperature by it’s internal source of energy. Now you put another colder body at the absolute zero temperature, let us say, in vacuum close to the warm body.

    The warmer body will start warming the colder body immediately. Then, according to the “back radiation warming” concept, the back radiation from the colder body will increase the temperature of the warmer body. Actually, already on this stage we should start screaming and crying “how come?”, but let us proceed. So, the now even warmer warm body will warm the colder body even stronger, and the colder body will repay by sending even more back radiation to the warmer body, thus increasing it’s temperature even further. The warmer body will get warmer again. So will the colder body in turn. And so on.

    This is the mutual endless warming without any additional input of energy I meant previously, and I hope you understand how physically absurd it is. This proves that the concept of “back radiation warming” is physically absurd. The “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC can not exist.

    • Max™ says:

      You should be forewarned that this is the point where internally powered bodies will be inserted into the discussion.

      Honestly it shouldn’t be, as the surface of the planet is warmed passively by sunlight, not actively by an internal power supply or heating element (ignoring the energy trickling out from the interior here), nonetheless it will probably come up in response to your thought experiment.

      • squid2112 says:

        Yes Max, you are correct. I call this the “shell game” .. just like the hoaxsters on the street corner. Let’s keep moving things around until people believe it. Ugh… so tired of that garbage.

      • Greg House says:

        I does not matter at all, actually, in my explanation, if the warm body has been initially kept at a stable temperature by an internal or an external source of energy. So, your mention of the Sun misses the point: an absurd endless mutual warming as a result, see above.

      • John Zulauf says:

        It’s weird and fascinating all at once to see someone argue that alternations in “net” radiation can’t be affected if the reradiating source is colder than the originals.

        I mean, does this guy drive through fog with his high beams on based on the fact the fog is colder than the headlight and thus cannot reflect the blindly glare we all see?

        Would he argue that only the shaded side of a spacecraft emits IR? Or that none of the photons returning to the sun transfer energy to it? (or that NASA used paint that was “black” in the IR and “white” in the visible to more efficiently?)

        At some point this kind of discussion becomes, “never try to teach a pig to sing…”

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “So, you have initially a body kept at a certain temperature by it’s internal source of energy.”
      Just to be more definite, make it a blackbody sphere far from any star, so the surrounding are already ~ 0 K. Furthermore, let’s make that heater 240 W for each square meter, so the temperature is 255 K (like the numbers for earth).

      “Now you put another colder body at the absolute zero temperature, let us say, in vacuum close to the warm body.”.
      Let’s make that cold object a thin shell completely surrounding the sphere.

      “The warmer body will start warming the colder body immediately.”
      Yes, but all this time, the cool outer shell will be radiating less than 240 W/m^2 out to space (because it is colder than 255 K). This means energy will be building up inside the shell, warming the shell. Eventually the shell will warm to 255 K. At this point the shell will be radiating 240 W/m^2 and a steady-state will be achieved. (Actually, the shell must be slightly less than 255 K since it will have slightly larger surface area, but this is a minor correction).

      “Actually, already on this stage we should start screaming and crying “how come [the inner object warms, and not just the shell around it]?”
      I would be screaming “how could you doubt the inner object will warm?”.

      Suppose the inner sphere did NOT warm above 255 K. The shell and the sphere around it would both be 255 K. But heat (240 W/m^2) would be flowing with no temperature gradient. Why in the world would 240 W/m^2 of heat be flowing from one object at 255 K to another object at 255 K.

      Max was right with
      P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴)
      There must be a difference between Th (the inner sphere) and Tc (the shell) for this 240 W/m^2 of power to flow. Th will be 302 K in this particular case.

      There is no “run-away” effect.
      * The inner sphere warms from 255 K to 302 K.
      * The outer shell warms from 0 K to 255 K.
      * 240 W/m^2 of heat moves from the inner sphere to the outer shell
      * 240 W/m^2 of heat moves from the outer shell to space.
      * No laws of thermodynamics are broken.

  24. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Roy you demonstrate that you have absolutely no idea what we are saying at PSI regarding, for example, the valid physics put forward in articles and papers such as “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” in the PROM menu on the Principia Scientific International website.

    As one of the key researchers and authors for PSI, may I suggest you at least read my latest paper where you will see that we fully acknowledge the insulating effect of not only radiating gases, but also (through non-radiative processes) ordinary nitrogen and oxygen molecules which outnumber carbon dioxide by about 2,500 to 1.

    You have no answer for the latest study in the Appendix of my paper showing that water vapour cools and causes regions with higher precipitation to have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures. It does this because it reduces the thermal gradient in the troposphere and this means that the supporting temperature at the surface is lower. But you would have to read my paper to understand this and the associated physics based on Kinetic Theory used by Einstein.

  25. Greg House says:

    Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says (April 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM): “Yes, you could increase the temperature of your skin if you stood in front of an IR mirror, which would reflect your skin temperature back toward you, rather than emit at the mirror’s cooler temperature. The effect would be small, but measurable.”
    ===================================================

    OK, I expected more, but this is something as well.

    So, from your experience in front of a mirror, you did not feel 33C or more difference in the temperature, right?

    “Small, but measurable” – this is not what the IPCC says.

    Can we agree that regardless of theoretical impossibility issue the “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC is at best small and hardly measurable?

    In case, you can also repeat the mirror experiment, this time putting a frozen chicken (-18C) out of your freezer between you and the mirror. Here must come 33C from the back radiation! And actually another 33C from the direct radiation chicken-Roy! Plenty of energy…

  26. Macha says:

    A lot of comments here do not clarify the big difference between absolute temperature and rate of change of that absolute temperature. I interpret dr Spencer’s claims as the latter, whereas joe refers to the absolute. Hence both are arguing different points. Ughg

  27. Joe says:

    Try again:

    (1) If you add heat energy to an object (in the broadest sense of “anything composed of matter”) it will raise its temperature. Does anyone care to argue with that?

    (2) Any object above absolute zero will radiate heat energy in all directions. Does anybody care to argue with that?

    (3) The amount of heat energy that any object radiates (in all directions) will increase as its temperature increases. Does anybody care to argue with that?

    (4) CO2 molecules absorb IR radiation at certain wavelengths which are emitted by the earth’s surface. Does anybody care to argue with that?

    (5) A molecule of CO2 is, in the sense used above, “an object”. Does anybody care to argue with that?

    (6) IR radiation is a form of heat energy. Does anybody care to argue with that?

    (7) The earth will absorb IR radiation that strikes it. Does anybody care to argue with that?

    Now, unless anybody has raised a valid argument against any of those points, these conclusions inevitably follow:

    (a) From (1),(4),(5) and (6) above: CO2 molecules in the atmosphere, as objects, will have their temperature increased by absorbing IR emitted by the earth’s surface.

    (b) From (2) and (3) above: CO2 molecules in the atmosphere will radiate heat energy in all directions and the total amount of heat radiated (in any direction) will depend on their temperature and the number of molecules.

    (c) From (1),(2),(6) and (7) above: Because some of that radiated heat energy will be towards the ground (because it’s in all directions) it will be absorbed by the Earth and increase it’s temperature.

    To argue otherwise requires you to either falsify one of the 7 statements or demonstrate a logical fallacy in the conclusions. Good luck trying.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      (6) IR radiation is a form of heat energy. Does anybody care to argue with that?

      Yes I do care to argue about that. Firstly heat is not a form of energy – it is a transfer of energy. So let’s talk about thermal energy or kinetic energy, this being what determines temperature.

      Now, what is in radiation is electro-magnetic energy. There are no molecules moving with kinetic energy now are there?

      A warmer body radiates partly that electro-magnetic energy it receives from even warmer bodies, and partly that electromagnetic energy which it produces from its store of thermal (kinetic) energy.

      When the radiation strikes a target what happens depends on whether or not that target is cooler than the source of (spontaneous) electro-magnetic radiation. If and only if it is cooler will some of the incident EM energy be converted to thermal energy in the target.

      If what I am saying were not true, then neither would the Second law of Thermodynamics apply for radiation.

      So, no, the Earth will not absorb and convert to thermal energy the EM energy in any incident EM radiation from a cooler atmosphere.

      For more detail please read my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on PSI and some other websites in March 2012.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “There are no molecules moving with kinetic energy now are there?”
        No, but there are PHOTONS moving with KE.

        “When the radiation strikes a target what happens depends on whether or not that target is cooler than the source of (spontaneous) electro-magnetic radiation.”

        Suppose the “target” is 300 K. Suppose a 10 um photon hits that target. Will it get absorbed?

        Remember … that 10 um photons could easily have come from a 310 K object … or from a 290 K object.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “If what I am saying were not true, then neither would the Second law of Thermodynamics apply for radiation.”

        No. The 2nd Law is probabilistic in nature. As long as the odds of a photon going from a warm atom to a cool atom are greater than the odds of a photon going from a cool atom to a warm atom, then the 2nd Law is fine. (Or said another way, as long as the NET flow of photons is the right way, then the 2nd Law is fine).

        And of course, the odds ARE greater, so the 2nd Law is not in any danger.

      • Joe says:

        When the radiation strikes a target what happens depends on whether or not that target is cooler than the source of (spontaneous) electro-magnetic radiation. If and only if it is cooler will some of the incident EM energy be converted to thermal energy in the target

        —————————————————–

        So if that photon happens to hit a “hotter” target, what happens? According to your explanation, the energy it contains must vanish. Since when has denying the badly-named “greenhouse” effect been so important that it’s acceptable to destroy energy to do so?

        Incidentally, when I last studied physics “heat energy” and “thermal energy” were perfectly interchangeable except in the strictest circles, which I wasn’t aware included internet blogs. I apologise for my sloppiness but my point remains the same regardless of semantics.

  28. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Roy

    What your IR thermometer reads depends on what you choose to set the emissivity to. Obviously you should be setting it a lot lower than 0.95 when you point it at a gaseous atmosphere. We can measure the temperature of the atmosphere by other means, so why bother trying with an IR thermometer? What do you think you are going to prove? Of course there is radiation coming down from the sky, causing the instrument’s sensor to cool more slowly. So what, Roy?

    Radiation transfers are electro-magnetic energy transfers, not thermal energy transfers. Radiation from a cooler source can only slow radiative cooling of a warmer target. It cannot slow non-radiative cooling of that warmer target, and it certainly cannot transfer thermal energy into the target.

    You already have a good representation of net thermal energy transfers in the original NASA net energy diagram. About 51% of Solar radiation enters the surface, and then comes out as 23% evaporative cooling, 7% conduction, 15% radiation to the atmosphere and 6% radiation to space. Meanwhile, 19% out of the 49% of incident Solar radiation that doesn’t reach the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere (16%) and the clouds (3%) which means more is absorbed on the way down than on the way up.

    So which way is the insulation working Roy?

  29. Rosco says:

    This does nothing but promote ignorance.

    Other examples include your quotes about the atmosphere protecting Earth from the cold of deep space.

    The Earth is not situated in deep space. According to all the data I’ve seen the Earth is in an area of space where radiation is of the order of 1367 W/sq m.

    Perhaps we should say the atmosphere protects us from the heat of space ?

    I think your sarcasm is most unbecoming.

  30. Greg House says:

    Doug Cotton (DJC) says (April 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM): “Radiation from a cooler source can only slow radiative cooling of a warmer target.”
    =====================================================

    Doug, congratulations, this is the “greenhouse effect”!

    But let me try this: what, Doug, would happen with the temperature of the warmer body, if it is at a stable temperature at the moment it starts receiving radiation from a cooler body? And what would happen then with the temperature of the cooler body? And what would happen when it goes endless back and forth with the radiation/back radiation?

    Right, Doug, it would lead to an endless mutual warming without any additional input of energy, which is physically absurd and refutes therefore your initial assumption.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Read my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” and see why water vapour has a net cooling effect. The slowing of surface cooling is not the major player in setting surface temperatures, and, besides, oxygen and nitrogen do most of this slowing by non-radiative processes. The atmosphere does more slowing of heating from the Sun than it does slowing of cooling of the surface anyway, absorbing less upwelling radiation than downwelling radiation. But all of this is only marginal. Read what sets the surface temperature and the physics behind it in my paper.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Also read my comment above and consider apologising for your misinterpretation of what I have been saying ever since my paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics was published in March 2012. Have I ever said radiation from a cooler source transfers thermal energy to a warmer target? Never. Quite the opposite my friend, as is very clear in that paper.

  31. I estimated by body’s SB emission today (Stefan Boltzmann, not “Silent But Deadly”). It was 2000W. But I don’t consume that much food and I seriously doubt I could keep that up for very long. Once I accounted for the fact that I was in a cold room that is also emitting LW and I was wearing clothing, I was still emitting 2000W, but the radiation from all of those colder objects I was surrounded with were also emitting. It all made much more sense once I included the fact that all of those cold objects were keeping me much warmer :-). 100W is about right for the net emission.

    • Max™ says:

      Are you a black body?

      Does your skin undergo conductive or evaporative losses?

      Did you use this form of the equation:
      P = εσA(T⁴)
      instead of this one:
      P = εσA(Th⁴ – Tc⁴)?

      • Both equations are correct. I was illustrating the differences. I ignored the other two. 100W is the accepted heat output of the average joe. I have a little more surface area, so I have to work a little harder. You didn’t get the mild sarcasm. I do like the symbols though, what are the keystrokes for those?

        • Max™ says:

          The first equation is only correct if the surface is radiating into an environment much cooler than it is, otherwise the Th-Tc is correct, and for the symbols I think I pulled them out of my character map, I’m on Kubuntu too, so the keyboard setup is a bit odd to begin with.

          • No. Photons coming from me don’t know the temperature of what they might hit in the future, nor what media they may encounter along the way. I’m radiating 2000W. Period. It is a property of my surface area and my temperature. Things around me (like my clothing) are also radiating so that I am in the way of some of their photons. My net power loss is 100W on average (assuming I’m strictly a blackbody).

          • Max™ says:

            Small quibble here, but time doesn’t quite work the same way for a photon, they don’t plod along slowly like we do, all distances and durations are 0 for a photon.

            So in fact they do know what they will hit in the future, or you could view it as Feynman diagrams with anti-photons propagating into the past, either way the outcome is unchanged.

  32. Running a test. Please disregard.

  33. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    One simple question for Roy and anyone else

    If the 33 degrees of warming were not due to the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient (the existence of which I consider proven in my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures“) but were instead due to a greenhouse effect, then, most of that GH warming (say 30 degrees) would be due to water vapour. But, if water vapour warms so much (rather than, as I found empirically, cools by about 5 degrees) then where is the evidence of widely varying degrees of warming which match the widely varying percentages of water vapour found in different locations on Earth?

    Let’s see if anyone answers within 48 hours.

    • RW says:

      Are you saying the primary way energy is transferred from the atmosphere to the surface is by conduction and not radiation? The atmosphere of Venus is far, far denser than that on Earth (it’s infinitesimally ‘thin’ on Earth, except for clouds)

      I think few would dispute that there is thermal gradient due to gravity, but that doesn’t explain the +33C at the surface, given such a tiny overall atmospheric heat capacity.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        I’m saying what I’m saying in the paper. I can’t repeat 20 pages here.

        What are you saying in answer to the question about widely varying percentages of water vapour?

        • RW says:

          I don’t see how that’s relevant. It’s just that most of the upwelling radiation from the surface and lower atmosphere that is absorbed by the atmosphere is asborbed by H2O and not other GHGs (on global average). The +33C is the global average and doesn’t proportionaly apply locally where average water vapor can vary significantly.

          Are you forgetting that H2O in the atmosphere both warms and cools? In the form of low clouds, it cools by reflecting more solar energy back out to space than is delayed beneath the clouds (i.e. re-radiated back toward the surface). In the form of water vapor or high clouds, it warms, because more energy trying to leave the system is delayed than is solar power reflected. The cooling effect of water vapor is the removal of surface energy as latent heat. You might say the warming effect due to water vapor is 2nd order, where as the cooling effect due to water vapor is 1st order. You have to distinguish, because it’s the combined net effect of all the forms of water in the atmosphere that determines it’s contribution to the GHE and ultimately the surface energy balance.

        • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

          doesn’t proportionaly [sic] apply locally where average water vapor can vary significantly.
          An assertive statement you cannot prove or give any valid physical explanation supporting such. Suppose all the tropics have 4% water vapour and all the rest of the world has 1%. How would the tropics “know” what it’s like elsewhere? The evidence is that local regions do react to different percentages of water in the atmosphere above.

          H2O has a net cooling effect for the reasons in my paper, which you won’t know about or be able to discuss here unless you read it. This physics is backed up by empirical evidence which you would be hard pressed to dispute – see Appendix. And it is totally the opposite of what greenhouse propaganda promulgates as being the case.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        By the way, atmospheric heat capacity has nothing to do with the thermal gradient which depends on specific heat. The specific heat of air is close to 1.0 and that of carbon dioxide varies a little below 1 in the high temperatures on Venus. With the force of gravity similar we do indeed see similar thermal gradients in the tropospheres of Venus and Earth. If you think you have a better way of explaining how the required thermal energy gets into the surface of Venus, rather than the “heat creep” I talk about, then let’s have it, but leave pressure and density out of it, because high pressure does not maintain high temperature, as the Ideal Gas Law clearly shows there is no dependency, temperature being dependent only upon mean kinetic energy.

        • RW says:

          Doug,

          On Earth, over 99.999% of the energy stored in the system is contained below the surface (where as on Venus the overwhelming majority is stored in the atmosphere):

          http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/atmosphere-vs-ocean-heat-capacity.jpg

          This makes for a fundamentally different dynamic between the two.

          • RW says:

            You don’t see that?

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            All I’m saying is that the thermal gradients are similar in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth. On Earth let’s say about 7C/Km and on Venus about 9C/Km. There is a far higher troposphere on Venus and so the temperature climbs to well over 700K at the surface. These are known facts. The derivation of the formula for the gradient is in two lines in my paper, based on Kinetic Theory, as used by Einstein.

            If you wish to question me again, how about being specific about any points in my paper. In fact be the first in the world to find any fault in it if you can, because it is still open for worldwide peer review.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Let me demonstrate to all the silent readers just how inaccurate are RW’s figures when he writes …

            On Earth, over 99.999% of the energy stored in the system is contained below the surface (where as on Venus the overwhelming majority is stored in the atmosphere)

            The solid part of Venus is not much smaller than that of Earth, but the Venus atmosphere has about 92 times the mass of Earth’s.

            So now RW attributes 99.999% of Earth’s energy to the solid region, and thus 0.001% to the atmosphere. That could be roughly right. But it means the Venus atmosphere would be about 0.1% (~100 times) and that would still leave 99.9% of the Venus energy also in its sub-surface region.

            I don’t know why he got onto this subject when all I was talking about was the thermal gradient in the atmosphere which is a function of the quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the mean specific heat of the gases in the atmosphere. Where does total thermal energy content come into it all, RW? Talk about red herrings! You’re a beggar for punishment!

          • RW says:

            Doug,

            The point is the bulk of the Venusian atmosphere is more like a liquid than a gas, which makes for a completely different dynamic. On Earth, energy from the surface absorbed by the atmosphere is fairly quickly re-radiated (or initially radiated), finding it’s way radiated to space or received by the surface in some form (usually after multiple absorptions and re-emissions) – in a relatively short period of time.

            You don’t see that this constitutes a fundamentally different dynamic?

    • I think the classical 33° analysis falls apart because it assumes albedo is the input and solves for the greenhouse effect. This is not how heat is managed on this planet. Albedo is the output. Try it this way instead:

      Start with the albedo of areas including everything but clouds first. Include areas with mist / haze, but not clouds (no small task). This will be considerably darker and the SB temperature much higher. Solve for the SB equilibrium temperature. What did you get? A:__________

      Note: This is what the situation would be if the earth were at a radius from the sun farther than it is, not including the effect of increasing icecaps. We are too close to the sun to not employ evaporative cooling which is the main mechanism of heat regulation. This really needs to be done as an integral over one rotation.

      The clouds are naturally produced to balance the rest of the energy input such that the surface temperature lands where it is. The first answer (A) is the natural temperature of the earth without the main cloud effects.

      Now take the measured surface temperature (B). A-B is the cooling effect of water vapor + the warming effect of all other GHG’s. Since A is warmer than B, we know that the net cooling is stronger than the net warming, but we don’t know the exact magnitude of either, just the net from this exercise.

      But we can measure the effect of water vapor’s GHG effect in many areas (like buoys) where we measure LW, T and humidity at the same location all the time. So we know what it is with varying temperatures and humidity which we can uses to estimate humidity’s role on the received LW radiation from the atmosphere, and deduce what “all other” effects total to. I don’t think anyone has so far integrated the moisture data well enough to describe what local effects (storms) are occurring based on the shapes of the curves over time.

      Once people give up on the absurd idea that albedo is an input to the equation, the rest of the results should be fairly easy to estimate. Water is going to be the major net cooling driver in the tropics (due to reflection and carrying water droplets aloft where they can radiate out with far less optical thickness), but water vapor will also be a warmer in other conditions. CO2 will be shown to be almost meaningless in the face of H20’s effect.

      Albedo is the earth’s output, it is a reaction to the input (solar energy), and internal variation.

      Dr Roy, thoughts?

      • Here is a look using one of your charts saying that 20% is reflected from clouds:

        Old New Delta Units
        W/m^2 341.5 341.5 W/m^2
        reflected 30.6% 30.6% ratio
        W/O clouds -20.0% ratio
        New reflect 10.6% ratio
        To earth 237.001 305.301 W/m^2
        SB 5.67E-08 5.67E-08 SB
        T^4 4.18E+09 5.38E+09 K^4
        T 254.2635584 270.8810553 K
        Surface 288 288 K
        Delta 33.73644158 17.11894467 16.61749691 K

        I'm hoping the 'code' tag will fix the table above but won't know until I post it.

        As you can see, treating albedo as an output, now you only need to account for 16.6°K after the effect of cloud reflection alone is accounted for. There is still the matter that the clouds also carry water droplets where they can radiate out much easier than traveling through the whole atmosphere... It's a start and I suspect this is one of the major links that supports why sensitivity data is without question coming in at half or less of the flawed classical analysis. Note also, this is not a feedback effect or anything of the sort. The initial albedo assumption is wrong.

        This is the first time I've done a reality check on this theory, so it appears I have a statement wrong above in that A+B is still a net warming effect. A+B = 16.6°K.

      • Oops. Let’s try that table again…

        Old New Delta Units
        W/m^2 341.5 341.5 W/m^2
        reflected 30.6% 30.6% ratio
        W/O clouds -20.0% ratio
        New reflect 10.6% ratio
        To earth 237.001 305.301 W/m^2
        SB 5.67E-08 5.67E-08 SB
        T^4 4.18E+09 5.38E+09 K^4
        T 254.2635584 270.8810553 K
        Surface 288 288 K
        Delta 33.73644158 17.11894467 16.61749691 K

        or here:

        https://naturalclimate.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/clipboard01.png

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        You can’t account for 33 degrees or 16 degrees or any warming by radiation from a cooler atmosphere. Even though radiation will slow the rate of radiative cooling, non-radiative cooling will accelerate and/or last longer in order to compensate. Radiative equilibrium is automatic – that’s how blackbodies (ie the whole Earth+atmosphere system) work. That’s physics. You can’t tamper with it with all your thought experiments.

        You cannot possibly explain the temperatures well over 700K on the Venus surface by any greenhouse concept. The Venus surface receives less than 10% of the level of direct Solar radiation that Earth’s surface receives, so how could the Sun heat it enough for radiation then to slow its cooling. The process of “heat creep” as in my paper is the only possible valid explanation for Venus, Earth and other solid planets with significant atmospheres. There is no greenhouse effect setting the surface temperatures. The gravitationally induced thermal gradient does so everywhere, even in the crust and mantle.

        What I am saying is supported by the laws of physics and real world data in my paper.

        • The temperature of the atmosphere doesn’t matter. Gas molecules are not black bodies and don’t act like them. GHG’s absorb energy and simply re-release it in a random direction. It is the random direction change that is the issue, NOT the temperature.

          GHG’s capture specific energy ranges from whatever source (whether radiated from a physical object following SB equations, or whether transmitted from a different GHG molecule), and eject it in a random direction at a specific wavelength. Again, temperature has nothing to do with it. The fact that it did not travel directly to space is the issue. Let’s say all LW photons did travel directly to space. SB equations apply at the surface and to other non-gas objects (like water droplets). Now assume that GHG’s interrupt 1% of outgoing transmissions. Those photons are immediately released in a random direction. Somewhat <50% of those will return to the surface unless interrupted again. It is the same radiation quantum, it doesn't know anything about the temperature of a media it might have been in. Space is nearly zero K, so would that mean no energy can travel through it because it's "cold"? That's rather non-sensical. Some of the radiation comes back. The net effect is warming since less heat than before escaped. Planetary temperature will increase to restore equilibrium of the two rates. I said nothing of the temperature of the molecule that captured and released the energy, it's utterly irrelevant. The more GHG in the atmosphere, the more transitions a given photon will have to make before it finally arrives at a position far enough out that it finally does escape to space without interference. At that moment, the earth system lost some energy, not before.

          Black body physics don't apply to gas molecules, they are quantum energy events.

          Now, you still only have 1/2 the difference to account for by my calculations with water vapor albedo as an output. Any comment on that?

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            ”The temperature of the atmosphere doesn’t matter. Gas molecules are not black bodies and don’t act like them.”

            The above statement has nothing whatsoever to do with what I have described as “heat creep” in my paper, such heat creep having nothing to do with radiation.

            ”It is the same radiation quantum, it doesn’t know anything about the temperature of a media it might have been in.”

            Not correct. Read about Wien’s Displacement Law. The temperature information is in the peak frequency of the radiation. If you were correct, then the 2LoT would be out of control and anything could heat anything else, thus generating energy.

            “Space is nearly zero K, so would that mean no energy can travel through it because it’s “cold”? “

            You show a complete misunderstanding of electro-magnetic energy in radiation which is quite different from kinetic energy in molecules. Go and read some physics text, or my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

            So when are you going to answer my “one simple question” linked above?

          • I was describing your misunderstanding.
            I show that half the 33°K is due to water droplets (clouds), not vapor, by adjusting the albedo first. The rest is the net of water vapor and other GHG’s.

    • from the other thread:

      Doug Cotton (DJC) says: April 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Now, answer the simple question about why higher levels of water vapour actually lead to cooler surface temperatures, not hotter temperatures as greenhouse conjectures would assume shoud happen. …. In the real world, doubling reduces temperatures by about 3 to 4 degree
      —————-
      My analysis of data from http://www.nrel.gov/midc/srrl_bms/

      Shows delta temperature flatlining up to 5g/cum water vapour then from 5 to 15g/cum temperature falls at 0.26 degC/ g/cum.

      This does seem a bit odd atfirs sight however you seem to have forgotten that the replacement of o2/n2/ etc with h20 molecules actually makes the atmosphere require more energy to warm. If this energy is the same for 0g/cum water to 15g/com then the temperature will fall.

      My calculations (need to be checked) show 1cum of air with 15g water vapour require 1.166kJ whilst the same volume of air with no watervapour require 1.005kJ for 1 deg C.

      I think this would make the temp vs water mass just a bit positive.

      Note I have not yet completed my analysis.

  34. Andrew Krause says:

    But the furnace is on the outside of the house?

  35. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    With all due respect, your statement;

    “As long as there is an energy source (the Sun), the surface temperature of the Earth can be INCREASED by reducing the rate of net energy loss by the surface.”

    Is only superficially correct; Your term; “rate of net energy loss” does not match how a thermal insulator works. A surface emits (radiates) IR energy (typically for the temperatures in your examples) at a RATE determined by its temperature (that old S-B equation we all l love). Then the surrounding materials (the thermal insulators) determine how quickly this emitted energy propagates away from the surface. It is in fact this propagation rate (or velocity, or rate of forward motion, etc) that determines if the “rate of net energy loss by the surface” is in fact reduced. Since heat travels more quickly through gases than through solids or liquids (admittedly a general statement, there may be a few rare exceptions) AND IR radiation travels through all materials at a rate (velocity) that is SIGNIFICANTLY faster (the speed of light) than any of the other materials in the system, there is in fact NO REDUCTION IN THE RATE OF NET ENERGY LOSS.

    It is true that the “back-radiation effect” (very similar to examples in other fields of endeavor, i.e. the multilayer optical interference filter) causes some small portion of energy to make multiple passes through the Sun/Earth/Atmosphere/Universe system, this effect only delays the eventual flow of energy to the “temperature less (and also energy less) vacuum of space”. The missing heat is GONE, a long time ago. Well ok just a few milliseconds before I typed this last line.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  36. D Gallagher says:

    I can tell you that the steam pipes in a power plant are warmed considerably by placing two concentric shells of thin sheet metal around them with gaps between. The warming effect is far greater than could be explained by reduced convection and the mass of the shells is way too small to meaningfully impact conduction (the pipes were already surrounded by air of course).

    I won’t debate the science, I’m just telling you what Engineers do. They aren’t paid to talk about stuff, they have to actually make stuff work.

  37. Mack says:

    Roy, note please. The first thing to keep in mind with the earth system is that the source of heat is outside of it, nothing (of significance) inside. So when we talk of insulation by the atmosphere it is a double-edged sword. I always thought that hot-water cylinders kept water hot, (note internal electrical element required) until I was talking to this Egyptian bloke who said..”Oh, we use those hot-water cylinders back home to keep water cold”

  38. D Gallagher says:

    Ah, Mack

    The IR energy coming in from the sun is in wavelengths that are not absorbed by GHGs. That Energy falls on the surface of the Earth, warming it. The Earth emits IR energy at a longer wave length that is absorbed by GHGs.

    The insulation Dr. Spencer is discussing is a single edge sword, it doesn’t affect the incoming energy, but is does affect the outgoing.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      The IR energy coming in from the sun is in wavelengths that are not absorbed by GHGs.”

      Not true. CO2 absorbs in the 2.7 micron band and water vapour in many bands. The NASA diagrams show 19% of incident Solar radiation is absorbed by the clouds and atmosphere. (See my paper if you can’t find the diagram elsewhere.) Note that UV and visible light can also cause warming and, in fact, contain about half the energy being radiated by the Sun.

      The Earth emits IR energy at a longer wave length that is absorbed by GHGs.

      Yes. Again the NASA diagram shows only 15% is absorbed on the way back up, that is, less than the 19% absorbed on the way in. Your blanket is upside-down.

      Finally, none of this affects the surface temperature significantly, because that is supported by the gravitationally induced thermal gradient. If I’m wrong then I’m sure you’ll be able to be the first here to answer my one simple question above.

  39. Chesshire Cat says:

    My god. This is awful. Really, really awful.

    How do people who understand so little become
    so convinced they are right and all the science
    in all the text books is wrong?

    Seriously, I fear that the future of science
    education is in trouble because the proliferation of
    crap science on the internet. The message out there
    is that if you can use the words that scientists use
    to make an argument, you can create your own personal
    theory for whatever you want. No need to quantify
    anything, no need to match 300 years of experimental
    results, no need to even be consistent. You just
    need to be able to run a gish gallop long enough
    so that the “expert” (who is corrupt, only cares
    about getting grant money, and can’t think originally) quits responding. Then declare victory.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Yes the way climatologists fiddle physics is an absolute travesty of the science.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        FYI. The Cat was referring to you.

        • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

          and I was referring to him – and you. How much physics did you say you’ve done? I started in the 1960’s.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            What? 50 yrs and you still don’t get it. Get a tutorial from a physics teacher. I hope you finally learn physics before you go. No matter how much you believe in your theory, it will be rejected by the scientific community because it is nonsense. Learn now or live the rest of your life in ridicule.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Prove what you say!

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            Doug, don’t be ashamed to seek tutorial from school teachers. Nobody’s too old to learn elementary physics. It’s not too late. It’s more shameful blabbering nonsense in the internet. You can still redeem your dignity.

  40. Mack says:

    Yes D Gallagher a succinct description of the “greenhouse gas’ theory. The words I have issue with are “greenhouse” and “absorbed”. I’m afraid I’m out of my league when it comes to “absorbed” so I’ll defer to Doug here who is probably champing at the bit to answer you. However you cannot convince me otherwise that the Earth’s temp is purely hydrological.

  41. don penman says:

    We have an atmosphere that is not very dense or it is not at a very high pressure.When we give off heat to the atmosphere then we get some heat back from the atmosphere(back radiation).The fact that we do cool to the atmosphere , the earths surface cools to the atmosphere also, puts constraints on the amount of the back radiation that is possible.The real back radiation from the atmosphere I think must be less than the amount of heat given off by the Earths surface and not just by a few k, I think that the “measured” back radiation values are too high but they just fit the greenhouse warming theory.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      If by “the amount of heat given off by the Earths surface” you are referring to thermal energy transferred by radiation from the surface the atmosphere then the original NASA diagrams show this to be 15% of the total incident Solar radiation. In addition there is 23% by evaporative cooling and 7% by conduction, so a total of 30% by non-radiative processes and 15% by radiation absorbed by the atmosphere. Of the 51% absorbed by the surface, that just leaves 6% going through the atmospheric window to space. It all adds up, so I presume no one has significantly different figures.

      It does tend to show the importance of the “blanket” effect of all the oxygen and nitrogen molecules doesn’t it as they are the main ones absorbing the 30% of non-radiative transfer from the surface.

      I’m still waiting for Roy or anyone to answer one simple question.

  42. Alec M says:

    In a previous incarnation as a process engineer in metallurgical plants I spent a lot of time measuring and predicting complex heat transfer. My hero was Hoyt C. Hottell of MIT who did the first really quantitative measurements of GHG heat transfer. Bo Leckner replicated the work and improved it in the 1970s. Hottel co-wrote the heat transfer chapter in Perry’s Chemical Engineering handbook and that should be the first port of call for Climate Alchemists.

    I helped develop the first two colour, non-contact optical pyrometers and other non contact devices involving forced convection, so I know a bit about the subject. Now I see Climate Alchemy and most physical scientists make basic mistakes.

    The single S-B equation predicts the potential energy flux a body could emit to a sink at absolute zero. If you have two bodies of the same temperature and emissivity, view Factor = 1, there is no radiative energy emission from either body to the other. How can this be the case?

    It’s because the energy transferred from a radiative field to heat is solely from the net field at a point. This is why you use the difference of S-B equations. The cooler body does not transmit any EM energy to the hotter body. The hotter body transmits the difference energy to the cooler body and loses heat.

    Mathematically the monochromatic volumetric heat transfer rate is the negative divergence of the monochromatic radiative flux vector. You integrate this over all wavelengths and eventually get the S-B equation but heat transfer rate is the negative of the difference of Irradiances. Most people get this sign wrong.

    Also most people fail to understand that with a semi-transparent emitter absorber like the atmosphere, you can’t use a grey body equation. This is one of the three mistakes made by Houghton. The others are to fail to understand you can’t use the two-stream approximation at an optical discontinuity so the Earth cannot emit net radiative energy as a black body.

    So, you have to use the Planck Irradiation Function convolved with the emissivity as a function of wavelength to predict the energy transfer. This is what an IR spectrometer measures. Then you establish the net vector at any point as a function of wavelength. Finally, you integrate this over all wavelengths.

    For atmospheric temperature about the same as the earth’s surface temperature over ~50 m, which is what Lapse Rate gives, at the Earth’s surface there is on average no net GHG surface IR for the main GHG bands. The effective emissivity is ~0.4. Of this a third is absorbed by non self-absorbed water vapour side bands and trace gases, the rest going to space via the atmospheric window. Correcting for convection and evapo-tranpsiration, the predicted average emissivity is 0.16. The experimental value = 63/396 = 0.16.

    This means there can be no CO2-AGW from this cause. There is no ‘back radiation’ [because for a normal temperature gradient it is annihilated at the surface]. Pierrehumbert does a good job of saving the blushes of Climate Alchemy by his argument about the ‘CO2 bite’ in OLR. However, this heating, ~3 W for doubled CO2 is offset by a process involving clouds. I’m writing a paper on this.

    The Earth’s climate is controlled by a negative feedback control system involving the optical properties of clouds so temperature is independent of CO2 concentration. Forget surface IR, that is mostly irrelevant for CO2.

    I would suggest that anyone who depends on the S-B equation should immediately get themselves a good physics textbook like Goody and Yung to educate themselves into what really occurs. And this applies particularly to Meteorology which with Climate Alchemy teaches incorrect radiative heat transfer physics.

    And for the rest of you, remember well that heat transfer rate is the negative of the difference of radiative flux. Thus the warmer body transfers positive radiative flux difference to the cooler body but loses heat. The cooler body sees a negative flux difference and gains heat.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Alec. We have to be a little careful not to imply that the energy in the back radiation is somehow “annihilated at the surface” because it is actually used for part of the surface’s quota of radiation. Its electromagnetic energy never gets converted to thermal energy in the warmer surface, as I believe you would agree. That is the main point, because, without actual heat transfer (which would violate the 2LoT) there can be no effect on the rate of non-radiative cooling, only on the rate of radiative cooling. But, if you agree that the backradiation does not penetrate the warmer surface and have its energy converted to thermal energy, then I guess you are agreeing with the one-way heat transfer concept, represented by the area between the Planck curves for two blackbodies with view factor = 1. Mathematically the results are the same as you quote.

      But there is another issue of greater significance for climate, and no one has as yet answered my “one simple question. which is of fundamental importance for an understanding that water vapour has negative, not positive feedback.

      • repeat from above
        Doug Cotton (DJC) says: April 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Now, answer the simple question about why higher levels of water vapour actually lead to cooler surface temperatures, not hotter temperatures as greenhouse conjectures would assume shoud happen. …. In the real world, doubling reduces temperatures by about 3 to 4 degree
        —————-
        My analysis of data from http://www.nrel.gov/midc/srrl_bms/

        Shows delta temperature flatlining up to 5g/cum water vapour then from 5 to 15g/cum temperature falls at 0.26 degC/ g/cum.

        This does seem a bit odd atfirs sight however you seem to have forgotten that the replacement of o2/n2/ etc with h20 molecules actually makes the atmosphere require more energy to warm. If this energy is the same for 0g/cum water to 15g/com then the temperature will fall.

        My calculations (need to be checked) show 1cum of air with 15g water vapour require 1.166kJ whilst the same volume of air with no watervapour require 1.005kJ for 1 deg C.

        I think this would make the temp vs water mass just a bit positive.

        Note I have not yet completed my analysis.

    • Mike Flynn says:

      AlecM,

      You are probably wasting your time. The Warmists have little understanding of facts, preferring to rely on poorly thought out “thought experiments”, and misleading analogies.

      It seems to me that most of what Dr Spencer put forward as sarcasm, is factual.

      Pity he cannot see this.

      I continue to wonder at the lengths to which Warmists go to avoid performing any experiments which would demonstrate the effects they claim.

      I can only assume that they are fully aware that such effects can not exist.

      Would this not indicate that they are moving from merely being foolish to consciously indulging in fraud?

      Live well and prospe,

      Mike Flynn

  43. Ted Middleton says:

    Not to overlook the thermal coefficient of conductivity of insulation.

  44. phi says:

    Dr Roy Spencer,

    Your focus is welcome. I have only one question: how could you integrate an insulation forcing in your analogy?

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Not sure what you are asking. Thermodynamically, adding insulation to a heated house is analogous to radiative forcing from greenhouse gases.

      • phi says:

        We can admit it. But the house has windows (which can be connected to convective flow through the troposphere). The forcing calculated take into account the ratio of losses (walls / windows) as it exists prior to the increase of the insulation (by analogy with the calculation of GHG forcing based on a purely radiative logic combined with the actual lapse rate). However, increased resistance of the walls to the passage of heat will cause a change of the ratio of loss. The actual flow through the walls will be lower, the overall effectiveness of the insulation is actually lower than that calculated by forcing because more heat is lost through the window. This is exactly what happens to the atmosphere, at least for surface temperatures.

  45. D Gallagher says:

    Alec M,

    Again why is IR shielding around steam pipes effective at preventing heat loss (effectively making the pipes much hotter than they would be otherwise) if there is no IR backfeed from the cooler shield(s) to the pipe?

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Alec and I are both trying to get across the point that radiation from a cooler source can only slow radiative cooling of a warmer body. The calculations are exactly as Alec has quoted above, and I quoted in my March 2012 paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” There is no transfer of thermal (kinetic) energy and so non-radiative cooling is not affected by radiation from a cooler source.

      But none of this has any significance in determining the supported surface temperature which you can observe in the early hours of a calm morning before sunrise. The surface does not keep on cooling at the same rate that it did in the late afternoon all through the night. Why is it so?

      • Dikran Marsupial says:

        Doug, “radiation from a cooler body can only slow radiative cooling of a warmer body” is a reasonable description of how backradiation means that the surface is warmer than it would be without greenhouse gasses, as per the standard explanation of the GHE.

        • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

          Read what I say about that misconception in my papers.

          • Dikran Marsupial says:

            Sorry Doug, the misconception is at your end, not mine. Referring me to your papers, rather than actually adressing the point directly is merely evasion (in the sense of a rhetorical device intended to increase the level of effort required on my part to continue the discussion, without incurring any effort whatsoever on yours). Now if you want to explain how your statement differs from the standard explanation of backradiation, then do so; if you don’t it is simply because you know that it will merely expose your own misconception of the GHE.

          • Alec M says:

            I do not claim that there is no extra radiative thermal impedance from what people refer to as ‘back radiation’.

            However, to impute that this is a ‘forcing’ is wrong.

            This is because Houghton made three critical mistakes.

            1. The Earth’s surface emits just the net IR.

            2. This is because you can’t apply the Schuster-Schwarzschild two-stream approximation to optical heterogeneties unless you take into account all the real properties – i.e. ‘back radiation’ does not bounce back.

            3. The atmosphere s not a grey body radiator, acceptor.

            So, the climate models are fundamentally wrong. There is no positive feedback.

  46. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Roy, if you choose to be critical of PSI, how about delving more deeply into what we are actually saying? You are so far off track talking about insulation that it’s not funny. You rarely discuss (and probably don’t read) what I have written in various comments. If you had, then not only would you learn how valid physics demolishes the greenhouse effect, but you would also be more credible if ever you debated what we are actually saying.

    At Principia Scientific International (PSI) we point out that the Kinetic Theory used by Einstein and others can be used to show why there must be a gravitationally induced thermal gradient in any atmosphere. Attempted counter arguments (such as published on WUWT) are rebutted in my paper.

    This gradient means that, if for example, there were only 10% as much water vapour in the atmosphere then the mean surface temperature would be at least 20°C. Adding water vapour reduces the thermal gradient because water vapour transmits heat upwards by radiation to cooler regions, thus working against the gravity gradient.

    Hence, because the level of the thermal plot in the atmosphere is determined by the autonomous propensity for a blackbody to radiate back what it receives, then the less steep gradient of the thermal plot causes water vapour to give rise to lower supported temperatures at the surface.

    Hence we would expect regions on Earth which are similar in other ways, but have different percentages of water vapour in the atmosphere above them to reflect this phenomenon. And in fact they do, because studies such as that in the Appendix of my paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures do in fact show that regions with higher rainfall have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures.

    Facts speak for themselves, Roy. If you wish to criticise the valid physics which I and others put forward at PSI, then come on board and respond to the content of my paper and articles on that site, I being one of the key researchers and authors for PSI.

    The arguments about insulation are pathetic Roy. Oxygen and nitrogen are the best insulators as they absorb two thirds of the actual thermal energy which transfers from the surface to the atmosphere. So where does that leave one molecule of carbon dioxide in among 2,500 other insulating molecules? No one at PSI denies that the atmosphere has a “blanket” effect, slowing the rate of surface cooling so that the warmth of the day extends into the early evening. But why doesn’t the surface keep cooling at the same rate all night, Roy? The reason lies in the fact that there is an underlying supporting temperature which slows down the rate of both radiative and non-radiative cooling. In regard to slowing radiative cooling, water vapour does this about a thousand times more effectively than carbon dioxide. And then oxygen and nitrogen do it by non-radiative processes about 50 times more effectively than water vapour.

    But no matter how much the surface cooling is slowed by the atmosphere, this is only a marginal effect. The big picture is that the gravitationally induced thermal gradient sets the underlying supporting temperature, and that temperature is at least 5 degrees cooler on average due to water vapour.

    The NASA net energy diagram (in my paper) shows the atmosphere and clouds absorbing 19% of incident Solar radiation, but only 15% of such radiation on its way back up from the surface. Ironically, if you calculate the difference in the backradiation diagrams, the net amount absorbed is even less than 15%. So which way does the insulation work, Roy? It would appear to insulate us better from the Sun’s warmth than from that coming out of the surface. Everyone knows the surface does not get as hot as the Moon’s surface in the day, nor as cold as the Moon’s surface at night. What’s the net effect, Roy?

    And finally, with carbon dioxide radiating in such few spectral lines, its emissivity is very low and it has far less effect per molecule in slowing radiative cooling than does each molecule of water. But what it does do, like water vapour, is reduce the thermal gradient (by a minuscule amount) and thus, when calculated, we find it probably has a net cooling effect of the order of 0.002 degree. Big deal!

    • DC And finally, with carbon dioxide radiating in such few spectral lines
      ———-
      tfp:
      they are not lines but bands – broadened by doplar and pressure.

  47. Bill Hunter says:

    “Greenhouse gases (thermodynamically like insulation in your house) reduce the rate at which heat flows from higher temperatures to lower temperatures, thus making the warm side warmer, and the cool side cooler.”

    Is the cool side cooler?

    That seems erroneous. A house with a constant heat source will have to radiate that heat input from the surface of the insulation. The inside will heat up sufficiently to do that. But if the cool side is cooler is the inside heating up?

    Thats the question that has not been answered. The insulation model is not as described by Roy. Trailer trash insulation, essentially aluminum foil applied to the ceiling, is effective at blocking radiant heat making it miserable on hot days inside of a trailer. But is almost totally ineffective on cold days as the heat is lost via an accelerated overturning of the air in the trailer and heat then passing outside of the trailer through the poor insulation.

    The factors in calculating this are available to insulation specialists in the industry. Essentially zero insulation value is assigned to the radiative properties when operating in opposition to convection. When calculated for conditions that convection is not a factor (heat radiating downwards) its always the case that calculations are based on the reflectivity (albedo) of the barrier. Blackbody objects get no value beyond the real insulation value.

    Of course when you introduce convection you are talking about the potential of negative feedback and have strayed from the argument regarding the radiative effect of various barriers.

    Its in the area of transparency as opposed to reflectivity (high insulation value in one direction) and the coefficient of conductivity of non-convecting insulation (can be high or low); that you get into a quandry. The Woods experiment over a 100 years ago disproved the basic hypotheses of Arhennius in a greenhouse environment comparing IR transparent greenhouses to IR blocking greenhouses and found no significant effect.

    Science should demand some experimental evidence. Controversy over GCRs led to the Cloud experiments at Cern that established some basic physics regarding the ability of GCRs to produce certain precursors to cloud production. Our improved equipment over what Robert Woods had a 100 years ago should be able to measure a greenhouse effect, if any exists, in a carefully constructed greenhouse experiment where the insulating and transmission properties of the various IR blocking and passing panes of glass are carefully controlled.

    Then we could put an end to discussions like this and start focusing on some important topics like what controls moisture in the atmosphere.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Bill, yes, if a house is heated from within during the winter, and you add more insulation, the inside will become warmer, AND the outside will become cooler. The more you insulate, the closer the outside of the house will be to the ambient outside air temperature. Just look at the IR thermograph image of the house at the top of this article…portions of the house with the best insulation have the lowest temperatures.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        See detailed comment above from which I quote … “Oxygen and nitrogen are the best insulators as they absorb two thirds of the actual thermal energy which transfers from the surface to the atmosphere. So where does that leave one molecule of carbon dioxide in among 2,500 other insulating molecules?”

        If you use carbon dioxide (or moist air) between dual glazed windows you get worse insulation than that provided by dry air. Radiating molecules help to expedite heat transfer because they transmit energy at the speed of light, leap frogging the much slower energy rising by convection in the atmosphere. This is actually the main reason why the wet adiabatic lapse rate is less steep. And, because of that, water vapour leads to lower supported surface temperatures, as real-world data proves. That simple fact, supported by empirical evidence, demolishes the greenhouse, Roy. Your readers have read what I have said, and some have read my paper. When are you going to try to defend your conjecture or start believing the truth when you find you can’t?

      • Bill Hunter says:

        Roy, if the outside gets colder where is the heat going? The input is a constant wattage, the heat needs to escape at the same rate as it comes in eventually. If the outer shell is colder it will conduct less and radiate less and the inside can only retain a fixed amount of heat.

        Your scenario of a temperature gradient is correct but that gradient will exist to the same outside temperature necessary to remove the heat at the given input rate. What changes as you add insulation is the inside gets warmer while the outside stays the same.

        • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

          Roy

          Basic physics of conduction tells us that the temperatures at the boundaries between the insulation and the inside and outside will match those inside and outside temperatures. The thermal gradient in the insulation (which is still a conductor in the strict sense) adjusts so that there is a linear thermal plot. If, for example, you have a long rod with one end in boiling water and the other end in 50 degree water, then the gradient adjusts to the end temperatures. If you change the 50 degree end to ice at 0 degree then the gradient becomes steeper. But none of this is relevant to the troposphere.

          If you people who still believe in the old greenhouse conjecture cannot answer one simple question that would justify its existence, then what God-given right do you suppose that you have to continue to mislead the world?

          • from the previous thread
            which you have not answered:
            thefordprefect says:
            April 21, 2013 at 8:55 AM

            DJC says: April 21, 2013 at 5:15 AM

            They are irrelevant loaded questions which make assumptions I simply don’t accept and are clearly at variance with what I have written. These are not issues which determine planetary core or surface temperatures. …
            I am not wasting my time on red herrings which have no significant effect on climate whatever happens.
            —————–
            So you are saying that you are correct and a large percentage of scientist (including Roy Spencer) are totally wrong.

            I suggested black bodies at different temperatures in isolating boxes.
            shorter wavelengths than 2um are shunted off to space (use a prism if you like) the remaining IR radiation will all be the same frequencies (space got the peak frequency of radiation from the BBs). Hotter bodies will be emitting more quanta at each wavelength than cooler.
            combine these IR sources onto another BB

            You now refuse to explain how the receiver of this combined IR is capable of differentialing the source temperature in order to reject some and get warmed by other identical IR.

            If you are unwilling to explain your theory perhaps CJ can be called in?

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Roy,

        You need to be a little careful here. There are two extreme cases and a whole range of intermediate cases. If you add more insulation and …
        1) … keep the furnace set to the same interior TEMPERATURE with a thermostat, then of course, the interior will stay the same and the exterior will get cooler because less power is required from the furnace, so less power needs to flow through the exterior walls.
        2) … keep the furnace set to the same POWER, the interior will warm, but the exterior will stay the same. Once steady-state is achieved, the exterior will be losing the same power as before from the same surface. This means it must be the same temperature.

        For intermediate cases, the interior will get warmer and the exterior will get cooler. But the intermediate case is a somewhat odd condition, keeping neither the furnace power nor the thermostat temperature the same.

        (This all assumes the extra insulation is inside the outer walls, so that the outermost surface is not changing. This also most obvious with uniform insulation, but it should still work “on average” for other situations .)

    • Eli Rabett says:

      What controls moisture in the atmosphere. Mostly sea surface temperature

      Also the CERN experiments did not prove what you think. Mostly they showed that SO2 is limiting, not cosmic rays. See this and links for more of the story, but the bottom line is that growth of neutral aerosol precursors, not ions as would be produced by cosmic rays, dominates

  48. Willywolfe says:

    Dr. Spencer, it took a couple of lines before I realized you were joking and hadn’t gone insane. I live at an elevation of 7,400 feet and on a clear night my car can develop frost when the air temperature is in the mid 40s as opposed to sea level where that only happens at 40 or below. Obviously the extra greenhouse effect of more atmosphere at sea level prevents the car surface from cooling to freezing at the higher temperatures observed up here. This must blow the minds of those who deny the greenhouse effect, but then they can probably conflate some irrelevant facts into an alternate theory to explain it.

    Dr. Strangelove, I think I will go hug a bomb and stop worrying!

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      “More atmosphere at sea level” is an effect of gravity. So too is the elevated surface temperature a result of gravity causing a thermal gradient in the troposphere. You have no scientific foundation for any greenhouse effect, and neither has anyone else. See my paper for details, valid physics and real world evidence.

    • Eli Rabett says:

      It is the humidity (water vapor content). As an example, in Arizona, you can easily get ice at night after a hot day because of radiative cooling. OTOH, if there are low clouds (or you are in Alabama), nothing happens.

      Keep track of how much condensation forms on cloudy nights

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        Yes, but that in itself doesn’t prove that water vapour produces higher surface temperatures.

        Solid empirical evidence proves that water vapour leads to lower surface temperatures, and that puts a spanner in the works for greenhouse protagonists.

      • Norman says:

        Eli Rabett,

        With your Arizona comment I feel you make the same mistake everyone does when they believe dry air cools so much more at night than moist air. The data would prove this assumption incorrect. Altitude is what causes the really high diurnal temperature range (because of the lapse rate, warms during the day and returns to its lapse rate temperature during the night).

        Here are some examples. No ice will form in phoenix in the summer. Look at the low temps.
        http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/arizona/phoenix/

        Flagstaff is a elevated town (6900 feet) and it only gets up to the 80’s during the day and falls into the 50’s at night.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagstaff,_Arizona

        But look at the climate of another elevated city that is not so dry (more moisture a year than Denver). Vail Colorado. It is similar to Flagstaff. Big diurnal temperature range, gets cold at night even in summer.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vail,_Colorado

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        Yes, Norman, as you would know from my paper, in my study of inland tropical cities I have restricted my selection to those between 0 and 1,200m altitude, and then adjusted temperature data using an estimated thermal gradient (aka “lapse rate”) to what temperatures would have been at 600m. By restricting the correction to no more than 600m I consider the possible error in the adjustments to be insignificant. The results were then averaged for each third of the cities in order of precipitation.

        Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures

        Wet: 30.8°C 20.1°C
        Medium: 33.0°C 21.2°C
        Dry: 35.7°C 21.9°C

        The data shows that the effect of water vapour is quite the opposite of what greenhouse protagonists think would happen.

        So Roy, when are you going to come up with real world data supporting your greenhouse conjecture in the face of this conflicting evidence?

        • Norman says:

          Doug,

          So far I have not found strong evidence in the data that would reject your idea that wetter areas are overall cooler than dry (everything else being close to equal).

          It is a complex mix in reality. How much energy the surface holds (which depends upon the materials) will determine what happens to its temperature. Water cools much slower than other materials at the same temp even though they give off radiation at the same rate.

          But overall I think the evidence so far supports your understanding. I will keep looking though. With science I like it to be supported by evidence and not a new belief system. I would hope those saying you are so wrong do a little (tiny bit) of research. Climate data for any area is readily available on the internet. You can get daily temp readings of many cities in the US from history on Weatherunderground. From what I have found, on clear nights with low wind, the temperature drops most rapidly in the early evening when the sun is low in the summer sky, then it slows way down during the night. Almost like your “heat creep” theory. The temp drop is rapid as the solar energy decreases but then stabalizes as the slow heat creep moves down slowing the cooling rate. If greenhouse effect was the major player you would think the temperature drop would be uniform. Maybe I am wrong in my thinking.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Hi Norman. Thanks for your support. As soon as I can find time I will be enlarging the study of tropical temperature data to cover the whole tropics, rather than just a belt of 8 degrees of latitude as in the original study in the Appendix here. Of course anyone receiving funding grants (unlike myself) could have done such a study years ago.

            And yes, the very fact that cooling slows down during the night proves the existence of an underlying support temperature in the atmosphere, that being the result of the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient.

    • Norman says:

      Willywolfe,

      Here is one of those explanations but I do not think he is using irrelevant facts. Check out his math and see what you think. Looks like he was fairly thorough.

      http://www.astroshow.com/dewtell/dewtell.htm

  49. Alec M says:

    Having read a few more comments, I can add another bit of science to the argument.

    Climate Alchemy has been hooked onto a major scientific myth ever since Tyndall. His experiment showed that GHGs absorb IR energy but did not prove where it is thermalised. Better be precise here: thermalisation is a specific term in physics denoting how a thermodynamic system subject to an inward or outward energy flow re-establishes equipartition of energy in the various possible states.

    Tyndall injected extra energy into a thermodynamic system at local thermodynamic Equilibrium. That energy was not thermalised in the gas for that is thermodynamically impossible. It was pseudo-scattered in that an already activated molecule ejected a photon of the same energy, randomly, to be thermalised at the wall which has empty quantum states.

    The same happens in the atmosphere to IR from a higher temperature source. It is pseudo-scattered to a heterogeneous sink at lower temperature. There is no GHG heating in the gas. Bear in mind that only 23 W/m^2 is absorbed on average and this is at clouds, bare aerosols or space.

    So, the 333 W/m^2 ‘back radiation’ is purely on paper. There is some extra impedance for the 23 W/m^2 as clouds are warmed but this is balanced by the extra convection hence cooling.

    In short, climate modelling based on Houghton’s treatise are completely wrong. He got some ideas right, such as appreciating the importance of LTE but didn’t realise others were wrong, e.g. grey body atmosphere which with the water cycle dominates real climate behaviour.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Good to see someone else at last talking about “pseudo scattering” which I called “resonant scattering” in my March 2012 paper on the PSI website. The process I described was exactly as Alec describes above. You could have learnt about all this over a year ago.

      Sit up and take note, Roy and Dr Strangelove.

  50. Alec M says:

    PS Readers must also realise that the Earth’s climate is stabilised by a complex control system which has as its null point Energy IN = Energy OUT.

    This means there can never be any CO2-AGW except as a transient. If this were not the case, we would already be a new Venus!

    I’m working on the mechanism. It involves frequency conversion at clouds to bypass the ‘OLR bite’.

  51. Dr. Spencer’s stance on the CO2 debate is essentially correct. There is a CO2 greenhouse gas effect on temp. The infrared thermometer experiments he presented prove this ,along with his insulation effect on the temperature of a house illustration.

    The problem is how much of an effect, and how much of a positive feedback is there between CO2 and Water Vapor.

    Also what governs how effective the greenhouse gas effect may or may not be, is the energy available in the earth climatic system to begin with and if it is on the increase or decrease.

    I say the LESS energy available to the earth climatic system the less effective greenhouse gasses will be. What governs the amounts of energy in the climate system of the earth, the sun.

    This in turn has to be combined with the present amounts of greenhouse gasses in the atm., the direction they are heading in, and how close to saturation they are in absorbing the various OLR the earth emmits.

    Wihout greenhouse gasses the earth would be colder at the surface and warmer in the higher levels of the atmosphere(the stratosphere)

    Without greenhouse gasses the given temp. of the earth for the given amounts of energy coming into the earth(sun) and leaving the earth(albedo) would be lower then otherwise.

    Ocean temperatures, water evaporation ,plant life, ,geological activity are some of the items that will determine how much of the greenhouse gasses,such as water vapor and CO2 are present in the atmosphere.

    Those in turn will be influenced by the available energy which is present in the system.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      The infrared thermometer experiments he presented prove this ,along with his insulation effect on the temperature of a house illustration.

      You can’t prove that they prove anything.

      When are you (or anyone) going to answer the simple question I posed about 48 hours ago and which no greenhouse protagonist has been able to answer in that 48 hours, as I predicted?

      Why does real world data indicate that the net effect of a more moist climate is a lower surface temperature? I support this statement with a valid study in the Appendix of my paper. Where is your contra-study?

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Doug, my main problem with answering your “simple question” is that the question is not at all “simple” (and is also rather ill-posed).

        “If the 33 degrees of warming were not due to the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient (the existence of which I consider proven in my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures“) but were instead due to a greenhouse effect …
        The adiabatic lapse rate is part of the greenhouse effect theory (even if it is not often explicitly stated as such). The top of the atmosphere cools due to CO2. The cold CO2 at the TOA (less than 255 K) emits very little IR; the surface must be warm (above 255 K) in order to maintain energy balance. (In fact, convection helps ensure energy transport up through the atmosphere to keep the ToA from getting EVEN COLDER and the surface from getting EVEN WARMER.

        So we have an incorrect characterization of the effect we are discussing.

        ” … most of that GH warming (say 30 degrees) would be due to water vapour.
        Much of the warming is indeed due to water vapor. Much is also due to liquid water (clouds) which are very good at absorbing and emitting radiation. And some is due to CO2. Attributing 30 C just to gaseous water sounds a bit high.

        “But, if water vapour warms so much (rather than, as I found empirically, cools by about 5 degrees) …
        Basically, you found that rainier (and thus cloudier) areas are cooler than drier (and thus sunnier). Off-hand, the correlation with cloudiness would seem at least as important as the correlation with rainfall. Do you have any EVIDENCE that rain (rather than humidity or cloudiness) is the actually factor that is important?

        In addition, since the differences are not statistically significant, I have a hard time putting TOO much faith in the observed results.

        So we have a questionable counter statement.

        All in all, we would need to take a few steps back to start discussing the rather complicated role of water in climate.

        • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

          Tim claims that The top of the atmosphere cools due to CO2.

          No it doesn’t and you can’t prove that. Even if you really meant the top of the troposphere, you can’t prove that it is cooled by carbon dioxide either. Carbon dioxide is up there absorbing incident Solar radiation in the 2.7 micron band. Like water vapour, it also reduces the thermal gradient, leading to lower temperatures as observed for water vapour, but so infinitesimally cooler for carbon dioxide (< 0.002 degree theoretically) that we really can't prove it has any effect. And you certainly can't prove it is cooling the upper troposphere – and so what if it did anyway, as that in itself can have no effect on surface temperatures.

          So when are you going to stop misleading the public with your false claims that you cannot back up with evidence, as I can my claims.

          And no, the adiabatic lapse rate is not formed by any greenhouse effect. The proof of how it is formed, based on Kinetic Theory (as used by Einstein) and the entropy conditions of the Second law of Thermodynamics is in my paper. If you, or anyone, cannot understand that proof, perhaps because they have insufficient understanding of physics (like Roy himself) then I strongly suggest you withdraw from promulgating the false conspiracy. You have no idea what I’m planning.

        • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

          When it rains there is a release of latent heat due to the phase change. That is what climatologists claim reduces the adiabatic lapse rate. In fact it plays only a small role in doing so, the main role being inter-molecular radiation wherein water vapour radiates heat to other higher, cooler water molecules. This is the same “leap frog” process that explains why moist air is a less effective insulator than dry air when present in the space between double glazed windows.

          But climatologists claim that water vapour raises surface temperatures by a mean of 30 degrees, and carbon dioxide by much less of course. They then calculate sensitivity of CO2, but what is the sensitivity of water vapour? If some region has double the mean percentage, why wouldn’t its temperature be raised by 60 degrees, rather than 30 degrees?

          There is no physics supporting this, or any net warming effect. There is no evidence produced by climatologists that any warming (let alone 60 degrees in some places) occurs. Hence there is no evidence of any greenhouse effect as described by the IPCC. Reasons for this are in my paper in which I explain not only planetary surface temperatures, but also those in the crust and below.

          Be the first to find any fault in the physics I have used therein and the results and conclusions I have derived.

  52. coturnix19 says:

    2djc:

    first, answer my question: Why doesnt lapse rakte set itself at near-polar areas, by you mechanism? But instead it tends towards isothermal, and reverses itself near the ground?!

    As for the answer, wet areas tend to have thunderstorms who cool the earth locally both day and night. Indeed, thunderstorms are not possible without moisture – dry convection is very different in character and even in the warmest deserts do not extend above few km upwards. Also in equatorial areas there tend to be overall ascent of air, which cools them in the first place. And because hadley cell is not quite a direct circulation (it is driven for the most paarts by mid-latitude eddies) it gets possible to have cooler areas closer to equator.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      “Why doesnt lapse rakte set itself at near-polar areas, by you mechanism? “

      See the third and fourth paragraphs of Section 13 of my paper from which you should be able to work out the answer for yourself.

      If you agree with me that moist regions are cooler, then go and tell the IPCC that they are wrong about water vapour having a 30 degree warming effect and a positive feedback – a fundamental requirement for their greenhouse hoax. See also my responses to Tim above. But thunderstorms are not the overriding reason why moist areas are cooler – the reason is in my paper.

      • DJC April 27, 2013 at 4:52 AM
        I have analysed hourly data here
        http://climateandstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/what-affects-dlwir.html
        This shows that DLWIR is a function of absolute humidity.
        such that DLWIR increases with humidity
        5.7w/sqm per g/cum of water vapour

        I rescently tried a similar analysis between temperature and absolute humidity. This is done using the hourly data from http://www.nrel.gov/midc/srrl_bms/
        the preliminary results do show a delta temperature flatlining up to 5g/cum water vapour then from 5 to 15g/cum temperature falls at 0.26 degC/ g/cum water vapour.

        This does seem a bit odd at first sight, however you seem to have forgotten that the replacement of o2/n2/ etc with h20 molecules actually makes the atmosphere require more energy to warm. If this energy is the same for 0g/cum water to 15g/com then the temperature will fall.

        My calculations (need to be checked) show 1cum of air with 15g water vapour require 1.166kJ whilst the same volume of air with no water vapour require 1.005kJ for 1 deg C.

        I think this would make the temp vs water mass just a bit positive.

  53. coturnix19 says:

    2dr. spencer:

    Undertsanding that it is just a (weather) model, I wanted to ask you about the significance of the number of 20C on this map: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/cgi-bin/expertcharts?LANG=en&MENU=0000000000&CONT=mamk&MODELL=gfs&MODELLTYP=1&BASE=-&VAR=thew&HH=6&ARCHIV=0&PANEL=0&ZOOM=0&PERIOD=

    It seems to define the tropics pretty well, unlike temperature or pressure at any level, or streamlines. It also is very constant: I never seen it go over 20 C, or under unless there aare cold snaps. Interestigly, it is also same for both moist convecting itcz and hot deserts like sahara.

    Would it go up if globe warm, do you think? Is it a one to one function of our solar constant, atmospheric composition etc? If it is, it Is a very significant climate characteristic after all, pehaps more important than any “averaged” temperature and surely more physical.

    And most important: do u think the model faithfully represents reality with respect to equvivalent potential temperature at 850 mb (may be any level in lower troposphere)??

  54. Konrad says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    With all due respect there appears to be critical errors in your radiative greenhouse model of the atmosphere. These errors are sufficient to invalidate the entire AGW hypothesis. The errors are not with radiative physics, but rather with fluid dynamics and gas conduction. These statements are backed by 5 repeatable empirical experiments shown here –
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231

    Radiative gases in our atmosphere do intercept IR from the surface and heat the lower atmosphere. Radiative gases in the atmosphere do emit IR and slow the cooling of the land surface. However these gases also radiate IR to space, allowing energy loss from the upper troposphere. Radiative gases are critical to strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation.

    To understand the role of radiative gases in the atmosphere it is necessary to fully consider atmospheric temperatures for a non radiative atmosphere. Earlier on this thread you stated that for a non radiative atmosphere “Without greenhouse gases, the UPPER atmosphere would indeed be much warmer, but the LOWER atmosphere would be much cooler.“ This statement appears to be in error. Almost all of a non radiative atmosphere would experience temperatures far higher than present, excepting a very thin surface layer, and then only at night.

    Empirical experiment shows that for a non radiative atmosphere conductively heated from the surface, surface Tav should not be used for calculating atmospheric temperatures. Rising air masses will have their temperature set by surface Tmax. Empirical experiment also shows that conductive flux between the surface and a moving atmosphere is biased by gravity. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.

    Experiment 1 demonstrates that incident LWIR does not have the same effect on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool as it does on other materials. This shows that surface Tav under a non radiative atmosphere would not be as low as -18C.

    Experiment 2 demonstrates the ability of CO2 to radiate as IR energy it has acquired by surface conduction. In the atmosphere the bulk of the net energy radiative gases are emitting to space was acquired from surface conduction and release of latent heat.

    Experiment 3 demonstrates the importance of energy loss at the top of a fluid column in a gravity field to convective circulation.

    Experiment 4 demonstrates that a gas column heated at the base and cooled at the top has a lower average temperature than a gas column heated and cooled at separate locations at the base. In Experiment 4 box 1 has a higher “surface” temperature and a lower gas temperature. In box 2 the average “surface” temperature is lower yet the average gas temperature is higher. Box 2 models a non radiative atmosphere. Experiment 4 also demonstrates why an atmosphere heated by surface conduction will have its temperature set by surface Tmax not surface Tav.

    Experiment 5 demonstrates that for a moving gaseous atmosphere in a gravity field, the surface is better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it

    These simple experiments demonstrate that modelling of gas conduction and fluid dynamics is incorrectly modelled in your radiative greenhouse model. Radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. On the basis of empirical experiment I would ask you to reconsider your position.

  55. pochas says:

    Dr Spencer,
    Please do the following and let us know. Take two sheets of paper, 1 white, the other black. Expose them to direct sunlight while suspended in calm air. Take their equilibrium temperature with your IR instrument.
    Looking forward to learning the result.

  56. pochas says:

    coturnix19 says:
    April 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    “Why doesnt lapse rakte set itself at near-polar areas, by you mechanism? But instead it tends towards isothermal, and reverses itself near the ground?!”

    This is an important observation with implications for what happens with active sun vs quiet sun conditions.

    If atmospheric temperatures do not follow the lapse rate we have what is called a temperature inversion. Under these conditions convection either does not happen (smog in LA) or a new circulation regime obtains with a separate cell above the plane of the temperature inversion. During an active sun the ozone layer heats and expands (due to elevated UV in the solar spectrum) and in the stratosphere circulation polewards accelerates, dumping excess warm air at the poles so that a temperature inversion develops. Under such conditions the arctic air cannot reach the surface so it short-circuits southward through the radiating zone, warming the upper troposphere. This warming propagates to the surface via the lapse rate which is why we experience warming in excess of that possible from TSI alone during periods of active sun.

    • John Owens says:

      There is a basic misunderstanding about heat transfer. Heat transfer by conduction and convection is only from a hot source to a cold sink. Transfer by radiation is from cold sources to hot sources as well as from the hot sources to the cold sources. The hot source heats the cold source because the rate of radiation is greater from the hot source. All surfaces, objects, etc. above absolute zero emit photons of energy outward. These photons transfer energy to any object that absorbs them. The transfer of heat is the imbalance in the number of photons being transmitted and the number being absorbed.

      • Ken Coffman says:

        The question boils down to whether energy “held” by a photon can be emitted from something, absorbed by something else, then be “back radiated” to make the source hotter than it was. Modulating a cooling rate does not increase the energy of a system.
        People get confused by this stuff, but there are simple analogies that are accurate. Passive radiation always acts in the same direction of conduction and convection. Not at the same rate or with the same effectiveness, but always in the same direction. Take two iron balls at the same temperature and let them touch. How much energy is exchanged? What is the resultant temperature change? Now, do the same thing with balls at different temperatures. Whatever the result, if there is any, that is the net result of any energy exchange via radiation. Passive radiation does not oppose the work of conduction, they always work in the same direction.

        • John Owens says:

          The transfer of heat is in the imbalance of the photons being transmitted and the photons being absorbed. A desert night sky is cold because you are basically looking at a sink close to absolute zero. The number of photons being sent to Earth is very small. If you place a cloud, water vapor and possibly carbon dioxide gas up there, it will radiate photons to Earth and the sky will not feel as cold. If the object receives energy from some source, it will send more photons back to Earth and you will feel warmer. It is that simple. Transfer of heat by radation is a completely different process than conduction or convection and comparisons to those processes are not valid.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        Heat transfer by conduction and convection is only from a hot source to a cold sink.

        That only applies in a horizontal plane when in a gravitational field. See my paper and the article on PSI responding to Roy’s post here – linked in a comment below.

        • John Owens says:

          I’m sorry Doug, but you have been misinformed. The transfer of heat by conduction or convection is always from hot to cold. In zero gravity, convection looks more like conduction if an air flow is not present. I am going to read your paper next.

  57. Ozone in the Stratosphere is a greenhouse gas that does indeed cause the temperatures of the Stratosphere to increase, rather then continue to decrease.

    It is based on the same principles as to how CO2/WATER VAPOR, are suppose to function in the Troposphere in regards to temperature.

    It is very clear that the Ozone process works in the Stratosphere. This lends strong support to CO2/WATER VAPOR to accomplish the same general results in the Troposphere, but on a much smaller variable scale due to the much greater complexities of the Troposphere versus the Stratosphere, regions of the atmosphere.

  58. Where is ozone found in the atmosphere?
    Ozone is mainly found in two regions of the Earth’s atmosphere. Most ozone (about 90%) resides in a layer that begins between 6 and 10 miles (10 and 17 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface and extends up to about 30 miles (50 kilometers). This region of the atmosphere is called the stratosphere. The ozone in this region is commonly known as the ozone layer. The remaining ozone is in the lower region of the atmosphere, which is commonly called the troposphere. The figure (above) shows an example of how ozone is distributed in the atmosphere.

    What roles does ozone play in the atmosphere and how are humans affected?
    The ozone molecules in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) and the lower atmosphere (troposphere) are chemically identical, because they all consist of three oxygen atoms and have the chemical formula O3. However, they have very different roles in the atmosphere and very different effects on humans and other living beings. Stratospheric ozone (sometimes referred to as “good ozone”) plays a beneficial role by absorbing most of the biologically damaging ultraviolet sunlight (called UV-B), allowing only a small amount to reach the Earth’s surface. The ABSORPTION of ultraviolet radiation by ozone creates a source of heat, which actually forms the stratosphere itself (a region in which the temperature rises as one goes to higher altitudes). Ozone thus plays a key role in the temperature structure of the Earth’s atmosphere. Without the filtering action of the ozone layer, more of the Sun’s UV-B radiation would penetrate the atmosphere and would reach the Earth’s surface. Many experimental studies of plants and animals and clinical studies of humans have shown the harmful effects of excessive exposure to UV-B radiation.

    At the Earth’s surface, ozone comes into direct contact with life-forms and displays its destructive side (hence, it is often called “bad ozone”). Because ozone reacts strongly with other molecules, high levels of ozone are toxic to living systems. Several studies have documented the harmful effects of ozone on crop production, forest growth, and human health. The substantial negative effects of surface-level tropospheric ozone from this direct toxicity contrast with the benefits of the additional filtering of UV-B radiation that it provides.

    What are the environmental issues associated with ozone?
    The dual role of ozone leads to two separate environmental issues. There is concern about increases in ozone in the troposphere. Near-surface ozone is a key component of photochemical “smog,” a familiar problem in the atmosphere of many cities around the world. Higher amounts of surface-level ozone are increasingly being observed in rural areas as well.

    There is also widespread scientific and public interest and concern about losses of ozone in the stratosphere. Ground-based and satellite instruments have measured decreases in the amount of stratospheric ozone in our atmosphere. Over some parts of Antarctica, up to 60% of the total overhead amount of ozone (known as the column ozone) is depleted during Antarctic spring (September-November). This phenomenon is known as the Antarctic ozone hole. In the Arctic polar regions, similar processes occur that have also led to significant chemical depletion of the column ozone during late winter and spring in 7 out of the last 11 years. The ozone loss from January through late March has been typically 20-25%, and shorter-period losses have been higher, depending on the meteorological conditions encountered in the Arctic stratosphere. Smaller, but still significant, stratospheric decreases have been seen at other, more-populated regions of the Earth. Increases in surface UV-B radiation have been observed in association with local decreases in stratospheric ozone, from both ground-based and satellite-borne instruments.

    What human activities affect upper-atmospheric ozone (the stratospheric ozone layer)?
    The scientific evidence, accumulated over more than two decades of study by the international research community, has shown that human-produced chemicals are responsible for the observed depletions of the ozone layer. The ozone-depleting compounds contain various combinations of the chemical elements chlorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon, and hydrogen and are often described by the general term halocarbons. The compounds that contain only chlorine, fluorine, and carbon are called chlorofluorocarbons, usually abbreviated as CFCs. CFCs, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform are important human-produced ozone-depleting gases that have been used in many applications including refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing, cleaning of electronics components, and as solvents. Another important group of human-produced halocarbons is the halons, which contain carbon, bromine, fluorine, and (in some cases) chlorine and have been mainly used as fire extinguishants.

    What actions have been taken to protect the ozone layer?
    Through an international agreement known as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, governments have decided to eventually discontinue production of CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform (except for a few special uses), and industry has developed more “ozone-friendly” substitutes. All other things being equal, and with adherence to the international agreements, the ozone layer is expected to recover over the next 50 years or so.

    * Text and figure are adapted from the Introduction to “Frequently Asked Questions” of the World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment Programme report, Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998 (WMO Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project-Report No. 44, Geneva, 1999).

    http://www.ozonelayer.noaa.gov/science/basics.htm
    Last updated on 20 March 2008 by [email protected]
    Arctic (North Pole) Arctic (North Pole) Antarctic (South Pole) Antarctic (South Pole) Other Locations Other Locations ESRL ESRL CPC CPC NCDC NCDC Current Current Historical Historical Ozone Basics Ozone Basics Regions of the Atmosphere Regions of the Atmosphere Ozone Depletion Ozone Depletion Antarctic Ozone Hole Antarctic Ozone Hole Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL-CSD) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL-CSD) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL-GMD) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL-GMD) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Dobson Spectrophotometer Dobson Spectrophotometer Ozonesonde Ozonesonde Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Ozone Sensor/2 (SBUV/2) Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Ozone Sensor/2 (SBUV/2) TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) NOAA Organizations NOAA Organizations Monitoring Instruments Monitoring Instruments Press Releases Press Releases Media Contacts Media Contacts What is ozone and where is it in the atmosphere? What is ozone and where is it in the atmosphere? How is ozone formed in the atmosphere? How is ozone formed in the atmosphere? Why do we care about atmospheric ozone? Why do we care about atmospheric ozone? Is total ozone uniform over the globe? Is total ozone uniform over the globe? How is ozone measured in the atmosphere? How is ozone measured in the atmosphere? What are the principal steps in stratospheric ozone depletion caused by human activities? What are the principal steps in stratospheric ozone depletion caused by human activities? What emissions from human activities lead to ozone depletion? What emissions from human activities lead to ozone depletion? What are the reactive halogen gases that destroy stratospheric ozone? What are the reactive halogen gases that destroy stratospheric ozone? What are the chlorine and bromine reactions that destroy stratospheric ozone? What are the chlorine and bromine reactions that destroy stratospheric ozone? Why has the ozone hole appeared over Antarctica when ozone-depleting gasses are present throughout the stratosphere? Why has the ozone hole appeared over Antarctica when ozone-depleting gasses are present throughout the stratosphere? How severe is the depletion of the Antarctic Ozone layer? How severe is the depletion of the Antarctic Ozone layer? Is there depletion of the Arctic ozone layer? Is there depletion of the Arctic ozone layer? How large is the depletion of the global ozone layer? How large is the depletion of the global ozone layer? Do changes in the Sun and volcanic eruptions affect the ozone layer? Do changes in the Sun and volcanic eruptions affect the ozone layer? Are there regulations on the production of ozone-depleting gases? Are there regulations on the production of ozone-depleting gases? Has the Montreal Protocol been successful in reducing ozone-depleting gases? Has the Montreal Protocol been successful in reducing ozone-depleting gases? Does depletion of the ozone layer increase ground-level ultraviolet radiation? Does depletion of the ozone layer increase ground-level ultraviolet radiation? Is depletion of the ozone layer the principal cause of climate change? Is depletion of the ozone layer the principal cause of climate change? How will recovery of the ozone layer be detected? How will recovery of the ozone layer be detected? When is the ozone layer expected to recover? When is the ozone layer expected to recover?

  59. Global Warming: Man or Myth – Greenhouse Gases

    www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global…/greenhouse_gases.html

    Jan 22, 2011 – Atmospheric temperature is influenced by gases that absorb … Figure 2.1 (IPCC, 2007) shows the role that greenhouse gases play in the atmosphere. … carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); ozone (O3) …

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Fact: Radiating gases, if present in the space between double glazed windows reduce the effectiveness of the insulation because they send thermal energy across the gap faster, despite back radiation to the warmer pane. So too in the troposphere.

  60. How carbon dioxide controls earth’s temperature

    By Climate Guest Blogger on Oct 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    NASA’s Lacis: “There is no viable alternative to counteract global warming except through direct human effort to reduce the atmospheric CO2 level.”

    A study by GISS climate scientists recently published in the journal Science shows that atmospheric CO2 operates as a thermostat to control the temperature of Earth….

    CO2 is the key atmospheric gas that exerts principal control (80% of the non-condensing GHG forcing) over the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect. Water vapor and clouds are fast-acting feedback effects, and as such, they are controlled by the radiative forcing supplied by the non-condensing GHGs….

    There is no viable alternative to counteract global warming except through direct human effort to reduce the atmospheric CO2 level.

    NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has posted three articles on their website explaining two important new studies, “Atmospheric CO2: Principal control knob governing Earth’s temperature” (subs. req’d) in Science by Andrew Lacis et al. and “The attribution of the present-day total greenhouse effect” (subs. req’d) in JGR by Gavin Schmidt et al. Together they make a terrific tutorial on the critical role human-caused CO2 plays in climate change.

    Schmidt is best known as a key contributor to the must-read blog, Real Climate. Lacis may be best known as the NASA climatologist whose 2005 critique of the IPCC Fourth Assessment draft — “There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary” — was embraced by the anti-science disinformers until it was revealed he thought the IPCC consensus was in fact some watered down, least-common denominator piece of wishy-washiness that understates our scientific understanding, which it is (see “Disputing the ‘consensus’ on global warming“).

    It may be obvious to CP readers and all those who follow the science, but the core conclusion of the Science article bears repeating again and again by all of us who communicate on global warming:

    Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. This is because CO2, like ozone, N2O, CH4, and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can and does. Noncondensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, thus serve to provide the stable temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect. Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other noncondensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state.

    Indeed, absent greenhouse gases, the planet would be about 60°F colder.

    Here is NASA’s Research News piece, “How Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth’s Temperature” summarizing the two studies:

    Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth’s greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet’s temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

    The study, conducted by Andrew Lacis and colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, examined

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      How about you just write your own stuff and then include links to the propaganda of others upon whose authority you are depending?

  61. That is where I am coming from and I DO NOT BELIEVE in global man made warming due to CO2 increasing, but I DO BELIEVE in a LIMITED greenhouse gas effect, but how effective it is,is dependent upon the amounts of energy in the earth climatic system that the greenhouse gasses have to work with.

    The ultimate source of that energy being the sun, meaning it is the LEVEL of solar activity that determines the ultimate temperatures of the globe and not greenhouse gasses although there is a greenhouse gas effect, for given amounts of energy inparted to the climatic system of the earth from the sun.

  62. I believe with the basic theory for the role of greenhouse gasses but their role is the result of energy being in the earth climate system,and therefore not the ultimate cause of the temperature to rise or fall for the globe over time.

    To carry this further I predict the temperatures of the globe will show a decline for the rest of this decade despite CO2 concentrations increasing.

    IT IS THE SUN’S LEVEL OF ACTIVITY ,ALONG WITH ALL OF THE SECONDARY EFFECTS, WHICH WIL HAVE THE ULIMATE SAY ON WHERE THE TEMPERATURES OF THE GLOBE WILL BE HEADING.

  63. TO KEN COFFMAN does not ozone’s role in the atmosphere answer those questions? If not why?

  64. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Response to this post of Roy’s now published on Principia Scientific International website

    John O’Sullivan wrote the leading paragraph …

    Professor Roy Spencer, diehard promoter of the discredited greenhouse gas theory today publishes his latest defense of junk science with, ‘How Can Home Insulation Keep Your House Warmer, When It Cools Your House?’ (April 24, 2013). Spencer’s loyal wing man, Anthony Watts showcases Roy’s post on WUWT. But an out-of-his-depth Mr. Watts misses Roy’s critical error.

    then my article follows ..

    http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/177-no-roy.html

    I’m happy to respond to any comments on the article, but be warned that I only speak the language of valid physics.

    • Konrad says:

      Doug,
      I tried to read your paper, but found the claims on lapse rate to be incorrect. If the gases in the troposphere were held static, but still contained radiative gases it would still exhibit a lapse rate, but far smaller than that of a moving atmosphere. Note that the lapse rate reverses in the absence of strongly radiative gases. The experiment to demonstrate the role of vertically moving gases in generating a larger lapse rate is simple to conduct.

      Build a enclosed insulated gas column along a centrifuge arm. Dimensions of the column should be 1m (along the arm) by 200mm wide and 100mm deep. Build rounded internal corners at the top and bottom of the column. Inside the gas column mount 2 computer fans at the centre of the side walls. 1 fan should be facing up the column and 1 down. Mount temperature sensors along the length of the gas column. With the computer fans switched off, bring the centrifuge arm up to speed. A lapse rate will develop as a pressure gradient develops in the gas. After several minutes this will dissipate due to gas conduction. Then switch the fans on and start a circulation loop along the column. A lapse rate will then develop due to pneumatic heating and cooling of the gas and horizontal gas conduction.

      The lapse rate observed in the atmosphere below the troposphere is a product of both radiative gases and strong vertical convective circulation.

      Radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation. AGW is a physical impossibility, but you are looking in the wrong place.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        If the gases in the troposphere were held static, but still contained radiative gases it would still exhibit a lapse rate, but far smaller than that of a moving atmosphere.

        An assertive statement which totally ignores the proof and evidence to the contrary.

        I’m quite aware of your experiments, and also aware of the false assumptions therein. Consider still air between double glazed windows. If the air is moist it is a less effective insulator because of inter-molecular radiation. Likewise an atmosphere with radiating gases is a less effective insulator and has a less steep thermal gradient in its troposphere.

        Please read my paper and respond to points therein as I only have time to discuss these issues with those who at least understand the valid physics therein.

        Radiative gases are not essential for tropospheric convection for the reasons explained in my paper.

  65. RW says:

    Doug,

    You say at the beginning of your paper:

    “The so called Greenhouse Effect is based on the concept that the Sun warms the surface of a planet
    and then that surface cools at a rate governed by the composition of the atmosphere. The rate of
    cooling is thought to have something to do with the amount of upwelling radiation absorbed by the
    atmosphere, and/or the amount of energy which then returns to the surface by way of radiation.”

    Actually, I would say this is incorrect. The GHE is one of radiative resistance to cooling. That is, the absorption of upwelling radiation acting to cool that is absorbed and subsquently re-radiated back downward toward the surface. In no way does this effect have to manifest itself as direct radiative power from the atmosphere to the surface. There are also multiple energy inputs to the atmosphere besides that directed radiated from the surface, including non-radiative energy from the surface and solar power absorbed by the atmosphere.

    • RW says:

      You also attribute the fact that much of the incident solar power is absorbed by the atmosphere as somehow contradicting the GHE. Most of this absorbtion is by clouds, which are really just an short-term extension of the thermal mass of the oceans, so solar power absorbed by clouds is effectively the same as that absorbed directly into the oceans (relative to the planet steady-state average surface temperature). In other words, any such absorbed solar power that finds its way radiated to space is just offsetting energy from the surface absorbed by clouds that would otherwise have to be leaving the planet. It’s moot, especially given over 99.999% of the energy storted in the system is contained below the surface and the Sun is the only significant source of energy.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        “Most of this absorbtion [sic] is by clouds”

        Get your facts right. The NASA energy diagram (in my paper) shows 16% of incident Solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere and only 3% absorbed by clouds. Then only 15% is absorbed by the atmosphere on the way back up from the surface. Go argue with NASA – I’m satisfied their figures are close enough.

        • RW says:

          I would take those numbers with a grain of salt. How can only 15% of the surface radiation be absorbed by the atmosphere if only 6% is directly radiated to space?

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            The figures are there and they add up. Why do I have to do the calculations for you? A total of 51% of incident Solar radiation enters the surface. It then comes out as

            Evaporative cooling (latent heat) 23%
            Conduction and rising air 7%
            Absorbed by atmosphere 15%
            Diretc to space through window 6%

            Total 51%

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            How can only 15% of the surface radiation be absorbed by the atmosphere?

            Elementary physics – the temperatures are not very different. If the temperatures were the same, then nothing would be absorbed – it would all be pseudo scattered as physicists have been explaining here and elsewhere. Read my March 2012 paper on Radiated Energy.

            You have a lot of physics to learn – or “unlearn” if it’s come from climatology circles.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            And by the way I was quite clearly talking about 15% of energy in the incident Solar radiation. You would only have had to look at the NASA diagram to see that.

            I am not going to keep answering your questions when you refuse to address what my paper and the diagrams therein are proving.

            Also, I will only be looking for responses on Roy’s thread about insulation from this point onwards. I don’t have time to write similar responses to various people on three different threads.

        • RW says:

          Or is that the amount that finds it’s way radiated to space? None the less, I’d take those numbers with a grain of salt.

          • RW says:

            Alright, so of the roughly 240 W/m^2 that leaves, 15% is from that radiated from the surface. I fail to see how any of this somehow contradicts the GHE.

            Your theory might possibly make some sense if the primary way the surface received energy was by conduction and not by radiation. Given the Earth receives more direct radiative power from the atmosphere and Sun that it emits, I’m extremely dubious to say the least.

          • RW says:

            The Earth’s surface that is.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            My response is in my paper on Radiated Energy. I wasn’t talking about electromagnetic energy in radiation. NASA and I are giving you net thermal energy transfer figures. If you don’t understand the difference, then you’ll find it explained in my March 2012 paper which you could have read over a year ago.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            I fail to see how any of this somehow contradicts the GHE.

            What disproves the grenhouse effect is in my March 2013 paper, “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” and I’m not retyping 20 pages here just because you’re too lazy to study it.

  66. Norman says:

    Willywolfe’s post (above) about frost forming on widows at altitude of 7000 feet even when air temperature is in the mid 40’s F leads to a way to experimentally prove the GHG effect and even correctly calculate climate sensitivity. Since this is a huge topic and of great concern to many it seems there would be ample support for this research.

    The expermiment would consist of a close to blackbody slab supported by a highly insulating material to minimize any conduction heat flow. The blackbody slab would be contained within an enclosure of material that is transparent to both light and IR radiation and sturdy enough to support a high vacuum without implosion. The bottom half would be mirrored to prevent any upwelling radiation from the surface to interfere with the data collection. A temperature sensor would be placed on the slab to mearure its temperature continuously. A vacuum pump needed to keep a high vacuum inside the enclosure to ensure only radiative energy is transferred to and from the slab material.

    You would have maybe 10 of these enclosures placed up the side of a mountain in areas that have no obstructions to incoming solar energy or outgoing IR. The other critical measurements would be atmospheric CO2 concentration and absolute humidity at each enclosure station.

    As the enclosures go up to the top of the mountain the air has less and less CO2 and water vapor above it than lower areas. This type of experiment would allow one to determine a very precise measure of how a GHE would slow the transfer of radiation out of the blackbody (each blackbody slab in each enclosure is made identical to minimize experimental errors). The enclosures at the top should cool at a more rapid rate. The rate of cooling would be directly related to the change in concentration of GHGases. You would then be able to get a very precise measure of climate sensitivity and can now have valid experimental data to argue the point if Earth will face a disaster in the near future or if there is some manipulation of models to make things seem worse. People really need to start some good experimentation.

    Everytime this type of topic is put on some blog the number of posts is in the hundreds with many various opinions and views and yet no one really knows for sure and no one wants to run real experiments that will prove or disprove the case.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      “a GHE would slow the transfer of radiation out of the blackbody “

      But it doesn’t. If you add water vapour and carbon dioxide to dry air between the glass in double glazed windows you reduce the insulation effect because you increase the rate of transfer of thermal energy across the gap. It’s elementary: inter-molecular radiation transfers heat from warmer to cooler molecules at the speed of light, whereas non-radiative processes (in this case diffusion) are far slower. So these radiating molecules expedite the rate of thermal energy transfer out of the atmosphere until the region cools to the underlying supporting temperature – as happens before dawn.

  67. Konrad says:

    Norman,
    Unlike Doug, I do conduct empirical experiments. I have found AGW to be a physical impossibility for a moving atmosphere. The experiment you discribe is very hard to construct. The best LWIR transparent materials such as potassium chloride are structurally poor and unable to resist the forces involved in vacuum chambers.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Excuse me – try reading the study in the Appendix of my paper.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Go and make a fortune, Konrad, with your new invention of double glazed windows fiiled with carbon dioxide, supposedly improving insulation by sending back radiation back to the warmer pane and slowing radiative transfer of heat through the gap, just like in the atmosphere. /sarc

      Funny that no one has put this into practice to my knowledge. There’s nothing like an experiment with a mass produced product that’s a huge success in the real worl market place.

  68. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Konrad claimed that ”A lapse rate will develop as a pressure gradient develops in the gas. After several minutes this will dissipate due to gas conduction”

    No it won’t. Where is your evidence? In a force field there is a thermal gradient due to conduction or diffusion which is of the order of -g/Cp where g is the forc of gravity (or centrifugal force in this case) and Cp is the specific heat. The actual gradient is reduced by about 10% to 35% as a result of inter-molecular radiation which works against the gradient caused by the force field.

    You are in effect assuming that it would be possible for an entropy gradient to develop, but if that happened the maximum entropy conditions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics would not be satisfied. And so entropy would adjust until these conditions were satisfied in an isentropic thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Note also that there is no valid physics which can be used to prove that a pressure gradient causes and maintains a thermal gradient. It doesn’t do so.

  69. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    How ironic that Konrad should write ““I do conduct empirical experiments.” He has not done this experiment with a centrifuge. Nor has he done an experiment simulating a stationary atmosphere. In contrast, in my paper, I cite the work of an independent researcher who has done over 800 such experiments, all conducted in a meticulous fashion with superb insulation and measuring technique.

  70. Norman says:

    Konrad

    Thanks for the reply on my experiment. I don’t think the material would have to be transparent to all IR wavelengths. If you could get some water vapor and Carbon Dioxide absorption bands (would not need all of them) you could still get good data and measurements. If the effect was real and measurable you could still use the data you obtained from the limited bands to calculate the climate sensitivity when adding all bands.

    The material “Transparent spinel (MgAl2O4) ceramic”
    looks like a promising candidate for the experimental setup. Sounds strong and is transparent to mid range IR.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparent_ceramics

    • Eli Rabett says:

      The Navy is interested in spinel because of it’s shock resistance. It only goes out to 5 microns which does not cover the areas where CO2 H2O CH4, etc absorb strongly. For that the cheapest window material is NaCl although you have to watch the humidity. You can use it for small windows (easily 50 mm diameter or less) in vacuum chambers although there is a trade off between thickness and aperture. There are “other materials which can be used depending on the application. For vacuum systems KRS-5 suggests itself but it ain’t cheap.

      The depressing thing about this conversation is the level of flat out certainty proclaiming crap.

  71. Konrad says:

    Doug,
    I am an AGW sceptic. I would never fill double glazing with CO2. N2 or argon only. But the fact that CO2 has greater IR absorption and emission has nothing to do with that problem. You claim to use “valid physics” yet you don’t know that glass is opaque to LWIR?

    As I said before, you don’t build and run your own empirical experiments. No amount of citing the work of others will change that. This means your work is no better than that of the AGW believers. I gave you a simple experiment to build and all you can do is whine that I have not built it. I doubt you even understand the point of the centrifuge experiment let alone the five previous setup I have shown. Type is cheap Doug. Will you do some empirical work? Or will it just be more handwaving and excuses as to why you don’t have to?

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Dear me Konrad – you don’t know that glass is opaque to LWIR? – enough insults thanks. Heat passes through the glass by conduction – it seems you don’t understand that. Who says only LWIR is involved anyway – the double glazed windows also insulate against the heat of the Sun – it seems you haven’t considered that.

      Actually N2 would give far better insulation than CO2 now wouldn’t it – or don’t you know? You haven’t done the centrifuge experiment, have you, so why are you stating so emphatically what you think it would do, and getting it wrong.

      As it happens, the experiment is being planned, and I expect it will display a thermal gradient based on -g/Cp because physics theory and the laws of physics can be used to show that it will.

      As far as I can see, you have done only one type of experiment and you have made incorrect assumptions from the results because you don’t understand the process of heat creep as explained in my paper. But, by all means, give me a link to your experiment to refresh my mind and I’ll explain to the silent readers where you have made such incorrect assumptions, as I remember you did when I first read it.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Three questions for Konrad

      (1) My study of inland tropical regions has found that those with higher rainfall have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures. My use of valid physics (well tested in numerous experiments over a century or more) explains why this is the case. In other words, the exact opposite of what the IPCC claims is happening in the real world, and water vapour is leading to lower surface temperatures because it lowers the tropospheric thermal gradient. Do you have any problem with any of that, Konrad?

      (2) I doubt that there is any reference to the autonomous thermal gradient induced by gravity in your experiments. We all know at PSI that radiation from a cooler atmosphere slows that portion of surface cooling which is itself by radiation, but it cannot slow non radiative cooling either by evaporation or conduction. Do you have any problem with that?

      (3) From the Ideal Gas Law (well tested empirically) we can deduce that temperature is not a direct function of pressure. Hence we know that we cannot claim that high pressure maintains high temperatures. So you tell me how sufficient energy gets into the surface of Venus to maintain temperatures well over 700K everywhere.

      • Konrad says:

        Doug,
        before I respond to these questions could I please get clarification on one of your previous responses. Earlier on this thread I indicated that –
        “Radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation.”

        You appear to have responded with –
        “Radiative gases are not essential for tropospheric convection for the reasons explained in my paper.”

        This response did not include the word “circulation”. Could you please clarify this for me with a yes or no answer to the following question –
        “Are radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation ?”

  72. Mark Biernat says:

    Interesting point about Venus and I read your comments with great interest as I want to stay objective (I am not an expert).

    I would say Venus is radically different from Earth in a number of obvious ways. Although Venus had oceans or at least a large amount of water, it went though a rapid greenhouse effect and the water is all but gone. So it sounds scary for the Earth in that case. Yet consider Earth has a magnetic field caused by an intensely hot core, equal to the sun’s surface. This liquid core at 6000 c, causes a magnetic field and affects the weather equation in ways I do not understand, but I am pretty sure it does. Other differences are the winds caused by super rotation and just different composition of the atmosphere.

    Further, Earth is a living planet and has the ability to maintain an equilibrium, which Venus does not.

    My point is Earth and Venus differ too much to conclude it is that simple with Venus hot temperatures.

    • RW says:

      Yes, excellent points.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      No “greenhouse effect” ever was or ever will be responsible for the temperatures on Venus or any planet. My response to your comments (which do not contain any information of which I was not aware from a very early stage in my studies of atmospheric physics) is contained in my 20 page paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures and I am happy to respond to any questions or comments on the contents thereof.

      The poles of Venus receive less than 1W/m^2 of direct Solar radiation. To maintain the temperature of over 720K they need an energy input of over 16,000W/m^2. No radiative greenhpouse effect can magnnify energy 16,000 times. To understand temperatures of planetary surface, crusts, mantles and cores you will need to understand the somewhat advanced physics in my paper, some of which has not been published by any other researcher to the best of my knowledge.

  73. Mike Flynn says:

    Amazing isn’t it?

    Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of highly educated scientists totally unable to devise a single reproducible experiment to actually demonstrate the wondrous “greenhouse effect”!

    Sure, you can heat CO2. Unfortunately, everything on the known universe is above absolute zero, showing everything got heated somewhere along the way. CO2 absorbs EMR. So does everything else.

    So it is not surprising that a handful of bloggers cannot achieve what the scientific “consensus” cannot.

    It just goes to show that high education and academic brilliance is no shield against fanatical belief in the non existent. Phlogiston, the universal aether or caloric heat theory, anyone? How about Lord Kelvin’s calculations of the age of the Earth?

    Still sure about the Greenhouse Effect?

    Try and find experimental support. There isn’t any. You’ve all been fooled!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Exactly Mike – and yet we still have our (19 year old?) friend “coturnix19” talking about a greenhouse effect in the very next comment. Silent readers might care to watch for his next attempted answer to my question, because the first attempt scored only 1 out of 10.

      Real world data indicates that current levels of water vapour cause the world mean surface temperature to be about 5 to 8 degrees cooler than it would have been if there had been only about 10% as much water vapour in the atmosphere.

      This empirical evidence is in stark contrast with what the greenhouse conjecture depends upon, namely a warming of 25 to 30 degrees.

      However, the empirical results are in agreement with what I would expect from the valid physics explained in my February 2013 paper in the PROM menu at Principia Scientific International, where I am one of their principal researchers and authors in my specialty which is atmospheric physics.

  74. coturnix19 says:

    2djc:

    You do understand that the poles of venus are not heated by ghe at he poles, instead the required energy input (btw much lower than 16000 watts precisely due to ghe) is provided from energy transported by atmospheri circulations?But for rotation, the heat capacity and circulation efficiencey even on earth would have been able to keep polar temps within 10K of equatorial temps. Venus rotates much slower, has 100 higher atmospheric heat capacity and therefore would have been able to keep small e2p gradient even at much smaller ghe

  75. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Yes, if you had read my paper you would know that I “understand” the first line of your response.

    But the atmosphere of Venus is not as hot as its surface, so by what process does the thermal energy pass from the atmosphere to the hotter surface whilst keeping within the laws of physics?

    That is the question I have answered in my paper, but you have not answered correctly because you cannot prove that radiation from a colder atmosphere would in any way make the Venus surface hotter than the maximum temperature which the direct Solar radiation could warm it up to – like about 150K. Radiation from a cooler atmosphere, be it on Earth or Venus, can only slow the rate of radiative cooling of a hotter surface. It cannot make the surface hotter than the Sun could with direct radiation. On Venus that direct radiation reaching the surface is only about 10% of that which the Earth’s surface receives.

    I’ll score you 1 out of 10 for knowing the energy passes through the atmosphere towards the atmosphere above the poles. It does so by horizontal diffusion of kinetic energy at the molecular level, as well as by wind in some regions, resulting in temperatures at similar altitudes in the troposphere being similar all around Venus. Now you have to explain how it gets from the atmosphere above the poles into the much hotter surface at the poles of Venus.

  76. coturnix19 says:

    2djc:

    “… But the atmosphere of Venus is not as hot as its surface, so by what process does the thermal energy pass from the atmosphere to the hotter surface whilst keeping within the laws of physics?” – the sun heats it suposedly, although i am not entirely sure what the contribution from mechanical mixing or latent heat may be. After all, there have been only very few probes measuring it directly and very long ago when GHG wasnt yet an issue.

    “…..that radiation from a colder atmosphere would in any way make the Venus surface hotter than the maximum temperature which the direct Solar radiation could warm it up to – like about 150K. ” – sure about that?

    “Radiation from a cooler atmosphere, be it on Earth or Venus, can only slow the rate of radiative cooling of a hotter surface. It cannot make the surface hotter than the Sun could with direct radiation. On Venus that direct radiation reaching the surface is only about 10% of that which the Earth’s surface receives.” – yes, but why do u think the sun can not warm the surface more than 150 k? The sun is 6000K, and threfore can warm the surface up to about that much, not to mention freezing 700K of venus. This in fact, unlike your gradient mehanism, doesn’t contradict the second law. The sun can and does warm venus, as long as it shines down on it. It doesn’t matter that only a hundred watts reaches the surface.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      You need to learn a lot about radiation, the Stefan-Boltzmann Law – and quite a bit of physics. When I teach students physics I make them think for themselves. I’m sure you can work out what 10% of the radiation reaching Earth’s surface is. You can then use this SBL calculator just as easily as I can. You could read about Venus in Section 8 of this paper as well as in my paper.

      You would do well to keep out of this discussion as you are writing stuff which is so far from reality that, frankly, it’s amusing. Latent heat is usually stored in water vapour, for example. Be careful you don’t drown in all those oceans on Venus! Sorry, but zero out of 10 this time.

      • Joel Shore says:

        No, Doug. He is exactly right and you are exactly wrong. The maximum temperature that the sun can heat the surface to is not defined in the way that you claim it is. What you are computing is the maximum temperature that the sun could heat the surface to in the absence of absorption of IR radiation in the atmosphere.

        Why is it so hard to make “Slayers” understand the elementary concept that steady-state temperature is determined by balancing incoming energy with outgoing energy. It cannot be determined by simply computing the incoming energy and ignoring what the outgoing energy is.

        I suggest you read any first year physics textbook to understand the basic concept of radiative balance for an object when the temperature of the surroundings is not zero. You claim to have a bachelors in physics and yet you can’t be made to understand such simple things? I shudder to think what the embarrassment you must be to the professors who let you through the physics program.

  77. coturnix19 says:

    Indeed I will, there is no way talking sense to science freaks (i believe you think so too so no offence)

    • Mike Flynn says:

      coturnix19,

      Lots of people write stuff which is supposedly far from reality. Fortunately, the unreal stuff occasionally turns out to be true. Relativity, quantum physics, atom smashing and so on.

      Being browbeaten is often a sign that the thug in question is wrong, knows it, but doesn’t want to be seen to change his (or her) mind. Too embarrassing?

      In relation to Venus, the Earth apparently had an atmosphere very similar to present day Venus. In spite of this, the Earth continued to cool faster than Venus. Who knows why? Further from the Sun? Less radioactive material in the initial incandescent blob? Maybe tectonic plate movement (Venus apparently has none), has an effect.

      I like facts. There seem to be precious few in climatology, which seems to be the study of a very arbitrary “average” of “weather”. How you can use “the average of weather” to predict future weather (and thus climate, which after all is the average of weather), escapes me totally.

      Talk is cheap – if it wasn’t, I’d have precious little to say. Nor, I warrant, would most blog commenters.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • John says:

        Hi Mike,

        You frequently state valid points in your posts. However, this time you wrote:

        “In relation to Venus, the Earth apparently had an atmosphere very similar to present day Venus. In spite of this, the Earth continued to cool faster than Venus. Who knows why? Further from the Sun? Less radioactive material in the initial incandescent blob? Maybe tectonic plate movement (Venus apparently has none), has an effect.”

        In what sense do you believe the present day Venetian atmosphere to have ever been similar to Earth’s? The Venetian atmosphere’s mass exceeds the Earth’s atmosphere by 93 times. I personally never encountered any factual evidence that the Earth’s atmosphere shrank to one third the original mass. Carbon Dioxide comprises around 90-95% or more of the Venetian atmosphere. When do you believe and based on what evidence that the Earth’s atmosphere ever exceeded even 1% carbon dioxide? Finally, the Earth possesses an electro-magnetic field (Van Allen radiation belt) which from what I understand Venus does not.

        Your post makes an extraordinary claim and I’m curious as to how you arrived at it. Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a great day.

        • John says:

          Correction to my post above. I wrote: “I personally never encountered any factual evidence that the Earth’s atmosphere shrank to one third the original mass…” The statement should have read: ” personally never encountered any factual evidence that the Earth’s atmosphere shrank to one ninety-third the original mass.

          • Eli Rabett says:

            The Earth’s early atmosphere was about 30% CO2. Much of it went into the oceans and thence into carbonates. A goodly amount was converted into O2 (where do you think that comes from)

            Google can be your friend if you let it.

          • John says:

            Hi Eli Rabett,

            Thank you for responding to my post. Apparently, Roy’s blog will not allow me to reply directly to your response so I am attempting the next best option. You apparently could use a course in reading comprehension. Personally, I have no problem accepting higher CO2 levels in the past and am quite aware that plant life thrives on CO2 and that plants in turn produce oxygen which all us living animals will likely at some point inhale. My query to Mike Flynn pertained to evidence. What empirical evidence as to CO2 levels in any given time period exists? Since none of us lived and/or recorded CO2 levels during the formation of Earth’s early atmosphere any claims as to the such levels must be mere guesswork. Mike Flynn claims to like facts. So do I. Guesswork entertains those with excess time on their hands. BTW please don’t waste my time and yours providing claims as to CO2 levels in arctic glaciers. In previous posts I presented evidence that those glaciers likely did not even exist more than a few thousands of years ago and provide no evidence as to Earth’s early atmosphere.
            Your links I notice provide mainly speculation. The link to James F Kasting and “Earth’s Early Atmosphere” admits to speculating as to Earth’s early atmosphere in the in the opening statement then proceeds with comment, graphs etc. comprised of supposedly educated guesswork. Please provide evidence to support your claim that: “The Earth’s early atmosphere was about 30% CO2.” What empirical evidence supplied the 30% number to you if any?

          • John says:

            Hi Eli Rabett,

            BTW you’re not related to Brer Rabett are you?

  78. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    Why do you think they use argon in double glazed windows, Roy?

    It’s not hard to find the answer on sites like this from which I quote …

    ”The introduction of the gas into the cavity of a double glazed unit reduces the heat conductance between the panes, helping to keep more heat in during the winter and out in the summer.”

    Why not use carbon dioxide, Roy? After all, it would send all that back radiation back to the warmer pane of glass.

    Perhaps what we say at Principia Scientific International is not such a joke after all, Roy. Radiating gases, including water vapour, expedite energy loss in the space between double glazed windows, just as they do in the atmospheric space in the troposphere. Energy leap frogs at the speed of light from warmer regions to cooler ones. Whatever back radiation does is clearly dominated by this expedited cooling process of inter-molecular radiation. That’s why moist inland tropical cities have statistically significant cooler temperatures than similar but dry cities, as my study of such cities demonstrates.

    The joke’s on you, Roy. While ever you continue to dish up false assumptions in articles like this.

  79. Mike Flynn says:

    John,

    Not an extraordinary claim, I think. During the early life of the Earth, the atmosphere was probably (according to the geophysicists etc.), in excess of 95% CO2, at around 100 bars or so. As far as I know, there is some scientific dispute about the actual figures involved. The main bone of contention seems to be how long these conditions existed, but between 10 and 100 million years seems to be accepted.

    As you point out, Venus has almost no magnetic field, which supports some theories as to the reasons for the Earth having cooled much further than Venus.

    So, if the Earth’s atmosphere was say, 95% CO2, at a pressure of 100 bars, simple physical considerations show that the mass of the atmosphere at that time was indeed much greater than now.

    Sounds more reasonable to me than non demonstrable CO2 warming powers. The geology people actually analyse rocks and stuff, and carry out experiments to check their assumptions. When faced by wild eyed madness such as the theory that continents can actually move, they eventually change their minds – some more slowly than others. And lo, tectonic plate movement turns out to be true!

    A single experiment showing that you can increase the energy content of an object by surrounding it with CO2 would be a start.

    The “global warming” episode seems to be drawing to a close. I wonder – what’s next?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

      Anyone who would like to read why core temperatures do not keep on cooling indefinitely can read my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” on the Principia Scientific International website – currently in the PROM menu, but soon in the Publications menu.

    • Konrad says:

      Mike,
      Experiment 2 linked to here –
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/how-can-home-insulation-keep-your-house-warmer-when-it-cools-your-house/#comment-76413
      – could be what you are looking for, although it only measures gas temperatures. In this experiment matt black target plates in two insulated test chambers are illuminated with SW. LWIR can escape through the top of the chambers. One chamber is full of air, the other CO2. The gas in each chamber is kept at constant pressure and circulated past a thermocouple and over the target plate. While CO2 can intercept and re-radiate IR from the plate back to the plate, it can also emit as IR through the window of the chamber energy it has acquired through conduction against the plate.

      • Mike Flynn says:

        Konrad,

        Thanks, but such experiments tell me what I already know – CO2 can absorb EMR, and if there is no phase change involved, etc., its temperature will rise.

        So will every other gas in the universe. So will concrete blocks, corpses and gold bars.

        It is interesting, though, that no climatologist can produce even a reference to any experimental evidence to support the nonsensical claim that you can “warm” something by surrounding it with CO2.

        With great respect to Doug Cotton’s thoughts on planetary core temperatures, I beg to differ. The Earth will continue to cool until it is isothermal through its core. This will occur only after all energy from radioactive decay etc. within the Earth is exhausted. This is not guaranteed to occur before the Sun “expires”.

        So – experimental evidence of ” CO2 warming”? Nil, zip, nada, nought, nothing.

        Please spare me the computer modelling – even the modellers can’t agree if the heat is missing or not, and where it’s gone, if it was there in the first place! At least the Warmists reluctantly agree that the “warming” seems to have “paused” or “temporarily plateaued”.

        This will go the way of the universal aether – grand idea, but not necessary to explain observed fact. As with CO2 warming, any experiment set up to show its existence, winds up proving the opposite.

        Once again, thanks for your input.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

        • Konrad says:

          Mike,
          I think you may have missunderstood the point of the experiment. The CO2 chamber heats and cools at the same rate as the air chamber. The cooling effect of the CO2 radiating as IR the energy it has aquired via conduction with the target surface offsets any warming effect.

          In Experiment 2, CO2 does not cause warming. Experiments 3&4 at the same link show why in the real atmosphere radiative gases cause cooling.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Konrad: “Radiative gases cause cooling” – yes exactly what I have written in my paper, where a detailed study of actual real-world temperature data confirms that water vapour cools. So how does the mean surface temperature get up above 290K so that water vapour can then cool it back to the observed temperatures? No amount of experimentation will help you find the reason for this, as explained in my paper. Empirical evidence can easily “prove ” the wrong thing if your theoretical basis is flawed by false assumptions, such as Roy’s assumption that radiating gases act like insulators. Try them in a dual glazed window – and then try argon. The experiments have already been done in real-world commerce. But was it you who said he would never fill a window gap with argon? Not even for an experiment?

          • Konrad says:

            @ Doug.
            “But was it you who said he would never fill a window gap with argon?”
            No. The record of how I responded to your double glazing question was very clear.

            Speaking of clear and unambiguous records, could you please clarify something. Earlier on this thread I indicated that –
            “Radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation.”

            You appear to have responded with –
            “Radiative gases are not essential for tropospheric convection for the reasons explained in my paper.”

            This response did not include the word “circulation”. Could you please clarify this for me with a YES or NO answer to the following question –
            “Are radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation ?”

          • Mike Flynn says:

            Konrad,
            Maybe I looked at the wrong thing.

            I saw the following:

            Experiment 2. Radiative cooling properties of CO2
            “CO2 can both absorb and radiate IR. Some of the energy CO2 is radiating to space is from intercepted outgoing IR from the Earths surface. Most of the net energy CO2 radiates to space is acquired from latent heat from condensing water vapour and conductive contact with the Earths surface. Could the radiation of energy from the atmosphere to space acquired by surface conduction or release of latent heat balance the energy intercepted from surface IR?”

            I guess my statement “A single experiment showing that you can increase the energy content of an object by surrounding it with CO2 would be a start.” May have been too confusing. Sorry.

            It looks like you agree that CO2 “warming” is not supported by experiment. If so, thanks. If not, I am obviously missing something. In any case, thanks for offering assistance.

            Live well and prosper,

            Mike Flynn.

          • Konrad says:

            Mike,
            Yes, that is my position. CO2 emissions cannot cause warming. Experiments 3&4 show why the atmosphere would be far hotter without radiative gases.

            Dr. Spencers position Is that without radiative gases, the top of the atmosphere would be hotter and the lower atmosphere cooler. The experiments show this to be largely incorrect. The bulk of the atmosphere would be far hotter, with a very thin near surface layer cooler over land, but only at night.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            No Konrad, they are not. There is no such convective circulation, because downward convection is much more localised and in fact spreads out in all directions over the thermal plane away from the source of extra thermal energy which is upsetting the thermodynamic equilibrium – such as when night becomes day. What causes the majority of air to return towards the surface is wind generated by the funnel effect, as explained in my paper. There is no convection happening all the way down from the tropopause to the surface in one continuous loop, because during the day, upward convection from the surface generally overpowers any downward adiabatic convection. Wind is not convection.

            I prefer to discuss actual points raised in my paper rather than red herrings, thanks.

      • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

        No Mike.

        There will always be a gravitationally induced thermal gradient in the Earth’s mantle, crust and atmosphere.

        If you wish to dispute what is in my paper, then please don’t just make assertive statements. The physics of “heat creep” is explained therein, and I am prepared to talk physics with you or anyone, but not just argue against assertive statements such as you made above.

        It would be in complete violation of the Second law of Thermodynamics for there to be isothermal rather than isentropic thermodynamic equilibrium in a gravitational field.

        I suggest you go back to basic Kinetic Theory (as used by Einstein) and then follow through what I have written in the 20 page paper which I’m not going to re-write here.

        • Mike Flynn says:

          Doug,

          Wikipedia s the source of egregious nonsense from time to time, but the following statement is reasonable in my view.

          “The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium—the state of maximum entropy. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.”

          One problem with a gravitationally induced thermal gradient is that you can’t demonstrate the effect in the ocean. It seems to get colder as you go deeper, unlike rock or air. I am sure you have an explanation, which you also can’t demonstrate.

          There is a fellow named Graeff, (amongst others), who has even obtained a patent based on this gravitational “effect”. Of course, he doesn’t call it a perpetual motion machine of the second kind, but he claims to be able to create temperature differences in a column of matter, due to gravity.

          Add a thermocouple or two, and hey presto! Free electricity for ever, from gravity.

          May I tactfully point out that thermodynamics does not depend on gravity. Or magnetism. Or any number of other things. The definition of the second law (above) is a bit vague, but sufficient. If you don’t like it, write your own.

          So there it is. Unlike yourself, I don’t refuse to discuss my ideas by demanding that others learn this or that, or read particular documents before I will deign to answer questions.

          I won’t embarrass you by asking questions which I know you can’t answer. Not good form at all.

          Live well and prosper,

          Mike Flynn.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            you can’t demonstrate the effect in the ocean

            Yes you can – see Section 14. Rebuttal of Counter Arguments

            Add a thermocouple or two, and hey presto! Free electricity for ever, from gravity.

            Not so – see Section 14.

            Also see Section 10. Laboratory Evidence for the Gradient

            thermodynamics does not depend on gravity.

            The thermal gradient does, as I have proved. You can’t “point out” anything to me in such a manner. Either discuss the physics or I shall ignore you.

            I have used that definition of the Second Law. I don’t find it at all vague – in fact it is a carefully worded and well established law that cannot be violated anywhere, any time by any independent process. I explain it in considerable detail in both my papers, “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” and “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures.”

            See Section 4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics

            Feel free to ask me any question relating to atmospheric physics.

            So far you haven’t made any valid comment contradicting any statement in my paper – and neither has anyone else in the world.

          • Mike Flynn says:

            Doug,

            This is odd. I appear to be replying to myself. However, I will respond to you.

            1. You can’t demonstrate the effect in the ocea. You still haven’t. You hypothesise that the ocean acts differently to the atmosphere. Your rebuttal does not demonstrate the effect in the ocean. It attempts to explain why the effect is non existent.

            2. Your section 14 is worthless. Are we expected to believe that a thermocouple cannot produce a potential difference because it doesn’t suit your argument? That the Seebeck effect doesn’t apply to gravity generated temperature differences? I don’t, and only the perpetual motion supporters will.

            3. Thermodynamics does not depend on gravity. You haven’t provided any rebuttal of this statement. Saying that your thermal gradient does depend on gravity, merely shows that you don’t accept that you can’t use the second law as justification.

            Graeff’s “experiments” are not useful. Loschmidt has as much credibility as Arrhenius re CO2, or Lord Kelvin re the age of the Earth.

            Good luck with your ideas.

            Live well and prosper,

            Mike Flynn.

          • Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

            Well, you’re mistaken, Mike.

            There is evidence of the thermal gradient in the calm conditions of the Beaufort Sea as I said in Section 14, and provided this link
            http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_4271_f12/lectures/notes_6.pdf

            Obviously you haven’t studied the main sections of the paper from Section 4 through to the one on “heat creep.” Or maybe you just don’t understand how the Second Law automatically dictates, as a direct corollary, that there must be a thermal gradient.

            Prove to me that it would be possible to have an entropy gradient in a gravitational field. Elementary physics shows that it is impossible, yet that’s what you want and need.

            And because you think the surface would have been 255K and then got warmed 33 degrees, you have the greatest dilemma of all to face – namely how can water vapour warm it over 25 degrees when evidence shows it cools by over 5 degrees. You’re tied in knots Mike, but don’t worry, I don’t expect you to acknowledge it.

            In contrast, what I explain with valid physics in detail in 20 pages, fits with all observations of planetary core, mantle, crust and atmospheric temperatures, be they on Earth, Venus or whatever similar planet with an atmosphere.

            So, if you can explain how the necessary thermal energy gets into the surface of Venus by any other means then I’m all ears.

            Go and enjoy my latest article …

            http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/183-the-old-wives-tales-of-climatology.html

          • Mike Flynn says:

            Doug,

            You must have me confused with someone else.

            You state :

            “And because you think the surface would have been 255K and then got warmed 33 degrees, you have the greatest dilemma of all to face – namely how can water vapour warm it over 25 degrees when evidence shows it cools by over 5 degrees. You’re tied in knots Mike, but don’t worry, I don’t expect you to acknowledge it.”

            What in the world are you talking about?

            I have never thought such a thing, nor am I ever likely to. Under what conditions do you imagine the Earth’s surface could possibly cool to an average of 255K? Do you not realise that we live on the congealed surface of an incandescent blob?

            Or am I mistaken. Maybe you think that the Earth was created at 0K, and has warmed to its present temperature by some magical means.

            I don’t.

            Doug, you may wish to actually read what I have said, rather than assume you know what I think.

            Lastly, I thought I had previously given you my thoughts about Venus, but maybe I didn’t . Venus has not cooled as fast as the Earth. If they were both created at the same time, this is a matter purely of observation. Given the Hadean/Archaean atmospheres were similar to present day Venusian conditions, the big question is why the Venusian atmosphere has persisted in its present form for so long.

            This is a question which has no apparent single clear answer. Theories about crustal subduction on the Earth, and subsequent reduction of CO2, might be explained by he apparent differences in the structure of the Venusian core and mantle, compared to those of the Earth.

            You will have to excuse me for not being able to elucidate the precise physical differences between the interiors of Earth and Venus. I confess I do not know.

            I wish I possessed your certainty.

            If you have found Graeff’s experiments useful to you, fine. I haven’t seen any use for them at all, but I may be wrong. With regard to Loschmidt, I do not intend to diminish his brilliance, or his contributions to science. Newton, Carnot, Lord Kelvin, Einstein, and many others, prove concusively that great intellect and foolishness can coexist quite happily. And what’s wrong with hat?

            So once again (finally, I’m off),

            Good luck wih your ideas.

            Live well and prosper,

            Mike Flynn.

          • DJC in your paper you state:
            “So the wire would also develop a thermal gradient which would be
            effective in preventing a continuous flowing cycle of energy.”

            ————
            Unfortunately you have now caused more problems – if the cool junction is pushed by gravity to be at a different (colder or hotter)temperature to the hot junction then you do not have any necessity for the gas/liquid column.

            Just use a tall thermopile and it “would also develop a thermal gradient”
            Thermal gradient across thermopile = voltage and power forever!

            your rebuttal rebutted!?

    • John says:

      Hi Mike,

      In a previous post you claimed to like facts. Let’s review your reply to my post. You wrote:

      “Not an extraordinary claim, I think. During the early life of the Earth, the atmosphere was probably (according to the geophysicists etc.), in excess of 95% CO2, at around 100 bars or so.”

      The substance of your statement comprises mere conjecture, albeit of the geophysicist ilk. Which probably means you should ignore it.

      “As far as I know, there is some scientific dispute about the actual figures involved. The main bone of contention seems to be how long these conditions existed, but between 10 and 100 million years seems to be accepted.”

      A scientific dispute? Really? Who with? Can you name the parties? Have they been tested for alcohol? Seriously, I know you can do better than this.

      Not to be out conjectured, you further opine:

      “So, if the Earth’s atmosphere was say, 95% CO2, at a pressure of 100 bars, simple physical considerations show that the mass of the atmosphere at that time was indeed much greater than now.”

      Hmm! Based on the solid support of two speculative claims, that the Earth’s atmosphere held 95% CO2 and at a pressure of 100 bars you generate an additional deductive hunch! Conan Doyle would be proud.

      You begin to close the reply stating:

      “Sounds more reasonable to me than non demonstrable CO2 warming powers.”

      Finally, a factually valid point. Thank you! Good thing I didn’t hold my breath.

      “The geology people actually analyse rocks and stuff, and carry out experiments to check their assumptions. When faced by wild eyed madness such as the theory that continents can actually move, they eventually change their minds – some more slowly than others. And lo, tectonic plate movement turns out to be true!”

      Very well could be true. Extensive seismic activity throughout the planet following along known geological faults and fissures greatly supports this view. Russians attempting to drill more than 17-20 miles below the Earth’s surface find their equipment melts. Many more facts can be brought up to support this claim. Unfortunately, you didn’t do so.

      Science supposedly comprises merely the facts and laws of nature. Unfortunately, many seem to rely now on their own opinions and the opinions of others including supposed experts to create their reality. Conjecture can lead to important discovery, but doesn’t itself comprise knowledge.

      “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
      Mark Twain

  80. Konrad says:

    @ Doug.

    My question –
    “Are radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation ?”

    Your answer –
    “No Konrad, they are not.”

    Thank you for your clear and unambiguous response.

  81. Doug Cotton (DJC) says:

    To Roy and other silent readers:

    From my experience contending with hundreds, perhaps thousands of bloggers like Mike Flynn, who all have some interest in maintaining the hoax of the greenhouse effect, I usually find that, sooner or later they resort to verbiage and virtual slander when they know that they cannot “compete” in the physics arena.

    For example, I have asked Mike Flynn to explain how the necessary thermal energy gets in the surface of Venus. He knows that he doesn’t know, or he thinks it has something to do with back radiation or pressure. But he really doesn’t have an explanation and valid answer to the question. So, I predict, he will avoid the question like the plague, or just dismiss any argument I put forward (such as “heat creep” in my paper) without any valid physics discussion.

    Notice how many assertive statements Mike just made:

    “Your rebuttal does not demonstrate the effect in the ocean.” (No reasons given or any physics discussion.)

    “Your section 14 is worthless.” (followed by irrelevant discussion of the Seebeck effect and perpetual motion – which my Section 14 proves cannot happen because gradients develop in all gases, solids and liquids.

    “you can’t use the second law as justification.” Well I certainly can and do use the Second Law of Thermodynamics not only as justification but also to prove that an autonomous thermal gradient must develop in order that the law will not be violated. Does Mike think he is God or someone who can over-ride one of the most established law of physics?

    “Graeff’s “experiments” are not useful.” So Roderich Graeff (who has spent a decade or so doing over 800 meticulous experiments) has had them all written off as useless with five words from our all-knowing Mike Flynn ??? I doubt that MF has really studied Graeff’s work, as I have.

    “Free electricity for ever, from gravity.” I have explained in my paper why that naive conclusion does not follow from the fact that gravity induces a thermal gradient. Yet, because Mike doesn’t understand my explanation, or anything much in my paper which of course he hasn’t really studied, then he attempts to mislead you silent readers with the oldest “trick” in the book.

    “Loschmidt has as much credibility as Arrhenius” I would suggest the brilliant physicist, Loschmidt, had a far better understanding of why a thermal gradient must develop in a gravitational field than Mike Flynn will ever have – and a far better grasp of thermodynamics and atmospheric physics. He was a world leader of the times, and has now been shown to have been correct, whereas Maxwell and Boltzmann were mistaken on this issue.

    • Joel Shore says:

      The whole argument about whether or not there would be a lapse rate in the absence of greenhouse gases is irrelevant anyway. The important point to recognize is that the existence of the lapse rate in our current situation does not explain of the fact that the Earth’s surface is warmer than it could be in the absence of an atmosphere that absorbs some of the radiation emitted by the surface. The lapse rate does not get you around having to satisfy energy conservation.

      The lapse rate alone does not determine the surface temperature. To believe that is to believe that if I give you the equation of a line y = m*x + b and tell you that m = -6.5 then you can tell me what y is when x = 0. Of course, you can’t because I would need to tell you what the constant b is too or, equivalently, I would need to tell you the value of y at some particular value of x.

      In practice, the value of the temperature (y) at some value of x (the height) is set by the radiative balance condition that the Earth system must radiate back out into space the same amount of energy as it receives from the sun, and that depends on the radiative properties of the atmosphere. In our current atmosphere, the condition turns out to be that the temperature is 255 K at the effective radiating level of ~5 km above the surface. As greenhouse gases increase, the atmosphere becomes more opaque to IR radiation and the altitude of this effective radiating level increases. Since the temperature at the surface is determined by extrapolation from this level down to the surface using the environmental lapse rate, that surface temperature increases. In other words, adding greenhouse gases increases b in the equation y = m*x + b while keeping m approximately constant. (Actually, because of the dependence of the moist adiabatic lapse rate on temperature, m decreases in magnitude a bit, which means the surface warming is not quite as great as predicted assuming a constant m. This is the so-called “lapse rate feedback”, a negative feedback included in all of the climate models.)

  82. Doug Cotton says:

    The level of incident Solar radiation (adjusted for albedo) sets the level of the thermal plot and then the gravitationally induced thermal gradient in the troposphere must determine the supported surface temperature, because otherwise the laws of physics would be violated and radiative equilibrium disrupted. Inter-molecular radiation between radiating molecules reduces the gradient because it has a temperature levelling effect which works against the gravity effect. This is backed up by evidence that moist regions have cooler mean maximum and minimum daily temperatures than similar but dry regions. You could have read this in my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” and the study of tropical cities in the Appendix thereof.

    However, the rest of my response to you and anyone else is in my paper and a rather lengthy comment Roy which I have just written on his new thread today and which may be published on PSI shortly as an Open Letter to Roy Spencer.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/a-simple-model-of-global-average-surface-temperature/#comment-76950

    • Joel Shore says:

      Doug Cotton “science”: “The level of incident Solar radiation (adjusted for albedo) sets the level of the thermal plot and then the gravitationally induced thermal gradient in the troposphere must determine the supported surface temperature, because otherwise the laws of physics would be violated and radiative equilibrium disrupted.”

      Real science: In the presence of an IR-absorbing atmosphere, the level of incident solar radiation and the lapse rate are not alone sufficient to determine the surface temperature for the reasons that I have explained. It is really as simple as the most basic mathematics: the slope of a line does not uniquely determine the line. In order to not violate the laws of physics, the planet must emit into space the same amount of energy that it receives from the sun…and this is the constraint that determines the temperature at the effective radiating level.

      Doug Cotton “science”: “Inter-molecular radiation between radiating molecules reduces the gradient because it has a temperature levelling effect which works against the gravity effect.”

      Real science: In the absence of convection (i.e., in a purely radiative model of the atmosphere), the lapse rate would be even steeper in the troposphere than it currently is. The role of convection is to drive the lapse rate back down to the appropriate (dry or saturated) adiabatic lapse rate whenever the lapse rate exceeds the adiabatic lapse rate.

      Doug Cotton “science”: “This is backed up by evidence that moist regions have cooler mean maximum and minimum daily temperatures than similar but dry regions.”

      Real science: Moist regions do tend to have cooler maximum temperatures but most often have warmer minimum temperatures than similar but dry regions. This is both because the water vapor’s IR-absorbing (greenhouse gas) properties moderate the temperature swings and because the general presence of water tends to moderate temperature swings (due to its large thermal inertia and large energy associated with phase changes).

      • Doug Cotton says:

        Both the thermal gradient and the overall level of the thermal plot determine the surface temperature, as is quite clearly stated in my paper and comments. You seem to want to leave the gradient out of it altogether, without realising that the gradient causes the thermal plot to rotate about a pivoting altitude (at about 3 to 4Km I estimate using SBL) and thus be lower at the surface end in more moist regions, this explaining the observed 3 to 4 degree lower mean maximum and minimum temperatures where there is a wet adiabatic lapse rate.

        I resent your treating me as some high school student – as I was over 50 years ago.

        As far as I’m concerned, this thread is superseded and I’m not reading here any more. In fact I will only respond to those who have genuine questions about this comment* and those below it on Roy’s latest thread, or my paper.

        * http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/a-simple-model-of-global-average-surface-temperature/#comment-76950

        • Joel Shore says:

          Doug,

          I can’t quite parse what the sentence “the overall level of the thermal plot” means. I also don’t understand from your description why you predict that the temperature will be lower in more moist regions. If the “pivoting altitude” where I assume you are saying temperature is at 255 K is 3-4 km and the lapse rate is less steep in moister regions, then the surface temperature there would be higher, not lower.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            No I am not saying the temperature is 255K at the pivoting altitude, because that’s not what determines that altitude. As I said, you need to use SBL (Stefan-Boltzmann Law) and integrate radiative flux over all altitudes, as well as making an allowance for radiation from the surface through the atmospheric window – all this needs to be taken into account in order to determine the new position (level – the constant b in y = mx + b) for which the area under the plot of radiative flux (not temperature) remains equal on each side of the pivoting altitude. This is the only way radiative balance can eventuate, which it must. Surely you can understand that, if the plot of temperature (related to that of radiative flux via the fourth root of temperature) will also pivot (rotate) with the surface end going down because the absolute value of the gradient gets less with increasing water vapour. You could have worked all this out from my paper, of course.

            Now perhaps you start to understand how dramatically over-simplified are many of the conjectures of the flat-Earth pseudo physics unique to climatology. These simplifications are so absurd and they introduce errors of such magnitude that the whole “model” exercises become totally useless.

  83. Doug Cotton says:

    Correction: fourth root of the radiative flux

  84. Curt says:

    djc: “I will only respond to those who have genuine questions about this comment* and those below it on Roy’s latest thread, or my paper.”

    Hallelujah!

  85. SocietalNorm says:

    The problem with dealing with scientists instead of engineers is that when you give a very simple example of an extremely rough approximation of things, they get down to the tiny details very quickly anyway.

    • Douglas J Cotton  says:

      Science is an exact science in many ways. If we did not have precises statements of law of physics then all kinds of disputes and misunderstandings would occur.

      A good example is the Second Law of Thermodynamics which was originally stated bt Clausius in the mid 19th century, when he believed that heat could only transfer from hot to cold. That’s true in a horizontal plane, and true for radiation, be it vertical or horizontal. However there is an exception for non-radiative processes in a vertical plane in a gravitational field. And that exception is of crucial importance when considering planetary surface temperatures and the mechanisms supporting such temperatures. There’s more on this in my 20 page paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures.”

    • Douglas J Cotton  says:

      (continued)

      The exception mentioned above is now seen to be a corollary of the more comprehensive statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which reads …

      “An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system.”

      So maybe you can see why we physicists need to speak a precise language and think clearly about what happens in the real world.

      • Joel Shore says:

        Doug,

        Here are people who speak a precise language … They actually know statistical mechanics, which underlies thermodynamics, and they use it to rigorously calculate the equilibrium state for an ideal gas in a gravitational field:

        “A Paradox Concerning the Temperature Distribution of a Gas in a Gravitational Field,” C. A. Coombes and H. Laue, American Journal of Physics 53, 272-273 (1985).

        “On a Paradox Concerning the Temperature Distribution of an Ideal Gas in a Gravitational Field,” , S. Velasco, F. L. Roman and J. A. White, European Journal of Physics 17, 43-44 (1996).

        Unlike what you get by a handwaving and confused discussion of entropy, they find that the temperature is uniform in thermodynamic equilibrium.

        Admittedly, this behavior in a gravitational field is subtle (hence the word “paradox”) and so it is not so horrible that you got it wrong. However, what is unacceptable is that you continue to preach your incorrect claims in light of a compelling demonstration to the contrary that you refuse to address.

  86. Konrad says:

    @Joel Shore

    You have been very reluctant to discuss the role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation. Radiative gases are of course critical for continued convective circulation and atmospheric cooling in the troposphere. This has been established science for some time. A simple explanation of the role of radiative gases in convective circulation can be found here –
    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~dib2/climate/tropics.html
    Without radiative cooling at altitude and convective circulation below the tropopause, our atmosphere would heat dramatically.

    However at AGW supporter site Scienceofdoom we find this attempt to write the role of radiative gases in convective circulation out of atmospheric science –
    http://scienceofdoom.com/2012/12/23/clouds-water-vapor-part-five-back-of-the-envelope-calcs-from-pierrehumbert/
    – which includes the following summary of Pierrehumberts wholly un-empirical 1995 claims –
    “So increasing the emissivity from zero (increasing “greenhouse” gases) cools the climate to begin with. Then as the emissivity increases past a certain point the warm pool surface temperatures start to increase again.”

    You have often offered up Pierrehumberts work as justification for the AGW hypothesis, yet every time I have raised the issue of the role of radiative gases in cooling a moving atmosphere you have run back to static atmosphere two shell models. Do you support Pierrehumberts 1995 claims? Is there any other scientist you are aware of making such claims before 1990?

    • Joel Shore says:

      Konrad: I am happy to discuss radiative gases in convective circulation and have explained it several times before – When you add more radiative gases under the current conditions, the condition on convection is determined by the fact that the lapse rate stays very close to the appropriate adiabatic lapse rate. For places where that is the dry adiabatic lapse rate, that means the lapse rate doesn’t change. So, to the first approximation, the new surface temperature is obtained by just saying that the change in surface temperature from before is equal to the change in the height of the effective radiating layer times the lapse rate.

      However, for places where the appropriate lapse rate is the saturated adiabatic lapse rate, that means the lapse rate decreases slightly because the saturated adiabatic lapse rate decreases with increasing temperature. This means that the lapse rate will decrease slightly as the concentration of greenhouse gases increases. This is called the “lapse rate feedback” and is a negative feedback in all of the climate models that has the effect of taking back SOME of the amplification caused by the water vapor feedback.

      But, the net effect of adding greenhouse gases is a warming of the troposphere.