Oceanic Cloud Decrease since 1987 Explains 1/3 of Ocean Heating

October 3rd, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I consider what follows to be potentially very significant…but also very preliminary.

Background
Global warming (including the increase in ocean heat content) is supposedly explained by human greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) reducing the ability of the Earth to cool through infrared radiation to outer space, leading to the observed warming in the last 50 years or so.

My (admittedly minority) view is that some portion of this heating/warming is due to Mother Nature, probably from natural cycles in low cloud cover changing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth. (Why? Well, take your pick…ENSO, PDO, NAO, cosmic rays, etc.).

So, which is it? Are humans keeping the Earth from cooling by reduced infrared energy loss, or is nature causing warming from extra solar energy gain? Or both? I’ve maintained it’s a mixture of both, in unknown proportions.

The answer would be much more obvious if we had accurate measurements of global absorbed sunlight and emitted infrared radiation over a long period of time. But we don’t. What we have, and only since 2000, is reasonably precise measurements of the month-to-month variations in these energy flows (from the NASA CERES instruments)… the absolute accuracies are not good enough to measure the (presumed) anthropogenic heating effect of more CO2 in the atmosphere. The ERBE satellite measurements before that time are rather spotty and much more uncertain.

What we need, if possible, are other observation-based surrogates for global radiative energy flows.

SSM/I Oceanic Cloud Water: A Surrogate for Net Radiative Energy Fluxes Back to 1987
We now have over 25 years of SSM/I (and SSMIS) oceanic cloud water measurements, from Remote Sensing Systems. The monthly departures from average (in percent) through August, 2013 look like this:
SSMI-clw-1987-2013
I’ve compared these cloud water variations to CERES radiative flux variations (both over the global ice-free oceans, between March 2000 and June 2010), and there is a pretty good relationship:
SSMI-clw-1987-2013-vs-CERES-Net-flux
The correlation coefficient is 0.72, and the regression line shown is a 2-way fit.

If we take this regression relationship, and convert the SSM/I cloud water variations in the original plot to Net radiative flux variations, we get the following plot:
SSMI-clw-1987-2013-convert-to-CERES-Net
Now we can sum up these monthly average flux variations over time, and over the area of the global ice-free oceans (~341 million sq. km.), to get energy accumulation in 10**22 Joules, and compare it to one estimate of the increase in ocean heat content:
SSMI-clw-Net-flux-energy-accum-vs-Levitus-OHC

Taken at face value, this plot shows that about 1/3 of ocean heating over the 20-year period from 1990-2010 can be accounted for just based upon a change in oceanic cloud cover alone, probably a decrease in low clouds. (I say probably a decrease in low clouds because the SSM/I and SSMIS instruments only measure cloud water, not cloud ice which is transparent at the 19.35 and 37 GHz microwave frequencies. The CERES comparison I did vs. cloud water showed that most of the relationship was in the reflected shortwave [sunlight], not emitted longwave [infrared], which is consistent with a low-cloud effect rather than high-cloud.)

What Does All This Mean?
I think it is additional evidence that natural cloud variations cause multi-decadal time scale climate change.

But how do we know that this isn’t just positive cloud feedback on human-caused warming? Well, first of all there has been virtually no surface warming over this period of time, and cloud feedback is (by definition) in response to surface temperature.

Secondly, since about 2010 we see there has been an abrupt reversal in the trend of ocean energy accumulation…basically wiping out the energy accumulation caused by the previous 20 years of reduced cloudiness. Did positive cloud feedback suddenly change to negative cloud feedback? Seems hard to believe.

The more logical explanation is that there are natural cycles in cloud cover which cause multi-decadal periods of global warming or global cooling.

It will be interesting to see if the SSM/I-inferred changes in Net radiative flux after 2010 are supported with more recent CERES data (my CERES dataset only extends through June 2010). I doubt that it will be, at least to this large an extent, but who knows?

So what does this portend for the future? Well, there are (as always) different possibilities. The first that comes to mind is (again taken at face value), since the supposed warming effects of increasing CO2 are still twice the size of these cloud effects, if clouds are switching from augmenting anthropogenic warming to mitigating it, then what we might be seeing is a new period of reduced heating of the global oceans, as well as a continued plateau in global surface temperatures. The timing roughly coincides with the recent switch of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) to its negative phase. This is just one possibility, and I’m sure readers here can suggest others.

Anyway, this is all very new, and seldom in my work has the final analysis ended up as clear cut as the initial analysis suggested. I don’t know when (or if) I’ll have time to do a careful evaluation of the results and submit them for publication. But I thought I would throw these results out there for discussion anyway.

Supplementary Evidence on Cloud Feedback
Since my discussion of clouds as ‘forcing’ versus ‘feedback’ is admittedly not very convincing, here is a lag regression plot of SSM/I cloud water versus HadSST3 sea surface temperatures during July 1987 thru August 2013. What it suggests, at least for year-to-year variability, is that a decrease in clouds tends to contribute to ocean warming, then clouds increase in response to that warming, leading to surface cooling:
SSMI-clw-1987-2013-vs-HadSST3-lag-regression


151 Responses to “Oceanic Cloud Decrease since 1987 Explains 1/3 of Ocean Heating”

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  1. I like the “accumulated energy from cloud changes” graph; it is similar in concept to “sunspot time integral” graph, which largely explains temperature observations since 1850

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/08/natural-climate-change-has-been-hiding.html

  2. Surface-based data shows a 6.6 Wm-2 per decade increase in solar shortwave over the period 1996-2011, primarily due to decreasing cloud cover, which is 4.4 times greater than the alleged greenhouse forcing over that period.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-paper-finds-increase-in-us-sunshine.html

    How does this compare to your data?

    Seems to me that essentially all of the recent ocean heating has to be due to global brightening since the forcing is much greater than alleged for GHGs, and longwave radiation from GHGs cannot warm the oceans anyway

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/09/realclimate-admits-doubling-co2-could.html

    • Yes, I like that first paper…even though it’s only for the U.S., it’s based upon real measurements of sunlight at the surface. A decadal change of 8 W/m2 is large, and the fact that there wasn’t a resulting warming suggests the system is strongly regulated.

      • D'Avila Tarcisio says:

        8w/m^2 in 12 hours of sunshine evaporates only 153 grams of water.
        Soil water is missing. Look in the drought in this period.

      • B Parsons says:

        I have been waiting for your comments of the Nature article I posted the link to some days ago, which successfully hindcasted the current temperatures once the real ocean temperatures from the Pacific were used. As I am sure you know, the top ten meters of the ocean contains as much energy as the entire atmosphere, so I do think this sidetrack article of yours on the possible positive and negative feedbacks of clouds is dodging the real accomplishment of this new model. Yet you have chosen to ignore what is the best current explanation of the observed temperature. But as I have said before the temperature of the atmosphere is a bit of a red herring, it is what is going on in the ocean that matters. In the same issue of Nature there was another article on the mixing of different temperature layers of ocean waters, and how that mixing is influenced by the roughness of the bottom. You always say you are a hardworking scientist, please take the time to read the important papers in the current literature. Regards

  3. That is entirely consistent with my New Climate Model which suggests that the initial change in cloud cover is driven by variations in solar activity altering the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles so as to alter the proportion of ToA insolation able to enter the oceans.

    Full description here:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/new-climate-model/

    The effect of the changes in cloud cover is to skew ENSO in favour of warming El Ninos when the sun is active and in favour of cooling La Ninas when the sun is inactive.

    Note, however, that the solar effect lies behind the 60 year Pacific Multidecadal oscillation so as to produce upward temperature stepping from one 30 year warm phase to the next (LIA to date) and presumably downward temperature stepping from one 30 year cool phase to the next (MWP to LIA.

    As far as I can tell that scenario fits a wide range of observations rather well and could account for a lot more than one third of observed climate variability.

  4. I see from Roy’s data that there is an inflection point at about 2000 when both cloudiness began to increase and the ocean heat trend changed from accumulation to loss.

    That coincides with the beginning of the trend to more meridional jet stream tracks and thus more clouds reducing the amount of ToA insolation getting into the oceans.

    It appears from another paper that I saw somewhere that the time for oceanic lags affecting the climate system is about ten years so only since around 2010 should the ocean heat trend fully reverse and I see that that is exactly when Roy’s data does show a reverse.

    May I suggest numbering the Figs. in the head post for easier reference?

    • Chic Bowdrie says:

      I am looking at the same graphs you are? At around 2000, cloudiness is decreasing and ocean heat is accumulating, the reverse of what you said. If I’m not interpreting the data correctly, could you explain and clarify the jet stream trend coincidence?

      Also, can you please cite the reference for the paper on a 10 year oceanic lag time?

      • Chic,

        Should have said that around 2000 the rate of accumulation of ocean heat content started to decline. It didn’t become a net loss until 2010.

        Can’t find the paper about the 10 year lag but just rely on observations.

        The 1997/8 El Nino gave a record 2007 Arctic sea ice loss and the 2002/3 El Nino gave another in 2012.

        Then allow a couple more years for the heat to leave the Arctic Basin.

        We can’t rely on papers because all this stuff is at the edge of knowledge.

      • For the jet stream trend ‘coincidence’ you will have to await new data. No one has a firm grip on that as far as I know.

        Although I’ve been going on about it since 2008 (having first noticed the change around 2000) it is only now that we see some recognition of the change to more meridional jets in recent years.

        I don’t expect to convince anyone at this stage. I’m just putting it out there for future reference.

  5. I would suggest seeing if it’s possible to come up with a 3 dimensional plot of ocean surface temperature, amount of cloud water, and area covered by watery clouds. Two other ideas in my head are plotting the ratio of cloud area to cloud water as a function of time, and ratio of cloud area to cloud water as a function of ocean surface temperature.

    Something else: Look for how ocean temperature responds to the particular cloud water change that is in response to a recent prior ocean temperature change.

    Maybe, examine this over a period limited to the positive PDO phase. The negative PDO phase, as you said, is causing the oceans to lose heat, probably through an increase of cloud cover likely associated with increased cloud cover.

    Goal: To determine how much or how little the cloud water increase caused by warming results in clouds covering more area, and also being more concentrated. To somewhat distill the cloud albedo feedback.

    I see a possibility it could be slightly positive feedback to warming caused by increase of greenhouse gases. I see the possibility that watery clouds would get less stratiform as the lapse rate increases. Updrafting cloudy areas would get smaller as the clouds get more efficient at updrafting, due to increase of lapse rate and absolute humidity. The largely clear area covered by corresponding downdrafts would increase. Clear humid areas may get more prone to being sucked in by increasingly efficient convective storms, causing clear troposphere to be more likely to not have high RH.

    One consequence I see of this, is that global tropospheric relative humidity would decrease, likely making the water vapor feedback less positive than it would be with constant global tropospheric relative humidity.

  6. Wilson says:

    What changed the clouds? Some statistical analysis would provide more confidence.

  7. Wilson says:

    I notice you only plot OHC to 2010. The latest data http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ continues to show an increase in heat whilst cloud is decreasing. That doesn’t seem to fit your theory.

    But again, thorough analysis will show the relation and that’s what is required in order to publish.

    • The current neutral/weak La Nina conditions are adding energy to the oceans despite more clouds (La Nina is a recharge process).

      The point though is that the power of the recharge is lower than it was when cloudiness was less so the energy for the next El Nino is depleted and the next El Nino will be weaker relative to the La Nina which will follow it.

      The process takes decades to work through the system so I do not expect early confirmation.

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    Hi Roy: I believe you’ll also find that temporary La Nina-caused reductions in cloud cover are also responsible for most of the warming of Ocean Heat Content in the tropical Pacific:
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/figure-7-32.png

    Regards

    • Bob Tisdale says:

      Further to the above: There should be a big drop in cloud cover along the western equatorial Pacific during the 1995/96 La Nina and a moderate reduction during the recharge phase of the 1998-01 La Nina.

      Regards

  9. ren says:

    Is the stratosphere could cool the troposphere? Absolutely, in a simple way. During the winter polar vortex lock in the stratosphere there is a continuous exchange of air in the troposphere between the high and medium latitudes. Jet stream pulls col systems in north-south direction. An example of the current system in the U.S..

  10. Rob de Vos says:

    Elaborating on the solar radiation increase in the USA: in De Bilt (Netherlands) incoming shortwave radiation increased from 108 W/m2 to 118 W/m2 between 1985 -2010 (data ClimateExplorer). Van Beelen & Van Delden think that the cause of this spectacular increase in solar radiation is a strong brightening in the Netherlands due to lower aerosol concentrations http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~delde102/CleanerAirBetterViewsMoreSunshine.pdf .
    However, surface temperatures in De Bilt did not increase for 20 years now. What could that “strong system regulation” be, an effective increase in evapotranspiration?

  11. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Knowing that ENSO is not limited to the index.
    It seems that there is a decadal ENSO in the depths of the equatorial Pacific.
    I see a decadal ENSO in the atmosphere.
    Typically. The tail is not shakes the dog.
    But. Here is Planet Earth.

    http://s1195.photobucket.com/user/MAFILI/media/g20131004_0636_2781_1_zps8153dc28.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    http://s1195.photobucket.com/user/MAFILI/media/g20131004_0631_1826_1_zps2679be40.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mjo/graphics/region.ts.dateline.small.gif

    http://cawcr.gov.au/staff/mwheeler/maproom/OLR/ARCHIVE/map.3mths/19950701.gif

  12. Clive Best says:

    The more logical explanation is that there are natural cycles in cloud cover which cause multi-decadal periods of global warming or global cooling.

    I think this is the key point. Are clouds a feedback to global warming or can they also be an independent “natural” forcing ?

    All CMIP5 models treat clouds as being just feedback to CO2 driven global warming. There are two effects AFAIK proposed for positive cloud feedback to warming.

    1. Fixed cloud top temperature ~ 200K for Anvil convective clouds. This is a positive feedback since IR cloud radiation to space is fixed as the surface warms.
    2. Less low level clouds (low confidence).

    However cloud feedback is the largest uncertainty in models and net negative feedback is certainly not ruled out. Supposing however that cloud cover changes are also driven by natural phenomena. CERES measures the global mean effect of clouds to be a cooling of ~21W/m2. If global cloud cover were to reduce by just 2% then the radiative forcing is about the same as that from CO2 increases since 1950. Similarly if cloud cover increases slightly by natural variation the cooling effect offsets AGW. I am convinced that this is the real reason for the hiatus in global warming since 1998.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      I agree.

    • Chic Bowdrie says:

      Isn’t there room then for the possibility that cloud cover changes could account for ALL temperature fluctuation period? Especially since radiative forcing from CO2 is still an unverified hypothesis for global warming.

  13. Greg Goodman says:

    Hi Dr Spencer.

    “The correlation coefficient is 0.72, and the regression line shown is a 2-way fit.”

    I recall we had brief exchange about the need to do this when you did a similar thing a couple of year back. I’m glad the exchange was useful and you decided it should be applied.

    Most people would not have noticed the three tiny words “2-way fit”, so I’ll just add that this is because both variables have significant error/uncertainty and so the simple linear regression methods are invalid for scatter plots. It will always under-estimate the true “best estimation” of the slope.

    It’s a huge subject with no simple answers. One solution is do the regression then flip the axes and do it again. Then take some average or bisect the angle between them.

    It would be interesting to see what effect this would have of stuff like Dessler 2010 , Lindzen & Choi 2011 estimations of climate sensitivity. The erroneous lesser slope would lead to a greater CS.
    (L&C data was a lot tigher so probalby less of an issue.)

    Just out of interest what method was used here?

    Best regards.

    • Paul Vaughan says:

      “simple linear regression methods are invalid for scatter plots”

      WTF? C’mon Greg. I know what you’re trying to say, but it sure is coming out wrong.

      • Greg Goodman says:

        Well if you agree I’m basically right but think I said it the wrong way perhaps you could help clarify.

        I’m glad Roy is on the ball with this but I see paper after paper after paper making the same basic error.

        Help me say it better, it needs to be heard.

        • Paul Vaughan says:

          Context matters. Objective?
          Predicting y.hat from x?
          Predicting x.hat from y?
          Multivariate data reduction?
          Beware false generalization is all. If it’s not clear what I’m saying from this much better do some residuals plots… (all i’ve time for too busy always… cheers!! (maybe revisit some future month…))

  14. wayne says:

    “… it’s a mixture of both, in unknown proportions.”

    Now Roy, you are bringing TWO effects into play at the same time and IIRC that is definitely against the IPCC rules in current climate science. You naughty rule breaker! What in the world are doing? What I gather is questioning nature, thinking, doing real science… other players will say naughty. I can already hear the cries of “FOUL” in the background.

    Well keep it up, this current game is all but over. But I think the rules of the next game should allow as many simultaneous effects as necessary but no one to date has been able to model a game in all of the chaos that such rule would bring.

    More seriously: “I consider what follows to be potentially very significant…”, I agree.

  15. ren says:

    It seems that the clouds are low because of the large surface area are of great importance in cooling the ocean.
    http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MSG/PRODUCTS/CLA/LCDC/index.htm
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL047036.pdf

  16. I agree with Stephen. In addition visible light from the sun can penetrate the oceans to depths of a 100 meters, in contrast to infrared radiation which can only penetrate the oceans to a depth of 1 mm.

    Seems co2 /infrared radiation versus ocean heat content are non players.

  17. Chas says:

    The initial scatter plot shows hints of being non-linear to my eyes: Above +2% cloud water variation there appears to be little or no reduction in forcing.
    Might a second order polynomial fit the data a little better and at the same time produce a less anomalous post-2010 energy accumulation?

    • Chas says:

      Perhaps a ‘broken stick’ type line would be better?
      I have had a go using data points grabbed from your charts:
      Splitting the data at +2% CWV the two way fit has a slope ~20% steeper than before. Then re-setting all CWV over 2%, to 2%. I get a contribution from clouds that is nearly double that of the simple two way straight line fit.

  18. steve says:

    The natural cycles in cloud cover I bet come from magnetic field of sun influencing how much cosmic radiation reaches earth. Because of the oceans it takes a long time , decades in fact, for the clouds to affect temperature.

    I’m pretty sure svensmark believes this.

  19. IanH says:

    I like the analysis, as others have mentioned Willis is doing something similar on CA at the moment.

    Regarding the accumulation (or not) of heat in the deep ocean, isn’t it the case that certainly friendly governments have a network of listening devices across the oceans, surely they would capture temperature information as that’s useful for any sonic monitoring.

  20. Ned Nikolov says:

    Finally, as I have been saying for the past 2.5 years, changes in cloud cover and cloud albedo are the SOLE driving mechanisms of surface temperature variations on decadal to centennial time scales. There is NO ‘mixed signal’ of anthropocentric and natural drivers. It’s all natural and all driven by solar magnetic activity… Calculations based on our most recent planet-temperature model show that the equilibrium sensitivity of Earth’s average surface temperature to changes in planetary albedo (i.e. cloud albedo) is -1.02 C per 1% albedo change. So, the observed global warming of about 1.2 C since 1650 is most likely due to a decrease of Earth’s albedo from 0.31 to today’s 0.298 (this is explained in an upcoming paper). Likewise, satellite data indicate that the flattening of global temperature change for the past 13 years was caused by sharp increase in low-level clouds in year 2000.

    This relatively high sensitivity of Earth’s temperature to labedo change implies that a fairly accurate estimate of the average annual planetary albedo is needed in order to conclusively explain observed temperature changes with albedo variations. Climate models are light years away from being able to simulate correctly such fine variations in clobal cloud cover and cloud albedo …

    • Brian H says:

      Is “labedo” the Earth’s equivalent of “libido”?

    • Hi Ned.

      The only proviso I would suggest is that atmospheric composition changes would affect the global air circulation and therefore global cloudiness and albedo just as would the solar induced changes.

      It is just that such composition changes from our emissions of CO2 would be imperceptible compared to the natural variations in global albedo caused by solar and oceanic variations.

      Consider too that it all comes down to compositional changes in the end anyway.

      The sun affects cloudiness from above via chemical interactions that change the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere above the tropopause and the oceans affect cloudiness from below via changes in the amount of water vapour that change the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere below the tropopause.

      The temperature of the planet is then stabilised by the dynamic interaction between those top down and bottom up forcing elements affecting the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles and it is that which adjusts the energy flow through the system to maintain stability.

      Thus my previous point that composition changes only affect circulation and not system energy content. The system energy content is set only by mass, gravity and insolation.

      The shape of the atmospheric circulation for any given planet is thus determined by composition and the shape of that circulation changes with changes in composition.

      Albedo is determined by the circulation. If there were no water as on Earth the necessary circulation changes would have to alter albedo in some other way. On Mars the circulation gets violent enough to kick up planet wide dust storms which carry out the necessary albedo changes to keep the Mars atmosphere in place.

      Each planet has its own means of allowing the atmospheric circulation to adjust albedo as necessary and it is the composition of the planet and atmosphere which dictate how it must be achieved.

      • Ned Nikolov says:

        Stephen,

        Think about why Earth’s atmosphere is so much richer in water vapor and oxygen compared to atmospheres of Venus and mars for example? … It’s the thermal content of the atmosphere that determines to a large extent the atmospheric composition. Circulation is also driven by energy content. Atmospheric composition has really no impact on any aspect of the climate system. Composition is more of a consequence of the climate system rather than a driver … If Earth is moved beyond 1.15 AU distance from the Sun, the water vapor will pretty much disappear from the atmosphere because all liquid water will be locked in ice (of course there might be some ice sublimation going on). Oxygen concentration would also fall considerably, since there wont be much water vapor available to produce it through Sun’s UV splitting, and there wont be any green photosynthesis either. Similar changes in atmospheric composition will likely occur if the current Earth looses 60-70% of its atmospheric mass, since this will also cause a global ice age even at the present distance from the Sun…

        • Thanks for your reply, Ned.

          You said:

          “It’s the thermal content of the atmosphere that determines to a large extent the atmospheric composition. Circulation is also driven by energy content.”

          Perhaps we should say that the influence of added thermal energy (via insolation) on the material at the surface will partly depend on composition and the circulation required to achieve ToA energy balance will then be a consequence of that composition.

          That seems to me to bridge the gap between our words.

          A watery world develops an entirely different circulation to that of a dry world but the outcome (ToA energy balance) is the same at whatever distance from the source of irradiation.

  21. Brian H says:

    Roy, in your final graph, is that about a 4-month lag between SST and cloud water? That would be the mechanism for a negative feedback with some odd seasonal properties.

  22. Thanks Roy, great analysis.

    When I calculated the forcing required to get the steric change in sea level claimed by Colorado’s satellite altimetry in the ’93-’03 decade it came out at 4W/m^2.

    Colorado’s satellite altimetry is calibrated to estimates of OHC change which are too high, due to an uncorrected maths error in Levitus 2000 (Ask James Annan).

    Later Levitus papers toned it down a bit, in order to peg OHC to the claimed extra co2 radiative forcing, but it’s still too high. EUMETSTAT altimetry is nearer the truth, and showed a fall in sea level from 2007 (now offline).

    The latest Levitus paper drops ARGO buoys which show more cooling than Sid Levitus thinks they should, (See Pielke Sr).

    The really relevant study is by Peter Berenyi on my blog, which uses CERES data and the Loehle ARGO analysis to show that ‘the missing heat’ already left the building, and is now somewhere past alpha Centauri.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/working-out-where-the-energy-goes-part-2-peter-berenyi/

  23. mwhite says:

    “ALL-CLEAR IN THE STRATOSPHERE: Earth’s stratosphere is as clear as it’s been in more than 50 years.”

    http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=19&month=12&year=2010

    Note. the Moon

    Dirty in 1992, Clear in 2003

    Things start to warm around 1990 plus/minus 5 years

  24. M D Mill says:

    Roy:
    How much lag was used to plot cloud water versus net flux in fig.2? Was it zero. Could it not be anything from +18 month lag(clouds caused by slow warming) to 1 month lead(natural variable clouds effect net flux almost instantly); depending on cause versus effect scenarios, and assuming your interpretation of the last phase plot is correct. Wouldn’t this effect the result, and isn’t this a big source of uncertainty? Might it be best to find the lead/lag that produces the highest correlation coefficient?
    Similarily, could you not “easily” perform a 12 month or 24 month running average on the data before your analysis, to reduce these effects of phase, and other spurious noise?
    If your results are valid the final results should not be effected by the smoothing(although error bars may be).
    Regards… M D Mill

  25. marcelo says:

    Hola,

    “the ability of the Earth to cool through infrared radiation to outer space.”
    Interesting concept you have here ,but tell me,with who or what the exchange take place.since the energy goes but there is nobody to receive it out there.

    • nigel says:

      Just the same as starlight. Travels indefinitely
      through space unless it meets up with something.
      Most people (not all) think EM radiation does not
      lose energy while it travels.

      Incidentally, EM radiation has no heat content, and no temperature (unless, perhaps, constrained in a cavity).
      In some (completely unknown way*) it transmits energy.

      *used to be thought it was an elastic strain of the ether.

  26. Ken Gregory says:

    The analysis suggests either the cloud water data is wrong or the ocean heat data is wrong (or both). The 0 to 2000 m ocean heat data here:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png
    shows a large increase in 2010 thru 2013, but the cloud data shows positive anomalies in this period, implying ocean heat should not have increased.

    The simulated net radiative flux from CLW in negative from 2010. How do we reconcile this with the OHC data? How can the OHC data be so wrong?!

    The 0 to 700 m OHC data:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png
    shows a huge increase in 2003 (during the ARGO deployment) but the CLW data shows no corresponding change, which seems impossible.

    • torontoann says:

      “ocean heat data…shows a huge increase…”

      No it doesn’t. That is merely the estimated amount of heat
      going into the ocean – which is uterly miniscule in comparison
      with the heat already there.

      Heat going into the near-by heat sink? That is exactly what
      is SUPPOSED to happen with a cooling system in place.

  27. Ken Gregory says:

    Rog Tallbloke says:October 5, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    EUMETSTAT altimetry is nearer the truth, and showed a fall in sea level from 2007 (now offline).

    The Envisat data is at:
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Sea_Level_Envisat.jpg

    from
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Climate_Change_Science.html#Sea_Level

    It shows a significant sea level decline in 2010 and 2011, consistent with the cloud water anomaly graph.

  28. Gordon Robertson says:

    Whereas I appreciate Roy’s observations on clouds, I don’t think we understand atmospheric warming well enough to make assumptions about greenhouse warming or the presumed mechanisms behind AGW.

    Roy said, “Global warming (including the increase in ocean heat content) is supposedly explained by human greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) reducing the ability of the Earth to cool through infrared radiation….”. I took note of the word ‘supposedly’.

    Craig Bohren, a physicist/meteorologist, assessed that theory as a metaphor at best, and at worst, plain silly. It’s painfully obvious using preliminary ratios that CO2 is far too rare to collect enough IR to make a difference. Bohren implied that the interaction of infrared and GHGs was far too complex to reduce it to the metaphor of a heat trapping blanket.

    Bohren gave more credence to the alternate AGW theory that back-radiation from GHGs was warming the surface and causing more water vapour to be released into the atmosphere, producing a positive feedback effect. However, he noted that it too was a model, not fact.

    In a recent article, Roy used the 2nd law of thermodynamics to infer that ocean warming could not raise atmospheric temperatures drastically. However, in past articles, Roy has staunchly defended his view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface, presumably to warm it beyond what it is warmed by solar radiation. To be fair, Roy did not imply the latter but the AGW crowd sure have.

    That is a direct contravention of the 2nd law. Clausius, who wrote the law, claimed that heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body under normal means. He meant that external power would be required, as in a refrigerator, to transfer heat from a cooler region to a warmer region.

    Clausius addressed the problem of a warmer and a cooler body exchanging radiation. He acknowledged that radiation was exchanged but that heat was only transferred from the warmer body to the cooler body. The key here is that infrared energy is not heat. Therefore, absorbing IR with GHGs does not necessarily translate to trapping heat.

    Heat is a measure of the kinetic energy in a gas. Raising the temperature raises the kinetic energy and the gas becomes hotter. Absorbing IR can warm a gas but apparently that is dependent on the source of the IR. According to Clausius, IR from a cooler body does not have the intensity (or maybe it’s the frequency) to raise the temperature of a hotter gas or body.

    • Christopher Game says:

      Gordon Robertson, Dr Spencer has NOT remotely “defended the view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface”. That you say he did so practically destroys your credibility at a stroke. Whether you don’t understand what he wrote, or whether you are misreading or misquoting it, your comment shows you lack credibility in this area. Your further comments about heat are not clear, but they suggest that you do not understand the basics of the theory of heat; your comments suggest you have a muddled take on the subject, half-remembered or half-learnt. Your comments about Craig Bohren’s thoughts are also muddle-headed.

      • Arfur Bryant says:

        ["Dr Spencer has NOT remotely “defended the view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface”."]

        This disagreement should be easy to clear up…

        Dr Spencer,

        Do you, or do you not agree that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface?

        • Christopher Game says:

          Arfur Bryant, it seems that you too have a muddle-headed reading of what Dr Spencer says. As with Gordon Robertson, this is gravely deleterious to your credibility in this area.

          To discuss the physics of heat, one needs a sound and consistent conceptual framework or theoretical formalism. The physics of heat is not something that can be understood without an understanding of a wider area of physics.

          One customary approach to the physics of heat is in the subject of thermodynamics. In thermodynamics, one considers transfers of quantities between systems or bodies. Heat in thermodynamics is defined as a quantity of energy transferred from one system to another by a mechanism other than transfer of matter or transfer of energy as work. In a customary approximation, both systems are considered to be bodies that have their respective temperatures in the initial and final states of the transfer. In this case, heat refers to quantity of energy transferred due solely to temperature difference between the bodies.

          With radiant heat transfer, one should take care to distinguish (a) quantity of energy transferred as heat between the bodies, from (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between the bodies. The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as heat. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as heat.

          • Kristian says:

            “With radiant heat transfer, one should take care to distinguish (a) quantity of energy transferred as heat between the bodies, from (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between the bodies. The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as heat. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as heat.”

            What Spencer (and most other people) seem to promote is the idea that what you call the ‘distinct respective virtual quantity of energy’ assumed to go in the direction from the cool atmosphere down to the warm surface, causes the surface temperature to rise. He adds an ‘extra’ flux of energy coming in to the surface, a flux that apparently wouldn’t be there in the absence of so-called GHGs in the atmosphere. And this flux alone is responsible for the rise in surface temperature. Producing an effect exactly as if it were a HEAT flux.

            The exchange concept doesn’t generate warming of the warmer object by way of reducing energy exiting from it. It generates warming of the warmer object by adding an ‘extra’ energy flux coming in to it.

            What you need to distinguish between is a warmer object already constantly heated by a heat source and a warmer object without a constant supply of heat to maintain its temperature, thus cooling.

            A cooler adjacent object will be able under the right circumstances to reduce the radiative cooling rate of the latter warmer object during such cooling, and to increase the radiative heating rate during such heating.

            That same cooler adjacent object will however never be able to make the former warmer object warmer by radiation than what it ends up being after equilibrating with its constant heat source.

            The constant heat source is what sets and maintains the temperature of the latter warmer object. Nothing else. Until an even hotter, more powerful heat source comes along.

            The heat going out from the surface of this constantly heated warmer object after equilibration will always remain as constant as the heat supply.

            How much of this heat flux goes into heating the cooler object adjacent to it is however determined by that object’s temperature at any one time. The closer it gets to the temperature of the warmer object, the slower its rate of further heating, not because it does no longer absorb the heat flux coming in from the warmer object at the same rate, but because it sheds its own heat at the same time at a faster and faster pace upon getting warmer and warmer. At equal temperatures, the originally cooler object absorbs and emits equal amounts of radiative heat, and therefore it cannot get any warmer. But the originally warmer object is still what sustains its temperature, still being its source of heat. The equilibirum is a dynamic one.

          • Arfur Bryant says:

            Christopher Game,

            ["Arfur Bryant, it seems that you too have a muddle-headed reading of what Dr Spencer says. As with Gordon Robertson, this is gravely deleterious to your credibility in this area."]

            Firstly, I asked Dr Spencer a simple and direct question, not you. You choose to answer for him and it is not your place.

            So you can stop with the sanctimonious bull. It means nothing to me.

            I don’t care what you think of my scientific understanding. I get by quite well enough thanks.

            I do care to find out if Dr Spencer thinks that CO2 back-radaition can cause the surface temperature to increase.

            Simple and direct. Not for you. This is fundamental to the cAGW debate. If Dr Spencer chooses not to answer, that is his prerogative.

          • Ball4 says:

            Kristian 7:40am – I took the time to translate your post into modern science:

            “heat” becomes thermal energy
            “cooler” object becomes lower temperature object
            “warmer” object becomes higher temperature object
            “warming(or heating)/cooling” object becomes increasing/decreasing temperature of object

            Partly because energy, temperature have units, can be measured, partly to see if I could make some sort of sense of Kristian’s post. It worked; easily now even Kristian should see the confusion Kristian has. Note: I use Kristian as an example, many others can make posts more easily parsable too by using thermal energy & temperature terms exclusively (no heat term or warming term). Energy (being the conserved quantity) and temperature having agreed units that can be easily measured in a Dr. Spencer experiment.

            Kristian confusion reduction hint, note 2nd term that Dr. Spencer always mentions esp. in his experimental systems:

            energy into system – energy out of system = m*Cp*DT/dt from 1st law.

            ******

            “With radiant thermal energy transfer, one should take care to distinguish (a) quantity of energy transferred as thermal energy between the bodies, from (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between the bodies. The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as thermal energy. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as thermal energy.”

            What Spencer (and most other people) seem to promote is the idea that what you call the ‘distinct respective virtual quantity of energy’ assumed to go in the direction from the lower temperature atmosphere down to the higher temperature surface, causes the surface temperature to rise. (Spencer) adds an ‘extra’ flux of energy coming in to the surface, an energy flux that apparently wouldn’t be there in the absence of so-called IR active gases in the atmosphere. And this energy flux alone is responsible for the rise in surface temperature. Producing an effect exactly as if it were a flux from higher thermal energy to lower thermal energy.

            The exchange concept doesn’t generate an increase of temperature of the higher temperature object by way of reducing energy exiting from it. It generates an increase of temperature of the higher temperature object by adding an ‘extra’ energy flux coming in to it.

            What you need to distinguish between is a higher temperature object already constantly increased in temperature by a thermal energy source and an increased temperature object without a constant supply of thermal energy to maintain its temperature, thus decreasing in temperature.

            A lower temperature adjacent object will be able under the right circumstances to reduce the radiative temperature lowering rate of the latter increased temperature object during such reducing of temperature, and to increase the radiative temperature increasing rate during such raising of temperature.

            That same lower temperature adjacent object will however never be able to make the former higher temperature object increase its temperature by radiation than what it ends up being after equilibrating with its constant thermal energy source.

            The constant thermal energy source is what sets and maintains the temperature of the latter higher temperature object. Nothing else. Until an even higher temperature, more powerful thermal energy source comes along.

            The thermal energy going out from the surface of this constantly thermal energy fluxed increased temperature object after equilibration will always remain as constant as the thermal energy supply.

            How much of this thermal energy flux goes into increasing the temperature of the cooler object adjacent to it is however determined by that object’s temperature at any one time. The closer it gets to the temperature of the increased temperature object, the slower its rate of further increase in temperature, not because it does no longer absorb the thermal energy flux coming in from the higher temperature object at the same rate, but because it sheds its own thermal energy at the same time at a faster and faster pace upon getting higher in temperature and higher in temperature. At equal temperatures, the originally lower temperature object absorbs and emits equal amounts of radiative thermal energy, and therefore it cannot get any increase in temperature. But the originally increased temperature object is still what sustains its temperature, still being its source of thermal energy. The equilibrium is a dynamic one.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Let us imagine a volume of atmosphere above an area of ground, the average temperature of the atmosphere being some reference degree lower than that of the ground. Let us denote by A the rate of absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere of infrared radiation that is emitted by the ground, and let us denote by E the rate of emission of infrared radiation by the atmosphere that is absorbed by the ground. Let us start with some reference concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

            Then A > E, and near enough let us say A / E = 1.03. Energy is passing as heat from the ground to the atmosphere.

            Now, with the temperature difference still the same, let the concentration of CO2 be increased. Then A and E are added to by respective increments δA and δE, which according to Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation are in the same proportion as A and E.

            So, likewise, now also δA > δE, and δA / δE = 1.03. More energy is temporarily passing as heat from ground to atmosphere.

            Gradually the atmosphere responds to this by increasing its temperature. The temperature difference between ground and atmosphere is temporarily reduced.

            The rate of transfer energy as heat from ground to atmosphere is consequently reduced. The ground cools more slowly, and so its temperature rises, following the rise in temperature of the atmosphere.

            Thus both ground and atmosphere are temporarily at new higher temperatures, though the difference is less than the original reference difference.

            The atmosphere is continuously cooling to space, and it eventually again reaches a temperature cooler than the ground by roughly the same degree as the original reference degree of difference. The rate of transfer of energy as heat from ground to atmosphere is eventually restored but at a higher temperature.

          • Kristian says:

            Don’t try to slither away now, Christopher. This is not what we’re talking about. We can discuss this ‘other’ version of the GHE some other time.

            Here and now we’re talking about the Laws of Thermodynamics and whether a radiative flux from a cooler object (like the atmosphere), being originally emitted from a warmer object (like the surface) to warm the cooler one, is allowed ever to be recycled and go back from the cooler one, after having warmed it, to then also increase the internal energy and thus raise the temperature of the very object that emitted it to warm the cooler object in the first place further, thus turning the cooler object into a heat source for its own heat source …

            Spencer thinks so. Trenberth & Kiehl think so. The IPCC think so.

            Do you?

          • Christopher Game says:

            Responding to the post at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89028 of Kristian of October 8, 2013 at #:18 PM.

            Kristian writes: “Don’t try to slither away now, Christopher. This is not what we’re talking about. We can discuss this ‘other’ version of the GHE some other time.

            Here and now we’re talking about the Laws of Thermodynamics and whether a radiative flux from a cooler object (like the atmosphere), being originally emitted from a warmer object (like the surface) to warm the cooler one, is allowed ever to be recycled and go back from the cooler one, after having warmed it, to then also increase the internal energy and thus raise the temperature of the very object that emitted it to warm the cooler object in the first place further, thus turning the cooler object into a heat source for its own heat source …

            Spencer thinks so. Trenberth & Kiehl think so. The IPCC think so.

            Do you?”

            Dear Kristian, I think this question is not well posed. I think it is a muddleheaded jumble of words, not a well posed question. It has no properly rational answer. I would be foolish to try to answer it.

            The laws of thermodynamics do not make direct reference to a “radiative flux from a cooler object”. So I think it is nonsense to ask what they have to say about such a thing. The laws of thermodynamics refer to transfers of conserved quantities between thermodynamic systems. A “radiative flux from a cooler object” is not a transfer of a conserved quantity between thermodynamic systems. Therefore I think it is nonsense to ask what the laws of thermodynamic have to say about it. I would be foolish to try to answer a question that amounts to nonsense.

            Your talk of radiative flux being “recycled” is colourful metaphorical and graphic language, and evidently it makes you feel comfortable, and may perhaps be helpful for some readers; but it does not amount to a logical account of the relevant physics. I do not think it useful to try to answer questions that are posed on such metaphorical language that does not amount to a logical account. I think such questions are ill-posed. That is why I wrote above that “To discuss the physics of heat, one needs a sound and consistent conceptual framework or theoretical formalism.”

            A main part of the problem here is that people here are putting words into the mouth of Dr Spencer, words with which they feel comfortable, words that come from colourful metaphorical thinking, but which do not reflect accurately what Dr Spencer says or thinks, and do not amount to logical accounts. It is not useful to try to treat such words as if they amounted to well posed accounts.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher, you’re evading.

            These are your words, are they not?

            “With radiant heat transfer, one should take care to distinguish (a) quantity of energy transferred as heat between the bodies, from (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between the bodies. The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as heat. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as heat.”

            Look at the Trenberth & Kiehl 1997 diagram (and all similar ones). There you have your ‘two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between’ the surface and the atmosphere clearly depicted. All other fluxes in that diagram are HEAT fluxes. Why do you think, then, that T&K decided to do it differently with the terrestrial LWIR? Why didn’t they just show the actual mean radiative HEAT flux going up from the surface: 66 W/m^2?

            My guess, they wanted to show exactly what makes the surface as warm as it is, warmer than what the Sun alone could make it.

            And how was this accomplished? They did it like this:

            COMING IN
            168 W/m^2 (radiation from the Sun) + 324 W/m^2 (radiation from the atmosphere) – 102 W/m^2 (convective loss) = 390 W/m^2 (total/net energy absorbed by the surface, raising its internal energy and thus warming it to an S-B emission temperature of 288K).

            GOING OUT
            390 W/m^2 (terrestrial radiative energy emission flux as a result of its gained S-B emission temperature of 288K).

            This ‘algebraic sum’ explanation wouldn’t have worked so neatly, had Trenberth & Kiehl only stuck to proper heat fluxes:

            COMING IN
            168 W/m^2 (radiative heat from the Sun)

            GOING OUT
            102 W/m^2 (convective surface heat loss) + 66 (radiative surface heat loss) = 168 W/m^2

            So what’s the problem? There is heat balance. Well, yeah. The surface temperature would still be 288K, but according to T&K, such a surface MUST (by the S-B Law) radiate 390 W/m^2 and this cannot be accomplihed by the solar 168 W/m^2 heat flux alone. Apparently.

            So what do they do? They add more energy to the surface. Much more. Just as much as needed.

            Only one problem: 390-168= 222 W/m^2. So, is 222 W/m^2 coming in (‘virtually’) from the atmosphere on average? No, apparently not. Because this wouldn’t have worked with the ‘going out’ part of the equation: 390 W/m^2 (surface ‘virtual’ radiative output) + 102 W/m^2 (surface convective heat loss) = 492 W/m^2. The surface is losing 102 W/m^2 more than it’s gaining!

            No, 102 more W/m^2 have to come in from the atmosphere: (222+102=) 324 W/m^2. And then T&K perform a little trick: They move the 102 W/m^2 of convective loss over to the ‘coming in’ side of the equation:

            IN: (168+324 -102=) 390 W/m^2
            OUT: 390 W/m^2

            And voilà!

            - – -

            So I ask you again, Christopher: Do you approve of this approach? Do you think it abides by the laws of thermodynamics? And if so, how exactly?

            At no point is the radiative output from the surface reduced/obstructed to induce a piling up of the absorbed solar heat to generate further warming. The solar heat is simply added to, in effect augmented, by a vast additional incoming flux of energy … from the cooler atmosphere, originally warmed by the surface.

            And this ‘extra’ incoming flux is the sole cause of the increase in surface temperature beyond the ‘solar equilibrium’. It performs JUST LIKE A HEAT FLUX. This is heating by ‘back radiation’.

            Do you agree or not?

        • Christopher Game says:

          Arfur Bryant, it seems I owe you an apology. It seems that I misjudged or misrepresented you; if so, sorry. It seems that I mistakenly assumed that you were in agreement with Gordon Robertson on this matter. As far as I can see now, you were indeed just open-mindedly asking a question of Dr Spencer, to find out what he thinks. I have to say I am a little surprised that you don’t already know, because I seem to recall you on this blog in the past.

          Nevertheless, you have asked your question twice, in two different ways. The first asking was “Do you, or do you not agree that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface?” The second asking was “I do care to find out if Dr Spencer thinks that CO2 back-radiation can cause the surface temperature to increase.”

          These two questions differ importantly. Since Dr Spencer has not replied, I will be bold to give my guess about how he would reply. I would guess that he would answer your first question ‘no’. And to your second question, if it were re-worded as ‘can CO2 back-radiation make a contribution that will tend to increase the temperature of the surface?’, I think he would say ‘yes’. The second law of thermodynamics has something simple to say about your first question: heat does not pass spontaneously from cooler to warmer bodies; it passes spontaneously from warmer to cooler bodies; Dr Spencer knows that. The second law does not have anything to say about the second question taken in isolation, about back-radiation by itself, because back-radiation by itself is not a transfer of energy as heat in the formalism of thermodynamics; Dr Spencer knows that. People who think that the second law has something to say about back-radiation by itself are not clear in their minds about how thermodynamics treats the difference between a one-way passage of radiation on the one hand, and on the other hand a transfer of heat, which is an algebraic sum of forward- and back-radiation.

          One may think about the immediate primary effects of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, so soon after the addition of CO2 that no secondary effects have had time to get going. When CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it increases the infrared optical density of the atmosphere. Other factors being unchanged, infrared absorption and emission are thereby increased. This causes an increase in back-radiation, and, other things being equal, this will tend to increase the land-sea surface temperature. Added CO2 has other effects. Some infrared radiation that would have escaped direct to space from the land-sea surface is, when CO2 is added, absorbed by the atmosphere. This adds to the internal energy of the atmosphere, and contributes as an energy source for the increase in back-radiation, while still leaving the atmosphere warmer than it would be without the added CO2. As it happens, also the added CO2 reduces the emission of radiation from the atmosphere to space, because the upper atmosphere is a poorer transmitter of infrared radiation that was emitted upwards by the lower atmosphere. This reduction will also contribute to making energy available for increased back-radiation, still leaving the atmosphere warmer. All this is in accord with the second law of thermodynamics.

          Thus the immediate primary effect of adding CO2 is to reduce the rate of radiation to space from the entire earth-atmosphere body. Less energy radiates straight to space, both directly from the land-sea surface and directly from the atmosphere. Energy can then accumulate in the entire body, but initially in the atmosphere; some of it warms the surface by back-radiation, and some of it warms the atmosphere.

          When these warmings have started, they will lead to secondary effects (often called “feedbacks”), but we do not need to consider those right now, especially since they are the subject of mighty battles.

          • Christopher Game says:

            A further detail. My previous post about this, at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-88977 is, I now think, a bit inaccurate.

            As a quick guess, in that previous post, I supposed that the increments in effective optical densities, due to added CO2, would be simply proportional to the initial unperturbed optical densities, assuming the optical paths to be unchanged. That is not a correct assumption, because the different greenhouse gases have different absorption spectra. Consequently, the optical paths will not be quite the same, and so the simple proportionality that I supposed will not hold. It will still be the case that δA and δE are both positive, but one cannot say at a glance what will be their ratio; one can only guess that it will be not very much different from 1. At this stage one therefore cannot say at a glance that the rate of transfer of energy as heat from ground to atmosphere by this mechanism will increase. It might either increase or decrease, as far as this goes.

            But we have more information. The Miskolczi 2010 paper that Dr Spencer cites has the answer in its Table 3.

            The ratio δA / δE is shown in that table to be about 1.9 / 2.2 = 0.86, not the guess that I previously offered above, 1.03. The better estimate, 0.86, means that this mechanism will contribute a small decrease in the rate of transfer of energy as heat from ground to atmosphere, not a small increase as my guessed ratio would predict.

            As in my post just above, there is also an increment of energy in the atmosphere from the negative increment δU of radiation directly up from atmosphere to space, which the Miskolczi table estimates as in the ratio − 1.7 / 2.2 = − 0.77 to the increase in hemi-flux from atmosphere to ground.

            The total increment in energy in the atmosphere by these two mechanisms thus in the ratio (− δU + δA) / δE = 0.77 + 0.86 = 1.6 to the increment in hemi-flux from atmosphere to ground. Thus, after radiating an increment of energy to the ground, the atmosphere still has some positive increment of energy left to raise its own temperature.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Christopher Game “…your comment shows you lack credibility in this area”.

        Don’t argue with me, argue with Rudolf Clausius who wrote the 2nd Law. I am simply the messenger.

        In his treatise on heat, Clausius stated emphatically that in a two body system, infrared energy can be ‘exchanged’ between the bodies but heat can only be ‘transferred’ from the warmer body to the cooler body. That is the fundamental tenet of the 2nd law, although many people have twisted that into an interpretation via entropy.

        Since Clausius also coined the term entropy it might interest you what he had to say about that. He wanted a word that sounded like energy and he explained that entropy is a measure of the ‘disgregation’ of atoms in a material as it’s heat content rises. Of course, a rising heat content translates to an increasing kinetic energy in the atoms of the material.

        An aggregation of atoms is a joining together of atoms as in covalent or ionic bonding, so a disgregation is a tendency for the atoms to separate as the temperature rises in a body. Of course, they must overcome the forces of covalent bonding to do that but metals can expand without breaking up. Clausius referred to the degree of separation as entropy.

        That’s where you need to look rather than offering equations based on thought experiments. You also need to understand why the 2nd law was required, the reason being that the 1st law allowed cases of perpetual motion. The 1st law is about conservation of energy and the 2nd law places limits on the 1st law that prevents thermal runaway due to a positive feedback operating in the atmosphere.

        The mistake made by the alarmist CAGW crowd is due to a confusion between infrared energy and heat. The 1st Law deals with energy, not heat per se. But the alarmists have applied the conservation of energy principles to the atmosphere based on the 1st law, claiming that a ‘balance of energy’ is positive between surface and atmosphere therefore the 2nd law is satisfied.

        That is sheer nonsense. The 2nd law is not about energy per se, it is about heat only. You cannot apply the 1st law in lieu of the 2nd law and claim the 2nd law is satisfied. We are talking about heat transfer not balancing an energy equation.

        There are several problems with the back-radiation theory and the heat trapping blanket theory. For one, ACO2 is so rare that it could not possibly absorb more than an infinitesimal amount of the massive flux radiated by the surface. According to the Kiehle-Trenberth energy budget diagram, as much energy is returned via back-radiation as is emitted by the surface. Theoretical nonsense.

        Another issue is energy loss at the surface. According to the AGW theory, it is largely surface IR that warms GHGs in the atmosphere, but that IR is given up at a loss of energy. Any back-radiation has to make up that loss before it begins warming the surface. There goes you positive feedback.

        Any engineer can tell you that no known system can operate on a system of positive feedback without supplying external energy to the system. Solar energy cannot be used as that external source since it supplies all the heat to start with. The heat in the surface – atmosphere system is fully dependent on solar energy and down-dwelling IR from GHGs cannot be re-added to the system as a whole.

        If the system is the exchange of IR between the surface and the atmosphere, excluding the solar energy input, the 2nd law states that the transfer of heat must be from the warmer surface to the cooler atmosphere.

        If IR is being radiated downward, it can have no effect on the surface if what Clausius claims is true. I am theorizing the reason for that has to do with the lower intensity IR from the cooler atmosphere. It must be the case that higher energy surface atoms are not influenced by lower energy IR from the atmosphere.

        In order to change that, it would be necessary to deliver more IR to the surface than what it emits. That could only happen if the atmosphere was an independent source with IR from a higher energy level than surface atoms/molecules.

        With respect to the blanket theory, it is far too simple. Some people imagine IR as photons of radiation but a photon is a theoretical entity with momentum and no mass. No one knows if it exists or whether IR from the surface is in the form of waves. If photons do exist, according to Bohren, the paths they take are highly complex and cannot be easily described.

        The Boltzmann equation was intended for far hotter bodies like stars, and applying it to the surface – atmosphere situation as if photons are tiny missiles emitted by the surface and captured by GHGs is very misleading. The theory is not sound, and as Bohren claimed, visualizing GHGs as heat-trapping blankets is plain silly.

  29. Stan says:

    Are blog posts now substituting for peer reviewed research?

    Even Dr. Spencer knows the difference.

    Or is it too much trouble for professional scientists, like Spencer and Christy, to submit their work for peer review?

    I know peer review hasn’t always treated their work with kindness. All of you should know what I mean.

    It seems they have decided to step out of the scientific realm and into the realm of people who do noting but blog.

    Real scientists know the difference.

    • Kelvin Vaughan says:

      I like your blog on here Stan!

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @stan “Or is it too much trouble for professional scientists, like Spencer and Christy, to submit their work for peer review?”.

      Why should they when papers they submit are routinely rejected by the alarmists who control the peer-review process in climate science? Did you not read the Climategate emails in which a plot was discussed by a top IPCC lead author as to how he could go about suppressing papers from skeptics in IPCC reviews? Another discussed how to influence a publisher so he would not print a skeptic’s paper.

      While they were at it, they discussed how to thwart an FOI request by Steve McIntyre to gain access to the Hadcrut data controlled by IPCC coordinating lead author, Phil Jones. The main reason Jones gave for withholding the data was that McIntyre would use it against him. They used to call that science and those involved were not so paranoid about their images.

      Scientists are finding creative ways to get past the stacked peer review process.

      • nigel says:

        “…peer review…”

        When “Science”, as in the 17th Century, consisted of 100
        European Geniuses who were also Gentlemen and spoke each others’ languages, it could prosper using the system of mutual comment.

        When, as now, “Science” consists of 10 million people
        using many languages, and the proportion who are Geniuses and
        Gentlemen is perhaps less than ideal, it is no longer
        axiomatic that everything is for the best in the best of
        all possible worlds.

  30. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Years ago Prof. Ole Humlum already came basically to the same conclusion, although he plotted global surface air T against low cloud cover

    See:

    http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm#LowCloudCoverVersusGlobalSurfaceTemperature

  31. ren says:

    Lock at the height of 17 km is a flow of cold Jetstreamu the U.S.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t70_nh_f00.gif
    Winter in October?

  32. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Just curious. I often see in this blog people claiming LWIR cannot heat water. I don’t believe it because I actually heated water using 8-20 um IR from hot iron in experiments. Can anybody cite physics textbooks or peer-reviewed scientific papers that say LWIR cannot heat water?

  33. Kristian says:

    Er … IR from a source colder than your water surface (like the atmosphere) can of course not heat that water surface. IR from a source warmer than the water surface (like the Sun, or your hot iron) can.

    • Ball4 says:

      Kristian 6:58am translated into modern science:

      “Er … IR from a source at lower temperature than your water surface (like the atmosphere) can of course not increase the temperature of that water surface. IR from a source at a higher temperature than the water surface (like the Sun, or your hot iron) can.

      Now I understand.

      However this of course doesn’t explain modern science theretically increasing IR active gas in atm. from 0ppm basic 1st law balance (~255K surface Tmean) to measured current ppm basic 1st law balance (~288K surface Tmean): an increase of surface Tmean from only changing the thermal opacity of earth atm. due only to IR active gas composition changes in 2nd balance term.

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      kristian,
      I’m not talking about the atmosphere. I specifically stated LWIR. It doesn’t have a temperature. It doesn’t even have mass. It’s an electromagnetic wave. When absorbed by water molecules, it’s converted to thermal energy and manifest as increase in temperature. That’s what I’m talking about. Some people believe this is impossible but I’m wondering where they got this weird idea.

      As for the atmosphere being cooler than ocean, absorption of LWIR will slow down the rate of cooling of the water and that will also manifest as increase in temperature of water. But of course the net heat transfer is from water to air that’s why the water is cooling.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        To avoid confusion, “cooling” does not mean water temperature is decreasing. The equilibrium temperature is higher so the heat outflow is also higher but balanced by the increased heat inflow from LWIR.

      • Kristian says:

        So what you’re saying is this: the LWIR electromagnetic wave from a cooler object is absorbed by the warmer object … and this increases the temperature of the warmer object. Congratulations! You have just transferred HEAT from a cooler object to a warmer object. Which is impossible according to the 2nd Law.

        You are not reducing the outgoing EM wave from the warmer object to generate the increase in temperature. Like you said, it doesn’t even have mass. And it takes up no space. So it is physically impossible to obstruct its escape in the way you can obstruct the free escape of molecules.

        No, you are adding an energy flux to increase the temperature of the warmer object. This flux of energy alone produces the higher temperature in your scenario. Nothing else.

        But to add an energy flux to increase an object’s temperature means adding HEAT (or work). Period. And you can’t do that from a cooler to a warmer object. Read up on it.

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          OMG! you’re one of the many laymen who doesn’t understand the 2nd law. It’s really very very basic. Read this and goodbye.

          http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/07/amazing-things-we-find-in-textbooks-the-real-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

          • Kristian says:

            I’ve read plenty of what SoD has to say on the matter. And he’s clearly delusional about what the 2nd Law is actually saying.

            So you seriously believe that radiative ‘heat’ goes both ways, that the cooler object in fact heats the warmer object, only less than the warmer object heats the cooler object, so both objects ends up warmer (!!).

            OMG! you’re one of the many laymen who defy reality!

            Here’s the agreed upon physical definition of ‘heat’:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat

            “In physics and chemistry, especially in thermodynamics, heat is energy in transfer between a system and its surroundings other than by work or transfer of matter. The transfer can occur in two simple ways, conduction, and radiation, and in a more complicated way called convective circulation. Heat is not a property or component or constituent of a body itself. Heat refers only to a process of transfer of energy.

            And:

            “It may happen that the surroundings of a system can be described also as a second thermodynamic system that has its own definite temperature. In this special circumstance, if the two systems are connected by a pathway for heat transfer, then, according to the second law of thermodynamics, heat flow occurs spontaneously from the hotter to the colder system. Consequently, in this circumstance, heat is transfer of energy due purely to temperature gradient or difference.

            And:

            “Transfers of energy as heat are macroscopic processes. Kinetic theory explains them as the microscopic motions and interactions of microscopic constituents such as molecules and photons. It explains heat flow as occurring when the more rapidly moving or strongly excited molecules in a high-temperature body transfer some of their energy, other than by work or bulk transfer of matter, to the less energized molecules in a lower temperature body. Thus heat flow is said to be a diffusive, as distinct from a bulk flow, transfer of internal energy, driven purely by temperature difference.

            And:

            When energy is transferred to a body purely as heat, its internal energy increases. The additional internal energy becomes indistinguishable from the general pool of internal energy of the body.”

            If you transfer energy to an object, Dr. Strangelove, and this energy increases the internal energy of that object, raising its temperature, then you have transferred HEAT to it (if not work). But you cannot transfer heat from a cooler to a warmer object. Get that into your head!

          • Kristian says:

            To show how obvious it is that you people create the extra warming of the surface not by reducing its radiative heat loss, but by increasing its heat gain (by adding an extra flux in from the cooler atmosphere), think of it this way:

            We’ve got two different Earths. One is our own. And one has hypothetically an atmosphere chock-full of GHGs. They both absorb a solar flux at their global surfaces of 165 W/m^2.

            # Our own Earth: The mean outgoing radiative flux from the surface is (according to your S-B view of the world) 398 W/m^2 and the incoming from the atmosphere is 345 W/m^2. This produces an average radiative heat flux (what you would call ‘the net energy flux’) going out from the surface of 53 W/m^2 (398-345).

            # Earth with atmosphere chock-full of GHGs: Mean outgoing radiative flux from the surface is 10000 W/m^2, incoming from the atmosphere is 9947 W/m^2.

            Which surface has the greatest radiative heat loss?

            Which surface is the hottest?

            What makes the hotter surface hotter?

            - – -

            The only thing reducing the radiative heat loss from the real Earth surface is … convective heat loss. It reduces the need for radiative heat loss.

            If there were no convective heat loss, then the mean radiative heat loss from the global surface would have to rid it of all the incoming solar heat: 165 W/m^2. But since convective heat loss (conduction/convection + evaporation) on average carries 112 W/m^2 of the absorbed heat away from the global surface, then there is only (165-112=) 53 W/m^2 of surface heat left to be carried away by radiation.

          • Ball4 says:

            Kristian 4:22am: Here’s an unconfused translation of what you wrote using Kristian’s own clipped definition of “heat” term:

            “So you seriously believe that radiative ‘transfer of energy’ goes both ways, that the lower temperature object in fact transfers energy to the higher temperature object, only less than the higher temperature object transfers energy to the lower temperature object, so both objects end up at increased temperature (!!).

            OMG! you’re one of the many laymen who defy reality!”

            This does not necessarily defy measured, observed, long term understood physical 1st law and 2nd law reality. Only Kristian is confused by continuing in inappropriately using the caloric theory “heat” term to defy modern atm. science reality and try to confuse me (and others I suppose).

            Here – read this translation of Kristian’s writing:

            “then you have transferred HEAT to it”

            translates to:

            “then you have transferred energy transfer to it”

            See Kristian’s confusion of terms more clearly? There is no longer a substance “heat” that goes from one place to another for a transfer, that is old fashioned confusing science and why they dropped it. Only energy transfer properly exists in modern science. Radiative energy transfer means “energy” can go from one place to another, even from the cooler atm. object to the warmer surface object with no law violation.

            Drop the confusing “heat” term Kristian if you want to clearly communicate & do not want to confuse me and others.

          • Ball4 says:

            Kristian 4:53am:

            “…the incoming from the atmosphere is 345 W/m^2.”

            Kristian – more confusion here. The incoming from the atm. GHE is only 158. The total 345 includes 75 from sun, 24 from SH thermals cycle and 88 from LH water cycle. So the radiative energy transfer from lower temperature atm. GHE LWIR 158 is less than the 165 SWIR higher temperature surface absorption as sensible experience expects.

            Note I studiously avoided using “heat”, “heating”, “warmer”, “cooler” terms.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Dr. S…you referred Kristian to the scienceofdoom site. They have seriously confused ideas on thermodynamics and the 2nd law.

            For one, they provide an example in which two INDEPEDNENT bodies are radiating against each other then apply Boltzmann to both. The surface – atmosphere situation is a case where one body is heating the other and the cooler, DEPENDENT body is back-radiating lower intensity energy to the hotter body.

            That’s an entirely different situation which seems to confuse the scienceofdoom crowd. Clausius stated that bodies of different temperature will radiate energy at each other but that heat will only be transferred from the hotter body to cooler body.

            Since heat is represented in atoms as a rise in kinetic energy, making them move about more quickly and causing bonded atoms to increase the range of their normal vibration, the question arises as to whether IR of a lower intensity level can affect the kinetic energy in the atoms of the hotter body.

            The SOD crowd have fallen into the trap, trying to analyze heat using the 1st law. They have ignored losses and provided a totally hypothetical scenario using ideal bodies. Again, Clausius developed the 2nd Law based on Carnot’s calculation based on the 1st law in which he presumed there were no losses in a heat engine. SOD has done the same. Clausius thought that was wrong and Carnot eventually came to the same conclusion.

            The vibration in atoms and molecules is complex and involves not only electrons changing energy levels but inter-atomic and inter-molecular energy levels changing. We do know that electrons require discreet amounts of energy to change energy levels, so is it possible to get such a discreet package with the required conditions to cause the electrons in a warmer body to reach an even higher energy level when the source of IR comes from a cooler body?

            The message from Clausius would seem to indicate they cannot.

          • Ball4 says:

            Gordon 1:29am:

            “Since heat is represented in atoms as a rise in kinetic energy…”

            You too are hard to parse using the heat term as a noun. Try this, much easier to parse:

            “Since a process of transfer of energy is represented in atoms as a rise in kinetic energy…”

            I’d get that without having to slow down and try and “get” your modern physical meaning using “heat” as an old fashioned noun. Your thinking may then even line up with SOD. I’d have to spend time, work that out, I’ll leave it to you.

            Drop the term “heat”, then go read SOD carefully. Translate any use of “heat” term there to Kristian’s calm, fine modern definition posted in bold: “Heat refers only to a process of transfer of energy.“

  34. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89056 of Kristian of October 9, 2013 at 1:53 AM.

    Dear Kristian, again you are trying to lure me (or perhaps even should I say drive me) into answering a nonsensical question. You do not use the proper formalism of thermodynamics yet you ask me answer about thermodynamics. Sorry, I am not about to be so lured or driven. If you want to understand these things, you need to use a proper formalism. I do not intend to be lured or driven into following your argumentation that is not in a proper formalism. Neither do I intend to try to explain to you how your argumentation (or the argumentation of others) has muddled you, while you persist in not using a proper formalism.

    • Kristian says:

      I’m not trying to ‘lure’ you into anything, Christopher. You implicitly call me ‘muddle-headed’, but refuse to address what you brought up:

      “With radiant heat transfer, one should take care to distinguish (a) quantity of energy transferred as heat between the bodies, from (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between the bodies. The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as heat. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as heat.”

      This (b) is what I’m addressing.

      You also refuse to address the Trenberth & Kiehl diagram, which is pretty mainstream and which include exactly your (b) ‘virtual’ fluxes. Or do you think referring to it and parsing it is ‘muddle-headed’ also?

      You have painted yourself into a corner here. You’re doing nothing but evading the issue, namely how your ‘distinct respective virtual quantity of energy transferred back by radiation from the cooler body’ can be the sole cause of the ‘extra’ warming of the Earth’s surface.

      Please explain, then, Christopher, using your ‘proper formalism’. But be specific about it. I will not accept your once again calling upon that vague (and quite frankly, disingenuous) expression ‘reducing the outgoing heat flux’. You are reducing the outgoing heat flux only BY ADDING EXTRA ENERGY COMING IN. Energy that wasn’t there before. On top of the solar heat flux. So it’s the ADDITION OF EXTRA ENERGY IN from somewhere (the cooler atmosphere) that actually produces the warming. Nothing else.

      • Christopher Game says:

        Dear Kristian, At http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89056 on October9, 2013 at 1:53 AM you wrote above: “So I ask you again, Christopher: Do you approve of this approach? Do you think it abides by the laws of thermodynamics?” You there also quoted me as follows: ““With radiant heat transfer, one should take care to distinguish (a) quantity of energy transferred as heat between the bodies, from (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy transferred back and forth by radiation between the bodies. The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as heat. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as heat.”” It seems it needs to made clearer for you: (a) is for thermodynamics, but (b) is not. And now you are asking me about (b) the two distinct respective virtual quantities, when you write above “This (b) is what I’m addressing.” Kristian, thermodynamics considers (a) the quantity of energy transferred as heat between the bodies, but not (b) its virtual components. By admitting that you are addressing (b), you are admitting that you are asking me to work in non-thermodynamic terms, contrary to your demand that I answer in thermodynamic terms. That is why I say you are trying to lure or drive me into trying to answer nonsensical questions.

        And now you seem to accuse me of disingenuity where you write “I will not accept your once again calling upon that vague (and quite frankly, disingenuous) expression ‘reducing the outgoing heat flux’. You are reducing the outgoing heat flux only BY ADDING EXTRA ENERGY COMING IN.”

        Kristian, I don’t find myself above having written about ‘outgoing heat flux’. It seems that you are attributing to me something written by someone else. Add to this that you tell me not to “slither”, and that you accuse me of “evading”. Hmm.

        • Kristian says:

          Christopher, what was that you said again? “The latter two distinct respective virtual quantities of energy are not separately and respectively quantities of energy transferred as heat. Their algebraic sum gives the quantity of energy transferred as heat.” There’s that ‘thermodynamic’ term! Heat. You’re talking about the exact same thing. You simply split it up. The process is exactly the same. You simply go into detail. Prevost’s concept of energy exchange. Statistical thermodynamics. Macroscopic vs. microscopic.

          How are you reducing the heat flux from the warmer surface? By adding energy. Where, then, is this ‘extra’ energy coming from? How did it arise after having warmed the cooler object to add back to the internal energy of the warmer object (its source)? These are basic questions, Christopher. That you absolutely refuse to answer or explain. You’re only beating around the bush, spending all your time and effort telling me I misunderstand. Insinuating that (b) is somehow unrelated to (above?) common thermodynamic laws.

          I don’t misunderstand, Christopher. Do not worry. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I know exactly what the difference between HEAT and those two inferred ‘virtual’ exchange fluxes is.

          So, I’m still waiting for you to give us all a detailed account exactly of how the cooler object makes the warmer object warmer still by ‘back radiating’ the very energy spent already warming it, coming originally from the warmer object itself.

          The point is, referring back to the T&K diagram, of course you’re not saying that the (virtual) ‘back radiation’ flux from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface is a HEAT flux. That would be TOO stupid. But you still expect it to act like one, to give the same result as if it were a heat flux. That is, a higher surface internal energy, a higher surface temperature, a larger surface radiative emission flux. There’s the disingenuity. Again, it is the added, back-radiated energy from the atmosphere that makes the surface warmer. And nothing else.

          BTW, you started with the ad hominems. Not I.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            Kristian…”…it is the added, back-radiated energy from the atmosphere that makes the surface warmer. And nothing else”.

            Kristian, I don’t know if I am reading you correctly. Are you saying that the surface radiates infrared energy at a loss and that a gas representing 1/1000 of 1% (ACO2) of the atmosphere, based on 390 ppmv, is absorbing and re-radiating enough of that energy to not only make up those losses but to increase the surface temperature?

            Even if you are talking about all GHGs, which account for about 1% of atmospheric gases, how is it possible for them to absorb and re-radiate enough surface flux to make up for surface losses and increase surface temperature?

            If the atmosphere behaves like a greenhouse, then the 1% of GHGs would represent 1 pane of glass in a greenhouse with 100 panes. ACO2 would be akin to a tiny sliver of glass. If you removed 99 panes from that 100 pane greenhouse, how would it warm?

            I prefer Stephen Wilde’s explanation, that the oceans act like a huge hot water bottle.

          • Kristian says:

            Gordon,

            My stating the following:

            “(…) it is the added, back-radiated energy from the atmosphere that makes the surface warmer. And nothing else.”

            was not meant to portray how I see this happening.

            It describes the ‘blowback’ of how the proponents of the radiative GHE, like Christopher Game and Roy Spencer, use that hazy ‘reduced radiative cooling/heat loss’ argument to explain the ‘extra’ warming of the Earth’s surface.

            The point is, when you actually look into it, the only way they manage to ‘reduce’ the radiative heat loss of the surface is not by actually reducing any flows of energy, but rather by introducing more energy coming in. They add more energy to the surface, an extra flux separate from the solar flux (and a much bigger one at that). And it’s coming from the cooler atmosphere.

            There is no reduction or obstruction going on anywhere of any outgoing radiative emission from the surface itself to explain the warming.

            Looking at the T&K energy budget diagram, it is pretty clear what they want us to buy: the 390 W/m^2 of radiative flux from the surface is only possible because of the added-back energy from the atmosphere, energy that already came from the warmer surface, helping to heat the cooler atmosphere.

            Like you said, they want to maintain the temperature of the atmosphere and at the same time transfer the very energy that actually would maintain it back to its source to make this even warmer. They double count. They want to have the cake and eat it too.

            So they claim that the back-radiated flux from the atmosphere is indeed absorbed by the surface to increase its internal energy to raise its temperature.

            If that’s not HEAT transferred from a cooler to a warmer body, then I don’t what is …

          • Kristian says:

            That should read: “… then I don’t know what is.”

        • Ball4 says:

          Kristian 6:53pm: “…to give the same result as if it were a heat flux.”

          No, this is an example of where you get confused with the term “heat”. Drop it. Try this:

          “…to give the same result as if it were an energy flux.”

          Understand that nuance & you are on the road to defeating your confusion regards atm. backradiation. You can’t defeat the atm. has T>0K so the atm. radiates thermal energy toward the surface: backradation; and toward space: forwardradiation.

          Is atm. backradiation toward surface and forwardradiation toward space measured? Yes, in the rough amounts shown by T&K, they are not exact like your calculator to 12th decimal. Measured by radiometers on the surface looking up & down and on satellites looking up & down.

  35. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Ball4 …”“Heat refers only to a process of transfer of energy.“”

    That’s fine, I have no issue with what you are saying. But the noun ‘heat’ immediately tells us that we are dealing with a specific kind of energy that is generated under specific condition and that is the issue here.

    Energy transfer is not as straightforward as many people make it out to be. The folks at SOD are confusing infrared energy, which is electromagnetic energy, and contains no heat, with a transfer of kinetic energy, which is heat. Infrared can be a medium through which the kinetic energy is transferred but it is not the heat itself.

    The SOD folks are also not distinguishing between independent heat sources and dependent heat sources such as GHGs in the atmosphere. When one body warms another body that is far different than two bodies radiating against each other from independent sources. SOD has created a model using independent, ideal heat generators with no losses.

    When you apply Boltzmann and the 1st law of thermodynamics you’d better be careful. Summing IR energies is not the same as summing heat quantities, especially when one body provides the heat that warms the second body. It’s not enough to calculate the difference in IR energies radiated and absorbed then claim heat can be transferred from a cooler object to a warmer object.

    It is not at all clear that the IR radiated from the cooler body is absorbed by the warmer body in such a manner as to increase it’s temperature.

    Think about it. Rahmstorf claimed that because the balance of energies between the atmosphere and the surface are positive the 2nd law is satisfied. In other words, he is claiming it is OK for heat to be transferred from a cooler body to a warmer body as long as the 1st law is satisfied for IR energy(conservation of energy).

    He is measuring IR energy and equating that to heat. In thermodynamics, one has to acknowledge that IR does flow both ways between bodies of different temperatures but one also has to respect the phenomenon by which heat can only be transferred one way, from warmer to cooler.

    It’s too easy to fool oneself using mathematics.

    • Christopher Game says:

      Gordon Robertson, I ask here because I see no response in the expected place to my post at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89314. Copying my post there to here in order to bring it to your attention:

      “October 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Gordon Robertson at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-88804 wrote: “in past articles, Roy has staunchly defended his view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface, presumably to warm it beyond what it is warmed by solar radiation.”

      In reply, at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-88845 I wrote: “Gordon Robertson, Dr Spencer has NOT remotely “defended the view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface”.

      The question is, what view did Dr Spencer defend? Gordon’s comment just above does not mention Dr Spencer.”

      I now ask you, Gordon, Do you still stand by your original allegation as just above that ““in past articles, Roy has staunchly defended his view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface, presumably to warm it beyond what it is warmed by solar radiation.”” ?

      If you do still stand by this allegation that you have made, I think it fair to ask you to substantiate it, here or above in reply to my post above, with explicit and exact word-for-for quotations from Dr Spencer that support this allegation that you have made.

      If you don’t stand by it, or don’t reply now to my post about it, then I will read that as your retraction of it and as your admission that you were mistaken or inaccurate in making your allegation that “Roy has staunchly defended his view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.”

    • Ball4 says:

      Gordon 12:21am -In the top post, Dr. Spencer writes “an abrupt reversal in the trend of ocean energy accumulation…” which is much easier to parse than say “ocean heat content”. So I can “get” or parse his meaning quickly with a basic understanding of modern science. I can parse his points of the differing cloud data effects on energy accumulation in limited time I have. Thereby Dr. Spencer gets his point across to me.

      The title of his post uses the word “heating” which slows me down as to what Dr. Spencer basically means, what is the high temp. source, what is the low temp. sink etc. It is easy to get as confused as Kristian with the title & less easy to get confused with a conserved quantity in “energy accumulation” so I can try to spot interesting issues to discuss.

      With your post here agreeing heat is a process of transfer of energy, you then proceed to use the word “heat” as a “specific kind of energy”. No, this is not found or defined in modern science AFAIK so I won’t get it. If you desire a parsable reading of your post & an interesting response to discuss about top post please translate to modern science – you made a good start.

      If you take some time to work the word “heat” right out of your post & repost, my view is it will eventually line up with SOD, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Bohren science of earth system thermal energy transfer. My view is you (& Kristian et. al. responders) get confused using that “heat” word and less for those other three.

      For example, Gordon writing “Summing IR energies is not the same as summing heat quantities,..” makes no sense to me using modern science. Rewrite that w/o “heat” for me et. al. to easily & correctly “think about it” being then able to parse it & respond.

      2nd example, “(Rahmstorf) is claiming it is OK for heat to be transferred from a cooler body to a warmer body as long as the 1st law is satisfied for IR energy (conservation of energy).”

      This I seriously doubt, but you may have just confused me into that doubt using “heat”, I dunno so I’m not inclined to research.

      It’s too easy to fool oneself using the word “heat” as a noun.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Ball4 ““Summing IR energies is not the same as summing heat quantities,..” makes no sense to me using modern science”.

        Why? If you are summing infrared energies, which Ramstorf has done by claiming a balance of energies between the surface and atmosphere, you are summing quantities of electromagnetic energy. EM has no atoms. The term photon was derived to particalize EM but no one knows if EM operates as a particle or a wave. At any rate, there are no atoms in EM that can change temperature hence there is no heat quantities in EM.

        Heat is a reference to the kinetic energy in atomic structure and the atoms/molecules in gases. In electrical theory, heat is a reference to the effect of electrons and charges moving through atomic structures. That is far different than the infrared energy that is being summed by Rahmstorf.

        The 1st law of thermodynamics is about summing energies to maintain conservation of energy. It is not about heat per se. The 2nd law addresses heat and heat transfer and places limitations on heat transfer, not IR.

        Energy is a generic term and no one knows exactly what it is. There is electromagnetic energy, atomic energy, electrical energy, chemical energy, kinetic energy and so on. The 1st Law claims that energy, period, no matter what kind, must be conserved. Climate alarmists have applied it specifically to heat transfer and they are plain wrong.

        You can get into semantics if you like but it proves nothing. If someone uses the term ‘heat’ and you ask them to define it, that’s cool (no pun intended). It is a measure of the kinetic energy in a body but it refers to the effect of the KE on the atoms in the structure. So does entropy.

        EM is something else altogether although it is related to heat. Solar energy as experienced on our planet is all EM even though it’s source is a cauldron of boiling electrons and nuclear processes. The EM transfers the heat of the Sun to our planet but the EM has no effect till it comes in contact with the atoms of a body. The heat you feel on your skin is the effect of EM from the Sun interacting with the atoms in your skin.

        When it does, we call that effect heat. Heat has been transferred from a much warmer body 90 millions miles away to a body on the planet. Do you think back-radiation from the Earth and other planets makes the Sun hotter?

      • Ball4 says:

        Gordon 6:18pm – Thanks for the interesting discussion re heat.

        Now you move from heat defined as a process of transfer of energy to “Heat is a reference to the kinetic energy in atomic structure..”

        Ok. So your original “Summing IR energies is not the same as summing heat quantities..” becomes: Summing IR energies is not the same as summing atomic kinetic energy quantities.

        To me, that wording conveys a more easily parsable idea that I can “thin slice” quickly to get your point across. No need for me take a “thick slice” and trace what you mean using the word heat. And it is only now I can form a view, I disagree with your view since I would say summing IR energies IS the same as summing atomic kinetic energies for conserving energy in a defined system.

        My pursuit of this is caused by Dr. Bohren’s 1998 text section “Irreverent Thoughts on Heat” where he explains it is not mere semantics that drives him to advocate to drop the word “heat” from thermodynamics. It is the constant retraining of new students to stop thinking incorrectly about heat, and brute forcing them into the correct science of atm. thermodynamics.

        I perceive your issues with SOD may be the same root cause though I have not done the work to find out.

        “The heat you feel on your skin…”

        UGH, no, I do not feel heat on my skin since there is no heat coming from the sun, there are plenty of energetic solar photons though; I feel the sun’s photons summing with my atomic kinetic energy quantities and the air’s. Many times it is cold outside and I have no coat when people ask me if I feel cold. My response is why do you think I feel discomfort from the avg. sum of the kinetic energy of the air molecules? Being cold & coatless doesn’t matter as long as I don’t freeze solid.

        This is not just semantics; I predict your understanding of SOD et. al. will improve and get your point across for better or worse by dropping “heat” terms from your blog posts as Dr. Bohren teaches.

        “Heat has been transferred…”

        NO! This means there was a substance of heat over there and now it is over here. It is energy (your EM) that is transferred. Energy was produced in the sun through fusion using up H; now energy is transferred to earth and my skin. No substance heat is transferred.

  36. gordie says:

    “…heat can only transferred one way from, from warmer to cooler.”

    No, that applies only when the temperature gradient is
    the CAUSE of the heat flow. When the heat flow is “accidental”, as in radiative situations*, the temperature
    difference is simply not relevant. You could set up a mirror to reflect and concentrate the radiation from a large surface of a blackbody at temperature T1 onto a small
    surface of another blackbody at T2 ( > T1) and raise the temperature of the latter still higher. THAT is allowed by Nature. What actually happens in any physical situation is of course to be calculated – with a rigorous attention to the distinction between stocks and flows.

    *One thermally-emitting blackbody may change heat energy into ER energy and that involves NO CHANGE IN ENTROPY because it is REVERSIBLE, with mirrors. The radiation might fall on another blackbody in which case it will be absorbed irrespective of ITS temperature and turned back into heat energy – again with NO CHANGE IN ENTROPY.
    The Second Law of Thermodynamics comes in thus – process
    is permitted!

    P.S. People should read:

    “The Misuse of Physics by Engineers and Biologists”

    W.S. Franklin (who was Professor of Physics, Lehigh University and Vice-President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science).

    in Science (AAAS) , Vol 18, p 464, Nov 20, 1904

    and soberly consider the statement in it;

    “A fluid not in thermal equilibrium has no definite pressure,temperature or volume.”

    and what it means, namely,

    Any one who claims to have measured the temperature of
    the Earth has measured something which does not exist.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Gordie “You could set up a mirror to reflect and concentrate the radiation from a large surface of a blackbody at temperature T1 onto a small surface of another blackbody at T2 ( > T1) and raise the temperature of the latter still higher. THAT is allowed by Nature”.

      Read Clausius on that very claim. He disproved it.

      The law stands, and this comes direct from Clausius, heat can be transferred only from a warmer body to a cooler body under normal circumstances. The only way you can reverse that is by applying external energy and using something like a compressor and special fluids.

      In radiative transfer, the heat is transferred using electromagnetic energy. When the atoms in a body are heated, they become more excited as their kinetic energy increases. At a higher level of energy the heated atoms give of more intense infrared energy (EM) and that energy can be absorbed by atoms in another body.

      There is no temperature gradient present in the case of isolated bodies, that’s what makes radiative transfer different than conduction. The same law regarding warmer to cooler transfer applies, according to Clausius.

      • nigel says:

        Gordon Robertson says:

        “Read Clausius on that very claim. He disproved it.”

        He thought he did:- in opposition to Rankine, and in,

        “The Mechanical Theory of Heat”,
        English Translation, 1879,
        Ch XII, On The Concentration of Light and Heat and
        the Limits of its Action.

        But he only proved it for the special case where two
        surfaces are optical images of each other and each body
        has time to come to its own thermal equilibrium. The
        method of proof itself contains within itself matter
        sufficient to demonstrate that, without those assumptions, Rankine was right.

        “This comes direct from Clausius…”

        He isn’t Moses bearing the Tablets!

        • gordie says:

          Nigel says:

          “He [Clausius] isn’t Moses bearing the Tablets!”

          Indeed, not. He was just the familiar type of a man who invents something to “simplify things” and then finds himself
          “more confused than ever”.

          • gordie says:

            Of course, don’t get me wrong. “Explanations” of AGW
            are silly when they equate to a perpetual motion machine.

          • nigel says:

            We know exactly where Clausius went wrong. It was
            because he did not know what heat radiation IS. That is not to his discredit. Nobody did, until later.

            His form of entropy is merely a counting device.
            It clicks up or down when heat moves (the count
            also depends on the various temperatures involved
            as, otherwise, we would merely have a measure of the quantity of heat itself).

            Clausius used the phrase “rays OF heat”[my emphasis], all the time. He thought that some heat was actually and literally moving, in radiation. And that meant changes in entropy.
            And so he put “changes through radiation” under the same
            head as “changes through conduction”.

            And all this was dead wrong.

  37. nigel says:

    “A fluid not in thermal equilibrium has no definite pressure, temperature or volume.”

    Not a lot of people know that. Which is strange, because it is axiomatic from the definitions, and therefore trivially
    obvious.

  38. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Kristian “My stating the following:
    “(…) it is the added, back-radiated energy from the atmosphere that makes the surface warmer. And nothing else.”
    was not meant to portray how I see this happening”.

    Sorry, K., there’s no reply button with your reply.

    Thanks for the explanation. I thought I had taken you wrong since I have agreed with your other posts.

    I agree, the notion that a cooler atmosphere can transfer heat to a warmer surface so as to raise it’s temperature beyond what it is heated by solar energy is plain pseudo-science. The other notion, that GHGs in the atmosphere act as a blanket is even more absurd. As Craig Bohren addressed that notion, it’s a metaphor at best, and at worst, plain silly.

    Please see my reply to Christopher.

  39. Gordon Robertson says:

    @ChristopherGame…you wanted proof that Roy had inferred heat can be transferred from a warmer atmosphere to a cooler surface.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/05/a-simple-experiment-to-show-how-cool-objects-can-keep-warm-objects-warmer-still/#comments

    “Even though this IR radiation is being emitted at a lower temperature than the surface, it actually keeps the surface warmer. Some people have trouble with this explanation, claiming it violates one or more laws of thermodynamics”.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/how-can-home-insulation-keep-your-house-warmer-when-it-cools-your-house/#comments

    “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”.

    Comment: So, Roy, let’s insulate our homes with air in which CO2 is 0.04% of the air.

    I am on Roy’ side as a skeptic and I have defended him staunchly in blogs on his UAH satellite data. I have pointed out many times that he and John Christy were awarded medals for their excellent work by NASA and the American Meteorological Society.

    I like Roy.

    However, I think Roy is not only wrong about thermodynamics I think he defends his views on it out of sheer stubbornness.

    Stubbornness is not a quality foreign to me, being a Scotsman, and I have had my moments with it in my life. But Roy was warned by Dick Lindzen to stay away from commenting on subjects outside his discipline. He is free to do whatever he likes in his own blog but when climate alarmists pick up on his controversial views on science and use that to defend anthropogenic global warming theory, I think it defeats all the good work Roy has done to defend the skeptical POV.

    • Christopher Game says:

      Thank you, Gordon Robertson for this reply of yours at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89553 just above. I will respond here.

      The comment that you made that initially led me into this thread was: “in past articles, Roy has staunchly defended his view that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.” Now you are saying just above that I “wanted proof that Roy had inferred heat can be transferred from a warmer atmosphere to a cooler surface.”

      You are now offering as proof for your allegation the following quote from Dr Spencer (1): ““Even though this IR radiation is being emitted at a lower temperature than the surface, it actually keeps the surface warmer. Some people have trouble with this explanation, claiming it violates one or more laws of thermodynamics”.”

      and again from Dr Spencer (2): ““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”.”

      These quotes from Dr Spencer are not support for your original allegation that he ““staunchly defended his view that heat can be transferred from a warmer atmosphere to a cooler surface.””

      In your quote (1) Dr Spencer talks about IR radiation and does not mention the word ‘heat’. The word ‘heat’ is essential to your allegation, and is absent here.

      In your quote (2) Dr Spencer says that “greenhouse gases [...] reduce the rate at which heat flows from higher temperatures to lower temperatures.” Dr Spencer worded this properly, talking about “reduc[tion] of rate of heat transfer”. He did not there, defend the view, as you allege, ““that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.””

      At this point I will go no further. You have not produced quotes from Dr Spencer that support your allegation. You have produced quotes from him that are contrary to your allegation.

      I could go further but for the present I think this will do. You have now an opportunity to admit that you have attributed a view to Dr Spencer that he did not express or defend, and you have now an opportunity to retract your allegation that he did so.

      • Kristian says:

        So, we’ve come full circle, Christopher. We’re back to where you tell us that Spencer has never specifically stated that we’re sending back ‘heat’ from the atmosphere to warm the surface, and where we point out to you that this is still exactly what he ends up doing with his ‘reduced radiative surface heat loss/cooling’. And we’ve already explained you how several times.

        He is in no way reducing the radiative energy escaping the surface. He’s rather introducing more energy coming in to the surface. And this ‘new’ or ‘extra’ energy alone, somehow coming down from the cooler atmosphere, adding to the internal energy of the surface, raising its temperature, increasing its radiative output in the process. And that is precisely what HEAT is and does, Christopher. It is energy transferred from one system to another to produce an increase in the other system’s internal energy. So this in effect makes the atmosphere a separate source of heat for the surface, whether you’re willing to admit it or not …

        It’s the sending back of energy from a cooler object (already heated by the energy) to raise the temperature of the source of the energy, an already warmer object, to make this warmer still, that we take exception to. It’s the whole concept of ‘heating by back radiation’.

        You’ve already suggested on this very thread that this is not the way CO2 in the atmosphere would theoretically make the surface warmer, Christopher.

        So, could you please take a stand against all the people out there still walking around staunchly believing that radiation down from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface could ever make the latter warmer than it already is? Referring to the nonsensical T&K diagram. It’s simply too absurd.

        (People believe this. The’re defending this idea.)

        But it is not the ‘back radiation’ that would theoretically create surface warming. It couldn’t possibly do so. It’s the atmospheric absorption of outgoing radiative HEAT.

        Can we agree on that, Christopher?

      • Ball4 says:

        Kristian 4:30am: You missed my post at 10/10 7:37am explaining your confusion.

        “And that is precisely what HEAT is and does…”

        NO, it is precisely what radiative energy transfer is and does. Heat transfer normally doesn’t macro flow from cooler atm. to warmer surface but radiative energy can transfer in that manner and does in experiments. Your confusion can and will end but you gotta’ work at it.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Ball4 “Heat transfer normally doesn’t macro flow from cooler atm. to warmer surface but radiative energy can transfer in that manner and does in experiments. Your confusion can and will end but you gotta’ work at it”.

          You have not explained how IR from a cooler body raises the temperature of a body at a higher temperature. That problem is exacerbated when it is considered that the warm body supplied the energy to create the back-radiated IR.

          You should be sensing that something is wrong in a warmer system that radiates IR, has it absorbed by cooler ACO2 at a higher intensity and broad frequency band, then re-radiates it at a lower intensity and very narrow frequency band to be re-absorbed by the same warmer body that radiated it in the first place.

          You have omitted losses in the system and alleged that the back-radiated IR from a cooler body can raise the temperature of the warmer body that warmed it.

          Clausius acknowledged a two-way transfer of IR between bodies of different temperatures but specified that heat could only be transferred from the warmer body to the cooler body. You have not addressed losses or that problem.

          Clausius wrote the 2nd law because he knew something was wrong with Carnot’s assertion that a heat engine had no losses. Any system with losses cannot have a positive feedback inherent, like the system you have described. PF requires the addition of external energy to overcome losses.

          Alarmists have claimed solar energy is that external energy but that is even more pseudo-science. Solar energy supplies the energy that warms the surface, which warms the GHGs. You can’t have back-radiated energy from a dependent source (ACO2) being added to the energy that ultimately created it.

  40. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Nigel “We know exactly where Clausius went wrong. It was
    because he did not know what heat radiation IS”.

    Who is ‘we’. If you trace who ‘we’ is it will lead straight to climate alarmists who have re-written physics incorrectly.

    There is no such thing as heat radiation, there is only radiation of infrared energy, which is part of the electromagnetic energy spectrum. If the radiated IR is intercepted by no mass it will heat nothing.

    At higher frequencies, EM is light but it does not transmit colour. Colour is a property of the eye which translates different EM frequencies into colour. In the same way, IR transfers the kinetic energy of one body into another provided the 2nd body is at a lower temperature.

    “His form of entropy is merely a counting device”.

    What do you mean ‘his’ form of entropy. He coined the term and he knew what he was doing when he invented the concept. He used the term entropy in reference to the ‘disgregation’ of atoms in response to heating.

    If you and your fellow alarmists want to define it differently, invent your own concept and term.

    “so he [Clausius] put “changes through radiation” under the same head as “changes through conduction”.”

    Heat transfer through radiation and conduction are one and the same, the transport mechanism is different.

    Your criticism of Clausius smacks of the kind of arrogance I find generic with climate alarmists. Since his 2nd Law has survived more than 150 years of scrutiny I’ll stick with Clausius and relegate your views to the junk science bin.

    • nigel says:

      Gordon Robertson says:

      “…Nigel…global alarmist…”

      I have been saying on this blog and others for twenty years that AGW is a complete and utter crock of sh**.

      “…arrogant…”

      Since you have made an ad hominem remark I will ignore you in future.

    • raybid says:

      Robertson says:

      “What do you mean ‘his’ form of entropy…[Clausius] invented the concept.”

      No he didn’t. Rankine invented it in 1854, while Clausius
      coined the word ‘entropy’ for it in 1865.

      • bev says:

        The papers to which you implicitly refer are well known.

        The whole thing can be pushed back a bit further, though. Something was “in the air” in the late 1840s (the credit for that goes to Regnault and Joule), as the obstinate errors of the past were exposed. Theoretical work was done especially by Joule, Thomson (later, Lord Kelvin),Rankine
        and Clausius. The order was

        Joule (1840s)- 1st Law of Thermodynamics – viz, “energy is not lost”. Also, Joule uses an expression, in the theory of heat engines, which is actually a disguised entropy.

        Thomson (1848)- 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – viz, “something
        IS lost, concentration of energy”.

        Rankine (1849) – Full mathematical treatment of work of Joule and Thomson, i.e. a mathematical theory of dynamical heat.

        Clausius (1850) – Partial mathematical treatment of work of
        Joule and Thomson. Clausius was unaware of Rankine’s paper.

        Rankine (1854) – Additional mathematical treatment, using
        “thermodynamic function”

        Thomson (1850s) – Clears away from both Rankine’s and Clausius’ treatments, the specific (different) molecular hypotheses they espoused. Thus, Thomson made of Thermodynamics a general macroscopic subject despite microscopic underpinnings.

        Clausius (1865) – Renames Rankine’s function “entropy”.
        and attempts to extend “the entropy integral”
        to irreversible processes and general sweeps.

        and so on…

        • bev says:

          They were all young.

          In 1849: Joule 31
          Rankine 29
          Clausius 27
          Thomson 25.

          In the days of servants, the upper-middle class could get on with things! Let’s hear it for the unheralded cooks and maids
          who made it all possible.

  41. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Ball4 “Heat transfer normally doesn’t macro flow from cooler atm. to warmer surface but radiative energy can transfer in that manner and does in experiments. Your confusion can and will end but you gotta’ work at it”.

    You have not explained how IR from a cooler body raises the temperature of a body at a higher temperature. That problem is exacerbated when it is considered that the warm body supplied the energy to create the back-radiated IR.

    You should be sensing that something is wrong in a warmer system that radiates IR, has it absorbed by cooler ACO2 at a higher intensity and broad frequency band, then re-radiates it at a lower intensity and very narrow frequency band to be re-absorbed by the same warmer body that radiated it in the first place.

    You have omitted losses in the system and alleged that the back-radiated IR from a cooler body can raise the temperature of the warmer body that warmed it.

    Clausius acknowledged a two-way transfer of IR between bodies of different temperatures but specified that heat could only be transferred from the warmer body to the cooler body. You have not addressed losses or that problem.

    Clausius wrote the 2nd law because he knew something was wrong with Carnot’s assertion that a heat engine had no losses. Any system with losses cannot have a positive feedback inherent, like the system you have described. PF requires the addition of external energy to overcome losses.

    Alarmists have claimed solar energy is that external energy but that is even more pseudo-science. Solar energy supplies the energy that warms the surface, which warms the GHGs. You can’t have back-radiated energy from a dependent source (ACO2) being added to the energy that ultimately created it.

    • Ball4 says:

      Gordon 10/17 10:09pm: The confusion I mention is Kristian’s at 4:30am claiming the sky radiation can increase surface temperature by process of heating being exactly same as energy transfer. It is not, the sky radiation cannot heat transfer to earth surface on avg.

      Experiments show the sky radiation can transfer energy in IR bands to the surface but since the sky radiation comes from a lower mean temperature source (the sky) than the higher mean temperature surface, sky radiation cannot heat the surface which Kristian claimed was exactly the same as energy transfer when energy transfer is NOT the same as heat transfer. Drop the word “heat” and Kristian’s confusion ends.

      “You should be sensing that something is wrong in a warmer system that radiates IR, has it absorbed by cooler ACO2 at a higher intensity and broad frequency band, then re-radiates it at a lower intensity and very narrow frequency band to be re-absorbed by the same warmer body that radiated it in the first place. ”

      There is nothing wrong with this energy transfer process, note no confusion written here because Gordon does not use the word “heat”.

      “You have….alleged that the back-radiated IR from a cooler body can raise the temperature of the warmer body that warmed it. ”

      No I have not. Eliminate the sky radiation in the basic text book balance and the surface Tmean reduces.

      “You can’t have back-radiated energy from a dependent source (ACO2) being added to the energy that ultimately created it.”

      The sky radiation is an important energy term in the surface balance that SUBTRACTS from outgoing terrestrial radiation in the balance. Without sky radiation transferring IR band energy to surface, the sun alone could not melt water as shown by comets/asteroids passing or at ~same orbit as the earth containing frozen water. Earth’s atm. sky radiation is the reason the surface mean temperature balance allows liquid water.

      Surface mean temperature balance, get the signs right, in is +:

      Energy In – Energy Out = m * Cp * DT/dt = 0 in LTE

      Solar radiation into surface – (Terrestrial radiation out – sky radiation toward surface) = 0

      Plug in earth’s mean measured gross solar, albedo, surface emissivity, sky emissivity find near surface Tmean calculates to ~288K and thermometer measured at ~288K.

      Plug in 0 for sky radiation, find Tmean = 255K or -0.67F (-18.15C) won’t melt water.

      Modern text books show the details traced to observe 1st and 2nd law, the only assumptions required. To fault this science, you need to find fault in 1st and 2nd law assumptions. Hasn’t happened so far.

      • Kristian says:

        Ball4 says, October 18, 2013 at 8:38 AM:

        “The confusion I mention is Kristian’s at 4:30am claiming the sky radiation can increase surface temperature by process of heating being exactly same as energy transfer. It is not, the sky radiation cannot heat transfer to earth surface on avg.”

        What exactly are you saying here, Ball4? Seems like what you’re doing is confusing yourself more and more by not allowing yourself to use the term and the concept of heat.

        Because, what is this ‘process of heating’ that you speak of? How does it work? What does it result in? And how is it any different from your ‘sky radiation’/'energy transfer’? Didn’t you say that there is no ‘heat’ nor ‘heat transfer’. Only energy transfer.

        So what kind of energy transfer causes temperatures to increase, and what kind of energy transfer does not? In your ‘heatless’ world …

        “Experiments show the sky radiation can transfer energy in IR bands to the surface but since the sky radiation comes from a lower mean temperature source (the sky) than the higher mean temperature surface, sky radiation cannot heat the surface which Kristian claimed was exactly the same as energy transfer when energy transfer is NOT the same as heat transfer. Drop the word “heat” and Kristian’s confusion ends.”

        Again, Ball4, how do energy transfer and heat transfer differ in your mind? When there apparently is no such thing as heat transfer, according to you. Only energy transfer. It’s all energy transfer. And still, some energy transfers raise objects temperature while others don’t.

        So, of the surface radiative flux going up (398 W/m^2) and the atmospheric radiative flux coming down (345 W/m^2), which of these energy transfers causes an increase in temperature in the opposite object?

        “There is nothing wrong with this energy transfer process, note no confusion written here because Gordon does not use the word “heat”.”

        Even more confusion, Ball4. You say ‘no confusion’. Hmm. Didn’t Gordon just use the abhorred terms ‘cooler’ and ‘warmer’. Up until now, totally confusing according to you, right?

        “The sky radiation is an important energy term in the surface balance that SUBTRACTS from outgoing terrestrial radiation in the balance.”

        Only it doesn’t. It evidently ADDS to the outgoing terrestrial radiation. It couldn’t have been 398 W/m^2 without the 345 W/m^2 coming in from the atmosphere, now could it?

        So what ‘outgoing terrestrial radiation’ are you actually talking about here, Ball4, that the incoming sky radiation supposedly subtracts from …?

        You’re in bad need of a specifying term here.

        “Without sky radiation transferring IR band energy to surface, the sun alone could not melt water as shown by comets/asteroids passing or at ~same orbit as the earth containing frozen water.”

        Ever wondered what the comets’ tails are made of? How they come to be?

        “Earth’s atm. sky radiation is the reason the surface mean temperature balance allows liquid water.”

        And how exactly? In your ‘heatless’ world.

        - – -

        Ball4, you’re an amusing guy. I’m still after all this time not sure if you’re serious or not with your grand solo ‘heat crusade’. But in your own oddball kind of way, your posts are at times quite entertaining.

        • Christopher Game says:

          Kristian at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-90170 is still muddled, as Ball4 at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-90181 is patiently making clear.

          Kristian shows the nature of his muddle perhaps most clearly in his question “So what kind of energy transfer causes temperatures to increase, and what kind of energy transfer does not? In your ‘heatless’ world …”

          Though he writes full of self-confidence as if he knew what he is talking about, Kristian is making it distressingly obvious that he is unfamiliar with how physicists think about this matter. It may help him to read the account by G.H. Bryan (1907), at http://archive.org/details/Thermodynamics. This excellent and well-respected text is one of the origins of the version of the thermodynamics of heat nowadays accepted in the best texts on physics. Ball4 is patiently and bravely struggling to find pedagogical means to deal with Kristian’s unfamiliarity with that thermodynamics of heat.

          On page 4 Bryan writes:

          Heating a Body. In ordinary language when we speak of heating a body, either of two things may be meant, viz.,

          (a)that the temperature of the body is being raised,

          (b) that a certain quantity of heat is being imparted to the body.

          This ambiguity does not usually cause confusion in every day life, because in the majority of cases, the two operations (a) and (b) occur simultaneously. But if a mass of gas is rapidly compressed its temperature may be increasing while it is at the same time giving up heat to surrounding bodies; the gas would then be being heated according to definition (a) and cooled according to definition (b). In thermodynamics it is therefore desirable to avoid the use of terms such as heating or cooling a body, whenever any ambiguity can possibly arise.

          On the contrary, when a body is spoken of as growing hotter or colder an increase of temperature is always implied, for the hotness and coldness of a body are qualitative terms which can only refer to temperature.”

          Kristian is revelling in and exploiting the possibilities of the ambiguity indicated here by Bryan, and thereby confusing himself, and hiding the presently relevant physical realities from himself, and making it a struggle for Ball4 to get the message across to Kristian.

          For the record, for Kristian’s benefit, may I note that transfers of energy as work that increase a body’s internal energy can cause its temperature to increase, even while energy is being transferred from the body as heat; Bryan cites an example of this.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher Game,

            You seem very confident in your opinion about what I get and don’t get about the concept of heat. I can assure you that your opinion is wrong, in fact … muddled.

            Quite frankly I wonder why you’re even addressing me here at all? You should be addressing Ball4. Why aren’t you explaining the nature of heat to him? Seeing that he appears so utterly bent on denying its relevance, I would almost say, its very existence.

            When I ask Ball4: “So what kind of energy transfer causes temperatures to increase, and what kind of energy transfer does not? In your ‘heatless’ world …” it is specifically with his distinct belief that everything is just energy transfer in mind, that there is no such thing as heat. So I ask him then, if there is no heat (and work, I presume), which one of these energy transfers of his, that are apparently all one and the same, which can cause temperatures to increase and when? And which can’t? And if so, why are some energy transfers capable and others not? Or is he saying that all energy transfers will automatically raise temperatures?

            He’s the one confusing the matter. There is nothing confusing about the concept of heat. It is a very simple physical phenomenon with an equally simple physical definition. The people trying their utmost to confuse the concept are mainstream climate scientists (referring to for instance the Kiehl/Trenberth type of energy budget diagrams). The whole ‘radiative GHE’ hypothesis is founded on such confusion. Drop the energy UP and DOWN terms and use only the heat UP term, and it will become clear that there is no radiative GHE. The atmosphere cannot make the surface warmer by back radiation. Try it. It makes so much more sense.

            I must say I find it quite surprising, Christopher, that you do not agree with me in finding it absurd displaying such a rabid aversion to the physical concept of heat and what it represents and results in, that Ball4 does. Rather you ‘attack’ my reply to his completely nonsensical and confused prior comment.

            - – -

            Other than this, there would be no point engaging in any further discourse with you, since you have done nothing but avoiding and evading any discussion on how exactly the atmosphere is supposed radiatively to make the surface hotter.

            I’ve described the IPCC-approved budget leading to ‘heating by back-radiation’ on several occasions and you haven’t even attempted to take a stand for or against it.

            Do you approve of the way the Kiehl/Trenberth type of energy budgetting purports to explain why and how the Earth’s surface is as warm as it is?

            Do you approve of the way people like Willis Eschenbach and Tim Folkerts explain the concept of ‘heating by back radiation’ with the famed ‘Steel Greenhouse’?

            If you do, you will have to explain exactly what is done to cause the increase in source (surface) temperature.

            - – -

            Ball4 said: “The sky radiation is an important energy term in the surface balance that SUBTRACTS from outgoing terrestrial radiation in the balance.”

            I answered: “Only it doesn’t. It evidently ADDS to the outgoing terrestrial radiation. It couldn’t have been 398 W/m^2 without the 345 W/m^2 coming in from the atmosphere, now could it?”

            This is clearly evident from the K&T diagram. And from all explanations of ‘heating (making the surface warmer) by back radiation’.

            The radiative heat moving up and away from the surface is not reduced by actually reducing or restricting any flows of energy in any direction. And that’s quite a pointer already there that there’s something not quite right going on with this explanation.

            No, it is only being ‘reduced’ by ADDING energy back from the object being the receiver of heat to the object being the emitter/source. This is the back radiation. Energy that suddenly appears as ‘extra’ incoming for the warmer object as soon as the cooler object starts getting warmer from that very same energy.

            You need to separate between two objects without external energy sources cooling and an object constantly heated by an external source in turn warming (at dynamic equilibrium, maintaining the temperature of) a cooler object.

            Nowhere does any physics textbook or any physical experiment describe or even suggest a case (in vacuum, so that only radiation is available for transferring heat) where an already equilibrated hot object is made even hotter (beyond what its external/internal, constant heat source can produce at dynamic equilibrium) by the back radiation from a cooler nearby object.

            What is always described is either the change in ‘cooling rate’ (or ‘heating rate’) of an object that does not receive heat from anywhere, that simply starts out at some higher temperature, when you put an object cooler, but warmer than the surroundings, next to it or around it, or the reduction in final outgoing radiative heat flux to space from a hot object at constant temperature where some of it is instead used to make the introduced cool object surrounding it warmer.

            Yes, a hot unheated object will cool slower to a warm object than to a cool object than to a cold object than to space (~0 K). And yes, placing a cooler object (shell) between a hot, constantly heated object and space will reduce the final outgoing heat flux to space as long as some of the energy going out from the hot central object is rather spent heating the cooler surrounding object (you can’t have both heating and retained outward flux).

            This does not mean that the hot unheated object will ever become hotter that what it started out being. No heat outside of what it gets from its source is ever transferred to it at any of the above instances.

            The same goes for a hot object that is kept at its constant high temperature by the supply of heat from a constant external heat source. Like the central object above. Heat can never be transferred to it from an adjacent object or from surroundings that are cooler than it, be it 1000 or only 0.1K. So it can’t get hotter than what its heat source can make it. Until an even hotter object is put in thermal contact with it.

            I know you (and Spencer) would like now to point out that it is not just heat IN that matters, but heat OUT as well.

            Umm, yes and no. It is only heat IN that can physically increase an object’s internal energy. Not releasing internal energy does not increase it. But yes, if somehow the release of energy does not equal the gain, the internal energy will grow.

            Note that I’ve switched now from ‘heat’ to ‘energy’. That is to make it easier to see how you try to make use of the conflation of heat and energy transfer that is so pervasive in climate science (referring again to that famous K&T diagram), to get away with violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. A law that you violate by first violating the 1st Law – inventing extra energy coming in to the surface.

            You see, in purely radiative heat transfer, there is no physical way of stopping the outgoing energy from leaving the hot object. It absorbs the heat coming IN, acquires the corresponding emission temperature and in turn emits back out according to this temperature (disregarding emissivity). No matter what. The energy goes out in EM waves, pure energy, no physical mass, no physical space taken up. There is only the wavefront propagation. Outward from the hot object.

            So you cannot make the hot object hotter still by restricting or reducing this outgoing energy. At the actual surface of the object (its system boundary), the outgoing EM waves resulting from the object’s temperature is the radiative HEAT leaving it. And at dynamic equilibrium it equates the heat coming in.

            This outgoing radiative heat from the hot object constantly supplied with energy from its external heat source, however, has a different effect on a warm object than on a cool or cold object in thermal contact with the hot one: The same heat flux going out from the hot object can not increase the internal energy of the adjacent warm object as fast as it can with the cool and cold objects. Why? Because it cannot make use of it to the same degree. Why? Because the warmer the receiving object gets, the greater its own heat loss will be. So the ‘net heat gain’ will be smaller. The same thing happens for a reflective surface, only then it can’t make use of the entire heat flux coming in because it’s unable to absorb it all.

            At no point, though, will this warming of the cooler objects make the hot object, the source of their heat, even warmer. Why would it? No object needs to get hotter to warm objects cooler than itself! The only thing that’s reduced is the ‘heating rate’ of the adjacent cooler object as it gets warmer.

            The ‘making warmer by back radiation’ idea is absurd and unphysical.

            - – -

            The surface of the Earth is not made warmer than -18C or -41C by restricting the rate at which its outgoing thermal radiation escapes it. It’s made warmer by restricting the rate of energy/heat released from it by way of convection and evaporation. Through the sheer WEIGHT OF THE ATMOSPHERE ON THE SURFACE. Because the rate of energy leaving the surface by way of moving air molecules can be restricted and reduced. Unlike by way of EM waves.

            That’s the atmospheric warming effect, Christopher.

            Radiatively, the presence of our atmosphere on average works to cool the surface, by depriving it on a daily basis of around 45% of its potential solar heat input (compared to the Moon). Yes, there might be a small radiatively induced reduction in nighttime cooling by the atmosphere, but even this is a small effect compared to the reduced nighttime cooling caused by simply the huge heat capacity (the inertia) and the release of latent heat by H2O in the air and ground.

            Forget about the radiative GHE. It is not what makes our global surface as balmy as it is. It is the input from the Sun + the heat capacity of the Earth system + the weight of the atmosphere on top of the surface.

            It’s that simple …

          • Ball4 says:

            Kristian 5:30am – Here Kristian slips back into the dark side: the obsolete caloric theory camp. That heat is a self-repellent weightless, colorless substance (the caloric) and caloric can be poured from one massive body to another. To Kristian, heat transfer is a flow of the caloric which cannot be created nor destroyed.

            This theory was eventually replaced (refuted actually) with what I have been describing, that heat is really a form of energy transfer, the kinetic theory. An early suspicion that the caloric theory was suspect was in the Austrian workshops turning cannons ordered by the French to use on the Germans. Water was used to cool the process and that water boiled without adding caloric, causing much hoopla, boiling water without firewood. The process drew crowds. This was unheard of & appeared to be like free energy in the 1700s. Until someone (Rumford 1st, then Joule, Mayer, Clausius) pointed to the horses out back turning the lathes.

            So I ask Kristian what is exactly wrong with the kinetic theory 1st law that uses energy transfer to calculate Tmean=288K for earth as measured by thermometers, let’s use eqn.s not word mind twisters. Check each of Kristian’s statements against the 1st law:

            Energy In – Energy Out = m * Cp * DT/dt = 0 in LTE when DT/dt nears 0.0.

            Applied to earths surface control volume observing 2nd law:

            Solar radiation into surface – (Terrestrial radiation out – sky radiation toward surface) = 0

            Input sky radiation as measured find Tmean = 288K, sky radiation set = 0 find Tmean = 255K.

            ******

            Where is the kinetic theory physics issue Kristian? Exactly. Don’t just try to point at the lack of caloric being poured (no heat as a noun). Won’t work. The water boiled.

            Alternately let’s see Kristian write an eqn. using caloric theory to find earth Tmean = 288K with:

            “..input from the Sun + the heat capacity of the Earth system + the weight of the atmosphere on top of the surface.”

            because Kristian writes it is just that simple.

          • Christopher Game says:

            At http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-90244 Kristian writes: “Christopher … you have done nothing but avoiding and evading any discussion on how exactly the atmosphere is supposed radiatively to make the surface hotter.”

            Christopher’s response: I have at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89710 explained how adding CO2 to the atmosphere radiatively makes the surface hotter.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher Game,

            I told you: “… you have done nothing but avoiding and evading any discussion on how exactly the atmosphere is supposed radiatively to make the surface hotter.”

            To this you replied: “I have at – - – explained how adding CO2 to the atmosphere radiatively makes the surface hotter.”

            You have done no such thing. You have simply repeated your assertion that it does.

            You stated: ”Arfur Bryant, (…) you have asked your question twice, in two different ways. The first asking was “Do you, or do you not agree that heat can be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface?” The second asking was “I do care to find out if Dr Spencer thinks that CO2 back-radiation can cause the surface temperature to increase.” These two questions differ importantly.”

            Not in principle. They both address a transfer of energy from a cooler to a warmer object and whether this transfer is able to cause an increase in the temperature (that is, an increase in the internal energy) of the receiving, already warmer object.

            See, you try to hide behind the ‘two-way vs. net concept’ by saying ‘yes it’s a transfer of energy, but not of energy as heat’. It’s just a ‘virtual’ flux. And still you expect this virtual energy flux to act as if it were a heat flux across the boundary of the two thermodynamic systems, that is, resulting in target warming. You’re adding to the incoming. You’re not subtracting from the outgoing. You’re adding to the internal energy of the warmer object. And you do it specifically with your back radiation. Sorry, Christopher, you cannot do that. It’s impossible in nature. Because only energy transferred as heat (or work) can add to the internal energy of an object. And as you said, heat goes spontaneously from hot to cold only, not the other way.

            You continued: ”(…) to your second question, if it were re-worded as ‘can CO2 back-radiation make a contribution that will tend to increase the temperature of the surface?’, I think [Spencer] would say ‘yes’.”

            Precisely what ‘contribution’ is this, Christopher? The adding to the internal energy of the warmer surface?

            And then this: ” The second law does not have anything to say about the second question taken in isolation, about back-radiation by itself, because back-radiation by itself is not a transfer of energy as heat in the formalism of thermodynamics; Dr Spencer knows that. People who think that the second law has something to say about back-radiation by itself are not clear in their minds about how thermodynamics treats the difference between a one-way passage of radiation on the one hand, and on the other hand a transfer of heat, which is an algebraic sum of forward- and back-radiation.”

            People seeing through such nebulous nonsense are indeed very clear in their minds about thermodynamics, Christopher. They see through your sophistry. This is just you using semantics to obfuscate your actual proposed working mechanism for warming. Of course the laws of thermodynamics wouldn’t allow ‘back radiation’ to act as if it were ‘heat’.

            The concept of a two-way energy exchange between two objects leading to a net flow is an attempt to describe the thermodynamic process of (radiative) heat transfer microscopically rather than just macroscopically. It is still part of thermodynamics, Christopher. The real, physical process and end result is still exactly the same. You’re just embarrassing yourself by pretending that it somehow isn’t. That the ‘back radiation’ would somehow be allowed to make the warmer object even warmer as long as the ‘forward radiation’ made the cooler object more warmer. Show me where in physics this phenomenon is described as allowed to occur!

            ”When CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it increases the infrared optical density of the atmosphere. Other factors being unchanged, infrared absorption and emission are thereby increased. This causes an increase in back-radiation, and, other things being equal, this will tend to increase the land-sea surface temperature.”

            But why? How? I’m fed up with this habit of simply stating results or conclusions as fact without ever substantiating them or explaining in detail why it is so. What specifically happens, Christopher? How does the back radiation increase the surface temperature? Again you’re just saying that it does.

            You’re still evading the prime issue here. Exactly how is the energy returned back from the cooler object (the atmosphere) allowed to make the warmer object (the surface) warmer still? If, as you keep on claiming, it is not to be considered a transfer of heat?

            You add energy back to the surface. And thereby raise its temperature. How is this not an extra transfer of heat?

          • Christopher Game says:

            Response to the post of Kristian at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-90928.

            Kristian, you write:

            “…”These two questions differ importantly.

            “Not in principle. They both address a transfer of energy …”

            There we have it. I follow the rules of thermodynamics, and you reject them. Because I use them, you find fault in what I write, and dismiss it.

            As I have said here before, one needs to use a proper formalism for this kind of work. I am using the formalism of thermodynamics. For thermodynamics, a one-way (hemi-)flux of radiation is a virtual concept not admitted to discussion. Thermodynamics considers as a transfer only a quantity that has the value of the algebraic sum of the two one-way (hemi-)fluxes. You call a one-way (hemi-)flux a “transfer”, flouting the thermodynamic rule. But you are calling on thermodynamics.

            When you get this one straight in your mind, and re-consider what I have written, you will be in a better position to comment on it.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher Game says, October 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM:

            “There we have it. I follow the rules of thermodynamics, and you reject them. Because I use them, you find fault in what I write, and dismiss it.”

            No, Christopher. I specifically follow the thermodynamic formalism. That is exactly what I do. This is precisely what I’m talking about. Once again you’re only evading the issue. You’re not taking in what I’m actually saying.

            And you still absolutely refuse to explain exactly how your ‘back radiation’ contributes to warming the surface. Simply stating that is somehow does. HOW?

            You say you’re follow the rules of thermodynamics. In reality what you do is the opposite. What you say you’re doing and what we see you are in fact doing are two different things, Christopher. This is the simple point that I’ve been pointing out to you and everyone reading here all this time. And you seemingly simply don’t get it. And you simply won’t touch it.

            How exactly is your ‘virtual’ energy flux, the ‘back radiation’ from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, making the surface warmer still IF IT IS NOT A TRANSFER OF ENERGY? It is the only ‘new’ energy around. It is the only energy there to make an extra ‘contribution’ to the internal energy of the surface. You are not reducing any energy fluxes in any direction. You are introducing an new one. By simply placing the atmosphere on top of the surface.

            You’re adding more energy to the surface to make it warmer, Christopher. How is this not a transfer of energy? And how is this transfer then not a transfer of heat?

            It is you that desperately try to evade the thermodynamic formalism.

            You say one thing and you do another. That’s my point.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Responding to the post of Kristian at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-90958.

            Dear Kristian, I have long ago taken in what you are saying. Again and again. The more you repeat it, the more confident I am that you are confused.

            You now write: “IF IT IS NOT A TRANSFER OF ENERGY.” You are using the word ‘transfer’ here as a word of ordinary language, not as a formal term in thermodynamics. And you persistently confuse yourself by doing this over and over again. My just previous post tries to say this to you, but is seems it wasn’t clear enough.

            Virtual energy (hemi-)flux can be said to be virtual transfer of energy, or in your preferred ordinary language, transfer of energy. But it is not the ‘transfer’ referred to in thermodynamics. The transfer referred to in thermodynamics is in a usage well-established in the literature, but apparently not accepted by you. Radiative transfer of heat in thermodynamics is just a quantity that has the value of the algebraic sum of two opposing (hemi-)fluxes.

            You give us no reason in what you write here to think that you are familiar with thermodynamics. You come across as an instant expert.

            You tell me I am doing one thing and saying another. You mean that I am inconsistent between what I say, and what I say I am saying. I read you there, but I think you are mistaken, because you have your own fixed viewpoint that is confusing you.

            Beyond this, you make several gross factual mistakes in what you say further, but I think it unlikely that you will be able to recognise them just from my pointing them out and trying to clarify for you about them.

            While you believe that I am speaking inconsistently, I suppose it is likely to be more or less fruitless for me to say more.

          • Kristian says:

            Sorry, Christopher, but resorting to condescencion doesn’t really help your case here. That is the AGW-adherent’s way of trying to win an argument: ‘I see you are confused. You don’t understand this. I do. I’m an expert and therefore I’m right.’

            You haven’t explained anything, Christopher. Quite the opposite. You have meticulously avoided a specific explanation of how ‘back radiation’ is supposed to make the surface warmer. And you’re still doing it. Trying to brush me off as ‘confused’. Spinning your ‘thermodynamic formalism’ card. And nothing else. No process, no mechanism divulged. It just happens apparently. Because you say so.

            I know exactly what a thermodynamic transfer of energy is, Christopher. That is precisely why I’m telling you over and over that you cannot have ‘back radiation’ make the surface warmer. You expect something that you say is NOT a thermodynamic transfer of energy to give a result as if it WERE. You cannot have both. What will it be? Either it (your ‘back radiation’) isn’t a transfer of energy, or it cannot increase the internal energy of the surface, raising its temperature.

            The more I read your comments, the more I realise that you have no case, and that all you’re trying to do is to escape this discussion without having it demonstrated.

            You’re still not even making an attempt to explain exactly how your ‘back radiation’, your extra energy to the surface, is supposed to raise its temperature, that is, increase its internal energy above what the solar input can sustain.

            What exactly is this radiative ‘contribution’ that you speak of from the ‘back radiation’ to the surface that makes it warmer than what the Sun alone could manage to make it?

          • Kristian says:

            Sorry, that bolded paragraph above was a bit confused ;-P. It should have said:

            “You expect something that you say is NOT a thermodynamic transfer of energy to give a result as if it WERE. You cannot have both. What will it be? Either it (your ‘back radiation’) isn’t a transfer of energy and thus it cannot increase the internal energy of the surface, raising its temperature. Or it is a transfer of energy and thus can increase the internal energy of the surface (making the cooler atmosphere a second heat source to the warmer surface).”

            Remember here that the outgoing ‘virtual’ radiative (hemi-)flux from the surface is never reduced by the ‘back radiation’ …

          • Kristian says:

            So if the internal energy of the surface increases beyond the solar input, it can only arise from the ‘back radiation’ from the atmosphere.

          • Kristian says:

            To bring this discussion a bit further:

            The ability of the energy (heat) flux going out from the surface to increase the internal energy of the atmosphere at a specific rate is definitely affected by the temperature of the atmosphere (or rather, the temperature gradient/difference between the surface and the atmosphere). The magnitude of the energy (heat) flux going out from the surface, however, isn’t. Not if we consider it constantly supplied with energy (heat) from the Sun. Then its heat output will simply equal its heat input … at dynamic equilibrium.

            The atmospheric temperature gradient is set by the adiabatic lapse rate, and this in turn is set by the specific heat capacity of the atmosphere and Earth’s gravitational acceleration alone (well, plus the release of latent heat from H2O). It promotes and maintains convective circulation and convection in turn effectively keeps the tropospheric temperature profile within its bounds.

            The atmosphere is warmed by heat transfer from the surface, with or without so-called GHGs in the atmosphere.

            The only thing reducing the radiative heat loss from the global surface of the Earth with an atmosphere on top is the convective/evaporative heat loss. Without the latter, the former would have had to shed all of the absorbed solar heat alone to maintain energy/heat balance for the surface. That is: 165 W/m^2 IN, 165 W/m^2 OUT. With an atmosphere in place, this is no longer needed, nor possible. The real figures are rather: 165 W/m^2 IN, (112+53=) 165 W/m^2 OUT, where the 112 is convective/evaporative heat loss and the 53 is radiative heat loss. Still balance is maintained.

            The surface of the Earth is no black body radiating into a perfect vacuum, an infinite heat sink at 0 K. Stefan-Boltzmann does not apply. The surface temperature of the Earth and its dynamic heat output is not directly related. The Earth simply needs to rid itself of as much energy as it absorbs from the Sun. Its specific temperature is determined (also) by other factors.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Perhaps I might repeat here the account that I gave above and that Kristian here dismisses.

            I should nevertheless specifically reject the words that Kristian puts into my mouth just above:

            “You’re still not even making an attempt to explain exactly how your ‘back radiation’, your extra energy to the surface, is supposed to raise its temperature, that is, increase its internal energy above what the solar input can sustain.

            What exactly is this radiative ‘contribution’ that you speak of from the ‘back radiation’ to the surface that makes it warmer than what the Sun alone could manage to make it?”

            I, Christopher, am not attempting to answer this question in the form that Kristian asks it because to do so would be to implicitly let Kristian put that stuff into my mouth. It is improper of Kristian to write that stuff like that.

            But here is a rational account of how added CO2 primarily, virtually, without ‘feedback’, leads to increased land-sea surface temperature, copied from above at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/oceanic-cloud-decrease-since-1987-explains-13-of-ocean-heating/#comment-89710. I use the word ‘virtually’ here to indicate that the secondary effects, the ‘feedback’, begin more or less immediately after the primary effects, so that the primary effects are not directly and isolatedly actually detectable. The primary effects provide a real and valid explanation, but the mere act of intellectual division into primary and secondary effects is a signal that this is explanation, not direct measurement. By the word ‘virtual’ I do not intend to imply that the effects are not real or are not a valid explanation.

            “One may think about the immediate primary effects of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, so soon after the addition of CO2 that no secondary effects have had time to get going. When CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it increases the infrared optical density of the atmosphere. Other factors being unchanged, infrared absorption and emission are thereby increased. This causes an increase in back-radiation, and, other things being equal, this will tend to increase the land-sea surface temperature. Added CO2 has other effects. Some infrared radiation that would have escaped direct to space from the land-sea surface is, when CO2 is added, absorbed by the atmosphere. This adds to the internal energy of the atmosphere, and contributes as an energy source for the increase in back-radiation, while still leaving the atmosphere warmer than it would be without the added CO2. As it happens, also the added CO2 reduces the emission of radiation from the atmosphere to space, because the upper atmosphere is a poorer transmitter of infrared radiation that was emitted upwards by the lower atmosphere. This reduction will also contribute to making energy available for increased back-radiation, still leaving the atmosphere warmer. All this is in accord with the second law of thermodynamics.

            “Thus the immediate primary effect of adding CO2 is to reduce the rate of radiation to space from the entire earth-atmosphere body. Less energy radiates straight to space, both directly from the land-sea surface and directly from the atmosphere. Energy can then accumulate in the entire body, but initially in the atmosphere; some of it warms the surface by back-radiation, and some of it warms the atmosphere.

            “When these warmings have started, they will lead to secondary effects (often called “feedbacks”), but we do not need to consider those right now, especially since they are the subject of mighty battles.”

            The above account assumes that the reader is to some extent familiar with generally accepted theory about radiative emission, absorption, and transfer. The specific elements of the account are based on the quantities stated in Table 3 of the 2010 paper by Miskolczi cited in the lead of this thread by Dr Spencer. That is not to say that Miskolczi would or would not agree with my reading of his table.

            Reading some of what Kristian has to say here, I would not be surprised if he rejected the generally accepted theory, about radiative emission, absorption, and transfer, that I am relying on. I can say in advance that I will not even consider entering here into debate about that theory. I accept it, and am not interested in debate about it here.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher Game:

            “When CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it increases the infrared optical density of the atmosphere. Other factors being unchanged, infrared absorption and emission are thereby increased. This causes an increase in back-radiation, and, other things being equal, this will tend to increase the land-sea surface temperature.”

            Sigh. And round and round we go.

            Again, HOW??!! Don’t just assert it. Explain it! Show it! How precisely will the increase in back radiation ‘tend to increase the land-sea surface temperature’?

            “Some infrared radiation that would have escaped direct to space from the land-sea surface is, when CO2 is added, absorbed by the atmosphere. This adds to the internal energy of the atmosphere, and contributes as an energy source for the increase in back-radiation, while still leaving the atmosphere warmer than it would be without the added CO2.”

            A clear example of you wanting to have the cake and eat it. You cannot both have the energy maintaining the temperature of the atmosphere at a higher level than without CO2 AND then also let that same energy turn into an increase in back radiation to the surface, according to you tending to make the surface warmer. The energy came from the surface in the first place. You can’t use it twice.

            Once again, Christopher: How specifically is the back radiation making the surface warmer? You’re coming off as utterly incapable of answering this simple question?

            “Reading some of what Kristian has to say here, I would not be surprised if he rejected the generally accepted theory, about radiative emission, absorption, and transfer, that I am relying on. I can say in advance that I will not even consider entering here into debate about that theory. I accept it, and am not interested in debate about it here.”

            Yup. There we have it. He is not interested in explaining the basis for his assertions. He just takes for granted that he’s right. Pretending to take the high road out.

            What theory am I rejecting, Christopher? The one about radiative emission? No. Radiative absorption? Nope. Radiative transfer? Not so.

            What I reject is only your idea of radiation from a cooler object being capable of increasing the internal energy of a warmer object, making it even warmer. There is no physical theory anywhere giving you permission to do that.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Dear Kristian, you insist on repeatedly putting words into my mouth and then you repeatedly complain when I do not defend them. For example, “What I reject is only your idea of radiation from a cooler object being capable of increasing the internal energy of a warmer object, making it even warmer.” I will not give currency, by directly replying to or defending it, to the stuff that you put into my mouth, stuff that I do not accept in the form in which you put it.

            I have done with this. I have twice here given a sound explanation of how added CO2 primarily leads to increase of land-sea surface temperature by radiative mechanisms. You have twice practically ignored it, or dismissed it apparently without engaging with it; I get the feeling that it just passed right by you.

            I have explained the basis for my assertions as far as is reasonable here. It would be quite inappropriate for me to try here to defend the established theory of radiative emission, absorption, and transfer. As a precaution, I mentioned the possibility that you would not accept this theory. I didn’t say you rejected the theory; I said I would not be surprised if you did so. If you do accept it, then my precaution was superfluous. I do not know where you stand on this theory, but if you are not sure where I stand on it, I can recommend two reliable texts that I accept: Chandrasekhar, S. (1950), Radiative Transfer, Oxford University Press, Oxford UK; and Mihalas, D., Weibel-Mihalas, B. (1984), Foundations of Radiation Hydrodynamics, Oxford University Press, Oxford UK.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher Game:
            “I have twice here given a sound explanation of how added CO2 primarily leads to increase of land-sea surface temperature by radiative mechanisms.”

            No, you have not. You have simply stated that there is an increase in ‘back radiation’ and this will tend to make the surface warmer.

            This is not an ‘explanation’, Christopher. If you still don’t see that, then I’m sure most people (if any) reading this line of discussion will.

            You have very clearly NOT given a sound explanation of specifically HOW this increase in ‘back radiation’ is supposed to make the surface warmer.

            What is the working radiative mechanism according to you, Christopher? Here’s your chance. What energy is making the surface warmer? How is the internal energy of the surface increased in your mind?

            I would very much like to know if you agree on these two simple points:

            1) For an object to become warmer, its internal energy must increase,

            and

            2) The outgoing radiative ‘virtual’ (hemi-)flux from the surface is never reduced by the ‘back radiation’.

            Radiative transfer theory does in no way allow ‘back radiation’ from a cooler object to make a warmer object even warmer.

            CO2 in the atmosphere indeed absorbs surface IR within certain frequency bands, mostly transferring the resulting energy to other air molecules through collisions. This doesn’t make the surface, the source of the IR, warmer than it was as it emitted it. Over time and on average there can be no greater or smaller temp gradient from the surface to the tropopause on Earth than the adiabatic lapse rate. Putting more CO2 in the atmosphere will not change this.

          • Christopher Game says:

            1): Disagree.

            2): Can’t give view on vague or meaningless sentence.

            Dear Kristian, you persist in trying to dictate to me how I should explain the physics, trying to put your words into my mouth. No. And I will not be led by you into dealing piecemeal with single sentences that you dictate because if I did I would be letting you get away with putting words into my mouth. No.

          • Kristian says:

            Christopher Game says, October 30, 2013 at 2:05 PM:

            “1): Disagree.”

            Interesting. So how is an object warming in your mind?

            “2): Can’t give view on vague or meaningless sentence.”

            This is just too rich. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The other one-way hemi-flux, the one going out, the ‘forward radiation’ from the surface. You’re the one talking about the algebraic sum of the two one-way ‘virtual’ fluxes. And when I refer specifically to them, it’s vague and meaningless. Puh-lease …

            “Dear Kristian, you persist in trying to dictate to me how I should explain the physics, trying to put your words into my mouth.”

            I am not dictating you, Christopher. I’m trying to make you explain yourself. But since you absolutely refuse to, then I’m forced to guess how you think.

            Explain yourself. EXACTLY HOW DOES THE INCREASED ‘BACK RADIATION’ TEND TO MAKE THE LAND-SEA SURFACE WARMER? WHAT IS ITS ‘CONTRIBUTION’? WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC RADIATIVE MECHANISM?

            Once again, here’s your chance. If you’re so against me ‘putting words in your mouth’, then there’s a very easy way to avoid it: EXPLAIN YOURSELF!

          • Kristian says:

            And please, Christopher, don’t give me the ‘I’ve already given a sound explanation’. No, you haven’t. You have not explained HOW precisely the increased ‘back radiation’ tend to make the surface warmer. What energy is actually doing the warming here?

            And how on Earth are you getting a warming surface without increasing its internal energy? You disagreed that this was necessary.

          • Christopher Game says:

            This is not my chance, it is my misery. I have already given a sound explanation, but you want me to expand and elaborate on it. It is not easy for me to avoid you putting words into my mouth; it is tedious and unpleasant.

            You are asking me to read your mind, when you say “You know exactly what I am talking about”. I complain that you are muddled because what you write doesn’t make your meaning clear, in spite of the length of your posts, and I think you are muddled.

            Back radiation as I read you is virtual (hemi-)flux from atmosphere to land-sea surface. As far as I can work out, you admit that it is real, though I am not quite sure about that. For the following I will assume that you admit that it is real. By virtual I don’t mean unreal, I mean real enough but not fully actual as a distinct thing.

            The back radiation comes into an energy balance for the land-sea surface; this balance is a conceptual or virtual object and so can have virtual contributory components. Add some back radiation and you add that amount (or rate) of energy to the balance. More balance tends to increase the internal energy. In the special case of interest to you, more internal energy is correlated with increase in temperature. (Your question was unconditional and so I answered it unconditionally, but for the special case that interests you, though your question was not so qualified, the answer would be yes.) So increased back radiation tends to increase the temperature of the land-sea body, other factors being equal. The words ‘tends to’ mean ‘other factors being equal’.

            Now you ask “What energy is actually doing the warning?” That seems perhaps a bit like asking which dollar coin paid the baker? The one from the grocer or the one from the butcher? They were both in your pocket when you reached the baker.

            If you read carefully what I wrote, you will see that there is a delay in escape of energy from the earth-atmosphere body brought about by adding CO2 to the atmosphere, the delay initially and primarily having a radiative mechanism. There are four bodies between which transfers take place, and they all play their parts in the whole dynamical structure, and all the transfers must be taken into account to understand the dynamics. The four bodies are sun, space, atmosphere, and land-sea surface.

            It may or may not help to clarify it for you if I use a model, an analogy. The widely used bucket model might be useful here. One can imagine a bucket with a hole in the bottom. Water is coming into it from a running tap, at a constant rate. Under suitable conditions, the water will reach a steady level in the bucket, running out through the hole in the bottom as fast as it runs in from the tap. That water level represents our initial unperturbed state. Then someone puts a straw across the hole inside the bucket so that there is less admittance for water outflow through the hole. The water keeps coming in from the tap at the same rate. The water level will rise. That is our no-feedback increased level transient state. That is all I am offering to explain, as noted in what I wrote.

            So it’s a matter of simple dynamical systems theory.

            The analogy goes like this:

            The four model bodies are (1) the tank that supplies the tap, (2) the drain to which the outlet goes, and (3) and (4) the water in the bucket represents the combined earth-atmosphere.

            The tap water running in is the sunlight, the rate of which is unchanging in time. The water running out of the hole in the bottom is the terrestrial infrared radiation to space. The water level is the land-sea surface temperature, which is correlated with the amount of water in the bucket, which is the internal energy of the land-sea body.

            If you put a drop of coloured ink into the in-running tap-water, and see how long it takes for the ink in the bucket to fade, you can estimate the residence time of water running through. Partly blocking the hole lengthens the residence time. The extra residence time means that there is temporarily more water in the bucket.

            The water level rises when the outlet is impeded because the water from the tap keeps running in at a constant rate. That is part of the no-feedback condition, to which my account is explicitly restricted.

            I did not explain this before because I supposed it would be obvious. Perhaps it is obvious and is not the missing link that you are looking for. Perhaps the missing link lies somewhere else.

            This story is not told directly in equilibrium thermodynamics, which is primarily in terms of bodies which have no flow. This is a story about flow. Statements of the second law for flows are not nearly as simple those for no-flow conditions.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Probably I should dot my i’s and cross my t’s.

            Bodies (3) and (4) are the atmosphere and the land-sea surface-body. The main bulk of the water in the bucket is the land-sea surface-body, and the water in the hole on its way out and impeded by the straw is the atmosphere. The straw is the added CO2.

          • wayne says:

            Kristian, look just below for my recent comment. I must have picked the wrong indent level.

        • wayne says:

          Kristian, you might find some support for what you are arguing at Wikipedia, “Emissivity”. Hate to use Wikipedia but that as about as close as you can get to how I see it. According to that source’s argument(?) the half downwelling LW of non-window (ghg) gas lines are reflected from the surface, never absorbed for matching frequencies. Read the bottom portion very carefully and between the lines. I personally have never viewed this case in question as either “absorbed” or “reflected” but instead cancelled of that portion in both direction but that is getting very picky at the quantum level. I can visualize that as either reflected or entirely cancelled in the e/m field equally well. At the macro level just relected is fine.

          Is that more what you keep asking… exactly ‘how’ does downwelling ‘sky radation’ interact with the surface? That description may help. That reflection occurs within the ‘near field’ as I recall. Look that up too.

          ( Side subject: Also that same emissivity page has a link (pdf) at the bottom to an ‘IR specific’ emissivity chart – water (100°F) listed is 0.67 which I have always found is the more true. Emissivity decreases with temperature so putting my ≈0.61 now in range of the global emissivity as questioned on that ‘other’ site months ago )

          • Ball4 says:

            wayne 2:22am – You are right “Hate to use Wikipedia….”

            Wiki: Thermal Radiation
            “All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation.”

            Wiki: Emission
            “The major constituents of the atmosphere, N2, O2, and Ar, do not absorb or emit in the thermal infrared.”

            Both of these cannot be correct; text books show reliable ref. test graphs of N2 absorbing & emitting in the thermal IR so I go with the Wiki Thermal Radiation as the correct statement.

            The Wiki Emission linked chart showing water having emissivity of .67 is suspect, this is much lower than my experience. No provenance is given for this number. Would be interesting to follow up with them.

            If you really want observed tests for emissivity of sea surface water at 4 different temperatures including the effects of salinity and the usefulness to determine sea surface temperature (SST) from satellite here’s a decent modern paper, hey, what do you know – they use interferometry:

            “Water is a non-black-body emitter with an emissivity slightly less than one, so the spectral variation of the emissivity must be known in order to infer SSTs from measurements of infrared radiance.”

            “Aircraft and ground-based interferometer measurements are used to investigate the dependence of sea surface emissivity on water temperature and salinity in the infrared spectral region…neglecting a temperature-dependent emissivity leads to systematic errors in SST of as much as 0.6 K depending on channel frequency.”

            Fig. 2 has 301K Sea Surface emissivity 0.985 to 0.993 and Fig. 7 has 273.7K emissivity dropping about 0.045 varying from 0.90 at lower wave number ~800/cm to ~0.93 at higher wave number ~910/cm.

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1256/qj.04.150/pdf

          • wayne says:

            Thank you so much for finding something wrong with Wikipedia. ;-)

            But really that was addressed to Kristian for him to consider and answer back to my question to him. Think I understand your viewpoint.

            Oh, thanks for the link but I already had that paper.

          • Ball4 says:

            wayne 9:09am et.al.: “…water (100°F) listed is 0.67 which I have always found is the more true….I already had that paper.”

            Then wayne needs to read the paper and properly use the paper’s results for correct science posts discussing ocean climate subject even with Kristian.

      • Ball4 says:

        Kristian 11:51am: Congrat.s for asking the correct questions. You are thinking energy transfer through, this is good. Seeing that, I’ll entertainingly answer, some would say irreverently.

        “Didn’t you say that there is no ‘heat’ nor ‘heat transfer’. Only energy transfer.”

        Not exactly; heat transfer is ok (using heat as adjective not using “heat” as noun) just not preferred b/c so often leads to 2nd law misunderstanding by the reader (the adjective use of heat is correct if 2nd law obeyed). Heat transfer term usage requires the writer to have inspected the bodies involved to obey 2nd law for the macro net energy transfer to be from higher temperature to lower temperature. This is not always done (in haste or lazy) and leads to much confusion in my observations. Whole societies, whole websites spring up in response. Geez.

        So if one limits writing to always uses energy transfer term instead, the 2nd law is protected, confusion is much reduced.

        “So what kind of energy transfer causes temperatures to increase, and what kind of energy transfer does not? In your ‘heatless’ world …Again, Ball4, how do energy transfer and heat transfer differ in your mind?”

        Only the macro energy transfers that obey the 2nd law can cause temperatures to increase. Kristian writing the energy transfer from sky to earth is the same as heat transfer sky to earth is then confused since 2nd law is not obeyed with heat transfer from sky to earth but 2nd law IS obeyed writing energy transfer sky to earth.

        “When there apparently is no such thing as heat transfer, according to you.”

        According to irreverent me, there is no such thing as “heat” (~noun) since caloric theory dropped out; there is such a thing as heat (~adjective) transfer if it obeys 2nd law and used w/o confusion – some experts are careful to do so. I don’t make the rules, have to live with Ocean Heat Content, specific heat, heat capacity. Used by experts, they should not necess. cause confusion.

        “Didn’t Gordon just use the abhorred terms ‘cooler’ and ‘warmer’.”

        Yes, used them correctly as decrease and increase of temperature, the context was not confusing, 2nd law was ok.

        “Only (sky radiation) doesn’t. It evidently ADDS to the outgoing terrestrial radiation.”

        No – watch the signs, seems simple, but it is hard work to get them right. By convention, radiation towards surface is positive (coming into a control volume around the surface). Radiation away from the surface is negative (outgoing from same control volume). Sky radiation is incoming towards the surface. So it has to subtract from outgoing terrestrial radiation, not add as different signs.

        “So what ‘outgoing terrestrial radiation’ are you actually talking about here, Ball4, that the incoming sky radiation supposedly subtracts from …?”

        Outgoing terrestrial radiation is the outward radiation from earth’s surface (has a minus sign). From the dirt & water; except traditionally in practice the real balance is set up to be in the atm., the radiation out from 1.5m above ground level where the GHCN thermometers measure the temperature. Sky radiation is incoming to surface so ends up with a + sign.

        “(Outgoing radiation) couldn’t have been 398 W/m^2 without the 345 W/m^2 coming in from the atmosphere, now could it?”

        Correct. Hold that thought forever. It doesn’t require heat transfer from sky to surface (which fails 2nd law), only energy transfer from sky to surface which doesn’t fail 2nd law.

        “Ever wondered what the comets’ tails are made of? How they come to be?”

        Google up sublimation.

  42. raybid says:

    Gee, do the experiment – as I did fifty years ago in school!

    You need a small hot-oil-filled heater, a converging lens made of rock crystal, and a bit of black paper.

    Converge the infrared rays from the heater onto a small bit of black paper.

    Watch it burst into flame! Just before that happens
    the heater is radiating to a piece of paper that is at a higher temperature than it is – and the temperature of the paper is still going up.

    Use bolometers to keep track of the temperatures if you want.

    So with apparatus it is possible for an object to radiatively
    heat another which is at a higher temperature. That is all
    that we had to prove.

  43. raybid says:

    I have remembered an additional experiment we did.

    You make a cone of reflecting material and put the heater in the base and a litle gunpowder at the vertex…poof! Of course, the heater has to be reasonably hot, else not much happens.