## Why Summer Nighttime Temperatures Don’t Fall Below Freezing

April 10th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

There’s something about the greenhouse effect /sky radiation / downwelling infrared / back radiation issue that keeps drawing me back to the subject.

I guess it’s the number of people who don’t believe the so-called greenhouse effect exists (I still get e-mails from them, even today), combined with the difficulty of convincing them that their everyday experience is consistent with its existence.

I’ve used a handheld IR thermometer to directly measure its effect (the temperature of the surface of a thermopile in the device increases as you scan from pointing straight up in a clear sky to pointing at an angle…voila! Downwelling sky radiation changing surface temperature!). But, no, that’s not enough.

I’ve also tried to explain that the temperature of the Earth and its atmosphere (or anything else, for that matter) is a function of rates of energy gain and energy loss, not of just how much solar radiation is absorbed. I’ve argued this using the analogy of insulation in a house…even though the insulation does not add “new energy” (just as the atmospheric greenhouse effect doesn’t add new energy to the Earth system,) it does make the house warmer in winter by reducing the rate of energy loss to its colder surroundings.

But, no, that’s not accepted since, you know, house insulation works by conduction, not by radiation. Sigh.

So, just for laughs, here’s another demonstration, involving a simple model of the cooling of the soil at night.

At night the soil cools by loss of infrared radiation. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation lets us estimate the rate at which IR energy is being lost based upon surface temperature and emissivity, and simply dividing that by the product of the soil depth and soil bulk heat capacity gives us the rate at which the soil layer temperature will fall. Basic physics and thermodynamics.

From that we can make a simple time-dependent model to calculate the change in temperature throughout the night. This simple spreadsheet model I’ve provided here will allow you to change assumed parameters to see how to get a realistic temperature decline over 12 nighttime hours. What you will find is that the temperature falls to unrealistically cold levels unless you assume a large downwelling energy flux from the sky into the soil (also adjustable in the model).

If you are wondering, “what about cooling of the atmosphere in contact with the ground?”, well just make the soil layer deeper…it turns out that 0.2 meters of soil is equivalent in bulk heat capacity to about 200 m of atmosphere.

The adjustable parameters (in red in the spreadsheet) are soil depth (0.2 m is typical for day-night temperature changes), the soil heat capacity (2.5 is typical, water is 4.18), the IR emissivity (0.90-0.95 would be typical), the downwelling sky radiation intensity (0 for all you sky dragon slayers [SDSs] out there, 250-350 for the rest of us), and the starting temperature (300 K is about 80 deg. F).

For example, for a 0.2 m moist soil layer (about 8 inches thick), starting at 80 deg. F, the rate of energy loss over 12 hours is enough to cool that soil layer down to 25 deg. F….IF you don’t assume any downwelling IR from the sky (the SDS-recommended setting):

But, if you assume the Trenberthian global-average value of 330 W/m2 for downwelling sky radiation, the soil cools from 80 to about 67 deg. F, a much more realistic value:

In reality, the soil surface cools faster that does the deeper layers, but I didn’t want to complicate things with a multi-level model (which I don’t have time to work on anyway). This is just a simple, bulk model calculation meant to illustrate how extremely cold it would get at night without downwelling IR from the sky (aka, the “greenhouse effect”) reducing the net rate of energy loss to outer space.

Of course, downwelling IR from the sky is going on 24-7-365, acting to keep daytime temperatures warmer than they would otherwise be, too.

Warmer daytime + warmer nighttime = Warmer Earth.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, as much as 75% of this big, bad greenhouse effect is “short-circuited” by convective heat loss by the surface, which is almost entirely a daytime phenomenon over land (nighttime surface temperatures quickly cool the near-surface air to make it convectively stable). (And, just for completeness, a greenhouse atmosphere is colder in the upper layers than it would otherwise be.) My point is that, just because the “greenhouse effect” exists doesn’t mean that our 1-2% enhancement of it with carbon dioxide is going to cause anything bad to happen. There are natural cooling mechanisms in place for the lower atmosphere. The stratosphere, though, probably will cool, as we have seen in satellite data.

But denying the existence of downwelling IR radiation from the sky (which is measured continuously at many sites around the world) is, in my opinion, a losing strategy.

Now, let the silliness begin….

### 1,546 Responses to “Why Summer Nighttime Temperatures Don’t Fall Below Freezing”

Given that I do not see how human contributions to the GHG effect can change the balance which has always been CO2 is governed by the climate, forestation and biological,geological processes rather then the other way around.

Co2 always follows the temperature ,that is what all of the data has shown.

Yes I believe in the GHG effect but I think it is a result of the climate amongst other items (mentioned above)not the other way around.

• Even if CO2 followed temperature in the ice core record, that does not mean that CO2 doesn’t cause warming.

That would be like saying, if temperature causes clouds to change, then clouds can’t cause temperature to change.

• I agree with what you are saying when you say even if CO2 followed the temperature in the ice core record ,that does not mean that CO2 doesn’t cause warming.

I agree it causes warming, but here is where I differ which is the warming GHG effect is able to cause depends on how strong the GHG effect is which depends on the climate/environment.

If the GHG effect should decrease in response to the climate/environment then it should not be able to cause as much warming.

Do you see what I am trying to say.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy – I suggest you read this comment before putting your foot in the physics yet again. Cheers, Doug

• WizGeek says:

Doug: Your linked comment is non sequitur to Roy’s analogy. Don’t be so quick to troll.

• Doug Cotton says:

No Roy, but correct physics proves that it doesn’t warm, and nor does water vapor.

Go to this comment.

The Sun’s direct radiation cannot achieve a mean surface temperature of 288K. If it could, then some regions in the tropics would be over 100°C on clear days.

The required (and very necessary) extra thermal energy comes from solar radiation absorbed in the atmosphere and subsequently conveyed downwards into the surface by non-radiative processes that are obeying the Second Law and thus maximizing entropy.

• “No Virginia, Cooler Objects Cannot Make Warmer Objects, Warmer Still”….and….

“The Four Known Scientific Ways Carbon Dioxide Cools Earth’s Climate”

both by Dr Pierre Latour, PhD Chemical Engineering at the….

Principia Scientific International webs site are some of the NO Warmists arguments.

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes Joe, but the errors are those by Joseph Postma, as outlined on the Slaying the Slayers page in the website now endorsed by our group of those suitably qualified in physics.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy – I’ve explained why it is wrong to add back radiation to solar flux (as is done in all energy diagrams) in this comment and the following. It’s not hard to understand.

2. Dr. Spencer says,

The stratosphere, though, probably will cool, as we have seen in satellite data.

My reply -lack of large explosive volcanic eruptions and a quiet prolonged solar minimum period can also account for the stratosphere to cool.

3. Norman says:

Great work! You have a nice useable model to demonstrate the effect.

One thing the Slayers are not explaining (be it Venus or Earth). If GH effect was not real in any way, what happens to all that radiation emitted from the surface. The Earth is emitting hundreds of watts/meter^2 away from it surface (huge warm oceans if nothing else). You would see this amount of IR using satellites.

With Venus it is worse. The surface there is emitting around 16000 watts/meter^2 yet you don’t see this radiation coming out of the atmosphere (One Slayer conjecture is that the mass of Venus atmosphere is what sustains the high surface temp…fine, but how does that stop this super flow of radiation from leaving the planet?)

• maybe they say the surface IR emissivity isn’t as high as assumed. I don’t know. Hard to keep up with their arguments.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Roy,

Not to take up dragon-slayer rants, it does seem to me impossible for GHG forcing alone to account for 16k w/m^2 on Venus. Why? Well, to provide a full explanation allow me a thought experiment. Assume the 50k atmospheric particulate layer on Venus doesn’t exist, so the full Venusian solar irradiance of ~2613.9 w/m^2 can effect the surface. Divide it by four to get something less than ~653.4 w/m^2 available to warm the entire planetary surface, not taking into account things like albedo, etc.. Assume that the massive Venusian atmosphere (93 times larger than Earth’s) allows all the radiation to impinge the surface and to make Norman happy re-emits not just a portion but almost the entire <~653.4 w/m^2 back to the surface (just like if it had been reflected). Well you still have at most something much less than ~1306.95 w/m^2 (much less than Mercury for example) flux to the surface not 16k w/m^2. The atmospheric mass ( whether you call it a lapse rate or gravity induced temperature gradient like Doug ) provided by volcanic action becomes imo absolutely necessary to explain Venusian surface temperatures. Thank you for any assistance you may provide in accounting for this discrepancy, apparent of real.

Have a great day!

• JohnKl says:

“Thank you for any assistance you may provide in accounting for this discrepancy, apparent or real.”

• Joel Shore says:

It is only apparent. The hole in your logic is your assumption that the energy can only be “recycled” once.

And, it’s impossible to explain the surface temperature by “atmospheric mass”, whatever that means. You have to explain the temperature in a way that satisfies the energy balance at the top of the Venusian atmosphere (i.e., the fact that the surface is emitting 16 k W/m^2 but much, much less is actually escaping to space).

No amount of magic mass, or anything else, can explain it. Only absorption (or reflection) of the radiation from the surface by the atmosphere can.

• Norman says:

JohnKl,

I know you do not like my thermos examples but they do really well to explain energy in and out.

If you use Roy’s handy IR sensor and have some liquid of unknown temperature (can be hot, cold whatever) that you want to determine.

In one case I pour the unknown liquid in a thermos and in another a metal cup. You use the IR sensor and which container do you think you will have the best chance of finding out the temperature of the liquid?

• JohnKl says:

Hi Joel Shore,

You claim:

“The hole in your logic is your assumption that the energy can only be “recycled” once.”

Did I assume that? You don’t appear to have thought this through. It doesn’t matter how many times energy at a given bandwidth gets ping-ponged back and forth it doesn’t raise the temperature of any source already emitting at that level and the energy emitted by any given gas molecule or surface molecule in any finite time period remains unchanged as well. Therefore, the flux between the two remains unchanged. In any case, the amount re-emitted to the surface will only be a fraction of the amount emitted from the surface in any given finite time period, no matter how much I give Norman REFLECTIVE leeway.

Iow, <653.54 w/m^2 enters by sunlight (remember my hypothetical eliminated the particulate layer) and the same constantly gets re-emitted back to the surface in any given time period so something <1306.95 w/m^2 flux.

You go on:

"You have to explain the temperature in a way that satisfies the energy balance at the top of the Venusian atmosphere (i.e., the fact that the surface is emitting 16 k W/m^2 but much, much less is actually escaping to space)."

My hypothetical departed from reality in part by eliminating the particulate layer from the surface to 50 km up. With that in mind, energy does get conserved by GHG's to an extent, but as I mentioned to a small extent, but gravity conserves atmospheric mass and energy as witnessed by it's lapse which coincidentally closely tracks the Earth's! Btw, yes atmospheric mass and altitude affect potential energy and thus the amount conserved. The mass and energy involved cannot be detached from the volcanic action that produced it.

You assert:

"No amount of magic mass, or anything else, can explain it. Only absorption (or reflection) of the radiation from the surface by the atmosphere can."

Nothing magic about a Venusian atmospheric mass 93 times the mass of Earth's and the radiation as just shown doesn't begin to account for 16k w/m^2.

Have a great day!

• Doug Cotton says:

JS: “You have to explain the temperature in a way that satisfies the energy balance at the top of the Venusian atmosphere (i.e., the fact that the surface is emitting 16 k W/m^2 but much, much less is actually escaping to space).”

I have been the first in the world (to the best of my knowledge) to correctly explain both the temperatures and the necessary net heat transfers for Venus using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There’s nothing surprising once you understand entropy maximization.

By the time you all do understand the 21st Century Paradigm you will be able to understand what supplies the thermal energy necessary to balance the outward flux on Venus, which, by the way is mostly at night when the Venus surface cools by about 5 degrees over 4 months, whereas the net energy is of course inwards into the Venus surface while any location on the equator is warming by about 5 degrees during the 4 months of the Venus day.

• Norman says:

JohnKl

If I am reading you correctly, it seems as if your primary concern is how much energy is entering a system. Mercury can receive more energy than Venus and still have a cooler sun facing surface temperature because more energy is leaving the mercury system than the Venus system. Temperature of Anything is not just a measure of Energy in. Temperature is based upon energy in minus energy out.

Venus surface receives far less energy than Mercury surface. Mercury surface, but the surface of Mercury radiates (loses) its surface energy to outer space (never to return) at a much faster rate.

This is how it would sum up:
Venus Energy In = Very low Energy leaving Venus System = Very low

Mercury Energy In = Very high Energy leaving Mercury System = Very high

The net energy balance is all that matters in determining the potential temperature of a given body (the actual temperature would then depend upon the type of material and mass making up the body)

The one fact that still needs explaining is where does this 16000 watts/meter^2 emitted by the Venus surface go? If atmospheric mass and volcanoes where driving the surface to its current temperature and causing it to emit this vast energy stream radiating away from the surface, why is this intense radiation not seen outside Venus’s atmosphere?

Have a nice day!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Norman,

You don’t seem to quite grasp what occurs. You state:

“The net energy balance is all that matters in determining the potential temperature of a given body (the actual temperature would then depend upon the type of material and mass making up the body)”

Only in regard to radiative frequency. Iow, if higher frequency IR from a warmer object encounters a cooler object then there can exist a transfer of heat to the cooler object. If however lower frequency IR from a cooler object (like the Venusian atmosphere) encounters a warmer object on the surface no transfer of heat takes place. Why? Well the warmer surface already emits a greater quantity of energy (higher frequency, shorter wavelength) than the atmosphere’s radiative energy (lower frequency, longer wavelength). In any case, this doesn’t explain fully 16kw/m^2!

Have a great day!

• wayne says:

JohnKl …. stay right there with your viewpoint. You are very close to explaining this correct. Just that Venus is not 92-93 times more massive than Earth’s atmosphere, it is somewhere around 103-104 times move massive. The former is a pressure ratio, not a mass ratio and has the gravitational compression ratio involved where the mass-ratio does not. Take the estimated total mass of Venus’s atmosphere (NASA’s estimate) and divide it by the spherical surface area. Earth’s columnar mass is about 10,033 kg/m^3 and Venus’s is around 103 time greater that. This might help you from being off by a ~10% factor.

I prefer an analogy of co2’s EMR vibration band in an atmosphere to be much more like ringing bells. The bells (co2 molecules) have a fixed and distinctive ‘chord’ that they can ring and play and spectrum equipment pick this up. At very low concentration like 1 ppm you can start to pick up the faint ringing in the atmosphere. Each bell causes identical molecules about to also ring but at the same ‘tones’. If you have two identical bells next to each other, and ring one, the other will also begin to share this energy you imparted on the first and both will vibrate and sing but no more ‘volume’ than the energy you imposed on the first bell as you struck it.

Now carry that thought further with more and more bells (co2 mainly near 15μm in ppm) and that the energy making them ring in the first place is only as strong (the ‘volume’) as the main surface radiating in co2’s narrow spectrum mainly just about that 15μm. The ‘tone’ ot that ring may vary slightly due to band edge or wing narrowing or broadening but the overall ‘volume’ is fixed by the surface upwelling quanity of EMR. Seems Dr. Spencer and even Shores still don’t completely understand EMR.

Mainly… what you are stating JohnKl rings [sic] true.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for post. You stated:

“Just that Venus is not 92-93 times more massive than Earth’s atmosphere, it is somewhere around 103-104 times move massive. The former is a pressure ratio, not a mass ratio and has the gravitational compression ratio involved where the mass-ratio does not. ”

Very true. Venusian Surface pressure falls around 93 bar but since Venusian gravity falls around 80% of Earth gravity a significantly greater atmospheric mass must be required on Venus to obtain the same surface pressure one would find on Earth. However, this holds true for total mass not quite as much for volume. Why? Well CO2, SO2 and other tri-atomic gas compounds in the Venusian atmosphere prove much heavier than the Earth’s di-atomic gasses like O2, N2 etc.. Hence the Venusian atmosphere proves denser and any given cubic parcel of atmosphere containing the same number of molecules in them as a similar cubic parcel from Earth will be heavier than the similar parcel from Earth if both parcels exist in the same gravitational field. Over all your point proves straight on.

You later state:

“I prefer an analogy of co2′s EMR vibration band in an atmosphere to be much more like ringing bells. The bells (co2 molecules) have a fixed and distinctive ‘chord’ that they can ring and play and spectrum equipment pick this up.”

In any given planetary atmosphere one has a finite number of molecules that can radiate energy back to the planet no matter how much energy it absorbs at some given frequency. Moreover, if it emits at a given frequency any energy simultaneously absorbed by said emitter at the same frequency will simply cancel the other energy out, hence no net gain in energy and/or temperature. This goes for any molecule anywhere whether on the surface or in the atmosphere. No doubt you understand what I’m claiming, some don’t seem to acknowledge it.

Have a great day!

• JohnKl says:

Correction:

My post should have stated:

“If I simply increase the emitting temperature of the 4 degree cup to 5 degrees with a slightly higher radiative frequency everything changes.”

The word “DOUBLE” should never have appeared there.

Have a great day!

• wayne says:

Just noticed your response John, thanks.

Yes, yes, it is all in the temperature differentials layer by layer because of the spectrum frequency difference as it shifts, not the intensity that can never increase itself following the 2lot. Of course it the temperature changes everything changes be cause intensities at each frequency changed. I agree and further the change that raised the temperature from 4 to 5 in the first place has to come from some external energy factor like albedo, solar input, etc and not from the system changing itself through some sort of energy multiplier, like downwelling radiation. Downwelling radiation can and does change the vertical profile of what and where temperatures are found vertically but the over all columnar energy stays constant ignoring horizontal advection and such or on temperature decrease from cloud cover raising the temperature at the cloud tops and leaving the air between cloud base and the surface approaching isotherm.

On your mention of Venus, here is a something curious. The i.r. radiosity upward on Venus is about 16,700 W/m² where on Earth it is about 235 but Earth has a window that Venus lacks to any degree (why it is extremely hard to get an i.r. image of Venus’ surface at any frequency) so you have to subtract that 75 W/m² window in Earth’s case giving about 160 W/m² that is the well recognizable surface figure i/o. But, that ratio of 16,700 to 161 at the surface is the ~103.5 mass ratio between the two. A better way to view this is to realize that on both planets the upward i.r. attenuation is right at -0.0157 W/kg in a unit column mass, not from the pressure.

Carry this same analysis to the Galileo probes data on Jupiter and you will find that factor is nearly identical to Earth and Venus though the composition of the three planets atmospheres are radically different. One with nearly pure co2, ours of oxygen and nitrogen and Jupiter’s of hydrogen and helium. Now that changed my mind on this entire discussion about co2 and infrared.

John, you have a great day too!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Wayne,

Thank you again for an excellent post. You state:

“But, that ratio of 16,700 to 161 at the surface is the ~103.5 mass ratio between the two. A better way to view this is to realize that on both planets the upward i.r. attenuation is right at -0.0157 W/kg in a unit column mass, not from the pressure.”

Great observation! Btw, I’d like your thoughts on another aspect. Joel Shore has claimed the Earth’s surface emits more (288 w/m^2) than the entire earth atmosphere system emits (255 w^2) to space. This claime seemed curious to me in that the lunar landscape proves hotter and thus emits more energy than Earth’s surface (if lunar daytime (obviously hotter) and night time (if only the first 12 hours after sunset are considered to mirror Earth’s rotational period). There seems to be some sort of game being played here and I wanted your thoughts.

Thanks and…

Have a great day!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Wayne,

Correction:

Joel claimed Earth’s surface emitted…

“390 W/m^2 (what the Earth’s surface emits)”

Have a great day!

• wayne says:

Hi again JohnKl, that’s a toughie and not sure you can compare the 12 hours on the moon in it’s first darkness due to the lengthy ‘day’ heating the regolith, it does get conflated there. Gallopingcamel (aka Peter Morcombe) who has worked down the hall I understand with Dr. R.G.Brown at Duke and Tim Channon at Talkshop have delved much deeper into this question that I using Diviner data. Maybe first checkout Peter’s site ‘DiggingInTheClay’ for possibly that answer, some also on Roger’s site (search ‘diviner’).

But off hand that 390 W/m² is not real, that is as if the surface were radiating against some other surface of matter at zero Kelvin or empty space and that was my emphasis saying that is all in the temperate differentials layer by layer along with the local density… it’s more like 40 W/m² net and in that 75 W/m² that I used above, that is that same forty plus one-half of what solar incoming is being direct absorbed by the atmosphere itself (I forgot to clue you and mention where that ≈75 W/m² came from). Hope that helps. Stay ‘net’ and stay cool. ðŸ˜‰

• Doug Cotton says:

JohnKl

The slayers have it all wrong as explained here.

• geran says:

“If GH effect was not real in any way, what happens to all that radiation emitted from the surface.”
******

(I guess this is the “silliness” Dr. Roy was hoping for.)

Hey Gordon, the radiation is hiding in the deep oceans, under glaciers and polar ice, and in the remote rain forests. But, it can only hide up to a point. Once the “tipping point” is reached, the entire planet will explode. It happens all the time. Where do you think asteroids come from?

• Roy Spencer says:

at first I thought you said, “Where do you think steroids come from?”

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes the Slayers make a real mess of it all. See the page “Slaying the Slayers” on our group’s website.

• Doug Cotton says:

I agree that the Slayers are totally wrong in their concepts that assume the Sun’s radiation is sufficient to explain mean surface temperatures on Earth and Venus.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy and Norman

Firstly, I agree that the Slayers are way off track. I don’t know why you even refer to them. I would not count Dr Hans Jelbring as an active member thereof, and I realize you are referring to his 2003 paper written a decade before he initially joined the Slayers. The Slayers still trample on his work and my extension and clarification of the related physics. Jelbring got it nearly right, but just didn’t quite come to grips with the physics that I have subsequently been able to explain as a result of my groundbreaking work in the field, which some with a solid understanding of thermodynamics are starting to realize is correct.

The radiation coming out of the surface does NOT represent the transfer of thermal energy by radiation out of the surface. The reasons are in “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” (which I have linked before) and you should feel free to argue with the author thereof who is a professor in Applied Mathematics.

About 9 months prior to that being published I wrote my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” which was groundbreaking in explaining exactly why the transfer of thermal energy is represented by the area between the Planck functions for the source and the target, where the target in this case is mostly water vapor in the troposphere and some targets in Space for that radiation which gets through the atmospheric window.

In contrast, virtually all radiation from the Earth+atmosphere system that gets to Space does transfer very similar amounts of thermal energy because Space provides very little back radiation.

The balancing input of thermal energy on the sunlit side of Venus is by downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer (ie molecular collision processes only) that are causing entropy to increase, as it must.

And you, Norman, don’t have a clue what I’m talking about because you have not read and tried to understand what is at http://climate-change-theory.com and you have no understanding whatsoever of these breakthroughs in 21st century physics.

4. KevinK says:

Sigh,

” I’ve argued this using the analogy of insulation in a house…even though the insulation does not add “new energy” (just as the atmospheric greenhouse effect doesn’t add new energy to the Earth system,) it does make the house warmer in winter by reducing the rate of energy loss to its colder surroundings.”

No, the furnace makes the house warmer, NOT the insulation. Double the insulation and turn the furnace off, eventually the inside temperature will equal the outside temperature.

You can make it quite warm in an uninsulated cabin with a roaring hot wood stove inside. The purchase of insulation reduces the amount of wood needed going forward.

Up here in NY a few months back the ground was well below freezing even in the presence of 24/7 down welling IR from the upper atmosphere.

Wrong analogy, the radiative gases in the atmosphere do not act as a thermal insulator does, sorry, it just ain’t so.

Everything the climate science community thinks about how heat travels through a system completely contradicts what engineers know.

Yes radiative “blocking” can, in some cases, be used as a thermal insulator. I have designed high temperature electrically heated surfaces (over 300 F) and I did use a radiative reflector. It made the surface temperature more uniform and it was more energy efficient. Sadly once I removed the electricity it assumed room temperature.

Unfortunately adding a blanket to a rock merely changes the response time of the rock. Adding a gaseous “blanket” over a rock only changes the response time of the gases (due to the much lower thermal capacity of the gases relative to the rock).

Cheers, KevinK.

• given the same rate of energy input to a furnace, wood stove, etc., (analogous to keeping absorbed solar energy constant), then adding insulation will make the inside hotter. I don’t see why this is so difficult.

• geran says:

It is difficult because you do not understand that conductive heat transfer and radiative heat transfer are different. Conduction requires a heat transfer median–a “conductor”. Radiation does not.

• Joel Shore says:

Why is that relevant? I don’t remember the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics having different statements depending on whether the mode of heat transfer requires a medium is present?

Or, are you just throwing up arbitrary complaints because you refuse to accept science that you don’t like? [That’s actually pretty much of a rhetorical question.]

• geran says:

If I have to explain why it is relevant, then you wouldn’t understand anyway.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Joel “I don’t remember the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics having different statements depending on whether the mode of heat transfer requires a medium is present?”

It doesn’t, and that’s the point. Heat transfer must take place in accordance with the 2nd law and the primary tenet of the 2nd law is that heat can only be transferred from a warm body to a cooler body without compensation.

In climate science, especially with the AGW theory, heat is being allowed to transfer from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface that apparently warmed it via radiation. Stefan Rahmstorf, a physicist and contributor at realclimate, has claimed that a positive balance of infrared energies between a warmer and a cooler body satisfies the 2nd law.

Rahmstorf is obviously confusing the 1st law, with it’s conservation of energy, with the 2nd law which is entirely about heat. IR interchange between a warmer and a cooler body is irrelevant to the 2nd law, which is only concerned with heat transfer. How it is transferred makes no different wrt which direction it can be transferred.

Perhaps you know more about the theory behind that. I am presuming that IR radiating from a cooler body has neither the intensity nor bandwidth to affect the temperature of a warmer body.

Clausius even referenced that situation. He claimed that with radiative transfer, IR can flow both ways but heat can only be transferred hot to cold without compensation.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Gordon Robertson says: “In climate science, especially with the AGW theory, heat is being allowed to transfer from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface that apparently warmed it via radiation.”

No, is simple lowers the rate at which heat is transferred away from the warm surface.

“Stefan Rahmstorf, a physicist and contributor at realclimate, has claimed that a positive balance of infrared energies between a warmer and a cooler body satisfies the 2nd law.”

The claim is correct. Heat is the net transfer. There can and will be individual transfers both ways.

This is true even for conduction. Put a warm block of metal against a cool block of metal. Because there are large random variations in the vibration amplitudes, sometimes an atom on the surface of the cool block will have more energy then an adjacent atom on the surface of the warm block. This will transfer energy to the warmer block. This does NOT violate the 2nd Law because, on average, there are more collisions transferring more energy the ‘right’ way.

“I am presuming that IR radiating from a cooler body has neither the intensity nor bandwidth to affect the temperature of a warmer body. “
You presume incorrectly. As with the conduction example above, it is perfectly possible for a photon to go from an atom on the cool side to an atom on the warm side.

• Joel Shore says:

Gordon Robertson says:

“Clausius even referenced that situation. He claimed that with radiative transfer, IR can flow both ways but heat can only be transferred hot to cold without compensation.”

Yes, and he is exactly right: Because heat is the net transfer and that net transfer is always from cold to hot because the radiation from the hotter to the colder body is always larger than the colder to the hotter.

It is not because of some bizarre magic that you invision whereby the “cooler body has neither the intensity nor bandwidth to affect the temperature of a warmer body”. It is about the statistics of very large numbers of transfers.

It is for the same reason that if you take the works of Shakespeare and mix up the letters, you will end up with gibberish but if you take gibberish and mix up the letters, you won’t produce the works of Shakespeare. That’s not because at the microscopic scale, you can’t have letters re-arrange themselves to form words of Shakespeare. It is because of the shear improbability of this happening on a macroscopic scale.

It is for the same reason that you never witness all the molecules of air in the room go over to the other half of the room and leave you to suffocate.

Until you learn about how the Second Law arises from statistical physics, you are stuck in your mindset of what I call the Magical 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which is not only wrong, but much less interesting and elegant than the actual 2nd Law.

What always amazes me in these conversations is how people’s imaginings of how nature works, particularly in the case of the 2nd Law, are much more arbitrary and capricious and boring than how it actually works. That is the sad part, not only that you are locked into such misunderstanding, but that you are depriving yourself of the beauty of how nature actually works because you are so wedded on it working in the way you want it to work.

Let me tell you, if the universe worked the arbitrary and capricious way you seem to envision it, the attraction of physics, at least to me, would be much less. I might as well be a stamp collector.

• Doug Cotton says:

I am quite aware Joel Shore of the use of statistical mechanics in understanding the process of maximum entropy production that is what the Second Law is all about. But when people use equations for entropy which do not have terms for molecular gravitational potential energy they get wrong results in a vertical plane. Experiments with centrifugal force have now proved that a force field produces a temperature gradient, and they have achieved temperatures right down to 1K (yes, -272°C) now with such gradients in artificial force fields, as here.

The Loschmidt effect does occur and is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium wherein there are no further net transfers of matter or energy across any internal boundary.

That’s why convection stops when that temperature gradient is attained. If weather conditions then make the gradient less steep, convective heat transfer goes the other way up the thermal profile. That’s why we don’t need back radiation to explain the surface temperature.

And, because that is now a proven fact in this 21st Century, you Joel Shore and the AGW crowd are promulgating a fraudulent hoax that is causing poverty, starvation and death.

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore and others:

Regarding radiation and the Second Law go to this comment.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Joel Shore,

You state in complete cognitive dissonance:

“Yes, and he is exactly right: Because heat is the net transfer and that net transfer is always from cold to hot because the radiation from the hotter to the colder body is always larger than the colder to the hotter.

It is not because of some bizarre magic that you invision whereby the “cooler body has neither the intensity nor bandwidth to affect the temperature of a warmer body”. It is about the statistics of very large numbers of transfers.”

First, it seems you meant to state “that net transfer is always from hot to cold” otherwise the STATEMENT AS YOU WROTE IT SELF-CONTRADICTS!

Second, it seems your second statement proves equally contradictory. Warmer bodies emit higher frequency, shorter wavelength radiation BANDWIDTHS than cooler bodies. High frequency, short wavelength radiation has MORE energy than low frequency, long wavelength radiation. Radiation with half the wavelength has twice the energy. Therefore, cooler bodies emitting lower frequency, longer wavelength bandwidths cannot increase the temperature of objects emitting higher frequency, shorter wavelength radiation. Therefore, Max Planck proves correct and you prove apparently absurd.

Have a great day!

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Geran …”It is difficult because you do not understand that conductive heat transfer and radiative heat transfer are different”.

That’s an excellent point and it is often lost in today’s climate science where it is presumed that radiative heat transfer is the prime heat mover in the atmosphere. Lindzen does not agree.

Radiative heat transfer is a special circumstance in that heat is transferred by electromagnetic energy in infrared frequency bands. However, the heat transferred MUST obey the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

If a very hot piece of steel is brought in contact with a cold piece of steel it is expected that heat will be transferred from the hot body to the cold body by conduction but not in the opposite direction.

Conduction is the primary heat transfer mode and the 2nd law of thermodynamic holds. Same thing if a hot steel body is immersed in a cooler liquid. With gases, radiative transfer is the primary mode of heat transfer BUT the 2nd law MUST apply.

IMHO, this is where serious mistakes have been made in climate science. Physicists like Stefan Rahmstorf have claimed that infrared energies can be summed, and if they are positive between a warmer body and a cooler body radiating against each other, the 2nd law is satisfied.

That is simply false. As Gerlich and Tscheuschner responded to such an allegation, and they both have expertise in thermodynamics, the 2nd law is about heat transfer, not an infrared energy exchange.

Heat can be transferred in one direction only without compensation, from hot to cold. That simple fact rules out the greenhouse theory based on GHGs and the anthropogenic theory.

I am not arguing that some other effect is taking place in the atmosphere, or between the oceans and the atmosphere, I just don’t think it involves radiation from the surface being absorbed by GHGs that make up no more than 1% of atmospheric gases, or that the same amount of GHGs can raise the global temperature from a theorized -19C (without oceans) to +15C.

• Joel Shore says:

“IMHO, this is where serious mistakes have been made in climate science. Physicists like Stefan Rahmstorf have claimed that infrared energies can be summed, and if they are positive between a warmer body and a cooler body radiating against each other, the 2nd law is satisfied.”

IMHO? It’s not a humble opinion if it disagrees with what every physics textbook would tell you. It is not a humble opinion if it disagrees with the 20th century understanding of how thermodynamics arises as the macroscopic limit of statistical physics.

It is a pretty arrogant and uninformed opinion.

“That is simply false. As Gerlich and Tscheuschner responded to such an allegation, and they both have expertise in thermodynamics, the 2nd law is about heat transfer, not an infrared energy exchange.”

Well, first of all, because you can find two obscure physicists who wrote a paper that is nonsense does not mean that this proves you are correct. It proves you can always find nonsense if you look hard enough for nonsense to support what you want to believe.

On the other hand, your statement is in one sense absolutely correct: Yes, the 2nd Law is about heat transfer; it does not apply to the individual exchanges of energy because that is not heat transfer. Heat transfer is the NET exchange.

• Bryan says:

Joel Shore in reply to the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper unfortunately said that back radiation is heat.
He is to be congratulated in accepting that this was a mistake and now agrees that heat transfer is a one way process.
That is heat is the net of the two way energy transfer in the case of a purely radiative exchange.

• Joel Shore says:

Yes, a few times in that reply, we used the term heat when we shouldn’t have and also used the term “net heat” which is somewhat redundant (although I have seen it used in physics textbooks too…perhaps redundant for emphasis).

I think you might be able to get over this Bryan. The slip in terminology affected exactly zero of our conclusions, based on sound analysis. It was just poor word choice.

The larger context was that you spent years (and maybe still do) defend the gibberish and falsehoods that riddled G&T’s paper, apparently believing that a slight slip in terminology is a greater sin than complete misunderstanding (or lies?) about the actual physics.

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore – see this comment.

• Doug Cotton says:

Radiation is not necessarily a two-way process. It may cause evaporation, for example, so there is no reverse radiation that depends upon the first pencil of radiation.

The Second Law applies to every independent process.

The concept of “net” effects can only be applied to dependent processes, like in a siphon the processes on each side are dependent, so the total net effect is that entropy does in fact increase if the liquid travels further down than it does up. But, if you cut the hose at the top then the Second Law applies to each side because they have now become independent processes.

The Second Law must apply for every one way pencil of radiation, and it does, because Nature has a unique and rarely understood way of ensuring that it does through resonance processes described here and in Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation.

But of course in climatology propaganda we have to cop their usual fictitious fiddled fissics wherein they conveniently forget that “participating systems” must be inter-dependent.

• KevinK says:

Roy, you changed your analogy in the middle of your thought experiment.

Perhaps; “Additional insulation in the walls of your house ENABLES your furnace to make it warmer inside (assuming a constant furnace output)”

Enables versus “makes”, perhaps we can both agree on these semantics ?

The rest of my assertion that a gaseous radiative barrier does not act like conductive thermal insulation (i.e. a blanket) is still correct.

You simply cannot ignore the velocity of the energy flowing through the system.

The closest analogy to the radiatively active gases surrounding the Earth is an optical integrating sphere with very low surface reflectivity and a huge exit port.

And, as is well known, optical integrating spheres do not make the light source inside “brighter”. Yes there is a small error source known as “self absorption” but that requires an external power source acting in concert with an incandescent light bulb.

I have read all (well most) of your writing on this topic, and we will simply have to agree to disagree.

Cheers, KevinK.

• KevinK says:

Sigh,

“given the same rate of energy input to a furnace, wood stove, etc., (analogous to keeping absorbed solar energy constant), then adding insulation will make the inside hotter. I don’t see why this is so difficult.”

The surface of the Earth is NOT analogous to the furnace in your home. Your furnace spits out a constant stream of BTU’s WITHOUT cooling down. The surface of the Earth spits out a constant stream of IR photons WHILE cooling down. Big difference. And yes it can be warming up in parallel, but the emission of photons is removing energy and cooling the surface.

Cheers, KevinK.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy, I need your attention just this once:

The solar radiation absorbed (168W/m^2 on Earth and <20W/m^2 on Venus) is nowhere near sufficient to raise the surfaces to anywhere near the observed temperatures in the first place, so who cares about the rate of cooling?

Radiation cannot raise the temperature of any body to more than the temperature to which it would raise a perfect blackbody in Space, even in a billion years. For Earth’s surface it would also have to supply an extra 102W/m^2 for other simultaneous non-radiative losses.

Radiation only slows radiative cooling anyway, not evaporative cooling or sensible heat transfers out of the surface. These other processes accelerate to compensate for slower radiative cooling. The overall effect is nothing.

None of this affects the supporting temperature which virtually stops convection in the early pre-dawn hours, even though the temperature gradient remains intact. We see this operating especially in long periods of thick cloud cover extending over several days and nights. Where is the continued cooling in such cases?

• gbaikie says:

— Doug Cotton says:
April 17, 2015 at 5:59 PM

Roy, I need your attention just this once:

The solar radiation absorbed (168W/m^2 on Earth and <20W/m^2 on Venus) is nowhere near sufficient to raise the surfaces to anywhere near the observed temperatures in the first place, so who cares about the rate of cooling?–

The 168W/m^2 on Earth refers to estimate of average amount
sunlight reaching surface. I would say <20W/m^2 on Venus)
is maximum amount of sunlight reaching Venus surface, rather than some average.

Another aspect is 168W/m^2 on Earth is absorbed. I doubt any sunlight is absorbed on surface of the blazing hot Venus surface.

And while on the topic. Earth is covered by 70% ocean. The ocean absorbs more sunlight than the land.
Therefore the ocean absorbs the vast majority of this average amount of 168W/m^2.

Also of sunlight absorbed by the ocean most is absorbed below 1 meter depth.

• gbaikie says:

–Radiation cannot raise the temperature of any body to more than the temperature to which it would raise a perfect blackbody in Space, even in a billion years.–

A black body model purpose is to determine the sun’s temperature at given distance from the Sun.

A magnifying glass effectively acts to shorten that distance. Or alters the intensity of sunlight. And briefly there are ways to use sunlight to increase the energy of the sun’s temperature at Earth distance.
Otherwise what you saying is correct- the sun temperature at Earth distance can only warm something to this sun’s temperature.

**Radiation only slows radiative cooling anyway, not evaporative cooling or sensible heat transfers out of the surface. These other processes accelerate to compensate for slower radiative cooling. The overall effect is nothing.**

I assume you mean, back radiation.
I would say back radiation has not demonstrated a means it can be employed to do work.
Back radiation warming the earth is similar to using cold fusion to provide useful energy.
And I think there are better odds that cold fusion could work.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy, the Sun’s mean direct radiation to the surfaces of Earth and Venus can never explain the observed mean temperatures – not even in a billion years. Try explaining why the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus is kept hotter than Earth’s surface. I have. You can’t.

It’s all at http://climate-change-theory.com

• gbaikie says:

–Roy, the Sun’s mean direct radiation to the surfaces of Earth and Venus can never explain the observed mean temperatures – not even in a billion years. Try explaining why the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus is kept hotter than Earth’s surface. I have. You can’t.–

Uranus is very little observation and all models which difficult to verify with observation.
Venus also also lacking observation, has very thoroughly been explored as compared to exploration of Uranus.

The way Earth and Venus warmed is by direct sunlight heating liquids and solids.
So clouds on Earth and clouds on Venus.
But with Earth the most amount of sunlight absorbed is in it’s oceans. Oceans cover most amount surface area, and more importantly cover most [80%] of surface area of tropics.
And in the southern Hemisphere where 80 to 90% of surface is
ocean and where one gets about 100 more watts of sunlight
during the summer.
And as everyone knows the ocean store an enormous amount heat from the sun and vast flows of ocean surface waters flow poleward.

As for Venus about 75% of it’s surface area is covered with clouds of pure acid which has high boiling temperature- though Venus lower atmosphere has higher temperature than this boiling point of the acid- and acid isn’t found in this higher temperature part of atmosphere.
So Venus is constantly raining acid, but acid doesn’t reach the rocky surface. So the Venus “surface” is it’s clouds.

And main surface on Earth is the ocean, with only about 30% of surface covered in clouds. And the height of clouds on Earth affect it’s global warming effect- one assume the same in regards to Venus.

• But the problem is the source for IR radiation emitted from the earth is renewed on a daily basis(day time heating) so that it keeps less heat escaping on a daily basis then would be otherwise, where as in a cabin once the heat source is off, it is off so insulation or a blanket will not matter. It would only matter if the heat source was renewed in the cabin and then it would keep enough of that heat in the cabin , until the next day when the heat is renewed which would keep the equilibrium temperature higher in the cabin then it would be without the insulation or blanket being present.

5. Gordon Robertson says:

“At night the soil cools by loss of infrared radiation. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation lets us estimate the rate at which IR energy is being lost….”

It cools during the day through infrared radiation as well. Everything radiates IR, even ice.

Once again, IR is not heat. When you point your IR meter at the heavens and detect IR you seem to be jumping to the conclusion that IR is heat.

The greenhouse theory suggests that heat is being transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface. The AGW theory suggests that heat is being transferred from the surface to GHGs in the atmosphere then back-radiated in such a manner as to superheat the surface beyond the temperature it is heated by solar energy. That’s plain nonsense.

IR is radiated from valence bands in atoms and covalent bonds in GHG molecules as electrons change energy levels. Heat is related to the average kinetic energy in the atoms of a substance. IR and heat have nothing in common other than the kinetic energy to which they are referenced.

When the surface radiates IR, the surface cools because the average kinetic energy of surface atoms is lowered due to the emission of photons of EM. During the day, solar energy replenishes that lost energy and we get a balance between absorbed and emitted energy.

Clausius stated over and over in his treatise on heat that heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation. Compensation means that if you reverse the process you have to compensate the cooler body for loss of heat and such compensation is not available in the atmosphere. Therefore, the only way heat can be transferred in the atmosphere is from a warmer body to a cooler body.

People using Boltzmann need to be very careful. They seem to have concluded that measuring IR is a measure of heat transfer and it is not.

You can point an IR meter at clear sky and detect IR but the colour temperature of the sky shows it’s temperature is -50C. You can swing the meter from clear sky to cloud and find it measures about -5C. It’s reasonable to conclude from that difference that clouds are warmer than clear sky and that’s likely due to the warming of water droplets in the clouds.

However, when you have a body at -5C radiating IR to a surface at 10 C, you wont get any heat transfer.

With regard to your insulation theory, Roy, modern homes are packed with high quality insulation between wall studs and insulated with a plastic vapour barrier under the dry wall. The attic spaces are filled with 18″ of mineral insulation. You could claim that the living space is surrounded by tightly packed insulation.

In the atmosphere, the GHGs you claim are acting as a blanket form 1% of atmospheric gases. Based on a ppmv of 390, anthropogenic CO2 accounts for about 1/1000 of 1% of atmospheric gases.

Where’s the blanket?

I have pointed out before that a real greenhouse with 100 panes of glass traps air molecules and prevents the hot air from rising naturally. You would need to remove 99 panes of glass to get the equivalent of 1% GHGs in the atmosphere.

Roy…you offered a clever thought experiment years ago with regard to breaking ACO2 down in ppmv. You claimed something like it taking 5 years to add another molecule of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Why is it so hard for you to see that the same extremely rare gas CO2 could not possibly act as a blanket?

• geez, Gordon. How can I even begin to wade through the forest of straw men you have erected?

• Gordon Robertson says:

“geez, Gordon. How can I even begin to wade through the forest of straw men you have erected?”

You could start by reading Clausius on heat rather than inferring that his theories which lead to the 2nd law are straw man arguments.

It would be helpful to me if you’d briefy list what you see as straw man arguments. Sorry, but I regard the response of both you and Fred Singer to the 2nd law and heat transfer in general to be as straw man as it gets.

No insult intended, I would just like to see better science done.

• Joel Shore says:

Just because you have read about the 2nd Law does not make you an expert in it. You have elementary misconceptions about it that arise because of a complete lack of any knowledge of the understanding of how thermodynamics arises from statistical physics. You are misinterpreting and misapplying 19th century physics to make claims that Clausius never made, and in fact, never could have made because his concept of “heat” could not mean anything else except the macroscopic flow of energy. Thermodynamics is a macroscopic theory. You can’t apply it to individual photons.

Why is this so hard to understand?

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Joel “You are misinterpreting and misapplying 19th century physics to make claims that Clausius never made, and in fact, never could have made because his concept of “heat” could not mean anything else except the macroscopic flow of energy”.

You would be wrong in that understanding. Clausius talked about atomic structure and the part it plays in heat transfer. He included internal kinetic energy in his calculations, associating them with internal work done by atoms in lattices as their mean free paths extended due to heating.

You know Joel, for a guy who claims expertise in science, I find you to be narrow minded. You claim I have misinterpreted Clausius but I have spent hours reading and comprehending what he wrote. The thing I like about him is that he wrote subjectively as well as mathematically, explaining concepts as he went along.

Today, you get an equation thrown at you and you are expected to accept it without proof of a related reality. David Bohm, a brilliant physicist and friend of Einstein wrote that an equation without a reality to back it is garbage. That perfectly describes the anthropogenic theory for me.

• Joel Shore says:

Well, history of science is not my expertise, so exactly how much of an inkling of the underlying microscopics Clausius may have had is not something I know a lot about. However, the point is that he never applied the thermodynamic concepts like “heat” that he formulated to the microscopic scale…and we now know that indeed it would make no sense to do so because thermodynamics is fundamentally a macroscopic description of the world. Look up the term “thermodynamic limit” (e.g., here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamic_limit )

• Bryan says:

We should remember that Carnot and Clausius were practical men
Their main motivation was to find out how to extract as much useful energy from thermal energy.
This can be done quite successfully by following the heat transfer process only and ignoring the individual energy contributions.
This is the origin of the one way transfer approach
A look at the derivation of the second law based on the Carnot Cycle in any appropriate physics textbook illustrates this.
Later it was found that electromagnetic radiation consists of photons and this made the two way energy exchange by radiation between a cold and a hot object more realistic way to understand radiative transfer.
This is not a new scam thought up by climate alarmists.
My own university textbook ‘Heat and Thermodynamics’ by Zemansky
First published 1937 takes this approach.

• Doug Cotton says:

Go to this comment Joel Shore and others.

As it happens, I’ve written two comprehensive papers relating to the Second Law, based on extensive post-graduate study specializing in thermodynamics. Joel Shore has no correct understanding of maximum entropy production which occurs as unbalanced energy potentials dissipate by the fastest possible route. That’s what the Second Law is all about. It explains the density gradient for example, and much more – even chemical diffusion of gases wherein entropy increases, and it explains the gravitationally induced temperature gradient which is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in an “ideal” dry troposphere.

• Doug Cotton says:

No Roy. Iy is climatologist who have constructed strawmen. You are wrong Roy, and that’s why back radiation cannot explain the temperature at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus. Absolutely nothing can expect the process I have explained, and I’m betting $5,000 no one can prove me wrong. So far that’s been on offer since my book was published 14 months ago – no one has come close to demolishing the physics – because it;s correct Roy. I DARE YOU ROY TO STUDY WHAT IS IN MY PAPER AND THEN TRY TO WRITE A POST REFUTING IT. TO START WITH, YOU WILL NEED TO PROVE THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS IS INCORRECT, BECAUSE WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN IS DERIVED DIRECTLY FROM THAT LAW. I WILL TEAR TO SHREDS ANY ATTEMPTED REFUTATION ROY, SO YOU’D BETTER BE VERY CAREFUL AND STUDY UP ON 21st CENTURY THERMODYNAMICS, WHICH IS A FAR CRY FROM THE CLIMATOLOGY GARBAGE THAT YOU GOT YOUR “A” IN. • Kelvin Vaughan says: Thanks for that. It answers something that was puzzling me. When I measure the down welling IR when it is going to rain I get the same temperature as the ground. I was wondering why that didn’t cause a runaway greenhouse effect. • Joel Shore says: “The greenhouse theory suggests that heat is being transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.” Absolutely, positively false! The heat, the net flow of energy, is from the surface to the atmosphere. Show us one model, either a simple “Steel greenhouse” model (using Willis Eschenbach’s name for it) or a full-fledged climate model that shows heat flow from colder to hotter. Repeating nonsense countless times does not make it any less non-sensical; it just reveals how impervious you are to knowledge. “Clausius stated over and over in his treatise on heat that heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation.” When Clausius made these statements, the only world that existed to scientists was the macroscopic world. Hence, his statement applies to a macroscopic quantity that he called “heat” which represents the net flow of energy. But, physics has advanced since the 19th century and we now know that there is a microscopic world, a world of photons and electrons, etc…and we understand how reversibility (energy flowing in both directions) on a microscopic scale leads to irreversible behavior (heat flowing only from hot to cold) on macroscopic scales. It is a beautiful, and well-tested, theory. If you want to remain completely ignorant of this theory, that is your prerogative but don’t tell us that Clausius made the same silly mistakes that you are making in misapplying a macroscopic theory. And, even if you deny 20th century physics and don’t believe radiation goes in both directions, you still get the atmospheric greenhouse effect from the Stefan-Boltzmann equation as long as you acknowledge, as it shows, that the heat flow between two bodies depends on the temperature of the colder body as well as the warmer body. “In the atmosphere, the GHGs you claim are acting as a blanket form 1% of atmospheric gases. Based on a ppmv of 390, anthropogenic CO2 accounts for about 1/1000 of 1% of atmospheric gases. Where’s the blanket?” See, the thing about analogies are that they are analogies. Conduction and radiation are different processes. (Or, to think of it another way, the blanket may be very tenuous but it is also very thick.) However, the point Dr. Spencer is making is simply that you understand that the insulation, which is colder than an object can still influence (e.g., increase) the steady-state temperature of an object (which has an internal heat source or receives energy from a hotter object) over what the steady-state temperature would be in the absence of this insulation. This ought to demonstrate to you the difference between a correct statement like “Heat flows from hot to cold” and an incorrect statement like “There is no way a colder object can have any influence on the temperature of a hotter object ever.” “Why is it so hard for you to see that the same extremely rare gas CO2 could not possibly act as a blanket?” Because we are scientists and we know how one can calculate things like radiative transfer in the atmosphere and then look at data and verify that in fact this is exactly how the CO2 and other greenhouse gases are acting: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CBs09bO1wfc/UYCrTpw8eOI/AAAAAAAABCY/CCm6vAd8uZQ/s1600/Earth+Emitted+Radiation+Iris+Modtran+Comparison+Shows+Scatter+Effect.png You, by contrast, rely on your intuition, which is faulty, because intuition has to be developed. Look, ignorance is excusable when you haven’t been provided with knowledge. Ignorance is also curable. But, when you have been provided with the knowledge countless times and still refuse to abandon your ignorance, that is not excusable. It is just very sad. • Gordon Robertson says: @Joel “The heat, the net flow of energy, is from the surface to the atmosphere. Show us one model, either a simple “Steel greenhouse” model (using Willis Eschenbach’s name for it) or a full-fledged climate model that shows heat flow from colder to hotter”. Firstly, heat and net energy flow are not one and the same. The energy is EM and until it contacts matter no heat will be produced. In other words, EM carries no heat. If it produces heat it does so at a distance by raising the kinetic energy in atoms/molecules it encounters. Take a look at the heat budget from NASA, which is the original Kiehl-Trenberth radiation budget. http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/ceres_brochure.php?page=2 Do you, or do you not see 380 W/M^2 radiated by the surface and 324 W/M^2 back-radiated from greenhouse gases with the note that it is absorbed by the surface? They have also claimed that 168 W/M^2 is absorbed by solar energy, making the heat absorbed from GHGs almost double what is absorbed by solar energy. I have noted that modern renditions of the same energy budget have revised it dramatically as it has become obvious that Kiehl-Trenberth and NASA are full of crap. You are obviously reacting to me with hostility because I told you to get off the fence. That’s good, maybe you have woken up a bit, which was the point of my shot. I admire anyone with science degrees but I will not stand by while such a person offers up the pap they were spoon-fed at university. Open your eyes, man, and get off the paradigms. Look for yourself and reprove all of science if you have to. If you think I am wrong about Clausius then read him then compare what you get to what I got. I am willing to stand corrected if the proof is substantial. • Norman says: Gordon Robertson You state “Firstly, heat and net energy flow are not one and the same.” I might have to disagree with you on this point. In order to communicate properly we need to have rigorous definitions of concepts, otherwise we get bogged down in mindless disagreement only because each person is using a different understanding of a term. The general term for “heat” can mean different things to different people, in physics one must hold to the established definition of the word and proceed from there in further debate. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heat.html From this link: “Heat may be defined as energy in transit from a high temperature object to a lower temperature object. An object does not possess “heat”; the appropriate term for the microscopic energy in an object is internal energy” IR energy in transit from one source to another is directly defined as heat. Net energy flow is the very definition of heat as the net flow will be from hotter to colder. Joel is completely correct in his use of heat and you are the one using the term incorrectly. What you call heat should be stated as internal energy. • JohnKl says: Hi Norman, Heat and electromagnetic energy are not the exact same thing and Gordon is correct. Energy as heat and electromagnetic radiation represent to distinct definitional types and/or expressions of energy. Your link states exactly that: “Heat may be defined as energy in transit from a high temperature object to a lower temperature object.” IR, microwave, visible light all represent electro-magnetic radiation the energy does not represent heat unless or until it gets transferred via absorption or some other method to an object cooler than the emitting source. By the definition your own link provides, if IR transfers to a higher temperature object heat transfer has not occurred. If the same IR transfers to a lower temperature object heat does transfer. You must be confused as to how IR knows if it’s heat or not. You should heed your own words and seek rigorous definitions. Please note you used a completely different definition of heat than the one you recommended in your link shown above. You stated: “IR energy in transit from one source to another is directly defined as heat.” That is completely contrary to and irreconcilable with the other definition you provided by your link. The correct definition in the link does not mention IR merely energy in transit. Again IR, microwave, visible light represent different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation not heat. There energy does not become heat energy until translated to a lower temperature object (i.o.w. an object with a lower temperature than the object that emitted the electromagnetic radiation to begin with). Your link proves correct. As long as energy remains in an atom it merely represents internal energy it doesn’t represent heat until it transfers to another lower temperature object. To be clear electromagnetic radiation does not represent heat because IT IS NOT ENERGY IN TRANSIT TO ANY OBJECT UNLESS IT COMES INTO CONTACT WITH AN OBJECT! For example, the Cobe satellite measures IR in deep space outside the realm of any known physical objects. For all we observe, it may never contact any object. If it doesn’t contact any object it never transfers it’s energy and heat ( energy transfer to a cooler object ) cannot occur. Thanks and… Have a great day! • Norman says: JohnKl I am not sure I can agree with your post on heat and IR. Heat is flow of energy. If energy is flowing you would have to have a hot and cold object. If you have two objects at the same temperature emitting the same amount of energy you have no net heat flow. Nothing changes with either so you do not have heat transfer. If you have only one object that is hot in the whole universe and it is emitting radiation, there is a flow of heat (it is getting cooler). The energy is going into the rest of the universe and warming somewhat. As I said I could be wrong but am doubting it at this time. Again this is what Gordon said “Firstly, heat and net energy flow are not one and the same.” Have a nice day! Heat flow is defined as heat in all the material I can find. Can you find one that contradicts this definition? • JohnKl says: Hi Norman, You stated: “Again this is what Gordon said “Firstly, heat and net energy flow are not one and the same.” Have a nice day! Heat flow is defined as heat in all the material I can find. Can you find one that contradicts this definition?” Heat can only flow from a warmer to a cooler object whatever the electro-magnetic energy involved. Please allow me to explain. You see gross energy movements between one object and another will not necessarily raise the temperature unless the temperature of the emitting object exceeds that of the receiving object because the FREQUENCY of the emitted radiation correlates to a given emission temperature which operates universally among all objects. Thus an object at emitting at a 15um wavelength cannot raise the temperature of any object near it above it’s own emission temperature because the emission temperature correlates directly with the 15u wavelength and frequency of the radiation emitted! The statement I made earlier to Wayne sums it up just right. “The belief seems to be that as radiated energy gets ping-ponged back and forth between emitters (surface and atmosphere for example) and additional radiation arrives from another source that it will have some strange compound effect. The problem with such views remains that it’s not the gross energy moving back and forth but the frequency. They seem to make the same mistake Maxwell made when he claimed INTENSITY and FREQUENCY of emitted energy determine temperature. Max Planck had to correct him later because evidence suggests that FREQUENCY not INTENSITY determines temperature. For example, suppose I have a universe of two cups one at 3 degrees centigrade and one emitting at 4 degrees centigrade. The most the four centigrade cup can raise the 3 degree centigrade’s temperature to would be no higher than 4 degrees centigrade. The same holds true if I multiply the number of 4 degree centigrade cups a million, a billion or a quadrillion fold. Multiplying the energy at the same frequency will not increase the 3 degree cup to anything higher than 4 degrees. However, if I simply increase the emitting temperature of the 4 degree cup to 5 degrees with a slightly higher radiative frequency everything changes! In any given planetary atmosphere one has a finite number of molecules that can radiate energy back to the planet no matter how much energy it absorbs at some given frequency. Moreover, if it emits at a given frequency any energy simultaneously absorbed by said emitter at the same frequency will simply cancel the other energy out, hence no net gain in energy and/or temperature. This goes for any molecule anywhere whether on the surface or in the atmosphere.” Please let me know if you understand what I’m writing and… Have a great day! • Nabil Swedan says: Gordon, Heat and energy of radiation is the same thing. Intensity of radiations is a proxy of temperature, depending on the calibration method of thermometer. In fact Boltzmann law equation can be derived from the traditional equation of thermodynamics. Roy’s IR does not measure back radiations, it measures its own “proxy” temperature through its own radiations at all times. Radiations is always emitted from the the thermometer to the cooler atmosphere. In the case of clear sky, it radiates more and cools faster, it therefore, measures -50 C, depending on radiation calibration curve. Others measured -90 C, so who is right? When pointed to clouds, it radiates less and cools less and measures -5 C. If you cool the housing of the thermometer using helium as done for Infrared Telescopes, you will find no backradiations. Just ask Infrared astronomer. They will tell you that backradiaitons are fiction, that simple. • Gordon Robertson says: @Nabil Sweden “Heat and energy of radiation is the same thing. Intensity of radiations is a proxy of temperature…” Nabil…Heat and IR are different. IR is electromagnetic energy and as such has a specific frequency band, is radiated/absorbed from/by atoms and molecules, and has no properties that can be described as heat, colour, etc. EM has no work equivalent. In other words, if you do work on something you cannot describe it in terms if EM. Heat has no frequency and it is not a product of the energy levels of atoms. Heat has a definite work equivalent both internally and externally. The atoms held in lattices in a metal vibrate in place and their motion represents work. It also represent internal heat. When the metal is heated, the vibration increases and if enough heat is applied, the metal will melt as the covalent bonds break apart. Heat is obfuscated by certain people who try to claim it is energy in transit. The suggestion is that heat is energy transferred between bodies of different temperature but heat can be transferred within a single body. If you regard the single body instance, what is causing the heat to transfer and what is it exactly? It’s obviously a form of energy therefore it likely has no physical description. However, different forms of energy are defined based on the context in which they operate. Electrical energy operates where electrical fields are present, chemical energy where chemicals are interacting. Mechanical energy operates where mechanical forces are present. Gravitational energy operates in a gravitational field. There is an equivalent in electrical theory. It is theorized that electrons are the charge carriers in conductors when a potential difference exists across a conductor. However, electric current travels at close to the speed of light and electrons through a conductor don’t. There is a separate phenomenon called ‘charge’ that travels from electron to electron all the way around the circuit at near the speed of light. A demonstration given to us in an electronics class involved one of those old rulers with the groove along the face. Ordinary marbles, or steel balls, were place along the groove, touching each other. If the first marble was held while being given a firm tap, the end marble shot off the end of the ruler. That is an example of energy in motion as well but it is not heat. So where does heat operate, in which context? It operates when there are differences in temperature. However, temperature is a proxy for something else. Temperature is measured by proxies like mercury and the temperature observed is related to an expansion/contraction of mercury. I think it’s important to understand that the concept of temperature was invented by the human mind. We needed a way to quantify the effect of kinetic energy in atoms and we invented proxies to do that. We also invented the concept of heat but the concept has an equivalent in reality. So temperature is measuring something. It is measuring the average kinetic energy of atoms in a substance. In a single substance, if there is an area in which it’s atoms have a higher KE than in another, there is a difference in temperature between the two and a difference in heat. You can say one is hotter than the other and that can be verified by touch. How could you get a difference in temperatures in a substance? You could heat one end of a bar of steel with a flame that had a higher temperature than the steel. You could run an electric current through one end of the bar. You could start a chemical reaction on one part of the bar, a reaction that gave off heat. You could use a hardened steel bit to drill a hole in metal to produce heat through friction. That’s where the equivalence of work and heat was developed when it was discovered that a specific amount of work drilling metal produced an equivalent amount of heat. So the energy known as heat is not the same as the electromagnet energy of radiation. EM cannot produce heat unless it contacts a mass and EM carries no heat. It can raise the kinetic energy in atoms, however, by forcing the electrons in valence bands to a higher energy state. I am fully aware that the amount of EM measured can be used to calculate the heat transferred from a body but you cannot use EM to calculate the transfer of heat in two directions between a hotter and a cooler body. Although both bodies are transmitting IR, only the IR in the direction from hotter to colder counts. Some people have inferred that heat can be transferred both ways using statistical mechanics theory but I think that is nonsense. I think far too great a license is taken with the quantum theory underlying statistical mechanics. As Feynman said, quantum theory works but no one knows why. I think a lot of theory passed off in quantum theory as fact is pure science fiction. • Joel Shore says: Gordon Robertson: “Although both bodies are transmitting IR, only the IR in the direction from hotter to colder counts.” You gotta love statements like this. For someone who loves the 2nd Law so much, you seem to have a lot of contempt for the 1st! Honestly, where do you guys come up with this stuff? • Nabil Swedan says: “I am fully aware that the amount of EM measured can be used to calculate the heat transferred from a body but you cannot use EM to calculate the transfer of heat in two directions between a hotter and a cooler body. Although both bodies are transmitting IR, only the IR in the direction from hotter to colder counts.” Gordon, No one has ever demonstrated that transfer of radiation or heat of conduction occurs in two directions. I understand that the theoretical formula does have backradiation term in it. This term is for calculating the net potential from higher temperature to lower temperature with respect to the absolute zero temperature. All other mass and energy transfer equations has the same “backflow” such as in hydraulics, Ohm’s law, and Fick’s law. They all have backflow terms. Does the hydraulic backflow or back electrical current exist? of course not. The same with backradiation from colder to warmer; it does not exist and cannot exist. • Gordon Robertson says: @Joel “You gotta love statements like this. For someone who loves the 2nd Law so much, you seem to have a lot of contempt for the 1st!” Joel…you seem to respond with generalities as if speaking from a position of authority but I have yet to see you explain what you think is wrong with a statement using scientific reasoning. All I said was that in an IR exchange between bodies of different temperature, only the IR in the direction of warmer to cooler counted. The intensity and frequency of IR from a cooler body has no affect on the kinetic energy of atoms in a warmer body. I was, of course, referring to heat transfer since that was the point of my comment. When Gerlich and Tscheuschner made a similar comment in their paper falsifying the greenhouse theory, one rebuttal from Halpern et al claimed that G&T were claiming energy was only flowing in one direction between bodies. Halpern et al were making the same mistake many people make in presuming IR is heat. In fact, calculations they did in their rebuttal for heat flow were calculations of energy that fall under the 1st law. You don’t seem to be clear on that yourself. You have already inferred that Clausius is old school and no longer applies, yet his statement about heat transfer being exclusively from a warmer body to a cooler body, without compensation, still holds. When I claimed that in an IR exchange between bodies of different temperatures that IR in one direction did not count I was deferring to the statement of Clausius that IR can flow between bodies of different temps but that heat can be transferred in one direction only. I have nothing against the 1st law. It’s about conservation of energy and used in the proper context it works fine. However, the 2nd law was developed by Clausius because in certain context the 1st law allowed perpetual motion machines to exist. In one version of the AGW theory we have a perpetual motion machine. Heat is transferred from the surface to GHGs in the atmosphere that make up about 1% of atmospheric gases and they radiate that heat back to warm the surface to a temperature higher than it is heated by solar energy. Rahmstorf, who claims that a net positive energy between the surface and the atmosphere satisfies the 2nd law, also claims that back-radiated IR from GHGs can be added to solar energy to increase the solar input. If you can abide such flagrant pseudo-science then I understand why you take exception with my comments. • Tim Folkerts says: Wow, Gordon, it is tough to know where to begin. “The atoms held in lattices in a metal vibrate in place and their motion represents work.” No, work (W) is only ever energy being transferred to/from an object. An object cannot “have work inside it.” “It also represent internal heat.” No again. It represents internal energy (U), not heat (Q). ” the metal will melt as the covalent bonds break apart. Metals have metallic bonding, not covalent bonding. “Heat is obfuscated by certain people who try to claim it is energy in transit.” Heat (Q) IS energy in transit! In particular is it energy entering/leaving a system/region/volume due to a temperature difference. “In a single substance, if there is an area in which it’s atoms have a higher KE than in another, there is a difference in temperature between the two and a difference in heat.” No. Areas cannot “have heat” (Q) so they cannot have differences in heat. They can T & ΔT; they can have U & ΔT. But they cannnot have Q or ΔQ (‘a difference in heat’); they cannot have W or ΔW. I could go on. If you want to advance an argument, you are going to have to use the words and concepts the way that others do (ie the way they are used in science and engineering textbooks). I encourage people to include the symbol (U, Q, W) when commenting — it would make the discussion SO much clearer and more focused. *********************************** A quote from Lord Kelvin seems in order here. “I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be.” And a first step BEFORE expressing something with numbers is to know precisely what we are trying to measure. Unless we can clearly state WHAT we are measuring (eg U, Q, W), there is no hope of moving forward. • Joel Shore says: “All I said was that in an IR exchange between bodies of different temperature, only the IR in the direction of warmer to cooler counted. The intensity and frequency of IR from a cooler body has no affect on the kinetic energy of atoms in a warmer body.” That makes no sense on any level, including the level of the First Law. There is no such thing as energy not counting. That violates conservation of energy. Where does the energy go if it doesn’t count? Furthermore, it makes no sense on any mechanistic level. How does the warmer body know the photon came from a cooler body. The cooler body will emit a spectrum of photons, including some at higher frequencies. Do they have little signs on them? It is the Magical Second Law coming into play again. “You don’t seem to be clear on that yourself. You have already inferred that Clausius is old school and no longer applies, yet his statement about heat transfer being exclusively from a warmer body to a cooler body, without compensation, still holds.” I didn’t say it he longer applies. I said you are misapplying it. Clausius made an observation about heat, ***the net macroscopic flow of energy*** (which is what he could observe), going from hotter to colder. Today, every physicist in the world (except maybe G&T), every physics textbook in the world, etc., understand this to mean that there is the exchange of energy between the hotter and the colder but that the energy from the colder that is absorbed by the hotter is always less than the energy from the hotter that is absorbed by the cooler. Read that sentence over and over until it sinks in. What about that concept is that hard to understand? And, I will even explain to you how it works in the case of two bodies radiating: The fact that the amount of energy radiated at any frequency is a monotonically increasing function of the temperature, together with Kirchhoff’s Laws of Radiation (that absorptivity = emissivity at each wavelength: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchhoff%27s_law_of_thermal_radiation), are sufficient to guarantee that when two bodies exchange radiation, the net flow of energy will be from the hotter to the colder. There is no need for arbitrary, capricious and rules that violate the 1st Law like “only the IR in the direction of warmer to cooler counted”. The Second Law is not some magical thing. It is a beautiful fact that arises from the underlying statistics of large numbers of events. You are reducing it to utter silliness in order to cling to your belief system. “When I claimed that in an IR exchange between bodies of different temperatures that IR in one direction did not count I was deferring to the statement of Clausius that IR can flow between bodies of different temps but that heat can be transferred in one direction only.” No…You are not deferring to him. You are blatantly misinterpreting what he said to mean something completely different than what he meant. What he meant is that the net flow of energy is from hotter to colder because the amount of radiation emitted by the hotter that is absorbed by the cooler is always greater than the amount of radiation that is emitted by the colder and absorbed by the hotter. “Heat is transferred from the surface to GHGs in the atmosphere that make up about 1% of atmospheric gases and they radiate that heat back to warm the surface to a temperature higher than it is heated by solar energy.” No…They don’t radiate that heat back. They radiate ENERGY back. The heat flow is from the surface to the atmosphere because the amount of energy the atmosphere absorbs from the surface is larger than the amount of energy the surface absorbs from the atmosphere. Look, since you are having so much trouble understanding these concepts in physics terms, let’s try financial terms: Suppose that the government imposes a wealth (not income) tax of 10%. If you earn$1,000,000 per year, it is not difficult to calculate that over the long run, your wealth will rise until you get to a steady-state value of $10,000,000 at which point the government will be taking away as much money each year as you earn that year. Now, let’s suppose that the government decides to lower the wealth tax by giving you each year a rebate of 20%, i.e., they give back 1/5 of what you pay them. Now, you can calculate that your new steady-state wealth is$12,000,000 per year.

So, has the government made you richer by giving you this rebate on the wealth tax? Would you (presumably being a good libertarian-type) say that the government is making you richer, or would you say that your own industriousness is making you richer and that the government is just taking a little less away.

See, that is exactly what the atmosphere is doing. When we increase greenhouse gases, it is giving a little bit larger fraction of the energy the Earth’s surface is sending it back to the Earth. Since the Earth’s surface temperature, just like your wealth, is determined by a steady-state balance of inputs and outputs, this causes the surface temperature to rise.

“Rahmstorf, who claims that a net positive energy between the surface and the atmosphere satisfies the 2nd law, also claims that back-radiated IR from GHGs can be added to solar energy to increase the solar input.”

Well, while I might quibble with the wording of “increase the solar input”, the basic gist of what you say is correct, just like a government in rebating part of your wealth tax is increasing the amount of money you have. However, I doubt you would say that the government is increasing your income. You would probably say that the government is just letting you keep more of your income.

In the same way, the greenhouse gases are letting the Earth keep more of the energy that it receives from the sun.

• JohnKl says:

Nabil Swedan,

You state:

“Intensity of radiations is a proxy of temperature, depending on the calibration method of thermometer.”

That statement reflects James Maxwell’s delusion. He believed temperature correlated with intensity and frequency. Max Planck showed that frequency alone correlates to temperature not intensity. See my comments above to Norman and…

Have a great day!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Tim Folkerts,

You state:

“And a first step BEFORE expressing something with numbers is to know precisely what we are trying to measure. Unless we can clearly state WHAT we are measuring (eg U, Q, W), there is no hope of moving forward.”

Agreed. Thanks for the Lord Kelvin quote as well.

Have a great day!

• Doug Cotton says:

You are wrong Joel Shore about radiation (as explained in this comment, and you are wrong about the Loschmidt effect (as explained in other comments) and you are wrong about the radiative forcing “explanation” of planetary temperatures because of the above.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy (and others) please read this new comment above. There are also links in other comments to the paper “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” by a professor of Mathematics, and to the website http://entropylaw.com which all should read, especially the second linked page about the Second Law.

• Doug Cotton says:

Go and help Roy, Joel – see this comment. I’ll take you both on.

• jimc says:

Hi Gordon. I think there may be some confusion between heat transfer and NET heat transfer. Clausius’ statement was about “net” (that’s all he knew in his day). Put two bodies in thermal contact and heat is transferred from the hot to the cold AND from the cold to the hot. Just more of the former. The net transfer continues until the two are balanced … zero net. Likewise, if the earth were facing empty space it would cool more because space does not radiate any energy back. A cooler atmosphere does radiate back to a warmer earth, just not as much as the earth sends to the atmosphere. So the earth is warmer with the atmosphere. Am I oversimplifying your objection?

• Joel Shore says:

jimc,

Exactly, with just one correction. Instead of

“Put two bodies in thermal contact and heat is transferred from the hot to the cold AND from the cold to the hot.”

It should be

“Put two bodies in thermal contact and energy is transferred from the hot to the cold AND from the cold to the hot.”

That is, technically, the word “heat” is reserved to refer to the net transfer (a technical point of terminology that has tripped me up before).

• Doug Cotton says:

What happens, Joel Shore, is determined by whatever processes cause unbalanced energy potentials (which, in an isolated system, include all forms of internal energy including gravitational potential energy) to dissipate by the fastest possible route until the state of maximum entropy (with no unbalanced energy potentials) is attained, that state being thermodynamic equilibrium. In that state there are then no further (detectable) transfers of any energy or matter (at the macro level) across any internal boundary.

• Doug Cotton says:

And that state, Joel Shore, in a gravitational field in a planet’s troposphere has a non-zero stable density gradient and a non-zero stable temperature gradient, because, for there to be no unbalanced energy potentials, and in the absence of changes in other forms of internal energy, like phase change, there must be at the macro level a homogeneous sum of molecular gravitational potential energy and molecular kinetic energy. Since that PE has a gradient, so too does the KE which represents temperature.

• Doug Cotton says:

Regarding the references to energy potentials, read http://entropylaw.com including the second link there about the Second Law.

• Doug Cotton says:

It’s all explained at http://climate-change-theory.com which has had nearly 1,000 visits from silent readers linked from Roy’s blogs and a total of nearly 8,000 in three months. It might be time that you read, study and inwardly digest it, because word is getting around that it’s right.

• jimc says:

Joel. Thanks for the corrections. If I were a good thermodynamist, I probably should have talked about vibrational/translational/rotational/radiant energy being exchanged instead. Clausius (1822-1888) wrote (1850) before the kinetic theory of matter was established. Maybe he even visualized “heat” as the presence of phlogiston. Even in Boltzmann’s (1844-1906) time, it was not universally accepted. In fact, I think he (Boltzmann) committed suicide because many opposed his theory. Would probably make some interesting reading.

• jimc says:

Thermo is a subtle subject, open to a lot of interpretation/misinterpretation. Now as then, people take it very seriously. Witness just the discussions here about it – hopefully nonviolent/nonfatal.

• Doug Cotton says:

It might be best, jimc, if you help Stephen Wilde, geran, Norman, Tim and others answer the question in this comment, also noting my next comment.

• wayne says:

Joel Shores, you are sorely wrong in you physics and themo. You imply that in conduction energy flows both ways but heat only warm to cool but that is not correct.

This is the way one university course puts it better than I could word it myself:

Heat flows from hot to cold

The first statement of the 2nd law of thermodynamics – heat flows spontaneously from a hot to a cold body – tells us that an ice cube must melt on a hot day, rather than becoming colder.

An explanation for this form of the 2nd law can be obtained from Newton’s laws and our microscopic description of the nature of temperature. We have already seen that the flow of heat through conduction occurs when fast (hot) atoms collide with slow (cool) atoms, transferring some of their kinetic energy in the process. One might wonder why the fast atoms don’t collide with the cool ones and subsequently speed up, thereby gaining kinetic energy as the cool ones lose kinetic energy – this would involve the spontaneous transfer of heat from a cool object to a hot one, in violation of the 2nd law. The answer lies in energy and momentum conservation in a collision – one can show, using these two principles, that in a collision between two objects which conserves energy (called an elastic collision the faster object slows down and the slower object speeds up.

Even down to the atomic level both energy AND heat via conduction flows but one way or you are breaking the second law and not conserving energy.

• Doug Cotton says:

Sorry, Wayne, but that’s not what the Second Law says. The Second Law says entropy tends towards a maximum state in an isolated system. It says nothing more and nothing less.

See http://climate-change-theory.com where you can read about experiments that prove (with centrifugal force) that heat can flow from cold to hot in a force field.

You can only claim heat always flows from hot to cold in a horizontal plane.

• Joel Shore says:

This comment of wayne’s had escaped my notice previously. Not all presentations of physics are equally good and this one is kind of sloppy. The one wayne has found (apparently here: http://theory.uwinnipeg.ca/mod_tech/node79.html ) is indeed not the best.

The basic statement about elastic collisions is correct, but the description above it is sloppy: First off, to call individual atoms “hot” or “cool” doesn’t really make that much sense. In, for example, a macroscopic box of gas, there will be a distribution of different speeds for the molecules (Maxwell distribution). So, now, imagine two partitions of gas at different temperatures separated by a flexible membrane, so the gases don’t mix but the molecules can effectively collide with each other. Then what will happen over time is that through this collision process on average the gas molecules in the hotter part of the box will end up slowing down and the ones in the cooler part will end up speeding up and hence heat will flow from hot to cold. However, in some individual collisions, the molecule from the hot side will actually have a lower speed than the molecule from the cold side and the collision will result in a transfer of energy from the cold to the hot side. It is just that these collisions are rarer than ones where the molecule from the hot side has a higher speed than the one from the cold side.

So, the net macroscopic transfer is from hot to cold but this is a result of energy transfers in both directions.

6. geran says:

Silliness? Thinking that reading sky temperatures with a handheld IR thermometer proves the GHE, now THAT is silly. EVERYTHING on Earth emits IR, which means everything has a temperature. Ice has a “temperature”. Are you believing that ice cubes will heat your house in winter? Do you believe the polar ice caps are heating the Earth?

Here’s an interesting thought experiment, in light of your example of day/night temperature changes. If the Earth’s atmosphere truly acts as a greenhouse, why are there seasons? You have tried to claim there is less cooling at night because of the GHE, so why is there so much cooling in winter?

• Joel Shore says:

“Are you believing that ice cubes will heat your house in winter? Do you believe the polar ice caps are heating the Earth?”

I believe that if I put ice cubes in my house, it will be warmer than if I put huge vats of liquid nitrogen in my house. You are just promulgating nonsense by claiming that the greenhouse effect is akin to saying that a colder object heats a warmer object. The sun heats the Earth, but the greenhouse gases restrict the rate at which the Earth can cool by re-emitting energy back out into space, requiring the the Earth’s surface to reach a higher average temperature in order to be in steady-state than it would reach in the absence of these gases.

“You have tried to claim there is less cooling at night because of the GHE, so why is there so much cooling in winter?”

How much is “So much”? There are parts of the Earth above the Arctic Circle that receive no sunlight for months at a time and yet they don’t cool down anywhere close to absolute zero. (This isn’t only because of GHE; it is also because of the heat capacity of things like the ocean and because of transfer of heat around the globe…but my point is just that you don’t even have a simple model to make a quantitative comparison, so how would you possibly be able to conclude that the cooling in winter is more than one would expect given the greenhouse gases?

• Notagain says:

Joel Shore says: “You are just promulgating nonsense by claiming that the greenhouse effect is akin to saying that a colder object heats a warmer object. The sun heats the Earth, but the greenhouse gases restrict the rate at which the Earth can cool by re-emitting energy back out into space, requiring the the Earth’s surface to reach a higher average temperature in order to be in steady-state than it would reach in the absence of these gases.”

Here you are not telling the truth and you know that. The IPCC “greenhouse effect” is not about restricting cooling, it is about heating above the temperature the only source of heat (Sun flux) can possibly induce, which is sheer nonsense, since it is equivalent to the creation of energy out of nothing.

• Tim Folkerts says:

“Here you are not telling the truth and you know that. The IPCC “greenhouse effect” is not about restricting cooling …”
No … here you are NOT telling the truth but you do NOT know it. ðŸ™‚

• Joel Shore says:

“it is about heating above the temperature the only source of heat (Sun flux) can possibly induce”

What limits the the temperature that the sun can induce? The sun provides the Earth with 240 W/m^2 (averaged over the surface of the Earth). In the time since it has been shining, that is enough to have heated the Earth to ridiculous temperatures on the orders of millions of degrees (in which case it would be some sort of plasma)! There is no finite steady-state for an Earth heated by the sun and with its cooling restricted to be zero. It heats indefinitely.

The only reason this does not happen is that the Earth radiates heat back out into space. The steady-state temperature of the Earth is determined by the balance between the energy it absorbs from the sun and what it emits back out into space. Hence, to even calculate this temperature, you already have to talk about the cooling side of the ledger too.

The idea that the Sun can only heat the surface of the Earth to a certain temperature as a matter of principle is based on a fiction (promulgated by Joe Postma), and that fiction is assuming that the surface of the Earth is emitting its radiation out into surroundings with a radiative temperature of 0 K, i.e., that its cooling is unrestricted. Of course, Joe doesn’t state this assumption; he just blows it right past you and makes you believe nonsense.

• Notagain says:

Joel Shore says: “What limits the the temperature that the sun can induce? The sun provides the Earth with 240 W/m^2 (averaged over the surface of the Earth). In the time since it has been shining, that is enough to have heated the Earth to ridiculous temperatures on the orders of millions of degrees (in which case it would be some sort of plasma)! There is no finite steady-state for an Earth heated by the sun and with its cooling restricted to be zero. It heats indefinitely.”

Right, to hell with elementary physics, you liars can say whatever nonsense you need.

Any schoolchild can put 240 or any other number of W/m^2 into the SB equation and get the highest possible temperature this flux can induce. This is a physical law, you idiot/liar, whatever.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Joel,

Of course there is one limit to how hot the sun could — in principle — warm the earth. That would be surface temperature of the sun. No matter how long the sun heats something; no matter what sort of lenses or mirrors you use; no matter what sort of insulation or filters: the light from the sun cannot warm anything above the ~ 5780 K temperature of the photosphere. Anything higher would indeed violate the 2nd Law with ‘heat going from cooler to warmer’.

On the other hand, since we are talking 255 K or 288 K (or even up to ~400 K) this is not a critical limitation.

• Nabil Swedan says:

“The only explanation for this is that some of the radiation emitted by the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere, i.e., that there is a radiative greenhouse effect.”

JoelShore,

Earth’s radiation to the outer space is decreasing, this is a known fact. However, greenhouse gas effect is not the only explanation. In fact it is the very wrong explanation.

• Joel Shore says:

Tim,

Well, I agree and disagree with you. Of course, you are absolutely correct in regards to the final result once we have incorporated all of the correct physics. However, if we are just looking at the “heating side of the ledger” without looking at the “cooling side of the ledger,” as I was talking about, then there is no limit on the temperature. That was what I was trying to get NotAgain to understand. He is under the spell of Postma’s nonsense where one calculates the hottest a surface can get as if one can do this without even considering the cooling side of the ledger (but in fact does this by in fact implicitly assuming the object radiates unimpeded out into empty space).

As you note, heating to higher than the sun does violate the 2nd Law…and I always think it is a nice exercise to guide people through why one could never produce a greenhouse effect that heated the Earth to a higher temperature than the sun. It should in principle help people to understand the very “creative” way in which nature enforces the 2nd Law, in contrast to the arbitrary and capricious was that believes in the Magical 2nd Law seem to imagine.

NotAgain says:

“Any schoolchild can put 240 or any other number of W/m^2 into the SB equation and get the highest possible temperature this flux can induce. ”

Apparently, just because you can do such a calculation does not mean you can interpret the result correctly. You have not calculated the highest temperature this flux can induce. You have calculated the highest temperature this flux can induce in a body that is radiating into surroundings at 0 K. The Earth’s surface is not radiating into surroundings at 0 K because it is surrounded by an atmosphere that absorbs IR radiation. This is what allows it to reach a higher temperature than would be possible were the atmosphere transparent to its IR radiation.

• Joel Shore says:

I said:

“…in contrast to the arbitrary and capricious was that believes in the Magical 2nd Law seem to imagine.”

Boy was that garbled. (Damned 2nd Law! Why don’t my thoughts ever come out clearer when I mistype?) It should read:

“…in contrast to the arbitary and capricious ways that those who believe in the Magical 2nd Law seem to imagine.”

Nabil Swedan says:

“Earth’s radiation to the outer space is decreasing, this is a known fact. However, greenhouse gas effect is not the only explanation. In fact it is the very wrong explanation.”

Pray tell, what other explanation is there…And, what empirical evidence supports this other explanation?

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore – go back to the comments starting here explaining why you are wrong.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Tim Folkerts,

You state:

“Of course there is one limit to how hot the sun could — in principle — warm the earth. That would be surface temperature of the sun.”

No. Imo, the inverse square law makes it very unlikely the surface could ever warm anywhere near that level based solely on simple solar radiative warming of Earth’s surface. The lunar landscape and Earth satellites don’t get much hotter than 100-120 deg centigrade. Of course if the sun goes red giant anything might happen.

Have a great day!

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore continues to reiterate the incorrect figure of 240W/m^2 – see this comment.

• Doug Cotton says:

Folkerts think the Sun could raise the surface temperature to its own temperature. I hope he likes keeping his toes warm by a camp fire that’s 10Km away. Actually, by his conjecture, that fire could burn his skin. Oh, and his battery torch could light up the surface of Mercury.

• Joel Shore says:

What “proves the GHE” in my view is the fact that the Earth’s surface is at a temperature where it is emitting considerably more energy back out into space than it (Earth + atmosphere) receives from the sun. Even before the satellite era, it was impossible to explain how it could do this and not rapidly cool, unless the Earth has some gargantuan heat source that we don’t know about.

Now that we have satellites that show that, no, the Earth as seen from space, is not emitting way more energy than it receives from the sun, but is in fact emitting almost precisely (within less than 1%) of what it receives from the sun. The only explanation for this is that some of the radiation emitted by the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere, i.e., that there is a radiative greenhouse effect. And, the spectrum of the radiation (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CBs09bO1wfc/UYCrTpw8eOI/AAAAAAAABCY/CCm6vAd8uZQ/s1600/Earth+Emitted+Radiation+Iris+Modtran+Comparison+Shows+Scatter+Effect.png) confirms that the absorption is occurring just as we expect it to given the various greenhouse gases and their concentrations.

It is hard to find more compelling empirical evidence for almost any scientific fact in any field. The fact that there are so many people around who deny this science despite all the evidence reveals how the whole denial of AGW has much more to do with ideological convictions than about scientific issues.

• KevinK says:

“Now that we have satellites that show that, no, the Earth as seen from space, is not emitting way more energy than it receives from the sun, but is in fact emitting almost precisely (within less than 1%) of what it receives from the sun. The only explanation for this is that some of the radiation emitted by the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere, i.e., that there is a radiative greenhouse effect.”

1%, you mean the +/- 1.5 mW/m^2 measurement with the +/- 15 mW/m^2 error bars ?????

Really, your “proof” is a measurement that is an order of magnitude smaller than the error bars ???? Really ???

Look, over there, a unicorn, right behind that squirrel…

Cheers, KevinK.

• Joel Shore says:

It’s W/m^2, not mW/m^2. At any rate, even if the error bars in the measurement were +/-15 W/m^2 (and I don’t think they are that large), the difference between 240 W/m^2 (what the Earth system emits to space) and 390 W/m^2 (what the Earth’s surface emits) is much larger than said error bars.

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore continues to reiterate the incorrect figure of 240W/m^2 which should be 340W/m^2 – see this comment.

• Notagain says:

Joel Shore says: “What “proves the GHE” in my view is the fact that the Earth’s surface is at a temperature where it is emitting considerably more energy back out into space than it (Earth + atmosphere) receives from the sun.”

That means the additional radiated away energy is created out of nothing, which is physically impossible. Just do not tell me you studied physics or even arithmetic.

• Joel Shore says:

You are incorrect. All models of the greenhouse effect, whether they be simple toy models like Willis’s so-called Steel Greenhouse or full-blown GCM’s, explicitly conserve energy. How many times have you gone through and actually solved a simple model of the greenhouse effect?

• JohnKl says:

Joel Shore states:

“What “proves the GHE” in my view is the fact that the Earth’s surface is at a temperature where it is emitting considerably more energy back out into space than it (Earth + atmosphere) receives from the sun.”

Really, average day-time Earth surface temps fall around 10-15+ degrees celsius. Lunar daytime temps fall in radiative balance around 120 degrees celsius as do Earth orbiting manmade satellites! Lunar nightime temps prove low, but that remains due to the fact that a lunar day falls around 28 Earth days giving the dark side of the moon plenty of time to radiate energy away given the lack of any real atmosphere. If the lunar daytime matched Earth’s the dark side of the moon would be much warmer and the daytime side about the same temp for a shorter period of time. As a result imo average temps would not be as much out whack with Earth at all.

Have a great day!

• jerry l krause says:

Hi again JohnKl,

I believe you are correct. If the lunar day was 24 hours instead of about 28 days. In fact Roy has just about modeled it for you. Forget about the moist soil, he did.

Have a good day, Jerry

• JohnKl says:

Hi Jerry L Krause,

In short the alarmist psuedo-science claim that GHG’s in Earth’s atmosphere warm the surface of the Earth falls way short because in fact the LUNAR LANDSCAPE PROVES MUCH WARMER THAN EARTH both day (obviously) and at night imo if one considers the lunar night time temps during only the first 12 hours after sunset, giving the landscape the same amount of time to cool as the Earth at night during the hours of darkness. If anyone has access to lunar temps during that small rotational interval only i.e. -during the first 12 hours after sunset – please let me know. In short the Earth’s atmosphere primarily conveys energy from the surface thus COOLING IT! Thank you and…

Have a great day!

• Nabil Swedan says:

“The only explanation for this is that some of the radiation emitted by the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere, i.e., that there is a radiative greenhouse effect.”

JoelShore,

Earth’s radiation to the outer space is decreasing, this is a known fact. However, greenhouse gas effect is not the only explanation. In fact it is the very wrong explanation.

• Nabil Swedan says:

Just look at the comments that make sense on this blog alone. Accordingly, you should consider going back to the drawing board. GHE is the wrong recipe.

• Joel Shore says:

I don’t see any comments that make sense on this blog, except from those of us who are trying to explain the GHE to those of you who still don’t get it.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Joel Shore,

You state:

“I don’t see any comments that make sense on this blog, except from those of us who are trying to explain the GHE to those of you who still don’t get it.”

What don’t you get?

Have a great day!

7. Joe Born says:

Nice and simple.

And, to see that it’s fairly conservative, check out the temperature-change profile that Willis Eschenbach posted here.

• Joe Born says:

Oh, I see Dr. Shore was in the room. Just in case he’s still around I’ll add a link to the follow-up post I wrote in response to him.

8. There is even empirical evidence to support this. In the bone-dry desert, temperatures do indeed vary by as much as 40 to 45 C in a day. It can be 94 F (40 C) during the day or even hotter and still drop to freezing (32 F/O C) at the surface of the sand at night. This is because in the absence of moisture in the air, there isn’t much of a net greenhouse effect. At the exact same latitudes, tropical rain forest may hardly change temperature from day to night — that’s because there the air is dripping with humidity and there is a very strong greenhouse effect. You can see the same thing in less extreme climates. Dry days have a larger temperature range than wet days, and humid days with haze but no clouds to speak of can easily be incredibly hot and uncomfortable.

Of course then there are simple spectrographs of atmospheric radiation, taken looking up. That is literally a photograph of the greenhouse effect in action (and yes, it is dominated by water vapor most of the time, but CO_2 does provide a distinctly noticable bite out of the spectrograph at the top of the atmosphere looking down matched by simultaneous spectrographs at the bottom of the atmosphere looking up. There they are. Real live photons, carrying energy, providing a completely consistent and thoroughly understandable picture of what’s going on, for those that care to look and try to understand.

Beyond that, if you are interested in simple models I’d recommend Grant Petty’s single layer atmosphere model in his book A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation over Willis’s Steel Greenhouse (which is a recap of a simple model given and reinvented many times — it’s even in a standard book of thermodynamics problems I have in a slightly different context). Petty puts in a lot more terms and can give results that vary from the limiting 1.19 multiplier of the greybody temperature for the single layer perfect absorber model.

It is cosmically silly to assert that the GHE isn’t real when you can take its picture and when it would require a “miracle” of some sort contradicting well-known physics not to have it and when it works decently to describe observable phenomena and their range of effects. OTOH, there is a lot that is unknown about the real atmosphere — notably its response to aerosols, and the comparative importance of water vapor, water in the form of clouds, water in the act of transporting latent heat, and the ocean serving as an enormous thermochemical sink. It is probable that simple models are naive and wrong. It is very probable that the complex models used in CMIP5 are wrong (from the point of view of their individual and collective p-values, very probable indeed). The real problem is that we do not have any particularly compelling way of predicting the response of the Earth to additional CO_2. Maybe it is just fine. There are some decent reasons to think that it is. Maybe not so much.

In the end, we have to balance risk and benefit in the face of ignorance, not knowledge. We can easily compute the costs of doing various things about CO_2 as if it were a pollutant, and they are extremely high, especially in human suffering. We can compute at least some of the benefits of CO_2 (such as the simple fact that the 33% increase in mean CO_2 since the mid-50’s feeds roughly 1 billion people every year via increased productivity of food crops, according to direct greenhouse studies with controlled mixtures of CO_2). Against this we have a huge unknown. If aerosols are as irrelevant a contribution as recent papers suggest that they are, ECS has been set far too high in clinmate models as a simple matter of fact. This isn’t arguing that there is no greenhouse effect, only that there is no longer any aerosol cooling to balance supposed high positive water vapor feedback against, so that net feedback is close(r) to neutral. Neutral means a probable ECS in the ballpark of 1 to 1.5 C, which seems unlikely to be a disaster and which is actually remarkably consistent with observed rates of temperature increase in the troposphere and in the (possibly massaged) ground record. But we still do not have a good handle on the effects of changing oceanic pH and any local changes in climate patterns that might or might not be enabled by changing CO_2 in a non-stationary climate. Ultimately we can make up stories to scare ourselves, or comfort ourselves, but in the end we just don’t know.

rgb

• geran says:

I wonder at what point of increasing atmospheric CO2 and declining/flattening global temps, the GHE believers would admit they are wrong.

• Joel Shore says:

For one thing, the Earth is still warming and is still absorbing more energy than it is emitting into space.

However, even if it turns out that AGW is not very important because negative feedbacks make the climate sensitivity small (which I seriously doubt it will), we won’t doubt the reality of the GHE because that is a different issue. That is why three physicists who have widely divergent opinions on the issue of the seriousness of AGW (Robert Brown, Tim Folkerts, and myself) nonetheless all agree about the basic GHE, as does Roy Spencer, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, and Fred Singer.

See, even with strongly-held beliefs and widely divergent ideas of how to weigh conflicting evidence regarding AGW, all serious scientists can agree on certain very basic physics. For us, this is pretty much akin to all agreeing that 2 + 2 = 4, which is why it is so amazing to find people seriously contesting it, particularly when they have such little knowledge on which to base their opinions and have many more knowledgeable people, many who sure their ideological world view, who nonetheless are trying to tell them how misguided they are.

• Nabil Swedan says:

“That is why three physicists who have widely divergent opinions on the issue of the seriousness of AGW (Robert Brown, Tim Folkerts, and myself) nonetheless all agree about the basic GHE, as does Roy Spencer, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, and Fred Singer.”

JoelShore,

This number of scientist is still very small and they all can be wrong. We need all of the 7 billion people on earth to agree. The 7 billion can never be wrong, just like mathematics, chemistry, and other science and engineering. All what it takes just one person and one observation to make the GHE fall a part. We have more than one person and more than one observation. I suggest that you go back to the drawing board.

• Menicholas says:

5% of people think Elvis is still alive, and another 5% think they were adducted by space aliens for sexual experimentation…so you might never get unanimity on anything.
Besides I am rather certain that the atoms and molecules comprising the atmosphere are completely oblivious to who believes what.

• Nabil Swedan says:

Unlike the life and death of Elvis or space alien existence, math is the absolute truth.

• Joel Shore says:

Menicholas,

And, then there’s the number of people who believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

I do like Nabil’s honesty though. He has pretty much summed up the unrealistic expectations that people come up with in order to accept science that disagrees with their prejudices.

• Mike M. says:

Nabil Swedan wrote: “We need all of the 7 billion people on earth to agree.”

So the ultimate arbiter of scientific truth is the stupidest person on the planet?

• Nabil Swedan says:

Seven billion agree on math and engineering. They are entitled to agree on the climate as well. Otherwise we will never be able to address global warming.

• JohnKl says:

Mike M. states:

“So the ultimate arbiter of scientific truth is the stupidest person on the planet?”

How far is that from the current climate science debate among almarmists?

Nabil Swedan states:

“Seven billion agree on math and engineering. They are entitled to agree on the climate as well. Otherwise we will never be able to address global warming.”

Not all 7 billion understand math and engineering including many in the alarmist community. However, I do understand your sentiment. Ask yourself do the AGW alarmists really seek agreement or do they simply assert that everyone agrees with them (consensus)and seek to make you comply with various demands made by them? How many of their demands bear rational analysis? Do they have a proven track record of accomplishing their climate goals (laugh)? Engineers accomplish goals. They build usable structures, machines etc.. Climate scientists perhaps not so much. If by their fruits you will know them what fruits have AGW alarmists brought everyone? Plenty of political intrigue, plotting, propaganda and manipulation perhaps, but have you noticed anything else? Just asking…

Have a great day!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Joel Shore,

You state:

“For one thing, the Earth is still warming and is still absorbing more energy than it is emitting into space.”

According to Roy’s data the planet COOLED last month! Don’t worry, can’t let data and empirical evidence get in the way of an urgent alarm to save humanity. It’s bound to warm again and no doubt you have just the POLITICAL solution to make it life supporting warm weather go away. Not that anyone has presented one yet, but I’m sure with all the fiction writers in Hollywood, Academia and politics a FINAL SOLUTION to IMAGINED PROBLEMS will soon be on the horizon.

You assert:

“That is why three physicists who have widely divergent opinions on the issue of the seriousness of AGW (Robert Brown, Tim Folkerts, and myself) nonetheless all agree about the basic GHE, as does Roy Spencer, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, and Fred Singer.”

So! I’ve agreed with many statements made on this site including your own. Which specific claims do you believe people have problems accepting. Be very specific, generalities do not help the discussion. You claim they all agree. Well Roy has stated in the past that a runaway greenhouse effect (presumably like what supposedly (but delusionally) accounts for Venus’s temperatures is impossible. You claim AGW as beyond dispute and as simple to prove as 2 + 2 = 4. Personally, I don’t dispute that human action impacts many things like the environment including to a finite degree the climate, but the impact on temperature doesn’t follow your claims especially as I mentioned earlier regarding Earth and lunar temps. However, as far as I can tell you’ve never provided any evidence establishing a direct measured amount of warming as a result of human produced GHG’s. Tim Folkerts earlier quoted Lord Kelvin claiming that one’s understanding cannot be considered scientific unless measured. Please provide measured evidence of your claims and…

Have a great day!

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Robert G. Brown “This is because in the absence of moisture in the air, there isn’t much of a net greenhouse effect”.

GHGs in the atmosphere range from about 1% of all atmospheric gases to about 3%. Are you trying to tell me that such a pithy amount of gas can make temperatures change 40 to 45C in a day?

I would think it had far more to do with the amount of cloud cover than water vapour in the air. Clouds can be modeled as small lakes since they have droplets of water as opposed to vapour.

Also, there’s the wind factor. High temps cause differences in temperature between desert regions causing convective currents to flow. Winds can force hot air in regions, making them very hot, and when the wind lets up, the hot air dissipates.

• fonzarelli says:

Gordon, it should seem easy to figure the affect that water vapor has on night time temps when the nights are cloudless… i’ve seen many a cloudless summer night here in new orleans that did not have temps like that of a desert.

• jerry l krause says:

Hi fonzarelli,

“i’ve seen many a cloudless summer night here in new orleans that did not have temps like that of a desert.”

That is because your atmosphere at New Orleans does not have a dewpoint temperature nearly as low as that of a ‘true’ desert atmosphere. The reason I stress true is because this morning I looked up the weather record of Alice Springs AU and discovered it had more light rain (0.1 inch to 0.2 in) showers than I would expect for a true desert to have. And the average high and low temperature of a day indicated that I was not looking some uncommon months.

Have a good day, Jerry

• Robert G. Brown says:

Actually, if you were paying attention, I was saying the comparative absence of one of those gases — water vapour — is responsible for parts of the Sahara desert not retaining heat at night and cooling at many times the rate that it cools in (say) North Carolina at night where the air is almost never particularly dry, even when there are no clouds in either place.

I have no idea what you are talking about when you speak of winds “forcing hot air in regions, making them very hot, and when the wind lets up, the hot air dissipates.” Where does the heat come from to make the air hot in the first place? Where does it go when it “dissipates”? How do you explain the simple fact that these temperature variations occur daily in places where there is no wind at all?

The moon has no atmosphere (and hence no greenhouse effect at all). It’s surface heats up during the lunar day until outgoing approximately blackbody thermal radiation flux balances the incoming (also approximately blackbody thermal but at a much higher temperature) radiation flux from the sun. When the sun sets, it cools by emitting thermal radiation that is not obstructed or absorbed in any way as it heads out to infinity. It cools even faster than the Sahara desert, both because the Sahara has to lose energy from the air close to the surface as well as the surface itself North Carolina, on the other hand, cools much less than the Sahara (at a roughly equal latitude for at least some parts of it) on an equally still, equally cloudless night.

People who don’t “believe” in the GHE (as opposed to those who argue about the details, the feedbacks, and so on) seems to have the ability to selectively blind themselves to even the most basic of evidence — one can directly measure downwelling atmospheric radiation. One can analyze its spectrum and integrate to determine the total energy flux it carries. One can directly measure the radiation being given off by the surface, and its spectrum. One can measure the radiation being given off by the same patch of surface and all of the intervening atmosphere at the top of the atmosphere. One can apply the most basic of physical principles — the law of conservation of energy, a.k.a. the first law of thermodynamics — to the energy flow and temperatures and heat capacities of the elements involved. One can thereby understand why humid North Carolina cools at the slowest rate at night, the dry Sahara cools faster, and the really, really dry moon cools fastest of all. It doesn’t just make sense, it makes quantitative sense.

Yes, there is a lot more going on — I can’t solve the coupled Navier-Stokes equation that describes the open system that is the world in my head any better than anyone else, but how can one deny the entire existence of one of the well known channels of energy transfer — radiation — in the description of local dynamics? Yet some people try hard to do so, usually making absurdly inaccurate statements about laws of thermodynamics they don’t in any way understand as a substitute for an actual quantitative argument.

I promise. No laws of thermodynamics are injured by the proposition that a layer of radiatively coupled atmosphere around a planetary surface will always cause it to be warmer than it would be with either no atmosphere at all or an atmosphere that was perfectly transparent. Beyond that, one is free to argue over the details all one likes, provided that one respects the laws of nature in the argument and recognizes that the Earth is a very, very complex open dynamical system and that not only can we not solve the N-S equations in our heads with handwaving arguments, it is quite probable that we cannot solve them on our best computers either. By some 30 orders of magnitude. And it is becoming quite evident that our degree of ignorance of major inputs to those programs — things like integrated effects of aerosols — are off by more than enough to make the confidence intervals of those programs embrace almost any possible future climate.

That’s the real tragedy of climate science. The assertion of certainty, the use of the term “confidence” in things like the Summary for Policy Makers in the various ARs, bears no relation whatsoever to the admissible uses of those terms in well-founded statistical analysis or science.

• geran says:

Robert G. Brown says:”People who don’t “believe” in the GHE (as opposed to those who argue about the details, the feedbacks, and so on) seems to have the ability to selectively blind themselves to even the most basic of evidence — one can directly measure downwelling atmospheric radiation.”

******

When you can bake a turkey by putting it in a freezer filled with ice, then your downwelling atmospheric radiation may be used as evidence. Until that happens, don’t expect folks to “believe” in the GHE, just because “institutionalized science” promotes it.

(One square meter of ice, at 25ºF, emits about 300 Watts. So, if the turkey is not cooking fast enough, just add more ice!)

• Joel Shore says:

geran: Comments like this about the turkey are just flouting your own ignorance. You are arguing against a theory that you don’t even understand, despite the patient attempts of many, many people to explain it to you. How pathetic is that?!?

Paging Dunning-Kruger ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect ) in Aisle 5!

• geran says:

Joel, almost everything you write here shows you are not a scientist. You have an agenda, and that agenda trumps any connection with the truth.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Jole Shore “You are arguing against a theory that you don’t even understand, despite the patient attempts of many, many people to explain it to you. How pathetic is that?!?”

Indeed. Only it’s you, with an alleged degree in physics who is demonstrating a complete misunderstanding of basic physics.

I studied engineering and we are not allowed the thought-experiments and arrogance demonstrated by many theoretical physicists. If we were, bridges would collapse and buildings would fall.

Your explanations are non-specific to the point of lacking coherence yet when someone presents a coherent comment based on the work of one of the giants of thermodynamics, you ad hom the giant by claiming the messenger has misquoted him.

If you are a physicist then you are one of the arrogant new breed who think their generation invented physics. I think what they have done is set physics back so far with theories based purely on the mathematically-fluked quantum theory that it will take another 100 years to undo the mess and get back to reality-based physics.

The anthropogenic theory, like quantum theory, is based on an obfuscation of basic physics that no one can understand without the strange mathematics applied to make them appear legitimate. The application of black body theory, a la Boltzmann, to the Earth’s atmosphere is turgidly stupid.

Black body theory works with stellar objects because their temperatures are so high that their EM output can approach that of a theorized blackbody. Applying blackbody theory to the surface radiation of a planet, especially to the temperature and number of atoms contain in a cc of carbon atoms, without considering convection and conduction from the surface, which would include N2 and 02, which make up 99% of the atmosphere, is patently stupid.

Inferring that a gas, which accounts for 0.04% of atmospheric gases, can upset the climates of a planet, approaches sheer idiocy. Having said that, when the authority investigating the problem admits their has been a warming hiatus since 1998, continuing the charade of AGW approaches sheer lunacy.

• geran says:

Joel, you poor lost puppy, how much ice do you use to bake your turkey?

• Doug Cotton says:

The elegant two-line derivation of the -g/cp “lapse rate” shows just how mistaken climatologists are in thinking (like Joel Shore) that convection drives the lapse rate down to the environmental temperature gradient because that’s as fast as convection can go. In fact, convective heat transfer stops at that point and, if weather conditions make the gradient less steep than normal, we have what is technically called an inversion by meteorologists, even though the top is still cooler than the bottom. That is when natural convective heat transfer starts to move downwards. But, because climatologists are stuck with their roundabout clumsy way of deriving -g/cp as here with their fictitious rising “parcels” of air (that have nothing to hold them together) they think that that’s all convection can do. They don’t even contemplate falling parcels of air in temperature inversions because that would muck up their greenhouse hoax.

• DougÂ Â Â Cotton says:

You, Robert Brown, show very little understanding of entropy and thermodynamics. Your weak attempt to refute the Loschmidt effect demonstrates such a lack of understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I have refuted such with correct physics.

And see my comment just written to Roy below. Try all you like, you are WRONG.

• Doug Cotton says:

“Because the import of the consequence of the radial temperature gradient created by pressurizing a spherical body of gas by gravity, from the inside only, is that it obviates the need for concern over GHG’s. And, because this is based on long established fundamental principles that were apparently forgotten or never learned by many PhD’s, it is not something that can be left as an acceptable disagreement.”

Roy Yes, surface cooling is slowed, by why does the rate of cooling slow and almost stop in the early pre-dawn hours, even though the environmental lapse rate remains intact? There is absolutely no other explanation (that is in accord with the laws of physics) than that in the new 21st Century Paradigm in Climate Science, which you and Robert G. Brown need to read, study and inwardly digest here.

• bwdave says:

Dr. Brown,

As usual, your lengthy piece shows you have no understanding of what is really happening.

Measuring the temperature of the sky at different altitudes doesn’t demonstrate a greenhouse effect.

Do you think your dismissal of the adiabatic lapse rate due to gravity isn’t “cosmically silly”? Considering you have a PhD in Physics, your position is closer to criminally insane.

The reason water vapor influences the temperature is its enormous latent heat of evaporation, which is released when it condenses.

There is no atmospheric greenhouse effect, no evidence or theory that CO2 affects atmospheric temperature beyond a very slight difference due to its specific heat, and there isn’t enough CO2 in the atmosphere to affect ocean pH.

Olease, get real.

• Robert G. Brown says:

I don’t dismiss the adiabatic lapse rate due to gravity. I simply point out that it is a consequence of energy flow in a non-equilibrium open system. It was being asserted that thermodynamic equilibrium is not isothermal, and this is simply not true. The DALR, on the other hand, arises due to convection and is hardly an equilibrium process.

As for no evidence that CO_2 affects atmospheric temperature — we clearly disagree as to what constitutes “evidence”.

rgb

• bwdave says:

Howl is thermodynamic equilibrium even relevant? Steady state is what matters. We are dealing with an energy flow. The DALR arises as the steady state of gas molecules compressed against a surface.

• Joel Shore says:

To add to what Robert Brown says, the adiabatic lapse rate alone also does not explain why the surface temperature is as hot as it is. Some people seem to think that to completely specify a straight line, all you need to know is the slope; the fact is that you also need the intercept: The fact that the temperature structure of the Earth’s atmosphere is close to the adiabatic lapse rate (or a compromise between the dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rates) does not allow its surface temperature to be at some value where the surface is radiating energy at a considerably higher rate into space than the entire Earth system (earth + atmosphere) is absorbing from the sun.

In fact, people who look at the adiabatic lapse rate as providing the explanation of the elevated surface temperature: The fact that lapse rates steeper than the adiabatic lapse rate are unstable to convection, which then drives the lapse rate down to the adiabatic lapse rate, causes the surface temperature to be lower than it would be if convection did not occur and a steeper lapse rate could be maintained.

And, conversely, if the atmosphere were unstable to convection all the way down to zero lapse rate, then the atmosphere would be driven down to a practically isothermal profile in the troposphere and the radiative greenhouse effect would essentially be completely canceled out.

So, to summarize the correct physics: Convection reduces the quantitative radiative greenhouse effect but convection is not able to eliminate it completely exactly because it can only drive the lapse rate down as far as the adiabatic lapse rate and no further.

• Joel Shore says:

“In fact, people who look at the adiabatic lapse rate as providing the explanation of the elevated surface temperature: The fact that lapse rates steeper than the adiabatic lapse rate…”

“In fact, people who look at the adiabatic lapse rate as providing the explanation of the elevated surface temperature have only a piece of the picture: The fact is that lapse rates steeper than the adiabatic lapse rate…”

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore:

Yes of course we get steeper temperature gradients when there is temporary excess thermal energy at the surface/atmosphere interface on a hot clear day. So what? This helps us understand why the rate of cooling slows almost to a stop in the early pre-dawn hours when that excess energy is dissipated and the gravitationally induced temperature gradient kicks in.

What you can’t explain is how the necessary thermal energy actually gets into the surface of Venus in order to raise the temperature of a location on the equator from about 732K to 737K during the four-month-long sunlit period. In contrast, I can explain it, as in this comment, where I ask you to also note the correction and footnote.

• Doug Cotton says:

Robert – go to this comment about why you are mistaken, noting the correction and footnote.

• coturnix says:

Not true, such a large variations are due to cold air advection, however purely radiative day-night variation in the desert can’t possibly be more than 20C at the sea level, which is what one can see if one actually look into actual temperatures in the desert. Well, may be under the exceptionally clear conditions it could be even more… who knows. However many deserts especially in the usa are high altitude deserts for which the theoretically allowed variations are larger. The deserts with ~45*C dth typically cool to no lower than 25*C ntl.

9. Notagain says:

Roy, it has been explained to you on this site how IR thermometers work when pointed to colder objects. Radiation from colder objects does not raise the temperature of warmer objects. The detector works in a different way. Hard to believe this needs to be explained again and again to a PhD guy.

• Joel Shore says:

“Radiation from colder objects does not raise the temperature of warmer objects.”

What does this even mean? Does the radiation come with a little sign that says, “This radiation is not to be used for the purposes of raising the temperature of warmer objects. Any use of this radiation for said purpose is strictly prohibitted?”

I really wonder how you guys think the world works. Can you define precisely what you mean by radiation from a colder object raising the temperature of a warmer object and then show us where you found a statement that this can’t occur in any REAL physics source?

• Notagain says:

Only two types of people can ask such a stupid question: idiots and liars. Since you are well informed, you must belong to the second type. Just in case you prefer beeing treated as stupid: since warmer things do warm colder things, if colder things could warm warmer things in return, the warmer things would warm then the colder things even more in return and it would never stop. Must be comprehensible for anyone.

• Joel Shore says:

You still haven’t defined for me what you mean by colder things warming warmer things. Just to clear it up for you, here are possible interpretations of that statement:

(1) Colder things warming warmer things means that there is a net flow of energy from warmer to colder. [You’re right…Can’t happen.]

(2) Colder things warming warmer things means that if Object E (Earth) is warmer than Object A (atmosphere) and the only object that E is receiving thermal energy from is Object A (which means it does not receive thermal energy from either another object or from conversion of some other form of energy to thermal energy), then Object A can increase the temperature of Object E. [You’re right…Can’t happen.]

(3) Colder things warming warmer things means that if Object E (Earth) is warmer than Object A (atmosphere) and Object E does receive thermal energy from another object S (sun)…or from conversion of some other form of energy to thermal energy… then Object A cannot increase the steady-state temperature of Object E over and above the temperature it would have in the absence of Object A (or if Object A were colder). [You’re wrong…Can happen.]

• Joel Shore says:

“then Object A cannot increase the steady-state temperature of Object E…”

Sorry…I got myself confused about whether I was saying “Colder things warming warmer things means…” and “Colder things cannot warm warmer things means…”

Since I tried to consistently write the former, the statement I quoted should then read “then Object A can increase the steady-state temperature of Object E…”.

• Nabil Swedan says:

JoelShore,

There are no three objects. There are only sun and earth, or S and E. A (atmosphere) is integral part of E (earth) and its temperature is a result of equilibrium between the Sun and Earth.

Here is the major mistake we have done so fare: Divide the earth into earth subsystems and deal with them separately, when in fact the earth is only one machine, one object, E. When you approach the earth system from the fact it is one thermodynamic machine, which it is, the GHE falls a part. There is no such a thing as radiation exchange between atmospheric air and surface, they are in intimate contact and together reached equilibrium with solar radiation. Only convection heat transfer can occur between atmospheric air and surface. This is basic heat transfer as tough at school. The fact that some colleges teach otherwise is regrettable.

• Nabil Swedan says:

• Joel Shore says:

“The fact that some colleges teach otherwise is regrettable.”

Yes, it is regrettable that colleges teach science rather than nonsense.

Who is the arbiter of when and when I cannot divide systems up? Can I not look at a person sitting in a room and calculate the radiation between that person and his/her surroundings? Why or why not?

“Only convection heat transfer can occur between atmospheric air and surface.”

Is there some law that the Parliament of Nature has passed that I am aware of that says, “No radiative heat transfer will be allowed between the atmosphere and the surface?” Is it true even on holidays?

• Joel Shore says:

Nabil: Just to be clear, there are a few correct elements within what you wrote. You are correct that the temperature of the atmosphere is not fixed but something that itself has to be determined by steady-state conditions (which is what is done). You are also correct that to do quantitative calculations of the heat transfer between Earth & atmosphere, you ALSO have to take into account convection (although you are absolutely incorrect that you don’t include radiative transfer).

• Nabil Swedan says:

JoelShore

Radiation within the atmosphere does not exist because math, engineering, atmospheric science, and observations confirm this conclusion:

The lapse rate equation is an equality between variations of the potential energy of the atmospheric air and variations of its enthalpy. No radiation terms exist in the equation.

Engineering books are based on successful applications, only convective heat transfer exist within the mass of air.

This is just to name a few. Then why is the climate science is so inconsistent with atmosphere and engineering?

• Joel Shore says:

“Radiation within the atmosphere does not exist because math, engineering, atmospheric science, and observations confirm this conclusion…”

What a ridiculous and completely bizarre statement! It is not even worth commenting on. I will just leave it to others to consider as a remarkable example of denial of science.

“The lapse rate equation is an equality between variations of the potential energy of the atmospheric air and variations of its enthalpy. No radiation terms exist in the equation.”

And this relates to your last sentence how? You are correct; the adiabatic lapse rate is determined by what you say…but it in no way implies your completely laughable claim.

Here is the actual physics of the situation:

(1) The strong heating of the Earth from below (both by the sun and radiation from greenhouse gases) would cause a lapse rate even steeper than the observed lapse rate in the troposphere.

(2) However, lapse rates steeper than the observed lapse rate are unstable to convection, which lowers the lapse rate down to the (appropriate) dry or saturated adiabatic lapse rate. Hence, the adiabatic lapse rate is what we call a stability limit…That is, lapse rates greater than it are unstable to convection and driven down to it.

(3) None of this, however, alone sets the surface temperature because a slope alone is not sufficient to determine a line. An additional condition is necessary, such as the temperature at some height in the atmosphere.

(4) This condition is set by radiative balance: In steady-state (i.e., to neither heat nor cool), the Earth system (earth+atmosphere) must radiate back into space the same amount of energy as it absorbs from the sun. This condition means that, with the Earth’s current albedo, the temperature at the effective radiating level, i.e., the level in the atmosphere where (on average) radiation can successfully escape to space, must be 255 K.

(5) The surface temperature of the Earth is determined by the height of the effective radiating level (which is currently about 5 km) and the environment lapse rate (~6.5 C per km). Extrapolating down to the surface, one gets the value that the surface temperature is about 288 K.

(6) Increases in greenhouse gases increase the opacity of the atmosphere to the Earth’s emitted IR radiation and hence increase the effective radiating level.

So, this summary of the correct and empirically-verified science allows us to see the role of various factors. The radiative greenhouse effect is due to the opacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to terrestrial radiation. However, convection reduces the effect of the radiative greenhouse effect by reducing the lapse rate compared to what it would be in the absence of convection. (In fact, if convection could drive the lapse rate all the way down to zero, the radiative greenhouse effect would be essentially completely offset by convection because convection is a quite efficient mode of heat transfer, but it can’t…It can only drive the lapse rate down to the adiabatic lapse rate, so convection only partially offset the radiative greenhouse effect.)

• Joel Shore says:

“You are correct; the adiabatic lapse rate is determined by what you say…”

Actually, this statement of mine may have been a little hasty, particular now that I see you referenced potential energy (which is a red herring, in that for a neutrally-buoyant parcel, the gravitational force and buoyant force cancel). What I would say is that the adiabatic lapse rate is determined by the temperature change of a parcel of neutrally-buoyant air as it ascends adiabatically through the atmosphere.

But, at least you are correct that radiation does not come into the equation for the adiabatic lapse rate. [And, in fact, the adiabatic condition is actually assuming that changes in internal energy due to conductive or radiative heat transfer are negligible from the point of view of determining this feature of the temperature structure of the atmosphere.]

• JohnKl says:

#3 seems like Doug’s heat creep theory, but yes solar energy can warm the planet.

Have a great day!

• Doug Cotton says:

Solar radiation absorbed by the surface does not account for the observed mean temperatures.

• Doug Cotton says:

Regarding “heat creep” go to this comment.

• Doug Cotton says:

I’ve already shown why the radiative forcing GH conjecture is nothing but fictitious fiddled physics in this comment.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Joel “Here is the actual physics of the situation:”

Richard Lindzen does not agree. He teaches atmospheric physics at MIT and has published many papers over a 40+ year career in non-modeled atmospheric physics.

http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/230_TakingGr.pdf

“When it comes to global warming due to the greenhouse effect, it is clear that many approaches are highly oversimplified. This includes the simple ‘blanket’ picture of the greenhouse effect shown in Figure 1”.

“There is something very seriously wrong with this oversimplified picture [of the GHE]. Namely,the surface of the earth does not cool primarily by thermal radiation”.

“”…heat is carried away from the surface by fluid motions ranging from the cumulonimbus towers of the tropics to the weather and planetary scale waves of the extratropics. These motions carry the heat upward and poleward to levels where it is possible for thermal radiation emitted from these levels to escape to space”.

“Contrary to the iconic statement of the latest IPCC Summary for Policymakers, this is only on the order of a third of the observed trend at the surface, and suggests a warming of about 0.4° over a century. It should be added that this is a bound more than an estimate”.

• Joel Shore says:

Now you are just throwing up flack and quoting Lindzen in a way that makes it appear as if he agrees with your nonsense when he does not. In particular, look at what you did in the following:

“There is something very seriously wrong with this oversimplified picture [of the GHE].”

However, if one goes back to Lindzen, he is not doubting the GHE. The “[of the GHE]” was added by you.

He is doubting the feedbacks. In fact, his only quibble with the claim that the GHE warms the Earth by 33 K is a clarification that “it requires getting rid of the greenhouse impact of clouds while retaining them to reflect sunlight”, which is true…but that is because we are talking about how much warming is produced due to the greenhouse effect. He does not doubt that this is the magnitude of the greenhouse effect, let alone deny its existence as you do.

So, now we find that after misinterpreting Clausius, you have now misinterpreted Lindzen. In fact, you even did so in a way that I would call borderline deceptive.

Almost all scientists in the field, save our current host and a handful of others, think Lindzen is wrong on feedbacks. But, that’s neither here nor there for the sake of the current discussion, which is about the greenhouse effect…and particularly, your ridiculous claim that it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Joel Shore “However, if one goes back to Lindzen, he is not doubting the GHE. The “[of the GHE]” was added by you”.

Lindzen certainly is doubting the over-simplified GHE presented by most people and he definitely shoots down the claims of AGW alarmists with regard to catastrophic warming and climate change.

In the link I provided he places an upper bounds of 0.4 degrees over a century.

It’s unfortunate that the atmosphere is compared to a greenhouse. It’s a bad metaphor that fills the minds of people with a roof of greenhouse gases covering the planet.

As Lindzen said in his article, some concepts are so complex that it is necessary to reduce them to simpler models. However, claiming that an atmosphere consisting of 1% GHGs can raise atmospheric temps from -19C to +15C, while completely ignoring the oceans, which account for 73% of the planet’s surface, is a model which completely misses the mark.

I like John Christy’s approach. He admits the atmosphere and it’s systems are so complex that we have essentially no idea what is going on. Although John did his grad studies under uber-alarmist Kevin Trenberth, who no doubt filled his mind with CAGW theory, John kept an open mind when his data showed no signature to support CAGW, or even global warming.

Since then he has thankfully been a thorn in the side of Trenberth who became so exasperated with UAH that he forced a journal editor to resign for having the temerity to publish a paper from either John or Roy with which he did not agree.

• Nabil Swedan says:

Dear Joel Shore,

You are running in a circle. Please go back to the drawing board. You will be happy you did.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@“Radiation from colder objects does not raise the temperature of warmer objects.”

What does this even mean? Does the radiation come with a little sign that says, “This radiation is not to be used for the purposes of raising the temperature of warmer objects. Any use of this radiation for said purpose is strictly prohibited?”

Joel…this is where you are falling into the trap of cleverness and thought-experiments. The 2nd law says that radiation from a colder object to a warmer object has no effect. Clausius said a similar thing about radiation in his treatise on heat.

“…the passage of heat between two bodies of different temperature can take place in one direction only, and not in the contrary direction”.

http://www.humanthermodynamics.com/Clausius.html

Clausius knew about atoms but he would not have known about photons and probably nothing of infrared energy as related to quantum theory.

That is evidence from a quote he made in another paper:

“In later days has arisen the other view that Heat is in reality a mode of motion. According to this view, the heat found in bodies and determining their temperature is treated as being a motion of their ponderable atoms, in which motion the ether existing within [between] the bodies may also participate;”

Also, “We will therefore start with the assumption that Heat consists in a motion of the ultimate particles of bodies and of ether, and that the quantity of heat is a measure of the Vis Viva of this motion.

Vis Viva is an old term for kinetic energy. Ergal was proposed as a term for potential energy”.

He is clearly stating that heat consists of the kinetic energy of atoms.

You are presuming that the radiation from a colder object has the intensity and frequency to raise the kinetic energy level of atoms operating at a higher temperature.

From my very limited understanding of how photons affect the energy levels in an atom, an absorbed photon causes an electron to rise to a higher quantum energy level. When that electrons drops back to it’s original level, it emits a photon.

Again, I am talking in layman’s terms, but electrons in an atomic energy band interacting with IR (EM) gain energy and can jump to a higher energy level. This increases the KE in the electrons and should raise the KE of the entire atom. That should also raise the heat in an aggregate of atoms.

It strikes me that once the energy levels have been raised that a IR from a cooler source, of lower intensity and frequency, cannot raise the energy levels in a warmer source any higher. To me, that explains why heat can only be transferred in one direction, from atoms of a higher KE to atoms of lower KE, but not in the reverse direction.

If someone can prove that is wrong, I am listening.

• Joel Shore says:

First of all, a technical point of terminology: We don’t use the word “heat” except to describe the transfer of energy. So, it is not “heat” but “thermal energy” that you get when you raise the random kinetic energy of the atoms / molecules or what have you.

We can talk about the microscopics of the absorption of photons by a material (which are far more complicated than your picture, which seems more to be at the level of isolated atoms…and which I am probably not the most qualified person to expound on), but on a more macroscopic level, let me ask you this:

If the Earth can’t absorb the photon, what will happen to it?

It can’t just disappear…That violates conservation of energy. It has to be either absorbed, reflected, or transmitted. Are you proposing that the Earth is transparent to these IR photons from the atmosphere or that it reflects the photon? As I have noted, Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation tells us that if a material is not a good absorber at a certain wavelength, it is also not a good emitter at that wavelength. So, the substance you speak of might absorb less but it will also emit less. Furthermore, with a few exceptions, most non-gaseous materials are good absorbers throughout the far IR wavelengths that we are talking about here…So, the Earth surface’s absorptivity is in fact very close to 1 for these wavelengths.

“It strikes me that once the energy levels have been raised that a IR from a cooler source, of lower intensity and frequency, cannot raise the energy levels in a warmer source any higher. To me, that explains why heat can only be transferred in one direction, from atoms of a higher KE to atoms of lower KE, but not in the reverse direction.”

So, in summary, this view of the world is simply not correct [at least the frequency part]. The warmer object does not “know” where the photons have come from (i.e., that they are from a cooler source); it just “knows” their frequency. And, it will absorb them according to its absorptivity, which obeys Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation (so if it doesn’t absorb well at that frequency, it also doesn’t emit well at that frequency).

Now, your talk of lower intensity has an inkling of correctness in it. Yes, the intensity of radiation from the colder object is less than from the hotter…but that is what we have been trying to explain to you this whole time is in fact responsible (along with Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation) for insuring that the 2nd Law is obeyed, i.e., that in the exchange of energy back-and-forth between the two objects, more energy goes from the hotter to the colder object than from the colder to the hotter and hence the heat, or net flow of energy, is from the hotter to the colder.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Joel Shore “it is not “heat” but “thermal energy” that you get when you raise the random kinetic energy of the atoms / molecules or what have you”.

To an engineer they are one and the same. Apparently Clausius agreed. Heat is energy and I don’t think it is right to obfuscate it as a transfer mechanism.

“…intensity of radiation from the colder object is less than from the hotter…but that is what we have been trying to explain to you this whole time is in fact responsible (along with Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation) for insuring that the 2nd Law is obeyed..”

Joel, the thing you seem not to be getting is that infrared energy is not the same energy described as heat, or thermal energy, whatever you want to call it. IR can transfer heat but the flow of IR between bodies is electromagnetic energy, not heat energy, or thermal energy.

I have noted that when we speak of energy we are normally referring to matter at an atomic level. Electrical energy involves an electric field that can cause electrons to move. Electric field are also closely related to magnetic fields and magnetic energy.

Chemical energy is related to the atoms and molecules in a chemical reaction. Nuclear energy is related to the energy in atomic nuclei.

Electromagnetic energy is also related to other phenomena in an atomic structure related to it’s quantum energy levels. It can be absorbed or emitted as electrons in energy bands transition to higher or lower energy bands. Same thing for valence electrons in molecular bonds of infrared-absorbing molecules.

Thermal energy, however, is related to the kinetic energy of atoms in solids, liquids and gases. Clausius presumed that a ‘quantity’ of heat was related to the kinetic energy of atoms and that heat is related to the motion of atoms.

If you read him on that he goes into detail. He describes atoms in a solid lattice, where they are confined by valence electrons in covalent bonds. The atoms are always in motion, vibrating in place. He compared that motion to work and to it’s heat equivalent. Therefore atoms vibrating in place in a solid represent both work and heat.

When it comes to radiation, the idea, as I get it, is to transfer some of that kinetic energy in one body to another body. You call that heat but I call it heat transfer, a la Clausius. The transfer is accomplished through the phenomenon of atoms emitting electromagnetic energy which is subsequently absorbed in the other body, increasing the KE in that body.

To me, that indicates two forms of energy, electromagnet energy in the form of IR and thermal energy in the form of transferred kinetic energy. Clausius stipulated, however, that the transfer of kinetic energy can only take place from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation.

If you are going to sum two energies, you cannot simply sum the IR and ignore the KE that represents heat. That was pointed out by thermodynamic experts Gerlich and Tscheuschner in their reply to a rebuttal by Halpern et al.

G&T pointed out that the 2nd law is about heat (not infrared energy transfer) and as such it is not right to reference it without summing the heat transfers.

When you transfer KE from a higher level of KE to a lower level of KE, the process is not reversible without compensation, according to Clausius.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Joel Shore…from Gerlich and Tscheuschner. No matter what your opinion may be about them, they are both qualified in the field of thermodynamics.

I challenge you to put away your knowledge base long enough to read the full article objectively. I am not asking you to accept what you read, or to believe it, just to read it with an open mind.

From page 16:

“Heat is the kinetic energy of molecules and atoms and will be transferred by contact or radiation. Microscopically both interactions are mediated by photons. In the former case, which is governed by the Coulomb respective van derWaals interaction these are the virtual or off-shell photons, in the latter case these are the real or on-shell photons. The interaction between photons and electrons (and other particles that are electrically charged or have a nonvanishing magnetic momentum) is microscopically described by the laws of quantum theory. Hence, in principle, thermal conductivity and radiative transfer may be described in a unified framework. However, the non-equilibrium many body problem is a highly non-trivial one and subject to the discipline of physical kinetics unifying quantum theory and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics”.

Reference: Falsication Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

• JohnKl says:

Hi Joel Shore,

You assert:

“So, in summary, this view of the world is simply not correct [at least the frequency part]. The warmer object does not “know” where the photons have come from (i.e., that they are from a cooler source); it just “knows” their frequency. And, it will absorb them according to its absorptivity, which obeys Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation (so if it doesn’t absorb well at that frequency, it also doesn’t emit well at that frequency).”

If you work in academia (a scary possibility) do the world a favor and stop for a while, calm down and wait until reason returns to you. Do you know who Max Planck is? The radiation frequency emitted by any object correlates to temperature. Shorter wavelength, higher frequency radiation emits from hotter objects and longer wavelength, lower frequency radiation from cooler objects. A warmer object doesn’t know anything at all about other objects unless it is a being with rational faculty, hopefully your one. However, the amount of energy contained in any given amount of radiation (you can go ahead and call it a photon if you like) depends on the FREQUENCY and cooler objects emit lower frequencies. Therefore, a warmer object doesn’t have to know anything about the cooler object the FREQUENCY does all the talking. Some specific frequencies speak louder than others. Water molecules listen very carefully to certain microwave frequencies which can have a disproportionate influence on it’s temperature, just ask those who make microwave ovens.

Have a great day!

• Notagain says:

Gordon Robertson says: @“Radiation from colder objects does not raise the temperature of warmer objects.” What does this even mean? Does the radiation come with a little sign that says, “This radiation is not to be used for the purposes of raising the temperature of warmer objects. Any use of this radiation for said purpose is strictly prohibited?”

I have the right explanation for idiots. It is like me saying “If you throw up a stone, it will not fly to the Moon” and you asking: “What does this even mean? Does the stone come with a little sign that says, “This stone is not to be used for the purposes of flying to the Moon. Any use of this stone for said purpose is strictly prohibited”?”

You can actually go on asking “Why should the stone fall back to Earth? Does the stone come with a little sign that says the stone should fall back to Earth? How does the stone know it is supposed to fall back to Earth?”

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Notagain “I have the right explanation for idiots”.

Who are you referencing? Part of your quote is from me and part is from Joel Shore.

• Notagain says:

Sorry Gordon, I see now those words were not yours. Maybe you should better formate your postings to avoid misunderstanding.

10. Notagain says:

And again about insulation. Insulation keeps things both colder and hotter, depending on the outside temperature. The IPCC “greenhouse effect” has nothing to do with insulation, it is physically absurd self-heating by own heat. Again, Roy.

11. ovid says:

Sorry for being off topic. I keep reading about this warm water blob in the Pacific off the North American coast. Could Dr Spencer provide an explanation of this and what is the source of heat for this warmer water. In none of the articles I have seen is GW blamed.

• dave says:

As far as I have investigated it (which is little, because it is only a curiosity) it is due to an unusual, persisting, pattern of local low atmospheric pressure.

It requires no special source of heat. The upper hundred meters of the ocean are mixed annually by surface winds, but like any such process it is not entirely even or consistent.

12. DougÂ Â Â Cotton says:

Â

Roy, you still get it all wrong

Point 2: It is not radiation from a planet’s atmosphere that makes it hotter than its effective radiating temperature at the base of its troposphere. On Uranus there is no solar radiation reaching down through its 350Km nominal troposphere anyway, but it’s hotter than Earth’s surface at the base thereof.

Point 3: We know there is something seriously wrong with the radiative forcing GH conjecture because Foehn winds warm and do not cool. You see, Roy, the IPCC claims that the most prolific “greenhouse gas” water vapor supposedly warms the surface by most of that “33 degrees” of warming. But there is simply no evidence of such. When I did a study (published in my 2013 paper) the results showed that more moist regions had lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures. Likewise, Foehn winds warm when their moisture content reduces.

Point 4: The only correct explanation which does “work” for all planets is derived from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, with appropriate consideration as to how entropy increases to a maximum if and only if unbalanced energy potentials diminish, as explained here and in the linked paper. Also of relevance is the website http://entropylaw.com that I discovered recently.

Â

You need to listen to those who understand the relevant thermodynamics, Roy, which you did not get taught when you got your “A” in such.

Â

Sydney & Macquarie Universities
1963 to 1972
Retired (part-time) physics and mathematics educator
and now private researcher into planetary physics

Â

• Menicholas says:

Good evening all.
I am not going to jump in with both feet here, because I am still trying to get a handle on why some of the people here are saying the things they say.
But I wanted to point out a simple error here:

“Likewise, Foehn winds warm when their moisture content reduces. ”

Compressional winds have low relative humidity, but that is not because the moisture content of the air is reduced as the air descends to a lower altitude. As air descends, it is compressed by the higher barometric pressure at the lower altitude, and so it heats up adiabatically. Since warmer air can hold more moisture, the relative humidity falls, but the absolute humidity does not. There is still the same amount of moisture present in the parcel as before it began to descend and warm.

I am very curious about this idea that some here seem to have that dry air does not cool off faster at night that more humid air, and is also able to cool off more. As air cools at night, the relative humidity increases, and when it reaches 100%, fog will form.
I have been involved with agriculture (Plant nursery) here in Florida for many years, and the relationship between the dew point of the air and the minimum temperature which is possible on a given night is very clear and straightforward.

Possible, but not assured. there have been many a night where crops have been saved from freezing by even a thin cirrus wisp streaming in, which allows the radiational cooling to reverse and the temp actually rise.

Some of these conversations are kind of baffling, and seem to be coming from people who have not spent much time outside at night in various climates and weather conditions.

13. Doug Cotton says:

The reason that the cooling is slowed, and the rate of cooling reduces and almost stops in the early pre-dawn hours (even though the environmental lapse rate remains and is usually around 7 degrees per kilometer) is because that temperature gradient represents the state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

Frankly, Robert G.Brown (from a university physics department) ought to be ashamed of the complete travesty of physics (which Roy reiterates) that planetary tropospheres would be isothermal in the absence of IR-active gases. That is nonsense.

What they don’t understand is how and why the Second Law of Thermodynamics allows us to understand why the density gradient forms when, for example, a long thin insulated and sealed cylinder of gas is rotated from a horizontal to a vertical position.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that in any independent natural process (that comprises an isolated system) entropy will increase to a maximum as unbalanced energy potentials dissipate to zero. The very fact that the density gradient forms, proves that, in entropy considerations, we must consider (at the molecular level) “micro” gravitational potential energy, and not just molecular kinetic energy which relates to temperature. (In fact other forms of internal energy should also be considered, but we will assume they are held constant.)

So, the density gradient forms because entropy increases, that being because there are in fact unbalanced energy potentials due to the extra gravitational potential energy of molecules at the top. Thus we know we must take that PE into account in entropy considerations and, in particular, in considerations of unbalanced energy potentials which must dissipate to reach thermodynamic equilibrium. We only get to such thermodynamic equilibrium (with maximum entropy and no unbalanced energy potentials) when the mean sum of molecular (KE+PE) is homogeneous, and, since PE has a gradient with altitude, so too does KE (and thus temperature) have the negative of that PE gradient.

So, when the temporary heat of the day has gone, the surface temperature gets down to a level where the whole of the troposphere would then have to cool in order to retain (throughout its height) the temperature gradient that is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

The profoundly important corollary is that, if new thermal energy disturbs the state of thermodynamic equilibrium (with its temperature gradient) then that new energy (creating unbalanced energy potentials) will be spread out in all accessible directions away from the source, and that includes downwards. Therein lies the explanation as to how planetary surfaces receive the extra thermal energy which James Hansen was looking for and thought could be explained with back radiation – but can’t be.

• Menicholas says:

“the environmental lapse rate remains and is usually around 7 degrees per kilometer”

The ELR varies quite a bit over various geographic areas, times of year and even times of day.
In summer here in Florida, it is quite different during the rainy season than dry seasons, and different if an easterly wave is approaching than when one has just passed, and different in the morning before the daily cycle of convection has begun than it is after the afternoon thunderstorms have just rained out and dissipated, and even different near the coast when the daily and nightly land breeze and sea breeze regimes shift, weaken or strengthen depending on whether the prevailing PG winds are from the east or the flow is reversed and coming from the west.
“Average” and “usual” are two completely different things.

• Doug   Cotton says:

You miss my point. Some temperature gradient (say between 5 and 9 degrees/km remains even though upward heat transfers may have ceased. Why is it so?

14. I see Doug Cotton’s sock puppets are in full force, and Doug Cotton leaps in at the end to prop up his sock puppets by lending them his credibility.

• KevinK says:

Will, for the record, I am not anybody’s “sock puppet”. My opinions about how the climate works are my own and I am prepared to defend them.

Mr. Cotton has his own hypothesis and I do not agree or disagree, I have no opinion on his opinion…

PS, Roy it was a lot more fun here when we were just watching frost flowers grow…. Good enjoyable stuff there.

Roy, you brought up the “Is the GHE real” topic up once again for another “intellectual flogging” and it worked, I guess…

I’m good with the “It’s a Hypothesis” position and I’m still eager for actual proof, show me a dead unicorn and I’ll shut up until my dying days, I promise.

Cheers, KevinK.

15. Scott Scarborough says:

Doesn’t it get down to freezing at night in the Desert since there is so little of the GHG called water vapor?

• Menicholas says:

Yes! And it can easily go lower than freezing. The temperature minimum is limited only by the dew point of the air. It can go lower, if the dew point changes, or if the air becomes supersaturated.

16. Scott Scarborough says:

My god! They have to be pulling your leg Roy. You scientists are sort of dumb that way. No one can be that dense unless they try.

17. KevinK says:

Ok, here is one more attempt, not sure why anybody bothers, the folks that believe this GHE conjecture will apparently always believe it. But anyway here goes;

A thermal insulator (like fiberglass in the walls of your residence) functions by slowing the velocity of thermal energy moving through it. This is represented by the thermal diffusivity of the material, a fundamental property of the material determined by its molecular structure. A slower velocity means it takes longer for a given amount of thermal energy to “escape”. A thermal insulator does NOT “TRAP HEAT”.

An electrical insulator (like the plastic covering the wires in the walls of your house) does indeed “trap electrons” (up to some maximum voltage) all the electrons stay in the conductor.

To “trap” electromagnetic radiation, aka EMR (like IR energy leaving the surface of the Earth) requires a Faraday Cage. This is a totally conductive containment (like a room built out of copper mesh walls) which prevents EMR from leaving (or entering). Any holes in the “cage” allows the EMR to escape. The EMR is always traveling at the speed of light (like an angry hive of bees just looking for a hole in your bee keepers outfit).

Holding up one molecule of copper (or a molecule of CO2) in the path of the EMR just makes it take another course which delays the time until it escapes. Alot like an angry bee that just keeps looking for the hole in your beekeepers uniform.

These are fundamentally different physical mechanisms.

Gases in the atmosphere do not act as a “blanket” that traps EMR….

“It does not matter how beautiful your hypothesis is, if it does not match observations, IT IS WRONG” (paraphrased from a really smart guy).

Cheers, KevinK.

• Tim Folkerts says:

the velocity of thermal energy …
I’ll cut you some slack here. The important quantity is the RATE that heat moves through a material (joules/second), not VELOCITY (meters/second). Velocity is a rate, just not exactly the right rate here.

A slower velocity rate means it takes longer for a given amount of thermal energy to “escape”. A thermal insulator does NOT “TRAP HEAT”. (With that one change I agree so far.)

“Holding up one molecule of copper (or a molecule of CO2) in the path of the EMR just makes it take another course which delays the time until it escapes.”
No, holding up a CO2 molecule allows it to ABSORB some of the IR photons whizzing by. The absorbed photon is DESTROYED, not delayed. The CO2 molecule starts vibrating.

Some time later, the CO2 molecule emits a whole new photon (assuming it hasn’t bumped into a surrounding molecule and transferred that extra energy in the meantime). The NEW photon could be traveling in ANY direction. If it happens to be heading toward the ground, then the ground can absorb that photon, which would set the atoms in the ground vibrating. And more vibrations = warmer temperatures (than if that photon had not been absorbed).

• KevinK says:

Tim, thanks for the unnecessary “slack”, I don’t need no “stinking slack” from you, thanks anyway.

“No, holding up a CO2 molecule allows it to ABSORB some of the IR photons whizzing by. The absorbed photon is DESTROYED, not delayed. The CO2 molecule starts vibrating.”

THE ENERGY IS NOT DESTROYED, simply converted from EMR to thermal energy and vice-versa. And it’s transit through the system is simply delayed by this process.

Honestly, how much longer will you folks defend this hypothesis. For cripes sake Arrhenius started this thing with predictions of folks farming in Greenland right about now… See any observations of that recently ?????

Cheers, KevinK.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Kevin says (in all caps no less): “THE ENERGY IS NOT DESTROYED”

hmmm … I said that the PHOTON is destroyed, not the energy; the molecule begins vibrating (with that same energy). In other words (ie in YOUR words) the energy is “simply converted from EMR to thermal energy”.

Thanks for so loudly agreeing with me. ðŸ™‚

“And it’s transit through the system is simply delayed by this process.”
No. If the energy continued the same direction a fraction of a second later (still heading out to space), then you might say that was simply delayed. But that is not the case. RETURNING energy is not the same as DELAYING it.

As an analogy, suppose you have a tank that is being filled with water by a hose, but there is a leak in the tank. The water level will rise to some point and then the leak will equal the input. Now I take a bucket and return some of the water that was leaving. Yeah, i am “delaying the process” of water leaving the tank, but I am not “SIMPLY delaying the process”. The water level in the tank will be higher than it was.

“Honestly, how much longer will you folks defend this hypothesis.
Ahhh! I think i get it. You are pretty clearly conflating two different hypotheses. But just to be clear, exactly what is “this hypothesis” that you are referring to? Which hypothesis do you think is dead?

“I don’t need no “stinking slack” “
So you would rather simply remain obstinately wrong??? ðŸ™‚

• Tim Folkerts says:

PS if there is a “velocity” for heat, then tell me how you would calculate the “speed”? For example, what is the speed of heat for a 1 m long bar of copper with a cross section of 1 cm x 1 cm that is 300 K at one end and 400 K at the other? What is the speed if the bar is 2 m long? How long does it take 10 J of heat to “escape” from one end to the other?

PS. I can easily calculate the RATE (in J/s) of heat flow.

• Menicholas says:

Hey, if we could increase the rate of heat flow through the rod to the speed of light, creating a superconductor of heat, we could end all of these problems and worries right then.
Such a conductor could be arranged to carry excess heat (If there ever got to be any) on the earth directly to space, and could also serve as a heat sink to make electricity using the temperature differential between the top and bottom of the ocean.)

Oh, well, since there is as much chance of that as a snowball’s chance on the senate floor, we will just have to sally on as best we can, as is.

• Kelvin Vaughan says:

Tim Folkerts says:
April 10, 2015 at 11:08 PM

PS. I can easily calculate the RATE (in J/s) of heat flow.

Tim

I was wondering, if you use a similar copper bar with 0.04% of a heat insulator diffused in the bar would it make any difference to the heat flow?

• Tim Folkerts says:

Kevin, are you by any chance familiar with “OFHC Copper”?

Oxygen-free copper (OFC) or Oxygen-free high thermal conductivity (OFHC) copper is a group of wrought high conductivity copper alloys that have been electrolytically refined to reduce the level of oxygen to .001% or below.

Or look at these graphs, that show orders of magnitude differences in thermal conductivity for copper with varying small impurity levels.
http://materialdatabase.magnet.fsu.edu/Copper.htm

So …
1) YES! 0.04% impurities can have HUGE impacts on copper conductivity. You don’t have to wonder any longer. ðŸ™‚
2) You are evading. Where is that calculation of the ‘velocity” of heat flow?

• Kelvin Vaughan says:

No I was just interested. Thanks for the links.

• Joel Shore says:

“It does not matter how beautiful your hypothesis is, if it does not match observations, IT IS WRONG” (paraphrased from a really smart guy).

Nice hypothesis you have about how radiation works…but just blown to hell by observations.

• KevinK says:

Cheers, KevinK.

• Doug Cotton says:

Tim Folkerts, Joel Shore, Robert Brown & Roy:

Observations are that Foehn winds warm when they release water vapor: the greenhouse gas water vapor cools.

But the IPCC implies that the mean water vapor concentration (just over 1%) causes nearly all of “33 degrees” of warming. So show me regions with double the mean that are warmed by 60 degrees please. (Actually Pierrehumbert’s calculations of teh 33 degrees are wrong anyway, because he used a factor 0.7 (based on 30% albedo) for the imaginary Earth without water vapor and thus without clouds reflecting about 20%.)

Have you personally done a study of real world temperature data such as I have in the Appendix in this paper? I doubt it.

I’m having trouble seeing that 60 degrees in the results …

Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures …

Wet (01-05): 30.8°C 20.1°C
Medium (06-10): 33.0°C 21.2°C
Dry (11-15): 35.7°C 21.9°C

Go back to this comment.

• Menicholas says:

“An electrical insulator (like the plastic covering the wires in the walls of your house) does indeed “trap electrons” (up to some maximum voltage) all the electrons stay in the conductor”

Sir, respectfully:

Not true. Some electrons always leak out of any insulation. There are superconductors, but no “superinsulators”.
Proof?
Go buy a megger(megaohmmeter) and test on any circuit you want.
I work on high voltage underwater electrical equipment in my occupation, and must also educate and train our workers on electrical troubleshooting techniques.

Besides for a megger, another of the tools we use everyday is a very sensitive amperage meter which we call a leakage clamp. We need to use these because underwater electrical equipment must, by code, be protected by a Class A GFCI device. Class A personnel protection is designed to shut off the flow of current when the leakage from a circuit reaches 5 milliamps.
(This value is used because it is roughly the amount of electricity which neurons use to contract muscle fibers in the human body, and can hence cause muscle to lock up or cardiac arrest to occur.)
When these start tripping, we need to be able to determine why. Typically it is because of defect in piece of equipment.
But even when everything is brand new and working perfectly, the numbers revealed by these devices tell an interesting story.

Anyway, there are 6 quintillion electrons per second traveling through a conductor carrying 1 ampere. A very well insulated submersible cable (say, Milspec PVC jacketed,for example) connected to a brand new submersible motor (say a Grundfos or Franklin) will have a total leakage (assuming the splice is sound and well done using Thomas and Betts insulated butt connectors and a 3M resin splice kit, not those heat shrink jobbers they put down in wells) of somewhat less than 1 milliamp. This will typically correspond to a megger reading of 2000 megaohms or more. These numbers will become worse as the equipment ages, or if it is a lesser quality of cable, or a motor made by some of the other manufacturers, or a less than perfect splice.

Anyway, loads are rarely as small as 1 amp, as even a 5 HP, 3 phase motor at 480 volts will pull 7 or 8 amps.
30 HP motors at 240 volts will pull near 96-98 amps.

What the 2000 megaohms signifies is, that the 100 amps x 6 x 10^18 electrons/amp divided by the 2,000 x 1,000,000 ohms of resistance in the cable and motor (I know from experience that the cable and motor have roughly equal insulation when new) (6 x 10^20)/(2 x 10^9)= 3 x 10^11, or 300 billion electrons leaking out of that insulation every second.
If you test the lamp cord (or any other wire you can find in your home or office) of the light you are reading by right now, you are unlikely to get a reading higher that a 1000 or 2000 megaohms.
Since almost all meggers use a DC static charge, about 2x or more the rated voltage of the insulator being tested. the resistance levels measured are not exactly what the conductor will actually have when carrying a AC current, but it is close.
Most wiring resistance values are below these numbers, maybe 25 megaohms.

So, it is far from correct to say or think that the insulation on a wire traps electrons.

Sorry if this is OT, but you seem to be making a subtle point using an incorrect statement.

• Menicholas says:

So, when you are holding a lamp cord that has current flowing through it, you have a very large number of electrons entering your hand. But they are small and each one has a small charge. So you cannot feel it.

• Menicholas says:

BTW, that 300 billion does not include quantum mechanical tunneling through the insulation.
ðŸ™‚

18. KuhnKat says:

“… it does make the house warmer in winter by reducing the rate of energy loss to its colder surroundings.”

ONLY IF YOUR ENERGY SUPPLY PROVIDES HEAT FASTER THAN THE SLOWED RADIATION/CONDUCTION LEVEL!!! If you do not have a sufficient energy supply you simply cool more slowly.

• Joel Shore says:

The way it actually works is this:

If the rate of energy supply is larger than the rate at which the house loses heat, then it will warm until such point that the rate at which the house loses heat equals the rate of energy supply.

If the rate of energy supply is smaller than the rate at which the house loses heat, then it will cool until such point that the rate at which the house loses heat equals the rate of energy supply.

In this way, the house will be driven to a steady-state temperature. That steady-state temperature will be higher in a well-insulated house than in a poorly-insulated house.

• Doug Cotton says:

But the Sun does not supply thermal energy at such a rate – not even that entering the atmosphere (after reflection) could achieve observed surface temperatures – work it out yourself with an online Stefan Boltzmann calculator and quote me your input and output. You cannot include radiation from the colder atmosphere because that only slows that portion of surface cooling (about a third of all surface cooling) which is itself by radiation. But you should deduct the simultaneous energy losses by evaporation and sensible heat transfer that total over 100W/m^2. Back radiation cannot help the Sun to raise the surface temperature because its electro-magnetic energy is not converted to thermal energy. (See Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation and argue with that professor if you can.)

The whole paradigm of radiative forcing is totally and utterly inapplicable on any planet with a significant atmosphere. On Uranus there isn’t any solar radiation anyway at the base of its nominal troposphere where it’s hotter than Earth’s surface. The issue is to do with thermodynamics, not radiative heat transfer into the surface.

See this comment. Then study http://climate-change-theory.com

Then, after reading that comment, show me that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong and so we don’t get a density gradient in a troposphere!

19. Tim Folkerts says:

KuhnKat,

The original scenario was clearly one where the system has time to come to a steady-state situation.

So you have a house with a fixed energy input from a furnace surrounded by air at a fixed cold temperature. The interior will eventually reach some steady temperature distribution. The energy supply provides heat at exactly the same rate that energy is lost.

Now — keeping the furnace and outside air the same, add insulation. The heat loss by radiation/conduction is (for a while at least) reduced. Since the energy supply is the same and the heat lose is reduced, that basically guarantees that “YOUR ENERGY SUPPLY PROVIDES HEAT FASTER THAN THE SLOWED RADIATION/CONDUCTION LEVEL”.

Even if we are not considering steady-state limits, the insulated house would AT ANY TIME be warmer than if it did not have insulation. Exactly as was claimed.

Thus I really don’t know what your objection is.

• Doug Cotton says:

All the “scenarios” and the whole paradigm of radiative forcing are wrong, Tim.

Read my comments above and the website and linked paper. Your thinking is just so naive, but I forgive you because I know you went through a period in education when everything was fictitious fiddled fissics manipulated to suit the promulgation of the hoax.

No climatology documentation displays a correct understanding of maximum entropy production due to dissipating unbalanced energy potentials, now does it? But, if you want to understand why that issue is so vitally important to the climate debate, then also read http://entropylaw.com because the Second Law of Thermodynamics holds the “the supreme position among the laws of Nature.”* and cannot be ignored … “if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.” Climatologists need to respect that law.

*Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

• Doug Cotton says:

To put it simply, Roy and Tim Folkerts, take a look at the original net energy diagram by NASA here.

Notice that about two thirds of the thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere is not transferred by radiation. Radiation from the cooler atmosphere cannot slow down that two-thirds of surface cooling. That’s a fact.

There is nothing to stop that evaporation and sensible heat transfer rate increasing and thus nullifying the effect of back radiation.

And it does, because it is the very “greenhouse gases” which are up there radiating the energy out of the atmosphere. That process is not affected, except that it improves with more GH gases. And that’s why the non-radiative cooling just accelerates and/or lasts a little longer into the night until the surface gets down to the same minimum temperature anyway, because that temperature is supported by the whole troposphere.

Nitrogen and oxygen are the “blanket” holding over 98% of all the thermal energy in the troposphere, and unable to radiate it away themselves.

20. Ross Handsaker says:

Dr Spencer made the statement : “Warmer daytime + warmer nighttime = warmer Earth”.

Cloud cover or high humidity levels at nighttime are readily seen to cause warmer nights. However, the opposite seems to occur during the daytime. For example, daytime temperatures on the Moon, where there is no atmosphere, rise rapidly to above 100 deg. C; in the Earth’s hot desert regions where low levels of humidity prevail, daytime temperatures are much higher than at similar latitudes on the coast where humidity is higher. Where I live (Adelaide, Australia), our hottest summer days coincide with very low humidity (less than 10% Rel. Hum.).

21. Menicholas says:

“At night the soil cools by loss of infrared radiation. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation lets us estimate the rate at which IR energy is being lost based upon surface temperature and emissivity, and simply dividing that by the product of the soil depth and soil bulk heat capacity gives us the rate at which the soil layer temperature will fall.”

Maybe I missed something, but one reason (The main reason?) soil does not cool down as fast as, say, the roof of a car, is because of the conductive rate of heat through soil. Same as why the top of the soil gets much hotter in the sun as a few inches down.
Conductivity is dependent on many factors, such as degree of compaction (more air acts just like the insulation in your walls), moisture content, soil composition (Peat has less thermal mass, but also far slower thermal conductivity as, for example, sand. And both conduct faster when wet than when dry), etc.

Stand outside at sunset and put thermometers in several places, or just watch where and when dew and then frost forms on various surfaces.
Stick your hand in soil at midday, late afternoon, early morning…the temperature horizons make it clear that the surface heats and cools quite a bit…but only a few inches down…not so much.

Yes, no?

22. Menicholas says:

Any of you folks here familiar with the experiment which was done in which a greenhouse was constructed using sheets of a salt, instead of glass or plastic, to demonstrate that the ACTUAL “greenhouse effect” was not due to the transparency or opacity of glass to LWIR?
Since salt is transparent to these wavelengths, if a greenhouse was really hot due to opacity at certain wavelengths, then a greenhouse made of salt panels would be cooler than one made of glass. It turns out that it makes no difference.
Greenhouses are hot because convection and advection are blocked by the walls and roof.
But this is evident in another way which is simpler to test…just feel the temperature of the glass. If it was absorbing all that LWIR, it should be hot, hotter than the air in the greenhouse. It aint.

• BBould says:

Why does a car’s interior get hotter when sitting in the sun? Also why are the car’s windows so hot at the same time?

I don’t know the answer just pointing it out.

• gbaikie says:

Normally with say a parking lot, the air above the surface heated and heated air rises and warms the rest of atmosphere.
With a car with closed windows, the loss of heat from convection is prevented.
Or the air can become nearly as hot as the heated surfaces.
And the heated surface can become slightly warmer because they losing very little heat from convection.

So with parking lot the surface can become quite hot or around
70 C. In environment not enclosed and preventing convection
the highest air temperature ever was “56.7 °C (134 °F)”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_weather_records

Or in car with windows closed on modestly warm day one get air
temperature in the car higher than 56.7 °C.

Another note is ocean air temperature or surface temperature can never be above about 40 C due water evaporation cooling it. And ocean cover 70% of Earth’s entire surface. Plus sunlight can warm about 1/4 of Earth surface at any moment with the intense sunlight with can heat a parking lot surface to about 70 C on a cloudless day. So one gets average air temperature at surface of Earth at about 15 C, so the Earth’s atmosphere of 5.1 x 10^18 kg would always have able to convect the heated air somewhere, whereas the amount of air in the car- 2-3 kg of air can reach the max air temperature possible on Earth.

23. Johan says:

I really do wonder if Doc takes Satanic pleasure in all this.

24. alphagruis says:

@Geran …It is difficult because you do not understand that conductive heat transfer and radiative heat transfer are different.

NO

That’s definitively wrong in present instances and demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of the underlying physics.

In a medium like a crystalline metal respectively an insulator heat conduction occurs by means of PARTICLES mainly free electrons respectively phonons that carry energy over distances that are of the order of THEIR MEAN FREE PATH. If there is a temperature gradient more energy flows in this way towards lower than towards higher temperature because the particles that fly down the gradient come from hotter regions and thus carry more energy that those that fly up the gradient and come thus from colder regions. This is actually the microscopic mechanism of heat conduction in an solid and thermal conductivity is found to be proportional to the particle’s mean free path .

In a fluid such as a gas and thus in the atmosphere same is true but the particles that carry the energy are the gas molecules themselves and possibly…

also the IR PHOTONS when there are ones steadily emitted and reabsorbed by the gas molecules .

The mean free path of those photons in atmosphere with greenhouse gases (a few meters to tens of meters) is not infinite at all there is thus absolutelyno difference between the mechanism by which they transport energy from hotter to cooler places in the atmosphere and the mechanism of ordinary thermal conduction via the kinetic energy carried by the molecules themselves over their mean free path.

In this picture the “greenhouse effect” of additional CO2 is merely the result of a reduction in mean free path of the IR photons and thus a reduction in their contribution to “thermal conductivity” of the atmosphere.

As Dr Spencer repeatedly mentioned, the effect in indeed quite similar to an increase in the insulation of a house.

Nothing to do with “radiative heat transfer in a vacuum” where the photon mean free path is infinite.

• Doug Cotton says:

alphagruis: There is a subtle difference which makes all the difference. You can’t explain how the necessary thermal energy gets into the surface of Venus and warms any given location on the equator by about 5 degrees (732K to 737K) during the 4 month day, now can you? I have done so here.

• Tim Folkerts says:

alphagruis,

I love the comparison with electron conduction. I hadn’t thought about that argument before, but it works perfectly. It illustrates (once again) that energy is moving both ways; there is simply more energy going one way than the other. I will definitely remember this argument.

I do disagree a bit when you say “In this picture the “greenhouse effect” of additional CO2 is merely the result of a reduction in mean free path of the IR photons and thus a reduction in their contribution to “thermal conductivity” of the atmosphere. “
Convection in a sense provides a variable thermal conductivity. Convection maintains a pretty constant *gradient* independent of heat flow. So changing the ‘conductivity’ due to photons within the atmosphere has little effect since convection will simply increase or decrease until the lapse rate is ~ 6-10 K/km

The key impact of more CO2 is that it makes the atmosphere “taller” so the ‘insulating layer” is thicker. The extra CO2 means that energy leaves to space from a greater altitude. Great altitude = lower temperature = less IR to space from the top-of-atmosphere = energy building up = temperature rising.

If we want to use an insulation analogy (which we all know is not perfect), the added CO2 adds *thickness* to the insulation, rather than improving the R-value of fix-thickness insulation.

• alphagruis says:

Tim Folkerts

Thank you. To make my point I tried to keep things as concise as possible.

But I certainly agree with you that in the real atmosphere a lot of heat is actually transported by convection but as far as transport by radiation is concerned the mechanism is quite similar to conduction with the presence in the upper atmosphere of an effective atmospheric layer radiating into deep space that moves upwards when greenhouse gases concentration increases. Thus the “insulating layer”, as you put it, indeed gets thicker.

Yet it is interesting to note that all this still boils down to the decreasing IR photon mean free path l with increasing CO2. Since l is actually inversely proportional to the number of CO2 molecules per volume unit this also implies that l always increases gradually with altitude as atmospheric pressure drops until it becomes large enough for the IR photons to escape into space. At this stage the effective atmospheric layer radiating into deep space is reached. This happens a priori logically only at a higher altitude when CO2 is added to the atmosphere.

• Doug   Cotton says:

Yes well the modal concentration of the most prolific IR-active gas, water vapor is below the radiating altitude. So increasing water vapor lowers that altitude. At the most, doubling carbon dioxide would raise it 1.5 meters by my calculations, but CO2 also acts like water vapor which cools.

We know damn well that increasing water vapor lowers the magnitude of the temperature gradient by up to about a third. Radiative balance at TOA is virtually always within ±0.6% and so the whole thermal profile rotates (with its pivot at about the radiating altitude) downwards at the surface end and upwards in the upper troposphere in order to maintain the area under the thermal plot about constant, and thus maintain radiative balance. Mankind can’t stop this happening because the whole system acts like a blackbody. It is nitrogen, oxygen and argon that act like a blanket holding over 98% of the thermal energy in the troposphere, whilst “greenhouse gases” like water vapor act as holes in the blanket, radiating away the energy that they mostly acquire by collisions with the nitrogen, oxygen and argon. It is gravity which “traps” thermal energy, regardless of the gases, by maintaining a temperature gradient as the state of maximum entropy which the Second Law of Thermodynamics says will tend to evolve. We see it on every planet, with or without solar radiation getting through, and with or without any surface at the base of the (nominal) troposphere.

Furthermore, we know from measurements that water vapor cools (see the study in my paper linked here) and we also know that Foehn winds get hotter as they release water vapor.

So Hansen, Pierrehumbert and IPCC authors all got it totally wrong about water vapor, because it cools due to inter-molecular radiation which has a temperature leveling effect, reducing the |g/cp| magnitude of the “dry” temperature gradient that would otherwise be steeper due to the effect of gravity upon molecules in flight between collisions. Thus the radiative forcing paradigm is false.

• Robert G. Brown says:

Yeah, the conduction/capacitance analogy is a decent one simply because first order ODEs describe both of them. The real problem is that (as you point out indirectly) conduction/capacitance are usually quite linear in the simple model we study in elementary physics (not so simple in critical regimes like those where dielectric breakdown occurs) but the atmosphere is enormously nonlinear. Even CO_2 adds resistance only in one of several highly differential channels, and the system has multiple feedbacks so that the other channels have highly variable resistance that can be driven all over the place in the chaotic system.

Still, in the end Joel’s observations (vociferously ignored in the discussion above) that one can directly examine the incoming and outgoing radiation and observe a clear differential at the different levels that is direct, spectrally consistent, observation proof of the GHE is all that really matters. Arguments that don’t account for the simple fact that the Earth absorbs sunlight and to warm and radiates away heat to cool in approximate seasonal detailed balance are a complete waste of time.

rgb

• Doug   Cotton says:

Go back to this comment.

• Gordon Robertson says:

@Tim “I love the comparison with electron conduction. I hadn’t thought about that argument before, but it works perfectly. It illustrates (once again) that energy is moving both ways; there is simply more energy going one way than the other”.

Energy does not travel both ways in an electric circuit. An electric circuit is about a difference in potential energy, represented by the emf (electromagnetic force).

You might compare that to a potential hill where electrons fall down the hill but please don’t confuse that with semiconductors in which electrons flow one way and holes the other. Holes are fictitious entity used for modeling purposes only.

AFAIAMC, energy does not flow both ways in a thermal circuit either. Kinetic energy, which is heat, flows one way only, without compensation.

• Tim Folkerts says:

@ Gordon
First, he discussion about conduction was thermal conduction, not electrical conduction. The two are a bit different in nature.

Secondly, there are MANY phenomena that can be treated quite adequately (for many purposes) macroscopically, but which look quite different microscopically. Thermodynamics is full of them.

* On a MACRO scale, a river might be flowing “uniformly” at 1 m/s to the west. On a MICRO scale, *nearly* half of the water molecules are actually moving toward the east at any given moment.
* On MACRO scale, electrons move uniformly as they “fall down a uniform potential hill”. On a MICRO scale, there are huge variations in the potential near nuclei, and the electrons are moving every which way at speeds that are a significant percentage of the speed of light.
* On a MACRO scale, there is no heat flow between two adjacent blocks of metal at the same temperature. On a MICRO level, there are billions of transfers of energy each second each way that end up balancing out.

The MACRO perspective is much easier, and hence handier in many cases. OTOH, the MICRO view adds more insights, at the expense of more complicated math. Here, on a MACRO scale, looking just at NET photons works fine. But on a MICRO scale, looking at individual photons going both ways provides a bit mroe insight.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Tim Folkerts,

You state:

“The key impact of more CO2 is that it makes the atmosphere “taller” so the ‘insulating layer” is thicker. The extra CO2 means that energy leaves to space from a greater altitude. Great altitude = lower temperature = less IR to space from the top-of-atmosphere = energy building up = temperature rising.”

The 15um band at which CO2 emits proves to be a very cold temperature indeed. In fact, you’ll find strong CO2 emissions from the top of the MARTIAN atmosphere (much farther away from the sun and colder than Earth) even at the poles. By all means check out JPL thermal satellite images of the region and see for your self. In any case, CO2 emits more radiation at colder temperatures than there diatomic brethren O2 and N2 so your claim doesn’t bear scrutiny. Thanks and…

Have a great day!

• Tim Folkerts says:

John,

1) Specific wavelengths of EM waves don’t have ‘a temperature’. Perhaps you are thinking of Wein’s Law that relates the peak wavelength to a specific temperature.

2) Yes, there are relatively strong emissions from CO2 in the 15 um band from the cold MARTIAN atmosphere. However, the strength depends on the temperature. The colder the CO2, the weaker the emissions. That is what my statement is based on.

3) Your N2 argument is misguided. Let me rephrase. At the moment, if you look down from a satellite, the 15 um band from CO2 glows at a temperature of ~ 220 K. Radiation from lower, warmer COs is block by CO2 higher up. At even higher, cooler levels, the CO2 is so thin that it has little effect.

If you add more CO2 at the top (by adding CO2 throughout), the CO2 would glow at a slightly cooler temperature, ie dimmer, weaker IR. This is because there is more CO2 to block the lower levels and you have to go to slightly higher, cooler CO2 to have radiation escape.

So I think the claim DOES bear scrutiny!
Greater altitude where CO2 thins out enough for IR to escape to sapce = lower temperature for the radiating CO2 = less IR to space from the top-of-atmosphere = energy building up = temperature rising

• JohnKl says:

Hi Tim,

Thank you for an interesting response. You stated:

“1) Specific wavelengths of EM waves don’t have ‘a temperature’. Perhaps you are thinking of Wein’s Law that relates the peak wavelength to a specific temperature.”

Objects do emit specific EM wavelengths in accord with temperature. Wien’s Displacement Law if I remember preceded Planck’s Radiation Law but the evidence seems clear. As objects increase in temperature emission frequency increases and wavelength decreases. In fact, at one time Wikipedia claimed the CO2 15um emission temperature to be 23 degrees Celsius. This seemed to me way too high. Why? Well as I mentioned above Martian upper atmosphere CO2 emits even over the polar regions. Keep in mind Martian surface temps at the poles fall to -123 degrees Celsius. In any case, CREE, Sylvania, GE and many other corporations list their light bulbs by Kelvin temperatures. The higher the Kelvin temperature the higher the visible light frequency becoming less red and bluer as the frequency increases.

As I’ve mentioned several times Max Planck proved James C Maxwell to be mistaken. Temperature accords to frequency not intensity. Too many on this website still don’t seem to understand this fact.

You go on:

“2) Yes, there are relatively strong emissions from CO2 in the 15 um band from the cold MARTIAN atmosphere. However, the strength depends on the temperature. The colder the CO2, the weaker the emissions. That is what my statement is based on.”

As I mentioned CO2 still emits at 15um over the poles, the quantity of CO2 gas molecules emitting in that region proves to be smaller but they still do to the extent their temperature doesn’t fall below it’s emission level. Btw, the frequency not the strength depends on the temperature. Colder CO2 emits lower frequency, longer wavelength IR. You then state:

“3) Your N2 argument is misguided. Let me rephrase. At the moment, if you look down from a satellite, the 15 um band from CO2 glows at a temperature of ~ 220 K. Radiation from lower, warmer COs is block by CO2 higher up. At even higher, cooler levels, the CO2 is so thin that it has little effect.”

The Mars atmosphere is 93+% CO2. CO2 at higher elevations blocks CO2 emissions from below but it nevertheless emits at higher COOLER elevations, much colder btw than Earth! On Earth much of the CO2 thermal energy gets absorbed by other molecules via convection and in some cases radiation where the absorption bands match. The low CO2 15um emission signature in the upper atmosphere results from the fact that TRACE CO2 levels in the atmosphere prove very LOW, especially in the upper atmosphere since CO2 is a heavier than O2 and N2. That proves why CO2 has so “little effect.” You then state:

“If you add more CO2 at the top (by adding CO2 throughout), the CO2 would glow at a slightly cooler temperature, ie dimmer, weaker IR. This is because there is more CO2 to block the lower levels and you have to go to slightly higher, cooler CO2 to have radiation escape.

So I think the claim DOES bear scrutiny!”

Again those levels will likely never be as cold as the upper Martian atmospheric levels and CO2 still emits there! The small changes in CO2 levels will unlikely alter the elevation of Earth’s atmosphere much. However, warming from other causes might. It still doesn’t bear scrutiny to me.

Thank you for a thoughtful response and…

Have a great day!

P.S. – As to Mars don’t be a Stranger in a Strange Land! Do you Grock?

• JohnKl says:

Hi Tim,

One point of clarification. Increasing CO2 levels in the UPPER ATMOSPHERE results in MORE IR radiation being emitted to space than O2 and N2 could possibly be capable of since they emit in the lower frequency, longer wavelength Microwave band. which remains why temperatures in the upper Troposphere continue to DECLINE.

Thanks again and…

Have a great day!

• geran says:

Like I said, Alpha, you do not understand the difference between conductive heat transfer and radiative heat transfer.

(I’m taking it English is not your native language.)

• alphagruis says:

Sorry geran, but that’s hardly enough to convince me that I’m wrong.

But you got something right: My native language is French.

25. gbaikie says:

–If you are wondering, “what about cooling of the atmosphere in contact with the ground?”, well just make the soil layer deeper…it turns out that 0.2 meters of soil is equivalent in bulk heat capacity to about 200 m of atmosphere.–

Well the 200 meter above the ground cools. As dos 2000 meters above the ground.
Or in the range of 10 meter to 5000 meters more or less cools [or warms at same rate]
So why pick 200 meters, why not 2000 meters?
Or one can’t expect to cool air at 200 meter and not have have effect upon the air above it and below it.

So if cool 180 to 200 meter air by say 5 C, it falls- that not is any doubt is it? Or were one to warm this section of air by 5 C, it rises.
So basically the entire troposphere responds as a unit- if some portion of it warms or cools if it effects the whole column of air. And would say the air is more responsive
to difference of temperature than the soil is.
Or you light bonfire and it does not warm .2 meter under the ground very quickly.
Though moisture in the soil would help transfer the heat thru the ground. Or very dry compacted soil would be slower- or basically this like a brick.

So I don’t think that during nightime period, temperature of soil down .2 meter will change much. Whereas 200 meter up
or 3000 meters in elevation changes quite a bit daily.

So using your excel program and plugging in 2 rather than .2
results little change in temperature.
Since air density lessen by about .1 kg per cubic meter
2000 meter would actually be about say 2500 meter.

Another aspect the sun probably is not warming the ground nor the air much at 5:30 pm. Nor is going warm it much in morning. And so actually needs more than 2000 meters worth of 1.2 kg per cubic meter of air above it.

So depending type of ground one could less change in temperature at .1 to .2 depth and the far larger thermal mass which warms and cools during a day is the sky.

• Doug Cotton says:

“So basically the entire troposphere responds as a unit”

Spot on gbaikie.

And I have explained here how it warms as a unit, even when the source of new thermal energy each morning on Venus or Uranus, for example, is in the upper troposphere or even the stratosphere. Downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer (which has nothing to do with “pockets” of air, but occurs at the molecular level) maintains the temperature gradient because it is the state of maximum entropy (that is, by definition, the state of thermodynamic equilibrium) and that is why the whole troposphere warms and cools as a unit with the thermal profile moving up and down in parallel positions in an “ideal” troposphere.

26. Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Dr. Spencer.
My God!
What a bunch of burning posts!
It seems that you thrown the stone in the lake, you got the resonance of the system and triggered an infinite standing wave on the lake surface.

Off Topic
I don’t know why, but sometimes my internet browsers (one Chrome on XP and one Chrome Win7) fail to identify my devices as PCs and they display your web site as if my devices was smartphones.
It happens since the beginning of this year.
Not all the pages of your web site have the issue, and sometimes the pages which were right before became wrong and vice versa.
Could you do something?
Not that catastrophe, but when it happens (like now with this thread) I can’t follow the posts correctly because they are ordered by time without any hierarchical ordering.

Have a great weekend.

Massimo

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Ehm….
One more detail.
I don’t know if this is repetitive or it’s just a case because this is the first time I post a comment with the page displayed wrong, but after having submitted the post above the page now shows correctly.

Again, have a great weekend

Massimo

• Johan says:

I have experienced similar problems for the past month now. Maybe it’s The Revenge of the Dragonslayers ! ðŸ™‚

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes, our group has come down hard on Slayer John O’Sullivan and his band of merry Postma and Latour worshipers. See this page because their garbage “science” deserves what it cops. Give it to them on their website for me, because they delete my comments to which they have no valid response. They are worse than SkS at that censorship.

• Lee Osburn says:

Doug,
I see alot of garbage on the net. But, what really gets my goat is the trash data that is being used by the paid researchers. Like you, I have a yard full of instruments (mostly purchased at wally world) just to watch and record the “real data” produced by them. As an old Navy ET, I like my tools to be as accurate as possible. When I compare the data produced by the NOAA weather stations to the data my tools produce, I almost throw up.

I would love to have some collaboration with some people that have real data to use. I believe that if the past research being used as references were repeated today, the results would be a whole lot different.

I am presently doing a study on the Sea Level Pressures. I am amazed at the detail I get on my $50 weather station even though it also tells me that it is raining and clear within ten minutes of each other. I am plotting the data every .01 inches of Hg. It sometimes stays the same for up to 6 hours. And sometimes it changes .02 in ten minutes. Like I said, the detail it shows is amazing. It shows the diurnal cycle as it really is, a perfect sign wave. (unless it rains or the sun decides to send out a flare). I believe this detail is necessary to truely evaluate the Sun’s influence on our atmosphere here on “near earth”. My solar panels (presently using two, for sun and moon) show the sun at its fullest strength at about 9am. Over the last year or so, I have been able to record detail records of the sun strength patterns. I experimented with solar arrays that look in several different directions to see what patterns develop. When the sun comes up, the temperature begins to rise. That is before it hits the ground at about the time I see it on the rooftop. My ground doesn’t even start warming until around 11am. But, of course I must say I live in a valley surrounded by hills that block alot of the real sunrise. Last year on 2/14/14 my temperature started rising at 7:16AM from 28 degrees F to 91 at 1:00PM. Hardly enough time to heat the earth. I am not a scientist, warmist, or denier, so I probably fit into the “enthusist” category. ðŸ˜‰ • Doug Cotton says: Lee – I just noticed your comment. Interesting indeed. See also our group’s website and linked papers. Roy thinks surface cooling is uniform during the night, but it’s not. Perhaps you could give us some of your measurements through the night, because there should be an obvious slowing down of the rate of cooling in the early pre-dawn hours, so mention the time of sunrise also. • JohnKl says: Hi Lee Osburn, You mentioned: “My solar panels (presently using two, for sun and moon) show the sun at its fullest strength at about 9am.” Shouldn’t the panel used for the moon be called a lunar panel? Do you get much power from the lunar panel? Just asking… Have a great day (and night I guess)! • JohnKl says: Hi Massimo PORZIO, Both on my phone and my computer I’ve noticed occasional changes in Roy’s website design at times. He seems to change it at times perhaps due to reduce energy demands on his equipment. Have a great day! 27. Doug Cotton says: gbaikie is starting to understand – see this comment. • gbaikie says: I wish I was starting to understand, but basically my understanding in general has remain static for couple of years. Or roughly call myself a lukewarmer though if someone wants call me a dragonslayer or denier, or heretic, then ok with that. Of course anyone not braindead feels complimented by being called a skeptic if the topic is science. Anyhow, tend to think greenhouse gases cause some warming [and doesn’t cause cooling]. So that strictly speaking makes me [if a person were objective] an orthodox believer of Greenhouse Effect- due to the fact that the greenhouse Effect theory is very vague. Of course I don’t like any scientific theory which is so vague- it’s anti-science or pseudo science if in context that it’s expected to be precise or able to actually predict the future [like what real science routinely does]. So basically Earth climate is largely to do with the ocean which covers 70% of the planet. And is warmed due to most of energy of sunlight falling on the tropics. Or dead simple stuff. 28. Doug Cotton says: Roy your nice linear cooling graphs are not based on any empirical measurements, now are they? Have you stayed up all night (as I have) and measured actual temperatures just below the surface (as with a spiked steak thermometer) and in the air just above the surface? Try plotting such temperatures after a hot sunny day and explain (as I have) why the rate of cooling slows down in the early pre-dawn hours. We all know the surface can easily cool by over 2 degrees per hour in the late afternoon and early evening after such a day, but does it cool by 16 degrees in 8 hours from 8.00pm to 4.00am? How about any readers doing such measurements every hour of the night and posting results here. I posted mine on a climate blog about 2 or 3 years ago. It’s instructive, because it will make you think about why the rate slows down. If you can go up a nearby mountain you could confirm that the environmental temperature gradient still exists. And you still need to think about why Foehn winds warm by losing water vapor – quite the opposite of what the IPCC implies would happen if the greenhouse gas water vapor were reduced in concentration. 29. Roy Spencer says: Thanks to all the usual suspects. You did not disappoint. ðŸ™‚ • geran says: And thank you, Dr. Roy, for providing this forum for such a debate. This is what “real” science is all about. People get to believe what they want, but ideas and science should NOT be censored. No one is right all of the time. Science allows for mistakes, errors, and lack of knowledge. The trick to keep learning, while not preventing learning. • geran says: “The trick IS to keep learning…” (The trick is to have the second cup of coffee before trying to type.) • JohnKl says: Hi geran, “The trick is to have the second cup of coffee before trying to type.” For some that prove too hyper, that may not be such a great idea, but if it works for you all the best! Have a great day! • Massimo PORZIO says: For what it’s worth, I fully agree. BTW “the second cup of coffee”: which coffee are you referring to, our Italian “espresso” or that concentrate of caffeine you do there in the US? If I drunk two cups of your coffee, I probably never sleep for a week or so ðŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend. Massimo • geran says: In my ideal world, it would be coffee all morning long, switching to wine at noon! Have a great weekend also! • Massimo PORZIO says: Uhmm, yes switching to wine could be a good solution to fall asleep indeed ðŸ˜‰ Again have a nice weekend Massimo • JohnKl says: Hi Massimo PORZIO, You can always try Javanese, Columbian, South American or other blends. Many great varieties exist. Have a great day! 30. RW says: Roy, While I agree with your fundamental point and example, my conceptual understanding of the underlying physics driving the GHE is not related to the fact that a significant amount of downwelling IR passes from the atmosphere to the surface and subsequently greatly affects the surface energy balance (i.e. the rate at which it can lose energy at night in this case). My understanding of the physics of the GHE is based on this definition posted a Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect “The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface and the lower atmosphere, it results in an elevation of the average surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of the gases.” Note, there is nothing in this definition that is describing downward LW passing from the atmosphere to the surface as the underlying mechanism, let alone that any amount of it (let alone a large amount) as being the underlying mechanism. As I see it, the large amount of LWIR passed from the atmosphere to the surface has virtually nothing to do with the underlying physics driving the GHE. I still think this is why so many people are confused and why you keep getting so many emails on this (and also largely why Doug Cotton is running all over the place like a mad man in being opposed to the GHE). The large amount of downward LW emitted to the surface seems to be a consequence of several other physical attributes in combination with the underlying physics driving the GHE. In particular, gravity causing a lapse rate and the large amount of convection, i.e. in the form of water and its latent heat, which is moved from the surface into the atmosphere, which then acts a GHG gas and form clouds, which then causes instability or a lack of consistent energy balance throughout the troposphere. The net result of all of which is the atmosphere passes a large amount of LWIR to the surface and passes significantly less LWIR to space, but each of these properties or attributes would seem to be mostly independent of the fundamental underlying mechanism driving the GHE. And that is simply radiative resistance to outer space cooling by radiation from the atmosphere into space, or the absorption of upwelling IR acting to cool that would otherwise pass into space that is absorbed and subsequently re-radiated back downward toward the surface (i.e. not directly passed back to the surface), thereby acting to warm, i.e. resisting the push toward radiative cooling at the TOA by upwelling emission of LWIR into space; and ultimately elevating the surface temperature above what it would otherwise be in the process. • Doug Cotton says: RW writes: Note, there is nothing in this definition that is describing downward LW passing from the atmosphere to the surface as the underlying mechanism, let alone that any amount of it (let alone a large amount) as being the underlying mechanism. Yes there is in the energy budget diagrams, where the back radiation flux of 324W/m^2 (which does not represent a flux of thermal energy, only electro-magnetic energy that is then pseudo scattered without ever becoming thermal energy in surface molecules) is, never-the-less quite incorrectly added to absorbed solar radiation (168W/m^2) and then the total (after deducting 102W/m^2 of non-radiative surface cooling) is then used in Stefan Boltzmann calculations to get the 288K surface temperature. (Silent readers can check by searching “Stefan Boltzmann calculator” and inserting 390W/m^2 to get 288K.) So what is your explanation of the 288K temperature? Mine is at http://climate-change-theory.com and in the linked 2013 paper. 31. jerry l krause says: Hi Everyone, Hopefully everyone will read what follows and comment upon it. Maybe my essay should be titled: How Science Is To Work. Galileo is said to have stated: “Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.” Simple Observation of Downward Radiation From Atmosphere With Simple Radiometer Refutes Generally Stated Result of Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect. Jerry L. Krause @2015 It has been stated that the presence of downward longwave infrared radiation (LWIR) from a clear sky is positive evidence of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Since the basis of this essay is about the observation of the downward radiation from the atmosphere, I cannot not disagree with this statement. However, it is common knowledge (hence, no need of any reference) that a consequence of this downward radiation is that the earth-atmosphere system’s average temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower than it is if it were not for the presence of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. It is this result of the greenhouse effect that simple observation refutes. V. E. Suomi, D. O. Staley, and P. M. Kuhn (SSK) [1] designed and constructed a simple, economical balloon-borne net radiometer. In this article they reported a sounding made with this net radiometer. I wish I could credit the unknown author who directed my attention to the fact that the temperature of the upward facing absorbing-emitting (a-e) surface was consistently about 10oC less than that of the atmosphere (observed during the regular weather sounding made an hour later) at the same altitudes. This temperature difference was not noted by SSK in their article. Traditionally a radiometer is an instrument for measuring the radiant flux (power) of electromagnetic radiation. The SSK net radiometer was designed to have a low mass and rapid response so it could be lifted by the sounding balloon just as the packet of the atmospheric weather instruments was and to electronically transmit its observations to the surface station just as atmospheric sounding’s observations were. Thus, unlike most radiometers, the SSK net radiometer reported the temperatures of its a-e surfaces to the ground station. However, the purpose of the net radiometer was not to compare temperatures, it was to compare the difference between the upward and downward radiant fluxes. So, using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, the temperatures of the two a-e surfaces were converted to radiant fluxes. Hence, the ambient atmosphere’s temperatures, observed an hour later, were not critical to these conversions. This is a possible reason that SSK did not note the 10oC difference between the temperatures of upward facing a-e surface and the ambient atmosphere. I constructed a simple, economical radiometer, actually several, according to the design of the SSK net radiometer (one-half of it) using extruded Styrofoam as the lightweight insulating material (not available at the earlier time). And for the temperature sensor, I used a TruTemp registered NSF digital thermometer. Anyone, with practical skills, should be able to construct this radiometer for less than$20 and make observations in their backyard or nearby park, as I have for about two years.

The following is a recent example of a short set of observations (03/27/2015). I woke up at 6:00 AM PDT and saw that the sky was wonderfully clear (clr). So, I set out my radiometer in the backyard (By). The following are my observations along with those observed at the Salem OR airport (Ks, no more than 3 miles distant).

Location Time Amb Temp A-E Temp Rel Hum Dewpoint Temp Sky Cond
By 6:27am 46 37.0 93 44 calc Clr
By 6:41am 46 37.0 93 44 calc Clr
Ks 3:55am 47 93 45 Clr
Ks 4:55am 47 93 45 Clr
Ks 5:55am 47 93 45 Clr
Ks 6:55am 46 93 44 Clr
Ks 7:05am 47 90 44 Sct Cld
By 7:00am 46 42.7 93 44 calc Fog
By 7:33am 47 47.0 93 45 calc Fog
Ks 7:21am 46 96 45 Fog
Ks 7:55am 48 96 47 Fog

Now, it seems observations such of these are sometimes brushed aside because it is claimed they are merely anecdotal. (Anecdotal: based on or consisting of reports or observations of usually unscientific observers) As a graduate student and a research associate, I have done the quantitative experimental work which forms the basis for four published, peer-reviewed, scientific articles. While my backyard observations are far more elementary and less demanding than my previous laboratory observations, they cannot be brushed aside because I am an unqualified scientific observer. Since the a-e surface temperatures observed are lower than the environment’s temperatures during the clear sky conditions, the only question about the quality of these observations is the accuracy of the thermometer. Which I have checked by using it to determine the temperature of an ice water bath. Its lowest temperature registered was 31.9oF.

As I was writing this essay (04/5/20115), it happened that the sky was again wonderfully clear and the ambient air temperature about 10oF lower than that of the morning of 3/27. I conclude these observations confirm the claimed accuracy of the a-e surface temperature observations.

Location Time Amb Temp A-E Temp Rel Hum Dewpoint Temp Sky Cond
Ks or By PDT oF oF % oF
By 6:48am 33 25.9 87 30 calc Clr
By 6:48am 33 25.9 87 30 calc Clr
By 6:59am 33 25.9 87 30 calc Clr
By 7:06am 33 26.2 87 30 calc Clr
Ks 5:56am 35.1 92 33.1 SCT
Ks 6:56am 34.0 89 30.9 Clr
Ks 7:56am 36.0 89 33.1 Clr

There is a reason I have calculated the dewpoint temperature from my backyard observations and reported that observed at the airport. For it seems that meteorologists do not recognize the occurrence of scientific laws or their importance. It seems to be an observed fact that the ambient temperature of a natural atmosphere has never been observed to be less than its dewpoint temperature. Which according to the definition of a scientific law that I learned qualifies this lack of observation to be a scientific law.

I became aware of this law a little more than a year ago. And I was quite excited because I thought it refuted the same ‘Generally Stated Result of Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect’ as I am now claiming the observations just reviewed also refute. However, I was unable to convince skeptics of global warming (climate change) that this apparent new scientific law did such. So, I try again with these new (because I doubt if anyone has observed the downward radiation from the atmosphere with the radiometer designed after the SSK net radiometer, as I have) observations. And I wonder how many who have read to this point, have seen the observations that I claim most definitely refute this ‘Generally Stated Result of Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect’.

For a fact is that I made such observations as these over the period of two years and did not see how these observations most definitely refuted this result. Then, for a few day, I considered that a collections of observations made at many different locations and during many different conditions would be needed to seal the deal. But now I see that a single set of observations like the two I have reported, is sufficient to seal the deal. Yes, it is only good science that others make their own observations with the modified SSK net radiometer to confirm for themselves that which I have reported.

The observed fact that the temperature of the a-e surface is well below the temperature of the radiometer’s environment is positive evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be limiting the cooling of its environment to its lowest temperature of the morning. In the case of both mornings, what is limiting the minimum temperature of these mornings is the dewpoint temperature of the surface atmospheric layer. For easily observed, but not reported, was the dew that formed on the top film of the SSK radiometer and on the cars parked along the street near my backyard. And in the cases when the surface atmosphere is so ‘dry’ that no dew, or frost, forms on any surface, it is the thermal inertia of the earth-atmosphere system which limits the minimum temperature of the morning. Again, good science dictates that a doubter of this make his/her own observations to test the previous (unreported) observations of mine.

One other observed fact not directly reported (in the narrative I have referred to the dew observed on the top film of the radiometer on both mornings) is that I never observed any frost (or ice) forming on the top film of the radiometer of the latter morning when the dewpoint temperature, calculated from the observed atmospheric temperature and relative humidity, was 30oF. I only draw attention to this to acknowledge that I am well aware that a highly accurate determination of the relative humidity seems not consistently possible, especially during atmospheric soundings.

[1] V. E. Suomi, D. O. Staley, and P. M. Kuhn “A Direct Measurement of Infra-red Radiation Divergence to 160 mb,” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, vol. 84, No. 360, Apr. 1958, pp. 134-141.

• Joel Shore says:

Jerry,

Your observations in no way, shape, or manner refute the greenhouse effect. I am kind of puzzled why you think that they do. All models of the greenhouse effect have an atmosphere colder than the surface. The temperature you measure with the radiometer is still a lot warmer than what you would measure if there were no atmospheric greenhouse effect…which is that you would measure the temperature to be about 3 K…and you better believe that under such conditions, you would get faster cooling of the surface!

• jerry l krause says:

Hi Joel,

I do not have the ability to direct you to JohnKl comment where he refers to the observed temperatures of the moon which has no atmosphere and has a 28 day day. And it lowest temperature never gets close to 3K. At least I have never read that it did.

Have a good day, Jerry

• Joel Shore says:

I didn’t say that the surface itself would get that cold. That depends on issues of effective heat capacity and what-not. However, if you directed an IR thermometer up at the sky from the moon, it would probably read pretty close to 3 K. (I don’t have a good feel for exactly how close, i.e., for how big the effects of any residual atmosphere are.)

• JohnKl says:

Hi Jerry L Krause,

Thank you for providing the temp data and dew points. You stated:

“The observed fact that the temperature of the a-e surface is well below the temperature of the radiometer’s environment is positive evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be limiting the cooling of its environment to its lowest temperature of the morning.”

Just curious does the GHG theory make such a claim? Your observations interest me please explain your thinking on this some more, I may not be reading you correctly or missing some aspect I haven’t thought of. Thanks.

Btw, my statement regarding the moon primarily dealt with the dubious claim by many CAGW proponents that the Earth’s atmosphere maintains warmer temps on Earth than the lunar surface which doesn’t have an atmosphere. Imo, the evidence shows and will continue to show the exact opposite effect in regards to the Earth and Moon. Daytime lunar temps greatly exceed the Earth’s surface and if we limit night time temps to the first 12 hours after sunset (similar to Earth’s) we will likely find night time lunar temps to be warmer as well.

Thank you Jerry L Krause for your thoughtful post and observations.

Have a great day!

• jerry l krause says:

Hi JohnKl,

“Just curious does the GHG theory make such a claim?”

I repeat the first paragraph of my essay: “It has been stated that the presence of downward longwave infrared radiation (LWIR) from a clear sky is positive evidence of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Since the basis of this essay is about the observation of the downward radiation from the atmosphere, I cannot not disagree with this statement. However, it is common knowledge (hence, no need of any reference) that a consequence of this downward radiation is that the earth-atmosphere system’s average temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower than it is if it were not for the presence of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. It is this result of the greenhouse effect that simple observation refutes.”

Maybe I should have more accurately written: “It is this proposed result of the greenhouse effect that simple observation refutes.”

I carefully composed what I wrote because I do not know what the GHG (GHE?) proponents claim if it does not involve this temperature difference. To me the presence of atmospheric molecules capable of absorbing and emitting IR radiation must produce downward LWIR radiation. This is a no-brainer.

But if this downward radiation from the atmosphere is not capable preventing the radiometer’s absorbing-emitting (a-e) surface from cooling below the temperature of its environment (ambient air temperature) or below the atmosphere’s dewpoint temperature, I have to conclude it cannot be the factor which is limiting the temperature of the atmosphere at about 1.5m above the surface at the time of its minimum temperature of that day.

The reason I keep including the dewpoint temperature is that Roy agrees that it is an observed fact that the air temperature does not cool below its dewpoint temperature. Because any temperature sensor must be shielded from direct sunshine during the daytime is one reason the observed air temperature is usually a degree or two or three above the observed or calculated dewpoint temperature. Dew often does not form on cars in a carport while it does form on nearby cars on the street.

Has Joel or anyone else even attempted to explain how it is the temperature of the a-e surface is below both the air temperature and the air’s dewpoint temperatue? Not that I noticed.

Have a good day, Jerry

• JohnKl says:

Hi Jerry L Krause,

You stated:

“Has Joel or anyone else even attempted to explain how it is the temperature of the a-e surface is below both the air temperature and the air’s dewpoint temperatue? Not that I noticed.”

Joel and the like leave many facts unattended and questions unanswered. How they expect CAGW to survive as a rational theory I have no idea. However, if people can be cowed into submission by arrogant posturing and pretending to have all the answers many may be persuaded/deluded.

I’ll try to reply quicker next time. Thanks again for the post…

Have a great day!

32. nigel says:

Dr Spencer writes:

“…as much as 75% of this bad, greenhouse, effect is ‘short-circuited’ by convective heat loss by the surface…”

We can probably state it to be 100%, over the seven-tenths of the globe which is sea. This is for two reasons, one of which is certain and the other uncertain, but plausible.

The uncertain reason is the supposition that incident IR penetrates water to such a little extent that it effectively “boils away” the top skin (microns) of the water instantly. In this case, any energy brought down to sea-level (whether directly from the sun or otherwise) is immediately available in the atmosphere – as condensation of the vapour takes place – for removal upwards by convection, or radiation, or both.

The certain reason is that convection over the sea does not fundamentally depend on heating (and raising the temperature of) the top (centimeters) of the sea; whereas convection over land does frequently depend on day-time heating of the surface and the immediately adjacent atmosphere.

The air over the sea is always prone to convective instability, whatever the time, or wind, or temperature, provided only it not be saturated. Because:

“Convection arising from heating of the lower levels of the atmosphere is greatly aided by the increased amount of water-vapour which the air takes up, the water-vapour being much lighter than the air which it displaces.”

“Heat” by J. H. Poynting and Sir J. J. Thomson, 1920.

• FTOP says:

Nigel,

Great post. I fail to see how IR can have any effect on water temperature per your “uncertain” case. Yet, water temps in the Gulf of Mexico reach 31C in the summer. Therefore solar insolation must be higher than the IPCC energy model or the ocean would be frozen.

Saying the earth’s surface receives an average 169 W/m^2 is about as meaningful as a GISS adjusted global temperature. Based on latitude, areas receive significantly more irradiance than others. Modeling DWLIR per Trenberth off an average input from the sun seems erroneous when you analyze the properties of water in the system. Although this argument falls into the Slayer camp.

33. The way the climatic system operates strongly supports a GHG effect is present. The evidence is as follows:

The way the lapse rate behaves from the surface up through the stratosphere. Latent heat release from water vapor condensation as an example.

The ozone GHG EFFECT in the Stratosphere.

Water Vapor effects on Stratospheric temperatures.

The radiation characteristics over deserts versus jungles giving an entirely different range and temperature profile over the two areas.

Clear skies versus cloudy skies at night giving a different temperature result.

To devices such as Dr. Spencer has which can measure IR radiation. How can you measure something that does not exist?

In any event, I could not go about defeating AGW theory if I did not accept the premise of a GHG effect.

My argument has always been yes a GHG effect is present but it is a symptom of the climate, it does not govern the climate.

This is where I differ with AGW theory.

34. alphagruis says:

Tim Folkerts

Thank you. To make my point I tried to keep things as concise as possible.

But I certainly agree with you that in the real atmosphere a lot of heat is actually transported by convection but as far as transport by radiation is concerned the mechanism is quite similar to conduction with the presence in the upper atmosphere of an effective atmospheric layer radiating into deep space that moves upwards when greenhouse gases concentration increases. Thus the “insulating layer”, as you put it, indeed gets thicker.

Yet it is interesting to note that all this still boils down to the decreasing IR photon mean free path l with increasing CO2. Since l is actually inversely proportional to the number of CO2 molecules per volume unit this also implies that l always increases gradually with altitude as atmospheric pressure drops until it becomes large enough for the IR photons to escape into space. At this stage the effective atmospheric layer radiating into deep space is reached. This happens a priori logically only at a higher altitude when CO2 is added to the atmosphere.

• Tim Folkerts says:

alphagruis,

It is indeed always a challenge to know how much depth to go into. Pretty much no matter what level you shoot for in a forum like this, some one will fault you for being too simplistic, and someone else will fault you for being too complicated! :-/

• Robert G. Brown says:

I think that this picture is perhaps still too simple. The dominant mode of the multiline absorption in the lower atmosphere is due to the pressure broadening of the (then Lorentzian) lines. But this broadening is almost entirely due to collisions between CO_2 and either O2 or N2 and hence is nearly completely independent of the partial pressure of CO_2.

It is also not even approximately a constant at any reasonable height in the lower troposphere where doppler broadening is basically irrelevant. Air pressure varies tremendously on a very much secular timescale. There is no single “escape altitude” — there is rather a bleedout from the wings of the cross-section at lower altitude/higher pressure through the lower pressure/higher altitude air above, one that varies by several percent at least with secular air pressure and varies again with the vertical pressure profile. And then there is water vapor.

The papers that estimate the direct GHE due to CO_2 (and predict is saturated logarithmic increase) obviously do not attempt to handle this level of detail, though e.g. Modtran may. I’m not sure to what extent climate models do, or could, include it as it seems to enable some very complex self-organized cooling/warming modes independent of any particular CO_2 concentration, but in principle the variance expected is easily of the magnitude of the variation expected from doubling CO_2 concentration per se and so it could significantly alter the estimates based on ignoring it. This is (fairly enough) a contribution to the probable error in the computation of the no-feedback climate sensitivity.

This isn’t to argue that more CO_2 won’t most probably increase global average temperatures and that the height/temperature of emission isn’t a factor — only that it isn’t a simple factor or a constant factor. It was pointed out to me some time ago that the concept of an “effective radiation height” is one that is so dynamic and spectrally differential that it isn’t, really, that useful an idea at the heuristic level. You can look at TOA spectrographs and infer/interpret in a somewhat ragged and imperfect fashion the height/temperature of emission from the GHGs, but to predict what you will see against all conditions of humidity and atmospheric pressure profiles is no easy task.

• alphagruis says:

Robert G Brown

Please see comment by Tim Folkerts just above yours.

I agree of course that in science or elsewhere any picture grasps at best only part of the reality.

My point was to emphasize that the GHE exist indeed without any serious doubt and doesn’t contradict anything known in physics such as the second principle of thermodynamics.
This is no more a matter of debate for any serious physicist.

That said and because the effect is small in the 1% range of energy fluxes and even more important because it is at at work in a complex system in the technical sense with a lot of feedbacks and emergent phenomena everywhere (such water phase transitions, clouds, ENSO, PDO, etc) we are definitely not capable to quantify this precisely from first principles calculations. And not even were we capable up to now to identify by the observations any clear cut unambiguous signature of the additional CO2 in terms of climate change because of the large natural climate variability.

That’s where the research and debate actually is and should be.

35. Norman says:

Many on this thread claim there is no proof of GHE. I know Joel posted links showing the proof.

In this link on page 21 they have an actual satellite measurement of the spectrum of IR leaving the Earth System.

http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~scarn/teaching/GE4250/emission_lecture.pdf

Note to Doug Cotton. You may want to read through this physics so you can understand the physics world is not as ignorant as you believe and they really do know what they are talking about. The problem is on your end not theirs. You can’t understand the higher level thinking so you see them as ignorant buffoons but not yourself. You have the psychological condition of projection. You are the ignorant mind but since you are not capable of understanding real physics you project your ignorance onto the rest of the science world and believe you are this godlike genius that can see thing no one else has been able to see.

In the link on page 21 it shows a huge amount of IR energy that is not leaving the Earth system. The question to all is where is this energy going? It is real energy it can be converted to work or internal energy raising temperature yet it is clearly not leaving the system. There may be very complex energy exchanges going on but the fact is this energy is not leaving the system. So where is it going?

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Norman,
despite I agree that some IR can be back radiated, I don’t agree that that graphic at page 21 is the effective amount of not exiting energy. That graph shows what a radiometer with a narrow field of view sees at its nadir.

That graph say me that all that missing radiation has been absorbed, but it can’t tell how much energy is exiting with different angles other than the few around the nadir shown there.
That non-nadir radiation exists only because of the presence of IR active gasses in atmosphere. And as that 666cm-1 bite widen because of the increment of those IR active gases in atmosphere, the non-nadir 666cm-1 emission peak widen too, reducing the effective total “trapped” (???) energy.

Have a nice weekend.

Massimo

• Norman says:

Massimo PORZIO

Your point is very good. I can understand it. Would a satellite farther away help as it would be able to get a larger picture of the radiation spectrum leaving the Earth? Or maybe a variable satellite path that has multiple sensors like a bug eye to try and get a true picture of all the radiation being emitted by Earth?

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Norman,
I don’t know whether it’s necessary that the satellite goes farther or instead it’s better to put an integrating sphere with an ad hoc slit in front to fit the whole Earth dish comprising the atmospheric layer.
BTW integrating sphere are used in gas spectroscopy exactly to get the diffuse transmittance of the sample because getting only the regular transmittance is not all the transmitted radiation is measured.

Read the description of figure 2.28 about the issue I evidence about the current TOA measurements, while take a look to figure 2.29 the next page for the solution I suggested. Of course the diffuse emitter is impossible for the TOA measurement, but I think that bulid the diffuse detector with an integrating sphere is just a question of do it.
The only issue I see for that setup is that the integrating sphere have an high attenuation, honestly I don’t know what is the the margin of sensitivity of the current satellites, so I don’t know if putting it in front of the detector is feasible.

Have a nice Saturday night (here in Italy is midnight now, so I guess that in “sweet home” Alabama should be about 5:00PM).

Massimo

• Kelvin Vaughan says:

IR leaving the atmosphere is omnidirectional. A satellite is only looking straight down so would only see a portion of the radiation being emitted.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Kevin,
exactly, but the worse is that the nadir view of the satellite measures a reduction of radiation for any increase of the atmospheric GHGs content, while the tangent radiation is almost perfectly its complement so it increase as the atmospheric GHGs content increase.

Have a nice weekend

Massimo

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hoops!
I wrote Kevin instead of Kelvin, sorry its a quarter past midnight here in Italy ðŸ™‚

• Kelvin Vaughan says:

Don’t worry it happens so much it’s my nickname.

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes Norman, that issue of the TOA measurements is refuted in my 2013 paper and the reasons given are cogent. If you wish to talk about any such matters, read first what I have said and discuss the content of my counter arguments. That will save us time going back to Square One on such matters. Every objection you have ever raised, or are likely to raise in future, I can answer because I know what is in climatology literature (and thousands of climate blog comments) better than yourself. The cloud formation is explained in a comment just written towards the end of this thread.

• Doug Cotton says:

I’ve replied to each of you here.

• Doug Cotton says:

Norman: There is no huge amount of energy not leaving the Earth. The mean TOA input per square meter of the spherical surface is about 340W/m^2 and, over many years, this has not varied by more than about ±0.6% which is about ±2W/m^2.

As you can read here there is net inward radiation in the tropics and net outward radiation in the polar regions. But the IPCC wants you to be gullible enough to believe that the Arctic will warm much more than the world average. Ah well, just another spanner in their works.

• Doug Cotton says:

Ooops – “as you can read here

• Doug Cotton says:

The issue of TOA spectrums was discussed in my 2013 paper. I have also explained such in other comments in this thread.

36. Norman says:

Here is another link showing upwelling radiation from Earth. In regions of the spectrum where no IR gases are active you can see the
Earth’s surface temperature directly. In IR active gas regions of the spectrum you only see a cold atmosphere but the warmer surface is radiating IR over the whole spectrum but the IR is not leaving the system at the rate the surface is emitting it, only at the rate of a cold atmosphere. Again explain where this energy is going? Empirical measured spectral analysis shows the radiation is not leaving. Empirical measured spectral analysis shows the surface IS radiating this energy. Where does it go?

https://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/global-warming-mapsgraphs-2/

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Norman,
always nice to exchange posts with you.
“Again explain where this energy is going? Empirical measured spectral analysis shows the radiation is not leaving. Empirical measured spectral analysis shows the surface IS radiating this energy. Where does it go?”

See page 5027 (the third one), do you see the “elephant in the room”?
Is in the upper right graph which shows the radiation tangent to the place that the researcher have considered the TOA for the CO2 radiation (34km).
Being a spherical body that peek of radiation at 666cm-1 is outgoing the atmosphere indeed because it is tangent. That peek is present only, only if there is CO2, and its amplitude is proportional to the CO2 concentration.
This means that the graph that shows the radiation at the nadir doesn’t give a complete value of the effective outgoing radiation, because integrating for all angle horizon to horizon any point of the TOA the resulting graph should have the 666cm-1 bite partially filled (or maybe completely, I don’t know).
Have a nice weekend.

Massimo

• Norman says:

Massimo PORZIO

I read your book link. It would be valuable to make sure that the measured out going IR from the Earth system is complete and accounted for. If it requires different measuring devices to account for the omnidirectional path of IR radiation emitted by GHG’s than certainly such a path should be pursued. Accurate and complete data are most important to scientific understanding.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Norman,
yes, I completely agree with you.
That was an experiment. Note that they were not doing that for demonstrate what I’m arguing, they used that “limb” view just to be sure that the balloon was at an altitude which could be considered the TOA under the CO2 radiative point of view.

Here in North Italy is sunny today and the temperature is around 20°C, the very right spring day for a good trip on the lake.

Have a nice Sunday.

Massimo

• Doug Cotton says:

Of course the outward flux at TOA does not exceed the internal flux of electro-magnetic energy across an internal boundary such as the surface/atmosphere boundary. What you need to understand is that the flux of electro-magnetic energy is not a flux of thermal (kinetic) energy in molecules. Radiation passes through Space without the need for molecules to pass on its energy. Only some of that energy is converted to thermal (kinetic) energy and only in cooler targets. Read “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” which I’ve linked before, so you can search for yourself this time.

• Doug Cotton says:

The solar radiation of 168W/m^2 absorbed by Earth’s surface could not raise the temperature even of a perfect blackbody if the temperature of that blackbody were already above -41°C. If there were no atmosphere, and the whole Earth (oceans included) were paved in black asphalt absorbing 168W/m^2 it may get warmed nearly to that -41°C. Radiation from the colder atmosphere also has no hope of raising a warmer surface temperature. You need to think in a wholly different paradigm.

The only possible source of the required thermal energy needed to raise the mean temperature at the base of a planet’s troposphere (with or without a surface there) is downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer which we know happens because the Second Law of Thermodynamics enables us to prove it can happen.

37. Bryan says:

The classical approach for heat transfer by radiation culminated in the Raleigh Jeans Law
The quantum mechanics approach is given by Planck’s equation.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mod6.html

For some radiation frequencies they are equivalent as the graphs show.
But as radiation frequencies increase they diverge.

In the case of the land – atmosphere interface further complications occur
The land will emit a contentious spectrum which can be represented by Planck’s law
The atmosphere is made up of gases with widely different radiative properties.
O2 and N2 hardly emit whereas CO2 and H2O are significant emitters in thermal IR wavelengths.

So the air near surface atmosphere is a mixture which can be roughly represented by bands of varying emissivity and indeed there are missing thermal wavelengths(the atmospheric window).
This collection of wavelenghts will not follow the T^4 Planck relationship.
Ignoring this is perhaps the reason why the ‘backradiation figures are pitched much too high.
To illustrate this the pyrgeometer instrument which supposedly measures backradiation gives such a history of failure that it now cannot be considered as a reliable instrument

38. Norman says:

Roy Spencer uses insulation of a house to explain how GHE works. I like the thermos bottle. It has a vacuum between internal fluid and external environment to prevent conduction.

The thermos bottle has mirrored surfaces to reflect (redirect) the radiation flux leaving a hot fluid. Since the fluid stays hot many hours after it would cool if the inner sides were not mirrored but normal material, it clearly shows that energy can be redirected.

The mirror is much colder than the radiating liquid in the inner container but it still sends the radiation back into the fluid. The cold mirror is not heating the liquid! The hot liquid is radiating energy away but the mirror is redirecting the energy back into the liquid keeping the temperature of the liquid hot. If you could design it better (maybe several layers of inner bottles as to eliminate the losses due to conduction of surface contact) you may be able to keep the internal liquid hot indefinitely. If the energy has no way to leave a system the temperature will remain the same.

Also with the Earth system, it is not an isolated system, it receives solar energy on a continuous basis. There is a constant influx of energy. That is why slowing radiation loss in a non closed system will warm it. If you have a thermos bottle and add energy to it with a little heater the fluid will warm up.

Who wants to experiment? Take a thermos and a metal cup and fill both with the same amount of fluid. Put thermometers in both fluids and small heaters that deliver the same amount of energy to both fluids. Turn on the heaters and see which one heats up more after a period of time. I think you will understand Roy if you do this experiment. It will all become quite clear as to what he is saying.

• geran says:

Gordon, you know how a thermos works. Bravo. But, you make the assumption that Earth’s atmosphere behaves like a thermos bottle. That’s a HUGE leap.

But, if you want to believe we live in a thermos bottle, I believe you have that right.

39. jerry l krause says:

Hi Greek Philosophers,

It is amazing how you can reason, argue, debate but not observe. Look back at 4/11/15 at 7:55AM. Yes, the data tables got a little messed up in the transition from what was submitted and what was posted. But the clever guys you are, you should not have much trouble in solving the puzzle. Wait, maybe you will because putting puzzles together requires observation.

Have a good day, Jerry

• Joel Shore says:

Jerry,

I have now responded to your observations: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/why-summer-nighttime-temperatures-dont-fall-below-freezing/#comment-188062

As I explain, the observations are (at least qualitatively) exactly in line with what we expect if there is an atmospheric greenhouse effect…and most definitely not in line with what we would expect if there weren’t.

• Doug Cotton says:

You are wrong Joel Shore about radiation (as explained in this comment. “>this comment) and you are wrong about the Loschmidt effect (as explained in other comments) and you are wrong about the radiative forcing “explanation” of planetary temperatures.

• Norman says:

jerry l krause

Hi jerry,

I read through your experiment posted above. I like that you are willing to do an actual test. I read through your conclusions but am not sure what exactly is going on.

You have a radiometer located above the ground. It reads a warmer temperature than the surface. Is this stating the air above the surface at night is warmer? This is also known as an inversion. Surface radiates away energy at a faster rate than air above and air is a good insulator so it only slowly loses energy to the cooling ground.

I wonder if you can restate what you are seeing and how this does not support GHE. Thanks.

• jerry l krause says:

Hi Norman,

Sorry, my tables got compacted. The temperature of the radiometer’s absorbing-emitting (a-e) surface is always lower than the ambient air temperature and the dewpoint temperature except when the fog suddenly occurred. Then, the a-e temperature quickly rose to that ambient air and almost to the calculated dewpoint temperature.

My statement was: The observed fact that the temperature of the a-e surface is well below the temperature of the radiometer’s environment is positive evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be limiting the cooling of its environment to its lowest temperature of the morning.

Hence, the downward radiation from the atmosphere (the result of the greenhouse effect) cannot be the factor preventing the surface and atmosphere cooling further. Going back to my opening statement: However, it is common knowledge (hence, no need of any reference) that a consequence of this downward radiation is that the earth-atmosphere system’s average temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower than it is if it were not for the presence of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. It is this result of the greenhouse effect that simple observation refutes.

I have clearly identified what I consider my observation, which anyone can make, does prove. I have carefully written what have written because I do not know what others consider the greenhouse effect is. Can you tell me what Joel Shore or Roy Spencer have accurately defined what it is to them? I started with the statement: It has been stated that the presence of downward longwave infrared radiation (LWIR) from a clear sky is positive evidence of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Since the basis of this essay is about the observation of the downward radiation from the atmosphere, I cannot not disagree with this statement.

The a-e surface of the radiometer ‘sees’ the downward radiation and adjusts its temperature so that it radiates back toward the atmosphere so there is a radiation balance and the a-e temperature becomes constant, usually for some time not near sunset.

Hopefully I have done what you asked.

Have a good day, Jerry

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Jerry,
“However, it is common knowledge (hence, no need of any reference) that a consequence of this downward radiation is that the earth-atmosphere system’s average temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower than it is if it were not for the presence of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere.”

Despite I agree that that downward radiation warm the ground, I would argue that attributing all those 33°C to the GHGs is not proven.

Let’s imagine that you can throw an iron ball up some meters and that that ball can touch the ground always the very same place, if the bump was inelastic, after some launches the bumping point became hot because all the energy you used to throwing the ball up is converted to heat (some heat go to the atmosphere too, for example the one converted in acoustic pressure by the bump sound).
This thought experiment is more or less what the Earth surface continuously does with our atmospheric gasses due to its surface temperature (without the ground temperature all gasses would collapse to the ground, the concept of gas at 0 K doesn’t exist at all).
In few word as per the GHGs effect the heat (or radiation in case of the GHGs) is converted to work and successively is back converted to heat at the surface.
Just a difference I would emphasize, in the GHG effect the quantity of energy returned is quantized by the number of GHG molecules, while the work to keep the molecules up in the sky is a continuous, the warmer is the ground the higher the molecules are thrown, the higher is the additional warming. This make the effect a multiplier of the Sun heating, while the GHGs effect is just an heating offset.
Note that also the sea water thermal expansion works the same, so maybe that both the two atmospheric effects could be negligible compared to this last gravitational effect.
So IMHO those 33°C can’t be all attributed to the GHGs effect

Have a nice Sunday.

Massimo

40. jerry l krause says:

Hi Roy and Greek Philosophers,

In the case of you defined you stated moist soil so you could assume a certain thermal conductivity for the soil whose initial temperature you assumed to be 80F. I wonder what the dewpoint of a shallow (say 10 feet) atmospheric layer might be given these conditions. I doubt if it is less than 25F. You totally ignore the condensation of water vapor which must begin to occur as soil and atmosphere in contact with it cools.

Have a good day, Jerry

41. David L. Hagen says:

Desert Surface Temperatures
FYI 3.3.3.2 Surface Temperatures pp 52-53.
Deserts and Desert Environments, By Julie J Laity

In Alice Springs, Australia, ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night.(Mabbutt 1977b).

• jerry l krause says:

Hi David,

Very good observational information. Entirely consistent with the temperatures, which I observe, of my SSK radiometer’s a-e surface although its midday temperature far exceeds the temperature difference of those at Alice Springs because of its thermal inertia is so low relative to that of any earth surface. Which makes nighttime surfaces temperatures very interesting. Because at this time the differences are quite comparable. This seems relatively easy to explain. For as soon as the surface temperature drops below that of the atmosphere in contact with it, there must develop an atmospheric temperature inversion which isolates the surface from the warmer atmosphere above just as the films of the SSK radiometer isolate the a-e surface from the atmosphere above except via radiation. In the case of the radiometer’s a-e surface, when it is shaded from direct sunlight, the a-e temperature can cool below the air temperature even before sunset. And because of its low thermal inertia it cools even more rapidly after sunset. At the same time the surface is cooling more slowly and the atmosphere (also having a low thermal inertia) in contact with the earth’s surface is tracking with the surface. Now as the temperature inversion increases in altitude, its temperature is greater than the earth’s surface. And as soon as this occurs it begins to be cooled via radiation to the cooler surface. Of course, at the same time the atmosphere is being cooled by radiating upward through a colder and clear atmosphere. So, I know, because I study the data of atmospheric sounding being launched within three miles of my home, that by 4AM local standard time that the top of the temperature inversion is usually a little more than a 1000ft above the surface. Which fact supports my assumption that the atmosphere at all levels up to the top of the inversion and beyond (up to the point where the atmosphere’s temperature equals that of the surface) had been and is still being significantly radiatively cooled due to the seldom considered possibility (likely I believe) that condensed matter (solid and liquid) is a ‘better’ emitter than diffuse matter (the atmosphere).

Hopefully, the Greek philosophers will read what you called to their attention and actually think about it.

Have a good day, Jerry

42. John West says:

Dr Spencer,

Thanks for the valiant effort, the attempt is appreciated. I think it’s a fine illustration of the greenhouse effect’s existence. I made it through maybe a third of the comments. Apparently, some people still refuse to understand the concept of NET energy loss.

I don’t think some people realize that Engineers have been accounting for the GHE in cooling calculations for many years, way before anybody really heard of the GHE, come to think of it I don’t remember anyone calling it that back in Numerical Heat Transfer class, I think we just called it the apparent sky temperature and/or IR from the atmosphere. I’ve suggested reading this example many times: http://www.asterism.org/tutorials/tut37%20Radiative%20Cooling.pdf

There’s a calculation example of an aluminium disk cooling overnight from 10°C to 0°C with no GHE (92 minutes), with clear sky (5.4 hours), and overcast sky (35 hours, i.e. doesn’t cool to 0°C overnight). Not only does it illustrate how much the GHE can effect cooling but also clues one in on the major influences: water vapour and clouds.

• geran says:

John, your link includes the same mistake often made by Warmists and Lukewarmers. Slowing the rate of cooling is NOT warming. “Warming”, as in raising the temperature, requires new energy (heat source). The atmosphere is NOT a new heat source. It got it’s heat from the Sun.

• Mike Flynn says:

Of course you are correct, but they are not going to believe you.

• Doug Cotton says:

Radiation from the colder troposphere can only ever slow that portion of surface cooling which is itself by radiation.

According to the original NASA net energy flow diagram here about twice as much energy transfers out of the surface by other processes. These processes can and do accelerate and thus may nullify the effect of slowing of radiative cooling, which is nearly all by water vapor anyway, not carbon dioxide. But water vapor and CO2 still have an overall cooling effect because they make the thermal profile rotate downwards at the surface end.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Geran (& Mike),

Raising the temperature of something requires increasing the input of energy OR DECREASING THE OUTPUT (or both). I don’t see why this is a difficult concept.

If an object gets 240 W/m^2 and loses 240 W/m^2, the object will remain the same temperature. The temperature might be 255K. Or it might be 300 K. Or it might be 200K.

If the input remains 240 W/m^2 (for example, from sunlight or an electric heater or a furnace), but the output drops to 230 W/m^2 (for example by adding insulation or by decreasing the emissivity), then the object will start to get warmer.

No new heat source needed!

• Doug Cotton says:

It is simply not possible for the “greenhouse gas” water vapor to both …

(b) raise the surface end of the temperature plot.

To do so would make a very significant difference in the area under the temperature plot and thus very significantly increase the radiation to space, thus throwing out radiative balance by far more than is ever observed and having a very significant cooling effect anyway.

And it is because there would be such a cooling effect that, instead, the thermal plot simply rotates around a pivoting altitude (close to the radiating altitude) and thus becomes lower at the surface end.

That is why water vapor causes lower supported surface temperatures, reducing the otherwise somewhat higher surface temperatures that we would observe if there were only a fraction of the existing water vapor so that the gravitationally induced temperature gradient would be steeper and not reduced as much due to inter-molecular radiation.

Empirical studies confirm this physics and do indeed show water vapor cools. Even Foehn winds support this because they become warmer as they release water vapor and thus make the temperature gradient steeper.

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

So Roy Spencer doesn’t have a leg to stand on with his fictitious claim that water vapor warms the surface.

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

• Mike Flynn says:

Tim,

Reduce the rate at which a hot teapot loses heat by putting a tea cosy on the pot. The temperature does not rise.

Reduce the rate at which the Earth loses heat by surrounding it with an insulating layer of gas. The temperature does not rise.

Shine the Sun on the Earth, the temperature rises, but not as quickly as it would in the absence of atmosphere. Turn the Sun off, (night), and the temperature falls, but not as quickly as it would in the absence of atmosphere.

Why the concept of slow cooling is called warming, is a mystery to me. Tell me, has the Earth warmed since its creation, because it has cooled really, really, slowly?

I believe the Earth has cooled. I believe geophysicists agree with me. Have you any evidence to the contrary?

Mike Flynn.

• Kristian says:

Tim, you (and Spencer) are entirely correct, of course. If you keep the heat INPUT to an object constant and then reduce its heat OUTPUT, the object will warm, no doubt. That’s what insulation does.

Defining the ‘radiative greenhouse effect’ (rGHE) in this way, we see that the rGHE at Earth’s global surface has strongly weakened since 2000:

https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/ceres_ebaf-surface_ed2-8_areaaveragetimeseries_deseasonalized_surface_net_longwave_flux-all-sky_032000to092014.png

The global surface has strengthened its ability to cool through radiation by about 1.5 W/m2 on average.

All the while, global OHC has increased quite significantly …

Funny, don’t you think?

• John West says:

So, if I start @ 15°C and cool to 0°C OR (with GHE) start @ 15°C and cool to 12°C is not 12°C warmer than 0°C? If I start @ 15°C and cool to 12.3°C (enhanced GHE)is 12.3°C not warmer than 12°C? If something is warmer than it used to be would that not be a warming?

Actually, I’m with you let’s call it Anthropogenic Global Cooling Slowing & Plant Feeding just to make it sound even more benign than Global Warming.

• geran says:

Exactly, 12ºC is not warmer than 15ºc. So, you have NOT heated anything.

• John West says:

Didn’t say I’d heated anything, merely retained more internal energy of the surface by slowing the transfer of energy (heat) from the warmer surface to the cooler space.

I don’t think anyone using the term Global Warming is intending to use warming in a heat transfer sense such that it is synonymous with heating. Warming in common jargon is just warmer, more a relative condition of state than a specific energy transfer term.

• Mike Flynn says:

If you start with the Earth’s surface at say 4000K, and it cools to 288K, it has cooled. If you claim that it should have cooled to 255K, but has only cooled to 288K instead, it makes no difference at all. Cooling is not an increase in temperature.

It cooled. Slowly. It is still cooling. Slowly. If you can figure out a way to warm a concrete block or a corpse by surrounding it with CO2, I’ll buy you a cigar, provided you light it with something you heated up by surrounding it with CO2.

• John West says:

How to heat something by surrounding in with CO2:

Method 1: Place item to be heated inside pressure vessel. Attach pressure vessel to 4 stage compressor. Connect inlet of compressor to CO2 source (must be @ lower pressure than ending pressure). Turn on compressor. Remove heated item from pressure vessel carefully as it could be rather warm.

Method 2: Place item to be heated inside exhaust pipe from combustion of carbon containing material. Remove item carefully as it could be hot.

Method 3: Heat carbon dioxide then blow it onto item to be heated.

/sarc

Again, the GHE slows cooling it’s not heating. A concrete block outside on a cloudy winter night cools slower than a concrete block outside on a clear winter night.

43. Doug   Cotton says:

I suggest all should read this comment.

44. Doug Cotton says:

Conduction is a two-way process in the sense that molecules move small distances in all directions. If the temperatures at each end of a horizontal steel rod are controlled, then the temperature gradient in the rod adjusts such that the thermal profile is linear. If you raise the temperature of the cooler end a little, but not above the temperature of the hot end, the temperature gradient will adjust again, but this involves heat transfers from the cooler end towards the hotter end.

This helps you understand why Robert G. Brown was wrong in his attempt to refute the Loschmidt effect (as published by Watts-his-name) because the wire and the cylinder become a new single system with a temperature gradient that is between the original gradients due to this forcing situation. (See this more detailed explanation.)

The formation of a temperature gradient due to gravity acting on molecules between collisions, and as first postulated by Josef Loschmidt in the 19th century, is a fact, and we can prove that directly from the Second Law of Thermodynamics using the Kinetic Theory of Gases as in this paper. This has HUGE consequences pertaining to the fictitious fiddled fissics of climatology which ignores the Second Law.

As you can read here the Second Law is all about entropy increasing by the fastest route to the state of maximum entropy within the constraints of the system.

Increasing entropy is synonymous with reducing unbalanced energy potentials.

The state of maximum entropy (which involves all forms of internal energy and energy transfer processes) is, by definition, the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, which is not necessarily isothermal. In fact it is only isothermal in a horizontal plane. Experiments with centrifugal force prove that force fields like gravity create a temperature gradient, and you see it in every planetary troposphere.

The easiest way to understand how and why the temperature gradient evolves and becomes stable is to imagine two horizontal planes of molecules separated by the mean free path, that being about 90 nanometers in air. The distance is not important, but we will call it dH because we aim to find the temperature gradient which we will assume has a change in temperature dT.

Now, although there is a Maxwell Boltzmann distribution of kinetic energy in a real situation, we can simplify the thought experiment to one in which we just assume all molecules at any given height have the same kinetic energy. On a macro scale we know there is a propensity for temperatures to level out in a horizontal plane. That is the Clausius corollary of the Second Law, which only applies in a horizontal plane because the entropy equation used to prove it has no term for molecular gravitational potential energy on a micro scale.

Now, the Clausius corollary “works” in a horizontal plane because of the propensity for molecular kinetic energy to level out in collisions. Basically we have an equilibrium state when, on average, molecules about to collide already have equal kinetic energy. This is because, in Kinetic Theory, we know that temperature is proportional to the mean molecular kinetic energy in the translational degrees of freedom.

But, to raise a body by dT we need to add energy to all unfrozen degrees of freedom, this being achieved by the Equipartition Theorem and physically taking place in molecular collisions. The specific heat cp allows us to calculate the energy required for mass m as m*g*dT and we equate this with the difference in gravitational potential energy which is m*g*dH and so determine the “dry” temperature gradient -g/cp. This can be understood by recognizing that molecules moving between the two planes gain KE and lose equal PE as they move downwards, or lose KE and gain PE when moving upwards. In order to have the same KE as the molecule they are about to collide with, they must have come from a cooler region above, or from a warmer region below. QED.

Now the consequences are indeed huge, because this completely smashes the greenhouse comjecture.

It also enables us to understand how thermal energy can in fact move downwards in a planet’s troposphere by molecular collision processes. It happens when the thermodynamic equilibrium is disturbed with new energy at the top. Strictly speaking, that process is called “natural convective heat transfer.” In such a process we may detect some net downward movement of molecules, but it is very slow just like the “hot car in garage” example in the website endorsed by our group of persons suitably qualified in (real) physics.

The downward (conduction-like) natural convective heat transfers (which include heat diffusion in physics) supply the thermal energy input which James Hansen thought must have come from back radiation, but can’t. Climatologists incorrectly add 324W/m^2 of back radiation when using Stefan Boltzmann equations to calculate the surface temperature. You can’t do that, and the temperature cannot be calculated from radiative input at all on any planet.

It’s a whole new and completely different paradigm that explains reality.

• Doug Cotton says:

Sorry – correction:

The specific heat cp allows us to calculate the energy required for mass m as m*cp*dT and we equate this with the difference in gravitational potential energy which is m*g*dH and so determine the “dry” temperature gradient -g/cp.

Footnote:

This “dry” gradient implies that, without any inter-molecular radiation, the surface temperature would be warmer – perhaps a mean of 25°C to 30°C. Radiating (GH) gases (mostly water vapor) then cool the surface by reducing the gradient due to the temperature-leveling effect of inter-molecular radiation, not just due to latent heat release. The overall effect of carbon dioxide is to cool by a minuscule amount well under 0.1 degree.

• Doug Cotton says:

Please also see this comment above.

45. Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore should read comments starting here explaining why he and the promoters of the radiative forcing hoax are wrong.

46. Slipstick says:

Goodness gracious! Silliness is right. This is really simple people. The greenhouse effect is one of slowing the rate of cooling causing a rise in the equilibrium temperature. That is all it is, a rate change. There is no violation of the second law. If you increase the “insulation” causing the rate change, the equilibrium temperature will rise to higher value. Sheesh…

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes I am very much aware of what they claim and have studied Pierrehumbert’s book and much more. But the physics therein is incorrect and incomplete, and I can pinpoint where.

I have explained above why only radiative cooling is slowed, whilst the rest of the cooling (which transfers twice as much thermal energy out of the surface) accelerates and thus nullifies the effect of the slowing of radiative cooling. I have also explained in a comment just written above (Apr 12 at 5:49am) why we observe that water vapor cools.

• Doug Cotton says:

It might be best, Slipstick, if you help Stephen Wilde, geran, jimc, Tim and others answer the question in this comment, also noting the following comment.

47. AlecM says:

It’s not the GHE as you might understand it. That’s because ‘back radiation’ is not a real energy flux, but an Emittance, aka Exitance, aka Radiosity; the potential radiative energy flux in a vacuum to a radiation sink at absolute zero. Not to teach this correct Physics has been the Bad Mistake in US Atmospheric Science for >50 years, which is why it has failed to be able to do the modelling despite the GCMs being sound.

The real answer is self-absorption: more later…..:o)

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes I quite agree, AlecM. The fictitious fiddled fissics of climatology is a deliberate fraudulent hoax with which people like Slipstick, Tim Folkerts, Roy Spencer, Joel Shore, Norman, Robert Brown and thousands like them have been completely brainwashed. I explained how radiation merely resonates back in March 2012 in my paper linked here.

• Slipstick says:

Mr. Cotton,
You are, yet again, incorrect. It’s not thousands, its millions. Millions of engineers and scientists and inventors who use real physics to analyze, make discoveries, and create new processes that are impossible according to the self-contradictory edifice of nonsense you have constructed.

• AlecM says:

I can easily prove my premise by experiment.

If there were net mean 157.5 W/m^2 ‘Clear Sky Atmospheric Greenhouse Factor’ GHG- thermalised in the first ~30 m of local atmosphere, the mean temperature of the atmosphere would have to be ~ 0 deg C, a trivial S-B calculation for an atmospheric emissivity of 0.75, 396 W/m^2 surface Emittance, 238.5 W/m^2 atmospheric Emittance.

That would be lower than at any time in the past 444 million years.

As Houghton showed in Fig. 2.5 of his 1977 ‘Physics of Atmospheres’, there is zero temperature difference between surface and local atmosphere, a requirement of Lapse Rate convection coupling.

Hansen later accepted the IPCC fraud when he co-founded the IPCC, giving up science for his religion come politics.

No professional scientist imagines that ‘back radiation’ is a real energy flux; it is mass stupidity.

48. Bryan says:

Its good that this thread is looking primarily at night time conditions as lots of competing influences are eliminated.

Most heat transfer situations can be understood as a simplified one direction only heat flow(classical model).
The two direction energy flow and one direction heat flow photon approach also works.

In particular the photon flow model can explain situations where the classical approach seems to fail.

Take the situation of a temperature inversion at night.
The near surface air temperature say at 6C and the ground surface at 2C.

Now the classical model would say that heat can travel only in one direction hotter atmosphere to colder ground.
But we know that this does not happen!

However by using the photon flow model we can explain the situation
The land will emit a contentious spectrum which can be represented by Planckâ€™s and Stephan Boltzmann equation.

The atmosphere is made up of gases with widely different radiative properties.
O2 and N2 hardly emit whereas CO2 and H2O are significant emitters in thermal IR wavelengths.

So the air near surface atmosphere is a mixture which can be roughly represented by bands of varying emissivity and indeed there are missing thermal wavelengths(the atmospheric window).
This collection of wavelengths does not follow the T^4 Stephan Boltzmann equation.

The thin less dense atmosphere does not send enough radiative flux to counter the much more intense radiative flux which results in temperature loss from the much denser Earth surface.

Ignoring this is perhaps the reason why the â€˜backradiation figures are pitched much too high.
Indeed the climate alarmists have almost as much backradaion(down) as surface (up) radiation

To illustrate this the pyrgeometer instrument which supposedly measures backradiation gives has an unsurpassed history of failure.
It is now generally accepted that it cannot be considered as a reliable instrument.

• Tim Folkerts says:

“In particular the photon flow model can explain situations where the classical approach seems to fail.
Could you explain this? Which classical model fails? Id don’t see any reason why “photons vs EM fields” or “two energy flows vs net energy flow” make any difference.

“Ignoring this is perhaps the reason why the backradiation figures are pitched much too high.”
1) Ignoring “what”? The previous sentence seemed to make perfect sense for explaining the radiation exchanges between ground and sky, and why the ground cools slowly at night.
2) Why do you think that backradiation figures are “much too high”? What number do YOU think would be more reasonable, and what evidence supports your claim?
(Remember, 60% (give or take a bit) of the Earth is cloud-covered at any given time. Clouds are nearly blackbodies, so clouds radiate nearly as much to the ground as the ground radiates up.)

• Doug Cotton says:

Tim Folkerts doesn’t see any reason why “photons vs EM fields” or “two energy flows vs net energy flow” make any difference.

No you wouldn’t see, Tim, because you don’t understand the physics of radiation or the ramifications, namely that only radiative cooling is slowed, not the rest of the cooling which accelerates to compensate – and transmits twice as much thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere as does radiation.

This comment is continued in the first seven pages here that you’ve had three years to read since I wrote this review-type paper of the latest 21st century physics pertaining to our understanding of radiative heat transfer.

• Bryan says:

Tim Folkerts

A simplistic model of the inverted air/ground interface would have the air at a higher temperature than the ground.
So it might be expected that the air heats the ground from the classical approach

This does not happen
At night the ground will continue to drop in temperature.

My explanation involving two way energy transfer is given above

Perhaps you could explain how a one way heat transfer without the ground being able to radiate can describe the situation

There are multiple examples above by people claiming that colder surfaces do not radiate to hotter entities or that such radiation is not absorbed.

• Tim Folkerts says:

“So it might be expected that the air heats the ground from the classical approach”

That is exactly what happens with an inversion.

* Heat flows from the warm air to the cool ground. (Both by conduction and radiation)
* Heat flow from the cool ground to the even cooler outer space (by radiation).

Since the outward flow from the ground is larger than the inward flow to the ground, the ground cools. Either the “one way net flow” or the “two way photon flow” gives the same answer; either explains the situation perfectly well.

“Perhaps you could explain how a one way heat transfer without the ground being able to radiate can describe the situation”
This seems to be where you go wrong. The ground CAN radiate (directly to space). If the ground couldn’t radiate, then NEITHER model would work!

• Bryan says:

Tim Folkerts

But can the classical model account for the band structure of the airs radiation and the atmospheric window within its own paradigm?

I think not!

My comments here are to persuade one direction heat transfer without two energy interaction to reconsider their assumptions.

• Bryan says:

Tim
Presumably the classical theory for air contacting radiative oscillators would involve the Raleigh – Jeans equation.
Here is an interesting historical article.
Good luck with that.

• Doug Cotton says:

either explains the situation perfectly well.

No, that’s not the case – see my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” linked at the foot of the “Evidence” page here.

The reason is that, if the back radiation were converted to thermal energy then that energy could escape by non-radiative processes, and we would have had a violation of the Second Law in the first process.

But you’d have to spend an hour studying the 21st century physics I’ve reviewed in that paper to understand my point.

49. Doug Cotton says:

Pardon me for shouting, but …

IT’S JUST SO DAMN EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE RADIATIVE FORCING GH CONJECTURE IS TOTALLY WRONG …

Point 1: All empirical evidence (such as studies of temperature records, temperature gradients in centrifugal force fields, Foehn winds that warm with reducing levels of water vapor) points to the fact that the so-called “greenhouse gas” water vapor causes Earth’s surface temperature to be cooler, not warmer – as the IPCC would like you to be gullible enough to believe. They imply that each 1% of water vapor causes over 20 degrees of warming, so stay away from rain forests with 4% water vapor over your head – if this point is over your head.

Point 2: It would be impossible for water vapor to raise the surface temperature and at the same time make the “lapse rate” less steep, as we know it does, because radiative balance would be way out, and in fact such imbalance would be causing very significant cooling.

Point 3: You can talk all you like about slowing surface cooling, but if you cannot explain how the surface temperature is raised in the first place you have nothing to support your hoax. All the radiation between the surface and atmosphere is doing is cooling the surface while the Sun tries to warm it. There is also simultaneous cooling (over 100W/m^2) by non-radiative processes. Yet the mean solar radiation absorbed is only 168W/m^2 and that would only support a perfect blackbody at a temperature of -41°C if the above concurrent energy losses were somehow eliminated in an imaginary Earth.

Now, with my inquiring mind, I could not leave it at that. I had to work out how the necessary energy does in fact get into planetary surfaces and even sub-surface regions including the mantle etc. That I have done after thousands of hours of research and good old thinking. And now you don’t even have to buy my book because all you need is free to read at http://climate-change-theory.com where nearly 8,000 have visited in that website’s first three months. You’re missing out if you haven’t.

• Norman says:

Doug Cotton

Have you come up with an explanation for cloud formation using your understanding of how the Earth’s energy system works? You like to ignore this question but I will keep asking. That is one thing everyone on this blog can see and then think about. How are those clouds I see forming? Your theory about heat creep cannot explain the formation of clouds. Only surface heating, raising the temperature of a parcel of air containing water vapor, causing this parcel to expand and become less dense. This less dense air will be pushed up by heavier more dense air. As it rises in the atmosphere it expands and pushes on air molecules around it. The result of doing this work lowers its internal energy and it starts to cool. When it cools enough the water vapor condenses and starts warming the air parcel so it does not cool as rapidly (wet lapse rate). But you can see the effect of this process in the cloud formation.

Will you explain cloud formation with your heat creep that claims energy from higher up is moving down to heat the surface? How does this process create clouds? How does it work to cool water vapor and create visible clouds? I think soon most posters will see you as a really poor example of science but a great example of why good science needs rigor and proof (which you will never provide your own experiments).

• Doug Cotton says:

See my comment just written further down this thread.

• Doug Cotton says:

Regarding the “heat creep” process go to this comment.

50. Norman says:

Massimo PORZIO

I hope you had a great time at the lake today!

I was reading your hypothesis on why the ground is warmed by gravity.

If you look at both of Roy Spencer’s models the gravity would be the same in both. Whatever effect is caused by heat creep or gravity would be identical so it is eliminated as a cause between the two models.

But in Roy’s models you can see that if you have no back radiation the ground cools rapidly (and his model is actually supported by desert surface temperatures as provided by David L. Hagen in a post above). In his models the only thing changing is the amount of back radiation. The rate of real world cooling closely matches the back radiation model.

His model would support that the satellite information of IR leaving Earth may actually be valid measurements. I do not think posters really have pointed out glaring flaws in the model.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Norman,
thank you, the lake was great today, not a cloud in the sky and 24°C. A really nice day.

I don’t analyzed Dr.Spencer’s models, but “His model would support that the satellite information of IR leaving Earth may actually be valid measurements. I do not think posters really have pointed out glaring flaws in the model.”
This could be a circular argument because where is that tangent outgoing radiation?

I repeat my point: current satellites measurements are losing all the radiation with angle out of their FOV. And there is no ways to adjust the measurements if you don’t know the various spectra between the nadir one ant the tangent one (other than “modelling” it of course, but that’s not a measurement at all).

Anyways, I’ve been a little superficial in my previous post,
I expected Doug to scold me ðŸ™‚ , I still don’t have any proof that GHGs works to heating the ground indeed, my point is that if (I repeat if) they did that way then the mechanism is the same for the other two effects.

Replying to your following hypothesis about how CO2 works at the 14um absorption band: I don’t agree, it’s not like a string, it’s a dipole which resonate and binding the molecular links “capture” a fixed amount of EM energy (the photon) and release it later.
When the photon is “trapped” as binding energy in the molecule, the same molecule became transparent on that band for all the time the molecule needs to return at rest, releasing the photon in a random direction.
It’s no way like a mirror.

Have a great day.

Massimo

• Doug Cotton says:

Regarding “heat creep” go to this comment and read my 2013 paper (linked here) which proves why it happens using the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

51. Norman says:

I am thinking the problem in explaining the GHE is because of different understandings of what causes down-welling IR from the atmosphere.

Emissitivity of carbon dioxide is fairly low (around 0.25) because it only radiates energy in a few bands. Water vapor is higher.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0450%281970%29009%3C0365%3AFETFWV%3E2.0.CO%3B2

In order for carbon dioxide to radiate an equivalent energy flux as the Earth’s surface (with an emissitivity of close to 1) it would have to be considerably warmer. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is radiating far less energy based solely on its temperature as a gas.

The GHE works much different. The carbon dioxide molecule acts like a single oscillator a single string. When a 14 micron IR photon is absorbed by CO2 molecule it vibrates the molecular structure like plucking a guitar string. Then the CO2 molecule quickly emits the same energy. The big difference is that it radiates it away in a random direction. The CO2 then acts like a mirror in that it redirects the energy. If no CO2 were present the photon would take a straight line path out of the atmosphere now it is redirected and has only 50% chance of being directed away from the surface. With just one CO2 you have a 50% chance of leaving the system but what if this photon that is now going up is absorbed by CO2 higher up. This same photon has a 50% chance of going up. But from it initial creation at the Earth’s surface as you add CO2 it has less chance of getting out before being directed back to the surface.

I think many view carbon dioxide similar to a black body surface. A surface does not act like a single oscillator but as a group of many many strings. A 14 micron photon hitting a surface will have its energy spread out among many atoms and molecules in the surface and will have very little effect. It takes many photons to get a surface really vibrating (getting all the multiple strings moving and emitting). It is a very different situation with very different effects. If people would start to view this it might help them understand.

I keep reading about the 2nd law and how GHE violates it and this error in thinking is by assuming the single oscillator carbon dioxide molecule is acting like a macro surface composed of trillions of oscillators that are interconnected. The two are different and can’t be compared. CO2 can absorb a 14 (or a couple other) IR photons and emit them shortly after without having to be super hot.

• John West says:

+10

52. Rich Lentz says:

Where is the water vapor and the percent water vapor in the graphs? For 70 years I have observed that the temperature RARELY goes below the dew point, exception is when there is a very strong weather front moving in. My father placed large washtubs of water around the prize apple trees when a frost was predicted. Are farm was near a decent size lake, and we had many ponds to also help prevent freezing. Why do you think they spray water in orchards? To coat the buds, fruit with ice – WRONG. The water itself adds some, but very little, heat and the heat of fusion adds thousands of times more. Do they not teach the properties of water in Meteorology classes or the so called climatology classes?

Water has a property called heat of fusion. IT WORKS BOTH WAYS. to freeze water the heat of fusion must be released. on a clear night in a area with a dew point of 60 degrees before it can go below 60 degrees all of the heat of fusion must be released. how much is that?
Heat of fusion for water: 333.55 kJ/kg = 333.55 J/g
Since the molar mass of water is: 18.015 g/mol, the Heat of fusion for water can also be written as: 6.0089 kJ/mol

How many tons of water are in the air above the average acre of land with a dew point of 60 degrees? That is a LOT of energy. All of the above graphs would flatten out at the dew point and then start decreasing again after there is no longer any water VAPOR in the atmosphere to release HEAT.

You can’t treat water vapor as just a plain old gas like O2, or CO2. It has phases, and each of these phases adsorbs or releases heat to change state.

Suggest all critics look at the dew point for their area and the low temperature for the morning after. It is a good bet that it will not be below that temperature. Better that ten to one odds, probably better than 100 to one odds.

53. Rich Lentz says:

Forgot:
Why does it go below freezing many nights in the summertime, even late summer, in the southwest US?
Why do the “coyotes” warn the “illegals” they are smuggling into the US to pack clothes for “freezing temps” at night and daytime temps of over 100?

54. pochas says:

Excellent. At night, radiation is clearly in control and downwelling radiation (greenhouse effect) does affect cooling rates. As you point out, convection is active during daytime, when it is the main mechanism for transporting heat away from the surface. When convection is active, greenhouse gasses are less important and lapse rate, which depends more on moisture content, controls the temperature profile and physical movement of the atmosphere controls heat transport. Because convection is such an important part of the picture, sensitivity to CO2 is much less than has been supposed.

55. Norman says:

If you use Roy Spencer’s simple model and put in the amount of downwelling IR stated for Carbon Dioxide increase. Based upon this article “The added radiative forcing was 0.2 watts per square meter per decade”

If you put in 330.2 instead of 330 you see no change. If you go 100 years of this change (which would be 2 watts) you get a 0.2 F change in nightime low. This may explain why the temperatures have flatlined. CO2 is not a powerful greenhouse gas and increase is only having a small overall impact on temperatures.

56. Norman, as I had pointed out in my post below (which I am sending once again) if one were to dismiss the GHG effect one could not( as you say also )account for why the weather and climate are like they are here on earth.

It is just as asinine to say the GHG effect does not exist as it is to say the GHG effect governs the vast climatic system of the earth.

The way the climatic system operates strongly supports a GHG effect is present. The evidence is as follows:

The way the lapse rate behaves from the surface up through the stratosphere. Latent heat release from water vapor condensation as an example.

The OZONE GHG EFFECT in the Stratosphere.

Water Vapor effects on Stratospheric temperatures, which although water vapor amount are miniscule have a profound effect. Ozone being very sensitive to water vapor for example.

The radiation characteristics over deserts versus jungles giving an entirely different range and temperature profile over the two areas.

Clear skies versus cloudy skies at night giving a different temperature result.

To devices such as Dr. Spencer has which can measure IR radiation. How can you measure something that does not exist?

In any event, I could not go about defeating AGW theory if I did not accept the premise of a GHG effect.

My argument has always been yes a GHG effect is present but it is a symptom of the climate, it does not govern the climate.

This is where I differ with AGW theory.

57. Norman says:

Doug Cotton,

With your over simplistic study of wet vs dry climate to prove water vapor has no warming effect (GHE), I say to you. Your study is garbage and should be hauled off to the Sydney dump or recycled. Your study is of air temperature so it is an invalid study of GHE acting on the surface. If you want to study the effect and make some type of valid conclusion you would have to study wet and dry area surface temperatures.

One study shows dinural temperature in a desert environment of the surface can be 80C (144F). The air temperature will not be that large since air is a very good insulator and will cool much slower.

You would need to do a study of actual surface temperatures of wet and dry areas to be able to make any valid claim of what effect water vapor has on temperature since the surface is what would be receiving the downwelling IR.

I think the studies of surface temperatures (not air) of deserts seems to be strong empirical evidence that the GHE is quite real and the Earth really would be much colder if we had only had a nitrogen atmopshere.

Above jerry l krause shows that wetter area surfaces do not cool as much as desert surfaces.

• “the Earth really would be much colder if we had only had a nitrogen atmopshere. ”

If the atmosphere were wholly of nitrogen with its very limited radiative capability there would still be uneven surface heating causing density differentials in the horizontal plane that would still lead to convection even with no GHGs at all.

As long as there is convection one continues to need a kinetic energy supply at the surface to maintain convective overturning and for a stable atmosphere that supply of kinetic energy must be in addition to that required to match incoming radiation with outgoing radiation.

Therefore the Earth’s temperature would be much the same if it had a Nitrogen atmosphere but the global atmospheric circulation would be configured somewhat differently.

The GHE is real but it is a mass induced phenomenon, not radiatively induced.

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes of course there would be a temperature gradient in the troposphere. So what? Continued here

• Doug Cotton says:

It might be best, Norman, if you help Stephen Wilde, geran, jimc, Tim and others answer the question in this comment, also noting the following comment.

• Doug Cotton says:

Actual hard surface temperatures and water surface temperatures are precisely what is discussed in the physics in my paper. It’s unfortunate that climate records use stations between 1.5 and 2 meters above the ground, but it is such measurements which AGW hoaxers also use. There’s rarely more than 2 or 3 degrees difference anyway.

Your attempted refutation fails because that difference is such that the atmosphere is usually cooler than the surface whether in wet or dry regions. Furthermore, the IPCC in effect claims a sensitivity of over 20 degrees of warming for each 1%, so how about you, Norman, devise a study which confirms them right?

58. Beneath descending higher pressure air (50% 0f the atmosphere at any given moment) the descending air warms as it descends and in doing so maintains surface temperature by slowing the rate of radiative cooling from the surface.

Ifradiative cooling of the surface occurs faster than descending air can return kinetic energy to the surface (such as when there is no wind, no cloud and no insolation) then a temperature inversion will develop and the descending warming air can fail to reach the surface.

Over the night time or winter surfaces on average for the globe as a whole it is that rate at which air descends and warms that reduces the overall rate of surface radiative cooling to below the rate expected from a body with no atmosphere

It is that descending warming air that keeps the radiating surface warmer than it otherwise would be at night or in winter. It is not downward radiation from GHGs that has the warming effect.

The source of that warmth is the day side and summer side from which the energy is first taken up in convection before it later descends and warms in other locations on the night side or winter side.

In so far as radiation comes down from above it can only come from a temperature which has been determined by the lapse rate slope and so that source region will always (in the absence of a temperature inversion) be colder than the surface and so cannot warm the surface.

GHGs do not create a temperature inversion that is capable of radiating downward so as to warm the surface.

Instead, GHGs move up and down relative to the lapse rate slope within convective overturning so that on average there are as many GHGs too warm for their position along the lapse rate slope as there are GHGs too cool for their position along the lapse rate slope such that the net radiative effect is zero at the surface.

Warm, rising GHGs cool as they rise and pass their ‘surplus’ energy by conduction to non radiative molecules.

Cool, falling GHGs warm as they fall and draw energy back by conduction from non radiative molecules.

The system is radiatively self stabilising and variable rates of convection supply the necessary mechanism.

It is adiabatic warming of descending air that keeps the surface 33C warmer than the S-B equation predicts and not downward radiation from the atmosphere.

• Doug Cotton says:

Stephen Wilde: Let me help you with a few basics in physics:

It is in a temperature inversion that we do get heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer downwards into the hotter surface as explained here. An inversion in meteorology does not necessarily have hotter temperatures at the top – just a temperature gradient that is less steep than normal. If you think I’m wrong, then edit this article on Wikipedia which reads …

In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a “temperature inversion”

• Doug Cotton says:

For example, Stephen, on Venus the solar radiation is sufficient to raise the temperature only of regions that are at less than about 400K, according to Stefan Boltzmann calculations. But the surface is about 735K and so solar radiation does not raise its temperature.

Each Venus morning when the Sun is doing such warming in the upper troposphere we get a temperature inversion, and this leads to actual transfer of thermal energy (that energy just absorbed in the region <400K) by heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer down to the hotter surface. It's not hard to understand at http://climate-change-theory.com and my linked paper written February 2013.

• An inversion does not cause significant conduction from air to ground because the heat capacities of air and ground are so hugely different.

When the ground surface becomes colder than the air above it then it is the downward convection of warmer air that is blocked. However,horizontal winds then develop above the inversion layer which moves the adiabatically warmed descending air to another location where it does block upward conmvection.

Inversions are a localised and temporary exception to the general picture of convective overturning but because the energy in the descending air is simply shifted horizontally there is no net overall effect on global convective overturning.

59. geran says:

After reflecting on this post for over a day, it occurs to me this may be a delayed “April Fools’ Day” joke by Dr. Roy.

Consider:

1) A hand-held IR thermometer, pointed at the sky, is not evidence of GHE. As mentioned above, point the thermometer at an ice cube. Is the IR emitted by an ice cube going to boil the oceans? (Only extreme Warmists believe that.)

2) Night temperatures are below daytime temperatures so that is “proof” of the GHE? Au contraire mes amis (a little French there for our “metric” friends). Night time cooling is, in fact, evidence that there is NO GHE. A real greenhouse holds heat through the night. That is why real greenhouses extend the growing season. And, no “Warmist” successfully answered my question about winters. If the atmospheric GHE were real, why do we have winters? Once again, a real greenhouse maintains temperatures well into winter.

3) And then, there is this (from the post):

<<>>

So, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, the globe continues to warm. That is why, in the last few years, we have seen record cold and snow globally?

Does it get any funnier?

Thanks Dr. Roy for another hilarious April Fools’ Day!

• geran,

Real greenhouses hold warmth through the night by preventing convection.

Given enough time, radiation through the glass will bring the interior temperature down to the ambient external temperature.

That is why one should heat greenhouses in winter if tender plants are to survive.

Greenhouses work by letting sunlight in but then preventing convection so that the rate of cooling is substantially reduced.

• geran says:

Stephen, did you not understand my comment, or did you just imagine it was a chance for you to pontificate ad nauseam?

• geran,

What did I miss ?

Why the gratuitous insult ?

• geran says:

Did you not understand my comment, or did you just imagine it was a chance for you to pontificate ad nauseam?

• Slipstick says:

Mr. Wilde,
That is partially true, but the glass also slows the rate of cooling by reflecting/retransmitting a fraction of the IR emitted by the contents of the greenhouse, hence the application of the term “greenhouse” to certain atmospheric gases. I believe Dr. Spencer made a post on this site about “backyard” experiments he had conducted in this regard a few years ago.

• Slipstick,

Sure the glass radiates back down but it only got hot in the first place due to the restraint of convection.

It wasn’t the downward radiation from the glass that caused the surface heating. It was the radiation from outside PLUS lack of convection.

You don’t get the DWIR from the glass heating up the interior to a level higher than that allowed by incoming sunlight and blocked convection. The DWIR from the glass is a consequence not a cause and so it is out in the open beneath an atmosphere with GHGs.

GHGs can only intercept as much energy from the surface as is placed at the surface by the mass of the atmosphere subjected to insolation in the first place.

Their temperature follows conduction and convection, they do not lead.

• Slipstick says:

Actually, we have not seen record cold globally in the last few years; that is patently false. What we have seen is the concentration of cold air masses in relatively small areas while the temperature of the rest of the globe is above average, in some areas substantially above average.

This past February was unusually cold in the eastern portion of North America. Here is a map of the temperature anomalies for February 2015: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=02&year1=2015&year2=2015&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=rob.

You will note that the area of exceptional cold covers less than 2% of the Earth’s surface, far less than the area of exceptional warmth, and of a smaller maximum anomaly.

• geran says:

slipstick (good screen name, BTW), the record cold in both NH and SH are not global?

• Slipstick says:

Globally means around the globe, not at a few, relatively small, spots on the globe.

By the by, for the uninitiated, “slipstick” is a slang term for a slide rule, the engineers’ and scientists’ constant companion before the TI and HP calculators appeared. I still keep an old Pickett N4 on my desk.

60. geran says:

The <> was SUPPOSED to contain this quote:

Of course, downwelling IR from the sky is going on 24-7-365, acting to keep daytime temperatures warmer than they would otherwise be, too.

Warmer daytime + warmer nighttime = Warmer Earth.

(You just got to love how comments get corrupted.)

61. Roy said:

“I’ve used a handheld IR thermometer to directly measure its effect (the temperature of the surface of a thermopile in the device increases as you scan from pointing straight up in a clear sky to pointing at an angle…voila! Downwelling sky radiation changing surface temperature!). But, no, that’s not enough”

Such instruments are designed to record a temperature at a specific optical depth so the temperature recorded will be taken from the distant location at which that optical depth is achieved.

Beneath a clear sky optical depth is least in the vertical plane and so the instrument records at a higher, colder location along the lapse rate slope.

If one then points it at an angle the optical depth that it focuses on will be placed at a lower warmer height within the atmosphere and so it will record a higher temperature.

If one points it straight up through a clear sky it will record a cold temperature at great height such that if one then interposes a cloud then that cloud changes the optical depth and it will record the temperature at the lower warmer height of the cloud.

Sadly, the output of such instruments has been widely misinterpreted.

They do not record a downward flux of energy. Instead they record the temperature at a remote location which has the specific optical depth away from the instrument that the instrument was calibrated to record.

62. Stephen you are in denial same for Geran, which takes away from the otherwise good stance you both have on the climate.

IR radiation is being measured all over the globe.

• Salvatore

I don’t say there is no downward IR.

I just say that it has no thermal effect at the surface and that IR sensors measure IR emission from a remote location the position of which which is dependent on optical depth at the point of measurement.

IR sensors say nothing about the effect of the temperature at that remote location on the surface around the sensor. Only the thermocouple is affected, not the surrounding surfaces.

Downward IR has no net thermal effect at the surface because convection adjusts to negate it.

If the net effect of GHGs is to radiate to space then less energy is returned to the surface in convective descent than is taken up in convective ascent. That reduction in convective energy returning to the surface cancels the thermal effect of downward radiation from GHGs.

If the net effect of GHGs is to radiate downwards then more energy is taken up in convective ascent than is returned to the surface in convective descent because the additional uplift enhances radiation to space from within the atmosphere which, as before, cancels the thermal effect of downward radiation from GHGs.

One doesn’t get a higher surface temperature to drive the faster uplift because in both cases less energy is coming back down convectively than was taken up convectively.

Thus, no matter what the sign of the net thermal effect from the radiative ability of GHGs the convective adjustment eliminates it.

If the net radiative effect of GHGs is zero then the energy in convective ascent continues to match the energy in convective descent just as in a non radiative atmosphere.

The sole effect of GHGs in conjunction with convective adjustments is to re-apportion radiation to space between radiation from within the atmosphere and radiation direct from the surface.

At all times radiation in continues to match radiation out. Only the location of departing radiation varies as necessary to maintain system stability.

One gets a miniscule change in global air circulation but no effect on total system energy content (kinetic energy plus potential energy).

So, I recognise that DWIR exists but convection negates the thermal effect of IR on surface temperature from an atmosphere.

It is convection that raises surface temperature 33C above S-B by delivering convective energy back towards the surface in descending warming air.

Such descending warming air dissipates clouds to let more sunlight in and reduces convection so that heat can build up at the surface above the S-B limit.

A greenhouse lets sunlight in and reduces convection so the term is perfectly apt for the mass induced greenhouse effect.

Averaged across the globe over day, night, winter and summer the net thermal effect of convection of atmospheric mass up and down is to raise surface temperature by 33C.

• geran says:

Sal! I, at one time, thought you had a clue. Are you saying I am now in denial of that?

• Geran, in the end the climate outlook is going to be the same for those us who believe in no GHG effect and those of us who think the GHG effect is the result of the climate not the cause.

“Beneath a clear sky optical depth is greatest in the vertical plane”

64. The ozone in the stratosphere responsible for the temperature profile of the stratosphere shows a GHG effect exist. If it happens in the stratosphere as it does in response to ozone , it can certainly happen in the troposphere in response to Co2 and Water Vapor.

• Salvatore,

The ozone in the stratosphere absorbs incoming radiation directly without it reaching the ground so it is not analogous to a glass greenhouse roof which acts by letting energy through to the ground.

Both the greenhouse roof and the warmth of the ozone do restrict convection but the greenhouse blocks convection from the ground whereas ozone in the stratosphere only blocks convection at the tropopause.

Within the tropopause it is descending warming air in high pressure cells that reduces convection from the surface so as to facilitate a build up of surface warmth above S-B.

That is a purely mass induced process and not radiative at all.

• geran says:

Sal, do you own a rock?

Put that rock in the sunlight.

Does the rock heat up?

Does that “prove” the rock is causing global warming?

(If you answer YES, you may get a Nobel. Get in line….)

• Mike Flynn says:

Geran,

I put my pet rock out at night. It cooled down. Obviously, rocks cause global cooling. Can I have my Nobel Prize now?

• geran says:

ðŸ™‚

65. Mark Stoval says:

I have been told that the international space station has a surface temp well over 120 C on the side facing the sun and that it makes its orbit going “behind” the earth to cool off at “night”. The space station has no atmosphere with CO2 to help it “warm up”. How does it get so hot since learned men of letters here are telling me that the planet earth would be a frozen ball without CO2. I just don’t get it.

The moon also tells us that the earth without an atmosphere would get a lot hotter than it does since the moon sees temperatures measured to approximately 120 C itself. Now the moon gets about a month to cool off on the dark side before being heated back up —- one wonders how hot it would get if the rotational speed was that of the earth; perhaps “only” 120 C (~ 250 F) but that is pretty hot as my wife does not like the house to get over 78 F inside.

I am wondering how long it will be before the “back-radiations warms up the earth 33 degrees” nonsense is over. At least humankind will be able to read who supported the James Hansen CO2 myth.

• geran says:

Mark, obviously you are not soon applying for a “climate science” grant.

As you know, you would not qualify…

• gbaikie says:

-The moon also tells us that the earth without an atmosphere would get a lot hotter than it does since the moon sees temperatures measured to approximately 120 C itself. Now the moon gets about a month to cool off on the dark side before being heated back up —- one wonders how hot it would get if the rotational speed was that of the earth; perhaps “only” 120 C (~ 250 F) but that is pretty hot as my wife does not like the house to get over 78 F inside.-

If you increase rotation rate of the Moon. The surface daylight would change and it would cool less at night.
But lunar surface would still have huge swings in temperature.
The day time surface is about 50 C warmer than Earth surface ever get, and it night surface could get about 50 C colder than Earth surface gets.
And it’s dampening this wild swing in temperature which what
the earth’s greenhouse effect is.

Now if one were to make the Moon’s surface bright white or pitch black [assuming these color to full solar spectrum.
The white surface would warm up less [5-10 C difference] and would cool less quickly and pitch black is close to what the Moon already is, so even less difference.
Though generally speaking not much difference whether snow white or pitch black.
If one were to add say 1 meter of water over entire surface, that would make an enormous difference. And it also make things more complication.
In terms actually doing this impossible project, the water addition would instantly lower surface temperature to around -150 C. So surface in daylight lower dramatic if on pour hot water on it, and if night side if pout 1 C water on it would freeze but warm up to -150 C [123 K].
hmm it seems it cool the moon down instantly, but lets look at Equator Moon [and Earth]:
“Equator Average Temperature (K) Moon ~206K (390K at noon; ~95 K at midnight)
and Earth: ~299K (303K at noon, ~295K at midnight}”
http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml
As said the water instantly and without any question freeze a 123 C lunar hot surface. And it’s evaporation cause uniform temperature of about -150 C [123 K].
So Lunar average equator temperature now is ~206K and would
become 123 K. So losses instantaneously about 80 K.
And non equator is presently cooler than Equator so it cools less than by 80 K [C].
So Moon would cool by say 70 K immediately in terms of it’s average temperature.
But it also gain instantaneously a very thin atmosphere [of H2O.
And it depends upon this gas pressure what temperature the H20 ice evaporates at. In Vacuum it’s about -150 C.
And due to lack of lunar surface current heat capacity [very very small compared to 1 meter deep water added. One assume lunar remains the near perfect vacuum it is at the present moment.
But essentially what done by adding 1 meter of water is increased the lunar surface ability to absorb sunlight.

Or one say that by cooling the Moon, one has stop the moon from radiating as much energy as it normally would.
So it was blacbody temperature of 270.7, according to:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/moonfact.html
gas]
And water turned instantaneously it into about 123 K.
So roughly getting same amount of sunight, but radiating about 150 K less per average square meter.
Which make in terms of planetary body it would have HUGE amounts of warming over the coming decades.
So HUGE is on the order of increasing it’s average temperature by say 1 K per week.
And Earth apparently has increased it’s average by 1 K per 100 years.
So over a year of warming, the moon will add more water vapor to it’s atmosphere, and as result it evaporates at lower temperature [and less explosively]

66. “Why Summer Nighttime Temperatures Don’t Fall Below Freezing”

To get straight to the point:

Simply because the weight of the atmosphere on the ocean surface limits the rate of evaporation by fixing the energy value of the latent heat of vaporisation so that the oceans retain enough sunlight for long enough to remain liquid and that warmth reduces the ability of the adjoining land masses to cool down to the freezing point of water on summer nights.

The proof is that the rate of evaporation of water at a given temperature increases at lower air pressures due to a lower energy cost for the evaporative process.

Water in a vacuum evaporates explosively without needing any addition of extra heat.

• Doug Cotton says:

It might be best, Stephen, if you help geran, Norman, Tim and others answer the question in this comment, also noting my next comment.

• Doug,

Your idea about ‘heat creep’ which appears to be mere diffusion or conduction is flawed and unnecessary.

It is adiabatic warming on descent and adiabatic cooling on ascent that has the required effects on the vertical thermal profile.

• Doug Cotton says:

Stephen

I will keep referring you to this comment until you come up with correct physics refuting mine and explaining the necessary downward heat flows which others have also realized must happen.

No my physics is not “flawed” because it is based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. What is flawed is your understanding of the maximizing of entropy which that law is all about. I throw down the gauntlet to you Stephen to read the physics I have explained and pinpoint any error in physics – which would be pretty laughable for you without qualifications compared with my specialized post-graduate study and two papers on the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

And, no, such downward heat transfers are a reality and most certainly needed to explain how the temperatures in Uranus build up from the stratosphere downwards without any rising or falling “parcels” of gas or any solar radiation reaching the base of the troposphere, or any surface, let alone an irregular one at the base of that nominal troposphere. So you explain it (as I have asked many times) without my hypothesis.

• Doug Cotton says:

When I’m talking about heat creep I am not talking about the original formation of the temperature gradient at all, as you would know if you had read the paper.

• Doug Cotton says:

In regard to “heat creep” go to this comment and read my 2013 paper which proves why it happens using the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

67. Doug Cotton says:

Massimo: In regard to your comments, you’ll find all the explanation needed for all temperatures and energy flows above and below any surface on any planet or satellite moon in my 2013 paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures.”

Norman was concerned because he thought my study of real world temperature data used tropospheric temperatures rather than the official surface temperatures. That is not the case: it used the normal meteorological temperature data (from ground stations which are required to be between 1.5 and 2.0 meters above the ground, and the data is included in the study, so he could have checked such. That is the same data used by climatologists who maintain it shows excessive warming. Well, it probably does when you start the fiddling and remove records that don’t suit your agenda.

Norman was also concerned that he didn’t think I knew how clouds form. Well Norman, the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient, and the associated thermal profile which is anchored by the need for radiative balance with the Sun, ensures that, at a certain altitude, the temperature will be below the dew point. How do the molecules get there? Well there’s some upward wind in some areas, upward convection in some areas (because, as I said, natural convective heat transfer moves in all accessible directions away from a new source of thermal energy) and there’s a process called diffusion which you can observe by squirting some fly spray in your living room and sniffing around at various heights. Be assured that molecules which move at about 1,700 Km/hour between collisions have quite sufficient kinetic energy to get to the top of the troposphere. And, because they pass on some of that energy to others, they don’t necessarily have to be the ones that get there themselves. And, as any molecule rises, it does some work against gravity, thus losing some of its kinetic energy. Hence the temperature at the macro levels cools at greater heights.

Now it’s your turn to explain planetary temperatures at the base of their tropospheres along with the necessary thermal energy transfers required to warm those regions by day, making up for the cooling the night before.

• geran says:

Dug, do you offer full refunds on your book?

If not, why not?

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes I did on the ones I sold on eBay. But no-one returned it.

• geran says:

do you also refund return shipping fees?

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes I offered to pay the $2.10 return postage. And several others have bought it at climate meetings I’ve attended and sometimes been the guest speaker. I’ve received royalties from Amazon too, but did not write this for the money. That’s why you can now read about the content at http://climate-change-theory.com as nearly 8,000 others have in the first three months because it seems that word must be getting around about the new 21st Century paradigm in climate science. So how about you read it and try to refute the physics pertaining to maximum entropy production as unbalanced energy potentials dissipate. • geran says: Do you also offer “double-your-money-back” if the buyer detects some phony physics? • Doug Cotton says: Now, geran, as for Norman, it’s also your turn to explain planetary temperatures at the base of their tropospheres along with the necessary thermal energy transfers required to warm those regions by day, making up for the cooling the night before. Your explanation must conform with the laws of physics. • geran says: so, then, do you offer double money back for false science? • Doug Cotton says: Oh, and I did get comments like that below from people who, unlike yourself it seems, understand entropy maximization. Doug Cotton shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it. John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator) • geran says: Have you fully disclosed your relationship with John? • Doug Cotton says: I don’t know him from a bar of soap. I just received that by email. • Doug Cotton says: Have you disclosed your full name and qualifications, as well as your pecuniary interests in maintaining the status quo and promulgating the hoax without any reference to valid thermodynamics or the process of maximum entropy production which is fundamental to all natural processes in nature? • geran says: So, John only exists in your email inbox. Curious. • Doug Cotton says: Your deductive reasoning is pathetic and is displayed in all the comments you have addressed to myself. Now go to this comment. • Norman says: Doug Cotton, I am certain you do not understand my post about surface temperatures. You believe that air temperature meters above the surface and the actual surface are one and the same. This is why it is difficult to discuss things with you. You do not have the ability to reason. Likeable as you are, you can’t really think. That is why I feel you are not a human but a BOT. I have interacted with online AI programs and you seem really similar. Repeat things, can’t really reason. What I mean by surface is the real actual surface. The ground, maybe that will help you understand. Put the thermometer on the hot sand at day and record the highest temperature and then at night to get the lowest temperature. Go to a wetter area of Australia and do the same and see which one has the greatest variation. Doug your explanation for cloud formation is so poor it gets an F. Horrible explanation of anything. It looks like you made it up as you were typing with no thought at all put into what you are saying. It almost makes me physically ill to read how little you understand about any heat transfer mechanism. You really really do not have the slightest clue about what convection is or how it works. Even though I do like you I think interacting with a BOT is a waste of time. If you were a human it might be worth the effort but your ignorance of science is so astonishing it staggers me! • Doug Cotton says: You have not answered the question about the energy transfers that warm the Venus surface. • Doug Cotton says: The dry regions have the greatest variation according to my study, Norman. Why don’t you at least look at the results in my paper? They also have the highest mean daily maximums and the highest mean daily minimums. It’s all there for you to study, including the data used. 68. Doug Cotton says: See this comment explaining why the Sun’s direct radiation to the surface cannot explain the surface temperature. 69. Doug Cotton says: Anonymous geran and Norman go back to this comment. • geran says: Dug, are you in cahoots with Joel Shore? He also promotes bogus science. One of you says CO2 heats the planet, the other one says gravity heats the planet. You guys should get together and put out a comic book. Maybe call it “The Sun Never Shines”. ðŸ™‚ • Doug Cotton says: What I have explained is not what anyone else here even tries to explain pertaining to all planets and satellite moons. How about you help Roy with the problem he has here unless of course you agree with what I have said in that comment. Let’s see a bit of physics coming from you, instead of the type of waffle any undergraduate could write, and most do if they have a vested interest in the current radiative forcing rubbish promulgated in climatology circles, and by Roy Spencer in the above post. • geran says: Dug, I have tried to explain the 255K to you before, but your were on Venus. • Doug Cotton says: Of course it is energy from the Sun which maintains all planetary temperatures, even in sub-surface regions like the mantle. That’s what my paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures is all about, you clot. • geran says: So, since you admit it is “energy from the Sun”, we can throw out your book, and request our money back (with shipping costs refunded). Thank you. • Doug Cotton says: It’s not radiation from the Sun into the Venus surface, you clot. If you had read the book or the paper or the website you wouldn’t have fallen into the trap I set you. • Doug Cotton says: Do you, anonymous geran without any qualifications in physics, have difficulty in understanding such simple English as in the comment to Roy below where I wrote … “So it would take several centuries for the Venus surface to cool right down if the Sun did not warm it back up by the same amount the next Venus day.” Now, Geran Whoever, before we go any further, how about you explain with valid physics and factual data about Venus, just exactly how you think the required thermal energy gets into the Venus surface in order to raise the temperature of a fixed location on its equator by 5 degrees (from 732K to 737K) over the course of its four month day. No other correspondence will be entered into. • Doug Cotton says: In explaining such warming of the Venus surface, be careful to ensure that entropy is tending towards a maximum and that you specify the mechanism(s) of heat transfer such as … (1) conduction (2) diffusion (3) natural convective heat transfer (4) forced convection (5) thermal energy transferred as a result of radiation • geran says: Dug, you left yourself wide open, again. Your question is answerable from several different directions, because of the way you phrased it. I understand you do not know radiative heat transfer, so I will try to explain this in terms of things you will understand. Suppose you have 17 marbles. Each of the marbles have different thermodynamic properties. Five of the marbles have linear heat transfer coefficients. Seven have non-linear coefficients, based on temperature. The remaining five marbles have properties that are not documented The marbles are heated from above and cooled from below. So, what is the temperature of the 17 marbles at this moment? I bet you don’t get it…. • Doug Cotton says: Doug’s “heat creep” is just a corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I have explained radiative heat transfer in my peer-reviewed paper published om several websites in March 2012. Publish your own refutation of that paper somewhere, as this is not the place. Now answer the question about energy transfer that warms the Venus surface. 70. Doug Cotton says: Roy, this is what’s wrong with the graphs in your top post: During the afternoon on a clear day the Sun is still shining upon a solid tropical region of the Earth’s surface where it has raised the temperature that morning. The Sun’s radiative warming effect diminishes with the sine of the angle of incidence until, at sunset it is nil when that angle is zero. That, for a start, suggests that the rate of cooling should be accelerating in the afternoon. Then, during the evening, you say the cooling should be represented by a linear plot which should have the gradient reached at sunset. But it isn’t in real life, now is it Roy? The rate of cooling in the late afternoon and evening starts to decrease at least by midnight, and the graph may even level out in the early pre-dawn hours as the temperature approaches the supported temperature that is determined by the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient. After that, the whole troposphere would have to cool, and that slows cooling a heck of a lot. For example, on Venus during its four month long night a location on the equator only cools by a mere 5 degrees. So it would take several centuries for the Venus surface to cool right down if the Sun did not warm it back up by the same amount the next Venus day. But just exactly how does the energy get into the Venus surface to do that warming? No one on any climate blog has ever had an answer to that question – other than what is in the new 21st Century explanation of all such temperatures and energy flows on all planets here. • Norman says: Doug Cotton I am doing a limited study on your post. I picked Manaus, Brazil since it is located in the Amazon and picked a date looking for clear skies. The temperature did not change during the whole night even though it was clear and winds were light. It could be some clear indication that GHE is real and you are wrong in your data collection. Look at the humidity, it is at 88%. Clear skies, light rain, high water vapor content and you have little temperature change. Now if your garbage were correct it should not matter if the air is wet or dry as you would get heat creep in both conditions but water vapor would cause some cooling (which I do not see). I am looking for a desert location with clear skies but so far I find far too much wind to be comparable. • Doug Cotton says: Follow the methodology in my study you clot. You need 30-year mean temperatures, not one day (LOL) !!!!!!!!!! • Doug Cotton says: “The temperature did not change during the whole night” Yes, well that’s my point isn’t it? Roy’s plot of ongoing linear cooling all through the night is wrong. Stick a meat thermometer into the ground in your back yard and record temperatures in the afternoon of a sunny clear day and then all through that night. Publish your experiment right here. After all, you are the one advocating experimental proof. • Doug Cotton says: And don’t forget to edit Wikipedia here for they must have it wrong in saying dry air in Foehn winds warms the surface. We read … A Föhn or Foehn is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range. Föhn can be initiated when deep low pressures move into Europe drawing moist Mediterranean air over the Alps. It is a rain shadow wind that results from the subsequent adiabatic warming of air that has dropped most of its moisture on windward slopes (see orographic lift). As a consequence of the different adiabatic lapse rates of moist and dry air, the air on the leeward slopes becomes warmer than equivalent elevations on the windward slopes. Föhn winds can raise temperatures by as much as 32 °C (58 °F)[1] in just a matter of minutes. Central Europe enjoys a warmer climate due to the Föhn, as moist winds off the Mediterranean Sea blow over the Alps. • Doug Cotton says: Count that as another experiment confirming my hypothesis, Norman. Perhaps I took some temperature measurements when I drove through 10 countries in the UK and Europe in 20 days. Enjoy my pics here. • Foehn winds are only a partial explanation. The difference between the wet and dry lapse rate slopes only explains why air in the descending column becomes warmer than the air in the ascending column AT THE SAME HEIGHT. Seperately from that point all ascending air cools adiabatically and all descending air warms adiabatically. It is that warminmg descending air that raises the surface temperature of any planet (including Venus) that has an atmosphere above S-B. Roy’s error is in assuming that a non GHG atmosphere becomes isothermal. It cannot do so because uneven surface heating still leads to density differentials in the horizontal plane which inevitably leads to a convective overturning of the atmosphere even with no GHGs. • Doug Cotton says: Stephen writes: all ascending air cools adiabatically and all descending air warms adiabatically. That’s not correct Stephen. It only applies in an isolated system, and so, if it is wind in any form that causes the ascending or descending there will not be cooling or warming in keeping with the environmental temperature gradient. Why is Earth’s South Pole much colder than the equator, whereas on Venus its poles are at almost the same temperature as its equator? When is convective heat transfer upwards and when is it downwards and when it it horizontal? Also, you miss my point about the Foehn winds. As in the quote, they warm because they lose water vapor and thus become drier. So we have some evidence that water vapor cools, and reducing its concentration leads to warming. This is the exact opposite of the key contention in the radiative forcing conjecture. It’s just another bit of ammunition we can each use against the hoax. • Doug Cotton says: Regarding “heat creep” go to this comment and read my 2013 paper (linked here) which proves why it happens using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. • Doug Cotton says: Your “reply” is not addressing the Venus question, and anyway I have provided the data used in my study of 15 locations (not just one !!!!!!!) so you can check the data on line or spend a day selecting your own locations with similar selection procedures, such as being at least 100Km from a large body of water. Don’t forget to adjust for altitude! Now answer the Venus question, because that’s the next step in my teaching process, and you sure need correct teaching to undo all the brainwashing you’ve endured. • The Venus issue is dealt by with the atmospheric mass hypothesis with its convective overturning resulting in adiabatic warming of descending air masses. As far as I recall the atmospheric mass hypothesis was the consensus science before the radiative hypothesis came to the fore. My contributions here merely point out that using the old atmospheric mass concept in relation to climate change explains why the models based on the flawed radiative hypothesis are failing to acquire any predictive skill. Unfortunately, climate science was taken over by those who knew something about radiative physics but nothing about meteorology so their conclusions and expectations went awry from the outset. • Doug Cotton says: No it’s not precisely described by atmospheric mass. You need to explain energy transfers in keeping with te Second Law. The energy is delivered only in the upper troposphere and above by the Sun. We know the surface warms when the Sun shines and cools at night, as it must. You have to explain how that new thermal energy gets to a much hotter region and you need to do so ensuring that entropy does not decrease. The solution to the dilemma is here. • Doug Cotton says: You see, Stephen, you can’t just generalize with wishy-washy statements about atmospheric mass. Yes I’m the first to agree that gravity plays a role, as is obvious in my paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures published February 2013 after an initial version late 2012. High pressure is not what causes and maintains high temperatures. The cause is gravity. Gravity forms a state with maximum entropy (thus a stable state) which has a density gradient and a temperature gradient. The pressure gradient is just a corollary because pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature. And you can’t just assume that atmospheric turbulence does the job. In calm conditions, there is no such thing as a rising or falling parcel of air, because there is nothing to stop molecules escaping through any imaginary boundaries for such a parcel. Unless you discuss maximum entropy production you have no idea as to whether or not your conjecture is keeping within the requirements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I see no such discussion of entropy in your writings, Stephen, whereas it is the cornerstone of my hypothesis. In a nutshell, it’s mot about rising and falling parcels of air: it’s about actual heat transfers that are transferring actual new energy from the Sun. The Sun doesn’t even come into your writings, Stephen, so you don’t show why the Venus surface warming coincides with the sunlit period. 71. Norman says: geran, I think your comments are sometimes funny and clever. Not sure what your point on the topic is. Yes for sure the sun is the source of the vast amount of atmospheric energy, no sun only a trickle of energy moving up from the inner Earth. I am thinking you do not accept the GHE. • geran says: Yes Norman, I do NOT accept GHE. Sorry if my juvenile comments confuse you. I try to behave, but it gets harder with age. (That’s what she said.) See. 72. Norman says: geran, Thanks for the laugh. I like your posts but I also like to learn. If you do not accept the GHE theory I would like to hear the reasons behind it and what you think is going on with the radiation balance. You have the radiation hypothesis (accepted by most scientist) You have the atmospheric mass hypothesis You have Doug’s “heat creep” (unfounded and untested) I can learn things from all the various views so I am wondering what ideas you have on it. If you have none that is okay. You have amusing posts regardless of your scientific view. • geran says: Norman, The IPCC GHE “science” is bogus. They claim the Earth is supposed to be at an average temperature of 255K. (I’m assuming you can convert temps, but if not, 255K = 18ºC, 65ºF.) They arrive at the 255K temp by perverting the application of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Because the average global temp is nowhere near that value, they claim mankind is warming the planet. Hence, the concocted “GHE”. The IPCC GHE theory is so seriously flawed that anyone can poke holes in it. Hence, we see some people writing books, challenging the false GHE, but using more false science. I think this is where we say “We live in interesting times”. • geran says: Norman, 255K = -18ºC, or 0.7ºF. (Trying to watch TV, and talking to the wife and commenting seldom works….) • Doug Cotton says: You’ll find more on the Venus dilemma here and when you can answer the question about the energy transfers into the Venus surface correctly all your doubts will be removed as the penny drops. • Mike Flynn says: Norman, The core of the Earth is around 5000K. The TOA is around 4K. The surface is between these extremes. In the absence of sunlight, what should the surface temperature be? 1000 K? 100K? 288K? Influence of GHGs on the surface temperature? A little cooler during the day, a little warmer during the night. Insulation works both ways. Enjoy. • Doug Cotton says: No – a little cooler at night also. Water vapor reduces both the mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures. See the study in the Appendix here. Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures Wet (01-05): 30.8°C 20.1°C Medium (06-10): 33.0°C 21.2°C Dry (11-15): 35.7°C 21.9°C • Tim Folkerts says: Mike, In the absence of sunlight, the earth’s surface would cool toward 2.7 K. The core would also cool toward 2.7K. Of course, this would take a LONG time. Under current conditions, the geothermal heat flux is ~ 0.1 W/m^2, which would be a temperature of ~ 35 K. (Higher above geologically active areas; lower over geologically quiet ares.) • Mike Flynn says: Tim Folkerts, Indeed. Now how much heat is required to heat a body from 35K to 288K? Less than that from 0K, as I propose? If you disagree, I suggest that heating water to 100 C from 99 C requires less energy than starting at 0 C. So, no GHE. None, as you eloquently point out, although this may not have been your initial intent. You see my point. Even in the absence of sunlight, the Earths surface temp is not 0K. The effect of the Sun is merely to slow the relentless progress of the Earth cooling to 4 K or so. I believe we are in agreement to this point. • Tim Folkerts says: Mike, I have to admit to being mystified by your comments. Perhaps you could restate them in a more mathematical form. “Now how much heat is required to heat a body from 35K to 288K? Less than that from 0K, as I propose?” Well, yes. If we sum/integrate Q = mcΔT from 0K to 288K it will be larger than the same sum/integral from 35K to 288K. So what? “I suggest that heating water to 100 C from 99 C requires less energy than starting at 0 C.” Sure. Same reason. And again, so what? “Even in the absence of sunlight, the Earths surface temp is not 0K. The effect of the Sun is merely to slow the relentless progress of the Earth cooling to 4 K or so. “ No. The earth’s surface has been warmer in the past (age of dinosaurs); the earth’s surface has bee cooler (ice ages). So there is no “relentless progress” (at least not until the sun burns out in 5 billion years or so). The earth’s surface tends toward whatever temperature will balance the heat flows. If the sun provides 168 W/m^2 of average power to the earth, then the surface will warm or cool until it can shed 168 W/m^2 on average. (Of course, each individual location will separately be trying to reach its own balance, warming and cooling as days and seasons progress.) “So, no GHE. None, as you eloquently point out” This is where you completely lost me. The GHE is about (quasi)steady-state heat flows not about heat capacity. • Doug Cotton says: Regarding the “heat creep” process, go to this comment and read my 2013 paper (linked here) which proves why it happens using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. 73. Doug Cotton says: I’m still waiting for anyone (silent readers included) to answer this question about energy input into the Venus surface – a question which no one on any climate blog has answered in over two years in any way other than what is in my 21st Century Paradigm in Climate Science. • Slipstick says: Plenty have answered; you just have ignored any replies which do not agree with your ridiculous model, which is all of them. • Doug Cotton says: Then what did they explain? • Doug Cotton says: Oh, and, Slippery, we also found that force fields like gravity do in fact create a temperature gradient, because we found that experiments with centrifugal force do develop such temperature gradients. We also found with experiments and data (like that region mentioned above where the temperature was constant all night long) that Roy’s conjecture about continuous cooling at the same rate all through the night is wrong too. Are you left with anything you’d like to put forward to back your horse, namely the fraudulent fictitious fiddled fissics of climatology? • Doug Cotton says: You see Slipstick, you think they answered the question about Venus because you did not read the question carefully, and neither did they. The question relates to why the surface temperature actually rises by 5 degrees in the sunlit period. That requires a net energy input Slipstick, and that net input cannot possibly come via radiation from the less-hot troposphere of Venus, now can it? That would indeed violate the Second Law, Slipstick, because radiation does not transfer thermal energy that way – it goes the other way, Slipstick. Radiation is cooling the Venus surface, day and night, Slipstick. So what exactly is warming it, and why does the cooling happen at night? (That’s an easy one.) How and why and by what heat transfer process does the surface rise in temperature when the Sun shines but only delivers to the Venus surface about 10% of the radiative flux that it delivers to Earth’s surface. • Mack says: “so what exactly is warming it?” You know what’s warming it Doug, so why are you asking everybody else? It’s all that “downward thermal diffusion”,”downward convective heat transfer” and “heat creep” from the atmosphere(s)as a result of gravity that’s maintaining the surface temp of Venus and all the other planets right down to their cores, in your new 21st Century Paradigm in Climate Science. By the way you persist in persecuting Roy and everybody with this and they continually disagree..”let the silliness begin”,.. should indicate to you that your hypothesis is crackpot…and nobody seems interested in a “new paradigm of physics”. You’re the one with fizzics Dougie boy. • Norman says: Doug Cotton the BOT I will see how your program responds. I have already pointed this out but it does not change the program (Real Doug Cotton you may need to tweek your BOT a bit to update its files). Venus Surface does not go up 5C during the day!!! You read the article you found this information in incorrectly (as you do with all science material). The 5 C is at the top of the troposphere NOT the surface. Repeat this sentence 10 times so that it might stick and go back and reread the article you got this information from. I hope the real Doug Cotton will update this information so the BOT uses it correctly in its interaction with humans. • Doug Cotton says: Mack: It only takes one to prove the Second Law of Thermodynamics (on which what I say is based) to be wrong. Just try! Next time talk physics and I will respond. But I rather doubt that you are qualified in such. • Doug Cotton says: And I suppose next thing Norman will say is that a location on the equator of Venus does not cool even a fraction of a degree in all of four months of darkness. • Norman says: Doug BOT Cotton, I would not know if Venus surface changes by a fraction of a degree or not at night. I do not think there are really good measurements of the total surface. If you had even the slightest ability to understand things at least you would be able to grasp how the GHE is supposed to work on Venus. The IR from the surface of Venus goes up and outward, it is absorbed by the many CO2 molecules and redirected in all directions. It is a radiation fog. Maybe because of the climate you do not have fog in Australia where you live. On a very foggy day where I live you cannot distint light and darker areas in the fog even though the intial visible radiation pattern would have lighter and darker material if no fog were present. The fog smears the light out into a uniform nature. On Venus it is similar with the radiation. The radiation moves extremely fast (around 300,000 km/sec). It is smeared out in all directions and contact points so it will uniform the surface temperature and then you get the same temp on the daylight/night side and equator/pole (at least on the surface). When you think of downwelling IR think of it as a fog and not a stream. It can’t be focused. And it becomes very uniform and smeared out. • Doug Cotton says: Norman writes: “I would not know if Venus surface changes by a fraction of a degree or not at night.” Well you would know if you understood thermodynamics. Even Roy’s calculations in this post should give you some idea that no planet’s atmosphere is a 100.000000000000% perfect insulator. • Doug Cotton says: No Norman, the fact is that I have a very clear understanding of what they claim about GH effects on Earth and Venus, and I also understand the difference between what they claim and what correct physics tells us. Such correct (21st Century) physics is reviewed in my 2012 paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” Radiation from the less-hot Venus troposphere cannot transfer any thermal energy what-so-ever to the hotter surface. All thermal energy transfers go the other way and are quantified by the area between the Planck functions. If you think you can prove Nobel Prize winner Max Planck wrong then go and make him turn in his grave. • Doug Cotton says: In regard to the “heat creep” process, go to this comment and read my 2013 paper (linked here) which proves why it happens using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. • Doug Cotton says: Sad to say, Slipstick, but you’re backing the wrong horse. We proved upthread that, because Foehn winds get warmer as they get drier, it follows that, if we increase water vapor, we get cooling. That’s the exact opposite of what the greenhouse hoax claims. • Slipstick says: The cooling is from evaporation. While a thermal process, it is peripheral and unrelated to the GHE. Cripes, the more you write, the farther removed from reality your model becomes. • Doug Cotton says: Well go and edit Wikipedia and tell me when your edit sticks … A Föhn or Foehn is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range. Föhn can be initiated when deep low pressures move into Europe drawing moist Mediterranean air over the Alps. It is a rain shadow wind that results from the subsequent adiabatic warming of air that has dropped most of its moisture on windward slopes (see orographic lift). As a consequence of the different adiabatic lapse rates of moist and dry air, the air on the leeward slopes becomes warmer than equivalent elevations on the windward slopes. Föhn winds can raise temperatures by as much as 32 °C (58 °F)[1] in just a matter of minutes. Central Europe enjoys a warmer climate due to the Föhn, as moist winds off the Mediterranean Sea blow over the Alps. 74. Kristian says: And once again a Spencer thread has devolved into a meaningless tussle between Cotton and All. Can people please stop feeding this particular troll …!? • Norman says: Kristian, You are completely right. If people ignore the BOT it runs out of steam but it is designed to attack and provoke to get a reaction. It is still useful to post against it as it helps people who never studied physics learn about it. Many links are provided for the interested. I think in the long run it is still useful as a means of education. I kind of like to see how the BOT will react to different posts. I know it is a BOT when you confront it with some point it can’t answer it defaults to Venus. Human would not be this ridiculous and would attempt to answer the point in the post. • Doug Cotton says: Kristian: Silent readers will realize that you are apparently unable to produce a refutation based on physics, as I requested in this comment. • Robert G. Brown says: Aw, where’s the fun in that? My favorite upstream comment was where he asserted that downward directed atmospheric radiation doesn’t carry energy to the surface. He lambasts Joe Postma himself upthread, but guess who is the most prominent proponent of this sort of nonsense? Postma! I myself tend to think in terms of the Poynting vector, where downward directed radiation carries radiative flux into the surface, period. There is also upward directed radiation from the surface going out into the atmosphere. Both terms have to be included in any treatment of energy flow in a radiatively open system, and of course both terms are included in any correct treatment of the Stefan-Boltzmann law, which predicts the net rate of radiative energy transfer between two blackbody surfaces on the basis of the temperatures of both surfaces. But they hate like poison using the word “net”, or acknowledging in any way that there is energy flow from the colder surface back to the warmer surface — it is just not as big is the flow the other way so the effect is net cooling. If they did, they’d have to acknowledge that interpolating a layer of any sort of passive blackbody in between the two would slow the rate of transfer from the original warmer surface to the original colder surface, or (in the event that the system is open and the warmer surface is being warmed and the cooler surface is being cooled) even cause the dynamic equilibrium temperature of the warmed surface to increase. These are literally textbook problems in thermodynamics. At no point is the second law violated (as one can easily demonstrate by simply computing what entropy does in steady state or during the relaxation process). The equations one writes are the first law. The really silly thing isn’t this, though. It is that everybody persists in thinking that they can solve the Navier-Stokes equations for the coupled Earth-Ocean system heuristically in their heads. Seriously? You can just look at this enormously complex system and immediately make absurd claims about e.g. the radiative physics that is essential to understanding both the incoming and outgoing net heat flow and then just integrate out all of the latent heat and bulk heat and radiative heat transfers in your head and prove beyond any doubt that CO_2 net warms, net cools, stands on its head and sings that national anthem? All I can say is I doubt it, sir, I very much doubt it. I don’t even think that computer programs written to do just that are capable of solving the problem (by some 30 orders of magnitude resolution in the coarse grained dynamics). What one can say is this: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Toft-CO2-PDO.jpg If one simply fits a two parameter model (one of them the irrelevant “zero” of the anomaly) to HadCRUT4 from 1850 to the present against a very reasonable smooth model for atmosphere CO_2 concentration, the simple no-feedback prediction of all things equal temperature as a log function of CO_2 concentration fits the data with tremendous explanatory power. The purely for grins sinusoidal term (for grins because it has no simple physical basis and almost certainly won’t hindcast and could quit forecasting at any time; IMO likely a transient chaotic mode associated with the decadal oscillations) improves the fit from good to spectacular with two more parameters. The good news — the estimated climate sensitivity from the fit is around 1.8 C — probably not catastrophic by 2100 even in the worst case CO_2 scenario (the pessimistic curve is pretty close to RCP 8.5). The better news. There is little to no evidence of feedbacks good or bad from water vapor or aerosols, and the range of all unexplained dynamics is order of 0.1 C around the trend. How seriously should one take this fit? Not too seriously. For one thing, HadCRUT4 probably has thumbs on the scales, sadly. The error estimates (actually displayed on this curve, for once) are absurd. There is literally no way in hell that our knowledge of global average temperature, or the global average temperature anomaly, in the year 1850 was only half as precise as it was in 2014. One end or the other is simply wrong, and one has to think it is the 1850 end. If one double, or perhaps triples, the error bars (as is probably very reasonable) then no fit and no conclusion is going to be particularly meaningful. For another I do have to model on top of a model for CO_2 pre-1950 (although note well this model almost perfectly matches Mauna Loa from where the ML data starts to the present, visible as color shifts on the curve). The model more or less matches ice core data on the far end but ice core data has substantial uncertainties as a proxy for global average CO_2. In fact, since HadCRUT4 is itself a model — otherwise it is impossible to fill in all those enormous blank spaces of Terra Incognita in the 19th and early 20th century — this is a model of a model fit to a model. I hate that sort of thing myself, so feel free to be hatin’ on it too. My feelings won’t be hurt. However, taken at face value as at least a direct comparison between the bone-simple predictions of greenhouse warming due to measured CO_2 in the atmosphere and the actual measured (well or badly, as you like), it does not support the assertion that all-things-equal, CO_2 cools the planet. It does not support the assertion that CO_2 is neutral. It does support the assertion that CO_2 differentially warms the planet, that adding it raises the most probable mean temperature. It quantitatively supports the simplest possible radiative model for this process. It offers little support for those that would assert massive feedbacks. It offers moderate support for significant long time scale dynamics at works in addition to CO_2, and consequently it has enormous uncertainty in its assertion of equilibrium climate sensitivity. Note well that this model contains no lags whatsoever, and hence provides no evidence whatsoever for “uncommitted warming” due to CO_2. There is no capacitative lag visible in the underlying sinusoidal oscillation as CO_2 increases by 1/3! This is not conclusive evidence agains uncommitted warming by any means, but it gives us little reason to think that there is any, especially given the large fluctuations around the mean which one would not expect to regress if there was “uncommitted warming” present. IMO the earth oscillates around detailed balance with at most a weak bias as CO_2 increases and with at most a very weak net positive feedback from all other things. But the unknowns in the possible natural variation are enormous and hence even though the fit is lovely, the 1.8 C ECS is not to be taken too seriously. It is probably precise/accurate enough to exclude being negative, but little more can be said about it. If Mr. Cotton, or anybody else, wants to post a similarly simple one or two parameter a posteriori model that can describe the last 165 years of data equally simply and that is consistent with the actual physics of the atmosphere including radiation, I’d love to see it. • Doug Cotton says: Yes I’ve done that at http://climate-change-theory.com Regarding “simply computing what entropy does in steady state” entropy does not change in the state of maximum entropy which is called thermodynamic equilibrium. In such a “steady” state in an isolated system there is no further net transfer of matter of energy across any internal boundary. That’s what we get when the process of maximum entropy production (as per the Second Law) causes there to be a stable density gradient in a planet’s troposphere. That state has no unbalanced energy potentials, so mean molecular (PE+KE) is homogeneous, meaning it has a temperature gradient. You cannot prove me wrong on this without disregarding the Second Law.. • Doug Cotton says: Sorry typo: there is no further net transfer of matter or energy across any internal boundary. • Tim Folkerts says: It was fun sitting back with a bag of popcorn for the last day or so, enjoying the entertainment as all the proponents of ‘non-standard’ (to be charitable) theories were arguing with each other. ðŸ™‚ ******************************************************* Unfortunately, not feeding them doesn’t work. For a few days, no one was responding to Doug, but he was still providing long missives extolling his theory. • Doug Cotton says: And still you can’t prove the physics I have based on the Second Law to be wrong. You just want it to be, and feel you have to write meaningless unscientific comments like the above, because the truth is that you can’t prove me wrong. • Doug Cotton says: Robert Brown writes: he asserted that downward directed atmospheric radiation doesn’t carry energy to the surface. I said “thermal” energy. Don’t misquote! That is proven by a professor of Applied Mathematics in Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation which you should study some day. • Doug Cotton says: And Robert Brown then writes … of course both terms are included in any correct treatment of the Stefan-Boltzmann law Well if you do that, then you can “prove” that the exposed rocks at the top of Mt Everest should be over 100°C on a clear day around 22 June when the Sun is at an angle of inclination of about 86°. The calculations are in an earlier comment of mine. • Doug Cotton says: Go to this question you haven’t answered Kristian. 75. Massimo PORZIO says: Hi Geran, you wrote: “The IPCC GHE theory is so seriously flawed that anyone can poke holes in it.” I agree, it seems that the more I read the less I know about it. Have a nice day. Massimo 76. FTOP says: These threads on GHE are a testament to the biases that each person brings to the argument. It is amazing how many PhDs can fundamentally disagree on something so fundamental to the entire AGW argument. Whether it is radiative flux calculations or convection vs. IR debates, it seems people come to the debate with preconceived views on the issue. It seems there should be a base level set of facts to drive the debate first, and then the calculations/mechanisms supporting it can be further parsed. FACTS All meaningful energy input for the system comes from the sun (aside from some minimal geo-thermal) All energy output is from radiation to space While the measured input and output may vary on short intervals, these two processes are in balance over some long cycle (let’s say five hundred years) With this base level set of facts, the question is really about the distribution of this energy and its movement throughout the system. Yet, unless input changes or output changes, the earth will exhibit a nominally consistent temperature. Thus, an argument that we are .6 warmer or -.2 cooler for a given day, month, year, decade, century is meaningless. Now where can this energy be distributed? It can be in the ocean, captured by carbon life forms, evaporating, melting ice, and countless other places. Regardless of where it is, it is measured thermally, and is dependent on the thermal capacity of the matter that is absorbing and emitting it. Across the entire earth system, what is the thermal capacity of CO2? Almost meaningless measured against the atmosphere and completely meaningless against the thermal capacity of rocks, plants, oceans, etc… The argument that we are 33C warmer because of GHE seems to ignore thermal capacity and the lack of change in the emission to space. Since CO2 is one of the best molecules for IR absorption and emission, and since radiative emission is the only way energy leaves the system. How can its role be catastophic? The massive effort and waste of the world in controlling the increase in a trace gas of from .03 to .04 of the atmosphere is an exercise in futility. We may as well be sacrificing virgins on the top of Incan temples. • Tim Folkerts says: “FACTS …. these two processes are in balance over some long cycle (let’s say five hundred years) The whole idea of long-term Global Warming is that these processes are NOT in balance over the long term. Thus you are starting with a “fact” that is not true! If a little CO2 is added to the atmosphere at some point in time, the predicted effect is that more CO2 at the cool top of the atmosphere will radiate less energy than the slightly warmer CO2 a little lower had been radiating before. Since the energy entering is hte same, but the energy leaving is reduced, the whole system will warm. Eventually it will settle in to NEW, warmer steadystate, where “these two processes are in balance over some long cycle”. But “these two processes” are balanced differently than before. In particular, the outward energy will be a combination of LESS radiation from the cooler top-of-atmosphere and MORE radiation from the WARMER surface. These two will add to equal the incoming solar energy. The processes will not revert somehow back to the original conditions, with surface temperatures where they were before adding the extra CO2. • Kristian says: Tim, I replied to a comment of yours rather high upthread, but re-post it here, since the original might be difficult to locate: – – – Tim, you (and Spencer) are entirely correct, of course. If you keep the heat INPUT to an object constant and then reduce its heat OUTPUT, the object will warm, no doubt. That’s what insulation does. Defining the ‘radiative greenhouse effect’ (rGHE) in this way, we see that the rGHE at Earth’s global surface has strongly weakened since 2000: https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/ceres_ebaf-surface_ed2-8_areaaveragetimeseries_deseasonalized_surface_net_longwave_flux-all-sky_032000to092014.png The global surface has strengthened its ability to cool through radiation by about 1.5 W/m2 on average. All the while, global OHC has increased quite significantly … Funny, don’t you think? • Massimo PORZIO says: Hi Kristian, do your already read this?: http://www.ears.nl/user_files/04-Rosema_b.pdf They concluded that “…cloudiness changes could be the mechanism behind the observed global cooling since 1982: an increase in cloudiness would decrease global radiation and increase rainfall and evapotranspiration. Both effects tend to decrease the surface temperature.” Have a nice day. Massimo • Joel Shore says: FTOP says: “It is amazing how many PhDs can fundamentally disagree on something so fundamental to the entire AGW argument.” I don’t see any PhD’s disagreeing on it (at least PhD’s in qualified fields). Sure, if you look at the entire world, you might be able to find a few, but you can find a few nuts anywhere! There is as much disagreement on this as there is disagreement on whether the Earth is less or greater than 10,000 years old. The actual fact is that PhD’s (Robert Brown, Tim Folkerts, myself, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Fred Singler) who violently disagree on the seriousness of AGW nonetheless all agree about the basic reality and operation of the greenhouse effect. • FTOP says: So all those listed believe that sunlight delivers less energy to the surface than trapping and reflecting of IR emissions from the surface as outlined in Trenberth’s energy budget? http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/graphics/EarthsEnergyBalance.png • Joel Shore says: Well, I haven’t asked each of them that actual question (I suppose the ones actually here can weigh in), but I don’t see why they wouldn’t. That may seem counter-intuitive to a layperson, but I don’t think it is particularly so to a scientist with decent training in physics. And, it can in principle be understood by a layperson. For example, if we were to get to 90% recycling rate for aluminum and we used, say, a million tons of aluminum per year, we could have 900000 tons come from recycling aluminum and just 100000 tons from virgin bauxite ore. That doesn’t mean that all of the aluminum didn’t originally come from bauxite…Just like it doesn’t mean that all the energy in Trenberth’s diagram (modulo a small amount generated by, say, nuclear decay in the Earth) didn’t originally come from the sun. 77. Rich Lentz says: @ Roy What happens to the heat of vaporization when the “Water in a vacuum evaporates explosively” in the atmosphere? It has to do something! What happens to the temperature of the atmosphere by the change in enthalpy when water vapor is ionized by the electromagnet energy that it receives from the Sun, Solar system, Universe, etc? {look at the spectrum of the Sun and the graphs showing that very little of the energy the Sun that hit the atmosphere reaches the earth.) E.g., Essentially none, i.e., very little, of the Sun’s X-ray, Ultra violet, radiation reaches the earth. WHERE DOES THAT ENERGY GO if it does not reach the earth (ground) but impacts the atmosphere? What happens to the temperature of the atmosphere by the change in enthalpy when ALL of the various elements in the atmosphere (O2, Co2, H20, N2, etc., etc.) are ionized, vaporized by electromagnet energy from the Sun, Solar system, etc. Why is all the discussion about Light and IR energy? Are the climatologists claiming that the majority of the energy released by the SUN is visible, near visible or IR? That just can not be possible!!! How can they ignore the rest of the energy? The rest of that energy, even though not reaching the ground, ocean has to do something to the atmosphere as it is adsorbed. A 100 watt UV lamp can give you a skin burn in minutes. Radio-wave heating can melt iron/steel. A friend of mine has a patent on a radio wave soldering tool. It will sweat solder copper pipes in seconds. What is happening to all of the rest of the Suns energy? I think the AGW group has a few holes in their equations. • Robert G. Brown says: First of all, let’s consider the facts: http://www.solarsystemcentral.com/sun_page.html In particular, look at the Solar Radiation Spectrum in this nice document. You will see that a whole lot of the energy that reaches the top of the atmosphere reaches the surface of the earth. You will also note that that not only do “climatologists” claim that the majority of solar energy that reaches the top of the atmosphere already carries over 90% of its energy in the visible and longer wavelengths, so does everybody else because it is an observational fact. If you were serious about understanding what happens to the rest and not just agitating for a political position in ignorance, you can easily read about the Earth’s atmosphere. There you will learn that most of the ionizing radiation is (fortunately) absorbed by the very high, thin layers of the atmosphere, the thermosphere and the ionosphere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermosphere There the gases do indeed get damn hot! 2500 C! Sadly, they are at such a low pressure that if you were thrown out of a rocket ship in the thermosphere you would freeze to death as your blood boiled away. The stratosphere is the layer where the temperature profile of the atmosphere has a minimum. It is warmer all the way to the ground in the troposphere. It is warmer all or most of the way to space. The Tropopause (in between) is complicated. It is maintained by a mix of convection sustaining the DALR and radiation as the atmosphere becomes thin enough to no longer strongly absorb IR in the GHG bands. The spectrograph above is very instructive, though, because it shows the relative fractions of the radiation that reaches the ground, not just the radiation at the top of the atmosphere. Obviously it is evaluated on some sort of average basis as well — it isn’t going to describe both a dry mid-day in the Sahara and the middle of a hurricane out in the Atlantic. But you can easily see the differential absorption holes that are the basis of the greenhouse effect. most of the heat from the sun reaches the surface in visible through near IR, where there is comparatively little resonant absorption by atmospheric molecules. Radiation from the Earth’s surface, however, is at a temperature of only 300 or so degrees (not 6000 or so degrees). It peaks at around 10 microns, which isn’t even on the scale of the graph above. Well inside its blackbody spectrum, the atmosphere has major absorptive holes due to (dominantly) water vapor, then carbon dioxide, then ozone (IIRC) with everything else put together nearly irrelevant. The bulk of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the surface from wavelengths where the atmosphere is mostly transparent. It is radiated away in wavelengths where a significant and variable fraction is absorbed by the atmosphere which both warms the atmosphere and slows the rate of heat loss of the surface where it is closely coupled to the temperature of the atmosphere. The lapse rate does the rest. This is by no means all that goes on, and I can’t solve the Navier-Stokes equation for the planet in my head either to tell you exactly what fraction of the mean surface temperature anomaly over the greybody termperature the Earth would have if it were a perfectly absorbing/emitting/conducting blackbody comes from what specific mechanism. In a chaotic system I’m not even certain that the latter is a terribly meaningful way to think of things. But to the extent that one can isolate specific processes in a tighly coupled system, increased CO_2 concentration is very reasonably expected to increase average surface temperatures rather than cause them to fall or remain the same. But natural variations or variations from other things might — or might not — swamp the response. It’s basically impossible to precisely compute, and hence it is very difficult to say for certain. • Rich Lentz says: “If you were serious about understanding what happens to the rest and not just agitating for a political position in ignorance, you can easily read about the Earth’s atmosphere. There you will learn that most of the ionizing radiation is (fortunately) absorbed by the very high, thin layers of the atmosphere, the thermosphere and the ionosphere:” That I am aware of and that is what I a trying to find out about. And again you dismiss it as being non-consequential. That just does not seem possible. AGW “theory” claims that 0.04% of the atmosphere and the energy it releases has more of an effect than 99.06% of the atmosphere and all of the energy that it is effected by. The potential energy is unknown and the desire to determine it is nonexistent. Please explain how a gas occupying 0.04 % of the atmosphere can have more of an effect than all of the rest of the energy radiated by the Sun (that is dismmissed as minor or has no effect or does not reach the ground, etc., etc., etc. ) on all of the rest of the elements, gases, vapors, and ions in the atmosphere and the ground/ocean. The various “Black Body” charts that I have seen ONLY describe the effects of solar radiation between (about) 250 to 2500 nm in length. I have tried and have been unable to find a blackbody chart for the rest of the energy given off by the Sun. I have been told that the BB radiation/adsorption was based on visible and near visible light, in looking for the characteristics for the rest of the energy radiated by the Sun, I have learned that the black body characteristics were originally determined by heating up a black ball to the desired temperature and that it does not/will not work for the rest of the Suns energy radiation spectrum. Please explain to me how that BB model works for X-rays and the UHF, VHF, HF, LW radio waves? Could you please direct me to one that describes these? Here is a chart of Earths Atmospheric Opacity for you to look at that describes my problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_(electromagnetic_radiation)#/media/File:Atmospheric_electromagnetic_opacity.svg You will notice that the typical BB chart of adsorption/emission chart does not cover the area from 0.0001 n, (and shorter) to 100 nm OR from 2500 nm to 1,000 meters (and longer). (See link) The BB chart only deals with about 1/3 of a chart that is actually a logarithmic chart and actually much wider. I know it must have some effect as even the simplest “Geiger counter”` provides 30 to 100 counts per minute with less than 4 square inches of surface area and that is just X-rays. That is over 200 X-rays per minute per square foot. That is an energy source that got through the Spectrum that the chart you referred to me indicates has 0.00 effect, 100% adsorption in the atmosphere. Are you claiming that ~ 200 hits per minute across every square foot of the earth has no net heating effect? And that the adsorption by the atmosphere of all of those X-rays that did not get through the atmosphere has no effect on decreasing the amount of radiation by the earth back into space? And the same is true for ALL the other solar and cosmic particles and radiation absorbed in the atmosphere has NO effect on decreasing the amount of radiation by the earth back into space? You already admitted it heats the outer atmosphere so it must do something. Then there are the Radio waves. I can stretch a length of wire between two trees and it will intercept 0.05 mv of signal radiated from Saturn, in the 10 mHz wavelength (I limit to this so that you do not claim it is from the local AM/FM radio transmitter). 0.05 mv x 50 ohm = 2.5 mw. All of that energy is eventually absorbed in the ground/ocean. So what effect does this and ALL of the other radio waves emitted by the sun, solar system, etc. have. It can not possibly be ZERO as I have just provided you with a FACT that is verifiable for just ONE frequency on just one piece of wire. What does the totally of the rest of the Sun’s energy brushed off as not reaching the ground/ocean have? 78. Robert G Brown said: “The bulk of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the surface from wavelengths where the atmosphere is mostly transparent. It is radiated away in wavelengths where a significant and variable fraction is absorbed by the atmosphere which both warms the atmosphere and slows the rate of heat loss of the surface where it is closely coupled to the temperature of the atmosphere. The lapse rate does the rest.” The absorption by the atmosphere is primarily by conduction and convection from the surface and would occur even with no GHGs at all because uneven surface heating would still cause density differentials in the horizontal plane leading to convective overturning. The fraction absorbed via conduction and convection is indeed variable and it is that variability which negates the thermal effect of downward radiation. If GHGs are added to a non GHG atmosphere then to the extent that they radiate directly to space from within the atmosphere they reduce the amount of energy returning to the surface in adiabatic descent. That reduction in energy returning to the surface in adiabatic descent matches the amount of radiation sent back to the surface by the same GHGs. Net thermal effect at the surface is zero without needing to deny the presence of downward radiation. RGB sees that the amount of energy absorbed by the atmosphere by non radiative means is variable. Convection varies as necessary to arrange that. The reality is that such absorbed energy varies oppositely to variations in downward radiation. With no GHGs all energy tasken up in adiabatic ascent is returned to the surface in adiabatic descent. Adding GHGs allows leakage of energy to space from within the convective overturning so that less returns on the descent than goes up in the ascent. The thermal effect of downward radiation to the surface is therefore negated. • Robert G. Brown says: The absorption by the atmosphere is primarily by conduction and convection from the surface and would occur even with no GHGs at all because uneven surface heating would still cause density differentials in the horizontal plane leading to convective overturning. I’m curious that you would say this. Not that conduction and convection are factors, but that you state that they are the primary factors. I would expect that conduction, convection, latent heat, and radiation all make important contributions and that one cannot possibly do anything like a quantitatively correct analysis without including all four because none of them are negligible in considering the processes that establish approximate detailed balance with the Earth’s surface and atmosphere and ocean at an obviously rather variable spatiotemporal temperature distribution. I don’t think anybody rational would argue that surface warming doesn’t heat the atmosphere and that the heated atmosphere does not expand and destabilize, creating convective patterns at all length scales larger than the Kolmogorov scale, nor that a large scale effect of this process is not carrying energy in many forms aloft where it is eventually lost via radiation (possibly after several intermediary steps such as latent heat transformations). But then, nobody rational would argue that there isn’t a substantial fraction of the energy of the surface of the Earth that isn’t radiated from that surface and almost immediately absorbed by the air due to the coupling with GHGs. Which is a good thing because air is a lousy conductor of heat and radiation extends the volume of “contact with the ground” much farther than conduction/convection would on their own. It is also — in my opinion — silly to assert that the net thermal effect at the surface is zero, or that the energy going out from the surface due to radiation “matches” the energy being returned by adiabatic descent. For one thing, they aren’t even happening at the same place or at the same time. They are part of completely distinct (although coupled) self-organized processes. Asserting that you “know” that they balance is once again tantamount to asserting that you can solve the Navier-Stokes equations for the coupled Earth-Atmosphere-Ocean system on an irregular terrain covering a spinning, tipped planet eccentrically orbiting a somewhat variable star, and no, you can’t. Neither can I. You cannot even state that it is probable that this is true, or plausible that this is true. It almost certainly is, if anything, not true. It would be somewhat surprising if it were true. Your argument completely ignores the ocean, latent heat transfer, the variability of albedo, the procession of the seasons, the substantial variation in insolation at the TOA (which everybody does, naturally, ignore in these discussions because trying to explain a 90 W/m^2 annual variation that countervaries with global average temperature is so pesky troublesome when you are trying to get people to fear a 1-2 W/m^2 variation due to CO_2). You know, it might be worthwhile to respect the difficulty of the climate problem instead of asserting that it is definitely this, or definitely that. IMO it is not only unsolvable, but laughably unsolvable, given our current state of knowledge and resources. We’re doing the moral equivalent of trying to explain the periodic table in the complete absence of chemistry data or spectrographic data or knowledge of the nucleus or any sort of quantum theory. Modern climate science is hardly better than alchemy as far as our ability to meaningfully predict things is concerned. Maybe not even that good. And yet, everybody is convinced that they have the Philosophers’ Stone that will turn climate models or simple arguments to gold. I doubt it. • R G Brown said: “I would expect that conduction, convection, latent heat, and radiation all make important contributions ” There is only radiation or conduction between surface and atmosphere. Convection and latent heat are a result of one or both. What conducts cannot be radiated and vice versa because once radiation or conduction result in convection the energy becomes potential energy which is not heat and cannot radiate. Latent heat of evaporation is just potential energy which is a by product of water vapour being lighter than air and so water vapour acquires potential energy more readily than air via enhanced uplift. For a largely transparent atmosphere such as ours the primary method of transferring energy from surface to atmosphere is conduction. The more radiatively opaque the atmosphere becomes the more radiation takes over from conduction. Whatever the balance between radiation and conduction for a particular atmosphere the outcome is radiation to space equal to radiation in from space. Variable convection ensures that because energy radiated to space from within an atmosphere cannot be returned to the surface in convective descent. That reduction offsets the thermal effect of downward radiation from within the atmosphere. The only effect of GHGs must be to reapportion radiation to space between radiation to space from within the atmosphere and radiation to space from the surface. A non radiative atmosphere radiates 100% to space from the surface. A fully effective radiative atmosphere radiates 100% to space from within the atmosphere. In reality, every atmosphere is between the two extremes and the proportion of radiation to space from within the atmosphere is directly related to the radiative capability of that atmosphere. Every other feature of our climate system can be ignored as being averaged out within the overall scheme of things. It really is that simple. • Tim F says: This is getting harder and harder to follow. Let me propose writing all this with simple, concise symbols. * Let S, LW, C, & L stand for energy transferred via Solar EM wave waves, Long Wave EM waves, Conduction, and Latent Heat. * let s,g,a,o stand for Sun, Ground (and the rest of the surface), atmosphere, and outer space. * combine these to indicate the type of energy, the source and the destination. Eg “SW_sg” is short wave from the sun to the ground; “C_ga” would be conduction from the surface to the atmosphere. Trenberth provides estimates for all of these (in W/m^2). S_sa = 67 S_sg = 168 S_so = 102 C_ga = 24 L_ga = 78 LW_go = 40 LW_ga = 26 (All other combinations are zero. We could split LW_ga = 24 into LW_ga = 350 & LW_ag = 324 if we wanted.) ********************************************************** RGB: “The bulk of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the surface from wavelengths where the atmosphere is mostly transparent.” Ie S_sg > S_sa, which is true. SW: “The absorption by the atmosphere is primarily by conduction and convection from the surface” We have now switched focus from “S_xx” to “X_xa”. L_ga = 78 S_sa = 67 LW_ga = 26 C_ga = 24 Not only does SW seem to be wrong, he has picked the SMALLEST transfer mechanism and called it the largest! RGB: “I would expect that conduction, convection, latent heat, and radiation all make important contributions” I’m not sure why you are “supposing this”. There are pretty good estimates from Trenberth (ie all the estimates I am presenting). *********************************** This avoids meaningless statements or incorrect statements by forcing precise thinking. Many other statements (especially from SW) don’t seem to make sense, becasue in many cases, they are mixing two different ideas in incompatible ways (for example, by switching to energy flow WITHIN the atmosphere). If you can’t say it in equations, you probably don’t understand it. ðŸ™‚ • You have to deal with energy flows WITHIN the atmosphere for it all to fall into place. Trenberth omits to consider the potential energy that converts to kinetic energy in descending air. He treats evapotranspiration and thermals as one way upward and out to space which is wrong. If one recognises that the energy in evapotranspiration and thermals becomes potential energy as the air rises and so cannot be lost to space by radiation then one realises that it has to reappear as heat again in the descent. Trenberth treats evapotranspiration and thermals as a one way heat flow upwards but that is wrong. It is a two way process. The heat energy that goes up in convection must also come down in convection. Having overlooked that heat energy coming out of descending air his energy budget becomes unbalanced so he ‘fixes’ it by proposing enhanced DWIR from GHGs of exactly the same amount to make the budget balance again. The proper solution is as I have proposed. Energy that radiates out to space from within evapotranspiration and thermals causes a reduction in heat energy returning to the surface in convective descent. That reduction offsets the thermal effect of DWIR from GHGs. That way, the budget still balances, DWIR is taken into account and the leakage to space from radiative gases within the atmosphere is catered for. And the surface temperature doesn’t change. • Correction to my 5.16 post. Evapotranspiration and thermals come to 102 (78 + 24) in the Trenberth diagram and he then balances the budget by proposing that the same energy (102) radiates back down again in the form of additional DWIR. The problem with that is that the 102 is in the form of potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate. Instead, he should show that 102 coming down again in descending air MINUS any that has radiatively leaked out to space via GHGs in the atmosphere. That reduction (say 20) should be matched by additional DWIR but no more. We then have 20 radiated to space and 20 radiated to the ground but no warming effect at the ground because of the reduction of 20 coming down through the descent phase of convective overturning. THe surface receives exactly the same energy as before GHGs were introduced and stays at the same temperature BUT we have 20 more leaving to space from within the atmosphere from GHGs and 20 less leaving to space from the surface. The reduction of 20 leaving to space from the surface is due to the shortfall between energy going up in convection and energy cominmg down in convection. That shortfall leads to the next convective cycle grabbing that 20 so that it cannot then radiate to space from the surface. That scenario keeps the budget balanced despite radiation downward from GHGs with no additional energy available at the surface to raise temperatutre at the surface. • Joel Shore says: “If you can’t say it in equations, you probably don’t understand it. ” Tim, I think this one statement pretty much says it all, except I would say that if you can’t say it equations, then it also is not a theory. It is just random musings. It is really just philosphy or religion, not physical science. Sometimes AGW skeptics say that models can give you any result that you want…and reading what Stephen Wilde writes, I can see how they get this idea, because Stephen thinks he has a model but he doesn’t. He just has a lot of physicsy-sounding words strung together. Real mathematical models, constrained by the known laws of physics, are in fact incredibly constraining. You can’t get anything you want; in fact, you can quickly rule out lots of nice sciency-sounding descriptions as nothing but nonsense. Also, one of the basic issues with all of Stephen’s musings is that he doesn’t even seem to understand what the question is. I.e., I see people Stephen, Doug Cotton, …) spending a lot of time and energy trying to come up with ways to warm the surface by bringing energy down to the surface. They don’t seem to understand that it is not the atmosphere-surface energy budget that is the problem; it is the top-of-the-atmosphere energy budget. I.e., it’s the budget between the Earth + atmosphere and space. (When cornered on this, Stephen will try to explain how that part works but then he descends into nonsensical claims about radiation turning into convection or convection taking some of the energy away from what would be radiated or other nonsense that violates basic known laws of physics.) And, you really can’t get around the fact that the Earth’s surface is emitting too much radiation for that top-of-the-atmosphere budget ever to balance unless the atmosphere absorbs some of that radiation. That is the only solution…and the satellite data (i.e., Earth’s emissions from satellite) and the close agreement of that with radiative transfer calculations confirm that this is the indeed the solution that Nature has chosen. • Tim Folkerts says: Stephen, certainly my suggested variables are only a starting point. We could add internal energy. We could add potential energy. We could divide the atmosphere into 2 or 3 or 1000 layers. But that only INCREASES the need to write things as equations. You STILL need to be able to write equations. And you still need to define all the quantities precisely. One specific suggestion: energy does not have little tags saying where it came from and where it can go. For example, “heat energy that goes up in convection must also come down in convection” shows this sort of wrong thinking. It is the very nature of convection that energy is carried away and it is NOT all returned. If ALL the energy returned, then the “hot reservoir” would not be losing any energy and the circulating fluid would be a ‘perpetual motion machine”. • Doug Cotton says: Joel Shore writes: “They don’t seem to understand that it is not the atmosphere-surface energy budget that is the problem; it is the top-of-the-atmosphere energy budget.” All TOA measurements this century show radiative balance to be within ±0.6% which is a mere ±2W/m^2 in the 340W being emitted for each square meter of the spherical surface. Of course we need to consider the thermal energy transfers into the surface if we are to be able to explain its temperature. Whatever you think happens in the colder troposphere, it won’t affect the surface temperature unless there is sufficient inflow of energy to achieve the observed temperature and/or to increase it. • Kristian says: Robert, you say: “I would expect that conduction, convection, latent heat, and radiation all make important contributions and that one cannot possibly do anything like a quantitatively correct analysis without including all four because none of them are negligible in considering the processes that establish approximate detailed balance with the Earth’s surface and atmosphere and ocean at an obviously rather variable spatiotemporal temperature distribution.” The transfer of energy from the solar-heated surface to the air above happens by way of conductive and radiant heat plus significantly through the latent heat of vaporization. These three direct energy transfers in turn make the air more buoyant (becoming less dense and rising). The internal fluid energy transport mechanism of convection/advection brings the energy up and away from the surface, making room for more energy to be transferred; a highly important process – somehow suppress convection, energy starts piling up, and you get relatively swift and substantial warming … In other words, ‘convection’ is the mechanism that governs the bulk energy transport and hence, the temperature distribution within a fluid in a gravity field. It brings the energy from where it enters the system – at the heating end – to where it exits the system – at the cooling end. And it does so by mass transfer. # Conduction is basically a mechanism for transferring energy (heat, Q) INTO the ‘atmosphere system’ (FROM the ‘surface system’), helping to HEAT (warm) it. # Evaporation/condensation is also basically a mechanism for transferring energy (heat, Q) INTO the ‘atmosphere system’ (FROM the ‘surface system’), helping to HEAT (warm) it. # Radiation is also basically a mechanism for transferring energy (heat, Q) INTO the ‘atmosphere system’ (FROM the ‘surface system’ AND the ‘Sun system’), helping to HEAT (warm) it. But in addition, radiation is THE mechanism for transferring energy (heat, Q) OUT again of the ‘atmosphere system’ (TO the ‘space system’), helping to COOL it. Conduction, evap/cond and radiation transfer energy TO and (in the case of the latter) FROM the atmosphere. Convection/advection, however, basically deals with (and rules) the transport of energy WITHIN the atmosphere (internal movement of energy inside the Earth system), as a direct response to the (differential) heating/cooling of the three heat transfer mechanisms … Radiation, for instance, essentially heats down low and cools up high, working towards steepening the temperature gradient up through the tropospheric column and thus provoking convection to speed up the energy transport between the lowermost air layers and the tropopause – strengthening surface cooling in the process. • The decline in temperature with height would still be present without GHGs. Evaporation and condensation help to pump energy upwards for direct radiation to space from the condensate and aerosols but since it is then radiated from a higher colder location much of the energy is in potential form and cannot escape. Then the energy converts back from potential to kinetic form during the subsequent descent at the dry adiabatic lapse rate. The only scenario that works is to have variations in the balance between energy in adiabatic ascent and energy ion adiabatic descent. That variability in non radiative energy transport provides the balancing mechanism for any radiative energy flows within an atmosphere that seek to disrupt the stability of the system 79. geran says: Let’s do some college-level physics. Suppose we have a solid sphere suspended in a vacuum The sphere is a perfect black body, and is a perfect conductor. The Sun provides about 1368 W/m^2, at TOA. If we reduce that by 30%, to account for Earth’s albedo, we get about 958 W/m^2. So, at equilibrium, our sphere, receiving 958 W/m^2 would have a temperature of 360.5 K (84.7 ºC, 189.2 ºF), from the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. This temperature would eventually be achieved if the sphere were rotating, or not rotating. At the equilibrium temperature, the sphere would be emitting 958 W/m^2, as it was absorbing 958 W/m^2. This is basic physics, and cannot be disputed. But, the IPCC CO2/GHE “science” divides the 958 by 4, which results in a photon flux of 239.5 W/m^2. They then use the resulting flux in the S-B equation. The temperature then calculated, by these “Nobel prize winners”, is 255 K. In other words, they incorrectly apply the S-B equation, resulting in an incorrect value for Earth’s temperature. They then claim that the Earth is 33 ºC warmer than it “should” be, hence their CO2/GHE nonsense. So, anyone that believes that the 255 K is a meaningful temperature is in denial of the laws of physics. The 255 K value is nonsense and belongs in the trash heap of BS (Bogus Science), along with the CO2/GHE nonsense. • They divide by 4 because at any given moment a sphere only receives one quarter of peak insolation from a point source of light by virtue of simple geometry. • geran says: Stephen, you get the geometry correct, but your radiative physics is sorely lacking. • Kristian says: “This is basic physics, and cannot be disputed.” I sure hope you’re joking, geran, or else you’re making a complete fool out of yourself, for all the world to see. • geran says: Kris, do you have any science to go with the attempted ad hominem? • Norman says: geran, I do believe you are incorrect in your current understanding of how insolation works. The amount of solar energy hitting a flat circle the same diameter as the Earth is how much energy per meter is available. This circle would receive 1300 watt’s/meter^2 or so. A sphere receives the same amount of energy as the circle but the area is much larger so the watts/meter^2 is less. Same exact energy hits both but one has much more area so the energy per unit area is going to be less. Here is a link which does include actual measured values of insolation, the llnk also has equations you can use to check up on the reasoning behind the values. http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/ideas/Insolation.html Might be worth your time to read through it. • geran says: Norman, you make the same mistake as most. The S-B equation relates an EXACT flux with temperature. You do not get to adjust that flux, lest you invalidate the S-B law. The S-B law is well defined and well tested. There is little doubt about it. That is why it is called a “LAW”. If the sphere confuses you, consider the exact same conditions as above, only substitute a flat square, perpendicular to the flux. The square will heat to the S-B temperature of 958 W/m^2 (360.5 K). Now, divide the square into 4 different equal squares. Do you then divide the flux by 4, to apply the S-B equation? (The correct answer if NO!) • Norman says: geran, I am not completely clear in what you are communicating. The S-B Law relates to a Black Body emitting radiation (this law has nothing to do with how much energy a surface receives…if a BB surface is a a certain temperature, it will have a flux based upon the S-B equation). Here for a refresher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_law This law will not determine how much energy a surface receives. This may help you understand the situation. A thought experiment. You can fly to these two worlds. Both black bodies and the same distance from the star. There is no atmosphere on either. One is a sphere and the other a flat disc facing the star. Neither rotates. If you visit the disk you will experience “high noon” on any place you visit on the light side. If you measure the flux it is the same on every spot you visit. Now if you visit the sphere you have high noon at the nadir but if you go along the sphere you will be getting less flux as you move away from high noon. Does this help? You can go outside in early morning or sunset to understand how solar insolation on a sphere varies depending upon where you are at on the sphere. I hope you really think on this because your thinking is currently wrong and it will not benefit your understanding. Keep reading about it and it will become clear to you after consideration. The scientists are not as stupid as so many believe. I think too few have actually taken science courses to really understand how much thinking and work really goes on behind the science scenes to get the information you read. Keep and open mind about things to go along with your sense of humor. • geran says: Norman says “I am not completely clear in what you are communicating.” ************** Let me help—The IPCC’s calculation of Earth’s temperature is incorrect. (See explanation above.) The rest of your comment appears to be either a rambling “red herring”, incoherent, or wrong. Example: “This law will not determine how much energy a surface receives.” So, you believe photons cannot be absorbed, huh? (Sheeeesh, I’ll be glad when we get farther from April 1st….) • Norman says: geran, You make this claim: “So, you believe photons cannot be absorbed, huh?” Not sure how you arrived at this conclusion from what I posted. If you reread the post you would not find rambling but an attempt that you might understand why a flat plate and as sphere will have a different flux. Both surfaces receive exactly the same amount of energy the sphere is not receiving more. The equations: Area of a circle = (Pi)(r^2) Area of a sphere = 4(Pi)(r^2) Make the radius 10 units. In this case area of circle = 314.16 square units In this case area of sphere = 1256.64 square units In the case of a point source illuminating only one side of the circle you will only expose half the sphere so divide the value by 2 to get 628.32 square units Both object receive the same energy say 1000 units. You take 1000/314.16 = 3.18 units of energy/ square unit of surface for the circle. For the sphere the exact same 1000 units of energy reach its surface but it has a larger surface area for the exact same radius as the circle so 1000/628.32 = 1.59 units of energy/ square unit of spherical surface. Why is this easy concept so difficult for geran to understand? Not a really complex concept and if you calculate it yourself you will see your error. Don’t let a big ego get in the way of learning. It takes a bigger man to admit they are wrong. Learn and grow and don’t sit in a state of stubborn arrogance because it hurts to be wrong. • geran says: Norman, you stated “This law will not determine how much energy a surface receives.” Are you denying you wrote that? Then, you started rambling again about how a sphere is different from a disk. You seem fascinated by high school level geometry, yet confused by college level physics. No one is claiming a disk is the same geometric shape as a sphere. I am talking apples, and you are rambling on about orange peels. • Norman says: geran, Yes I do claim the statement. The Steffan-Boltzmann law is not a law that determines how much energy is being receieved by a surface. It is a law that determines how much radiation flux is given off by a black body surface based upon that surface’s temperature. http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/radframe/sb_tl.html Look at the equation. It has no terms for how much energy is hitting a surface. This law is for one process. Temperature relation to flux of a black body. If you want the absorption law I think it is Kirchoff’s stating that the absorption and emissitivity are the same. I am really astounded you consider reality rambling. Please do not be another Doug Cotton. I think you are an intelligent person just stuck on an idea. I think you use sacrastic humor to cover your lack of understanding and creating this false image of being a knowledgeable person. The geometry is not comparing apples to orange peels. You just do not undertand the reality of the situation and in ignorance lash out. Think about what is written before you reject it. It is reality and that you can’t grasp the content is somewhat sad. I have strong doubts you have taken even high school physics and you want to pretend you understand a college level of the topic. • geran says: Norman, you stated: “You just do not undertand the reality of the situation and in ignorance lash out.” Here’s some reality for you. The S-B equation applies to the flux emitted by a black body surface, and to the flux absorbed by a black body surface. So, a flat surface, receiving a photon flux perpendicularly would have a temperature, at equilibrium, based on the S-B equation. So, your statement “This law will not determine how much energy a surface receives” is somewhat misleading. Now, ramble on…. • Norman says: geran, Yes now I understand what you are saying. It is an equilibrium condition. It is not high school geometry about the area of a sphere and circle. It is a reality used by all physics levels around the entire world. Your inability to understand the implications is a loss to you and not the rest of the world. Sometimes the ignorant believe it is the rest of the world who is not getting it, or maybe it is just them. Read this and try to understand it (if you can) “Even though the planet only absorbs as a circular area \pi R^2, it emits equally in all directions as a sphere. If the planet were a perfect black body, it would emit according to the Stefan–Boltzmann law” • Doug Cotton says: Norman: “Blackbody radiation” or “cavity radiation” refers to an object or system which absorbs all radiation incident upon it and re-radiates energy which is characteristic of this radiating system only, not dependent upon the type of radiation which is incident upon it. The radiated energy can be considered to be produced by standing wave or resonant modes of the cavity which is radiating. [source] Notice the references to absorbing, and to standing waves and resonance – just as in my 2012 paper that you should read some day. • Tim F says: “This is basic physics, and cannot be disputed.” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. 1) You got this wrong, 2) You proclaimed it could not be disputed, 3) You already were familiar with the correct explanation 4) You received a reminder of the correct explanation, 5) YOu did not understand the correct explanation, As was already pointed out once (and as you already arrogantly ignored once), you really do need to divided by 4. A flat disk pointed at the sun would receive 1368 W/m^2 on one side and 0 W/m^2 on the other, for an average of 1368/2. A sphere has twice the surface area of a (two-sided) disk, and hence an average of 1368/4 W/m^2 incoming solar radiation. • geran says: Tim, see if you can understand my reply (above) to Norman. • Tim Folkerts says: Geran. Of course I understand what you wrote. That is how I know is it wrong. ðŸ™‚ In your square example, the BACK side of the square (the universe is not one dimensional, after all) would ALSO be be 360 K and would ALSO radiate 958 W/m^2. The only way to achieve that would be to have ANOTHER sun on the other side providing 958 W/^2 of additional solar input! • geran says: Since it is a “thought experiment”, I have no problem adding a second source, emitting the same flux. Or, you could just imagine the back side is perfectly insulated. My point, which you seem to now understand, is that the 958 W/m^2 would result in 360 K, not 255 K. • Tim Folkerts says: “My point, which you seem to now understand, is that the 958 W/m^2 would result in 360 K, not 255 K.” The thing is, that was NOT your point! Your point was: “Suppose we have a solid sphere suspended in a vacuum The sphere is a perfect black body, and is a perfect conductor. The Sun provides about 1368 W/m^2, at TOA. If we reduce that by 30%, to account for Earth’s albedo, we get about 958 W/m^2.” The scenario was a single source providing light to one side of a sphere. Not two light sources @ 958 W/m^2 on two sides of a flat object. Not 4 sources @ 958 Wm^2 on four sides of a sphere. For your ACTUAL initial scenario your sphere would have 958 W/m^2 only at the point on the sphere closest to the sun. That one point would be 360.5 K (assuming no rotation). So your claim “this temperature would eventually be achieved if the sphere were rotating, or not rotating” is indisputably WRONG, not indisputably RIGHT. • Mike Flynn says: Tim Folkerts, I might be wrong, but I believe the sphere is perfectly conductive. Therefore, the sphere is isothermal. The side facing the heat source is precisely the same temperature as the face in darkness. Otherwise there would be a temperature gradient in a perfectly conducting material, which is impossible. I believe you are implying that the unlighted side of the sphere is somehow at absolute zero, which is again impossible. I would be interested if you could let me know how the surface temperature can be different on a perfectly conductive sphere, and why. I am inclined to agree with geran, as his grasp of physics appears to accord with reality. • geran says: My “point” was as I stated it. If you are confused by the “perfect” sphere, just use the example of the flat square. I admit the “perfect” sphere is somewhat hard to understand, since it does not exist. Interpreting it your way, it would violate the laws of physics. (It’s even hard to explain!) So, yeah, drop the sphere if it messes you up and just use the square. The conclusion remains the same. • Tim Folkerts says: OK, I overlooked the “perfect conductor” part in my last reply. That STILL doesn’t solve the problem with the original scenario. The perfect thermal conductor would indeed be 255 K everywhere. It receives a total power of P_0 = [(pi r^2)*958 W/m^2] It radiates that same total power, but from an area of 4 pi r^2. So the outgoing radiation is only P/A = P_0 / (4 pi r^2) = 958 W/m^2 / 4. {A non-rotating perfect insulator would be 360K at one point, and cooler everywhere else (with an average BELOW 255 K). A non-erfect insulator and/or rotating sphere would be somewhere in between.} The only “way out” is “Since it is a “thought experiment”, I have no problem adding a second source”. In other words ‘the IPCC gets the temperature wrong because they are not imaging the 3 others suns in my thought experiment that are getting the average input up to 958 W/m^2, helping the earth can warm to 360.5 K.’ ðŸ™‚ • Mike Flynn says: Tim Folkerts, It’s a perfect conductor. Isothermal by definition. Rotation makes no difference. It’s a perfect conductor. The same temperature eveywhere. The outgoing radiation is the same everywhere – basic physics – as the temperature is the same everywhere. Even Tyndall pointed this out, in the 6th edition of Heat as Motion. His experimental work supported this. Only one Sun needed. • Tim Folkerts says: Mike, I am not sure what the point is in your post here. “It’s a perfect conductor. Isothermal by definition.” Yes, I said that in the updated post that focused on perfect thermal conductivity. “Rotation makes no difference.” Yes. Again I said that in the previous post. (I also when further and discussed a little bit about what would happen for a sphere that is no a perfect conductor and/or is rotating.) “The outgoing radiation is the same everywhere … “ Yes, it is 958/4 W/m^2 =240 W/m^2 everywhere on the sphere under discussion. “Only one Sun needed.” Not if geran’s “958 W/m^2 everywhere” is correct. Then 4 suns are needed. • Joel Shore says: I think geran is my vote for the Dunning-Kruger ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect ) award for this thread…and it is not like he doesn’t have some pretty stiff competition! • FTOP says: Tim, I appreciate reading your comments. I am curious of your take on the following scenario. If a disc was placed in space that had two sides separated by a thin layer that eliminated any conduction from one side to the other. Each side gets direct insulation of 1368 W/m^2 for two hours and then it flips. The dark side cannot fully cool in two hours. What would you expect the surface temperature to reach equilibrium at? 100% of the calculated temperature for 1368 W/m^2? 50%? Other? • Tim Folkerts says: FTOP, We can consider two limiting cases. 1) If the object never flipped, the front would be (1368/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 394K and the back would be 0 K (or really 2.7 K due to CMBR), for an average of 394K/2= 197 K. 2) If the object flipped rapidly, then each side would be (684/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 331 K, and of course the average would be 331. In between, the average would be between 197 K and 331 K. • FTOP says: Thanks Tim, Although you answered both extremes vs. the scenario presented. “Each side gets direct insolation of 1368 W/m^2 for TWO HOURS and then it flips. The dark side cannot fully cool in TWO HOURS.” Would this be some number between 331K and 394K based on the rate of IR emission for two hours? Further, without changing the relationship between each side of the disc, is there a scenario for rotation and heat retention where the disc would reach equilibrium at 394K? 80. R G Brown said (of my atmospheric mass hypothesis): “You cannot even state that it is probable that this is true, or plausible that this is true.” Well we know that descending air warms adiabatically and it must be the case that if radiation to space occurs from GHGs within the atmosphere then the energy so lost to space cannot still be present to warm the descending air. How do you think the two numbers could possibly fail to be equal? Furthermore, GHGs radiate randomly in all directions equally so how do you propose that the radiation to space would be significanly different to radiation downward? I do accept that in the messy real world there are constantly a plethora of imbalances constantly working against one another but unless they all cancel out over time we would not see a long term radiative balance with space would we? The only way the conundrum can be solved is to accept that there is compensating variability between potential/kinetic energy taken up in convective ascent and potential/kinetic energy brought back down in convective descent. Nothing else works. I have considered the AGW proposal that the radiative balance with space is maintained because the stratosphere cools whilst rhe tropopause (and surface) warms. I have abandoned that idea because the stratosphere is no longer cooling and shows slight warming despite increasing human emissions and simultaneously the tropopause has stopped warming. It is unlikely that our emissions are anything to do with any of it except perhaps by way of a miniscule global air circulation adjustment as part of the negative convective system response which I describe and that will be wholly swamped by natural internal system variability mostly caused by sun and oceans. • Doug Cotton says: To ROY SPENCER and all readers … Stephen Wilde writes: Nothing else works referring to his comjecture. Well my hypothesis not only works, but it explains the temperature rise by day and teh necessary energy transfers. Stephen’s does not. Yes Stephen, the Second Law of Thermodynamics works and you keep ignoring it. Answer me one simple question: Why do planetary surfaces (like that on Venus) warm during the day and cool by night when your up and down wind-driven imaginary “parcels” of air could rise or fall whenever the weather conditions so determine? Yes there is compensating variability between potential/kinetic energy taken up in convective ascent and potential/kinetic energy brought back down in convective descent but it happens at the molecular level as individual molecules swap KE and PE in flight between collisions. We can even derive the dry adiabatic lapse rate from this, because the KE gain is the energy required to raise mass m by temperature change dT where the mass has specific heat cp and so, for a change in height dH we equate PE gain/loss with KE loss/gain to get … m*cp*dT = -m*g*dH so the temperature gradient is … dT/dH = -g/cp and that temperature gradient is every bit as stable as the density gradient, because gravity forms each and they are each the one and only state of thermodynamic equilibrium which, by definition, is the state of maximum entropy, which occurs when all unbalanced energy potentials have dissipated, which they will have done when there is homogeneous molecular PE+KE. [See http://entropylaw.com where you will learn heaps about the Second Law of Thermodynamics which you do not yet know or understand.] All the fictitious fiddled fissics of climatology and meteorology that refers to parcels of air somehow clinging together in the absence of wind in an ideal troposphere is garbage Stephen. There is nothing to hold them together. Rising and falling molecules follow the temperature profile because it is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. What you continually fail to realize Stephen is that there is no magical creation of energy. New energy is added by the Sun in the upper troposphere of Venus and only where the temperature is less than about 400K. That energy then gets down into the lower troposphere and ends up warming the surface from 732K to 737K slowly over the course of four months of sunlit hours. It does NOT just slow the rate of cooling because the Sun’s radiation cannot do the job of attaining the observed temperatures in the first place on Venus, or on Earth. • Doug Cotton says: And, by the way, using the term “falling” is very misleading for molecules moving downwards. Yes, gravity increases their downward component of velocity by a very small percentage between collisions, but they are going downwards primarily because they dart about at a speed of around 1,700Km/hour in random directions (in three dimensions) following each collision. Even when there is net downward movement of air, the molecules are still moving in all directions. That net movement is very slow, but the temperature gradient can only be formed by this process, not by wind. In contrast, the rate of transfer of thermal (kinetic) energy can be faster because it is passed on in the collisions, even when the donor molecule bounces back towards where it came. The same happens in conduction in a metal rod. Obviously the molecules are not moving far, but the thermal energy is. 81. stevek says: Is a planet’s atmosphere temperature gradient mainly caused by pressure of gas being higher closer to surface ? • Doug Cotton says: Stevek: You are close to the truth, but pressure is not the cause. The Second Law of Thermodynamics can be used to prove that gravity forms a density gradient which, at the same time, must have a temperature gradient. This state is stable in an isolated system and it will occur even in a tall sealed and insulated cylinder of gas. The pressure gradient is just a corollary because pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density. It’s all proven at http://climate-change-theory.com and in my paper on planetary core and surface temperatures which is linked therein. • Mike Flynn says: stevek, Not at all. Outer space is around 4K. If the base of the atmosphere is around 288K, physics dictates that the temperature gradient will proceed from 288K to 4K, with no missing temperatures along the way. Fairly simple, I would have thought. Temperature gradients supposedly due to static pressure or gravity do not exist. The temperature at the bottom of a 10km column of sea water is around 4C, even though the surface may be at 30C. The pressure at 10km depth is enormous, but precisely no warming is noticed. • Norman says: Mike Flynn For the ocean not having a thermal gradient based upon gravity, Doug Cotton explains it away with his made up intermoleular radiation that moves energy so that a thermal gradient can’t form. I questioned him about these and his sources but nothing from him yet. He likes to make things up and when you challenge it his response is Venus. I asked him how come these same intermolecular radiations that prevent the formation of a thermal gradient induced by gravity (warm at bottom cool at top) don’t stop the formation of a thermal gradient in the atmosphere…response….Venus! • stevek says: Doug/Mike/Norman, For ocean this is a liquid, so ideal gas law would not apply ? Here pressure/temperature may not be related because it is liquid. I should have been more clear in my question. I’m more concerned about pressure of gases. For example, say we have a planet with an atmosphere that has no greenhouse gases. It has some atmosphere of gas but the gas is not a greenhouse gas. In this case temperature near surface will be warmer due to gravity ? To be more concise I ask: Say exact same planet conditions as the above planet existed in another planet that had same size, same distance from sun, same atmosphere, same rotation etc. All the same except mass of that planet was 1/2 the mass of the first planet. Also both planets have no hot core. Would the temperature near the surface of the higher mass planet be warmer than the lower mass planet ? • Mike Flynn says: Stevek, High pressure gas is no warmer than low pressure gas. A cylinder of gas at 100 bar cannot be distinguished from a cylinder at 1 bar. If both cylinders are at 20C, they have the same temperature. A gas at absolute zero will remain so, regardless of gravity. If you say that a gas has to be above its freezing point for gravity to warm it, I point out that you had to supply heat to keep it gaseous. Remove the heat, the gas freezes, regardless of gravity. Remove all heat – absolute zero. So, your last question – no. No heat input, no temperature, force exerted by gravity is irrelevant. • gbaikie says: –For ocean this is a liquid, so ideal gas law would not apply ? Here pressure/temperature may not be related because it is liquid.– Ideal gas law is about the kinetic movement of molecules of gas. Or any molecule with kinetic movement of molecules would be in the state of matter of a gas or plasma. Liquid and solids are bond together in molecular structure. When one heats a liquid, the molecules within the structure vibrates until break away from bonding force of the structure and becomes a gas. Or when free moving molecule becomes part of molecular structure, it stops being a gas and is liquid. –I should have been more clear in my question. I’m more concerned about pressure of gases. For example, say we have a planet with an atmosphere that has no greenhouse gases. It has some atmosphere of gas but the gas is not a greenhouse gas. In this case temperature near surface will be warmer due to gravity ? — Without gravity the gas would not stay on the planet- it would bounce away from it. The higher the gravity the less it can leave the surface of the planet. If the surface is cold, the gas molecules will hit the solid surface and increase the degree in which they are vibrating, and take the kinetic energy from a gas molecule. So it’s like banging on a bell- requires kinetic energy. But if surface is warm, it adds kinetic energy rather than removing it from the gas molecule. So it hit surface at say 400 m/s and if it’s a warmer surface it moves away from surface going say, 410 m/s. If it then hits another molecule going 400 m/s, it tend to increase the velocity of the 400 m/s molecule. But it’s an average gain or lost. Same applies the gas hitting a solid- it’s an average thing- depends on when and how it hits. But we are talking about billion of molecules colliding in fraction of a second. So if flip a coin billions of times you tend to get a consistent result. –To be more concise I ask: Say exact same planet conditions as the above planet existed in another planet that had same size, same distance from sun, same atmosphere, same rotation etc. All the same except mass of that planet was 1/2 the mass of the first planet. Also both planets have no hot core. Would the temperature near the surface of the higher mass planet be warmer than the lower mass planet ?– The higher gravity means more gas molecules are closer to the surface. Which means per cubic meter there are more molecule. And the energy of kinetic energy is KE= 1/2 mass times velocity squared. So if you increase the mass you increase the kinetic energy. And the amount of kinetic energy of gas is temperature of gas. Gas temperature is only it’s kinetic energy. So more molecules in same volume of space [more mass] but going the same velocity as less molecule in same volume of space, would be a warmer gas. • Doug Cotton says: Gbaikie needs to study Kinetic Theory, not make up his own. He writes: So if you increase the mass you increase the kinetic energy. What you do is increase the total kinetic energy. What you do not increase is the KE per molecule, and so you do not increase the temperature. Yes, you certainly do need to study Kinetic Theory, not make up your own. • Doug Cotton says: To silent readers: Now we know gbaikie like Stephen Wilde is not qualified in physics, because neither of then even know the basic assumptions of Kinetic Theory, which any of you can look up in Wikipedia or elsewhere. Temperature is proportional to the mean molecular (micro) kinetic energy per molecule. Increasing the number of (identical) molecules in a fixed space does not increase temperature – it only increases pressure and of course density. • Doug Cotton says: Doug Cotton explains it away as in his paper – not as in your cherry picked words. • gbaikie says: –Is a planet’s atmosphere temperature gradient mainly caused by pressure of gas being higher closer to surface ?– Well in terms of elevation [distant] of 1000 meters. And with earth this temperature gradient is around 6.5 C per 1000 meters. Then in terms of 1000 meter elevation, it’s most about the gravity of earth. Or say earth size body had half of Earth gravity. And this could be possible when consider that Earth has high density [5514 kg per cubic meter of the rock- and Earth surface rock varies but typical is about 3000 kg per cubic meter [A solid cubic meter of concrete is 2500 kg. Ref of Earth’s density: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/ ] If 1/2 gravity then air density at sea level is less. So less air and at 1/2 the pressure. So we have air density at sea level [varying depending on temperature, say 15 C, of about 1.2 kg per cubic meter of air. And have air pressure of 14.7 psi. So 1/2 gravity, would be 14.7 divided by 2 is 7.35 psi. And guess the density be around 1 kg per cubic meter. Now with your earth air density roughly lower .1 kg per 1000 meters. Or here: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/wstdatmo.htm So with 1.2 gravity world it would lose less than .1 kg per 1000 meter. So roughly say it was .05 kg per 1000 meter. So the air at say 10,000 km would be denser than compared to our planet and also it’s atmosphere would be higher. Or we consider that start of space [for having thin enough then to allow spacecraft to orbit] is 100 km. So 1/2 gravity could be instead 200 km high. And considering roughly everything except gravity is the same, then look at usatoday thing above and density and listed temperature. So if guess was correct of it being 1 kg, it should be 6.5 C cooler. Though it might 1.05 or .9 kg per cubic meter, as 1 per cubic meter is a wild guess. And didn’t allow for difference of pressure 1/2 as much. And some could think pressure is more important than density- but I don’t think so. 82. jerry l krause says: Hi Joel, Roy, Greek Philosophers, and most important, those few of you who recognize the importance of actual observations, Many of you have commended Roy for his blogsite and his posts. I agree with you even though I am usually critical of what he writes and sometimes I am critical of what you have written. I am going to put together what some of us have written. For there is little continuity as our comments are made. I will first do this without comment and after I have completed this task, I will begin to make my comments relative what has been stated. And yes, it is quite lengthy. Roy in this posting focused upon the role of thermal inertia as related to the earth-atmosphere’s diurnal temperature oscillation and proposes the temperature oscillation he concludes is unrealistic. However, Robert G. Brown says: April 10, 2015 at 3:03 PM : “There is even empirical evidence to support this. In the bone-dry desert, temperatures do indeed vary by as much as 40 to 45 C in a day. It can be 94 F (40 C) during the day or even hotter and still drop to freezing (32 F/O C) at the surface of the sand at night. This is because in the absence of moisture in the air, there isn’t much of a net greenhouse effect. At the exact same latitudes, tropical rain forest may hardly change temperature from day to night — that’s because there the air is dripping with humidity and there is a very strong greenhouse effect. You can see the same thing in less extreme climates. Dry days have a larger temperature range than wet days, and humid days with haze but no clouds to speak of can easily be incredibly hot and uncomfortable.” Robert G. Brown April 11, 2015 at 9:17 AM continued: “… I was saying the comparative absence of one of those gases — water vapour — is responsible for parts of the Sahara desert not retaining heat at night and cooling at many times the rate that it cools in (say) North Carolina at night where the air is almost never particularly dry, even when there are no clouds in either place. … The moon has no atmosphere (and hence no greenhouse effect at all). It’s surface heats up during the lunar day until outgoing approximately blackbody thermal radiation flux balances the incoming (also approximately blackbody thermal but at a much higher temperature) radiation flux from the sun. When the sun sets, it cools by emitting thermal radiation that is not obstructed or absorbed in any way as it heads out to infinity. It cools even faster than the Sahara desert, both because the Sahara has to lose energy from the air close to the surface as well as the surface itself North Carolina, on the other hand, cools much less than the Sahara (at a roughly equal latitude for at least some parts of it) on an equally still, equally cloudless night.” JohnKl says: April 10, 2015 at 5:58 PM: “Really, average day-time Earth surface temps fall around 10-15+ degrees celsius. Lunar daytime temps fall in radiative balance around 120 degrees celsius as do Earth orbiting manmade satellites! Lunar nightime temps prove low, but that remains due to the fact that a lunar day falls around 28 Earth days giving the dark side of the moon plenty of time to radiate energy away given the lack of any real atmosphere. If the lunar daytime matched Earth’s the dark side of the moon would be much warmer and the daytime side about the same temp for a shorter period of time. As a result imo average temps would not be as much out whack with Earth at all.” fonzarelli says: April 10, 2015 at 6:18 PM: “Gordon, it should seem easy to figure the affect that water vapor has on night time temps when the nights are cloudless… i’ve seen many a cloudless summer night here in new orleans that did not have temps like that of a desert.” jerry l krause says: April 11, 2015 at 10:10 PM: Hi fonzarelli, “That is because your atmosphere at New Orleans does not have a dewpoint temperature nearly as low as that of a ‘true’ desert atmosphere. The reason I stress true is because this morning I looked up the weather record of Alice Springs AU and discovered it had more light rain (0.1 inch to 0.2 in) showers than I would expect for a true desert to have. And the average high and low temperature of a day indicated that I was not looking some uncommon months.” David L. Hagen says: April 11, 2015 at 11:28 AM: “Desert Surface Temperatures FYI3.3.3.2SurfaceTemperaturespp52-53.Deserts and Desert Environments, By Julie J Laity In Alice Springs, Australia, ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night.(Mabbutt 1977b).” Ross Handsaker says: April 11, 2015 at 12:15 AM: “Cloud cover or high humidity levels at nighttime are readily seen to cause warmer nights. However, the opposite seems to occur during the daytime. For example, daytime temperatures on the Moon, where there is no atmosphere, rise rapidly to above 100 deg. C; in the Earth’s hot desert regions where low levels of humidity prevail, daytime temperatures are much higher than at similar latitudes on the coast where humidity is higher. Where I live (Adelaide, Australia), our hottest summer days coincide with very low humidity (less than 10% Rel. Hum.).” Menicholas says: April 11, 2015 at 12:32 AM: ““At night the soil cools by loss of infrared radiation. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation lets us estimate the rate at which IR energy is being lost based upon surface temperature and emissivity, and simply dividing that by the product of the soil depth and soil bulk heat capacity gives us the rate at which the soil layer temperature will fall.” Maybe I missed something, but one reason (The main reason?) soil does not cool down as fast as, say, the roof of a car, is because of the conductive rate of heat through soil. Same as why the top of the soil gets much hotter in the sun as a few inches down. Conductivity is dependent on many factors, such as degree of compaction (more air acts just like the insulation in your walls), moisture content, soil composition (Peat has less thermal mass, but also far slower thermal conductivity as, for example, sand. And both conduct faster when wet than when dry), etc. Stand outside at sunset and put thermometers in several places, or just watch where and when dew and then frost forms on various surfaces. Stick your hand in soil at midday, late afternoon, early morning…the temperature horizons make it clear that the surface heats and cools quite a bit…but only a few inches down…not so much.” jerry l krause says: April 11, 2015 at 7:55 AM “Hopefully everyone will read what follows and comment upon it. Maybe my essay should be titled: How Science Is To Work. Galileo is said to have stated: “Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.” Simple Observation of Downward Radiation From Atmosphere With Simple Radiometer Refutes Generally Stated Result of Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect. Jerry L. Krause @2015 It has been stated that the presence of downward longwave infrared radiation (LWIR) from a clear sky is positive evidence of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Since the basis of this essay is about the observation of the downward radiation from the atmosphere, I cannot not disagree with this statement. However, it is common knowledge (hence, no need of any reference) that a consequence of this downward radiation is that the earth-atmosphere system’s average temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower than it is if it were not for the presence of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. It is this result of the greenhouse effect that simple observation refutes. … The observed fact that the temperature of the a-e surface is well below the temperature of the radiometer’s environment is positive evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be limiting the cooling of its environment to its lowest temperature of the morning. In the case of both mornings, what is limiting the minimum temperature of these mornings is the dewpoint temperature of the surface atmospheric layer. For easily observed, but not reported, was the dew that formed on the top film of the SSK radiometer and on the cars parked along the street near my backyard. And in the cases when the surface atmosphere is so ‘dry’ that no dew, or frost, forms on any surface, it is the thermal inertia of the earth-atmosphere system which limits the minimum temperature of the morning. Again, good science dictates that a doubter of this make his/her own observations to test the previous (unreported) observations of mine.” Joel Shore says: April 11, 2015 at 11:45 AM: Jerry, Your observations in no way, shape, or manner refute the greenhouse effect. I am kind of puzzled why you think that they do. All models of the greenhouse effect have an atmosphere colder than the surface. The temperature you measure with the radiometer is still a lot warmer than what you would measure if there were no atmospheric greenhouse effect…which is that you would measure the temperature to be about 3 K…and you better believe that under such conditions, you would get faster cooling of the surface!” jerry l krause says: April 11, 2015 at 12:03 PM: Hi Joel, I do not have the ability to direct you to JohnKl comment where he refers to the observed temperatures of the moon which has no atmosphere and has a 28 day day. And it lowest temperature never gets close to 3K. At least I have never read that it did.” Joel Shore says: April 11, 2015 at 3:01 PM: “I didn’t say that the surface itself would get that cold. That depends on issues of effective heat capacity and what-not. However, if you directed an IR thermometer up at the sky from the moon, it would probably read pretty close to 3 K. (I don’t have a good feel for exactly how close, i.e., for how big the effects of any residual atmosphere are.)” gbaikie says: April 12, 2015 at 10:06 PM: ““Equator Average Temperature (K) Moon ~206K (390K at noon; ~95 K at midnight) and Earth: ~299K (303K at noon, ~295K at midnight}” http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml ” KevinK says: April 10, 2015 at 1:18 PM: “Unfortunately adding a blanket to a rock merely changes the response time of the rock. Adding a gaseous “blanket” over a rock only changes the response time of the gases (due to the much lower thermal capacity of the gases relative to the rock).” Because of the references to lunar temperatures, I had gone to the site to which gbaikie directs our attention. There I read: “heat flow measurements made during the Apollo 15 and 17 missions (langseth et al. 1973) revealed that the top 1-2 cm of lunar regolith has extremely low thermal conductivity. The mean temperature measured 35cm below the surface of the Apollo sites was 40-45K warmer than the surface. At a depth of 80cm the daylight/night temperature variation experienced at the surface was imperceptible. … Temperature extremes at the surface: 390K high, 104K low.” The latter values are a little different than those quoted by gbaikie because his are averaged and mine specifically for those at the lunar ‘equator’. The statement—the mean temperature measured 35cm below the surface of the Apollo sites was 40-45K warmer than the surface—can only create confusion. For, are we to believe that when the surface temperature is 390K, that the temperature 35cm below the surface is 40-45K higher? Of, course not. But I have to assume that this statement refers to when the surface temperature is at its 104K low. So I might assume that at 35cm below the surface the temperature oscillates between 144 and 149K or something like that because at a depth of 80cm there is no detectable oscillation. But I really do not know for the information about the temperatures at 35cm and 80cm depths have only been observed at two sites. I can understand that the temperatures of its surface could have been observed from satellites which rapidly (relative to the period of its day) orbited the moon. And it is this plot of this surface temperature oscillation which should be considered. And everyone, it they desired, could go to this site and view the graphical plot of this oscillation. Which, because I am slow of mind, I had to spend too long to actually comprehend what I was seeing. KevinK referred to what he proposed would happen if he put an insulating blanket over a rock to slow its cooling or warming. I wonder how many have noticed (seen) in the narrative quoted that the lunar surface has an extremely good insulating blanket that is 1-2cm thick. Here, I must admit that Joel is correct when he stated that the temperature of my radiometer’s absorbing-emitting surface would decrease to 3K if upon the moon without an atmosphere. This is because the radiometer has an insignificant thermal inertia. So even if period of the lunar diurnal period were that of the earth, it is likely that at high noon its temperature would be 390K and its nighttime low would be 3K instead of the lunar 104K low. To best follow what I must now say with words, you need to go to http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml and study the graphical figure of the lunar surface’s diurnal temperature oscillation. David L. Hagen reported that at Alice Springs, Australia, ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night. We normally do not consider what the diurnal surface temperatures are as we focus upon air temperatures. It is commonly observed the earth’s air temperature (here I must add, less we forget, that this air temperature is measured about 1.5m above the surface) does not peak until mid-afternoon. Roy wrote: “it turns out that 0.2 meters of soil is equivalent in bulk heat capacity to about 200 m of atmosphere.” Which is another way of stating the atmosphere has a low thermal inertia. However, to understand (explain) the observation (ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday) seems to require that we must admit that the atmosphere’s thermal inertia must be a factor. As I begin to write about this observation, which I had thought could be simply explained, I discover it is not easy. So, I turn to C. Donald Ahrens’ text (Meteorology Today 3rd Ed.). He wrote: “As the sun rises in the morning, sunlight warms the ground, and the ground warms the air in contact with it by conduction. However, air is such a poor heat conductor that this process only takes place within a few centimeters of the ground. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the air in contact with the ground becomes even warmer, and there exists a thermal boundary separating the hot surface air from the slightly cooler air above. Given their random motion, some air molecules will cross this boundary: The “hot” molecules below bring greater kinetic energy to the cooler air; the “cool” molecules above bring a deficit of energy to the hot, surface air. However, on a windless day, this form of heat exchange is slow, and a substantial temperature difference usually exists just above the ground. This explains why joggers on a clear, windless, summer afternoon may experience air temperatures of over 50°C (122°F) at their feet and only 32°C (90°F) at their waist.” So, the issue isn’t one of thermal inertia but one of thermal conductivity. But Ahrens continued: “Near the surface, convection begins, and rising air bubbles (thermals) help to redistribute heat. In calm weather, these thermals are small and do not effectively mix the air near the surface. Thus, large vertical temperature gradients are able to exist. On windy days, however, turbulent eddies are able to mix hot, surface air with the cooler air above. This form of mechanical stirring, sometimes called forced convection, helps the thermals to transfer heat away from the surface more efficiently.”Because I am not a meteorologist, I am not qualified to propose the ‘nonequilibrium’ condition that is necessary to explain the important observation that Hagen brought to our attentions. However, before leaving his information I do propose that the earth’s surface temperature will continue to increase after midday, because of the surface’s thermal inertia, so that the highest air temperature of the day commonly is reached after mid-afternoon. I review what we generally observe about the earth’s diurnal temperature cycle so we can compare the differences between the earth and moon, to which several commenters have referred. If the earth’s surface had an insulating surface layer such as the moon’s, I expect its surface temperature would be an uniformly symmetrical, about midday, heating-cooling curve with a significantly greater temperature than its actual maximum temperature (if we ignore the temperature of a dry peat surface). Hence, this expectation can be somewhat checked by observation and maybe should be. An aside: if I had not written what I initially just wrote, I would not have seen the possible experimental observation (where there is an atmosphere present) that might aid (contribute to) our understanding. Here, Roy’s handheld IR thermometer would prove extremely valuable. The more and more I ponder, the more I have to conclude that the period of the lunar day is not as great a factor as I believed before I started this composition. And that the ‘shape’ of its heating and cooling temperatures as a function of time is not greatly different from that of the earth’s surface temperatures or air temperatures. In both temperature profiles it might generalized that during the heating portion the temperature rapidly (relative to the cooling which occurs between sunset and sunrise) increases to a maximum value (whether midday or midafternoon is not a great general issue) and then almost as rapidly decreases to the time of sunset. Then, between sunset and sunrise, both temperatures cool at a much slower rate. It needs to be seen that rate of increase and decrease during the warming portion of the diurnal cycle has little to do with thermal inertia. This rate is primarily due to the change of the incident angle of the solar radiation upon the solid bodies’ surfaces. Here we must recognize that our analysis is about solid surfaces and not the nearly 70% liquid surface of the earth. The cooling of the lunar surface between sunset and sunrise is most informative because there can be no greenhouse effect involved. Yet, it is so similar to the cooling of the earth’s atmosphere about 1.5m above its surface. It is extremely important to remember that the whole issue of the greenhouse effect is the temperatures of the earth’s atmosphere aout 1.5m above its surface. We have already considered observations that there can be large temperature differences between the surface and 1.5m above the surface at midday when this surface layer should be unstable. Vertical convection should occur but often does not if the atmosphere is calm. But after sunset, when the surface quickly cools to a temperature less than that of the atmosphere at 1.5m, this shallow layer is absolutely stable and no vertical convection can occur. Yes, breezes can mix the warmer upper atmosphere with the cooler base atmosphere in the opposite manner as before. But nights at many land locations are more likely calm than are daytimes. And David L. Hagen reported that at Alice Springs, Australia, ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night. These nighttime temperatures are in the same range that the temperature of my radiometer’s a-e surface is relative to the ambient air temperature at about 1.5m above the surface. Simple Observation of Downward Radiation From Atmosphere With Simple Radiometer Refutes Generally Stated Result of Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect. Jerry L. Krause @2015 It has been stated that the presence of downward longwave infrared radiation (LWIR) from a clear sky is positive evidence of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Since the basis of this essay is about the observation of the downward radiation from the atmosphere, I cannot not disagree with this statement. However, it is common knowledge (hence, no need of any reference) that a consequence of this downward radiation is that the earth-atmosphere system’s average temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower than it is if it were not for the presence of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. It is this result of the greenhouse effect that simple observation refutes. … The observed fact that the temperature of the a-e surface is well below the temperature of the radiometer’s environment is positive evidence that the atmospheric greenhouse effect cannot be limiting the cooling of its environment to its lowest temperature of the morning. In the case of both mornings, what is limiting the minimum temperature of these mornings is the dewpoint temperature of the surface atmospheric layer. For easily observed, but not reported, was the dew that formed on the top film of the SSK radiometer and on the cars parked along the street near my backyard. And in the cases when the surface atmosphere is so ‘dry’ that no dew, or frost, forms on any surface, it is the thermal inertia of the earth-atmosphere system which limits the minimum temperature of the morning. Joel Shore says: April 11, 2015 at 11:45 AM: “Jerry, Your observations in no way, shape, or manner refute the greenhouse effect. I am kind of puzzled why you think that they do. All models of the greenhouse effect have an atmosphere colder than the surface.” Joel, if you carefully read what I wrote, you will find I never claimed to refute the greenhouse effect. I claimed to refute a generally accept consequence of the downward LWIR radiation from the atmosphere. And if all models of the greenhouse effect have an atmosphere colder than the surface, you better correct these modelers who eventually do not know that ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night at Alice Springs. And they evidently are not aware of atmospheric soundings which observe that the peak temperature of the nighttime inversions are often more than a 1000ft above the surface and that it can nearly 4000ft before there is any atmospheric temperature that is below the atmospheric temperature at 1.5m above the surface, whose temperature, according to observations, might be 5°C or so degrees lower still. Have a good day, Jerry • Doug Cotton says: Jerry, what happens regarding wet and dry regions can be seen in empirical evidence in my comprehensive study of 30 years of temperature and precipitation records from three continents published in the appendix of this paper. The results were … Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures Wet: 30.8°C 20.1°C Medium: 33.0°C 21.2°C Dry: 35.7°C 21.9°C So, water vapor cools, and I challenge any reader to spend half a day following the methodology in that study and somehow producing opposite results. That study alone is clear evidence that the IPCC is wrong about water vapor causing most of their “33 degrees” of warming. Roy Spencer is also wrong in assuming that back radiation is the only thing that slows surface cooling. Hence his linear plots of night cooling are wrong. He needs only to look at hourly temperatures in the night to realize that cooling slows down, and the one and only reason why it slows down (and may even stop) is not because the troposphere becomes isothermal, but because the stable temperature gradient (which is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium) has been reached, and so plain old nitrogen and oxygen molecules are slowing and even stopping the night-time cooling. It’s all at http://climate-change-theory.com of course. And all those who think that thermal energy can only ever transfer by non-radiative (sensible) heat transfer from hot to cold in a force field are proven wrong by experiments with centrifugal force and by evidence in every planetary troposphere. That is not what the Second Law is all about: it is about entropy maximization. The major revolution in the last decade is the recognition of the “law of maximum entropy production” or “MEP” and with it an expanded view of thermodynamics showing that the spontaneous production of order from disorder is the expected consequence of basic laws. … The key insight was that the world is inherently active, and that whenever an energy distribution is out of equilibrium a potential or thermodynamic “force” (the gradient of a potential) exists that the world acts spontaneously to dissipate or minimize. All real-world change or dynamics is seen to follow, or be motivated, by this law. So whereas the first law expresses that which remains the same, or is time-symmetric, in all real-world processes the second law expresses that which changes and motivates the change, the fundamental time-asymmetry, in all real-world process. [source] • Joel Shore says: Jerry, The scientists know about inversions. But, that doesn’t alter the fact that the global-average environmental lapse rate is around 6.5 K per km, i.e., that is on average as you go up in the troposphere the temperature drops. • jerry l krause says: Hi Joel, Hi Joel, You state: “The scientists know about inversions.” But do their models acknowledge this fact? For you stated: “All models of the greenhouse effect have an atmosphere colder than the surface.” Oh, now I see. The statement is true because at some altitude above the inversion the atmospheric temperature does always decrease to a temperature below that of the surface. Maybe I should refer to you as a Sophist (teachers known for adroit subtle and allegedly often specious reasoning) instead of as a Greek Philosopher, who only tended to ignore observation because reason and debate was their game as they honestly sought truth. I have pointed out the clear fact I never claimed to refute the greenhouse effect as you seemed to claim I had. I claimed my observations, and now those made at Alice Springs AU, refute the claim that the global average atmospheric temperature would be about 33oC (59oF) lower then present if it were not for GHGs. For the downward LWIR radiation from the atmosphere cannot even limit the minimum daily temperature of the atmosphere at 1.5m or so above the earth’s surface. So, you have not yet commented as to my actual claim. So, I am waiting to see one. A quote of Newton which all scientists, including myself, should thoughtfully consider: “A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the thing is false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.” Have a good day, Jerry • Doug Cotton says: Joel Shore, Norman, Roy and other hoax promoters: If you reduce water vapor to half (say from 1.2% to 0.6%) the temperature gradient (“lapse rate” to you) becomes steeper and the thermal plot rotates about an altitude close to the radiating altitude so as to maintain radiative balance with the Sun. That always happens within about ±0.6%. Now, because of the rotation, the supporting temperature at the surface/atmosphere interface is raised. Thus water vapor cools, and my statistically significant study confirms that. Seeing that you probably won’t deign to read that study, I will once again thrust the results (for 15 locations) down your throats, because I am not gullible enough to come anywhere near believing the fictitiuos fiddled fissics of climatology. Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures Wet (01-05): 30.8°C 20.1°C Medium (06-10): 33.0°C 21.2°C Dry (11-15): 35.7°C 21.9°C [source] • Mike Flynn says: Joel Shore, Given that the Earths surface is say, 288K, and outer space is say, 4K, any matter between the surface of the Earth and outer space is between these limits. Radiative physics will demonstrate that in general, the atmosphere cools with height, although the normal definitions of temperature have to be re evaluated as gas pressure decreases with altitude. The observed lapse rate will depend on composition, density, absolute temperature, latitude and so on. If I am wrong, I would appreciate correction based on fact. As a matter of interest, the fact that the atmosphere radiates infrared EMR seems to ba accorded special significance, whereas it radiates EMR precisely in relation to its temperature, as does all other matter. • gbaikie says: “Because of the references to lunar temperatures, I had gone to the site to which gbaikie directs our attention. There I read: “heat flow measurements made during the Apollo 15 and 17 missions (langseth et al. 1973) revealed that the top 1-2 cm of lunar regolith has extremely low thermal conductivity.” Very low. Or think: “Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and low thermal conductivity. Nicknames include frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air, or blue smoke owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel Except the lunar dust is not transparent as is Aerogel. But it not like dry sand on Earth- because there is air between the grains on Earth and lot more moisture as compared to Moon. And on the Moon this dust on the surface is everywhere- say, 99% of surface. Or if the Moon were bare rock, that would make a huge different in Lunar surface heat capacity. Bare rock and fast rotation would give a moon equator something vaguely like Earth deserts [though still bigger swings in temperature]. But it should be noted we don’t count measuring desert sand temperature when considering the wide swings in desert temperature. Or desert sand can be about 70 C, and highest air temperature ever is 56.7 °C [unless counting inside car with windows shut]. And with moon it’s surface is heated up 120 C quickly. So the large difference of sunlight warming ground to 70 C on Earth, and on Moon heating to 120 C. So 50 K added to the difference. Plus even including a fast rotation of moon, it still cools faster [as there is no greenhouse of effect- and an air mass being regarded as a significant part of this greenhouse effect- plus there some effect from the greenhouse gases in terms radiate energy- IMO a very small effect] Though water is better than bare rock at retaining heat. And rock better than sand on Earth- because it conduct heat from the Sun better. And Dirt is generally full of water [5-10%]- doesn’t heat up fast but retain heat pretty well- of course dirt varies quite a bit- with clay holding a lot of water. • jerry l krause says: Hi gbaikie, You wrote: “But it should be noted we don’t count measuring desert sand temperature when considering the wide swings in desert temperature.” But you did not read: “David L. Hagen says: April 11, 2015 at 11:28 AM: “Desert Surface Temperatures FYI3.3.3.2SurfaceTemperaturespp52-53.Deserts and Desert Environments, By Julie J Laity In Alice Springs, Australia, ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night.(Mabbutt 1977b).” Have a good day, Jerry • gbaikie says: “But you did not read: “David L. Hagen says: April 11, 2015 at 11:28 AM: “Desert Surface Temperatures FYI3.3.3.2SurfaceTemperaturespp52-53.Deserts and Desert Environments, By Julie J Laity In Alice Springs, Australia, ground temperatures are characteristically 20-25°C above air temperatures at midday, and between 5 and 10°C lower at night.(Mabbutt 1977b).” Yes that is correct, I did not read it. So that appears to be saying with surface ground temperature it is varying around 50 to 60 K. A bare rock Moon and fast rotation should have surface temperature of about 120 C at tropics and an night probably [and depending on rock] of -10 to -30 C. And if put 1 meter worth water on Moon and give enough time and over that time assuming 1 meter remains within 2 meter depth of the regolith- and it could remain without reaching escape velocity when thinking in terms of only say hundred thousand years, and only small portion of which form into permanent polar caps. Or more water then locked in poles as frozen ice could sink below the 2 meters depth as moon is warmed. So with above assumptions, and fast rotation Moon with this 1 meter deep per square meter of water over entire moon, it would not effect daytime highs [as compared to what we currently have] but would significantly increase night time temperatures. So equator night could remain above O C. And that leave it with equator swing of about 120 K, and seems larger swing in temperature in non tropical zones. Or one would have freezing at night side and you have weather effects which give greater temperature variation in non equatorial region. But not really counting extreme winds- which could be unimaginably severe [but limited in terms of it’s effects by very thin atmosphere- water vapor]. One might get things like mud rain or mud tornados. But from a distant, or if you squint, the moon would appear to look about the same within period of less than 100,000 years. • Doug Cotton says: Alice Springs is one of the 15 locations in my study in the Appendix here where it was the driest and about second or third hottest. So what? You cannot prove water vapor warms by over 20 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere. Sorry, I’m not gullible enough to believe a hoax like that. But then, I have done a study of sufficient actual data to give me statistically significant results. Strange that the IPCC doesn’t invest a mere thousand or two to do a similar one to prove their point. If they did, it obviously got scrapped, because you can’t link me to any other study like mine that confirms their case, now can you? I most certainly did not cherry pick the locations in my study. But quoting data for just one or two locations is ludicrous. • gbaikie says: –Alice Springs is one of the 15 locations in my study in the Appendix here where it was the driest and about second or third hottest. So what?– Exactly, so what? –You cannot prove water vapor warms by over 20 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere.– Right I can’t. And according the Greenhouse Effect theory- which I think is lousy hypothesis. Water vapor it suppose to have range of: “By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect on Earth the four major gases are: water vapor, 36–70% ” So 36–70% of 33 C is 11.88 C to 23.1 C, the lousy and vague theory does not suggest that for each 1% increase it warms by 20 C. Or even the highest range does not suggest this. And the even believers of the pseudo science of global warming, if they have some clue, realize that water vapor does not increase temperatures, but rather increase the average temperatures which is mostly about reducing the amount of night or winter cooling. Or the sun during is what warms the surface and makes it warmer. What is obviously wrong about Greenhouse Effect theory is the idea that only greenhouse gases can warm the atmosphere and the surface. So the whole thing about greenhouse gases cause 33 C of warming is wrong. But I would agree that water vapor causes the most amount of warming of all the greenhouse gases. But I would say liquid water rather water gas has greatest warming effect upon planet earth. So clouds which are droplets of water, do have a quite noticeable effect upon night time temperature- it would be cooler without the clouds. I am imagine some people may think of clouds as water vapor and therefore a greenhouse gas. But that just one example of why greenhouse effect theory is pseudo science. Or it’s a lousy theory. And other things can warm, such as actual real greenhouses or parked cars- and such warming has nothing to do with types of gases which are involved. One also has UHI effect- again, nothing to do with types of gases. Blocking ocean currents or having ocean a ocean current affects temperatures and global temperature. And again nothing to do with gases. In brief there are lots of things which affect global temperature which have nothing to do with types of gases involved. But H2O gas does have some warming effect. And probably among all gases involved with warming [including O3] it’s probably somewhere around 36–70% of all their combine effects. But of course 36–70% is pretty useless guess. • gbaikie says: –But I really do not know for the information about the temperatures at 35cm and 80cm depths have only been observed at two sites. I can understand that the temperatures of its surface could have been observed from satellites which rapidly (relative to the period of its day) orbited the moon.– It can be modeled. Though reason we have any clue about it, is because we went to the Moon and directly measure it, by drilling holes. Let’s just say we learn much more if went to Moon and drilled more holes. And though we gained vast amounts of information from Apollo, one shouldn’t confuse Apollo as something with a focus on Science. Apollo was a race to Moon against Soviets. It was a PR stunt. It would nice to explore the moon by landing on it and have the focus mostly on Science. But idiots are saying we have already “gone to the moon”, which is idiotic on so many levels. Or it assume the only purpose of “space exploration” is performing various stunts. So briefly, no one knows. • Doug Cotton says: Estimates of the temperature of the Moon’s core put it at over 1300°C which makes perfect sense to me. The reason is the same as that by which we can explain the steep temperature gradient of around 25 degrees per kilometer in the outer 10Km of Earth’s crust, as has been measured in boreholes. Of course we don’t extrapolate this gradient all through the mantle, where the temperature gradient is understandably less than 2 or 3 degrees per kilometer because net gravitational force (in the numerator of the calculated gradient) declines whilst specific heat (in the denominator) increases, as explained here. There’s nothing mysterious in the temperatures of any planet or satellite moon, because the Second Law of Thermodynamics “controls” all natural processes, as you may grow to understand if you study sites such as http://entropylaw.com/ and http://climate-change-theory.com where over 8,000 have visited these last three months. • gbaikie says: –Estimates of the temperature of the Moon’s core put it at over 1300°C which makes perfect sense to me.– So 2 feet up the surface lunar surface of say equatorial could be warmer than averaged equatorial temperature but I don’t think it has much to do with Moon’s core. But it would be part of the reason. But if average equatorial temperature is “~206K” and 2 feet is say 240 K. Then why is unlit dark craters surface about 30 to 40 K? Or would you say 10 or 20 feet below the surface of permanent shadowed polar crater surface it would be somewhere around 240 K? Or something like a 200 K difference with tens of meter or even hundreds of meters from the surface I would say the temperature 2 feet below the surface varies according to latitude. Or it is varying related to how solar energy is reaching area- which decreases with higher latitude. And also there could variation of amount heat from the core regards the lunar surface but it’s very slight differences because lunar surface within millions of years has been volcanically inactive. Or quite unlike Earth with it’s thousands of active regions. And has much thicker and cooler crust than Earth. Or in comparison, think large size impactor [1 km diameter] which hit the moon in last few million years would tend to leave a much more significant thermal “fingerprint” than size of variation of heat from the core. Or in neither case is there not much heat involved- whether from interior heat and variation of it or with fairly recent [as in million of years] impactor but I would guess the impactor would be greater amount [in a localize area- hundreds of square km]. • JohnKl says: Hi Jerry L Krause, Great post! You mentioned lunar 104K low temps, but again a lunar night lasts ~14.75 earth days if I remember correctly. The lunar low between sunset and 12 hours after sunset will likely prove much higher. If you can provide that data I would be thankful. Your observations in the last paragraph seem to me well made and reasoned. You spend considerable time contemplating water vapor. For what it’s worth, while Fonzarelli’s family apparently reside in New Orleans if I remember correctly my folks reside outside Phoenix near a so called Indian reservation. From first hand experience I can tell you desert summertime nights prove EXTREMELY WARM well into morning despite the lack of water vapor and associated GHG effects. Once when I walked outside early in the morning on a summer day before the sun had a chance to do much of heating anything I noted the lack of any cool breeze and very warm temperatures enough to make me seek to keep my limbs away from my body and possibly sweat. Pool water temperature doesn’t need to be heated remaining upwards of 90 degrees centigrade well into the night and morning. Kitchen and bathroom tap water will often prove HOT whether one used the cool or hot tap handles. Pipes feeding our kitchen and bathroom sinks my dad told me reside approximately 2-3 feet below the surface. Temperatures often reach 118 degrees F and above and remain at elevated levels many months. GHG’s don’t appear required to maintain such high temps round the clock. Heavy atmospheres like Venus do have the effect of leveling temperatures and conserving heat. Please note though Giovanni Battista Riccioli witnessed Ashen Light in 1643 if I remember correctly. If light emanating from below the Venusian atmosphere on the dark-side of the planet doesn’t indicate the likely presence of massive incandescent regions on Venus then what would? Consider the massive particulate layer extending up to 50km above the surface blocks out 95% of incoming solar radiation, yet observers have seen this glow from MILLIONS of miles away. Frankly it’s NOT EARTHLIGHT. Some claim it’s lightning but from what I’ve read the electro-magnetic mutations required to result in it haven’t been detected. Btw, how clearly visible are Earth lightning strikes from space and at what distance. Recent observations noted in the magazine Wired claim a green cast to light from the planet. However, I know of only one such claim as to color. If one considers the enormous distance of the planet, light absorbing atmospheric material around it, the fact that large fluctuations in volcanic sulfur compounds have been noted in the atmosphere a historically geologically active Venus may turn up many answers. Have a great day! • JohnKl says: Hi Jerry L Krause (and others), Please accept the following correction to my post. My statement should have read: “Pool water temperature doesn’t need to be heated remaining upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit well into the night and morning.” Ooops! Sorry! Have a great day! • Doug Cotton says: And so, Jerry, you will confirm what I wrote about Adelaide in this comment. 83. Norman says: Doug BOT Cotton, I think you are wrong in your unsupported claim that “Roy Spencer is also wrong in assuming that back radiation is the only thing that slows surface cooling. Hence his linear plots of night cooling are wrong. He needs only to look at hourly temperatures in the night to realize that cooling slows down” You like to make up stuff don’t you Doug. It does not matter if it is true or not you are like a kid with a crayon. Anything you mess up on the paper and you think everyone should be in awe! Here is Hourly temps at Death Valley, you can put in any city you want it might have the hourly data. I chose Death Valley for the clear nights. http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KNID/2014/7/1/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Death+Valley+National+Park&req_state=CA&req_statename=California&reqdb.zip=92328&reqdb.magic=9&reqdb.wmo=99999 I looked through a few days of summer nights at death valley and I don’t see the drop in temperature stop. Sometimes it does but it is definitely not a pattern! I think you are goofed up. • Doug Cotton says: Yes, summer nights aren’t always long enough to allow full dispersion of the temporary extra “heat of the day” so once again, you won’t fool me with your cherry-picking – or was it just a naive choice? Either way you continue to show silent readers just how gullible you are in believing the fictitious fiddled fissics of climatology. 84. Norman says: Please Doug Cotton don’t make another post on this thread for the sake of sanity! You have said enough for now! • Doug Cotton says: Norman and other AGW hoaxers, including Lukes: I’m sorry but you won’t fool me with your promulgation of the fictitious, fiddled fissics wherein IPCC authors claim water vapor warms Earth’s surface by nearly all of 33 degrees, and that radiative flux from the colder atmosphere can be added to solar radiation and the total used in Stefan-Boltzmann calculations that supposedly then explain the 288K surface temperature. My knowledge and understanding of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics just leaves me laughing at the garbage people like you are gullible enough to believe. It is you and your colleagues who should discontinue the fraud for which some are going to have to pay heavily through the courts in the not too distant future I would guess. I have pointed out with plenty of empirical evidence why it is all wrong. For new readers it’s all at http://climate-change-theory.com which our friend, Norman, refuses to study. • Mack says: To slay or not to slay, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the egos and confusion of lukewarmers Or to take arms against a sea of true believers and by opposing, end them. To be Doug Cotton To slay the slayers! Ay, there’s the rub. Norman, you might want to read this… http://www.principia-scientific.org/stack-theory-mathematics-paper-discredits-greenhouse-gas-climate-alarm.html • Doug Cotton says: Yep – see my page “Slaying the Slayers” here. Oh, and note the nice pic of Mt Everest on that page with some bare rock near the top which, around noon on a clear June 22 each year probably receives over 1,000W/m^2 of solar radiation – more than just about anywhere at sea level. So why don’t the rocks warm to nearly 100°C as Stefan-Boltzmann calculations say they should? That ought to help you to realize that you can’t work out surface temperatures that way – you need a whole new and vastly different paradigm to explain what’s happening up there – then it’s easy to understand what’s happening everywhere in the Solar System. • Doug Cotton says: Now, Mack, you were wrong in saying on that Slayer thread “Sorry to disappoint…solar radiation is quite sufficient to do so. Solar radiation impinging on the Earth’s surface, anywhere, in the amount of about 340w/sq.m. averaged over the year is exactly the right amount to keep this Earth at the present real temperatures.” How about you first deduct the 102W/m^2 of simultaneous loss of thermal energy from the surface by non-radiative (sensible) heat transfer, and also the 6% that is reflected by the surface. Your 340W/m^2 is not the mean solar radiation absorbed by Earth’s surface. It would only be that much if the atmosphere did not absorb 20% and the albedo (reflection) were not about 30%. There is a 50% loss of radiative flux on the way down. It’s all explained on that “Slaying the Slayers” page. But even if we incorrectly use your 340W/m^2 we should then multiply by 0.94 to allow for 6% surface reflection, thus getting down to about 320W/m^2 from which we then deduct that 102W/m^2 to get 218W/m^2. Then we search for our trusty “Stefan Boltzmann calculator” (courtesy tutorvista) and we get 249K. Nobody pulls wool over Cotton’s eyes, Mack. • Doug Cotton says: And Mack, even your 340W/m^2 is not “exactly the right amount” because it would only raise a perfect blackbody in Space to 278.2748546K which is close to 5°C. But Earth’s surface is not a perfect blackbody by a long shot. Even the IPCC realize they need an extra 102W/m^2 to provide for the non-radiative losses. So they use the correct 168W/m^2 of solar radiation absorbed by the surface and deduct the 102W/m^2 but then add 324W/m^2 of back radiation (168+324-102) to get 390W/m^2 which would be “exactly the right amount” as it gives a blackbody temperature of 287.985344K which is sort of roughly OK to claim as a correction for the fact that the surface is not a blackbody, but of course their error is in adding the 324W/m^2 of back radiation. In fact that is what is supplied not by radiation at all, but by downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer. • Tim Folkerts says: “… their error is in adding the 324W/m^2 of back radiation. In fact that is what is supplied not by radiation at all, but by downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer.” And here we have a glaring example of Doug’s mistaken thinking. Doug has been claiming all along that his gradient is thermodynamic equilibrium. That means that systems would naturally come to this condition when there are no additional outside influences (except gravity); that there are no flows of energy or matter in this situation. Now he says that even in this state that he considers thermodynamic equilibrium, there is a heat flow of 324 W/m^2 via diffusion/convection. (And not only that, this heat is flowing from cold to hot!) You can’t have it both ways, Doug. You can’t have 0 W/m^2 of heat flow when the lapse rate is g/Cp and also have 324 W/m^2 of heat flow. “which would be “exactly the right amount” as it gives a blackbody temperature of 287.985344K” Actually, it would give 287.98061(27)K. I wouldn’t normally quibble, but if you claim to be EXACTLY right and give 9 digits, you really ought to be right. • Norman says: Mack, I have read a lot of material from PSI group. My goal is to keep science good. I will read and consider all types of information. Doug Cotton is wrong on so many fronts it becomes ridiculous. He will make up some hairbrained explanation of a point, then you counter that with sound reason and he goes to Venus. You should read his explanation for cloud formation. • Doug Cotton says: No it is yourself, Norman, who is wrong on so many points: I have evidence to support what I say; you don’t. Go back to this comment, and remember, you still haven’t been able to explain how the Venus surface warms in the day by x degrees to make up for the inevitable cooling of x degrees the night before. And you still haven’t done a study of 15 locations similar to mine but showing the opposite about water vapor. I look at Sydney temperatures today, Tuesday – 3 degrees of cooling between 3pm and 6pm but only 1 degree of cooling between 6pm and 9pm. Why is it so? • Doug Cotton says: Yes Mack, you should read my explanation as to why clouds are at the temperatures they are. Do either of you ever wonder why the Earth’s surface still warms on a cloudy morning when no solar radiation strikes the surface? The clouds are cooler, so they can’t raise the temperature with radiation. • Diffuse solar radiation does reach the surface despite the clouds. That is why one sees daylight. 85. Doug Cotton says: I suggest all should read this comment above. Nearly all of you have a heck of a lot to learn about the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the associated state of maximum entropy (thermodynamic equilibrium) which is approached as unbalanced energy potentials dissipate. When you do understand maximum entropy production, then all else falls into place, just as I have explained. • alphagruis says: Just a lot of speculations and wishful thinking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-equilibrium_thermodynamics#Speculated_principles_of_maximum_entropy_production_and_minimum_energy_dissipation No such simple a principle than maximum entropy production can be generally true in non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Entropy can not even be defined in general non-equilibrium systems without a local thermodynamic equilibrium hypothesis. See the work by Prigogine. • Doug Cotton says: The issue is the direction things take as entropy increases towards a maximum. Entropy may be considered as being a measure of the progression of dissipation of (unbalanced) energy potentials, which progression will occur by the fastest overall route. See http://entropylaw.com • Doug Cotton says: The most relevant work is that cited in the Wikipedia page you linked: “Later work by Paltridge focuses more on the idea of a dissipation function than on the idea of rate of production of entropy.” • Doug Cotton says: And it is precisely the dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials that I use in the development and proof of my hypothesis. You should perhaps read my two papers (here and here) one about the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the other based on such. 86. Joel Shore said “And, you really can’t get around the fact that the Earth’s surface is emitting too much radiation for that top-of-the-atmosphere budget ever to balance unless the atmosphere absorbs some of that radiation” There is no doubt that the atmosphere absorbs some of the energy which is situated at a surface beneath an atmosphere. However, Joel thinks that just because the surface is at a specific temperature then all energy leaving that surface must depart as radiation and if absorbed by the atmosphere it must be absorbed as radiation. That seems to be the critical misconception. In reality, a proportion of it is conducted to the atmosphere and if it is conducted it cannot be radiated from the surface at the same time. As soon as convection takes place the absorbed energy becomes potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate so it temporarily disappears from the heat budget only to reappear again as heat in convective descent. Energy cannot be in two places at once. Conduction from a surface occurs instead of radiation from that surface and once convection occurs the target molecules cannot radiate the energy back out again because it becomes potential energy which is not sensible heat. A portion of the kinetic energy at the surface is conducted to the atmosphere and the rest is radiated and either escapes direct to space or is intercepted by GHGs. The portion intercepted by GHGs does not further warm the surface when part of it is radiated downward due to the convective adjustment that I described in detail elsewhere in this thread. Once conducted energy is incorporated into the convective ‘loop’ in the form of potential energy it stays there forever as long as new energy from continuing insolation is supplied to replace the energy lost to space. The convective energy ‘loop’ is not a perpetual motion machine because new radiative energy arrives to fuel continued convective overturning as fast as radiative energy departs to space. It would only be a perpetual motion machine if it could continue after insolation stops and of course it cannot. You should not need equations to comprehend that broad relationship between the moving parts of the system. • Mike Flynn says: Stephen, Would you agree that all energy transfer occurs as a result of photons interacting with electrons? This will overcome superseded caloric theory involving terms like conduction, convection, sensible and latent heat and all the other verbiage. Maybe we could return to physics, and mutual understanding. I can’t see any faults with QED at present, and experimentation seems to verify QED theory. Do you agree? • Mike, You have to distinguish between radiation which is straight in and straight out from conduction and convection which involves a long time delay (which is what raises surface temperature above S-B) Both involve photons interacting with electrons but the outcome is different. • Joel Shore says: “However, Joel thinks that just because the surface is at a specific temperature then all energy leaving that surface must depart as radiation and if absorbed by the atmosphere it must be absorbed as radiation. That seems to be the critical misconception. In reality, a proportion of it is conducted to the atmosphere and if it is conducted it cannot be radiated from the surface at the same time. As soon as convection takes place the absorbed energy becomes potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate so it temporarily disappears from the heat budget only to reappear again as heat in convective descent. Energy cannot be in two places at once. Conduction from a surface occurs instead of radiation from that surface and once convection occurs the target molecules cannot radiate the energy back out again because it becomes potential energy which is not sensible heat.” Stephen, Repeating debunked nonsense does not make it correct. You have had it explained to you before that this is plain wrong. A body radiates according to its temperature. This is what the laws of physics say; they do not say that if it some heat is also conducted or radiated away then the amount radiated is less WHEN IT IS AT A GIVEN TEMPERATURE. If you think the laws of physics do say this, show us where. Now, I know this confuses you because you have this question in your head that if an object just radiates vs radiates + convects, how could it possibly radiate the same amount in both cases. However, the answer to this apparent paradox is that the Earth’s surface is at a lower temperature than it would be if radiation were the only heat loss mechanism. So, it is, in a very real sense, radiating less than it would if there were no other heat loss mechanisms, but that is by virtue of the fact that it is at a lower temperature and not because it is violating the laws of physics, which say that the amount of radiation it emits depends on its temperature and not in any direct way on any other heat loss mechanisms. • JohnKl says: Hi Stephen, You strangely claimed: “Energy cannot be in two places at once…” Really? You can’t find energy on the moon and the Earth at the same time? You probably meant THE SAME ENERGY CANNOT BE IN TWO DIFFERENT PLACES AT ONE (OR THE SAME) TIME. Just a little clarity… Have a great day! • JohnKl says: Hi Joel Shore, You state: “A body radiates according to its temperature. This is what the laws of physics say; they do not say that if it some heat is also conducted or radiated away then the amount radiated is less WHEN IT IS AT A GIVEN TEMPERATURE.” When did Stephen claim that? You go on: “However, the answer to this apparent paradox is that the Earth’s surface is at a lower temperature than it would be if radiation were the only heat loss mechanism. So, it is, in a very real sense, radiating less than it would if there were no other heat loss mechanisms, but that is by virtue of the fact that it is at a lower temperature…” What paradox do you refer to? Of course it’s at a lower temperature, because thermal energy is also being conducted/conveyed away! Hi Stephen, you apparently claim: “Conduction from a surface occurs instead of radiation from that surface and once convection occurs the target molecules cannot radiate the energy back out again because it becomes potential energy which is not sensible heat.” Frankly it seems difficult to make heads or tails out of what you’re trying to claim here! It makes little sense at all from what I can make out, especially the last part involving potential energy. You also state: “…As soon as convection takes place the absorbed energy becomes potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate so it temporarily disappears from the heat budget only to reappear again as heat in convective descent.” No! The absorbed energy becomes INTERNAL energy (i.e. internal to the absorbing molecule) and it can be heat if going from a warmer to a cooler object like the surface to the atmosphere! Btw, the energy does not DISAPPEAR and I have no idea why you think it cannot be re-radiated but must apparently DISAPPEAR until some other molecule makes it RE-APPEAR AND CONVEYS IT AWAY! Truly strange physics, please explain. Have a great day! • gbaikie says: — JohnKl says: April 15, 2015 at 3:35 PM Hi Joel Shore, You state: “A body radiates according to its temperature. This is what the laws of physics say; they do not say that if it some heat is also conducted or radiated away then the amount radiated is less WHEN IT IS AT A GIVEN TEMPERATURE.” When did Stephen claim that?– He did above. I have wondered about that when Stephen has mentioned it a few time. But this time, I remembered something which sort of support it. I think what reminded me is “conducted” away. Anyway, the entire greenhouse effect theory is based upon this principle of being conducted away to reduce the amount of energy radiated. In other words greenhouse starts with a ideal blackbody, So ideal blackbody in vacuum at earth distance from Sun is suppose to have a UNIFORM temperature of 5.3 C. Or instead having a temperature of about 120 C in noon sun- like the Noon. With the ideal blackbody the temperature would be 5.3 C. Because it’s heat is conducted away to uniformity warm the entire blackbody sphere. So those who proposed the greenhouse theory assumed this was possible and the model is entirely based on this assumption. So if you accept the greenhouse theory one needs to except the premise that heat can be conducted away so as to limit emission by cooling the surface. And of course in terms of conducting the energy away so as to lower surface temperature so as to lower emission is commonly observed. But convecting the heat away rather than conducting wasn’t quite as obvious me. But now that think about it- it should not cause any doubt. The issue is that the surface involves the microscopic, and one needs a very good conductor. With the ideal blackbody model that the assumption is extremely good conductor of heat- and there is no known conductor which has such properties. One of the best conductors of heat are diamonds. And one best metals is copper. And diamonds are some something like 4 times better than copper at conducting heat. And an ideal blackbody would need to be something 100 times better than diamonds. Oh, let’s find some numbers: Copper: 401 Diamond: 1000 Iron: 80 Rock, solid: 2 – 7 Sand, dry: 0.15 – 0.25 Sand, moist: 0.25 – 2 http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html And I believe there has been diamonds made/found which higher heat conductivity, but according to above, diamonds appear to be only 2.5 times better than copper. Now, let’s search “why are diamond cools to the touch”: http://www.abazias.com/diamondblog/diamond-education/why-diamonds-are-called-ice It’s interesting. [and says diamonds “as a thermal conductor is four times better than copper’s” and another link said 5 times. So it seems it’s commonly accepted to be 4 to 5 better. But I thought read somewhere that diamonds are cooler than air temperature, and says they aren’t. Ok Not really the scientific explanation I expected to find from quick search[maybe need better keywords to search]. So I will forgo that quick way to explain it. So let’s start with the concept that material [like steel,gold, or everything] is transparent if sliced thin enough. So microns thick- thickness and degree transparency varying with the type of materiel. And it’s at this level that one interaction in terms of radiating and convection. And there are billions of gas molecules interacting with a surface per square cm/inch and hitting that the surface at 400 meters per second. So at micron level, tiny tiny stuff hitting it. And near such surface would inhibit the random direct gas molecule can go. Or near surface their world is more 2 dimensional than 3 dimensional. Or one could it’s less well mixed or it’s sort of like a inversion layer. And so one visualize a wall that stuff is banging on, and through the wall radiant energy is passing thru [as that the level of scale the wall is transparent. It also should noted the thicker a material is the longer it takes to conduct heat. And is why for ideal blackbody needs such good conductor of heat- conducting heat over scale meters and kilometers. Or: ” Example – Heat Transfer by Conduction A plane wall is constructed of solid iron with thermal conductivity 70 W/moC, thickness 50 mm and surface area 1 m by 1 m. The temperature is 150 oC on one side and 80 oC on the other. The conductive heat transfer can be calculated q = (70 W/m oC) (1 m) (1 m) ((150 oC) – (80 oC)) / (0.05 m) = 98000 (W) = 98 (kW) ” http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/conductive-heat-transfer-d_428.html So iron, a poor metal conductor, if temperature difference is large and an 50 mm thick is able to conduct a fair amount of heat per square meter. But if it’s thicker iron and/or lower temperature difference, it capable of conducting significantly less heat. So at micro level even a poor conductor of heat [say, dirt] and not much difference in temperature can conduct a fair amount of energy, it’s limited as compared to much better conductor of heat. Anyways, briefly the activity, of the interaction of gas molecules and activity of atoms radiating heat are occurring in same room, and dirt 2″ deeper or sky above are miles away. And so how heat capacity is there is .01 mm of material which one meter square. And how long does it take for grain of sand to warm or cool in atmosphere? • Joel Shore says: Just to re-emphasize, Stephen, your statements here directly violate the laws of physics. You can’t just make up your own laws of physics. These laws are well-tested and verified. If you allow yourself to violate basic laws of physics, then you can come up with whatever nonsense your heart desires but it has nothing to do with reality. • Joel, Fair comment. The surface may well radiate at 288K but the surface plus atmosphere only radiate to space at 255K. The ‘extra’ 33K of radiation from kinetic energy at the surface does not make it to space because that 33K of kinetic energy is actually conducted and convected up and down within the mass of the atmosphere IN ADDITION TO any up and down radiation within the atmosphere. If conduction and convection were only an upward process then the surface would be at 255 as per S-B and not at 288 because conduction and convection would reduce the surface radiating temperature from the observed 288K to the theoretical 255K. BUT you also have downward convection above half the Earth’s surface at any given moment which suppresses upward convection beneath it which allows the surface temperature to rise above S-B at any given level of insolation. Averaged across the globe that raises surface temperature 33K above 255K for the observed 288K The surface may be radiating at 288K but the combination of surface and atmosphere is only radiating 255K to space because of the intervention of conduction and convection which offsets the up and down radiative exchange within the atmosphere. If the up and down radiative exchange within the atmosphere goes out of balance for any reason (as proposed in AGW theory) then the conductive and convective exchange varies in an equal and opposite thermal direction. If GHGs radiate energy to space from within the atmosphere then that energy is no longer available in the descent phase of convection. That reduction of energy in the descent phase is equal and opposite to the DWIR from the same GHGs for a net zero thermal effevct at the surface. • Joel Shore says: “The ‘extra’ 33K of radiation from kinetic energy at the surface does not make it to space because that 33K of kinetic energy is actually conducted and convected up and down within the mass of the atmosphere IN ADDITION TO any up and down radiation within the atmosphere.” Stephen: Again, this does not obey the laws of physics. Radiation cannot be prevented from making it to space because of what you describe. It can only be prevented from making it to space if it is absorbed…or reflected…by greenhouse elements (greenhouse gases or clouds). Again, the laws of physics are a constraint that you must satisfy in order to have a real hypothesis. “If conduction and convection were only an upward process then the surface would be at 255 as per S-B and not at 288 because conduction and convection would reduce the surface radiating temperature from the observed 288K to the theoretical 255K.” Nope…The reason that the surface is above 255 K is because the atmosphere is only unstable to convection if the lapse rate exceeds the adiabatic lapse rate…and hence convection cannot make the atmosphere isothermal but can only drive down the lapse rate to the adiabatic lapse rate. And, by the Second Law, the effect of convection is to transfer energy from the warmer surface to the colder atmosphere, not the other way around. • Joel, I’ll persevere because I think you are getting to the nub of the issue. I realise that you and AGW theory propose that the reduction from 288K radiating up at the surface to 255K radiating out to space can only be caused by the intervention of radiative molecules in the atmosphere. Consider these points: i) I accept that with no atmosphere radiation in equals radiation out and for Earth the surface temperature would rise to 255K at current levels of insolation. ii)The thing is that that is the MINIMUM surface temperature one can have because it is predicated on energy coming in and going out with both processes being at the speed of light. It therefore follows that if any LOWER surface temperature is to be achieved then the radiation out has to move faster than the speed of light which we know is impossible. iii)We also know that conduction and convection occurs but those processes are slower than the speed of light so if energy coming in stays stable they can never reduce the surface temperature below 255K iv)Instead, the energy absorbed by conduction and convection during the first convective cycle reduces radiative energy exiting at the top of the atmosphere so from space the temperature of Earth appears to drop to 222K whilst the surface remains at 255K. That is only the case whilst the first complete convective overturning cycle is still in progress and incomplete. v) On completion of the first convective cycle the energy being taken up by conduction and convection returns to the surface so then the surface temperature rises to 288K and viewed from space the surface appears to revert to the correct figure of 255K. vi) That is exactly what we observe. vii) Logic and the observational evidence both suggest that conduction and convection are processes that can indeed convert radiative energy at the surface to potential energy in the atmosphere( potential energy is not heat and is not able to radiate) so as to constantly suspend the mass of the atmosphere off the ground against the force of gravity whilst at the same time maintaining the radiative balance with space. I do not see that as inconsistent with any laws of physics. Indeed, I find the AGW theory to be inconsistent with the laws of physics because it ignores the role of conduction and convection in slowing down loss of energy to space below the rate achievable by radiation alone. AGW theory also implies that a non radiative atmosphere MUST become isothermal but that is impossible because uneven surface heating will always lead to density differentials in the horizontal plane with global convective overturning as a consequence. Instead, in a non radiative atmosphere, all incoming energy is radiated from the surface to space but there is still a reservoir of potential energy permanently locked into convective overturning which means that the surface will still be warmer than S-B. • Joel Shore says: Stephen, “On completion of the first convective cycle the energy being taken up by conduction and convection returns to the surface so then the surface temperature rises to 288K and viewed from space the surface appears to revert to the correct figure of 255K.” Again, you don’t even understand the question. The question is not involving the energy balance between the surface and atmosphere. It is involving the top of the atmosphere energy balance. At this point, we are back to where Tim left you: Show us the equations. You have just put together a bunch of words in confusing ways to try to get around the fact that 1 + 1 = 2. There’s no mathematical interpretation to what you write because it is just a lot of nonsense jargon. Physics ultimately has to be reduced to mathematics. We use words to describe the mathematics in terms that others can understand. You use words to avoid writing down any math and just run yourself and everyone else around in circles. Do you understand that until you write down the equations, you don’t have anything. And, of course, you will never be able to write down the equations because your words are either some variation on 1 + 1 = 3 or they are claiming things that contradict the laws of physics. • Joel, You have no answer. The energy balance between surface and atmosphere is key to the difference between radiation at the surface and radiation escaping to space for a non blackbody. Tim Folkerts has got it but has not yet processed the implications. I said this to him downthread: “You are right for a black body but if it isn’t a blackbody then the internal energy can stabilise at any figure at all as long as energy in equals energy out. For a non black body the surface temperature will then be related to the ability of the non blackbody to conduct and convect internally and will not radiate to space at the temperatutre of the surface. For the Earth the point of stability is 288K at the surface, 255K escaping to space and the balance of 33K constantly recycling up sand down within convective overturning. As you say: “ANY amount of input energy can hold an object at ANY temperature, as long as the output energy flows are EQUAL to the input energy flows” Do you realise that realisation of that point destroys the radiative theory of AGW?” The inescapable fact supported by all physics and observations is that conduction and convection are processes whereby radiative energy at the surface is converted to non radiative potential energy constantly recycling up and down within the atmosphere and that creates the 33K discrepancy between radiation at the surface and radiation escaping to space because that 33K of potential energy is unable to escape to space. It is held permanently within the mass of a convecting atmosphere for as long as the mass of that atmosphere remains suspended off the ground against gravity. Radiative theory is incomplete. • Joel , You want equations? Energy in = 255K (radiative) Energy out = 255K (radiative) Energy from surface to atmosphere = 33K (non radiative) Energy from atmosphere to surface = 33K (non radiative) System balanced At the point of balance: Energy in of 255K at top of atmosphere + energy from atmosphere to surface of 33K= 288K Energy out from surface of 288K – energy from surface to atmosphere of 33K = 255K Simple ðŸ™‚ Those numbers successfully combine the thermal effect of the radiative and non radiative energy flows. Your only response is that radiative flows cannot convert to non radiative flows or vice versa. You are clearly wrong. All mass converts radiative energy flows to (internal) non radiative energy flows and back again. In the process, that mass rises in temperature and in due course stabilises at a higher equilibrium temperature than would have been the case from radiative flows (the S-B figure) alone simply because internal non radiative flows are slower than the speed of light and therefore impede the free flow of radiative energy. But that mass at the higher than S-B equilibrium temperature still radiates out no more than it receives by way of radiation. That is basic and accurate physics • Joel Shore says: “The inescapable fact supported by all physics and observations is that conduction and convection are processes whereby radiative energy at the surface is converted to non radiative potential energy constantly recycling up and down within the atmosphere and that creates the 33K discrepancy between radiation at the surface and radiation escaping to space because that 33K of potential energy is unable to escape to space.” Stephen, If you can find one PhD physicist that would read this sentence and say that it correctly represents a possible physical situation, I’ll give you$100. This is just nonsense.

As for your “equations”, setting an energy equal to a temperature is not an equation.

Again, if you can find one PhD physicist who will look at “Energy out from surface of 288K – energy from surface to atmosphere of 33K = 255K” and say that this correctly describes a real physical situation, I’ll give you \$100.

It’s not just that you don’t understand physics…It’s that you don’t even understand what constitutes physics, and hence, you are cognitively unable to be aware of your own lack of understanding of physics.

• Joel,

Every gas molecule floating off a surface carries potential energy.

What is your theory as to how it got there?

• Doug Cotton says:

Go to this comment.

The Sun’s direct radiation into the Earth’s surface cannot achieve a mean temperature of 288K. If it could, then some regions in the tropics would be over 100°C on clear days.

The required (and very necessary) extra thermal energy comes from solar radiation absorbed in the atmosphere and subsequently conveyed downwards into the surface by non-radiative processes that are obeying the Second Law and thus maximizing entropy.

• Joel Shore says:

Stephen,

As I explained to you before, there are things in the world called “non-conservative forces” that can’t be described in terms of a potential energy. The buoyant force is such an example.

The correct understanding of the adiabatic lapse rate is that it is derived by considering the adiabatic expansion of a neutrally-buoyant parcel as it rises through the atmosphere. It has nothing to do with potential energy, although you can come up with a wrong derivation using potential energy if you make other errors (like not distinguishing between specific heat at constant pressure and volume). I say this because I made some of these mistakes when I tried to work through it before getting it right. (Unfortunately, derivations you can find written down will generally go through it correctly but will not note explicitly note incorrect things, like considering gravitational potential energy but ignoring buoyant force.)

87. Doug Cotton says:

There is not much transfer of thermal energy out of the surface by radiation. The original NASA Energy Budget is roughly correct, though you need to realize that the conduction out of the surface is a net figure of conduction into and out of the surface. It all balances, and is correct enough for me. But note that the surface temperature is not set by radiation at all. The mechanism is much more like the process that makes the wall of your bath below the water surface nearly the same temperature as the water. There’s no issue of much radiation being involved – just molecular collisions that are reducing unbalanced energy potentials.

88. Doug Cotton says:

As explained in my review-type paper the actual transfer of thermal energy by radiation is only that portion of the radiation from the (effectively) hotter body which does not resonate in the target. This is quantified (in engineering for example) as being related to the area between the Planck function for the target and the (effective) Planck function for the source after attenuation by distance, atmospheric absorption, albedo etc. The Earth’s surface absorbs a mean of about 168W/m^2 of solar radiation, so, from the surface, the effective temperature of the Sun is (a mean of) only -41°C. Hence the only (mean) transfer of thermal energy by radiation between the surface and the atmosphere is that percentage shown in the above linked NASA met energy budget that is cooling the surface.

89. Doug Cotton says:

And Stephen there are numerous graphics of molecules moving around such as here and typical speeds are about 1,700 Km/hour between collisions. So I’m asking you how you imagine (from such a graphic) the molecules somehow grouping together into balloon-shaped “parcels” that apparently only ever rise, ignoring other molecules on the way, though you also want them to fall, but you never precisely explain how and why they do which, or when, like day or night or any old time, hail, rain or shine. If you introduce wind you get the goooong, because the warming and cooling takes place as molecules exchange their own KE and PE, and wind just helps to supply KE so the molecules don’t have to use their own, just like when you take that vacuum flask of air up a mountain it doesn’t get colder.

• Doug,

I think you are nuts.

• jimc says:

Finally, after 505 comments, something we can all agree on. ðŸ™‚

• MikeB says:

Agreed

• Phyte_On says:

Reminds me of the film, A Beautiful Mind.

• Doug Cotton says:

In other words Stephen you are completely stumped because you know that a location on the equator of Venus must cool in four months of darkness with no input of thermal energy and inevitable output of energy. So, if it cools by x degrees (which we can calculate as about 5 degrees) then it warms by x degrees in four months of sunlight. But a mere 20W/m^2 of direct solar radiation reaching the Venus surface cannot raise the temperature from 732K to 737K in four months – not even in a billion years. Nor can the solar radiation raise the temperature of anything that is above about 400K as found in the upper troposphere of Venus. You can confirm that with Stefan Boltzmann calculations. So it is obviously only in that region that the electro-magnetic energy in solar radiation is converted to thermal energy.

So, Stephen, each Venus morning the Sun starts to supply thermal energy only to the upper troposphere of Venus where its <400K. But we know there must be an input of thermal energy into the surface of Venus during the sunlit period in order to raise the temperature, so that thermal energy must be being transferred by some heat transfer mechanism which can be explained within the laws of physics, from the less-hot upper troposphere down to lower hotter regions and into the surface. Back radiation cannot do it.

Others have realized that this must happen but I am one of only two in the world who have worked it out from the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The other person (Teofilo Echeverria) did so independently and I only got to read his book when he drew attention to it in this comment on January 20, 2014. One day, perhaps in another decade, it will be common knowledge. What happens on Venus happens to some extent in all tropospheres on all planets, everywhere in the Universe.

Because you, Stephen, ignore the most important law of Nature, your hypothesis fails to explain how the energy actually transfers into hotter regions. Likewise the radiative GH conjecture fails because it ignores entropy considerations. You are close in recognizing that PE converts to KE, but you have assumed that your imaginary “parcels” are doing the trick, when in fact you should have been applying the Kinetic Theory of Gases to individual molecules that exchange PE and KE in flight between collisions. Then, when you understand what happens when all energy potentials dissipate (and we thus get thermodynamic equilibrium) you will then understand what happens when that state is disturbed. It’s all in the “heat creep” diagrams here (and in the linked paper) and it’s quite easy to understand.

• Doug Cotton says:

Footnote:

Absolute (K) temperature is proportional to mean molecular kinetic energy. Thus molecules in the highest regions of the troposphere, where it might be about -70°C in the tropics (ie 203K) still have over 70% of the kinetic (thermal) energy that those at 288K near the surface have, where their speed between collisions is about 1,700 Km/hour. In the upper troposphere they are still moving at over 1,400 Km/hour, so they don’t just decide to “fall” back down again Stephen. If strong downward winds take them down, such as from the -50°C upper troposphere above the South Pole down to the -50°C surface they don’t warm at all because it’s not an adiabatic process in an isolated system. One day, perhaps, Stephen you’ll understand the physics in which you are not qualified and should not make a fool of yourself dabbling therein.

• Norman says:

Doug Mr. Wrong Cotton the computer BOT,

Where do get the ridiculous idea that air moving up a mountain from a plain below does not cool on the way up. What are you sources goofy. Again you just make up stuff with no evidence, no support. I really think you are as nuts. Most people have some idea or hypothesis they prefer you just make up stuff. Like Venus surface changing 5 degrees during day. There is no evidence of this you just made it up and then you use it like it is an established fact.
Or Uranus lower atmosphere temperature. No one has a measurement of it but you go on and on about it like it is an established fact even though I have asked you to provide evidence you never do.

Please just SHUT UP and quit posting. Your moronic posts are not even funny after awhile. Get some supporting evidence for your stupid claims goofy! Or quit making them.

Prove your stupid claim that air moving up a mountain does not cool on the way up. Except that clouds and rain form along the way up goofball!!!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Doug and Norman,

Norman states:

“Like Venus surface changing 5 degrees during day. There is no evidence of this you just made it up and then you use it like it is an established fact.”

Well Doug? Norman makes a valid point. From my reading the longest any probe survived the Venusian surface proved to be only a few minutes. It seems very doubtful we have anything like comprehensive temp data for the Venusian surface, especially day and night time temps over a territory or region large enough to prove conclusive. Moreover, the massive (103-5 x larger than Earth) Venusian atmosphere and particulate layer extending from the surface to 50km above the surface blocks out 95% of incoming and likewise outgoing radiation making any observation of the Venusian surface from space quite doubtful. How do you arrive at this seemingly specialized knowledge that mere mortals seem deprived of? Thanks and…

Have a great day!

• Doug Cotton says:

Wind is the only thing that actually transports large numbers of molecules in any particular general direction. In the absence of wind you get heat transfer but very little net movement of molecular mass, such as when hot air in your car appears to empty into a closed garage when you open all doors. There’s still about as much air remaining in the car. Individual molecules do not move very far relative to the spread of the thermal energy via molecular collisions. That is natural convective heat transfer, as distinct from forced convection as brought about by wind or an electric fan.

Now, if you put a valve in the lid of a vacuum flask and take it up a 1000 meter high mountain the air inside does not cool by 6 to 10 degrees. You might say that’s because it doesn’t expand. Well, release the valve so it does. It will still not cool inside the flask. How could it? None of the molecules that are still inside have lost any kinetic energy, because they did not have to use their own KE to gain the PE – you gave them the extra PE using some of the energy derived from the fuel in your vehicle. So it is the same with warm wind that blew across a hot plain and then got diverted up a mountain slope, still remaining almost as warm when it gets to the top. And likewise cold wind blowing downwards above the South Pole does not get warmer.

Natural convective heat transfer has to be driven by a new source of thermal energy that disturbs the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated temperature gradient. The heat flow will then be in all accessible directions away from the source of new thermal energy and spreading out over the sloping thermal plane.

• Doug Cotton says:

(continued)

You know this happens when, for example, you warm one side of a room, or the gas inside one end of a horizontal sealed insulated cylinder. The unbalanced energy potentials thus created tend to dissipate, because that’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics in operation. Such energy potentials involve all forms of internal energy. But we can assume no nuclear or chemical reactions take place, or phase changes in that horizontal cylinder. So that leaves us with molecular kinetic energy and molecular gravitational potential energy in each molecule. Only the KE affects temperature, but in the horizontal plane PE does not change, and so we get the Clausius corollary of the Second Law (that only applies in a horizontal plane) wherein KE tends to even out, meaning temperatures tend to even out. The process is not reversible because it gets to a state of maximum entropy within the constraints of the system, and entropy can never decrease.

Now, rotate the cylinder about its center to a vertical position. Gravity causes some net movement of molecules downwards and thus some net gain of KE in the lower regions, offset by a loss of KE in the upper regions. It’s not hard to understand that energy potentials are all dissipated when there is a homogeneous sum of molecular (KE+PE) at all heights, and so there is a temperature gradient when maximum entropy (thermodynamic equilibrium) is attained because there is an offsetting gradient in gravitational potential energy.

• Norman says:

Mr. Wrong (aka Doug Cotton),

How many times can you be wrong and not think maybe it is time to go take a REAL college physics course and quit pretending I am a degree student in physics (which you are not except in your make believe world).

Here is a simple experiment they have students do. Try and it and learn or mouth some stupid made up response. You are not a brilliant man Doug, really you are not even intelligent. Intelligence is ability to learn. You display none.

http://littleshop.physics.colostate.edu/tenthings/ExpansionCooling.pdf

• stevek says:

Doug,
Isn’t this shown by the heat equation ?

• Doug Cotton says:

Norman:

There is no such thing as a “parcel” of air in an isolated system undergoing adiabatic change.

What you linked is a hypothetical “experiment” which the author thinks will give the results he assumes, but it doesn’t. People think the air rushing out is cold because it causes evaporation from their skin.

You are hand-waving again Norman, and quoting typical meteorology/climatology fictitious fiddled fissics – but thanks for yet another example of such, easily proven wrong.

The air that remains inside the bottle still consists of molecules that have not lost any kinetic energy: they just move further between collisions, but so what? None of those molecules have done work on the other molecules outside. The temperature remains the same inside the bottle. Show me documented measurements of the inside temperature. Then point the bottle downwards so the air rushes out into slightly warmer air below.

• Doug Cotton says:

Yet again I remind Norman and others that the Ideal Gas Law tells us …

pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density.

In the bottle experiment the pressure and density inside the bottle decrease simultaneously and in proportion to each other. So temperature is constant.

• gbaikie says:

— Doug Cotton says:
April 19, 2015 at 4:24 AM

Norman:

There is no such thing as a “parcel” of air in an isolated system undergoing adiabatic change.

What you linked is a hypothetical “experiment” which the author thinks will give the results he assumes, but it doesn’t. People think the air rushing out is cold because it causes evaporation from their skin. —

Nope. It how’s refrigerators work.

90. My thoughts on what Dr. Salby tried to convey.

Dr. Spencer, here is where I am at.

After having time to think about this, I think the truth is human emissions of CO2 are causing the total concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere to be higher then if they were not present. Does added CO2 cause some warming ? I think it does. Do natural sources for CO2 account for most of the CO2 concentrations? Yes they do.

Given that, the question comes down to this. How much added contributions of CO2 from human emissions are needed to off set natural processes? I think the answer to this question given the contributions from human versus natural emissions of CO2 is human emissions will have to be much greater then they are today UNLESS the amounts of CO2 emissions coming from natural sources stays at a steady state.

The greater the natural emissions of CO2 stray from this steady state the less significant will be the overall human impact.
I would say unlike the last 150 years, going forward emissions of CO2 from natural sources are no longer going to continue to rise but fall. With this said I think it will only take a tiny drop in CO2 emissions from natural sources to fall which would be able to overwhelm the human added contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere.

The increase of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over the last 150 years being mostly due to natural emissions. The test will come when CO2 emissions from natural sources begins to fall when /if the temperature trend begins to fall. How big of an impact this may or may not have on future CO2 concentrations will depend upon the magnitude, lag time and the duration of time that lower natural emissions for CO2 take place.

Does this reasoning sound logical? If not why?

Another factor that comes into play is the saturation factor. How much of a difference are increases in CO2 concentrations at this level going to contribute to the overall GHG effect? The argument is at this level any increases in CO2 concentrations would be minimal.

I know your view on this issue is not quite the same Dr. Spencer.

91. jerry l krause says:

Hi Stephen and Joel,
“Stephen Wilde says:
April 14, 2015 at 10:39 AM
“Joel, Fair comment.

“The surface may well radiate at 288K but the surface plus atmosphere only radiate to space at 255K.

“The ‘extra’ 33K of radiation from kinetic energy at the surface does not make it to space because that 33K of kinetic energy is actually conducted and convected up and down within the mass of the atmosphere IN ADDITION TO any up and down radiation within the atmosphere.

“If conduction and convection were only an upward process then the surface would be at 255 as per S-B and not at 288 because conduction and convection would reduce the surface radiating temperature from the observed 288K to the theoretical 255K.
BUT you also have downward convection above half the Earth’s surface at any given moment which suppresses upward convection beneath it which allows the surface temperature to rise above S-B at any given level of insolation.

“Averaged across the globe that raises surface temperature 33K above 255K for the observed 288K.

“The surface may be radiating at 288K but the combination of surface and atmosphere is only radiating 255K to space because of the intervention of conduction and convection which offsets the up and down radiative exchange within the atmosphere.”

Now, I see (understand) where some of the confusion, that now exists, arises. I have been operating on the assumption that the 33K difference being referred to in the above was only the result of an Arrhenius radiation balance calculation which is commonly referred to in introductory meteorology textbook. But now I see, and accept, it is now based upon actual observations made at the earth’s surface and from satellites orbiting the earth.

However, before reading the above and understanding its implications this morning, I had noted the fact that I had not yet, in my responses to this posting of Roy, referred to the fundamental topic which have been a major part of my responses (comments) to his posts. And Joel knows first-hand what this topic is because we have had a conversation about what Richard Feynman taught physic students at Caltech about light scattering by cloud droplets. (The Feynman Lectures on Physics pp 32-6,7) I have quoted what Feynman taught but will not because anyone really interested can find this book, it is readily available, and read what Feynman taught; which I cannot find any other physicist teaching. So, while I can understand the result of what he taught, I do not know if what he taught is valid. But common observation strongly suggests it is.

Instead I will quote an notable meteorologist of the past. R. C. Sutcliffe, F.R.S. (Weather & Climate) wrote: “Clouds which do not give rain, which never even threaten to give rain but which dissolve again into vapour before the precipitation stage is ever reached, have a profound effect on our climate. This is obvious enough if we only think of the differences between a cloudy and a sunny day in summer or between an overcast and a clear frosty night in winter.” (Pp33,34). On page 34 he continued: “Long-wave radiation from the earth, the invisible heat rays, is by contrast totally absorbed by quite a thin layer of clouds and, by the same token, the clouds themselves emit heat continuously according to their temperatures, almost as though they were black bodies.” As to the latter portion of this quote there is abundant observation as to its validity.

However, there is serious tension between what Feynman taught about light scattering by cloud droplets and that long-wave radiation from the earth is totally absorbed by quite a thin layer of clouds. The latter is still the accepted understanding of meteorologists and climatologists such as Roy and most physicists such as Joel.

But I doubt (do not trust my memory) the words cloud(s), unless it was cloudless, has not been written in response to Roy’s posting or to any comments (many, many) of the responders. Clearly, the profound effect of clouds on our climate referred by Sutcliffe has been replaced by the profound effect of GHGs on our climate. This even though the influence of clouds “is obvious enough if we only think of the differences between a cloudy and a sunny day in summer or between an overcast and a clear frosty night in winter”.

My understanding is it is the role (whatever the mechanism) that clouds play upon the outgoing longwave radiation emitted by the earth’s surface that resolves the 33K difference between what is emitted from the surface and what finally is transmitted to space.

Have a good day, Jerry

• Doug Cotton says:

Well Jerry, we don’t need clouds doing all this in order to get the observed -g/cp temperature gradient throughout the 350Km high nominal troposphere of Uranus, where the only source of new thermal energy is solar radiation absorbed in the stratosphere. Up there it’s about 59K, whereas as the base of the nominal troposphere it’s hotter than Earth’s surface all due to a mere 4W/m^2 absorbed from the Sun, not any long-term cooling off or energy generation due to ongoing compression as on Jupiter.

My reply is continued in this comment above where Stephen Wilde is tied in knots, and thus resorts to attempted smears rather than discussing physics.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Doug keeps warping facts to fit his theory. Measurements show Uranus emits 1.06 +/- 0.08 times as much energy as it absorbs from the sun. Thus the best estimate is that there IS upward heat flow from the interior outward. Sure it is POSSIBLE that the correct answer is 1.00, but it is just as likely to be 1.14.

The support for Doug’s hypothesis is an unlikely outlier. Frankly, if I were proposing a new theory that went against all the textbooks in the world, I would want data that was close to 100% certain, rather than close to 0% certain.

• Doug Cotton says:

So it could be emitting only 98% of the 4W/m^2 that it receives, or at most emitting 14% of 4W/m^2 extra. Now that 14% is thus about half a watt per square meter. In contrast, the small solid core (about 55% the mass of Earth) is at about 5,000K and would thus lose a lot of energy by conduction into the atmosphere if it were cooling and not receiving back balancing downward convective heat transfers. Apart from conduction and convection, the 5000K solid core would emit a hefty 35,437,500W/m^2 of electro-magnetic radiative flux according to our trusty on-line Stefan Boltzmann calculator courtesy of tutorvista.com – which kind of eclipses that half a watt at the top. Oh, and don’t forget it could be 2%, namely 0.08W/m^2 into the system. My words were “there is no convincing evidence of significant energy loss” and I stick by that statement.

• Tim Folkerts says:

“the small solid core (about 55% the mass of Earth) is at about 5,000K and would thus lose a lot of energy by conduction”
Really? Care to show us your calculations of the heat flow by conduction through 20,000 km of fluid with a temperature difference of 5000K. That works out to about 0.00025 K/m. Conduction with such a temperature gradient will be PRETTY SMALL.

“Apart from conduction and convection, the 5000K solid core would emit a hefty 35,437,500W/m^2”
Only if the core was radiating to 0 K surroundings. But as you point out in another post, thermal radiation will only travel a fraction of a meter (“nanometers” you say). Suppose it travels even 0.1 m throught the dense fluids near the core. Then the surrounding would be on the order of 0.000025 K cooler. The “back-radiation” would be about 35,437,499.3 W/m^2 for a new outward flux of 0.7 W/m^2. Hmmmm … pretty much the same order of magnitude as observed at the surface.

“and don’t forget it could be 2%, namely 0.08W/m^2 into the system. ”
YEAH! COOL! I’m going to come up with a proposal where Uranus
sucks energy from the empty space around it! That makes as much sense and fits the data just as well as your theory. ðŸ™‚

• Joel Shore says:

Jerry,

Part of the greenhouse effect is indeed due to clouds, but only part of it. I don’t remember quite what the fraction is…but I think clouds account for maybe a quarter of the greenhouse effect (in the global average).

Clouds definitely do not account for the full 33K difference.

Joel

• Doug Cotton says:

Sure – well explain the warming at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus, where it’s hotter than Earth’s surface, as discussed in my other comments today, and help Stephen Wilde answer the question about Venus.

Just remember that you are engaging in fraudulent activity promoting a false hoax that causes poverty, starvation and death and for which there is no explanation using any valid physics. I throw down the gauntlet to you to disprove the physics I present here.

• jerry l krause says:

Hi Joel,

Thanks for responding. Much better than nothing even though you basically disagree.

You wrote: “Part of the greenhouse effect is indeed due to clouds, but only part of it. I don’t remember quite what the fraction is…but I think clouds account for maybe a quarter of the greenhouse effect (in the global average).”

I understand the LWIR observed via satellite is either originating from the earth surface or from the tops of clouds. Is that correct?

Have a good day, Jerry

• Joel Shore says:

No…It is originating from various layers of the atmosphere, not just the tops of clouds…and, in fact, you can observe the spectrum with no clouds by looking at an area where there aren’t any clouds.

And, then you can use the known spectra of the various GHGs to compare the observed spectra seen from space to the predicted spectra. We may disagree, but it is not an even disagreement. On my side is an overwhelming amount of evidence AND theory; on your side, I am afraid there is little more than wishful thinking.

• Doug Cotton says:

And I note the quote …

“you also have downward convection”

No it wasn’t myself who wrote those words.

It seems like there’s now some agreement that downward convective heat transfers (that is, “convection” for short) do happen. I’d even agree that this downward heat creep does in fact happen about half the time on Venus and Uranus anyway. It’s not accurately half the time on Earth because some regions of Earth’s surface are indeed absorbing solar radiated energy directly, rather than acquiring it almost entirely by heat creep, as is much more the case on Venus. And, seeing that day and night each take about “half the time” on Venus, I would agree for that planet anyway.

92. sky says:

The simple mistake that AGWers consistently make is to attribute the difference between actual surface temperatures and SB expectations entirely to radiative properties of GHGs. In fact, in the presence of ANY atmosphere, GHG-independent convective processes dominate in the transfer of heat away from the surface. And when surface evaporation comes into play, the atmosphere is even more rapidly warmed, relegating radiative transfer to a minor, nearly null-net, role.

• Joel Shore says:

Sounds cool, but doesn’t actually make any sense when you think about it. The radiative balance that we’re talking about is the top-of-the-atmosphere radiative balance. If the surface is emitting 390 W/m^2 of radiation and only 240 W/m^2 is making it out to space, it is not rocket science to realize that the only explanation is that some of the emitted radiation is being absorbed (or reflected).

Convective processes cool the surface and are the reason why the surface temperature is only 33K above SB expectations. In the absence of radiation, I believe calculations show that the difference would be about twice that.

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore

Your “SB expectations” (that is, 390W/m^2 causing 288K) are totally false because it is incorrect to include the 324W/m^2 of radiative flux from the colder atmosphere in those calculations. Even Roy Spencer knows that such radiation does not penetrate water by more than a few nanometers, so how is it going to help the Sun’s radiation to warm that transparent surface layer of the oceans that represents about 70% of the surface? Even the solar radiation mostly passes through the first meter or so of the oceans.

If you were right then you should be able to make the bulb of a thermometer in the Sun register a higher temperature by using mirrors to reflect some of its own radiation back onto itself.

I suggest you read, study and inwardly digest this article written by a professor of Applied Mathematics, which is very similar to physics.

Then turn to http://climate-change-theory.com as over 8,000 others have in the last three months. You are fighting a losing battle with your promoting of the fraudulent radiative forcing GH hoax that is causing poverty, starvation and death.

• sky says:

If you’re going to talk about the TOA radiative balance, then you should stick to measurements of that, instead invoking theoretical surface emissions, which you mistake for actual heat transfer. It’s your mixed-up rationale, featuring such gems as “in the absence of radiation,” that makes no sense. Every mass of matter, not just GHGs, radiates somewhere in the EM spectrum. The net heat transfer by ALL mechanisms–not just radiation–is what determines the surface temperature.

• Joel Shore says:

First, you are correct that I had a typo. When I said “In absence of radiation…”, I meant “In absence of convection…”

We also agree that the net heat transfer by all mechanisms is what determines the surface temperature. Hence, the surface temperature would be even higher if not for convection.

However, if we are just getting the magnitude of the greenhouse effect by observation, we don’t need to calculate convection. We just need to observe what the surface temperature actually is and compare it to the largest it could be if the atmosphere were transparent to the emitted terrestrial radiation. Then, this gives us the magnitude of the greenhouse effect (after convection has reduced it from what it would otherwise be if we could somehow “turn off” convection).

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes well, Joel (promoter of the hoax) Shore read this comment just below.

• Doug Cotton says:

And if the atmosphere were “transparent” and without water vapor, there would be no clouds and the atmosphere itself might as well not be there. So then the surface would receive a mean of 342W/m^2 which would make it nearly 6°C, not -18°C. Given that a location like Invercargill (New Zealand) that is close to the mean latitude of 45°S has a mean temperature of only 9°C I suggest that the 14°C postulated in the IPCC website could easily be overstated 5 degrees, but if not, then bear in mind that the main inhabited areas would be much hotter, even getting up to about 120°C as happens on the Moon. Yes the mean temperature might be about 6°C, but that would be mainly due to far colder temperatures in polar regions – which is not much use for life on the planet. I’d rather have what we have.

• Doug Cotton says:

Why AGW Stefan Boltzmann calculations are wrong:

Only direct solar radiation should be counted in Stefan Boltzmann calculations, and you need to deduct the simultaneous loses by Earth’s surface due to non-radiative (sensible) heat transfer and evaporative cooling.

On average, the solar radiation is 168W/m^2 and those losses are 102W/m^2 and so the remaining 66W/m^2 doesn’t have a chance in regard to maintaining the global mean of, say, 288K that requires an extra 324W/m^2, that is a total of 168+324=492W/m^2 of solar radiation, not 168W/m^2. (S-B calculations give 288K for 390W/m^2 and the energy budgets get that input from 168+324-102=390W/m^2.)

Now, yes it is possible for the Sun to warm some regions, mostly in or near the tropics on clear cloudless days. Then the incident solar radiation may be reduced by only 30% instead of about 50% in the atmosphere because we don’t have clouds reflecting 20%. So, if the angle of incidence is around 60 to 90 degrees, we use 70% of 1360W/m^2 multiplied by the sine of that angle of incidence and we can indeed get up to 950W/m^2 in the one location on Earth where the Sun is directly overhead. The non-radiative losses also increase, perhaps to 200W/m^2 and so the remaining 750W/m^2 could potentially explain a temperature of 339K (66°C) but we don’t get there because the angle of incidence is not 90 degrees all through the day and the Sun doesn’t have long enough to quite get there.

However, if the IPCC were correct in adding back radiation, their 324W/m^2 is 83% of the 390W/m^2 being emitted. So the back radiation from our 750W/m^2 would be 83% of that, namely 622W/m^2. Now, following their logic, we would need to add that to the 750 and thus get 1372W/m^2 for which S-B calculations then give us a totally unbelievable maximum Earth surface temperature of 394K which is 121°C.

• Doug Cotton says:

PS: Note that the 1372W/m^2 is close to the 1360W/m^2 which one location of the Moon receives when the Sun is directly overhead, and the maximum temperature on the Moon does indeed get to just over 120°C.

• Tim,

I used the word ‘but’ because you said this:

“The only energy that really counts for SB calculations is the INTERNAL energy of an object that determines the temperature of the object.”

The fact is that if there is ANY internal MOVEMENT of energy then it is not a black body.

A black body absorbs perfectly and then emits perfectly so any internal processing of energy detracts from that black body perfection.

So, as soon as one has conduction and convection it is no longer a black body and need no longer obey S-B.

The more conduction and convection the less like a black body it becomes.

The factors that control the amount of conduction and convection are atmospheric mass and the strength of the gravitational field and NOT radiative capability because gas density at the surface determines the proportion of energy passing through that can be absorbed by conduction and convection.

Conduction and convection do however respond equally and oppositely to any changes in radiative capability within the atmosphere in the way that I have described.

Thus:

i) If the net effect of GHGs is radiation to space then less energy comes down in convective descent than goes up in convective ascent.

ii) If the net effect of GHGs is radiation to the surface then more energy goes up in convective ascent than comes down in convective descent.

Either way the imbalance that the radiative capability of GHGs introduces is cancelled by the convective response because less energy then comes down in descent than went up in ascent.

If there are no GHGs then both ascent and descent carry the same energy and all radiation to space goes out from the surface.

The more GHGs there are the more goes out to space from within the atmosphere and the less goes out from the surface but the total going out stays the same (at equilibrium) as that coming in.

• Tim Folkerts says:

This is messed up in SO many ways!

The only energy that really counts for SB calculations is the INTERNAL energy of an object that determines the temperature of the object. Not “direct solar radiation”; not “Direct solar & back radiation”. It can be interesting how it got that energy, but really that is secondary. Once the energy has become internal thermal energy, it carries no information about its source.

If a surface is 288K (and a black body) then the outgoing thermal EM flux will be 390 W/m^2. Period. End of sentence. Call it “radiance” if you like.

If the surface is going to remain at 288 K, then the total energy in must equal the total energy out. Again, not “direct solar radiation” but all energies in and all energies out. If (energy in) = (energy out), then the over all Q = 0 and, since Q=mc Delta(T), then Delta(T) is zero. IF the total energy in is 168 W/m^2 and the total energy out is 168 W/m^2, the temperature will remain steady wherever it is. That could be 255 K or 288 K or 150 K or 600 K.

I should repeat that since many people seem to miss this point. ANY amount of input energy can hold an object at ANY temperature, as long as the output energy flows are EQUAL to the input energy flows. The surface of Venus can stay warm with very small heat inputs if the heat outputs are equally small. The troposphere of Uranus can be kept warm with minimal heat input as long as there is an equally small heat output.

• You are right for a black body but if it isn’t a blackbody then the internal energy can stabilise at any figure at all as long as energy in equals energy out.

For a non black body the surface temperature will then be related to the ability of the non blackbody to conduct and convect internally and will not radiate to space at the temperatutre of the surface.

For the Earth the point of stability is 288K at the surface, 255K escaping to space and the balance of 33K constantly recycling up sand down within convective overturning.

As you say:

“ANY amount of input energy can hold an object at ANY temperature, as long as the output energy flows are EQUAL to the input energy flows”

Do you realise that realisation of that point destroys the radiative theory of AGW?

• The critical events which radiative theory fails to capture are these:

i) Insolation heats the surface to 255K

ii) Heat at the surface conducts to air molecules which then rise convectively creating potential energy from that surface heat and potential energy cannot radiate so it stays in the atmosphere, unable to escape to space.

iii) The energy so conducted and convected does not reduce surface temperature below 255K because new insolation continues to arrive at the previous rate thus replacing it constantly. Instead the energy lost to space by radiation is reduced temporarily during the first convective cycle.

iv) That potential energy takes time to rise up and then it falls back in convective descent.

v) As the potential energy returns to kinetic energy during the descent the air warms and so distorts the lapse rate slope which reduces the rate of convection from the surface below the descending column.

vi)That reduction in convection allows additional heat energy (above S-B) to build up at the surface. Just like a glass greenhouse.

vii) That additional heat energy at the surface goes into the next cycle of conduction and convective uplift and so cannot radiate to space.

viii) The Earth’s surface needs to reach 288K in order to enable 255K to radiate to space past the obstacle presented by conduction and convection within the mass of the atmosphere.

It is basic physics to assert that all mass presents an obstacle to the free flow of radiation because it can absorb that radiation and move it internally at a rate slower than the speed of light.

The discrepancy between surface temperature and radiation to space from the top of an atmosphere is thus explained by conduction and convection inside the atmosphere.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Stephen says: “You are right for a black body but …”.
Why did you add “but”. You are joining two thoughts, both of which agree with my statement. “… if it isn’t a blackbody then the internal energy can stabilise at any figure at all as long as energy in equals energy out.”

So whether or not it is a black body, it can stabilize at any temperature as long as (energy in) = (energy out). If they are not equal, then the temperature changes until they are equal. (Of course, if the inputs are changing, then the temperature of the object simply chases this sort of balance, eg cooling at night, but rewarming during the day.)

“Do you realise that realisation of that point destroys the radiative theory of AGW?”
NOT AT ALL! Anything that impacts energy out impacts the final temperature.

Radiative gases change the energy output from the surface by restricting loses by IR radiation. The surface finds a higher steadystate temperature in this case than if such a restriction was not in place.

• “Radiative gases change the energy output from the surface by restricting losses by IR radiation. The surface finds a higher steady state temperature in this case than if such a restriction was not in place.”

Radiative gases allow radiation direct to space from within the atmosphere which is not possible in their absence. To that extent they enhance energy loss (potentially).

They do radiate downwards as well but the downward radiation does not require a higher surface temperature because it is offset by the weakening of the downward transfer of energy within convective descent which has been caused by the radiative loss to space from within the atmosphere.

The energy loss from the surface remains as before but less is lost as radiation direct to space and more is lost to conduction and convection in order to make up the shortfall in the convective cycle previously caused by GHGs radiating to space from within the atmosphere.

GHGs just reapportion WHERE the radiation departs from between atmosphere and surface. They do not affect TOTAL energy loss.

It is the TOTAL rate of energy loss that must change if surface temperature is to change.

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes, the outward radiation from the surface is 390W/m^2 and the thermal energy transferred out of the surface by radiation is about 66W/m^2.

The balance is seen below …

Thermal energy in …

Thermal energy out:
Total out: 168W/m^2

To each side we should add x representing extra inward convection and conduction by day and outward by night. Radiation plays only a small role and if it is slowed then the other processes compensate by accelerating and nullifying any slowing of radiative cooling.

• Doug Cotton says:

Stephen Wilde writes:

i) Insolation heats the surface to 255K”

No it doesn’t. You have not deducted the simultaneous energy losses of 102W/m^2 by non-radiative processes, and you have used a figure for solar flux which ignores the fact that an extra 20% is absorbed by the atmosphere on top of the 30% that is reflected.

Solar radiation absorbed by the surface: 168W/m^2

Less simultaneous losses by non-radiative processes: 102W/m^2

Net solar radiation into surface: 66W/m^2.

• Tim Folkerts says:

Stephen says“i) Insolation heats the surface to 255K”

Insolation heats the surface. Period. IF the only way the surface can lose energy is via blackbody radiation, then the surface warms to 255 K (averaging in some way over the various swings), at which point the power out equals power in, and the temperature is stable (again, averaging over the various swings).

“iii) The energy so conducted and convected does not reduce surface temperature below 255K because new insolation continues to arrive at the previous rate thus replacing it constantly. Instead the energy lost to space by radiation is reduced temporarily during the first convective cycle.”

EITHER
* the temperature drops and radiation drops
OR
* the temperature stays the same and radiation stays the same.

The equation is P/A = sigma T^4. You can’t change T without changing P as well.

• Kristian says:

Tim Folkerts says, April 15, 2015 at 5:18 AM:

“Anything that impacts energy out impacts the final temperature.”

So if we simply doubled the atmosphere’s mass, then – all else being equal – mean evaporation rates from the global ocean would go down and force global SSTs to rise in order to restore balance. And if we halved it, then – all else being equal – mean evaporation rates from the global ocean would go up and force global SSTs to drop in order to restore balance.

“Radiative gases change the energy output from the surface by restricting loses by IR radiation.”

I refer you once again to CERES and its estimated evolution in global surface cooling rate by radiation alone since 2000. It has strongly increased (by ~ 1.5 W/m2), which means that the atmosphere’s RF on the surface seems to have severely weakened over the last 15 years, and that even as the overall atmospheric CO2 concentration rose by 7.5-8 % (global WV and cloud cover rose also):

https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/ceres_ebaf-surface_ed2-8_areaaveragetimeseries_deseasonalized_surface_net_longwave_flux-all-sky_032000to092014.png

• Doug Cotton says:

“GHG-independent convective processes dominate in the transfer of heat away from the surface.”

Yes, and also into the surface, as here.

93. The questions I have are what will be the future CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere? Will a cooling climate if it should take place, reverse CO2 increases and or the GHG EFFECT or at least slow them down? If so how soon and by how much?

That aside how much of an influence would a further increase in CO2 concentrations exert on the global temperature? How much of an influence does CO2 have on the temperature now?

These are the questions which need to be answered.

My feeling is I think a cooling climate will at the very least reduce the amount of CO2 increase and or the GHG effect. I do not know by how much or what the lag time may be. Maybe 5 years due to the CO2 residence time if that is correct.

As far as the influence of CO2 on global temperatures I think it is around .1c to .2c but this is overwhelmed by natural variability many times over.

If global temperatures should be overwhelmed by natural variability as data suggest and the GHG effect is at least stabilized in the process the global temperature trend should be down because all of the natural variability factors which influence the temperature going forward should be in a cold mode for the most part.

Natural Variability Factor And Mode

AMO -cold mode

PDO – cold mode.

ENSO – mostly a cold mode.

OCEAN HEAT CONTENT – cold mode.

Those factors by themselves should overwhelm CO2 warming effects going forward. When possible Solar Secondary Effects ,Milankovitch Cycles and the Geo Magnetic Field trend are added to the mix it makes the possible cooling trend much more likely and even more pronounced.

• Doug Cotton says:

How about discussing how much a variation of 1% in the concentration of the most prolific “greenhouse gas” water vapor would cause in surface temperatures. Then compare your 20 degrees or more per 1% WV with reality, as I have in the study at the back of the paper linked here.

94. Doug Cotton says:

Planetary core and surface temperatures only decline in accord with long term decline in the intensity of radiation from their star, in our case, the Sun.

Some will have significant internal energy generation due to fission, radioactive decay and sometimes contraction of the whole gaseous planet, wherein gravitational potential energy in molecules is converted to molecular kinetic energy which is thermal energy that then gets converted to electro-magnetic energy in extra outward radiation, such as is observed coming from Jupiter. However, the internal energy generation is not sufficient on its own, and nor would it (by coincidence) be just the right amount to explain and maintain the temperatures in all regions.

Planets will also experience long term climate cycles which lead to relatively small variations in radiative balance even when there is no internal energy generation. For example, Earth would have had net losses in the hundreds of years between the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age. Uranus may well be in the cooling phase of a long term natural cycle and thus losing at most a mere half a watt per square meter. As pointed out in another comment, if it were free to cool off it sure would be losing a lot more than that from its 5000K core. But instead, what happens in my hypothesis, supplies the right amount of energy to maintain the core temperatures and all the other temperatures down to the radiating altitude at just the right level and with just the right temperature gradients based on the quotient of the acceleration due to the planet’s gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases or solids involved, but reduced a little in magnitude due to inter-molecular radiation such as between water molecules in our troposphere.

• Norman says:

Doug,

Admit you are a BOT and not a human. You keep repeating the same things over and over almost without any change like an AI program with a large data file that it throws out. Let us all rest easy and come clean. It is your coming out moment, announce to the world. “I am not a human being! I am an artificial intelligent program designed by my master Doug Cotton”

• Doug Cotton says:

Then how about you discuss the calculations in this comment, Norman? And don’t forget to answer all the questions you have failed to answer correctly.

You don’t really give me or anyone the impression that you are genuinely searching for the truth. Your motive is tainted by your gullibility in absorbing the AGW garbage “science” and you did not even pick up on Joel’s glaring error with his “240W/m^2” exiting at TOA instead of about 340W/m^2 which matches the 340W/m^2 coming into the Earth’s system.

95. Norman says:

Joel Shore

I have a question for you about a previous post where you stated “If the surface is emitting 390 W/m^2 of radiation and only 240 W/m^2 is making it out to space, it is not rocket science to realize that the only explanation is that some of the emitted radiation is being absorbed (or reflected).” This difference in radiation amounts was a big factor in me being convinced GHE is quite real and proven science but then Massimo PORZIO points out the satellite measurement of outgoing longwave radiation may only be picking up a fraction of the energy. His claim is the detectors on the satellites only pick up straight line radiation directly below them. Carbon Dioxide and Water vapor will send radiation in all directions like a fog of energy. Do you know how the satellites actually gather the radiant energy to be certain to collect all the radiation leaving the TOA?

I think Massimo makes a really good point and I would like to have some certainty on this. Thanks.

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore’s figure of 240W/m^2 is garbage. Also, the 390W/m^2 is only a flux of electro-magnetic energy, most of which is just re-emitted back radiation that has been pseudo scattered.

The TOA radiative imbalance is rarely outside the range ±0.6%. It is the result of natural warming or cooling, and not the cause.

You do nothing but demonstrate how gullible you are, Norman. No wonder you’ve been so easily brain washed with the fictitious, fiddled physics of climatology.

Try reading my comment Apr 14, 5:36PM

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Doug,
I never entered your debate with Norman, despite I’m by your side for what you wrote above, I must disagree with your method of approaching Norman.
In my point of view he is doing a right question here, which I already did but it seems I’ve not been able to explain correctly the point, because Joel responded that the surface radiation is diffused too.
I well know that the radiation is already diffused, but that kind of diffusion is called lambertian source, it is well parameterized over any , so it just need a calibration of the satellite radiometer for the current content of GHGs using some reference ground stations and “et voilà”, the satellite became precise measuring the global outgoing energy.
But if the issue I’m exposing here really existed then as the GHGs content consistently changes, the satellite measurements will diverge from the real ground energy emission.
In my opinion the whole climate measurement system should be discussed and proven to be reliable for any energy balance estimation.
I’m not arguing that satellites are not working for measuring ground or air temperature, IMHO they are just not reliable for measuring the outgoing energy.

Anyways, Doug I believe that Norman and anybody here have the right to ask for an explanation about any issue they have with the matter.

Have a nice day.

Massimo

• Doug Cotton says:

If Norman actually did ask me genuine questions about what is in my paper, rather than just writing comments like this then perhaps I might not come down so hard on him about the numerous errors he makes because he has no qualifications in physics and no correct understanding of entropy and energy potentials.

As an example, Norman writes above: “This difference in radiation amounts was a big factor in me being convinced GHE is quite real” and that was based on Joel’s error (maybe a typo) when he wrote 240 instead of 340W/m^2. Yes 100W/m^2 difference would be a “big factor” but, as I have mentioned in comments that Norman could have read, the difference in radiation received and emitted at top of atmosphere is nearly always between ±0.6% and so 340W/m^2 inwards nay lead to 342 or 338W/m^2 outwards.

Energy imbalance at TOA is the result of natural climate cycles and not the cause of any climate change.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Doug,
I agree that Norman had been a little not polite with you, I particularly disliked when he accused you to neither know the meanings of integral, I’m not taking the part of you or him about that.
Anyways, I believe that being tolerant is a winning strategy for communicating to the others your own thought.

Have a nice day.

Massimo

• JohnKl says:

Hi Doug Cotton,

Have a great day!

• JohnKl says:

Hi Doug Cotton,

One other thing! You mentioned Joel Shore’s statements regarding surface radiation. In past reading I’ve noticed he’s claimed wildly varying figures as well if I remember correctly. It seems he’s cited 240w/m^2 and 390w/m^2. He makes flippant comments seemingly without rational foundation like implying radiative frequency doesn’t have much to do with temperature (I think he called such claims MAGIC) relying it seems on some bogus notion of total energy flow no matter how or in what form the energy flows as if anything else would be irrelevant. To me he often seems not serious. If he teaches such things academically students will suffer. Many on this blog-site seem to believe without rational basis that INTENSITY of radiation determines temperature and discount FREQUENCY. Imo, evidence (including Max Planck) has always supported the exact opposite conclusion. You know the kind of reasoning I’m talking about. Don’t be tempted to imitate them they may appear to some as bearing light, but sometimes it’s just a mirage. Thanks and…

Have a great day!

• Doug Cotton says:

Joel Shore continues to reiterate his incorrect figure of 240W/m^2 – see this comment.

• Doug Cotton says:

JohnKl:

No it wasn’t me who said: a molecule at some given elevation could not transfer KE to a molecule at a higher elevation. Please understand that I am not wanting to reproduce over 20 pages of detailed explanation in my two papers here.

• JohnKl says:

My apologies Doug! Thank you for the clarification and…

Have a great day!

96. Norman says:

Massimo PORZIO

I like your argument about the satellite view but after more research it seems that the scientists involved took care of the problem of narrow view. The latest satellites use wide field of view so that a narrow view missing critical information is no longer an issue. The low IR leaving the TOA in the absorption bands of Carbon Dioxide are probably what they say they are and the GHE is probably real science that has been empirically measured.

I may be wrong in my understanding but at least it is worth considering.

• Doug Cotton says:

Yes as usual you are indeed wrong, Norman. The energy absorbed by carbon dioxide is often transferred eventually to water vapor molecules via molecular collisions. It then exits the atmosphere by way of water vapor frequencies. Funny that no one discusses a lot of absorption by water vapor.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Doug,
“The energy absorbed by carbon dioxide is often transferred eventually to water vapor molecules via molecular collisions.”
I fully agree, this is one of the reasons that I believe (just a believing of course) that the bite at 14um/666cm-1 could be there also with the full Earth dish FOV.

Have a nice day

Massimo

• Doug Cotton says:

Good to see you agree, Massimo.

There is no convincing evidence that outward radiation from the whole Earth system is significantly less than radiation received. The difference is rarely more than 2W/m^2 which is about 0.6% of the 342W/m^2 coming in and out.

• Massimo PORZIO says:

Hi Norman,
I read the chapter but I don’t see any reference about spectral measurements with wide FOV.
I read about the 2.5*FOV of ERB scanning radiometer and I already knew that the second CERES radiometer on Terra satellite (if I remember well) have a scanning view horizon by horizon, but it’s a radiometer not a spectrometer. Thus, for what I know, the measurements reported a CO2 sensitivity almost half the one at Nadir, but reporting a “noisy” data. In my opinion that “noisy” data along the scan is because the spectra at the radiometer slit is changing along the scan.
If the instrument was a spectrometer I’m almost sure that the issue showed up.
Consider that I’m Italian, in case I missed some detail in the reading, please could you write an excerpt of that text with the details I missed here?

Again thank you for you interest to the issue.

Have a nice day.

Massimo

• JohnKl says:

Hi Norman,

Thank you for the link and the post.

LW radiation absorbed by CO2 in the lower atmosphere gets re-radiated to other molecules sharing the same bandwidths and/or conveyed to other molecules. CO2 at TOA being an even slightly scarcer trace gas than at the surface then radiates much of the tiny portion remaining to space. Being a trace gas the low amount of 15um radiated gets labeled a “bite.” Such terms reflect persuasive propaganda not physics.

On another thread you responded to comments I made about the Earth’s magnetic field and warming of the upper atmosphere, claiming if I remember correctly that it doesn’t have much impact because the Earth’s magnetic field energy lacked the requisite power to have much effect. The problem with that line of reasoning ignores a basic fact. The magnetic field not only blocks and/or absorbs CME’s but “traps” certain high frequency radiation like oh! I don’t know…how about UV! In the Stratosphere Ozone (O3) accomplishes that task to a great extent but at higher elevations (perhaps like the Thermosphere) the magnetic field has greater relative impact than at lower elevations. Don’t know if this helps. Thanks again and…

Have a great day!

• Norman says:

JohnKl

I remember my post about the magnetic field. I was not because of a lack of field strength that I made the comment. It was about the fact that magnetic fields only will effect ions (there path) not neutral molecules. I can’t remember the whole extent of the post.

• JohnKl says:

Hi Norman,

Thank you Norman for the clarification, which relates to CME’s and solar plasma. However, as I mentioned the Earth’s magnetic field also traps high frequency radiation like UV. This helps warm the atmosphere where present. Thanks again and…

Have a great day!

97. David Cosserat says:

Roy,

You said “Now let the sillyness begin…” and didn’t it just!

I do wonder how many of your impassioned contrarian responders actually bothered to look at your spreadsheet. Your key formula for the SOIL COOLING RATE for each 30 minute period (I have omitted fixed scaling constants for clarity) is:

SOIL_COOLING_RATE = (UPWELLING_IR – DOWNWELLING_IR) / (SOIL_DEPTH * HEAT_CAPACITY)

So there it is, loud and clear: soil cooling rate depends on the difference between the up and down radiation values, in conformance with standard radiation physics. (You correctly omitted the non-radiative losses due to thermal and evapotranspiration because, as you say, your purpose is only to make a comparison between Slayer and non-Slayer treatment of ‘back radiation’).

And, of course, the direction of heat transfer is from warmer (surface) to cooler (atmosphere), fully in conformance with the Second Law.

Here is where I believe the core confusion lies:

Contrarians think that the upwelling and downwelling radiation figures in your spreadsheet are actual energy flows, not just potential flows that offset one another.

This leads them to all sorts of logical confusions including the perennial nonsense that if back radiation existed it would cause runaway warming. In fact, because the up and down radiation figures are only potentials, they can’t on their own cause anything. It is only the difference between them that causes actual energy flow, always from warmer to cooler.

Trenberth (2008) didn’t help at all by mixing potential and actual flows in his famous diagram. All the figures in that diagram are actual energy flows except for (i) upward radiation from the surface (396W/m^2); and (ii) downward radiation towards the surface (333W/m^2). Those two figures are potentials that directly offset one another, resulting in an actual energy flow of a modest 63W/m^2 upwards. Once this is appreciated, all the flows in the diagram make sense.

The best analogy I know is an electrical one – between a potential voltage (also known as an electromotive force, or EMF) and an actual voltage that causes a current to flow in a circuit. If two potential voltages exactly oppose one another, no current flows in the circuit. If one potential voltage is larger than the other, only the difference between them is available for inducing current flow.

For example, suppose a TV remote controller contains two 1.5 volt batteries connected in series to provide a 3 volt supply. If you accidentally insert one of the two 1.5 volt batteries the wrong way round, then no current flows and your remote does not work. The two 1.5V potentials exactly offset one another leaving zero volts available to power the circuit.

But if (hypothetically – don’t try this at home!) the first battery exerts 10 volts and the incorrectly inserted second battery exerts 7 volts then the resultant voltage available to drive current round the circuit will be exactly 3 volts and your remote will work perfectly.

The confusion arises when discussing radiative transfer because your resident mainstream academic physicists, Joel Shore, Tim Folkerts and Robert Brown, quite properly promote the particulate (microscopic) thermodynamic theory in which photon transfers occur in both directions. They are way beyond talking in terms of the classical macroscopic theory of electromagnetic potential fields and they are not wrong in this (the conclusions are exactly the same and we are after all the 21st century!) But it seems that for untrained people already going up a steep learning curve this approach does prove to be an insurmountable complication, perhaps best avoided.

Best wishes
David Cosserat

• David Cosserat says:

Roy,

Further to my earlier comment, I see that Tim Folkerts has made an important key observation (April 14, 2015 at 10:33 PM):

ANY amount of input energy can hold an object at ANY temperature, as long as the output energy flows are EQUAL to the input energy flows. The surface of Venus can stay warm with very small heat inputs if the heat outputs are equally small. The troposphere of Uranus can be kept warm with minimal heat input as long as there is an equally small heat output.

It is a failure to understand this key truth that leads contrarians into such trouble. And even if/when they DO finally get to understand that Trenberth’s radiative energy flow from the earth’s surface really is only a modest 63W/m^2 upwards, they add to this to the non-radiative upward flows from the surface due to thermals (24W/m^2) and evapotranspiration (78W/m^2) and get a still-modest total of only 165W/m^2, shove this into the S-B equation, and get a temperature that is much lower than the observed mean surface temperature of 288K.

Their S-B calculation is completely wrong because the correct figure to put into the S-B equation IS the 396W/m^2 potential radiative figure and IS NOT the 165W/m^2 actual figure. The potential figure defines the temperature of the surface. The actual figure, being the energy flow rate from the surface for steady state temperature conditions, is due to something entirely different: the complex real physics of the intervening atmosphere.

Best wishes,
David Cosserat

• Doug Cotton says:

The lower tropospheres of Uranus and Venus, and the surface of Venus are not kept at their current temperatures by direct solar radiation into those regions. There is none reaching down there on Uranus anyway. And neither is Earth’s surface – see this comment above.

• Doug Cotton says:

Roy has left out all the effects of sensible heat transfers into and out of the surface. At night there is about twice as much thermal energy transferred out of the surface by non-radiative processes as by radiation as shown here.

You can’t ignore this non-radiative cooling, because these rates accelerate and nullify the effect of any slower radiative cooling.

Now all of you could have learnt that three years ago from this paper from which I quote from Section 5 …

Hence, while the surface remains warmer than the base of the atmosphere, any radiation from the cooler atmosphere will undergo resonant scattering and this process leaves no additional thermal energy in the surface. So, under normal weather conditions, no thermal energy can be transferred from the atmosphere by radiation or any other spontaneous process.

In fairness, there would be a slight slowing of the rate of cooling when the temperatures approach each other, because of the way in which the area between the Planck curves reduces. But this only applies to radiation, so evaporation and diffusion could easily compensate and it does not mean energy is added to the surface or the atmosphere.

• Kristian says:

David,

You introduce an interesting argument here that I would be surprised to see Shore, Folkerts and/or Brown getting behind, that the DWLWIR and UWLWIR arrows/figures in Trenberth’s Earth energy budget diagram are merely to be considered as potential energy flows/fluxes, directly offsetting each other, not real and separate energy fluxes in their own right.

You claim that it is the ‘contrarians’ that get this wrong, that confuse the two approaches. My impression is the complete opposite: It is the ‘warmists’ that appear to take for granted that the DWLWIR and UWLWIR are indeed real, distinct fluxes of energy moving down and up respectively, and that the DWLWIR ‘flux’ (the atmospheric “back radiation” to the surface) is then to be considered as a separate INPUT flux of energy to the surface, IN ADDITION TO/NEXT TO the solar heat flux, forcing the surface to go from an ideal, maximum steady-state S-B temperature of 232K (from a purely solar radiative equilibrium, 165 W/m2 IN, 165 W/m2 OUT) to a steady-state S-B temperature of 289K (165 (sol) + 345 (atm) – 112 (conv) W/m2 = 398 W/m2).

I couldn’t agree more with what you say here:

“In fact, because the up and down radiation figures are only potentials, they can’t on their own cause anything. It is only the difference between them that causes actual energy flow, always from warmer to cooler.

Trenberth (2008) didn’t help at all by mixing potential and actual flows in his famous diagram. All the figures in that diagram are actual energy flows except for (i) upward radiation from the surface (396W/m^2); and (ii) downward radiation towards the surface (333W/m^2). Those two figures are potentials that directly offset one another, resulting in an actual energy flow of a modest 63W/m^2 upwards. Once this is appreciated, all the flows in the diagram make sense.

The best analogy I know is an electrical one – between a potential voltage (also known as an electromotive force, or EMF) and an actual voltage that causes a current to flow in a circuit. If two potential voltages exactly oppose one another, no current flows in the circuit. If one potential voltage is larger than the other, only the difference between them is available for inducing current flow.”

If Shore, Folkerts and/or Brown (or Spencer, for that matter) could come out and give their unconditional approval of this particular approach, it would be highly appreciated, for all I’ve ever seen offered by these people in this regard are evasion tactics. My suspicion is that they do in fact agree (as physicists), but that they feel it inconvenient actually admitting it.

Are there – in a radiative heat transfer – two completely independent (‘bulk’) flows of energy moving simultaneously in the opposite direction, occupying the exact same volume of space, both freely depositing their ‘load’ in the opposing object, in and of itself causing, upon absorption of the energy, direct heating of that object (an increase in its ‘internal energy’ [U] and thus a rise in temperature), only with more cooling than heating in the warmer object and more heating that cooling in the cooler one?

Or is this just the formal way that a problem of a real physical process like a ‘radiative heat transfer’, actually only ever observed as a UNIDIRECTIONAL transfer, would be mathematically solved and thus hypothetically described?

Shore? Folkerts? Brown? Spencer?

• Doug Cotton says:

Kristian writes:

(1) “not real and separate energy fluxes in their own right.”

Yes, Kristian, you could have learnt that from my March 2012 paper. I’m years ahead of you.

(2) “It is the ‘warmists’ that appear to take for granted that the DWLWIR and UWLWIR are indeed real, distinct fluxes of energy”

Quite correct. The AGW hoaxers add back radiation to solar radiation to get the radiative flux that “explains” the 288K surface temperature. You could have read that in one of my comments above – even the same calculations.

(3) “Are there – in a radiative heat transfer – two completely independent (‘bulk’) flows of energy moving simultaneously in the opposite direction”

You didn’t even need to ask – the answer (and all you need to know about radiation) is in my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” where it’s been for over three years. Yep, I’m years ahead of you. In another three years you’ll be talking about what’s in my 2013 paper. Both papers are linked on the “Evidence” page at http://climate-change-theory.com

• Joel Shore says:

I’ve explained all this before Kristian, but here it goes again:

(1) Yes, there are two independent flows of energy. The modern (20th century) understanding of physics requires it. [You could quibble with the word independent because nature does impose constraints, such as Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation and the fact that thermal emission at a given wavelength is a monotonically increasing function of temperature, that guarantee that the colder object absorbs more energy from the warmer than the warmer from the colder. But, I assume you still would call such a situation “independent flows”.]

(2) It is actually irrelevant to the existence of the greenhouse effect whether or not you interpret the equations as meaning there are two independent flows or you simply work in terms of the net heat flow, but the correct microscopic picture is of two energy flows. If you had experience solving steady-state problems, you’d understand this; With no experience solving them, you are libel to be tripped up by the sort of nonsense that Joe Postma peddles.

(3) It’s interesting that the analogy to the flow of current when a voltage is applied has been made because you guys appear not to know about the microscopics of that either. Look up Drude Model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drude_model). Your picture of there being no current is a macroscopic picture about the net flow of charge. It does not mean that the electrons are not moving around at the microscopic level. In fact, for typical applied voltages in, say, a metal wire, the thermal velocities of the electrons are typically about 10 orders of magnitude larger than the drift velocities. Hence the picture is of electrons moving around in all directions, with only a very, very tiny bias in the direction of higher potential (which is lower potential energy for negatively-charged electrons).

(4) You say: “…direct heating of that object (an increase in its ‘internal energy’ [U] and thus a rise in temperature), only with more cooling than heating in the warmer object and more heating that cooling in the cooler one?” This part of your statement is somewhat problematic because I think it is more sensible to attribute the steady-state temperature to the NET energy flows than each energy flow individually. Also, as soon as you use the word “heating” it becomes confusing because that is an ill-defined word that we seem to place a lot of different meanings on. This is more a semantic issue than one of the basic physics. I.e., what can be said is that all energy transfers including the one you describe from the colder object to the hotter one, have to be accounted for in order to determine the steady-state temperature (and how the temperature is going to change when you are not in steady-state). But, at some point, like I said, how you describe that becomes a semantic argument, and hence not particularly interesting as far as I am concerned. For example, in my wealth tax analogy (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/why-summer-nighttime-temperatures-dont-fall-below-freezing/#comment-188116) do you think the government is making you wealthier by giving you a 20% rebate on the wealth tax? I am not sure whether that is semantically the best way of describing it, but undoubtedly, You do end up with more money than if they do not give you the rebate.

• Kristian says:

Thanks for that, Joel.

So take heed, David Cosserat!

The first of your resident physicists does not agree with you. At least he won’t admit to it. It would be an inconvenient position to hold, after all, for the further discussion on the ‘greenhouse effect’.

The DWLWIR and UWLWIR terms are NOT seen as mere potential flows of energy. They are each considered independent, separately working flows of energy. According to him it is these that are the real fluxes of energy and the ‘net’ of the two (the ‘heat’) is simply the numerical result of their individual emissions/absorptions at the two bodies involved.

• David Cosserat says:

Hi Kristian,

I believe I have no disagreement with Joel Shore over this. The whole point of what I am trying to put across is to say that it doesn’t matter whether you adhere to classical thermodynamics theory or to modern statistical thermodynamics theory, the Trenberth energy flow estimates are exactly the same.

Of course Joel, as an academic physicist, prefers the latter theory because it is nowadays regarded as a more fundamental model of what is going on. It was totally unknown to 19th century classical thermodynamics. To date, it has never been falsified.

My beef is with people who say that, if you treat the opposing energy potentials between surface and atmosphere (as calculated individually using the S-B formula) as real energy flows (which Joel and most physicists have every right to do), this somehow makes a difference to the outcome. It does not.

Using Trenberth’s 2009 figures, the classical theory says that the net radiative energy flux upwards is 396-333 = 63W/m^2. The statistical theory says that the net radiative energy flux upwards is 396-333 = 63W/m^2. Spot the difference? There isn’t any. If there were any difference then the theories would not be compatible and one or other would have to be rejected!

The difficulty comes because people who are more familiar with the classical analysis tend to examine Trenberth’s separate numbers (396W/m^2 up and 333W/m^2 down) individually looking for what they imagine are sly tricks. They focus on the 333W/m^2 ‘back radiation’ figure and accuse Trenberth et. al. of fraudulently inventing a number to boost the temperature of the surface artificially. They forget that the numbers come as a pair, locked together by the real world situation of two surfaces facing one another.

The bottom line to all of this is that the temperature of the surface is known observationally to be 288K – that’s one of the key starting points for Trenberth’s diagram. The corresponding 396W/m^2 upward radiation figure is simply a calculation from that 288K number using S-B. If you are an adherent of statistical thermodynamics, it represents the upward photon flux. If you prefer the classical theory, it represents the upward radiative potential.

Likewise, the 333W/m^2 downward radiation figure is an estimate (as are many of the other Trenberth energy flows), based on best, but imperfect knowledge. If you are an adherent of statistical thermodynamics, it represents the downward photon flux. If you prefer the classical theory, it represents the downward radiative potential.

Whichever way you care to interpret these two numbers doesn’t matter because they come as a pair. You can’t just discard one or the other. The Trenberth diagram models a real-world situation in which a slightly hotter surface faces a slightly cooler lower atmosphere, with a resulting upward radiative flux of 63W/m^2, from warmer to cooler body in full conformance with the second law of thermodynamics.

All the best
David

• Kristian says:

David,

Like I said, I actually agree with your take on this. However, this is exactly why I’m so bemused that you would take on the role as apologist for the nonsense being propagated by Climate Science^TM and its proponents (like Shore) in this regard. They’re the ones, after all, spreading this confusion, David, no one else. I’m at a loss as to how you can’t see this.

– – –

So in what way, if we don’t already know the surface temperature from before, how do we find it by looking only at the actual, directly measured (detected) fluxes in the Earth system?

The only real radiant flux emitted by the global solar-heated surface of the Earth, with the warm, massive atmosphere lying on top of it, is the radiant HEAT. That’s all we can ever measure.

So if the surface absorbs a Q_in flux (the solar heat) of 165 W/m2 and sheds a total Q_out flux (conductive+evaporative+radiative; 24+88+53= 165 W/m2) of the same intensity, then all we can know is that the surface would be in a steady state, its heat IN exactly balanced by its heat OUT.

There is, however, no way we could ever know its physical mean temperature from this. 165 W/m2 IN, 165 W/m2 OUT. 232K? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

The radiant heat flux in this scenario could be the net result of an upward 53 W/m2 sfc radiance and a downward 0 W/m2 sky radiance, or it could be the net result of an upward 20000 W/m2 sfc radiance and a downward 19947 W/m2 sky radiance. It wouldn’t make a difference to the radiant heat flux. It would be 53 W/m2 in either case.

So how can you determine the surface temperature?

There are two ways of doing this:

You could 1) actually … measure it.

Or you could 2) cool an IR-sensitve detector down as much as possible (ideally to absolute zero) and direct it towards the surface. If this detector were sensitive to ALL wavelengths of EMR impinging on it, you could have a direct reading of the full power of the radiant heat flux transferred to it from the surface. A more practical approach would be to determine the peak wavelength of the surface blackbody radiation absorbed by the detector. Both of these values could then be used as input to compute the surface temperature. Of course, the sfc temp varies from place to place all across the globe and from minute to minute all throughout the year, so it would be a formidable task gathering enough information to estimate a global average by this method.

Just measuring the temperature straight off is easier.

A pyrgeometer, for instance, is entirely dependent on direct measurements of the temperature of its sensor, or else it would be unable to compute the UWLWIR and DWLWIR ‘fluxes’.

This is because the sensor itself only ever detects the radiant HEAT moving into or out of it. The UWLWIR and DWLWIR ‘fluxes’ are never directly measured. They couldn’t be. They are always computed by the instrument. Based on the physically detected sensor temperature and the physically detected radiant heat flux to/from the sensor.

– – –

This is the point: The classical approach bases itself on what we actually, physically observe in a heat transfer – the unidirectional transfer of heat. The modern approach uses a descriptive MODEL to try and explain what we observe. Nothing new is observed. Something new is hypothesized.

No one has ever seen the two hypothetically independent, opposing emissive fluxes inside a radiant heat transfer. Because it can’t be done. You can’t see the one without the other. This is pretty elementary.

So they remain hypothetical, inferred. The statistical approach to thermodynamics simply says that the observed UNIdirectional heat is hypothetically divided into two opposing radiation fluxes, making up the heat (the ‘net’) in between them.

So how could this ever be falsified? When there is no way you could experimentally/empirically determine whether or not these two opposing radiation fluxes in fact exist independently inside the observed radiant heat transfer, and when they simply end up netting out to what we actually observe, the heat?

Of course the two approaches are totally compatible. The one is saying 1 = 1, the other one’s saying 2 – 1 = 1.

The problem only arises when the bidirectional explanation is used specifically to obtain the surface temperature of the Earth.

You can’t (by radiative theory) get to a physical temperature of 289K through a heat budget of 165 W/m2 IN and 165 W/m2 OUT.

You can only get there if you start out by assuming that the surface actually absorbs much more than just the 165 W/m2 and must therefore also emit much more:

Energy IN (in reality, Q_in): 165* + 345** – 112*** = 398 W/m2

Energy OUT (in reality, Q_out): 398 W/m2****

*solar INPUT
**atmospheric INPUT (DWLWIR ‘flux’)
***conductive/evaporative loss (OUTPUT)
****surface OUTPUT (UWLWIR ‘flux’); the emission flux to 0 K of a blackbody at 289K (and voilà! there it is!)

This is what the ‘slimy trick’ of Climate Science^TM amounts to, David. I’m sorry you still won’t see it …

• Kristian says:

Joel Shore says, April 16, 2015 at 6:17 AM:

“It is actually irrelevant to the existence of the greenhouse effect whether or not you interpret the equations as meaning there are two independent flows or you simply work in terms of the net heat flow (…)”

It is by no means irrelevant. The distinction lies at the core of the rGHE hypothesis.

The average Q_in to the global surface of the Earth is 165 W/m2 (the evened-out solar flux).

In a steady state, this is the average value that the Q_out from the surface needs to match.

And it does: 24 W/m2 (conduction) + 53 W/m2 (radiation) + 88 W/m2 (evaporation) = 165 W/m2.

The 53 W/m2 is the average radiative HEAT flux emitted by the global surface. It couldn’t be more than 165 W/m2 (in a purely radiative situation, no atmosphere). With an atmosphere it is naturally less, because then the solar-heated surface will lose energy in the form of heat by available mechanisms other than radiation. The surface of the Earth is basically immersed in a sea of air, and this sea of air brings energy away from the underlying surface as this is being heated by the Sun. This makes a difference.

What the rGHE hypothesis claims (via the ‘bidirectional approach’) is that the 53 W/m2 radiative heat flux is nothing but the ‘net result’ of two real, opposing fluxes of energy, one from the surface up and one from the atmosphere down.

The claim is then that, if there were no IR-active substances in the atmosphere, there would be no downward flux and consequently the upward flux would be uncountered, as if facing a perfect vacuum at absolute zero.

So there would be no ‘net flux’ (radiative heat) of 53 W/m2 from the surface. There would only be an upward 398 W/m2 flux emitted from a surface blackbody temperature of 289K.

So the surface would absorb a (solar) heat flux of 165 W/m2, but emit a total heat flux of [24+88+398=] 510 W/m2.

So the surface would have to cool down considerably, until the surface heat OUTPUT once again matched the INPUT:

[24+88+53=] 165 W/m2

According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, this would require a mean sfc temp of only 175K.

But, wait, this can’t be!

Of course not. Two things will (apparently) change in the meantime:

1) All sfc loss through conduction and evaporation would eventually cease, because the atmosphere would somehow become entirely isothermal (even with the surface still being heated constantly by the Sun). So the surface, even with a massive atmosphere on top, would end up in a purely radiative situation, so would radiate its entire heat IN back out again.

2) There would be no atmospheric absorption of incoming solar heat, so the solar flux at the surface would be equal to the one through the ToA: 240 W/m2.

What (apparently) wouldn’t change is global albedo (even without any clouds). It would remain at 0.3.

So the global sfc in this scenario would ideally end up at 255K, emitting 240 W/m2 directly to space.

In other words, the warmer global surface of the Earth needs to absorb the 345 W/m2 of extra input energy down from the cooler atmosphere for its temperature to be able to rise all the way to 289K. The solar input alone could, after all, only ever heat it to a max of 232K (165 W/m2). With an additional 345 W/m2, you get a total of 510 W/m2 absorbed, and then all you need to do is subtract the conductive/evaporative loss (24+88= 112 W/m2) to get the 398 W/m2, which is what a blackbody sfc at 289K would emit:

https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/drivhuseffekten.png
(Derived from Stephens et al. 2012.)

“If you had experience solving steady-state problems, you’d understand this; With no experience solving them, you are libel to be tripped up by the sort of nonsense that Joe Postma peddles.”

Falling back into the condescending mode again, are we, Joel?

“It’s interesting that the analogy to the flow of current when a voltage is applied has been made because you guys appear not to know abo