Winter Returns: Rockies Expecting Up to 5 ft

April 15th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Updated with model forecast made Thursday morning, April 16.

A strong spring storm developing over the Northern Rockies will bring heavy snow and strong winds to portions of Wyoming and Colorado over the next few days, with the heaviest snows expected on Friday. Winter storm watches and warnings are starting to be issued, with more modest snow totals expected in Montana, Idaho, Utah, and New Mexico.

Predicted total snowfall amounts from the GFS model reach up to 5 ft by Sunday morning in the mountains (graphic courtesy of Weatherbell.com):
gfs_6hr_snow_acc_central_13

The cold air mass is expected to then shift east, with reinforcing cold air coming south through Canada, bringing a chance of Spring snows to the upper Midwest, including Chicago, by late next week.


363 Responses to “Winter Returns: Rockies Expecting Up to 5 ft”

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  1. Norman says:

    Good balance to the media claiming the recent tornado outbreak caused by climate change.

    The two items (tornadoes and blizzards) are related. There is still a lot of cold air North and now some really warm and wet air moving into the mix.

    http://wx.hamweather.com/maps/currents/temperature/nam.html

  2. Norman says:

    I think to get less cold air up in Canada might be a good thing to lower the risk of severe weather but I could be wrong. This is based upon the meterology I studied but it is changing. A less temperature gradient between North and South now seems to generate a more intense jet stream flow.

    • rah says:

      Norman says:
      April 15, 2015 at 10:25 AM

      Good balance to the media claiming the recent tornado outbreak caused by climate change.

      The two items (tornadoes and blizzards) are related. There is still a lot of cold air North and now some really warm and wet air moving into the mix.

      http://wx.hamweather.com/maps/currents/temperature/nam.html
      ———————————————————
      I really don’t see any connection except both are generally caused by warm moist air colliding with cold air. I fail to see any other connection. Blizzard winds are generally straight line and not a tight cyclonic pattern as seen in a tornado producing mesocyclone. In fact I would say it would be fairer to say that a blizzard is far more similar to a drenching squall line having powerful straight line winds.

      There are such a things as Snownados but they’re formed by eddies when high straight line wind encounter an obstruction on a surface that is snow covered and have nothing to do with heating or cooling.

      • buzz says:

        Guys I might be getting senile in my old age but for as long as I can remember there has been tornadoes in the spring and spring snow in the mountains. Sometimes even on the 4th of July closer to Canada. Why is everyone acting like this has never happened before? Like as in every year.

        • Old Vet says:

          I can remember being in Yellowstone National Park in the first week of August 1966 and getting snow flurries one afternoon.

        • John Schuh says:

          I recall a visit to Yellowstone in early July, 1950. We stayed in the little log cabins they used to have there, with the potbellied wood stove. It was cold enough for a fire. My Dad got one started and then went around helping the city folks who didnÕt know how to start a fire or keep one going. Must have been in the low Ô40s or high Ô30s that night. I slept like a log.

        • David L says:

          The reason is that the global warming movement is trying to hype any and everything to try and justify their ideology. Common sense and historical records goo out true window. The short story…..they lie!

          • Rube says:

            The whole global warming thing is a way for Democrats to line their pockets with cash. Tax on this and tax on that. Who knows where the money goes.

          • Evelyn Scott says:

            The climate change people are only in it for the money…..lots to be had from the gov’t for green programs.

          • David Appell says:

            Rube: what taxes?

          • Adam Gallon says:

            I don’t know about US taxes, but UK ones that apply to “Climate Change”
            Motor fuels. We’re paying £1.10/litre+ for petrol & £1.18/litre+ for diesel.
            Cars taxed anually, according to their CO2/Km emissions
            Climate Change Levy applied to household energy bills (Money to pay the wind & solar power industries their subsidies).
            Electricity providers have to buy a certain percentage of their power from “Green” sources at their higher rates.

    • rah says:

      If that is the case then how come tornado season doesn’t last through the summer?

      • Mark Luhman says:

        rah it does it just moves further north, The Fargo tornado occurred on June 20. 1957, it was an F5 Here is Wikipeda said about it “In the end, ten people lost their lives. After 1971, when Dr. Ted Fujita introduced his scale that rates tornadoes based on the damage they cause, the Fargo tornado received an F5 rating, the most severe level.” What the article does no say is Fujita based his rating system base on that tornadoes because at the time it was the best film. A weatherman Dewey Burquist filmed stay on the roof of the TV station long after everyone else were in the Basement. You will find that tornados occur in the Northern plains June, July and August typical late June early July. You will also find the southern plains have two tornado seasons, spring and fall, I don’t know for sure but my assumption is the spring tornado season is the worst. Point of reference I grew up on the northern plains and have seen my share of funnel clouds and spend time in the basement after the warning went out.

    • Spudking09 says:

      You may be looking at this backward…the jet stream causes the temperature differential(gradient)–not the other way around.

      • norman says:

        Spudking09

        Here is a good explanation for what causes jet stream. The jet stream does not cause the temperature gradient. The temperature gradient forms because of different rates of heating and cooling on Earth. Poles get no sunlight during a polar winter and cool drastically while tropical areas are still getting plenty of sunshine creating a large temperature gradient which makes a pressure gradient that causes wind to flow to balance the difference causing a jet stream.

        http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_the_jet_stream.htm

        • coturnix says:

          Not exactly true. The earth’s atmosphere is an amazingly efficient heat redistribution agent. If earth weren’t rotating, the atmosphere which on average cools at the rate of 2K per day would be able to keep the temperature between the poles and the equator less than 10k and maybe even as low as 5k not counting due to nighttime/trade inversions. {i got this number from farrel (1990)} . But the earth is rotating, and the air can’t simply move north to warm the poles, as it moves it retains its angular momentum and therefore accelerates, leding to the coriolis force keeping it from moving poleward and heating poles. hence jet streams cause poles to be much colder than they would’ve otherwise been.Right now the difference in temperature is more like 40k rather than 5-10k.

  3. Norman says:

    rah,

    I did not mean all blizzards and tornadoes are related it was just in this case the reason for the tornado outbreaks and this blizzard are because there is still lots of cold air to the North that will allow for the steep graident which intensifies the jet stream and allows the wind shear that helps promote tornado activity. This same pool of cold air is what allows a mid-spring blizzard to form.

    The similarity of the two events is connected to the still very cold air to the North. Hope that clears it up.

    On your second comment, does that mean how come tornado season lasts through the summer instead of “doesn’t”?

    • rah says:

      Norman
      Of course tornadoes can form during any month. But the tornado season for North America is considered to be from May through July. Relatively few form in the dead of summer and fall and winter tornadoes are rare. Canada ranks a distant second in count compared to the US and for Canadians June and July are by far the most active months while in the US the count consistently highest in the spring.

  4. lance says:

    they issued snow fall warnings in the mountain passes in Alberta yesterday too…i didn’t bother to see how much fell, but they did get hit too.

  5. Joe Madrid says:

    I am right in the Bullseye in Chugwater Wyoming. Will report maybe with a picture.

    Non-sequitur… Everyone has odd ball ideas that occur to them concerning a possible natural climate change drivers (of the dozens or hundreds that undoubtedly exist…My latest = FRICTION? caused by gravitational pull specifically on the molten core and everything else that moves etc… heating things up. One only needs to look at Jupiter’s moon Io to see what I am talking about and it is not that lunatic of an idea(pun intended)…

    It might also explain why volcanism waxes and wanes.

    Current theory holds that the core is hot because of left over accretion heat–radioactivity–and friction. I mean there could even be significant currents in the molten material mostly/iron ?bringing hotter material to the surface.. We know almost nothing about the core of the planet

    What got me thinking about it is Dr. Spencer’s .2m of ground cooling every night. By the way an excellent little thought experiment to tell people who as Limbaugh calls them low information voters…although it might be a bit beyond Rio Linda residents.

    It has probably already been looked at…but how competently?

    Io gets it’s pizza like surfact due to harmonic orbits of the other Jovian moons–such that they all line up and give massive pulls. It could be easily researched..am 62 with nothing to do in retirement.

    • Spudking09 says:

      as written .. We know almost nothing about the core of the planet..

      I think we know even less than we think…my guess: nothing just more space.

      or. the core of the sun would spit out little spittles when forming, planet cores contain spittles of the sun’s core – some more some less.

  6. James says:

    The recent tornado outbreak was caused by a surface low pressure area which moved east and northeast through northern Missouri and southern Iowa northeastward. As it moved, it sent warm air over cooler are and provided some spin.

    Meanwhile the upper level low was spinning over Nebraska as it moved toward Iowa. It produced strong updrafts and as the air crashed toward the ground, it chilled the surface. What would have been rain as snow melted near the ground fell as heavy snow thanks to the “manufactured” cold air sent from above hit the ground as snow so heavy it accumulated even thouth the temperature was at or above freezing.

    As much as six inches of snow fell in a localized part of west central Nebraska with four inches in northwest Iowa. Huge snowflakes accumulated so fast, they caused traffic accidents and allowed me to build a snow man for our toddler grand daughter.

    That in simple terms is how blizzards and tornadoes can be related, though in this case, we had the snow but it was too warm to create a blizzard.

    The outcome was tragic, but it was nothing out of the ordinary–just a normal spring storm.

  7. Rex says:

    Manmade global warming manmade climate change manmade climate disruption strikes again!

  8. DeeMaerk says:

    Who cares about global warming.

    Send all of the snow to Northern California and dump it all on San Francisco.

    At least two useful measures will come to be:

    Squash the libs

    and

    Water the parched desert of California.

    • JT Avery says:

      First, snowfall will not squash anyone. Second, San Fran is not a desert. Useless comment

  9. Brrrr says:

    SO tired of the cold. I’ve increased my carbon output as much as possible, but it’s not doing anything.

    • David Appell says:

      You should move west. We just had the warmest winter on record.

      • Adam Gallon says:

        Is that before or after the temperatures have been “Adjusted” for “Biases”?

      • mpainter says:

        Was this warm Calif. winter not due to the wetness?
        Did CO2 cause the wetness or the drought?
        Or both? This climate business can be so confusing at times, please someone explain it all so that I can understand

  10. Rex says:

    The Pacific Ocean is about two degrees warmer than usual, and that’s proof of global warming…..the Atlantic Ocean is about 3 degrees cooler than normal….and ummmmm that’s just …..ummmm….aaahhhhhhh weather!

  11. scot says:

    I saw a sharknado once. It was scary.

  12. SocietalNorm says:

    It snowed the 4th of July around Denver a number of years ago. Kind of messed up my kids’ vacation plans of going swimming.
    It snows in the mountains of Colorado any month of the year. March/April is the snowiest time for the state. In some places in Colorado, April is the snowiest month. Many of the big blizzards come in April.
    This is normal weather for Colorado and really isn’t news.

    • Rhee says:

      That may have been 1994 because I remember a significant snowfall on July 4 that year in Colorado Springs. Was my first year having moved to the state and was shocked to have to relight my furnace while the wife is freezing and shivering. Also lived through several April blizzards, one that dropped 48″ during the last week of April, it must have been around 2000 or 2001. Of course it’s not a problem now for Coloradans, just light up a toke and chill.

    • David Appell says:

      It snowed once on July 4th when I was on Pikes Peak watching the car race. Probably 1993.

      I don’t see it as evidence against global warming.

  13. Buzzy1 says:

    Nah–you all have it wrong. Edgar Rice Burroughs was right. The Earth is hollow and a “Journey to the Center of the Earth, will “unearth” cavemen, beautiful princesses waiting to be rescued and dinosaurs, and lots and lots of light from the tiny sunlet in the middle…….just saying

  14. Glassguy says:

    I live at 6800′ in the foothills of Larimer County CO http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larimer_County,_Colorado where the deepest snowfall is predicted. I will try to report back with snow depths on Sunday 🙂
    I have lived in CO since ’69, and we get clobbered like this every ten years or so. This is a ‘dog bites man’ story actually.
    In the late ’70s I had a few classes in paleoclimatology at CU/Boulder, and watched in amazement as physical climatological evidence was ignored by the future ‘warmists’ who conjured AGW as a desperate means to scare funding out of Congress. ‘If they don’t give us grant money to study the imminent ice age, maybe we can scare it out of them with Global Warming.’ In my 20s I turned my back on climatology as a career, as I wanted nothing to do with such scoundrels…
    What does not kill us, makes us stronger!

    • David Appell says:

      What evidence was ignored?

      • Glassguy says:

        Hello David,

        First, a weather report from the eye of the storm: Bottom line – The predictive model that was used may have been accurate for location, but not for time or amount. It started snowing on Thursday, and there was ~4″ on our deck (~20′ off the ground). We woke Friday to ~10-12″ of heavy wet snow on the deck, but only ~6-8″ on the ground as it had been warm lately. Friday AM we got another couple of inches, then it turned to intermittant snow/freezing rain/baby hail/rain with thunder. This began a melting process that continued today (Saturday) which has been partly cloudy, 40s, and occassional rain. There’s a couple of inches of snow left on the ground – it’s mud season… The prediction of 5′ of snow by tomorrow wasn’t ready for Broadway…

        The physical evidence that was and still is being ignored is of the 100,000 year ice age cycle over the last 1,000,000+ years. The cycle is ~90,000 years of cold, then a 10,000 year interglacial. We are at ~year 10,000 of the curent interglacial. Specifically, the evidence is largely palynological (what I wanted to study, but didn’t) and is found in lake and ocean sediments, and peat bogs. Also, there is evidence of the burning of the northern circumpolar boreal forests just prior to the initiation of glaciation (Prof Harvey Nichols titled his lectures, and I remember that lecture was titled, ‘Boreal forests: Carbon sink, or carbon source?’ Think about that – a huge BURST of the atmospheric greenhouse gas CO2, plus SO2, soot and ash immediately prior to glaciation!). Also, ‘background’ pollen gives evidence of air circulation pattern changes with glaciation. Finally, there is the instability of the Ross Ice Shelf, South of New Zealand. Ice is plastic, and glaciers flow and merge. The Ross shelf is the biggest on earth, and its ice which accumulated during the last glaciation is now oozing down mountain valleys to the sea. Thousands of years ago this miles-thick slab of ice had cantelevered hundreds of miles out into the ocean where it benefitted from the support of underwater mountains, and has continued extending out to sea. Prof Nichols warned that, “in your lifetimes, you will read about the calving of icebergs the size of New England states!” They are, and I have. His concern was that the mechanical shock waves of a major calving event may conduct and reflect within the entire ice sheet in such a way that the now quite fragile shelf may rubbelize as the result of the focusing of energy due to constructive wave interference. BAM! The entire shelf collapses into the sea at once, displacing the huge volume of ice that WAS out of the sea, and causing a tsunami (the evidence for similar past tsunamis have widely been reported as being of the biblical flood of Noah) many miles high that would slosh around the earth a dozen times before the seas find their new level, some 20 meters (or something like that) higher than at present. This flooding of shallow land will increase the albedo of the earth so dramatically that the earth will reflect a huge amount of insolation out into space, and the next ice age will have been triggered. Those are the major events that have left physical evidence, that is being ignored.

        So, I’m new to this site, and have never ‘blogged’ before. I have a rather low regard for blogs, and once penned the following: Those who can do, those who can’t teach, those who can’t teach write books, those with no publisher write journal articles, those with no editors blog, and to blog is to die.

        Gott’a go…

        • jerry l krause says:

          Hi Glassguy,

          Given your knowledge of blogs, are you surprised that David or anybody else has not responded to your insightful comments? I will try to find who Prof Harvey Nichols was(?) but sometimes googling does not work. So, in case it doesn’t, could you provide a little more information about him? I would appreciate it.

          Have a good day, Jerry

        • jerry l krause says:

          Hi Glassguy,

          Found Professor Nichols. Thank you for the informative comments.

          Have a good day, Jerry

  15. Ted Jones says:

    Snow storm at grand canyon late June in 1972 snow ball fight on fourth of july

  16. Tess says:

    Lived in Co for 27 yrs now, its normal for this, I remember one May Mem Wknd getting 5 ft, gone in a couple days, but have to say not looking fwd to it, hope im on the edge Been a nice somewhat cold Winter not much snow. I don’t see how we can tell anything anymore when daily the skies are criss cross w Geo Weather Engineering Chemtrails. If you don’t know about them do some research. There is nothing that can convince me our 500 or 1000 yr flood depending on who is talking was not caused by them.

  17. Randy says:

    I lived in Colorado Springs CO from 74-78, and again from 86-92. Both times it snowed on Pikes Peak at least once on July 4th. It seems also that during that first residency it shut down or delayed the Hill Climb race for a period.

    Here’s a very unscientific statement (I’m a EE, with no weather training beyond my military and flight experiences): Liberals and their supportive propaganda agencies (media) will half truth anything as long as it aligns with their agenda. They deconstruct free speech unless you are saying or agreeing with what they promote. Their targets are equally consistant; white people who are preferably rich, religions unless Muslim, families unless homosexual, and any other forms of conservative position or thought.

    It has little to nothing to do with weather, but rather the promotion of fear, and a welfare state, both combined in an attempt to create a nanny state and absolute government dependance.

  18. nadadhimmi says:

    How could Global Warming possibly be a lie? Brian Williams reported it as fact. And Brian never lies. Except for very day.

  19. Cheech says:

    Dam was hoping to get my herbs in this weekend.

  20. Ned Stark says:

    So what you’re basically saying is…Winter is coming.

  21. Jabba the Cat says:

    Good to see this article get a well deserved Drudge link…

  22. geran says:

    A hand-held IR thermometer would show that the new snow has a temperature. So, that must indicate the snow is heating the planet.

    Right, Dr. Roy?

    • fonzarelli says:

      Geran, it seems to me that too many questions about the ghe aren’t getting answered. Last post it seemed that “ships were passing each other in the night”. Dr. Jerry Krauss pointed this out at the beginning one of his rather lengthy (but excellent) comments. My biggest unanswered question would be if convective heat loss short circuits the ghe during the daytime then why don’t we see the same thing happening in the desert? And maybe there ARE answers to such questions, but people sure aren’t answering them. They just ain’t quite getting there…

      • geran says:

        Kinda like the “science is NOT settled”, huh?

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        Your question regarding convective heat loss and Jerry L Krause’s statement interests me. If convective heat loss doesn’t play a role in the desert why do even desert surface temperatures fall far short of lunar daytime surface temps? It may be less of a loss than other regions but it still exists. Black top in Death Valley may reach 200 degrees F or almost 100 degrees Celsius, but this proves the exception and by no means the rule. The atmosphere cools extensively including desert regions from what I can tell. Thanks for your post and…

        Have a great day!

        • fonzarelli says:

          “It may be less of a loss than other regions but it still exists”

          But why, John? I don’t know if i can articulate this as well as i should. It would seem that areas with more ghg should be warmer than those without. If they’ve got the same convective heat loss going then shouldn’t it be WARMER where there is more of a ghe? It seems to me that claims are being made ad nausium without people stopping to question them…
          Which brings me to jerry’s comment which i think i read a little more into than he intended: Jerry L Krause April 13, 2015 3:43pm “For there is little continuity as our comments are made” John, after which he put together a string of everybody’s comments to gain some continuity (and thus clarity). You know, when these threads about the greenhouse effect come up, it seems like the same old thing. Lots of good commentary but not a whole lot gets resolved. It’s a fairly complex paradigm, so i can see why this disconnect happens. But, it seems like folks are not connecting on this issue as well as they should be.

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi fonzarelli,

            Just happened to see your comment after I had looked back on what I had written and discovered Menicholas comments which I had already forgotten. He knows what everyone should know but does not. Because it is simple.

            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.”

            What I was trying to do is to identify the comments which focused upon actual observations which are generally disregarded.both the observations and the comments. Like observations aren’t really science.

            I certainly like to have a conversation with you and JohnKl because it might be said that I obsessed with righting the fundamental understanding of meteorology and climatology. And I am looking for people able to critically examine the observations I propose need to be better understood. For I do not claim to know everything. But I know that Menicholas knows what he commented about.

            Got to go make a backyard observation.

            Have a good day, Jerry

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi Fonzarelli and JohnKl,

            It is easier to write to you, than directly to Roy, because in the past you have thoughtfully considered what I written as evidenced by your replies. I began participating specifically to bring two issues to Roy’s attention. One was a new scientific law and the other was what Richard Feynman taught physics students at Caltech about light scattering by cloud droplets. So I now review the first effort because I forget and maybe you do too.
            Jerry L Krause says, August 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM: Professor Spencer: R. C. Sutcliffe, in his book Weather & Climate wrote: “All this may seem a far cry from the general circulation of the world’s atmosphere but the detail serves to point the moral, that one cannot explain the broad features of world climate if one does not know the actual mechanisms involved.” I am aware of a scientific law that should have been discovered long away because the observations that establish it are observed on the hour at most commercial airports. What is it? If you ask I will tell you. Scott says, August 13, 2014 at 2:49 PM: I’m asking. What? Jerry L Krause says, August 13, 2014 at 6:17 PM: Scott, I was attempting to engage Professor Spencer but I will give you a short, less than rigorous answer. An observed atmospheric temperature can be no less than the dew (or frost) point temperature observed at the same time and specific location. Since the dew point temperature depends only upon the water vapor pressure and not at all upon water molecules ability to absorb a portion of radiation emitted from (or by) the earth’s surface and the atmosphere’s dew point temperature in contact with the surface usually far exceeds the average equilibrium temperature, if the atmosphere did not contain any gases capable of absorbing said emission, which was the result of Arrhenius’s radiation balance equation, the greenhouse effect of these absorbing gases is seriously reduced, if not eliminated. Thanks for asking, Jerry Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says, August 14, 2014 at 7:53 AM: yes, the dewpoint temperature is always below the temperature. Not sure what you are claiming that proves, Jerry.
            Fast forward: Why Summer Nighttime Temperatures Don’t Fall Below Freezing: April 10th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. “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. … .

            “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.” The key word here is moist. For it seems possible that Roy is thinking of a cloudless summer day and night at Huntsville AL.

            He continued: “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.”

            So, when Roy wrote: “Not sure what you are claiming that proves, Jerry.”, he clearly was telling the truth. And it is much easier to write this to you instead of directing it directly to him. When I went to the Wunderground weather historical weather records for Huntsville, only the records for a partial day were shown. So, I had to go south to Birmingham AL to find 24-hour record. There I found that during a clear night that the morning low air temperature would usually have been about 65oF or above. And the dewpoint temperature at that time several degrees, maybe even 5 or more, lower.
            David L. Hagen, April 11, 2015 at 11:28 AM reviewed that Julie J Laity (Deserts and Desert Environments, pp52,53) had written: “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).” Except, the conditions of Roy’s scenario are not the dry desert conditions of Alice Springs. The surface soil is moist. Hence, it would seem that the conditions of Alice Springs would not apply to Roy’s scenario. While this might be true for the midday temperatures, there is no reason that statement about nighttime soil temperatures relative to nighttime air temperatures should also be true.
            I once thought the nighttime difference between the dewpoint temperature and the air temperature was due to experimental error. But because of my observations in the backyard I have discovered that which others have stated and I had not understood (fully appreciated). The following is true of deserts, which support some plants like sagebrush, and certainly Roy’s moist soil. During the day the moisture of the upper layer (variable) is evaporated as the absorbed solar radiation heats the soil and liquid water evaporates. And just as the surface continually emits IR radiation, the liquid water continues to rise, via capillary action, toward the soil surface to replace that being evaporated to the atmosphere and, if there is the slightest breeze, carried away from the surface. While afternoon breezes are common, if one studies weather records one will find that nighttime breezes are not common at many locations. But during warm summer days the relative humidity of the atmosphere usually falls to 50% or less when the air temperature begins to decrease in the late afternoon.
            Now, as I read what some write, it seems they do not know why the atmosphere begins to cool in the late afternoon and that this cooling continues at some rate during the night. While Roy wrote— the soil surface cools faster than does the deeper layers—I hope everyone can agree that the soil surface also cools faster than the atmosphere in contact with it. This immediately creates an absolutely stable atmospheric temperature inversion. So, there can be no vertical convection to carry away the water vapor being evaporated from the liquid water rising by capillary action from the lower soil. So, at this time the surface is not only being cooled by radiation, but it is also being cooled by evaporation. And the water vapor can be dispersed away from the surface by diffusion. Diffusion of water vapor, as an atmospheric transport mechanism, is seldom considered. But water vapor (molecules), because their molecular weight is only 18 amu, have a significantly greater average velocity than do nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide molecules (well in excess of the speed of sound). And water vapor only needs to saturate a shallow atmospheric layer in which there are blades of grass (maybe not in the desert but very possible in Roy’s scenario) on which the water vapor might begin condensing because the blades of grass, having significantly less thermal inertia than the soil, are cooling even faster than the soil’surface. But once condensation on the blades of grass begins, they continue to radiate but their cooling is much less because of the latent heat of the water vapor’s condensation.
            Now you know there is much argument that the downward radiation from cooler sky cannot be absorbed by a warmer surface. However, because of the atmospheric temperature inversion which must form because the surface cools faster than the atmosphere, the surface is cooler than a portion of the atmosphere. So, as Roy proposes, the absorption of this downward radiation slows the cooling of the surface. And it can be observed, given a cloudless night, by the 4:00AM PST morning atmospheric sounding at Salem OR that there is a several thousand feet atmospheric layer whose temperature is greater than that of the air temperature. And then the soil surface temperature must be even less than the air temperature.
            “All this may seem a far cry from the general circulation of the world’s atmosphere but the detail serves to point the moral, that one cannot explain the broad features of world climate if one does not know the actual mechanisms involved.”
            Do I need to point out that the morning minimum temperature of Roy’s scenario is due to the atmosphere’s dewpoint temperature and the condensation of water vapor which really slows the cooling of the surface and atmospheric surface layer?
            Later I will review what I observed this morning relative what Feynman taught about light scattering by cloud droplets.
            Have a good day, Jerry

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            You asked:

            “It would seem that areas with more ghg should be warmer than those without. If they’ve got the same convective heat loss going then shouldn’t it be WARMER where there is more of a ghe?”

            Possibly, if the FREQUENCY of re-emitted radiation from the atmosphere proves HIGHER than the molecular emissions from any source on the ground. This seems dubious but cannot be ruled out. In the last thread everyone (except Wayne and to a minor extent Joel) seemed to ignore this basic fact hinged on Planck’s Law of Radiation. The temperature of an emitting object determines FREQUENCY NOT INTENSITY (and visa-versa). Joel claimed the connection I drew between temperature and frequency to be MAGIC, but apparently later changed his mind when I provided additional information. In short, as I mentioned in the previous thread with my comment about cups. A 4 degree centigrade cup cannot raise the temperature of anything to more than 4 degrees centigrade no matter how many times one multiplies the number of 4 degree centigrade cups (and it’s energy), a thousand, million, billion etc. fold). However, if one simply raises the temperature of the 4 degree cup, say to 5 degrees centigrade, temperatures can rise. Joel complained that the radiation gets re-radiated many times but as I’ve indicated it doesn’t change the basic problem. A cooler atmosphere cannot warm a warmer surface, no matter how many GHG’s it contains! On the contrary, GHG’s can result in COOLER temperatures as empirically verified in the upper troposphere, by radiating energy away at a far faster rate than diatomic gas compounds possibly could.

            As to convective, heat loss you should know better than most on this thread why that doesn’t help the GHE argument. Remember, your own graph showed that the rate of atmospheric CO2 growth increased AFTER increased temperatures. Btw, the same hold true for WATER VAPOR (H2O)! Apparently they get outgassed together. The RSS website has graphs depicting this if I remember correctly. You see water not only COOLS the Earth surface but the atmosphere as well. How? Well, say a CO2 molecule absorbs high frequency radiation from the surface. It will then either re-emit the same radiation or it may get conveyed away by other molecules in the region including H2O. H2O unlike CO2 proves lighter than air and will rise in the atmosphere emitting acquired radiation in a much broader spectrum and at a faster rate than CO2 possibly could, even faster if the molecule undergoes phase change to water and or ice. Moreover, the IR frequency a CO2 molecule re-radiates it’s acquired surface radiation at depends on it’s temperature in the atmosphere which will be cooler in general than the surface. The same process occurs with the surface which absorbs far more radiation than CO2 molecules. The surface absorbs in many frequencies including the visible spectrum and UV, but emits in the IR spectrum. These processes and others continually allow the planet to radiate away excess energy.

            Consider this Doug Cotton some time ago provided a graph depicting recorded Mona Loa temperatures during the same period the facility recorded rising CO2 levels since 1958. Mona Loa temperatures have DECREASED since that time despite rising CO2 levels. From what I can tell these temps are direct measurements not adjusted ones as provided by so many data-sets including this one.

            Growing up I have been raised to understand science as comprising the FACTS and LAWS of nature, not THEORY. So much of GHE theory conflicts imo with observation and the laws of physics that it remains difficult for me not to laugh at much of it. If you have data that provides insight that I may not have considered I’d love to see it. Thanks for all your patience with my lengthy post and…

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Jerry L Krause,

            Thank God for Jerry L Krause and for your interesting observations. You stated:

            “However, because of the atmospheric temperature inversion which must form because the surface cools faster than the atmosphere, the surface is cooler than a portion of the atmosphere. So, as Roy proposes, the absorption of this downward radiation slows the cooling of the surface. And it can be observed, given a cloudless night, by the 4:00AM PST morning atmospheric sounding at Salem OR that there is a several thousand feet atmospheric layer whose temperature is greater than that of the air temperature. And then the soil surface temperature must be even less than the air temperature.”

            Your observation intrigued me a great deal but honestly at this point it seems I need some clarity. Which 1000+ ft atmospheric layer do you claim to be somehow separate from the atmosphere? How do you separate if from the “atmosphere?” If the atmosphere continuously re-radiates energy back to the surface how can the surface cool faster than the atmosphere?

            Jerry, please know I’m not trying to be argumentative or throw you into a Greek philosophy class against your will, simply trying to understand what you believe to be happening. Perhaps I’m the problem and fail to understand your meaning. Thank you for a great and fascinating post. Thank you as well, for taking time to consider my post and…

            Have a great day!

          • fonzarelli says:

            Hi y’all… As the old saying goes, “if you can’t run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch”. This is mighty complex stuff! It has me personally relegated to the (hyperbole) porch. At best i’d be the little dog on that porch yapping at all the big dogs off the porch. None the less being on the porch has it’s advantages. Porches being higher give the advantage of looking down on the action and seeing where the areas of contention are. When it comes to the topic of the greenhouse effect, there seems to be these areas of contention that need greater focus. AND Jerry, when it comes to water vapor, it seems that all kinds of issues arise. Cloud formation causing cooling, moisture in soil causing cooling (or the lack there of causing warming), condensation causing night time warming (?), and then of course there’s the greenhouse effect which may or may not be “effecting” based on differences in surface/atmospheric temps. Did i leave anything out ?! (more importantly has the ipcc left anything out?) Do you or does anybody have a clue as to what the TOTAL effect that water vapor has on temperature, particularly global temperature, is?

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi fonzarelli,

            You asked: “Do you or does anybody have a clue as to what the TOTAL effect that water vapor has on temperature, particularly global temperature, is?”

            I have a short answer. There is no such thing as global temperature. As soon as you average the maximum and minimum temperature of a day you lose information.

            Have a good day, Jerry

        • jerry l krause says:

          Hi JohnKl,

          If I describe how to make a modified SSK radiometer will you make it and begin to make observations. For near the summer solstice, you could point at the high-noon sun and observe that the temperature of its absorbing-emitting surface rises above 100 degrees Celsius to near the maximum temperature observed on the moon. For the moon is said to have an albedo of about 7% which somewhat matches the scattering by our atmosphere. Everyone should have a SSK radiometer. Maybe if they actually observed what can be seen, they might have a better appreciation of observation.

          Have a good day, Jerry

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Jerry L Krause,

            If I can make your SSK radiometer cheaply and with readily available resources I will definitely consider it. As to my claims regarding the moon, they have strong empirical support. Man made earth satellites orbiting our own planet reach from 100-120 degrees celsius ( similar temps as the moon ) despite a very likely different albedo. The atmosphere cools the earth despite any claimed GHG effect. However, I would like to have an SSK radiometer please provide further information. Thank you and …

            Have a great day!

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            I have made several radiometers trying to find the best and easiest construction. The basic problem was how to hold the polyethylene film (economy plastic wrap at Walmart according to their website) reasonably taut (does not seem to need be anywhere close to perfect), how to cut uniform circular holes in the squares, and how to simply hold the five 8in by 8in squares of 1/2in extruded Styrofoam together.

            Since I had never actually done what I planned to propose I concluded I needed to do a test run. I bought the Styrofoam at either Home Depot or Lowes and they did have sheets smaller than the standard 4ft by 8ft sheets but the smaller cost nearly as much as the larger so I got the larger. With even a 2ft by 4ft sheet you can make three radiometers. I read that the extruded Styrofoam will absorb water so my sheet had some rather heavy film (I assume waterproof) on both sides which requires a sharp utility knife, after my trail run I recommend a narrow one which has the blade sectioned so the end can be broken off as it dulls. The narrow is important as you cut out the circular holes.

            You cut 4in diameter holes, centered as precisely as possible (just looks a little more professional) on the square, in three of the squares. A 4in diameter coffee can, lightly tapped, defines the hole. Then you use the utility knife to cut the hole. I recommend first lightly cutting the film and the second time around cutting as vertically as possible the Styrofoam with cardboard beneath it. Then there should be indents on the bottom side to follow as you cut the film on this side.

            Then with two of the squares with 4in diameter holes mark a 6in diameter concentric circle with a 6in diameter coffee can. This creates a ring to hold the film in place. Cut the ring as before but do not remove ring until marking ring and square two places (not directly across from each other) so you can, after spreading the film across the square, replace the ring as it was before.

            Cut a 5in by 5in square of aluminum foil and spray it with common, flat, black paint. It will be the absorbing-emitting surface and will be place over the 4in diameter hole in the third square. But before placing it there, I recommend that you poke your food temperature probe (I started with dial probes but the uncertainty of reading the temperature caused me to switch to a digital probe. I am using a Tru Temp -40/302oF probe which was available at Target) through the 1in wall of the square into the hole as level, and centered, as possible so it will not touch either a-e surface of the solid square beneath it. Harbor Freight has a cheaper digital but its probe is a slightly large diameter necessitating the possible need to drill a hole for it and is cheaper quality wise. Battery contact problems.

            So assemble by starting with the two solid, insulting, squares, next square with a-e surface up, next square with film up, and finally square with film up. Align holes as best possible. Now, using 2.5in sheetrock screws, screw each corner a little to the side of the diagonal. Turn over and screw each corner a little to the other side of the diagonal.

            If a film gets punctured or you do not like the moisture which can get inside during rain or heavy dew, the screws make it easy to disassemble and correct the problem. The sixth square make a nice cover to protect the films when not in use.

            Suomi, Staley, and Kuhn extensively analyzed their net radiometer. One limitation of which I am aware is that the 1in wall of the insulating cylinders casts shadows when viewing the direct sun and creates a ‘cone’ of the detection of diffuse radiation. But this seems to possibly be a potential problem. This might be a topic for later consideration.

            Have a good day, Jerry

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            Your reference to the satellites’ temperatures relate to their albedos caused me to awake very early this morning. For I saw great opportunity to illustrate what science, not philosophy, is all about. Make three or four radiometers with differing a-e surfaces. One with the proposed aluminum foil painted flat black. One with the bare aluminum foil. One with the aluminum foil painted flat white. One with black construction paper as the a-e surface. For in science one should not debate or reason if one can simply observe. If you want to observe what the different temperatures of the different a-e surfaces would be during the same conditions, I will fund the extra three digital probes. As I have said previously, I am sure you can find my phone number given your knowledge of where I live.

            Have a good day, Jerry

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi JohnKl and Fonzarelli,

            Thank you, JohnKl, for the kind words. In their book—The Soul of Science—Nancy R Pearcey and Charles B. Thaxton wrote: “In the spirit of the Reformation, the astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote of being “called” by God to use his talents in his work as an astronomer. In one of his notebooks, Kepler broke spontaneously into prayer: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit.””

            What I call modern science, as opposed to the science of the Greek philosophers, was founded by devote Christian men who turned their attention to the study of their God’s creation. This is a historical fact regardless of what your theology might be. Both your comments and what I have seen the last three mornings I call a God sighting. Too many coincidences to be an accident.

            What have I seen the last three mornings? I saw the sun rise over the Cascade Mountain Range (elevation about 6000ft and about 60 miles away) as a red ball whose light did not cast a shadow because the intensity of the diffuse white light overwhelmed the red light which had to be shining on my wall.

            Feynman in teaching his students about light scattering by cloud droplets stated: “Now we can make an experiment that demonstrates this. We can make particles that a very small at first, and then gradually grow in size. We use a solution of sodium thiosulfate (hypo) with sulphuric acid, which precipitates very small, fine grains of sulphur. As the sulphur precipitates,the grains first start very small, and the scattering is a little bluish. As it precipitates more it gets more intense, and then it will get whitish as the particles get bigger. In addition, the light which goes straight through will have the blue taken out. That is why the sunset is red, of course, because the light that comes through a lot of air to the eye has had a lot of blue light scattered out, so it is yellow-red.” We, at least I, normally associate the red sunset with Rayleigh scattering which definitely is not what Feynman is teaching about here. So it seemed to me that he was a little confused or that he was at least confusing his students and me.

            I had seen the sun set as a yellow-red ball but never as the red ball I have now observed. But from the first morning I observed the red ball I knew there were particles in the atmosphere whose size were a little less than the wavelength of red light and certainly greater than the wavelength of blue light and probably greater than that of yellow light. So, I had been pondering what these particles might be. This morning, listening to the radio, I got the answer. The particles were smoke particles from a forest fire in Siberia.

            Pasteur is said to have stated: “Chance favors a prepared mind.” If I had not read what Feynman taught about light scattering by cloud particles, I would not have known the significance of the red ball. If I had not read what he taught, I would not have noticed the blue exhaust of a woodstove being illuminated be direct solar radiation on several occasions. If I had not read Gordon Robertson’s question about where is the cold atmosphere coming from that he associates with the predicted snowfall in Colorado, I would not have considered that the answer to his question is probably Siberia. For the red ball is positive, absolute, evidence that the atmosphere with smoke particles in it has come from Siberia.

            Fonzarelli, you wrote: “AND Jerry, when it comes to water vapor, it seems that all kinds of issues arise. Cloud formation causing cooling, moisture in soil causing cooling (or the lack there of causing warming), condensation causing night time warming (?), and then of course there’s the greenhouse effect which may or may not be “effecting” based on differences in surface/atmospheric temps. Did i leave anything out ?!” JohnKl, you wrote: “Your observation intrigued me a great deal but honestly at this point it seems I need some clarity. Which 1000+ ft atmospheric layer do you claim to be somehow separate from the atmosphere? How do you separate if from the “atmosphere?” If the atmosphere continuously re-radiates energy back to the surface how can the surface cool faster than the atmosphere?”

            This because I had written: “However, because of the atmospheric temperature inversion which must form because the surface cools faster than the atmosphere, the surface is cooler than a portion of the atmosphere. So, as Roy proposes, the absorption of this downward radiation slows the cooling of the surface. And it can be observed, given a cloudless night, by the 4:00AM PST morning atmospheric sounding at Salem OR that there is a several thousand feet atmospheric layer whose temperature is greater than that of the air temperature. And then the soil surface temperature must be even less than the air temperature.”

            I have written all this as a background. For what? For an inspiration I have had this morning. This inspiration is that I am a chemist. I naturally pay attention to every minute detail because my world is about these little things called atoms and molecules. And I can reflect back to when, as a chemistry instructor even, that I did not focus my students’ attentions well enough that their world was composed of atoms and molecules.

            As Feynman began to teach his students their first physics course at Caltech, he stated: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.”

            Then Feynman and I and most scientific educators made a fatal mistake. We lectured as we did the imagining and thinking instead of requiring that our students do it. So, it is likely that you have not learned to imagine and think. The later might seem to be offensive but it is not intended to be. The problem is, as you (Fonzarelli) stated: “And maybe there ARE answers to such questions, but people sure aren’t answering them. They just ain’t quite getting there…” Then Gordon Robertson stated they are not even asking questions. But you both have asked questions. The problem as I see it, is you have not started at the beginning proposed, by Feynman, as being so critically important.

            As I conclude I must admit that I still do not know if what I think I understand about the light scattering by cloud droplets taught by Feynman is valid or if what he seemed to teach is valid. It seems it is a third class of scattering that is different from Rayleigh or Mie scattering, but I am not a physicist and I have not found a physicist who seems familiar with what Feynman taught. It is like he developed this new theory and did not bother to publish it. I do not know and I have tried, without success, to find out about it.

            We, you and I, will work on your questions.

            Have a good day, Jerry

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            Observation and accurate definition are essential. So is a little background so we can know we are starting at the same place.

            I plan to use Roy’s scenario as much as possible, but I begin with a few observations of the 4:00AM PST May 1,2014 atmospheric sounding at Salem OR. This is so you can ‘see’ the temperature inversion which had formed during the night to that time. The first temperature is that at the surface (elevation, or altitude, 200ft) the four temperature which follow at 1000ft, 2000ft, 3000ft, 4000ft. Temperatures are rounded to nearest degree F. 54; 66; 73; 70; 66

            The air temperature (F) readings for this day and the next until 6am were (PST):

            1am 57; 2am 54, 3am 53, 4am 53, 5am 50; 6am missing; 7am 60; 8am 65; 9am missing; 10am 70; 11am missing,

            12pm 82; 1pm 85; 2pm 87; 3pm missing; 4pm 86; 5pm 85; 6pm 83; 7pm 77; 8pm 75; 9pm 67; 10pm 64; 11pm 58;

            12am 58; 1am 56; 2am 54; 3am 52; 4am 53; 5am 51; 6am 51; 7am 56;

            May 1, 2014 4pm sounding temperatures at the same altitudes were: 86; 81, 76, 70; 66

            May 2, 2014 4am sounding temperatures at the same altitudes were: 54; 57; 57; 55; 55

            But just as important as seeing atmospheric temperature inversion, is that you imagine the ‘temperature inversion’ that has formed in the soil the same time that the atmospheric inversion has formed during the night. And that both, soil and atmosphere, need to be warmed during the daytime by solar radiation. And both of these warmings must begin at the earth’s surface, maybe? Some seem to question if the surface is the primary location where the heating by solar radiation and cooling by terrestrial radiation begins. While it is a fact that water vapor and oxygen do absorb a portion of solar radiation’s IR portion. And it is a fact that upward and downward emission by GHGs must cool the atmosphere during the night. But as a first approximation, I (we) must assume the surface must be the location of principal ‘action’.

            And when the warming of the surface and atmosphere begins, it begins at the surface. And when the cooling of the surface and atmosphere begins, it begins at the surface. Or in other words the earth surface (including soil, plants, buildings, etc.) is the primary absorber and emitter of radiation. Having just written this, I find it is not exactly true. Plants, particularly trees, can form a canopy which shields the soil from direct solar radiation and intercepts the transmission of LWIR being emitted from the soil. And I need to remind myself and you that about 70% of the earth has no soil. We focus far too much on where we live. And I have not yet studied at length the data being collected from buoys at sea.

            But I have only recently learned that you, JohnKl, have had valuable experiences. “My wife and I have traveled to different parts of South East Asia including the island of Java, Singapore (off the Malay peninsula), and other regions including Taiwan.” We will need to consider your experiences in detail at a later time, because I want to learn. But need to first try to answer your previous request.

            Relative to the data I have listed, note the fact the surface air temperature rose 34oF from the 4am sounding to the 4pm sounding and then decreased 34oF to the next 4am sounding. Notice how different the temperature inversion profile of May 1 4am sounding is from that of the May 1 4am sounding. Yet, the surface air temperatures were the same. Thus, supporting my assumption about the importance of the absorption and emission by the surface.

            The sun rises but the atmosphere generally continues to cool for a half hour or more. Why? We all know, I assume, it is because the low incident angle of the solar radiation spreads the radiation flux over a very large area so there is only the slightest absorption of energy. But wait, was the surface still cooling the moment it began to absorb some solar radiation? And have you ever heard of, or seen, twilight? Once one acknowledges matter has thermal inertia, it must be admitted that first the existing change must first be stopped before it can be reversed.

            Now you wrote: “Your observation intrigued me a great deal but honestly at this point it seems I need some clarity. Which 1000+ ft atmospheric layer do you claim to be somehow separate from the atmosphere? How do you separate if from the “atmosphere?” If the atmosphere continuously re-radiates energy back to the surface how can the surface cool faster than the atmosphere?”

            I do not separate any layer from the atmosphere. It might be said I focus attention on those atmospheric layers whose temperatures oscillate during a 24hr period relative to those whose magnitude of change is generally observed to be relatively insignificant. Remember the atmospheric condition is cloudless.

            The second question reflects a certain amount of brain-washing which has been accomplished. The magnitude of greenhouse gases’ emissions must be based upon the temperature of the atmosphere at a particular location. Can we agree to this? I do not pretend to know what this temperature relationship is for atmospheres (gases), but only believe it must exist.

            I do not know if the greenhouse gases’ emissions are based upon their concentrations. Of course, that the magnitude of their emissions are based upon their concentrations seems to be a basic premise of the global warming people. But I do not know what direct observations there are to support this premise.

            I do know, via observation, that the absorption of radiation by all matter does not generally depend upon temperature. I do know, via observation, when the concentration of absorbing matter can be changed, that the magnitude of the absorption changes. I can anticipate that some might be inclined to disagree with this and others might say that this is getting confusing.

            But consider the absorbing-emitting surface of the radiometer. We assume that it is absorbing all the radiation incident upon it and that its temperature adjusts so that it emits the radiation necessary to balance the energy being absorbed. It’s that simple.

            Consider the observation of the magnitude of atmosphere’s temperature change at about 5ft above the surface every twelve hours and compare them with the observation that at the same times the atmosphere’s temperature at 3000ft and 4000ft, in this specific case, have not changed.

            Relative to your last question, note the fact that the surface only radiates in one direction, whereas a parcel of atmosphere radiates both downward and upward. So the parcel of atmosphere is only capable of radiating one-half of the energy it is absorbing in the downward direction. And it might be said that I am fond of pointing to the fact that the earth’s surface is curved (not flat), so that atmospheric emission in a horizontal direction is outward, even if it isn’t upward.

            There are other actual factors which could be considered such as the atmosphere’s density gradient and the fact that mixing ratio of water vapor in an atmospheric parcel can vary greatly whereas the mixing ratios of other greenhouse gases are generally considered to be constant.

            Noting this, I can suggest another simple experiment. Except it seems that the skies are always cloudy at Java and Singapore. Is this the general case?

            If this does not answer your questions, tell me why and I will take another run at them.

            Have a good day, Jerry

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        “And maybe there ARE answers to such questions, but people sure aren’t answering them”.

        They are not even asking them. Since the 1960s, climate modeling has become popular and climate modelers like John Houghton have seriously influenced the thinking at IPCC reviews.

        It would be impossible to begin programming something as complex as the atmosphere-surface interaction. For one, we don’t have computers with enough power to do the job. For another, those who have tried programming models have made basic assumptions.

        One of them is that radiation is a principle form of heat transfer in the atmosphere and that seems to be based on a century-old assumption that trace amounts of atmospheric CO2 can influence heat transfer.

        It’s easy to see why they went with radiation, there are well developed gas laws available for stars that can be easily adapted for a computer program. The same is not true for convective heat transfer which would prove an extremely difficult proposition to program. It would involved dynamic vector fluxes that I would imagine most climate scientists know nothing about.

        Mind you, most of them know nothing about radiative heat transfer but that has not stopped them making it up as they go along. They have insisted there is nothing wrong with using summation of radiative energy (IR) between bodies of different temperatures to measure heat transfer, but in real science it is not allowed to sum radiative energies wrt heat and not sum the kinetic energy transfer that represents heat.

        If the IPCC was serious and not affected by politics it would have invited scientists like Richard Lindzen, John Christy and our resident guru, Roy Spencer, to provide input. John has served on several IPCC reviews as a lead author and reviewer but one gets the feeling he has been marginalized by AGW zealots.

        They cannot answer question you have posed as long as the focus is on radiative heat transfer and not the dynamic process that is the atmosphere.

    • Slipstick says:

      Actually, there is a bit of heat released as snow forms.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Geran,

      You should market SNOW SAUNA’S! Not that I’ll ever go but I’d sure like to see how many line up.

      Have a great day!

      • geran says:

        Hi John, snow saunas might be a good idea, but let’s take it up a notch or two. How about using snow for the perfect energy source. From Warmist and Lukewarmist “science”, we know that snow is a heat source, since you can read its temperature with a hand-held IR thermometer. And, they also tell us that CO2 “traps heat”. So, we have everything we need!

        Just take a small bag of CO2 into the snow, let it heat up to about 50000 ºC, or so. Then take the bag to the nearest nuclear power plant and sell it to them for a couple of million dollars. They can then turn off the reactor, heating the steam generator with the small bag of CO2. CO2 traps so much heat, the small bag should easily last until next winter’s snowfall.

        Why didn’t someone think of this before now?

  23. Slipstick says:

    Why is this newsworthy? Significant snowfall is not unusual for Colorado and Wyoming in April.

  24. FTOP says:

    Probably caused by that 30ft wide warm eddy in the Atlantic that caused all the Boston snow, ala Mann.

    We all learned from Boston that cold dry snow and is caused by warm water in the Atlantic /sarc

  25. Gordon Robertson says:

    Not sure where this cold air is coming from. No sign of it above the border.

    • coturnix says:

      it is a “cut-off low”

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @coturnix “it is a “cut-off low””

        Nice of them to bypass us. Lifting the Arctic air over top and dropping it down in the States is a nifty trick. 🙂

        BTW…for any alarmists who think it’s not cold in the Arctic, the divers trying to get at Hudson’s ship, the Erebus, had to cut through 6 feet of ice. It’s pretty cold when salt water freezes to a depth of 6 feet.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Roby …from the link…”How to better understand climate change: the evidence that it is happening…”

      I wonder how they explain the IPCC admitting a warming hiatus since 1998?

      I had a hardened alarmist tell me on a blog the other day that the hiatus is not about warming it’s about the warming trend. In other words, there is a hiatus in the warming trend but the warming is on-going. Another alarmists told me hiatus does not mean stopped.

      Yet another claimed the IPCC did not say that. When I supplied a link to the very words I received no reply. I have supplied the link to several alarmists and they keep coming back at me asking for a link.

      I wonder if the course teaches how to recognize denial in the alarmist mind, that the warming has stopped?

    • FTOP says:

      Al “L. Ron Hubbard” Gore is going to leave quite a legacy behind him. His church followers are expanding the narrative beyond his wildest dreams.

  26. Doug Cotton says:

    Roy:

    Winter is returning also to Antarctica where the South Pole will experience a long night, rather similar to the four-month night for a location on the Venus equator which cools by only about five degrees. And, as in the orange line in this temperature plot, Antarctica will only cool from about -56°C to -59°C also in about four months.

    Now, Roy, you “taught” us all in your last post that night time temperatures keep on falling linearly at a rate much faster than three degrees in four months. All those K-T, NASA and IPCC energy diagrams show losses of thermal energy out of the surface by radiation, conduction and convection, which will most certainly continue in the Antarctic night. But there’s no compensating inward solar radiation heating the surface or the troposphere above, Roy. What does compensate for the cooling is non-radiative thermal energy input which I explained and called “heat creep” in my paper published February 2013 and linked here.

    It’s time, Roy, for you to read my paper and try to understand the importance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which does not say that there can be no heat transfers downwards in a planet’s troposphere by processes which involve molecular collisions, while ever such molecular activity is increasing entropy. We know that can happen because molecular gravitational potential energy must also be included in entropy calculations. The “proof” of the Clausius statement disregards such potential energy, so the “hot to cold” corollary of the Second Law only applies in a horizontal plane.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      The irony is that Doug doesn’t recognize that his theory suffers from the exact same problem!

      Doug’s hypothesis is that, for example, the incoming sunlight at the top the atmosphere of Uranus or Venus sets the temperature at the top, and that “heat creep” allows higher temperatures to naturally develop from there downward. With no sunlight at the top in Antarctica, the top would cool UNDER EITHER HYPOTHESIS. 🙂

      • Doug Cotton says:

        You just proved to me, Tim, that you did not read a word of what is in my paper (linked here) or even the various comments in which I have explained – and you should have understood – that new thermal energy spreads out in all accessible 3D directions over the sloping thermal plane away from the new source of thermal energy.

        Heat creep (which is short for “heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer by molecular collision, but not forced convection”) shifts warmer temperatures horizontally (and slightly downwards) towards the poles.

        How do do think the Venus poles remain nearly as hot as the equator? It’s the same heat creep process but, on a relative scale, wind has less effect on Venus in the cooling of the poles. We know this because wind on Venus could potentially blow down less-hot air from the mid troposphere, but the temperature of the poles, being so close to that of the equator, confirms that this natural convective heat transfer is the dominating process that keeps the Venus poles at similar temperatures.

        The heat creep process also works for Antarctica (though, for the Arctic, ocean currents dominate) so Antarctica only cools by 3 degrees in the four months of winter, rather than over 200 degrees as calculations like Roy’s would appear to indicate.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          Sorry, typo: Should read “How do you think …”

          Actually I’m not sure if you do think, Tim. Every single time you have invented some concept which you think proves me wrong, I can show that it is you who is mistaken. Sooner or later you’ll realize that the 21st Century physics that I have reviewed in my papers is correct. Science does progress, Tim, and while you cling to your school boy physics and 19th century mistaken concepts (notably Maxwell’s incorrect assumptions about the atmosphere) you keep on putting your foot in it.

          As I have said many times, you need to understand entropy and maximum entropy production via the dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials.

          It was because you disregarded the Second Law (as does the whole AGW crowd) that you did not even understand why there is a propensity for mean molecular kinetic energy to level out in a horizontal plane as a result of many molecular collisions. When that starts to happen then pairs of molecules start to have more nearly the same kinetic energy when they are about to collide. Hence, because gravity changes their KE in vertical motion, they must have come from another horizontal plane which had different mean KE. That’s why there is a temperature gradient between any two different heights, and it approaches the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy when the mean sum of molecular (PE+KE) approaches homogeneity.

          You’ll probably need to re-read the above carefully, but I know those with a correct understanding of entropy will agree. Others may learn from http://entropylaw.com for example.

          So Tim, next time you put fingers to keyboard thinking you can prove Doug Cotton wrong, just remember that I will always reply with valid physics that will prove it is yourself who is mistaken. If there’s any comment anywhere that I have missed replying to, just link me to it, or copy it here and I will respond within 24 hours.

  27. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I think your point on Antarctica is not very good or reasoned through. Again you look at one graph of data and think it proves something and then you use it as a hammer to try and pound a pointless nail into nonexistent wood. So what is your point?

    Look at this link and you will learn something. Antarctica is very prone to weather conditions. The super cold air does not stay in one place, it moves around.

    http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/science/contenthandler.cfm?id=2860

    Look at how temperatures can change. Read the material and they explain why.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      The plot I linked showed mean maximum and minimum temperatures as well, and those temperatures likewise did not cool by anything like 200 degrees, as Roy would calculate.

      You Norman should read what I have written to Tim above in the two comments starting here and I suggest that you also need to do a lot of study and thinking before you again put finger to keyboard arrogantly assuming you can prove my hypothesis here to be wrong. You’ll need to start by proving the Second Law of Thermodynamics (on which it is built) to be wrong. Good luck with that!

      • stevek says:

        Doug,

        I will say that the place on earth with highest average yearly temperature is dallol ethiopia and it is arid.

        The whole geenhouse theory states that water vapor acts as greenhouse gas warming the surface. But then why wouldn’t a more humid place on earth hold record for highest average temperature ?

        Something is seriously wrong with agw theory.

        It seems any extra radiation that is trapped from water vapor causes heat which is quickly dispersed through molecule collisions so that the pe plus ke constant holds true at all levels of atmosphere.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          Yes, as proven in my study in the Appendix of my paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures that water vapor cools, as I have also proven in the paper using the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Kinetic Theory of Gases.

          You might think that, with all the money spent on the hoax, the IPCC would have commissioned a similar study for a thousand or so dollars. They probably did, but scrapped it for obvious reasons.

          I’ve suggested several times since 2013 that Roy do a study, following the methodology I have outlined, but he too has his head buried in the carbon dioxide.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          stevek “why wouldn’t a more humid place on earth hold record for highest average temperature ?”

          Richard Lindzen explained that without convective air currents the surface temperature could reach 72 C. Air, composed of 99% nitrogen and oxygen, is the mitigating factor both for warming and cooling.

          Lindzen also explained that it is convection that transfers heat toward the poles where it rises high into the atmosphere for release.

          It’s no surprise that dry, hot regions have little in the way of convective currents, until the extremely hot air they produce interacts with cooler air elsewhere.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Gordon:

            Richard Lindzen displays considerable lack of understanding of the relevant physics. Express in your own words, Gordon, how you understand his explanation that a mean of 168W/m^2 of solar radiation could somehow raise the surface temperature to a level about 100 degrees hotter than it could raise the temperature of a perfect blackbody, especially when the surface is simultaneously losing thermal energy by non-radiative processes.

            But he’s right about convection conveying thermal energy to the poles, but that won’t stop happening while ever there is an atmosphere with lots of colliding molecules doing that “heat creep” which is heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer. And, no, there’s plenty of natural convective heat transfer going on in dry regions. The issue is, in which directions?

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug …”Richard Lindzen displays considerable lack of understanding of the relevant physics”.

            Yes, Doug. Lindzen teaches at MIT where the average person does not have the intelligence to get in. He has 40 years experience in atmospheric physics and has published over 200 non-modeled papers in his field.

            Lindzen takes a very measured approach to science. He doesn’t post on blogs, referring those who disagree with him back to his own papers. He doesn’t have to, he’s regarded as an authority on the atmosphere and revered by any climate scientist who is a real scientist. The only people who regard him as being wrong are climate modelers.

            Gavin Schmidt at realclimate mouths off about Lindzen’s science being old-school, inferring that his modeled approach to science is cutting edge science. Yet when Schmidt had an opportunity to debate Lindzen, he took a flyer.

            That was smart because Lindzen has diced up scientists like Stefan Rahmstorf and made an utter fool of others who have challenged him on his traditional approach to atmospheric physics. A pure modeler like Schmidt would have been easy prey for Lindzen.

            Lindzen’s claim that the surface temperature could rise to 72C without convection is reasonable. I have experienced 40C in a part of Canada known for it’s desert climate and locals have told me the temps can rise to the mid-50s C when measured out of the shade. It’s not a stretch in my mind for temps to rise as high as 70C near the equator if there are no convective currents to mediate it.

            The world record is 57 C and I presume that was taken in the shade. That’s only 15 C below what Lindzen claims is ideally possible. I don’t see a problem with his reasoning.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            ”Richard Lindzen displays considerable lack of understanding of the relevant physics.”

    • Doug Cotton says:

      Norman: I will await your response to this comment.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      My “point” on Antarctica is something to which you have not responded with any correct physics, Norman. Read what Lindzen said about horizontal convection supplying the energy for the poles here. Of course Lindzen doesn’t fully understand how that convection goes from cooler to warmer regions as it heads downwards from the upper troposphere.

  28. Doug Cotton says:

    Roy and others:

    Please see Comment #1000 here.

  29. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Why do you have to hijack every thread? This one was about snow in Colorado and you bring up temperatures in Antarctica. Why do you always need to do this? Roy provided the previous thread to state your points, why bring them here?

    • Lewis says:

      Norman,

      Doug is dissatisfied with the traffic that his blog gets so he has to come here to get some interaction.

      Just a minor case of insecurity is all.

      Best wishes,

      • Doug Cotton says:

        Quite the contrary. It is very gratifying that there have been over 8,200 hits since I wrote it on January 8th this year, and nearly 1,000 of those have been from Roy’s blog. About 27% appear to have been from people just quoting the URL to their friends and colleagues.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      Norman:

      For someone like yourself who can’t even decide whether rising, expanding air cools or, as you now claim, increasing density cools it’s pretty obvious to the hundreds of silent readers that you are not qualified in physics.

      What happens is what is determined by the increasing entropy that the Second Law says will occur. Nothing else happens that is contrary to that law.

      If you don’t take the Second Law into account your guesswork has no means of confirmation. In science, before we even design an experiment involving thermodynamics, we need to ensure that our hypothesis is in agreement with the First and and the Second Laws of Thermodynamics. The radiative GH conjecture fails that initial test, and the simple analysis in my comment below (about the area of the trapezium increasing) makes my point.

      Everyone can see, Norman, that you have no interest in studying my hypothesis and commenting on the physics: your only motive for writing so many of the 1,000 plus comments on each of those other recent threads is protecting your pecuniary interest is maintaining the status quo and attempting to further promulgate the greatest fraudulent hoax of all time. So prove me wrong on that point by addressing the trapezium issue in that comment below.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        What? Where does this stuff come from? Doug: “For someone like yourself who can’t even decide whether rising, expanding air cools or, as you now claim, increasing density cools it’s pretty obvious to the hundreds of silent readers that you are not qualified in physics.”

        Your inability to reason astonishes me everytime. Where did this statement come from. When did I say increasing density cools air? If air is moving down from above it will adiabatically warm but not cool. What prompted that irrational statement? Help!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          My apologies: it was Stephen Wilde who wrote the nonsense in this comment. However, it does show that you did not read what he wrote or my reply pointing out his self-contradiction. So much for his wild fissics.

          But I’m still waiting for your discussion of the trapezium issue regarding water vapor, Norman. Hopefully you know what comment I’m referring to this time.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          Expansion does not always cause cooling, nor does compression always cause warming.

          Consider a horizontal sealed insulated cylinder with a removable partition in the middle. The temperature on each side is the same initially, but the pressure on one side is, say, three times that on the other side, so the density is also three times. Remove the partition and a new equilibrium is established without any change in temperature. You would say that the side with lower density would be compressed and get to twice the density which you think would warm it, whilst you would think the other side would cool. But obviously they can’t end up with different temperatures.

          Unless you use Kinetic Theory you will never understand what happens.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          You see, Norman, as in that horizontal cylinder experiment I just described, compression and expansion in an isolated system only happen if there are unbalanced energy potentials. There is no energy being added to the system, so any warming in one part of the system will be offset by cooling in another part, but we can never tell what the final state will be unless we determine when entropy is maximized (with no remaining unbalanced energy potentials) and then, in that state of thermodynamic equilibrium, there is no further warming or cooling and no further net transfers of matter or energy across any internal boundary. In short, no further adiabatic process takes place. If the cylinder is horizontal the temperatures will be equal in that final state, as will be the density in the two halves. But if it is vertical the temperature will be cooler at the top and the density will be less at the top. There were no rising parcels of gas within the cylinder if the higher density half was at the top initially. But the temperature gradient still evolves and becomes stable with maximum entropy. It happens on a grander scale in calm conditions in a column of the troposphere.

  30. Doug Cotton says:

    “Winter is returning” also to Sydney today (Monday) with a maximum of only 15°C forecast.

    The Antarctic winter cooling of only three degrees in four months (from -56°C to -59°C) proves that Roy’s AGW contention in the previous post regarding the effect of radiation from IR-gases on that (smaller) component of surface cooling which is itself by radiation is totally irrelevant and by no means the primary cause of surface temperatures being what they are.

    Heat creep (being heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer via molecular collisions) is about temperature movement brought about by molecules passing on kinetic energy in such collisions. The warmer temperature “front” moves out in all 3D directions (over the sloping thermal plane that represents the state of thermodynamic equilibrium) well ahead of any detectable net movement of molecules, because many molecules may return in random motion rather than advance forwards.

    Yes, heat creep is a very slow process that can move in any accessible direction, but it has had the life of the planet to achieve the temperatures in the atmosphere, crust, mantle and core.

    That’s what’s happening, and the reasons are at http://climate-change-theory.com where you can yourselves carry out the heat creep experiment described therein.

  31. Doug Cotton says:

    And what do you have in the Rockies – increasing water vapor with resulting colder temperatures, just as we have had higher than normal rainfall in Sydney these last few weeks, with temperatures now well below normal for this time of the year. But don’t expect this to happen in a shorter period.

    It’s just so obvious that water vapor cools rather than warms …

    Sketch a graph with temperature on the y-axis and altitude (increasing) on the x-axis over an interval of, say, 11Km representing the height of the troposphere in some region. Assume the plot is linear with an initial “dry” gradient of -9C°/Km. Add a vertical line from the end of the graph to the x-axis and you have a trapezium the area of which relates to total outward radiative flux. How could the “greenhouse gas” water vapor raise the temperature at the surface end whilst simultaneously reducing the magnitude of the (negative) gradient to, say, -6.5C°/Km? Obviously this would raise all temperatures in the troposphere and thus greatly increase the area of that trapezium, causing huge radiative imbalance that would have a huge counter cooling effect.

    • Norman says:

      Doug Cotton,

      I am not sure what you are stating about the area of the trapezium relates to the total outward radiative flux. It may be a flaw in my understanding. Can you link to an article that explains this effect so I can work on understanding it better?

      • Doug Cotton says:

        Elementary my Dear Norman. Because of the T^4 Stefan Boltzmann relationship the plot of radiative intensity for each temperature would be a curve, not linear, but there is still greater flux the higher the temperature. The area under the curve for the flux would of course be the integral that gives total flux. So, the greater the area of the trapezium, the greater is the total outward flux from all altitudes.

      • Doug Cotton says:

        Or, Norman, to put it another way, if water vapor really does do most of “33 degrees of warming” let’s say it does even just 20 degrees of warming as the level builds up from a very low percentage that produces a dry lapse rate of about -9C°/Km to a moist level that produces a gradient of -6C°/Km. So, in a moist region, according to the AGW conjecture, it makes the surface 20 degrees hotter than for the dry rate with a very low WV percentage. But we know WV also reduces the magnitude of the temperature gradient (dry to wet lapse rate) by about 3 degrees per kilometer. Hence, at the top of the troposphere (11Km above) it would raise the temperature by a further 33 degrees, making a total of 53 degrees of warming at the top of the troposphere.

        Need I say more? The increase in the area of the trapezium would obviously represent a huge increasing in outward radiation resulting in far greater imbalance in radiative flux at TOA than we observe, namely only about ±2W/m^2 out of 342W/m^2.

        What does happen is that the temperature plot rotates about a pivoting altitude, making the supported surface temperature lower as the level of water vapor increases. By rotating the plot this way the area under the curve for radiative flux is maintained constant, and this happens in practice because the whole Earth+atmosphere system acts like a blackbody.

      • Doug Cotton says:

        It looks like everyone’s stumped by this obvious fallacy in the AGW doctrine. Norman certainly won’t have a valid answer based on physics.

        Are there any physicists reading silently who think they can prove the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the corollary that I have explained about “heat creep” to be wrong? See the paper linked here which Norman refuses to study carefully.

        • Slipstick says:

          As I explained before, your “heat creep” crap requires a rotation in the gravity vector that simultaneously reduces the potential energy upon which the effect depends. This makes the effect self-negating. Take your alces alces droppings elsewhere.

        • Slipstick says:

          Oh, and, by the way, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is just fine, but it is a macroscopic effect; it does not preclude photons from “lower temperature” matter from interacting with that at “higher temperature” at the quantum level. Heat is not a magical fluid, nor does the aether exist. When you finally grasp these fundamental concepts of modern physics, you will see that your entire edifice is flawed from the TOA to the sea floor.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Slipstick and others:

            What happens to those photons when they interact is that they raise an electron by one or more quantum levels and, because of a resonance process (meaning the target can also emit an identical photon) there is immediate re-emission of an identical photon.

            I was originally one of the first in the world to write about it in my March 2012 paper, and I called it resonant scattering. Physicists now call it pseudo scattering, but it’s the same thing. This is 21st century science of which you are not aware, but you could read about the science behind it in another document “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” written later that year by a professor of Applied Mathematics.

            In my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” I explained this, and how the energy in the radiation from a cooler source is never converted to molecular kinetic (thermal) energy in the target. That is why back radiation can slow cooling (by supplying the energy for some of the target’s Planck “quota” of radiation, so the target does not have to use as much of its own KE) but back radiation does not slow the other energy transfers. These other processes will accelerate because the temperature gap would widen when radiative cooling is slowed. Non-radiative processes transfer about twice as much thermal (kinetic) energy from the surface to the atmosphere as does radiation.

            May I suggest that, before you write more here, you spend two hours studying the website endorsed by our group of persons suitably qualified in physics, and the two papers of mine which are linked at the foot of the “Evidence” page.

  32. Doug Cotton says:

    EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONVECTION BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK.

    If you are a “Luke” or a “Warmist” then what you don’t know about convection will shatter your beliefs, so you are probably afraid to ask, or to read what I am about to explain from a correct understanding of thermodynamics.

    If in a closed room you sit in front of a blower heater with its fan blowing warm air in your direction you are experienced bulk movement of warm air which is called forced convection by some, but it is not natural convection. Neither is wind of any form.

    Natural convective heat transfer (“convection” for short) is similar in nature to conduction in a solid, in that it involves the transfer of kinetic energy via molecular collision. It also includes (in physics) the process of diffusion wherein molecules move in amongst others before colliding. However, they may move past a dozen or so other molecules before colliding, so the difference between diffusion and natural convection in a gas is indistinguishable on a macro scale.

    Now, you can experience this combination of “heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer” (which I call “heat creep” for short) at home in the “hot car in garage” experiment on our group’s website and you will note that, even with much hotter air in your car (previously parked in the sun in your driveway) you can hardly detect so-called “bulk” movement of air molecules coming out the doors into the closed garage which thus gets warmed.

    What drives convection has nothing to do with imaginary parcels of air, which in fact would have nothing to hold them together. Convection is driven by unbalanced energy potentials (due to greater total accessible internal energy in one location than in another connected location) and the direction of convection can be any accessible direction that is towards a region with lower such energy potential.

    The important thing to understand is that the gravitational potential energy (PE) of each and every molecule is just as much a part of its internal energy as is its kinetic energy (KE) which determines temperature. These forms of energy continually interchange during molecular motion between collisions. In the absence of reactions or phase change, the total energy potential we need to consider is the sum of mean molecular (micro) gravitational PE and KE and, for maximum entropy, this sum must be homogeneous even at different heights.

    Because the PE has a gradient, the KE (temperature) has the negative of that PE gradient. From this we can derive in two lines (as in my paper) the “dry” gradient as being the negative quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases involved. This dry gradient is then modified by radiation processes and, on Earth, it is radiation involving water molecules which reduces the magnitude of the gradient by about a third, this lowering the surface temperature as water vapor levels increase, because the thermal plot rotates about a pivoting altitude. The release of latent heat plays only a small and irregular role in lowering the temperature gradient, otherwise known as the lapse rate.

    Now the Second Law tells us there will always be a propensity for the unbalanced energy potentials to dissipate. Entropy is in effect a measure of the progression of this process of energy potentials being dissipated. When all energy potentials are equal (on a macro scale) we have the state of maximum entropy which physicists call thermodynamic equilibrium, that not being the same as thermal equilibrium by the way.

    Now, this is where you need to understand the heat creep diagrams at http://climate-change-theory.com because the sloping thermal plane in a planet’s troposphere is in fact this state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Hence that plane may be likened to the surface of a large lake which is also shaped by gravity and, in calm conditions, approaches mechanical equilibrium. Whenever any natural equilibrium state is disturbed, such as when new rain falls in a part of a lake, the Second Law tells us that new rain will spread out so as to restore maximum entropy.

    Likewise the Second Law also applies to heat transfer mechanisms, and new thermal energy absorbed in a planet’s troposphere will spread in all accessible directions wherein the spreading process is increasing entropy. And that is what supplies the necessary additional thermal energy into Earth’s surface, which direct solar radiation cannot do. James Hansen thought it must have been back radiation doing this, but it can’t for the reasons in my comment just above.

    That’s all you need to understand about what happens regarding planetary temperatures above and even below any surface. The Sun maintains all temperatures of all bodies in the Solar System and none will warm or cool except to the extent allowed by variations in solar intensity and the amount thereof which is not reflected but plays a part in warming the atmosphere and any surface.

    Yes, that’s all folks.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      PS: Although the back radiation issue is irrelevant and does not affect the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere, you can read about the effect of back radiation (only slowing radiative cooling) in this comment just above.

      • Slipstick says:

        “What happens to those photons when they interact is that they raise an electron by one or more quantum levels and, because of a resonance process (meaning the target can also emit an identical photon) there is immediate re-emission of an identical photon.

        I was originally one of the first in the world to write about it in my March 2012 paper, and I called it resonant scattering. Physicists now call it pseudo scattering”

        Utterly incorrect. You have just confirmed the extent of your ignorance.

        • Slipstick says:

          By the way, if every thermal photon interaction had the result you posit, heating by radiation would be impossible and most of the matter in the universe would be at the temperature of the CMB. Yet another example of the contradictions of reality which your model requires.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            “The peak frequency indicates the temperature of the emitting body. Hence, although one photon is not enough to determine the temperature, the frequency distribution of all the radiation does do so.

            “Now, if the warmer body cooled down to the temperature of the cooler one it would have a matching frequency distribution. We can postulate that there will be natural maximum frequencies with which the electrons can vibrate between energy states. So radiation with a matching frequency can resonate with molecules in the target. But the radiated energy in each photon is proportional to the frequency of the associated radiation, and that energy will be just the right amount to excite an electron to a particular higher state, but not enough to go the extra distance required for any of the radiated energy to be converted to thermal energy.

            “As this resonating process is taking place, a photon in the incident radiation excites an electron to a higher state, let’s say at the crest of the wave, and then immediately lets it relax back to its original state at the trough. As it relaxes it sends an equivalent photon off in a different direction, thus seeming to scatter the initial radiation.

            “However, if one body is warmer than the other, then only that portion of the radiation which corresponds to the area under the smaller [Planck] curve will experience resonant scattering, whilst the surplus (corresponding to the area between the curves) will be converted to thermal energy in the cooler body, thus warming it. The radiation which is scattered may well strike another target which is cooler again, and so a similar split of its energy could occur. If instead it meets a warmer target, possibly the Earth’s surface, it will just undergo resonant scattering without leaving any energy behind. Eventually it will get to space where it will travel on for who-knows-how-long until it strikes another target, which also may be warmer or cooler. The “temperature” of the radiation is really just the temperature of a blackbody for which the peak frequency would be the frequency of the radiation.”

            [source]

    • Norman says:

      Doug Cotton,

      You are just making up your own definition of convection. It is already established what convection is and changing the definition to suit you will only add confusion to an already difficult topic.

      You state: “What drives convection has nothing to do with imaginary parcels of air, which in fact would have nothing to hold them together. Convection is driven by unbalanced energy potentials (due to greater total accessible internal energy in one location than in another connected location) and the direction of convection can be any accessible direction that is towards a region with lower such energy potential.”

      Why do you have such a difficult time understanding what holds parcels together? Have you ever seen an explosion?

      Here is a YouTube compilation of nuclear explosions. The air raises to millions of degrees but the ball of fury does not expand without limit. Pray tell what holds this tremendous energy from expanding (the molecules are moving much faster than 1700 km/hour). What holds it together is the surrounding air.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_o65B1JTiw

      These nuclear explosions are a super good way to visually see an air parcel in action rising into the atmosphere.

      Natural convection is well defined and does not need a new definition from you. When a liquid or gas is heated from below it causes the material to expand which then gets lighter than the surrounding air (evidence from the nuclear fireball, it rises). It will then rise in mass (held together as in the nuclear explosions by the surrounding air, please note Doug, this is reality 101. If you fail to get this reality check go back to 1st grade and start over). Natural convection only exists when the bottom of a material is heated (not the top oceans heated from the top have no convection only conduction) and the change in density moves large amounts of the material in mass.

      Reread what convection is 10 times and repeat until you really learn the concept and watch the nuclear explosions 10 times until you finally realize what an air parcel is and what holds it together.
      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heatra.html

      Look at this link and read about convection 10 times.

  33. Norman says:

    There are many who are asking for empirical proof or data that shows GHG cause warming of the overall Earth system. Too many seem to get caught up in air temperature or even surface temperature measurements to try and prove or disprove that a given GHG causes or does not cause a warming effect (some believe GHG will actually produce cooling).

    Big problem with trying to determine things from air temperature (as Doug has attempted) is that energy is moving around. Warm air from the tropics moves toward the poles. Energy difference does tend to balance by multiple heat flow paths.

    I would still like someone to explain how this net radiation graphic (of satellite measurements) does not satisfy the debate? How energy moves on the surface will tell you very little about the effect of GHG in the atmosphere. Radiation in – radiation out (the primary means of establishing the overall temperature of the Earth) which is equal to joules in – joules out and joules in a material will give you a temperature based upon its mass and heat capacity.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ACRIMSAT/acrimsat_3.php

    This graphic shows that wet moist areas at the same latitude have a much higher net radiation than dry deserts. The moist tropical oceans are adding energy to the Earth system while the deserts act as cooling regions.

    The tropics are not as hot as deserts because of this pattern of Hadley Cells.
    http://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/desert

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      You state:

      “This graphic shows that wet moist areas at the same latitude have a much higher net radiation than dry deserts. The moist tropical oceans are adding energy to the Earth system while the deserts act as cooling regions.”

      Have you traveled to different parts of the world yourself? Have you visited tropical locations and desert regions? My wife and I have traveled to different parts of South East Asia including the island of Java, Singapore (off the Malay peninsula), and other regions including Taiwan. We reside in the American South west. Java in Indonesia sits within a short distance of the equator in the Southern hemisphere. The solar irradiance in this region far surpasses the U.S. South west and humidity proves much higher. The highest temperature my wife remembers Indonesia ever reaching fell around 40 degrees centigrade or ~104 degrees Fahrenheit. The dry American South west region frequently surpasses that figure sporting some of the highest temperatures on Earth, often exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Personally, I’ve experience temperatures of 118 degrees Fahrenheit in Palm Springs and possibly in Phoenix where family reside. In the case of Death Valley it achieved the highest temperature ever recorded on the planet, (World† North America – USA 56.7 °C (134 °F) Furnace Creek Ranch (formerly Greenland Ranch), Death Valley, California, 10 July 1913 (well before Mona Loa even began recording CO2 numbers consistently). The South west regions I just spoke about sit ~35 degrees North of the equator, receive far less solar irradiance than the South China seas I mentioned first and prove very dry lacking in one of the most significant GHG’s there is water vapor.

      If the desert proves to be such a COOLING region why doesn’t that prove true for so many of the highest temperature regions on the planet including the American South west, the northern horn of Africa including the Lybian and Iraqi desert regions U.S. troops have had to serve in and so many more? They in FACT comprise some of the HOTTEST regions on the planet. A word of caution you shouldn’t take as gospel the rantings on some given website that spews climate propaganda. See the world yourself and make up your own mind.

      Have a great day!

    • Doug Cotton says:

      “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

      “Conclusions:

      “There is clearly no indication of any warming effect related to water vapour, and so no evidence for the assumed positive feedback, which is a fundamental building block for the greenhouse conjecture. Rather, the opposite appears to be the case, and water vapour does in fact appear to have the cooling effect anticipated by the hypothesis in the main body of this paper.”

      [source]

    • Doug Cotton says:

      “Oxygen and nitrogen keep the surface warm with non-radiative diffusion processes just by being there at almost the same temperature. The closer the temperatures are, the slower is the cooling by both diffusion and evaporative cooling of water surfaces. And these normal air molecules (mostly oxygen and nitrogen and yes, 0.04% of them carbon dioxide) are at that temperature because of the autonomous formation of a thermal gradient as molecules swap kinetic energy (KE) and potential energy (PE) when in free flight between impacts – even in still air – even without convection – even at the poles of Venus where no sunlight ever reaches down.

      “The great planets receive virtually no solar insolation at their surfaces, so where is the energy for any back radiation? There isn’t any. Their atmospheres get warmed by the Sun and a thermal gradient develops and maintains itself automatically due to their gravitational field. Their atmospheres “support” similar surface temperatures, which may be slightly warmer due to day/night variations.

      “So “human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, have not intensified any natural greenhouse effect, and are not causing global warming.”

      “That is the real world. That is the real Solar system. That is the real universe, because physics is universal. The autonomous thermal gradient in the atmosphere, together with Solar insolation, which sets the overall level of the thermal profile, determines the surface temperatures on Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and – wait for it – Earth.”

      [source]

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Doug Cotton,

        Thank you for the post. You make many valid points others remain in denial about. One note of caution though. The South China Seas and equatorial regions that I mentioned above also possess one very notable characteristic a larger and higher atmosphere. Due to the earth’s rotation acting like a centrifuge the earth’s atmosphere does not appear to be equally distributed. Iow, the atmosphere near the equator proves somewhat more massive and higher. In fact, from experience in Indonesia the temperature rarely if ever descends below 50+60 degrees Fahrenheit usually hovering in the 70’s extreme warm and cold temperatures prove to be the rarity. Indeed, one can walk to the top of a mountain and/or volcano and not even need a sweater. The climate appears more even and leveled if you will. The lapse rate does not appear to be the same as other regions. Must go we can discuss more later.

        Have a great day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          “At middle latitudes, tropospheric temperatures decrease from an average of 15°C at sea level to about -55°C at the tropopause. At the poles, tropospheric temperature only decreases from an average of 0ºC at sea level to about -45°C at the tropopause. At the equator, tropospheric temperatures decrease from an average of 20ºC at sea level to about -70 to -75°C at the tropopause. The troposphere is thinner at the poles and thicker at the equator. The average thickness of the tropical tropopause is roughly 7 kilometers greater than the average tropopause thickness at the poles.”

          [source].

          • JohnKl says:

            “Fundamentals of atmospheric modeling show that the height of the tropopause depends on the location, notably the latitude, and that the troposphere is roughly 8km higher at the equator than the poles depending on the time of year.”

        • Doug Cotton says:

          “The relatively strong solar radiation at the top of Mt Everest [only 4 degrees out of the tropics] does not melt the snow.”

          [source]

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Doug Cotton,

        Just a note. Perhaps, I don’t need to tell you much about the South China seas as you reside in Australia. You probably have visited there yourself. Again…

        Have a great day!

    • jerry l krause says:

      Hi Norman,

      Your reference to—http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ACRIMSAT/acrimsat_3.php—created much confusion for me. I read: “Most of the energy emanating from the sun to the Earth is primarily transmitted in the optical wavelengths of visible (85%), ultraviolet (10%), and infrared (5%) energy. Previously, Roy had written: “The source of energy for the climate system is the sun, primarily in the form of visible light.” (How the Climate System Works (for Dummies). C. Donald Ahrens in Meteorology Today 3rd Ed and Meteorology Today 9th Ed has figures showing the solar spectrum which indicate that the visible (44%) and the infrared (48%) energy. Steven A Ackerman and John A. Knox in Meteorology have a figure which suggests a distribution of energy similar to Ahrens. On the internet I find nothing to support what is found on the nasa site. Can you help me out?

      Have a good day, Jerry

    • Kristian says:

      Norman, you say:

      “There are many who are asking for empirical proof or data that shows GHG cause warming of the overall Earth system. Too many seem to get caught up in air temperature or even surface temperature measurements to try and prove or disprove that a given GHG causes or does not cause a warming effect (some believe GHG will actually produce cooling).”

      The ‘atmospheric radiative greenhouse effect’ is supposed to be a temperature effect. That’s what the concept is all about. Furthermore, the temperature specifically in question is that of the solid/liquid surface. It is not about the average temperature at the tropopause (or of the troposphere at large) and it is not about the average temperature of the bulk ocean. It is also not about any max or min surface temperatures; it is only about the mean – the global, annual mean.

      So there is really no point in seeking to measure the strength of this effect by somehow determining the total amount of energy held by the Earth system in the steady state. Well, it is part of the info needed, but it does not even begin to tell the whole story.

      So you seem to turn things exactly on its head, Norman. What people tend to get caught up in is the extensive property of ‘total energy content’, when the rGHE is distinctly defined by how it supposedly elevates an intensive property of one particular subsystem of the total Earth system: the surface temperature.

      “Radiation in – radiation out (the primary means of establishing the overall temperature of the Earth) which is equal to joules in – joules out and joules in a material will give you a temperature based upon its mass and heat capacity.”

      We are not interested in the ‘overall temperature of the Earth’. This could only be found by looking at each particular subsystem of the total composite system, determining how much of the total energy is held within each of them, relate this to their individual bulk heat capacities, and then finally weight them all against each other to obtain one mean value.

      The Earth system as a whole is so internally heterogeneous that there is absolutely no linear relationship to be found between its ‘total energy content’ and its ‘average temperature’. If more total energy is held within the overall system, but a bigger share of it is confined to a subsystem with a large bulk heat capacity, the average temperature of the overall system will not necessarily be higher. In fact, it could well be lower. Extensive vs. intensive properties …

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/why-summer-nighttime-temperatures-dont-fall-below-freezing/#comment-189518

      • jerry l krause says:

        Hi Kristian,

        “The ‘atmospheric radiative greenhouse effect’ is supposed to be a temperature effect. That’s what the concept is all about. Furthermore, the temperature specifically in question is that of the solid/liquid surface.”

        Right on!

        But I cannot necessarily take the next steps with you.

        Have a good day, Jerry

  34. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    In response to your reply to may post about surface temperature and actual energy gained by the system consider this book link. It does explain things fairly well and may be very helpful in your overall understanding.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=vmjbIXCKamkC&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=do+air+over+a+desert+tend+to+cap+convective+rising?&source=bl&ots=XHX2q0Oake&sig=vXtjyhtbmbXh2f-s6OKY1rwr9t0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5Jw2VZ_zAc72oATKlYHYAg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=do%20air%20over%20a%20desert%20tend%20to%20cap%20convective%20rising%3F&f=false

    I do not think this material will sway Doug but if you possess an open mind and consider it, that is all I can ask.

    You have a nice day!

  35. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    Thank you for your post. The link regarding positive feedbacks and desert climate interests me but has been noted before. Curiously enough climatologists initially blamed the loss of ice cover and rain over Kilimanjaro in Africa to believe it or not GLOBAL WARMING! Until they discovered that de-forestation by natives in the region removed the green forest canopy and the surface-to-atmosphere water circulation that resulted making the area more arid. It has been witnessed also in Greece and probably Egypt. Ancient Greece used to be green and lush, but back in the day locals introduced a non-native species the GOAT that has a nasty habit of pulling ground vegetation up by the root. Eventually, the goats tore up the ground vegetation leaving Greece the arid dry mediterranean region we know. Britain took up ship building to build it’s maritime empire centuries ago resulting in the pretty green emerald isle of largely pasture land we know today, although it had once been forested. In the case of England, the gulf stream and other factors kept the rain coming and the island green.

    Poor land use in the U.S. and many regions throughout the world results in DESERTIFICATION, which I’ve brought up before as well. Global warming need not be invoked although it frequently happens.

    A few points should be noted. Green plants do absorb more visible light energy in the lower spectrum. Green leaves reflect higher frequency/energy blue and yellow light (thus appearing green) while absorbing low frequency/energy red spectrum visible light. They efficiently utilize the low energy spectrum visible light to perform work like building the plant and all the nutrients carbohydrates, proteins, fats and micro-nutrients we take for granted every day. Your linked writing mentions albedo and how dark colors absorb more energy and become hotter. Tell me when you played outside as a child and wanted to cool your feet from the hot black asphalt and almost as hot white/gray cement where did you run? Any child with a clue ran to the COOL GREEN GRASS! Plants don’t waste absorbed energy like many other surfaces. As the article states, H2O phase changes do allow heat to be reduced, but that only helps prove what Doug, myself and others have noted. That GHG’s help radiate (i.e. remove IR) away energy faster than otherwise would be possible. Please read my comments yesterday ( April 20, 2015 at 11:46 AM ) to Fonzarelli on this thread. Plants do cycle energy, water and such with the environment in a way that supports it’s own ecosystem, but for waste heat nothing quite beats animals.

    Thanks and have a great day!

    • Norman says:

      JohnKl,

      I just want to point out that the phase change of evaporating water does not cool the Earth system, only the surface. That stored heat is released when the air moves up and condenses into rain. No energy is lost in this process only moved about.

      As far as plants using solar energy this article claims the process is not very efficient. Plants only use a small part of the solar flux to grow and make energy so most would still be heat.

      I am still wondering what evidence you or Doug have that will prove GHG’s raidate away energy faster than otherwise would be possible. No satellite studies even remotely show this effect. I have shown Doug tropical regions during night conditions and clears skies vs a dry desert. The desert cools much faster.

      Here are some really strong reasons that it is not sound science to conclude things based upon limited knowledge of what is taking place (an overall system approach).
      Here is Omaha, Nebraska March 16 2015. The temperature rose up to 88 F. Looking ahead to a mostly clear day of March 21, 2015 (same location) only got up to 63 F even with mostly clear skies. Maybe Doug would conclude that the sun is not the cause of warming because on a sunny clear day the temperature was 25 F colder than an earlier date. You can come up with all kinds of wild and untested ideas. If you know what is happening maybe you come up with the correct explanation of temperature differences.

      Omaha Nebraska temps March 21, 2015
      http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KOMA/2015/3/21/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Omaha&req_state=NE&req_statename=Nebraska&reqdb.zip=68101&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=99999

      Omaha Nebraska temps March 16, 2015
      http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KOMA/2015/3/16/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Omaha&req_state=NE&req_statename=Nebraska&reqdb.zip=68101&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=99999

      In the troposphere air is moving around all the time from different pressurs systems moving around, wind, rain, clouds. None of these will help you make a statement if the Earth system is gaining or losing energy. Only by monitoring the total energy gained by the system minus the energy lost by the overall system can you effectively tell if the Earth is warming or cooling. Only advanced space research can provide this information. If they are corrupt and lying to deceive there is not much I can do (I will not assume this unless really good information can show that to be the case) otherwise I have to trust the information they provide on Net Energy. I can’t detemine anything by studying local temps where there is continuous air motion.

      • jerry l krause says:

        Hi Norman,

        “I just want to point out that the phase change of evaporating water does not cool the Earth system, only the surface. That stored heat is released when the air moves up and condenses into rain. No energy is lost in this process only moved about.”

        As Kristian pointed out: it is the temperature of the surface and of the atmosphere layer at the surface which is what the greenhouse effect is about. Hence, the surface is cooled by evaporation. However, equally important is you observation that this energy is often transported by the atmosphere’s circulation to some possibly distant place where it transfers this energy to the atmosphere, possibly quite high in the atmosphere where from where it can be radiated to space. Of course it can also be radiated toward the earth, but now, if there is a greenhouse effect, hinders its transmission in that direction.

        Just some thoughts.

        Have a good day, Jerry

  36. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    “I just want to point out that the phase change of evaporating water does not cool the Earth system, only the surface.”

    The article illustrates the cooling of leaves not the entire Earth system, which I didn’t expressly state in the immediate post above. However, since you brought it up if you had read my previous post you would know H2O proves lighter than air rapidly rising in altitude and emitting away energy en-route. If water vapor undergoes a phase change what prevents it from emitting energy? Apparently, water and ice absorb and or emit energy more efficiently than in the vapor stage. What prevents stratospheric clouds or upper atmosphere water vapor from eventually emitting radiation to space? You provided absolutely no evidence to support your assertion that it cannot.

    You go on:

    “That stored heat is released when the air moves up and condenses into rain. No energy is lost in this process only moved about.”

    Do you have any clue how radiation works? I never claimed the phase change itself releases causes energy to be lost, that’s frankly an absurd conclusion from my statement. However, because liquid water and ice emit/absorb a greater bandwidth of energy they can emit energy faster and more efficiently than even the vapor phase of the substance. Please Norman reason with me, comprehend what you read! I specifically claimed:

    “That GHG’s help radiate (i.e. remove IR) away energy faster than otherwise would be possible.”

    Where did I claim the phase change caused it! To further express irrelevance you state:

    “Plants only use a small part of the solar flux to grow…”

    Precisely Norman which proves to be exactly what I’d stated when I claimed:

    “Green plants do absorb more visible light energy in the lower spectrum.” (i.e. lower spectrum as in low frequency/energy red visible light spectrum)

    You then failing to comprehend the rest of my statement strangely make what seems to be a counter-factually claim:

    “…and make energy so most would still be heat.”

    completely ignoring my statement:

    “Green leaves reflect higher frequency/energy blue and yellow light (thus appearing green) while absorbing low frequency/energy red spectrum visible light.”

    Hence they REFLECT (“most” of the energy)the higher energy blue and yellow visible spectrum Norman. Your failure to face this observation seems inexcusable since you so often obsess with REFLECTED energy. Once again plants waste much less heat than you infer. Again Norman go to summertime Phoenix and walk barefoot on the WHITE high albedo side-walks and see how long you can stand it before running to the GREEN BELT grass lawns so many home-owners hunger for (gee I wonder why!). If you can do that all the while living in denial of obvious FACT, then I will be truly impressed at least by your stubbornness.

    You then reference the article claiming with little apparent knowledge:

    “As far as plants using solar energy this article claims the process is not very efficient. Plants only use a small part of the solar flux to grow and make energy so most would still be heat.”

    Really Norman?! How absurd. Find me a solar photo-voltaic cell manufacturer, or any other man-made solar system or any human design as efficient. Roy in a previous post even claimed the energy released from the breakdown of plant fuel in the human digestive system (Kreb cycle) proved more efficient than atomic energy. Plants store very large sums of energy indeed, despite all the energy required for growth and other processes. Let me be clear. A plant primarily utilizes the lower energy/frequency energy of the visible spectrum to provide all the work mentioned and more. A photovoltaic panel will be dark black or similar dark color absorbing just about the entire spectrum and will perform much less work. The work performed by the plant provides energy to fuel almost all physical plant, animal and human activity. You might want to blab your claim to the Brazilians who use bio-fuels. If you claim that is inefficient not only do I suggest you spend time in therapy you had better be prepared to be provide evidence of your claim and not just spout nonsense from some referenced tome somewhere.

    Failing to understand many posts over the months you ask:

    “I am still wondering what evidence you or Doug have that will prove GHG’s radiate away energy faster than otherwise would be possible.”

    GHG’s radiate in the infrared which radiates away energy likely at least an order of magnitude faster than di-atomic gas molecules like oxygen and nitrogen that radiate in the micro-wave bandwidths. This has been stated so many times I can only ask what have you been reading all this time?

    “No satellite studies even remotely show this effect.”

    No satellite studies show atmospheric radiation in the infrared including water vapor bandwidths? Believe me much more energy gets emitted in the infrared than microwave bandwidths that oxygen and nitrogen radiate in. Do you have any clue what your stating?

    You then state:

    “I have shown Doug tropical regions during night conditions and clears skies vs a dry desert. The desert cools much faster.”

    Finally, a statement that bears some relation to reality. Perhaps I depart from Doug on this point but I don’t think so. In the past, many times I have indicated that CO2 has a temperature LEVELING effect by slowing down the rate at which the surface cools. Actually Doug has said the same thing in the past so you haven’t provided any new revelation here. You go on:

    “Here are some really strong reasons that it is not sound science to conclude things based upon limited knowledge of what is taking place (an overall system approach).”

    Exactly, you should listen to yourself.

    You go on:

    “Only by monitoring the total energy gained by the system minus the energy lost by the overall system can you effectively tell if the Earth is warming or cooling. Only advanced space research can provide this information. If they are corrupt and lying to deceive there is not much I can do (I will not assume this unless really good information can show that to be the case) otherwise I have to trust the information they provide on Net Energy. I can’t determine anything by studying local temps where there is continuous air motion.”

    Corrupt or lying? Who and what do you refer to? Actual UN-ADJUSTED measurements? By whom? Why trust any source of information? A real scientist would TEST EVERYTHING! You claim you can’t tell anything about local temps but did exactly that regarding the Omaha data. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. In any case,…

    Have a great day!

    • Norman says:

      JohnKl,

      That is a long response that might require more than one comeback post.

      I think one of our divergent views is on what cools plants. I think your point is water vapor is cooling the plants by radiating away energy and keeping the green grass cool. Not totally sure and would not want to misrepresent your point as maybe I have already done.

      I still claim it is not an increase in emission by plants that keeps them cool. I would much strongly believe the phase change of changing liquid water to vapor is what is keeping the green grass cool not an increase in radiation loss.

      In the summer if you make a mud puddle, this will be much cooler than the dry soil but you might conclude it is because the wet soil is emitting much more radiation but it that a correct understanding? The amount of radiation flux a body emits is based upon its emissitivity and temperature. If the mud and dry soil have simialar emissitivities than the dry soil will be the higher source of outward radiative energy (being at a higher temp). Green grass will emit less radiation than the hot asphalt. I think the green grass is cool because of the energy used in evaporation (converting liquid water to vapor). You may think me wrong but I think physics will support me on this issue.

      On your point “If you claim that is inefficient not only do I suggest you spend time in therapy you had better be prepared to be provide evidence of your claim and not just spout nonsense from some referenced tome somewhere.”

      I do not think we are on the same page in use of the word efficiency. 100% efficient (not possible) would mean all the available energy is converted to useable work. Plants are not efficient as they only convert less than 10% of the available energy to useful work (a power plant runs around 35% efficiency). Not sure what you are stating or what claim you are making other than you are using some meaning for the word efficiency and claiming I need therapy. Not sure how valid this reasoning is. I am trying to use the physics definition of what efficiency really means and not some personal favorite.

      When you make your statements about GHG radiating away energy, the question is in what direction? Away from what? The Earth’s surface, outer space? What do your words actually mean? Radiating away faster? Not a well defined concept.

      In my corrupt and lying statement you missed the key first word “If” I am not saying anyone is corrupt or lying I am saying the only information one can determine if the earth is warming or cooling is from net radiation and the only way to get a net radiation study is from satellite data. If those information from NASA or NOAA is not valid data then one will not be able to determine a correct net radiation picture. You can’t test this stuff with any local homegrown kit.

      With your statement “You claim you can’t tell anything about local temps but did exactly that regarding the Omaha data. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. In any case,…” I can’t figure out what your point is on this. My point was that if you did not know what was going on in a larger view (which would be an understanding that areas North of Omaha like in Canada have some really cold air in March and the Gulf of Mexico has some really warm air…if a system moves air up from the south it is much warmer than usual or if air moves down from the north it is much cooler…if you are not aware of this data if becomes difficult to understand why one day you have 88 F and a few days later it is only 63 F why are you finding this difficult to grasp?)

      I do like your posts and ideas. I think some problems in communication barriers exist. Sometimes a point will not come out the way it is intended and is misunderstood. I might have to post a few more times to figure out what you are getting at and let you understand my points.

      As always Have a Nice Day!

      • Doug Cotton says:

        “We find that in moist regions the gradient is reduced by about a third, and so the whole plot of temperature against altitude rotates downwards at the surface end. Hence these greenhouse gases lead to lower supported surface temperatures and not warmer ones.” [source>]

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Norman,

          Thanks for your post and I apologize for being somewhat sarcastic in my previous post. You made a statement which I will use to help clarify my claim. You state:

          “Plants are not efficient as they only convert less than 10% of the available energy to useful work (a power plant runs around 35% efficiency).”

          What do you mean by available energy? Total energy impinging the surface of the planet? Stored chemical energy? Do you see the problem. By the standard of efficiency I am referring to a diesel automobile doesn’t prove inefficient because it fails to combust available gasoline. Do you mean the visible light spectrum? Well if you do the figure likely proves less than 10% because as I mentioned plant chlorophyll utilizes only a small fraction of the low (red) energy/frequency visible light spectrum reflecting the high (blue and yellow) energy/frequency spectrum back to space. However, if you ask the question how well does the plant utilize the small quantum of low (red) energy/frequency visible light that impinges it? Then I completely disagree with the 10% figure you claim, and your power-plant comparison proves an illusion. Consider a coal-powered plant runs on the remains of compressed plant and animal remains! A chain proves only so good as it’s weakest link. If one begins with small red spectrum light energy impinging a plant, which then gets compressed to form lignite, bitumite or anthracite which then gets burned to fuel said plant. The energy efficiency of such a process falls far short of any plant on the planet. The combustion process does not exceed plant efficiency.

          Let’s try to simply consider the efficiency of any process to utilize the energy consumed by the same process to provide work. By that standard plants prove very efficient indeed.

          Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            One correction to my post. I should have wrote regarding the plants ability to utilize the visible spectrum impinging it:

            “Well if you do the figure likely proves likely less than 30% because as I mentioned plant chlorophyll utilizes only a small fraction of the low (red) energy/frequency visible light spectrum reflecting the high (blue and yellow) energy/frequency spectrum back to space.”

            There may exist some inefficiency that brings it substantially lower say 10%, but please provide clear evidence of it.

            Thanks and have a great day!

  37. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    One other point about your absurd quote:

    “As far as plants using solar energy this article claims the process is not very efficient. Plants only use a small part of the solar flux to grow and make energy so most would still be heat.”

    Answer me this question savant Norman, if plants use only a “small” part of the solar flux to grow, make energy and provide energy for well LIFE IN GENERAL isn’t getting more for less or “small” amounts a sign of EFFICIENCY?!!!

    Have a great day!

    • Norman says:

      JohnKl,

      I think what it comes down to is the confusion of semantics.

      What the word efficiency means to you may not be the same meaning it has for me.

      If you use the strict physics use of this word.
      http://www.gcsescience.com/pen20-energy-efficiency.htm

      There is an overall tremendous flow of energy to the Earth system. But plants are still not very efficient at using the energy available to them. Semantics debates can be difficult.

      Have a nice day!

  38. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I am not sure what you are trying to say about convection.

    In one of your sources ” In natural convection, fluid surrounding a heat source receives heat, becomes less dense and rises. The surrounding, cooler fluid then moves to replace it. This cooler fluid is then heated and the process continues, forming a convection current; this process transfers heat energy from the bottom of the convection cell to top. The driving force for natural convection is buoyancy, a result of differences in fluid density. Because of this,”

    This is what I have said it is. Convection does not work if you heat from above, then only conduction will move the heat down (and radiation if in the air).

    • Doug Cotton says:

      8. The Concept of “Heat Creep”

      “In this section we shall see that gravity, in effect, makes a sloping thermal plot into a “level playing field” in which energy can spread in all directions, just like a bucket full of water poured into the middle of a swimming pool.

      For example, let us consider what happens when a supply of extra thermal energy is added somewhere in the middle of this sloping thermal profile. The effect can be visualised by turning the graph of the temperature-altitude relationship on an angle such that it is perpendicular to the gravitational force in the room where you are. That is, you make it look like a level playing field.

      So, in the diagrams below you would be turning the page until the green section is horizontal and the line marking the (PE+KE) axis is vertical. In each diagram the green bar represents the (PE+KE) in the initial state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Then we are going to imagine what happens when an additional quantity of absorbed thermal energy (indicated in red) is added in the middle of this playing field.

      Now, when a rain storm falls on a section of the ocean, the extra water spreads out in all directions, eventually over the whole surface of the ocean, following the curved surface produced by gravity. So it is with extra energy deposited in the atmosphere if it makes the local temperature greater than the theoretical thermal profile would indicate it ought to be at that location.

      But the extra energy actually creates a situation in which more molecules move outward than inwards. This was not the case with the “pure” diffusion process (wherein there were random movements) at least if the pressure gradient was not changed in the process. So this provides us with a distinction between convection (where there is adiabatic movement of air) and diffusion of KE which can happen in totally still air. In practice, both work together with the same result.

      In general, convection requires an additional source of energy, and the most common form is that provided by the Sun. When the surface absorbs Solar energy, that energy then transfers from the surface into the atmosphere by conduction (diffusion) and thus provides a continuous supply of extra energy which creates convection.

      http://climate-change-theory.com/heatcreep1.jpg

      A consequence of the above discussion of the “level playing field” is that, when a supply of “latent heat” is released from water vapour, there could be some downward convection apparently moving against the temperature gradient. The original extra energy shown in red in the above diagram now spreads out as shown in this diagram:

      http://climate-change-theory.com/heatcreep2.jpg

      On Earth, upward rising air by normal convection would probably overpower this to some extent. But the situation would be different on Venus because so little direct Solar radiation gets through the thick atmosphere and into the surface. What must happen, in order to explain how the Venus surface receives the required energy to keep it so hot, is that incident Solar energy is absorbed at all levels of the atmosphere and then it spreads out over the thermal plane, just like rain falling on a section of a lake leads to extra water spreading out over the whole surface.

      The extra energy absorbed will only spread out evenly in all directions if there was already thermodynamic equilibrium in the region. When such equilibrium is established, the additional KE at some location unsettles the equilibrium, and it is just as “easy” for the energy to spread up the thermal plane, as it is to spread down the plane, or in any other direction. So the thermal plane,even though it actually has a thermal gradient, acts like a “level playing field” because of the effect of the gravitational field.

      Hence we have this rather strange concept that additional energy can in fact cause “heat creep” up the thermal gradient to warmer regions, provided that there was thermodynamic equilibrium initially. This process explains how energy can get to the base of the atmosphere and keep it warm (or very hot on Venus) quite independently of any energy received back from the surface.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      “… diffusion is “spreading out” from a point or location at which there is a higher concentration of that object.” [2]

      “Although often discussed as a distinct method of heat transfer, convective heat transfer involves the combined processes of conduction (heat diffusion) and advection (heat transfer by bulk fluid flow).” [3]

    • Doug Cotton says:

      “Heat creep (which is short for “heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer by molecular collision, but not forced convection”) shifts warmer temperatures horizontally (and slightly downwards) towards the poles.”

      “that won’t stop happening while ever there is an atmosphere with lots of colliding molecules doing that “heat creep” which is heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer.”

      “Heat creep (being heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer via molecular collisions) is about temperature movement brought about by molecules passing on kinetic energy in such collisions.”

      “Now, you can experience this combination of “heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer” (which I call “heat creep” for short) at home in the “hot car in garage” experiment”

      Sources: 4 comments above

    • Doug Cotton says:

      My refutation of what you say is explained over several pages at http://climate-change-theory.com and in my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” linked therein. I am happy to discuss the content thereof, but not quotes from the fictitious, fiddled physics of meteorology and climatology.

  39. Doug Cotton says:

    “Natural convective heat transfer (“convection” for short) is similar in nature to conduction in a solid, in that it involves the transfer of kinetic energy via molecular collision.”

    Source: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/winter-returns-rockies-expecting-up-to-5-ft/#comment-189299

    • Norman says:

      Doug Cotton,

      Using your own post as proof of a point is not a valid use of research. Convection uses conduction initially since it is the way a hot surface transfers energy to the material above. But that is only the beginning of the process. Like in a pot of water, heat is transferred to the water from a hot plate by conduction. The bottom water absorbs this heat and expands becoming less dense and is able to move as a bulk of molecules. The water molecules in the less dense water move up together in bulk and it is a very rapid transfer of energy from one point to the next.

      Put a heat lamp above a pot of water and see if you can create reverse convection and see how long it takes for the pot of water to heat up using the same energy as a surface heater.

      Convection is driven by density differences created by expansion in fluids and gases. No definition deviates from this. You only post part of the overall definition of convection. You are wrong here and need to update your files!

  40. Doug Cotton says:

    ” … 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.”

    Source: http://www.entropylaw.com/entropy2ndlaw.html

    “The extra energy absorbed will only spread out evenly in all directions if there was already thermodynamic equilibrium in the region. When such equilibrium is established, the additional KE at some location unsettles the equilibrium, and it is just as “easy” for the energy to spread up the thermal plane, as it is to spread down the plane, or in any other direction. So the thermal plane,even though it actually has a thermal gradient, acts like a “level playing field” because of the effect of the gravitational field.”

    Source: http://www.climate-change-theory.com/Planetary_Core_and_Surface_Temperatures.pdf

  41. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    I am thinking we are not addressing the same points. I am thinking about what you are saying. GHG radiate away faster. And you are comparing the rate of radiative loss to N2 an O2 and I do not disagree with that statement.

    I do not dispute that green grass in hot sun is cooler than asphalt or dry sand. I am not sure how your statements change my point however.

    Hot objects will radiate more energy than cooler objects if the emissitivity are equal so really hot desert surfaces are going to radiate away more energy than cooler surfaces.

    Forests do absorb more energy than sand (Energy in – energy out) The albedo. High albedo means less absorbed energy.

    I posted a link to Earth’s net radiation. It shows wet oceans adding energy to the system and dry deserts losing energy to the global system. I do not know how the temperature of sand vs grass would change this information. That is why I think I am not connecting with your points as I do agree with most of them but I have no understanding of how they refute the net energy point I made in my original topic of global energy balance.

    Have a nice day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thank you again for the post. You wondered:

      “That is why I think I am not connecting with your points as I do agree with most of them but I have no understanding of how they refute the net energy point I made in my original topic of global energy balance.”

      Earlier you state:

      “I would still like someone to explain how this net radiation graphic (of satellite measurements) does not satisfy the debate? How energy moves on the surface will tell you very little about the effect of GHG in the atmosphere. Radiation in – radiation out (the primary means of establishing the overall temperature of the Earth) which is equal to joules in – joules out and joules in a material will give you a temperature based upon its mass and heat capacity.
      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ACRIMSAT/acrimsat_3.php

      This graphic shows that wet moist areas at the same latitude have a much higher net radiation than dry deserts. The moist tropical oceans are adding energy to the Earth system while the deserts act as cooling regions.”

      The graph depicts net solar energy IN-FLOW. That’s fine but it doesn’t tell me how HOT the place will be, i.e. how much waste heat. The tropics efficiently utilize the excess energy they receive by producing copious amounts of living forms (biomass), but much less gets converted to heat. In addition, the higher quantities of GHG’s like water vapor apparently do not trap much heat in since the tropical regions prove cooler than other desert areas like the U.S. southwest that receive far less amounts of solar radiation. In fact the highest recorded temperature in Brazil (a continental land mass country, largely tropical extending from the Northern tip at the Equator then South several thousand miles is only 112.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

      “The highest temperature officially registered in Brazil was 44.7 °C (112.5 °F) in Bom Jesus, Piauí state on 21 November 2005. The lowest temperature officially recorded in Brazil was −14 °C (7 °F) in Caçador, Santa Catarina state, on 11 June 1952.”

      A warm summer day in the U.S. southwest but nothing unusual. We often have temps over 118-120 degrees Fahrenheit. Read my previous posts.

      Moreover, desert regions retain heat fairly well also. Please re-read my previous post I made to Jerry L Krause regarding summertime Phoenix, Arizona conditions. Have you ever awoke early in the morning, step outside and encounter unrelenting heat? Just asking…

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman,

        Allow me a correction to my post above.

        I should have stated:

        The tropics efficiently utilize the excess energy they receive by producing copious amounts of living forms (biomass), warming water to produce storms etc., but much less gets expressed as simply a temperature increase (or simply waste heat).

        I’m not sure that helps.

        Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman,

        Allow me one other piece of evidence. Remember Brazil’s highest recorded temperature proved only 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Do you know what the highest recorded temperature in Argentina (farther south of the Equator, less tropical and receiving less solar energy)? Try 127 degrees Fahrenheit.

        “The hottest and coldest temperature extremes recorded in South America have occurred in Argentina. A record high temperature of 52.8 °C (127.0 °F), was recorded at Campo Gallo, Santiago del Estero Province on October 16, 1936.”

        Have a great day!

        • Norman says:

          JohnKl,

          One thing about your concept is that the highest levels of net radiation (energy in – energy out) take place over oceans which do have some plankton but I do not know if they are the energy absrobers you are attributing to the biomass of the tropical jungles.

          Also surface temperatures that are really high are much more likely to be radiating a lot more heat away from the surface than cooler regions.

          Have a nice day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            You noted:

            “Also surface temperatures that are really high are much more likely to be radiating a lot more heat away from the surface than cooler regions.”

            By definition this must be true. Yet these desert regions do so while receiving much less energy (flux) in, often having a higher albedo and with less water vapor (GHG).

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            You also stated:

            “One thing about your concept is that the highest levels of net radiation (energy in – energy out) take place over oceans which do have some plankton but I do not know if they are the energy absrobers you are attributing to the biomass of the tropical jungles.”

            It just seems to me the COOLING effect of water to radiate away energy in all it’s phases vapor, liquid and ice from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere over-whelms over-all whatever GHG effect it has of returning a small amount of IR to the surface. Thanks and…

            Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Btw, Norman please review my reply to your concern regarding the energy efficiency of plants earlier in the thread at April 22, 2015 at 11:17 AM.

        Have a great day!

  42. Doug Cotton says:

    CONCLUSION

    There may well be things I describe (deduced from a correct understanding of physics) which are not yet in standard physics texts, let alone in the non-standard fictitious fiddled physics which is rampant in meteorology and the infant science of climatology.

    I make no excuse for the text books, because others have been writing about some of this at least since early this century. We know the textbooks in meteorology and climatology are slanted towards the fictitious physics, and we know certain people also amend or delete edits in Wikipedia that don’t toe the AGW line. That’s why you read about fictitious “parcels” of air molecules which, in perfectly calm conditions, very obviously do not cling together.

    People like Roy, Joel, Tim, Norman and others (whose livelihood possibly depends on the hoax) have been so indoctrinated by the fictitious concepts in climatology that they demonstrate no understanding of even the very basic physics in the Kinetic Theory of Gases.

    If you want to understand the thermodynamics I have explained then you MUST first understand …

    (1) the implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics,

    (2) the process of maximum entropy production

    (3) the state of maximum entropy called thermodynamic equilibrium

    (4) the logic in the Kinetic Theory of Gases which explains
    when entropy is maximized, how energy is transferred and how molecular gravitational PE interchanges with molecular KE.

    (5) the application of Kinetic Theory that explains pressure and temperature

    (6) the application of Kinetic Theory that explains the density gradient and why it is stable

    (7) the application of Kinetic Theory that explains the temperature gradient and why it is stable

    (8) the application of Kinetic Theory that explains the pre-requisite for the Clausius “hot to cold” statement, namely that gravitational PE does not change, nor phase changes or chemical or nuclear reactions occur.

    Now, I don’t care if you want to define physical terms like “convection” differently from physicists. This is why I coined a special term “heat creep” because I know full well that climatologists think convection is only a type of bulk fluid motion that includes wind. In contrast, in physics it includes diffusion and true natural” convective heat transfers, and convection is a conduction-like process, which I have described on the Home page at http://climate-change-theory.com and in several comments.

    Nothing at all in any comment from those who consider what I present to be incorrect – not a single sentence has addressed the actual explanation of the mechanism which brings about “heat creep” as explained in the paper linked from the above website.

    I have deliberately answered questions recently entirely with my mouse and clipboard just to show you that at least some of you have not read, studied and inwardly digested what I have already explained or linked you to in some of the 2,000+ comments on those other two threads. If you had, then you would have known what my counter arguments were going to be. You should have been anticipating such arguments (from a correct understanding of what I have written in the two peer-reviewed papers) and then been thinking about the issue to see if you really could fault the development of the hypothesis.

    References to red-herrings like temperature data that indicates warming are completely irrelevant if your assumptions (based on back radiation helping the Sun to warm the surface and being used in Stefan-Boltzmann calculations to explain the surface temperature) are wrong in the first place.

    The Radiative forcing GH concept should have been thrown out (even before getting to any consideration of temperature data) for one reason, and one reason only, that it ignores entropy considerations and thus ignores the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which applies to every single independent (one way and irreversible) process within an isolated system or (usually) in a good approximation of such a system, as is a large column of the troposphere in perfectly calm conditions. Whatever the system parameters, the Second Law can be used to tell us the direction future changes will take, and when such changes will grind to a halt.

    Everything you want to ask about, or which you think might refute my hypothesis, is already countered in one way or another in my papers, because the physics therein is indeed based on a correct understanding of the laws of physics. If you think otherwise, then it is you who is mistaken, and so you need to study what I have written until you understand why you were mistaken.

    You know where to look: http://climate-change-theory.com and the papers are linked at the foot of the “Evidence” page.

  43. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Your claim is this: “Or, Norman, to put it another way, if water vapor really does do most of “33 degrees of warming” let’s say it does even just 20 degrees of warming as the level builds up from a very low percentage that produces a dry lapse rate of about -9C°/Km to a moist level that produces a gradient of -6C°/Km. So, in a moist region, according to the AGW conjecture, it makes the surface 20 degrees hotter than for the dry rate with a very low WV percentage.”

    I do not know that there is a claim that water vapor via the GHE will raise the surface temperature below it by 20 degrees over a dry area. I do not think that is what the GHE is saying. The radiation of GHE is not focuced and goes back down in a straight path to the source. It is totally diffused throughout the system moving in all directions. The water vapor molecule above the surface absorbs an IR photon emitted by Earth’s surface. This photon is then is reemitted but in any direction, the chance for it to go back to the same spot on the Earth that emitted it is very low. The GHE is just about redirecting the photon stream from the surface. It also very easily explains why Venus temperature is uniform around the planet. The reemitted IR is a fog but the photons are moving around at the speed of light. The energy density becomes uniform like a foggy day. The light and dark areas are smeared and you can no longer see the difference it is just a uniform radiation density. If you want to understand the invisible aspect of GHE use the visible understanding of how light works in a fog. It is similar process in GHE the IR radiation is going all over and that is why trying to disprove GHE because a surface over a moist area is cooler than one over a dry area. GHE does not focus the IR back down in a nice stream.

    But by looking a Net Radiation studies you can see the effect of water vapor on the global energy budget. Areas with lots of water vapor are adding energy to the globe while dry areas are acting to cool the Earth overall (deserts net energy is much lower than moist areas).

    • Doug Cotton says:

      There’s nothing like empirical evidence, especially for the likes of Norman who keeps recommending reality checks. Of course the effect of water vapor levels over a reasonablY long period in any given location will affect the local temperatures. Do you expect it to affect temperatures on a different continent instead? In any event, my study proves you wrong.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/winter-returns-rockies-expecting-up-to-5-ft/#comment-189347

      In all the time you waste Norman trying to guess what’s happening, you could have read the physics in my paper which explains why water vapor cools, and you could have done a study yourself. The $5,000 reward has been advertised, but it requires a study similar to mine, though showing opposite results.

      THE IPCC CLAIM THAT WATER VAPOR DOES MOST OF “33 DEGREES OF WARMING” IS ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS AND SO FAR REMOVED FROM REALITY THAT IT AMOUNTS TO A FRAUDULENT HOAX WHICH THEY THEMSELVES COULD EASILY HAVE DISPROVED WITH STUDIES OF REAL WORLD DATA.

  44. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    Rather than post a reply way up the thread (unsure if Doug will post 50 more and you will not see the post) I will try to explain my position to you.

    First let me see if I am on the same page as you are. Am I correct in my understanding of your posts that plants cause cooling effect because they convert solar energy hitting them to work as opposed to random heat?

    You asked for how much total solar energy that hits a plant is used. You may be correct that in a small window it will use a large amount of solar energy in that bandwidth but it will only use very small amounts of the total so it would not seem to be a very strong effect to keep the area cool.

    Here is a link to a Scientific American article on the topic.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/plants-versus-photovoltaics-at-capturing-sunlight/

    You could even do your own research. Measure the solar energy flux reaching some plants over the course of their life. Then burn the dead plants and measure the energy output it will give you an idea then of how much solar energy the plant used to make its structure (carbon chains and what not).

    The Scientific American article claims only 3%. That would mean 97% of the energy is not used by the plant and will be turned into heat energy.

    There is a much more powerful mechanism causing cooling by plants than photosynthesis. It goes by the name transpiration.

    To keep the posts from growing to massive size I will continue with another. The topic of transpiration (exciting isn’t it!)

    Have a nice day!

  45. Norman says:

    JohnKl

    I will continue on the topic of plants and cooling.

    Here is a link to transpiration of plants to give you calculable values.
    http://www.cropsreview.com/transpiration-in-plants.html

    Note corn will transpire about 1.86 liters per day.

    Here is a link that will help you get what I am claiming. Water evaporation requires vast amounts of energy.

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

    When you perspire it takes 580 calories to evaporate 1 gram of water. It is 580 times larger than specific heat of water. Takes much less energy to raise the temperature of water than evaporate it.

    http://www.ehow.com/facts_7204995_water-heat-capacity-heat-vaporization.html

    I do not want to put too many links in a post and get stuck in moderation so I will move to the next post (if you are interested).

    Have a Happy Day!

    • jerry l krause says:

      Hi JohnKl and Norman,

      Very interesting conversations that you and Norman, with a little bit of input from Doug, have been having as I tried to answer your previous questions. You touched upon which I consider some very fundamental issues, maybe not recognizing their importance. And for the most part you were focused upon observations. But sometimes things went awry because words were being used that did not accuracy define (my opinion) the situation being discussed. Norman, please do not conclude I am slighting you as I mainly address my remarks to John. It’s only that John and I have had more interactions previously.

      4/21 at 12:35PM The basic issue seemed to be humid, hot, equator vs. dry, hot, 35oN and the gain or loss of net energy at these two regions. One other distinction is the equator site was surrounded by ocean and the 35oN site was totally land based. Land does not have a great capacity for storing energy; oceans do. Land cannot transport energy from one place to another; oceans can. John, too often you used hot to represent energy. Hot represents temperature. John, at times you did recognize that because 35oN was hotter than the ocean type environment so that more radiation had to be emitted to space because of the temperature difference. But you never once stated that the ocean surface surrounding the islands or along three sides of a narrow peninsula never got hotter than 85oF instead of 95oF or hotter air temperatures above the land surfaces. Because I had never visited there I did not know of this temperature difference. Nor did I know the skies could never be classified as being clear. Which is what was reported on the historical weather record I looked up this afternoon. What I do not know is the general sky condition over the open ocean; only that being observed a nearby airport. So, I would be very, very interested in learning what you actually observed there.

      Then you moved on to a discussion of the tropopause’s altitude and after that the role of plants and after that the efficiency of plants. Relative to the last neither of you mentioned the magic words because I cannot remember reading these magic words in recent (last ten years?) times.

      What are the magic words? Not lapse rate because I did just read those words. Not vertical convection even though I cannot remember reading these words relative to your discussion. Not Second Law because I read about it all the time. What I term these magic words to be are heat engine. The second law is about the theoretical maximum efficiency of a heat engine. Back in the days there was this geographer, Heinz Helmut Lettau-U of Wisconsin, whose scholarship was evaluating the actual efficiency of natural, atmospheric, heat engines.

      If I were to ask—What is the prime mover of atmospheric circulation?—what would your answer be. If I were to ask—What is the fuel of this atmospheric heat engine?—what would your answer be? If I were to ask—What is the exhaust of this atmospheric heat engine?—what would your answer be?

      I have decided to wait for your answers.

      Have a good day (evening), Jerry

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Jerry L Krause,

        Real quick, you state:

        “But you never once stated that the ocean surface surrounding the islands or along three sides of a narrow peninsula never got hotter than 85oF instead of 95oF or hotter air temperatures above the land surfaces.”

        In Indonesia, that may be the case in some areas. However, not in the tropics generally necessarily. The shallows off the coast of Florida can get up to 90 deg F and higher. A friend of my wife and myself dives there frequently and has attested to it. Curiously pool water in summertime Phoenix easily gets that high. Anyways, we’ll communicate more later.

        Have a great day!

        • jerry l krause says:

          Hi JohnKl,

          The key word is shallow. The radiation (energy) which penetrates the water’s surface cannot penetrate into a deep layer of water, instead it is absorbed by the ‘bottom’ at the base of the shallow water.

          I will patiently wait for your other comments.

          Have a good day, Jerry

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Jerry L Krause,

            You state:

            “The key word is shallow. The radiation (energy) which penetrates the water’s surface cannot penetrate into a deep layer of water, instead it is absorbed by the ‘bottom’ at the base of the shallow water.”

            Exactly! Please know that smaller bordered water volumes will tend to be warmer as well. Most know for example the smaller shallower Atlantic proves warmer than the Pacific ocean even though as you mention the radiation (energy) doesn’t penetrate very deep in either.

            Have a great day!

  46. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    Using the information from the transpiration page for corn of 1.86 liters of water per day (evaporated) you can plug it into this formula to obtain the watts of energy needed to evaporate this much water.

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

    Putting the 1890 grams/day of water into the equation gives you 53 watts.

    Now if you check this out:
    http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/corn/corn-qna.html

    Iowa farmers grow about 30000 corn plants per acre. An acre is equal to 4046.86 square meters (used an online conversion for this number).

    30000 corn plants/ 4046.86 square meters = 7 corn plants/ square meter.

    Take 7 times 53 watts and in a cornfield you will need 373 watts/meter^2 to evaporate water which will not go to raising the air or ground temperature. I think it is very clear and reasonable to see that water evaporation is the major reason grass is so much cooler than hot pavement even though they receive the same energy.

    Have a pleasant day!

  47. Norman says:

    Kristian,

    I saw your intelligent post way up there. I was not so much explaining the details of the GHE in these posts but more countering Doug’s point that water vapor causes cooling because wet areas are cooler than deserts. JohnKl seems to agree with Doug on this. I did send JohnKl a series of posts showing how the evaporation of water is the primary reason wet areas remain so cool but then that energy moves somewhere else and raises its temperature making the overall surface warmer.

    I do not accept the argument that the reason wet areas are cooler is because the water vapor is radiating the energy to space at a more rapid rate. This is the argument that the Net Radiation graph proves invalid and incorrect as it shows that moist areas are gaining energy not losing it as compared to dry areas. It is a more specific argument within the larger GHE theory.

    Thanks for your post.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Norman says: “I do not accept the argument that the reason wet areas are cooler is because the water vapor is radiating the energy to space at a more rapid rate.”

      Good thinking! Water vapor in the atmosphere does indeed slow (not speed up!) the radiation of energy to space. As you recognize, Doug’s analysis is too simplistic, focusing on one facet of water’s impact on climate. Water in fact has several effects, some of which cool an area, while others warm.

      Impacts on areas with high humidity (eg rain forests as opposed to deserts at similar latitude & altitude) include …
      1) water in the atmosphere to potentially make clouds. Clouds reflect sunlight, reducing the total incoming power. [Cooling effect]
      2) water on the surface to evaporate & transpirate, which removes energy from the surface, especially on warm sunny days. [Cooling effect]
      3) water in the soil and plants. The high heat capacity makes it tough to change the temperature of the land. [Cooling effect during the day; warming effect at night]
      4) more water vapor in the atmosphere, and in particular more water at higher altitudes. These cool water molecules at higher altitudes radiates poorly to space, blocking more intense radiation from below that would have been lost instead. [Warming effect].

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Tim Folkerts,

        Allow me to argue #4.

        “4) more water vapor in the atmosphere, and in particular more water at higher altitudes. These cool water molecules at higher altitudes radiates poorly to space, blocking more intense radiation from below that would have been lost instead. [Warming effect].”

        Higher altitude water tends not to be as cool. Doug pointed out earlier that in addition to absorbing IR from water below (warming effect) they absorb and block a significant amount of incoming radiation (surface cooling effect-high altitude warming effect) tending to make the higher altitude region warmer. Warmer H2O at high altitude means it can radiate more energy to space (net-cooling effect).

        Overall if you list all your numbers and seriously consider #4 the effect seems like net cooling one.

        Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Tim Folkerts,

          Just to amplify what you mentioned above, I do agree that water vapor and the atmosphere in general can help to mitigate thermal loss from the surface especially at night.
          Thanks again and…

          Have a great day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      You state:

      “I do not accept the argument that the reason wet areas are cooler is because the water vapor is radiating the energy to space at a more rapid rate. This is the argument that the Net Radiation graph proves invalid and incorrect as it shows that moist areas are gaining energy not losing it as compared to dry areas.”

      Not from what I’ve read. Perhaps I missed it earlier but by Net Radiation graph do you refer to this link you posted earlier?

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ACRIMSAT/acrimsat_3.php

      That simply compares incoming solar radiation with REFLECTED radiation from the surface. It does not show which areas gain the most energy. Unfortunately, the tropical/equatorial regions of the planet show so little reflected radiation because it’s mainly composed of WATER which is for all intents and purposes much COOLER than land surfaces despite the lower albedo. In short, water can absorb much more incoming solar energy and not increase temperature to the same degree as land. Btw, water performs a great deal of work with that energy, including atmospheric convection, storms you know weather as we know it. Much of that work helps COOL the region!

      Have a great day!

  48. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Instead of linking to your post over and over it may serve you well to read up on transpiration of plants. This more than adequately explains why wet areas are cooler than dry areas. Your study is debunked! You form an incorrect conclusion about what produces cooling (you falsely believe the water vapor is radiating away energy so fast it leads to cooling of the surface). This does not even make sense. How could water vapor at a cooler temperature than a really hot desert surface radiate more energy than that hot desert surface to lead to cooler air temps?? Makes zero sense. If you could think logically you may see why your hypothesis are so weak and will never be accepted by reasoning scientists. You have been peddling your crap on many climate sites for years and it is not even close to changing anyone’s mind. You need to work on your logical analysis more and when an error is shown in your thinking accept it and correct it instead of being blind to it. We all make mistakes and have errors in our thinking. When pointed out it is a good thing to learn and grow from it.

    You are wrong and need to accept this and grow and move on and rethink what you believe to be true.

  49. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    Thank you for a very well thought out reply. You ask:

    “First let me see if I am on the same page as you are. Am I correct in my understanding of your posts that plants cause cooling effect because they convert solar energy hitting them to work as opposed to random heat?”

    In part, please note I don’t claim this to be a primary cooling mechanism and mentioned it in part because I’m simply further highlighting the efficiency of plants. For the most part as I’ve suggested earlier and you indicated now plants cool by transpiration or when water on the plants surface conducts thermal energy away from the plant evaporates and carries it away. It can also, by doing so, remove water carried to the surface (underside of a leaf) from the plants deeper roots, helping the plant to maintain temperature

    Please note, H2O does this in large part because it proves lighter than air, if it weighed more than air like CO2 water’s cooling benefit would be greatly reduced if not almost completely eliminated. Why? Well when transpiration ( process by which moisture is carried through plants from roots to small pores on the underside of leaves, where it changes to vapor and is released to the atmosphere. Transpiration is essentially evaporation of water from plant leaves) occurs water on the plant’s leaves conducts/conveys water from the plant surface evaporates and LIFTS it and thermal energy away.

    Suppose water vapor hung around near the surface like CO2 can and simply radiated the energy close to the surface again but then re-condensed again on the plant surgace. Much more of the energy would be conserved near the surface. Fortunately, with water that doesn’t happen. Once plant surface water evaporates it rises in the air removing thermal energy away from the plant and radiating it away at a higher elevation, and it does so much more efficiently than Tim Folkert (below) even imagines. Why? Well water vapor has a much broader absorption/emission band than CO2 or most other tri-atomic gas compounds. In addition, liquid water and ice typically absorb and emit at much higher levels, some claim over 94% (to be fair I’ve read others claim that distilled water gets down to 67% but still very high). This all helps explain why water COOLS!

    I’m splitting this post up, find the rest below.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Norman says; “… that plants cause cooling effect because they convert solar energy hitting them to work as opposed to random heat?

      1) Plants convert the solar energy into CHEMICAL ENERGY, not into WORK ( = F*d)

      2) Plants also decay, releasing the chemical energy again. To the extent that plant cover is constant from year to year, the net effect would be zero. If there is a net growth of plants, then there is a net energy absorbed by the plants and hence not available be transferred to the atmosphere. (Similarly, if net plant matter is buried and/or stored long-term, then energy is also removed.)

      3) If I recall correctly, these energies are small. There are numbers available for biomass produced per m^2, and you can estimate the chemical energy of that biomass. Even with net growth/sequestration, I don’t think the energies involved are large compared to 240 W/m^2 sunlight.

      • JohnKl says:

        Tim Folkerts,

        Tim states:

        “1) Plants convert the solar energy into CHEMICAL ENERGY, not into WORK ( = F*d)”

        Do you mean W = Fs? All living organisms perform work. Compared to animals plant processes prove less active, especially in regards to locomotion. However, Venus fly traps might argue the point. Do you believe inter-cellular processes to be static? Root systems unchanging? Just curious?

        Have a great day!

  50. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    Your Scientific American article while humorous ignores many things. Frankly when I went to High School decades ago and read their publication they seemed overly verbose used too much technical language almost as if they wanted to confuse readers. Now they just seem confused.

    The article states:

    “Photosynthesis (conducted by algae) turns roughly 3 percent of incoming sunlight into organic compounds, including yet more plant cells, annually. “Artificial photosynthesis”—comprising a PV cell that provides the electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen—turns roughly 10 percent of incoming sunlight into usable hydrogen annually.

    That discrepancy suggests there might be room for improvement in photosynthesis, according to the analysis published May 13 in Science. After all, solar cells are capable of absorbing more of the energy in sunlight because they capture it across the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from infrared to ultraviolet, whereas chlorophyll and other photosynthetic pigments absorb only visual light.”

    Please note the last sentence from the last paragraph proves inadequate. Why? Chlorophyll absorbs primarily if not completely in the RED visible light spectrum and reflects the BLUE and GREEN light back to space, thus appearing GREEN. This means the Chlorophyll utilizes much less than a third of the visible light spectrum (Electromagnetic radiation in this range of wavelengths is called visible light or simply light. A typical human eye will respond to wavelengths from about 390 to 700 nm. In terms of frequency, this corresponds to a band in the vicinity of 430–790 THz). Which means the 3 percent figure becomes meaningless. Even more so because the small amount of energy it consumes does much more than use RED spectrum sunlight to organic compounds, including yet more plant cells (i.e. biomass). Plants as living organisms must maintain internal stability including thermal equilibrium (maintaining internal temperature), repair and replace damaged limbs and roots, create toxins to fend off attackers, remove waste (like providing us with Oxygen) and taking in carbon dioxide, and many, many more functions we as far too ignorant humans and other animals take for granted.

    If you conclude this seems trivial, answer me this do you weight approximately the same amount as you did last year? I do. If so did you conclude the food you ate did little or no useful work? Obviously, you did not conclude any such thing. Consider humans like other animals spend little energy building bulk unless you’re a hypertrophied body builder like “Arnold” or a blimp like some people I choose not to list at this time. Most energy we consume get used to maintain internal environmental, conditions, digestion, etc. One time I read digestion uses the most and typically that may be the case but thermal equilibrium may prove even greater. Consider ex-Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. He supposedly consumed over 14k calories a day at the height of Olympic training! Consider his actual exercise requirements (physical work he performed) required less energy than digestion. A typical person requires only 2500-3500 calories a day. Did he turn into a blimp? No. Why? Pool water proves COLD (get the hint!). He had to burn that many calories to maintain internal thermal equilibrium (body temperature) and maintain body mass. Plants while they don’t appear to humans and other animals as very active perform work nevertheless and it requires enormous physical energy. If one even considers for a moment the requirements for a plant to survive in a wild environment, this should not be difficult to imagine. Btw, going back to the bio-mass issue raised by your article consider their figure seems very dubious even if we only consider what they refer to. Plants vary enormously in their requirements to build new cells (biomass). My parents live in the U.S. Southwest and at one time owned a Mexican Mesquite tree. The thing grew extremely fast. You could cut all it’s limbs and seemingly within a year you’d likely have a full canopy. Since my parents grew old and the work required to hack the thing into some containable shape (that would fit into the backyard) proved an increasingly daunting task we (my sister and I) convinced our parents to remove it and replace it with a much slower growing Australian Boro (bottle) tree. In any case, plants can grow enormously faster than animals would ever be capable of and they vary widely in their capacity, another reason to question the 3 percent figure. During my high school years I remember reading Scientific American and thinking the publication proved overly verbose with unnecessary technical language possibly designed to confuse. This article seemed shallow lacked scientific rigor, penetrating analysis and depth. It seemed likely just to confuse.

    Find more below.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “Chlorophyll absorbs primarily if not completely in the RED visible light spectrum and reflects the BLUE and GREEN light back to space, thus appearing GREEN.”

      Plants also absorb blue light. See for example
      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/biology/ligabs.html

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Tim Folkerts,

        Thanks Tim,. I admittedly had been unaware Plants absorbed that much, although it varies depending on the type of chlorophyl (a) or (b) and there must remain a great deal of the blue spectrum un-absorbed since so much gets reflected. Thanks again and…

        Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          The graph on this link seems clearer.

          http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/local/projects/steer/chloro.htm

          A fairly large blue and green segment doesn’t get absorbed much at all from 565-450nm but from 450-390nm it spikes up.

          Have a great day!

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            IF you include Chlorophyll_b, the absorption spreads to more wavelengths. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll_b

          • JohnKl says:

            True. It appears to boost the absorptive efficiency of shade adapted plants, which makes sense. Still it’s not the full visible spectrum as Scientific American makes out and it still seems to me plants act very efficiently given what they do. Yes, I know plants lack locomotion but so to some degree do many animals and far too many humans. I’ve read cats can sleep over 20 hours a day and far too many people lead very sedentary lives, hence the term couch potatoes and vegetables. Who know some plants like fly traps may prove more active than some people. Ha!

            Have a great day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          “Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms’ activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water.” [source]

          Carbon dioxide greatly improves agricultural production and is pumped into greenhouses for that purpose. Plants do not derive anything much at all from the soil except for trace minerals and water. They mostly feed off atmospheric carbon dioxide, using sunlight for photosynthesis.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Interesting — a post from Doug that I agree with 100%. 🙂

            For anyone who wants some great science info from a knowledgeable Aussie, I highly recommend Veritasium, which has a video about this very topic of where trees get their mass.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KZb2_vcNTg

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Doug Cotton,

            “Plants do not derive anything much at all from the soil except for trace minerals and water. They mostly feed off atmospheric carbon dioxide, using sunlight for photosynthesis.”

            Thank you Doug, I agree and have mentioned this fact on other posts. Plants rely primarily on sunlight, air (CO2), water and only a few trace minerals if required from the soil.

            Have a great day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Minor correction – my statement should have read:

      “Even more so because the small amount of energy it consumes does much more than use RED spectrum sunlight to produce organic compounds, including yet more plant cells (i.e. biomass).”

      Have a great day!

  51. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    Finally the rest:

    Knight Norman you later thrust this verbal query to blog-adversary Doug Cotton:

    “You form an incorrect conclusion about what produces cooling (you falsely believe the water vapor is radiating away energy so fast it leads to cooling of the surface). This does not even make sense. How could water vapor at a cooler temperature than a really hot desert surface radiate more energy than that hot desert surface to lead to cooler air temps?? Makes zero sense.”

    Please note I don’t speak for Doug Cotton and don’t pretend to know what he would answer, but allow me to clarify the issue the way I see it. As you mentioned earlier and I agreed, water through transpiration does convey/conduct thermal energy from the plant surface (and possibly to an extent interior), then through evaporation lifts and carries away the thermal energy to higher elevations where it can be further emitted or carried away. Thus it can indeed cool and this process makes perfect sense. Water does not radiate more energy than a “really hot surface!” However, much of the surface energy will be conveyed/conducted away by di-atomic gas compounds like Oxygen and Nitrogen and re-radiated only slowly in the microwave range thus maintaining warm atmospheric temperatures longer (closer to the surface) and GHG’s like water vapor which (lighter than the afore mentioned gasses) rises as I mentioned earlier carrying the thermal energy to higher elevations where it can be quickly radiated to space. A significant amount of radiated surface energy will get absorbed by GHG’s in the atmosphere and re-directed back to the surface but cannot warm the surface unless the temperature of the GHG’s exceeds the surface which seems doubtful since it received it’s thermal energy from the surface and you yourself described it as a “really hot surface!” (I must admit this is fun!) Heavier than air CO2 will hang around the surface longer and conserve it’s absorbed energy closer to the surface than H2O. H2O (water vapor) instead rises and as it does so conveys thermal energy not only from the surface, but other atmospheric gasses including O2, N2, CO2, CH4 and many others. Thus (H2O) water helps cool not only the surface but the atmosphere as well.

    For those who doubt the miracle that water proves to be, have you noticed something unique about the Earth that differs from all other planets that don’t have much water. As I mentioned earlier, the Earth’s surface proves to be much cooler than either the moon and or orbiting man-made satellites. Mars proves on average warmer than it’s moons Phobos and Deimos (this results in part from the fact that Phobos (and likely Deimos as well) proves composed largely of Carbon that radiates away it’s thermal energy faster) and Venus that proves even hotter than Mercury that receive multiple times more solar irradiance).

    Thanks and…

    Have a great day!

    • Doug Cotton says:

      You not only “don’t speak for Doug Cotton” Norman, but you also indicate that you do not have a clue about my explanation as to why the Second Law of Thermodynamics allows us to deduce that water vapor reduces the magnitude of the lapse rate and thus causes the thermal plot to rotate downwards at the surface end and upwards in the upper troposphere, thus maintaining radiative balance with the insolation – which always happens within ±0.6% according to decades of TOA measurements.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Doug,

        Please note, I’m the one who suggested that I don’t speak for you when responding to Norman’s question. Just know I simply wanted to distinguish my opinion from yours so there would be no confusion, I did not intend to diminish your opinion by doing so. Thank you for your information, it makes sense and…

        Have a great day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          That’s OK, but you can’t prove the physics I present to be incorrect.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          But, yes, sorry JohnKl for attributing those words of yours to Norman. I didn’t notice the quote marks ended just above. It’s not a bad idea to use italics for quotes.

          If you all wish to continue the discussion of the science, then I suggest you read through some of the 1200 comments on the previous thread which is more on topic than this thread.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          What you don’t seem to realize JohnKl is that water vapor only cools in the lower troposphere, whereas it raises the temperature plot in the upper troposphere.

          That’s because, in the upper troposphere it is being warmed by absorption of radiation from other water vapor in the lower troposphere and also by incident solar radiation which can only raise the temperature where that temperatures is below about -20°C, in accord with Stefan Boltzmann calculations.

          Water vapor could not possibly lower the whole thermal plot in the troposphere, or it would throw radiative balance way out at TOA. That simply doesn’t happen because the whole Earth+atmosphere system acts like a blackbody and radiative imbalance does not vary outside the range ±0.6% as I have mentioned several times.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Doug Cotton,

            I do realize it and agree that water will warm at a certain point. The lapse rate begins to level in the upper Troposphere and reverses in the Stratosphere and Mesosphere . This only proves that water can more effectively radiate it’s energy to space in the upper atmosphere as well, and I agree with you. After all hasn’t the CAGW crowd been claiming all along that COLD upper atmosphere temps prevent CO2 and H2O from radiating their thermal energy efficiently? Not quite. Nevertheless, overall I believe H2O has a net cooling effect. Thanks for the support, wittingly or unwittingly.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Doug Cotton,

            One other point should be noted. When I claim water in net helps cool the planet surface and atmosphere everyone should know I’m not talking about some un-checked runaway thermal cooling process. In net, I believe water helps prevent excessive the accumulation of thermal energy in the atmosphere. Thanks.

            Have a great day!

            P.S. – Other GHG’s warm the upper atmosphere as well including ozone.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      The Venus surface is far hotter than the surface of Mercury because of the height of the troposphere of Venus. It’s simple geometry Norman. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient produces a sloping thermal plot which extrapolates to higher surface temperatures because of the greater height of the troposphere. The “heat creep” mechanism has a greater distance (along the sloping thermal plane) in which to make the temperatures climb to higher levels. The same calculations work on all planets with significant tropospheres.

      • Doug Cotton says:

        Now go to the three comments starting here and learn some real physics direct from the good professor.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Doug,

        Yes the atmosphere provides a temperature gradient that keeps Venus warm, but it doesn’t mean that water including water vapor on Earth doesn’t help cool our planet. If I remember water vapor on Venus proves only a small fraction the amount found on Earth and a miniscule portion of the Venusian atmosphere.

        Have a great day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          That’s because, with water vapor present, the temperature gradient is less steep. See the results of my study here.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      “the Earth’s surface proves to be much cooler than either the moon …”

      Nonsense. The Earth’s surface only receives about half the radiation that the Moon’s surface receives. But the maximum for the Moon is about 123°C and the minimum is about -153°C and the arithmetic mean is -15°C compared with +15°C for Earth’s surface. The reason is because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics functioning in Earth’s troposphere, as explained here.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Doug Cotton,

        It’s nonsense and I dealt with this in another post. The average daytime surface temperature on the Earth falls around 15 deg Centigrade not 123 degrees centigrade. Taking a simple daytime/nightime average temperature of the lunar landscape deceives. Why? Well a lunar day proves over 29 Earth days long, meaning that lunar night time lasts over 14 Earth days! That proves an awful long time to radiate away it’s energy and explains why the minimum temperature falls to -153°C. Take the average lunar night time temperature within 12 hours of lunar sunset and it will be no where near -153°C. Lunar daytime however simply reflects the solar radiative balance at 123°C . The length of a lunar day doesn’t effect it. Imo, your post mis-leads.

        Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        HI DOUG,

        Just to be clear, IMO YOUR THE ONE SPOUTING NONSENSE ON THIS ISSUE!

        Oh! Btw, just for clarity Earth man-made satellites reach 120 deg C as well and I believe that includes geo-stationary ones.

        Have a great day!

  52. JohnKl says:

    Please note I posted the replies to Norman at the bottom, so he and others can find them quickly without having to roam about the blog.

    Have a great day!

  53. Doug Cotton says:

    Regarding back radiation and planetary surface temperatures, please read my three comments starting here.

  54. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    On the other thread Kristian posted this information: “Case in point: The Moon. On a global average, its surface heat input/output (all radiative) is ~295 W/m2 (almost 80% more intense that the equivalent heats (not all radiative) to/from Earth’s surface). Ideally, this balance would lead to an average global lunar surface temp of ~269K. But thanks to its huge temporal and spatial swings in temperatures, the average can remain far below this and still put out the necessary radiative heat to space.

    The actual mean global temp of the Moon is estimated to be 195-200K (90K below Earth’s).”

    The moon gets warmer than the Earth on the sun side but much colder on the night side so when you say that Earth’s water cools the Earth because the day of the Earth is much cooler than the Moon’s you are not looking at the total effect of water. It acts like a moderator but overall seems it has a warming effect. The Earth’s day side is cooler but the night side is considerably warmer. I have read that the moon’s darkside cools fairly rapidly after sunset so even if it rotated like Earth the nightside would still get very very cold.

    Something to consider. I like your posts. They are thoughtful and though provoking. Thanks and

    Have a nice day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thanks for the post, but like Doug your statement mislead. Read my comments to Doug.

      “It’s nonsense and I dealt with this in another post. The average daytime surface temperature on the Earth falls around 15 deg Centigrade not 123 degrees centigrade. Taking a simple daytime/nightime average temperature of the lunar landscape deceives. Why? Well a lunar day proves over 29 Earth days long, meaning that lunar night time lasts over 14 Earth days! That proves an awful long time to radiate away it’s energy and explains why the minimum temperature falls to -153°C. Take the average lunar night time temperature within 12 hours of lunar sunset (like a 12 hour Earth night) and it will be no where near -153°C. Lunar daytime however simply reflects the solar radiative balance at 123°C . The length of a lunar day doesn’t effect it. Imo, your post mis-leads.”

      “Oh! Btw, just for clarity Earth man-made satellites reach 120 deg C as well and I believe that includes geo-stationary ones.”

      Do you get it Norm? Please let me know if you don’t, it’s critical.

      Have a great day!

      • Kristian says:

        JohnKl says, April 23, 2015 at 8:58 PM:

        “Taking a simple daytime/nightime average temperature of the lunar landscape deceives. Why? Well a lunar day proves over 29 Earth days long, meaning that lunar night time lasts over 14 Earth days! That proves an awful long time to radiate away it’s energy and explains why the minimum temperature falls to -153°C.”

        I’m afraid it’s not that simple:
        http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/gallery/AbFab_Plot.png
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/figures/doi/10.1029/2011JE003987/#figure-viewer-jgre3030-fig-0004

        The tropical lunar surface temperature plummets from noon to sunset, about 280K in 90 hours (that would be the equivalent of a tropical temperature drop from noon to 6pm on Earth of almost 19 degrees).

        But after that, all of a sudden, the cooling of the lunar surface nearly flatlines (this pattern being the same all over the globe, from pole to pole, not restricted to the tropics), achieving a further decline of a meager 15 degrees through the entire 14 days of lunar night.

        From the first light of day, however, the temps shoot up again, 295K in 90 hours.

        So the diurnal sfc temp cycle in the lunar tropics goes like this:

        Noon > sunset (1/4 day): -280K
        Sunset > sunrise (lunar night, 1/2 day): -15K
        Sunrise > noon (1/4 day): +295K

        The further away from the equator you get, the smaller the diurnal temperature amplitudes. This comes as a direct consequence of the highly exponential nature of the relationship between temperature and radiative input/output.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Ignore my first reply, I didn’t catch your last paragraph. Nevertheless, I’d like to see the figures. Imo, the average temp would fall very close to Earth temps if not higher if a lunar night included 12 hours after sunset. Interesting though. Thanks.

      Have a great day!

      • Norman says:

        JohnKl

        Your posts never fail to stimulate thought.

        A Quote from Edison:
        “Five percent of the people think;
        ten percent of the people think they think;
        and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”

        ― Thomas A. Edison

        I would put you in the 5%.

        On the moon similar to jerry l krause’s link.

        http://diviner.ucla.edu/science.html

        The really hot surface temps occur around the lunar equator. Further North even with 14 days of heating they are not as intense so you would have to take all the different temperatures to get a lunar average. You could not take the hottest and use this as a claim about the effects of water vs dry.

        Anyway it does look as the moon’s surface cools slowly (if I read the graph correctly it cools rapidly for about 7.5 days before leveling off) so it will not cool in 12 hours. But if you look at the graph it does seem to take just as much time to warm up to the peak once the sun rises as it takes to cool down. From the graph it would not heat to the 400 K daytime equator temp nor fall the 100 K nightime temp. I am not sure what the temperature would be if the moon rotated as Earth. Most studies suggest it would be considerably cooler than the Earth (if this is a correct evaluation which I can neither confirm it or deny it then water vapor and atmosphere have an overall warming effect taken in totality of night and day)

        Have a pleasant day!

        • Kristian says:

          Norman, you say:

          “I am not sure what the temperature would be if the moon rotated as Earth. Most studies suggest it would be considerably cooler than the Earth”

          https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/extending-a-new-lunar-thermal-model-part-ii-modelling-an-airless-earth/

          It appears it wouldn’t necessarily end up very much warmer with a 24h day than what it is now, with a 709h day. About 10-15 Kelvin.

          • Norman says:

            Kristian,

            Thanks for that link! It shows that the moon would also have a global average temp 25C less than Earth even it it rotated the same time length. This is very close to the figure of 33C given in GHE theory. I think the moon absorbs more solar radiation than Earth which would lower the difference.

            Your link would prove that an atmosphere does cause an overall warming effect.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Very close? Well it shouldn’t be if radiation explains all, because the Moon receives about double the solar radiation than does Earth’s surface. Atmospheres can make surface temperatures hundreds of degrees above the effective radiating temperature of a planet due to the gravito-thermal effect first explained by the brilliant 19th century physicist Josef Loschmidt.

            You have only to consider Venus to realize this Norman. The physics is explained at http://climate-change-theory.com and you have never even discussed such physics.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Norman:

            I’ve shown why the radiative forcing GH conjecture is false in this comment and following.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Norman,

          Just a little off topic you may find the following link regarding how possibly bogus the NOAA, Hadcrut and possibly other datasets may turn out to be. Apparently, an investigation will take place.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11561629/Top-scientists-start-to-examine-fiddled-global-warming-figures.html

          Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            Btw, since from a cursory investigation it seems equatorial land temps hover upwards of 40-45 deg C frequently and more depending on time of year while equatorial ocean temps hover typically around 25-35 deg C, how exactly does water warm the planet? Thanks for your kind words also and…

            Have a great day!

  55. jerry l krause says:

    Hi Guys,

    Previously I had written:

    Because of the references to lunar temperatures, I had gone to the site to which gbaikie directs our attention http://www.diviner.ucla.edu/science.shtml ”. 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.

    The key fact, if anything is a fact, is that the top 1-2 cm of lunar regolith has extremely low thermal conductivity.

    Have a good day (night), Jerry

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “The mean temperature measured 35cm below the surface of the Apollo sites was 40-45K warmer than the surface.”

      It seems pretty clear this would be the mean value averaged over a full lunar day (one month). During the lunar day, the subsurface would be cooler than the surface; during the lunar night the subsurface would be warmer than the surface.

      Theoretically there are a couple reasons why the subsurface should be warmer. The main reason is that anytime you smooth out extremes in temperature, the average rises. for example, a moon that rotated in 24 hr would be a bit warmer on average than it is now, because the front would not get quite so warm, and the back would not get quite as cold. This inevitable leads to a higher average.

      • Doug Cotton says:

        And what you can’t explain is how the required thermal energy gets down to the core of the Moon to retain temperatures there of over 1300°C which would certainly have cooled right down but for the Sun’s reliable source of new energy. In contrast, I have explained such here.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “which would certainly have cooled right down … “
          I know I will be disappointed, but would you care to back this bold assertion up with some numbers?

          Taking into account the initial temperature of the core 4.5 billion hears ago, the heat from the sun, the heat from the earth, radioactive decay, differentiation, thermal conductivity of lunar rock, and tidal heating from the earth, what would the temperature be WITHOUT heat creep? How long would it have taken to cool “right down” to 1300 C as you claim?

      • Doug Cotton says:

        “This inevitable leads to a higher average.”

        IT DOES NO SUCH THING. The average is determined by Stefan-Boltzmann calculations.

        the maximum is 123°C an dteh minimum is -153°C with an arithmetic mean of -15°C despite receiving twice a smuch solar radiation as Earth’s surface.

        Atmospheres make planetary surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures higher than the planet’s effective radiating temperature because of the gravito thermal effect.

        The reasons are at http://climate-change-theory.com

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          ” IT DOES NO SUCH THING.”

          Doug, you need to learn to consider more than one idea at a time!

          Independent of whether or not heat creep exists, more uniform temperatures (eg due to more uniform heating), will make a radiating object have a higher average temperature. For an extreme example, a black body heated uniformly with 240 W/m^2 will be ~ 255 K everywhere on the surface. A black body heated 480 W/m^2 on one half and 0 W/m^2 will be ~ 303 K on one side and ~ 0 K on the other, for an average of ~ 152 K. Yep, 255 >152, exactly as I claimed.

          No matter HOW the heating is distributed, the HIGHEST temperature occurs when the heating is uniform, rather than higher in some areas an lower in others.

          SO YES, IT DOES EXACTLY SUCH THING!

          • Doug Cotton says:

            The Moon still has half its surface in darkness at any time. The rate of rotation has been shown with comprehensive integration to make no more than 15 degrees difference to the mean temperature. The maximum still occurs where the Sun is directly overhead and, as we know on Earth, the Sun’s radiation on clear days in the tropics can indeed get the surface to a high temperature in a matter of just a few hours. Where the Sun is directly overhead, the Moon’s surface receives 1366W/m^2 for which S-B calculations give 294K which is very close to observations of 123°C. Earth’s surface receives only about 48% due to absorption and reflection, and where the Sun is directly overhead it thus receives 656W/m^2 for which S-B is 328K (55°C) which is not unrealistic. However, the mean is only 168W/m^2 for which S-B is 233K. Or, if you wish, say twice 168 = 336W/m^2 on the sunlit hemisphere giving 277K there but zero on the dark side, these having an average of less than 139K.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Now, because Hansen thought that the surface temperature on Earth would have to be explained somehow by radiation, he assumed that the back radiation was achieving the extra input flux of thermal energy. Using 342W/m^2 of back radiation he boosted the net input (after deducting non-radiative losses to the atmosphere) to 390W/m^2 which gives 288K by S-B. But the concept that back radiation actually supplies thermal energy to the oceans is absurd, because it does not even penetrate by more than a few nanometers and there is no evidence of corresponding heating and evaporation at night from the back radiation still striking the ocean surface.

            New 21st Century physics (that you need to catch up on in my paper and the cited references) now explains the pseudo scattering process whereby backradiation does not supply thermal energy to a warmer surface (which process would violate the Second Law) but instead merely supplies some of the target’s quota of electro-magnetic energy for its own radiation as per its Planck function.

            You could have learnt all this from my 2012 paper linked from the “Evidence” page at http://climate-change-theory.com

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Tim

            I’ve already shown why the radiative forcing GH conjecture is nothing but fictitious fiddled physics, as you should have the ability to understand. It was in previous comments, but it seemed I had to reiterate it, which I did in this comment and the following two.

  56. Doug Cotton says:

    Footnote:

    In the comment above the last, to be precise, I should really have added 20% of 1366 for a cloudless day in which 20% would not be reflected by clouds. But I should have deducted 30% of 1366 for simultaneous losses of thermal energy by non-radiative processes. This gets us down to about 520W/m^2 for which S-B gives only 36°C.

    So now you start to see the problem, Tim. You argue that the speed of rotation has an effect and, yes it does a little, so we would not expect the Sun to be able to raise the temperature even to 36°C in the limited time it has. After all, that 36°C is based on it being directly overhead, and that only happens around noon at one spot on the whole of Earth’s surface. At other latitudes we have to multiply the radiative flux by the sine of the angle of incidence. That angle is greater still at all times other than around noon. Yet temperatures above 36°C are common, so how on Earth could the Sun’s radiation be the sole reason for such?

    • Doug Cotton says:

      Correction: that angle is less still at all times other than around noon. (I am referring to the sine of the angle relative to the horizontal plane. You can of course use the cosine of the angle relative to the vertical, as is usually done.)

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      ” Yet temperatures above 36°C are common, so how on Earth could the Sun’s radiation be the sole reason for such?”

      Doug, the question itself belies your misunderstanding! As you should know, temperature is not determined by only the power in, but also by the power out. The sun’s input alone does not determine temperature.

      A claim like “520W/m^2 for which S-B gives only 36°C” shows that you are missing the big picture. This calculation is ONLY correct if the surface is radiating directly to space. But is it not. Whether you want to talk about NET IR being reduced by a warm atmosphere or you want to talk about “backradiation” from the warm atmosphere, the result either way is that the net power is positive in the situation you describe.

      So the sun radiation is not “the sole reason” for the temperature. Its just not. This does not violate the 1st Law of thermodynamics. This does not violate the 2nd Law of thermodynamics either. Steady-state temperature is ALWAYS about ALL the factors impacting the net power.

  57. Doug Cotton says:

    Now Tim and others, please read this comment.

    • Mack says:

      Everybody had better give up. Doug wins yet again….and we’re all likely to succumb to scroll finger arthritis .

    • Doug Cotton says:

      Yes Mack, I’ve shown why the radiative forcing GH conjecture is nothing but fictitious fiddled physics in this comment and the following ones.

  58. Norman says:

    JohnKl

    In response to your question about equatorial water temp vs land and how does water produce warming.

    Your temperatures would explain exactly why water produces a warming effect (not a peak warming however). Warming is more than just measuring the top temperature of something as you already know. A pot of water takes a lot more energy to heat than the same mass of some metal like gold. Temperature is only one measure of total energy. The water will hold much more energy when it is at the same temperature as same mass of gold so it will cool much slower. You have both day and night on earth.

    The ocean water may actually be absorbing more radiant energy flux than the land (depending upon the albedo) if no clouds are present at the time. If receiving more energy to the system it will cause greater warming overall. That is the key to what I have been saying, it is an overall effect not a peak effect. Deserts get much warmer than similar wet areas but are radiating away a lot more energy so are not adding it to the global system.

    Have a good day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      To sum up you state:

      “That is the key to what I have been saying, it is an overall effect not a peak effect. Deserts get much warmer than similar wet areas but are radiating away a lot more energy so are not adding it to the global system.”

      You begin ok but your conclusion fails. Why? Yes we’ve agreed for some time sea water absorbs likely more radiation than land, yet it will radiate out as much or more than the land without having to raise temperature. Why? Well with a low albedo it will by Kirchoff’s Law it can emit whatever energy it absorbs at the same wave length. Moreover, the broader the radiative bandwidth the more radiatation can be emitted at LOWER temperatures. In addition, water can evaporate to remove thermal energy from the surface faster than the land can and radiating that energy at higher elevations. In fact, if you examine the RSS website you’ll find that a few tenths of a degree centigrade increase in temperature allows for massive outgassing of water and CO2. All this allows water to COOL!

      Have a great day!

      • Norman says:

        JohnKl,

        Here is a link to heat capacity of common materials. Water is over 4 and sand is less than 1.

        http://www.zonbak.com/knowledge/passive%20solar%20design/passivesolar2.html

        At the same temperature water is holding 4 times the energy (joules) as the sand.

        Here is a way to think of it. You have a two people living in a cold environment. They can only warm a material during the day then the power is off at night (say solar power supply). The rules of this situation is that the material can only get to 90C that is all that is allowed. One person has a storage of energy using sand, the other person has storage using water. The mass of each substance it the same and they both go to 90C during the day. Which one will provide warmth the longest in this situation?

        You are still hung up on day maximum temperature as your guage to if something has and overall warming or cooling effect. So which surface will be colder at night? The ocean or the desert? Each having received equivalent solar flux during the day?

        Have a nice day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          What a load of crap, Norman. Radiation raises the temperature of a body which is emitting less flux than the attenuated flux being received from a distant source like the Sun. When the body’s temperature reaches the level where its outward flux matches the inward flux the temperature no longer rises.

          So the temperature to which radiation raises a body has nothing to do with the specific heat capacity of that body. Do you see cp in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, Norman? Learn some basic physics one day!

          The Sun’s mean flux into Earth’s surface is 168W/m^2. From that you have to deduct the simultaneous heat losses of a mean of 102W/m^2 to allow for evaporative cooling, conduction and heat diffusion out of the surface. The remaining 66W/m^2 is nowhere near sufficient to explain the mean surface temperature.

          So Hansen thought he should add 324W/m^2 of back radiation, so that 66W/m^2 became 390W/m^2 for which the blackbody temperature is 288K. But if we add such backradiation in warm sunny regions around noon we get absurdly high temperatures, the reason being that it is totally wrong to add backradiation. In those cases the Sun is in fact doing all the warming. What really happens is explained at http://climate-change-theory.com.

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton

            The mean solar flux reaching the Earth’s surface may be 168 W/m^2 but that number cannot be used to determine how much energy an actual surface receives or what its daytime temperature will become. That 168 is for every square meter of the globe, day or night pole or equator and cannot in any way be used to calculate how hot a desert temp will rise. The actual flux in a desert near the equator may be close to 1000 W/m^2 during noon time.

            I think you are not understanding physics with your post. If you have a constant radiation flux it will raise the temperature of a material until that material flux is equal to the incoming radiation flux (energy in equals energy out and you get the equilibrium temperature but it only would apply with a constant radiation flux).

            So what do you think radiation is? A watt is equal to one joule/second of energy. If all this energy is absorbed by a material it will gain 1 joule/second and based upon its temperature will radiate away some of this energy. If you have water with a heat capacity of over 4 joules of energy needed to raise one gram of water one C and and with heat capacity of less than 1 joule of energy needed to raise sand 1 C/gram what do you think will happen? Think it through before your attack mode comes out and you call this crap. It is very sound and reasoned physics.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Please read Comment #1500 here.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            And, Norman, you “think through” what I wrote about Hansen just above in bold. Then read Comment #1500 here.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          “So which surface will be colder at night? The ocean or the desert?”

          The mean minimum temperature for the dry regions in my study was 21.9°C and that for the moist regions was 20.°C.

          Some nights the actual minimum may have been cooler or warmer than the mean.

          My hypothesis indicates a propensity for such minimums to approach the temperature which is supported by the base of the troposphere due to the gravito-thernal effect. That temperature will be higher in dry regions other things being equal.

          Before you discuss your conjecture, you need to establish what causes the surface temperature to rise – maybe the solar radiation on a clear summer day, but probably thermal energy via conduction from the atmosphere on cloudy winter days.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Sorry typo: that should have been 20.1°C. Here again are the full results for 30 years of data for 15 inland tropical locations on three continents …

            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

            INCREASING THE LEVEL OF WATER VAPOR LEADS TO LOWER SUPPORTED TEMPERATURES AT THE SURFACE. WATER VAPOR COOLS THE SURFACE AND WARMS THE UPPER TROPOSPHERE BECAUSE THE WHOLE THERMAL PLOT ROTATES TOWARDS A LESS STEEP GRADIENT.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Norman,

          Thank you for a thoughtful reply and the link. In fact, I have no problem with much of what you wrote and have not denied water’s thermal energy capacity. However, you do seem to have forgotten something related to solar energy and water. Joel Shore and likely others will quickly claim that water has a very low albedo implying that it absorbs almost all the solar energy. The problem remains that water itself in fact proves CLEAR, absorbing little if any of the visible spectrum. Much of the incoming solar radiation falls in the visible spectrum. Particulates in the water or the floor of the water basin may absorb the visible spectrum but not H2O directly. In Phoenix, during the hot summer months shallow swimming pool water can get upward of 90 degrees F (land surface temps exceed this). Likewise a Doctor I know dives off the Florida coast where water temps frequently rise to levels of 95 degrees F in the shallow waters of the shelf. The shelf floor and visible objects/debris in the water absorb the visible spectrum in turn radiating and conveying thermal energy to the water. However, the ocean as a whole proves much more vast and the incoming solar radiation in the visible spectrum as a result gets much more distributed throughout a much larger volumetric mass allowing for far less thermal load to any given water molecule than terrestrial land surface. Hence incoming solar energy has far less capacity to increase water temperature. In addition, as has been mentioned water remains quite effective at emitting away accumulated energy. Keep in mind the water “batteries” discussed in your link (great link btw, thanks!) usually get enclosed in at least a plastic barrel. Common in-home water heaters store the water in very well enclosed barrel like containers that seek to reduce heat loss. Thanks and…

          Have a great day!

  59. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    The temperature reached for Earth’s surface of 255 K is based upon an equilibrium state (not initial) and is hypothetical if the Earth were a blackbody and receiving energy equally on its entire surface. It is useful for an energy budget but cannot be used for any individual temperature calculation or effect.

    Now with equal radiation hitting both water and sand the heat capacity is a huge factor as well as how fast the energy will move through the substance. Such effects cannot be ignored on a non equilibrium state of Earth. The water will warm much slower than the sand. Also the energy of the radiation will move much deeper in the water than the sand, radiation will only penetrate a tiny bit in the sand so the actual mass getting warmed is much less than in the ocean and will heat much faster in a given flux of radiation and as it warms will start emitting radiation at a much faster rate than the water (which at the same temperature would emit more energy than sand but with a night/day cycle such conditions do not exist).

    I do not know if you read my links to JohnKl about plant transpiration but if you look at the amount of energy needed to evaporate water it is far more than is needed to raise its tempearture (580 calories/gram where it takes 1 calorie/gram to raise water 1 C). This known physics can more than explain why wet areas are cooler than dry without resorting to a claim that water vapor is a cooling mechanism (in the radiation sense).

    It is something for you to consider. Don’t be so caught up in your own thinking. Expand out and take in new ideas and thoughts that is the value of the Internet and blogs, you can grow in knowledge and understanding. You do not have to obsess with your pet theory. It might be wrong and you have to be very open to this possibility.

  60. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I did have a post with some calculations but I think I put in too many links and it did not log on. Might try again later.

  61. Norman says:

    The link to the Steffan-Boltzmann calculator will not go.

    Doug Cotton
    These links should go.

    http://www.livescience.com/19700-hottest-place-earth.html

    Hottest measured surface temperature on Earth was around 70 C (in dry desert)

    http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/global-ocean-temperatures-warmest-since-records-began-in-1880-129-years-ago.html

    Hottest surface ocean temperature is around 32 C

    Plugging values into Steffan-Boltzmann Calculator

    70 C sand with emissisitivity of 0.76 gives a flux of (using 1 meter for the square area in calcualtor): 596 Watts/m^2

    32 C water with emissisitivity of 0.95 gives a flux of: 466 Watts/m^2

    So you can see that the hot sand will radiate at a much higher rate than the ocean at the desert higher temperature and will be removing energy from the global system at a higher rate.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      You really do need to get a degree in physics Norman. Try your incorrect method of applying the Stefan Boltzmann law for a piece of polished silver. Nothing gets hotter than a true blackbody. How hot do you say your silver spoon will get in the Sun, Norman? Go on – do the calculations!

      The Earth’s surface is nothing like a true blackbody anyway. Did you remember to deduct 102W/m^2 for non-radiative losses, and to add 83% of the outward flux for 70°C to get the corresponding backradiatiion, and then to add that backradiation onto the solar radiation like a good little AGW disciple?

      I have given you examples previously and you prove my point by showing that the hottest day on Earth was only 70°C, not over 100°C as you would get if you added 83% back radiation as per my calculations in a previous comment.

      It’s what a body absorbs in radiative and non-radiated energy that determines its temperature in the first place. That ought to be obvious, but apparently it is not to climatologists.

      It’s not hard to understand my point Norman: The AGW crowd add backradiation of 324W/m^2 to the mean solar radiation of 168W/m^2 then deduct 102W/m^2 for sensible losses to get 390W/m^2 giving 288K. But if they were to do that for sunny locations (as in my example of Adelaide) they would get absurd results, because we get the right results using only the solar flux.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        I really do not comprehend your response to my post. Does not make a lot of sense except that you are probably not reading what I am saying, just scanning it quick to throw out some insulting comment. What are you getting at with a silver spoon and how does that have anything to do with what my post was about? I was giving a flux of radiation leaving hot sand vs ocean water at the highest recorded temps of each of these surfaces to show clearly that hot sand radiates more energy than the hottest recorded ocean.

        Here is the point. The tropical ocean on a sunny day is receiving an equivalent amount of radiant energy from the sun as the desert sand in similar locations (Say the Sahara desert and the oceans on either side of it). But is is not getting as hot as the desert sand because of its higher heat capacity and at its peak it is not radiating away as much energy so therefore with clear and logical thinking the oceans would act as a global warming body as they would absrob the same amount of radiation but not radiate away the same amount leaving more energy in the system. What is difficult for you to grasp about this simple thinking?

        What are you getting at with your silver spoon and its ability to absorb or radiate? Hard to know what point you are trying to make. Maybe it is good for you to get some sleep and then respond with some more understandable point. Lack of sleep and old age may not be a good mix for you and your ability to reason.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          You don’t comprehend it because you have not studied and understood my first (2012) paper on radiation. You cling to the standard old and incorrect 20th century concept of photons always delivering thermal energy into anything they strike. They don’t deliver any at all if the target is hotter. That’s where the AGW crowd get it all so wrong.

          Did you look up the emissivity of polished silver, by the way, and try using that value in Stefan Boltzmann calculations? How hot does 500W/m^2 of direct solar radiation make that silver spoon at midday in the tropics?

          I will say it once more …

          RADIATION BEING ABSORBED BY THE SOLID SURFACE OF A PLANET THAT HAS A SIGNIFICANT ATMOSPHERE IS NOT THE PRIMARY DETERMINANT OF THE TEMPERATURE OF THAT SURFACE.

          Never have you in any comment even discussed the correct physics in my second (2013) paper, let alone attempted to prove it wrong, which you can’t because it isn’t.

          Go to this comment and the following one. No one else has dared to take me on over those comments, so be the first Norman – you’re a beggar for punishment.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          Of course the oceans don’t have as wide a temperature variation between day and night as does the solid surface because of the greater specific heat capacity of water.

          So what? That has nothing much to do with the mean global temperature. Solar radiation absorbed by the solid surface and the oceans is nowhere near sufficient to account for the global mean annual temperature of either.

          So you are thinking within a totally inapplicable paradigm.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “Nothing gets hotter than a true blackbody. ”
        FALSE.
        1) Anything that absorbs visible light better than it absorbs thermal IR (ie 1-albedo > emissivity) will get hotter than a BB in sunlight. These are sometimes known as selective surfaces (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_surface).
        2) a BB covered with a material transparent to sunlight but opaque to IR (eg a sheet of glass above the surface) will get hotter than a BB.

        “… if you added 83% back radiation as per my calculations ”
        WRONG.
        Your calculations are a bad approximation. While 83% might be a pretty good global average, the the desert at noon is not exactly average.
        1) A sunny day obviously has no clouds, cutting backradiation below average.
        2) The desert has low humidity, cutting backradiation further below average.
        3) A hot desert will have above average conduction/convection, drawing away more sensible heat than average.
        Together these render your 83% approximation pretty much useless.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          I’m really not interested in reading your even-more- fictitious-fiddled physics than the IPCC puts out.

          I have shown you why you can’t add backradiation – it does not even penetrate water by more than a few nanometers, as even Roy admits. And, if you do add it in those regions where the Sun can raise the temperature (as per S-B) then you get absurd temperatures over 100°C.

          You can’t have your cake and eat it – wanting to use back radiation for the mean, but ignoring it where there is plenty of solar radiation that already explains the surface temperature.

          The electro-magnetic energy in radiation from the colder atmosphere is not converted to thermal energy in the warmer surface, as is proved in “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation.”

        • Doug Cotton says:

          And I wasn’t talking about deserts anyway. Read my comment about Adelaide.

          Oh, and there’s plenty of water vapor above Singapore where it’s always humid, but never gets hotter than about 32°C. So what’s your backradiation doing there on a sunny day, my friend. (I’ve stayed there a week at a time twice now, and, yes, you feel the moisture all the time, day and night.)

    • Doug Cotton says:

      To put it simply, Norman (and as you would understand if you stopped talking about red herrings and instead read and understood the development of my hypothesis based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics) the Sun’s radiation is only sufficient to raise the Earth’s surface temperature …

      (a) on clear days when its radiation reaches the surface

      (b) in locations where the angle of incidence to the horizontal gets up to being fairly large at noon (say >60°) because we must multiply the flux by the sine of that angle.

      (c) when it has sufficient hours in the day, so not often in winter.

      In general, at any one time, the proportion of the Earth’s surface actually being heated by the Sun’s direct radiation is well under 20% of that surface. All the rest is maintained at observed temperatures, not by radiation, but by non-radiative process involving molecular collisions, whatever you wish to call such processes.

      Now it’s 12:40am so I’m out of here.

      Never, ever, ever have you discussed the development of my hypothesis, and you can’t prove that wrong, so I rest my case.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Yes, you are right! The sun’s radiation is not sufficient by itself. But solar + backradiation is! The earth’s surface is not radiating to 3K outer space. It is radiating to a warm atmosphere, which limits the outgoing IR, allowing the sun’s input to be more effective.

        And yes, non-radiative process ALSO play an important role. Together these two easily explain the general temperature observed on the surface, without resorting to ‘heat creep”.

        • Kristian says:

          “Yes, you are right! The sun’s radiation is not sufficient by itself. But solar + backradiation is!”

          Yes, like this:
          https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/drivhuseffekten.png

          Right, Tim?

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            No, not really, Kristian. That diagram is confusing and misleading. More like the Trenberth diagram. 🙂

          • Kristian says:

            Which shows the exact same thing. Only with the “extra heating by back radiation” mechanism conveniently more covered up visually. In order to confuse and mislead. My figure simply makes it easier for people to see what you are actually claiming 🙂 I understand how that is not to your liking, Tim.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          The Sun’s radiation is quite sufficient, as I showed in calculations for Adelaide in another comment which I’ll leave you to search for.

          The surface temperature is rising. Back radiation cannot achieve that because such would be a violation of the Second Law.

          Now explain the temperature gradient in the 350Km high nominal troposphere of Uranus. What energy input maintains it and how? See http://climate-change-theory.com for the explanation which is correct, being based on the Second Law, and has not been explained by anyone else in world literature. That physics is what you cannot prove wrong.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          Tim:

          You can’t count the back radiation for the reasons in “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” and my March 2012 paper written earlier that year. If you count it for the mean of 288K then you must count it where the direct solar radiation on a clear day in the tropics does explain the temperature on its own. So if you then apply the same logic that you did (as when you were adding backradiation to get the mean of 288K) you will get temperatures around 100°C which are absurd.

          Now, please read Comment #1500 on that previous thread here.

          The whole AGW crowd think in an incorrect paradigm altogether – and all together mislead all.

  62. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    I will have to agree with you on the point of water absorbing visible light.
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/chemical/watabs.html

    In the deep ocean it would be the material present in the water that absorbs the light so that it becomes pitch black.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelagic_zone

    Enjoy your day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thank you for the another reply and links. Like Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984 who kept sane by remembering despite the government propaganda that 2+2=4 instead of 5 as proposed by Big Brother, it should do one well to remember that water COOL’s despite much climate ballyhoo. If you had a burn as a child did you place your hand near a fan (O2 or air) or under COOL running water? If it seems I’m being trite a point does lurk here. If you still maintain water WARMS conduct a mental hypothetical. What if water did not exist on the Earth’s surface, but excluding water vapor (~1% of atmosphere) the same atmospheric composition and pressure maintained with a DRY adiabatic lapse rate of -1 deg C per 100 (5.5 deg F per 1000 ft)? To keep it simple what would be the average surface temp and pressure of the Pacific Ocean? At an average depth of ~4280 meters the temperature would be 42.8 deg C warmer than current seal level temperatures and the Marianas trench at ~10,911 meters would be 109.11 deg C warmer than current sea level temperatures. Well if we use pressure in pascals P=101325(1 – 2.25577 x 10^-5 x H (meters (negative number below sea level))^5.25588, an average Pacific Ocean depth of 4280 meters gives us 164,473.127 Pa, 164.473 Kpa or 1.645 bar. Using the same formula for the Marianas Trench gives 322,092.5976737 Pa, 322.09259767 Kpa or 3.221 bar.

      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-altitude-pressure-d_462.html

      Seems awful warm to me Norman. Btw, I believe the dry adiabatic lapse rate I used seems to be very conservative since Death Valley temps exceed the surrounding desert by well over 5 deg F if I remember correctly and I think it’s only 2-300+ ft below sea level. In any case these temps far exceed the 25 deg C equatorial Ocean temps that might max out around 35 deg C, 95 deg F in shallow waters like the Persian gulf or Florida Coast or even Lunar temperatures. Btw, we still need more precise and reliable measured numbers for lunar night time temps within 12 hours of sunset. Which should be easy to obtain since we can view that arc of the lunar landscape from Earth!

      Please let me know if I’ve missed or miscalculated something since I kind of rushed everything due to time constraints and as always…

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman,

        Btw, remember one thing about my waterless world thought experiment the current sea bottom temperature in the Pacific Ocean around between 4-4500 meters below the surface falls less than 4 deg C!!! Still think water WARMS Norman?!

        Just a few Orwell quotes for thought and amusement.

        “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

        “And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.”

        “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
        ― George Orwell, 1984

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        John, you don’t realize it, but you are making exactly the point that water warms!

        Specifically, you say “but excluding water vapor (~1% of atmosphere)”. That 1% is what is doing the warming (or at least part of the warming)! Get rid of that water and the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere decreases and the surface gets cooler. get rid of the other GHGs and the surface cools to ~ 255 K (on average anyway).

        No one is claiming that LIQUID water in the OCEAN warms the earth (well, other than slight warming by evening out temperature swings ). The claim is that water VAPOR in the ATMOSPHERE warms the surface. And you are making that point quite well. WITH water vapor, a ‘tall’ atmosphere warms the surface a lot as you state. (With water vapor, a ‘short’ atmosphere warms a little. Make the atmosphrere completely transparent to IR, and no amount of atmosphere will make a significant difference — ie the surface will not warm above ~ 255 K on average)

        • Norman says:

          Tim Folkerts,

          I think gbaikie does make the claim water would make a warmer world overall (average temperature).

          gbaikie: “A planet which was entirely covered with water and had 1 atm
          of gases would also on average radiate about 240 watt per square meter.
          And it seems to me that such world completely covered with water would have an higher average temperature as compared to Earth.”

          I do not know if his reasoning is correct or not.

          My point was that water has a higher heat capacity than sand (much more actually). If they both absorbed the same amount of energy the sand would be much hotter (based on similar mass) and then would radiate more energy away. This is only valid in a nonequilibrium condition like our Earth system. Day and Night cycles not a continuous flow of energy. On Earth it seems as if the sand is getting much hotter in the hours the sun shines so it will radiate away this energy must faster when the sun no longer shines (That is why the Sahara Desert actually cools the global system even though it gets very hot during the day, it is losing more energy than it gains).

          The oceans have much cooler PEAK temperature than the sand but will retain heat much longer. So as the air above the desret is cooling rapidly at night the air above the oceans is losing very little temperature.

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

      • Norman says:

        JohnKl,

        I think I have to disagree with your post and your calculations. For one thing I think you are using the lapse rate in backward fashion the same as Doug Cotton does which I disagree with at this time (really good counter infromation may change what I think). You are using some set number above in the top of the troposphere and calculating surface temperature based on that. In my opinion that is backwards calculation. I would go the other way. Surface temperature and convection are what create the temperature at the troposphere.

        What is wrong with your calculations is that the surface evacutated of water would become the new surface and the pressure would not rise as you calculate unless you added more air to your system. The amount of air in our atmophere would just have to go into the 1.4 billion cubic kilometers that would need to be filled. I would think the surface pressure would actually drop a bit from current sea level pressure since now the same amount of air must fill a larger volume.

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/175962/Earth/54197/The-hydrosphere

        The new surface would probably be the huge Pacific Ocean basin that is 4000 meters below current sea level and it would be around the same temperature current sea level areas are based upon the solar flux they receive. What would happen is the areas now at sea level would be like high plains we have in mountain areas (around 12000 feet above sea level). They would be much cooler in your world than they are currently.

        So have a good day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          Well, well, well. Norman disagrees so we all had better take note. He wants evidence. That’s easy – it’s all at http://climate-change-theory.com

          When you decide, Norman, to study and discuss the physics explained in my paper linked therein, then, and only then, will you find out what is really happening above and below planetary surfaces.

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton,

            You need to buy some memory pills. I have discussed the physics in your paper and I disagree. I proposed that because of a very small mean-free path at sea level pressure that the molecules of air act like surfaces (able to change energy and direction of a given molecule) so the K.E. and P.E. difference in the layers is exceedingly small and you will have no temperature difference. You forgot all those debates I think so why should I continue to discuss with you on this issue. It is like a black hole. Any information I present to you is destroyed and changes nothing. You still keep posting about Venus surface temp and Uranus even though neither are facts, just your made up stuff but you are not deterred and continue as nothing has changed.

            Many have gone to lengths to refute your physics and papers but you do not listen to their points nor try to understand them.

          • JohnKl says:

            More evidence below.

        • Doug Cotton says:

          “current sea level areas are based upon the solar flux they receive.”

          No they are not.

          The reason is in my paper.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Allow me one other point regarding the electro-magnetic spectrum. If you look carefully at your own link you’ll find there exists a substantial IR zone water doesn’t absorb either. Joel Shore claimed water absorbs 94% of IR. However, searching different sources lead me to one that claimed that distilled water absorbs only 67% of IR. Having not conducted the research myself I’m not sure which will prove correct, but it does intrigue me how you’re link suggests water doesn’t absorb some IR very well either even though a small portion it lies at the highest frequency IR range & blends into the visible light spectrum.

      Have a great day!

  63. Doug Cotton says:

    You all keep missing the key point, so I’ll copy it again from yesterday’s comment …

    “All the rest [of the Earth’s surface] is maintained at observed temperatures, not by radiation, but by non-radiative processes involving molecular collisions, whatever you wish to call such processes.”

    This was proved in my 2013 paper linked here.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      You keep missing many points.

      *******************************************************
      Temperature is ‘maintained’ by ALL processes that add or remove thermal energy from an object/region/system.

      Artificially excluding one specific sort of process (“by non-radiative processes”) means you get the wrong answer. Period.

      **********************************************************
      “Molecular collisions” are “conduction”. Not “heat creep”. Yes, this matters. No, there is not net flow of thermal energy from cool to hot, even with gravity.

      **********************************************************
      To ‘maintain’ the temperature of Uranus’ atmosphere, all you need is as much energy into any region as out of that same region. The “energy out” is pretty small – conduction through a gas is minimal and net transport by radiation is small if GHGs/aerosols/clouds prevent photons from travelling far. Since only a small amount of energy is leaving, only a small amount of input (geothermal and/or solar) is needed to maintain the temperatures.

      • Doug Cotton says:

        There’s nothing artificial, Tim, about recognizing the 21st Century physics in which physicists can now explain why the electromagnetic energy in radiation from a colder source is not converted to thermal energy in a warmer target. See “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation.”

        It is the AGW hoaxers who artificially ignore heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfers into the surfaces of Earth and Venus, which occur for the reasons explained in my paper.

        When you decide, Tim Folkerts, to study and discuss the physics explained in my paper linked here then, and only then, will you find out what is really happening above and below planetary surfaces.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          ” … in which physicists can now explain …”

          No. In which one mathematician presents an alternate hypothesis that artificially introduces “finite precision computation” at an alternate to quantum mechanics energy. The hypothesis seems to work well enough. But so does Planck’s quantized energy. And quantum mechanics ALSO explains pretty much the entire subatomic world in a consistent, coherent manners.

          In science, the hypothesis that can explain/predict more broadly is generally the one that is preferred.

  64. Doug Cotton says:

    At the top of Earth’s atmosphere the difference between radiation input and output rarely varies by more than ±0.6%. Any radiative imbalance is the result of natural climate change, not the cause of climate change.

    The reason why the surface temperature of Earth (and Venus etc) is hotter than the effective radiating temperature (found about half way up the troposphere) is explained by the new 21st Century breakthrough in atmospheric physics which is proved from the Second Law of Thermodynamics in my paper linked from http://climate-change-theory.com from which you will learn heaps that will blow your mind.

    I bet you can’t prove the physics therein wrong. Just try!

  65. Thylacine aka JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    I Just a question, should you choose to post it. Why have you and/or your censors blocked my post? It contained no defamation, insults or anything wrong just FACTS as I’ve understood them. If anyone disagrees they can always argue them. Again, why Roy?

    Have a great day!

    P.S, = If you do find the integrity to post them, please just post the most recent of my long posts the first one seemed somewhat garbled.

  66. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    Did your posts have links? I found out that a link to a Steffan-Boltzmann calculator would not post. If you have links, try the post without the links to see if it goes through.

    Have a nice day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman and Tim,

      Thanks Norman for the suggestion, here goes.

      Hi Norman and Tim,

      Thank you again for a fairly well reasoned posts. However you both do have problems. Norman, you thoughtfully stated:

      “You are using some set number above in the top of the troposphere and calculating surface temperature based on that. In my opinion that is backwards calculation. I would go the other way. Surface temperature and convection are what create the temperature at the troposphere.”

      “What is wrong with your calculations is that the surface evacutated of water would become the new surface and the pressure would not rise as you calculate unless you added more air to your system. The amount of air in our atmophere would just have to go into the 1.4 billion cubic kilometers that would need to be filled.”

      You correctly point out that my scenario demands that additional atmosphere of the similar composition without water vapor must be added to the system. However, that shouldn’t be a surprise since I stated:

      “What if water did not exist on the Earth’s surface, but excluding water vapor (~1% of atmosphere) the same atmospheric composition and pressure maintained with a DRY adiabatic lapse rate of -1 deg C per 100 (5.5 deg F per 1000 ft)?”

      Frankly, there exists no way I can think of to maintain the same atmospheric pressure throughout the terrestrial regions we know today absent liquid water and water vapor without adding additional atmosphere of similar composition. You forget something though. If you believe it’s unfair to add 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of air, consider we’ve removed that much liquid water which you claimed warmed the place more than the air. Moreover, as I mentioned above the Pacific Ocean bottom at 400-4500 meters below the surface proves extremely cold 4-5% C, much colder than the temperatures resulting if air replaced the water.

      Norman and Tim among probably many others you have an enormous problem facing your dubious physics. Empirical data. Please allow me to explain. Tim you state:

      “That 1% is what is doing the warming (or at least part of the warming)! Get rid of that water and the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere decreases and the surface gets cooler. get rid of the other GHGs and the surface cools to ~ 255 K (on average anyway).”

      “No one is claiming that LIQUID water in the OCEAN warms the earth (well, other than slight warming by evening out temperature swings ). The claim is that water VAPOR in the ATMOSPHERE warms the surface.”

      This statement suffers for two reasons. First after removing the water vapor, I never claimed the surface cooled, quite the opposite. In fact, as I’ve mentioned in past posts extremely low humidity regions like Phoenix and Death Valley sport some of the HOTTEST temperatures on Earth, at ~35 deg latitude much THINNER atmosphere than equatorial regions like Java island or the Malay Peninsula (like Singapore) and much LOWER INCOMING SOLAR RADIATION. In addition, those temp highs maintain when solar input lacks like during the night time and early morning. One time I woke up early in the morning in Phoenix and the air and ambient environment proved hot if not very warm. Indonesia and Singapore can get warm but I’ve never encountered it to the same degree as Phoenix. During the late spring and summer Phoenix will regularly sport weeks and months of days with highs over 100 degrees F.

      Btw, Tim you should know Norman in fact did claim water warmed, if I remember correctly. Please read the posts above.

      Interestingly, Norman already conceded that water vapor may not increase high temperatures but will definitely help maintain higher low temperatures. Please let me know Norman if I misstated anything. One may point to the fact that while Phoenix for example has much higher temperatures in the summer their winter temperatures prove colder than tropical regions like Java island or the Malay Peninsula. If one relies on that rhetoric they’ll be lost. Why? Phoenix winter temps in fact prove mild. It has rarely if ever snows in Winter-time Phoenix and while it proves cooler on average than Java island and the Malay Peninsula during the winter one must remember Phoenix receives only a fraction of the incoming solar radiation that Java and Malaysia do. A better comparison with Phoenix would be Charlotte, North Carolina that sits at the same latitude but has much HIGHER HUMIDITY than Phoenix. Phoenix sports average 31 deg C highs and 17 deg C lows. Charlotte, North Carolina sports average 22 deg C highs and 9 deg C lows. This happens despite the fact that the Atlantic ocean waters over North Carolina prove COOLER than the Pacific Ocean waters that rarely (Monsoon) season trickle over Phoenix.

      Nevertheless, any such examples will be bandied in this regard. Unfortunately for both of you however, there exists one piece of empirical evidence you cannot gain-say that proves water COOLS! You don’t have to go to Mars or Venus to find it. The evidence can be found right here on good old terra-firma aka THE EARTH!!! Many on this web-site trip over it and don’t like to dig in very far. Why? Well this particular evidence gets cited by the global warming alarmists themselves, but they mis-represent it. They correctly note that the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE PROVES MUCH WARMER THAN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. In fact, they claim the greater amount of human beings living and polluting (hence emitting CO2) in the Northern hemisphere causes this warming. This proves ridiculous. Please find links establishing the obvious FACT that the Northern Hemisphere proves warmer than the Southern Hemisphere below.

      (In my original post I provided several supporting links which for some unknown reason Roy and or censors, won’t post)

      However, unfortunately for the alarmists this fact proves that GHG’s in general, liquid water and water vapor in particular COOL the planet and don’t warm it. Why? Well for one thing even though CO2 gets distributed throughout the atmosphere but more heavily distributed in the Northern Hemisphere that proves the opposite with the totality of GHG’s and water vapor specifically. Why? Well Doug Cotton might know something Norman and Tim don’t and that remains the fact that land has not been distributed evenly between the North and South Hemispheres. The Northern hemisphere has much more land than the South. The Northern hemisphere land to ocean ration proves to be 1-1.5, while the Southern hemisphere land to ocean ration proves to be 1-4. If you need further data please use this website:

      (Once again I had a website but Roy and or censors won’t put them up)

      Do you see the problem Norman?!!! If water and water vapor as you maintain WARM the planet WHY DOES THE REGION OF THE PLANET WITH THE LEAST WATER SPORT THE HIGHEST AVERAGE TEMPERATURES? This cannot be shoved off as some small region like Phoenix or Charlotte, NC. The regions comprise half our planet each! In fact, not only do average Northern hemisphere temps exceed Southern hemisphere temps but the highest temperature ever recorded occurred in the Northern hemisphere Highest recorded temperature:

      Guinness world records
      Record: 134 degress Fahrenheit
      Date: July 10, 1913 (recorded)
      Place: Recorded at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California, United States
      Record holder: Death Valley

      In addition, the lowest temperature ever recorded occurred in the (you probably guessed it) Southern hemisphere:

      “The lowest natural temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K), which was at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. Analysis of satellite data indicated a probable temperature of around −93.2 °C (−135.8 °F; 180.0 K), also in Antarctica, on August 10, 2010; however, this reading was not confirmed by ground measurements.”-Wikipedia

      Please note the coldest temperature ever recorded occurred either in 1983 or 2010 long after humans have been spewing CO2 into the atmosphere.

      Thanks for your consideration and as always…

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman,

        Allow me two corrections to my post above.

        My statements should have read:

        “Ocean bottom at 4000-4500 meters below the surface proves extremely cold 4-5% C, much colder than the temperatures resulting if air replaced the water.”

        and

        “Phoenix sports average 31 deg C highs and 17 deg C lows. Charlotte, North Carolina sports average 22 deg C highs and 9 deg C lows. This happens despite the fact that the Atlantic ocean waters over North Carolina prove WARMER than the Pacific Ocean waters that rarely (Monsoon) season trickle over Phoenix.”

        Sorry for the errors.

        Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman,

        Please allow yet another correction. My statement should have read:

        “The regions comprise half our planet each! In fact, not only do average Northern hemisphere temps exceed Southern hemisphere temps but the highest temperature ever recorded occurred in the Northern hemisphere:”

        Have a great day!

    • Thylacine aka JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman and Tim,
      Thank you again for a fairly well reasoned posts. However you both do have problems. Norman, you thoughtfully stated:

      “You are using some set number above in the top of the troposphere and calculating surface temperature based on that. In my opinion that is backwards calculation. I would go the other way. Surface temperature and convection are what create the temperature at the troposphere.”
      “What is wrong with your calculations is that the surface evacutated of water would become the new surface and the pressure would not rise as you calculate unless you added more air to your system. The amount of air in our atmophere would just have to go into the 1.4 billion cubic kilometers that would need to be filled.”
      You correctly point out that my scenario demands that additional atmosphere of similar composition without water vapor must be added to the system. However, that shouldn’t be a surprise since I stated:

      “What if water did not exist on the Earth’s surface, but excluding water vapor (~1% of atmosphere) the same atmospheric composition and pressure maintained with a DRY adiabatic lapse rate of -1 deg C per 100 (5.5 deg F per 1000 ft)?”

      Frankly, there exists no way I can think of to maintain the same atmospheric pressure throughout the terrestrial regions we know today absent liquid water and water vapor without adding additional atmosphere of similar composition. You forget something though. If you believe it’s unfair to add 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of air, consider we’ve removed that much liquid water which you claimed warmed the place more than the air. Moreover, as I mentioned above the Pacific Ocean bottom at 4000-4500 meters below the surface proves extremely cold at 4-5% C, much colder than the temperatures resulting if air replaced the water.

      Norman and Tim and probably many others you have an enormous problem when spout dubious physics in contradiction to empirical data. Please allow me to explain. Tim you state:

      “That 1% is what is doing the warming (or at least part of the warming)! Get rid of that water and the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere decreases and the surface gets cooler. get rid of the other GHGs and the surface cools to ~ 255 K (on average anyway).”
      “No one is claiming that LIQUID water in the OCEAN warms the earth (well, other than slight warming by evening out temperature swings ). The claim is that water VAPOR in the ATMOSPHERE warms the surface.”

      This statement suffers for two reasons. First after removing the water vapor, I never claimed the surface cooled, quite the opposite. In fact, as I’ve mentioned in past posts extremely low humidity regions like Phoenix and Death Valley sport some of the HOTTEST temperatures on Earth at ~35 deg latitude, much THINNER atmosphere than equatorial regions like Java island or the Malay Peninsula (like Singapore) and much LOWER INCOMING SOLAR RADIATION. In addition, those temp highs maintain when solar input lacks, like during the night time and early morning. One time I woke up early in the morning in Phoenix and the air and ambient environment proved hot if not very warm. Indonesia and Singapore can get warm but I’ve never encountered it to the same degree as Phoenix. During the late spring and summer, Phoenix will regularly sport weeks if not months comprised of days all with highs exceeding 100 degrees F.

      Btw, Tim you should know Norman in fact did claim water warmed, if I remember correctly. Please read the posts above.

      Interestingly, Norman already conceded that water vapor may not increase high temperatures but will definitely help maintain higher low temperatures. Please let me know Norman if I misstated anything. One may point to the fact that while Phoenix for example has much higher temperatures in the summer their winter temperatures prove colder than tropical regions like Java island or the Malay Peninsula. If one relies on that rhetoric they’ll be lost. Why? Phoenix winter temps in fact prove mild. It has rarely if ever snowed in Winter-time Phoenix and while it proves cooler on average than Java island and the Malay Peninsula during the winter one must remember Phoenix receives only a fraction of the incoming solar radiation that Java and Malaysia do. A better comparison with Phoenix would be Charlotte, North Carolina that sits at the same latitude but has much HIGHER HUMIDITY than Phoenix. Phoenix sports average 31 deg C highs and 17 deg C lows. Charlotte, North Carolina sports average 22 deg C highs and 9 deg C lows. This happens despite the fact that the Atlantic ocean waters over North Carolina prove WARMER than the Pacific Ocean waters that rarely (Monsoon) season trickle over Phoenix.
      Nevertheless, many such examples will be bandied in this regard. Unfortunately for both of you however, there exists one piece of empirical evidence you cannot gain-say that proves water COOLS. You don’t have to go to Mars or Venus to find it. The evidence can be found right here on good old terra-firma aka THE EARTH. Many on this web-site seem to trip over it and don’t like to dig in very far. Why? Well this particular evidence gets cited by the global warming alarmists themselves, but they mis-represent it. They correctly note that the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE PROVES MUCH WARMER THAN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. In fact, they claim the greater amount of human beings living and polluting (hence emitting CO2) in the Northern hemisphere causes this warming. This claim proves ridiculous.

      Unfortunately for the alarmists this fact proves that GHG’s in general, including water vapor (and for Norman liquid water) in particular COOL the planet and don’t warm it. Why? Well for one thing even though CO2 gets distributed throughout the atmosphere but more heavily distributed in the Northern Hemisphere the opposite occurs with the totality of GHG’s and water vapor specifically. Why? Well the fact remains that land has not been distributed evenly between the North and South Hemispheres. The Northern hemisphere has much more land than the South. The Northern hemisphere land to ocean ration proves to be 1-1.5, while the Southern hemisphere land to ocean ration proves to be 1-4. If you need further data please use this website:

      Do you see the problem Norman? If water and water vapor as you maintain WARM the planet WHY DOES THE REGION OF THE PLANET WITH THE LEAST WATER SPORT THE HIGHEST AVERAGE TEMPERATURES? This fact cannot be shoved off as relating to some small region like Phoenix or Charlotte, NC. The regions comprise half our planet each. In fact, not only do average Northern hemisphere temps exceed Southern hemisphere temps but the highest temperature ever recorded occurred in the Northern hemisphere:

      Guinness world records
Record: 134 degress Fahrenheit
Date: July 10, 1913 (recorded)
Place: Recorded at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California, United States
Record holder: Death Valley

      In addition, the lowest temperature ever recorded occurred in the (you probably guessed it) the Southern hemisphere:

      “The lowest natural temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K), which was at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. Analysis of satellite data indicated a probable temperature of around −93.2 °C (−135.8 °F; 180.0 K), also in Antarctica, on August 10, 2010; however, this reading was not confirmed by ground measurements.”-Wikipedia

      Please note the coldest temperature ever recorded occurred either in 1983 or 2010 long after humans have been spewing CO2 into the atmosphere.

      Thanks for your consideration and as always…

      Have a great day!

      P.S. -Sorry Roy for any misunderstanding.
       

      • Thylacine aka JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman and Tim,

        If you need supporting links let me know where I can forward them to you.

        Thanks, and have a great day!

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        A couple quick comments …

        Any time you create a counter-factual scenario (like ‘remove all hte water from the ocean’), there nearly infinite variations on how that could be done and what precisely is meant. Without knowing the details, we can go round and round for ever chasing our tails.
        * Is the ocean replaced with air? with land up to sea level? with nothing?
        * Are we going to worry about the heat capacity factor the oceans provide? What about their ability to transport huge amounts of heat poleward?
        * what about changes in cloud cover? or the difference in albedo and/or emissivity between water and the rocks at the bottom of the ocean?
        Any ONE of these has a HUGE impact on the climate of this hypothetical world. Trying to guess what each of the other people in the discussion might be imagining will only lead to frustration and misunderstanding.

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

        Permanent bases have only existed for the past ~1/2 century, so it is not surprising that the ground-based record is fairly recent. Satellite data is even more recent. The first Landsat with thermal IR seems to have been launched in 1999. So again, the record would HAVE TO be in the last decade or so.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Tim Folkert,

          You state:

          “Any time you create a counter-factual scenario (like ‘remove all hte water from the ocean’), there nearly infinite variations on how that could be done and what precisely is meant.”

          As to being counter-factual, it’s simply a thought experiment. Which remains why I provided empirical evidence not merely a scenario. Facts cannot be counter-factual.

          Satellites monitoring global temps have existed since 1978-9 if I remember correctly. As to the Landsat ones, I’m not sure.

          Have a great day!

        • Doug Cotton says:

          The main thing that has a “HUGE impact” is the Second Law of Thermodynamics which leads to a density gradient in a gravitational field, for reasons which you don’t understand, now do you Tim Folkerts? Just like you didn’t understand BigWaveDave.

    • Pleading says:

      Hi Norman,

      I’ve tried several times but my posts don’t show up, whether or not I provide links.

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Ok. I think there existed some computer glitch, because the later posts show up now.

        Have a great day!

  67. Doug Cotton says:

    Go to this comment as I’m getting too busy now with my contacts with politicians and physicists to reiterate answers to gullible brainwashed people like Norman, Tim and Joel. My answers are already written at http://climate-change-theory.com anyway, where the physics is correct and the evidence supporting it is overwhelming.

  68. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    I have been reading some of this article.

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/9BB32A87-9069-4DBD-AB03-52B9B5A44EF1/FinalDownload/DownloadId-875957E70C7C913E3ABFD9FFE740F011/9BB32A87-9069-4DBD-AB03-52B9B5A44EF1/res/div/ocp/pub/seager/Kang_Seager_subm.pdf

    It goes into detail about the hemispheric differences. One big point was albedo. Also energy does not just sit in one place, it moves around and they have different explanations on energy transport.

    I know of one big difference between the poles that may favor my point. The Arctic is an ocean and the Antarctic is land. The Arctic does not get nearly as cold in the winter as the Antartic does and the claim is that the ocean water under the ice slowly conducts heat up keeping the air from getting as cold as in the Antarctic.

    Hopefully the link above will have useful material for you. In it the hypothesis is that oceans would be warmer (overall than land). Cooler in summer but much warmer in winter and the overall effect would be some warming.

    Also your Phoenix and North Carolina example are not the best because of the way the North America jetstream pattern develops in winter.

    This link gives a typical winter and summer jet stream pattern. The jet dips down on the Eastern half of the US in winter.

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/9BB32A87-9069-4DBD-AB03-52B9B5A44EF1/FinalDownload/DownloadId-875957E70C7C913E3ABFD9FFE740F011/9BB32A87-9069-4DBD-AB03-52B9B5A44EF1/res/div/ocp/pub/seager/Kang_Seager_subm.pdf

    Weather is a complex beast and one really needs to understand the patterns to make correct reasoning about hot and cold areas.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thanks again for the links. In fact, I think they might be similar to links I attempted to provide before. In any case, while many factors exist that determine temperature. Scientific models should explain observed phenomenon not merely explain them away. Water vapor can absorb but also emit greater quantities of IR than most any supposed GHG and by every measure proves far more ubiquitous. It proves lighter than air and radiates at warmer temperatures than many gasses in the upper atmosphere. I’ve already listed several reasons why water vapors ability to cool seems obviously more pronounced than to warm even given the greater thermal carrying capacity ( which has a great deal to do with being in a liquid phase as opposed to a solid one by the way ). However, the empirical data remains clear and there exists no valid reason to deny it.

      You further state:

      “Also your Phoenix and North Carolina example are not the best because of the way the North America jetstream pattern develops in winter.”

      The same pattern will likely hold for other locations at similar altitude. Again we can all compare cities around the world, but the hemispheric data seems very convincing. In addition, not just the average but absolute temperature differentials also favor Northern warming. Keep in mind, water has a very unique cooling mechanism that doesn’t work as effectively in the terrestrial landscape and regolith. If water temp increases even a slight amount (like a hundredth or tenth of a degree centigrade) enormous quantities of evaporate into the atmosphere and cool. Land can’t quite do that as well.

      Thanks and…

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Norman,

        Allow me another observation. Previously, I stated:

        “If water temp increases even a slight amount (like a hundredth or tenth of a degree centigrade) enormous quantities of evaporate into the atmosphere and cool. Land can’t quite do that as well.”

        Moreover, water in an enclosed tank (plastic or otherwise) cannot do that as easily either.

        Have a great day!

  69. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    I would need a good source of information for you statement about rate of water evaporation.

    http://www.preservearticles.com/201012231561/factors-affecting-evaporation.html

    These are some of the things that affect evaporation. If air is very humid water does not evaporate so rapidly. I have not heard that a very small amount of increase in temperature leads to “enormous” evaporation rates.

    Here is a measured graph of water vapor. It shows the highest concentration is lowest to the ground. The majority does not rise up to radiate away energy.

    https://eqn.princeton.edu/2009/01/first_mission_of_hiaper_jet_yields_surprise_highal_1/

    You still have the missing radiation bands from satellites in the CO2 and water vapor absorbing regions. If the studies are valid you and Doug are wrong based upon empirical evidence.

    Have a good day!

  70. jerry l krause says:

    Hi Tim Folkerts and guys,

    You wrote: “A BB covered with a material transparent to sunlight but opaque to IR (eg a sheet of glass above the surface will get hotter than a BB).” 4/28/15 at 1:21PM

    So I began an experiment yesterday to check this out. I need to compose a report of its results and my comments concerning my observations. This is just an alert to keep checking back here for a while because I will first post it here and maybe elsewhere later to possibly share the results with more people.

    Have a good day, Jerry

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Jerry, beware that simply covering the surface will limit convection and hence warm the surface.

      I have thought a couple times about creating a simple, passive solar heater that gets above ~ 120 C in direct sunlight. This would prove that direct sunlight does not ‘have a temperature of 120 C’ that limits how warm a BB could get. I haven’t gotten around to it, but it would certainly stop a lot of arguments to have simple, reproducible experimental results in hand to counter some wild ideas that some people put forth.

      • jerry l krause says:

        Hi Tim,

        The net radiometer was designed by Suomi etal. to limit as much as possible any convective, conductive energy exchanges as much as possible. My radiometer is simply one-half the net radiometer. And near high noon and the solstice at 45N the temperature of the absorbing-emitting surface has reached 220F when ‘pointed’ at the sun. But this is only because of it low thermal inertia. Hence, given this high radiating temperature, almost no energy has been stored or could be stored.

        I just completed a set of observations which amazingly reproduces, given slightly modified conditions from the observations made at the same time yesterday, the observations of yesterday with better than expected precision.

        The net radiometer could never be used during the daytime so the 100F plus temperature difference across a double glazed (with polyethylene film) one inch air space is not going the eliminate thermal conductivity. But the fact of such temperature differences is positive evidence that the design greatly reduces such heat (energy) leaks.

        A short report will be coming soon.

        Have a good day, Jerry

      • jerry l krause says:

        Hi Tim Folkerts and guys,

        Tim wrote: “A BB covered with a material transparent to sunlight but opaque to IR (eg a sheet of glass above the surface will get hotter than a BB).” 4/28/15 at 1:21PM

        Now as I begin to compose a report of my experiment I see Tim’s statement is not exactly well defined. It seems not clear just what is getting hotter than a BB. But I consider the SSK radiometer qualifies as a BB. For a sheet of glass I could only find a window pane (double strength) which was much larger than my radiometer. And I had two very comparable radiometers so I could vary one and have the other for comparison. I made readings every 5 minutes beginning at 1:45PM PDT which turned out to be near high noon at my location. Since my last attempt to construct a table didn’t turn out well when I posted my efforts. I will record the temperatures (degrees F) of the two a-e surfaces as they were observed every 5 minutes.

        160.2, 157.6; 160.7, 158.5; 160.7, 158.5; 160.8, 158.7 glass on; 161.4, 164.8; 160.8 film on, 169.2; 162.5, 172.8; 164.7, 174.9; 165.0, 176.4; 165.1, 177.1; 165.0, 177.3; 164.7 film off, 177.4; 160.4, 177.1; 158.5, 176.5 glass off; 156.3, 163.6; 154.8, 158.7, 153.4, 156.0; 151.0 153.5; 151.0, 152.1 glass on with spacer; 149.8 film on, 155.3; 150.5, 156.7; 151.6, 158.2 glass off; 151.6 film off, 150.6; 147.7, 146.8; 144.6, 144.7; 143.0, 143.2; 141.0, 141.4; 138.3, 139.3;

        The experiment continued but only this first portion pertains to what Tim stated. It can be seen that when the glass was placed on the radiometer the temperature immediately began to increase during the 5 minute intervals. But the air temperature at this time was only 66F so there was almost a 100 degree temperature gradient across a double glazed air space of one inch. While glass is not nearly as good as an insulating material, it does a relatively low thermal conductivity. Which is why I added another film to the other radiometer making it triple glazed. And it can be seen that this caused the temperature of the a-e surface to increase also, but not near the same amount as the glass caused the temperature of the other to increase.

        Tim had stated that the glass which was transparent to solar radiation would warm when it absorbed the LWIR. And it was easy to sense (by touch) that the LWIR emission of the ‘hot’ a-e surface was heating the glass. Now, I had no way to determine how many degrees the glass was heated, but I know that this heating had to offset the increase in the temperature difference between the a-e surface and the air temperature if it did not decrease the temperature difference between the a-e surface and the bottom surface of the glass.

        I had discontinued the comparison with the glass separated from the top of the radiometer because the angle of the incident radiation began to change significantly so temperatures were changing a degree or more during the 5-minute intervals. So today I started with the spaced glass and repeated the times of yesterday observations. Sky conditions (thin, high, cirrus) were initially variable so the temperatures, earlier times than yesterday, were variable also (good because it demonstrated the sensitivity of the radiometer and the influence of these thin, high clouds to which few seem to pay much attention. So some of these early temperatures were higher for both radiometers than any yesterday. But when the sky conditions ‘cleared’, the temperatures of both radiometers at the same times became very similar. This, even though the glass had not been spaced yesterday and today it was.

        Because the glass raises the temperature of the radiometer about 12F, it might seem we are seeing a greenhouse effect. But we need to go back to explain the 160F temperature of the radiometer without the glass covering. I hope we can agree that the radiation being continuously absorbed by the a-e surface is being emitted from the a-e surface to space because there is nowhere in the radiometer that the energy being absorbed could be stored after the temperature reaches a steady-state temperature. Hence, in the case of the radiometer with the glass sheet, whose a-e surface temperature reaches a slightly higher steady-state temperature, must also be emitting a slightly greater radiation to space. Because the glass is transparent to the solar radiation, the a-e surface must still be absorbing it. I honestly did not have this paradox in mind when I began this paragraph.

        This is not a contrived thought experiment. This is an actual observation which needs to be explained. It’s your fault, Tim. If I had never put a glass sheet on my radiometer, we would not have this problem.

        Have a good day, Jerry

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Jerry L Krause,

          What have you concluded from adding and subtracting glass and film from the radiometer? I’m unsure I see any significant difference. At one point it seems you put the film on and temps rise 9 degrees, but later you take it off and it rises 12-13! Fascinating but I’m not sure what to make of it. Did you notice clouds greatly impacting the radiometer?

          You stated:

          “Because the glass is transparent to the solar radiation, the a-e surface must still be absorbing it. I honestly did not have this paradox in mind when I began this paragraph.”

          Like a greenhouse glass appears transparent to the visible spectrum not other spectrums like IR.

          Have a great day!

          • jerry l krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            Sorry about the confusion I caused. Before I tried to pair the interval readings. Now I sequence each radiometer. Maybe not much better but now the result of the glass on and off and the film (third glazing) on and off should be clearer.

            160.2; 160.7; 160.8; 161.4; 160.8 film on; 162.5; 164.7; 165.0; 165.1; 165.0; 164.7 film off; 160.4; 158.5; 156.3; 154.8; 153.4; 151.7; 151.0; 149.8 film on; 150.5; 151.6; 151.6 film off; 147.7; 144.6; 143.0; 141.0; 138.3;

            157.6; 158.5; 158.7 glass on; 164.8; 169.2; 172.8; 174.9; 176.4; 177.1; 177.3; 177.4; 177.1; 176.5 glass off; 163.6; 158.7; 156.0; 153.5; 152.1 glass on with spacer; 155.3; 156.7; 158.2 glass off; 150.6; 146.8; 144.7; 143.2; 141.4; 139.3;

            Glass, as Tim stated previously, is not transparent to LWIR.

            Have a good day, Jerry

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Tim Folkert,

        You stated:

        “This would prove that direct sunlight does not ‘have a temperature of 120 C’ that limits how warm a BB could get.”

        Direct sunlight had a solar emission temperature upwards of many tens of thousands of degrees centigrade with primarily the visible spectrum reaching the Earth if I remember correctly. The factor limiting temperatures on the moon and Earth orbiting satellites to ~120+ degrees centigrade seems to be material in the sun itself blocking emission of high energy radiation (like gamma rays) to open space, the inverse square law limiting solar irradiance in the Earth orbit and the capacity of Earth and lunar material to reach radiative balance with incoming solar radiation. The emission temperature primarily limiting the GHG’s ability to warm the planet seems to be there own emission temperature which proves on a moments investigation not only to be cooler than direct sunlight but the Earth’s surface for the most part as well and their distance from radiating Earth surface they emit radiation to. If I misstated something let me know.

        Have a great day!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Tim Folkert,

          One other factor limiting Earth exposure to solar radiation, CME’s etc.- the magnetic field.

          Have a great day!

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “Direct sunlight had a solar emission temperature upwards of many tens of thousands of degrees centigrade “

          The ‘temperature’ of sunlight would be the temperature of the photosphere — ~ 5780 K. This is indeed the maximum temperature you could heat something with sunlight (no matter what sorts of filter or mirrors or lenses you used. So I agree with you in general (but with a different value for the temperature).

          Some people (eg Postma) are of the mistaken opinion that the ‘temperature’ sunlight is the temperature of a BB that would emit the same amount of power. Eg direct sunlight @ 1370 W/m^2 has a ‘temperature’ of 394 K = 121 C.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Th etemperature of 5780K is the maximum if the “something” is on the surface of the Sun. Down here on Earth the mean effect of the attenuated Solar radiation is to deliver 168W/m^2 to the surface. That is equivalent to enveloping the globe with some black opaque substance (a perfect blackbody ideally) suspended only a few millimeters above the surface and having a mean temperature of -41°C. Not the kind of thing I’d use in winter to warm my tootsies.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            Now please read Comment #1500 here.

          • JohnKl says:

            HI Tim Folkerts,

            You state:

            “The ‘temperature’ of sunlight would be the temperature of the photosphere — ~ 5780 K.”

            For the most part likely true. However, internal gasses at higher temperature also emit in the visible range. Much if not all of that light gets re-absorbed by more exterior solar material but it does emit in the visible spectrum too.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Tim Folkert,

            One other point, visible spectrum contains a wide range of emission temperatures. What we call full spectrum visible light if I remember correctly fall in the range of 50-65k deg Kelvin.

            Have a great day!

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “That is equivalent to enveloping the globe with some black opaque substance (a perfect blackbody ideally) suspended only a few millimeters above the surface and having a mean temperature of -41°C. “

            They may deliver the same power, but they are NOT ‘equivalent’. As an analogy, consider a small high pressure air hose (@ 100 PSI) and a large, low pressure air hose (1 PSI). It would be easy to adjust the sizes of the two hoses so they provide the same total air flow into an evacuated chamber (perhaps 160 liter/min). These are ‘equivalent’ in the sense of delivering the same flow in this one condition. But the 1 PSI hose could only fill a tank to a max pressure of 1 PSI, no matter how you hooked things up or nor matter how long you waited. But the 100 PSI hose could fill a tank to 100 PSI.

            Similarly, sunlight @ 160 W/m^2 & a BB shell @ -41C are ‘equivalent’ in a very limited sense. The -41C shell cannot — even in principle — warm the surface above -41C by itself. Furthermore, since the opaque shell MUST completely covers the ‘sky’ to achieve -41C on the surface below, it necessarily blocks all other IR. On the other hand, the sunlight could — in principle — warm the surface as high as 5780 K. The sun only covers a tiny bit of the sky, so IR from other directions could also help warm the surface (or limit the cooling if you prefer). However you say it, the surface can be warmer with Sun radiation + sky radiation can it can be with just sky radiation @ -41 C.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Tim Folkerts,

            Previously I mentioned full spectrum visible light emission temperature of 50-65,000 deg K. It intrigued me because while that temperature range appears in many sources regarding full spectrum lighting and black body temperature discussions, elements do exist which provide even higher frequencies with far less apparent emission temperature. For example, I’ve read an elemental Magnesium strip will burn at 3100 deg C producing a very white light and I’m told the light produced includes some ultra-violet. Your ~5780 K range may prove high.

            Wikipedia lists the 15 micron CO2 emission temperature as -23 degrees centigrade. In fact, as I’ve mentioned many times before JPL thermal imaging satellites show the Martian upper atmosphere radiating in the 15 micron range even over the polar regions which have SURFACE temperatures in the range of -123 degrees C. It seems obvious much more needs to be learned in this area or more accurate information provided by those who do know. Thanks and…

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Tim Folkerts,

            Please excuse my decimal error. The full spectrum visible light emission temperature ranges from 5000-6500 K, so you’re correct.

            Have a great day!

  71. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    Thank you very much for an inquisitive post. You stated:

    “I would need a good source of information for you statement about rate of water evaporation.”

    Please note the RSS website has a graph correlating temperature and and apparently subsequent water vapor increases. Fonzarelli in the past posted one linking temperature increase with subsequent increase in CO2 (ppm).

    http://www.remss.com/research/climate

    The data I believe has been around for a while. There likely exits other sources as well. Allow me to investigate your other concern and I’ll get back to you. Thanks and as always…

    Have a great day!

  72. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    The link you provided regarding water vapor stated:

    “Although Zondlo is only beginning to analyze the data collected on this first mission, it seems to point to a surprising finding: plumes of very moist air occurring about every 20 degrees in latitude from the Earth’s surface up to nearly the stratosphere…While it may sound innocuous, this moist air – a k a water vapor – is the strongest greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and human activities are likely changing how much of it makes to the upper atmosphere and how it gets distributed there…Surprisingly little is known about water vapor because it has been really hard to measure in the upper atmosphere,” Zondlo told EQN. “The new data suggests that these plumes are happening at a scale we had not imagined.”

    Well large plumes of water vapor almost reaching the stratosphere doesn’t exactly sound like it merely hugs the ground. You go on:

    “You still have the missing radiation bands from satellites in the CO2 and water vapor absorbing regions. If the studies are valid you and Doug are wrong based upon empirical evidence.”

    Missing bands? Satellite measurements of the CO2 15 micron bandwidth proves very slight (likely because there exists so little CO2 emitting in that range) but it exists. However, if water vapor bands for example proved “MISSING” how exactly would I let alone Doug be wrong? Did I ever claim GHG’s couldn’t absorb IR?

    Btw, Norman you still haven’t addressed the basic observation confirmed by so many measurements, made by alarmists themselves, that the Earth region sporting the greatest quantities of GHG’s (i.e. water vapor) the southern hemisphere proves COOLER than the northern hemisphere which has less.

    Have a great day!

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “Missing bands? Satellite measurements of the CO2 15 micron bandwidth proves very slight (likely because there exists so little CO2 emitting in that range) but it exists.”

      No. The ability to EMIT IR is directly related to the ability to ABSORB IR. If there was too little IR to emit IR in the 15 um band, there would necessarily also be too little to block the IR from the ground and/or lower regions of the atmosphere (which is much warmer and emits much more IR in that band). Therefore, reducing the CO2 actually INCREASES the IR in the 15 um band, rather than decreases it.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        That should read:

        “If there is too little CO2 to emit IR … “

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Tim Folkert,

        You state:

        “The ability to EMIT IR is directly related to the ability to ABSORB IR…”

        I never claimed otherwise.

        “If there was too little IR to emit IR in the 15 um band, there would necessarily also be too little to block the IR from the ground and/or lower regions of the atmosphere (which is much warmer and emits much more IR in that band).”

        The context of my statement proved clear, I referred to CO2 at TOA where emission gets sent to space and not re-absorbed by other CO2. Yes, CO2 as a percentage of molecules anywhere in the atmosphere including TOA proves slight.

        Have a great day!

  73. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman,

    Please note my main concern that I expressed to Doug would be that rational discussion follow from empirical observation not conjecture. For example, in my previous post I noted that the Southern hemisphere had cooler lows and highs than the Northern hemisphere. While I do believe water vapor plays an important role in limiting and/or lowering Southern hemisphere highs and reducing overall temps, in my opinion a large factor reducing Southern hemisphere low temperatures will prove to be the Southern hemisphere summer and winter solstices occurring at Earth orbital points that exacerbate temperature extremes. How? Well the Southern hemisphere winter solstice occurs in June during the Northern hemisphere summer solstice. At that time the Earth proves farthest from the sun. This fact limits the Earth warming in the summertime Northern hemisphere but exacerbates Earth cooling in the winter-time Southern hemisphere. However, while this help explains why the southern hemisphere proves so cold during the June months it compounds the problem for you Norman to explain how the Northern Hemisphere proves so warm during the June period when the Earth appears farthest from the sun compared to the Southern hemisphere during the January period when the Earth proves closest to the sun.

    Have a great day!

  74. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    This link explains what the IR spectrum as seen by satellites above Earth means. In the example in the link, the measurement is above Africa with a surface temp of 117 F. If the surface emits close to blackbody curve you would see this from satellites (same spectrum). This spectrum is shown in as the dashed lines for 320 K. What you actually see is a lot of energy missing from the curve. Where is it going? Massimo PORZIO has an interesting idea that the carbon dioxide is scattering the light so the satellite is only picking up a fraction of the actual energy that is leaving the planet. I think this is an interesting idea but it would still mean that a lot of radiation is returning to the surface. GHG’s one way or the other are redirecting the path of radiation (which would be in a straight line outward if not altered). The graph is not of how much IR Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is generating. It is a graph of how much IR from the surface is being redirected (going somewhere else than straight up).

    http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/atmosphericwarming.html

    Does that understanding make sense to you? It is what makes GHE the most logical of all that I have read. Doug’s theory tries to explain why the Earth’s surface is so warm by heat creep but in no way can it explain where the redirected IR is going. Same with Venus, the surface is emitting lots of IR yet it is not showing up outside of the atmosphere, something is changing the direction of energy flow.

    If water vapor was acting as a cooling factor by radiating away energy you would see a higher not lower IR from the H2O bands at the TOA. You would have the IR emitted by the surface plus the IR emitted by H2O in the atmosphere (converting heat in the atmosphere to IR energy to emit outwards).

    You have a nice day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thank you for a thoughtful post and links. The graph you present has become well known by now. First I’d like to point out that the whereas your graph indicates the top range of IR emission at the 320K line the one below indicates the emission spectra well below even 275K.

      www-users.math.umn.edu/~mcgehee/Seminars/ClimateChange/presentations/2013-1Spring/20130212ThermalIRandCarbonDioxideintheAtmosphere.pdf

      In any case, as I’ve indicated I don’t deny that tri-atomic gas compounds re-direct energy back to the surface, never have and don’t plan to either. Your problem resides in the fact that the small amount of energy re-directed cannot effect surface temperature much at all. Why? A number of reasons come to mind.

      1. The long-wave absorption bands you provide prove to be the lower energy realm of the IR spectrum. Wikipedia lists a CO2 emission temperature for the 15 micron bandwidth at -23 deg C. In FACT, JPL thermal imaging satellites reveal 15 micron emissions in the Martian upper atmosphere including well over the Martian polar regions that have SURFACE temperatures of -123 deg C!!! If you really fear CO2 might help maintain a toasty Earth surface temperature of -123 deg C I think you worry too much!!!!

      2. Plank’s Radiation Law if not Wein’s Displacement Law as well mean that the wavelength/frequency of radiation emitted will limit the temperature any object (including GHG’s) can raise the temperature of another like the surface via radiation. Indeed, an object can never increase the temperature of another object above it’s emission temperature no matter how much energy it emits by MULTIPLYING THE NUMBER OF EMITTERS. As I’ve mentioned before a 4 deg C cup cannot raise the temperature of a 3 deg C cup to anything higher than 4 deg C no matter how many 4 deg C cup get placed around the 3 deg C cup.

      3. The graph doesn’t seem complete to me failing to reveal clearly emission spectra from 20-100 microns and above and others like from .3 to 7 microns where water also absorbs/emits well. The regions where water does emit seem pretty full. To me water acts like the gas expansion system in an AR-15. It spreads thermal energy around the atmosphere (largely the Troposphere) cooling the surface by doing so, basically evaporating away excess thermal energy from the surface to higher levels of the troposphere.

      To be clear I have nothing against either the theory that tri-atomic gas compounds re-emit energy to the surface and/or Doug’s heat creep theory that a therm-gravitational effect can help conserve energy near the surface. Frankly, imo neither theory accounts for all surface temperature phenomenon and certainly not Venus’s, which according to eye-witness testimony by Riccioli and likely others emitted in the VISIBLE spectrum only a few centuries ago.

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Correction, my closing statement should have read:

        “Frankly, imo neither theory accounts for all surface temperature phenomenon and certainly not Venus’s, which according to eye-witness testimony by Riccioli and likely others apparently emitted in the VISIBLE spectrum only a few centuries ago. In that Ashen light appeared on the dark side of the planets surface.”

        From what I know I should not speculate on as to what Riccioli stated as to the cause of the Ashen Light if anything.

        Have a great day!

  75. Norman says:

    JohnKl

    Page 46 of this article does show one reason why the Northern Hemisphere may have a warmer overall temp. Look at how much colder Antarctica is than the Arctic (which is land vs ocean).

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~dargan/papers/ksfl_submitted.pdf

    From the same graphic it does appear that the tropical water in both hemispheres is roughly equal in temperature.

    Here is another article that tackles your hemispheric difference in temp.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829145.000-ocean-pump-keeps-northern-hemisphere-hot.html#.VUWRhvlVhBc

    You may not agree but it is information to consider. Scientists are thinking and trying to explain what you have brought up. They are not ignoring the issue.

    Hope you have a nice day!

  76. Doug Cotton says:

    Roy and others:

    Please read Comment #1500 on that previous thread here.

  77. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    Thanks for the reply. Not sure how much longer you will visit this thread.

    Your point 1) Not sure of what you are trying to see. I am not following the logic on this one.

    Point 2) I have not yet read anyone who thinks that CO2 warms the surface. It keeps it from getting colder at night is all as Roy explained in the earlier thread.

    Point 3) If the energy is spread around but no leaving the system, the overall effect is warming.

    Have a good day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thanks again for your response. My point (1) dealt with CO2 IR emission/absorption and the fact that the graph you presented focused on the long-wave IR emissions such as the 15 micron dip. In addition, I addressed that apparent fact that the 15 micron range represents an extremely low energy and low temperature emission spectrum. Moreover, in my opinion the claimed emission temperature of ~-23 deg C probably over states the actual emission temperature by >100 deg C. In other words, at that level so little energy gets re-radiated to the earth the very idea of expressing concern about it seemed silly.

      You stated:

      “I have not yet read anyone who thinks that CO2 warms the surface. It keeps it from getting colder at night is all as Roy explained in the earlier thread.”

      Actually many have claimed that Venusian temperatures result from a “run-away” green house effect that apparently raises the temperature to levels far in excess of the solar input of ~ 2613.9 wm^2. In fact, the not very “skeptical science” website and others do make this claim. Even though the numbers simply don’t add up and the mathematics let alone physics doesn’t work. To maintain Venusian surface temps some 16000 wm^2. In my opinion, it remains one of many severely irrational positions taken by the CAGW crowd. To understand how irrational the claim seems to be, remember the incoming solar irradiance that makes it to the surface apparently falls around 10 percent of the Earth’s solar irradiance or 5+ percentage of the Venusian solar irradiance due to the massive Venusian atmosphere and thick particulate layer that extends 50 km above the surface. Roy once claimed a run-away greenhouse process to be impossible, hopefully others will discover why.

      You then state:

      “If the energy is spread around but no leaving the system, the overall effect is warming.”

      Re-directed energy from GHG’s can slow the rate of cooling but not increase surface temperature above the surface radiating temperature that initiated the re-turned radiation to begin with, hence the term “green house” gas. It will prove very unlikely that GHG’s will reach temps in excess of the surface for very obvious reasons, such as:

      1 GHG gasses near the surface (and thus likely able to effect the surface with direct radiation) absorb radiated energy primarily if not completely from the surface and or other similar GHG’s that obtained their energy one way or another from the surface.

      2. Much of the energy they receive gets conveyed to other molecules and or irradiated away from the surface. So the actual energy returned to the surface proves to be only a fraction of the energy emitted from the surface within the relevant bandwidths.

      More could be written, but in my opinion the overall effect of GHG’s especially ones like water vapor appears to be a cooling one in that they speed up the process of removing absorbed radiation to space, especially in the upper atmosphere. They not only help radiate away energy absorbed within there own bandwidth but energy absorbed by other molecules outside their bandwidth that had been obtained by convection.

      You asked:

      “Not sure how much longer you will visit this thread.”

      From time to time if replies come in or we can just move to the latest Eco-boost thread if memory serves.

      Btw, one bit of nonsense that alarmist spew involves blaming increasing ocean heat content on GHG’s:

      https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

      David Appel seems to like this data a great deal. The problem proves to be what I stated earlier in this thread. Water absorbs IR near the surface, and the radiation doesn’t penetrated very deep. However, water proves clear to the visible spectrum suggesting any increased ocean heat content more likely results from increased direct solar radiation in the visible spectrum that gets absorbed by water born particulates. Iow, increased ocean heat content suggests increased SOLAR radiation.

      Have a great day!

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “apparent fact that the 15 micron range represents an extremely low energy and low temperature emission spectrum. “
        There are two separate issues, and I am not quite sure which you are concerned about (or maybe you are mixing the two together).
        1) Wein’s Law tells you the wavelength with maximum intensity for a give tempeature. For example, the sun @ 5780 K is ‘brightest’ near 500 nm; -80 C objects are ‘brightest’ near 15 um. YOu can go the other way too, but this does NOT mean that “CO2 has an emission temperature of -80 C” or that “15 um radiation is ‘cold’ “.

        2) CO2 emits at whatever temperature it is. Warm CO2 near the surface emits relatively strongly @ 15 um. A furnace full of CO2 would emit more strongly; cold CO2 in the troposphere emits more weakly. And any of these emit 15 um IR about as strongly as a BB at the same temperature.

        “In other words, at that level so little energy gets re-radiated to the earth the very idea of expressing concern about it seemed silly.”
        This is thinking about it mostly backwards. The better way of thinking about it is that so little energy gets emitted TO SPACE. There would be much more emitted if the CO2 was not there and the 15 um IR came directly from the ground instead. SInce we have reduced the ougoing IR by adding CO2, energy builds up and tempeatures rise until balance is restored — with the ground warmer than it would have been with no CO2.

        “So the actual energy returned to the surface proves to be only a fraction of the energy emitted from the surface within the relevant bandwidths.”
        No. Within the relevant bandwidths (eg near 15 um), there is almost exactly as much IR returning to the surface as leaving. The surface will be slightly warmer than the air, so there will be a slight imblance of energy from surface to the atmosphere.

        The notion that energy gets conveyed away from the CO2 by collisions with other molecules is not really relevant, because a simular amount of energy is convey TO the CO2 from the surrounding molecules.

  78. JohnKl says:

    Hi Tim Folkerts,

    Let me see if I can help clarify your various points.

    Point #1, My concern was the minimum temperature at which material begins to emit at a given wavelength, I never claimed material stopped emitting at a given wavelength when temperatures exceed that point. As to CO2 evidence suggests that temperature falls below -123 degrees centigrade for the 15 micron wavelength if JPL thermal imaging satellites prove accurate. When temperatures exceed that level material continues to emit at the initial wavelength and shorter ones as temperatures increase.

    Point #2, I largely agree with and it helps for clarification.

    You state:

    “The better way of thinking about it is that so little energy gets emitted TO SPACE.”

    That doesn’t appear to make sense, unless the albedo changes and more gets reflected back to space. You probably meant to state that little energy from the surface makes it unimpeded to space, of course that would still be the case to a lesser extent if CO2 didn’t exists given water vapor and other absorbing gasses.

    You then state:

    “SInce we have reduced the ougoing IR by adding CO2, energy builds up and tempeatures rise until balance is restored — with the ground warmer than it would have been with no CO2.”

    More like the thermal energy state of surface molecules maintains a given level longer if thermal energy emitted returns to the surface. It only “builds up” if incoming solar energy raises the thermal load which requires higher energy/frequency radiation. Remember if cooler air molecules return low frequency, long wavelength radiation to the surface the surface simultaneously emits the same and more energy out.

    Please excuse me, I must leave temporarily and I will complete my response at a later time. Thanks for your thoughts and…

    Have a great day!

  79. JohnKl says:

    Hi Tim Folkerts,

    You stated:

    “No. Within the relevant bandwidths (eg near 15 um), there is almost exactly as much IR returning to the surface as leaving. The surface will be slightly warmer than the air, so there will be a slight imblance of energy from surface to the atmosphere.”

    While you start with the word “no” you proceed to agree with my statement. In any case, your agreement does fall short. Why? Atmospheric CO2 molecules at any given finite time period emit at least as much energy away from the surface (in fact slightly more) than toward the surface at whatever bandwidth CO2 emits!

    You then state:

    “The notion that energy gets conveyed away from the CO2 by collisions with other molecules is not really relevant, because a simular amount of energy is convey TO the CO2 from the surrounding molecules.”

    In fact, your contrarian notion falls short. Why? Energy conveyed to the CO2 (~400ppm) molecules from O2 and N2 (98-99% percent of the atmosphere) proceeds to get emitted away from the Earth to space at a much faster rate, perhaps an order of magnitude more, than O2 and N2 would be capable of since they emit in the much lower energy microwave wavelength! Thanks again for the input and…

    Have a great day!

  80. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    I am not sure you are thinking correctly in your understanding of the 15 micron radiation and temperature. You are probably working backwards (as indicated by Tim Folkerts) in your understanding. The -23 C for temperature would give a 15 micron peak radiation wavelength emitted by a blackbody but in no way would give you any idea how hot a 15 micron radiation beam could heat a target. For empirical evidence that your thinking is not correct, consider the microwave oven. It uses microwave energy as the source. A Blackbody that was emitting microwave energy as its peak would be very very cold indeed. But a microwave beam of high intensity can boil water!

    You need to think that radiation is real energy. It has so many joules of energy in it. If absorbed the energy will either do work (moving electrons around) or be converted into heat (randomized energy). If you have hundreds do watts of 15 micron energy hitting a surface, this energy will heat the surface. I think a lot of blogs have radiation physics so scrambles and mixed up it has reached a high state of entropy!

    About your point that CO2 will radiate away heat from O2 or N2 by collisions, the empirical evidence of the outgoing radiation does not support your hypothesis. Collisions may do what you say but they are not determining the radiation is moving away into space (could just as easily be returning to the surface). Excited CO2 may just as well add this energy to O2 and N2. It would be a very complex interaction but the outgoing radiation shows it is not doing as you claim. If so there would more radiation leaving the syatem at the 15 micron band.

    Do you know of carbon dioxide lasers? They can weld and cut metal. Why? It is the intensity of the radiation beam that determines what heat a target will raise to. Does this make sense to you?

    Have a good day!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thank you for the reply, but I still cannot fully buy your statement.

      “The -23 C for temperature would give a 15 micron peak radiation wavelength emitted by a blackbody but in no way would give you any idea how hot a 15 micron radiation beam could heat a target.”

      As I mentioned, if JPl thermal imaging satellites prove correct then the temperature at which CO2 begins emitting in the 15 micron range fall below -123 deg C. Moreover, I don’t claim to know the temperature of an object simply by the frequency of any given band of radiation emitting from it. In fact, I made the opposite claim. You can re-read my post. However, we can determine the minimum temperature needed for an object to emit at a given bandwidth. If in the case of CO2 at the 15 micron bandwidth that proves to be -123 deg C then it will be 123 deg C and above. You go on:

      “For empirical evidence that your thinking is not correct, consider the microwave oven. It uses microwave energy as the source. A Blackbody that was emitting microwave energy as its peak would be very very cold indeed. But a microwave beam of high intensity can boil water!”

      Actually, Doug, Joel and myself discussed this before. Microwaves and RF heat via the dielectric effect and with microwaves a dipole effect as well. The effect occurs at specific wavelength intervals above and/or below which the effect doesn’t occur. So in fact the effect depends as much or more on FREQUENCY than intensity. Indeed, microwave ovens require very little energy (intensity) to operate and produce the desired effect of heating primarily water in a given sample. Certainly increasing intensity will increase the amount of radiation and thus heat a greater amount of water, but the energy per quantum remains the same unless frequency increases. However, it remains the case that heating by such methods does not comprise the normal means by which thermal energy gets conveyed via radiation. The dielectric/dipole effect works on certain specific material primarily liquids.

      You further state:

      “You need to think that radiation is real energy.”

      Never claimed it wasn’t. You later state:

      “If absorbed the energy will either do work (moving electrons around) or be converted into heat (randomized energy).”

      Moving electrons around at larger orbits and emitting more energy usually gets defined as heat. However, we often define work by the amount of change and/or motion applied to matter. You then state:

      “If you have hundreds do watts of 15 micron energy hitting a surface, this energy will heat the surface. I think a lot of blogs have radiation physics so scrambles and mixed up it has reached a high state of entropy!”

      The hundred watts of 15 micron wavelength energy will only heat the surface if the same surface only emits at a wavelengths less than 15 microns. Remember the bath tub analogy with water coming in the tub via a faucet and leaving via the drain. Well, if a molecule has 15 micron radiation coming in but emits say 7 micron radiation (or approximately more than twice the energy) that molecule will cool. It may cool at a slower rate but it will still cools. If the object emits at the same 15 micron level no temperature change will take place. It doesn’t matter how many watts of 15 micron radiation impinges the surface, if the surface emits shorter wavelength radiation than it receives it cools because more energy leaves the system than gets absorbed. Btw, I do agree with your comment regarding radiation physics and entropy.

      You continue:

      “About your point that CO2 will radiate away heat from O2 or N2 by collisions, the empirical evidence of the outgoing radiation does not support your hypothesis. Collisions may do what you say but they are not determining the radiation is moving away into space (could just as easily be returning to the surface). Excited CO2 may just as well add this energy to O2 and N2…”

      CO2 can convey energy form O2, N2 or any other molecule and radiate it away. As I mentioned before and Tim agreed, in any finite time period slightly more energy will emit way from the surface than toward it. As to empirical evidence what do you seek? CO2 proves to be one of the few if not only atmospheric gas compounds emitting in the 15 micron range. It emits much less than other molecules at other frequencies because there exists so little CO2 at TOA relative to other atmospheric gasses to emit this radiation. Btw, the Earth’s atmosphere fall to only -57-58 deg C in the troposphere and -90 deg C in the Mesosphere. Which means CO2 should emit just fine in the 15 micron range at TOA.

      “If so there would more radiation leaving the syatem at the 15 micron band.”

      How much to yo expect to be emitted at 400 ppm? More than the radiation emitted by the other 99%+ gas molecules in the atmosphere? Just asking.

      “Do you know of carbon dioxide lasers? They can weld and cut metal. Why? It is the intensity of the radiation beam that determines what heat a target will raise to. Does this make sense to you?”

      Carbon dioxide lasers operate in a higher IR 9.4 and 10.6 micrometers bandwidth.

      Do you know of UV lasers? They can cut and weld metal, destroy drones and aircraft over much greater distances with much less intense energy than the visible spectrum or IR. Does that make sense to you? It does to the military. Ever wondered why the lasers they use aren’t visible to the human eye and can knock out incoming missiles with a operating expenditure of only ~$1 per use?

      Have a great day!

      • JohnKl says:

        Correction, my statement should have read:

        “The hundred watts of 15 micron wavelength energy will only heat the surface if the same surface only emits at a wavelengths MORE than 15 microns.”

        Please excuse my mistake and have a great day!

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        John says: “However, we can determine the minimum temperature needed for an object to emit at a given bandwidth. “
        There is no “minimum temperature” — the radiation simply gets less intense as the temperature drops. There is not sharp cut-off like (-123 C can radiate @ 15 um, but -124 cannot”. The intensity might drop 10% or 20%, but it still exists (at least in principle).

        On the other hand, there is a MAXIMUM intensity of thermal radiation that can be emitted. It is calculated with Plank’s Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck%27s_law). Those curves on the MORDANT calculations labeled with temperatures — those are the maximum (ie black body) intensities at each wavelength for thermal radiation.

        “The hundred watts of 15 micron wavelength energy will only heat the surface if the same surface only emits at a wavelengths less than 15 microns. … If the object emits at the same 15 micron level no temperature change will take place. “
        Not quite. You seem to be conflating ideas about THERMAL radiation with ideas about radiation in general.

        If you have THERMAL IR photons from an object @ some temperature, then these thermal photons (by themselves) cannot warm an object above the temperature of the emitting body. For NON-thermal sources (like a laser of microwave oven), the intensity at a given wavelength can be much greater than the intensity of typical thermal radiation and hence can warm an object way above the temperature of he surroundings.

        It is not the frequency/wavelength of microwave ovens or IR lasers or UV lasers that determines how warm they can make an object, it is indeed the intensity that matters (and of course how well the target can absorb that wavelength of light).

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Tim Folkerts,

          Thanks for a thoughtful reply. You state:

          “There is no “minimum temperature” — the radiation simply gets less intense as the temperature drops. There is not sharp cut-off like (-123 C can radiate @ 15 um, but -124 cannot”. The intensity might drop 10% or 20%, but it still exists (at least in principle).”

          What principle do you mean? I’m aware that any object above absolute zero will emit radiation. However, the radiation frequency depends on temperature, a fact for which I’m very grateful. The objects in the room I’m sitting in do not emit in the visible spectrum (with the exception of my laptop & television screen, lightbulbs and machine lights when operatiing. However, given a high enough temperature they will. My metal filing cabinet would very likely glow at 1000-1200+ dec C. As to CO2 I quite agree that it will probably emit 15 um radiation at even colder temperatures than -124 deg C for the reason I stated earlier that the Martian polar surface dips down to -123 deg C and the upper atmosphere above it is likely much colder than that. The CO2 in the upper atmosphere above the Martian polar surface emits quite readily at 15 um. Nevertheless, there should likely be some low temperature at which CO2 emission at 15 um becomes undetectable. If you’re aware of significant Gamma ray emitters in your residence you may want to have them removed.

          You go on:

          “Not quite. You seem to be conflating ideas about THERMAL radiation with ideas about radiation in general.”

          Well, all radiation has the ability to transfer energy including thermal energy to an object. In my opinion, it can only normally increase an object’s temperature if the radiative frequency of incoming radiation exceeds the emission frequency of the object, thus producing a net energy gain to the receiving object. However, as you mentioned elsewhere the situation changes with certain RF or Microwave frequencies to the dielectric and or dipole effect. You stated:

          “For NON-thermal sources (like a laser of microwave oven), the intensity at a given wavelength can be much greater than the intensity of typical thermal radiation and hence can warm an object way above the temperature of he surroundings.”

          I’m not quite sure what you mean by non-thermal sources. Lasers operate at very high temperatures. As to microwaves the intensity does not prove as important as the FREQUENCY, in fact microwave ovens operate at very low energy levels. The energy required to boil a cup of water in a microwave proves a small fraction of the energy required to boil it on a stove top or by other means. The dipole effect proves frequency specific. Certain microwave frequencies resonate/excite the orbital electrons in a liquid more than other frequencies including many higher frequencies at a given level of intensity. This link provides additional information:

          http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/microwave_water.html

          You further state:

          “It is not the frequency/wavelength of microwave ovens or IR lasers or UV lasers that determines how warm they can make an object, it is indeed the intensity that matters (and of course how well the target can absorb that wavelength of light).”

          As seen above, this statement appears quasi-false if not contradictory. Reread your statement. At first you claim frequency/wavelength doesn’t determine temperature then you claim it does. It seems confused. However, you needn’t be because Max Planck claimed the temperature of an emitting object determined FREQUENCY not intensity in contradiction to James C Maxwell who apparently believed both frequency and intensity had to be involved. While I agree with many that James C Maxwell likely proves 2nd only to Isaac Newton as to achievement in Physics, I believe him to be wrong on this point and Max Planck proved correct. However, if you have further info please provide it and…

          Have a great day!

  81. Tim Folkerts says:

    John, It seems we agree on much, but often state those ideas in different ways. Or we emphasis different aspects. Much of this would be easier with a face-to-face discussion where we could clarify points as we went along.

    For example

    YOU> Satellite measurements of the CO2 15 micron bandwidth proves very slight (likely because there exists so little CO2 emitting in that range) but it exists.
    ME> If there was too little IR to emit IR in the 15 um band, there would necessarily also be too little to block the IR from the ground.

    My point is that it is not a lack of CO2, but a lack of energetic CO2. It sounded like you were saying there was simply too little CO2 to produce strong 15 um IR. If you meant too little of the CO2 there is vibrating strongly enough to produce 15 um IR, then I agree.

    OR …

    YOU> So the actual energy returned to the surface proves to be only a fraction of the energy emitted from the surface within the relevant bandwidths.”
    ME> Within the relevant bandwidths (eg near 15 um), there is almost exactly as much IR returning to the surface as leaving.
    YOU> While you start with the word “no” you proceed to agree with my statement.

    I suppose I agree with your statement if “a fraction” includes 99/100 — but that is rarely what people mean by ‘a fraction’. Within the bands that CO2 (or H2O) absorb, the ratio of downward (returned) IR to the upward IR is only slightly less than 1 (I would guess 95% – 99%). Only in the “atmospheric window is the ratio far from 1. Try MODTRAN @ 0 km looking up and down to get a good estimate. http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/modtran.html

    Finally …

    ME> The notion that energy gets conveyed away from the CO2 by collisions with other molecules is not really relevant, because a simular amount of energy is convey TO the CO2 from the surrounding molecules.
    YOU> In fact, your contrarian notion falls short. Why? Energy conveyed to the CO2 (~400ppm) molecules from O2 and N2 (98-99% percent of the atmosphere) proceeds to get emitted away from the Earth to space at a much faster rate, perhaps an order of magnitude more, than O2 and N2 would be capable of since they emit in the much lower energy microwave wavelength!

    I think you are missing the big picture. Your rebuttal is addressing a new issue. (Or again, we may have different ‘big pictures’ that we are focused on.)

    BIG PICTURE #1. We were looking at exchanges from surface atmosphere. If MODTRAN is to be believed, the downward IR in the CO2 bands pretty much exactly matches the upward IR from the surface — about 100 W/m^2 of IR in the 15 um band. Your statement seems to imply something like “100 W/m^2 from the surface gets absorbed by CO2, but the CO2 loses much of that to collisions with nearby molecules, so much less (maybe 20 W/m^2 = 1/5 = ‘a fraction’) is available to shine down to the surface”. If that is what you meant, then I disagree for the reasons I stated the first time. If that is NOT what you meant, then I misunderstood you.

    EVEN BIGGER PICTURE #2. I agree that N2 can’t emit significant IR. It can only cool by conduction with other molecules. N2 can cool by transferring heat to CO2, which radiates the energy away, or it can cool by transferring energy to the surface, which then radiations the energy away.

    The surface by itself (with no CO2 in the atmosphere) will cool the atmosphere BETTER than the surface + CO2. Hence CO2 has a net warming effect.

    Ranking these by how well they cool N2 near the surface:
    TINY: N2 straight to space
    MUCH FASTER: N2 –> CO2 –> space
    EVEN FASTER YET: N2 –> ground –> space

    • JohKl says:

      Hi Tim Folkerts,

      You state:

      “If there was too little IR to emit IR in the 15 um band, there would necessarily also be too little to block the IR from the ground.”

      “My point is that it is not a lack of CO2, but a lack of energetic CO2. It sounded like you were saying there was simply too little CO2 to produce strong 15 um IR. If you meant too little of the CO2 there is vibrating strongly enough to produce 15 um IR, then I agree.”

      Personally, I believe that CO2 emits in the 15 um bandwidth pretty much everywhere the temperature exceeds approximately -123 deg C, based on evidence I presented elsewhere especially in regards to the upper atmosphere of Mars and JPL thermal imaging satellites. However, like you I seriously doubt CO2 emits as STRONGLY in the upper atmosphere as it does near the surface having much of it’s energy lost en-route from the surface to the upper atmosphere via radiation and convection.

      You further state:

      “I suppose I agree with your statement if “a fraction” includes 99/100 — but that is rarely what people mean by ‘a fraction’. Within the bands that CO2 (or H2O) absorb, the ratio of downward (returned) IR to the upward IR is only slightly less than 1 (I would guess 95% – 99%). Only in the “atmospheric window is the ratio far from 1. Try MODTRAN @ 0 km looking up and down to get a good estimate.”

      Tim, If the ratio of downward (returned) IR to the upward IR is only slightly less than 1 (meaning for every 1 radiative quantum returned to the surface slightly more than 1 similar radiative quantum moves away from the surface) then the fraction of energy returned to the surface would be >50/100 or less than half!!! Why? Well, because all 15 um radiation emitted by the surface gets absorbed by atmospheric CO2. It seems I must disagree with you on this one. If you need evidence examine your own MODTRAN graph it shows outgoing 15 micron intensity at the lowest point falls around .15 w/m^2 cm-1 while the presumed total if no bite occurred falls around .3-.4. Thank you for the link, though.

      You later state:

      “Your statement seems to imply something like “100 W/m^2 from the surface gets absorbed by CO2, but the CO2 loses much of that to collisions with nearby molecules, so much less (maybe 20 W/m^2 = 1/5 = ‘a fraction’) is available to shine down to the surface”. If that is what you meant, then I disagree for the reasons I stated the first time. If that is NOT what you meant, then I misunderstood you.”

      Frankly, I don’t want to speculate as to how many watts per meter squared exactly return to the surface. At this point, to logically follow what I’ve stated before I will only claim that IF in fact atmospheric CO2 absorbs 100 w/m^2 of radiation from the surface then something less than half or >50 w/m^2 gets returned (re-radiated) by atmospheric CO2 back to the surface. My claim has the added advantage of being supported by the emission graph your MODTRAN link provides. You should re-examine it carefully.

      You then state:

      “EVEN BIGGER PICTURE #2. I agree that N2 can’t emit significant IR. It can only cool by conduction with other molecules. N2 can cool by transferring heat to CO2, which radiates the energy away, or it can cool by transferring energy to the surface, which then radiations the energy away.”

      “The surface by itself (with no CO2 in the atmosphere) will cool the atmosphere BETTER than the surface + CO2. Hence CO2 has a net warming effect.”

      We definitely agree that CO2, H2O and other tri-atomic atmospheric gas compounds help diatomic atmospheric compounds like N2 and O2 radiate away their thermal energy more efficiently. In addition, we agree that from a SURFACE stand point emitted IR leaves the planet faster if not re-directed by tri-atomic atmospheric gas compounds back to the surface. However, in my opinion it doesn’t follow that CO2 has a net warming effect for several reasons. Allow me to address a few.

      CO2 and H2O are basic earth material, both emitted by volcanic action. Even if no CO2 existed (a complete fantasy) atmospheric water vapor would re-direct close to half the IR it absorbs back to the surface as it does with or without CO2. However, as I’ve mentioned before H2O cools not only the surface but the atmosphere as well. Please re-read my previous posts above. H2O has a very real COOLING advantage by being lighter than air and having the ability to condense. CO2 while heavier than air does not condense out of the atmosphere allowing it to accumulate throughout the atmosphere to very high altitudes. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere H2O has the ability to act as a kind of Stoner gas expansion system. It actually reminds me of an AR-15 rifle or perhaps to a greater extent like a gas piston system. The Stoner system removes directs hot gasses throughout the inside of the receiver and by doing so spreading out the thermal energy. Even better to an extent a gas piston system vents it away to the open atmosphere, but this causes heating and fouling of the piston ventilation system. Water vapor in the atmosphere removes thermal energy from the surface raising it to higher levels of the troposphere and beyond preventing intense accumulation at the surface and as it rises and cools absorbing and emitting energy it conveys from other gas molecules like (you guessed it) O2, N2, CO2, etc. to higher atmospheric altitudes and away from the surface. In addition, of course atmospherically suspended frozen water chrystals clouds help reflect away direct sunlight further cooling the surface.

      If H2O did not exist the ability of CO2 to direct radiation back to the surface while helping the atmosphere radiate more effectively would likely effect the lapse rate and have a greater tendency to maintain surface temperature and slow cooling. However, H2O overturns these simple calculations driving thermal energy upward and away from the surface and distributing it throughout the troposphere and beyond. It seems more than likely additional CO2 along with water vapor not only helps radiate away N2 and O2 thermal energy but with the addition of water vapor in the process spread thermal energy more evenly throughout the troposphere and away from the surface. The RSS data proves considerable outgassing of CO2 and H2O from even minute temperature changes. In my opinion, the overall effect of GHG’s seems to help the surface COOL!

      Thanks and have a great day!

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “However, like you I seriously doubt CO2 emits as STRONGLY in the upper atmosphere as it does near the surface having much of it’s energy lost en-route from the surface to the upper atmosphere via radiation and convection. “
        Its even simpler than that. Colder CO2 emits less than warmer CO2 (assuming both are ‘optically thick’).

        “your own MODTRAN graph it shows outgoing 15 micron intensity at the lowest point falls around .15 w/m^2 cm-1 while the presumed total if no bite occurred falls around .3-.4. “
        I think this is another case where we are perhaps discussing slightly different issues. There is a difference between discussing the WHOLE atmosphere and discussing a LAYER NEAR THE SURFACE.

        Imagine dividing the atmosphere in to 100 m thick layers. The CO2 in the first layer absorbs all the 15 um from the surface. It also absorbs all the 15 um IR from the CO2 in the NEXT layer up. This gives it enough energy to radiate both up and down. Since the upper layer will be cooler than the surface (lapse rate and all that), the radiation will be a bit less from above. Perhaps gaining 0.3 up from the ground and 0.29 down from layer 2 (using the units you uses from MODTRAN). Then layer 1 can radiate 0.295 up and 0.295 down. This continues up through the atmosphere, with each layer radiating less up and down until we reach the top layer radiates 0.15 to space.

        So, I was focused on the layers, where each layer radiates NEARLY as much down as up. But the net effect of all the layers is that much less is radiated to space from the top layer than is radiated to the surface from the bottom layer (which seems to be your point).

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

        Let me address the rest of your points with an analogy. Consider a 2 liter plastic bottle with a small hole at the bottom. If you run water steadily into the bottle from a faucet, the water level will rise until the pressure builds up and inflow = outflow. Now put a bucket under the bottle — also with small holes at the bottom. The water level in the bucket will start to rise until its inflow = outflow. As a result the water will ‘back up’ and the bottle will fill higher than before. no matter how you stir the water in the bucket; not matter how big the holes in the bucket — the ONLY effect it can have is to RAISE the water in the bottle. With HUGE holes in the bucket, the water in the bottle will be AT LEAST as high as before.

        Bottle = earth’s surface
        inflow = sunlight
        outflow = IR
        Bucket = atmosphere
        water pressure (depth) = temperature

        The analogy is not perfect (and can be made more accurate by making it much more complicated), but it basic idea holds. The atmosphere *restricts* the IR leaving the surface and provides some ‘back-pressure’ that can ONLY raise the surface temperature.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Tim Folkerts,

          Thank you for a reasoned retort, but it still lacks coherence. Why? You state:

          “Imagine dividing the atmosphere in to 100 m thick layers. The CO2 in the first layer absorbs all the 15 um from the surface. It also absorbs all the 15 um IR from the CO2 in the NEXT layer up. This gives it enough energy to radiate both up and down. Since the upper layer will be cooler than the surface (lapse rate and all that), the radiation will be a bit less from above. Perhaps gaining 0.3 up from the ground and 0.29 down from layer 2 (using the units you uses from MODTRAN). Then layer 1 can radiate 0.295 up and 0.295 down. This continues up through the atmosphere, with each layer radiating less up and down until we reach the top layer radiates 0.15 to space.”

          “So, I was focused on the layers, where each layer radiates NEARLY as much down as up. But the net effect of all the layers is that much less is radiated to space from the top layer than is radiated to the surface from the bottom layer (which seems to be your point).”

          Thank you for making your reasoning very clear if not crystal clear. However, some problems arise. It should be noted that while the lapse rate does involve cooling upon ascent in the Troposphere this process reverses in the Stratosphere. In addition, TOA does not have the same elevation for all atmospheric gas compounds and this fact proves critical. Water vapor decreases as one ascends the Troposphere apparently largely disappearing somewhere in the Stratosphere, although Stratospheric clouds do exist. As I mentioned before massive plumes of water vapor ascend up through the Troposphere rapidly radiating away their energy and conveying energy away from warmer gasses that do not radiate as fast like O2, N2 and CO2 among others. This all gets irradiated away by water vapor at it’s TOA near the Tropopause and/or Stratosphere. CO2 at this point has much less thermal energy to radiate away. CO2 at higher elevations in the Stratosphere picks up additional thermal energy not so much from the surface as the O3 (ozone) molecules present in the Stratosphere that warm this region. The atmosphere cools again in the Mesosphere, then at the Mesopause (80 km region) relative CO2 concentrations begins to dwindle into the lower Thermosphere. Colder Stratospheric temperatures (which has been recorded) can reduce the thermal energy of gas molecules in the region and their IR signature and this may happen for a several reasons including increasing CO2 that more rapidly emits IR to rising quantities of CO2 molecules and to space and in addition it may cool due to lower O3 levels and or residence time in the Stratosphere due to potentially rising amounts of ozone consuming particulates.

          “The atmosphere *restricts* the IR leaving the surface and provides some ‘back-pressure’ that can ONLY raise the surface temperature.”

          It only does so by more rapidly conveying and radiating energy from the atmosphere (cooling) and in the case of water vapor additionally conveying thermal surface energy and atmospheric energy and radiating it away at low atmospheric levels, through clouds blocking additional visible spectrum radiation from reaching the surface and due to liquid H20’s clear transparent nature to visible light a greater ability to spread thermal energy among many more water molecules and prevent thermal loading and accumulation (cooling).

          Have a great day!

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            John, I agree with most of your basic facts. However, I still think you are missing one key idea.

            As I mentioned before massive plumes of water vapor ascend up through the Troposphere rapidly radiating away their energy …
            If we could magically remove the ability of the water vapor (and CO2 & other GHGs) to absorb/emit radiation, the radiation to space from those areas would INCREASE. The water vapor may be radiating rapidly compared to surrounding molecules, but it is radiating slowly compared to the ground. This increased radiation would cool the surface until it fell to that proverbial 255 K average.

            Or to try to state it another way, the only reason the ascending water vapor is so warm to begin with is because the ‘back radiation’ from GHGs already helped warm the surface (and lower atmosphere) way above 255 K.