Suggested Backyard Experiment to Measure the Greenhouse Effect of More Carbon Dioxide

August 14th, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

In my continuing battle to keep people from being led astray by bad science, I sometimes try to think of new ways to demonstrate the existence of the Earth’s so-called greenhouse effect (GHE).

I won’t bore you with all of the many evidences I’ve already offered over the years, but instead get right to the experimental setup, which involves putting pure carbon dioxide in one tube, air in a second, identical tube, and measure how much the temperature at the bottom of the tubes cools down during a clear night. I believe that, despite the small path length of CO2, it might be possible to measure a reduction of cooling the the CO2-filled tube versus and identical tube containing air.

I would prefer to have a setup like this where the additional, incremental effect of more CO2 on the atmosphere “partially blocking the view of cold outer space” on an actual near-surface air temperature is measured. More of a real-world demonstration. It would be easier to measure how CO2 (or, say, water vapor) blocks the IR emission from a hot target in a laboratory, but that has already been measured thousands of times, to very high precision at many wavelengths and for many gases.

The widespread claim on the web that a temperature warming effect of CO2 can be measured with CO2 in a jar is totally bogus, and Anthony Watts demonstrated how Bill Nye erred in trying to demonstrate such a thing. You have to (1) have long path lengths, and (2) the CO2 must be “partially blocking” the view that a warm object has of the radiatively “cold” sky. It can’t be done inside.

The trouble with actually measuring a temperature effect from the GHE is that the broadband IR effect (over all wavelengths, not just near absorption lines) of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere really only shows up over long path lengths, so that there is appreciable amounts of greenhouse gas. These long path lengths, combined with the vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere, are necessary for the effect to become appreciable. (Right on CO2 absorption lines, the effect can be large over very short path lengths, but these very narrow bands affect only a tiny fraction of the total IR energy being transferred).

Further complicating any simple experimental setup is that the atmosphere is already pretty opaque to IR radiative transfer, making the practical measurement of a temperature change from adding a little more absorbing gas pretty difficult.

If we were to condense all 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere down to the surface, it would fill a column about 4 meters deep. So, if we could fill a 4 ft tall concrete form tube with pure CO2, I calculate that would be about 120 ppm equivalent increase, or 30% increase, in CO2 compared to the total atmosphere.

Greenhouse-effect-experiment-CO2-tube

The question is, would this be enough additional CO2 to change the radiative budget in the tube enough to measurably reduce the nighttime cooling at the bottom of the tube? It might be.

Of course, one could make the tube taller, and so increase the CO2 path length, but the problem is that the bottom of the tube can only see a small portion of the sky (through the top of the tube) to radiatively cool. Thats why the tubes should be lined on the inside with highly IR-reflective aluminum foil, which has IR reflectivity of 0.95-0.97. This will help the high-emissivity bottom of the tube see more of the cold sky, although multiple reflections off the walls might be required.

How might one fill the tube with CO2? Other than purchasing a cylinder and getting it filled from a supplier, one easy way might be to put a block of dry ice (solid CO2) in the bottom and just wait for it to sublimate. The cold gas will also tend to settle in the bottom, and push air out the top, maybe through a pinhole in the highly transparent (>0.9 transparency) plastic wrap cover. I calculate one 1 ft x 4 ft tube has about 0.1 cubic meter volume, which would require about 0.5 lb of dry ice to fill with CO2.

One issue is that CO2 has somewhat less thermal conductivity than air. But if you look up the numbers, you will find that the thermal conductivies involved are so tiny that they can be ignored in the energy budget of the air in the tubes. Air and CO2 are extremely poor conductors of heat.

I probably won’t attempt this till fall or winter, when air mass humidity goes down. From monitoring the Goodwin, MS SURFRAD site, I’ve noticed that the difference between upwelling IR and downwelling IR increases from only about 40 W/m2 in the summer to over 80 W/m2 on cold dry days in the winter:

Goodwin-Creek-MS-time-series-1-11-2016

One would need as big a cooling potential as possible so see the effect of adding CO2 in the tube, and that difference between upwelling IR and downwelling IR is what is important for the experiment to work. When that difference approaches zero, say with dense low cloud cover, there will be no radiatively-induced temperature change anyway.

Good insulation is absolutely necessary so that the effect of the surrounding air temperature has minimal impact on the results and the differences in tube interior temperatures will be dominated by IR radiation transfer. Insulation results in a temperature drop below ambient temperature. I have blogged previously about producing 4 deg. F temperature drops below ambient in a Styrofoam box covered with plastic wrap, and have since achieved up to 8 deg. F drop in a standard Styrofoam cooler. The effect shows up strongly within an hour or so of sunset.

The experiment would probably need to be repeated with the tubes swapped since they cannot be constructed exactly the same.

Suggestions are welcome. I’m only going to attempt things that are easy, cheap, and not time consuming.

Finally, no matter how accurately the temperature effect is that is measured (if any) it can’t be used to quantitatively estimate the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere. There are too many differences between the experiment and what happens when the extra CO2 is spread out through the full depth of the atmosphere, AND the atmosphere has a chance to respond through changes in clouds, evaporation, precipitation, etc. The simple experiment is meant to simply demonstrate that the GHE exists…that is, that atmospheric greenhouse gases cause a warming tendency of surface temperatures.

(Edited for clarity).


495 Responses to “Suggested Backyard Experiment to Measure the Greenhouse Effect of More Carbon Dioxide”

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  1. Skeptikal says:

    Your experiment would still have to radiate through the atmosphere, which already has enough CO2 to be considered saturated. Wouldn’t it be better to do the experiment horizontally?… use tubes with insulated boxes connected at both ends, ‘cold boxes’ at one end to simulate the cold of space (using small steel plates cooled by blocks of ice) and ‘hot boxes’ at the other end (with steel plates pre-heated in an oven). You’d need to insulate the entire setup very well, but I think you’d get better results.

    • yes, I agree you would get a better result, if the experiment was carefully designed. But, as I mentioned, I wanted something that is as close to real-world atmospheric greenhouse effect results as possible. Some people would just claim that your setup doesn’t translate to how the real atmosphere works…I know it does, but the folks I’m talking about are impervious to evidence.

      • Skeptikal says:

        I think that the CO2 in the atmosphere will choke your experiment, but I’d still be interested in seeing the results.

        With the CO2, you can easily generate your own by mixing sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with vinegar. It’s inexpensive and anyone who wants to do your experiment but can’t source any dry ice can make their own CO2 this way.

      • JDAM says:

        I’d like to see the experiment performed in a vacuum chamber using IR transparent vessels. One filled with CO2 the other dry nitrogen heated to the same temperature. I think Mr Nye would be very disappointed in the result.

        The temperatures would have to be measured using thermistor also the thermal inertia of the vessels may skew the results somewhat.

    • David Appell says:

      Skeptikal says:
      “Your experiment would still have to radiate through the atmosphere, which already has enough CO2 to be considered saturated.”

      The atmosphere is NOT saturated, because the atmosphere itself also radiates IR.

      On Earth, CO2 is far from being saturated. It isn’t even saturated on Venus. See the sidebar in:

      Pierrehumbert RT 2011: Infrared radiation and planetary temperature. Physics Today 64, 33-38
      http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

      • Erik Magnuson says:

        Depends on what you mean by “saturated”. In ferromagnetic materials, saturation is considered to be where the slope of the B-H curve becomes significantly flatter. More H will give more B, but the increase is much less than at low values of H. Do note that coercivity is being ignored in this argument.

        At very low concentrations of CO2, the GHE is linearly proportional to the CO2 concentrations. A levels present in the current atmosphere, the GHE is roughly proportional to the logarithm of the CO2 concentration, which is a form of saturation.

        • David Appell says:

          I think the meaning of “saturated” is pretty clear w.r.t. CO2.

          And the Earth’s atmosphere isn’t anywhere near saturation.

          • mpainter says:

            See David rewrite the science of GHE. Saturation, so inconvenient a notion. Begone, inconvenient notion!

          • mpainter says:

            Saturation = opacity

            Let’s see you deny opacity, David.

          • JDAM says:

            The Earths atmosphere isnt anywhere near saturation”? Even in 1896 Arrhenius understood that CO2 forcing is logarithmic
            Doubling CO2 will only increase its effects 11%.
            In fact it would take 80,000 ppm to double CO2s greenhouse effect.

            20 ppm 16.03 w/m2
            200 ppm 28.35 w/m2
            280 ppm 30.15 w/m2
            400 ppm 32.05 w/m2
            560 ppm 33.85 w/m2
            800 ppm 35.76 w/m2
            80,000 ppm 60.40 m/m2

            Arrhenius’s equation for CO2 forcing is still used today.
            F=5.35 ln(C/C0)
            Where:
            C0 = Is the reference level in ppm
            C = Is the new level in ppm
            F = Radiative forcing at the tropopause in watt per meter square (w/m2).Ln = Is the natural logarithmic function
            5.35 = Constant determined by Myhre el at 1998

            Source Myhre et al.: Radiative Forcing Due To Well Mixed Greenhouse Gases

          • Bill Hunter says:

            hmmmmm, seems pretty simple. So how does Arrhenius hold up in calculating the surface temperatures of Venus and Mars?

  2. Mike M. says:

    Roy,

    I think the dry ice method of filling with CO2 should work. I have used something similar to produce a flow of CO2 (dry ice in a plastic bottle with a tube fitted to a small hole in the cap). It worked well.

    I think you will have a problem with thermal convection. The two tubes should have the same temperature at the top and it seems you are looking for a few degrees difference at the bottom. That would be a gradient of several degrees per meter in the CO2 tube. I expect that would produce convection in any tube with a diameter of more than a few cm.

    • during radiative cooling at night, the bottom surface gets the coldest, which chills the air in contact with it. This creates a stable air layer, which will probably not mix very much. But the resulting problem you mention will still be the there, if not worse…a potentially large vertical temperature gradient…so, the temperatures will need to be monitored at exactly the same height in the 2 tubes…I prefer just above the bottom surface. I only have a 3-probe data logger, so I have one per tube, plus one for outside (ambient) temperature.

  3. Pete Gibbons says:

    30 years ago I took my daughter to the Oregon museum of science and industry. There was a display with three large sealed terrariums. All with the same plant life. The difference was CO2 levels. Average, and above and below average. Moisture etc.was the same. As you might expect the more CO2 the more luxurious the growth. This was before global warming became trendy. Not related to greenhouse effect, but interesting as an actual greenhouse. This display was ironic considering the subsequent vilification of CO2.

    • I’ll bet they don’t have that display there anymore.

      • Pete Gibbons says:

        Correct as usual.

        • David Appell says:

          Higher CO2 tends to inhibit the ability of plants to make protein And this explains why food quality seems to have been declining and will continue to decline as CO2 rises because of this inhibition of nitrate conversion into protein. Its going to be fairly universal that well be struggling with trying to sustain food quality and its not just protein its also micronutrients such as zinc and iron that suffer as well as protein.
          – University of California at Davis Professor Arnold J. Bloom, on Yale Climate Connections 10/7/14
          http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2014/10/crop-nutrition/2014

          • mpainter says:

            Wheat protein varies according to grain variety. Semolina is wheat protein middling, the rejects of the flour mills. That’s your pasta products.Gluten is the desired protein for bread making, and this varies also. Too much gluten makes for an undesirable crumb, as does too little gluten. Bread flour is blended to achieve the desired gluten level.

            Low protein soft wheat is the wheat of cakes, cookies,pastry, etc. Low protein gives the desired crumb in these products.

            The horsegrunt that David peddles above can be ignored.

          • David Appell says:

            Painter, are you pretending you know more than this expert professor from UC Davis?

            Not convincing.

            You look like a fool for even trying.

          • mpainter says:

            Pissed, are you David? Tsk, Tsk. Your UCal plant guru does not seem so smart to me. I have not noticed any decline in the quality of food. My toast tastes the same. Perhaps your professor of vegetables should consult some cuisinary experts for their views. Has the crumb on pastries deteriorated? I hope not. Let’s ask the pastry chefs.

          • Pete Gibbons says:

            The article cited was qualitative and does not indicate if it is in reference to pounds of protein per ton or per acre. If the former, then the later case could still produce more protein with accelerated growth patterns.

    • JDAM says:

      The pot growers in Colorado are well aware of this phenomenon.

    • David Appell says:

      1. People aren’t plants.

      2. The value of plants, to humans, depends on more than CO2. It depends on the right temperature ranges and precipitation ranges. These latter two are changed by the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. (Weeds are also plants, don’t forget.)

      For wheat, maize and barley, there is a clearly negative response of global yields to increased temperatures. Based on these sensitivities and observed climate trends, we estimate that warming since 1981 has resulted in annual combined losses of these three crops representing roughly 40 Mt or $5 billion per year, as of 2002.
      — Global scale climatecrop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming,” David B Lobell and Christopher B Field 2007 Environ. Res. Lett. 2 014002 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/2/1/014002
      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/1/014002

      • mpainter says:

        More horsegrunt, see above.

        • Danthemason says:

          By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%, the report predicted. But last year, even a record level of atmospheric CO2 did not keep farmers from reaping record-breaking harvests worldwide, including a record opium crop in Afghanistan.

          The monthly CO2 average in November 2014 was 397.13 parts per million as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which maintains the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

          The level of atmospheric CO2 was 315.97 ppm in 1959, when it was first measured, and is now about 40 percent higher than it was during the pre-industrial era.

          (NOAA)
          However, according to a report also released in November by the U.N.s Food and Agriculture Organization, world cereal production in 2014 is forecast at a new record of 2,532 million tonnes 7 million tonnes (0.3 percent) above last years peak. That includes a record level of wheat production worldwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

      • Felix Schweizer says:

        This 2007 study correlated average global yield data from 1960 until 2002 and CRU climate variables. Model grid size was 0.5 degrees (= 55.5 km at the equator). Management influence on yearly crop yield changes was ruled out resp. neglected.
        The authors said: Our estimates of climate impacts can therefore be viewed as an upper bound on the impacts of recent trends, and That roughly half to two-thirds of global yield variance was unexplained by these models reflects the importance of variables omitted from this analysis. These are likely to include regional variations in growing seasons and climate responses, variations in climate statistics other than growing season averages, and changes in economic and other conditions that influence crop management.

        One does not build a credible argument on this kind of statistical endeavor.

        By the way: This year is assumed to become one of the 4 best grain years ever; the other 3 were the last 3 years, when we allegedly already self-incinerated.

  4. Tim Folkerts says:

    A few quick thoughts:

    1) You could put a sheet of dry ice (or plain ice) above both cylinders to simulate the cold of outer space. This should enhance the effect.

    2) You could put a small heater at the bottom to simulate the incoming solar energy. Again, this should enhance the effect you are looking for.

    3) I suspect that convection will be a killer. If the CO2 in the top of the one cylinder starts to cool by radiation, it will sink and be replaced by warmer CO2. The sinking cool CO2 will cool the bottom of the cylinder. One option would be a series of saran wrap baffles in both tubes (say every 6″ or so) to block convection. Then the gas in the top layer could cool without convection redistributing the energy so easily.

    • the trouble with suggestions 1 & 2 is doing *exactly* the same thing with both tubes….the temperature effect that is being looked for is the result of only 1 or 2 W/m2 difference between the 2 tubes, and I doubt you can make the cold or hot targets the same to that level.

      Regarding #3, i’ve thought about that before… every time you add a plastic wrap baffle, you decrease IR transmission by about another 10%.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        With ice water or dry ice, (1) should be quite doable.

        And I think quite critical! Otherwise the CO2 in the column will simply be radiating to nearby CO2 that is basically at the same temperature. The arrow labeled “Weaker IR Emissions from cold, partly transparent sky” will only be weaker OUTSIDE the CO2 bands.

        Without the cold surface above the tubes, you would want a GHG that absorbs/emits in the “atmospheric window” to see a dramatic effect. Maybe acetylene or ammonia — I don’t know off-hand. Such a gas would have a large impact on the radiation between the bottom of the tube and space, while CO2 would have a minimal impact (affecting only the radiation between the bottom of the tube and the lowest ~100 m of atmosphere.

        Alternatively, forget actual gases and make the ‘atmosphere’ opaque with sheets of paper. This could be just at the top of the tubes, or at several levels within the tubes. To keep things similar, put sheets of saran wrap in the other tube. This might be more analogous to “clouds” than “greenhouse gases” but the principle is the same — making the “atmosphere” more opaque to IR.

        This could also address “I would prefer to have a setup like this where the additional, incremental effect of more CO2 on the atmosphere partially blocking the view of cold outer space on an actual near-surface air temperature is measured“. You could have say 6 separate saran wrap baffles in the columns. Then replace various baffles with paper and see how much warming this causes as a function of the # of paper vs saran wrap baffles. Or only cover HALF of the top with paper.

        • I agree that ice water would be a pretty uniform cold source…but the radiative temperature of a clear sky with low humidity is just as cold as that or colder. So, no, the air in the tube isn’t seeing a layer of air 100 m above…it’s seeing an effective altitude up several miles (depending on season). In my post example (Goodwin Creek, MS on January 11, 2016) the downwelling IR was around 200 W/m2, which is an effective radiating temperature around -20 deg. F.

    • Kristian says:

      Tim Folkerts says, August 14, 2016 at 12:37 PM:

      I suspect that convection will be a killer.

      Exactly. And that is why adding more CO2 to the atmosphere won’t be able to make the surface any warmer. Because it’s powerless in reducing its total heat loss. Convection is king.

      In trying to block convective transfer, you effectively render any experiment such as this useless and without meaning.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Kristin, you are missing a key factor — the size of the experiment. The GHE requires that the gas/cloud/dust that radiates to space be significantly cooler than surface. For a SHORT column like this, convection will prevent the top from getting much cooler than the bottom. If this experiment could be made several km tall (like the real atmosphere) then such baffles would not be needed.

        • Kristian says:

          Tim Folkerts says, August 14, 2016 at 1:55 PM:

          Kristin, you are missing a key factor the size of the experiment.

          Nope. Make the the air column deep and simple radiative effects will be less able to force the surface temp up, because of convection effects being operative (atmospheric circulation). Again, the T_s is determined by the balance between its Q_in and its Q_out.

          The GHE requires that the gas/cloud/dust that radiates to space be significantly cooler than surface. For a SHORT column like this, convection will prevent the top from getting much cooler than the bottom. If this experiment could be made several km tall (like the real atmosphere) then such baffles would not be needed.

          No. That’s specifically the MASSIVE part of the “GHE”, Folkerts. We started talking about this on another thread just recently, remember? But you just disappeared …

          The atmospheric thermal effect requires both MASS and RADIATIVE PROPERTIES. But while it doesn’t matter what fraction of the total mass of the atmosphere happens to be IR active, it very much does matter how much mass the atmosphere holds in total.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “Make the the air column deep and simple radiative effects will be less able to force the surface temp up”

            If we took away a bunch of Venus’ atmosphere, would radiative effects be MORE to force the surface temperature up? Because that is what you are saying here.

          • gbaikie says:

            –Tim Folkerts says:
            August 14, 2016 at 3:30 PM

            Make the the air column deep and simple radiative effects will be less able to force the surface temp up

            If we took away a bunch of Venus atmosphere, would radiative effects be MORE to force the surface temperature up? Because that is what you are saying here.–

            Venus is “96.5% Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 3.5% Nitrogen”
            if remove the nitrogen so it is less than 1 %.
            Or remove couple atms of atmosphere, would this have any radiative effects?

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, August 14, 2016 at 3:30 PM:

            If we took away a bunch of Venus atmosphere, would radiative effects be MORE to force the surface temperature up? Because that is what you are saying here.

            I’m pretty sure you know what I mean. However, I probably could’ve been more precise.

            It’s the atmospheric mass that forces T_s up, once the atmosphere is radiatively active (which it will be from the start anyway). The greater the overall mass, the higher the T_s. Whether the IR-active portion of the atmosphere makes up ~0.5% (like on Earth) or ~97% (like on Venus) doesn’t matter, though. Because of atmospheric circulation.

            IOW, if you took away a bunch of Venus’ atmosphere, the planet’s T_s would go down, even if the IR-active portion of it were still ~97%.

            What I’m saying is, as soon as you make the atmospheric column deep enough so as to enable proper convective circulation, internal radiative effects can no longer affect T_s. Only solar input (albedo, TSI) and atmospheric mass can. However, it doesn’t really matter if this particular column depth happens to be 1, 10 or 60 km. Convective circulation is set in motion way before that.

      • during a clear night there is no radiatively-forced convection in the lower atmosphere. The atmosphere becomes too stable to cause convection. Adding a layer of pure CO2 would reduce the surface cooling slightly, making it somewhat less stable…but it’s not going to cause convection. Micrometeorological observations have routinely shown on a cold clear night, the temperature *increases* with height away from the surface….sometimes by several degrees over just a few feet. This is why frost can form on cold mornings when the 2 meter air temperature is, say, 37 deg. F.

        Doing the experiment at night isolates the radiative effect, avoids the complication of solar heating, and avoids the problem of inhibiting convection with the plastic film cover over the tube. But whatever the radiative effects of more CO2 are at night, they operate 24 hrs a day. IR flows are occurring continuously.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “Micrometeorological observations have routinely shown on a cold clear night, the temperature *increases* with height away from the surface.sometimes by several degrees over just a few feet. This is why frost can form on cold mornings when the 2 meter air temperature is, say, 37 deg. F.”

          Wouldn’t this partially mask the effect you are looking for? The bottom of the tube WITHOUT CO2 would see strong 15 um IR radiation from the warm inversion layer. The bottom of the tube WITH CO2 would see weak 15 um IR radiation from the cool CO2 within the tube. The CO2 in the tube is DECREASING the 15 um IR to the bottom, creating a cooling effect!

          • I’m not sure how CO2 would affect the transfer within the tube…but I do know that the CO2 will be between the bottom of the tube, which will be 50 deg F or so warmer than the radiating temperature of the downwelling sky radiation (assuming a dry atmosphere during the cold season). That should reduce the rate of IR transfer from the warm surface to the cold sky, and keep the surface warmer.

            Will it change the vertical temperature gradient within the sealed tube? I don’t know.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            the CO2 will be between the bottom of the tube, which will be 50 deg F or so warmer than the radiating temperature of the downwelling sky radiation

            Not within the CO2 bands! And these are the only bands that matter in this experiment. The downwelling IR at 15 um will be basically the same temperature as the tube.

            –well, that is true over 14-16 microns, which is largely saturated already, which is why adding more CO2 has a small effect, even looking down from top-of-atmosphere. But the edges of the bands that are partly transparent become more opaque. I guess I need to use something like MODTRAN to compute downwelling IR for 1XCO2 and 2XCO2 to see just how big the effect is supposed to be. But you are probably right that I am overestimating the result. -Roy

        • Lewis says:

          I’ve noticed here in the western piedmont of NC that when it gets below about 37, quite often we’ll get frost. I wondered why.

          Thank you.

        • FTOP says:

          This phenomena (ground frost with air temp above freezing) is fascinating, but it seems anathema to the CO2 radiative effect.

          The characteristics of this include:

          1. Temperatures too low to drive convection, so radiative cooling dominates
          2. Surface radiates more efficiently than atmosphere and passes directly through the heat trapping gases without getting caught so the air is warmer instead of cooler than the surface.
          3. Ground is now colder than air but continues to cool more efficiently than the air above

          If the air was trapping heat from the surface and radiating half of it back, how could the ground ever cool below the air?

          Conversely, the air is getting all its LWIR from the ground and sending half back to the surface. How could it ever have more radiative heat than the ground?

          You seem to infer that the lack of convection causes the inversion, but since radiative cooling is dominate in this circumstance isn’t it the failure of GHG gases to trap the heat that allows the surface to cool more quickly?

        • Bill Hunter says:

          As an auditor I have had many misgivings about the GHE affecting climate change. Above you outline one of my major misgivings that namely “surface” temperature is in fact taken a few feet above the surface where you are recognizing it can be several degrees warmer, not due to CO2 but inspite of CO2, where the CO2 is in fact acting as a cooling agent.

          So where in this tube are you measuring temperature?

          • FTOP says:

            It is certainly a “red flag” among the GHE advocate data points, but probably not in first place.

            GHE head scratchers include:

            1. Water and land are treated the same under GHE
            2. Solar input is “constant” and “averaged”
            3. 2 feet above the surface is the surface (your point)
            4. Pressure/mass is meaningless but Mars atmosphere is too thin for GHE
            5. GHE gases warm, but reduce the lapse rate

            Yet, it is settled science.

  5. Alick says:

    Given the nature of a sphere, which the Earth is, any particle in the atmosphere emitting IR is going to emit, over a period of time, in 6 basic directions, 5 of which are toward outer space and one back toward the sphere. Not sure if a IR reflective lined tube is apt, but it’s something.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Actually, (50% – delta) is radiating generally toward the surface, and (50% + delta) is radiating generally toward space. Since the atmosphere is so thin relative to the radius of the earth, there is a SLIGHT imbalance, but nothing close to 5:1.

      • Alick says:

        Well, unless there is something beyond geometry, like maybe magnetic fields, that would cause an non-uniform emission of IR, I disagree with you.

        I wish I could draw you a picture. Take a basketball and a golf ball and hold them some distance apart and think about what I said. There are 6 basic directions IR is emitted from the golf ball, of which only 1 is toward the basketball.

        • Alick says:

          If you remove “toward the basketball” and replace it with, “that will result in a shorter distance to the basketball”, you might get what I am talking about.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Maybe this will help. For any particle within the atmosphere, there is “1 direction” radiating toward space, “1 direction” radiating toward the surface, and “4 directions” radiating toward other parts of the atmosphere.

          Or go up in an airplane and look around. The horizon is just SLIGHTLY below horizontal, meaning nearly half of all directions you could look would be toward the surface.

          If your basketball is representing the earth and the golfball represents a molecule in the atmosphere, then your scale is way off. The atmosphere would be no thicker than a coat of paint on the basketball, not “some distance away”.

      • Tim is exactly right here. A parcel of air emits radiation in all directions, completely covering an imaginary sphere encompassing the parcel (in the business we say “4 pi steradians”). Thinking in terms of up, down, and the 4 compass directions is just a crude start at what really happens…there are actually an infinite number of directions. If you must think in terms of 6 directions, then outgoing IR radiative fluxes in the 4 compass directions are horizontal and are almost exactly cancelled out by inward fluxes (since they are at the same altitude), which leaves just up and down fluxes.

        • Alick says:

          Except I wasn’t talking about a parcel of air. I was talking about a particle. Yes, assuming there is nothing causing an unequal distribution, a particle emits radiation in all directions, completely covering an imaginary sphere encompassing the particle, the distribution of which can be condensed down to 6 basic directions, 5 of which are away from the sphere and 1 toward the sphere. I made no mention of what the IR encounters next.

          If I did mention it, I would advise you that wherever the IR radiated in the 4 compass directions encounters another particle, it WILL happen at a higher altitude, that is if you can think of the Earths surface as an atomically smooth sphere. Yeah, I know it isn’t.

          For Tim, I look at the sphere/basketball as the Earth’s surface, since it is the major source of IR radiation and the golf ball as a particle somewhere above it.

          • Alick says:

            Dr. Roy, perhaps Earths gravitational field could have an effect on IR that could bend the IR emitted in the 4 compass horizontal directions plane to keep it traveling around the atmosphere at the same altitude making the “cancelled inward fluxes” comment true.

            If it wouldn’t do it for one particle, I don’t see it happening for a group of particles.

          • Ed Bo says:

            Alick:

            When you say: “the distribution of which can be condensed down to 6 basic directions”, you are completely changing the problem. You have reduced a 50% probability of emission below horizontal to 16.7%.

            Tim and Roy are correct. You must consider the probability as equal over the full 4*Pi steradians of solid angle. Just under 50% of these head toward the earth.

          • Alick says:

            Dr. Roy, Ed, Tim, I was thinking of the IR being a vector since it has a direction and a magnitude and splitting the infinite directions up in their components along the xyz axes. For a single particle emitting IR, the IR would follow an unobstructed direction toward earth that would pretty much trace out a cone shape that would change with altitude. A relatively flat cone considering the height of the atmosphere to the width of the earth.

            I think I was thinking about all the infinite possibilities of where the IR would hit and be absorbed and re-emitted next and thinking anything less than straight down has moved that little bit more along the XY plane which is toward space even when traveling through much atmosphere, thinking it’s gotta count for something.

            I’ll just shut up and muse for now.

  6. Nabil Swedan says:

    I admire your quest for the truth.

  7. geran says:

    Hilarious, I think Dr. Roy has me blocked.

    Let me check.

    I was, or course trying to comment on his pseudoscience.

    We’ll see if this takes.

    • Dr No says:

      Hilarious indeed.
      I wish I could say I am sorry to see you go, but I can’t.
      As I have previously said “leave science to the big boys”.

  8. Roy Spencer says:

    Hilarious. Geran is back.
    Hilarious.
    And since you start in calling it “pseudoscience”, I now declare you blocked.

    If anyone wants to know your views, there are hundreds of them available on my blog, including the insults.

  9. gbaikie says:

    ” I have blogged previously about producing 4 deg. F temperature drops below ambient in a Styrofoam box covered with plastic wrap, and have since achieved up to 8 deg. F drop in a standard Styrofoam cooler. The effect shows up strongly within an hour or so of sunset.”

    So with air, you expect a lower drop than 4 F, and with CO2
    you expect less of drop in temperature?

    • correct. I’ve done a very rough computation based upon 3.8 W/m2 decrease in top-of-atmosphere cooling rate from doubling CO2, 4 ft tube of pure CO2 is 30% the way to doubling, and using Stefan-Boltzmann eq., I get maybe 0.3 to 0.5 deg F effect from upon theory. My experience with simple experiments is the effect is seldom as big as theory suggests it will be.

      • gbaikie says:

        –I get maybe 0.3 to 0.5 deg F effect from upon theory. My experience with simple experiments is the effect is seldom as big as theory suggests it will be.–

        Pretty hard to accurately measure. What ways could be used to increase the difference?

        And as I recall some poster said CO2 had be to mixed to other gases and have pressure to get greenhouse effect.
        So with this belief I would imagine they would say that pure CO2 does not work very well.
        This was in regards to Mars having 28 times of CO2 per square meter as compared to Earth- or Mars has about 25 trillion tons of CO2 whereas Earth has somewhere around 3 trillion tons of CO2 in it’s atmosphere

        Is it possible the gas mixture of 25 to 50% of CO2 would
        cause as much warming as 100% CO2?

        Also:
        “Gas Global Warming Potential (GWP)
        Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1
        Methane (CH4) 25
        Nitrous oxide (N2O) 298 ”

        So if had 50% CO2, 1% methane [not explosive at such concentration], and 1% N2O, that it seems according to the theory get more warming.

        Or wiki: “If the atmosphere has less than 4.4% methane, an explosion cannot occur even if a source of ignition is present.”

        It also seems to me that will lower concentration of CO2 and
        other greenhouse gas one will get less lose from diffusion these gases over a period of many hours.
        Though suppose if had way measure the concentration, if started with something nearer 100% CO2, it would better way to measure this loss if instead you started with high concentrations.

  10. Casey Henkel says:

    I have little doubt 100% CO2 will have a measurable green house effect (that’s why Venus, more than 90% CO2, is hotter than Mercury, virtually no atmosphere but much closer to the sun). Trouble with the man-caused CO2 global warming theory is Earth’s atmosphere is only ~.04% CO2, and ~90% of all Earth’s CO2 is in the troposphere, where all weather occurs (wind, convection, jet streams, thermals, etc.)… weather helps distribute “trapped” heat (like an actual green house with no roof).

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Ultimately, if the “control” tube has no GHG and the “experiment” tube has 100% CO2, the only difference will come in the IR band that CO2 absorbs, since other IR wavelengths will be transparent within both tubes. And in this case, the only meaningful temperature outside the tubes is the temperature of anything radiating in the CO2 bands.

      If the space above the experiment is the normal atmosphere with CO2, then the experiment will only interact meaningfully with CO2 in the first ~ 100m above the tubes. You get something like:

      CONTROL: 20C bottom of the tube receives 15 um IR from 18C CO2 in the lower atmosphere.
      EXPERIMENT: 20C bottom of the tube receives 15 um IR from 19C CO2 in the tube, which in turn receives 15 um IR from 18C CO2 in the lower atmosphere.
      The difference is so slight that you would be very hard pressed to measure any difference!

      Some solutions seem to be ….
      1) lower the outside temperature (eg the bottom receives 15 um radiation from 19C CO2 in the tube vs -78C dry ice above the tube.
      2) use a gas that radiates in the “atmospheric window (acetylene seems to have a band near 13.5 um, but no other common gas seems to have good bands within the “window”
      3) uses something OTHER than a gas to radiate (eg the bottom receives 9-13 um radiation from 19C paper at the top of the tube vs 9-13 um radiation from -270C CMBR).

      • As I replied to your comment above, I suppose I need to use MODTRAN or HITRAN to see how downwelling IR is supposed to instantaneously change at the surface from more CO2. It could be I’ve overestimated the effect I’m looking for.

        • OK, the MODTRAN website (link below) is really easy to use…for midlatitude winter atmosphere, going from 400 ppm CO2 to 530 ppm, I get an increase in downwelling IR at the surface of 1.25 W/m2, which is about what I was estimating.

          But how this would change for my experimental setup, since the extra CO2 isn’t evenly distributed through the atmosphere but instead is concentrated at the bottom, I haven’t a clue.

          http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/modtran.html

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            MODTRAN is great, but changing the CO2 in the model is not really germane. The top of both tubes receives the same spectrum of IR.

            You are building a differential radiation detector. The bottom surface of the “control” tube receives and responds to the downwelling IR (ie what MODTRAN shows looking up from 0km). The “experiment” tube is receiving the SAME downwelling IR at the top of the tube. The difference is that the “experiment” tube blocks the incoming IR in the CO2 bands and replaces it with radiation at the temperature of the CO2 in the tube.

            The problem is that the incoming IR in the CO2 bands only depends on the temperature in the first ~ 100 m directly above the tube — which will be approximately the same as the temperature in tube.

            If you want to use MODTRAN, look at what would happen if you filled one tube with O3. Simulate this by bumping the Trop. Ozone to say 10,000 ppb. Now the tube is replacing the weak 9-10 um incoming IR with room temp 9-10 um IR. This gives a boost of ~ 20 W/m^2. So filling one tube with ozone would work well. 🙂

          • Tim Folkerts says: August 15, 2016 at 6:14 AM

            “You are building a differential radiation detector.”

            Just what might be a ‘differential radiation detector’?
            Differential radiance detectors are used all the time to calculate the effective unidirectional flux! The actual measurement of such physical thermal EMR flux is extremely difficult and never with accuracies better that +/- 25%, no-matter what ModTran says!

  11. Dr. Spencer,
    You might want to start with a clear explanation of why you think additional atmospheric CO2 might increase surface temperature. If you then come up with at least four good reasons why your thoughts may be incorrect or even backward, you have entered into the realm of science. You may then try to devise an experiment so as to demonstrate which of the 5 is most likely and try just that for an experiment. As some Samurai once said “when your enemy is making serious mistakes, best not to get in his way”!

  12. Sad to say, but I don’t think Roy knows enough about convection to be able to see why the tube experiment has no bearing on the behaviour of an atmosphere around an unevenly heated sphere the size of a planet

    Different circulatory characteristics emerge that are quite unlike the simple experiment proposed here.

    Not least the fact that cooling with height is not a result of energy loss but rather energy transformation from kinetic energy to convectively available potential energy (CAPE in meteorologgy).

    http://www.weatheronline.co.nz/reports/wxfacts/CAPE—Convective-Available-Potential-Energy.htm

    Kristian gets closest but he still thinks radiative loss is needed for cooling with height, not so.

  13. Chic Bowdrie says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I applaud you on your efforts to demonstrate your views experimentally. My pet peeve is that discussions about the (I hate to say it) “greenhouse effect” don’t start with a definition of what it is. This experiment indicates you define it as Earth’s surface being warmer than it would be without any CO2. I don’t dispute that. The important question is whether an incremental change in CO2 from current levels will have any further effect on atmospheric temperature.

    With respect to your experiment, the problem of convection has already been pointed out. Only looking for temperature difference at night ignores what’s happening during the day. The sealed columns prevent daytime convection compensating for any temperature difference during the night.

    I see another problem. You calculated a 30% greater CO2 with a 4 ft column of 100% CO2 compared to the real atmosphere. Would there be any difference in temperature difference if you repeated the experiment with a 3 ft column or CO2 at 75% CO2? In other words, your experimental design can only demonstrate that the IR-active gas CO2 participates with other IR-active gases in making global temperatures less extreme, assuming the warming at night is compensated by cooling during the day. However, it does not provide any evidence that an incremental increase in CO2 above current levels causes any global warming.

    • The convection issue is a red herring. Yes, convection cools the surface relative to if convective heat transport did not exist (pure radiative equilibrium). But convection does not remove 100% of the radiatively-induced warming…it just helps to mitigate it by about 60% or so at the surface.

      Now, some people thing that if there is ADDITIONAL radiative warming, convection is going to magically mitigate that by 100%. That seems wildly speculative to me.

      Again, the point of the demonstration is to show that there is indeed surface warming from a greenhouse effect….not to quantify it precisely, after all of the other feedback processes kick in. You can’t control those in an experimental setup.

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        It sounds like you didn’t understand what I wrote. Is your definition of the greenhouse effect that the surface is warmer with IR-active gases compared to no atmosphere or compared to an N2/O2 atmosphere without IR-active gases? It is possible that the only reason surface temperatures are warmer with IR-active gases in the atmosphere is because they make days cooler and nights warmer. Based on Holder’s inequality, the average outgoing surface radiation from a set of extreme temperatures will be greater than a set of more temperate ones with the same mean. Your experiment would demonstrate the night time warming. But the title of your post is about measuring “the greenhouse Effect of MORE carbon dioxide.” That is not what your experiment would show even if all experimental conditions were ideal.

        Furthermore, do you have any data showing that convection does not remove all radiatively-induced warming other than what goes through the IR “window?”

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        To be clear, the title of the post suggests your definition of the greenhouse effect is that additional CO2 warms the surface. The experimental design could only provide evidence that some CO2 makes the surface warmer than no CO2.

        • gbaikie says:

          –To be clear, the title of the post suggests your definition of the greenhouse effect is that additional CO2 warms the surface. The experimental design could only provide evidence that some CO2 makes the surface warmer than no CO2.–

          If Experiment actually proved this, it proves the GHE.
          Or GHE warms night. That all it is suppose to do according to theory.
          If you warm the night, the following day will be warmer [on average].

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            #1 How are you defining GHE?

            #2 On average, a cooler day and a warmer night is net no change in average temperature. Therefore no proof of GHE given the definition I think you are implying.

        • gbaikie says:

          –#1 How are you defining GHE?–
          As wiki defines the greenhouse effect theory:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

          Or according to the idea [compiled by a nameless committee of “experts”] greenhouse gases and only greenhouse gases inhibit radiant heat from leaving the earth’s surface.

          –#2 On average, a cooler day and a warmer night is net no change in average temperature. Therefore no proof of GHE given the definition I think you are implying.–

          I said “If you warm the night, the following day will be warmer…”
          Or if morning starts warmer, the rest of the day has better chance to be warmer as compared to morning starting out cooler. Or if ice forms at night, the day will not be very warm- unless you happen to live in desert.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            From Wikipedia: “The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.”

            #1 This is not the definition you gave and the Wiki definition is flawed, because an atmosphere with no IR-active gases would still make a planet’s surface warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. Your definition is weak because it over-simplifies the role of IR-active gases which cool the surface during the day and keep it warmer than it would otherwise be during the night.

            #2 Without IR-active gases, the surface would be extremely hot during the day and extremely cold during the night. On an “average” day, a planet with IR-active gases would start out at a higher temperature, but would not get as hot. Similarly, the night would not get as cold. The net effect is temperance. And if total radiation to space was the same in both cases, the average temperature of the surface would have to be higher with the presence of some IR-active gases. This warming effect has nothing to do with a greenhouse. It says nothing about how much, if any, a further increase in CO2 would have on the average surface temperatures. Using the greenhouse analogy encourages ignorance and confusion.

          • gbaikie says:

            Chic Bowdrie says:
            August 16, 2016 at 6:00 AM

            From Wikipedia: The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planets atmosphere warms the planets surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.

            The only time Earth surface is warmer than it would be without an atmosphere is at night.

            This also applies if in shadow from the sun or when sun is at low angle to the surface- but broadly speaking at night.

            Or if given enough time, a lunar surface in shadow of the sun
            during the day can be something like -50 C.
            Moon = no atmosphere and no greenhouse effect.
            And nighttime temperature on the Moon will reach -170 C and places of constant shadow [craters at lunar pole] -230 C.

            Or a refrigerator on the Moon can be something which shades the Sun.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            “The only time Earth surface is warmer than it would be without an atmosphere is at night.”

            That’s correct for an average diurnal temperature profile. But the global average temperature of a planet with an atmosphere will always be warmer than one without an atmosphere. Convection will cool the surface during the day and the atmosphere will conduct some warmth to the surface during the night. For outgoing radiation to equal incoming radiation, the average temperature of a planet without an atmosphere must be lower than the average temperature of a planet with an atmosphere. The difference will be even more pronounced for an atmosphere that has non-condensing IR-active gases.

          • gbaikie says:

            — Chic Bowdrie says:
            August 16, 2016 at 4:24 PM

            The only time Earth surface is warmer than it would be without an atmosphere is at night.

            Thats correct for an average diurnal temperature profile. But the global average temperature of a planet with an atmosphere will always be warmer than one without an atmosphere. Convection will cool the surface during the day and the atmosphere will conduct some warmth to the surface during the night.–

            Most planets with atmospheres should be warmer during their nights, but I doubt that the Venus surface is cooled via convection during the day.
            Though the Venus clouds appear to cool via convection.

            — For outgoing radiation to equal incoming radiation, the average temperature of a planet without an atmosphere must be lower than the average temperature of a planet with an atmosphere. The difference will be even more pronounced for an atmosphere that has non-condensing IR-active gases.–

            The basic trick is to keep a daytime surface heated by the Sun to be cooler than it “should” be. It can made cooler by convection, evaporation, and conduction of heat away from the surface.
            A planet without an atmosphere will be warmer if it has high rotation rate as compared to it having a slower rotational period- or it’s surface in sunlight will be cooler then it “should” be. Likewise if surface was a thick layer of metal [metals conduct heat well] it surface would likewise be cooler than it should be during daylight.
            The Moon has a low average temperature because it’s surface is covered with very insulative material and has very slow rotational period. If the Moon was instead bare rock it would have higher average temperature or if Moon had 24 hour day it would have higher average temperature.

            Earth’s tropical ocean surface are much cooler that tropical desert surface during the daytime. Or oceans are cooler than it “should” be. The tropical ocean increase Earth’s average temperature

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            Then we agree. All these conditions have one thing in common. The average of a set of temperatures will always be less than the fourth root of the average of all the set’s temperatures raised to the fourth power.

      • “Now, some people think that if there is ADDITIONAL radiative warming, convection is going to magically mitigate that by 100%. That seems wildly speculative to me”

        Roy,

        You missed the point.

        Convection adjusts to PREVENT any ADDITIONAL radiative warming from RADIATIVE IMBALANCES.

        See here:

        http://www.public.asu.edu/~hhuang38/mae578_lecture_06.pdf

        However it is true that if additional radiative warming arises from anything other than mere radiative imbalances then of course the temperature rises.

        To get a rise in temperature one must first have greater radiative input to the system from outside, not merely an internal radiative imbalance.

        That is why albedo changes from cloudiness variations will change the temperature but a simple radiative imbalance from GHGs will not.

        Note that a simple radiative imbalance in the absence of more radiative input from outside does NOT constitute ADDITIONAL warming because convection changes to neutralise it as per that linked lecture.

  14. OK, I discussed this whole idea with the computational physicist who works with me, and we agree that the experiment as currently proposed probably won’t work. Multiple reasons why.

    • “Multiple reasons why.”

      And your Multiple reasons are? What is your intial premise? How can CO2 absorb what is never radiantly emitted from the surface?

      • David Appell says:

        “How can CO2 absorb what is never radiantly emitted from the surface?”

        The surface emits IR.

        CO2 absorbs some of it.

        Then it re-emits.

        That is, the atmosphere itself radiates. In all directions.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      For what it is worth, I started a somewhat similar experiment a year ago (and should finish it up sometime). As with this design, the goal was to use cheap, easily available materials (other than a temperature data logger, although a simple thermometer could have been used manually).

      I used a very different geometry, with a very wide, very short column to maximize radiative transfers. At the base was a heating pad with insulation below and beside. Above were some layers of gas sealed with saran wrap (think of a stack of empty horizontal picture frames with plastic wrap around them on the top & bottom. This minimized conductive and convective loses from the heating pad, but allowed upward radiation through a large solid angle.

      I didn’t even try to use gas to block radiation. I simply inserted a sheet of paper between layers of plastic wrap. The paper would have minimal impact on conduction or convection, but a dramatic impact on IR loss.

      As expected, the heating pad warmed noticeably when the IR escaping from the heating pad was blocked by the paper. (Presumably the paper warmed above room temperature and provided more back-radiation then the ceiling had, but I could not measure that directly.)

  15. Kristian says:

    Spencer, you say:

    The simple experiment is meant to simply demonstrate that the GHE exists … that is, that atmospheric greenhouse gases cause a warming tendency of surface temperatures.

    No, the IR-active gases in the atmosphere do not CAUSE the ‘warming tendency’ of surface temperatures. The atmospheric MASS causes the ‘warming tendency’ of surface temperatures. The IR-active gases simply ENABLE it to do so. (Just as they enable the atmosphere to cool to space.) A subtle distinction, yes, but an important one nonetheless …

    • I disagree. “MASS” doesn’t cause temperature to change. Radiative energy fluxes do. That the gas has “mass” is obvious, but don’t make it sound like “mass” has some magical ability to cause temperature change just because of its mass.

      • The compressive gravitational force of this earth’s mass reduces the collisional mean free path for the lower troposphere, this must increase the rate of change in random statistical momentum (kinetic energy) thus the temperature of the lower troposphere. This is clearly evident from the gas term (k), isentropic exponent!

      • Kristian says:

        It seems you misunderstand my point.

        The atmospheric mass is what holds the absorbed energy close to the surface rather than releasing it straight to space, Roy. That’s why the atmosphere has a temperature at all. Mass doesn’t have any magic abilities. It does, however, possess physical properties, like a capacity to hold on to energy and thus warm.

        When we have an air layer on top of the solar-heated surface which is nearly as warm (on average) as the surface itself, that reflects the amount of energy held by the atmospheric mass. You know, “internal energy” [U].

        Internal energy is what gives an object its temperature, not instantaneous radiant fluxes back and forth.

        And the larger the total mass of an atmosphere, the higher the pressure and the thicker the air at the bottom, which means you will have to go higher and higher before the planet has finally rid itself of enough energy to balance the incoming from its star. On Mars you don’t have to go up from the surface at all, on Earth (and Titan) you have to go fairly high, and on Venus you have to go many tens of kilometres.

        • what do you mean by mass “holds absorbed energy”? Gases can transmit/gain/lose energy by conduction (very weak), convection (much more efficient), and radiation. Which of these are you referring to?

          Also, what do you mean “reflects energy”? Gases exhibit essentially no reflection of radiant energy…they just absorb and emit radiation. So I have no idea what you are referring to here.

          your understanding of atmospheric thermodynamics and radiative transfer seems to be lacking here, Kristian

          • “what do you mean by mass holds absorbed energy? Gases can transmit/gain/lose energy by conduction (very weak), convection (much more efficient), and radiation. Which of these are you referring to?”

            Atmospheric radial conductivity remains near zero, much less than tangential conductivity as such is also influenced by the compressive force of Earth’s gravity. This was all discussed ad infinitum long ago by Jimmy Maxwell, Luddy Boltzmann, and Joe Loschmidt.
            Convective heat transfer is limited to physical mass atmospheric mass motion, seldom exceeding 125 MPH, while acoustic power transfer is at the speed of sound in that material. Radiative power transfer (flux) is severely limited or reversed by any and all opposing radiance.

            “Also, what do you mean reflects energy?”

            Kristian, is using ‘reflects’ to indicate that ‘temperature’ is only an indicator of mass kinetic power/energy, and posses no independent potential whatsoever.

            “your understanding of atmospheric thermodynamics and radiative transfer seems to be lacking here, Kristian”

            Have you tried looking in the mirror Dr. Spencer?

          • Kristian says:

            Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says, August 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM:

            what do you mean by mass holds absorbed energy?

            Once again, “internal energy” [U], Roy. Internal energy is gained whenever the mass absorbs energy transferred to it in the form of “heat” [Q] (or “work” [W]), and lost whenever energy is released in the form of heat or work. You know, the 1st Law of Thermodynamics:
            ΔU = Q – W

            The internal energy of a system is directly associated with the system’s temperature and, barring phase changes, the temperature changes proportionally with the internal energy.

            Are you telling me you don’t know this!?

            (…) what do you mean reflects energy?

            My wording here was probably somewhat confusing. What I meant to say was: The temperature of the air is an expression of the amount of energy contained within the mass of the air. The air temperature indirectly “reflects” the energy level of the air.

            your understanding of atmospheric thermodynamics and radiative transfer seems to be lacking here, Kristian

            Better now?

        • “Internal energy is what gives an object its temperature, not instantaneous radiant fluxes back and forth.”

          Can we agree that your ‘internal energy’ and my ‘sensible heat’ amount to the same thing? And for all mass, with compressible gas included is a function of mass density, not just mass itself? Can we also agree that ‘temperature’ is but an indicator of accumulated ‘power’ (time integral) of that mass density?

          • Kristian says:

            Will Janoschka says, August 15, 2016 at 10:14 AM:

            Can we agree that your internal energy and my sensible heat amount to the same thing?

            Absolutely not. Internal energy is energy held inside a thermodynamic system [U]. Sensible heat is one form of heat transfer between systems or regions [Q]. Heat you can feel, energy transferred to you from a hotter place, that is. Latent heat is another form of heat, an ‘indirect’ heat transfer, so to say.

            Two fundamentally distinct phenomena.

          • Kristian says: August 15, 2016 at 11:04 AM

            Will Janoschka says, August 15, 2016 at 10:14 AM:

            (“Can we agree that your internal energy and my sensible heat amount to the same thing?”0

            “Absolutely not. Internal energy is energy held inside a thermodynamic system [U]. Sensible heat is one form of heat transfer between systems or regions [Q].”

            Let me try again! My sensible heat is the accumulated power/energy held within a particular mass density at only one mass phase. temperature is the potential for spontaneous transfer of such power in the direction of less potential (temperature).

            “Heat you can feel, energy transferred to you from a hotter place, that is.”

            The magnitude and direction of power transfer due to differential temperature can be detected, but this is ‘flux’, a power transfer not ever the accumulation of power known as sensible heat or internal energy.

            “Latent heat is another form of heat, an indirect heat transfer, so to say.”

            If you would agree. Latent heat is a different form of power accumulation involving mass phase change, not necessarily with any change in temperature, so not ‘sensible’, but ‘latent’.

            “Two fundamentally distinct phenomena.”

            I totally agree!

      • I agree with Dr. Spencer.

  16. I hope my website might be of the Readers’ interest here.

    http://globalenergybudget.com/

    • You have a claim of 324W/m^2 of something called ‘back-radiation’.
      such opposing thermal electromagnetic ‘flux’ has never been detected nor measured. Such opposing flux at any frequency contradicts all of Maxwell’s 22 equations of electromagnetic radiation and cannot exist.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “Such opposing flux at any frequency contradicts all of Maxwells 22 equations of electromagnetic radiation and cannot exist.”
        I’d love to see your proof of that!

        • Tim,
          That proof is in John Poynting’s (Maxwell’s student) re-interpretation of ME from quaternion algebra to vector algebra that clearly indicate that at any location in space, at each frequency, may be many many Poynting vectors in any or all directions, but must always resolve to one singular Poynting “flux” at any instant of proper time. The very nature of the most relativistic of anything ever discovered, called EMR.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            The Poynting Vector is S = E x H. Since E & H have a unique value at any given location and time, the Poynting Vector also must have a unique value at any given location and time. In particular, there cannot be “many Poynting vectors in any or all directions”.

          • “The Poynting Vector is S = E x H. Since E & H have a unique value at any given location and time, the Poynting Vector also must have a unique value at any given location and time. In particular, there cannot be many Poynting vectors in any or all directions.”

            The Poynting vector has a proper scalar magnitude but is still a vector depending on the phase relationship between its own E and H, this is called the field strength (potential) of each possible emitter.
            At any location in space, and at each frequency, the vector addition resolves to only one Poynting flux, the only unidirectional transfer of power. Some still ‘believe’ in superposition.

    • JDAM says:

      342 w/m2 incoming insolation 342 w/m2 outbound there’s no energy imbalance say it isn’t so.

      • David Appell says:

        What is your evidence?

        Johnson et al 2016 did find an energy imbalance.

        My guess is you have no evidence and are just mouthing off.

        • JDAM says:

          Miklos website has a diagram that shows 342 w/m2 incoming insolation and 342 w/m2 outbound LWIR.
          That means Earth is at equilibrium.
          Sorry if that went over your head.

          • Ball4 says:

            Earth approx. 342 balanced in/out at TOA JDAM, not surface. Miklos’ surface shows imbalance: in Fig. 1, latest published p. 3, p. 8, p. 18, Fig. B1, Fig. 2.11, Fig. 2, Table 3, “our poster”, et. al. And surface imbalance discussed in the Johnson et. al. link.

          • mpainter says:

            “Sorry if that went over your head.”
            ###
            Ball4 ducks when he sees the truth coming at him. It’s reflexive.

            Energy balance is accounted at TOA, b4. Surface imbalance (if any) is irrelevant.

          • Ball4 says:

            We live at the surface mpainter, which makes understanding that imbalance & Tmedian relevant. Added CO2 does not affect the TOA balance, mpainter, as IR active gas adds no net energy crossing TOA.

          • mpainter says:

            Still ducking? AGW puts negative balance TOA. Balance at TOA means no AGW, according to definition.

          • Ball4 says:

            No ducking mpainter, I posted an explanatory link which you should read and understand. Try not to live up to all my expectations that you are not accomplished enough to do so.

          • mpainter says:

            No surface warming without TOA imbalance, duckling, as per AGW dogma.

          • Ball4 says:

            mpainter lives up to all my expectations.

            Use Miklos’ site; Fig. 1, page 3, Fig. 4: TOA balance, surface imbalance.

            From the link I posted, where are the Argo buoys mpainter? If you guess at the surface, yes, measuring its imbalance and down into the ocean, you would be right. If you also note from the link, CERES data is stable enough but not accurate enough, so CERES EBAF needs to be adjusted to the surface imbalance as determined by ocean energy content measured over time by those buoys.

            Stephens 2012 Fig. B1 (Miklos’ Fig. 2) more accurately does show both an imbalance of 0.6 at TOA more nearly balanced with smaller error bars than 0.6 at surface with huge error bars. The Earth’s energy imbalance at surface remains elusive until Argo sparseness is reduced. A work in progress, send $.

          • mpainter says:

            ARGO data unreliable as it is a doctored product: the lowest temperatures are simply discarded. We are to believe the heat has tucked itself under the ocean, quack, quack ARGO is right (when strrreeettttched ever so AGW) and Ceres is wrong, quack.

            Me no duck, sorry.

  17. Jonthetechnologist says:

    Dr. Roy,
    Still the best classroom I have ever been in.
    You allow so much honest (and dishonest) discourse that a reader and layman such as myself cannot help but learn.

    Whenever I have the chance I recommend this blog.

    Thank You

  18. D MacKenzie says:

    Very cunning, Dr. Roy….your experiment would show little if any temperature difference between the air filled tube and the CO2 filled tube, while showing a large swing in both tubes as a cloud goes over…

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Hmmm…not seeing the cunning in it….

      But you are right, I’ve seen the radiative warming when clouds go over in my “cold box” nighttime experiment before.

      • Do you now admit that physical EMR flux is dependent of some difference in two radiative potentials, rather than than the singular potential of some claimed emitter?

        • who is your question directed at, Will?

          • You yourself Dr. Roy. Can ever thermal EMR flux be dependent ‘only’ on the radiance of the emitter? Is such ‘flux’ always limited by each and every opposing ‘radiance’ at each and every frequency, and in each and every direction?

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Will, your question comes down to semantics.

            Consider two identical waves heading in opposite directions. Each wave individually carries energy. When the waves meet, they do not *cancel*, but rather they *add* creating a standing wave. The net transfer of energy is zero, but the two waves still exist.

            If one wave is slightly larger than the other, there is a net transfer in one direction, but the standing wave still has a larger amplitude than either individual wave. There really are two large waves heading each way, NOT a single small wave heading one way.

            So in one legitimate sense, the waves CANCEL. In another legitimate sense, the waves ADD.

            Thermal radiation from two opposing radiators is just an extension of this idea to include many simultaneous waves of many frequencies heading both ways. The NET flow of energy adds to zero of the two sources are the same temperature, but the waves of E & B do NOT cancel.

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

            And at this point, the discussion is pretty much at an end for me. The top post has been answered. These tangents, while perhaps fun, will never get resolved here anyway.

      • DHMacKenzie says:

        Cunning in the sense that you would get to show us once more that cloud effects overwhelm CO2 effects…

  19. Will J: “You have a claim of 324W/m^2 of something called back-radiation.
    such opposing thermal electromagnetic flux has never been detected nor measured.”

    Detection/measurement network in this paper:
    http://globalenergybudget.com/#Wild1998

    Theory in this textbook:
    http://globalenergybudget.com/#Marshall

  20. “OK, I discussed this whole idea with the computational physicist who works with me, and we agree that the experiment as currently proposed probably wont work. Multiple reasons why”

    Sensible fellow 🙂

    • It’s possible it could work if the emitting surface at the bottom of the tube is much warmer, at least initially, than the CO2 in the tube.

      • Well, there is a difference between the experiment working on its own terms and the experiment being valid for an atmosphere suspended above a sphere with an unevenly heated surface.

        In the latter situation you get convective overturning even in a(theoretic)radiatively inert atmosphere simply because of energy unevenly conducted to the atmosphere from the surface.

        Once you get convective uplift there is cooling with height even without any radiation to space from the atmospheric gases.

        What do you think happens to the heat (kinetic energy) in that situation?

        Meteorology tells us that the kinetic energy becomes convectively available potential energy.

        There is no net loss of energy during uplift or gain in energy during descent, merely a transformation of the available energy in each case and CAPE does not register on sensors as heat.

      • Curious George says:

        Rotate it. Lay the tubes horizontally, between a heat source (a big pot of hot water) and an outer space simulator (an ice cube).

        BTW, this is only good to demonstrate that the greenhouse effect exists. Ten years ago I proposed a similar experiment to actually measure the effect of 2,000 ppm concentration. Answer: This is not how AGW works. It works by pushing the ERL up.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “Lay the tubes horizontally”
          Or even vertically with the hot end at the TOP. This would suppress convection. It is actually a rather elegant solution (althogh some people might get confused).

          “[AGW] works by pushing the ERL up”
          Yep — that is probably the single best answer. Not so simplistic as to be wrong; not so complicated as to be unfathomable to a scientifically literate person.

          • mpainter says:

            Try and explain it Tim. First you have to explain why the kinetic energy is not shifted to water molecules and emitted by those.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Kinetic energy (thermal energy) IS shifted to water molecule and is emitted by those. it is now and will continue to be if CO2 continues to rise. So, no, I am not going to explain why that doesn’t happen. 🙂

            However, if CO2 increases, the CO2 that emits IR to space will be at a higher “ERL” where it the atmosphere is colder. This will reduce the CO2 emissions to space. This imbalance will cause warming. (There’s lots of feedbacks to consider, but this is the gist of it.)

          • mpainter says:

            The “imbalance” is a bald assertion. It takes no longer for kinetic energy to shift to a water molecule than to a CO2 molecule. No imbalance to it. Your “imbalance” is more like sloganeering than anything real, Tim.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Your sloganeering in sloganeering. 🙂

            If you change the radiation balance by decreasing some component of the radiation somehow, then by definition you have an imbalance.

          • mpainter says:

            Show decrease.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            Has CO2 emission at a higher “ERL” ever been experimentally measured or observed?

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, August 15, 2016 at 7:41 PM:

            (…) if CO2 increases, the CO2 that emits IR to space will be at a higher ERL where it the atmosphere is colder. This will reduce the CO2 emissions to space. This imbalance will cause warming.

            This would potentially cause warming. According to theory. If all else remained constant.

            However, we know it doesn’t. The “raising of the ERL” causing warming in the Earth system as the atmospheric CO2 content rises steadily is not something that’s been observed to occur in the real world. And so this warming mechanism remains a theoretical speculation only. In fact, its operativeness and efficacy is directly contradicted by real-world satellite observations of radiation vs. temperature.

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, August 15, 2016 at 8:41 PM:

            If you change the radiation balance by decreasing some component of the radiation somehow, then by definition you have an imbalance.

            Indeed. But real-world observations clearly show that the total radiation from the Earth system through the ToA to space isn’t reduced relative to tropospheric temperatures even as the atmospheric content of CO2 has gone up considerably (+15-16%) over the last 30+ years. Rather the opposite. It has simply increased in step with them. In fact, any positive imbalance at the ToA is evidently caused rather by more heat IN (from the Sun), as in increased ASR, not by less heat OUT (due to some theoretical “enhancement” of the so-called “GHE”). The OLR has gone up as a result, an effect, of the warming. It hasn’t gone down to cause the warming. The Sun did that …

          • mpainter says:

            Tim, you need to support your “imbalance” claim with observations. Right now, it is just another AGW buzzword without substance. “Sloganeering” fits.

          • Tim Folkerts says: August 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

            ([AGW] works by pushing the ERL up)
            “Yep that is probably the single best answer. Not so simplistic as to be wrong; not so complicated as to be unfathomable to a scientifically literate person.”

            Even if there were such a thing as ERL; with atmospheric CO2 as low as 140ppmv; already at 14-16 microns the origin of thermal EMR exitance is at the tropopause. Higher than that the temperature increases. Such increase in radiative exitance is exactly what is measured with increasing atmospheric CO2.

        • mpainter says:

          Yes, and that warms the surface, supposedly. But in fact it is only more nebulous and unsupported assumption by the AGW advocates.

        • Curious George says:

          The “ERL up” may not have been conceived to resist any attempt at an experimental verification, but for the purpose it is as good as a “climate sensitivity”.

      • gbaikie says:

        Have container of hot water which is sealed, a circular tub with lid same diameter as tube and say 8″ deep. Have it under tube and pour 50 C water into it at night. Have it also insulated.
        It will have high thermal mass and will retain it’s heat throughout night- and of course it can start hotter than any air would be.
        solid copper has similar thermal mass- but it’s expensive.

  21. OFF TOPIC- Dr. Spencer do you have or will their be products available you could post to give us data on global cloud coverage changes and albedo changes ?

    That would be nice.

    thanks

  22. Salvatore,

    You may find useful this:
    http://globalenergybudget.com/#Cloud

    and this:
    http://globalenergybudget.com/#Albedo

    You’ll find the CERES website there for the original data.

  23. mpainter says:

    Dr. Roy you say ” The simple experiment is meant to simply demonstrate that the GHE existsthat is, that atmospheric greenhouse gases cause a warming tendency of surface temperatures.”
    ###
    Should not one design an experiment involving the surface of water in order to show “that atmospheric greenhouse gases cause a warming tendency of surface temperatures.”?

    • JDAM says:

      Wouldn’t water vapor skew the results?

    • barry says:

      Dr S is thinking of an experiment to demonstrate the greenhouse effect, not just the CO2 effect. Wouldn’t matter if it was CO2 or water vapour or methane.

    • barry says:

      The reason he’s doing that is because a few commenters here (and more elsewhere) completely reject the greenhouse effect, water vapour included.

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        Which commenters are you referring to?

        • Kristian says:

          barry,

          As you’ll notice, I don’t reject a so-called “GHE”, more correctly dubbed an “atmospheric thermal effect”. This is very real indeed. What I do is simply point out that this effect is caused by the MASS of the atmosphere, not its radiative properties. The radiative properties simply enable the mass to cause the thermal effect. They’re a necessary tool, allowing the surface to warm as the mass of the atmosphere warms, and at the same time ensuring that the warming mass of the atmosphere doesn’t overheat. A functionable atmosphere.

          • Norman says:

            Kristian,

            In all the posts I have read from you I have not heard how you mass idea stops the 390 Watt/m^2 average surface flux does not exist at the TOA in measured values. How does Venus massive atmosphere keep the 16000 Watt/m^2 flux from leaving the planet? How does mass stop the radiant loss? The only way for any energy to leave the Earth system is radiation, the rest just moves energy around.

            On Convection the King idea. The problem with your thesis is that yes convection will lower surface temperature by moving heat upwards but somewhere on the Earth at the same time the convection is removing energy from the surface, sinking air is warming some other spot and the total net sum would end to zero effect.

          • Kristian says:

            Norman says, August 16, 2016 at 9:22 PM:

            In all the posts I have read from you I have not heard how you mass idea stops the 390 Watt/m^2 average surface flux does not exist at the TOA in measured values.

            That’s because there isn’t a radiant flux of 390 W/m^2 leaving the surface of the Earth. The (annually and globally averaged) radiant flux leaving the surface of the Earth is a mere 52-53 W/m^2. And the radiant flux leaving Earth as a whole to space through the ToA is ~239 W/m^2 on average. Both according to CERES EBAF.

            You see, when a radiating object/surface is faced with surroundings at temperatures rather close to that of the object/surface itself, then the radiative output from this object/surface isn’t determined solely by its own temperature. It is rather determined by the DIFFERENCE between its temperature and the temperature of its surroundings.

            IOW, the surface of the Earth would radiate 390 W/m^2 at a constant and isothermal temperature of 288K if it were faced directly with space itself, not with a warm atmosphere.

            Again, Norman, we start out from diametrically opposite ends on this particular issue. I acknowledge yours. And argue against it accordingly. I know very well the “radiation argument”. You, however, still appear not to acknowledge mine. And thus are seemingly only able to argue against it from inside your own bubble. You simply are not getting (or you don’t want to get) the essence of what I’m saying.

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            Norman,

            You wrote, “….but somewhere on the Earth at the same time the convection is removing energy from the surface, sinking air is warming some other spot and the total net sum would end to zero effect.”

            Sinking air will generally be colder and heavier resulting in a net positive flux upward.

      • barry says:

        Take the first link and read through the thread – you’ll see plenty of variations of GHE rejectionism. There are others who don’t appear on that thread. One or two of those have been banned (one particularly egregious spammer who put it all down to gravity).

  24. barry says:

    5 years before Tyndall one Eunice Foote attempted a backyard experiment with CO2 (carbonic acid).

    Seems she did not attempt to match pressure – part of her experimenting was about different densities – but it remains for me a nice anecdote at a time when women were not present in the scientific community, and likely not permitted (certainly not encouraged) to publish.

    • barry says:

      I hunted down the provenance for this monograph and it checks out.

    • barry says:

      Meant to add: Foote theorized that more CO2 in the atmos would cause warmer temperatures – 5 years before Tyndall published on it.

  25. Conor says:

    ROY SOENCER

    Still ignoring the Ocean warming effect. Here are the facts.

    93% of GW is in the oceans.
    40% of which is in the Atlantic despite it being only 23% of the total ocean water content.
    Majority of SST increase consistent with published data for GW is off the west African coast.
    Humans have affected atmospheric H2O 290 times more then CO2.

    “In my continuing battle to keep people from being led astray by bad science” Dr R Spencer

    I might say the same but am continuously confounded by ‘scientists’ who keep blowing out CO2, when H2O is a far greater issue.

    • barry says:

      Humans have affected atmospheric H2O 290 times more then CO2.

      What do you mean? Water evaporates in and precipitates out of the atmosphere on very short time scales. Put all the oceans in the sky as WV and they’d be back in a week.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        Water vapor is a forcing. It is the level in the atmosphere (TPW) that maters, not how frequently the molecules change places.

        • Conor says:

          DAN

          The relevant research (Destouni and Jaramillo 2015) is a simple rendition of observations upon the effects of river management and agriculture. Less atmospheric H2O will have a big effect on the planets climate, but the real problem is so called scientists trying to avoid this issue, no matter how much damage it does.

      • barry says:

        It matters if you’re claiming that humans have directly ‘affected atmospheric H20 290 times more than CO2.’

        • Conor says:

          Barry

          Destouni and Jaramillo, Stockholm 2015. Humans have reduced the atmospheric concentration of H20 by 10,000 km3, or 290 times that which we have affected CO2. This has ensured that more UV penetrates the atmosphere to heat the oceans where 93% of global warming is happening. Subsequent ocean heat transport and re distribution warms the atmosphere. This is not a ‘claim’, it is what used to be called scientific research, in the days before speculation and uninformed opinion gained primacy.

        • barry says:

          I doubt it. Link?
          And one single paper makes you think this is the oracular truth?

          But link us up to the study. I don’t believe you.

        • barry says:

          I looked up papers by those 2 authors from 2014 to 2016 and found nothing to corroborate your claim. Proper citing of your references would help. How about the title of the paper?

          • Conor says:

            BARRY

            “Local flow regulation and irrigation raise global human water consumption and footprint”.

            Scroll back and you can cast doubt on all of the other facts I had mentioned: Why is GW significantly biased towards the Equatorial Atlantic? How and why are the oceans the principle factors in GW? OR of greater significance, why does the climate industry avoid this issue? Why is there such confidence in the emissions argument when at every level there is the stated ‘high level of uncertainty’ about the GHG H2O when its dynamics and atmospheric concentration is 25 times higher than CO2?

            There is little doubt about the ball park we are playing in, but it seems that we have put to many cripples on the team.

          • barry says:

            I checked the paper (again) and nothing in it corroborates your wild claim, being:

            Humans have affected atmospheric H2O 290 times more then CO2.

            Human activity has raised the level of CO2 in the atmos by >40% since the industrial revolution.

            The paper you’ve cited doesn’t measure total WV content in the atmos, only relative flux. It counts evirotranspiration, run-off and consumption, to work out a global human footprint for freshwater, because that is the metric of interest – potable water for human consumption. Precipitation is not factored. The paper is not interested in the vast bulk of water on the planet which is not drinkable. It is concerned with the 1% of available freshwater on the planet.

            For this small slice of total water, they mention a change in the ‘human footprint’ of 18% for one estimate, and 39% for a lower estimate.

            They factor only anthropogenic effects on drinkable land-water. Precipitation not included.

            Your claim is not remotely corroborated.

            I was correct not to believe you.

          • Conor Mcmenemie says:

            BARRY

            I will revisit the paper before committing.

            Now do you want to go to work on explaining the ocean heat content and it’s dastardly noncompliance with popular climate science?

          • Conor Mcmenemie says:

            BARRY

            please accept my most humble and contrite apologies. My research had focused on the effects of a specific reduced evapotransportation issue with global implications. It would seem that I am at fault for seeing in the aforementioned paper perhaps what I wanted to see. The ocean heat issue, it’s Equatorial Atlantic bias and it’s cause remain true and relevant to the wider CC and GW arena.

          • barry says:

            I am sincerely impressed you retracted. No problem.

            So what’s up with ocean heat content?

  26. Steve Richards says:

    All, my proposed experiment – to demonstrate the existence of a warming effect due to the presence of IR active gases is as follows.

    Plastic (acrylic) rectangular box, 1000mm by 150mm by 150mm.

    At one end a flat plate 100mm by 100mm with 5 1 ohm resistors fixed by glue. 5V from a 7805 regulator via a relay.

    PT100 temperature sensor screwed to flat plate.

    At the other end of the plastic box, a flat metal plate with an external mounted fan attached. PT100 screwed to plate.

    The box would be sealed except for the following:

    Inlet/outlet holes via pipes to a ‘dryer’ and a fan (home made).

    A fermentation trap to monitor pressure and keep it all safe.

    The plan is to set the experiment running with ambient air in the box.

    Warm the heated plate, I am planning on 5 to 10 degrees rise.

    Keep the external fan on the cold plate running to keep a good temperature gradient.

    Record the temperature once per minute.

    Cycle the heater on/off once every 6 hours (for starters).

    We are only interested in temperature rise/gradient. If the ambient temperature changes, the cycling will allow us to ignore it.

    So we have now have established the temperature rise with ambient air.

    Turn on internal fan, to push internal ‘box’ air through the ‘dryer’ which will remove all CO2 and H2O.

    Perform the cycling again and record the temperature rise/gradient.

    Introduce via an access port 100ppm/200ppm etc up to 1000ppm and rerun the cycling and record the results.

    Dry out and introduce H2O in 10% steps and repeat.

    Write up the results.

    Now, before attempting an experiment like this, it is always best to calculate what you expect to measure, so you can ‘prove’ your formulas etc.

    My question here is: what temperature rise could I expect, (or change in temperature rise) changing the concentration of CO2 and / or water vapour?

    Is 1000mm long enough to get a measurable effect?

    My temperature recording system is a Labcal PRO with an accuracy of 0.025C and a resolution of 0.001C.

    Before people mention that it can not be measured becasue it is the ERL moving etc, at the end of the day, if the proposal is that more IR gas = heating, then this setup should detect it.

    Your views are welcome before I spend any money on this.

    • Conor says:

      STEVE RICHARDS

      Since 93% of GW is in the oceans can you please provide an experiment to demonstrate how CO2 IR downwelling or whatever hocus pocus is responsible for this action. In some quarters it had been thought that the sun with its UV was the principle agent for ocean warming – but apparently after 3,500,000,000 the rules of physics have changed to suit popular theories.

  27. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Roy…”…that has already been measured thousands of times, to very high precision at many wavelengths and for many gases”.

    One thing that has not been stated is the precise concentration of CO2 used in these experiments. How does that compare to the 400 ppmv you mentioned as being the concentration of ALL CO2 in the atmosphere?

    And remember, as stated in the IPCC 3rd review, anthropogenic CO2 is only a small fraction of ALL CO2 in the atmosphere. It is under 4% based on a concentration of 390 ppmv.

    In this article you are still trying to pass off IR energy as if it is heat. IR is electromagnetic energy while heat is thermal energy. Their properties are vastly different.

    Until you can explain the relationship between IR and heat, you are creating a red herring argument. To explain the relationship, you need to go to the atomic level. You cannot, as you claim, sum IR energies between bodies and claim that satisfies the 2nd law.

    Furthermore, when you point an IR detector at the sky and measure radiation, that is a no brainer. We all know there is IR being radiated from the sky. Your assumption that the IR is warming the surface is wrong because it contradicts the 2nd law. You cannot have IR from a cooler body warming a warmer surface that warmed the GHGs in the first place.

    IR comes in vastly different frequencies and intensities. If those parameters do not match the requirements of a valence shell electron in an atom, the electron will not change energy states and the atom will not warm. That’s the case when IR from a cooler atmosphere strikes the warmer surface.

    The 2nd law states clearly that heat can only be transferred between bodies from the warmer body to the cooler body under normal means. Those are essentially the words of Clausius in his treatise on heat in which he developed the 2nd law. That rules out any fictitious net energy flow of IR.

    • Ball4 says:

      “You cannot have IR from a cooler body warming a warmer surface that warmed the GHGs in the first place.”

      Apparently Gordon did not learn from clicking through the link in the top post that shows you CAN experimentally have IR from a cooler body warming a warmer surface that warmed the GHGs in the 1st place: where Dr. Spencer wrote “I have blogged previously…”

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/first-results-from-the-box-investigating-the-effects-of-infrared-sky-radiation-on-air-temperature/

      “This all came about because I got tired of being asked about the theory behind global warming, specifically, how can downwelling infrared sky radiation from greenhouse gases (mostly water vapor, to a lesser extent CO2) cause global warming of the Earth surface, when the emitting temperature of the sky is colder than the surface?”

    • Norman says:

      Gordon Robertson

      Please have mercy!

      YOU ARE SO WRONG!! “IR comes in vastly different frequencies and intensities. If those parameters do not match the requirements of a valence shell electron in an atom, the electron will not change energy states and the atom will not warm.”

      IR is not generated by electrons changing energy states. That is visible light!!! Please read up on it. I know I have linked you to numerous articles about this. IR is caused by molecular vibrations. It is a lower energy emission because the electromagnetic energy of the molecules that is generating the IR is farther away from the positively charged nucleus and there is not as much energy available in the molecular vibrations (like little springs being stretched and releasing energy when they fall back to their ground states).

      You are completely wrong but peddle the falsehood as if repeating it several times makes it more true.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “IR is electromagnetic energy while heat is thermal energy. “
      It is widely acknowledged that there are three forms of heat: conduction, convection and … RADIATION! So yes, “thermal radiation” is heat.

      “You cannot, as you claim, sum IR energies between bodies and claim that satisfies the 2nd law.”
      Sure you can. Study statistical mechanics.

      “If those parameters do not match the requirements of a valence shell electron in an atom, the electron will not change energy states and the atom will not warm.”
      Actually, it is vibrations of molecules or solids that generally absorb IR, not valence electrons jumping levels.

      “Thats the case when IR from a cooler atmosphere strikes the warmer surface.”
      I am not sure why so many people make this claim. If a surface (at say 300 K) absorbs a 15 um IR photon, it doesn’t matter whether that photon came from a 200 K material or a 2000 K material. The absorber has no way of knowing the temperature of the object that emitted the photon.

      “That rules out any fictitious net energy flow of IR.”
      Again, study some statistical mechanics. The 2nd Law is merely a statement about statistics. If you look at small enough # of atoms and short enough periods of time, you will indeed see “heat” from the cooler atoms to the warmer atoms. But on average with enough atoms and enough time, the flow will always end up being from warm to cool.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tim Folkerts…sorry, I’m trying to reply but Roy’s filters seem to be playing havoc with terms I am using.

        I’ll try a bit at a time.

        “thermal radiation is heat”.

        Thermal radiation is a misnomer. Heat cannot be physically radiated. Heat IS the energy in atoms and must remain in and around atoms.

        Radiation involving heat refers to EM that represents a quantity of non-thermal energy converted from thermal energy. After radiation, the energy is independent of atoms therefore it cannot be referred to as heat.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “Heat IS the energy in atoms and must remain in and around atoms.”
          No. In technical discussions of thermodynamics, “heat” (commonly denoted “Q”) is a process of transferring energy. You seem to be thinking of “internal energy” (sometimes called “thermal energy”) (commonly denoted “U”).

          When you use words in non-standard ways, it can only lead to muddled communications (and often is a symptom of muddled thoughts).

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tim Fokerts..”You cannot, as you claim, sum IR energies between bodies and claim that satisfies the 2nd law.

        Sure you can. Study statistical mechanics”.

        The 2nd law applies only to heat and heat transfer. It does not apply to EM or IR. The 2nd law stipulates that heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation. IR flux can flow both ways between bodies of different temperatures but heat can only be transferred one way.

        As Kristian has commented in another reply, the 2nd law applies to the real world and real systems. I realize the atoms referred to in SM are real but SM was derived because we cannot observe them directly.

        Clausius acknowledged the atomic processes that are the basis of statistical mechanics but claimed that related atomic energies did not matter in the calculation of heat transfer externally.

        In the real world, heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body unless compensation is provided to replace the heat extracted from a cooler body.

        I think people using statistical mechanics have to be extremely careful to apply it in the proper context.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tim Folkerts…”Actually, it is vibrations of molecules or solids that generally absorb IR, not valence electrons jumping levels”.

        What do you think joins atoms in a molecule? Valence electrons, right? The vibration in molecules are due to flexions between atoms. If the covalent bond(s) breaks, the molecule breaks apart.

        It is not correct to claim the vibration in molecules is independent of the valence electrons. A bar of iron is made primarily of covalently bonded iron atoms. There is no IR radiation internally and heat is transferred from atom to atom via valence electrons. Heat can also be absorbed on the surface via IR then transferred elsewhere in the bar via valence electrons.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          It is two distinct processes. For example, a hydrogen atom can absorb energy by having an electron jump to a higher orbital. A hydrogen molecule can absorb energy by having an electron jump to a higher orbital OR by having the molecule vibrate.

          Certainly the vibrations are RELATED TO the valence electrons, but the two phenomena are different.

    • barry says:

      “The 2nd law states clearly that heat can only be transferred between bodies from the warmer body to the cooler body under normal means”

      The 2nd law is about net flow. Yes indeed, warmer must lose heat to cooler. But 2nd law does not account for the dynamics of discrete energy flux between the two objects.

      Apparently, when my car overheats on a warm day but not a cool one, it operates in a parallel universe where our laws of physics don’t apply. The warmer ambient air temperature is still cooler than the engine, and yet it causes the engine to overheat.

      Perhaps you can explain this common phenomenon.

      • Kristian says:

        barry says, August 16, 2016 at 9:37 PM:

        The 2nd law is about net flow.

        Indeed. But the “net flow” is also all there is. Physically. In the realm where thermodynamic effects like warming and cooling actually exist and mean something – the macroscopic realm. What happens on a photonic (quantum) level doesn’t mean diddly-squat when it comes to heat transfers between thermodynamic systems or regions. The ‘net flow’ isn’t the net of TWO opposing macroscopic flows (or ‘fluxes’) of energy. (Thermal radiation is diffuse and incoherent, not collimated like lasers.) Rather, it’s the probabilistic directional average of ALL photon paths through ALL points in threedimensional space between the two systems/regions in question. IOW, the actual, detectable transfer of radiative energy from the one to the other, the HEAT transfer.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “But the net flow is also all there is.”
          If you had said “But the net flow is all that we are interested in here” then I could get behind the rest of it.

          As you seem to state later, photons are indeed flying in all random directions, so there is indeed much more to it than a simple 1 directional net flow. For macroscopic thermodynamics, these details may not be important, but “unimportant” is very different from “does not exist”!

          • Kristian says:

            Folkerts, did you read the next sentence?

            This would be the honest quote:

            But the net flow is also all there is. Physically. In the realm where thermodynamic effects like warming and cooling actually exist and mean something the macroscopic realm.

      • barry says:

        Kristian,

        Can you explain why my car engine overheats on hot days but not cold ones? The warmer ambient air is still colder than my engine, but somehow causes my engine to overheat. Is my car breaking the 2nd law?

        • barry says, August 17, 2016 at 12:49 AM:

          Is my car breaking the 2nd law?

          No. Did you at all bother to read what I wrote?

        • barry says:

          I did. The 2nd last sentence was beyond me.

          So I asked the question I’ve asked many times. I’ve never received an answer. To me it is a common demonstration that a colder medium (ambient air) can cause a hotter object to warm when the colder medium becomes warmer. Net flow is still hot to cold, but something is happening to my car engine on hot days.

          Do you agree, then, that a cooler medium can cause a warmer medium to get warmer if the cooler medium gets warmer? I made my point when Gordon stated the opposite. Do you agree with me or him?

          • Kristian says:

            Do you agree, then, that a cooler medium can cause a warmer medium to get warmer if the cooler medium gets warmer?

            Of course! It’s called “insulation”.

          • barry says:

            At last, agreement. Perhaps you can set Gordon Roberts straight.

            And there’s a bunch of other people here that could use your wisdom.

          • Kristian says:

            barry says, August 17, 2016 at 9:12 AM:

            Perhaps you can set Gordon Roberts straight.

            Gordon Robertson seems to mix up “heat” [Q] with “internal energy” [U], and apparently believes that IR energy thus can’t be heat. I don’t think I can make him change his mind on this. He’s wrong, of course, very wrong indeed. But I’ll leave that particular responsibility to you, pointing this out a hundred times over …

          • lewis says:

            Barry,
            The car question is actually simpler than you might think.
            The engine itself creates about the same amount of heat in the winter as in the summer. How well it dissipates heat is different.

            First, do you use the heater to warm the interior of the car in the winter? If the answer is yes, then you are adding a heat dissipation device in the winter you don’t use in the summer. In fact, using the interior heater to cool the motor is a common trick for overheating engines.

            2nd. Do you use the A/C in the summer? If yes, then you are adding a heat source to the engine that you don’t in the winter. Yes, the condenser in the front of the radiator, heats the air flowing over the radiator which causes the radiator to be less efficient.

            The ambient air will, of course, as the more scientific here point out, cause the heat dissipation rate to vary, as the difference in temperature is less in the summer than winter, but the air is not causing the motor to overheat, the lack of dissipation is.

            Further, the difference in the internal heat produced by the motor and the ambient air temperature is not that different from summer to winter. i.e. The combustion temperature is around 1700 degrees and you’re generally referring to a 50degree ambient air fluctuation.

          • barry says:

            Lewis,

            The ambient air will, of course, as the more scientific here point out, cause the heat dissipation rate to vary, as the difference in temperature is less in the summer than winter, but the air is not causing the motor to overheat, the lack of dissipation is.

            That’s how I understand it. A lot of people here don’t, which is why I pose the question.

            There are various ways that people try to disavow the reality that a cool object that warms can cause an even hotter object to warm as the equilibrium between them changes.

            I point out that 2nd law only applies to net flow, not to discrete fluxes. Some imagine that radiation emanating from the cooler object somehow never reaches the warmer object, as if there is a magic thermal shield. I wasn’t certain, but Kristian seemed to be of this mind when he said that net flow is all there is. But that is not the case. WRT electromagnetic radiation (specifically re GHE, the infrared) if more, or more intense IR is emitted by the cooler object, that hits the warmer object, causing it warm. The net flow is still from warmer to cooler – IR is more intense from the warmer body – but the warmer object must radiate more intensely to match the increased IR it receives.

            I’m a layman on thermodynamics, but this seems intuitive to me. The net flow is not all there is – it’s just all there is WRT to the second law.

        • FTOP says:

          As someone who has watched my engine overheat on a -2F degree day, I can tell you that outside ambient temperature is a minor factor in why your car overheats. The inside of the engine reaches 3600F and has to shed that heat to keep the engine from overheating.

          It is the water coolant system that helps the engine discharge its heat. In my case, a frozen line did not allow the water to cycle through and I sat on the side of the road freezing because my car engine overheated.

          Tmax for the engine is 3600F. There is no cold object, cooler object, or warmer object under 3600F that will raise that Tmax.

          The blanket analogies, insulation arguments, light bulb experiments, and steel greenhouses all fail to recognize that the source (body, home heater, filament, sun) is where Tmax is within the system. Perfect insulator could maintain that temp, but never exceed it.

          This is why you can’t put too sources together at temp (x) and generate 2x temp.

  28. Norman says:

    Gordon Robertson

    Look at these graphs please.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/tmp/surfrad_57b3d567f1608.png

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/tmp/surfrad_57b3d5996d160.png

    If you spend just a little effort looking at these you will actually understand the GHE and not keep posting your pointless nonsense on how could a colder object warm a warmer one.

    These graphs will show you exactly how it works and why. I will let you digest them without my interpretation at this time. I am hoping the light in your brain lights up and you go, “Oh now I get what they are talking about”.

    • Kristian says:

      Norman says, August 16, 2016 at 9:15 PM:

      These graphs will show you exactly how it [the “rGHE”] works and why.

      Only it doesn’t ‘work’ like that, Norman.

      • Kristian says:

        The atmosphere isn’t causing the average temperature of the surface to rise by radiating more energy down to it, Norman. That’s not how insulation works. That would rather be extra HEATING. And that’s the Sun’s domain. The atmosphere cools the surface by drawing energy away from it. However, since it has a mass that captures and thus warms from the energy drawn from the surface, it will naturally end up (much) warmer than space. And THAT’S how the atmosphere forces the average temperature of the surface to rise. If the atmosphere weren’t able to warm, Norman, if its temperature were only 2.7K, like space, then its radiative properties wouldn’t matter. It’s the TEMPERATURE of the atmosphere, being very close to that of the surface itself, that reduces the surface heat loss, both in terms of radiation, conduction, evaporation and (indirectly) convection.

      • Norman says:

        Kristian

        I am going to stick to measured values rather than your declarative statements based upon your own understanding of things which I agree only partially with.

        YOUR point: “Norman, if its temperature were only 2.7K, like space, then its radiative properties wouldnt matter.”

        Correct since it would be radiating almost no energy to the surface don’t know what that point is about.

        YOU: “Its the TEMPERATURE of the atmosphere, being very close to that of the surface itself, that reduces the surface heat loss, both in terms of radiation, conduction, evaporation and (indirectly) convection.”

        Yes that is what the GHE is claiming. Since the atmosphere has temperature the IR active gases will radiate in all directions and some will return to the surface of the Earth (combined 340 Watt/m^2 on average). The Earth’s surface is absorbing this atmosphere emitted IR so its total NET loss is the the combination of energy it is emitting minus the IR energy it is absorbing as the graphs clearly and easily show. Why do you state the graphs do not show this?

        • Norman says:

          Kristian

          Please click on the first graph. It shows Upwelling and Downwelling IR. Not a global average but specific fluxes for that location. The Upwelling IR at night is around 600 Watts/m^2. The Downwelling IR (GHE) is about 400 Watts/m^2. With GHE in place the surface is losing about 200 Watts/m^2. Since a Watt is a joule/second and the surface heat is the number of joules held by the surface material you can see that a loss of minus 200 Watt/m^2 is considerably less than 600 Watts/m^2 that would take place without GHE. Roy Spencer spent an entire thread on this concept showing night time would cool below freezing with no GHE.

        • Kristian says:

          Norman says, August 17, 2016 at 4:44 AM:

          I am going to stick to measured values rather than your declarative statements based upon your own understanding of things which I agree only partially with.

          The “declarative statements” are all yours, Norman. Specifically the ones claiming that two separate radiant fluxes inside ONE heat transfer are both in fact physically measured. You refuse to get this, because you apparently refuse to educate yourself on how these instruments actually work.

          They work by DETECTING the unidirectional radiant heat flux, plus the temperature of the sensor, and from these physical inputs they are programmed to CALCULATE two partial ‘fluxes’ up and down. And that’s the output that you observe. But those are merely computed values. It is physically impossible to detect two such separate ‘hemifluxes’ inside one integrated radiation field. You can ONLY EVER physically detect the radiant HEAT, the so-called ‘net LW’. Always, Norman. Read up!

          And this isn’t even my point.

          In the end it doesn’t matter whether you support a BIdirectional or a UNIdirectional transfer of energy within a radiant heat transfer. The result, the effect, is exactly the same.

          My point is, you cannot thermodynamically explain this transfer as if there were two separately working fluxes, “causing” temperatures to go up at each end of the heat transfer. Reality doesn’t work like that.

          If you insist on EXPLAINING the transfer bidirectionally, your explanation will end up violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, because then you create a spontaneous absolute temperature rise in the already warmer system solely and directly by transferring a macroscopic energy flux to it … from a colder place.

          This is NOT what is really happening! And I’ve explained it to you in terms of microscopic processes before, Norman.

          • Norman says:

            Kristian

            You state: “My point is, you cannot thermodynamically explain this transfer as if there were two separately working fluxes, causing temperatures to go up at each end of the heat transfer. Reality doesnt work like that.”

            In any of my posts or the measured flux values I linked to, where do I ever claim that temperature goes up at each end of heat transfer?

            Your other statement: “If you insist on EXPLAINING the transfer bidirectionally, your explanation will end up violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, because then you create a spontaneous absolute temperature rise in the already warmer system solely and directly by transferring a macroscopic energy flux to it from a colder place.”

            No you do not create a spontaneous absolute temperature rise in the already warmer system. The warmer system is radiating away more energy than it is receiving. It will NOT warm with an additional lower energy flux hitting its surface. Please understand this point.

            The equation works and is used. NET HEAT (Q)=(emissivity)(Stefan-Boltzmann Constant)(Temp of hot surface Kelvin^4 minus Temp of cooler surface Kelvin^4).

            The NET HEAT will flow from the Hot to cold surface. The temperature of the cold surface will affect the RATE of energy lost by the HOT SURFACE. The closer the cold surface reaches the temperature of the hot surface the less energy is lost by the hot surface. It the surface temperatures are equal NO HEAT flows and the surfaces stay the same temperature.

          • Kristian says:

            Norman says, August 17, 2016 at 8:26 AM:

            In any of my posts or the measured flux values I linked to, where do I ever claim that temperature goes up at each end of heat transfer?

            But that’s what happens, Norman? The surface gets warmer than it could be with a pure solar equilibrium alone, because it apparently absorbs another radiant flux (from the cooler atmosphere) also, effectively a “HEAT FLUX No.2”. It is ONLY through the absorp tion of the atmospheric “DWLWIR flux” that the T_s is raised from 232K (pure solar equilibrium (165 W/m^2 IN and OUT)) to 289K. The Sun takes no part. ALL the energy added to cause that final 58K temperature rise comes from the downwelling atmospheric ‘flux’:
            https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/drivhuseffekten.png

            Deny it all you want. That’s how the stupid “back radiation” explanation works.

            It’s not what you SAY. It’s what you DO.

            No you do not create a spontaneous absolute temperature rise in the already warmer system.

            Yes you are. Read the above.

            The warmer system is radiating away more energy than it is receiving.

            Indeed. And still the smaller incoming ‘flux’ is able to raise T_s from 232K (pure solar equilibrium) to 289K (observed average).

            It will NOT warm with an additional lower energy flux hitting its surface. Please understand this point.

            No, YOU please understand this point, Norman.

            The equation works and is used.

            Sure it is. But “Climate Science^TM” uses it wrongly.

            The NET HEAT will flow from the Hot to cold surface.

            No, not “net heat”. “Net ENERGY”. The net energy IS the “heat”. There is only one heat flux. It’s on the lefthand side of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. Q or q.

            And heat of course always and only flows spontaneously from hot to cold. You don’t have to tell me this, Norman. I’m telling YOU.

            The temperature of the cold surface will affect the RATE of energy lost by the HOT SURFACE.

            And what is ‘temperature’, Norman. It is a physical property of MATTER. The atmospheric thermal effect on the solar-heated surface is because its MASS is much, much warmer than space.

            The closer the cold surface reaches the temperature of the hot surface the less energy is lost by the hot surface.

            Again, this is a MASSIVE effect, not a radiative effect. If the cold surface were at, say, 2.7K, it would still have radiative properties, but it would no longer be able to create an insulation effect.

            An object has a temperature because it has a certain amount of “internal energy” held within. All this energy was absorbed and retained at some earlier stage. Radiative properties don’t in themselves let mass hold on to energy and warm. Radiation is simply a means by which the mass takes up AND releases energy.

          • Norman says:

            Kristian,

            Two fluxes do add. You can do your own simple experiment to prove it to yourself.

            Get a thermometer and record the ambient temperature of a good absorbing surface. Now shine one IR spotlight on the surface and measure the temperature at intervals until a new equilibrium is found. The surface is absorbing IR from the spotlight and its temperature is rising. Now turn on a second IR spotlight and shine it on the surface and see what happens. The temperature will rise even more.

            Fluxes of IR (or visible light for that matter) do combine and the resultant combination creates a greater flux than either alone could accomplish (two lights will light a room more than one etc and you can add many lights and really light up a room, the fluxes add).

            So the incoming solar can heat the Earth’s surface to a given equilibrium temperature (the outgoing radiant flux equals the solar incoming). With no GHG present that is as warm as it will get. GHG will provide a second flux and the two added together will give you the amount of energy the surface is receiving (in the Earth budget diagrams that would be around 161 + 333, note there are differing amounts but all are close to these values, 494 Watts/m^2 reaching the surface). Because of other means of surface heat loss the equilibrium temperature is 396 Watt/m^2.

            The atmosphere is not warming the surface, it is allowing a higher equilibrium temperature to be achieved. This is a significant concept that I feel you are not able to understand despite your obvious intelligent thought process. You need both Sun flux and Downwelling flux to achieve the increased surface temp.

          • Norman says:

            Kristian

            Your Point: “And what is temperature, Norman. It is a physical property of MATTER. The atmospheric thermal effect on the solar-heated surface is because its MASS is much, much warmer than space.”

            It would not matter if the atmosphere thermal mass was warmer than space as far as the surface was concerned. The only interaction the surface will have with the warm atmosphere is slow conduction. Conduction through air is very slow. It would do nothing to prevent the surface from rapidly cooling. You could have warmer air aloft but it would not help warm the surface. You would get to the freezing point at night as pointed out by Dr. Spencer in this link, take the time to reread it.

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

          • Kristian says:

            Norman says, August 17, 2016 at 12:28 PM:

            It would not matter if the atmosphere thermal mass was warmer than space as far as the surface was concerned.

            If there were no radiative properties at all, no. We’ve already established that, Norman. That we agree on.

            But like I said, the radiative properties can’t do anything either without the mass, because they need the temperature, they need for the atmosphere to retain absorbed energy from the surface, warm from it and keep that energy/temperature in place just next to the surface itself. This is the mass effect, Norman.

            And that is why the atmosphere BOTH needs to have mass to begin with AND for that mass to have radiative properties as one of its many physical attributes (in all observed atmospheres they follow automatically; they ‘come with the territory’, so to say; if there’s mass, there are radiative properties, otherwise the atmosphere simply wouldn’t function), for an “atmospheric thermal effect” on the solar-heated surface underneath to be realised. Mass alone couldn’t accomplish it. And radiative properties alone couldn’t either.

            You need BOTH, Norman. For the nth time.

            I’ve been pointing this out since we started this peculiar interaction of ours. But you just seem completely blind and deaf to what I’m saying. Still.

          • Kristian says:

            Norman,

            You appear to have a clear lack of thermodynamic understanding. Most notably, you do not grasp the difference between ‘heat fluxes’ and ‘radiances’.

            You write:

            Two fluxes do add.

            Only if they’re HEAT FLUXES. You cannot add a ‘radiance’ to a ‘heat flux’, Norman. Then you’re fooling yourself into severely muddled thought processes.

            (…) (two lights will light a room more than one etc and you can add many lights and really light up a room, the fluxes add).

            Yes, because they are all distinct HEAT FLUXES.

            However, the radiant heat of the surface of the Earth is its ‘net LW flux’, that is, mathematically the sum of two opposite radiances, the radiance of the atmosphere (the calculated DWLWIR) minus the radiance of the surface (the calculated UWLWIR).

            You cannot, then, add the solar HEAT FLUX (positive for the surface) and one of the two radiances together ‘making up’ the surface HEAT FLUX (‘net LW’) (negative for the surface) and expect to get any kind of meaningful result. All you’ll end up doing is tricking yourself into implicitly thinking (without ever saying it out loud, of course) that the solar heat flux and the radiance in question (the DWLWIR) are somehow equal and equivalent fluxes with similar thermodynamic powers (by directly raising the surface temperature). They most assuredly aren’t, and they most certainly haven’t.

            THIS is what you need to get, Norman, before we can move on.

            The atmosphere is not warming the surface, it is allowing a higher equilibrium temperature to be achieved.

            Priceless! And this just after having described in the previous paragraph how the atmosphere does in fact do just that, raise the T_s some more by adding extra energy to it.

            It appears you can’t even reach an agreement with yourself on how this is supposed to work.

            Don’t worry. The IPCC can’t either …

          • Norman says:

            Kristian

            The reason I do not accept your understanding of radiation and heat flow is that is is not logical or reasoned through.

            YOU: “However, the radiant heat of the surface of the Earth is its net LW flux, that is, mathematically the sum of two opposite radiances, the radiance of the atmosphere (the calculated DWLWIR) minus the radiance of the surface (the calculated UWLWIR).

            You cannot, then, add the solar HEAT FLUX (positive for the surface) and one of the two radiances together making up the surface HEAT FLUX (net LW) (negative for the surface) and expect to get any kind of meaningful result. All youll end up doing is tricking yourself into implicitly thinking (without ever saying it out loud, of course) that the solar heat flux and the radiance in question (the DWLWIR) are somehow equal and equivalent fluxes with similar thermodynamic powers (by directly raising the surface temperature). They most assuredly arent, and they most certainly havent.”

            You are correct to state that the radiant heat of the surface is the net IR flux. That is the only thing I would agree with.

            You make the claim that the downwelling and upwelling IR are not distinct and unique fluxes. I disagree on an atomic level. Each IR generating area (surface molecules of Earth and GHG in atmosphere) is doing so only based upon its own internal temperature. It IR is generated my molecules bouncing around disturbing electric and magnetic fields of their structures. The degree of bouncing around is based upon the motion of the molecules. The more vigorous the motion, the more IR that is generated. It is independent of any other body around it, the emission of IR is only dependent upon the temperature and emissivity of the surface and the flux is its own. The downwelling flux is likewise its own flux based upon the concentration and energy of the atmosphere. You may not accept this but it is very rational on an atomic level whereas yours is not logical at all.
            What does the IR from the atmosphere do to the surface molecules? In your vision (which is wrong even though you can’t accept it) the IR must somehow suppress the molecular vibrations of the Earth’s surface so that instead of emitting 390 Watts/m^2 it will only be able to emit 50 some watts/m^2. The amount of energy the surface molecules will emit is only based upon the emissivity and temperature of the Earth’s surface and nothing else. This flux will leave the surface in all directions.

            In your incorrect view it would seem that an Earth’s surface at 15 C would be generating a flux of 390 watts/m^2 but is you add a radiating atmosphere the energy will no longer be emitted at this rate (even though the surface temperature did not change) but will only now emit 50 some watts/m^2

            Same logic with the atmosphere. If there were no Earth surface below just a warm envelope of GHG atmosphere and it was radiating 340 Watts/m^2 then if you put a surface below it that was radiating at 390 then suddenly all this warm gas molecules just quit emitting IR? Sounds very poor logic to me.

            The atmosphere IR is a real energy flux of (averages around 340 but will be highly variable depending on location). It is also real energy that will add joules to any surface it comes in contact with that is able to absorb this energy (regardless of the surface temperature). These joules will add to the surface.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “If you insist on EXPLAINING the transfer bidirectionally, your explanation will end up violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, because then you create a spontaneous absolute temperature rise in the already warmer system solely and directly by transferring a macroscopic energy flux to it from a colder place.”

            Let’s try this. Start with a blackbody sphere @ 3K in deep space, far away from any stars.

            Around this sphere I put a shell of glass (transparent to visible; opaque to thermal IR) held @ 244 K radiating 200 W/m^2. I hope everyone agrees the sphere inside will eventually reach 244 K as well.

            In one model, we can say that the net flow (the heat) for the sphere is now 0, since the temperature is stable. In another model, we could say there is an IR flux of 200 W/m^2 each way. Both are equivalent, and neither violates the 2nd Law.

            Now I turn on 200 W/m^2 of sunlight, shining in thru the glass shell. The sphere warms, eventually reaching 290 K. At this point, the sphere is absorbing 200 W/m^2 of heat (from the star to the sphere) and radiating 200 W/m^2 of heat (from the 290 K sphere to the 244 K shell).

            Again, we can say the sphere is radiating a net 200 W/m^2 of IR, or we can say the sphere is radiating 400 W/m^2 and absorbing 200 W/m^2s. Both are equivalent, and neither violates the 2nd Law.

          • Kristian says:

            You have got to be kidding me, Folkerts!? Are you seriously trying to ‘prove’ here that the incoming solar heat flux and the “DWLWIR flux”, one of the two conceptual (and physically inseparable) halves of the outgoing surface heat flux, are in fact equal and equivalent when it comes to thermodynamic powers!?

            This is very simple: If you want to explain the higher T_s of Earth through the addition of some perceived “back radiation flux” from the cooler atmosphere, then your explanation has a problem with the laws of thermodynamics. Saying that photons fly in all directions and that some are also coming from the cooler surroundings and absorbed by the warmer system, is ok within the quantum realm, because there no thermodynamic laws apply. But the idea of the cooler surroundings sending an actual, separate macroscopic radiant flux (W/m^2) to the warmer system which, upon absorbing this flux, has its content of “internal energy” [U] and thus its T raised in absolute terms (U_1 > U_0; T_1 > T_0), is a completely different proposition. You are then in fact proposing “extra heating” of the warmer system.

            There is however a very straightforward way of dealing with this ‘problem’. You just acknowledge that those “DWLWIR” and “UWLWIR” ‘fluxes’ are merely mathematical constructs, and that they are not something that work separately as thermodynamically independent entities. They are both simply conceptual parts of ONE real (as in ‘observed’, ‘detected’) flux: the q, the heat flux.

            What you do then is simply always bearing in mind that the Sun heats the surface and the atmosphere cools it (only less so than space, at a given T_s), and that’s it. Then you remember that the “DWLWIR” and “UWLWIR” ‘fluxes’ can’t physically be put on either side of the surface energy budget – they are both part of the surface heat LOSS:

            Heat IN: 165 W/m^2 (from the Sun)
            Heat OUT: [398-345=] 53 W/m^2 (LW up) + 112 W/m^2 (cond & evap) = 165 W/m^2

            The IPCC version of this:
            Energy IN: 165 W/m^2 (from the Sun) + 345 W/m^2 (from the atm) – 112 W/m^2 (cond & evap) = 398 W/m^2
            Energy OUT: 398 W/m^2 (LW up)

            Which makes it seem as if the “DWLWIR flux” caused the surface temperature (289K -> 398 W/m^2) in collaboration with the solar heat flux.

            But this is just a case of back engineering. You will always be able to make it look as if you’ve explained some temperature. But that’s just a natural result of already knowing the T_s and the ‘net LW’. Then the rest will simply fit in.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Just answer the question. In your version of physics, will turning on the “sunlight” — after the glass shell has already warmed the surface to 244K — result in the sphere warming above 244K?

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, August 18, 2016 at 7:46 AM:

            Just answer the question. In your version of physics, will turning on the sunlight after the glass shell has already warmed the surface to 244K result in the sphere warming above 244K?

            First of all, it is not “my” version of physics. Just physics.

            Secondly, I already provided the answer in my response to Norman above your comment, so I’m not really sure why you’re even asking.

            Yes, because HEAT fluxes add. The glass shell is the first heat source of your sphere. It warms it directly. Then you turn on a second heat source, a “sun”, and the sphere will naturally become warmer. Why? Because of more HEAT IN.

            Two suns in the sky would make us warmer than one. Duh!

          • Kristian says:

            Now you answer my question, Folkerts:

            “Are you seriously trying to prove here that the incoming solar heat flux and the DWLWIR flux, one of the two conceptual (and physically inseparable) halves of the outgoing surface heat flux, are in fact equal and equivalent when it comes to thermodynamic powers!?”

            Is this really “your version” of physics!?

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Tim Folkerts…”In one model, we can say that the net flow (the heat) for the sphere is now 0…”

          Heat does not flow. Heat is transferred but the heat in one body does not flow to the other. Heat in one body is reduced while emitting IR and that IR can possibly cause the heat in another body to increase.

          You are thoroughly confusing EM and heat. Heat is the energy associated with atoms and unless the atoms flow somehow to another body the heat stays where it is in a body.

          Put away the thought experiments and explain to yourself the difference between thermal energy and electromagnetic energy. Then apply the 2nd law to the thermal energy but not to the EM.

          Heat can be transferred only from a warmer body to a cooler body and with radiative transfer that is done with EM. However, heat is not a property of EM.

          That’s why you are confused between the unidirectional transfer of heat a la the 2nd law, and the bidirectional flow of EM.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “Heat in one body…
            There is no such thing as heat, Q, being “in one body”. Until you get that basic bit of nomenclature straight, there is no possible way you can try to explain anything to anyone about thermodynamics.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Norman…”If you spend just a little effort looking at these you will actually understand the GHE and not keep posting your pointless nonsense on how could a colder object warm a warmer one”.

      Norman, if you understand those graphs please explain them. They make no sense to me.

      I don’t think the GHE exists, I think the oceans keep the atmosphere warm. Where I live in Vancouver, Canada warming currents from the Pacific Ocean keep us up to 50 C warmer in winter than inland areas like the Canadian prairies. On average, they keep us 20C warmer in winter.

      I think the explanation for the GHE is simply bad science. In your statement above, you are blatantly ignoring the 2nd law by dismissing my claims that heat cannot be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.

      How can you simply ignore the thermodynamics?

      • Norman says:

        Gordon Robertson

        YOU: “I think the explanation for the GHE is simply bad science. In your statement above, you are blatantly ignoring the 2nd law by dismissing my claims that heat cannot be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface.

        How can you simply ignore the thermodynamics?”

        I do not dismiss that “heat” cannot be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface. It is exactly what the graphs I linked to show. I think you are not using the current use of the word “heat” correctly in your reply to Tim Folkerts.

        Heat: “Heat always refers to the transfer of energy between systems (or bodies), not to energy contained within the systems (or bodies).”

        From this source:
        http://physics.about.com/od/glossary/g/heat.htm

        In the graph the GHE is the blue line (Downwelling IR). It is generally less than the upwelling IR so the GHE alone will not warm the planet’s surface or any other surface. Look at how the temperature drops at night in the chosen location. It would drop much faster without the GHE. Also look at the total Net energy in the second graph. The Total Net radiation. This is solar and all IR combined. Without a GHE in the second link the net loss at night would be much greater as well as during the day. You would have far less net energy which would lead to an overall cooler surface.

        I would agree oceans do warm the atmosphere and so far I do not know who is disagreeing with this. But what sets the ocean temperature? The GHE works on oceans as well.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Norman…”Heat: Heat always refers to the transfer of energy between systems (or bodies), not to energy contained within the systems (or bodies).”

          You need to read Clausius directly.

          If you have a bar of iron and you heat one end with a torch, what does that have to do with the transfer of energy between bodies? Even without the torch heating the bar, it is hotter than a block of ice at room temperature. Obviously the bar contains heat as a property.

          If the bar is at room temperature, 20C, compared to a body at absolute 0K, the bar has a temperature of +293C.

          What does that mean? Why do different substances have different temperatures at different times and in different contexts? It’s about the atoms that make up the substances. It’s about the state of agitation of the atoms, about their kinetic energy.

          That is heat, aka thermal energy.

          Thermal energy can flow from valence electron to valence electron in a conductor. In an insulator, there is a quantum expression for it. If two conductors are in contact, the thermal energy will flow from one body to the other if there is a temperature gradient.

          With radiation, the thermal energy is reduced as it is converted to EM. If the EM contacts a body at a lower temperature, it may be absorbed. If it is absorbed, the thermal energy in that body will increase.

          Some modernists are claiming heat is not thermal energy. I claim they are full of hot air.

          Read Clausius.

          • Ball4 says:

            “It’s about the state of agitation of the atoms, about their kinetic energy.”

            Yes, that’s insightful Gordon. Stick with kinetic energy (KE).

            Instead of sticking with KE, Gordon backslides all the time – if Gordon really had stuck with his proper KE insight here’s what his 2nd to last paragraph wording would have been:

            Some modernists are claiming kinetic energy is not kinetic energy. I claim they are full of hot air.

            Meaningless. Gordon is the modernist full of hot air except for one insightful sentence about KE with which he should have stuck. Up with this I will not put.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Norman…”If you spend just a little effort looking at these you will actually understand the GHE…”

      I went back and looked at both your sets of graphs. The top graph plots watts/metre^2 versus time of day, and the bottom one plots temperature versus time of day.

      How will that help me understand the GHE? I fail to see the connection. You seem to be implying that residual heat retained by the land and oceans overnight are proof of the GHE. I claim that it just takes a while for the surface to cool.

      Stephen Wilde has named it the hot water bottle effect. He comments here from time to time. It makes far more sense to me than 1% of the atmosphere representing GHGs warming the atmosphere 33C.

      http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-hot-water-bottle-effect/

  29. Norman says:

    Dr. Spencer

    I just saw this article. I should post it on the July temp thread but that may no longer be viewed.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/climate-change-july-was-hottest-month-in-recorded-history-nasa-says-even-as-effect-of-el-nino-a7193146.html

    The claim is that this year’s July was the hottest ever on record.

    In your satellite data for the lower troposphere global you have July 1998 at 0.51 anomaly and this year it is 0.39. This year is considerably cooler than your 1998 July.

    I think this year might be second in your satellite data (did not look at all but from your graphs the rest seem much cooler).

    • barry says:

      2nd warmest July in the UAH record. But there’s not much to make of that. All temp records are best estimates with different ways of analysing the data, and satellites and surface records measure different slices of the atmosphere. No reason to expect them all to line up exactly the same.

      For example, RSS (satellite record) has July 2016 as the 3rd warmest in that record. July 1998 was the warmest, and July 2010 the 2nd warmest.

      Japanese Meteorological Association (global surface temp record) has July 2016 as the warmest July

      NOAA has June 2016 warmer than May, but the opposite for GISS.

      These small differences even out over the long term (say 30 years) and the different trends are not far apart. Annual ups and downs for all these records are highly correlated in sign, but amplitudes vary.

    • barry says:

      Conveniently, 1998 is the warmest twelve months in the UAH satellite record (as opposed to say warmest twelvemonth being Nov 1997 – Oct 1998). Hard to say whether 2016 will be warmer or cooler, but a better metric would be based on any twelvemonth. It’s a bit more possible that the 12 months Oct 2015-Sept 2016, or Dec 2015-Nov 2016 may be warmer than Jan-Dec 1998, than it might be for Jan-Dec 2016.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Norman “The claim is that this years July was the hottest ever on record”.

      That claim was made by NOAA, who are under investigation by a US Senate committee for making such ludicrous remarks.

      Remember that NOAA claimed 2014 or 2015 as the hottest year and gave it a confidence level of 48%. When the confidence level rose to 90%, it was in 4th place where UAH had it listed.

      Why a confidence level for real data? If you are only 48% confident why print the trash?

      NOAA admitted on it’s site (it is gone now) that they have slashed 5000 surface stations from a global pool of 6500 and applied the data from 1500 to a climate model. In the model it is homogenized and interpolated to synthesize data for the 5000 stations they removed from the record.

      That is the only circumstance I can think of where a confidence level would apply. When you synthesize temperatures using an algorithm in a model you would need a confidence level.

      It makes no scientific sense to throw out real data and replace it with data synthesized in a model. Even before they had begun such scientific misconduct, they had slashed stations to the point where there was only three reporting stations in California, all near the ocean. The entire Canadian Arctic was covered by one reporting station.

      Why are they doing that? NOAA is a US government organization that is under the Environmental Protection Agency. Obama staffed the EPA with serious uber-alarmists and recently he has been on a witch hunt to root out climate deniers, whatever they are.

      NOAA is now a political organization working on behalf of climate alarmists.

      • barry says:

        NOAA admitted on its site (it is gone now) that they have slashed 5000 surface stations from a global pool of 6500

        Wrong! The data wasn’t removed, it was back-filled in the mid-90s from non-reporting stations. The paper on it can be found at the top likn here

        You can see the original ‘drop out’ graph in that paper explaining what was done, which so many skeptic websites reproduced with a fabricated narrative.

        (Please read the original paper. It will save time)

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @barry…”…The data wasnt removed, it was back-filled in the mid-90s from non-reporting stations”.

          May take a minute to load.

          https://web.archive.org/web/20130201082455/http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/weather_stations.html

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @barry…part 2

            Also, if you dig through this site a bit you will see the full extent of the misconduct. It explains what they have done almost site by site.

            https://chiefio.wordpress.com/gistemp/

          • barry says:

            Gordon, read the fricking paper (first link, PDF full paper). It explains exactly what happened. The conspiracy theories are ignorant.

            Eg, in the mid-90s…

            Thirty-one different sources contributed temperature data to GHCN. Many of these were acquired through second-hand contacts and some were digitized by special projects that have now ended. Therefore, not all GHCN stations will be able to be updated on a regular basis. Of the 31 sources, we are able to perform regular monthly updates with only three of them

            1500 weather stations around the world send their data to GHCN in a format that automatically updates by the 8th of every month. In the mid-90s the compilers collated hand written data, or data that was not in a format that could be processed automatically, and digitised them. This project ended in 1996/7.

            Far from deliberately dropping stations out, the project actually added thousands of stations that are not part of the automated stream – backfilling data not available for automatic processing. When the project finished, the number of stations dropped back to about 1500 that report monthly to GHCN in a processable format.

            The twist on this story is just sick. Stations weren’t dropped after 1996/7. Thousands of historical records were added by a series of projects that collected off-line data. Those projects ceased by 1997. Hopefully a funding injection will initiate another project and more historical data will be manually added.

            Read the fricking paper. It is THE source material. It’s the source of the ‘drop out’ chart that critics peppered the net with, but without checking the source for the actual story. Without that straightforward diligence from you, this conversation will be a waste of time.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @barry…”Gordon, read the fri-cking paper…”

            Barry…you are so blinded by your appeal to the authority of NO-AA that you cannot see what they have really done.

            They admitted to slashing 5000 stations from a global pool of nearly 6500 stations. What it does not tell you in the paper is that they applied the 1500 stations to a climate model then synthesized the missing stations using statistical interpolation and homogenization.

            The paper is pre 1998 before it became apparent that global warming has ended. The IPCC has admitted that and NO-AA is in denial.

          • barry says:

            What it does not tell you in the paper is that they applied the 1500 stations to a climate model then synthesized the missing stations using statistical interpolation and homogenization.

            The results are virtually identical whether you infill, interpolate, grid, or use only the 1500 stations. Which is kinda obvious, as infilling would do almost exactly the same job as averaging with the data from the 1500. Because infilling is based on the 1500. Remove the synthesised station data, which is the average of neighbouring stations anyway, and you still have the same results.

            NOAA does this because their processing methods requires it, and because they also want to provide absolute temp estimates (which can be derived from the synthetic anomalies) for all stations, even when there is missing real data. It’s not necessary, as gridding real data will give virtually identical results to infilling based on the real data, but they do it for legacy reasons. It makes no difference.

            (BTW, Goddard gets it completely wrong because he uses absolute temps instead of anomalies. Anomalies homogenise absolute differences in temps at different altitudes – because if you’re looking for change over time rather than weather reports, using anomalies is a much better method. Using absolute values will make a difference if there is a preponderance of warmer or cooler sites removed. With anomalies, this artefact disappears. That’s one of the useful things about using anomalies – which every data set prefers, including the data set compiled by the owner of this blog. Because UAH and other global temp records aren’t focused on daily weather reports, they’re interested in discerning change over time)

        • barry says:

          Of course the paper doesn’t discuss modeling that occurred years later. One can surmise that they did not possess a time machine.

          They admitted to slashing 5000 stations from a global pool of nearly 6500 stations.

          If you read the paper on this, you certainly didn’t understand it, because that is absolutely bogus. The 5000 stations were not deliberately removed. They were all non-reporting stations that were added retroactively in projects during the 90s. After the projects finished – where much of the data was compiled from hand-written records – the number of stations drops down to those that actively report their data to GHCN.

          Though it is poorly worded, that is mentioned in the NOAA web page you linked. The paper I linked is the source for those comments. If you want to understand, read the paper. And understand it.

          In order to test ‘skeptic’ theories – that stations showing lower trends were deliberately dropped – a number of analysts compared the trends of pre and post-cutoff weather stations, finding that pre-cutoff data actually raised the global trend compared to trends using only the 1500 stations.

          http://clearclimatecode.org/the-1990s-station-dropout-does-not-have-a-warming-effect/

          Lie upon lie, debunked and debunked. Don’t be fooled.

      • barry says:

        Why a confidence level for real data?

        Statistical honesty. All global temp data are best estimates.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @barry…”All global temp data are best estimates”.

          You think the AMSU units on satellites or the thermometers in surface stations are estimating the temperature???

          Granted, when a thermometer high reads 30C and the low read 10C in a day, and the average is recorded as 20C, that’s a bit of a stretch. However, it’s not an estimate.

          An estimate is when you write a computer program to ‘estimate’ the physical atmosphere, apply data from thermometers to it, make further assumptions about how the atmosphere works, then use the data synthesized by your estimate as if it was recorded by a thermometer.

          • barry says:

            You think the AMSU units on satellites or the thermometers in surface stations are estimating the temperature???

            They’re taking radiance measurements of the atmosphere to infer temps: temps by proxy, adjusting for satellite drift, orbital decay, and stitching the result together from different satellites using different instruments over time.

            Yes, the satellite temp record is based on a series of estimates.

            All global temp data are best estimates. They all have structural and statistical uncertainty.

            Which is why NOAA gives confidence levels for their results. It’s good practice.

          • mpainter says:

            If he meant GISS he was right. Gavin Schmidt is a corrupter of data, and that has been documented. Another source of NASA corruption of science is the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The reputation of NASA has suffered greatly under this administration. Former NASA employees and astronauts have publicly decried the corruption. Obama found a way to silence them. Obama will soon be gone, thank GOD!

          • mpainter says:

            Satellite msu give very reliable data. The proof is in the pudding: 37 years of reliable and accurate data from UAH that covers the globe thoroughly and gives better accuracy than surface datasets, which are rendered unreliable by the various manipulations.

            Perhaps most importantly, UAH clearly shows the late 20th Century warming in the step-up following the 1999 La Nina. This warming coincides with reduction in global cloudiness. No warming this century, none to come. Goodbye AGW, Hello little girl.

          • barry says:

            Satellite msu give very reliable data. The proof is in the pudding: 37 years of reliable and accurate data from UAH that covers the globe thoroughly and gives better accuracy than surface datasets, which are rendered unreliable by the various manipulations.

            False to imply that satellite derived temp data has not undergone revisions like the surface sets. The adjustments have resulted in changes just as large or larger than the surface sets, particularly earlier revisions.

            There is no reason to believe that the satellite record is more accurate than surface record or vise versa. Significant challenges are present for both.

            But the main point is that these are estimates, and confidence levels are good practice when describing the results. UAH discuss uncertainty levels for their product, although you have to do a bit of digging to find that.

          • mpainter says:

            Absolutely UAH temperature datasets have_not_undergone fabrication, manipulation, fabrication, in the manner of the surface data. It is false to suggest that they have. Improvements to the UAH process simply are refinement of the product, which product has always been superior to the surface datasets.

            You like the surface datasets?
            You can have them.
            I’ll take UAH, thank you.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @barry…”Theyre taking radiance measurements of the atmosphere to infer temps: temps by proxy, adjusting for satellite drift, orbital decay, and stitching the result together from different satellites using different instruments over time”.

            How else would you take radiance measurements? They are not inferring temperatures we humans invented temperature.

            We humans had to device methods to measure EM radiation and in doing so we had to invent techniques and set artificial standards.

            We invented temperature scales by defining set points at the freezing and boiling points of water. We adjusted mercury in vials to expand and contract to represent those set points based on known properties of mercury. Then we extended the temperature to absolute zero K using the freezing point of water as +273C = 0C.

            We did the same using the temperature coefficients of semiconductors like thermisters. AMSU units are subjected to a broad array of data points from oxygen molecules radiating in the microwave EM band.

            You can do a heck of a lot more with an electronically-operated device like an AMSU, with regard to accuracy, than you can a standard glass thermometer.

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/01/how-the-uah-global-temperatures-are-produced/

            Measurements based on such scales are not estimates. Neither are measurements based on the AMSU units. The scales may be relative but they are measuring the radiation directly, not estimating it.

            In reality, radiation does not care what we humans think of it. Atoms radiate energy and to quantify it we humans devised scales and equipment to give a relative measurement of the energy in atoms we call heat.

            Your arguments about orbital decay, etc., are red-herring arguments. The decay problems were solved circa 2005 and RSS pretty well agrees with UAH as to the difference between the sat record and the surface record. The sat record is significantly below the surface record and does not show the record temperatures shown on the NOAA surface record which they derived statistically.

            The sat records have also been confirmed by weather balloons.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @mpainter…”If he meant GISS he was right. Gavin Schmidt is a corrupter of data…”

            Steve McIntyre at climateaudit caught GISS a while back trying to change 1998 as the warmest year in the States from 1934.

            GISS gets it’s raw data from NOAA and it is already corrupted. That’s why the US Senate has hauled them on the carpet to explain. Thus far, NOAA has resisted all attempts to produce the data asked of them by the Senate committee.

          • barry says:

            Measurements based on such scales are not estimates. Neither are measurements based on the AMSU units. The scales may be relative but they are measuring the radiation directly, not estimating it.

            Your arguments about orbital decay, etc., are red-herring arguments. The decay problems were solved circa 2005 and RSS pretty well agrees with UAH as to the difference between the sat record and the surface record.

            Oh bollocks. UAH underwent the latest revision last year! The result was a fairly significant change in temp trends from about 2000. And the long-term UAH trend went from being nearer the surface records to nearer RSS. So UAH was not ‘accurate’ from 2005 to 2015?

            You can read about changes to methodology with the new version 6.0 (which itself has been updated 5 times since April last year, now at 6.5) here:

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/

            Lo and behold, Dr Spencer gives us a confidence interval for the long-term trend…

            The rest of the reduction in the LT trend between Versions 6.0 and 5.6 (-0.016 C/decade) is believed to be partly due to a more robust method of LT calculation, and the new diurnal drift adjustment procedure, described later. It is well within our previously stated estimated error bars on the global temperature trend (+/- 0.040 C/decade).

            As you can see, satellite orbital variance continues to be a problem dogging the satellite record. So is homogenising the data from different satellites.

            So UAH also have uncertainty estimates. You might inquire of Dr Spencer what the uncertainty is for annual average temps.

            Needless to say, there will be revisions with different results in the future. RSS has already done so for mid-troposphere and total troposphere data, and should produce a revised TLT data set in the coming months.

            The sat record is significantly below the surface record and does not show the record temperatures shown on the NOAA surface record which they derived statistically.

            Yep, different methods, different slices of the atmosphere, different challenges.

            The sat records have also been confirmed by weather balloons.

            Not by all radiosonde data sets.

            This is the same old assertion of superiority pedaled by those who prefer the idea of lower temp trends. It’s lower than other data sets, so it must be accurate.

            Handwaving dismissiveness about the problems with satellite drift, homogenisation of data from different satellites and other challenges of inferring temperature from unstable proxy data is… handwaving. You wouldn’t know how to quantify the issues, so you qualitatively assert that they are not issues at all.

            I favour none of the data sets over another, so this sort of behaviour is clear as crystal whenever it emerges in the semi-popular ‘debate’.

          • barry says:

            Gavin Schmidt is a corrupter of data, and that has been documented.

            Which data set does Gavin Schmidt compile?

          • mpainter says:

            Barry, you are confused. Temperature measurements are not “estimates”. Measurements are not estimates.
            It is with this sort of obfuscation that you present surface temperature datasets as reliable.

            Once again, it is false to present UAH product refinement as the same sort of data manipulation as in the surface datasets. The surface data manipulators all achieve results at variance with each other. Which do you believe?

            Here’s my recommendation: believe UAH, forget about the others

          • barry says:

            Temperature measurements are not estimates. Measurements are not estimates.

            But that’s not what I said.

            I said the global temp records are best estimates.

            That is what they are.

            No data set has 100% global coverage.
            No data set has stable data.
            All data sets undergo adjustments.
            All data sets undergo periodic revisions.
            All data sets have known issues that make the results uncertain.
            They will all continue to undergo revisions.

            This is the case for satellite and surface data sets.

            They are best estimates. No amount of rhetoric and hand-waving will make this untrue.

            What you and some others are trying to push – by making it seem like the satellite records have either non-existent are totally insignificant issues – is that the satellite records are superior.

            There is no way to judge that. Because there is not a ‘true’ temperature record to compare with, and you have no way of quantifying the impact of various issues.

            So you simply assert. You assert your preference.

            No, I will not bias my view out of preference. I will prefer none and deal with all.

            That is what you should do, and leave the conspiracy theories to the ideologically biased.

          • mpainter says:

            UAH is superior, for all the reasons I gave above and which you studiously ignore while you blather about other topics.

        • mpainter says:

          His own. It is unique. Pretend you otherwise?

          • barry says:

            Name the data set.

          • mpainter says:

            I did. See above. What’s wrong with you?

            Do you still insist that temperature measurements are estimates?

          • barry says:

            Can’t find your comment stating clearly what data set he compiles. You didn’t name the data set, you just said there was one. At NASA? What are you referring to? Paleoclimate records, instrumental record of temperatures? What? Name it.

            Please give me a link to the data set that Gavin Schmidt compiles. That would be even better – corroborating your claim.

          • mpainter says:

            Are you unaware that Schmidt is head of GISS ?

          • barry says:

            Yep, I’m aware of that. He’s posted articles about the GISS data set in that capacity, but so has Tony Heller, Anthony Watts etc.

            Schmidt’s research publications are about climate modeling.

            What I would like to see is a link to a research paper with Schmidt’s name on it that shows he is a co-compiler of the data set, rather than uses work (done by other people at NASA) to write about it.

            This research paper with his name on it would detail any changes to GISS global temp methodology that Schmidt has had a hand in, verifying that he has made changes to methods, thereby ‘corrupting’ the data.

            As far as I’m aware, the most recent revision to GISS methods was in 2010, detailed in a paper with Hansen as leader author and Schmidt’s name nowhere to be seen.

            http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha00510u.html

            Unless you can show that Schmidt has had a hand in any changes to GISS methods, the notion that he has ‘corrupted’ the data lacks any evidence whatsoever.

          • barry says:

            You realize that GISS does a heck of a lot more than global surface temp records?

      • mpainter says:

        The NOAA is in the Department of Commerce.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @mpainter…”The NOAA is in the Department of Commerce”.

          That’s even worse. ☺

          • doctor no says:

            On a recent live Australian TV show, newly elected extreme right-wing senator Malcolm Roberts pontificated about the temperature record

            Senator Roberts:
            “I’m saying two things. First of all, that the data has been corrupted and we know…”

            Professor Brian Cox:
            “What do you mean by corrupted? What do you mean?”

            Senator Roberts:
            “Been manipulated…”

            Professor Brian Cox:
            “By who?”

            Senator Roberts:
            “By NASA…”

            Professor Cox:
            “NASA?!”

            The audience began to laugh.

          • mpainter says:

            mpainter says:
            August 17, 2016 at 10:56 AM
            If he meant GISS he was right. Gavin Schmidt is a corrupter of data, and that has been documented. Another source of NASA corruption of science is the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The reputation of NASA has suffered greatly under this administration. Former NASA employees and astronauts have publicly decried the corruption. Obama found a way to silence them. Obama will soon be gone, thank GOD!

          • doctor no says:

            mpainter,
            Do you believe in the moon landing ?

            Do you believe that NASA, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the UK Met Office, all independently manipulated temperature data but accidentally got the same answer – or that they all connived together ?
            This is what the unhinged senator believes – something to do with a world-wide conspiracy, banks, Jewish families etc etc

          • mpainter says:

            Poor Australia. Skepticism is healthy in the US, May it remain so. The extension of the pause will assure that.

          • Toneb says:

            Scepticism is healthy.
            What, what passes for an elected representative, voiced, was far from that.
            It’s psychopathy.
            Like those that voice such bizarre claims on here – it says far more about them than anything else.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @dr no…”Been manipulated

            Professor Brian Cox:
            By who?

            Senator Roberts:
            By NASA

            Professor Cox:
            NASA?!

            The audience began to laugh.”

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

            Actually, NASA GISS gets it’s data from NOAA. It’s NOAA who is corrupting it by feeding real data into a climate model to synthesize data for real data they scrapped.

            The facts that the interviewer and the audience laughed about that shows the level of ignorance when it comes to an appeal to the authority of someone like NASA or NOAA.

            Anyone who accepts the words of NOAA or NASA blindly is a fool.

          • barry says:

            Do you realize that every skeptic attempt to construct comprehensive global surface temp records from raw data has resulted in slightly higher trends than those published by NOAA, GISS, Met Office?

            The Japanese Meteorological Agency also compiles a global surface record, and they get results very similar to the other groups.

            The Japanese are in on the conspiracy too, are they?

            In case you’re interested, they use GHCN data to 2000, and CLIMAT data from 2001, and their own collection of global SSTs for the whole period (from 1891).

            The post-2000 results also closely match the other institutes. BEST uses far more data than GHCN, and Roman M and Jeff Condon (skeptics) constructed their analysis from raw GHCN.

            Perhaps Jeff Condon is in on the conspiracy, too?

            https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/thermal-hammer/

          • mpainter says:

            Nor does UAH have the siteing problems that distort surface temperature datasets. These are the biggest source of spurious data and it is a problem I have confirmed myself, as have others in the millions.
            It is mere pretension that the surface datasets are of comparable quality to UAH.

            UAH is corroborated by radiosonde data and correlates at .98 with this source. Surface datasets often are at variance with each other as well as with UAH.

            I’ll take UAH, thank you.

          • barry says:

            I’m not partial either way.

            mpainter, how do you explain 4 different national sources and 2 groups of skeptics (basing on raw data) coming up with virtually identical global surface temp records?

            What explains this?

            It can’t be adjustments or conspiracy because skeptics did their own analyses using raw data.

            So. Why are the results so similar?

          • mpainter says:

            They are not identical, you made that up.

            How do you explain your claim that temperature measurements are estimates ?

          • mpainter says:

            I note that the AGW crowd says of skeptics that they believe outlandish notions about moon landing, etc., the whole time hunting for daemon plant foods to seize and burn at the stake.

          • barry says:

            They are not identical, you made that up.

            No, you made that up.

            barry: …virtually identical global surface temp records?

            I ask again, why are the global surface records skeptics produce so similar to the ones produced by the institutes?

            In fact, both skeptic groups that have done this get slightly higher trends than UK Met Office record.

            Skeptic groups used raw data. Conceived their own methods.

            If NOAA, GISS, Met Office are fudging things to make temps warmer, why do skeptics corroborate their results when they produce their own global surface data sets?

            I’d be interested in a straight answer.

          • barry says:

            How do you explain your claim that temperature measurements are estimates?

            A repeat fabrication of what I’ve said, to which I’ve already replied.

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220651

          • mpainter says:

            Pardon me Barry but you are full of it. None of the surface datasets are identical.

            If you want to call surface datasets “estimates”, fine, I always thought these temperatures were by measurement.

            The satellite msu measures with instruments that are redundantly calibrated eight times a second. It’s good that you should call that an “estimate”. Helps make my point about your tendency to twist meanings out of shape. Thank you.

          • barry says:

            Pardon me Barry but you are full of it. None of the surface datasets are identical.

            Misrepresenting what I’ve said (many times now) is intellectual dishonesty.

            Avoiding my question is intellectual cowardice.

          • mpainter says:

            You are shifty and evasive and you you distort and twist meanings and dodge behind semantic obfuscation. You are also ungrateful for the patient instruction I have provided. Willfully obtuse when it suits you, you are otherwise an ignorant and ill-informed fount of AGW dogma. Enough of you.

        • barry says:

          distorted..

          Projection. I said “virtually identical” and “so similar.” You misrepresented that by announcing I said “identical.”

          It’s in black and white for all to see. You do yourself no credit with this distortion, and even less by claiming that I am the one who twisted on the point.

          dodge…

          I have asked you why skeptics using raw data and their own methods have come up with global surface temp records “so similar” to the ‘official’ records, why skeptics produce trends that are even slightly higher than those produced by UK Met Office.

          Can’t be conspiracy or adjustments – they are skeptics and they use raw data. So why are the results so compatible?

          How is it that this global temp record – made by skeptics, link below – has warmer trends than the UK Met Office posts, if the UK Met Office has fudged the data to make things look warmer?

          https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/thermal-hammer/

          I expect you will continue to clam up about it because you have no answer.

          • mpainter says:

            barry says:

            Projection. I said virtually identical and so similar. You misrepresented that by announcing I said identical.
            ###
            I rest my case.

          • barry says:

            Still diverting to semantics, still dodging the question.

            Two skeptic groups get higher trends than UK Met Office when the skeptic groups do their own analysis of global temps based on raw data and using their own methods.

            Here is an example.

            https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/thermal-hammer/

            Explain how UK Met Office is fudging the data to make it look warmer when 2 skeptic groups get higher trends.

          • doctor no says:

            Barry,
            “Intellectual coward” is a very appropriate description for mp.

            Either that, or a very disturbed recalcitrant teenager.

  30. Gary Meyers says:

    How much of a temperature differential would you expect to see?

  31. lewis says:

    Barry, this is a reprint from above, just wanted to make sure you saw it.

    Barry,
    The car question is actually simpler than you might think.
    The engine itself creates about the same amount of heat in the winter as in the summer. How well it dissipates heat is different.

    First, do you use the heater to warm the interior of the car in the winter? If the answer is yes, then you are adding a heat dissipation device in the winter you dont use in the summer. In fact, using the interior heater to cool the motor is a common trick for overheating engines.

    2nd. Do you use the A/C in the summer? If yes, then you are adding a heat source to the engine that you dont in the winter. Yes, the condenser in the front of the radiator, heats the air flowing over the radiator which causes the radiator to be less efficient.

    The ambient air will, of course, as the more scientific here point out, cause the heat dissipation rate to vary, as the difference in temperature is less in the summer than winter, but the air is not causing the motor to overheat, the lack of dissipation is.

    Further, the difference in the internal heat produced by the motor and the ambient air temperature is not that different from summer to winter. i.e. The combustion temperature is around 1700 degrees and youre generally referring to a 50degree ambient air fluctuation.

  32. Norman says:

    Kristian

    I am continuing down here with this continuous debate about how IR works.

    Above you keep up this notion that IR fluxes are not distinct individual flows that are the result of a temperature of a surface.

    YOU: “There is however a very straightforward way of dealing with this problem. You just acknowledge that those DWLWIR and UWLWIR fluxes are merely mathematical constructs, and that they are not something that work separately as thermodynamically independent entities. They are both simply conceptual parts of ONE real (as in observed, detected) flux: the q, the heat flux.”

    Why would you do this and what makes it a valid science? What is your conclusion based upon? Do you have any reference to explain it.

    Why would not two individual fluxes exist from two different surfaces? Why should I think the fluxes as just mathematical constructs and not independent entities?

    Based upon atomic theory your idea is incorrect and has no real physical basis. What textbook or source, other than your own mind concluding this, did you come up with this approach to radiation?

    You may be drawing your conclusions from a misunderstanding of the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

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

    There is nothing in this law or equation that would support your conclusion of it and at the atomic level your conclusion would seem most ridiculous since you need to understand the basic reason material is emitting IR which you are not taking into consideration in your posts.

    • Clearly, before emitting an IR flux, an object checks to see whether incoming fluxes are occurring and how strong they are. Then, if the object decides it can emit more than is coming in, it does so. (/sarc)

      • barry says:

        To get a fix on the exact point of disagreement, break it down even further. Advance piecemeal till someone says they disagree.

        Here’s the first point I would offer up (to you, Kristian).

        2 objects in space of different temperatures, each with their own heat source, both radiating in proximity:

        Does electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cooler object physically reach the warmer object?

      • mpainter says:

        Do two 100 W light bulbs at close proximity radiate at higher emission because of the proximity of the other? In that case, you have a sum greater than 200 W, do you not?
        Does that square?

      • barry says:

        Can you answer the question I asked?

  33. Norman says:

    Dr. Spencer

    Your post made me laugh but that is the same conclusion I reach if I accept Kristian’s version of EMR.

    • Kristian says:

      And you’d be wrong. You continue to mix up the MICRO and the MACRO realms, Norman. You’re unable to keep them apart. Seemingly, Spencer is too.

      This isn’t hard at all. I am not proposing any new theories or models here on how radiation works. I am only referring to how the literature describes it, starting with Planck himself.

      Then “Climate Science^TM” came along and messed it all up. Utter confusion ensued …

      • Norman says:

        Kristian

        YOU: “And youd be wrong. You continue to mix up the MICRO and the MACRO realms, Norman. Youre unable to keep them apart. Seemingly, Spencer is too.”

        I really do not think I am. I want to know your sources of information on how you understand EMR theory. Where does it come from? Do you have sources for your information?

        Climate Science did not mess up EMR theory. It actually is using it correctly and understanding the process. The flaw is in your reasoning not their understanding.

        Can you answer the question of why you think individual fluxes are not real? Where did you come to accept this as a real fact? Do you have any source material that justifies this or is it your own conclusion?

        • Kristian says:

          Norman says, August 18, 2016 at 9:06 AM:

          I want to know your sources of information on how you understand EMR theory. Where does it come from? Do you have sources for your information?

          I’ve given you sources several times on earlier posts here on this very blog, Norman, and now you’re back as if it never happened. That’s pretty disingenuous.

          Climate Science did not mess up EMR theory. It actually is using it correctly and understanding the process. The flaw is in your reasoning not their understanding.

          Nope. You still do not even understand what I’m saying, so how can you tell that my reasoning is flawed? You evidently THINK I’m saying something else than what I’m really saying. I’ve been trying so many times now to explain it to you from various angles, but you always respond the same way, by not addressing at all what I’m saying and just talking out of your own bubble. It’s like you have this complete blind spot right where my argument is.

          Go back and read previous exchanges between the two of us on this particular subject. I can’t be bothered repeating it all one more time, Norman.

          Can you answer the question of why you think individual fluxes are not real? Where did you come to accept this as a real fact? Do you have any source material that justifies this or is it your own conclusion?

          This is a prime example of what I write above. You do not grasp what I’m getting at at all, and so are not capable of even addressing what I’m arguing.

          That’s because you are so far into your dogmatic bubble on how these things work, it seems, that you simply cannot find your way out, in order to step away from it and take in a new and different perspective.

          Try, Norman, try (!!) to wipe those straight arrows drawn on pieces of paper to represent “radiation” from your mind. And start from the beginning. What IS radiation? Start in the quantum realm and zoom out until you cross the “thermodynamic limit”, into the macroscopic world. What do you see?

      • barry says:

        You continue to mix up the MICRO and the MACRO realms, Norman. Youre unable to keep them apart.

        This is an odd outlook, from you, considering…

        But the net flow is also all there is. Physically. In the realm where thermodynamic effects like warming and cooling actually exist and mean something the macroscopic realm. What happens on a photonic (quantum) level doesnt mean diddly-squat when it comes to heat transfers between thermodynamic systems or regions.

        What are we supposed to keep apart?

        AFAIU the micro realm is the discrete exchange of energy, and the macro world is simply the net result.

        They are distinct but complementary.

        • mpainter says:

          mpainter says:
          August 18, 2016 at 10:10 AM
          Do two 100 W light bulbs at close proximity radiate at higher emission because of the proximity of the other? In that case, you have a sum greater than 200 W, do you not?
          Does that square?

          ###

          Does it square, barry?

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Yes. No. Yes.

            Let me give a more clear example of a radiator that exemplifies these ideas. Suppose the 100 W radiator is a flat square with an area of 0.01 m^2. Put it in deep space far from any major sources of radiation and it will radiate 50 W from each side (ie 100 W total), meaning a temperature of ~ 545 K.

            Now put a second such radiator right beside the first. The two sides of the squares facing each other radiate nothing to space — they only radiate at each other. This means the two outer faces must each radiate 100 W (still 200 W total) , meaning the radiators will warm to ~ 648 K.

            So, to expand on my initial answers …
            * “Yes” the “outside” surfaces radiating to space will rise to a higher temperature and radiate more strongly to space that before. (This is compensated by the “inside” srfaces radiating less to space)
            * “No” this does not mean more than 200 W radiating to space since one radiator is partial blocking the other from radiating to space. (My example maximizes this effect, while yours minimizes it, but it is still there in principle).
            * “Yes” this is all perfectly within the laws of physics.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Or put another way, an object radiating a set total power to a 0 K background covering all 4 pi steradians will have a specific temperature. Any incoming thermal radiation (or non-thermal radiation for that matter) at any wavelength covering any part of the 4 pi steradians will cause the temperature of the object to increase.

          • mpainter says:

            Hi Tim, thanks for your response.

            Increasing the temperature increases its radiance, right? So W is increased, right?
            Which means in my example above the sum exceeds 200 W. This is supposed to square with thermodynamics?

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            I assume a “100 W bulb” means 100 W of electrical power in. If it ALSO receives “P” watts of EM radiation as an input, then it must naturally radiate (100 + P) watts total when in equilibrium, so it must get warmer.

            Its like the car engine mentioned earlier. For a fixed rate of gasoline consumption by the engine (fixed watts into the engine), the temperature depends on the temperature of the surroundings. The engine might overheat on a hot day, while operating perfectly fine on a cold day.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Tim Folkerts…”I assume a 100 W bulb means 100 W of electrical power in. If it ALSO receives P watts of EM radiation as an input, then it must naturally radiate (100 + P) watts total when in equilibrium, so it must get warmer”.

            The 100 watts is relative to the filament resistance and the applied voltage. The resistance in the filament will draw a current from the voltage source where P (watts) = I^2 x R.

            I’m not sure what you are claiming about EM heating the resistor further. It could be done but you’d require a very high temperature heat source since EM radiates isotropically and depending on where you placed the source only a fraction of the radiated EM would reach the resistor. Getting too close would likely fracture the glass around the filament.

            Maybe a lens could be used. A lens made of ice has been used to focus energy from the Sun onto steel and melt it. The ice was unaffected, showing that EM carries no heat.

            Do you see my point? All the thought experiments in the world mean nothing unless you can demonstrate the reality. Neither the GHE or AGW comes close to demonstrating the reality.

        • mpainter says:

          Well, Tim, two light bulbs at 200 W now radiate at more than 200 W. You have discovered a new source of power. Patent it.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            I’m not sure why you would think think this is particularly exciting. The bulb still radiates a *NET* 100 W because it is still receiving a *NET* 100 W.

          • mpainter says:

            That is Kristian’s whole point. It must be viewed in terms of *net* otherwise you wind up in a conceptual tangle.
            In your example of two thin plates, I can have them radiate at double their original wattage by your reasoning. Obviously that’s absurd. This all has implications for AGW doctrine.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            You can view it either way with no tangle. There is no problem.

            Why would you consider it absurd that two 100 W heaters jammed together would act like a single (100+100) = 200 W heater???

            Just like there is no problem with the atmosphere’s radiation adding to the sun’s radiation. The surface of the earth receiving some given average W/m^2 of sunlight would be different temperatures depending on whether it is radiating to 3K outer space or to a much warmer atmosphere.

          • mpainter says:

            Your thin metal plate will radiate at one temperature and the same W on each face. 200 W total. Original power was 100 watts, remember.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            I am not even sure what your objection is. With two plates everything still works fine.

            ANALYZED WITH NET FLOWS
            A plate receives 100 W of electrical power
            The plate @ 648K emits 100 W of thermal radiation to space
            The plate emits 0 W of thermal radiation to the other plate also at 648K.
            >>> Input = output
            >>> 100 W = 100 W + 0 W

            ANALYZED WITH TWO-WAY FLOWS
            A plate receives 100 W of electrical power
            The plates receives 100 W of thermal radiation from the other plate @ 648K
            The plate emits 100 W of thermal radiation to space
            The plate emits 100 W of thermal radiation to the other plate.
            >>> Input = output
            >>> 100 W + 100 W = 100 W + 100 W

          • Brandon R. Gates says:

            Tim Folkerts,

            “I am not even sure what your objection is.”

            Near as I can tell, he’s not grokked the significance of each bulb (or plate) partially blocking the other from freely radiating into space. So while his thought experiment doubles the system’s power output, the effective radiating area of the system does not quite double. Thus there’s an increase in power *per unit area* and an attendant rise in temperature.

            This really shouldn’t be controversial if he thought of it a different way — considering two bulbs of equal sizes but different wattages, not too many people would argue that the higher wattage bulb is going to burn cooler.

          • mpainter says:

            My observation holds true. Or show why not.

          • Brandon R. Gates says:

            Only imaginary lightbulbs are completely transparent.

        • Kristian says:

          AFAIU the micro realm is the discrete exchange of energy, and the macro world is simply the net result.

          They are distinct but complementary.

          Yes, barry. And the Laws of Thermodynamics apply to the MACROSCOPIC world, not to the quantum world.

          A power density radiant flux (W/m^2) is a MACROSCOPIC entity. A photon isn’t.

          In the macroscopic realm, only the net result matters, and only the net result is a “real” thing, because it is all that can ever be detected/observed. No matter how you twist and turn. And the “net” isn’t the sum of TWO oppositely flowing (macroscopic) power density fluxes. It’s the probabilistic average of ALL photon movements (in terms of both direction and frequency) passing through ALL points in the threedimensional space between the warmer and the cooler object. There is just ONE macroscopic movement of energy through this energy field, even if there are two radiating objects at each end of the field, barry.

          • barry says:

            Does radiation from a cooler object physically reach a warmer object?

            Yes or no? Simple answer, please. I think the conversation is bogged down by trying to argue too much at once. No need to presume what my follow on is, just curious about whether you agree this occurs or not.

          • barry says:

            I gather from the above that you agree, but I can’t figure out why this observation interferes with anything. I put a question to the group (and you) about it at the bottom of the thread.

      • Ed Bo says:

        Kristian:

        You say: “I am not proposing any new theories or models here on how radiation works. I am only referring to how the literature describes it, starting with Planck himself.”

        Hogwash! Let’s see what Planck actually said:

        “But the empirical law that the emission of any volume-element depends entirely on what takes place inside of the element holds true in all cases (Prevost’s principle). A body A at 100 C emits toward a body B at 0 C exactly the same amount of radiation as toward an equally large and similarly situated body B’ at 1000 C. The fact that the body A is cooled by B and heated by B’ is due entirely to the fact that B is a weaker, B’ a stronger emitter than A.”

        (Planck, M. “The Theory of Heat Radiation” p. 6, 1914)

        So like most things, you’ve got this exactly backwards!

        At the absolute maximum, all you have is a semantic quibble, not a scientific point.

        Most children are exposed to the associative property of addition and subtraction at age 7 or 8 and have pretty well internalized it by age 10. In the case here, you can subtract the downwelling longwave infrared from the upwelling first to get the net longwave transfer (what you consider “real”), and then subtract this from the shortwave solar input to get the surface energy balance.

        OR… you can first add the downwelling longwave infrared to the shortwave solar input to get the total inputs, then subtract the upwelling longwave infrared from the surface to get the surface energy balance. If you understand the associative property as most 10-year-olds do, you realize that you get the same answer in both cases.

        Recently, there was a TV game show called “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” that pitted adults against 10-year-olds. In your case, I’m afraid the answer to the question is NO!

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          ED BO…”Hogwash! Lets see what Planck actually said:”

          You’re taking Planck out of context. In the quote, it states that warmer body A is cooled by cooler body B. That may have been the thinking when Planck wrote the book but we now know that body A will cool on its own unless it’s heat level is maintained by another source.

          If body A is at 100C and body B is at 0C, and B is close enough to A, then B will help to cool A faster. However, A will cool on it’s own.

          If the heat source for A is not maintained, then bringing B close to it will cool it. What’s that got to do with the atmosphere?

          I’m not sure if Planck knew about IR emissions related to valence electrons in his day. He also referred to radiation from a heat source as heat rays. We now know the rays are not heat but EM.

          We can empathize with someone circa 1900 thinking that the heat felt when holding one’s hand close to a heat source was coming from the source directly to the hand. It’s not. It’s EM, as IR, emitted from the heat source exciting the atoms in the skin, causing them to warm. There is no heat in EM.

          Something similar happens if someone walks in front of a very high powered communication antenna. The high frequency RF interacts with the person’s organs to heat them. There is no heat whatsoever in radio waves.

          I read Planck’s book and enjoyed it but the book was actually about quantizing heat at the atomic level. He described the theory well, talking about a flow of a hot substance and how it’s temperature could not be derived at the atomic level. It had to be averaged.

          Therefore, they (Planck and Boltzmann) worked on ways to introduce probability theory to entropy. He made it very clear that such a relationship could never be visualized.

          “In the case here, you can subtract the downwelling longwave infrared from the upwelling first to get the net longwave transfer (what you consider real), and then subtract this from the shortwave solar input to get the surface energy balance”.

          You have mixed references to heat and IR in the same statement. You can derive the net IR flow all you want, it has nothing to do with the direction of heat transfer.

          • Brandon R. Gates says:

            Gordon,

            Planck’s wording (or is it the wording of the English translator?) about cooling is unfortunate, but also not far from modern everyday language. We commonly speak of water ice cooling a glass of liquid water, which is of course not strictly correct. What actually happens is that the ice, being colder than the surrounding liquid, absorbs more energy than it gives back, which causes the ice to warm up and thence change phase to liquid. Melting continues until the solid phase is completely gone, or — if we added a sufficient amount of ice — the system becomes roughly isothermal at ~0 C with both solid and liquid phases present.

            It’s much simpler to say that the ice cools our drinks below the ambient air temperature they’d otherwise obtain, and that is — effectively — what happens when we drop ice cubes into them.

            You spend a lot of words saying what heat is NOT. Do you have a general definition for what heat IS?

          • Ed Bo says:

            Gordon: Wow! Where to even start???

            You say: “we now know that body A will cool on its own unless its heat level is maintained by another source.”

            Ridiculous! If body A is thermodynamically isolated, it maintains its temperature. That’s the most basic statement of the 1st Law. As Planck correctly stated, if it is in thermodynamic contact with a hotter body, it will increase in temperature. If it is in contact with a colder body, it will decrease in temperature.

            You say: “Im not sure if Planck knew about IR emissions related to valence electrons in his day.”

            If you understood ANYTHING about spectroscopy, you would know that the infrared emitted and absosrbed by substances at earth ambient temperatures has nothing to do with the levels of valence electrons and everything to do with molecular vibrations.

            But your biggest nonsense is in statements like: “There is no heat in EM” and “You can derive the net IR flow all you want, it has nothing to do with the direction of heat transfer.” You are just showing that you absolutely do not understand the most basic concepts here.

            First, since you are trying to nitpick on terminology (but failing miserably…), let’s get some terms defined correctly. Any decent textbook will tell you that heat is “a transfer of energy as a result of a temperature difference”.

            Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry at Oxford, in his book “Four Laws That Drive the Universe”, states: “In thermodynamics heat is not an entity or even a form of energy: heat is a mode of transfer of energy. It is not a form of energy, or a fluid of some kind, or anything of any kind. Heat is the transfer of energy by virtue of a temperature difference. Heat is the name of a process, not the name of an entity.”

            So when you state, “There is no heat in EM”, you are at best making a meaningless statement, and really just completely wrong. In radiative heat transfer, the EMR is THE mechanism for “the transfer of energy as a result of a temperature difference.” (Do you think there is something like “caloric fluid” that carries this energy?)

            And when you state: “You can derive the net IR flow all you want, it has nothing to do with the direction of heat transfer”, you are absolutely and completely wrong! The direction of heat transfer is COMPLETELY determined by the sign of the net IR flow! If the energy in the IR flow from A to B is greater than the energy in the IR flow from B to A, so the net IR flow is from A to B, then the “direction of heat transfer” is from A to B. Period!

          • Ball4 says:

            Ed – You have to be even more clear (than Prof Atkins) with this crowd:

            “Any decent textbook will tell you that heat is “a transfer of kinetic energy as a result of a temperature difference””.

            Note that this is ok as EMR has no kinetic energy so in a vacuum:

            “In radiative heat transfer, the EMR is THE mechanism for “the transfer of energy as a result of a temperature difference.””

  34. Steve Richards says:

    To the recent posters here on the subject of how it all works!:

    I have a problem with this in as much as the use of radiation laws in a vacuum versus in the same laws in the atmosphere.

    If I have a heated plate located at the bottom of a tube, say at 100C driven by 10W of electrical power. One metre away at the other end of the tube, I have a heat sink forced to be 20C.

    The contents of the tube can be:

    1) vacuum
    2) ambient air including CO2 and H2O
    3) ambient air with CO2 removed
    4) ambient air with H2O removed
    5) ambient air with both CO2 and H2O removed
    6) the above but the tube inverted, with heat at top.

    Now, in 1), the t^4 laws apply etc with no temperature gradient between hot and cold. The stream of photons leaving the hot plate travel towards and ‘land’ on the cold plate dumping its energy into the cold plate, to be removed by the cooling system.

    I would agree that if the forced cold plate temperature was varied externally, the hot plate temperature would vary. But I would like to test it.

    In option 5) with little IR active gases present, what happens?

    Is their a temperature gradient from 100C down to 20C? I would expect so, but how do the radiative gas laws work here?

    Options 3) and 4) with be somewhere between 1) and 5) I think.

    Option 6) will remove convection from consideration.

    Your views are welcome.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Your problem is over-specified. Start with case 1. To hold hold one plate at 100 C and one at 20 C in vacuum will require a given amount of power that depends on the geometry of the set-up. If you do it right, you could adjust things so that this power was indeed 10 W into the hot end (and 10 W out of the cold end).

      If you now introduce a gas (say case 5 with no GHG for simplicity), there will now be convective energy exchange IN ADDITION TO the radiation. Something has to give. If you keep the two ends at 100C & 20C, you will need more than 10W or heating. If you keep keep the one at at 100 C with 10 W, the far end will warm above 20C.

      At a minimum, you need to remove one condition before starting any analysis.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Steve Richards…”I would agree that if the forced cold plate temperature was varied externally, the hot plate temperature would vary. But I would like to test it”.

      Why? You are presumably running current into a resistive load (the lower plate) so the lower plate consumes 10W. Why would the resistance change in the lower plate load because the upper plate changed temperature. That’s the only way the lower plate could become warmer, if the resistance lowered or the voltage increased.

      Please don’t get sucked into these stupid thought experiments about back-radiation. IR is not heat and heat cannot be transferred from a colder plate to a warmer plate.

      I don’t care if IR emitted by the colder plate reaches the warmer plate. Clausius made it clear when he formulated the 2nd law that heat cannot, of itself, be transferred from a colder object to a warmer object.

      The inference there is clear. IR from a colder body is not absorbed by the atoms in a warmer body.

      When you read stuff like Boltzman and Kircheoff, you have to be very careful, and precise, about what you are measuring.

      • Norman says:

        Gordon Roberts

        Your declarative statement: “The inference there is clear. IR from a colder body is not absorbed by the atoms in a warmer body.”

        This is not a clear understanding or a correct view. IR is absorbed by all bodies able to absorb it regardless of temperature. The hot body will absorb IR flux from the cold body. It will just emit more than it absorbs. The Equation disagrees completely with your inference so I really do not know what foundation it is based upon other than your own incorrect opinion based upon a misunderstanding of radiant energy flows.

        Q(net)=(emissivity)(Stefan-Boltzmann constant)(Area of hot surface)(view factor)(Temp of hot object^4-Temp of cold object^4)

        The cold object temp effects the net loss of energy by the hot object. The warmer the cold object the less energy loss. This totally violates any validity to your faulty conclusion above.

        How is this taking place? If the two bodies are in a vacuum only EMR affects the surface temps. Why does the temp of the colder body affect the loss of energy by the hotter surface if the hotter surface is not absorbing IR.

        Also what stops the absroption of IR by the hot body? Why do you feel strongly it would not do so?

  35. Norman says:

    mpainter

    Okay here goes. A realistic example of GHE that you will understand.

    Initial condition is to have a plate in dark space (no external source of energy). The plate is one square meter so its total surface (front and back) would equal 2 square meters (each face is one square meter).

    To this plate is added a continuous 800 watts of energy (800 joules of energy per second, this amount will not change).

    At equilibrium each side will be emitting at the rate of 400 Watts/m^2. So you have 800 watts entering the plate and 800 leaving.

    To make it easy I will just use an emissivity of 1.
    So the surface is radiating at 400 Watts/m^2 at equilibrium so the surface temperature will be 289.8 K (16.65 C and 62.02 F).

    Next phase is to bring another plate close to the first one (close enough that side radiation from each surface is minimal). This is a nonheated plate.

    In time this plate will reach a temperature same as the first and be at equilibrium. The face of the heated plate will emit 400 Watts/m^2 to space. The heated face in direct line of the unheated face will emit 400 Watt/m^2 and receive 400 Watts/m^2 from the nonheated facing surface. The opposite side of the nonheated (internally heated is what I am stating with the term nonheated, it is heated by the hot surface) plate is radiating 400 watts/m^2 to space. Equilibrium.

    Now for the GHE. Put a styrofoam insulator on the opposing surface of the nonheated plate with a new plate attached after that. The styrofoam is such thickness (I calculated about 4 cm) that it allows only 100 watts/m^2 to flow to the new plate on the opposite side of the nonheated plate. So now the opposing side of the nonheated plate is only emitting 100 Watts/m^2. This will force up the other plate’s temperature as it still has to get rid of the 800 watts input and will continue heating until it reaches a new equilibrium temperature that will allow a loss of 800 watts/m^2 from the system.

    Since the nonheated plate can only emit 100 watts/m^2 the temperature of the heated plate will rise until the opposing side is emitting 700 watts/m^2 (you now have 800 watts/m^2 leaving the system). The heated surface will rise up to emit 700 watts/m^2 from both surfaces and the nonheated plate surface facing the heated surface will also rise to 700 watts/m^2. The two interior surfaces are both exchanging 700 watts/m^2 losing zero energy to space.

    A surface emitting 700 watts/m^2 will have increased in temperature to 333.3 K (60.15 C or 140.27 F)

    You can clearly see a nonheated plate can and does increase the surface temperature of a heated plate considerably if the radiation is not allowed to leave at the rate the heated plate is freely emitting at.

    The atmosphere works like the insulated plate. It will be warm on the bottom but so much at the top since conduction through air is very slow and the radiant heat exchange is so much faster.

    I hope that helps you understand the GHE. It is real, it works, it is based on thermodynamics, it is good science and it is being measured daily.

    The Earth’s surface acts like the heated plate. Solar input is heating it but so much the atmosphere. GHE just forces a higher equilibrium temperature.

    • mpainter says:

      Norman, I understand the GHE.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Norman “You can clearly see a nonheated plate can and does increase the surface temperature of a heated plate considerably if the radiation is not allowed to leave at the rate the heated plate is freely emitting at.

      The atmosphere works like the insulated plate. It will be warm on the bottom but so much at the top since conduction through air is very slow and the radiant heat exchange is so much faster”.

      With regard to the atmosphere acting as an insulator, the proverbial heat-trapping blanket, here’s what physicist/meteorologist Craig Bohren had to say about that in his book Atmospheric Physics. “It’s a metaphor at best, and at worst, plain silly”.

      It is plain silly. Heat cannot be trapped as EM. Even the EM flux, as IR, is so vast that the pithy amount of GHGs in the atmosphere would miss most of it. Your blanket with 1% of the atmosphere being GHGs would be so full of holes it would be useless.

      Think of a real greenhouse made with 100 panes of glass, Remove 99 panes to get your 1% equivalent GHGs and what do you have? A greenhouse with 1% glass.

      You failed to specify the type of energy in your thought experiment but it appears you meant electromagnetic energy (IR). Heat is thermal energy and does not flow through the atmosphere unless atoms flow through the atmosphere as in convection.

      Atoms of air can be trapped by glass in a real greenhouse but in the atmosphere they rise when heated, being replaced by cooler air. That’s the only way you can trap heat, by trapping the atoms whose kinetic energy is heat.

      How long are you going to persist in trying to pass off IR as heat? I have no argument about your plate thought experiment in general so long as you specify the energy between them as IR.

      The moment you try to bring heat into the experiment you must honour the 2nd law. That limits heat transfer in a medium like the atmosphere to a one way transfer.

      • Norman says:

        Gordon Robertson

        Up above you told me to read Clausius to find his definition of “heat”. Really does not matter how he defined heat. Current physics uses heat to describe transfer of energy from a hot body to a colder one. Internal energy is used to describe the kinetic energy of a body.

        You can still use and old outdated terminology for heat but don’t expect people to understand what you are talking about.

        Current physics use of heat then IR is definitely heat when you have two surfaces with different temperatures. Heat can also follow conduction or convection. It is currently described as the energy transfer and IR will qualify under current understanding.

        Your understanding of physics is poor at best and I would suggest reading some more modern and updated material. There is enough GHG present to absorb a large degree of surface emission and your greenhouse glass analogy is very poor and not based at all upon reality.

        • Ball4 says:

          “Really does not matter how (Clausius) defined heat.”

          Yes it hugely does Norman, or confusion sets in immediately, as can be seen repeatedly in comments. Gordon had a very deep insight above at 10:56am: (Heat is) about the state of agitation of the atoms, about their kinetic energy.

          That is exactly Clausius’ definition of heat in his 1st memoir p. 18: “We…shall assume generally that a motion of the particles (in a body) does exist, and that heat is a measure of their (kinetic energy).”

          • Norman says:

            Ball4

            Because of the confusion (using heat to describe two things, one internal energy of a body and also the energy transferred from a hot body to a cold one) the modern physics approach was to create two terms. For the kinetic energy of a body they describe this as internal energy and heat as the transfer of energy.

            Gordon is not wrong but modern physics has redefined the use of the term heat to only mean transfer of energy. I think it was done to avoid confusion but people reading older texts will have the old definition used by Clausius.

            If you want to communicate with modern physics students it would probably be best to use the current definition of heat. At least don’t call people wrong that are using the modern definition of the word heat. They are not wrong to say IR is heat energy (if it is moving from a warm surface to a cool one) since that is the current definition of heat.

            I know you like the old classics but this link will provide you with the current use of the term “heat” and it is no longer used to describe the internal kinetic energy of a body.
            http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heat.html

            Gordon can state that in Clausius time IR was not considered heat but currently it is.

          • Ball4 says:

            Norman – the modern definition of heat is still exactly the same as Clausius used. If you test comments against Clausius definition, you will very quickly determine the false, misleading comments.

          • Norman says:

            Ball4,

            Did you look at my link of current use of heat?

            What Clausius describes is now called internal energy.

            Your Post: “That is exactly Clausius definition of heat in his 1st memoir p. 18: Weshall assume generally that a motion of the particles (in a body) does exist, and that heat is a measure of their (kinetic energy).

            That is now internal energy and heat is only used to describe a transfer of energy from hot to cold.

          • Ball4 says:

            Yes, Norman, your modern link exactly uses Clausius’ definition of heat from over 150 years ago, principles are ageless, no changing them as they keep passing tests:

            Clausius 1st memoir: Weshall assume generally that a motion of the particles (in a body) does exist, and that heat is a measure of their (kinetic energy).

            Norman’s link: “Internal energy is defined as the energy associated with the random, disordered motion of molecules.”

            Compare i.e. test this defn. against each use of the heat term through out these comments to separate those comments that demonstrate an understanding of basic thermo principles from those that do not. It is fairly easy.

          • Ball4 says:

            “heat is only used to describe a transfer of energy from hot to cold.”

            Does not pass the defn. of heat by Clausius. Even your link says: “An object does not possess “heat”; the appropriate term for the microscopic energy in an object is internal energy.”

            If an object does not possess heat, then heat cannot transfer elsewhere. An object possesses kinetic energy in its constituents.

            Weshall assume generally that a motion of the particles (in a body) does exist, and that heat is a measure of their (kinetic energy).

            Kinetic energy can transfer. If in vacuum, KE reduces in an object as it emits light (EMR). That light (EMR) can be absorbed, transmitted and reflected when incident on other objects. If light (EMR) is absorbed, then the photon is annihilated, becomes kinetic energy once again. If transmitted or reflected, the photon lives on.

          • Ball4 says:

            Norman, let us take Kristian to task where he writes:

            “And the OLR at the ToA is a HEAT FLUX. It is Earths heat loss to space.”

            Test this against Clausius 1st memoir: “We…shall assume generally that a motion of the particles (in a body) does exist, and that heat is a measure of their (kinetic energy).”

            The OLR is light (EMR) which does not possess KE, so OLR does not possess heat according to Clausius as Kristian incorrectly writes.

            Also according to Clausius defn. of heat, OLR is not Earth’s heat loss as Kristian incorrectly writes as OLR does not possess KE. Correctly, the OLR is Earth’s photon (EMR) energy loss to space.

            This Clausius method to test comments against will always work Norman, no need to look up anything more. If you do, 1st test any thing you find against Clausius defn.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick says:

      Norman,
      “In time this plate will reach a temperature same as the first and be at equilibrium. The face of the heated plate will emit 400 Watts/m^2 to space. The heated face in direct line of the unheated face will emit 400 Watt/m^2 and receive 400 Watts/m^2 from the nonheated facing surface. The opposite side of the nonheated (internally heated is what I am stating with the term nonheated, it is heated by the hot surface) plate is radiating 400 watts/m^2 to space. Equilibrium.”

      This is not correct. The two plates will not be at the same temperature. The second plate will be cooler than the first (heated) plate, and the heated plate will increase in temperature. The second plate will radiate infrared both towards space on one side and toward the warmer plate on the other side. The equilibrium temperatures for the plates will be such that the total loss from both to space is equal to the power supplied to the heated plate, 800 watts. The net heat radiated by the heated plate will also be 800 watts, of course.

      You can think of the second (unheated) plate as a poor quality insulator. Poor quality, but still enough to cause the heated plate to warm. Make that second plate highly polished aluminum on the side facing the heated plate, and the second plate will reflect(not absorb) almost 100% of the IR radiation it receives from the heated plate, and it will be an excellent insulator. (just like a Thermos bottle or Dewar flask) The heated plate can then have a significant net loss of energy only on one side, so its temperature will rise until it radiates close to 800 watts per sq meter…. but the nearly 800 watts emitted on the side facing the polished aluminum plate will just bounce back, so the heated plate will receive back that near 800 watts the second plate reflected. The net loss on one side is close to 800 watts to space, while the net loss on the other is close to zero. But the heated plate still radiates on both sides equally, as it must. The reflective plate will remain not far from the temperature of deep space (or at the temperature of deep space if the polished side is a perfect reflector). A radiating black body does not ‘know’ where is radiated photons are going, and the rate of emission per unit area depends ONLY on its temperature. The radiated photons can go toward a warmer object or a cooler object; it makes no difference in the quantity emitted. The net radiative flux for a blackbody depends on both how much is emitted and how much is received.

  36. Norman says:

    mpainter

    Sorry this sentence is missing a word: ” It will be warm on the bottom but so much at the top since conduction through air is very slow and the radiant heat exchange is so much faster.”

    Should read ” It will be warm on the bottom but NOT so much at the top since conduction through air is very slow and the radiant heat exchange is so much faster.

  37. Norman says:

    Kristian

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220511

    No links only your opinion: In this one you claim: “Thats because there isnt a radiant flux of 390 W/m^2 leaving the surface of the Earth. The (annually and globally averaged) radiant flux leaving the surface of the Earth is a mere 52-53 W/m^2. And the radiant flux leaving Earth as a whole to space through the ToA is ~239 W/m^2 on average. Both according to CERES EBAF.”

    Totally disagree. There is a higher radiant flux leaving the surface than 52 Watt/m^2. It is based upon the surface temperature and emissivity of the location. The Heat flux is only 52 watt/m^2 NOT the radiant flux. Radiant flux is independent of any other body present.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220505

    No link to any source material here

    Or here

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220507

    • Kristian says:

      Here’s what I said, Norman:

      “Ive given you sources several times on earlier posts here on this very blog, Norman, and now youre back as if it never happened. Thats pretty disingenuous.”

      So not on THIS post. On EARLIER posts.

      Also, it seems to be your OPINION that the surfrad instruments are in fact detecting a “back radiation flux” to the surface from the atmosphere, and that they are therefore ‘proof’ that such a flux exists as an independent (and thus thermodynamically active) entity.

      They do NOT detect such a flux, Norman. And that is not my opinion. Read how these instruments work.

      • Norman says:

        Kristian

        I think you are wrong.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrgeometer

        Link to how they work.

        Proof of the flux is a logical conclusion based upon the understanding of why IR is emitted. It is based upon the kinetic energy of the surface molecules. If the GHG molecules have kinetic energy then they emit a flux of IR in all directions. The amount of this flux is dependent upon the air temperature and the GHG concentrations (until saturation is reached than more GHG has little effect).

        This is why I will generally believe that the Pyrgeometer is a valid measurement of radiant fluxes.

        Here is a graph of a measured value of upwelling heat flux in a desert location. The expected flux can be calculated using the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/tmp/surfrad_57b7589df139e.png

        I don’t have a direct measured value for the surface temperature of the desert (air temperature will be cooler) but here is an article that says Desert soil surface temperatures can get up to 70C.
        https://www.eeb.ucla.edu/Faculty/Nobel/Reprints/151%20Nobel%20Geller%201987%20J%20Ecol.pdf

        If you use a Stefan-Boltzmann calculator and use an emissivity of around 0.90 for desert sand or soil you get a surface temperture of
        59.45 C to generate a flux of 625 Watts/m^2.

        I would think if you could get the actual temperature of the desert surface and compare it to the upward measured flux you would then conclude that the measuring devices are good to go and they are measuring a real flux that is taking place and it would make you wrong again.

    • Kristian says:

      Totally disagree. There is a higher radiant flux leaving the surface than 52 Watt/m^2. It is based upon the surface temperature and emissivity of the location. The Heat flux is only 52 watt/m^2 NOT the radiant flux. Radiant flux is independent of any other body present.

      And that’s proof that you do not understand thermodynamics even at the most basic level, Norman.

      Only HEAT transfers matter when it comes to temperature changes in thermodynamic systems. And the OLR at the ToA is a HEAT FLUX. It is Earth’s heat loss to space. The purely calculated radiance (the “UWLWIR”) of the surface is NOT a heat flux, and so cannot be compared with the OLR flux. Apples and oranges.

      Are you telling me you don’t get this, Norman?

  38. Norman says:

    Kristian

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220554

    No links to any sources for your belief on this post

    No links to any source material here either, you link to a graph describing GHE but you have no source material to prove the radiant flux changes in the presence of another radiating body. Your view is in direct contradiction to established science long before I was born.
    http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Prevost's+theory

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220591

    still no links to support your claims. Just you and declarative statements. Peddling your belief system as if it was established electromagnetic theory.

  39. Norman says:

    Continue:

    Kristian

    Too many links prevents posting.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220598

    Nothing, nada, none, just your personal views.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220647

    So demonstrate to me where you have included any sources for you unfounded and really illogical belief on how radiation works.

    You claimed in one post that the Earth’s surface would radiate 390 watts/m^2 if there was no atmosphere but once you put over it a warm atmosphere its radiant flux is only 50 some watts/m^2. Not an intelligent or logical reasoning process and most definitely goes against established physics.

    I do want you to tell me why you think I am disingenuous. You could start by looking at your own posts to me and telling me where you linked to supporting evidence for you conclusions.

    • Kristian says:

      Norman says, August 19, 2016 at 8:45 AM:

      You claimed in one post that the Earths surface would radiate 390 watts/m^2 if there was no atmosphere but once you put over it a warm atmosphere its radiant flux is only 50 some watts/m^2.

      I’ve said no such thing. The surface of the Earth would never reach 288K on average without an atmosphere on top. And so would never emit 390 W/m^2 either.

      Furthermore, the surface and the atmosphere evolved together. The surface warmed the atmosphere, and as this happened, the heat loss from the surface was limited at any given temperature, because of the low temperature difference between it and its surroundings. Which means it had to warm to an equilibrium temp higher than if the temperature difference had been greater.

      Again, you don’t understand how radiation works.

      I’ll reiterate: Try, Norman, try (!!) to wipe those straight arrows drawn on pieces of paper to represent radiation from your mind. And start from the beginning. What IS radiation? Start in the quantum realm and zoom out until you cross the thermodynamic limit, into the macroscopic world. What do you see?

      • Norman says:

        Kristian

        Here are your own words again: “Thats because there isnt a radiant flux of 390 W/m^2 leaving the surface of the Earth. The (annually and globally averaged) radiant flux leaving the surface of the Earth is a mere 52-53 W/m^2. And the radiant flux leaving Earth as a whole to space through the ToA is ~239 W/m^2 on average. Both according to CERES EBAF.

        You use the words radiant flux (not Heat flux) and it would indeed have a radiation flux of 390 Watts/m^2 with only the temperature determining the radiant flux.

        Your Question: “What IS radiation”. Radiation is a flow of energy. it is an electromagnetic wave/particle that carries energy without the need for external media. Each photon has a given energy and if absorbed, the absorber will increase in energy equal to the energy of the photon.

        At the macroscopic world I see two flows of energy each moving away from their surfaces.

  40. Norman says:

    Kristian

    The points we disagree on are semantic. It seems you think “HEAT FLUX” and “RADIANT FLUX” are the same things. They are not. If you treat them the same you get a real absurd physics that is not logical or coherent.

    HEAT FLUX: Please read this short definition
    http://www.firewords.net/definitions/radiant_heat_flux.htm

    Heat flux is the NET radiation. You can only have a net if you have more than one quantity. The heat flux is the variable flux, it is the one that is completely dependent upon the temperatures of different surfaces.

    Radiant Flux:
    http://physics.gmu.edu/~hgeller/astr402/RadiometricTerms.pdf

    Radiant Flux is the amount of EMR emitted by a surface and it is only temperature and emissivity driven.

    The two things are different and you cannot make them the same and expect a rational physics to emerge.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Norman…”The points we disagree on are semantic. It seems you think HEAT FLUX and RADIANT FLUX are the same things”.

      They are. The word heat is applied only to let you know the emitted energy is related to heat. For all intents and purposes the only radiation coming from a body due to heat is EM at the wavelength of IR.

      However, the radiated energy is NOT heat.

      I mentioned an experiment in another reply in which EM from the Sun was focused through a lens carved into a block of ice. The intensity of the focused EM was strong enough to melt metal but the ice was unaffected.

      • Norman says:

        Gordon Ronbertson

        NO the two terms are not the same, you are just plain wrong about this. HEAT is the NET energy between radiant fluxes and they do not have to be IR as you pointed out. Visible light also carries energy that can heat objects.

        You can change the definitions of words all day but you will no longer have the ability to communicate ideas. It is much better just to go with the current accepted definitions of the terms and not argue about the definitions.

        I put in links for both Heat flux and radiant flux as they are currently defined. Radiant flux only depends upon a object’s surface temperature and its emissivity. Heat flux is dependent upon the temperatures of surrounding objects and all radiant flows have to he summed up to determine what the heat flux is. Different not the same in modern physics.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Norman…”NO the two terms are not the same, you are just plain wrong about this. HEAT is the NET energy between radiant fluxes and they do not have to be IR as you pointed out. Visible light also carries energy that can heat objects.”

          Therefore in an iron bar, heat is the Net energy between radiant fluxes. There are no radiant fluxes in a piece of iron.

          Heat is related to atoms. It has nothing to do with radiant energy per se after it is emitted from a body.

          If you increase the pressure in a container of air, the gas gets warmer. Why? The atoms are closer together, have more collisions, and the average kinetic energy increases. That kinetic energy is heat.

          What else could it be? In space, where there are virtually no atoms, the temperature is around -270C. You need atoms to produce heat.

          • Ball4 says:

            Why? When Gordon increased the pressure he also increased the density so the Tmedian of the air must rise at least transiently by IGL. This is because Gordon did work on the air. Poisson wrote a paper on the process around the early 1800s.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Ball4…”Why? When Gordon increased the pressure he also increased the density so the Tmedian of the air…”

            I was actually thinking “ideally” along the lines of PV = nRT.

            I was reading Planck’s book on heat, circa 1910, and he takes the time in one paragraph to point out the derivation of certain terms we use. For example, density is a human invention based on the mass in a particular volume based on the same density of an equivalent volume of water at about 4C.

            Temperature is a measure of heat based on the boiling point and freezing point of water. Pressure is based on the force atoms exert on the walls of a container. The metre is based on a fraction of the distance from the Equator to the North Pole. Time is based on the period of the Earth’s rotation.

            I appreciate you offering that quote from Clausius regarding the relationship between heat and the internal energy of atoms. I have read him extensively and I am sure I read that. I was not having an insight when I claimed the same, it came from Clausius and Gerlich&Tscheuschner. The latter state that in their paper questioning the GHE.

            I find it incredibly interesting when trying to understand what is actually going on as opposed to relying on equations. At the quantum level that is nigh on impossible and in his book, Planck admitted that his association of probability to entropy as applied to heat cannot be visualized.

          • Ball4 says:

            G&T are sometimes faithful to Clausius’ defn. “Heat is the kinetic energy of molecules and atoms and will be transferred by contact or radiation.” Unfortunately, in the body of the paper they too become confused using the term heat incorrectly, confusedly. Examples:

            “the “trapped” heat radiation…radiative
            heat transfer…ground’s heat radiation”

            According to Clausius’ defn. this means: the “trapped” kinetic energy radiation, radiative kinetic energy transfer, ground’s kinetic energy radiation. Gong. These found only in the first 1/2 of the paper.

            Of course kinetic energy is not EMR (IR), G&T get confused as many do. They use heat radiation again in their disproofs which are thus disproved.

            They even call themselves out at one point: “Infrared radiation is confused with heat.”

            So you can see, this confused paper is not Clausius level of understanding.

      • Ed Bo says:

        Gordon:

        The energy carried in EMR is transferred to an object only when that object absorbs the EMR. If the object reflects the EMR or is transparent to it, allowing it to pass through, the object does get the energy from the EMR.

        So your light-through-ice example does not prove your point at all. The radiation has (virtually) as much energy exiting the ice as it did entering it, so of course the ice did not absorb it. But the ultimate result of the experiment was heat transfer from the sun to the steel via EMR.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @ed Bo…”The radiation has (virtually) as much energy exiting the ice as it did entering it…”

          That is my point, plus the fact that the radiation carries no heat. I agree with you that atoms in a body are selective to the IR they absorb. I think that’s why radiation from a colder body is not absorbed by a warmer body.

          • Ball4 says:

            Gordon, then what exactly happens to the radiation from a colder body incident on an opaque warmer body if not absorbed? In the light of no object has ever been tested finding unit reflectivity across the spectrum and hemisphere.

          • David Appell says:

            “Gordon, then what exactly happens to the radiation from a colder body incident on an opaque warmer body if not absorbed?”

            IF it’s a blackbody, as is usual in these kind of arguments, it is absorbed, by definition.

            Radiation does not carry a tag indicating the temperature of the body that emitted it.

          • Ball4 says:

            There aren’t any real blackbodies David. Only BB radiation exists in nature. Gordon’s radiation could be reflected (live on), absorbed (annihilated) or transmitted (live on). The object’s temperature does not matter. As you write, no T tags.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Ball4…”Gordon, then what exactly happens to the radiation from a colder body incident on an opaque warmer body if not absorbed?”

            I am still gathering evidence on that and I fear I’ll have to get into statistical mechanics. Problem is, in that field, scientists tends to generalize and the unwary can pick up concepts that are incomplete.

            From what I have read, there is a quote somewhere from Bohr in which he states that energy can only be absorbed by an electron if it has the proper wavelength and intensity. I think that explains why IR from a cooler body cannot raise the energy level of an electron hence the heat in an atom.

            It’s well known that atoms only absorb and emit in discreet frequency bands.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_spectral_series

            From the article:

            “The energy differences between levels in the Bohr model, and hence the wavelengths of emitted/absorbed photons, is given by the Rydberg formula:…”

            The Rydberg formula seems to relate frequency to the atomic number and the energies of adjacent energy levels.

          • Ball4 says:

            Gordon, As far as I know, science is still not sure exactly, I mean exactly, what happens when a photon is absorbed at the surface of a solid object. If your quest results in something deeper, fill us in.

            Yes, quantum mechanics tells us a photon can only be absorbed in a gas at certain quantized energy levels, e.g. vibrational, rotational, electronic, nuclear. At Earth atm. temperatures, vibrational and rotational are the main working levels. Electronic energy intervals (your valence electrons) are way higher and those events rarely occur as shown by innumerable tests.

  41. barry says:

    Kristian’s rigid rejection of microscopic action in thermal dynamics is strange.

    The second law is only applicable to macroscopic systems. The second law is actually a statement about the probable behavior of an isolated system. As larger and larger systems are considered, the probability of the second law being practically true becomes more and more certain. For any isolated system with a mass of more than a few picograms, the second law is true to within a few parts in a million…

    In statistical thermodynamics, which uses probability theory to calculated thermodynamic variables, such as entropy, the second law only holds for ensemble averages and the probability for single systems to violate it increases with decreasing size. The fluctuation theorem describes this behaviour.

    We all agree that net flow is from hot to cold, so I’m not sure why Kristian wants to do away with micro scale thermal physics.

    The reason for the micro scale discussion is clear enough – people have been pointing out what happens WRT the enhanced greenhouse effect at that scale. What is not clear is why this presents a problem to Kristian.

    Is it that Kristian accepts the idea of ‘insulation,’ where colder objects can warm up and cause warmer objects to get warmer, but that this applies only to convective or conductive warming, and not radiative? That’s my best guess.

    (Sorry for referring to you in 3rd person, Kristian. Just musing to all, including you).

  42. Gordon Robertson says:

    @barry….”The second law is only applicable to macroscopic systems. The second law is actually a statement about the probable behavior of an isolated system”.

    When Clausius devised the 2nd law in the mid-19th century, he stated what Kristian has stated. He went into atomic theory to derive the internal energy of a body then he proved atomic theory was not required. Therefore, he focused on the macro world.

    The 2nd law as derived by Clausius applied only to systems at the macro level. In fact, Clausius described entropy in words as the integral of infinitesimal changes in heat, into or out of a system, taken at the temperature, T, at which the infinitesimal heat quantity exists.

    An integral is a summation hence entropy is too.

    Heat can be calculated at a macroscopic level by observing the work done by a system or on a system. That’s where the 2nd law and entropy come into it.

    Circa 1910, Planck put out his theory on heat in which he associated probability with entropy. Boltzmann had worked on the same problem. They did that so they could examine heat at an atomic level in something like a fluid carrying heat.

    There’s no way to apply the 2nd law at an atomic level without going into the mysteries of quantum theory.

  43. Tim Folkerts says:

    I am reminded of a quote from another great mind in thermoduynamics, Lord Kelvin.
    “In physical science the first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be.”

    As long as discussions like this stick to words rather than equations, there is little hope of advancing past semantics.

    For instance, the first law of thermodynamics is often expressed as
    ΔU = Q – W
    If some people insist on calling ΔU “heat” (using an out-dated nomenclature) while others call Q “heat”, there is no possible way to agree an anything else.

    If we used equations, we could agree, for example, to define
    Φ = εσT^4
    and not worry about whether to call Φ “flux” or “IR flux” or “radiance” or “EM flux” or “thermal IR” or “heat”.

    • Tim, I sort of see where you are going, but I think the main thing is that a symbol in an equation, no matter what name we call it, have physical units of measure. Then it becomes quantitative.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Tim Fokerts…”If we used equations, we could agree…”.

      I’m having trouble posting again, I’ll need to do this in parts till I can isolate the words Roy’s filters don’t like.

      No matter how many equations you present or mathematical arguments, until you can explain why heat transfer is constrained, under normal conditions, by the 2nd law, to one direction, from hot to cold, while IR is free to flow as flux in any direction, you have no argument.

      You have also failed to grasp that heat must be associated with atoms. In fact, heat is the kinetic energy of atoms. Heat is not free to transfer out of a body as EM, it can only transfer as a mass of atoms, as in conduction and convection. Heat can be transferred out of a body by conduction and convection because in both cases it is done using atoms.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Gordon says: “You have also failed to grasp that heat must be associated with atoms.”

        Thank you for so perfectly illustrating my point.
        ΔU = Q W
        Internal energy, U, is “associated with atoms”
        Heat, Q, is always a process, and not associated with an object.

        Saying there is “heat in an object” is as incorrect as saying there is “work in an object”. Work, W, is the macroscopic process of transferring energy from one object to another. An object *does* work, it doesn’t *have* work.

        When we use the letters that show up in the equations ,rather than undefined words, we know what we are talking about. As long as you insist on using words incorrectly, you will only confuse, not clarify.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Tim Folkerts…”ΔU = Q W
          Internal energy, U, is associated with atoms
          Heat, Q, is always a process, and not associated with an object.

          Saying there is heat in an object is as incorrect as saying there is work in an object. Work, W, is the macroscopic process of transferring energy from one object to another. An object *does* work, it doesnt *have* work”.

          *******

          Please note the delta sign in front of the U. It states that the change of internal energy = the heat added to a system – the work done by the system.

          It’s actually written ΔU = Q – W

          Supposing U represent the internal energy in the atoms of a bar of iron. That bar does have heat as a quantity. According to Clausius, the iron atoms vibrate in their lattice while constrained by covalent bonds. The motion of the atoms as they vibrate are like tiny springs exhibiting harmonic motion.

          A simple oscillator can be described a F = -kx, where F is the restorative force and x is the displacement. Work is a force through a distance, or W = Fx in this case.

          According to Clausius, work and heat are equivalent, so the work done by the atoms during vibration is equivalent to heat.

          The equation you present is about heat, Q, being added to a system and the work done by the system. The delta U represent the increase in heat in the system as kinetic energy due to the added heat minus the work done by the system externally.

          In your equation, heat already exists in the system and more heat is being added. Otherwise you’d have to raise the temperature of the system from absolute zero.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “No matter how many equations you present or mathematical arguments, until you can explain why heat transfer is constrained, under normal conditions, by the 2nd law, to one direction, from hot to cold, while IR is free to flow as flux in any direction, you have no argument. “

        Here you use “heat” correctly and here it is trivial to explain — either with equations or words — why heat moves one way while IR (or EM energy of whatever wavelength) can flow in any direction.

        EM radiation flux from a surface is
        P = εσ A T^4

        Suppose there are two blackbody surfaces facing each other (called 1 and 2 at temperatures T1 and T).
        * The EM thermal radiation flux leaving Surface 1 is
        P_1 = σA(T_1)^4
        * The EM thermal radiation flux arriving at Surface 1 is
        P_2 = σA(T_2)^4
        * The NET EM thermal radiation flux arriving at Surface 1 (ie the hat flow rate into Surface 1) is
        P_2 – P_1 = σA(T_2)^4 – σA(T_1)^4

        It is trivial to note that if T_1 = T_2, there is zero net transfer. (Ie objects at the same temperature don’t cause a heat flow). And if T_2 is warmer than T_1, then there will be an energy transfer FROM Surface 2 into Surface 1.

        So ultimately, heat transfer from hot to cold is guaranteed since T_hot > T_cold.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Tim Folkerts…”Suppose there are two blackbody surfaces facing each other (called 1 and 2 at temperatures T1 and T)”.

          You are talking here of two theoretical independent heat sources that are liable to be at millions of degrees C like in two stars in close proximity. There’s no way for you to scientifically verify the actual effect each has on the other.

          In the AGW model, you have one independent surface, the actual planetary surface, radiating against another surface, the atmosphere, which is dependent on the planetary surface for it’s heat. I don’t buy into that exactly since 50 odd percent of radiation from the Sun is in the IR band and it’s bound to be affecting GHGs.

          I’ll leave that alone. AGW claims that IR from the surface is warming GHGs in the atmosphere. It says nothing about the tremendous flux of IR from every nook and cranny on the surface, and the oceans, and the fact that GHGs make up only 1% of the atmosphere.

          One version of AGW claims GHGs in the atmosphere are acting like a blanket to trap that tremendous IR flux from the surface. Even if that was true, that’s been happening for eons and it hasn’t caused issues in the atmosphere.

          The AGW focuses on ACO2 as the culprit. The IPCC stated in the 3rd review that ACO2 makes up only a small fraction of all CO2 in the atmosphere, most of which comes from natural sources. They based that on a CO2 concentration if 390 ppmv where all CO2 makes up only about 0.04% of the atmosphere.

          When calculated based on the supplied IPCC graph, ACO2 is less than 4% of all CO2, making it’s concentration about 1/1000 of 1% of the atmosphere.

          There’s your other surface and it forms 1/1000nds of 1% of the atmosphere. You seem to be claiming that ACO2 can absorb enough surface flux then re-radiate it back to the surface to raise the surface temperature beyond what it is heated by solar radiation.

          I’m claiming that the 2nd law rules out that back-radiated IR doing anything since it’s source is absolutely tiny compared to the surface flux that caused it and because the GHGs are at a lower temperature.

          Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was likely not much different than it is today. Less than 0.04% of the atmosphere at least. There were no problems, why should there be problems now?

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Tim Folkerts…

      It’s like in an electrical transformer. Electric current runs through the primary of the transformer, producing a magnetic field. That magnetic field cuts the windings of the $econdary and induces a current in it. Therefore, the power from the primary is transferred to the $econdary without the current in the primary leaving the primary. It cannot be claimed that the transferring agent, magnetic flux, is current.

      • Ball4 says:

        “Heat is not free to transfer out of a body as EM..”

        Then the sun could not cool off Gordon. Actually the KE of the constituent particles in the sun is reduced, transformed into EM energy (emitted EMR which is not heat) then is transformed back into KE of the constituent particles (heat) of the Earth when that sun EMR is absorbed.

        No energy was harmed in the making of this physics.

        • gbaikie says:

          — Ball4 says:
          August 21, 2016 at 9:43 AM

          Heat is not free to transfer out of a body as EM..

          Then the sun could not cool off Gordon.–

          The sun isn’t cooling off.
          The sun makes energy and emits energy.
          More energy it makes per second, the more it emits per second-
          though there is time delay involved- or they say since the time the Sun started making energy it took 1 million years to emit it. Or it took the Sun a million years to heat up, then and energy from fusion was being emitted into the Universe and sun stopped heating up. It’s huge fusion power plant transmitting EM energy.
          And silly humans are trying to harvest this energy on rotating surface under a thick and cloudy atmosphere- rather than properly using the energy

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Ball4…”Heat is not free to transfer out of a body as EM..

          Then the sun could not cool off Gordon”.

          I was aware of that when I wrote it. If you look carefully at what I said, however, I’m saying the heat itself goes nowhere.

          I have no problem with the fact that the planet’s surface cools when EM is transmitted, or any other surface. Certainly, if the Sun turned off, the Earth would continue to cool via EM radiation till the Earth was super cold, like the Moon.

          What I am saying above is that the kinetic energy associated with atomic motion, which is heat, cannot go anywhere unless the associated atoms go somewhere. Heat transfer does not involved the transfer of atoms. The atoms in a body will cool due to the EM being transmitted but heat transfer is a bit of a misnomer.

          Therefore the heat in a body of atoms causing the EM radiation reduces but the kinetic energy it represents remains in the body.

          Fast forward to the cooler body receiving the EM. It absorbs the EM and the kinetic energy in its atoms rises. In effect, you have transferred heat since one body cools and the other warms but atoms of which the heat is a part goes nowhere.

          Heat transfer does not mean that heat flows through the air.

          • Ball4 says:

            Gordon – in this 6:46pm post you just about use the term heat correctly per Clausius defn. as though you are going slow and thinking it through.

            Where you get confused is in your writing the internal KE cannot “go somewhere” when obviously the internal KE can reduce since the sun’s internal KE will transfer out as EMR once the fuel is used up. To say that the sun’s internal KE can go nowhere since the atoms go nowhere (other than the ones that escape as the wind) is not correct as obviously the sun will eventually cool and lose internal KE to EMR.

            No energy will be harmed in that process.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Tim Folkerts..part 3

      It’s the same with antennas in communication. An electrical current in the transmitting antenna produces an EM wave that travels through the atmosphere and induces a current in a distant antenna. It cannot be said that the current in the transmitter is traveling through the atmosphere, it is an EM wave.

      An EM wave is comprised of an electrical field perpendicular to a magnetic field, hence the name electromagnetic energy. EM is not the same as heat, no matter how you present the equations.

      The heat in a body, or more correctly, the energy in the valence electrons of the atoms that make up the body, produce an EM wave that can be radiated from the body. That EM is not the same energy we know as thermal energy. The EM has no heat associated with it. Heat is not a property of EM. Neither is colour in the light part of the EM spectrum.

      The relationship between heat and EM in radiation is exactly the same relationship as current to magnetic flux in a transformer and current to EM in a communication antenna system.

      • Ball4 says:

        The KE of the entire atom or polyatomic molecule reduces when EMR is emitted by the particle Gordon, not just the KE of valence electrons holding the atoms in a molecule together. If they did drop out of the outer shell, the bond would break.

        • Ball4 says:

          Radiation we are dealing with in the transfer of constituent particle KE from the sun to the constituent particle KE of Earth is not entirely the same as antenna systems Gordon.

          Radiation from real objects has always been found with emissivity less than one when the objects are all positive radii and much larger in diameter than the wavelength of interest. Any good antenna engineer knows when cast in their language that it is not heretical to discuss an emissivity greater than 1 as the effective area of a receiver can be much larger than its geometric area.

          • Ball4 says:

            Actually at the temperatures of Earth atmosphere, emitted photons are very, very rarely the method of energy transfer.

        • David Appell says:

          “Actually at the temperatures of Earth atmosphere, emitted photons are very, very rarely the method of energy transfer.”

          I’d like to see your proof of that. THanks.

          • Ball4 says:

            In sound bites I’m allowed here today that is problematic David.

            Suffice it to show the Earth normal T avg. energy of an air molecule is on the order of 1 kT. Except rarely, sufficient energy is not available to kick up an electronic level ~100kT. Sufficient energy IS available for the lower quantum jumps in the separation of rotational ~1/3kT and higher ~10kT vibrational quantum levels. Of course translational KE is not quantized.

          • David Appell says:

            You’re only allowed “sound bites?”

            By whom?

          • Ball4 says:

            A long detailed reply does not post David. As you can see by examples, one can post it in segments sometimes.

          • David Appell says:

            Comments with > 4 links will no post here.

            That doesn’t mean you’re being censored. Except by a bot.

          • David Appell says:

            As I said, I’d like to see a proof of that.

            I’m not going hunting for something you think you wrote….

          • David Appell says:

            Ball: The Earth has no “normal temperature.”

            Its temperature is set by forings on it, and has varied significantly throughout its history.

            So what is your point?

          • Ball4 says:

            My point is simple David: Actually at the temperatures of Earth atmosphere, emitted photons are very, very rarely the method of energy transfer.

        • David Appell says:

          Ball4 wrote:
          “Actually at the temperatures of Earth atmosphere, emitted photons are very, very rarely the method of energy transfer.”

          I’d still like to see your proof of that.

          • Ball4 says:

            See 6:56pm David.

          • Ball4 says:

            Link? Turn to any basic quantum mechanics link or text you like David. That 6:26pm is about as basic as you can possibly get, a first course covers it.

            Classic mechanics says rotation and vibrational energies can be any value. According to quantum mechanics, however, although translation KE is still any value, the rotational, vibrational and electronic energy levels are quantized. The levels are widely spaced relative to kT. Sounds like you have some basic study ahead. More than the sound bite I am allowed to post. Appears like you are interested to learn.

          • David Appell says:

            Ball4: Link?

            (I’m not going hunting on your say-so.)

          • David Appell says:

            Ball4: I have more degrees in physics than you have.

            Now, provide a link to support your claims, at whatever “6:56” is supposed to mean.

          • Ball4 says:

            David, your degrees in physics should enable you to understand quickly my 6:26pm and simply look it up in a 1st course text, not even hunt, that’s all I did. Took a few minutes. Absolutely the most basic stuff. Did you sell your texts? If not, get the 1st course one off the shelf and search the index. Not hard. At all. If the site would let me I would happily lay it out for you. But it won’t. Couple pages in a textbook, just go for it. Like you wrote elsewhere this is not rocket science. You’ve already spent more time typing than I did looking it up.

          • Ball4 says:

            6:56pm

          • Ball4 says:

            David: My 6:56pm is accurate, again, strong direct hint: I did not consult a link. I consulted an introductory course text. Took all of a few minutes, no kidding. Anyone with degree(s) in physics can do the same.

          • David Appell says:

            Link to whatever “6:56” is supposed to mean?

          • Ball4 says:

            I (incorrectly) thought it might occur to someone with degree(s) in physics I meant the time of my post a few posts up. Quickly searchable. Or a link if you can’t do that, if you must.

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/#comment-220837

          • David Appell says:

            Finally.

            And what do you think that link means?

          • Ball4 says:

            It means actually at the temperatures of Earth atmosphere, emitted photons are very, very rarely the method of energy transfer.

          • David Appell says:

            Bull.

            You have nothing but handwaving.

            The Earth radiates a huge amount of IR.

            It’s the primary way energy gets into the atmosphere.

            See Trenberths’ diagram.

          • David Appell says:

            Ball, your claim is junk, because you are looking at the energy transition between quantum levels, NOT the energy radiated from the surface.

            The radiated energy is huge, ~sigma*T^4, as Trenberth indicates.

            You are clearly confused.

          • Ball4 says:

            A cartoon proves nothing David. You will need a test.

            Dr. Trenberth isn’t even discussing in the text of KT09 that at the temperatures found in Earth atmosphere, emitted photons are very, very rarely the method of energy transfer emitted by jumps in electronic energy level. Those transfers are by far from photons emitted/absorbed from jumps in molecular rotational and vibrational quantum energy levels and from translational KE at any KE level as found from test. Really, you need to consult the basic introductory text book like I did.

          • Ball4 says:

            I have years of testing David, not one hand is waving. Read the basic text book like I did.

          • David Appell says:

            The energy transfer is from the surface to the atmosphere, as Trenberth’s diagram shows.

            It’s huge, about sigma*T^4.

            Nothing else comes close.

          • Ball4 says:

            I also would have guessed (incorrectly) that someone with physics degree(s) would know the radiation from the planet actually originates from within not exactly at the surface and when emitted from the solid earth material is from vibrational KE of the molecules not the banging together of gas molecules.

            Always possible to learn more David. Sometimes re-learn by consulting a text book like I did.

          • David Appell says:

            The surface radiates. The exact mechanism isn’t relevant here — the energy transfer is.

            And it’s large, as Trenberth shows.

          • Ball4 says:

            David, you came into a thread I had which Gordon started on valence electrons and those electronic levels emitting a photon were the context of the rarity I had in mind, the bulk of the transfers you interjected TK09 are really from photons emitted from vibrational and rotational quantum jumps since those are much lower in energy separation as I noted.

          • David Appell says:

            The mechanism doesn’t matter — it’s just standard molecular emission.

            What matters is it’s a huge amount of IR, unlike you’re claim.

          • Ball4 says:

            The bulk of rays emanating from Earth surface (the 396) come from the vibrational KE interior molecules. The bulk of rays from the gas are from vibration and rotational quantum levels not electronic levels which are very, very rars at earth temperatures.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @David Appell…”And its large, as Trenberth shows”.

            Trenberth???….Trenberth???

            Isn’t he the guy who admitted in the 2009 Climategate email scandal that the warming has stopped and it’s a travesty that no one knows why?

            Or was he the Kevin referred to by Phil Jones in the emails who was going to help Phil ensure that certain skeptical papers would not get into the IPCC review.

            I believe one of the paper involved John Christy of UAH.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            I think there is a lot of apples vs oranges here…

            1) For λ=10 um IR radiation, E = hc/λ = 2e-20 J per photon. At 300K, kT = 4e-21 J. So the vibrational energy is ~5 kT, which is indeed on the order of ~10 kT as Ball4 claims. This means a molecule would rarely have this much vibrational energy (it would have to be hit by a molecule WAY out on the tail of the MB distribution). So any given atom in the atmosphere would rarely have the energy to radiate IR. It would be much more likely to have some smaller KE and share that with a neighbor when they collide.
            Score one for Ball4.

            2) While atoms/molecules/solids rarely have the vibrational energy to emit IR photons, there are HUGE numbers of atoms/molecules/solids to do that radiating. This results in ~ 300-400 W/m^2 of IR photons flying upward and downward at any given time. This is indeed results in a large net transfer from ground to atmosphere via IR.
            Score one for David.

            So you are both right in your own way.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Ball4…”The KE of the entire atom or polyatomic molecule reduces when EMR is emitted by the particle…”

          I understand that, I was not implying that only the electron lost energy. When EM is emitted from a body like the Earth’s surface the entire surface cools.

          The whole concept of the Bohr model is wonky. Having worked in electronics and the electrical field for decades I can no longer accept carte blanche that electrons orbit an atom as in the Bohr model. When you get more complex atoms with several energy bands in which electrons supposedly orbit, I can’t see it. It would not surprise me if the reality, when found, is entirely different.

          BTW…a molecule is polyatomic by definition. I am not suggesting you are doing so but many people refer to molecules are is if they are fundamental building blocks. Excluding sub-atomic particles, atoms are the fundamental building blocks whereas molecules are two or more atoms bonded together.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Ball4…”Radiation we are dealing with in the transfer of constituent particle KE from the sun to the constituent particle KE of Earth is not entirely the same as antenna systems Gordon”.

          You guys really need to pay attention to what I’m saying, it’s going right over your heads.

          My antenna/transformer analogies were aimed at illustrating how heat is transferred from body to body without the heat actually going anywhere. I offered the analogy because alarmists in this blog insist on using heat and IR as if they are one and the same and treating heat as if it can be transferred both ways.

          With a transformer, electrical power is transferred between primary and secondary windings on a transformer, which are insulated electrically from each other, by magnetic flux. Magnetic flux is not electrical current and the currents in the primary and secondary are independent of each other.

          However, the power created in the primary can be transferred to the secondary and neither power has the same current.

          It’s the same with heat, exactly the same. Heat in a warmer body can be transferred to a cooler body without the heat in either body having anything in common. The transferred heat does not originate in the hotter body it originates in the cooler body when EM is absorbed into its atoms.

          • Ball4 says:

            Gordon is right internal kinetic energy (Clausius’ heat) and IR are not one and the same. Using Clausius defn. of heat cited above here is Gordon’s last sentence:

            “Its the same with internal KE, exactly the same. Internal KE in a warmer body can be transferred to a cooler body without the internal KE in either body having anything in common. The transferred internal KE does not originate in the hotter body it originates in the cooler body when EM is absorbed into its atoms.”

            Gordon also wrote “Im saying the heat itself goes nowhere.” which means by Clausius’ defn. Gordon is saying the internal KE itself goes nowhere.

            So Gordon has the internal KE both able to transfer and also able to go nowhere.

            Gordon ought to learn from this that his use of the heat term is very confused according to Clausius. If Gordon wants to post up correct physics, one way is simply to drop the term heat as it can always be replaced by an object’s internal KE which ought to reduce Gordon’s demonstrated confusion. But it seems Gordon does not want to end his confusion.

          • barry says:

            I offered the analogy because alarmists in this blog insist on using heat and IR as if they are one and the same and treating heat as if it can be transferred both ways.

            Dunno about ‘alarmists’, but it’s always been clear to me that IR is a multi-directional phenomenon, and heat, in the context of this discussion flows one way.

            Sticking point seems to be that when people point out IR flows omnidirectionally WRT the greenhouse effect, other people appear to gainsay this when they say it’s all about the macro, ignore the micro, heat goes one way.

            My feeling is that the critics are endlessly assuming ‘alarmists’ equate heat and IR when in fact they don’t.

            Why they do this I don’t know. Maybe because an enhanced greenhouse effect is verboten for them?

      • Ed Bo says:

        Gordon:

        From your (invalid) analogies, I see your key point of confusion — and I’m afraid you are deeply and profoundly confused.

        In your transformer and antenna examples, you emphasize that no electrical current is lost from the transformer or antenna as it operates — implicitly using electrical charge as the conserved quantity. But no one is claiming that the transformer or antenna transfers current (unlike, say, electron beam deposition machines that I have worked on that do).

        In the analysis we are talking about here, energy is the conserved quantity (1st Law). Every unit of energy emitted from an object as radiated EMR results in an exactly matching decrease in the internal energy of the radiating object. And every unit of energy absorbed by an object from incoming EMR results in an exactly matching increase in the internal energy of the absorbing object. The 1st Law demands this!

        So your statement that “IR is not heat!” is meaningless (at best semantic nitpicking). IR (or EMR more generally) is THE agent for transferring energy from the internal energy of the emitting body to the internal energy of the absorbing body. (Of course, it is a two-way exchange of energy in the general case.)

        Note that I am using the stricter modern terminology that Norman suggests here — internal energy instead of “heat”. The reason this is modern practice is that its use means there is a lot less potential for the type of confusion you exhibit.

        P.S. In the transformer and antenna systems you use, energy still must be conserved, so for the energy in the EMR emitted, there must be a comparable loss in the electrical circuit. This manifests itself as a voltage drop, with P=V*I showing the energy transferred to the emitted EMR.

        • Ball4 says:

          Careful Ed, Kristian is correct to write about system internal energy U, so internal energy is NOT modernly used instead of “heat”.

          dU/dt = Q + W

          Q is the rate of change of system internal energy by virtue of a temperature difference (heating or cooling).

          W is the rate of change of system internal energy by virtue of work done to/from the system.

          Note the unit equivalence of “heating/cooling” and work, they can be added in 1LOT just like counting apples.

          • Ball4 says:

            Also, Ed, interestingly for atm.s, and much discussion over their radiation environment, Q is not only by interactions of systems of molecules at different temperatures, but also by interactions of molecules with radiation, both processes vital to the workings of any atm.

            In a gravity field internal energy is not the conserved quantity you have to add PE, so sufficiently often the conserved total energy is also encountered that it got it own name for hydrostatic atm., enthalpy H (omg the h came from heat but don’t let that be confusing..):

            H = U + PE

          • Ed Bo says:

            Ball4: Huh! I was responding to Gordon (not Kristian), who seems to consider “heat” a physical substance, and heat flow a physical movement of this substance. If you look at modern textbooks, they are all careful to talk about the internal energy of an object, and of heat transfer as a process. I would not consider Kristian any kind of authority on this.

            Most of your comments have nothing to do with what I said, but I want to point out a few things.

            First, none of the energy transfers we have been discussing here are “work”.

            Second, while enthalpy is a very useful concept in constant-pressure systems, it is not a conserved quantity like energy is.

          • Ball4 says:

            The total energy is conserved Ed, that would be enthalpy. Not just internal energy, have to consider atm. PE also and in non-hydrostatic condition, p*V energy.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @ed bo…”If you look at modern textbooks, they are all careful to talk about the internal energy of an object, and of heat transfer as a process. I would not consider Kristian any kind of authority on this”.

            Yes…and they are wrong. Kristian may not be an authority and I have never heard him claim to be one. However, Clausius was an authority and a scientist with an amazing ability for analysis. The modern textbooks to which you refer have taken his work and gotten it wrong.

            I read a textbook written by an MIT mechanical engineer in which he quoted a Greek philosopher and mentioned Clausius only once, in a reference where he made it appear as if Clausius agreed with him.

            The internal energy of an object related to atomic motion and vibration is kinetic energy. That energy is heat. Internal transfers of heat, the kinetic energy, are done via valence electrons from atom to atom. With radiation, the energy is transferred indirectly by EM.

            Work can be done by a body or a substance like steam. However, the heat that does the work is a summation of all the internal energies of individual atoms. Heat is not the transfer itself, it is the atoms with their kinetic energies.

        • gbaikie says:

          “In the analysis we are talking about here, energy is the conserved quantity (1st Law). Every unit of energy emitted from an object as radiated EMR results in an exactly matching decrease in the internal energy of the radiating object. ”

          Nope, cause object can evaporate, conduct, and convect heat
          in addition to radiating heat.

          • Ball4 says:

            Those other energy transfers out also each cause a matching decrease in internal energy. Total energy is conserved. And heat can’t be radiated, no KE (heat) in EMR. Radiation emitted reduces the internal energy (KE component) of an object.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Ed Bo…”IR (or EMR more generally) is THE agent for transferring energy from the internal energy of the emitting body to the internal energy of the absorbing body. (Of course, it is a two-way exchange of energy in the general case.)”

          Yes…and that internal energy IS heat. And, no, it is not a two way transfer of heat.

          Ed, this is fundamental thermodynamics. Come on!!

          Heat, by itself, cannot be transferred from a colder object to a warmer object. Clausius stated that circa 1850 and it holds true today. That’s essentially the 2nd law. There is no two-way heat transfer.

          There is not even two-way IR transfer. You are correct in stating that energy is transferred via IR but IR is emitted isotropically from any body made of atoms, even ice. When bodies of different temperature are adjacent they are both emitting IR isotropically of different frequencies and intensities. Only the higher frequency/intensity IR from the hotter body has an effect.

          I should amend that to situations where one body is a source of higher energy IR, such as the Earth’s surface and the other body is a lower energy source such as the atmosphere. Please be aware, however, according to AGW and the GHE, that the surface heated GHGs in the atmosphere. You should be able to see from that alone that an exchange of IR that raises the temperature of the surface is impossible and a contradiction of the 2nd law.

          If you have independent heat sources, like two stars nearby, where one is a million degrees C and the other 2 million degrees C, you may have a case. However, in the Earth’s surface/atmosphere interface that is not the case.

          Whenever you have a body which is an independent heat source radiating against a body that is dependent on that body for it’s heat, there is only a one-way transfer of heat.

          • Ed Bo says:

            Gordon:

            Do you try to see how many errors you can pack into a single posting? It looks that way to me — you are succeeding brilliantly at that! You are the one who doesn’t understand basic thermodynamics.

            You’ve got Clausius exactly backwards. He anticipated confusions like yours and took great pains to set people like you straight. Over 160 years later, you still don’t get it. I’ve quoted his exact words to you before, and you completely misinterpreted them. But it is worth one more shot:

            *************************
            “This principle, upon which the whole of the following development rests, is as follows: – Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time*.
            * [The principle may be more briefly expressed thus: Heat cannot by itself pass from a colder to a warmer body; the words by itself, (von selbst) however, here require explanation. Their meaning will, it is true, be rendered sufficiently clear by the expositions contained in the present memoir, nevertheless it appears desirable to add a few words here in order to leave no doubt as to the signification and comprehensiveness of the principle.
            In the first place, the principle implies that in the immediate interchange of heat between two bodies by conduction and radiation, the warmer body never receives more heat from the colder one than it imparts to it. The principle holds, however, not only for processes of this kind, but for all other by which a transmission of heat can be brought about between two bodies of different temperatures, amongst which processes must be particularly noticed those wherein the interchange of heat is produced by means of one or more bodies which, on changing their condition, either receive heat from a body, or impart heat to other bodies.
            On considering the results of such processes more closely, we find that in one and the same process heat may be carried from a colder to a warmer body and another quantity of heat transferred from a warmer to a colder body without any other permanent change occurring. In this case we have not a simple transmission of heat from a colder to a warmer body, or an ascending transmission of heat, as it may be called, but two connected transmissions of opposite characters, one ascending and the other descending, which compensate each other. It may, moreover, happen that instead of a descending transmission of heat accompanying, in the one and the same process, the ascending transmission, another permanent change may occur which has the peculiarity of not being reversible without either becoming replaced by a new permanent change of a similar kind, or producing a descending transmission of heat. In this case the ascending transmission of heat may be said to be accompanied, not immediately, but mediately, by a descending one, and the permanent change which replaces the latter may be regarded as a compensation for the ascending transmission.”
            ***********************

            Let’s look at some key parts that you can’t seem to understand.

            ” in the immediate interchange of heat between two bodies by conduction and radiation, the warmer body never receives more heat from the colder one than it imparts to it.”

            He is explicitly stating here that the wamer body does receive heat from the colder one, just less than what it sends to the colder body. This is in direct contradiction to your claims.

            He also says: “we find that in one and the same process heat may be carried from a colder to a warmer body and another quantity of heat transferred from a warmer to a colder body without any other permanent change occurring.”

            Note the end clause: “without any other permanent change occurring.” He is talking about heat transferred from a colder to a warmer body without anything else going on. He is definitely not talking here about a refrigeration cycle with a work input, as you seem to imagine.

            He says that there are “but two connected transmissions of opposite characters, one ascending and the other descending, which compensate each other.” The “descending” (hot to cold) heat transfer is clearly the compensation he refers to.

            Every science or engineering textbook I have seen covering radiative heat transfer clearly explains this heat transfer as a bi-directional “radiative exchange”. Are all of these books used worldwide completely wrong?

            You say: “When bodies of different temperature are adjacent they are both emitting IR isotropically of different frequencies and intensities. Only the higher frequency/intensity IR from the hotter body has an effect.”

            So let’s take an example. You have an object at 288K (15C). Let’s call it a blackbody to keep things simple. On one side of this object is a second object at 298K (25C). On the other side is a third object at 278K (5C). All of these objects emit significant radiation in the 15um range.

            Is it really your claim that the middle object will absorb the 15um radiation and the energy it carries from the hotter object, but it won’t absorb the 15um radiation from the colder object?

            If this is truly your claim, please let us know what the mechanism is for this middle object to discern the source temperature of the 15um radiation.

            And if the middle object does not absorb the 15um radiation from the colder object, what happens to the energy carried by that radiation?

          • Norman says:

            Ed Bo

            Thanks for the direct quote from Clausius. Yes Gordon clearly does not comprehend the concept. I am not sure he will ever understand why he is wrong. But your quote is poison to his distorted view.

            Keep trying though, education is a wonderful tool!

  44. Derek says:

    A physicist told me that “back radiation” ( as shown in the Khiel/Trenberth diagram) from the earth’s atmosphere back to the ground could be disproved simply by using a magnifying glass. When the glass is used to focus the sun’s rays directly on a piece of paper they can produce a temperature high enough to set it alight, but when it is directed at the atmosphere away from the sun the radiation cannot be focused by the glass to obtain the same heat. Where is the flaw in this argument?

    • Ed Bo says:

      The sun’s rays are highly parallel by the time they reach earth, diverging by only 1/2 degree. They can be highly concentrated (but still limited in extent of concentration by the 1/2 degree divergence).

      The “back radiation” from the earth’s atmosphere is completely diffuse, so cannot be concentrated.

      Longwave infrared lasers are used to melt steel, so obviously radiation of these wavelengths can be absorbed, increasing the internal energy of the absorbing body.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Looks like we both gave variations on the same idea. The weak, diffuse radiation cannot be focused — any such attempt will block other diffuse radiation.

        The 2nd Law of Thermodymanics also has something to say here. Radiation from only 300K sources could never be focused to raise a temperate above 300K because then heat would be flowing from cool to warm.

      • David Appell says:

        Tim: The Earth is not an adiabatic system.

        Hence you cannot apply the 2nd law in the way you have.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Sure I can. Heat naturally flows from warm to cool. Entropy increases in the universe. Putting an object inside a chamber with walls at 300 K and using that radiation to warm something above 300 K would be a clear violation of the 2nd Law.

        • David Appell says:

          “Entropy increases in the universe.”

          The Earth is not the universe.

          The Earth is not an adiabatic system, hence your claims based on the 2nd law do not hold.

        • David Appell says:

          Tim wrote:
          “Putting an object inside a chamber with walls at 300 K and using that radiation to warm something above 300 K would be a clear violation of the 2nd Law.”

          Only for an adiabatic system.

          THe Earth is not an adiabatic system.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            The 2nd Law is one of the most fundamental laws of physics. Entropy always increases (in macroscopic situations). Focusing 300K radiation to make something warmer than 300 K would violate the 2nd law. Applying entropy to open, non-equilibrium, non-adiabatic systems is tougher, but not impossible.

            But this is getting WAY too deep for this discussion. 🙂

          • David Appell says:

            Tim: How it is you are completely ignoring the statement of adiabaticity in the 2nd law?

          • David Appell says:

            Tim Folkerts says:
            “Entropy always increases (in macroscopic situations).”

            False.

            That’s only true in adiabatic systems.

            The Earth is not an adiabatic system.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Certainly entropy of some subsystem can decrease, but only at the expense of an even larger increase in entropy elsewhere. Or stated another way, the entropy of the universe always increases. Focusing of 300 K radiation to warm something above 300 K would decrease the entropy of the universe. This makes it impossible.

          • David Appell says:

            Tim: The Earth is not an adiabatic system.

            Hence the version of the 2nd law you’re trying to cite does not apply.

            This isn’t rocket science.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            I guess you will have to take this up with the group of physics professors who were discussing the idea and coming to this exact conclusion.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            As an aside, there is no such thing as a perfectly adiabatic system. This does not invalidate the entire 2nd Law.

      • ThanksDerek says:

        Thanks Ed Bo,

        You’re answer makes good sense to me.

      • gbaikie says:

        Longwave infrared which is diffused doesn’t heat a surface whereas directed Longwave infrared does heat a surface.

        All things emit diffused light, including the sun. But the solar flux which reaches earth is directed light. Or all the light not going in Earth direction does not get to Earth. And if going to towards the sun from Earth distance, one get more of the light which are going at an angle which would have missed Earth.
        So a fire or anything hot is hot at a distance because one getting it’s direct light, and as goes further away it’s cooler because less directed light is reaching at the further distance.
        Or bigger hot objects closer will give more directed light, and smaller objects further away have much less direct light.
        And one can make any hot object have more directed light by using reflected surface- such as parabolic mirror.

        • David Appell says:

          gbaikie says:
          >> Longwave infrared which is diffused doesnt heat a surface whereas directed Longwave infrared does heat a surface.

          All things emit diffused light, including the sun. <<

          So when you lay in the sunlight on the beach, you do not feel warmth.

          Sure.

          • gbaikie says:

            The sun is big and very hot. And it warms the Earth and any sunbather on it. But no longwave infrared warms the sunbathers- not by the least amount.
            And btw there is not object in our solar system which radiate more longwave infrared as compared to our sun- but the sun is about 150 million km from us and longwave IR is not very energetic.

            This reminds me of recently discover planet which very close to a red dwarf star, think the longwave IR might add some heat to sunbathers which are about 1.4 million km from it.
            Now our sun emits more longwave IR than the red dwarf- if nothing else it’s much bigger.
            -red dwarf star GJ 1132 is 39 lightyears from Earth
            Is 1/5th the size of our sun and is emitting just
            1/200th as much light”-
            http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/gj-1132b-oxygen-rich-atmosphere-04118.html

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Your physicist friend is missing a few key ideas. Let me use an examples with mirrors because it is clearer, but the idea is the same. (This also exposes the flaw in the whole “cook a turkey with lots of radiation from ice.

      Radiation comes in toward an object from all directions. Without any mirrors (or lenses) nearly all directions provide ~ 300 K radiation (weak, and centered in the IR), while a very small part of the sky provides ~ 5700 K radiation (bright and centered in the visible part of the spectrum).

      If you place a mirror CORRECTLY so that you reflect sunlight onto the object you want to warm, the mirror BLOCKS some of the weak 300K radiation that *would* have hit the object and REPLACES it with bright 5700K radiation. With something like a parabolic mirror, you could block LOTS of 300K radiation and replace it with LOTS of 5700K radiation. The obvious effect is increase the power being delivered goes up and the object can get much warmer.

      If you place a mirror INCORRECTLY so that you reflect the sunlight somewhere else, then the mirror blocks some of the weak 300K radiation and replace it with … weak 300 K radiation! Clearly this will not help to warm the object.

    • David Appell says:

      Derek:

      The atmosphere is a substance.

      All substances radiate.

      Hence the atmosphere radiates.

      Some of that radiation is downward.

      QED.

      – David

  45. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    The weird thing about David Appell’s frequent claims of grain crops being harmed by global warming is that yields per unit area are at record levels for all major crops, and further, there is a long, unbroken trend toward higher yields, including the 1975 to present period, where there has been the greatest warming. It is as if David can’t see the actual yield data, and prefers to cite hypothetical yields which might have taken place under different circumstances. It is rubbish, just as are most of David’s claims of future doom. David’s ilk have been ranting about certain doom since the 1970’s (Club of Rome, Population Bomb, etc.). They have been stupendously wrong for 40 years, just as they are wrong now. The Malthusians never learn from their errors. The only rational response to a Malthusian is laughter.

    • David Appell says:

      Steve Fitzpatrick says:
      “The weird thing about David Appells frequent claims of grain crops being harmed by global warming is that yields per unit area are at record levels for all major crops”

      Many factors determine crop yield.

      The temperature factor alone is decreasing yield. (This shouldn’t be hard to understand.)

      For wheat, maize and barley, there is a clearly negative response of global yields to increased temperatures. Based on these sensitivities and observed climate trends, we estimate that warming since 1981 has resulted in annual combined losses of these three crops representing roughly 40 Mt or $5 billion per year, as of 2002.
      — Global scale climatecrop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming,” David B Lobell and Christopher B Field 2007 Environ. Res. Lett. 2 014002 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/2/1/014002
      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/1/014002

    • David Appell says:

      “We also find that the overall effect of warming on yields is negative, even after accounting for the benefits of reduced exposure to freezing temperatures.”
      — “Effect of warming temperatures on US wheat yields,” Jesse Tack et al, PNAS 4/20/15
      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/05/06/1415181112

    • David Appell says:

      General Mills CEO Ken Powell told the Associated Press:

      “We think that human-caused greenhouse gas causes climate change and climate volatility, and thats going to stress the agricultural supply chain, which is very important to us.”

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-general-mills-greenhouse-gas-cuts-20150830-story.html

    • David Appell says:

      “Unfortunately, the simple idea that global warming could provide at least some benefits to humanity by increasing plant production is complicated by a number of factors. It is true that fertilizing plants with CO2 and giving them warmer temperatures increases growth under some conditions, but there are trade-offs. While global warming can increase plant growth in areas that are near the lower limits of temperature (e.g., large swaths of Canada and Russia), it can make it too hot for plant growth in areas that are near their upper limits (e.g., the tropics). In addition, plant productivity is determined by many things (e.g., sunlight, temperature, nutrients, and precipitation), several of which are influenced by climate change and interact with one another.”

      “Does a Warmer World Mean a Greener World? Not Likely!,” Jonathan Chase, PLOS Biology, June 10, 2015.
      http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002166

      • mpainter says:

        Most positively a warmer world is greener.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick says:

        Appell,
        …it can make it too hot for plant growth in areas that are near their upper limits (e.g., the tropics)….

        Please show a single verified case where locally higher temperatures have forced the abandonment of ANY food crop (not local lack of rain, not local flooding, not exhaustion of aquifers, temperatures which have become too high for the plants to grow). You can’t, because this claim is rubbish. Further, should crop yields actually stop rising due to higher temperatures in the future, then botanists and farmers will find cultivars (or genetically modified strains) which are more heat tolerant. “The sky is falling” chant grows tiresome after a while.

    • David Appell says:

      Total protein and nitrogen concentrations in plants generally decline under elevated CO2 atmospheres. Recently, several meta-analyses have indicated that CO2 inhibition of nitrate assimilation is the explanation most consistent with observations. Here, we present the first direct field test of this explanation.. In leaf tissue, the ratio of nitrate to total nitrogen concentration and the stable isotope ratios of organic nitrogen and free nitrate showed that nitrate assimilation was slower under elevated than ambient CO2. These findings imply that food quality will suffer under the CO2 levels anticipated during this century unless more sophisticated approaches to nitrogen fertilization are employed.

      — Nitrate assimilation is inhibited by elevated CO2 in field-grown wheat, Arnold J. Bloom et al, Nature Climate Change, April 6 2014.
      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2183.html

      • mpainter says:

        The Chicago Board of Trade reports no decline in protein content of hard red winter wheat for the last thirty years.

    • David Appell says:

      Higher CO2 tends to inhibit the ability of plants to make protein And this explains why food quality seems to have been declining and will continue to decline as CO2 rises because of this inhibition of nitrate conversion into protein. Its going to be fairly universal that well be struggling with trying to sustain food quality and its not just protein its also micronutrients such as zinc and iron that suffer as well as protein.

      – University of California at Davis Professor Arnold J. Bloom, on Yale Climate Connections 10/7/14
      http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2014/10/crop-nutrition/2014

      • mpainter says:

        The Chicago Board of Trade reports no decline in protein content of hard red winter wheat for the last thirty years. Interestingly, low protein soft white wheat fetches the highest prices, isn’t that something.

    • David Appell says:

      “Long-term decline in grassland productivity driven by increasing dryness,”

      E. N. J. Brookshire & T. Weaver, Nature Communications 6, Article number: 7148, May 4, 2015.
      http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150514/ncomms8148/full/ncomms8148.html

      • mpainter says:

        CO2 fertilization has led to world increases of biomass of a calculated ten billion tonnes per year. Grasslands have greened, particularly semi arid regions such as the Sahel. Studies purporting to show otherwise are more fabrication, increasingly resorted to by AGW proponents.

    • David Appell says:

      Abstract: “Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies1, causing a loss of 63 million life-years annually2, 3. Most of these people depend on C3 grains and legumes as their primary dietary source of zinc and iron. Here we report that C3 grains and legumes have lower concentrations of zinc and iron when grown under field conditions at the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration predicted for the middle of this century. C3 crops other than legumes also have lower concentrations of protein, whereas C4 crops seem to be less affected. Differences between cultivars of a single crop suggest that breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.”

      — “Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition,” Samuel S. Myers et al, Nature 510, 139142 (05 June 2014).
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v510/n7503/full/nature13179.html

  46. Norman says:

    Tim Folkerts,

    This article would strongly support your position. It is possible to concentrate solar light radiance on Earth to a greater level than emitted at the Sun’s surface but the temperature will not exceed the Sun’s because the process of concentration alters the emissivity.

    Quote from article: “which shows that the irradiance inside the concentrator cannot produce a temperature higher than the sun’s even if the irradiance is higher. In other words, since a black body will radiate more when immersed in a refractive medium, solar absorber
    temperatures can never exceed that of the sun (5777 K). ”

    Article link

    http://optoelectronics.eecs.berkeley.edu/ey1990sem2123.pdf

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Thank you Norman,
      as always you are a source of very interesting links.

      Have a great day.

      Massimo

  47. David Appell says:

    Why can’t this site have email notification for new comments or responses to comments — like every other decent site?

  48. Massimo PORZIO says:

    Hi Tim,

    I partially agree with your explanation about
    “The weak, diffuse radiation cannot be focused any such attempt will block other diffuse radiation.”

    Just because you imply that it is all from an abt 300K diffused LWIR sky. In fact, a very interesting link from Norman highlighted that even in a very clear sky day, the diffused sunlight radiation (the light-blue sky visible radiation) isn’t so negligible, it’s about 15% of the down welling:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/surfrad/surf_check.php

    Do you see it?
    Note that in case of cloudy sky the diffused sunlight increases and weight more:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/surfrad/surf_check.php?site=dra&date=2016-08-19&p1=dpsp&p4=diff&p16=at

    IMHO even Khiel/Trenberth/Fasullo couldn’t have take account of it because in their Fig.1 diagram here:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf

    They not mentioned any diffused sunlight radiation there.

    Even IMHO, in case they used only the down welling sunlight filtered by the atmosphere the temperature error could be not negligible, because any single point at ground receives the solar radiation from the whole hemispheric FOV of the single point.

    Do you agree?

    Have a great day.

    Massimo

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Massimo, Digging into the details (like exactly what parts of the sky radiate with what specific spectrum) gets more challenging in a hurry. Still, I don’t think your concerns will make a huge difference in the general conclusions.

      I suspect that Trenberth’s “161 Wm-2 Absorbed by surface” is indeed intended to include the TOTAL absorbed, and hence include the diffuse sunlight.

      As far as heating effects, that diffuse radiation is still only on the order of ~ 200 W/m^2 coming downward from an entire hemisphere. A dish-shaped mirror below an object could reflect on the order of an extra ~ 200 W/m^2 of diffuse light coming upward on an object, but that is still a piddling amount. OTOH, one tiny flat mirror could reflect ~ 1000 W/m^2 extra direct solar radiation. One small lens could easily project 10,000 W/m^2.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Tim,
        I agree, as per Norman link they accounted for it.

        About the small lens, my point is that the reason it doesn’t heat so much using the diffuse light as input energy, it is because diffuse light cannot be focused, not because of the supposed tiny energy.
        As Norman’s link highlighted the percentage of incoming sunlight at TOA that reaches the ground directly is 28% while the the one which reaches the ground by diffusion is 23%, not that so tiny indeed.

        Ed Bo is right when wrote “The suns rays are highly parallel by the time they reach earth, diverging by only 1/2 degree. They can be highly concentrated (but still limited in extent of concentration by the 1/2 degree divergence)”.

        Maybe be I misunderstood you, but it seemed to me that you were arguing that the real reason was the 300K radiation instead.

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Massimo,

          I think we have three basically identical reasons, just couched in very different terminology.
          * Uniformly diffuse light can’t be focused because of optics
          * Any attempt to focus/reflect/enhance uniformly diffuse light will necessarily block an equal amount of diffuse light for no net gain.
          * The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics would be violated if you focused uniformly diffuse light.

          I suspect (but am not going to try to prove) that any one of these could be proven as a corollary of either of the other two. So just go with whichever one you like.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          PS. I came up with the “blocking” description because of some inane claims to about back-radiation. It is usually something to the effect of “Ice radiates about 300 W/m^2. If back-radiation could warm something, then I should be able to add twice as much ice and get 600 W/m^2”.

          Of course, if an object is already surround by ice so that it is receiving 300 W/m^2, you can’t “add more ice” without blocking the radiation from ice behind it. So the “blocking” argument works even when there are no lenses or mirrors to provide focusing.

    • Norman says:

      Massimo PORZIO

      I was looking around to answer you question and it is most likely they have included the diffuse solar in the global energy budget.

      This link includes it:
      http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7i.html

      In it they have the total diffused as 23% of 100%. On the graph if you add the solar direct and solar diffused together you get a sum of 51%. Since the total incoming solar is 341 Watts/m^2 that would make the total solar (direct and diffused) at 173.9 Watts/m^2.

      It is much higher than the 161 but other charts have the incoming solar as 168.
      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/Earthebal.html

      If the solar diffuse was not considered the solar direct would only amount to 95.5 Watts/m^2 so it is most likely it is included in the 161 or 168 watts/m^2 used as the amount of solar energy hitting every square meter of Earth’s surface.

      Hope that is worth your consideration. Have a good day!

  49. Norman says:

    Gordon Robertson

    I was reading your exchange with Bo above.

    You State: “Yesand that internal energy IS heat. And, no, it is not a two way transfer of heat.

    Ed, this is fundamental thermodynamics. Come on!!”

    You are correct. Heat exchange is a one way transfer. So far I have not read a post not agreeing with you on this point.

    This point you make: “There is not even two-way IR transfer. You are correct in stating that energy is transferred via IR but IR is emitted isotropically from any body made of atoms, even ice. When bodies of different temperature are adjacent they are both emitting IR isotropically of different frequencies and intensities. Only the higher frequency/intensity IR from the hotter body has an effect.”

    There is certainly a two-way IR transfer unless you can come up with a super good explanation why it wouldn’t occur. That sounds like the junk science peddled by the White fluffy clothing material guy. No evidence to support it. Just an opinion that does not make much sense at the atomic level.

    The point you make here clearly demonstrates your lack of understanding of the GHE. You are making claims not made by climate scientists and then rejecting them as would any physics trained person.

    YOU: “I should amend that to situations where one body is a source of higher energy IR, such as the Earths surface and the other body is a lower energy source such as the atmosphere. Please be aware, however, according to AGW and the GHE, that the surface heated GHGs in the atmosphere. You should be able to see from that alone that an exchange of IR that raises the temperature of the surface is impossible and a contradiction of the 2nd law.”

    You really go out of your way to ignore the condition of the Earth system. It is constantly having energy added to it by the Sun (perpetual heating). The heating by the atmosphere GHG is not a direct heating, what it does is allow a higher equilibrium temperature to be maintained.

    It is a comparison between two conditions. One with GHG and one without. The GHG will not directly heat the Earth’s surface. I have shown you this with radiation links at a region on Earth. Downwelling IR is less than upwelling IR on clear nights and days. It is not warming the surface. But because the downwelling IR exists the surface of the Earth will warm to a higher equilibrium tempearature.

  50. Norman says:

    Gordon Robertson

    To end the mind numbing debate and your general misunderstanding I think you should really try the experiment I talked about above with mpainter (he accepts the GHE so it was not necessary for his understanding).

    You have high skills in electrical engineering (by your posted claims) so it should be easy for you to make a heating plate that will get the exact same amount of energy added to it regardless of surroundings. Most hot plates have thermostat controls and would not demonstrate the effect.

    Once you have this hot plate made up put a thermometer on its surface and measure it when it reaches an equilibrium temperature. (A vertical plate may work the best to minimize the effects of convection…like stopping convection with a second plate put over the top of your heating plate).

    Once the plate is at equilibrium take another plate with a couple inches of syrofoam separating a third plate. This is your unheated control to prove to you radiation is two-way and a nonheated surface will raise the equilibrium temperature of your heated plate by restricting the loss of radiant energy.

    Move the double plate, styrofoam system very close to the heated plate and see how the temperature is affected. I believe you will find the temperature of your heated plate will rise and the light in your head will turn on! You will finally, after years of ignoring those explaining it to you, understand the concept of GHE and it will make most sense to you. Happy experimenting!

  51. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    David Appell,
    Maybe you should classify this site as ‘indecent’ and not bother commenting. Then you wouldn’t need to bother with the lack of email notifications. Alternatively, you could just read the other comments.

  52. Steve Richards says:

    Not sure what “Uniformly diffuse light cant be focused because of optics” is!

    Coherent or incoherent light I understand.

    However, if you use the correct material, say, Zinc Selenide (ZnSe), I see no reason not to focus *ANY* IR light available too a lens, into a small spot.

    I imagine the refractive index of ZnSe is significantly different to regular glass.

    It would be an interesting experiment to use a ZnSe lens to focus ‘blue sky’ light onto a PT100 and see what temperature you get. Then insert an IR filter either before or after the lens to see the effect of only IR radiation.

    This company offer ZnSe optics for CO2 lasers etc:

    http://www.iiviinfrared.com/Optical-Materials/znse.html

  53. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Steve Richards,

    The maximum energy which can be focused on a spot depends on the lens diameter, the focal length, and the angular width of the source. Anyone who suggests there is a limit due to the ‘temperature’ of the source is mistaken. With a long focal length lens, the maximum intensity of a source like the sun is limited because at the focus the ‘image’ of the source is relatively large in area compared to the area of the lens. The multiplication of energy (watts/M^2 entering the lens to watts/M^2 at the focus) will be the ratio of the area of the lens to the area of the focused image, less any losses from reflection, lens imperfections, etc. The area of the focused image depends on the focal length. There is no theoretical limit to how intense the focal energy could be if the ratio of lens diameter to focal length is large enough. There is a practical limit because making very short focal length lenses in large diameter is not easy. A laser source is a different beast, because it’s angular divergence is very small, so the size of the focal spot can be very small. A powerful CO2 laser easily cuts steel plates, even though the blackbody ‘temperature’ corresponding to the laser’s wavelength is very low.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “. The multiplication of energy (watts/M^2 entering the lens to watts/M^2 at the focus) will be the ratio of the area of the lens to the area of the focused image…. “

      Ah! but try to focus “the sky” on a cloudy day. No lens — no matter the focal length or diameter — can focus “the sky” to a small, intense image. You simply can’t focus the image any brighter than the source of the light.