UAH v5.5 Global Temp Update for October 2012: +0.33 deg. C

November 6th, 2012 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Our Version 5.5 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for October, 2012 is +0.33 deg. C (click for large version):

The hemispheric and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for 2012 are:

2012 1 -0.134 -0.065 -0.203 -0.256
2012 2 -0.135 +0.018 -0.289 -0.320
2012 3 +0.051 +0.119 -0.017 -0.238
2012 4 +0.232 +0.351 +0.114 -0.242
2012 5 +0.179 +0.337 +0.021 -0.098
2012 6 +0.235 +0.370 +0.101 -0.019
2012 7 +0.130 +0.256 +0.003 +0.142
2012 8 +0.208 +0.214 +0.202 +0.062
2012 9 +0.339 +0.350 +0.327 +0.153
2012 10 +0.331 +0.302 +0.361 +0.106

Differences with RSS over the Last 2 Years
Many people don’t realize that the LT product produced by Carl Mears and Frank Wentz at Remote Sensing Systems has anomalies computed from a different base period for the average annual cycle (1978-1998) than we use (1981-2010). They should not be compared unless they are computed about the same annual cycle.

If the anomalies for both datasets are computed using the same base period (1981-2010), the comparison between UAH and RSS over the last couple of years looks like this:

Note that the UAH anomalies have been running, on average, a little warmer than the RSS anomalies for the last couple of years.

587 Responses to “UAH v5.5 Global Temp Update for October 2012: +0.33 deg. C”

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  1. Another month with temperatures showing no further increases.


    With enso aside ,the three main factors keeping temperatures as high as they are ,are ocean heat content(the lag),the weak maximum of solar cycle 24, and the limited years of sub-solar activity(going on 8 years). After having over 100 years of above solar activity,hence the ocean heat content values although having leveled off, are still high in response to the years and years of strong solar activity last century.
    Visible light strength being correlated to ocean heat content, which co2 has nothing to do with.

    However as this decade proceeds, ocean heat content, the limited years of sub-solar activity ,and the weak maximum of solar cycle 24 will be less and less of a factor going forward. Temperatures in response to this will decline in the near future ,in contrast to the steady state of temperature we presently have,or have been having for the past 15 years or so.

  2. Fred Simpson says:

    Where did the funny curve line go?

    • Kasuha says:

      Maybe Dr. Spencer found people commenting on it too annoying. I miss it a bit, though, as I have run some analysis of the curve development over the months Dr. Spencer was including it in the graph and the curve was actually much more stable than I would have expected. And I mean on the ‘recent’ end, not on the ‘far past’ end.

  3. Thanks Dr. Spencer.
    I have updated your new graph, in its original size, to my meteorology and climate pages.

  4. 2012 in Perspective so far on Six Data Sets

    Note the bolded numbers for each data set where the lower bolded number is the highest anomaly recorded so far in 2012 and the higher one is the all time record so far. There is no comparison.

    With the UAH anomaly for October at 0.33, the average for the first ten months of the year is (-0.13 -0.13 + 0.05 + 0.23 + 0.18 + 0.24 + 0.13 + 0.20 + 0.34 + 0.33)/10 = 0.144. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 9th. 1998 was the warmest at 0.42. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.66. With the adjustments, the 2010 value is 0.026 lower than 1998 instead of 0.014 as was the case before.

    With the GISS anomaly for September at 0.60, the average for the first nine months of the year is (0.32 + 0.36 + 0.45 + 0.55 + 0.67 + 0.55 + 0.46 + 0.57 + 0.60)/9 = 0.503. This would rank 10th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.63. The highest ever monthly anomalies were in March of 2002 and January of 2007 when it reached 0.88.

    With the Hadcrut3 anomaly for September at 0.520, the average for the first nine months of the year is (0.217 + 0.194 + 0.305 + 0.481 + 0.475 + 0.477 + 0.446 + 0.512+ 0.520 )/9 = 0.403. This would rank 10th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.548. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in February of 1998 when it reached 0.756. One has to back to the 1940s to find the previous time that a Hadcrut3 record was not beaten in 10 years or less.

    With the sea surface anomaly for September at 0.453, the average for the first nine months of the year is (0.203 + 0.230 + 0.241 + 0.292 + 0.339 + 0.352 + 0.385 + 0.440 + 0.453)/9 = 0.326. This would rank 10th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.451. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in August of 1998 when it reached 0.555.

    With the RSS anomaly for October at 0.294, the average for the first ten months of the year is (-0.059 -0.122 + 0.072 + 0.331 + 0.232 + 0.338 + 0.291 + 0.255 + 0.383 + 0.294)/10 = 0.202. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 11th. 1998 was the warmest at 0.55. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.857.

    With the Hadcrut4 anomaly for September at 0.524, the average for the first nine months of the year is (0.288 + 0.209 + 0.339 + 0.514 + 0.516 + 0.501 + 0.469 + 0.529 + 0.524)/9 = 0.432. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be virtually tied for 10th. 2010 was the warmest at 0.54. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.818. The 2011 anomaly at 0.399 puts 2011 in 12th place and the 2008 anomaly of 0.383 puts 2008 in 14th place.

    On all six of the above data sets, a record is out of reach.

    On all data sets, the different times for a slope that is at least very slightly negative ranges from 11 years and 3 months to 15 years and 10 months.

    1. UAH: The new update is not on woodfortrees yet, but according to Walter Dnes, it is since July 2001 to September 2012, which would be 11 years and 3 months.
    2. GISS: since January 2001 or 11 years, 9 months (goes to September)
    3. Combination of 4 global temperatures: since November 2000 or 11 years, 10 months (goes to August)
    4. HadCrut3: since April 1997 or 15 years, 6 months (goes to September)
    5. Sea surface temperatures: since February 1997 or 15 years, 8 months (goes to September)
    6. RSS: since January 1997 or 15 years, 10 months (goes to October)
    RSS is 190/204 or 93.1% of the way to Santer’s 17 years.
    7. Hadcrut4: since December 2000 or 11 years, 10 months (goes to September.)

    See the graph below to show it all.

    • Chris Jones says:

      In response to Werner,

      There is a good article up at about how seemingly contradictory statements about fitting data can be simultaneously true. I recommend it to everyone.

      C. Jones

  5. Daniel Reppion says:

    I’m somewhat curious as to the source of the data used, as those updated on the discover website for the Aqua platform stopped from between the 8th to the 21st.

    The remaining values for October show an UNADJUSTED anomaly of ~ .63, implying that the data was adjusted down by .3 of a degree, substantially more than in September ( ~ .1).

    This implies that Aqua continues to diverge from other sets, rather rapidly. If thats the case how long can it remain a viable observation tool?

  6. Ray says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    I believe that the RSS baseline is actually 1979 to 1998, not 1978 to 1998, does that make any difference to the comparison?

  7. oliv says:

    I don’t feel entertained.

  8. Doug  Cotton says:


    None of this is surprising, with or without that curve. You can still see evidence of the 60 year cycle in all data since records began. It caused alarm in the 30 years leading up to its maximum around 1998. Now it’s declining, but the long-term trend (about ~1,000 year periodicity) is still climbing but at a reduced rate. A century ago it was rising at about 0.06 C deg/decade, but now that rate is less, namely about 0.05 C deg/decade. You can see this in the yellow line in the plot at the foot of my Home page. The long term trend should reach a maximum in about 50 to 200 years from now, after which the world can expect about 500 years of long-term cooling, even though the superimposed 60 year cycle will of course continue to worry people each time it rises for 30 years.

    So, how does physics confirm why carbon dioxide is obviously having no effect? It is easy to understand intuitively that conduction processes always ensure that heat flow is from hot to cold. But it is not so obvious how and why this also happens for radiation. Those who are interested in learning about the recent breakthrough in physics which at last explains why may read my paper published back in March, together with the linked papers and other documentation.


  9. David Appell says:

    Werner Brozek: You cannot average numbers that have 2 significant figures and get a result with 3 significant figures.

    Excel is not a substitute for thinking.

  10. “Chris Jones says:
    November 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM”
    I read it and I agree that it is true that by picking the right start and end points, you can even prove the global warming is not slowing down at all. Straight lines may not be the best way to do things, but woodfortrees does not do sine curves so I use what I have. I believe the global temperatures more or less follow 60 year sine curves. So if that is true, I should be able to apply it to RSS and use their 16 year flat slope. So if I plotted 1979 to the “top” of the presumed sine curve and then to the present, I should see a lower slope for the full period, which I do. The slope from 1979 to 2005 is 0.016/year but from 1979 to the present it is 0.013/year. See:

  11. “David Appell says:
    September 6, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Werner wrote:
    “I conclude it would show no slope for at least 11 years and 8 months going back to December 2000. (By the way, doing the same thing with Hadcrut3 gives the same end result, but GISS comes out much sooner each month.”

    I am not at all convinced the statistics allow such a conclusion — the error bars on a slope of 11y8m are big, and even bigger when autocorrelation is accounted for.”

    I was on holidays so I posted nothing for September, but in September, Hadcrut4 would have gone back 1 month earlier to November 2000. Now it is back to December 2000 so I was right in the ball park now that Hadcrut4 is updated.

    “David Appell says:
    November 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Werner Brozek: You cannot average numbers that have 2 significant figures and get a result with 3 significant figures.

    Excel is not a substitute for thinking.”

    I agree. So I should have said the average for the first 10 months is 0.14 and not 0.144. On the other hand, no one can say that GISS knows the global temperature anomaly to the nearest 1/100 degree or that HadCRUT4 knows it to the nearest 1/1000 degree. Unless I am mistaken, GISS even says that the numbers are +/- 0.1, however they give numbers to the nearest 1/100 so I am not overly concerned about significant digit rules here.

  12. J williams says:

    Interesting paper you reference in your comment. In what peer reviewed journal did this appear?

  13. Doug ,the rise in global temperatures is over, the decline is going to start no later then 2015,or possibly 2014.

    CO2 increases from this level are NOT going to cause any further temperature rises, and they are NOT going to increase the water vapor content of the air, not that they ever did.

    It is over ,it can be shown very easily, that what I say in the above is correct. I have wrote an extensive paper on this, which will be going out over my web-site once it is up and running.
    It is the Dagger in the Heart of the AGW theory. It destroys it beyond the shadow of a doubt, and I will be bringing it to the public over my web-site, one it is up and running.

    It will be proven correct. I would go so far to say it is being proven correct each month the temperatures fail to rise, as the co2 concentrations keep going up and up.

    Soon we will have declining temperatures ,while co2 increases. I can’t wait to see the commentary when that becomes the reality.

    Denial is going to be much harder ,then it is now with steady temperatures and co2 increases. But the steady temperatures while co2 increases should be a hint,but then again with the blind leading the blind ,you just can’t expect much.

    Clueless and antiquated ,that is how I characterize the state of climatalogy. We need new thoughts, innovation and a different way of evaluating things, which I will be doing along with others, coming from my point of view. A new exciting point of view.

  14. P. Solar says:

    Werner Brozek says: “Straight lines may not be the best way to do things, but woodfortrees does not do sine curves so I use what I have.”

    Indeed. WFT, more like WTF ?!

    All it can do is fit straight lines to climate variables that have nothing straight in them and them distort the result further with runny mean averages.

    These are about the two worst things to do with this sort of data.

    If you are interested in rate of change look at the rate of change ie the derivative (which WTF also has).

  15. P. Solar says:
    November 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM
    If you are interested in rate of change look at the rate of change ie the derivative (which WTF also has).

    O.K. I plotted RSS from 1997 to date and the trend. Then I plotted the derivative of RSS from 1997 to date and got the linear trend of that. Both linear trends are virtually identical with a slope of essentially 0, although both are very slightly negative. I can only conclude that whichever way you look at it, RSS show no trend since 1997. If you can somehow prove RSS has a positive trend in any way, shape or form since 1997, please show it. Thanks!

  16. David Appell says:

    Werner: Neither GISS nor Hadley says they know their numbers to 0.01 C (or less). Both give uncertainties on their numbers — GISS does so via press release (I think they quote +/- 0.05 C), and Hadley via additional columns in their dataset; read:

  17. Doug  Cotton says:


    None of you will ever “prove” anything about climate trends if you work with less than 60 years’ data. In case you missed it, go back to my comment above.

  18. Espen says:

    Kasuha, that’s normal statistics practice. And it makes sense: It’s better to report e.g. 0.23 +/-0.05 than 0.2 +/- 0.05. The former indicates a confidence interval of [0.18, 0.28], the latter [0.15, 0.25].

  19. Tim says:

    We haven’t had a decent summer in the Uk since 2006, last winter was cold and the winter before that even colder. Summer disappeared very early this year and it is gradually starting to get colder and colder. My biggest concern is that there hasn’t been enough consideration of the effects of cold weather on crop production. After winter they were talking about a drought, all summer it rained and now there is an increased risk of flooding.

  20. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Dr Spencer, thank you for deleting the polynomial, the presentation of the data is much better without it.

  21. The bottomline is the temperatures have not increased as co2 continues to increase.

    A trace gas with a trace increase,that has no positive feedbacks with water vapor,that has no effect on ocean heat content, that absorbs longwave radiation emitted from the earth in very narrow bands, which are saturated or nearly so, is not going to change the temperature of the earth, based on the current balance, that exist.

    Current balance being the key.

  22. Doug  Cotton says:


    Roy and others …

    The very narrow bands mentioned above by Salvatore are an important point, perhaps more so in relation to the emission from carbon dioxide. When scientists measure the slowing of radiative cooling caused when a warm plate is close to a slightly hotter plate, you need to remember that those plates are much closer to being true blackbodies than is a molecule of carbon dioxide.

    Now, the reason that there is a slowing of the radiative cooling has to do with the “resonant scattering” I discussed in Section 5 of my paper published March 2012. (However, you may need to read the earlier sections also.)

    Think of the near-blackbody radiation coming from the Earth’s surface, filling out the solid area under its Planck curve. What carbon dioxide radiates back at it is like a picket fence with many pickets missing. The fewer the pickets, the less the effect. Water vapor, in contrast, has a somewhat greater effect per molecule because it radiates in many more frequencies. And of course it is far more prolific, especially when there is low cloud cover.

    So it is not surprising that such clouds do in fact slow radiative cooling noticeably, but that does not mean carbon dioxide will have even as much as 1% of the effect of water vapor. But, as I have said many times, the dominating non-radiative cooling can never be affected by backradiation because the surface is not actually warmed by radiation from a cooler atmosphere. Only its radiative rate of cooling is slowed, and that’s very different. The non-radiative processes will catch up, maybe later that night, and the surface will return to the same temperature that night, whether or not those clouds passed over.

    Yes, climate could vary with a change in total world wide cloud cover and/or cloud altitude. It may well be that planetary orbits somehow affect this in natural cycles in ways mankind does not yet understand. But remember, there is a compensating effect that can nullify it all – and carbon dioxide has less than 1% the effect of all the water vapor anyway.

  23. David Appell says:

    Kasuha: Neither GISS nor Hadley quotes +/- 0.05 C.

    Hadley gives a 95% confidence level for each individual monthly value, in additional columns of their dataset:

    For an explanation of their data format, see here:

    I don’t know GISS’s error bars off the top of my head.

    Measurement uncertainties tend to be very small for linear trends ~10 yrs or more, since they add like the square root of the sum of their squares. The statistical errors can be significant, and in what they both publish I almost always see the statistical uncertainty included.

  24. For GISS error bars, see:

    “The highest global surface temperature in more than a century of instrumental data was recorded in the 2005 calendar year in the GISS annual analysis. However, the error bar on the data implies that 2005 is practically in a dead heat with 1998, the warmest previous year.

    Our analysis, summarized in Figure 1 above, uses documented procedures for data over land (1), satellite measurements of sea surface temperature since 1982 (2), and a ship-based analysis for earlier years (3). Our estimated error (2?, 95% confidence) in comparing nearby years, such as 1998 and 2005, increases from 0.05°C in recent years to 0.1°C at the beginning of the 20th century.”

  25. Doug your paer is good, on co2 . It is similar to mine. When my web-site is up I will direct you to it.

  26. PDF]
    Av Monthly EUV .1-50 nm Flux Emissions – International Actuarial …

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    Feb 29, 2012 – The US Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has been providing data on EUV emissions of the Sun since

  27. I strongly suggest if one wants to know why and how the climate is going to change ,to read what I just sent.

    This is the new way of thinking and will be replacing the antiquated co2 man made global way of thinking ,before this decade is out.

    We support much of this paper and go beyond it and will be bringing forth to the public soon.

  28. DOUG, If you get a chance look at that research I sent. You will see where I am coming from.

  29. WHAT WE OUR GOING TO ACCOMPLISH IS — show why the co2 man made global warming just is not going to happen,or I should say why it can’t happen, while solar climate change will be happening. Solar climate change we feel started around 2009, or so.

    Our slogan will be, IT’S THE SUN, STUPID

  30. Christopher Game says:

    Dear [email protected], you are right to cite Ian Wilson’s valuable work and to bring attention to the activity of the sun. But you are mistaken to take seriously Doug Cotton’s story about resonance when it is fundamentally wrong in physics.

  31. J Williams says:

    I’ve seen mention of two “papers” in the comments. Can someone please provide me the citation for where these appear in the peer-reviewed literature? Thank you…

  32. These kind of papers are not going to be peer reviewed. This is against everything mainstream is trying to con the public with.

  33. Doug  Cotton says:

    Salm … It looks excellent – will study in detail soon. Submit it to Principia Scientific International. I’ll draw attention to it there.

    Everyone should start reading this too.

  34. JCH says:

    Does anybody know why Wood for Trees has ceased updating the UAH series?

  35. Chuck L says:

    GISS just released an October anomaly of 0.69. Will that change your calculations? On an editorial note, I believe that GISS will somehow end up showing that 2012 is the hottest year, ever.

  36. Chuck L says:

    That was directed to Werner, sorry, reply function does not like my monitor.

  37. Chuck L says:
    November 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    GISS just released an October anomaly of 0.69. Will that change your calculations? On an editorial note, I believe that GISS will somehow end up showing that 2012 is the hottest year, ever.

    That is an excellent question! With the update, and ignoring significant digits for the moment, I get:
    With the GISS anomaly for October at 0.69, the average for the first ten months of the year is (0.32 + 0.37 + 0.45 + 0.55 + 0.67 + 0.56 + 0.46 + 0.58 + 0.61 + 0.69)/10 = 0.526. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.63. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.89 was reached in March of 2002 and in January of 2007.

    The record was 0.63. So in order for a new record to be set, we can set up an equation as follows to see what is required in the last two months. So 0.526(10) + 2x = 0.63(12). Solving this for x gives 1.15. In other words, the average of November and December has to be 1.15 or higher in order for a new record to be set. The previous monthly record was 0.89 so I do not see how that record can be soundly beaten two months in a row, particularly since we do not have an El Nino at the present time with the latest reading at 0.42 which is just under the 0.50 that signifies El Nino.

    On the other hand, if the last two months average 0.69 like October, 2012 would end up at (0.526(10) + 2(0.69))/12 = 0.553 which would tie it for 8th place.

  38. Doug  Cotton says:


    Christopher Game.

    I challenge you to show why what I say is “fundamentally wrong in physics.” It agrees with all observation and does not imply any breach of any law of thermodynamics.

    Why not be the first to publish a peer-reviewed paper showing exactly where and why you refute the conclusions drawn by Prof Claes Johnson and quoted by myself and Joe Postma, and not refuted by anyone on the PSI team – membership now growing rapidly – over 120?

    You don’t have a clue what you are talking about, IMHO. So I challenge you here and now publicly to show your physics – to show where our physics is supposedly wrong – or go back into your shell. But you had better display a very clear understanding of what we are saying (whether you believe it or not) or you won’t get off square one. So I throw down the gauntlet. Let you and I have a public debate here and now.

  39. Doug  Cotton says:

    The last 14 years of world climate records clearly indicate that there has been no net warming since this time in 1998. That is, there has been no net accumulation of energy in the Earth system – probably a slight loss in fact. So net radiative imbalance at TOA must also have been in accord with a cooling climate, not a warming one.

    But all those energy diagrams and models “predicted” carbon dioxide would cause extra warming. If this fails to happen in 14 years, it can also fail to happen in the next 600 years, by which time I predict the world will be back at a minimum similar to the Little Ice Age.

    The reason the energy diagrams are wrong is because they assume (and clearly indicate) dual heat flows between the surface and the atmosphere. They imply that radiation always transfers heat in the same direction. They assume that, if the net heat transfer is from hot to cold, then all is OK. But the two processes they assume happen are independent. A heat flow by radiation from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, does not force a greater flow of radiation out of the surface which is due to the surface being warmed more. Any such preliminary warming, no matter how infinitesimal, would be a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The only possible correct physical explanation is that which I have summarised starting on p.47 of Joseph Postma’s October 2012 paper. My reasons for such are also therein.

    Unless and until scientists understand when and by how much radiation transfers heat, they will continue to fumble with hypothetical, invalid concepts which mislead the world with their carbon dioxide hoax.


  40. I think it has to do more with a balance that has been reached between the energy coming into the earth and leaving the earth, combined with the concentrations of greenhouse gasses which allow them to absorb a portion of the energy leaving the earth(based on the energy bal. absent greenhouse gasses), rather then all of it escaping into space directly.

    That is why the temp. of earth is 288k versus 255k, due to the fundamental energy that comes into the earth and leaves the earth,and the role greenhouse gasses have in the relationship of the energy leaving the earth ,which gets absorbed.

    If the energy levels coming into the earth and leaving the earth (absent greehouse gases),DOES NOT CHANGE,then the greehouse gasses will be unable to have any further effects on the temp. beyond the balance that has been reached.

    Because, co2 in it’s presnet concentrations is absorbing the amounts of outgoing long wave radation it does absorb from the earth(which the earth does emit due to the energy bal. it has absent greenhouse gasses) at the saturation point or very close to it, so that adding additional co2 from these current levels is not going to make any difference as far as resulting in a temperature increase,unless earth’s energy balance were to increase, absent greenhouse gasses.

    On the flip side given the energy balance the earth has,(absent greenhouse gasses), that means water vapor is going to be unable to increase it’s concentrations in the atmosphere, meaning it will be unable to cause the temperatures to rise.

    I say due to the energy balance, due to the sun/albedo of the earth , which is going to decrease not increase going forward(due to the prolong solar minimum), among all the other influences the sun will have on the climate, one result is, it will render co2(due to saturation levels ,given energy current emissions from earth ) and water vapor (due to it not being able to increase in concentrations,given the energy in the earth’s system), unable to cause a further increase in the temperatures of the earth.

    I say it is a loose /loose proposition for co2/water vapor ,when it comes to them having any chance of increasing the temperatures of the earth absent any energy increases to the earrth’s system, indepenedent of them.

  41. To take this further there will be no warming due to greenhouse gases, but there is going to be cooling due to the prolong solar minimum ,therefore the temperature trend going forward is going to go from neutral to down, after having risen until say year 1998 or so.

    I predict for the globe as a whole temperatures will be about -0.8c lower then they are now by the end of this decade, with the greatest falls in the N.H. and smallest in the S.H.

    But even more important due to a more neg. ao/nao the temperature distribution changes in the N.H., are going to be far greater creating problems,along with the extremes or persistence in weather patterns going forward.

    Persistence and extremes, one can have, without the other.

    This infact has been happening since 2008-2009 for the most part and will accelerate going forward.

    Geological activity will also be on the increase, which will aid in the cooling.

    What is holding off the decline from really taking hold right now are the ocean heat content lag,the limited years of subsolar activity (started in year 2005) and the weak maximum of solar cycle 24. All these factors will be becoming less and less of a factor as we move forward through this decade.


  42. Doug i think the fools are trying to say that greenhouse gasses in a sense are an energy source, or at the very least act like an energy source, which is ridiculous.

    Further I agree all things aside , there is no way greenhouse gasses are going to be able to increase the energy being emitted from the earth’s surface. As you so rightly point out.

    Simply put greenhouse gases are not a source of energy nor do they create energy. They absorb a given amount of olr ,and that is based on emissions of olr to begin with, and that is where their role begins and ends.


  43. Doug ,I think we are saying essentially the same thing, but in a different way. That is what I come up with.

    Christopher Game , what is your opinion?

    Doug, seems to make many valid points. I assume you must agree with some of what he says.

    I would be interested to see what Doug says, you don’t agree with, and the same for me is you don’t agree.

  44. The Second Law essentially says that it is impossible to obtain a process where the unique effect is the subtraction of a positive heat from a reservoir and the production of a positive work. Energy exhibits entropy. It moves away from its source. In this sense, energy or heat cannot flow from a colder body to a hotter body. You cannot keep a continual flow of heat to work to heat to work without adding energy to the system. In machine terms, you have to add energy to get more work, and the ratio of heat to work will never equal 100% due to energy expanding away from its source.

  45. NaturalCyclist says:


    So why is there no net warming since 1998?

    Richard S Courtney gives a detailed explanation in this post explaining how there may be slight net warming of oxygen and nitrogen molecules resulting from prior absorption of IR by carbon dioxide molecules. Clearly he agrees that the effect is only slight.

    But what then happens to the additional kinetic energy in the oxygen and nitrogen molecules? Well, firstly, assuming they are cooler than the surface below, the thermal energy cannot be transferred back to the surface by non-radiative processes. One way or another it must eventually escape to space.

    But why to space? Don’t the energy diagrams show (more than) half being returned to the warmer surface by radiation? This is where the biggest misunderstanding occurs. Radiation from a cooler source can do one and only one thing when it strikes a warmer surface. It slows the rate of that portion of surface cooling which is due to radiation. It does not do this by transferring heat to the surface. Because there is no heat transfer, there can be no slowing of non-radiative cooling processes. In fact, these processes can and do accelerate to compensate for the slower radiative cooling. What happens is that the energy in the radiation from the cooler atmosphere can only be used to supply equivalent energy to the surface which can only be used for the purpose of creating equivalent upwelling radiation with the same frequencies and intensities. This energy is thus used by the surface (instead of some of its own thermal energy) to meet some of its Planck “quota” of radiation. Its own Planck curve always fully contains the Planck curve of the radiation from the cooler atmosphere. But the radiation corresponding to the area above the cooler Planck curve, but under the warmer one will transfer heat. This is an empirically confirmed result, demonstrated over and over again. The area between the Planck curves represents the one-way heat transfer from the warmer body to the cooler one. There is no physical heat transfer the other way. The radiation from the cooler body is immediately re-radiated without any of its electro-magnetic energy ever being converted to thermal energy in the target.

    Hence most of the observed (or calculated) upwelling radiation from the surface is not actually transferring heat from the surface. Rather it is merely sending back the energy that was in the backradiation. The whole process is very-similar energy-wise to diffuse reflection.

    What then are the consequences of this discussion? Well, firstly the heat that is transferred from the surface to the atmosphere is mostly transferred by non-radiative physical processes such as molecular collisions which may be called conduction or diffusion. Using K-T energy diagrams, and remembering that that the amount of backradiation should be deducted from the upwelling radiation from the surface (because this amount is not transferring energy from the surface) then we can calculate that less than 15% of all energy transferring from the surface to the atmosphere does so by radiation.

    Now we start to see the role of carbon dioxide in perspective. For a start it probably has less than 1% the effect of all the water vapor which radiates with far more spectral lines and thus slows radiative cooling much more effectively. (Yes, low clouds do slow radiative cooling noticeably, but that doesn’t mean carbon dioxide’s effect will be noticeable.)

    But, more importantly, the non-radiative cooling processes significantly dominate the actual transfer of energy from the surface to the atmosphere. Any slowing of radiative cooling will leave a bigger temperature “step down” between the surface and the adjoining air. So non-radiative cooling processes will simply accelerate (as physics tells us) and have a compensating effect. So there will be absolutely no net overall effect on surface cooling.

    That is reality.

  46. NaturalCyclist says:

    Salvatore and others

    Firstly I am using the above “NaturalCyclist” name because of problems with other blogs who like to delete any post with “Doug Cotton” as author. The above post was written and posted on several blogs before I logged in here.

    The 33 degree of warming claim has been absolutely rubbished in various PSI papers. Just browse the publications menu on our Home page.

    There is no such thing as a greenhouse gas, because there is absolutely no atmospheric greenhouse effect caused by any gas or water vapour. The temperature of the surface is determined by incident solar radiation levels and the adiabatic lapse rate, the latter being a function of gravity.

    For a more detailed explanation please read today’s post just above.


  47. Christopher Game says:

    Doug Cotton at (November 11, 2012 at 2:30 AM) writes: “I challenge you to show why what I say is “fundamentally wrong in physics.” It agrees with all observation and does not imply any breach of any law of thermodynamics.” And “Let you and I have a public debate here and now.”

    Dear Doug, I cannot do better than to suggest you read, mark, learn, inwardly digest, and write on your heart in letters of fire and gold, the early chapters of Planck’s 1914 translated account of the basics that lead to the Kirchhoff law of radiative emission. Your position contradicts this account. I think it would be futile for me to try to do better here than Planck.

    You would also do well to read the 1791 paper of Prevost. And that of Einstein 1917.

    Your dogma of “resonance” is mistaken because the process of absorption is stochastic because its mechanism includes “stimulated emission” as part of the process of absorption when considered from the strictly thermodynamic viewpoint. Your arithmetic gets the right answer, but lacks proper physical meaning, and is therefore nonsense as physics. Your arithmetic gets the right answer only because the right answer is known in advance, obtained by valid physics, not through the arguments used in your dogma and arithmetic. The laws of thermodynamics proper are not the only ones that nature observes, so it is not a valid proof on its own to observe that a calculation does not violate the laws of thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics proper are specifically framed so as to avoid consideration of atomic mechanisms. This is not because they deny those mechanisms, but because they intend to show how much can be found out without appeal to those mechanisms. Nevertheless, the atomic mechanisms are observed by nature, though ignored or misunderstood by your arithmetic.

    You are passionately attached to your dogma, and perhaps a suggestion that your read more widely in the physics of thermal radiation may or may not be helpful for you to mend your errors.

    By the way, in English, as in many other languages, we use the accusative after a preposition and a natural English speaker would have written “Let you and me …” or even “Let us …”

    I well understand why, if the puppet NaturalCyclist is right, “other blogs […] like to delete any post with “Doug Cotton” as author.” Dr Spencer is tolerant that he does not do the same here.

  48. Christopher Game says:

    A puppet named NaturalCyclist, apparently Doug Cotton, writes at (November 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM): “But what then happens to the additional kinetic energy in the oxygen and nitrogen molecules? Well, firstly, assuming they are cooler than the surface below, the thermal energy cannot be transferred back to the surface by non-radiative processes.”

    He is soft ground here. The energy in visible light, absorbed by oxgen and nitrogen molecules, is taken into the atmosphere at some 5780 K, by intramolecular excitation, and then nearly all of it is thermalized to ambient atmospheric temperature, somewhere round 288 K. But in principle, with some small probability, some of it may actually be radiated as 5780 K radiation by the same oxygen and nitrogen molecules so as to add some vey small amount of heat to the land-sea body by radiation from the atmosphere. His account is a bit vague or muddled and so I will not go further than to say that it is on soft ground, because I do not want to spend more time on his mistaken dogma.

  49. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:

    It would be 48 years ago that I first studied what Planck had to say about radiative heat transfer. I suggest it is yourself, Christopher who perhaps needs to study why Claes Johnson, Professor of Applied Mathematics is at variance with the physical “explanation” of the early physicists. Even in 1954 Einstein was honest enough to admit being baffled by photons. My paper is based on Claes’ work, and both our papers have been cited by Joseph Postma and reviewed by some of over 120 members of Principia Scientific International. (New readers will find all our papers in the Publications menu there.)

    You gloss over any detailed explanation of what you think happens with your statement that the process of absorption includes stimulated emission.

    So let me start by asking you to confirm whether or not you believe that the energy in radiation from a small region of a cooler atmosphere can be converted in a warmer surface to thermal energy which can then transfer some of that energy back to the atmosphere by non-radiative processes. For example, what happens (if it happens at all) when backradiation penetrates below the surface of a lake and supposedly warms that layer of water which does not radiate back immediately, if ever?

    It is when the laws of physics are violated that one must reject the associated hypothesis. Such is the case for the hypothesis underlying typical IPCC and K-T energy budget diagrams.

    Your second comment is irrelevant because I was referring to oxygen and nitrogen molecules warmed by diffusion of IR energy absorbed by carbon dioxide molecules.

    Yes I should have said “Let you and me” but you are incorrect in saying “let” is a preposition: it is a verb. Sorry about the slip up, but so far that is the only error I concede.

  50. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:

    The process of stimulated emission is totally different from the immediate re-radiation (in random directions) that Claes and I have been writing about. In stimulated emission* (such as in a laser) the direction of the emitted radiation is the same as that of the incident radiation. I would suggest that backradiation from a cooler atmosphere does not produce such stimulated emission when it strikes a warmer surface: even if it did, that radiation would continue in the same direction into the surface.

    So, for the benefit of other readers, I have now explained why two of Christopher’s statements are totally irrelevant.

    * For more on stimulated emission see Appendix Q.5 in my paper published March 2012.


  51. Christopher Game says:

    Yes, Doug, I later noticed that my attention was wandering when I referred to prepositions. I did not actually say that let was a preposition, though I was inattentive in referring to prepositions when the verb was relevant. I trust it gives you some satisfaction to point out that the problem was with an object of a verb in this case. I am not entirely sure about the best parsing of the two objects that hang on ‘let’, ‘us’ and ‘have’. The OED says that let is here being used as an auxiliary verb for ‘have’, with ‘have’ being infinitive in this construction. Perhaps I might suggest that it wouldn’t go too far astray to think of ‘us’ as a kind of ethic dative, as in ‘allow it to us’, for an indirect object, rather than an accusative for a direct object; the OED says it is a direct object. As a detail, the OED now explicitly admits the irregular usage that you used, “let’s you and I”, as U.S. colloquial, but that is not natural English, in my view!

    As for your substantial questions, I see you intend to concede nothing, and it would be a waste of time for me to try to change your mind. I have no say to let or hinder you from your merry way of physical nonsense about “resonance”.

  52. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:

    So in other words, you are not really able to discuss the physics question I posed:

    “… confirm whether or not you believe that the energy in radiation from a small region of a cooler atmosphere can be converted in a warmer surface to thermal energy which can then transfer some of that energy back to the atmosphere by non-radiative processes.”

    You’ll probably spend more time remarking upon poor sentence construction than answering the question, which you realise would trap you out. Such failure so to do is something up with which I will not put.

  53. Christopher Game says:

    You are demanding whether I believe in Prevost’s 1791 theory of exchanges? Though I have a yes-or-no answer to that, you will have to guess which it is. I will give you a hint: it’s not new or unexpected. It is well stated at greater length by Maxwell’s textbook on heat at I don’t see how it would trap me.

    Yes, your question is imprecisely worded. No, I have done enough with the grammar. But at least that was more interesting than your arithmetic, which I am unlikely to be lured into discussing.

  54. Ray says:

    Despite the global anomaly figure for October being given as 0.331c above, the figure in the latest data file on the vortex is 0.34c, the same as for September.
    The NH figure is also rounded up to 0.31c, compared to 0.302c above and SH to 0.37c, compared with 0.361c.
    How is it possible for the figures to be “rounded up” in this manner?
    Or are the above figures simply “provisional”, in order for them to be published earlier.

  55. I am saying something different.

    Christopher Game ,I would like some thoughts on this, from you right,half right ,ridiculous,wrong ,or whatever. I think I am right, or on the right track.

    I am saying greenhouse gases do have a role in bringing the temperatures up, but for a given amount of energy coming in/going out of earth’s system.

    I am trying to say given current energy levels,(absent greenhouse gases in/out of earth), the emissions of olr(out going long wave radiation) energy from earth that are absorbed and not absorbed by greenhouse gases ,results in an equilibrium temperature being accomplished.

    288k versus 255k

    This temperature will not change due to greenhouse gases,unless energy coming/leaving the earth changes(sun/albedo changes),due to the fact with energy levels at this particular level, co2 is near saturation absorbtion and water vapor can’t increase it’s concentrations.

    If energy levels were to increase, then a higher new equilibrium temperature would be established,between the greenhouse gases, and the energy the earth receives/emits, that they have to work with.

    If energy levels were to decrease then a lower new equilibrium temperature would be established between the greenhouse gases ,and the energy the earth receives/emits ,that they have to work with.

    I think this makes sense, in that yes greenhouse gases have a role, but how much of a role is dependent on energy coming into and leaving the earth system ,which then relates to how much energy the earth will emit, to what degree concentrations of greenhouse gases are present(due in large part to ocean temperatures), and what portion of the energy the earth emits(olr), will be absorbed ,and what portion will not be absorbed ,giving a equilibrium temperature.

    That is how I see it, and it makes sense to me. Maybe I am missing something?

  56. One last item. Co2 does not create energy, is not a source of energy. It’s role, as well as all the other greenhouse gases is, they can absorb a given amount of olr from earth.
    I say it begins and ends there.

  57. What I like about the current situation is we are going to all find out who is correct and who is wrong, probably within 3 years.

    The temperatures in relation to solar activity and co2 concentrations, are going to tell us who is correct and who is wrong.

    The spin however is going to be unbelievable!

  58. Gras Albert says:

    David Appell

    Measurement uncertainties tend to be very small for linear trends ~10 yrs or more, since they add like the square root of the sum of their squares.

    I agree David, that’s why I plotted the decadal trends of GisTemp, HadCrut3, HadCrut4, HadSST2, RSS & UAH along with CO2 for the 15 years 9 months from 1987.

    I’m sure you’ll agree that there appears to be a clear relationship between CO2 and the 6 temperature series…

    The next few years are going to be interesting, neh!

  59. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:


    It has nothing to do with Prevost’s theory which was an attempt to explain exchanges, but which was incorrect.

    I am happy to clarify the question (which is in my paper anyway) but I consider your avoiding an answer to be nothing but a display of uncertainty on your part.

    I know what happens, but it seems you are baffled and just as confused as most climatologists about radiative heat transfer.

  60. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:

    Salvatore The “33 degree” has absolutely nothing to do with water vapor or carbon dioxide. It is a necessary consequence of the adiabatic lapse rate which is a function of the acceleration due to gravity. Read the relevant papers on the Principia Scientific International site, or communicate with any of over 120 members of PSI who are all aware of the carbon dioxide hoax.

  61. Doug, even the paper I sent to you which is all about solar and it’s effects believes in the greenhouse effect to an extent as I do. Read below.

    the major component gases so it tends to rise. A molecule of carbon dioxide is the heaviest of the common, non-oxidizing atmospheric gasses and this is why it is used in fire extinguishers.
    Water vapour cannot rise very high before it turns into a liquid, or, if it is transported higher in strong updrafts, then it will turn into ice crystals. These form cirrus clouds, which provide a localized greenhouse effect by also reflecting back Earth’s infra-red radiation emissions. These clouds have to be kept at altitude by wind pressure. Without such pressure they would naturally precipitate.
    CO2 can become dry-ice crystals in the upper troposphere, when it is carried high enough but it also needs a temperature below -56 deg. C at the low pressures of the upper troposphere and above for this to happen. These temperatures and pressures do exist in the troposphere above about 5km at the poles in winter and also in the tropics above around 15km. But elsewhere the upper levels of the troposphere do not normally get this cold nor does the stratosphere or beyond. So carbon dioxide can normally provide an important direct greenhouse effect at the poles in winter and in the tropics. But this effect should be put into perspective. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the tropics will tend to be around 0.25% to 0.5% of total atmospheric greenhouses gases. At the poles it will tend to be around 2.5% to 5% of total atmospheric greenhouse gasses.
    During deep solar minima the upper levels of the troposphere would appear to get cooler than usual over much greater areas so more upper atmospheric carbon dioxide will convert to dry-ice cirrus clouds over much more of Earth’s surface. During the day the dry-ice cirrus clouds will reflect infra-red heat from the sun back into space just as normal lower level water vapour clouds reflect the sun’s heat away and during the night these clouds may help to reflect infra-red emissions from Earth back to its surface. So, particularly during solar grand minimums, atmospheric carbon dioxide will contribute to additional reductions in daytime surface temperatures while perhaps keeping night time surface temperatures slightly warmer. Meanwhile in the thermosphere carbon dioxide’s role, according to NASA21, is to act as a cooling agent.
    In comparison with water vapour

  62. david says:

    re: records

    or Mr Hansen just simply revises the previous GISS record years down and revises this year’s monthly numbers up, that’s also a way to beat a record, and which he has been constantly doing; with the years before 1965 in V3 now up to 0.053 degrees colder and the years after 1965 up to 0.03 degrees warmer, compared to GISS V2…

    or: if it ain’t getting any warmer, we’ll make it warmer…

  63. Christopher Game says:

    salvatore del prete is discussing how the “greenhouse effect” is supposed to work. He observes that greenhouse gases play a role in the earth’s energy transfer process. Their role can be considered to be three-fold. One of the greenhouse gases’ roles is to exchange thermal radiation between the atmosphere and the land-sea body. The second is to exchange thermal radiation between the atmosphere and the sun. The third is to exchange thermal radiation between the atmosphere and outer space.

    In the exchange between atmosphere and land-sea body, the greenhouse gases absorb more radiation from the land-sea body than they emit to it. The more greenhouse gas, the more so. By this mechanism they mediate heat transfer from land-sea body to atmosphere. This is a relatively slow process but is nevertheless important in CO2 problems. Perhaps on the order of 10 W m^-2.

    In the exchange between the atmosphere and the sun, the greenhouse gases absorb more radiation from the sun than they emit to it. The more greenhouse gas, the more so. By this mechanism they and non-greenhouse gases mediate heat transfer from the sun to the atmosphere. On the order of 80 W m^-2.

    In the exchange between the atmosphere and space, the greenhouse gases emit more radiation than they absorb. The more greenhouse gas, the more so. By this mechanism they mediate heat transfer from the atmosphere to space. On the order of 180 W m^-2.

    Also important is that the land-sea body exchanges heat with the atmosphere by conduction-convection-evaporation-precipitation. This mechanism transfers relatively much heat from land-sea body to atmosphere, not mediated by greenhouse gases. On the order of 100 W m^-2.

    Thus there are three routes for energy flow through the system. One route is from sun to atmosphere to space; greenhouse gases mediate this; this protects the land-sea body from solar heating and may be viewed as an anti-greenhouse effect; more greenhouse gas, more transfer; on the order of 80 W m^-2 as above. The second route is from sun to land-sea body to atmosphere to space; greenhouse gases also mediate the second leg of this; this depends on solar heating of the land-sea body and is labeled a “greenhouse” effect; more greenhouse gas, more transfer; on the order of 100 W m^-2 as above. The third route goes from sun to land-sea body to space through the atmospheric window; greenhouse gases do not mediate this route; this is a non-greenhouse effect, and is an important stablizing effect for the system; on the order of 60 W m^-2. All three of these routes are affected by the amount of low cloud. More low cloud, less absorption of solar radiation into the earth and its atmosphere, more reflection of solar radiation to space; this is an effectively cooling mechanism that does not work through greenhouse gases.

    The olr (outgoing longwave radiation) is the sum of these three route flows, on the order of 240 W m^-2.

    As a rather crude but still usefully suggestive approximation, one may say that the radiation from atmosphere to space (180 W m^-2) is approximately the sum of the atmospheric absorption of solar radiation (80 W m^-2) and of the conductive-convective-evaporative-precipitative transfer from land-sea body to atmosphere (100 W m^-2). The factor neglected in this approximation is the rate of radiative transfer from land-sea body to atmosphere; this is relatively small (perhaps on the order of 10 W m^-2).

    How does man-made CO2 emission come into this? First one needs to establish how much effect man-made CO2 emission has on eventual atmospheric CO2 levels. This is currently unknown to science though of course asserted by the IPCC gang to be large. Next, how does atmospheric CO2 level, of whatever source, affect the processes?

    More atmospheric CO2 initially increases the small rate of radiative transfer from land-sea body to atmosphere. Perhaps a doubling of present CO2 levels would increase it by an amount on the order of 4 W m^-2. This will result in an initial virtual uncompensated increase in atmospheric and land-sea body surface temperature by a virtual uncompensated amount on the order of 1 C. Compensation and anti-compensation will then occur. Water will evaporate more rapidly from the ocean. This will have an an anti-compensatory effect by increase in greenhouse gas. The tropospheric lapse rate will probably decrease. This will have a probable compensatory effect. The combination of these two effects is probably anti-compensatory. The low cloud will change by an amount not yet agreed upon. The IPCC would like the amount of low cloud to decrease because this would be anti-compensatory and would in their eyes justify a carbon tax and world-wide auto-bureaucracy to administer it, which they would like. It is perhaps more likely that the amount of low cloud would increase, which would be a compensatory effect and might well outweigh the combined water-vapour-lapse-rate anti-compensation. While the IPCC wishes that the overall eventual net effect would be anti-compensatory—so that the overall eventual net temperature effect of CO2 doubling would exceed the above-mentioned 1 C, and thus in their eyes would justify a carbon tax and world-wide auto-bureaucracy to administer it—the actual net effect of these compensations and anti-compensations is not precisely known to science. Dr Spencer has good reasons for thinking that the overall eventual net effect will be compensatory and that the net temperature effect will be less than the above-mentioned 1 C. Also not precisely and certainly known to science is the likely effect of the sun’s activity on the cloud amount, which will affect the total olr, as noted above on the order of 240 W ^m-2. There are reasons, not known for certain, to expect that perhaps this factor could lead to a severely cold climate in the coming decades.

  64. DOUG, they are saying in effect that water vapor does account for the 33k increase in temperature through the release of latent heat.

  65. Christopher Game says:

    I don’t know who “they” are. If water vapour were not a greenhouse gas it would not account for the 33K. If it were not a greenhouse gas, it would evaporate much more slowly, because the temperature would be lower. I don’t find the account through release of latent heat a useful one for this. Apart from the radiative effect, the evaporation and release of latent heat has a cooling effect overall.

  66. they was the principia scientific international site, that Doug Cotton, said to look at.

    I don’t agree with Doug’s conclusions about greenhouse gasses, I think I am more in line with you.

  67. RW says:


    Do you NOT know that so-called ‘radiative forcing’ of climate is an increase in radiative resitance to cooling? The fundamental mechanism of the GHE that of radiative resistance to cooling – not the transfer of energy from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface.

    The calculated 3.7 W/m^2 per CO2 doubling (Myhre et. al. 1998) is the increase in surface radiative power absorbed by the atmosphere, where as prior it was passing straight through to space (the same as if the atmosphere wasn’t even there). The added CO2 increases atmospheric opacity and reduces the surface’s ability to cool by directly radiating to space. This in turn requires the atmosphere and ultimatley the surface to warm in order to re-establish equilibrium with space (i.e. about 240 W/m^2 in and out). Now it’s entirely possible that non-radiative energy transport from the surface to the atmosphere via latent heat could increase (i.e. accelerate cooling) to exactly offset the increased opacity from the added CO2, which seems to be what you have eluded to, but even if it doesn’t, there is no 2nd Law violation required.

  68. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:


    Salvatore claims that “reflecting back Earth’s infra-red radiation emissions” causes warming. Not so. It only slows radiative cooling of the surface: it does not slow non-radiative cooling which will compensate in due course. (See my paper and my posts above.) There is no GHE created by either water vapor or carbon dioxide. The surface temperature is controlled by the adiabatic lapse rate, not backradiation which does not transfer heat to a warmer surface or slow the rate of non-radiative cooling thereof.

    Christopher Game still thinks that “the greenhouse gases absorb more radiation from the land-sea body than they emit to it” and, in so thinking, he implies that there is heat transfer wherever radiation is “emitted” to the land-sea body. Not so. The mediation he talks about actually starts further down – like in the huge amount of energy stored in the whole Earth system in the oceans, the land surfaces and mostly below the crust right down to the core. The surface is at the temperature it is because of the effect of the mean solar radiation over billions of years, the mass of the atmosphere and the acceleration due to gravity which, along with that mass, determines the adiabatic lapse rate. Any effect of water vapor or carbon dioxide will be compensated by non-radiative transfers and adjustments to other radiation from the whole Earth and atmosphere system. Compared with the energy below the crust, that in the land and oceans is a real drop in the bucket. A few molecules of carbon dioxide are not going to affect that huge amount of energy which provides a stabilising effect. That’s what physics tells us when applied correctly.

    RW Do you not know anything of what I have explained over and over again? The slowing of radiative cooling is balanced out by an acceleration of the non-radiative cooling which totally dominates radiative cooling. No, the surface has to stay at the same temperature to maintain equilibrium. If you think you can warm the surface long-term and establish a “new equilibrium” without warming the whole mass of the Earth right down to the core, then you are mistaken, like most climatologists whose “physics” is blatantly naive.

    All of you overlook the fact that, of all the energy transferred from the surface to the atmosphere, less than 15% is transferred by radiation. Non-radiative processes completely dominate and readily compensate for any modification of the rate of surface cooling due to radiation. The vast majority of the upwelling radiation from the surface (in fact, an amount about equal to the downwelling radiation from the atmosphere) is not transferring any energy from the surface to the atmosphere – it is merely “pseudo scattering” the same energy that was in the backradiation – energy which never makes it into the surface and so never transfers heat to the surface, not even momentarily. The only exception is in rare situations when the air is actually warmer than the surface below. On a world-wide basis, such events are insignificant.

    If you could cover the whole Earth’s surface with a special mirror which reflected all the radiation from a cooler atmosphere, but none of the Solar radiation, then you would emulate quite well what actually happens energy-wise.

    There is no world-wide permanent greenhouse effect brought about by water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane or any of their colleagues.

    Doug Cotton


  69. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:


    Maybe this analogy will help people to understand the stabilising effect of the huge amount of energy stored in the crust and all the matter right down to the core. There is a small net flow of energy out of this region, but in fact it is just that – a net flow. Much more energy flows in a small distance during sunlight hours, and back out at night in normal calm conditions.

    Think of a rock platform by the sea. At high tide, let’s say some sand washes up onto the rock, raising the top surface with a layer of sand. Let the height of the rock and sand represent temperature. As low tide approaches the sand washes and/or blows off the rock, so the level falls again to the “base” level of the rock itself.

    So it is with the various cooling mechanisms which transfer energy from the surface to the atmosphere. At night the surface will usually cool back to the base “supported” temperature. If the wind is radiative cooling, and the water non-radiative cooling, what doesn’t get washed away may well get blown away. The analogy is that, if the radiative surface cooling is slowed by radiation from low cloud, then the temperature will still drop (maybe a little later at night) with more non-radiative cooling.

    As explained above, radiation from the atmosphere can only slow the rate of radiative cooling of a warmer surface; it has no effect on the non-radiative cooling which dominates.

    I know this is oversimplified, but I suggest it is still a realistic analogy.

  70. Doug Cotton (NaturalCyclist) says:


    I offer the following empirical evidence that non-radiative cooling (notably evaporative cooling) accelerates to compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling caused by backradiation:


  71. RW says:


    You say:

    “The slowing of radiative cooling is balanced out by an acceleration of the non-radiative cooling which totally dominates radiative cooling. No, the surface has to stay at the same temperature to maintain equilibrium.”

    Then how is it that the surface is warmer (288K) than the effective radiating temperature of the planet (255K)? Do you dispute that the global average surface temperature is about 288K? Do you dispute that because the surface is very close to black body it must be supplied with a net energy flow in of about 390 W/m^2 to sustain the surface temperature?

    The only source of non-radiant energy is that of geothermal, which is infinitesimal – only about 0.1 W/m^2 (or less). Virtually the entire energy supply to the system is all EM radiation, and that is all that can pass across the boundary between the atmosphere and space. Yet basic physics says the surface receives a net energy flow in of about 390 W/m^2 to sustain 288K, but only 240 W/m^2 enters and exits at the TOA. The +150 W/m^2 entering the surface has to have its ultimate origin in radiative effects (i.e. radiative resistance to cooling).

    • RW says:

      Now, as I said, it is possible at the current operating point, an increase in radiative resistance to cooling could be exactly offset by an increase in non-radiative surface cooling via latent heat and convection, but there is no 2nd Law violation if this is not the case. For if there was, then the surface could not be supplied with 390 W/m^2 if only 240 W/m^2 of strictly radiant power enters and leaves the system at the TOA.

  72. What I am saying is the earth gives off out going longwave radaition at various wavelengths ,and co2,water vapor, and other greenhouse gases all absorb this out going longwave radiation(olr) at various wavelengths.

    This causes a warming effect (255k versus 288k), that would not happen if all the outgoing long wave radiation simply went out directly to space, without being absorbed.

    Absorbtion of olr is a fact. It stands to reason when a substance,( the atmosphere in this case) absorbs x radiation, it heats up x amount ,then emits it again. Emissivity is the term here.

    Emissivity of the atmosphere is .83 ,close to a black body. The atmosphere absorbs and emits certain wavelenghts, through the greenhouse gases, which gives itan emissivity value of .83. Water vapor accounting for .68 of the .83

    Where I disagree with the AGW theory is, based on the current amounts of energy in earth’s climatic system (sun versus albedo) the greenhouse gases have established an equilibrium temperature for the earth.

    I am saying that if the energy levels(which determine earth emissions of olr) coming into the earth remain constant or decrease, additional co2 is not going to matter, because it is already absorbing the olr emitted from earth at or very close to saturation levels, while the amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere will not be able to increase(if energy levels coming and leaving the earth don’t increase) in concentrations ,from current levels.

    How much water vapor the air can hold is related to the temperature, and temperature is related to energy coming into the earth and leaving the earth(greenhouse gases aside ), to begin with. The greenhouse gases I think, simply absorb a portion of this energy rather then allowing it to go out directly to space giving a resulting equilibrium temperature.,

    I say the energy in/out control the greenhouse gases effect or role and hence the temperature.

    AGW theory says(as far as I can tell) the greenhouse gases control the energy in/out, and hence the equilibrium temperature.

  73. Christopher Game says:

    salvatore delprete, the customary meaning of olr (outgoing long-wavelength radiation) is the radiation that actually goes out, not just from the surface of the land-sea body, but from the earth and its atmosphere and actually makes its way to space. It is not in accord with this customary usage to say that some of the olr is absorbed; by definition, in this customary usage, olr is not absorbed. When as above you use the term olr, you seem to mean radiation emitted by the surface of the land-sea body, of which indeed plenty is absorbed by the atmosphere. As for the rest of the just foregoing comments by you, I would suggest you look more closely at the matter, because what you say is not accurate enough to deal with the problem at hand.

  74. I say to Doug ,how do you explain a car heating up with glass windows,which is initially heated up by the sun,when the sun shines on it,only to see the car further heat up when the original heat the car absorbs from the sun, can’t escape directly to space, but gets absorbed by the glass and reflected back to the surface of the inside of the car causing the car to heat up further? How come the heat radiated from the cooler glass heats the warmer inside surfaces of the car further?

    According to your theory that can’t happen. If you say the car is a closed system, and the earth is an open system, that is not going to satisfy me for the answer

    I say the same principal applies to the atmosphere/greenhouse gas effect.

  75. I am just using olr from the surface because that is where their (agw theory ) argument is focused on.

    To Christopher Game, where do you differ from where my thinking is at? Becasue I think we agree more then disagree. Thanks.

  76. Christopher Game says:

    salvatore delprete, yes, it is apparent how you are using the term olr, but I think it wise to prefer to follow customary usage of more or less standard terms such as that one. To do otherwise is to invite confusion for the reader, even if there is no problem for the writer.

    I think your comments at November 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM make a number of assumptions and approximations that lead to the answer you want, but are not justified or adequate to the problem. In writing my very long post above at I had your request specifically in mind. I do not think I can usefully shorten the story I told there. Perhaps you may find there things that call for further discussion.

  77. Dikran Marsupial says:

    salvatore, the earths energy balance is determined at the top of the atmosphere, not the surface, so it is the OLR that actually leaves the planet that is relevant to a description of the (so-called) greenhouse effect, not OLR from the surface. I recommend that you read Spencer Weart’s excellent guide to the history of the theory here: and his RealClimate post explaining why the “CO2 is saturated” argument is incorrect, because absorption of OLR from the surface is not what actually matters.

  78. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Forgot the link to the realclimate post, which is here:

  79. To Dikran, I did say energy coming in and energy going out.

    To Christopher Game, I am going to look at that in detail.

    I think everyone is making assumptions and approximations when it comes to this subject.

    I think we are going to have an answer soon, due to co2 increasing,the prolong solar minimum in progress, and what the temperature trend does.

    We should at least have the answer as to which has the most influence, which does not mean the other one has no influence.

    Yet even with the prolong solar minimum just getting started(late in year 2005) and co2 increasing for years and years, temperatures are neutral,for at least 15 years or so. That says much ,in my opinion.

  80. I think what Christopher Game sent yesterday was very good.

    I made a copy of it.

  81. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Salvatore wrote: “I am saying that if the energy levels(which determine earth emissions of olr) coming into the earth remain constant or decrease, additional co2 is not going to matter, because it is already absorbing the olr emitted from earth at or very close to saturation levels,”

    This is the “CO2 is saturated” argument, and the flaw in it was identified about 60 years ago, as pointed out by Weart in the link I gave. Please do yourself a favour and read the article. Absorption of outbound LW photons from the surface is essentiall irrelevant.

  82. The problem Dikran, they are wrong, saturation plays a big role in this. I don’t know exactly how much of a role,but it is substancial. That I will not change my mind on. It makes to much common sense.

    To take this further to show I am even handed ,the saturation argument by you side, not being a major factor,is as bad as Doug Cottons’s argument from the other extreme side,saying greenhouse gases have nothing at all to do with having a role in the temp. of the earth. I point out to the 33k difference in earth’s avg. temp. with versus without any greenhouse gases.

    So I admit the greenhouse gases have a role, but I maintain it is a limited role,due to their present concentrations and no positive feedback effects.

    Let me say I feel strongly that solar changes/albedo changes are going to trump co2 concentration changes from this level,going forward when it comes to future climatic impacts.

    The evidence is mounting , that co2 increases from here having a major impact on the climate going forward just are not going to occur, due to the following:
    This is by no means all the evidence agains the man made co2 induced global warming , but here are some of the MAJOR points against the theory,based on present /past data, not assumptions.

    1. CO2 follows the temp., does not lead temperature

    2. No stratospheric cooling,prediction was for stratospheric cooling

    3. No temp. increase for 15 years and counting, opposite of what was predicted

    4. No troposheric hot spot, opposite of what was predicted. Anotherwords no positive feedbacks,co2/water vapor.

    5. A less zonal atmospheric circulation not more zonal which is what was predicted originally. Your side said a poleward shift in climate zones ,not happening, which would have led to less extremes in climate. A more zonal situation.

    6.Polar vortex is expanding not shrinking as your side said. -Ao , again a less zonal circulation. Opposite of what your side predicted.

    7. Ocean heat content rise ,not following projections. If anything it is steady since 2004 or so.

    8. Enso is not favoring El Nino over La Nina ,another wrong prediction.

    9. Antarctic sea ice growing not shrining.

    10.Abrupt climate change many times over what has happened from 1900-1998, has occurred countless times in the past.

    Those are just some of the major blunders I have over 30, of them. I listed the top 10, I guess one could say.

  83. ClimateCyclist says:


    This experiment is strong evidence against any GHE for those who understand the logical physics explained by myself and several others on the Principia Scientific International website – physics which is supported by empirical evidence.

    In contrast, there is absolutely no empirical evidence to support the GHE conjecture. It is all thought experiments, supposedly backed up by expensive computer models which are just based on the same thought experiments. Climate itself is not evidence, for it follows natural cycles probably controlled indirectly by the planets.

    Oxygen and nitrogen are the only “blankets” because they accumulate energy transferred by conduction (or diffusion) at the surface/atmosphere interface. Water vapor and radiating gases such as carbon dioxide are cooling the atmosphere by radiating away that energy trapped by oxygen and nitrogen, as well as some radiated energy they capture. They are the holes in the blanket. Even the backradiation which strikes the surface is merely “pseudo scattered” and eventually gets to space.

    PS I note that, rather than try to argue against myself and other members of PSI, Roy is now deleting posts. So I invite any continuation of this discussion to be posted on Judith Curry’s most recent Opem Thread here.


  84. We have two extreme points of view.

    If the saturation effect of greenhouse gases is not correct ,then temperatures should rise as co2 continues to increase. Not happening,not for 15+ years.

    To the other extreme it has been shown countless times that greenhouse gases absorb certain radiation wavelengths very effectively, then emit once again, not just talking about the radiation being emitted from the earth’s surface, as Christopher Game rightly pointed out.

    I say both extreme points of view are wrong, which is usually the case when an extreme point of view is given.

  85. Real climate is full of it. I read the explanation,it is ridiculous.

  86. ClimateCyclist says:

    There is a fallacy in the assumption that, in the absence of water vapor and any radiating/absorbing gases, the Earth’s surface would cool to 255K by radiation. Engineers will tell you that radiation only starts to dominate non-radiative cooling at temperatures around 100 deg.C. The fact is that conduction (diffusion) at the surface/atmosphere interface would continue to play a dominating role, warming the colliding oxygen and nitrogen molecules, which would then rise by convection. There is a natural temperature gradient set up by this process and the adiabatic lapse rate is created. A continuous declining temperature trend is evident from the hot core, through the surface and then to the top of the troposphere. The 255K will be found at some elevation up in the troposphere, and so the surface has to be warmer because of this trend, which is held in place by the “blanket” effect of the oxygen and nitrogen.

    Radiating gases and water vapour are the holes in the blanket – radiating away the energy trapped by other air molecules and some extra energy they themselves capture from radiation. Even the backradiation which goes back to the surface is merely “pseudo scattered” and eventually gets to space. So all radiation from the atmosphere has a cooling effect, and carbon dioxide plays a role in this cooling.

    All should read Konrad’s comment and his experiment which supports what I have been saying all along. You will also find a summary I have contributed to Joseph’s Postma’s October 2012 paper on pp. 47 & 48 therein.

    Doug Cotton

  87. Out of all the back and forth I am closest to Christopher Game, although I still think I am right about the total energy the earth’s climatic system has to work with, is going to effect the concentrations of greenhouse gases,and their effects,the overall olr emissions from the earth, the atmosphere, and what portion of these emissions will be absorbed, and emitted by greenhouse gases ,versus what portions go out directly to space.

    In addition, not to forget the conduction-convection-evaporation-precipitation process which again has to be tied into the total energy, the earth’s climatic system has to work with.

    I don’t see how the greenhose gas effects, and the conduction-convection-evaporation-precipitation processes cannot be governed by the total energy the earth’s climatic system has to work with.

    For those who believe in the 288k versus the 255k due to greenhouse gases, those two temperatures have to be tied into the amounts of energy in the earth’s climatic system to begin with.

    To illustrate my point to the extreme, way way extreme,if solar radiation were to decrease by 50%, and earth’s albedo were to increase by 50% ,the amounts of energy in earth’s climatic system would be much less.

    Does anyone still think under those conditions the greenhouse concentrations and effects on equilibrium temperature, as well as the conduction-convection-evaporation-precipitation process would still result in an equilibrium temperature of 288k? I doubt it.

    In addition if one agreed the 288k would no longer be the equilibrium temperature ,does anyone still think the greenhouse gas effect under these circumstances of 50%less solar energy , and a 50% higher albedo would result in a 33k higher temperature above that new equilibrium temperature? I doubt it.

    If you conclude that under the circumstances of a 50% decrease in solar energy and a 50% increase in albedo ,that the equilibrium temperature of 288k would be different and the effect of greenhouse gases/evaporation-convection process would result in a new equilibrium temperature different then 33k ,from that new equilibrium temperature, then you have to believe that the role of greenhouse gases ,convection-precipitation processes, are governed by the total energy in the earth’s climatic system to begin with.

  88. Christopher, what role does the total energy in earth’s climatic system, govern greenhouse gas concentrations,and their effects,the conduction-convection-evaporation-precipiatation processes , olr emissions from the earth /atmosphere, and that portion going directly to space versus being absorbed and emitted?
    What role would a 50% increase in albedo, and a 50% decrease in solar radiation have on all of the above?

    How would the equilibrium temp. of 288 k change? Would the equilibrium temp. of 288k change? Would the spread still be 33k difference in respect to temp. without greenhouse gas effects, versus greenhouse gas effects?

    What I am trying to say isn’t all the above somehow connected to the total energy in earth’s climatic system? That is or was the point I have been trying to make.

    Still you have a good handle on this. I like what you posted.

  89. ClimateCyclist says:

    When you keep referring to “those who believe in the 288K versus the 255K due to greenhouse gases and you seem to be one of those, I am left wondering what it is that you don’t understand in the last two posts of mine above.

    The 33 degree difference is totally explained by (and caused by) the fact that the Sun heats the surface (usually well above the mean temperature in any location) and then molecules of (mostly) nitrogen and oxygen collide with that warmer surface and get warmed themselves. That warmed air then rises, colliding with radiating molecules of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane etc, making them warmer in the process and thus increasing their propensity to radiate the energy away. So the air gets cooler as altitude increases, at least until the tropopause.

    Hence, given that the mean is about 255K, that mean must be some of the way up the troposphere, and so the surface has to be warmer – not because of the radiating molecules (which actually have a net cooling effect) but simply because the Sun at its peak each day warms the surface in most parts of the world to a temperature much higher than 255K.

    Once you understand that that 33 degree figure has nothing what-so-ever to do with any backradiation from carbon dioxide, then perhaps you realise that the whole carbon dioxide thing is the biggest hoax the world has ever seen – well “heard” not actually seen, because it isn’t there to be seen.

  90. ClimateCyclist says:

    And in regard to your last comment, yes of course world climate is related to the energy in the mean Solar radiation that gets through to the surface.

    Planetary orbits have now been shown to affect Solar activity (see a recent WUWT post*) and solar activity affects climate on Earth – which is why all climate can be fully explained by natural cycles such as 1,000 year and 60 year ones to start with. See my first website for more detail and links.

    * Sorry, I had to delete the link because Roy has obviously put a block on links to WUWT and some other sites. He probably didn’t actually delete some of my posts (as I said in an earlier comment) but they just disappeared because of the blocks on certain links which he must have set up.

  91. Christopher Game says:

    Salvatore del prete is discussing physical modelling of the effects of CO2 added to the atmosphere. He is concerned about several questions: (1)”what role does the total energy in earth’s climatic system?”

    One part of an answer is about how the total energy in the climate body relates to its temperature. As I am reading it for this part answer, this is a question of statics. Dynamic considerations are also very important and need distinct accounting, but not in this post right now. The bucket model is useful here. The bucket model speaks of a bucket of water as an analogue of the internal energy in the climate body. The amount of energy in the climate body at any moment is determined by the accumulated long-term past effects of the inflows and outflows. For a given moment, the temperature of the climate body is determined by two factors only, in this model, the heat capacity of the climate body and the amount of internal energy it contains. For a given heat capacity, the temperature is simply proportional to the amount in internal energy; when the amount of internal energy increases, so does the temperature.

    I will make another post later, about dynamics.

  92. David Appell says:


    I am intrigued by people who think they know more than almost 200 years-worth of physicists…. Doesn’t that put just a slight bit of doubt into your conclusions?


  93. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Salvatore, you are free to believe whatever you like, however that doesn’t change the fact that you misrepresented the mainstream scientific explanation of the greenhouse effect that stems from the work of Callendar and Plass in the 40s and 50s. Now if you don’t like RealClimate, then go and read the original papers by Plass (some of which are available for free online).

    The “no warming since 1998” is also incorrect. CO2 isn’t the only thing that affects temperatures, there is also e.g. ENSO. Periods of little or no warming are not unexpected, and have been seen before in the observational record and are reproduced by the models (see the paper by Easterling and Wehner). There is very little statistical evidence that there actually has been a slowdown in the underlying rate of warming (rather than the apparent plateau being the result of “weather noise” – e.g. ENSO). “no statistically significant warming” does not mean that there is no warming, or that there has been a change in the rate of warming. This is a common misunderstanding of statistical hypothesis tests, but a misunderstanding nevertheless.

  94. Doug Cotton says:

    David Appell: It was Prof Claes Johnson who first put forward the cutting-edge physics upon which my paper and others published on the PSI site are based. Look up Claes’ paper “Computational Blackbody Radiation” for which Roy won’t allow a link. There is also some empirical support in this experiment published over a year ago.

  95. Doug Cotton says:

    Dikran: You are quite right in saying there is “very little statistical evidence that there actually has been a slowdown in the underlying rate of warming” because the underlying rate is that of a much longer natural cycle of the order of 1,000 years periodicity. When the effect of the superimposed ~60 year cycle is removed, and data from around 1900 to the present is used, there is a reasonable indication that the rate of increase has declined from about 0.06K/decade about a century ago to about 0.05K/decade now.* I cannot prove that this is statistically significant, but it is in keeping with the 1,000 year cycle approaching a maximum within 200 years.

    *See plot at foot of my Home page.

  96. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Doug, the statistical evidence for those climate cycles you mention is also nill, and in the case of the 60 year cycle assumes that the effect of sulphate aersols etc. is zero. There is far too much climastrology on the blogsphere and such claims are just giving the genuuine skeptics a bad name by association.

    If you can’t even prove statistical significance (which is essentially only a basic sanity check) then you should not be making claims based on statistical correlations. The purpose of statistical significance tests is to guard against issues such as confirmation bias, so ignoring them is not a good idea.

  97. TonyM says:

    Dikran Marsupial:

    Perhaps you should have put it more generally.

    There is no statistically significant evidence to suggest increased CO2 has any significant effect on global T over any extended time period in the last half million years.

    The hypothesis of CAGW is not based on some time series but on the physics relationships ala Hansen et al. There is no fundamental empirical explanation for the hiati in T that have occurred for well over a decade if the alarmist CO2 hypothesis was valid.

    Any working hypothesis in science must stand up to its predictions if it is to be supported. Thus far it has failed both in the case of Hansen or any of the models and thus falsify the “alarmist” hypothesis that had been promoted.

  98. RW says:

    Here is a list of the many other things the data and evidence is telling us:

    1. CO2 lags temperature in the ice core paleo data, and the lag is significantly longer when temperatures are falling. This is exactly the opposite of what would be expected if CO2 was any significant driver of the temperature increases from the glacial to interglacial periods.

    2. The relationship between water vapor concentration and temperature is the opposite of what one would expect from positive feedback from water vapor. That is, above the current global average temperature, on average as the water vapor concentration increases, the temperature increases less and less, as illustrated here:

    3. The power densities gain ratio of globally averaged surface power to post albedo solar incident solar power is only about 1.6, where net positive feedback of 300% requires a gain ratio of more than 4.8 (at 287K, the surface radiates about 385 W/m^2 and about 240 W/m^2 enters from the Sun; 385/240 = 1.6, and +3.3C from a baseline of 287K requires +18 W/m^2; 18/3.7 = 4.86).

    4. During much of the last interglacial period, temperatures were 3C higher than they are today with far lower CO2 levels.

    5. Dating way back into prehistory 100s of millions of years ago, CO2 concentrations were often several multiples higher than today, yet temperatures never went way up or out of control (i.e. past a tipping point), and ice ages still occurred.

    6. The absorption spectrum of CO2 is already mostly saturated, which means it takes a huge amount of added CO2 just to get a slight increase in total net absorption. That is, on the logarithmic scale, it has already reached the point significantly diminished returns.

    7. The 3.7 W/m^2 of total net absorption increase per CO2 doubling is only a theoretical measurement taken from ‘nominal’ GHG concetrations. (i.e. it is not the equivalent of a laboratory measurement). This means there is no guarantee that the total absorption will actually increase by 3.7 W/m^2 (or even increase at all).

    8. The amount of temperature increase in the last 30 years is inconsistent with net positive feedback acting on the climate, even if the added CO2 is the primary cause of the warming.

    9. During the last interglacial period, for over two thousand years it was about 3C (or more) warmer than today, yet Greenland and Antarctica did not melt (if they did we wouldn’t have ice cores dating back to that time).

    10. Biology likes warmth and added CO2 drives plant growth which is the primary fuel for the entire biosphere, as well as fuel for agriculture which helps feed the world’s population (far too much of which is still starving).

  99. Dikran Marsupial says:

    TonyM The evidence for the greenhouse effect comes from physics, not merely from statistics (I am a statistician, and I can tell you that physics trumps statistics any day of the week).

    There is a perfectly good explanation for the “hiatus”, which is ENSO, control for ENSO, volcanic and solar forcing and the hiatus dissapears entirely. If you read the paper by Easterling an Wehner that I mention, you will know that similar periods of little or no warming are reproduced in the output of climate models, so it is just what you would expect from AGW theory (the timing of the periods can’t be predicted as they depend on ENSO, but their existence is entirely expected).

    If you think the “hiatus” is not consistent with the models, then you simply don’t know what the models actually say. See e.g. . A while back I downloaded the model output and the observations and was able to reproduce their analysis almost exactly, so I can tell you there is no statistically significant model-observation inconsistency with regard to temperature. Arctic sea ice extent is another matter, it is melting significantly faster that then models project.

  100. To Dikran,

    If the saturation theory was wrong and the alternative theory you post is correct, why is it that the amounts of longwave radiation leaving the earth /atmosphere system,(olr) are not showing a mark decrease as co2 concentrations increase? If one goes back to 1979 ,the satellite era ,which makes it possible to measure this, that is the result.

    That strongly suggest that the increasing co2 concentration levels are having no further impacts on out going long wave radiation, which leads to the conclusion that the saturation factor must be in play.

    In addition, if the theory you believe in is correct,why is it that co2 follows the temperature trend, and why is the temperature response so weak if co2 does all this additional absorbing and emitting of radiation and hence warming the atmosphere? Why is it so weak? I would expect a much greater temperature response , if what that alternative theory says is true about co2, and it’s role in the atmosphere, as far as having an effect on the temperature.

  101. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Savatore, the problem for your argument is that analysis of the outbour LW radiation confirms the enhanced greenhouse effect, for example see the follwoing paper published in Nature in 2001.

    Note in particular the last sentence of the abstract.

    Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997

    John E. Harries, Helen E. Brindley, Pretty J. Sagoo & Richard J. Bantges

    The evolution of the Earth’s climate has been extensively studied and a strong link between increases in surface temperatures and greenhouse gases has been established. But this relationship is complicated by several feedback processes—most importantly the hydrological cycle—that are not well understood5. Changes in the Earth’s greenhouse effect can be detected from variations in the spectrum of outgoing longwave radiation, which is a measure of how the Earth cools to space and carries the imprint of the gases that are responsible for the greenhouse effect. Here we analyse the difference between the spectra of the outgoing longwave radiation of the Earth as measured by orbiting spacecraft in 1970 and 1997. We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12. Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.

  102. Dikran, I have news for you. Up to as recently as late 2005, solar,volcanic activity,enso ,the atmospheric circulation,pdo/amo, were all in a warming phase ,promoting global warming through natural cycles.

    Things did not first start to vcahnge until late 2005 with solar, followed in 2009 by a pdo phase shift (warm to cold) and a more meridional circulation taking place in the atmosphere.

    In the meantime becasue of the 100 years plus of prior strong solar activity ,ocean heat content has risen up to year 2005 or so to quite high levels. This is holding the temperatures as high as they are presently ,but this along with the sub-solar years now starting to accumulate, along with solar cycle 24 max. passing by are all going to result in a decline in temperatures. I say post 2014 or post 2015 at the latest.

    I don’t think an apprciation for just how low solar conditions have to be ,along with the number of sub-solar years is being realized.

    I say at a mimum you need 8 years of sub-solar activity and solar readings /geomagnetic readings as follows for many many months. Solar flux sub 72, solar wind sub 350 km/sec, ap index sub 5.


  103. That above went out when it was not to suppose to. I could not prove read it or finish what I wanted to say.

    I was saying solar flux sub 72,solar wind 50 or less,ap index 5 or less were realized in 2009-2010 but the period of prior sub-solar years was only 3 or 4 years and the duration of these low readings was not long enough. Post 2014 this will be a different story.

    Expect a temperature decline.

  104. solar wind 350 km/sec., not 50.

  105. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Sorry Salvatore, you are being evasive. You made a claim about the effects of the enhanced greenhouse effect not being detectable in outbound IR radiation. I demonstrated that this was incorrect, and that in fact OLR provides direct evidence for a significant increase in the Earths greenhouse effect. There is no point in discussing science with someone who when it is demonstrated that they are wrong simply change onto a new line of argument rather than admitting that they were wrong on that point.

  106. To Doug Cotton, the emissivity of the atmosphere is .83, with water vapor contributing .66 to this figure.

    Doug you are sayng that the radiation emitted(olr) does not go out directly to space, but you are using ,or I should say adding to the mix molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in addition to co2 ,methane and water vapor.

    If what you say is true in that the greenhouse effect does not exist, why does the stratosphere warm as you go up in altitude? Reason is because of the ozone concentrations, in the stratosphere work on the same principles as co2 /water vapor in the lower atmosphere. Ozone absorbs radiation in the stratosphere ,just like co2 /water vapor absorb a portion of the olr radiation,in the lower atmosphere.

    How about so2 from volcanic eruptions? Again it will absorb a portion of incoming radiation for the sun ,warming the stratosphere and reflecting incoming sunlight away causing the surface to cool.

    They all involve more or less the same principals.

    How much the sun heats the surface is going to depend in large measure on the albedo of the surfacea and the make up of the surface. Water versus land. Snow /Ice versus dark soil.

    Temperatures of the earth are measured above the surface not on the surface. Then you do say collisions take place just above the surface ,causing the atmosphere to warm, you say it, you just don’t want to use co2/water vapor instead you want to use nitrogen/oxygen.

    So in effect you are stil saying the make up of the atm. causes the equilibrium temp. to be higher then it would be absent no atmosphere. Your saying the same thing ,just using different gases in the atmosphere.

  107. I know what will solve the whole problem, and that will be what the temperature trend will do as co2 increases.

    That will end it one way or the other, because everybody believes what they believe, and no one is going to convince the other, otherwise.

    That is why this decade is going to be so great. We will have the two leading competitors in what people think causes the climate to change going head on.

    Prolong Solar Minimum conditions(colder) versus increases in co2 concentrations(warmer)

    Time will tell

  108. One must laugh at those that advocate man made global warming. No matter what happens, even when it is the opposite of what they predict ,they will adjust to make it appear they are correct.

    Everything they have predicted has come to be opposite by the way.

    Take co2, those who believe it has some sort of role all subscribe to the theory that it absorbs olr, which causes the temperatures to be higher then otherwise.

    Yet,yet when co2 increases and olr does not decrease, they come up with another explanation , which is beyond ridiculous.

    Either more co2 concentrations from here less olr,hence it will have an effect on the temperatures, or more co2, no decrease in olr or an increase, in which case added co2 will have no further effect on temperatures, which is what we have been seeing for 15+ years.

  109. Doug Cotton says:

    Dikran Firstly, the evidence against the GHE comes from valid atmospheric and thermodynamic physics. What is it in the physics in the various peer-reviewed papers published by PSI that you don’t understand? Secondly, there is empirical evidence to support the physics which tells us carbon dioxide has no net warming effect, but there is of course no empirical evidence whatsoever to verify the pseudo physics promulgated by IPCC et al.

    Go and read up on the latest findings – the papers on PSI and Prof Claes Johnson’s Computational Blackbody Radiation – some of the posts on Tallbloke’s Talkshop and even WattsUpWithThat – some of the statistical analysis on climate cycles, notably that by Nicola Scafetta and much more. The various links on my websites will point you in the right direction.

    Don’t waste your time writing stuff here I read years ago and many of us (such as myself with over 50 years’ study of physics) came to the conclusion is nothing but a hoax. The gullible fall for hoaxes.

  110. Doug, I am with you as far as believing the man made co2 global warming is a hoax. I am with you on that score.

    Just out of curiosity what do you mean by the nitrogen and oxygen molecules collide with the surface? Is this different then absorbing acording to your way of thinking?

    If a substance absorbs radiation it emits it,that has to result in a warming of the space it emits to.

    You must be of the opinion that co2 does not absorb any olr?

  111. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore I’m afraid you really don’t appear to understand very much at all of what I am in fact saying. Maybe you could also start by reading my website linked in the above post and written well over a year ago. To open my second website, use link 3 (How the IPCC got it wrong) in the top left corner as Roy has banned links to that site.

    Oxygen and nitrogen are warmed by molecular collisions with the surface. That acquired energy is subsequently diffused (by molecular and sub-molecular collisions) to the radiating water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane etc molecules. Only these radiating molecules can radiate energy out of the atmosphere. So the oxygen and nitrogen act as a blanket absorbing by diffusion (not photon capture) about 60% to 70% of the energy coming out of the surface. The remaining 30% to 40% of energy from the surface is radiated and some of this is then absorbed by photon capture in the atmosphere and the remainder gets through the atmospheric window straight to space. Does that make it clearer? It’s just that I don’t like being misquoted so badly.

  112. Doug Cotton says:

    Click here to see a net energy budget diagram which is on page 2 of my first website. Note that conduction is shown as 7% of incoming solar radiation, latent heat as 23% and the total from the surface is 51%. So this diagram implies (7+23)/51 or about 59% of energy from the surface is by other than radiation. I say 60% to 70% in fact because I believe, from other reading, that the diagram understates conduction and evaporation.

    Either way, it is clear that a lot of energy is not radiated from the surface but, instead, finds its way into the atmosphere via oxygen, nitrogen and water vapor molecules, not by photon capture in carbon dioxide molecules. When CO2 molecules do capture, they are more likely to then radiate that energy away, or transfer it by diffusion to oxygen or nitrogen. It can then diffuse to water vapor and be radiated away. Without radiating molecules (the holes in the blanket) things would get very hot up there. I assure you.

  113. I now understand where you are coming from,. That does make it much clearer.

    What I have learned is sometimes it does not have to be one or the other it can be some of each.

    But you should promote what you believe in,which you are doing. Like we are all doing. I know it is an honest opinion and not a hoax on your part ,like the man made co2 global warming hoax.

    My main concern will be will the temperature drop in response to this prolong solar minimum. I say yes,regardless of co2’s exact role, or no role as you say.

    I think the way I approach it ,saying co2 does have a limited role ,is a much greater effective argument against their stupid AGW theory, then what you are promoting.Your’s is to easy, you are left opened to so much opposition, whereas mine will not have nearly as much, if the temperature trend does indeed go down.

    I say my approach is like a dagger in their heart,because it confronts them on every single issue in regards to co2’s role, while your approach simply does away with co2 as an issue, and it really is very very unconventional, over turning so much of current thinking ,regardless of one’s opinion on the AGW theory.

  114. I made a copy of your diagram.

  115. I will look at this more.

  116. Let me say this now that I understand it better I can see your points.

    Christopher Game, also makes many good points. I take what he has to say quite seriously.

    Let me say this something is wrong with the current co2/temp. /feedbacks ,that is for sure. Nothing is happening as expected. Is it due to your more radical approach, my thinking in general, or a combination of the two?

  117. Doug Cotton says:

    I am not concerned about what people say or think. I am only after the truth, so I’m not going to water it down. If carbon dioxide does have any effect it is far more likely to be a little on the cooling side because …

    (1) It helps to radiate away the thermal energy (“heat” in lay terms) that is accumulated by normal air molecules. You can’t deny that the troposphere is warmer near the surface than at the top. The warm air (O2 and N2 mostly) rises by convection. But O2 and N2 can’t radiate at those temperatures. So where does the energy go? It has to be radiated to space. So CO2, water vapor etc do the radiating. Doesn’t that sound like a cooling process to you?

    (2) CO2 absorbs incoming solar radiation in the 2 micron band. This has five times the energy that 10 micron radiation from the surface has in each photon. So CO2 stops some of that solar radiation from warming the surface, and it back radiates some to space. Doesn’t that sound like a cooling function?

    So, for me to say it has no effect is the middle ground. I can’t prove that the above cooling effects are significant, so I’ll just stay where I am in the middle.

  118. TonyM says:

    Dikran Marsupial:
    Glad to see that you are not following the statistical route because there would be no justification for a CO2 causes alarming warming hypothesis over extended time periods.

    The reference you post would suggest that with enough modification of past data, update models and ample leeway for explanations we might also be able to predict the next 5 numbers of a roulette wheel or the trifecta on Melbourne Cups or pretend we are close enough.

    I don’t hold Hansen or the models to account for predicting the rate of GHG increase nor specific timed ENSO effects. But it is not up to a skeptic to second guess what is claimed as the hypothesis. Hansen and the models all had ENZO awareness; it is old enough. That is why I would not judge them for specific years or trends but would judge them on their actual assumptions by allowing for that and look more at start and end points over a reasonable period.

    They fail in the alarmist calls based on empirical evidence.

    This seems quite contrary to the post normal science which Hansen and others are trying to foist on us – like specific hurricanes or localised temperature events as confirmation of their alarmist hypothesis. What tripe.

    You claim that it has warmed since 1997. Really now – without massaging numbers! I guess that is why Hansen was busily looking for the missing heat in the deep blue oceans and maybe under some boulders and Trenberth claimed it a travesty that they could not account for the lack of warming or that BEST had to admit to no warming over this period.

    If you are going to make a plug for warming by reference to the Arctic sea ice being overestimated you might be more even handed by referring to the Antarctic as well which is underestimated in the models.

    What else do the models get right? Sea level rises perhaps?

    One might even ask about the T measuring sites and how good they are. When class 1 and 2 sites with no airports alone are used there is nowhere near the warming claimed in the USA. But that is another story.

  119. Dikran Marsupial says:

    TonyM, sorry I am only interested in the science, not rhetoric. You write:

    “You claim that it has warmed since 1997. Really now – without massaging numbers!”

    Firstly I made no such claim, I said that there is no significant evidence that the rate of warming had slowed. That is not the same thing at all. I also said that periods of little or no warming are entirely consistent with the theory and model output and gave a reference to support that. I have analysed the model output myself and can confirm that this is true.

    There is an apparent slow down in the observed surface temperature records, but this is explainable by ENSO, and if you look at ocean heat content, that has continued to rise, which is a good indication of where the extra heat is going.

    Try the test with Dr Spencers data, do you think he has massaged the data to show warming? The evidence for a change in the rate of warming since 1997 fails to reach statistical significance, and that is the test you need to perform if you want to assert that there has been a hiatus based on the observations.

  120. TonyM says:

    Dikran Marsupial

    I literally took you at your word: “THAT PHYSICS TRUMPS STATISTICS ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.”

    Then blow me Jack your rebuttal is along statistical lines i.e. that there is no “statistically significsnt” hiatus (at say a 95% confidence level).

    Either you believe in physics or not! To suggest physics would accept a hypothesis if it can’t be rejected at say a 95% confidence level is just plain silly. Look at the Large Hadron Collider and their error level in detecting the Higgs boson to understand this. You might even look to Hansen’s hypothesis and predictions and the attendant error level already stated there. It has nothing to do with 17 year long statistical observations to falsify it – which is mainly the Trenberth line of obfuscation. Why one would even need full year observations is beyond me.

    Otherwise you may as well tell the doctor not to administer antibiotics to a 42 deg T patient on the grounds that you can’t rule out that he is perfectly normal at the 95% confidence level unless you take 17 consecutive days of high T measures (as an analogy – not literally which depends on the numbers!).

    In physics a hypothesis is falsified if it does not hold empirically within our measurement capability. That’s it! It’s wrong! It may be modified and retested on a new experiment but the original hypothesis is falsified.

    Even by your own intuition you will have to readily acknowledge that a multitude of other hypotheses would hold under your criteria. For example, Dr Spencer’s hypothesis is that a doubling of CO2 would roughly equate to a 1 deg C increase in global T and not the more commonly suggested alarm of 3 deg C increase. It is more involved but basically he is not in favour of the H2O highly sensitive positive feedback and the empirical evidence seems to support him with negative cloud feedback (on which he wrote a paper).

    I suggest (but have not done) that if you start your dataset from the mid forties he is likely to have a better correlation coefficient than the Hansen concept. The models are tweaked to hindcasting and hence useless as a comparison. Even correlation does not lead to the conclusion that there is causation. My age correlates quite well with CO2 increase and no doubt will likely have as good a T correlation.

    I am not advocating a statistical route when the hypothesis in question is clearly stated in physics terms.

    There is no way around the issue that CO2 has increased and T has not increased contrary to the stated CAGW hypothesis over the last 15 years. You mention but seem to confuse heat content or absorption and T by saying it can be explained by the oceans. Think about this for a moment. All climatologists are fully attuned to the 1st law of Thermodynamics. The issue and hypothesis is one of catastrophic global average T and not heat sinks.

    All it does is serve to emphasise that man is not the only component in this T equation and hence counters CAGW.

    Most of us are not questioning that some warming occurs by increasing CO2; we question the alarmist extreme ideas of warming which is where Hansen and the IPCC models have failed to date in physics terms.

    If the earth mechanisms are poorly understood and balance themselves by using the huge ocean heat sink compared to surface T this does not validate the alarmist CAGW. It only needs a minute ocean T increase to offset any extra heat retention which may come from GHG.

  121. Dikran Marsupial says:

    “THAT PHYSICS TRUMPS STATISTICS ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.” it does, but physics does not rule out periods of little or no apparent warming due to e.g. ENSO, see the Easterling and Wehner paper (amongst others) so your inference was incorrect.

    The evidence FOR a hiatus on the other hand is PURELY statistical, but then *I* am not arguing there has been a genuine hiatus (rather than just an artefact of natural variability, i.e. ENSO). If *you* want to argue there has been a halt in the warming then (a) you need to consider ocean heat content as well as surface temperatures and (b) demonstrate that there is statistically significant evidence of a reduction in the underlying rate of warming.

  122. Doug you will like this arcticle. They may be correct.

    One thing is for sure co2 global man made warming is not going to happen.



    Heat Streams One Way Not Two: How Greenhouse Gas Physics Fails

    Author // John O’Sullivan

    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coined a new term that confounds the established laws of physics. This term is “back radiation” heating. It is a conjured up mechanism upon which a 21st Century international pseudo science is based – atmospheric physics. But whereas radiation goes where it likes, heat only streams one way – from warmer to cooler as per actual physical laws. Strict adherence to such laws is what distinguishes the science of Principia Scientific International from that of the IPCC and this is perfectly embodied in a telling new paper by Jef Reynen.

    Wikipedia, ever among the least reliable references for anything, assures us that “Atmospheric physics is the application of physics to the study of the atmosphere.” Wikipedia’s entry on this issue makes no mention of latent heat and much mention of radiation. Critically, we see no mention whatsoever of conduction or convection, the predominant modes of energy transport in any gas. We have for decades been subliminally steered away from the abiding truth in science, that the miraculous element: water is the key to climate – not radiation. Water does this via latent heat, the true “trapping mechanism” of incoming solar radiation. But the IPCC hides that pea under the thimble and instead tells us there is a two-way energy stream called “back radiation” that is the key. However, you will find “back radiation” nowhere in any texts on thermodynamics. It doesn’t exist in real science.

    Notwithstanding their oversight Dutch researcher Jef Reynen, in his new paper ‘Atmospheric absorption by IR-sensitive molecules,’ uses a parameter study to test how this obsession with “back radiation” stands up under closer examination. Inspired by Professor Claes Johnson, Reynen performs an experiment to see whether the IPCC’s “back radiation” model can possibly add to, or delay energy transit in Earth’s atmosphere. Applying MATLAB to solve the simultaneous equations Reynen analyzed the difference between one-stream heat flow by radiation formulation and the two-stream formulation, as is used by the IPCC. The findings are astonishing and his new paper is set to be another milestone in the inevitable march back to REAL scientific inquiry about our climate.

    Reynen first identified that a ‘one slab’ model, with simple back-of-the-envelope algebra can be shown to be reliable, while any attempt to show a two-stream heat flow (the IPCC’s “back radiation” formulation) will give spurious absorptions, even though temperature distributions for the two formulations were the same.

    He found that IPCC software (not real world data) relying exclusively on the two-stream formulation, points to huge absorptions and thereby huge values for back-radiation of heat from colder to warmer temperatures. Reynen analyzed the IPCC’s one-slab (two-stream) model and developed a multi-layer model based on the one-stream for heat flow by radiation formulation.

    The Dutchman conceptualized such a model as a stack of grids – in appearance something like chicken wire. The model was given large holes with a normalized cross-section “1-f” and thin wires with a normalized cross-section ”f”, where “f” can be interpreted as an absorption coefficient.

    Reynen determined that such a feasible model could be comprised of a stack of 50 layers, starting at the bottom with a first layer at 6 mm near the surface (where there is most incident energy) and building up to thicker layers towards the top of the atmosphere at a height of 10 km.

    Besides this geometry of the mesh, Reynen showed a distribution of the thickness of the wire, acting as the absorption coefficient, to show how the IPCC had established their global and annual mean heat budget (but without their contrived back-radiation heating). By this construct Reynen proved that absorption by the atmosphere turned out to be an order of magnitude lower. Reynen reports, “A sensitivity analysis has been carried out and doubling of the concentration of CO2 results in a surface temperature increase of 0.08 C.”

    Yes, you read that correctly. By modeling the atmosphere more closely to it’s true physical structure, we can demonstrate the IPCC erred by fudging the absorption coefficient in their analyses.

    As such the IPCC wrongly identified CO2 as the climate villain. It is, in fact, the IPCC’s flawed two-stream formulation for heat flow that arbitrarily and capriciously conjured up “back-radiation“ heating, unknown to the laws of thermodynamics, and now employed as a contrivance to concoct warmer temperatures from cooler ones. As Jef concludes, “We could live with the misnomer back-radiation but we can not accept the huge numbers given to it.” Reynen’s experiment now stands as a stark challenge to those universities teaching ‘atmospheric physics’ to either abandon the IPCC’s bogus two-stream heat flow formulation or perform their own experiments to try to prove the Second Law of Thermodynamics wrong.

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  123. Doug Cotton says:

    Yes Salvatore. The author, John O’Sullivan writes well. As it happens he is currently reading and working on an article of my own which will be published next week. In anticipation of such, I won’t add more here unless and until anyone wishes to comment on my article.

  124. Christopher Game says:

    John O’Sullivan is quoted above as writing: “However, you will find “back radiation” nowhere in any texts on thermodynamics. It doesn’t exist in real science.” He could try looking at Maxwell’s textbook on heat at

  125. Doug Cotton says:

    CG: Prevost’s Theory (page 240) is not the same thing. If you are referring to something else in the book, please quote with page number to save us all a bit of time here.

  126. Doug Cotton says:

    The above article quoted by Salvatore is just one of many interesting articles in the News section on the PSI site. I also recommend Climate Sense and Nonsense by Dr Martin Hertzberg.

  127. Doug Cotton says:

    CG: By the way, now that you mention Maxwell’s Theory of Heat may I draw your attention to pp 244-245 which describe how a gas only absorbs radiation when it is cooler then the emitter. This is what Prof Claes Johnson has established computationally. It is the reason why energy in backradiation from a cooler atmosphere is not converted to thermal energy in a warmer surface, so there is no heat transfer. You can read Maxwell with these links p.244 p.245

  128. Doug Cotton says:
    November 14, 2012 at 8:42 PM
    “So CO2 stops some of that solar radiation from warming the surface, and it back radiates some to space. Doesn’t that sound like a cooling function?”

    The following may interest you.

    “Anthropogenic CO2 increases are expected to propagate upward throughout the entire atmosphere, which should result in a cooler, more contracted thermosphere”

  129. Doug Cotton says:

    WB: Yes well you can have your cake and eat it with that article. He seems to think CO2 molecules have little labels “Made by humans” on them, and that they warm when they are low down, but cool things off when they are up in the thermosphere. Funny thing is that their main band (15 microns) corresponds to about minus 80 deg C – which is only found in the mesosphere.

  130. Doug Cotton says:

    This might make you wonder what a few extra molecules of CO2 would do up there: “The temperature in the thermosphere initially rises rapidly with heights up to about 120 miles (200 km) and thereafter increases more slowly. Above 120 miles (200 km) – depending on solar activity – the temperature varies between 600° and 2000°C (1100 and 3600°F).”

    Read more.

  131. Rot says:

    NEW Calculation: UAH v5.5 Global Temp Update for October 2012 is now 0,34 !!! ???

    New version v5.5.1 ???

    So, wich temp is right ?? 0,331 or 0,34 ???


  132. TonyM says:

    Dikran Marsupial says:
    November 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Much of what you write seems to be lost in loose definitions and your idea of what science is meant to be.

    I suggest you are confusing the terms T, global T, global warming, warming and energy. The first four are the same when used in the context of climatology. At times you seem to use warming when you mean a net energy increase and not global warming.

    Global warming definition (Google):?
    An increase in the earth’s average atmospheric temperature or

    Refers to climate change that causes an increase in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere.

    Other than by virtue of a statistical contrivance that you may wish to use, the measures of T do indeed show a lowered rate of increase compared to the immediate period preceding 1998.

    Aside from the fact that an average global T has indeed a questionable meaning under non equilibrium conditions, the T slowdown observations are indeed FACT (with attendant errors including UHI etc) and not “apparent” slowdown as you suggest.

    Your “underlying rate of warming” in the context of what is discussed is quite meaningless as now you clearly do not mean global warming as defined but seem to mean any net energy absorbed/retained by the whole system ( i.e. the joules).

    One can be as creative as one wishes in science; without that science doesn’t move forward. Equally and absolutely fundamental is the requirement for empirical evidence to support any hypothesis. Other than that it is simply conjecture.

    The technique you espouse does not get us very far in the physics – that we simply accept a hypothesis and leave it to skeptics to prove it is wrong. The onus of evidence – empirical evidence – is always on the proponent. That is science.

    Thus it is not up to me to show anything. Rather it is up to the proponent to demonstrate the empirical evidence supporting his views. Climate models are not empirical evidence and have not been validated and are meaningless in that sense.

    Basically it is up to you to show that CO2 has any alarming effect on T or do you now wish to change that to net energy retained. This has to be supported empirically and not through thought bubbles of models.

    May I refer you to the empirical issues which face your proposal by Pielke snr. I think you will find he is well respected and has written on the subject and certainly writes better than I could.

    Do a Google on: Pielke Sr. on that hide and seek ocean heat

    Another paper which address your issues of energy balance is covered in Joannenova – do google:
    Blockbuster: Earths Energy Balance measured – models are wrong

  133. Thomas says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    Summer arctic sea ice has been declining for the past thirty years. Does the satellite temperature record show warming of the lower troposphere in the arctic summers over the same time period? If not, sea ice decline could be due to wind or some other factor.

  134. Doug Cotton’sargument makes sense in that Co2 follows the temp.

    One would think if the greenhouse effect suppose to be present due to greenhouse gases absorbing olr, and thus causing a temperature rise, that the greenhouse gases concentration increases would lead the temperature increases, however the reality is the opposite.

    Also along those lines I venture to say increase energy from the sun, warms the oceans, this causes the conduction-evaporation-convection-precipitation cycle to be stronger, and more latent heat to be released into the atmosphere.

    This process of evaporation/ cooling,latent heat release into the atm./warming is starting at a higher ocean temp. when energy from the sun is stronger.

    The upshot of this is perhaps why we have CO2 folllowing the temp. trend.

    Also it is odd how the conventional wisdom keeps saying co2 emits more radiation then it absorbs in the stratosphere causing cooling, vice versa from what it is suppose to do in the troposphere. I question this now.

    Doug, may be correct in that their may not be a greenhouse effect, and latent heat release into atm. may be responsible for the warming.

    One would think if co2 is suppose to absorb and warm the same as ozone does, why is it that the effects of ozone in the stratosphere cause a warming ,whereas the same effects co2 is suppose to have in the troposphere causes no such warming. The temperatures in the troposhere decrease with height, where as the temperatures in the statosphere increase with height. One would think if co2 is such a great important absorber ,one would expect a level in the troposhere to show little or no drop due to co2 concentrations, as is the case with ozone in the stratosphere.

    Also there is no hot spot because co2 does not lead water vapor ,if anything that is the opposite. So forget about a positve feedback between co2 increases first ,leading to water vapor increases. Has not ,will not ever happen.


  135. Christopher Game says:

    Dear salvatore del prete, you are at risk of being misled by Doug Cotton. Doug’s arguments are partly nonsense and cannot be relied upon to produce answers to important questions. I think one must accept that there is some greenhouse effect so-called. Adding some CO2 to the atmosphere will, immediately and without any compensation having had time to come into effect, decrease the outgoing long-wavelength radiation to space, other things being equal. This will, other things being equal, at least temporarily, increase the internal energy and temperature of the climate body. There will certainly follow upon this various compensatory and anti-compensatory effects. The system is stable, so overall, we may be confident that the net effect of the compensatory and anticompensatory effects will not be explosive. But it is logically possible that the net effect might be compensatory or anti-compensatory. No one can produce a reliable and precise proof of which or how much. It can be reliably guessed that the effect will be a non-zero increase in temperature, though that might be very very small, or whatever, no one can prove for sure.

  136. Doug Cotton says:

    CG: Which “important questions” would you like me to answer? They are probably already answered in a fairly comprehensive article I have written which is about to be published. Meanwhile, you have absolutely no evidence that carbon dioxide can “decrease the outgoing long-wavelength radiation to space” because that has not been happening at all since 1998, for example. Furthermore, even if it did happen, there is no valid physical mechanism whereby any additional energy stored somewhere up there in the cold atmosphere can have any effect on climate, which we measure within 2 metres of the surface.

  137. Christopher Game says:

    Dear Doug Cotton, I am not interested in your answers to any questions. Your argument, in your just above post, is not valid. I do have time or inclination to explain to you why it is not valid.

  138. Christopher Game says:

    Sorry, I do NOT have time or inclination!!

  139. Christian says:

    Dear DC,

    Whats the problem? You look at Claudine Chen 2007 et al. there you have your Question to the TOA-Longwave-Change.

    Another point:

    Why 1998? not 1999? 2000? 1997? In the fact, we (you and me and other) have at first to understand, that climate is not only caused by Co2. We habe imprints from Sun, PDO and Aerosols. (and non knowing factors).

    So my Question at you:

    Why should it be warmer since 1998, becuase..

    a, PDO is negativ
    b, Sun at very low activity
    c, Much antropogen Aersols

    Well, test ist on RSS since 1998. Let correlate MEI with RSS. Look an the timelags, between 4-5 month with R=0,46.

    So we can say, that near the half of variation in RSS can be explained by ENSO. So, why should it now warming, when the ENSO is on cooling Mode?

    I have done a simple lineare Modell to determine the ENSO from RSS, it has show up, that die ENSO have an Impact from 0,142K/dMEI(1).

    This means, when the MEI is rising from 0 to 2, the temperature in RSS (after Timelag) rises nearly 0,3K..

    So look at here:

    Again, why should it warming since 1998? I really dont understand this guys, becuase guys like you destroy real sceptics..

  140. Christopher Game says:

    Christian asks us to look at Claudine Chen 2007, which I did. Just to be explicitly sure of what he means, may I try to put it into words. He is saying that the Chen 2007 paper at shows a change from 1970 to 2006. The change is a decrease in the OLR from the spectral bands of CO2, with an associated increase in the OLR from the nearby spectral region of H2O.

    As I read this it means that the expected leading effect of CO2, which would be apparent in an impulse response on the whole spectrum OLR, as an initial though more or less transient decrease, is shown by these data as persistent in the spectrally resolved OLR, because the increase in CO2 is long lived.

    Christian, have I read this as you intend?

  141. Christian says:

    Dear Christopher Game,

    At first, i hope i understand you really, in the fact, my english is not the best.

    What i want so say was:

    We see in 2006 (clear Sky) in compare with 1970 that ORL generally is increased, logical, warmer surface so generally more ORL. On the other Hand, we see e.g Co2-spectra, for that, brigthness-temperature is decreasing and thats what it means, when Co2 is a IR-active Gas.

    So, in the fact, we can say and see, that Co2 have an effect on ORL-Buget and its likley that could be the cause for some warming.

    How much or how less, i cant say and thats the main-Question..

  142. Christopher Game says:

    Christian, it seems we read these data the same way. It seems to me that this reading makes sense. I agree it tells only which is the leading effect, not how big is the eventual result, after compensation.

  143. Christian says:

    Christopher Game,

    Ja, that is what i mean and how i understand you. So in this way completly agree.

    Another point:

    Get i wrong with 1998? I find its stupid to think from a record-El-Nino, so there is since then no warming. I have removed the effect of ENSO on the Temperature of RSS, see my first commend. (not all, but the most of)

    Its look like this (RSS in compare with RSS minus ENSO)
    (Do also not wonder about effect of Pinatabo, its because there was El-Nino at this time)

  144. Doug Cotton says:

    The maximum in 1998 was quite predictable at least a decade or two earlier, just as a period of about 30 years of level or slightly declining temperatures is predictable now in the declining part of the 60 year cycle since its maximum in 1998. The longer ~1,000 year natural cycle is still increasing at about 0.05 K/decade but can be expected to reach a maximum about 1,000 to 1,100 years after the maximum of the MWP.

    1. Planetary orbits regulate Solar activity.

    2. Solar activity has an effect on Earth’s climate.

    3. TOA net radiative flux is caused by such natural cycles.

    4. The 33 degree difference is caused by conduction into oxygen, nitrogen and other air molecules at the surface/atmosphere interface, together with the retardation due to convection, this being reflected in the adiabatic lapse rate.

    5. Carbon dioxide can have no net effect, because climate is stabilised by the huge amount of energy stored in the Earth (down to the core) which results in non-radiative cooling adjusting to compensate for any change in radiative cooling of the surface.

    I am not interested in comments which just say this is “wrong” and I trust other silent readers will ignore such. If anyone wishes to debate the physics involved I am more than willing to respond or explain anything in more detail.

    (PS My background involves over 50 years’ study and tutoring in Physics, as well as many thousands of hours research into atmospheric physics and related issues.)

    Doug Cotton

  145. Christian says:

    Hi Doug Cotton,

    So far so good, where can i read what you are sayed? It would be nice to have the Literature, with this conclusion?!

    Before i dont have some Literture to your claims, i cant talk about it. I find its be very fair to give the Literature for every talks!!

    to the other,

    I have clearly find by removing ENSO, that the Temperatur is on small timelscales controlled by it. So without ENSO, there is since 1998 also an increase in Temperature, how to explain that? (see bei writtings today)


  146. Christopher Game says:

    I pity Doug Cotton’s students of 50 years. The error in his argument at is that he ignores the difference between a transient intial effect and an eventual steady state, when that difference is essential to the reasoning. The remarks by Christian about Claudine Chen 2007 corroborate that Doug was mistaken in that way.

  147. Christian says:

    Hi Christopher Game,

    Thats the point, he sayed, but he has not give some of evidence of his claim. And without doing this, its pointsless to talk about.

    Claudine Chen 2007 et al. cleary idicates there is a effect on ORL-Buget.


  148. No I don’t agree with Doug Cotton, nor do I agree with those such as the IPCC , who are trying to make the greenhouse effect into something it isn’t.

    I think the explanation Christopher Game gave on his post dated Nov.12 at 5:36 pm is the best explanation.

    I want to say however that the conduction/covection/evaporation/precipitation explanation of land and sea exchanges of heat with the atmosphere ,I think plays a bigger role then the other exchanges he had mentioned.

    I think the fact the co2 follows the temp. is a big deal. I think the fact that olr shows no real decrease is a big deal. I think the lack of a equatorial tropospheric hotspot is a big deal. I think the fact or the explanation as to why co2 is a cooling agent in the stratosphere ,and warming agent in the troposphere is weak.

    The mere fact that co2 is 390 ppm has to make one question the impact. The mere 100 ppm increasein last 100 years, even makes it more of a strain to put emphasis on it’s role in the climate.

    The fact that if there is a greenhouse gas effect that the olr ,co2 does absorb, is near saturation pont. The mere fact that the temperatures have not increased for the past 16 years ,while co2 is increasing.

    All these things don’t eliminate the greenhouse effect but are much evidence that the role is much more limited then what the IPCC is trying to say, but probably more important then what Doug Cotton is trying to say.

    I still maintain that the energy earth’s climatic system has to work with to begin with, tranlates to how effective or ineffective the greenhouse gases will be ,if they have much of an effect at all on the climate.

    The BIG DEAL for me is the fact that co2 follows the temperature ,does not lead it.

  149. Last but not least if anything the climate from 1850-2005 is probably one of the most stable periods of climate over such a long time span.

    There have been 100’s of abrupt climatic changes over the past 20,000 years which have been many times over, more extreme then the period 1850-2005 ,both in temperature increases and decreases ,as well as the quickness of all of this.

    That alone, should end the debate on global man made warming .

  150. Doug makes some good points about the greenhouse gas effect or the lack of it, but he us way off on his climate assessment.

    If you had studied the article I had sent you ,you would know it is not just the slight change in solar irradiance that causes the climate to change ,but all the secondary effects associated with a prolong solar minimum.

    The 60 year climatic cycle is BS. It does nothing to address the many abrupt climatic changes earth has had,both up and down in temperature,each time under similar but yet different circumstances then the time before

    I mantain if the prolong solar minimum we our in reaches certain weak critical values, that the climate is going to be much different then it is presently, before this decade ends.It is already changing.

    Some of the biggest secondary effects from the prolong solar minimum ,the more important ones, will be an increase in high latitude volcanic activity,a much more -ao/-nao atmospheric circulation ,translating into more cloud cover,snow cover,precipiatation . Higher albedo.

    Porbably more clouds due to more cosmic rays and a weaker earth magnetic field, which will (the weaker magnetic field )help promote even more geological activity.

    Then the cold pdo,more La Ninas ,less El Ninos ,along with OCEAN HEAT CONTENT subsiding are all going to add to the mix.

    The upshot is a change in the distribution of temp. colder global temp., more extreme and persistence in climatic events, more geological activity .

  151. Christain that paper you presented about olr decreasing is not accurate. I have several papers that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that olr emissions from earth are more or less the same since 1979. Satellite data does not lie.

  152. What is being over looked is the solar minimum has just started in year 2005, after a period of over 100 years of a very active sun.

    Once the sub-solar activity years start to accumulate which is happening ,ohc will start to decline, and this weak max of solar cycle 24 will be over and the accumulation of sub-solar years ,along with the very weak solar conditions going forward are going to have major climatic impacts.

  153. Christopher Game says:

    I have looked over and checked my post of and I find a mistake in it, which I think is worth telling about here.

    Then I wrote that “More atmospheric CO2 initially increases the small rate of radiative transfer from land-sea body to atmosphere. Perhaps a doubling of present CO2 levels would increase it by an amount on the order of 4 W m^-2.” This was not right.

    The “order of 4 W m^-2” increase in heating of the climate body, starting from the present near steady state, caused by a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2, comes about in a different way. In detail, there are several parts to it. The following details are taken from Table 3 of Ferenc Miskolczi’s 2010 paper in volume 21 of ‘Energy and Environment’, at

    One is the combined effect of (a) increase of downgoing atmospheric radiation to the land-sea body of about 2.2 W m^-2 due to emission from the added CO2; and of (b) increase of atmospheric absorption of land-sea radiation, about 1.9 W m^-2; a net effect is added transfer from atmosphere to land-sea body of 0.3 W m^-2. This can rightly be said to be a contributory amount of increase of emission over absorption by CO2 molecules. It can justly claim a place as a part of the famous “back-radiation”.

    Identical with (b,) the increase of atmospheric absorption of land-sea radiation, is a decrease in the moiety of land-sea radiation that penetrates the atmospheric window and goes direct to space. This is simply a moiety of the OLR, a reduction by 1.9 W m^-2. Loosely speaking, this latter corresponds with the decrease in CO2 OLR spectral emission reported by Claudine Chen 2007 cited above by Christian at November 18, 2012 at 2:16 AM.

    Also in the initial uncompensated effect of CO2 doubling, there is a decrease of upward radiation from atmospheric CO2 molecules to space, about 2.4 W m^-2. This is due to the detailed infrared optical characteristics of the atmosphere.

    The sum (1.9 + 2.4) W m^-2 = 3.7 W m^-2 is a more precise estimate of my previous figure “on the order of 4 W m^-2”. It is a decrease in total OLR, not, as I previously mistakenly posted above, simply an increase in atmospheric absorption with the simply identical decrease in radiation that penetrates the atmosphere from the land-sea body and goes direct to space.

    The added 3.7 W m^-2 of heating is distributed, before compensation, as 0.3 W m^-2 to the land-sea body, and as 3.4 W m^-2 to the atmosphere.

    Thus there is an initial immediate and direct effect of added CO2, in reducing the OLR, which has the effect of an addition of a rate of heat supply to the climate body. As before, this will accumulate as internal energy in the climate body and will start to increase the temperature of the climate body, which will then initiate various compensatory and anti-compensatory effects, the precise values of which are not reliably known by anyone.

    In the initial immediate direct effect, by definition the compensatory and anti-compensatory conductive-convective-evaporative-condensatory processes have not yet come into action. They come into action only as the temperature increase develops as the internal energy accumulates. As salvatore del prete notes above, they are of course very important indeed. But one should distinguish between the steady state processes that we considered above as the prior condition before CO2 doubling, and the compensatory and anti-compensatory increments due to the CO2 doubling. It is the latter, the compensatory and anti-compensatory increments, that are of interest right here. They are by definition entirely driven by the accumulation of internal energy due to the initial uncompensated decrease of OLR.

    • RW says:


      According to Gunnar Myhre, who is often considered the standard reference for the figure in the literature (and who I inquired directly with on this), the 3.7 W/m^2 per CO2 doubling is the increase in surface radiative power absorbed by the atmosphere, where as prior it was passing straight through to space. That is, the 3.7 W/m^2 is the net absorption increase of surface radiative power.

      Virtually everyone in the field I’ve talked to, including Roy himself, apparently doesn’t know or disputes this, which I find very troubling.

  154. Christian says:

    Hi salvatore del prete,

    Can you give us the Papers, with the conclusion, that ORL on Specralbands for Co2 is nearly constant? Think about, it have to be on clear sky, cloud have a strong effect on it.

    To Solar,

    Its not all clear, it could also be, that we have no modern solar Max.

    See to that following Papers from Leif Svalgaard:

    He conclude that it could be, there is no longterm Trend in Sunspot the last 300 Years..

    In the fact, Leifs works idicate, there are 2 great discontinities in the past Sunspots-Data


  155. Doug Cotton says:

    If Christian and others want links to evidence they need only to click on my name to access my websites which have numerous links, including links to my peer-reviewed paper published March 2012. Furthermore, as I have mentioned, there is an article about to be published in the next 24 hours (co-authored by myself and John O’Sullivan) which puts forward the viewpoint held by most of the 120 or more members of Principia Scientific International all of whom know that the blame does not lie with carbon dioxide. There are several papers already on our website to which I have referred above, and readers should also study Computational Blackbody Radiation by another PSI member, Claes Johnson, professor of Applied Mathematics. Yes, PSI membership includes professors, climatologists and many with PhD’s in a variety of disciplines.

  156. Doug Cotton says:


    Firstly, I dispute that extra absorption resulting from a doubling of CO2 would mean any additional “trapping” of energy somewhere up in the cold atmosphere. Such trapping is only of a temporary nature. The energy will diffuse to non-radiating oxygen and nitrogen, yes. But these warmer air molecules then rise and cool in the only way they can, namely by diffusing energy back into radiating molecules, mostly water vapor of course. The more radiation there is up there, the better the atmosphere cools.

    But any increase like 3.7 W/m^2 in the net surface radiative power has no net effect on surface cooling. It can only slow that portion of surface cooling which is by radiation. It cannot slow non-radiative cooling, and the latter accelerates (or last longer into the night) so as to compensate, leaving no net overall effect on the rate of surface cooling. All this will be covered in the above-mentioned article by John O’Sullivan and myself, due to be published probably within 24 hours.

    • RW says:


      More specifically the 3.7 W/m^2 is the sum of the net absorption increase of surface radiative power through all the layers the atmosphere is divided into for the RT simulation. For example, if the atmosphere were divided into 4 layers and the net absorption increase of surface radiative power per layer was 1 W/m^2 through layers 1, 2 & 3, and 0.7 W/m^2 through layer 4, the total net absorption increase through the whole atmosphere would be 3.7 W/m^2. I know these numbers for the individual layers are not correct, but if they were, this is how the 3.7 W/m^2 figure per CO2 doubling is arrived at.

      Whether it’s correct or whether the total absorption will actually increase by 3.7 W/m^2 (or even increase at all) remains up in the air (pun intended).

  157. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of RW at November 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM. Sorry, the reply thing doesn’t work for me.

    The mistaken quantity that I rather carelessly posted on November 12, 2012 at 5:36 PM was of the kind you cite from Gunnar Myhre. I said “on the order of 4 W m^-2”, indicating that I was not looking at more than one significant figure. The quantities that I posted in my correction at November 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM, to which you refer, are more precise, and are very likely to be correct, because the Miskolczi calculations are very reliable. To be very particular, the numbers Miskolczi reported were for very small increments of CO2, and the way I cited them was to simply suppose that the doubling would be linear multiples of the very small increments. I don’t know how reliable is that linear procedure, but the general idea will not be altered, I think. I don’t know whether Gunnar Myhre calculates the breakdown that I have cited from Miskolczi, and finds the moieties that I have cited from Miskolczi that you have not mentioned to be zero. Perhaps you know that?

    • RW says:


      Unfortunately, no. I don’t have the know how or the tools to do this calculation myself. However, I do know that it’s done via a computer simulation of the atmosophere using ‘nominal’ GHG concentrations (i.e. averages). I think the total absorption increase from a doubling of CO2 by itself is about 5 W/m^2, but comes down to a net increase of only about 3.7 W/m^2 after what would be absorbed by water vapor and clouds anyway, is subtracted out.

  158. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of RW at November 18, 2012 at 5:48 PM.

    The calculation you describe in detail here is a calculation of an increase of atmospheric absorption of land-sea radiation, and identically of decrease in transmission, through the atmospheric window, of radiation from the land-sea body direct to space. It does not consider back-radiation and does not consider radiation from the atmosphere to space. It is almost certainly very far from accurate. It seems very likely that you are not quoting Gunnar Myhre accurately. You can safely use instead the Miskolczi numbers that I have cited just above.

    Of course these quantities are only initial effects, and will be changed significantly by compensatory and anti-compensatory effects.

    • RW says:


      You say:

      “It seems very likely that you are not quoting Gunnar Myhre accurately.”

      I can forward you the entire exchange I had with Myhre on this if you want.


      “Of course these quantities are only initial effects, and will be changed significantly by compensatory and anti-compensatory effects.”

      Yes of course.

  159. Christopher Game says:

    Response to the post of RW at November 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM.

    This seems like a rather odd calculation, to say the least, and seemingly even odder when you now write of an atmospheric absorption increase of about 5 W m^-2, and not as I read your previous statement. Why would you have an amount absorbed by water vapour to be subtracted out? As I am intending to consider things, we are looking at a virtual primary initial direct immediate effect on radiative fluxes, with no compensation, meaning all other factors are left unchanged from the prior steady state, including water vapour.

    Response to the post of RW at November 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM.

    Thank you. I don’t think it is necessary that you forward the entire exchange. Since you engaged in an exchange with him, I don’t suppose I am likely to read him more accurately than you, when you check. I think it is enough that you check your previous statement, as I understand you, that he attributes the entire decrease, 3.7 W m^-2, in OLR to increase in atmospheric absorption of radiation from the land-sea body, and the that other quantities, the change in downward and upward radiation from the atmosphere respectively to the land-sea body and to space were zero. That statement seems hardly credible.

    I think the best thing is that you read your Gunnar Myhre material again, and carefully and unabbreviatedly but in suitable summary form, in full sentences in ordinary language, tell us afresh what he says. I am interested here only in three imagined or virtual initial immediate flux changes due to an imagined abrupt doubling of atmospheric CO2 from the present global average near-steady state: the increases in atmospheric absorption from the land-sea body radiation and in the land-sea absorption from the atmospheric radiation, and the change in radiation to space from the atmosphere. It might be possible that Gunnar has not actually calculated or reported these three quantities separately.

    • RW says:


      All I can say is the language I used was specific to the 3.7 W/m^2 being all surface radiative power newly absorbed. In fact, I was specifically seeking clarification on this point because virtually everyone I encountered insisted it was not correct.

      Unfortunately, I think you need to see the entire exchange we had, or you can contact him yourself.

    • RW says:


      You say:

      “Why would you have an amount absorbed by water vapour to be subtracted out?”

      Because this is energy that would be absorbed anyway even in the absence of CO2. This is why the 3.7 W/m^2 is referred to as the ‘net absorption increase’ and not the ‘gross’ or ‘total’ absorption increase.

  160. Christopher Game says:

    I think the best I can do is to refer you again to my post of The quantity 3.7 W m^-2 looks right for the decrease in OLR. You are not stating the components of the ‘net’ figure. “Newly absorbed” by what? Moieties of radiation must be specified as to source and as to destination. The phrase ‘net absorption increase’ is opaque and uninformative as to how the figure comes out to be 3.7 W m^-2.

    • RW says:


      I’m saying all of the 3.7 W/m^2 per CO2 doubling is that of surface radiative power newly absorbed, according to Myhre. That is, it’s the ‘instantaneous’ reduction in direct surface radiation to space, or the net absorption increase of surface radiative power.

      Now, I agree that an ‘instantaneous’ doubling of CO2 would also result in an additional decrease in OLR emitted from the atmosphere itself, but so too would it result in a decrease in LW emitted from the atmosphere to the surface. These effectively cancel one another or for some reason are not included in the calculation that arrives at 3.7 W/m^2 per CO2 doubling.

      That virtually no one in the entire field apparently knows or is aware of this, as I said, is very troubling to me. But don’t take my word for it. Ask someone like Myhre who has done the RT simulation first hand.

  161. Doug Cotton says:

    Those who like a computational discussion relating to why that 33 degrees has nothing to do with backradiation would do well to read from Section 6 of this paper.

  162. Doug Cotton says:


    Perhaps by the time you read Section 8 in the above linked paper about temperatures on Venus the penny will drop. But if not, read this page until it sinks in that backradiation does not cause a surface to warm.

    The adiabatic lapse rate (a function of atmospheric mass and the force of gravity) fully and accurately explains the surface temperature on all planets, including Earth. That is why the long night on Venus stills remains at the same temperature, despite a complete lack of incident Solar radiation. Even on the sunny side, hardly any Solar radiation gets through to the surface of Venus, let alone weaker backradiation.

    You cannot possibly use standard physics to attribute the surface temperature on Venus to backradiation from any GHE, despite the fact that its atmosphere is nearly all carbon dioxide.

    You people need to read more, and I suggest the three pages in Section 8 are a good starting point.

  163. Christopher Game says:

    RW, you don’t think and write systematically about this. If you want to understand it, you need to develop skill in systematic thinking and writing about it. Until you develop such skill, you will continue to flounder. You still don’t say what is doing your absorbing. You save your own time by writing quickly and efficiently, with the effect that what you write is often unintelligible and time-wasting for the reader because your do not write clearly. Your new comment at November 19, 2012 at 6:56 AM, is mistaken. My best effort for you, as I have said above, is in my post above at

    • RW says:


      You say:

      “You still don’t say what is doing your absorbing.”

      I don’t know how to be anymore clear. I’m saying the 3.7 W/m^2 is all that of surface radiative power newly absorbed by the atmosphere, where as prior it was passing straight through to space (i.e. the same as if the atmosphere wasn’t even there).

      As an example, let’s say about 70 W/m^2 of the 390 W/m^2 radiated from the surface passes directly into space. When CO2 is doubled, the 70 W/m^2 direct surface transmittance reduces to 66.3 W/m^2 and the atmosphere now absorbs an additional 3.7 W/m^2 of the 390 W/m^2 radiated from the surface (i.e. an increase in total absorption from 320 W/m^2 to 323.7 W/m^2).

  164. Christopher Game, says , there is an initial immediate and direct effect of added co2 in reducing olr ,which has the effect of an addition of a rate of heat supply to the climate body.

    I don’t think that is so, because the evidence from the satellite studies going back to 1979 show no decrease in olr. The title of the paper is ,the anthropogenic global warming smoking gun.

    Written by Gary Thompson, American Thinker Wed. Feb 17,2010

    A quote ,it says three different peer-reviewed papers show that over a period of 36 years ,there is no reduction of olr emissions in wavelenghts that co2 absorb.

    In addition evidence from the past is showing co2 is following the temperature not leading it.

    The evidence from the data I think is saying co2 increases ,are related to the direct energy in the climate system, rather then co2 increases, causing the amounts of energy in the climate system to increase.

    I think the sun and only the sun can add or take away energy from the climatic system.

    I maintain co2 absorbs certain olr wavelengths which warm the temp. of the earth ,until absorbtion levels reach near the saturation point, from which point in time, additional co2 have very little effect.

    I also maintain that co2 is not a source of energy for earth’s climatic system. I think co2 concentrations and how much it ultimately causes the equilibrium temp. to be higher then it would be absent it and all the other greenhouse gases, is governed by the total energy in the climate system to begin with. Co2 /water vapor being a by product of the total energy in earth’s climatic system.

    A great example would be ocean temperatures which regulate co2, plant life which would depend on the extent of ice and snow cover etc etc, which depend on the initial energy in earth’s climatic system to begin with which comes from the sun. which in turn regulates or determines the albedo of the earth, which gives the final amounts of energy available for earth’s climatic system.

    The data is supporting this thus far in my opinion.

  165. J Williams says:

    Doug—I decided to read through the paper that you encouraged others to view. I know you suggested that people check out Chapter 6, but I also ventured into other sections where I’m more familiar with the content.

    Chapter 15 of that paper has a number of very glaring errors, such as: “…the Arctic ice extent appears to have reached a minimum in 2007 and since then has been increasing in area as well as thickness.” And: “…since 2007 the Arctic ice extent has been increasing and the ice volume has nearly tripled, contrary to alarmist predictions.” This is in a paper with a publication date of *2012*.

    I realize this is not the section that you directed readers to, but, like it or not, these very obvious errors do raise some credibility questions. This is why I had previously asked before if the paper was peer reviewed.

  166. Doug Cotton says:

    J Williams

    I wonder if you are aware that the Arctic was just as warm in the late 1930’s. You can see this in plots about half way down my Home page.

    The “alarmist predictions” were that carbon dioxide would have its greatest impact in the Arctic with about 8 degrees of warming in the next 100 years. That seems very unlikely, now doesn’t it, regardless of what may or may not have happened in the last five years?

  167. Doug Cotton says:

    The article The Greenhouse Gas Blanket that Fails to Warm the World which John O’Sullivan and I wrote is now published here.

    Basically it covers the main conclusions from my research, so I refer you to it in response to any questions you may have regarding my various comments above.



  168. Christopher Game says:

    The post of salvatore del prete of November 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM writes:

    “Christopher Game, says , there is an initial immediate and direct effect of added co2 in reducing olr ,which has the effect of an addition of a rate of heat supply to the climate body.

    I don’t think that is so, because the evidence from the satellite studies going back to 1979 show no decrease in olr.”

    Further on, that post says: “A quote ,it says three different peer-reviewed papers show that over a period of 36 years ,there is no reduction of olr emissions in wavelenghts that co2 absorb.”

    Christopher (that’s me, writing this post) has not read the source, Gary Thompson, cited by salvatore, but will comment on salvatore’s logic here.

    It is not quite clear from what salvatore writes whether he is referring to the total OLR or to the spectral OLR for the CO2 bands.

    I will deal with the two cases one by one.

    Salvatore does not do his logical duty, which is to distintuish between a hypothetical virtual initial effect and an actual eventual near-steady state effect; in other words he does not recognise the difference between an initial effect and a compensated effect.

    The actual factual addition of CO2 is very gradual and cannot be expected to show a very clear actual effect in the presence of compensation and anti-compensation. A slow addition of CO2 is dynamically different from the hypothetical abrupt pulse injection that I have used for my above explanation, and salvatore has not taken that difference into account, it seems.

    A slow addition of CO2 can be expected, taking into account the expected compensatory and anti-compensatory effects, to produce only a relatively small eventual effect on the OLR. This is in the mathematical nature of things. The precision of OLR measurements, and the strong and important effects of factors of variability other than CO2 increase, are such that it is hardly likely that there would be a detectable reduction of OLR. This non-detectability of an eventual after-compensation effect is not a decisive argument against the existence of an initial virtual direct effect. It is a logical error on the part of salvatore’s post to fail to consider this point.

    As for the case of spectral OLR, since I do not know the details, I will not comment in detail. According to the Claudine Chen 2007 article cited above by Christian, and liked by me, the source cited by salvatore is misled or inaccurate. The observed empirical facts asserted by salvatore’s post are thus not established here.

    I think the next step, if salvatore wants to establish his case here, is for him to provide here detailed support for his apparent assumption that his source Gary Thompson is right and Claudine Chen is wrong about the facts on spectral OLR.

  169. Christopher Game says:

    Typo. Sorry. I meant linked by me, not liked by me.

  170. Doug’s thoughts half correct, standard greenhouse theory half correct, their conclusions however are both wrong.

    Doug, it just is not quite correct. If there were no water vapor and no co2 in the atmosphere the earth would indeed be colder.

    It is a fact that co2 and water vapor ABSORB much of the OLR, from the earth, in various wavelengths.

    The reason the greenhouse effect will be very limited from here, is not because there in no greenhouse effect but because the effect is near the saturation point, and there is no positive feedback between co2 and water vapor.

    The total greenhouse effect is in response to the energy in earth’s climatic system to begin with.

    The total energy in the earth climatic system is related to incoming solar radiation and the albedo of the earth.

    The amounts of latent heat ,just like the amounts of co2 and water vapor are all in response to the total energy in earth’s climatic system to being with.

    The amount of energy in earth’s climatic system is determined by simply the amount of incoming solar radiation versus the amount of outgoing solar radiation(albedo) That gives an equilibrium temp.

    Then the conduction-evaporation-convection- precipitation process regulates the heat between the surface of the earth and the atmosphere, along with the concentrations of co2/water vapor , all however in relation to the total energy in earth’s climatic system to BEGIN with.

    This is what I am going with. It is actually a combination of the standard greenhouse gas theory and what Doug Cotton believes in. I take a little from both ,because I feel both are correct to a point but wrong in their overall conclusions.

  171. Christopher ,I am curious how do you account for co2 following the temperature rather then leading it? Or do you not feel that ic correct?

    You are making sense in the post you are posting, that is for sure. It is giving me more thouhgts to work with, which is good.

    I was referring to the spectral bands of olr, for the co2 bands.

  172. Christopher Game, is there anyway you could come up with something that would be a combination of what I am saying, what standard greenhouse theory is saying, what Doug Cotton is saying ,along with you various thoughts on this subject already, and come up with some comprehensive explanation that would take something from each and yet be different and maybe give the correct answer, or something more correct then what we have?

    It seems like everything out there has major flaws in it.

  173. I made a copy of the article Doug just sent. I have to go over this again.

    Some of it makes much sense ,some doesn’t . This is like doing something ,you know is not going to give you a 100% result.

  174. J Williams says:

    I saw your response, Doug. I’ll respond to what appears to be the substance of your comment, and will then refer back to my original one.

    As for the link you provided to “Arctic” temperatures, my impression from your website is that one trend line is based on a single station (Jan Mayen Island). However, the trend that you cite is quite different from what I see from NASA:

    Plus, the “Arctic-wide” temperature trend you present is interesting, but very different in shape from what I see in NOAA’s Arctic Report Card….it also differs from data presented on this very website for the most recent satellite period of record. So, I have no idea how you derived that plot. I am actually quite open to the possibility that Arctic temperatures were warmer back in the 1930s, but you certainly haven’t convinced me of this.

    Now, back to my question: Do you still believe the two statements regarding Arctic sea ice that I quoted up above are factually correct? That Arctic sea ice volume has “tripled” since 2007???

  175. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of salvatore del prete at November 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM.

    I think you are asking my thoughts about to the following of the temperature by the CO2 in the ice core records, by perhaps 800 years? In answer I would say this phenomenon may likely be due to outgassing of CO2 from warmer water.

    But that is not all there is to account for. It is simple physics that abruptly adding CO2 will, initially and directly before compensation, reduce the total OLR as well as the spectral OLR for the CO2 bands. We cannot win this acrimonious debate against the vicious IPCC gang till we deal with that simple physical argument about the initial effect on OLR. This is about a shorter time scale than the outgassing.

    You say you were referring only to the CO2 bands. In my post I said that if you want to continue the debate here, the next step is for you to provide detail that Gary Thompson is right and Claudine Chen is wrong about the facts on spectral OLR. You have not responded to that.

  176. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of salvatore del prete at November 19, 2012 at 5:06 PM.

    I do not read all that Doug Cotton writes, because what I have read of his resonance dogma tells me that his writing on these matters is irrational or nonsensical, and therefore I do not ahe time to read him any further. So it is unlikely that I will come up with something that combines that with other things.

    I repeat: In my post I said that if you want to continue the debate here, the next step is for you to provide detail that Gary Thompson is right and Claudine Chen 2007 is wrong about the facts on spectral OLR. You have not responded to that.

  177. Doug Cotton says:

    Well Christopher, if you have the expertise of Claes Johnson, Professor of Applied Mathematics, I’m sure you’ll be able to argue the toss with him about the resonance which he wrote about in his paper Computational Blackbody Radiation. I quote him …

    incoming frequencies below cut-off are absorbed in resonance and re-emitted …

    I have included evidence which supports what he says in the new article published today on the PSI site The Greenhouse Gas Blanket that Fails to Warm the World.

    In this article John O’Sullivan has added introductory and concluding text in which he affirms that the work of Prof Johnson is generally accepted among PSI members. The article shows why there is no atmospheric GHE due to carbon dioxide and John wrote at the end “The analysis of Professor Johnson and Douglas Cotton affirms that.”

    Nobody has to read the article, and no doubt those who have a vested interest in AGW will shy away. Meanwhile, I wait with interest to see if anyone puts up a cogent counter argument which stands up to empirical evidence and the laws and teachings of physics.
    I’ll give you a clue though – you are barking up the wrong tree while ever you focus only on radiation. And until you understand how radiation transfers heat – and when it doesn’t do so – go won’t get off Square One.


  178. Christopher Game says:

    Dear Doug, don’t waste your time on me. It would be futile.

  179. Doug Cotton says:

    Christopher: You won’t get off Square One until you also realise that …

    1. When CO2 absorbs IR radiation up in the cold atmosphere, the energy in that radiation moves around various molecules until it simply gets re-emitted, most likely at different wavelengths by water vapour.

    2. Any thermal energy that accumulates in the atmosphere gets re-emitted promptly so that the temperature in the region falls back to the level determined by the adiabatic lapse rate.

    3. No energy can be transferred back into the surface.

    4. Only the surface cooling due to radiation is slowed, but the majority of the surface cooling (which is non-radiative) cannot be affected by the backradiation, but does spontaneously accelerate and/or last longer in the night and, in so doing, compensates for (and nullifies the effect of) any slowing of radiative cooling.

  180. Doug Cotton says:

    You don’t have to read me, but others will

  181. Doug Cotton says:

    RW If you read the new article published today it will confirm that I do know what you think I don’t know. But, until you read the article (which may help you to understand my comments on this thread) you won’t have a clue as to how I reach the conclusions that I do from my research.

    J.Williams What you say merely confirms that Arctic records can be dubious. If you look at those dating back to the 19th century in the link you provided, you will see similar, and even higher temperatures in the past. The Arctic climate has had steep rises and falls around 3 or 4 degrees in a short time, so it is not very representative of world climate. Nothing correlates with CO2 levels. Because of this, it really doesn’t matter what’s happened up there in the last few years – in my opinion. My main focus these days is on the physics of the atmosphere and I believe I have shown in the above article why there can be no net effect on overall surface cooling, let alone climate, due to carbon dioxide.


  182. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to read the article. Please note firstly the four points in my 10:10pm comment to Christopher.

    Your comment If there were no water vapor and no co2 in the atmosphere the earth would indeed be colder is not correct and could not be supported by valid physics. But, anyway, if it were the case then the Earth’s surface would receive more radiation during the day because there would be less, if any, absorption of incident solar radiation. When you then apply S-B (using integration on a real-world spherical surface) the majority of the radiation would take place direct from the surface at these hotter temperatures. There would still be an adiabatic lapse rate ensuring that the nitrogen and oxygen are much warmer at the base of the atmosphere than at the top, even if no energy flows in and out of the atmosphere. Thus is because an adiabatic lapse rate is just that – adiabatic – and so requires no energy input to maintain the temperature gradient. Thus the surface would not cool anywhere near as much as the Moon’s surface does at night. In fact, the surface temperature would be stabilised both from above and below, and there is no reason to believe its mean would be much different, even though it would vary more between day and night.

    In a nutshell, this is why the accusation that radiating gases produce a GHE and raise the mean surface temperature is all garbage.

    You can’t raise or lower the mean surface temperature significantly (within a few thousands years) without transferring an impossible amount of energy into or out of the whole Earth system, including all the mass beneath the crust, right down to the core. That is the core of my argument. See the big picture!

  183. Christopher Game says:

    I did not realize this was the core of Doug’s doctrine. It is even more irrational than I understood when I read him about his resonance doctrine!

  184. Doug Cotton says:

    Talk physics and justify your comments, Christopher, or we will all ignore you.

    Others may wish to read a more detailed explanation of the temperature support mechanism on this page which I wrote over a year ago.

  185. Archived-Articles: The AGW Smoking Gun – American Thinker
    Feb 17, 2010 – The AGW Smoking Gun. By Gary Thompson … The Greenhouse Effect is real and necessary for life on Earth. Without it, our world would be a …
    American Thinker – the Difference between a Smoking G

  186. Christopher,there above is the article.

  187. It is saying in effect that the observed data shows co2 is having no effect on the emissions of olr. That is what they are saying ,rather what the data is saying.

    I tend to believe it(if for no other reason) due to the simple fact co2 in the bands it is absorbing olr,is very close to saturation, and there is no evidence of co2/water vapor positive feedbacks.

    I would think the data after all that time 30 + years would have shown some decrease in olr due to co2 increases. It has not shown this to be the case.

    So you tell me.

  188. Doug, I like and will incorporate parts of what you are saying into my thinking, but your last sentence about how you can’t raise or lower the surface temp. within a few thousands years without immense energy in and out of earth’s system,including the mass beneath the crust right down to the core, is crazy in a word. Makes no sense at all.

    In contrast to the latent heat release having a major role in energy exchanges between the surface and atm., and even diffusion by conduction of surface energy to oxygen and nitrogen molecules, having merit.

    As I have said many times I like parts of what you have to say, and parts about what the greenhouse gas theory has to say, but don’t like the extremes each ones goes to. I think the truth is found in part from some of the things you say, and some of the things the greenhouse gas theory says.

    Data right now is just not supporting much of what the greenhouse gas theory says should happen from this point in time and beyond. The last 15 years especially,but even prior, nothing was really unfolding the way the theory said things would. Now if anything, things seem to be unfolding opposite to what the greenhouse gas theory is calling for. That is what the data is telling and showing me thus far.

  189. The contraction,and cooling of the thermosphere and ionosphere during low prolong periods of solar activity is a big deal, and Doug, you should not take it so lightly.

  190. Christopher , I am anxious to see what you think about the merits of that article I sent. I value your insights and thoughts on this co2/greenhouse subject. thanks

  191. J Williams says:

    Fair enough, Doug. I’m entirely willing to agree that we disagree on the temperature trends in the Arctic. But, I am still curious: Do you really think that Arctic sea ice volume has tripled since 2007, as the paper that you referenced earlier asserts?

  192. Christopher Game says:

    Thank you salvatore for the link to the article. It refers to three detailed papers, which will take me some time to read and understand. I will let you know of my progress with that. As I read things so far, these articles disagree with the Claudine Chen 2007 presentation cited above.

  193. Christopher Game says:

    salvatore, glancing at the Gary Thompson article, I see he looks at the Claudine Chen 2007 presentation. His reasoning is apparently faulty, but the existence of such faults does not provide decisive information. The decisive information has to be found by finding or constructing reasoning that is not faulty. As I see it right now, Gary doesn’t succeed in refuting Claudine Chen 2007, but perhaps closer study will change my mind.

  194. Dr. Norman Page – I have much in common with what he has to say. A little example.

    Tuesday, November 20th 2012, 10:27 AM EST

    Co2sceptic (Site Admin)

    Dr. Norman Page says that “The earth is entering a cooling phase which is likely to last about 30 years and possibly longer.” See his detailed analysis here.

    Page’s prediction is based on observation of the geologic record. He notes that there has been no net warming since 1997 even thought carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen 8.5%. Page says that atmospheric temperature is driven by sea surface temperature (SST) which is, itself, solar driven. The oceanic oscillations control the general climate. There is good correlation between solar cycles and SST, but note that because of the enthalpy and thermal inertia of the oceans, there is a 10 – 12 year lag between solar cycle troughs and global SSTs. This lag time definitely establishes cause and effect similar to the lag in carbon dioxide changes following temperature changes in the major glacial cycles as shown in ice cores The graph below shows the variations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the major oceanic oscillation (the red line is actual measurement, the blue line is predictive modeling.) (Graph source here.)

  195. Christopher Game says:

    The effect of ocean temperature, driving CO2 out of solution, is an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle. As I mentioned above, it is not known for sure what has caused the recent atmospheric CO2 increase. Ocean temperature is a candidate for part at least of it. Perhaps man-made CO2 emissions may also be relevant.

    This does not solve the problem of what is the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere. This problem is also in need of solution, if we are to deal with the IPCC gang’s drive to control us all through a carbon tax administered by a world-wide autonomous bureaucracy.

  196. I agree.

    I hate to keep asking you so many questions but I want to know, what parts(I emphasize parts) of what Doug Cotton says do you think make sense?

    For example the hydrologic cycle and the role of latent heat,independent of the positive feedback with co2 /water vapor,which the IPCC is trying to push upon the public . A falsehood in my opinion.

  197. Doug Cotton says:

    Those who understand the physics of conduction will know that the temperature gradient depends on the temperatures at each end. The Earth has a temperature gradient from the any point in the hot core to any point on the surface. If the surface temperature were to adjust to a new equilibrium temperature, say 10 degrees higher, then the whole of that temperature plot has to adjust upwards by 10 degrees at the surface, 5 degrees half way etc. The “area” between the new plot and the old (all the way from the surface to the core) represents the huge amount of additional energy which would have to get down there somehow. That’s physics.

    Regarding the question about sea ice, you are free to ask Joe Postma about his source – he has a thread on tallbloke’s talkshop.

  198. Doug Cotton says:

    PS The reason the above-mentioned internal temperature plot has to rise is due to the stabilising “support mechanism” explained on this page of my second website. You cannot have a situation in which the outer few mm of the surface is 10 degrees warmer than at present, whilst the temperatures 100m underground are the same as they are now. I know you can get variations of about 2 degrees in the 1,000 year cycle, but that is temporary and there is a strong propensity for the warming to revert to cooling – which is what we have observed over the last few thousand years. If the planet were warming long-term, you’d probably detect a net terrestrial inward flow of energy rather than the small outward flow observed.

  199. J Williams says:

    Thanks, Doug. Your non-response answered my question.

  200. Christopher Game says:

    Response to salvatore’s post of November 20, 2012 at 4:18 PM.

    I find Doug’s material contains enough muddles to stop me from examining it closely.

  201. Christopher Game says:

    salvatore, I have now looked at the paper by Brindley Sagoo Bantges Harries linked in the Gary Thompson article that you indicated. Gary Thompson writes about it: “After analyzing this graph, the following conclusion can be drawn: The 1997 OLR associated with CO2 is identical to that in 1970.” I do not agree. I would say that the data are not adequate for any useful conclusion in our present quest. The authors of the paper do not draw the conclusion drawn by Gary Thompson. As I read them, they do not draw a conclusion that would decide our present quest, because they think the data inadequate for that; they refer to “the snapshot nature of the observations”.

  202. Christopher Game says:

    Sorry, I was in too much of a hurry. Here is a corrected version of my post of November 20, 2012 at 6:46 PM.

    salvatore, I have now looked at the chapter by Brindley Sagoo Bantges Harries linked in the Gary Thompson article that you indicated. Gary Thompson writes about it: “After analyzing this graph, the following conclusion can be drawn: There is actually an increase of OLR emissions in 1997 as compared to 1970!” This is not quite accurate. The data show an increase of total OLR, but that is spectrally distributed, with the main effect being an increase in the water vapour spectral OLR and perhaps a decrease in the spectral CO2 agree. This is compatible with the report of Claudine Chen 1970 cited above. It does not prove anything, but as data it is compatible with the idea that CO2 is partly blocking the water vapour window, and the water vapour by compensation is emitting more OLR.

  203. Christopher Game says:

    salvatore, I have now purchased and looked at the second paper linked by Gary Thompson. It is a letter to Nature (2001) 410: 355-357, by Harries Brindley Sagoo Bantges. They are reporting the same data. Their interpretation of it is that in the CO2 band from 700 to about 780 cm^-1 there is reduced spectral OLR, and in the window (780 to 1250 cm^-1, mainly due to water vapour nevertheless) there is increased spectral OLR. This agrees with Claudine Chen 2007 as cited above and disagrees with the opinion of Gary Thompson, cited above, “After analyzing this graph, the following conclusion can be drawn: The 1997 OLR associated with CO2 is identical to that in 1970” and stated in the link you gave.

  204. Christopher Game says:

    The third paper linked by Gary Thompson is by Chen Harries Brindley Ringer. Yes the same Claudine Chen, indeed the same data as the above cited Claudine Chen 2007. Not surprisingly, the same data reported by the same person gives the same conclusion. The CO2 spectral OLR is reduced and the water vapour spectral OLR is increased. The overall total OLR is increased. As I read this it is qualitatively compatible with the hypothesis that there is an increased no-feedback effect of CO2, which reduces the CO2 spectral OLR as the CO2 increases, and there is a compensatory increase in water vapour spectral OLR. This is only a qualitative compatibility. It means that the data do not disprove the hypothesis; that is not by any means saying that the data prove the hypothesis, because we are looking at a very complicated hypothesis with relatively simple data; there is a diversity of explanations that might account for the data.

    Gary Thompson in the cited link writes: “So the results of three different peer-reviewed papers show that over a period of 36 years, there is no reduction of OLR emissions in wavelengths that CO2 absorb. Therefore, the AGW hypothesis is disproven.” I think he is quite wrong about that. My conclusion on the same data is as stated in the just previous paragraph: the data neither prove nor disprove the hypothesis, but are qualitatively compatible with it.

  205. Christopher Game says:

    Further comment. The data of Chen 2007 do not go to smaller wavennmbers in the CO2 bands, namely not to the band 570 to 700 cm^-1.

    We are here talking about a narrowly defined problem: what is the physical effect, of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, on the climate body’s energy tranfer process? This is not about history or about solar variability.

    I think these data of Chen 2007 are reliable and are qualititatively compatible with, but are by no means proof of the IPCC no-feedback / feedback story for CO2 and water vapour. I think the IPCC doctrine about atmospheric physical effects of CO2 addition has to be knocked over by quantitative demonstration of strong compensation by increase of low cloud, as Dr Spencer has tried to do, with in my opinion importantly valid but still incomplete result. In my opinion, he needs to do more along those lines in order to provide rigorous proof that the IPCC gang is wrong. I think that somehow we need him to use a second order model to display separately the effects of two dynamical variables, cloud compensation, and other factors. The other factors, such as temperature and water vapour content, collectively are anti-compensatory. The second order model will be based on analysis of satellite data such as Dr Spencer has already examined and reported in this blog, which show how much sunlight is reflected, especially, I suppose, reflected by low cloud.

    It is very important to knock over the IPCC gang’s story about this physics, because it is the mainstay of their program and campaign to get governments to hand them power to set up an autonomous bureaucracy to administer a world-wide carbon tax, which would be very bad. We have a powerful, determined, and very dangerous enemy in this.

  206. Christopher Game says:

    Correction to my post of November 20, 2012 at 7:31 PM. The window wavenumbers they looked at are from 780 to 1000 cm^-1, not 780 to 1250 cm^-1 as I mistakenly wrote.

  207. TonyM says:

    I think the most powerful argument to use is the empirical evidence:

    – that climatologists don’t know as much as they claim – by evidence that they have predicted very few accurate outcomes.

    – that the actual avg T increase since early 1940’s is completely out of step with the theory.
    Hansen’s supposed empirically derived forcing with CO2 increase and with feedbacks should have produced an increase in T of over 1 deg C from the early 40’s. His own data (GISS) shows the increase is less than half that.

    This period is when the bulk of CO2 increase has occurred and also avoids any temporary effects of supposed aerosols or trying to come up with an alternative explanation – which I think is nigh impossible and aligns with Dr Spencer’s thinking that it is just that – very random (hope I am not mis-quoting him).

    I’m finding it a little disappointing that Doug Cotton and Christopher Game are niggling at each other. Both have valid points and both could help us understand at least the issues better if they were supportive.

    For what it is worth the empirical evidence is that the dry lapse rate (-9.8 deg C per 1000 km rise) with CO2 included is as close numerically to the g acceleration that it is unlikely to be a coincidence i.e. given the thermodynamic equations predict it without reference to the GH effect.

    Empirically, the Trenberth energy flow back radiation heating the surface is nonsense. Nasif Nahale has done some experiments refuting it. I have experimented in the simplest way and refute it (anyone can try it… use a 60 watt old fashioned incandescent globe which gives 333 W/m2 at 12 cms from the filament. Test the T with the front of your wrist and compare with back radiation. Have a shield above of say Styrofoam and blindfolds etc to make genuine comparisons. Invariably the subjects will detect the heat from the lamp when switched on or off and never detect any change with supposed back radiation – i.e. with/without styrofoam, still air, in shade etc).

    Engineers have a way of calculating the net heat effect which results from the two way radiation. It involves Poynting vector sums which tends to support DC that there is a cancellation of backradiation in so far as energy transfer. This is supported by pyrgeometer manufacturers. Look up comments from:

    Spartacusisfree says:
    October 5, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    If we try to argue the theory, or bits and pieces of the elephant and not the actual empirical evidence which challenges the core, then I think we achieve little as there are too many rabbit warrens in which to hide; night becomes day and vice versa in the Hansen world.

  208. TonyM says:

    sorry, correction:
    For what it is worth the empirical evidence is that the dry lapse rate (-9.8 deg C per 1000 km rise)

    should read
    (-9.8 deg C per 1000 METRE rise) (in elevation)

  209. Doug Cotton says:

    The temperature at the base of the atmosphere is set by the naturally occurring temperature gradient in that atmosphere, this being brought about by the adiabatic lapse rate, where the latter is a gradient determined for any planet by the mass of the atmosphere and the force of gravity – as is pressure. So that sets the gradient of the temperature plot, whilst its mean temperature is set by the Solar radiative flux. Hence the temperature at the base of the atmosphere is set by all these parameters, and that temperature will support the actual surface temperature.

    On Venus only about 2.5% of Solar radiation reaches the surface. So there is very little upwelling or downwelling IR radiation. There is no way that the very hot atmosphere could have been heated from the surface. In fact, calculations show that the adiabatic lapse rate explains the temperature which, by the way, does not cool much in the long Venus night lasting 117 Earth days.

    But some readers may need to come to a better understanding of this “adiabatic lapse rate.” I know there are dry and moist values, but a mean will do for purposes of this discussion.

    Consider a long radiation-proof and perfectly insulated cylinder full of air. Shake it well so that the internal temperature is uniform from top to bottom. Then stand it on end and wait for equilibrium. What happens is that, as molecules fall they lose potential energy and gain equivalent kinetic energy. But temperature is a measure of mean KE, so, if a region of air somehow loses height in the cylinder, it will end up with a higher temperature.

    Now, when they are in free motion between collisions, molecules will respond to gravity and have a propensity to fall, even though this may mean, for example, that a horizontal path just acquires a slight downward curve. However, if too many populate lower regions, the air above will be less dense and so those that “bounce” in an upward direction will, on average, travel further than those that head downwards into the more populated region. So an equilibrium is established with more molecules per cubic whatever in the lower regions and less at the top. But this means that temperature measurements will be higher at the base of the column than at the top. When you apply this to the whole troposphere, you get significant differences which may be shown computationally to fully explain the observed temperatures at the base of the atmosphere, not only for Earth but also for Venus and other planets with atmospheres. (Note that you do not need to have an upward flow of air due to convection, or an input of energy at the base of the atmosphere.) The temperature at the base of the atmosphere sets the surface temperature primarily by conduction. It has nothing to do with any backradiation or Radiative GHE.

  210. So Christophere the upshot is the following?

    the co2 spectral olr is reduced and the water vapour spectral olr is increased. Overall olr is increased.

    You say this means perhaps co2 is blocking the water vapour window causing it to emit more olr.

    Can’t we say instead that this shows water vapour is not increasing in concentrations(missing hot spot) and that is why the water vapour spectral olr has increased.

    Can’t we say this confirms the lack of the hot spot, which confirms the lack of any positive feedbacks between co2 and water vapour?

    Your interpretation was very helpful.

  211. Doug, the temperature gradient between the hot core of the earth and the surface has NOTHING , to do with the climate. ZERO,ZERO ZERO!!!

    It is ridiculous to say the least.

    This is even more ridiculous then the global man made co2 induced global warming. Give me a break.

  212. As I said the latent heat release of energy into the atmosphere or the hydrologic cycle ,is a big piece of the puzzle in coming up with a equilibrium temperature. That part I think most will agree on.

    That is the hydrologic cycle independent of co2, but very dependent on the total energy in earth’s climatic system, which I say is determined by the amounts of incoming solar radiation versus how much gets reflected directly back to space .(albedo)

    I say co2 , greenhouse gases have a role up to a point, but the saturation factor has to be given much consideration, along with the missing hot spot and the fact that co2 seems to follow the temperature not lead it, and the fact that the temperature rise of .75c over 100 years is very small compared to temperature swings in the past ,both up and down.

    Some swings in decades, which throws out the window EVERYTHING that Doug ,is trying to say when it comes to climate cycles and climate.

    I find it amazing how the abrupt climate change issue is past over by all sides in this issue as if it does not exist.

    They are all afraid to attack this issue because it won’t fit in with what they want it to fit in with. It throws all their thoughts off ,from climate cycles to the greenhouse gas theory.

  213. Doug says we have 100’s of boreholes depth 300 to 500 meters beyond the reach of solar influence, and the temperatures at these depth not only correlate very well with the temp. observed just above the surface but probably is what determines our climate.

    Rubbish. This is sad to see a statement of this sort. It shows you why the state of climate science is, what it is.

    I can’t even begin to fathom how such a thought could ever come to be.
    I find this 1000x worse then AGW theory and you all know what I think of that.

  214. Christopher Game says:

    It is hard to interpret the apparent overall increase of OLR. Perhaps it is some kind of instrumental error. If it is real, it must be due to an overall and prolonged decrease of reflection of incoming sunlight. It cannot be due a simple direct radiative effect of CO2, but somehow theoretically perhaps a decrease of reflection of incoming sunlight might be indirectly caused by CO2. More likely, with significant empirical support from other data, it might be due to changes of cosmic ray and solar activity, that reduce low clouds by reducing the amount of condensation nuclei in the air. If the changes of cosmic ray and solar activity are now reversing their progress, we may expect perhaps soon to see a corresponding reduction in overall OLR.

    I don’t see how Chen 2007 findings could confirm a supposed absence of anti-compensatory effect by water vapour radiative effect due to CO2 driving. I can’t see how they bear directly on the missing hot spot or directly on the amount of water vapour. I stick by my view that they prove nothing definitive about the full theory of CO2 effects.

  215. Doug Cotton says:

    In response to my post above on the adiabatic lapse rate, a comment was made elsewhere that That’s exactly backwards; the sun heats the surface which then heats the atmosphere (lower).” Yes, it always looks that way on Earth, but this does not explain the level of surface temperatures and how they were reached over the life of the Earth.

    It doesn’t happen on Venus, because only about 2.5% of Solar radiation gets through the atmosphere to the surface. So there is nowhere near enough energy coming out of the Venus surface to heat that atmosphere. Explain that any other way.

    The adiabatic lapse rate sets the gradient. The mean Solar intensity above any particular point determines the level of the whole temperature plot for that region. So both these factors determine the temperature at any particular point. (Previously I was talking of means for a whole planet.) The mass of the atmosphere above a particular region will also vary, thus affecting the adiabatic lapse rate for that region. These are the reasons it’s colder in Iceland.

    The following empirical evidence is put forward in support of my comment above which explains how the lapse rate does not depend on surface heating at the base or convection currents. The conclusion reached by Roderich Graeff reads …

    In an isolated system the temperature of the walls depend on the speed of the impinging molecules. The average of their speed is lower at the top than at the bottom as each molecule gets accelerated on its way downwards and decelerated upwards. Through this energy is transported from the upper to the lower wall until equilibrium is reached.

    This results in a temperature difference between the upper and lower wall, with the upper wall having a lower and the lower wall having a higher temperature .

    Over the life of the Earth a continuous temperature trend has been established from the core, through the surface to TOA. Initially the Solar intensity and lapse rate determined the surface temperature, yes, and the temperature gradient from the core adjusted so that it “met” the right temperature at the surface. My point about the underground temperature is that it also now provides a stabilising effect. Perhaps we don’t need that anyway, because the lapse rate and Solar intensity also do likewise. But the underground temperatures do provide “security” just in case you think man’s activities can upset the effect of the lapse rate. I don’t, but some readers might be happier to rest in that certainty that nothing can change significantly within many thousands of years.

  216. Doug Cotton says:

    PS When writing the ‘Explanation’ page on my site (linked above) about a year and a half ago I was not fully aware of the role of the adiabatic lapse rate in setting surface temperature. I subsequently modified paragraphs on that page relating to bore hole temperatures, but missed altering one paragraph further up the page, that being the one that has been quoted today. I did realise that was incorrect, but by human error had overlooked altering it early this year. I’ve now done so and it now reads ..

    Over the life of the Earth, the surface temperature in any location has been “set” by the mean Solar radiative flux entering the atmosphere above, together with the adiabatic lapse rate which is a function of the mass of the atmosphere and the force of gravity. The sub-surface temperature plot then adjusted to meet the surface at the temperature found there. Underground temperatures now play a stabilising role, so no major change in climate is possible in a short period.

  217. Doug Cotton says:

    Thanks TonyM for your observations above regarding empirical evidence.

    There is empirical evidence …

    (a) that the heat transfer between two blackbodies is in accord with the quantification in Section 4 of my paper.

    (b) that air in equilibrium in a tall sealed insulated container will be warmer at the base than at the top, the difference being explained by the same adiabatic lapse rate which, as you say, is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity – no coincidence.

    (c) that placing a cool blackbody close to a warmer one does slow the radiative rate of cooling of the warm one.

    (d) that evaporative cooling accelerates to compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling of the water surfaces.

    (e) that low clouds at night slow overall cooling of the land surface at night, this being because the compensating effect of conduction takes a longer period.

    (f) that surplus thermal energy in the atmosphere (causing temperatures above the plot based on the lapse rate) will be radiated away

    (g) that radiation from a cooler atmosphere does not transfer thermal energy to a warmer surface, and nor does conduction or convection.

    (h) that the surface temperatures of all planets with atmospheres can only be explained using the solar intensity and the adiabatic lapse rate. This is very clear cut on Venus where the surface hardly receives or emits any energy, so most heating of the atmosphere occurs when the atmosphere absorbs incoming Solar radiation. You cannot explain Venus temperatures using any radiative greenhouse effect, because such does not exist here, there or anywhere.

  218. Doug Cotton says:

    A challenge to Roy or anyone

    Construct an Energy Budget diagram for the planet Venus, demonstrating a radiative greenhouse effect there, despite the fact that only 2.5% of Solar radiation reaches the surface.

  219. Tim says:

    It is looking like we are going to have a very cold winter in the UK this year, along the lines of the coldest and snowiest for a 100 years. Its funny because in spring, the so called experts were talking about having a drought and it hasn’t stopped raining since.

    Happy white Christmas


  220. Doug Cotton says:
    November 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM
    “(b) that air in equilibrium in a tall sealed insulated container will be warmer at the base than at the top, the difference being explained by the same adiabatic lapse rate which, as you say, is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity – no coincidence.”

    I just have one question: If this is indeed “no coincidence”, then why does it not work with the other units? Converting -9.8 C/1000 m is -4.38 F/1000 feet, however -9.8 m/s2 is -32 feet/s2.

  221. Christopher Game says:

    Werner, Doug’s story about the air in a tall sealed insulated container is utterly mistaken. All reputable physicists agree that the thermodynamic equilibrium of that air has it at uniform temperature, constant throughout all heights. We discussed this long ago. I don’t have time to go through it all over again. Try any reliable textbook of thermodynamics.

  222. Doug Cotton says:

    Werner I said “proportional to” – not equal to

    Christopher When you can produce an energy budget diagram that explains Jupiter’s temperature without requiring an adiabatic lapse rate, then you may be getting somewhere with me. Meanwhile, I contend that gravity affects the path taken by molecules between collisions, and probability theory dictates that slightly more will head downwards. I also contend that the same thing happens for conduction in solids. There’s not actually a lot of lab research that I can find, but if you think “all reputable physicists” agree, and thus dismiss any natural adiabatic lapse rate, then show me the experiments upon which they rely.

    Here are three links that I have found. I dispute the WUWT rebuttal

    (a) because the adiabatic lapse rate on Jupiter must have formed naturally in order to “support” a surface temperature about 500 degrees hotter than the radiating temperature of the planet – incident Solar radiation being only 2 to 4W/m^2

    (b) because the phenomenon could just as easily occur in molecules in a solid, so that gravity can affect conduction to exactly the same extent. Hence the wire outside the container (in WUWT post) would not conduct that small amount of heat upwards.

    Because of (b) I don’t like the heading of “The Gravity Machine” in the first link below, but that should not detract from the empirical measurements made, which of course support a natural adaibatic lapse rate.
    So, I’m still waiting for an energy budget diagram for Jupiter, as I have requested here and on other blogs as well. So far no-one can produce one.

  223. Doug Cotton says:


    I’m still waiting for an energy budget diagram for Venus, as I have requested here and on other blogs as well. So far no-one can produce one.

  224. Doug Cotton says:
    November 22, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    “Werner I said “proportional to” – not equal to”

    True enough. However see what TonyM says:

    TonyM says:
    November 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM
    “as close numerically to the g acceleration that it is unlikely to be a coincidence”

    To which you responded:
    Doug Cotton says:
    November 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM
    “which, as you say, is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity – no coincidence”

    So in my defense, it appears as if you switched what TonyM said while seeming to agree with him and thereby threw me off.

    Christopher Game says:
    November 22, 2012 at 5:00 PM
    “All reputable physicists agree that the thermodynamic equilibrium of that air has it at uniform temperature, constant throughout all heights.”

    I must confess that I do not know what to think here. For example, if we had a solid copper rod that was 35,000 feet high, with one end in the ground at +20 C and the other in the air at -50 C, then there would be a gradient in temperature all the way up. Would it be different if we had a hollow tube with air of the same length and temperature differences? Or is this comparing apples and oranges? Perhaps gases are different, but large objects such as marbles can have zero velocity at the top of 35,000 feet and then when dropped, they have a large kinetic energy at the bottom.

  225. Doug Cotton says:

    There really is overwhelming empirical evidence that gravity causes the formation of natural adiabatic lapse rates on all planets with atmospheres. Please read the documents in the links I gave above, noting that this one also refers to the author’s published experiments.

    If anyone wishes to try to disprove that there are natural adiabatic lapse rates, such as on Venus, then they would have to produce an energy budget diagram for Venus showing that such low incident Solar radiation at the surface somehow raises the surface temperature by hundreds of degrees. It can’t. Instead the temperature gradient was established as the Sun started to warm the atmosphere when the planet first formed.

    Gravity acts on molecules as they drift between collisions, and increases the propensity for the downward component of their motion to increase, and the upward component to decrease. So more molecules exist at the base of the atmosphere as is well known. As potential energy converts to kinetic energy when some molecules “fall” there is a resulting increase in temperature.

    That’s why the Venus surface is hot – the atmosphere heated first and the gradient meant the base of the atmosphere was hundreds of degrees hotter than the mean radiating temperature somewhere in the middle. So the surface itself had to get hotter by conduction and radiation at the interface.

    Thus, none of the surface temperature on Venus is due to backradiation or any radiative Greenhouse effect. And if there’s no radiative GHE up there, then neither is there down here on Earth.

  226. Christopher Game says:

    Werner, I said that I do not have time to chase this up again for you, though it has been dealt with here before. The gas is specified as being in an insulated container, while your copper rod is exposed to various outside temperatures.

  227. Doug ,since you know so much,you explain how abrupt climate change which has happened countless times can be accounted for ,due to your way of thinking? How does the climate sometimes change in a decade? I want to know your explanation based on the mostly wrong climate thoughts you keep posting.

    I am waiting for an answer.

    Unlike others I like to see these views, it gives me more confidence in what I am thinking is correct, and the most sensible.

    DOUG, Is trying to tell us about other planets when we don’t even know what is going on with this one, when it comes to the climate.

  228. How could you possibly bring in Jupiter or Venus, into this, two planets which are so so different then the earth.

    It is like comparing apples to oranges. Ridiculous.

    Earth’s climate is stable?? You have to be kidding. It is very unstable ,and thresholds are always lurking to to bring this about.

    As I said some of those thresholds could come into play as this decade proceeds.

    Doug,will not change his mind ,just like the wrong way global warmers will not change their minds.

    I will keep promoting the correct way of evaluating earth’s climate and why and how it changes ,which many people in this field more or less agree with.

    Like Piers Corbyn, David Archibald, Dr. Norman Page, Joe Bastardi, Joe D’Aleo, Don Easterbrook, Robert Felix, Mark Morano,Geoffry Sharp, Steve Goddard, etc etc.

  229. Doug, please give us your climate outlook for the next 30 years.

    I will make note of it.

    The only thing that really matters is who is going to be making the correct climate predictions going forward, and who will be making the wrong climate predictions going forward, along with why the climate may or may not change going forward.

    Use or apply everything you believe in ,into giving us your prediction.

  230. Doug has many thoughts which differ ,this is why it is time to put them to pratical use, in giving us your climate outlook for earth(earth not other planets) for the next 30 years. Starting with this year. I can’t wait.

  231. Correction, I should have said which very few people in this field agree with.

  232. One reason why OLR might have increased aside from other reasons we have talked about, may be due simply to the fact that the energy budget in earth’s climatic system had increased from 1979-2002. Which is evidenced by the temp. rise during that time period.

  233. simon abingdon says:

    Christopher Game says:
    November 22, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    “All reputable physicists agree that the thermodynamic equilibrium of that air [the air in a tall sealed insulated [?cylindrical] container] has it at uniform temperature, constant throughout all heights.”

    Yes, but while that might be true of uniform (constant diameter) cylinders, the atmosphere as a whole does not comprise a “honeycomb” of such cylinders but a “honeycomb” of tapering cylinders wider at the top and narrower at the bottom, the temperatures of which are determined adiabatically, so that at higher altitudes the “heat” per unit volume compared to lower altitudes is more “spread out” and the temperatures at altitude consequently less than lower down. Hence the necessarily adiabatic lapse rate in the gently-tapered conical “cylinders”.

  234. Christopher Game says:

    Salvatore, I think your ‘aside from other reasons’ might more accurately read ‘in other words’. Cosmic ray and solar activity changes are of interest because they are proposed to affect low cloud formation. In the present case, they are proposed to have reduced it, thus causing your ‘energy budget increase’, and so the claimed temperature rise.

    Simon abingdon, your clever thought was taken into account by the reputable physicists and your conclusion is mistaken. The shape of the cylinders does not matter. The basic reason for the existence of a lapse is that the bottom of the atmosphere touches the land-sea body, which is hot from exposure to the sun’s radiation, which penetrates the atmosphere; and that the upper troposphere is cooled by effective radiative exposure to outer space, which is very cold. Convective circulation acts to reduce this effect, and explains why the adiabatic gas law is relevant.

  235. Doug Cotton says:

    I was asked about my outlook for future years. I archived my prediction on a “frozen” page on my first site where you will see the following statement written over a year ago …

    From 2003 the effect of El Niño had passed and a slightly declining trend has been observed. This is the net effect of the 60-year cycle starting to decline whilst the 934 year cycle is still rising. By 2014 the decline should be steeper and continue until at least 2027. (This statement was archived 22 August 2011 here)

    If you’d like me to comment further ahead, I have written many times about such. For example, see the footnote at the end of the home page on my second site which really needs to be read in conjunction with the plot above it, but I’ll quote it here anyway …

    The “trend of the trend” yellow line on the above plot is an “axis” fit for what appears to be a cyclic (roughly sinusoidal) trend in the 30 year trend gradients. This line shows that the rate of increase has reduced from about 0.06 deg.C / decade down to about 0.05 deg.C / decade. If the long-term trend causing this is also approximately sinusoidal, then that rate of increase should decrease faster over the next 100 to 200 years, by which time it should pass through zero and start to enter negative territory. This would indicate a maximum in the temperature trend by about the year 2200 or sooner, such maximum being 0.4 to 0.8 deg.C above the current trend.

    If there is anything else that you don’t understand about the long and short-term natural cycles, or why radiation does not transfer heat from cold to hot etc, may I suggest you read last week’s article in which I contributed the sections with references [1] to [9].

    Yes, Venus is very different from Earth. On Earth, the Solar radiation primarily warms the surface, and the surface then primarily warms the atmosphere by conduction and radiation. (In that situation it is easier to fudge an apparent GHE.) On Venus, the Solar radiation primarily warms the atmosphere (which has developed a natural adiabatic lapse rate) and then the atmosphere primarily warms the surface almost entirely by conduction at the interface.

    For Venus it is impossible even to fudge a radiative GHE, and this implies that any such postulate, for Earth or any planet, is a fudge, a hoax and a fraud.


  236. Doug Cotton says:

    CG says The basic reason for the existence of a lapse is that the bottom of the atmosphere touches the land-sea body, which is hot from exposure to the sun’s radiation,

    This is totally incorrect, Christopher. Consider Venus. There is no significant warming of the surface by Solar radiation, because only about 2.5% (roughly 3 W/m^2) gets through the thick atmosphere to the surface. Nearly all the Solar radiation has already warmed the atmosphere. The natural adiabatic lapse rate formed due to the force of gravity on the molecules in the atmosphere. There is simply no other way of explaining the fact that the surface is hundreds of degrees above the radiating temperature for the planet, now is there? If you think I’m wrong, set out your proof along with an Energy Budget Diagram, but don’t even think about any suggestion of radiation from the Venus atmosphere transferring heat to a much hotter surface.

    An adiabatic lapse rate is adiabatic – which means no external energy needs to be added. It does not depend upon a hot surface transferring energy to the base of an atmosphere. That doesn’t happen on Venus. It is formed by gravity and is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity.

  237. Doug Cotton says:

    The issue of lab tests re the adiabatic lapse rate has been settled with empirical tests which I have referred to above. It’s a bit like Newton’s Laws being only approximate and being refined by Einstein. Obviously in a lab the difference in temperature in a cylinder of air is hard to detect, but it can be detected with modern equipment. The WUWT attempted rebuttal of these experiments was incorrect, because an identical phenomenon also occurs for conduction, so a vertical wire acts slightly differently than a horizontal wire.

    I hope today’s comments indicate to you all, that in several thousand hours of research on all this, I believe I have covered all aspects, objections, counter claims etc and found, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that carbon dioxide has no warming effect on climate, and almost certainly has instead a very slight cooling effect.

  238. Doug Cotton says:

    PS Some of you may wish to read three of my comments starting here which relate to all this.

  239. Doug ,as I have said some of the things you say make sense ,others just don’t .

    To Christopher Game, that is exactly what I was saying. The sun up until late 2005 was very active causing a lessening of cosmic ray penetration and hence less clouds which are one of the items controlling earth’s climate.

    Doug’s argument that the heat within the earth has something to do with the climate of the earth is completely false.

    Doug continues to avoid the abrupt climate change issue because it blows many of his thoughts on what causes the climate to do ,what it will do.

    He wants to believe in climate cycles which just white washes every thing. It is not near that simple Doug.

    Further he can’t reconcile his thoughts to make them fit in or account for all the many abrupt climatic changes that have taken place throughout earth’s history.

    So his thoughts on climate change do not address this issue at all.

  240. or most of the past 10,000 years
    By bob On May 25, 2010 · 3 Comments
    Facebook Twitter

    25 May 10 – The revamped cap-and-trade (control-and-tax) bill that Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) are trying to foist on the American public is predicated on a flat-out lie.

    The control-and-tax proponents would have you believe that our planet has been enduring unprecedented global warming (now coyly referred to as “climate change”), but the facts do not bear that out. Facts. Oh, those damnable facts.

    Look at this chart.

    Easterbrook – Natural global warming

    Created by Cuffy and Clow in 1997, and based on Greenland ice core records, this chart shows global temperatures for the past 15,000 years.

    You’ll see that today’s benign climate is not even close to being the warmest on record.

    Not even close.

    Temperatures have been warmer than today for almost all of the past 10,000 years.

    In fact, if the chart went further back, you’d see that temperatures have been warmer than today for most of geologic history.

    I sat just ten feet from Dr. Don Easterbrook, Professor of Geology at Western Washington University as he presented this chart, along with several of his own, at the Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago last week.

    “Natural global warming much more intense than modern warming has occurred many times in the geologic past without CO2 change,” said Easterbrook.

    The changes occurred rapidly, without any help from humans

    “Fifteen thousand years ago, temperatures rose 10 to 20 degrees in just one century,” said Easterbrook.

    About 12,800 years ago we plunged into the Younger Dryas, said Easterbrook. When we came out of the Younger Dryas, temperatures again shot upward, rising 15 degrees in just 40 years. Then, from about 10,000 years ago to 3,000 years ago, temperatures were warmer than today.

    Forget human influence, said Easterbrook. Cooling and warming are both natural.

    “Numerous, abrupt, short-lived warming and cooling episodes much more intense than recent warming/cooling occurred during the late Pleistocene, none of which could have been caused by changes in atmospheric CO2,” said Easterbrook.

    “Twice as many people are killed by extreme cold than by extreme heat,” Easterbrook warned.

    So let me ask you this.

    Do we really want to pass a control-and-tax bill; do we really want to destroy our economy, based on the lie of “unprecedented global warming”?

    Easterbrook-Projected Cooling

    See also:
    The Looming Threat of Global Cooling
    23 May 10 – “You thought last winter was bad? Wait until this winter,” says Dr. Don Easterbrook, Professor of Geology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.
    See Looming Threat of Global Cooling

    See also:
    Geology professor forecasts abrupt cooling
    10 Nov 09 – The lack of sun spots has surpassed all records since the Dalton Minimum, suggesting that we may be headed for a Dalton or Maunder type minimum with severe cooling.
    See Geology professor forecasts abrupt cooling

    If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
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    3 Responses to Temperatures were warmer than today for most of the past 10,000 years

    Ronbo says:
    November 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice. —Robert Frost
    Alex says:
    November 9, 2011 at 6:16 am

    That graph’s captions are wrong. It puts the Little Ice Age over a thousand years ago, when it started only 500 years.

    The actual line looks familiar so I assume it’s correct, but the conclusion that the Medieval Warm Period was hugely warmer than today it invites you to draw, is not actually in the graph. The graph suggests the MWP was roughly as warm as today, not big enough at that scale for anyone to know if it’s the same or slightly more or slightly less.
    Don Simpson says:
    November 14, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Great blog, I will check back in often. The global warming scam is coming undone. 15 years of no actual warming effectively nullifies the hypothesis.

    Keep the interesting articles coming.


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  241. Doug that article on climate changes by Don Easterbrook, who I am in very close agreement with, just blows all your theories on climate change and cycles out the window.

    I have to say based upon what you are saying about the climate, that you do not believe in these kind of abrupt climatic changes, that is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the many thoughts you have presented when it comes to climate change.

    If that is correct, then (no offense) you need to start thinking this subject all over again.

  242. Doug their is a greenhouse gas effect, it just more limited then what the IPCC wants us to believe in.

    If there were no greenhouse gases the planet would have the 255k temperature versus the 288k.


    1. SOLAR ACTIVITY- as far as uv light emissions, solar wind strength and solar irradiance. All will be very weak due to the prolong solar minimum.

    The uv light emissions will impact the atmospheric circulation ,such as the ao/nao. A more meridional atmospheric circulation meaning a negative ao/nao. This type of circulation (talking more about the northern hemisphere )will in turn promote more clouds,precipitation and more snow cover. This will increase the albedo. Result cooling.

    The solar wind will impact the amounts of charge particles that enter the atmosphere(a decrease,other then burst of solar activity take place). Cosmic rays however will increase, which will promote more clouds, which will increase the albedo. Result lower temp.

    Volcanic activity will pick up in response to the low solar wind and increase cosmic ray activity This will promote more so2 concentrations in the atm. Result cooling.

    Solar irradiance will be on the decrease ,less ocean heat content going forward,result cooling.

    Earth’s magnetic field weakening will enhance all the effects from what a weak solar wind results in . In addition when occasional burst of solar activity periods do take place within the minimum, the geomagnetic effects to earth will be more intense then if the magnetic field of the earth were stronger. This will also promote more clouds, more volcanic activity. Result cooling.

    Cold pdo, with amo to follow seem to be associated with the prolong solar minimum periods. This will result in the case of the cold pdo, in less El Ninos. Result cooling

    How these things phase together as far as duration of time, and degree of magnitude change will determine if thresholds might or might not be met ,which will make all the difference as to if the climate change will be a gradual cooling or some abrupt change within the cooling change.

    It has nothing per say to do with climate cycles, or your core to surface temp. gradient value, or for that matter CO2’S role or none role as far as your argument goes, because in my assessment, co2’s role is in or said for already due to it’s present concentrations in relationship to earth’s energy budget and how close it is to saturation in the olr wavelengths it does absorb. Or so many of your other arguments.

    Milankovich cycles also are not very important in these kind of swings, but the locations of the magnetic poles probably play a role because they will focus where the increase in cosmic rays will be more pronounced. If in lower latitudes there will be more water vapor,making cosmic ray increases more effective in resulting in an increase in clouds.

    The upshot of this is once the maximum of solar cycle 24 passes by, in conjunction with the accumulation of sub -solar years mounting,along with the lag effects of ocean heat content subsiding ,I look for a pronounced cooling post 2014, with possibly more abrupt changes within the cooling. I give abrupt changes within the cooling around a 5% chance of happening. That aside I expect the globe to be -.8c cooler by the end of this decade ,with N.H. cooling greater, and S.H. cooling less then the -.8c change I see for the globe overall.

  243. Christopher Game is 100% correct about the causes of a lapse rate. It is due to the surface of the earth being heated by the sun’s radiation. Exactly correct.

  244. Without solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth and heating it up, there would be no lapse rate.

    VENUS -is warm due to the very fact it’s atmosphere has SO MUCH CO2 in it, Doug.

  245. Another killer to Doug’s various thoughts is the temperature trend in the past versus co2 concentrations.

    There is no evidence that co2 acts as a cooling agent.

  246. Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time

    Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time (315 mya — 270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600 million years when both atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were as low as they are today (Quaternary Period ).

    Temperature after C.R. Scotese
    CO2 after R.A. Berner, 2001 (GEOCARB III)

    Compare Oxygen (O2) concentrations.

    See an estimate of CO2 concentrations over the past 15,000 years, based on plant stomata.

    There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.


  247. What the above is saying is you can have co2 concentrations much higher then today and have temperatures either warmer or cooler then today. Acccording to Doug the temperatures would have to be cooler if co2 concentrations increased.

    Again the effectiveness of co2 ,greenhouse gases is tied into the energy budget of the earth, in that different concentrations when combined with the energy budget of the earth can give different results.

  248. Doug, I think you need to really start looking at and questionng many of your thoughts,because they are flat out wrong.

    At firstIi thought you were on to something to an extent,but the more I become familiar with what you are saying the more I think you are flat out wrong in so many areas.


    I am also not putting much time into it, since it is hard to study something you think is wrong, unless like the global man made warming ,where it needs to be reckoned with due to it’s popularity .

    In contrast to your thouhgts which have very little popularity in the scheme of things. Just a very limited NUMBER of people are with you .

  249. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore, Roy and others

    I am the first to agree (and have previously stated many times) that variations in the Solar insolation reaching the surface are the prime drivers of climate change on Earth.

    You misunderstand what I wrote about the stabilising effect of all the huge amount of energy under the surface. I have tried to make it easier to understand with minor revisions of this page on my website.

    All statements to the effect that there is a (radiative) greenhouse effect can be refuted with solid evidence that there is not.

    If you accept that the intensity of the insolation reaching the Venus surface through its thick atmosphere is only about 10% of that reaching Earth’s surface, how can you say Earth’s temperature is raised 33 degrees by some GHE but the temperature on the surface of Venus is raised hundreds of degrees by only 10% of the Earth’s insolation?

    May I respectfully request that you or anyone provide an explanation for such which does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I can explain it, but in a totally different and far more plausible way than any Greenhouse Effect conjecture.

  250. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore In regard to abrupt changes in climate, I would firstly say that there do not appear to have been very abrupt changes in the level of carbon dioxide in recent decades, so no GHE postulate can explain such.

    On the other hand, if you read up on the research by Dr Nicola Scafetta regarding planetary influence on climate you will find that there are many more cycles than just the main 1,000 year and 60 year cycles that are more widely recognised, and have been mentioned in detail on sites like WUWT for starters.

    There are 11 to 13 year Sun Spot cycles, for example. There also appears to be some influence from Venus in a cycle of about a quarter the length of Sunspot cycles. Of course all sorts of other factors, including ENSO cycles can cause reasonably abrupt changes in climate. However, be careful not to equate climate with changes in localised weather patterns. None of these abrupt changes do anything to support the carbon dioxide hoax.

    Anyway, please consider the question about Venus (in the above post) which no-one has been able to answer here or on other blogs where I have asked for response.

  251. Doug Cotton says:


    One further matter. If what you think were correct, and I quote you “If there were no greenhouse gases the planet would have the 255k temperature versus the 288k then …

    (a) If the atmosphere were pure nitrogen and oxygen then both the surface and the whole troposphere from top to bottom would have been 255K. Any physicist who know his stuff will tell you it would be impossible for Earth’s troposphere to be an equal temperature from top to bottom, with an adiabatic lapse rate of zero. He would tell you (and prove computationally) that the absolute value of the natural adiabatic lapse rate is proportional to the absolute value of the acceleration due to gravity. It would be impossible for g to be zero. So that’s what you’re betting against. No amount of energy input at the base of the atmosphere will affect that lapse rate, only a change in the force of gravity.

    (b) The Venus surface, with about 10% as much insolation, would only rise about 3 degrees, rather than more like the actual value of 500 degrees.

    Bit of a problem, eh, Salvatore?

    Before you write any more waffle, start thinking about what’s happening on Venus.


  252. Christopher Game says:

    I wrote of the basic reason for the existence of a lapse rate. I did not offer an explanation of its magnitude, which is largely in terms of convection. But the basic reason why convection exists is in the external radiative drivers, as I wrote.

  253. Doug Cotton says:

    Christopher Game and others

    No, convection occurs because the adiabatic lapse rate has already been established naturally, and it is a linear function primarily of the acceleration due to gravity, g.

    You too should consider the Venus temperatures I’ve talked about in posts above. Convection resulting from the equivalent of a mere 10% of Earth’s insolation cannot explain the adiabatic lapse rate in the thick Venus atmosphere. And nor could that insolation raise the temperature about 500 degrees by any GHE up there.

    I repeat, the lapse rate is set by the force of gravity, not the rate of convection. If convection makes a temporary slight “hump” or “dip” in the temperature plot in the lower troposphere on Earth, there are compensating effects higher up in the troposphere, as energy is radiated away and temperatures all settle back to the established temperature plot.

  254. RW says:


    In the article, it says:

    “So carbon dioxide clearly has a cooling function, not a warming one. Even though it does send some radiation back to the surface, all that radiation can do is to slow that portion of the surface cooling which is itself due to radiation. The backradiation cannot slow non-radiative cooling, and these processes like evaporation (in over 70% of the Earth’s surface) accelerate to nullify the effect, as empirical evidence demonstrates.”

    If some of the radiation is ‘sent back to the surface’ and it can slow the rate of radiative cooling from the surface, the net effect of this is the same as if it was absorbed and/or thermalized, because it allows more energy to accumulate at the surface that would otherwise be radiated away.

    As I’ve said, the fundamental mechanism of the GHE is that of radiative resistance to cooling – not the transfer of energy from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface. The total net flow of energy is still from warm to cold, so there is no 1st law violation.

  255. Doug Cotton says:

    What is it that you don’t understand, RW, in this sentence (which you quoted) …

    “The backradiation cannot slow non-radiative cooling, and these processes like evaporation (in over 70% of the Earth’s surface) accelerate to nullify the effect, as empirical evidence demonstrates.”

    How about you answer the above questions about what happens on Venus? Only when you (and others)) think about such questions will you have a chance of coming to a better understanding of atmospheric physics.

    I know it is difficult to comprehend the physics involved in the natural development of an adiabatic lapse rate which produces a natural temperature gradient in any atmosphere – rather like a pressure gradient – but the fact that it does happen is clearly demonstrated on Venus, whose surface could not possibly have been warmed about 500 degrees by only 10% of the Solar insolation that Earth’s surface receives.

    The reason for the compensation which you didn’t seem to understand, is that the temperature gradient is pre-set by gravity – rather like the slope of a mountain. Whatever amount of rain falls on the mountain, the gradient of a creek running down the mountain is fixed by the rock in the bed of the creek. So it is with thermal energy entering the base of the atmosphere and resulting convection. Far less enters the base of the atmosphere from the surface of Venus, but the gradient exists regardless. Think about it.


  256. Doug Cotton says:

    The temperature of the Venus surface could not possibly have been raised about 500 degrees above the planet’s radiating temperature by any greenhouse effect, especially when you consider that the insolation it receives from the Sun is only about 10% of that received by Earth’s surface. It is that hot for no other reason than that a natural adiabatic lapse rate caused the temperature gradient in the thick carbon dioxide Venus atmosphere (94 times the mass of Earth’s atmosphere) when the planet first formed.

    Read this page and the reference in the footnote thereon.

  257. Doug Cotton says:

    Physics tells us that the adiabatic lapse rate represents that change in temperature that is required to keep the entropy of a parcel of air or water constant when its pressure is changed in an adiabatic and isohaline manner.

    Gravity alone determines the change in pressure for a given atmospheric mass.

    It seems Roy and many climatologists have never learnt this basic fact of physics, so they were bluffed into believing a false conjecture that an imaginary greenhouse effect caused the observed temperature gradient responsible for the surface temperature being higher than the planet’s radiating temperature.

    Consideration of what happens on Venus (described in my earlier posts above) demonstrates the validity of the above explanation (using the adiabatic lapse rate) and thus the fiction of the GHE conjecture.

    Refer Section 8 of this paper for more detail on Venus.


  258. RW says:


    I’m afraid I haven’t spent much time examining the various theories that attempt to explain the Venusian surface temperature and lapse rate.

    Also, I never said so-called ‘back radiation’ can slow non-radiative surface cooling. Only that the net effect of reduced surface radiation from ‘back radiation’ is the same as if were absorbed or thermalized.

  259. Doug Cotton says:

    No it’s not. It cannot slow evaporation and conduction for the very reason that it is not thermalised. Radiative cooling is less than a third of total cooling – ie energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere. Conduction is so dominant in the first 2 metres where we measure climate that it is almost all that matters. Backradiation has no effect whatsoever on the rate of conduction. It simply accelerates and/or lasts longer into the night until the temperature of the surface gets back to where it would have been without any backradiation. In any event, backradiation from all the CO2 probably has less than 1% of the effect of backradiation from all the water vapour, because CO2 radiates in far fewer frequencies, and is far less prolific.

  260. Doug Cotton says:

    By the way, the calculations showing that the dry adiabatic lapse rate is a function of the gravitational force are well known in physics – Click here.

  261. Kasuha says:

    With respect to lapse rates including but not limited to adiabatic lapse rate, gravity alone does not in any case create a “natural” temperature gradient. A column of gas in thermal equilibrium in gravitation field has pressure gradient corresponding to the gravitational field but the temperature is the same at any point. Any kind of temperature lapse is sign of broken thermal equilibrium.
    This matter was thoroughly discussed by Boltzmann, Maxwell, and Loschmidt in 1870s and while it may have been source of controversy by then, today it’s clear that if nothing else, gravity-induced thermal gradient breaks 2nd law of thermodynamics.
    For simple explanation why is that so, see here:
    Even simpler insight:
    Gas of given temperature does not consist of molecules of the same energy (speed). Instead there is distribution of energies which goes from zero energy to (theoretical) infinity (of course there is infinitely small number of molecules with infinite energy). In thermal equilibrium, the distribution of energies is the same on all levels, just number of molecules on each level is different corresponding to pressure.
    In layman terms, molecules which fall to lower level gain some energy (speed) due to gravity but this added speed causes them to stay shorter time at that level before they get back to their original higher level where their energy reduces. Molecules with lower energy don’t have the speed to reach upper levels against the force of gravity. That’s the mechanism keeping the energy distribution and therefore temperature constant.

  262. doug, i said abrupt climate change is evidence against co2’s role in the climate.

    if you read my earlier post or understood it you would not have responded to it the way you did.

    later today i will send a great study called the cold facts about greenhouse warming.

    it does not support anything doug says, it supports those of us who believe in the 255k versus 288k temp difference. it shows how the greenhouse gas effect will be limited from here. a great study.

  263. Cold Facts on Global Warming

    Cold Facts on Global Warming. W … That is to say, in the absence of so-called greenhouse gases, the Earth would be 33 degrees cooler than it is today, or about …

  264. that article is excellent in my opinion.

  265. third paragraph down is so important.

  266. Earth’s adaptation which is the point I have been trying to make . That is what that paragraph talks about . Paramount in my opinion to the greenhouse gas /earth climate interaction /relationship, and where it goes from here.

  267. Doug Cotton says:


    You say: gravity alone does not in any case create a “natural” temperature gradient.

    Yes it does, but it will take thousands of words to explain why, probably in my next paper.

    You say: A column of gas in thermal equilibrium in gravitation field has pressure gradient corresponding to the gravitational field but the temperature is the same at any point

    No it’s not, as experiments have been able to demonstrate with modern equipment not available to Maxwell and Co.

    You say: gravity-induced thermal gradient breaks 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    No it doesn’t. The Second Law is actually about entropy, not strictly temperature. Because the potential energy in molecules is constantly interchanging with kinetic energy, entropy can remain unchanged while temperature (measuring KE) will change.

    If atmospheric lapse rates did not form naturally, then you have no way of explaining how the Venus surface is about 500 degrees hotter than the planet’s mean radiating temperature, especially when the insolation which gets to the surface through that dense atmosphere is only about 10% of that which reaches Earth’s surface.

    • Kasuha says:

      It doesn’t require thousands of words to explain why it is not true. The explanation after my link is in about three paragraphs.
      I am aware of these experiments and I am also aware of their shortcomings, such as noise levels ten times the signal level. Anything can be proved in such conditions.
      Second law of thermodynamics is a general physics principle so of course it also applies to temperature.
      And of course there is perfectly valid explanation why temperature on Venus is as high as it is. No unreal physical phenomena such as gravity induced temperature gradient are needed for that.

  268. Doug Cotton says:


    Please read firstly my response to Kasuha so that you might perhaps realise that I consider the adiabatic lapse rate is caused naturally and then determines the surface temperature on any planet with an atmosphere. You don’t have to believe me, but please try to understand where I’m coming from. If you can explain the Venus surface temperature any other way, I’ll be all ears.

    Then, if you still choose to believe that 255K is the correct radiating temperature for planet Earth, I’m afraid it’s not. It’s the radiating temperature for an imaginary flat disk which supposedly receives only a quarter of the actual solar radiation spread evenly over 24 hours each day. It was postulated by people who were too lazy to apply appropriate integration over the whole surface of a spherical planet which rotates about 360 degrees each 24 hours. Go and read some of the papers and articles by Joe Postma, for example, at Principia Scientific International where there are now close to 150 members who know that what the IPCC says is all a fraudulent hoax.

  269. Doug Cotton says:

    Latest News re court case against Mann, and more

    Click here.

  270. I fully believe what the IPCC says is a hoax. I just have a different opinion as to why it is a hoax then yourself, but we at least agree it is a hoax.

  271. the atmosphere makeup of Venus is causing it to be hotter then it would be otherwise, which of course you do not agree with.

  272. Doug I just don’t agree with many of your thoughts or concepts. They really don’t make much sense.

    I agree with that study I just sent earlier.

    I can’t go into detail with what you send ,because I think it is wrong.I can’t study something I think is wrong.

    I am sorry becasue I know you believe in what you say ,and you did much work in that area, it just does not hold up to the paper I sent today which makes much more sense.


  274. Doug Cotton says:

    I have decided to write a second paper, which I’m starting on today to explain all this. It really can’t be covered in a few short comments on a thread like this, so please be patient and wait till I provide a link to such.

    The only comment I feel I should make at this stage is that one can’t just say the atmosphere makeup of Venus is causing it to be hotter because that doesn’t explain why the atmosphere is hotter at the base, rather than the top. The surface does not receive anywhere near enough Solar insolation to heat the base of the atmosphere so much. Imagine the surface were only about 300 K to start with. It can’t send radiation from itself to the atmosphere and back again, with there being any possibility that the returning radiation would raise its temperature above the initial 300 K. That process would clearly violate the 2nd LoT.

    Instead, I suggest that the Venus atmosphere could only have got to the high temperatures that it has by absorbing incident Solar radiation. We know it does this, because only about 2.5% of such incident radiation gets through to the surface. Carbon dioxide absorbs a small amount of Solar radiation in the 2 micron band, and over the life of the planet, that could easily have heated it to what is observed. But why isn’t it hotter at the top, as you might expect with sunshine penetrating the ocean? Unless there is a naturally forming temperature gradient caused by gravity (such as there is a gradient in pressure) then there can be no other explanation.

    You see, you need to consider physical processes in more detail and perhaps construct energy flow diagrams, making sure that any assumptions built into those diagrams obey the 2nd LoT as well as the 1st LoT of course.

  275. Werner Brozek says:

    Doug, in view of the article below on the case between Drs. Mann and Ball, I was wondering if Dr. Ball agrees with you. Thanks!

  276. Doug Cotton says:

    I cannot say because obviously Dr Ball has not seen the new paper yet. I have not heard of any disagreement regarding my original paper in March or this article to which I contributed last week.

    I can tell you though that I have cited Hans Jelbring’s paper (below) and I am very much in agreement with him.


  277. html

    the above paper gives a good explanation for venus.

  278. Doug ,none of your papers address why the climate changes and how it changes, and you completly ignore the abrupt climate change issue, which has everything to do with why and how the climate changes in the first place.

    That cannot be reconciled with what you are trying to say. Anotherwords the fact(THE FACT) that earth’s climate can change very fast in decades ,you won’t and can’t address.

    That is it for you.

  279. That is what I do address and will be continously working on.

  280. The explanation for the high temperatures on Venus according to the study(which makes sense to me)is due in large part to a thick bank of clouds containing high levels of sufuric acid which absorb infrared radiation at the 2.3 micron wavelength.

    co2 also adds to the high temperatures it further states.

  281. Doug Cotton says:

    No, the main point about Venus is that its temperature gradient (adiabatic lapse rate) can be calculated with the same formula as for Earth. This would be far too much of a coincidence if it weren’t a function of gravity. Physics has said this all along.

    My paper is finished but being reviewed before publication. It helps to point out the significance of Jelding’s work, which others have also looked into.

    Venus surface temperature could not have been a result of the mean 2.1 W/m^2 (to 4.1 W/m^2 maximum) of Solar insolation that reaches its surface.

    Instead, its lapse rate has formed naturally quite independently of any radiation or backradiation between its surface and lower atmosphere.

    In other words, the base of the atmosphere got hot by itself (nearly all energy having been absorbed from incident Solar radiation) and the base of the atmosphere actually heated the surface in the case of Venus. It has to have been that way.

    The Venus temperatures prove that the ALR is naturally and autonomous. So the same thing must have happened on Earth with the ALR setting the gradient and hence the surface temperature relating to mean Solar insolation.

    This is a paradigm shift and gets right away from the issues of back radiation. The lapse rate determines surface temperature: nothing else does or ever will on any planet with an atmosphere.

    As I have said all along, the effect of back radiation is nullified by non-radiative cooling just compensating. The reason it compensates is that the ALR has to be maintained.

    Here we are worrying on Earth about 1 molecule in 2,500 being carbon dioxide. Yet Venus has over 96% CO2 in its atmosphere and its surface temperature is still calculated by the same formula as on Earth. Think about it!

    PS I don’t know which “abrupt” climate change events you’re talking about. There are short and long term natural cycles and obviously ENSO cycles are short term and can pass through maxima or minima fairly quickly. What dates are you talking about? Whatever it is probably has more to do with weather conditions than climate.

  282. Doug Cotton says:

    sorry typo – Jelbring

  283. Doug Cotton says:

    I don’t know why you say I don’t explain how climate changes. Surely you have read something on the website you can open by clicking my name above. See also the Appendix of my March 2012 paper on PSI.

    Let me quote the Abstract from Jelbring’s article linked above – which you said you read …

    “the calculated values of AGW, accepted by many contemporary climate scientists, are thus irrelevant and probably quite insignificant (not detectable) in relation to natural processes causing climate change.

  284. TonyM says:

    Salvatore : you claim “ in the absence of so-called greenhouse gases, the Earth would be 33 degrees cooler than it is today…”

    I’m not convinced it would be 33 deg cooler than today if we take out GHG (includes water). The surface would tend to get hotter in the daytime and cool down faster at night. Average T in a non equilibrium system is itself questionable and certainly meaningless in terms of S-B calculations.

    As for whether an equilibrium atmosphere would result in a constant T or still have a lapse rate – that is quite a conundrum. Nothing about the atmosphere is ever simple.

    One argument put forward is that at equilibrium a lapse rate would breach the 2nd L of T and that is something that I would not bet against if correct (i.e. if all the tricky bits are accounted for as there are routes for energy transfers from the system). On the other hand DC has pointed to an experiment to suggest a lapse rate when a column of air is isolated in a gravity field. I wish there were more controlled experiments for this is the key essence of science. So for the experiments to hold then the 2nd L of T needs to be satisfied – yes I would question the experiment if the 2nd Law was really breached!!

    Either way this does not refute Doug Cotton’s concept of how heat is transferred as his proposal does not rely on equilibrium conditions but rather an atmosphere with ongoing heat transfer by mechanisms other than radiation alone. Any suppression of radiation by GHG would be offset by these other mechanisms.

    This alone would not define the T of the earth and the lapse rate would exist with or without GHG irrespective of the surface T (within reason!!). The balance being heat in equal to heat out in any reasonable period.

    Ironically the mechanism DC suggests of GHG suppression of outgoing radiation at the surface leads to exactly the sort of feedbacks embodied in the GHG theory of water vapour feedback – so it seems a bit of a full circle.

    I’ll stick with Dr Spencer’s views: too enigmatic and variable to model as a whole. GHG increases will provide some minor change to surface T avg (a lot less if the measuring sites are not biased :)).

    If attribution could be isolated to GHG alone from the mid 40’s then empirically less than 0.5 deg C has resulted when Hansen’s formula calls for more than 1 deg from CO2 plus feedbacks. If one allows for questionable T data and that T was already undergoing an inherent increase prior to this period then this suggests that much less than 0.5 deg can be attributed to CO2 increases. That would suggest little or no feedbacks (which are supposed to double the CO2 forcing).

  285. Doug Cotton says:

    There’s a series of detailed posts I just written here.


  286. Doug Cotton says:

    TonyM and others:

    Please read the above mentioned posts on Judith Curry Open Thread, even starting further up the thread. (NewClimateChangeTheory is also me.)

    There’s no violation of the 2nd LoT, because it relates to entropy rather than just temperature. So when potential energy interchanges equually with kinetic energy there is no change in entropy.

    The apparent downward movement of warmer temperatures is not related to actual air movement that could be detected as with upward convection. It’s just a case of a few more molecules moving more in a downward direction than there are molecules moving upwards when the source of warming is from the top, as it probably is during the Venus day.

  287. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore said” The explanation for the high temperatures on Venus according to the study(which makes sense to me)is due in large part to a thick bank of clouds containing high levels of sufuric acid which absorb infrared radiation at the 2.3 micron wavelength.

    You need to remember than over 96% of the Venus atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which absorbs Solar insolation in the 2 micron band and some other wavelengths.

    But only 2.1 W/m^2 of the Solar radiation gets through to the surface. An extra 0.074 W/m^2 is estimated to flow out from the core heat. So obviously the 500 degrees of warming is not happening at the surface as a result of this small amount of energy. It’s like moonlight!

    Energy flows in during the 120-Earth-day Venus daylight hours and raises the whole temperature plot from the TOA to the surface by about 5 degrees, retaining the same gradient. The area between the parallel plots indicates the extra temporary energy stored in the long day, and released in the long night.

    Although more incident radiation gets absorbed at the top, the extra energy appears to be evenly distributed from top to bottom. It’s not quite the case though, because the extra molecules that moved downwards gained temperature as PE became KE.

    Anyway, overall, the lapse rate is maintained and the temperature it creates autonomously at the base of the atmosphere determines the surface temperature. A small variation of about 5 degrees probably also happens in the mean surface temperature between day and night on Venus – a bit like between summer and winter at appropriate latitudes on Earth.

    If the lapse rate develops autonomously on Venus (as it must) then it will do so on Earth also. So you can forget all your calculations relating to radiation, and come to grips with the fact that the 33 degrees of warming (probably far more actually if the 255K figure were calculated with a bit of integration over a sphere) has nothing to do with any radiative greenhouse effect. It’s all created by an autonomously generated lapse rate.


  288. Doug Cotton says:


    It’s worth remembering that the Earth’s atmosphere also absorbs energy somewhat unevenly at various altitudes. Some incident Solar radiation is absorbed at different levels, and then energy leaving the surface by latent heat and radiation can appear again at various altitudes.

    So it’s not all that dissimilar to the warming of the Venus atmosphere by incident Solar radiation being absorbed at various heights.

    As on Venus, the mechanism which develops the (pseudo) adiabatic lapse rate smoothes out the initial temperature variations caused by the varying amounts of warming at different altitudes.

    There will be more in my new paper which is currently being reviewed by several PSI members, and will then be subjected to online review for a month or so by anyone who cares to comment. (Watch the PROM menu on the PSI site.)

  289. Why you would want to compare Venus to Earth, two planets which are SO DIFFERENT from one another does not makes sense to begin with.

  290. Stephen Wilde says:

    The atmosphere warms the Earth by 33C simply because a block of kinetic energy is constantly being recycled up and down within the atmosphere. The cycling process involves the conversion of that kinetic energy to gravitational potential energy and back again. During the cycling process it is not available to the radiative process but it does become available for radiating out to space when it is returned from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy again at the surface.

    The amount of that locked away kinetic energy is determined by mass and gravity. The length of time it spends within the loop is linked to the strength of insolation because that is what determines the height of the atmosphere and thus the maximum amount of rising and falling that can occur.

    On average globally on Earth the amount of energy being returned to the surface at any given time is enough to raise the surface temperature by 33C.

    It is often said the clouds send DWIR down to the ground but I think that is false.

    The returning kinetic energy should appear in the global energy budget as returning kinetic energy and NOT DWIR.

    A regards clouds we can ignore convective clouds because they represent acceleration of rising air and pull air in from all around.

    The type of clouds that are normally referred to as warming the surface are stratiform clouds.

    However such clouds normally occur at a boundary between near surface air and warmer upper air. In other words they are a sign that a temperature inversion is present.

    In order to form a cloud the cooler lower layer reduces the temperature of the air at the bottom of the warmer upper air to below its dew point.

    Now, with or without clouds an inversion prevents further uplift for so long as it lasts.

    Therefore with no uplift there is no conversion of kinetic energy to gravitational potential energy beneath the cloud or inversion.

    That air is effectively removed from the loop temporarily.

    Meanwhile all around that parcel of non ascending air (taking the globe as a whole) there is descending air which is still releasing kinetic energy whilst that parcel of air remains thermally static.

    Thus does kinetic energy transfer into that parcel from all around it until it reaches the same temperature as the cloud or the base of any inversion. Since all is then at the same temperature, cloud, ground and the air in between, any net radiative transfer drops to zero.

    The smaller the cloud the faster kinetic energy will transfer in from around about.

    The parcel of air does not get warmer than the cloud or the layer above unless further heated by insolation or passing over a warm ocean surface and if that happens the stratiform cloud will dissipate and if enough energy is available the inversion will break down with convection beginning again whereupon the parcel of air will slowly rejoin the loop from which it had been excluded.

    There is a special feature as regards a cloud over water.

    The oceans lose energy to air at a variable rate depending on internal ocean movements. The ocean will do as it pleases regardless of any small cloud that might float above.

    Thus when a cloud suppresses the conversion of kinetic energy to gravitational potential energy by reducing convection the ocean nonetheless keeps releasing energy into the air below the cloud.

    Thus can the air under a cloud above the ocean become warmer when the cloud passes overhead.

    That phenomenon has been puzzling a lot of people for a long time and hitherto it was thought to be a result of downward IR from the cloud.

    There we have a plausible non radiative explanation for the observed effect of clouds and for the observed surface temperature being higher than the S-B prediction.

  291. Doug is saying the latent heat from water vapor carried to the atmosphere gives us a laspe rate, which maintains the surface temperatures, as it relates to mean solar radiation.

    That is the basic point you are trying to make ,and back radiation is compensated for by non radiative cooling processes. Latent heat transfer as an example.

    Then you are saying gravity determines the density of the atmosphere as you go up through it, which also results in giving a lapse rate.

    This is the jest of what you are saying???

  292. Stephen Wilde says:

    Hi Salvatore.

    Atmospheric mass plus the strength of the gravitational field give the slope of the (ideal) lapse rate.

    Insolation determines the expansion of the atmosphere and thus the height of the atmosphere through through which the ideal lapse rate then runs.

    The combination determines surface temperature.

    That slope must be achieved on average through the whole atmosphere for thermal equilibrium to be achieved.

    In practice the atmosphere is built up of multiple layers each with differing compositions and each layer has a separate (and variable) lapse rate (reversed in Earth’s stratosphere).

    However the combined slopes of all the actual slopes must net out to the ideal lapse rate if the atmosphere is to be retained.

    Where Doug’s comments slot in (correctly) is that non radiative processes including latent heat transport are the mechanisms whereby the energy flow up through the atmosphere is regulated to ensure that the divergence between the ideal lapse rate and the sum of the multiple actual lapse rates is eliminated.

    If there is ever a net divergence from the ideal lapse rate (which actually happens constantly) then the system response is always negative and the actual lapse rates will change to slow down or speed up the flows of energy between layers as necessary to retain equilibrium.

  293. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore completely misunderstands me when he claims incorrectly that “latent heat from water vapor carried to the atmosphere gives us a lapse rate, which maintains the surface temperatures, as it relates to mean solar radiation.

    I know there was a bit about latent heat in last week’s article on PSI, though I didn’t write that introductory section, only the body of the article after my name was mentioned.

    Latent heat should not be assumed to be the cause of the lapse rate.

    Perhaps I had better give you more from my paper under review. I don’t entirely agree with Stephen about the lapse rate being related to actual movement of air parcels in convection processes: rather (I believe) it is more to do with the net upward or downward movement of molecules themselves. This is how and why it can happen in a closed cylinder of air. So here’s an excerpt from the paper …

    A close look at those energy diagrams, however, usually shows that something like 50% of incident Solar radiation is absorbed by the surface, but only about 7% actual enters the very base of the atmosphere by conduction processes, sometimes called “diffusion” when gases are involved. Most of the energy which enters the atmosphere (either on the way down or back up) is actually spread unevenly over a wide range of altitudes. This does not appear consistent with any concept of a fairly uniform gradient in temperature. (i.e. adiabatic lapse rate [10])

    It is even less believable when we consider the planet Venus, or indeed other planets with dense atmospheres, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Jelbring [11] points out that the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus has about 92 times the mass of Earth’s atmosphere. He calculated that only about 2.5% of incident Solar radiation gets through to the surface. It is obvious that the atmosphere is being heated primarily by incident Solar radiation, rather than the very small amount of radiation returned by the surface from that 2.5% which made it through the dense atmosphere.

    One might indeed assume that, if gravity had no effect, the top of the Venus atmosphere would be hotter than the base, as surely more incident radiation would be absorbed up there. But the reality is that the base of the atmosphere is about 500 K degrees above the mean radiating temperature for the whole “planet plus atmosphere” system. So it is hotter at the base and much colder at the top.

    Let us go back to when the planet first formed and imagine the surface temperature to be at about the radiating temperature of the planet. Perhaps you are thinking that heat would somehow build up over millions of years to achieve the temperatures we now observe. Well, unfortunately the Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits that. When radiation leaves the surface and then, even if all of it returns as backradiation, the net result cannot cause the temperature to rise. Yes, it will slow the rate of cooling, but it will never raise the temperature with any additional heat transfer into the surface. Will the Sun then raise the temperature more the next day? No, simple calculations show that, what is less than 10% of the Solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface could never account for an extra 500 degrees.

    Now Jelbring explains that what he calls the “pseudo adiabatic lapse rate” on Earth is only about 70% of the theoretical lapse rate calculated for an ideal gas in a closed system, perhaps shaped like a tall cylinder with uniform cross-section. In fact, for the atmosphere, the top of the “cylinder” should be larger than the base if the walls are strictly perpendicular to the curved surface. Furthermore, I would suggest that we should consider the effective top of the atmosphere to be the mesopause (at the top of the mesosphere which is above the stratosphere) because there is so little atmosphere above that, and temperatures go wild in the thermosphere where different processes are involved. But by treating the mesopause as the top, we do include a substantial “hump” in the temperature plot as it passes through the stratosphere. Reasons such as this probably contribute to the pseudo rates being only about two-thirds of the theoretical rates, and this seems to be the case for other planets as well.

    Alberto Miatello has written a comprehensive three page analysis of what is happening on Venus in Section 8 of his paper Refutation of the “Greenhouse Effect” Theory on a Thermodynamic and Hydrostatic Basis. [12] He calculates an even lower amount of radiation reaching the Venus surface, namely a mere 2.1 W / m^2. But he goes on to show that the calculated adiabatic lapse rate accurately determines the surface temperatures on both Venus and Earth.

    This accuracy of the surface temperature calculations (which were made for these two very different planets) cannot be coincidental. One has to ask why we on Earth should be so worried about one carbon dioxide molecule in about 2,500 air molecules, when the atmosphere of Venus is nearly all carbon dioxide. Yet the surface temperature is still able to be calculated in the same way.

    The big question is, how does this temperature gradient form in the first place? Would we be able to observe a naturally occurring temperature gradient caused by gravity in a laboratory experiment? What mechanism causes it, and would it violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
    Molecules in motion are continually exchanging potential energy (PE) with kinetic energy (KE) whenever there is any vertical component in the path of their “free flight” between collisions. This ensures that entropy does not change in an adiabatic process, that is one in which no external energy is added and no energy lost outside the system being considered. However, this exchange between PE and KE can lead to a variation in the temperature of a small region of molecules, because temperature is a measure of kinetic energy, not potential energy. Thus hot air can rise by convection and cool adiabatically as its kinetic energy is partly converted to extra potential energy.

    But can this interchange of potential energy and kinetic energy take place in a sealed cylinder of air in a laboratory? Well, Roderick Graeff [13] believes he has demonstrated that it can. What is interesting to note is that the walls of the container also exhibited a temperature gradient, so it may be that molecules in a solid also react in a similar way, thus slightly impeding upward conduction. If this did not happen, then one could argue that a wire running outside the container could conduct heat from the base to the top, thus creating perpetual motion. So it seems that such conduction would not happen, also due to the force of gravity.


    As the energy is absorbed the more dense regions at the base are able to hold more molecules with more kinetic energy, and so a higher temperature is measured there. As molecules move between collisions their trajectory must be influenced by the force of gravity, just as happens with any object in flight. This creates a greater propensity for more molecules to accumulate in lower regions of the atmosphere, but numbers are also limited by pressure considerations, and so kinetic energy will propel some molecules upwards. Equilibrium is established between these upward and downward tendencies and, as a result, a uniform temperature gradient is established.





  294. J Williams says:

    Interesting post, Doug. As you already know, reference #13 in your last post is the paper with the very blatant errors about Arctic sea ice. For instance, the paper you refer to states: “Arctic ice extent appears to have reached a minimum in 2007 and since then has been increasing in area as well as thickness…” and “…since 2007 the Arctic ice extent has been increasing and the ice volume has nearly tripled.” This from a paper with a 2012 publication date.

    I ask yet again: Do you honestly believe these statements to be true? It’s a simple yes or no question.

  295. Doug Cotton says:

    I see no point whatsoever in discussing Artic sea ice. I have previously suggested that you communicate with the author of that paper about that particular issue.

    I do know that Arctic sea ice has varied a lot in the historic records, and that the Arctic was at similar temperatures to the present back in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.

    Natural cycles (probably controlled by planets) are what determines temperatures on Earth. It is only temperatures that I am interested in – not quantities of ice which are determined by many factors and tend to lag temperature trends anyway. I don’t pretend to be an expert in all fields, and Arctic ice is certainly not one of them. So I don’t know – OK?

  296. I am trying to get into your mind Doug, so I will say things that will be wrong in your eyes,because I am trying to understand what you are saying.

    Now the article that features Joe Postma makes much more sense to me, then when you say it.

    let me try again. Are you trying to say the role of latent heat is to help bring the temperature of the earth up by the 33k, rather then the greenhouse gas effect? Is that what you are saying for latent heat’s role.

    Then you are saying the laspe rate which maintains surface temperature is regulated by gravity and solar radiation?

    From Joe Postma article

    The atm. is not a secondary source of energy and only latent heat via the hydrological cycle traps energy. It is the latent heat effect.

    So the latent heat effect is not effecting the laspe rate per say, but the energy in the system? That is what you are both trying to say?

  297. Doug Cotton says:

    A quick “Google” re Arctic ice found this article, which shows a clear decline, in keeping with slightly declining temperatures I would suggest.

    There may be confusion between extent of ice cover and actual volume of ice. Show me the quote you were referring to if it actually said volume, rather than extent.

  298. Christopher Game says:

    The drivel being talked here by Doug Cotton and Stephen Wilde are a sad spectacle. It is distressingly counterproductive, because it provides comfort and succour for the IPCC gang who say that those who oppose the IPCC AGW dogma are nuts or ignoramuses or crooks. Doug claims career-long expertise in physics, but he continues endlessly to spout drivel here. Stephen’s case different; at least he does not claim career-based expertise in physics, but what he says above is still drivel. I suppose Dr Spencer allows them to continue because he believes in free speech within the law.

    One may think of a tall (say 100 km tall) sealed vessel of gas (for example air), the vessel perfectly isolating the gas from external heat conduction and radiation, but located in a gravitational field such as that at the surface of the earth. After a long time, thermodynamic equilibrium is approached or reached. In thermodynamic equilibrium the temperature of the gas is the same throughout the height and breadth of the vessel.

    Authorities for this are Gibbs, Maxwell, Boltzmann, and more recently Chapman, S., Cowling, T.G., ‘The Mathematical Theory of Non-uniform Gases: An Account of the Kinetic Theory of Viscosity, Thermal Conduction, and Diffusion in Gases’, Cambridge University Press, 1939, and several later editions including paperbacks, in section 4.14 on page 76: “the temperature must be uniform throughout the gas”. A simpler discussion is in Bailyn, M., ‘A Survey of Thermodynamics’, American Institute of Physics Press, New York, ISBN 0-88318-797-3, pp. 254-256. There are some more recent papers in the literature about this, considering some details; they eventually confirm the reasoning of the authorities.

  299. Doug Cotton says:

    I probably wasn’t making myself clear in the last post. So I quote the linked item, regarding Arctic ice …

    There was indeed a large decrease in 2007

    the change during 2010 was stunning

    There must be a significant time lag with ice, and the peak temperatures in 1998 have probably had delayed responses.

    With 30 years of slight cooling anticipated between 1998 and 2027, I would not be too worried about the ice up there.

  300. Christopher Game always makes sense.

    Christopher, I am trying to get all of the angles from all the opinions, because I don’t think anyone on the board in this discussion is 100% wrong.

    I wish an experiment could be carried out with two columns of atmosphere with a set amount of solar radiation coming into them, and a set amount of olr leaving ,and have two different concentrations of greenhose gases in each column of atmosphere to see the effects on the temperature for each column of atmosphere the greenhouse gases would have.

    Why can’t that simple experiment be peformed to put an end to this argument about the 33k increase in earth’s temp. due or not due to greenhouse gases?

  301. The problem with Doug, is he makes it come out the way he wants it to come out,and is very hard to understand unless one really digs into what he is saying, which I am not going to put all that effort into. Not unless I thought he was really correct, and I still think it would be very hard to get a real good understanding of many of his arguments.

    The paper by Joe Postma ,at least explains it clearly and makes it understandable ,agree or not agree.

  302. J Williams says:

    Well, Doug, I was just asking if you agree with two very specific statements in the report that you are asking visitors to Dr. Spencer’s web page to read. If “I don’t know” is your honest response, despite the fact that numerous readily accessible data sets don’t support the statements, then so be it. There is not a single data set I’m aware of that supports the statements that appear in the reference you provided—not even close.

    I will let you know why I was asking. There are all kinds of information available today about climate change, and people must make choices about which information sources they will trust. You, for instance, are directing people to many different documents; but my cursory look at just one of them quickly revealed some obvious and blatant errors that ultimately raise credibility concerns.

    That being said, I am also willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. If someone pointed out a blatant error in my work, I would take it seriously and promptly look into determining whether an error exists; and if so, I would correct the error or at the very least acknowledge it. On the other hand, when people are dismissive about such inquiries or are uninterested in even acknowledging the possibility of errors, then I am left to believe that scientific accuracy is not their priority.

    However, the choice is still yours. You can still acknowledge that the following statement is obviously incorrect: “…since 2007 the Arctic ice extent has been increasing and the ice volume has nearly tripled.”

  303. Doug Cotton says:

    Well, Christopher, Boltzmann and Co were wrong to a small extent, just as Newton was shown to be wrong to a small extent by Einstein.

    And you are wrong in saying In thermodynamic equilibrium the temperature of the gas is the same throughout the height and breadth of the vessel. Thus you have no explanation for the temperature gradient found in the Venus atmosphere which absorbs incident Solar raiation as it enters from the top down.

    Some how that temperature plot, by a complete fluke you must be saying, just happens to meet the surface at just the right temperature which calculations based on gravity deduce. You’re on such a lucky streak, you’d better go an win Lotto. (Read [13] above.)


  304. Doug Cotton says:

    JW: I still can’t find the quote you keep referring to in [13] – Please provide a link and quote page / paragraph numbers. Even if the author is mistaken on one point, that does not invalidate other material by the same author, especially when it is backed up by physics and other research, such as is the case. Several authors have addressed the issue of gravitation causing lapse rates, and it’s even still there in Wikipedia – a source which has been greatly tampered with by warmists. They must have missed this one – see [10] above.

  305. Doug I have saved all the papers you did or have sent. I may read one page per day.


  307. J Williams says:

    Doug: I made a mistake in my earlier post (….see, those words aren’t too difficult to say!!!). It’s reference #12 in your earlier post, not #13. You can easily find the quotes by searching that reference for “Arctic.”

    My point isn’t that people must be perfect. We all make mistakes. My concern is twofold: (1) the statements in the paper regarding Arctic sea ice are *blatantly* wrong; I wouldn’t characterize them as an author simply “being mistaken.” And, (2) I agree with you that errors in papers do not necessarily invalidate the other points raised; but, when authors (or others who refer to people to such papers) are unwilling to acknowledge or correct those errors, then the overall credibility is hopelessly compromised, in my humble opinion.

  308. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore (and others):

    As I said above (in bold type) Latent heat should not be assumed to be the cause of the lapse rate.

    The lapse rate forms all by itself as molecules move up and down under the influence of gravity and pressure. As they do so, PE interchanges with KE, so there is no change in entropy, and thus no violation of 2nd LoT.

    Joe Postma and myself in my first paper and last week’s article, were countering the arguments put forward by the IPCC et al regarding back radiation causing supposedly 33 degrees of warming. Even the 33 degrees is way out, because the 255 K is based on a flat Earth, rather than reality. In my new paper I call this “The First School of Thought.”

    I then go on to discuss, and I quote from the paper …

    “The second, more recent school of thought is that a natural temperature gradient just somehow formed in the atmosphere, and would have been there with or without a surface beneath it adding any energy to warm such an atmosphere. This gradient relates to a natural adiabatic lapse rate and it causes the base of the atmosphere to be warmer than the top. The warm base then interacts with the surface by both radiation and conduction, ensuring that the surface is at a very similar temperature.”

    Yes, the release of latent heat in the atmosphere adds energy and causes a temporary “hump” in the temperature plot in that vicinity. But the hump (and any dips) get smoothed out by the molecular process described in the long quote in an earlier comment above.

  309. Doug Cotton says:

    JW: OK, found it. But I consider it important to read the whole of that section which appears valid on the whole to me, and in keeping with what I have read elsewhere. He makes the point that Solar radiation has very little effect melting Arctic sea ice when it shines at an angle of 3 degrees to the surface for half the year only.

    Arctic sea ice melts due to relatively warm air “sucked in” from the tropics, if that air is still above freezing point, but more so by warm ocean currents from further South and the rate of flow of that water under the ice – that’s physics. And so, depending on the rate of flow of such currents, and just how much (or how little) of the tropical warm waters make it up to the Arctic, almost anything is possible regarding the volume of ice. Its volume certainly does not have to reflect temperatures in the Arctic Circle.

    Now, he was indeed talking only about volume when he said it had nearly tripled. (He just said surface area had “increased.”) He quoted “Sabin Colton 2012” as a source of that information. I will assume that he quoted Colton correctly, though I haven’t read the paper.

    I still say that I have no evidence that the volume might not have nearly tripled. Satellite images only show surface coverage, which is totally different to volume. You need to know the depth that the ice extends below the surface.

    So far I have only found this information about Sabin Colton, but maybe you can find more.

    “Dr Colton is a generalist scientist and, as a college professor, taught courses from inorganic and organic chemistry to biochemistry and molecular biology to nuclear physics and astronomy.”

    There is so much fudging going on regarding Arctic data that I have no more reason to believe articles such as that I linked above, than to believe Prof. Sabin Colton.

  310. J Williams says:

    Doug, whether you read the whole section of that “paper” or just parts of it, Arctic sea ice extent has *not* been increasing since 2007 and the volume has definitely *not* tripled since then. And, of course, the reference provided in that “paper” is not even listed in the citations at the end. To be honest, I have no interest in finding more about Mr. Colton, because the bottom line is that the statements about Arctic sea ice are blatantly erroneous. Your earlier post even had links to a website that clearly confirmed that Arctic sea ice volume is decreasing, yet you can’t bring yourself to say the statements in that “paper” are incorrect.

    Quite amusing that you conclude your comment by stating that people fudge Arctic data, yet you are completely unwilling to admit the errors in the “paper” that you are encouraging others to read. It’s all about credibility, my friend…

  311. Doug Cotton says:

    JW – The second plot here indicates significant increasing Arctic Sea Ice volume from 2007 to 2011 (nearly double and apparently extrapolating to more by 2012)

    In the above we read sea ice volume over this period ranges from 28,700 km3 in April to 12,300 km3 in September. That’s a factor of 2.33x in 5 months!

    There is a lot of uncertainty – it is mostly worked out with models. You can’t be as emphatic as you are that Dr Sabin Colton was wrong. Alberto is becoming the meat in the sandwich. The models show it varies by a factor of 2.33x between summer and winter each year. I suppose figures could be inaccurate if they are not annual means or seasonally adjusted. We need to find the paper by Colton – he does write on climate blogs, so might be able to be asked directly about this.

  312. J Williams says:

    Doug, Doug, Doug—Are you *really* citing PIOMAS as evidence that Arctic sea ice volume is *increasing*? Are we not looking at the same downward trend line in the first figure on the website that you just posted???

  313. Doug Cotton says:

    No, I stand corrected re the second plot as I read the x-axis incorrectly. I still don’t wear glasses at age 66, but maybe need them for such small print which shows months, not years. (The big type said 1979 to 2011.)

    Now that I’ve read more, I agree that I do consider Dr Sabin Colton must be wrong if he has been correctly quoted by Alberto. I’ll endeavour to find out more from Alberto. Maybe someone somewhere has fudged figures by cherry-picking a period from September in 2007 to April in 2012 or similar.

    It is however interesting to note that these modellers only seem to think of radiation from the Sun, not all the other factors correctly mentioned by Alberto as to why Arctic ice melts. They conclude …

    However, when spread over the area covered by Arctic sea ice, the additional energy required to melt this much sea ice is actually quite small. It corresponds to about 0.4 Wm-2 . That’s like leaving a very small and dim flashlight bulb continuously burning on every square meter of ice. Tracking down such a small difference in energy is very difficult, and underscores why we need to look at longer time series and consider the uncertainties in our measurements and calculations.

  314. J Williams says:

    Thanks for the response, Doug.

    My final remark: It is pretty much common knowledge that Arctic sea ice extent and volume have been decreasing and that 2012 was a record-breaking year. I know some people who will question the causes of this, but I don’t know a single respectable scientist who for a second believes that Arctic sea ice extent and volume are increasing, let alone threefold.

    Given that you were unaware of the very well documented sea ice trend, I don’t think you have any business commenting on the PIOMAS modelers and what they do or don’t know.

    Have a good night…

  315. Doug Cotton says:

    I wish an experiment could be carried out with two columns of atmosphere with a set amount of solar radiation coming into them, and a set amount of olr leaving ,and have two different concentrations of greenhose gases in each column of atmosphere. wrote Salvatore.

    You have that on Earth and Venus – just adjust for the different insolation levels, and the calculations for the adiabatic lapse rate based on gravity tell you the surface temperature.

  316. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore, Stephen (and others)

    Energy enters the atmosphere by a variety of processes illustrated here. Latent heat plays a significant role, but not a dominating one. In fact much of the energy originally in the oceans returns there in precipitation. Rain can be nearly as warm as the ocean just before it strikes it.

    The natural process which established the adiabatic lapse rate based on gravity continues to act by smoothing out the irregularities which arise from the somewhat random depositing of energy at various levels by all these processes. I am saying that this must happen by gravity acting on individual molecules dragging then downwards, whilst pressure offsets this with an upward push. At equilibrium there is a temperature gradient, even in a closed cylinder of air in a laboratory.

    This can be the only possible explanation for the observed temperatures in the Venus atmosphere, where less than 3 W/m^2 appears at the surface from both above and below it, yet it is 500 degrees hotter than the expected radiating temperature.


  317. Stephen Wilde says:

    Looks like I’ve sparked off quite an exchange here.

    I am in agreement with Doug when he says this:

    “it is more to do with the net upward or downward movement of molecules themselves.”

    When molecules move up they gain gravitational potential energy but lose kinetic energy (cooling) and when moving down they lose gravitational potential energy and gain kinetic energy (warming).

    But the thing is that within very small parameters the amount of rising is exactly the same as the amount of falling for the globe as a whole. What goes up must come down.

    Rising molecules in low surface pressure regions and falling molecules in high surface pressure regions.

    Here is a lightweight description that even Christopher Game may be able to understand:

    Just regard the falling ball as representing a single air molecule.

    “Then finally, as is predicted by the 2nd Law of Energy, all of the gravitational potential energy ended up as low-grade thermal energy.”

    That is how the surface is warmed by a descending atmosphere in the absence of insolation.

    Now put that pressure induced surface warming into the Earth’s energy budget in place of so called downwelling infra red radiation and all the numbers balance.

    A pressure induced greenhouse effect that has nothing whatever to do with radiative physics except in so far as the balancing of the radiation budget is a consequence of all the non radiative processes within an atmosphere.

    Radiation is just what is left over after all the non radiative processes have run their course.

    The surface is 33C warmer than the S-B equation predicts because there is loop of energy in the atmosphere in the form of gravitational potential energy which is being constantly recycled back to the surface in addition to ongoing insolation.

    The numbers all balance because at the same time exactly the same amount of incoming solar energy is constantly renewing the gravitational potential energy in the atmospheric loop due to insolation causing warm air to rise from the surface.

    But that incoming solar energy has already been factored into the surface temprature BEFORE the air rises so when it comes back down again it has to be ADDED to the figure for insolation which gives the higher surface temperature.

    The situation is then reversed at top of atmosphere.

    At the top of atmosphere the energy taken out in the form of gravitational potential energy by the rising air has already been factored out by the time the air reaches the top of atmosphere temperature but since the surface is 33C warmer the surface radiates more and the missing portion is replaced to leave the top of atmosphere energy exchange in balance.

    So there you have a fully sustainable system with a surface warmer than S-B thinks it should be but the global energy budget still balanced.

    That happens without involving downward IR from the atmosphere so if downward IR has no place GHGs are no threat whatever in terms of a change in surface temperature.

    They would have an effect on air circulation though but that is a separate issue

  318. Doug Cotton says:


    Mmmmm – we are nearly in agreement, Stephen. This is where it gets hard to explain what I believe happens at the molecular level, but I’ll give it a go.

    Firstly, imagine an atmosphere without convection. Venus gets close to this because it is so dense. There is also very little wind because it rotates so slowly (244 Earth days per revolution) and so we can just about consider it to be a static atmosphere. Yet the (pseudo) adiabatic lapse rate is still observed and the same calculations that work for Earth also work there.

    We know there are many more molecules where the pressure is higher, so we can assume there is a fairly smooth (near linear) decline in the density of molecules with increasing altitude.

    So molecules don’t have to travel large distances up and dorm. Nor is it any restriction that as many go up as go down, because we already have the distribution we need. Energy can transfer in molecular collisions, without any particular molecule having to travel a significant distance.

    So the temperature gradient is a bit like a concrete road going straight down a mountainside. If you pour loads of sand on it at various points (representing absorbed heat at different altitudes) the molecular interactions get temporarily thrown out of the nice equilibrium state they were in. The sand (heat) spreads out and blows away (energy gets radiated away) and it all settles back down to the supporting road.

    However, if there is a long-term increase in mean Solar insolation levels it is more like adding a thin layer of concrete to the whole surface, creating a new road surface (temperature plot) which is higher but is still parallel to the old one and still has the same gradient. This is representative of what happens during warming periods in the natural ~1,000 (maybe ~1,400) year cycle and the superimposed ~60 year cycle.

    So it’s as if the individual molecules being pulled downwards by gravity and pushed up by pressure from beneath realise they are in the wrong place on top of the pile of sand. So, like grains of sand spreading out, some go one way and some another way until the temperature hump (or dip) levels out and everything gets back to the natural gradient. Or, more precisely, their energy goes in different directions through collisions.

    Hence, on Venus, if too much incident insolation is absorbed at the top of the atmosphere, the extra kinetic energy will be “bounced” down the chain (rather like conduction, but better called diffusion) without the individual molecules actually having to travel very far.

    This creates an apparent heat flow, but it can only ever involve equal interchanges of PE and KE and thus no change in entropy, and so no violation of 2nd LoT.

    Also, while this is happening, each layer in the Venus atmosphere will radiate away whatever extra energy it absorbs and hasn’t sent elsewhere by diffusion, so the temperature falls back to the base line.

    As you go from day to night, I suggest that the whole temperature plot from the Venus surface to the TOA shifts downwards about 5 degrees, whilst retaining the same gradient.

    Whatever happens, it is apparent that the surface itself will remain very close in temperature to the base of the atmosphere and its temperature is in fact at least “supported” by that of the base of the atmosphere, because conduction would prevent it getting significantly cooler. Stored energy beneath the crust would also have a stabilising effect as on Earth.

    The overriding consideration is that, for both Earth and Venus, as well as other planets with thick enough atmospheres – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – this process must have happened in the atmosphere first (because of the effect of gravity) and then the surface temperature was established by the that at the base of the atmosphere. The internal conduction plot from the core is then also set by the core temperature and the surface temperature. This of course all took a long time obviously at least millions of years, so, in the short term of just a few thousand years, the mass of energy under the surface changes little and so provides a solid stabilising effect.

    Hope that’s helped clarify my thinking on all this. It leaves the conventional back radiation and feedback concepts right out of consideration – simply because they cannot override the mechanism which maintains the adiabatic lapse rate. So much for the AGW conjecture!


  319. Stephen Wilde says:

    I agree with much of that Doug and will give some thought as to how it meshes into my propositions.

  320. Why must the air that is risng equal the air that is falling all over the globe ? Why what must come up ,must go down equal eachother?

    prove that ,show why that must be correct.

  321. Stephen Wilde says:


    I think the idea of conduction or diffusion is likely to dominate on Venus because of the atmospheric density and the fact that so little solar energy can reach the surface to induce convection.

    I like the analogy involving roads and sand grains.

    On Earth much more solar energy reaches ground and oceans so convection becomes the dominant process with the rising and falling of air parcels being the more significant mechanism for keeping the surface warm.

    However the dominant mechanism makes no difference to the slope of the lapse rate determined by mass and gravity.

    Nonetheless the actual lapse rates only need to match that other ideal lapse rate on average through the entire vertical profile.

    The actual lapse rate at any given level can be almost anything but if it diverges from the ideal lapse rate at any given level the air circulation simply reconfigures to bring the average from surface to space back in line with the ideal lapse rate.

    Nothing other than mass and gravity can alter the adiabatic (ideal) lapse rate otherwise the atmosphere would be lost.

    The response to atmospheric compositional changes is therefore only ever circulatory changes and not any significant change to surface temperature.

    We are agreed that the key to it all is the conversion of energy from kinetic to gravitational potential energy and back again.

    What AGW theory does is take the surface temperature BEFORE kinetic is converted to potential yet take the top of atmosphere temperature AFTER that conversion has taken place.

    That is faulty accounting so no wonder they then have to invent DWIR to balance the books.

  322. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Why must the air that is rising equal the air that is falling all over the globe ?”

    Because it is a circulation.

  323. Stephen, the atmospheric temperature profile does not support your argument because it is a circulation.

    If the laspe rate decreased on a constant basis from the surface to the top of the atmosphere ,your theory would be valid.

    But it doesn’t, in the stratosphere and the thermosphere the temperatures increase as one goes up in altitude the opposite of what you are saying. You can’t account for that, due to what you are saying.

  324. I see no evidence of this loop that according to you is througout the atmosphere.
    How do you reconcile the loop with the stratosphere temp. profile, if you believe that this is the cause for the laspe rate.

    It works for the troposhere but not the stratosphere, I say it does not work that way ,Stephen.

    Anotherwords your thoughts just don’t support the data we have on the atmosphere.

    The truth is all the parts of what everyone is saying is correct and this includes the greenhouse gas theory but in the end all of you are wrong.

    I have a theory ,but I am not going to put it out just yet, but I think it is the best because it draws upon all that is being said from the two extreme views and tries to consolidate those views into a comprehensive result.

  325. Stephen says when the moleucles move up cooling takes place when they move down warming takes place. What do they do in the stratsosphere? Acoording to you they cool when the move up, warm when they move down. I don’t think they can do that in the stratosphere and have the temperatures increase.

    That will not wash,because that is a greenhouse gas effect and you state clearly that the greenhouse gas effect does not exist.

    Then your theory does nothing to account for the temperature profile in the thermosphere or for that matter why the temperatures suddenly drop in the mesosphere , remember you are saying no greenhouse gas effects, but then you say, the greenhouse gases would have an effect on air circulation ,and yet you say they have no effect on the surface temperature. You want it both ways.

    I am just pointing out what you are saying,and the

    data on the atmopshere, and showing how it does not reconcile in my opinion, and you are trying to have it both ways.

  326. Stephen Wilde says:


    Changes in composition do affect the actual lapse rates in individual layers such as the stratosphere.

    But in order to retain the atmosphere there must be an equal and negative change elsewhere.

    Hence the changing of atmospheric heights and gradients and shifting climate zones.

    Greenhouse gases do not contribute to the surface temperature but they do contribute to the configuration of the global air circulation.

  327. STEPHEN ,wants to say a greenhouse gas effects takes place in parts of our atmosphere ,while in other parts they don’t exist.How esle do you explain the stratospheric lapse rate.

    Then Stephen says greenhouse gases however have nothing to do with the 33k difference the earth’s surface temperature has, nothing to do with it. Yet I think he thinks they are involved in other levesl of our atmosphere. Does not wash.

    Does not make sense, even the way I have said it sounds kind of crazy,but I don’t know how else to make the point or points I am trying to make here.

  328. Stephen you can’t have it both ways.

  329. I have much thoughts on this, which I will release in due time. I have to run. Take Care

  330. Stephen Wilde says:


    You are having difficulty seeing it which may be in part a language issue.

    Do you recall how long it took for you to get my point about the sign of the solar effect on the atmosphere ?

    Don’t worry though. Lots of people can’t yet get it but some are getting very close.

  331. Steve i stil don’t agree with you on the sign of the slar effect on the atmosphere.

    I say the stratosphere cools less at the poles then the mid -latitudes in times of prolong solar activity.

    You say the stratosphere warms at times of low solar activity and warms more at the poles.


  332. Doug Cotton says:

    Stephen et al

    It’s really quite simple. In a gas in equilibrium in a closed container entropy is uniform in all regions, not temperature. This is achieved by diffusion. Hence (PE+KE) is constant. You’ll read about it when my new paper is published soon.

  333. Steve I stil don’t agree with you on the sign of the solar effect on the atmosphere.

    I say the stratosphere cools less at the poles then the mid -latitudes in times of prolong solar activity.

    You say the stratosphere warms at times of low solar activity and warms more at the poles.

    We derive the same result but with opposite conclusions.

    It is the same thng with the current greenhouse gas theory ,which we both think is BS, but our reasoning is much different.

    I think there is a greenhouse effect but it is limited, you think their is no greenhouse gas effect, and yet you must think greenhouse gases have a role, because your explanation for the different lapse rates at different levels of the atmosphere is due to changes in composition of the atmosphere which you say not only effect the lapse rate but the global air circulation.

    What changes in composition at different levels , it’s ozone a greenhouse gas. Through the greenhouse process it causes the stratopshere to warm with increasing elevation through absorbing UV light and emitting it, thus warming the stratosphere. No different then the role of water vapor and co2 in the troposphere,according to the greenhouse gas theory. The exact same principles.

    So you support the role of ozone and yet not the role of the other greenhouse gases, which work and operate under the same principles as ozone does.

    Further anything that contributes to the global air circulation is going to have an impact on the global surface temperatures.

    The temperature profile of our atmosphere proves you and Doug are wrong on some counts, not all but some and that the greenhouse gas theory is right on some counts but certainly not all counts.

    So I am taking a little from the two extremes views your’s and Doug’s and the AGW theory and coming up with something that is between the extremes ,which I think makes the most sense.

    Steve ou can clarify your position by explaining the role of ozone a greenhouse gas and why it is different then co2 or water vapor.

    That is how I see it , we all have a different take on this, and everyone thinks they are correct.

  334. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation. The ozone then reemits this energy in the form of heat into the stratosphere, warming it up in the mid-upper parts of the layer.
    The reason for the increase in temperatures in the stratosphere with height relates to the wavelength of the incoming solar energy. At higher altitudes in the stratosphere, ozone very efficiently absorbs UV at wavelengths between 200 and 350 nanometers. At lower altitudes in the stratosphere, ozone absorbs UV at wavelengths between 44 and 80 nanometers but much less efficiently. This results in a rate of warming in the lower stratosphere that is less than the rate higher in the stratosphere, causing the temperature to increase with height.

  335. same principles as co2 /water vapor roles in regards to olr in the troposhere.

    So Stephen why does it work in ozone’s case and not co2/water vapor?


  337. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore et al

    Firstly, see my post just above. The stratosphere is a red herring. It is hotter basically because there is a supply of energy there which is not typical of what happens in the troposphere. I suggest you consider the mesopause to be the effective TOA, so the stratosphere is just a hump in the overall temperature plot because of an excess of energy dumped there which can’t get away fast enough to smooth out the hump.

    The troposphere of Venus is a better example of how, in an “Ideal gas” it is entropy which “evens out” both in the horizontal and vertical components. So in equilibrium PE+KE=constant for every molecule when no energy enters or leaves the “column” of the troposphere being considered.

    There’s very little movement in the atmosphere of Venus, so it provides a good example of how this diffusion process achieves the observed temperature gradient, which, in any similar atmosphere, in practice is about two-thirds of the calculated value for the dry adiabatic lapse rate.

    That’s why it’s important to compare the results of such calculations on Earth and Venus (and Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune which have “qualifying” atmospheres) and, when we see that the “formula” works everywhere, we have very compelling evidence that the hypothesis is correct.

    Furthermore, we see very clearly that all that CO2 on Venus makes absolutely no difference. If Earth’s atmosphere were also 96% CO2 the surface temperature would be no different from what it is now. The plants might thrive, but we’d have to learn to breathe the stuff.

  338. Doug Cotton says:

    More precisely I should have said PE+KE=constant for every molecule whilst in “free flight” between collisions.

    Over the whole volume of the gas in an insulated sealed container, there is a tendency for entropy to become equal in all small regions. This necessitates a temperature gradient warmer at the base and cooler at the top.

  339. Doug Cotton says:

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics relates to entropy. It says entropy cannot decrease without some change applied to the system.

    So. whenever a molecule moves between collisions, entropy cannot decrease. Likewise when two molecules collide, entropy cannot decrease. Nor can it increase.

    So, in a perfectly insulated tall sealed cylinder of air, when equilibrium is reached, diffusion processes ensure that entropy in every small region is the same.

    Hence PE + KE = constant for every region, and so KE (and thus temperature) for each molecule (on average) is greater at the bottom and less at the top.

    Hence the surface gets warmed because of this temperature gradient and no other “reason” is applicable.

    As Graeff wrote Late in the 19th century J. Loschmidt believed that a vertical column of gas or a solid in an isolated system would show a temperature gradient under the influence of gravity, being cold at the top and warm at the bottom. L. Boltzmann and J. C. Maxwell disagreed.

    Loschmidt was right and Maxwell and Boltzmann were wrong.

    The greenhouse is shattered.

    • Kasuha says:

      Dear Mr. Cotton,
      To demonstrate how it breaks second law of thermodynamics all we need is to show that the effect does not work in liquids, particularly in water. Fortunately we have a 11 km high column of water available and we can see that no infernal temperatures are there at the bottom despite really high pressure gradient. The bottom of the Mariana Trench is rather cold instead.
      Please note that Loschmidt assumed the effect is held in all kinds of matter, gases, liquids and solids equally.
      Now that we know that water does not do that, we can build your column of air along with two water pipes with two heat exchangers, one at the bottom and one at the top. Plus we add a little turbine to the pipe and make sure the water can circulate only one way. It will happily do so once the circulation is established.
      Water gets heated up at the bottom and cooled down at the top by your “natural” temperature gradient and as a result, it circulates in the pipe with warmer water going up and colder water going down, driving the turbine.
      Now, our large container is sure thremally insulated but nobody said it has to be mechanically insulated. This means we may drive the turbine motion out and use the energy elsewhere.
      As long as the “natural” temperature gradient gets naturally re-established, we can keep driving energy out of the box, while the temperature of the box contents gradually declines until one or more of mechanical parts involved stops working (such as the water freezes). But theoretically we could get it down to absolute zero, using ideal materials.
      Now, unfortunately, that’s not what 2nd law of thermodynamics would allow us to do. It allows us to get energy from two different temperature bodies exchanging their energies, but it does not allow us to pump energy (heat) out from a body without spending even more energy elsewhere. Otherwise you’d not need to power your freezer, it would generate electricity for you instead, right?

  340. Doug Cotton says:

    Well, Kasuha, you go away and read this and then explain the mechanism which you think brought about the surface temperature on Venus.

    Your 11m column of water is far from being insulated from its surrounds. Convection currents can transport warmer water to shallower areas, and energy can also penetrate the crust through the sea bed.

    So, even as the water below is being warmed, upward convection currents can nullify the effect. The shape of the ocean bed is far from being flat like 70% or more of Earth’s surface. So there will be horizontal components in the currents as well as upward components.

    You also need to read about the adiabatic convective instability limit.

    You may well consider the science is not settled, but unless you have a very plausible explanation as to how the Venus surface has been raised about 500 degrees, despite a mere 2.1 W/m^2 of Solar insolation, and far less sub-surface heat flow, then perhaps that science is closer to being settled than you currently realise.

    So I await your explanation regarding Venus.

    Meanwhile, your water column is absurd, because even if you heated it at the base then, apart from thermal expansion, there would be no upward flow of water through your turbine. The only “evidence” you are basing your assumption upon is the temperature in one particular region in the ocean. In contrast, the link above talks about far more sophisticated lab experiments which support Loschmidt at least for liquids and gases.

    Be the first to design an experiment which disproves it for gases, and while you’re about it, if you think the temperature in the troposphere would be uniform if there were no water vapour, carbon dioxide or its colleagues, then tell me why you think an entropy gradient would thus develop with more entropy in the upper regions and reduced entropy in the lower regions?

    Now it’s midnight here in Sydney, so please don’t expect an immediate response.



  341. Doug Cotton says:

    PS: You seem to assume that Loschmidt (and I) were talking about convection currents. Otherwise, why do you assume the water would actually move? Does the metal in a rod move down the rod when heat is conducted? Hardly? Molecular collisions pass on the KE, not physical movement of whole regions of gas or water. I am not disputing that convection causes upward currents in air, but that is a totally different thing. The only connection is that the rate of cooling of any rising air will follow the adiabatic lapse rate, regardless of the rate or quantity of such rising air.

    I’m sure you know it, but others may wish to see the computational proof that the adiabatic lapse rate is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity – and so just as real as gravity itself. Good old Wikipedia still has it here without any tampering by alarmists.

    In case you missed earlier comments, my point is that it would be a remarkable coincidence if the surface temperatures on Venus and Earth just happened to be able to be calculated with the same formula using their respective value for gravitational force. You can read Jelbring on that.


    OPINION 1 -greenhouse gas theory is correct and more dramatic effects will be coming to earth’s climate as a result. Al Gore’s view ,James Hansen etc etc

    OPINION 2 -greenhouse gas theory is correct and will have some slight effects on the temperatures going forward. Roy Spencer’s view if I may say so. Christophere Game, I also think ,has this opinion.

    OPINION 3- greenhouse gas theory is correct, but will have no further impacts on the temperatures going forward. This is my view.

    OPINION 4- greenhouse gas theory is not correct and has nothing to do with the temperatures at all. Doug Cotton ,Stephen Wilde’s views.

    One of the views is the most correct ,time will tell which one it is.

  343. Stephen Wilde says:

    Salvatore said:

    “I say the stratosphere cools less at the poles then the mid -latitudes in times of prolong solar activity.

    You say the stratosphere warms at times of low solar activity and warms more at the poles”

    Well the stratosphere cooled when the sun was active and stopped cooling and may now be warming with the less active sun.

    Anyway we could both be right because all that my hypothesis requires is that when the sun is quiet the stratosphere above the poles warms relative to the stratosphere above the equator.

    That is what pushes the polar air across mid latitudes with more meridional jets.

    Your summary of the various opinions is appreciated and seems fair.

  344. Stephen Wilde says:

    Salvatore asked:

    “Steve can you clarify your position by explaining the role of ozone a greenhouse gas and why it is different then co2 or water vapor.”

    Ozone, CO2 and water vapour are all greenhouse gases and all alter the actual lapse rate to some extent where they are present.

    However that only affects global air circulation and not the temperature of the Earth as seen from space.

    I explained it elsewhere thus:

    “The lapse rate which depends on surface temperature and the efficiency of upward transport is the actual observed lapse rate and is affected by composition hence the differing actual lapse rates at different levels. Even a reversed lapse rate in the stratosphere due to the composition change related to ozone amounts.

    In the background is the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity with the height of the atmosphere and the distance through which the ideal lapse rate runs from surface to space being set by the power of the solar input.

    Now the thing is that if the ideal lapse rate is not maintained over time the atmosphere will be lost. Either it will be boiled off to space or it will fall back to congeal on the surface.

    Since the atmosphere has not been lost it must follow that if a composition change in one layer causes the actual lapse rate to diverge from the ideal lapse rate there must be a negative adjustment elsewhere in the vertical temperature profile.

    In the end the netted out sum of all the different actual lapse rates must equal or get very close to the ideal lapse rate.

    In reality it seems that some atmosphere is being lost to space all the time so it is likely that the sum of the actual lapse rates does fail to match the ideal lapse rate to a tiny degree.

    The very existence of an atmosphere is empirical proof that it must be so.

    The variables that will respond to imbalances will be the atmospheric heights between equator and pole and the gradients of those heights between equator and pole. There can be variable sizes of adjustments differentially at multiple levels to provide fine tuning.

    Altering the gradients between equator and pole will involve latitudinal shifting of climate zones and changes in jet stream tracks.

    Thus climate change is a negative system response to any forcing effect that seeks to increase the divergence between the ideal lapse rate and the net sum of all the actual lapse rates at different levels.

    Note that when those heights and gradients change they are forced to do so by differential changes in the balance of kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy at each height.

    The failure to consider and properly account for the transitions to and fro between kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy is the elephant in the room of the climate establishment.”

  345. Thanks Stephen. This is a tough subject, and you know anyone can spin it anyway they want to make it appear that what they are saying is correct.

    We both believe it is the sun, and we both believe the AGW theroy is a bunch of BS, so we are in the big picture close to one another. It is in the details where we disagree, and it is very hard for me to try to study what Doug says when I don’t believe it is correct.

    I have not done him justice because I really have not spent the time to study what he is saying, to come up with better questions or counter arguments. I have just been putting on more or less anything I could think of to show he is wrong, but again I have not spent the time that is really required to argue against his positions.

    I like some of what he says, I like some of what you say.

  346. Steve not to argue but you are saying co2,water vapor ,and ozone have roles in altering the lapse rate.

    Forget CO2 ,but I think water vapor/ozone as well as latent heat have very big roles in the determination of earth’s surface temperature,and or lapse rates.

    Also solar radiation radiation /gravity set the parameters for the lapse rate and surface temperatures.

    I refuse to accept using Venus to try to justify arguments for why earth’s lapse rate or surface temperatures are ,what they are.

    The two planets can’t be any different from one another from rotation , to atmospheric composition ,from distance from the sun, from their being no water on Venus, etc.etc.

    It apples and oranges, it is a waste of time in my opinion.



  348. Kasuha says:

    you fail to explain in what way would convection in water make problems in your perpetuum mobile. It’s actually built upon the idea that the gas behaves according to your imagination while the water behaves according to known laws of physics.

    Venus is irrelevant. Yes, it’s hot there and you fail to see why. That does not mean there is no other explanation than what you’ve come with.

  349. Kasuha, I am curious of the 4 opinions I posted which one do you think is the most correct?

  350. Stephen Wilde says:

    Venus is relevant because at the same atmospheric pressure within the atmosphere the temperature is the same as that on Earth adjusted only for distance from the sun.

    The heat is caused by the density of the atmosphere in which convection slows down the transmission of solar energy thereby locking a proportion of it away as gravitational potential energy which heats the surface when it is returned to the surface as kinetic energy by descending air.

    The thicker an atmosphere the longer energy remains in potential form, the more of it there is in that form and the more heat is returned to the surface.

    Rather than radiative physics the true cause of a warm surface beneath an atmosphere is the exchange of kinetic energy for potential energy and back again.

    It is a mechanical process and not a radiative process.

    • Kasuha says:

      Venus is irrelevant to the question whether the “gravity-induced temperature lapse” is a real physics phenomenon or not. Of course, if it was, it would be relevant for Venus. But the implication does not work the other way – the fact that Venus is hot does not mean anything about that.

      And while there are rather strong arguments for the option that it is not real phenomenon, there are only a few inconclusive experiments and a lot of handwaving in favor of the opposite. No real scientist will tell you with straight face that second law of thermodynamics is wrong.

      Originally I also thought that gravity should probably cause this. And I actually spent a whole lot of time studying the problem and understanding the underlying physics, that’s why I’m now so pretty darn sure it doesn’t work that way. Yes, it is very counterintuitive, but that’s how nature works.

      Not all simple and ellegant explanations are always the correct ones.

  351. Venus and Earth, can’t be more different.

  352. Stephen ,I would bet my last dollar that if water vapor and co2 concentratins or just water vapor concentrations were to increase significantly that the earth would be a much warmer place.

    My opinion.

    The temperature response in dry areas of the earth ,in contrast to tropical areas of the earth, show beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere have a big impact on the temperature, the range of temperature and how it changes. That is the reality.

    If you have a desert side by side with a tropical rain forest ,and all ther factors that you talk about that determine the surface temperature are in play the temperature results for the two places will be entirely different.

    Reason being incoming solar radiation ,outgoing radiation from earth would be different for both places, due to the make up of the atmosphere.

  353. Another point I want to bring up, is there are many of us out there Doug, that believe in the greenhouse gas theory and at the same time think the IPCC ,and global man made warming is a bunch of BS.

    Many papers have been written showing the greenhouse gas effect is real, but it’s impact on the future temperatures will be very limited,or not at all.

    So these people are not trying to pull a fast one over anyone. They have the same conclusion as you ,but from the opposite point of view.

    So you and your followers can not say those of us who believe in the greenhouse gas theory are utterly focused on radiation.

    I think a more accurate way to put it, is you and others that believe the way you do, are utterly not focused on radiation.

  354. Stephen Wilde says:

    “If you have a desert side by side with a tropical rain forest ,and all ther factors that you talk about that determine the surface temperature are in play the temperature results for the two places will be entirely different.”

    The actual lapse rates will be different from each other in each climate type and both will differ from the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity.

    However, taking the planet as a whole , the sum of all the actual lapse rates will always net out to the ideal lapse rate or very close to it because the air circulation will shift to achieve that outcome.

    The temperature of trhe planet as a whole does not change but there will be a redistribution of energy within the system.

    As long as one isolates the kinetic / potential energy loop within the atmosphere correctly then the S-B equation is observed.

    Note that ‘surface temperature’ is somewhat misleading because what we are considering is the temperature of the Earth as a whole and not just the temperature of a portion of the surface.

  355. Stephen Wilde says:


    Gravity on its own doesn’t do much.

    However, once the atmosphere is raised off the surface by solar input the slope of the lapse rate is set by the combination of mass and gravity.

    The higher the atmosphere rises the more complexity there can be within the atmosphere but the ideal lapse rate must always be complied with or the atmosphere will be lost.

    It is a real phenomenon and applicable to all planets.

  356. Doug Cotton says:

    Kasuah I can explain the Venus surface temperature but you can’t it seems. Try understanding, for example, Section 8 of this Miatello paper which you really should study if you are open minded. It’s you who can’t and don’t even try to explain it because I suspect your knowledge of atmospheric physics to be insufficient. So, go on, click the link I just gave you and let’s see if you are capable of a sensible physics argument against what Stephen and I are saying about the formation of a natural adiabatic lapse rate, being a function of gravity.

    And it does not in any way violate the Second Law because, in its more general form, the Second Law says entropy cannot decrease. So an interchange between molecular PE and KE (which happens all the time everywhere) in no way violates the Second Law. I hope you understand that much physics at least.

    Salvatore I think you also need to read that Section 8 in the paper linked above. The very fact that Venus and Earth are so different, and yet the same formula tells us the expected surface temperatures of each, as well as other planets, is statistical proof (with a very high confidence level) that adiabatic lapse rates, determined by gravity, are the key players in determining planetary surface temperatures on Earth, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. That’s the subject of my new paper.

  357. Massimo PORZIO says:

    What is intriguing me about the isothermal GHGs free atmosphere is:
    since the atmosphere at a certain altitude ends, the vertical speed should anyways decrease as the altitude rise (it should be zero at the very last outer layer), but to keep constant the KE we should have a proportional increase of the horizontal speed of the molecules.
    Does it exist a physical phenomenon which make the molecules behave that way?

    Someone knows?

  358. Doug Cotton says:

    Kasuah And, by the way, the lapse rate in water is less than a quarter of that in air because of the ratio of the specific heat values. So whilst it would be expected to produce ~20 degrees of warming at 11m depth, I suggest that the Sun could easily be heating the top layers by that amount, so such heating would eclipse the natural lapse rate anyway, to say nothing of the convection currents.

    So, if that represents the “standard of proof” that you consider sufficient to negate all the far more sophisticated empirical laboratory tests, then I’ll leave it to other readers to assess the cogency or otherwise of your argument.

  359. Doug Cotton says:

    Massimo You seem to be forgetting that the thermosphere (above the mesosphere) gets hot to the tune of hundreds of degrees. There is no reason to assume that molecules would only vibrate horizontally, and some do escape to space anyway through the exosphere.

    What is interesting about the ridiculous concept of an isothermal atmosphere (at least up to the mesopause) is that it would require a naturally formed entropy gradient being higher at the top where PE is greatest.

    To get there from the existing temperature gradient (in the hypothetical case involving suddenly removing all WV and radiating gases) would entail an increase in entropy at the top, but a decrease in entropy at the bottom, which we know would be a violation of the Second Law.

    Everyone: Every molecular collision in a gas preserves total entropy. Every movement of a molecule between collisions preserves entropy because the sum (PE+KE) remains constant. Entropy can never decrease.

    Just as temperature appears to “even out” by diffusion in a confined insulated space, surely it makes sense that it is really entropy that is “evening out” but, in a small space, we simply don’t notice what would be a difference of the order of one to three hundredths of a degree between floor and ceiling. But in atmospheric dimensions it is obvious.

  360. Stephen Wilde says:

    Here is how I described the issue over at tallbloke’s where I seem to have broken through to people’s minds at last so I’ll try it here too:

    “When kinetic energy is converted to potential energy by the interaction with gravity it disappears from the radiative process until it is returned to the surface again by descending air.

    So potential energy should be deducted from the surface energy budget when air rises, and because it has disappeared from view it must be deducted from the top of atmosphere energy budget too.

    Then when it descends it has to be added back to the surface energy budget when it returns as kinetic energy then added back to the top of atmosphere energy budget because it radiates straight out from the ground.

    Now if all that were instant there would be no problem but it all takes time so the process is out of sync with the normal radiative flow of solar shortwave in and longwave out.

    Because it is out of sync it must be regarded as a separate energy loop quite independent of the pass through of solar energy.

    What AGW proponents have done is to just take half the loop by taking the surface temperature BEFORE the conversion to potential energy and the top of atmosphere temperature AFTER the conversion to potential energy.

    That leads to double counting at the surface because the surface temperature then represents both insolation AND returning kinetic energy from the separate loop.

    The proper scenario is this:

    i) Solar shortwave in 255

    Longwave out 255

    and in a separate loop:

    ii) Kinetic energy removed from surface 33 (or whatever)

    Kinetic energy returned to surface 33.

    What they have done instead is this:

    i) At surface:

    Solar shortwave in 255 plus kinetic energy returning 33 = 288

    Longwave out 255 plus kinetic energy out 33 = 288.

    ii) At top of atmosphere:

    Solar shortwave in 255

    Longwave out 255.

    So obviously there is a discrepancy which they cover by postulating downward DWIR of 33


    There is also a kinetic/potential energy impact at top of atmosphere which they have ignored.


    solar shortwave in 255 plus 33 from warmer surface due to returning kinetic energy = 288

    longwave out 255 less 33 retained by atmosphere as potential energy = 222

    The two 33s cancel out so that leaves 255 as observed.

    So you can have the solar input passing straight through yet a further 33 being recycled up and down through the atmosphere which gives a warmer surface but no change in top of atmosphere energy balance.

    And without proposing a radiative solution involving DWIR.

    The important point then is that the 33 is a function of mass and gravity and NOT composition which is why other planets show similar lapse rate characteristics despite huge variations in composition.

    What has been overlooked is the effect of the time delay in the process of converting kinetic to potential and back again and having done that only taking account of one half of the loop.”

    Ongoing discussion here:

    The AGW accounting error as regards treatment of the kinetic / potential transition and back again ought to cause quite a stir.

    Radiative physics simply fails whilst energy is in potential form. It is a scandal that that seems not to have been picked up previously.

  361. Doug Cotton says:

    It’s ironic that Kasuah can’t see an analogy between the dense Venus atmosphere and the Earth’s oceans which he points out are very cold at 11m depth, but not as cold as most sub-zero layers of the atmosphere – it’s not ice down there, but the pressure would crush most submarines.

    So too would the pressure at the base of the Venus atmosphere where it’s about 92 times the pressure at Earth’s surface.

    It is accepted that there is only a trickle of heat getting through from the core of Venus, as on Earth. But only about 2.1 W/m^2 of Solar insolation gets through to the surface, much like what gets through to the deepest parts of the ocean.

    So the Venus atmosphere mostly receives Solar radiation from the top which then gets progressively absorbed on the way down.

    The Earth’s oceans mostly receive Solar radiation from the top which then gets progressively absorbed on the way down.

    But the base of the atmosphere on Venus is about 500 degrees above the temperature of the water at the floor of the deepest ocean.

    Explain Kasuah or anyone other than Stephen who knows why.

  362. Doug Cotton says:

    Stephen I wouldn’t be quoting the “flat Earth” figure of 33 degrees if I were you. Joe Postma and many others have pointed that the 255K figure should be much lower if calculated with integration over a rotating spherical surface. So something like 66, 77, 88 or 99 degrees might be closer to the mark, if you like multiples of 11.

    IMHO the atmospheric temperature gradient is simply adjusted on a microscopic scale at all levels of the atmosphere, just as it is (albeit almost imperceptibly) between the floor and ceiling of a room. The atmosphere can be thought of as lots of such rooms stacked up.

    The important point is that regions of air don’t even have to move, and nor do molecules have to move significant distances up or down.

    As a molecule moves between collisions its path is affected by the downward pull of gravity. So it has a bit more KE to impart at the next collision. Thus if we select a chain of such events (in which each molecule has a small net downward action) there will be more KE in the molecule at the end of the chain. Entropy will still be the same as that in the first molecule.

    The reverse happens with upward motion propelled by pressure from beneath, so the end result is that the lower molecules have more KE on average than the upper ones.

    I can understand that all this could be represented as a loop between top and bottom of the atmosphere, but I think people will have trouble visualising such. It seems you could divide the atmosphere at any level and say there were loops contained in both the upper and lower sections, for example.

    BTW, it’s a pity that Roger has censored me from contributing to the tallbloke thread. In so doing, he places his talkshop in the same category as SkS, SoD and Jeff’s Air Vent. Maybe you could draw this comment to his attention.

  363. Doug Cotton says:

    If, as is generally the case for perhaps over 99% of Earth’s surface, there is a small “step down” in temperature from the surface to the atmosphere at the interface, it is not possible for KE to be conducted (diffused) back from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface.

    Yes, the base of the atmosphere has, over the life of the Earth, autonomously achieved an equilibrium temperature determined by mean Solar insolation and the effective adiabatic lapse rate which is proportional to the gravitational force.

    However, where the surface is warmer its temperature is merely “supported” by that of the base of the atmosphere. It cannot fall significantly below that temperature in calm weather over a flat surface, but as the temperatures approach, the rate of conduction (diffusion) from the surface to the atmosphere will slow down – that’s standard physics. Rates of evaporative cooling do likewise.

    The slowing of these non-radiative processes depends on temperature differences right at the interface. In contrast, the slowing of radiative cooling (less than a third of all surface cooling) depends on the temperature of the source of radiation (which may be much higher in the atmosphere) and the proportion of the total potential Planck curve for that temperature which is actually “filled in” by the spectral lines of radiation. This is why carbon dioxide has less effect per molecule than water vapour, and WV less than a solid surface which may be close to a true blackbody if it has a wide range of elements in its composition.

    But, as I have said, any slowing of radiative cooling will be nullified by a compensating effect in non-radiative cooling. The pre-determined lapse rate is the main player in adjusting this compensation process.

  364. Stephen Wilde says:

    Doug Cotton said:

    “But, as I have said, any slowing of radiative cooling will be nullified by a compensating effect in non-radiative cooling. The pre-determined lapse rate is the main player in adjusting this compensation process”

    Yes I’ve been saying that since at least 2008 and proposed a variable speed for the hydrological cycle.

    I take the point that there doesn’t NEED to be vertical movement but if there is a relatively thin atmosphere then vertical movement is more easily achieved and the more vertical movement there is the faster the whole process occurs.In practice, vertical movement is the largest component of the process in any atmosphere that is not so dense that it is almost a solid.

    I don’t think anyone would have a problem envisaging a vertical loop in the troposphere because of the common knowledge about high and low pressure systems and Hadley or Ferrell cells,

    I agree that some might have a problem extendng that idea to the height of the whole atmosphere but then even in the stratosphere there is a large slow process known as the Brewer Dobson circulation.

    I think it is pretty clear that there would be similar circulations within every layer of the atmosphere so that merging their combined net effects into a single surface to top of atmosphere loop is by far the simplest solution.

    The accounting error at the heart of AGW theory needs to be widely publicised plus the fact that radiative physics completely fails to recognise the time taken by the kinetic/potential energy transition and back again.

    Quite simply, the longer that transition takes and the more energy tied up in that loop the higher the surface temperature can be with no effect of top of atmosphere radiative balance.

    In the absence of any effect on top of atmosphere balance the Earth’s temperature cannot change. Instead it will remaing tightly tied to solar input.

    It is that mechanical process that makes the surface beneath any atmosphere warmer than predicted by the S-B equation and not downward radiation from little radiators in the sky such as GHGs.

    The process involves the entire mass of the atmosphere so that the tiny increase in mass from our emissions would have no discernible effect.

    Finding that error effectively demolishes AGW theory.

  365. Kasuha says:

    I think any further discussion on how wrong you are is pointless, you clearly refuse to think about that option. Have fun with your dreams.

  366. Doug Cotton says:

    As was predictable, Kasuha still avoids a simple physical description of the process he considers is responsible for the high surface temperature on Venus. If you can’t explain the Venus situation (and indeed Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune as well) then you can’t get of Square 1 with any valid explanation of what is happening on planet Earth.

    Typical IPCC and KT Energy Budget Diagrams are so hopelessly incorrect that there is no way in which they could be adapted in concept to explain what happens on Venus. That’s the truth of the matter, and that’s why Kasuha is pulling out, not so gracefully.


  367. Doug Cotton says:

    Stephen and others

    Roger at Tallbloke’s Talkshop has not “approved” two posts of mine today, and he has made some comments as to why he feels justified in blocking anything and everything I submit. Personally I think it does his blog no good.

    Here is a copy of my reply to Rog (Tallbloke) which is awaiting moderation as I write ….

    I hope you grant me this opportunity to respond to your criticism in a courteous fashion.

    There is reasonable empirical evidence supporting what, after all, Claes Johnson has established with computational proof. I have outlined such in this article which appeared on PSI a couple of weeks ago.

    There is no more evidence for many suggestions which others write on your blog. I could point to numerous cases in the posts themselves, let alone the comments thereon.

    In my papers and articles on PSI there are over 30 references in total, including those in the paper soon to be published. As I’ve said, it seems reasonable to assume that, when I refer to such papers and articles that I am also implicitly referring to those references in support of what I’m writing.

    There may be some situations where I have made seemingly assertive statements, genuinely believing such to be original, or not being able to find similar published hypotheses.

    Science would never progress if no-one put forward original hypotheses, even if circumstances prevent solid empirical proof at the time, and that may be a relevant comment for Claes Johnson’s work. In my view, based on pretty extensive research I can assure you, I believe he is correct, I maintain that what he says really can’t be challenged with any thought experiment which would not violate 2nd LoT. But maybe it could be a worthwhile discussion thread here.

    I’m not here to push my views. There will be publicity for such if other members of PSI are supportive. I am here to discuss what is ground-breaking science from which you and all of us can learn.

    As I’ve said, you have the right to cut or comment on any comments I post, and subject them to moderation, So I fail to understand your blanket refusal and automatic blocking if I include my name as the commenter.


  368. Stephen Wilde says:


    Just my point of view but I think the problem with you hitching yourself to Claes and PSI is that they have until recently said no greenhouse effect at all. Period.

    Then when told that there was a previously (before the radiative crowd hijacked the term) understood greenhouse effect from non radiative causes they became abusive about so called ‘lukewarmers’.

    That put them outside the mainstream sceptical viewpoint. Rightly in my view which is one reason I chose not to join PSI when John Sullivan invited me to do so.

    Now recently I see an acceptance of the adiabatic pressure induced effect but still a bald assertion that there is no greenhouse effect and continuing abuse of what they call lukewarmers.

    Furthermore John appears to be suggesting that they themselves have always been proponents of the pressure induced warming effect whereas that is not so as far as I can recall but I am open to correction on that point.

    As far as I know I am the only sceptic/lukewarmer or whatever who has been consistent on this mass, gravity and pressure induced scenario since I first entered the game in 2008.

    Various of my early articles are now looking prescient because I went on from that base to describe how the Earth system would respond to changes in mere composition as opposed to changes in mass.

    More and more data is coming in to support my hypotheses.

  369. Doug Cotton says:


    Firstly, IMHO, the huge differences between Venus and Earth dispel any hypothesis pertaining to the composition of the atmosphere, rather than its mass and the force of gravity.

    Secondly, I have argued here that there is no GHE caused by backradiation, because any slowing of radiative cooling is compensated for by non-radiative cooling.

    All those involved in internal correspondence at PSI appear to support Claes Johnson’s conclusions in his Computational Blackbody Radiation which I discussed at length in my March 2012 paper and the above article.

    If Rog wishes to disbelieve such, despite what I consider satisfactory evidence (and certainly a lack of evidence for any contrary explanation) then that’s his personal decision.

    Likewise, if he wishes to disbelieve that a natural adiabatic lapse rate develops purely because there is a natural propensity for diffusion to effect an homogeneous entropy distribution, then so be it.

    But by blocking someone because he endeavours to put forward such ideas for discussion is contrary to an approach which would encourage the development of science.

    Instead I venture to suggest that he puts himself among those like Anthony Watt and owners of valuable domain names like SkS and SoD, who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. As soon as something gets posted for which they know they really have no answer, its out with the snippers and permanent blocks.

    Roger will probably find less co-operation from PSI members in the future if he continues his ban on myself.

  370. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Firstly, IMHO, the huge differences between Venus and Earth dispel any hypothesis pertaining to the composition of the atmosphere, rather than its mass and the force of gravity. ”

    You missed my point.

    Composition makes no difference to the lapse rate set by mass and gravity but it does make a difference to the circulation(s) within the atmosphere which always reconfigure to negate the effect of any changes in composition. That applies whether the net effect of CO2 is warming, cooling or zero.

    It is agreed that there is no RADIATIVE greenhouse effect so Claes and PSI are correct in that respect.

    There is, however a mass and gravity induced greenhouse effect creating the lapse rate and I thought you had agreed that we should call it something else. The term ‘Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement” seems to be becoming popular.

    Rog does not disbelieve the mass and gravity induced effect. Indeed I thought he embraced it.

    PSI needs to stop deriding those of us who have been proposing the mass and gravity effect all along as ‘lukewarmers’ and acknowledge that previously PSI has not supported that approach.

    PSI’s apparent change of position seems to bring them back into the mainstream.

    That is, there is a non radiative greenhouse effect involving the KE/PE exchange but the term was hi-jacked by radiative physics which overlooks the thermal impact of the KE/PE exchange.

    Now the original non radiative definition of the term ‘greenhouse effect’ has been fatally compromised so we are going to have to switch to ‘Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement’ as proposed by Nikolov and Keller.

    A planet with an atmosphere becomes warmer than one without an atmosphere simply because of the time delay in changimg Kinetic energy to potential energy and back again.

    The process is dependent on gravity mass and insolation and not composition of the atmosphere but composition can affect the air circulation.

    We can see how ozone in the stratosphere changes the actual lapse rate there for example and that affects circulation in both stratosphere and troposphere.

    The effect of human emissions is thereby reduced to irrelevance.

    It really is that simple.

  371. Doug Cotton says:

    Stephen, I do not consider the “blanket” effect of oxygen and nitrogen to be in any sense a “greenhouse effect” in the normal sense of the word. Lukewarmers (a term used in the right margin on WUWT) are those like Roy who still believe there is some feedback by radiation, but just don’t accept that it is as large as made out by the alarmists.

    In my view, this is not being sceptical at all of the main hypothesis that (they think) carbon dioxide can have some effect.

    Whether its 1 molecule in 2,500, or 1 in 1,000 or similar, carbon dioxide will have no significant effect on pressure or the adiabatic lapse rate. It will cause no return of energy to the surface. It will cause no overall slowing of the rate of cooling of the surface. Ironically, it will prevent some Solar radiation in the 2 micron band reaching and warming the surface – this having a slight cooling effect. But that’s the only effect it can have on surface temperatures.

    You will find that most, if not all, active members of PSI agree with these statements, so I feel quite at home there thanks.

  372. Doug Cotton says:

    Stephen said: A planet with an atmosphere becomes warmer than one without an atmosphere simply because of the time delay in changing Kinetic energy to potential energy and back again.

    That’s a bit assertive Stephen. KE and PE exchange to some extent in the short time that a molecule is in motion between collisions. The lapse rate (temperature gradient) is already established. Who knows how long it took since the formation of the planet, but I suspect very little time in fact.

    I know that I wrote in that article that it somehow depended on the time for convection to take place, but that was a simplified description which I would say now I probably shouldn’t have written that way, so I stand corrected. The gradient is just there. It gets temporary humps and dips, and it takes time to smoothe them out, but it’s not because of PE to KE or rates of convection – it’s just to do with weather conditions – how long the clouds hang around etc.

    It’s the temperature at the base of the atmosphere (which is set autonomously) that “supports” the surface temperature in the way I have described in an earlier comment.

  373. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Who knows how long it took since the formation of the planet, but I suspect very little time in fact”

    It started from the very first gas molecules because it was already warm enough to lift them off the surface.

    The relevant potential energy has been locked into the surface to top of atmosphere loop ever since.

    “The gradient is just there. It gets temporary humps and dips, and it takes time to smoothe them out, but it’s not because of PE to KE or rates of convection – it’s just to do with weather conditions – how long the clouds hang around etc.”

    The actual gradient in any given layer is affected by the composition of that layer which in turn can be affected by weather especially as regards local or regional humidity levels as you suggest.

    The actual gradient is always different from the gradient set by mass and gravity but the sum total of all the actual slopes averaged out to top of atmosphere must always equal the slope set by mass and gravity if the atmosphere is to be retained.

    “It’s the temperature at the base of the atmosphere (which is set autonomously) that “supports” the surface temperature”

    That temperature is set by insolation. No sun and the gases don’t get of the ground. The height they rise to is determined by the amount of solar energy reaching the planet.

    The gradient that follws from that temperature point is determined solely by mass and gravity (taking the entire atmosphere as a whole)

    The higher the atmosphere the more complex can be the structure of the layers and actual lapse rates within it.

    I’ve had a look at your latest article and I assume that the time is right for more than one person to come up with similar ideas because most of the points you make have already been included in my earlier published articles over the past 5 years.

    In particular I have been putting forward the water cycle as the modulating mechanism for many years.

  374. Massimo PORZIO says:

    first of all thanks to having considered my post
    Anyways you wrote: “You seem to be forgetting that the thermosphere (above the mesosphere) gets hot to the tune of hundreds of degrees. There is no reason to assume that molecules would only vibrate horizontally, and some do escape to space anyway through the exosphere.”
    Maybe I’ve been not clear, I know that the thermosphere is very hot, my question was for the proponents of the isothermal atmosphere not for you or Stephen who are critical about that.
    I would like they reply to my provocative question, because I’m open to learn anything which is known that could change my mind on this argument.
    I admit that I’m not an expert in the field (I know very little indeed), so since few months ago some experts told me that I was wrong thinking to a gravitational induced temperature gradient in a GHGs free atmosphere, I would like that they tell me if they have any plausible theory that explain how should the molecules move in the isothermal atmosphere along the altitude and in particular in the very last layer where the molecules should invert their vertical speed to avoid their runaway from the dominant gravitational mass of the system.

  375. Stephen and Doug your opinions are in the minority and further I don’t think you both agree with one another,on many items, although you seem to have some consensus.

    Where I differ with people that differ with both of you ,and I don’t agree with either one of you at all,is I think the composition and processes of the atmosphere (let’s say co2 /water vapor/convection/latent heat /evaporation/clouds ) are all a result of the energy in earth’s climatic system, not the cause of the amounts of energy in earth’s climatic system.

    How effective water vapor ,latent heat,co2,convection,clouds are, is all tied into the energy levels in the climatic system to begin with. They are all by products of the energy in the climatic system, and how much of a difference they will make between the equilibrium temp. based on energy in and out of the system with, versus without them ,will depend upon their concentrations. With their concentrations being tied into the energy levels to begin with.

    The basic structure of the lapse rate, being related to gravity and solar strength.

    Where we have a BIG BIG difference of opinion is I think once the amounts of energy in earth’s climatic system give rise to x concentrations of co2,water vapor, or regulate atmospheric processes like evaporation,convection, clouds , etc., they in turn bring the temperature to a new equilibrium temperature ,because they absorb or capture the olr radiation being emitted from the earth/atmosphere in the case of co2,and water vapor , and clouds, while convection and evaporation determine latent heat which then influences the lapse rate. But all of this is based upon the original amounts of energy in earth’s climatic system to begin with.

    That is why I think the temperature of the earth is 288k versus the 255k it would be,if it were based solely on the energy coming into and leaving the earth’s climatic system.

    Where I differ is co2,water vapor,clouds,evaporation,convection,latent heat don’t come first, and then determine the energy in the system. They come as a result of the energy in the system.

  376. The atmosphere of Venus is composed mainly of carbon dioxide, along with a small amount of nitrogen and other trace elements. The amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere is relatively small compared to the amount of carbon dioxide, but as the atmosphere is so much thicker than that on Earth, its total nitrogen content is roughly four times higher than Earth’s, even though on Earth nitrogen makes up about 78% of the atmosphere.[1][10]

    The atmosphere contains a range of interesting compounds in small quantities, including some based on hydrogen, such as hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF). There are carbon monoxide, water vapour and molecular oxygen as well.[2][3] Hydrogen is in relatively short supply in the Venusian atmosphere. A large amount of the planet’s hydrogen is theorised to have been lost to space,[11] with the remainder being mostly bound up in sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The loss of significant amounts of hydrogen is proved by a very high D/H ratio measured in the Venusian atmosphere.[3] The ratio is about 0.025, which is much higher than the terrestrial value of 1.6×10?4.[2] In addition, in the upper atmosphere of Venus D/H ratio is 1.5 higher than in the bulk atmosphere.[2]

    1761 drawing by Mikhail Lomonosov in his work on discovery of atmosphere of Venus
    [edit] Troposphere

    The atmosphere is divided into a number of sections depending on altitude. The densest part of the atmosphere, the troposphere, begins at the surface and extends upwards to 65 km. At the furnace-like surface the winds are slow,[1] but at the top of the troposphere the temperature and pressure reaches Earth-like levels and clouds pick up speed to 100 m/s.[3][12]

    The atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is about 92 times that of the Earth, similar to the pressure found 910 metres below the surface of the ocean. The atmosphere has a mass of 4.8×1020 kg, about 93 times the mass of the Earth’s total atmosphere.[1] The pressure found on Venus’s surface is high enough that the carbon dioxide is technically no longer a gas, but a supercritical fluid. The density of the air at the surface is 67 kg/m3, which is 6.5% that of liquid water on Earth.[1]

    The large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere together with water vapour and sulfur dioxide create a strong greenhouse effect, trapping solar energy and raising the surface temperature to around 740 K (467°C),[10] hotter than any other planet in the solar system, even that of Mercury despite being located farther out from the Sun and receiving only 25% of the solar energy Mercury does.[citation needed] The average temperature on the surface is above the melting points of lead 600 K (327°C), tin 505 K (232°C), and zinc 693 K (420°C). The thick troposphere also makes the difference in temperature between the day and night side small, even though the slow retrograde rotation of the planet causes a single solar day to last 116.5 days on Earth. The surface of Venus spends 58.3 days of darkness before the sun rises again behind the clouds.[1]




    (x Earth)























































    The troposphere on Venus contains 99% of the atmosphere by mass. Ninety percent of the atmosphere of Venus is within 28 km of the surface; by comparison, 90% of the atmosphere of Earth is within 10 km of the surface. At a height of 50 km the atmospheric pressure is approximately equal to that at the surface of Earth.[13] On the night side of Venus clouds can still be found at 80 km above the surface.[14]

    The area of the troposphere most similar to Earth is near the tropopause—the boundary between troposphere and mesosphere. It is located slightly above 50 km.[12] According to measurements by the Magellan and Venus Express probes, the area from 52.5 to 54 km has a temperature between 293 K (20 °C) and 310 K (37°C), and the area at 49.5 km above the surface is where the pressure becomes the same as Earth at sea level.[12][15] As manned ships sent to Venus would be able to compensate for differences in temperature to a certain extent, anywhere from about 50 to 54 km or so above the surface would be the easiest area in which to base an exploration or colony, where the temperature would be in the crucial “liquid water” range of 273 K (0°C) to 323 K (50°C) and the air pressure the same as habitable regions of Earth.[9][16] As CO2 is heavier than air, the colony’s air (nitrogen and oxygen) could keep the structure floating at that altitude like a dirigible.

    [edit] Circulation

    The circulation in Venus’s troposphere follows the so-called cyclostrophic approximation.[3] Its windspeeds are roughly determined by the balance of the pressure gradient and centrifugal forces in almost purely zonal flow. In contrast, the circulation in the Earth’s atmosphere is governed by the geostrophic balance.[3] Venus’s windspeeds can be directly measured only in the upper troposphere (tropopause), between 60–70 km, altitude, which corresponds to the upper cloud deck.[17] The cloud motion is usually observed in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, where the contrast between clouds is the highest.[17] The linear wind speeds at this level are about 100 ± 10 m/s at lower than 50° latitude. They are retrograde in the sense that they blow in the direction of the retrograde rotation of the planet.[17] The winds quickly decrease towards the higher latitudes, eventually reaching zero at the poles. Such strong cloud-top winds cause a phenomenon known as the super-rotation of the atmosphere.[3] In other words, these high-speed winds circle the whole planet faster than the planet itself rotates.[16] The super-rotation on Venus is differential, which means that the equatorial troposphere super-rotates more slowly than the troposphere at the midlatitudes.[17] The winds also have a strong vertical gradient. They decline deep in the troposphere with the rate of 3 m/s per km.[3] The winds near the surface of Venus are much slower than that on Earth. They actually move at only a few kilometres per hour (generally less than 2 m/s and with an average of 0.3 to 1.0 m/s), but due to the high density of the atmosphere at the surface, this is still enough to transport dust and small stones across the surface, much like a slow-moving current of water.[1][18]

    Meridional (north-south) component of the atmospheric circulation in the atmosphere of Venus. Note that the meridional circulation is much lower than the zonal circulation, which transports heat between the day and night sides of the planet
    All winds on Venus are ultimately driven by convection.[3] Hot air rises in the equatorial zone, where solar heating is concentrated, and flows to the poles. Such an almost-planetwide overturning of the troposphere is called Hadley circulation.[3] However, the meridional air motions are much slower than zonal winds. The poleward limit of the planet wide Hadley cell on Venus is near ±60° latitudes.[3] Here air starts to descend and returns to the equator below the clouds. This interpretation is supported by the distribution of the carbon monoxide, which is also concentrated in the vicinity of ±60° latitudes.[3] Poleward of the Hadley cell a different pattern of circulation is observed. In the latitude range 60°–70° cold polar collars exist.[3][6] They are characterised by temperatures about 30–40 K lower than in the upper troposphere at nearby latitudes.[6] The lower temperature is probably caused by the upwelling of the air in them and by the resulting adiabatic cooling.[6] Such an interpretation is supported by the denser and higher clouds in the collars. The clouds lie at 70–72 km altitude in the collars—about 5 km higher than at the poles and low latitudes.[3] A connection may exist between the cold collars and high speed midlatitude jets in which winds blow as fast as 140 m/s. Such jets are a natural consequence of the Hadley–type circulation and should exist on Venus between 55–60° latitude.[17]

    Odd structures known as polar vortices lie within the cold polar collars.[3] They are giant hurricane-like storms four times larger than their terrestrial analogs. Each vortex has two “eyes”—the centres of rotation, which are connected by distinct S-shaped cloud structures. Such double eyed structures are also called polar dipoles.[6] Vortexes rotate with the period of about 3 days in the direction of general super-rotation of the atmosphere.[6] The linear wind speeds are 35–50 m/s near their outer edges and zero at the poles.[6] The temperature at the cloud-tops in the polar vortexes are much higher than in the nearby polar collars reaching 250 K (?23°C).[6] The conventional interpretation of the polar vortexes is that they are anticyclones with downwelling in the centre and upwelling in the cold polar collars.[3] This type of circulation resembles the winter polar anticyclonic vortexes on Earth, especially the one found over Antarctica. The observations in the various infrared atmospheric windows indicate that the anticyclonic circulation observed near the poles may penetrate as deep as to 50 km altitude, i.e. to the base of the clouds.[6] The polar upper troposphere and mesosphere are extremely dynamic; large bright clouds may appear and disappear over the space of a few hours. One such event was observed by Venus Express between 9 and 13 January 2007, when the south polar region became brighter by 30%.[17] This event was probably caused by an injection of sulfur dioxide into the mesosphere, which then condensed forming a bright haze.[17] The two eyes in the vortexes have yet to be explained.[19]

    False colour near infrared (2.3 ?m) image of the deep atmosphere of Venus obtained by Galileo. The dark spots are clouds silhouetted against the very hot lower atmosphere emitting thermal infrared radiation.
    The first vortex on Venus was discovered at the north pole by the Pioneer Venus mission in 1978.[20] A discovery of the second large ‘double-eyed’ vortex at the south pole of Venus was made in the summer of 2006 by Venus Express, which came with no surprise.[19]

    [edit] Upper atmosphere and ionosphere

    The mesosphere of Venus extends from 65 km to 120 km in height, and the thermosphere begins at around 120, eventually reaching the upper limit of the atmosphere (exosphere) at about 220 to 350 km.[12] The exosphere is the altitude at which the atmosphere becomes collisionless.

    The mesosphere of Venus can be divided into two layers: the lower one between 62–73 km[21] and the upper one between 73–95 km.[12] In the first layer the temperature is nearly constant at 230 K (?43°C). This layer coincides with the upper cloud deck. In the second layer temperature starts to decrease again reaching about 165 K (?108°C) at the altitude of 95 km, where mesopause begins.[12] It is the coldest part of the Venusian dayside atmosphere.[2] In the dayside mesopause, which serves as a boundary between the mesophere and thermosphere and is located between 95–120 km, temperature grows up to a constant—about 300–400 K (27–127°C)—value prevalent in the thermosphere.[2] In contrast the nightside Venusian thermosphere is the coldest place on Venus with temperature as low as 100 K (?173°C). It is even called a cryosphere.[2]

  377. To Doug and Stephen they sure are alike. You can’t apply anything on Venus to make a case for the earth. Nothing. Zero.


  379. Everybody please read what I sent about VENUS , so you can see how ridiculous their arguments are, in trying to justify their opinions about earth based on what they think(wrongly) goes on with Venus.

    This is amazing.

  380. Stephen Wilde says:

    Whatever goes on in the Venusian atmosphere the fact is that at the same atmospheric pressure the temperature is the same as on Earth adjusted only for distance from sun.

    End of.

  381. The varius atmospheric temperature profiles as one goes through the atmosphere and place to place on the earth’s surface show that composition of the atmosphere plays a very important part in the determination of it’s laspe rate and the surface temperature in a given place.

    The energy loop or energy in /out of the system sets up the basic structure along with gravity and mass. They determine the energy in the system which allows the composition of the atmosphere and atmospheric processes to be what they are ,which then impacts or adjust the various temperatures from what they would be in their absence.

    To make my point if ozone concentrations were to change significantly in amounts and in altitudes ,do you think the lapse rate for the earth ,and surface temperatures TEMPERATURES would be the same?????

    If earth had zero water vapor do you think the laspe rate and SURFACE temperatures would be the same?

    How about volcanic eruptions they cause a change in the lapse rate and promote global gcooling. Why? becasue they emit so2 which changes the composition of the atmosphere, about a given level of energy coming into and out of the earth to begin with.

    You see it in the stratosphere through ozone, see it over deserts versus oceans, through water vapor content.

    See it in the mesosphere versus the stratosphere or the thermosphere, it is all composition of the atmosphere which gives all these various levels of the atmosphere their temp. characteristics.

    Basic sturcture of atm. again determined by gravity,mass., energy in and out but details determined by composition of atmosphere.

  382. Stephen you are wrong,wrong,wrong. Just my opinion.

  383. Stephen says the temperature is set by insolation and the gradient that follows is determined by mass and gravity.

    I say composition of the atmosphere is determined by energy in (insolation) and energy out and that composition make up of the atmosphere then changes the temperatures and gradients from what they would be.

    I agree insolation,mass and gravity give the basics for the surface temp. and the gradient that follows, but then all that is modified by the composition of the atmosphere and the atmospheric processes that take place in the atmosphere.

    Stephen says no. I say yes.

  384. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Basic sturcture of atm. again determined by gravity,mass., energy in and out but details determined by composition of atmosphere.”


    But the net sum of all the actual lapse rates in an atmosphere must net out to the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity.

    Otherwise the atmosphere would either boil off to space or freeze to the surface over time.

    The similarity between Venus and Earth at the same pressure level shows that the rule holds on average in both atmospheres despite their vast compositional differences.

    It should hold on every planet with an atmosphere.

  385. Stephen ,in an earlier post of yours you admit the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity will be modified by a desert versus a tropical rain forest. That is my point Stephen.

    So if the earth were a complete desert versus being a complete ocean you agree the lapse rate set by mass and gravity would be modified,and the surface temperatures would be different. That is what you said in your ealier post. That is what I am saying.

  386. My last comment for now.

    What I find so laugable about all of this is me and Stephen agree on the big picutre, we both believe the sun controls everything, we both believe the greenhouse gas arguments put forth by the IPCC is BS, we both believe in how and why the atmospheric circualtion will change for the most part during a prolong solar minimum event.

    On the otherhand Dr. Spencer, does not agree much with the above, and yet he thinks clouds, water vapor ,co2 have somekind of a role,like I do,which Stephen disagrees with. Radiative transfers.

    Yet my conclusions are much more like Stephen’s then Dr. Spencer’s. It’s just strange.

  387. Stephen keep talking. Answer my question about the earth being a complete desert verusus a complete ocean as to what happens to the ideal lapse rate. I want to learn something here. That is why I am doing this.

  388. Your last post is what I am trying to say. This could be language communication problems. It is hard not doing this in person, and I think I am not clear sometimes either.

    I have a hard time saying what I am trying to say especially when I have to put it on the message board in rather quick fashion.

  389. Stephen Wilde says:

    “So if the earth were a complete desert versus being a complete ocean you agree the lapse rate set by mass and gravity would be modified,and the surface temperatures would be different”

    Ah, I see the problem.

    What would happen in each case is that the vertical temperature profile and the equator to pole gradients would be different for a desert or an ocean but in the end if an atmosphere is to be retained each would have to net out to the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity.

    Now the surface temperature of a desert planet would indeed be very different to the surface temperature of an ocean planet but the total energy content of both systems would still be the same as that dictated by atmospheric mass and gravity if insolation were the same.

    It is just that the available energy will be distributed differently within each system.

    So it isn’t really the physical ‘surface’ of land or ocean that one needs to measure. Instead one should take the effective radiating level which would be at the same temperature (but at different heights) in both cases if mass, gravity and insolation were the same.

    Composition can vary the effective radiating height but not the system energy content or the temperature as measured from space.

  390. I think we made progress. Your sayng in the big picture the mass and gravity would make the energy content the same by compensating for the intial differnces,between the desert surface versus the water surface.
    That is what I was not getting I think

  391. Stephen Wilde says:

    Close enough Salvatore.

    It is the configuration of the air circulation that does the compensating.

    Variations in the KE/PE balance at different places and heights force the circulation into a new pattern that reconciles the effect of composition with the influence of mass and gravity.

    Dealing with your puzzlement has helped me refine my exposition.

  392. Doug Cotton says:

    Stephen Actually I didn’t write the bit about the water cycle – just the main part from where it mentions my name until the final quotes from Joe Postma. John O’Sullivan put it all together.

    We are basically saying the same thing. But it’s not really in that article, but in my new (as yet unpublished) paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures – A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms.”

    It’s probably best to wait till that is in the public arena and available for review by anyone, anywhere for about a month.

  393. Christopher Game says:

    The “effective radiating altitude” is important and is strongly affected by the greenhouse gas amounts. More greenhouse gas causes higher “effective radiating altitude”. When the “effective radiating altitude” is high, the land-sea surface temperature is also high, because convective circulation more or less takes the lapse rate of the troposphere towards the saturated adiabatic lapse rate, and consequently also the internal energy of the atmosphere is high. The land-sea surface temperature is very important. The great unknown is just precisely how strongly the “effective radiating altitude” is affected by the greenhouse gas amounts. The reason it is unknown is that the factors that drive low cloud amount are not known with enough precision.

  394. Doug Cotton says:

    I wrote “It’s the temperature at the base of the atmosphere (which is set autonomously) that “supports” the surface temperature”

    and Stephen replied: “That temperature is set by insolation.”

    To which I say: Yes, but mean insolation determines only the (weighted) mean of the whole temperature plot. It sets the “b” in the y=mx+b equation. Of course we need to know the height of the atmosphere also to derive the surface temperature.

    The propensity for entropy to be homogeneous sets the gradient m.

    So it is incorrect to assume that insolation is setting the surface temperature first and that the gradient follows. For if that happened, the mean would not be correct unless by some fluke. And it has to be correct so that “energy in” = “energy out.”

    This is why it is so important to understand what is happening on Venus and other planets. It is very obvious that the insolation of only 2.1 W/m^2 reaching the surface of Venus cannot be setting the temperature at the surface. Instead, what I described above for Earth is also what happens on Venus. This is what Salvatore does not comprehend and that’s why he thinks what happens on Venus is irrelevant. But it’s not irrelevant. Venus is in the same Solar system and the same formula works – which in itself provides cogent evidence that this is the correct analysis of the process. If Mercury had a thick enough atmosphere, it work work there too, as it does for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

    And, no, Salvatore, the lapse rate is not related to Solar strength – only to gravity. You can look up the formula and its derivation in Wikipedia. There’s no term in there for Solar strength. Solar intensity sets the b not the m.

    If you still don’t follow this brief outline, then I would ask you to wait for the more detailed discussion in my new paper.

    Again, Salvatore, you copy stuff without thinking about it. For example you copied The large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere together with water vapour and sulfur dioxide create a strong greenhouse effect, trapping solar energy and raising the surface temperature This is Venus you’re talking about, right? So, seeing that the atmosphere absorbs at least 97.5% of incident insolation, this “trapping” you are talking about is mostly happening as the Sun’s rays are coming into the atmosphere, right? But the atmosphere, even though hot, is nowhere near as hot as the surface. So you want to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics and transfer heat from the Venus atmosphere to the much hotter surface, do you? That’s not on! That’s why my explanation is far more plausible.

    Finally, to both of you, the composition of the atmosphere can cause minor humps and troughs on either side of the theoretical temperature plot – especially where there are suspended water droplets and/or water vapour. However, the overall mean gradient is based on gravity alone. That is the very reason why the same calculations work for both Venus and Earth, whose atmospheric composition could hardly be more different.

    There are indeed various processes which lead to compensation for temporary variation from the theoretical temperature plot. But the overriding mechanism which “fixes it up” is diffusion. You can see this in a closed room in your own home whenever you warm a corner of a room briefly, then turn off your heater and observe the process of diffusion “spread” the extra thermal energy homogeneously throughout the room. You probably don’t notice the small difference of about 0.02 degrees between the floor and ceiling, though, and that’s what results because it is actually entropy that is homogeneous, not temperature. We know this from the derivation of the adiabatic lapse rate. That’s standard physics, my friends.

    Finally, yes there would be a difference between an Earth covered by highly reflective deserts sands and one completely covered by water, or dark green vegetation. This is simply because there would be a difference in the emissivity, and thus a different mean radiating temperature. So, yes, you would expect differences in regions of the atmosphere above different surfaces, but it averages out over the globe.

  395. Doug Cotton says:

    I probably need to clarify that remark about highly reflective desert sands. Yes, being a light colour they do reflect a greater portion of visible white light. (Any photographer knows you need a shorter exposure on the beach.) But, because of its composition, sand will absorb more of the Solar insolation in the near IR spectrum. Again, we know sand on the beach is hotter underfoot than a nearby grass lawn.

    Now, as I have explained before, the most dominant heat transfer mechanism between the surface and the first two metres of the atmosphere (where we measure climate) is conduction (or “diffusion) resulting from molecular collisions at the interface. This is because the other main mechanisms (evaporative cooling and radiation) spread the energy which they transport over a wide range of altitudes, and some direct to space. So if the desert sands get hotter in the Sun than the grassy plains, so too will the air just above. I would expect more than average radiation in the atmosphere above.

    Puzzle for everyone

    I invite anyone to answer the question which I put to Salvatore (in my last post) about how the Venus surface gets so hot. If anyone can find an alternative explanation to mine then, provided their explanation also keeps within the laws of physics, I would like the opportunity to include it in my new paper and discuss the merits of such an explanation versus my own. Your contribution will be formally acknowledged in the paper. Any takers?


  396. Doug Cotton says:

    PS   You may also wish to watch this question being discussed on these other two blogs …

  397. Doug Cotton says:

    In my “puzzle” above, it may make it easier to understand if, instead of referring to entropy, you replace that with “the sum of molecular kinetic energy and potential energy.” Whenever a molecular is in “free flight” between collisions, there can be an interchange of PE and KE, but the total stays the same. Likewise, when two molecules collide, the total PE+KE for the two of them is unchanged, assuming no radiation occurs. Hence, as molecules move around and collide, the diffusion process leads to the PE+KE total eventually being about the same in any small region at any altitude. But those with lower PE at the base of the atmosphere have more KE, and thus temperature measurements are higher.

  398. Stephen Wilde says:

    Hi Doug.

    I think we are in agreement but with a couple of semantic differences.

    i) I agree that strength of the gravitational field sets the slope of the ideal lapse rate but it wouldn’t be there without any atmospheric mass so I tend to couple mass and gravity together.

    ii) I don’t mean to say that insolation sets the temperature and that the gradient follows.

    I meant that the gradient is as set by mass and gravity (or just gravity if you prefer) but the level of insolation at top of atmosphere (not at surface) sets the starting point for the slope at the surface.

    With that clarification I can deal with your point about the low level of solar energy reaching the Venusian surface because both the energy reaching the surface AND the energy diffusing down through the atmosphere from the insolation above both combine to set the starting point.

    iii) As regards vertical movement as against diffusion I think I said previously that it depends on atmospheric thickness. In a thin atmosphere more solar input gets to the surface to provoke convection and in a thick atmosphere less solar input gets to the surface so there is less upward convection and more downward diffusion.

    But in the end the thermal outcome is just the same.

    The importance of all this for AGW theory is that it involves the entire atmospheric mass in heating the surface so unless our CO2 significantly increases total atmospheric mass the thermal results would be insignificant even if we were wrong about there being a non radiative negative system response.

    So AGW theory fails on both counts and our negative system response isn’t even necessary to kill the AGW meme.

  399. Doug you have been given alternative reasons for why Venus is so hot, you just choose to not believe them.

    Stephen is saying gravity and mass sets the structure of the lapse rate for lack of a better word.

    I agree, but the details of a given lapse rate are a consequence of the type of surface beneath it, and the composition of the atmosphere in which the lapse rate is located.

    Gravity and mass and incoming solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere set what the lapse rate will be in it’s totality ,but composition of the atmosphere and surface conditions effect the details.

    Therefore Doug, the details of given lapse rates even though in totality may be the same for a planet with a given mass and gravity are going to be determined by the composition of the atmosphere and the surface beneath it.

    If earth were all covered with snow versus dark soil ,yes the totality of the lapse rates may be the same due to gravity and mass ,but the details as to how those values come to be the same will be much much different.

    The lapse rates in the two examples may equal out in the end ,but how they get there will be completely different.

  400. Doug Cotton says:

    Yes Stephen. The reasons I usually only mention Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is that they are the ones (in addition to Earth) that have a “qualifying atmosphere” which is not only dense enough, but also has sufficient height. So of course these atmospheres have mass.

    However, for much the same reason that objects of different mass still have the same acceleration in a gravitational field, the computations for the dry adiabatical lapse rate (here) show it proportional to g and inversely proportional to specific heat. So the composition affects it as a reslt of varying specific heat, rather than varying mass.

    The effective mean lapse rate seems to end up being about two thirds (maybe up to 90% on some planets) but the main point is that it is never zero, which is what is assumed in those 33 degree calculations. So what we are both demonstrating is that the effective lapse rate is fully sufficient in itself so as not to require even a single degree of warming by any backradiation.

    In regard to Venus, I have to say though that there would have been absolutely no radiation coming back from the surface which would have contrinuted to the original heating. Ant such upweling radiation would have to be less than the 2.1 W/m^2 originally received. Now that the surface is very close to the temperature of the base of the atmosphere, I suppose there could be a minor effect, but it would be less than 1% of the effect of the incident radiation absorbed by the atmosphere and diffused downwards.

    So, overall, it is the process of diffusing hotter temperatures towards the base which sets the temperature of the base of these atmospheres. This does not violate laws of thermodynamics, because, regarding 1st LoT there is no energy gain in the PE/KE exchange, and, regarding 2nd LoT, there is no reduction in entropy – which is what the 2nd LoT is really about. See this page in Wikipedia … example, ..

    The second law of thermodynamics states that in general the total entropy of any system will not decrease other than by increasing the entropy of some other system.

    Yes, I agree that the level of the temperature plot depends on the mean Solar radiation reaching the planet. This is simply because the mean radiation being emitted must balance. So there is indeed an equivalent altitude at which the radiation matches this level, whilst hotter altitudes radiate more and cooler ones less. It is not the geometric mid point of course, because radiation is proportional to T^4.

    The very fact that the calculations based on the lapse rate even work on Earth actually implies that the combination of the level of mean Solar insolation and g still determines the temperature at the base of the Earth’s atmosphere. So I am saying that, even though we know full well that plenty of energy flows back from the surface to the atmosphere, that would not be enough on its own to raise the atmosphere’s temperature from absolute zero to what it is. It is primarily happening because of the fact that the Sun heats the surface more during the day, so there is an outward flow especially at night. As I have been saying, the temperature at the base of the atmosphere “came first” and it “supports” the surface temperature. This is the very reason why long term variations in mean Solar insolation (possibly due somehow to planetary orbits and variations in Earth’s own distance from the SUn) are the cause of cyclic patterns in climate.

    (Maybe you’d like to draw this comment to Roger’s attention – click on the date and time line to get the link to any particular comment in a thread.)



  401. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore, the reason I don’t believe the alternatives is that I can prove they are not in accord with laws of physics. You go back to square one, and prove to me, if you can, that 2.1 W/m^2 of radiation reaching the Venus surface has any significant effect and/or contribution to nearly 500 degrees of heating. I don’t know why you have difficulty in imagining why. And any radiation process from a not-so-hot atmosphere on Venus simply cannot increase the temperature of the hotter surface without reducing entropy, which would very clearly violate the 2nd LoT. So what process are you thinking of my friend?

    Stephen and I have both explained to you and others that the only process relates to the natural, spontaneous, autonomous, self-producing adiabatic lapse rate whose value is determined by gravitational force and specific heat, and whose level is determined by the level of insolation reaching the planet. In the case of Venus, it is clear that the composition of the surface has nothing but a totally insignificant impact on its temperature.

    It is still open to anyone else to suggest an alternative, here or on Judith Curry or Jo Nova open threads.

  402. Doug Cotton says:

    PS Sorry about the typos in the first post today. Somehow I didn’t paste the corrected version which I usually fix up with a spell check.

  403. Arfur Bryant says:

    Gentlemen (Stephen, Salvator and Doug),

    This has been a fascinating, if somewhat esoteric, discussion , as it was on tallbloke’s…

    To state my position, I am a non-scientist cAGW sceptic. I am convinced that any effect of CO2 and other non-condensing GHGs is tiny or insignificant. However the radiative ability of water vapour may be significant. Radiative forcing is demonstrably not as effective as the pro-AGW commenters would assert. However, I would like to clarify a couple of things to help me get a handle on your ideas if I may.

    “The importance of all this for AGW theory is that it involves the entire atmospheric mass in heating the surface so unless our CO2 significantly increases total atmospheric mass the thermal results would be insignificant even if we were wrong about there being a non radiative negative system response.” (Stephen W)

    It would appear that the idea that CO2 can have a significant effect on the GHE (ok, radiative GHE if you prefer) is demonstrably no true. Simple logic and the observed data since 1850 explain this statement. However, it would also seem likely that CO2 and other radiative GHGs ‘should’ have at least an insignificant effect. The vast majority of molecules in the atmosphere are heated by conduction rather than radiation but there must be areas where a warmer atmosphere can transfer heat through radiation, even if on only a very small scale. A CO2 molecule radiating when very close to a cooler surface must transfer some energy to the surface. Is this not correct? If it is, then one cannot say that “There is no GHE” although it would probably be fair to say that the GHE is mostly independent of radiative forcing. Conduction, on the other hand, must play a far greater part than currently asserted by ‘warmists’, if only because there is such a paucity of radiative molecules in the atmosphere.

    So my question is: Why not just use the term Atmosphere Effect (AHE if you want)? As a non-scientist, I am frankly disturbed that so-called climate scientists continue to use a term that is so, er, unscientific. Nobody believes that a greenhouse works on the principle of differential absorption, so why perpetuate the falsity? All it does is reduce any respect the layman may have for scientists in general.

    A second question, are you sure you are not confusing adiabatic lapse rate with the environmental lapse rate? The adiabatic lapse rate is pretty much fixed across the planet, and has two basic rates – one for dry air and one for saturated air. The environmental lapse rate will change daily but is given a ‘normal’ figure based on the global mean. It would make sense that the DALR or SALR is dependent on gravity and atmospheric mass but I sometimes feel the two terms are used confusingly. Maybe its just me.

    Sorry to butt in. Just want to get things straight in my head.

  404. Doug Cotton says:

    Arfur Bryant

    Yes the “environmental lapse rate” terminology does basically represent the overall mean rate, which, as I mentioned, usually seems to be about two-thirds to 90% or so of the calculated dry ALR. The main point is that it is a temperature gradient which occurs spontaneously as a result of diffusion processes in which there is an interchange of PE and KE. The IPCC et al are essentially assuming it is zero to start with (their 255K) and somehow only gets created by backradiation.

    Regarding radiation from the atmosphere warming the surface, that only happens in very rare circumstances, such as Foehn winds and other rare weather events that cause the atmosphere to be warmer than the surface at the interface. In general, these events are so rare that it is reasonable to assume that there is, generally, a small step down in temperature from the surface to the atmosphere at the interface.

    The rest of my response regarding slowing of radiative cooling and compensating acceleration of non-radiative cooling is covered in the contribution I made to this article, starting from where my name is mentioned and continuing almost to the end of the article. Please pause to read that.

    Keep watching too for my new paper for which I’ll provide a link here and on the other two open threads at Judith Curry and Jo Nova where I’ve posted similar comments. (The corrected version without the typos and with the correct link for lapse rate is on those two blogs, here and here.)
    Basically this paper discusses the objections to the radiative argument, and it then demonstrates why the lapse rate must be autonomous, and so it “supports” surface temperatures on all planets with qualifying atmospheres.


  405. Stephen Wilde says:


    The new term ‘Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement’ (ATE) from Nikolov and Keller is proving popular.

    The DALR is the one closest to the pure, ideal (adiabatic) lapse rate set by mass and gravity but the ideal version is pretty much a mathematical construct which is never exactly observed in practice but matched on average through the entire atmospheric column.

    SALR is a version of the actual lapse rate which in practice varies greatly up through the atmosphere.

    The term environmental lapse rate I have seen used for both the ideal and actual lapse rates so I avoid it.

    The net effect of GHGs is somewhat unclear. I have found plausible cases for warming, cooling and zero.

    However, whatever the actual net effect the system response seems to be negative so as to eliminate it and maintain the ideal lapse rate on average from surface to space.

    The system response involves circulation changes so if the entire atmospheric mass is involved in setting up the present circulation then the effect from our emissions would be vanishingly small.

    I wouldn’t worry about positive feedback from water vapour either because global humidity seems stubbornly stable, even going down a fraction when warming occurs by some accounts.

  406. Doug Cotton says:

    Skeptical Warmist wrote (regarding Venus) on Judith Curry’s open thread: “Greenhouse gases serve to make the thermal gradient less steep between surface and space, thus slowing the rate of cooling of the surface and raising the equilibrium temperature.”

    (a) Such gases don’t make the natural adiabatic lapse rate less, because that rate is proportional to the force of gravity and inversely proportional to the specific heat – nothing else. The specific heat of carbon dioxide at around 500 K is about 4% less than that of nitrogen and so, since it is in the denominator, the adiabatic lapse rate for carbon dioxide is about 4% greater than that for nitrogen.

    (b) How does the energy “trapped” in the less hot atmosphere of Venus get back to the hotter surface? It can’t, because there is a law in physics called the Second Law of Thermodynamics about which you should read.

    (c) I told you, correctly, that the only effect that is physically possible would be a slowing of the rate of radiative cooling of the surface if and only if (iff) the surface were first heated somehow above the temperature of the radiating region of the atmosphere. That is correct physics. And even if the radiative component were slowed, the non-radiative cooling by conduction would simply speed up, or last longer into the Venus night and thus compensate and nullify any effect. In other words, the overall rate of surface cooling would not be affected, as happens on Earth.

    Only 3% of Solar insolation gets to the surface by any process. The atmosphere cannot magnify this effect and somehow multiply the incident radiation which it absorbs and send more to the surface !!!

    There is only 3% getting into the surface. That cannot heat the surface by 500 degrees so that it can then start cooling off and perhaps have its rate of cooling slowed by a mere 2 W/m^2 which is a generous estimate of the maximum possible backradiation. Whatever insolation is absorbed by conduction into the surface during its day has ample time at night to come back out again, because the rate of conduction into the surface is about the same as the rate of conduction back out again, and the night is about as long as the day – each ~120 Earth days.

  407. Doug Cotton says:

    The concept of backradiation being “needed” to raise the surface temperature by 33 degrees (or whatever the correct value really ought to be – more like 66 degrees) is wrong because it is all done by diffusion processes which bring about the adiabatic lapse rate.

    And since the adiabatic lapse rate has to happen (as it does spontaneously) then there is no net affect upon it due to rates of surface cooling, rates of convection or radiation. These things just temporarily stir things up a bit and it all just settles down again to the calculated gradient when considered over the full atmosphere.

    Nothing can stop the tendency of diffusion processes “evening out” the total PE + KE in molecular collision processes.

    When any molecule is in “free flight” between collisions there will be an interchange of some PE and KE, but the total stays the same. However, when two molecules collide, the total of the PE+KE for the two of them stays the same, but it is evenly distributed. So diffusion “evens out” the sum of PE and KE. What it does not do is just even out KE. The reason is simply because gravity acts upon each molecule when in flight, just as it does on any object in flight in a gravitational field.

    Those molecules which end up lower down (with less PE) thus have more KE and so any small region of them displays a warmer temperature than a region higher up. It’s all automatic, even without air movement.

    So Maxwell and Boltzmann were wrong and Loschmidt was right back in the 19th century. There is a natural vertical temperature gradient even in a well insulated closed room, with the air near the floor being about 0.02 degree warmer than that near the ceiling. The implications for any radiative GHE are obvious.

  408. Doug states the mean levels of solar insolation help determine the temperature at the base of the atmosphere,along with gravity.

    Wrong Doug it is the mean solar radiation coming into the system versus how much gets reflected out,or goes out through other means ,which wil determine the temperature at the surface or base of the atmosphere. Factors that will impact this will be cloud cover,surface albedo ,and atmospheric composition,and volcanic activity. End of story.

    This is the correct view ,your diffusion of of surface heat carried to atmosphere via oxygen and nitrogen is also ridiculous.

    I have the basic correct view here ,and this is the message I will be stressing to the public.

    For balance I may show the two wrong extreme views being yours and the IPCC’S view.

    Doug again I will ask you what is your prediction for the mean global surface temperature by year 2020 in contrast to to today’s temperature?

    My prediction based on the concepts I use will be -.8c cooler for the globe by 2020. What is your prediction? Let’s hear it. A very simple question which you constantly avoid.

  409. Doug states since the adiabatic lapse rate has to happen there is no net effect upon it due to the rate of surface cooling,rate of convection and radiation.

    Doug you don’t know what you are talking about.

  410. Doug you specialty is physics ,you should stick to physics and try not to apply it to climate. Your climate knowledge is very inadequate to say the least.

  411. I am so glad we have people like Dr. Spencer, Christopher Game , who want to take the IPCC on, but in a sensible more responsive way.

    I am more extreme then them, but a thousand times closer to their views then to your view Doug.

  412. The reason why nitrogen gas is inert at room temperature is because the triple bond between the two nitrogen atoms in each nitrogen molecule (N2) is very strong, and therefore it takes a lot of energy to break that bond, and until that bond is broken, the nitrogen cannot react with any other chemical.

    Nitrogen does not have the role Doug claims.

  413. [PDF]
    Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission…/CoolingOfAtmosphere.pdfFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    by GV CHILINGAR – Cited by 7 – Related articles
    8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth’s surface to troposphere. Thus …. 0:0128 atm are the partial atmospheric pressures of nitrogen, oxyge

  414. Introduction
    Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warming states that release
    of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as a result of utilization of fossil fuels) leads
    to an increase in atmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and other
    greenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface. This statement
    is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which was never veri?ed (Arrhenius, 1896). The
    proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer
    in atmosphere, i.e., radiation. Yet, in the dense Earth’s troposphere with the pressure
    pa > 0:2 atm, the heat from the Earth’s surface is mostly transferred by convection
    (Sorokhtin, 2001a). According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water
    vapor condensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts for about
    8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth’s surface to troposphere. Thus, convection
    is the dominant process of heat transfer in troposphere, and all the theories of Earth’s
    atmospheric heating (or cooling) ?rst of all must consider this process of heat (energy)–
    mass redistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b; Khilyuk and Chilingar,
    2003, 2004).
    When the temperature of a given mass of air increases, it expands, becomes lighter,
    and rises. In turn, the denser cooler air of upper layers of troposphere descends and
    replaces the warmer air of lower layers. This physical system (multiple cells of air
    convection) acts in the Earth’s troposphere like a continuous surface cooler. The cooling
    effect by air convection can surpass considerably the warming effect of radiation.
    Address correspondence to George Chilingar, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, USA
    Branch, 101 S. Windsor Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90004. E-mail: [email protected]
    12 G. V. Chilingar et al.
    The most important conclusion from this observation is that the temperature distribution in the troposphere has to be close to adiabatic because the air mass expands and
    cools while rising and compresses and heats while dropping. This does not necessarily
    imply that at any particular instant distribution of temperature has to be adiabatic.
    One should consider some averaged distribution over the time intervals of an order of
    Key Points of the Adiabatic Theory of Greenhouse Effect
    By de?nition, the greenhouse effect is the difference T between the average temperature
    of planet surface Ts and its effective temperature Te (which is determined by the solar
    radiation and the Earth’s albedo):
    T D Ts Te (1)
    The present-day average surface temperature Ts  288 K and effective temperature
    Te  255 K. Therefore, the present-day greenhouse effect is approximately equal to
    C. The term “greenhouse effect” is confusing from the physical point of view and
    leads the general public astray. According to the Arrhenius hypothesis, the atmosphere,
    containing “greenhouse gases,” is transparent to the short-wave solar radiation but absorbs
    the long-wave (infrared) radiation emitted from the heated Earth’s surface thus reducing
    the losses of Earth’s heat into space. The latter is considered to be the main cause of
    atmospheric warming: the greater the concentration of “greenhouse gases” in atmosphere,
    the higher its global temperature. The term “greenhouse effect” was coined by analogy
    with the glass greenhouses, because glass is transparent for the visible part of solar
    spectrum but absorbs the infrared radiation. The main heating effect in the greenhouse,
    however, is due to the isolation of air volume contained in the greenhouse and preventing
    it from mixing with outside air. As soon as the greenhouse windows are opened, the
    convection occurs and the greenhouse effect disappears.
    In the Earth’s troposphere, the convective component of heat transfer dominates.
    When the infrared radiation is absorbed by the greenhouse gases, the energy of radiation
    is transformed into oscillations of gas molecules (i.e., heating of exposed volume of gas
    mixture). As a result, the heated gas expands, becomes lighter, and rises rapidly to the
    upper layers of troposphere, where heat is emitted into space by radiation. As the gas
    cools down, it descends to the Earth’s surface, where the previous (or even lower) surface
    temperatures are restored. Analogous situation is observed with heating of air due to the
    condensation of water vapor.
    The effective radiation temperature is determined by the Stefan-Boltzmann law:
    Te D Œ.1 A/S=4
    where  .D 5:6710
    ) is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant; S is the solar
    constant at the distance of Earth from the Sun (S D 1:36710
    s); A is the albedo,
    which is determined mostly by the cloud cover (for the Earth A  0:3). According to
    Eq. (2), the effective temperature Te is equal to 255 K (or 18
    C). Therefore, the presentday greenhouse effect for the Earth should be equal to 33
    The water vapor condensation in troposphere begets clouds, which to a considerable
    degree determine the re?ective properties of the planet, i.e., its albedo A. The latter gives
    rise to a strong negative feedback between the surface temperature Ts and the temperature

  415. this is part of an article I subscribe to

  416. is constant, whereas the value b


    Doug had said convection has no role in the adiabatic lapse rate.

    varies with the value of ? which, in turn, depends on
    the composition of atmosphere.
    The convective component of heat transfer dominates in the troposphere. When
    infrared radiation is absorbed by the greenhouse gases, the radiation energy is transformed
    into the oscillations of gas molecules, i.e., in heating of the exposed volume of gaseous
    mixture. Then the further heat transfer can occur either due to diffusion or by convective
    transfer of expanded volumes of gas. Inasmuch as the speci?c heats of air are very
    small (about 5:3  10
    C), the rates of heat transfer by diffusion do not exceed
    several cm/s, whereas the rates of heat transfer by convection in the troposphere can
    reach many meters per second. Analogous situation occurs upon heating of air as a result
    of water vapor condensation: the rates of convective transfer of heated volumes of air in
    the troposphere are many orders of magnitude higher than the rates of heat transfer by
    Equation (11) (the adiabatic model of atmospheric temperature) can be applied for
    computation of atmospheric temperature distribution for any planet possessing a dense
    atmosphere (with atmospheric pressure higher than 0.2 atm) and also for various geologic
    periods of Earth’s development. To modify the adiabatic model for different conditions,
    one needs to specify the value of solar constant S, the angle of precession of planet ,
    and the value of adiabatic exponent ?.
    The adiabatic model of greenhouse effect was veri?ed by comparison of the theoretical temperature distribution in the troposphere of Earth (constructed based on Eq. (11))
    with the standard model based on experimental data. For the Earth, the parameters of
    adiabatic model were chosen as follows: S D S0 D 1:367 erg/cms; D 23:44
    ; and
    ? D 0:1905. The computations by Sorokhtin (2001a, 2001b) showed that the theoretical
    temperature distribution based on Eq. (11) was identical to the standard temperature


    Global Atmospheric Cooling due to Increase in CO2 Content
    Increase in CO2 content leads to global cooling of atmosphere. This paradoxical, at ?rst
    sight, conclusion can be inferred from the adiabatic theory of heat transfer. To compare
    the temperature characteristics of a planet at various compositions of its atmosphere, one
    can use Eq. (11).
    If one assumes that the existing nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere of Earth is replaced
    entirely by an imaginary carbon dioxide atmosphere with the same pressure of 1 atm
    and adiabatic exponent ? D 0:1428, then the value of b
    ? D 1:597
    0:1428 D 1:069 and the
    near-surface temperature would decline to 281.6 K. Thus, the atmospheric temperature
    would decreases by 6.4
    C, instead of increasing according to the traditional theory.
    Constructing the distributions of temperature in the carbon dioxide atmosphere, one
    should take into consideration the fact that for the same pressure the corresponding
    elevation above sea level is lower than that for the nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere of
    Earth: h.CO2/ D h.N2 C O2/  29=44, where h is the elevation, and 29 and 44 are
    the molecular weights of nitrogen–oxygen and carbon dioxide atmospheres, respectively.
    Such temperature distributions are shown in Figure 1. In this ?gure, the graph of temperature distribution for the carbon dioxide troposphere lies below the graph of distribution
    for the nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere. Thus, the near-surface temperature for the carbon
    dioxide atmosphere is 6.4
    C lower than that for the nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere and not
    considerably higher as some scientists continue to believe. Therefore, the accumulation
    of carbon dioxide in great amounts in atmosphere should lead only to the cooling of
    climate, whereas insigni?cant changes in the partial pressure of CO2 (few hundreds of
    ppm) practically would not in?uence the average temperature of atmosphere and the
    Earth’s surface.
    Similarly, if one assumes that the existing carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus is
    entirely replaced by the nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere at the same pressure of 90.9 atm,
    then its surface temperature would increase from 735 to 796 K. Thus, increasing the
    saturation of atmosphere with carbon dioxide (despite its radiation absorbing capacity),
    with all other conditions being equal, results in a decrease and not an increase of
    the greenhouse effect and a decrease in average temperature of planet’s

  418. Arfur Bryant says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Thank you for replying to my post. I will certainly read your linked article.

    Just one point though…

    You state:
    “Regarding radiation from the atmosphere warming the surface, that only happens in very rare circumstances, such as Foehn [sic] winds and other rare weather events that cause the atmosphere to be warmer than the surface at the interface…”

    Whilst the Fohn effect specifically may be rare, it is only one example of warm air moving over a cool surface and it has a specific cause. My question re radiation was the case of (for whatever reason) a warmer atmosphere contacting a cooler surface. There could be many instances of warm air moving or existing over a cooler surface. However, the fact is that if the air is warmer, then surely radiative energy must be emitted from the air molecules to the surface molecules. This may be a small percentage of the overall but such radiative processes should be acknowledged. However much I suspect radiative forcing to be a tiny effect, I cannot in all conscience dismiss it totally.

    Anyway, thanks very much for your comment and links.


  419. Arfur Bryant says:


    Many thanks for your reply to my post. I agree the anthropogenic emissions are likely to be insignificant.

    I am not worried about water vapour feedback; my point was that water vapour, being of a much greater concentration than any non-condensing ghg, has a radiative role.

    Thanks for your explanation.


  420. Doug Cotton says:


    Yes, I estimate water vapour has at least 100 times the effect of carbon dioxide when it comes to slowing the rate of radiative cooling of the surface. Basically, as on Venus, the temperature at the base of the atmosphere is established first (as a result of the adiabatic lapse rate – see Wikipedia “Lapse Rate”) and level of insolation. Specific Heat affects the ALR in any specific location, so the moist rate is lower and the surface cools slower at night when low clouds are above it. It has, however, been empirically established that there is generally a small step down in temperature at the surface/atmosphere interface. I don’t know if it is 98% or 99.something % of the area of the surface, but even if air is temporarily warmer, there will be a compensating effect sooner or later when the air cools faster at night. The temperature gradient, as determined by the lapse rate and insolation, still “sets the level” at the surface by “supporting” the surface temperature and preventing it cooling any more at night, for example. (Foehn is the Anglicised spelling of the German spelling which has an o with an umlaut. It is common to add an e in English, so that “oe” replaces o with an umlaut. See the Wikipedia item here.)

    • Arfur Bryant says:


      Point taken about the Anglicised spelling! Nice call… Every day is a school day!

      Thanks for the info.


  421. Doug Cotton says:


    (a) There are temperature forecasts I wrote (and archived) on my first website (earth (hyphen) climate (dot) com) over a year ago. I have said there will be slight cooling until 2027, but neither you nor I can predict it to a tenth of a degree. What you say, namely a cooling of about 0.8 degree by 2020 is probably right within half a degree, but I make the point that the cooling will continue until the 60 year cycle passes a minimum around 2027 or 2028.

    (b) While you are looking at that site, try the lamp holder experiment and tell me if you get a different result in your part of the world. I did do Chemistry, BTW, and I never said nitrogen reacted chemically with anything. Whatever gave you that idea ???

    (c) If you don’t think atmospheric physics (which I have studied extensively) has anything to do with climate, then you are simply incorrect about that, as well as many other things. But do at least read these items on “Heat Transfer” and “Diffusion

    (d) Neither you nor anyone else on the three blogs has been able to describe correctly any other physical process which would explain how less than 3 W/m^2 of insolation reaching the Venus surface could possibly cause the observed temperature there.

    (e) There really is no need to copy out all that greenhouse stuff. I spent about 1,000 hours studying it years back.

    (f) You believe what you wish. I’ll stick with about 150 scientists who are members of the rapidly growing Principia Scientific International who would all disagree with you. You will soon see on our website a concise statement of what we believe, and you may be surprised to see that it says exactly what I have been writing here.

    So, unless and until you provide a believable explanation of the physics of the Venus atmosphere, it’s goodbye to you.

  422. Doug Cotton says:

    PS Salvo: It seems you didn’t even understand why the item about CO2 cooling was wrong in the reasons it gave. The adiabatic lapse rate is inversely proportional to specific heat. The SH of CO2 is slightly higher than that of nitrogen, so the gradient would be steeper. Hence, as the temperature plot “swivels” around its mean somewhere up in the atmosphere, the surface end would be slightly higher – probably about 2 degrees if we had an atmosphere of 100% carbon dioxide. But, since it is only 1 molecule in about 2,500, the warming effect of its extra specific heat would be only about 0.0008 degree. There are more significant cooling effects (especially its absorption of incident solar radiation in the 2 micron band) that far outweigh this 0.0008 degree.

  423. Doug Cotton says:

    Correction: Of course I meant to write the specific heat of carbon dioxide is lower. That is obviously what I meant, as can be deduced from the rest of the calculations which still imply slight warming.

    At 275 K …

    Carbon dioxide: SH = 0.819
    Oxygen: SH = 0.913
    Nitrogen: SH = 1.039
    Air: SH: ~ 1.014

    I admit the difference is bigger than I thought at Earth temperatures. I had previously noted that it was only about 4% at typical Venus temperatures. So you can increase that 0.0008 a bit, but it’s still insignificant, and any anthropogenic variation would be far smaller of course.

  424. Doug Cotton says:


    Let me try to explain better …

    The process of diffusion in the vertical direction in a gravitational field effectively turns a “level base” into a “sloping base” like a concrete driveway running down a hillside.

    There will be some absorption of Solar insolation at all levels in the Venus atmosphere, because we know at least some gets through to the surface. Think of this absorption as being like lots of different size loads of sand dumped on that sloping driveway. In general, the piles will be smaller as you go towards the top. So there’s no real propensity for convection rising in the atmosphere (sand from higher piles flowing down through the bigger piles further down the slope) so what happens is simply that the amount of radiation varies at different levels to get rid of the sand. But it stops when it gets down to the concrete driveway. The mean amount of radiation has to equate with the incident radiation, so this requirement (long ago) set the level of the driveway, but not its gradient – gravity and the specific heat of the gas set the gradient.

    Now I know that some radiation (roughly half) is directed towards the hotter surface, but those who understand what Prof Johnson proved, will realise that the electro-magnetic energy in such radiation is never converted to thermal energy in a hotter region than that from whence it came. Instead it is immediately re-emitted, just as if “pseudo scattered.” Hence the energy in all radiation from the atmosphere always ends up eventually getting to space, even if it strikes the surface, or gets partly absorbed by cooler gas and subsequently re-emitted.

    So the diffusion process in a gravitational field sets the gradient of the temperature plot in the atmosphere, with some small variation depending on the specific heat of the gases. The incident Solar radiative flux sets the overall level. These combine to produce a sloping, near linear temperature plot which of course intercepts the surface at a temperature which is determined by the input factors just mentioned, and nothing else.

    Any additional absorption of either incident or upwelling radiation merely adds temporary energy which will be quickly radiated away and, even though such radiation is in all directions, it will eventually transfer energy out of the planetary system and back to space.

    Venus is a good example, because it is so much more obvious that the surface is not heated to the temperature it reaches by the direct Solar radiation it absorbs. Instead, an interplay of conduction (diffusion) and radiation at the surface/atmosphere interface keeps the surface at a temperature close to that of the base of the atmosphere.

    Which came first – the chicken or the egg? The temperature of the base of the atmosphere must have come first because otherwise it would be just too much of a coincidence that the same formula “works” on all planets with sufficient atmospheres.

    So, if you don’t accept the above, then please explain in a similar level of detail, exactly what you think explains the surface temperature, being sure to keep within the confines of the laws of thermodynamics and atmospheric physics, as I have.

    Doug Cotton

  425. I am much closer to Dr. Spencer’s points of view and Christopher Game then yours.

    Unlike them I believe the role of greenhouse gases on the temperatures going forward will be zero, due to the amounts of total energy in earth’s climatic system, which wil be lessening going forward due to the prolon solar minimum.

    Physics is important when it comes to climate but like anything it has to be applied properly and in balance which you don’t do in my opinion.

    Doug to sum it up your opinion is just one of the thousands that are out there, it is yours I say go with it.i just don’t think you have it quite right. again some of the points are good, but
    I just can’t agree with the many things you want to say do not impact the climate.

  426. Doug you ignore clouds, convection,albedo,composition of the atmosphere ,radiation feedbacks or radiation itself. In addition you emphasize the role of diffusion of heat to the atmosphere through nitrogen and oxyen exchanges with the surface.

    You don’t believe in why the earth is 33k warmer then it would be due to the role of greenhouse gases.

    The statement that is most disturbing and I will never ever agree with is the adiabatic lapse rate has to happen and there is no effect upon it due to surface cooling,convection or radiation.

    I say keep believing it,you are 100% wrong.

    I will stick to what I believe in ,until proven wrong,you have not proven anything wrong, you are simply trying to prove that what you believe in ,is correct.

  427. If you have 150 who agree with you, that must mean you have tens of thousands that don’t.

  428. Doug in my opinion you can’t apply the physics which you have much knowledge in, properly to the climate, that is what i was trying to say.

    You have knowledge, but you are not applying it to the climate properly .

    You have convinced yourself that you are correct, but you can’t prove it ,and I predict you will never be able to prove it. Again some of the things you say certainly have a role ,but you are just trying to do away with to many other factors.

  429. one last thing I say water vapor is the key not co2 when I refer to greenhouse effects.

  430. Convection – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to Atmospheric circulation?: Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air, … area is highest at the heat equator, and decreases as the …
    Convection oven – Atmospheric convection – Conve

  431. I am going to write a very simple explanation ,not go on and on like Doug does.

    My explanation is water vapor the mean greenhouse gas is a by- product of the energy in earth’s climatic system. Meaning it’s concentration and effectiveness will be a function of how much energy comes into earth’s climatic system versus how much energy leaves earth’s climatic system. That will determine how much olr radiation is emitted in earth’s climatic system and how much of that olr emitted is absorbed, all of which will give a equilibrium temperature effect, due to the water vapor ,energy in/out interactions.

    That is the basic premise of my argument. The amounts of water vapor,in the atmosphere are due to evaporation,latent heat transfers,convection.

    The amounts of energy in/out of earth’s system are determined by solar radiation,earth’s albedo,atmospheric composition concentrations,clouds and volcanic eruptions.

    This then explains why temperatures lead greenhouse gases, why the increases in greenhouse gases will fail to increase temperatures from here ,given energy levels in earth’s climatic system will be on the decline, and why the equilibrium temp, of 255k versus 288k will always be different ,that is both values the 255k and the 288k.



  432. Co2 effectiveness ,and water vapor concentrations are all a result of the energy in earth’s climatic system, not the cause of the energy in earth’s climatic system.

    I am sure not many will agree, but then who agrees with anyone.

    Everytime I look at explanations they are constantly different, so I say go with what you understand and what you think is correct.

  433. Graviity and mass give the general structure of the atmosphere , as well as pe/ke up and down but the details are due to what I say in the above in my opinion.

    Diffusion from surface to NITROGEN AND OXYGEN having next to nothing effects, heat in earth’s core having next to nothing effects.

  434. Doug Cotton says:

    So, Salvo, in my peer-reviewed paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics I ignored radiation and the effect of back radiation, did I? The whole paper is about radiation and backradiation !!!! Can you find a published rebuttal?

    In this article to which I contributed most of the text, I ignored it too, did I, as well as clouds did I? I quote: “But why then does it remain slightly warmer in calm conditions at night when low clouds pass over?”

    What you keep ignoring is a simple question to explain the process whereby less than 3 W/m^2 of insolation heats the Venus surface by nearly 500 degrees.

    Your only wishy-washy “explanation” was a blatant violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    I’ve posted that question on over a dozen climate blogs. Keep watching to see if anyone else anywhere in the world can come up with an alternative valid explanation. Will that say something if they can’t?

    Your key man, Michael (Hockey Stick) Mann blew a million dollars in the recent court case in which he completely failed to produce any evidence supporting his global warming fraud. And who defeated him but none other than the founder of PSI, Dr Tim Ball.

    I leave you with this quote (but keep watching for answers on Venus) …

    “This [court] dismissal was due to Weaver’s (and Mann’s) bizarre refusal to comply with court rules to reveal the hidden evidence that supposedly underpins their science. Honest researchers would have no qualms over a little ‘show and tell’ to convince a jury their science is “settled.” But these charlatans must now think its worth blowing a cool million to keep it hidden. As such, for refusing to come clean both their lawsuits are now scheduled for summary dismissal, plus costs. The desperate duo are represented by libel expert, Roger McConchie, a big-hitting lawyer unused to having his butt kicked so emphatically round a courtroom.”


  435. Doug Cotton says:

    And those who keep trying to propagate the carbon dioxide fraud might do well to consider some of the consequences, for example …

  436. Doug Cotton says:

    Salvatore !!!!

    I can hardly believe you actually said Diffusion from surface to NITROGEN AND OXYGEN having next to nothing effects

    This truly leaves me laughing – if not weeping. Try my lamp holder experiment on my first site earth-climate (dot) com and tell me why the finger just above the top gets hot, but the other finger at the side does not, even though each receive about the same amount of radiation.

    Try measuring the temperature of the air in your backyard 10cm above the surface. How much of the upwelling radiation is absorbed in the first 10cm or so, when it is distributed throughout the whole height of the atmosphere and some even gets straight through to space? Is radiation really keeping that air nearly as warm as the surface?

    Now go and read what Wikipedia says under “Heat Transfer”

    “Heat conduction, also called diffusion, is the direct microscopic exchange of kinetic energy of particles through the boundary between two systems. When an object is at a different temperature from another body or its surroundings, heat flows so that the body and the surroundings reach the same temperature, at which point they are in thermal equilibrium. Such spontaneous heat transfer always occurs from a region of high temperature to another region of lower temperature, as described by the second law of thermodynamics.”

    So your statement above is the absolute epitome of someone completely failing to think about what happens in this real world we live in.

    Doug Cotton

  437. Doug Cotton says:

    And Salvatore also said: heat in earth’s core having next to nothing effects. thinking he was quoting me, but he wasn’t.

    It is the temperature of the sub-surface which has a stabilising effect as explained here.

    This stabilising effect has nothing whatsoever to do with the very slow rate of heat transfer from the core through the surface.

  438. Jeff Condon says:


    It appears that your blog has caught a virus.

    Certainly, there are better forums for silly discussions.

  439. Doug you are right my explanation is wishy washie, because I don’t know the true answers. I think it is parts of what everyone is saying including myself.

    I exaggerated some things purposely to see how you would react.

    Only time will tell.

    But as of today no one really knows, we are all guessing.

  440. Jeff sometimes you have to have silly or crazy conversations to try to gleam some sort of information.

    The so called sensible conversations about this subject do not solve the problem or give the answer, so it is necessary in my opinion to go beyond that, because maybe, just maybe another piece of the puzzle will be revealed.

    I say everything must be looked at no matter how crazy or silly it may sound, because we have no definitive answers, from the so called sensible approach to this subject.

  441. I am glad Doug among others is expressing his views ,because there is no real answer as to why the earth’s temp. is 288k versus 255k, there is no real answer as to the role of co2/water vapor in regards to how much or how little effect they may have on the temperatures.

    As of today ,only time will tell.


  442. Doug ,much of the time over oceans you have a warmer atmosphere above the cooler water surface.

  443. The bottomline is you can spin any argument to make it appear to be correct, but is it correct?????

    I think the prolong solar minimum versus co2 increases,and the given temperature results as we go through this decade will go a long way in resolving all of this.

    I expect solar to rule and prove what is currently thought about co2/and feedbacks is wrong, but still not support many of Doug Cotton’s views.

  444. MikeB says:

    Jeff Condon,
    I try to avoid intervening in this discussion between idiots who wish prove that they know not even the first thing about science; it only encourages them. But reading this drivel becomes worth it when” Salvatore the Pratt” says to Doug Cotton
    “Doug in my opinion you can’t apply the physics which you have much knowledge in”
    Salvatore, if you think that Doug Cotton has more knowledge about physics than you or anyone else then that makes you truly unique.
    When is the next temperature update due to end this nonsense thread?

  445. Doug Cotton says:

    So MikeB and Jeff Condon, maybe one of you can answer:

    Why does the surface of Venus stay at the high temperature it does despite such a low energy input at that surface?

    I’m still waiting for anyone in the world to answer that with satisfactory physics and some explanation which is other than my own.

    So be the first, and prove us all wrong at Principia Scientific International.

    Michael Mann couldn’t do so, not even for a million dollars which he blew in court costs when our founder Dr Timothy Ball won a court case against him when he could not produce an ounce of evidence for his carbon dioxide fraud.

    Not a shed for evidence – not even for a million dollars. Click here.

    And, as for Jeff Condon’s censorship of myself on his site, maybe he should read this.

    Doug Cotton
    (an author for PSI)

  446. Doug Cotton says:


    I just want to express appreciation that you don’t censor new science like Anthony and Jeff on their blogs.

    My new paper is now on PROM for open review by anyone in the world – click here.

    See John O’Sullivan’s item today also …

    Skeptics are rightly proud of the success of popular science blog, WUWT as an antidote to government misinformation and bias about man-made global warming. However, an irrational censorship over greenhouse gas science by site owner Anthony Watts may be about to damage the credibility of this supposed champion of higher standards in climate science.

    Read more.

  447. Stephen Wilde says:


    I’ve looked at your paper and would just say that the ‘second school of thought’ concerning the adiabatic lapse rate is as I was taught at school some 50 years ago.

    It was well accepted that the high surface temperature on Venus was down to density and not composition.

    In those days it was known as the greenhouse effect but that term was then hijacked by the radiative physics crowd and has been irredeemably compromised such that we are now starting to use a new term namely the Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement.

    As far as I know PSI has only recently accepted the existence of that type of warming effect and part of the problems that PSI has encountered has been a result of their earlier denial that the term greenhouse effect could or did once apply to the adiabatic process.

    I would like to square off that issue with John O’Sullivan and the rest of the PSI group but John is still somewhat irascible towards those of us who were aware of the old usage all along.

    I think the dispute with Anthony Watts and others arises from that misunderstanding.

  448. Doug Cotton says:


    As you might guess I am in constant email contact with John, Joe Postma and other members of PSI. Please don’t worry – very soon you will see a concise statement published on our website outlining mutually agreed beliefs about climate change. It should not be surprising that these things take time to develop, especially with a constant flow of new members – now about 150 in total I understand.

    My paper (on the PROM menu) is intended as a review of the two very different schools of thought, as well as to clarify what I believe to be the mechanisms in the second.

    There’s a difference though in what you say “the high surface temperature on Venus was down to density and not composition” and what I am saying in the paper.

    Temperature depends only upon mean KE of the molecules in a region, not the density / pressure. Yes, increasing pressure adds energy as the compression is in progress, but that extra KE (temperature) does not remain when the region cools back to an equilibrium temperature after the compressing process has ceased adding new energy. I do not see how there can be much new energy added by gravity.

    The confusion arises, I believe, because people associate pressure with temperature. They know, for example, that their car tyres measure a higher pressure when they have been driving and warming the tyres due to friction between the air and the walls of the tyre. But the tyre is not in equilibrium with ambient temperatures at the time.

    So, yes, gravity causes extra pressure at the base of the atmosphere, as it does at the base of the deepest oceans. But that in itself does not cause a higher equilibrium temperature.

    What I believe does cause the higher temperature is the molecular process I described in the paper, which also ensures that entropy does not decrease anywhere. Anything else leads to a decrease in entropy and thus a violation of the Second Law.

    If you are aware of any other lab experiments such as Graeff’s (Ref [13]) I would appreciate links.

  449. Doug Cotton says:

    The last paragraph in Appendix Q.2 of my March 2012 paper discusses the adiabatic lapse rate as below. The additional point in the new paper today is the suggestion as to the mechanism that forms the lapse rate, and why it is not a matter of how fast air can rise by convection.

    Also, the molecular mechanism which I describe can make the base of the atmosphere hotter than the mean, quite independently of any heat flow from the surface, of which there is very little on Venus.

    This was the paragraph in the March paper …

    If we were to derive such a figure it would be a weighted mean which would be found somewhere up in the atmosphere. Even if the atmosphere were only 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen, with nothing else, there would be a natural adiabatic lapse rate (which is a function of the acceleration due to gravity) and that alone would be sufficient to ensure that the surface was much warmer than the above weighted mean temperature. Note also that, in the real world, if some layers of the atmosphere become a little warmer than the natural lapse rate indicates they ought to be, they will radiate away the extra thermal energy until the local temperature falls back to the natural temperature gradient, which is determined by gravity and, to a lesser extent, by the relative humidity. None of the excess energy can make it back into the surface by any means, radiation or otherwise. Besides, any such warm air is of a temporary nature, relating to weather conditions, not long-term climate.

  450. Doug Cotton says:


    I really do not feel that the “blanket” effect of an atmosphere (not involving any return of energy that originated in the surface, but instead merely acting to slow the loss of energy just like a blanket) should ever have been called a greenhouse effect.

    Furthermore, I don’t believe the mechanism I am describing was talked about then. Sure, Loschmidt [1] had postulated a temperature gradient in a closed space (even a room) in 1876 but the “heavies” Maxwell and Boltzmann tried to rubbish him, even though it could not be tested then.

    As best I can ascertain, Graeff was the first to test it empirically in 2002 [2] so I don’t see how it could have been taught 50 years ago.

    [1] Loschmidt, L., über den Zustand des Wärmegleichgewichts eines Systems von Körpern mit Rücksicht auf die Schwerkraft, Sitzungsberichte der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftl. Klasse der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 73.2 (1876), p. 135

    [2] 8. Graeff, R.W., Measuring the temperature distribution in gas columns, CP 643, Quantum Limits to the Second Law, New York 2002, American Institute of Physics, AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 643

  451. Burt B says:

    I tried to correlate the data set above (60N to 60S latitude) with ones on “pro” climate change websites

    but I can not find the exact same data set.

    mentions Dr. Roy, but seems to show the water temp increasing.

    also; the chart above seems to show a +0.1 degree increase every 10 years.

    The IPCC seems to predict 1.5 to 5 degrees of warming by 2100, which seems wildly inflated if we are only increasing at 0.1 per decade since 1979.

    I thought

    • Arfur Bryant says:

      Burt B,

      climate4you is most definitely NOT a pro ‘climate-change’ website (well not pro AGW anyway, if that’s what you meant)!

      It is probably the most balanced, objective and fair website around for just plotting the data and giving the links for that data. The second link you provided was actually for UAH lower troposphere, not fort sea temps. The HadSST2 graph is below the UAH one. I am not sure why the UAH graph is in the ‘Ocean’ section.

      It would be well worth you reading the ‘Climate Reflections’ section (bottom of left hand title bar) to see what Ole Humlum really thinks.



  452. Burt B says:

    I was hoping someone would comment on what the “best data set” should be, or why SST has fallen out of favor as a tool.

  453. Doug Cotton says:

    Radiative forcing doesn’t happen!

    There are long-term natural climate cycles which cause long-term (~500 year) periods of cooling or warming, as well as a superimposed 60 year cycle. We are getting close to the end of the 500 year warming period, before 500 years of cooling sets in.

    So TOA net radiative imbalance is a natural consequence of such warming or cooling. It does not force the climate change. The climate change forces it, primarily because of variations in insolation getting through to the surface and troposphere.

    For reasons, please read my paper published today (linked in my previous comment) and feel to ask questions here (or on Judith Curry’s current Open Thread) as I have selected only these two climate blogs for any such discussion. Alternatively, you may submit formal rebuttals or comments through the PSI Peer Review in Open Media (PROM) system during the next 30 days.

    Doug Cotton

  454. Kasuha says:

    I hope Dr. Spencer is ok and we will see November update soon.

  455. Mike my point was he knows physics enough to make wrong cases in his assumptions of why various things are like they are.

    Doug knows the subject enough to make arguments which a person or persons could buy into but i like most thing his conclusions are wrong.

    I think what Christopher Game says on these boards makesmuch more sense.

  456. Agree or disagree Doug and others put much effort into what they are doing and believe in what they are doing. I say you have to respect that ,agree or disagree.

    Again I have many different views ,the only area we really agree on is the GHE, will be zero going forward from here , but my reasons are much different then his.

    • Kasuha says:

      The fact that somebody puts a lot of effort into his research and firmly believes he is right because he sees no problems with his theory whatsoever does not make the person right.
      Pretty much every crackpot fits that description, too.
      I don’t think that putting hard work into something is worth a lot of praise or respect. Solid results are. Wasted effort is worth sympathy at best.

  457. I read the first page of Doug’s new paper I am of the school of thought that the sun warms the atmosphere and the surface cools due to the compossition of the atmosphere with various back radiations comng back to the surface,via the atmosphere.
    I also think the albedo of the surface and atmosphere has a big impact.

    Doug of course rejects this.

  458. Jim says:

    I found this recent research on heat island effects in Hong Kong and what is truly representative:

    Don’t know what value it may have for others.

  459. Doug Cotton says:

    Well if you spend a few minutes reading my paper and at least the abstract of the paper published by the American Institute of Physics (cited in reference (8) in my reference [13]) you might understand what happens in the atmospheric physics of both Earth and Venus.

    I’m still waiting for a satisfactory alternative explanation from anyone in the world regarding the Venus surface temperature.

    Pressure does not maintain high temperatures all by itself, anywhere, not even on Venus. So forget that “explanation.”

    My paper is up for PROM (Peer Review in Open Media) for a month, so feel free to publish a rebuttal or debate it with some of these members of PSI. Such a review system far outstrips the “peer-review” system used for typical pro-AGW publications. Why should I support such publications which are propagating the carbon dioxide fraud?



  460. Doug Cotton says:

    Sorry – wrong link. That paper is …

    Graeff, R.W., Measuring the temperature distribution in gas columns, CP 643, Quantum Limits to the Second Law, New York 2002, American Institute of Physics, AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 643

    Click here.

  461. Doug Cotton says:

    Well, come on everyone – where is your explanation of the Venus surface temperature?

    (a) The surface receives about 10% as much insolation from the Sun as does Earth’s surface. (The highest estimates are about 17 W/m^2 – the lowest about 2.1 W/m^2.)

    (b) About 2% of Earth’s atmosphere is able to send all those hundreds of W/m^2 of back radiation to the surface.

    (c) So how much more radiation do you think the 96.5% carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus could emit where it is about 500 K hotter than Earth’s atmosphere?

    (d) But the energy input at the Venus surface is only as in (a) above.

    (e) So the atmosphere of Venus close to the surface should be able to radiate away far more than what it receives, and thus cool off very quickly – or never have got anywhere near as hot in the first place. Yet it only cools about 5 degrees in the long Venus night of nearly 4 months’ duration – when not a ray of sunshine is around.

    (f) Now don’t try to tell me it’s the high pressure that maintains a high temperature. When your car has been in the garage all night, is the air or nitrogen in your tyres far hotter than the air on the other side of the rubber? Is the temperature of the deep ocean far hotter because of the extra pressure? Yes, air gets a bit hotter while you are using energy to compress it, but it cools off in your tyres even though the pressure remains nearly the same, and far more than that in the air in your garage.

    Sleep on it! Don’t crib the answer by reading my paper!

  462. J Williams says:

    Doug—We all get that you feel you are on to something. Posting 100+ more comments on this website probably won’t do anything more than irritate those who visit (and may even irritate the owner of the site as well), but I have a feeling you will do so anyway.

    My preference is to refer to the peer reviewed literature for scientific information, and the following article is a pretty solid description of what’s happening at our neighboring planets.

    If there’s a problem with those analyses, why not send a letter to the journal to point out what is so obviously wrong with the work? And, if “they won’t publish my letter” is your response, there is probably a very good reason why…and it has nothing to do with a grand conspiracy against you.

  463. Doug Cotton says:

    J. Williams:

    The issue is that I have a paper which is up for Peer Review in Open Media (PROM) on the PSI site. Rather than hide it and hope nobody notices for a month, I have brought it to the attention of blog readers on more than a dozen climate blogs.

    Being on the PROM system means thet you or anyone in the World is free to comment on it via PSI. If it gets through a month without anyone making a valid point that cannot be answered with suitable evidence, then it will join my other paper on radiated Energy in the Publications menu on PSI, that having been there since March.

    Regarding your linked item, my paper already presents arguments which refute the conclusions reached. Perhaps you should also read the above linked publication in 2002 by the American Institute of Physics, as well as other empirical evidence cited in the paper.

    If you don’t wish to debate personally the atmospheric physics presented in the paper, then you will minimise the number of reply posts which I may need to make here and on the Judith Curry Open thread. I have chosen these threads because I respect the apparent willingness Roy and Judith to permit open scientific debate on what are very relevant issues that, if abused (as they have been in the carbon dioxide fraud) will cost billion of dollars, and maybe millions of lives in developing countries, because of misappropriation of money that could save those lives.

    If you choose to be a part of that movement which is perpetuating this fraud (which has just cost Michael Mann a cool million dollars in court costs because he couldn’t produce any evidence) then that’s your choice. You could always open your mind a little and try to understand what I am saying in the latest paper, but not to do so is also your prerogative.

  464. Christopher Game says:

    I think no simple direct approach through reason will put Doug out of his misery, but others may be interested in the details of how he is mistaken. I am sorry I have not bothered to chase this up in more detail till now, but I could not recall off the top of my head the relevant references. Well, the above reference to the paper of Graeff gave me the hint I needed to find the useful detailed references. Of course the thinking of Graeff’s paper itself is not useful here.

    The following papers show precisely what is wrong with the stories of our friends Doug and Stephen about the thermodynamic equilibrium state in a column of gas in an isolated vertically very tall vessel in a vertical gravity field such as the earth’s:

    ‘A paradox concerning the temperature distribution of a gas in a gravitational field’, by Coombes and Laue, Am. J. Phys. 53 (3), March 1985, pp. 272-273. Other closely relevant papers are by Roman, White, Velasco (1995), Eur. J. Phys. 16: 83-90, and Velasco, Roman, White (1996), Eur. J. Phys. 17: 43-44.

    The systematic treatment by Chapman and Cowling (1939), and the modern textbook reference, that I did cite at above, are of course supported by these papers.

    Doug’s idea that the experiments of Graeff are enough to settle the matter is mistaken.

  465. Doug Cotton says:

    CG says in his linked comment, after citing the American Institute of Physics, There are some more recent papers in the literature about this, considering some details; they eventually confirm the reasoning of the authorities.

    Well show me them!

    If he had studied Ref [13] in my paper he might have noted that Graeff also cited the American Institute of Physics.

    His paper is ..

    Graeff, R.W., Measuring the temperature distribution in gas columns, CP 643, Quantum Limits to the Second Law, New York 2002, American Institute of Physics, AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 643

    and the Abstract (below) will serve as my response as to the “authority” of Maxwell and Boltzmann in which CG places his trust, without reading my paper and the explanation of the entropy issues involved.

    “Late in the 19th century J. Loschmidt believed that a vertical column of gas in an isolated system would show a temperature gradient under the influence of gravity, cold at the top and warm at the bottom. L.Boltzmann and J.C. Maxwell disagreed. Their theories tried to prove an equal temperature over height. Experiments with various test setups are being presented which seem to strenghten the position of Loschmidt. Longterm measurements at room temperature show average temperature gradients of up to 0,07 °K/m in the walls of the enclosure, cold at the top and warm at the bottom. The measured values can be explained by the conversion of the potential energy of the molecules into an increase of their average speed through gravity.”

    See also this paper.

  466. Doug Cotton says:

    As a footnote, I would add that I do not agree with Graeff’s concept of generating energy from a force field such as gravity. This concept is not necessary for my argumnent.

    Entropy does not have to decrease as Graeff describes – it just stays constant with (PE+KE)=constant.

    For more detail see my new paper in the PROM menu on the Principia Scientific International website.

  467. Doug Cotton says:

    Furthermore, it is well established physics – derived from first principles that PE+KE=constant – leading to ideal gas law – leading to derivation of lapse rate.)

    Do I really need to spell it out that physics states quite clearly that there will be a dry adiabatic lapse rate which is proportional to the acceleration due to gravity, g and inversely proportional to the specific heat.

    Even Wikipedia gets it right here.

    It still works in a closed sample of gas in a lab experiment. Why wouldn’t it when just gravity and specific heat are involved?

    Yes, just g and Cp (specific heat) are the only contributors. Not backradiation. Not rates of convection. Not even surface temperatures or the amount of insolation reaching the surface.

    You can calculate the surface temperature of Venus and Earth just using gravity and specific heat of their atmospheres, with some information about Solar intensity or even a temperature somewhere up in the troposphere. The temperature gradient and temperature plot form in the atmosphere first. The the surface temperature is supported by the temperature of the base of the atmosphere. Otherwise, the calculations would not work out as they do for all similar planets. It has to be this way. Mother Nature is “she who must be obeyed.”

    All those IPCC calculations about warming by 33 degrees totally ignore the well known fact that there has to be a lapse rate caused by gravity in any atmosphere. That’s what makes the surface end of the temperature plot higher than the mean – not any radiative greenhouse effect.

    Now go and read my paper, because I really can’t be bothered typing it all out again here.

  468. i wish there was a way where the composition of venus atmosphere would be like earth’s so doug could see how wrong he would be.

    Composition of atmosphere is vital to the surface temperature .

  469. I say if the composition of Earth’s atmosphere and the make up of it’s surface were like Venus, and likewise the composition of the atmosphere of Venus and the surface were like Earth, that the temperatures and laspe rates of the two planets would be entirely different.

    To the degree of magnitude where Earth would probably be warmer then Venus.

    Christopher Game, Kasuha, and others, I am sure agree with my thoughts on this, as well as over 90% of the scientific community.

  470. Doug Cotton says:

    You need to understand the process of diffusion of kinetic energy (KE) because that’s what the paper is about.

    Then you just have to come to grips with the fact that (with other things remaining the same) the surface temperature could not be lowered by, say, 100K simply because the level of the whole temperature plot is set by the need for energy balance between absorption by the Venus atmosphere (~98%) and re-emission.

    Remember too that there is very little convection or movement of the Venus atmosphere at lower altitudes. So, it is not a matter of small parcels of atmosphere moving up and down. It has nearly all happened at the molecular level. Molecules collide and pass on some of their KE, with more KE gathered by those in lower regions than those in upper regions.

    That’s why it happens in an insulated sealed cylinder of gas in a lab experiment, which is why Boltzmann and Maxwell were wrong. See reference [13].

    The Second Law is not broken (even though temperature seems to increase going down) because entropy does not decrease. PE+KE=constant.

    One way you can visualise it is this. At some level in the Earth’s ocean there is always some water above, even at the lowest tides. Think of this as a “plane”, though it is actually a section of the surface of a sphere. Waves and tides cause variations above it, but the amount of water below it remains constant. In the atmosphere, the dry adiabatic lapse rate forms a line (also actually a curve) and you can imaging there is always air that is “below” that temperature line. In this air the very slow process which develops the lapse rate by molecular processes has gradually stabilised a kind of base temperature plot. Weather conditions will cause all sorts of variations above it (like the waves and tides) but it remains static as a solid sloping temperature gradient and a “base” for whatever happens above.

    So this is how the temperature of the base of the atmosphere gets stabilised, because the slope is determined by gravity and specific heat, and the overall level is set by the need to balance energy in with energy out. The surface temperature is supported at a very similar level to the base of the atmosphere by conduction and radiation at the interface.

    It has to be this way, or the equations would not balance.

    You can find my paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures … ” using Google to get to the Principia Scientific International home page, then selecting the PROM menu. The earlier paper “Radiated Energy ..” is in the Publications menu.

    Doug Cotton
    (where it’s 4.15am, so good night)

  471. Doug, I see it as atmospheric composition, the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface and the amount (albedo ) reflected out giving the surface temp.

    I will not change my mind.

  472. Doug Cotton says:

    That’s because, as you demonstrated in earlier posts, you don’t understand the well-known and well-documented physical processes of diffusion and other heat transfer mechanisms. Nor do you appear to understand why entropy must not decrease. Nor do you even appear to understand the processes of molecular collision, especially those at the surface/atmosphere interface.

    Remember Michael Mann couldn’t produce any evidence for his greenhouse conjecture in court, and he blew a million dollars because he lost the case to our Chairman of PSI, Dr Timothy Ball. Members of Principia Scientific International, like Joe Postma, Claes Johnson (and many others) are on the right track, my friend.

    If you actually read the papers and articles on our website with an open mind you would see that carbon dioxide can have no effect on climate. But I respect your choice not to do so – that’s your prerogative of course.

  473. Doug Cotton says:

    Basically, my conclusions are proven by probability theory, as are most scientific results. Often it comes down to comparing hypotheses in science and concluding something like “there is better than 99% probability that this hypothesis is correct.”

    Well, that is the situation. Even two planets Earth and Venus would be sufficient I believe, but it is apparent that the same formula relating to the adiabatic lapse rate also gives observed values on other planets.

    So, if the first “School of Thought” in my paper were correct, I suggest the probability of such would be well under 1%. Conversely, the “Second School of Thought” has probability well above 99% of being correct.

    That’s just mathematical statistics.

  474. Discovery 2
    The moisture conditions of the earth’s surface wet or dry, not gases, determine or control the climate/weather. Gases can’t form a green house, so Green house effect due to gases is imaginary or pseudo science. Rain cycle is related to heat and evaporation only. Thus C.C. change due to gases is impossible.

    Post no. 25 Details in the blog:

    Discovery 3
    1. OZONE depletion by CFC (Cl2F2C – dichloro-difluoro-carbon) is impossible, because it is too scarce and too heavy to reach to the ozonosphere.
    2. Considering the action of UV, the depletion of Ozone is not possible before the extinction of human race (needs at least 16% O2 in the atmosphere). UV is constantly forming O¬3 (Ozone) out of the Oxygen of the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of UV reaching the earth and is constantly making up the ozonosphere consumed by millions of jet flights every day. After extinction of human race, vegetation will be denser and thus O2 will be released into atmosphere at higher rate than at present. Thus, O3 depletion is impossible.

    Discovery 1.

    Flowing water can uniformly run any number of turbines installed in series along a single uniform penstock pipe without decreasing their efficiency, because pressure is transmitted equally in all directions. Thus EARTH IS BLESSED WITH unlimited hydropower. Turbines don’t decrease the power of running water as it continues with the same velocity. At present we run only one turbine at the bottom of a running water column by applying property of standing still water column, so are harnessing only minimum hydropower. Application of running water properties in installing turbines means WE CAN TAP many folds more HYDROPOWER (AS MUCH AS WE WANT OUT OF AVAILABLE UNLIMITED HYDROPOWER) than done at present from the existing installations – only limitation is the space needed to extend the pipe for installing turbines.

  475. Doug Cotton says:

    Here’s an example of the type of misinterpretation Salvatore (and others) come up with when they don’t read and study papers in full and, instead, jump to conclusions by just reading Abstracts.

    He said: I say if the composition of Earth’s atmosphere and the make up of it’s [sic] surface were like Venus, and likewise the composition of the atmosphere of Venus and the surface were like Earth, that the temperatures and laspe [sic] rates of the two planets would be entirely different.

    Well, fancy that.

    But the calculations for lapse rates and surface temperatures work equally well for each. Think about it! The calculations have input variables, including specific heat (which depends on the atmospheric composition) and gravity (which depends on the mass of the planet) and the planet’s radiating temperature (which depends on its distance from the Sun) etc.

    And when such calculations work just as well for the other planets with atmospheres, simple probability theory tells us that this is how it must be. How could all those planet surfaces just happen to be heated first by the Sun to just the right temperature, when that temperature is determined purely from atmospheric specific heat, gravity and insolation?

    I’ll leave you to read the paper and, preferably, the other paper and article which I also wrote for PSI.



  476. TonyM says:

    Doug Cotton:

    Not sure where we all are at but I wish to make some points on the Maxwell/ anti Maxwell story with the long tube of gas.

    The 1st L of T must hold so that is not an issue when the energy is converted internally. If the system was at equilibrium with constant T, then the net transfer of heat or energy from top to bottom would breach the 2nd L of T. This arises as we are seeing a transfer of energy from increasingly lower T (higher layers) into an increasingly higher T environment (bottom layers).

    Of course the 2nd Law cant be breached! This can only mean the the system is not isolated (let’s not go into definitions of closed etc.. by isolated we mean no transfer of energy in/out of the tube).

    Indeed that cylinder, no matter how insulated etc cannot escape the energy input or withdrawal by gravity which does impart greater energy to the higher layers (PE) in the resulting vertical cylinder. It would not matter if it was in space with gravity approaching it or the tube approaches a gravity field or it is being tilted from horizontal to vertical in a vertical gravity field. All result in a differential energy input into the matter via gravity.

    Hence it certainly is possible – in fact mandatory in line with the 2nd Law – for the higher layers to give up the excess energy to equilibrate the energy along the tube as there is no impediment. This will result in the lapse rate observation.

    This is the same reason why a lapse rate forms whether the external energy differential starts or continues from the top (Venus) or the surface (earth). These inputs of new energy must be dispersed in the system. The same with energy emitted.

    Any convection on earth just makes the equilibration process go faster but would not really be necessary.

    I have not read your new work yet Doug and would not wish to make claims if this is how you have covered it there. Irrespective it is important to cover the 2nd L of T. I’m happy to be criticised if I have missed something – it is not an easy feeling trying to go against the giants of science like Maxwell and Boltzmann.

    Christopher Game:
    I would have liked to read those references but gosh it is not very explicit where one may readily get access. I just cannot be convinced that the 2nd Law would not be breached if the T was uniform in a gravity field.

  477. Doug Cotton says:

    TonyM said incorrectly that the system I described with constant entropy would breach the 2nd L of T. This issue is countered in my paper. I am not responding to those who haven’t read this week’s paper. Gravity does not “impart” energy. You appear to be lacking some basic knowledge in physics.

  478. TonyM says:

    Had you read what I said you might no have jumped the gun. I’m actually supporting what you seem to say – but admittedly I have not read what you say. I will do so.

    My purpose was to cover the subject, more generally.

    Contrary to your statement any movement in a gravity field in the vector direction of that field (acceleration) will impart energy according to the laws of physics i.e. work = Fs = mas = mgh, a scalar quantity of energy.

    I will comment on what your paper says.

  479. RW says:


    The abstract says:

    “The first of these schools of thought is based on the concept that the Sun warms the surface of a
    planet (for example, Earth) and then that surface cools at a rate governed by the composition of the
    atmosphere. The rate of cooling is thought to have something to do with the amount of upwelling
    radiation absorbed by the atmosphere, and/or the proportion of the energy in that radiation which
    then returns to the surface as back radiation.”

    I would say this is NOT a correct charaterization of the so-called GHE, which may explain at lot. The upwelling radiation absorbed by the atmosphere, a portion of which is re-radiated back downward, does not necessarily manifest itself as direct radiative flux from the atmosphere to the surface (though of course some of it can). Effectively, what is really does is increase radiative resistance to radiative cooling to space (i.e. energy radiated up that would otherwise pass into space and act to cool is absorbed and re-radiated back downward into the whole Earth-atmosphere system).

    It’s important to keep in mind that the energy balance at the surface is the sum of a radiative flux and a non-radiative flux, where the surface receives more direct radiative power from the atmosphere and Sun that it emits, but much of this direct radiative flux is replenishing non-radiative flux (primarily latent heat) leaving the surface but not returned.

    The energy supplied to the surface as a result of all the physical processes in the system is about 390 W/m^2, though this net energy flow in at the surface manifests itself as a combination of radiative and non-radiative power incident on and leaving the surface. Trenberth’s depiction doesn’t really show this, which seems to the source of a enormous amount of confusion and/or misinpretation as to how the GHE works. In fairness to Trenberth, his depiction is really just showing globally averaged energy flows – not a model of how the GHE supposedly works.

  480. Niels A Nielsen says:

    Warning! Streams of utter nonsense by Doug Cotton above. Be careful or you’ll get dumber.

  481. Doug Cotton says:


    My response and counter arguments to all the above are in my latest paper in the PROM menu on PSI, where anyone in the world is free to offer review comments via PSI.

    But those (like RW) who don’t get past reading the Abstract will have absolutely no idea of the reasons and mechanisms which are discussed in the paper.

    Nor will they understand the significance of the fact that the lapse rate is formed naturally at the molecular level due to the Second Law requirement that entropy cannot decrease.


  482. Doug Cotton says:

    Here is proof for other readers that RW did not read the paper referred to, or my previous paper in March or the article I also contributed to about 3 weeks ago.

    He gets as far as this sentence in the abstract “The rate of cooling is thought to have something to do with the amount of upwelling radiation absorbed by the atmosphere, and/or the proportion of the energy in that radiation which
    then returns to the surface as back radiation.”
    Then he raves on “teaching” me what I have written in the body of the paper, which does not contradict what is in the abstract anyway.

    What I write is in line with the thinking of leading scientists at Principia Scientific International whose website provides such information in various papers and articles …

    I quote from my new paper (still in the PROM menu) …

    Returning to the issue of back radiation, we have seen that it should only affect the rate of surface cooling by radiation, not the cooling by other non-radiative processes. It affects radiative cooling because it provides electro-magnetic energy for some of the “quota” of radiation which the surface is emitting. But this means that this portion of the radiation is not actually transferring thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere. Hence the rate of cooling by radiation will indeed be slowed, as is well documented in Physics, but much of the radiation coming from the surface is merely returning electro-magnetic energy which was in the back radiation.

    As I mentioned briefly in the March 2012 paper, and elaborated in more detail in the above article, the rate of non-radiative cooling will accelerate and/or last longer in order to compensate for, and thus nullify the effect of the slowing of radiative cooling.

    The reason for this nullifying effect will be better understood after reading the next section. …

    And also quoting from what I wrote in the article (Ref [3] in the paper) …

    “What effect does it have, if any? Well, we know that the total amount of radiation from any body is limited by its temperature. This is the well-known Stefan-Boltzmann (S-B) Law [6] which is related to the Planck curve representing the frequencies and intensities of the radiation. If Johnson is correct, then the incident radiation provides the energy required for an equivalent amount of radiation to be immediately re-emitted by the warmer body. The target finds it easier to use that energy (which is already in the form of electromagnetic energy) for the corresponding portion of its “quota” of radiation as per the S-B Law. Hence it does not have to go through the more involved process of converting a corresponding amount of its own thermal energy into electro-magnetic energy. And, because it is not using up so much of its own energy, it transfers less of its own energy to the atmosphere, and thus the rate of cooling by radiation is slower than it would have been without the backradiation.

  483. RW says:


    Let’s return to some basics:

    Radiation incident on an object can only do one of three things – it can either be absorbed, transmitted or reflected, right?

    I think we can agree that the LW radiation from the atmosphere incident on the surface is not transmitted through the Earth. It can only either be absorbed or reflected, right?

    Can we agree the emissivity of the Earth’s surface is very close to 1, so only a very small fraction of the incident LW radiative energy is reflected by the surface. For pratical purposes, because it’s easier (even though not technically correct), let’s assume the surface has an emissivity of 1.

    At a temperature of 288K, the surface must be supplied with 390 W/m^2 in the steady-state.

    Do we agree on these fundamentals? If not, which one or ones do you disagree with and why?

  484. Doug Cotton says:

    No, the first sentence is wrong. There is a fourth alternative. Read my first paper (March 2012) and Prof Claes Johnson’s linked paper.

    No, read about absorptivity of Earth’s surface for back radiation in my first paper, March 2012 on the PSI site.
    No, I don’t agree with calculations that are based on a fictitious concept of an Earth being a flat disc receiving 25% of the Sun’s insolation 24 hours a day.

    And, no, the surface itself does not have to receive all of the insolation – and it doesn’t – and on Venus it doesn’t come remotely near receiving all the radiation.

    You haven’t yet read any significant amount of what I’ve written in those papers and the linked article, have you? You have no valid way of explaining the Venus surface temperature using recognised physics. I’m still waiting for anyone on over a dozen climate blogs to come up with a valid explanation other than what I have explained must be the case.

    I will only discuss what I have written in my published papers and articles, and if you think anything is wrong (as none of 150 or so members of PSI seem to) then the proper place to argue is by way of an official rebuttal via Principia Scientific International. Then some of those highly qualified scientists, including professors, climatologists, an astrophysicist, a Nobel Prize nominee and others will consider what you say and almost certainly argue with you in support of what I am saying.

    Give me one good reason why I should have to re-write here about 10,000 words that are necessary for a full explanation, just because you fail to look up and read complete papers and articles that I have already written and which have been read by thousands of others, without any valid criticism of the main concepts having come forward as yet to my knowledge.

  485. RW says:


    OK, how about at an average temperature of 288K the Earth’s surface must be supplied with 390 W/m^2 on average?

  486. Doug Cotton says:

    “A new paper by geophysicist and sea-level expert Dr. Nils-Axel Morner examines data from satellites, tide-gauges, and field work to conclude that “At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per century. It is probably not rising at all.” Professor Morner concludes, “Since sea level is not rising, the chief concern of the potential effects of anthropogenic “global warming” – that millions of shore-dwellers the world over may be displaced as the oceans expand – is baseless.”

  487. Doug Cotton says:

    390 W/m^2 on average Nope. You are forgetting about the fourth power in S-B Law. The mean of the fourth powers of a set of numbers is nothing like the fourth power of the mean of those numbers, now is it? You are a flat Earth believer it seems.

  488. Doug Cotton says:

    Furthermore, in order to retain its current temperature, a planet’s surface only has to receive as much energy as it loses. Not all the energy it receives has to come from radiation. Not all the radiation it emits is transferring energy out of the surface. That’s why you need to think about that 750K surface temperature on Venus with, let’s agree, a combined total of less than 100 W/m^2 of solar insolation and sub-surface energy reaching it.

    That’s why you need to study the full text of my papers.

  489. Doug Cotton says:

    TonyM wrote any movement in a gravity field in the vector direction of that field (acceleration) will impart energy.

    No it doesn’t “impart energy” – it converts existing PE to KE such that, at least in a vacuum, or in relation to molecular free flight between collisions, PE+KE=constant and so there is no decrease in entropy* and thus no violation of the Second Law. Hopefully you’ve read this in my paper by now.

    * If PE+KE=constant (and other energy considerations are unaltered, then the total energy U in the Sakur-Tetrode equation for entropy (click here) is constant. Hence entropy does not decrease and so there is no violation of the Second Law.



  490. RW says:


    390 W/m^2 is about the average power needed to sustain 288K (for a near black body object like the surface of the Earth). I fail to see how the non-linearity of the fourth power of temperature alters this.

    “Furthermore, in order to retain its current temperature, a planet’s surface only has to receive as much energy as it loses.”

    Agreed. At 288K, the average energy gained is about 390 W/m^2 (i.e the surface must be supplied with an average net energy flow in of 390 W/m^2).

    “Not all the energy it receives has to come from radiation.”

    One step at a time. I never said that it did. The energy balance at the surface is the sum of a radiative flux and a non-radiative flux. The net energy flow in can manifest itself at the surface as any combination of radiative and non-radiative power (and no doubt is some combination).

    • RW says:

      “Not all the radiation it emits is transferring energy out of the surface.”

      Agreed. Much of what is radiated away finds its way back to the surface. That is, much of what is radiated away is effectively traded off for non-radiative flux leaving the surface but not coming back (i.e. finding its way radiated into space).

  491. Doug, your explanation for VENUS is not an explanation, it is something you created and you are trying to convince the world and yourself that it is the only explanation and the correct one.

    It is the composition of the two atmospheres and the surface of Venus versus the Earth that explains why the two planets are so different in surface temperature.

  492. To all on the board, Doug’s way is the only way, everyone else is wrong. Doug is 100% correct, the rest of us are all wrong,unless we agree with Doug, 100%.

    I wish an experiment could be done which would show what the earth’s surface temp. would be if it had the atmopsheric composition of Venus, and the surface of Venus.

    I am 100% positive it would be nothing like it is now.

    I wonder what the global warming models would show??

  493. RW many of your points are correct, and most of the scientific community agrees with you.

    I for one have wasted to much of my time already trying to understand many of Doug’s WRONG thoughts.

    I am moving on.

  494. Doug Cotton says:


    I’m still waiting RW for your explanation as to how about 10% of the Solar radiation we receive at Earth’s surface “maintains” a temperature of about 750K of Venus.

    much of what is radiated away is effectively traded off for non-radiative flux This is just verbal garbage – describe the physics you think is involved.

    Much of what is radiated away finds its way back to the surface. Back radiation (from cooler parts of the atmosphere) cannot add any thermal energy back into a warmer surface Garbage again. Read my March 2012 paper.

    Still you refuse to read my papers which are linked from my website.

    You or anyone in the world is free to submit comments or rebuttals of my papers via PSI. And if you do you will find people like these – professors, climatologists and any of our 150 members – supporting what I have written therein.

    I have explained the Venus surface temperature with valid physics supported by empirical evidence. You will not be able to come up with any other valid physical explanation. If I had a million dollars to offer, such as Michael Mann spent on court costs in his lost case against our Chairman of PSI, then I’d bet on what I’m saying. But I don’t earn a cent for the thousands of hours I’ve devoted to this, hopefully helping to save the thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars which will be wasted if this fraudulent hoax is perpetuated by money hungry pseudo scientists out for a grab of government funding. Don’t believe me? Then read this article Science Misconduct Skyrockets.”

  495. Doug Cotton says:

    Prove your point Salvatore with an official rebuttal of my latest paper which you can send to PSI. See comment above to RW.

  496. Doug Cotton says:

    I am 100% positive it would be nothing like it is now. So am I – and my latest paper explains why the height of the atmosphere (far more on Venus), its specific heat about 5% difference), the force of gravity (pretty similar on Venus) and the mean Solar intensity reaching the planet (about twice on Venus) all contribute to determining the surface temperature.

  497. RW says:


    “much of what is radiated away is effectively traded off for non-radiative flux This is just verbal garbage – describe the physics you think is involved.”

    Easy. Conservation of Energy. That is, there has to be an equal amount of energy coming out of the atmosphere as is going in and there are only two way out – either to the surface or out into space; and all non-radiative power leaving the surface has to be in excess of that directly radiated from the surface. Thus, upon an equilibrium state, any non-radiative power leaving the surface that finds its way radiated out to space has to be offset by surface radiative power absorbed by the atmosphere but not exiting ot space (i.e. returning to the surface somehow in some form). Otherwise the 1st law is not satisfied.

    “Much of what is radiated away finds its way back to the surface. Back radiation (from cooler parts of the atmosphere) cannot add any thermal energy back into a warmer surface”

    Well that’s what you think, but I don’t see any 2nd law violation as total heat flow is still from warm to cold – not to mention the system’s energy source is a third body (the Sun). Besides, what’s the difference if the energy comes back in radiant or kinetic form (like as the temperature component of precipiation, for example)? If the energy is not coming back somehow, then were is it going?

  498. Doug Cotton says:

    RW wrote any non-radiative power leaving the surface that finds its way radiated out to space has to be offset by surface radiative power absorbed by the atmosphere

    As this article explains, non-radiative power leaving the surface (by processes such as conduction and evaporative cooling) warms all air molecules (mostly oxygen and nitrogen of course) which then diffuse energy to other air molecules, some of which (like water vapour, CO2, methane etc) radiate away some of that energy, or diffuse the rest to other cooler air molecules. These radiating molecules act like holes in the atmospheric blanket effect which is by all air molecules.

    This process has little to do with the other energy which is radiated from the surface and is either absorbed by the atmosphere or passes through the atmospheric window to space.

    For issues relating to radiation read my first paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics which was published on about half a dozen websites.

    For issues relating to the mechanism which determines surface temperatures, read my new paper Planetary Surface Temperatures – A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms.

    Both papers are now linked from my website which you can access by clicking my name at the top of this post.

    I am sure you will find answers to any other questions or objections already in my papers and/or the above linked article to which I contributed.

    Doug Cotton


  499. Doug Cotton says:

    And RW also wrote Besides, what’s the difference if the energy comes back in radiant or kinetic form (like as the temperature component of precipiation [sic], for example)?

    My first paper discusses the issue of “net” transfers by radiation. It doesn’t come back into the surface in “radiant form” for the reasons explained in Sections 1 to 5 of that paper published back in March, and never successfully refuted by anyone in the world to my knowledge.

    I agree, some thermal energy comes back in precipitation. I have also written about this issue well before now. This energy should be taken into account in energy diagrams showing evaporation and latent heat. These figures should indeed be net figures, because the rain that falls back into the ocean is not much cooler than the original water which evaporated.

    This is yet another reason why conduction (diffusion) totally predominates in ensuring that the mean surface temperature is close to the mean temperature of the base of the atmosphere. Radiation has very little effect in the first 2 metres of the atmosphere where we measure climate, because whatever radiation is absorbed is spread over at least most of the troposphere.

    The temperature at the base of the atmosphere is determined by the mechanism described, and backed up with empirical evidence, in my second paper.

    Try reading and understanding these papers one day if you have an interest in finding out the truth with an open mind. Of course it’s your prerogative not to do so.

  500. Doug Cotton says:

    For over a century the world of physics believed the huge error made by Maxwell and Boltzmann when they scoffed at Loschmidt in the late 19th century. Loschmidt postulated that diffusion processes in a gas would automatically create a temperature gradient due to the effect of gravity.

    Only in the 21st century have experiments now been published (by the American Institute of Physics) using more accurate instruments that are now available to measure small differences in temperature between the top and bottom of static enclosed air columns in a lab experiment.

    The greenhouse conjecture depends entirely upon whether or not Maxwell and Boltzmann were right, or Loschmidt was. Advocates claim that a level temperature gradient in the Earth’s atmosphere owes its observed gradient due entirely to the effect of water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and other gases which can radiate at atmospheric temperatures.

    The 21st century experiments prove that the original temperature gradient would not have been level. In fact it would have been virtually exactly the same as we observe it to be without any carbon dioxide, or with a hundred times as much.

    These experiments smash the greenhouse fraud.

  501. TonyM says:

    Doug Cotton:
    I get the feeling you risk the danger of talking to yourself.

    The purpose of my original comment is that in the Maxwell experiment by Graef or whoever the tube of gas is not isolated at all. It is subject to an energy input into it by virtue of gravity – which will impart a differential input right up the column. The experiment starts when that input takes place – not after it.

    It is impossible to carry out that experiment without this happening. If this differential in energy INPUT is denied then the conclusions would breach the 2nd L of T as the same quantum of energy is being transmitted into layers with a higher T without any input of energy into the system. It is not simply a question of conservation of energy.

    In other words it can’t happen – unless the system is not isolated.

    The same with the wire running up the tube or wherever. The very fact that you must place that tube vertically means that you or someone has imparted work against gravity in a differential manner to the molecules alon